Kyle Busch dominates the AutoLotto 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Busch holds off Erik Jones for his sixth win, Brad Keselowski finished third, Daniel Suarez finished fourth, and Austin Dillion rounds out the top five. Starting from the pole, Busch led a race high of 190 laps out of 200. He was not scheduled to race today, but got the call to fill in for Matt Tifft, who is recovering from brain surgery.
Can’t say enough about Chris Gayle (crew chief) and everyone on this NOS Energy Drink Camry and they did a great job for me. Chris made some great calls today and some really good calls – we had a stout car and we had a stout engine – JGR Engines and Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development) – appreciate their support of course and XFINITY Series, this is fun to come out here and run here, race here, win here. Of course the fans as well too, we appreciate those here and those on TV. I missed my DVX folks last time so I appreciate this being a day race so I can have them on. It’s fun to get out here, get some experience, learn some things and hopefully I can take that into tomorrow,” says Kyle Busch post-race.
There were three lead changes among three different drivers. Busch led the most laps at 190 followed by Alex Bowman with seven, and Erik Jones with three.
The caution flew seven times for 37 laps. Debris brought out the caution three times. Accidents brought out the cation four times.
Daniel Suarez maintains a 15 point lead over Elliott Sadler followed by Ty Dillon (-48), Erik Jones (-54), and Brendan Gaughan (-65).
The Chase Grid remains the same with Jones as the top seed with Elliott Sadler and Daniel Suarez follow in the chase seeding.
The average speed of the race was 98.789 mph. The time of race was 2 hours, 8 minutes, and 31 seconds. The margin of victory was 1.499 seconds.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next weekend for the Lilly Diabetes 250. Coverage from Indianapolis will be on the IMS Radio Network, in conjunction with Performance Racing Network, and NBCSN will have all the action.
NASCAR VP of Competition, Scott Miller, was made available to media after Sunday’s night’s Quaker State 400.
“I think the low downforce package helped this race on the repave,” stated Miller, “I think the corner speeds would have been extremely high with the higher downforce, stepping out of the groove, and would have more consequences than we had tonight.”
Miller stated that NASCAR will look this week and collaborate with teams and OEM’s on whether or not they will test out the package used here tonight at Kentucky.
“There were some strategic reasons we chose to do it. We engaged the entire industry on putting the plan together about when we are going to do it. That certainly does make since, but the timing of that, some testing we had, lots of things go into making these decisions with the schedule. It just didn’t line up for us to be able to do that with the initial plan."
Miller also stated that NASCAR will not be making any aero changes during the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
NASCAR wraps up a triple header weekend at Kentucky Speedway. William Byron won in Thursday night’s Buckle Up in Your Truck 225, Kyle Busch won Friday’s Alsco 300, and Brad Keselowski won Saturday’s Quaker State 400. Here are five takeaways from this weekend in Kentucky:
1. Tires: Tires were a main concern coming into this weekend’s events at Kentucky Speedway after blistering was found in a tire test in June. Although tires were not a main issue in the Sprint Cup Series race, they were an issue in the Xfinity Series. Whenever the drivers came down to change tires on pit stops, the tires were blistering. This is probably due to the fact that the Xfinity cars have more downforce than the Cup cars. If Goodyear had an ample amount of time to reconfigure the tire after the June test, tire wear would probably not have been an issue. Teams were asked by Goodyear to scuff the tires during practice to help with tire wear
2. Repave/Reconfiguration: The repave and reconfiguration was a great collaborative effort from SMI and NASCAR. I applaud the organizations for making the effort to make sure that the track will not be like any other repave with only one groove. The repave and reconfiguration also brought new strategy to the race. The speedway spent two weeks running tires on the track to help “age” and widen the groove. If the speedway had time to get the whole racetrack, we probably would have seen a multi-groove repave.
3. Fuel mileage: The Quaker State 400 ended in fuel mileage. I personally don’t mind fuel mileage race, but would not want to see them every week. Fuel mileage adds another element to the multi-element event in NASCAR.
4. Low downforce package: The “2017” lower downforce package provided another element into the weekend’s event in Kentucky. According to drivers, it had significant impact on how they raced. The question is, Does NASCAR have enough data to sift through to continue on with this package.
5. Race Weekends: Race weekends need to be shorter. The NASCAR Xfinity Series had four practice sessions on Thursday. Instead of making this a four day weekend, three days would have sufficed if NASCAR would have combined the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series races into one day, like Atlanta. I know this has been a topic for NASCAR and the Driver’s Council. It will be interesting to see what happens after those discussions.
What are your takeaways from this weekend at Kentucky Speedway?
Kyle Busch edged out Daniel Suarez to win the pole for tonight’s Alsco 300 with a speed of 187.318 mph to clinch a new track record. Joe Gibbs Racing was able to take the top-three positions with Suarez qualifying second and Erik Jones qualifying third. Austin Dillon, and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top five. This is the fourth pole in 2016 for Kyle Busch.
In the first round of qualifying, Brandon Jones was the first car out on the track, but his time was disallowed for a blend line violation. Daniel Suarez led this session with a speed of 186.361 mph, followed by Kyle Busch, Ty Dillon, Austin Dillon, and Erik Jones.
In the second round of qualifying, the red flag flew due to Ty Dillon hitting the marbles and launching to the outside wall. The team is going to try and repair the contact. However, Suarez was the fastest with a speed of 188.819 mph. Busch, Austin Dillon, Jones, and Ryan Reed rounded out the top-five. Notables who did not advance were Justin Allgaier in 13th, Brennan Poole in 14th, Brendan Gaughan 18th and Ty Dillon in the 24th position.
The third and final round of qualifying went without a hitch.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will take the track for the race at 8:30 pm eastern on NBCSN and Performance Racing Network.