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.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had some fun around the St. Louis area leading into the Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway this Sunday. Stenhouse, who won the season opening Daytona 500 at Daytona, had the one-of-a-kind opportunity to visit Busch Stadium Tuesday to throw out the first pitch.
“It was really cool! I grew up coming to Cardinals games when I was younger. I was a big baseball fan and I would always come up here with some of my cousins. Just a little road trip up.”
The St. Louis area has been synonymous with the driver from Olive Branch, Mississippi, as Stenhouse visited the area several times throughout his childhood and even the annual dirt races at the dome. Stenhouse spoke about the atmosphere around the city and the passionate fans.
“I think I noticed it when I came here to race in the dome in dirt cars, which was really neat,” Stenhouse told SD. “There’s a lot of big sports fans around here as I’ve been to some Blues (NHL hockey) games, obviously Cardinals games, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a football game but, this town loves their sports and they support them as shown here.”
The driver sat 28th on the practice chart early Saturday morning prior to posting the 12th fastest time in qualifying.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returned to action on Saturday for the Toyota 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park. Ty Majeski, posting a lap of 32.569s / 138.168 mph on Friday, started on the pole for the event with Ben Rhodes beside him.
Grant Enfinger survived an overtime finish with Christian Eckes beside him to win the event on Saturday. The veteran racer picked up his second victory of the season and leaves with five top five and seven top 10 finishes.
“You really don’t know what’s gonna happen until the end,” said Enfinger after the race in the media center. “That’s truck racing at Gateway. It’s so hard to stay off of someone when you’re really going for it.”
Eckes in the No. 19 entry picked up his third top five and fifth top 10 through this year after starting third. The driver from Middletown, NY, sat 0.256 seconds behind the winner.
Enfinger led 65 of the 162 laps en route to victory lane. Late, Enfinger battled a transmission issue with his No. 23 Chevrolet.
“I got to the white flag and I went ‘okay this is ours’, and I went into one and two and missed my shift, which I had three or four times for some reason towards the end of the race.” Enfinger added. “The transmission was getting sick going into third and in neutral.”
Finishing third after leading the field for 10 circuits was Stewart Friesen. Friesen entered the day looking to score his fourth career Camping World Truck Series victory. Rounding out the top five were Carson Hocevar and Chase Purdy.
Hocevar’s weekend isn’t over at Gateway. The driver will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet as a result of Chase Elliott’s suspension. Hocevar said post race that he’s ready to go and very excited for the opportunity.
“Yeah! A little bit! Nothing I won’t share because I just learned it,” Hocevar joked post-race. “Learning the race track and hydrating a little bit more and maybe more padding on my feet.”
Taking home top 10s were Matt DiBenedetto, Ben Rhodes, Nick Sanchez, Jesse Love and Jake Garcia.
The overtime event had four leaders for 11 total lead changes with an average speed of 132.158 mph.
There were 11 total yellows throughout the 200-mile event.
The most notable yellow drew on lap 156 with four to go in turn two that sent the event into overtime. Zane Smith, leader of 32 circuits, tangled with pole winner and leader of 55 laps, Ty Majeski in turn two. Majeski finished 30th while Smith scored 20th.
The series heads to Nashville Superspeedway next on June 23rd, live on FS1 and MRN Radio at 9:00 p.m. ET.
INDYCAR: Josef Newgarden Wins 107th Indianapolis 500; 19th 500 Victory for Team Penske
Josef Newgarden held off Marcus Ericsson in a one-lap battle to win the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. Newgarden, leading just five of the 200 circuits in his No. 2 Chevrolet with Shell Powering Progress as the sponsor, served Team Penske their 19th Indianapolis 500 victory.
“Just so thankful to be here. You have no idea! I started out as a kid in the crowd” said an emotional Josef Newgarden to NBC. “This place – it’s amazing! Regardless of where you’re sitting. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a car, you’re working on it, or you’re out in the crowd, you’re a part of this event and the energy.”
Team owner Roger Penske spoke with NBC after earning his 19th Indianapolis 500 victory as an owner.
“What a great day. All these wonderful fans. For us, to get number 19 racing my guy Chip Ganassi, my best friend in this business, terrific effort by Josef,” said Penske. “Tim Cindric called a perfect race. I’ll never forget it.”
Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson took home the runner-up by sitting just 0.0974 seconds behind Newgarden. Ericsson was the leader when the field went back green in a one-lap dash to the checkered. The driver of the No. 8 Huski Ice Spritz Honda had strong opinions regarding the red flag to force a one-lap shootout.
“I feel like it was an unfair and dangerous end to the race,” Ericsson told NBC. “I don’t think it was enough laps to do what we did. We’ve never done a restart right out of the pits where we don’t get the tires up to temperature.”
Santino Ferrucci rounded out the podium at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The driver from Connecticut earned his first career podium finish after starting fourth in his No. 14 Homes For Our Troops Chevrolet.
Newgarden scored his first Indianapolis 500 victory and his 27th career INDYCAR win. Afterward, he ran into the crowd to celebrate amongst the fans sitting in the frontstretch grandstand.
“I’ve always wanted to go into the crowd here at Indianapolis. I’ve seen people go up into the fence – I wanted to go through the fence and celebrate with the people,” Newgarden later said.
Pole winner Alex Palou and Alexander Rossi rounded out the top five.
Taking home top 10 finishes were Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato, Conor Daly, Colton Herta, and Rinus VeeKay.
Five cautions slowed the 500-mile race with three red flag periods.
The first caution came out just shy of halfway on lap 92 for Sting Ray Robb in turn one. Driving the No. 51 entry, Robb finished 31st out of 33 cars as a result of this crash.
The race went green over the next 51 laps until Romain Grosjean brought out the yellow with 50 to go in turn two. Grosjean fell out of the race and finished 30th.
With 15 laps to go, Felix Rosenqvist and Kyle Kirkwood made contact to bring out the third yellow flag of the day in turn two. During the crash, a wheel from one of the cars came off and flew over the catch fence damaging a parked car and settling down on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway golf course outside of the facility. Kirkwood’s car ended up upside down and slid down the track before coming to a stop.
INDYCAR later reported that one fan was taken to the infield care center as a result of debris from the incident and released. Luckily the tire that flew over the catch fence did not injure any workers or spectators.
Rosenqvist, leader of 33 circuits, finished 27th while Kirkwood finished 28th.
Both drivers were evaluated and released.
On lap 193, Pato O’ward, Simon Pagenaud, and Agustin Canapino came together in turn three to draw the fourth yellow flag of the race. O’Ward, leader of the most laps of 39, finishes 24th. Pagenaud takes home 25th while Canapino finished 26th in his debut.
With four to go, Ed Carpenter and Benjamin Pedersen came together on a restart to draw the fifth and final caution of the race. The two drivers finished 20th and 21st respectively.
The race had 52 lead changes and 14 leaders with an average speed of 168.193 mph.
The series heads to Detroit for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on June 4th. Fans can catch the event live on NBC or INDYCAR Radio at 3:00 p.m. ET.
INDYCAR: Katherine Legge and Stefan Wilson Have Scary Practice Crash; Wilson Transported to Local Hospital for Further Evaluation
Events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ahead of the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 have gone smoothly without an incident until Monday afternoon. The first incident of the Month of May happened when Katherine Legge made contact with Stefan Wilson in turn two.
Legge climbed out of the car under her own power and walked to the AMR safety truck while Stefan Wilson needed an assist from the safety crews. Wilson was placed on a stretcher and loaded into an awaiting ambulance while giving a thumbs-up.
Dr. Julia Vaizer, INDYCAR Medical Director, spoke to Peacock about Wilson’s condition after the crash. “He’s doing well and being transported to a local hospital for advanced imaging and further evaluation.”
Legge was evaluated and released from the medical unit.
“Cars in front were all checking up and I lifted as much as I could,” said Legge after the crash. “Downshift, hit the brakes, but it wasn’t enough. Went into the back of Stefan and ended up in the wall.”
The No. 44 team driven by Legge later told Peacock that they plan on repairing the primary car and have it ready for final practice this upcoming Friday.
Statement from Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports on driver Stefan Wilson:
"At 2:11 p.m., Wilson, driving the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports/CareKeepers Chevrolet, was struck from behind by Legge’s IndyCar and forced into the outside safer barrier in turn one at the 2.5-mile oval.
After being transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital for further tests, it was disclosed that Wilson suffered a fracture of the 12th thoracic vertebrae and will stay overnight at the hospital for further tests and observation. Based on this type of injury, Wilson will not be allowed to compete in this Sunday’s 107th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
The Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports team will have more information in due course."
NCS: Denny Hamlin Wins AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway
Denny Hamlin made a last-lap pass on Kyle Larson to score his 49th career NASCAR Cup Series victory at Kansas Speedway on Sunday. Hamlin, in the No. 11 Toyota entry for Joe Gibbs Racing, led 34 of the 267 circuits en route to his fourth victory at the Kansas track.
“It’s the new NASCAR – it’s what everyone cheers about when someone else does it,” said Hamlin after the race. “I was just trying to side-draft him there and miscalculated. It was great for us to get back into position to get close to him and get him loose through (turn) one and two.”
Kyle Larson finished second after an up-and-down day at the 1.5-mile oval in his No. 5 Chevrolet. Larson started second beside teammate William Byron on the front row and spun on lap six via contact from the No. 45 of Tyler Reddick. The incident forced the No. 5 Chevrolet to pit road for minor repairs before rejoining the field.
Larson worked his way back toward the front of the field to eventually take the top spot from Martin Truex Jr. on lap 141. From there, shuffling in and out from the lead, Larson went on to lead 85 circuits. The driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet battled loose conditions late.
“I was really loose. I was trying to do what I could to manage it. I was really loose at that end and, yeah, (Denny Hamlin) was just a little better than me at the end,” said Larson. “I haven’t seen a replay either, but obviously, he was side-drafting really aggressively like he would but he was touching me, it felt like. It just had me out of control, so I wish we could see what we could do.”
Hamlin leaves Kansas with 211 top-five and 326 career top-10 finishes.
Pole sitter William Byron rounded out the top-three finishers of the AdventHealth 400. The North Carolina native led twice throughout the event for a total of 10 circuits.
Bubba Wallace and Ross Chastain take home top-five finishes.
Chastain ended the day in a post-race fracas with competitor Noah Gragson after the race on pit road. Gragson was none too pleased with some moves Chastain pulled and decided to confront the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet after the race that involved both drivers taking swings at one another.
Drivers taking home top 10s were Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Tyler Reddick, and Austin Dillon.
Eleven cautions flew during the 267-lap event. The most notable yellow involved five cars off of turn two involving Erik Jones, Josh Berry, Ty Gibbs, and Chris Buescher. Gibbs continued until lap 178 before crashing out on the backstretch. It was also an event that broke the number of lead changes for a 400-mile race at Kansas.
Drivers Kyle Busch, Josh Berry, Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson, and Aric Almirola were also involved in incidents throughout.
The NASCAR Cup Series shifts focus to Darlington Raceway on May 14th. The Goodyear 400 will air live on FS1 and MRN Radio at 3:00 p.m. ET.
NCS: William Byron Claims AdventHealth 400 Pole at Kansas Speedway
William Byron scored the pole for Sunday’s AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway for the 10th time in his NASCAR Cup Series career. Byron posted a 30.133s / 179.206 mph to earn the top starting spot and interestingly, on 10 different race tracks since landing his first at Daytona in 2019.
Byron sat 16th fastest in NASCAR Cup Series practice earlier in the afternoon at Kansas Speedway. The No. 24 Chevrolet, with the help of cloud cover in the final round, earned the top spot by 0.006 seconds over teammate Kyle Larson.
Larson will start beside teammate William Byron in Sunday’s event after posting a 30.139s / 179.170 mph. The driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet seeks his 22nd career Cup Series victory.
Ross Chastain will round out the top three starters in the field after running a 30.145s / 179.134 mph. Chastain led the Group A qualifying session to advance into the final round.
Martin Truex Jr., leader of the Group B round of NCS qualifying, starts fourth.
Tyler Reddick sat second in Group A of NCS qualifying and will start fifth.
Joey Logano, Ty Gibbs, Cup series practice leader Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez and Ryan Blaney will start among the top 10.
The No. 78 of Josh Bilicki crashed at the end of practice earlier in the afternoon and did not post a time. He’ll start 36th.
The AdventHealth 400 airs live on FS1, MRN Radio, and SiriusXM NASCAR at 3:00 p.m. ET.
ARCA: Jesse Love Victorious in Dawn 150 at Kansas Speedway
Jesse Love scored the victory on Saturday at Kansas Speedway after pacing the optional practice on Friday, pacing practice early Saturday morning, and being the fastest in qualifying to earn the Dawn 150 pole Saturday morning.
Love leaves Kansas on a string of momentum after going to victory lane in his last ARCA start two weekends ago at Talladega Superspeedway.
Summer arrived in the Midwest this weekend and many drivers like the race winner expressed how worn out they were.
“I am worn out! This is the most tired I’ve ever been. I’m going to go get me a nap,” said on FS1.
Love led the field for 96 of the 100 circuits en route to his fourth career ARCA win.
Dean Thompson picks up his first career ARCA top-five with a runner-up finish behind Love. Thompson’s previous best ARCA finish also came at Kansas Speedway in 2021, where he finished eighth.
“I think we raced pretty good!,” said Thompson. “Great car, we raced hard, and ran first”.
Thompson led one lap of the Dawn 150 on lap 75.
Taylor Gray finished third in the Dawn 150 piloting the No. 17 Dead On Tools Toyota. Gray, starting fifth, entered the day looking to score his fourth career ARCA win. The driver from North Carolina and brother of Tanner Gray now has 27 top fives and 35 top 10 finishes in the ARCA racing series.
Taking home top fives were Connor Mosack and Jack Wood.
Andres Perez de Lara, Cody Coughlin, the series points leader coming into Kansas Frankie Muniz, Christian Rose, and Greg Van Alst rounded out the top 10.
The next race for the ARCA Menards Series will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26th. The General Tire 150 will air live on FS1 at 6:00 p.m. ET.
ARCA: Jesse Love Wins Dawn 150 Pole at Kansas Speedway
Jesse Love scored the pole for Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series Dawn 150 at Kansas Speedway with a time of 30.785s / 175.410 mph. Love also led Friday’s optional on-track session and Saturday’s practice session in addition. It’ll mark the fifth ARCA front row start for the driver
Connor Mosack starts second with Dean Thompson starting in third. Both drivers enter Kansas looking to capture their first career ARCA victories.
Amber Balcaen and Taylor Gray round out the top five starters. Making his second ARCA start in 2023, Gray enters the 1.5-mile oval with three victories scored last year.
Frankie Muniz, Christian Rose, Toni Breidinger, Jack Wood and Cody Coughlin start top 10.
The Dawn 150 airs live on FS1, MRN Radio, SiriusXM and FloRacing at 2:00 p.m. ET.
The ARCA Menards Series East waited an extra day after rain postponed Friday’s General Tire 125 at Dover Motor Speedway. William Sawalich earned the pole via the 2022 ARCA East owner point standings as practice and qualifying were canned as a result of precipitation.
Jake Finch survived ARCA overtime in a heated battle for the lead with Landen Lewis late to score his first career ARCA East victory on Saturday. Finch, in a Venturini Motorsports Toyota, started the afternoon ninth in the Phoenix Construction-sponsored car.
Lewis sat runner-up by 0.164 seconds behind Finch. It was the first ARCA East start for Lewis, who scored an ARCA West event win last year at Kern County Raceway Park and an ARCA victory in 2021 at DuQuoin.
Finch led the field for 89 circuits at the one-mile concrete oval en route to the victory.
Luke Fenhaus took home the third-place finish following a 14th-place start. In the season-opener last month at Five Flags Speedway, the Wisconsin driver earned the runner-up finish behind race winner William Sawalich.
Pole sitter Sawalich and Levar Scott ended the day top five.
Second-place starter Zachary Tinkle, Toni Breidinger, Ed Pompa, Conner Jones, and Sean Hingorani took home top 10 finishes.
Hingorani’s team had a slow start after the car wouldn’t fire following the command which forced the team to diagnose the engine behind the wall. After returning for a pair of laps halfway through the first segment, the crew had to go back behind the wall for more diagnoses before finally returning to the track just before the end of segment one. The team went on to finish 10th despite being 42 laps down.
Conner Jones showed strength by leading 30 of the 127 circuits before what the team described as “over-adjusting” the car during the first of two scheduled race breaks at lap 30. The handling of the car went away, causing Jones to fall numerous spots and even two laps down at one point. Unfortunately on lap 116, Jones blew a right front tire and crashed hard into the outside wall ending the team’s run.
The race featured two stoppages for scheduled race breaks while the lone yellow flag involved Conner Jones on lap 116.
The next race for the ARCA Menards Series East will take place at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on May 13th at 8:00p ET. live on FloRacing.
ARCA: Jesse Love Wins General Tire 200 at Talladega
The ARCA Menards Series returned to the high banks on Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway for the General Tire 200. The event at the 2.66-mile oval featured 34 starters and ended with Jesse Love picking up his third career victory.
The win was extra special for Love as he had his mother in attendance.
“My mom doesn’t come to a lot of races because she’s back supporting the family,” said Love to FS1. “This was the one race she wanted to come to and she was my biggest inspiration. I’m so happy!”
Leader of 35 circuits in the No. 25 entry, Love leaves with three ARCA wins along with 16 top-five and 26 top 10 finishes through 31 starts.
Gus Dean sat 0.129 seconds behind the winner at the time of the checkered flag. Dean, piloting the No. 25 entry with sponsorship from Dean Custom Air, picked up his 19th top five and 35th ARCA top 10.
2020 ARCA Menards Series champion Bret Holmes rounded out the top three finishers Saturday. In his first start of the year, the Munford, Alabama, native scored his 32nd ARCA top five run.
Andres Perez de Lara led 28 circuits finishing fourth while Sean Corr took home fifth.
The rest of the top 10 included Jack Wood, pole sitter Tayor Gray, Scott Melton, Frankie Muniz, and Jason white.
Patrick Emerling made his ARCA Menards Series and superspeedway debut piloting the No. 53 Emerling Gase Motorsports Ford. Emerling, most known for racing in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, started 32nd and finished 16th.
Daytona ARCA Menards Series winner Greg Van Alst came into the day with hopes of doing exactly what they were able to do at Daytona in February. Unfortunately, Van Alst would be involved in a race-ending crash on lap 15 after Melton got into the No. 35 entry on the backstretch.
“I know they started checking up in front of me, but there were several cars that were bouncing off the apron in the center of the corner,” said Van Alst after the crash. “He just drove down on the apron, and looks like the 15 (Amber Balcaen) might’ve broke or something, and I don’t know where he (Scott Melton) was going, I mean, nobody hit him from behind. He just right hooked me. Gonna have to have a conversation after seeing that replay.”
Other notables involved in on-track incidents throughout the day included Jason Kitzmiller, Tim Richmond and Mandy Chick.
The field slowed three times for on-track incidents while one was for a scheduled break at lap 39.
The ARCA Menards Series shifts its focus to Kansas Speedway on May 6th for the Dutch Boy 150 live on FS1 and MRN Radio at 2:00 p.m. ET.