Nationwide Series News (3358)
NASCAR Nationwide Series News
Richard Childress Racing and South Point Hotel & Casino announced today the renewal of their partnership for the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series season with driver Brendan Gaughan.
"The South Point Hotel & Casino is pleased to return as primary sponsor of the Richard Childress Racing No. 62 Chevrolet Camaro in the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series season." said Michael Gaughan, owner of the South Point Hotel & Casino. "Watching Brendan and the RCR team in victory lane this season has been a lot of fun for South Point and the Gaughan family. We are looking forward to more great accomplishments next season."
South Point Hotel & Casino's partnership with Richard Childress Racing began in 2012 with Gaughan running a limited Nationwide Series schedule and eight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. The partnership continued in 2013 with a full time Camping World Truck Series schedule where the team finished seventh in the driver championship point standings. South Point Hotel & Casino made the full time move to the Nationwide Series for the 2014 season.
"Returning to victory lane this season has been a big morale booster for not only me but for my team as well," said Brendan Gaughan. "For the remainder of the year we will continue to learn and find things that work to get us a leg up on the competition for next season. I can't wait for next year with the No. 62 RCR team and to contend for the XFINITY Series championship."
The Las Vegas-native collected his first-career win at Road America in June, which was only the third time in NASCAR history a race has been run in the rain. This victory came after he made 98 Nationwide Series starts. Gaughan returned to victory lane three months later at Kentucky Speedway in September. With only three races left this season, the 39-year-old driver leads the Nationwide Series regulars with most green flag passes (1,813), earning two top-five and six top-10 finishes with 54 laps led.
Gaughan's two wins add to RCR's 2014 Nationwide Series overall accomplishments, which include four victories and four pole awards.
"Michael, Brendan and the entire Gaughan family have been great to work with and I am very pleased we can continue our winning ways with them next season," said Richard Childress, chairman and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "Brendan is an asset to RCR and his wins this year show what hard work and dedication can achieve."
NASCAR today announced three key enhancements in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the 2015 season.
The updates include:
- Beginning next season, the qualifying rule for the NASCAR XFINITY Series (currently the NASCAR Nationwide Series) and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will resemble that of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and will emphasize speed.
- The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series maximum starting field will be set at 32 trucks.
- The drivers’ last name will be featured on the back window of each series’ cars and trucks, helping fans to better identify the drivers.
“Our mission of providing the best on-track product possible is always among our top objectives,” said Robin Pemberton, senior vice president of competition and racing development. “We’re confident in the direction these changes will take these series.”
2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Qualifying Procedure
Next season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, cars starting in positions 1-33 will be determined by their fastest single lap during qualifying in descending order with the fastest qualifier starting first. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will follow the same procedure for positions 1-27.
In the XFINITY Series, the next six positions will first be assigned to the highest ranking cars in owner points that have attempted all of the races, have not already earned a starting position through qualifying and have entered the event by the posted entry deadline. The final starting position will be awarded to the most recent eligible past champion driver. If there is no eligible past champion driver, then a seventh car will make the field based upon owner points.
In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the next four positions will first be assigned to the highest ranking trucks in owner points that have attempted all of the races, have not already earned a starting position through qualifying and have entered the event by the posted entry deadline. The final starting position will be awarded to the most recent eligible past champion driver. If there is no eligible past champion driver, then a fifth truck will make the field based upon owner points.
Prior to this enhancement, the top 30 cars and top 25 trucks in owner points in each series, respectively, were guaranteed a starting spot in each of those series’ events. Starting next year, a maximum of seven cars and five trucks will be locked into a given NASCAR XFINITY Series or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, respectively.
If a qualifying session is cancelled because of inclement weather, each series’ field will be set per the rule book with starting lineups determined by practice speeds.
Maximum Field Set At 32 Trucks For NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
As NASCAR continues to encourage and reward hard racing, help solidify and build the ownership base, add even more drama and intrigue to the race weekend and most importantly, provide fans the best competition possible, the maximum starting field for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be set at 32 trucks starting in 2015, as opposed to the 36-truck field in previous years.
A maximum NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting field continues to stand at 43 cars while the NASCAR XFINITY Series will remain at 40.
Drivers’ Last Names On Rear Window
This new design element is part of the implementation of NASCAR’s Industry Action Plan, specifically in the area of Driver Star Power. This enhancement will feature the drivers’ last name displayed on the upper rear window of cars and trucks, helping fans more easily identify the drivers. The window treatment will not affect the on-track competition and placing it on the back window allows for both series sponsors – XFINITY (starting in 2015) and Camping World – to continue to maintain placement on the front windshield.
Blake Koch is back with TriStar Motorsports for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Koch will pilot the No. 44 Celsius Flo Fusion Camry, as he will attempt to top his break out performance from the 2013 season finale.
Blake Koch is teaming up with Grammy nominated and multi-award winning hip-hop artist, Flo Rida for the final race of 2014. Both who call Southern Florida home, have teamed up to promote Flo Rida's new work out powder, Celsius Flo Fusion.
Celsius Flo Fusion is a great tasting Pre-Workout energy drink to fuel those who live an active lifestyle. Using the same formula as your favorite Celsius products, Flo Fusion is powered by scientifically tested, calorie burning MetaPlus®. Flo Rida's Celsius Flo Fusion is clinically proven to burn fat, enhance metabolism and burn 100 calories or more with every serving.
"I am so excited to be working with Flo Rida, his team and the Celsius team on promoting the Flo Fusion Pre-Workout powder at Homestead Miami Speedway," said Koch. "As an avid athlete, I love starting my workout off with Flo Fusion. It will be an honor to represent this company at one of my favorite tracks."
Flo Rida will be in the flag stand, serving as the Honorary Starter for the Ford EcoBoost 300. Additionally, Flo Rida will be a special guest of TriStar Motorsports and will partake in race day festivities with the No. 44 Celsius Flo Fusion team.
"I'm thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to step into the life of a race car driver," said Flo Rida. "I've always been intrigued by the sport and looking forward to the challenge "
Koch has four previous starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Last year the West Palm Beach native qualified on the outside pole and was one position away from capturing his first top-10 NNS finish.
Mike Bliss Finishes 18th: Mike Bliss qualified 15th for the Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday afternoon. Happy with the car's handling, Bliss was ready for the green flag to drop under the lights. When an early caution flag waved on lap 2, Bliss caught minimal damage from the wreck and continued on. Spotters assured the team and driver that the damage was minimal. Under caution at lap 16, Bliss reported that his No. 19 Camry needed adjustments on their next stop. Bliss was running 17th at lap 30, but reported to the team that his corners were getting better but he is still tight. Green flag pit stops got underway and Bliss's team took a wedge adjustment to help free up his Camry. When the red flag was shown for a wreck involving a teammate on lap 76, Bliss and Crew Chief Paul Clapprood discussed the changes they needed to make to the No. 19 Camry when the red flag was lifted. After the red flag was lifted, Bliss made his way into the Lucky Dog position and when the caution flag waved once again Bliss reported that his Camry was tight on the throttle. With 28 laps to go, Bliss was running 21st and would advance three positions to finish 18th.
David Starr Finishes 20th: David Starr and the No. 10 Build Your Future Camry qualified 33rd for the 300-mile race under the lights in Charlotte. Starr knew that he had to work his way through the field early, but on lap 2, the No. 10 Camry sustained minor damage from a wreck. Teammate Jeff Green, drove alongside Starr to help assess the damage. By lap 10, Starr was scored in the 23rd position and came to pit road when the second caution flag waved for fuel and a track bar adjustment. Due to a speeding penalty on pit road (Segments 1,2,3), Starr had to restart at the tail of the field. Running 13th on lap 60, Starr was moving his way through the field. Starr came to pit road during Green Flag pit stops, and while the team was changing tires the caution flag waved. Crew Chief Greg Conner reported that the right front tire of Starr's No. 10 Camry was going flat. With 20 laps to go, Starr was running 20th and reported that his Camry was too tight. Starr received the Lucky Dog award late into the race and with nine laps to go was running 19th. Starr brought the No. 10 Build Your Future Camry home 20th.
Eric McClure Finishes 32nd: Eric McClure and the No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® Camry started the 300-mile race in the 32nd position. McClure was caught in a wreck on lap 2 and sustained damage to his Camry. This damage brought McClure down pit road twice under caution for repairs. At lap 50, the No. 14 Camry was scored in the 26th position. McClure was involved an on track accident which brought out the red flag. McClure was evaluated and released from the infield care center and the No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® Camry was done for the night. McClure posted a 32nd place finish.
Will Kimmel Finishes 38th: Will Kimmel and the No. 44 Camry qualified 28th for the Drive for the Cure 300. Kimmel was ready to make his first NNS start at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but unfortunately on lap 2 Kimmel was involved in an accident on track. The damage to the No. 44 IR Camry was worse than expected and had to retire from the race. Kimmel posted a 38th place finish.
Kyle Larson and his Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) team hoped to return to Victory Lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway after Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race, but despite having a lightning-fast No. 42 Nature Made Chevrolet Camaro, multiple cautions proved that their machine wasn't as strong on short runs, and they were forced to settle with a fifth-place finish when the checkered flag waved.
With undeniable speed, Larson was able to lay down top-10 lap times throughout both NNS practice sessions on Thursday afternoon. The 22-year-old followed them up by advancing to the third and final round of qualifying, ultimately scoring a sixth-place starting position for the Drive for the Cure 300. Motivating Larson and the No. 42 TSM team even more, Make-A-Wish teamed up with Nature Made on their KIDS FIRST initiative and brought 17-year-old avid NASCAR fan, Christian, to the race for a top-notch experience. With Christian and his family atop the pit box, the green flag waved and the first two cautions quickly arose. Despite telling crew chief Scott Zipadelli that his Chevy was tight, Larson was scored as the fastest car on the track several times before green-flag pit stops began to take place. On lap 60, Zipadelli called the Nature Made Chevy to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. Once again, Larson began to lay down the fastest lap times, some being a tenth faster than the field. The third caution flag waved on lap 115 and Larson told Zipadelli that he was a little too loose after the change. Zipadelli called Larson back to pit road under the next caution for four new tires and fuel, along with an adjustment to tighten up his Nature Made KIDS FIRST Chevy. Maintaining a spot within the top five after the restart, the fifth caution was quick to follow, and with Larson still loose through Turns 1 and 2, Zipadelli called him back to pit road. After four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment, Larson found a top-five spot again following the restart. The yellow flag waved again on lap 167 and Larson told the crew that his Chevy was still really loose. Coming back to pit road, Zipadelli called for the final set of Goodyear tires, a splash of fuel and another air-pressure adjustment. Restarting outside of the top 10, Larson made every jaw drop when he charged his No. 42 Nature Made Chevy from 12th into third place in a matter of seconds. Despite an incredible attempt to get to the front, the caution flag waved one final time on lap 177 and Larson told Zipadelli that his car was now too tight. Unable to run the bottom, Larson dropped back to the fifth position after the final restart and maintained his position until the checkered flag waved.
Larson and the No. 42 TSM team now have 13 top-five finishes throughout their 25 NNS starts this season.
Kyle Larson on his Top-Five Finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway:
"We had a really fast Nature Made car all weekend, but unfortunately, we just couldn't contend for the win on the short runs. We definitely had the best car on the track on long runs, though. We struggled on the last pit stop and lost a few spots; I was pretty frustrated, but then I made that pass and went from 12th to third, so that got us back in the race. Towards the end, I messed up trying to pass [Ryan] Blaney and got really tight, and that was my fault. Overall, I'm pretty happy with a top-five finish after our last few runs. Thanks to Nature Made and Make-A-Wish for their support this weekend. I wish we could've gotten back in Victory Lane, but we've still got a few shots to get another win."
Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang, recorded his third-consecutive top-10 finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) event on Friday evening at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, taking the checkered flag in the seventh position.
“We had a really fast No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang tonight,” said Bayne after the race. “We had some good speed from the drop of the green flag and were able to make some moves early in the race. The track loosened up as the night progressed but we were able to get our car tightened up towards the end and come home with another top-10 finish. I want to thank Chad (Norris) and everyone for all of their work this weekend and we’re ready for Texas after these couple of off weekends.”
Bayne took the green flag at the 1.5-Mile oval from eighth after posting the quickest lap in the second round of knockout qualifying. Bayne would battle for position inside the top 10 throughout the opening quarter of the 200-Lap event before a caution during the first round of green flag pit stops saw the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang trapped one-lap down in 14th on Lap 71.
After taking the wave around on the ensuing restart, Bayne would quickly work his way back up to the 12th position before crew chief Chad Norris called the Roush Fenway Racing driver back to pit road during a Lap 74 caution for fuel only. Returning to the track in ninth, Bayne reported that the AdvoCare Ford was loose on the entry and exit of the corner, ultimately shuffling him back to the 14th position just prior to the caution coming out on Lap 114.
Crew chief Norris utilized this opportunity to make a chassis adjustment in the hopes of making the handling of the AdvoCare Ford tighter through the corners. Restarting in 13th, Bayne wasted little time working his way back forward, improving five positions in the three laps following the restart to eighth. Bayne would maintain his position inside the top 10 throughout the green flag run, moving up to as high as sixth before the final caution of the evening came out with 25 laps remaining. After pitting for four tires and adjustments during the caution period, Bayne would take the Lap 181 restart from the sixth position.
In the closing stages, Bayne would battle with Elliott Sadler and Roush Fenway teammate Chris Buescher for position as the handling of the AdvoCare Ford began to improve. In the end, Bayne took the checkered flag in the seventh position, scoring his 20th top-10 finish of the 2014 NNS season and the fifth-consecutive top-10 at Charlotte.
With the result, Bayne remains sixth in the championship standings and trails championship leader Chase Elliott by 98 points as the NNS heads to Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 1.
Friday night’s Drive for the Cure 300 Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway ended far too early for Jeffrey Earnhardt.
Earnhardt became ensnarled in an 11-car accident as the field was coming up to speed to take the green flag at the start of the race. His Flex Shot Chevrolet was damaged too heavily to continue, and the car was towed to the garage area. Earnhardt finished 40th.
“A tough one,” Earnhardt said. “There’s nothing you can do in that situation. A car starts wrecking, and here comes the accordion effect and you’re caught up in it. A bad night for us.”
Despite the trouble, Earnhardt remained 18th in Nationwide Series points.
JD Motorsports PR
Landon Cassill turned in another strong lead-lap performance in Friday night’s Drive for the Cure 300 Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, finishing 17th.
Cassill has scored top-20 runs in eight of the past 12 Nationwide races.
“It was a good night for us,” said Cassill, who drove the Flex Seal Chevrolet. “The car got better as the night went on, and we were able to hang with the front group.”
Cassill, who is 12th in series points, improved from 20th place to 17th over the race’s final 20 laps.
Brad Keselowski scored the win, his fourth victory of the season. Chase Elliott remained in the point lead.
JD Motorsports PR
Roush Fenway Racing rookie of the year contender Ryan Reed and the No. 16 American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop DiabetesSM presented by Lilly Diabetes team ran strong in Friday night’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with Reed earning his 15th top-15 finish of the season, coming home in 15th.
“I thought the weekend was one of our better efforts from the time we unloaded,” said Reed. “We all worked together well and we learned a lot. I felt like we were only a couple of adjustments away from being a top-10 car, but all in all we’ll learn from it and I still think there’s some momentum there to be built on.”
Reed qualified ninth earlier on Friday afternoon for the 200-Lap, 300-Mile NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race. Early in the race, Reed settled into the top-20, battling a car that was free in traffic and tight by itself.
The 21-year-old driver visited pit road for the first time on Lap 59 under green flag conditions, opting for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to help the handling. Green flag stops did not cycle through before the caution flag fell, which trapped Reed two laps down.
Crew Chief Seth Barbour utilized a strong pit strategy that involved taking the wave around during two separate caution periods to get Reed back on the lead lap. The team continued to work on the handling for the remainder of the race, ultimately crossing the finish line in 15th.
With the result, Reed ranks ninth in the NNS point standings. The NNS returns to action after two weeks off at Texas Motor Speedway.
After showing speed early, James Buescher and the No. 99 Rheem Toyota team's night ended early after getting caught up in a wreck on lap 74. The Texas native started the Drive for the Cure 300 from the 18th position. Buescher wasted no time early in the race and worked his way up to a top-15 running position. Early in the 200-lap race, Buescher reported to the Rheem crew that the No. 99 Rheem Camry felt pretty good and said that he didn't want much of an adjustment on the first round of pit stops. Under green on lap 58, crew chief Matt Lucas called his driver down pit road for four sticker Goodyear Eagle tires, a full-load of Sunoco racing fuel a slight chassis adjustment. Just as the field completed the pit stops, a yellow flag was displayed bunching up the field. On the ensuing restart, the front running cars tried to navigate their way around some slower lapped cars that were mixed into the line-up, which was when competitors directly in front of Buescher unsuccessfully tried to go four-wide on the front stretch. With multiple cars spinning in front of the No. 99 Rheem Toyota, Buescher however was unable to avoid and received significant damage to the No. 99 Rheem Camry forcing the team to retire early from the Drive for the Cure 300.
James Buescher Quote:
"Obviously not the night we were looking to have here at Charlotte. My Rheem team once again prepared another great car for us this weekend and I felt like we could have had a solid finish but we were victim in a wreck with some slower lapped cars that were mixed into the front of the pack. I hate it for my team and my sponsors as we should have had some better results but bad luck keeps on biting us. We'll use the next couple of weeks off to our Rheem Toyota Camry prepared for my home track of Texas Motor Speedway."
RAB Racing PR