Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (14024)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-20):

Kurt Busch started 18th, finished 27th.

Busch ran in the 14th position for the majority of the stage.

On lap 16, Busch pitted under green-flag conditions for four tires, fuel and adjustments, and came off pit road in 27th.

At the conclusion of the stage, Busch did not pit and gained 18 positions for the start of Stage 2.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 21-40):

Started ninth, finished eighth. Earned three bonus points.

Busch battled to position his Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion as high as seventh in Stage 2.

He remained within the top-10 for the duration of the stage.

Due to pit strategy, Busch opted not to pit at the conclusion of the stage.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 41-90):

Started eighth, finished sixth.

Busch raced in and around the top-10 for the majority of the final stage.

Due to fuel strategy, Busch and many others were forced to conserve fuel.

In the closing laps, several cars in the top-five pitted for fuel, promoting Busch just outside of the top-five.

 

Notes:

This was Busch’s 17th points-paying Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Watkins Glen and his 598th career start.

Busch’s sixth-place finish in the I Love New York 355 was his eighth top-10 at Watkins Glen and his 10th top-10 this season.

● There were three caution periods for a total of eight laps.

● Twenty-nine of the 37 cars finished on the lead lap.

● Martin Truex Jr. won the I Love New York at The Glen 355k to score his 11th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fourth of the season and his first at Watkins Glen. His margin of victory over second-place Matt Kenseth was .414 of a second.

● Truex leads the championship standings with 881 points and holds a 116-point advantage over his nearest pursuer, Kyle Busch.

 

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

 

How do you feel you ran today?

“We ran hard on every single lap today and hit every turn flawlessly. We did a great job.”

 

TSC PR

In the final road course race of the season, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his NESN Ford to a 20th-place finish in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Watkins Glen International.

“We were really hoping to pick up a few more positions at the end on fuel mileage,” Stenhouse said. “I thought our NESN Ford was decent this weekend but during the race our brakes went away. We have four more races to get ourselves ready for the playoffs.”

The Olive Branch, Miss. native lined up in the 22nd position for the 90-lap race. On the start, cars went four wide into turn one causing Stenhouse to lose a couple of positions. With some of the leaders playing strategy before the close of stage one, Stenhouse was able to score a 10th-place finish scoring a valuable stage point.

After battling a loose machine during most of the race, the two-time XFINITY champion took the green checkered at the end of stage two in the 33rd position, as some cars had not pitted.

After lining up in the 23rd position for the final 50-lap shootout, Stenhouse fought the handling on his NESN Ford as his brakes were fading. With a caution free last stage, fuel mileage became a factor. Stenhouse went into conservation mode saving enough fuel to take the checkered flag in the 20th position.

Stenhouse and the No. 17 team travel to Michigan International Speedway for the Pure Michigan 400. Race coverage begins Sunday, August 13 at 3 p.m. EST on NBCSN. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90. 

RFR PR

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-20):

Clint Bowyerqualified 12th and finished 35th.

Bowyer had to start at the back of the field because of a brake change after qualifying.

The No. 14 climbed to 25th in the opening five laps.

Bowyer pitted with three laps remaining in the first stage, lost a lap, then regained it by earning the free pass at end of the stage.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 21-40):

Started 31st and finished 28th.

Bowyer told the team the car was loose in the corners.

Pitted in the closing laps of the second stage to gain track position for the final stage.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 41-90):

Started 19th and finished fifth.

Moved to 11th by lap 52.

Pitted during the lap-53 caution and took fuel only, propelling him to second place.

Raced in the top-six for the remainder of the race.

Told to go into full fuel-saving mode with 15 laps remaining in race.

 

Notes:

●  Although 10th in points, Bowyer remains 17th in the standings to make the NASCAR playoffs, trailing Matt Kenseth by 28 points with four races remaining. The 16 top drivers make the playoffs.

●  Bowyer scored his fifth top-five and 10th top-10 finish of 2017.

●  This was Bowyer’s second top-five and fifth top-10 finish in 12 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Watkins Glen.

 

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Five Star Urgent Care Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“I stumbled down the back coming to two to go, so we wouldn’t have made it. It stinks. I wish I would have saved earlier like the 78 did. I pushed hard and thought we were better to go on gas than they were. They did a good job saving. I could have done better. If I would have started saving sooner I think we would have made it. You never know. I am pretty proud of the effort. We got up front at the beginning of the day and stayed there pretty much all day. I thought our strategy was right, and we had a good racecar. Things just didn’t work out for us. That is just the way it goes sometimes.”

 

TSC PR

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-20):

Danica Patrick started 25th and finished 11th.

● The No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion team was scored inside the top-20 for much of the first stage as Patrick noted the car was “tight to the right” and “snappy on exit.”

● Crew chief Billy Scott called Patrick to pit road at the end of Stage 1 for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment to address the car’s handling issues.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 21-40):

Started 20th and finished 31st.

● Patrick ran as high as 15th during the stage as she continued to have trouble with the right-hand turns. She also noted having trouble with her brakes toward the end of the stage.

● The No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford team pitted for four tires and fuel at lap 37, which put Patrick 31st at the end of the stage.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 41-90):

Started 21st and finished 22nd.

● Patrick started the stage in the 21st position and pitted under caution at lap 54 for a fuel-only stop. She ran as high as 13th and was scored just outside of the top-15 in 16th at lap 55 when the No. 18 car spun Patrick in turn one. She was able to get the car righted but dropped back to 32nd. 

● In the closing laps Patrick managed to race her way forward to the 22nd position.

 

Notes:              

● This was Patrick’s fifth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and her 176th career NASCAR Cup Series start.

● Patrick raced Sunday with more than 150 employees from Aspen Dental Management Inc. on hand to cheer her on at the track, including founder and CEO Bob Fontana.

● Patrick earned 15 points in Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen International, which puts her at 325 total points for the season thus far. She is ranked 28th in the driver point standings.

● There were three caution periods for a total of eight laps.

● A total of 29 of the 37 drivers in the I LOVE NEW YORK 355k finished on the lead lap.

● Martin Truex Jr. won the I LOVE NEW YORK 355k to score his 11th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fourth of the season and his first at Watkins Glen International. His margin of victory over second-place Matt Kenseth was .414 of a second.

● Truex leads the championship standings with 881 points and has a 116-point margin over his nearest pursuer, Kyle Busch.

 

TSC PR

Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion took the lead with three laps to go in the I Love New York 355 at Watkins Glen International then had to give it up to pit for fuel and finished in a solid eighth place.

Excellent pit strategy, pit work and deft driving put the team in position to win its second race of the season and score its second road course top 10 in as many tries and its eighth top 10 overall in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.

“I stumbled down the back coming to two to go, so we wouldn’t have made it,” said Blaney reflecting on the final few laps of the race. “It stinks. I wish I would have saved earlier like the 78 did. I pushed hard and thought we were better to go on gas than they were. They did a good job saving. I could have done better. If I would have started saving sooner, I think we would have made it. you never know.”

The Wood Brothers’ iconic No. 21 started 16th and Blaney drove his way up the field to 12th before pitting on green, sacrificing the Stage 1 finish for track position later in the race.

Blaney started Stage 2 in 26th place but quickly got into the top 10 when the cars that stayed out during Stage 1 went to pit road. He ran in third place during laps 31-33 and finished Stage 2 in fourth, collecting seven extra regular-season points.

The Wood Brothers’ iconic red and white Motorcraft/Quick Lane No. 21 started the final segment in fourth, moved up to second by lap 45 and pitted from second for what Blaney and company hoped would be the final time during a caution period that started on lap 51.

Blaney re-started fourth on lap 54, took third on lap 76 or 90, then took second place passing eventual winner Martin Truex, Jr., who was in full fuel-saving mode. He assumed the lead when fellow Ford pilot Brad Keselowski pitted for fuel with three laps to go. Blaney gave the lead to Truex shorthly thereafter when he, too, headed to pit road for fuel.

“I am pretty proud of the effort,” Blaney said. “We got up front at the beginning of the day and stayed there pretty much all day. I thought our strategy was right and we had a good race car. Things just didn’t work out for us. That is just the way it goes sometimes.”

Blaney, in only his second year as a full-time driver in NASCAR’s premier series, has greatly improved his performance on road courses since his rookie season. He improved from 23rd to ninth at Sonoma and 19th to eighth at Watkins Glen.

“That is miles ahead of where we were last year,” Blaney said. “That is always what you want. You want to just keep improving and getting better. That is really all you can ask for. I am pretty proud of us getting better. Hopefully we will keep improving as years go on.”

Blaney is now ninth in the NASCAR Playoffs standings with his June Pocono win and eight playoff points. He is 12th in the regular season standings, 316 points behind leader Martin Truex, Jr.

The next stop on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit is the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 13, at 3 p.m. It will be broadcast on NBCSN.

Ford Performance PR

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-20):

Kyle Busch started first, finished first.

● Busch dominated Stage 1 of Sunday’s I LOVE NEW YORK 355k, leading all 20 laps.

● At the conclusion of Stage 1, Busch reported minor handling issues related to right-hand turns, with the car handling a little snug in the center of the turns and then loose at the exits. The team changed four tires, added fuel and made minor air pressure and chassis adjustments during the caution. Quick pit work enabled Busch to win the race off pit road.

● Upon returning to the track Busch quickly reported that it felt like the left-front wheel was loose. He brought the No. 18 M&M’S Caramel Toyota to pit road, where the team discovered that a lug nut had gotten wedged between the wheel and the caliper. The team changed four tires and Busch returned to the track in 32nd place.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 21-40):

Busch started 32nd, finished ninth.

The 2015 NASCAR Cup champion quietly logged laps and picked up positions throughout the duration of Stage 2. He was back in the top-15 by lap 32, cracked the top-10 just five laps later at lap 37 and was in ninth place by the time Stage 2 concluded.

Exercising some strategy, the team elected to stay out between the second and third stages to maintain track position.

 

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 41-90):

Busch started ninth, finished seventh.

A number of teams exercised the same strategy as the No. 18 M&M’S Caramel team, staying out between the second and third stages. Busch quickly went to work trying to make his way back to the lead.

Misfortune struck quickly in Stage 3 as Busch was attempting to pass driver Brad Keselowski in the inner loop on lap 45. Keselowski misjudged the turn and made contact with the No. 18 car, sending it spinning. Busch was able to keep the No. 18 from sustaining too much damage but had to make a trip to pit road for four tires and fuel. By the time he returned to the track Busch was in 33rd place.

A full-course caution on lap 51 allowed Busch to catch up to the field. He made a trip to pit road for four tires, fuel and minor adjustments. Quick pit work placed him in 24th place for the restart. He set to work again, driving through the field. By lap 60 he was up to 12th and was back among the top-10 on lap 63.

Busch was able to race his way to seventh place by the time the checkered flag waved.

 

Notes:

Busch led one time for 21 laps.

Busch won Stage 1 to score his ninth stage win of 2017.

 

TSC PR

Austin Dillon Finishes 26th After Running Out of Fuel With
Two Laps Remaining 
"We just didn't have the speed we needed in our No. 3 Dow STEM Chevrolet today. Our handling was a little off throughout the day today. I was too loose in essess and had trouble getting through the bus stop. We gambled on our fuel strategy when we pitted under that final caution, knowing we'd have to save to avoid being one lap short. I saved as much as I could by doing things like short-shifting, but unfortunately it wasn't enough this time and we ran out with just two laps to go. We'll learn from this though and be better next time."
- Austin Dillon

Paul Menard Overcomes Setbacks To Stretch Fuel and Finish 18th in Dutch Boy/Menards Chevy at Watkins Glen 
"Our day was full of hurdles, but we were able to overcome thanks to all the guys on this Dutch Boy / Menards team. We found a fluid leak in qualifying and had to change the rear gear before the race, which meant we had to start from the rear of the field. The car had speed, but we had a lug nut guard that cut the valve stem on the right rear and led to a flat tire. The guys were able to get it fixed, but there was a bit of a vibration in the rear for the rest of the race. We had solid fuel mileage all day, I was able to save some over that last run and we were able to make it to the end without stopping."
- Paul Menard

Ryan Newman and Caterpillar Racing Team Gamble on Fuel Resulting in 25th-Place Finish at Watkins Glen International 
"Overall, we had a pretty solid handling Caterpillar Chevrolet. We just lacked track position and it kept us from making a serious run to the front. With that said, we adapted our strategy and Luke said we were a lap to the good on fuel. Saving here is pretty hard to do but we felt confident we were going to make it. I ran out with three laps to go. We're scratching our heads right now trying to figure out where we came up short. The guys were going back to the garage to measure everything. It's really unfortunate. I can't really say we were good or bad today. Things didn't go our way."

- Ryan Newman
 

RCR PR

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet SS and Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) team engineers made a pit stop at Meeting Street Academy in Charleston, S.C. today, to speak to the fourth and fifth grade science classes about the role STEM subjects play in racing. Team partner Credit One Bank was also in attendance and donated $25,000 to the school.

“I loved meeting with the students of Meeting Street Academy,” said Larson. “Getting the chance to talk with kids about what I do is always something I enjoy, and they seemed pretty excited to hear about racing and fast cars. It was also fun to have some of our engineers on hand to explain how they build our cars. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to run up front and compete for wins, so it was great for them to tell the kids about the importance of technology in racing,” said Larson.

In addition to having Larson and the team engineers on hand, the students got an up close view of the No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet SS, complete with the school’s logo on the car. Larson and CGR engineers spoke to the students about the technology associated with racing, how math and science play a role in building race cars, and the importance of STEM topics in motorsports. Credit One Bank also presented a donation of $25,000 to enhance the school’s science and robotics curriculum. Larson completed his visit by taking photos and having lunch with the students.

“This incredible donation from Credit One Bank will allow us to expand our STEM curriculum in amazing ways. STEM is about so much more than learning science and computer programming—it really gives our scholars the opportunity to work together to solve complex problems,” said Dirk Bedford, principal of Meeting Street Academy, Charleston. “The expansion of the Lego Robotics team will allow for the kind of critical hands-on, minds-on experiential learning that teaches our scholars to think analytically and work logistically to find solutions.”

“Credit One Bank is proud to be associated with Meeting Street Academy. Our hope is that this donation will help instill a love of learning and technology in the students for years to come,” said Laura Faulkner, vice president of marketing communications, Credit One Bank. “By aligning our partnerships with Chip Ganassi Racing and NASCAR with Credit One Bank’s commitment to education and giving back, we created a special opportunity for all of us to come together and provide the kids of Meeting Street Academy a unique approach to learning.”

CGR PR

Harry Scott Jr. possessed an endless passion for racing. Owning cars in the national series and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, his crowning achievements were his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championships. The sport was proud to have Harry as our champion owner during that storybook era. NASCAR extends its deepest condolences to his family and friends.

NASCAR PR