Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.
Chase Elliott left Charlotte Motor Speedway victorious and $100,000 richer after beating Kyle Busch by 0.627 seconds. Elliott, piloting the No. 24 GMS Racing Chevrolet and making his first appearance in the series since 2017 at Martinsville Speedway, led the field for 47 circuits. The Dawsonville, GA. native started the night 26th on the leaderboard.
“He was a little better than I was there at the end,” Elliott said after the race. “I got tight. I don’t think we adjusted enough on that last pit stop (on Lap 89). I was a little scared. I really didn’t know exactly what I needed or what these things did as time went on.
Busch, leading 25 circuits of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200, left Charlotte Motor Speedway in the runner-up spot. The Las Vegas native started 16th and finished stage one in 14th and stage two in fifth. Busch acknowledged an issue post-race with the right-front stopper from the get-go.
“It doesn’t help showing up to the race track with broke parts on your truck,” said Busch. “That was a problem from the get-go. Didn’t have our right-front stopper right so we were all over the splitter. We came in and didn’t know it was broke so had to fix it with a make shift piece and it was way too high. Then we tried to fix it and just never was right. We were out in left field the whole night. Never really had a great feel for the truck or a great driving truck. Just salvaged what I could.”
Elliott, claiming the $100,000 bounty by beating Busch, took home his third career truck series victory in his 13th career start. He has nine top five and 11 top 10 finishes in the series.
“It was a lot of fun,” Elliott said. “First off, a thanks to (sponsors) iRacing and Hooters, Chevrolet and GMS (Racing) for letting me come do this. (The truck) was really good from the get-go, for having no laps (of practice). The splitter was where it needed to be.”
Busch earned his 100th career top five finish at Charlotte and leaves the 1.5-mile oval with his 121st top 10. He has 57 career victories in the series.
Zane Smith rounded out the top three finishers on Tuesday at Charlotte. The California driver scored his third career top five finish -- bettering his fifth-place finish at Gateway Motorsports Park in 2018.
Brett Moffitt and Sheldon Creed rounded out the top five.
John Hunter Nemechek, Johnny Sauter, Ty Majeski, Austin Hill and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top 10.
Ross Chastain, winner of stage one and the ninth-place finisher of stage two, took home the 11th position.
John Hunter Nemechek faced adversity late into the race as he and Todd Gilliland brought out the final caution on lap 103 in turn four. Nemechek, piloting the No. 8 Ford, tangled with Todd Gilliland with 31 circuits to go. The North Carolina native continued to finish sixth while Gilliland finished 37th because of the incident.
A competition caution and stage breaks resulted in the first three stoppages of the night. Four trucks tangled on the frontstretch on lap 81 involving Stewart Friesen, Brennan Poole, Jesse Iwuji and Tyler Ankrum. Poole tangled with Natalie Decker two laps after going green following the four-truck incident in turn three on lap 88. The sixth yellow of the night involved debris on the frontstretch.
The series will head to Atlanta Motor Speedway for a 200-mile event on June 6th. The event will take place at 1:00 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 1 and MRN Radio.
Denny Hamlin rolls into the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday riding a wave of momentum. The Virginia driver sits fourth in points following a pair of top five finishes at Darlington Raceway – including his second victory of the season on Wednesday.
The pair of races at Darlington Raceway marked NASCAR’s return from the COVID-19 hiatus that started following the race at Phoenix Raceway in March. The opportunity is unique as NASCAR typically only visits a track for one or two points races a season. Hamlin’s crew chief, Chris Gabehart, spoke to SpeedwayDigest.com on the uniqueness of visiting a track three times and how it will help when visiting Darlington a third time later in 2020.
“Being that we get to come back just a few short days later in conditions that will be more like the Southern 500 later this year, myself and the engineers took the opportunity and really swung the bat hard,” said Gabehart. “We didn't come back with a setup anything like what we raced Sunday even though we were good Sunday. It was all about trying to learn for the fall, just believing in your guys, your tools. I'm just so proud of my engineers and our process at Joe Gibbs Racing, how we worked through it. I had all the confidence in the world to really swing the bat. It worked out.”
Hamlin, winning the season opening Daytona 500 in February, has only two finishes outside the top 10 through six cup series races. The No. 11 Toyota driver joined the media and spoke the importance of having good momentum with events so close together.
“It’s good. When you’re winning, it means you’re doing some things right. I think being able to go right back to a race track three or four days later, it allows you to keep that momentum for an extended amount of time when it comes to races,” said Hamlin. “I like it. I’m voicing out loud here that this is something I’d like to see for years to come – to have multi races in a week. This is something that can really help our sport, I believe personally. Like I said, there’s so many loops you are going to have to jump through to get it done. This is a good thing for our sport right now. To make up some of these races, it might not be at the same race track – we’re putting on a show for the people at home that millions of people that have been waiting on us to get on track.”
HAMLIN’S FINISHES BY TRACK:
As for visiting Darlington back-to-back, as the series will do the same at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Hamlin discussed how he and Gabehart worked on improving the set-up for the second race. He also provided an outlook on how the previous races at Darlington will help when the series returns in the Fall for the Southern 500.
“We wholesaled our car. I won’t giveaway any secrets, but my conversation with my crew chief on Monday was, ‘Okay we have a third-place car, we can try to tweak on it and maybe things fall our way and we can win the race on Wednesday,” Hamlin said. “Or, the Southern 500 will be back here later in the year, do we want to come up with a completely different setup, new ideas and see if it’s better? And, it was better. I’m glad we took the chance. He said I was very nervous, not me, but the crew chief said he was nervous two nights ago thinking we could run really bad with this. It’s out of the box for us, but it was certainly better and when we go back for the Southern 500 in a couple months, that’s the direction we’ll be heading towards.”
The series will return to action at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24. The event, airing live on FOX and PRN radio, will take place at 6:00 p.m. ET. Qualifying for NASCAR’s biggest event will take place at 2:00 p.m. ET. on Sunday.
In NASCAR’s return on Sunday at Darlington Raceway, the first race since the COVID-19 pandemic hiatus started in March, Kevin Harvick visited victory lane in his No. 4 Busch Light Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. Harvick, a native of California, led two times for a total of 159 laps.
“I want to thank everybody from NASCAR and all the teams for letting us do what we do, said Harvick after the race. “I didn’t think it was gonna be that much different and then we won the race and it’s dead silent out here. We miss the fans. It’s a pretty big honor to win 50 races in this deal and I just have to thank all my team guys and everybody for what they’re doing. This Dr. Josh Hughes is one of my really good friends. I spend a lot of time with him and have seen how this whole pandemic has affected our front line workers in person on a weekly basis, so thank you, Josh. We’re thinking of you.
Alex Bowman nearly picked-off his second victory of the season on Sunday at Darlington. Bowman, driving the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, sat 2.154 seconds behind race winner Kevin Harvick and led the field for 41 laps.
Bowman, a native of Arizona, will leave Darlington with his second top five and top 10 finish of 2020.
The day was a special one for Harvick as he earned his 50th career NASCAR Cup Series victory. The driver, finishing fourth in both stages, earned his third top five and fifth top 10 finish in 2020.
“It doesn’t seem real and I think as you look at Darlington I think as you look at the things that happened this weekend I really thought that it would definitely play into our hand just because our guys are so good at hitting the car off the truck for the most part,” continued Harvick. “We put a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of studying, a lot of meetings and just have to thank everybody at the shop who has built all these cars and just, man, I’m excited. It is weird just because there’s nobody up there, and you can go to Busch Beer.com and maybe have your face on the car next week, up here on the hood. I’m speechless.”
Kurt Busch rounded out the top three finishers on Sunday. Busch started 22nd on the starting grid.
Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.
Martin Truex Jr., Tyler Reddick, Erik Jones, John Hunter Nemechek and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top 10.
Tyler Reddick, finishing sixth, and John Hunter Nemechek, finishing ninth, took home their first career top 10 finishes in the cup series. Reddick started 29th on the leaderboard while Nemechek started the afternoon in 34th. Both drivers have 15 starts combined in the series since last year.
Matt Kenseth made his debut with Chip Ganassi Racing following the removal of Kyle Larson. Kenseth, piloting the No. 42 Chevrolet, finished 10th after starting in the 12th spot.
A total of 10 cautions slowed the field in the event with the first coming out on lap one involving Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in turn two. The crash ultimately ended the day for the No. 47 team.
The second yellow flag involved a scheduled competition caution on lap 30 with the third one coming out on lap 91. That caution involved Chris Buescher and race leader Jimmie Johnson. Buescher rallied to finish 32nd while Johnson finished 38th as a result.
The next several cautions included a debris, a stage break, and three single car incidents. On lap 213, the No. 17 Ford of Chris Buescher and the No. 95 of Christopher Bell tangled on the frontstretch. Bell, one of six rookies in the field, went on to a 24th place finish.
The final yellow flag of the afternoon involved Ryan Newman in turn one on lap 254. Newman, in his first race back since his crash in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, finished 15th on the board.
The next race for the series will also be at Darlington Raceway. The event will take place Wednesday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. ET. on FS1.
NASCAR will become one of the first professional sports across North America to resume action following a two-month hiatus because of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The first event, closed off to fans and other non-essential personal, will take place at 3:30 p.m. ET. live on FOX from the Darlington Raceway.
Two days later, on Tuesday, May 19th, the NASCAR XFINITY Series will resume with a 200-mile event also at Darlington Raceway. That event will take place at 8:00 p.m. ET live on FOX Sports 1. The day following, on May 20th from Darlington at 7:30 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 1, the cup series will hit the track for a second time at the famed oval.
The sanctioning body will then head to Charlotte Motor Speedway for several events as well beginning with the historic Coca-Cola 600 cup series race on Sunday, May 24th at 6:00 p.m. ET. on FOX. The NASCAR XFINITY Series will race the following day at 7:30 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 1.
On May 26th, the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will resume action at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Tuesday night feature will take place at 8:00 p.m. ET. and air live on FOX Sports 1. The truck series last hit the track on February 21st at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The cup series will cap off these scheduled events thus far at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday, May 27th at 8:00 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 1.
Except for the Coca-Cola 600, where qualifying will take place, there will be no practices or qualifying held. In addition, no fans will be allowed to attend the noted above races.
NASCAR will expand the field size in XFINITY from 36 to 40 and from 32 to 40 in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series for events in which qualifying will not take place. Race winners will still receive 40 points for a win while the 36th-place finisher in the NXS will get one point. 37th to 40th will also take home one point. 32nd to 40th place finishers in trucks will get five points. The NASCAR Cup Series field will remain at 40 entries.
With essential personal only allowed, NASCAR will require several restrictions to drivers and team members for these events. The restrictions include masks and social distancing as well as required temperature checks when entering the premises.
NASCAR issued a rule bulletin last week outlining possible penalties if an individual fails to comply with NASCAR’s COVID-19 protocols. In the cup series the fine can range from $10,000 to $50,000. Over in the NASCAR XFINITY Series it can range from $5,000 to $25,000 and $2,500 to $12,500 in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
The NASCAR Cup Series and XFINITY Series were last on-track at Phoenix Raceway in March. Joey Logano scored his second win in 2020 after leading the field for 60 laps. Brandon Jones took the checkered flag the last time out in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at the one-mile Arizona oval. The win marked his second career trip to victory lane.
Kyle Busch visited victory lane the last time out for the truck series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Vegas native led the field for 108 laps in the second event of 2020. Grant Enfinger won the season opener a week earlier at Daytona International Speedway.
Top five in cup series standings going into Darlington this week: Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson.
Top five in XFINITY Series standings through four races include: Harrison Burton, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Brandon Jones and Ross Chastain.
Top five in Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series standings with two races complete: Austin Hill, Johnny Sauter, Ben Rhodes, Brett Moffitt and Sheldon Creed.
NASCAR has yet announced its plans for racing beyond the month of May.
NASCAR on Tuesday sent out a competition update regarding how lineups and pit stalls will be determined for these events. You can read all the details from that announcement below:
Pit Selection and Starting Lineup:
May 17 (NASCAR Cup Series)
- Order based on charter team owner points followed by open team owner points. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.
- Positions 1-12: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
- Positions 13-24: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
- Positions 25-36: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
- Positions 37-40: Open teams in order of owners points in owner points
May 19 (NASCAR Xfinity Series)
- Order based on Phoenix qualifying.
- Positions 1 -12: The first 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up Eligibility will be assigned starting positions 1st – 12th using a random draw.
- Positions 12 – 24: The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 12th- 24th using a random draw.
- Starting positions 25 – 36: The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 25th -36th using a random draw.
- Any vehicles that are eligible for the Event in position 37th – 40th will be assigned starting positions based on their order of eligibility.
May 20 (NASCAR Cup Series)
- Order based on finishing position from the May 17th race at Darlington, followed by new entries in order of points. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.
- Positions 1-20: Invert the top 20 from the May 17th race at Darlington
- Positions 21-40: In finishing order from the May 17th race at Darlington, followed by new entries
May 24 (NASCAR Cup Series)
- Order based on finishing position from the May 20th race at Darlington, followed by new entries in order of points. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.
- Based on qualifying
May 25 (NASCAR Xfinity Series)
- Order based on finishing position from the May 19th race at Darlington, followed by new entries in order of points.
- Same procedure as Darlington
May 26 (NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series)
- Order based on Las Vegas qualifying.
- Positions 1 -10: The first 10 NGROTS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up Eligibility will be assigned starting positions 1st – 10th using a random draw.
- Positions 11 – 21: The next 11 NGROTS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 11- 21 using a random draw.
- positions 22 – 32: The next 11 NGROTS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 22nd – 32nd using a random draw.
- Any vehicles that are eligible for the Event in position 33rd – 40th will be assigned starting positions based on their order of eligibility.
May 27 (NASCAR Cup Series)
- Order based on qualifying for the May 24th race at Charlotte, followed by new entries in order of points. If qualifying is rained out, pit selection will be determined by finishing order on May 24. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.
- Positions 1-20: Invert the top 20 from the May 24th race at Charlotte
- Positions 21-40: In finishing order from the May 24th race at Charlotte, followed by new entries
Modified Competition Caution Procedures:
With the absence of practice, NASCAR will be modifying its Competition Caution procedures to allow teams additional time for adjustments.
The competition cautions will occur at or around the following laps:
- NASCAR Cup Series
- Darlington – May 17: Lap 30
- Darlington – May 20: TBD
- Charlotte – May 24: TBD
- Charlotte – May 27: TBD
- NASCAR Xfinity Series
- Darlington – May 19: Lap 15
- Charlotte – May 25: TBD
- NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series at Charlotte – May 26: TBD
Below are the procedures for the modified competition caution:
- Field will be frozen at the time of the competition caution
- Field will be assembled behind the pace car
- The running order lead lap / lap down will be established and the free pass sent
- Wave around rule is not in effect
- Pit road will open to the top 20 – car must beat the pace car off pit road to retain freeze position
- Pit road will open to the next 20 – car must beat the pace car off pit road to retain freeze position
- Above pit cycle repeats – each team allowed to pit two times
- Re-establish line-up per freeze and restart race
Infractions under modified competition caution:
- Not beating the pace car off pit road results in loss of lap and restarting at tail of the field
- Pitting more than twice or out of sequence results in restarting at the tail of the field
- All current pit road rules are in effect
May 11, 2020
Updated on Xfinity Series and Gander Trucks Field Size for Darlington and Charlotte:
For Xfinity Series and Gander Trucks races for which there is no qualifying scheduled to give teams the opportunity to earn their position in the starting lineup, the field size will be expanded to a maximum of 40 participants in each series to allow additional opportunities for teams to race.
NASCAR Xfinity Series
- Maximum of 40 (up four positions from 36)
- Currently 36th finishing position receives one point
- Under expanded field size, 36th to the balance of the field will be awarded one point
- Note: Post entries will not be eligible for the event.
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series
- Maximum of 40 (up eight positions from 32)
- Currently 32nd finishing position receives five points
- Under expanded field size, 32nd to the balance of the field will be awarded five points
- Note: Post entries will not be eligible for the event.
Below is a statement from NASCAR, attributed to Scott Miller – NASCAR Senior Vice President, Competition:
"This move is critical for the long-term health of the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. There are many new full-time and part-time team owners who have made significant commitments to our sport and secured sponsorship to participate this season. NASCAR wants to enable these teams to fulfill their commitments and grow their businesses without being affected by circumstances out of their control."
May 8, 2020
Darlington & Charlotte Stage Lengths:
May 17 (NASCAR Cup Series): 90 / 185 / 293 laps
May 19 (NASCAR Xfinity Series): 45 / 90 / 147 laps
May 20 (NASCAR Cup Series): 60 / 125 / 228 laps
May 24 (NASCAR Cup Series): 100 / 200 / 300 / 400 laps
May 25 (NASCAR Xfinity Series): 45 / 90 / 200 laps
May 26 (NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series): 30 / 60 / 134 laps
May 27 (NASCAR Cup Series): 55 / 115 / 208 laps
Sam Mayer dominated the ARCA Menards Series West opener on Thursday at The Bullring in Las Vegas driving the No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet. Mayer, a 17-year old racer from Franklin, Wisconsin, led the Star Nursery 150 for all but 13 circuits en route to his first career West victory.
“This is so special. I can’t thank GMS Racing enough for bringing out the best car out here today,” said Mayer after the race in victory lane. “I’m gonna enjoy this one for sure.”
With no pit road and no scheduled breaks to change tires, Mayer and the field had to conserve breaks and tires throughout the race. Thanks to a late caution, Mayer was able to cool his breaks just enough to finish the 56.25-mile event.
“About halfway through the race my breaks pretty much went away. Thank God that caution came out because I was able to cool them down,” Mayer continued. “It was a tough race and this place is a lot harder on breaks than I thought it’d be. That’s what makes a race team and a race car driver – perseverance through adversity.”
Jesse Love was the only competition upfront for Mayer in Thursday’s Star Nursery 150. Love, making his West series debut, led the way for 13 circuits in his No. 19 NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota after starting second on the leaderboard.
“Probably an A without the plus on the end,” Love said after the race when asked to grade his night. “We started off maybe a little bit too snug but we’re gonna come back swinging next time. We were way better than the rest of the guys running for a West championship.”
Mayer, the 2019 NASCAR K&N East Champion, leaves Las Vegas sitting high atop a mountain as he ended the night victorious last weekend in the ARCA Menards Series East opener at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida.
Blaine Perkins rounded out the top three finishers on Thursday in Las Vegas. The third-place finish gives Perkins his second top five finish in the ARCA Menards Series West division.
“We had a really good No. 9 Sunrise Ford. I’m just really looking forward to the rest of the year,” Perkins said. “This is my first podium finish so I’m just looking forward to this year and Irwindale.”
Gracie Trotter and Trevor Huddleston also took home top-five finishes.
Rest of the top 10 included Lawless Alan, Jack Wood, Todd Souza, Austin Reed and Gio Scelzi.
Two teammates brought out the first caution flag of the evening on lap 25 in turn two. The No. 12 of Lawless Alan got into Gio Scelzi to send Scelzi around. Alan continued in his No. 12 machine.
On lap 64 Austin Reed went around in turn two. Reed, driving the No. 7 car, continued without any further incident.
On lap 80 Zach Telford stalled on the track to bring out the third yellow flag of the evening. Telford did not continue and finished 16th as a result of a mechanical malfunction.
On lap 138, with 12 laps remaining, debris was spotted on the racing surface to bring out the fourth and final yellow flag of the night. With seven laps to go, with Mayer and Love restarting in first and second, the field went back green.
The next race for the ARCA Menards Series West will be at Irwindale Speedway on March 28.
The Star Nursery 150 will air Tuesday, February 25th at 6:00 p.m. ET. on NBCSN.
Grant Enfinger survived NASCAR Overtime to win the season opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday evening. Enfinger, trading paint with driver Jordan Anderson coming to the checkered flag, edged Anderson by 0.010 seconds to score his third career Gander RV Outdoors Truck Series victory.
Anderson, driving for his own racing team, walked away with his best career finish in the series with a runner-up. His last top 10 run came at Talladega Superspeedway in 2018 with a seventh-place finish.
Enfinger, after dodging a 14-truck melee that sent the 100-lap event into NASCAR overtime, has 29 top five and 54 top 10 finishes in 84 career starts.
Codie Rohrbaugh ended the night with his best finish of third in the series on Friday. The driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet now has two finishes inside the top 10 with his last coming at Martinsville Speedway in the fall of 2019.
Derek Kraus and Natalie Decker rounded out the top five.
Rest of the top 10 featured Austin Hill, Johnny Sauter, Ross Chastain, Sheldon Creed and Jason White.
The race had three caution flags that involved several drivers throughout the event. The first came out on lap 15 on the frontstretch that featured nine trucks. Ty Majeski landed on his roof and skidded a long distance before stopping upside down on the apron of the speedway. NASCAR red-flagged the event for seven minutes and 59 seconds to flip the truck over. Majeski climbed out of his damaged truck and walked to an awaiting ambulance.
Cautions two and three were for scheduled stage breaks at laps 20 and 40. Pole sitter Riley Herbst took stage one while eventual race winner Grant Enfinger claimed stage two.
Eleven trucks tangled in turn two bringing out the fourth caution of the night. The incident involved most notably Brett Moffitt, Christian Eckes, Sheldon Creed, Derek Kraus, Natalie Decker and Riley Herbst.
The field went back green on lap 75 and stayed green just before Grant Enfinger took the white flag in regulation on lap 98. 14 trucks piled into each other as the field raced off turn two eliminating several contenders from the victory. Some of those involved were Ben Rhodes, Johnny Sauter, Stewart Friesen, Jesse Little, Matt Crafton and others.
Rhodes led 17 circuits prior to the incident and had one of the best runs going before being knocked out of the event. Other lap leaders involved were Stewart Friesen and Riley Herbst.
The next race for the series will take place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on February 21. The Strat 200 will take place at 1:30 p.m. ET. live on FOX Sports 1 and MRN Radio.
Sam Mayer walked away victorious on Monday in the ARCA Menards Series East opener at New Smyrna Speedway. The 2019 NASCAR K&N East Champion started sixth on the leaderboard and led 28 of the 175 circuits. The victory will mark his fifth career win in the East division.
“I was riding behind him saving tires cause I knew he hadn’t pitted yet,” said winner Sam Mayer in victory lane. I’m definitely going to enjoy this one, beating Ty (Gibbs), and all these other people. Their team is amazing, and beating them is definitely something to be said.”
Mayer held off hard charging Derek Griffith in the closing laps of the 84-mile event. Griffith, piloting the No. 2 Chad Bryant Racing Ford and making his series debut, was popped for pulling up to pit and sent to the rear of the field prior to a restart with a handful of laps left. Before the penalty, Griffith led 144 laps.
“Definitely,” Griffith said after the race when asked if he could’ve caught Sam Mayer with five more laps. “Man, that thing was HOOKED UP, and we didn’t take tires. These General Tires held up really good.”
Mayer leaves the season opener with 12 career top five and top 10 finishes in the East division.
Ty Gibbs rounded out the top three finishers on Monday. The driver of the No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota started fourth and led the field for five laps.
Nick Sanchez and Giovanni Bromante rounded out the top five.
Stephen Nasse, Corey Heim, Parker Retzlaff, Chase Cabre and Max McLaughlin rounded out the top 10.
The race remained calm with single-car incidents until lap 145 when three cars tangled in turn four. Tanner Gray, Mason Diaz and Max McLaughlin came off turn four three wide following a restart on lap 144 and simply ran out of racing room. Tanner Gray’s No. 17 Ford went on its side against the outside retaining wall damaging the catch-fence before landing back on all four wheels. The incident resulted in a lengthy red flag period for fence repair.
Gray finished 18th while Diaz finished 17th as a result of the melee. McLaughlin continued and finished 10th on the lead lap.
Tonight’s race will air on NBCSN at 1:00 p.m. ET. on February 14.
The ARCA Menards Series East will return at Five Flags Speedway on March 14. The event will air live on NBC TrackPass Gold at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Michael Self celebrated in victory lane at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday piloting the No. 25 Toyota with sponsor Sinclair Lubricants. Self, driving for Venturini Motorsports, started on the pole and led 60 of the 80 laps to score his eighth career win in the series.
Self led the first 21 circuits of the event before coming down pit road. The now two-time Daytona winner in the ARCA Racing Series fell to eighth on the leaderboard for the restart on lap 23.
The driver from Utah regained the top spot while under the caution flag on lap 41 and held the lead for the rest of the way.
Self, with 40 career ARCA Racing Series starts, leaves the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway with 26 top five and 27 top 10 finishes.
Hailie Deegan sat 0.125-seconds behind race winner Michael Self in the finishing order on Saturday. Deegan, driving the No. 4 Monster Energy Ford, restarted third on the final restart on lap 75. Looking for her first career ARCA Racing Series win, Deegan took the runner-up position one circuit later on lap 76.
She’ll leave the 2.5-mile oval in South Florida with her second top five and fifth top 10 finish.
Drew Dollar rounded out the top three finishers in the Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona. Dollar, piloting the No. 15 Venturini Motorsports Toyota, started the 200-mile race in fifth. The driver from Atlanta sat second early on before being popped for a pit road penalty that relegated him to the 20th spot for 14 laps.
The No. 15 crew gained 10 positions on lap 39 as a result of a caution flag – putting them 10th on the leaderboard.
Sean Corr and Thad Moffitt rounded out the top five.
Jason White, Riley Herbst, Willie Mullins, Bret Holmes and Scott Melton rounded out the top 10.
The next event for the series will be at Phoenix Raceway on March 6th at 7:00 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 1.
NASCAR unveiled rule changes on Tuesday in preparation for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. The rule changes include changes to downforce at road course and small short tracks one mile in length or shorter. NASCAR hopes that these changes will improve the on-track product going forward.
The changes include the rear spoiler, front splitter overhang and alterations to radiator pan. The new package will be used at six oval tracks and three road courses in 2020.
“When we consider changes to the aero package, we often can look back on our playbook, if you will, from seasons past,” Probst told NASCAR.com, NASCAR Senior Vice President, Innovation and Racing Development. “And there’s obviously some trade-offs that you make between introducing something completely new that the industry has never seen versus something that we have run before where we have a playbook from our side and (teams) have setup books from their end. We felt like we were going to look at aero packages that we have run in the past, and looking back at a lot of competitive metrics that we track, we feel like the 2017 levels of downforce on those types of tracks had pretty good side-by-side racing that our fans enjoyed.
Specs: (via NASCAR.com)
- A significantly smaller rear spoiler, which shrinks from an 8-inch height to 2.75 inches.
- The front splitter’s overhang will now measure a quarter-inch (down from 2 inches), with approximately 2-inch wings (reduced from 10.5 inches).
- Alterations to the radiator pan, removing its vertical fencing in an effort to reduce front-end downforce. The dimensions of the pan remain the same.
The six tracks that will see the new changes include Bristol, Dover, Martinsville, New Hampshire, Phoenix Raceway and Richmond. The three road course events include Charlotte Roval, Sonoma and Watkins Glen.
“Our first and foremost core goal is to deliver great racing, and I think that we constantly evaluate the things that we do on the race track, however and wherever we need to, to improve that situation for them,” said John Probst, “And as part of our normal ongoing critique of ourselves and how we’re doing, we just felt like this was a good opportunity for us to improve the on-track product at the short tracks and road courses.”
Stewart Friesen locked himself into the Round of 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday by winning the Lucas Oil 150 at ISM Raceway. Friesen, who will race for a championship next week in South Florida, led 44 of the 150 circuits en route to his second career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win.
The win did not come easy for the driver from Canada as he was popped for a start violation at the initial start of the race. Friesen, the second-place starter, beat pole sitter Austin Hill to the start-finish line and had to serve a pass-through penalty. Luckily for Friesen, second-place finisher Brandon Jones brought out the first yellow in turn two on lap six that sent Friesen to the rear instead of a pass-through on pit road.
Fresen goes into the season-finale next week with 12 top five and 16 top 10 finishes in 2019.
Brandon Jones, winner of stage two, started seventh on the leaderboard and led 36 of the 150 circuits. The driver for Kyle Busch Motorsports, making his fifth truck series appearance of 2019, sat 0.860 seconds behind the winner and finished stage one in ninth.
Chandler Smith made his fourth appearance in the series at ISM Raceway in 2019. The driver for Kyle Busch Motorsports will leave the one-mile oval with a third-place finish following a sixth-place start.
Ben Rhodes, winner of stage one, and Grant Enfinger rounded out the top five.
Matt Crafton, Harrison Burton, Johnny Sauter, Ross Chastain and Brett Moffitt rounded out the top 10.
Four drivers move into the Round of 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway while two drivers were eliminated on Friday at ISM Raceway. Moving on will be winner Stewart Friesen, reigning series champion Brett Moffitt, Ross Chastain and two-time series champion Matt Crafton. Eliminated was 13th-place finisher Austin Hill and 26th-place finisher Tyler Ankrum.
The series will head to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the 2019 season finale on November 15th. The Ford EcoBoost 200 will air live on FS1 and MRN Radio at 8:00 p.m. ET.