Sunday, Oct 01
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Roush Fenway Racing’s Elliott Sadler finished in fifth place during Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) race at Michigan International Speedway. Sadler qualified for the 125 lap event on Saturday morning and started the NXS race from the 16th position. Running well, Sadler entered pit road 11th during the scheduled competition caution on Lap 26. Sadler had a fast pit stop, but was penalized for too many men over the wall. The extra man was a crew member who fell over the wall when he tried to grab a rolling tire. Sadler was penalized and had to go to the back of the field. Sadler pushed through the adversity and methodically worked his way forward with quality pit stops and disciplined passing. Sadler was able to hold his ground on the final restarts and managed to drive his No. 1 OneMain Financial Ford Mustang across the finish line in the fifth position. 

“Today was an action packed day for our No. 1 OneMain Financial Ford Mustang,” Sadler said after the race ended.  “We qualified in the middle of the field, worked forward a few spots, experienced a pit road penalty, dodged a few wrecks on our way back to the front and through quality passes and our off schedule fuel strategy, we were about to put ourselves up front in the closing laps. With only one practice yesterday, my guys worked their tails off to get my car race ready. We definitely had a fast car today and I’m glad we were able to get our first Top-5 of the season.”

Sadler started from the 16th position for the NXS race on Saturday afternoon. The competition yellow came out on Lap 26 and Sadler entered pit road 11th. The team added four tires, fuel and made a small adjustment to the track bar. However, Sadler was penalized for too many crew members over the wall. When tire carrier rolled the old tire off to the side, another crew member reached out to grab the tire and fell over the wall. Sadler was penalized for this error and had to go to the back of the field.

After the competition caution, the race went back to green for only a few laps until the next caution came out. Since Sadler was still in the back of the field, it didn’t hurt to come down pit road to top off with fuel. Plus, the team had time for a crew member to place a small piece of tape on the grill for more downforce. After the restart, Sadler battled back to 15th by Lap 40. 

At the halfway point, Sadler radioed to the team that the car was really loose and he’d like help with right rear grip. On the following pit stop, the crew made the right adjustments to the track bar and helped tighten up the car to Sadler’s liking.

With 39 laps remaining in the race, Sadler entered pit road 10th and the crew added four fresh tires, fuel and made a small wedge adjustment in the left rear.

On Lap 111, the yellow flag waved again for a big multicar wreck on the front stretch. At the time of the wreck, Sadler was scored in fifth.

With only two laps to go, Sadler raced his teammate, Chris Buescher for the fourth position. Sadler raced Buescher clean, but on the final lap of the race Buescher was able to gain the edge and pull ahead. Sadler crossed the finish line in fifth for his first Top-5 finish of the season.


Race Highlights: 


David Starr qualified 21st for the Great Clips 250, followed by Blake Koch in 25th, Cale Conley in 29th and Eric McClure in 32nd.


The 125-lap race included eight cautions for 26 laps and thirteen lead changes among seven drivers.


Eric McClure finished the 125-lap race 23rd, followed by Cale Conley in 26th, David Starr in 33rd and Blake Koch in 36th.                       


Eric McClure Finishes 23rd in the Great Clips 250


The 24th Annual Great Clips 250 Benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America, served as the third start in five years for Eric McClure. Starting the 125-lap event from the 32nd position, McClure and the Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® team knew they had some work ahead of them. An early caution allowed McClure to maneuver down pit road for a track bar adjustment. To the team's despair the No. 24 was penalized for entering too many pit boxes, which resulted in the Toyota Camry restarting at the tail end of the field. During the events third caution, McClure was running in the 30th position when radio communication began to cut out. Making an additional track bar adjustment and changing out the driver's radio, the Hefty® Camry restarted 33rd. McClure's team began discussing a green flag stop with 35-laps to go. Hearing chatter about a caution, Crew Chief Wes Ward instructed McClure to stay out and coincidently the caution flag flew the next lap. The final 30-laps were action packed and caution filled, ultimately helping McClure capitalize on the field. Jumping three spots after the last caution, McClure rallied to finish 23rd earning his career best NASCAR XFINITY Series finish at Michigan International Speedway. 

Start- 32nd        Finish- 23rd       Laps Led- 0      Points- 21 points


Driver QUOTE: "I am very proud of my race team.  They worked hard all weekend, allowed me to get better at Michigan, and helped me learn what I need to be better here [Michigan] next season. We fought through a couple of small issues, kept ourselves clean and came away with a respectable finish." 


Cale Conley finishes 26th in the Great Clips 250


Cale Conley turned his first ever laps at Michigan International Speedway in a rain-shortened practice before qualifying his Toyota Camry in the 29th position. As the race got underway, Conley began to advance position, quickly breaking into the top 20. Unfortunately, he got loose after getting too close to a competitor and spun out, bringing out the caution. Luckily, Conley was able to save the car, avoiding contact and any damage. He came down pit road for four new tires and restarted 34th. As he was making his trek back through the field, a multi car incident began in front of him. He was unable to avoid it and suffered damage to the left front fender of his Camry. The IAVA crew made swift work of repairs and he finished the 250-mile event in the 26th position.


Start- 29th    Finish- 26th     Laps Led -0      Points- 18 points


Driver QUOTE: "My IAVA Camry was the best it's been in a while and that's what makes this weekend so frustrating. But I appreciated team working hard and not giving up."


David Starr Finishes 33rd in the Great Clips 250


The luck of the rolling Irish Hills ultimately did not fair well for David Starr at Michigan International Speedway. Starr qualified 21st for the Great Clips 250 in his first XFINITY Series race at the two-mile oval. Early in the race, Starr reported the car had decent handling but was loose on entry. During the competition caution on lap 25, running in the 25th position, the Zachry Toyota Camry pitted for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. The requested changes by Crew Chief Greg Conner helped with entry and Starr advanced to 16th position. As the race progressed, the car once again became loose on entry. More adjustments were made to the No. 44 during a green flag caution on lap 87 and cycled back through the field to 28th. As the caution flagged waved on lap 91, Starr was posted as 27th and radioed the car was handling fine but he was seeking input on gaining momentum. With the concern of a potential electrical issue, Starr was directed to turn off all fans in the car and through the guidance of Spotter Keith Barnwell, Starr advanced to 20th. On lap 106, the No. 44 Zachry Camry sustained heavy damage in the rear, which ended the day for Zachry team. Starr departed the Irish Hills as 33rd in the Great Clips 250.

Start- 21st        Finish- 33rd       Laps Led- 0      Points-11 points


Driver QUOTE: "Our Zachry Toyota Camry wasn't bad today at Michigan. Unfortunately our day ended with a crash but when the race started our Zachry Toyota Camry was pretty good. We were a little loose into the corners and my Crew Chief, Greg, made an adjustment. It felt like it really helped the car. We were good through the corners and seeking momentum. I thought we would at least come home with a top-15 finish. The 62 car was spinning out. There was a car in between us. I checked up and just got taken out from behind. A good effort by Greg Conner and the Zachry team. It's just unfortunate but this is the ugly side of our sport to wreck. I really hate to wreck. I always want to finish the race and it's disappointing when you don't see the checkered flag but we will go to Chicago and give it all we've got again."


Blake Koch Finishes 36th in the Great Clips 250


Blake Koch and the No. 8 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Camry started the Great Clips 250 from the 25th position Saturday afternoon. An early caution flag waved and Koch reported that his Camry was in need of a big adjustment. He brought his Camry to pit road for a track bar adjustment and returned to the track. On lap 19, Koch was running 29th and reported that his Camry was loose tight off turn four. Under the competition caution, Koch brought his Camry to pit road for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments. After the halfway point in the 125-lap event, Koch reported smoke inside the car and brought his Camry to pit road. Due to an electrical issue, Koch was scored in the 36th position.


Start -25th       Finish- 36th      Laps Led- 0      Points- 8 points


Driver QUOTE: "This was not the day we wanted in Michigan. My guys worked hard all weekend and I hate that our day ended early. We will move onto Chicago next week. I can't thank LeafFilter Gutter Protection enough for coming on board this weekend."


Roush Fenway Racing driver Ryan Reed and the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes American Diabetes Association team finished 19th on Saturday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway (MIS)  after starting in the same position for the 125-lap event and suffering a broken splitter on Lap 20.

“We started out pretty decent and this was actually the best car I’ve ever had at Michigan,” said Reed. “It’s a shame we didn’t get to use the speed we had. We’ll regroup for Chicago next week and try to make up some ground in the points.”

After starting 19th, Reed quickly made his way through the field and was up to the 13th position by Lap 10. He had no complaints about the car other than it was a little loose on entry into the corners. Ten laps later, Reed reported that he felt a vibration in the right front of the car that felt similar to a tire going down.

Reed held on to the car until the Lap 25 competition caution. Crew Chief Seth Barbour brought Reed down pit road and the team determined that the car’s splitter had come loose.  Initially, the team made two stops to attach a bracket to the splitter and the front of the car. The team used the next several caution periods to continue repairs and re-attach the splitter. Reed held on to the 32nd position by the Lap 32 restart.

By the halfway point of the race, the team continued to make adjustments on each pit stop and Reed reported that the car was getting better. By the Lap 90 caution flag, Reed was up to the 20th position and fighting his way back through the field.

After a brief caution flag on Lap 108, the field took the green on Lap 110. Soon after, several cars in the field were involved in an incident. Reed was clipped in the right front and went spinning through the grass. The team brought Reed down pit road to move the fender away from the wheel and clean grass out of the grille of the car.

Reed restarted in the 23rd position and used the last 10 laps of the race to make his way into the top-20, eventually finishing the race in 19th.

Reed remains eighth in the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship standings after Saturday’s race. He and teammate Chris Buescher are the only NASCAR XFINITY Series regulars to win a race this season. Reed and the No. 16 team return to the track on Saturday, June 20 at Chicagoland Speedway.


Race Highlights: 

  • Brian Scott finished ninth in the Great Clips 250 Benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America and was the highest finishing Richard Childress Racing driver. Brendan Gaughan finished 12th, Ty Dillon 13th and Paul Menard 18th.
  • Brian Scott qualified second, Pau Menard fifth, Brendan Gaughan sixth and Ty Dillon ninth.
  • Next up for the NASCAR XFINITY Series is the Chicagoland 200 at Chicagoland Speedway. Catch all the action live on Saturday, June 20 at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Fox Sports 1, broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.  

Brian Scott Leads Early at Michigan International Speedway, Finishes Ninth


Brian Scott and the No. 2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet qualified in the second position for the fourth time this season on Saturday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. Scott took over the NASCAR XFINITY Series race lead early on, leading 10 laps within the first 30 laps of competition. Strategy was the name of the game for the 125-lap race at the two-mile track. A fuel only stop restarted the Shore Lodge Chevrolet in the 13th position on lap 48. Within five laps, Scott raced his way back inside the top 10 and stayed there until green-flag pit stops began on lap 74. The No. 2 Chevy came in for service including four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment and was scored ninth when the caution was displayed on lap 91. After multiple caution periods within the last 40 laps and a red flag with 13 laps to go, Scott remained inside the top 10 and went on to finish ninth.


Start - 2       Finish - 9             Laps Led - 10         Points - 7


I think we missed it a little on the tight side, staying too tight early and late. We were unable to overcome on the restarts today. We'll go get them at Chicagoland."


Ty Dillon Finishes 13th at Michigan International Speedway


Ty Dillon drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 Red Kap / Arrow Uniform Chevrolet Camaro to a 13th-place finish Saturday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway in the Great Clips 250. Dillon who qualified ninth earlier in the afternoon, raced in and around the top 15 for a majority of the 125-lap event. Despite battling a tight-handling race car, Dillon raced up to fifth place and battled with the leaders. The team struggled on green-flag restarts, but managed to gain track position on longer green-flag runs. Four pit stops allowed the No. 3 team to make adjustments to the Chevrolet Camaro, the last coming on lap 109. In the end, Dillon battled to a 13th-place finish and remained second in the NASCAR XFINITY Series driver point standings.  


Start - 9        Finish - 13       Laps Led - 0       Points - 2



"We made a few mistakes today and struggled to make the bottom line work on restarts. Our team will bounce back and make the proper adjustments for next week's race at Chicagoland Speedway."


Paul Menard Finishes 18th After Late-Race Incident at Michigan International Speedway


The No. 33 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet Camaro team started Saturday's 125-lap NASCAR XFINITY Series event from the fifth spot and battled up front until a late-race incident ended their strong run. After the green flag waved, Menard reported he was fighting a loose-handling condition all the way around the two-mile track. Crew chief Nick Harrison remedied the condition during the NASCAR-mandated competition caution on lap 25 with four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Menard restarted 11th on lap 29 and was up to ninth when the caution flag was displayed again on lap 44. A strategy call by Harrison for fuel only and a track bar adjustment on lap 46 set the Richard Childress Racing driver up for a restart in the fourth position. Menard took control of the race just 20 laps later and led the field for five laps of competition. After leading the race, Menard came to pit road from his spot in the top two but ran into trouble when the car ran out of fuel just short of his pit stall. This caused the No. 33 to lose a few positions on track. Menard fought back and gained six spots during the lap 96 restart to go from 14th to eighth in just one lap. Up to third by lap 111 and looking to move forward, the No. 33 got too loose and spun around, causing damage to the car which led to multiple repairs on pit road. Hustle by Harrison and team kept Menard on the lead lap where he finished the day in 18th.


Start - 5            Finish - 18             Laps Led - 5              Owners Points - 6



"Nick Harrison and those guys always do a great job of bringing fast cars to the track and that was no different this weekend. Our Richmond/Menards Chevy was good but loose throughout today's race. I made a move there near the end that I shouldn't have and it ended our good run. I hate it for those guys. We have a few more races left and I'm hoping to get them another win."


Brendan Gaughan Finishes 12th at Michigan International Speedway


Brendan Gaughan qualified the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet in the sixth position for Saturday afternoon's NASCAR XFINITY Series Great Clips 250 at Michigan International Speedway. The Richard Childress Racing team began battling loose-handling conditions early in the run at the two-mile speedway. When the competition caution fell on lap 25, Gaughan came to the attention of the Shane Wilson-led team to take four tires, fuel, wedge, and track bar adjustments. The Las Vegas native raced inside the top 15 for the majority of the 125-lap event. During Gaughan's green-flag pit stop on lap 87, the team received a penalty for being too fast on the exit of pit road. After receiving the lucky dog, the No. 62 RCR team restarted in the 17th position and was able to battle to a 12th-place finish when the checkered flag waved. Gaughan is currently tied for eighth in the XFINITY Series driver point standings leading into Chicagoland, the second Series standalone event


Start -   6         Finish -   12       Laps Led - 0         Points -   8     



"It wasn't the day we wanted on the race track today, but it was a great feeling having all my boys back on pit road. Happy to have Fifty (Anthony O'Brien) and Thor (Josh Wittman) back at the track kicking butt. We weren't able to get the South Point Chevrolet where we needed it to be. Head back to the shop and we will get ready for Chicago." 


Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, drove to a second-place finish in Saturday’s Great Clips 250 at Michigan International Speedway.  Elliott and the No. 9 team pieced together a masterful race, positioning themselves in the top three late in the race.  The team’s running position left them in perfect position to pounce on the lead with eight laps to go.  In the end, Elliott was unable to hold off a hard-charging Kyle Busch.  The strong finish marks Elliott’s sixth top-five effort of the season and leaves him third in the championship points standings, 35 markers behind leader Chris Buescher.

Elliott took the green flag in 12th and made a quick climb through the field, finding sixth by the competition caution on lap 25. As the race wore on, Elliott begin experimenting with different lines around the track while battling a tight condition.  With handling conditions fluctuating, Elliott’s tight car turned loose around the halfway point. 

Elliott brought the No. 9 to pit road on lap 85 for a four-tire stop, and once back up to speed, reported the handling was much improved.  Then when a caution slowed the field on lap 93, crew chief Ernie Cope elected to not pit and Elliott lined up for the ensuing restart in third.  Elliott hung on to a position inside the top five, but found third again by lap 115 and fell in line behind leader Joey Logano and second-place runner Kevin Harvick.  Moments later, Harvick made contact with Logano in turn four and the two slid up the racetrack, opening the door for Elliott to grab the lead.  Elliott settled in with the lead, but Kyle Busch mounted a hard charge at the top spot in the closing laps.  Elliott made a valiant effort to hold off Busch, however Busch made a pass on Elliott with three to go and raced to the victory. 

Following Busch and Elliott to the line were the cars of Kyle Larson, Chris Buescher and Elliott Sadler.

Chase Elliott, driver No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS team

“I’ll be honest, second does not feel as good as it should.  I thought we had a NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevy good enough to compete today.  For us to battle our way up through there, it was challenging at times.  Toward the end, we put ourselves in position on that last restart.  The 22 would have been really hard to beat today.  When Kevin [Harvick] got into him on accident, it moved him up the racetrack and opened up our opportunity to have a shot at the win. It was a good day and a solid effort, but there is still room to improve.”

JR Motorsports PR
Rookie Harrison Rhodes tied his best finish of the Xfinity Series season Saturday with a 22nd-place run in the Great Clips 250 at Michigan International Speedway.

Rhodes also finished 22nd earlier in the year at Richmond International Raceway.

Rhodes qualified 22nd and raced as high as 19th before coming home 22nd. He was a lap down to the leaders.

“We had a pretty strong car today,” Rhodes said. “We stayed out of trouble and got a decent finish out of the day. Was hoping to get a top-20 today, but we’ll shoot for that next time.”

JD Motorsports PR
A 21st-place finish in Saturday’s Great Clips 250 at Michigan International Speedway lifted rookie Ross Chastain into 15th place in the Xfinity Series driver standings.

Chastain, debuting the Rally’s/Checkers Chevrolet with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, qualified 23rd and raced strong all afternoon, finishing one lap down in 21st.

The finish boosted Chastain one spot in the seasonal standings.

“A good day today for the Rally’s/Checkers car,” Chastain said. “We are so appreciative of them coming on board for this race, and we wanted to do the best we could for them. I was hoping for a better finish, but, all in all, it was a pretty good day. We continue to stay strong in the points.”

JD Motorsports PR
A broken fuel pump cable cost Landon Cassill time in the pits and dropped him to a 35th-place finish in Saturday’s Great Clips 250 Xfinity Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

Cassill caused the day’s fourth caution when the cable snapped and stalled his car on the backstretch on lap 46.

The cable was replaced and Cassill returned to the track, but he lost a lot of time for the repairs.

“A tough day for us,” said Cassill, driving the Buddie Toys Chevrolet. “We qualified 28th and had a good car, but you can’t predict the parts failures.”

Cassill raced forward to 21st before the problem forced him to the pits.

Cassill is now in 16th place in Xfinity driver points.

Kyle Busch won the race, and Chris Buescher finished fourth to increase his point lead.

The series moves on to Chicagoland Speedway for a June 20 event.

JD Motorsports PR
Bubba Wallace started third with a strong No. 6 Ford EcoBoost Mustang for Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Michigan International Speedway.  After losing track position midway through the 125-Lap race and damage sustained after a late race accident, Wallace ultimately finished 15th

After advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying on Saturday morning, Wallace posted the third quickest lap.  As the 125-Lap race took the green, Wallace settled into the top-five, informing crew chief Chad Norris that he was a little free in traffic, but that his Mustang was very fast overall.

Wallace visited pit road for the first time of the day under the competition caution on Lap 25.  Norris opted for right side tires and fuel.  He lined up third on the ensuing restart, advancing to second by the time the caution waved again on Lap 30.

As the run progressed, Wallace radioed to the team that his Mustang was starting to get too loose, especially in turns three and four.

On Lap 45, Wallace visited pit road for left side tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment to help his loose Mustang.  The No. 6 Ford EcoBoost Mustang lined up 10th for the restart on Lap 48, but dropped a couple positions after the restart as Wallace thought he had a flat tire or that something had broken in the car.

Wallace raced right around the top-15 for remainder of the race, sustaining damage with less than 20 laps remaining, after contact with the wall.  The No. 6 Ford Mustang came down pit road for tires and to assess the damage.  Wallace gained one position in the closing laps of the race to finish 15th.

With the result, Wallace remains fifth in the NASCAR XFINITY Series point standings, as the series travels to Chicagoland Speedway for a race under the lights on Saturday night. 


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