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Kyle Larson charges through field to capture Eldora win

Kyle Larson charges through field to capture Eldora win

July 21, 2016

By Chris Knight

NASCAR Wire Service

ROSSBURG, Ohio – Battling back from all kinds of adversity, Kyle Larson sailed away on a late race restart with 16 laps to go to win Wednesday night’s fourth annual Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby 150 at Eldora Speedway.

“It means a lot, especially losing the way I did the two years I ran,” said Larson from Victory Lane. “Thanks to everyone on this GMS Racing team, DC Solar for coming on-board for this, this is very special for them. I knew running a blue No. 24 I had to run hard here at Eldora. Rico (Abreu) does a really good job in a sprint car with that. I had to put on a show.

“We got the flat tire there early, I knew we would get a lucky dog, I just didn’t know if I could get back to the top-three as quick as I did. It just worked out where I got by (Christopher) Bell when he got in the wall and I think Bobby (Pierce) had a gear issue. He was definitely better than I was for sure.

The win didn’t come easy though.

Larson took the lead from last year’s runner-up Bobby Pierce following the second caution on Lap 35 and appeared to be in control of the event, but while leading, Larson spun in Turn 4 on Lap 52 to bring out the fourth caution of the night.

Adding fuel to his fire, Larson was docked one lap by NASCAR for intentionally causing the yellow after spinning and stopping on the race track.

Two cautions later, however, Larson found himself back on the lead lap courtesy of the free pass and his mission to rally from the back to the front began.

Chasing down Pierce for the race lead, Larson took advantage of Pierce’s transmission being stuck in fourth gear to take the lead with 30 laps to go, Pierce attempted to take the lead back three laps later, but slammed the outside Turn 4 wall, ending his night and bringing out the final caution of the event.

Despite a late race charge from Bell on the restart, Larson pulled away as the laps dwindled away and earned a 0.767-second advantage to win his second NCWTS race in his 12th start.

“I guess I didn’t really hold him (Pierce) off, he slid in there and hit the wall and got a flat I think,” Larson said. “I hated that I couldn’t race with him, but I was happy when he was out. I almost gave it away again after that restart. I went to the middle of three and four in third gear and I missed a shift off Turn 4 and Bell got into my back bumper. Thankfully, he wasn’t inside of me, because he would have got the lead there and probably would be standing where I am.”

Bell, last year’s winner, was disappointed with second but knew he gained crucial points towards his championship chase.

“Tony (Stewart, track owner) did an awesome job with the race track tonight,” said Bell. “It was really technical, it was really tough to get around and it was really fun, too. Kyle’s been trying to win this race for a long time and it was cool for him to win tonight. The guys at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) worked really hard to put me in this position. I was disappointed we couldn’t repeat.”

Pierce who led a commanding 102 laps finished 25th in likely his final truck race of the season.

“The carburetor was flooded and I couldn’t get off the corner at all. Larson drove a great race,” Pierce said. “When that happened on the restart, I caught him a little bit, he hit the wall and I tried to slide him. I went in there a little too hard, it was super-slick and I got the wall and knocked the right-rear off the rim and that was that.”

Notes: The event was halted for seven minutes, 29 seconds for a nine truck accident in Turn 3 on Lap 38. … The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to competition at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway on July 30 for the running of the Pocono Mountains 150. Kyle Busch is the defending champion.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race – Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby

Eldora Speedway

Rossburg, Ohio

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

  1. (7) Kyle Larson(i), Chevrolet, 150.
  2. (10) Christopher Bell #, Toyota, 150.
  3. (27) Rico Abreu #, Toyota, 150.
  4. (11) Jake Griffin, Toyota, 150.
  5. (2) Tyler Reddick, Ford, 150.
  6. (23) Cole Custer #, Chevrolet, 150.
  7. (20) Cameron Hayley, Toyota, 150.
  8. (15) Daniel Hemric, Ford, 150.
  9. (28) Austin Wayne Self #, Toyota, 150.
  10. (22) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 150.
  11. (17) Ben Kennedy, Chevrolet, 150.
  12. (3) Ken Schrader, Toyota, 150.
  13. (8) Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 150.
  14. (18) William Byron #, Toyota, 150.
  15. (4) JR Heffner, Chevrolet, 150.
  16. (25) Sheldon Creed, Chevrolet, 148.
  17. (32) Travis Kvapil, Chevrolet, 146.
  18. (29) Wayne Edwards, Chevrolet, 145.
  19. (26) Cody Coughlin #, Toyota, 144.
  20. (24) Tyler Young, Chevrolet, 143.
  21. (16) Brady Boswell, Chevrolet, 143.
  22. (14) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 139.
  23. (5) Ben Rhodes #, Toyota, 136.
  24. (21) John H. Nemechek, Chevrolet, 129.
  25. (1) Bobby Pierce, Chevrolet, Accident, 126.
  26. (30) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, 124.
  27. (19) Timothy Peters, Toyota, 116.
  28. (12) Stewart Friesen, Chevrolet, Accident, 111.
  29. (9) Spencer Gallagher, Chevrolet, 107.
  30. (6) Caleb Holman, Chevrolet, Accident, 37.
  31. (13) Justin Shipley, Ford, Overheating, 11.
  32. (31) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, Engine, 5.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  41.971 mph.

Time of Race:  1 Hrs, 47 Mins, 13 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.767 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  9 for 52 laps.

Lead Changes:  3 among 2 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   B. Pierce 1-34; K. Larson(i) 35-50; B. Pierce 51-118; K. Larson(i) 119-150.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  B. Pierce 2 times for 102 laps; K. Larson(i) 2 times for 48 laps.

Top 10 in Points: W. Byron # – 282; M. Crafton – 273; D. Hemric – 271; J. Sauter – 253; T. Peters – 252; C. Bell # – 245; T. Reddick – 243; J. Nemechek – 232; B. Kennedy – 225; C. Hayley – 220.

07/21/2016 Posted by | 2016 ARCHIVES | Leave a comment

Kenseth battles to front for win at New Hampshire

Kenseth battles to front for win at New Hampshire

July 17, 2016

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

LOUDON, N.H. – In a race that saw many of the usual suspects go into hiding in the closing laps, Matt Kenseth battled to the front of the field from the 18th starting position and pulled away after a late restart to win Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Winning for the second time this season and for the third time at the Magic Mile, Kenseth crossed the finish line 1.982 seconds ahead of Tony Stewart, who solidified his position in the top 30 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings – and therefore in the Chase – with the runner-up finish.

“You’re always pleased to be in Victory Lane,” said the 44-year-old Kenseth, who won for the second straight time at the 1.058-mile flat track and for the 38th time in his career. “The farther down the road you get, the better they feel for sure. Thanks to everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing – I’ve said it a million times, but I’m blessed with this opportunity to be over here with the guys I get to work with…

“(Crew chief) Jason (Ratcliff) and the team made great, great adjustments today. I didn’t do a very good job qualifying (18th), (but) after round one (of pit stops) today, it was pretty much money. We just had to get there. It was a fun day.”

Kenseth, who recovered from an early glitch on pit road after his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was blocked in its stall, took the lead from Kyle Busch on Lap 271 of 301 and held it the rest of the way, despite three subsequent cautions and restarts.

“Every restart you’re just hoping not to mess up and spin the tires too bad,” Kenseth said. “Thankfully, we had good ones, and we had great power, and we had good traction, and we were able to get going pretty good in a straight line.

“And then, after a couple laps, we were able to roll the middle and get away.”

Joey Logano took third place by .019 seconds in a drag race against Kevin Harvick. Greg Biffle ran fifth followed by Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

That cast of characters didn’t include Martin Truex Jr., who led 123 laps before breaking his shifter and losing the clutch, keeping his No. 78 Toyota stuck in fourth gear.

It didn’t include pole winner Jimmie Johnson, who repeatedly lost ground on restarts and came home 12th. It didn’t include Kurt Busch, who ran in the top five most of the afternoon but ultimately was knocked out by contact from the No. 88 Chevrolet of Alex Bowman, who finished 26th in a substitute role for ailing Dale Earnhardt Jr.

It didn’t include 2014 New Hampshire winner Brad Keselowski, who, like Kurt Busch, had a contending car for most of the day but cut a tire in a late four-car wreck that caused his two-race winning streak end in a 15th-place finish. It didn’t include Carl Edwards, whose No. 19 Toyota was damaged in the four-car Lap 285 chain-reaction wreck that caused the seventh and final caution.

And even though Kyle Busch held eighth place in the late going, his finish was disappointing. Busch led a race-high 133 laps and restarted third with 11 laps left, but lost ground in a fight for fifth with Biffle and dropped two more spots thereafter.

Stewart, however, was delighted with the effort of his team. He and first-year crew chief Mike Bugarewicz exchanged texts dealing with setup notes on Saturday night, after Stewart flew to Ohio to oversee the Kings Royal sprint car race at Eldora Speedway, which he owns.

When he returned to Loudon for Sunday’s race, his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet was markedly better than it had been in Saturday’s two practice sessions.

“Yeah, we had a much better Haas Automation Chevy today than what we had yesterday,” said Stewart, who is now 67 points ahead of 31st-place Brian Scott. “Buga (Bugarewicz) did a really good job. I went off and went to Eldora for the Kings Royal last night. 

“He kept sending me a couple of texts. He was working as late here as I was working late at Eldora. It really paid off. He’s doing such a great job for a rookie crew chief that only has half a season. He’s got veteran calls and veteran moves.”

Getting his opportunity to drive the No. 88 Chevy when Earnhardt was sidelined with concussion-like symptoms, Bowman had a top-10 run going until contact with Edwards’ Toyota on pit road started tire issues that culminated in Bowman sliding into Kurt Busch’s car in Turn 3 on Lap 271.

The right front tire went completely flat on the frontstretch, sending Bowman into the outside wall. Though the accident knocked the speed out of the car, Bowman was able to stay on the lead lap.

The spate of late cautions also gave Logano a chance to move forward.

“I’ll take a third place after all that,” Logano said. “We were awful at the beginning of the race. We tried some new things, and apparently they didn’t work, so we aborted the mission in the middle of the race and got some speed back in the 22 – but not enough to beat the 20.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – New Hampshire 301

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Loudon, New Hampshire

Sunday, July 17, 2016

  1. (18) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 301.
  2. (12) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 301.
  3. (6) Joey Logano, Ford, 301.
  4. (8) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 301.
  5. (28) Greg Biffle, Ford, 301.
  6. (19) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 301.
  7. (25) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 301.
  8. (2) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 301.
  9. (5) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 301.
  10. (22) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 301.
  11. (14) * Ryan Blaney #, Ford, 301.
  12. (1) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 301.
  13. (15) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 301.
  14. (29) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 301.
  15. (9) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 301.
  16. (3) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 301.
  17. (17) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 301.
  18. (24) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 301.
  19. (26) Aric Almirola, Ford, 301.
  20. (13) Carl Edwards, Toyota, 301.
  21. (10) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 301.
  22. (4) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 301.
  23. (31) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 301.
  24. (32) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 301.
  25. (11) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 301.
  26. (20) Alex Bowman(i), Chevrolet, 301.
  27. (21) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 300.
  28. (30) Landon Cassill, Ford, 299.
  29. (35) Chris Buescher #, Ford, 299.
  30. (23) David Ragan, Toyota, 299.
  31. (16) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 299.
  32. (34) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 297.
  33. (37) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 295.
  34. (7) Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet, 294.
  35. (36) * Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 294.
  36. (38) Eddie MacDonald, Ford, 293.
  37. (40) * Ryan Ellis(i), Chevrolet, 292.
  38. (33) Brian Scott #, Ford, 278.
  39. (27) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, Electrical, 191.
  40. (39) * Josh Wise, Chevrolet, Accident, 94.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  107.416 mph.

Time of Race:  02 Hrs, 57 Mins, 53 Secs. Margin of Victory:  1.982 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  7 for 36 laps.

Lead Changes:  13 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   J. Johnson 1; Kyle Busch 2-36; M. Truex Jr 37; Kyle Busch 38-88; M. Truex Jr 89-171; Kyle Busch 172-182; M. Truex Jr 183; B. Keselowski 184; Kyle Busch 185-220; M. Truex Jr 221-257; M. Kenseth 258-264; M. Truex Jr 265; D. Hamlin 266-270; M. Kenseth 271-301.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Kyle Busch 4 times for 133 laps; M. Truex Jr 5 times for 123 laps; M. Kenseth 2 times for 38 laps; D. Hamlin 1 time for 5 laps; B. Keselowski 1 time for 1 lap; J. Johnson 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 16 in Points: K. Harvick – 636; B. Keselowski – 622; Kurt Busch – 602; C. Edwards – 587; J. Logano – 571; Kyle Busch – 556; M. Truex Jr – 540; M. Kenseth – 521; J. Johnson – 514; D. Hamlin – 505; C. Elliott # – 499; R. Newman – 497; A. Dillon – 488; J. Mcmurray – 474; D. Earnhardt Jr. – 461; T. Bayne – 447.

07/17/2016 Posted by | 2016 ARCHIVES | Comments Off on Kenseth battles to front for win at New Hampshire

Kyle Busch holds off Erik Jones for NASCAR XFINITY Series win at New Hampshire

Kyle Busch holds off Erik Jones for NASCAR XFINITY Series win at New Hampshire

July 16, 2016

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

LOUDON, N.H. – Another NASCAR XFINITY Series race, another set of milestones for Kyle Busch.

Leading 190 of 200 laps in Saturday’s AutoLotto 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Busch held off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones in the closing laps to claim his 82nd career victory, extending his own series record.

In the process, Busch raised his total of XFINITY laps led to 17,064, once again extending his own record. Busch won for the fifth time in 11 races at the Magic Mile and the sixth time in 10 starts this season.

“I guess they’re big numbers,” said Busch, who ran the entire race on one set of left-side tires and arrived at the finish line 1.499 seconds ahead of Jones, who had taken four tires on his final pit stop under caution on Lap 178. “I really don’t know what big numbers are, and records are made to be broken.

“There may be somebody like me that comes along down the road that does the same thing that I’ve been fortunate enough to do… Running in this series is something fun for me to do, cool for me to do, and it also helps me out and gets me a little more experience.”

Brad Keselowski ran third but didn’t have an answer for the top two JGR cars. Daniel Suarez came home fourth, followed by Austin Dillon.

“We had a decent day,” Keselowski said. “A little better than where we have been, which was something to be proud of, but of course we want to get to Victory Lane with the (No. 22 Team Penske) Ford. We aren’t quite there, but we’ll keep pushing.

“That was a step in the right direction overall for sure.”

Busch may have been dominant up front, but there were compelling subplots behind him, the most noteworthy between Ty Dillon and Alex Bowman.

Bowman, who will sub for ailing Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, turned left into Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet off Turn 2 on Lap 76, sending Dillon’s car into the outside wall.

Dillon was convinced Bowman wrecked him on purpose. Bowman asserted his car was forced wide, and the contact was unintentional. Dillon returned to action 55 laps down after repairs in the garage and twice tried to impede Bowman’s progress on the track.

“He tried to wreck me about four times after (the accident),” Bowman said after the race. “I don’t blame him for being upset. He has every right to be upset…

“He drove me way up the race track (right before the contact). He obviously got tight underneath me. I had a ton of wheel in it, and it finally caught. I barely came off the wall. You come off the wall six inches and you tag somebody in the right rear. I hate that for the 3 car, but I definitely didn’t do it intentionally. He can think what he wants.”

Bowman was able to continue despite damage to the left front of his No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet and posted an eighth-place finish. Dillon, on the other hand, was scored 33rd and held third place in the XFINITY standings but fell 48 points behind Suarez, who also expanded his series lead to 15 points over second-place Elliott Sadler, who ran 10th on Saturday.

NASCAR XFINITY Series Race – AutoLotto 200

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Loudon, New Hampshire

Saturday, July 16, 2016

  1. (1) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 200.
  2. (2) Erik Jones #, Toyota, 200.
  3. (3) Brad Keselowski(i), Ford, 200.
  4. (4) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 200.
  5. (7) Austin Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 200.
  6. (9) Brennan Poole #, Chevrolet, 200.
  7. (8) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 200.
  8. (5) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 200.
  9. (17) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 200.
  10. (6) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 200.
  11. (13) Brandon Jones #, Chevrolet, 200.
  12. (15) Darrell Wallace Jr, Ford, 200.
  13. (18) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 200.
  14. (22) Ryan Reed, Ford, 199.
  15. (16) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 199.
  16. (26) JJ Yeley, Toyota, 199.
  17. (19) Dakoda Armstrong, Toyota, 199.
  18. (14) Justin Marks, Chevrolet, 199.
  19. (12) Ryan Preece #, Chevrolet, 198.
  20. (27) BJ McLeod #, Ford, 197.
  21. (30) Ray Black Jr #, Chevrolet, 197.
  22. (34) Timmy Hill(i), Dodge, 197.
  23. (29) Garrett Smithley #, Chevrolet, 196.
  24. (33) Mario Gosselin, Chevrolet, 196.
  25. (36) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 195.
  26. (35) Scott Heckert, Ford, 195.
  27. (31) TJ Bell, Chevrolet, 194.
  28. (39) Matt Waltz, Chevrolet, 191.
  29. (40) Chris Cockrum, Chevrolet, 191.
  30. (38) Mike Harmon, Dodge, 188.
  31. (21) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, Accident, 170.
  32. (11) Blake Koch, Chevrolet, Transmission, 159.
  33. (10) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 144.
  34. (24) Jeff Green, Toyota, Brakes, 109.
  35. (32) Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, Suspension, 99.
  36. (25) David Starr, Chevrolet, Overheating, 82.
  37. (20) Corey LaJoie, Toyota, Accident, 64.
  38. (28) Carl Long, Toyota, Brakes, 38.
  39. (37) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Handling, 25.
  40. (23) Matt DiBenedetto(i), Toyota, Vibration, 3.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  98.789 mph.

Time of Race:  02 Hrs, 08 Mins, 31 Secs. Margin of Victory:  1.499 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  7 for 37 laps.

Lead Changes:  3 among 3 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   K. Busch(i) 1-92; E. Jones # 93-95; A. Bowman 96-102; K. Busch(i) 103-200.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  K. Busch(i) 2 times for 190 laps; A. Bowman 1 time for 7 laps; E. Jones # 1 time for 3 laps.

Top 10 in Points: D. Suarez – 574; E. Sadler – 559; T. Dillon – 526; E. Jones # – 520; B. Gaughan – 509; J. Allgaier – 506; B. Poole # – 489; B. Jones # – 489; D. Wallace Jr – 459; R. Reed – 405.

07/17/2016 Posted by | 2016 ARCHIVES | Comments Off on Kyle Busch holds off Erik Jones for NASCAR XFINITY Series win at New Hampshire

Jimmie Johnson gets a boost with New Hampshire pole win

Jimmie Johnson gets a boost with New Hampshire pole win

July 15, 2016

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

LOUDON, N.H. – After one of the roughest stretches in his career, Jimmie Johnson got a welcome boost on Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Saving his fastest lap for the third and final round of knockout qualifying, Johnson won the Coors Light Pole Award for Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race (1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN), covering the 1.058-mile distance in 28.430 seconds (133.971 mph).

The pole was the 50th won in a Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Johnson edged Kyle Busch (133.830 mph) for the top starting spot by .030 seconds, earning his first pole at the Magic Mile, his first of the 2016 season and the 35th of his career.

Busch, however, owned the fastest lap of the day, running 134.080 mph (28.407 seconds) to pace the second round, but Johnson was quickest when it counted most.

With only one top 10 in his last nine races, Johnson needed a catalyst, but his car was so off-kilter during a mock qualifying run during opening practice that he thought something had broken on the No. 48 Chevrolet.

While his team reset the car to the specifications in place when it unloaded, Johnson went on a 32-mile bike ride with fellow driver Matt Kenseth to clear his head.

When he returned for time trials, the car was better.

“We had a really weird set of tires or something odd go on on our mock run at the end of practice,” Johnson said. “It felt like something was broken on the car. So to come back and have good speed in the car and advance, I knew after round two we would have a shot at the pole, because we were able to keep our lap count down and advance to the next round on our first lap in each session. 

“And then put together a smooth lap. I felt like it could have been faster, but certainly a good smooth one, and it was enough.”

And having speed in the car was a shot of adrenaline to a team that has been struggling.

“We’ve had a lot of tough races,” Johnson acknowledged. “Qualifying has been so-so. I’m not the best at qualifying. I think the majority of that emotion was the fact that we actually got a pole. 

“We don’t have many. It’s not our strong suit. Just a good day all-in-all, and certainly something this Lowe’s team needed after the tough couple of months… Today’s a big day for us.”

Martin Truex Jr. will start third, after bumping his way into the final 12 .001 seconds over fellow Toyota driver Carl Edwards in the closing seconds of the 10-minute second round. Truex covered the distance in 28.675 seconds (132.827 mph) to knock Edwards out of the final round.

Truex then secured the third position on the grid with a lap at 133.371 mph.

“It’s been a hectic day,” Truex said. “It seems like we’ve been thrashing all day long. Everything is last-minute, last-second and just throwing stuff at it, but when it counts we keep hitting it.

“We were first in practice and third here. We barely made it through the second round and then went on to finish third. All in all, it was a good day. Just a lot of quick decisions by everyone.”

Kurt Busch will start fourth, followed by Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano, who led the first round of time trials at 133.166 mph.

Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and AJ Allmendinger claimed the seventh through 10th starting spots, respectively.

Substituting for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is sidelined with concussion-like symptoms, Alex Bowman earned the 20th starting position in the No. 88 Chevrolet. Though Earnhardt wasn’t at New Hampshire, he nevertheless contributed to Johnson’s pole-winning run.

“He did come here and test for us,” said Johnson, who is driving a new chassis this week. “And he gave us the foundation for the way our cars unloaded today. So big thanks to the 88 team, Dale and (crew chief) Greg (Ives) and those guys for having a great test session and giving us an opportunity for the pole today.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying – New Hampshire 301

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Loudon, New Hampshire

Friday, July 15, 2016

  1. (48)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 133.971 mph.
  2. (18)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 133.830 mph.
  3. (78)  Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 133.371 mph.
  4. (41)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 133.059 mph.
  5. (11)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 133.059 mph.
  6. (22)  Joey Logano, Ford, 132.915 mph.
  7. (24)  Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet, 132.720 mph.
  8. (4)  Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 132.697 mph.
  9. (2)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 132.692 mph.
  10. (47)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 132.618 mph.
  11. (5)  Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 132.126 mph.
  12. (14)  Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 131.989 mph.
  13. (19)  Carl Edwards, Toyota, 132.822 mph.
  14. (21)  Ryan Blaney #, Ford, 132.799 mph.
  15. (3)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 132.780 mph.
  16. (83)  Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 132.683 mph.
  17. (42)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 132.471 mph.
  18. (20)  Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 132.278 mph.
  19. (1)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 132.241 mph.
  20. (88)  Alex Bowman(i), Chevrolet, 132.057 mph.
  21. (13)  Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 131.724 mph.
  22. (17)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 131.678 mph.
  23. (23)  David Ragan, Toyota, 131.665 mph.
  24. (27)  Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 131.180 mph.
  25. (31)  Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 131.501 mph.
  26. (43)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 131.401 mph.
  27. (95)  Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 130.954 mph.
  28. (16)  Greg Biffle, Ford, 130.711 mph.
  29. (10)  Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 130.568 mph.
  30. (38)  Landon Cassill, Ford, 130.568 mph.
  31. (6)  Trevor Bayne, Ford, 130.559 mph.
  32. (15)  Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 130.367 mph.
  33. (44)  Brian Scott #, Ford, 130.224 mph.
  34. (7)  Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 129.812 mph.
  35. (34)  Chris Buescher #, Ford, 128.680 mph.
  36. (55)  Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 128.070 mph.
  37. (46)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 126.774 mph.
  38. (32)  Eddie MacDonald, Ford, 126.690 mph.
  39. (30)  Josh Wise, Chevrolet, 126.534 mph.
  40. (98)  Ryan Ellis(i), Chevrolet, 124.871 mph.

07/15/2016 Posted by | 2016 ARCHIVES | Comments Off on Jimmie Johnson gets a boost with New Hampshire pole win

Keselowski saves fuel, wins wild race at repaved Kentucky Speedway

Keselowski saves fuel, wins wild race at repaved Kentucky Speedway

 

July 9, 2016

 

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

 

SPARTA, Ky. – Brad Keselowski had his mojo working in Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.

 

Saving just enough fuel to get to the finish line, Keselowski eked out a heart-thumping victory over Carl Edwards to win his second consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and his third at Kentucky Speedway.

 

But this was not the same bumpy, abrasive Kentucky Speedway where Keselowski went to Victory Lane in 2012 and 2014. This was a repaved, reconfigured 1.5-mile intermediate track fraught with treachery, especially when combined with the lower-downforce aerodynamic package in use for the race.

 

Keselowski got to the finish line .175 seconds ahead of Edwards, who made up a deficit of more than six seconds in the final 10 laps but couldn’t quite get to Keselowski’s rear bumper on the final lap.

 

When Keselowski took the checkered flag, his fuel cell was dry. The driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford didn’t have enough gas to do a celebratory burnout, and he needed a push from a safety truck to get to Victory Lane.

 

Keselowski took the lead from Kevin Harvick after a restart on lap 200 and held it the rest of the way, except for Lap 261, when Matt Kenseth took the top spot and immediately came to pit road for fuel.

 

By then, the die was cast for Keselowski, who was committed to finishing the race without another fuel stop.

 

“We knew the fuel mileage,” said Keselowski, who won for the fourth time this year, the 21st time in his career, and became the first driver to officially clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. “We went out and we set a really fast pace there on that restart and were just using fuel, and then it became obvious that you were going to have to save fuel at the end, but I already used so much.

 

“It’s a testament to our guys to have the fuel mileage that we did to be able to get back what I burnt early in the run and get the Miller Lite Ford in Victory Lane. Usually these repaves are kind of my Achilles heel, but to get a win here at Kentucky… I know it’s been a good track for us in the past, but this isn’t the same Kentucky, I can tell you that.

 

“These cars were tough to drive today, but a good tough. This was a hard-fought battle, and I’m really proud of everybody on the 2 crew to get win number four and take that first place.”

 

When Keselowski slowed through Turn 4 on the next-to-last lap, Edwards thought he had the race won, but in retrospect, Edwards believed he had been beaten by a cunning opponent.

 

“Yeah, I thought he was out of fuel coming off of (Turn) 4, but he actually did it very well,” said Keselowski, who indicated on his radio with more than a lap left that he was out of fuel. “If he didn’t beat me, I’d be more impressed…

 

“I guess I’m impressed that he did beat me, but I don’t want to be. He waited. He basically shut the car off and went right off of 4 and matched it perfectly to where I couldn’t get by him down the front straightaway, and then he ran like heck through 1 and 2, and then I thought maybe he’ll run out down the back straight. Man, I dove it down in there trying to catch him into 3, and I couldn’t even get to him.”

 

Keselowski, however, said he thought he was out of gas when his car sputtered off Turn 4.

 

“I didn’t think I was going to win the race,” Keselowski said.

 

Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. dominated the first two-thirds of the event, leading 128 and 46 laps, respectively.

 

Truex had taken the lead off pit road on Lap 196, but NASCAR sent him to the rear of the field for passing Harvick, then the race leader, on the entry to pit road. For the last 68 laps, Truex drove like a madman, advancing from 23rd to as high as third before pitting for fuel and finishing 10th.

 

“It wasn’t my night on that deal,” Truex said. “It’s frustrating, we had the car to beat. We came out with the lead and they took it away from us. It’s just the way it goes, I guess.”

 

Particularly perilous throughout the race were the flatter of the two corners —Turns 3 and 4 — with the entry to Turn 3 especially daunting. Ten laps into the race, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. pancaked the right side of his No. 17 Ford against the outside wall of the Turn 3 torture chamber.

 

Nor were champions and frontrunners exempt from calamity. On Lap 32, Jimmie Johnson spun through Turn 4 and crumpled the left rear quarter of his No. 48 Chevrolet. On Lap 53, Joey slammed the Turn 3 wall after scraping it 10 laps earlier.

 

On Lap 88, Ryan Blaney spun from the middle of a three-wide dilemma in Turn 3 and took the No. 24 Chevrolet of fellow Sunoco Rookie of the Year competitor Chase Elliott with him. On Lap 93, the cars of Brian Scott, Chris Buescher and AJ Allmendinger were mangled in an eight-car pileup.

 

Lap 194 produced the 11th caution of the race, tying the record set last year, but from a restart on Lap 200 through the finish on Lap 267, the race ran green, and Keselowski was able to squeeze 68 laps out of his fuel cell.

 

“We were totally out at the start/finish line,” said Paul Wolfe, Keselowski’s crew chief. “So it couldn’t have timed out any better.”

 

Notes: Kurt Busch ran fourth, followed by Tony Stewart, who scored a top five in his 600th career start… Greg Biffle scored a season-best sixth-place finish… Harvick came home ninth and saw his series points lead shrink to four markers over second-place Keselowski.

 

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts

Kentucky Speedway

Sparta, Kentucky

Saturday, July 09, 2016

  1. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267.
  2. (5) Carl Edwards, Toyota, 267.
  3. (14) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 267.
  4. (3) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 267.
  5. (22) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 267.
  6. (23) Greg Biffle, Ford, 267.
  7. (16) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 267.
  8. (11) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 267.
  9. (1) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 267.
  10. (7) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 267.
  11. (17) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 267.
  12. (6) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267.
  13. (13) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 267.
  14. (18) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 267.
  15. (10) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 267.
  16. (12) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 267.
  17. (27) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 266.
  18. (24) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 266.
  19. (20) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 266.
  20. (26) Aric Almirola, Ford, 266.
  21. (36) * Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 266.
  22. (31) David Ragan, Toyota, 265.
  23. (25) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 265.
  24. (40) * Josh Wise, Chevrolet, 264.
  25. (30) Ty Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 264.
  26. (37) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 264.
  27. (39) * Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 262.
  28. (38) Jeffrey Earnhardt #, Ford, 262.
  29. (29) Landon Cassill, Ford, 261.
  30. (28) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 246.
  31. (8) Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet, 210.
  32. (9) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, Accident, 208.
  33. (32) Brian Scott #, Ford, Accident, 151.
  34. (33) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, Accident, 150.
  35. (15) * Ryan Blaney #, Ford, 143.
  36. (19) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, Accident, 103.
  37. (34) Chris Buescher #, Ford, Accident, 92.
  38. (35) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, Accident, 79.
  39. (4) Joey Logano, Ford, Accident, 52.
  40. (21) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, Accident, 9.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  128.583 mph.

Time of Race:  3 Hrs, 06 Mins, 53 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.175 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  11 for 53 laps.

Lead Changes:  16 among 9 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   K. Harvick 1-27; Kurt Busch 28-37; K. Harvick 38-54; B. Keselowski 55-62; M. Truex Jr. 63-82; K. Harvick 83; D. Ragan 84-85; K. Harvick 86-145; A. Dillon 146; M. Kenseth 147; D. Patrick 148-149; T. Dillon(i) 150; M. Truex Jr. 151-176; K. Harvick 177-199; B. Keselowski 200-260; M. Kenseth 261; B. Keselowski 262-267.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  K. Harvick 5 times for 128 laps; B. Keselowski 3 times for 75 laps; M. Truex Jr. 2 times for 46 laps; Kurt Busch 1 time for 10 laps; M. Kenseth 2 times for 2 laps; D. Ragan 1 time for 2 laps; D. Patrick 1 time for 2 laps; A. Dillon 1 time for 1 lap; T. Dillon(i) 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 16 in Points: K. Harvick – 599; B. Keselowski – 595; Kurt Busch – 583; C. Edwards – 566; J. Logano – 533; Kyle Busch – 521; M. Truex Jr. – 514; C. Elliott # – 492; J. Johnson – 484; M. Kenseth – 477; D. Hamlin – 472; R. Newman – 463; D. Earnhardt Jr. – 461; A. Dillon – 460; J. Mcmurray – 439; T. Bayne – 429.

 

07/10/2016 Posted by | 2016 ARCHIVES | Comments Off on Keselowski saves fuel, wins wild race at repaved Kentucky Speedway

Kyle Busch holds off Austin Dillon for XFINITY win at Kentucky

Kyle Busch holds off Austin Dillon for XFINITY win at Kentucky

 

July 8, 2016

 

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

 

SPARTA, Ky. – It was a race Kyle Busch won with a dramatic run around the outside lane at Kentucky Speedway.

 

It was a race Erik Jones lost when he hit the wrong switch on his dashboard, killed the engine and slowed under caution late in the race.

 

But, interestingly, it was a race where Jones showed Busch, the pole winner, the key to victory, demonstrating to his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate that the outside line was viable when racing side-by-side with an opponent.

 

Clearing Austin Dillon off Turn 4 in the first lap in overtime in Friday night’s Alsco 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race, after caution slowed the race for the fifth time, Busch pulled away to beat the Richard Childress Racing scion to the finish line by .455 seconds.

 

Daniel Suarez finished third after chasing Busch to the final yellow flag, then losing the runner-up spot to Dillon on the last restart. Jones came home a disappointing fourth after outdueling Busch for the lead on Lap 175, only to give it up when his car wouldn’t refire under caution and failed to keep up with the pace car, costing Jones two positions.

 

Busch led 185 of the 201 laps in winning for the fifth time in nine starts this season, the second time at Kentucky and the 81st time in his career, extending his own series record.

 

But it was the run around the outside lane, after Dillon pulled even on the backstretch on lap 200, that proved decisive.

 

And that’s exactly how Jones had passed Busch for the lead on Lap 175.

 

“I didn’t think he’d be able to hold it through (Turns) 3 and 4 like that,” said Dillon, who thought he had the preferred position on the inside. “But he did a great job of holding me down. I wish we could have got it done for (sponsor) Rheem, but it was a really close race.”

 

Busch was roughly a half-second ahead of Suarez and appeared to have the race in hand when caution flew on Lap 195 with smoke billowing from Mike Harmon’s car.

 

“We always get the Kyle Busch cautions,” Busch said. “Apparently this time it was true. There was some problems with another car smoking. You always have to make your money’s worth, I guess. Always have to give the show to the fans and their money’s worth.

 

“Certainly means a lot to us to win here and bring our Camry home to Victory Lane again at Kentucky Speedway.”

 

Jones said he hit the wrong button when he was rolling under caution and fell behind the pace car, allowing Busch to pass him. NASCAR rules require a driver to maintain pace car speed in order to keep his or her running position.

 

“I think we had the fastest car here once we got out front,” Jones lamented. “It’s just hard to get back up to the front when you get back in traffic.”

 

But before he fell back, Jones had already given Busch the road map to victory.

 

“When Erik drove into Turn 3 with me, I started to roll out just a little bit, because I knew I needed to in order to run the bottom,” Busch said. “And he drove right on past me, and I was like, ‘Well, all righty then.’

 

“I was waiting for him to slip and to not be able to control his car in the black, in the rubber. And it stuck for him and he made it work. I definitely learned that there was a little bit of speed up there, at least for one lap, for one corner.”

 

And that one corner made all the difference on Friday night.

 

NASCAR XFINITY Series Race – Alsco 300

Kentucky Speedway

Sparta, Kentucky

Friday, July 08, 2016

 

  1. (1) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 201.
  2. (4) Austin Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 201.
  3. (2) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 201.
  4. (3) Erik Jones #, Toyota, 201.
  5. (11) Darrell Wallace Jr, Ford, 201.
  6. (5) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 201.
  7. (23) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 201.
  8. (6) Ryan Blaney(i), Ford, 201.
  9. (14) Brennan Poole #, Chevrolet, 201.
  10. (10) Brad Keselowski(i), Ford, 201.
  11. (17) Brandon Jones #, Chevrolet, 201.
  12. (16) Justin Marks, Chevrolet, 200.
  13. (18) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 200.
  14. (9) Blaake Koch, Chevrolet, 199.
  15. (21) Ryan Preece #, Chevrolet, 199.
  16. (19) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 199.
  17. (15) JJ Yeley, Toyota, 198.
  18. (20) Dakoda Armstrong, Toyota, 198.
  19. (29) Ray Black Jr #, Chevrolet, 198.
  20. (12) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 197.
  21. (26) David Starr, Chevrolet, 197.
  22. (24) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 197.
  23. (30) BJ McLeod #, Ford, 196.
  24. (22) Garrett Smithley #, Chevrolet, 195.
  25. (33) Travis Kvapil(i), Ford, 194.
  26. (28) Alex Guenette, Chevrolet, 193.
  27. (32) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 193.
  28. (34) TJ Bell, Chevrolet, 189.
  29. (7) Ryan Reed, Ford, 187.
  30. (37) Mike Harmon, Dodge, 187.
  31. (13) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 182.
  32. (8) Cole Custer(i), Chevrolet, 138.
  33. (27) Jeff Green, Toyota, Transmission, 70.
  34. (39) Todd Peck, Ford, Electrical, 63.
  35. (36) Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, Transmission, 57.
  36. (35) Dexter Bean, Chevrolet, Fuel Pump, 47.
  37. (31) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Suspension, 43.
  38. (38) Harrison Rhodes, Chevrolet, Oil Pump, 17.
  39. (40) John Jackson, Toyota, Vibration, 9.
  40. (25) Matt DiBenedetto(i), Toyota, Rear Gear, 3.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  144.258 mph.

Time of Race:  02 Hrs, 05 Mins, 24 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.455 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  5 for 22 laps.

Lead Changes:  11 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   K. Busch(i) 1-27; R. Black Jr # 28; J. Green 29; K. Busch(i) 30-54; R. Chastain 55; K. Busch(i) 56-106; T. Dillon 107-108; K. Busch(i) 109-158; T. Dillon 159-166; K. Busch(i) 167-174; E. Jones # 175-177; K. Busch(i) 178-201.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  K. Busch(i) 6 times for 185 laps; T. Dillon 2 times for 10 laps; E. Jones # 1 time for 3 laps; R. Black Jr # 1 time for 1 lap; J. Green 1 time for 1 lap; R. Chastain 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: D. Suarez – 537; E. Sadler – 528; T. Dillon – 518; E. Jones # – 480; B. Gaughan – 477; J. Allgaier – 472; B. Jones # – 459; B. Poole # – 454; D. Wallace Jr – 430; R. Reed – 378.

 

07/09/2016 Posted by | 2016 ARCHIVES | Comments Off on Kyle Busch holds off Austin Dillon for XFINITY win at Kentucky

Byron holds off Nemechek, Hemric for record Camping World Truck Series win

 

Byron holds off Nemechek, Hemric for record Camping World Truck Series win

 

July 7, 2016

 

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

 

SPARTA, KY. – William Byron didn’t have the fastest truck at the end of Thursday night’s Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway.

 

But Byron had the most important ingredient in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the newly repaved and reconfigured 1.5-mile track. Byron held the top spot for all 42 laps after the final restart of the event on lap 108 of 150.

 

It was no cakewalk. Byron had to stave off assaults from both runner-up John Hunter Nemechek and third-place finisher Daniel Hemric, who dogged the race winner – and each other – for the entire closing green-flag run.

 

At the end, after surviving a last-ditch effort from Nemechek, Byron’s No. 9 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota crossed the finish line .190 seconds ahead of Nemechek’s family-owned No. 8 Chevrolet. Hemric was .291 seconds behind the winner at the finish.

 

The victory was the fourth in 10 starts this season for the 18-year-old Sunoco Rookie of the Year frontrunner, and it was the 51st win for KBM, most all-time for a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team.

 

“It’s a dream come true to get a fourth win like this,” Byron said. “I can’t thank the team enough.”

 

With Christopher Bell finishing fourth, KBM grabbed two of the top four spots, but team owner Kyle Busch had to watch the last 93 laps from the sidelines after Spencer Gallagher checked his Chevrolet up in front of him and triggered a wreck that sent Busch’s Toyota spinning into the outside wall on Lap 57.

 

Busch expressed frustration in the aftermath of the crash, but was more upbeat after the race when reflecting on the meteoric rise of the team he launched in 2010.

 

“This is a special moment,” said Busch, whose drivers have won the last four series races. “It’s been really cool. What to me makes it most special, I think, is how we’ve done it in such a short period of time.

 

“From 2010 through 2016, we’ve gotten 51 wins, and many of the teams that we excelled ahead of have been around a lot longer than we have. That’s pretty awesome.”

 

Byron felt a vibration in his truck in the closing laps but stayed on the throttle.

 

“It was tough,” he acknowledged. “I honestly felt like I had a right rear tire going down. With the new surface, it’s hard to get a tire to last that long. I had quite the vibration the last three or four laps.

 

“I was just hoping and praying that there would be no cautions. Just a great run for us. Our Liberty University Tundra was really good tonight, and we were able to stay out front that last run and that was the key.”

 

Though they had faster trucks in the closing laps, Nemechek and Hemric couldn’t focus solely on Byron because they were battling each other. Hemric lost momentum into Turn 1 on Lap 146 when he closed quickly on Byron’s bumper, and he and Nemechek ran side-by-side for the better part of two laps before Nemechek took the second spot on Lap 147.

 

Though Nemechek was clearly stronger than Byron through high-speed Turns 1 and 2, he wasn’t able to get to Byron’s rear bumper on the final lap.

 

“The 19 (Hemric) got down on my right rear a couple of times and got me loose, but that’s just racing, I guess,” Nemechek said. “It sucks to be disappointed with second, but I guess that’s a good thing.”

 

Hemric gave a tip of the hat to Byron, who had to work extremely hard to stay out front.

 

“The 9 (Byron) was put in a position where he had to run perfectly for the last 40-45 laps, or else he wouldn’t have won,” Hemric said. “So congratulations to him.”

 

Byron, locked into the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase, extended his series lead to 13 points over second-place Matt Crafton, who ran eighth, and 17 points over Hemric and Timothy Peters (ninth Thursday), who are tied for third.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race – Buckle Up in Your Truck 225

Kentucky Speedway

Sparta, Kentucky

Thursday, July 07, 2016

  1. (3) William Byron #, Toyota, 150.
  2. (16) John H Nemechek, Chevrolet, 150.
  3. (4) Daniel Hemric, Ford, 150.
  4. (10) Christopher Bell #, Toyota, 150.
  5. (15) Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 150.
  6. (11) Cameron Hayley, Toyota, 150.
  7. (22) Brandon Jones(i), Chevrolet, 150.
  8. (8) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 150.
  9. (14) Timothy Peters, Toyota, 150.
  10. (5) Tyler Reddick, Ford, 150.
  11. (1) Daniel Suarez(i), Toyota, 150.
  12. (17) Grant Enfinger #, Chevrolet, 150.
  13. (9) Ben Rhodes #, Toyota, 150.
  14. (12) Cole Custer #, Chevrolet, 150.
  15. (21) Rico Abreu #, Toyota, 150.
  16. (13) Spencer Gallagher, Chevrolet, 150.
  17. (20) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 150.
  18. (19) Austin Hill, Ford, 150.
  19. (6) Parker Kligerman, Chevrolet, 149.
  20. (25) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 149.
  21. (26) Garrett Smithley(i), Chevrolet, 148.
  22. (18) Ben Kennedy, Chevrolet, 147.
  23. (27) Timmy Hill, Chevrolet, 145.
  24. (29) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, 143.
  25. (28) Travis Kvapil, Chevrolet, 136.
  26. (24) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, Overheating, 107.
  27. (23) Austin Wayne Self #, Toyota, Transmission, 98.
  28. (30) Norm Benning, Chevrolet, Vibration, 95.
  29. (32) Mike Harmon(i), Chevrolet, Vibration, 62.
  30. (7) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, Accident, 56.
  31. (2) Brett Moffitt, Toyota, Engine, 26.
  32. (31) Caleb Roark, Chevrolet, Electrical, 0.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  116.698 mph.

Time of Race:  01 Hrs, 55 Mins, 41 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.190 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  5 for 32 laps.

Lead Changes:  9 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   D. Suarez(i) 1-32; T. Martins 33; D. Suarez(i) 34-35; W. Byron # 36; D. Suarez(i) 37-61; T. Peters 62-64; T. Reddick 65; J. Sauter 66-79; T. Peters 80-81; W. Byron # 82-150.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  W. Byron # 2 times for 70 laps; D. Suarez(i) 3 times for 59 laps; J. Sauter 1 time for 14 laps; T. Peters 2 times for 5 laps; T. Reddick 1 time for 1 lap; T. Martins 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: W. Byron # – 263; M. Crafton – 250; D. Hemric – 246; T. Peters – 246; J. Sauter – 233; J. Nemechek – 223; T. Reddick – 215; C. Bell # – 214; B. Kennedy – 203; B. Rhodes # – 201.

 

–30–

07/08/2016 Posted by | 2016 ARCHIVES | Comments Off on Byron holds off Nemechek, Hemric for record Camping World Truck Series win

Brad Keselowski dominates chaotic Sprint Cup race at Daytona

Brad Keselowski dominates chaotic Sprint Cup race at Daytona

July 2, 2016

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Brad Keselowski had an excellent solution for the massive wrecks that scrambled the finishing order of Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

He stayed ahead of all of them.

Leading 115 of 161 laps in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford, Keselowski sped away from his pursuers after a restart in overtime and posted his third victory of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season in thoroughly convincing fashion.

The victory was Keselowski’s first at Daytona and the 20th of his career, and it reinforced his mastery of restrictor-plate racing—Keselowski already had four wins at sister track Talladega.

When the race restarted in overtime, after a caution for a four-car wreck on Lap 155, eventual runner-up Kyle Busch simply couldn’t keep up with Keselowski, once he lost his push from third-place finisher Trevor Bayne. Keselowski’s teammate, fourth-place finisher Joey Logano, shoved the No. 2 car to the front on the Lap 160 restart, and then it was over.

“Joey Logano was a huge part of this today,” Keselowski said. “We had two great cars here with Team Penske and worked together really well. Joey has won here and he’s really a pro, especially on that restart. 

“He gave me that push I needed to get to the front, and here we are at Daytona in Victory Lane. I don’t care if it’s not the 500. It’s Daytona. This is huge. I love this place, and here we are in Victory Lane with the Detroit Ford.”

That there were 27 lead changes between 13 drivers belied Keselowski’s dominance. While in the lead, the 2012 series champion was able to block both the inside and outside lanes, moving back and forth at will to impede the progress of whichever line developed momentum.

With a daring move to the inside of race runner-up Kyle Busch on Lap 145, Keselowski took the lead for good and held it through two subsequent cautions for multi-car wrecks. The first wiped out Sonoma winner Tony Stewart, who was running in the top 10 at the time. The second was the coup de grace for Carl Edwards, who had qualified second but finished 25th.

Busch, who tried in vain to regain the top spot, could only admire the handling of Keselowski’s Ford.

“He definitely just had way more maneuverability it seemed like than anybody, but especially than I did,” Busch said. “I don’t know how he got the kind of run that he got (to make the decisive pass), but when he got that run down the front stretch getting into Turn 1 and was able to turn to the bottom, my car would be kind of loose doing that.

“It would just over rotate on me a little bit, and I just never really had that opportunity from behind me besides Trevor, and I never was in the right position when I had that big of a run in order to get the lead back.

“Really, it took a lot of guys ganging up and getting together in order to make a move on him. He was pretty smart about where he positioned his car on the race track, and I could see that, and I tried to do some of those same things, but, man, it just never really worked for me as good as he could handle it.”

The race ran without major incident for the first 89 laps, with a competition caution on Lap 21 and a black flag to Danica Patrick for driving through too many pit boxes on a Lap 67 green-flag pit stop first providing the bulk of the excitement.

But that was the calm before a violent storm.

As the field roared into Turn 1 on Lap 90, Jamie McMurray’s Chevrolet got loose, made side-to-side contact with Ganassi Racing teammate Kyle Larson, got out of shape and veered sharply into the outside wall after contact from Jimmie Johnson’s Chevrolet.

That was the spark that ignited a wreck that collected 22 of the 40 cars in the field and eliminated McMurray, Johnson, Paul Menard and series leader Kevin Harvick, while heavily damaging the cars of Sunoco Rookie of the Year leader Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth and Patrick, among others.

Harvick said he was expecting the powder keg that is restrictor-plate racing to explode at any minute—and on Lap 90 it did.

“You really think it’s going to happen from Lap 1,” said Harvick, who now leads the Cup series by 14 points over Keselowski. “It’s hard to make ground, so you have to be pretty aggressive when you start making ground.

“Just kind of riding there, just maintaining until that next pit stop so we could get my car off the ground and then really start being aggressive. I really couldn’t be aggressive, and unfortunately, I was in the back of that front pack and ended up getting in the wreck.”

But Keselowski was ahead of the wreck, as he was throughout the night, and in staying at the front he earned owner Roger Penske his 100th victory in the series.

Notes: Despite wrecking and finishing 26th, Stewart moved into 30th place in the series standings, the position he needs to maintain or improve to remain eligible for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup… Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished fifth, matching his season-best result (Fontana)… With Bayne third, Stenhouse fifth and polesitter Greg Biffle eighth, Roush Fenway Racing had three cars in the top 10 for the first time since 2014 at Bristol… Michael McDowell (10th) scored his first top 10 since the 2014 July race at Daytona.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach, Florida

Saturday, July 02, 2016

  1. (5) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 161.
  2. (3) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 161.
  3. (13) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 161.
  4. (11) Joey Logano, Ford, 161.
  5. (4) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 161.
  6. (17) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 161.
  7. (6) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 161.
  8. (1) Greg Biffle, Ford, 161.
  9. (31) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 161.
  10. (37) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 161.
  11. (35) * Cole Whitt, Toyota, 161.
  12. (20) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 161.
  13. (26) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 161.
  14. (12) * Ryan Blaney #, Ford, 161.
  15. (14) Aric Almirola, Ford, 161.
  16. (38) David Ragan, Toyota, 161.
  17. (9) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 161.
  18. (23) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 161.
  19. (28) * David Gilliland, Ford, 161.
  20. (33) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 161.
  21. (16) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 161.
  22. (39) * Reed Sorenson, Toyota, 161.
  23. (10) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 161.
  24. (32) Bobby Labonte, Ford, 160.
  25. (2) Carl Edwards, Toyota, Accident, 155.
  26. (19) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, Accident, 148.
  27. (22) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 130.
  28. (7) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 127.
  29. (15) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 127.
  30. (18) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 122.
  31. (34) Landon Cassill, Ford, 119.
  32. (24) Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet, 113.
  33. (36) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 108.
  34. (29) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, Accident, 91.
  35. (8) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, Accident, 89.
  36. (27) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, Accident, 89.
  37. (30) Brian Scott #, Ford, Accident, 89.
  38. (40) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, Accident, 89.
  39. (21) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, Accident, 89.
  40. (25) Chris Buescher #, Ford, Accident, 89.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  150.342 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 40 Mins, 38 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.159 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  5 for 28 laps.

Lead Changes:  26 among 13 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   G. Biffle 0; C. Edwards 1-8; B. Keselowski 9-21; D. Ragan 22; R. Smith 23; B. Keselowski 24-28; G. Biffle 29; B. Keselowski 30-51; M. Truex Jr. 52; B. Keselowski 53-64; D. Hamlin 65; C. Mears 66-67; K. Harvick 68; C. Bowyer 69; Kyle Busch 70-71; B. Keselowski 72; Kyle Busch 73-75; J. Logano 76; D. Hamlin 77-82; B. Keselowski 83-98; T. Stewart 99; J. Logano 100-104; B. Keselowski 105-131; Kyle Busch 132-138; B. Keselowski 139-140; Kyle Busch 141-144; B. Keselowski 145-161.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  B. Keselowski 9 times for 115 laps; Kyle Busch 4 times for 16 laps; C. Edwards 1 time for 8 laps; D. Hamlin 2 times for 7 laps; J. Logano 2 times for 6 laps; C. Mears 1 time for 2 laps; T. Stewart 1 time for 1 lap; C. Bowyer 1 time for 1 lap; G. Biffle 1 time for 1 lap; D. Ragan 1 time for 1 lap; K. Harvick 1 time for 1 lap; R. Smith 1 time for 1 lap; M. Truex Jr. 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 16 in Points: K. Harvick – 565; B. Keselowski – 551; Kurt Busch – 545; J. Logano – 531; C. Edwards – 527; Kyle Busch – 492; M. Truex Jr. – 482; C. Elliott # – 482; J. Johnson – 475; D. Hamlin – 446; M. Kenseth – 443; A. Dillon – 434; D. Earnhardt Jr. – 433; R. Newman – 425; *. Blaney # – 409; J. McMurray – 405.

–30–

07/03/2016 Posted by | 2016 ARCHIVES | Comments Off on Brad Keselowski dominates chaotic Sprint Cup race at Daytona

Almirola edges Allgaier for NASCAR XFINITY Series win at Daytona

Almirola edges Allgaier for NASCAR XFINITY Series win at Daytona

 

July 1, 2016

 

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Aric Almirola won his second NASCAR XFINITY Series race by much less than a nose.

 

But to the driver of the No. 98 Fred Biagi-owned Ford, that was a vast improvement over his first victory in the series—when he wasn’t even in the car when the race ended.

 

In Friday night’s Subway Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway, Almirola was inches ahead of Justin Allgaier off the final corner in overtime when NASCAR called the eighth caution of the race and froze the field because of a wild wreck on the backstretch involving polesitter David Ragan.

 

Though Almirola was credited with a 2007 win at the Milwaukee Mile, where he started the race in place of Denny Hamlin, who was commuting from the Sprint Cup venue at Sonoma. But Hamlin took the checkered flag after taking over the car, and Almirola has never felt the win was rightfully his.

 

“I’m so glad to be back in Victory Lane here at Daytona,” Almirola said. “This is such a special place for me. I won my first Cup race here two years ago, and for me, this is my first XFINITY win. I know I have a win, but there’s always been an asterisk next to it…

 

“I hated the fact that I got credit for that. When they called me the winner, I didn’t want any of the credit. (Crew chief) Dave Rogers actually got the trophy. They tried to give me the trophy, but I didn’t want it. I didn’t think I deserved to win the race, because I wasn’t in the car when the race was over.

 

“But tonight I was. Tonight we went to Victory Lane, and I’m here, and I was in the car—so this is my first XFINITY win.”

 

Almirola already was one of 26 drivers who have won at least one race in each of NASCAR’s top three series. Now he can feel good about it.

 

Allgaier, on the other hand was on the short end of the video that showed Almirola in the lead when the caution was called.

 

“When you lose ‘em by that little bit, it’s frustrating,” said Allgaier, who estimated he lost the event by “a sixteenth of a foot.

 

“But when you’re disappointed with second, it’s still a good day… Man, when you’re that close, it’s really, really tough. We’ll keeping digging. At some point we’ve got to maybe pull one of these off.”

 

Ryan Sieg finished third, matching the career-best result he achieved in this race two years ago. Joey Logano led a race-high 46 of 103 laps but was shuffled back with fewer than 20 laps left and recovered to run fourth. Brendan Gaughan came home fifth.

 

Ragan led the field to green to start the overtime but quickly lost his drafting partner and surrendered the top spot. Subbing for Matt Tifft, who had come out of brain surgery for a tumor just before the race began, Ragan tried to block the outside lane on the final lap and finished 21st in a demolished Toyota.

 

“I was kind of a sitting duck,” Ragan said. “My teammate, Erik Jones, did a great job on that white-flag lap, but we just got separated. And I didn’t really know that third lane was coming as fast as they were, and I saw that the 98 (Almirola) and the 7 (Allgaier) had a decent run, but I thought I could block the very top, and you only have so much room.

 

“That was just a product of speedway racing.”

 

Points leader Daniel Suarez was the victim of a hard crash into the inside SAFER barrier on the backstretch on Lap 49 and finished 32nd but maintained a six-point lead in the standings over Elliott Sadler, who had to pit for fuel before the overtime and came home 18th.

 

NASCAR XFINITY Series Race – Subway Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach, Florida

Friday, July 01, 2016

  1. (23) Aric Almirola(i), Ford, 103.
  2. (7) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 103.
  3. (30) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 103.
  4. (4) Joey Logano(i), Ford, 103.
  5. (17) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 103.
  6. (14) Ryan Reed, Ford, 103.
  7. (18) Jeff Green, Toyota, 103.
  8. (27) Spencer Gallagher(i), Chevrolet, 103.
  9. (15) Chase Elliott(i), Chevrolet, 103.
  10. (3) Erik Jones #, Toyota, 103.
  11. (24) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 103.
  12. (26) Dakoda Armstrong, Toyota, 103.
  13. (39) Garrett Smithley #, Chevrolet, 103.
  14. (11) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 103.
  15. (37) Ryan Ellis, Chevrolet, 103.
  16. (32) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 103.
  17. (19) JJ Yeley, Toyota, 103.
  18. (9) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 103.
  19. (34) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 103.
  20. (6) Darrell Wallace Jr., Ford, 103.
  21. (1) David Ragan(i), Toyota, 103.
  22. (16) Blake Koch, Chevrolet, 103.
  23. (12) Benny Gordon, Toyota, 102.
  24. (31) Bobby Gerhart, Chevrolet, 102.
  25. (35) Scott Lagasse Jr., Ford, 100.
  26. (8) Brennan Poole #, Chevrolet, Accident, 97.
  27. (33) David Starr, Chevrolet, Accident, 96.
  28. (2) Austin Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 96.
  29. (13) Brandon Jones #, Chevrolet, 82.
  30. (10) Corey LaJoie, Toyota, Oil Leak, 73.
  31. (20) Mark Thompson, Toyota, Engine, 57.
  32. (5) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, Accident, 48.
  33. (22) Mario Gosselin, Chevrolet, Oil Leak, 47.
  34. (28) Ryan Preece #, Chevrolet, Engine, 42.
  35. (29) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Rear Gear, 28.
  36. (25) Joe Nemechek(i), Toyota, Accident, 14.
  37. (21) Justin Marks, Chevrolet, Accident, 14.
  38. (38) Alex Guenette, Chevrolet, Accident, 9.
  39. (36) Ray Black Jr. #, Chevrolet, Accident, 8.
  40. (40) BJ McLeod #, Ford, Engine, 1.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  121.192 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 07 Mins, 29 Secs. Margin of Victory:  Caution.

Caution Flags:  8 for 33 laps.

Lead Changes:  19 among 12 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   D. Ragan(i) 1-3; A. Dillon(i) 4-13; J. Logano(i) 14; E. Sadler 15-17; M. Thompson 18; M. Shepherd 19; T. Dillon 20-22; J. Logano(i) 23-44; R. Chastain 45-46; B. Gaughan 47; J. Logano(i) 48-68; J. Allgaier 69-71; E. Sadler 72; J. Logano(i) 73; E. Sadler 74-80; J. Logano(i) 81; C. Elliott(i) 82-86; A. Almirola(i) 87; D. Ragan(i) 88-102; A. Almirola(i) 103;.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  J. Logano(i) 5 times for 46 laps; D. Ragan(i) 2 times for 18 laps; E. Sadler 3 times for 11 laps; A. Dillon(i) 1 time for 10 laps; C. Elliott(i) 1 time for 5 laps; J. Allgaier 1 time for 3 laps; T. Dillon 1 time for 3 laps; R. Chastain 1 time for 2 laps; A. Almirola(i) 2 times for 2 laps; M. Shepherd 1 time for 1 lap; B. Gaughan 1 time for 1 lap; M. Thompson 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: D. Suarez – 499; E. Sadler – 493; T. Dillon – 483; J. Allgaier – 462; B. Gaughan – 449; E. Jones # – 442; B. Jones # – 429; B. Poole # – 422; D. Wallace Jr. – 394; R. Reed – 366.

 

07/02/2016 Posted by | 2016 ARCHIVES | Comments Off on Almirola edges Allgaier for NASCAR XFINITY Series win at Daytona

NASCAR Updates Sprint Cup Series Race Eligibility

NASCAR Updates Sprint Cup Series Race Eligibility   

Chase Provisional Implemented for Open Teams

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 28, 2016) – NASCAR today announced updated procedures for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race eligibility and new provisional starting guidelines for races during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

 

Starting with Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway (7:45 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), current year owner points will replace practice speeds for determining race eligibility and starting position in the event adverse conditions prevent Coors Light Pole qualifying from taking place. Starting in 2017, for the second and third events of the season, practice speeds for Open teams will remain the criteria used to determine race eligibility.

 

NASCAR also announced that Open teams that earn a berth in the Chase will be awarded a provisional starting position for every Chase race, guaranteeing those teams an opportunity to compete for the championship in NASCAR’s playoffs.

 

“These changes provide a more even competition field for both Charter and Open teams, rewarding strong performances over the course of a season,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president, racing operations. “Earning a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is extremely difficult and requires consistent elite performance. Those teams should be guaranteed an opportunity to race for the title, and this ensures that will be the case.”

The creation of provisional starting positions for Open teams that earn a berth in the Chase has been discussed extensively with industry stakeholders.

 

The adverse conditions qualifying procedures remain unchanged for the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.   

 

06/28/2016 Posted by | 2016 ARCHIVES | Comments Off on NASCAR Updates Sprint Cup Series Race Eligibility

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