Thursday, May 19
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Earlier this week, as part of a month-long prelude to the 63rd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day Weekend, Charlotte Motor Speedway concluded its Mission 600 campaign by hosting a virtual visit with Coca-Cola Racing Family driver Joey Logano and members of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing at Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait.

Mission 600 is a campaign that pairs NASCAR drivers with military bases designed to educate the NASCAR community about the day-to-day lives of the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

As part of the hour-long virtual visit, members of the 386th AEW gave Logano, Charlotte Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Greg Walter and Performance Racing Network President Doug Rice a tour of one of the C-130 aircraft that serves Ali Al Salem Air Base and discussed the tenants of teamwork that – like with a NASCAR pit crew – are vital to mission success. The group compared notes on how the 112-foot aircraft powered by four 4,691-horsepower Rolls Royce-designed engines and supplied with a 6,250 fuel tank compares to its much smaller NASCAR Next Gen counterpart. Despite the differences in size and power, there’s also a great deal in common between NASCAR and the maintenance crew for a C-130.

For Logano, the opportunity to interact with so many specialists that keep the U.S. Air Force’s C-130 aircraft up and running – from engine and hydraulic specialists to those responsible for the aviation communications and all 40 miles of the electrical components that are required to operate the aircraft – drives home the vital nature of teamwork to mission success.

“You talk about how big the team is that is taking care of these airplanes… how it takes so many people to make it fly. It’s very similar to what we have in NASCAR in a lot of ways,” Logano told the unit. “You may just see the end product if you live near a base, but it’s the details and the prep that means everything. Everyone has a role. Your team’s much bigger than mine. Obviously you need everyone working on the same page. It’s one of the biggest challenges for us, too.”

Following the tour, members of the 386th AEW took the opportunity to ask the 28-time NASCAR Cup Series winner a variety of questions about everything from handling the challenges of being a good teammate when you’re racing for the win to how the 31-year-old driver stays positive during a slump.

“Attitudes are contagious. That is the number one thing to keep in mind,” Logano said. “Negative attitudes are just as contagious as a positive attitude, and it’s a lot easier to be negative than it is to be positive. We see that in our society. Sometimes it’s important to recognize things we can be better at, sure. But it’s doing that in a positive way and trying to find little wins throughout.”

At Charlotte Motor Speedway, Memorial Day Weekend provides the opportunity to pay tribute to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, particularly those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The patriotic Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show includes representation from all six major branches of the military.

“You guys probably hear it a lot, but we take this for granted way too often in America about what you guys do for us,” Logano said. “We just live in our own little world and we worry about the little issues in our life when you guys are handling the big problems. And it’s easy for us to fall into this area where we just take stuff for granted. It’s easy for us to do that until you don’t have it any more. When you don’t have that freedom, that’s when the game changes. I think these holidays like Memorial Day are so important, but we should be acting like it’s Memorial Day every day.”

Previous Mission 600 visits this year included Denny Hamlin virtually meeting members of U.S. Army Central, Kuwait; Daniel Suarez visiting Coast Guard Station Wrightsville Beach; defending Coca-Cola 600 winner Kyle Larson and Jeff Gordon laying a wreath at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery and Richard Childress Racing teammates Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick spending a day with paratroopers at the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne’s Advanced Airborne School at Fort Bragg.

“These Mission 600 visits have taken on this life over the last few years,” said Walter. “One of the great things about our sport is the fact that our athletes really appreciate what our service men and women do each and every day – the fact that they are away from families and deployed abroad, but also the fact that the Coca-Cola 600 being on the eve of Memorial Day, we don’t lose sight of what that holiday is about and the fact that we pause and remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

TICKETS:
Tickets are still available for the May 27-29 Coca-Cola 600 Weekend, with three-day packages starting at $99. Weekend tickets for children ages 12 and under are just $10. Fans can purchase tickets online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Admission to Circle K Speed Street concerts by Flo-Rida (Friday) and The Steve Miller Band (Saturday) is free with any race ticket. Sunday’s Lynyrd Skynyrd pre-race concert is free with purchase of a Coca-Cola 600 race ticket.

MORE INFO:

Fans can connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway and get the latest news by following on Twitter and Instagram or becoming a Facebook fan.

CMS PR

Harrison Burton and the No. 21 Motorcraft Quick Lane/DEX Imaging team are hoping to build on their recent speed on intermediate-length tracks as they compete in the NASCAR All-Star Race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

The rookie Burton is not assured of a starting spot in the main event, so he’ll have to either race his way in through the preliminary NASCAR All-Star Open or be voted in by fans.

Crew chief Brian Wilson said he and the crew are looking forward to the challenge.

“Everyone on the No. 21 is excited for the All-Star weekend,” Wilson said. “The format is always fun and entertaining.
 
“All-Star qualifying should be wild to watch with the pit crews included in setting the field.”
 
Wilson said the All-Star activities at Texas will give the Motorcraft/DEX team a chance to use the knowledge gained on similar length tracks at Kansas and Darlington. And it will give the team an opportunity to add to their notes headed into the next points-paying race – the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
 
“Two weeks ago we had a solid 14th-place finish [at Darlington] and ran in the top 15 late in the race last week [at Kansas] as well,” Wilson said. “We’ll continue to build on our intermediate setups with confidence that we’ll contend for a transfer spot from the All-Star Open.”
 
And if that doesn’t work out, there’s a Plan B.
 
“I encourage all of the Ford fans to cast their votes for Harrison in the fan vote and tune in Sunday night,” Wilson said.
 
A practice session for Burton and the other Open drivers is set for Saturday at 6 p.m. (7 p.m. Eastern Time), followed by qualifying just after 6:30 (7:30 Eastern). Each driver will run one lap.
 
Then on Sunday, the NASCAR Open is scheduled to get the green flag just after 4:30 p.m. (5:30 Eastern). The race will consist of two 20-lap segments followed by a 10-lap run.
 
The winners of each segment, plus the winner of the fan vote, will advance to the All-Star Race, which is set to start just after 7 p.m. (8 p.m. Eastern).
 
That race will consist of three 25-lap segments followed by a 50-lap finale, with the winner earning $1 million.
 
FOX Sports 1 will carry the coverage both days.

WBR PR

The time will shift to 1-3 p.m. (ET) for the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge practice session Monday, May 23 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Moving from the originally scheduled time of noon-2 p.m. will give teams that participated in Top 12 Qualifying and the Firestone Fast Six on Sunday, May 22 more time to change to their “500” race engines. Teams that qualified in the 13th to 33rd positions Saturday, May 21 will not turn laps on the 2.5-mile oval Sunday and will be allowed to change engines that day.

Peacock Premium will provide live coverage of the two-hour session open to all 33 qualifiers for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” with coverage also offered by the INDYCAR Radio Network.

IMS public gates will be open from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for the practice.

***

Wednesday practice rained out: Rain forced the cancellation of practice Wednesday for the 106th Indianapolis 500, as showers that arrived in the Indianapolis area shortly before the scheduled start of noon prevented any cars from turning laps.

This was the first total washout of an Indianapolis 500 practice day since May 17, 2016.

Practice will resume from noon-6 p.m. Thursday, with live coverage on Peacock Premium and the INDYCAR Radio Network. IMS public gates are open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

IMS PR

Building Consistency … As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular season has hit the halfway point, Chase Purdy is stringing together more impressive performances and consistent results. The driver of the No. 61 BAMA Buggies Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is coming off what was arguably his most complete effort of the season last week at Kansas Speedway. Purdy solidified himself inside the top-10 near the race’s halfway mark and made a resilient late-race rally to tie his season-best finish of 13th following a pit road penalty. He has collected four top-15 results in his seven starts thus far in 2022.
 
Toyota’s Texas Turf … Purdy and the BAMA Buggies team return to Toyota country, racing nearby the Tundra TRD Pro’s birthplace, located in San Antonio, Texas. Friday night’s 220-mile event marks Purdy’s first TMS start behind the wheel of a Toyota, but has two previous starts at “No Limits, Texas” on his resume. The Meridian, Miss. native delivered a 12th-place finish in his TMS debut in October 2020, which marked his second-best finish during the season in which he returned to competition. A home-race of sorts for the manufacturer could produce a season-best finish for Purdy as he looks to create a string of three top-15 finishes in his last four starts.
 
HRE Salutes … Purdy’s No. 61 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro will carry six military veterans on board at TMS. All six veterans are close to team mechanic Andrew Diehl, who comes from a proud military family. Robert Diehl (Navy), Mariano “TJ” Gonzales (Navy), Alexander Pena (Navy), Jacob Baker (Marines), Robert Goodell (Marines), and Henry Flerlage (Army) will be featured as HRE salutes our nation’s military veterans.
 
Chassis Selection … Crew chief Matt Lucas and the BAMA Buggies team return to the track with chassis No. 020 at TMS. This Toyota Tundra TRD Pro made its only appearance this season at Martinsville Speedway where Purdy suffered a flat tire and finished 29th.
 
Tune In … FOX Sports 1 will carry all on-track activity from TMS as Purdy and the Camping World Trucks competitors open All-Star weekend. FS1’s coverage beings on Friday at 4:00 p.m. ET with practice and qualifying followed by the green flag at 8:30 p.m. ET. Stay connected with the No. 61 BAMA Buggies team by following @Hattori_Racing on Twitter, @hattoriracing on Instagram, and Hattori Racing Enterprises on Facebook.
 
Chase Purdy Quote:
On continuing to elevate his performance at Texas:
“I felt like something clicked during the race at Kansas last weekend. We had a really fast BAMA Buggies Toyota Tundra TRD Pro and should have finished in the top-10. I think we all proved to ourselves we can do it and I was ready to go to Texas as soon as I got out of the truck last week. Matt (Lucas) and all the guys at HRE have put in a ton of effort on our trucks, and this is a tough stretch of the schedule for all of the guys in the shop. Hopefully we can keep building on the speed we have and get our first top-10 this week. That’d be special to do at Texas since we’re racing so close to where the Tundra TRD Pros are made. It’s always important for us to run well any time we’re in Texas because of that, and hopefully we can make it happen on Friday night.”
 
HRE PR
Right at Home … Perhaps there’s no other place on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series calendar where Tyler Ankrum feels more at home than Texas Motor Speedway (TMS). The driver of the No. 16 Toyota Tsusho Toyota Tundra TRD Pro has arguably had more success at “No Limits, Texas” than any other venue on the circuit. The part-time rancher and full-time wheelman has made five starts at TMS, fourth-most of any track in his career, and all but one of those starts resulted in top-10 finishes. Such a track record could have Ankrum primed to ride back to his North Carolina ranch with a fresh cowboy hat to match his signature buckle and boots. 
 
Truckin’ in Texas … The San Bernardino, Calif. driver hit the halfway mark to the Camping World Trucks playoffs last week at Kansas Speedway and is in the midst of a three-race stretch at 1.5-mile tracks. Ankrum rides into TMS with not only a potent personal history at the Lone Star State’s biggest oval, but also a strong track record by the No. 16 team. In the past six races at TMS, the No. 16 group led by crew chief Scott Zipadelli has collected three top-five and four top-ten finishes, including a near victory in October of 2020. Ankrum has four top-10 finishes in his five appearances at TMS, including a third-place run in his second visit to Texas in 2019. If history is any indication, the pairing could yield a season-best performance for the No. 16 team on Friday evening.
 
Season to Date … Eight races have been completed in the Camping World Trucks regular season and eight remain before the 10 playoff competitors are decided. Ankrum currently holds the 13th position in the driver championship standings, 45 markers behind the cut line. Ankrum has tallied three top-10 finishes in eight races thus far.
 
HRE Salutes … Ankrum’s No. 16 will carry Ronald Simpson above the right-side door at TMS. Simpson was an uncle to team mechanic Adam Wilcox and served in the U.S. Army from 1973-1978. He was a member of the 84th Transport Company, served overseas in Illhesheim, Germany and domestically at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and was a lifelong race fan.
 
Chassis Selection … Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the Toyota Tsusho team turned around chassis No. 008 to race at TMS from its most recent appearance at Darlington Raceway. Ankrum drove to a ninth-place finish two weeks ago at the “Lady in Black” and also raced it at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
 
Tune In … Fox Sports 1 will carry live coverage from TMS as Ankrum and the Camping World Trucks competitors kick off All-Star weekend. FS1’s coverage begins with practice and qualifying at 4:00 p.m. ET followed by the green flag at 8:30 p.m. ET. Stay connected with the No. 16 Toyota Tsusho team by following @Hattori_Racing on Twitter, @hattoriracing on Instagram, and Hattori Racing Enterprises on Facebook. 
 
Tyler Ankrum Quote:
On having confidence at Texas:
“Texas has been one of those places where I’ve felt comfortable and have been able to have some good results right from the start. This race team has always had speed at Texas and have been in the mix for a few wins there in the past. I think it’ll be a good combination and a place that we can hopefully capitalize on Friday night with our Toyota Tsusho Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Texas is always a special place to race, especially with it being All-Star weekend but it’s cool to get to race our Tundra TRD Pro near where they’re made in San Antonio. Hopefully we can keep some track position throughout the night and get our first top-five of the year.” 
 
HRE PR

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang – HOW WAS YOUR OUTING WITH THE F1 HAAS DRIVERS THE OTHER DAY?  “Yeah, it was super cool.  We had a deal over at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where we had a two-seater from an old Cup car, I guess the Old Gen, and then the Ford Racing School had a lot of their vehicles out there and had the two Haas guys – Schumacher and Magnussen – and I drove them around in the two-seater for two or three laps each, and then they actually got in and drove each other around.  The rest of the day we just drove around Haas employees and the Ford Performance Racing School cars and had a lot of fun.  It was super cool for me to meet those guys.  I got to meet Mick last year.  He came to the Texas race and got to hang out with him for a couple minutes, and then to see how good they were – you think of Formula 1 guys, they’re some of the best race car drivers in the world, obviously, and to see how quickly they adapted to the stock car blew me away.  I hope that they come and try to do a race.  It was funny.  They were asking all kinds of questions and just how different both racing series are, and the differences and how they officiate them and the racetracks and things like that was pretty crazy to hear their side of it.  They were both really good.  They were only like two or three seconds off what I ran, so they were really good right out of the box.  It would be cool to see them run a race some day.”

 

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT ON SUNDAY IN THE ALL-STAR RACE?  “I would agree that the mile-and-a-halves have been really good this year.  Texas is kind of its own unique animal.  The other mile-and-a-halves we’ve ran they all have multiple grooves where you can run all over the place.  You can run up by the wall.  You can run the middle.  You can run on the bottom, where Texas is definitely a lot more one-lane dominant, so it’ll be a little bit of a different race just from that standpoint because there’s not as many options to go and get in clean air.  I think the draft will be a little more relevant here just because of the speeds and everything else.  I don’t think you’ll see guys really searching around for lanes as much just because I do think it’s gonna be a lot harder with this car in general at Texas, but also just how the racetrack is.  It’ll be interesting.  It’s two totally different ends.  You have the one end that’s really slow and kind of flat on entry and then you have the other end that’s extremely fast in one lane and pretty close to wide-open, so just how the car handles in both of those corners is totally different and it’ll be interesting to see how this Next Gen car reacts to that.”

 

DID YOU EVER WISH TO RUN THE INDY 500?  “Truthfully, I never had Indy car necessarily on my to-do list, I guess.  I always watched the Indy 500 every single year since I was a little kid, but outside of the 500 I normally didn’t watch a lot.  I was always more NASCAR, so that was kind of always what I wanted to do, but I will say the Indy 500 I always tell people when they ask this question is I just want to be a start-and-park guy.  I want to do the pre-race.  I want to do the walk out.  I want to do the pace lap.  I want to take the green flag and then I want to pull it down pit road.  I don’t know, truthfully, if I’m as brave as those guys are and willing to risk what they risk.  It’s funny, I became pretty good buddies with a couple of them.  Connor Daly is one of them and he acts like it’s nothing.  He thinks I’m crazy for getting in a sprint car, but I think the opposite.  Hitting the wall at 230 is just something that I could not imagine, so, yeah, I would love to start-and-park one day.  This would be the perfect year.  There are only 32 cars entered, so I could just show up on race day, do the pre-race and take the green and go home, but, outside of that, as of right now, I don’t have any desire to race the race, but I’m a huge fan and Indy is special for a lot of reasons and I know on Sunday next week I’ll definitely be watching as long as I can.”

 

IS THERE ANYTHING ABOUT THIS NEW CAR THAT YOU’VE HAD TO RE-WIRE HOW YOU DRIVE A CAR AND HAS CHALLENGED YOU IN THAT WAY?  “I haven’t felt like it’s a ton different, to be honest with you.  I feel like it’s still a race car.  It still does a lot of the same things.  On the road courses I felt like maybe when I got decent on the road courses is when I started maximizing the brake zones in the old car and this car you can just do that a lot better, so I guess just how you drive with the brake pedal on the road courses would be the biggest thing that I kind of have to retrain myself, but truthfully, with the IMSA stuff I’ve done, it’s kind of similar to that and that feel, so I wouldn’t say that I’ve had as much muscle memory to re-learn or forget about the past.  It’s funny, when we did that deal with the F1 guys that was an H-pattern and I was kind of nervous before I got in and then as soon as I got in it was like normal.  The following Sunday running the sequential and never had any issues either, where I know Harvick said he missed a shift this past weekend, so, for me, I haven’t had any issues – knock on wood – where it’s kind of like that, but it is different, I think, for the guys that have done it for a long time and trying to retrain themselves with a lot of those things, but, for me, it’s been relatively the same.”

 

WITH THE NEW CAR, HOW DOES THAT CHANGE WHAT A DRIVER NOW DOES ON A RESTART?  “It’s definitely a little bit different.  I feel like this car doesn’t create as big of a hole on restarts from an aero standpoint.  The old car with that 500 package, it would just create such a huge hole that you’d get such big runs on restarts and you could gain six, seven spots on a straightaway.  It was just different how it responded down the straightaway, where this car doesn’t necessarily seem to have that as much, so this car, I feel like the old car you would maybe sometimes gain two or three rows on lane choice even on some of these mile-and-a-halves because guys didn’t want to be on the bottom on the straightaway.  With this new car it seems like everybody takes inside out, it’s back and forth and you don’t really get that huge row gain like you used to be able to with the old car.  So, I feel like you have to be a little more aggressive in this car just because it seems like obviously restarts is the easiest time to get the positions and then after that it gets pretty aero sensitive, so, for me, I feel like you just have to be a little more aggressive and kind of have things go your way on these restarts to gain four, five, six spots.”

 

HOW MUCH DAMAGE DID YOU GET GOING THROUGH THE GRASS AT KANSAS AND WOULD IT HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT IN THE PREVIOUS CAR?  “I was blown away truthfully with whenever I knew I was spinning out to the infield, obviously, it had rained a ton that day and that night I figured it was gonna cave the nose in right away and just ruin our day, and there was some damage.  I think the diffuser, they said, a little part of it was bent over and then the biggest thing is it lifted the whole front of the car up a couple hundred-thousandths and we were pretty tight the rest of the day, so it definitely affected us because I was loose before that.  When I spun out and then after that the whole day we were extremely tight, so it definitely seems like with this car, for us at least, is just so extremely aero sensitive.  Literally, a quarter turn to a half turn can completely change how the car drivers and with the damage that we had just raising the nose a little bit really just changed how the car drove all day long.”

 

HOW BIG OF A DEAL IS IT FOR YOU TO BE LOCKED INTO THE ALL-STAR RACE FOR THE FIRST TIME?  “It’s a big deal.  Obviously, the stipulations getting into that race as far as not having to run the Open means you’re a playoff guy or you won a race, so just to be able to say that you’re one of those guys, I think there are 20 of us in it right now – that’s half the field, so to be able to say you’re one of those guys is a big deal.  It’s definitely a who’s who of guys that are in that race.  It’s all the bigger names in the sport, so to be a part of that is definitely special and humbling and just to not have the stress of going through the Open is nice.  Last year was kind of a thing where you’ve got to go for it and if you didn’t make it you were going home early, so not having that stress will be nice and just being a part of the festivities that come along with it.”

 

GATEWAY IS COMING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME WITH THE CUP CARS.  YOU FINISHED SECOND THERE IN THE TRUCK SERIES, SO WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THAT TRACK AND DOES IT GIVE YOU EXTRA CONFIDENCE?  “Yeah, I do think that track will race a little bit like Phoenix, just from what the car does.  You’re gonna be downshifting a lot.  When I ran there it was before they repaved it for the Indy car guys, so it was honestly rough and pretty abrasive and now it’ll probably race totally different, but I’m excited to go there.  It was a lot of fun when I ran there in the trucks.  It’s just a really unique racetrack from how opposite that both ends drive.  Your car is never gonna drive good in one of the corners, so you’ve got to figure it out and adapt and I’ve always enjoyed places like that for that reason, so I’m looking forward to it.  I remember going there in the Truck Series and having a huge crowd.  I’m sure it’ll be sold out for the Cup car and it’ll be a really fun weekend.  They’ve got a lot of cool stuff going on with some concerts and things, and on top of that all of the dirt racing they’re gonna have it should be an awesome weekend.  It’s probably the second-closest race to my hometown, so I’m looking forward to it for sure.”

 

SO YOU ARE RUNNING THE DIRT RACE LEADING INTO GATEWAY?  “Yeah.  My plan is to run the Flo Night race in the late model on Wednesday and then I’m gonna run the sprint car, I think it’s World of Outlaw late models Friday.  I’m gonna run both of those, but I didn’t realize until this past weekend that I guess we practice until 6 o’clock at night on Friday, so I’ve got to figure out how I’m gonna get there.”

 

ARE YOU GOING TO RUN THE EXTREME DIRT SERIES AT MILLBRIDGE LEADING UP TO THE COKE 600?  “Yeah, I’ll be there Monday and Tuesday.  It looks like we’re not gonna get stuck in Texas for rain or anything, so I plan to be there Monday and Tuesday in the midget.  If any of you guys are in the Charlotte area, definitely come out to Millbridge.  There will be 40-50 midgets – the same cars we run at the Chili Bowl with a lot of the big names, so it should be an awesome show over there.  I’m definitely looking forward to getting back in the midget and running over there.”

 

DO YOU THINK THEY COULD HAVE A THURSDAY NIGHT THUNDER TYPE OF PROGRAM AT MILLBRIDGE WITH THEIR DIRTVISION CONNECTION?  “Yeah, I mean I think what they’ve done with the mini-sprint class is pretty unbelievable.  I want to say they started two years ago and they were getting maybe seven or eight cars and now they’re getting 40-45 every week.  I actually mentioned to Jeremy and Ashley that I would love for them to start a special midget race once a month because there is already realistically 9 to 10 midgets in the area.  I think Larson, Bell, myself, we would all go run over there, especially if it was in a midget every chance we could.  I would love to see them maybe do it once a month or once every other month.  I know from a purse standpoint it costs a lot more to run the midget guys, but it would be cool.  The micro deal has really taken off and to give these micro kids more opportunities to run bigger cars and just get bigger cars in the area, I think, would be really special.”

 

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON FORD’S PERFORMANCE ON MILE-AND-A-HALF TRACKS THIS YEAR?  “I don’t know if the other manufacturers have just caught up and found a lot of speed or what, but Fontana – it’s not a mile-and-a-half, but it races a lot like one.  We led 60-some laps and felt like I could have been in the hunt to win the race and made a mistake.  Then we go to Vegas and qualified fourth and ran up front.  We had a tire go down and I felt really, really good about our mile-and-a-half stuff, but then Kansas was a real struggle for us.  I don’t know why that is.  It wasn’t just a struggle for us, it was obviously a struggle for all the Ford teams, so I don’t know.  I wish I did because it’s definitely something that we’re all kind of scratching our heads and truthfully the Fords have not been off, but we just haven’t been as fast as we were at the beginning of the year the last two, three, four weeks, so I think we’re all trying to figure out what happened and where to find that speed again.  That’ll be interesting to see if this week at Texas if we can find anything that honestly leading into the Coke 600.  That’s definitely a race you don’t want to be off because it’s a long night if you are.”

 

DOES IT MATTER IF THEY PUT RESIN ON THE TRACK OR NOT?  DO YOU NEED TO KNOW AHEAD OF TIME?  “Yeah, I think it’s nice to know, just so you can kind of get an idea of what to expect.  I was on the simulator this morning and we were running where there wasn’t any, so that’s kind of what we are anticipating.  I think I heard they were gonna maybe test the track today as far as testing grip levels and seeing what they thought, but I think it’s nice to know going in, but I think at the same time Michigan last year we didn’ spray and there was still some left over and it was fine.  You could still run up in it.  I think Texas will probably be the same.”

 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A YOUNGER CHASE BRISCOE ABOUT LIFE IN RACING?  “I would say never in a million years thought I would get to this point in the first place, but just to enjoy the moment and not to get so caught up in the stress of it all.  I think that it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and the results, but, at the same time, just to stay appreciative and stay humble to where you’re at.  It’s so easy, like I said, to get worried about the points and things like that, but, at the end of the day, just enjoying where you’re at.”

 

WHAT IS IT LIKE DRIVING TONY’S CAR?  “It’s awesome.  It’s nerve-wracking at times to have him as a boss.  Just to be around your hero to say that you get to have him as a friend, but, yeah, there’s definitely a lot of pressure – for me at least there’s a lot of pressure that comes with that 14 car because I was a fan of it, the success that it had on the track that I watched growing up and I want to carry that legacy on of dirt guys running in it and still going and racing other things, but, yeah, it’s cool.  If I could have picked any car in the Cup Series to drive, that would have been the one and to be able to say I get to drive that car for my hero, it’s super special, super humbling and it’s cool that we got it in victory lane this year, but hopefully we can do it a lot more.”

Ford Performance PR

Twin Liquors and Sigel’s, a Twin Liquors Company, are proud to announce their sponsorship of the #6 JD Motorsports NASCAR XFINITY Series race car, driven by Ryan Vargas in Fort Worth, Texas this weekend! The Twin Liquors sponsored car will make its debut at Texas Motor Speedway this Friday, May 20th before race day on Saturday, May 21st

“We are so excited that NASCAR is coming back to Texas Motor Speedway and that we’ll be represented on one of the fastest mile and a half tracks on the circuit. Twin Liquors has been a Texas institution for 85 years, and we are excited JD Motorsports will be sharing their brand with a national audience.” “We are excited to welcome Ryan and the JD Motorsports Team back to our homestate”, said David Jabour, President of Twin Liquors. “We also wanted to carry our sister company, Sigel’s, on the car because of the local market presence that it carries.”

“I’m really excited to carry the Twin Liquors Logo on the #6 this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway for the second time this season. We’ve had some solid runs on the intermediate tracks over the last few years, and this weekend shouldn’t be any different. A huge thank you to everyone involved to make this happen. As always, be sure to enjoy your beverages responsibly”, said Ryan Vargas.

JDM PR

Coming into the 2022 Street Stock season at Stafford Speedway, Bobby Stirk, III and the #9 A6A Associates team were flying under the radar.  After the first two races of the season, Stirk and team have served notice to everyone that they’ve shed the underdog label and will be serious contenders with a 2nd place finish in the season opening NAPA Spring Sizzler® followed by Stirk taking down his first career Street Stock victory.  Stirk’s hot start to the season sees him sitting at the top of the Street Stock standings and looking for more.

“It can’t get much better than that,” said Stirk.  “We didn’t take a day off at all during the winter.  We went through every channel that we possibly could to try to get every tenth out of the car.  We were close last year but we found a few things over the winter that just weren’t right with the car.  We’ve been working with Jay Stuart a lot to set the chassis up and he and my Dad are coming up with all sorts of new ideas and everything seems to be working perfectly.  We fell behind the 8 ball a little bit when we first came back to Stafford because we thought maybe the 305 engine and some of the older stuff would still work and everything was just outdated.  We figured out where all our flaws were and it took a little time for me to get used to the track and the car and Jay Stuart has helped push us right to the top.  Big thanks to Jay Stuart and JMD Chassis, A6A Associates, PS Engines, DMW Graphics, Top Level Detailing, the whole JET Motorsports crew, my Dad, my sister, my Uncle Tom, Butch Fosdick from Rent A Racecar, Tri-State Elevator and Hoist, and Prvl Creative, we couldn’t have done this without all their support.”                             

The seeds of Stirk’s success were starting to get planted at the end of the 2021 season where Stirk recorded 6 top-7 finishes in the last 7 races, including what was then his career best finish of second.  Stirk and his crew started to hit upon something with their car setups and have carried that over the winter and into the start of this season.

“We started experimenting with setups towards the end of last season and something that my Dad came up with absolutely clicked with me,” said Stirk.  “It’s not something that Jay Stuart normally runs, but he and my Dad have been working well together and we were starting to finish races last year instead of breaking down.  I have a lot of good guys in my corner with Jay Stuart on the chassis side, Buzzie has been helping us a lot with the rear ends and transmissions, and the crate motor from R.A.D. has been a massive change for us.  I never imagined a first and a second, I was just hoping for a top-5 finish to start the season.  I knew we were going to be a contender even if no one else counted us a contender.  I’m ok with being the underdog and this is my first season where I’m a contender for race wins.”

Stirk’s second place finish during the 2021 season not only helped boost his confidence, but it also served as a huge motivating factor as coming so close to winning left that race stuck in Stirk’s mind during the entire off-season.

“That second place finish last year really helped a lot but at the same time I relived that moment in my head all winter long,” said Stirk.  “I got a little loose going into turn 1 and that opened the door for Frankie [L’Etoile, Jr.] to get by me.  It helped my confidence but it was also ‘what could have been’.  That race stuck with me all winter long which I used as motivation for this season.”

With the 2022 season just 2 races old, Stirk has his focus solely set on winning more races and maintaining his consistency of finishing races in the top-5 rather than starting to worry about the championship at season’s end.

“The key is to just finish races and spend as much time in the shop as I can going over the car,” said Stirk.  “Other than that, you can’t really control what happens on the track.  You just have to keep your nose clean and keep as many friends as you can because once you start making enemies, that’s when you start losing consistency because you’re not going to be finishing races.  We have 20 or so more weeks to keep going and I’m not worried about the championship, I’m just here to try to win races.  In the bottom half of the season we’ll take a look and see where we are and play things by ear then but right now I just want to win more races.”

Stirk’s first career victory was not only a high for himself, but being able to share the victory with his father Bob, who raced many years at Stafford without recording a victory, was an extra special experience.

“Winning that race was something that I’ve been working towards for a long time,” said Stirk.  “There was a lot of raw emotion in the car and it was definitely a huge weight lifted off all of our shoulders.  My father raced at Stafford for a lot of years and it was nice to be able to finally get into victory lane with him.  He won a lot of heat races and he was on the podium a bunch of times, but he never won a race so that was great to be able to share with him.”

Stirk will look to continue his hot start this Friday night, May 20th as part of the CBYD Open 81 program.  The Street Stocks will be joined by Stafford’s other 4 weekly divisions with Open Modified cars highlighting the program.  Tickets for the CBYD 81 are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates.  Tickets for the CBYD 81 are $30.00 for adults, $10.00 for kids 6-14, and free for kids 5 & under.  Reserved seating is priced at $35.00 for all ages and pit passes are $45.00 with a valid 2022 Stafford Competition License and $50.00 without a Stafford license. 

If you are unable to attend the event in person, tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway.

For more information, visit www.staffordspeedway.com, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.

Stafford Speedway PR

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: NASCAR All-Star Race

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date: Sunday, May 22

The Time: 8 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 7:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 187.5 miles (125 Laps); Stage 1 (25 Laps), Stage 2 (25 Laps), Stage 3 (25 Laps), Final Stage (50 Laps)

 

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: NASCAR All-Star Open

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date: Sunday, May 22

The Time: 5:30 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 5 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 75 miles (50 Laps); Stage 1 (20 Laps), Stage 2 (20 Laps), Final Stage (10 Laps)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: SRS Distribution 250

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date: Saturday, May 21

The Time: 1:30 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 1 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 250.5 miles (167 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 40),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 80), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 167)

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: SpeedyCash.com 220

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date: Friday, May 20

The Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 7:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 220.5 miles (147 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 35),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 70), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 147)

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Everything is bigger in Texas, even NASCAR All-Star Race weekend

For the second time in the prestigious event’s history, the NASCAR All-Star race and the NASCAR All-Star Open will take place at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday, May 22. The NASCAR All-Star Open is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. ET and the main event, the NASCAR All-Star race, will follow at 8 p.m. ET (on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) with over a million dollars up for grabs.

 

The NASCAR All-Star Race was introduced in 1985 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the first All-Star race was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and crew chief Jeff Hammond. Waltrip led 27 laps in the 70-lap inaugural All-Star event en route to the win driving the No. 11 Junior Johnson & Associates Buick. It was Waltrip’s only career All-Star win.

 

This weekend’s NASCAR All-Star Race will be the 38th running of the prized exhibition race and Texas Motor Speedway (2021-2022) is the fourth different track to host the event; joining Charlotte Motor Speedway (34 All-Star races: 1985, 1987-2019), Atlanta Motor Speedway (1986) and Bristol Motor Speedway (2020).

 

The second NASCAR All-Star Race in 1986 was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the event was dominated by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, who set the record for the most laps led in a NASCAR All-Star Race by a driver that won the event, leading 82 of the scheduled 83 laps (98.8%). Elliott started the event in the second starting position. Twice the NASCAR All-Star Race has been led by one driver flag-to-flag both at Charlotte; Dale Earnhardt led all 70 laps in 1990 and Davey Allison led all 70 laps (100%) in 1991.

 

The next 33 All-Star events would be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway until the 2020 season due to the restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic- the race was rescheduled and moved to Bristol Motor Speedway. Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott grabbed his first NASCAR All-Star Race win at Bristol that season. The win made the Elliotts (Bill and Chase) the second father-son duo to win the NASCAR All-Star Race all-time, joining the Earnhardts (Dale and Dale Jr.).

 

Then last season, the special non-points event was moved to Texas Motor Speedway for the first time. And for the second straight season, the NASCAR All-Star Race was won by a Hendrick Motorsports driver – Kyle Larson. Hendrick Motorsports leads the NASCAR Cup Series in NASCAR All-Star race victories with 10 among five drivers - Jimmie Johnson (four: 2003, 2006, 2012, 2013), Jeff Gordon (three: 1995, 1997, 2001), Terry Labonte (1999), Chase Elliott (2020) and Kyle Larson (2021).

 

It also was the second consecutive season the NASCAR All-Star Race winner went on to win the NASCAR Cup Series Championship in the same season. The feat has occurred 12 times since the inception of the All-Star race in 1985 by seven different drivers - Darrell Waltrip (1985), Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990, 1993), Rusty Wallace (1989), Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997, 2001), Jimmie Johnson (2006, 2013), Chase Elliott (2020) and Kyle Larson (2021).

 

In total, the 37 NASCAR All-Star Races have produced 25 different winners, led by the recently retired Jimmie Johnson with four All-Star wins (2003, 2006, 2012 and 2013). Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick (2007, 2018) and Hendrick Motorsport’s Kyle Larson (2019, 2021) lead all active drivers in NASCAR All-Star Race wins with two each. In total, seven former NASCAR All-Star Race winners are entered this weekend: 

 

Active All-Star Winners

Wins

Seasons

Kyle Larson

2

2021, 2019

Kevin Harvick

2

2018, 2007

Chase Elliott

1

2020

Kyle Busch

1

2017

Joey Logano

1

2016

Denny Hamlin

1

2015

Kurt Busch

1

2010

 

 

The 37 NASCAR All-Star Races have also produced 19 different pole winners; three of the 19 are active this weekend:

 

Active Pole Winners

Poles

Seasons

Kyle Busch

3

2012, 2011, 2008

Kyle Larson

1

2017

Denny Hamlin

1

2015

The NASCAR All-Star Race has been won from the pole or first starting position six times by five different drivers, the first three came in consecutive years - Dale Earnhardt (1990), Davey Allison (1991, 1992), Kurt Busch (2010), Denny Hamlin (2015) and Kyle Larson (2021).

 

The on-track activity for the NASCAR Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway will begin on Saturday, May 21 with practice for both the NASCAR All-Star Open and NASCAR All-Star Race from 7 p.m. – 7:35 p.m. ET directly followed by Qualifying for the NASCAR All-Star Open at 7:35 p.m. ET and Qualifying for the NASCAR All-Star Race at 7:55 p.m. ET (on FS1).

 

2022 NASCAR Open and NASCAR All-Star Race Formats:

The NASCAR All-Star Race has become one of the sport’s most innovative exhibition events, where formats and technical elements can be tested on a grand scale and this weekend’s spectacular will be no different.

 

NASCAR and Texas Motor Speedway announced the format and eligibility for the NASCAR All-Star Race on Sunday, May 22 that features four stages and 125 laps of on-track competition for a $1 million payday, stage winner incentives, amplified roles for the pit crews, and a distinctive head-to-head elimination qualifying format.

 

The NASCAR All-Star Race returns to Texas Motor Speedway for the second consecutive season and this 38th edition brings some unique twists for the eligible Cup drivers pursuing the winner-take-all $1 million payday. The most prominent twist will come in the form of a four-round qualifying format with head-to-head elimination rounds and the pivotal role of the pit crews.

 

The NASCAR All-Star Qualifying format is as follows:

  • Opening round is the traditional single-car, one-lap format in reverse order of the current 2022 owner points.
  • Fastest eight qualifiers transfer to a three-round, head-to-head elimination bracket.
  • Elimination bracket will feature two cars staged in adjacent pit stalls near the end of pit road.
  • At the sound of an alert, each pit crew will perform a four-tire stop and, at the drop of the jack, drivers will exit their pit stalls (with no speed limit) onto the track.
  • First car back to the start/finish line advances to the next round.
  • Final pairing competes for the pole.

 

The NASCAR All-Star Race format is as follows:

The race will consist of four stages, with the first three 25 laps in length and the fourth and final being a 50-lap shootout for the $1 million prize. The new format has provided a major incentive to win any of the opening three stages or the pit stop competition during the break between Stages 2 and 3.

 

  • Stage 1 (25 laps): Stage 1 winner will start on the pole in the final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stages 2 and 3.

 

  • Stage 2 (25 laps): Stage 2 winner starts second in final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stage 3.

 

  • Special Stage Break (Pit Stop Competition): Each team must pit and perform a four-tire stop. The team with the shortest time on pit road (pit in/pit out) wins the pit crew award and the driver will start fourth in the final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stage 3.

 

  • Stage 3 (25 laps): Stage 3 winner starts third in final stage.

 

  • Stage 4 (50 laps): Stage 1 winner starts first, Stage 2 winner second, Stage 3 winner third and pit stop competition winner fourth. If a “natural” caution occurs between laps 15-25 of the final stage, standard race procedures will be in effect. If no “natural” caution occurs during that time, NASCAR will call an “All Star” competition caution.

 

  • Winner of Stage 4 earns $1 million.

 

NASCAR All-Star Open format is as follows:

 

  • The NASCAR All-Star Open will run immediately prior to the NASCAR All-Star Race and will include three stages (20 laps / 20 laps / 10 laps).
  • The winner of each stage will earn a spot in the NASCAR All-Star Race.
  • The winner of the Fan Vote will also earn a spot in the NASCAR All-Star Race. Fans may vote for their favorite driver by visiting NASCAR.com.

Who’s already locked into the Main Event – the 2021 NASCAR All-Stars

Heading into this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, 20 different drivers have earned their spot in the NASCAR All-Star Race on May 22 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

Drivers eligible for the 2022 NASCAR All-Star Race consist of:

  • Cup Series drivers who have earned a points-paying race victory in either 2021 or 2022.
  • Previous NASCAR All-Star Race winners who are competing full-time this season.
  • Previous NASCAR Cup Series champions who are competing full-time this season.

 

Entry

Car

Driver

Organization

Crew Chief

Manufacturer

1

1

Ross Chastain

TrackHouse Racing

Phil Surgen

Chevrolet

2

2

Austin Cindric

Team Penske

Jeremy Bullins

Ford

3

4

Kevin Harvick

Stewart Haas Racing

Rodney Childers

Ford

4

5

Kyle Larson

Hendrick Motorsports

Cliff Daniels

Chevrolet

5

6

Brad Keselowski

RFK Racing

Matt McCall

Ford

6

9

Chase Elliott

Hendrick Motorsports

Alan Gustafson

Chevrolet

7

10

Aric Almirola

Stewart Haas Racing

Drew Blickensderfer

Ford

8

11

Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing

Chris Gabehart

Toyota

9

12

Ryan Blaney

Team Penske

Jonathan Hassler

Ford

10

14

Chase Briscoe

Stewart Haas Racing

John Klausmeier

Ford

11

16

A J Allmendinger  (i)

Kaulig Racing

George Spencer

Chevrolet

12

18

Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs Racing

Ben Beshore

Toyota

13

19

Martin Truex Jr

Joe Gibbs Racing

James Small

Toyota

14

20

Christopher Bell

Joe Gibbs Racing

Adam Stevens

Toyota

15

22

Joey Logano

Team Penske

Paul Wolfe

Ford

16

23

Bubba Wallace

23XI Racing

Bootie Barker III

Toyota

17

24

William Byron

Hendrick Motorsports

Ryan Fugle

Chevrolet

18

34

Michael McDowell

Front Row Motorsports

Blake Harris

Ford

19

45

Kurt Busch

23XI Racing

Billy Scott

Toyota

20

48

Alex Bowman

Hendrick Motorsports

Greg Ives

Chevrolet

 

Of the 20 drivers already entered in the NASCAR All-Star race, seven have previously scored wins in the annual exhibition event, led by Kevin Harvick (2007, 2018) and Kyle Larson (2019, 2021) with two All-Star victories each. 2021 series champion, Kyle Larson is the most recent NASCAR All-Star race winner, bringing home the victory from Texas Motor Speedway last season.

 

In total, 24 drivers will make a start in this season’s NASCAR All-Star race and four additional positions will be added to the NASCAR All-Star Race field following the NASCAR All-Star Open – the NASCAR Open Stage 1 Winner, the NASCAR Open Stage 2 Winner, the NASCAR All-Star Open Winner, and the Fan Vote Winner.

 

Win and You’re In: A glimpse into the NASCAR All-Star Open

The NASCAR All-Star Open was first introduced into the NASCAR All-Star format on May 11, 1986, at Atlanta Motor Speedway; the non-points special event was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Benny Parsons with crew chief Cliff Champion, but it did not grant the team entry to the All-Star Race; that started the following season. Parsons was driving a Jackson Brothers Racing’s Oldsmobile when he won in 1986.

 

There have been 39 NASCAR All-Star Open events, one per year since 1986; except in 2000, 2001 and 2002, it was held as two events with both of the winners moving on to the All-Star Race. Starting in 2015, the NASCAR All-Star Open was broken up into segments and then in 2017 it was divided into stages and each winner of the segments or the stages earned a spot in the All-Star Race.

 

The NASCAR All-Star Open has featured a field that has ranged from 36 drivers from 1994-1996 to 14 drivers in the inaugural event in 1986. Last season’s Open field at Texas had 22 participants and this weekend’s event is anticipating 16 participants.

 

A total of 30 different drivers have won the NASCAR All-Star Open from 1986-2021; five are active this weekend but only one is entered in this weekend’s Open – Daniel Suarez – the other four former Open winners have already qualified for the All-Star race this season.

 

Active Open Winners

Wins

Seasons

AJ Allmendinger

2

2018, 2008

Kyle Larson

2

2019, 2016

Martin Truex Jr

2

2010, 2007

Aric Almirola

1

2021

Daniel Suarez

1

2017

 

Sterling Marlin leads the NASCAR Cup Series in NASCAR All-Star Open wins with four victories (1988, 1989, 1993 and 2004).

 

Eight of the 30 NASCAR All-Star Open winners have multiple wins – Sterling Marlin (four wins), AJ Allmendinger, Clint Bowyer, Jeremy Mayfield, Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip, Kyle Larson and Todd Bodine each have two Open victories. And three drivers have won consecutive NASCAR All-Star Open events – Sterling Marlin (1988-89), Michael Waltrip (1991-92) and Clint Bowyer (2014-15).

 

Ryan Newman (2002) and Kyle Larson (2019) are the only two drivers to win the NASCAR Open and the All-Star Race in the same weekend.

 

Among the 16 drivers vying for the coveted wins in this weekend’s NASCAR All-Star Open to move on to the All-Star race, Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick has the best average finish in points-paying races at Texas Motor Speedway, with a series leading 8.667 in three starts. Right behind him is Petty GMS Motorsport’s Erik Jones with an average finish of 10.5 in 10 points-paying races at Texas.

 

NASCAR.com’s All-Star Fan Vote is still underway

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race is Sunday, and the Fan Vote is still going strong for the big event at Texas Motor Speedway. Voting will be open until Friday at noon ET, so here’s a roundup of the top 10 drivers as May 10.

 

So far, the top 10 vote-getters in alphabetical order are: Chris Buescher, Harrison Burton, Cole Custer, Austin Dillon, Justin Haley, Erik Jones, Corey LaJoie, Tyler Reddick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Daniel Suárez.

Fans can vote here for one eligible driver once a day per unique email address. Votes shared on Facebook and Twitter will count as bonus entries, for a total of three votes per day.

 

The Stars of Texas Motor Speedway

Since this weekend will be the second time the NASCAR Cup Series has held the NASCAR All-Star Race and Open at Fort Worth’s Texas Motor Speedway, the best data to look at heading into Sunday is how drivers have performed in points-paying races at the famed 1.5-mile Texas track.

 

Of the seven former NASCAR Cup Series Texas Motor Speedway winners entered in this weekend’s festivities, all but one are already in the NASCAR All-Star Race. The lone star that hasn’t earned his spot in this weekend’s All-Star Race yet is Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillion (2020 Texas winner)

 

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch leads the series among active drivers in points-paying race wins at Texas Motor Speedway with four victories (2013, 2016, 2018, 2020). 2021 series champion and Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Kyle Larson is the most recent winner at the 1.5-mile track, grabbing the Playoff win last season.

 

Besides Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick are the only other active drivers with multiple wins at Texas.

 

Active Texas Winners

Wins

Seasons

Kyle Busch

4

2020, 2018, 2016, 2013

Kevin Harvick

3

2019, 2018, 2017

Denny Hamlin

3

2019, 2010 sweep

Austin Dillon

1

2020

Joey Logano

1

2014

Kurt Busch

1

2009

Kyle Larson

1

2021

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Blake Shelton to perform concert between NASCAR Open and All-Star Race - Country music superstar Blake Shelton will perform a live 60-minute concert at  5:30 p.m. CT between the NASCAR Open and the 7 p.m. CT green flag for the $1-million-to-win NASCAR All-Star Race.

 

“The incredible intensity of the drivers and teams as well as the Texas-sized excitement from our race fans is what makes the NASCAR All-Star Race just that much more special,” Texas Motor Speedway General Manager Rob Ramage said.

 

Tickets for the May 20-22 NASCAR All-Star Race Weekend, including the Blake Shelton concert, are on sale now at https://www.texasmotorspeedway.com/events/season-tickets/.

 

Banda MS De Sergio Lizarraga will perform post-race concert at Texas Motor Speedway - Banda MS De Sergio Lizarraga will perform a full ninety-minute set at the Texas Motor Speedway after the NASCAR All-Star Race on Sunday night, May 22, 2022.

 

“2021’s BMF Fest was the beginning of an amazing partnership with Texas Motor Speedway, NASCAR and Univision. Banda MS is consistently among the top groups in delivering Regional Mexican Music to our community. Having them perform at the end of the NASCAR All-Star Weekend is the perfect frosting on the cake,” said Mark Masepohl, President & General Manager, Univision Dallas

 

Banda MS De Sergio Lizárraga was born in 2003 in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico, and has been a staple in ranchera music for the past 16 years. Banda MS is listed by the specialized press as the most influential group of its kind and Spotify lists it as the most listened to Mexican artist, with 872 million streams achieved throughout 2020. The band has secured 20 consecutive #1 hits including “El Mechón,” “Mi Razón De Ser,” “Hermosa Experiencia,” and more.

 

“We are honored to partner with Univision and to have La Que Buena as our first-ever Spanish-language radio partner,” said Texas Motor Speedway General Manager Rob Ramage. “Texas Motor Speedway has hosted great events for the Hispanic community for years so Banda MS performing live as a special part of our NASCAR All-Star Race, a crown jewel motorsports event, is huge. I want everyone in the Hispanic community to join us and know that we support them.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Xfinity Series fires up for the Lone Star State

The NASCAR Xfinity Series had last weekend off to recharge and will be back at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 21 at 1:30 p.m. ET for the SRS Distribution 250 on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

Fans will be back at the 1.5-mile track after last seeing Camping World Truck Series regular John Hunter Nemechek steal the victory in his fourth Xfinity Series start of the 2021 season (second Xfinity Series career win).

 

Texas Motor Speedway has produced 24 pole winners and 22 race winners in 42 Xfinity Series races with NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin winning the inaugural race on April 5, 1997.

 

Only six races have been won from the pole or first starting position in Xfinity Series history at Texas and the last driver to accomplish the feat was Ryan Blaney in 2018.

 

Kyle Busch has made quite the name for himself in just 23 Xfinity Series starts at the Fort Worth, Texas track. He holds the record for most poles (4), most wins (10), most top fives (17), most top 10s (18), most lead lap finishes (20) and most laps led (1,795).

 

Texas is a memorable place not only for Busch, but for others as well as it is a place of firsts. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998), Kurt Busch (2006), Chase Elliott (2014) and Erik Jones (2015) all got their first Xfinity Series win at Texas Motor Speedway while Denny Hamlin (2006), David Ragan (2007) and Alex Bowman (2013), all got their first Xfinity pole in Texas.

 

The on-track action for the Xfinity Series will begin on Friday, May 20 when drivers start their engines for practice at 6 p.m. ET, followed by qualifying at 6:30 p.m. ET (on FS1).

 

Buckle up! It’s about to get rowdy!

Kyle Busch won’t be making a NASCAR Xfinity Series appearance this weekend and John Hunter Nemechek won’t be competing to claim a back-to-back Texas Motor Speedway win but there’s sure to be some good competition out on the track on Saturday.

 

Last year’s Fall race runner-up was Kaulig Racing’s Daniel Hemric and he’s proven to be a force at the Texas track. Although his first stint in 2017 wasn’t what he expected (finished 32nd), he quickly turned things around on his second go that season and finished in the top 15. Since then, he has posted three top fives and four top 10s at Texas Motor Speedway. Hemric sits with one top five and four top 10s thus far this season and is looking to post his first win since last seeing Victory Lane at the 2021 Xfinity Series Championship in Phoenix.

 

Hemric’s teammate AJ Allmendinger could also call some attention for the Kaulig Racing team. Allmendinger has only given the track a go twice in his Xfinity Series career but won the pole both times and placed sixth place in both races. Allmendinger has posted a top-10 finish in every race this season thus far and already has a win under his belt.

 

Another driver sure to turn some heads this weekend is the Xfinity Series’ latest winner, JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier. The veteran has posted 23 starts at the track with four top fives and 12 top 10s, including a runner-up finish in last year’s Texas Spring race. He’s coming off of a great win two weeks ago in Darlington and has posted four top fives and six top 10s this season. With a win in Texas, he would become the first back-to-back winner this season. (The last driver in the Xfinity Series to win back-to-back races was Noah Gragson last season when he won in Darlington and Richmond).

 

Speaking of Gragson, he’s also someone to watch at the SRS Distribution 250. Last season, he posted top-10 finishes in both Texas races and overall has a good record at 1.5-mile tracks. He has posted six top five and seven top 10 finishes in seven starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and three top fives and four top 10s in five starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, just to name a few. On top of that, he already has two wins this season (Phoenix and Talladega) with eight top fives and eight top 10s. If Gragson finds Victory Lane this weekend, he will tie Ty Gibbs for most wins this season thus far (three).

 

Xfinity Playoff Bubble: Five spots remain

Seven drivers have already clinched their spots in this season’s Playoffs with their respective wins - Ty Gibbs, Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, Brandon Jones and Austin Hill – leaving just five spots left with 15 races to go in the regular season.

 

Although yet to post a win this season, JR Motorsport’s Sam Mayer currently sits in the eighth-place position with a 69-point cushion ahead of the Playoff cutoff. Mayer has had a top-five finish in all but one of the last six races this season and could very well work his way to a win joining JRM teammates Gragson, Allgaier and Berry.

 

In the ninth-place position is Stewart-Haas Racing’s Riley Herbst who is 54 points ahead of the cutline. Just one point shy in the 10th-place position is RSS Racing’s Ryan Sieg who is 53 points up on the Playoff cutline. Sieg has posted one top five and seven top 10s in 11 starts this season.

 

Rounding out the last two slots in the current Playoff outlook are Landon Cassill (+35) and defending series champion Daniel Hemric (+22).

 

Just outside the postseason cutoff is driver of No. 23 Our Motorsports Chevrolet, Anthony Alfredo (-22). The 23-year-old has yet to post a series win, but he’s posted one top five, three top 10s and eight top 15s this season.

 

Alfredo is the only driver outside the Playoff cutline currently within striking distance of the postseason. Jeb Burton (-62), Sheldon Creed (-68), Brett Moffitt (-72), Brandon Brown (-80), Myatt Snider (-127) and Jeremy Clements (-127) are all more than 60 points back from Daniel Hemric in the 12th and final Playoff transfer position.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

 

JR Motorsports going for four straight wins – The last three races of the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season have been won by JR Motorsports drivers – Noah Gragson (Talladega on 4/23), Josh Berry (Dover on 4/30) and Justin Allgaier (Darlington on 5/7) – this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway the organization will look to win its fourth straight race for the first time in its existence in the series.

 

If JRM wins their fourth race this season this weekend it will be the sixth time in NASCAR Xfinity Series history (1985-2022) that an organization has won four or more consecutive races in a single season. JR Motorsports would also become the fourth different team to accomplish the feat joining Howard Thomas Racing (1983), RFK Racing (2000) and Joe Gibbs Racing (2008, 2016, 2021).

 

Joe Gibbs Racing holds the record for the most consecutive wins in a single season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with six straight wins from April 5, 2008 - May 9 2008.

 

If JR Motorsports wins its fourth straight race with driver Sam Mayer this weekend, then JRM would become the first organization to win four or more consecutive races with four different drivers.

 

AJ Allmendinger on a hot streak of top 10s – Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger has started the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series posting 11 consecutive top-10 finishes heading into this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Allmendinger’s streak of top-10 finishes this season is the fourth longest streak of consecutive top 10s to start a NASCAR Xfinity Series season behind Sam Ard (23 consecutive top 10s in 1984), Regan Smith (13 consecutive top 10s in 2014) and Elliott Sadler (12 consecutive top 10s in 2018).

 

Allmendinger has made two series starts at Texas Motor Speedway posting two top 10s and an average finish of 6.0.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

 

Camping World Truck Series heads to the Lone Star state

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is halfway through the 16-race regular season and is headed to Texas Motor Speedway for the SpeedyCash.com 220 for some high-speed action under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway (8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

Texas Motor Speedway has hosted 47 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races dating back to the inaugural event on June 6, 1997. The first Camping World Truck Series race at Texas was won by Kenny Irwin Jr. driving the No. 98 Ford for owner Jim Herrick.

 

The 47 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have produced 29 different pole winners and 25 different race winners.

 

Mike Skinner leads the series in poles at Texas with five (2004, 2005 sweep, 2006, 2007). ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton leads all active drivers this weekend in poles with three (2009, 2010, 2015).

 

Halmar Friesen Racing’s driver Todd Bodine leads the series in wins at Texas with six victories (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010). Bodine is joined by Matt Crafton (two wins: 2014, 2015) and John Hunter Nemechek (2021) as the only three active winners entered this weekend.

 

This weekend’s on-track activity for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will begin with practice from 4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET, directly followed by Cometic Gaskets Pole Qualifying at 4:30 p.m. ET.

 

Front Row Motorsport’s Zane Smith sets himself apart from the competition

After his dominating performance at Kansas Speedway last weekend, Front Row Motorsport’s Zane Smith has set the ‘champion favorite’ spotlight square on his shoulders.

 

The Huntington Beach, California native has posted a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series leading three wins this season on three completely different types of tracks – the Daytona superspeedway, the Circuit of The Americas road course and then last weekend’s 1.5-mile intermediate speedway at Kansas. He has also cashed-in on four stage wins in addition to his race wins bringing his Playoff points total to a series leading 19 points – nine more than Ben Rhodes’ 10 Playoff points (second-most).

 

Not only has Zane Smith been collecting the most checkered flags this season, but he has also been out front the most, leading laps in six of the eight races totaling 201 of the 1,054 scheduled laps this year (19.07%).

 

But it was last weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway that Smith put on his best performance of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 54-start career. The 22-year-old put on a clinic, starting fourth and racing his way to the front leading 108 (race-most) of the scheduled 134 laps (80.6%) and in the process posted his first career Perfect Driver Rating (150.0). Smith became the 13th different driver in the series to score a Perfect Driver Rating and the first this season.

 

Smith hopes to keep his early season success flowing this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway where he has made three series starts posting one top- five and two top-10 finishes. He finished sixth in this event last season.

 

John Hunter Nemechek returns to Texas to defend last season’s win

Last season, Kyle Busch Motorsport’s driver John Hunter Nemechek left Texas Motor Speedway with the fourth of his 2021 series leading five victories on the year. Fast forward to this week, and though Nemechek might not have the same number of wins under his belt, he is right back into the championship mix currently second in the standings, 20 points back from the lead, as he heads to Texas Motor Speedway to defend his 2021 victory. Nemechek is also looking to become the fifth different driver to win consecutive races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway; joining Brendan Gaughan (four straight: 2002 sweep-2003 sweep), Todd Bodine (2005, 2006), Ron Hornaday Jr. (2008 sweep), Johnny Sauter (2012 sweep, 2017-2018).

 

This season, Nemechek has made eight starts putting up three poles, one win (Darlington), four top fives and five top 10s. His average finish this season is 11.1.

 

Looking to this weekend at Texas, Nemechek has made six starts at the Fort Worth track posting one win (2021), one top five and two top 10s.

 

2021 champ Ben Rhodes still holds the series standings lead after eight races

Defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ben Rhodes is eight races through the 2022 regular season on a quest to become just the second driver in series history to win back-to-back titles (Matt Crafton, 2013-‘14) and has firm grasp on the driver standings lead heading into Texas this weekend for the SpeedyCash.com 220.

 

Rhodes catapulted to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver standings lead following Martinsville and has since built on his points cushion ahead of second place over the last three races. In eight starts this season, he has collected one win (Bristol), five top fives (series-most) and six top 10s.

 

Currently, Rhodes is 20 points up on Kyle Busch Motorsport’s driver John Hunter Nemechek in second, and 21 points up on the season wins leader and Front Row Motorsport’s driver Zane Smith in third place.

 

Only eight races remain to decide who will win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Regular Season Championship this season and bank not only the prestigious trophy, but the additional 15 Playoff points that come with it.

 

The inception of the Playoffs in the series was in 2016, but the Regular Season Championship wasn’t introduced until the 2017 season, and since then, no driver has won the Regular Season title more than once – John Hunter Nemechek (2021), Austin Hill (2020), Grant Enfinger (2019), Johnny Sauter (2018), and Christopher Bell (2017).

 

Of the five different drivers to win the NASCAR Camping World truck Series Regular Season Championship, Christopher Bell is the only one to go on and win the overall season title (2017).

 

Rhodes will look to keep building on his points lead this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The Kentucky native, has made 11 starts at Texas posting two top fives and four top 10s.

 

Playoff Bubble: Six spots still available at halfway

We’re halfway through the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular season and just four Playoff eligible drivers have won this season, leaving six postseason spots still up for grabs with eight races to decide the field.

 

Following Kansas Speedway last weekend, four drivers have locked themselves into the Playoffs by virtue of their wins this season – Zane Smith (three wins: Daytona, COTA, Kansas), Chandler Smith (Las Vegas), Ben Rhodes (Bristol), John Hunter Nemechek (Darlington).

 

At the other end of the Playoff outlook is ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton in the 10th and final transfer position following Kansas. Crafton holds a 20-point advantage over Tanner Gray in 11th – the first position outside the Playoffs. Crafton holds the record for the most Playoff appearances in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and has made each of the postseasons since the inception of the Playoffs in the series in 2016; a streak of the last six seasons (2016-2021).

 

Looking to this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, the pendulum of experience at the 1.5-mile track couldn’t have swung further apart when it comes to Crafton and Gray. Gray has made three series starts at Texas posting two top-10 finishes while Crafton has made 41 appearances in this event putting up three poles, two wins (2014, 2015), 17 top fives and 29 top 10s. To put the vast difference in experience at Texas between these two drivers teetering the Playoff cutline into perspective, Crafton made his first Truck Series start at Texas in 2001, two years after Gray was born in 1999.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings update following Kansas – With eight races in the books for the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, the halfway point of the regular season, Niece Motorsport’s teammates Lawless Alan and Dean Thompson hold the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings top two spots, respectively. Alan is 20 points ahead of Thompson in second following Kansas.

 

Alan grabbed his fourth Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award last weekend at Kansas Speedway thanks to his 19th-place finish. This season, Alan has been a quick study in the Truck Series putting up five top-20 finishes in eight starts. His average finish this season is 22.1

 

Alan’s Niece Motorsports teammate, Dean Thompson is currently second in the standings after posting two top-15 and three top-20 finishes. Thompson has also secured the second-most Sunoco Rookie of the Race Awards this season with three.

 

GMS Racing’s Jack Wood is third in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, 27 points back from Alan in the rookie standings lead and nine points behind Thompson in second. Alan, Thompson, and Wood are the only three rookies to run fulltime this season. Wood has mustered one top-15 and two top-20 finishes this season. His average finish through eight races is 26.4. 

 

All five rookies will be attempting to make their NASCAR Camping World Truck Series track debut this weekend.

 

2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Standings following Kansas

Rookies

Points

 

Awards

Lawless Alan

119

 

4

Dean Thompson

101

 

3

Jack Wood

92

 

1

Corey Heim

89

 

0

Blaine Perkins

41

 

0

 

Armani Williams to attempt season debut this weekend in Texas – This weekend Armani Williams attempt to make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season debut at Texas Motor Speedway and join Thad Moffitt, Brad Perez, Blake Lothian, Keith McGee, Akinori Ogata and Jesse Iwuji as the seventh different driver to pilot the No 43 Reaume Brothers Racing Chevrolet this season.

 

Williams has made one previous career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start in his career at World Wide Technology Raceway in 2021; he started 36th and finished 21st posting a positive place differential of 15 positions.

 

Preece, Chastain and Bodine back in the Truck Series this weekend – Three big names you will recognize are returning to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this weekend for the SpeedyCash.com 220 at Texas Motor Speedway – Ryan Preece, Ross Chastain and two-time series champion Todd Bodine.

 

Preece will be behind the wheel of the No. 17 Team DGR Ford with crew chief Chad Johnston. This will be his fourth start of the season for Team DGR in the series. His previous three starts have produced one top five and three top 10s.

 

Chastain will pilot the No. 41 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet this weekend. He has made two previous Truck Series starts this season posting an average finish of 24.5.

 

Bodine returns to the No. 62 Halmar Friesen Racing Toyota this weekend at Texas. He has made two previous starts this season posting one top-10 finish (Darlington).

 

Of the three drivers, Bodine (10.167) has the best average finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway, followed by Chastain (18.333). Preece will be making his series track debut this weekend. Also worth noting, Bodine leads the series in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with six victories but hasn’t been to Victory Lane at the 1.5-mile track since 2010.

NASCAR PR

It's a big weekend for Ross Chastain who is already locked into this weekend's All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

It's also the first weekend new Trackhouse Racing partner Worldwide Express will be on the Alva, Florida native's No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro.

The Dallas-based freight and logistics giant signed a multi-year deal with Trackhouse last month to span 21 races on the No. 1 and No. 99 driven by Trackhouse teammate Daniel Suárez.

With $1 million on the line for an exhibition race, there would be nothing better than Chastain taking Worldwide Express to victory lane in their first Cup Series race.

Worldwide Express, along with its sister brands of GlobalTranz and Unishippers, is among the top non-asset logistics providers in the country, offering marketing-leading solutions for parcel, less-than-truckload (LTL) and truckload shipping and managed transportation services delivered through proprietary technology. Due to the company’s unique data assets and business intelligence capabilities, more than 115,000 shippers, from small and mid-size to enterprise businesses, benefit from enhanced visibility and efficiency for their supply chains.

Chastain is making his second consecutive All-Star Race start in two years. This year he enters the event with two Cup wins already to his name - Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on March 27 and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on April 24.

Worldwide Express will also adorn the No. 41 Niece Motorsports entry Chastain will pilot in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night at Texas.

Fox will televise Sunday's race at 8 p.m. EDT.

 

Ross Chastain, Driver of the No. 1 Worldwide Express Chevrolet

How excited are you to get to Texas?

"I can't wait to get to Texas. We have Worldwide Express on the car and Rob (Rose) is such a huge supporter of us and of racing which includes the Truck Series. It would be awesome to get them into victory lane. They got to experience it with us at Talladega earlier this year, but it would be great to do it again with them as the primary."

What's it like to already have two wins this season and be locked into the All-Star Race?

"It a great feeling to be locked in to the All-Star race. To think back several years ago at a road course I was asking Justin (Marks) questions when he was driving the No. 42 Xfinity car.

"How do I brake, turn right into a blind corner, down shift twice and get off of that corner and it wasn't an easy answer for him. It took years of going over it with him and now to have wins with him as the owner is so cool. I remember I paid his wife Erin for race seats. I went to their house and Justin was gone and I paid her cash for two seats because I didn't have the NASCAR certified seats and Justin did."

Trackhouse Racing PR

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