Saturday, Sep 25
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Kaulig Racing announced today the addition of Daniel Hemric to its 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) lineup.
 
Hemric, who has made 113 starts in the NXS and earned 39 top five and 66 top-10 finishes, has signed on to pilot the team’s flagship No. 11 Chevrolet full-time to compete for the 2022 NXS championship.
 
“The belief that Matt Kaulig and Chris Rice have in me to come drive their notable, No. 11 car means the world to me,” said Hemric. “Equally, I believe in their program, their vision, and what they’re building at Kaulig Racing. It’s impressive to see how they’ve become an elite, multi-car Xfinity Series program in such a short period of time. I’m just incredibly thankful for the opportunity to drive for them next year, and I’m ready to put in the work to continue building on the team's success.”
 
Hemric, also in contention for the 2021 NXS championship, made the Championship 4 round of the NXS playoffs in both 2017 and 2018 with Richard Childress Racing (RCR). 
 
Beginning in 2016, Kaulig Racing entered its first, full-time NXS season with the No. 11 Chevy. 2021 marked the first season Kaulig Racing has fielded three, full-time entries in the NXS. All three Kaulig Racing drivers are set to race for the 2021 NXS championship, beginning with the first playoff race on September 25.
 
“We’re excited to welcome Daniel to our Kaulig Racing family,” said Chris Rice, president of Kaulig Racing. “Daniel is a strong competitor, and we think he will make a great addition to our Xfinity Series program. Statistically, Daniel ranks right among the Kaulig Racing cars each week on the racetrack, so it’s fitting that we bring in someone who will only continue to make us better.”
 
Cementing itself as a powerhouse team in the NXS, Kaulig Racing earned the 2021 NXS regular-season championship with AJ Allmendinger, as well as the title of second-fastest team to win a race in the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS), with Allmendinger winning the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at the infamous Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this year.
 
“Kaulig Racing has come a long way in just a few short years, and that’s something I’m truly proud of,” said Matt Kaulig, Kaulig Racing team owner. “This year, we stepped it up by having three, full-time entries in the Xfinity Series and competing in the Cup Series part-time. We blew all expectations out of the water when we won our first Cup race with AJ Allmendinger, won the regular-season championship in the Xfinity Series, and got all three of our full-time drivers into the playoffs. We think Daniel is a great pick to help us elevate our program.”
 
Kaulig Racing will continue its momentous season beginning this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first round of the NXS playoffs. Partnership announcements for Hemric and the No. 11 Chevrolet will come at a later date. 
 
Kaulig Racing PR

This weekend, for the South Point 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, one car holds very special meaning. The images and/or names of 5 local organ donor heroes will adorn Joey Gase’s Nevada Donor Network car. In 2011, Gase’s mother, Mary, died of a brain aneurysm and helped save and heal the lives of 66 people as an organ, eye and tissue donor. Nevada Donor Network and Gase have partnered together since 2013 to promote the gift of life and health through donation by honoring local heroes and their courageous families each time he races at LVMS. Below is the list of our incredible honorees.

Several Hand Prints of Hope with messages written by families of heroic donors will also be displayed on Gase’s vehicle, including, but not limited to:     

Bridgette Laney’s tribute reads “Life isn’t forever, but we can help others live longer!”

These special honoree tributes and messages of hope are intended to inspire Nevadans to say

‘YES’ to registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor. We all have the power to bring hope to the nearly 600 Nevadans and over 100,000 Americans in need of a lifesaving organ transplant. Visit www.nvdonor.org to learn more and register as a hero today. 

“I am so thankful to Nevada Donor Network for teaming up with us this weekend so we can not only race, but, more importantly, raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation and honor all of these incredible heroes,” said Gase.

For more information about interview opportunities before, during and after the race, please contact Halley Metcalfe / The Ferraro Group / Cell: 702-969-9004 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Joey Gase PR

After starting the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 from the pole, John Hunter Nemechek led all 30 laps in the opening stage to capture his 11th stage win of the year.
 
During the middle stanza, the Berry’s Manufacturing Tundra experienced a number of mechanical issues that would set back the No. 4 team for the remainder of the race. Nemechek would lose power twice throughout the final two stages and spend 44 laps behind the wall in the Final Stage before being relegated to a 33rd-place finish.
 
Despite the 33rd-place finish, Nemechek is still 28-points above the cutoff line to advance to the Championship 4. 
 
 
Stage One Recap
 
  • John Hunter Nemechek started the Victoria’s Voice 200 from the pole next to Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) teammate Chandler Smith.
  • Nemechek chose the outside lane to start the race and was out in front by the time the field came back around to the start/finish line.
  • The Berry’s Manufacturing driver would lead all 30 laps of the opening stage, picking up an additional 10 stage points. 
 
 
Stage Two Recap:
 
  • After bringing No. 4 Tundra to pit road, Nemechek started Stage Two from the first position on the inside lane.
  • Just two laps into the middle stanza, Nemechek had fallen back to sixth before the caution was brought out for debris on the track.
  • Following the ensuing restart, John Hunter Nemechek dropped from sixth to 22nd in just three laps and reported that the No. 4 Tundra had “power to the gauges, but no power to the truck.”
  • This mechanical issue would bring out the caution on lap 54 as Nemechek came to a stop on the 1.5-mile tri-oval. Nemechek communicated that the Berry’s Manufacturing Tundra would “refire every once in a while, but still had no ignition power”.
  • Nemechek came to the green-and-white checkered flag in the 32nd-position to end Stage Two.  
 
 
Final Stage Recap:
 
  •  Following the mechanical issues in the middle stage, Nemechek would start the Final Stage in 32nd.
  • With 55 laps to go in the Victoria’s Voice 200, Nemechek once again experienced mechanical issues as the No. 4 Tundra came to a stop on the backstretch of Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
  • This time, Nemechek and the No. 4 team would bring the Berry’s Manufacturing Tundra behind pit wall to assess the issue.
  • The No. 4 team was able to fix the issue and send the Tundra back out onto the track with just eight laps remaining and the field under caution.
  • John Hunter Nemechek was relegated to a 33rd-place finish in the Victoria’s Voice 200.  
 
 
 
John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Berry's Manufacturing Tundra for KBM:
 
What are your thoughts about tonight?
“I think we are in a good spot in points, so I’m not too worried about it right now. We just have to go perform. We can’t have issues like this. I said coming into tonight that we can’t beat ourselves. We had the fastest truck here I felt like from stage one. We made adjustments and I felt like we were even better, and then we had ignition problems all night still running fast lap times, so I don’t know what to do.” 
 
 
Victoria's Voice Foundation 200 Recap
 
  • Christian Eckes picked up his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Eckes was followed by ThorSport Racing teammates Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, and Johnny Sauter. Todd Gilliland rounded out the top-five.
  • There were 10 cautions for 39 laps. There were 14 lead changes among 11 drivers, including Nemechek who led the first 33 laps of the race.  
 
 
How John Hunter Nemechek's KBM Teammates Fared:
 
·        Drew Dollar, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 24th.
·        Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished 35th
 
 
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Standings
 
Despite a 33rd-place finish, John Hunter Nemechek currently sits in second place and 28-points above the cutline to advance to the Championship 4. 
 
 
Next Race
 
Nemechek and the No. 4 team will head to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for the second race of the Round of 8 on Oct. 2. Live coverage will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 1 p.m. ET.

KBM PR

Chandler Smith had a fast Safelite AutoGlass Tundra in the early part of Friday’s Victoria’s Voice 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, finishing third in the opening stage and 10th in Stage Two, but early in the Final Stage couldn’t avoid a truck that had spun in front of him. After caroming off that truck and sliding down the track, his Tundra was struck by another competitor, leaving the Safelite Tundra mangled and unable to continue.
 
After being relegated to a 35th-place finish, Smith leaves the first race in the Round of 8 eighth on the playoff grid. The 19-year-old driver is 24 points below the cutoff line for advancing to the Championship 4 with two races remaining in the round.
 
 
Stage One Recap
 
  • Smith lined up second for the 134-lap event based on NASCAR’s matrix system with drivers and teams in the playoffs making up the top nine positions.
  • The 19-year-old driver communicated that the handling of his Safelite Tundra was “a little tight,” but he maintained a position inside the top five for the first 30 laps of the race.
  • When the field came to the stripe to end Stage One on lap 30, the Safelite Tundra was in the third position and Smith earned eight stage points.
 
 
Stage Two Recap:
 
  • Between stages the over-the-wall crew executed a four-tire and fuel stop. Due to Smith coming to a stop in an awkward direction, the stop was slower than normal, and the No. 18 Tundra exited pit road in the ninth position.
  • Smith elected to start on the bottom of the fifth row when Stage Two went green on lap 36. He was running ninth when the next caution occurred and elected to line up on the top of the fourth row for the ensuing restart.
  • With a few drivers with fresher tires lined up just behind him, he would fall from eighth to 10th in the closing laps of Stage Two and earned one stage point.
 
 
Final Stage Recap:
 
  • Smith communicated that his Tundra “needs more security,” before hitting pit road for four-tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment between stages.
  • With several teams electing to pit when the caution came out just before the stage break, the Safelite Tundra lined up on the top of the 10th row when the Final Stage went green on Lap 66.
  • The Toyota Racing Development product began to drive his way back through the field and on Lap 70 was scored in the 10th position.
  • Tyler Ankrum spun in front of Smith and Smith tried to maneuver to the top side of Ankrum and didn’t have enough room to get through. After making contact with Ankrum, Smith’s Tundra caromed down the track into the path of Sheldon Creed and then came to a stop near the inside wall.
  • The damage was major, and Smith ended the night in the garage with a disappointing 35th-place finish.
 
 
 
Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra for KBM:
 
Are you okay and what happened?
“Yeah, I’m all good. Tyler (Ankrum) got loose up at the top. He got completely sideways. Some tracks like this I’ve got experience with, they come back down the race track and take a good portion of the field with them. My spotter told me to go low. I should have listened to him. It’s completely my fault. I went high. I went with my gut and bit the bullet for it. It is what it is. It’s a heartbreaker. We had really good momentum. We had a really fast Safelite Toyota Tundra tonight. Got in front of all of the guys who had tires except for one, and we would have been set pretty good there. Disappointed in myself.” 
 
 
Victoria's Voice Foundation 200 Recap
 
  • Christian Eckes picked up the first win of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career. Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter and Todd Gilliland rounded out the top-five finishers.
  • There were 10 cautions for 39 laps. There were 14 lead changes among 11 drivers.
 
 
How Chandler Smith's KBM Teammates Fared:
 
·        Drew Dollar, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 24th.
·        John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished 33rd.
 
 
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Standings
 
After the first race in the Round of 8, Smith sits eighth on the playoff grid, 24 points below the cutoff line for advancing to the Championship 4 with two races remaining.
 
 
Next Race

KBM PR

Sheldon Creed, No. 2 LiftKits4Less Chevrolet Silverado

START: 9th    

FINISH: 36th

POINTS: 5th

- Sheldon Creed began the Round of 8 with high hopes of securing maximum points after riding a wave of momentum throughout a dominant opening of the Round of 10 in which he scored two wins.

- Creed started ninth due to a disappointing finish at Bristol Motor Speedway, but gained a spot early on to finish eighth in Stage 1. As the race progressed, the No. 2 LiftKits4Less Silverado drove into the Top 5, gaining valuable stage points to finish 5th in Stage 2.

- Disaster struck on lap 71 of 134, when Creed was involved in a multi-truck crash off turn two, ending his night early with a huge hit that led to a fire. Thankfully, Sheldon walked away from the crash uninjured, but the end result was a dismal 36th place finish. Not the way that the reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion hoped to open up the Round of 8.

#Back2Back: Sheldon Creed finds himself on the outside looking in as the series heads to Talladega Superspeedway, currently scored in fifth place, five points below the cutline. The No. 2 crew will have to rally back in the next two races in order to advance to the season finale in Phoenix.

Quote: "Man, restarts were a lot of fun all night, I had a lot of fun on the restarts early but we got shuffled back when we didn't pit there. I just wasn't able to see the 18 truck through the wreck and destroyed both of our trucks. We didn't have a great truck, but I thought we had a top 8 truck. Unfortunate, but it'll make Talladega interesting and fun."

 

Zane Smith, No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet Silverado

START: 4th

FINISH: 29th

POINTS: 7th

- After narrowly advancing into the Round of 8 via a clutch late race rally at Bristol Motor Speedway, Zane Smith began the Round of 8 in fourth place above the cutline after the points reset. Smith would start the Victoria's Voice 200 from the fourth position, eyeing a good points night in Sin City.

- The No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet showed speed early on, contending for the lead and finishing sixth in Stage 1. Just as it appeared that Smith would turn his luck around and have a good finish, contact from another competitor early on in Stage 2 cut his left rear tire down, shredding debris down the back straightaway and ripping out battery terminal cables.

- Smith's crew feverishly went to work to repair the damage and replace the battery, but the No. 21 Silverado would lose many laps behind the wall, effectively knocking the team out of contention. Zane completed the race with a disappointing 29th place finish.

#21in21: Zane Smith now finds himself below the cutline ahead of the next race at Talladega Superspeedway, 19 points out. Driver No. 21 has to climb out of a sizable hole in order to compete in the Championship 4 round, but make no mistake, the team is ready to overcome adversity once again.

Quote: "Man, it would be nice if things could go our way in one of these races. My guys brought me a fast No. 21 Allegiant Silverado tonight, we fired off pretty loose but I thought that as the night went on that we were going to be in good shape. I did everything I could to hold onto it as my left rear tire got cut down, but we just lost too much time trying to fix it. Hopefully Talladega will be nicer to us next weekend."

 

Chase Purdy, No. 23 Bama Buggies Chevrolet Silverado

START: 19th

FINISH: 13th

POINTS: 19th

- Chase Purdy made his third career start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday night, a track that hadn't quite been to kind to the rookie in his previous starts, with a best finish of 23rd earlier this season in March.

- Purdy started from the 19th position but had to overcome early adversity on a restart, finishing 22nd in Stage 1. The No. 23 driver gained some spots in Stage 2, where he finished 18th. As the race progressed, Purdy was able to avoid others' misfortunes as he climbed the leaderboard.

- The rookie continued to pass trucks late in the race and came home with a 13th place finish in Las Vegas, the top-finishing GMS Racing driver on the evening. The run was Purdy's second-highest finish of the season.

Quote: "Really crazy night. We got put behind early with nose damage on an early restart, but somehow survived the wrecks and fought hard. I'm proud of my No. 23 guys' efforts and for never giving up. It's not the finish we wanted but we will take it with all things considered that happened to us tonight."

 

Jack Wood, No. 24 Martin Auto Color Chevrolet Silverado

START: 20th

FINISH: 30th

POINTS: 30th

- Jack Wood had high hopes of welcoming new sponsor Martin Auto Color to the sport with a bang, as the 21-year-old rookie made his first start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

- Qualifying 20th, Jack would stay consistent throughout Stage 1, where he crossed the line in 20th as he continued to adapt to the track. Pit strategy towards the latter part of Stage 2 had the No. 24 Silverado running as high as fifth as the laps wound down, and Wood finished 13th.

- Wood continued to gain track position through the final laps of the race, dodging large crashes and passing other trucks on merit. Unfortunately, with just over twenty laps to go, Jack was involved in a crash with another competitor, cutting down his right front tire and sustaining heavy right side damage. The No. 24 team tried to fix the damage, but ultimately he had to park with a disappointing 30th place finish.

Quote: "Definitely not the way that I was looking to end my night here in Las Vegas. I felt that we were able to gain speed throughout the night, whether it was adjustments in the pits or myself as a driver. As we headed into the final stage, I thought that we were going to be in good shape, but unfortunately we got involved and weren't able to finish. Onto Talladega next weekend."

 

Tyler Ankrum, No. 26 LiUNA! Chevrolet Silverado

START: 16th

FINISH: 34th

POINTS: 15th

- Tyler Ankrum raced his heart out at Darlington, starting deep in the field in 25th. As the No. 26 LiUNA! Chevrolet passed several trucks through the pack, it appeared as if Ankrum was going to have a good finish.

- Early on, Ankrum found out pretty quickly why the track is labeled "Too Tough to Tame", as he made contact with the wall in turn 3 and earned his first Darlington stripe. The damage was enough to hinder Ankrum's Silverado in a significant way, as he was not able to recover. Stage 1 had the No. 26 positioned in 16th, but by Stage 2, he had dropped to 19th.

- Officially, Ankrum was scored with an 18th place finish. Not the finish that he was looking for, but with all things considered, it could have been worse. The team will try to rebound in the series' next outing at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Quote: "I was racing the 22 truck there, and he faded high and I was going to try and grab his right rear quarter panel, but I got up in the marbles and lost it. I know Sheldon was involved in that wreck, so I want to apologize to him, he's in the Playoffs and I'm not, so it sucks. We had a pretty fast truck, but will just have to go to the next race."

 

GMS Racing PR

Hailie Deegan, No. 1 Craftsman Ford F-150

Start: 17th

Finish: 31st

  • Early in Stage 1, Deegan reported her Craftsman truck could stand to be a little looser while running in the top-20. Throughout the stage, the California native continued to work her way forward. She finished the opening stage 14th and was looking for adjustments to loosen up her truck a little bit. Deegan pitted for service during the break but slid through her pit box which resulted in a lengthy pit stop. 
  • Deegan started Stage 2 from the 27th position. She once again began working her way up through the field and into the top-20. Under caution on lap 52, the Ford driver pitted from 19th after relaying she needed her F-150 to be loosened up more. After the race returned to green, Deegan continued to advance her track position and completed the stage in 16th on lap 60. 
  • After staying out during the stage break, Deegan moved up to start the stage from eighth. Early in the stage on lap 71, Deegan received damage from a multi-truck accident after a truck made contact with her No. 1 Ford as she was trying to avoid the melee. She came down pit road from the 14th position for repairs to her truck. She spent multiple laps on pit road for repairs and returned to the track. Deegan pitted several more times for repairs before taking the Craftsman Ford to the garage before the checkered flag flew due to the accident damage. She ended the event in the 31st position. 
 

Tanner Gray, No. 15 Ford Performance F-150

Start: 29th

Finish: 23rd

  • Gray was quick to work his way forward from his 29th starting spot. The Ford driver was 21st when the first caution came out on lap five. With 10 laps to go in Stage 1, Gray was up to 14th and ended it in 11th. Gray pitted during the break for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help his entry which was a little loose. 
  • The Ford Performance driver started the second stage from the eighth position. Under caution on lap 52, Gray was in the ninth position and reported his truck needed to be freed up a little bit. He visited pit road and the race returned to green with just a few laps remaining in the stage. Gray managed a great restart and he concluded the stage in the sixth spot. 
  • With a truck that felt pretty neutral, Gray did not pit during the stage break which allowed him to start the final stage in second. Throughout several early stage cautions, the young driver maintained a top-five position. Under caution on lap 117, Gray visited pit road for service and restarted 10th. Shortly after the green flag, Gray experienced a flat tire which forced him to make an unscheduled pit stop and put him two laps down. The Ford Performance driver finished 23rd in the event. 
 

Next event: Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama on October 2 at 1 p.m. ET.

DGR PR

Derek Kraus drove the McAnally-Hilgemann Racing No. 19 NAPA AutoCare/South Point Toyota Tundra to a solid 12th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday night in the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 Presented by Westgate Resorts.

 

Driving a new truck without any practice, the 20-year-old and his team worked throughout the race to tune on their Tundra and get it dialed in.

 

After starting 12th, Kraus finished Stage 1 in 18th and was 24th at the end of Stage 2. The crew took advantage of opportunities midway through the race to make adjustments as they pitted for fresh tires. Their work paid off, as Kraus was able to mount a charge to the front.

 

He was up to 18th on a Lap 84 restart and charged into the top 10 on Lap 108. He had worked his way up to eighth when a caution came out on Lap 127, setting up four-lap dash to the finish. He got shuffled back in a fierce battle those final few laps, to finish 12th.

 

Kraus remains 13th in the championship standings, with three races remaining on the schedule.

 

MHR welcomed special guests from NAPA Los Angeles and the Las Vegas district stores to the track on Friday. Sponsor activation also included a NAPA VIP Guest Crew Member.

 

Derek Kraus – Thoughts about the race

What was the challenge like to race a new truck without any practice?

“We struggled all night with it and finally got it better at the end. Now, we’re looking forward to Talladega.”

 

BMR PR

News and Notes: 

– Starting Position; Ty Dillon will start the Alsco Uniforms 302 from the 28th position on Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). Due to no practice or qualifying the starting lineup was calculated by the competition-based performance metrics system; fastest lap in the previous race 15 percent, driver finish from previous race 25 percent, owner points 25 percent, and driver points 35 percent.

– Las Vegas Motor Speedway Stats; In seven starts at LVMS in NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) competition, Dillon holds an average finish of 24.9 with a best of 10th coming in 2020, while holding an average finish of 15.3 with a best of seventh in six starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS). Dillon also has competed in two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) races at LVMS claiming a best of fourth in 2013.  Saturday afternoon’s Alsco Uniforms 302 will mark Dillon’s tenth NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) start of the 2021 season, and first for Jordan Anderson Racing (JAR). In nine other starts Dillon holds an average finish of 18.7 with a best of fifth coming at Atlanta Motor Speedway. 

JAR PR

Logan Seavey was second and Chris Windom finished third as Toyota drivers earned two of the three podium positions on the first night of the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ Four-Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway.

Windom led the first 12 laps of the 25-lap feature before eventual winner Tyler Courtney was able to get by him for the lead on lap 13. Windom then held down the second spot until lap 24 when Seavey was able to push past to capture the position with Windom in third.  They were followed by Buddy Kofoid in fourth and Spencer Bayston in fifth as Toyotas captured four of the top five finishing positions.

Three more Toyota drivers registered top-10 showings on the night as Daison Pursley came home in seventh, followed by Emerson Axsom in eighth and Bryant Wiedeman was tenth.

The USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series closes out the Four-Crown Nationals on Saturday night. 

Quotes:

Logan Seavey, Tom Malloy/Trench Shoring: “This is the first time these guys have ever come here and we ran second. We were close all day. Now we just need to keep getting a little better when we come back tomorrow.”

Chris Windom, CB Industries: “I felt like I was really good the first half of the race, but our tire went away later in the race. I think we’ll be better tomorrow.”

Toyota-Powered Drivers USAC Eldora Speedway Friday Results

Logan Seavey – 2nd

Chris Windom – 3rd

Buddy Kofoid – 4th

Spencer Bayston – 5th

Daison Pursley – 7th

Emerson Axsom – 8th

Bryant Wiedeman – 10th

Justin Grant – 11th

Brenham Crouch – 12th

Chance Crum – 13th

Thomas Meseraull – 14th

Cannon McIntosh – 16th

Kaylee Bryson – 17th

Austin Barnhill – 19th

Kevin Thomas Jr. – 20th

 

TRD PR

Stafford Speedway hosted Weekly Racing action on Friday, September 24 with all 5 of its divisions in feature action.  The SK Modified® feature saw an absolutely thrilling finish with Stephen Kopcik making a last lap, last corner pass of both Todd Owen and Keith Rocco to take down his fourth consecutive victory.  Al Saunders was a first time 2021 winner in the Late Model feature, Brian Sullivan took down his fourth win of 2021 in the SK Light feature, Alexandra Fearn came home a winner for the 7th time in the Limited Late Model feature, and Bert Ouellette was a career first time winner in the Street Stock feature. 

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Noah Korner took the lead at the drop of the green flag with Jon Puleo right behind him in second.  Marcello Rufrano was third in line followed by Keith Rocco and a side by side duel between David Arute and Matt Vassar for fifth.  Puleo powered his way by Korner on lap-7 to move into the lead with Rocco getting around Rufrano for third.  Arute took fifth from Vassar, but Todd Owen was now in fifth with Arute in sixth as the field completed lap-9.

Rocco took second from Korner on lap-10 and he went by Puleo on lap-11 to take over the lead.  Behind Rocco, Puleo, and Korner, Owen took fourth from Rufrano on lap-12.  Lap-16 saw Owen take third from Korner while Arute took fifth from Rufrano.  At the halfway point of the race, Rocco held the lead with Puleo, Owen, Korner, and Arute making up the top-5.  Sixth through tenth was Michael Christopher, Jr., Stephen Kopcik, Cory DiMatteo, Rufrano, and Dan Wesson.  Kopick made a move to get by Christopher on lap-23 to move into sixth while Arute nearly took fourth from Korner on lap-24 but Korner was able to fend off the challenge.

Arute came back and was able to make the pass on Korner on lap-27 to move into fourth and Kopcik followed him by to take fifth and drop Korner back to sixth as Rocco continued to lead Puleo and Owen at the front.  Anthony Flannery brought the caution out with 37 laps complete with a spin on the backstretch to set up a 3 lap sprint to the finish.

Rocco took the lead back under green with Owen moving into second and Kopcik third.  Owen charged his way into the lead on lap-38 and Kopcik nearly took second, but the caution flew with 39 laps complete for a spin in turn 1 by Vassar to set up a green white checkered finish.

A multicar incident at the rear of the field brought the caution right back out on the restart.  On the next restart, Owen and Rocco went wheel to wheel for the lead.  They took the white flag still side by side but Owen got clear in turns 1+2.  Going into turn 3, Rocco made a move to the inside of Owen and briefly took the lead but he drifted up the track, allowing Kopcik enough room to pass both Owen and Rocco in the final corner and take down his fourth consecutive victory in thrilling fashion.  Owen finished second with Puleo, Rocco, and Arute rounding out the top-5.

In the 30-lap Late Model feature, Paul Arute backed his car into the turn 1 wall after contact from Tyler Leary to bring the caution out before a lap could be completed.  Leary was sent to the rear of the field by Stafford officials for the contact with Arute.

Al Saunders took the early lead on the restart with Zack Robinson in second.  Tom Fearn went by Robinson on lap-2 to move into second with Andrew Molleur in fourth and Michael Bennett already up to fifth.  Bennett quickly went by Robinson and Molleur to move into third while Wayne Coury, Jr. was on the move, taking fourth and dropping Molleur back to fifth as Robinson slid all the way back to eighth place.

With 10 laps complete, Al Saunders was still in command of the race with Fearn, Bennett, Coury, and Molleur behind him.  Adam Gray was sixth with Michael Wray, Robinson, Paul Varricchio, Jr., and Kevin Gambacorta rounding out the top-10.  The order remained the same until lap-20 when Gray went by Molleur to take fifth and Wray followed him by to take sixth.  Molleur then came to pit road where his crew went under the hood of his car.

Bennett was all over Fearn for second place, but Fearn was able to hold him off and maintain the position.  Saunders led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2021 season.  Fearn held off Bennett for second with Coury and Gambacorta rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap SK Light feature, Meghan Fuller took the lead at the green flag and she led the first 3 laps before Peter Bennett powered his way into the lead.  Mark Bakaj followed Bennett by Fuller to move into second.  Amanda West spun coming out of turn 2 to bring the caution out with 4 laps complete and just after the caution was displayed for West, the car of Glenn Bartkowski ended up on its roof on the backstretch, which brought the red flag out immediately.

Bennett and Bakaj went side by side for the lead on the restart with Bakaj taking the lead at the line by a nose.  Bakaj got clear into the lead on lap-6 with Norm Sears taking third behind Bennett.  Alexander Pearl went by Bob Charland on lap-8 to move into fourth place.  Pearl took to the outside lane and he took third from Sears on lap-10.  Brian Sullivan and George Bessette, Jr. both followed Sullivan around Sears to move into fourth and fifth and drop Sears back to sixth as Bakaj continued to lead Bennett.

Sullivan was starting to apply heavy pressure to Bennett for second and he was able to make a pass on lap-16.  Bennett was able to get into line in third with Pearl and Bessette behind him.  Sullivan took a look to the inside of Bakaj on lap-18 in turn 4 but Bakaj was able to maintain the lead.  Sullivan made the pass for the lead on lap-19 as the leaders raced into turn 1 and he led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his fourth win of the 2021 season.  Bakaj came home in second with Bennett, Bessette, and Pearl rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, R.J. Surdell took the lead with Ari Jencik and Matt Clement racing side by side for second.  Clement took second and he and Surdell touched with Surdell spinning through the backstretch grass to bring the caution flag out with 4 laps complete.

On the restart, Gary Patnode got sideways in the middle of turns 3+4 after contact from Matt Scappini and collected the car of Mike Hopkins to bring the caution back out before a lap could be completed.  Scappini was sent to the rear of the field for the contact with Patnode by Stafford officials.

The restart saw Alexandra Fearn go 3-wide with Clement and Jeremy Lavoie for the lead with Fearn and Lavoie emerging side by side for the lead with Devon Jencik taking third as Clement slid back to fourth.  Dave Shinder got out of shape on the backstretch but was able to get his car moving and the race stayed green.  Fearn was now in the lead with 7 laps complete with Devon Jencik taking second from Lavoie.  Ari Jencik was fourth in line followed by Rich Hammann in fifth as Matt Clement fell back to sixth place.  Clement spun coming out of turn 2 to bring the caution flag back out with 11 laps complete.

Devon Jencik took the lead on the restart with Fearn slotting into second.  Lavoie was third in line followed by Hammann and Ari Jencik.  Fearn was applying heavy pressure to Jencik for the lead but Jencik was able to hold him off.  Fearn was able to make a move on lap-17 to get alongside Jencik and she took the lead from Jencik on lap-18.  Lavoie was still third with Hammann in fourth and Ari Jencik in fifth.

Fearn took the checkered flag to pick up her seventh overall and second consecutive feature win of the 2021 season.  Devon Jencik finished second with Lavoie, Hammann, and Ari Jencik rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap Street Stock feature, Bert Ouellette streaked into the lead on the first lap, taking to the outside lane to get by polesitter Daltin McCarthy.  Travis Downey came up to second with McCarthy third and Tyler Trott in fourth before the caution flew with 1 lap complete for Rob Sears, whose car came to a stop in the middle of turns 1+2.

Ouellette took the lead on the restart with Downey right on his rear bumper in second.  Trott moved up to third with Adrien Paradis, III moving up to fourth and Travis Hydar taking fifth.  Just behind Hydar was the Street Stock championship duo of Frank L’Etoile, Jr. and Chris Meyer with Nickolas Hovey in eighth, McCarthy slid back to ninth and Bobby Stirk, III rounded out the top-10.

Paradis took third from Trott on lap-9 while L’Etoile took fifth from Hydar.  Meyer followed in L’Etoile’s tire tracks and he went by Hydar on lap-10 to move into sixth place and drop Hydar back to seventh while Ouellette continued to hold the lead with Downey and Paradis still giving chase.  L’Etoile continued his march to the front by taking fourth from Trott on lap-12 and he brought Meyer and Hydar with him to drop Trott from fourth back to seventh place.

Ouellette led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first career Street Stock win at Stafford.  Paradis finished second with Downey, L’Etoile, and Hydar rounding out the top-5.

For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.

Stafford Speedway PR

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