Saturday, Sep 18
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Friday’s nitro-fueled festivities at zMAX Dragway saw the NHRA’s all-time winningest driver add another feather to his cap. Funny Car legend John Force scorched 1,000 feet of pavement to the tune of a 3.86-second, 331.18-mile-per-hour run to earn provisional pole for the DEWALT NHRA Carolina Nationals

Force returns to the Bellagio of drag strips as its defending winner, having captured the Wally in May’s NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals – his 152nd career victory.

“We were in the back (of the qualifying line), so we could see how everyone went, but it felt good,” said Force, who will go for the zMAX Dragway season sweep on Sunday. “I’m excited to be back here at Charlotte. I like to at least be in the hunt, and I’m in the hunt. (Saturday) is a new day. I’ve got to thank Bruton Smith, Marcus Smith, everybody here at zMAX Dragway. This is an amazing race track. Everybody’s running well on it.”  

He wasn’t the only Force to be reckoned with on Friday.

Brittany Force continued the family dominance with a phenomenal 3.662-second, 331.85-mph pass to put the Top Fuel title contender in position for her eighth consecutive No. 1 qualifier result. Force tied her zMAX Dragway-record elapsed time with her first run of the weekend.

“It always feels good to come out with the first run of the night and be No. 1,” she said. “To be able to run like that was pretty impressive for the entire Monster Energy team. There’s a lot on the line in this Countdown and we really want to win, but right now we’re focusing on one run at a time, one win at a time. Eventually, we’ll get there.”

Aaron Stanfield stormed to the provisional top spot in Pro Stock qualifying by a scant .003 seconds over Erica Enders. Stanfield’s 6.575-second pass averaged 208.59 miles per hour, giving the third-generation driver the inside line on his first career No. 1 qualifier honor.

“I got on the radio afterward and said, ‘That was a really nice run,’” Stanfield said. “And, it was. I was a bit surprised it held up, because there are some great cars out there. I can’t say that it will or that it won’t hold up, but I hope it does.”

Steve Johnson’s 6.807-second, 196.47-mph run set the pace in Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying. Johnson will chase his third victory of the year and second in a row on Sunday.

“(Being provisional No. 1 qualifier) makes us feel really good,” Johnson said. “Our team is just growing. We have people helping us in all sorts of different areas and we’ve got our sponsors here as well. As the team grows, you get confidence in that.”

The forecast for Saturday’s action features plenty of sunshine, as the NHRA’s best drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle duel for the top seed before Sunday’s all-important eliminations. 

SCHEDULE:
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying continues on Saturday at 1:30 and 5:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.

TICKETS:
To purchase tickets, camping and upgrades to this weekend’s DEWALT NHRA Carolina Nationals, visit www.zmaxdragway.com or call 800-455-FANS (3267). For more information about the NHRA, visit www.NHRA.com.

FOLLOW ALONG:
Keep track of all of the latest news and information from zMAX Dragway by following on Twitter and Instagram or become a Facebook fan. Keep up with all the latest news and information with the Charlotte Motor Speedway mobile app.

CMS PR

Josef Newgarden isn’t going down without a big fight.

Two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Newgarden led practice Friday for the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, turning a top lap of 1 minute, 11.7125 seconds in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet after losing ground to championship leader Alex Palou last weekend at Portland International Raceway.

MEDIA LINKS: Practice Results | Driver Video Quotes | Post-Practice Transcript

“Overall, we unloaded pretty good,” Newgarden said. “Small differences here or there, but for the most part globally it felt like the car was in the window. Just got to look after it.

“Obviously, things can change quickly. In Portland, we were pretty sorted out in practice one, we choked in qualifying and were pretty far off the pace. That's the number one thing for us in the 2 car, have a consistent run all the way through. If we can do that, we'll be in the fight.”

Newgarden enters this penultimate event of the season third in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES standings, 34 points behind leader Palou. It’s far from impossible he can rally for a third career title, but he’ll need to leapfrog Palou and second-place Pato O’Ward – 25 points behind Palou – to wear the crown.

Colton Herta was second at 1:11.7927 in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda before going off course just past the famous Corkscrew turn complex in the final minute of the 45-minute session on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula of Northern California. 2019 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey winner Herta made no contact and continued to the pits.

“I think it's tough to do a 45-minute session on one set of tires,” Herta said. “Waiting for most of it, waiting to see what kind of lap times guys were doing.

“Compared to when we were at the test, I think the track was a lot better. It was quite nice. Even though it seemed like it was similar temperature, seemed to be a little bit more grip today.”

Track activity resumes with a 45-minute practice at 1:45 p.m. (ET) Saturday, followed by NTT P1 Award qualifying at 5:05 p.m. (ET). Both sessions will be streamed live on Peacock Premium.

Palou was third overall in the practice at 1:11.9750 in the No. 10 NTT Data Honda. Ed Jones was fourth at 1:12.0166 in the No. 18 SealMaster Honda, while 2016 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Alexander Rossi rounded out the top five at 1:12.0625 in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda.

Among the other three drivers mathematically eligible to win the Astor Challenge Cup as season champion, Marcus Ericsson (fifth, 75 points behind) was 10th at 1:12.3564 in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Six-time series champion Scott Dixon (fourth, 49 points behind) ended up 11th at 1:12.4415 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Grow Up Great Honda, while O’Ward was 14th at 1:12.4982 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

Herta wasn’t the only driver to go off track while pushing for lap time toward the end of the session.

Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves nudged the tire barrier in Turn 2, also known as the Andretti Hairpin, with the nose of his No. 06 Meyer Shank Racing Honda with about 18 minutes remaining. Then Rossi went off in Turn 3 and continued, while Sebastien Bourdais spun and continued in the No. 14 ROKiT/AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet.

Rookie of the Year points leader Scott McLaughlin also slowed in the final minute approaching the Corkscrew turn complex.

Live coverage of the 95-lap race starts at 3 p.m. (ET) Sunday on NBC, Peacock Premium and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

NTT IndyCar Series PR

If was a fast and furious dozen or so laps with Gragson out front over the field but hot in tow on the bumper was Daniel Hemric who made it past for the lead after a several lap battle trying to keep Justin Allgaier behind him.

However, within laps Moffitt slammed the wall in turn two after a tire went down sending him to pit road and ending his night early on.

As the field got rolling once again following the first caution of the night it was Daniel Hemric with the launch on the outside line dragging Justin Allgaier with him around Gragson.

Yet as Hemric caught up to the rear of the field and working traffic Hemric got held up by Jade Burford giving Allagier the jump he needed to take over the lead. Allgaier would stay in control through the remaining laps to win stage one.

Just as the race started to get into a mid-race rhythm two back-to-back caution slowed the field. First for Tommy Joe Martins and McLeod tangling followed up quickly by Mills and Boyd tangling up sending Mills spinning and knocking him out of the race for the night.

While under caution Mills viably upset with Spencer Boyd after exiting his No. 99 machine, first attempting to throw a water bottle that caught the tow truck instead, then stands next to the track giving the middle finger to Boyd as he drove by before getting in the truck for his ride to the care center.

With halfway closing in Hemric once again got hung up by Jade Buford allowing Allgaier to get past for the lead but his lead wouldn’t last long while battling lapped traffic lost it and drifted down the frontstretch before finally gathering it back up but not before Hemric was able to make his way back around for the lead bringing Noah Gragson with him for second.

That pass for the lead would allow Hemric to hang on to win stage two.

As laps began to fade and quick caution for a tangle between Tommy Joe Martins and David Starr once again slowed the pace for the ninth time of the night. With the green flag back in the air Sam Mayer who had a rough ARCA and Truck event bounced back with the lead over Brandon Jones and Justin Allgaier.

The battle up front with Cindric out in the lead saw Allgaier and Mayer doing battle until Allgaier got into Mayer sending him spinning for the 10th caution of the night sending the event into NASCAR overtime.

Cindric and AJ Allmendinger both battling for the regular season championship lined up on the front row both drawing even to the white flag when chaos struck coming to the line. With Cindric trailing by a half car length going into the final corner Cindric and Allmendinger trading paint out of the corner seeing the two cars sliding sideway across the line for the checkered flag.

But it didn’t end there as the cars slid down the track a pile up including the race winning car of Allmendinger slammed the wall with several other cars including Cindric piling up in the accident.

When the smoke cleared AJ Allmendinger hopped out of the car and made his way to the care center where he was released for his interview. But after Cindric who was able to drive his car back to pit road and got both booed and cheered in his post-race interview.

"What happened on the last lap?  The short summary is short track racing.  The long summary is a lot of contact.  Five-star bodies definitely made their money’s worth today.  I’m surprised we were able to not cut a tire down in that situation, but just a lot of hard racing, a lot of guys wanted to win the race." Said Cindric

The series now moves onto Las Vegas Motor Speedway next Saturday, September 25th at 4:30 p.m. on NBCSN for the Alsco Uniforms 302.

 

 

 

Johnny Morris and the entire Bass Pro Shops family proudly support longtime friends Martin Truex Jr. and Sherry Pollex in their efforts to raise awareness about ovarian cancer. Morris today announces the dedication space on the No. 19 Bass Pro Shops/ SherryStrong.org Toyota Camry during Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops Great American Night Race at the Bristol Motor Speedway to fight cancer. SherryStrong.org is a subsidiary of the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation. The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation is dedicated to creating awareness about childhood and ovarian cancer. SherryStrong.org is named in honor of Sherry Pollex, longtime partner of NASCAR driver Martin Truex Jr. and cancer survivor. It is an educational website that’s mission is to create awareness about ovarian cancer and provide resources to women battling the disease.

After being diagnosed in 2014 with stage 3c ovarian cancer, Sherry has undergone three major surgeries and over forty chemotherapy treatments. But through it all, she continues to give hope to other women battling this disease. Educating others about ovarian cancer symptoms and sharing her cancer journey has given her a greater purpose. Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops are humbled by the opportunity to support such a noble cause, led by such a strong and courageous person.

Truex Jr., Pollex and the Morris family have a long friendship that has involved time at the racetrack and time in the great outdoors. Bass Pro Shops has sponsored Martin Truex Jr. through three championships — the 2004 and 2005 Xfinity Series and the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series titles. The friendship they have built along the way has spanned not only the great times and championships, but difficult ones as well. In 2014 Sherry Pollex was diagnosed with stage 3C ovarian cancer.

“Johnny has been a part of our lives for over 15 years. He has always held a special place in my heart for the amazing work he does for wildlife conservation and the many different causes he supports, including mine,” Sherry explains. “Johnny, Jeanie and JP have been so supportive of everything we do on and off the track. We are so grateful for their friendship and to be part of this amazing night!” The dedication of the No. 19 car at Bristol Speedway on Saturday night to SherryStrong.org raises the profile of the organization and increases its capacity to fight cancer.

An extension of the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation, SherryStrong.org is a movement that was born in 2014 with Sherry Pollex’s diagnosis. “Fans started posting support on social media with the hashtag SherryStrong. My friends and family encouraged me to share the story and my cancer journey to help others,” Pollex recalls. “It’s taken on a life of its own.”

In November of last year Pollex and Truex Jr. opened the Sherry Strong Integrative Oncology Clinic at the Novant Health Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. Sherry benefited greatly from integrative medicines during her treatment and wanted to make them available to others. Integrative medicines include therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, oncology massage and others designed to support the mental and spiritual wellness of those undergoing traditional cancer treatment programs. The clinic aims to make these therapies, which are not covered by insurance, available to patients who couldn’t otherwise afford them. “We wouldn’t have been able to do it without Johnny’s support,” Sherry describes.

Dedication of sponsorship on the No. 19 car during Saturday’s race at the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at the Bristol Motor Speedway—an event that will be nationally televised on NBC Sports—provides incredible exposure to the cause and the fight against childhood and ovarian cancer. “It’s a huge opportunity. Coverage on TV of the race at Bristol. It will help us spread our message of hope for kids and women. We are so, so grateful—especially during the month of September, which is childhood and ovarian cancer month,” Pollex says. In addition to dedication of space on the No. 19 car for SherryStrong.org, Pollex will also serve as the Grand Marshall and give the command to “Start Your Engines!” for the Bass Pro Shops Great American Night Race. All told it will be a big night for Pollex, SherryStrong.org and the battle against cancer.

As for Johnny Morris, he is humbled and honored for the opportunity. “Our entire Bass Pro Shops family thinks the world of Martin and Sherry. We are proud to support their remarkable efforts in the battle against ovarian cancer,” Morris explains. Jeanie Morris understands the importance of the foundation’s work intimately. She echoes this gratitude, “This terrible disease has affected my family, so I know firsthand how important Sherry’s passion is. Thank you, Sherry, for working for others while fighting your battle. You are amazing!”

To join in supporting Sherry Pollex, Martin Truex Jr. and their fight against childhood and ovarian cancer, please visit: www.SherryStrong.org. Tune into NBC Sports on Saturday night to see Martin Truex Jr. drive the No. 19 Bass Pro Shops/SherryStrong.org Toyota Camry at the Bass Pro Shops Night Race.

Bass Pro Shop PR

 

Cut off time: The first cuts are coming this weekend at Bristol following Hamlin win at Darlington Raceway and Truex win at Richmond Raceway moving them on to the next round Larson has also locked himself in by virtue of his points lead over both Hamlin and Truex.

Others aren’t as lucky with Bowman, Reddick, Byron, and McDowell all below the cut line and in need of victory this weekend except for Bowman who is tied with Kurt Busch at 2,035 point each.

Busch Bros at Bristol: Kurt and Kyle Busch have a combined 14 wins between the two at Bristol with Kurt winning as recently as 2018 in the fall event and Kyle winning the spring event that year while putting up another win in 2019. The two closets to them in active driver wins are Keselowski and Harvick that split the wins in 2020.

Kyle Busch heads into the weekend as +400 favorite to win the Bass Pro Shops Night race, according to Sports Betting Dime. Trailing just slightly behind him is Kyle Larson with odds listed at +450.

Clinch Scenarios per NASCAR Stats:

This weekend’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway will bring the first round of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs to a close and four drivers will be eliminated from the postseason. With three drivers locked-in and moving on, that leaves nine spots still up for grabs this weekend.

Already Clinched

The following three drivers have clinched a spot in the 12-driver Playoff field of the next round: Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr.

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 11th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch or Aric Almirola.

  • Joey Logano: Would clinch with 14 points.
  • Ryan Blaney: Would clinch with 26 points.
  • Kevin Harvick: Would clinch with 29 points.
  • Chase Elliott: Would clinch with 35 points.
  • Christopher Bell: Would clinch with 36 points, 37 points if Aric Almirola wins.
  • Brad Keselowski: Would clinch with 41 points.
  • Kyle Busch: Would clinch with 46 points.
  • Aric Almirola: Would clinch with 51 points.
  • Kurt Busch: Would clinch with 54 points.
  • Alex Bowman: Would clinch with 54 points.
  • Tyler Reddick, William Byron and Michael McDowell: Could only clinch with help this weekend.

The following drivers could clinch on points with a win by Kurt Busch, Alex Bowman, Tyler Reddick, William Byron or Michael McDowell:

  • Joey Logano: Would clinch with 16 points.
  • Ryan Blaney: Would clinch with 28 points.
  • Kevin Harvick: Would clinch with 31 points.
  • Chase Elliott: Would clinch with 37 points.
  • Christopher Bell: Would clinch with 38 points, 39 points if Reddick, Byron or McDowell wins.
  • Brad Keselowski: Would clinch with 43 points.
  • Kyle Busch: Would clinch with 48 points.
  • Aric Almirola: Would clinch with 53 points.
  • Kurt Busch: Would clinch with 55 points.
  • Alex Bowman: Would clinch with 55 points.
  • Tyler Reddick, William Byron and Michael McDowell: Could only clinch with help.

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, Alex Bowman, Tyler Reddick, William Byron, Michael McDowell.

Bristol teams up to bring NFT to NASCAR Fans: Fans at home or in person can claim NFTs (non-fungible token) a digital asset that can be sold or traded.

10,000 commemorative Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race ticket NFTs, including 500 golden ticket NFTs will be available at the on-set of the program with the famous Gladiator Sword being sold for $20, and winner NFTs following the Bass Pro Shop NRA Night Race. To sign up and claim your NFTs from Bristol fans can go to racedaynft.com.

Two Olympic Medal winners with ties to the Appalachian Highlands region who competed at the recent Summer Games in Tokyo have been named Bristol Motor Speedway Neighborhood Heroes, it was announced today. 

The two honorees are Team USA cyclist and Milligan University student Megan Jastrab and former King University student and Team USA wrestler Sarah Hildebrandt. Jastrab will be in attendance and will be introduced to the crowd during pre-race ceremonies for Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at the main trackside stage.

Each of the BMS Neighborhood Heroes has a compelling story, and both Jastrab and Hildebrandt were selected for the honor after their significant achievements competing for the United States Olympic Team, as each earned a bronze medal in their respective sports in Tokyo.

“We are in awe of the accomplishments of our two BMS Neighborhood Heroes this year,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager, Bristol Motor Speedway. “Milligan University’s Megan Jastrab of Team USA Cycling and Sarah Hildebrandt of my alma mater King University both earned Bronze Medals in Tokyo and proudly represented the United States as well as our region in their respective competitions. On behalf of everyone at Bristol Motor Speedway, we are proud to celebrate their achievements and name them the 2021 BMS Neighborhood Heroes.” 

Jastrab, who recently started her junior year at Milligan University with a double major in business and exercise science, earned a bronze medal as part of the Women’s Team Pursuit finals. She was the first current student-athlete from Milligan University to compete in the Olympics, the first to earn an Olympic medal and the first to compete for team USA. Along with racing in the Women’s Team Pursuit, Jastrab also competed in the Olympic Madison, becoming the first American woman to record a point in the event.

Almost immediately after returning home from Tokyo, Jastrab, who is also a three-time junior world champion and 29-time national champion, went back to work, training in Europe for upcoming competitions and getting ready for her collegiate cycle season. It continues to be a busy time for the college student, but she’s excited for Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Jastrab attended one NASCAR race at a young age, but being honored in Bristol and enjoying a race at The Last Great Colosseum will be an entirely new experience that she can’t wait to enjoy.

“I’m really excited for this,” said Jastrab, an Elite Women’s U.S. National Team Member. “Whenever I fly into Bristol I always see the track and it looks so cool. I’ve always said, ‘I need to go to this race,’ and to get this opportunity, it’s just perfect. I’m really looking forward to it, seeing all the people and enjoying the night.

“Competing in the Olympics was an unforgettable experience. I’ve always admired the Olympic athletes and everything it represents competing for the U.S. team. It really was mind-blowing to me and it’s been really special since I’ve been home. I love meeting new people and this will be another great experience.”

Hildebrandt, who was a 2018 silver medalist at the World Championships, was a standout wrestler at King University, where she was a two-time Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) national champion and four-time finals. She was a four-time Pan American Championships champion before winning the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in 2021 in the 116.5-pound weight class to earn a spot on Team USA for the Olympic Games.

In Tokyo, Hildebrandt impressed, rolling to a 21-1 victory in the bronze medal match. While she won’t be in attendance on Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway, she is thrilled for the honor and does have a number of fond experiences at the track, working in one of the concessions stands at a handful of races while in college at King University.

“Going to school in Bristol and everything that it has done for me, and now to be honored for this accomplishment, it’s amazing,” Hildebrandt said. “When I worked at the track, I would always try to sneak away and watch, and it was always so much fun. I’m very grateful for this honor and it’s definitely a family feel in the area and at King.

“It was really cool to be part of the experience at King and be around a group of women who wanted to make it on the Olympic stage. It was a crucial part of my growth and to come out of that small school and perform at the Olympics, it was freaking magic. It’s been amazing and it really it’s a celebration of everyone who’s helped me get this far.”

On Saturday night the green flag will drop for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN and PRN Radio), with so much at stake in the Cup Series Playoffs. Fans will see NASCAR’s best drivers compete in close quarters in pursuit of a coveted victory on the storied short track. You’ll get to see all of your favorite drivers racing hard to advance in the Playoffs, including Bristol dominator Kyle Busch, Food City Dirt Race winner Joey Logano, three-time Bristol winner Brad Keselowski, defending Night Race winner Kevin Harvick, Bristol All-Star Race winner and defending series champ Chase Elliott, and five-time season winner Kyle Larson, who is still chasing his first BMS Cup victory. For ticket information, please click here.

BMS PR

Chase Elliott, the reigning NASCAR Cup Series Champion and a former Talladega Superspeedway winner, will headline a stellar lineup of NASCAR personalities who will make up Fan Question & Answer sessions prior to the start of the YellaWood 500 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race on Sunday, Oct. 3.

The Fan Q&A sessions will be held at the Fr8Auctions Stage in Fr8Auctions Celebration Plaza, located in the one-of-a-kind Talladega Garage Experience where fans can get “up close” to race cars while they are being prepped for action.

Fans who purchase a Sunday admission to the Talladega Garage Experience ($89 for adults/teenager & older and $39 for kids 12 & under) will get the chance to ask the group – which currently consists of NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs drivers Elliott and Alex Bowman, along with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Erik Jones and Chris Buescher - questions prior to the highly anticipated YellaWood 500, the second race in the Round of 12 in the Cup Series playoffs. A Talladega Garage Experience admission must be accompanied by corresponding grandstand tickets or infield admissions. The Fan Q&A is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. (CDT).

In addition to seeing some of NASCAR’s favorites on stage, as part of the Talladega Garage Experience, fans will also receive exclusive access inside all the NASCAR Cup Series garages via a fan viewing walkway where they will be just feet away from where the teams prepare the cars, which is part of BIG BILL’S Open Air Social Club (named after NASCAR and Talladega Superspeedway founder Bill France, Sr.), a 35,000 square-foot party waiting to happen.

There’s also FREE Wi-Fi, social and engagement areas in the Clyde May’s Courtyard and Tito’s Lemonade Lounge, a fan viewing area in Ruoff Mortgage Victory Lane (where fans will have an area to get close to the winner’s celebration), a kids’ zone, value-priced concessions and the opportunity to see pre-race festivities up close, including driver introductions at the start/finish line!

* Below is information on the scheduled participants for the Sunday, Oct. 3 Fan Q&A session:

  • Chase Elliott: The driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet has one victory at Talladega, coming in the 2019 GEICO 500. The Dawsonville, GA native and son of two-time Talladega Superspeedway winner Bill Elliott, also won the Busch Pole in his first attempt at the 2.66-mile venue in his rookie year of 2016.

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: The driver of the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet won the 2017 GEICO 500 at Talladega. The two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion lost by mere inches in the 2020 GEICO 500, coming up .007 second behind winner Ryan Blaney. 
  • Alex Bowman: The driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was runnerup to Elliott in 2019 and is seeking first triumph at NASCAR’s Most Competitive track. 
  • Erik Jones: The driver of the famed No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet was a close second to winner Denny Hamlin in last year’s YellaWood 500. He also has a fifth-place effort. 
  • Chris Buescher: The driver of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford had his best run at Talladega in the 2020 GEICO 500 where he wound up fifth. He was runnerup in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at ’Dega in 2014.

*Driver availability for the TSS Pre-Race Fan Question & Answer session is subject to change and without notice. Neither NASCAR nor any of its affiliates are responsible for this event*

In addition to the mentioned NASCAR drivers, NASCAR fan-favorite and country music singer/songwriter Tim Dugger will perform Sunday from the Fr8Auctions Stage. A huge fan of NASCAR, Dugger grew up in Alabama on NASCAR racing, gospel singing and classic country music. DJ Mark Lindsey will be on hand as well.

The YellaWood 500 will be the culmination of a tripleheader NASCAR Playoffs weekend, which also features a duo of races on Saturday, Oct. 2 with the Sparks 300 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Chevy Silverado 250 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The action begins at Noon CDT.

 

Earlier on Saturday, the Fr8Auctions Celebration Plaza will also have a slate of competitors from the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series for Fan Q&A which will include current defending Camping World Truck Series Sheldon Creed, Fairhope, AL native and 2016 Talladega Superspeedway winner Grant Enfinger and Jeffrey Earnhardt. Additional personalities for Saturday will be announced soon.

 

A special two-day Saturday/Sunday package for the Talladega Garage Experience is offered at $129 for adults and $49 for kids 12 and under. Saturday’s opening time is also 9:00 am CDT.

 

To see all admission options, including the Talladega Garage Experience, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA. Admission to the traditional Saturday Night Infield Concert, headlined by platinum-selling Dustin Lunch, is FREE to all infield guests, who purchases a ticket to the YellaWood 500. Dugger will kick things off on Saturday night before turning the stage over to Lynch.

Fans are encouraged to keep up with all the happenings at the biggest, baddest race track on the planet by following Talladega Superspeedway on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

TSS PR

Drew Dollar was relegated to a 34th-place finish in the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway due to a 10-truck incident on the backstretch on Lap 71.
 
Dollar will be back behind the wheel of the No. 51 Sunbelt Rentals Tundra at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway on Sept. 24. 
 
 
Stage One Recap
 
  • Drew Dollar started the UNOH 200 in the 12th position on the outside lane based on NASCAR’s performance matrix system.
  • After an incident in Turn 2 on the 23rd lap, Dollar would restart the race from the 14th position.
  • The Sunbelt Rentals driver would take the green-and-white checkered flag in 22nd to end Stage One. 
 
 
Stage Two Recap:
 
  • The No. 51 team gained three spots on pit road and restarted Stage Two on the outside lane in 19th.
  • Just 16 laps into the second stanza, Dollar was involved in a 10-truck incident on the backstretch of the 0.533-mile oval.
  • Dollar would attempt to re-fire his No. 51 Sunbelt Rentals Tundra but was unable to, ultimately ending his day and relegating him to a 34th-place finish
 
 
 
 
UNOH 200 Recap
 
  • Chandler Smith claimed his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in a must-win situation to advance to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Playoffs. Grant Enfinger, John Hunter Nemechek, Stewart Friesen, and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top-five finishers.
  • There were 11 cautions for 85 laps. There were three lead changes among three drivers, with Sheldon Creed leading a race high 189 laps.  
 
 
How Dollar's KBM Teammates Fared:
 
  • Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished first.
  • John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished third. 
 
 
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Standings
 
After the first three races of the NASCAR Playoffs, the No. 51 team has been eliminated from the Camping World Truck’s Owner’s Championship. 
 
 
Next Race
 
Drew Dollar will be back behind the wheel of the No. 51 Sunbelt Rentals Tundra at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway on Sept. 24. Live coverage will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network, and SiriusXM at 9 p.m. ET. 

KBM PR

John Hunter Nemechek closed out the Round of 10 of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver’s championship with a third-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway.
 
Nemechek avoided an early race incident as his Mobil 1 Tundra got loose between Turns 3 and 4 in the opening stage of the UNOH 200. He was able to rebound and drive within the top-10 for the majority of the race.
 
After battling for the win in the Final Stage against Sheldon Creed and his Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) teammate Chandler Smith, Nemechek came up just short and took the checkered flag in the third position earning his 11th top-five finish of the season. 
 
 
Stage One Recap
 
  • John Hunter Nemechek started the UNOH 200 on the outside of the front row next to pole sitter, Sheldon Creed.
  • On lap 14, the Mobil 1 Tundra got loose in between Turns 3 and 4 while battling for position. Nemechek was able to hold on to it and avoid an early accident.
  • Nemechek was able to rebound and finish the opening stage in the 13th position. 
 
 
Stage Two Recap:
 
  • The No. 4 team was able to gain two spots on pit road and restarted Stage Two in 11th on the outside lane.
  • Nemechek quickly made his way into the top-10 before the caution flag was thrown for an incident on the backstretch on Lap 71.
  • The Mobil 1 driver would take the green-and-white checkered flag in the sixth position to end Stage Two, earning an additional five points. 
 
 
Final Stage Recap:
 
  • Nemechek started the final stanza in the eighth position but would find himself in the top-5 within a couple of laps.
  • The second-generation driver ran within the top-five for the remainder of the Final Stage, battling with Sheldon Creed and his KBM teammate Chandler Smith for the race lead. 
  • After an incident in Turn 4, Nemechek would restart in the third position with 37 laps to go. By the time the field came back around to the start/finish line, he had moved into the second position behind Sheldon Creed.
  • A late caution with 10 laps remaining in the UNOH 200 would bring out the red flag. As the field re-fired their engines and prepared for the final restart, Nemechek would lineup in the third position behind Sheldon Creed and Chandler Smith.
  • Nemechek battled for the lead and the race win in the final five laps but was unable to get past his KBM teammate, ultimately finishing in the third position. 
 
 
 
John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra for KBM:
 
As the Round of 10 closes, what is your outlook for the Round of 8.
“All eyes forward to Vegas. We’re going to go out there and try to win, lock ourselves in, go to Phoenix and hoist that big trophy at the end of the year.”
 
UNOH 200 Recap
 
  • Chandler Smith claimed his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in a must-win situation to advance to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Playoffs. Grant Enfinger, John Hunter Nemechek, Stewart Friesen, and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top-five finishers.
  • There were 11 cautions for 85 laps. There were three lead changes among three drivers. 
 
How John Hunter Nemechek's KBM Teammates Fared:
 
·        Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished first.
·        Drew Dollar, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 34th
 
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Standings
 
After the points reset, Nemechek will enter the Round of 8 next week at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway at the top of the leaderboard, 44 points above the cutoff line for advancing to the Championship 4 in Phoenix. 
 
Next Race
 
Nemechek and the No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra will head to Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway for the first race in the Round of 8 on Sept. 24. Nemechek will be looking for his second win at Las Vegas in 2021 and locking himself into the Championship 4. Live coverage will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 9 p.m. ET.

KBM PR

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