Nationwide Series News (3237)
NASCAR Nationwide Series News
Dakoda Armstrong and the No. 43 WinField team will head to another mile-and-a-half track this weekend. The team continues to show improvement the second half of the season but feel they can take their mile-and-a-half program to the next level, which is what they hope to accomplish this weekend. The team will refer to their notes from their June test and race weekend.
Armstrong has seven starts in different racing series at the one-and-a-half mile track, including one ARCA Series, four NASCAR Truck Series and two Nationwide Series starts. He's accumulated one Top-10 and three Top-15 finishes. Armstrong earned his best finish of ninth in the Truck Series in 2011. He earned his best Nationwide finish of 13th in 2013 and finished 20th after making contact with the wall late in the race.
This weekend, @DakodaArmstrong is looking forward to racing under the lights at @KySpeedway. #NASCAR
This weekend, @Dakoda Armstrong is looking forward to racing under the lights at @Kentucky Speedway.
"I enjoy going to Kentucky, to me it doesn't feel like a mile-and-a-half track it feels shorter. With it being such a flat track, you really need to make sure your car is good on entry. If you go there and it's really hot, there's a big difference in time with the way the car turns and the grip. It's a night race this weekend, and temperatures are supposed to be fairly mild, so that might play into our favor. It's always fun to race under the lights.
"We had a test the first time we went there, and I thought we were pretty good. It kind of went away from us a little bit during the race, so we'll go back and look at some of our notes to see what worked for us the last time."
Justin Boston will make his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series start in Saturday night’s VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Boston will make two starts in the No.20 Zloop Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing; he is also slated to start the following week at Dover International Speedway.
The twenty-five year old native from Baltimore, Maryland is currently in his sophomore season piloting the No.25 Toyota Camry for Venturini Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Series. Boston was awarded Rookie of the Year honors in 2013 and has collected two wins so far this season at Toledo Speedway and Madison International Speedway respectively.
Boston now has his sights set on the NASCAR Nationwide Series behind the wheel of the No.20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry.
"I can't begin to thank everyone enough who have put me in a position to move up to the Nationwide Series and are giving me a great shot to be successful. Joe Gibbs Racing has top notch equipment and people in their organization, and I'm just thankful to be able to be a part of it."
Boston recently tested with Crew Chief Kevin Kidd and gained some valuable seat time behind the wheel of his No.20 Nationwide Series Toyota Camry.
"I'm excited. We tested about a month ago and I thought that it went really well. I was able to work with Kevin (Kidd) and the No. 20 team during that test, so we already have some chemistry going. There’s quite a difference of course between the speeds reached in an ARCA car versus a Nationwide Series car, but I think we will be successful in getting me acclimated to those differences the more time I have behind the wheel.”
Boston has one ARCA start at Kentucky with Venturini Motorsports, collecting a top-ten finish (8th) in just his first outing at the circuit.
When asked about how he felt about stepping into a ride that has had so many accomplished drivers throughout the season, Boston said, "I really feel up to the challenge. There are definitely some big shoes to fill in driving the No. 20 Toyota, but I'll have some great teammates to lean on for these two weeks. We are testing on Tuesday at Kentucky in the ARCA car, so that additional track time this weekend should definitely help as well.”
Boston also has realistic expectations on his opportunity to step up to NASCAR’s second-tier series with his limited seat time.
"Our goals are to compete and run all the laps in both of our Nationwide Series starts, plain and simple. We’re going to take what the races give us and see where we end up. As far as being anxious, it hasn't really hit me yet. If anything, knowing that I get to work with everyone on the No.20 team is reassuring since they’re such a strong team and I'm excited to see what we can do together.”
For the second time this season, NAPA AUTO PARTS driver Chase Elliott will be making his way to the Bluegrass State when the NASCAR Nationwide Series returns to Kentucky Speedway. The 1.5-mile tri-oval is nestled in Sparta, Ky., about 40 miles southwest of Cincinnati.
Elliott enters Saturday night’s race with an 18-point lead over his JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith through the season’s first 26 races. The 18-year-old rookie has held the series’ points lead for 13 of 26 races thus far. He and his No. 9 NAPA team are hitting their stride when it matters most, riding the momentum of seven consecutive top-10 finishes. Over that stretch, Elliott has a series-best 5.4 average finish.
Of the seven remaining Nationwide Series races this season, five of them are at 1.5-mile venues (Kentucky, Kansas, Charlotte, Texas and Homestead). Two of Elliott’s three wins (Texas and Chicagoland) have come on 1.5-mile tracks.
In the battle for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors, Elliott continues to lead Ty Dillon by 56 points.
JR Motorsports PR
This past weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet Il, just outside of the windy city of Chicago, rain canceled the second round of practice for the NASCAR Nationwide series teams on Friday. Due to the rain canceling final practice, the team never got the chance to see if the changes that they made from the first practice to the second practice would work. They were 26th fastest in the first and only practice on Friday.
Qualifying was on Saturday morning and the changes the team made seemed to work, Ross Chastain and his Toyota sponsored Toyota qualified 19th for the Freaky Fast 300 that occurred later in the afternoon. Chastain came on the radio to tell the guys he was really happy with the car and to thank them for all of their hard work this week.
The team came in for their first of five stops on lap 27 when, NASCAR waved the yellow flag for the competition caution, the team quickly went to work giving Chastain four fresh tires, filled up with fuel and made some minor adjustments. When the green flag was back out Chastain was in 26th position. By lap 60 Chastain had moved back up in the field and was 22nd. On lap 65 the second caution of the night occurred for an accident in turn two involving one car, the team chose to pit for a second time and repeated the first pit stop with four tires, fuel and made some slight adjustments, this put Chastain in 20th position at the drop of the green flag on lap 70. Chastain maintained 20th position, when a third caution of the Freaky Fast 300 occurred on lap 94, again involving one car accident in turn two, the team opted to pit once again this time for two tires and fuel, while coming down pit road Chastain received a pit road speeding penalty . Green flag was back out on lap 98; on lap 136 a fourth caution of the night came out this time for debris in turn four.
On lap 137 Chastain took his No. 80 Toyota into the pits for four tires, fuel, and minor adjustments, at the time the green flag dropped on lap 139 Chastain was shown in the 24th position by NASCAR timing and scoring. After 14 laps a fifth caution of the night occurred because of fluid on the track, on lap 155 during the caution period the team pitted for its fifth and final stop of the night for four fresh Goodyear tires, filled up with Sunoco fuel and made some adjustments. The green flag flew once again on lap 159 and Chastain was sitting in the 22nd position. Lap 166 saw a sixth and final caution of the night once again for fluid on the track the green flag flew on lap 173 and by lap 180 with 20 laps to go Chastain had moved up to 14th. Kevin Harvick was the winner of the Freaky Fast 300 and Ross Chastain came home with a top- 20 finishing 19th overall.
After the race Ross Chastain had this to say “I thought we made significant gains from our 50 minute practice on Friday to Qualifying Saturday morning. Those changes proved to be way too far once the race started and I did my best to hang on to a loose racecar until we could make a swing at it. After that, I thought we had a good enough car to run inside the top 15 if we could get the track position. A speeding penalty on my end cost us that shot though. I’m proud of how my HRE boys stayed with me all weekend and never gave up. We fought hard and still put ourselves in a position to have a good finish. We learned a lot that will help us at Kentucky this week, adding to the advantage of racing two weeks in a row.”
TriStar Motorsports Announces Centershot Ministries will be on Board Blake Koch's No. 44 Camry in KentuckyWritten by Steven B. Wilson Monday, 15 September 2014 20:37
TriStar Motorsports is excited to announce that Centershot Ministries will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 44 Camry at Kentucky Speedway with Blake Koch behind the wheel.
Centershot Ministries is an interdenominational outreach ministry that uses archery as a tool to assist local church's to reach their community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Centershot ministry meets weekly for eight weeks and each meeting combines both shooting archery and Bible study.
"I am honored to have Centershot Ministries and Mathews, Inc. on the No. 44 Camry this weekend at Kentucky Speedway," said Koch. "We had a good run earlier this season in Kentucky and I look forward to racing there again this weekend."
Mathews, Inc will serve as an associate sponsor on Koch's Toyota Camry during the NASCAR Nationwide Series race weekend in Kentucky. Mathews, Inc. currently operates three local facilities to a diverse line of archery equipment, bow components and accessories for authorized retailers all over the world. Their success is based on their commitments to three steadfast core values: innovation, integrity and impact.
Daniel Suarez joined RAB Racing with Brack Maggard for his second start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.
The 22-year-old posted times fast enough for the 19th position in Friday's practice session. Final Nationwide Series practice was cancelled due to inclement weather. Suarez found even more speed on Saturday, transferring through to round two of knockout qualifying and earning the 18th-place starting position for the Jimmy John's Freaky Fast 300.
After the green flag waved, Suarez began to advance positons in his No. 29 ARRIS Toyota Camry. He had moved into the top 10 by the time the caution flag flew for a competition caution on Lap 25. Unfortunately, he got caught up in traffic on pit road causing him to emerge in 24th-place.
Luckily, it didn't take long for the rookie to move forward and he completed the 200-lap event in the 15th positon, the highest finish ever for Suarez in the Nationwide Series.
"It was a good race," said Suarez. "The first day was difficult because of the weather. Second practice was supposed to be longer than the first and we wanted to get as much seat time as possible. But at the end of the day, every team had the same amount of practice time so we just went straight into qualifying. I believe that we learned a lot throughout the race. The first pit stop was tough because we got caught up in a lot of traffic. But we ran the majority of the day in the top 20 and even in the top 10 and I am looking forward to giving the Nationwide Series another shot utilizing what I learned this weekend with RAB Racing."
RAB Racing PR
Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang, improved 12 positions in the final 40 laps of Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) event at Chicagoland Speedway to score his fifth top-five finish of the 2014 season, crossing the finish line for the final time in the fifth position.
“I am proud of my team,” said Bayne after the race. “Top five finishes are what we need here at the end of the season with our No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang. Today, we were really tight early in the race but Chad (Norris) and the guys worked really hard and were able to free it up all day long. My pit crew did a good job as well giving me track position and our restarts were really good to get spots back. Hopefully results like this will lead us to victory lane soon. But this was a really good run for us and gives us a lot of momentum heading into next week in Kentucky.”
Bayne began the 200-Lap event from the 14th position but wasted little time moving forward, improving three positions in the opening lap. Reporting a tight condition early, Bayne worked his way into the top 10 for the first time on Lap 32 after moving to the outside line. The driver of the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang maintained his position inside the top 10 until the tight handling conditioned worsened, shuffling Bayne back to 15th just prior to a Lap 92 caution.
Bayne was able to work his way back into the top 10 on the ensuing restart after making it three-wide off of the second corner, ultimately taking the eighth position. The Roush Fenway Racing driver remained in eighth until a Lap 134 caution saw Bayne improve to sixth after pitting for four tires and a chassis adjustment.
Restarting sixth, Bayne kept his AdvoCare Ford inside the top 10 until a caution on Lap 151 saw crew chief Chad Norris make a strategy call to bring Bayne back to pit road for a new set of tires. Returning to the track in 17th, Bayne was quickly able to work his way back into the top 15 after narrowly missing the sideways cars of Dylan Kwasniewski and Brendon Gaughan after the two made contact directly in front of him.
With the handling improving in the closing stages, Bayne’s fresher tires began to come into play as he was able to quickly work his way back up to seventh following a Lap 173 restart. Bayne was then able to work his way around both Ty Dillon and Elliott Sadler in the final laps and earn a fifth-place finish.
With the result, Bayne remains sixth in the championship standings and trails championship leader Chase Elliott by 80 points as the NNS heads to Kentucky Speedway next weekend.
Mike Bliss Finishes 20th: Mike Bliss and the No. 19 Tweaker Energy Shot Camry qualified 23rd for Saturday afternoon's race. Early into the race, Bliss reported that his Camry was loose, so when the competition caution came out at lap 25 the team made an air pressure adjustment and a track bar adjustment. By lap 57, Bliss was scored in 19th and continuing to gain track position. Around lap 90, Bliss came on the radio to report that his Camry was still loose. With 74 laps to go, Bliss was scored in the 20th position and reported his car was "a little tight in." With only 10 laps to go, Bliss was scored in the 22nd position and would advance two positions to finish the race 20th.
Eric McClure Finishes 26th: Eric McClure qualified 28th for the Jimmy Johns Freaky Fast 300 on Saturday morning. McClure came on the radio early into the race and reported that the No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® Camry was loose on entry, tight in the center and loose on exit. When the competition caution was shown at lap 25, McClure brought his Camry to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. With 125 laps to go, McClure was running 27th and reported his car was loose in the rear. McClure was scored in the 26th position with 20 laps to go, and would maintain his 26th position when the checkered flag waved.
Will Kimmel Finishes 28th: Will Kimmel was back in the No. 44 Camry this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. After qualifying 30th for the Jimmy Johns Freaky Fast 300, Kimmel and his team were ready to race. Early into the race, Kimmel reported that his Camry was really loose. The No. 44 team knew they had a competition caution coming up soon, so they prepared for a four tire and fuel stop, with a wedge adjustment, track-bar adjustment and an air pressure adjustment. At lap 57, Kimmel was scored in the 32nd position and was reporting that his Camry's handling was better on the long run, but it wasn't quite there at the start of the run. With 52 laps to go, Kimmel was running 31st and would advance three positions to finish the race 28th.
Making his fourth-career NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) start at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday afternoon, Kyle Larson came up just short of the win, crossing the finish line in second position while scoring his career-best finish at the 1.5-mile track.
With Colgate® Enamel Health TM aboard the No. 42 Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) car for its second weekend in a row, Larson set his sights on redemption after a disappointing finish the previous weekend at Richmond. As rained moved into the Chicago area, Larson laid down the 10th-fastest lap time during the first and only practice session of the weekend, later advancing his Colgate Chevy to the final round of knockout qualifying. The No. 42 car took the green flag from the fifth position and quickly began laying down the fastest laps on the track. With a competition caution scheduled for lap 25, crew chief Scott Zipadelli called for four tires, fuel and a slight air-pressure adjustment to tighten up Larson's entry and exit. Larson remained in the third position throughout the next two cautions, maintaining his track position after two lightning-fast pit stops. By lap 120, Larson was .02 seconds faster than his fellow competitors; a trend that continued throughout the majority of the 200-lap race. After receiving four new tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment under the fourth caution on lap 136, Zipadelli made a last-minute decision to bring the No. 42 Colgate Chevy back to pit road when the fifth caution arose on lap 153. Rejoining the field in 11th position, the NNS saw its sixth and final caution just laps later and Zipadelli told Larson to save fuel for the last restart. In the final 30 laps, Larson held his position but couldn't close the gap between he and the leader, ultimately scoring a second-place finish in the No. 42 Colgate Chevy.
Kyle Larson on Racing at Chicagoland Speedway:
"We had a great car today. I almost took the lead on one of the restarts, and that would've set us up just right but unfortunately, I got loose and fell back a few spots. Our Colgate Chevy was really fast all day. Towards the end, I think I got into some oil when the last caution waved, which caused me to get loose and make slight contact with Brian Scott. I'm really thankful to be a part of this team and I think we've got another win or two in us before the season ends. Thanks to Colgate for their support throughout the last two races. I wish we could've crossed the finish line in first, but I'll take second any day. It was a lot of fun."
Kevin Harvick got the track position he needed with a two-tire call under caution late in Saturday's Jimmy John's Freaky Fast 300.
Then he and crew chief Ernie Cope got the victory they deserved for choosing the right strategy at the right time.
Harvick beat Kyle Larson to the finish line by 2.108 seconds to win for the fourth time this season and the 44th time in his career—a numerologist’s delight for those who favor Harvick’s No. 4 Chevrolet in Sunday’s MyAFibStory.com 400, the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Larson held off third-place finisher Kyle Busch in the closing laps. Ryan Blaney ran fourth, followed by Trevor Bayne. Series leader Chase Elliott came home 10th and maintained an 18-point lead in the standings over second-place Regan Smith, his JR Motorsports teammate.
For Harvick, the tipping point came on Lap 154, when Cope called for the two-tire stop while race leader Busch took four fresh tires and got mired in traffic.
“Well, we didn’t have many laps on the tires, but that’s the call that won us the race,” Harvick said. “Ernie won the race for us, and the car was fast, but when we got out front and the tires not having many laps, and the 54 (Busch) being buried in the field—that’s what won us this race today.”
Busch, who led every lap in a dominating win last week at Richmond, looked to make Saturday’s race a runaway, too, but caution for Jeremy Clements’ blown engine on Lap 151 created an opportunity for divergent strategies and scrambled the field.
By the time the field restarted on Lap 160, Busch had led 141 laps, but after a four-tire stop under the yellow, he restarted 16th in the No. 54 Toyota and made up eight positions before the engine in teammate Denny Hamlin’s No. 20 Camry erupted on Lap 165.
Harvick, who had changed right-side tires only under the caution on Lap 154, made short work of four cars that stayed out under the yellow and surged into the lead past Aric Almirola and polesitter Brian Scott on Lap 161. But the caution for Hamlin’s engine failure bunched the field for a restart on Lap 174, with Busch taking the green flag from the eighth spot.
Harvick drove away after the restart, while Busch advanced quickly to third in the running order. But the No. 54 Toyota stalled behind Larson’s No. 42 Chevy, as Harvick cruised to the comfortable win.
“I fought my butt off the last run of the race,” Busch said. “It sucks not being in Victory Lane where we should be. This car was fast—but can’t get through traffic.”