Nationwide Series News (3174)
NASCAR Nationwide Series News
Dakoda Armstrong made his first-ever start at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway this past April and has been ready to come back ever since. While the team posted a 17th-place finish in Armstrong's debut at the .75-mile track, the finish doesn't tell the whole story. In fact, the No. 43 WinField Ford was fast enough to gain a lap back on its own after a tire had gone down in the first half of the race.
Armstrong and the WinField team are confident that they can showcase the same speed if not more at Richmond this weekend and are looking for a Top-Five finish. The RPM team already accumulated one Top-Five and three Top-10 finishes in just five starts at the Virginia track over the last three years.
.@DakodaArmstrong & #43 @WinFieldInsight team know they're fast at @RIRInsider. Look for Top-5 finish this weekend. #NASCAR
@Dakoda Armstrong and No. 43 WinField team were fast enough to gain a lap by themselves at @Richmond International Raceway in April when a tire went down. This weekend, they're looking for the same speed and a Top-Five finish.
"I thought Richmond was our best track at the beginning of the season. We had some issues with right front tires. This time around Goodyear is going to Richmond with a different tire, and that's going to help us a lot. We were Top-10 in both practices last time, and I thought we had a lot of speed. We were actually fast enough to gain our lap back ourselves after the tire went down. I think we have a good shot to run in the Top-Five there. Richmond is one track that we've circled on our calendar, and I'm looking forward to going back and redeeming ourselves."
Jamie Dick held on to his Viva Auto Group Chevrolet to pass the finish line in 27th place in the Great Clips 300. The Viva Motorsports team rolled into Atlanta looking to capitalize on the momentum they have built over the summer, but the slippery fast racetrack proved to be a lot to handle. After struggling to find the right balance in practice, crew chief Mark Setzer decided to regroup and put in a new setup for the race. That proved to be the right decision as driver, Jamie Dick was able to gain a few spots at the drop of the green flag. An extended caution due to rain in the middle of the race allowed the team to take a gamble and stretch the fuel and the tires on the No. 55 Chevy Camaro through the final segment of the race. That strategic call made the racecar a handful to drive, but gave the advantage of improved track position. Jamie Dick was able to bring the car home in 27th position.
"We never got the handle quite right with our racecar. The lack of grip at Atlanta can be quite tricky and we never found the right combination all weekend," said Jamie Dick. "But we raced the race properly. We used a little strategy and executed our pit stops and that kept us in the fight all night."
Viva Motorsports PR
Having not competed at Atlanta Motor Speedway since 2012, Eric McClure was eager to get back behind the wheel of the No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® Camry at the 1.5-mile speedway for Saturday night's Great Clips 300. Earning a track-best starting spot of 25th, McClure struggled early in the race with the car's handling but after the right chassis adjustments were made throughout the 195-lap event, he was able to rebound to post a 24th-place finish. With this result, McClure maintained the 19th spot in the NASCAR Driver Point standings.
When the green flag fell, McClure quickly expressed his displeasure with the way the car was driving, especially since it handled well in qualifying just a few hours earlier. By lap 40, the car still lacked rear grip and was getting worse every lap, thus causing McClure to slip to the 32nd position in the running order. On lap 46, McClure brought the Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® Camry to pit road for a scheduled green flag pit stop. Crew Chief Wes Ward called for four tires (one-lap scuffs), fuel, and he took a major swing at the loose-handling condition with a significant track-bar adjustment. When all green flag pit stops were completed, McClure was scored in the 30th position.
Over the next 20 laps, the No. 14 Camry still lacked rear grip, but the handling was much better than before. This allowed McClure to advance to the 29th position before the caution flag waved on lap 72 for debris. After pitting for four sticker tires, fuel, and track-bar and air-pressure adjustments, McClure was scored in the 28th spot on the lap 77 restart and by the halfway point of the race, McClure had advanced one position to 27th.
As the race continued, the car's drivability continued to show improvement and by lap 100, McClure was scored in the 26th position. On lap 120, the event's final caution flag waved and this allowed McClure to return to pit road for four sticker tires, fuel and a slight air-pressure adjustment. Just as McClure returned to the track, light rain began to fall and the caution period was extended to dry the track. This actually helped the Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® team because before the caution period was extended, they were 10 laps short on fuel. However, by returning to pit road for fuel only with one lap to go before the race resumed on lap 133, McClure was able to make it to the end of the race without having to return to pit road. Despite restarting 30th with 62 laps remaining, McClure was able to advance six positions in the final laps to post a 24th-place finish in Friday night's Great Clips 300.
Eric McClure Quotes: "Tonight was certainly not what we had hoped for. We struggled early but we were decent at one point running with the cars around the top 15. Wes and the guys did a great job making adjustments throughout the night and getting us some spots late. Jason Jarrett kept us safe and we never quit. It was a good comeback for our team in the final stages."
Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet, battled handling issues throughout the evening, ultimately prevailing to bring home a solid third-place finish in his second-career NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
As the weekend kicked off at the Georgia track, Larson showed speed as he ran top-10 times during both practice sessions. Larson continued to improve and advanced to the final round of knockout qualifying, ultimately claiming a second-place starting spot for the No. 42 Cartwheel Chevy. As the 195-lap race began, Larson quickly settled into the top five, looking to find more grip on the racetrack and challenge for the race lead. Maintaining his spot within the top five until green-flag pit stops began to cycle through, Larson was called to pit road by crew chief Scott Zipadelli called on lap 50 for four tires, fuel and a few adjustments to improve the handling. Larson remained inside the top five until the first caution flew at lap 73. Under caution, Larson once again brought the Cartwheel Chevy down pit road for four tires and fuel, along with a wedge adjustment. Following the restart, Larson worked his way up to the third position before the second and final caution flag waved on lap 121. With Larson still experiencing loose conditions, Zipadelli brought his driver back down pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. As the race resumed, Larson quickly settled into fourth, eventually working his way up to the third position during a long green-flag run. With just 12 laps remaining, Zipadelli opted for a quick green-flag pit stop to give Larson four fresh tires to race to the finish line. Larson wheeled the No. 42 Cartwheel Chevy past two competitors after rejoining the field and ultimately crossed the finish line in the third position. This marks the 11th top-five finish for Larson and his Turner Scott Motorsports team in 20 starts this season.
Kyle Larson on Racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Well, that was somewhat of a frustrating night for our No. 42 Cartwheel Chevy team. We had a quick racecar all weekend; however, we just weren't able to challenge for the race lead like we had hoped heading into the night. This entire team worked hard to give me a solid car, but I wish I could've had better control of my handling to make more passes. I'm looking forward to getting to Richmond next week and redeeming myself from earlier this year. We keep getting these top-five finishes, but I think we're all ready for a win."
The NASCAR Nationwide Series made its first and only stop of the 2014 season this weekend at the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Great Clips 300. Dylan Kwasniewski and his No. 31 Rockstar Energy Drink team looked for a solid finish in the young rookie's debut at the Hampton, Georgia track. Kwasniewski started the weekend off by making it to the second round of NASCAR's knockout qualifying, placing the Rockstar Chevy 15th on the starting grid. After fighting a loose racecar for the majority of the race and suffering a pit road speeding penalty toward the end of the 195-lap event, Kwasniewski crossed the finish line in 21st position.
Following the drop of the green flag, Kwasniewski maintained his position on the restart and settled into the 15th spot. By lap 19, Kwasniewski reported to crew chief Shannon Rursch that his Rockstar Energy Drink Chevy was loose everywhere. Despite the free condition, Kwasniewski would maintain his position in the top 15 until making his first green-flag pit stop on lap 50. During the stop, Rursch called for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Once green-flag pit stops cycled through, Kwasniewski found himself in 17th on lap 54. Kwasniewski continued to stay in the top 20 and was scored in the 18th position when the first caution of the night came out on lap 73. Still fighting a loose racecar, Rursch called Kwasniewski down pit round for another set of Goodyear Tires, fuel and adjustments to help tighten up the Rockstar Energy Drink Chevy. Restarting in 20th, Kwasniewski continued to battle until the final caution of the night came out on lap 120. Making his last pit stop under caution, Rursch called for big changes to the Rockstar Energy Drink Chevy. Kwasniewski would maintain his position and restart 20th, quickly telling Rursch that the changes helped. Kwasniewski later made one more green-flag pit stop and continued to battle for the rest of night, ultimately coming home in the 21st position
Dylan Kwasniewski on Racing at Atlanta:
"Today was a tough day for this Rockstar Energy Drink Team. We just battled a loose racecar all night and couldn't recover. Despite our finish, my guys worked hard all weekend and I couldn't be more proud of them. I learned a lot tonight that I think we can take with us and grow on. We will put this one behind us and move on to Richmond next weekend".
Roush Fenway Racing rookie of the year contender Ryan Reed battled a loose race car in Saturday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, ultimately bringing his No. 16 American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop DiabetesSM presented by Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang home in 18th.
“We battled a pretty loose Drive to Stop Diabetes Mustang all night,” said Reed. “Seth [Barbour] and the team never gave up and kept trying to make our car better all night. I’m proud of how hard everyone worked.”
Reed started in 12th on Saturday afternoon, after qualifying was briefly delayed due to rain. From the drop of the green flag, Reed informed the crew that his race car was much too loose, telling the team that he was dead sideways.
Crew Chief Seth Barbour brought his driver down pit road on Lap 52 to adjust on the handling of the No. 16 Mustang. The team opted for four tires, fuel as well as multiple chassis adjustments to help the loose race car.
On the next run, Reed’s Mustang was still too loose on entry, but had tightened up in the center. As the green flag run progressed and tires continued to wear, Reed’s Mustang swung back to the loose side.
The team brought the No. 16 Mustang back down pit road on Lap 114 to work on the handling again, taking four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Reed held on to his loose race car for the remainder of the evening, eventually crossing the finish line in 18th.
With the finish Reed remains ninth in the NNS point standings heading to Richmond International Raceway.
Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang, recorded his 10th-consecutive top-15 finish on Saturday night in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) event at Atlanta Motor Speedway after taking the checkered flag in the 12thposition.
“We were quick on the short runs tonight,” said Bayne after the race. “The cautions just didn’t play in our favor. We were in position for much of the race to get the free pass after we got caught a lap down, but it just wasn’t meant to be for us tonight. I just want to thank Chad (Norris) and all of the guys on our No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang for all of their hard work this weekend. We’ve already got Atlanta in our rear-view mirror and are ready to get to Richmond next weekend.”
Bayne took the green flag from the seventh position after advancing to the third round of knockout qualifying at the 1.54-mile oval. From the drop of the green, Bayne reported in to crew chief Chad Norris that the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang was loose both on entry and exit of the corners. Battling this loose condition, Bayne was shuffled outside of the top 10 but was able to maintain his position inside the top 15 just prior to the first round of green flag pit stops.
In an attempt to make up track position, crew chief Norris decided to short pit the No. 6 Ford and called Bayne to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment on Lap 40. The decision initially worked out well as Bayne was able to improve from 14th to 10th once the cycle of green flag pit stops ended. However, as the green flag run progressed, the extra laps on Bayne’s tires caused his lap times to fall off faster than the cars around him. This ultimately cost him a lap to the race leaders as he came back to pit road for the second time from the 12th position on Lap 75.
Returning to the track in 15th, Bayne utilized a Lap 77 restart to improve to 11th and into position for the free pass back onto the lead lap if the caution were to come out. Throughout the ensuing green flag run, the loose handling condition returned to the No. 6 Ford. As Bayne battled both the car and the track, the No. 11 of Elliott Sadler was able to get past and into the free pass position just prior to a Lap 117 caution for debris.
After pitting for four tires and adjustments, Bayne left pit road in 12th and battled with Roush Fenway Racing teammate Chris Buescher for position as the race restarted. As the green flag run continued, Bayne once again found himself in position for the free pass, but the caution never came back out. In the end, Bayne was unable to get back onto the lead lap and was scored with a 12-place finish.
With the result, Bayne remains sixth in the championship standings and trails championship leader Chase Elliott by 71 points as the NNS heads to Richmond (Va.) International Raceway next weekend.
Landon Cassill continued his fine late-season Nationwide Series run Saturday night with a 15th-place finish in the Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
In the past eight races, Cassill has five finishes of 16th or better.
“Our cars have been great lately, and we’re getting in some good runs,” Cassill said. “Tonight was another good example. The car got better as the race went on.”
Cassill, driving the G&K Services Chevrolet for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, ran as high as 13th on the super-fast track.
With the finish, Cassill stayed in 11th place in the Nationwide driver standings. He is 30 points out of 10th.
Sprint Cup regular Kevin Harvick won the race. Chase Elliott remains in the points lead.
The series moves on to Richmond International Raceway for a Sept. 5 race.
JD Motorsports PR
Jeffrey Earnhardt scored a 25th-place finish in Saturday night’s Great Clips 300 Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Earnhardt qualified 28th and ran as high as 22nd in the super-fast race, which finished with only two caution flags.
“It wasn’t the finish we were looking for,” Earnhardt said. “The pace of the race was tremendous. With so few cautions, there were few chances to make up ground. But it was good to get another finish in. We’ll go on from here.”
Earnhardt is 18th in Nationwide Series points.
Sprint Cup regular Kevin Harvick won the race. Chase Elliott remains in the points lead.
The series moves on to Richmond International Raceway for a Sept. 5 race.
JD Motorsports PR
- Richard Childress Racing teammates Brian Scott, Ty Dillon and Brendan Gaughan finished seventh, ninth and 14th, respectively.
- Dillon ranks third in the Nationwide Series championship point standings, trailing current leader Chase Elliott by 35 points, while Scott ranks fifth and Gaughan is eighth.
- Kevin Harvick earned his third victory of the 2014 season and was followed to the finish line by Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott.
- The next Nationwide Series race is the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, September 5 and is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN2 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Brian Scott Earns Another Top-10 with Seventh-Place Finish in Atlanta
Brian Scott and the No. 2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet team had another top-10 run in Saturday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After qualifying ninth, Scott and the Phil Gould-led team remained in the top-10 and crossed under the checkered flags in seventh place. Once the initial green flag waved, Scott moved up to seventh by lap 25 and was sixth when pitting for the first time on lap 51. On that green-flag stop, the No. 2 Chevrolet took four tires, fuel and slight chassis adjustments. From there, Scott said the car became tight on restarts and then loose during the longer runs. More stops for a right-rear spring rubber, adjustments, fuel and tires kept the team competitive throughout the 195-lap race. A slight drizzle slowed the pace of the race from lap 126 to 133, but from that restart on through the rest of the laps was all green-flag action. A final stop for fuel, tires and slight adjustments on lap 176 kept Scott on the lead lap for his seventh-place finish; his 14th top-10 of the year. The NNS now heads to Richmond International Raceway for Friday night under-the-lights action.
Start - 9th Finish - 7th Laps Led - 0 Points - 5th
BRIAN SCOTT QUOTE:
"The car was pretty good all night long, we just struggled on the restarts. I came into this wanting to really have a great race at this 1.5-mile track. We qualified and raced in the top-10, our pit stops were good and we managed our tires really well. I would have liked a better result, but we'll take this top-10 and head to Richmond this Friday night."
Ty Dillon Finishes Ninth under lights at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Ty Dillon drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 Yuengling Light Lager Chevrolet Camaro to a ninth-place finish Saturday night in the Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, recording the team's 17th top-10 finish of the season. Dillon, who qualified 14th earlier in the afternoon, quickly showed his No. 3 Camaro was a top-five car. He cracked the top-10 by lap 14 and found his way inside the top-five by lap 92. Dillon battled a tight-handling race car, which crew chief Danny Stockman was able to adjust during pits stops on laps 48 and 73. On lap 134, Dillon restarted sixth and raced three-wide for the better part of two laps. The nose-to-nose racing consequently created a tight-handling race car for Dillon, who dropped four spots back to 10th-place. Stockman called the No. 3 Yuengling Light Lager Chevrolet Camaro to pit road one last time on lap 174 for four Goodyear Racing tires, Sunoco fuel and an air pressure adjustment for the race's final 21 laps. In the end, Dillon crossed the finish line ninth, keeping the team in contention for the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship. The 22-year-old driver was the second Sunoco Rookie of the Year to cross the finish line.
Start - 14th Finish - 9th Laps Led - 0 Points - 3rd
TY DILLON QUOTE:
"I'm disappointed on how we finished, for sure. We had a car that was good enough to finish inside the top-five. We just got too tight there at the end and cost us some track position. Now we'll move on to Richmond."
Brendan Gaughan Finishes 14th at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Brendan Gaughan and the South Point Hotel & Casino team unloaded with a newly-prepared Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet for Saturday night's race. The 39-year-old driver qualified 16th for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 to Benefit Feed the Children at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gaughan began reporting tight-handling conditions early in the 195-lap race. The Shane Wilson-led team took every opportunity to improve the handling and on lap 75 took four Goodyear tires, Sunoco fuel and adjusted air pressures. On lap 112, the Las Vegas-native reported he was fighting 50-50 with tight and loose conditions. The No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino team finished the night in the 14th position. Brendan Gaughan remains eighth in the driver point standing as the Series heads to Richmond International Raceway.
Start - 16th Finish - 14th Laps Led - 0 Points - 8th
BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTE: