Monster Energy Cup Series News (14772)
Gaunt Brothers Racing (GBR) and D.J. Kennington recovered from an early accident to finish 24th in Sunday's Daytona 500.
Just after the first quarter of the race, Kennington was involved in a three-car accident in which his Lordco/Castrol Toyota Camry sustained damage to its left front and left side. The GBR pit crew provided patchwork repair, though the quick fix didn't ameliorate the damage's effect on aerodynamic balance.
Fortunately, attrition was high during The Great American Race, as three more multi-car accidents throughout the day worked in the team's favor. Kennington completed 201 out of 207 laps -- the 500-mile event was extended due to a late-race accident -- to finish 24th among the 40-car field.
"We finished 24th in our second Daytona 500. It's a testament to all the guys on the Lordco/Castrol Toyota Camry crew," said GBR owner Marty Gaunt. "We were caught in a wreck early in the race and were able to repair the car. A lot of cars that got wrecked were out for the duration and never got to complete all 500 miles. To finish 24th is a good day. Now we can go home, rebuild and get ready for our next speedway event."
Prior to the accident, Kennington, who became just the sixth Canadian to make multiple Daytona 500 starts, was happy with the handling condition of his Toyota Camry, a focus of the team following Thursday's qualifying race.
"We had a decent car. We could've raced with them, I think," said Kennington. "But we'll take it and run with it. We almost went the distance."
Gaunt Brothers Racing PR
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
● Aric Almirola started Stage 1 in the 37th position and completed the season-opening stage in the 18th spot.
● During the first caution of the race, Almirola had to make two pit stops after sliding his tires on the originally scheduled fuel-only pit stop.
● At lap 50, during the second caution of the race, Almirola visited pit road for fuel, four tires and adjustments to the No. 10 Ford.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
● The Tampa, Florida, native began Stage 2 from the fifth spot and gained one position to end the stage in fourth.
● The fourth caution of the race came out on lap 93, and Almirola visited pit road for service to his Ford Fusion. He received two right-side tires and fuel from the Smithfield pit crew and restarted 12th.
● On lap 112 Almirola reached the third position, his highest-running spot to that point in the race, before ending Stage 2 in fourth.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-207):
● The 33-year-old driver entered Stage 3 in the seventh position and completed it in 11th.
● Before the start of the final stage, Almirola once again visited pit road for fuel and four tires.
● Almirola made a scheduled green-flag stop on lap 170 from the 12th position for the pit crew to put on two right-side tires and fill his Smithfield Ford full of fuel.
● With 10 laps to go Almirola was in the seventh position, and with five scheduled laps to go he was battling for the lead with teammate Kurt Busch.
● The race was sent into overtime due to a late-race accident, and Almirola found himself in the second position for the final restart. He took the lead on lap 206, but Austin Dillon made contact with the No. 10’s bumper, turning Almirola into the wall on the final lap.
● Almirola led the penultimate lap of the Daytona 500 before contact from the race-winning car of Dillon on the final lap sent the No. 10 out of the lead and into the wall.
● Almirola finished fourth in Stage 2 to earn seven bonus points.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 37 laps.
● Only 10 of the 40 drivers in the Daytona 500 finished on the lead lap.
● Dillon’s win in the Daytona 500 was his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first at Daytona. His margin of victory over runner-up Darrell (Bubba) Wallace Jr. was .26 of a second.
Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I’m so devastated. I thought I was going to win the Daytona 500. I’m just disappointed. I wanted to get Smithfield to victory lane, and I wanted to get Ford to victory lane. With this switch to Stewart-Haas Racing this year I couldn’t have thought of a better way to start off this relationship than with a trip to victory lane in the Daytona 500. I did everything I could. I just ended up in the infield care center. You know, the beauty is that there is always next week. We’ll go to Atlanta and try to win in our Smithfield Ford there.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Folds of Honor 500 on Sunday, Feb. 25 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 1:30 p.m.
Martin Truex Jr. restarted second with seven laps remaining in the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 but the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota was quickly shuffled out of the top 10 and then caught up in a wreck with two laps remaining before limping across the finish line in 18th place.
Time spent on pit road from a punctured oil cooler, front-end damage and a flat right-rear tire put the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion two laps down to the leaders but he was able to return to competition and take the checkered flag in overtime.
“Not the day we were looking for,” said Truex. “We were in a good spot there, a really good position with under a few laps to go running under green and the caution came out and changed everything.”
The 11 championship points Truex earned for finishing fifth and sixth in the first two stages, respectively, placed the Furniture Row Racing team in 12th place in the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series point standings.
Truex started 24th in the 60th running of The Great American Race and picked up 10 positions in the first seven laps. He cracked the top 10 seven laps later but was shuffled back to 25th place by Lap 32. He radioed crew chief Cole Pearn that the No. 78 Toyota was “drifting” and had “no grip.”
Adjustments made under caution on Lap 52 proved beneficial as Truex restarted seventh on Lap 56 and finished the first 60-lap stage in fifth place. The stage finished under caution due to a multicar crash that resulted in minor damage to the nose of the No. 78 car.
Another multicar crash on Lap 102 found Truex evading three separate incidents and was second when racing resumed on Lap 109. He shuffled throughout the top 10 for the balance of the second stage to finish sixth, earning five bonus championship points.
An issue with the jack and a penalty for an uncontrolled tire during service on Lap 123 left Truex in 14th place for the restart on lap 127. He moved to eighth on Lap 133 and remained there due to single-file racing for the next 13 laps.
A fuel-only stop under caution on Lap 171 put Truex third and he moved to second on Lap 174. Pearn again kept Truex out on the track during a caution on Lap 190 and he restarted there with seven laps remaining in the scheduled 200-lap race.
Truex quickly shuffled back in the field and decided to stay there as the frontrunners made contact with each other almost continuously over the next couple laps. Then, on Lap 199, Truex was unable to avoid another multicar incident and the resulting damage required extensive time on pit road during overtime which dropped him two laps to the leaders. He returned to finish the race during the green-white-checkered finish.
“It was our day for a while and then it wasn’t,” said Truex. “It’s just the way it goes. Superspeedway racing – a lot of it is out of your control. That last caution in hindsight, we probably should have gotten tires. Tried to come up from the back because we were sitting ducks upfront. I’d get back there but didn’t have the speed to get by them. It was just one of those deals where we needed it to stay green to be in a good spot. It just didn’t work out in the end.”
Austin Dillon became the second Daytona 500 winner to lead only the final lap, finishing 0.260-of-a-second ahead of Bubba Wallace. The balance of the top-10 finishers were, in order: Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Chris Buescher, Paul Menard, Ryan Blaney, Ryan Newman, Michael McDowell, and AJ Allmendinger.
There were 24 lead changes among 14 drivers and eight cautions for 37 laps.
The second race of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season is the Feb. 25 Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
20 Years Later, No. 3 Chevrolet Rules DAYTONA 500 Again; Austin Dillon Delivers Emotional Victory for Richard Childress Racing19 Feb 2018 Written by Matthew Jackson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2018) – A historic day for the DAYTONA 500 produced an emotion-filled result that will stand tall alongside the many other epic finishes that have built the tradition of “The Great American Race.”
Twenty years after Dale Earnhardt ended a career-long drought by winning the DAYTONA 500 in the famed No. 3 Chevrolet of Richard Childress, Austin Dillon – Childress’ grandson – returned the No. 3 to Gatorade Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway. And he did it with a last-lap, bump-and-run move that was absolutely Earnhardt-like, to boot – in the 60th running of the season-opening race for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
A Lap 199 late-race incident took out a number of front-running contenders and forced two extra laps of “NASCAR Overtime.” On the first OT lap, Tampa native Aric Almirola (No. 10 Smithfield Ford) assumed the lead and as the final lap transpired, he appeared headed toward the victory.
As the lead pack approached Turn 3, Dillion – with a considerable aerodynamic push from the No. 43 Click n’ Close Chevrolet of Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. – made a run in his Dow-sponsored car for the front but was blocked by Almirola. Dillon kept going, tapping the rear bumper of Almirola, which sent the Ford into the wall. Dillon and Wallace continued on to the finish line, with Dillon winning by 0.260 seconds. Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota), the 2016 DAYTONA 500 champion, finished third.
“I did what I had to do,” Dillon said. “He was trying to block me and I just turned him. We had a run and I stayed in the gas. It’s so awesome to take the No. 3 car back to victory lane. This one is for Dale Earnhardt and all those Earnhardt fans. We’re going to keep kicking butt for the rest of the year.”
Wallace lived his own emotional experience Sunday. His presence was steeped in storylines. Series rookie … returning a Richard Petty Motorsports car to DAYTONA 500 contention ... first African-American in the DAYTONA 500 since Wendell Scott in 1969. And now, a runner-up in NASCAR’s biggest race. That is the best finish in the DAYTONA 500 by an African-American, besting the 13th-place finish by Scott in 1966. And there’s more to Wallace’s story: he got a surprise pre-race vote of confidence via a phone call from baseball hall of famer Hank Aaron.
“I have so many emotions going on right now,” Wallace said. “Thank you to ‘The King’ (Petty) for giving me this opportunity.”
Attrition was the name of this DAYTONA 500 game, with a series of incidents that took out high-profile contenders. As those drivers were dropping out with stunning regularity during the sun-splashed afternoon, Dillon hung around – and hung tough.
At day’s end, the 27-year-old who was a wide-eyed seven-year-old in Gatorade Victory Lane when Earnhardt won, had his own piece of DAYTONA 500 history.
And Richard Childress had a second, as far as the No. 3 is concerned.
“The emotions are just flowing,” a tearful Childress said. “This is just so special.”
The DAYTONA 500 was run in three stages over its 200-lap/500-mile distance on the 2.5-mile, high-banked DIS tri-oval. In NASCAR’s stage-racing format, valuable extra points that count in the season-long series championship battle are awarded to the top-10 finishers in each of the first two stages. The first two stages were each 60 laps while the third was 80 laps.
Defending DAYTONA 500 champion Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford) won the first stage which was bookended by significant developments. During the race’s first caution period, Hamlin was penalized one lap for pitting outside his box, giving him a hill to climb the rest of the day. On the stage’s final lap a nine-car backstretch incident ruined the hopes of several contenders including two-time race champion Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet). Also, former Monster Energy champion Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota) crashed on Lap 51 in Turn 3, necessitating an extensive pit shop for repairs.
Stage 2 was won by Ryan Blaney (No. 12 Menards/Peak Ford), Blaney led 48 of the stage’s 60 laps, including the last 22 laps. He was among the drivers involved in the Lap 199 mishap, but rebounded to finish seventh.
Racing in NASCAR for the final time, Danica Patrick (No. 7 GoDaddy Chevrolet) started strongly but ended up 35th after her involvement in a dramatic Turn 3 crash on Lap 102. The accident started when Chase Elliott (No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet), one of the pre-race favorites, slammed into the Turn 4 wall after contact with Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Discount Tire Ford). The incident also ended the day for 2007 DAYTONA 500 champion Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford).
“It just wasn’t meant to be today,” Patrick said. “I’m grateful for everything … thank you to all the fans.”
Daytona International Speedway Press Release
Wallace Jr and "The King" Richard Petty will start the morning as live guests on Fox and Friends on Fox News Channel between 9:45 - 10:00 a.m. ET.
Wallace Jr, and his rise to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the famed No. 43, will then be the focus of a SC Featured piece on ESPN SportsCenter. The feature will air at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Finally, Wallace Jr. sits down with Kenny Wallace and NASCAR RaceDay for a fun breakfast and conversation with the Wallace's. The segment is scheduled to air just before 12:00 p.m. ET on FOX.
Wallace will drive the No. 43 Click n' Close Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in tomorrow's Daytona 500 as he begins his journey as a Sunoco Rookie of The Year contender.
FOX NASCAR Pre-Race Coverage Offers Multiple Features & Interviews, Including Danica Patrick and All Four Hendrick Motorsports Drivers17 Feb 2018 Written by Steven B. Wilson
FOX Sports’ presentation of season-opening Daytona Speedweeks continues today with live coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race (2:30 PM ET on FS1) and Sunday’s DAYTONA 500 (2:30 PM ET, with live pre-race coverage beginning at 11:00 AM ET on FOX).
Mike Joy calls FOX Sports’ 15th DAYTONA 500 with analysis from Jeff Gordon, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds. Jamie Little, Regan Smith, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum cover pit road, while Chris Myers hosts network coverage alongside Michael Waltrip. Joy, McReynolds, Myers, Darrell Waltrip and Yocum were members of the original FOX NASCAR on-air team that debuted at Daytona in 2001.
Adam Alexander has the call for today’s NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race from Daytona alongside Michael Waltrip and Brad Keselowski with pit reporting by Little, Smith and Yocum. NASCAR RACEDAY - XFINITY, FS1’s XFINITY Series pre-race show, hosted by Shannon Spake and McReynolds, previews the action at 2:00 PM ET.
On Monday, Feb. 19, Kevin Harvick is in-studio on FS1’s NASCAR RACE HUB (6:00 PM ET) with Alexander, Spake and McReynolds.
Below are notes and quotes regarding FOX NASCAR’s coverage of the balance of Daytona Speedweeks:
NASCAR RACEDAY: DAYTONA 500 OFFERS SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW WITH DANICA PATRICK
For Sunday’s NASCAR RACEDAY (11:00 AM ET on FOX), Little sits down with Danica Patrick for an in-depth interview prior to the start of her final NASCAR start. Kenny Wallace chats with Bubba Wallace over breakfast in a “Breakfast with the Wallaces” feature. Also airing during NASCAR RACEDAY is: a feature on Aric Almirola’s battle back from injury and his new ride at Stewart-Haas Racing; Alan Cavanna’s look back at Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s long-sought victory in the 1998 Daytona 500; a Rachel Bonnetta live hit from a Xfinity Daytona Day watch party in Boston; a “Where’s Wallace” piece; and a War Room feature.
FOX NASCAR SUNDAY: JEFF GORDON SITS DOWN WITH ALL FOUR HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS DRIVERS
Following Sunday’s pre-race coverage on NASCAR RACEDAY, FOX NASCAR SUNDAY picks up the baton at 1:00 PM ET, live on FOX. In Sunday’s show: Jeff Gordon sits down with all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers (Jimmie Johnson, Alex Bowman, William Byron and Chase Elliott); Regan Smith travels to Denver to catch up with defending champion Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief Cole Pearn; Jamie Little chats with Danica Patrick prior to her final NASCAR start; interviews with Peyton Manning and Charlize Theron; a live Rascal Flatts performance during pre-race ceremonies; and Michael Waltrip’s “Grid Walk.”
FOX NASCAR QUOTES
FOX SPORTS: Entering your third season in the FOX NASCAR booth, what is your biggest takeaway?
“I’ve come to realize what a huge race fan I am. I love driving race cars, but the experience of being in the booth makes you realize what a fan you are of the action. No offense to the NFL, but I’m pretty biased. I don’t think there’s any experience, whether live or on TV, that’s like racing at 200 miles-per-hour inches away from one another, and we get to go inside the car and hear what’s going on with the action. That’s amazing.”
FOX SPORTS: Is it difficult to set aside relationships you have with drivers and teams when you step into the broadcast booth?
“There have been plenty of discussions about my feelings toward certain drivers. I can tell you that as many times as I have pulled for Chase Elliott to win a race, I have been equally as excited to see Ryan Blaney win his first race, because I like to see things that get everyone excited, are good for the sport and take it to the next level.”
FOX SPORTS: How do you keep the production of a NASCAR race fresh weekly when your on-air team is working with and interviewing the same drivers each week, unlike other sports?
“FOX Sports is there for every practice, qualifying session and lap of every race. We don’t miss a batting practice, a shoot-around or a Thursday walk-through. We truly get to know the drivers well, but keeping it fresh comes with the sport itself and its different venues. Each track seems to have a different twist to it, whether it’s a mile-and-a-half superspeedway or a short track. So, it does stay fresh but it allows us to dig in and get to know the drivers a bit more. The cool part about this sport is the access and ability to be able to talk to them two minutes after they get out of the car, whether they like it or not in that particular moment. The access is what’s so engaging and fun to watch in this sport, and you don’t get than in any other sport.”
--Barry Landis, FOX NASCAR race producer
FOX SPORTS: How do you make the daily rotation of Cup Series drivers work on NASCAR RACE HUB?
“It’s key to make the drivers feel comfortable. We give them a lot of feedback. These drivers are really invested in how they perform on television, and there are numerous conversations about how they are doing. Adam (Alexander) and Shannon (Spake) play a huge role in making them feel welcome. That allows us to get information from them and make them comfortable enough to share with their insights and the viewers.”
--Lindsey Mandia, NASCAR RACE HUB coordinating producer
FOX SPORTS: What is the relationship like between you guys and the Race Hub driver analysts?
“The show has a different feel every day because there are different people sitting at the table presenting different ideas. It is ever-changing, and as a result, has a different dynamic every day when we go on the air at 6:00 PM. It’s building those relationships with the drivers in the hall or the makeup room, away from the track.”
FOX SPORTS: What are the challenges of having a different driver in the NASCAR RACE HUB studio each day?
“By having fresh faces in the Hub studio every day, you get new ideas and new thought processes from every angle. That scenario creates a new energy for Shannon (Spake) and me. It’s never stale in here, and it forces us to make sure we are on our A-game. All of those are factors to the huge success of NASCAR Race Hub. We are getting the true stars of the sport in our studio on a regular basis. It’s unprecedented not only in NASCAR but across all sports programming.”
FOX Sports PR
Kasey Kahne and Leavine Family Racing (LFR) finished 13th in the second Can-Am Duel at Daytona International Speedway, resulting in a 26th place starting position for the 60th running of the Daytona 500.
Kahne started ninth in the second Duel, which would set the outside row for Sunday’s Daytona 500. He quickly moved up two spots into the seventh position before the field went entirely into single file.
By lap nine, Kahne was shuffled back toward the end of the lead pack. The first and only caution on lap 12 saw Kahne narrowly avoiding being hit.
While under caution, Crew Chief, Travis Mack, made the call for Kahne to make his only pit stop for four tires and fuel. Kahne reported that his No. 95 Procore Camaro ZL1 was handling well and was much faster than Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash car.
Kahne restarted 10th on lap 15 and ran single file for the majority of the race, making a few moves to the inside lane, but having no luck. He went on to finish 13th, sustaining minor front end damage while avoiding contact with another car.
Although the Can-Am Duel did not provide LFR with the finish they wanted, it did provide a good test for the team as they prepare for Sunday’s 500-mile race.
“The car was pretty fast tonight,” said Kahne. “I expect the track is going to be very tricky and the cars to be out of control a little bit on Sunday from what I saw and felt tonight. Everyone will be working on the cars the next few days to try to get the most grip that you can and not crush your speed. Hopefully we can get a good feel for the car in practice over the next few days.”
The 60th running of the Daytona 500 will take place on Sunday, February 18th at 2:30pm ET. Race fans can tune in to FOX For coverage and follow @LFR95 on Twitter for race updates.