Monday, Aug 15

NASCAR National Series News & Notes - Road America

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Kwik Trip 250 presented by JOCKEY Made in America

The Place: Road America

The Date: Sunday, July 3

The Time: 3 p.m. ET

TV: USA, 2 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 250.98 miles (62 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 15),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 30), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 62)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Henry 180

The Place: Road America

The Date: Saturday, July 2

The Time: 2:30 p.m. ET

TV: USA, 2 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 182.16 miles (45 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 10),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 20), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 45)

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: O'Reilly Auto Parts 150 at Mid-Ohio

The Place: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

The Date: Saturday, July 9

The Time: 1:30 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 1 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 151.28 miles (67 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 15),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 35), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 67)

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

NASCAR celebrates Fourth of July Weekend at Road America

For the second year-in-a-row the NASCAR Cup Series will be celebrating Independence Day (July 4) Weekend in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin competing on the world famous Road America this Sunday, July 3 at 3 p.m. ET on USA, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90). This weekend’s Kwik Trip 250 presented by JOCKEY Made In America race marks just the third-time in series history that Road America has hosted a NASCAR Cup Series event (1956, 2021, 2022).

 

In the early 1950’s, sports car races were being run on the streets in and around Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, but the state legislature banned racing on the public roads soon after. A man named Clif Tufte organized a group of local citizens and leaders of the Chicago Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). This group developed plans and sold stock to build a permanent racecourse. The overall vision of Road America grew out of the dreams of Tufte, a highway engineer, who chose 525 acres of Wisconsin farmland outside the Village of Elkhart Lake for the track. Ground broke for Road America in April of 1955 and the track’s first SCCA national race weekend was held later that same year (September 10, 1955). 

 

At 4.048-miles in length, with 14 turns, the track is virtually the same today as it was when it was first laid out. The natural topography of the glacial Kettle Moraine area was utilized for the track, sweeping around rolling hills and plunging through ravines making it one of the most challenging tracks in the world.

 

The first, and up until last season, the only, NASCAR Cup Series race at Road America was on August 12, 1956. An estimated crowd of 10,000 braved terrible weather to watch the event. And in an unusual ruling, NASCAR limited the cars to 10 gallons of fuel at start the race. 

 

The August 12, 1956, race was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Tim Flock driving a Mercury for car owner Bill Stroppe. Flock led 17 laps of the 63-lap event, making just two pit stops en route to his win; his fourth victory of the 1956 season. Flock won with an average speed of 73.858 mph and did it in 3 hours, 29 minutes, and 50 seconds. He won the race by a 17 second margin of victory over second place. Bill Stroppe’s cars actually finished 1-2 in the race with Flock winning and his teammate Billy Myers finishing second.

 

Then last season, the NASCAR Cup Series returned to Road America after nearly 65 years, and the race was won by Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Chase Elliott with a margin of victory of 5.705-seconds over second place Christopher Bell.   

 

Road America will be the third of six road courses on the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series schedule – Circuit of The Americas, Sonoma Raceway, Road America, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, Watkins Glen International and Charlotte ROVAL. Trackhouse Racing teammates Ross Chastain (Circuit of The Americas) and Daniel Suárez (Sonoma) have already won the first two road course races of the year.

 

The highspeed on-track activity for the NASCAR Cup Series will begin this weekend with practice from 11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. ET, directly followed by Busch Light Pole Qualifying at 12:20 p.m. ET. Both events will be televised on USA Network from 12-1:30 p.m. ET.

 

Spotlight shifts to Chase Elliott following Nashville win

Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Chase Elliott became the fifth driver of the 2022 season with two victories following his win last weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. Now, the NASCAR Cup Series points standings leader, Elliott, holds a 30-point edge on Ross Chastain in second in the driver standings, as the spotlight shifts its focus on the series’ Most Popular driver and his quest for his second title.

 

Elliott’s win in Nashville gave him a much needed cushion between himself and Chastain as they battle it out for the Regular Season Championship and the coveted 15 Playoff points that come with it. Unlike in season’s past when one driver would accumulate a lot of Playoff points heading into the postseason, this year the five drivers with multiple wins are primarily grasping onto the lion’s share of the Playoff points – Elliott (13 Playoff pts.), Chastain (13), William Byron (13), Joey Logano (12) and Denny Hamlin (12) – making winning this season Regular Season title that much more important.

 

Fortunately for Chase Elliott, the NASCAR Cup Series is returning to a road course this weekend which is the type of track that nearly half (seven) of his 15 career Cup Series wins have come on; including last season’s race at Road America. Elliott has also grabbed road course wins at Watkins Glen (2018, 2019), Charlotte ROVAL (2019, 2020), Daytona Road Course (2020), and Circuit of The Americas (2021). Last season at Road America, Elliott started 34th and raced his way up to the win, leading 24 laps en route to the checkered flag.

 

This season, Elliott has put up two wins (Dover, Nashville), four top fives and 11 top 10s. He has led 513 laps and has held the points standings lead since assuming the position following Atlanta. If Elliott manages to hold on and win the NASCAR Cup Series Regular Season Championship, he will become the fifth different driver to accomplish the feat; joining Martin Truex Jr. (2017), Kyle Busch (2019, 2018), Kevin Harvick (2020) and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson (2021).    

 

And if Elliott would go on to win the overall series championship in Phoenix in November, he would become just the 17th different driver all-time with multiple titles. He would also join Herb Thomas (1951, 1953), Tim Flock (1952, 1955), Buck Baker (1956, 1957), Joe Weatherly (1962, 1963), Ned Jarrett (1961, 1965), Terry Labonte (1984, 1996) and Kyle Busch (2015, 2019) as the eighth driver all-time with just two series championships.

 

Playoff Bubble: Harvick bounces Almirola out of Playoff transfer spot

With Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kevin Harvick (16th) and Aric Almirola (17th) teetering the postseason cutoff line in the NASCAR Cup Series driver Playoff outlook standings, these last nine races left in the regular season are going to be tense. A mere nine points separates the SHR teammates as the series heads to Road America for the Kwik Trip 250 presented by JOCKEY Made in America this Sunday, July 3, at 3 p.m. ET on USA, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

Heading into Nashville last weekend, Almirola was in 16th with a seven point cushion between himself and Harvick, but Harvick’s top-10 finish was enough to leap frog Almirola in the standings putting himself back into postseason contention. This weekend at Road America, Almirola will try regaining his standing in the points. Last season, Almirola finished 14th to Harvick’s 27th at Road America.

 

Of the drivers without wins this season heading into this weekend at Road America, Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney currently has the largest points cushion on the Playoff cutoff with +112 points. Blaney is coming off a solid third-place finish last weekend at Nashville and will hope some of that momentum will carryover this weekend on the Elkhart Lake road course. Blaney finished 20th at Road America last season but does have one career Cup road course win at the Charlotte ROVAL in 2018. 

 

Next on the Playoff outlook grid are Joe Gibbs Racing teammates and former road course winners Martin Truex Jr. and Christopher Bell. Truex currently holds a 73-point edge on the postseason cutoff and Bell is up by 37 points. Truex is tied with Kyle Busch for the second-most road course wins among active drivers with four each. Truex has won three races at Sonoma and once at Watkins Glen. He finished ninth in last season’s Road America race. As for Bell, he grabbed his first career NASCAR Cup Series win at the Daytona Beach Road Course in 2021. Watch for Bell to contend this weekend he finished runner-up to Elliott in last season’s Road America race. 

 

2022 Driver Playoff Outlook Following Race No. 17 - Drivers Without Wins

Rank

Driver

Points

Wins

Stages

Playoff Pts

Pts From Cutoff

13

Ryan Blaney

555

0

4

4

112

14

Martin Truex Jr.

516

0

5

5

73

15

Christopher Bell

480

0

0

0

37

16

Kevin Harvick

452

0

0

0

9

17

Aric Almirola

443

0

0

0

-9

18

Tyler Reddick

400

0

2

2

-52

19

Austin Dillon

399

0

0

0

-53

20

Erik Jones

394

0

0

0

-58

21

Michael McDowell

355

0

0

0

-97

22

Chris Buescher

325

0

0

0

-127

23

Justin Haley

324

0

0

0

-128

24

Bubba Wallace

313

0

1

1

-139

25

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

309

0

0

0

-143

26

Ty Dillon

276

0

0

0

-176

27

Cole Custer

273

0

0

0

-179

28

Harrison Burton #

253

0

0

0

-199

29

Todd Gilliland #

252

0

0

0

-200

30

Brad Keselowski

235

0

0

-10

-217

 

Baker’s dozen worth of road course winners entered at Road America

You can’t throw a wrench in the NASCAR Cup Series garage without hitting an active road course winner this weekend at Road America, as 13 are scheduled to compete on Sunday, July 3 at 3 p.m. ET in the Kwik Trip 250 presented by JOCKEY Made In America (USA, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

Led by last season’s Road America winner, Chase Elliott, with seven NASCAR Cup Series road course wins, 13 active road course winners will be taking to 4.048-mile track this weekend; including the series most recent road course winner, Monterrey, Mexico’s Daniel Suárez, who took the win at Sonoma Raceway a few weeks back. 

 

If Elliott wins this weekend, he will tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart for the second-most NASCAR Cup Series road course wins all-time with eight each. Just one behind series road course wins record holder and NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon with nine road course wins.

 

Active Road Course Winners in the NASCAR Cup Series

Active Road Course Winners

Total Wins

Sonoma

WGI

Charlotte

Daytona

Indy

COTA

Road America

Chase Elliott

7

0

2

2

1

0

1

1

Kyle Busch

4

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

Martin Truex Jr

4

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

Kyle Larson

3

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

Kevin Harvick

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

AJ Allmendinger

2

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

Joey Logano

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Kurt Busch

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Ryan Blaney

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

Christopher Bell

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Denny Hamlin

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Ross Chastain

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Daniel Suárez

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

First-Time Winners on Road Courses – Since 2018 in the NASCAR Cup Series road courses have accounted for four first-time winners in the series; including two this season – Chase Elliott (Watkins Glen, 2018), Christopher Bell (Daytona RC, 2021), Ross Chastain (COTA, 2022) and Daniel Suárez (Sonoma, 2022).

 

Pulling Double Duty at Road America – A total of six drivers will be pulling double duty this weekend at Road America - AJ Allmendinger, Ty Dillon, Josh Bilicki, Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick and Kyle Larson will all be competing in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, July 2, and the NASCAR Cup Series race on July 3 at Road America.

 

SportsCar stars Tilley and Hand are entered this weekend – Two drivers that cut their teeth in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Kyle Tilley and Joey Hand will be attempting to make the NASCAR Cup Series race this weekend at Road America.

 

Kyle Tilley hails from Bath, England and this weekend will be his fourth career start in the series and first of the 2022 season. Tilley will be piloting the No 78 Live Fast Motorsports Ford with crew chief Lee Leslie on Sunday. In his three career starts in the series last season, he has put up finishes of 31st (COTA), 35th (Road America) and 30th (Watkins Glen). Tilley is no stranger to Road America, he has one IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship start at the track where he started fourth and finished third in the ORECA LMP2 07 for Era Motorsports last season.

 

Hand, a former Chip Ganassi Racing driver in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, began an association with Ford in 2015. That year, he became a full-time driver for Ganassi and finished fourth in the IMSA Prototype standings while teamed with Scott Pruett.

 

Hand, from Sacramento, California, will be piloting the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Ford this weekend at Road America with crew chief Kevyn Rebolledo. This weekend will be Hands fourth career start in the series and third this season. In his first three starts he put up a 27th (Charlotte ROVAL, 2020), 35th (COTA, 2021) and 20th (Sonoma, 2021).

 

Though this weekend will be his NASCAR Cup Series career track debut, Hand has competed at Road America in IMSA posting an eighth-place finish for Turner Motorsports in a BMW M3 in 2011.

 

Loris Hezemans to attempt Road America this weekend – The Team Hezeberg with driver Loris Hezemans will attempt to qualify for the NASCAR Cup Series race, the Kwik Trip 250 presented by JOCKEY Made in America on Sunday, July 3 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

 

Hezemans, from Eindhoven, Netherlands, made his series career debut earlier this season at Circuit of The Americas; he started 36th but finished 34th seven laps down due to a rear gear issue. This will be Hezemans’ series track debut at Road America, though, he does have one start at the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for BJ McLeod Motorsports in 2019; he started 24th and finished 22nd. 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Xfinity Series is making left and right turns for Fourth of July Weekend

NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers will be kicking off the Fourth of July weekend at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on Saturday, July 2 at 2:30 p.m. ET for the Henry 180 on the USA Network, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio. 

 

The track has hosted 12 Xfinity Series races producing 12 different winners and seven different pole winners with Carl Edwards winning the inaugural race on June 19, 2010.

 

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs currently sits as the youngest pole winner, having snagged the pole last year at 18 years, eight months and 29 days old. Current Cup Series rookie Austin Cindric became the youngest winner at the road course in 2020, accomplishing the feat at 21 years, 11 months and six days old.

 

Fans last saw veteran Kyle Busch take the lead in the last five laps of the race to find himself in Victory Lane in last season’s Xfinity Series event at Road America. Although Busch will not be competing this weekend in the Xfinity Series, other Cup Series regulars will be taking to the track on Saturday for the Henry 180, such as Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick, Ty Dillon and Cole Custer. Also, three former Xfinity Series Road America winners are entered as well – Justin Allgaier (2018), AJ Allmendinger (2013) and Jeremy Clements (2017).

 

The on-track action will begin on Friday, July 1 with practice at 5:30 p.m. ET followed by qualifying at 6 p.m. ET on the USA Network. 

 

Will we have a different Road America winner once again?

The NASCAR Xfinity Series has been making its way to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin to race at Road America since 2010 and there has yet to be a repeat winner.

 

Road America currently holds the longest active Xfinity Series different winners streak at 12. The record for the most consecutive different winners at a single track is 23, set at New Hampshire Motor Speedway between the 1990-2009 seasons.

 

Of the 12 drivers that have made their way to Victory Lane in the Xfinity Series, only three are entered in the Henry 180 to have the opportunity to add a second Road America win to their resume – AJ Allmendinger (2013), Jeremy Clements (2017) and Justin Allgaier (2018).

 

Allmendinger has four starts at the Wisconsin road course and has done quite well, posting one win, three top fives, three top 10s and even adding two poles (2013, 2019) to the mix. Road America is particularly special for him as it marks his first ever Xfinity Series win. In 2020, he put on quite the show as he raced his way up to a runner-up finish after starting in the 33rd position. With his success at Road America and being the series’ winningest driver on road courses, the veteran could very well become the track’s first-ever repeat winner as his two wins this season have come at COTA and Portland.

 

In his 413 Xfinity Series career starts, Clements has posted one win – Road America (2017). The win came as a surprise for all as he was in a nine-year-old car with his small family-owned team. On top of that, he wasn’t even sure if he’d be able to continue his NASCAR career after a 2004 race nearly cost him his hand. This season hasn’t gone quite as planned for the No. 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet driver as he’s only posted one top 10 in his 15 starts this season but perhaps, he’ll surprise fans once again and find himself in Victory Lane for the second time. He is currently 20th in the Playoff outlook, the last eligible

 

Allgaier is looking to keep his momentum alive after coming off a win last weekend in Nashville. He has 10 starts at Road America posting one win, two top fives and five top 10s. (He is tied for most top 10s with Elliott Sadler at five). Although he didn’t have a great finish at the road course at COTA earlier this season (33rd), he redeemed himself at the 1.97-mile road course in Portland with a fifth-place finish.

 

Playoff Bubble: Five spots still remain

With Justin Allgaier snagging his second win of the season last weekend in Nashville, five spots are still up for grabs in the remaining 11 races of the regular season. 

 

Seven drivers have secured their spots on wins – AJ Allmendinger, Ty Gibbs, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Josh Berry, Brandon Jones and Austin Hill. The remaining spots are currently held by drivers who are sitting comfortably on points – Sam Mayer sits in sixth with 466 points (+162), Riley Herbst sits in ninth with 413 points (+109) and 2021 Xfinity Series Champ Daniel Hemric sits in 10th with 409 points (+105).

 

Taking up the last two slots are Landon Cassill in 11th (+81) and Ryan Sieg in the 12th and final Playoff transfer spot on points. Sieg has built up a hefty points cushion (+69 points) over Anthony Alfredo, who sits just outside of the Playoff window in 13th. To keep the points cushion, Sieg will have to bring his A-game as his eight starts at Road America have only produced one top-10 finish (2020).

 

On the other hand, Our Motorsports’ Anthony Alfredo will be making his series track debut at Road America this weekend.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Sammy Smith to make his Xfinity Series debut at Road America – Sammy Smith, the reigning ARCA Menards East champion with Joe Gibbs Racing will be behind the wheel of the No. 18 JGR Toyota for his Xfinity Series debut this Saturday, July 2 in the Henry 180 at Road America.

 

Smith will also run in Xfinity races at Pocono Raceway, Michigan International Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Kansas Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway later this season.

 

“Sammy has impressed at every level of his racing career,” said Steve DeSouza, Executive Vice President/Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing. “We believe Sammy will continue to excel and look forward to supporting him as he expands his 2022 schedule to include eight races in the Xfinity Series with the Joe Gibbs Racing No.18 team led by crew chief Jason Ratcliff.”

 

Hendrick Motorsports No. 17 makes debut with Kyle Larson at Road America - Hendrick Motorsports returns to the NASCAR Xfinity Series marking the first time in more than a decade that the 14-time NASCAR Cup Series championship-winning team has competed on the circuit.

 

Hendrick Motorsports will field its No. 17 Chevrolet Camaro on July 2 at Road America with Kyle Larson, July 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course with Alex Bowman, and Aug. 20 at Watkins Glen International with William Byron.

 

“Our drivers are always looking for more opportunities to compete,” said Jeff Andrews, president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “We believe the additional road-course experience on Saturdays (in the Xfinity Series) will translate well to Sundays (in the Cup Series). It will be exciting to see the No. 17 return to the racetrack for Hendrick Motorsports, and we’ll do everything we can to take it back to Victory Lane.”

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

 

Preece delivers Team DGR back-to-back wins at Nashville

For the second-time in two years, Ryan Preece took the checkered flag in the Rackley Roofing 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. Preece, driving part-time for Team DGR, has now won both NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events at Nashville since the sport returned to the track in 2021. This comes right after Todd Gilliland, NASCAR Cup Series regular, drove the same No. 17 Team DGR Ford F-150 to a win at Knoxville Raceway. The No. 17 truck becomes the second entry throughout the season to go to Victory Lane with two different drivers, the other of which being the No. 51 for Kyle Busch Motorsports with Corey Heim and Kyle Busch.

 

Team DGR will get an extra weekend to enjoy the spoils of their wins as the series is off this weekend but will return to action next weekend in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 150 at Mid-Ohio Saturday, July 9 at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

Regular Season Title Watch: Zane Smith takes points standings lead with two to go

Front Row Motorsports’ Zane Smith continues to have a standout year as he claims the driver points lead in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with just two races to go in the regular season. The California native is currently 21 points up on John Hunter Nemechek in second in the series driver standings.

 

Smith’s ascension to the standing lead comes after a strong second-place finish at Nashville, where he narrowly edged out Carson Hocevar in the closing laps. Smith, in his first year driving the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford, has accumulated three wins, eight top-fives and 12 top-10s.

 

Having one week off before competing in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 at Mid-Ohio, Smith can rest easy knowing he is in prime position to earn the extra 15 Playoff points with only two races left in the regular season. Mathematically, Smith could clinch the Regular Season Championship at Mid-Ohio, but he would need help.

 

In addition, Smith will be looking forward to another road course on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. He currently has the season-best average finish at road courses, with a win at Circuit of The Americas and a runner-up effort at Sonoma Raceway.

 

Clinch Scenarios: Time is running out for those not locked in

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has turned into a pressure cooker with five spots left up for grabs in the Playoffs and just two races left for drivers to win their way into the postseason. And with five spots left and only two races to go, that means at least three spots this season will be taken by drivers who transfer in on points.

 

Already Clinched

The following five drivers have clinched a spot in the 10-driver postseason field: Zane Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Chandler Smith and Stewart Friesen.

 

Can Clinch Playoff Spot Via Points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the Playoffs, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the fifth winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from either Ty Majeski, Christian Eckes, Carson Hocevar or Grant Enfinger.

  • Ty Majeski: Would clinch with 13 points
  • Christian Eckes: Would clinch with 43 points
  • Carson Hocevar: Could only clinch with help
  • Grant Enfinger: Could only clinch with help

 

If there is a new winner from Matt Crafton or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the Playoffs, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the fourth winless driver in the standings.

  • Ty Majeski: Would clinch with 23 points
  • Christian Eckes: Would clinch with 53 points
  • Carson Hocevar: Could only clinch with help

 

Can Clinch Playoff Spot Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone:

  • Ty Majeski, Christian Eckes, Carson Hocevar, Grant Enfinger, Matt Crafton, Derek Kraus, Tyler Ankrum, Matt DiBenedetto, Tanner Gray

 

The following drivers could clinch with a win:

  • Timmy Hill: Could only clinch with help
  • Colby Howard: Could only clinch with help
  • Lawless Alan: Could only clinch with help

 

Playoff Bubble Trouble Following Nashville

The Rackley Roofing 200 at Nashville Superspeedway did not do any favors for several drivers hovering around the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff bubble and their hopes of making the postseason.

 

Coming into the weekend sitting ninth in driver standings, Grant Enfinger got caught up in a costly incident on Lap 128 that ended his night and pushed him closer to the postseason cutoff line. Enfinger, driver of the No. 23 GMS Racing Chevrolet, now only sits 10 points above Matt Crafton who is currently in the 10th and final Playoff transfer spot in the driver standings. Crafton and the No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota team had a much-appreciated quiet night, coming home with a solid 10th-place finish but still teeters the Playoff cutline with two to go.

 

Also caught up in the incident at Lap 128 last weekend at Nashville was a driver who sits right outside the Playoff cutline in Matt DiBenedetto. Prior to the incident, the No. 25 Rackley W.A.R. Chevrolet was having a good night running inside the top-10. The good spirits quickly turned bad as DiBenedetto was knocked out of the race and was subsequentially placed at a greater points disadvantage. The first year NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver has shown solid speed throughout the season but has had some tough luck. DiBenedetto is now closer than ever to must-win territory as he has only two races left to earn a Playoff spot.

           

Leaving the weekend with a solid points outing was Derek Kraus of McAnally-Hilgemann Racing. The 20-year-old from Stratford, Wisconsin brought his No. 19 Chevy Silverado home with an 11th-place finish and a good haul of stage points. With Matt Crafton both finishing one spot ahead of him in the race and sitting one place in front of him in driver standings, Kraus aims to close the gap on the series veteran if he wants any shot of racing for the championship in the final seven races of the season.

 

Another driver that had a well-timed good run was Tyler Ankrum in the No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota Tundra. Ankrum finished the night with a seventh-place finish, tied for his best on the 2022 season. Coming into Nashville, the 21-year-old native of San Bernardino, California was 14th in driver standings before charging himself into 12th by the end of the night. Ankrum will seek to make up a similar amount of ground on those ahead of him at Mid-Ohio, another road course where he has tallied top-10s at each of the others on the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Schedule.

 

The same cannot be said for Tanner Gray of Team DGR, who fell back to 14th in the driver standings after a 30th place outing at Nashville. While him and his No. 15 team have been fast for most the season, their placement in the standings does not illustrate that all too well. Gray is now 70 points back from the Playoff cutline, which basically lands him in must-win territory with two races to go in the regular season. He joins other drivers such as Timmy Hill, Colby Howard, and rookie Lawless Alan that would need to land themselves in Victory Lane to compete for a championship.

 

Camping World Truck Series prepares to race Mid-Ohio for first-time

For the first-time in series history, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will get ready for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 at Mid-Ohio (July 9 at 1:30 P.M. ET on FS1, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

Since 2013, the track has hosted eight NASCAR Xfinity Series events. This season, however, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be racing in their place as the venue will be the site of the pen-ultimate race of the regular season. It will also act as the last road course race on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2022 schedule.

 

The track was opened in 1962 inside the limits of Lexington, Ohio. Built right outside of Mansfield, Ohio which is set directly between Cleveland and Columbus, the facility hosts a road course with two different configurations: a 2.4-mile, 15 turn circuit or a 2.26-mile, 13 turn layout (the latter being what the Trucks will run on). The track sits on 380 acres of land and is often touted as the “Most Competitive in the U.S.”. It currently plays host to IMSA, the NTT IndyCar Series, and now NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Menard’s Series events.

 

Only four current drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series have prior experience at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, all making starts in the Xfinity Series. Last year’s Truck Series Champion Ben Rhodes ran at the track in 2015 for JR Motorsports, finishing 10th in one of 10 races he ran for the No. 88 team. John Hunter Nemechek of Kyle Busch Motorsports ended his run at Mid-Ohio finishing 31st in 2019 for GMS Racing’s Xfinity program. The other two drivers are currently vying for a spot in the Playoffs, Matt DiBenedetto of Rackley W.A.R. finished 13th in 2014 while running most of the season for The Motorsports Group. In addition, Timmy Hill came in 37th during a one-off for SS Green Light Racing in 2014 and 27th in 2019 for MBM Motorsports.'

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