Steven B. Wilson
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The dream continues for Venturini Motorsports (VMS) as Toyota Racing Development's driver prospect, Chandler Smith (No.20 Craftsman Toyota), picked up his second ARCA Menards Series win of the season Friday night at Madison Int’l Speedway, and in the process handed a dominating VMS team its seventh victory in ten attempts on the season.
Smith, 16, who started from the pole after setting a new track qualifying record, dominated most of the way leading 166 of 200 laps, but in the end had to use pit strategy and determination to hold off a late race charge by Ty Gibbs and teammates Michael Self (No.25 Sinclair Oil Toyota) and Christian Eckes (No.15 JBL Audio Toyota) to finish off his fourth career ARCA win.
Immediately following his late night victory, Smith flew onto Iowa where he'll make his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut later tonight driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports at Iowa Speedway.
Temporarily relinquishing the lead to Ty Gibbs moments before a caution flag flew for rain with less than 40 laps to go, Smith by himself, came down pit road during the yellow for fuel and tires under the direction of his crew chief Billy Venturini. Moments later ARCA officials displayed the red flag stopping action due to rain. After a brief stoppage action resumed and the twenty-team’s pit strategy shined as leader Gibbs and the rest of the lead lap cars came down pit road for service giving Smith back his lead.
With less than fifteen miles to go when the race resumed, VMS teammates lined up first, fourth, fifth and sixth – Smith out front, Self and Eckes in the middle and Hailie Deegan (No.55 Toyota Racing Development 40th Anniversary Toyota) knocking on the door for her first ARCA top-five.
Launching on the restart, Self bolted to the front taking the lead away from Smith. With a fierce battle brewing, Eckes joined the party as the top-three VMS cars raced side-by-side for the lead with less than 20 laps remaining. Racing hard in the second position Eckes attempted to drive under Self on the front stretch but made contact and spun going for the lead.
Moments later with Self leading Smith, Hailie Deegan, driving in the sixth position went up in smoke with a punctured oil line bringing out the final caution of the night. Despite being credited with a twelfth place finish, Deegan turned in an impressive outing, keeping her Toyota up front in just her third career ARCA start.
After a second race stoppage to clean up the oil laid down by Deegan's car, Self and Smith lined up one-two for the final restart.
Smith, who wouldn’t be denied, took the green flag restart with five laps to go and held off a hard charging Self to claim his second Madison track victory. Self finished in the runner up position while Eckes finished seventh.
On the strength of his seventh top-five on the season Self extended his series driver points lead over second place contender Brett Holmes, while VMS’ twenty team continues to lead the owner points battle.
Next up for the ARCA Menards Series is the Day to Day Coffee 150 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway coming up on Saturday, June 22.
Heavy rains have forced the cancellation of tonight's POWRi Illinois SPEED Week feature event at Macon Speedway. As of now, the final round is still scheduled for Sunday at Lincoln Speedway.
For the second straight season, heavy rains have forced the cancellation of POWRi’s Illinois Midget Speedweek event at Macon Speedway. The Saturday, June 15 program had Midgets, Micros, Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models, and Sportsman on tap. Only one event remains on the Speedweek schedule, the Sunday afternoon show at Lincoln Speedway.
The next event for Macon Speedway will be the Firecracker 40’s presented by Dynagraphics and 95Q on Saturday, June 22. 40-lap events will be run for the Decatur Building Trades Big Ten Pro Late Models as well as the topless BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds. Both events will pay extra prize money. Rounding out the classes in action will be the Neal Tire & Auto Pro Mods, Archer’s Alley Street Stocks, Sportsman, Hornets, and Micros.
For the POWRi Midgets, it’s been a tough Speedweek, as the series has only completed one of it’s first four Speedweek events. Belle-Clair, Jacksonville, and Macon have all been hit by weather, while Fayette County completed their race on Thursday night. The Sunday, June 16 event at Lincoln Speedway is still scheduled to go on as of Saturday morning. More updates on that event will come later this evening.
Macon Speedway PR
Logan Seavey started from the pole and led all 25 laps in winning the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League’s feature at Jacksonville Speedway, Tucker Klaasmeyer finished second and 14-year-old Jesse Love finished third as Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyota teammates swept the podium for a second consecutive night. The event was the make-up date for the postponed April 28 race.
The win is the sixth for Seavey in POWRi competition this season and is his eighth overall national midget feature victory of 2019. Seavey has now led 75 straight laps in POWRi competition.
Seavey went straight to the lead from the start, with teammate Tucker Klaasmeyer and fellow Toyota driver Cannon McIntosh moving into second and third.
An early lap seven caution would bunch the field with Seavey leading Klaasmeyer, McIntosh, Love and Zach Daum as they came back to the green flag. A slight bobble from McIntosh opened the door for Love who took over the third spot, while Seavey pulled away from the field.
The top five stayed intact through the midway point of the race, but Klaasmeyer started to close as the laps began to wind down and Seavey began to encounter lapped traffic. As Klaasmeyer began to pressure him for the lead, Seavey used a major slider on lapped traffic to give himself some breathing room on the way to winning by approximately six car lengths as he took the checkered flag.
Klaasmeyer placed second with Love finishing third. The third-place showing marked the first national midget podium finish for Love in just his second feature start in the series. McIntosh would finish fourth, Zach Daum was fifth, Holley Hollan placed seventh, Tanner Carrick was eighth and Daimon Paisley came home in ninth.
With the win, Seavey continues to stretch his championship lead with a 380-point lead over Klaasmeyer. The duo have combined to win the last two POWRi championships. Colwell is currently third, 90 points behind Klaasmeyer.
The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League’s Illinois SPEED Week event scheduled for later on Friday night was postponed due to rain after the evening’s heat races and will be made up at a later date. Illinois SPEED Week continues Saturday night at Macon Speedway
Mother Nature finally delivered a beautiful sunny day Friday in Northeast Tennessee to welcome everyone to Kingsport Speedway for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Food City 175 Night at the Races.
Ronnie McCarty of Kingsport has stepped back somewhat this season with his racing and is only competing occasionally. But fans can rest assured when the two-time “Highlands Sign Shop” Late Model Stock Car track champion shows up he’ll be a strong contender to win. McCarty passed his teammate Lance Gatlin for the lead prior to halfway in the 60-lap main event and once out front he never looked back en route to capturing his second victory on the season.
McCarty was fastest in qualifying at 14.982 seconds to narrowly edge out Hayden Woods who toured “The Concrete Jungle” at 14.993. The roll of the dice inverted the top four from time trials, putting Gatlin on the pole with Nik Williams on the outside of the front row.
Gatlin grabbed the lead on the start over Williams, McCarty, Woods and Bryson Dennis. McCarty immediately went to work trying to overtake Williams for the second spot, and it didn’t take long before he pulled the trigger to complete the pass. Setting his sights ahead on leader Gatlin, he quickly closed to his back bumper.
There’s something to be said for having good chemistry between driver and crew chief. McCarty showed up on race day at Kingsport Speedway with a smile on his face, because he was happy to be reunited once again with his cousin, Mark Ketron. Ketron led McCarty to the two track championships before stepping away from racing to take a break last year. When you put McCarty behind the wheel with Ketron calling the shots as crew chief – just call them the “dynamic duo.”
McCarty got up on the wheel to pass Gatlin for the lead and once out front he never looked back. He was on a mission and was bound and determined to settle for nothing but parking in victory lane. McCarty captured his second win of the season over Woods, Williams, defending Late Model Stock Car track champion Zeke Shell and Gatlin.
Completing the top 10 finishers were Dennis, Joey Trent, Derek Lane, Wayne Hale and Keith Helton.
Nothing tastes sweeter than your first kiss or in motorsports with your first-ever win. Alex Miller of Erwin definitely likes the feeling of getting his first victory. Miller outran Rusty Clendenin, two-time defending “Super Transmission” Modified Street champion Royce Peters, Austin Peters and Kevin Canter for the crowd-pleasing win.
Keith Helton maneuvered his way past Brandon Sutherland late in the Pure 4 feature to capture his sixth feature win on the season. Helton was chased to the checkered flag by Sutherlan, Bruce Crumbley, Josh Detwiler and Bucky Smith.
Sooner or later it was bound to happen. Dennis Arnold of Meadowview, Va., turned in a strong run to knock three-time defending Mod 4 champion Kevin Canter from the unbeaten ranks. Canter had started the season by recording eight straight victories. Arnold captured his first win of the season over Canter, Billy Duty, Hershell Robinette and Chris Amburgey.
Doug Austin of Castlewood, Va., sped to his division-leading seventh Pure Street win over Tony Dockery, Kevin Darnell, Skylar Schmalzried and Mike Mays.
After dominating the first three quarters of the ARCA Menards Series Shore Lunch 200 at Madison International Speedway, Chandler Smith (No. 20 Craftsman/828 Logistics Toyota) had to utilize pit strategy and some hard racing to earn his second straight series victory. Smith won the last time he raced in the ARCA Menards Series at Toledo Speedway in May.
Smith, who started from the General Tire Pole after setting a track record in qualifying, stretched out nearly a half-lap lead as the field raced the first 112 laps caution-free. Then, Corey Heim (No. 22 Speedway Children’s Charities Ford) lost control in turn three and made contact with the wall bringing out the first caution of the night. From there on, Smith would face pressure from – and eventually lose the lead to – Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Monster Energy/ORCA Coolers/Terrible Herbst/Advance Auto Parts Toyota).
Gibbs would hold the lead until a red flag for rain with 38 laps remaining. Just before the red was displayed, Smith came to the pits for two tires, and when the field went back under caution after the weather cell passed through the rest of the lead lap cars came to pit road handing the lead back to Smith.
Smith lost the lead to Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) on the restart, and Smith would lose second to his other Venturini Motorsports teammate Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) with 25 laps to go when Eckes made contact in turn one.
Eckes would go on to pressure Self for the lead but would spin down the frontstretch on lap 180. He would go on to finish seventh.
Once back under green, Self would retain the lead on the restart but Smith would move him out of the way just as their teammate Hailie Deegan’s engine expired. That would put the field under the red for the second time of the night for track cleanup, and left just five laps to settle it once back under green.
Self spun his tires on the restart, scrambling the field behind him. Gibbs would receive the black flag for changing lanes on the restart, and dropped from second to eighth at the finish.
Smith was ecstatic with his win, even if he had to knock fenders to do it.
“We’re in victory lane and that’s what matters,” he said. “If those guys are upset, I am sorry but it was rough out there tonight. I had people run into me all night long. That’s just how it was.”
Smith knew the only chance he had to win was to pit before the rest of the field did while it was sprinkling and hope the weather moved through quick enough to get back underway.
“It was out only hope at that point,” he said. “It could have rained and we would have been eighth or tenth. But once we got back underway we knew everyone else would pit and we’d get our track position back.”
Self was happy to finish second in his first ever appearance at Madison.
“This is a much better outcome than it could have been tonight,” Self said. “We went from asking Chandler how to get around this place to battling him for the win in about eight hours. I can’t say enough about my team to help make that happen. I am not mad about it at all but he did get into us down there and move me out of the way. I get it. That’s what he had to do.”
The Venturini duo finished just ahead of Sam Mayer (No. 21 Chevy Accessories Chevrolet), who hails from nearby Franklin, Wisconsin. Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford) was fourth and Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation/Champion Power Equipment Chevrolet) rounded out the top five.
There were five caution flags and two red flags that slowed the pace, including a red flag for rain and for clean up after Deegan’s engine failure.
Smith led three times for a total of 166 laps, while Gibbs led for 14 and Self led for 20 laps. Smith needed one hour, 29 minutes, and nine seconds to complete the 200-lap distance at an average speed of 67.302 miles per hour. His official margin of victory over Self was 1.422 seconds.
Next up for the ARCA Menards Series is the Day to Day Coffee 150 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway coming up on Saturday, June 22. Practice starts at 12:35 pm ET/11:35 am CT, with General Tire Pole Qualifying set for 5:30 pm ET/4:30 pm CT, and the 120-lap/150-mile race will go green at 7:45 pm ET/6:45 pm CT. The race will be televised live on MAVTV. ARCA for Me members can access live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email at ARCARacing.com/login.
ARCA Menards Series PR
June 22: NASCAR CarShield 200 presented by CK Power and ARCA Day to Day Coffee 150 presented by Lucas Oil at World Wide Technology Raceway14 Jun 2019
Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR) in Madison, Illinois, will present its annual NASCAR-ARCA doubleheader on Saturday, June 22. It’s an action-packed one-day show featuring two exciting, big-league races on the Metro Easts area’s challenging 1.25-mile oval.
WWTR’s sixth annual NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race has a new name: the CarShield 200 presented by CK Power. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, CarShield is the industry-leading provider of vehicle service contracts in the United States.
The CarShield 200 presented by CK Power features an exciting mix of future stars and series regulars, including Matt Crafton, Brett Moffitt, Canada’s Stewart Friesen, Johnny Sauter and local favorite Jordan Anderson.
The ARCA Menards Series Day to Day Coffee 150 presented by Lucas Oil showcases the stock car racing stars of tomorrow, including Michael Self, Harrison Burton and Christian Eckes.
Adult general admission tickets for this one-day doubleheader start at $40. Kids 15 and under are free. Spectator gates open at 9:30 a.m. with the first practice session at 10:35 a.m. Qualifying begins at 4:30 p.m., with the ARCA race scheduled to start at 6:45 p.m., followed by the NASCAR race at 9 p.m. The driver autograph session is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and will be located beneath the main grandstand.
RUMBLE BEFORE THE ROAR PARTY ZONE: WWTR’s new Rumble Before the Roar ultimate pre-race party zone features DJs, the Gateway Girls, special guest appearances, beer Olympics, t-shirt giveaways and entertainment. The party zone opens at 3 p.m. and runs until the green flag is waved for the INDYCAR race. Admission is only $25 and includes a souvenir mug, complimentary beer and soft drinks and light snacks. The party zone expanse includes WWTR’s all-new cash bar, concession stand and food truck area. It’s the ultimate way to party with friends before a great night of racing under the lights. Ticket price increases to $30 at the gate. RBTR is open to adults age 21 and older. Race ticket required for entry.
RIDE TO THE RACETRACK SHUTTLE: WWTR and the St. Clair County Transit District are teaming up to give NASCAR, INDYCAR and NHRA fans a lift to the races. Race fans will receive a round-trip bus ride to WWT Raceway events from the Fairview Heights MetroLink Station for only $5. The shuttle is a cost-effective and convenient alternative for fans travelling to and from WWTR. Buses will run from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. The $5 ride ticket is cash-only. Buses will depart and return to the Fairview Heights MetroLink Station’s Park-and-Ride Lot at 9200 St. Clair Avenue in Fairview Heights, Illinois. Buses will drop fans off at WWTR’s northwest parking area.
MITTLER MEMORIAL TROPHY
Longtime NASCAR Gander Outdoors Series team owner Mike Mittler passed away on Friday, May 10, following a long and courageous battle with cancer. The respected St. Louis-area race team owner had been involved in racing for more than 50 years and had a hand in the early careers of NASCAR stars Rusty Wallace and Kenny Wallace. In 1995, Mittler launched MB Motorsports and fielded front-running rides for NASCAR stars like Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray, Brad Keselowski, Justin Allgaier, Regan Smith and Spencer Boyd, to name a few.
To honor Mike, WWTR will name its NASCAR trophy after the local legend. From now on, the annual NASCAR Gander Outdoors Series CarShield 200 presented by CK Power’s trophy will be known as the Mittler Memorial Trophy. The trophy will be presented to the winner of the race by current and former members of the MB Motorsports team and Mittler family members.
MOTOR RACING NETWORK NASCAR BROADCAST
The MRN broadcast of the CarShield 200 presented by CK Power will be carried by WBGZ-AM/FM in Alton, Illinois. The station has a clear signal at WWTR and may be tuned in on 1570 AM (stronger signal) or 94.3 FM. The broadcast also may be livestreamed from the station’s website, http://www.wbgzradio.com/.
To purchase tickets or obtain additional more information, please call (618) 215-8888 or visit www.wwtraceway.com. Follow WWTR on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.