Christopher Bell Dominates at New Hampshire
Christopher Bell drove himself to his fifth win of the season at New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon.
Bell led 186 of the 200 laps in the Roxor 200, holding off Cole Custer to take the checkered flag. He and Custer are tied with five wins a piece this season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Finishing second in Stage 1 after a three-wide finish, Christopher Bell elected to pit for fuel and fresh tires before the next stage. Bell dominated the stage with over a six second lead over Justin Allgaier.
With the laps winding down, the action on the track began to heat up. On lap 140, Noah Gragson tagged the wall to bring out a caution, allowing for the final round of pit stops under yellow.
The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Toyota led the way followed by Allgaier, Reddick, Custer and Cindric. Custer made his way up to second and set his sights on Bell.
Menard got into Burton with less than 50 laps to go, bringing out another caution. Bell and Custer were side by side on the restart, but Bell had the advantage.
Custer closed the gap to a 1.5 second lead, but ran out of time and laps.
Bell drove the No.20 Joe Gibbs Toyota to victory lane for the 13th time in his Xfinity Series career.
“I’m very thankful to be driving these Supras for Joe Gibbs Racing. All of our partners, man, they just provide really fast race cars and I’m the lucky guy who gets to drive them.”
Cole Custer, Justin Allgaier, Tyler Reddick and Paul Menard rounded out the top five.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Iowa Speedway for the U.S. Cellular 250 on July 27 at 5:00 PM on NBCSN.
Custer Wins in the Windy City
Cole Custer took the checkered flag for the Camping World 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Custer started on the outside of pole-sitter, Joey Logano when the green flag waved. It did not take long for the No. 00 to take the lead and claim the Stage 1 victory.
With less than 15 laps to go in Stage 2, Ryan Sieg took a spin to bring out the caution flag. The caution gave Joey Logano the advantage when they went back to green. The field went 5 wide into the turn and all managed to keep it together. Logano retook the lead to claim Stage 2.
Stage 3 was action-packed and caution filled with many drivers fighting for position and others running into late race issues. Cole Custer was able to take advantage of late race cautions and retake the lead with 50 laps to go. After passing Michael Annett on the restart with 22 laps to go, the SHR driver never looked back.
The No. 00 Ford led 151 of 200 laps, earning Custer his fourth win of the season and sixth Xfinity Series victory of his career.
“I can’t do anything but thank everyone at Haas Automation and Stewart-Haas Racing because we’re going to take it to them in the summer time,” Custer said while celebrating in victory lane with his Haas Automation crew.
Logano, Annett, Jones and Cindric rounded out the top five at Chicagoland. Christopher Bell originally finished in the third position, but was demoted to a last-place finish after his car failed post-race inspection and was disqualified.
Tyler Reddick remains the leader in Xfinity Series points, followed by Christopher Bell, Cole Custer, Justin Allagaier and Austin Cindric rounding out the top five.
The Xfinity Series is back in action for the Circle K Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6 at 7:30 PM ET.
Logano Scores Third Straight NXS WGI Pole
For the third year in a row, Joey Logano will start from the pole in today’s Zippo 200 from Watkins Glen International.
In the first round of qualifying, Kyle Busch was fastest at 123.141 mph. Kyle Larson was second fastest at 123.038 mph. Logano was third fastest at 122.978 mph. Paul Menard was fourth fastest at 122.590 mph. Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five at 122.548 mph. PJ Jones in the sole driver who will not be able to run in the race this afternoon. In the final moments of the opening round, Brandon Jones lost his quickest lap due to impeding the run of Brennan Poole entering in the bus stop.
In the second round of qualifying, Logano posted the pole winning speed of 124.185 mph. Ky. Busch will start second at 124.019 mph Larson will start third at 123.979 mph. Menard will start fourth at 123.327 mph. Keselowski rounded out the top-five at 122.973 mph. Erik Jones, Justin Allgaier. Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer, and Kevin Harvick has rounded out the top-five.
The Zippo 200 from Watkins Glen will be broadcasted on NBCSN and Motor Racing Network beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET .
Preece Scores Victory at Iowa
After an impressive showing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in his first race of 2017, Ryan Preece will score the victory in his second start of 2017 at Iowa Speedway.
“I don’t even know what to say. I got to thank everybody, just everybody involved. I am so lost for words. I don’t know what to say. I am at a lost for words. This is what emotion is. I thought this race would never end, but nothing will beat today,” said Preece
This is Preece’s first NASCAR national series win of his career. He has an average finish in 2017 of 1.5.
Kyle Benjamin finished second.
In his first start of 2017 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Brian Scott finished third.
Brennan Poole, Cole Custer, JJ Yeley, Daniel Hemric, Blake Koch, William Byron, and Brandon Jones rounded out the top-five.
The time of race was two hours, 17 minutes, and 37 seconds. The average speed was 96.900 mph. There were seven cautions for 40 laps. There were four lead changes among four different drivers.
Next up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is a trip to Watkins Glen International for the Zippo 200 at the Glen on August 5th at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN and Motor Racing Network.
O'Donnell Discusses What NASCAR Saw in Xfinity Aero Test
INDIANAPOLIS— As the NASCAR Xfinity Series ran a new competition package at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NASCAR was pleased with what they saw in the eye ball test.
After the Lilly Diabetes 250, Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, was made available to the media after the event to discuss the package.
“Overall, certainly pleased with what we saw on the racetrack. From an eye test, definitely passed. When you look at the metrics, right, it’s the most leaders we’ve had, most lead changes, closest finish. So certainly on the quick recap, some really great metrics,” said O’Donnell.
There were 16 lead changes among eight different drivers The previous record was nine lead changes. The previous record of different drivers was six. The margin of victory was just 0.108 seconds.
Drivers like Joey Logano, referenced the fact that the cars were slow. O’Donnell, on the other hand, had a different opinion about it.
“So speeds, you know, some race, you know, you’re going 200, some you’re, you know, down in the 100s on a road course. What at the end of the day that matters is how many lead changes did we have and was it competitive throughout. And we thought it was today,” said O’Donnell.
Before coming to Indianapolis, NASCAR knew that this would not produce racing seen at Talladega and Daytona. The first objective was to make sure that the gap could be closed from first to second, something NASCAR saw today. NASCAR will evaluate how two to there cars could pull away, and if they can close that gap, they will.
O’Donnell did not mention that this was just an Indy specific package. NASCAR will evaluate what happened at Indy to look at potentially using this package at other tracks.
At the Research and Development Center, there was advocation for restricting the engine, especially at Indianapolis. NASCAR and O’Donnell thought that the restrictor plate played somewhat how they thought it would.
While drivers complained that it was hard to pass, O’Donnell was adamant that these are the worlds greatest drivers and that passing should be difficult.
As talks and evaluation of the data from the package and its success unfold in the coming weeks, NASCAR will continue researching to see where this package would end up in the future.