Camping World Series News (5384)
Camping World Truck Series News
Just days after racking in another solid NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) performance at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway to close his second season of competition, Austin Wayne Self (@AustinWSelf) has spent the last few days reflecting on a year filled with plenty of accomplishments and motivation.
The Austin, Texas native opened the year with a career-best runner-up performance at Daytona (Fla.) Speedway driving for AM Racing. Self was driving the team’s second truck as the Mooresville, N.C. organization debuted a second-truck for the event and tallied two top-10 efforts in the NextEra Energy Resources 250.
Despite the strong start to the year, Self’s schedule remained fluid for much of the opening races of the year until the driver partnered with Niece Motorsports and Martins Motorsports in a collaborative effort with Faith Motorsports to complete in a majority of the 2017 schedule.
From his debut at Kansas Speedway with Niece which kicked off with a solid top-15 performance to a 17th place result in the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead with Martins Motorsports, the Texan showcased his talent and proved that that his sophomore season was no slump.
The 21-year-old would go on to race in four more races for AM Racing which ended with a ninth-place effort on the road course at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.
In all, the former ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Rookie of the Year tallied one top-five, two top-10, eight top-15 and 13 top-20 finishes overall. Despite missing five races from February to Nov., Self still placed 15th overall in the championship standings.
“We certainly have a lot to be thankful for this season,” said Self. “To open our year up with a second-place finish at Daytona – almost a win. That’s pretty incredible. I was proud of that.
“We skipped a couple races and came back to Kansas with Niece and I think I proved to others that no matter what truck I’m in – I leave nothing on the table and work hard to develop the best finish possible week in and week out.”
Other highlights in the year included a 12th place result at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and the same at Texas Motor Speedway.
On his home turf at Texas Motor Speedway, Self saw the opportunity for at the time would have been his second top-10 finish of the season end in smoke and crunch after tangling with another truck on the last lap.
Still, despite the outcome, Self says it was one of the more pivotal races in 2017.
“When I look back at the spring in Texas, our truck was bad to the bone. We’re very grateful to have a truck that is backed with a lot of help from Texas-based partners and supporters and we were giving them a show.
“I was able to climb from the back and maintain a comfortable spot inside the top-10 until I spun on the last lap going for another position.
“I was pretty bummed afterwards, but my team rallied behind me and they told me they would rather me wreck a truck while going for seventh than bring home a truck hovering in 25th. I never forgot that and it was pretty much game on from there.”
With another solid effort to bring down the curtain to his sophomore season, Self says he’s eager to start working on next season – which was previously announced he’ll run for Niece Motorsports’ No. 22 Chevrolet truck for his junior year of competition.
“I’m ready to go,” Self added. “You know, I’m very fortunate. I have a lot of great partners that have allowed me to thrive this season and they’re all coming back next year.
“Without the support of Don’t mess with Texas, GO TEXAN, AM Technical Solutions and B&D Industries Inc. – there would be no Austin Wayne Self on the race track. We’re working hard on some awesome things both on and off the track next year and it’s hard to believe that Daytona will be here in less than 90 days.”
Additional marketing partnership(s) at Niece Motorsports for Self are forthcoming.
In 18 races this season driving for AM Racing, Martins Motorsports and Niece Motorsports, Self earned a career-best second place performance in the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and earned an additional top-10 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, both finishes driving for AM Racing. Overall, Self earned one top-five, two top-10, eight top-15 and 13 top-20 finishes respectively en route to a 15th place finish in the championship standings.
AM Racing PR
Young’s Motorsports (YMS) successfully completed their fourth season of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway this past Friday night and the team’s top-10 performance in the Ford EcoBoost 200 is just a glimpse of what’s to come next season.
For the season finale at Homestead, the team tapped series veteran Timothy Peters to steer the No. 02 Brandt Chevrolet Silverado. The likable and experienced driver made his team debut at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in Sept., and his 11th place finish left more to be desired.
The weekend didn’t start off on the right foot for the Mooresville, N.C.-based team. While the team was able to showcase speed right off the hauler, Peters believed he was having engine issues. Upon further inspection from the team, they confirmed Peters’ hunch limiting their practice in preparation for the 134-lap race.
Still, quick work by the Young’s Motorsports team and crew chief Chad Kendrick left more to be desired for qualifying and the race.
During time trials, Peters qualified 17th but felt confident in the truck’s ability for racing later that afternoon.
When the green flag was thrown, Peters steadily utilized traffic to come through the field and eventually latch himself onto the top-10. As the race motored on during Stage 1, the better Peter’s truck became.
By the conclusion of Stage 1, Peters had worked his way though the pack and landed 10th overall.
Continuing to pluck away at the field, a well-balanced truck found Peters seventh by the end of Stage 2 and with a legitimate opportunity to score Young’s Motorsports another solid outing.
Just four tires and fuel were the call for the 37-year-old driver heading into the final stage.
Making sure Peters had enough gas to make it to the end, he lost a few positions on pit road and slipped to 11th for the Lap 88 restart.
Methodically and patiently, Peters continued to stalk his competition and after a quick spat back in the top-10, a loose truck slipped the Danville, Va. native back to 11th with the laps winding down for the season finale.
Perseverance behind the wheel and a little luck bolted Peters back inside the top-10 in the closing laps where he took the checkered flag in 10th, earning his fourth top-10 finish in eight starts this season.
Two of those outings were for Young’s Motorsports.
“I really can’t thank Tyler (Young), Chad (Kendrick, crew chief), Rick (Brandt, CEO of Brandt) for the opportunity to come to Homestead and have a good showing,” offered Peters.
“You know I thought we could be a little better in the day, but we didn’t quite get the handling we needed on the truck to make an impact on the other teams. Still, we finished 10th, so there’s a lot to be thankful and appreciative.
Young’s Motorsports team principal and veteran NCWTS driver Tyler Young echoed his driver’s sentiments and feels the Homestead finish is exactly what his team needed to propel them into the offseason.
“Timothy did an awesome job for us,” added Young. “I can’t thank him enough. I was really impressed with the way he drove Homestead. He has a niche for that place and he really kept us pumped up.
“He certainly put us in the spotlight and proved that we’re going in the right direction with our program. No doubt his effort really boosted the spirits of everyone on the team.”
With the off-season now here, Young says it’s time for some rest, relaxation and reflection – but also focus hard on improving the operation for an impending stronger 2018 Truck Series season.
“I feel like we’re making some big gains, especially towards the end of the season,” Young added. “We’ll keep working on it, making tweaks – building new trucks and more. The future looks pretty bright for us and I can’t wait to see all unfold in less than 90 days at Daytona.”
Earlier this month, Young’s Motorsports announced that Austin Hill will drive the team’s flagship, No. 02 Chevrolet Silverado truck next season, but the team is planning to enter a second-truck for the full-23 race slate with announcements regarding that program announced at a later date.
Overall, in 238 NCWTS starts, Peters has earned eight poles, 10 wins, 57 top-five and 122 top-10 finishes and has led over 1,500 laps in competition. In a span of 13 years, Peters has crafted an average start and finish of 12.7 respectively.
Young Motorsports PR
AUSTIN CINDRIC BREAKDOWN
After testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway earlier in the year, the No.33 STEALTH team unloaded fast, finishing Friday morning’s practice sessions second and third-fastest overall. With track conditions changing later in the day heading into qualifying, Kaz secured a 10th-place starting position for Friday night’s NCWTS 200.
When the green flag flew on the 134-lap race, Kaz immediately reported that his STEALTH Chevrolet Silverado was “wrecking loose.” Holding on to finish 15th in Stage One, crew chief Jerry Baxter called the No. 33 down pit road for four tires, fuel and major chassis adjustments. After a lengthy stop for changes, Kaz restarted 18th for Stage Two but still fought a STEALTH Chevy that was extremely loose. Finishing Stage Two in 17th, Kaz once again pitted for four tires, fuel and major adjustments to try to tighten up his Silverado. Restarting 18th for the final stage, Kaz used the remaining 47 laps to race his way to a 13th-place finish, one lap down to the leaders, in the NCWTS season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"The No.33 team fought hard tonight. The track was much more loose than originally anticipated and it was just hard to ever get comfortable with the lack of grip on the track. My STEALTH Chevy was fast at the end of a long run, but at that point track position was hard to get back. I can’t thank my guys enough for all their work, not only tonight but the entire season.”
- After the last race of the season, Kaz finished seventh in the NCWTS driver point standings and sixth in the owner point standings.
GMS Racing PR
In his first start at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway, Justin Haley qualified in the seventh position after finishing 10th in both morning practice sessions.
After falling back on the initial green flag for the 134 lap race, Haley reported he was fighting a loose condition while running just outside the top 10. As the first 40-lap stage progressed, he worked his way into the ninth position, searching for a line that would help with the handling troubles. Visiting pit road for the first time, Haley received four tires, fuel and air pressure and chassis adjustments and returns to the track in the 10th position. Once again struggling to gain ground on the restart, Haley fought to stay within the top-10 during the second stage of the race, battling a now tight MyWhy Chevrolet. On the last stop of the night, the team made a chassis adjustment to help Haley over the final 54 laps of the race.
As the race returned to green, Haley gradually made his way up to the seventh position but as the race went on he fell back to ninth. He held on to the ninth position in the final 10 laps to earn his 12th top-10 of the season.
“The 24 guys and I finished off the year well. It was a smooth night under the lights in Homestead. Mike Ford did a great job on the pit box calling the race for us. I can’t ask much more out of our rookie season together. Everyone that pitched in this year from the road crew, to the pit crew and the guys back home means the world to me.”
GMS Racing PR
Looking for his second consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship, Johnny Sauter finished the first practice session in first and the final session of the morning in 14th. As trucks took to the track for qualifying, Sauter was fastest in the first round but after the ISM Connect Chevrolet swung loose on his second round lap, he qualified 11th for Friday night’s season finale.
Shortly after the green flag waved, Sauter reported he was fighting the same loose condition he battled in qualifying, but was running comparable lap times to the leaders. Finishing the first stage in the eighth position, he brought his Chevy to pit road for tires, fuel, and air pressure and chassis adjustments under caution. The race returned to green on lap 48 with Sauter immediately getting to work, entering the top five on lap 61. On the last stop of the night under the stage two break, crew chief Joe Shear, Jr., brought his driver to pit road for another round of adjustments for the continuing loose-handling condition.
The handling troubles continued for the No. 21 team as the race progressed, with Sauter sitting in the fourth position with 10 laps to go as fellow Championship contender Christopher Bell ran in third. Needing a caution to close a nearly 10-second gap, Sauter maintained his position within the top-five to earn his 13th top-five finish of the season and 19th top-10.
Sauter earned a runner-up finish in the NCWTS Championship in just his second season with GMS Racing. Headlined by four wins, the 2017 season marked the best season of his career.
“We started the race way too free, the loosest I’ve been in I don’t know how long. We made some good adjustments on the first stop, but it just eventually went away on me and was still way too free. I could never commit to the top, I’d have to drive in the corner shallow. I thought we had a little bit for the 4 toward the end but I just couldn’t touch the throttle on corner exit. We gave it everything we had, but I guess that’s what you get when it comes down to one race like this. I’m proud of everyone’s effort at GMS Racing, we did a good job, we’ve just got a lot of work to do.”
- It was announced Friday morning that Sauter will return to GMS Racing in the No. 21 truck for the 2018 NCWTS season.
GMS Racing PR
Ryan Truex closed out the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season with a late-race rally that resulted in a fourth-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Truex blitzed through the field and came from 18th to fourth position in the last 47 laps. The result gave Truex and the No. 16 Chiba Toyopet team a total of eight top-five’s and 13 top-10 finishes in the 2017 season.
For the ninth-consecutive race, Truex transferred into the final round of qualifying and earned the sixth starting position. At the drop of the green flag, Truex immediately made progress towards the front, running as high as fourth before a loose condition stalled his charge. As the tires wore during the 40-lap stage, Truex’s balance began to improve as he adjusted his line, and rode the extreme outside around Homestead-Miami Speedway. Truex fought his way back up to fifth the end of Stage 1 and collected six points.
Crew chief Scott Zipadelli brought Truex to pit road under the stage caution for minimal adjustments to compliment four new Goodyear tires and fuel. The Chiba Toyopet team gained one spot on pit road and allowed Truex to restart fourth on lap 48. The loose balance returned and caused Truex to slide back to sixth position by lap 60. However, Truex remained patient, changed his line, and chased down a top-five position by lap 72, and ended Stage 2 in fourth.
Truex’s night took an unexpected turn under the subsequent pit stop under caution. After taking four tires, fuel, and air pressure adjustments, Truex was put to the tail of the lead lap after a pit road penalty and restarted 18th on lap 88. Truex would put on a show over the final 47 laps, and quickly advanced into the top 10 by lap 95. As his balance improved throughout the fuel run, Truex continued his march through the field using every inch of the 1.5-mile speedway to gain positions. Truex rejoined the top five on lap 121 and went on to take the checkered flag in fourth position. The result was his career-best finish in any series at Homestead-Miami and secured a ninth-place finish in the point standings in his first-career NCWTS season.
Ryan Truex Quote:
"Thank you to everyone on this race team. Zippy (Scott Zipadelli), (team owner) Shige (Hattori), and every person at HRE has made this into a top-five race team each week. We had a great Chiba Toyopet Tundra on the long runs tonight and just lacked speed at the start of the runs to challenge the top two or three. We had an issue on pit road on the last stop, but we had everything we needed to drive back into the top five. We all wanted to win, and these guys deserve a win, but to finish out the year strong with a top-five feels great. We were close to breaking though for a win, especially in the second half of the year, so hopefully we can have more opportunities at it.”
Shige Hattori Quote:
"I'm so proud of what this team accomplished in our first full-time season. Ryan, Scott, and every person on this race team did a great job this year. We were close to winning and nearly made the playoffs. This is a very competitive series and we were contending to win and run in the top five each week. Thank you to each and every sponsor that make this program possible, and to TRD and Toyota. I'm really proud of the program we've built this season, and hope to continue this performance and improve even more in 2018.
- Gragson started fifth, but fell back throughout the first stage as he told the team his Switch Tundra was "wrecking loose." He finished the first 40-lap stage in 11th and came to pit road for four tires and some major chassis adjustments to help the handling.
- Gragson started the second stage in 11th place and said the truck was still a bit loose, but not as bad as the first stage. He worked his way up to ninth to finish Stage Two. He pitted for four tires and another track bar adjustment. Quick work by the Switch crew helped him gain two positions on pit road moving up to seventh place.
- After a pit road penalty for another competitor, Gragson started the final 54-lap stage in sixth place. Unfortunately, he did not get the chance to see if he could compete for the win. Only seven laps after the restart, Gragson radioed to the team he had a tire going down. He came to pit road under green for new left-side tires, which put him three laps behind the leaders. He finished the race in 18th, while his KBM teammate, Christopher Bell, finished second to claim KBM's second driver's championship and sixth owner's championship.
- Snider took the green flag for Friday's race from the 12th position. After being shuffled back to 15th within the initial laps of the race, Snider slowly started making his way back through the field. When the 40-lap stage was complete, he was back in the 12th position.
- Snider began Stage Two with four-fresh tires and a track bar adjustment from his No. 51 over-the-wall crew. He took the restart 12th and after being caught in a three-wide racing battle, he ran in the 17th position for most of the stage. Snider fought hard as he battled a tight-handling truck to finish the stage 15th.
- Snider brought his No. 51 Liberty Tax Service Tundra to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment to begin the final stage of the race. The No. 51 team gained three spots on pit road, but after another three-wide restart, Snider was once again pushed back to 17th. Snider used the closing laps of the stage to find his balance in the truck. As the race wound down, Snider found his momentum and raced his way through the field for a 12th-place finish.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series made it's way to Homestead-Miami Speedway Friday night for it's season finale, the Ford Eco-Boost 200. The contest would be the Championship 4 race, where the 2017 NCWTS champion would be crowned. All the contenders, Christopher Bell, Johnny Sauter, Austin Cindric and Matt Crafton, had to do was finish better than the other three Championship 4 drivers and the series championship would be theirs. Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Chase Briscoe sat on the pole, his fourth of the season.
The Ford Eco-Boost 200 would be broken up into three stages. Stages one and two would be 40 laps each. The final stage would consist of 54 laps. The highest finisher among the Championship 4 drivers would leave Miami as the 2017 series champion.
Chase Briscoe led the field to green flag for the final race in the NCWTS 2017 season. Briscoe quickly jumped out front. Championship 4 contender Matt Crafton, who started eighth, worked his way up to third by the end of the first lap. Conversely, third place starter, and fellow Championship 4 contender, Austin Cindric fell to seventh. As the field approached the 10 lap mark, Crafton had closed in on the bumper of Chase Briscoe.
As the field logged laps, Crafton began to fall back towards third place driver Grant Enfinger. Christopher Bell began making his move towards the front, advancing from his 13th starting spot. Johnny Sauter held his spot just inside the top-10.
With seven laps to go, Christopher Bell made the pass around Chase Briscoe for the lead. He would stretch his lead to over three seconds as he took the green-and-white checkered flag to signal the end of an uneventful stage one.
Championship 4 contender finishes in stage one: Christopher Bell - Win, Austin Cindric - Sixth, Matt Crafton - Seventh, Johnny Sauter - Eighth
Stage one top-10 finishers, in order: Bell, Briscoe, Enfinger, Ben Rhodes, Ryan Truex, Cindric, Crafton, Sauter, Justin Haley, Timothy Peters
All the leaders came to pit road under this caution. Cindric called for tires and to be tightened up to cure being loose in turns one and two. Bell took tires and fuel and his crew loosened him up a little bit just to try and keep up with the track. Johnny Sauter had been complaining the entire stage about being too loose. His team would give him four tires and fuel and make adjustments to cure his ill-handling truck. Matt Crafton came in with the same complaint as Sauter. His crew's service mirrored the No. 21's with tires, fuel and adjustments to fix his loose condition. All the other leaders took four tires and fuel as well.
Top-Seven off pit road: Briscoe, Bell, Cindric, Truex, Rhodes, Crafton, Sauter
The restart was a drag race to turn one between Briscoe and Bell. They raced side-by-side through turn two. As they came off the corner, Ben Rhodes dove to the inside from his third row starting spot and powered to the lead. Bell fell back into third and looked to keep from getting swallowed up by the field.
Bell fought back and closed on Briscoe. As Christopher attempted to pass, he and Briscoe made slight contact. Bell took over second and ran off to try and catch Cindric and Rhodes.
Crafton and Sauter battled each other for sixth position. Crafton looking for grip up high and Sauter trying to hug the yellow line. Crafton opened some space and the Championship 4 contenders settled in to their running positions.
Around the halfway point in the stage, Johnny Sauter's truck started to come to him. He disposed of Crafton and with 10 laps remaining, Sauter passed Austin Cindric for fourth. Ryan Truex followed Sauter through the hole opened up on the inside during the pass and took fifth from Cindric. Sauter would eventually give up fourth to Truex.
Ben Rhodes demonstrated how strong his truck was tonight, pulling out to over a five second lead over Bell. Rhodes would win stage two.
Championship 4 stage two finishes: Bell - Second, Sauter - Fifth, Cindric - Sixth, Crafton - Eighth
Top ten at the end of stage two, in order: Rhodes, Bell, Briscoe, Truex, Sauter, Cindric, Timothy Peters, Crafton, Noah Gragson, Justin Haley
The Championship 4 drivers, along with all the other leaders, would take advantage of the caution period between stages. Cindric and Crafton would come in for four tires and fuel. Bell and Sauter, looking for an advantage in track position, took fuel only, as did leader Ben Rhodes.
Top eight off pit lane (Tires): Briscoe (4), Rhodes (0), Bell (0), Cindric (4), Truex (4), Sauter (0), Gragson (4), Crafton (4)
As the field came back onto the track to line up, NASCAR announced a penalty for the No. 16 of Ryan Truex. He had crew members over the wall too soon. Truex would have to restart from the tail end of the longest line.
Chase Briscoe rocketed to the lead as the field took the green flag for the start of the final stage. Rhodes would quickly chase him down and retake the lead. The Championship 4 were running in fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth.
As Briscoe attempted to apply pressure to Rhodes for the lead, Christopher Bell and Austin Cindric entered a side-by-side battle for third. As they raced, Johnny Sauter drove up from behind to see if he could take advantage. Bell would fight to the front of the group and grab the third position.
Noah Gragson had a flat tire with 42 laps to go. He would make it back to pit road, would take fresh rubber, and head back to the track laps down. The race would stay green.
With 40 to go, Briscoe made a bid for the lead. Rhodes fought, but to no avail. Chase advanced to a lead of over one second within a couple of laps. During this battle, Sauter would overtake Austin Cindric for fourth.
With 35 laps to go, the Championship 4 contenders ran in third, fourth, fifth and sixth.
Inside of 20 to go, Bell was eating up the distance between him and Ben Rhodes in second. He also stretched to over seven seconds ahead of Johnny Sauter in fourth. Cindric continued to run fifth and Crafton was in sixth.
Ryan Truex, battling back from his penalty on the previous pit stop, started to slice through the Championship 4 drivers. He took positions from Crafton and Cindric and quickly began to catch Sauter. All the contenders but Bell would need a caution, or Christopher to suffer a disaster, to take the championship.
With ten laps to go, Briscoe still held the lead. Christopher Bell continued to hold a comfortable lead over Johnny Sauter for the championship. There would need to be an incident for there to be a change in either race.
Ben Rhodes came to pit road with five laps to go due to being out of fuel. This suddenly made fuel a possible issue for all of the leaders. It would at least make some crew chiefs nervous as the last few laps wound down on the 2017 season.
Chase Briscoe would win the Ford Eco-Boost 200 for his first career NCWTS victory. He would win by over two seconds. It would be a win for BKR in their last ever race before closing up shop at the end of the season.
After the race, Briscoe had some comments on winning and the end of BKR, "It's felt like a long time coming. I'm so proud of all these guys. To know that they're not going to have a job next year and to continue to bring good trucks even though we were outside the playoffs. It's just such a testament to how good these Brad Keselowski guys are".
Christopher Bell would finish second and win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2017 championship. It would be Bell's first championship in any NASCAR national touring series. Christopher ends the season with five wins and 21 top-10 finishes. It is the second drivers championship for KBM in the NCWTS.
Bell on winning the championship, "A dream come true doesn't even describe it. For me to be at KBM as long as I have and to go out as a champion there is something that I'm really proud of".
Championship 4 final standings: Bell - Champion, Johnny Sauter - Second, Austin Cindric - Third, Matt Crafton - Fourth
Top ten finishers, in order: Briscoe, Bell, Sauter, Truex, Cindric, Crafton, Stuart Friesen, Enfinger, Haley, Peters
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races next at Daytona in February 2018.