Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Rain has postponed the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after the completion of Stage 1.

All Saturday tickets will be honored on Sunday, and seating priority will go to those with Pennzoil 400 tickets. Saturday ticket holders will have access to standing room only areas for the Pennzoil 400.

The race is scheduled for completion on Sunday, and will be run after the conclusion of the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube. The Boyd Gaming 300 will resume approximately one hour after the Cup race concludes.

Club and suite ticket holders for the Boyd Gaming 300 will be admitted to the grandstands for the Pennzoil 400 – which begins at 12:30 p.m. – on Sunday, but will not be allowed to access the premium areas until 30 minutes after the Cup Series race concludes.

The Pennzoil 400 will air live on FOX at 12:30 p.m., and the Boyd Gaming 300 will follow with live coverage on FS1.

LVMS PR

What seemed like an eternity was actually 19 seconds.

After Ryan Newman’s battered race car came to rest last Monday at the end of the tri-oval in a brutal wreck at the finish of the Daytona 500, it took only 19 seconds for the first emergency vehicle to arrive, according to a chronology provided by NASCAR officials during a question-and-answer session with reporters on Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“The tool truck arrived at the vehicle 19 seconds after it came to rest,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “The fireman that you saw with the extinguisher was in that vehicle. One of the three trauma doctors assigned to the safety team for the race arrived at the car at the 33‑second mark, and a paramedic entered the vehicle at the 35‑second mark.

“For the next three and a half minutes, two doctors and paramedics attended to Ryan. At the 4:05 mark, the decision was then made to roll the car over while continuing to help aid the driver. At the 6:56 mark, the car was upright. The extrication team then began cutting the car, and a doctor continued to provide treatment.

“The roof was removed at the 11:10 mark, and the extrication was completed at 15:40, and the driver was then moved to the ambulance for transport. During this entire time, doctors and paramedics were attending to Ryan, except at the moment of the car rollover.”

Newman, who was taken directly to the Halifax Medical Center and released from the hospital on Wednesday, may well have benefitted from the so-called “Newman bar,” reinforcement for the roll cage that strengthened the roof and the windshield that was implemented after a wreck involving Newman in 2013.

“So when we look at the cars and look back at what we've been able to do with the cars as an industry, we've been able to make improvements,” said Dr. John Patalak, NASCAR’s senior director of safety engineering. “The one you've referenced in 2013 with the additional roll bars and the roof and the windshield area… we were also able to do things with the laminate windshield in 2013 and improved window net mounting in 2013.

“All of those things really contribute and work together as an assembly to improve the overall outcomes to what we saw in Daytona.”

“I think, just to add to that, John and I were talking earlier about the fact that Ryan Newman was involved in this accident, with his engineering background, has been someone who we have turned to in many times talking about safety enhancements,” rejoined O’Donnell.

“One of the reasons you won't hear as many details today is we still haven't had the chance to go through this with Ryan and his team, with the other drivers in the garage, but Ryan's feedback as we go through this will be key, and I think that'll be a key component as it's always been throughout the process when he's been racing.”

Both Newman’s car and the No. 32 of Corey LaJoie, which collided with Newman’s Ford as it flipped upside-down, were destroyed in the wreck, and both were taken to NASCAR’s R&D Center in Concord, N.C., for further inspection and evaluation.

 

MARTIN TRUEX JR. ELATED TO SEE CLOSE FRIEND RYAN NEWMAN AFTER WRECK

Driver Martin Truex Jr. and long-time girlfriend Sherry Pollex were among the first to see Ryan Newman after he was released from Halifax Medical Center on Wednesday.

The relief and elation were still evident when Truex stopped by the media center on Saturday, after rain washed our NASCAR Cup Series qualifying and put Truex on the outside of the front row, based on final 2019 owner points.

“It was cool to just go down there and see him and make sure he was OK,” Truex said. “Really, Sherry and I just wanted him to know we were there for him if he needed anything. It was cool. It was good to see the good shape he was in. It was a little surprising as well.

“We’re planning fishing trips already, so it was a fun visit to hang out. I’ve been talking to him throughout the week, obviously. He’s doing real good. I feel like he’ll be back before anybody thinks he could. He’s a tough son of a gun. He’s in good spirits and hanging out with his family, so he’s doing well.”

Truex didn’t have any qualms, though, about some playful ribbing of his friend.

“He’s got no neck and a big hard head, so that helps for sure,” Truex said. “I told him this week he’s lucky he’s such a hard-headed son of a gun. All those things, and God was riding with him. What else can you say? It was a scary wreck, for sure. Hopefully, we don’t have to worry about things like that, for sure. We just have to figure out ways to keep the cars on the ground.”

 

KEVIN HARVICK ISSUES CHALLENGE TO KYLE BUSCH’S DOMINATION IN TRUCKS

With seeming ease, Kyle Busch won Friday night’s Strat 200 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was Busch’s seventh straight victory in as many starts in his own trucks.

But when fans on Twitter decried the reigning NASCAR Cup champion’s moonlighting in the Gander Truck Series, fellow Cup champ Kevin Harvick came to his defense, offering a $50,000 bounty if any driver could beat Busch in any of his four remaining truck races this year (Atlanta, Homestead, Texas and Kansas).

The rules are simple. The Cup driver has to beat Busch fair and square, without wrecking him.

Marcus Lemonis, owner of the series sponsor, chimed in with an offer to match Harvick’s $50,000. Naturally enough, Busch wanted to know what he would get if he kept the competition at bay for all four races.

“If you put money on a bounty on somebody, then bad things tend to happen,” Busch said. “Make it whatever you want. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ve got great stuff, I’m a good driver—bring it.”

Harvick later tweeted that, if Busch wins the challenge, he would donate the $50,000 to the Bundle of Joy Fund founded by Busch and his wife Samantha to help couples who are having difficulty conceiving children.

Austin Hill cashed in at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) on Friday night with a third-place finish, his first top-five of the year, and continued his strong start to the 2020 campaign. The result earned Hill the lead in the points standings after two events, and marks the second time in his career that the driver of the No. 16 United Rentals Toyota Tundra has led the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series championship standings.
 
Hill’s evening began from the sixth position after a strong performance in qualifying and climbed as high as third in the opening stage. Despite having cleaner air, Hill dealt with a tight handling condition which contributed to concerns about tire wear in the first stint. In the closing laps of Stage 1, Hill was forced to conserve his tires as excessive wear on the left front tire burned through the tread and down to the cords. As a result, Hill ran fifth at the lap 30 stage caution and collected six points.
 
Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the United Rentals team gave Hill four tires under the stage caution as well as fuel and air pressure adjustments to improve the handling and tire wear. Despite quick work on pit road, Hill was tagged with a pit road penalty and restarted the race in 27th on lap 39. The balance of Stage 2 ran under green and allowed Hill to advance through the pack and into 12th by lap 60.
 
Zipadelli and company dialed up the same plan and adjustments on pit road, as a lightning quick pit stop allowed Hill to restart seventh on lap 68. Hill stayed committed to the bottom side of the speedway on the restarts and allowed him to advance inside the top five by the race’s final caution on lap 91. The Winston, Ga wheelman had to navigate a chaotic restart with three-wide racing on lap 96 after restarting sixth and immediately jumped back into the top five. Hill took over the third position on lap 102 and held off a strong challenge from the No. 88 truck in the waning laps to finish in a podium position. The third-place result is Hill’s third top-10 finish at LVMS in five starts and earned him the lead in the championship standings by nine points.
 
Austin Hill Quote:
“If you look at our left front (tire), it’s all corded. This tire that we brought just wasn’t what we needed. I’ve always went by the philosophy that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. They came with a different tire compound and we just struggled all night finding grip. I could only run the bottom, I couldn’t run up the racetrack any, and if I did it was just a four-wheel slide. I felt like we were on top of the racetrack. Can’t thank United Rentals enough for coming on board. Our Tundra was okay early in the run, but then once the tire wear came in and the left front started cording, there’s really nothing else you can do. I have to thank my guys Scott (Zipadelli, crew chief) and all the guys at the shop. Eddie (D'Hondt) up in the spotter’s stand, he gave me a lot of tips and tricks in the race that seemed to help me get back up to the front. It was an okay day for us. I wanted to race against Kyle (Busch), but we weren’t good enough.”
 
HRE PR
Tanner Gray, No. 15 Ford Performance F-150
 
Start: 14th
Finish: 8th 
  • Stage One: 20th
  • Stage Two: 11th
  • Stage Three: 8th
 
  • Tanner Gray and the No. 15 Ford Performance team started the Strat 200 from the 14th position. He fought the handling of his F-150 throughout Stage One, reporting that he was way too free and loose off of corner exit. Gray made it through the first 30 laps without incident but was scored 20th when the stage-ending caution came out. Crew Chief Shane Wilson called for major adjustments along with four tires and fuel under caution.
  • The adjustments proved to be helpful as Gray had worked himself up to the 12th position by lap 50 of the 134 lap race. When the green-white-checkered flag flew to end Stage 2, the No. 15 Ford Performance team was scored 11th. Gray once again brought his F-150 down pit road under caution for four tires, fuel and more adjustments to help with the handling.
  • Gray started Stage Three from the 11th position. When the caution came out on lap 89 for a wreck, he was scored eighth. The team called him down pit road for the last pit stop of the night, where they set him up for the final long green-flag run. On the restart, Gray got a great run and worked himself up to third, and eventually went on to battle back and forth for the second position. He reported that the truck was starting to get more free every lap and eventually lost some of his momentum as the laps wound down. Gray ended the night with an eighth-place finish in his first race at the mile-and-a-half track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
  • Gray collected his first top-10 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series finishes and sits 17th in Driver Point Standings after two races this season.
 
Gray on Las Vegas: "Obviously it was good to get up front and be behind Kyle [Busch] and learn from him, but I'm also disappointed because I had them over adjust there on that last stop and we just ended up too free. All in all, it was a good night. I'm really happy with everyone at DGR-Crosley, they put together an awesome truck, and I feel like we had a pretty fast Ford F-150. It's good to have a race like this and get some confidence to learn and build off it. We'll go back to the shop and regroup to get ready for Atlanta, but it's hard not to be happy with that."
 
DGR Crosley PR

 

Start: 25th
Finish: 7th
  • Stage One: 14th
  • Stage Two: 9th
  • Stage Three: 7th
 
  • After struggling with the handling of the Speedco F-150 in practice and qualifying, Gilliland started the Strat 200 from the 25th position. He quickly started making up ground when the green flag flew, moving up 11 spots in one lap. He maintained the 14th position for the duration of Stage One. When the green-white-checkered flag was displayed after 30 laps of racing, Gilliland reported that his F-150 was handling loose, and it progressively got worse as the run went on. The No. 38 team called him in under the caution where they made major adjustments as well as took four tires and fuel. Gilliland's pit crew was impressive all night. They earned eight spots on pit road during the first pit stop of the night.
  • When Stage Two went green, Gilliland's Speedco F-150 seemed to be handling better. He was running inside the top-five by lap 50 of the Strat 200. As the long green-flag run went on, the handling started to go away, and Gilliland was fighting a loose truck for the last 10 laps of Stage Two. He ended the stage in the ninth-position, gaining two stage points. When the stage-ending caution came out, Gilliland pitted for fuel four tires, and another round of adjustments to set him up for the final run.
  • Gilliland's F-150 looked the best that it had all night at the beginning of Stage Three. Starting from the third position, he chased down the second-place truck by lap 70. As the long green-flag run went on, Gilliland again started fighting the handling losing several positions. With 25 laps remaining in the Strat 200, he was sitting in 10th place. With a strong run in the closing laps, the No. 38 Speedco F-150 was able to gain three more spots and come away with a seventh-place finish.
  • The Front Row Motorsports team collected their first top-10 finish in NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series competition when Gilliland took the checkered from in the seventh position. After two races this season, Gilliland moved up to ninth in Driver Point Standings.
 
Gilliland on Las Vegas: "My Speedco team fought through a lot of adversity today. We were 27th in practice, so we changed all four springs and all four shocks before the race and still went out and qualified 25th. Obviously, we aren't happy with those results. A lot of people would have gotten down, but we stuck together great as a team and fought through it. My pit crew really saved us tonight -- I think they gained like 20 spots overall tonight. We win and lose as a team, and overall I'm really happy with the outcome. I never thought that we'd walk away with a seventh-place finish the way that we unloaded this morning."
 
FRM PR
Raphael Lessard was relegated to a 30th-place finish in the Strat 200 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in his first start on a 1.5-mile speedway. The young driver qualified eighth in one round of single-vehicle qualifying, and then was running in the top-10 before a pit stop miscue cost him track position. The Canadian teenager was able to climb back into the top-10, but then lost control of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra and hit the wall, ending his evening.
 
 
Stage One Recap:
  • Lessard earned the eighth starting spot in one lap of single vehicle qualifying on Friday afternoon.
  • In the opening laps, Lessard reported that his truck was loose, but he was able to maintain position in the top-10.
  • Lessard finished the first stage in sixth.
  • Crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. called the talented teenager to pit road for four tires and fuel during the stage break.
 
 
Stage Two Recap:
  • Lessard started the second stage in fifth.
  • Lessard worked his way up to third, but then was hung out of the draft and shuffled back to tenth.
  • The young driver was able to finish the second stage in eighth.
  • Following the conclusion of Stage 2, Hillman Jr. brought the Canadian driver to pit road for four Goodyear tires and Sunoco fuel, but the pit crew did not tighten enough lug nuts on one wheel and Hillman called the No. 4 back down pit road to fix it.
 
Stage Three Recap:
  • Lessard began the final stage in 20th position, but quickly began to move toward the front of the pack.
  • By lap 84, Lessard managed to return to the top-10.
  • Only six laps later while riding in the top-10, Lessard lost control of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra and hit the wall, causing him to retire the machine and resulting in a 30th-place finish.

KBM PR

Kyle Busch and the No. 51 Cessna/Beechcraft team put on a dominating performance and led 108 of 134 laps en route to victory in the Strat 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The No. 51 team posted the 14th-fastest time in one practice on Friday morning, and then Busch qualified his Tundra in the third position in one round of single-vehicle qualifying.
 
After the green flag fell, Busch wasted no time making his way to the front of the field once the green flag fell. He took the lead on lap 12, with teammate Christian Eckes close behind, then won the first and second stages, only giving the lead up after pit stops. Busch would go on to lead seven times for 108 of 134 laps to earn his 209th career NASCAR National Series win and his 57th victory in 151 Gander Trucks races. Busch has four more scheduled NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races this season.
 
Stage One Recap:
  • Qualifying for the event consisted of one round of single truck qualifying, and Busch earned the third starting position.
  • Busch took the lead on lap 12, and led the rest of the laps until the stage caution on lap 30.
  • At the stage conclusion, crew chief Danny Stockman brought Busch to pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires and a tank full of Sunoco fuel.
 
Stage Two Recap:
  • Busch began the second stage in second place and battled with teammate Christian Eckes for the lead, eventually taking it on lap 45 and winning the second stage.
  • During the second stage, Busch reported that the handling of his Tundra was one number loose.
  • Stockman called him to pit road following the end of the stage for four more Goodyear tires and Sunoco fuel.
 
Stage Three Recap:
  • The 34-year-old owner-driver began the final stage at the front of the field and battled back and forth with the No. 2 truck, but eventually would lead the final 37 laps.
  • With 43 laps to go, the caution flag flew and Stockman brought Busch to pit road for the final time for four tires and fuel.
  • Busch earned his third victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Gander Trucks Series and his first victory of 2020 in the Strat 200. This is his 57th overall Gander Trucks win and his 209th National Series win.

KBM PR

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