Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Joe Castello: The Voice of Fast Lane Friday

Joe Castello is one of the premier motorsports personalities in South Florida and has become the voice of  Fast Lane Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

First of all, I’d like to introduce myself and thank Homestead-Miami Speedway for inviting me to write this blog. I’m Joe Castello, and I’m your Fast Lane Friday presented by The Ticket Clinic track announcer.

It has been a great honor to spend Friday nights with a group of people who are as passionate about cars as much I am.  It has also been a great experience when juxtaposed with my other jobs working in motorsports entertainment, such as my WFO Radio podcast, my work with the National Hot Rod Association, and being a co-host of Performance TV on Velocity Network.

About Me
My entertainment career started right here in South Florida working with “hall of fame” broadcaster Neil Rogers on local sports talk radio where I was able to create South Florida’s first weekly motorsports show – Motorsports Saturday. I have worked closely with the staff at Homestead-Miami Speedway ever since and truly believe that the facility is one of the shining gems of our South Florida community. I have an NHRA Super Comp license and have won bracket racing track championships at three different facilities in Florida. My father and I own a 1978 Pontiac Trans Am that is built for competition.

The Love for Drag Racing
As with most things, there is a natural progression in drag racing. The level to which you advance is determined by desire and ambition. At the professional events I announce, I see people who have reached the highest level. They are drivers with multi-million dollar sponsorships who are competing at speeds over 335 MPH. Very few of them started out that way. Most started at small tracks that gave them an opportunity to gather, race, improve and make friends with similar goals. Eventually, some improved so much they end up making their living in the sport. It can become a lifestyle or a career and certainly can become motivation for hard work and big ideas.

Drag racing was introduced to South Florida in 1966 with the
construction of Miami-Hollywood Speedway.

Drag Racing in South Florida
Drag Racing has always been very popular in South Florida, culminating with the construction of Miami-Hollywood Speedway in 1966. Do a search on YouTube and you will find many videos from the track once located just West of I-75 on Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines. Legends of the sport including “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney, John Force and South Florida’s own Darrell and Jerry Gwynn raced there on a regular basis. It was there that I got my start as a driver and a public speaker. Miami-Hollywood Speedway was demolished in 1992, but its memory lives on with many of us, including Fast Lane Friday starter Paul Wunderlich, who managed the facility during some of its most successful years.

Powered by Youth
It has been said by some, that the automotive hobby known as drag racing was beginning to fade away with younger people. My experience at Homestead-Miami Speedway has assured me that the car crazy culture that started with the chrome and fins of the 1950s and exploded into the 1960s muscle car era that forged NASCAR and NHRA, is alive and well in the youth that race at Fast Lane Friday.

Whether it be the young driver of a new ZL1 Camaro trying to perfect his starting line launch technique, or the diesel trucks that are testing to find the perfect “tune” with their fuel injection set up, this next generation of drag racers are “hands on” and constantly working to improve. Drag Racing provides a perfect opportunity for those who want to challenge themselves. The group of young people I see at Fast Lane Friday are hardworking, and literally, driven to excel.

The Cars
If people were ever losing interest in drag racing, it was because the cars were not that interesting.  We do not have that problem any longer as the automakers have realized the yearning for performance people have. American muscle cars like Ford Mustangs, Chevy Camaros and Dodge Challengers race alongside exotics like Porsche and Ferrari on Homestead-Miami Speedway’s pit road. Modified machines with aftermarket parts make Fast Lane Friday stars of racers like Irv Chazen, who will race any opponent in his strip blistering Jeep Cherokee! These cars blow the doors off their 1960s counter parts in nearly every way. They are quicker, faster, more comfortable and more reliable than ever before with 6 cylinder models packing enough punch to bring a smile to the driver’s face, let alone the powerful V8 engines currently available.

Two competitors run the 1/8-mile drag strip during
Fast Lane Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway

For the Thrill
If you have never experienced the thrill of racing your own car down the track, I highly recommend it. And Fast Lane Friday is the perfect place. It is a thrill that can rarely be replicated in normal life. Accelerating in your vehicle, knowing that you are in a controlled environment is extremely fun. It just doesn’t feel as good when you are dangerously risking everything on the streets of Miami. So don’t do it! The track offers a much more fulfilling, stress-free experience. The journey starts with one run down the track. Look at your ET (elapsed time) slip and try to improve. Your reaction time, launch, shifts (if manual transmission) and car’s performance can be maximized with practice. Drag racing can push you to excel, you have only to step on the throttle!

In future blog posts we’ll discuss some basic drag racing techniques, cool cars, and people that make Fast Lane Friday.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

RACE RECAPS- ALL-STAR WEEKEND



MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES



Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race

Charlotte Motor Speedway – Concord, North Carolina
Saturday, May 20, 2017

Race Winner: Kyle Busch

Age: 32
Team: No. 18 – M&M’s Caramel Toyota
Owner: Joe Gibbs Racing
Crew Chief: Adam Stevens

IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER“It’s special because it’s the All-Star race for one and for two, we’ve never won at Charlotte in a Cup car so we finally achieved that goal tonight and won the All-Star race and won a million bucks, so there’s reason to celebrate and to celebrate big. I can’t say enough about this team, everybody on this M&M’s Camry, this M&M’s Caramel Camry this week. First race, first win for those guys. Can’t say enough about Adam Stevens (crew chief). You have Adam Stevens and these guys in the pit box and you can rely on them all day long. I had to do that tonight. You know we weren’t quite the fastest car, but we made the right changes when it mattered most. We made the right moves when it mattered most and we got the most out of our night tonight and got here to victory lane. Feel so relieved, alluded, proud and excited all in the same time.”

--  Kyle Busch

----------------

·         Kyle Busch won the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star race Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the only complete non-points race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule.  It is Busch’s first All-Star race win and his initial Monster Energy Series win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

·         Busch won the race in his 12th All-Star start, the largest number of starts before an All-Star race win – previous record was held by Tony Stewart with 11 starts before his first victory in 2009.

·         For team owner Joe Gibbs Racing it is their second All-Star race win (Denny Hamlin, 2011).

·         Kyle Larson was the runner-up in the race and also won Stage 1 and 2.

·         Jimmie Johnson (third) captured Stage 3.  It was Johnson’s ninth career top-5 finish in the All-Star race, the most-ever.

·         Kyle Larson (475) leads the 2017 Monster Energy Series points standings by 44 points over Martin Truex Jr. (431). They are followed by Brad Keselowski (408).


·         Seven drivers currently have qualified for the 16-driver field of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.  The list consists of Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., each of whom has won at least one race this season. The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship finale on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES



·         Kyle Busch won the 15th annual North Carolina Education Lottery 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday night. It is Busch’s 48th victory in 136 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, his second of the year and second in as many weeks.

·         It is his seventh victory and tenth top-10 finish in 11 career Truck Series races at Charlotte.  Busch also won both Stage 1 and Stage 2 of Friday’s race.

·         For Busch, it was his 173rd combined national series win of his career (MENCS 38, XFINITY 87, Trucks 48), the second-most in NASCAR history, trailing only Richard Petty’s 200 victories (all MENCS).

·         Johnny Sauter (second) accounted for his fourth top-10 finish in five races this year, all of which have been in the top-3, including three second-place finishes.


·         Christopher Bell (third) posted his second top-10 finish in as many Truck Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  He has now finished in the top-10 in all five races this year, four of which have resulted in a top-5 showing.

·         Grant Enfinger (seventh) was the highest finishing rookie. 

·         With one win apiece this year, rookie Kaz Grala and Christopher Bell have qualified for the 8-driver playoff field in the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs.  The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 200 Camping World Truck Series championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, November 17.

·         Johnny Sauter (242) leads the points standings by 15 points over Christopher Bell (227).

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES


·         The NASCAR XFINITY Series was off this weekend.  They will resume action on Saturday, May 27 with the Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

RACE RECAPS- KANSAS SPEEDWAY



MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES

Go Bowling 400
Kansas Speedway – Kansas City, Kansas
Saturday, May 13, 2017

Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.
Age: 36
Team: No. 78 – Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota
Owner: Furniture Row Racing
Crew Chief: Cole Pearn

IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER“It’s pretty awesome. Awesome day. Awesome weekend. This team rocks, man, they’re so good. We just stuck with it all night. We had an awesome race car. There’s times there we looked like we weren’t going to have a shot at it. We just kept fighting and made it happen.”

-- Martin Truex Jr.
----------------

·         Martin Truex Jr. won the 7th annual Go Bowling 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway Saturday night, his ninth victory in 416 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.  Of the nine, seven have come in the last three years (2015-17), including two this year.  It is his seventh top-10 finish and third top-5 in 11 races this year.

·         Truex joins Brad Keselowski (2) and Jimmie Johnson (2) as the only multiple winners this year.

·         It is Truex’s first win in 18 races at Kansas Speedway, where he has had six top-10 finishes.

·         Brad Keselowski (second) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 11 races this year. It is his eighth top-10 showing in 15 career Monster Energy Series starts at Kansas Speedway.

·         Kevin Harvick (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 11 races this year, tying his best showing of the year (at Bristol, 4/24).  It is his 12th top-10 finish in 23 career Monster Energy Series Races at Kansas Speedway.

·         Daniel Suarez (7th) was the highest finishing rookie Saturday.  His seventh-place showing ties for his best finish of the year, along with those at Phoenix (3/19) and at Auto Club (3/26).

·         For 2017, NASCAR has introduced a new stage format in all three national series where each race is segmented into three stages. In addition to the points awarded at the end of a race (Final Stage), points are also awarded to the top-10 finishers of the first two stages (Stage 1 & Stage 2).

·         Kyle Busch won Stage 1 of Saturday’s race while Ryan Blaney captured Stage 2.

·         Kyle Larson (475) leads the point standings by 44 points over Martin Truex Jr. (431).   They are followed by Brad Keselowski (408).

·         Seven drivers currently have qualified for the 16-driver field of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.  The list consists of Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., each of whom has won at least one race this season. The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship finale on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

·         Truex has made 12 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway and has amassed seven top-10 finishes, including a high of second in 2006.  He was part of the Championship 4 in the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2015, finishing 12th in the race. He also celebrated a pair of XFINITY Series championships at Homestead-Miami Speedway, in 2004 and 2005.


NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

·         Kyle Busch won the 17th annual Toyota Tundra 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway on Friday night. It is Busch’s 47th victory in 135 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, and his first this year.

·         It is his second victory and third top-10 finish in four career Truck Series races at Kansas Speedway.  Busch also won both Stage 1 and Stage 2 of Friday’s race.

·         Johnny Sauter (second) accounted for his sixth top-10 finish in nine Truck Series races at Kansas Speedway.  It is his third top-10 finish in four races this year, all of which have been in the top-3, including a pair of second-place finishes.

·         John Hunter Nemechek (third) posted his first top-10 finish in two Truck Series races at Kansas Speedway.  It is his second top-5 showing in four races this year and his highest finish.

·         Chase Briscoe (fifth) was the highest finishing rookie. 

·         With one win apiece this year, rookie Kaz Grala and Christopher Bell have qualified for the 8-driver playoff field in the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs.  The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 200 Camping World Truck Series championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, November 17.

·         Johnny Sauter (189) leads the points standings by two points over Christopher Bell (187).


NASCAR XFINITY SERIES

·         The NASCAR XFINITY Series was off this weekend.  They will resume action on Saturday, May 27 with the Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

In The Community: Driving for a Cause gives helping hand to Lauren's Kids


“What an amazing experience we had at Homestead-Miami Speedway while attending the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship race and watching Jimmie Johnson win! It was an extra-special treat!”

--Lauren’s Kids

An official 501(c)(3) since 2007, Lauren’s Kids is based in South Florida and educates adults and children about sexual abuse prevention through in-school curricula, awareness campaigns and speaking engagements around the country and the world. In 2016, Lauren’s Kids was one of six recipients of Homestead-Miami Speedway’s Driving for a Cause grant program, which focuses public attention and funding on South Florida youth and educational initiatives.


"The team at Homestead-Miami made us feel right at home and the excitement of the whole day was infectious. This was our first experience at the racetrack with Pit Passes and it was nothing short of wonderful. We never expected for the NASCAR pit crews to be so accessible and very friendly, and then to see the drivers come out and join their teams just before the race was fantastic! No wonder NASCAR fans are so wild about the sport! The teams and drivers were all very down to earth and very fan friendly. It was an honor to have been selected among the favorite charities and to have been awarded a grant by Homestead-Miami Speedway’s Driving for a Cause. We are so grateful to have been a part of the awards presentation with track president Matthew Becherer just before the race. It’s an experience not to be forgotten and we hope that we will have the opportunity to continue to work with the teams from Homestead-Miami Speedway and the NASCAR Foundation for many years to come. Thanks to the grant from Homestead-Miami Speedway we have been able to provide personal safety and abuse prevention curriculums as well as Guides to Hope & Healing in both English and Spanish to the folks from MUJER, which is located in Homestead-Miami. Thank you Homestead-Miami Speedway and the NASCAR Foundation for helping us in the fight to prevent childhood sexual abuse. We could not do what we do without the support of key partners such as you."


Q&A with Lauren’s Kids about their organization and how Homestead-Miami Speedway’s Driving for a Cause grant program has helped them:

  • When were you founded? 2007 – we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary this year!

  • What is/are your location(s)? Lauren’s Kids has offices in Aventura and Tallahassee, but our work impacts communities across the state, country and world.

  • What do you do as an organization? Lauren’s Kids works to prevent child sexual abuse and help survivors heal; we complete work in the areas of education, awareness and advocacy, armed with the knowledge that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be victims of child sexual abuse before their 18th birthday, but that 95% of this abuse is preventable through education and awareness. We have a personal safety curriculum – Safer, Smarter Schools – in more than 65,000 classrooms across Florida and beyond, and have created resources for families, law enforcement officers, community and youth-serving organizations, and more. We also host an annual 1,500-mile awareness walk, called the ‘Walk in My Shoes,’ each year. Our founder and CEO Lauren Book began this journey eight years ago, and it has become an annual awareness-raiser in communities across Florida, from the southernmost point in Key West to the steps of the Florida capitol in Tallahassee. We have also worked with lawmakers to advocate for the successful passage of nearly two dozen laws to protect children, keep predators at bay, and help survivors heal.

  • How has Driving for a Cause helped your organization? Driving for a Cause has helped Lauren’s Kids provide life-saving resources to Homestead-Miami Speedway’s local community of Homestead, Florida. Thanks to the funds granted, we’re able to partner with MUJER, a community aid and sexual assault treatment program, to provide the ‘Safer, Smarter Kids’ prevention education and personal safety curriculum program, as well as Spanish-language copies of our ‘Guide to Hope & Healing’, which helps provide guidance to families after a child’s disclosure of sexual abuse. We know we can prevent 95% of instances of sexual abuse through education and awareness, and that those who do fall victim can heal into thriving survivors with care, support, and trauma-informed counseling. Thanks to Driving for a Cause, we are able to bring these important resources to an underserved community, in the Speedway’s backyard.

  • What are your goals for 2017? 2017 is the 10th anniversary of the Lauren’s Kids foundation. We are proud to have been working to prevent abuse and help survivors heal for a decade, and will continue this life-saving work in 2017 by partnering with schools, law enforcement and youth-serving organizations. We hope to provide prevention and personal safety education to even more children, encouraging parents to bring these lessons home through our ‘Family Safety Plan’ generator (visit www.safersmarterfamilies.org to learn more!). We will also be completing our eighth annual ‘Walk in My Shoes’ 1,500 mile awareness walk across the state of Florida, and creating new resources related to human trafficking prevention and safety lessons for children with special needs.

  • What can you recommend to organizations applying for the grant program in 2017? The application process is clear and concise, get it done early and send it in. The team at Homestead-Miami is wonderful to work with and will be helpful should you have any questions. 

Homestead-Miami Speedway’s charitable outreach program, Driving for a Cause, is now accepting applications for financial gifts to be awarded to eligible 501(c) (3) charities as part of its 2017 grant program. Applications can be found at www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com/DrivingForACause.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

RACE RECAPS: TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY


MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES

GEICO 500
Talladega Superspeedway – Talladega, Alabama
Sunday, May 7, 2017
 
Race Winner: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Age: 29
Team: No. 17 – Fifth Third Bank Ford
Owner: Roush Fenway Racing
Crew Chief: Brian Pattie
 
IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER – “This is for all the guys at the shop.  We’ve been terrible for a long time.  This year, every race we’re getting better and better.  We knew that Talladega was a good race track for us.  It’s been a good one in the past and I’m just glad we parked it for my buddy, Bryan Clauson.  He was with us on that last lap.  This Fifth Third Bank Ford was so fast today – qualified on the pole and got the win.  I can’t say enough about the guys.  It’s cool to have Jack Roush back in Victory Lane, Ford Performance, Fastenal, Sunny D.  I’m gonna have a Sunny D in the morning, maybe a little later.  This is cool.  The closest race track to my hometown and the fans were out here this weekend.”
 
--  Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
----------------
 
·         Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the 48th annual GEICO 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday afternoon, the eighth different winner in 10 races this year. For Stenhouse, it is his first victory in 158 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.  It is his fifth top-10 finish and third top-5 in 10 races this year.
 
·         It is Stenhouse’s fifth top-10 finish and third top-5 in eight races at Talladega Superspeedway.  
 
·         Stenhouse is the first driver to win a race at Talladega starting from the pole since Jeff Gordon did it on April 29, 2007.  He also is the 11th driver in NASCAR history to notch his first career Monster Energy Series win at Talladega.
 
·         The win snapped a 101 race winless streak for owner Jack Roush.  Prior to today, Roush’s last win was secured by Carl Edwards on June 22, 2014 at Sonoma. 
 
·         Jamie McMurray (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish and first top-5 in 10 races this year.  It was his highest finish since he was second at Martinsville on November 1, 2015.  It is his ninth top-10 showing and eighth in the top-5 in 30 career Monster Energy Series starts at Talladega Superspeedway.
 
·         Kyle Busch (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish this year and his seventh top-10 in 24 races at Talladega Superspeedway.  It was his third top-5 of 2017.
 
·         Ty Dillon (12th) was the highest finishing rookie today.

·         For 2017, NASCAR has introduced a new stage format in all three national series where each race is segmented into three stages. In addition to the points awarded at the end of a race (Final Stage), points are also awarded to the top-10 finishers of the first two stages (Stage 1 & Stage 2).

·         Brad Keselowski won Stage 1 of today’s race, while Denny Hamlin captured Stage 2.
 
·         Kyle Larson (428) leads the point standings by 54 points over Martin Truex Jr. (374).   They are followed by Brad Keselowski (367) and Chase Elliott (353).

·         With today’s win, Stenhouse becomes the seventh driver to qualify for the 16-driver field of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.  The list also consists of Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson and Jimmie Johnson, each of whom has won at least one race this season. The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship finale on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
 
·         Stenhouse has made five career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway and has yet to finish in the top-10.  He celebrated XFINITY Series championships at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2011 and 2012.
 
 
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES

·         Aric Almirola won the 30th annual Sparks Energy 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday afternoon. It is Almirola’s third victory in 99 career NASCAR XFINITY Series races, and his first since July 1 of last year at Daytona.
 
·         It is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in five career XFINITY Series races at Talladega Superspeedway.  Almirola also won Stage 1 of Saturday’s race.
 
·         Elliott Sadler (second) accounted for his eighth top-10 finish in nine XFINITY Series races this year.  It is his sixth top-10 showing in nine XFINITY Series races at Talladega Superspeedway.

·         Joey Logano (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in eight XFINITY races at Talladega Superspeedway.
 
·         Matt Tifft (sixth) was the highest finishing rookie. 
 
·         Justin Allgaier captured Stage 2 of the race.
 
·         With one win apiece this year, Justin Allgaier and Ryan Reed have clinched spots in the 12-driver playoff field in the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs.  The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 300 XFINITY Series championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, November 18.

·         Elliott Sadler (330) leads the XFINITY Series points standings by 29 points over Justin Allgaier (301). They are followed by rookie William Byron (252), Darrell Wallace Jr. (235) and rookie Daniel Hemric (229).

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

·         The Camping World Truck Series was off this weekend.  They will resume action on Saturday, May 12 with the Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

RACE RECAPS- RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY


MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES

Toyota Owners 400
Richmond International Raceway – Richmond, Virginia
Sunday, April 30, 2017
 
Race Winner: Joey Logano
Age: 26
Team: No. 22 – Shell Pennzoil Ford
Owner: Team Penske
Crew Chief: Todd Gordon
 
IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER“Coming from the back, being the 300th start and pulling into victory lane, man, that feels good. I drove my guts out there. We ended up with the winning car, something I’m really proud of. It’s nice to finally break through to get a win.”
 
--  Joey Logano
----------------
 
·         Joey Logano won the 63rd annual Toyota Owners 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway Sunday afternoon. For Logano, it is his first victory of the year and his 18th win in 300 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.  Prior to today, the last time Logano won was on November 13, 2016 at Phoenix.
 
·         It is Logano’s second win in 17 starts at Richmond International Raceway.  His initial win there occurred on April 26, 2014.   
 
·         With the win Logano now has notched at least one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in six straight seasons.
 
·         Logano becomes the fifth driver in series history to win in his 300th career start, joining Denny Hamlin (Talladega, 2014), Kyle Busch (Texas, 2013), Kasey Kahne (Charlotte, 2012) and Rusty Wallace (Atlanta, 1993).
 
·         Brad Keselowski (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish and sixth in the top-5 in nine races this year. 
 
·         Denny Hamlin (third) posted his 13th top-10 finish in 22 career Monster Energy Series races at Richmond International Raceway.  It is his best finish of 2017 and his best showing since he also was third on October 30 of last year at Martinsville.
 
·         Daniel Suarez (12th) was the highest finishing rookie today.

·         For 2017, NASCAR has introduced a new stage format in all three national series where each race is segmented into three stages. In addition to the points awarded at the end of a race (Final Stage), points are also awarded to the top-10 finishers of the first two stages (Stage 1 & Stage 2).

·         Matt Kenseth won Stage 1 of today’s race, while Brad Keselowski captured Stage 2.
 
·         Kyle Larson (398) leads the point standings by 40 points over Martin Truex Jr. (358). They are followed by Chase Elliott (346), Joey Logano (333) and Brad Keselowski (327).

·         With today’s win, Logano becomes the seventh driver to qualify for the 16-driver field of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.  The list also consists of Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson and Jimmie Johnson, each of whom has won at least one race this season. The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship finale on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
 
·         In eight career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Joey Logano has posted three top-10 finishes, including two in the top-5.  He has been a part of the Championship 4 in the Ford EcoBoost 400 in both 2014 and 2016.
 
 
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES

·         Kyle Larson won the 30th annual ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday afternoon. It is Larson’s seventh victory in 96 career NASCAR XFINITY Series races, and his second of 2017 (at Auto Club, 3/25).
 
·         It is his first victory and third top-10 finish in five career XFINITY Series races at Richmond International Raceway. 
 
·         Justin Allgaier (second) accounted for his fourth top-10 finish and third top-5 in eight races this year.  Allgaier also won Stage 2 of Saturday’s race.

·         Daniel Hemric (third) was the highest finishing rookie. 
 
·         Austin Dillon captured Stage 1 of the race.
 
·         With one win apiece this year, Justin Allgaier and Ryan Reed have clinched spots in the 12-driver playoff field in the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs.  The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 300 XFINITY Series championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, November 18.

·         Elliott Sadler (295) leads the XFINITY Series points standings by 41 points over Justin Allgaier (254). They are followed by rookies William Byron (251) and Daniel Hemric (228).


NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

·         The Camping World Truck Series was off this weekend.  They will resume action on Saturday, May 12 with the Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway.

Monday, April 24, 2017

RACE RECAPS- BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY


MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES

Food City 500
Bristol Motor Speedway – Bristol, Tennessee
Monday, April 24, 2017

Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson
Age: 41
Team: No. 48 – Lowe’s Chevrolet
Owner: Hendrick Motorsports
Crew Chief: Chad Knaus

IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER – “It was kind of interesting because when the No. 42 (Kyle Larson) was there, it just created an environment to run the top and I wasn’t as good on the top. The No. 42, not being up there and that first couple of cars; the bottom was really where it was at for the short run. This Lowe’s Chevrolet was flying!

--  Jimmie Johnson
----------------

·         Jimmie Johnson won the 57th annual Food City 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway Monday afternoon. For Johnson, it is his 82nd victory in 551 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.  It is his second victory of 2017, and his second in as many races.

·         It is Johnson’s second win in 31 starts at Bristol Motor Speedway.  His initial win there occurred on March 21, 2010. Johnson has now amassed 18 top-10 finishes and 15 top-5s at Bristol.

·         It is Johnson’s 16th straight season with at least two wins.

·         Clint Bowyer (second) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 23 races at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his best finish at Bristol.  It is also his best showing overall since he finished second on April 27, 2013 at Richmond.

·         Kevin Harvick (third) posted his 16 top-10 finish in 33 career Monster Energy Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway.  It is his best finish of 2017 and he has now finished in the top-4 in the last two races.

·         Ty Dillon (15th) was the highest finishing rookie today.

·         For 2017, NASCAR has introduced a new stage format in all three national series where each race is segmented into three stages. In addition to the points awarded at the end of a race (Final Stage), points are also awarded to the top-10 finishers of the first two stages (Stage 1 & Stage 2).

·         Kyle Larson won Stage 1 of today’s race, while Martin Truex Jr. captured Stage 2.

·         Kyle Larson (360) leads the point standings by 27 points over Chase Elliott (333).   They are followed by Martin Truex Jr. (323) and Joey Logano (291).

·         Through eight races of the 26-race regular season, six drivers have qualified for the 16-driver field of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, a list consisting of Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson and Jimmie Johnson, each of whom has won at least one race this season. The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship finale on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

·         In 16 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Johnson has posted one win and 11 top-10 finishes, including five in the top-5.  He has celebrated all seven career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships at Homestead-Miami Speedway, most recently in 2016 when he took the checkered flag at the Ford EcoBoost 400.


NASCAR XFINITY SERIES

·         Erik Jones won the 35th annual Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon. It is Jones’ eighth victory in 64 career NASCAR XFINITY Series races, and his second in-a-row.

·         It is his second victory and fourth top-10 finish in five career XFINITY Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway. 

·         Ryan Blaney (second) accounted for his fourth top-10 finish in five career XFINITY Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway.  It is the second straight XFINITY Series race in which he has finished second.

·         Daniel Suarez (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in five career XFINITY Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway.

·         Kyle Larson won Stage 1 of Saturday’s race.

·         Daniel Hemric (fifth) was the highest finishing rookie.  He also captured Stage 2 of Saturday’s race.

·         Elliott Sadler (fourth) was the highest finishing XFINITY Series regular in Saturday’s race.

·         With one win apiece this year, Justin Allgaier and Ryan Reed have clinched spots in the 12-driver playoff field in the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs.  The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 300 XFINITY Series championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, November 18.

·         Elliott Sadler (260) leads the XFINITY Series points standings by 16 points over rookie William Byron (244), winner of the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. They are followed by Justin Allgaier (200), Ryan Reed (184), Bubba Wallace (180) and Daniel Hemric (180).


NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

·         The Camping World Truck Series was off this weekend.  They will resume action on Saturday, May 12 with the Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

RACE RECAPS- TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY



MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES

O’Reilly Auto Parts 500
Texas Motor Speedway – Ft. Worth, Texas
Sunday, April 9, 2017
 
Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson
Age: 41
Team: No. 48 – Lowe’s Chevrolet
Owner: Hendrick Motorsports
Crew Chief: Chad Knaus
 
IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER“I guess I remembered how to drive; and I guess this team remembered how to do it!  I’m just real proud of this team. What a tough track and tough conditions. We were really in our wheelhouse and we were just able to execute all day. Thanks to everybody at Lowe’s and Chevy and the fans and a ton of sponsors. Oh, it was hot in there. I got cooked in the car today. I didn’t have any fluids so I’m not feeling the best, but we got into Victory Lane. I’m so proud of the fight in this race team. I can’t wait to celebrate during this off-weekend with my family and friends and really enjoy this.”
 
--  Jimmie Johnson
----------------
 
·         Jimmie Johnson won the 21st annual O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon. For Johnson, it is his 81st victory in 550 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.  It is his first victory of 2017, and his initial victory since claiming the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway when he captured the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.
 
·         Johnson won today’s race starting from the rear of the field due to a tire change following qualifying.  He is the first driver to win a race starting from the rear since he did it in the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
 
·         It is Johnson’s seventh win in 28 starts at Texas Motor Speedway, as there are now four tracks at which Johnson has notched seven or more victories (Dover-10, Martinsville-9, Charlotte-8).   Johnson also has amassed 21 top-10 finishes and 15 top-5s at Texas.
 
·         It marks his 16th straight season with at least one win.
 
·         Kyle Larson (second) posted his third top-10 finish in eight races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his best finish at Texas.  It also marks his fifth top-5 finish in seven races this year.
 
·         Joey Logano (third) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 18 career Monster Energy Series races at Texas Motor Speedway.  It is his best finish of 2017 and he has now finished in the top-6 in six of the seven races this year.
 
·         Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished fifth today, his first top-5 showing since he finished second on June 6 of last year at Pocono.
 
·         Ty Dillon (17th) was the highest finishing rookie today.

·         For 2017, NASCAR has introduced a new stage format in all three national series where each race is segmented into three stages. In addition to the points awarded at the end of a race (Final Stage), points are also awarded to the top-10 finishers of the first two stages (Stage 1 & Stage 2).

·         Ryan Blaney won both Stage 1 and 2 of today’s race.
 
·         Kyle Larson (315) leads the point standings by 17 points over Chase Elliott (298).   They are followed by Martin Truex Jr. (275) and Brad Keselowski (274).

·         Through seven races of the 26-race regular season, six drivers have qualified for the 16-driver field of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, a list consisting of Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson and Jimmie Johnson, each of who has won at least one race this season. The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship finale on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
 
·         In 16 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Johnson has posted one win and 11 top-10 finishes, including five in the top-5.  He has celebrated all seven of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships at Homestead-Miami Speedway, most recently in 2016 when he took the checkered flag at the Ford EcoBoost 400.
 
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES

·         Erik Jones won the 21st annual My Bariatrics Solutions 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon. It is Jones’ seventh victory in 63 career NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
 
·         It is his second victory and fifth top-10 finish in five career XFINITY Series races at Texas Motor Speedway.  Jones also captured Stage 1 of the race.
 
·         Rookie William Byron took Stage 2 of the race.
 
·         Ryan Blaney (second) accounted for his fourth top-10 finish in as many XFINITY Series races at Texas Motor Speedway.

·         Kevin Harvick (third) posted his 17th top-10 finish in 20 career XFINITY Series races at Texas Motor Speedway.

·         Cole Custer (fifth) was the highest finishing rookie as well as the highest finishing XFINITY Series regular.
 
·         With one win apiece this year, Justin Allgaier and Ryan Reed have clinched spots in the 12-driver playoff field in the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs.  The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 300 XFINITY Series championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, November 18.

·         Elliott Sadler (225) leads the XFINITY Series points standings by six points over rookie William Byron (219), winner of the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. They are followed by Ryan Reed (183), Bubba Wallace (176) and Justin Allgaier (174).

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

·         The Camping World Truck Series was off this weekend.  They will resume action on Saturday, May 12 with the Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway.