Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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When Alex Palou sits back and soaks in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by AmFirst, he can take special satisfaction in knowing he took his first career NTT INDYCAR SERIES victory the old-school way.

He earned it.

MEDIA LINKS: Official Race Results | Driver Video Quotes

Palou held off legends Will Power and Scott Dixon – who have seven series titles and two Indianapolis 500 victories between them – to win Sunday afternoon at Barber Motorsports Park in his debut with reigning series champion Chip Ganassi Racing. Palou held off a charging Power by 0.4016 of a second – the closest margin of victory in the history of this race – to take the checkered flag in his No. 10 SEGI.TV Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

“We did it!” Palou said. “It’s amazing. All of the team did an amazing job. We had the best cars. We’re starting strong, and we’ll keep it strong.”

Six-time and reigning series champion Dixon helped Chip Ganassi Racing take two of the three podium positions by finishing third in his No. 9 PNC Bank Grow Up Great Honda, 2.9881 seconds behind his winning teammate.

NTT P1 Award winner and pole sitter Pato O’Ward finished fourth in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, 3.9741 seconds behind Palou as a fascinating duel between series legends and young stars unfolded over the closing laps on the 17-turn, 2.3-mile circuit.

Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the top five after starting 16th in the No. 14 ROKiT AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet.

The race, held under sunny skies and before a capacity-allowed crowd of 20,000, developed into a clash of strategies for the first 70 laps. Palou, Power, Dixon and Marcus Ericsson were among the leading lights who opted for a two-stop strategy, while O’Ward, Bourdais and Graham Rahal were among the contenders who chose a three-stop strategy.

Two stops became the golden ticket, as Palou, Power and Dixon ended up on the podium. But once each of the contenders had made their final stops, regardless of strategy, the race became a contest of brilliant driving and deft usage of Push-to-Pass, not a game of clever fuel mileage calculations on the pit box.

It was the best of both worlds of INDYCAR.

Power scorched the track with fast in and out laps around his last pit stop in the No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet. Palou led Power by 5.1284 seconds when the Spaniard made his final stop on Lap 60. Power made his final stop on Lap 62 and had trimmed the margin to Palou to 2.3901 seconds on Lap 68, one circuit after Palou took the lead for good when O’Ward made his final stop.

Over the closing laps, Power began to nibble at Palou’s lead through pace and more available Push-to-Pass in his No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet.

The gap evaporated to 1.8038 seconds on Lap 83 of 90, with Power having nearly twice the Push-to-Pass seconds in his firesuit pocket as Palou. The Spaniard had the further complication of dealing with the turbulence from the rear wing of the No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet of Conor Daly, who was just ahead of him and racing to stay on the lead lap.

Power closed to within 1.1160 seconds with two laps to go, but Palou padded that margin to 1.8311 seconds at the white flag and staved off everything Power had over the final lap for victory.

“I made one little mistake in (Turn) 9, but with the amount of Push-to-Pass I had left, it could have been pretty good,” Power said. “We had to save some fuel, but I had enough to use Push-to-Pass the last two laps.

“It just blew my mind how fast Alex was in that first stint. I had absolutely nothing for him. He just pulled away, so I figured he was on a three-stop race. I was getting the best lap time I could for the fuel number.”

Said Palou: “It was one of those days when everything went well. We had good fuel mileage, good tire management and good pace.”

Palou’s early fast pace after starting third helped him build a lead of 6.6 seconds shortly before his first pit stop on Lap 31 and a gap of 8.4 seconds on Lap 49. His average speed was 110.025 mph in a rapid race that featured 10 lead changes and just two caution periods for eight laps.

One of those cautions occurred on the first lap.

Chaos unfolded when two-time series champion and three-time Barber winner Josef Newgarden got loose exiting Turn 5 in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, touched the dirt just outside the racing surface and spun. He collected Andretti Autosport teammates Colton Herta and Ryan Hunter-Reay, Felix Rosenqvist of Arrow McLaren SP and Max Chilton of Carlin in the melee.

All the drivers involved in the incident were unhurt, but Newgarden and Hunter-Reay were eliminated.

“I got loose coming over the hill,” Newgarden said. “I thought I had the car and touched the grass, and I think once I touched the grass, it pitched me sideways. I feel really bad for anyone that got involved in that. Obviously, my mess created a bigger mess.”

The second caution came on Lap 10 when seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson spun in the No. 48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Johnson recovered to finish 19th in his eagerly anticipated NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut.

Fellow rookie Romain Grosjean finished 10th in his series debut in the No. 51 Nurtec ODT Honda, while rookie Scott McLaughlin placed 14th in the No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet.

The next event is the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, April 25 (live coverage starts at noon ET on NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network). The first practice starts at 4:15 p.m. (ET) Friday, April 23 (live on Peacock Premium).

NTT IndyCar Series PR

It was a beautiful day at Barber Motorsports Park for 24 NTT INDYCAR Series race cars to take the green flag to start the opening race of the 2021season.
 
Pole winner Pato O’Ward. No.5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, led the field to turn one solidly in the lead, but a multi-car crash in a few turns later jumbled the field and strategies. Chevy drivers Josef Newgarden, Felex Rosenqvist and Max Chilton sustained heavy damage in the melee.
 
Rosenqvist, No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevy and Chilton, No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet were able to make repairs and return to gather points. Newgarden’s, No.2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, day was done.
 
Former Series’ champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power and his No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet team executed an outstanding race. Methodically he drove his way up to the runner-up step on the podium.
 
O’Ward led for 25 laps, but strategies that were varied by the crash. He turned fast and consistent laps, but after each of his three pit stops, he was mired deep in the field. He battled is way to fourth at the finish.
 
Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais, No. 4 ROKIT Chevrolet finished fifth, and Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Sonax Ed Carpenter Racing finished sixth.
 
Up next is the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on April 24-25, 2021.
 
TEAM CHEVY FINISHERS:
2nd               Will Power
4th                Pato O’Ward
5th                 Sebastien Bourdais
6th                 Rinus VeeKay
14th              Scott McLaughlin
16th              Conor Daly
18th               Dalton Kellett
20th              Max Chilton
21st               Felix Rosenqvist
23rd               Josef Newgarden
 
DRIVER QUOTES
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 2ND:
“YOU PUT UP A GOOD FIGHT. YOU HAD A LOT MORE PUSH TO PASS LEFT THAN ALEX PALOU. WHAT MORE, IF ANYTHING, COULD YOU HAVE DONE THERE IN THOSE CLOSING LAPS?
“Yeah, I made one little mistake. Yes, you’re right. With the amount of push to pass I had left, it could have been pretty good. I did have to save some fuel, so I had enough to be able to use push to pass for the last two laps. But it just blew my mind how fast Alex was in that first stint. I had absolutely nothing for him. He just pulled away. So, I figured he was doing a three-stop race because I was getting the best lap time I could for the fuel number. But we got the Verizon 5G car on the podium. We’ve had a pretty bad start to the year the last four years, so it’s awesome to get a really good start to the season.”
 
SINCE THERE ARE FOUR RACES IN JUST A MATTER OF THREE WEEKS, WHAT DOES THIS DO FOR THE TEAM TO START OFF SO STRONGLY?
“Yeah, it’s great. It’s great. I said to the guys if we do this week in and week out, just solid races with no mistakes, I promise you we will absolutely have a great chance at winning the championship.”
 
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET – FINISHED 4TH
WHAT’S YOUR TAKEAWAY FROM THE RACE THIS AFTERNOON?
“Track position was everything today. I feel like we executed on what we went for, strategy-wise. Unfortunately, it was the wrong one. But I’ve got to give it to these guys. We were the fastest car on track today. We’ve been the fastest car all weekend in terms of qualifying and pace; and we’re ready for St. Pete. We got good points here. I would have loved to get the win, but we’ve got another shot next weekend and we’re going to be going for it. I just want to thank Arrow Electronics, Arrow McLaren SP, Team Chevy; these guys have been on it. I’m one hundred percent sure that when St. Pete comes in a few days, we’ll be ready to give it our all.”
 
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 4 ROKIT AJ RACING CHEVROLET, FINIDHED 5TH
“Really good run today for the No. 14 ROKIT Chevrolet for AJ Foyt Racing. A very solid day, a very solid race. Good strategies and good pit stops. And good pace. Really happy for the whole team. We overcame a dodgy day starting 16th. Put on a good show and put on a show. Passed a lot of cars. I’m really happy for everybody and looking forward to. St. Pete.”
 
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 SONAX ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH: “Crazy race here at Barber. G. ot in a lot of trouble on the first lap. Got a flat tire and went all the way to the back. But the team was awesome at strategies. The car was awesome. I felt awesome. We had a great race coming back to P6.
So close to the top-five but awesome recovery. All I could wish for. This is the start of an awesome season – so happy me.”`
 
 JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE – SIDELINED IN MULTI-CAR CRASH ON LAP 1
“I got loose coming over the hill. It was a good start. We were lining in pretty nicely, but I just got loose in the wake. I thought I had the car and then touched the grass and I think once I touched the grass it pitched me sideways. I feel really bad for anyone that got involved in that. Obviously, my mess created a bigger mess. Any of the cars that got involved, I’m real sorry because it was obviously us that tipped it off. It’s a shame. I feel like we had a really good car. We just needed to file-in there at the start. We partially did that but yeah. Wudda, shudda, cudda I guess for Hitachi and Chevrolet. But we’ll come back. We’ve just got to bounce back at the next one.”
 
ARE YOU OKAY AND WHAT HAPPENED
“Yes, I’m okay. I wanted to just get rolling. I felt like we had so much potential. We had a really good car underneath us and the team worked really hard and was ready to show that. I made a mistake. I got loose in traffic coming up the hill. I haven’t been loose like that at the start of a race here (Barber Motorsports Park). So just feel bad for causing a big wreck and anyone who was involved because of me. It’s tough to have a mistake like that. But thanks to our partners Hitachi, Chevrolet and everyone else, Just disappointed we couldn’t make something of it today.”
 
Team Chevy PR

Race Winner: Alex Bowman of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

Kyle Busch started 10th and finished 11th.

● The M&M’S Red Nose Day driver started 10th but quickly fell to 14th as he told crew chief Ben Beshore he needed the most help with his drive off the corner.

● Busch moved up to 13th when the competition yellow waved on lap 30. Beshore called Busch to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustments, and Busch restarted in 12th.

● The two-time Cup Series champion told Beshore as the laps wound down in the stage that the car started off better, but he still had the same issue with the drive off.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-235):

Busch started seventh and finished seventh, earning four bonus points.

The M&M’S Red Nose Day driver came to pit road on lap 84, as Beshore hoped to tighten the No. 18 to start Stage 2. Quick work by his over-the-wall team saw Busch jump up from 11th to seventh coming off pit road to start Stage 2.

Drive off the corner continued to be a problem as Stage 2 unfolded for Busch. He dropped back a few positions and was in 11th by lap 120 as he attempted to negotiate the handling issues.

Green-flag pit stops started taking place around lap 130 with the No. 18 M&M’S Red Nose Day team making its stop on lap 133 for a chassis adjustment, four tires and fuel.

Caution was displayed on lap 139 for a single-car accident. Because a handful of cars still had yet to pit, Busch was scored one lap down in 14th place. With only three laps on the tires the team elected to stay out and take the wave-around to get back on the lead lap. Busch lined up 14th for the restart on lap 146.

The two-time Cup Series champion had picked up a few positions and was in 11th when he reported that the drive off was still terrible but that the tight issue had improved slightly.

Another round of green-flag pit stops started on lap 183, with Busch making his own trip to pit road on lap 184 for chassis and air pressure adjustments, four tires and fuel. Busch was in 10th place by the time green-flag stops were complete.

During the next several laps Busch quietly picked up positions and was scored in seventh place by lap 227.

Busch was scored in seventh place when Stage 2 concluded. He noted that the car was handling a little better toward the end of the stage but that he still needed help with drive off.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 236-400):

Busch started fifth and finished eighth.

The No. 18 came to pit road on lap 240, taking on four tires and an air pressure adjustment. The M&M’S Red Nose Day over-the-wall team gained Busch two spots on pit road to help him restart fifth for the start of the final stage.

The M&M’S Red Nose Day driver slowly worked his way up through the field, finding himself up to the third position prior to the last scheduled pit stop of the day on lap 393.

However, as Busch came to enter pit road on lap 393, he came in too hot, getting his right-side tires on the commitment line, which is a penalty. The penalty necessitated a return trip down pit road for a drive-through penalty two laps later. Busch fell to 10th as the first car one lap down, hoping for a caution to get the free pass.

The caution did indeed come, as the yellow flag waved for a Kevin Harvick accident with 20 laps to go.

After getting his lap back, Busch came to pit road to take on four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment on lap 383. He restarted in eighth with 12 laps to go.

Busch battled hard over the final 12 laps of the race but had to settle for an eighth-place finish after a very strong run all race long.

 

Notes:

● Busch’s eighth-place finish was his fifth top-10 result of 2021.

● Busch now has 24 top-10 finishes in 31 Cup Series starts at Richmond.

 

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Red Nose Day Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

“We had a good M&M’S Red Nose Day Camry. The car didn’t start off well, but Ben (Beshore, crew chief) and the guys kept adjusting on it, and we got it a lot better. There at the end, you try to get all you can on and off pit road to have a shot at the win, and I just came in there too hard and got the commitment box.”

 

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the GEICO 500 on Sunday, April 25, at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 
TSC PR

A spin halfway through stage two of Sunday afternoon’s 400-lap race from Richmond set Ryan Newman and the Oscar Mayer team back on a day where much of the field had difficulty passing. The No. 6 team battled back from the damage to ultimately finish 30th.

Just two non-stage cautions flew all day, with the first involving the Oscar Mayer Ford. The other came late in the action with 19 laps to go after several long green flag runs as only 14 cars finished on the lead lap, several of which took the wave around in the final break.

Newman started the day from the 19th spot and ended the first stage there, battling tight conditions in the middle of the corners with loose conditions on exit. After the team’s third stop of the day under green at lap 137 – the first stop of the second stage – Newman was on the outside of a three-wide scenario that saw the No. 6 spin off the front of the No. 33 machine.

The damage was mostly cosmetic on the left rear, but Newman lost a pair of laps in the sequence setting him back. He went on to finish the second stage in 32nd, and with just one final caution at lap 381 and two additional stops under green, was relegated to the 30th-place result.

Newman and the No. 6 team head to Talladega Superspeedway next weekend for 500 miles from the 2.66-mile track. Race coverage is set for 2 p.m. ET on FOX and MRN, and coverage can also be heard on SiriusXM Channel 90.

RFR PR

Chris Buescher maintained his postseason position in Sunday’s race at Richmond Raceway, with his 25th- place finish good enough to keep his hold on the provisional 14th spot in the NASCAR Playoffs.

Buescher began the day in his Fifth Third Bank Ford Mustang from the 12th position, but his line failed to gain momentum on the initial restart and he was quickly shuffled back into the 25th spot, which he maintained until the competition caution at lap 30.

Crew chief Luke Lambert took the opportunity to combat the excessive tire wear at the Virginia short track, and brought Buescher down pit road for four fresh tires and adjustments to the handling of his Ford. As the day wore on, green-flag passing became more and more difficult for the entire field. Buescher was no exception, maintaining a steady track position to finish 26th in the first stage.

The second segment saw the first natural caution at Richmond since 2019, when a spinning car brought out the yellow just after Buescher hit pit road. Trapped a lap down, the team worked to formulate a strategy to get back on the lead lap. Unfortunately, the rest of the stage ran green and finished with Buescher scored 25th.

The third and final stage saw yet another long green flag run until a caution came out with just 20 laps to go. With only two other cars on his lap, Buescher played defense for the remainder of the race and finished in the 25th position.

The No. 17 team returns to action next week from Talladega Superspeedway. A 2 p.m. green flag will start the field for 500 miles at the Alabama track, with coverage on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.

RFR PR

Race Winner: Alex Bowman of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

● Aric Almirola started 22nd and finished 12th.

● Almirola drove to 19th before the competition caution. He reported loose-handling conditions during the 30-lap run.

● The No. 10 Smithfield Ford team pitted for four tires, fuel and air pressure and chassis adjustments.

● Almirola continued to radio difficult handling conditions, but he impressively drove to 12th place before the stage ended.

● He pitted at the end of the stage for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-235):

● Almirola started 12th and finished 10th, collecting one bonus point.

● Almirola cracked the top-10 on lap 117.

● He pitted for four fresh tires and fuel on lap 137 from 11th place.

● The caution was called shortly after, putting Almirola and the majority of the field a lap down. He opted to wave around during the caution period and restarted 15th behind lapped traffic.

● Almirola pitted under green from 15th on lap 186 and drove back to the top-10 before the stage concluded.

● He pitted at the end of the stage for multiple adjustments.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 236-400):

● Almirola started 10th and finished sixth.

● The Smithfield Ford driver raced his way to sixth place before pitting under green on lap 294 for four fresh tires and fuel.

● He came off pit road in ninth place and drove to seventh by lap 306.

● Almirola pitted under green from seventh place with 58 laps to go. He came off pit road in seventh.

● Almirola advanced to sixth place with 33 laps to go and passed teammate Kevin Harvick with 23 to go.

● On lap 381, the caution was called with Almirola running fifth.

● The Smithfield Ford driver pitted for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments. He came off pit road in fifth place.

● Almirola drove to fourth during the restart. He battled the No. 20 car for multiple laps until losing grip and crossing the finish line sixth.

 

Notes:

● Almirola earned his first top-10 of the season and his seventh top-10 in 18 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond.

● This was Almirola’s second straight top-10 at Richmond. He finished eighth in the series’ prior visit to the track last September.

● Alex Bowman won the Richmond 400 to score his third career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Richmond. His margin over second-place Denny Hamlin was .381 of a second.

● There were five caution periods for a total of 39 laps.

● Only 14 of the 38 drivers in the Richmond 400 finished on the lead lap.

● Hamlin remains the championship leader after Richmond with an 81-point advantage over second-place Martin Truex Jr.

 

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“Man, I really battled for fifth there at the end but burnt up my tires on the outside in the process. Finally, a solid day for our Smithfield team. Everyone did their part, and we were mistake-free today. We showed what this team is capable of today. Let’s fire it up and keep it rolling.”

 

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the GEICO 500 on Sunday, April 25, at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

TSC PR

The Meyer Shank Racing team can check the first race of the INDYCAR season off the list after Jack Harvey drove to an eleventh place finish during Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
 

Harvey qualified the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda on the inside of the sixth row on Saturday for the start of the 90 lap race. Shortly after taking the green flag, an opening lap melee ensued going into Turn Five as several cars were collected right in front of the No. 60. Quick thinking and fast hands by Harvey saw him maneuver around the carnage and he escaped without damage. 
 

Once back to green, Harvey managed the Firestone alternate tires as best that he could. While they demonstrated pace in qualifying, the alternate tires fell off fast during the initial stages of the race. Once Harvey transitioned to the Firestone primary tires during a lap 34 pit stop, he was back on the charge to get within the top ten and posted his fastest lap of the race on lap 59.
 

Harvey drove to as high as seventh, but with several different pit strategies in play he was on the tail end of the train of top ten cars. The team’s strategy called for Harvey to save fuel during the final stint of the race in order to have extra fuel left at the end to attack. Unfortunately lapped traffic in the last six laps of the race hindered Harvey’s progress and he crossed the checkers eleventh in the order. 

 

“We started 11th and finished 11th,” said Harvey. “We had a pretty exciting start there dodging Josef (Newgarden). Our pace on Firestone reds was definitely not as strong as we would have hoped that it would have been and it definitely put us back compared to the cars ahead. But on the flip side we were flying on (Firestone) blacks. The guys did a mega job on the pit stops today and we have a lot of positives to take away from today and now we’re just going to roll onto St. Pete.”

 

“Jack drove a great race today,” said Mike Shank. “He executed our strategy perfectly. I know at the end there, it was tough trying to save fuel while keeping the top ten in sight, but he did everything that he could and we ended up with P11.”

 

INDYCAR continues three straight weekends of running with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg staged for next weekend, Sunday April 25.

MSR PR

Brett “The Threat” Kressley became the first repeat winner of the new season on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway in the TP Trailers 358 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series 30-lap Modified feature. The current point leader ducked underneath leader Justin Grim as the duo exited the fourth turn to move into first at the conclusion of the 18th lap. The Orefield, PA speedster encountered lap traffic around the 22nd lap which in turn allowed runner-up Jared Umbenhauer to reel him in, but Kressley managed to pull off the win by a slight margin for his 14th career win.

The T.P. Truck Equipment 25-lap Sportsman feature saw newcomer Dylan Hoch overpower Ebby Ridge for the lead on the 17th lap restart and go on to score his first win running a 602 crate engine.

The third division of the night was the 602 Sportsman crate in which many of the regular sportsman drivers did double duty. Former modified driver Glenn Strunk, who last drove in 2019, hopped in the Jimmy Leiby No. 9L and won the 25-lap feature in which he dedicated the win to his dad “Bumper” Bobby Strunk who is currently in the hospital with Covid 19. Biehn jumped out in front on the initial start of the Modified feature and led three laps before misfortune struck. After three laps were completed Richie Hitzler spun to bring out the yellow. The restart was void as rookie Jack Butler and Brad Arnold tangled on the homestretch. On the next attempt Biehn drifted up in front of two of the cars behind and there was a scramble. Biehn ended up with a flat tire and out of contention. When things cleared, the original polesitter and rookie Nate Brinker was the new leader.

Brinker stayed in front until the seventh lap when Justin Grim and Dillon Steuer got past him for first and second as he fell to third. Behind them Kyle Weiss and Kressley completed the top five.

J. Grim and Steuer diced for the top spot until Kressley took over second to pressure Grim. Grim ran the outside trek while Kressley stayed down low even though he made some daring outside moves to get to the front.

After a brief battle Kressley, the 16th-place starter, powered the Kressley Auto & Truck Sales No. 19K mount into first in quest of making it two-in-a-row.

Umbenhauer was on the move from his 15th starting grid and by the 20th lap he was second and set his sights on Kressley and as the laps dwindled down he was closing the margin.

Umbenhauer came within striking distance the last two laps, but Kressley kept him at bay to pull in victory lane for consecutive triumphs. Claiming a close second was Umbenhauer trailed by Steuer, Bruce Rogers memorial winner Duane Howard, who was involved in an early lap skirmish second him to the back of the pack, but he still came through and J. Grim, who also received the Dan’s Deli half-way hoagie award. Sixth through tenth were Ryan Grim, Weiss, Jeff Strunk, Craig Von Dohren and Kevin Hirthler.

Qualifying heats were won by Steuer, Biehn, Brad Arnold and Jesse Leiby. Consies went to Louden Reimert and Von Dohren.

Sportsman action saw Ridge take the early lead followed by Bryan Rhoads, Tyler James, Lex Shive and Kenny Bock.

Bock overtook second on the sixth lap and began challenging Ridge for the top spot. Behind them jockeying for positions were Shive, Hoch and the battle for fifth was between uncle and nephew Kenny Gilmore and Kyle Smith.

The yellow was out on the 16th lap when James was facing the wrong direction in turn two. Nathan Mohr was sent to the rear for initiating the incident. Ridge held onto the lead on the restart, but now Hoch was in the runner-up spot.

Shive, who was having a solid top five run, slowed in the third turn. He tried to get off the track, but the caution was thrown on the 17th lap. On the restart Ridge and Hoch made contact and Hoch emerged as the new leader.

With five laps to go the order behind Hoch now consisted of Gilmore, Bock, Jimmy Leiby and Smith.

Coming out of turn four for the checkered Hoch’s car erupted in a huge puff of steam as the engine overheated, but he still managed to get to the winner’s circle first followed by Bock, Gilmore, Leiby and Dakota Kohler, who made his way back to the front after spinning on the third lap and going to the rear. Rounding out the top ten were Smith, Ryan Beltz, Ridge, Mark Kemmerer and Nathan Mohr.

Ridge, Hoch, James and Jesse Landis were the heat winners. Consies were won by Logan Bauman and Decker Swinehart.

Modified standout Ryan Grim competed in the crate feature, started on the pole and was the early race leader while Kris Ney, G. Strunk, Decker Swinehart and Dakota Kohler diced for second through fifth behind him.

Strunk moved into second on the sixth lap and set his sights on Grim.

Grim was the leader until the 16th lap when Strunk took over the top spot.

Strunk never faltered and went on to claim the win chased by Tyler Peet, Grim, Swinehart, and Kohler. Ryan Lilick, Doug Snyder, Hoch, Mike Laise and Jimmy Leiby completed the top ten.

Heat winners were Grim, Kurt Bettler and Swinehart. Roger Gaskill won the consi. Action returns to Grandview quickly with a Thursday night 7:30 p.m. show featuring the United States Auto Club National Sprint Tour along with the 358 Modifieds.

Saturday night, 7 p.m., a tripleheader show will be the attraction featuring the T.P.Trailer Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman and the Outlaw Racing Series Vintage Racers as the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series continues.

And on Saturday, May 1st, starting time will move to 7:30 p.m. with the Modifieds and Sportsman racers being the attraction.

Information on racing at Grandview can be had at www.grandviewspeedway.com, Facebook or telephone 610.754.7688

RACE RESULTS T.P. Trailers Modified Feature (30-laps): 1. Brett Kressley, 2. Jared Umbenhauer, 3. Dillon Steuer, 4. Duane Howard, 5. Justin Grim, 6. Ryan Grim, 7. Kyle Weiss, 8. Jeff Strunk, 9. Craig Von Dohren, 10. Kevin Hirthler, 11. Doug Manmiller, 12. Danny Bouc, 13. John Willman, 14. Brad Grim, 15. Louden Reimert, 16. Nate Brinker, 17. Jorden Henn, 18. Brad Arnold, 19. Ron Haring Jr., 20. Bobby Gunther-Walsh, 21. Darrin Schuler, 22. Mark Levy, 23. Jesse Leiby, 24. Richie Hitzler, 25. Jack Butler, 26. Eric Biehn, 27. Corey Merkel, 28. Brett Gilmore. DNQ: Dylan Swinehart, Brad Brightbill, Scott Frack, Joe Funk, Ron Kline, Mark Kratz, Carroll Hine III, Craig Whitmoyer, Ryan Lilick, Kris Graver.

T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman Feature (25-laps): 1. Dylan Hoch, 2. Kenny Bock, 3. Kenny Gilmore, 4. Jimmy Leiby, 5. Dakota Kohler, 6. Kyle Smith, 7. Ryan Beltz, 8. Ebby Ridge, 9. Mark Kemmerer, 10. Nathan Mohr, 11. Doug Snyder, 12. Parker Guldin, 13. Cody Manmiller, 14. Mike Schneck, 15. Brian Hirthler, 16. Cody Schantz, 17. Tyler James, 18. Logan Bauman, 19. Chris Esposito, 20. Lex Shive, 21. Bryan Rhoads, 22. Kurt Bettler. 23. B.J. Joly, 24. Decker Swinehart, 25. Mike Stofflet, 26. Jesse Landis. DNQ: Brad Force, Joey Vaccaro, Andy Clemmer, Tom Miller, Chuck Eckert, Nick Faust, John Mooney, Dominic Devlin, Wayne Rotenberger, Colton Perry.

602 Crate Sportsman Feature (25-laps): 1. Glenn Strunk, 2. Tyler Peet, 3. Ryan Grim, 4. Decker Swinehart, 5. Dakota Kohler, 6. Ryan Lilick, 7. Doug Snyder, 8. Dylan Hoch, 89. Mike Laise, 10. Jimmy Leiby, 11. Steve Lyle, 12. Kenny Bock, 13. Parker Guldin, 14. Cody Manmiller, 15. Scott Kohler, 16. Logan Bauman, 17. B.J. Joly, 18. Cory Edelman, 19. Tyler James, 20. Kris Ney, 21. Roger Gaskill, 22. Nick Faust, 23. Joey Vaccaro, 24. Kurt Bettler, DNQ: Hunter Iatalese, Andy Clemmer.

Grandview Speedway PR

Becoming the 18th different winner with the San Tan Ford ASCS Desert Non-Wing Series on Saturday night, Troy DeGaton ran low through the field from seventh at Arizona Speedway.
 
Taking the point on Lap 14 from Bryan Ledbetter, Jr., the No. 39t pulled away by 2.079-seconds at the checkered flag. A.J. Hernandez worked to second on Lap 16, but his position would not stand as he was 20lbs light at the scales. Putting Ledbetter back to second, Joshua Shipley ended on the final podium step. Rick Shuman and Wayne Siddle made up the top five.
 
The next event for the San Tan Ford ASCS Desert Non-Wing Series will be Saturday, May 1, at Arizona Speedway.
 
The 2021 season marks the 30th year of competition for the American Sprint Car Series. Spearheaded by the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network, the ASCS Nation also includes 11 Regional Tours that encompass both wing and non-wing competition.
 
For other news, notes, and information on any of the tours under the ASCS banner, log onto http://www.ascsracing.com, follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@LucasOilASCS).
 
Race Results:
 
ASCS Desert Non-Wing
Arizona Speedway (Queen Creek, Ariz.)
Saturday, April 17, 2021
 
Car Count: 15
 
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 72-AJ Hernandez[6]; 2. 9-John Shelton[1]; 3. 3K-Patrick Krob[2]; 4. 96S-Brandon Sampson[4]; 5. 88-Philip Deeney[7]; 6. (DNF) 7BG-Mark Clark[3]; 7. (DNF) 10-Eugene Thomas[5]; 8. (DNF) 7-Wayne Siddle[8]
 
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 2-Joshua Shipley[4]; 2. 25AZ-Rick Shuman[6]; 3. 39T-Troy DeGaton[1]; 4. 7OH-Bryan Ledbetter Jr[7]; 5. 65X-John Romero[5]; 6. (DNF) 0-Jonas Reynolds[2]; 7. (DNF) 42-Danny Mathus[3]
 
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 39T-Troy DeGaton[7]; 2. 7OH-Bryan Ledbetter Jr[3]; 3. 2-Joshua Shipley[1]; 4. 25AZ-Rick Shuman[2]; 5. 7-Wayne Siddle[15]; 6. 65X-John Romero[10]; 7. 9-John Shelton[5]; 8. 3K-Patrick Krob[6]; 9. 42-Danny Mathus[14]; 10. 88-Philip Deeney[8]; 11. (DNF) 96S-Brandon Sampson[9]; 12. (DNF) 7BG-Mark Clark[11]; 13. (DNS) 0-Jonas Reynolds; 14. (DNS) 10-Eugene Thomas; 15. (DQ) 72-AJ Hernandez[4]
 
ASCS PR
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