Sunday, June 25, 2017

RACE RECAPS- SONOMA RACEWAY AND IOWA SPEEDWAY


MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
 
Toyota/Save Mart 350
Sonoma Raceway – Sonoma, Calif.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
 
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick
Age: 41
Team: No. 4 – Mobile 1 Ford
Owner: Stewart-Haas Racing
Crew Chief: Rodney Childers
IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER“It’s been a lot of work.  A lot of guys have put in a lot of hours and it paid off. I feel like we have a lot of room to grow. For us, it’s been ok. We’ve been competitive. We just haven’t got to Victory Lane. We’ve had a couple opportunities to get there, but just came up a little short.  This is worth the wait, to come to Sonoma for so many years and to win yesterday, coming back to the K&N Series (won on Saturday at Sonoma) and then come back here today, just proud of everybody."
--  Kevin Harvick
----------------
 
·         Kevin Harvick won the 29th annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sunday at Sonoma Raceway.  It is Harvick’s 36th win in 590 career MENCS races and his first this year.  He became the 11th different winner this year and the 10th driver to punch his ticket into the 2017 MENCS playoffs, which commences in Chicago on September 17 and culminates with the Ford EcoBoost 400 Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19.
 
·         It is Harvick’s first win in the last 21 races.  Prior to today his last win came on October 16 of last year at Kansas.  It is his 10th top-10 finish in 16 races this year and his sixth in the top-5.
 
·         It is Harvick’s first win in 17 career starts at Sonoma Raceway.
 
·         Today’s race set new series records at Sonoma for lead changes (13) and leaders (10).  The previous records were 12 (3 times, most recent in 2016) and nine (4 times, most recent in 2014), respectively.
 
·         Clint Bowyer (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 16 races this year, three of which have been in the top-5.  It tied for his best finish of the year as he was also second at Bristol on April 24.  It was his ninth top-10 finish in 12 career MENCS races at Sonoma.
 
·         Brad Keselowski (third) posted his 11th top-10 finish and ninth top-5 showing in 16 MENCS races this year.
 
·         Daniel Suarez (16th) was the highest finishing rookie.
 
·         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).
 
·         Martin Truex Jr. won Stage 1 of Sunday’s race, while Jimmie Johnson captured Stage 2.
 
·         Kyle Larson (659) leads the 2017 point standings by 13 points over Martin Truex Jr. (646). They are followed by Kevin Harvick (548) and Kyle Busch (542).
 
·         Ten 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, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon, Ryan Blaney and Kevin Harvick, 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.
 
·         Kevin Harvick has taken the checkered flag once in 16 MENCS starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway. That occurred in the 2014 Ford EcoBoost 400, as he earned the only Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship of his career.
 
 
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
 
·         Rookie William Byron won the 7th annual American Ethanol E15 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday night. It is Byron’s first victory in 14 career XFINITY Series races. 
 
·         He became the third driver to lock up a spot in the 12-driver field of the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series playoffs, which culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 300 championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18.
 
·         It is Byron’s eighth top-10 finish and fourth top-5 showing in 14 XFINITY races this year.  It is his first win in any series since he captured the Ford EcoBoost 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2016.
 
·         Byron became the youngest XFINITY Series winner at Iowa Speedway at the age of 19 years, 6 months and 26 days.  The previous record was set in Erik Jones’ win last season at 20 years, 2 months and 0 days.
 
·         Ryan Sieg (second) posted his first top-10 finish in 14 XFINITY races this year.  His second-place showing marked his best in 117 career XFINITY races, surpassing a pair of third-place finishes.
 
·         Tyler Reddick (third) accounted for his second top-10 finish in seven XFINITY races this year.  It was his best finish in seven career XFINITY races.
 
·         Ross Chastain (fourth) of Alva, Fla., posted his best showing in 87 career XFINITY Series races, surpassing a ninth-place finish at Daytona on February 21, 2015.
 
·         Christopher Bell won Stage 1 of Saturday’s race, while Brendan Gaughan captured Stage 2.
 
·         With one win apiece this year, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Reed and William Byron 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 (502) leads the XFINITY Series points standings by 25 points over Justin Allgaier (477). They are followed by rookie William Byron (445).
 
 
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
 
·         John Hunter Nemechek won the 9th annual M&M’s 200 Presented by Casey’s General Store NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Friday night at Iowa Speedway.  It marked his fifth victory in 62 career Truck Series starts, his second win in nine starts this year and his second victory in-a-row.
 
·         Nemechek joins Christopher Bell (2 wins) as the only multiple winners in the Camping World Truck Series this year.
 
·         It was Nemechek’s fourth top-5 showing in nine races this year.
 
·         Johnny Sauter (second) posted his eighth top-10 finish and seventh top-5 showing in nine races this year.  Sauter also secured Stage 2 of the race.
 
·         Brandon Jones (third) posted his second top-10 finish in three Truck Series races this year, while it marked his best showing of the year.
 
·         Grant Enfinger (fourth) was the highest finishing rookie.
 
·         Christopher Bell won Stage 1 of Friday’s race.
 
·         Christopher Bell (2 wins), rookie Kaz Grala (1 win), Johnny Sauter (1 win) and John Hunter Nemechek (2 wins) all have qualified for the 8-driver 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 (433) leads the points standings by 42 points over Christopher Bell (391).  Rookie Chase Briscoe has compiled 357.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

RACE RECAPS- MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY AND GATEWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK


MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
 
FIREKEEPERS CASINO 400
Michigan International Speedway– Brooklyn, Michigan
Sunday, June 18, 2017
 
Race Winner: Kyle Larson
Age: 24
Team: No. 42 – Cars 3/Target Chevrolet
Owner: Chip Ganassi Racing
Crew Chief: Chad Johnston
 
IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER"What a great Father’s Day present for myself and all the other fathers out there. My dad is here today, too. So, I’m looking forward to celebrating with him. We’ve been so close to so many other wins. This is our second Cup win of the year, but we’ve had six second place finishes. All-in-all, it’s a good season so far and we’ll continue to keep building on what we’ve got.”
 
--  Kyle Larson
----------------
 
·         Kyle Larson won the 49th annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. It is his third victory in 127 NASCAR MENCS races.
 
·         It is Larson’s second victory and 10th top-10 finish in 2017. He joins Jimmie Johnson (3), Brad Keselowski (2) and Martin Truex Jr. (2) as the only drivers to win multiple races in 2017.
 
·         With his first place showing, Larson has accumulated seven top-2 finishes through the first 15 races of the season. 
 
·         It is Larson’s second victory and fourth top-10 finish in eight races at Michigan International Speedway. He won the Pure Michigan 400 in August of 2016 – his first career win in the MENCS.
 
·         The win is the 14th MENCS victory for Chip Ganassi Racing.
 
·         Chase Elliott (second) posted his third top-10 finish in four races at Michigan International Speedway. It is his ninth top-10 finish in 2017.
 
·         Joey Logano (third) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 18 races at Michigan International Speedway. It is his ninth top-10 finish this year.
 
·         Erik Jones (13th) was the highest finishing rookie.
 
·         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).
 
·         Martin Truex Jr. (sixth) captured the green-white-checkered flag in Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the FireKeepers Casino 400.
 
·         Kyle Larson (640) leads the 2017 MENCS point standings by five points over Martin Truex JR. (635). They are followed by Kyle Busch (510).
 
·         Nine 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, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon and Ryan Blaney, 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 four career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Larson has posted two top-5 finishes. His best finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway occurred in the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 400 when he finished second.
 
 
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
 
·         Denny Hamlin won the 26th annual Irish Hills 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Michigan International on Saturday afternoon. It is Hamlin’s 16th victory in 158 career XFINITY Series races. 
 
·         He edged rookie William Byron by .012 seconds, the closest finish ever in an XFINITY Series at Michigan International Speedway since the advent of electronic scoring.
 
·         It also tied for the sixth-closest finish ever in a NASCAR XFINITY Series race since electronic timing was instituted, along with the race at Montreal on August 29, 2010 when Boris Said edged Marcos Ambrose by that same margin.
 
·         For Byron, it was his seventh top-10 and third top-5 in 13 XFINITY races this year.  It marked his top finish this year with his previous high being a fourth-place showing (at Phoenix, 3/18).
 
·         Elliott Sadler (third) posted his 11th top-10 finish and sixth top-5 in 13 XFINITY races this year.  It was his second-best showing this year, behind only his second-place finish at Talladega on May 6.  Sadler also captured Stage 2 of the race.
 
·         Brad Keselowski claimed Stage 1.
 
·         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 (460) leads the XFINITY Series points standings by 21 points over Justin Allgaier (439). They are followed by rookie William Byron (388).
 
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
 
·         John Hunter Nemechek won the 4th annual Drivin’ for Linemen 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday night at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill.  It marked his fourth victory in 61 career Truck Series starts, and his first win in eight starts this year.
 
·         With the win, Nemechek clinches a spot in the 8-driver field for the 2017 Camping World Truck Series playoffs, which concludes with the Ford EcoBoost 200 championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, November 17.  He is the fourth driver to do that this year in the Truck Series.
 
·         It was Nemechek’s third top-5 showing in eight races this year.
 
·         Rookie Chase Briscoe (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish of 2017 and marked the second week in-a-row he finished second.
 
·         Johnny Sauter (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish and sixth top-5 showing in eight races this year.
 
·         Christopher Bell (2 wins), rookie Kaz Grala (1 win), Johnny Sauter (1 win) and John Hunter Nemechek (1 win) all have qualified for the 8-driver 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 (380) leads the points standings by 38 points over Christopher Bell (342).  Matt Crafton has compiled 319 while Chase Briscoe has tallied 311.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

RACE RECAPS- POCONO RACEWAY AND TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY




MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
Pocono 400

Pocono Raceway – Long Pond, Pa.
Sunday, June 11, 2017

Race Winner: Ryan Blaney

Age: 23
Team: No. 21 – Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford
Owner: Wood Brothers Racing
Crew Chief: Jeremy Bullins

IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER"I can’t believe it.  It's a hard one to process. First, we had to pass Kyle (Busch), he was older tires and he was struggling on older tires.  Then, we had to hold Kevin (Harvick) off. He was really fast all day. I just didn't want to make a mistake - that would have been the worst thing to do. I have to thank him for racing me really clean.  It's the Wood Brothers' 99th win and that's really special and it was a lot of fun."

--  Ryan Blaney

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

·         Ryan Blaney won the 36th annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) Pocono 400 Sunday at Pocono Raceway.  It is Blaney’s first win in 68 career MENCS races.  It was his fifth top-10 finish in 14 races this year.  In the process, he became the 10th different winner this year and the ninth driver to punch his ticket into the 2017 MENCS playoffs, which commences in Chicago on September 17 and culminates with the Ford EcoBoost 400 Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19.
·         It marked the third time in 2017 that a driver has notched his first career MENCS victory, as Blaney joins Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Talladega) and Austin Dillon (Charlotte).
·         It is Blaney’s second top-10 finish in three races at Pocono Raceway.
·         Prior to today, Blaney’s best MENCS showing was a second-place finish in the 2017 Daytona 500.
·         Blaney becomes the 19th driver to win a race for Wood Brothers Racing, an organization that now has compiled 99 MENCS victories.  It is their first win since Trevor Bayne won the 2011 Daytona 500.
·         Kevin Harvick (second) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 14 races this year, five of which have been in the top-5.  It marked his 14th top-10 and ninth top-5 in 33 career starts at Pocono, and tied a career-best at the track which he had achieved twice previously.
·         Rookie Erik Jones finished third in his first career MENCS race at Pocono Raceway. It was his best finish in 17 career starts, with his previous best being a seventh-place showing two weeks ago at Charlotte.


·         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 Sunday’s race, while Kyle Larson captured Stage 2.
·         Martin Truex Jr. (584) leads the 2017 point standings by one point over Kyle Larson (583).   They are followed by Kevin Harvick (480).


·         Nine 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, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon and Ryan Blaney, 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.
·         Ryan Blaney has started twice in the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and has a best finish of 17th in 2015.

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES

·         Brad Keselowski won the 2nd annual Pocono Green 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Pocono Raceway on Saturday. It is Keselowski’s 35th victory in 245 career XFINITY Series races.  It is his first win and fifth top-10 finish in as many XFINITY Series races this year.


·         Keselowski also captured Stage 1 and 2 of the race.
·         Justin Allgaier (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 12 XFINITY races this year.  It was the fourth time this year he had a top-5 showing.
·         Kyle Larson (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in as many XFINITY races this year. It marked his sixth time in the top-5.
·         Cole Custer (seventh) was the highest finishing rookie.
·         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.


·         Justin Allgaier (409) leads the XFINITY Series points standings by one point over Elliott Sadler (408). They are followed by rookie William Byron (347).

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

·         Christopher Bell won the 21st annual winstaronlinegaming.com 400 Camping World Truck Series race Friday evening at Texas Motor Speedway.  It marked his fourth victory in 37 career Truck Series starts.
·         It was Bell’s second victory and sixth top-10 finish in seven races this year.  He also won Stage 2 of the race.
·         Johnny Sauter took Stage 1 of the race.
·         Rookie Chase Briscoe (second) posted his third top-10 finish of 2017.
·         Rookie Grant Enfinger was third as he finished in the top-10 for the fourth time in seven races this year.
·         Christopher Bell (2 wins), rookie Kaz Grala (1 win) and Johnny Sauter (1 win) all have qualified for the 8-driver 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 (338) leads the points standings by 40 points over Christopher Bell (298).

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. To Make Monster Energy Series Debut This Weekend

Bubba Wallace at a Homestead-Miami Speedway event in Ft. Myers last year.

This Sunday, Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. will be making his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut, at Pocono Raceway. When Bubba gets behind the wheel of the No. 43 car - made famous by Richard Petty - it will be the first time since 2006 that a Black driver competes in the Monster Energy Series. 

The 23-year-old is a graduate of NASCAR's Driver for Diversity program and a member of the inaugural NASCAR Next class (2011). Wallace collected his first career win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2013, becoming the first Black driver to win a NASCAR national series race since Wendell Scott in 1963. 


Bubba will pilot the No. 43 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports, while Aric Almirola recovers from injuries sustained at Kansas Speedway in May.



Below are excerpts from a teleconference session conducted by Bubba Wallace with the Media on Tuesday:



Q: What are your thoughts going into this weekend, your first start in the Cup series?



A: "This has been a pretty big couple of days for me.  It's an exciting opportunity not only for myself but my family, first of all, my fans, everybody that's helped me get to this level ever since I started racing when I was nine years old and had dreams of running in a Cup race, making my name present in the sport.  So this is the perfect opportunity.  So I'm very thankful for that.  I guess we'll just get this thing started.”



Q: If you look back to 2010, getting your start with Rev Racing (NASCAR Drive for Diversity program race team), does that seem like an eternity ago in some ways?  How influential were they in getting you this shot?  Would you have had that shot without them? 



A: Yeah, looking back, that's seven years ago.  I guess for me, it still doesn't seem too far away.  If you start breaking it down year by year, race by race, that was a really long time ago. That was a great opportunity that presented itself when we signed on with Joe Gibbs Racing, joined on with Rev Racing at the same time to compete in the Diversity Program, K&N Pro Series East. With that success came my career where it is now.  So definitely without that on‑ and off‑track success we had in those two years, I don't know if I'd be here today.  A lot of that credit goes to those guys over there.”



Q: Do you think your racing Cup will encourage more black youth with racing talent to pursue a career as a racecar driver?



A: “I think so.  I mean, this is a huge step for NASCAR, the whole sport in general, for bringing diversity to its top‑tier level of NASCAR.  I'm glad to be leading the forefront of that right now.  It just shows that we're trying to bring in a new demographic.  We're trying to bring in a new face, get a younger generation, no matter what color, what age.  We're trying to get everybody involved to bring NASCAR back.  It's been a fun journey.  But we'll see what happens after we get through Pocono.” 


Q: How quickly can you merge into the No. 43 team?  What will you have to do?  Then talk about what you put in emotionally, everything you've done to try to get to this stage, because there's been a lot.


A: “Yeah, one thing that's helped out is Drew (Blickensderfer), I talked about earlier, the crew chief for the 43 car.  He was actually doing some races last year at Roush on that third car we ran sometimes.  He kind of has somewhat of a feel for what I like, just looking at setup notes, listening to our driver feedback, our meetings.  So that kind of helps out for sure. Like I said, I was in the shop yesterday.  Sat in the seat, sat in the car, got comfortable, met some of the guys that I will be racing together with the next couple weeks. This is a fast‑paced sport.  You got to get acclimated really quick, get used to everything.  I think the biggest thing is focusing in on Pocono, making sure we can get or I can get all that I can out of the car, making the most of the weekend.”



Q: Talk about what you've been through trying to get to this stage, to where you're at right now. 



A: “Yeah, I've been through, what's this, 14, 15 years of racing.  A lot of ups-and-downs.  Always say there's more downs than ups.  That's what makes you stronger, keeps you hungry for coming back for more.  It's been a lot of blood, sweat and tears from not only myself but everybody that's helped me out along the way.  Definitely, a lot of family sacrifices to get me here. It's been a fun journey.  Everybody has a different story of how they got to their ultimate level.  It's always cool in a couple years to look back on it and see how far we've come.”



Q: What do you need to do to go out there and prove it?  People have seen what you've done in XFINITY and Truck.  What do you feel like you need to do within the next 10 weeks to prove you belong in a ride with somebody else down the road?



A: "I'm getting this opportunity because people believe in me and seen my talents coming up.  I have to go out there, just back that up, show them I can manage and perform, and I belong in the series.”



Q: You couldn't possibly be making your start in a more iconic car.  How cool does that feel, the 43, racing that car in the Cup Series?



A: “Yeah, that's huge.  It's funny, (Ryan) Blaney texted me this morning, actually woke me up this morning, he wants a picture this weekend.  I was like okay.  He was like, ‘We're driving the two most iconic cars in the sport this weekend.’  We definitely have to capitalize on that.  That's huge.  That's awesome for me to get my first start driving the No. 43 for Richard Petty and everybody at RPM.  Then the other side of it is the first African American since 2006.  That's a lot of history behind it. I've always said dealing with that, I like to let the results speak for itself, let the results come in, let the history fall in behind that, not focus on the big spotlight, the African American side, the iconic number.  Let all that funnel in after we have our good runs, get out there on the racetrack and show everybody we can do it.”



Q: I was on the phone this morning with Frankie Scott, Wendell Scott Sr.'s son (Wendell Scott is the first Black driver to win a race in NASCAR's top racing series).  Have you had an opportunity to talk with anyone with the Scott family since this was announced?



A: “Actually Junior called me last night, Wendell Scott Jr. called me last night.  He was so pumped up.  He said he was helping me drive the car this past weekend at Dover.  He said that was our race, for sure.  He was pumped up about this past weekend, obviously this opportunity.  He kept it short and sweet. So that's huge when you still have that connection with the family, continue to carry on a legacy that their father laid.”



Q: How much pressure do you feel there is to perform right away?  Are you just going in there knowing what you're capable of doing and just do your job to the best of your ability? 



A: “Before I would try to go out there and try to set the world on fire, and we would not get the result we needed. Getting to talk to the Cup veterans, Jimmie Johnson, get to talk with (Kevin) Harvick tonight, Jeff Gordon texted me, getting to lean on those guys a little bit, knowing that the opportunity is here.  Just go out there, like you said, do the best that I can, make sure we get the best finish.  If we show up and we're a 15th‑place car, make sure we run 15th all day, hopefully capitalize on 13th and 14th in the closing laps.  If we're a 25th‑place car, make sure I do everything I can to capitalize on 25th.  It is all about how the weekend sets itself up.  Stay on that path, no need to venture out, put ourselves in a bad spot.”



Sunday, June 4, 2017

RACE RECAPS- DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY



MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
 
AAA 400
Dover International Speedway – Dover, Delaware
Sunday, June 4, 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 – “To be here and tie [Cale Yarborough] at 83 wins is amazing. We just got the tribute helmet. I wasn’t sure how quickly we’d be, or if we’d be able to go there, and get it done. But, Cale, you’re the man. Thank you for all you have done for our sport.”
 
--  Jimmie Johnson
----------------
 
·         Jimmie Johnson won the 48th annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway Sunday afternoon. It is Johnson’s 83rd victory in 556 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
 
·         With the win, Johnson ties Cale Yarborough for sixth place on the all-time wins list in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
 
·         It is Johnson’s third victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2017. It is also his 11th victory in 31 races at Dover International Speedway.
 
·         Johnson is the first driver this season to win three races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
 
·         It is the 15th time in Johnson’s 16-year career where he has amassed three or more wins.
 
·         Kyle Larson (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in seven races at Dover International Speedway. It is his eighth top-10 finish in 2017.
 
·         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).
 
·         Martin Truex Jr. (third) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 23 races at Dover International Speedway. Truex also captured Stage 1 & Stage 2 of Sunday’s race.
 
·         Daniel Suarez (sixth) was the highest finishing rookie.
 
·         Martin Truex Jr. (545) leads the 2017 point standings by nine points over Kyle Larson (536). They are followed by Kevin Harvick (429).
 
·         Eight 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, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Austin Dillon, 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
 
·         Kyle Larson won the 38th annual OneMain Financial 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Dover International Speedway on Saturday. It is Larson’s eighth victory in 97 career XFINITY Series races.  It is his third win and sixth top-10 finish in as many XFINITY Series races this year.
 
·         Larson also captured Stage 1 of the race, while Bubba Wallace claimed Stage 2.
 
·         Ryan Blaney (second) posted his sixth top-5 finish in as many XFINITY races this year, and comes one week after he won at Charlotte.
 
·         Daniel Suarez (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish and third top-5 showing in eight XFINITY races this year. 
 
·         Cole Custer (fourth) was the highest finishing rookie.
 
·         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 (375) leads the XFINITY Series points standings by 12 points over Justin Allgaier (363). They are followed by rookie William Byron (318).
 
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
 
·         Johnny Sauter won the 18th annual Bar Harbor 200 Presented by Sea Watch International Camping World Truck Series race Friday evening at Dover International Speedway.  It marked his 14th victory in 204 career Truck Series starts.
 
·         It was Sauter’s first win and fifth top-5 finish in six races this year.  With the win, Sauter, the 2016 Truck Series champion, became the third driver to qualify for the 8-driver Camping World Truck Series playoff field this year.
 
·         Rookie Kaz Grala (second) posted his third top-10 finish of 2017.
 
·         With one win apiece this year, rookie Kaz Grala, Christopher Bell and Johnny Sauter have qualified for the 8-driver 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 (291) leads the points standings by 52 points over Christopher Bell (239). 

Monday, May 29, 2017

RACE RECAPS- CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY





MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
 
Coca-Cola 600
Charlotte Motor Speedway – Concord, North Carolina
Sunday, May 28, 2017
 
Race Winner: Austin Dillon
Age: 27
Team: No. 3 – DOW Salutes Veterans Chevrolet
Owner: Richard Childress Racing
Crew Chief: Justin Alexander
 
IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER – “It feels awesome to all the supporters that have been behind us, the 3 car.  It feels amazing.  To those that don't, I feel sorry for them because I hope it just keeps going.  I hope this feels good to them, though.  It's pretty cool to see the 3, like my grandfather (owner Richard Childress) said, on top of the pylon tonight.”
 
--  Austin Dillon
----------------
 
·         Austin Dillon won the 58th annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 Sunday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  It is Dillon’s first win in 133 career MENCS races.  In the process, he became the eighth driver to punch his ticket into the 2017 MENCS playoffs, which commences in Chicago on September 17 and culminates with the Ford EcoBoost 400 Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19.
 
·         It is Dillon’s second top-10 finish of 2017 and his second top-10 in seven career MENCS races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
 
·         Dillon is the ninth different winner in 12 MENCS races this year.
 
·         A total of 10 drivers have posted their first career MENCS win at Charlotte: David Pearson (5/28/1961), Buddy Baker (10/15/1967), Charlie Glotzbach (10/20/1968), Jeff Gordon (5/29/1994), Bobby Labonte (5/28/1995), Matt Kenseth(5/28/2000), Jamie McMurray (10/13/2002), Casey Mears (5/27/2007), David Reutimann (5/25/2009) and Austin Dillon (05/28/2017). 
 
·         Kyle Busch (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 12 races this year, five of which have been in the top-5.
 
·         Martin Truex Jr. (third) compiled his eighth top-10 finish in 12 races this year, four of which have been in the top-5. 
 
·         Erik Jones (7th) was the highest finishing rookie Sunday. 
 
·         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).
 
·         The Coca-Cola 600 was expanded to a four-stage race.  Kyle Busch won Stage 1 of Sunday’s race, while Martin Truex Jr. captured Stage 2 and Denny Hamlin took Stage 3.
 
·         Martin Truex Jr. (491) leads the 2017 point standings by five points over Kyle Larson (486).   They are followed by Brad Keselowski (409).
 
·         Eight 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, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Austin Dillon, 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.
 
·         Austin Dillon has started three times in the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and has a best finish of 12th in 2016.
 
 
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
 
·         Ryan Blaney won the 36th annual Hisense 4K TV 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night. It is Blaney’s fifth victory in 56 career XFINITY Series races.  He also captured Stage 2 of the race.
 
·         It is his first win and third top-10 finish in five XFINITY Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
 
·         Ryan Blaney (05/27/2017) and his father, Dave Blaney (10/13/2006), become the first father-son combination to win a NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
 
·         A total of six father and son duos have won in the NASCAR XFINITY Series overall – Dave Blaney and Ryan Blaney, Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bill Elliott and Chase Elliott, Bobby Hamilton and Bobby Hamilton Jr., Terry Labonte and Justin Labonte, David Pearson and Larry Pearson.
 
·         Kevin Harvick (second) accounted for his 18th top-10 showing in 28 career XFINITY races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Harvick also won Stage 1 of the race.
 
·         Austin Dillon (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in nine career XFINITY Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 
 
·         Cole Custer (seventh) was the highest finishing rookie.
 
·         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 (332) leads the XFINITY Series points standings by six points over Justin Allgaier (326). They are followed by rookies William Byron (275) and  Daniel Hemric (253), while Darrell Wallace Jr. (249) rounds out the top-5.
 
 
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
 
·         The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series was off this weekend.  They will resume action on Friday, June 2 with the Bar Harbor 200 Presented by Sea Watch International at Dover International Speedway.