Tyler Reddick took the checkered flag in Saturday’s LTi Printing 250 at Michigan International Speedway.
The RCR wheelman overcame pit mistakes and fuel concerns to get his first win in the Irish Hills. Fuel strategy played a big role at the two-mile speedway. Many of the top contenders found themselves hoping for a caution as stage three was winding down.
After pitting for the final time on lap 78, Reddick was able to save fuel for the remaining 47 laps.
With 10 laps to go, Cole Custer and Christopher Bell pitted from the top spots to give Reddick the lead. Bell had a code word mixup on the final caution that forced him to pit under green. Custer was told to mimic Bell’s strategy, meaning he would miss his opportunity to pit under caution and have to pit under green-flag conditions.
Reddick drove his No. 2 RCR Chevrolet to the top spot and parked it in victory lane for the third time this season.
“A great team effort. I didn’t do the thing I needed to do on the race track but, man, that was a great car and we put ourselves in position to win.”
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will be back in action on Sunday, June 16 at Iowa Speedway for the CircuitCity.com 250 at 5:30 PM ET.
After coming up short at Michigan International Speedway last weekend, William Byron was able to score the victory in the American Ethanol E15 250 from Iowa Speedway.
“It feels awesome. Thank you Mr. H (Hendrick) for giving me this opportunity. Everything has come full circle for me. I think we had a first or second place car. Really proud of these guys,” said Byron to Fox Sports 1 in victory lane.
This is Byron’s first career victory. Byron becomes the second driver to score their first victory at Iowa Speedway. The win by Byron gives JR Motorsports five consecutive season with multiple wins. Byron scored his eighth top-10 finish of 2017.
Byron was able to grab score the victory by playing the game correctly on pit road. As the field was undergoing green flag pit stops in the final stages of the race, the caution flag flew leaving many of the top-contenders one lap down. Byron and his team had yet to make a pit stop. Because Dylan Lupton stayed out on old tires, he trapped the dominant cars one lap down. With the restart on lap 230, Byron was able to grab the lead and set course for his first career victory.
After holding off Tyler Reddick in the closing laps, Ryan Siege was able to score a second place finish at Iowa for his best career finish.
“It was crazy. I just can’t thank everybody enough. It’s amazing. It was crazy when I was driving around, I cant believe we are second. It’s really awesome. It was a lot of fun racing with tyler there, racing for the win. I just can’t thank everybody enough,” said Sieg post race to Fox Sports 1.
Although he scored his career best finish, Reddick was disappointed in a third place finish.
“Well, we had a car that could really roll the center good, but couldn’t get back to the throttle. Unfortunately, that is where I was getting ate up most of the night. It was really cool to be able to race here at Iowa under the lights. I just feel like we should’ve came away with the victory there. I just couldn’t get anything going on the bottom. Feel like we gave one away here. It’s going to be a tough one to swallow,” said Reddick post-race.
Ross Chastain, Dakoda Armstrong,Michael Annett, Jeremy Clements, Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier, and Garrett Smithley rounded out the top-10.
There were 11 lead changes among six drivers. Christopher Bell led the most laps at 152. The race was slowed nine times for 55 laps.
Next up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the final restrictor plate event of the season, the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 from Daytona International Speedway. NBCSN and Motor Racing Network will have the call on Friday, June 30th at 7:30 p.m. EDT.
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.
After passing pole-sitter, William Byron, midway through the event, the No. 88 truck never looked back, leading 76 laps. This is Crafton's first career win at Dover, as well as his first win of the season and all but clinching a Chase birth.
"I just wanted to manage just enough and I could gap him enough and could run it hard enough to push the right front tire off," Crafton said of his victory. "We were 21st in the last practice and my guys never gave up."
Daniel Suarez made a late charge late in the race, but came up just short of winning his first NASCAR race in the top three series. He finished a half-second behind Crafton, after getting within a car length of him with five laps to go.
The third Kyle Busch Motorsports driver, Christopher Bell, came home with a third-place finish. In the first three events of the season, the No. 4 machine was involved in three accidents, but in the past two weeks he has back-to-back top five finishes.
"We've been so close this year and should have won Atlanta," Bell said post-race. "My guys kept digging throughout the race and I'm just really happy to be here at KBM."
Following his win at the season-opening event in Daytona, Johnny Sauter has had no luck at all. At Kansas last weekend he got crashed on the last lap while leading, but today he rebounded to get his second top-five finish of the year for GMS Racing.
The 18-year-old, Cole Custer jumped a Lap 55 restart that granted him the lead. NASCAR reviewed the restart and penalized the JR Motorsports team, black-flagging him. In a race that was full of comebacks, he was able to round out the top five.
"We just got caught on the restart," Custer said. "I don't know what there call was, but we had to go to the back of the field and come through the field. It was good enough to win, we just didn't have the right line on the start."
Custer gained three spots in the points, improving to 16th.
The defending winner of the event, Tyler Reddick led a bunch of laps early and recorded his first top-10 finish of 2016,finishing seventh.
Byron came home 11th after having a pit road penalty late in the event. Last week's winner lead a race-high 80 laps, all being in the first 80 circuits of the event.
It wasn't all good for Thor Sport Racing as two of the drivers, Ben Rhodes and Rico Abreu were involved in an incident on Lap 66. However, general manager of the race team said that there are no team orders as all four drivers are hard-nose competitors, looking out for themselves.
Through the first quarter of the race Brandon Jones was running second in the first race for Ranier with MDM Racing. On Lap 48, he spun trying to avoid Austin Wayne Self on the backstretch. The No. 71 car ended up finishing 20th.
The Truck Series heads to Charlotte Friday May 20 for the sixth event of 2016.
As the night was set to be a historic one at the Homestead-Miami Speedway for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finale, Matt Crafton went on to take the final race of the 2015 season with a historic visit to victory lane at the 1.5-mile track.
While the headlines prior to the Ford EcoBoost 200 were centered on the championship race between Tyler Reddick and Erik Jones, Crafton – who had been in championship contention — entered the night with the most starts in the Truck Series with 361. While breaking a record for most starts previously set by Ron Hornaday, Crafton was looking to end his season with his sixth victory of 2015.
After falling out of the championship contention at Phoenix, Crafton stayed out front and dominated the season finale. The win at Homestead is Crafton’s first at the track and first win starting from the pole.
“I was having so much fun right there at the end,” said Crafton in Victory Lane. “And they were trying to slow me down, but I’m like, I want to see how far I can get out, but it’s all about these guys behind me. They built these trucks and I’m just the lucky guy who gets to drive them. It’s been awesome. “
Despite coming short of his third consecutive championship, Crafton said 2015 was a dream season and that the team will grow from it.
“Just six wins and as many laps as we led, it’s been awesome. I’ve said, like it’s been a dream season there, we just had too many mistakes. I mean I made mistakes, we've all made mistakes and we're all human, but 2016 we're going to be stronger from it,” said Crafton.
Although Crafton made the trip to victory lane at Homestead, Jones went on to take the 2015 championship. Jones also made Truck Series history by becoming the youngest driver to win the championship. Austin Dillon was the last to have that feat when he won the title in 2011.
Along with winning the 2015 championship, Jones also captured the owners’ championship for Kyle Busch Motorsports. It will mark their fourth owners’ title in the series since forming in 2009. Jones’s Camping World Truck Series championship win is also the first driver title under the Kyle Busch Motorsports banner.
After spending the last two seasons as a part time driver for KBM, Jones said he couldn’t find a better way to thank KBM in his first full-time season.
“It was just so, so special for everybody here to close off this run like this,” said Jones. “I’ve had a great three years with these guys. I can’t think of a better way to repay these guys.”
Owner Kyle Busch was quite impressed with the accomplishment by Jones this season.
“Just really impressed to see what kind of kid he is,” said Busch. “He didn't want to be there for two part-time seasons, but he was. I think he learned a tremendous amount in those seasons.”
Despite running in the top five for most of the night, Reddick ended his championship quest by finishing third at Homestead and 15 points behind Jones in the standings. Regardless of the outcome, Reddick said that he will take the results of 2015 and move on to 2016.
“Our guys did great all year long, all season long. We had a great strong effort, all of our guys,” said Reddick after the race. “Unfortunately we were just a little short but work on it. Thank goodness I got next year to try to chip at it and try to get it done and that’s what we're looking forward to now. “
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return to action at the Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 19, 2016. The Nextra Energy Resources 250 will air live on FOX Sports 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET.