After a wild race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers head to the world-renown Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the sixth annual Lilly Diabetes 250. The race will be consist of two stages of 30 laps each and a final stage of 40 laps for a race total of 100 laps.
40 drivers are scheduled to arrive in Indianapolis. There will be six notable Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers in the field including Paul Menard, Ty Dillon, Reed Sorenson, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, and Erik Jones.
This weekend will look different for fans as NASCAR as brought a new competition package exclusively for Indianapolis. The 2016 spoiler and splitter will be reimplemented, new aero ducts attached to the front bumper, and a 7/8-inch restrictor plate will be used. The goal of this package is to create close racing and passing opportunities for drivers. The new implementations are erected to increase the drat envelope by 25%.
Teams will have six sets of Goodyear tires at their disposal for the whole event at Indianapolis. Teams will run the same tire combination on the right side of the car as they did last season. The left-side tire compound is slated to provide more grip
This will be the sixth event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Xfinity Series. There have only been two pole winners and three race winners. Three races have been won from the pole with Ky. Busch being the last driver to do so last season. In 2014, Ty Dillon set the race record at 137.153 mph. In 2016, Ky. Busch set the pole winning speed at 181.939 mph.
Here is what drivers are saying about this weekend at Indianapolis:
“I am stoked to be going to Indy this weekend, it isn’t every day that we are able to race at such a historic track. This will be an interesting race to see how it plays out with NASCAR adding restrictor plates to the cars this week,” said Matt Tifft. “Everyone will be on the same playing field where strategy will be a huge determining factor in who comes out on top. With Indy being narrow, it will be important for our No. 19 Camry to get up front and stay there so that we don’t get wrapped up in any wrecks.”
“I tested this superspeedway package at IMS and I think we are definitely going to be in a pack, but I really don’t know how it’s going to race with 39 other cars. At the test we did it with three, but it’s going to change a lot when we get a whole pack out there. It’s a unique situation, something we’ve never done in NASCAR with a track like IMS and a Superspeedway package,” said Ryan Reed.
"It is going to be incredible to roll through the gates at Indianapolis and know the history you are amongst. To know the past, the people that have run there and won there, it's truly incredible. Especially coming from the short track background, where you read all of the stories of everyone back in the 1960s, '70s and even before, and how they wanted to get to Indy and that was their goal,” said Daniel Hemric. “To know that nonchalantly we're going there this week is pretty incredible. I'm looking forward to it. I know it is a place where RCR has had success in the past, which is always a good thing. I've won races at the old IRP short track and other tracks in the area, but to know we'll be battling there on the main stage in the Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet is pretty cool.”
On Friday, Xfinity teams will be the only drivers on the track. Teams will have two practice sessions at 1:00 p.m. EDT and 3:00 p.m. EDT on the NBC Sports App. Xfinity teams will qualify at 12:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday and race at 3:30 p.m. EDT on NBC Sports Network. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, in conjunction with Performance Racing Network, will have radio coverage of the Lilly Diabetes 250.
Byron was over a tenth of a second faster than the field throughout the weekend, as he was quickest in practice on Friday. When qualifying was rained out, he was awarded the pole due to his speed in practice.
With 11 restarts, on 10 caution flags, a track-high, Byron has to outlast the competition and not allow them to get big runs on the restarts. More times than not, he would be over one second ahead of second-place after the first green flag lap was complete.
"I don't get too far ahead of what our goals are, but that was definitely a goal, I can't lie about that," Byron said of setting the record for wins by a rookie driver in the Truck Series. " I knew that was something to beat. We just show up with so much focus and we never get off track. It's just a credit to where we are as a race team t the work were doing with the trucks and were putting it all together when we get to the race track. I love this race track and I think it's a pretty neat place and I think you have to be in love with the race track to have success at the track."
Cameron Hayley was the best of the rest, as he recorded a season-best second-place finish. In two career races at Pocono, the No. 13 truck has finished among the top five.
"Last year I got beat by Cup drivers and I felt like I could have won if there were no Cup drivers, now you've got William Byron that is super fast and I got beat again," Hayley said of his second-place finish. "I wish we could have sealed the deal, but I have two top fives in my two starts here. I don't know what it is about this track that I like, maybe it's more suited toward a road course and I love road course racing."
Brett Moffitt, replacing Matt Tifft at Red Horse Racing finished third after spending much of the day inside the top five. With no other races on his 2016 schedule, he hopes this performance sticks out on owners minds so that he can get off the couch for the remainder of the season.
"It feels good for myself," Moffitt said of the finish. "I think this will open some eyes with no other races on my schedule, hopefully it will make me a little bit busier in the second half of the summer. All in all, the guys at Red Horse did a really good job. It feels really good."
Leading four laps, Timothy Peters finished fourth at Pocono. Cole Custer rounded out the top five, after spinning in the Tunnel Turn on Lap 11.
Rico Abreu finished sixth, marking his second-consecutive top-10 finish. Ben Kennedy came home seventh, with Johnny Sauter was eighth, John Hunter Nemechek finished ninth and Christopher Bell rounded out the top 10.
Bell set a record of five free passes, to get back on the lead lap after he was involved in an incident with John Wes Townley during the third caution of the afternoon. In the final five laps, Bell raced from 23rd to 10th.
For Brad Keselowski Racing, Chase implications took a turn on Lap 27 when Daniel Hemric spun in Turn 1, collecting Tyler Reddick. The No. 29 truck fell from the Chase bubble to 10th on the grid, one point off the pace.
The Truck Series will have two weeks off prior to returning to the race track August 17, where Ryan Blaney is the defending winner for Brad Keselowski Racing.
William Byron holds off a late race charge from John Hunter Nemechek and Daniel Hemric to win the Buckle Up Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway. This is Byron’s fourth win of 2016, and Kyle Busch Motorsports 51st career win, becoming the winningest team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
“I can’t say enough about this organization. It’s so awesome to have Kyle (Busch, owner) and Samantha’s support, Toyota’s support with great Toyota Tundras and great JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing Engines) tonight. It’s a dream come true to get a win like this. It just keeps going, I have a great team behind me. I have to thank Liberty University and everyone that puts it together,” said William Byron post-race.
The Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 went the advertised distance of 150 laps. The race saw 9 lead changes among six different drivers. William Byron led the most laps throughout the race with 70 laps followed by, Daniel Suarez (59), Johnny Sauter (14), Timothy Peters (5), and Tyler Reddick and Tommy Joe Martins both led one lap.
The caution flag flew five times for a total of 32 laps. The first caution of the day occurred from lap 27 to 35 from oil laid down on the track by Brett Moffitt. Debris found in turn one brought out the second caution. The third and fourth caution were brought out by accidents on the speedway. The final caution of the night flew due to the expiration of the caution clock.
William Byron leads the points standings by 13 over Matt Crafton, followed by, Daniel Hemric (-17), Timothy Peters (-17), and Johnny Sauter (-30).
Byron tends to the top seeding in the Camping World Truck Series Chase with four wins on the season. Matt Crafton holds the second spot with two wins, Johnny Sauter, John Hunter Nemechek, and Christopher Bell all have one win that clinched their spot in the Chase.
Inspection at the track received the all clear. No trucks are being taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center in North Carolina.
The average speed of tonight’s race was 116.698 MPH. Time of the race was 1 hour, 55 minutes, and 41 seconds. The margin of victory from William Byron over John Hunter Nemechek was .190 seconds.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will take 13 days off before returning to Eldora Speedway on July 20, the only race of 2016 on dirt. Coverage will be on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network.