Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Tracking the Trucks · Beth Lunkenheimer · Thursday August 23, 2012
In a Nutshell: Timothy Peters trounced the field and took the checkered flag 0.465 seconds ahead of teammate Parker Kligerman to win with UNOH 200 Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. Peters took the lead before completing the first lap and never relinquished the top spot all night long. Ross Chastain, Joey Coulter and Brendan Gaughan rounded out the top 5.
Who Should Have Won: Timothy Peters. What more is there to say really? Despite several attempts by his competitors, Peters’ No. 17 Toyota was unbeatable Wednesday night. Add in that he and his crew were flawless on every visit to pit road and there’s no reason to believe anyone else should have won the race.
Questions You Should Be Asking After the Race:
1. How did Ryan Blaney fare in his Truck Series debut?
Just under four months removed from his Nationwide debut at Richmond where he finished a solid seventh, Ryan Blaney made his Truck Series debut behind the wheel of the No. 19 Cooper Standard Dodge. After qualifying fifth, Blaney dropped outside of the top 10 pretty quickly at the beginning. But under the first caution, crew chief Doug Randolph made a major wedge adjustment to go with the usual four tires and fuel. A second stop with just over 50 laps remaining cost the driver of the No. 19 Dodge considerable track position, but the four fresh tires allowed him to work his way through the field to a sixth-place finish.
“Tonight was a good run in our Cooper Standard RAM. We just needed track position and some breaks to go our way,” Blaney said. “Overall, it was a great start, and I’m excited to be involved with this team and series. I’m looking forward to getting back to work with BKR in Atlanta next weekend.”
Much like his Nationwide debut, Blaney impressed once again. While he was never really in the mix for a trip to victory lane—and for that matter, no other driver could have touched Timothy Peters—Blaney did manage to communicate the changes needed to his truck, and as a result, he snagged a top-10 finish in his first time out. Plenty sang the praises of the 19-year-old following his Nationwide debut at Richmond, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he excelled once again. Blaney is definitely a driver worth keeping an eye on as the season winds down.
2. Should NASCAR have thrown the caution when Ty Dillon stopped on the track?
In last week’s Tracking the Trucks, I took NASCAR to task for being too quick to throw the yellow flag, but this week it was the opposite. When the field came back around to take the green flag for the final time Wednesday night, Brad Keselowski and Ty Dillon both ran out of fuel. And while Keselowski knew in enough time to make it safely to pit road, Dillon wasn’t so lucky, causing the rest of the field to scramble around him.
Had that been the end of it and he’d managed to make it to pit road, there wouldn’t have been an issue, but the 20-year-old stopped on the track near the start / finish line and sat there as the field raced by him to the white and then checkered flag.
My problem comes in NASCAR allowing Dillon’s disabled truck to sit stalled on the racing surface—though out of the racing groove—while the field raced by him not once, but twice. There’s absolutely no reason the race should have stayed green at that point. After all, didn’t the sanctioning body prohibit racing back to the yellow when a caution comes out in the name of driver safety if they’re sitting idle on the track?
Thankfully, it wasn’t an issue, however as everyone made it by without an incident; however, Cale Gale’s hard wreck earlier in the race happened in nearly the same spot the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet sat. What if one of the trucks had lost the handling and spun out? Of course Twitter blew up following the checkered flag with opinions on which decision NASCAR should have made, and while there were some people supporting the sanctioning body’s non-call, most were appalled and shocked the yellow failed to fly over the field.
One of the Twitter opinions came from Darrell Waltrip, who said “you can’t race in the ‘what if’ world.” And while you his statement is in fact true, with the recent Cup Series issues with oil on the track at Watkins Glen and Mark Martin’s scary crash at Michigan last weekend, it’s simply impossible to not race in a “‘what if’ world” when you have to be prepared for the worst—even if it seems unlikely.
In the end, it’s NASCAR’s responsibility to ensure the safety of the competitors on the track to the best of their ability and they failed to do so.
Truck Rookie Report
No. of Rookies in the Race: 12 (add Tyler Young, Russ Dugger, Jake Crum, Jeff Agnew and a debuting Ryan Blaney)
No. of Rookies to Finish in the Top 10: 1; Ross Chastain, finished third
Rookie of the Race: Ross Chastain
“That was awesome—this is Bristol baby and they knew we were here. They saw the watermelon truck. Couldn’t pick any better people to get to finish behind than the Red Horse guys—they’ve got an awesome team and an awesome program. Our SS Greenlight Melon 1 Toyota Tundra was here. I can’t say enough for Melon 1 and all the trucks out there hauling watermelons across the country with 15 million watermelons annually going out to customers and consumers. We’re here in Bristol and we came out with third place—I can’t believe it. Ross Chastain
“It’s really disappointing to have such a fast Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet and run out of fuel at the end of the race. I thought we could have contended for the win there at the end, but when the green flag waved and I hit the gas, there wasn’t anything there. I hate it for these guys. They worked really hard all day.” Ty Dillon, finished 21st
“We had a good Zaxby’s Toyota Tundra in practice. It’s a frustrating finish because we were so good here in the heat of the day, even a bit tight. I was really surprised by how much the truck freed up at night and it got us into a bad position. I was stuck where I was. Fortunately, we came out in one piece and it will be something to build on and apply this experience to the Nationwide Series race Friday night. I am really proud of my RAB Racing team. They do a great job bringing quality trucks to the track every weekend and I look forward to racing at my home track of Atlanta next weekend.” Jon Wes Townley, finished 24th
“[Wednesday] was a wild day. I’m so proud of my Rheem team for all their hard work and getting the pole; but I’m so disappointed in how everything ended. We’ve had such great trucks from Eddie Sharp Racing all season, but it just seems like we haven’t had any luck. I can’t thank Jerry (Baxter, Crew Chief) and the guys enough for all their hard work and standing by me all season; we had a strong truck and we were definitely coming for a top-5 finish. I feel like our team has really bonded and that we’re on the right track. Hopefully we’ll be able to carry the momentum of the pole award and strong run into the race at Atlanta next week.” Joey Coulter, finished 28th
Worth Noting / Points Shuffle:
All eyes were on the Truck Series Wednesday night as they were the first to run Goodyear tires on the newly configured track. But the catch was that there was little change to the racing despite shaving a couple of degrees off of the top side of the track. Sure, the top lane was quite slick, however there were times when drivers had no troubles running three wide. In the end, unless something changes with the Nationwide and Cup Series races over the weekend, I’d say it was a waste of money. But that’s not to say the race was bad—no it wasn’t a wreckfest, but there was constant side-by-side racing despite Peters’ trouncing of the field.
Team orders just plain don’t belong in NASCAR. As the field lined up for a green-white-checkered finish, Timothy Peters’ crew chief Butch Hylton radioed to tell his driver, “They’ve talked to Parker and he’s going to help you here.” Huh? I don’t have a problem with teammates working together on track, but when it comes down to the final laps of the race, it’s every man for himself. Granted, Peters likely would have won based on the speed his No. 17 Toyota showed all night, but there’s no reason for one driver to give way to another on his team, especially when it comes to a shot at victory lane.
Timothy Peters maintains his stronghold on the standings, now holding a 17-point lead over James Buescher, who moved up a spot. Ty Dillon, who dropped to third as a result of running out of fuel on the green-white-checkered finish, sits 25 markers back. Justin Lofton and Parker Kligerman find themselves in a tie for fourth and round out the top 5.
Matt Crafton remains sixth followed by Joey Coulter in seventh. Ron Hornaday, Jr. capitalized on Nelson Piquet, Jr.‘s late-race struggled and moved up one spot to eighth. Jason White rounds out the top 10.
“It’s an awesome feeling to go out there and lead every lap like that. These races are so hard to win anyway, and to do it in that fashion is just unbelievable. This win is a great birthday present to our owner Tom DeLoach, who gave me an awesome opportunity back in 2009 to drive for this team and the sky has been the limit ever since.” Timothy Peters
“We did everything we could to get rid of track position there at the beginning—or at least I did. I stalled it coming out of pit road and we had driven all the way up to fifth or fourth there on that first run. We had a great stop and I messed up. None of these guys quit here on this No. 7 Red Horse team. I’m just proud of them and proud to get a one-two (finish) for Tom DeLoach (team owner) on his birthday. Man, I wish I had a better restart there. I think we would look better up there in victory lane. The entire organization is one whole team. They promised me I’d have the best equipment they could put together and it showed at Michigan and again here tonight. To come out of Bristol in second with a chance to win just makes me that much more excited and ready for Atlanta.” Parker Kligerman
“The guys on the No. 22 team work hard each and every weekend, and I couldn’t be more proud of their effort [Wednesday night] with the Steak-Umm Chevrolet. It’s finishes like these that are going to keep us in contention for the championship.” Joey Coulter, finished fourth
“This was a great finish for the South Point Hotel & Casino team tonight. We started out with a really loose truck and went a little too far with our adjustment, and I had to fight a tight handling truck during the second half of the race. I’m really proud of the whole RCR organization and the great equipment they bring to the track each week; it’s such an honor to be a part of this team.” Brendan Gaughan, finished fifth
“Timothy (Peters) drove his guts out [Wednesday night]. He was absolutely flawless on restarts and that really sealed the deal for us. I know how hard he’s worked on that and on improving on everything this year. He’s really done his homework and we’ve really started to come into our own as an organization. I just feel blessed to have a race like that and work for a team like this.” Butch Hylton, winning crew chief
Up Next: The Camping World Truck Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway next Friday for the Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200. The race will be broadcast live on SPEED beginning at 7:30 PM EDT; it can also be heard on your local MRN affiliate or SiriusXM Channel 90.
Connect with Beth!
©2000 - 2008 Beth Lunkenheimer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!