Steven B. Wilson

Steven B. Wilson

Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest

Bo LeMastus and the No. 54 Crosley Toyota Tundra finished 17th in yesterday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway. This race marked the first time that both, DGR-CROSLEY and LeMastus, have competed at the one-and-a-half-mile track in Atlanta.
 
LeMastus took his first laps on the abrasive track surface Friday morning during the first practice session where he used the valuable track time to get a good feel for his truck and the track alike. The team was scored 21st on the speed charts at the conclusion of the first practice session and 17th in the final 50-minute session.
 
On Saturday, LeMastus laid down a solid qualifying lap with a speed of 177.442 mph, securing a 15th-place starting position for the Active Control 200. When the green flag flew Saturday afternoon, the No. 54 Toyota was shuffled back several spots on the initial start and worked hard during the first and second stages of racing to gain back his track position. A caution for debris on lap 60 of the 130-lap event put the No. 54 Toyota back on the lead lap and in position to start working through the field. At the conclusion of Stage 2, LeMastus was scored in the 20th position. Crew Chief, Kevin "Bono" Manion, called for four Goodyear tires and a wedge adjustment on the final pit stop of the race. The adjustments helped boost LeMastus and the No. 54 Toyota to a 17th-place, lead lap finish.  
 
"This track is tough," reported LeMastus. "It took me several runs to get comfortable with the track and hit my marks but once I did it just kind of clicked. I wish I could go back in time with what I know now and start the weekend over, but man it was fun. I'm happy to be working with this 54 crew - they've helped me a lot this weekend - and it's been very valuable to have veterans in the sport like Bono and David [Gilliland] sharing their knowledge with me."
 
Next week the No. 54 DGR-CROSLEY team will head to Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway for the Stratosphere 200.
 
DGR-Crosley PR
 

ADL Motorsports has joined forces with Off Axis Paint for the 2018 racing season, starting at Madera Speedway this weekend. ADL Motorsports, who is under the Naake-Klauer Motorsports alliance, fields the No. 98 Late Model, piloted by rookie driver, Adam Lemke. 

Off Axis Paint is a management company based out of Mooresville, North Carolina, whose primary focus is on the key aspects of building a successful brand. Throughout the 2018 season, Off Axis Paint will be the primary partner on the No. 98 Late Model, driven by Adam Lemke. Lemke and ADL Motorsports has also created an alliance with Naake-Klauer Motorsports, who provides quality equipment and an expertise in competition. 

“I am excited about the partnership with ADL Motorsports and Adam for the 2018 season,” Off Axis Paint Owner, Greg Stumpff, said. “We believe that Adam has the talent to make it to the top levels in the Motorsports industry, and are looking forward to growing with him as a driver.” 

Driver, Adam Lemke said, “Off Axis Paint is a primarily known throughout NASCAR and the auto racing community for their unbelievable and prestige artwork and helmet design. We are honored to have Off Axis Paint join the ADL Motorsports team and are excited to work with them for the 2018 race season and build a relationship that will continue for years to come.”

Lemke will be competing in the RPM Pro Mortgage Late Model Series races at Madera Speedway. In addition, Lemke will compete in the Western US Midget Series, a twenty-one Race touring series throughout the United States, along with a limited East Coast schedule racing for Hawk McCall Motorsports under Ranier Racing Development, with Race Face on board as a partner. 

For more information on ADL Motorsports, visit the website www.adamlemkeracing.com

ADL Motorsports PR

JOHNNY SAUTER
No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet Silverado

 

Start: 9th
Finish: 3rd
Points: 1st

 

Stage One: Sauter finished Stage One in the seventh position after battling a tight condition for the first 40 laps. Under the caution, crew chief Joe Shear, Jr., called the No. 21 in for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to provide more front grip and better rotation for the Allegiant Chevrolet.

 

Stage Two: Sauter gained five spots on pit road to begin the second stage from the second position, eventually taking the lead for the first time of the race on lap 51. He continued to suffer from a lack of front grip, but was able to complete Stage Two in the second position before pitting once again for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment at the break. Quick work from the No. 21 pit crew earned Sauter the lead off pit road.

 

Final Stage: Sauter led for the first nine laps of the final stage before falling back to the second position. With lapped traffic slowing his advance to challenge for the lead, the No. 21 team hoped for a caution late in the race. With six laps to go, the yellow flag waved and Sauter came to pit road for four tires, restarting second in NASCAR Overtime. After being taken three-wide on the restart, Sauter fell back to the third position as he crossed the start-finish line.

 

Quote:
“I would love to be able to tell you I could do something different, but I just don’t think I could have. Wide open is wide open, and I ran those final laps wide open. I felt like we were in the right position and it just didn’t work out. My pit crew is phenomenal. Those guys are ultimately the ones that got us track position all night. I’m going to beat myself up for a week on
 this one, because I just don’t know what I could’ve done differently, so I’ll have to go back and watch to see if there is anything I missed. But, I feel good going into Vegas where we had a fast truck last year, especially seeing how fast we were here.”

 

 

 

DALTON SARGEANT
No. 25 Performance Plus Motor Oil Chevrolet Silverado

 

Start: 6th
Finish: 14th
Points: 7th

 

Stage One: Fighting an extremely loose handling Performance Plus Chevrolet Silverado as soon as the race started, Sargeant did his best to hold on, finishing Stage One in the 14th position. Crew chief Doug Randolph called for four tires, fuel and adjustments for the No. 25 under the stage break and Sargeant lined up 12th for the restart.

 

Stage Two: Still fighting handling issues throughout Stage Two, Sargeant cracked the top-10 after 80 laps, finishing the stage in 10th-place. Sargeant hit pit road under the caution for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments, returning to the track in 10th for the restart.

 

Final Stage: Running just outside the top-10 as the laps were winding down, Sargeant continued to combat the handling of his Performance Plus Chevy. However, with four laps remaining, the No. 33 spun in front of Sargeant, and despite trying to avoid the accident, Sargeant sustained right side damage. Sargeant came to pit road three times under the caution for damage repair and fresh tires, but still remained on the lead lap. Sargeant ultimately crossed the finish line in 14th place after a green-white-checkered finish ended the race on lap 134.

 

Quote:

Tonight was a tough race for us. Atlanta is a difficult track and I struggled with managing the grip level. We missed the handling by just a bit on the short runs, and by the time the truck started coming around, it was too late. I think we could have had a much better finish, but it was just wrong place, wrong time when the 33 truck spun. It was a good learning weekend for all of us, and we had a really good pace at different times throughout the weekend. That’s something we can build on moving forward. I think we have a good plan though heading to Las Vegas (Motor Speedway), and I look forward to working with the team some more.”

 

 

 

CODY COUGHLIN
No. 2 JEGS.com Chevrolet Silverado

 

Start: 8th
Finish: 20th
Points: 16th

 

Stage One: Running as high as fourth, Coughlin finished Stage One in the 11th position. He reported that his JEGS.com Chevrolet Silverado was “loose on entry and tight center off” throughout the first 40 laps and came to the attention of his pit crew under the stage break. While on pit road Coughlin received four tires, fuel and round of adjustments, lining up ninth for the restart.

 

Stage Two: Running inside the top-10 during Stage Two, Coughlin relayed that his Chevy’s handing was still too tight on exit. As the run progressed, Coughlin suspected that his right front tire was giving up. Coughlin was able to stay on track despite the tire issue to finish Stage Two in 15th. He then pitted for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments under the stage break, but an issue on the stop forced Crew Chief Jerry Baxter to call Coughlin down pit road a second time to top off on fuel, relegating him to 19th on the restart.

 

Final Stage: Working his way through traffic while running his fastest laps of the race, Coughlin made his way into the top-15 as the laps were winding down. However, with just over 10 laps remaining, Coughlin reported that his right front tire was giving him issues again. Despite trying to salvage his tire to the finish, Coughlin ultimately came to pit road under green, initially for two right side tires, with six laps remaining. While he was on pit road, the caution came out, and Baxter made the quick decision to change all four tires instead. However, after a pit road penalty, NASCAR ruled the No. 2 one lap down. With a green-white-checkered finish to end the race, Coughlin was scored with a 20th-place finish.

 

Quote:
"We had a fast JEGS.com Chevy at the beginning of the race, we just got progressively tighter as the race went on. Despite being tight, we had two separate tire issues that really ended our competitive night. The last one coming with only a few laps to go was just bad luck. The speed we showed though has me optimistic for when our luck does turn around.”

 

 

 

JUSTIN HALEY
No. 24 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet

 

Start: 5th
Finish: 22nd
Points: 10th

 

Stage One: Haley started from the fifth position before reporting that he was fighting tight with no rear downforce. He fell back to the 14th position prior to telling the team he had a flat right rear on lap 32. Pitting under green, Haley lost two laps to the leaders, relegating him to a 25th-place Stage One finish. Coming to the green and white checkered flag, Haley stated there was still an issue with the Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet. He pitted twice under the break, first for the team to diagnose and then repair a part failure.

 

Stage Two: An early caution, 14 laps into Stage Two, allowed Haley to return to pit road under yellow for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to aid a loose handling condition. Pitting under the caution allowed the team to stay on track at the conclusion of Stage Two to gain back a lap. Haley took the wave around to start the final stage in the 22nd position, now only one lap down to the leaders.

 

Final Stage: After pitting off-sequence from the leaders, the No. 24 team hoped for a caution in the first half of the final stage, as they could not make it to the end on fuel. With the race staying green, Haley came to pit road on lap 111 for right-side tires and fuel, losing another lap. When the final caution of the night occurred on lap 126, Haley stayed on track to earn a lap back, ultimately finishing 22nd in his first start at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

 

Additional Notes:
- Following a second-place result at Daytona International Speedway a week ago, Haley started off his Atlanta debut with a first and third-place showing in NCWTS practice sessions on Friday. He followed that up with a fifth-place qualifying effort, the highest of the four GMS trucks.

 

Quote:
“It was cool to show up to Atlanta and experience what all the hype was about. Having an abrasive track surface
created a
mazing racing and really fast speeds. The Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet was so fast in practice and qualifying, which made it all the more heartbreaking when we had our part failure on lap one. We say it all the time, how far our mile-and-a-half program has come, but now we’re showing everyone else the hard work GMS Fabrication puts into our chassis.”

 

GMS Racing PR

Spencer Gallagher
No. 23 Allegiant Chevrolet Camaro
Atlanta Motor Speedway
 
Start: 13th (to the rear)
Stage one: 14th
Stage two: 15th
Finish: 14th
Points: 5th
 
Additional Info
- Gallagher had to start from the rear of the field because of an unapproved adjustment after qualifying.
 
Quote
"Coming home from Atlanta with a top-15 finish and the car in one piece makes me very pleased. We couldn't quite get the handling where it needed to be. I was fighting with a tight No. 23 Allegiant Chevrolet in the center of the corners all day and I needed more center rotation. I can't thank my GMS Racing team and the guys back at the shop enough for building this solid car. I am really looking forward to the west coast swing and getting back to my hometown of Las Vegas next weekend."
 
GMS Racing PR
In his most competitive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race of his young career, Jesse Little wheeled his No. 97 JJL Motorsports Ford Fusion to a career-best eighth place finish in Saturday afternoon's Active Pest Control 200 at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway.

The JJL Motorsports team led by Matt Noyce saved their best cards for last putting the family-owned team in contention for their first career series win in just his 14th career start.

Utilizing practice on Friday afternoon at Atlanta's 1.54-mile quad oval, Noyce and Little spent the series' first practice session finding their comfort zone in the team's new vehicle acquired during the off-season from Brad Keselowski Racing.

When final practice was complete Little produced the fourth quickest lap overall
showcasing their potential for Saturday's race.

During time trials on Saturday morning, the speed remained propelling Little's No. 97 Wings Over North Georgia Air ShowFord through Round 1 of knockout qualifying and into the final round giving Little at shot at the pole. While he was only able to produce the 12th quickest lap overall, Little found himself in a good spot for the race.

The green flag flew just before 5:00 p.m., local with Little quickly maneuvering his truck through the field.

Turning some of the quickest laps on track, Little nestled himself in fifth when the first stage completed at Lap 40.

Tire conservation and management were key for Little and his team during the race's second stage. With strategy their top focus, Little remained competitive and in contention but claimed eighth when the stage completed at Lap 80.

Despite wrestling a tight race truck in traffic, Little remained cool, calm and collected on the radio.

From the onset of Stage 3, Little stayed in conservative mode before switching to attack mode inside the race's final 30 laps. While climbing through the field to fourth inside the final 15 laps of the race, a caution waved near the end of the race throwing the field into NASCAR overtime.

Another great stop on pit road from his Stewart-Haas Racing pit crew, Little found himself still hovered inside the top-five with laps winding down.

A bundle of race trucks stalled Little's momentum on the restart keeping him from contending for his first series' victory. However, despite the mangled web of trucks Little found surrounded in, he emerged from the pack and claimed eighth when the checkered flag flew.

The finish was a career-best result for the Sherrills Ford, N.C. native surpassing a ninth-place result at Iowa Speedway last summer.

Driver Quote:

"I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming support today, including our partnership with Wings Over North Georgia Air Show. I wanted to come here to learn and gain respect. Truck was solid all night and fast - thank you Matt Noyce and team. I was patient all race, positioning myself to be up front at the end.
 
"On the last restart, the No. 13 (Myatt Snider) got loose and I checked up, losing my momentum. All good and I'm happy for Brett (Moffitt, winner). Our team is coming together.
 
I'm looking forward to our next two races at Dover and Charlotte. This was a great start to our 2018 season!"
 
JJL Motorsports PR
Brett Moffitt drove the No. 16 AISIN Group Toyota Tundra to victory lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway in thrilling fashion and gave HRE team owner Shige Hattori his first win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). It was the second victory in Moffitt’s 15-race NCWTS career and the first for Toyota in 2018. Moffitt took advantage of a restart in overtime to make a three-wide pass with two laps remaining to secure his first victory of the season.
 
Moffitt started from the 10th position in Saturday’s Active Pest Control 200 and immediately displayed the strength of his AISIN Group Toyota Tundra from the outset. The Grimes, Iowa native powered his way into the top five by lap 14 and finished Stage 1 in fourth position at lap 40. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the HRE crew serviced Moffitt for four tires and air pressure changes to fine tune a loose condition under the caution period. Moffitt fired off from fourth position to begin Stage 2 on lap 48.
 
The performance from Stage 1 continued to Stage 2 as Moffitt became a serious contender while running inside the top three positions. Moffitt took advantage of a restart on lap 64 by pushing Kyle Busch to the race lead and grabbed the runner-up position in the process. The balance of Stage 2 ran under the green flag and saw Moffitt finish third at lap 80 despite a loose balance. Zipadelli once again brought Moffitt to pit road for four tires and air pressure adjustments under the ensuing caution.
 
Moffitt restarted on the ill-favored outside lane on the lap 87 restart and fell to eighth. Despite losing track position, Moffitt methodically picked off positions to re-enter the top five by lap 97. He advanced to third by lap 110 and was in a prime position to take advantage of an opportune caution on lap 126. Zipadelli made the call for four tires under the yellow flag that would set up an overtime restart. Quick pit work by the HRE pit crew returned Moffitt to the speedway in third and allowed him to restart in the inside lane. On the restart, Moffitt perfectly executed the initial launch to make a three-wide move for the lead entering Turn 1 on the bottom. Moffitt completed the winning pass in Turn 1 and set sail to capture his second-career NCWTS victory by 1.326 seconds. The victory vaulted Moffitt up 21 positions in the NCWTS drivers standings to fifth.
 
Brett Moffitt Quote:
 
“It was the 13 (truck) being on two tires, I didn’t know if he was going to spin them, or how good of a start he was going to get. I knew we would be able to launch harder. It seemed like our JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) motor built by Mark Cronquist was really good on restarts. I was able to push Kyle (Busch) to the lead on one. I tried to on another and he spun his tires and kind of got us back there in the pack a little bit. But, we had a really good Tundra and we were able to drive back by. On that final restart, I was trying to give him enough space to where if he did spin his tires, I could still get to the bottom. And luckily, once I got into (turn) one I could clear him and clear Johnny (Sauter). They stayed side-by-side and we were able to drive away.”
 
“I expected to be good. Shige has put all the right people in the right places. We don’t have the biggest shop and don’t have most trucks, but he’s made damn sure we have the right people with Scott and (General Manager Mike) Greci, and everyone down to the pit crew. They did a great job all night too. I knew we would be successful, I didn’t think it’d be this early.”
 
Shige Hattori Quote:
 
“It’s so emotional. Everybody, Scott, team manager (Mike Greci), and all members did a really good job. Brett, he did our first K&N (Pro Series East) win and then truck win. I am so happy.”
 
“We tried so hard to put the right deal together for Brett and to get him in victory lane with AISIN Group is so great. It’s a great accomplishment for our team. We knew everyone here is capable of winning, and it feels nice to finally get to victory lane.” 
 
HRE PR

Atlanta Motor Speedway, otherwise known as "Hotlanta", was the first of many 1.5-mile race tracks on schedule for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Most 1.5-miles tracks tend to be labeled as "cookie cutter" tracks, but due to the old pavement, Atlanta is a place entirely it's own. 

Spencer Boyd and team would start in the 35th position for the Rinnai 250. It only took Boyd a handful of laps to slice through the field and pick up about 6 positions in his Grunt Style Chevrolet Camaro. The 00 of Cole Custer made hard contact with the wall to bring out the caution early on lap 11. Despite fighting an ill handling car, Boyd battled leader Kevin Harvick late in the stage to stay on the lead lap. Caution signaled the conclusion of stage one, as Kevin Harvick took the green and white checkers. 

Boyd would start the second stage in 20th position after crew chief Jason Miller used a bit of strategy to move his driver up the running order. In effort to conserve his tires, Boyd slipped back to around the 30th position for most of the second stage. Kevin Harvick continued to show dominion over the field and won stage two. Boyd said the car was just too tight in the center of the corner. Jason Miller called for some big adjustments to the car, as Boyd came in for new tires and fuel on lap 84 of the 163 lap event. 

A solid pit stop from the crew had Boyd restarting in the 28th position for the final stage. Boyd balanced aggression with tire conservation and managed to battle up toward the 25th position during the long green flag run of the final stage. With about 32 laps remaining, Boyd lost some time during the final green flag pit stop, as he was forced to maneuver around neighboring cars on pit road. Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag after absolutely dominating the entire race. Despite all circumstances, Boyd kept the car clean and brought home the Grunt Style Chevrolet in the 29th position.  

After the race Boyd stated, "Wow. This place was a handful! We knew coming in tire conservation was going to be the key. We battled a tight handling car for most of the race, but Jason made some great adjustments for that last stage. I hate we had a few spots get away from us at the end there, but we're learning. Jason and Hayden did a great job coaching me this weekend. It's hard coming into a place where you've never been, but I feel like I learned a lot. We'll keep improving." 

Boyd will take a few days to rest up from this weekend's activities, before heading out to Vegas for the beginning of the West Coast swing. Boyd currently sits 31st in the NASCAR Xfinity Series standings. 

Spencer Boyd PR

Kyle Busch started from the pole in his No. 4 Cessna Tundra and led a race-high 67 laps before a miscue on the final pit stop ended his chance at victory.
 
Stage One Recap:
  • Starting from the pole, Busch's Cessna Tundra was very tight throughout the first stage of the race.
  • He finished the first 40-lap stage in third place and requested several adjustments for his first pit stop on lap 43. After four tires, fuel, air pressure, wedge and track bar adjustments, he returned to the race in third place to start the second stage.
Stage Two Recap:
  • The adjustments made to the Cessna Tundra seemed to help as Busch took the lead from Matt Crafton on lap 53. He stayed out front and won Stage Two of the race. He pitted on lap 83 for a few more adjustments to prepare for the final 50-lap stage.
Stage Three Recap:
  • Busch started the final stage second and took the lead from Johnny Sauter within six laps.
  • It looked as though Busch would win his first NCWTS race of the season until a caution came out with five laps to go. He was called to pit road for four tires and an air pressure adjustment so he wouldn't be too tight at the end of the race.
  • A miscue on pit road resulted in the left-rear tire falling off the truck which left Busch a lap down in 21st place to end the race.
Active Pest Control 200 Recap:
  • Brett Moffitt won the race, followed by KBM's Noah Gragson, Johnny Sauter, Ben Rhodes and Matt Crafton rounded out the top-five finishers
  • The race featured five cautions for a total of 24 laps. There were nine lead changes among six drivers. Busch led three times for 67 laps and Gragson led once for 43 laps.
How Busch's KBM Teammates Fared:
Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished 2nd  
Spencer Davis, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 13th
 
NCWTS Owner Championship Standings:
The No. 4 team leaves Atlanta ranked fourth in the Truck Series Owner's Championship Standings, 38 points out of first.
 
Next Race:
 
Busch will compete in the No. 51 Cessna Tundra when the Truck Series returns to action March 2 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway and Spencer Davis will be behind the wheel of the No. 4 JBL/SiriusXM Tundra as well. Live coverage of the race begins at 9 p.m. ET on FS1.
 
KBM PR
Spencer Davis returned to his home state of Georgia hoping to end his day in Victory Lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After running in the top 10 much of the race, his Rheem Tundra suffered from a tight condition in the final stage, but Davis never gave up and came back to finish 13th.
 
Stage One Recap:
  • Davis started fourth after a great qualifying effort. He was tight throughout the first stage and finished the first 40 laps in 10th.
  • He pitted on lap 43 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
Stage Two Recap:
  • Davis returned to the track ninth to start the second 40-lap stage. He worked his way up to sixth and said his Rheem Tundra could be just a tick freer.
  • He finished Stage Two in seventh place and pitted on lap 83 for four tires and another air pressure adjustment.
Stage Three Recap:
  • Davis started the final stage in seventh. The Rheem Tundra tightened up and he was in 10th when a late-race caution came with five laps to go.
  • Davis came to pit road for service, but a pit equipment malfunction put him at the tail end of the lead lap for the green, white, checker restart.
  • He made the most of the final two laps and even went four-wide to gain track position. He fought his way back up to 13th to finish the race.

KBM PR