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
Tuesday March 4, 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.
Monday August 6, 2012
Lightner, Eliason end long victory droughts
by Nick Gima
George Dalbeck of Ironwood, MI, worked his way by Duane Dunbar after a restart and sailed off to a runaway win in the third annual “Midwest Mod Madness” main event during AmsOil Dirt Track Series action at the ABC Raceway on Saturday night.
In addition to Dalbeck’s impressive performance, Washburn’s Ross Lightner and Jim Eliason of Ashland ended long dry spells with feature wins, Randy Spacek of Phillips returned to Victory Lane for the first time since opening night, and Pat Beeksma of Ironwood continued his dominance at Ashland. A field of 79 racers came to play on the red-clay oval for the program presented by the NAPA Auto Parts stores of Ashland and Washburn.
In the 20-lap, $500-to-win WISSOTA Midwest modified headliner, Dunbar gained the early advantage from his pole-position starting spot, while Dalbeck, who started outside on the second row, quickly worked around rookies Paul Suzik and Cole Spacek into second. Neil Balduc’s ride suffered a flat tire after the first lap was scored to stop the show, but from then on the event ran without delay.
Dalbeck made his move on Dunbar with the drop of the green, working to the outside while Dunbar hugged the bottom groove, and within a lap Dalbeck had the lead. From then on it was just a matter of how much the defending track champ would win by, as he ran a smooth, steady line around the 3/8th-mile oval.
Behind the leader, however, Spacek, Alex Van Natta and Suzik stayed close behind Dunbar and frequently exchanged positions. Points leader Travis Nye joined the shuffle for top-five spots before mid-race, and Michael Truscott, who started 14th on the 16-car grid, gained significant ground during the middle stages of the run, clawing his way to fourth before his car gave up the fight and he pulled to the pits.
Dalbeck scored his division-best fourth feature checkers of the summer by a winning margin of over three-and-a-half seconds on Dunbar, who won a tooth-and-nail fight with Nye for runner-up money. Van Natta came home a distant fourth, while Spacek was impressive in completing the top five.
Dalbeck added to his winnings on the night by collecting the fast-lap bonus with a 18.199-second circuit during the race. Nye extended his points lead to 31 over Van Natta with three race nights remaining.
Unlike Dalbeck, Lightner’s winning pass came late in his feature, but it helped him break a cold spell of nearly five full years. Steve Stuart started outside alongside polesitter Jeff Tardy and won the race out of the first pair of turns for the initial lead of the 20-lap WISSOTA modified A-main, but Tardy kept the pressure on while Steve Lavasseur quickly gained third. Curt Myers also found the outer groove to his liking and swept up from the fourth row to take fourth away from Lightner with three laps in.
Myers grabbed third away from Lavasseur two laps later, and within another tour he was challenging Tardy for second, as Stuart extended his lead to just over half a second. The torrid pace came to a stop, however, on lap 7, when a multi-car mess ended points leader Jeff Spacek’s night while he was running seventh.
After Kevin Eder’s spin on the restart caused several to scramble, Myers went on the attack against Stuart, working his preferred outer line until he completed the pass for the lead on lap 9. Within four more laps Myers’ advantage was nearing a second, and he had built that up to 1.5 seconds by lap 15, but that disappeared when Bill Byholm, whose car ground to a stop in the infield grass two laps before, removed his helmet while still sitting in his car. Track officials deemed this unsafe and threw the yellow flag.
On the ensuing restart third-running Tardy’s car broke loose, collecting a couple of others and bringing about one more try for the five-lap shootout. When the green lights came back on Lightner was in third, lined up to the inside on Stuart and right on Myers’ push-bar. Stuart’s car, while trying to slip down low to make a pass for the lead, pushed up the track in turn 4, forcing Myers up the hill and opening the door for Lightner to drive by.
From there Lightner held off Stuart for four tense laps for his first win since August 11, 2007, which was his first in a mod. Stuart was a half-second back, while Lavasseur, second-in-points Jared Loos and a recovered Myers completed the top five.
Spacek’s lead has been reduced to four over Loos with three shows remaining. Myers set the fast lap during the run at 17.330 seconds and collected that bonus.
Eliason had to exercise a little patience during the pure stock finale to the night’s action, but he was rewarded with his first feature win since August 20, 2005, during his lone championship season. He also put himself in position to contend for another trophy, as the pure stock points chase continues to be a wild one.
Andy Udeen took the outside route to get by pole-starter Brandle Pupp after the initial corner of the 12-lapper, but Pupp charged back on the outside to lead lap 1. Udeen fought back to take control of the run a lap later, just before Tim Carbon’s spin.
Eliason restarted fourth but made a gutsy outside move on Pupp and Joe Wolfe to grab second, and then went low to steal the lead away from Udeen just before Pupp and Dean Waby got together to bring about another yellow flag.
Nick Nye drove past three cars to muscle his way into second on the restart, but Jeff Christman followed him through to third and then dropped to the inside line to challenge Nye for the spot, giving Eliason a chance to draw away. The field came back to Eliason’s trunklid at the race’s mid-point when Wolfe’s car stalled just off the front chute in the infield grass, and it took another try to get the race going again after Dustin Gay’s car stopped on the front straight.
Nye retook second from Christman on the final restart of the night, with Ken Tody, Jr, and Carbon in tow, but Eliason pulled away sightly over the closing laps and held on for the long-overdue win. Nye edged Tody for second, and Matt Deragon took advantage of Carbon’s flat tire on the next-to-last lap to grab fourth, just ahead of Christman.
Nye, Tody and Deragon came into the night tied for the points lead, with Eliason (who shares his driving duties with Paul Tutor) five tallies back. Heading into next weekend the trio are still tied for the lead, but the Eliason-Tutor team are now within a single point of the top spot.
The WISSOTA super stocks struggled for a second straight week to run a clean 20-lap feature, but after several early-race tangles Randy Spacek captured the lead and scored his 35th career Ashland win. Greg Kuklinski looked strong from the start as he led from the initial start and then again after a restart following a DJ Keeler spin.
It then took three tries to put lap 2 in the book and another attempt to finish lap 4, as the close-quarters racing made for some difficult moments. First pole-starter Ken Truscott’s car broke loose and collected several others in a grinding crash, and then Willie Johnsen and Nick Oreskovich spun together in front of the field while running second and third; surprisingly, no other cars were involved in that melee.
With the 15-car field whittled down to just ten, debris drew another yellow flag, after which Kuklinski fended off a stout challenge from Oreskovich for a lap until Spacek took over second. Spacek then grabbed some traction on the inside on lap 4 and took the lead, just before Myers’ spin stopped the race for the final time.
Oreskovich came back to work his way around Spacek for the lead two laps after the restart, and Dave Flynn, who restarted fifth, moved quickly up to third. Flynn, who started the night one point behind Scott Lawrence in the super stock standings, now found himself three spots ahead of the eight-time defending champ and pulling away as the lead trio distanced themselved from the remaining racers.
However, a lap past halfway Flynn’s motor gave up and he pulled into the pits, leaving Oreskovich and Spacek to decide who would win on this night. With six circuits left Spacek’s car found some bite on the inside line and he slipped by for good, while Oreskovich’s car seemed to slow somewhat. Spacek sped away to a winning margin of nearly two-and-a-quarter seconds, while Lawrence, who had caught the slowing Oreskovich, stole second from him on the final lap. Combined with Flynn’s misfortunes, Lawrence extended his points lead to five heading into next Saturday’s action.
Cory Casari finished solidly in fourth, while first-nighter Keith Kern was scored in fifth.
Beeksma also took advantage of a late-race restart, and in doing so he chalked up his track-leading seventh feature win of the summer and 27th overall here. Beeksma started eighth in the 17-car six-cylinder feature field but chipped positions away quickly as Greg Jaeger and Dale Coddington overtook Bill Anderson for the early lead. Coddington restarted at the point after a Ron Lillie spin on lap 3 and again after a six-car mess on the next green-flag attempt.
It was after that restart that Beeksma moved into the top five by working his way around the bottom lane. Tyler Hudack had taken second away from Jaeger and was threatening Coddington for the lead when Adam Traaholt looped his ride on lap 6, and back under green Don Muzzy became a challenger when he overtook Hudack.
Beeksma, meanwhile, moved by Jaeger for fourth, then used a three-wide move to get into the battle for second at mid-race. He completed the pass on Hudack for runner-up honors with five laps left, but just as Hudack was charging back Traaholt and Lillie got together to slow the pace on the next lap.
Beeksma, who restarted third, took a peek to the inside upon the restart, and within a lap he got by both Hudack and Coddington for the lead. The defending divisional champ then raced away to a lead of nearly a second at the checkers, with Coddington, Muzzy and Hudack in close formation behind. Tad Bretting completed the top five.
Next up for the ABC Raceway will be another full five-division program, this time presented by Rivord Trucking of Superior. Hot laps will start at 6:15 pm, followed by time trials for the sprints, while racing will follow at 7. “Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, and online at www.wbszfm.com from 4:30-6 pm with live at-the-track news and weather updates.
The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. For raceday information call (715) 682-4990, or log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.
Feature: Ross Lightner, Washburn; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Jared Loos, Loyal; Curt Myers, Cameron; David Baxter, Eau Claire; Pat Cook, Washburn; Scott Hudack, Ashland; Jeff Tardy, Hibbing, MN; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Paul Brust, Rice Lake; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Paul Niznik, Medford.
Heat 1: Lavasseur; Myers; Hudack; Brust; Baxter; Loos; Niznik.
Heat 2: Spacek; Tardy; Lightner; Stuart; Eder.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: Randy Spacek, Phillips; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Cory Casari, Montreal; Keith Kern, Superior; DJ Keeler, Superior; Dave Flynn, Superior; Greg Kuklinski, Ironwood, MI; Curt Myers, Cameron; Willie Johnsen, Superior; Dave Elliott, Minocqua; Rick Randall, Wakefield, MI; Ken Truscott, Greenland, MI; Brian Mikkonen, Iron River.
Heat 1: Flynn; Lawrence; Spacek; Truscott; Elliott; Randall; Myers; Keeler.
Heat 2: Oreskovich; Kuklinski; Casari; Johnsen; Kern; Smith; Mikkonen.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: George Dalbeck, Ironwood, MI; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Travis Nye, Ashland; Alex Van Natta, Minocqua; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Kent Baxter, Colfax; John Kallas, Hurley; Rob Weber, Ashland; Rick Przybylski, Ashland; Cody Carlson, Superior; Tanner Byholm, Glidden; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Tyler Luger, Iron River; Michael Truscott, Chippewa Falls; Neil Balduc, Ironwood, MI.
Heat 1: Spacek; Dunbar; Bretting; Kallas; Przybylski; Balduc; Weber.
Heat 2: Nye; Van Natta; Dalbeck; Suzik; Baxter; Luger; Truscott; Byholm.
Feature: Pat Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Dale Coddington, Hayward; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Tad Bretting, Ashland; Greg Jaeger, Mellen; Neil Adamzak, Ashland; Shawn McFadden, Jr, Ashland; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Bill Anderson, Wakefield, MI; DeJay Mihalek, Ashland; Jonathan Popp, Iron River; Zach Pagels, Marengo; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Cory Marincel, Ashland; Ron Lillie, Wakefield, MI.
Heat 1: Bretting; Hudack; McFadden; Anderson; Schultz; Mashlan; Popp; Traaholt; Lillie.
Heat 2: Beeksma; Muzzy; Coddington; Jaeger; Adamzak; Mihalek; Pagels; Jeremy Lindquist, Ashland; Marincel.
Feature: Jim Eliason, Ashland; Nick Nye, Ashland; Ken Tody Jr, Ashland; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Jeff Christman, Superior; Dean Waby, Ashland; Bob Anderson, Iron River; Brandle Pupp, Ashland; Jim Laessig, Wakefield, MI; Tim Carbon, Highbridge; Dustin Gay, Ashland; Joe Wolfe, Ironwood, MI; Andy Udeen, Superior; Tiffany Hudack, Ashland.
Heat 1: Eliason; A Udeen; Pupp; Wolfe; Laessig; Tim Ayers, Foxboro; Carbon; Gay.
Heat 2: Deragon; Tody; Nye; Christman; Steve Udeen, Superior; Waby; Hudack; Anderson.
This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Mike Neff.
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