Steven B. Wilson

Steven B. Wilson

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Cole Anderson and the No. 97 TimberwolfProducts.com Toyota team found Victory Lane at New Smyrna Speedway once again on Thursday evening. Recording his fourth-straight Pro Late Model victory, Anderson continues to lead the points in the annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. Anderson's teammate, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, Mike Skinner finished second.

"I can't thank everyone at ATF & Gunslinger enough," said Anderson. "Mike and I have been running really well all week. To have four wins in a row is pretty incredible, but we still have work to do for the rest of the week. We've been tweaking on the car every day during practice trying to make it better, but Mike's been gaining on us a little bit, so we still have work to do."

Anderson started the 35-lap feature in the fourth position. Wasting no time, the 20-year-old Minnesota native overtook the leader by the fourth lap. With a clean race to the finish, Anderson continued the pace the field all the way to the checkered flag.

Anderson will return to the wheel of the No. 97 TimberwolfProducts.comToyota for the Pro Late Model divisions 100-lap feature on Friday evening. For more information about Cole Anderson, visit ColeAndersonRacing.com
 
Cole Anderson RP

With the green flag on the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season set to wave, it’s evident that Young’s Motorsports plans to be a contender from Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 to the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway in November.

During the off-season, Austin Hill completed his transition for his family-owned team to the flagship No. 02 Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado. With crew chief Chad Kendrick turning the wrenches, building new trucks and scoping out the new NT1 optional engine, Hill, a native of Canton, Ga. heads to the “World Center of Racing” eyeing his career-best finish in the 100-lap race.

“I’m ready to go at Daytona,” said Hill, a NASCAR Next alumnus. “I can’t thank the guys enough on the Young’s Motorsports team for putting a lot of effort into our Daytona truck program. It’s important for us to have a good run on Friday night to propel towards building some early season momentum that we can carry to Atlanta and Las Vegas.

“Young’s Motorsports has proven over the last two years or so – that their restrictor plate program is very solid. No matter who was driving it. I think the addition of the NT1 spec motor is going to level the playing field for the most part and that should be the boost that we need to have a shot at the Playoffs come September.

“That’s not for a long while, so we just need to do what we can to get this No. 02 Chevrolet near the front on a permanent basis.

For Daytona, GoShare which connects truck and van owners with people and businesses who need with moving, hauling or delivering cargo will serve as the other primary marketing partner.

Overkill Motorsports, a Jacksonville Beach, Fla. company will serve as a major partner for the season-opening race. Established in 2009, Overkill Motorsports has quickly become one of the most trusted and successful Motorcoach, Trailer and Golf Cart dealers in the United States.

In addition to two new marketing partners, Hill will have a teammate for Friday night’s anticipated thriller. Something that the 23-year-old isn’t accustomed too during his NASCAR career.

At Daytona, however, Hill believes the addition of Scott Lagasse Jr. to the team’s program could be a benefit not only to himself, but the Young’s Motorsports team.

“Teammates have never been more important in competition, especially at places like Daytona and Talladega,” sounded Hill. “I know that Tyler (Young, general manager and co-owner) has been vastly working on putting together a strong second truck not only for Daytona but for a majority of the season.

“Scott hasn’t raced the trucks a whole lot, but he is stout when it comes to restrictor plate racing. He could be the glue that takes Young’s Motorsports to a whole new level, especially on a plate track. I’m looking forward to leaning on him for his knowledge, but his craft on plate racing too.

“I really think we can surprise a few people Friday night.”

Lagasse, a native of St. Augustine, Fla. will make his 28th career start at the 2.5-mile superspeedway and eyes his second consecutive finish at Daytona after finishing seventh last Feb.

The veteran driver made his Young’s Motorsports debut at Iowa Speedway last summer earning a solid 13th place finish after qualifying 20th at the 0.875-mile short track.

His efforts will be backed by the American Cancer Society and ScreenYourMachine.org.

“I’m very excited to be back racing in the Truck Series and apart of the Young’s Motorsports program,” said Lagasse who has four top-10 finishes in Trucks. “We didn’t have a whole lot of time to put this deal together for Daytona, but the guys at Young’s Motorsports I feel have gone above and beyond to make sure that both Austin and I have competitive trucks at Daytona.

“I’m also eager to see how this new spec motor performs, especially at a place like Daytona. Tyler has assured us we’ll have some good trucks this weekend. I hope we can repay him and the team for their endless efforts with two worthy performances on Friday night.”

For Young, also a part-time competitor in Trucks, he’s glad the stars aligned allowing his team to take two competitive trucks to Daytona.

“Man, we’ve been looking forward to this,” added Young. “Both Austin and Scott are going to have trucks that we feel like contend for strong finishes at Daytona. “Of course, I’d be biased and say that I’d like a Young’s Motorsports 1-2 finish, but we’re also keeping our expectations realistic, hoping that something will develop that will not only keep them out of trouble but make them contenders when push comes to shove, and that payday window opens.”

In practice on Thursday, Hill produced the 21st and 23rd quickest laps in practice respectively, while Lagasse maneuvered the 20th, 16th and 11th fastest laps overall.

The NextEra Energy Resources 250 (100 laps / 250 miles) is the first of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on the 2018 schedule. Qualifying is set for race day, Fri., Feb. 16 beginning at 4:30 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 7:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90).

For more on Young’s Motorsports, please visit YoungsMotorsports.com or tweet @youngsmtrsports.

Young Motorsports PR

After starting Thursday night’s qualifying Duel race in 10th, Trevor Bayne shuffled through the field and gained six positions in the last two laps to finish eighth. The driver of the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion takes the green flag in Sunday’s 60th Annual Daytona 500 from 18th.

Bayne’s 2018 debut at Daytona International Speedway came in a 60-lap race with only one caution. The yellow flag waved at Lap 11, just after the driver adjusted his track bar with reports of a free car. Bayne and the No. 6 team pitted for fuel only with the caution and restarted sixth. For the duration of the race, he toggled between lanes, ultimately settling on the bottom lane. After dropping as low as 14th and even losing the draft, Bayne was able to catch the field with 34 to go. He ultimately finished the race in eighth, inside the top-10.

“We were trying, but we just couldn’t go anywhere,” Bayne said.  “I tried working the bottom, we just didn’t have the help or the momentum. Early on we kind of got there and after the pit stop we were there, but once we got rooted to the middle we just dropped and it’s hard to get your track position back.”

Bayne looks to add a second Daytona 500 victory to his achievements on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 2:30 p.m. EST.

RFR PR

After multiple attempts to make the inside lane work despite most of the pack riding in a single file line, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. restarted eighth for the final green white checkered finish jockeying his way to take the checkered flag in the fourth position. Stenhouse will roll off in his Fastenal Ford in the ninth position for the 60th running of the Daytona 500; a career best start for the two-time XFINITY champion.

“That was fun,” Stenhouse said. “I felt like I could do anything I wanted with our Fastenal Ford since it was handling so well. Our Ford was really fast. I was working the lines by myself trying to get to the front. It seemed everyone just wanted to run around on the outside. I feel really good about our Ford come Sunday. We can still make it a little bit better. We will go to work and maybe do a little bit of drafting between now and Sunday. After the strength we had in our Clash car and this one, I’m really looking forward to Sunday.”

The Olive Branch, Miss. native started the 60-lap shootout in the fifth position where he maintained until the first caution flag waved for a multi-car accident on lap eight.

Crew chief Brian Pattie called Stenhouse to pit-road for fuel only to keep their track position. The Fastenal Ford gained two positions in the strategy call restarting in the third position.

While the field was in a single file line, the Roush Fenway Racing driver jumped out hoping others would go with him but with no takers Stenhouse dropped to the tail end of the single car draft. 

When the final caution flag waved sending the race into overtime setting up a green white checkered finish, the two-time XFINITY champion restarted in the eighth position. With one to go, Stenhouse jumped to the outside line with a lot of momentum picking up four positions in the final lap to take the checkered flag in the fourth position.

Stenhouse and the No. 17 team will start the Daytona 500 in the ninth position. The 500 will be televised on Sunday, February 18, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. EST on FOX.  The race can also be heard on MRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.

RFR PR

Gaunt Brothers Racing (GBR) and D.J. Kennington secured the 30th-place starting spot in Sunday's Daytona 500, marking the second consecutive season in which the Canadian owner, driver and sponsors, Lordco Auto Parts and Castrol (Wakefield Canada), will participate in The Great American Race.

Kennington piloted his Toyota Camry to a 15th-place result in the second of two Can-Am Duel qualifying races Thursday evening at Daytona International Speedway in what proved to be a battle of attrition as most competitors encountered loose handling conditions that ultimately led to accidents.

"The car is in one piece," said GBR owner Marty Gaunt. "After what we saw in the first Duel, where cars got loose and free, we're glad we're going back in the garage in one piece. Now we can work on it and get ready for the 500."

GBR approached the qualifying race with a conservative game plan; Kennington was instructed to avoid the big packs that often trigger accidents on the 2.5-mile oval. That trepidation was shared field-wide in the second qualifier, where 17 percent less laps were completed under caution, compared to its counterpart.

Kennington, who will become the sixth Canadian to make multiple Daytona 500 starts, is ready for more action.

"I'm looking forward to our next practice," said Kennington. "We were really, really tight tonight. We learned what we had to learn, though, and still have a good car to go racing on Sunday."

GBR PR

 

SHR Finish:          

Kevin Harvick (Started 4th, Finished 2nd / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)

● Clint Bowyer (Started 8th, Finished 4th / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)

● Kurt Busch (Started 9th, Finished 5th / Running, completed 63 of 63 laps in Duel No. 1)

● Aric Almirola (Started 7th, Finished 20th / Accident, completed 8 of 63 laps in Duel No. 1)

 

Notes:                   

● Almirola held steady in the top-10 of the 20-car field.

● The Tampa native was collected in an accident on lap eight after Jimmie Johnson sustained a flat tire and lost control of his racecar.

● Almirola will start 39th in the Daytona 500.

● Duel No. 1 ran three laps past its scheduled 60-lap distance as a late caution sent the race into overtime.

● Drivers earning odd-numbered positions from Sunday’s pole qualifying session were assigned to the first Duel race. Drivers earning even-numbered positions from pole qualifying competed in the second Duel race. The starting positions for each Duel race were based on qualifying times.

 

Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“It’s disappointing and not the way I wanted to start Speedweeks with our Smithfield Ford Fusion, but we will get another car out and get ready for the rest of the weekend. The beauty of it is that it’s just the Duel 150s and it wasn’t the Daytona 500. Our car was really fast. I was really impressed with how fast it was. I was literally just idling around and running quarter throttle. I was keeping up and just kind of managing my runs to the cars in front of me. I’m sure our other car is just as fast.” 

 

Next Up:

The 60th Daytona 500 gets underway at 2:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 18, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 1 p.m.

 

TSC PR

Martin Truex found himself and the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota stuck in a game of single-file follow the leader during the second Can-Am Duel 150 at Daytona International Speedway. He was forced to settle for a 12th-place finish in the qualifying race for Sunday’s Daytona 500.

The reigning NASCAR Cup Series Champion will line up in the 24th position, on the outside of Row 12, for Sunday’s 60th running of The Great American Race.

“Judging from how we ran tonight, we have a lot of work to do before the (Daytona) 500,” said Truex. “The only good news is that we didn’t get involved in any wrecks and kept our No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota from sustaining any damage.

“We got to the front and but couldn’t stay there. Finishing 12th is not what we wanted or expected. We need to make some corrections in our upcoming practice sessions the next two days. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot you can do to the car regarding adjustments at a superspeedway race. We’ve been in this position before and, hopefully, we can find more speed and better handling before Sunday.”

Truex lined up 13th, on the inside of Row 7, under the lights for the 60-lap, 150-mile race on Daytona’s high-banked 2.5-mile oval. He was able to move the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota into seventh when the caution flag waved on Lap 12.

The Mayetta, N.J., native came down pit road a lap later for four tires and fuel from his Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY crew. He returned to the action in eighth place on Lap 15 and moved into fourth by Lap 21.

With the field lined up single-file in the top lane, Truex tried to create a second line down low. His fellow competitors behind were wary to follow, however, and he dropped to 11th by Lap 32.

He tried the low line again on Lap 43 but, again, there were no takers and he was 14th by Lap 45.

The No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota slid into 10th place with five laps remaining but lost two positions in the final five laps.

Chase Elliott won the Can-Am Duel No. 2. The balance of the top 10 were, in order: Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Paul Menard, Trevor Bayne, Denny Hamlin and AJ Allmendinger.

The race had one caution for three laps and there were six lead changes among four drivers.

Sunday’s Daytona 500 will air live on the FOX network at 12:30 p.m. MT (2:30 p.m. ET).

FRR PR

SHR Finish:

●  Kevin Harvick (Started 4th, Finished 2nd / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 1)

●  Clint Bowyer (Started 8th, Finished 4th / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)

●  Kurt Busch (Started 9th, Finished 5th / Running, completed 60 of 63 laps in Duel No. 2)

●  Aric Almirola (Started 7th, Finished 20th / Crashed, completed 8 of 63 laps in Duel No. 1)

 

Notes:                                   

●  Bowyer will start tenth in Sunday’s 60th Daytona 500.

●  Bowyer raced in the top-10 when he narrowly missed a spinning Erik Jones in a lap-12 accident.

●  Bowyer made a lap-13 pit stop for four tires and adjustments to fix his loose-handling condition.

●  Bowyer remained in the top four for the rest of the race.

●  Stewart-Haas Racing scored three top-five finishes in the Can-Am Duels at Daytona.

●  Bowyer scored seven regular-season points, Harvick nine and Kurt Busch six.

●  Drivers earning odd-numbered positions from Sunday’s pole qualifying session were assigned to the first Duel race. Drivers earning even-numbered positions from pole qualifying competed in the second Duel race. The starting positions for each Duel race were based on qualifying times.  

 

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“Man we wanted to win that race. I was in a good spot to have a safe finish. If (Harvick) hadn’t made a move, maybe that would have opened it up. He had his hands full too. We were both protecting pretty good. I thought he had a run to get to the outside but he just didn’t do it. That move is for Sunday. We will make that move and get these Fords in victory lane.”

 

Next Up:

The 60th Daytona 500 gets underway at 2:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 18, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 1 p.m.

 

TSC PR

Stewart-Haas Racing Finish:

Kevin Harvick (Started 4th, Finished 2th / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)

● Clint Bowyer (Started 8th, Finished 4th / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)

● Kurt Busch (Started 9th, Finished 5th / Running, completed 63 of 63 laps in Duel No. 1)

● Aric Almirola (Started 7th, Finished 20th / Crash, completed 8 of 63 laps in Duel No. 1)

 

Notes:                                   

● Harvick will start sixth in the Daytona 500.

The Jimmy John’s Ford came to pit road for a splash of fuel under caution on lap 13.

● Harvick gained the lead on pit road and went on to lead twice for seven laps.

● He raced in the third position from lap 25 until the final lap when he raced for the lead, but finished in the runner-up spot by 0.081 of a second.

● Harvick scored his eighth top-five finish in a Daytona qualifying race.

● Harvick received nine regular-season points for his runner-up finish in the second Duel.

● Drivers earning odd-numbered positions from Sunday’s pole qualifying session were assigned to the first Duel race. Drivers earning even-numbered positions from pole qualifying competed in the second Duel race. The starting positions for each Duel race were based on qualifying times.

 

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“The 21 and 14 got side by side over there and Clint (Bowyer) got to my bumper, but my car was so loose that I didn’t want to pull it really hard to the right because it felt like it would spin out all night. We definitely need to work on the handling on our Ford to make it better. I want to thank everybody from Jimmy John’s, Busch Beer, Ford, Mobil 1, Outback, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Morton Building and everybody at Stewart-Haas. We have a fast car.” 

 

Next Up:

The 60th Daytona 500 gets underway at 2:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 18, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 1 p.m.

 

SHR PR