Monster Energy Cup Series News (15089)
Kasey Kahne and Leavine Family Racing (LFR) rally back from a late-race spin for a Top-20 finish at Texas Motor Speedway, the team’s home track.
The weekend began with practice and qualifying on Friday showing similar results with little speed. During qualifying, Kahne made two runs, but did not have enough speed to make it past the first round, earning himself a 28th place starting position for Sunday’s 500-mile race.
Saturday’s practice brought better results and speed, as well as optimism for the team, as Kahne gained eight spots to finish final practice in 20th.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 went green only three laps on Sunday before the first caution came out. Kahne restarted in 22nd before cracking the Top-20, gaining nearly 10 spots from his 28th place starting spot.
By lap 26, Kahne felt as if he was dragging the front of his No. 95 Procore Technologies Camaro ZL1 before settling in the 22nd position. The car began to get worse, and Kahne made his first green flag pit stop on lap 42 for an adjustment, tires and fuel. Kahne settled into the 23rd spot but was still unable to get a handle on the car. A frustrated Kahne went a second lap down before a caution came out to end the stage, putting Kahne in 24th to finish out stage one.
The second stage began on lap 91 with Kahne starting 26th. He reported no difference in the handling of his car, and made another pit stop when the second caution fell on lap 127.
Kahne was able to race the best he could all day following the pit stop and finished the second stage in 23rd. Crew Chief, Travis Mack, made the call to take the wave around option, putting Kahne the last car one lap down to start the final stage in 21st.
Kahne made it as high as 13th before making another green flag pit stop with 102 laps remaining and also made his fastest lap of the race. As Kahne raced the No. 6 for the Lucky Dog Spot, the two made contact and spun through the grass. Kahne did not have any damage until his right front tire went down, shredding the fender. The team made multiple stops under caution to cut off the right, front fender and make the needed changes.
The field went back to green on lap 254 with Kahne restarting 18th. The team pit for the final time on lap 281 within their fuel window. Despite not having a front fender, Kahne was able to finish 17th, earning LFR their best finish of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) season.
“We just missed it really, really bad early on, but it got a lot better as we went,” said Kahne. “We would have definitely run in the Top-15 if I didn’t spin out. But, we had a much better car the last 150 laps than we did during the first part of the race. We came a long way, I can tell you that. We were way more competitive this week.”
Next up for Kahne and LFR is Bristol Motor Speedway for the second short track race of the 2018 MENCS season.
Clint Bowyer returns to short-track racing Sunday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway with the same No. 14 Haas Automation Demo Days paint scheme, same crew chief and same pit crew that propelled him to victory March 26 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series last raced on a track less than a mile in length.
But there’ll be a missing component when the Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) driver takes the green flag on the .533-mile, high banked oval in East Tennessee hoping he can win his second and SHR’s fifth race of the first nine races of the 2018 season.
“At Bristol you have to have the total package, a lot like I did in Martinsville,” Bowyer said. “I asked (No. 14 crew chief Mike Bugarewicz) if there was any way we could bring the Martinsville car to Bristol. He said no because I tore it up too much and they had to cut the body off of it. But, I’m not worried. We’ll have another hot rod at Bristol.”
Bowyer hasn’t won at Bristol, but he’s often near the front when the checkered flag falls. He owns seven top-five finishes and 11 top-10s and has led 137 laps in 24 starts. He finished second in this race in 2017, trailing winner Jimmie Johnson across the finish line by 1.199 seconds. He started fifth in the final stage of the August race at Bristol but handling issues and an unsuccessful gamble left him with a 19th-place finish.
For Bowyer to earn his 10th career Cup Series victory he’s going to have to outrace about 36 other cars, plus survive on the treacherous high-banked short track on which lap times normally run less than 16 seconds.
“There is no way to describe 500 laps at Bristol,” said Bowyer’s, whose No. 14 Ford will sport the identical paint scheme it wore in Martinsville featuring Haas Automation, the largest CNC (computer numerically controlled) machine-tool builder in North America.
“If your car is handling well, it’s manageable,” he said. “If it’s loose and you are midpack and there is someone in front of you who is erratic, you are tense and not breathing. You haven’t made it 10 laps and you are out of breath. You think, ‘There’s no way in hell I’m going to make it these 500 laps.’ Next thing you know, it’s lap 450 and you’re wishing it was 600 laps.”
Despite the challenge, Bowyer said Bristol remains one of his favorite races of the season. He said there is an atmosphere unlike no other track on the circuit.
“I want to celebrate in front of all those wild and crazy fans,” he said. “There’s no better atmosphere. They’re so close to you that you feel that environment. I’m telling you, during driver intros, you’re walking down there and it’s just the feeling that comes over you before you get in that car. It’s just something you don’t feel anywhere else. It’s because of the closeness of the fans to you. They’re all breathing down on you and expecting big things out of you, and you can’t wait to go out there and get in that coliseum and go to battle.”
Bowyer arrives at Bristol still on a high after winning at Martinsville, then following with a ninth-place run at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth last weekend. After starting third at Texas – his best qualifying effort of the season – Bowyer ran in the top-five most of the race until he was shuffled out of the pack on a late-race restart. He ran out of laps before he could regain the lost spot.
It’s been a stellar start to the season for SHR’s four Ford teams. In addition to winning four of seven races, all four Fords are in the top-12 – three in the top-eight – in the season standings. SHR has led 850 of 2,145 laps run.
“They are bringing some fast hot rods to the track each weekend and it’s a pleasure to drive,” Bowyer said. “I know when we unload at Bristol on Friday, we will be fast. That’s a great feeling for a driver.”
Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr.s' History Making Daytona 500 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Races to the Auction Block09 Apr 2018 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Start your engines! Julien’s Auctions today announced that NASCAR star Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr.’s historic Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will join the starting lineup of PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF RICHARD PETTY, the highly anticipated motorsports auction event of the season, May 12th live at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and online.
On February 18, 2018, driver Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. cruised the purple No. 43 Click n’Close Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to his team Richard Petty Motorsports’ best finish since 2016 in NASCAR’s most important and iconic race –the Daytona 500 –finishing second as well as making history. In his first Daytona 500, Wallace’s race made him the second highest finishing rookie ever in their Daytona 500 debut and captured the highest finish for an African–American driver in the 60–year history of the Great American Race. Wallace is the first full–time African–American driver on the circuit in 47 years since Wendell Scott.
At the age of nine, the Mobile, Alabama native started racing in the Bandolero and Legends car racing series. In 2005, he won 35 of the Bandolero Series’ 48 races held that year and in 2008 became the youngest driver ever to win at Franklin County Speedway in Virginia at the age of 14. In 2017, Wallace was named Richard Petty Motorsports full time driver of "The King’s" iconic "No. 43," Richard Petty’s trademark number in an illustrious career that brought him a record number 200 career race wins, over 700 top 10s in 1,184 starts, seven Daytona 500 wins and seven NASCAR Championships and crowned him as the most decorated driver in NASCAR history. This historic car is signed by Wallace himself and estimated to sell between $70,000 – $90,000.
"This car is always going to be special to me. It was my first Daytona 500 and was such an emotional race being the first full–time African–American driver in NASCAR since Wendell Scott,’ said Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. "This car was the best place for me to be. It was an amazing day with this car."
"Julien’s Auctions is thrilled to offer this legendary car driven by NASCAR’s next generation of champions, Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr.," said Darren Julien, President/Chief Executive Officer of Julien’s Auctions. "This special car has made its way into the books of NASCAR history and rightfully belongs in the Victory Lane of "The King" Richard Petty’s collection of championship cars, trophies and motorsports memorabilia to be offered at auction."
JULIEN’S AUCTIONS PUBLIC EXHIBITION & LIVE AUCTION LOCATION
Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
3667 Las Vegas Boulevard S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109-8900
JULIEN’S AUCTIONS LAS VEGAS PUBLIC EXHIBITION
Tuesday, May 8th-Saturday May 12th, 2018
Daily: 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. PST
Free to the public.
LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION
Saturday, May 12th, 2018
Property from the Collection of Richard Petty
Session I: 1:00 p.m. PST
Registering to Bid
Registration is required to bid in this live auction and can be done in person at the exhibition and auction, or online before the sale at the JuliensAuctions.com Registration page to bid by phone, proxy or in person, or online at JuliensLive.com to bid live online, or by calling (310) 836-1818.
There are four ways to bid in this sale:
- Bid through Julien’s Auctions Online Live in Real Time at JuliensLive.com.
- Bid over the telephone through an auction house representative.
- Submit a bid in person at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
- Enter Absentee bids. Absentee bid forms are printed in the back of each catalogue, and are also available by calling Julien's Auctions or online www.juliensauctions.com.
Juliens Auctions PR
In a wild Sunday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway, Trevor Bayne was able to hang tough and salvage a 12th-place finish despite being caught up in two cautions.
“We were making a lot of gains on the car and getting better, and we got back on the lead lap and I was really pumped,” Bayne said following the race. “That restart, I saw them all sliding and checking up, and the 11 turned and I got slowed down, but they tried to drive through the smoke behind us and wrecked us. We got damage, but fortunately the car was still okay after that. To finish 12th after being involved in two cautions and taking damage, I’ll take that result.”
After rolling off 13th in a solid qualifying effort, the nose of the No. 6 Performance Plus Ford Fusion stayed clean throughout the first stage, ending the segment 17th due to a tight-handling car. After going a lap down to the leader, the Knoxville, Tennessee, native finished stage two in the 14th position earning the free pass position to get back on the lead lap.
Just after the restart, Bayne got caught up in a multi-car accident on lap 178, suffering left side damage. A red flag was displayed allowing the team to evaluate the damage and make a game plan once the red flag was lifted. Once lifted, the crew worked feverishly to repair the damage on the Performance Plus Ford sending Bayne out in the 18th position.
The Roush Fenway Racing driver had worked his way up inside the top-15 before being collected in another on-track incident which sent his Ford spinning through the grass on the front stretch.
Despite the two accidents, Bayne and the team battled back to earn a 12th place finish; his best finish of the 2018 season.
Bayne and the No. 6 team return to action next weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 500 on Sunday, April 15. Race coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET on FOX, and can also be heard on PRN and NASCAR Sirius/XM radio channel 90.
After having to start from the rear of the field due to going to a back-up car, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rebounded and was running in the top-five before a mechanical issue ended his day with less than 20 laps remaining in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Texas Motor Speedway. After leading 10 laps, Stenhouse settled for a 25th –place finish.
“Our SunnyD Ford was really strong today,” Stenhouse said. “It was just unfortunate to have that issue so late in the race when we were running in the top-five. Hopefully we can get all this bad luck out of the way. Next week we head to Bristol which is one of my favorite tracks.”
After having to start from the rear due to going to a back-up car, the Olive Branch, Miss. native gained 13 positions before the first yellow flag was displayed on lap two for a multi-car accident. Steadily marching his way through the field, Stenhouse took the green-checkered flag ending stage one in the 13th position.
After restarting stage two in the 12th position, the two-time Xfinity champion bullied his way forward despite battling a tight handling machine scoring an eighth-place finish in stage two picking up valuable stage points.
When the green flag waved at the start of the final stage, Stenhouse was scored in the eighth position steadily maintaining top-10 track position throughout the duration of the final stage. With less than 60 laps remaining in the 334-lap race, the 2017 Playoffs contender made slight contact with the outside wall due to an ill-handling machine.
With other leaders pitting under green flag conditions, crew chief Brian Pattie long pitted giving Stenhouse the lead for 10 laps before the yellow flag waved for a one-car incident. With only five cars on the lead lap, the Roush Fenway Racing driver hit pit-road for four tires and to pull the right side fenders.
Under the caution laps, Stenhouse radioed that he felt like he didn’t have any brakes or something was amiss. After going back green with 24 laps remaining, Stenhouse was forced to bring his Sunny D Ford to pit-road. After further evaluation, the mechanical issue forced Stenhouse to settle with a 25th-place finish.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team travel to Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 500 next Sunday, April 15.
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):
● Started third and finished sixth.
● Reported the No. 14 was fast but very loose in traffic.
● Bowyer said he nearly spun two or three times and couldn’t race around other cars.
● Crew made several air and chassis adjustments during pit stops to cure the handling issues.
● Bowyer never fell out of the top-10 and finished sixth.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):
● Started ninth and finished fifth.
● As the stage wore on, the No. 14’s handling improved.
● “Man, she’s fast,” reported Bowyer during the closing laps of the stage.
● Several cars experienced tire issues, but Bowyer’s car had no such issues.
● Bowyer was closing on the leaders as the final laps wound down in the stage.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 171-334):
● Started fifth and finished ninth.
● Bowyer avoided a seven-car melee that took out some top contenders following the restart to begin the final stage.
● Bowyer restarted fourth with about 80 to go, but he was pushed into the high groove by another car and dropped to 11th place.
● He slowly regained some of the lost positions, but an untimely caution with 30 laps remaining left him a lap down and forced him to use a wave-around to return to lead lap.
● Restarted the race in 10th with 23 laps remaining and finished ninth.
● This was Bowyer’s fourth top-10 of 2018.
● This was Bowyer’s 11th top-10 in 25 career Cup Series starts at Texas.
● Bowyer finished sixth in Stage 1 to earn five bonus points and fifth in Stage 2 to earn an additional six bonus points.
● Kyle Busch won the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 to score his 44th career Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his third at Texas. His margin of victory over second-place Harvick was .3 of a second.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 48 laps.
● Only 10 of the 37 drivers in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 finished on the lead lap.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Man, we had a fast hot rod today. At the beginning we were great by ourselves, but we just couldn’t get near other cars because we were so loose in traffic. The guys worked on it and got me pretty good. We got blocked and pushed high on a restart and lost a lot of positions and just didn’t have enough time to make it up. It was tough out there today. There weren’t very many people making up any ground after a few laps.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Food City 500 on April 15 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with a pre-race show at 1:30 p.m.
Paul Menard and the No. 21 Quick Lane team ran into misfortune early in Sunday’s 500 miler at Texas Motor Speedway, and that led to a long, disappointing day at the track.
Menard started 19thafter rain cut Friday’s qualifying session short, and the race was just three laps old when he was swept up in a multi-car crash. His Quick Lane Fusion received damage in the left front and in the right rear, which is a critical part of the car from an aerodynamic perspective.
Menard was able to drive back to pit road, where the Quick Lane crew patched up his car. He was able to make NASCAR’s minimum speed and continue on, but any hope of a decent finish was lost at that point.
Menard and the Quick Lane team soldiered on until Lap 235 of 334, when a blown tire sent the No. 21 Fusion into the wall and damaged the front suspension beyond repair.
He wound up with a 30th-place finish, which dropped him one spot to 16th in the points standings heading into the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“Long day,” Menard said. “We had a really fast Quick Lane Ford Fusion, but our day virtually ended on Lap 2. Disappointing.”
“Not much you can do when someone spins in front of you at those speeds. You’re really at the mercy of what happens in front of you. Too much damage and it eventually caught up to us on that last incident.”
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he was proud of the way Menard and the Quick Lane crew continued to work hard even though any chance of a good finish had been lost.
“The crew patched up the car the best they could, but the right rear was essentially wiped out,” Wood said. “I hate it for Quick Lane, but days like this are bound to happen.”
“We’ll go on to Bristol and hope our luck turns around. The important thing is we’re having fast cars every week. The rest has a way of taking care of itself”
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):
● Aric Almirola started Stage 1 in the 12th position at Texas Motor Speedway and ended it in the 11th spot.
● After an early caution in the stage, Almirola and the four-car Stewart Haas Racing contingent ran in the top-10 until lap 30.
● On lap 44, Almirola made a scheduled green-flag pit stop from the 11th position for fuel, four tires and wedge. After pit stops cycled through, he continued to run in the top-11.
● Almirola reported he was loose in traffic on lap 75 and ultimately finished the first stage in 11th.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):
● Before the start of Stage 2, Almirola visited pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments, and started the second stage in the 11th position. The 34-year-old completed the stage in the 10th spot.
● In Stage 2, the Tampa, Florida, native reported he needed more front turn. Crew chief Johnny Klausmeier continued to make adjustments to help the No. 10 Ford Fusion’s handling.
● The third caution of the race came out on lap 127, and Almirola visited pit road for more adjustments before completing the stage in the 10th position and earning one bonus point.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 171-334):
● During the caution period for the final stage break, Almirola radioed to the Smithfield crew that his car was better but that he still needed more front turn.
● After a fast pit stop to help with the No. 10 Ford’s handling, Almirola started to the final stage in the eighth position before his day ended prematurely due to a seven-car accident on lap 178.
● Almirola had finished among the top-14 in all previous races this season.
● Until the accident on lap 178, Almirola maintained a top-15 running position all day.
● Almirola finished 10th in Stage 2 to earn a single bonus point.
● Kyle Busch won the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 to score his 44th career Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his third at Texas. His margin of victory over second-place Harvick was .300 of a second.
●There were eight caution periods for a total of 48 laps.
● Only 10 of the 37 drivers in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 finished on the lead lap.
Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We come to these repaves and we are going really fast and all fighting for the bottom lane, because the second lane isn’t as good and the third lane is really not as good. We got down to turn three, and I was trying to be smart and be patient because we still have a long way to go in the race. I backed out of it to let the No. 18 have the second lane, and the No. 11 just got loose under me. I hate it. Our Smithfield Ford Fusion was really good today. We were going to run top-10 for sure, and we were making the car better and better each pit stop, and I thought we could have continued to work on it and maybe make it a top-five car. If you make it a top-five car, anything can happen at the end of these races, and that’s what I’m most disappointed about. We definitely had a car capable of a really good result today and unfortunately have nothing to show for it.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Food City 500 on April 15 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX TV, PRN and SiriusXM Radio.