Sunday, Mar 26
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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For the second week in a row, it was a short race day for Landon Cassill.

Engine trouble sent Cassill to the garage area 14 laps into Friday’s Feed The Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway, and he finished 36th.

 “It’s disappointing, but we’ll move on from here,” Cassill said. “We had a good car, qualified 25th, and thought we had a good setup for this track. We’ll get them next time.”

The series moves on to Daytona International Speedway for the July 5 Subway Firecracker 250, one of the featured races of the circuit’s summer run.

JD Motorsports PR

On a rainy night in Kentucky, Mike Wallace scored a 21st-place finish in the Feed The Children 300 Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway.

The run enabled Wallace to stay in 16th place in Nationwide driver points, while team owner Johnny Davis gained a spot in owner points to 21st.

Wallace ran as high as 18th in the race in the Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over Chevrolet.

 “We had a pretty good car but just couldn’t crack the top 15,” Wallace said. “We’ll build on this and get better from here.”

The race was scheduled for 200 laps but was called after rain parked the field at the 170-lap mark.

 JD Motorsports PR

Race Highlights:

  • Richard Childress Racing teammates finished third (Matt Crafton), sixth (Austin Dillon) and 17th (Brian Scott).
  • Dillon is fifth in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, trailing leader Regan Smith by 20 markers, while Scott is ninth in the standings, 55 points behind Smith.
  • The No. 3 Chevrolet team ranks seventh in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 33 team eighth in the standings and the No. 2 team 13th.
  • According to NASCAR's Post Race Loop Data Statistics, Crafton scored a Driver Rating of 114.2 ranking him fourth overall, ranked third in Fastest Laps Run and spent 100 percent of laps In the Top15.
  • Dillon was the Fastest on Restarts (165.866 mph), third-Fastest Driver Early in a Run (171.370 mph) and ranked fourth in Fastest Laps Run.
  • Scott ranked third in the Closers category.
  • Brad Keselowski earned his second victory of the 2013 Nationwide Series season and was followed to the finish line by Elliott Sadler, Matt Crafton, Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch.
  • The next Nationwide Series race is the Daytona 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, July 5. The 16th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Satellite Radio.



Brian Scott Battles Handling Condition to Finish 17th at Kentucky Speedway


Brian Scott and the No. 2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet team qualified 15th for Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway. Once the initial green flag waved over the 1.5-mile track, it quickly became apparent Scott and the Phil Gould-led team were going to have a long scheduled 200-lap race. For the early going, the car was loose through all the turns. After a pit stop on lap 50 under green, Scott told Gould to "throw the kitchen sink at this thing" to help the handling. One lap later, the caution came out and the Shore Lodge Camaro team was trapped one circuit down to the leaders. Through three other cautions and pit stops, the team kept making adjustments and the car started to respond to the loose condition. However, the front end was now tight exiting the corners, preventing Scott from getting back to the gas as aggressively as desired. By lap 133, he was one of only four drivers on their lap and used cautions to pit for additional chassis adjustments. The final yellow flag waved on lap 164 for rain, which turned into a red flag on lap 170. After trying to wait it out, Mother Nature prevailed and the race was called with the team being credited with a 17th-place finish.


   Start - 15th           Finish - 17th        Laps Led - 0          Points - 9th


Brian Scott Quote:
"This was not our night here at Kentucky Speedway. We were loose, then we got that squared away and went to tight. Phil (Gould, crew chief) and the Shore Lodge guys did all they could to make our Chevrolet better. We'll take what we ended up with here and head to the next race in Daytona."



Austin Dillon Drives No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet to Sixth-Place Finish in Rain-Shortened NASCAR Nationwide Series Event at Kentucky Speedway


Driving Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet, Austin Dillon earned his fifth pole award in the last six NASCAR Nationwide Series races and led 18 laps in the Feed the Children 300 before placing sixth in Friday evening's rain-shortened event. The Welcome, N.C., driver started from the point position and drove to a commanding lead in the early laps of the race before succumbing to a loose-handling condition on his Chevrolet Camaro, causing him to fall to the fourth position. Crew Chief Danny Stockman directed Dillon down pit road for four Goodyear tires, Sunoco Green E15 Fuel and a round of chassis adjustments to combat the handling issues the driver was facing. The caution flag was displayed on lap 53, as Dillon exited pit road, and the team opted to take the "wave around" to remain on the lead lap. Restarting from the 11th spot on lap 59, Dillon immediately increased his position on the racetrack making it up to seventh before the next round of green-flag pit stops on lap 112. Dillon raced his way up to second and was scored in the sixth position when NASCAR officials slowed the field on lap 164 for rain showers, later stopping the field on pit road and shortening the event 40 laps shy of its advertised distance as the rain increased. Dillon was credited with a sixth-place finish and qualifies for the Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash program, and a possible $100,000 bonus, at Daytona International Speedway next week.


Start - 1                  Finish - 6                 Laps Led - 18                   Points - 4th                
"I think if we could have gotten into clean air, we could have picked up a few additional spots at the end of the race but, overall, it was a great day for our AdvoCare Chevrolet team. It was a really good points day. Who can complain about leaving Kentucky Speedway knowing we are qualified for the Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash bonus at Daytona International Speedway next weekend. That's pretty cool to have a chance to win a $100,000 bonus. It's a really great program that Nationwide Insurance has put together."




Matt Crafton Finishes Third at Kentucky Speedway in NASCAR Nationwide Series Debut


Making his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut, Matt Crafton finished third in the rain-shortened event at Kentucky Speedway on Friday night. Starting eighth, Crafton had one of the fastest cars on the track and quickly drove his No. 33 Rheem/Menards machine to fifth on lap one. Crafton remained inside the top five until lap 54, where he took the lead as the caution was displayed for the first time during the scheduled 200-lap event. Restarting in second on lap 59, Crafton began to battle a tight condition in the middle of the corners and slipped back to third at the halfway mark. On lap 113, Crafton was making a scheduled green-flag pit stop when the No. 33 machine ran out of fuel coming to pit road. A lengthy pit stop to refuel and re-fire the engine caused Crafton to be scored 12th after the rest of the field had cycled through pit stops. On a mission to make his way back toward the front of the field, Crafton was seventh when he pitted for the final time on lap 142 for fuel only. Restarting first with 55 laps remaining, Crafton fought a loose condition on entry and a tight-handling car on exit, causing him to slip back to third at lap 148. Shortly after, the California native relayed to the crew that the car's handling was improving as was clicking off lap times comparative to the leader. Just as he began to make up ground, the caution flag flew on lap 164 for rain showers. Ultimately, the scheduled 300-mile race was called on lap 170 for persistent rain and Crafton was credited with a third-place finish.


     Start - 8                   Finish - 3                   Laps Led - 8             Owners Points - 8th



"We had an awesome car tonight at Kentucky Speedway. I can't thank Menards, Rheem and Richard Childress Racing enough for this opportunity. Ernie Cope (crew chief) and the guys did a great job preparing the car. It was fast right off the truck Thursday and continued to be fast tonight. I had a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to my next Nationwide Series race with the No 33 crew at Chicagoland Speedway in a few weeks."



Roush Fenway Racing’s Trevor Bayne picked up another 20 points on NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) leader despite a tough race at Kentucky Speedway that ended early due to rain.  Bayne and the No. 6 team made a series of adjustments throughout the race to the ‘Homes for Our Troops Ford Mustang’, but could not find the right combination to run consistently at the top of the pack during the Feed the Children 300.

“We kept trying different adjustments but it felt like I was out there on ice skates tonight,” said Bayne. “Really there at the end, I’m glad we were able to walk away with 12th-place and gain 20 points on the points leader.”

Bayne and the No. 6 team worked during practice sessions to put together a car that handled well enough to qualify fourth.  But once the sun started to set in Kentucky, the team spent the rest of the night fighting track conditions until rain ultimately ended the race 30 laps early.

Bayne picked up another 32 points in the NNS standings to close in on leader Regan Smith, as he maintained his 10th-place ranking.  The No. 6 Cargill Ford Mustang will return to the track next Friday night in Daytona.



When you win a rain-shortened race, you can't do a burnout - but Brad Keselowski certainly tried.

After being declared the winner of Friday night's Feed the Children 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway, 30 laps short of the scheduled finish, Keselowski did donuts on the frontstrtech, minus the usual smoke because of the wet, slippery asphalt.

The win was by no means a fluke, because as the race progressed, Keselowski's car identified itself as the clear class of the field. He took the lead for good on Lap 156, seven laps before NASCAR called the final caution for rain.

The victory was Keselowski's second of the season and the 22nd of his career.

Elliott Sadler finished second, followed by Matt Crafton, who was making his Nationwide debut. Brian Vickers ran fourth, with Kyle Busch finishing fifth.

A caution on Lap 141 for Carl Long's spin in Turn 4 gave the lead-lap cars a chance to pit for enough fuel to finish the race, but varying tire strategies scrambled the field for a restart on Lap 146. Matt Crafton, who took fuel only, led the field to green but quickly yielded to Sadler, who took right-side tires only on pit road.

Eleven laps into the run, Keselowski, on four fresh tires, passed Sadler for the top spot. By then he had already put significant distance between his No. 22 Ford and the No. 54 Toyota of Busch, who lost 10 positions on pit road after sliding through his pit stall under the caution.

On Lap 163, NASCAR threw the fifth caution of the race when a brief rain shower hit the track. After seven laps under caution, the rain intensified, and NASCAR ordered the cars to pit road and red-flagged the race after Lap 170 — 30 laps short of the scheduled finish — at 9:44 p.m.

"I don't want to win a rain race—I want to race!" Keselowski asserted under the stoppage. Keselowski didn't get his wish, but he got the win.

Notes: Series leader Regan Smith had suspension issues and lost 18 laps in the garage during repairs. ... Sadler, Vickers, polesitter Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson, the top finishing NNS regulars, qualified for the Nationwide Dash 4 Cash, which starts next week at Daytona.


Matt Crafton persevered through a frustrating night Thursday at Kentucky Speedway but in the end maintained his lead in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' championship standings with his ninth consecutive top-10 finish this season -- 10th in the UNOH 225.


Crafton went to the line seventh in his No. 88 Ideal Door / Menards Toyota and actually maintained a position in the upper half of the top 10 for the first two-thirds of the race, while Darrell Wallace Jr. and his truck owner Kyle Busch dominated out front.


But in the race's latter stages, Crafton fell to the tail end of the top-10 before he ultimately finished 10th, his worst finish in nine races this season.


"Our truck was terrible -- just the handling," Crafton said. "I don't know what we missed. We started off OK and just got tighter and tighter. We took two tires and I don't know what the deal was with it -- it just wouldn't turn for whatever reason it was."


The outcome was frustrating for Crafton and his crew, who were ninth-best in the opening practice, with their best lap of 10 in 31.278 seconds, an average speed of 172.645 mph. Happy Hour was no revelation, as Crafton was mired back in 17th, at a slightly faster 31.272 seconds, 172.678 mph.


Crafton actually didn't fall out of the top 10 in the running order until there were less than 40 laps remaining in the race. He made it back into the top 10, retaining his strong position in the standings, with less than 10 laps remaining.

Crafton still maintains a 22-point lead, 319-297, over rookie of the year leader Jeb Burton, who finished ninth.


Crafton mixed his day Thursday between practicing, qualifying and racing his Truck Series Toyota Tundra, while also practicing the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Rheem / Menards car, which he qualified eighth for Saturday evening's Feed the Children 300 for the Nationwide Series.


Crafton's scheduled to race in the next Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway on July 13. His additional Nationwide starts for RCR are at Chicagoland and Kentucky later this season.


Thorsport PR

Brett Moffitt made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in the No. 13 AISIN / Central Motor Wheel Toyota Tundra Thursday night, with a 14th-place finish in the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway.


Moffitt put his ThorSport Racing crew to the ultimate test as, after battling a tight-handling truck through two practice sessions, he went out to qualify for the first time on a 1.5-mile speedway with a truck that had been adjusted to a "looser" handling package.


Moffitt crashed on his green-flag lap coming off Turn 2 and ThorSport immediately pulled teammate Johnny Sauter's backup truck out of its hauler. All three ThorSport teams pitched-in and Moffitt went to the grid in 36th with a renumbered, re-decaled Tundra.


"I definitely learned what not to do in qualifying," Moffitt said. "I got that down and hopefully that never happens again. We had to unload that backup truck and came just get as close as we could, (getting it ready) before the race.


"Hats off to the guys -- all three of the ThorSport teams came over to help us get it together -- so thanks to all of them."


In the race Moffitt quickly pulled up into the top 20 and remained there for 150 laps, gaining invaluable experience.


"I learned a lot," Moffitt, who had never raced on a track larger than a mile in his stock-car career, said. "These things are really aero-dependent so it's a big learning curve when you come to a big mile-and-a-half because it's all about the air."


Moffitt started the day off in the first of two practice sessions finishing 16th with a time of 31.649 seconds, an average speed of 170.622 mph.


"The truck was too tight for what I like," Moffitt said.


Crew chief Jeriod Prince, his crew and Moffitt -- supported by Hattori Racing Enterprises' Dave McCarty and Randy Goss, who work on Moffitt's NASCAR K&N Pro Series East team -- worked on getting the truck's handling to where Moffitt felt the most comfortable before heading back on track for the second practice of the afternoon.


"The truck's handling was better than before," Moffitt said. "And even though it was still tight we were heading in the right direction."


Moffitt ended "Happy Hour" in 20th, .5 seconds off the fastest driver in the second practice, Cale Gale, but with Moffitt's fastest lap of the day, 31.373 seconds, 172.123 mph.


By lap 10 of the race Moffitt was running 24th. During the first caution of the night Moffitt brought the No. 13 Toyota Tundra to pit road where the crew made some adjustments after receiving feedback from the driver that the car was "really loose getting into the corners" and gained four positions existing pit road, putting him in 20that the restart


Moffitt continued to gain positions throughout the night, resulting in the solid 14th-place finish. Overall it was a good night but it left Moffitt, who's currently second in the K&N Pro Series East championship halfway through that season, craving more.


"It was not the finish I wanted," Moffitt said. "But we'll take it. I've learned a lot (Friday) night and look forward to getting back in the seat at Michigan."


Moffitt is scheduled to race in his next Camping World Truck Series race in Michigan with Hattori Racing in August.


"Overall, it was a good experience," Moffitt said. "I just wish we would have ended up better than we were. Thank you to (team owner) Duke Thorson for the opportunity (and) I'm just hoping I can get in some more of these (Truck races)."


The Truck Series next races in Iowa, Moffitt's home track, where he finished ninth last season in his lone NASCAR Nationwide Series start. The Iowa Truck race is scheduled July 13.


Thorsport PR



Ryan Blaney (@RyanBlaney22), driver of the Brad Keselowski Racing (@TeamBKR) No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150, made his second career start at Kentucky Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) UNOH 225 under the lights Thursday night. After capturing his first pole and BKR's first Truck pole in qualifying earlier in the day, Blaney started the night in command of the field.


Blaney kept his Cooper Standard Ford out front until the first caution flag fell on lap 26 due to engine failure on the No. 62. Crew chief, Doug Randolph, brought the No. 29 machine on to pit road for a slight air pressure adjustment, four tires and fuel. Blaney restarted in the fourth position and by lap 36 Blaney was already back in the second position.


When the No. 7 brought out the fourth caution of the night after a spinout in turn three on lap 80, Randolph brought the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford, which was in the sixth position, to pit road for two rounds up on the track bar, four stickers and an air pressure adjustment in the left rear. Blaney had been saying his F-150 had tightened up and needed more drive off.


A competitive battle all night was unfolding in dramatic fashion between the No. 54 machine and Blaney's Cooper Standard F-150, but ended badly for Bubba Wallace when the two got together and the No. 54 Truck spun, bringing out the fifth caution of the race on lap 86. Blaney was concerned of a cut left rear, but his spotter, Joey Meier, assured him everything was just fine.


Blaney's last pit stop was on lap 108, both Blaney and Randolph congratulated the crew on an exceptional stop. The No. 29 machine came in second and after taking right-side tires, fuel and one round up on the track bar, the guys were able to maintain the second position even with the majority of the field stopping for fuel only.


On the final restart of the race, Blaney battled Kyle Busch for the lead, but unfortunately had a little contact with the wall in an attempt to pass the leader on the high side. The slight damage from the contact created a tight condition on his No. 29 Ford. Blaney held onto his F-150 for the remainder of the race, which ended on a long green flag run, and he was able to come home in 5th position. It was not an ideal way to end the night after having such a strong Cooper Standard Ford F-150, but the team fought hard and managed to grab a top five finish.


The No. 29 BKR team currently sits sixth in the NCWTS driver points standings, 47 points back from first and 25 back from second. 



"What a night it was. We sat on the pole and finished in the top five with a damaged Truck. I am so proud of everyone on this team, they always fight until the last possible second. Looking at the big picture, we continue to make strides in a positive direction. I can't wait to get to Iowa -- It's one of my favorites." 

- Ryan Blaney 







Brad Keselowski (@Keselowski), driver of the No. 19 Reese Towpower Advance Auto Parts Ford F-150, made his second start this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Thursday night during the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Keselowski, the owner of Brad Keselowski Racing (@TeamBKR), qualified his Ford F-150 machine in the 12th position earlier in the day. 


Keselowski got off to a quick start moving all the way in to the eighth position on lap seven and was charging forward in a hurry. When the first caution came out on lap 26 crew chief, Chad Kendrick, brought Keselowski's Reese Towpower Advance Auto Parts F-150 to pit road for two rounds up on the track bar, two right-side tires and fuel. The right-side only move was to gain track position off of pit road, which the No. 19 team did, restarting in the second position.


Keselowski came to pit road under caution on lap 41 for four tires and fuel, but had to make an unexpected second pit stop under the same caution to ensure the tank was full after a fuel spill, costing the No. 19 team eleven spots on the following restart.


By the time the fourth caution came out on lap 80, Keselowski had powered his Reese Towpower F-150 all the way in to the eighth spot, 14 seconds off the lead. Kendrick brought the No. 19 machine to pit road for fuel and left-side tires only. After another issue on pit road, this time for fuel, Keselowski had to make a second pit stop under green and ultimately restarted in the 19th position on lap 84.  


When the No. 99 spun off in turn four on lap 108, Keselowski came on to pit road in the 12th position and left in the 4th, only taking a little bit of fuel. From that point forward, he battled hard with a very strong Reese Towpower race Truck to finish second for the second consecutive year at Kentucky Speedway in the UNOH 225.


Keselowski is slated to run the NCWTS Wednesday, August 21st night race at Bristol Motor Speedway later this season for BKR.


The No. 19 BKR team currently sits ninth in the NCWTS owner points standings, 67 points back from first and 45 back from second. 



"Solid night in our Reese Towpower Ford. The BKR team is strong, and we are making major gains across the board from a competition standpoint. We just didn't quite have enough tonight. I can't wait to get back behind the wheel of my Truck again in Bristol." - Brad Keselowski



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