Speedway Digest Staff
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Harrison Burton and the DEX Imaging team are set to start Sunday’s YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway from 15th place.
Burton and his No. 21 Mustang earned that spot with a lap at 179.128 miles per hour in Saturday’s qualifying session. There was no practice for this race, which marks the Wood Brothers’ 100th start at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
Sunday’s 188-lap race is scheduled to start just after 1 p.m. (2 p.m. Eastern Time) with TV coverage on NBC.
Stage breaks are planned for Laps 60 and 120.
McAnally-Hilgemann Racing drivers had a strong run in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, with Colby Howard picking up a career-best finish and Derek Kraus leading laps.
Howard rebounded from a flat tire and spin with 20 laps remaining to battle back in the No. 91 Adaptive One Chevrolet Silverado and take eighth in a wild overtime finish that concluded with a crash at the finish line.
Kraus had the No. 19 Adaptive One Chevrolet Silverado out front in the final stage of the race, but lost ground when a caution came out while trucks were cycling through pit stops. He rebounded to finish 13th.
The MHR drivers started the race side-by-side, with Howard in seventh and Kraus in eighth. Several laps into the event, Kraus went high and dropped back. Howard went on to finish the first stage of the race in fifth, with Kraus 28th.
Just after the second stage started, Howard cut down a rear tire and spun down the backstretch – managing to not hit anything and not get collected by another truck. After a quick pit stop, he began to quickly make up ground. He finished the second stage in 13th. Kraus finished 20th, after opting to pit during a caution just before the end of the stage. He made up the spots as the leaders pitted at the end of the stage, putting him eighth at the start of the final stage.
Kraus charged into the lead when many of the front runners headed to the pits for a green-flag stop on Lap 63. The caution came out due to an issue in the pits, however, which put him behind all those trucks when he made his stop a few laps later. He restarted 16th and gained some spots as the laps wound down, but was not able to get back into the top 10.
Howard had started ninth in the final stage of the race and was battling in the lead pack, when he cut another rear tire and spun – again managing to avoid any damage. He returned to action in the 30th position and steadily worked his way forward in the final segment of the race. He charged ahead after the final restart, to take eighth as the caution came out to conclude the race. His finish topped two ninth-place finishes he notched in events earlier this year.
MHR had a great turnout of guests at Talladega on Saturday. A special group from the NAPA Talladega district and Gates Hydraulics were treated to a VIP experience, along with guests from NAPA that Adaptive One hosted through sales programs. They experienced a driver meet-and-greet, a garage tour, a VIP tour of the NAPA transporter, pre-race grid access, and access to MHR’s pit area on pit road. In addition, VIP guest crew members viewed the race from the MHR war wagon.
Quote – Derek Kraus
“It was not a bad day, it was just really hard to make progress throughout the last stages of the race, with how the yellow fell. The team brough a fast Chevy and it was clean at the end of the race. That’s good to have.”
Quote – Colby Howard
“It was definitely an up-and-down day. We had two flat rear tires and spun from both of them. Somehow, we didn’t hit anything and stayed around to get our best finish of eighth.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Event:
Race: Chevrolet Silverado 250 (94 Laps) (Race 21 of 23) Oct. 1, 2022
Location: Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Ala. (2.66-mile oval)
Format: Three Stages; Lap 20 / Lap 40 / Lap 94
No. 19 Adaptive One Chevrolet Silverado RST
Hometown: Stratford, Wis.
Stage 1: 28th
Stage 2: 20th
Finished: 13th (Running, completed 95 of 95 laps)
Laps led: 3
Career series stats:
71 starts, 4 poles, 4 top fives, 26 top 10s
2022 series stats:
Races: 21 starts, 2 poles, 7 top 10s
Laps completed: 2,830/2,899
Laps led: 45
Series standings: 11th
Tundra teammates Ben Rhodes (second) and Christian Eckes (fifth) scored the top-finishes for Toyota in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway. The two ThorSport Tundras were running one-two coming to the white flag, but a wild finish and accident coming to the checkered flag mixed up the final results and sent several trucks crashing and spinning through the infield.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Race 21 of 23 – 100 Laps, 250 Miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Matt DiBenedetto*
2nd, BEN RHODES
3rd, Bret Holmes*
4th, Ryan Preece
5th, CHRISTIAN ECKES
7th, CHASE PURDY
10th, TYLER ANKRUM
11th, KADEN HONEYCUTT
12th, CLAY GREENFIELD
14th, CHANDLER SMITH
15th, TIMMMY HILL
20th, STEWART FRIESEN
22nd, MATT CRAFTON
23rd, TY MAJESKI
24th, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
25th, JOHNNY SAUTER
26th, COREY HEIM
BEN RHODES, No. 99 Kubota Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
What happened in the final lap of the race with the accident?
“As the saying goes, I haven’t’ seen the replay. I can’t help but feel that I had a hand in on that big one somehow. I believe that I went up to block and came back down and the hole was already filled and I didn’t know it. Split second decision. I hate it for my team and everybody at ThorSport most of all. They worked so hard to get these trucks there and we were right there to lock our ticket into Phoenix and now we have to really put in the work at Homestead to make sure we get in for another championship run. I just know we were on the bottom and I had a really, really good push. I felt like I got pushed out a little bit in the trioval, but again, I haven’t seen a replay and I saw the outside start to pull out and I knew we were going to lose momentum as that group pulled out. But they had a run still somehow and as I moved up to block, they filled the gap and I think I made contact, but again, I haven’t seen the replay for sure. Just hate it for Kubota and everybody involved. It’s s shame to be that close to punching your ticket and not get it.”
What would you have done differently on the final lap to try to get the win?
“Honestly, I think everything worked out fine until the last few hundred feet. If I could change it, I would have just stayed right on the bottom. I’m not saying we could have got the win, maybe we would have had second, but we wouldn’t have a torn up race truck right now. A lot of things would have been better for really everybody involved.”
CHRISTIAN ECKES, No. 98 FarmPaint Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 5th
What happened in the final lap of the race?
“Just wrong lane. I thought the 25 (Matt DiBenedetto) would push me better than the 32 (Bret Holmes) and I was just wrong. They passed us and I tried to do some different moves. I’m not really sure what happened there at the end, I’m not sure if the 51 (Corey Heim) bailed on me or what. Coming to the checkered, I finished seventh and had a decent points day and the truck is mostly in one piece. We’ll move onto Homestead.”
TYLER ANKRUM, No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Hattori Racing Enterprises
Finishing Position: 10th
How was your race overall?
“Had a pretty good handling truck. It was a little darty, but we ran up front all day long and inside the top-10 and were running sixth there at the end. Just made a wrong decision to push the 51 (Corey Heim) and he spun. Actually happy to finish at race at Talladega. I can say for once that I want to come back. We’ll have a better speedway truck for the next one.”
TY MAJESKI, No. 66 Tenda Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 23rd
What happened in the final lap of the race that ended your race early?
“We were just trying to make some moves at the end and trying to get the top formed and it just never came through and got passed by a couple trucks there at the end. Coming out of four, they all started wrecking and we were in the top lane and in the top lane, a lot of times you really don’t have anywhere to go. Got into a few trucks and another superspeedway race in the infield care center.”
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 4 Pye-Barker Fire & Safety Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 24th
How was your race today?
“Up and down. Maximized stage points there with Chandler (Smith) in the first stage and in the second stage, put ourselves in a good position to gain as many points as possible. Just didn’t work out there at the end. Stuff happens and I was one of the trucks that was spinning through the grass there. Probably lost around 10 or 12 spots there by spinning through the grass. It hurt our points day a little bit and we’re now just four points behind the cut going into Homestead.”
COREY HEIM, No. 51 JBL Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 26th
What happened on the final lap of the race?
“I’m really not sure. I haven’t seen a replay, but just going for every spot I can get and it looked like we had a chance to win with our Tundra TRD Pro. Generally this is how it goes at Talladega, it’s unpredictable and you know, one driver doesn’t cause a wreck. There’s going to be another one half a lap later. Did everything I could today with my JBL Tundra TRD Pro today. KBM gave me a great truck and looking forward to the next one for sure.”
After winning the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series race at Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway on August 27th, Brody Roa, and the May Motorsports #8M team had high hopes for a great night on the same oval last Saturday. However, the team’s effort was cut short due to mechanical ills before the main event.
Sporting some sparkling new graphics, the #8M was ready for another successful night at the track that is located a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean. Things started off in fine fashion when Garden Grove, California-based Roa steered the car to the third fastest time in qualifying with a lap of 12.977. The veteran driver started last in his heat race, weaved his way through the field, and scored the win. However, that was his last hurrah of the night. An engine issue had reared its ugly head and rather than cause extensive and expensive damage, the team parked the car for the night.
With the cancellation of this Saturday’s race at Perris Auto Speedway, Roa will be spending time with his wife Tailor and their daughter Addison. He will be back in his #91R next Saturday at the NARC King of the West Twin 25’s at Peter Murphy’s Keller Auto Speedway.
If you wish to hear Roa’s recent appearance on the Dirt Tracks and Rib Racks podcast, you can do so at the following link https://spoti.fi/3cjQrLL.
In 2022, Roa is racing in the USAC/CRA, USAC National, and other select events, in his #91R BR Performance/HD Industries Eagle. He will also drive the #8M for May Motorsports in select USAC West Coast events. The 2019 USAC Southwest and 2017 USAC West Coast champion is always open to discussing other driving opportunities.
Roa and the team want to thank the following sponsors for making the 2022 season possible. HD Industries, Burris Racing, Sander Engineering, Inland Rigging, Caltrol, “Biker” Bruce Fischer, Competition Suspension, ALR Virtual Services, K-1 Race Gear, Molecule, Rod End Supply, Driven Racing Oil, Baldwin Filters, and NGK Spark Plugs. In addition, the veteran driver offers thanks to RDM Mechanics, Fastenal, KC Keen Concrete, Coopers Propane, Ten West Towing, Ten West Environmental, TJM Distribution, and Westco International for sponsoring the #8M he will pilot for Jayson May on 10 occasions in 2022.
If you or your company would like to jump on board and receive recognition as a team partner throughout the 2022 racing season, please give the two-time USAC champion racer a phone call or drop him a note at the contact information on the top of this release.
To keep up with May Motorsports, please check out and “like” its Facebook page. https://www.facebook.
Presque Isle Downs & Casino Race of Champions Weekend, Including the 73rd Annual Lucas Oil Race of Champions 250 to Move Ahead One Week in 2023
Race of Champions Series management, in conjunction with Lake Erie Speedway have adjusted the dates for the 2023 version Presque Isle Downs & Casino Race of Champions Weekend, the new dates will be Friday, September 15, Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17.
“We have been looking at making this change in regard to the weather, which will give us more options in the Fall if we face inclement weather,” stated Joe Skotnicki, Race of Champions. “With all of the commitments we have we understand that things have to change and that we have to adapt. This is just another step in that regard to move us forward.”
Friday, September 15: Practice will take place on Friday, September 23, with gates opening at 12:00 pm (Noon) and practice from 3:00 pm until dusk for all divisions with the Race of Champions FOAR Score Four Cylinder Dash Series being featured in a 20-lap feature to kick the weekend off in exciting fashion.
Saturday, September 16; Racing will include the Race of Champions Asphalt Sportsman Modified Series in a 73-lap saluting the Modified “250 on Sunday. The Race of Champions Super Stock Series will compete in a 40-lap event that will complete their season. Joining the card on Saturday, will be the FOAR Score Four Cylinder Dash Series and the TQ Midgets. The Race of Champions Late Model Series and “Rocket Performance” 602 Sportsman Modifieds will also be on hand to compete. Gates will open at 10:00 am, with practice beginning at 12:00 pm (Noon) and qualifying beginning at 2:30 pm. There will be activities for the “KIDS RoC” Race of Champions Kids Club during the event festivities.
Sunday, September 17; The featured event will be the running of the 73rd annual Lucas Oil “Race of Champions 250”. The event features 250 exciting laps of action for racing enthusiasts and is the second longest consecutive auto-racing event to take place each year in North America, second only to the Indianapolis 500, truly making the race “The Greatest Tradition in Modified Racing”. The TQ Midgets will run the 4th Annual “Harry Macy Classic 29”. The Race of Champions FOAR Score Dash Four Cylinder Dash and Race of Champions Street Stock Series will also be on the card. Gates will open at 9:00 am, with practice beginning at 11:30 am and qualifying beginning at 1:15 pm.
All events will be detailed in future releases, specific to the division and the event, however, this will be the biggest racing weekend in the region with the ability to include race fans.
Tickets may be purchased for the weekend and will be available at the Lake Erie Speedway ticket office or at www.lakeeriespeedway.com. In the event that there is inclement weather, the event will be postponed to 2023.
Hotel deals remain at the following locations;
Holiday Inn Erie
2260 Downs Drive
Erie, PA 16509
Toll Free: 800-465-4329 Local: 814-205-0271
Booking Information: To get special “Race of Champions Weekend Rate” please call the hotel’s toll free number or local line. A link will be provided when available.
Booking Link: To get special “Race of Champions Weekend Rate” please call the hotel’s local line. A link will be provided when available. Use code “RoC”.
CHRISTOPHER BELL, No. 20 SiriusXM Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing
How do you approach these next few races with no Playoff winners as of yet?
“Yeah, it's not the position we want it to be in, you know, going into Texas. I knew that Texas was going to be a very, very important race. And I mean, I thought that we would perform well and we did perform well before the DNF so you know, our goal leaving Texas was to be above the cutoff line and maybe have a little bit of a bonus going in into Talladega and the Roval. And unfortunately, that's not the way it played out. And now, the only way forward is going to be to try and score as many points as we can. So going to have to race hard all day tomorrow and see where the cards fall.”
How much of a benefit is it to start on the pole knowing you’re after stage points and did you have more emphasis on starting up front against the other Playoff drivers?
“No, I mean, Speedway poles, they’re not much to do with me, it's more so about the team and with us winning the pole here in the spring, we thought that we would have a good shot at it but you know, you can go from the back to the front and from the front to the back, you know, a handful of times before they paid the points that lap 60. So. You know, I think that winning the pole is a great testimony to the team, but really has no effect on the race tomorrow.”
Is it possible for Talladega to become more intense than it normally is for this race weekend?
“Yeah, I'm trying to think in like into last year's Playoff race, it rained, and I made it to the end of the race. So I don't remember a lot of wrecking in this race in the you know, a year from now. But I don't know. I think that people will be calm especially to start the race. And then whenever it comes time to get those points it's going to ramp up and the likelihood for a wreck is going to increase.”
How challenging is it to move up and back through the field with this car?
“So I would say that Talladega generally is a little bit easier to move back and forth than Daytona just because of the width and typically the lanes aren't as blocked up. But you know, generally speaking, I don't have a ton of experience on superspeedways with this car. I wrecked out really early at the Daytona 500. And then the Daytona fall race, I wrecked out early again. Talladega I guess I had an okay run but wasn't racing for the win at the end of the race because I got trapped a lap down. So you know, I hope that the Toyotas are able to get together because it seems like that's been at least my most successful Speedway races whenever I have a group to work with and not kind of fending for myself. Yeah, I don't know if that really answers it. But you know, Speedway racing has not really been kind to me. So hopefully we can change that narrative tomorrow.”
Were you able to attend or view the driver’s meeting with Jeff Burton yesterday?
“Yes, I was able to call in and listen and for sure that the positives are that you know, there is stuff in the works to better specifically the rear impacts. And ironically, that's been the majority of my crashes this year has been rear impacts and they've hurt really bad. So I'm glad that there's stuff in the works to improve those style impacts. And hopefully we can just continue to improve the safety of the Next Gen car because the wrecks hurt right now.”
Do you ever look back on any of your impacts and have concerns that it was a concussion and not just a simple headache?
“I mean, it's hard to say you know a headache is definitely not a good sign or a good symptom, but from the days moving on past that I don't recall any symptoms that raised any red flags that says I shouldn't get in the race car the following week. So, if that was the case, then I definitely would have raised my hand and say, ‘Hey, guys, something's not right.’ But fortunately, I guess I've been able to heal or, you know, just the symptoms have gone away.”
Do you feel like you’re in a must-win situation yet?
“I mean, pretty close. I think that if we were going anywhere except Talladega it would be more likely to be a must win, but tomorrow, there's going to be likely crashes and out of the 12 cars, I would assume that some of those 12 cars are going to have bad days. Hopefully it's not me and you know, so with that being said, we'll evaluate the points after Talladega and see where we're at. So yeah, I think, you know, that is one thing that is working to my advantage in the position I am in. Because, you know, you never know what's going to happen at Talladega. And it could be a good day for me. It could be a bad day for me, we just don't know.”
Starting from the pole tomorrow, do you feel more pressure to gain stage points in the race?
“Yeah, that's number one on our goals, for sure. And it was before we even qualified. So before Texas, our ideal situation was to score high points at Texas. And then basically ride at Talladega and try and, you know, miss the wrecks early on in the race and take our top 20 or whatever we were able to get at Talladega. And with us getting no points at Texas, it forces our hand to have to go through those stage points. So starting on the pole, hopefully we're able to maintain track position throughout the first 60 laps, but it's such a long run. And we have to have a green flag pitstop in there. So it's just a long way to go before they pay out stage points, but for sure we have to be in the running of it. And we're going to have to continue if we want to transfer on.”
How does wrecking in a midget compare to wrecks in this Next Gen car?
“I'm trying to think, but I guess they are similar. If you hit your head, you hit your head. And definitely the rear impacts for whatever reason or impacting your head, that's an issue. But yeah, so I would say if you hit your head, you hit your head.”
Do you brace forward in midget car wrecks like they’re asking you to do in the Next Gen cars?
“So typically that is my brace impact. I will lock out my HANS tethers, grip the wheel and just kind of close my eyes and brace for impact, but it is interesting that's the worst thing to do for rear impact. And I'm sure it's the same way to sprint car too. So you know, one thing that we've been talking about is, you know, decreasing our Hans tethers, which ironically, Kyle Busch has been really, really hard on that ever since he had his incident at Daytona years ago. So that was whenever I was first getting started in NASCAR and he pushed that hard on me to make sure that our HANS tethers are as short as we can stand. So I'll probably take another step and shortening those just so that my head is more contained. But yeah, definitely brace impact is, you know, lock your head forward and grip the wheel as tight as you can.”
Is it odd that the narrative has changed with this Next Gen car to dangers or concerns in stock car racing versus the dangers of sprint car racing?
“Yeah, I think it's very, very, very surprising and not where we want to be for sure as stock car racing in general. But the good news is, is that we realize where we're at, I think, as an industry and at least from our meeting yesterday it seems like NASCAR's you know, they understand where we're at to and everyone's focused on moving forward. But yeah, it's surprising, and I don't think anyone would have seen it coming a couple years ago.”