Tuesday, Dec 06
Brett Winningham

Brett Winningham

Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.

Sammy Smith scored the victory on Friday afternoon at Phoenix Raceway after an eventful day behind the wheel of his No. 18 Toyota. Smith, surviving two ARCA overtime attempts, started on the pole and led 49 of the 50 circuits until receiving a penalty for aggressive driving.

Following a restart, Taylor Gray momentarily took the lead from Smith while throwing an aggressive block as they went down the backstretch. The block was not successful as Smith made contact with Gray to send him around. ARCA then penalized Smith with aggressive driving and held the driver for one lap.

Gray was done for the day and finished 27th.

The winner led 75 of the 107 laps to win his 10th race across the ARCA Menards Series, ARCA East, and ARCA West divisions in 2022.

Jake Drew entered the day needing to take the green flag to claim the 2022 ARCA Menards Series West championship. Finishing 13th, Drew ended the championship season with nine top-five and 10 top-10 finishes with four victories.

Jesse Love fought hard to finish the day runner-up by 0.866 seconds. 

Andres Perez de Lara, Landon Pembelton, and Todd Souza rounded out the top five.

Taking home top 10s included Landen Lewis, Bradley Erickson, Parker Chase, Jake Finch, and Tanner Reif.

The event featured 10 cautions and had three leaders and four lead changes.

Corey LaJoie celebrated his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory on Thursday at Martinsville Speedway. LaJoie, piloting the No. 53 Curb Records machine, started fifth on the grid and took the lead from pole winner Matt Hirschman 32 laps into the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 200. 

LaJoie went on to lead the next 102 circuits until a slow pit stop under the fifth yellow flag of the race. Jon McKennedy took the top spot and led the next 59 laps until LaJoie returned to the lead on a restart with eight laps left. 

“I came here for a clock”, LaJoie exclaimed in his post-race interview with FloRacing. “Really and truly as much fun as this was, we got mired back in traffic there on that pit stop, but just a great car.”

LaJoie later gave kudos to the drivers that run in the series on a week-to-week basis.

“These guys are the lifeblood of the sport. These guys drive down from the northeast and they do it for nothing. They do it because of their love for the sport”.

Jon McKennedy secured the 2022 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship on Thursday at Martinsville. McKennedy, from Chelmsford, MA, did not have a smooth drive on his way to his first Modified championship.

McKennedy led the field on a restart with eight laps remaining, with eventual race winner LaJoie in fourth. Everything was smooth until turn three when LaJoie tagged McKennedy which sent the 79 machine into Kyle Bonsignore. Despite sustaining damage from the incident, McKennedy finished 12th to earn the series title.

“It’s amazing!” McKennedy told FloRacing after the race. “This is so satisfying. It’s the whole team and that’s what got me here today. I just don’t know what to say as this is unbelievable. I’ve won multiple championships up north, and a handful of modified championships in other series, but being a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion is just awesome. I am so happy!”

LaJoie later apologized to McKennedy in his celebratory interview for the contact with McKennedy.

“I thought I screwed up his championship hopes there for a minute. He caught us up in the fence, but we’ll talk about that later. So kudos to Jon, kudos to Tommy Baldwin Racing for the owner's championship. These guys that run modifieds are real racers.”

McKennedy offered his view of the incident with LaJoie.

“I’m not going to lie getting wrecked there with a few to go was a huge bummer. We had a really good car as the guys gave me an awesome car. I thought we were in a great position. Middle of the back straightaway I felt a good bump and the next thing I know I was totally sideways and out of control. Not too sure what the car behind me (LaJoie) was thinking, but at the end of the day we are champions.”

Hirschman finishes second after nabbing the pole with a time of 18.733s / 101.084 mph. In seven starts this year, Hirshman scored two poles along with the season-opening victory in February at New Smyrna. 

Other championship contenders Eric Goodale, Ron Silk, and Justin Bonsgnore took home 7th, 11th, and 29th. 

NASCAR veteran racer Ryan Newman finished third.

Bobby Santos and Anthony Nocella rounded out the top five finishers.

Andrew Krause, Eric Goodale, Austin Beers, Tommy Catalano, and J.B. Fortin rounded out the top 10.

The delayed broadcast of the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 200 will air November 1st at 1:00 p.m. ET. on USA.

The series returns to action for the 2023 season opener on February 11th at New Smyrna Speedway.

Piloting the No. 60 entry for owner Roy Hall, Matt Hirschman will start on the pole for Thursday’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 200 at Martinsville Speedway. Hirshman won the top starting spot for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season finale posting a time and speed of 18.733s / 101.083 mph.

Jimmy Blewett starts second in the No. 7 entry for owner Tommy Baldwin. Blewett sat 0.005 seconds behind the pole winner.

Ronnie Williams held the pole spot for a while during qualifying before falling to the third position. Williams posted a lap of 18.792s / 100.766 mph.

Ron Silk and Corey LaJoie rounded out the top five.

Starting inside the top 10 include Austin Beers, Kyle Bonsignore, Chuck Hossfeld, Jon McKennedy, and Ed McCarthy. 

NASCAR veteran racers Ryan Newman will start 14th while Bobby Labonte starts 23rd.

Ryan Preece will take the green in the 17th spot.

Four drivers of Jon McKennedy, Ron Silk, Justin Bonsignore, and Eric Goodale all have a shot of winning the series championship. McKennedy leads by six points over Silk while Bonsignore sits 11 behind the points leader. Goodale sits 17 points back. Each of the four will start 9th, 4th, 12th, and 15th on the grid. 

The season finale will take place later on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. ET. live on FloRacing and MRN Radio.

 

NASCAR announced penalties following its events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Cup and XFINITY Series on Tuesday. The penalties announced impacted the No. 18 and 45 Cup Series teams as well as the No. 51 and 54 XFINITY teams. 

Bubba Wallace has been suspended for one race for his incident with driver Kyle Larson early in the South Point 400 on Sunday. Wallace did not receive a monetary or points fine regarding his actions.

Crew chief of the No. 18 Toyota Ben Beshore and crew members Derrell Edwards and Miachel Hicks will receive a four-race suspension through The Clash at the LA Coliseum in 2023. The No. 18 Toyota lost a wheel after returning to the race track following a pit stop.

Crew chief of the No. 54 NXS team Chris Gayle has been fined $5,000 for lug nuts not properly installed. 

Crew chief Mark Setzer has been fined $25,000 and suspended from the next NXS event along with losing 40 driver and owner points. The No. 51 NXS team violated sections 14.4.B.E: Body Note: Flange Fit Composite Body must be used as supplied from the manufacturer without modification.

Andrew Abbott has been re-instated by NASCAR and is eligible to return to all NASCAR activity. Abbott was indefinitely suspended after an ordeal at Talladega Superspeedway during pre-race inspection for the Camping World Truck Series.

Sammy Smith scored the victory in the season finale for the ARCA Menards Series at Toledo Speedway on Saturday. Smith, piloting the No. 18 Toyota for NASCAR veteran racer Kyle Busch, scored his sixth victory of the season.

Jesse Love led the majority of the race up front before losing the top spot when he received a tap from Sammy Smith in a three-car battle for the lead with Grant Enfinger. Love, who showed some post-race displeasures to winner Sammy Smith, rebounded to finish runner-up.

With the win, Sammy Smith clinched the 2022 owner points title for owner Kyle Busch.

Grant Enfinger went on to finish third in his first ARCA start since 2018.

Taylor Gray and Rajah Caruth rounded out the top five.

Nick Sanchez claimed the 2022 ARCA Menards Series driver championship by placing sixth. Sanchez entered the event two points ahead of Daniel Dye and had to finish within three spots ahead of Dye before owner points became a factor.

Early on, Daniel Dye led the standings before issues slowed the team down. First, he had issues getting the car re-fired after the first race break. Then second, had a mechanical issue with a ball joint that sent the No. 43 team to the garage area for 36 laps before returning. Dye finished 18th.

Sanchez finishes the year with three victories, 10 top five, and 16 top 10 finishes.

The rest of the top 10 finishers included Landon Pembelton, Matthew Gould, Greg Van Alst, and Amber Balcean. 

The series heads into its offseason and will return next season on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway during Speedweeks in February 2023.

Piloting the No. 20 Yahoo Toyota, Jesse Love claimed the pole for Saturday’s Shore Lunch 200 at Toledo Speedway. The event, marking race 20 on the ARCA Menards Series calendar, serves as the final stop of 2022. Love earned the top position by posting a 15.847s / 113.586 mph.

Championship contender Daniel Dye will start runner-up beside Love. Dye enters the event minus two driver points behind point leader Nick Sanchez, who qualified eighth. 

Before bonus points factor in, Dye has to finish three spots or better ahead of Sanchez to claim the 2022 title. Bonus points in ARCA include three additional points for winning the race, one point for leading a lap, and one point for leading the most laps. 

Grant Enfinger joins the ARCA fold for the first time since 2018 at Toledo. Enfinger, piloting the No. 44 Chevrolet with owner Jeff McClure, qualified third.

Taylor Gray and Sammy Smith rounded out the top five.

Starting inside the top 10 include Landon Pembelton, Amber Balcean, Nick Sanchez, Toni Breidinger, and Rajah Caruth.

The Shore Lunch 200 can be seen live on MAVTV and FloRacing at 4:00 p.m. ET.

NASCAR announced penalties following its race weekend at Talladega Superspeedway on Wednesday. The two penalties announced impacted a team in the NASCAR Cup and Camping World Truck Series garages. 

Crew chief Rodney Childers of the No. 4 NCS team has been fined $100,000 and suspended from the next four NASCAR Cup Series championship points events. Team and driver have been assessed with the loss of 100 points. 

The L2 penalty covered sections 14.1 C&D&Q Overall Assembled Vehicle Rules; 14.5 A&C&G Body Note: Modification of a single source supplied part.

Crew chief Andrew Abbott of the No. 20 NCWTS team has been indefinitely suspended for violating sections 4.3.A & 4.4.E: NASCAR Member Code of Conduct. As part of the reinstatement process, Abbott must complete “a NASCAR-mandated anger management training” as a pre-requisite to reinstatement.

NASCAR announced penalties following the weekend events at Texas Motor Speedway late Tuesday afternoon. The penalties included a pair of NASCAR Cup Series teams as well as an individual.

NASCAR fined driver Ty Gibbs $75,000 and took a loss of 25 owner points for an incident on pit road with competitor Ty Dillon. 

Gibbs violated sections 4.3.A & 4.4.C: NASCAR Member Code of Conduct Notes: Retaliatory vehicle contact on pit road with crew members/officials in close proximity; second offense. 

William Byron has also been fined $50,000 for an incident that took place between him and Denny Hamlin under caution. The No. 24 Cup Series team will also lose 25 driver and owner points.

Byron violated sections 4.3.A & 4.4.C: NASCAR Member Code of Conduct Notes: Vehicle contact during a caution period. 

Patrick Briody has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for a behavioral penalty.

Sammy Smith triple-dipped Thursday night at Bristol Motor Speedway in the ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series East combination race at the 0.533-mile oval. 

First, he won the race. Second, he claimed the Sioux Chief Showndown title. And third, claimed the 2023 ARCA Menards Series East championship. The driver of the No. 18 Toyota finished the year winning five of the seven races on the East series calendar and earning seven top five and top 10 finishes.

All Smith wanted to do coming into the race was win the event somehow. 

“These two championships mean a lot, but it wouldn’t have felt the same if we didn’t win the race,” Smith said afterward. “All of these guys worked so hard all season and I’m glad we could pull this off.”

As for the win, it didn’t come easy as Smith was challenged by teammate Brandon Jones for the lead in a green-white-checker finish on the short track. 

Piloting the No. 81 entry, Brandon Jones, leader of 11 laps, finished second by 0.234 seconds. 

“I thought our Camry really came to life during those last 30 laps or so,” Jones said. “We started to catch Sammy, but I didn’t want to rough him up too much. I gave it all I had and I think I just got in too deep down in Turns 3 and 4. I’m kicking myself a little bit for that, but this is a big help for [Friday’s Xfinity] race.”

Taylor Gray sat third on the leaderboard followed by Rajah Caruth, Daniel Dye, and Parker Chase.

Andres Perez de Lara joined the ARCA Menards Series East for his debut at Bristol on Thursday. With 14 career NASCAR Mexico FedEx Challenge starts resulting in nine top-five and 11 top-10 finishes, Lara scored the seventh spot.

Andy Jankowiak, Connor Mosack, and Jesse Love rounded out the top 10 finishers.

The ARCA Menards Series circuit heads to Salem for the penultimate race of 2022 on October 1. Coverage of the event airs live on MAVTV and FloRacing at 4:00 p.m. ET.

The ARCA Menards Series went racing shortly after 10:00 a.m. ET. for the Kansas Lottery 150 at Kansas Speedway. The postponed event that was scheduled to take place on Saturday featured 21 entries for the 150-mile race.

Corey Heim survived ARCA overtime to claim his ninth career ARCA Menards Series victory. Piloting the No. 20 Toyota, Heim dominated the event leading 101 of the 105 laps and finishing 0.430 seconds over Nick Sanchez.

“It was definitely a great performance for us from what we had in the spring. Going through that adversity, I feel like we should have had a really similar performance back there in the spring,” said the winner. “To come back here and put on a show like that, it’s pretty special.”

In 43 ARCA starts, Heim holds 31 top five and 41 top 10 finishes.

Nick Sanchez fell shy of scoring his fifth career victory in the ARCA Menards Series at Kansas, a track that he’s won at twice. The series points leader leaves the 1.5-mile oval with nine top-five and 14 top-10 finishes – along with three wins this season.

“I think we were just chasing the 20 (Heim) all day and we just fell a little short,” Sanchez said. “We never lost sight of him, we just didn’t have the speed.”

Sammy Smith rounded out the top three finishers Sunday morning. Through 13 starts in 2022, Smith holds 12 top five and top 10 finishes along with three trips to victory lane. 

Daniel Dye and Ryan Huff rounded out the top five.

Placing inside the top 10 included Parker Chase, Christian Rose, Amber Balcean, Toni Breidinger, and Jon Garrett.

From Athens, TX, Garrett picked up his first top 10 in just his third career start.

The event was slowed four times with two of the yellow flags for competition cautions.

The series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for a combination event with the ARCA Menards Series East on September 15th. FOX Sports 1 and MRN Radio will carry the broadcast.

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