Wednesday, May 25
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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No. 19 Menards/Bali Toyota GR Supra News and Notes:

  • JONES AT CHARLOTTE: Brandon Jones will make his ninth NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) career start at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) Saturday behind the wheel of the No. 19 Menards/Bali Toyota GR Supra for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). In his eight previous starts at Charlotte, Jones has led 22 laps and scored three top-10 finishes. He also has an average starting position of 10.8.
  • FEATURED ON THE HOOD: The No. 19 Menards Toyota GR Supra will carry the Bali logo on the hood this weekend at CMS. For more information visit: www.baliblinds.com
  • TEXAS RECAP: Jones finished 14th at Texas Motor Speedway. After starting fourth, he ran solidly inside the top five during stage one. Jones was collected in a multi-car accident on a lap-88 and suffered damage to the nose of his Menards Toyota GR Supra. Despite the damage, Jones and the No. 19 managed to recover to earn a respectable finish.
  • JGR NXS AT CHARLOTTE: JGR has 104 total starts at Charlotte in Xfinity competition with 10 wins, 40 top-five finishes, 61 top-10 finishes, six poles and the team has led 1,961 laps.
  • NXS RACE INFO: The NXS race at Charlotte is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 28 and will be broadcast on FS1, SiriusXM Channel 90 and PRN.
  • DOUBLE DUTY: Jones will compete in his first ARCA Menards Series (AMS) race of 2022 this Friday at Charlotte behind the wheel of the No. 81 Menards/Tide Toyota Camry for JGR.
  • ARCA SCHEDULE: Jones will run five ARCA Menards Series races this season. The schedule includes: Charlotte (May 27), Iowa (June 11), Pocono (July 22), Watkins Glen (Aug 19) and Bristol (Sept. 15).
  • ARCA MENARDS SERIES AT CHARLOTTE: Jones has one previous AMS start at Charlotte. In 2018 he took home the win after starting 13th and leading 32 laps.
  • AMS RACE INFO: The AMS race at Charlotte is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 27 and will be broadcast on FS1 with a stream on the Fox Sports App.
  • FOLLOW ALONG: Follow along for updates and a behind-the-scenes look at Jones 2022 NXS Season.

Twitter:  @BrandonJonesRac I Facebook:  BrandonJonesRacing I Instagram:  BrandonJonesRac

 

From the Cockpit:

Brandon Jones: “After an up and down race last weekend we are anxious to head to Charlotte Motor Speedway. I always love coming to Charlotte twice a year with it being so close to home and have been able to show great success in the past. While my focus will be on the Xfinity Series, I am also competing in the ARCA Menards Series Friday night. I will be looking for how the car progresses, work on passing areas and competitive restarts the whole time to use towards Saturday’s race.  In addition, this weekend pays tribute to honor all the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces that have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. I am looking forward to a great race and seeing lots of family and friends to come out and support us. I have been eager to win at my new home track and know we will put up a great fight to bring the hardware home for the Joe Gibbs Racing Menards Bali GR Supra.”

JGR PR

Chandler Chatter:
 
  • Chandler Smith heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for Friday’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 looking to pay off debt he owes to KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch from a challenge they made in March at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Tex. At COTA, the two engaged in a friendly challenge where the lower finisher would clean all the windshields at KBM the following week. Busch’s third-place result was two spots better than Smith, but he accepted Smith’s double or nothing bet for this week’s race at Charlotte, where the boss will once again be sporting the white reciprocal paint scheme of Smith’s No. 18 Safelite Tundra TRD Pro on his No. 51 Tundra TRD Pro. Safelite, the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair, replacement and recalibration services, returned to KBM for a fifth season in 2022 and will be the primary sponsor on Smith’s Tundra TRD Pro Tundra for a total of 16 races this year as well as the two races with Busch.
 
  • Smith had a respectable outing last year in his first career start in any series at Charlotte, bringing home a sixth-place result. While Smith has just one Charlotte start, Busch is the all-time wins leader at the 1.5-mile quad-oval, winning in eight of his 14 Camping World Truck Series starts in the Queen City.
 
  • While he has just one prior start at Charlotte, the mile-and-a-half tracks have been a strong suit for the Georgia driver in 2022. Smith was victorious at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in March, finishing one position ahead of Busch. At Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway Smith took the white flag with the lead before surrendering the lead to his KBM teammate Corey Heim and ended up finishing fourth. The past two weeks the 19-year-old driver had finished inside the top 10 at mile-and-a-half tracks, with a fourth-place result at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City two weeks ago and an eighth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth last week.
 
  • After nine races Smith sits third in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular season point standings, 18 tallies behind his KBM teammate John Hunter Nemechek. Through the first nine events of the season Smith ranks second among Truck Series regulars in average starting position (7.7), third in average finish (9.9) and fourth in average running position (8.7) and driver rating (101.0). He has produced one win, four top-five and six top-10 finishes in his sophomore campaign.
 
  • The Georgia driver earned NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2021 and finished eighth in the championship standings after producing two victories, one pole, 213 laps led, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes in his first full-time season. He earned his first career Truck Series victory at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in September and in the series finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway earned his first career pole and swept all three stages en route to his second victory.
 
  • In addition to his Truck Series schedule in 2022, Smith is competing in a three-race schedule with Sam Hunt Racing (SHR). Smith finished 38th in his series debut at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway after a mid-race wreck and finished 21st at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway. His final race with SHR will come Oct. 22 at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.
 
  • Veteran crew chief Danny Stockman will once again call the shots for Smith and the No. 18 team in 2022. Stockman’s drivers have produced six victories at KBM across his first two seasons, including two with Smith behind the wheel in 2021. The veteran crew chief captured a Truck Series championship with Austin Dillon in 2011 and also won an Xfinity Series championship with Dillon in 2013. Stockman’s drivers have produced one top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.5 across four Truck Series starts at Texas. His best result was a runner-up finish with KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch in 2020. Stockman won an Xfinity Series race with Dillon at Charlotte in October of 2015.
 
Chandler Smith, Driver Q&A:
 
How do like your chances of finishing ahead of Kyle and getting out of washing all the windows at KBM?
“I feel great. I’ve been racing the mile-and-a-halves here recently and I’ve got top 10s at every mile-and-a-half this year – won at Las Vegas and had really strong runs at all the other mile-and-a-halves and I have a little more seat time than Kyle at the mile-and-a-half tracks this year – so I think my chances are good! He’s really good at road course, I’m not going to lie, I don’t know why I made that bet at COTA. Really excited about doing it here at Charlotte and really excited for Safelite to have two trucks in the race.”
 
Why have you been so good on mile-and-a-half tracks this year?
“We’ve had a really fast Toyota Tundra every single weekend. Las Vegas obviously we won and that was our first mile-and-a-half with our new mile-and-a-half package that we’ve been running. We started running it at the end of last year and it was kind of ok. We worked on it in the off season and obviously it’s a lot better. We’ve been carrying it over to Kansas and Texas and all the mile-and-a-halves we’ve been to, and it has been successful, so we’ll be bringing it to Charlotte. It’s trending every single time we unload that we fight the same thing and then we know what to do to get it where it needs to be and then it’s really good for the race.”
 
How does Charlotte compare to the mile-and-half tracks you’ve raced recently?
“The biggest comparison is the obvious, it’s a mile-and-a-half and the second thing is the speed – the on throttle time especially. With mile-and-a-halves you have so much on throttle time that it really matters more than anything that you have a really good handling truck. The trucks that are really fast, they can get in the lead and take off, that’s good for them, but what happens when they get in dirty air? They can’t do anything about it, so how are they going to get back to the front. So, having a truck that is fast, but also drives really good. You can’t have both, so you have to find a fine line and a good balance of the that and I feel like that is where our mile-and-a-half program is really excelling right now.”
 
Chandler Smith Career Highlights:
 
  • Across 47 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts has recorded three wins, 362 laps led, 18 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.0.
  • Earned NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2021 and finished eighth in the championship standings after producing two victories, one pole, 213 laps led, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes in his first full-time season. He earned his first career Truck Series victory at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in September and in the series finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway earned his first career pole and swept all three stages en route to his second victory.
  • Has posted an average finish of 29.5 across two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts in 2022, with a best result of 22nd coming at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway.
  • Has collected nine wins, 10 poles, 1783 laps led, 22 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes en route to an average finish of 5.4 across 34 career ARCA Menards Series starts.
  • Has numerous Super Late Model victories across his career, including two marquee wins: the Snowball Derby at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. (2021) and SpeedFest at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, Georgia (2018). Will compete in several Super Late Model events around his Truck Series schedule in 2022.
 
Chandler Smith's No. 18 Safelite Tundra:
 
KBM-63: The No. 18 Safelite team will unload KBM-63 for Friday night’s race. Smith produced a fourth-place finish with this Tundra TRD Pro two races ago at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and finished fourth with it earlier in the year at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch drove KBM-63 to its lone victory in June of 2020 at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.
 
KBM Notes of Interest:
 

KBM PR

America’s Home for Racing is THE place to be this Memorial Day Weekend, but for fans who haven’t already gotten their tickets, time is running out. Charlotte Motor Speedway officials announced today that reserved grandstand seats for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 have sold out. Only standing-room-only access in the popular Turn 4 Sun Deck remains for fans who don’t want to miss any of the action at the crown jewel event.

“For many fans, the Coca-Cola 600 is a bucket-list experience,” said Greg Walter, executive vice president and general manager of the iconic 1.5-mile superspeedway. “We’re thrilled to host a sellout crowd this year, with fans joining us from all 50 states and 12 foreign countries as far away as Australia. From A-list music acts at Circle K Speed Street to our patriotic pre-race salute to the U.S. Armed Forces, we promise to show our fans why there’s no better place to be than America’s Home for Racing on Memorial Day Weekend.”

Fans hoping to take in the action in person need to act fast. A limited number of standing-room-only tickets are available for just $40 and kids 12 and under can enjoy the Coca-Cola 600 for just $10. Additionally, college students with a valid student ID can get a ticket to the Sun Deck for just $25. The Turn 4 Sun Deck features great views of the legendary 1.5-mile quad-oval and the giant Speedway TV, plus a bar, concessions, cornhole and music.

Infield wristbands good for admission Friday, Saturday and Sunday are also still available, as are select reserved seats in premium areas such as the frontstretch clubhouse.

While Sunday tickets are limited, reserved grandstand seats remain for Friday’s double-header featuring the General Tire 150 (ARCA Menards Series) and the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (Camping World Truck Series). Grandstand seating is also still available for Saturday’s slate of action, which includes the Alsco Uniforms 300 (Xfinity Series) showdown as well as NASCAR Cup Series practice and qualifying for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.

Any weekend race ticket is also good for access to Circle K Speed Street, which is being held just outside the speedway’s Turn 1. With more than 10 acres of music, interactive displays, driver appearances and more, Circle K Speed Street brings yet another layer of family fun to the can’t-miss weekend of activities. Grammy-nominated rapper Flo Rida will kick off this year’s music and motorsports celebration on Friday night, while legendary rock group Steve Miller Band will take the stage Saturday night.

The party moves to the infield frontstretch on Sunday as legendary rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd takes the stage for an hour-long pre-race concert before the patriotic pre-race salute to the troops. Fans who upgrade their grandstand ticket to a Track Pass will have stage from access for classics like “Freebird” and “Sweet Home Alabama” as well as driver introductions.

TICKETS:
A limited quantity of standing-room-only tickets are still available. Fans can find updates on schedules and purchase tickets online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).

MORE INFO:

Fans can connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway and get the latest news by following on Twitter and Instagram or becoming a Facebook fan.

CMS PR

JD Motorsports is pleased to announce that RecruitMilitary, the nation’s leading veteran recruitment firm, will be the primary sponsor of the NASCAR Xfinity Series No. 6 Chevrolet Camaro, driven by Ryan Vargas for the upcoming ALSCO Uniforms 300 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 28th at 1:00 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

“I’m really excited to be running such a patriotic scheme. NASCAR’s support of our military is second to none, and to be able to put thousands of eyes on what RecruitMilitary does for our veterans is incredible,” said Vargas, Driver of the No. 6 Chevrolet. “We’ve been showing speed at the intermediate tracks, and this weekend should be no different.”

For more than 30 years, RecruitMilitary has connected transitioning military, veterans and military spouses to jobs with thousands of employers in the United States and around the world. Serving more than 1.5 million members of the military community and counting, the organization empowers job seekers with career resources and opportunities. 

Catch the action live starting this Friday, May 27th, at 3 PM ET on FS1 with NASCAR Xfinity Series practice and qualifying from Charlotte Motor Speedway, followed by the ALSCO Uniforms 300 race coverage on Saturday, May 28th, beginning at 1 PM ET on FS1.

“We are honored to participate in NASCAR Salutes Together this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Our partnership in NASCAR represents the power of synergy between two organizations with one mission: serving veterans and their families,” said RecruitMilitary CEO and former U.S. Army Special Operations Attack Helicopter Pilot Tim Best.  “Through this partnership we continue to work to reach the military community to do what we do best - connect military members, veterans and their families with meaningful career opportunities.”

JDM PR

No. 18 Devotion Nutrition Toyota Supra News and Notes:

  • Welcome Back: Trevor Bayne returns to the track this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the No. 18 Devotion Nutrition Toyota GR Supra for his fourth race of the 2022 season. No stranger to success at the 1.5-mile Concord, NC facility, Bayne has seven NASCAR Xfinity Series starts on his resume at Charlotte, with one top five and five top-10 finishes. The 2011 Daytona 500 Champion has led one lap with an average start of 12.9 and average finish of 9.4.
  • Strong Start: Bayne and his No 18 Devotion Nutrition team are off to a strong start to the 2022 season. In three starts in his Toyota GR Supra, Bayne has secured two top-five finishes with an average start of 3.3 and an average finish of 11.7. In three races, Bayne has led 100 of a possible 537 laps and has secured one pole starting position. 
  • Last Time Out: In his last start in the No. 18 at Atlanta Motor Speedway back in March, Bayne qualified fifth and led 38 laps before ultimately finishing 28th following a late-race restart.
  • Welcome Devotion Nutrition: Devotion Nutrition will return to the No. 18 Toyota GR Supra this weekend in Charlotte. Devotion Nutrition (www.devotionnutrition.com) has developed into a culture for all those devoted to living an active and healthy lifestyle with a great tasting product that can be easily integrated into anyone’s daily diet and busy routines
  • JGR at Charlotte: In 104 combined Xfinity Series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, JGR has earned 10 wins, 40 top-five, 61 top-10s and six pole starting positions. The team has led 1,961 laps, with an average start of 10.5 and an average finish of 12.0.
  • RACE INFO: The Alsco Uniforms 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, May 28, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. ET. Watch and listen live on Fox Sports 1, Sirius XM Channel 90 and PRN Radio.

 

Bayne’s Career NASCAR Xfinity Series Stats at Charlotte Motor Speedway:

Starts

 

Wins

 

Top 5

 

Top 10

 

Poles

 

Laps Led

 

Avg. Start

 

Avg. Finish

 

7

 

0

 

1

 

5

 

0

 

1

 

12.9

 

9.4

 

 

Bayne’s 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series Stats:

Starts

 

Wins

 

Top 5

 

Top 10

 

Poles

 

Laps Led

 

Avg. Start

 

Avg. Finish

 

3

 

0

 

2

 

2

 

1

 

100

 

3.3

 

11.7

 

 

Bayne’s Career NASCAR Xfinity Series Stats:

Starts

 

Wins

 

Top 5

 

Top 10

 

Poles

 

Laps Led

 

Avg. Start

 

Avg. Finish

 

155

 

2

 

27

 

75

 

8

 

585

 

10.6

 

13.4

 

 

From the Cockpit:

Trevor Bayne: “I’m thankful to be able to get back behind the wheel of my Devotion Nutrition Toyota GR Supra this weekend in Charlotte. This is always a special weekend in our sport and I’m looking forward to being part of it. Charlotte is a fun racetrack and one that I really enjoy driving. I was able to get some good sim work in this week and Jason and I have had some good discussions on how we think the track conditions will be on Saturday. I know all the guys enjoy racing at home in front of their family and friends, so hopefully we can go out and put on a good show for everyone. I’m having a lot of fun driving these Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota’s and super thankful for the opportunity.

JGR PR

FR8Auctions returns for the second race on the No. 34 Ford Mustang with Michael McDowell, for Memorial Day Weekend. The loyal supporter to Front Row Motorsports, come together with McDowell this weekend not only to race for the win, but to honor fallen hero Capt. Eugene William Kimmel, USMC.

Coming fresh off a top-15 finish in the All-Star Race this past weekend, and chalking up four top-10 finishes this season, McDowell heads into the weekend eager to replicate recent success in the Coke 600, as well as the season this weekend at the sport's home track.

“We are proud to honor a hero that doesn’t come from the FR8 family specifically but from a fellow FRM sponsor, Horizon Hobby. As fellow FRM sponsors, we are both invested in the success of that program and believe that this weekend gives us all an opportunity to focus on the ultimate sacrifice of a fallen hero while supporting the race team and McDowell." says Marcus Barela, owner of FR8Auctions.

"Racing on Memorial Day means a lot to myself and our sport. It honors not only our fallen heroes, but our active military as well to salute and thank them for their service. What has always been special to me about our race is that unlike other sports, we will pause in the middle of our event to show our respects, and that is always a powerful moment" McDowell states.

"Being able to honor a fallen hero also is a great honor. This year is special to me in honoring Capt. Gene Kimmel, by reading his backstory and understanding how special racing was to him. Racing on a local level, he too raced in the No.34, and to be able to share that this weekend is unique." McDowell continues.

"We have ran well in the past at Charlotte not only in the 600, but in the previous off-season testing as well. Our intermediate program has improved tremendously, and we plan to translate that progress this weekend at our home race. It takes a lot to race 600 miles, but we are expecting a great result, and plan to put on a great show for all our fans and supporters."

Michael McDowell and his FR8auctions, #BraveLikeWyatt Ford Mustang, honoring fallen hero Capt. Gene Kimmel, will race in Charlotte this Sunday, May 29th, at 6pm ET on FOX.

FRM PR

Notes of Interest

 

● Chase Briscoe makes his second Coca-Cola 600 start this Sunday at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in the No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). Briscoe finished 25th in the 2021 Coca-Cola 600.

 

● The No. 14 team will honor the memory of U.S. Army Sgt. Larry Robert (Bobby) Bowman, a North Carolina native, as part of NASCAR’s annual “600 Miles of Remembrance.” Sgt. Bowman, of Granite Falls, died April 13, 2007, when his vehicle struck a roadside improvised explosive device during a mission in Baghdad. He was serving his second tour in Iraq with the 513th Transportation Company, 57th Transportation Battalion, 593rd Corps Support Group as a heavy vehicle driver delivering food, water, fuel and other mission critical supplies. He was scheduled to return home just three months later.

 

● Briscoe will be back in the Mahindra Tractors-branded Ford Mustang for the longest race of the year. Mahindra Tractors, a brand of Houston-based Mahindra Ag North America and part of Mahindra Group’s Automotive and Farm Sector, is the No. 1-selling farm tractor company in the world, based on volumes across all company brands. Mahindra farm equipment is engineered to be easy to operate by first-time tractor or side-by-side owners, and heavy duty to tackle the tough jobs of rural living, farming and ranching. Steel-framed Mahindra tractors and side-by-sides are ideal for customers who demand performance, reliability and comfort at a great value. Mahindra dealers are independent, family-owned businesses located throughout the U.S. and Canada.

 

In four NASCAR Xfinity Series starts on the Charlotte oval, Briscoe has a best finish of sixth last May after starting second. While he’s still looking for his first win on the oval layout, he has visited Charlotte’s victory lane after scoring his first career Xfinity Series victory on the Roval in October 2018.

 

● In addition to his Xfinity Series experience at Charlotte, Briscoe also made one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series appearance in 2017, when he started second and finished 11th in the N.C. Education Lottery 200.

 

Briscoe is 14th in the driver championship with 13 of 36 races complete. He currently holds a spot in the 16-driver playoff field by virtue of his March 13 win at Phoenix Raceway.

 

Chase Briscoe, Driver of the No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

 

We saw you run up front at Las Vegas, but then the team seemed to struggle to find the right balance at Kansas. Is there anything you have seen from those two races on 1.5-mile tracks that you can use to turn things around at Charlotte?

“At Vegas, we qualified fourth and ran up front and then we had a tire go down, but I felt really, really good about our mile-and-a-half stuff. Then we go to Kansas and that was a real struggle for us. I don’t know why that was. It wasn’t just a struggle for us, it was obviously a struggle for all the Ford teams. But then we saw Penske up front at Texas, so I’m not sure what to expect. This is definitely a race you don’t want to be off because it’s a long night if you are.”

 

Teams tested the NextGen car at Charlotte during the offseason. Does it help to already have laps on the track?

“It’s definitely the one track I feel like the most people have the most laps at as far as with this car. But, every time we were testing at Charlotte, we were running different packages. I’ve never run the current package at Charlotte. This track is unique and sensitive. It does have some tire falloff. It’s really heat-sensitive, and one of the rougher racetracks we go to. But yeah, I don’t know, I don’t know what to expect for the 600.”

 

TSC PR

 

Hailie Deegan, No. 1 Wastequip Ford F-150    

  • Hailie Deegan is set to line up for her second appearance at Charlotte Motor Speedway this Friday, the 33rd start of her NCWTS career.
  • During last Friday's contest at Texas Motor Speedway, Deegan made her presence known by qualifying 6th on the 1.5-mile oval, her highest pavement qualifying result since joining the NASCAR ranks.
  • In her lone visit to Charlotte Motor Speedway, the 20-year-old brought home a 13th place finish, highlighting her consistency across the intermediate tracks on the NCWTS schedule.
  • Crew Chief Mike Hillman Jr. is a veteran of the speedway, calling 14 career NCWTS races, netting four top-fives, a pole and a career-best finish of second with Todd Bodine in 2010.
  • Click here for Deegan's career statistics.
 

Tanner Gray, No. 15 Black's Tire Ford F-150

  • Tanner Gray will make his 10th NCWTS start of the 2022 season and third career start at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday night.
  • In his previous two appearances at the nearby 1.5-mile oval, Gray has finishes of 20th and 22nd. He has a sixth-place finish with the ARCA Menards Series in 2019.
  • Last time out at Texas Motor Speedway, the Ford driver peaked as high as sixth late in the race, but contact with the wall and a fellow competitor forced the No. 15 to pit road for repairs and he came home with a 24th-place finish.
  • Crew Chief Jerry Baxter has called eight career NCWTS races at Charlotte Motor Speedway with drivers such as Bubba Wallace, Matt Tifft, Christopher Bell, Kaz Grala and Brett Moffitt. He earned top-10 runs with Tifft and Bell in 2015 and 2016.
  • Click here for Gray's career statistics.

 

Ryan Preece, No. 17 Ford F-150

  • Ryan Preece will make an unscheduled appearance behind the wheel of the No. 17 for his fifth NCWTS start of the season in Friday night's North Carolina Education Lottery 200.
  • Last Friday evening at Texas Motor Speedway, a dominant performance was soured by rear bumper damage early in the final stage. Preece led 27 laps and was victorious in the opening two stages, before the bumper damage forced him to pit and come from the rear of the field. He drove from 22nd to a third-place finish in the Morton Buildings F-150.
  • The impressive streak of top-10s continues for the Connecticut native as he holds six top-10s in six total Truck Series appearances spanning the last two seasons.
  • Friday's race will kick off a busy Charlotte race weekend for the 31 year old as he will pull triple duty by also competing in the Xfinity and Cup Series on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
  • Click here for Preece's career statistics.

DGR PR

NASCAR Cup Series – Race No. 14 – 400 laps / 600 milesCharlotte Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval) – Concord, N.C.Fast Facts for May 27-29, 2022 Tire: Goodyear 18-inch Eagle Speedway Radials 

Set limits: Cup: 1 set for practice, 1 set for qualifying and 13 sets for the race

     (12 race sets plus 1 set transferred from qualifying)

 Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-5168; Right-side -- D-5122 

Tire Circumference: Left-side -- 2,254 mm (88.74 in.); Right-side -- 2,280 mm (89.76 in.)

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front -- 20 psi; Left Rear -- 22 psi;

     Right Front -- 50 psi; Right Rear -- 46 psi

Storyline – “Recommended” is more than a recommendation: Goodyear bases its minimum air pressure recommendations on its decades of experience in NASCAR racing, an aggressive on-track testing program, computer modeling and simulation, and observations made week-to-week at NASCAR weekends.  The minimum recommended pressure on the left-rear corner of the Cup car for this weekend’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is 22 psi.  While it is listed as “recommended,” it is much more than that – it is a data based number that speaks more to what the tire requires to operate.  As has been discussed before, the rear of the Next Gen Cup car sees higher loads than on the previous generation car.  In addition to camber and shock settings, running the proper air pressure in the tire is vital.  Running below Goodyear’s recommended pressure causes the sidewall of the tire to over-deflect, causing damage early in a run that may result in air loss later in a run.

     “What we’ve seen play out at recent Cup race weekends, is exactly what we saw in testing in preparation for this season with the Next Gen car,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing.  “The balance of the Next Gen car is definitely shifted towards the rear of the car.  We have been working with the teams, not only at the track over the course of race weekends, but also providing them data in advance that speaks to this, and what the tire needs to operate with regards to both camber and inflation, both of which are critical elements of the set-up.  Teams, as they always do, are constantly working on their cars to make them better as the season progresses.  We have seen this, and worked with them as they try to maximize the use of all corners of the car.  Teams will, naturally, strive to make their cars faster and many have found the edge over the past several points races.  Our working in conjunction with them will help maintain guidelines on tire set-ups as the Next Gen car continues to evolve.”

Notes – Cup teams on Darlington tire set-up at Charlotte: Having moved to an 18-inch bead diameter tire for 2022, NASCAR Cup teams will run a different tire set-up than those in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series at Charlotte this week . . . Cup teams have run this same combination of left- and right-side tires at Darlington earlier this month . . . they have also run this right-side tire code at Fontana, Las Vegas, Kansas and Texas . . . in addition to the obvious construction changes in moving to an 18-inch tire, this set-up features changes to the left- and right-side compounds (more grip) compared to what Cup teams ran at Charlotte in 2021 . . . Goodyear held a recent tire test at Charlotte in April with Ross Chastain, Cole Custer and Bubba Wallace . . . with this 18-inch tire, and its lower profile sidewall, NASCAR Cup cars will not run inner liners in any of their tires in 2022.

Goodyear to run special “Honor and Remember” sidewall at Charlotte: Since 2010, for one weekend per NASCAR season, Goodyear has changed the branding on the sidewall of its racing tires in a show of support for the United States military and fallen heroes.  This being the 13th year of that program, the official tire supplier to NASCAR’s top three series will work with the “Honor and Remember” organization for the fourth straight year.  The standard “Eagle” on the tires’ sidewall will be replaced by the Honor and Remember logo on all Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series tires at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend, as is part of the larger, industry-wide effort known as “NASCAR Salutes.”

     Honor and Remember is a national organization based out of Virginia that has a mission to “perpetually recognize the sacrifice of America’s military fallen service members and their families,” according to its website.  The organization recognizes fallen military personnel from all wars or conflicts, and with those from all branches of service.  They do so primarily by dedicating the specially designed Honor and Remember flag, which is intended to fly continuously as a tangible and visible reminder to all Americans of the lives lost in defense of our national freedoms.

Follow us on Twitter: @GoodyearRacing. 

 

 GOODYEAR TIRE NOTES NASCAR Xfinity Series – Race No. 13 – 200 laps / 300 milesNASCAR Camping World Truck Series – Race No. 10 – 134 laps / 201 milesCharlotte Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval) – Concord, N.C.Fast Facts for May 27-28, 2022 Tire: Goodyear 15-inch Eagle Speedway Radials 

Set limits: Xfinity: 6 sets for the event;

     Truck: 5 sets for the event

 Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-6110; Right-side -- D-6130 Tire Circumference: Left-side -- 2,225 mm (87.60 in.); Right-side -- 2,250 mm (88.58 in.) 

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front -- 18 psi; Left Rear -- 18 psi;

     Right Front -- 50 psi; Right Rear -- 48 psi

Notes – Xfinity and Truck teams on Vegas/Kansas/Texas left-side and Darlington right-side at Charlotte: Being on 15-inch bead diameter tires, Xfinity and Camping World Truck teams will run a different tire set-up than those in the Cup Series at Charlotte this week . . . these teams have already run this left-side tire code at Las Vegas (both series), Kansas (Trucks only) and Texas (both series) this season . . . they have also run this right-side code at Darlington (both series) earlier this month . . . compared to last year at Charlotte, this tire set-up features a minor right-side compound change and a left-side compound change to align with other speedways . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, these teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.

Goodyear to run special “Honor and Remember” sidewall at Charlotte: Since 2010, for one weekend per NASCAR season, Goodyear has changed the branding on the sidewall of its racing tires in a show of support for the United States military and fallen heroes.  This being the 13th year of that program, the official tire supplier to NASCAR’s top three series will work with the “Honor and Remember” organization for the fourth straight year.  The standard “Eagle” on the tires’ sidewall will be replaced by the Honor and Remember logo on all Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series tires at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend, as is part of the larger, industry-wide effort known as “NASCAR Salutes.”

     Honor and Remember is a national organization based out of Virginia that has a mission to “perpetually recognize the sacrifice of America’s military fallen service members and their families,” according to its website.  The organization recognizes fallen military personnel from all wars or conflicts, and with those from all branches of service.  They do so primarily by dedicating the specially designed Honor and Remember flag, which is intended to fly continuously as a tangible and visible reminder to all Americans of the lives lost in defense of our national freedoms.

Follow us on Twitter: @GoodyearRacing.

This Sunday evening, NASCAR Cup Series rookie Todd Gilliland will compete in his first Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. He will do so honoring the life of Staff Sgt. Conrad A. Robinson of the United States Army this Memorial Day weekend.

Known as “Big Rob” while serving in the Army, Staff Sgt. Robinson was a decorated medical officer with 17 years of service until his untimely death serving his country in 2018. Gilliland, Front Row Motorsports, and Boot Barn will welcome the Robinson family to the track this weekend with Staff Sgt. Robinson’s name featured on the windshield of the Boot Barn Ford Mustang. Gilliland is both humbled and honored to carry Staff Sgt. Robinson’s name on the No. 38 car this weekend.

“This weekend is about honoring those who have served and sacrificed so we can go out and do cool things like race,” said Gilliland. “It is special for me to honor Staff Sgt. Robinson and have his family with us. It puts things in perspective, and I expect it to be a humbling experience. I want to thank my team and Boot Barn for making this honor happen.”

Gilliland is excited for the challenges of the Coca-Cola 600 – the first 600-mile race of his career.

“I have run really well in the past at Charlotte in both the NASCAR Truck Series and the ARCA Series,” stated Gilliland. “But nothing really prepares you for a 600-mile race. I just need that experience, but we have talked about it all season. We want to finish the race, be on the lead lap, and get as much as we can at the end of these races. I will be patient; we will work on the car all night and then give Boot Barn the best I have at the end.”

The green flag will wave for the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day Sunday at 6:00 p.m. ET on FOX.

FRM PR

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