Xfinity Series News

Xfinity Series News (6154)

NASCAR Xfinity Series News

Sheldon Creed had a challenging doubleheader weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course as he made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut with JD Motorsports and returned to the Trans Am Series for the third time this season with Stevens-Miller Racing. It was Creed’s first-time racing at the challenging 2.25-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio circuit.

Very stormy weather on Friday limited Creed to one Trans Am practice session as Trans Am qualifying was cancelled as well as Xfinity Series practice due to lightning in the vicinity. Saturday then became an even busier day with a very early 8am Xfinity practice session, the Trans Am race at 9:30am, Xfinity qualifying at noon, and finally the Xfinity Series race at 3:30pm.

Creed hoped to get up to speed on driving the heavier Xfinity car around the very technical Mid-Ohio track in the early morning practice, however his gearbox jammed after just a handful of laps, leaving him with very little time to get the car set up before Xfinity qualifying. The lack of setup time showed in qualifying, resulting in a very disappointing 32nd position in the 40-car field for the #01 United Rentals/A.M. Ortega JD Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.

Creed hoped to run a steady and clean Xfinity race and methodically move up the order for a strong finish.  Indeed he gained 8-10 places on the first half lap, but unfortunately suffered another jammed gearbox towards the end of the first lap; necessitating a trip to the garage area for repairs and the loss of 16 laps. The gearbox was freshly rebuilt before the weekend, which caused much head scratching among all concerned.  The JD Motorsports crew did an excellent job making the repair and getting Creed back on track where he showed good speed, running with the leaders after one race restart. Unfortunately, Creed suffered another mechanical gremlin later in the race and ended up running at the finish but 19 laps down in 34th place. It was certainly not the Xfinity Series debut Creed or the JD Motorsports team had hoped for, but they will have another chance in the Johnsonville 180 at Road America on Sunday, August 27th.

Creed’s experience in the #77 United Rentals/Speedlogix/A.M. Ortega Dodge for Stevens-Miller Racing in the Trans Am race was better, but still not without challenges. Despite being among the fastest 5-6 cars throughout practice, Creed would line up for the race in 13th because Trans Am qualifying was cancelled. When the green flag dropped for the 45-lap race, Creed was able to advance to 10th place in the opening laps.  Then, a bit of “agricultural racing” on lap 6 saw Creed go off course while avoiding a slower car and mow some of the beautiful Mid-Ohio grass, dropping down the order to 21st. Unfortunately, the off-course excursion ripped the splitter off the front of Creed’s car, impeding the handling of the car for the rest of the race. Despite that, Creed was able to claw his way back up through the field, ultimately crossing the line in 7th place behind former IndyCar driver, Rafa Matos. A post-race disqualification of another competitor promoted Creed to an official finish of 6th place, for his third top-10 finish from 3 starts in Trans Am this season. Creed will return to the Trans Am Series for the next round at Road America on August 26th, where he will again pull double-duty by competing in both the NASCAR Xfinity and Trans Am Series on the same weekend.

Creed’s next event will be this weekend when he will make his first start for Mason Mitchell Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Series Herr’s Potato Chips 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. This will be Creed’s first ever ARCA Series race on dirt and he will be behind the wheel of the No. 78 United Rentals/A.M. Ortega Construction/RTL Leasing Chevrolet. MMM are the defending winners of this race as Justin Haley took the checkers in the 2016 edition of the Springfield Mile. Creed will return to the cockpit of the #78 MMM Chevrolet for the General Tire Grabber 100 on the dirt 1-mile oval at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, in DuQuoin, Illinois.

Sheldon Creed on Mid-Ohio and Springfield:

“Mid-Ohio was definitely a tough weekend all around, and neither race really went the way we wanted, but the good news is that we get to run both of those cars again in a couple of weeks at Road America. We learned a lot at Mid-Ohio and I’m sure we’ll have a much better weekend at Road America. I’ve never been there before, but I’ll definitely be doing a ton of iRacing laps on my Sim to get ready! On Springfield and DuQuoin, I think my driving background will help for the two dirt races. It's going to be very slick and coming from dirt I'll have a good idea what to expect and different things you can do to get the car around the track.”

Sheldon Creed has a brand-new website, developed in conjunction with Race Face Brand Development. It features the latest news on Sheldon’s career, as well as lots of great photos, videos, and radio interviews. Check it out at www.sheldoncreedracing.com.

Practice for the Herr's Potato Chips 100 is scheduled from 9 - 10am CT, with General Tire Pole Qualifying following at 11am. The 55th annual Herr's Potato Chips 100 starts at 1:30pm CT.

The Herr's Potato Chips 100 is Live on MAVTV at 1:30 CT/2:30 ET. You can also follow live timing and scoring and live chat of all on-track activity throughout the afternoon at www.arcaracing.com.

Sheldon Creed PR

Bristol Motor Speedway has not been kind to Dakoda Armstrong in his previous visits and Friday night was no different.  Coming off a top-10 finish last week at Mid-Ohio, Armstrong would falter in Thunder Valley as he posted a disappointing 24th  place finish in the running of the Food City 300.
 
"This was definitely not one of our better performances of the season," said Armstrong.  "Bristol is a challenging track and one that has given me fits over the years.  After qualifying I thought we had a pretty good No. 28 WinField United Toyota but I struggled with it being a little too tight for me.  We battled all night and in typical fashion were able to keep our nose clean for the most part."
 
Dakoda would start the 300-lap race in the 21st position as a result of his qualifying effort earlier on Friday afternoon.  As the green flag flew, Armstrong would slowly fall through the field as he reported that his No. 28 WinField United Toyota was just too tight in traffic.  As a result, the New Castle, Indiana native would lose a lap to the leaders and sit in the 26th  spot as the first stage can to an end on lap 85.
 
The second stage would find Dakoda continue to struggle with the tight condition as well as the demanding half mile track.  As he lost another lap to the field, Dakoda would settle into the 25th
position at the end of the stage.
 
With no much changing in the last portion of the event, Armstrong would keep the nose of his No. 28 WinField United Toyota clean and avoid a few on track incidents.  As the book closed on another eventful race at Bristol, Dakoda would take the checkered flag and be credited with a season worst finish of 24th.
 
"Just another frustrating Bristol race for me," added Dakoda.  "We remain focused on this points battle and doing all we can to make the playoffs.  We have another road course race next week and we turn our focus to that and on rebounding from Bristol."
 
The 24th place finish dropped Armstrong to the 10th spot in the NASCAR XFINITY Series overall driver standings - 10 points behind ninth place.
 
Armstrong and his JGL Racing team will next head to Road America for the running of the Johnsonville 180.  The 23rd race of the NASCAR XFINITY Series season will be Sunday August 27th and can be seen LIVE on NBC at 3:00 pm ET.  It can also be heard on Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Channel 90.

JGL Racing PR

Ryan Reed was prepared to take on the night race Bristol Motor Speedway, but his forward momentum was cut short in Stage 1.  Reed suffered damage being on the outside of a three-wide squeeze for position and then the damage resulted in a flat tire once racing resumed.  The damage from the flat tire was too severe to continue, leaving Reed with a 37th-place finish in his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford.

The start of qualifying was delayed due to rain, forcing NASCAR to change from three rounds of qualifying, to just one 20-minute round.  Reed made two attempts in qualifying, but his Lilly Ford wasn’t handling how he needed, resulting in a 27th-place starting position.

From the drop of the green flag Reed made up a few positions before another competition tried to squeeze in the middle and make it three-wide racing.  The move ended the night of the car on the inside and Reed, who was on the outside, was left with heavy body damage.

Reed pitted for tires and damage repair, but once the field returned to green the team noticed a tire rub when the front end was loaded up at speed.  Reed was just about to pit for the tire rub when it gave way.  The blown tired caused severe damage and ended Reed’s evening after just 38 laps of competition.

RFR PR

Returning to Bristol Motor Speedway for his first NXS start, site of his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win, Kennedy used Thursday’s two practice sessions to get a feel for the handling of his No. 96 Weber Chevrolet Camaro. Finishing the first session 22nd and the final session 19th, Kennedy went on to grab a 24th starting spot in rain-shortened qualifying for the Food City 300.

Early on in the 300-lap event, Kennedy was fighting loose on throttle and a Chevy that was tight on exit no matter which lane he ran. Trying to hang on to an ill-handling racecar, Kennedy finished stage one 22nd, one lap down. Crew chief Charles Denike called Kennedy down pit road under the stage break for four tires, fuel and a both a track bar and air pressure adjustment. Lining up 24th for the restart, Kennedy reported throughout the ensuing run that his Weber Chevrolet Camaro was loose on entry but felt like all four tires were on top of the track sliding around. He went on to finish stage two 22nd, two laps down. Once again, Kennedy hit pit road under the stage break for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. However, a missing lug nut on the right rear forced Kennedy to come back down pit road and restart at the rear of the field. Losing two laps due to restarting deep in the pack and a long green flag run, Denike took the opportunity for Kennedy to take the wave around when the caution came out on lap 217, getting one of his laps back.

Restarting 25th, Kennedy fought his way to just outside the top-20 when the caution came out for the final time on lap 285. Kennedy hit pit road for four fresh tires and a chassis adjustment from the 20th position. With the race going green for the final 8 laps, Kennedy went on to finish 19th, three laps down.

Quote

"I think we definitely made some progress throughout the night on the Weber Chevrolet. We fought handling issues from the start, but Bristol (Motor Speedway) is just one of those tracks that it’s so easy to get behind. I’m proud of the Weber guys though for working hard all night to put us in a position to make up some ground in the end.”

Additional Notes

- Kennedy's next race with GMS Racing will be at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, September 2nd.

GMS Racing PR

Spencer Gallagher collected a 23rd place finish in his second NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) career start at Bristol Motor Speedway. The No. 23 Allegiant team worked through two practice sessions on Thursday to prepare for Friday nights Food City 300, finishing 19th in first practice and 22nd in final. Rain caused qualifying to be shortened to one 20 minute round. Gallagher made multiple runs and earned a 29th place starting spot. Gallagher fought a tight center and loose off condition majority of the 300 lap race. Crew chief Joey Cohen called for Gallagher to visit pit road multiple times for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments to try and help the handling conditions.

Quote

"This No. 23 Allegiant team built me a solid Chevrolet this weekend. We couldn't get the handling quite right but it got better towards the end. Bringing the car home from Bristol in on piece is a good day in my eyes. Now onto Road America."

GMS Racing PR

Garrett Smithley finished 31st in Friday night’s Food City 300 Xfinity Series race after parking his No. 0 Chevrolet with suspension problems.

Smithley completed 239 of the race’s 300 laps.

“Not the finish we were looking for,” Smithley said. “We finally had to park the car after battling the suspension. We’ll be back stronger here next time.”

Smithley remains 22nd in Xfinity points.

JDM PR

Ross Chastain advanced two spots in the Xfinity Series point standings with a 15th-place finish in Friday night’s Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

With the playoffs approaching, the strong run kept Chastain eligible to make the post-season. He is the first driver on the bubble, 43 points out of a qualifying spot.

Friday’s finish was Chastain’s 10th straight in the top 20. During that stretch, he has advanced from 19th to 13th in points and is at his highest point standing of the season.

“Another good run for the Flex Seal Chevrolet tonight,” Chastain said. “The car performed great. I love this track. I was able to hang with the front group most of the night.”

JDM PR

Harrison Rhodes scored a 34th-place finish in Friday night’s Food City 300 Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Rhodes, in the Flex Tape Chevrolet, started 35th in a competitive field of fast cars.

“It wasn’t our best night, but we hung in there,” Rhodes said. “Bristol is a tough, fast place. It’s easy to get behind, but we learned a lot and we’ll roll on from here.”

JDM PR

Kaulig Racing driver Blake Koch finished 14th on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) in the Food City 300. The West Palm Beach, Fla. native earned a track-best start of 13th and advanced to ninth in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) championship points standings.
 
“We had a great points day at Bristol after fighting the handling of the car throughout the race,” said Koch. “We were really happy with the car in practice on Thursday, but the track conditions on Friday night were much different and didn’t do us any favors. I’m proud that we earned a track-best start and we will just keep digging to the playoffs.”  
 
The team finished third and 11th, respectively, in Thursday’s two practice session. Koch focused on race runs and felt confident about the handling of the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevy. As qualifying approached on Friday afternoon, rain showers took over the track, delaying the session and ultimately shortening it to one 20-minute round. With little opportunity to make a clean lap as all drivers fought for minimal track time, Koch made two runs in the session, slotting in 13th, a track-best.
 
The green flag dropped for the 300-lap race with sunny skies surrounding the speedway. The first half of Stage 1 was mired by cautions on Lap 12, 24 and 39. Koch was quiet on the radio and maintained the 13th position by the final restart on Lap 43. Stage 1 remained green until its completion on Lap 85. Koch finished the stage 18th and reported to the team that he was having trouble carrying speed through the corners. Crew chief Chris Rice brought him down pit road under the caution period for four fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Koch restarted 28th on Lap 94 to begin Stage 2.
 
The race remained green until Lap 123. At that time, Koch had raced his way up to 13th and reported to the team that the car was alternating between being too tight and then being too free. With the handling noted, the team stayed out under caution and restarted 13th on Lap 129. Koch was able to maintain the 13th position to the end of the stage, which completed on Lap 170. Under the caution, Koch visited pit road for fresh tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. He restarted 14th on Lap 177 to begin the final stage of the event.
 
Stage 3 remained green until Lap 215, which gave the team a chance to bring Koch back down pit road from the 14th position. The call was for fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment, which allowed Koch to restart 14th on Lap 223.
 
Koch gained two positions on the restart before settling into the 15th position with 50 laps remaining in the race. The final caution of the day came with 14 laps to go as Koch ran 14th. The team did not pit and restarted 14th with eight laps remaining at Bristol.
 
As the closing laps neared, Koch raced side-by-side with Dale Earnhardt Jr., crossing the finish line 14th at BMS.
 
Koch and the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection team leave BMS ninth in the NXS championship standings. The team returns to racing action Sunday, August 27, 2017 at Road America.    
 
Kaulig Racing PR
Defending Bristol Motor Speedway Race Winner Austin Dillon Earns Top-10 Finish in Rheem Chevrolet
"We were a little slow to take off but once we got going, the Rheem Chevrolet was really fast tonight. We fell behind a little bit with a loose wheel and didn't have a set of tires at the end of the race. It's just racing. That happens. We'll be back strong in the Cup car tomorrow."

- Austin Dillon

Ty Dillon Leads the RCR Teams with a Top-Five Finish in the Bass Pro Shops / NRA Museum Chevrolet at Bristol
"This was a solid night for our No. 3 Bass Pro Shops / NRA Museum Chevrolet team that we needed. I put us behind a bit during the first stage break with a speeding penalty, but I fought hard to get back through the field. My spotter gave me great information to slice and dice my way through the lapped traffic. We finally hit our stride in the last stage and got as high as second. I wish we had more time to race with those guys a little more. We were starting to run them down right before that last caution. I maybe could have gotten further up there if it had gone green, but it was still a good night for our team. We'll take the top-five finish."
- Ty Dillon

Daniel Hemric Earns 10th Top-10 Finish of 2017 in Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway
"All of the weather throughout the weekend probably put a damper on the weekend. I felt like in practice we had a really solid Blue Gate Bank Chevy. All the rubber getting washed away earlier in the day made us get loose in qualifying and put us back in traffic to start the race. I just tried to fight all night and we constantly made gains. We had great pit stops all night. We had a good strategy, but once we got to about fifth that was all we could do. In the end, I probably ran the tires off of it. I didn't need that last caution to come out. I lost two spots restarting on the bottom. Regardless, it was still a good day for us." 

- Daniel Hemric

Brandon Jones Finishes 20th at Bristol Motor Speedway After Receiving Stage Two Damage
"We had a really strong qualifying effort for the No. 33 Ohio Logistics Chevrolet but started the race with no grip in the center. Once Stage Two started,  I got loose and lost it off of Turn 4 and we got some front-end damage. We fought from there to get back on the lead lap. We were hoping for cautions to fall in our favor to make a few handling adjustments. Unfortunately, one little screw up cost us a good day." 
 
- Brandon Jones

Rough Night in Thunder Valley for Brendan Gaughan Results in 30th-Place Finish for the South Point Hotel & Casino Team
"I just love this place, especially under the lights. I'm bummed and ticked off about tonight. This team gave me a fast car that got us a top-10 qualifying spot. We lost some valuable track position with a speeding penalty, and that one was on me. I hate it. Then we had to come in with 30 laps remaining in Stage 2 for an unscheduled stop for a loose wheel. It put us two laps down. Then it appears a driver was having a tough time, and we got the short end of it two times by cutting down our tire and then wrecking. Looking at the big picture, this race has put us on the bubble, 43 points to the plus side for the Playoffs. Fortunately next week's race is the one I have been looking forward to. What we lost tonight, we can easily gain back at Road America. I plan to win that thing."
 
- Brendan Gaughan
 

RCR PR

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):

Cole Custer started fifth, finished 11th.

Custer kept his Haas Automation/One Cure Ford Mustang inside the top-10 for the majority of the stage while battling tight-handling conditions.

● At the conclusion of the stage, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel, chassis adjustments and air pressure adjustments.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):     

Started ninth, finished 10th. Earned one bonus point.

Custer drove in the top-10 throughout Stage 2.

● To further correct tight-handling conditions, Custer pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments at the conclusion of the stage.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 171-300):          

Started ninth, finished 10th.

During a lap-217 caution, Custer pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and wedge adjustments. He restarted in the eighth position.

● Custer piloted his Haas Automation/One Cure Ford Mustang to fourth place on the restart.

● After the final caution on lap 285, Custer pitted for four more tires, fuel and wedge adjustments.

● Custer restarted in the ninth position and competed in the top-10 for the remainder of the race.

 

Notes:              

● Custer was the highest-finishing rookie in Stage 1.

● Custer earned his 10th top-10 of the 2017 season and his 12th top-10 in 27 XFINITY Series starts.

● Eight caution periods slowed the race for 46 laps.

● Kyle Busch won the Food City 300 to score his 91st career XFINITY Series victory, his fifth of the season and his ninth at Bristol. His margin of victory over second-place Daniel Suarez was 1.181 seconds.

 

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation/ One Cure Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:       

“I’m happy with our day. I think we could have done a little bit better, but the track just changed so much. It was definitely a learning curve for me. It was a lot about restarts and who you were behind and what lane you were in, but we brought a pretty solid Haas Automation/One Cure Ford Mustang. We probably should’ve finished fifth to seventh and I probably could’ve done a little bit better job, but I learned a lot for when we come back the next time.”  

 

TSC PR