Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Grandstand seats for the March 21 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway are sold out.

The Speedway sold the last of its available grandstand tickets for the NASCAR Cup Series event today, reaching the capacity currently permitted by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive order. While the grandstands have reached their approved capacity for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, fan experiences like infield camping, trackside camping, climate-controlled fan suites, and Club One access for Sunday, March 21, are still available for purchase.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome race fans back to the track later this month, especially considering it’s been two years since we’ve had our grandstands open for a NASCAR race,” said AMS Executive Vice President and General Manager Brandon Hutchison. “We’re thankful for our local and state leadership, colleagues at NASCAR, and of course all the fans that are joining us for making this event possible.”

AMS estimates 20,000 fans will be in attendance in its socially-distanced grandstands and suites for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.

Some grandstand seats remain for the Fr8Auctions 200 and EchoPark 250 doubleheader on Saturday, March 20, and are currently available starting at $40 for adults. Kids 12 and under are free with a paid adult on Saturday.

For more information about the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend March 20-21, visit www.AtlantaMotorSpeedway.com.


Dawson Hammes of Marysville made a triumphant debut at Stockton’s Delta Speedway on Sunday afternoon, leading flag-to-flag for the Open 500 Outlaw Kart victory during the Stockton Challenge. The third round of the series promoted by the Chowchilla Barn Burner saw seven divisions of action on the 1/7th mile dirt oval in Stockton, Calif.

Hammes charged to the front on the opening lap before action slowed for Hawaiian drivers Chevy Moniz and Shavez Kealoha tangling in turn one. Fair Oaks’ Aiden Bailey retired from the race soon after, giving up the third position. Outside polesitter Walter Ball of Reno, Nev. dropped to sixth by the end of the first lap before cautions flew again for Carson Hammes stopped at the top of turn one.

Penngrove’s Chase Johnson drove into the top-five on the restart, but he lost a motor for a caution on lap five that involved Ball as well. After an open red for fuel, Hammes had smooth sailing on the way to a .713 second advantage over round two winner Evan Burrola. Yuba City’s Josh Wooten finished third followed by Dunnigan’s Luke Hayes, and Talin Torres of Fresno.

Tulare’s Tyce Domingos continued an undefeated streak in Beginner Box Stock by winning the 15-lap feature for his third win of the series. Nathan Hammer of Antioch paced the opening lap while Domingos worked his way into the picture as the leaders navigated lapped traffic on lap nine. Zayne Darpli spun from the top-five to bring out a caution in turn four on lap nine.

Domingos looked inside Hammer on the frontstretch on lap 11. He then cleared Hammer to lead lap 12. Domingos, Hammer, Braxton Moniz of Hawaii, Samantha Dozier of Vacaville, and Logan Barnes of Oroville were the top-five at the checkered flag.

Pure Stock produced another undefeated driver with Hanford’s Logan Mitchell leading the duration of the 15-lap affair. The lone caution flew on lap nine for body work debris from both ends of Ryan Holden’s machine. Mitchell led Allisyn Furtado of Chowchilla, Matt Girabaldi of Lockeford, Chowchilla’s Nick Sagmiller, and Eli Rutherford of Oakdale across the line.

Carson City, Nev.’s Levi Annas won the 15-lap Box Stock main event, making the decisive pass with two laps remaining. A tumultuous lap one saw separate incidents that involved Brody Loquaci of Madera and Mikie Mora in turn four, while Braiden McKenzie of Sacramento flipped on the backstretch after contact with Manteca’s DJ Saenz. Oakdale’s Hayden Stepps took command of the field once the race was under way. Annas used the outside to power past Stepps on the backstretch to lead lap three.

Mora and Loquaci had hard contact on the front stretch for a caution on lap 12. Hanford’s Kinser Bell took advantage as he stormed up the inside of Annas for the lead on the restart. Annas crossed him over in turn four on the following lap, sneaking underneath to lead lap 14. Annas earned the win over Bell, Mclane Lourenco of Atwater, Stepps, and Lemoore’s John Brumley.

Jason Van Fossen of Livermore became a two-time winner of the Stockton Challenge, adding a round three Clone win to his opening round Stock Appearing victory. Van Fossen led all 20-laps but not without challenges. A series of incidents in the attempts to get the race underway saw Van Fossen chased by ninth starting Frank Correia by the end of lap two.

Round two winner Roger Guthrie of Atwater spun in turn two and was hit hard by Donald Hiser of Merced, necessitating another caution. Racing stayed clean and green the rest of the distance with 12th starting Adam Carter of Clovis running down Correia for second. Van Fossen claimed the win while Carter nabbed second on the penultimate lap. Correia, Mat Wood of Atwater, and Dustin Silva of Prunedale rounded out the top-five.

Stock Appearing saw a race long battle between Jason and Rich Van Fossen come down to the closest margin yet of the 2021 Stockton Challenge. Rich Van Fossen led all 15 laps but topped Jason by just .066 seconds at the stripe.

As the white flag flew, the advantage for Rich was three car lengths then it closed considerably when Jeff Wey spun in turn four. Jason Van Fossen jumped inside but came up a foot short. Rich Van Fossen, Jason Van Fossen, Justin Asborno of Escalon and Oakdale drivers Amy Alongi and Bradley Dillard were the top-five.

For the second consecutive race, a driver named Connor took the win in the 250 Outlaw Kart division. Hanford’s Conner Bell led all 15-laps for the main event win with Visalia’s Jett Barnes – the 2019 Jr. Sprints Turkey Bowl winner – coming home second. Samuel Harper of Marysville, opening winner Kennzzie Brown of Chowchilla, and Kelseyville’s Landyn Snider were the balance of the top-five.

For more information on Delta Speedway presented by Financial Center Credit Union, follow us online at www.deltaspeedwaystockton.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Delta Speedway PR

With the addition of MAVTV PLUS to the network family, MAVTV Motorsports Network, the only television network in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to motorsports, is pleased to release its full live event broadcast schedule for 2021. A total of 226 live race broadcasts, featuring 11 highly competitive racing series and the popular Lucas Oil Chilli Bowl Nationals, make up the network’s impressive live events schedule for the year. Of the 226 live events scheduled, MAVTV Plus will play home to 176 races, while the network’s linear channel will provide coverage for 50 live events.


The vast number of different events gives MAVTV its most robust live coverage schedule in network history and includes an exciting mix of racing disciplines - from motocross and stock cars to drag racing and more. This year’s live coverage on MAVTV features stock car racing from the ARCA Menards Series, midget car action provided by the POWRi National Midget League, late model drama from the Late Model Dirt Series (LOLMDS) and competitive pulling during the Pro Pulling League. Additional racing comes from the MotoAmerica Series, Mid-West Drag Racing Series, American Sprint Car Series (ASCS), Pro Motocross, Lucas Oil Speedway Saturday Night Racing, North Carolina Speedweek, Hoosier Arenacross, Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals and the Lucas Oil Speedway.   

The recently rebranded MAVTV Plus is set to host the majority of MAVTV’s live racing coverage this year, with 64 live events from the LOLMDS and 61 more from the POWRi National Midget League. There are also 16 Mid-West Drag Racing Series events scheduled in 2021, along with 10 events covered for ASCS, six for the Pro Pulling League, four events throughout North Carolina Speedweek and coverage of the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. Additionally, MAVTV Plus will feature 10 live events from Lucas Oil Speedway Saturday Night Racing and four live telecasts for the Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour, making it the home for 176 live telecasts this year. The next round of live broadcasts on MAVTV Plus is scheduled for March 19, with the action brought to you by the Mid-West Drag Racing Series, POWRi National Midget League and Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. 


Similar to the MAVTV Plus lineup, MAVTV Motorsports Network will also feature a healthy mix of racing from all disciplines for motorsports fans to enjoy. MAVTV will host an impressive 50 total events in 2021, with the MotoAmerica Supersport Series providing the majority of the action with 18 scheduled broadcasts, followed by ARCA Menards and Pro Motocross, which will both have 12 races broadcasted live. Furthermore, MAVTV is also providing live coverage for five Late Model Dirt Series rounds, two Hoosier Arenacross races and the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. Live broadcasts on MAVTV Motorsports Network continue March 12, featuring wheel-to-wheel action from the ARCA Menards Series. 


With over 220 live events scheduled to air on the Motorsports Network, MAVTV is positioned to provide motorsports fans from all corners of the industry with the entertaining racing they deserve all year long. To gain immediate access to live broadcasts and a vast library of automotive and motorsports content, purchase MAVTV from a verified streaming partner or cable and satellite tv provider, or subscribe to MAVTV Plus for the yearly price of $99 when you visit www.MAVTVPLUS.com


Ryan Newman drove his Wyndham Rewards Ford Mustang to an 18th-place finish Sunday afternoon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The 20-year Cup veteran started the day from the 13th position and rebounded from early handling issues in the 400-mile race. Just three non-planned cautions flew all day, as the second stage ran all green, and the final segment – the longest of the afternoon – featured just two yellows.

Newman finished 22nd in the opening 80-lap stage, and fired off 26th for the second segment as the team worked to provide more stability for his machine on a four-tire pit stop.

The second stage ran caution-free for the full 80 laps, and Newman patiently worked his way forward to finish 21st. Following more service under the stage break, he rolled off 20th for the final stage.

Two quick yellows were displayed in the ensuing laps, and the team elected to stay out twice to put Newman ninth for the race’s final restart at lap 184. Newman held on to his position until fresher tires prevailed later in the run. He ultimately went on to pit one final time under green at lap 218, before battling back from outside the top-20 to record an 18th-place result.

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Phoenix Raceway next weekend. Race coverage next Sunday afternoon is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, and can also be heard on MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.


Throughout most of New York's Hudson Valley, the ground is still covered in a layer of icy white snow, as it usually is in early March. While for many it may feel like we’re still in the depths of winter, OCFS race fans know they are less than a month away from the start of another exciting season of dirt track racing in Middletown, NY. This year, like those before it, The Orange County Fair Speedway is going BIG for the first event of the season. The “OC OVAL KICKOFF 40” will get the season started in 2021 on Saturday April 3rd with a $4,000 to win DIRTcar Big Block Modified 40-Lapper

Though many top drivers have begun their 2021 seasons in Florida during Speedweeks, most won't be settled into their regular season home tracks by April 3rd, giving them the ability to run the “OC Oval Kickoff 40” without conflict. That combined with a $4,000 to win purse, is sure to entice the country’s top Big Block Modified drivers to register for what will be a field of exceptional driving talent.

Of course, what would all that matter if fans weren’t able to see it? For the entire 2020 season, grandstands at OCFS were shuttered, with fans clamoring for precious drive-in spots or streaming the races online at home instead. Well, 2021 will not go down like that! Grandstands are expected to be open for The OC Oval Kickoff and the rest of the season at OCFS! Track management will still be taking extra precautions and limiting the amount of seating available to ensure proper social distance, but FANS ARE BACK IN THE GRANDSTAND FOR ‘21! Of course, the drive-in section will be back as it has every year since 1967 AND racing will continue to be livestreamed for out-of-area fans too!

Though it seems the worst of the pandemic’s fallout on racing is over, it has forced OCFS management into thinking outside of the box when planning events. One out of the box idea that’s come to fruition, was a reinvention of the Big Block Modified points series. The new 12 race series features a mix of special format or long-distance races and regular Saturday Night 30-lap feature races, but the major change comes in the form of a new "playoffs" style system designed to produce consistently exciting Big Block racing all season. It will also allow for both local competitors and outside invaders to be competitive for the points championship by winning into the "playoffs".

All Big Block races will have a unique combination of qualifying procedures which will include varying types of pill draws ,Time Trials and inversions which will be challenging and entertaining at the same time (2020’s “Revenge” redraw returns on June 17th).

Beginning with the OC Oval Kickoff (a conventional style pill draw to determine heat race positions with a redraw to determine the starting positions of the top twelve) Big Block race winners will automatically transfer to the “Final Eight” which will cut off after the July 10th “Big Block Final Eight” event. The balance of the Final Eight will be determined by the high point drivers. Then it gets taken down to the “Final Four” Big Blocks, with the final Thursday night event on September 2nd determining the order of the final 4 by their finishing positions. A simple new system that shakes things up a bit may prove to be controversial with some fans, but OCFS Management and Brett Hearn are confident it will create one of the most interesting finales in OCFS’s long and storied history.

Shake it down weekend will precede the opener with open practices scheduled for March 27th and 28th. All teams are invited to participate in the open practice. If you are a driver or team planning on competing at the “OC Oval Kickoff 40” please contact Doug Dulgarian at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Paretta Autosport and MoneyLion announced today that the financial platform, where hardworking Americans can bank, borrow, save and invest – all within one app, will become the first team sponsor of the No. 16 Chevy-powered INDYCAR at this year’s Indianapolis 500. Paretta is the first female owned, female driven, and female forward race team in the sport.
To further the INDYCAR’s “Race for Equality and Change” initiative announced last year, and in honor of International Women’s Day, MoneyLion and Paretta Autosport are also partnering to launch MoneyLion’s “Women Who Roar” campaign to advance financial empowerment, support women’s careers and level the playing field for women across a number of areas in finance, science and technology.
Paretta Autosport will enter the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 30, with 2010 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Simona De Silvestro behind the wheel. 
MoneyLion’s “Women Who Roar” campaign features:
Play Like a Girl Mentorship Program: MoneyLion and Paretta Autosport have committed to creating a unique Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) mentorship program for nonprofit, Play Like a Girl. This program will connect middle and high school girls with female leaders in the fintech and motorsports industries. It will also include a new “Here Women Roar” female executive leadership chapter of the organization focused on mentoring teenage girls about technology through customized fintech challenges. Not only will the partnership offer students career guidance, but it will bring them on-site to see their mentors in action, broadening their horizons on potential future careers. MoneyLion mentors will also participate in Play Like a Girl’s Women’s Leadership Summit on March 19.
-  “Women Who Roar” LinkedIn Group: Launching on March 16, MoneyLion is creating a space where women in the workforce can have candid conversations about issues such as financial wellness, mentorship and the wage gap.
-  “Women Who Roar” Conversation Series: MoneyLion is also launching a special conversation series, which includes in-depth interviews with eight influential female leaders, starting with Beth Paretta, CEO and Team Principal of Paretta Autosport, and Simona De Silvestro. The “Women Who Roar” series will air on Cheddar.com beginning on March 16 and explores women trailblazers’ career paths and advice for the next generation of female leaders.
"MoneyLion is committed to providing the financial products, educational resources and mentorship that’s much needed to level the playing field for today’s workforce and future generations of female leaders,” said Samantha Roady, MoneyLion Chief Operating Officer. “Beth Paretta has built an incredible, inspiring team with Simona as the driver. We’re proud to support a female-owned and operated business and to shine a light on inspiring women’s professional achievements through our sponsorship. We look forward to working closely with the team to bring ‘Women Who Roar’ to life.”
After decades of progress, COVID-19 lockdowns have forced many working women to stay home, fundamentally challenging their responsibilities as professionals and primary caregivers. For the first time in modern history, women are losing more jobs and have higher unemployment than men – exacerbating the existing wage gap.
“MoneyLion can contribute to the recovery from this she-cession by standing for 'Women Who Roar,’” said Roady. “This partnership with Paretta is a first step in that wider campaign.
“We’re thrilled to align with MoneyLion because of our shared ideals,” said Beth Paretta, CEO/team principal of Paretta Autosport. “MoneyLion’s focus on empowering women through improved financial access and literacy is a direct parallel to our mission of helping women advance their careers. We’re pleased that MoneyLion sees the value of our women-forward racing program and greatly look forward to being a part of their ‘Women Who Roar’ campaign.”
Automotive and motorsport executive Beth Paretta has a long history in leadership roles with some of the most respected automotive and performance brands, including FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), Aston Martin and Volkswagen Group. She led successful racing programs and earned three national championships during her tenure at FCA. She is also a board member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
“We welcome the support of finance and technology giants like MoneyLion to help us advance our mission to drive diversity and meaningful change for girls and women,” says Dr. Kimberly Clay, founder & CEO, Play Like a Girl. "Building a diverse pipeline of young women in STEM is a major priority for us. We’re thrilled to partner with MoneyLion and Paretta Autosport to support this work and our community.”
Paretta Autosport PR

Chris Buescher drove his Faste­­­­­nal Ford Mustang to a solid 14th-place finish Sunday afternoon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Buescher rolled off the grid 18th but was shuffled back to 21st just seven laps into the race. Reporting a tight Ford Mustang, the driver pitted at the competition caution for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Buescher worked his way up to 15th when a caution at lap 46 waved for debris. The team elected to pit again under the caution for four tires, fuel and adjustments. The stop helped Buescher maintain track position as he took the green-white checkered flag for stage one in 15th.

The team visited pit road at the stage break for fresh tires, fuel and a small adjustment. After restarting 21st, Buescher remained quiet on the radio and drove his way up to 19th, right behind teammate Ryan Newman. The stage ran caution-free, and the team pitted for fuel, tires and a track bar adjustment at lap 124 under green. Pit stops cycled through and Buescher settled into the 22nd position before gaining three more positions to finish the stage in 19th.

At the stage break, the team pitted for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Buescher restarted 15th, but reported a vibration in his car. Just a few laps later, the caution flag flew, giving the No. 17 team the chance to pit for fresh tires to address the vibration. Buescher had settled into the 21st position when another caution for debris came out shortly after. The team stayed out under yellow and fired off 11th at the next restart. At lap 220, Buescher visited pit road from the 18th position for a scheduled green flag pit stop for fuel and tires. He then gained four spots after driving up through traffic to finish 14th.

Buescher and the No. 17 team return to the track next weekend at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday, March 14th at 3:30 p.m. EST on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.


The 2021 season finally took a positive turn for Matt DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team, and they were able to leave Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a 16th-place finish.

DiBenedetto and his No. 21 Mustang put on a display of speed early in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 as he drove from his 30th starting position to ninth place in the first 30 laps of the 267-lap race.

He continued to maintain his spot among the top 10 until the end of the first 80-lap Stage, where he finished eighth and collected three Stage points, his first of the 2021 season.

In Stage Two, he continued his climb forward and was in third place by Lap 91. 

An attempt to run long in the second Stage was quickly determined to be not worth the risks, and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew called DiBenedetto to the pits for a green-flag stop. When the pit stops cycled through, he was in 12th place and finished Stage Two in that position.

In the final 100 laps of the race, DiBenedetto was among the top 10 for the majority of the laps, and was running ninth when he headed to pit road with just over 40 laps left to run.
As the Motorcraft crew serviced the No. 21 Mustang, an air gun failed just as the left-front tire was about to be changed.

Crew chief Greg Erwin elected to send DiBenedetto back on the track with three fresh Goodyear tires and one with 50 laps of wear on it rather than lose time – and positions – getting a replacement gun to change the tire.

The conventional wisdom is that a racing tire won’t last for 90 laps at speed at Las Vegas, but DiBenedetto nursed his well-worn tire to the finish, losing only a handful of positions during that long green-flag run.

His 16th-place finish was his best of 2021, and offered encouragement that the team has the speed to compete for wins and top-10s throughout the remainder of the schedule.

“We had good speed, about a seventh-place car,” DiBenedetto said. “We were solid all day. We had an air gun break, which was something out of our control, nobody’s fault.”

Eddie Wood said that overall he was happy with his team’s day at the races.

“I’ll take it,” he said. “I think we’ll be all right going forward. If we can run that good at Vegas, we can run good at places like Texas and other intermediate tracks too.

“And I want to hand it to Goodyear. That was a job well done to build a tire that would run 90 laps and still be running respectable lap times in the last few laps.”

DiBenedetto and the Wood Brothers team now head to Phoenix Raceway for next Sunday’s 312-mile, 500-kilometer Phoenix 500.


Pit Boss Grills, the fastest growing brand in the grilling industry, aims to go even faster by partnering with NASCAR Cup Series driver Aric Almirola and the No. 10 team of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).


The maker of an entire lineup of grills, all of which feature a best-in-class five-year warranty, will debut as the primary sponsor for Almirola and the No. 10 Ford Mustang on March 14 at Phoenix Raceway. Pit Boss Grills then returns as the primary sponsor for Almirola and the No. 10 team on March 21 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Complementing the agreement is Pit Boss Grills being featured as the primary partner of Stewart-Haas eSports’ No. 41 entry for the March 16 NASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series event at the virtual Atlanta Motor Speedway.


“There isn’t a better fit for our program than this partnership with Pit Boss Grills,” Almirola said. “This is my 10th year racing for Smithfield, so grilling is an established part of my lifestyle, both at home and at the track. The same is true with NASCAR fans. Morning, noon and night, they’ve got their grills going. We’ve brought them a lot of Smithfield product over the years, and now we can show them how to go the extra mile with Pit Boss Grills.”


Almirola is a two-time winner in the NASCAR Cup Series and Phoenix and Atlanta have proven to be strong tracks for the Tampa, Florida, native. Almirola has six top-10 finishes at Phoenix, and four of them have come since joining SHR in 2018. Atlanta is one of the fastest tracks in NASCAR, and Almirola earned the pole there in 2019, lapping the 1.54-mile oval in just a tick over 30 seconds at an average speed 181.473 mph.


“We are blessed to partner with Aric Almirola and the entire No. 10 team,” said Jeff Thiessen, President, Dansons, Inc. “Aric is a family man who values relationships, and a Christian athlete who is competitive on the track. Not only does he embody our company’s values, but his race fans are our consumers. Whether tailgating at a track or getting together in the backyard, Aric’s fans and NASCAR fans are extremely brand loyal. We’re loyal to grilling by creating the best products at an affordable price, and this partnership aims to deliver that message.”


Dansons, Inc., which manufactures Pit Boss Grills, was founded in 1999. The Phoenix-based company provides its customers with world-class, competitive and innovative products across its lineup, including wood pellet grills, charcoal grills, spices and accessories, as well as gas grills and vertical smokers.


Pit Boss Grills is already very familiar with NASCAR, as the brand is the Official Grill of NASCAR, a title it’s had since 2018. More recently, Pit Boss Grills announced its title sponsorship of the May 22 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas – the inaugural Pit Boss 250.



The NASCAR Cup Series began their west coast trip this past weekend at the mile-and-a-half Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Front Row Motorsports (FRM) haulers drove across the country to compete in Friday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and Sunday's 400-mile NASCAR Cup Series feature.
Friday night's truck race on FS1 saw John Hunter Nemechek winning followed by Kyle Busch, Austin Hill, Stewart Friesen and Matt Crafton. Todd Gilliland and the No. 38 Speedco Ford F-150 team finished 13th.
Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race was again televised live on FOX. Kyle Larson had the strongest car of the day to win. Brad Keselowski finished second, Busch third, Denny Hamlin fourth and Ryan Blaney fifth. Michael McDowell and the No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford Mustang team finished 17th. Anthony Alfredo and the No. 38 Speedy Cash Ford Mustang team finished 24th.
Going into Friday night's race, Gilliland was looking for his first win at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. His previous best was a fifth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the track, but his experience made him feel confident of winning.
Taking the green in sixth, Gilliland used all 134 laps to get his best result in the flashy Speedco Ford F-150. The team had to battle a tight truck throughout Stage One and Gilliland fell back to 19th. The Chris Lawson-led team, however, had big plans to get Gilliland back up front. Adjustments were made and Gilliland passed up to 14th after a quick Stage Two.
The run to the checkered, Gilliland and the No. 38 Speedco team showed their Vegas best. The team used three cautions to open the final stage to continue to make the truck faster and to also gain track position. The strategy put Gilliland second on a Lap 95 restart. Gilliland held strong, even on older tires. Although he couldn't grab the lead, Gilliland kept pace with the leaders.
Three more cautions filled the final 34 laps of the race, but Gilliland used his experience and skill to finish 13th at the end.
The finish moved Gilliland to eighth in the championship standings. He's 21 points out of fifth as he leads Ford Performance in the truck series.
"We really did use all the race to get better, but we did. We had to use our set of tires, but it's all part of the strategy to get back to the front. We just didn't have the speed to race for the win. Then, we just had more tire wear than some others. I know that it was a good points night, but I also know that we can win these races, too. We're going to be ready to go at Atlanta in a few weeks. We're on the cusp of being really good."
McDowell led nine laps during Sunday's 400-miler and finished a solid 17th.
Starting fifth, McDowell was 12th during the Competition Caution on Lap 25. The Love's Travel Stops Ford Mustang was fast out of the box, but need slight adjustments to loosen the car. At the end of the first Stage, McDowell was 21st after they had pit under a previous caution to continue to make the car better.
McDowell showed a lot of strength in the second Stage. He continued to climb through the field and the strategy was to run long before having to pit for fuel. With no cautions, it allowed the strategy to play out. McDowell took the advantage all the way to lead nine laps with his teammate in tow. McDowell finally had to relinquish the lead for fuel and tires. He finished the Stage 24th.
The final Stage, McDowell was again fast. A caution early in the Stage allowed the team to pit for tires and maintain with the leaders. McDowell just had a steady climb the remainder of the race with good execution on pit road and moves on the track. He moved into the Top-20 and really had a Top-15 Ford Mustang. McDowell raced hard with the cars around him and finished 17, just missing the Top-15 mark.
McDowell and the team are third in the NASCAR Playoff standings.
"Not the day we were hoping for in the Love’s Travel Stop Ford Mustang. We just got behind a little bit with some of the adjustments and just needed a little bit more speed. The car drove pretty well. We could stay wide-open for quite a long time, but just needed a little bit more speed. That was a fight all day. We finished 17th, not terrible, but we were hoping for more. I’m really proud of everybody and keep the good finishes rolling here and head to Phoenix, my home track. We’ll have some fun with the family and looking forward to being in my hometown.”
Alfredo led his first lap in the NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. A few strategy plays put Alfredo and the No. 38 Speedy Cash Ford Mustang team either leading or near the front throughout Sunday's race. It was another great learning day and Alfredo has completed all but one lap in his last three races.
Alfredo started the race 27th and during a Lap 25 Competition Caution was in the same spot. Each week the team uses the opening laps to allow Alfredo to learn the track in his Cup car.
Alfredo was happy with his Speedy Cash Ford Mustang and moved to 20th by a Lap 46 Caution. Alfredo finished the first Stage in the 24th spot and had his best Stage of his young Cup career.
The second Stage, Alfredo and the No. 38 team elected not to split the stage in half, but instead pit at the end of their fuel window. This allowed for McDowell to lead and Alfredo to take over that spot when the 34 came to pit road. Alfredo made his first lap as the leader before pitting for fuel and tires. He showed good speed and had no problem leading the race.
After the stop, Alfredo was mired back a lap down. But, as the Stage ended, he was back on the Lead Lap. The Seth Barbour-led team used strategy again to put Alfredo up front in the final stage. On a late-race restart, Alfredo started near the front with 80 to go. But, the rookie wasn't given any break and had to wait until the field went single-file to race for his spots back. He did just that. Alfredo made the climb back to 24th at the end.
It's the second 24th-place finish and moved Alfredo up two spots to 27th points He's only 12 points out of the Rookie of the Year spot.
"It was a solid day for our Speedy Cash team. I was really happy with the speed. The FRM guys did a nice job of preparing the car. We stayed out on some older tires near the end to restart up front. I just got split and lost any momentum. There is nothing you can do. We were better than 24th today, but it's a solid day with more experience. I'm disappointed about that restart, but we can't complain. We did a lot of good things today, too."


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