Saturday, Jun 10
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Ryan Newman had high hopes for a strong finish Sunday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, but a power-steering issue plagued his No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS throughout the middle stages of the FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. That problem played part in late-race contact with another competitor that saw Newman’s day end prematurely, as he was credited with 36th place after completing 298 of 400 laps.

Newman started fifth in the 43-car field and held his position in the opening laps. But he began to drop down the scoring pylon as a tight-handling racecar saw him running in the 11th position by lap 18. Crew chief Matt Borland called for a slight air pressure adjustment when three-time Dover winner Newman came to pit road for service at lap 75, but Newman continued to struggle with an ill-handling car.

Just past the halfway point of the race, Newman reported that he had a mechanical issue that limited his ability to steer his racecar. He made an unscheduled pit stop at lap 222 to make adjustments, but the problems continued to plague him as the laps clicked off. Now two laps down to the race leader, Newman continued to bide his time until a caution period at lap 279 gave him the opportunity he needed to come to pit road for an assessment. The Borland-led team went over the wall three times to try to fix the issue but was unable to determine the source of the problem.

As Newman continued to log laps, he tangled with another competitor at lap 299, resulting in significant damage to the No. 39 machine. The Haas Automation team took its racecar to the garage and made repairs that allowed Newman to rejoin the field, but he was only able to complete two laps before returning to the garage and parking the battered racecar for the afternoon.

Tony Stewart led the way for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) by winning the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, took the lead for the first time on lap 398 of the 400-lap race and led the final three laps on the 1-mile concrete oval en route to scoring his 48th career victory and first this season. It was his third victory, 11th top-five finish and 16th top-10 in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at Dover. It was also his third top-10 this season.

The victory also extended Stewart’s streak of winning at least one race per season since joining the Sprint Cup Series in 1999.

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 24th. It was Patrick’s 23rd career Sprint Cup start and her second at Dover.

Juan Pablo Montoya finished .788 of a second behind Stewart in the runner-up spot, while Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

There were seven caution periods for 32 laps, with nine drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

With round 13 of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up four spots to 16th and has 338 points, 135 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and 33 points behind 10th-place Paul Menard. Newman fell four places to 20th in the standings and has 323 points, 150 out of first and 48 behind Menard. Patrick picked up one position to 29th in the standings and has 231 points, 242 behind Johnson and 140 away from Menard.

Thirteen races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 11 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 13th.

The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Party in the Poconos 400 on Sunday, June 9 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at noon.


Kurt Busch was a caution away from having a legitimate shot at winning Sunday’s FedEx 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway.
But the yellow flag didn’t wave at the opportune time for the Furniture Row Racing driver, who ended the 400-lap, 400-mile race in 12th place.
After coming down pit road for fresh tires and fuel on Lap 283, Busch did not pit during the following two cautions on Lap 301 and 318.
“We took track position because we weren’t in our fuel window,” said crew chief Todd Berrier. “We still needed to pit one more time for fuel. The caution we needed didn’t work out for us. We had a strong car today running in the top-10 and top-five and Kurt drove a tremendous race.”
Following the Lap 318 caution, Busch restarted in first place, led eight laps before dropping to second where he solidly ran until he was forced to make a green-flag pit stop for fuel on Lap 363. When he returned to action, he was listed in 18th place before rallying to finish 12th. 
“We fought hard today but just couldn’t get the caution when we needed one,” said Busch. “It’s disappointing because the Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet had the potential to pull it off today.”
The caution that Busch and the Denver-based Furniture Row team were looking for came out 14 laps too late (Lap 377). 
“The more we keep battling and running up front the odds will eventually play in our favor,” stated Busch. “We have a fast car just need to work out a few kinks and get a break now and then.”
Busch, who gained one position in the point standings – from 18th to 17th -- ran the majority of the race in the top-10 and top-five.
The race winner was Tony Stewart. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Juan Pablo Montoya, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr.   
The FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks had 21 lead changes among 11 drivers and seven cautions for 32 laps.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is Sunday (June 9) at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.

A penalty to Jimmie Johnson was all Tony Stewart needed to break out of a four-month slump.

After Johnson was assessed a drive-through penalty for jumping the final restart -- a sanction Johnson protested vehemently -- Stewart passed Juan Pablo Montoya on Lap 398 of 400 to win Sunday's FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway.

The victory was the first of the season and third at Dover for Stewart, who has notched 42 of his 48 career wins after May 31. Stewart finished .788 seconds ahead of Montoya, who matched his career-best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish on an oval track.

Jeff Gordon came home third, followed by Kyle Busch and reigning Cup champion Brad Keselowski. Until the decisive penalty, however, it looked for all the world as if Johnson would claim a record eighth victory at the Monster Mile.

Johnson started 24th and, in the early stages of the race, had difficulty moving forward through traffic. In fact, the No. 48 Chevrolet SS went a lap down when Kyle Busch passed him on Lap 70.

But Johnson came to pit road early, on Lap 71, and used the extra time on new tires to regain the lost lap by the time NASCAR called an opportune caution for debris in Turn 2 on Lap 80. From that point on, it was a charge to the front by the five-time champion.

Johnson had worked his way up to sixth before a caution for debris on the backstretch slowed the field on Lap 160, moments after a blown engine eliminated what was arguably the strongest car in the race, Matt Kenseth's No. 20 Toyota.

After a restart on Lap 165, Johnson again moved forward, finally taking the lead for the first time on Lap 206, passing Kyle Busch to the inside through Turns 1 and 2.

Just as a Johnson victory was looking academic, however, Denny Hamlin's right front tire blew in Turn 1 and sent his No. 11 Toyota hard into the outside wall, bringing out the seventh caution of the race. Montoya took two tires when the lead-lap cars came to pit road and narrowly beat Johnson to the exit.
That turned the race inside-out, as NASCAR black-flagged Johnson for beating Montoya to the start/finish line on the restart on Lap 382


Roush Fenway’s Trevor Bayne locked up his third top-five finish of the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season thanks to a bold and strategic pit call that gave him prime track position in Saturday’s 200-mill NNS race at Dover International Speedway.  Less than halfway through the race, Bayne and the No. 6 Ford EcoBoost Mustang were running in ninth place when Crew Chief Mike Kelley made the decision to take two tires while the rest of the pack took four.  The call catapulted Bayne into second place and then allowed him to take over the lead on the restart.

“Yeah, that two-tire stop got us in the game there. I had a fast car and could run times as fast as the leaders, we just needed that to get some track position,” said Bayne after the race. “I was really proud of these guys and the car that they gave me.”

From the halfway point on, Bayne never let go of the strong track position.  The No. 6 Ford EcoBoost wavered around the top five throughout the next 60 laps when another two-tire pit stop launched him back into third place and allowed him to round out the day in fourth.

Bayne says last week’s sixth-place finish in Charlotte, and this week’s strong finish will be the key to gaining momentum in the season.  “We have had some bad runs but now we got a couple good ones in a row and we need to keep it going. Top-five’s are what we have to knock out every weekend and eventually that will lead to victory lane,” said Bayne.

Today’s finish earned Bayne 41 points in the NNS standings and bumped him back into the top-10 ranks.  He now sits 90 points behind NNS leader Regan Smith.  The No. 6 team will try to build upon its hot streak next week in Iowa for the Dupont Pioneer 350.



After a month break in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) schedule, the series returned to action at the place known as the "Madhouse," Bowman Gray Stadium, a tight and flat .25-mile track that always seems to give drivers and their teams fits.  Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) brought three entries to the "Madhouse," with Kenzie Ruston behind the wheel of the No. 34 AccuDoc Solutions Chevy, Dylan Kwasniewski piloting the Rockstar Energy Drink/Royal Purple No. 98 and Austin Dyne driving the No. 99 KMC Wheels entry. Both Kwasniewski and Ruston managed to stay out of trouble for most of the Hall of Fame 150 and bring home solid top-five finishes, with Kwasniewski finishing in the runner-up spot and Ruston coming home with a fourth-place finish. Dyne wasn't so fortunate, getting collected in a multi-car accident and bringing home his damaged Chevrolet in 17th, multiple laps down.


Kwasniewski started the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 from the third spot and found himself running there and challenging for the lead until late in the race when he got tangled up with another competitor. Kwasniewski was able to continue on with the race but restarted the event deep in the field. Working his way back through the field, Kwasniewski showed his patience and picked off positions one-by-one. Kwasniewski was able to work his way up to the runner-up spot but ran out of time to get his second win of the season. "It was a strong outing for my Rockstar Energy Drink/Royal Purple team," said TSM driver Dylan Kwasniewski. "This is a tricky track, so for us to come out of here with a second-place finish definitely makes for a good night."


Kenzie Ruston didn't have the best of qualifying efforts, starting the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 from the 19th spot, but when the race got going, she was the one to watch as she made pass after pass for position. Before the half-way mark, Ruston suffered a right rear flat tire that forced her pit side for a fresh tire. Ruston was able to beat the pace car out of the pits by near inches to stay on the lead lap. Restarting the event towards the back of the pack, Ruston made it interesting by saving her Chevrolet numerous times from spinning en route to the front of the pack. Ruston came home with another solid finish with a fourth place. "I had a lot of fun racing tonight" said TSM driver Kenzie Ruston. "I can't thank my AccuDoc Solutions team enough for all their hard work in preparing me a great car. I feel like we will be able to get our first win very soon." 


Dyne, looking to build off the momentum from the previous race at Richmond International Raceway last month, started the 150-lap main event from just outside the top 10,  in the 11th spot.Dyne wasn't able to keep his KMC Wheels machine clean at the "Madhouse," getting collected in a multi-car accident early in the race.Dyne would eventually rejoin the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 field but was several laps down. Dyne fought for a 17th place finish, relegating him to a 17th-place finish."This is definitely a disappointing finish for my KMC Wheels team, but we'll rebound from this and hopefully get a solid finish next week at Iowa Speedway," said TSM driver Austin Dyne.


The NKNPSE will return to action next week at Iowa Speedway, where TSM will have five entries. In addition to the full-time entries of Dyne, Kwasniewski and Ruston, Brandon Jones and Ben Rhodes will rejoin their teammates for next week's event.



To all our fans:

We appreciate your patience at the gates today for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.

Due to increased inspection of bags, the lines to enter the facility were longer than normal today.

We pride ourselves on creating a welcoming fan experience, and a key component to that is the policy we have that allows fans to bring in bags and coolers with their own food and drink. As a result, we must thoroughly examine the content of bags, and unfortunately that took longer than anticipated.

There is no sport that is more American than NASCAR, and we have measures in place to ensure that our fans are able to enjoy the events in the safest manner possible.

As always, we encourage fans attending our future events to make plans to arrive early to the gates.

Please accept our apologies, again, for the inconvenience you may have experienced today.


Michael Tatoian
Exec. Vice President & COO
Dover Motorsports, Inc

Kyle Larson put up a valiant fight against the 'Monster Mile,' earning his third-consecutive top-10 finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS). Larson overcame scorching heat and early handling issues to earn the VIZIO/Hulu Plus team a 10th-place finish at Dover International Speedway in the 5-hour ENERGY 200.


Taking the green flag from the 15th position on a hot and sunny afternoon, Larson pledged his team that he would do his best to "stay out of trouble" at the infamous 1.0-mile concrete track. After assessing his VIZIO/Hulu Plus Chevrolet for 15 laps, Larson relayed that his Camaro was losing the front end on exit. Holding onto his position through the first caution on lap 47, the 20-year-old explained to his crew that he needed to be able to rotate better. The No. 32 team serviced their driver with four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment in an attempt to loosen up the handling, sending Larson back onto the track in 17th.


By the time the second yellow flag of the day waved on lap 80, Larson was running lap times comparable to the top five, but a spread-out field prevented him from gaining more than one position under green. Larson returned to pit road during the caution period, receiving fresh tires and fuel for his VIZIO/Hulu Plus Camaro. A solid stop by the Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) crew put Larson back in 14th for the lap-85 restart.


Larson continued to lay down competitive laps, but his racecar was loose in the center and tight off over the course of the run, preventing him from advancing his position. A yellow on lap 114 gave the TSM team another opportunity to adjust on the No. 32 machine, providing four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. When the field went green on lap 121, Larson keyed his radio to say that he started the run "way too tight to be able to race against these guys."


Finally, as tire pressures built up, Larson could start picking up spots, advancing to 12th before the final yellow of the day on lap 163. Larson once again took four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment, returning to green-flag racing from the 12th spot. Over the course of the final 33 laps, Larson fought hard against his competitors, battling into 10th place before the wave of the checkered flag. Larson's third-consecutive top-10 finish earned him Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors for the 5-hour ENERGY 200.


"I'm really glad we were able to pull off a top 10," said Larson following the race. "The guys worked really hard to get our VIZIO/Hulu Plus Chevy better and we had it pretty good by the end of the race. It feels great to get our third straight top 10; we need to keep this momentum going into Iowa. This was a tough race. This is the hottest I've ever been in a racecar this year, maybe the hottest ever."


Larson remains ninth in the NNS Driver Point Standings. The Nationwide Series next heads to Iowa Speedway for the Dupont Pioneer 250. The event airs on Saturday, June 8 on ESPN at 8:00 p.m. EDT.


Mike Wallace and the No. 01 JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team were involved in a wreck at Dover International Speedway, resulting in a 31st place finish on Saturday afternoon.

The race weekend began with one long practice session on Friday afternoon. Owner Johnny Davis took the reigns as crew chief, leading to a mix of changes during practice. After qualifying on the pole for a brief moment, the team ended up rolling off 24th to begin the race.

The veteran Wallace settled into the 28th spot as the field made it to lap 48, before a caution slowed the field. The No. 01 machine was extremely loose, with the driver struggling to keep from wrecking. Davis called for a big swing, and the pit crew responded by taking four rounds out of the car. The changes helped, as Wallace moved into the top-25 racing hard against the competition and the track.

As the leader crossed the line to put Wallace two laps down, second place runner Kasey Kahne and Wallace collided on the track, leading to the No. 01 Chevy nosing into the inside wall. Wallace immediately radioed that the car was done, as he drove it to the garage. Unfortunately, the wreck resulted in a 31st place finish. Wallace lost on spot in the Driver’s Standings, and the team maintained ground in the Owner’s Points battle.

Mike Wallace Quotes: “I hate it for our team and sponsors to wreck here today. I guess it was just a racing incident. My spotter cleared me off the corner, and I felt a little tap and around I went. I tried to keep it off the wall, but unfortunately we were sliding sideways and I had no control. This finish is not what we needed as a team, but Iowa is next, and that is a great race for the fans and the sport. Thanks to Ken Adams from Iron Source and our friends at Meding’s Seafood for the support this weekend.”

JD Motorsports PR

In his first start at his “home” track of Dover International Speedway, Travis Pastrana powered the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) Ford Mustang to a 15th-place finish.

“I just want to thank Jack Roush and everybody for really sticking behind me,” Pastrana said.  “Jason [Hedlesky] my spotter really just guided me through.  I want to be faster, I keep pushing myself.  Fifteenth is good and even 20th.  I’m running with these guys I’ve looked up to my whole life.  I want to be better – I want to be up top.  For the first time here at this track, of course everyone hopes to win, but after yesterday I’m very happy with our finish.”

The NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) visited Dover for the first of two races this season at the tough one-mile track.  Pastrana turned his first laps on the track nicknamed the “Monster Mile” during the only practice session of the weekend for the NNS on Friday.

The 200-mile race took the green flag shortly after 2:30 p.m. on a hot day in Dover, with Pastrana rolling off 16th.  On Lap 16, he radioed to the crew that the car started the run on the tight side, but the more laps he ticked off, the better the car became.

On Lap 46, the No. 60 visited pit road for the first time under caution, electing to take four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment in an effort to make the car just a little bit looser.  Pastrana restarted 14th and maintained his position in the top-15 until making his second pit stop of the day on Lap 79.  The crew put on four new tires, filled the car with fuel and made another chassis adjustment to give Pastrana more grip.

On the following run, Pastrana was quiet on the radio, as he adjusted the line he was running on the track in an attempt pick up some more speed.  He visited pit road from 17th-place for his third stop of the day on Lap 114.  Pastrana was still satisfied with his car on the long run, but wanted to be a little freer on exit.  The No. 60 crew put on four tires, added fuel and made another chassis adjustment.

Pastrana restarted 17th and continued to run in the top-20, as passing was at a premium.  As was the trend for the No. 60 during the race, the longer the green flag run continued, the happier Pastrana was with the car.

On Lap 161, the caution flag waved again.  Pastrana was happy with the overall balance of the car, but told the crew he was struggling to figure out how to run faster around the track.  He visited pit road for the final time of the day on Lap 163, taking four more tires with an air pressure adjustment.  He restarted 16th and was able to gain one position on the final run of the day, ultimately finishing 15th.

Joey Logano won his third straight NNS race at Dover, while Brian Vickers and Matt Kenseth took second and third.  RFR teammate Trevor Bayne finished fourth, with Kyle Busch rounding out the top-five.



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