Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest
Eric McClure and the No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® Racing™ team started Saturday’s Dollar General 300 from the 30th position and finished the 200-lap event as follows:
25th- Eric McClure, No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® Toyota Camry
- At the drop of the green flag, McClure immediately reported that his car was extremely loose on entry and exit of the turns. As a result, he slipped to the 34th position by lap two.
- One lap later, a caution allowed the 33-year-old Virginia driver to bring the car to the attention of the crew for a track-bar adjustment and fuel. The Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® Camry returned to the track in the 32nd position for the lap seven restart.
- As the race progressed, the car’s handling improved on entry but was too tight in the center of the turns. Scored in the 33rd position when the event’s second caution flag waved on lap 39, McClure returned to pit road for tires, fuel, and track-bar and air-pressure adjustments. When the race resumed on lap 44, he was scored in the 27th position.
- Over the next 50 laps, the car remained too tight in the center of the turns; consequently, McClure lost two positions in the running order. Following a quick routine green flag pit stop on lap 97, McClure was able to regain one of the positions lost when he returned to the track two laps shy of the halfway point of the race.
- During the ensuing green flag run, the car’s handling seemed to improve as McClure was able to advance to the 26th position by lap 107.
- When the yellow flag waved on lap 124, McClure returned to pit road for a final pit stop for tires, fuel, and a small chassis adjustment. He returned to the track in the 25th position where he remained for the final76 laps.
- With the 25th-place finish, McClure maintained the 17th position in the NASCAR Driver point standings.
TriStar Motorsports PR
Jason White and his GB Racing team once again battled the balance of their No. 23 GunBroker.com Ford as well as classic NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racing on Saturday night at Iowa Speedway. When the checkered flag flew, White and his No. 23 Ford crossed the finish line in the 12th position in the running of the American Ethanol 200 at the Newton, Iowa track.
White started the 200-lap event from the 19th position as a result of his qualifying effort earlier on a beautiful day in the Heartland. The early portion of the 175-mile event would see the No. 23 GunBroker.com Ford maintain its track position. But it didn’t take long for things to get interesting as Jason encountered some early on track contact. The GB Racing team endured multiple trips down pit road for necessary repairs but remained on the lead lap and with some creative pit strategy was towards the front of the field late in the race. In the end, Jason came home with a battered No. 23 GunBroker.com Ford and a hard fought 12th-place finish.
“That was a bizarre and crazy race out there tonight,” stated White. “We battled a lot of elements tonight and I think we had damage on all four corners of our truck at the end of the night. Once we received so much damage our GunBroker.com Ford just didn’t handle like it needed to, so we just fought hard for all we could get and come home with a solid finish.”
The hard fought finish moves White up one position to ninth position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers’ standings – 44 points out of the eighth position.
“We didn’t have the handle on our truck early in the weekend, but we made the necessary adjustments and right there before we received the damage we were pretty good,” added Jason. All of us on the GunBroker.com team fought hard as a group and once again came home with a solid finish. This team has done this all year and we will continue to battle throughout the end of the season.”
Jason and his GunBroker.com team return to action on Friday September 21st as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series makes it second visit to Kentucky Speedway for the running of the Kentucky 201.
Jason White PR
NASCAR has reinstated driver AJ Allmendinger upon his successful completion of NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery Program. Allmendinger had been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on July 24 for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy.
“I want to thank everyone for their support through this entire process,” said Allmendinger. “I appreciate that NASCAR created the the Road to Recovery program, and am grateful for the opportunity to return to competition. The Road to Recovery program was really helpful to me in getting my priorities reset away from the race track. And, honestly, that helped find my love of racing again and why I began racing in the first place. I’m looking forward to taking this experience and be better for it moving forward.”
AJ Allmendinger PR
After not making the Chase last weekend at Richmond, Carl Edwards felt this weekend’s race at Chicago was the start to his quest for the 2013 championship. After adjustments early in the race the No. 99 Fastenal Ford was in the top 10 until a pit road speeding penalty ultimately left Edwards with a 19th-place finish.
He started the 267-lap race in fifth place but fell back early as the car was too tight. The Fastenal Blue Team used the first few pit stops to work on the car’s handling. By lap 100 he was in 13th place.
For the first time in quite a while, Edwards caught a break on lap 150. While running 18th he was about to make a green-flag pit stop but a caution came just before he hit pit road, so he was able to stay out and gain valuable track position by pitting under caution. He was up to eighth when the race resumed on lap 158.
The adjustments the team made throughout the race seemed to help as Edwards was able to maintain his position in the top 10. His luck turned during a routine pit stop on lap 189. It looked as though he would restart 10th until NASCAR issued a pit road speeding penalty for being too fast entering the pits. The penalty put Edwards at the back of the lead lap cars so he was forced to drop back to 24th when the race resumed on lap 195.
Edwards spent the remainder of the race trying to regain his track position, but without another caution that task was a challenge. The field was spread out so he was only able to work his way up to 19th before the race ended.
Brad Keselowski won the race followed by Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman. Tony Stewart, Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top 10.
“The pit road speeding penalty hurt us for sure,” Edwards said. “We kept working on the car during every stop and could have had a top-10 finish today. We’ve still got nine races left this season and we are determined to get this team in victory lane.”
Edwards and the No. 99 team lost one spot and are 15th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. The next race will be Sunday, September 23 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The race will begin at 2:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN.
Roush Fenway Racing PR
Sunday’s GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway was the first race of the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup, and Wisconsin-native, Matt Kenseth, was thrilled to start off the 10-race event in the Midwest. After a strong qualifying effort set up Kenseth’s Best Buy Ford to start from third, the team lost track position in the last half of the race after a shock fell off the No. 17 Ford, relegating Kenseth to finish 18th. Due to the disappointing finish on Sunday, Kenseth fell to 11th in the Chase standings.
The field took the green flag at 1:20pm CST as Kenseth’s Best Buy Ford began the 267-lap event. During the opening run, Kenseth radioed in to crew chief Jimmy Fennig that the No. 17 machine kept getting looser in and off the corners the more laps he ran. The car was also tight across the center due to the aero-sensitivity of the track. Fennig talked to his driver about possible changes for the first pit stop including air pressure and wedge.
Green-flag pit stops began to cycle through the field around lap 42. Fennig waited for the leaders to cycle through their pit stops so that Kenseth could get a bonus point for leading a lap before he called his driver down pit road on lap 48. The team serviced the car with four tires, fuel, air pressure and wedge adjustments. Shortly after the stop however, Kenseth called in over team radio that the Best Buy Ford was now looser in and off than it had been, and suggested to his team that they put the latest round of changes back into the car on the next stop.
Thankfully a caution came on lap 65 which allowed the team to make a round of sweeping changes to the car’s set-up including a pulled shim, as well as track bar and air pressure settings when they pitted for four tires on lap 68. Kenseth restarted 12th and had driven his way back into the top ten before another caution came on lap 101. Under this second caution of the race, Kenseth told his team that looseness continued to be his biggest challenge on the track and Fennig once again called for four tires, fuel, and air during the pit stop on lap 102.
The Best Buy Ford did seem to improve its front grip over the next run following the adjustments, but the looseness in and off the corners still challenged Kenseth as he fought to stay within the top 12 on track. Another round of green-flag pit stops cycled through the field, and on lap 148 Fennig opted to pit for four tires as the team put a spring rubber in the left rear in an effort to help tighten the car up. As Kenseth was exiting pit road, a caution came out which trapped him a lap down.
Fortunately, Kenseth was able to do the wave around, which meant that since he didn’t pit under yellow, he would remain on the lead lap. The Best Buy Ford restarted 12th on lap 158, but immediately following the restart, the team saw Kenseth drop through the field quickly. Just six laps after the restart, Kenseth was back in 24th as he radioed in to his team that it felt as though something was wrong with one of the shocks on the car. As the team was trying to assess what might have happened, a NASCAR official brought a shock down to the pit stall which they had found out on the track.
Kenseth’s Best Buy Ford was in fact missing the right front shock and the pit crew scrambled in the pit to prepare for the necessary repairs that they hoped would come under a yellow flag.
A caution came on lap 189, and Kenseth came down pit road for several rounds of repair work on his No. 17 machine as the team worked feverishly to install a new shock. The Best Buy pit crew made quick repairs and was able to keep Kenseth on the lead lap when the field restarted on lap 195. In the end however, Kenseth was able to drive his way up to 18th but ran out of time to make up any more ground before the end of the race.
“We just didn’t have a fast car to start with,” commented Kenseth following Sunday’s race. “We had a really good qualifying lap, and some good track position that I thought might help us sneak out a top-10 finish, which still isn’t good enough, but it would have kept us in the game. When we had that problem with the shock, we got so far behind, but thankfully we were able to stay on the lead lap. I was just stuck near the back and couldn’t go anywhere. “
Brad Keselowski earned the first win of the 2012 Chase Sunday afternoon at Chicago as he beat runner-up Jimmy Johnson to the finish. Johnson and his teammate, Kasey Kahne, rounded out the top three finishers in the GEICO 400. Kenseth’s 18th-place finish found him dip down to 11th in the Chase driver point standings.
Next weekend, the Sprint Cup Series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the second race of the Chase, the Sylvania 300. Pre-race television coverage begins on Sunday, September 23rd at 1:00 p.m. EST on ESPN. Radio coverage will be provided by the Performance Racing Network (PRN.)
Roush Fenway Racing PR
Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished inside the top 10 as Hendrick Motorsports opened the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in a promising way on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway.
Misfortune struck Jeff Gordon, as his No. 24 Chevrolet was sidelined after a late-race incident.
Here is the race breakdown by team:
Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet:
Chase position: Fifth.
Race recap: Kahne improved three spots within the first two circuits of Sunday’s race to run third, two places behind leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson. The driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet continued his forward march and took over second on Lap 8. Kahne maintained his position inside the top 10 as the race unfolded. By the 100-mile mark, he reported that his No. 5 Chevy was a bit loose and that his splitter needed some attention. Crew chief Kenny Francis and the No. 5 team addressed the issue on the ensuing stop. Kahne, driving the chassis he used to win May’s 600-mile event at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, remained a factor in the race. He worked with Francis through various handling adjustments during the 267-lap event, and when the checkered flag waved, he crossed the line to take third, matching, his best result at Chicagoland’s 1.5-mile Speedway. Kahne catapults six spots in the Chase standings to fifth.
Kahne says: “The Farmers Insurance Chevy was good all day. We had a great car. The pit stops were awesome, and I felt good about it.”
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet
Chase position: 12th.
Race recap: Within the first nine laps of Sunday’s race at Chicagoland, Gordon improved from 19th to run 14th. The driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet climbed into the top 10 well before green-flag stops began at the 1.5-mile speedway and was running seventh by Lap 62. Gordon also found track position through solid pit stops and improved two spots early by taking two tires. He was battling for fifth place on Lap 73 and took fourth five laps later thanks to adjustments made by crew chief Alan Gustafson during the previous pit stop. An early developing loose-handling condition was quickly fixed when the No. 24 team wiped debris off Gordon’s grille. The driver of the No. 24 Chevy stayed inside the top 10, but encountered an unfortunate setback on Lap 187. At that point, Gordon reported that the throttle on his No. 24 Chevy stuck slightly and prompted him to collide with the wall in Turn 1. Gordon reported to his team that was he was OK, but his run was finished for the day, and he brought the No. 24 Chevrolet to the garage. He returned to the track later in the race and finished 35th.
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Kobalt Tools Chevrolet
Chase position: Second.
Race recap: Johnson, driving the same chassis he used to win twice this year, opened the 267-lap event from the No. 1 spot and claimed the lead on Lap 4. Throughout green-flag pit stops and caution period, Johnson spent the majority of the race pacing the field. As the race unfolded, fuel mileage and a piece of trash on the grille became concerns for the No. 48 team. Both issues were resolved quickly, as Johnson managed to clean the grille and then a Lap 187 caution period gave Johnson the chance to hit pit road. With two tires and fuel, Johnson filed off pit road alongside Brad Keselowski, who became competition for the lead in the final third of the race. On the restart, Johnson lined up on the inside and immediately sped out to take the lead yet again. Johnson pitted once more with 38 laps to go for four tires and fuel and returned to the track, where he encountered Keselowski once more. Keselowski made a debatable exit from pit road and eventual pass that he used to take the lead. Johnson, who led 172 laps, finished second.
Johnson says: “Great way to start the Chase for us. It’s 10 long races, and a lot can happen. To come out of here second is a great day.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet
Chase position: Seventh.
Race recap: Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified fourth for Sunday’s 267-lap event at Chicagoland Speedway, but was required to start from the rear of the field after an engine change on Saturday. The driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet thought he had a right-rear tire going down early, but realized quickly that wasn’t the case and was the biggest mover early in the race, cracking the top 13 by Lap 51. He subsequently gained five spots on pit road during green-flag stops. By Lap 76, Earnhardt cracked the top 10 and all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers – and Chase contenders – were running inside the top 10 at Chicagoland. Earnhardt had just made a pit stop when the caution flag was waved on Lap 148 and decided to take the wave-around during the ensuing yellow-flag period to stay on the lead lap. Earnhardt steered his No. 88 Chevy back into the top 10 as the race unfolded and finished eighth.
Earnhardt says: “We had a great car at the start to the first half of the race. We made a couple of adjustments; they just really didn’t help us out. We sort of made the car ordinary and just kind of had to maintain track position. Some guys had some trouble, and we’re still in the fight. So we’ll go into the next one still with a shot.”
Hendrick Motorsports PR
Bringing new leadership to Breaking Limits, the company announced today the hiring of Ken Cohn to serve as the company's Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Cohn brings more than 20 years of experience to the full-service sports marketing agency and will begin his duties immediately.
Cohn will work to continue to grow Breaking Limits' core capabilities including communications, consulting and events as well as focus on new business opportunities. Cohn brings to the company veteran, hands-on experience, in a variety of capacities, to help the company grow.
"Ken brings diverse experience across the sports & entertainment industry," said Mark Hughes, Chief Financial Officer. "This is a critical component to making our business stronger and allowing us to provide industry leading services to our current clients. At the same time, Ken is going to focus on new opportunities as we concentrate on further growing our business."
This is not Cohn's first senior leadership role at an agency. He served as Vice President for Millsport, where he was responsible for brand-centric strategic counsel and platform activation, as well as client account management and business development. While at Millsport, Cohn helped launch the Motorsports DBI, the agency's proprietary index measuring fan perspectives about NASCAR, NHRA and Indy Car drivers.
Previously, Cohn worked for NASCAR in New York City overseeing multiple league sponsorships for the sanctioning body including those with General Motors, Gatorade, True Value, Nabisco and M&M's.
Prior to working for NASCAR, Cohn managed Pepsi's sports and entertainment marketing platforms for Tracy Locke, an agency in Connecticut. Lastly, Cohn spent time working in minor league sports for franchises including the Cleveland Lumberjacks and Columbus Chill.
Most recently, Cohn was the Senior Vice President for Cagnazzi Racing, a two time NHRA championship race team. There he led the multi-car organization in a variety of areas including business development, client account management and business operations. He is now ready to apply his multi-faceted expertise within Breaking Limits.
A graduate of Indiana University, Cohn lives in Charlotte, N.C., with his wife and two children.
Breaking Limits PR
MacDonald Motorsports is proud to announce that Thrush & Son Complete HomeImprovement and Hi-Technologieshave partnered with the team for the Kentucky 300 on Saturday, September 22nd. The local company out of nearby Brookville, Ohio is growing tremendously and extremely excited about the opportunity of working with a NASCAR team at their home racetrack.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to team up with MacDonald Motorsports and proud to have to have a quality, up and coming driver, such as Jason, driving the #81 Thrush & Son/H.I Technologies car,” stated W. Allen Thrush. “Randy does a great job running a first class organization.”
“It’s always great to bring in new partners to our team, especially a great company like Thrush & Son Complete Home Improvement,”explained Jason Bowles. “Anything you need for your home improvement project can be attained from Thrush & Son so if you have a project coming up, make sure to check them out.”
Thrush & Son Complete Home Improvement Company has been a respected leader in the home improvement industry since 1960 and has been recognized in numerous national publications. Thrush & Son takes pride in their quality craftsmanship and the fact that after 52 years of setting the standard in the industry, they are still truly a family owned and operated business. Whether your home has been damaged by a severe storm or you are interested in a new roof, windows, siding, patio covers, gutters, or insulation Thrush & Son has all the bases covered when it comes to transforming a house into a dream home. Take the next step and check them out at www.thrushandson.com.
“It has always been Thrush & Son’s goal to succeed and continuously grow, and for over 52 years we have done so in our industry,” stated W. Allen Thrush. “ It is an honor to team up with a company that has the same goals in mind and continues to grow and succeed, while doing it with the principles that we believe in, honesty, integrity and faith. ”
Also on the MacDonald Motorsports No. 81 of Jason Bowles this weekend in Kentucky is another W. Allen Thrush and family company, H.I. Technologies. H.I. Technologies features a 100% web based business solution called C.H.I.P. C.H.I.P is a computer software that was developed to save time, money and promote efficiency in the home improvement industry. CHIP tracks closing rates while also controlling commissions of a company’s sales force and contracted labor costs. This program organizes customers’ information and record keeping. It also configures mailing lists, creates material orders and generates all work orders for projects that are sold. C.H.I.P. also offers the capability to track profit and loss for each project that is entered into the program to let an owner or manager know where they stand on that job. All of this is done with a few simple clicks of a button and can be accessed anywhere via internet explorer.
Heading into the race, Jason and the team are confident they can bounce back from the problems last week in Chicago. Bowles qualified 19thand finished 22nd earlier this season at Kentucky.
“We ran pretty strong at Kentucky earlier this year and I think we can be even stronger this time out,”said Bowles. “Going back to these tracks for the second time should really start to benefit us for these final seven races and hopefully we can string together some nice runs to finish off the season.”
MacDonald Motorsports PR
Season of Improvements: Timothy Peters and the No. 17 Red Horse Racing team travel to Kentucky Speedway this weekend for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kentucky 201. This Friday's main event marks the second trip to the 1.5-mile track this season, with the first visit in June producing a fifth place finish.
Peters has already posted more top-five finishes this season after 16 races than any other entire season in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) career. He hasn't been able to pinpoint one specific thing that has changed this season, but names several small changes among the entire No. 17 Red Horse Racing team that have attributed to the successes they've had through the first 15 events.
"It's a lot of little things that at the end of the day have made a piece of the puzzle a lot bigger. Last season, Butch Hylton and I worked together and with the team to get our communication better, and by the time we got to Homestead we were just getting into a good groove. Our trucks were getting better. I was more comfortable in the seat and we were communicating. In the off-season, we took what we learned and really went to work with the entire organization to make everything just a little better. We have Joe Gibbs engines this year and they've been great, along with all of the things that Toyota Racing Development provides to this team," Peters explained.
"I wanted to get in a little bit better shape physically, so I started going to the gym. Little things like that just let the guys know if they're going the extra mile, I want to go the extra mile with them. At the end of the day, it's been a lot of little things that have really contributed to our success this year and it's been cool so far."
Weekend Appearances: Timothy Peters will join teammates Parker Kligerman and Todd Bodine, along with the rest of the NCWTS drivers, for a fan autograph session on Friday afternoon from 3-3:45 pm. Kentucky Speedway ticket holders can meet their favorite competitors and get an autograph in the fan concourse prior to qualifying for the Kentucky 201.
Previous Race Recap: Defending Iowa Speedway race winner Timothy Peters headed into Saturday's American Ethanol 200 presented by Hy-Vee with the bar set high to complete the sweep at the Midwest short track. Optimistic to put together commanding run against the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series field, the No. 17 Red Horse Racing crew worked diligently to give Peters a competitive Tundra throughout both practice sessions and qualifying. From his 10th place starting position, Peters was well on his way to another solid night before contact with another competitor and the outside retaining wall relegated him to a 19th place finish.
Chassis History: Crew chief Butch Hylton and the No. 17 team have chosen to utilize their most popular intermediate track chassis for the Kentucky 201 this weekend, preparing chassis number 073. Peters has piloted this Tundra in four previous races this season, scoring three top-five finishes including a fifth place effort at Kentucky in June.
Propelled by Previous Success: Following up his first top-three finish in nine races, Two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion Todd Bodine heads to Kentucky Speedway ready to follow the wave of momentum. A previous winner in both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) and Nationwide Series at the 1.5-mile oval, Bodine looks to rely on past experience and those victories to work his way into victory lane.
Though several variables come into play for this weekend's Kentucky 201 and many things have changed since Bodine's 2010 NCWTS victory at the track, "The Onion" believes that confidence from those previous wins will still play an important role.
"Everything is so different from 2010; the track has changed, the tires and bodies on the trucks are different. We'll try to go back with a similar setup to the one that we had two years ago but Rick Gay and the No. 11 Toyota Care team will still have to tune on it to make up for all of those things," Bodine claimed.
"But when you revisit a place you've won at, you unload knowing that you know how to get around it, and that takes one of the variables out of play. You definitely have some more confidence there's no doubt about it. Which makes everybody a little more confident on the team and if you're trucks not right you have the confidence in yourself and in the team that you can get it fixed."
Weekend Appearances: Todd Bodine will join teammates Parker Kligerman and Timothy Peters, along with the rest of the NCWTS drivers, for a fan autograph session on Friday afternoon from 3-3:45 pm. Kentucky Speedway ticket holders can meet their favorite competitors and get an autograph in the fan concourse prior to qualifying for the Kentucky 201.
Previous Race Recap: Persistence paid off for Todd Bodine and the No. 11 Toyota Care team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol 200 presented by Hy-Vee on Saturday night. Numerous adjustments to the Toyota Care Tundra throughout the weekend paid off during the 200 lap main event at Iowa Speedway and set Bodine up for a chance to compete for the win. "The Onion" vigilantly picked his way forward from his 15th place starting position for a third place finish, his best result since his win at Dover in June.
Chassis History: Crew chief Rick Gay and the No. 11 Toyota Care crew have prepared chassis number 085 for Bodine to pilot this weekend at Kentucky. Following its most recent outing at Atlanta Motor Speedway, this Tundra has been tested at the wind tunnel and will have a perfected baseline setup when it is unloaded from the hauler for the Kentucky 201.
Red Horse Racing PR