Speedway Digest Staff
Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest
Two time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion Todd Bodine entered the WinStar World Casino 400 as the most recent Truck Series race winner. With high hopes for a seventh win at Texas Motor Speedway and a back-to-back victory, Bodine was relegated to a 30th-place finish after a blown engine early on in the race.
Qualifying for the 167-lap event was called for rain on Thursday afternoon, leaving the field to be set by the NASCAR rule book. The Onion started from the seventh position and moved his way into the fifth position after only 10 laps.
Bodine took over the fourth-place on lap 20 making a charge to the front of the field. It was on lap 31, when his No. 11 Toyota Tundra lost an engine. Unable to return to the track, Bodine left with a 30th-place finish moving him into the 10th place in the Truck Series driver's points.
Comments from the driver:
"Our Toyota Tundra was really good. We could have gone to the front and done some more work. We've got a lot going for us on this race team. Tom DeLoach has done a great job with this team and Rick is doing a great job -- all the guys at the shop are. We had a really good truck. It's a shame, but its part of racing. Everyone at Joe Gibbs Engines do a great job, it was just a part failure."
The Truck Series returns to action on Thursday, June 28th at Kentucky Speedway for the UNOH 225 which can be watched live on SPEED at 7:30 p.m., ET.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series raced into Fort Worth, Texas on Friday night for the WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. Red Horse Racing driver, Timothy Peters, entered the seventh Truck Series race of the year second in driver's point standings. With a hard fought and well earned, eleventh-place finish at the 1.5-mile track, Peters holds onto the second-place position, only five markers out of the lead.
Rain on Thursday afternoon cancelled qualifying, leaving the field to be set by the NASCAR rule book. Peters and his No. 17 Toyota Tundra team would start the 167-lap event in the second position. When the green-flag fell, Peters battled side-by-side for the lead for the first three laps before settling into the second position.
It was on lap17, when Peters brought his Tundra to pit road after his engine temperature gauge was reading too high. The team took two right side tires, fuel and removed tape from the grill of the truck. The team returned to the track, one lap down in the 30th position.
A charge to the front of the field was the direction this No. 17 team had in mind. During the lap 33 caution, Peters visited pit road in the 27th position for fuel only. The field went back to green-flag racing on lap 37 with Peters up to the 22nd spot.
The third caution of the night was displayed just 10 laps later, on lap 47. Peters was able to capture the 'Lucky Dog' position and return to the lead lap of competition. Fighting tight conditions in his race truck, the team came to pit road for fuel and a chassis adjustment.
Lap 50 was when the field went back racing, with Peters shown in the 19th position. Able to move his Tundra into the 14th spot in only 12 laps, Peters was catching those in the top-10. The chassis adjustment made on the previous stop was too much for Peters, who was now looking for an adjustment to tighten up his No. 17 machine.
The caution came out on lap 74 for an accident in turn one, just in time to help his Tundra. With the pit crew on the wall and ready for action, Peters came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. After a great stop, the No. 17 pit crew moved Peters into the 11th position for the lap 78 restart. Falling into the 15th place by lap 80, Crew chief Butch Hylton reassured the driver that he would need to find a spot to settle and ride. Continuing to fight his Toyota Tundra, Peters found himself in the 17th position on lap 91.
The fifth caution flag was displayed on lap 96 for debris. Peters brought his Red Horse Racing truck to pit road three separate times during the caution period to make adjustments for the remaining 71 laps of the event. The field went back racing on lap 99 with Peters shown in the 19th place. The driver was quiet on the radio as he moved into the 17th position on lap 120.
With 40 laps to go, the team visited pit road for four tires, fuel and additional chassis adjustments, during the sixth caution period for an accident that occurred on the backstretch. The pit crew assisted Peters on pit road, restarting him in the 15th spot with 33 laps remaining. The field was quickly brought back under yellow-flag conditions for an accident on the frontstretch on lap 138.
The final restart was on lap 143 with the No. 17 Toyota Tundra shown in the 13th place. Peters fought through the field and crossed the finish line in the 11th place after a last lap pass. The finish holds Peters in the second place in the Truck Series point standings, only five points out of the lead.
Comments from the driver:
"I am really proud of this No. 17 Toyota Tundra racing team. These guys worked really hard all weekend. We made some major adjustments in practice yesterday and had to take a big swing tonight during the race. We'll take this finish and head to Kentucky. If this is the worst race we have all year, they better watch out."
Justin Lofton continued his streak of top-10s on Friday at the Texas Motor Speedway after driving his No. 6 College Complete (http://www.collegecomplete.com, 877-543-2655) Chevrolet Silverado to a ninth place finish, allowing him to increase his points lead in the NASCAR Camping
World Truck Series (NCWTS) from one to five over Timothy Peters. Lofton, who now has seven top-10 runs in the first seven races, could have seen his night end drastically different after a caution flag with less than 40 laps to go nearly caught him a lap down.
"This team has a way of not giving up," Lofton said. "We had a few near misses from tire rubs to caution flags and other issues out of our hands, but we didn't give up and that is what got us back up there. We're doing it every week and we're going to keep it up."
Lofton led the field to green for the WinStar World Casino 400K on Friday night after inheriting the pole based on the NASCAR rulebook after persistent rain knocked out qualifying on Thursday.
Once the 167-lap race was underway, Lofton took advantage of the track position, pulling away with the race lead for the first 26 laps.
Driving the same truck that he wheeled to victory in Charlotte, Lofton made his first pit stop of the night on lap 35, opting for four tires and fuel. After the stop, the team noticed some wear on the left rear where the tire had been rubbing. Unfortunately, the team was unaware of the extent of the tire rub at the time of the stop, forcing them to hold on to the hope that it wasn't so bad that it would cut down a tire.
Luckily, the tire held up, and on lap 75 under another caution flag, Lofton made yet another trip down pit road in his No. 6 College Complete Chevrolet. Under the stop, his crew took a few extra moments to pull out the sheet metal around the tire. He took the restart from the fifth position.
20 laps later, the yellow would wave again, and this time, strategy came into play. As crew chief Dan Bormann reviewed the fuel window and decided whether or not to pit, Lofton stayed on track. Other lead lap trucks opted to pit. The call put Lofton's College Complete entry back atop the leader board.
The race stayed green and Lofton drove his No. 6 Chevrolet in clean air as he paced the field around the 1.5-mile track knowing that he would have to pit for fuel before the end of the race. With a stop scheduled for lap 127, Lofton made the call from inside the race truck to drive down pit road one lap early, sensing that he was running out of fuel. Unfortunately, after the stop, the yellow flag was displayed for debris.
The untimely caution flag nearly caught the points leader a lap down, but fortunately, he was the recipient of the wave around, allowing him to take the restart from the tail end of the lead lap. He took the restart on lap 134 from the 20th position.
The seventh and final caution flag of the night fell on lap 139 of the 167-lap race. At the time, Lofton had climbed up to the 15th position. After taking the restart, he kicked it into high gear with his sights set on reclaiming the lost track position.
With 10 laps to go and noticing a slight vibration on his Chevrolet, Lofton muscled his machine back into the top-10. A strong truck allowed him to pick up one more position, but the laps ran out, ending his charge as he showed in the ninth spot.
"The truck was a little aero sensitive out there, but you usually have that at a lot of these bigger tracks. I love racing Texas though because it is fast and there is a lot of room to race. I was disappointed to fall back there, but it just showed how strong our truck was, to be able to drive back up there," Lofton said.
After leading a race high 55 laps, Lofton picked up two bonus points, padding his point lead from just one point to five entering the next NCWTS race on June 28th at Kentucky Speedway.
Ryan Newman had a strong racecar in the Pocono 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. With less than 40 laps to go, Newman looked like he was going to finish in the top-10 and maybe make a run at the leaders.
But a wild restart on lap 128 saw Newman drop from sixth to 11th place, which hampered his efforts in the closing laps of the race. He finished 12th.
“I told the guys that I just got too aggressive on that restart, and it ended up costing us some spots there,” said Newman, who has eight top-15 finishes in the 2012 season. “At the end of the race, we just didn’t have the track position that we needed, and we didn’t get the top-10 finish that we felt we deserved.”
Newman qualified 18th for the Pocono 400, and he felt after three days of practice in the Pennsylvania mountains that he had a solid racecar for Sunday’s 400-mile event. And it looked that way, too, as Newman picked up five quick positions in the first 10 laps and was in 13th place when NASCAR displayed the caution flag at lap 14.
Newman told his crew that the Haas Automation Chevy was too loose, so he pitted for right-side tires, fuel, and air pressure and track bar adjustments. Thanks to varying pit strategies, Newman restarted the race in 19th place.
But Newman didn’t stay there for long. By lap 25, Newman jumped to 11th place despite a loose handling condition in turn three.
Turn three of Pocono’s distinct, triangular layout was the biggest challenge all day for Newman. He endured varied loose handling conditions throughout the race in the fastest corner of the 2.5-mile track.
So with each pit stop, the crew tried a variety of adjustments to get the handling of the Haas Automation Chevy to Newman’s liking. Newman was able to keep the No. 39 in the top-10 for most of the 160-lap race until the restart at lap 128 following a caution flag.
Newman had pitted under caution for right-side tires and fuel. When he returned to the track, he restarted in sixth place. But just a lap later, Newman had dropped to 11th due to a wild restart that saw cars going three- and four-wide into turn one.
When the caution waved just a few laps later, Newman pitted again to get a splash of gas to ensure that he had enough fuel to get to the checkered flag. Following the pit stop at lap 138, Newman restarted in 18th place.
He was able to make one last run in the closing laps, but turbulent air from traffic and the lack of track position hurt his run. He fell just short of the top-10, ending up 12th.
Teammate Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet for SHR, finished third.
Joey Logano won the Pocono 400 to score his second career Sprint Cup series victory, first of the season and first at Pocono. His only other victory was on June 28, 2009 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.
Mark Martin finished .997 of a second behind Logano in the runner-up spot, while Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Paul Menard and Jamie McMurray comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were seven caution periods for 35 laps, with 15 drivers failing to finish the 160-lap race.
With round 14 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR duo in the championship point standings. He is eighth and has 448 points, 75 back of new series leader Kenseth. Newman lost one position and now sits 14th with 398 points, which puts him 125 points behind Kenseth. Newman has the same number of points as 15th-place Logano but edges him in a tiebreaker. Both have one win apiece in 2012, but Newman’s fourth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway breaks a tie with Logano, whose next-best finish this season was eighth last week at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) descended upon Texas Motor Speedway for the 16th Annual WinStar World Casino 400, Max Gresham and the No. 24 Made In USA Brand team was looking for redemption following last weekend's heartbreak at Dover.
Although rain washed away qualifying for the seventh event on the 2012 NCWTS schedule and the starting line-up was set by owners points for Friday night's main event, the rookie driver was able to get some laps in during a rain-delayed practice session Thursday night.
Gresham, making his NCWTS debut in the Lone Star State, posted the 17th-fastest time before losing control of his No. 24 machine and tagging the safer barrier on the exit of turn-four. Unfortunately, Gresham would be forced to a back-up truck for the 167-lap event on Friday evening.
Starting shot gun, Gresham began making his ascent through the 35-truck field and quickly picked up 13 positions before making his way to pit road under caution for fuel and a trackbar adjustment to help tighten up his Made In USA Brand Chevrolet. Gresham would restart 22nd when the field went back to green at lap seven.
Gresham ran solidly in the top-25 for the next 26 circuits but lost ground to the leader as he fought a loose handling Chevrolet Silverado. When the second caution flag was displayed for fluid on the track, Gresham was awarded the "Lucky Dog" award while his crew made major changes to his Made In USA Brand Chevrolet on pit road.
Restarting 19th at lap 37, Gresham ran inside the top-20 for the next 37 circuits. Although the rookie struggled with a tight condition early in a run and a loose condition later in a run he was gaining confidence and making his way through the field. However, at lap 74 the No. 5 machine, which was running on the low side, moved up the track and made contact with the Made In USA Brand Chevrolet. Gresham kept it off the wall, but had tires down and extensive damage to the left side door.
Multiple trips down pit road to repair damage on the red, white and blue machine left Gresham mired laps down to the leader. However, with nothing to gain and nothing to lose, Gresham raced his own race, stayed smart, stayed smooth and gained experience at the 1.5-mile quad-oval. Gresham would ultimately finish 21st, three laps down to race winner, Johnny Sauter.
This was Gresham's best finish in his last four starts.
Max Gresham Quotes:
"We had no idea what to expect coming into tonight. This was a back-up truck that we have never run, we didn't get any practice with it yesterday and my first laps in it were during the race tonight. We struggled with handling all night and never really got it right. I'm not too sure what happened with the 5 truck, but I'm just really proud of my guys. They worked really hard to get this truck turned around for tonight and although the results don't show it, it was a solid effort on track. We finished the race and I was able to gain a lot of experience here tonight. We are making progress and moving forward and it won't be long before you can see the results of our hard work."
Entering the seventh event of the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season, Ron Hornaday headed to Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) looking to rebound from his first DNF of the season a week ago at Dover. As the defending race winner, Hornaday had high hopes for his No. 9 Joe Denette Motorsports team. However, the three-time winner at TMS would settle for a 12th-place finish in the 16th Annual WinStar World Casino 400.
As rain rolled into Texas on Thursday afternoon, NASCAR was forced to cancel qualifying for Friday night's 167-lap event and the field was set by owner points. However, the 35-truck field did get a two-hour practice session on Thursday evening. The No. 9 Joe Denette Motorsports crew worked on fine tuning the SWM International Chevrolet Silverado, posting the 19th-fastest time overall.
Rolling off the starting grid ninth, Hornaday spent the opening thirty laps in the top-10 fighting a loose-handling Chevrolet Silverado, which hindered his ability to make gains up the leader board and would ultimately prove to challenge the team for the duration of the race.
During a caution at lap 33 for fluid on the track, Hornaday made his way to pit road for a major chassis adjustment, four tires including an air pressure adjustment and fuel. With fuel strategy in the back of their minds, Hornaday was directed back down pit road to top off with fuel before restarting19th at lap 37.
The SWM team capitalized on every opportunity presented to work on the handling of Hornaday's Chevrolet Silverado with no success. Despite the ill-handling condition, Hornaday continued to battle his way through the field breaking his way into the top-12 by lap 140. There was no looking back from that moment on. Hornaday would finish 12th behind race winner, Johnny Sauter.
This was Hornaday's fourth top-12 finish of the season.
Ron Hornaday Quotes:
"This SWM International Chevrolet Silverado was just really loose tonight; it took everything I had not to wreck it. Even though we were off, my guys didn't give up; they just kept working on adjustments to make it better. We weren't bad in the beginning but we just got worse later in a run. I think we learned a lot that we can bring back here in the fall and although a 12th-place finish is not what we are aiming for, it was a solid finish for what we had and a gain from last weekend. We lost a couple points in the championship battle but we are not far off. I'm looking forward to redemption at Kentucky."
Watch @twitter first ever national TV commercial featuring #NASCAR star @keselowski. Enjoy.
Tony Stewart was at his best when it mattered the most – at the end of the Pocono 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at the newly paved Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 22nd and finished third – the highest position he was in all day – in the first Sprint Cup race at Pocono since the event was shortened from 500 to 400 miles.
“It was a good finish for our Mobil 1 / Office Depot Chevy,” said Stewart, who has 19 top-10 finishes in 27 career Sprint Cup starts at Pocono. “It was pretty hard to pass all day, but it kind of normally is. I don’t think it was really any worse than it normally is. But it seemed like the end of the race it got pretty racy there, and guys could move around a little bit. All in all, for a freshly paved track, it was a pretty good race. It was frustrating the first half of the race until guys got their cars better. You really just kind of got stuck, and then it seemed like the longer the race went, the easier it got to pass toward the end.”
Stewart started the race with a car that was loose entering and exiting the turns, while tight in the middle. Crew chief Steve Addington worked on the car’s handling throughout the first half of the race through a series of chassis and tire pressure adjustments. By the halfway point of the event, Stewart’s car was much more to his liking.
From there, three-time and reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Stewart began working his way toward the front and gained several positions on restarts in the latter half of the race.
“The restarts were insane, but you had to take full advantage of them,” Stewart said. “That was the biggest opportunity to make gains and definitely big gains. You could get three or four at a time if somebody got bottled up a little bit. You had to be on your toes for the restarts, for sure.”
Stewart restarted fifth on lap 143 and quickly moved up to third but could never get close enough to challenge eventual winner Joey Logano or runner-up Mark Martin.
“Congrats to Joey and the 20 guys,” Stewart said. “I’m really happy for them.”
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, finished 12th.
Logano’s win in the Pocono 400 was his second career Sprint Cup series victory, first of the season and first at Pocono. His only other victory was on June 28, 2009 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.
Martin finished .997 of a second behind Logano in the runner-up spot, while Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Paul Menard and Jamie McMurray comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were seven caution periods for 35 laps, with 15 drivers failing to finish the 160-lap race.
With round 14 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR duo in the championship point standings. He is eighth and has 448 points, 75 back of new series leader Kenseth. Newman lost one position and now sits 14th with 398 points, which puts him 125 points behind Kenseth. Newman has the same amount of points as 15th-place Logano but edges him in a tiebreaker. Both have one win apiece this season, but Newman’s fourth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway breaks a tie with Logano, whose next-best finish this season was eighth last week at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
There were no high-fives or back- slapping in the Furniture Row Racing camp after Regan Smith posted a 16th-place finish in Sunday's Pocono 400 Sprint Cup Series race.
"Simply put we should have had a better finish and I think we're all feeling a little disappointed because we had higher expectations for this week and didn't deliver," said Smith, who qualified seventh. "On the positive side, it's a whole lot better than what happened to us last week in Dover when we were involved in a multicar accident before the race was 10 laps old."
Smith ran in the top-20 for virtually the entire 160-lap, 400-mile race that was contested on Pocono Raceway's newly-paved asphalt. The final result was Smith's seventh top-20 of the season and his third in the last four races. He gained one spot in the point standings and currently sits in 24th place.
"Finishing 16th didn't come easy by any means," noted Smith. "The car's handling fell off towards the end of the race and it was difficult to drive, especially in the tunnel turn."
Smith made his final pit stop on Lap 149, and when the race was restarted for the final time with eight laps remaining, he was positioned in 22nd place. The pit road adjustments helped as Smith kicked it up a notch in the stretch run to gain six positions in his No. 78 Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet.
"It was nice to get those extra positions and the points that come with it," stated Smith. "But we were all looking for more. At least our recent finishes, except for what happened in Dover, are in the respectable range."
Smith had a scare with approximately 40 laps to go when the shifter ball broke in his Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet, but the issue was quickly taken care of, thanks to quick thinking by crew chief Pete Rondeau.
The Pocono 400 race winner was Joey Logano. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Paul Menard and Jamie McMurray.
The race had 21 lead changes among 10 drivers and seven cautions for 35 laps.
The next Sprint Cup race is Sunday (June 17) at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich.