Friday, Sep 22
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Race Highlights:


* Richard  Childress Racing teammates finished second (Brian Scott), 12th (Austin Dillon) and 16th (Ty Dillon).  

* Dillon is second      in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, trailing      leader Sam Hornish, Jr. by 16 points, while Scott is seventh in the      standings, 61 points behind the leader.


* The No. 3 Chevrolet      team ranks fourth in the Nationwide Series owner championship point      standings, with the No. 2 team ninth in the standings and the No. 33 team      12th.  

* According to NASCAR's Post Race Loop Data Statistics, Scott led the field in Average      Running Position (1.064), Driver Rating (144.9), Fastest Drivers Early in      a Run (119.795 mph), Fastest Laps Run (57), Fastest on Restarts (119.553      mph), Green Flag Speed (116.563 mph) and Laps Led (239).


* A. Dillon was  the seventh-Fastest Driver Early in a Run and posted the Fastest Lap for      four circuits.  

* T. Dillon made 35 Green Flag Passes.


* Brad Keselowski   earned his fifth Nationwide Series victory of the 2013 season and was      followed to the finish line by Scott, Regan Smith, Kyle Busch and Trevor      Bayne.

* The next   Nationwide Series race is the Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on      Saturday, Sept. 14. The 26th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be      televised live on ESPN2 beginning at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast      live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio channel   90.




       Brian Scott Finishes Second at Richmond International Raceway After Dominating Performance




Brian Scott dominated the Virginia 529 College Savings 300 at Richmond International Raceway by leading 239 laps, but settled for a second-place finish after losing the lead during a restart following a late-race caution. The Boise, Idaho-native claimed his second career NASCAR Nationwide Series pole to start from the prime position. In the opening portion of the event. Scott reported that he was fighting a tight condition through the center of the corner, but still led the way. The evening's first caution flag flew on lap 66, which allowed crew chief Phil Gould to bring Scott to pit road for routine service, along with a chassis adjustment. Scott continued to lead despite occasional challenges for the lead by the No. 18. The caution flag was displayed on lap 235, setting up a sprint to the finish with 11 laps remaining. Scott was beat to the line on the ensuing start by the No. 22, thus sliding into the second spot for the first time in the event. A second caution flag and subsequent restart with five laps remaining provided Scott with one additional opportunity to regain the lead. However, he ended up sliding into the third spot on the restart, but battled back to receive the checkered flag in second place.




Start - 1               Laps Led - 239                   Finish - 2                  Points - 7th






"Our Shore Lodge Camaro was amazing; I have to thank everyone at Richard Childress Racing and Nationwide Insurance. It's a real honor to race in the 1,000th Nationwide race. That was cool and we just had a great car. Unfortunately on the second-to-last restart we were beat to the line and I was a little upset about that call. On the final restart the leader went early, which never gave us the chance to put on the race for the fans at the end. I'm proud of Phil Gould (Crew Chief) and this No. 2 team, we'll have to go get it in Chicago next week."







 Austin Dillon Finishes 12th in NASCAR Nationwide Series at Richmond International Raceway

Austin Dillon earned a 12th-place finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series' 1000th race on Friday night at Richmond International Raceway. Dillon started Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet from the third spot, but lost track position early in the event as he struggled with a tight-handling condition in the middle of the corners and a lack of forward drive. When the caution flag was displayed on lap 66, crew chief Danny Stockman directed his driver down pit road so the RCR team could change tires, add fuel and work on the handling of the Camaro through a series of chassis adjustments. Dillon restarted from the ninth spot when green-flag racing resumed on lap 73, but continued to experience handling issues during the ensuing run. The pit crew made sweeping changes during caution periods on laps 135 and 174, but to no avail. He was able to climb up to fifth in the running order following a lap 180 restart, but lost track position during the final stages of the race during a series of late-race restarts, ultimately securing a 12th-place finish.


                 Start - 3              Finish - 12          Laps Led - 0       Points - 2nd                         


"The pit crew had a great night and I need to thank them because their hard work is what saved us tonight. Without them, we would have finished worse than we did because they gained us track position all night long. We're Chicagoland Speedway-bound next week and I'm looking forward to racing there."





Ty Dillon Finishes 16th Under the Lights at Richmond International Raceway


 Ty Dillon and the No. 33 Armour Vienna Sausages Chevrolet team finished 16th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Richmond International Raceway on Friday night. After starting the 250-lap affair from the 19th spot, Dillon reported a tight-handling condition in the center of the turns and loose on exit. The Ernie Cope-led team utilized caution flag periods to service the blue and yellow machine with four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments to alleviate Dillon's handling issues. The Welcome, N.C., driver was scored in the 14th position prior to making his first pit stop of the race when the caution flag was displayed on lap 66. On the lap 72 restart, Dillon restarted 13th but quickly jumped to 10th. He continued his trek into the top 10 and was scored seventh on lap 138. During the ensuing green flag run, the handling issues facing Dillon returned causing him to slip to 16th in the running order. With minimal laps remaining in the event, Dillon was unable to retrieve track position and ultimately finished 16th.


              Start-19            Finish-16          Laps Led-0      Owners Points- 12th



 "That was a lot of fun. The Armour Vienna Sausages team worked really hard today. We had a fast car in the middle of the race when we got the handling dialed in, but there at the end I got tight in the center of the corners. I wish we could have finished in the top 10. We definitely had a better car than the result we got."



Landon Cassill motored through a late-race crash and scored a 23rd-place finish in Friday night’s Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

Cassill, driving the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller No. 4 Chevrolet, was shooting for a top-15 run with 10 laps to go when he became ensnarled in the middle of a crash with Travis Pastrana and Johanna Long. Cassill spun out in the second turn after contact with both Pastrana and Long but corrected his car and finished the race, one lap down.

“We could have gotten a better finish out of it if not for that situation,” Cassill said. “It was just tight competition late in the race with everybody going for the next spot. We got crowded up in the turn, and that was the result.”

Brad Keselowski won the race by leading the final 11 laps after Nationwide Series regular Brian Scott had led the first 239 laps.

The series will race at Chicagoland Speedway Sept. 14.

JD Motorsports PR

In a relatively short race slowed by seven cautions, including some for multi-car accidents, Mike Wallace maneuvered through the trouble and brought home a 24th-place finish in the Iron Source 01 Chevrolet in the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Friday night at Richmond International Raceway.

Wallace started 31st in the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller car and picked off positions to move into the mid-20s. He finished one spot behind teammate Landon Cassill.

“We got the car a little better after the start but weren’t able to move forward as much as I would have liked after that,” Wallace said. “It was difficult to pass, maybe more so than normal at this track. We’ll move on from here.”

Wallace stayed 17th in Nationwide driver points.

Brad Keselowski won the race by leading the final 11 laps after Nationwide Series regular Brian Scott had led the first 239 laps.

The series will race at Chicagoland Speedway Sept. 14.

JD Motorsport PR

On a cool late summer night, at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, Kyle Busch posted his 16th top-five finish in 19 races this year, with the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Monster Energy team. Busch and crew fought an ill-handling race car all day, from practice early Friday morning when they paced the field 21st quick, through qualifying that afternoon where he secured a seventh-place starting spot with a 21.857 second lap at 123.530 mph. In the main event, Busch raced as high as second-place at one point, but bounced among the top-10 most of the night, to bring home the black and green machine in seventh place.

Upon taking the green flag Busch immediately began giving his crew feedback on the car’s handling. “I’m tight in the center, have no rear lateral and it isn’t turning in the front,” described the Las Vegas native who has already chalked up nine wins this season with this No. 54 JGR team. The team spotter Tony Hirschman quickly noticed the Toyota was also showing more front brake ‘glow’ than other teams – something they would keep an eye on through the race.

Lap 14 displayed the first of seven caution periods for the event and the team elected to remain on track, foregoing a pit road visit. The car balance started to become unbearable, however, for the series champion hoping to turn his night around for a good result in the 1,000th NASCAR Nationwide Series event. By lap 69 the team took the opportunity to pit under another event yellow flag and crew chief Adam Stevens elected to take a swing at the car’s track bar setting. The crew quickly replenished Sunoco fuel and Goodyear tires, as well as made the chassis adjustment, to settle down the No. 54’s handling.

The crew examined their Goodyear tires upon completion of the pit road visit and found a great deal of brake dust on the wheels, but nothing that cautioned them.

After the subsequent race restart, on lap 73 from the sixth position, Busch relayed more positive feedback to his team, “Whatever you did on rear lateral was good, keep working it, just make sure I can still turn.” Over halfway to go in the race, and during another event caution period, Busch brought his Camry to pit road from the fifth-place spot to receive further track bar adjustments along with tires and fuel. “We are on the edge of our pit window,” claimed Stevens. He relayed, “Save fuel please where you can under caution.”

During the next portion of the race Busch exhibited fast lap times, battled for the third-place position and achieved it. After another pit road visit with air-pressure adjustments made to the tires and more fuel given, the No. 54 team worked its way to the second-place spot on lap 180, what would end up being their highest position of the night. While the move from third-place to second-place was good for the No. 54 team, Busch’s maneuver caused JGR teammate Matt Kenseth’s No. 18 car to move out of line. Busch apologized over the radio, “I’m sorry if I messed up the No. 18. I feel bad.”

While it appeared the Monster Energy team could end up salvaging a good finish, perhaps the win, their fate was ultimately sealed when two subsequent yellow-flag cautions provided green-flag restarts, that jumbled up the field, with a negative effect on the No. 54. Stuck behind slower cars, then forced to attempt progress in the outside lane, Busch worked hard to improve his position, but came up short in the end. The JGR team completed the short-track event in the fourth-place spot, their 17th top-five finish of the season. Victory evaded the team this week, but they are encouraged to try again over eight remaining weeks.

Busch didn’t have much to say post-race commenting, “We weren’t good today. Have some work to do these last few weeks.”

Brad Keselowski won the Richmond event, his 25th victory in 201 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. Brian Scott led a race-high 239 of 250 laps but finished in second place, while Regan Smith, Busch and Trevor Bayne completed the top-five finishers. There were seven caution periods for 35 laps of the race along with one lead change among two drivers.

The No. 54 Camry owned by J.D. Gibbs remains second in the Owner’s Point standings, now 18 points from the lead.

The next event on the Nationwide Series schedule is the Dollar General 300 presented by Coca Cola on Saturday, September 14th at Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway with the race television broadcast starting at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Busch will make his 20th start of the season behind the wheel of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Monster Energy Camry.


In response to above-averages temperatures forecast for the weekend, Iowa Speedway officials announced today that the track’s beverage policy will be modified to allow patrons to bring in one sealed plastic bottle of water containing a maximum of 20 ounces during this weekend’s events at the Newton facility.

Iowa Speedway PR

There's no place like home for anyone, let alone a racecar driver, and even though Iowa's definitely not Johnny Sauter's home, there could be no better place for the Wisconsin native to be this weekend than at Iowa Speedway for Sunday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland.

Sauter's average finish in six Truck Series starts on the .875-mile oval is fifth, second only to ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton's 4.7 average. Sauter buttresses that with a 5.7 average start so it's easy to see why he's anxious for his No. 98 Carolina Nut Co. / Curb Records Toyota to be unloaded Saturday.

"Iowa's a short track, we all grew up racing on short tracks but it's a place that I've particularly thrived on," Sauter said. "Timing is everything and after we thought we had our season turned around back at Bristol, we went to Canada.

"But the great thing about my crew chief, Dennis Connor and my team is we never give up -- no matter how heartbreaking some of the racing luck we've had this season has been. That's why I'm glad we're in Iowa this weekend."

Sauter's five-race career record at Iowa was superlative when the series arrived for its July night race. Sauter had five consecutive top-five finishes at Iowa before he had a tire go down and send him into the wall midway through the most recent race. The fact that Sauter came back to finish 11th with a wounded Tundra has his spirits up.

"Since Dennis has come on board we've had great trucks," Sauter said. "That's got me fired-up about this weekend."

Sauter's still in a position to make a step toward getting back into the top-five in the standings. He's currently 10th, 39 points out of fifth and 107 behind series-leader Crafton.

There will be a single Truck Series practice on Saturday, from 11 a.m. - 1:20 p.m. CT. A public autograph session featuring Truck Series drivers is scheduled in the infield fan zone from 4:15-5 p.m. Coors Light Pole Qualifying to set the starting lineup is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.


The 200-lap, 175-mile Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland will be telecast live on FOX Sports 1 at 1 p.m. CT, preceded at 12:30 p.m. by The Setup pre-race show. MRN Radio's live broadcast begins at 1. Live timing & scoring is available at   


Last weekend's Chevrolet Silverado 250, the Truck Series' first road race in 13 years and the inaugural event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, was a tough pill for Sauter and his team to swallow.


A baffling issue that primarily affected the fuel system last Sunday ended Sauter's race before it really got started, ultimately resulting in Sauter's second DNF of the season. 


After several long pit stops -- the first of which came shortly after the 10-lap mark, though the problem was apparent when Sauter made his first pit stop, timed perfectly as the race's first caution flew at lap six -- Sauter was scored 28th in the final rundown.


"Unbelieveable -- I don't know what else can happen to us this season," Sauter said. "I hate if we ruined anyone's day by bringing out that last caution but there was nothing we could do. We were just trying to make something out of a strange day."


Sauter's truck's indecipherable condition, which the team was unable to diagnose in the first day back at the shop, before they had to set it aside to concentrate on the Iowa truck, caused it to stop on the racetrack several times, before quickly refiring.


Once, it caused a local yellow on the backstretch when the truck momentarily stopped, then refired and continued. And that's what happened in the closing laps, which was enough to bring out a caution and set up a mayhem-filled last lap that enabled Sauter's ThorSport Racing teammate Crafton to grab a 10th-place finish. 


After the race, it had Connor beside himself. 


"We quite literally changed everything on the fuel system except the main fuel line and the fuel cell -- and there can be nothing wrong with the fuel cell because it just holds gas," Connor said after the race. "Logically there can be nothing wrong with the fuel line so we're all pretty much at a loss.

"We worked so hard on it all day long to try to identify the problem so it never catches us again, but unfortunately we were unable to do so."

Sauter had improved his performance on high speed and technical road course over two days of practice, but that didn't make he or Connor feel any better.

"The frustrating thing is, we practiced for two days and ran two complete cells of fuel out of the truck and had no problem whatsoever," Connor said. "And then the race starts (Sunday) and we don't even run six laps and we're having conditions like we're out of fuel. We weren't out of fuel but we weren't picking up any fuel so it's frustrating."

It was the latest case of what could have been for Sauter and his team.

"I think we had a pretty good truck and we would have had a good finish if we hadn't had that problem," Connor said. "But I can't say it's anything that anybody did wrong -- it's just one of those things that gets you, and we'll have to find out exactly what it was and come back stronger next week." 
Thorsport PR

Matt Crafton's riding a wave in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series that includes a top-10 finish earlier this season under the lights at Iowa Speedway. So Crafton sees no reason the positive roll won't continue Sunday afternoon with his No. 88 Jeld-Wen / Menards Toyota in the Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland.

"My guys have been so solid that I'm really psyched to get to the racetrack every week," Crafton said. "Our night race earlier this summer wasn't quite what we wanted -- but it was a top-10 and that's what's put us in the position we're in.

"I'll guarantee you this -- Junior (crew chief Carl Joiner) and my team will have things in-line when we unload and we'll take it from there."

A couple races ago, Crafton's lead in the Truck Series championship was more than 50 points. Defending series champion James Buescher has gone on a roll of his own that's closed him to within 47 points of Crafton with eight races to go. But the point leader's undaunted.

"We're racing more than just James -- but it's in our control what we do with it," Crafton said. "We got ourselves in the position we're in now racing smart, with solid Menards Tundras and I don't see anything changing there. But it's up to us to keep doing the right things."

Iowa makes that easier for Crafton because it's arguably his best track on the series. Crafton has a career string of six consecutive top-10 finishes on the .875-mile showplace, including his second career Truck Series victory, in 2011.

Crafton has the series' best average finish at Iowa, 4.7, among series regulars to go with a 9.8 average start.

"Drivers like tracks you have to drive and that's what makes Iowa so enjoyable," Crafton said. "You have options if your truck isn't working and it's up to you and your crew chief to find them. We've managed to do a good job with that so far."

Crafton's career streak at Iowa is matched by what he's done this season, in which he's the only Truck Series competitor to score a top-10 finish in all 14 races run to date. And Crafton will extend his series-leading string of consecutive starts to 309 when he takes the green flag Sunday afternoon.

There will be a single Truck Series practice on Saturday, from 11 a.m. - 1:20 p.m. CT. A public autograph session featuring Truck Series drivers is scheduled in the infield fan zone from 4:15-5 p.m. Coors Light Pole Qualifying to set the starting lineup is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
Thorsport PR

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