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THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by race winning crew chief for the No. 12 Team Penske Ford, Jonathan Hassler. That was an interesting last couple of laps there. Take us through what you saw on top of the box there.
JONATHAN HASSLER: Yeah, from my perspective it was definitely more exciting than it needed to be. Obviously with the caution coming out there late, it presented some challenges for us for sure, but we were able to work through those and get the win.
Q. Speak about just the dynamic and chemistry you have built with Ryan this season, and so far in the regular season you've racked up a lot of points, and tell us what it means for you being in the game and getting it done for him.
JONATHAN HASSLER: Yeah, I feel like our team is really strong. I think I was really excited to come on board with this new car and have the opportunity to get so many tests early in the year, even late last season with Ryan. I think we got off on a good -- got off really well together, and we came out of the gate really good. I think we competed for some wins early in the year.
Me personally, I feel like we kind of lost a little bit over the last month and we've been trying to make sure we keep getting better and make sure we get that win and we're there in the Playoffs, able to compete for the championship.
I think it's been good, and we're trying to get better each and every week.
Q. Did you have any thoughts that the caution came out after the checkered flag dropped or do you feel like NASCAR made the right call there?
JONATHAN HASSLER: I'm not going to lay blame. Obviously when I watched a little bit of the replay, I saw that the checkered flag was waving as Ryan was driving to it. Obviously the yellow light came on and the flagman reached back and grabbed for the flag. It's a difficult situation for everybody. I'm not going to lay any blame. Fortunate we were able to do what we needed to do to get the win.
Q. I'm sure you're not surprised that Denny felt like you guys should have been black flagged for the window net. We could hear you talking to Ryan on the radio, giving him ideas, saying, Make them black flag you. How much are you trying to tell him? How much are you worried if you say too much NASCAR will black flag, or were you pretty confident that they would give him a couple of laps before they did anything?
JONATHAN HASSLER: Yeah, like I said, it's a really tough situation. I think in the circumstances obviously NASCAR is maybe a little bit understanding of the situation that we were in.
I was hopeful that Ryan was able to obviously get the window net up in some capacity to appease them, for lack of a better word, for the short run we had at the end, and I'm just thankful we were able to do that and bring the win home.
Q. What does this mean for Penske as a whole? You guys were one, two, three. Obviously with some of the maybe stronger cars crashing out, but what does it mean for Penske considering you've had a pretty inconsistent season?
JONATHAN HASSLER: Yeah, like I said earlier, I think we came out of the gate really well this year. I think other teams certainly have continued to improve, and we've realized that. I think last week at Kansas was kind of eye opening obviously to our teams in terms of we need to continue to improve, and we brought a lot of different ideas.
Obviously this was a unique event without points, so you can kind of go out on a limb a little bit and try some different things to be better, and I think we all did that, and we all learned some different things along the way, and I'm hopeful we'll be a little bit better when we go to Charlotte next week.
THE MODERATOR: Jonathan, congratulations. Thank you for your time.
Matt Hirschman cashes in at Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified Spring Zing "Tom Wanick Jr., Memorial 150"
The Modified Spring Zing “Tom Wanick Memorial 150” paid big dividends for Northampton’s Matt Hirschman after a track record payout. Hirschman, who scored his 11th win of 2022, won $7000 for the victory and with additional bonuses finished off the day with just over $10,000 in total cash and awards.
Hirschman started 10th and on lap 63 moved to the front for the first time with an inside pass on Blake Barney. Afterwards he withstood strong numerous challenges from Barney, Bobby Jones and Chuck Hossfeld.
With 50 laps to go he opted to make a pit stop under a caution and change his right side tires. When he returned to the track he was ninth and over the next 17 laps put on a driving clinic as he passed one car after another until regaining the top spot from Hossfeld.
The rest of the way he simply drove lap after lap in a consistent smooth fashion and took the checkers over Barney by a solid two car lengths.
“It was a long race and glad to finish it up at the top. This is the highest paying race we ever had here and you don’t know when or if that will ever happen again and I appreciate doing this in honor of Tom Wanick Jr., and for what his family and the speedway did for all of us,” said Hirschman.
“This is a special win for sure with Tommy (Wanick III) wanting to do this race for his dad.”
The race got off to a great start with Don Wagner leading the first few laps before Barney, the previous night winner at Wall Stadium Speedway, took charge. Tagging in behind him was Rod Snyder Jr., and TJ Potrzebowski. That trio ran in that order until lap 40 when Hossfeld stepped up to third. Four laps later he had just got by Snyder when the first caution waved for a Josh Scherer spin.
Unfortunately that would trigger a string of yellow flags which made the going exasperating to say the least plus there was a slow-up when a brief shower crossed over the track.
“I had no problem navigating the traffic there was just way to many caution laps and I was kind of losing my mind because we kept stopping and I just wanted to get a rhythm going with some green flag laps,” admitted Hirschman.
“Plus with the rain coming down it was kind of a frustrating race a little bit but wining makes up for all that.”
In between the rash of cautions and as Hirschman was leading there was a great battle for second taking place. After giving up the lead to Hirschman Barney and Jones put on a spirited battle for second spot. Then Hossfeld came back onto the scene and used the inside lane to advance to second.
When Hirschman pitted under a lap 100 caution it allowed Hossfeld to assume the lead. Earl Paules was now second after Barney and Jones had pitted a few laps prior to the century mark.
With Hirschman out of the picture for the time being Hossfeld was setting a good pace while fending off Paules. But after reentering the track with fresh rubber Hirschman was putting on a rapid charge and passing at will. His race winning pass came with an inside move off Turn 4 over Hossfeld and once in front there was no denying his authority.
Matt (Hirschman) is a great guy and I call him almost daily. His dad Tony was my dad’s favorite driver and Matt is a great a great racer,” offered Tom Wanick Jr., from Victory Lane.
Hirschman picked up bonuses from Troyer Race Cars, Hirschman Speed, D & B Towing, Aqua Duck Water Transport, Pennsylvania Veterans Outdoor Veterans and the Wanick family. The later was an additional $1500 for his autographed roof.
It was also 29th Mahoning win and ninth consecutive victory in as many starts here.
Barney, the runner-up finisher had his best finish at Mahoning. He stayed in the hunt from the drop of the green and only fell back after pit stops. But each time he returned the car was quick and he came just one spot short of sweeping the weekend.
“I really enjoy this place and I had a really good race car and was fortunate enough to have a good starting spot in second. I took the lead early and tried to do what he (Hirschman) does and pace the race,” said Barney.
“I lost a little drive there at the end and I really wish I could have gave the 60 a run. I thought I had good pace and our car felt good. We went 100 laps on the same tires and when we came in that last time and it woke the thing up.”
Paules was a solid third with Hossfeld fourth and Brian DeFebo fifth. Connecticut racer Anthony Bello was sixth and awarded an additional $1000 for being highest finishing crate car. Josh Scherer, Jones, Chris Ammon and Snyder Jr., competed the top 10.
In the Street Stock main Cody Geist parlayed his pole starting spot into his first win of the season.
Geist had a fierce battle with Tucker Muffley who pressed hard to try and get by him. There was, also point leader Jillian Snyder looking to unseat the leader but each time they tried he held his ground. The win was worth $1000.
Geist may have led all the way but he fought hard each lap nonetheless.
Muffley held on for a very close second with Todd Ahner, TJ Gursky and Thomas Flanagan filling out the top five.
Corey Edelman won his second straight Hobby Stock feature and for the second time had to fend off Shayne Geist in the process.
Edelman and Geist traded paint while battling for the lead and heavy traffic too. Matter of fact Geist was just about in a position to snag back the lead while setting up Edelman behind oncoming tail end cars. But just as it appeared the move was going to take place the caution waved and negated the attempt.
That was the saving grace too for Edelman as there was on five laps to go and on the single file restart he held on to collect his 24th class win.
Travis Solomon, BJ Wambold and Ryan Berger rounded out the top five.
Modified Feature finish (150 laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Blake Barney, 3. Earl Paules, 4. Chuck Hossfeld, 5. Brian DeFebo, 6. Anthony Bello, 7. Josh Scherer, 8. Bobby Jones, 9. Chris Ammon, 10. Rod Snyder Jr., 11. Tom Wanick III, 12. Jaden Brown, 13. Brandon Oltra, 14. Sean Verwys, 15. Anthony Sesely, 16. Austin Kochenash, 17. Paulie Hartwig III, 18. Kyle Strohl, 19. Roger Coss, 20. TJ Potrzebowski, 21. Cody Kohler, 22. Ron Silk, 23. Zane Zeiner, 24. Nick Baer, 25. Don Wagner, 26. Mike Hosier, 27. Geary Rinehimer Jr., 28. Lou Strohl DNQ: Terry Markovic, Carl Altemose, Johnny Bennett, Chris Risdale, Jacob Kerstetter
Street Stock feature finish (30 laps): 1. Cody Geist, 2. Tucker Muffley, 3. Todd Ahner, 4. TJ Gursky, 5. Thomas Flanagan, 6. Mark Deysher, 7. Jillian Snyder, 8. Tommy Flanagan, 9. Jamie Smith, 10. Stacey Brown, 11. Randy Green, 12. Bobby Kibler Jr., 13. Randy Ahner Jr., 14. Brandon Christman, 15. Logan Boyer, 16. Jacob Boehm
Hobby Stock feature finish (25 laps): 1. Corey Edelman, 2. Shayne Geist, 3. Travis Solomon, 4. BJ Wambold, 5. Ryan Berger, 6. Trisha Connolly, 7. Lyndsay Buss, 8. Nick Schaffer, 9. Tad Snyder, 10. Don Bauder, 11. Nick Kerstetter, 12. Makayla Kohler, 13. Ralph Borger Jr., 14. Dave Kerr, 15. Cody Boehm, 16. Maggie Yeakel, 16. James Tout, 18. Jared Frye, 19. Justin Merkel, 20. Mallory Kutz, 21. Jacob Boehm DNS: Ed Herman
Denny Hamlin finished second in Sunday night’s NASCAR Cup Series All-Star race at Texas Motor Speedway. Hamlin pitted for two tires in his final pit stop giving him a run at the leaders. When the final caution flag flew with one lap remaining, eventual race-winner Ryan Blaney had taken his window net down and was unable to secure it before the final restart. While Hamlin had a run on the outside of Blaney in the final lap, he was not able to make the pass and was forced to settle for a second-place result.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Texas Motor Speedway
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Ryan Blaney*
2nd, DENNY HAMLIN
3rd, Austin Cindric*
4th, Joey Logano*
5th, Daniel Suarez*
10th, CHRISTOPHER BELL
14th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
16th, BUBBA WALLACE
21st, KYLE BUSCH
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
What did you need on the final restart and what are your thoughts on the window net situation with Ryan Blaney?
“I just needed to stay beside the 12 (Ryan Blaney). You know, it’s tough because he deserved to win the race, but if you mess up and you break a rule – not intentionally, but there’s rules and we have rules in place for safety. My crew chief is taking four weeks off because of safety. I nearly crashed him off of turn two when I got squeezed there. If I send him into traffic and he’s got no window net, then what right? Luckily, that didn’t happen and NASCAR avoids another controversy because there wasn’t a wreck in a car with no window net.”
Do you think Ryan Blaney should have been black-flagged?
“That’s the rule. I don’t know what we’re talking about here. This is not a judgement call by me. This is just, that’s the rule. It’s unfortunate for him. Very, very unfortunate for him, but it’s the rule. You have to play by the rules.”
How was your race overall tonight?
“Our car was good. We lost the handle there with a couple runs to go and just started getting really loose. The further up front we were, the looser we got. We had an opportunity and I got right where I wanted to be on the 12 (Ryan Blaney) there and I got to his outside and he just kept forcing up, up, up and I just couldn’t quite stay there. I think he was going to come up not matter what and we were probably going to crash because he knew we were in a bad spot. I got a really good run through one and two and I couldn’t ask for much more there. I just didn’t have Daniel (Suarez) pushing me down the frontstretch and unfortunately with that, I couldn’t get up beside him as far as I needed to.”
Was the final caution your only chance to beat Ryan Blaney?
“I thought that it was an opportunity, otherwise the 12 was going to win the race and he was probably 100 yards from it, I don’t know. I’m just frustrated that we have a rule. It can’t be a convenience rule. We’re taking four weeks off, my crew chief is, because of safety. I almost wrecked (Ryan) Blaney off turn two and he had no window net up so what happens when I wreck him and we go head-on into him. We’ve got a problem then. It’s just frustrating because we just have no consistency in our officiating.”
Should NASCAR have let him come to pit road and put the window net up and allow him to regain his position on the race track?
“Then you’re changing the rules. You can’t change the rules. Why? Because you feel bad for the guy? I’ve had race-winning cars for the past four weeks and I’ve had stuff happen to me. That’s doesn’t mean they’re going to say, ‘Well, you should have won the race so we’ll give you the win.’ It doesn’t matter. You can’t make-up rules.”
Do you feel Ryan Blaney should have had to come to pit road?
“That is the rule, it’s a rule. This is not a Denny Hamlin judgement call. This is a play by the rules call.”
Can you talk about the call to only take two tires on the final pit stop?
“I mean, it was the best shot we had to win. Honestly, they gave me good track position and that’s all I could ask for. We had a fast race car. We lost the handle a little bit there on the last couple of runs really. We started getting really loose, but I got the opportunity I wanted and couldn’t ask for much more than that.”
How frustrating is this result due to the circumstances at the end of this race?
“Again, we just ask to play by the rules. If you tell us what the rules are, we’re going to play by them. You can’t just change them, I mean you can if you own the series, but it’s not fair to the other competitors. If you make a mistake and he (Ryan Blaney) clearly made a mistake and he should have won the race, but if you make a mistake, you have to play by the rules. And if it breaks a rule then you have to abide by it and the results are the results. There are many races that have been lost because someone makes a mistake. Just because morally he should have won doesn’t mean you should win.”
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Crunchy Cookie Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 21st
How do you describe what happened in the incident that ended your race?
“I just got a flat tire off of four, right-rear is flat. Unfortunate for our guys at Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota, M&M’s. We had a really fast race car, great race car and had led all the laps up to that point obviously. Disappointing to not be able to go out and race for a million bucks.”
Did you see Ross Chastain coming behind you before the accident?
What were you feeling in the car before the accident?
“Just when I got to the exit of four, the right-rear went down. I was trying to limp it around and get it to the bottom of the track. Just got ran over. I don’t know, just tough day for our M&M’s Camry, it was superfast. Just real proud of the guys, everything we had and we were doing it right. Just not able to go out and race for a million bucks right now. Pretty disappointed.”
Did you have any indication before the tire went down?
Ryan Blaney Drives Mustang to Victory in NASCAR All-Star Race
Ryan Blaney’s All-Star race win marks the first career All-Star victory for the driver.
Ford has now won the All-Star Race 13 times.
NASCAR Hall of Famers Davey Allison and Mark Martin each won it twice.
Blaney joins teammate Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick as active Ford Cup Series drivers with All-Star wins with Ford.
FORD NASCAR CUP SERIES ALL-STAR RACE WINNERS
1986 – Bill Elliott
1991 – Davey Allison
1992 – Davey Allison
1994 – Geoffrey Bodine
1996 – Michael Waltrip
1998 – Mark Martin
2002 – Ryan Newman
2004 – Matt Kenseth
2005 – Mark Martin
2011 – Carl Edwards
2016 – Joey Logano
2018 – Kevin Harvick
Ford Finishing Results
1st - Ryan Blaney
3rd - Austin Cindric
4th - Joey Logano
8th - Chris Buescher
9th - Brad Keselowski
12th - Aric Almirola
15th - Michael McDowell
17th - Kevin Harvick
18th - Chase Briscoe
Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Menards Ford Mustang
“We were cruising there and I just wanted to get to the white to have it covered and then the caution came out off of four. I thought it was like any other race. That rule was never kind of relayed to us. I already took my window net down and everything. My left arm is worn out from trying to get that damn thing back up. I got it rigged up enough to where it halfway stayed. I appreciate NASCAR for not making us come down pit road to fix it and letting me get it clipped back again to where we could stay out there. This Mustang was a rocketship. I am really glad we ended up winning that after that last caution. I am so proud of everybody. Tonight will be fun.”
HOW KEY WAS TRACK POSITION? “It was huge. I felt like I was good on restarts, it just felt like the bottom launched better. It was a lot about the push and luckily the last restart Austin (Cindric) gave me a great push, almost too good of a push because he kind of had me jacked sideways. I missed the corner but was able to get up in front of the 11. The push was huge. Control of the lane was big, but a good push definitely helps out.”
THREE PENSKE FORDS IN THE TOP FOUR, HOW DOES THAT FEEL? “I feel like some guys had trouble tonight but I felt like our car was probably the fastest all night, honestly. The 18 and 5 both looked good but I felt like we were right up there with them. We kind of came here with a little bit of a new mindset on things to try and how to do things and it is nice to know that worked and our car was really fast, so hopefully we can build on this.”
Ford Performance PR
TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS:
5th DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 FREEWAY INSURANCE CAMARO ZL1
6th ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
7th AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 16 ANDY’S FROZEN CUSTARD CAMARO ZL1
11th WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1
19th RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER / WISE CAMARO ZL1
20th ERIK JONES, NO. 43 FOCUSFACTOR CAMARO ZL1
22nd ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 WORLDWIDE EXPRESS CAMARO ZL1
23rd CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
24th KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS:
1st Ryan Blaney (Ford)
2nd Denny Hamlin (Toyota)
3rd Austin Cindric (Ford)
4th Joey Logano (Ford)
5th Daniel Suarez (Chevrolet)
The NASCAR Cup Series season continues next Sunday, May 29, at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the Coca-Cola 600 at 6 p.m. ET. Live coverage can be found on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE NOTES AND QUOTES:
DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 FREEWAY INSURANCE CAMARO ZL1 – Finished 5th
“I felt like we were pretty fast. Everyone at Trackhouse Racing - the 99 team, the 1 team, everyone has been doing a very, very good job building fast racecars. I feel like at one point, we were probably one of the best cars out there. Right down to the very end, we probably were not. We were at a disadvantage on tires, as well.
It was a huge fight. We started in the back, fought all the way to the top-10 or something like that and then tires changed. I’m just happy with the result. Hopefully we can close the deal next week in the Coca-Cola 600.”
ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 WORLDWIDE EXPRESS CAMARO ZL1 – Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident during Stage Two of the NASCAR All-Star Race.
YOU HIT KYLE (BUSCH) AT ABOUT 185 MPH. WHAT DID THAT FEEL LIKE?
“It felt like the driver of the No. 1 car chose the wrong lane to get in. Our Worldwide Express Chevy was tight all night and we were just managing the tightness. I saw Kyle (Busch) have an issue with a tire down. I guessed left and I should have guessed right.
It was a big hit into Kyle. It was a tough break, but we had a fast car.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 – Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident during Stage Two of the NASCAR All-Star Race.
WHAT DID YOU FEEL, SEE OR THINK ABOUT THAT?
“I saw the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) had a problem; and then I saw the No. 1 (Ross Chastain) hit him really hard. I just didn’t give him enough room. I knew he was going to go straight; I just didn’t realize he was going to go that far right that quick. I just kind of misjudged it. It was really avoidable on my end. I just kind of messed up and didn’t get the gap shot quick enough.
Hate it. I thought our No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy was surprisingly pretty good for me and Texas (Motor Speedway), so I was pretty excited about it; looking forward to getting going and seeing what we had here towards the end. I thought we were sitting in a really good spot with strategy and things like that. We’ll try again next week.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 – Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident during Stage Two of the NASCAR All-Star Race.
“Just had a right front tire let go. I got moved up, but I don’t really think that made the (tire) wear any worse. It just let go in the center and took off. I hate that it happened. I feel like our car was good enough, depending on restarts since you can’t pass at all, especially the leader anyways.
We’ll move on and look forward to the Coca-Cola 600, and hopefully put on some good racing there.”
TEAM CHEVY QUICK RACE NOTES:
NASCAR ALL-STAR RACE: STAGE ONE
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (All-Star Open Stage One Winner); Daniel Suarez (All-Star Open Race Winner); and Erik Jones (Fan Vote Winner) transferred to the NASCAR All-Star Race, giving Chevrolet nine drivers of the 24-car field.
- The 25-lap Stage One went caution free, with Kyle Larson and the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 team leading Chevrolet in third. William Byron (4th), Ross Chastain (6th) and Chase Elliott (10th) rounded out the Team Chevy top-10.
NASCAR ALL-STAR RACE: STAGE TWO
- Varying pit strategies were seen throughout pit road at the conclusion of Stage One. No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 Crew Chief, Cliff Daniels, opted not to bring Larson down pit road, giving him an outside second row starting spot to start Stage Two.
- Kyle Larson suffered a flat right front tire, with damage ultimately taking the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 out of the race.
- Chase Elliott and Ross Chastain were involved in an accident on lap 49, ending the day for both Camaro ZL1’s.
- In an overtime finish for Stage Two, William Byron led Chevrolet with a third-place finish. Joining Byron in the top-10 of the Stage included Daniel Suarez (4th) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (8th).
NASCAR ALL-STAR RACE: STAGE THREE
- A caution that flew with just three laps to go in Stage Three, pit strategy came back into play among teams. The No. 99 Camaro ZL1 and No. 24 Camaro ZL1 both came down pit road, giving Suarez and Byron a fifth and sixth-place restart position, respectively.
- With a green-white-checkered finish to end Stage Three, Daniel Suarez and the No. 99 Freeway Insurance Camaro ZL1 team led Chevrolet with a runner-up finish.
- William Byron joined Suarez into the Team Chevy top-10 in sixth.
NASCAR ALL-STAR RACE: FINAL STAGE/POST-RACE NOTES
- The fourth and final stage of the 2022 NASCAR All-Star Race consisted of a 50-lap run.
- A caution on lap 104 replaced the scheduled competition caution. The top four cars of the field stayed out, including Daniel Suarez and the No. 99 Freeway Insurance Camaro ZL1 team.
- Going green for the remainder of the race, three Camaro ZL1’s placed in the top-10 of the final running order, including Daniel Suarez (5th), Alex Bowman (6th) and AJ Allmendinger (7th).
Q. No matter what happened, the circumstances at the end, Ryan Blaney dominated the night. I know it was wild there at the end, but the bottom line is you are an All-Star, a million dollars. It was all about your team tonight. What kind of party can we expect from you?
RYAN BLANEY: I don't know. It was about to be real bad for us if -- I thought the race was over. Everyone thought the race was over. I already had my window net down.
I do want to thank NASCAR for letting me kind of fix it and not make us come down pit road. But yeah, that was really tough. Then having to do it all over again after trying to get that window net back up there.
Great car, Jonathan Hassler, everybody on this 12 group did a great job. I can't thank Menards, Ford enough, Dex Imaging, Bodyarmor, Advance Auto Parts for everything that they do, Debt Wizard. This is cool. I know it's not a points winning race, but it's going to be a lot of fun. Party is going to be pretty big.
The past weekend was a very intense and satisfying NASCAR Pinty's event for Louis-Philippe Montour, the driver of the #13 Kamloop | GL électricité-automatisation car. Thanks to his perseverance, a strategy that paid off in the end and a strong performance from the car, Louis-Philippe Montour finished fifth at the Ebay Motors 200 held at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sunday.
From the weather conditions to the action on the track, it was a dramatic and action-packed two days for the driver who was in only his second start in the NASCAR Pinty's Series. Although he was not completely familiar with his car, Louis-Philippe Montour started out with a major advantage; the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park holds no secrets for the Blainville native since he has raced there multiple times in the FEL Motorsports Series last year. He was therefore able to concentrate on learning the behaviour of his race car without worrying about the layout and reference points of the track.
The Saturday practice session did not go as planned for Louis-Philippe Montour who only completed two laps due to mechanical problems. However, Dumoulin Competition quickly diagnosed the problem and repairs were made. A violent thunderstorm, close to a mini tornado, put an end to Saturday's NASCAR Pinty's activities. With the drivers unable to take the track for qualifying, the practice times were used to set the grid for the Ebay Motors 200.
Louis-Philippe Montour was counting on the qualifying session to make up for the lack of practice, but he still had to start the race from grid position 21. "We had two practice laps, no qualifying and I had never driven this car in the rain and with this setup before," said Montour after the race.
"I'm really happy because the mechanics worked really hard. We had brake problems and differential problems on Saturday. To move up from 21st to 5th in the first race of the season makes me very proud of the team and of the #13 Kamloop | GL électricité-automatisation car."
Louis-Philippe Montour's rise through the pack was impressive, to say the least, as the young driver stayed out of risky situations, with only one objective in mind: to break into the top-5. Opting for a strategy that paid off, Louis-Philippe Montour stopped twice in the pits, to get new tires and fuel. On the track, he used his intelligence, patience, and a little luck. He benefited from a Lucky Dog pass, given to the first driver not on the lead lap when a caution flag comes out. That driver can then pass the whole pack and the race leader and go back around the track back to behind the lead-lap cars, having scored a lap, and restart the race from there - a big plus on a long track like CTMP. This gift took place near the end of the race and meant that Montour could move up from 6th into the top-5 in the last two laps of the race.
"My experience in Mosport certainly helped me," he continued. "The conditions were very changeable, because at the beginning of the race we were on rain tires. There was a lot of water, but the track was drying out lap by lap. These are pretty physical cars to drive, and I have very few laps in a NASCAR car. It went well and I'm pretty proud.
The next event is in Toronto on July 15. I've never driven on that track before, so it will be a first for me," he concluded.
Louis-Philippe Montour would like to thank GL électricité- automatisation, a company specialized in automation, instrumentation and industrial process programming, as well as Montour Ltée, DSL Transport, Catarina, Benny & Co. and Nord-Ouest Climatization for their support throughout the 2022 season.
Dumoulin Competition can count on Kamloop's support to keep the team healthy throughout the season
In addition to the on-track partnership, Louis-Philippe Montour and Dumoulin Competition also work together on the team's logistics. Indeed, Kamloop allows the team to optimize the processes and to offer even fresher food during the events. Read the full article here.
Louis-Philippe Montour PR
Harrison Burton and the No. 21 Motorcraft/DEX Imaging team wound up being spectators at the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway after being unable to advance to the main event from the All-Star Open.
Burton qualified ninth for the Open, which saw the winner of each of the three Stages advance to the main event, along with the winner of the fan vote.
He finished eighth in the opening 20-lap run, then made a pit stop before the start of the second 20-lapper.
Starting from the rear he worked his way forward and again finished eighth.
The Motorcraft/DEX Imaging team opted to stay on the track during the break between the second and third Stage. That put him sixth at the drop of the green flag, but his bid for the win was short lived as he was collected in a crash with Tyler Reddick on the second lap.
Burton officially finished 13th on the day, but the team was able to get 42 laps of race experience on the 1.5-mile Texas track, which will be beneficial heading into team’s next event – the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway next Sunday.