Speedway Digest Staff
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The NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) made its second and final stop of the season at Kentucky Speedway for the final night race of the year Friday was a wet one at Kentucky with rain forecasted most of the day, including during practice. The first practice session on Friday afternoon started on time, but only lasted for about 40 minutes of the originally scheduled 1 hour, 30 minute session due to rain. After a break in the weather, the track began the drying process with hopes of getting the final NNS practice session in. Unfortunately, more rain fell and NASCAR ultimately cancelled the final practice session. Shortened practice didn't stop Allgaier from continuing his qualifying streak of all top-10 starting spots at Kentucky. He posted the ninth-fastest lap time at 30.616 seconds. After being moved to the rear of the field for the start of the Kentucky 300 Allgaier worked his way up to the top-10. With a tire going down in the closing laps, Allgaier was able to hang on to the No. 31 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet Camaro and bring it home in the 17th position for Turner Scott Motorsports.
Saturday night's green flag waved under clear skies and cool conditions at Kentucky. Allgaier was moved to the rear of the field during the pace laps for unapproved adjustments. Even though he started in the back, Allgaier was able to work his way to the 16th position by lap 18. Allgaier maintained the 16th position until the competition caution came out at lap 27. Allgaier radioed to crew chief Scott Zipadelli that he needed help turning in the center, but that his entry was stable. After visiting pit road for two right-side tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment, Allgaier restarted 10th on lap 30. Unfortunately, on lap 31 Allgaier made contact with another competitor causing him to slip back to the 16th position. During the second caution on lap 38, Allgaier stayed out on the track and restarted 13th on lap 41. Allgaier worked his way to the 12th position by lap 56 and he reported his No. 31 BRANDT Chevy was free in and tight off during the run. When the third caution of the race came out at lap 62, Allgaier came down pit road for Sunoco fuel, four Goodyear tires and a track-bar adjustment. He restarted 13th on lap 69. After settling in for a long green-flag run, Allgaier was 15th when the fourth caution came out at lap 107. During the caution, Allgaier reported to Zipadelli that he was fighting a loose condition, so Zipadelli called him down pit road for two right-side tires, fuel and adjustments. After restarting in the seventh position, Allgaier maintained the spot until lap 124 when the No. 33 made contact with Allgaier's No. 31 BRANDT Chevy, causing him to brush the wall and sending him back to the 12th position.
After settling in for the second long green-flag run of the race, Allgaier reported that his No. 31 BRANDT Chevy had really tightened up after brushing the wall. Zipadelli made the call for a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 162 for Allgaier to get two right-side tires, fuel and adjustments. Unfortunately, while the No. 31 BRANDT Chevy was on pit road the six caution of the race came out, putting Allgaier and everyone else who had pitted one lap down. Allgaier was able to take the wave around to gain his lap back and on lap 173, he restarted in the 16th position. After another quick caution on lap 175, Allgaier told the BRANDT racing team that his car was better than the cars around him and that he just need track position. After restarting 16th on lap 178, Allgaier quickly worked his way up to the 11th position on lap 178 before the eighth caution came out at lap 183. Zipadelli called for Allgaier to come down pit road for four tires, one can of Sunoco fuel and adjustments. Again Allgaier restarted 16th but after another quick caution, he was in the 12th position on lap 193. Unfortunately, Allgaier had a tire going down in the closing laps of the Kentucky 300, which led him to a 17th-place finish in the No. 31 BRANDT Chevrolet Camaro for Turner Scott Motorsports.
"We had a good weekend going at Kentucky [Speedway]," said Allgaier. "The rain obviously wasn't ideal, but we were able to get in a little bit of practice. It was nice to continue my streak of all top-10 starts at Kentucky. Unfortunately, we just didn't have some of the luck we needed. We started in the rear, and worked our way up through the field. Then we made contact with a car and that sent us into the wall, which caused some damage. I was just trying to hang on to the BRANDT Camaro at the end of the race. After the race was over, my crew guys found out I had a tire going down which would explain why we fell back at the end. I'm looking forward to moving on to Dover."
A month after becoming the youngest winner in NASCAR K&N Pro Series history, the 15-year-old from Ladera Ranch, Calif., returned to Victory Lane Saturday in the North American Power 150 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Custer, the son of Stewart-Haas Racing executive Joe Custer, was making just his 12th career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start and had a dominating weekend. He was fastest in Friday practice, won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing, and led a race-high 60 laps.
He also won from the pole Aug. 2 at Iowa Speedway.
Daniel Suarez finished second for his fifth top three finish in his last six races, while Cale Conley was third. Rookie Ben Rhodes crossed the line fourth and Dylan Presnell finished a career-best fifth. Rookie Jesse Little took home sixth.
Brett Moffitt finished seventh and cut Dylan Kwasniewski's points lead to 23 with two races remaining. Kwasniewski was involved in a Lap 34 wreck after a spin battling Custer for the lead and finished a season-worst 24th.
Rookies Gray Gaulding, Mackena Bell and Ronnie Bassett Jr. rounded out the top 10.
Custer has four top-five finishes through those first 12 K&N Pro Series East outings, and all four have come at national series tracks. In addition to a pair of top fives at Iowa, he also finished on the podium at Richmond International Raceway.
The Iowa victory made Custer the youngest winner in K&N Pro Series East history overall. On Saturday, he etched his name in the record book as the series’ youngest winner at the “Magic Mile,” a place that the K&N East has visited more times than any other facility in its history.
“The guys bring a great car to the track,” Custer said. “I have to thank Gene Haas and Haas Automation. All of the guys did a great job. The car was perfect.”
The New Hampshire win came in a much different fashion for Custer than Iowa, where he ran at the front mostly unchallenged from start to finish. On Saturday he had a number of challengers and had to hold off Suarez on a green-white-checkered flag finish.
“This one was a lot more hectic,” Custer said of the New Hampshire win compared to Iowa. “A lot of the guys are from up here so we really wanted to win this race. It feels really good, all of my guys are really excited.”
The race featured a season-high six lead changes among five drivers and was slowed by eight cautions and one red flag for the multi-car accident that collected two of the top three in the standings in Kwasniewski and Ben Kennedy.
The North American Power 100 will air on Fox Sports 1 on Friday, Oct. 4.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will next race in the Drive Sober 150 at Dover International Speedway on Friday, Sept. 27.
Gilford, N.H. native Cory Joyce and the No. 39 Caplin Family (CF) Charities Chevrolet team finished 21st at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 21, in the driver's NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut. The 21-year-old, who grew up just 20 miles from the track, was racing three-wide for the 10th position when he was involved in an accident forcing him to retire from the 100-lap event.
Racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the first time in his career, Joyce prepared for Saturday's North American Power 100 with a 90-minute practice session. The team worked through a variety of setup options as Joyce became comfortable behind the wheel, and the No. 39 CF Charities Chevrolet team learned the young driver's style. After ranking 21st in practice, Joyce got loose during his qualifying attempt to secure the 29th starting position on Friday afternoon.
Competing for the first time in a K&N Pro Series East stock car, Joyce spent the early laps of the race trying to learn. Running both the high line and low line, Joyce evaluated his car during the early laps to provide feedback and improve the No. 39 CF Charities Chevrolet. With a loose car, Joyce changed the balance of his brakes and came down pit road for a trackbar adjustment during the opening caution period.
Things got dicey on the track when a multi-car wreck broke out between turns one and two. Joyce went high to avoid the accident, but got turned from behind and was sent spinning across the track. Avoiding any additional contact, Joyce was able to continue in the event and raced up to the 12th position. The fourth caution flag of the day on lap 44 led to the halfway break where teams were able to take 10 minutes to change tires and make adjustments to their cars. Joyce evaluated the handling of his car and dissected the corners of the 1.058-mile track. The CF Charities team made a series of adjustments, and the changes helped Joyce navigate the corners and continue his forward charge.
On lap 76, Joyce was engaged in a three-wide battle with the No. 34 and No. 89 car for the 10th position. Racing in the top groove, the competitor in the lowest groove (No. 34) moved up the track causing contact with the car in the middle groove (No. 89). The No. 89 car pushed into Joyce's CF Charities Chevrolet as the No. 34 was turned sideways in front of Joyce. With severe damage to the nose of his car, Joyce retired from the event and was credited with a 21st-place finish.
"Obviously it wasn't the finish we wanted, but I had such a great time at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend," commented Joyce. "Our No. 39 CF Charities Chevrolet team prepared a great car, and I was able to get a lot of seat time and learn a lot about these race cars. It was very special to me to be able to make my NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut at my home track. The support that I had from everyone-from my sponsor CF Charities and the Caplin family, to my parents, to my friends and family in the area-made this an unforgettable experience. We need to gather some additional funding, but I hope to be back in the K&N Pro Series again next season."
Bobby East continued the championship tradition for Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Saturday night at the famed Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, by earning his second consecutive USAC TRAXXAS Silver Crown Series title.
East, in his second year with Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing, drove his No. 10 Chevrolet Performance/Curb/Beast machine to a sixth-place finish in the 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora. He ended the season with 387 points, six more than runner up Chris Windom. East is the second TSR driver to earn back-to-back Silver Crown titles. The recently retired Levi Jones won the Silver Crown championship in 2010 and 2011.
“This is a great feeling to win our second USAC Silver Crown title,” said East, the 32nd series champion in Silver Crown’s 42-year history. “Last year, we had the perfect scenario of winning the final race and the championship, but tonight we came up a little short in winning the race, but we still got the championship.
“This has been a tough year in a lot of ways. I had the privilege of watching Jason (Leffler) race here (Eldora) many times and have nights just like we had. He was always the first to tell me that a championship isn’t won in a single night, that it takes a whole season. I learned a lot from him and I’m proud to dedicate this year’s championship to his memory.”
A native of Pittsboro, Ind., the 28-year-old East has continued a winning legacy between the East and Stewart names. Bob East Sr. and Stewart, the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, were co-owners of a team that captured four consecutive Silver Crown owner championships between 2002 and 2005.
This year’s Silver Crown championship is Stewart’s 13th as a USAC car owner. Stewart has seven Silver Crown championships and six Sprint Car titles. Stewart now has 17 total owner championships, as TSR is a four-time winner of the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series championship (2001, 2008, 2009 and 2012).
“Winning championships is the result of so many people working toward one goal,” Stewart said. “There is a tremendous amount of pride in winning championships from all of us at TSR and Curb-Agajanian. Bobby and the entire team did a great job again this season winning another USAC Silver Crown championship, which I consider to be one of the most competitive series in all of racing. To win another championship with Curb and our fourth with Chevrolet Performance makes this even more special. We can’t compete at a championship level without these partnerships.”
“We are excited and proud to be associated with Tony Stewart and Bobby East,” said Mike Curb, chairman of Curb Records. “Winning is important to all of us and there’s nothing better than earning a championship. It was exciting to see Bobby and the team earn consecutive USAC Silver Crown titles at the historic Eldora Speedway.”
Consistency is what enabled East to capture his second Silver Crown title and third in USAC. East, winner of the 2004 USAC National Midget Car Series championship, began this season’s Silver Crown title hunt in May with an eighth-place finish in the season-opener at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, and ended the campaign with one victory, three top-fives and five top-10s in the eight races season.
“These guys are awesome – Brad Mariscotti, my dad (Bob East), Warren Beard, who was with us most of the season, and Marty Williams, who helped us the past few races – everyone is just awesome to work with on this team. We had some ups and downs this season, but we never gave up. I’m proud to have had the opportunity to be the driver of this Chevrolet Performance/Curb car. It’s a privilege to work with such a dedicated team and all of their hard work enabled us to bring our partners, Chevrolet Performance and Curb, as well as our owners, Tony Stewart, Mike Curb and Cary Agajanian, another USAC championship.
“My parents, my sisters and my wife – we’re a racing family. My parents have helped me so much and helped me gain the opportunity to advance in the sport. My dad was, again, a huge part in winning this title. He helped us out not only on the pavement, but on the dirt a lot this year, and his knowledge was definitely an asset in putting two championships in a row together. My wife has been my spotter most of the season and she’s been a great asset as well. My mom has been a huge source of support, as have the rest of my family, and that’s been a big part of our success this year.”
Kevin Lepage made a fine return to the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Chevrolet in Saturday’s Kentucky 300 at Kentucky Speedway, scoring a 19th-place run.
Lepage, making a rare visit to the Nationwide Series, started 28th but pushed through the field to reach 17th by the halfway mark. He climbed to 19th by race’s end despite a late-race penalty for jumping a restart.
“We had a pretty good car,” Lepage said. “We probably could have picked up a few more spots. The car got better as the night went along. It was good to be back with Johnny and his guys.”
The race win went to Ryan Blaney, who visited Nationwide victory lane for the first time. He led 96 of the 200 laps, including the final 89.
The Nationwide Series moves on to Dover, Del. for a Sept. 28 race.
JD Motorsports PR
Mike Wallace scored a 22nd-place finish in the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller 01 car in Saturday night’s Kentucky 300 Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway.
Wallace started 31st but showed improvement throughout the race, reaching the mid-20s near the halfway mark and rolling home 22nd.
“We got the car better every time we came in,” Wallace said. “By the end of the race, we were rolling along pretty good. The track kind of came to us.”
Wallace stayed 18th in Nationwide driver points.
Ryan Blaney scored his first career win in the race, leading 96 of the 200 laps, including the final 89.
The Nationwide Series moves on to Dover, Del. for a Sept. 28 race.
JD Motorsports PR
- Richard Childress Racing teammates finished second (Austin Dillon), third (Matt Crafton), 11th (Brian Scott) and 13th (Dakoda Armstrong).
- Dillon is second in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, trailing leader Sam Hornish, Jr. by 15 points, while Scott is seventh in the standings, 79 points behind the leader.
- The No. 3 Chevrolet team ranks fourth in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 2 team ninth in the standings and the No. 33 team 10th.
- According to NASCAR's Post Race Loop Data Statistics, Dillon ranked second in Average Running Position (3.230), maintained the second-best Driver Rating (126.6), had the second-best Green-Flag Speed (172.496 mph), was the second-Fastest Driver Late in a Run (171.003 mph) and spent 100 percent of his laps running in the top-15.
- Crafton ranked fourth in Green-Flag Passes (48).
- Scott led the Closers category, advancing eight positions in the final 10 percent of the race, was fourth-Fastest on Restarts (166.486 mph) and ranked fifth in the Driver Rating category (107.8).
- Armstrong made 12 Quality Passes.
- Combined, the RCR drivers posted the Fastest Laps for 31 circuits with Dillon (25 laps), Crafton (4 laps) and Scott (2 laps).
- Ryan Blaney earned his first career Nationwide Series victory and was followed to the finish line by Dillon, Crafton, Hornish and Alex Bowman.
- The next Nationwide Series race is the Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 28. The 28th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN2 beginning at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time, on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio channel 90.
Brian Scott Earns 11th-Place Finish at Kentucky Speedway Despite Penalty
Brian Scott and Richard Childress Racing's No. 2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet team battled among the top-five for a majority of the 200-lap affair at Kentucky Speedway for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in the Bluegrass State, but a pit road penalty relegated the team to an 11th-place finish. Scott took the green flag from the fourth position and quickly advanced into the second spot, despite reporting to crew chief Phil Gould that he was tight through the center of the corners. NASCAR displayed the yellow flag on lap 25 for a competition caution, which allowed Scott to visit pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. He restarted 12th after several other competitors opted to make a two-tire pit stop. The 25-year old competitor drove up to the third spot by lap 47. Scott remained among the top three until visiting pit road under green-flag conditions for routine service on lap 164. NASCAR relayed to the team that Scott was too fast exiting pit road as the caution-flag was displayed. The Boise, Idaho-native restarted from the rear of the field but was able to advance to 11th, where he took the checkered flag.
Start: 4 Finish: 11 Laps Led: 1 Points: 7th
BRIAN SCOTT QUOTE:
"We had such a strong Shore Lodge Camaro tonight. Phil (Gould) and the guys were strong once again on pit road and we were able to run up front all night. Unfortunately, we got caught speeding and ran out of time to get back up to the front. I'm proud of the crew and looking forward to Dover next week."
Austin Dillon Scores Second-Place Finish in Kentucky 300
Austin Dillon drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet to a second-place finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday evening and remains second in the driver championship point standings, 15 markers behind current leader Sam Hornish, Jr., with six races remaining in the season. After starting the 200-lap race from the third position, Dillon noted a tight-handling condition in the center of the corners during the early stages of the 300-mile event. Crew chief Danny Stockman called for a series of adjustments during a competition caution on lap 25, including air pressure and track bar adjustments during a four-tire and fuel pit stop. With several teams opting to take two tires only, Dillon lost 11 positions on pit road and restarted 13th when green-flag racing resumed on lap 30. Although the team continued to struggle finding the right balance on the No. 3 car during ensuing runs, they gained track position during a two-tire pit stop under caution on lap 62 which positioned Dillon in the third spot for a lap 68 restart. He took control of the race on lap 69, gaining a valuable championship bonus point, then fell to second as a dominate No. 22 entry took the race lead. Dillon challenged to retake the lead during several late-race cautions, but could not put a complete pass together. When the checkered flag waved, Dillon took second in the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet.
Start - 3 Finish - 2 Laps Led - 32 Points - 2 nd
Matt Crafton Earns Third-Place Finish in NASCAR Nationwide Series Event at Kentucky Speedway
In his third and final scheduled 2013 appearance in Richard Childress Racing's No. 33 Rheem/Menards entry, Matt Crafton earned a third-place finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series' Kentucky 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday evening. Crafton qualified the No. 33 car fifth, but dropped to the rear of the field at the start of the 200-lap race to serve a NASCAR-issued penalty for changing a radiator after qualifying. The Tulare, Calif., native quickly advanced his running position, working his way into the 18th spot before the yellow flag was displayed for a NASCAR-mandated competition caution on lap 25. During the caution period, crew chief Ernie Cope directed Crafton down pit road so the RCR crew could service his machine with right-side tires and fuel. Quick work by the team positioned him ninth for the restart on lap 30. The veteran NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver remained in the top-10 for the rest of the race, breaking into the top five at the halfway mark. Routine pit stops under caution flag conditions on laps 63, 108 and 167 helped Cope keep the car's balance to the driver's liking allowing Crafton to ultimately post a third-place finish.
Start - 5 Finish - 3 Laps Led - 0 Owner's Points - 10th
"I have had a blast these past three races with the No. 33 Rheem/Menards team. We definitely had a car capable of winning tonight. These race cars are second-to-none and I look forward to hopefully doing this again next year."
Dakoda Armstrong Secures Career-Best NASCAR Nationwide Series Finish with RCR
Dakoda Armstrong drove the No. 21 WinField Chevrolet to a career-best 13th-place finish at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday evening, marking his fourth of five scheduled NASCAR Nationwide Series starts with Richard Childress Racing. The 22-year-old driver took the green flag from the 21st position and climbed inside the top-20 during the early stages of the event, but reported to crew chief Marcus Richmond he was tight through the corners during his initial run. NASCAR displayed the yellow flag for a competition caution on lap 25, providing Armstrong & Co. an opportunity to bring their Camaro down pit road for two tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. When green-flag racing resumed on lap 30, the New Castle, Ind., native restarted in the 15th position. He reported the changes helped the handling and the car was coming to him as he worked to find the best line through each corner. As the crew continued to improve the handling to his liking throughout the evening, he found himself solidly inside the top-15 in the closing laps. When the checkered flag was displayed he crossed the line in the 13th spot, earning a career-best Nationwide Series finish.
Start: 21 Finish: 13 Laps Led: 0 Owners Points :N/A
DAKODA ARMSTRONG QUOTE:
"We kept improving all night and I think if we could've just had one more adjustment to help me turn off the corners, we could've easily gotten into the top-10. This RCR crew did a great job on pit road all night and we had a competitive WinField Camaro. I can't complain about a 13th-place finish."
The matte black Monster Energy Camry and 26-year-old Drew Herring, a familiar face in the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) portfolio of developmental drivers, tackled Kentucky Speedway together and brought home a sixth-place finish. Herring, a JGR shop employee who strives to become a regular driver on the NASCAR circuit, completed driving duties at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta while regular team driver Kyle Busch prepared for competition at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. After rain cut practice short the first day, Herring and team recorded a solid seventh-place qualifying run, raced hard at the drop of the green flag and drove as high as third place, to then accomplish a sixth-place finish in week 27 of the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
From a seventh-place starting spot, the young Benson, N.C. native took the green flag and immediately gained one position to sixth place, then continued to advance. Once the first event caution appeared at lap 25 of the 200-lap event, Herring and his No. 54 team took advantage of the yellow-flag and visited pit road from fourth place. With a trackbar change, four fresh Goodyear tires and Sunoco fuel replenished, the black machine and No. 54 team were ready to continue their advance towards the front of the field.
A green flag restart on lap 30 and Herring drove to third place, within one lap, what would ultimately be his highest running position of the race. Another yellow-flag caution period at lap 36 and the team chose to remain on the race track. The only comments heard on the radio were that of crew chief Adam Stevens to his rookie driver “save fuel.” Green on lap 41 and the Monster Energy machine maintained its third-place spot. Herring reported to the team that the black machine was “better” then, “a little tight behind the others, but good.” Shortly afterwards the car’s handling started to fade, however, and Herring slipped back to sixth place. “We’ll get it fixed up,” Stevens was heard over the radio, assuring his young driver there was plenty of time left in the race to make further adjustments.
Another pit road visit, under an event caution, and the No. 54 team took on Sunoco fuel only, saving tires for later in the race. A subsequent restart on lap 68 and the 10-time winning crew saw themselves in fourth place as the event neared its halfway point. Herring reported with concern, “I’m wicked loose on entry, especially in traffic.” Under another event caution, the team visited pit road and made further trackbar adjustments, with new tires placed and fuel replenished.
One long green-flag run ensued and while Herring was stronger than his competitors during long runs, he reported the car to still be loose on entry into the turns in traffic and tight on exit off the turns when the No. 54 was alone. A caution flag at lap 166 and the No. 54 team had one more opportunity to make car adjustments. This time Stevens called his young driver down pit road and instructed the team to change all four tires, while other competitors conducted two-tire stops. The move placed the JGR team in sixth-place but with more fresh Goodyears under their chassis, they hoped to ultimately earn better track position.
“It’s GO time bud,” Stevens was heard over the radio to Herring, sixth at the green-flag restart, then quickly recorded in the fourth position as he drove with purpose. “Great work here dude, just keep your tires clean,” Stevens relayed again to the hopeful rookie. Herring would drive up to the third position, once more, on lap 177. With the closing laps of the race in sight, the team was looking towards a top-three finish.
The result would end differently, though, when two more event cautions would occur, bunching up the field and causing traffic for the Monster Energy driver. A battle with JGR teammate Brian Vickers in the No. 20 and subsequent position challenges by desperate competitors, proved challenging for Herring, who fought hard and ended with a sixth-place spot.
A disappointed Herring commented post-race, "I just want to thank everyone on this Monster Energy team, Adam Stevens and the No. 11 Cup guys for coming and helping us out. It was just a frustrating finish, we fought all day, we weren’t quite where we wanted to be, but Adam kept making great adjustments all night and we kept getting better. It’s the same program we do every week, with the limited track time I get, I don’t want to step over my limit and so we just ride it out, save the finish, save the car. There at the end we made a charge from sixth to fourth and we were right were we needed to be. But the cautions didn’t fall our way, we were too free on restarts getting into the corner and it took four or five laps for us to get better…just frustrating. Tonight was definitely different from the last time I ran Kentucky Speedway. Running at night tends to free up the car more so we really had trouble getting into the corner. All in all I just want to thank everyone again. It’s just frustrating to end the year like this.”
The No. 54 Monster Energy team owned by J.D. Gibbs remains in second place in the Owner’s Point standings, now trailing the race-winning No. 22 Roger Penske Ford by 23 markers.
Ryan Blaney won the event, his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win in 15 starts. The No. 22 Ford was followed by Austin Dillon, Matt Crafton, Sam Hornish Jr. and Alex Bowman. There were nine caution periods for 44 laps of the race along with six lead changes across six drivers.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series competes again on September 28th at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, with television broadcast starting at 3:30pm ET on ESPN2. Kyle Busch will make his 21st start behind the wheel of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Monster Energy Camry.