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MONSTER ENERGY CUP SERIES

Kurt Busch Wins Thrilling Battle of the Brothers in Overtime at Kentucky

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service

Denied victory at Daytona by an inopportune pit call last Sunday, Kurt Busch drove like lightning in a two-lap overtime dash to the finish to win Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.

Swapping sheet metal with brother Kyle Busch as the siblings battled for the victory throughout the overtime, Busch collected his first victory of the season in the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. The 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion won for the first time at Kentucky and the 31st time in his career.

Kurt Busch beat his brother to the finish line by .076 seconds, the closest margin of victory at a 1.5-mile intermediate speedway this season. It was also the first Cup triumph for a Chevrolet at Kentucky, which began hosting races in NASCAR’s premier series in 2011. It was also the first victory for Busch’s crew chief, Matt McCall.

“Hell yeah! Hell yeah!” Busch exulted after climbing from his car on the frontstretch. “I’m proud he (Kyle) gave me a little room on the outside. He could have clobbered us against the wall, and he probably would have got it.”

Busch was running fourth, nine seconds behind then-leader Joey Logano, when Bubba Wallace spun in Turn 2 with six laps left in regulation. Logano, third-place Erik Jones, the Busch brothers and Denny Hamlin stayed out on older tires for the overtime, with Kurt Busch having fresher rubber on his left side, thanks to a four-tire pit stop under green on Lap 213 of a scheduled 267.

That caution helped balance the scales of fortune. Last Sunday at Daytona, Busch pitted from the lead when NASCAR gave the one-lap-to-go signal, only to have a lightning bolt within the eight-mile range return the race to caution. After rain hit the track, Justin Haley, who stayed out, got the victory.

The misfortune at Daytona, made Busch relish his Kentucky win all the more.

“What an awesome run,” Busch said. “Whatever last week was, we got the ‘W’ now! That was epic. I was hopeful that we would get a shot, just one more restart. We got that yellow… with my little brother—it’s the best guy in the world to go race against.”

For the first time, Kurt beat his younger brother in a 1-2 finish.

“I’m glad it was a thriller,” Kyle Busch said. “Just unfortunately we were on the wrong end of the deal for everybody at M&M’s and Toyota, Interstate Batteries, all the folks that get us to where we’re at.

“But congratulations to Kurt and Chip and (sponsor) Monster and all the guys over there. It’s obviously cool to put on great races and great finishes, and (I’ve) been a part of a lot of them and not very many—in fact none with my brother like that, so that was a first. No hard feelings, and we move on.”

In a one-year deal with Ganassi, Kurt Busch has been weighing his future in the sport. Saturday’s win may influence his decision.

“I thought this year might be my last, but we’re having so much fun, we’ll have to see how things go,” he said.

Jones finished third, followed by Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson, who pitted for tires before the overtime. Hamlin held fifth, putting three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers in the top five.

Clint Bowyer, Logano, polesitter Daniel Suarez, Ryan Newman and Chris Buescher completed the top 10.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race – 9th Annual Quaker State 400  presented by Walmart

Kentucky Speedway

Sparta, Kentucky

Saturday, July 13, 2019

  1. (4)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 269.
  2. (10)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 269.
  3. (21)  Erik Jones, Toyota, 269.
  4. (19)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 269.
  5. (18)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 269.
  6. (7)  Clint Bowyer, Ford, 269.
  7. (11)  Joey Logano, Ford, 269.
  8. (1)  Daniel Suarez, Ford, 269.
  9. (35)  Ryan Newman, Ford, 269.
  10. (25)  Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 269.
  11. (14)  Paul Menard, Ford, 269.
  12. (16)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 269.
  13. (15)  Ryan Blaney, Ford, 269.
  14. (2)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 269.
  15. (20)  Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 269.
  16. (23)  Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 269.
  17. (22)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 268.
  18. (12)  William Byron, Chevrolet, 268.
  19. (8)  Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 268.
  20. (3)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 268.
  21. (29)  Ryan Preece #, Chevrolet, 268.
  22. (5)  Kevin Harvick, Ford, 268.
  23. (27)  Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 267.
  24. (6)  Daniel Hemric #, Chevrolet, 267.
  25. (17)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 267.
  26. (26)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 267.
  27. (30)  Matt Tifft #, Ford, 267.
  28. (28)  Corey LaJoie, Ford, 266.
  29. (24)  David Ragan, Ford, 266.
  30. (13)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 266.
  31. (32)  Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 264.
  32. (33)  Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 263.
  33. (31)  Bayley Currey(i), Ford, 262.
  34. (36)  Quin Houff, Chevrolet, 260.
  35. (9)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 238.
  36. (34)  BJ McLeod(i), Chevrolet, Electrical, 110.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  141.07 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 51 Mins, 37 Secs. Margin of Victory:  .076 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  7 for 35 laps.

Lead Changes:  15 among 10 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   D. Suarez 1-49;B. Keselowski 50-52;K. Busch 53-82;R. Stenhouse Jr. 83-103;K. Busch 104-162;E. Jones 163;C. Bowyer 164-201;K. Busch 202;C. Bowyer 203-204;K. Busch 205-212;K. Busch 213-225;D. Hamlin 226-230;R. Newman 231-245;D. Suarez 246-248;J. Logano 249-267;K. Busch 268-269.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Kyle Busch 2 times for 72 laps; Daniel Suarez 2 times for 52 laps; Kurt Busch 4 times for 41 laps; Clint Bowyer 2 times for 40 laps; Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1 time for 21 laps; Joey Logano 1 time for 19 laps; Ryan Newman 1 time for 15 laps; Denny Hamlin 1 time for 5 laps; Brad Keselowski 1 time for 3 laps; Erik Jones 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 1,10,11,17,18,19,21,22,4,8

Stage #2 Top Ten: 1,10,12,14,18,20,21,22,3,42

 

RACING RESULTS   RACING RESULTSRACING RESULTS   RACING RESULTS

XFINITY SERIES

 

Cole Custer Picks Up Fifth Win with Dominating Run at Kentucky

6Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

 

By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service

Christopher Bell was dominant in the daytime, but when the sun set over Kentucky Speedway on Friday, Cole Custer turned out the lights on his NASCAR Xfinity Series competition.

Under the lights at the end of a 104-lap green-flag run to the conclusion of the Alsco 300, Custer’s No. 00 Ford crossed the finish line 1.651 seconds ahead of Bell’s No. 20 Toyota. Custer had taken the lead from Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Chase Briscoe on Lap 111 of 200 and held it the rest of the way, save for three laps during a cycle of green-flag pit stops midway through the final run.

Bell charged from fifth to second after a restart on Lap 97 but had nothing for Custer at the end.

“It’s been unbelievable,” said Custer, who won for the first time at Kentucky and the fifth time this season, breaking a tie with Bell for most in the series. “This one just goes to my team. That car was just unbelievable, and they knew exactly what to do with it when the track changed, and I was just lucky to drive it there at the end.”

The victory was the seventh of Custer’s career, it was in doubt only when Custer pitted on Lap 151, three laps after Bell had come to pit road for fuel and tires. In the interim, on fresh rubber, Bell had cut Custer’s lead from three seconds to a half-second , but Bell never got close enough to attempt a righteous pass for the lead.

“I think I was a little too conservative on my green-flag pit stop,” said Custer, who led a race-high 88 laps. “It worked out good. He got closer, and I was definitely sweating a little bit.

“But we had a fast car and were able to pull away at the end.”

After winning the first two stages and leading 72 laps, Bell and his team perhaps got a bit complacent.

“We just kind of got worse there,” Bell said. “My car was driving really good. Probably just got a little to comfortable there, needed to free it up a little bit.

“But our Ruud Supra was really fast. We were able to win two stages, so we got a couple more Playoff points. We’ve just got to work on a couple more things, and we’ll be good.”

Tyler Reddick ran third, albeit 12.808 seconds behind Custer, as the Xfinity Series’ Big Three took all three podium positions. Collectively, Custer, Bell and Reddick have won 12 of the 17 races so far this season.

Michael Annett came home fourth, and Briscoe finished fifth in the No. 98 Ford, the last car on the lead lap. Reddick leads second-place Bell by 67 points in the series standings, after Bell trimmed 10 points off Reddick’s post-Daytona advantage.

Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Truex, Ryan Sieg and Justin Haley completed the top 10.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – 19th Annual Alsco 300

Kentucky Speedway

Sparta, Kentucky

Friday, July 12, 2019

  1. (5)  Cole Custer, Ford, 200.
  2. (2)  Christopher Bell, Toyota, 200.
  3. (8)  Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 200.
  4. (10)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 200.
  5. (9)  Chase Briscoe #, Ford, 200.
  6. (3)  Noah Gragson #, Chevrolet, 199.
  7. (4)  Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 199.
  8. (12)  Ryan Truex, Chevrolet, 199.
  9. (13)  Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 199.
  10. (14)  Justin Haley #, Chevrolet, 199.
  11. (7)  Riley Herbst(i), Toyota, 199.
  12. (11)  John Hunter Nemechek #, Chevrolet, 198.
  13. (18)  Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 198.
  14. (1)  Austin Cindric, Ford, 198.
  15. (16)  Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, 198.
  16. (28)  Shane Lee, Toyota, 198.
  17. (17)  Brandon Brown #, Chevrolet, 197.
  18. (26)  Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 197.
  19. (35)  Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 196.
  20. (24)  BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 196.
  21. (31)  David Starr, Chevrolet, 195.
  22. (27)  Joey Gase, Toyota, 195.
  23. (22)  Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 194.
  24. (23)  Stephen Leicht, Chevrolet, 192.
  25. (36)  Vinnie Miller, Chevrolet, 190.
  26. (30)  Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 185.
  27. (37)  Mike Harmon, Chevrolet, Fuel Pump, 178.
  28. (29)  Chad Finchum, Toyota, Ignition, 154.
  29. (19)  Ronnie Bassett Jr, Chevrolet, Vibration, 114.
  30. (6)  Brandon Jones, Toyota, Engine, 106.
  31. (38)  John Jackson, Toyota, Vibration, 82.
  32. (25)  Josh Bilicki, Chevrolet, Fuel Pump, 71.
  33. (34)  Camden Murphy(i), Chevrolet, Electrical, 68.
  34. (33)  Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Overheating, 55.
  35. (15)  Ray Black II, Chevrolet, Clutch, 39.
  36. (21)  Jeff Green, Chevrolet, Ignition, 25.
  37. (20)  Timmy Hill, Toyota, Electrical, 18.
  38. (32)  Ja Junior Avila, Chevrolet, Accident, 3.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  139.445 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 9 Mins, 5 Secs. Margin of Victory:  1.651 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  5 for 24 laps.

Lead Changes:  14 among 8 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   C. Bell 1-47;J. Allgaier 48;J. Haley # 49-52;B. Jones 53-59;N. Gragson # 60-67;C. Bell 68-92;C. Custer 93;C. Briscoe # 94-96;B. Jones 97-101;C. Briscoe # 102-110;C. Custer 111-151;C. Briscoe # 152-153;A. Cindric 154;C. Custer 155-200.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Cole Custer 3 times for 88 laps; Christopher Bell 2 times for 72 laps; Chase Briscoe # 3 times for 14 laps; Brandon Jones 2 times for 12 laps; Noah Gragson # 1 time for 8 laps; Justin Haley # 1 time for 4 laps; Austin Cindric 1 time for 1 lap; Justin Allgaier 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 00,1,18,19,2,20,22,7,9,98

Stage #2 Top Ten: 00,1,18,19,2,20,23,7,8,9

 

For the vast majority of Saturday’s Camping World 300 at Chicagoland Speedway it looked like another non-too-subtle reminder of how good the NASCAR Xfinity Series triumphant trio has been – championship leaders Cole Custer, Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick showed the way.

Ultimately it was Custer’s time to celebrate this weekend, leading a dominant 151 of the race’s 200 laps to take his fourth Xfinity win of the season in the No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford and the sixth victory of his career.

He earned a solid 2.917-second triumph over reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano, who was making his first Xfinity start of the season. Bell was third and Reddick ended up 10th, losing positions only in the waning laps. Michael Annett, who led 25 laps late in the race playing a pit stop strategy, finished fourth. Brandon Jones was fifth.

“I think we’re going to hit it this summer, we have some awesome cars,’’ Custer excitedly told the front grandstands. “I don’t know how to get the car any better, I’m just lucky to drive it.’’

Custer, Bell and Reddick have now combined to win 11 of the season’s 15 races, including the last nine consecutively. Custer and Bell have a series best four wins apiece.

At times – especially following a restart – the affectionately well-worn Chicagoland Speedway surface helped sustain four and five-wide racing in a free-for-all that set the tone of the race behind Custer.

The SHR driver never seemed to have a problem retaking the lead – he passed polesitter Logano only three laps into the race, en route to the Stage 1 victory. Logano, who started from the pole position, retook the lead late in Stage 2 and held on to claim that stage victory.

But Custer’s No. 00 Ford was just too much for the field, losing the lead only briefly at times but then forcefully and easily retaking it at every opportunity. He passed Michael Annett on a restart with 22 laps to go and never looked back. It’s Custer’s second win in the last four weeks (also including Pocono) and he was runner-up to Bell in the last race at Iowa.

The effort in the oppressive 90-degree heat was impressive even to Custer’s competitors.

When asked where he was getting beat by Custer on track, Logano grinned and deadpanned, “At Chicagoland.’’

“They did a good job. They had the fastest car in practice and Cole did an amazing job.’’

Bell, who failed to lead a lap for the first time this season, kept the championship competition honest and seemed to consider the race a good learning experience for the championship finale on the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway finale – a venue similar to Chicago.

“Our car was really good, really balanced,’’ Bell said. “Felt really good in practice, just lacking a little bit on that double zero car (Custer). They were the class of the field at Homestead (a similar track to Chicagoland) and were here today too.’’
 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Race - 19th Annual Camping World 300
Chicagoland Speedway
Joliet, Illinois
Saturday, June 29, 2019

                   1. (2)  Cole Custer, Ford, 200.
                   2. (1)  Joey Logano(i), Ford, 200.
                   3. (5)  Christopher Bell, Toyota, 200.
                   4. (16)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 200.
                   5. (6)  Brandon Jones, Toyota, 200.
                   6. (7)  Austin Cindric, Ford, 200.
                   7. (10)  Noah Gragson #, Chevrolet, 200.
                   8. (14)  Justin Haley #, Chevrolet, 200.
                   9. (3)  Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 200.
                   10. (9)  Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 200.
                   11. (8)  Riley Herbst(i), Toyota, 200.
                   12. (15)  John Hunter Nemechek #, Chevrolet, 200.
                   13. (12)  Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 200.
                   14. (19)  Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 200.
                   15. (17)  Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, 200.
                   16. (11)  Chase Briscoe #, Ford, 199.
                   17. (21)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Toyota, 199.
                   18. (13)  Zane Smith, Chevrolet, 199.
                   19. (22)  Shane Lee, Toyota, 199.
                   20. (20)  Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 199.
                   21. (25)  Ray Black II, Chevrolet, 199.
                   22. (30)  Stephen Leicht, Chevrolet, 199.
                   23. (31)  Brandon Brown #, Chevrolet, 198.
                   24. (18)  BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 196.
                   25. (26)  Chad Finchum, Toyota, 195.
                   26. (35)  Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 195.
                   27. (34)  Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 195.
                   28. (24)  Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 195.
                   29. (28)  Tommy Joe Martins, Toyota, 194.
                   30. (37)  Vinnie Miller, Chevrolet, 194.
                   31. (33)  Ronnie Bassett Jr, Chevrolet, 193.
                   32. (29)  Camden Murphy(i), Chevrolet, 192.
                   33. (4)  Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, Accident, 127.
                   34. (27)  Joey Gase, Toyota, Engine, 111.
                   35. (32)  Timmy Hill, Toyota, Electrical, 71.
                   36. (23)  Josh Bilicki, Chevrolet, Vibration, 55.
                   37. (36)  David Starr, Chevrolet, Engine, 52.
                   38. (38)  Jeff Green, Chevrolet, Electrical, 11.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  128.068 mph.
Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 20 Mins, 33 Secs. Margin of Victory:  2.917 Seconds.
Caution Flags:  6 for 30 laps.
Lead Changes:  10 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders:   J. Logano(i) 1-2;C. Custer 3-14;J. Logano(i) 15-19;C. Custer 20-79;J. Logano(i) 80-92;C. Custer 93-111;Z. Smith 112-114;J. Earnhardt 115;C. Custer 116-154;M. Annett 155-179;C. Custer 180-200.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Cole Custer 5 times for 151 laps; Michael Annett 1 time for 25 laps; Joey Logano(i) 3 times for 20 laps; Zane Smith 1 time for 3 laps; Jeffrey Earnhardt 1 time for 1 lap.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 00,1,10,12,19,2,20,22,7,98
Stage #2 Top Ten: 00,10,11,12,19,2,20,22,7,8

RACING RESULTS   RACING RESULTS RACING RESULTS   RACING RESULTS

gander outdoors TRUCK SERIES

Tyler Ankrum Grabs Playoff Spot with Maiden Truck Series Win

Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service

In a week that started with Justin Haley’s remarkable upset win at Daytona on Sunday, 18-year-old Tyler Ankrum added another on Thursday night at Kentucky Speedway—and simultaneously threw a wrench into the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoff standings.

Driving the No. 17 DGR-Crosley Toyota, Ankrum inherited the lead in the Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at the 1.5-mile track when Brett Moffitt ran out of fuel on the next-to-last lap. Ankrum crossed the finish line 7.373 seconds ahead of runner-up Stewart Friesen, who started last in a backup truck after NASCAR confiscated his primary No. 52 Chevrolet because of an issue with the rear firewall.

“I was driving my butt off—holy cow,” said Ankrum, who led a race-high 40 laps in three stints out front to earn his first victory in the series. “I think I was holding my breath for the last three laps there. Holy cow, that was awesome… I just don’t know what to say. I cannot believe I just did this…

“Honestly, one of my biggest faults is I’ve always doubted myself, and I kind of saw all of that wash away.”

Having turned 18 on Mar. 6, Ankrum has a Playoff eligibility waiver from NASCAR and grabbed a spot in the postseason on a night that proved disastrous for Playoff hopefuls Ben Rhodes, the defending race winner, and Todd Gilliland.

Rhodes hit the outside wall on Lap 127 of 150 and pitted with a flat left rear tire eight laps later. He finished 19th, nine laps down. Gilliland had engine issues and ran 17th, five laps down. He and Rhodes ended the night outside the Playoff grid, perilously close to must-win situations in the next three races.

Sheldon Creed started beside Grant Enfinger, the pole winner, and grabbed the lead going into Turn 1. From that point Stage 1 was no contest, with Creed pulling out to a lead of more than two seconds over Enfinger and more than nine seconds over third-place Ross Chastain.

Creed won the stage wire-to-wire, with Enfinger running second—the 15th consecutive stage in which the driver of the No. 98 ThorSport Ford has finished fourth or better.

That streak ended abruptly and ignominiously with five laps left in Stage 2. Enfinger was chasing leader Brandon Jones, who had driven forward from his 27th starting position after a restart on Lap 65. Enfinger steered to the inside and drove hard into Turn 3 to pull alongside Jones’ Toyota.

But Enfinger didn’t have enough momentum to complete the pass. His Ford slid up the track and carried Jones’ Toyota into the fence, eliminating both trucks from the race.

“It’s all on me,” Enfinger said after exiting the infield care center. “I lost my air and wrecked it, trying to make something happen.”

After the incident, Matt Crafton won the stage under caution. Where the first stage ran green from start to finish, Stage 2 was peppered with four yellows that reduced the number of contenders for the win.

Creed had pitted before the end of the second stage and didn’t lead a lap thereafter. After a litany of troubles in the late going, he finished 21st in a race that saw only seven trucks on the lead lap at the end.

Harrison Burton ran third and is currently one position out of the Playoffs, ahead of Rhodes and Gilliland, respectively. Ross Chastain ran fourth, followed by Dylan Lupton, who joined DGR-Crosley teammate Ankrum in the top five.

Moffitt pitted for fuel only  10 laps after Ankrum came to pit road in the final stage, but after a one-can stop, Moffitt’s crew chief, Jerry Baxter, calculated his driver was two laps short and instructed him to save. Moffitt slowed his paced but couldn’t save enough.

“I was just backing it up as much as I could,” Moffitt said. “We were just a lap short. It’s tough. We had a good-sized lead. I’ve never run great here, so it was fun to get up front and dice it out, and Jerry called a great race.”

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Race – 9th Annual Buckle Up In Your Truck 225

Kentucky Speedway

Sparta, Kentucky

Thursday, July 11, 2019

  1. (9)  Tyler Ankrum #, Toyota, 150.
  2. (32)  Stewart Friesen, Chevrolet, 150.
  3. (6)  Harrison Burton #, Toyota, 150.
  4. (5)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 150.
  5. (20)  Dylan Lupton, Toyota, 150.
  6. (16)  Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, 150.
  7. (7)  Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, 150.
  8. (21)  Spencer Davis, Toyota, 149.
  9. (28)  Jeb Burton(i), Chevrolet, 149.
  10. (11)  Johnny Sauter, Ford, 148.
  11. (26)  Tyler Hill, Chevrolet, 148.
  12. (14)  Tyler Dippel #, Chevrolet, 148.
  13. (4)  Matt Crafton, Ford, 148.
  14. (19)  Codie Rohrbaugh, Chevrolet, 147.
  15. (10)  Brennan Poole, Toyota, 147.
  16. (24)  Clay Greenfield, Toyota, 147.
  17. (3)  Todd Gilliland, Toyota, 145.
  18. (23)  Mason Massey IV, Chevrolet, 145.
  19. (8)  Ben Rhodes, Ford, 141.
  20. (30)  Josh Bilicki(i), Chevrolet, 140.
  21. (2)  Sheldon Creed #, Chevrolet, 131.
  22. (31)  Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, 127.
  23. (27)  Brandon Jones(i), Toyota, Accident, 64.
  24. (1)  Grant Enfinger, Ford, Accident, 64.
  25. (13)  Gus Dean #, Chevrolet, Accident, 63.
  26. (12)  Chad Finley, Chevrolet, Accident, 55.
  27. (17)  Natalie Decker #, Toyota, Accident, 53.
  28. (29)  Camden Murphy, Chevrolet, Engine, 43.
  29. (25)  Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, Accident, 41.
  30. (15)  Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, Accident, 41.
  31. (22)  Austin Hill, Toyota, Engine, 28.
  32. (18)  Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, Vibration, 17.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  119.416 mph.

Time of Race:  1 Hrs, 53 Mins, 3 Secs. Margin of Victory:  7.373 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  5 for 33 laps.

Lead Changes:  10 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   S. Creed # 1-36;T. Ankrum # 37;G. Enfinger 38-59;B. Jones(i) 60-64;M. Crafton 65-72;T. Ankrum # 73-109;B. Moffitt 110-120;D. Lupton 121;M. Crafton 122-124;B. Moffitt 125-148;T. Ankrum # 149-150.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Tyler Ankrum # 3 times for 40 laps; Sheldon Creed # 1 time for 36 laps; Brett Moffitt 2 times for 35 laps; Grant Enfinger 1 time for 22 laps; Matt Crafton 2 times for 11 laps; Brandon Jones(i) 1 time for 5 laps; Dylan Lupton 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 13,17,18,2,24,30,4,45,51,98

Stage #2 Top Ten: 11,15,17,2,22,30,45,52,88,99

 

 

Moffitt Continues Championship Defense with Win at Chicagoland

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

 

By Holly Cain, NASCAR Wire Service

JOLIET, Ill. – Brett Moffitt has long insisted he wanted to earn a checkered flag this season with his performance on track and Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway he did just that – winning the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Camping World 225 by a no-doubt 3.950 seconds over Brandon Jones.

The reigning series champion Moffitt has been vocal in his desire to hoist a trophy this weekend at Chicago – for the second consecutive year. And he earned It in convincing style – smiling widely as the confetti flew in victory lane while the crowd cheered approvingly. It was a welcome and different scene from the win he was awarded two weeks ago at Iowa after Ross Chastain was disqualified. Moffitt did not lead a lap in the race and only got to celebrate with his team in victory circle at an empty Iowa Speedway.

Not this time.

“It’s like the first win,’’ his crew chief Jerry Baxter said with a wide smile after the race. “This feels real good.’’

“We’ll go home and celebrate,’’ Moffitt said. “I felt confident, it was just a matter of a caution coming out or not. I’m sure he (Baxter) was nervous, I was nervous we were just praying for no caution to come out.’’

And celebrating in victory lane this time?

“It was a heck of a lot more fun, and it’s fun not only me but for the whole pit crew,’’

Moffitt’s No. 24 GMS Racing Chevrolet certainly kept the field honest all race. Stewart Friesen finished third with rookie Harrison Burton and pole-winner Austin Hill rounding out the top-five. Six of the top-10-finishing drivers have never won a race before.

Three Kyle Busch Motorsports drivers earned top-10 finishes – the 22-year-old Jones (runner-up), Burton (fourth) and 18-year old Todd Gilliland (sixth).

“We have just been working really really hard, all the guys at KBM busting their butts,’’ said Burton, who remains in playoff contention,

“I’m lucky to be in this position, we’re fighting our way into the playoffs and it’s a lot of fun. If we get in, they better watch out.”

Jones, who has only two previous truck starts this season was equally as pleased with his runner-up finish.

“We put ourselves in position  to learn a bit and that’s the most fun I’ve ever had in a truck race,’’ Jones said, “We’ve got two more with these guys.”

With playoff positions at stake with four races left to set the championship field and plenty of pride on the line, a handful of the top-ranked drivers showed up at Chicagoland Speedway determined to settle for nothing less than a trophy. And it showed in a thrilling race featuring 12 lead changes and slowed by only five cautions (two for stage breaks).

The intensity was especially evident in the third and final stage. The trucks ran four-wide in the opening laps ultimately leading to the downfall of early race leader Grant Enfinger. The lapped car of Spencer Davis was running alongside Enfinger just after the final stage restart. Contact between the two forced Enfinger’s No. 98 Ford hard into the outside wall and sent Davis’ Chevy into the infield.

It was especially tough luck for Enfinger, who had led a race-best 49 of the opening 79 laps up to that point and had scored the Stage 2 victory only minutes earlier. He ended up 16th, two laps down but maintained his championship points lead by 52 points over Friesen.

Enfinger’s fate was part of a rough night for his ThorSport Racing team. Two of his teammates – Ben Rhodes and Johnny Sauter had engine issues. Only former two-time series champion Matt Crafton scored a top-10 (eighth).

Chastain, who started 16th and had to pit early in the opening stage rallied back to a seventh-place finish. The hard work is especially important for Chastain, who won the race at Gateway last week but needs to break into the top 20 in the rankings to be playoff eligible. He is now 10 points behind Jennifer Jo Cobb at the 20th place cutoff.

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Race – 11th Annual Camping World 225

Chicagoland Speedway

Joliet, Illinois

Friday, June 28, 2019

  1. (3)  Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, 150.
  2. (19)  Brandon Jones(i), Toyota, 150.
  3. (10)  Stewart Friesen, Chevrolet, 150.
  4. (8)  Harrison Burton #, Toyota, 150.
  5. (1)  Austin Hill, Toyota, 150.
  6. (13)  Todd Gilliland, Toyota, 150.
  7. (16)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 150.
  8. (11)  Matt Crafton, Ford, 150.
  9. (6)  Anthony Alfredo #, Toyota, 150.
  10. (9)  Dylan Lupton, Toyota, 150.
  11. (7)  Sheldon Creed #, Chevrolet, 149.
  12. (14)  Tyler Dippel #, Chevrolet, 149.
  13. (4)  Tyler Ankrum, Toyota, 149.
  14. (15)  Natalie Decker #, Toyota, 149.
  15. (12)  Gus Dean #, Chevrolet, 149.
  16. (5)  Grant Enfinger, Ford, 148.
  17. (20)  Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 148.
  18. (2)  Johnny Sauter, Ford, 147.
  19. (27)  Josh Bilicki(i), Chevrolet, 147.
  20. (21)  Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 146.
  21. (30)  Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, 141.
  22. (28)  Jesse Iwuji, Chevrolet, 138.
  23. (23)  Camden Murphy, Chevrolet, Brakes, 93.
  24. (24)  Timmy Hill(i), Chevrolet, Overheating, 89.
  25. (18)  Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, DVP, 88.
  26. (26)  Mason Massey, Chevrolet, Fuel Pump, 82.
  27. (22)  Spencer Davis, Chevrolet, Accident, 78.
  28. (25)  Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, Suspension, 45.
  29. (31)  Norm Benning, Chevrolet, Parked, 35.
  30. (29)  BJ McLeod(i), Toyota, Electrical, 17.
  31. (32)  Joey Gase(i), Chevrolet, Vibration, 15.
  32. (17)  Ben Rhodes, Ford, Engine, 1.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  123.551 mph.

Time of Race:  1 Hrs, 49 Mins, 16 Secs. Margin of Victory:  3.950 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  5 for 27 laps.

Lead Changes:  12 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   A. Hill 1-9;G. Enfinger 10;A. Hill 11-12;G. Enfinger 13-34;B. Jones(i) 35-38;C. Murphy 39-40;B. Jones(i) 41-47;G. Enfinger 48-73;B. Moffitt 74-119;B. Jones(i) 120-121;S. Creed # 122-123;S. Boyd 124;B. Moffitt 125-150.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Brett Moffitt 2 times for 72 laps; Grant Enfinger 3 times for 49 laps; Brandon Jones(i) 3 times for 13 laps; Austin Hill 2 times for 11 laps; Sheldon Creed # 1 time for 2 laps; Camden Murphy 1 time for 2 laps; Spencer Boyd 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 16,17,18,22,24,5,51,52,88,98

Stage #2 Top Ten: 16,17,18,24,45,5,51,52,88,98

 

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MONSTER ENERGY CUP SERIES

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart

The Place: Kentucky Speedway

The Date: Saturday, July 12

The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBCSN, 7:00 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 400.5 miles (267 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 80),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 160), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 267)

2018 Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.

 

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

 

Kentucky’s prized thoroughbreds

If you’re looking to pick a favorite for this weekend’s race at Kentucky Speedway, you would be well served to go with Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch or Martin Truex Jr., or with Brad Keselowski from the Team Penske stable.

 

The reason? These three drivers have combined to win seven of the eight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races that have been run at Kentucky Speedway. (Matt Kenseth won the 2013 edition.)

 

Keselowski leads the pack with three wins (2012, 2014, 2016). Busch won the inaugural race in 2011 and then again in 2015. And Truex won the two most recent races at the 1.5-mile circuit.

 

And each of the three drivers won at Kentucky during their Monster Energy Series championship campaign (Keselowski – 2012, Busch – 2015, Truex – 2017).

 

Busch is the leader in top-five finishes with six and in top-10 finishes with seven, while Keselowski has four top fives and six top 10s. Interestingly, the only top fives Truex has put together at Kentucky are his two wins, although he has five top 10s.

 

Also of note, Keselowski is the only driver to have won in a make other than Toyota at Kentucky. His first win (2012) came behind the wheel of a Dodge while his next two came after Team Penske switched to Ford. Chevrolet has yet to visit Victory Lane in the Monster Energy Series at Kentucky Speedway.

 

Playoff bubble bouncing around

With eight races remaining in the regular season, the seven drivers (Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman) have secured a Playoff position on wins.

 

Which leaves nine spots open for new winners or for drivers to earn their way in on points.

 

If the Playoffs were to start today, those drivers would be Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman. Daniel Suarez (17th) and Erik Jones (18th) are the first two drivers on the outside looking in.

 

Only 14 points separate 15th (Bowyer with 444 points) and 18th (Jones with 430 points) after Daytona. To show how much of an impact one race can have on the Playoff bubble, following Chicagoland, the rankings were Suarez, Bowyer, Jones and Newman in slots 15 through 18, in that order.

 

And to go back one more week to Sonoma, 15 through 18 consisted of Larson, Newman, Johnson and Jones – in that order.

 

Looking ahead to the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway this Saturday night (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), each of the former active winners at the track have already won in 2019. And the drivers on the bubble have their work cut out for them.

 

Newman leads the bubble drivers with three top-five (and top-10) finishes at the 1.5-mile venue. Bowyer has only one top-five finish (and it’s also his only top 10) at the 1.5-mile venue. Jones has two top 10s (sixth and seventh) while Suarez has yet to crack the top 10 at Kentucky, posting finishes of 15th (last year) and 18th in his two starts.

 

A driver of note outside the top 16 who pretty much needs to win to get in to the Playoffs is Austin Dillon. He has the most Playoff appearances (three) of any driver outside the top 16 right now, and is looking to extend his Playoff appearance streak to four years, after making it to the postseason in 2016-2018. He sits 77 points back of the 16th-place cutoff spot. But he’s going to have to improve his Kentucky performance tremendously if he’s going to get in on a win in the Bluegrass State. In six starts there, he has twice posted a best finish of 16th – and has tallied an average finish of 20.3.

 

Jones (2018), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (made the Playoffs in 2017, currently 19th in points, 45 points out of 16th), Paul Menard (made the Playoffs in 2015, currently 20th in points, 53 points back) and Chris Buescher (made the Playoffs in 2016, currently 21st in points, 74 points out of Playoff contention) are the only other drivers with postseason experience who are currently out of the Playoff picture.

 

Summertime Sizzle: Hendrick heating up at opportune time

Talks of Hendrick Motorsports’ decline came a little too soon. The storied organization is beginning to hit its stride as the NASCAR season heads into the depths of summer.

 

Right now, Hendrick is led by Chase Elliott, who’s seventh in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings. The 23-year-old Dawsonville, Georgia, native claims one win this season, along with six top fives, seven top 10s and 409 laps led. He’s struggled over the last four races, failing to notch a top 10 after tallying six consecutive top fives, but heads to Kentucky where he has a high finish of third (three career starts).

 

Alex Bowman sits ninth in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings and has performed well at 1.5-mile tracks recently, including his win at Chicagoland less than two weeks ago. Prior to Chicagoland, he placed seventh at Charlotte and runner-up at Kansas. Bowman has never placed higher than 31st at Kentucky (three starts).

 

William Byron sits 12th in the points standings following his runner-up finish at Daytona. The 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion is showing he belongs at the Monster Energy Cup level with four top 10s in his last six starts. Byron placed 20th in his lone Cup start at Kentucky last season and boasts a NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win at the 1.5-mile track.

 

Following talks of his decline, seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson has posted finishes of third (Daytona) and fourth (Chicagoland) in his last two starts. He currently sits 13th in the points standings, 34 points above the Playoffs cutoff. In eight career starts at Kentucky, Johnson claims one top five and five top 10s with a high finish of third (2011). He’s finished eighth or better in his last four starts at 1.5-mile tracks: Chicagoland (fourth), Charlotte (eighth), Kansas (sixth), Texas (fifth).

 

Team Penske ready to assert itself in the Bluegrass State

The Team Penske trio of Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney looks to finish in the top 10 at Kentucky together for the second consecutive season. Last year, Blaney led the charge in second, followed by Keselowski in third and Logano in 10th. 

 

All three drivers have been successful in the Bluegrass State over the course of their careers.

 

Keselowski headlines the group with three wins (tops in the series), four top fives, six top 10s and 109.6 driver rating (second).

 

Blaney claims finishes of second (2018), 10th (2017) and 35th (2016) in three Kentucky starts. Additionally, he’s won twice there in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

 

In eight starts at Kentucky, Logano owns two top fives and five tops 10s. His high finish at the 1.5-mile track is a runner-up showing in 2015.

 

Penske drivers have finished in the top 10 together three times this season (Auto Club, Michigan and Chicagoland).

 

Measuring up at the 1.5-mile tracks

As Kentucky Speedway’s Quaker State 400 (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) marks the final 1.5-mile race in the regular season, we stop to look at the top performers at this distance both overall and in 2019 as we size up the opportunity for a new driver to break into the win column this season.

 

It should come as no surprise that the career leader in wins at this distance is seven-time Monster Energy Series champion Jimmie Johnson. His 28 wins betters Jeff Gordon (16) by 12 visits to Victory Lane. Kevin Harvick is third on the all-time list, second among active drivers, with 15 wins, while Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch trail with 13 victories. Martin Truex Jr. is fifth among active drivers with 11 wins at 1.5-milers.

 

Two drivers looking for their first win of the season top the runner-up category. Johnson has 18 second-place finishes while Harvick has posted 17. They are also the top two active drivers in top fives (Johnson with 75, Harvick with 61) and top 10s (Johnson with 115, Harvick with 108).

 

Kyle Busch joins the party when it comes to laps led. Johnson’s 5,837 are the best, while Busch has recorded 4,858 laps out front and Harvick has 4,733.

 

In 2019, Keselowski has been the best in most categories at 1.5-mile tracks…and keep in mind, he’s the all-time leader in wins at Kentucky with three. He leads this season with two wins at this distance, as well as four top-five and four top-10 finishes.

 

Harvick has notched the most laps led this year with 383 at 1.5-mile tracks. Alex Bowman (the Chicagoland winner) is tied with Kyle Busch (who has yet to win at a 1.5-mile track this season) at 159 laps led. Kyle Larson, looking for his first win of the year, is fourth in laps led with 149.

 

And speaking of Harvick, he also has the second-best average finishing position at 1.5-milers this season. His 8.83 after finish is just behind Truex’ 8.5 mark.

 

Variety is the name of the game

Including last week’s trip to the 2.5-mile high-banked, high-speed superspeedway in Daytona, the 2019 Monster Energy Series regular season schedule wraps up with eight very unique tracks – providing opportunities for a wide variety of drivers to win their way into the Playoffs. Below is a look at the seven remaining facilities in the regular season:

 

Kentucky Speedway – The only 1.5-mile track remaining in the regular season. Only three active drivers (Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr.) have conquered the track in the Bluegrass State…and all already have wins in 2019.

 

New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Measuring at slightly longer than a mile, New Hampshire is a shorter, flat track with variable banking at two and seven degrees in the corners and one degree on the straights. Former Loudon winners who have yet to visit Victory Lane this season are aplenty and have combined for 14 wins there – Jimmie Johnson (three wins), Kevin Harvick (three), Kurt Busch (three) Ryan Newman (three) and Clint Bowyer (two).

 

Pocono Raceway – The 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle” has three unique turns (Turn 1 – 14 degrees of banking, Turn 2 – eight degrees, Turn 3 – six degrees) and long straights (frontstretch – 3,740 feet, backstretch – 3,055 feet, shortstretch – 1,780 feet). Jimmie Johnson (three wins), Kurt Busch (three), Ryan Newman (one), Chris Buescher (one) and Ryan Blaney (one) have all won at Pocono but not, yet, anywhere this year. On Wednesday, Pocono announced that they would add the PJ1 traction compound in all three of its turns, helping add another lane option for passing opportunities.

 

Watkins Glen International – The Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York hosts this historic 2.45-mile, seven-turn road course. Of note – all of the active previous winners at The Glen have found Victory Lane in 2019 except for Kevin Harvick (2006 winner).

 

Michigan International Speedway – The Irish Hills provide the backdrop for this spacious, smooth and speedy two-miler that features 18 degrees of banking in the corners. Kyle Larson and Kurt Busch’s three wins each at Michigan are the most among active winners who haven’t won in 2019. Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman have a pair of wins each there, while Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer have one apiece.

 

Bristol Motor Speedway – Thunder Valley sets the scene for the half-mile, high-banked short track featuring variable banking (from 24 to 28 degrees) in the turns. Kurt Busch is second only to his brother, Kyle, in wins at Bristol with six to Kyle’s eight. Kevin Harvick, with two wins at the track, is the only other active former winner who has yet to be victorious in 2019.

 

Darlington Raceway – “The Track Too Tough To Tame” is an egg-shaped 1.366-mile track with 25 degrees of banking in Turns 1 and 2, and 23 degrees of banking in 3 and 4. Jimmie Johnson’s three wins top the list of drivers who have bested the challenge of the unique configuration. Kevin Harvick (one win) is the only other active former winner at Darlington who has not won this season.

 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway – While Pocono is a triangle that modeled Turn 2 after Indianapolis, the “Brickyard” is basically a 2.5-mile flat rectangle, featuring short straights between the turns, which are all banked at nine degrees. Jimmie Johnson’s four wins at the famed track are most among active drivers and are second-most all-time (to Jeff Gordon’s five). Joining him on the list of active Brickyard winners who are searching for their first win this season are Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman (one win each).

 

“By The Numbers” at the mid-point of the 2019 season

As the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Kentucky, it marks the mid-point of the 2019 season – 18 races down, 18 to go. Here’s a “By The Numbers” to this point in the season:

 

  • Nine different Busch Pole Award winners from five organizations
    • Hendrick Motorsports – William Byron (three), Chase Elliott (two), Jimmie Johnson (one)
    • Stewart-Haas Racing – Kevin Harvick (three), Aric Almirola (one)
    • Team Penske - Joey Logano (two), Ryan Blaney (one)
    • Richard Childress Racing – Austin Dillon (three)
    • Chip Ganassi Racing – Kyle Larson (one)
  • Eight different race winners from four organizations
    • Joe Gibbs Racing – Kyle Busch (four), Martin Truex Jr. (four) and Denny Hamlin (two)
    • Team Penske - Brad Keselowski (three) and Joey Logano (two)
    • Hendrick Motorsports – Chase Elliott (one) and Alex Bowman (one)
    • Spire Motorsports – Justin Haley (one)
  • Average number of lead changes (19.22) per race through the first 18 events of the 2019 season are the most since 2015 during that same time frame.
  • Average number of leaders (9.56) per race through the first 18 races of the season are the most since 2014.
  • Average Margin of Victory over the first 18 races of the 2019 season is 1.454 seconds; with 10 of the 18 races (55.6%) this season finishing with a margin of victory of less than a second.
  • In a year-over-year comparison (2018-2019), this season has seen an increase of green flag passes for the lead of 43.5%.
  • In a year-over-year comparison (2018-2019), the Monster Energy Series has seen significant gains in green flag passes for the lead in 12 of the 18 races this season; including all six of the 1.5-mile tracks (Atlanta, Las Vegas, Texas, Kansas,  Charlotte and Chicago).
  • Four of the 18 races this season have produced record setting green flag passes for the lead; producing more green flag passes for the lead than ever before – Las Vegas, Bristol, Kansas and Chicago.

 

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Etc.

New Names In Top 10 At Daytona: Some different names than usual popped up in the top 10 following the drama at Daytona last weekend. In addition to first-time race winner Justin Haley, William Byron (second), Ty Dillon (fourth), Corey Lajoie (sixth) and Matt Tifft (ninth) all posted career-best finishes. Furthermore, Ryan Newman (fifth) nabbed his first top five this season and Matt DiBenedetto (eighth) secured the second top 10 of his 2019 campaign.

 

Sunoco Rookie Watch: Richard Childress Racing’s Daniel Hemric holds a sizeable lead over Ryan Preece in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings. His 293 points better Preece by 58 points. Hemric has one top-five this year, a fifth-place finish at Talladega. Preece has a pair of top 10s (eighth at the season opener in Daytona and third at Talladega). This weekend is the first visit to Kentucky for both drivers.

 

Parade Laps: Insights to the drivers that will participate in media breakouts

Seven drivers are on tap to visit with the media this weekend at Kentucky Speedway during the media breakout sessions. The first rotation of drivers will include Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola, Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Newman, Richard Childress Racing’s Daniel Hemric and Front Row Motorsports Matt Tifft. The second rotation will include GO FAS Racing’s Corey Lajoie, Germain Racing’s Ty Dillon and Front Row Motorsport’s David Ragan.

 

Rotation 1 (4:15-4:30 pm – Bluegrass Hall)

 

Aric Almirola, 35, from Tampa, Fla., is 10th in the Monster Energy Series driver points standings following Daytona; 188 points back from the series standings lead. Though on pace to make the Playoffs, Almirola is still looking for his first win of the season, much like his Stewart-Haas Racing teammates. In 18 starts this year he has posted one pole, one top five and 10 top 10s. This weekend could be tough Almirola, Kentucky Speedway has been an uphill climb for him in the past. In six series career starts at the 1.5-mile track he has just one top-10 finish (eighth-place last season).  

 

Ryan Newman, 41, from South Bend, Ind., is currently 16th in the Monster Energy Series driver standings; the final transfer position into the Playoffs. Newman has just a three-point edge over 17th place Daniel Suarez heading into this weekend at Kentucky. In 18 starts this season, Newman has put up one top five and six top 10s. At Kentucky, the Roush Fenway Racing driver has made eight series starts posting three top fives and an average finish of 15.1.

 

Daniel Hemric, 28, from Kannapolis, N.C., is 24th in the Monster Energy Series driver standings following Daytona, 150 points behind 16th place Ryan Newman in the final Playoff transfer spot. Though, he leads the 2019 Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings. The Richard Childress Racing driver has just one top-five finish in 18 series starts this season (fifth-place finish at Talladega). This weekend at Kentucky Speedway will be Hemric’s series track debut on the 1.5-mile track. But he does have some experience at Kentucky, having made three starts in the Xfinity Series, posting a runner-up finish in last season’s event. 

 

Matt Tifft, 23, from Hinckley, Ohio, is 31st in the Monster Energy Series driver standings following Daytona. Tifft is also ranked third in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings this season. In 18 starts, the Front Row Motorsports driver has grabbed one top-10 (ninth at Daytona-2) and three top-20 finishes in 2019. Tifft will have lots to learn this weekend as he will be making his series track debut at Kentucky.

 

Rotation 2 (4:40-4:55 pm – Bluegrass Hall)

 

Corey Lajoie, 27, from Concord, N.C., is in his fourth year of Monster Energy Series competition and is 29th in driver standings following Daytona. Lajoie joined GO FAS Racing in the offseason and in his first 18 starts with the team has put up one top-10 and four top-20 finishes. LaJoie made his series track debut at Kentucky last season – he started 31st and finished 31st.

 

Ty Dillon, 27, Welcome, N.C., is 23rd in the Monster Energy Series driver standings, 133 points behind 16th place Ryan Newman in the final Playoff transfer spot. Dillon is having his best Cup season to date, having posted one top five and two top 10s in 18 starts – including a series career-best fourth last weekend at Daytona. Looking to this weekend Dillon hopes the momentum continues at Kentucky where he has made three starts posting an average finish of 29.0. 

 

David Ragan, 33, from Unadilla, Ga., is 30th in the Monster Energy Series driver standings following Daytona, 235 points behind 16th place Ryan Newman in the final Playoff transfer spot. In 18 starts this season Ragan has amassed three top-20 finishes. In eight series starts at Kentucky he has posted one top 10 and average finish of 22.0.

 

 

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Coke Zero Sugar 400

The Place: Daytona International Speedway

The Date: Saturday, July 6

The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBC, 7:00 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 400 miles (160 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 50),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 100), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 160)

2018 Race Winner: Erik Jones

\

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

 

Logano looking good atop the points standings

Joey Logano rallied to a third-place finish in Sunday night at Chicagoland Speedway and that effort was good enough to keep the Team Penske driver atop the points standings as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series arrives in Daytona Beach for Saturday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 (7:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

It was inspired driving by the reigning Monster Energy Series champion, who had not earned any stage points on the day but still managed to collect his ninth top five of the season and third top-three run in the last five races. He’s won twice on the year (at Las Vegas and Michigan) and his work at Chicago was good enough to extend his championship lead to 18 points over Kyle Busch.

 

Daytona International Speedway has been hit-or-miss for the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford. He won the Daytona 500 in 2015 and led 11 laps and finished fourth in the season opener this year. 

 

The Daytona summer race, however, has been more challenging for the team of late. Logano has crashed out of the last two 400-milers but finished fourth in the last two Daytona 500s. He has six top-10 finishes in the last nine races at the track, but only led 74 laps (in 21 starts) and posted an average finish of 17.0 in his career there.

 

Back to defend for the first time

For the first time in his brief Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Erik Jones returns to Daytona International Speedway as a defending race winner. The driver of the No. 20 JGR Toyota earned the win in only his fifth Cup start at the track.

 

And while the 2.5-mile Daytona high banks have typically proven tough for many competitors, the 23-year old Jones seems to have taken to the style of fast, tight competition rather well. He has three top-10 and a pair of top-five finishes in five starts, including a third place in this season’s Daytona 500 as an impressive follow-up to last year’s summer victory.

 

He has only two Coke Zero Sugar 400 Cup starts, but his 5.00 average finish in the race is still tops statistically.

 

Jones has been strong especially as of late. He has three top-10 finishes in the last four races and five in the last seven. He’s scored a season-best third place, three times – at Daytona, Texas and Pocono. He comes to Daytona ranked 17th in the championship hunt, only 15 points behind 16th place Clint Bowyer in the Playoff cutoff position.

 

“I’m looking forward to getting back to Daytona,’’ Jones said. “It’s always cool coming back to a track where you are the defending race winner. Looking forward to the race and defending our win from last year.

 

“It’s always fun to get down there on the 4th of July. It’s usually a great crowd, a great turnout and great atmosphere for the race. Looking forward to getting out there and hopefully we’ll be able to get another win to lock ourselves in the Playoffs and have a lot fun at the same time.”

 

Blaney on the verge of driving into Victory Lane

Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney has watched both his teammates – Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski – celebrate in Victory Lane multiple times this season. But the popular 25-year old driver of the team’s No. 12 Ford should feel plenty optimistic heading into Daytona.

 

The 2.5-mile track has been a positive entry on the resume of his four-year fulltime career with multiple close-calls in scoring that first win on the iconic track.

 

He finished runner-up in the 2017 Daytona 500 – by a mere blink-of-the-eye .228-seconds to Kurt Busch. And after winning one of the two Daytona 500 Duel qualifying races, he answered the effort leading a race best 118 laps in 2018 - only to finish seventh after being collected in an accident in the final laps.

 

This year, he was again involved an accident – only 10 laps from the scheduled checkered flag – and finished 31st. So Blaney arrives at the beach, hoping to extend some of his better luck 2019 showings.

 

He is on a run of three straight top-10 finishes, including a sixth place at Chicago. He has finished a season-best third, three times including two weeks ago at Sonoma, Calif., and is ranked 10th in the championship standings, only 10 points behind ninth place Alex Bowman, last week’s Chicago winner.

 

The new technical package – a tapered spacer as opposed to the traditional restrictor plate – will be used for the first time since 1988 at the track. But Blaney, who started seventh and finished 15th at Talladega using the new package earlier this season, seemed optimistic that teams will be in better shape this go-round.

 

“Obviously, they are different kind of race tracks a little bit in their own ways and I think teams will go to Daytona with a little different mindset of what they had at Talladega,’’ Blaney said. “Just trying to figure it out. I think it will be a good race. I thought Talladega was a pretty good race and I think it will get better as teams start to understand the package.’’

 

“It’s a race I look forward to every year,’’ Blaney added.

 

Back On Track

Four-time race winner Kyle Busch has displayed a dominant start to the 2019 season – tying a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series record with 11 consecutive top-10 finishes to start the year. And he won three races (at Fontana, Calif., Bristol, Tenn. and Pocono, Pa.) in that time.

 

His top-10 streak ended with a season worst 30th place at Kansas Speedway, however, he has rebounded solidly. Busch has four top-five finishes in the last five races in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, including a fourth win at Pocono, Pa. and a runner-up at the Sonoma, Calif. road course two weeks ago.

 

Busch remains ranked second in the Monster Energy Series points standings – trailing leader Joey Logano by 18 points – despite a 22nd place finish at Chicago on Sunday. Looking to Daytona, he has run the most laps in the top 15 (63.8 percent) and made the most Quality Passes (4,093) since 2005. Only his JGR teammate Denny Hamlin has led more laps (437 vs. 420) in that time

 

He enters the Coke Zero Sugar 400 as one of the top ranked drivers in the event – his only win at the track coming in the summer of 2008. He has nine top-10 finishes – eight of them top-five finishes – in 28 starts at Daytona. He led 37 laps in this year’s Daytona 500 and finished runner-up to Hamlin.

 

Will Denny double up at Daytona?

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin returns to Daytona International Speedway as the most recent race winner, having taken the season-opening Daytona 500 victory – his second in the Great American Race.

 

He has 10 top-10 finishes through the first 17 races in the No. 11 JGR Toyota Camry with wins at Daytona and Texas and average finish of 10.4 on the season. He’s led laps at the five previous races coming to Daytona, a place where he is tops in laps led (437) among the current drivers.

 

Hamlin has eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 27 Daytona starts – famously winning the exhibition Clash race in his very first Cup start at the track.

 

“We had a great race earlier this year in Daytona, but this weekend will be entirely different,’’ Hamlin said. “Just like all the other teams, we have learned a lot about ourselves in the weeks since the Daytona 500 and we will be fighting for a repeat win, but we are ready and preparing for the challenge that is coming our way.’’

 

Hendrick Resurgence

Alex Bowman’s maiden Monster Energy Series victory Sunday night in Chicago coupled with the good showings from his three Hendrick Motorsports teammates – Jimmie Johnson, William Byron and Chase Elliott – was certainly an encouraging sign for the championship organization as it heads into Daytona Beach.

 

The four drivers have combined for 12 top-five finishes and 25 top-10s. Elliott, the driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet leads the team with six top-five finishes. Elliott and the seven-time Cup champion Johnson each have seven top 10s while Bowman has tallied six. All by Bowman has won at least one pole position. Bowman (Chicago) and Elliott (Talladega, Ala.) have race wins. 

 

Elliott’s victory at Talladega in May is encouraging for the team, as that marked the first time the series has used a tapered spacer in place of a restrictor plate at one of the two “big tracks.” This week will feature the same tapered spacer at Daytona.

 

Even though Elliott, Bowman and Byron have won pole positions at Daytona International Speedway, the famed high banks haven’t been the most productive of venues for the three youngest members of the Hendrick team. Bowman is the only member of that trio with a top-10 finish (10th place in this summer race last year) in 16 combined starts among them. The veteran champion Johnson, however, has three victories at Daytona – two Daytona 500 wins (2006 and 2013) and scored a Daytona victory sweep in 2013 while also claiming the 400-mile race win.

 

He’s crashed out in four of the last six Daytona races, but paced the team this February with a ninth-place finish in the Daytona 500.

 

By the numbers

Chicagoland Speedway continued an upward trend statistically for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup season.

 

The average number of lead changes (18.94) is the most through a season’s opening 17 races since 2017 (19.65). The average number of leaders (9.29) per race is the most since 2014 (11.0) and Alex Bowman’s win at Chicago marked the 10th time in 17 races the Margin of Victory was less than 1-second.

 

Green flag passing is up this year – 602 green flag passes for the lead is the most since 2015 through the opening 17 races. Twelve of the 17 races have exceeded the five-year average, including all five races at 1.5-mile venues to date. Overall and specifically, this season’s green flag passes for the lead are up 30.9 percent from last year.

 

Nine drivers from five teams have won pole positions. Hendrick Motorsports has earned the most – William Byron (three), Chase Elliott (two) and Jimmie Johnson (one). And while Joe Gibbs Racing leads the season with the most race wins (10), it has yet to win a pole position.

 

JGR teammates Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. have the most wins (four) on the year.

 

Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s driver media rotations

Seven drivers from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ryan Preece, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Daniel Suarez, Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron and Jimmie Johnson, Front Row Motorsports’ Michael McDowell, Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski and Leavine Family Racing’s Matt DiBenedetto will be participating in this week’s media rotations at Daytona International Speedway in advance of Saturday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Coke Zero Sugar 400 (7:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

Ryan Preece, 28, of Berlin, Conn., has turned in the best showings of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rookie year at the superspeedways. He was eighth in the season-opening Daytona 500 and answered with a third place at Talladega Superspeedway. The driver of the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet is still looking to lead his first laps of the season and is coming off a 28th place finish at Chicago last weekend.

 

Daniel Suarez, 27, of Monterrey, Mexico, would love to turn around his superspeedway program and he’s in the midst of a high-achieving first season driving the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. He has six top-10 finishes in 2019 – half of his previous best entire season total (12 in 2017). His top-five efforts were at Texas and Michigan. He crashed out of the 2019 Daytona 500 and has failed to finish in four of the previous five Daytona races, but did have a good day at the series’ other superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., finishing 12th this spring.

 

William Byron, 21, of Charlotte, North Carolina, seems on an inevitable track to his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup victory. The former NASCAR Xfinity Series champion has been improving weekly in the Cup side – leading laps in the last seven consecutive races and in 11 of the 17 races to date on the season. He has three top-10 finishes in the last five races in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and is coming off an eighth place run at Chicago on Sunday night. He won the Busch Pole position when the series last raced at Daytona for the season-opening Daytona 500 and led a season high 44 laps in that race. Unfortunately, he was collected in a crash only two laps before the scheduled checkered flag and finished 21st. And there is good precedent for him there. He won a 2017 Xfinity Series summer race at the big track.

 

Jimmie Johnson, 43, of El Cajon, Calif., is among the most successful racers at Daytona International Speedway.  The seven-time Cup champion has a pair of Daytona 500 victories (2006 and 2013) and swept the 2013 season races at the track, earning his only summer Daytona win that year. He won the pole position in his very first start at Daytona (2002). Johnson won this year’s Clash season-opening exhibition at the track and answered with a ninth place run in the Daytona 500. The driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet is coming off a season-best fourth place finish at Chicagoland Speedway last weekend and led 10 laps. He has three top-10 finishes in the last six races of the season and his top 10 at Chicago moved him from 17th to 14th in the points standings.

 

Michael McDowell, 34, of Phoenix, Arizona, is enthusiastic about the series return to Daytona International Speedway – site of his best 2019 season result, a fifth-place finish in the Daytona 500. The track has consistently provided highlight reel material for McDowell. He has six top-10 finishes including a career best fourth place in the 2017 summer race. Last year he led 20 laps in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 – the only time he’s led laps in his 16 starts at the track. The driver of the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford finished 20th at Chicago on Sunday night – his fourth top-20 of the season. And his seventh-place start marked the best qualifying effort of 2019.

 

Brad Keselowski, 35, of Rochester Hills, Mich., continues his steady and consistent work toward a second championship and returns to Daytona International Speedway a former Coke Zero Sugar 400 winner. He won the summer race in 2016 leading a dominating 115 of the 161 laps in his No. 2 Penske Racing Ford. He’s had four DNFs in the five races since but did rally with a 12th-place finish in the Daytona 500 this February. The 2012 Monster Energy Series champion has turned in an impressive three-win season to date (Atlanta, Martinsville, Va. and Kansas) and his fifth-place finish at Chicago on Sunday was his seventh top-five of the season, ninth top-10. He’s led an impressive 775 laps on the year.

 

Matt DiBenedetto, 27, of Grass Valley, Calif., returns to Daytona International Speedway looking for redemption after an impressive effort at the big track in the Daytona 500 this February. He led a race best 49 laps, but while running at the front of the field was caught up in a crash with 10 laps to go in the scheduled distance and instead finished 28th.  He has two other top-10 runs at the superspeedway – including a career best seventh place in last year’s summer 400-miler. The driver of the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Toyota recorded a career best fourth place finish at Sonoma, Calif. two weeks ago, has five top-20 finishes on the year and is ranked 25th in the Cup standings.

 

NEWS AND NOTES   NEWS AND NOTESNEWS AND NOTES   NEWS AND NOTES

XFINITY SERIES

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Alsco 300

The Place: Kentucky Speedway

The Date: Friday, July 12

The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBCSN, 7:00 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 300 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

2018 Race Winner: Christopher Bell

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Kentucky has another ‘Big 3’ win written all over it

If history is any sort of indicator of the future, then there is a good chance this weekend at Kentucky Speedway one of the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ Big 3 – Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer and Christopher Bell - will take the checkered flag in the Alsco 300 on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. 

 

For starters, two of the Big 3 have won the last two Xfinity Series races at Kentucky Speedway – Bell (2018) and Reddick (2017). And though Custer hasn’t won at Kentucky yet, he did win the pole for last season’s race and finished fifth.

 

On top of that, the series’ Big 3 has accounted for winning 11 of the first 16 races of the season – Bell (four), Custer (four) and Reddick (three); including three of the five 1.5-mile tracks the series has already visited – Atlanta (Bell), Charlotte (Reddick) and Chicago (Custer). 

 

Big 3 Kentucky Stats

             

Drivers

Starts

Poles

Wins

Top 5s

Top 10s

Avg. Start

Avg. Finish

Laps Led

Christopher Bell

1

0

1

1

1

12.0

1.0

17

Tyler Reddick

3

0

1

1

3

6.3

5.7

66

Cole Custer

4

1

0

2

2

5.0

13.2

63

 

Sunoco rookie standings shake up following Daytona

After the dust settled from an action-packed race at Daytona International Speedway last weekend, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings looked quite different than before the event.

 

Heading into the Sunshine State, Chase Briscoe held the rookie standings lead by three points over second place Noah Gragson and six points ahead of third place John Hunter Nemechek. Unfortunately, Briscoe was involved in an incident at Daytona, relegating him to a 35th-place finish. The result relinquished his rookie standings lead and opened the door for his fellow rookies to pounce. Briscoe dropped to fourth in the Sunoco rookie points, and now Gragson leads the rookie standings by 22 markers over second place John Hunter Nemechek and 25 points over third place Justin Haley – who finished a series career-best second at Daytona last weekend. 

 

Nemechek is the only rookie this season with a previous start at Kentucky – he made his series debut at the track last season starting sixth and finishing seventh.

 

This season’s Xfinity Series Kings on the 1.5-mile tracks

NASCAR Xfinity Series Average Finishes

on 1.5-mile Tracks in 2019

Drivers

Average Finish

Starts

Tyler Reddick

6.20

5

Michael Annett

6.40

5

Noah Gragson

7.00

5

Justin Haley

7.40

5

Ryan Sieg

9.40

5

John H. Nemechek

10.80

5

Ross Chastain

11.20

5

Austin Cindric

11.40

5

Chase Briscoe

12.20

5

Cole Custer

14.00

5

We have all heard of ‘road course ringers’, but who are the drivers in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season that specialize in 1.5-mile tracks?  Well you might be surprised. …

 

Five drivers have an average finish inside the top 10 on 1.5-mile tracks this season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. While most might guess the series’ Big 3 might make up most of that five-pack, but they would be wrong. Of the Big 3, only Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick has an average finish inside the top-10 on 1.5-mile tracks in 2019.

 

This season has been one of the best for the California native Reddick, who leads the series in average finish on the 1.5-mile tracks with a 6.2. Reddick has a win at Charlotte and has finished in the top-five in three of the five 1.5-mile tracks this season (series-most). Looking to Friday night under the lights, Kentucky Speedway has been good to Reddick as well, in three starts he has a win (2017) and three top 10s.

 

JR Motorsport’s Michael Annett has also been running well on 1.5-mile tracks this season posting an average finish of 6.4, second only to Reddick’s 6.2. Annett is currently locked into the Playoffs by virtue of his win at Daytona in the season-opener but adding another victory and more Playoff points are his focus heading into Kentucky this weekend. Annett has made 10 series starts at Kentucky, posting one top five, five top 10s and an average finish of 13.4.

 

The next three drivers with average finishes inside the top-10 on 1.5-mile tracks this season are Sunoco Rookies Noah Gragson and Justin Haley and series veteran Ryan Sieg. All three drivers are without wins this season and are currently vying for the final open spots in the Playoffs with 10 races to go in the regular season.

 

RSS Racing’s Ryan Sieg is having a career-best season. He is 12th in the series driver points (final Playoff transfer spot) with a comfortable points cushion over 13th place after posting two top fives and six top 10s this season. But what has been most impressive is Sieg’s ability on 1.5-mile tracks in 2019, in five starts he has posted an average finish of 9.4 – fifth-best in the series. This weekend at Kentucky could bring more positive momentum for Sieg as the Georgia native has made nine series starts at Kentucky posting a best finish of 12th in 2015.

 

Gragson was off to a slow start to the year but has since found his footing and has excelled on 1.5-mile tracks posting an average finish of 7.0. Fellow Sunoco rookie Justin Haley scored his best finish of the season last weekend at Daytona (runner-up), but most of his success this year has come at 1.5-mile tracks as the Indiana native has posted an average finish of 7.4. Both Gragson and Haley will be making their series track debuts this weekend at Kentucky.

 

Outside Looking In: Wins are needed

With just 10 races left in the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season, time is running out for drivers outside the Playoff’s cutoff. Currently RSS Racing’s Ryan Sieg is in 12th the final transfer spot for the postseason and he has a healthy points lead (92 points) over 13th place Gray Gaulding. This makes winning that much more important for the drivers outside of the Playoff cut line.

 

Kentucky Speedway has become known for giving six different drivers their first NASCAR Xfinity Series career win. Most notably was the first in 2006, when out of nowhere David Gilliland burst on the Xfinity Series scene by winning at Kentucky beating a stacked field that included Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards. Just the next season Stephen Leicht won his first Xfinity race at Kentucky (2007), and then young up-and-coming phenom Joey Logano got his first win in 2008. Former series champion Austin Dillon won his first Xfinity career race at Kentucky in 2012 and Ryan Blaney got his at Kentucky in 2013.

 

The most recent driver to get his first win at Kentucky is Tyler Reddick, who won back in 2017 while driving for Chip Ganassi Racing. The win was a turning point in Reddick’s career which elevated him to a full-time ride (and the series championship) the next season. 

 

A total of 11 drivers outside the top 12 are still eligible to make their way into the Playoffs. Of the 11 one is a former NASCAR Xfinity Series champion (Jeff Green), one is a 2019 Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate (Brandon Brown) and only three have won in the series before. That leaves eight still looking for their first series win this weekend at Kentucky Speedway and all 11 looking for their first win this season. 

 

Rank

Driver

Points

Starts

Attempts

Race Wins

Pts From Cutoff

12

Ryan Sieg

435

16

16

0

92

13

Gray Gaulding

343

16

16

0

-92

14

Brandon Brown #

310

16

16

0

-125

15

Jeremy Clements

299

16

16

0

-136

16

Ray Black II

250

16

16

0

-185

17

Garrett Smithley

244

16

16

0

-191

18

Josh Williams

235

15

16

0

-200

19

Stephen Leicht

220

16

16

0

-215

20

Matt Mills

189

16

16

0

-246

21

David Starr

189

16

16

0

-246

22

Vinnie Miller

186

16

16

0

-249

23

Jeff Green

84

16

16

0

-351

  

2019 Xfinity Season Quick Stats 

Below is a quick statistical look at the 2019 season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Pole Winners: Six among five organizations

  • Stewart-Haas Racing - Cole Custer (four)
  • Joe Gibbs Racing - Christopher Bell (three)
  • Richard Childress Racing - Tyler Reddick (three)
  • JR Motorsports - Michael Annett (one)
  • Team Penske - Paul Menard (one) and Joey Logano (one)

Race Winners: Six among five organizations

  • Joe Gibbs Racing – Christopher Bell (four) and Kyle Busch (three)
  • Stewart-Haas Racing – Cole Custer (four)
  • Richard Childress Racing – Tyler Reddick (three)
  • JR Motorsports – Michael Annett (one)
  • Kaulig Racing – Ross Chastain (one)

Stage Winners: 13 different drivers

Points Leaders: 3 – Current standings leader, Tyler Reddick, has held the top point position for the last 13 consecutive races.

Points Lead Changes: 2

Average No. of Leaders: 5.69

Average No. Lead Changes: 10.88

Average Margin of Victory: 1.272 second – with eight of the 16 races this season ending with a MOV of less than a second.

Green Flag Passes for the Lead: 311

Total Green Flag Passes: 23,173

 

Parade Laps: Insights into the drivers in the media breakouts at Kentucky

Four drivers from the NASCAR Xfinity Series – Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer, Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley and SS Greenlight Racing’s Gray Gaulding - will be participating in this week’s media rotations at Kentucky Speedway leading into this Friday night’s Alsco 300 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

Christopher Bell (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry)

Birthdate: December 16, 1994

Driver’s Age: 24

Hometown: Norman, Oklahoma

Hobbies: Dirt track racing, iRacing, golf

Team: Joe Gibbs Racing

Crew Chief: Jason Ratcliff

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • In 2018, he set the rookie single season Xfinity Series wins record with seven victories; the previous record of five wins was held by three drivers – Greg Biffle (2001), Kyle Busch (2004) and Carl Edwards (2005).
  • Made the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs in rookie season (2018), and advanced to the Championship 4; ultimately finishing fourth in the championship standings.
  • Has 12 career NASCAR Xfinity Series wins in just 55 starts; including four this season (Atlanta, Bristol, Dover and Iowa).
  • He is tied with NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt for the second-most wins in a driver’s first 54 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts with 12 each; second only to NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip’s 13 wins in that same time frame.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently second in the NASCAR Xfinity driver points standings, 76 points back from series standings leader Tyler Reddick.
  • In 16 starts this season, he has posted three poles (ISM Raceway, Texas, Charlotte), four wins (Atlanta, Bristol, Dover and Iowa), nine top fives, 10 top 10s and an average finish of 10.5.

Kentucky Speedway Performance:

  • Made his series track debut at Kentucky last season; he started 12th and won the race.

 

Cole Custer (No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang)

Birthdate: January 23, 1998

Driver’s Age: 21

Hometown: Ladera Ranch, California

Hobbies: Watching sports

Team: Stewart-Haas Racing

Crew Chief: Mike Shiplett

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • In 2018, he made the Playoff’s Championship 4; ultimately finishing runner-up in the final driver standings while his No. 00 Ford won the owner’s title for Stewart-Haas Racing.
  • Made the Playoffs and finished fifth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship standings in his rookie year (2017).
  • Has six career NASCAR Xfinity Series wins (Homestead-Miami, Texas, Auto Club Speedway, Richmond, Pocono and Chicago); including last season’s Playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway to win his way into the Championship 4 finale.  

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently third in the NASCAR Xfinity driver points standings, 81 points back from the series standings leader Tyler Reddick and five points back from second place Christopher Bell.
  • In 16 starts this season he has posted four poles (Bristol, Dover, Pocono and Iowa), four wins (California, Richmond, Pocono and Chicago), nine top fives, 10 top 10s and an average finish of 10.6.

Kentucky Speedway Performance:

  • Has made four series starts at Kentucky, posting two top fives. 
  • Has an average start of 5.0 and an average finish of 13.2.

 

Justin Haley (No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro)

Birthdate: April 28, 1999

Driver’s Age: 20

Hometown: Winamac, Indiana

Hobbies: Muscle car restoration, sports car racing, surfing, fishing and hunting, triathlons,

mountain biking, fitness, graphics & design, anything competitive

Team: Kaulig Racing

Crew Chief: Nick Harrison

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Signed with Kaulig Racing in the off season to run his first full season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2019 – a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate.
  • Posted series career-best finish of runner-up – this season at Daytona in July.
  • Made NASCAR Xfinity Series career debut last season - making three starts for GMS Racing posting a best finish of 12th at Iowa Speedway.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently eighth in the NASCAR Xfinity driver championship standings, 217 points back from the series standings leader Tyler Reddick, but only three points behind seventh place John Hunter Nemechek.
  • In 16 starts this season he has posted two top fives, 12 top 10s and an average finish of 9.4.
  • Currently third in Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, 25 points back from Noah Gragson in the rookie standings lead.

Kentucky Speedway Performance:

  • This weekend will be his series track debut at Kentucky Speedway.

 

Gray Gaulding (No. 08 SS Green Light Racing Chevrolet Camaro)

Birthdate: February 10, 1998

Driver’s Age: 21

Hometown: Colonial Heights, Virginia

Hobbies: Weightlifting, basketball, spending time on the lake, Go-Karting

Team: SS Green Light Racing

Crew Chief: Patrick Donahue

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Has made 24 NASCAR Xfinity Series career starts; posting a best finish of runner-up earlier this season at Talladega Superspeedway.
  • Made five series starts in 2017 gaining experience driving for RSS Racing.
  • Made NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in 2016 with Roush Fenway Racing – competed in two races in 2016 finishing 13th at both (Bristol and Richmond).

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Current 13th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver championship standings, the first spot outside the Playoffs, 375 points behind the standings lead.
  • In 16 starts this season he has posted one top five, two top 10s and an average finish of 15.9.

Kentucky Speedway Performance:

  • Will be making his series track debut at Kentucky Speedway this weekend.

 

 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Circle K Firecracker 250 presented by Coca-Cola

The Place: Daytona International Speedway

The Date: Friday, July 5

The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBCSN, 7:00 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 250 miles (100 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 100)

2018 Race Winner: Kyle Larson

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Dominant ‘Big 3’ look to continue to hold down the competition

Stewart-Haas Racing’s rising star Cole Custer added another win to the stats column last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, bringing the NASCAR Xfinity Series Big 3’s  - Custer, Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell – combined win total to 11 of the first 15 races of the 2019 season, including the last nine consecutive events. Now the three Xfinity championship contenders head to the high banks of Daytona International Speedway for the Circle K Firecracker 250 presented by Coca-Cola on Friday night (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) to keep the winning streak alive.

 

Cole Custer and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell are tied for the series most wins this season with four each, but Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick is right behind them with three victories this season.

 

Interestingly heading into this weekend, of the three drivers, Reddick is the only one to have won at Daytona before; when he captured the closest win in NASCAR national series history (margin of victory of 0.0004 sec.) over his then-teammate Elliott Sadler in last year’s season-opener. In total Reddick has made five series starts at Daytona, posting one pole, one win (2018), one top five and two top 10s. Bell has made three series starts at Daytona grabbing one top five and two top 10s; his best finish on the 2.5-mile track came in this event last season when he finished third.

 

Last weekend’s winner Custer, on the other hand, has struggled at Daytona in his career, making five series starts with an average finish of 22.4. He scored his career-best series finish at Daytona earlier this season (14th).  

 

Michael Annett goes for the Xfinity Series’ Daytona single season sweep

The NASCAR Xfinity Series started competing at Daytona International Speedway twice a year in 2002, and since then the only driver who has been able to sweep both series races in a single season is Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2003. What’s interesting is Earnhardt Jr. is the owner of JR Motorsport, the team Michael Annett races for as he’ll be looking to match his boss’s feat this weekend in the Circle K Firecracker 250 presented by Coca-Cola on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. 

 

Annett grabbed his first NASCAR Xfinity Series career win in the season-opener at Daytona back in February. Now the Iowa native returns to Daytona looking for the sweep. In total, Annett has made 15 series starts at the 2.5-mile speedway posting one win (2019), two top fives and three top 10s.

 

Annett should be confident this weekend at Daytona, JR Motorsports has won six of the last 11 Xfinity Series races at Daytona – Annett (Feb. 2019), Tyler Reddick (Feb. 2018), William Byron (July 2017), Chase Elliott (Feb. 2016), Kasey Kahne (July 2014) and Regan Smith (Feb. 2014).

 

New winner at Daytona could shake up Playoff picture

With the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff picture starting to take shape, getting in on points is going to take a lot of work for any of the drivers outside the top 12. RSS Racing’s Ryan Sieg is now 12th in the series driver standings with a 98-point cushion between himself and 13th place Gray Gaulding.  But a win this weekend in the unpredictable Circle K Firecracker 250 presented by Coca-Cola on Friday night (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) would be the automatic bid to the postseason several drivers are in need of this late into the season.  

First-Time Winners

Date

Michael Annett

2/16/2019

Ryan Reed

2/21/2015

James Buescher

2/25/2012

Tony Stewart

2/19/2005

Chad Little

2/18/1995

Dale Earnhardt

2/13/1982

 

Daytona has been the location for six drivers to get their first NASCAR Xfinity Series career win; unfortunately, they were all in the February races. But that shouldn’t discourage this season’s winless drivers this weekend, because several of them posted their best finish of the season at Daytona earlier this year - Justin Allgaier (second), Brandon Jones (third), Ryan Sieg (fourth), Jeff Green (seventh), Joey Gase (16th). 

 

The NASCAR Xfinity Series summer race was added to the schedule in 2002. Since then, 10 of the 17 July Daytona races were the first win of the season for the driver – July 2016 (Aric Almirola), July 2014 (Kasey Kahne), July 2013 (Matt Kenseth), July 2011 (Joey Logano), July 2010 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.), July 2009 (Clint Bowyer), July 2007 (Kyle Busch), July 2006 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.), July 2004 (Mike Wallace) and July 2002 (Joe Nemechek). 

 

There are three former NASCAR Xfinity Series Daytona winners in the field this weekend – Michael Annett (2019), Tyler Reddick (2018) and Joe Nemechek (2002, 1998). 

 

Superspeedway studs

Daytona International Speedway can chew up talent fairly quickly, which makes it that much more impressive to see those that have succeeded at managing the enormous challenges the 2.5-mile speedway demands.

 

Three former series winners are entered this weekend, Michael Annett (Feb. 2019), Tyler Reddick (Feb. 2018) and Joe Nemechek (July 2002, Feb. 1998). But there are a pair of drivers who haven’t won at Daytona, yet, who are worth noting.

 

JR Motorsport’s Justin Allgaier has made 17 series starts at Daytona, and in the process has put up the most top fives (four) and top 10s (eight) among all active series drivers at the track. Plus, he finished runner-up at Daytona earlier this season.

 

RSS Racing’s Ryan Sieg has also seen some success at Daytona International Speedway. He has the next highest top-five finishes among active drivers at Daytona posting three top fives in 11 starts; including a season-best fourth in the 2019 opener. 

 

Close finishes are the norm at Daytona International Speedway

It’s no surprise that close racing and great action are the norm at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and this weekend should be more of the same. Looking at the Xfinity Series history books, six of the 12 closest margins of victory at Daytona were a result of the July races; including last season’s July race which finished with the series second closest margin of victory at Daytona when Kyle Larson beat Elliott Sadler to the line by 0.005 second.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Top 12 In Margins Of Victory at Daytona

Rank

Margin of Victory

Race Winners

Date

1

0.0004

Tyler Reddick

February 17, 2018

2

0.0050

Kyle Larson

July 6, 2018

3

0.0070

Tony Stewart

February 19, 2011

4

0.0130

Regan Smith

February 22, 2014

5

0.0200

Kasey Kahne

July 4, 2014

6

0.0400

Joey Logano

July 1, 2011

7

0.0430

Chase Elliott

February 20, 2016

8

0.0540

Kurt Busch

July 6, 2012

9

0.0680

Tony Stewart

February 14, 2009

10

0.0890

Ryan Reed

February 21, 2015

11

0.0940

Dale Earnhardt Jr

July 2, 2010

12

0.1030

Kyle Busch

July 7, 2007

 

 

Xfinity Series welcomes the return of Hattori Racing Enterprises

Keep an eye out in the NASCAR Xfinity Series garage this weekend for Hattori Racing Enterprises and driver Austin Hill as they will be attempting to make their 2019 season debut at Daytona International Speedway.

 

Much like their NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series program, Hattori Racing Enterprises will have crew chief Scott Zipadelli calling the shots from the pit box in the Xfinity Series for the team’s No. 61 Toyota Supra.

 

Hattori Racing Enterprises returns to the series after a four-year hiatus. The organization owned by Shigeaki Hattori has made nine previous Xfinity Series starts (2014-2015) with four different drivers – Alex Bowman, Ross Chastain, Johnny Sauter and Ross Kenseth. Chastain, in 2014, brought the team its best finish of the nine starts with a 10th-place finish at Kentucky Speedway.

 

This weekend will also mark Austin Hill’s NASCAR Xfinity Series career debut. The full-time NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver burst onto the Gander Trucks championship scene this year after winning the season-opener at Daytona.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Kaulig Racing extends the stable – Increasing your numbers can only help with the chances of winning is the mantra Kaulig Racing is taking this weekend at Daytona International Speedway as the NASCAR Xfinity Series team will expand their stable to three cars this weekend. Kaulig Racing’s full-time driver Justin Haley will continue to pilot the team’s flagship No. 11 Chevrolet Camaro and joining him this weekend will be Ross Chastain driving the No. 16 Chevrolet and AJ Allmendinger in the No. 10 Chevrolet. Chastain has made three series starts for Kaulig Racing already this season, posting a 13th at Daytona, a 30th at Talladega and an eighth-place finish at Chicago last weekend. Allmendinger will be making his Xfinity Series season and track debut this weekend. 

 

JRM taps Creed for Daytona – JR Motorsports will have NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series rising talent (and reigning ARCA Menards Series champion) Sheldon Creed in the No. 8 Chevrolet this weekend at Daytona. This will be Creed’s series track debut. The California native made his series debut in 2017 – he made two starts for JD Motorsports posting an average finish 36.0.

 

Joe Graf Jr. is back with RCR – ARCA Menards Series driver Joe Graf Jr. will be back in the Richard Childress Racing No. 21 Chevrolet this weekend at Daytona. Graf, who made his series debut at Iowa earlier this season, will be making his series track debut at Daytona. Graf does have one ARCA Menard Series start at Daytona where he finished 21st. Richard Childress Racing has the third-most wins by an organization in the Xfinity Series at Daytona with six victories.

 

Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s driver media breakouts

Four drivers from the NASCAR Xfinity Series – JR Motorsport’s Michael Annett, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer, Team Penske’s Austin Cindric and Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger - will be participating in this week’s media rotations at Daytona International Speedway leading into the Circle K Firecracker 250 presented by Coca-Cola on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

Michael Annett (No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro)

Birthdate: June 23, 1986

Driver’s Age: 32

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa

Hobbies: Cycling, working out, boating

Team: JR Motorsports

Crew Chief: Travis Mack

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Won first career NASCAR Xfinity Series race in the 2019 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, qualifying him for the Playoffs.
  • In 2017, he made the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs and finished the season ninth in the championship standings.
  • In 2012, finished a career-best fifth in the series championship driver standings. 

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently ninth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series points standings, 215 points behind series standings leader Tyler Reddick and 11 points back from eighth place John Hunter Nemechek.
  • Posted first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win in the 2019 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, qualifying him for the Playoffs for first time since 2017.
  • In 15 starts this season, he has posted one pole, one win, four top fives, 11 top 10s and an average finish of 9.1.

Daytona International Speedway Performance:

  • Has made 15 series starts at Daytona posting one win (2019), two top fives and three top 10s.
  • Average start, 14.6 and his average finish, 20.4.

 

Cole Custer (No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang)

Birthdate: January 23, 1998

Driver’s Age: 21

Hometown: Ladera Ranch, California

Hobbies: Watching sports

Team: Stewart-Haas Racing

Crew Chief: Mike Shiplett

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • In 2018, he made the Playoff’s Championship 4; ultimately finishing runner-up in the final driver standings while his No. 00 Ford won the owner’s title for Stewart-Haas Racing.
  • Made the Playoffs and finished fifth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship standings in his rookie year (2017).
  • Has six career NASCAR Xfinity Series wins (Homestead-Miami, Texas, Auto Club Speedway, Richmond, Pocono and Chicago); including last season’s Playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway to win his way into the Championship 4 finale.  

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently second in the NASCAR Xfinity driver points standings, 71 points back from the series standings leader Tyler Reddick and 23 points ahead of third place Christopher Bell.
  • In 15 starts this season he has posted four poles (Bristol, Dover, Pocono and Iowa), four wins (California, Richmond, Pocono and Chicago), nine top fives, 10 top 10s and an average finish of 9.6.

Daytona International Speedway Performance:

  • Has made five series starts at Daytona posting a best finish of 14th (twice: Feb. 2019 and Feb. 2018) 
  • Has an average start of 18.8 and an average finish of 22.4.

 

Austin Cindric (No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang)

Birthdate: September 2, 1998

Driver’s Age: 23

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

Hobbies: Mountain biking, water sports, listening to music

Team: Team Penske

Crew Chief: Brian Wilson

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Ran a full Xfinity season in 2018, splitting time with Roush Fenway Racing and Team Penske, making the Playoffs and ultimately finishing eighth in championship standings.
  • In 2017, he made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Road America driving for Team Penske; he started on the pole but finished 16th.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently fourth in the NASCAR Xfinity driver points standings, 129 points back from the series standings lead - the highest ranked driver without a win this season.
  • In 15 starts this season he has posted five top fives, 12 top 10s and an average finish of 8.0.

Daytona International Speedway Performance:

  • Cindric made three series starts at Daytona posting one top five – a fifth-place finish earlier this season.
  • Average start, 15.3 and his average finish, 26.0. 

 

AJ Allmendinger (No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro)

Birthdate: December 16, 1981

Driver’s Age: 38

Hometown: San Jose, California

Hobbies: Golfing, karting

Team: Kaulig Racing

Crew Chief: Chad Kendrick

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Competed part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series from 2007 – 2018, making 11 starts and posting two wins (2013: Road America and Mid-Ohio), three top fives and a pole.
  • Made NASCAR Xfinity Series career debut in 2007 at Auto Club Speedway driving for car owner Chip Ganassi; he started 18th and finished 36th due to an incident.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Will be making series season debut this weekend at Daytona.

Daytona International Speedway Performance:

  • Will be making his series track debut as well at Daytona this weekend.

 

 

NEWS AND NOTES   NEWS AND NOTESNEWS AND NOTES   NEWS AND NOTES

gander outdoors TRUCK SERIES

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series 

Next Race: Buckle Up In Your Truck 225

The Place: Kentucky Speedway

The Date: Thursday, July 11

The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 7:00 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 225 miles (150 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 35),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 70), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 150)

2018 Race Winner: Ben Rhodes

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series

 

Ben Rhodes hoping the return home leads to Victory Lane

One year ago, Louisville, Kentucky, native Ben Rhodes scored his second NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series victory in front of his home crowd.

 

A late gamble in the pits on a fuel-only stop gave him the track position to lead the final 24 laps and hold off Stewart Friesen for the win.

 

And he’s yearning to get in Victory Lane again. So far in 2019, the 22-year-old ThorSport Racing driver has finished runner-up three times – at Martinsville, Kansas and Iowa. He’s had two additional top-five performances for five total on the year and eight top-10 finishes in the 12 races run.

 

Rhodes sits fifth in points and currently would be the final driver in the Playoffs on points if Ross Chastain is able to work his way into the top 20 in points.

 

Brett Moffitt looking to conquer Kentucky in hopes of championship repeat

It’s certainly looking like Brett Moffitt wants to hoist a second consecutive NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship trophy over his head in Miami.

 

And it’s also certainly looking like he’ll get that chance.

 

After 12 races into the 23-race season, Moffitt has seven top-five and eight top-10 finishes – on track to meet or beat his totals from his title run a year ago (13 top fives, 13 top 10s). He’s slightly off pace in wins (two thus far in 2019 – Iowa and Chicagoland, six total in 2018), as he had three wins through 11 races last year (Atlanta, Iowa, Chicagoland).

 

Before the Gander Trucks look last weekend off, Moffitt recorded his second win of the season at the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway. And the series return to another 1.5-mile track this weekend at Kentucky Speedway for the Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 (Thursday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

Kentucky is the only non-superspeedway track at which Moffitt does not have a top 10, so he’ll be looking to change that history next weekend. (He has three starts apiece at Daytona and Talladega without a top 10.) Overall, four of his nine wins have come at circuits that match Kentucky in length, and he’s also tallied nine top-five and 11 top-10 finishes at 1.5-milers.

 

The “Melon Man” is on a roll

Heading into Kentucky Speedway for this weekend’s Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), Ross Chastain has closed the gap to the top 20 in the points standings to 10 points.

 

Prior to his seventh-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway the last time the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series raced, Chastain sat 38 points outside the top 20 – which is the mark he must meet in the standings in order to lock into the Playoffs after his postseason-qualifying win at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.

 

The driver of the No. 45 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet has only finished outside the top 10 once this season – following his disqualification at Iowa Speedway. In the seven races this season at 1.5-mile tracks, like Kentucky, Chastain has posted an average finish of 7.3. And that is highlighted by a win at Kansas Speedway in May – which goes in the record books, but doesn’t count towards the Playoffs because it happened before he declared for Gander Trucks points.

 

In the four races in which Chastain has collected Gander Trucks points in the standings, he has averaged 30 points per race with a high of 45 in his win at Gateway and a low of five points following the Iowa race.

 

And with four races remaining in the regular season, Chastain’s chances of jumping into the top 20 looks pretty good.

 

Picturing the Gander Trucks Playoffs 

What’s clear about the Playoff picture with four races to go in the regular season is that Brett Moffitt, Austin Hill and Johnny Sauter are locked into the postseason with wins…and all three are well within the top 20 in points.

 

The fuzzy edge of the picture involves Ross Chastain. The driver of the No. 45 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet waited until just before the ninth race of the season (Texas in June) to declare for NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series points. Which put him in the position of having to both win a race and run consistently enough to elevate into the top 20 in points.

 

He got the postseason-qualifying win at World Wide Technology Raceway (his Kansas win was before he declared for series points, therefore doesn’t count for the Playoffs). And now he just has to overcome a 10-point gap between his current spot in the points (24th) to meet that top-20 threshold.

 

Assuming Chastain is able to overcome that deficit, that leaves four additional spots for a new winner or for drivers to get in on points.

 

Grant Enfinger, Stewart Friesen, Matt Crafton and Ben Rhodes maintain a pretty firm grasp on those four slots in points. That would place all four ThorSport Racing trucks into the post-season and would shut Kyle Busch Motorsports drivers out of Playoff contention.

 

If Chastain is unable to climb into the top 20, assuming the points remain the same and there are no other new winners, KBM’s Harrison Burton would climb into that eighth and final Playoff spot.

 

Enfinger still on point

Twelve races into the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season, the top two in the points standings – ThorSport Racing’s Grant Enfinger and Halmar Friesen Racing’s Stewart Friesen – are still searching for their first win of the season.

 

Enfinger sits 52 points ahead of Friesen and is in prime position to capture the guaranteed Playoff position awarded to the regular season champion regardless of wins – as well as the 20 Playoff points that accompany. Those extra 20 Playoff points can make the difference in advancing through the postseason.

 

Brett Moffitt is quickly catching up to Friesen due to his wins at Iowa and Chicagoland, and sits just one point back of him in third place. Prior to the win in the Windy City, Moffitt was in fifth place in the points…15 back from Friesen.

 

Friesen should have confidence returning to Kentucky Speedway this weekend, as it was the site of a runner-up finish to Ben Rhodes.

 

He has the best finish at Kentucky of the trio atop the points. Enfinger’s best result in three starts was sixth last year while Moffitt hasn’t finished better than 14th in his three visits to the 1.5-mile track.

 

Kyle Busch Motorsports continues to develop talent

So far in 2019, Kyle Busch Motorsports has rotated seven different drivers behind the wheel of their No. 51 and No. 46 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series entries.

 

One of those drivers is team owner Kyle Busch, who won all five of the races he ran. Another is 49-year-old 2000 Gander Trucks champion Greg Biffle, who ended a two-and-a-half year hiatus from the sport with his start, and win, at Texas in June.

 

But the other five drivers who have jumped into those two KBM trucks have an average age just shy of 19-years old…and have posted an average finish of 10.6 in their 11 combined starts.

 

Christian Eckes (18-years old), Riley Herbst (20), Brandon Jones (22), Raphael Lessard (17) and Chandler Smith (17) have also put together three top-five and five top-10 finishes between them – as well as a pole to start the season in Daytona by Eckes.

 

(Of note, Lessard also ran a race for DGR-Crosley at Iowa, finishing ninth.)

 

The quintet has a best finish of second by Jones in the most recent race at Chicagoland. The worst effort by the squad was a 22nd-place effort at Daytona by pole-sitter Eckes, who was caught up in a crash near the mid-point of the race.

 

With the exception of that race, none of these five drivers has a finish worse than 15th in a KBM truck this season.

 

And we can’t forget the pair of full-time drivers in KBM equipment – Harrison Burton in the No. 4 Toyota is 18-years old while Todd Gilliland in the No. 4 truck is 19-years old. Burton has five top-five finishes while Gilliland has two this year. Both have tallied seven top 10s.

 

This weekend at Kentucky, KBM is fielding the No. 51 Toyota with Jones behind the wheel. It will mark his fifth trip to the track with the Gander Trucks and his second in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports entry. He’s finished in the top 10 in all four previous starts, including a bests finish of runner-up in 2017. Last year, with KBM, he finished fourth.

 

In the other two KBM trucks in the field this weekend, regulars Burton and Gilliland will be behind the wheel.

 

Burton will be making his maiden trip to the track. But in nine career series races at 1.5-mile tracks, he has three top-five and six top-10 finishes – including placing fourth at Chicagoland a couple weeks ago. Gilliland has one start at Kentucky, a seventh-place effort a year ago. He has 14 total starts on 1.5-milers – putting together two top fives and nine top 10s.

 

Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s driver media breakouts  

Three drivers from the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series – GMS Racing driver Brett Moffitt, ThorSport Racing driver Ben Rhodes and Hattori Racing’s Austin Hill - will be participating in this week’s media rotations at Kentucky Speedway. These three drivers are preparing for the Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 on Thursday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. 

 

Brett Moffitt (No. 24 GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado)

Birthdate: August 7, 1992

Driver’s Age: 26

Hometown: Grimes, Iowa

Team: GMS Racing

Crew Chief: Jerry Baxter

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • Last season, Moffitt drove Hattori Racing Enterprise’s No. 16 Toyota to six wins, leading the way for the first career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship for both Moffitt and HRE.
  • Won his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race in 2016, taking home the checkers at Michigan for Red Horse Racing.
  • Made the most of his six NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts in 2016, with three top-three finishes and four top 10s.
  • In 2013, entered the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series scene with a pair of starts (Kentucky and Michigan).

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Won the NASCAR Ganders Outdoors series race at Iowa and Chicagoland.
  • Currently third in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series points. 
  • In 12 starts this season he has posted two victories (Iowa, Chicagoland), seven top fives and eight top 10s with an average finish of 8.4.
  • Has led 197 laps this season.

Kentucky Speedway Performance:

  • Moffitt has made three previous starts at the speedway, last season he started 13th and finished 18th

 

Austin Hill (No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota Tundra)

Birthdate: April 21, 1994

Driver’s Age: 25

Hometown: Winston, GA

Hobbies: Hunting, spending time with family and boating

Team: Hattori Racing Enterprises

Crew Chief: Scott Zipadelli

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  1. 2019 marks Hill’s second full-time season in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Trucks Series.
  2. Finished 11th in 2018 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Championship points, his first full season.
  3. He made his Gander Trucks debut in 2014 at Martinsville, finishing 26th.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently seventh in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series points standings.
  • Recorded his first career win at the season-opener at Daytona.
  • In 12 starts this season he has posted one win (Daytona), seven top 10s an average finish of 11.2.

Kentucky Speedway Performance:

  • Hill has made three previous starts at the speedway, last season he started 12th and finished 16th

 

Ben Rhodes (No. 99 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150)

Birthdate: February 21, 1997

Driver’s Age: 22

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky

Hobbies: Boxing, off-roading, range time/sporting clays, video games, car restoration, aviation/flying planes.

Team: ThorSport Racing

Crew Chief: Matt Noyce

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • In 2018, he grabbed his second-career win (Kentucky) and posted a career high three poles (Martinsville, Eldora, CTMP).
  • Won his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race (Las Vegas) and earned his second-career pole (Pocono Raceway) in 2017.
  • In 2016, he competed in his first full NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season finishing 14th in the final standings and posting his first career pole at Martinsville.
  • In 2014, he made his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut at Martinsville Speedway for Turner Scott Motorsports

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Rhodes is currently third in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series points standings.
  • His best finish this season is second – three times - Martinsville, Kansas and Iowa
  • In 12 starts this season he has posted five top fives, eight top 10s an average finish of 10.9.

Kentucky Speedway Performance:

  • He led 38 laps en route to victory last July.
  • Rhodes has three starts at Kentucky. He’s led 43 laps during those races and has an average start of 5.7 and average finish of 13.7.

 

 

 

 

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series 

Next Race: Buckle Up In Your Truck 225

The Place: Kentucky Speedway

The Date: Thursday, July 11

The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 7:00 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 225 miles (150 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 35),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 70), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 150)

2018 Race Winner: Ben Rhodes

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series

 

Brett Moffitt continues his campaign to repeat as champ

Last weekend’s win at Chicagoland Speedway was Brett Moffitt’s second on the year but was the only one in which he was the first truck to cross the finish line.

 

Two weeks prior, at Iowa Speedway, Moffitt crossed the line second, but a post-race inspection failure disqualified Ross Chastain, elevating Moffitt to the top spot.

At the 1.5-mile track just outside of Chicago, Moffitt got to drive his truck into Victory Lane, with all of the traditional pomp and circumstance that accompanies after beating Brandon Jones to the line by nearly four seconds.

 

After 12 races into the 23-race season, Moffitt has seven top-five and eight top-10 finishes – on track to meet or beat his totals from his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship run in 2018 (13 top fives, 13 top 10s). He’s slightly off pace in wins (two thus far in 2019, six total in 2018), as he had three wins through 11 races last year (Atlanta, Iowa, Chicagoland).

 

After the Gander Trucks takes this weekend off, they will return to another 1.5-mile track at Kentucky Speedway for the Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 (Thursday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

Kentucky is the only non-superspeedway track at which Moffitt does not have a top 10, so he’ll be looking to change that history next weekend. (He has three starts apiece as Daytona and Talladega without a top 10.) Overall, four of his nine wins have come at circuits that match Kentucky in length, and he’s also tallied nine top-five and 11 top-10 finishes at 1.5-milers.

 

The Watermelon Man is making it happen

Following a seventh-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway last weekend, Ross Chastain has closed the gap to the top 20 in the points standings to 10 points.

 

Heading into the race last Friday, Chastain sat 38 points outside the top 20 – which is the mark he must meet in the standings in order to lock into the Playoffs after his postseason-qualifying win at Gateway two weeks ago.

 

Chastain has only finished outside the top 10 once this season, following his disqualification at Iowa Speedway. In the seven races this season at 1.5-mile tracks, like the upcoming Kentucky Speedway on July 11, Chastain has posted an average finish of 7.3. And that is highlighted by a win at Kansas Speedway in May – which goes in the record books, but doesn’t count towards the Playoffs because it happened before he declared for Gander Trucks points.

 

In the four races in which Chastain has collected Gander Trucks points in the standings, he has averaged 30 points per race with a high of 45 in his win at Gateway and a low of five points following the Iowa race.

 

And with four races remaining in the regular season, Chastain’s chances of jumping into the top 20 looks pretty good.

 

Kyle Busch Motorsports continues to develop talent

So far in 2019, Kyle Busch Motorsports has rotated seven different drivers behind the wheel of their No. 51 and No. 46 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series entries.

 

One of those drivers is team owner Kyle Busch, who won all five of the races he ran. Another is 49-year-old 2000 Gander Trucks champion Greg Biffle, who ended a two-and-a-half year hiatus from the sport with his start, and win, at Texas in June.

 

But the other five drivers who have jumped into those two KBM trucks have an average age just shy of 19-years old…and have posted an average finish of 10.6 in their 11 combined starts.

 

Christian Eckes (18-years old), Riley Herbst (20), Brandon Jones (22), Raphael Lessard (17) and Chandler Smith (17) have also put together three top-five and five top-10 finishes between them – as well as a pole to start the season in Daytona by Eckes.

 

(Of note, Lessard also ran a race for DGR-Crosley at Iowa, finishing ninth.)

 

The quintet has a best finish of second by Jones this past weekend at Chicagoland. The worst effort by the squad was a 22nd-place effort at Daytona by pole-sitter Eckes, who was caught up in a crash near the mid-point of the race.

 

With the exception of that race, none of these five drivers has a finish worse than 15th in a KBM truck this season.

 

And we can’t forget the pair of full-time drivers in KBM equipment – Harrison Burton in the No. 4 Toyota is 18-years old while Todd Gilliland in the No. 4 truck is 19-years old. Burton has five top-five finishes while Gilliland has two this year. Both have tallied seven top 10s.

 

Crew Chief Spotlight: Jerry Baxter

In 2018, Brett Moffitt raced to the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship with Hattori Racing Enterprises and Scott Zipadelli atop the pit box. And when he switched over to GMS Racing for the 2019 season, he didn’t miss a beat – in large part due to the veteran presence of Jerry Baxter atop his pit box at his new team.

 

Since 2012, Baxter has coached his Gander Trucks drivers to 13 wins and has worked with some of the sports rising stars.

 

Baxter started his full-time Gander Trucks crew chiefing years with Eddie Sharp Racing in 2012, guiding Cale Gale to a win in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 

He then paired together with Bubba Wallace for the 2013 and 2014 seasons at Kyle Busch Motorsports and the duo compiled five wins total – including four in their second season together. Baxter stayed at KBM through the 2016 season and was Christopher Bell’s crew chief for his rookie campaign in 2016.

 

Baxter then moved on to GMS Racing, and started off strong with the team – capturing the pole and the race win at the season opener in Daytona with Kaz Grala. After working with a trip of different drivers last season (Cody Coughlin, Tyler Dippel and Timothy Peters – getting a win at Talladega with Peters), he was paired up full-time with Moffitt to start the 2019 campaign.

 

Overall in the Gander Trucks, Baxter has 174 races atop the pit box with 13 wins, 52 top fives and 94 top 10s.

 

At the next track, Kentucky Speedway, Baxter has three top fives – one each with Wallace, Daniel Suarez and Bell…all at KBM.

 

NEWS AND NOTES   NEWS AND NOTESNEWS AND NOTES   NEWS AND NOTES

NASCAR

Kyle Busch Adds Another ESPY Award to Trophy Case

Former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Wins Best Driver

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 11, 2019) – Kyle Busch, the 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, took home some hardware at last night’s ESPY Awards, winning Best Driver – his second win in the last four years.

 

Busch, who also won the award in 2016, received the most votes in the category full of elite drivers including Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton, NHRA’s Steve Torrence and IndyCar’s Scott Dixon.

 

With Busch’s win, NASCAR drivers have now won the award in four of the past five seasons (Martin Truex Jr. – 2018; Kyle Busch – 2016; and Kevin Harvick – 2015). 

 

Busch won eight races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2018, tying Kevin Harvick for the most in the series. He also logged 28 top 10s and 22 top fives across 36 total points races. Busch is poised for another title run in 2019 as he’s already logged four wins, 10 top fives and 15 top 10s in 18 starts this season. 

 

In March of this year at Auto Club Speedway, Busch picked up his 200th career NASCAR national series victory, the same track where he notched his first career Monster Energy Series victory in 2005. Heading into this weekend in Kentucky for the Quaker State 400, Busch will be gunning for his 56th career win in NASCAR’s premier series.

 

Tune-in to NBCSN this Saturday, July 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET to watch Busch and NASCAR’s best at Kentucky Speedway, or listen live on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

 

 

Dick Berggren Named Ninth Squier-Hall Award Recipient

Covered All Levels of NASCAR as Pit Reporter and Magazine Editor

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2019) — Long-time NASCAR pit reporter and magazine editor Dick Berggren has been named the recipient of the 2020 Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. Berggren becomes the ninth journalist to win the prestigious award named after Ken Squier and Barney Hall, the first two recipients.

 

Berggren will be honored during NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony festivities on Jan. 31, 2020 and featured in an exhibit in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Tickets to the Induction Weekend events go on sale to the public on Saturday, July 6 at 10 a.m. A special presale is available to NASCAR Hall of Fame members through Friday, July 5 at 11:59 p.m. Tickets to Induction Ceremony events begin at $75 per person (plus tax and applicable service fees).

 

“For more than three decades, Dick Berggren helped bring fans closer to the action across all levels of motorsports,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France. “Though best known for his role as a pit reporter for NASCAR national series races, Berggren’s dedication to the grass roots level of racing helped shape his legend. His work with short track racing magazines brought life to the many series that make up the soul of NASCAR.”

 

Easily identified by his trademark flat cap, Berggren was a fixture on NASCAR television coverage from 1981 through his retirement in 2012.  He began his television career as a pit reporter for ESPN in 1981 and appeared on CBS, TBS and TNN broadcasts before closing his career with a 12-year stint as the lead pit announcer for NASCAR on FOX.

 

Beyond his television work, Berggren dedicated his craft to short tracks, simultaneous serving as editors of both Stock Car Racing and Open Wheel magazines. He also went on to found Speedway Illustrated, which touts itself as “America’s favorite monthly short track racing magazine.”

 

A college professor by trade, Berggren began his motorsports announcing career as the PA announcer at Arundel Speedway in Maine. Prior to that, he raced a variety of cars, including stock cars and modifieds.

 

Berggren is a member of the Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Hall of Fame and was named National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Writer of the Year in 1999.

 

Berggren was among eight nominees voted upon by a panel comprised of NASCAR and NASCAR Hall of Fame executives, journalists, public relations representatives and former drivers. The Squier-Hall Award was created in 2012 to honor the contributions of media to the success of the sport. Chris Economaki, Tom Higgins, Steve Byrnes, Benny Phillips, Norma “Dusty” Brandel and Steve Waid also have won the award.

 

The other seven nominees for the 2020 award were:

 

Russ Catlin, one of the best-known early racing writers and historians; editor of Speed Age Magazine

 

George Cunningham, long-time beat writer for The Charlotte Observer, Atlanta Constitution and NASCAR Scene; is the namesake for the annual NMPA award for Excellence in Writing

 

Shav Glick, covered motorsports for the Los Angeles Times for 37 years bringing NASCAR coverage to the West Coast

 

Mike Harris, spent 30 years as the lead motorsports writer for the Associated Press

 

Bob Jenkins, served as the lead NASCAR lap-by-lap anchor at ESPN from 1982-2000.

 

Bob Moore, spent more than 20 years as a NASCAR beat writer including stints with the Daytona Beach News-Journal and The Charlotte Observer

  

T. Taylor Warren, best known for his three-wide photo of the 1959 Daytona 500 finish, he covered every Daytona 500 until his death in 2008.

 

DATERACELOCATION
Feb. 10Advance Auto Parts ClashDaytona International Speedway
Feb. 14Can-Am DuelDaytona International Speedway
Feb. 17Daytona 500Daytona International Speedway
Feb. 24Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500Atlanta Motor Speedway
Mar. 3Penzoil 400Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Mar. 10TicketGuardian 500 ISM Raceway
Mar. 17Auto Club 400Auto Club Speedway
Mar. 24STP 500Martinsville Speedway
Mar. 31O'Reilly Auto Parts 500Texas Motor Speedway
Apr. 7Food City 500Bristol Motor Speedway
Apr. 13Toyota Owners 400Richmond International Raceway
Apr. 28GEICO 500Talladega Superspeedway
May 5Monster Energy at DoverDover International Speedway
May 11Monster Energy at Kansas Kansas Speedway
May 18Monster Energy Open/All StarCharlotte Motor Speedway
May 26Coca-Cola 600Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 2Pocono 400Pocono Raceway
June 9FireKeepers Casino 400Michigan International Speedway
June 23Toyota/Save Mart 350Sonoma Raceway
June 30Overton’s 400Chicagoland Speedway
July 6Coke Zero 400Daytona International Speedway
July 13Quaker State 400Kentucky Speedway
July 21New Hampshire 301New Hampshire Motor Speedway
July 28Gander Outdoors 400Pocono Raceway
Aug. 4GoBowling at the GlenWatkins Glen International
Aug. 11Consumers Energy 400Michigan International Speedway
Aug. 17Bass Pro Shops NRABristol Motor Speedway
Sep. 1Bojangles' Southern 500Darlington Raceway
Sep. 8Big Machine Brickyard 400Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Sep. 15South Point 400 – Round of 16 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Sep. 21Federal Auto Parts 400 - Round of 16 Richmond Raceway
Sep. 29Bank of America 500 - Round of 16 Charlotte Motor Speedway
Oct. 6Dover 400 - Round of 12 Dover International Speedway
Oct. 13Alabama 500 - Round of 16 Talladega Superspeedway
Oct. 20Hollywood Casino 400 - Round of 16 Kansas Superspeedway
Oct. 27First Data 400 - Round of 8 Martinsville Speedway
Nov. 3AAA Texas 500 - Round of 8 Texas Motor Speedway
Nov. 10Can-Am 500 - Round of 8 Phoenix International Raceway
Nov. 17Ford EcoBoost 400 - Championship Homestead-Miami Speedway
 

 

Sat, 2/16Daytona 300Daytona, FL
Sat, 2/23Rinnai 250Hampton, GA
Sat, 3/2Boyd Gaming 300Las Vegas, NV
Sat, 3/9DC Solar 200Avondale, AZ
Sat, 3/16Roseanne 300Fontana, CA
Sat, 3/30My Bariatric Solutions 300Fort Worth, TX
Sat., 4/6Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300Bristol, TN
Fri. 4/12ToyotaCare 250Richmond, VA
Sat, 4/27Sparks Energy 300Lincoln, AL
Sat, 5/4OneMain Financial 200Dover, DE
Sat, 5/25Alsco 300Concord, NC
Sat, 6/1Pocono Green 250Long Pond, PA
Sat, 6/8LTi Printing 250Brooklyn, MI
Sun, 6/16Iowa 250Newton, IA
Sat, 6/29Overton’s 300Joliet, IL
Fri, 7/5Coca-Cola Firecracker 250Daytona , FL
Fri, 7/12Alsco 300Sparta, KY
Sat, 7/20Lakes Region 200Loudon, NH
Sat, 7/27U.S. Cellular 250Newton, IA
Sat, 8/3Zippo 200 at The GlenWatkins Glen, NY
Sat, 8/10Mid-Ohio ChallengeLexington, OH
Fri, 8/16Food City 300Bristol, TN
Sat, 8/24Johnsonville 180Elkhart Lake, WI
Sat, 8/31VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200Darlington, SC
Sat, 9/7Lilly Diabetes 250Indianapolis, IN
Sat, 9/14DC Solar 300Las Vegas, NV
Fri, 9/20Go Bowling 250Richmond, VA
Sat, 9/28Drive for the Cure 300Concord, NC
Sat, 10/5Dover 200Dover, DE
Sat, 10/19Kansas Lottery 300Kansas City, KS
Sat, 11/2O'Reilly Auto Parts 300Fort Worth, TX
Sat, 11/9ISM 200Avondale, AZ
Sat, 11/16Ford EcoBoost 300Homestead, FL

 

Date Race Track
2/15 NextEra Energy 250 Daytona International Speedway
2/23 Atlanta 200 Atlanta Motor Speedway
3/1 Stratoshere 200 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
3/23 Martinsville 250 Martinsville Speedway
3/29 Vankor 350 Texas Motor Speedway
5/3 JEGS 200 Dover International Speedway
5/10 Kansas 250 Kansas Speedway
5/17 N.C. Education Lottery 200 Charlotte Motor Speedway
6/7 Rattlesnake 400 Texas Motor Speedway
6/15 Iowa 200 Iowa Speedway
6/22 Gateway 200 Gateway Motorsports Park
6/28 Overton’s 225 Chicagoland Speedway
7/11 Kentucky 225 Kentucky Speedway
7/27 Pocono 150 Pocono Raceway
8/1 Eldora Dirt Derby Eldora Speedway
8/10 Corrigan Oil 200 Michigan International Speedway
8/15 UNOH 200 Bristol Motor Speedway
8/25 Chevrolet Silverado 25 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
9/13 World of Westgate 200 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
10/12 Sugarlands Shine 250 Talladega Superspeedway
10/26 Martinsville 200 Martinsville Speedway
11/8 Lucas Oil 150 ISM Raceway
11/15 Ford EcoBoost 200 Homestead-Miami Speedway

 

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