Speedway Digest Staff
Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest
It all starts with qualifying. At least for the Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models and the BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds, it does. The other divisions draw for their starting positions. As for Rodney Standerfer in the BillingleyRewards.com Modifieds, qualifying was just the beginning of his success. Of the 17 cars in his division, Standerfer was the quickest car across the 1/5th mile track. That helped set him up on the front row of his heat race due to the division going fastest-to-slowest in order. After the eight laps, Standerfer had a win. Thanks to a dice roll inversion, Standerfer started in the third position, second row inside, and needed a good start to move past Jeremy Nichols and Tim Luttrell for the lead. He managed to do so and then held off the rest of the cars to nab his fourth feature win of 2022 and extend his points lead in the division over Guy Taylor. Taylor entered the night 24 points behind Standerfer for the track championship and the lead would grow as Taylor finished behind Luttrell and Cody Stillwell.
Taylor would continue his dominance in the Pro Modified class. The action was intense for the lead for the 15 laps as Taylor didn't get to have this one easy with Max Emerson pursuing for his first feature win. Taylor still managed to pull away for his tenth feature of the year and sixth in a row but it was a close battle through the laps and the traffic.
Nick Macklin has had a roller coaster of a weekend. After a roll over in Jacksonville on Friday night, Macklin took the car apart and put it back together with just a few hours sleep to have his 51 Bistro Street Stock ready to compete on Saturday. Macklin would get the checkered flag for the third time in 2022 and first time since the end of June. Macklin used the top groove to pick up speed and pull away from Andy Zahnd, Rudy Zaragoza and Gene Reed.
Another return to victory lane was Braden Johnson in the Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models. A full 20 laps of action took Johnson to the checkered flag as he dodged lapped traffic and second place racer Jose Parga to take feature number five on the year.
Aarik Andruskevitch sailed away from the 12 cars in the Micro Sprints presented by Bailey Chassis. Andruskevitch won for the third time in the year.
Tristin Quinlan finally had nobody stand in his way or rip away his first feature win. Previous weeks saw Brady Reed take away the checkered flag but with a small band of cars, Quinlan stood tall and won the battle over Billy Mason, Bridget Fulton and Stacy Eskew.
11-year-old Gavyn Parmele of Bloomington went wire-to-wire in the Kid Modz 8-lap feature race event. The kid from Bloomington also won the heat race over three other kid drivers.
The night featured intermission entertainment with nine spectators racing in the Spectator Drags. The first event brought six competitors in April and the second event saw nine competitors race a lap for the chance at winning. Gage Lee raced a 1989 red Ford Mustang and won four races to claim the title.
The big August auto racing weekend is coming! Friday night at Lincoln Speedway with the MOWA Sprint Cars, Pro Late Models, Modifieds, Division II Midgets, Hornets and Kid Modz. Saturday afternoon at the Illinois State Fair brings the USAC Silver Crown Bettenhausen 100 Presented by Hunt Brothers as well as the Sportsman Nationals qualifying and heat races followed by POWRi Midgets & Micro Sprints plus BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds, Pro Modifieds and Hornets at Macon Speedway. The finale of the weekend is back in Springfield to close out the Illinois State Fair with the ARCA Menard's Series Atlas 100 along with the Sportsman Nationals feature race. Visit trackenterprises.com for ticket information as well as schedules for Saturday & Sunday.
FEATURE RUNDOWNS (Top 10’s)
Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models
- 14J-Braden Johnson[Taylorville, IL]; 2. 6P-Jose Parga[New Berlin, IL]; 3. 27-Colby Sheppard[Williamsville, IL]; 4. 34-Tommy Sheppard Jr[New Berlin, IL]; 5. 22-Chris Dick[Deland, IL]; 6. 122-Timmy Dick[Monticello, IL]; 7. 10C-Colby Eller[Taylorville, IL]; 8. 64-Donny Koehler[Macon, IL]; 9. 9B-Ryan Miller[Lincoln, IL]; 10. 14-Derek Smith[Decatur, IL]
- 28-Rodney Standerfer[Summerfield, IL]; 2. 99-Tim Luttrell[Riverton, IL]; 3. 00S-Cody Stilwell[Godfrey, IL]; 4. 8UP-Guy Taylor[Springfield, IL]; 5. 87C-Alan Crowder[Elwin, IL]; 6. 10-Adam Rhoades[Clinton, IL]; 7. 78-Maxx Emerson[Taylorville, IL]; 8. 4M-Clint Martin[Ramsey, IL]; 9. 13J-Jason Scrimpsher[Decatur, IL]; 10. 24M-Matt Milner[Chatham, IL]
DIRTcar Pro Mods
- 4T-Guy Taylor[Springfield, IL]; 2. 78-Maxx Emerson[Taylorville, IL]; 3. 3W-BJ Deal[Brownstown, IL]; 4. 8UP-Zach Taylor[Springfield, IL]; 5. 15C-Kevin Crowder[Argenta, IL]; 6. 7B-Brian Burns[Bethany, IL]; 7. 24M-Matt Milner[Chatham, IL]; 8. 6-Billy Adams[Shelbyville, IL]; 9. 12-Dean Holt[Decatur, IL]; 10. J13-Justin Coffey[Stonington, IL]
51 Bistro Street Stocks
- 16-Nick Macklin[Argenta, IL]; 2. 2Z-Andy Zahnd[White Heath, IL]; 3. 67-Rudy Zaragoza[Jacksonville, IL]; 4. 5T-Gene Reed[Hammond, IL]; 5. 78B-Brad Peters[Stonington, IL]; 6. 21-Jaret Duff[Maroa, IL]; 7. 14-Terry Reed[Cerro Gordo, IL]; 8. 3J-Jonathon Hall[Harristown, IL]; 9. 80-Brian J Dasenbrock[Decatur, IL]; 10. 08-Brian R Dasenbrock[Decatur, IL]
- 95Q-Tristin Quinlan[Decatur, IL]; 2. 357-Billy Mason[Brownstown, IL]; 3. 20B-Bridget Fulton[Marissa, IL]; 4. 20-Stacy Eskew[Springfield, IL]; 5. (DNS) 2-Ken Reed
Micros By Bailey Chassis
- 21-Aarik Andruskevitch[Riverton, IL]; 2. 92-John Plotner[Decatur, IL]; 3. 8B-John Barnard[Sherman, IL]; 4. 5B-Chad Baldwin[Lincoln, IL]; 5. 18-Aidan Leingang[Coal Valley, IL]; 6. 7F-Nolan Bartley[Hammond, IL]; 7. 37Z-Jake Zimmerman[Pewaukee, IL]; 8. 44S-Jacob Stewart[Jacksonville, IL]; 9. 14-Kade Ballinger[Lovington, IL]; 10. 00-Joe Taft[Dawson, IL]
1. 75-Gavyn Parmele[Bloomington, IL]; 2. 22-Hudson Dick[Monticello, IL]; 3. 4KK-Kaylynn Eskew[Pleasant Plains, IL]; 4. 4-Brenden Heizer[Okawville, IL]
Macon Speedway PR
Chandler Smith claimed his third win of the 2022 season in Saturday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Richmond Raceway. With the win, Smith punched his ticket into the second round of the NASCAR Playoffs. Smith’s dominant performance leading 176 laps (of 250) en route to the win, showcasing the strength of Kyle Busch Motorsports heading into the next round of the Playoffs. Fellow Toyota Tundra drivers John Hunter Nemechek (second), Ty Majeski (third) and Corey Heim (fifth) also scored top-five finishes.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Race 18 of 23 – 250 Laps, 187.5 Miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, CHANDLER SMITH
2nd, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
3rd, TY MAJESKI
4th, Grant Enfinger*
5th, COREY HEIM
7th, MATT CRAFTON
8th, CHRISTIAN ECKES
11th, STEWART FRIESEN
13th, TYLER ANKRUM
14th, CHASE PURDY
18th, BEN RHODES
19th, LAYNE RIGGS
21st, KADEN HONEYCUTT
31st, TIMMY HILL
33rd, MASON MAGGIO
CHANDLER SMITH, No. 18 ChargeMe Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 1st
After becoming a first-time Dad earlier this week, how special is this race win?
“God is so good. I’m a Daddy now. My wife had such an amazing labor and delivery. We have an amazing and beautiful baby boy at home. Honey, this is for you and Jr. this is for you as well. I can’t wait to get home to you two tonight. The blessings just keep stacking up. I have an incredible group behind me at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) and an incredible group of partners with ChargeMe, Safelite and everybody. I’m taking this in. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it, but I’m going to keep taking it in and giving all glory to the Lord.”
Does this race win serve notice that the championship will go through this team?
“I’ll leave that to you guys. Just like I said at media day, if the Good Lord wants it to be our championship, then it will and if it’s not, it’s not. I like how everything is going right now for sure.”
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 4 Safeway Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 2nd
What did you need to make a run at Chandler Smith for the win tonight?
“We didn’t adjust quite like we needed to from day to night. Partly on me so I’ll take that one. Overall, solid day for our Safeway Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Thank you to all of our great partners that are on this Tundra TRD and everyone that helps out and keeps us going here. Just big picture racing I would say. Really good points day. Second, second and second for all three stages. Can’t complain about that, just one spot short. It’s good to be disappointed when you have a run like that with second, second and second. Really good points day, let’s go advance to the next round. Only thing that matters is getting to the final four in Phoenix to compete for a championship.”
What are you going to do in the two weeks before the Kansas race?
“Going to run two races for Sam Hunt Racing in the Toyota GR Supra. Excited to go stay in the seat and keep everything that I can sharp and go have some fun racing.”
TY MAJESKI, No. 66 TSPORT Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
How was your truck overall tonight?
“I thought we had a really good truck in qualifying and practice, but it didn’t quite correlate to the race. Just have to get better at being a little bit more picky with the balance and learning the transition with these race trucks from day to night. All in all, really good run for us today. We had a good points day and we’re right there.”
How difficult was it to recover after the incident with your jackman?
“I saw him trip and I slammed on the brakes so I didn’t hit him. He did a great job and it was actually his first time tonight and he recovered well and really salvaged that pit stop. He rebounded and had some really great stops. That’s what teamwork is all about, we win and lose as a team. I tried to encourage him over the radio and told him it was a good recovery. They gave me two great pit stops on those last two.”
MATT CRAFTON, No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 7th
How do you continue with this momentum into the next round of the Playoffs?
“Just keep doing what we’re doing. The team did a great job. We were really good on the long run. When we fired off, we were on the splitter. It took about 10 laps for it to get going and once it did, it was really good. We bumped up the tires there at the end and it made it quite a bit better to where it fired off on that restart. These guys worked their butts off and as fast as we’ve been this year at so many different places, to come here and be capable of running top-five speed wise. Very, very happy with that and we know we can run in the top-five and contend.”
CHRISTIAN ECKES, No. 98 CMR Roofing Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
What do you have to do to make it into the next round of the Playoffs at this point?
“We just have to undo what we’ve done the last two races. We just haven’t executed and we haven’t brought fast trucks and it’s frustrating for sure. Really proud of everybody at ThorSport Racing for fighting hard tonight. We really fought hard, but we really don’t have much to show for it. We don’t have much to lose at Kansas now. I know it’s only six points, but I feel like it’s going to take running up front and a win to make it happen. Huge thank you to CMR Roofing, ThorSport Racing and everyone involved. We’ll go get them at Kansas.”
BEN RHODES, No. 99 Tenda Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 18th
With a challenging night, you didn’t lose a lot of ground in the points to move onto the next round, but what do you need to contend for a second championship?
“I guess we can run just as bad in Kansas and make it into the next round. We had a terrible night tonight, but to go win a second championship, that’s not what we needed to do. We have to right the ship and get better. Honestly, I’m a little confused on the issues we fought all night. I had some brake issues in practice. We were trying something new and I didn’t like it from the start, from the first laps on the track. But something else was going on tonight, stuff that I’ve never really felt in a race car before. We’ll have to go back and diagnose it and make sure it never happens again. Overall, just have to say thank you to my team. They work their butts off. Not the night we wanted, but we can run this bad again. We need to get wins and run better to contend for this championship.”
After an encouraging practice session, Harrison Burton and the No. 21 Menards/Dutch Boy Mustang will have to start Sunday’s 65th annual Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway from the rear of the pack.
The Menards/Dutch Boy team showed good speed in Saturday’s practice session. Burton posted the 12th-fastest time in the session. His best lap, at 115.276 miles per hour, came on the third of the 47 laps he ran.
He was eighth fastest among drivers who ran 10 consecutive laps, averaging 114.089 mph over the first 10 laps he ran in the session. He and Ford teammate Joey Logano ran the most laps of any drivers in practice.
During the qualifying, Burton was one of the first drivers out on a track that significantly picked up speed as the session went on. He wound up 30th with lap at 113.900 mph, but there was an issue with the car’s master switch.
The Menards/Dutch Boy team plans to replace the switch prior to the start of the race. That’s considered an unapproved adjustment, and therefore the team will be sent to the back of the starting field.
Sunday’s 400-lap, 300-mile race is set to get the green flag just after 3 p.m. with TV coverage on USA Network.
Stage breaks are scheduled for Laps 70 and 230.
Newgarden's the man to beat at World Wide Technology Raceway (August 20 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline)
NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver Josef Newgarden pretty much has figured out World Wide Technology Raceway. In the space of five years, he’s won the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 three times. Going back to 1997, when Indy cars began racing at WWTR, no one else has won more than once at the egg-shaped oval. Considered a short oval by INDYCAR drivers, the track presents unique challenges: Turns 1 and 2 and different from Turns 3 and 4. It doesn’t seem to bother Newgarden – he’s dialed in at WWTR.
“You know, I love short oval racing. I really do,” said Newgarden. “I think World Wide Technology Raceway is a great track. It’s one of my favorite events that we have all year. It’s sometimes difficult to have confidence in your car because it is so fast, and the cornering speeds have a lot of high commitment. But as a driver we like those challenges of trying to find that confidence and edge over your competitors.
“I can’t really remember each of my WWTR victories in great detail. I do remember the first one in 2017 where Simon Pagenaud and I were racing really hard there. That one is really clear. I remember last year’s, for sure. I guess it’s the middle win that I can’t recall too well. We’ve run there in the day in 2020 and we’ve run there at night, which is the typical race weekend at WWTR. It is a challenge either way. Under the sun you lose a little grip, but at night you obviously gain more grip. You lose some confidence in the car during the day when you’re sliding around a bit. It’s one of those things where you have to tune around the handling depending on the conditions.
“Sometimes, close, hard racing is necessary to make a move happen or to pull off a pass. You try and assert yourself over another driver to gain a position, and there are no gimmes at WWTR. Sometimes you have to force the issue and that can create conflicts and flareups, but that is also exciting to watch when it happens. You 100 percent get that in St. Louis.”
It’s not surprising Newgarden has a strong fan base in the St. Louis region.
“We get a lot of fans that drive up from my hometown of Nashville. I drive up myself. It’s only four hours away, so not a bad drive at all. Short ovals are great events for fans because you can see the entire track. You don’t miss any of the action, and there is quite a bit of action in St. Louis. You get great pit exchanges when the tires start to fade, and guys come in early for the undercut or stay out longer for the overcut. You get that a lot at WWTR. It’s an interesting race to watch from a lot of different angles.
“The entire group at the facility have taken it up to today’s standards. It’s a beautiful track that is very fun to drive. The entire weekend is filled with activities off-track and other series on-track. They give you great value and do it as well as any track we go to. They knock it out of the park.”
In less than one week we’ll see if Newgarden needs to make room in his trophy case for a fourth Bommarito Automotive Group 500 trophy.
CART World Series
1997 -- Paul Tracy
1998 -- Alex Zanardi
1999 -- Michael Andretti
2000 -- Juan Pablo Montoya
2001 -- Al Unser Jr.
2002 -- Gil de Ferran
2003 -- Hélio Castroneves
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
2017 -- Josef Newgarden
2018 -- Will Power
2019 -- Takuma Sato
2020 -- Race 1: Scott Dixon; Race 2: Josef Newgarden
2021 -- Josef Newgarden
BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500 PRESENTED BY AXALTA AND VALVOLINE WEEKEND
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES brings the world to the St. Louis-Metro East region. Truly an international series: America’s best drivers competing against men and women from New Zealand, Spain, Australia, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Denmark, England, Canada and Switzerland. They are the cars and stars of the Indianapolis 500.
Bringing the St. Louis region to the world: Viewers from more than 200 countries will tune in to watch the Bommarito Automotive Group 500, the final oval track race on the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule.
Two of American motorsports’ most recognizable names of all time – Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt – remain active in the sport today as team owners.
The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline has produced many memorable moments, including Takuma Sato’s thrilling win over Ed Carpenter – the closest finish in WWTR history (by 0.039 sec.) -- in 2019. Only one driver has won the Bommarito Automotive Group more than once: Josef Newgarden is a three-time victor.
Tickets and weekend experiences are available at the WWTR ticket office, by calling (618) 215-888, or online at wwtraceway.com.
BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500 WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday, August 19
7:30 a.m. -- Parking lots open.
8 a.m. – Spectator gates open; Fan Walk open for paddock pass holders.
8 a.m. -- Indy Pro 2000 practice.
9 a.m. – INDYCAR garage and paddock opens for paddock pass holders.
9:15 a.m. -- Vintage Indy exhibition.
10 a.m. -- USAC Silver Crown Series practice.
10:45 a.m. -- Indy Pro 2000 practice.
12 p.m. -- NTT INDYCAR SERIES Bommarito Automotive Group 500 practice.
1 p.m. – Midway entertainment begins.
1:15 p.m. -- USAC Silver Crown Series practice.
2:10 p.m. -- Indy Lights Series practice.
3:15 p.m. -- NTT INDYCAR SERIES Bommarito Automotive Group 500 practice.
4:15 p.m. -- Coors Light Pole Night festivities begin.
4:30 p.m. -- USAC Silver Crown Series qualifying.
5:15 p.m. -- Indy Lights Series qualifying.
6:15 p.m. -- NTT INDYCAR SERIES Bommarito Automotive Group 500 qualifying.
7:50 p.m. -- Coors Light Pole Night qualifying awards.
8 p.m. -- USAC Silver Crown Series driver introductions.
8:30 p.m. -- USAC Silver Crown Series Gateway 100 (80 laps, 100 miles).
11 p.m. – Track closed.
Saturday, August 20 – Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline
8 a.m. -- Parking lots open.
8:30 a.m. – Spectator gates open; Fan Walk open for paddock pass holders.
9 a.m. -- Vintage Indy exhibition.
9:45 a.m. -- Indy Pro 2000 practice.
10:15 a.m. – Midway entertainment begins.
11 a.m. – BMX Freestyle Team exhibition.
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Indy Lights driver autograph session (main stage on midway)
11:45 a.m. -- Indy Pro 2000 qualifying.
12 p.m. -- INDYCAR garage and paddock opens for paddock pass holders.
12-1 p.m. – SpeedFreaks Live! (main stage on midway) – INDYCAR drivers will participate 12-12:30 p.m. Indy Lights drivers will participate from 12:30-1 p.m.
12:30-1:30 p.m. – INDYCAR driver autograph session (main stage on midway).
1 p.m. -- BMX Freestyle Team exhibition.
1:15 p.m. -- Vintage Indy exhibition.
12:30-2 p.m. -- SpeedFreaks Live! Driver Interviews on midway stage.
2:15 p.m. -- Indy Pro 2000 Series race (45 laps).
3:15 p.m. -- Indy Lights Series race (75 laps).
4:45 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES Bommarito Automotive Group 500 driver introductions.
5 p.m. – Sixth annual NTT INDYCAR SERIES Bommarito Automotive Group 500 (260 laps).
7:30 p.m. -- BMX Freestyle Team exhibition.
7:45 p.m. -- Post-race track walk for fans and victory lane celebration (time approximate).
8 p.m. – post-race concert on midway stage.
11 p.m. – Track closed.
Schedule subject to change.
CHEVROLET NCS AT RICHMOND: Pole Winner Quotes - Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrickcars.com Chevy Camaro ZL1
· Kyle Larson clocked-in a lap of 23.042 seconds, at 117.177 mph, to capture the pole position for tomorrow’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway.
· This marks Larson’s third NASCAR Cup Series pole of the season, and thirteenth of his career in Cup
· Larson’s pole gives Chevrolet its sixth NASCAR Cup Series pole win of 2022; and 729th all-time in NASCAR Cup Series history.
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1, Pole Winner Quick Quote:
WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU GOT IT ON THE QUALIFYING LAP?
“Even though I got into (turn) one too hard and a little bit sideways, I am imagining that is where I made up my time. Just getting in really deep and I think getting it under control before I got to the exit is probably where I made up the lap time. I don’t know though, it could be three and four. Who knows. But I felt like I got in deep, too deep for sure, but it worked out.
WELL, HOW ABOUT THAT WE SAW THE SAVE WE THOUGHT IT WAS A SAVE OVER HERE I GUESS IT WAS JUST A WAY TO GO QUICK AROUND RICHMOND NICE JOB
“Thanks! I definitely got in there a little too hot and got loose but I felt like I got through the center and off okay and made a decent three four was hoping to see something better than a teen on my dash and saw the flat and knew that was that was good enough. So happy! It’s cool to get a pole here at Richmond I was not expecting to do that. I didn't feel very good and practice so very happy with the hard work that everybody's been putting in on our on our Chevys Thanks everybody Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrickcars.com, Hendrick Automotive Group. So yeah, cool to get a pole now hopefully get all this media done quick and headed Knoxville to try and win another Knoxville Nationals.”
I CAN'T PROMISE THAT BUT YOU ARE HEADING OUT OF HERE TO GO DO THAT BETWEEN LEADING THIS FIELD TO GREEN TOMORROW. DOES THAT GET YOU PSYCHED UP? WHATEVER HAPPENS IN KNOXVILLE?
“Yeah, always anytime you're good at anything. It helps momentum and confidence.”
FORD QUALIFYING RESULTS
7th - Cole Custer
8th - Brad Keselowski
10th - Ryan Blaney
15th - Chase Briscoe
16th - Todd Gilliland
17th - Joey Logano
18th - Chris Buescher
28th - Cody Ware
30th - Harrison Burton
32nd - Aric Almirola
33rd - Austin Cindric
34th - Michael McDowell
35th - JJ Yeley
36th - BJ McLeod
COLE CUSTER, No. 41 Jacob Construction Ford Mustang -- Qualified 7th
“It was nice to get a solid run. We were a little too tight in qualifying but I think that we had pretty good long-run speed in practice. I am looking forward to the race. We have a solid Mustang, so we just have to keep the track position. That is so big in these cars now. We have to stay up front and have some good pit stops and execute the race with no mistakes. This year has been interesting with things not going right. I think tomorrow is the day we can turn it all around.”
Ford Performance PR
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch was made available to media prior to the Richmond Raceway race this Saturday:
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Is there anything you do to try to change you luck from your routine or anything else?
“No, not really. I've had some bad luck spells I guess in the past and you just always kind of wonder when it's going to be over and you can finally focus on getting the finishes that you deserve or that you would hope to, to get just based off of your performances and not something bad happening to you taking you out of a running.”
Does Kurt’s possible future in the No. 45 give you a potential option for 2023 if he doesn’t return?
“I mean, I guess it could. I don't know that it's necessarily been a prospect. So obviously I want him to be able to do what he (Kurt Busch) wants to do and go out the way he wants to go out. You know, I kind of talked about that where he and I just had a conversation where you know, he's like, ‘Pocono qualifying crash isn't necessarily the best way of going out.’ I'm like, 1,000% right, you know, so I just wish him the best that he can continue to get better and feel better and get through the processes of what this is. It's nothing like breaking a bone and being out, you know, with an arm injury or leg injury, foot injury, anything like that. Obviously it's the melon on top of your head that's very important to your well-being going forward. And so just hope that all of that can go well for him and he can get back as soon and as safely as possible.”
Is it comforting to know that Toyota is doing everything possible to keep you in the family for 2023?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that's obviously, you know, a strong suit. I had a relationship with this manufacturer and this team – Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing -- for 15 years. I mean, that's nothing to bat an eye at, you know, so we've had some, some really strong runs and some great results. We've won championships and 50-something races together. And, you know, obviously to continue on with that – my dream was to always have the chance of being able to go out when I want to and retire when I want to and sort of do the Ivan Stewart ‘Ironman’ deal with Toyota where he's kind of a lifer. You know what I mean, he goes to all the Toyota functions and all the Toyota things and he's one of those guys that man, whenever you're at one of those things, and you see ‘Ironman’ Ivan Stewart hanging around you know, it's really awesome to see the brand tie that he has, and that was always kind of my thought of being the NASCAR guy in in the Toyota realm and being one that's been the most successful driver for that manufacturer here in the NASCAR ranks. So, you know, we'd love to have that opportunity. It's just a matter of being able to put all the pieces in the right places. And you know, it's not as simple as a seven-year-old puzzle. It's about a 50-year-old puzzle, just with the amount of pieces and how long this thing has been taken. So we're still working through all that.”
Do you expect more teams to be part of a limited pit stop strategy in the final stage like the spring race?
“I think if you play the same race over again, it's going to be a two stopper in the final stage. No question. I think everybody will jump on that. It's also 20 degrees hotter than it was here the first time around. So tire wear and fall off is going to be worse. So you will be based off of the mathematics it'll be a two stopper.”
Where are things with Kyle Busch Motorsports for 2023? Are things on hold until your deal is figured out for next season?
No, I wouldn't say it's on hold. It's at the forefront in the discussions. You know, each and every week and people that you talk to, that's obviously one if not probably the second question that gets asked. So it's high up there for sure. And that's probably why it's taking a little bit longer than what it should. And so just working through those pieces. Again, the puzzle is not as easy and as simple as it may seem from the outside. So which that answers a lot of other questions in in my career and in my entirety. I'm not as simple as it may seem. Ever. Being able to put all of that together is not as easy as it seems. So we're again trying to work through that. So this is the second time I've gone through this. The last time I went through this was 15 years ago. The landscape of the sport was entirely different 15 years ago. And so this to me, you know that I had a runway of 20 to 25 years ahead of me, you know, so I had probably a little bit more runway to stand on. And I understand that, I get that. But to me this situation right now is very important to me, as well as Kyle Busch Motorsports. Because wherever this next place is, whether it's Joe Gibbs Racing or whoever. I would like it to not have to go through this again, right? I've got six, seven, maybe eight more years if I play all this out perfectly. Brexton and I we share a truck when he turns 16 years old when he's 16 and 17. And then it's his when he's 18. And I'm done. I'm out. You know what I mean? Like that's the perfect play. And so, if I can align all of that, you know, the runway does exist for a Busch. Obviously he's pretty talented. He wins a lot. He wins more than I do. I hear about it every day. So the runway for him, if you want to look at it that way is 30 years plus so you know he can he can carry on this legacy a hell of a lot longer than I will.”
What type of wake-up call will it be for Kimi Raikkonen next weekend at Watkins Glen?
“I hope he's at least watched a couple of these races at road courses and seen what the end turns into. You know, Indy is entirely different than Watkins Glen. You know, five wide into a two lane corner where the Glen you don't really miss you don't really get up to big speed before you got to break for turn one. So two, three wide is kind of the norm through there. But yeah, there's always contact and stuff like that. So you know, hopefully we can all just be smarter about it and more respectful about it. But that's probably asking too much.”
Has this been one of the most mentally challenging seasons of your career?
“Yeah, for sure. Please hold. Getting my facts straight here. All right. So let's throw some facts which is performance on top of the optics which is results right. Sonoma collectively JGR, we all sucked. Nashville we repeat and led the most laps coulda, shoulda won the race barring a strategy call at the end. Road America driver made a mistake, pit road over the wall too soon. Speeding penalty, race went green to the end. Atlanta, good car drove from 19th to the top three in the opening run. We had a hiccup on pit road. We were involved in the next crash. New Hampshire we spun twice. We weren't very good. Our team, teammates were a little bit better than us obviously. Still was able to salvage 12th. Pocono, one of the top three best cars all day led the most laps finish second before the room the doom and then the Indy road course obviously, we were probably a 10th to 12th place car, we put ourselves inside the top 10. We just passed the 2 (Austin Cindric) car leading into the second to the last caution of the day. And the 2 car ended up finishing second making his way through all the chaos at the end, and we did not so I think we're I finished 11th on that one. So was still able to come from 24th to 11th on the last restart, so a lot of bad luck in there. And that's not indicative of how we've been running. So if we can just finish how we've been running. We're no slouch. I feel like we're still contenders.”
Does it make sense to continue running the Indianapolis road course or is there something that should be changed?
“Sure, I mean, you can change anything you want to. We can go we can throw the green flag going through the esses if you want. But I don't know. Other guys have kind of had just through rumblings I've heard is single file restarts, you know, throw the green coming out of 13 where we all kind of accelerate through 14 and then we're all a little bit more spread out and you have a different shot at turn one, not so packed up so tight. So there's all kinds of different things that you can do. I think that restarting early single file is something IndyCar guys do or something. So that's kind of where that idea maybe stemmed from but yeah, or you can just go back to the oval and make Indy what it really Indy is meant to be and go run the oval with our cars. So yeah, I would think from the driver standpoint, we would all like to go see the Indy oval and see what it looks like and be back on hallowed ground if you will, but you know as far as action and calamity and destruction, if that's what you're into and keep us where we're at. Don't change a thing.”
Is there a team strategy to get Martin Truex Jr.
“Oh, man, if we're in Richmond, that's a bad question. That's a bad question. I have an itch. No, race it out. Play it as it is. You know, that's all you can do.”
Western Midget Racing presented by Masters Design and Construction points leader Blake Bower scored his tenth win of the 2022 season and his 18th career triumph, topping Fresno’s TJ Smith in a thrilling race at Ocean Speedway on Friday night.
Smith made his series debut in the No. 11 Triple-X chassis, winning his heat race and leading the feature from the pole. Concord’s Adam Teves won the second heat race of the night to start on the outside pole position for the 19th round of the season.
Bower and his teammate Bryant Bell of Oakley battled side-by-side for third for several laps behind Smith and Teves. Logan Mitchell of Santa Cruz stopped on the front stretch with a torsion stop issue on the right rear for a caution on lap 11. On the restart, Nate Wait of Lodi and Peoria, Ariz.’s Cory Brown tangled in turn one which ended both of their races early.
Bower seized the lead on lap 15 but Smith was undeterred. Smith tried multiple times to cross over Bower in turns one and two, but Bower held on to win in the close battle. Bell finished third followed by multi-time Delta Speedway Micro Sprint champion Caden Sarale of Stockton, and Teves.
Western Midget Racing races again on Saturday night at Marysville Raceway Park alongside 360 Sprint Cars and Hobby Stocks. Action can be streamed live on NorCalSpeed.TV part of the SPEED SPORT TV network.
For more information on Western Midget Racing, visit them at www.WesternMidgetRacing.com or follow them on Facebook!
Western Midget Racing is presented by: Masters Design and Construction, Rockwell Security, Rams Racing, Hoosier Racing Tire, Extreme Mufflers, FTK, Blud Lubricants, and West Evans Motorsports.
August 12, 2022 – Ocean Speedway (Watsonville, Calif.) Results
HEAT 1 (8 laps) – 1. 11 TJ Smith HEAT 2 (8 laps) – 35 Adam Teves
FEATURE (20 laps) – 1. 9-Blake Bower; 2. 11-TJ Smith; 3. 09-Bryant Bell; 4. 35X-Caden Sarale; 5. 35S-Adam Teves; 6. X-Caleb Debem; 7. 20-Kyle Hawse; 8. 12-Greg Jewett; 9. 20W-Nate Wait; 10. 32-Cory Brown; 11. 96X-Logan Mitchell; 12. 42-Sparky Howard
Watsonville’s Rickey Sanders continued his hunt for the 2022 Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo championship, scoring his first-career series win in the penultimate weekend of action for the 360 Sprint Car Series on Friday night. Sanders held off Bud Kaeding through lapped traffic on several occasions en route to the 30-lap triumph.
“Bud’s been racing for a ton of years. He’s won a million a races. He’s really good in lapped traffic. I’ve watched him and my brother (Justin) battle for years so this means a lot,” Sanders said. “My brother – we’ve been texting each other all week, trying to get better. I think we figured it out!”
Sanders earned the pole after winning the Gizdich Ranch Dash and lined up alongside fast-time qualifier Kaeding. The leaders rapidly encountered slower traffic by the fourth lap of the event. Cole Danell of Visalia slowed to the pits as the first car out and was awarded $100 by Geoffrey Strole’s team for his misfortune. Fresno’s Craig Stidham continued a challenging night by slowing into the infield with damage which earned him the Beer Optics Hard Luck award.
Wayne Katen spun in turn three while being lapped to bring out the first caution on lap seven. The leaders were quickly back into thick traffic on lap 12. Morgan Hill’s J.J. Ringo had a run outside of Joey Ancona of Concord for fifth but the duo collided on the backstretch, bringing out the yellow flag on lap 14 and ending both driver’s evenings.
Fifteenth starting Dylan Bloomfield of Discovery Bay outfoxed Livermore’s Travis Labat for fourth while Sanders and Kaeding again drove into traffic on lap 20. Sanders continued to impress as he paced the field. Brandon Stidham spun on lap 21 in turn four for a yellow flag. Bloomfield took advantage of the caution to charge past Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson to take third on lap 25.
Sanders slid in front of a lapped car on lap 28 to clinch a car length win over Kaeding, followed by Bloomfield, Nelson, and Oakdale’s Bradley Dillard. Bloomfield’s drive through the field earned him the Price Rite Hard Charger as well.
Blake Bower of Brentwood won his third consecutive Ocean Speedway Western Midget Racing feature in one of the most hotly contested in series history at the speedway. Fresno’s TJ Smith made his series debut in the No. 11 Triple-X chassis, winning his heat race and leading the feature from the pole.
Bower and his teammate Bryant Bell of Oakley battled side-by-side for third for several laps. Logan Mitchell of Santa Cruz stopped on the front stretch with a mechanical issue on the right rear for a caution on lap 11. On the restart, Nate Wait of Lodi and Peoria, Ariz.’s Cory Brown tangled in turn one.
Bower seized the lead on lap 15 but Smith was undeterred. Smith tried multiple times to cross over Bower in turns one and two, but Bower held on to win in the close battle. Bell finished third followed by multi-time Delta Speedway Micro Sprint champion Caden Sarale of Stockton, and heat race two winner Adam Teves of Concord.
Hobby Stock points leader Joe Gallaher won his ninth feature of the season by claiming the $333-to-win Terry Traub Tribute. Norm Ayers of Corralitos led the opening lap from the outside before Sam Kennedy drove up the inside to lead lap two. A caution flew on that lap. On the restart, fourth starting Gallaher drove into the lead around the outside.
Skyler Chairez of Atascadero slowed up in smoke for a caution on lap six. Kennedy drove back into the lead briefly on lap seven on the outside but Gallaher took it back on lap eight. Gallaher led the rest of the way to top Kennedy, Adriane Frost, Mark Cooper of Scotts Valley, and Wally Kennedy of Freedom.
Fred Lind of Prunedale used a lap 18 maneuver to win the 20-lap IMCA Modified feature. Trevor Fitz of Camarillo dominated the early laps. Lind won a long side-by-side battle with points leader Jim Pettit to take second on lap ten.
Andy Obertello of Hollister flipped in turn two to require a red flag on lap 13. He was uninjured. Lind dove inside Fitz on several occasions including nearly taking the lead on lap 15 in turn three. Lind finally completed the pass on lap 18 exiting turn four.
Bobby Hogge IV nabbed second over Fitz at the stripe with Pettit and Cody Burke of Salinas rounding out the top-five finishers.
IMCA Sport Modifieds points leader Jonathan Hagio of Prunedale won his fourth race of the season. Prunedale’s Max Baggett led the first two laps until Watsonville’s Billy Robertson executed a crossover pass in turn one to lead lap three.
Jacob Mallet, Jr. – a five-time winner this year – spun on the backstretch but kept going and the race remained green. Hagio advanced from seventh to third by lap ten, then the field moved into traffic by lap 12. Robertson, Merced’s Richard Ragsdale, and Hagio ran nose-to-tail until a caution on lap 15.
Mallet had charged all the way back to fifth under green flag conditions, then collided with Baggett to send Baggett spinning in turn two for the caution. Hagio drove around the outside of Ragsdale for second on the restart, then took the lead on the inside when Robertson drove wide in turn four on lap 14. Hagio topped Mallet, Robertson, Ragsdale, and Adriane Frost at the finish.
Ocean Speedway races again this Friday and Saturday nights with the Johnny Key Classic weekend. Saturday’s finale serves as the championship race for the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo, battling with the stars of the Sprint Car Challenge Tour.
Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo – August 12, 2022 (30 Laps)
A Feature 1 (30 Laps): 1. 17-Rickey Sanders; 2. 69-Bud Kaeding; 3. 83V-Dylan Bloomfield; 4. 72W-Kurt Nelson; 5. 72S-Bradley Dillard; 6. 61-Travis Labat; 7. 72JR-Chris Nelson; 8. 4-Burt Foland Jr; 9. 88-Koen Shaw; 10. 3M-Adam Kaeding; 11. 25Z-Jason Chisum; 12. 3-Brandon Stidham; 13. 63D-Jon De Wees; 14. 46J-Geoffrey Grimm; 15. 99-Wayne Katen; 16. 56Z-Don Hart; 17. 88A-Joey Ancona; 18. 3T-JJ Ringo; 19. 36-Craig Stidham; 20. 5-Cole Danell; 21. (DNS) 28K-Kameron Suoja; 22. (DNS) 5D-Connor Danell
Ocean Sprints PR