BRISTOL, Tenn.— Despite getting a speeding penalty at the conclusion of the second stage, Kyle Busch was able to start from the pole to win the UNOH 200 from Bristol Motor Speedway.
“Well there was two (grooves). You know options, options are good and when you have options – you know when somebody is up high, you go down low and when somebody is down low, you go up high and it made for an interesting show that’s for sure. I didn’t want to. I’m sure NASCAR liked it. They wanted to, so truck yeah,” said Busch. “But pretty fun to be able to go out here and compete with these guys, compete with my guys and it was my late model team essentially you know. Just to go out here and have fun for Banfield, Banfield Pet Hospital team’s here and Cessna and Toyota, TRD, Rowdy Manufacturing, Joe Gibbs Racing Engines, NOS Energy Drink, everybody that’s a part of our team and makes our organization click.”
This is Ky. Busch’s third victory of 2017 and his fifth victory at Bristol.
After leading 90 laps and almost holding off Ky. Busch in the final 30 laps, Matt Crafton finished second.
“That last run we had really good speed. I found something right there at the end. I picked up two and a half tenths. When they were reading me lap times, I thought maybe we had something for them. Just a very good day. We will get one sooner or later here,” said Crafton.
John Hunter Nemechek finished in the third position.
“You never stop fighting until its over. We didn’t have the best qualifying spot. When the rain came, it washed most of the VHT off the bottom of the racetrack. After about five laps, the bottom rubbered up again. I am glad it rained because we were able to move to the middle and high lane. We didn’t have the best truck right off the lift gate, but we worked pretty hard to come home third. It’s a successful night,” said Nemechek.
Grant Enfinger, Ben Rhodes, Johnny Saucer, Christopher Bell, Parker Kligerman, Austin Cindric, and Brandon Jones rounded out the top-10 after the UNOH 200.
There were six lead changes among four different drivers. Ky. Busch led the most laps at 109. There were five cautions for 31 laps. The margin of victory was 0.962 seconds. The time of race was one hour, 16 minutes, and 42 seconds.
Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a trip to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Chevrolet Silverado 250. The race will be on Sunday, September 3rd at 2:30 ET on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network.
BRISTOL, Tenn.— After setting a new track record in the final round of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying, Kyle Busch will start from the pole in tonight’s UNOH 200 from Bristol Motor Speedway.
Busch was fastest in the opening round of qualifying at 128.848 mph. Christopher Bell was second fastest at 128.485 mph. Ben Rhodes was third fastest at 128.425 mph. Austin Cindric was fourth fastest at 128.417 mph. Parker Kligerman rounded out the top-five at 128.374 mph. Chris Windom and Mike Senica were the two drivers who will not participate in tonight’s event.
In the second round of qualifying, Bell was fastest at 128.848 mph. Busch was second fastest at 128.632 mph. Johnny Sauter was third fastest at 128.365 mph. Noah Gragson was fourth fastest at 128.211 mph. Rhodes rounded out the top-five at 127.911 mph.
In the final round of qualifying, Busch scored the pole with a speed of 129.413 mph. Bell will start second at 128.606 mph. Sauter will start third at 128.271 mph. Gragson will start fourth at 128.253 mph. Brandon Jones will round out the top-five a 127.911 mph.
Matt Crafton, Grant Enfinger, Cody Coughlin, Rhodes, and Jesse Little rounded out the top-ten.
For the fourth time in 2017 and the fallout of teammates, Christopher Bell won the Overton’s 150 after a late race battle for the lead.
“My guys do the best. They do a good job taking care of me. I just can’t say enough to be able to drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports. I am glad to be able to get SiriusXM into victory lane,” said Bell.
Despite a late race charge and a strong run at Pocono after a few disappointing weeks, Ben Rhodes will finished second.
“Pretty mellow about it. I guess that has been the story of the day. There were several situations out that we could have put ourselves in a bad place. I let a couple guys go early on in the race. I knew we had a fast Safelight Tundra,” said Rhodes.
Running up front for majority of the day, Ryan Truex finished in the third position.
John Hunter Nemchek, Johnny Suater, Matt Crafton, Austin Cindric, Cody Coughlin, Chase Briscoe, and Justin Haley round out the top-10.
There were five lead changes among five different drivers. The caution flew four times for XX laps. The average speed was 119.210 mph. The time of race was one hour, 17 minutes, 37 seconds.
Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a trip to Michigan International Raceway on August 12th for the LTI Printing 200. The race will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network at 1:00 p.m. ET.
INDIANAPOLIS— As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finished the Fifth Annual Eldora Dirt Derby from Eldora Speedway on Wednesday, there were many claims that the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series should look at special events like the Trucks have at Eldora.
For Denny Hamlin, the question pops out of whether or not the infrastructure is there to compete at tracks like Eldora. When it comes to infrastructure, Hamlin is talking about the garage area, amenities at the track for sponsors, and the amount of equipment the traveling circus brings to each event.
Hamlin would love to see the Cup series return to places like North Wilkesboro and Rockingham, but sees it as not feasible for today’s NASCAR.
“I think the truck series carries one certain amount of circus to it. With the Cup series, it is times 10. It would be tough as much as the Cup series has grown to bring that traveling circus to short track somewhere to be able to put on a show that makes sense, organized,” said Hamlin. “Does Eldora have timing and scoring loops or not? Probably not. When it gets down the nitty gritty of the Cup races and we are arguing who is leading at the line at this point or that point. How does that work with a track that doesn’t have scoring loops. I know Wilkesboro doesnt’t. That’s what I mean by infrastructure.”
When it comes to amenities, Hamlin looks at what each track can bring to a sponsor and ultimately the fans.
“Its tough to get these sponsors to come to these race tracks unless the amenities are about here (Indianapolis) or Daytona. You wanna have really nice everything. It seems like some of those old tracks got phased out because they were antiquated,” said Hamlin.
Hamlin commends tracks like Phoenix Raceway and Richmond Raceway for upgrading their facilities to be the best for fans and sponsors.
“I like to see the new updates to tracks like Richmond. That’s state of the art. It’s going to bring a lot of new eyes and hopefully sponsors to those type race tracks,” said Hamlin.
ROSSBURG, Ohio— After a wild night at Eldora, it was Matt Crafton who was victorious in the Eldora Dirt Derby snapping a 27 race winless streak.
"My first dirt win - a lot of fun," said Crafton, who picked up his 14th career win. "In the second part of that race we down-right just stunk. It was my fault. We over-tightened it a little bit in the first run. It got free and we just went back to the way we started the race. I knew I was getting beat down low. Finally at the end, I said, 'Well, we may have to tear the right- side off to get the win.' I started doing it and this truck became a rocket ship."
This is Crafton’s first victory of 2017. He locked his way into the playoffs in September. Crafton is the seventh different winner in 2017. This is Crafton’s 14th career victory.
After having a dominating car for majority of the race, Stewart Friesen finished second.
“Our Halmar team was good. Our Chevy was great. We had a long run truck. We didn’t come to run second. I am proud of these guys,” said Friesen
After going to a backup car in final practice, Chase Briscoe finished third.
Grant Enfinger, John Hunter Nemechek, Bobby Pierce, Noah Gragson, Justin Haley, Christopher Bell, and Austin Cindric rounded out the top-10.
There were eight lead changes among four different drivers. The caution flag flew for a total of 10 times for 59 laps. The time of race was one hour, 45 minutes, and 44 seconds. The average speed was 42.560 mph. The margin of victory was 1.960 seconds. Crafton and Friesen won the first two stages.
Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a trip to Pocono Raceway on July 29th for the Overton’s 150 from Pocono Raceway. The race will be broadcasted on FOX and Motor Racing Network at 1:00 p.m. EDT.
ROSSBURG, Ohio— Stewart Friesen was the fastest qualifier in the fifth annual Eldora Dirt Derby from Eldora Speedway. This is his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pole.
Friesen will start P1 in the first qualifying race. Friesen posted a speed of 90.000 mph at 20.000 seconds.
After moving to a backup car after practice, Chase Briscoe posted a speed of 89.383 mph. Kaz Grala was third fastest at 89.202 mph. Christopher Bell was third fastest at 89.038 mph. Noah Gragson was fifth fastest at 88.933 mph.
The No. 44 Martins Motorsports of JR Heffner withdrew after blowing up an engine during qualifying.
Here is how the heats will look:
John Hunter Nemechek
The qualifying races will air on Fox Sports 2 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. The main event will air on Fox Business Network at 9:30 p.m ET.
NEW WESTON, Ohio— In a mid-week spectacle, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series thunders to Eldora Speedway for the Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway in New Weston, Ohio. This race will feature qualifying, five heats, and a main event. The main event will be broken into stage lengths of 40, 50, and 60 laps.
For qualifying, teams will go in order of a random draw. Teams will complete two laps of single car runs. The fastest driver will be awarded the Keystone Pole Award at the end of the qualifying session. Qualifying determines what heat a driver will be in.
Each heat will consist of 10 green flag laps only. The top-five in each heat will be automatically entered into the main feature. Those drivers who do not advance will compete in the last chance heat. The last chance heat will be 15 green flag laps, where the top-two finishers will advance. The rest of the field will be filled per the rule book.
In the main event, the caution laps between stages will not count. Teams will have the option to pit during the caution. Teams who chose to pit will start behind those who did not pit. Positions cannot be improved on pit road.
There have been four events at Eldora Speedway. There have been four different pole winners and race winners. No races have been won from the pole position. In 2013, Austin Dillon set the race record at 67.401 mph. Ken Schrader set the qualifying record in 2013 at 91.329 mph.
Drivers are excited for a new challenge this week.
"Last year Eldora was a lot of fun. I think the fans really enjoy seeing the Truck Series race on dirt, it adds some excitement to the summer stretch. This is Harrison's first race on dirt so we are just going to go out there and do our best and see how he does in practice and qualifying. Harrison is smart and a quick learner, so I am confident Wednesday night will be a fun one to watch,” said Harrison Burton.
"I don't know if any of my dirt track experience from ARCA is going to help me in Eldora. The tracks I've run at, DuQuoin and Springfield, in the ARCA Racing Series are one mile, flat tracks, and Eldora is obviously a short track with some high banking. So, its definitely going to be different, but I am really looking forward to it,” said Grant Enfinger.
Qualifying will be held on Fox Sports 1 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. The heat races will air on Fox Sports 2 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. The main event will air on Fox Business Network beginning at 9:30 p.m. EDT. Motor Racing Network will have radio coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Fans who do not have Fox Business Network, but have Fox Sports 1 will be able to stream the Eldora Dirt Derby on the Fox Sports GO app, depending on if their provider has a contract.
Once again, inspection issues plagued the qualifying sessions at Kentucky Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
When qualifying began in the NASCAR Xfintiy Series, there were roughly 10 teams sitting in the inspection line at the LIS station. Luckily, all teams were able to make a lap in the session due to the cleanup from three spins on the racing surface.
However, Kyle Larson was not lucky during Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying. The team went through the LIS at least four times before ultimately giving up as the clock ran out on qualifying.
At Kentucky, NASCAR began issuing tougher penalties to teams who decide they want to play games in inspection. One of the penalties was moving practice holds to the final practice session of the weekend. The sanctioning body is also looking at taking away a set of tires from teams. NASCAR is also taking away the “hard cards” of crew chiefs for a certain amount of time, forcing them to get paper credentials from each track.
NASCAR is keeping teams in check by forcing their hand when it comes to the inspection process. Teams called on NASCAR earlier in the season to keep a stiff hand.
In an effort to make the racing better after a repave at Kentucky Speedway, NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI) ran the tire dragon across the middle to lower grooves of the track.
However, when NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams arrived to the track on Wednesday for practice, they were upset with where the speedway ran the tire dragon. The speedway confirmed they ran the tire dragon where they did last year based on the racing.
SMI officials were adamant that they knew what they were doing, until Friday. After more outcry from drivers, SMI ran the tire dragon in an eight foot section from the middle groove up before and after the postponed NASCAR Xfinity Series event.
After the Xfinity and Cup race, there was no noticeable difference in the racing based on where the track ran the tire dragon. The only difference was found from within the cockpit when drivers would get out of the bottom groove that the track would catch the car and not send the driver for a spin,
With stage racing in place, competition cautions should have been deemed unnecessary especially with short stage lengths in the Truck and Xfinity series.
Despite rains throughout the day before the Truck race, NASCAR did not issue a competition caution. Why? The first and second stage had lengths of 35 laps. In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, there was a competition caution despite the opening stage lengths being only 45 laps.
NASCAR should look at potentially removing competition cautions in the Truck and Xfinity Series due to the shorter stage length. The stage lengths in these series is usually shorter than the length of a fuel run. Teams cannot fuel the car before the competition caution.
For the “old-school” fan in NASCAR, Kentucky Speedway offered what they wanted: the “good ole days.”
The older fan in NASCAR tends to focus on how “terrible” the racing is today and how back in the day during the era of Richard Petty and Bobby Allison was better than the on-track product NASCAR produces today.
The Quaker State 400 from Kentucky Speedway mixed in the new and old age of NASCAR. The race at Kentucky Speedway was dominated by Martin Truex, Jr. and Kyle Busch, who combined led all but 10 laps during the race.
Taking away the fact that this was a repave, this race reminded fans today of what NASCAR’s “golden” era provided, single file racing and barely any passes for the lead.
NASCAR and Kentucky Speedway officials did their best effort by running the tire dragon in the middle and lower grooves before and during the race weekend, but that made no difference whatsoever in the overall quality of the event.
Across the board, everyone hates repaves on racetracks. However, new repaved lives matter. You have to applaud every plausible effort NASCAR and Kentucky Speedway did to make the racing here exciting, but the race did not provide that excitement.
Despite being a new repave, NASCAR did not bring a new aero package to “test” at Kentucky Speedway. Did that change the potential of the race? Absolutely.
Although there were bursts of excitement on the restarts, Kentucky Speedway provided single-groove racing.
“I mean the track is to me, it’s just really lane sensitive, so you have to be right on the bottom it is pretty much the quickest way. So, the restarts are all you’ve got. I mean it’s Kentucky. It was like this last year if I remember,” said Kasey Kahne.
Did stage racing save the Quaker State 400 from absolute disaster?
“Stage racing and all these restarts, the fact that it is so hard to pass there is just an environment that is created with this style of racing. You’ve got to get everything you can on a restart and everybody is at ten tenths. The old days of pointing someone by or maybe letting somebody go until your tires came in are long gone,” said Jimmie Johnson.
What can be done to save racing on repaves? Brad Keselowski believes that something can be done with the cars. “It is time for the sport to design a new car that is worthy of where this sport deserves to be and the show it deserves to put on for its fans,” said Keselowski.
Martin Truex, Jr. responded to Keselowski’s comments: “He's on the driver's council. He's a big part of the lower downforce and he's a big part of the direction everybody is going. So yeah, he was probably just mad because he got wrecked.”
NASCAR is working day in and day out to making the competition on the track better. Where will this lead us? Only time will tell!
For the old school fan, this race should satisfy how great the racing was “back in the day” with follow the leader racing. If it wasn’t for the free pass and wave around, we could have saw only a handful of the cars on the lead lap instead of nine.
However, the racing we saw tonight at Kentucky Speedway, despite it being a repave, is not how the sport will attract the younger fan base, a base that NASCAR so desperately needs for it to be around in the future. It is time for the older fans to sit back and enjoy the racing we currently have.
SPARTA, Ky-- Before and after the Alsco 300, Kentucky Speedway, and NASCAR deemed it necessary to run the tire dragon in the middle groove, after complaints from the drivers.
Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney are two of the handful of drivers that will run in tonight’s Quaker State 400 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“When I lost the lead on that last restart - when I slid up in three I didn’t wreck and I think I would have wrecked if the Tire Dragon wasn’t brought out. I was up in that third lane. I think that kind of saved me a little bit. I thought that was good. I saw that move made a couple times in the Truck race and people spun out. I didn’t see that today. I saw a lot of cars get loose and slide up to that lane and it kind of caught halfway and they were able to keep going,” said Blaney, who finished second in the Alsco 300. “Hopefully that will help out. I ran kind of high in one and two coming back through the field and it seemed to have some grip like half a lane up. It didn’t hurt at all getting that Tire Dragon out this morning. Hopefully tonight the Cup cars will get really slick on the bottom and we will be forced to move around. That is usually what happens and I am hopeful for that.”
“Yeah, until they oil down the backstretch and that lane getting into turn three, I thought the track was really racey. Hopefully they can burn that in a little bit more down the backstretch and that quick dry that they put down in order to take up some of that oil, they can burn that off and get it back to black instead of white. After that, it got to being about one groove again and I didn’t see anybody widening it out,” said Kyle Busch, Also 300 race winner. “You were afraid to get into the white stuff because the car will just take off up the race track on you. The other thing I saw was the race track was really good in one and two, it got really wide and definitely nothing out there to race in, but at least it’s safe if you do slip and get out there and you can still catch your car. There’s room for lapped cars to go out there and not feel that they’re going to crash. They were pretty mindful of the leaders today and we’ll see how all that goes tonight.
Running the tire dragon in the middle groove of the racetrack is reversal from Thursday afternoon!
"I think we know what we're doing," Steve Swift told NBC Sports in a Thursday interview.
The vice president of operations and development for Speedway Motorsports Inc. said they ran the tire dragon here at Kentucky Speedway after an overwhelming positive response from driver’s after the 2016 event.
"I think what a lot of drivers are forgetting is this track was resurfaced," Swift said. "It's a brand new racetrack. So on a new track, you have to put rubber down in what is the groove, not what you want the groove to be."
Track officials plan to run an eight-foot-side section in the middle of the turns, working upwards.