Byron Scores Third Victory of 2017 at Indy
INDIANAPOLIS— Battling a bad vibration towards the end of the event and a late race charge by Paul Menard that required blocking, William Byron was victorious in the Lilly Diabetes 250 from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“This is so cool. This is awesome,” Byron stated post-race. “I’ve never been to a Brickyard 400 or an Indy 500 but I watched it as kid. It takes a lot to win these races and to win here is so special.”
This is Byron’s third win of 2017. He is the youngest winner in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Indianapolis. Byron also won the first stage scoring six playoff points on the weekend.
After a late race charge, Menard came up short to finish in the second position.
“We had long run speed. We didn’t fire off that fast. After five to 10 laps, we started getting tight. I thought we had a shot at William. He made it stick. He won. Congratulations to him. I think he is going to be ok,” said Menard.
Being up front all day, Joey Logano finished in the third position.
“Had to race really smart. We may not have had the fastest Ford, but we had a good restart at the beginning for track position. Our put crew did a great job maintaining that position. If you start losing momentum, you lose five to six spots. I was being smart inside the car,” said Logano.
Elliott Sadler, Cole Custer, Ryan Reed, Brennan Poole, Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, and Ty Dillon rounded out the top-10.
The race saw a record of 16 lead changes among eight different drivers. Kyle Busch led 44 laps, the most of any driver on the day. The average speed of the race was 124.030 mph. The margin of victory was.108 seconds, the closest finish at Indianapolis for the Xfinity Series. 19 cars finished on the lead lap.
Next up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is a trip to Iowa Speedway on July 29th at 3:30 p.m. ET for the US Cellular 250 Presented by American Ethanol. The race will be on NBC and Motor Racing Network.
Busch, Others Slated To Run Double-Duty Saturday
SPARTA, Ky-- For Kyle Busch, 700 miles of racing will ensue on Saturday from Kentucky Speedway.
With the postponement of the NASCAR Xfintiy Series Also 300, Busch, Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick, and Ty Dillon are also slated to run in the Alsco 300.
“It’s going to be challenging and especially during the day. We weren’t anticipating a day race so that’s going to make for a crazy event, that’s for sure,” said Busch.
Because teams were unable to get practice sessions in on Thursday, teams practiced at 8:30 p.m. EDT this morning.
“We practiced early this morning and I felt like it was a really good practice session for what we needed to do at night because the track was cool and it wasn’t hot and heated up like it was later on this afternoon,” said Busch. “Qualifying was a handful, it was way different than what we had all this morning in practice so that’s going to make it a handful tomorrow. Who’s going to be the best guy to adjust all that for having a fast car and making sure their car sticks well is going to win.”
For drivers pulling double-duty, preparation for afternoon and evening conditions begin tonight.
“It’s going to be tough for sure. I’m not exactly sure how to handle it yet, but it’s certainly not the circumstances I would have liked to have been in, but we got what we got and I’ll try to prepare as best as I can tonight and get as many fluids as I can tonight and then make sure you keep drinking and keep the fluids going for tomorrow,” said Ky. Busch. “It’s just a matter of making sure you don’t get yourself too dehydrated and start to cramp up and things like that. It’s going to make for a long day for sure if it’s going to be 95 degrees and hot and sunny during the first one and it will make the second one at night a little better. Still going to be a long, long day.”
Temperatures for the Also 300 are slated to be in the mid-70s, while the Quaker State 400 temperature is slated to be in the mid-to-upper 70s.
Green flag for the Alsco 300 is schedule to fly shortly after 12:00 p.m. EDT and the green flag for the Quaker State 400 is slated for 7:45 p.m. EDT.
Stenhouse Jr. Wins Longest Coke Zero 400
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.— For the second time in a row at a restrictor-plate event, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was victorious in the Coke Zero 400 from Daytona International Speedway.
“Wow, these guys. I kept my Talladega car and told them to build a new one. They build the Fifth Third Ford that was really fast. We won the Firecracker 400! This is awesome! I have been coming here since 2008. I actually came in 2006 one time with Bobby Hamilton Jr. and it is cool to put it in victory lane and get our second win this year. I love it! Thank you to the fans for coming out here. Everyone at NASCAR. What a great weekend. America. 1776. We are the champs!,” said Stenhouse Jr. post race.
It only took Stenhouse Jr. seven races to win his second career Cup race. This was Stenhouse Jr.’s seventh top-10 of 2017. This marks the 137th victory for Jack Roush at the Cup level. This marks Ford’s eighth Cup win of 2017.
Clint Bowyer finished second after contending for most of the race at the front of the field
“Wow, what a night. A fun race. Our Mobil 1 Ford was strong. I got shuffled out on that second stage and that bummed me out. I wanted those stage points. It wasn’t that big a deal because I knew that we had a hot rod to get back up front. Man, it’s just every man for himself. You’re beating and banging Both sides are ground off my car. Good night. This bridesmaid deal sucks. I want to win. We’re in this business to win. That’s what Tony and Gene pay me to do. I’m proud of everyone on the Mobil 1 Ford team,” said Bowyer.
Paul Menard was “Mr. Where did he come from?” tonight at Daytona. Menard was able to finish third at Daytona.
"We really didn't want to hang out in the back, but we got involved in a wreck really early and once you get back there, it is really hard to get back up to the front. I was just waiting for something to happen at the end of those stages. We weren't in the top-15 so I just bailed out of the pack for the stages. I had a really good handling car from yesterday in the draft practice,” said Menard. “All weekend long it handled really well. I knew it would race really well tonight. Bowyer gave me a hell of a push that last lap. I wasn't very good at leading, being the first guy in a line. With Ricky (Stenhouse) breaking the air, I couldn't run off to the start/finish line. We just have to keep doing this. If you run in the top--five you put yourself in position for wins. We definitely had a shot tonight, I just couldn't get a run off of turn four even with Bowyer pushing me. I just didn't have the run I had the lap before. I thought we had a chance to win this one, just couldn't get the run."
There were 33 lead changes among 16 different drivers. The caution flag flew for a record 14 times for 51 laps, while the red flag was displayed once. The average speed was 123.986 mph. This became the longest Coke Zero 400 at three hours, 17 minutes, and 12 seconds. The margin of victory was 0.213 seconds.
Kyle Larson leads Martin Truex, Jr. by 18 points in the standings.
Next up for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is a trip to Kentucky Speedway for the Quaker State 400. The race will be broadcasted on NBCSN and Performance Racing Network beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT on July 8th.
NXS: Richard Childress Racing: 2016 Review, 2017 Preview
Martin Truex, Jr. to Start from Pole at Pocono
In 21 career starts at the Tricky Triangle, Truex has one career win, coming last year when he was out front for 97 circuits. In June, the No. 78 car faced many problems, including a wreck on pit road that ended the day in 19th.
"It's exciting for us," Truex said of his pole for Furniture Row Racing. "Anytime you win anything in this series, it's a big deal. Getting a pole today is awesome. We had a game plan coming here, but we felt like we needed to qualify well for Sunday and we were able to do that."
For the second straight week, Carl Edwards will lineup alongside the pole-sitter in the second position. The No. 19 car posted a lap at 178.873 mph, which was best among the Joe Gibbs Racing organization.
After recording the fastest lap in practice, Paul Menard will start a season-best third at 178.671 mph. The No. 27 team is being led by Danny Stockman, a veteran crew chief for the first time at Pocono, hoping to turn the teams season around.
"I've worked with Danny [Stockman] for basically a year and a half now," Menard said. "It's just a different perspective from Justin [Alexander]. Justin is a smart guy. we just needed to change something up and make a spark. We threw Danny into the fire and it's worked well."
Four-time Pocono winner, Denny Hamlin will start Sunday from the fourth position (178.540 mph). Ryan Newman rounded out the top five (178.433 mph), marking the second Richard Childress Racing car in the top five.
Including Austin Dillon, who qualified 12th, it marked the first time since August of 2014 at Michigan that all three RCR cars made it to the final round of qualifying. All three cars were among the top 10 in practice Friday afternoon.
"It was a good day without a doubt for RCR and ECR engines," Newman said. "We had three of the top 10 in practice and two of the top five in qualifying. It should translate over to the race. Track position is important, horsepower, having a good qualifying effort and usually you'll have a good race day."
Tony Stewart qualified sixth at 178.394 mph, Brad Keselowski was seventh (178.359 mph), Chase Elliott eighth (177.571 mph), defending race-winner Matt Kenseth (177.413 mph) was ninth and Joey Logano (177.151 mph) rounded out the top 10.
June winner, Kurt Busch turned the 15th fastest lap, alongside his brother Kyle Busch in 16th. Ryan Blaney posted the 18th fastest time, after having the third best time in round one.
A trio of three Hendrick Motorsports cars will start outside the top 20, starting with Jimmie Johnson in 21st. 2013 winner Kasey Kahne will begin Sunday's race from 23rd and six-time Pocono winner, Jeff Gordon will start his second race back out of retirement in 24th.
Final practice is set to begin on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. ET.