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Race fans, sponsors and VIPs gathered in the Newton Club at Iowa Speedway on Thursday evening to honor royalty, ‘The King’ Richard Petty. The third Rusty’s Roast – Celebrating the Career of Richard Petty – hosted over 200 people to benefit The NASCAR Foundation and the Iowa Speedway Foundation.
Honored speakers at this year’s event included NASCAR President Mike Helton, The NASCAR Foundation Board Member and 2013 Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, former Richard Petty crew chief and Hall of Famer Dale Inman, and, Richard Petty Motorsports driver of the NASCAR Nationwide Series number 43 Pilot Flying J Ford Michael Annett. Fox Sports and Speed TV commentator Krista Voda emceed the star-studded gala that saw $122,525 raised for the charitable foundations. In three years of Rusty’s Roast events, over $500,000 has been raised to help children lead happier, healthier lives.
“I am so honored to know Richard Petty – the man is truly a NASCAR legend,” said Wallace as he spoke to those gathered following dinner. “Richard Petty has defined the sport of NASCAR in so many ways and is truly a legend in his own time.”
Helton, Annett and Inman joined Wallace in paying tribute to Petty, sharing their personal experiences of racing with Richard Petty during the many aspects of his career. In addition to honoring Petty, the evening also went toward raising funds and awareness for The NASCAR Foundation.
“It’s the Foundation’s mission to raise funds and increase volunteerism to help children live happier, healthier lives,” The NASCAR Foundation Board Member Mike Helton told the audience Thursday night. “The Foundation impacts the lives of thousands of children throughout the year, especially in the areas of pediatric health, education fulfilling NASCAR Dreams at the track.”
Both silent and live auctions were held to help raise funds. Iowa Speedway Chairman Conrad Clement served as auctioneer for the evening.
“I’m grateful for the Iowa Speedway supporters who bid on items in both the silent and live auctions,” Clement said. “I’d also like to thank the supporting sponsors who donated their products and services that helped make all of this possible on such a special night.”
The NASCAR Foundation started in 2006, using the strength of the sport and its people to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.
“The NASCAR Foundation is truly thankful for the kindness, generosity and support of all who participated in the third edition of Rusty's Roast,” said The NASCAR Foundation Executive Director Lorene King. “We look forward to continuing to build upon the successful relationship we've built with Iowa Speedway through this event.”
Rusty's Roast concluded an exciting day for The NASCAR Foundation, as earlier on Thursday it announced the four finalists for the second-annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, which honors passionate NASCAR fans who make a difference.
Ron Eby (Windham, Maine), Michael Jackson (Duluth, Minn.), Ali McDonough (Wilmington, Del.) and Lorri Shealy Unumb (Lexington, S.C.) will receive $25,000 from The NASCAR Foundation toward their respective charities. The overall national winner, as determined by online voting at NASCAR.com/award, will be awarded with $100,000 and a 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid.
Iowa Speedway PR
Timothy Peters: Red Horse Racing Iowa Speedway Race Report
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.
Searching for the right balance and overall comfort on race runs during both practice sessions, Peters was pleased following a 10th place qualifying effort on Saturday afternoon. Crew chief Butch Hylton and his crew set Peters up with some final adjustments that allowed him to stay near his starting position for the first 20 laps of the night, knocking on the door of the top-10 for the first 25 laps.
Following a restart from the first caution of the night on lap 28, Peters tangled with another competitor coming off of turn two. The incident put his Toyota Tundra into the outside retaining wall, where he sustained significant right side damage. Hylton wasted no time getting on the radio to take command, guiding his crew through three pit stops for repairs under the caution. Remaining calm and thorough during the repairs helped keep Peters on the lead lap.
"It's alright guys, we can still get a good finish out of this. A lot of things can happen between here and the end, let's just use our heads and get everything we can out of it. We can still run top-10, our lap times are good enough," Hylton relayed to the crew following the first round of damage repairs.
Peters held steady and pushed through the damage with his Tundra until a mixture of pit strategies and fuel mileage scrambled the field just past halfway as everyone began to pit under green when they reached their fuel window. With several pit stops earlier to repair damage under caution, Hylton informed Peters he was in a good spot and had more fuel than most. This allowed Peters to drive his way back up into the 12th position despite the damage, riding solidly inside the top 15 until his final scheduled pit stop with just 53 laps remaining.
Just after his stop, Peters was caught two laps down when the caution came out on lap 160. A strategy call by Hylton allowed Peters to take the wave around to get one of his laps back. The team discovered under the seventh caution that damage from the earlier incident had caused the battery in the No. 17 Tundra to fail, forcing the team to bring Peters down pit road with 20 laps remaining. The extended stop for the repair set Peters up for a 19th place finish.
"I just made a mistake on my part at the beginning of the race that cost us what could've been a top-10, possibly a top-five finish. Butch Hylton did a great job staying calm as always and lead the crew through the damage repair that ultimately kept us in the race. This Red Horse Racing crew never gave up and worked really hard to get our Tundra back out there to salvage the best finish we could get and that's all you can ask for," Peters said.
"It's one of those things that you just have to put behind you because it doesn't help us to dwell on it at all. We move on to Kentucky and our races are pretty much back to back from here to the end of the season. We won't let this finish get us down and we'll be back next weekend with another fast Toyota Tundra."
Todd Bodine: Red Horse Racing Iowa Speedway Race Report
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.
Quiet on the radio from the drop of the green flag until the first caution period on lap 24, Bodine rode near his 15th place starting position and radioed to crew chief Rick Gay that he was too tight on the exit of the turn. Taking the opportunity to bring his driver down pit road, Gay called Bodine to the pits for a chassis adjustment and fuel only to help his handling condition. The call seemed to help the handling in the Toyota Care Tundra, and set the No. 11 team up for another quick adjustment and four tire stop just 12 laps later, pitting with the rest of the lead pack.
Over the next 30 laps, Bodine remained quiet and steadily moved his way forward as Gay read off lap times to his driver over the radio. Spotter Terry Cook provided steady encouragement and coaching for the two-time champion throughout the night, welcoming Bodine into the top-five in the running order on lap 65. From that point on, "The Onion" quietly kept himself in contention and within striking distance of the leaders.
Pit strategy calls by Gay throughout the night set Bodine up for a green flag pit stop on lap 141. With different agendas up and down pit road, Bodine was caught one lap down when the caution came out shortly after on lap 165. He was in position however to take the wave around, allowing him to get his lap back and start at the tail of the field. The strategy gave Bodine enough fuel to make it to the end, and placed him within striking distance of the lead for the restart.
After moving up from 10th to second after returning to the lead lap, three late race incidents bunched up the field for the closing 20 laps and allowed Bodine a chance to close the gap between himself and the leader. Using his veteran experience to his advantage, Bodine powered forward and battled for the lead with three laps to go and cleanly drove through three wide traffic to come out with a third place finish.
"Red Horse Racing is just awesome. My No. 11 team has stuck behind me and worked so hard through all of the bad luck we've had this season and just did an outstanding job all weekend to make this Toyota Care Tundra fast and competitive," Bodine said.
"We had three good trucks. Timothy and Parker got in trouble unfortunately, but we just plugged along. We weren't really good in the beginning and my crew chief Rick Gay made some great adjustments to really make this Tundra come to life. It was a good night for us and well deserved by this entire team. Hopefully we've finally got this monkey off our back."
Drew Herring had an impressive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut, leading 19 laps and bringing the No. 18 Toyota/Dollar General Tundra home seventh in the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway in Newton. The 25-year-old driver, making his first start in any series in 2012, started from the 17th spot and slowly worked his way forward, as he became more and more comfortable with the feel of his Toyota in the opening stages of the race. With several teams on different fuel strategies, Herring found himself just outside the top 10 in the closing stages of the race, but maneuvered his way as high as fifth before being relegated a top-10 finish after communicating to the crew that his Toyota was too tight in traffic on the final two restarts.
"Pretty solid run tonight," said Herring who had made his first laps in a truck when practice began Friday night. "Man, I can't thank all of these guys -- Eric Phillips (crew chief) and everybody on this No. 18 Dollar General Toyota tonight, especially all of the other affiliates of KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports), M&M's and Flexco. Man, it was an up and down night. I put us behind the 8-ball tonight in qualifying and it was just all about track position and we just couldn't fight it and make it back up. We had a really fast truck on long runs and we just couldn't get anything tonight - it was all short runs Gotta' thank everybody at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) - Kyle (Busch, team owner), Rick Ren (general manager) and Eric Phillips and everybody for giving me this opportunity. I really enjoyed it and hopefully I'll get to go back and do it again."
The North Carolina native finished both practice sessions inside the top 10 and displayed increased confidence with every lap he turned at the .875-mile oval. In Saturday evening's qualifying session, the young driver failed to turn in the lap he was looking for and was relegated to a 17th starting spot for the 200-lap race.
Early in the race, Herring settled in near the top 15 relaying to his crew that he was setting a cautious pace as he continued to familiarize himself with the feel of his Toyota and intricacies of racing in the Truck Series compared to the Nationwide Series, where his eight prior NASCAR starts were made. The No. 18 Toyota/Dollar General Tundra was scored in the 14th position when the first caution of the race occurred on lap 23 and had improved to the 12th position when the field was slowed again on lap 35.
While the top-13 trucks came down pit road when it opened, executing various pit strategies, crew chief Eric Phillips elected to keep his young driver on the track in and effort to stick to his pre-race strategy of breaking the race into thirds. Herring elected to take the inside lane for the lap-41 restart and by the time exited Turn 2 had opened up a two-truck length lead on the field. By lap 50, he had stretched his lead to nearly a second and remained on point until John Wes Townley spun on lap 54 bringing out the race's third caution.
Herring communicated to Phillips that his Tundra was just a "touch" tight from the center of the corner off before bringing it down pit road. The KBM crew completed a four-tire and fuel stop, making an air pressure adjustment in an attempt to tighten the truck for their young driver. Many teams had already taken tires on a previous pit stop and needed just fuel this time around, leaving the No. 18 scored in the 13th position for the restart on lap 60.
By the time the next caution slowed the field on lap 68, the Toyota/Dollar General Tundra had maneuvered its way back inside the top 10. Herring communicated that the adjustments had improved the handling of his truck, but was still trying to get accustomed to it being "really aero-sensitive in traffic."
When the field went back green, Herring got caught on the outside lane and slipped just outside the top 10. As the race reached the halfway mark, he had returned to the top 10 and communicated to his crew that his Toyota's handling improved as the green-flag run continued.
Herring had worked his way up to the seventh spot when leader Parker Kligerman came down pit road for his final scheduled pit stop on lap 140. Over the next 10 laps, other front-running teams also visited pit road, including the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports entry - which surrendered the third position to make final adjustments.
With two trucks still waiting to make their final stop, the Toyota/Dollar General Tundra returned to the track scored one lap down in the 17th position on lap 155 despite taking just right-side tires and one can of fuel. A debris caution occurred on lap 164, leaving just two trucks on the lead lap. Those trucks came down pit road for their final stop when pit road opened, enabling several drivers - including Herring - to take advantage of the wave-around rule and return to the lead lap.
The No. 18 Toyota was scored in the 11th position when the race restarted on lap 173 and four laps later returned to the top 10. The field was slowed for the seventh time when leader Parker Kligerman spun in oil that was laid down on the track from another competitors expired engine. Herring communicated to Phillips that his Tundra was a "little free on entry."
On the lap-188 restart, Herring took advantage of three trucks getting bottled up in front of him, improving from ninth to sixth by the time that the field made its way back to the start-finish line. To the dismay of KBM's pilot, who was stronger on long green-flag runs, two more cautions slowed the field over the final 10 laps. The Toyota/Dollar General Tundra took the final restart from the sixth position, but surrendered a spot before the field took the checkered flag.
Eighteen-year-old Ryan Blaney picked up his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win, becoming the youngest driver in series history to register a victory - a record previously held by KBM owner Kyle Busch. Rookie Ty Dillon finished 0.168-seconds behind Blaney in the runner-up spot. Todd Bodine and Johnny Sauter finished third and fourth, respectively. Cale Gale rounded out the top-five finishers.
There were 9 caution periods for 54 laps and 7 lead changes among 6 drivers, including Herring who led once for 19 laps. Ten drivers failed to finish the race.
With 16 of 22 races complete, the No. 18 Tundra team remains ninth in Truck Series Owner's point standings, 76 points behind the series-leading No. 3 team.
Brian Scott returns to the seat of the Dollar General Tundra next Friday, Sept. 22, when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series travels to Kentucky Speedway in Sparta for the Kentucky 201. The race begins at 7:30 p.m. ET, with SPEED's live coverage commencing with the NCWTS Setup Show at 7 p.m. ET.
The IZOD IndyCar Series championship was Will Power's to lose entering the MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships at Auto Club Speedway. After Lap 55, it became Ryan Hunter-Reay's to win.
For the third consecutive year, contact in the season finale altered the title aspirations of the Aussie. The No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car "caught a seam" in Turn 2 of the 2-mile oval, spun and made contact with the SAFER Barrier while running 12th -- a few car lengths ahead of Hunter-Reay's No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car.
Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti relayed to a surprised Hunter-Reay, who 18 hours before had signed a two-year contract extension, that he had to finish sixth to claim his first series championship by one point.
But wait. In this season of surprises, ultra-tight competition and high drama, all three collectively focused on the Team Penske garage as the crew converged to repair the Dallara chassis and collect 11 more laps to finish 24th and ahead of the retired car of E.J. Viso.
That's exactly what transpired, forcing Hunter-Reay to finish at least fifth. Crews from rival teams cheered as the No. 12 entry was wheeled onto pit lane.
That went by the wayside as Alex Tagliani's engine expired with 20 laps left and then Tony Kanaan's car made contact with the Turn 4 SAFER Barrier on Lap 241, creating a red flag with the restart on Lap 244.
Ed Carpenter earned his second IZOD IndyCar Series victory for the second consecutive year in the finale and with Dario Franchitti as the runner-up. Scott Dixon finished third and Helio Castroneves was fifth.
Hunter-Reay was running third on the restart and lost two positions, but the 31-year-old Floridian regained one spot when Takuma Sato's car crashed on the final lap. The points difference, in over 15 events on the most diverse set of racetracks in motorsports, was three points over Power.
Hunter-Reay also clinched the A.J. Foyt Trophy for most points scored on ovals. He entered the race tied with Kanaan.
Franchitti, who won the last IZOD IndyCar Series race at the speedway in 2005, tied Al Unser Jr. and Bobby Rahal for fifth all time with 88 podium finishes. He also passed Rick Mears with his 112th top-five finish and tied Castroneves and Dixon for eighth with his 29th runner-up finish.
RCR Post Race Report -- NCWTS American Ethanol 200
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
American Ethanol 200
September 15, 2012
- Richard Childress Racing teammates finished second (Ty Dillon), 13th (Joey Coulter) and 22nd (Tim George Jr.).
- Dillon is the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point leader by eight markers, while Coulter ranks sixth in the standings.
- The No. 3 Chevrolet team is the Camping World Truck Series owner championship point leader, with the No. 22 team fifth in the standings and the No. 2 team 10th.
- Dillon leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year point standings ahead of Cale Gale.
- According to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics, Dillon earned the fifth-highest Driver Rating (100.5) and Coulter earned a rating of 82.4, ranking him 12th amongst the competitors.
- RCR drivers made a total of 108 Green Flag Passes during the American Ethanol 200 with Coulter earning 54 passes, Dillon with 35 and George with 19 passes.
- Dillon scored an Average Running Position of 7.625, ranking him sixth in the category, and Coulter ranked 12th with a 12.185.
- The No. 3 Bass Pro Shops team was ranked as the sixth-Fastest Early in a Run.
- Combined, RCR teammates Dillon and Coulter scored the Fastest Laps Run for eight circuits at the 0.875-mile track.
- Dillon spent 100 percent of the event in the top 15 ranking him second amongst the rest of the field, while Coulter spent 77 percent in the top 15.
- RCR drivers tied for ninth in the Closers category.
- Dillon was the third Fastest on Restarts.
- Ryan Blaney took the checkered flag at Iowa Speedway and was followed to the line by Dillon, Todd Bodine, Johnny Sauter and Cale Gale.
- The next scheduled Camping World Truck Series race is the Kentucky 201 at Kentucky Speedway on Friday, Sept. 21. The 16th race of the 2012 season is scheduled to be televised live on SPEED beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on Motor Racing Network beginning at 7:45 p.m.
Tim George Jr. and the Applebee's/Potomac Family Dining Group Team Finish 22nd
at Iowa Speedway
Tim George Jr. and the No. 2 Applebee's/Potomac Family Dining Group team finished 22nd in the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway after a pit road penalty at the halfway point of the event. George started the 200-lap affair from the 25th position and soon reported he was experiencing a loose-handling condition on the No. 2 Chevrolet. Crew chief Gere Kennon utilized routine pit stops that included four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments to combat the handling issues. The New York City native climbed through the field and was scored in the 14th position on lap 59. A caution flag slowed the field on lap 96, and George was instructed down pit road for four tires, fuel and an additional chassis adjustment. NASCAR officials penalized the Richard Childress Racing driver for entering pit road too fast and as a result required to restart at the rear of the field. George restarted the No. 2 Chevrolet in the 25th position, two laps down to the leader. In the closing stages of the American Ethanol 200, George continued to battle a loose-handling condition but was able to improve three positions, to 22nd-place, where he took the checkered flag.
Start - 25 Finish - 22 Laps Led - 0 Owner Points - 10
TIM GEORGE JR. QUOTE:
"Although this wasn't the result we were looking for, it was a confidence builder for me. I just can't say enough about how good a truck this RCR crew gave me today. Now we'll go to Kentucky (Speedway) where we have some really good notes to start off with and continue our progress."
Ty Dillon Finishes Second at Iowa Speedway and Takes Over
Championship Points Lead
Start - 9 Finish - 2 Laps Led - 0 Points - 1
TY DILLON QUOTES:
"The No. 3 Bass Pro Shop Chevrolet was fast tonight. Marcus Richmond (crew chief) made some good calls there at the end to put us in contention and the pit crew was great on pit road. I'm really happy with the second-place finish. We've been carrying a lot of momentum during the last few weeks, and I'm excited to get to Kentucky (Speedway) and have another back-to-back race weekend."
"It feels great to get the points lead, but that doesn't guarantee how we will finish out the season. We're going to keep our heads down and keep digging. This whole team has worked so hard this season, and they deserve to be sitting on top of the points battle."
Joey Coulter Earns Finishes 13th at Iowa Speedway
Joey Coulter and the No.22 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet team overcame handling issues and battled back to a 13th-place finish in Saturday night's American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway. After qualifying in the 14th position for the 200-lap event, the No. 22 Chevrolet showed speed from the initial green flag before Coulter reported that something wasn't right on his Silverado. During each routine pit stop, the crew worked to make adjustments for the handling challenges on the RCR Chevrolet. Coulter battled through and was scored in the seventh position on lap 100. After working his way up to the second position when green-flag pit stops began on lap 139, Coulter visited pit road for four tires and Sunoco E15 fuel. When the caution flag was displayed prior to all the teams completing their pit stops, NASCAR scored the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year in the 17th position, two laps down to the leader. The No.22 truck was allowed to take the wave around and on the ensuing restart, the Miami Springs, Fla.-native picked his way back up through the field. Following multiple late race cautions, Coulter took the checkered flag in the 13th position. Coulter is currently sixth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings, 46 points behind the leader and RCR teammate Ty Dillon.
Start - 14 Finish - 13 Laps Led - 0 Points - 6
JOEY COULTER QUOTE:
"I'm just really proud of Harold (Holly, crew chief) and the rest of the guys on this (No.) 22 team. They just never give up and they motivate me to never give up, even when I'm faced with the challenges we saw tonight. We will regroup and go get them next weekend in Kentucky."
RCR Post Race Report -- NNS Dollar General 300
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Dollar General 300 powered by Coca-Cola
September 15, 2012
- Richard Childress Racing teammates finished third (Austin Dillon), fifth (Paul Menard) and eighth (Elliott Sadler).
- Sadler is in the second position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, nine points behind leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr., while Dillon ranks third in the standings, trailing the leader by 34 points.
- The No. 2 Chevrolet team is third in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, 13 points shy of the No. 18 team's lead, with the No. 3 team fourth in the standings and the No. 33 team sixth.
- Dillon leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.
- According to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics, Menard was ranked the seventh-Fastest Driver Early in a Run (168.466 mph), Late in a Run (168.078 mph) and on Restarts (165.090 mph). He also maintained the eighth-best Average Running Position (7.645), Driver Rating (103) and Green Flag Speed (167.236 mph).
- Dillon and Menard spent 100 percent of the contested Laps in the Top 15, while Sadler turned 199 of the 200 laps (99.5 percent) in the top 15.
- The RCR drivers turned 51 of the Fastest Laps Run with Dillon contributing 38, Sadler with 11 and Menard with two.
- Dillon was the Fastest Driver Late In a Run with an average speed of 167.599 mph according to NASCAR's Post-Race Loop Data Statistics. Dillon ranked second in Average Running Position (2.582), Laps Led (52) and Speed in Traffic (168.412 mph). He was third-Fastest on Restarts (166.161 mph), averaged a Green Flag Speed of 168.400 mph and earned a Driver Rating of 127.1 ranking him third in both categories.
- Sadler notched the second position in Quality Passes, third in Fastest Drivers Late in a Run and fourth in Speed in Traffic.
- Stenhouse, Jr. claimed the victory at Chicagoland Speedway, followed to the line by Kyle Busch, Dillon, Brad Keselowski and Menard.
- The next scheduled Nationwide Series race is the Kentucky 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, September 22. The 27th race of the 2012 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Eighth-Place Finish for Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial Team at Chicagoland Speedway
Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial team earned an eighth-place finish Saturday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event. Starting the Dollar General 300 powered by Coca-Cola from the fifth position, Sadler competed in the top-five for the first 38 laps before the caution flag was displayed. Crew chief Luke Lambert called Sadler down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, positioning the No. 2 Chevrolet to restart in the sixth position. Sadler continued to turn the fastest lap times around the 1.5-mile track, and he reported that the No. 2 Chevrolet was getting tight to the center of the corner. Lambert called Sadler down pit road for a green-flag stop on lap 94 for four tires and fuel, and the Emporia, Va. native quickly communicated that the right-front tire was chattering. Sadler continued to work with the tighter OneMain Financial Chevrolet, maintaining the fifth position until another caution came out on lap 123. Sadler steered the No. 2 Chevrolet down pit road for another routine stop for four tires and fuel, and the team discovered the right-front tire was blistered, which caused the chattering. Restarting from the fourth position on lap 129, Sadler consistently ran as fast as the leader. The yellow flag was displayed for the final time on lap 166, and the OneMain Financial pit crew went to work for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. The quick stop positioned the No. 2 Chevrolet as the leader for the restart. As the field went back to green-flag racing, Sadler reported there was chattering again in the front tires as he was shuffled back to the eighth position. Unable to move forward with the loose-handling condition, Sadler crossed the finish line in the eighth position, marking the team's 19th top-10 finish of the 2012 season. Sadler ranks second in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, nine points behind Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Start - 5 Finish - 8 Laps Led - 3 Points - 2
ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTE:
"Not the kind of finish we were looking for here today at Chicagoland Speedway. We had a blister on the right-front tire in the middle of the race, and lost track position. I'm just glad that it didn't happen later in the race. The pit crew was great all day long on pit road, and the team worked hard all weekend. We will remain focused on our goal and regroup for next week at Kentucky Speedway."
Austin Dillon Captures a Third-Place Finish at Chicagoland Speedway
Austin Dillon drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet to a third-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway after leading 52 laps in the Dollar General 300 powered by Coca-Cola Saturday afternoon. The Welcome, N.C., native started the race from the second position and reported to crew chief Danny Stockman that the black and green Chevrolet had developed a tight-handling condition during the early laps of the race as he slipped back to the fifth position. Stockman called the No. 3 Chevrolet to pit road under yellow-flag conditions on lap 41 for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments to help the handling issues Dillon was battling. A speedy pit stop by the American Ethanol pit crew placed Dillon in the second position for the ensuing restart. The NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year contender remained a fixture in the top five before battling for the lead, taking over the top spot on lap 70. Dillon continued to lead the field until a lap-125 pit stop for four tires, fuel and the removal of a large piece of debris from the grille. The stop placed Dillon in the second position for the lap-129 restart. As the laps ticked away, Dillon held a position in the top three until a lengthy pit stop positioned the 22-year-old driver in the sixth spot for the lap-171 restart. During the final laps, Dillon maneuvered his American Ethanol Chevrolet around the competition, ultimately crossing the finish line in the third position, marking the team's 13th top-five finish of the 2012 season. Dillon remains third in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, 34 markers out of the lead.
Start - 2 Finish - 3 Laps Led - 52 Points - 3
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
"We had a really strong American Ethanol Chevrolet, and I had a blast racing out there today. I had fun moving around the track going from the top to the bottom. We got something on the grille during the middle of the race when we were leading and it made me really loose, we were able to get that off and then we kind of over adjusted. We were good at the end, but the No. 6 was better. We'll keep working on it and turn our focus on next week's race at Kentucky (Speedway)."
The No. 33 Rheem/Menards Team Earn Fifth-Place Finish in NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Chicagoland Speedway
Paul Menard and the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet rallied to a top-five finish in Saturday afternoon's NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar General 300 powered by Coca-Cola after battling handling issues at Chicagoland Speedway. After starting from the seventh position, the Eau Claire, Wis., native wrestled a loose-handling Chevrolet during the first half of the 200-lap event at the 1.5-mile facility. Crew chief Ernie Cope called for chassis and air pressure adjustments during routine green and yellow-flag pit stops on laps 41 and 96 to combat the handling challenges. After falling to 12th in the running order, a lap-123 caution period provided the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing team an opportunity to make an aggressive chassis adjustment, coupled with air pressure changes to aid Menard in his effort to drive back into the top 10. Flawless pit stops gained the No. 33 Rheem/Menards team three positions during each of the final two visits to pit road. Armed with an improved-handling Chevrolet, Menard fought hard to remain in the top five during the closing 30 laps, bringing home a fifth-place finish in his fifth Nationwide Series race of the 2012 season.
Start - 7 Finish - 5 Laps Led - 0 Owner Points - 6
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
"Ernie (Cope, crew chief) and the No. 33 Rheem/Menards team did a great job as always this weekend. We had a strong afternoon in the pits and made good adjustments all day. Unfortunately, we struggled with the car's handling early and it took us a little too long to get it turned around. Still, it was a great effort all-around to finish fifth."
Mike Wallace and the No. 01 G&K Services Chevrolet team of JD Motorsports w/Gary Keller had their own race within a race in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Chicagoland Speedway.
After the two practice sessions concluded on Friday, Wallace was 18th in the first and 21st in the second on the speed chart. His teammate, Danny Efland in the No. 4 Tradebank Chevrolet, was 33rd in the Happy Hour session.
When qualifying ended, Wallace grabbed the 21st position and Efland was 35th. Each knew they had their work cut out for themselves in the 200-lap race around the 1.5-mile oval.
Once the initial green flag waved, Wallace and Efland both started a trek forward on the track and upward on the scoring pylon. Wallace felt like they had two good practice sessions and those would transfer to the race.
What he didn’t plan on was the car starting to make noises of a mechanical nature in the early going. As he was battling those gremlins, the car was very loose in the turns and forced him to battle the handling of the car – and the other 42 drivers.
Throughout the five cautions, crew chief Newt Moore and team would bring their No. 01 Chevrolet to pit road for tires, fuel and needed adjustments. It was on one of those stops, they started to realize the noises were coming from the transmission.
Trying to use pit strategies to their advantage, while racing one lap down to the leaders, the team kept running in the top-20 and top-25 positions. They pitted and then tried a wave around to gain that lap back.
However, they came up one lap short as the caution waved and forced them down another one. During another pit stop, they realized there was a leak in the transmission that may have been getting on their tires and adding to their loose handling in the turns.
While this was happening, the team then started to encounter an alternator problem that was cutting down power to the car, as well. Now running near the top-20, Wallace was trapped two laps down with one other car negating any chance to move forward.
The team and driver kept at it and earned a 19th-place finish. This kept Wallace 12th in points, where he now trails 11th by 22 markers. This is his eighth top-20 finish in the last 10 races.
Efland brought the No. 4 Tradebank Chevrolet back to the garage in 27th place.
Mike Wallace Quotes: “This was not the finish this team deserved as hard as we worked on all the things that happened to us during the race. I felt pretty good about the car and our chances after the two sessions when we qualified right where we were on the practice sheets.
“The car just got real loose there in the beginning and then I started to hear noises in the car you’re not supposed to hear. That’s never a good thing because now you’re paying attention to that, and everything else that’s taking place on the track.
“The pit strategies would have worked to our advantage if that caution hadn’t come out when it did. We were going to be good to go to get back on the lead lap. Still, we had a commendable finish, but it’s still not where we want to be with this team.
“We’ll go to Kentucky Speedway and try to have a better finish and build off what we learned at Chicagoland"
JD Motorsports PR
Kyle Busch Second in Chicagoland Return
Kyle Busch piloted the No. 54 Monster Energy Camry to a second-place finish at Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway in Joliet Saturday afternoon, collecting his fifth top-10 finish on the 1.5-mile oval across nine starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. It was Busch's 16th time piloting his own Toyota in NASCAR's second series, resulting in the company's 15th top-10 and 10th top-five finish of their inaugural season.
The Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) team was anxious for a Chicago return, having raced there with Kyle earlier in the year, without a good result. In the spring race, Busch had a top-five starting position but struggled with car handling and then a late-race accident that didn't allow the team to finish. Coming back to Chicagoland this time, the KBM group brought a new chassis, one that was proven to perform well.
The weekend started off right, when Busch and team ran successful laps over two practice sessions on Friday. The veteran driver felt comfortable with the car setup, telling his crew at one point, "car's good, we could park it now." They proceeded to make slight adjustments, trying different setups that provided Busch with the speed he needed to top the charts. Busch's Saturday morning qualifying effort was fast and the No. 54 team earned a sixth-place qualifying spot, their 13th top-ten starting position of the year.
The green flag dropped under warm sunny conditions Saturday afternoon and Busch made quick work of the field, moving into the fourth position by lap two. An early event caution waved and the team chose to remain on the racetrack, saving pit strategy for a future stop. Busch felt the car was, "tight, all the way through" and he and crew chief Mike Beam discussed ways to loosen up the car's handling, which they addressed during a second event caution, visiting pit road on lap 41.
The car adjustments worked well and during the next portion of the race, Busch drove his way from fourth to first place, taking the lead on lap 61 of the 200-lap event. Once in the lead, the team owner-driver battled for position with the No. 3 car of Austin Dillon, swapping between first and second place over 10 laps.
A green-flag pit stop at lap 96, from the third position, offered the Toyota team another chance to make adjustments to the tire pressures for better car handling. Busch was recorded in the third spot at the event's halfway point, lap 100, while crew chief Mike Beam called out circuit times to his driver. Busch was running 31.95- second lap times compared to the leaders running 32.00-second lap times. The team was encouraged and Busch felt the car was finally coming to him.
The fourth yellow-flag caution period waved at lap 124, which gave Busch the opportunity to discuss what he needed for adjustments with the team. "Just need front turn, entry to center, and I'm money!" commented Busch. He continued, "the car is good." A subsequent visit to pit road on lap 125 provided the opportunity to take four fresh tires and Sunoco fuel. Busch restarted in third on lap 129 and by lap 135 once again was scored in the first position. Busch would lead the race for 33 more laps until he made one final visit to pit road, under yellow-flag conditions.
The team made a few more adjustments to free up the No. 54 machine for their owner-driver, who led the race until lap 180. In the closing laps of the race, however, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. overtook the No. 54 Camry and remained in the lead until the finish. Busch and team would finish in second place.
"We had a really good car. It ran well throughout the race. It was fast. I thought that there wasn't anybody back there that we had to deal with -- and then the No. 6 (Ricky Stenhouse Jr.) came out of nowhere there at the end. I don't know where he came from, but he had a fast race car. I'm really excited about that run. The Monster Energy Camry did great. The guys did a really good job at preparing it for me - Mike Beam (crew chief) and everybody at KBM Chassis, they gave us a good piece today. Today we just came up a little bit short."
Stenhouse Jr. recorded his seventh victory in 99 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. Busch finished in the second spot, while Dillon, Brad Keselowski and Paul Menard completed the top-five finishers. There were five caution periods for 20 laps of the race along with 17 lead changes across nine drivers, including Busch who led four times for 50 laps. The No. 54 Monster Energy team remains ninth in the Owner's Point standings, 125 points from the leader.