Sunday, Oct 01
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher extended his points lead in the NASCAR XFINITY Series after leading 23 laps and finishing a solid fourth in Saturday’s race at Michigan International Speedway.

“This Roush Performance Mustang was really fast,” said Buescher.  “I told the guys with about 25 to go that this was fun.  This is how we need to show up to the races each week.  It was awesome, and they did a heck of a job.  It was a great points day, but I really wish we had a chance to run for the win there.” 

The NASCAR XFINITY Series traveled to Ford and Jack Roush’s home turf at Michigan International Speedway for the thirteenth race of the season.  Teams lined up on pit road for qualifying under cloudy skies on Saturday morning.

After leading a pack off pit road late in round two of qualifying, Buescher netted a 20th-place starting position, as the cars towards the back of the pack benefitted more from the draft at the fast two-mile track.

As the 125-Lap race started, Buescher set his sights on the top-10, advancing 10 positions by Lap 23.  Two laps later the caution flag waved, with Buescher informing his team that his car was just a little too free in traffic, but was really good on its own.

Buescher entered pit road in 10th, but a two tire strategy call by crew chief Scott Graves moved the No. 60 into third for the ensuing restart.

With right side tires, Buescher settled solidly into the top-five, running in fourth for the majority of the run before the caution flew on Lap 44.

On Lap 46, Graves called his driver down pit road for left side tires and fuel.  Buescher restarted fifth, but dropped back to 11th on the restart, radioing to the team that his car was much too loose.  Graves told his driver he would need to wait for the air pressure in the left side tires to build up.

As the run progressed, Buescher made up the lost ground with a car that was one of the quickest on the track.  The No. 60 Roush Performance Ford inherited the lead on Lap 79, as green flag pit stops cycled through.

Buescher made his way down pit road from the lead for a green flag pit stop on Lap 88 for right side tires and fuel.  Just a few laps later on Lap 91, the caution flew with Buescher in second-place.

With the race leader short on fuel, Buescher again inherited the lead as the No. 22 visited pit road.  A fast restart by Buescher on Lap 96 gave him a slight lead over the field, before the caution flew again on Lap 101.

On the following restart, Buescher lost a few positions, dropping back to eighth.  He spent the rest of the race fighting back for the lost positions, ultimately crossing the finish line in fourth.

With the fourth-place result, Buescher extends his points lead to 25 over second-place Ty Dillon.  The NASCAR XFINITY Series returns to action Saturday evening at Chicagoland Speedway for a race under the lights.

NFL veteran wide receiver and former Detroit Lion Nate Burleson is now teammates with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Cole Whitt. Burleson, who is also the owner of Lionblood Clothing, has partnered with the 23-year-old driver to offer Whitt-branded merchandise in the company's collection of shirts, hoodies and accessories.


Burleson launched Lionblood while playing for the Lions, and the company is still based in Detroit. The made-in-the-U.S.A. lifestyle brand represents individuals who are fearless, who have boundless courage that pushes them to try harder and pride that drives them to never quit until they succeed.


Whitt, whose hard work and perseverance helped him reach NASCAR's premier series at a young age, was a natural fit for the brand. The driver of the No. 35 Ford for Front Row Motorsports even has a fitting nickname -- "Ginger Lion" -- bestowed by teammates for his strength-training regimen and bright red hair.


"I got introduced to Nate through a friend and really liked his style," Whitt said. "It fits with my style. Lionblood isn't just the brand, it's an attitude. It's working hard and feeling empowered that you can reach your goals, which is a mindset I try to have every day."


"Lionblood is excited to align ourselves with an athlete like Cole Whitt," Burleson said. "Not only is he known as the 'Ginger Lion,' but he embodies all of the characteristics of a Lionblood consumer and what we as a brand would like to convey. Cole takes care of his body, so he's preparing himself to conquer his jungle -- the track."

Lionblood is currently distributed through retail outlets in the Midwest with expanding availability in the South and East Coast regions. Lionblood also has a retail following nationally and internationally through its website The first shirt in the Cole Whitt Collection is available for sale on the site now.


The rain stayed away at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, allowing Ryan Blaney and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team a chance to qualify for the Quicken Loans 400 at one of the tracks that mean the most to them.

Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew responded in a big way, earning the fifth starting spot for Sunday’s 400 mile race.

Michigan International Speedway is the home track for Ford Motor Company, the long-time backer of the Wood Brothers and the team’s iconic No. 21 Ford. Sunday’s race will be the 91st at Michigan for the Woods, and their car will start in the top-five for the 24th time.

Blaney, and his crew chief Jeremy Bullins managed that feat despite the fact that neither of them had ever competed at Michigan at the Sprint Cup level. Nonetheless, Blaney posted the 10th-fastest time in practice on Friday with a best lap at 199.917 miles per hour. Then, in the three rounds of qualifying, he bettered his speed each time, posting a lap at 201.056 mph in the final round.

“It's really all you can ask for to be better and better in the three rounds,” Blaney said. “Everyone did a great job. Jeremy (Bullins) did a great job of getting us better.”

It was the second top-five qualifying effort for Blaney and Bullins in the past three races, along with a fourth-place start at Talladega Superspeedway.

“It was a good effort for us,” Blaney continued. “We needed it. We're excited about Sunday.”

In the days leading up to Friday, the main worry for the Wood Brothers and for the entire Motorcraft/Quick Lane team was the weather. Rain was forecasted, and if qualifying had been washed out, the team had the least qualifying attempts this season of the 44 teams vying for 43 spots. The prospect of missing the race was on Eddie Wood’s mind all week.

“I tried every weather app that I could find on my phone, and they all showed rain,” the team co-owner said. “My son Jon was the only one who said otherwise. He had been studying the models throughout the day and said we would probably get to qualify. He was the one that was right.”

“It was a real relief to get to qualify. It was a humbling day. But I couldn’t be more proud of Ryan and Jeremy and the entire Motorcraft/Quick Lane team.”

With the Sprint Cup Series racing at Michigan, all teams want to be at their best. For Wood and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team, it’s a relief to be in the show on Sunday for many reasons.

“First off, Ford Performance and Motorcraft/Quick Lane are bringing 2,100 employees to the track on Sunday, and getting to talk to them and visit with them is really big for us,” he said. “It wouldn’t have been as meaningful for them or for us if we weren’t in the race.”

And, with a top-five starting spot, the prospects for a successful Sunday look promising, as Blaney pointed out.

“Track position is pretty important here, and qualifying well gives you a good spot in the pits,” he said. “That's what we wanted. It sets up your whole weekend. The Motorcraft/Quick Lane car was really good from the first laps. It just shows the preparation from all these guys at Wood Brothers Racing. They do a good job preparing these cars and I think it showed today."

Wood Brothers Racing PR
Racing under the lights at Kingsport Speedway on Friday turned out to be a night of firsts, with four competitors capturing their first-ever feature wins at “The Concrete Jungle.”

Justin Fontaine of Fletcher, N.C., drove a flawless race in the first of twin NASCAR Whelen All-American Series “First Kingsport Credit Union” Late Model Stock Car features to record his first career victory, while divisional point leader Ronnie McCarty of Kingsport drove to his fifth win in the second 35-lap event.

Joey Trent and Fontaine led the field to green from the front row. The duo raced side-by-side the opening seven laps before Fontaine moved ahead when Trent got loose racing up off (turn) two. Before Trent could reel his mount in, Kres VanDyke shot by into second place with Trent settling in the third spot.

With the race running clean-and-green and receiving the five laps remaining signal from the flag stand, the 17-year-old Fontaine looked like a veteran pacing the field out front with defending track champion VanDyke riding in his rearview mirror.

Fontaine recorded the victory over VanDyke, Trent, McCarty and Zeke Shell.

McCarty and Shell started the second race from the front row, and they battled over the first eight laps before McCarty surged ahead for the lead. But Shell stayed glued to McCarty’s rear bumper and they began to put some distance between themselves and their closest challengers VanDyke, Wayne Hale, Trent, Fontaine and Austin Peters, with the top seven cars all on the same straightaway.

With Fontaine and Hale battling for real estate around the .375-mile banked concrete oval, on lap 20 with Fontaine running on the outside and Hale to his inside, Hale came across Fontaine’s nose on the front straightaway and momentarily climbed up over Fontaine’s hood onto the concrete wall. With sparks flying from the grinding crash, the two cars came to a halt near the turn one pit gate to bring out the red flag for emergency personnel to rush to the scene. Thankfully both drivers were able to climb uninjured from their badly damaged rides to cheers from the crowd.

Back under green following the caution period, McCarty and Shell dueled for the lead over six circuits before once again McCarty flexed his muscle to pull ahead. While Shell stayed right on McCarty’s back bumper, he wasn’t able to mount a charge to overtake him for the lead.

McCarty captured his fifth Late Model Stock Car win, with Shell, VanDyke, Peters and Trent rounding out the top five finishers.

Jared Broadbent of Bakersville, N.C., led flag-to-flag in capturing his second Street Stock win of the season, with the legendary veteran Paul Shull, Royce Peters, John Harrell and Mark Christian rounding out the top five at the finish.

Dylan Bates jumped out to the lead at start of the 25-lap Pure 4 feature and never looked back, impressively rolling to apparently his first-ever victory. But the win was nullified when his car failed post-race technical inspection due to a ride height infraction, thus moving Tim Abelseth of Bristol up one position to get his first career Pure 4 victory over Billy Ketron, Keith Helton, Kenny Absher and Jason Ketron.

Rocky Yates of Abingdon, Va., arrived late to the track and missed both practice and qualifying, which put him starting at rear of the field for the 25-lap Mod 4 feature. Kirby Gobble took the lead at the start over Chris Amburgey and Hershell Robinette. But Yates was up-on-the-wheel charging forward, getting around Robinette for third on lap 5 and one circuit later overtaking Amburgey for second.

Yates quickly closed to Gobble’s back bumper and made the pass for the lead on lap 10, and went on to record the victory over Billy Duty, Gobble, Robinette and Amburgey.

Ben Barker of Bluff City impressively rolled to his first Rookie Pure 4 win over Dwayne Banks, Chris Wilhelm, Larry Stapleton and Dennis Stanley.

Hannah Ottinger of Rogersville got her first-ever Legend victory over Derek Lane, Alexcia Ray, Les Ottinger and Trey Lane.

Kingsport Speedway PR

Ross Kenseth said he came to Michigan International Speedway for one thing Friday: “learn to win.” Mission accomplished.

Kenseth, 22, making his third career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards start, won Friday’s Corrigan Oil  200, winning at the two-mile speedway by 2.1 seconds over Frank Kimmel. Kenseth led 51 laps in taking the win in the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet. He took the lead from Grant Enfinger on lap 87 of the 100 lap race.

“I felt like unless something weird happened, we pretty much had it,” Kenseth said. “I started backing way off and saving fuel there. I felt we were good on gas. We had a heck of a battle with Grant, hats off to him for racing me clean. He did everything he could to keep me back there. We got along side of him. That’s pretty much what we needed.”

“It feels great. I thought we had one of the cars to beat all weekend.”

Kimmel finished second, Austin Wayne Self third and Tom Hessert fourth in the Corrigan Oil 200, the ninth race on the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Matt Kurzejewski was fifth. Josh Williams finished sixth, David Levine seventh and Enfinger eighth, the last car on the lead lap. Sarah Cornett-Ching finished ninth and Bob LeMastus 10th.

Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell was rained out Friday morning and ARCA started the field based on Thursday’s practice speeds. That put Kimmel in first and Kenseth second. Kenseth immediately grabbed the lead on the first lap and led the first 37 laps of the race before a light rain hit the track and ARCA officials threw the caution flag.

Most of the cars near the front of the field went to pit road, except for Kurzejewski, who stayed on the track and led the next nine laps. Enfinger took the lead when the field went back to green and led until lap 86. His 40 laps led included both yellow and green flag runs.

Kenseth took the lead under the green flag on lap 87.

“I moved to the bottom there to get away from him and it helped my front end a lot,” Kenseth said. “He started to block the bottom. I think he thought I was going to go to the yellow line in one and I half way got there then went to the outside. I got a huge run off of two and, if he didn’t lift, we were both going to wreck. It was a lot of fun.”

Enfinger had to pit inside of 10 laps to go for Sunoco fuel, but still finished eighth and will leave Michigan with the ARCA Racing Series point lead over Hessert and Williams.

Self, in the No. 98 AM Technical Solutions-Pirate Energy Chevrolet, was on a different pit strategy than other cars, pitting under some of the caution flags.

“We started seventh and drove a little bit at the beginning of the race with a tight race car,” Self said. “Fortunately we were able get some of the cautions to work on the car. We knew with fuel we were able to do things a bit different. We didn’t have to worry about fuel mileage. We were able to dig, dig and dig.”

Kimmel, in the No. 25 Ansell-Menards Toyota, tied his season-best finish of second.

“I thought I learned a lot today,” Kenseth said. I had a lot of fun out there. The re-starts were real challenging. I had a couple moments there where we were kind of on the edge of wrecking. Being back in traffic in re-starts, I learned a lot about timing. It just gives me a little more confidence going into next week knowing I can run on these big tracks.”

Kenseth will make his NASCAR Xfinity debut next week at Chicagoland.

“I have a big week ahead of me. Today went as planned. Hopefully we can keep this rolling for the next week and a half.”

Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is NASCAR’s fastest track and the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It’s the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike.

Rally’s and Checkers restaurants will be riding with talented rookie driver Ross Chastain as he competes in Saturday’s Great Clips 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

The JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team has announced that Rally’s and Checkers will be on board Chastain’s No. 4 Chevrolet for the MIS race weekend.

“It’s a great partnership for us,” Chastain, one of the sport’s leading rookies, said. “Rally’s and Checkers are great stops for race fans. They serve good food fast – a treat for everybody. Rally’s slogan of ‘Crazy Good Food’ really fits.”

Rally’s and Checkers promise bold flavor at an unbelievable value, and the restaurants’ constant innovation has made Rally’s/Checkers one of the nation’s leading quick-service restaurant brands. Thirty-eight new locations were opened in 2014, and between 40 and 50 new restaurants are planned for this year. The restaurants specialize in hamburgers, chicken, fish and delicious fries.

Locations in Jackson, Adrian, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, Michigan are spearheading this weekend’s partnership with Chastain and the JD Motorsports team.

“It’s great to have the Rally’s and Checkers folks on board,” said team owner Johnny Davis. “Their support gives us a real shot at a great weekend in Michigan. And, as a side benefit, I’m sure we’ll pick up a burger or two.”

JD Motorsports PR, one of the Internet’s largest online automotive inventory websites, will make their fourth appearance as the primary sponsor of the No. 40 Chevrolet SS and NASCAR driver Landon Cassill at the Quicken Loans 400. joins Hillman Racing at Michigan International Speedway, NASCAR’s fastest track, for the second consecutive year this Sunday, June 14, 2015.

“We’re excited to take the yellow Chevy SS to Michigan International Speedway this weekend,” said Sean Coffman of  “With Landon coming off of two consecutive top-25 finishes, we hope to thrill NASCAR fans with an impressive finish!”

“Michigan is a track that lends itself to three-wide racing which makes for an exciting race for the fans. We’re looking forward to getting the Chevrolet up front on Sunday,” said Cassill, who made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at MIS in June of 2010. features simple search functions and a fully responsive design to aid consumers in finding their next vehicle. Inventory listings from nearly 20,000 dealers nationwide make an effective outlet to connect buyers with sellers of vehicles. The Product Suite also offers dealers across the country comprehensive dealership management solutions.

Hillman Racing PR


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