Sunday, Sep 24
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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David Reutimann and the No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper / Toyota Camry finished 32nd on Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.  Despite fighting balance issues the majority of the night, Reutimann had a clean race and was able to bring home his car without any major damage. 


The pressure was on for many competitors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as the results from the Federated Auto Parts 400 would set the field for the "Race for the Chase" and determine who would compete for this year's Sprint Cup Series championship.  Drivers took full advantage of Friday's opening practice session logging as many laps as possible.  Reutimann placed 18th on the speed charts with his 21.836-second lap, before picking up another seven-tenths of a second for qualifying. 


Rolling off from the 35th position, Reutimann gained seven positions in the opening 20 laps at Richmond International Raceway.  As the night progressed, the sun set and the track got cooler, Reutimann and his No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper / Toyota Camry team were faced with making a series of adjustments to keep up with the changing track conditions.  With his car a little loose on exit, the BK Racing team utilized each pit stop to work on balance and help Reutimann navigate the corners.  By the conclusion of the Federated Auto Parts 400, Reutimann was scored in the 32nd position. 


"Our No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper / team worked really hard tonight," commented Reutimann.  "Our Toyota Camry was a little loose on exit throughout the entire race.  My BK Racing team did a good job working through a series of changes to help improve the balance of our car.  Unfortunately, no matter what we tried, we just couldn't get our car to rotate through the corners like it needed to.  With Richmond being the 'home race' for our ownership group, we had a lot of great guests at the track and I enjoyed getting to spend time with them.  We also had on our car, which is a charitable foundation looking to raise funds to win the fight against childhood cancer.  It's an important cause, and I was very proud to have them on my car this past weekend."


The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take on Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, September 15.  On Friday, September 13, fans can tune into FOX Sports 1 for practice at 1 p.m. EDT, and ESPN 2 for qualifying at 5 p.m. EDT.  FOX Sports 2 will broadcast track activities on Saturday, September 14, with practices aired at 11 a.m. EDT and 2 p.m. EDT.  Live coverage of the Geico 400 will air on ESPN, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio at 2 p.m. EDT on Sunday, September 15.  As always, fans can visit, or for the latest news and updates about David Reutimann and the No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry team.


BK Racing PR

Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), finished 22nd in the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday night.  The result at Richmond International Raceway helped Logano secure a top ten finish in the point standings after the first 26 races of the NSCS season and a coveted position in the 2013 Chase for the Championship.

“Securing a spot in the Chase for the Championship is a huge accomplishment and a significant milestone in Joey’s NASCAR career,” said Tim Cindric, president of Penske Racing. “With Joey in the driver’s seat and Pennzoil technology in the engine, we are excited about the opportunity to bring home another championship and add to the history of success at Penske Racing.”

After beginning the season in February at the prestigious Daytona 500, Logano has established himself as one of the top drivers in NASCAR, producing a total of eight top five finishes this season. Logano earned his first Cup Series win for Penske Racing last month at Michigan International Speedway when he captured the checkered flag at the Pure Michigan 400. With his win at Michigan and by finishing in the top ten in the point standings, Logano will be reseeded in the sixth position when the “playoffs,” featuring a total of 12 drivers, begins next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.

Since joining the Shell-Pennzoil and Penske Racing team in 2013, Logano has emerged as a leading contender to take home the team’s second NSCS Championship. Throughout the season, Pennzoil engineers have worked closely with Penske Racing to develop motor oil formulations to help maximize performance and engine reliability for the team, with those developments contributing to the advancement of the brand’s technology.

“At Pennzoil, we strive to help the motorsports teams that we sponsor gain a technological advantage over the competition by continuously testing new engine formulations that help keep their engines running clean and smooth,” said Bree Sandlin, global brand manager, Pennzoil. “We are thrilled to have been a part of this major accomplishment in Joey Logano’s career and have great confidence in him leading the Shell-Pennzoil team in the 2013 Chase for the Championship.”

Shell-Pennzoil PR

“Richmond International Raceway is always focused on providing a thrilling, memorable and unparalleled guest experience.  The Chase setup, with the addition of the Wild Card element and the fact that RIR is the “One Last Race to Make The Chase” has added to the competition our fans expect at America’s Premier Short Track. 

The racing operation, competition and officiating side of the event is under the direction of NASCAR.  The sanctioning body was put in a very difficult position during the final laps of the Federated Auto Parts 400 Saturday night.  I applaud their decision to take the time to review all the information available following the event to render this decision. 

Overall, we had a fantastic weekend with enthusiastic crowds and the drama of 10 drivers vying for five spots to get into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.  Our fans enjoyed all we have to offer during a NASCAR race at RIR and were part of another spectacular event.”


Michael Waltrip Racing accepts the penalties issued by NASCAR this evening and plans to move forward in the 2013 season.

Michael Waltrip, founder and co-owner of MWR: “What occurred on the No. 55 radio at the end of Saturday night’s race in Richmond was a split-second decision made by team spotter Ty Norris to bring the No. 55 to pit lane and help a teammate earn a place in the Chase. We regret the decision and its impact. We apologize to NASCAR, our fellow competitors, partners and fans who were disappointed in our actions. We will learn from this and move on. As general manager, Ty Norris has been an integral part of Michael Waltrip Racing since its founding and has my and (co-owner) Rob Kauffman’s full support.”


The following are statements from Stewart-Haas Racing regarding NASCAR’s ruling to include Ryan Newman and the No. 39 team in the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

“Obviously, we’re very pleased with NASCAR’s decision to provide Ryan Newman’s rightful place in this year’s Chase. NASCAR was put in a very difficult position Saturday night at Richmond and we commend the sanctioning body for taking the time to do the necessary due diligence to ensure that the right call was made.”


– Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing

“I am proud that NASCAR took a stand with respect to what went on Saturday night at Richmond. I know it was a tough decision to make. With that being said, myself, Matt Borland (crew chief) and this entire No. 39 team are looking forward to competing for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.”

– Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing


NASCAR has issued penalties to Michael Waltrip Racing following the sanctioning body’s review of Saturday’s race at Richmond International Raceway.

MWR was found to have violated Section 12-4 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing). As a result, MWR’s three teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (No. 15, 55, 56) have been penalized with the loss of 50 championship driver and 50 championship owner points, respectively.

These point penalties are assessed following the season’s 26th regular season race and not after the seeding for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Therefore, the point total for the No. 56 car driven by Martin Truex Jr. is reduced to 691, putting him in 17th position and eliminating him from the second Wild Card berth for the Chase field. Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 car, now moves up into the Chase as the second Wild Card participant.

NASCAR has also fined the MWR organization $300,000 and indefinitely suspended Ty Norris, MWR Executive Vice President/General Manager and spotter for the No. 55 car, for violating Section 12-4. The three crew chiefs – Brian Pattie (No. 15), Scott Miller (No. 55) and Chad Johnston (No. 56) – have all been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.

"Based upon our review of Saturday night’s race at Richmond, it is our determination that the MWR organization attempted to manipulate the outcome of the race," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "As the sport’s sanctioning body, it is our responsibility to ensure there is a fair and level playing field for all of our competitors and this action today reflects our commitment to that."


The number 13 proved lucky for Max Gresham during Sunday afternoon's Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland at Iowa Speedway.


The 20-year-old driver from Milner, Ga., benefited from a pair of "lucky dog" free passes that returned him to the lead lap, which he then took advantage of to grab a lucky 13th-place finish in the No. 8 Made in USA Brand (MIUSA) Chevrolet.


"All in all, we made a good recovery," Gresham said. "We kept digging and we wound up with a decent finish."


Gresham's Sharp-Gallaher Racing (SGR) Silverado started 14th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race with a lap of 135.461 mph at the 7/8-mile short track designed by NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Rusty Wallace. Gresham fell off the lead lap twice and at one time was down two laps to the leader. He managed to race in contention for a top-10 finish by the end of the race with two lucky dog passes as well as through adjustments by crew chief Chris Showalter.


"The race presented a lot of challenges because we were chasing the setup all day," Showalter said.


In the opening laps of the race Gresham radioed that the Made in USA Brand truck was loose in the center and the frontend was gripping. The 20-year-old driver had his hands full during the race while running steadily in the top 20, yet was losing laps to the leaders due to long green-flag runs. Gresham had to wrestle his Chevrolet Silverado around the .875 mile paved oval until the first caution was displayed at Lap 38. This gave the Sharp-Gallaher Racing pit-crew their first opportunity to make adjustments to the truck, which included making changes to the track bar and tire pressure adjustments.


Long green-flag racing in the first half of the race kept Gresham from getting all of the changes that he needed on pit road.


The race was extended by 12 laps by late-race cautions and two green-white-checkered flag attempts.


"Once we got back in the mix, it was a real challenge to avoid all the beating and banging and all the wrecks," Gresham said. "To battle back twice and avoid all of the crashes at the end made it a successful day for our Sharp-Gallaher Racing team.


"We stayed in it and put ourselves in a good position."


Gresham remains 16th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship point standings with seven races to go. The next stop for Gresham and the Made in USA Brand Chevrolet will be the 225 on Friday, Sept. 13, at Chicagoland Speedway.


Max Gresham PR

Justin Lofton started the No. 6 J.D. Heiskell/J6Ink Chevrolet from the 16th position in Sunday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway but was plagued with handling challenges resulting in a 19th-place finish. Despite the setting sun it was still hot and humid when Lofton took the green flag in the second annual Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland. The driver of the No. 6 Chevrolet Silverado quickly fell in the running order while he battled with the tight-handling machine. By lap 20 Lofton was running in the 25th position. During routine yellow and green-flag pit stops, the Bryan Berry-led crew made adjustments in an effort to alleviate Lofton's struggles. Despite their best efforts, the Westmorland, Calif., native reported that the tight-handling condition persisted. He worked lap by lap to gain ground and survived two green-white-checkered flag attempts before ultimately bringing the No. 6 J.D. Heiskell/J6Ink Chevrolet home in the 19th position.

Justin Lofton Quote:

"We definitely did not have the race that we had hoped to at Iowa Speedway. The J.D. Heiskell/J6Ink Chevrolet Silverado was just way too tight. We were sliding the right front on entry, and I had to slow the center of the corners down a lot in order to maintain control because it was so unpredictable. We'll head home and regroup for Friday's race at Chicagoland Speedway. I want to thank all the guys for their hard work. They never gave up, and battled through some pretty serious heat this weekend."

Consistency is what 17-year-old Erik Jones proved during his return visit to Iowa Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). What was thought to be a dominating truck after laying down the second fastest lap in qualifying proved to be a bear during the Fan Appreciation 200 at Iowa Speedway in Newton. Jones had his hands full, but managed to cross the finish line in the ninth position - his fourth consecutive top-10 finish in four career starts behind the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) No. 51 Toyota Tundra.


"We just missed it in the race," Jones said. "I was really confident after how strong the truck was on Saturday during practice and qualifying, but after the first few laps of the race, I knew I was going to have a long day. Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) did everything he could for me today. You'll have days like today and I'm thankful we were able to keep the top-10 streak going. We have one more shot in November at Phoenix. I've never been there but I've heard a lot about it and I'm really anxious to get back in this Toyota Tundra for KBM."


On Saturday, the Byron, Mich. native qualified his ToyotaCare Tundra in the second position - missing the pole by a mere .016 seconds - but his KBM team was confident they had a solid truck for the 200-lap event on Sunday. When the green flag dropped however, Jones quickly realized they might be in a little trouble.


Running within the top-five, but fighting an extremely tight Toyota Tundra, Jones didn't hesitate to file down pit road as soon as the first of six caution flags waved on lap 38. Crew chief Ryan Fugle called for four tires, fuel, and a trackbar adjustment in effort to aid in the handling on his No. 51 machine. Unfortunately, that wasn't the trick and Jones continued to battle with his ToyotaCare Tundra over the long green-flag run.


Jones' next opportunity for an adjustment came on lap 121 when the KBM pit crew was challenged to a green flag pit stop. Four tires including an air pressure adjustment was the call for the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra, but a minor hiccup during the stop placed Jones a lap down to the leaders and scored in the ninth position.


As the race continued, Jones battled a Toyota Tundra that he defined as "unbalanced", going from wicked tight to wrecking loose. Eight laps later, to his luck, a caution was brought out due to debris. Jones was the recipient of the "Lucky Dog" and with nothing to lose was commanded down pit road for a third time. Fugle and crew executed a four tire and fuel stop with another track bar adjustment.


Back on the lead lap in ninth, Jones made every effort he could to keep his No. 51 Tundra in the top 10. With its temper still on the tight side, especially on restarts, Jones was shuffled back as far back as 13th in the late stages of the race. When the fourth caution of the afternoon was displayed on lap 189 for a two-truck accident in Turn 2, Fugle opted to bring Jones to pit road for four tires, since he was the last truck on the lead lap, in a final effort to salvage what they could for the day. However, the team was penalized for jumping the wall too early and Jones was sent to the tail end of the longest line with less than 10 laps remaining in the event.


On lap 197 the caution was brought out for the fifth time allowing Jones to catch-up with the leaders. Scored 12th, the field attempted their first of two green-white-checkered finishes, but was quickly slowed for a sixth time when KBM teammate, Joey Coulter, and Brendan Gaughan collided entering Turn 1. When the green reappeared, Jones was able to claim one more position, crossing the line ninth after 212 laps. The solid finish was the rookie's fourth top 10 in four career NCWTS starts.


James Buescher won the 2nd Annual Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland, his second win of the 2013 season. Ross Chastain (second) posted his first top-5 finish in four races at Iowa Speedway. Ty Dillon (third) posted his third top-10 finish in four races at Iowa Speedway. Johnny Sauter finished fourth and Jones' KBM teammate, Darrell Wallace Jr. was the highest finishing rooking in fifth.


The field was slowed six times for 35 laps and the race set a track record for the most lead changes in a NCWTS race at Iowa Speedway with 12.




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