Chase Drivers Struggle in Opening Race
The VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 did not fair well for half of the chase field. Many drivers will have to dig out of a hole made at Kentucky.
The first chase driver to have issues during the race was Brandon Jones. Jones was collected in one of the numerous spins by Justin Marks. Jones ended up finishing 26th. He currently sits 11th in the chase field, 35 points behind the leader.
Brendan Gaughan and Ryan Sieg scrapped the wall during the race. Gaughan was able to recover from contact with the wall multiple times to finish sixth. He sits third in the chase standings, 14 points behind the leader. Sieges day did not end well. Siege spun to bring out the caution, but was unable to recover finishing 16th. He currently sits 10th in the chase standings, 25 points behind the leader.
Justin Allgaier was the next driver to experience trouble in the race. Allgaier was collected in a spin by Sam Hornish Jr on lap 131. Allgaier was able to recover and finish ninth. He sits sixth in the chase standings, 18 points behind the leader.
Erik Jones and Ty Dillion were the final two chase drivers to be involved in an accident. Jones and Dillon both spun on lap 189. Jones was unable to return to the track. He finished 28th. He currently sits ninth in the chase standings, 23 points behind the leader. However, Dillon’s team was trying to fix the car, but was unable to return to the track because they worked on the car under red flag conditions. Dillion ended up finishing 27th. He currently sits in the 12th spot, 35 points behind the leader.
Sadler Claims Kentucky Victory
In a race that was not good for many chase drivers, Elliott Sadler prevailed to win the VisitMyrtleBeach.Com 300 from Kentucky Speedway, his third win in 2016. Sadler will advance to the Round of Eight in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Chase.
“We’ve fought through a lot tonight. I’m a bit emotional right now. Ive been in the hospital the past week with mom, watching her fight through a lot of pain and suffering. She leads so much by example. These guys [the team] are my hero. We had a 10th to 15th place car, at best. We had to really take our time and work on it,” said Sadler in a post-race victory lane interview.
Daniel Suarez was the second place finisher in tonight’s race. “We missed a little bit in the middle of the race. We came back there at the end. A little bit tight. I feel like we were the fastest car out there tonight.”
The first half of the race began with Erik Jones setting sail as the rest of the field battled for position. When the leaders hit pit road during the competition caution, that flew on lap 25, Ty Dillon won the race off pit road. When the race was restarted, they only went one lap before a spin by Justin Marks. As the race went green, Dillon, Suarez, and Jones continued to stay within striking range of each other, but E. Jones was able to regain the lead and set sail on the field. The third caution flew for Matt Waltz, whose car caught fire on pit road. The field could not go two laps before an extensive caution period to clean up the oil dropped by Waltz on the racing surface. When the race returned to green, the field went four wide at the front with Ty Dillon taking the lead. However, the caution came out two laps later due to a blown motor by Timmy Hill. The field was under caution as the race reached halfway after another spin by Marks that involved Chaser Brandon Jones. Dillion, Darrell Wallace Jr., E. Jones, Suarez, and Brennan Poole were the top-five drivers at the halfway point.
The second half of the race began under caution with Dillon as the leader. However, when the green flag waved, E. Jones regained the lead, but Darrell Wallace Jr. took the lead shortly after. The caution flew for another chaser, Ryan Siege. At this point of the race, E. Jones continued to race on the left side tires he initially started on. The caution flag flew again a couple laps after the restart for another spin by Marks. The race went green two laps before Suarez spun Sam Hornish Jr. to collect chase driver, Justin Allgaier. On the restart, Matt Tifft was slapped with a restart violation. After a series of cautions, Brendan Gaughan led the field on a long green-flag run. After a 42 lap green flag run, the caution flag returned for Derrick Cope. A new track record was recorded as Josh Berry went into the wall after two laps of green flag racing. After barely one green flag lap, the caution flew again as E. Jones and Dillon made contact and hit the wall. T. Dillion and his team were unable to return to the track by NASCAR for working on the car under red conditions. The red flag was displayed for five minutes and 34 seconds. T. Dillion was not able to return to the track after jacking the car up under a red flag. The race resumed with four laps to go. Sadler took the lead from Blaney and set sail to the victory holding off a charge by Suarez.
Tonight’s VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 set a new track record of 12 caution flags, breaking the previous record of 10 cautions in a race set in 2010. 64 laps were run under caution. The average speed of the race was 106.751 mph. The time of race was 2 hours, 48 minutes, 37 seconds. The margin of victory was 0.246 seconds. There were 16 different lead changes among eight different drivers. E. Jones, who finished 28th, led the most laps at 100.
Sadler has advanced to the second round of the chase. Suarez holds the second position eight points behind Sadler, Brendan Gaughan is third 14 points behind, Ryan Reed is fourth 16 points behind, and Wallace Jr. rounds out the top-five in points 16 behind Sadler.
Next on the schedule for the Xfinity Series will be the Drive Sober 200 from Dover International Speedway on October 1st. Motor Racing Network and NBCSN will have all the coverage from Dover beginning at 3:00PM EST.
Jones Captures Another Pole
Erik Jones outlasts his teammate to score the pole in the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 from Kentucky Speedway. Jones had a speed of 187.207 mph. This is his eighth pole of the season. Joe Gibbs racing has swept the front row for all 1.5-mile speedways this season.
The first round began with a track that had been sitting under the Kentucky sun all day. When the green flag for the session flew, not many drivers were not in any hurry to get on track. Turns three and four were washed down after last night’s ARCA race. There were no major incidents in the first round. Suarez was the fastest in the opening round at a speed of 186.580 mph, E. Jones was second fastest at 185.103 mph, Darrell Wallace Jr. was third fastest at 183.107 mph, Ty Dillon was fourth fastest at 182.630 mph, and JJ Yeley rounded out the top-five at a speed of 182.494 mph. All 12 drivers of the chase advanced to the second round. Timmy Hill will be the lone driver who does not qualify.
Unlike the first round, the second round of qualifying began with a plethora of cars going onto the track. The second round went without incident. E. Jones was at the top of the board with a speed of 186.761 mph, Suarez was second with a speed of 186.625 mph, Ryan Blaney was third with a speed of 185.707 mph, Hornish Jr. was fourth with a speed of 185.065 mph, and T. Dillon rounded out the top-five with a speed of 184.565 mph. Chase drivers who did not advance to the final round were Brandon Jones who will start 14th, Blake Koch who will start 15th, Ryan Reed who will start 16th, and Ryan Sieg who will start 19th.
The third and final round saw cars strive to hit the track. The third and final round concluded a qualifying session that went without incident. E. Jones was the fastest. Suarez will start second with a speed of 186.425 mph, Elliott Sadler will start third with a speed of 185.829 mph, T. Dillon will start fourth with a speed of 185.561 mph, and Hornish Jr. rounded out the top-five with a speed of 185.420 mph. Brennan Poole, who will start in the 11th position, was the slowest of the chase drivers with a speed of 183.867 mph.
The VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 will begin at 7:30PM EST on Performance Racing Network. NBCSN will go on the air beginning at 8:00PM EST.
Cindric Claims First Career Oval Win
After trying to save fuel during the final caution period, Austin Cindric scores his first career oval win in the Crosley Brands 150 at Kentucky Speedway. He is the eighth different first time winner in ARCA Racing Series in 2016.
“I think coming here to test on Tuesday was really great. I was a bit worried heading into the race about how we were and how the whole field was really going to be able to race together, especially based on the Xfinity race in July. I think we produced a great show. I was able to use about half the high lane and able to cut under people. The car was working really well giving credit to Brian and the guys, giving us great pit stops and track position giving us the lead. I tried not to get back,” said Cindric in a post-race media availability.
The first half of the race started out with a caution for a spin by Bret Holmes. The drivers were waiting for the Goodyear rubber laid down by the NASCAR Xfinity Series to burn off during the opening laps. Chase Briscoe, who did not have a chance to take long runs in practice, fell back to third before the second caution came out for a hard hit by Sarah Cornett-Ching. After a long pit-stop by Shane Lee, Matt Tifft took the lead. Cindric took the lead a couple laps before the caution flew again for a chuck of debris seen after he hit the debris. As the laps winded down in the first half of there race, John Wes Townley took the lead as Cindric and Briscoe were battling for position. As the halfway point was reached, Cindric grabbed the lead at the line moving Townley to second, Tifft was third, Briscoe was fourth, and Lee rounded out the top-five.
As the second half of the race began, Tifft and Cindric continued to battle for the lead. As the second half moved along, the battle for the lead had settled. The caution flew for a spin by Mark Thompson. As the race began to wind down, strategy began to come into play. Tires were not falling off. Townley and Briscoe wreck on the final restart. The second caution was brought out by Kyle Weatherman who made contact with Lee. As the race was going into green-white-checkered finish, the leaders were trying to save fuel. Sergeant finished second, Tifft finished third, Tom Hessert finished fourth, and Matt Kurzejewski rounded out the top-five.
The points leader, Briscoe, had the chance to clinch the championship tonight by finishing seventh or better tonight. However, those hopes came to a crashing halt after an accident with Townley on the backstretch. In order to win the championship, Briscoe will have to just make one lap. He finished 22nd tonight.
The margin of victory was 0.528 seconds. The caution flew six times for 41 laps. The time of race was 1 hour, 27 minutes, and 55 seconds. The average speed was 104.466 mph. Cindric led three times for a total of 64 laps, Lee led once at 25 laps, Tifft led one at seven laps, and Townley led once for six laps.
The ARCA Racing Series will conclude the 2016 season at Kansas Speedway on October 14th. The race will be on Fox Sports 1 at 8:30PM EST.
Briscoe Claims Sixth Pole
Chase Briscoe will start from the pole position in tonight’s Crosley Brands 150 at Kentucky Speedway. He set the new track record at 29.261 seconds for a speed of 184.546 mph.
Shane Lee will start second (29.401 seconds/183.667 mph.), Austin Cindric qualified third (29.486 seconds/183.138 mph), Dalton Sargeant qualified fourth (29.594 seconds/183.125 mph), and Bret Holmes qualified fifth (29.666 seconds/182.027 mph).
The old track record by Parker Kilgerman set in 2009 at 30.126 seconds was broken by the top-five as well as Zane Smith, Matt Tifft, Kyle Weatherman, and Gus Dean.
All the preliminary activities for the ARCA Racing Series are complete. The Crosley Brands 150 will begin at 8:00PM EST on Fox Sports 2.