Speedway Digest Staff
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Tony Stewart won the Camping World SRX Series race Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway, leading twice for a race-high 43 laps to take his first victory as a driver at the half-mile, semi-banked dirt oval roughly 40 miles southeast of Des Moines.
“It’s the first time I’ve been in victory lane at Knoxville,” said Stewart, who has witnessed his sprint car drivers at Tony Stewart Racing win the prestigious Knoxville Nationals 11 times. “This is where I’ve watched Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser and the greatest of the greats in sprint car racing. This is the place I’ve always wanted to be, for sure, so this is pretty cool.
“This is the Sprint Car Capital of the World, and I want to thank the Knoxville staff and all the fans. They’re not used to tin tops, and if they see tin, they want to see it on top of the cage, not surrounding the cage. Just appreciate the fans and everybody for letting us come here.”
Stewart won the first heat race and finished fourth in the second heat race to line up first in the feature event. He led the first 13 laps until Michael Waltrip took the top spot, but Stewart reasserted himself on lap 21 and held the point for the final 30 laps.
That didn’t mean Stewart went unchallenged.
Hailie Deegan finished second with a spirited drive and Ernie Francis Jr., impressed again with a strong third-place finish.
“My goal coming into this race was to prove to everyone that I deserved to be here. I feel like we did that tonight, running second to Tony Stewart, that’s a huge accomplishment for me,” said Deegan, a three-time winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West – one of which came on dirt Feb. 28, 2019 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track. “I feel like we just ran a clean race, we just wrapped the bottom, stayed consistent, ran my line and finished second.”
Deegan substituted for Tony Kanaan, as a schedule conflict prevented him from competing at Knoxville. The 19-year-old Deegan will fill in for Kanaan again July 10 at Slinger (Wis.) Speedway as Kanaan is slated to race in his native Brazil.
Francis is the winningest driver in the 55-year history of the SCCA Trans Am Series, all while being just 23 years old. He is the youngest champion in Trans Am history and is the youngest professional driver to win seven consecutive championships. Francis finished fourth in the Camping World SRX Series season-opener last Saturday night at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.
“Not too bad for my second-ever dirt race,” Francis said. “We were just kind of riding around there trying to save the tires as much as I could. The car wasn’t as good in the feature as it was in the heat races, so I was just trying to keep the back end underneath me and just try to save it as much as I could, try to keep my position and I really had an awesome battle with Hailie out there. I was trying to get to the back of Tony’s bumper to try and get by him, but you can’t be happier than this. It was an awesome race. The car’s a little beat up, but I can’t wait to get to the next one.”
The victory marked Stewart’s third win of the season – all of which have come on dirt. He began 2021 by winning the final feature of the inaugural Wild Wing Shootout 410 sprint car event Jan. 24 at Arizona Speedway in San Tan Valley and then the All-Star Circuit of Champions 410 Winged Sprint Car feature April 15 at Virginia Motor Speedway in Jamaica.
“I thought our drivers did a fantastic job. I watched a lot of great racing tonight,” said Ray Evernham, co-founder of the Camping World SRX Series. “I’m happy for the guys who won, but you know me, I’m worried about the people who didn’t and I want to know what they thought.
“I felt like, for our first race on dirt, it was pretty respectable, really. We had a couple of little problems, but no really big issues, and I think the fans saw some great racing. We’ve got to work on our cars’ cooling a little bit. I think we need more right-side fiberglass, for sure, but other than that, I thought it was a really good race.
“We’ll go ahead and review the format, time-wise. I really want to know what the fans thought, what the drivers thought. I’m not afraid to tweak this thing to get it right.”
The Camping World SRX Series remains on dirt for a second straight week. The third event of the Camping World SRX Series’ six-race short-track schedule takes place June 26 at the legendary Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Joining the Camping World SRX Series regulars at Eldora’s half-mile, dirt oval are Kody Swanson and Scott Speed.
Swanson is a native of Kingsburg, California, who resides in Indianapolis. His five USAC Silver Crown championships (2014, 2015 2017, 2018 and 2019) are the most in series history, as are his 30 career Silver Crown wins and 31 Silver Crown poles. Swanson holds the Silver Crown record for most consecutive wins (five) and he is the all-time series leader in podium finishes and laps led. In four of his last five Silver Crown starts at Eldora, Swanson has finished in the top-five. He is still searching for that elusive first win at Eldora, with second place in the 2015 4-Crown Nationals his best finish at the half-mile, dirt oval.
Speed is one of the most versatile drivers in motorsports. His career began with his climb up the American open-wheel ladder and it took him all the way to Formula One in 2006 and 2007, after which he turned his attention to American stock car racing, where the Manteca, California-native rose to the elite NASCAR Cup Series as a driver for Team Red Bull. Over the last decade, Speed has made his mark on the worldwide Rallycross stage, winning three Summer X Games gold medals from 2013 through 2015 for Team USA and five consecutive Rallycross championships from 2013 through 2017 for Andretti Autosport.
After Eldora, the Camping World SRX Series returns to pavement July 3 at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis. It then ventures north to SlingerSpeedway on July 10 before its season finale July 17 at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
Every Camping World SRX Series race is broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET on the CBS Television Network with streaming live on Paramount+ Premium.
Heat Race No. 1 (12 minutes, 23 laps):
Note: Starting lineup determined by random draw.
1. Tony Stewart (Started 1st; led laps 1-23)
2. Marco Andretti (Started 2nd; completed 23/23 laps)
3. Hailie Deegan (Started 4th; completed 23/23 laps)
4. Ernie Francis Jr. (Started 6th; completed 23/23 laps)
5. Paul Tracy (Started 11th; completed 23/23 laps)
6. Bill Elliott (Started 5th; completed 23/23 laps)
7. Brian Brown (Started 3rd; completed 23/23 laps)
8. Bobby Labonte (Started 10th; completed 23/23 laps)
9. Helio Castroneves (Started 9th; completed 23/23 laps)
10. Scott Bloomquist (Started 12th; completed 23/23 laps)
11. Willy T. Ribbs (Started 7th; completed 23/23 laps)
12. Michael Waltrip (Started 8th; completed 23/23 laps)
Heat Race No. 2 (12 minutes, 22 laps):
Note: Drivers’ finishing positions in Heat Race No. 1 were inverted for start of Heat Race No. 2.
1. Scott Bloomquist (Started 3rd; led laps 15-22)
2. Ernie Francis Jr. (Started 9th; completed 22/22 laps)
3. Michael Waltrip (Started 1st; completed 22/22 laps)
4. Tony Stewart (Started 12th; completed 22/22 laps)
5. Hailie Deegan (Started 10th; completed 22/22 laps)
6. Bill Elliott (Started 7th; led laps completed 22/22 laps)
7. Helio Castroneves (Started 4th; led laps 1-14; completed 22/22 laps)
8. Brian Brown (Started 6th; completed 22/22 laps)
9. Bobby Labonte (Started 5th; completed 22/22 laps)
10. Marco Andretti (Started 11th; completed 22/22 laps)
11. Willy T. Ribbs (Started 2nd; completed 22/22 laps)
12. Paul Tracy (Started 8th; completed 22/22 laps)
Feature Results (50 laps):
Note: Starting lineup was based on average finishing positions in Heat Race Nos. 1-2.
1. Tony Stewart (Started 1st; led laps 1-13, 21-50)
2. Hailie Deegan (Started 3rd; completed 50/50 laps)
3. Ernie Francis Jr. (Started 2nd; completed 50/50 laps)
4. Helio Castroneves (Started 9th; completed 50/50 laps)
5. Michael Waltrip (Started 7th; led laps 14-20; completed 50/50 laps)
6. Bobby Labonte (Started 10th; completed 50/50 laps)
7. Marco Andretti (Started 6th; completed 50/50 laps)
8. Brian Brown (Started 8th; completed 50/50 laps)
9. Scott Bloomquist (Started 4th; completed 50/50 laps)
10. Willy T. Ribbs (Started 12th; completed 50/50 laps)
11. Bill Elliott (Started 5th; completed 39/50 laps)
12. Paul Tracy (Started 11th; completed 4/50 laps)
Camping World SRX Series Championship Standings (after Round 2 of 6):
1. Tony Stewart (82 points)
2. Ernie Francis Jr. (71 points, -11)
3. Helio Castroneves (58 points, -24)
4. Bobby Labonte (55 points, -27)
5. Michael Waltrip (45 points, -37)
6. Marco Andretti (41 points, -41)
7. Bill Elliott (33 points, -49)
8. Paul Tracy (27 points, -55)
9. Tony Kanaan (26 points, -56)
10. Willy T. Ribbs (25 points, -57)
Note: Points are awarded in both heats and the feature. In each heat, the winner receives a maximum of 12 points. Second place earns 11 points with every position in descending order receiving one fewer point, with the 12th-place finisher earning one point. Points increase in the feature, with the winner receiving 25 points, second place 22 points, third place 20 points, fourth place 18 points, fifth place 16 points, sixth place 14 points, seventh place 12 points, eighth place 10 points, ninth place eight points, 10th place six points, 11th place four points and 12th place two points.
Rain puts an end to Mahoning Valley Speedway program. Scheduled event will move to Saturday, June 26
No sooner was the front gates about to swing open when rain swept across the area and put an abrupt end to the night of racing at Mahoning Valley Speedway.
Unfortunate too as fans were in for a great night as the pit area had filled nicely with cars in anticipation of the John Blewett Inc., Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fames Series (MVSHoFS) Roger Heffelfinger Sr. Tribute.
Originally on the schedule was the following Sunday afternoon as a rain date, however, after careful consideration it was decided that the event will move to this coming Saturday, June 26 at 6:00 pm.
The night will include the Modifieds in a 66-lap/$2500-to-win feature along with the Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks all part of the MVSHoFS plus the Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks and on the card will be the Late Models which were already slated to run that date.
Track management would like to remind all those who paid admittance to please hold onto your wrist bands which will be honored for this upcoming Saturday’s show.
Furthermore, all drivers who already picked for starting spots will keep those positions while any additional entries will be provided that same opportunity upon sign-in.
Early paid practice will take place from noon to 3:00 pm. Regular warm-up will get under way at 4:00 pm. Driver sign-ins will be from 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm.
Grandstands will open at 4:00 pm. Adult admission is $20, $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+, must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free. Pit entrance fees are $35 for members and $45 for non-members.
Please log onto the official track website , Facebook at Mahoning Valley Speedway or Twitter @MahoningSpeed for updated info and news. Mahoning Valley Speedway located on PA route 443 just a few miles west of Lehighton.
It was a race that series rookie of the year contender Daniel Silvestri had circled on his calendar all season long. Saturday night at Dominion Raceway the youngster made the most of his return to his home track facility to score his first career CAR Late Model Stock Car Tour win. The win by the rookie made it back-to-back victories by series rookie contenders this season.
Veteran Mike Looney, who started from the pole position, finally turned his bad luck around and led some laps before eventually finishing second. While fellow rookie and feature winner at Langley Speedway two weeks prior Kaden Honeycutt rounded out the podium with his third place finish.
Silvestri wasted no time taking command of the race once the green flag was displayed for the 125 lap race. The Great Falls, Virginia driver dominated a majority of the race until a caution with 42 laps remaining gave the veteran Looney a chance at the top spot.
Looney would battle hard on the outside grove, even leading on several occasions, before pushing his #87 machine to its limits would result in sliding back to the runner-up spot. The two car battle for the lead allowed Honeycutt to catch up to the leaders, but with seven laps to go it was Silvestri who managed to pull away by three car lengths to solidify the biggest win of his career.
Jared Fryar finished fourth in his #14 Sterling Building Group machine, and two-time season winner Justin Johnson rounded out the top five finishing order.
Championship points leader Bobby McCarty’s seventh place finish was good enough to unofficially maintain his points lead as the series turns its attention to the upcoming Throwback 276 race on July 31st in six weeks’ time.
For additional information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Super Late Model Tour visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter, and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour. Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in Mooresville, NC, at 704.662.9212.
CARS Tour PR
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Austin Cindric of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Riley Herbst and the No. 98 Monster Energy team persevered to finish 10th in Saturday’s Tennessee Lottery 250 at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway. After starting 20th, the No. 98 Monster Energy driver climbed his way into the top-15 by lap 39 and kept that position until the end of Stage 1. After pitting at the stage break for four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment to help combat a tightening racecar, Herbst restarted the second stage 10th. The 22-year-old driver struggled with grip as the stage progressed but was still able to finish it in 13th. In the final stage, the team was hit with two pit road penalties, but it was determined to overcome both and made it back into the top-10 by the closing laps, its fast Ford Mustang able to pass cars on green-flag runs, and weathering numerous incidents, as well. Herbst was running eighth when the final yellow flag flew on lap 181 that set up the green-white-checkered finale. The team opted to restart in the preferred line while maintaining its eighth-place position. Herbst ultimately brought home the Monster Energy team’s fourth top-10 of the 2021 season.
Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It was a long day. We came from the back twice. I felt like we had a pretty decent long-run racecar, it’s just that we couldn’t get the long run at the end and cycled too tight at the last restart. It’s cool to get a 10th-place and some good points for the playoffs. We’ll head to Pocono.”
● Kyle Busch won the Tennessee Lottery 250 to earn his milestone 100th career victory, his third of the season and his second at Nashville. His margin over second-place Justin Allgaier was 1.110 seconds.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 46 laps.
● Twenty-two of the 36 drivers in the Tennessee Lottery 250 finished on the lead lap.
● Austin Cindric remains the championship leader after Nashville with a 90-point advantage over second-place A.J. Allmendinger.
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons on Sunday, June 27 at the Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 12 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Rain and pending storms have forced the cancellation of the tripleheader show of racing scheduled for the Grandview Speedway Saturday evening. Efforts will be made to reschedule the Wingless Super Sportsman that had been planned for their only appearance of the season for a later date. And the gifts planned for the first 50 dads through the main gate and two free passes for the oldest and youngest dads will be carried over to Saturday June 26 when a tripleheader show of racing featuring the T.P.Trailers Modifieds, T.P.Truck Equipment Sportsman and Outlaw Series Vintage Racers will be offered. Adult admission will be just $15 with youngsters 11 and younger admitted free.The Meet & Greet will feature “The Ultimate Underdog” John Willman with his Modified, Sportsman racer Dylan Hoch and a Vintage racer to be announced. It gets underway at 5 p.m.
And on Tuesday, June 29th another exciting Thunder On The Hill Series featuring the Pennsylvania 410 Sprint Speedweek with the Hodnett Cup paying $10,000 to win plus 358 Modifieds.
Kicking off the month of July, July 3, will be the Firecracker 40 for Sportsman paying $2,000 to win along with the T.P. Trailers Modifieds. Adult admission is $22 for this Holiday Special.
Grandview Speedway PR
Josef Newgarden’s cagey tire strategy paid off Saturday with the NTT P1 Award for the REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR at Road America.
Two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Newgarden was the only driver in the Firestone Fast Six who elected to use new Firestone primary “black” tires for the entire final round of qualifying instead of used primary tires or the grippier, but less durable Firestone alternate “red” tires. That paid off with a best lap of 1 minute, 46.0186 seconds in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet on the 14-turn, 4.014-mile course.
It was the second pole of the season and second straight for Newgarden, who finished second in Race 2 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit last Sunday after winning the NTT P1 Award. Newgarden, from Nashville, Tennessee, earned his 13th career NTT INDYCAR SERIES pole after leading the morning practice and learning an important lesson for the three-round qualifying session.
“We knew this morning this was what we were going to do,” Newgarden said. “I didn’t know where everyone else was at, but this was my plan in the morning. Everybody was on board with it. Just happy to see it work out. I’m a little surprised more didn’t do that. You need to mix it up. It was going to be hard to make used tires work.”
Colton Herta will join Newgarden on the front row in the 55-lap race Sunday after qualifying second at 1:46.2616 in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda.
Live coverage of the race starts at noon (ET) Sunday on NBCSN and the INDYCAR Radio Network. It’s the ninth of 16 races this season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.
Jack Harvey will start third after a best lap of 1:46.7206 in the No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda. 2014 series champion Will Power will join Harvey on the second row after qualifying fourth at 1:46.8237 in the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet.
Alex Palou, just one point behind championship leader Pato O’Ward, will start fifth after a best lap of 1:46.8633 in the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda. Simon Pagenaud was one of three Team Penske drivers in the Firestone Fast Six and will start sixth at 1:47.1274 in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet.
O’Ward will need to charge from almost midway through the field if he wants to earn his third victory this season in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. O’Ward was eliminated after the second round of qualifying and will start 10th after a best lap of 1.46.1069.
“We just haven’t found the right balance since practice one,” O’Ward said. “We were OK with the cooler temperatures this morning, but any time it gets a little bit warmer, we’re not in the window.”
Another title contender, six-time and reigning series champion Scott Dixon, will need to work even harder than O’Ward to race to the front Sunday. Dixon will start 13th in the No. 9 PNC Bank Grow Up Great Honda after he was eliminated in the first round of qualifying. Dixon is third in the championship, 36 points behind O’Ward.
Dixon lost about 15 minutes of track time in the morning practice due to repairs of his chassis undertray in the pits after he ran over debris in the fast, sweeping Carousel corner.
“It’s frustrating with how compact these weekends are, and if you lose any kind of sequence of it, the roll-on effect is pretty big,” Dixon said. “It is what it is; you can’t do anything about it. It was something on the track, something I couldn’t avoid in a corner that I couldn’t really avoid.”
NTT IndyCar Series PR