Speedway Digest Staff
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Christopher Bell (10th) finished third in the final point standings after coming home behind fellow Championship 4 drivers Joey Logano (race winner) and Ross Chastain (third). In his final race for Toyota, Kyle Busch led all Camry drivers with a seventh-place finish.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Race 36 of 36 – 312 miles, 312 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Joey Logano*
2nd, Ryan Blaney *
3rd, Ross Chastain*
4th, Chase Briscoe*
5th, Kevin Harvick*
7th, KYLE BUSCH
9th, DENNY HAMLIN
10th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
15th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
17th, DANIEL HEMRIC
22nd, BUBBA WALLACE
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 DeWalt Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 10th
What are your emotions today after everything you went through?
“Wow, wow, wow. Just from being out and then the wins at Charlotte and Martinsville and all of a sudden you wake up this morning and you are racing for a championship, and you are happy, you are elated and then your world comes crashing down. Whenever you get news like that, it puts it in perspective that there is more to this than racing. The whole Gibbs family is in all of our prayers. I’m thinking of them. Ultimately today, the best car won the championship. He was really strong. Proud of our 20 group though. We fought hard, and at the end of the race – the last pit stop, or what we thought was going to be the last pit stop, we were right there battling for it. I’m just proud to be in this position, proud to be at Joe Gibbs Racing and race this no. 20 car. The DeWalt Camry was – we were there, and hopefully, we can come back here next year.”
What positives can you take from this year and apply them to next season?
“I feel good about where we are at for sure. I’m hopeful that my group stays the exact same, from mechanics, engineers and obviously Adam Stevens on top of the pit box because I feel like we have a good thing going. We feel like we are right there on the brink of being there every week and being a title contender, year-in and year-out. Just really thankful to be here and very, very incredibly saddened by the news today and I’m think of the Gibbs family.”
Q. He told the kids before he left he was going to come home with his second championship. Joey Logano, congratulations. You have done it.
JOEY LOGANO: We did it! We're champions again, yes! Oh, my God, I'm so excited. Thank you to everybody, my team. You guys are amazing. Gave me a good race car, good pit stop there at the end, got us up in front. Boy, that was just intense there at the end.
It's all about championships. That's what it's all about, and we worked so hard the last couple weeks trying to put ourselves in position. And everything that happened in 2020, I knew we just wanted to have a solid run and do this today.
I can't thank Ford and Shell-Pennzoil enough for supporting me over the last 10 years, getting us a couple championships today. All our partners at Team Penske, everybody that works on these cars. It's such a big deal to win these championships. It impacts so many people's lives.
Obviously the news this morning with Coy, too, I don't know what to think. But obviously my condolences go to the Gibbs family. But just an incredible day for us, and kind of mixed emotions at the moment.
Q. The family is here; you guys got the pole. It was a perfect race all day. Did you ever have any doubts of being able to get back here and get that second championship?
JOEY LOGANO: I don't know what you said, Rut. I don't really care, either. What did you say?
Q. A perfect day for you, the team top to bottom. Was there ever any doubt for you?
JOEY LOGANO: No, no, I knew going into this thing that we're going to win the championship. I told the guys we were the favorite from Daytona, and we truly believed it, and that's the difference.
Man, it's like I said, I had a good team with a bunch of confidence, and we had all the reason in the world to be confident. I've never been truly this ready for a championship race, and yeah, we did it, man. I can't believe it.
Q. Family has defined your career from the summers you spent with your dad in a camper, your family here. What does it mean to have them here with you?
JOEY LOGANO: Oh, man, it's so special. JayMo and Emilia are at home. Hi, guys. Daddy will be home soon, but we're going to party a little bit first. We might be in a little rough shape when we get home. But man, this is what it's all about, though. When you're a kid his age, my dream was to win Cup championships, and here we are with two of them. Man, it means so much. It's so special. I just want to celebrate, Rut!
Racing is a family and the relationships within the entire garage go so much deeper than on-track competition. Today, we lost a dear part of our family. The loss of Coy Gibbs is devastating to everyone at Toyota and TRD. Our deepest condolences and prayers are with Joe, Pat, Heather, Ty, Case, Jett and Elle and the entire Gibbs family and Joe Gibbs Racing family.
~ David Wilson, President, TRD U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development)
“We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of Coy Gibbs. On behalf of the France Family and all of NASCAR, I extend my deepest condolences to Joe, Pat, Heather, the Gibbs family and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing on the loss of Coy, a true friend and racer.”
-- Jim France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO
“It is with great sorrow that Joe Gibbs Racing confirms that Coy Gibbs (co-owner) went to be with the Lord in his sleep last night. The family appreciates all the thoughts and prayers and asks for privacy at this time.”
It’s a surefire bet that NASCAR fans will savor each lap of the final NASCAR Cup Series race on Auto Club Speedway’s 2-mile oval. Pala Casino Spa Resort will make it even more memorable for race fans everywhere.
Auto Club Speedway announced today that the final race on its 2-mile track will be named the Pala Casino 400. The event, scheduled for Feb. 26, 2023, is the second race of the NASCAR Cup Series regular season and the highly anticipated follow-up to the DAYTONA 500.
Moreover, it is part of a partnership which makes Pala Casino Spa Resort the Official Casino of Auto Club Speedway. It also adds an additional boost of excitement to an already historic weekend in the Inland Empire.
In addition, Chris Buescher’s No. 17 RFK Ford, will carry Pala Casino colors, when the field takes the green flag for the historic event. “Our fans will notice right away the enthusiasm Pala Casino brings to the table,” said Auto Club Speedway President Dave Allen. “They are determined to create an unforgettable experience for our fans, and we look forward to working with them to make this final race on the 2-mile oval an event for the ages.”
Pala Casino Spa Resort is certainly synonymous with excitement. It proudly bills itself as SoCal’s Entertainment Capital, which is not a stretch given that its Las Vegas-style casino includes an expansive gaming floor with over 2,000 slot and video machines, 78 table games, 9 restaurants and two lounges. The resort also includes the 2,000-seat Pala Events Center, outdoor Starlight Theater and luxury hotel.
Yet it’s Pala Casino’s passion for racing and race fans that make its partnership with Auto Club Speedway an unbeatable pair of aces for 2023 and beyond.
“As a casino that greatly appreciated competitive racing, Pala is thrilled to be the title sponsor of the Pala Casino 400 race in Fontana, and this historic final race at the Auto Club Speedway,” said Pala Casino spokesperson Coley McAvoy. “We value our new partnership with Chris Buescher and RFK Racing, as well as our continued partnership with NASCAR as we look forward to a very exciting event in February.”
Tickets for the Pala Casino 400 are on sale now at www.autoclubspeedway.com. Fans are encouraged to purchase them now, as demand is high for this historic final race on the 2-mile surface known for its five-wide racing and legendary winners. The NASCAR Xfinity Series will also compete one final time on the 2-mile layout on Saturday, Feb. 25.
Planning also continues for a new short track located on the current site, but details will be announced at a later date.
RFK Racing PR
Jared Fryar’s consistency was on display during the CARS LMSC Tour finale at Caraway Speedway on Saturday.
After starting in the seventh position, Fryar patiently carved his way through the field before ultimately holding off Connor Hall and the CARS LMSC Tour champion Carson Kvapil on several restarts for his third career victory in the series and second with car owner Jimmy Mooring.
Fryar had not won a CARS LMSC Tour event since holding off Mike Looney in an intense battle at Franklin County Speedway in 2020 and admitted that Saturday’s triumph provided him and his team a much-needed jolt of confidence heading into the offseason.
“I’m feeling on top of the world right now,” Fryar said. “To win one of these races is super big, especially a $10,000-to-win race. We had such a good run in the middle of the year and then we got worried about running good, but our car was awesome [on Saturday]. I can’t thank everyone behind me that helps with this deal.”
The path to the front for Fryar was not without its obstacles.
By the time Fryar reached the second position, the only car standing in his way was Trevor Ward, who was searching for his first career CARS LMSC Tour victory after leading most of the North-South Shootout from the pole.
Fryar had pulled alongside Ward for the race lead when the two collided with 27 laps remaining. The contact sent Ward around in front of the field while Fryar was able to continue with minimal damage to his car.
Known for being a clean racer, Fryar was disappointed that his battle with Ward resulted in the latter getting turned around. Despite this, Fryar said that Ward trying to chop off his momentum is what ultimately contributed to the accident.
"I took advantage of the mistake [Ward] made in Turn 4,” Fryar said. “I was able to get under him and then he hung a left on me in Turn 1. It really sucked and I thought it was going to take me out too. That’s definitely not how I want to race, but when the cards are dealt like that, there’s nothing else you can really do.”
Fryar’s season-ending victory comes during a year in which he elected to scale back his involvement in Late Model Stock competition to focus on other interests.
In seven CARS LMSC Tour starts this year, Fryar recorded three Top 5 finishes and was running at the finish in each of those events except for Dominion Raceway on June 18, where an engine failure sidelined him after 108 laps. Away from the CARS LMSC Tour, Fryar shined in the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown, earning a victory in the Hampton Heat at Langley Speedway.
Fryar still possesses a strong passion for Late Model Stock competition and hopes to run a more expanded schedule in 2023. For now, Fryar intends to cherish his victory at a track that has meant so much to him throughout his career.
“Caraway is a really special place to me,” Fryar said. “I grew up there and it’s my home track, so this one feels really good to me. It’s definitely in the plans to do more Late Model [Stock] races next year since we’ve had a lot of good seasons with Jimmy Mooring. These cars have been great and I’m looking forward to doing more races with Jimmy.”
Although the 2022 CARS LMSC Tour season has concluded, Fryar is not yet done with his Late Model Stock schedule. He intends to compete in the $50,000-to-win Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsport Park on Nov. 27.
Jared Fryar would like to thank his parents, his wife Katy, Candice, Chris, Everett, Derick Jennings, Nick Baity, Daryl Smithback and spotter Tony White, along with JM Racing, Sterling Building Group, R&S Race Cars, Solid Rock Carriers, John West Race Engines, Eatmon Mobile Home Movers. Bill’s Golf Carts, Racing Electronics, Swift Springs and MPM Marketing.