Xfinity Series News (7349)
NASCAR Xfinity Series News
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Austin Cindric of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):
● Busch started third and finished third.
● On lap 21 while running second, Busch reported that his No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra was too loose at the start of the run, but also tight in the center of turns one and two.
● During the first caution of the race on lap 33, crew chief Ben Beshore called Busch to the pits for four tires, fuel, and wedge and air pressure adjustments.
● Busch was the second car off pit road under the caution, but with seven cars staying on track, he restarted ninth.
● On the lap-39 restart, Busch gained six spots to reach the third position. He held that spot until the end of Stage 1.
● Busch stayed on track during the stage break to assume second place when the leader pitted.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):
● Started second and finished second.
● Busch took the lead for the first time on lap 53, passing Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Christopher Bell. The duo raced side-by-side, with Bell retaking the lead on lap 58 before Busch regained the top spot on lap 59 and held the point for 11 laps. Bell retook the lead on lap 70 and held it through the end of the stage.
● On lap 71, Busch radioed that he was still fighting a tight-handling condition in turns one and two, but was also loose in turns three and four.
● At the conclusion of the stage, Busch pitted for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. He returned to the track in second.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):
● Started second and finished first.
● Busch took the lead on the lap-100 restart, once again overtaking Bell.
● On lap 125, Busch stated that his iK9 Toyota Supra was a little loose on exit and that it needed more rear grip. Busch said he liked the adjustments made on the last stop, but “needed a little more” on the final stop.
● During the fourth and final caution of the race on lap 133, Busch pitted for four tires, fuel and another air pressure adjustment.
● The final caution was for fluid on the track, which sent three drivers spinning, including Bell, who hit the wall, ending his race.
● First off pit road on lap 134, Busch held onto the lead for the final 67 laps.
● This was Busch’s series-leading 11th Xfinity Series win at ISM Raceway. His previous win came on Nov. 12, 2016 when he started from the pole and led all but 10 of the race’s 200 laps.
● This was Busch’s second straight Xfinity Series victory, as he won last Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
● Saturday’s win was Busch’s 94th career Xfinity Series win and his 198th across NASCAR’s top-three series – Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (51), Xfinity Series (94) and Gander Outdoors Truck Series (53).
● Busch led four times for a race-high 116 laps in the iK9 Service Dog 200, bringing his laps-led total in the Xfinity Series at ISM Raceway to and astounding 2,156.
● The No. 18 iK9 team is now first in the owners’ championship with 181 points.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 35 laps.
● Only 13 of the 37 drivers in the iK9 Service Dog 200 finished on the lead lap.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“Can’t say enough about our guys at Joe Gibbs Racing. Obviously, they build really fast Supras. I want to say thanks to iK9. This is the iK9 Service Dog 200, so it’s really, really cool to be able to win for them again, and to be able to put them in victory lane back-to-back and in their race here at ISM Raceway. Super thankful for them for the opportunity to come out here and run a few races each year and to be able to put on a good show.
“Certainly want to give thanks to Mark Cronquist. These JGR engines were strong. Monster Energy, Cessna, Adidas, DVX Eyewear, Black Clover and the fans.
“It’s always cool to come out with Rowdy Nation and having their support and everybody that backs us and what we’re able to do and what we’re able to accomplish. Obviously, we’re doing a lot of those things these days. There’s a lot of talk and all that sort of stuff, but hey, if I’m allowed to enter a race, I’m going to enter a race. I’m going to go out there and race and I’m going to go out there and try to win. If I win, we win. If not, we’ve got to go again the next time. These guys here, they’re great. Congrats to all these guys that works so hard to get me where I’m at.
“We worked on this iK9 Toyota Supra all day. A lot like last week, just trying to put it all together. We certainly were off a little bit early on in the beginning. Christopher (Bell) was superfast and really, really good. We kept making the adjustments to get it to where he was. We were doing a good job of that. I hate it that he got caught up in that mess behind us and we weren’t able to race it out there at the end. I figured we were going to and it was going to be a heck of a JGR showdown at the end.”
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Production Alliance Group 300 on Saturday, March 16 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The race starts at 5 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.
Tyler Reddick Finishes Third in No. 2 Hurdl Chevrolet at ISM Raceway and Takes Over Lead in Series Standings
"ISM Raceway has always been a tricky place for me, but I think we made some positive gains here today. RCR brought another solid No. 2 Hurdl Chevrolet Camaro to the track, which helped me figure out a couple more things about this track. The balance of our Camaro was great all race long, just building tight a little bit throughout the length of a run. We tried to off-set that by firing off a little looser than we normally would, knowing that the track was building tight. We luckily avoided getting caught up in the wreck that took out the 20 and 7, but we just couldn't get enough at the end of the race to really challenge Kyle Busch. I've got more to continue to learn here at Phoenix, but I feel good about where we'll be when we come back in the fall. In the meantime though, I'm really looking forward to next week at California and proud we are heading there as the points leader. It's a track I love and think we'll have a good shot at the win."
How did Kyle Busch win Saturday’s IK9 Service Dog 200 at ISM Raceway?
Poof! His closest pursuers in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
Busch was out front on Lap 130 when the engine in the No. 01 Chevrolet of Stephen Leicht exploded in front of Justin Allgaier and pole winner Christopher Bell, who were running second and third at the time.
Enveloped in a Days-of-Thunder-style cloud of smoke, Allgaier spun in the fluid from Leicht’s car, hitting the outside wall and damaging the rear of his car. Bell, the series leader entering the race, fared far worse.
His No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota backed into the outside wall, crumpling the rear of the car beyond repair. Bell exited the race in 30th place.
With his two most formidable challengers out of the picture, Busch led the field to the subsequent restart on Lap 143 and stayed out front the rest of the way, beating runner-up Ryan Truex to the finish line by 3.025 seconds.
The victory was Busch’s 11th at ISM Raceway, tying him with NASCAR Hall-of-Famer Mark Martin for most Xfinity wins at a single track. Martin accomplished the feat at Rockingham.
Busch won for the second time in two starts this season and for the record 94th time in the series, bringing his total victories across NASCAR’s three national series to 198 and putting him within reach of his stated goal of 200 during the current West Coast Swing.
Three races remain before NASCAR heads back east to Martinsville. Busch will compete in Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at ISM Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) before running both the Cup and Xfinity races next weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
“Christopher was certainly going to give me a run for my money today,” Busch said of his JGR teammate. “I can’t say enough about the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing. Obviously, they build really fast Supras … Christopher, I hate he got caught up in that mess. Obviously, it was going to be a really fun run to the end there.”
Busch deflected the notion that he’s toying with the competition in the lower series.
“There’s a lot of talk and that sort of stuff, but if I’m allowed to enter a race, I’m going to enter the race and go out there and try to win it,” said Busch, who led 116 of the 200 laps. “If I win, I win. If not, we’ve got to go again the next time.”
Bell led 68 laps and won the second stage but fell to third soon after a restart on Lap 101 and couldn’t advance. Then came Leicht’s engine explosion and the end of Bell’s race.
“As soon as I entered the smoke wall, I couldn’t see anything,” Bell said. “I lost my bearings of where I was and the next thing you know, I was in the wall. Frustrating and very disappointing, because our Rheem Supra was extremely strong.
“I don’t know, it was weird. My car didn’t really feel that much worse that run, but once I got back behind those guys, I just really couldn’t pass them.”
Truex started ninth, fell back early but worked his way back through the field in his first run in the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. After Bell and Allgaier crashed, Truex restarted second on Lap 143 and kept reigning series champion and eventual third-place finisher Tyler Reddick behind him.
“I guess it’s good when you lose to Kyle Busch,” Truex said. “I just got us behind there at the start. I was too free, and I couldn’t run anywhere on the track, so I lost a lot of track position early. We worked hard all day to get it back.
“I got that restart behind Kyle and was able to get a huge run in (Turns) 1 and 2. Our car was just so good on the long runs that I was able to hold Reddick off.”
For his part, Reddick inherited the series lead from Bell.
“I’m not very good at this race track,” said Reddick, who leads Bell by four points. “But hats off to RCR (Richard Childress Racing), they brought a fantastic Chevrolet. Our Camaro was great through most of this race. I honestly couldn’t give us a good sense of direction, so we just kind of threw in here what Daniel (Hemric) ran last year.
“Had a pretty good setup under this thing. Hopefully, I can figure out what I need to break through and contend with the 18 (Busch) in the end. All in all, it’s better than what I’ve run in the past. I’m just not very good at this race track.”
Cole Custer ran fourth, followed by fellow Ford drivers Austin Cindric (the Stage 1 winner) and Chase Briscoe, who fought his way forward after a pit road speeding penalty with an impressive closing drive. Brandon Jones was seventh, ahead of Daytona winner Michael Annett, John Hunter Nemecheck and Ryan Sieg, who recorded his third top-10 finish in four starts.
Kyle Busch won Saturday's iK9 Service Dog 200 at ISM Raceway.
Busch made it 2 for 2 on Saturday leading 116 laps of the 200 lap race.
For Busch, this marks his 198th win of his career in NASCAR national series competition. Busch, who competes regularly in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series has wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series as well.
"If i'm allowed to race, i'm going to enter a race and try to go out there and win," said Busch.
Rounding out the top five were Ryan Truex in second, Tyler Reddick in third, Cole Custer in fourth and Austin Cindric in fifth.
For Ryan Truex, he matched a career-best second place in just his first NASCAR Xfinity Series start of the season for JR Motorsports.
Christopher Bell who started from the pole, won the second stage and led 69 laps, but his hopes for victory would diminish in a Lap 129 incident.
Stephen Leicht's engine would expire while entering Turn 3, creating a cloud of smoke. Justin Allgaier who was running second and Christopher Bell who was running third at the time would make contact with the outside retaining wall as result of Leicht's engine problems.
"I saw Leicht blow up so i knew that i was in trouble," Bell said to FS1 following the incident. "I saw the 7 get sideways and then by that time, i entered the smoke wall and i knew that i was sliding, but i just couldn't see anything and i didn't know where i was and i backed her into the wall."
Justin Allgaier would finish 14th while Christopher Bell would finish 30th.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head into Auto Club Speedway next Saturday in the running of the Production Alliance Group 300. Coverage begins at 5:00 p.m. Eastern on FS1, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
Stage 1 Winner: Austin Cindric
Stage 2 Winner: Christopher Bell
Race Winner: Kyle Busch
With the NASCAR Xfinity Series coming to ISM Raceway for the second time, it’s a given that starting or restarting in what used to be Turn 2 can be problematic.
But starting on the front row isn’t so great either, says series leader Christopher Bell, who feels like a sitting duck in the first or second position.
“As soon as you cross that start/finish line, you have a football-field-and-a-half of room,” Bell said on Friday before opening practice for Saturday’s IK9 Service Dog 200 (4 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). “You just can’t block all that room, so if they have momentum on you, it’s really easy for them to get side-by-side with you and make a move on you.
“But that’s what the fans love—that’s for sure.”
So, if not the back or the front, what does Bell consider the optimum starting position?
“Being third is probably the most ideal location,” Bell said, “because you’re on the inside, you can use the dogleg … I think third is a pretty good spot to be on the race track here.”
Justin Allgaier saw both ends of the equation last fall, in the first Xfinity race with the track “flipped." What used to be the backstretch, complete with a wide dogleg where drivers can gain ground below the apron, is now the frontstretch.
“That was the interesting part for me,” Allgaier said. “Last year, we were fortunate enough to run really good in the stages and be up front, and then we had a restart where we weren’t up front, and it was completely different.
“From my standpoint, that’s kind of the hardest part to wrap your head around. I know that in the sport, you’re not always going to be roses. You’re going to have some times where you’re going to have to start maybe toward the back of the field. I think that being on the curve the way you are here makes it even more challenging.”
Stage racing adds a premium to qualifying and running up front at a speedway where track position is critically important.
“Because of stage racing, particularly at a place like ISM Raceway, I think qualifying has been at a premium regardless,” Allgaier said. “But I say that, and Christopher Bell didn’t qualify well last fall and still came on to win the race.
“I think you can manage it, but on the flip side—particularly for stage points—it’s still beneficial to put yourself in position to qualify well and just have the easier time and not put yourself in those danger positions as often.”
The Boyd Gaming 300 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway was held over the weekend on Saturday, completing the third round of the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season. Entering the weekend, JD Motorsports with Gary Keller (JDM) drivers set their sights on winning big in the desert to start their season off in the right direction.
Ross Chastain, driver of the No. 4 EZ Angus Ranch / RM Parks Inc. Camaro SS, showed up to the 1.5 mile intermediate oval with his head held high after a couple of solid weeks in Daytona and Atlanta left him sitting ninth place in the overall points standings. Due to Qualifying being rained out for the second consecutive week, he rolled off the starting grid from the 15th position. Most of his race was spent around the 12th to 14th position, and as the laps clicked off, he seemed to be setting himself up for a solid Top 15 run.
That was all until a speeding penalty late in Stage 3 was handed to the No. 4 team. Ross was forced to drive back down pit lane for a pass-through penalty, putting him one lap down to the leaders. Luckily, a caution flew shortly after serving the penalty, allowing Ross to earn the Free Pass and get back on the lead lap. The final laps were dangerous, as multiple crashes ended many competitors’ races. However, Ross was able to stay calm, cool, and collected, and narrowly avoided disaster to bring home a 7th place finish, collecting JDM’s first Top 10 of the year.
“You know, Las Vegas is a city based on luck.” said veteran crew chief, Paul Clapprood. “Once we got the speeding penalty, I thought our race was over. But as soon as I got word of the caution, I knew we were back in it. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and Ross did a fantastic job avoiding all of the carnage. This is a great way to start our West Coast Swing off.”
Garrett Smithley, driver of the No. 0 “In Memory of Hippie” Camaro SS, also had a solid day in the desert. Owner’s Points had him line up in the 22nd position, but he was able to pass a few cars early in the going, and ran consistently within the Top 20 for the duration of the afternoon. He brought his car home in one piece without a scratch on it in the 18th position.
Sometimes, having a non-eventful race is a good thing, as the driver and team are able to execute their plan flawlessly without having to overcome any obstacles. Saturday’s race proved just that, and the team is ecstatic because they are able to take his car to the Auto Club Speedway in just a couple of weeks’ time without making any major repairs to it.
BJ McLeod, driver of the No. 15 Camaro SS, was also able to earn his second Top 20 in a row in Las Vegas, and was also the driver who picked up the most positions from the JDM stable. After starting in the 29th position, McLeod was able to claw his way up the leaderboard one by one, and actually was able to crack the Top 15 at one point during the race. He ultimately brought his car home in the 20th position, and currently sits in 23rd in points.
Stephen Leicht, driver of the No. 01 “In Memory of Hippie” Camaro SS, didn’t quite have the same success as his JDM teammates this weekend, but was able to earn his best career finish at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The No. 01 team started from the 30th position, and fought hard all day right at the edge of the Top 25. Leicht brought his Camaro SS home in the 27th position, and now moves up a couple of positions in points to the 29th spot.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to ISM Raceway in Avondale, Arizona, this Saturday for the 15th annual running of the Arizona 200 on the 1-mile low-banked oval right outside of Phoenix. Be sure to tune in to see JDM drivers Chastain, Smithley, McLeod, and Leicht take on the newly reconfigured track challenges both drivers and teams in the desert heat. TV broadcast will be live on FOX Sports 1 at 2:00 PM local time (4:00 PM Eastern Time).
9th. Ross Chastain (-43)
17th. Garrett Smithley (-87)
23rd. BJ McLeod (-99)
29th. Stephen Leicht (-116)
NASCAR Xfinity Series star Brandon Jones and ISM Raceway President Julie Giese visited with servicemen and women at Luke Air Force Base yesterday ahead of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at ISM Raceway on March 9. As part of the visit, Jones and Giese received a behind-the-scenes look at Luke Air Force Base, including the largest F-35 wing in world. Video is available for download here.
The afternoon began with a tour of TITAN Arena, a fitness facility solely dedicated to the fitness and injury prevention of F-35 pilots. Following the TITAN Arena, Jones and Giese jumped in adjacent F-16 simulators at the Training Squadron. Instructed by Maj Patrick "Rainman" McAndrew and Maj Glen "Fist" Goossen, Jones and Giese learned to fire at moving targets and how to land the aircraft during both day and night. The last half of the visit consisted of a thorough tour of the 61st Fighter Squadron, the very first F-35 Squadron in the USAF.
"This was awesome today, getting a behind-the-scenes look at Luke Air Force Base and meeting many of the airmen that work out of there," said Jones. "Seeing the F-35 up close with Maj Zelasko was definitely a highlight of the day. I’m fortunate to be a part of a sport and a team like Toyota that supports our military in so many ways because it’s something very close to my heart. These men and women put their lives on the line every day for us and the fact that many of them took time out of their schedules to show me around means a lot."
In addition to holding the largest F-35 wing in the world, Luke Air Force Base is also home to 70% of F-35 pilots. Maj Zelasko, an F-35 Instructor Pilot, gave Jones, Giese and media in attendance a tour of their facility, including where all of the pilots’ gear and g-suits are kept and an up-close look at the fifth-generation combat planes themselves.
"Supporting members of our military has always been an important initiative for ISM Raceway and to have the opportunity to visit our neighbors at Luke and get a peek into their daily lives was an unforgettable experience," said Giese.
Jones will return to ISM Raceway when he takes to the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on March 9. Tickets for the entire TicketGuardian 500 Weekend, March 8, 9 and 10 are still available online at ISMRaceway.com, by phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223), or in person at the ISM Raceway ticket office. Military packages, including 20% off all seats and INfield access passes are available at the base ITT/MWR Office, or online at ISMRaceway.com/Buy-Tickets/Military.
ISM Raceway PR
RSS Racing is pleased to welcome Shop Boss a sponsor of the #39 car driven by Ryan Sieg. Shop Boss will be an associate sponsor at Auto Club Speedway and a primary sponsor at Bristol Motor Speedway. Shop Boss is a new company entering the world of NASCAR.
Shop Boss is an automotive repair software for the modern auto repair shop. Shop Boss assists owners and managers in organizing their technicians’ time, customer invoices, and information to help make the shop more efficient and productive.
Ryan Sieg has started the 2019 season off with three finishes of 11th or better. “It’s been a great start to the year for our race team. It’s nice to know that sponsors have taken notice and decided to join our family owned team. Shop Boss is a perfect fit for NASCAR as they focus on the automotive industry,” commented Sieg. Ryan Sieg heads to ISM Raceway this weekend 8th in the XFINITY Series Standings.
RSS Racing PR
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):
● Busch started eighth, finished 20th.
● Making his way into third on lap 12, Busch reported that he had a loose wheel. Busch pitted shortly thereafter for four tires and fuel before returning the track in the 33rd position, one lap down.
● Busch worked his way through the field to the 20th position by the end of Stage 1 but was two spots short of being in the Lucky Dog position when the caution flag waved on lap 45.
● Despite battling a “tight center-exit” condition toward the end of the first stage, crew chief Ben Beshore elected to keep Busch on track in the No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra to take the wave-around and restart on the lead lap.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):
● Started 19th, finished third. Earned eight bonus points.
● A quick caution at the beginning of Stage 2 allowed the No. 18 team to pit under yellow and address the handling conditions from the first stage of the race. Busch received four scuffed tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment on lap 61.
● Busch restarted 12th on lap 64 and made his way into the top-10 just one lap later.
● With fresher tires than the leaders, Busch reached the top-10 on lap 65 and took over fifth on lap 77.
● Busch reached the third position on lap 87 and maintained that spot until the end of the second stage.
● Still fighting a tight handling condition, Busch brought the iK9 Toyota Supra to pit road on lap 93 for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):
● Started third, finished first.
● Busch reported just nine laps into the final stage that he was “the tightest he had been all day” following the adjustments made at the stage break.
● Busch took the lead for the first time on lap 150 and owned the top spot until lap 180. After a short battle with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Christopher Bell, Busch regained the lead until lap 204.
● Following the sixth caution of Saturday’s event and first green-white-checkered attempt, Busch briefly lost the lead for one lap but once again reigned supreme, taking over the lead in the high line.
● Slowed again by a caution, Busch lined up first for one final restart and held off a charge from second-place finisher John Hunter Nemechek to earn his 93rd Xfinity Series victory.
● Busch’s victory was his second in the Xfinity Series at his home track. His previous win came on March 5, 2016, in the Boyd Gaming 300.
● Saturday’s win is Busch’s 93rd career Xfinity Series win and his 197th across NASCAR’s top three series.
● Busch started eighth in the Boyd Gaming 300 after qualifying this morning was canceled due to inclement weather and the field was set by owner points, per the NASCAR rulebook.
● The No. 18 iK9 team is now second in the owner championship with 124 points.
● This was the second win in as many days for Busch, who also claimed a victory in Friday night’s NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 37 laps.
● Only nine of the 38 drivers in the Boyd Gaming 300 finished on the lead lap.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“We had been fighting the balance with these cars lately and trying to be able to get that right. It’s either too loose or too tight. We couldn’t find a happy medium. We knew we had a fast car and needed to figure out how and where to stay in the game – and how we would be able to get back on the lead lap after the loose wheel earlier in the race, and get back on the tire strategy with everyone else. It could have been a long race. The last segment could go green the whole way. You pit once and you put one set of tires, and it could have equaled out. I thought, ‘OK, there’s an opportunity here. There’s a lot of things that have to go our way.’ Fortunately, that caution in the beginning of the second stage went our way and allowed us to put our first set of tires on with a fresh wheel and not have issues after that. I can’t say enough about all of our guys. Everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and especially everyone from Xtreme Concepts and iK9. This Supra was fast out there today and awfully fun to drive. We worked for that one, that’s for sure.”
The next event is the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at ISM Raceway near Phoenix on Saturday, March 8. The race starts at 4 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FS1.