Felix Rosenquist (No. 6 Arrow McLaren) set down two great laps at the 1.5 mile Texas Motor Speedway, averaging a speed of 220.264 mph, landing him the number one spot for Sunday’s PPG 375, with Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon starting in second. Scott McLaughlin (No. 6), who was fastest in the first practice session, was only able to qualify 18th, the last of the three Team Penske Chevrolet’s (Newgarden in fourth, Power in eighth). Rosenquist was the only IndyCar driver to reach the 220’s mph speed range on Saturday afternoon in qualifying, but he has a chance to make his fast Chevrolet even better, as IndyCar will have another practice session later this afternoon.
Scott McLaughlin (No. 3) is looking for redemption at Texas Motor Speedway after his bittersweet second place finish last year to teammate Josef Newgarden, and he is one step closer to achieving that goal. McLaughlin topped the speed charts Saturday morning in the Lone Star State, with a speed of 223.747 mph; a full two tenths of a second faster than Arrow McLaren driver Pato O’Ward (No. 5). IndyCar will hold a qualifying session around 12:15 p.m. Eastern, as well as another practice session around 2:30 p.m. Eastern.
After leading 16 of 42 laps at Circuit of the Americas, Zane Smith in his No. 38 Ford F-150 wins his second straight race at COTA in the XPEL 225.
Zane talked about the final few laps with Kyle Busch closing in. “I mean, once we got to eight to go, the heart rate went up a little bit. He's (Kyle Busch) so good at managing his stuff and and going on, it matters. So I was just trying not to make any mistakes. I made a couple there with around five to go. Road courses in general, once you lock up, it's ten times easier to lock up again.”
Z. Smith was dominant all day, but wasn’t a factor when it came to winning the stages, as Christian Eckes captured stage one, and Kyle Busch scored the victory in stage two. This was the first race in the top three series of NASCAR to have stages with no yellow flags afterwards. With that, only three cautions happened in the 42 lap event. No. 20 Ed Jones brought out the first yellow on lap 2, No. 42 of Carson Hocevar went into the gravel pit on lap 8, and the No. 75 of Parker Kligerman’s engine blew right at the end of stage two, with just 15 laps to go.
Next week, the tough trucks of NASCAR will stay in the Lone Star State, when they travel three hours north to take on the Texas Motor Speedway in the SpeedyCash.com 220. That race will be at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on FS1.
Josh Williams, driver of the No. 92 Chevy for DGM Racing, will miss out at racing at Circuit of the America’s this upcoming Saturday, after NASCAR suspends him for one race following his incident at Atlanta Motor Speedway this past weekend.
Williams was parked Saturday at Atlanta for prolonging the caution period after a piece of debris fell from his car from a previous crash he was involved in. Afterwards, Williams parked his car under the start/finish line at Atlanta due to frustration with NASCAR, and walked back to the infield.
Williams released the following statement Tuesday afternoon -
After the release of NASCAR's statement today about the penalty from Atlanta, I want to take the time to say THANK YOU! I want to thank every one my sponsors for their continued support: Alloy Employer Services, Call811.com, Coolray Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical, Star Brite, Star Tron, Sleep Well Inc., General Formulations, and Peg Leg Porker. Thank you to all of the fans for sticking by my side and showing love. I stand behind what I did and I don't regret any decision I made. I stand behind NASCAR for these decisions and will continue and always continue to support them. lam not going anywhere any time soon! I hope the loyal fans of NASCAR continue to fill the infields and grandstands. We will be back stronger than ever and ready to get the 92 DGM Racing team Chevy back up front!
Alex Labee will fill in for William’s in the XPEL 250 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Tex., this weekend.
After a weekend full of unusual weather conditions in Southern California, a familiar face strolled into victory lane after leading 27 of the 200 laps during the final running of the Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Kyle Busch, only two points paying races into the 2023 season, wins with Richard Childress for the first time, and nabs his 61st ever career victory.
“I felt like there was going to be a little bit of a learning experience and a little bit of a growth pattern,” Busch stated in the media center, talking about his quick success with RCR. “On the flipside of that, I always just kind of looked back and watched some of their results and success that they had last year with Austin. He ran second here last year, and Reddick was super, super fast.”
Busch continued on by saying, “It’s just been really, really cool, and it’s been a great piece of — we’re making history, right, but a great piece of opportunity to go out there and continue to win races at a new team with RCR, so I can’t say enough about Austin giving me a call, first and foremost, but then Richard and Judy giving me this opportunity to go out here and race for wins. I’m thankful to be a part of our Lucas Oil Chevrolet team today.”
Busch’s win Sunday afternoon is almost symbolic in many ways. This is where he famously kicked out of the truck race in 2001 after a controversy with the track's sponsor being Marlboro, as well as the same place he scored his first Cup Series win in 2005. He also scored his 200th NASCAR National touring series win in 2018, and even broke Richard Petty’s record of most consecutive seasons with at least one win after his win Sunday. Since this was the final weekend for the two mile superspeedway in its original configuration, Busch had comments about the future of NASCAR in SoCal.
“We need to be in Southern California. I think the Clash is kind of a cool exhibition opportunity where we get to be in LA, like really out over that way, but man, I was really, really pleased and happy with the crowd that came out today. I just hope that the next track that we have (in Fontana, Calif.) puts on the show that we’ve been able to see here for the last probably 10 years, 12 years, but repaves are always tough. It takes a good five years for a repave to turn into something that’s decent.”
Busch will look to score his second straight win at a track that might have more meaning to him than any other on the schedule - with NASCAR racing in Las Vegas, Nev., next Sunday.
With just five laps remaining in the Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. 300 at Daytona, the top 15 cars were single file - waiting on one another to make the first move. Twenty minutes later, the ticking time bomb went off, and no one knew who was going into Victory Lane.
A big crash that had Sam Mayer upside down and sliding down on his roof on the Daytona Superstretch, caused confusion on who was the winner of the race. It was down to either Austin Hill, Justin Allgaier, or John Hunter Nemecheck, who were at a stand still on the front stretch tri-oval to see who would be doing burnouts at the World Center of Racing. After reviewing video of the time of caution to see who was out front, NASCAR ultimately decided that Hill was the victor.
“I've got to tell you all, it was like the longest,” stated Hill in the media center, referring to the standstill at the tri-oval before NASCAR announced the winner. “I don't know how many minutes we sat there on the tri-oval. That's the longest I've ever sat in a race car. I felt like I was in there for an hour. If you'd had a heart rate monitor on me, it was probably 190, just like beating out of my chest, because I'm like did we do it, did we not, what is going on. It was just such a relief to see that we got it done.”
Hill, who won last year’s Xfinity Series opening race at Daytona, was one of the top favorites throughout the day. From starting on pole and leading 39 of the 125 laps completed, Hill was bound to be in the running at the top of the board.
Hill’s win in 2022 was also during a wreck involving a flipping car on the Backstretch of Daytona, only that time involving Myatt Snyder. Even though both victories came during a caution, Hill expressed that a win is still a win. “I'd love to win it under green, but I really don't care how I win it, as long as I'm the one that won the race. It is what it is.”
Austin continued on by saying, “All of us drivers know when the white flag comes out, as soon as caution comes out, it's over. As soon as the white flag comes out, you're doing all you can to get to the lead in case you have that wreck that normally does happen down the backstretch or wherever it's going to happen, and you normally don't get back to the line a lot of the time.”
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will return to action next Saturday afternoon, when they run at the famous Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Cal.
Zane Smith captured his second straight win at Daytona late Friday evening after unpredictable weather came through the area unannounced that caused mist to lay over the two and a half mile Superspeedway. Even though only 79 of the 100 laps completed, folks still have more than enough to take away from the 24th annual NextEra Energy 250.
Zane Smith is one of the top contenders
Kind of an easy one right? Zane led a total of 17 of the 79 laps completed Friday night. Though he scored no stage points as he was out of the top 10 on lap 20 and 40, he still finds himself locked in the playoffs and currently fourth in the regular season standings. Be on the lookout from that Smith kid from Las Vegas, because he is already the favorite to win the championship in 2023.
Rain delays can happen anytime: Even on a sunny day
Friday afternoon saw sunny skies with 70 degrees temperature to make a beautiful afternoon in Daytona Beach, Fla. But when day turned into night, the “rain” showed up. The truck race had three weather related cautions/delays in the 79 lap event, even when nothing popped up on the radar. Next time you show up to the track, make sure to bring a jacket incase of any scenario.
Craftsman Truck Series won’t help you win the Daytona 500
Four drivers that qualified for this year's Daytona 500 were a part of the Craftsman Truck Series event Friday night. Drivers like Z. Smith, Chase Elliott, Travis Pastrana and Corey LaJoie, buckled in to compete with the tough truckers. While most would think that this would help them with the big race on Sunday, Z. Smith seems to disagree.
“In all honesty, the Cup car is so much different than I feel like anything. But there are a few similarities I feel like in the truck race and how the Cup car is in a way. Like I said, they’re so far apart.”
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will compete in two weeks when they travel to Las Vegas, Nev., to compete at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series kicked off its 38 race weekend schedule Sunday evening, with a familiar face rolling into victory lane. After nearly 46 races without a win, Martin Truex Jr. scored his first ever Clash victory at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
“It was definitely satisfying,” stated Truex on the win Sunday evening. “Anytime you win it's obviously satisfying. I had some good guys around me. Austin (Dillon) and Kyle (Busch) raced clean, and for the most part I've never really had any big issues with those guys.”
Truex, who had to use a provisional to make this event in 2022, had a strong performance after a winless season a year ago. Truex started in third place, and led several times in the 150 lap race to pick up a win to start the 2023 season. Now with a win under his belt, he looks to take this positive momentum to try to win the Daytona 500 in just two weeks.
“To come back this year and be first in practice, I was really honestly nervous last night. I went to bed thinking today was going to suck. It was going to be a long day because it's going to be hard to pass and we were starting sixth in our heat on the outside.”
Truex survived the 16 cautions that plagued the race – A major jump from the five cautions that occurred in the inaugural event last year.
When you think of race car drivers, you think they have the world at their fingertips. A fancy house, a private jet, and a multi-million dollar contract to drive cars 200 miles per hour. That's how most view the life of a driver. But what about the ones who don’t have the funds to compete for wins week to week? What about the ones who don’t have the new things that some teams do? What about the ones who have other jobs to support their racing career?
Meet Alex Clubb, a 31 year old who runs A. Clubb Landscaping, a landscaping company in his hometown of Morris, Ill., located in the southwest Chicago metropolitan area. Clubb also drives the No. 03 Ford Fusion in the ARCA Menards Series for his own race team Clubb Racing Inc.
Clubb didn’t come from money or fame; he just had a dream. “I probably started watching Days of Thunder on repeat when I was three,” quoted Clubb. “Ever since then I knew I wanted to race in the Cup Series. My parents got me a go kart for the back yard when I was four. My grandpa John Clubb and my dad Brian Clubb both raced as well as my uncles Bob, Tim, and Jonathan, as well as many other cousins. We have a huge racing family.”
Clubb mainly raced at local tracks like Grundy Speedway, Lasalle Speedway, Fairbury Speedway, Farmer City Raceway, Illiana Motor Speedway, and Rockford Speedway. He also won three separate track championships in a Champ Cart in 2003 at Jules Raceway, a Hornet Championship at Lasalle, and an Ump Stock Car Championship in 2012 at Fairbury.
Racing locally wasn’t what Alex wanted to do. For the long term future. He wanted to race on a national platform, and ARCA is where he felt he could achieve his dreams. “ARCA was as close to my dream of racing on a national platform,” said Clubb. He then started to explore his options in 2014, and landed at Carter 2 Motorsports in 2015.
After three starts in the season that included two in his home state in Illinois (Duquoin State Fair and the Springfield Mile) and earning two DNF's at Duquoin Speedway and Winchester Speedway and a 17th place finish at Springfield Mile, Clubb took 2016 off and built his own race cars for the 2017 season, where he would compete under his own team known as Clubb Racing Inc. From 2017 to 2021, Clubb only ran a handful of races, but that wasn’t enough for him. In 2022, Clubb Racing Inc. made the decision to compete the full ARCA Menard Series schedule.
Clubb didn’t drive all 20 starts in 2022, but instead gave the opportunity to new up incoming drivers who wanted their name out there. Brayton Laster, Josh White, Rita Thompson, and Casey Carden all made at least one or two starts in the No. 03 Ford Fusion.
“Brayton (Laster) running for Mullins Racing in our car for his two races made the other 18 possible for us,” quoted Clubb. “For that I am very grateful. Josh (White) was supposed to run three races for us but due to his crash at Charlotte and his primary sponsor deal drying up, he only made one start. Rita (Thompson) seemed to have potential but it unfortunately didn’t work out for her or us at the end of the day.”
But one driver stood out to Clubb, one that he called his favorite one to work with. That would be the gentleman that rebounded at Mid Ohio after having brake issues on lap one to finish 15th at Watkins Glen, Casey Carden. He’s the kind of guy that you wish funding was available to put him in the car for the full season. “He listens, adapts well, and has great feedback on what the car needs,” Clubb stated. “Most racers these days don’t have that.”
Clubb plans on running the full 2023 ARCA Menard Series schedule for the second time in his career. One thing he needs to have to complete the 20 race schedule is funding. “I am excited for the 2023 race season. I know this year will be a lot better, but it has to make sense and I want to be a lot more competitive.”
But since the 2023 race season doesn’t start until the beginning of February, Clubb has been focusing on his landscaping business back home in Illinois. “I missed a lot of time this year with my business; Probably two full months of work. so I’ve been doing a lot of catching up and helping the guys. When you’re a blue-collar guy there is never an off season.”
Clubb has a wife (Ashlee) and a two year old son (Parker) that live in Morris, Ill., and do everything they can to help Alex achieve his dreams of being a professional race car driver. “She isn’t super happy with the racing, but she understands it's my passion. We met at a race track and started dating in 8th grade. I think she is ready for me to retire, but we know that isn’t going to happen.”
Clubb thinks that the racing bug has already bitten Parker. “He is picking up on things quickly and he definitely has the bug. He seems to really like racing and always wants to sit in our race cars. He even went as Lightning McQueen this year for Halloween. I hope 13 years down the road we are still in ARCA but that’s a long time from now. I do know that when he turns five in a couple years, I want to try him in the baby champ class at Kankakee Speedway.”
Talking about the future of Clubb Racing Inc. Alex made it clear that this isn’t just a throw away project for him. Clubb has goals for his teams for the future. “My goal as a team is to over time acquire better equipment and be able to run on the lead lap. In a perfect world I would love to expand to a two car team full time. For me, the 20 race schedule is perfect. Most races are close to us in Illinois, and I can still run my Landscaping business as well as be home most of the time on weekends.”
Clubb also said that he wouldn’t mind staying in ARCA. “I plan to stay put for as long as I can do it. I wouldn’t mind a NASCAR Craftsman Truck in the future, but it's not possible in the near future. If I can be an ARCA driver for life, that’s fine with me.”
If their is anything Alex Clubb proves, it's that you don’t need to come from money or fame to become a race car driver. Instead, he proves that with hard work, and passion, you can achieve your goals in life.
What started out as a bright and hopeful day for the sport of NASCAR turned dark quickly within hours before the final race of the 2022 season began. It was announced by 23XI Racing that Ty Gibbs, who won the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship nearly 12 hours before, would not be racing due to a family emergency. It was later confirmed that Coy Gibbs, part owner of his fathers NASCAR team Joe Gibbs Racing and father to Ty, had suddenly passed away early Sunday morning in his sleep. Daniel Hemric, who drove for JGR in the Xfinity Series in 2021, filled in for Ty for the NASCAR Championship race Sunday.
Joe Gibbs Racing released a statement Sunday afternoon saying, “It is with great sorrow that Joe Gibbs Racing confirms that Coy Gibbs (co-owner) went to be with the Lord in his sleep last night. The family appreciates all the thoughts and prayers and asks for privacy at this time.” Coy, who actually drove in the Xfinity and Truck Series back in the early 2000’s for his fathers team, was at Phoenix Raceway, where the top three NASCAR national touring series were hosting their championship races. Coy spoke to the media after his son Ty captured the title in the Xfinity Series Saturday evening.
On watching his son go through the tough week of trying to capture the title, Coy stated to the media, “I’m definitely proud of him. I mean, I’ve always got his back as his father. Obviously it’s heartbreaking to go through tough stuff and watch — it’s actually more heartbreaking to watch him go through it. I don’t give a rip; I’m old and don’t care. In fact, I’ve been racing with Chris since we were like 23 or something, so I’ve known him forever. We’ve kind of gone through a bunch of stuff in our life. But to see a kid hurting — and he knows he screwed up; and to go through all that, it’s tough. It’s tough as a parent for sure.”
Joey Logano would end up winning the race and the championship for the NASCAR Cup Series after leading 187 of 312 laps. Logano drove for Joe Gibbs racing from 2009 to 2012, replacing Tony Stewart in the No. 20 Toyota Camry. Now in the No. 22 Ford Mustang for Team Penske, Logano shared his thoughts on the devastating news Sunday.
“I found out before the race, and I still honestly don’t know the details of anything. It’s such an interesting spot as you sit there preparing to run a championship race and then you hear somebody that has been in your life, known for a while — and I still don’t know the details, but it’s just sad. I don’t have words to explain how that is. I feel for Ty more than anything. When you take all the championship racing stuff out, it doesn’t matter at the end of the day. It’s great that we’re up here and we won a championship, but something happens to your family, it doesn’t matter. Like that’s the difference.”
Logano continued on by stating, “For the whole sport, it’s a sad day. For me, it’s a bittersweet type of thing because here we are winning a championship, and here we are one of the people that’s a leader in our sport and someone I’ve known for a while is gone, and I don’t really know how to explain that and how hard that is. Obviously our prayers and thoughts go to the Gibbs family and everyone over at JGR. When you think they’ve had a rough run at it, I couldn’t imagine how Joe feels right now. Yeah, I don’t really know what else to say. It’s hard. I couldn’t imagine. I don’t know what it’s like. But for Ty to lose his dad, that’s just hard.”
Joe Gibbs, a former Head Coach for the Washington Redskins and the owner of Joe Gibbs Racing, has tragically been through the same situation in 2019, when he lost his other son J.D. after battling a degenerative neurological disease. No other information on the death of Coy Gibbs has been released at this time.