Tuesday, Dec 05
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Roush Fenway Racing’s Travis Pastrana battled back from damage sustained during an on track incident to earn his seventh top-15 finish of the season Saturday in the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International, crossing the finish line in 15th.

“I didn’t really do that well in practice and qualifying, but I thought we had a really, really good car,” said Pastrana.  “I was just kind of smooth and steady in the beginning and moved up to 10th at one point.  I got my lap times down where I wanted to be, but we bumped into a few people under braking, so it wasn’t the result that we had hoped for.  I felt like we learned a lot though, and we were a top-10 car at the end, for me, that’s still the primary goal.”

The NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) visited a road course for the second time this season, stopping at the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen International.  Rain on Friday shortened the only practice session of the day for the NNS, but the weather cleared up for qualifying and the race on Saturday.

The No. 60 Ford Mustang started 20th for the 82 lap, 200.9-mile race.  Pastrana held onto 18th for the opening 18 laps of the race, before visiting pit road under caution.  Crew Chief Chad Norris radioed for four tires, fuel and no adjustments to the slightly tight-handling Ford Mustang.

Pastrana restarted 16th and began his march toward the top-10.  The No. 60 Ford Mustang lined up 10th for a restart on Lap 29, and remained in the top-12 for the next green flag stint.  Flat spotted tires brought the No. 60 Mustang back down pit road for the second time of the day under caution on Lap 43.  The team took four tires, fuel and made a wedge adjustment.

When a car spun on the track, the No. 60 Ford Mustang received damage to the nose of the car as Pastrana navigated his way through the smoke.  Shortly after, Pastrana made his way down pit road on Lap 51 for four tires and fuel.

A caution on Lap 57 brought Pastrana back down pit road to repair the damage to the nose of the car.  He restarted in 26th on Lap 61.  Pastrana spent the closing 20 laps of the race working his way back through the field, ultimately crossing the finish line in 15th.


The Monster Energy team came into Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International Saturday hopeful to earn veteran driver Kyle Busch his first trip to victory lane at the 2.45-mile road course in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. What they ended up with was an unexpected lap-one accident and a day of adversity that placed them with a 24th-finishing position.

The day started well with a front-row qualifying effort made when Busch recorded a 71.837 second lap at 122.778 mph placing the team in the second starting spot for the afternoon Zippo 200 event. Upon green-flag start, on lap one, in turn one, Busch made what he called a ‘crossover-move’ and the car slipped out from under him, causing the No. 54 Monster Energy Camry to spin. Before the oncoming field could slow down quick enough, Busch took a hard hit from the No. 01 car, which caused the majority of damage to the front of the black machine. The Joe Gibbs Racing team was forced to immediately visit the garage area for repairs.

While the crew feverishly worked to fix what they could on the front and rear of their injured Camry, the field executed a yellow-caution period from Busch’s wreck, which bought the No. 54 team some time. They completed as much work as possible, replacing the front suspension, fixing damage to the left rear and removing the car hood, to return their talented driver back to the track, but not before going seven laps down to the field.

Just after the Monster Energy team returned to the race, a full-course yellow appeared on lap 17. Busch reported to the crew, “If I had a little bit better aero, I’d be better. I just fried the nose.” You could hear the disappointment at what had transpired on lap one. Team crew chief Adam Stevens replied, “There is a lot more racing to do still this season, more races to win.”  The team did not visit pit road under this caution period and restarted the race at lap 20 in the 32nd spot, six laps down.

At this point Busch remained focused on catching other lap-down cars, and worked his way to 31st. Then at lap 25 he visited pit road for the next field caution, to replace tires and take on fuel. The crew double-checked damaged areas. What was normally a cool matte black body with bright green Monster Energy colors looked quite different this race -- the engine now exposed, the front sheet metal removed and black bondo tape in several areas of repair. Although the Camry machine didn’t look pretty, the team was pleasantly surprised at how fast Busch was still able to drive her. The Toyota was showing lap times competitive with the top-25 contenders, only two seconds off the fastest laps recorded in the field. This was fast enough that NASCAR would allow the No. 54 to continue the race.

At lap 30 of the 82-circuit event, Busch restarted 30th, then worked his way to 29th by lap 42 when another event caution waved. The team would visit pit road again for tires and gas, still scored six-laps down to the field which restarted on lap 46. At lap 48 Busch had secured another position to 28th, then to 27th at lap 55. Because Busch’s car still carried good speed, he was able to maneuver through the field without too much trouble.

The team caught a break at lap 57, under the fifth full-course caution, when Busch now the first car not on the lead lap, earned the “lucky dog” pass. This NASCAR rule allows a competitor to pit after the lead-lap cars and then earn one lap back in their position, which improved Busch’s standing to five laps down, now in 27th. With 21 laps remaining in the final portion of the race, Busch worked his way through traffic, while other competitors experienced issues that forced them out of the race, allowing the No. 54 machine to complete the course in the 24th spot.

While it was a discouraging race start and finish, the No. 54 Monster Energy team showed their championship-searching form by fixing their damaged Camry and returning Busch to the racetrack quickly so that he could finish the race. The car owned by J.D. Gibbs maintains first place in the Owner’s Point standings, now leading the No. 22 Roger Penske Ford by 5 points.

Keselowski and the No. 22 Ford won the event, followed by Sam Hornish Jr., Brian Vickers, Regan Smith and Elliott Sadler. There were five caution periods for 15 laps of the race along with seven lead changes across six drivers.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series competes again on August 17 in the Inaugural Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Mansfield, with television broadcast starting at 2p.m. ET on ESPN. Owen Kelly will make his 2nd start of the year behind the wheel of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Monster Energy Camry.


Parker Kligerman and the Bandit Chippers Racing had another strong showing on a road course, bringing home a sixth-place finish in the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. The 23-year-old driver was able to put his No. 77 Camry up front for seven laps, but got shuffled back after an untimely caution flew after he made his second of three pit stops on the day. The Connecticut native took the final restart of the race from the ninth spot, but over the final 21 laps was able to pick up two spots and ended the day with his eighth top-10 finish of 2013.


"We had a fast Bandit Chippers Toyota Camry --  everyone on this Kyle Busch Motorsports team -- Eric Phillips (crew chief) and this whole crew did a really good job all weekend and just real solid weekend," said Kligerman, who has an average finish of 4.5 on the two road-course races this season. "It's my first time here and I don't have a ton of experience in these cars on road courses, but we've just proven to be really fast and right up to par with everyone here, including the Cup guys -- I felt that was impressive, especially here which I consider kind of the only place they'd have an advantage since they've raced here a million times.  I thought we had a top-five car -- just the cautions didn't play our way and track position was so important that we just couldn't quite get to the top-five and stay there.  We led some laps and overall a pretty successful day points way."


Kligerman was eighth quickest in Friday's lone practice session and followed that up by earning the ninth starting spot in Saturday morning's group-qualifying session. After the green flag dropped for the race, the No. 77 Bandit Chippers Camry fell back to 10th, where it would remain until the second caution of the race occurred on lap 18. The talented youngster reported that his Camry was "loose on the right-handers and tight on the left-handers."


When pit road opened, the top nine pitted but playing the race backwards, as is common in road-course racing, Phillips elected to keep his Toyota on the track. Kligerman assumed the race lead under caution on lap 18 and led the field to the stripe when the race went back green on lap 20. The Bandit Chippers would remain out front until ordered down pit road for a regularly-scheduled stop on lap 25.


The over-the-wall crew administered a four-tire and fuel stop and the No. 77 Toyota returned to the track scored in the 29th position. Phillips had hoped the race would remain green and Kligerman would be able to run several laps with an open track, but one lap later the No. 52 car stalled bringing out the third caution of the race.


After cars that hadn't made their first stop came down pit road, Kligerman took the lap-29 restart from the 14th spot. By the time the fourth caution of the race slowed the field on lap 43, he had maneuvered his way up to the seventh spot. Phillips elected to keep his young driver on the track and the Bandit Chippers Camry restarted from the fourth spot when the field went back green on lap 46.


On lap 53, the Connecticut native came down pit road under green-flag conditions for his final stop of the day. With varying strategies in play, the No. 77 Camry returned to the track in the 16th spot. Three laps later the final caution of the day occurred for debris in the esses and several teams elected to come down pit road.


The Bandit Chippers Camry took the lap-61 restart from the ninth position with 20 laps remaining. With 10 laps remaining he was in the eighth spot. Kligerman remained in the eighth spot with five laps remaining, but was able to make his way around Justin Allgaier and Joey Logano in the closing laps to end the day with a sixth-place finish.


Brad Keselowski picked up his fourth win of 2013 and the 24th of his Nationwide Series career. Keselowski's teammate, Sam Hornish Jr., finished 1.418 seconds behind him in the runner-up spot. Brian Vickers finished third, Regan Smith fourth and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top-five finishers.


There were five caution periods totaling 15 laps. Six drivers led a lap, exchanging the lead seven times. 14 drivers failed to finish the 21st event of 2013.


Kligerman remains 10th in the Nationwide Series championship standings with 21 of 33 races complete, 74 points behind series points leader Austin Dillon. The Kyle Busch owned No. 77 entry ranks 12th in the owner's championship standings, 168 points behind the series-leading No. 54 team.


Kligerman and his No. 77 Bandit Chippers Racing team head to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Mansfield Aug. 17 for the Inaugural Nationwide Children's Hospital 200. Live television coverage of Saturday's 90-lap event begins with NASCAR Countdown at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN.



Race Highlights:

  • Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 11th (Brian Scott), 12th (Austin Dillon) and 14th (Brendan Gaughan).
  • Dillon leads the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings by three points over Sam Hornish Jr, while Scott is seventh in the standings, 56 points behind the leader.
  • The No. 3 Chevrolet team ranks third in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 2 team ninth in the standings and the No. 33 team 13th.
  • According to NASCAR's Post Race Loop Data Statistics, Scott ranked ninth in Average Running Position with an Average Running Place of 9.902.
  • Dillon ranked fifth in Green Flag Passes with 39.
  • Gaughan ranked 10th in Quality Passes with 15.
  • Brad Keselowski earned his fourth victory of the 2013 Nationwide Series season and was followed to the finish line by Hornish, Vickers, Smith and Sadler.
  • The next Nationwide Series race is the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, August 17. The 22nd race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Satellite Radio Channel 90.


Brian Scott Earns 11th-Place Finish at Watkins Glen International


Brian Scott and Richard Childress Racing's No. 2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet team earned an 11th-place result in the 82-lap NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen International on Saturday afternoon, after starting from the seventh position. Once the initial green flag waved at the seven-turn road course, Scott maintained a top-10 position through the first half of the race pitting for fuel, four tires and air pressure adjustments under caution on laps 18 and 43. The Idaho native was scored 13th for the lap 46 restart and was called down pit road by crew chief Phil Gould on lap 50 to top off with fuel under green. Able to go the distance on fuel, Scott stayed on track during a lap 58 caution period, picked up five positions and restarted seventh with 21 laps remaining. During the final circuits, the RCR driver kept the car on course and crossed the finish line in the 11th place. The finish moved him up one position, to seventh, in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings. 


Start - 7         Finish - 11         Laps Led - 0         Points - 7



"The team did a really good job on pit road with the stops and strategy calls. I was happy with the car and we only had to make minor air pressure and track bar adjustments during the race. I felt like I gave it my all, really got into the turns aggressively and hit my marks. We were better than when were at Road America, so that means we should be even better next week when we go to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course."


Austin Dillon Earns 12th-Place Finish in Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet at Watkins Glen International


Austin Dillon maintained his lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship standings by earning a 12th-place finish in the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet at Watkins Glen International on Saturday afternoon. Dillon started the Zippo 200 at The Glen from the 14th spot and noted a tight-handling condition during his initial run, especially through the carousal turn of the seven-turn road course. Dillon was scored in the 16th position when the Danny Stockman-led team made their first pit stop of the race under yellow-flag conditions on lap 18 for tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to correct the handling issues. Restarting in the 17th position on lap 20, the Richard Childress Racing driver raced his way into the 13th position when the caution flag was displayed on lap 25, prompting several teams to pit. The No. 3 team stayed on the track and Dillon gained several positions, advancing to ninth for the lap-29 restart. Dillon was in the eighth spot when he missed the bus stop on lap 38, causing him to stop on the race track and drop to 15th in the running order. The Welcome, N.C., driver made a fuel-only pit stop under green-flag conditions on lap 50. The team gained track position in the late stages of the event as several competitors made their last round of pit stops during a lap 58 full course caution while Dillon stayed on the track. Dillon restarted from the 10th position on lap 61 but experienced fuel pickup issues in the closing laps of the race that slowed his lap times and resulted in a 12th-place result.


Start - 14          Finish - 12       Laps Led - 0                Points - 1                           



"Today was a big improvement over last year for the No. 3 AdvoCare team so we have a lot to be proud of. We just struggled with the fuel cell at the end of the race. If we would not have had the issue with the fuel bogging down at the end of the race we could have accomplished our goal of getting a top 10 finish. I feel like we can't win the championship at these road course races, but we can lose it. It's onto Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course next week and I'm excited for that race. We're bringing the same car that we raced today at Watkins Glen International and I think we will be good."


Brendan Gaughan Finishes 14th at Watkins Glen International


Brendan Gaughan and the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino team collected a 14th-place finish at Watkins Glen International after battling a loose-handling condition during the early laps of the 82-lap NASCAR Nationwide Series event Saturday afternoon. The Las Vegas native rolled off 16th for the 200-mile race, and quickly alerted crew chief Ernie Cope that his black and gold Chevrolet was loose in the esses of the seven-turn road course. Cope instructed his driver to pit road on laps 18 and 43 for scheduled four-tire pit stops and adjustments to correct the car's handling issues. As the race progressed, Gaughan hovered around the top 20 in the running order and settled into the top 15 during the final laps. The Richard Childress Racing driver ultimately crossed the finish line 14th.


Start - 16         Finish - 14         Laps Led - 0         Points - N/A



"I had a hard time getting a feel for the car today, it didn't come to me like I thought it would. We were loose in the esses during the early laps, and the adjustments didn't tighten me up like I needed them to. I tried running different lines, which helped. We gained ground in the end, but we just didn't have enough to get the finish we wanted."




Having faced a myriad of issues at Watkins Glen Int’l last season, Eric McClure headed north to try his luck once again at the 11-turn road course.  Posting a track-best starting position of 30th, it looked as though the 34-year-old driver was going to secure a track-best finish when a tie rod broke on the No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds® Camry with 21 laps remaining in the event.  After quick work by the team, McClure was able to return to the track to finish the Zippo 200 in the 28th position.  With this finish, the team was able to maintain the 24thposition in the NASCAR Owner Standings. 

Taking the green from the 30th position, McClure quickly maneuvered his way around two-spinning cars in turn one and around two additional cars on the track before the full-course yellow flag was shown.  When the race resumed on lap four, McClure was scored in the 26th position, where he remained until the yellow flag was displayed again on lap 16.  Although the Virginia driver was battling a car that was loose on the right-handed turns and tight on the left-handed turns, crew chief Todd Myers called for a fuel only pit stop which allowed the orange and blue Camry to be scored in the 24th position when the race resumed on lap 20.

Five laps later, another yellow flag waved.  Myers used this opportunity to bring his driver down pit road for service and to try to repair the “spongy brake” issues McClure was having.  The team changed four tires, added fuel, made an air-pressure adjustment, and removed tape from the brake ducts to help keep them cool.  After the service, the team was able to maintain the 24th position in the running order when the race resumed.

Despite slipping to the 26th position on the restart, McClure worked his way back up to the 25th position when the yellow flag was again displayed on lap 41.  Reporting that the car was the best it had been, despite having to battle “spongy” brakes, Myers called McClure to pit road for four tires, fuel, and to again remove tape from the brake ducts.  After quick work by the team, McClure was scored in the 22nd position on the lap 46 restart.

As the race continued, McClure began battling a car that was loose on every turn.  Since no adjustments were made on the previous pit stop, it was determined that the removal of tape from the brake ducts hurt the car’s down-force. When the caution flag waved on lap 58, McClure returned to pit road for a four tire and fuel service.  The team also added tape to the brake ducts in hopes of fixing the loose-handling condition.  After restarting in the 25th spot, McClure quickly informed the team that something was amiss with the car’s handling.  Teammate Mike Bliss, who was several laps down to the race leader from an earlier issue and was running behind McClure at the time, informed the team that a tie rod had broken on the No. 14 Camry.  In an effort to not cause damage to the car, McClure limped around the track and headed to the garage area for repairs on lap 61.  Although the team was able to replace the tie rod, the hopeful expectations were diminished with a 28th-place finish.

Driver, Eric McClure Quotes:

“It was a disappointing finish for sure.  It seems that if a freak deal happens, it happens to us.  That said, we had a solid day prior to that; it was the best I have been at Watkins Glen.  We will hang our hat on that and keep racing hard.”


17-year-old Erik Jones took advantage of several long green flag runs Saturdaynight and led more than 150 laps to win the Primera Plastics 200 at Berlin Raceway.


Jones won his first ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race and became the third different driver to go to Victory Lane in the No. 15 Venturini Motorsports Toyota this season.


"What a relief," Jones said after winning the race. "During those last 50 laps, I was hearing all kinds of noises in the car. I was just hoping it would stay together and nothing would break. It's just amazing to come here and win."


Jones finished ahead of Mason Mingus, in the No. 32 811 Call Before You Dig Toyota, and the 44 of Frank Kimmel in the Ansell-Menards Toyota. Cunningham Motorsports driver Austin Wayne Self and polesitter Mason Mitchell in the Happy Cheeks Ford rounded out the top five.


Jones finished second in June at Pocono Raceway, then last week was leading with two laps to go before hitting the wall and then subsequent engine trouble left him with a 12th place finish. He said winning at Berlin Raceway - his home track - is somewhat of redemption.


"I've made a few mistakes that have cost us a win, so this one is nice," Jones said. "I've probably raced this track about 10 times in a late model. I've had good late models and bad late models, but I've never won here. Last year, in the ARCA race, I finished third. Winning here is really nice."


The race was finished in 1 hour and 14 minutes and had four cautions for 21 laps.


Mitchell, driving for Empire Racing, set a track record in winning the Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell award. He had a nice run early, leading the first 42 laps.


Self continued his impressive ARCA Racing Series season with another top five finish. In four races this season for Cunningham, Self has finished sixth, second, tenth and now fourth.


"This team really works hard," Self said. "We had a good car. Every time I get in the Cunningham Motorsports Dodge I know I am going to have a good car. I just try and be patient and not make mistakes out there."


Mingus, the SCOTT Rookie Challenge point leader, finished second for the third time this season. Last year at Berlin, his car broke before turning a lap.


"Last year was tough break," he said. "We all really wanted to run well. When we unloaded, the car was not very good. If someone would have told me we would finish second when we first started in practice, I would probably have laughed at them. The team made some adjustments and changes and really worked hard on the car."


Kimmel didn't get his 80th all-time series victory but did continue his top 10 streak. He's now finished in the top 10 in 24 consecutive ARCA races, including all 14 this season.


Venturini Motorsports drivers Justin Boston in the ZLOOP Computer & Electronics Recycling Toyota and Clint King in the No. 55 Speedrack-Nashville Wire Toyota finished sixth and seventh. Tom Hessert rebounded from early troubles in his Barbera's Autoland Dodge was eighth, Josh Williams in the Roulo Brothers Racing Ford ninth and Kelly Kovski in the Hooser Tire-Midwest Allgaier Motorsports Dodge 10th.


Michael Lira, driving for Bill Kimmel Racing, making his ARCA debut, was 11th, two laps down.

Jones credited his crew chief, Kevin Reed, for making the call for two tires on the team's first stop and four fresh tires on the second, which came with 52 laps remaining when Jones was the first of the lead laps cars off pit road, further cementing his chances at a victory. The race remained green the rest of the way.


"Kevin made a great call," Jones said. "The team did such a great job for me tonight."


ARCA Racing PR

Michigan International Speedway provided free WiFi hotspots for its fans during the Quicken Loans 400 weekend. The fans overwhelmingly approved the enhancement to NASCAR’s fastest track.

The free WiFi hotspots are returning for the Pure Michigan 400 weekend.

These hotspots were the first of its kind on the NASCAR circuit. They are located at the Budweiser Party Porch at turn four, Champion’s Club presented by CP Federal Credit Union, Pit Patio, MISCamping.com APEX and MISCamping.com Turn 2 Retreat.

Fans provided positive feedback throughout the weekend in June.

“We had really good feedback on the free WiFi hotspots,” track president Roger Curtis said. “It gives everyone at the track a chance to stay updated and connected. We are happy to improve the technology for our fans to increase their enjoyment at the track.”

Fans can now stay up to date on the latest happenings in NASCAR and set their fantasy line up right from the track. They can use the app, download interactive maps, even buy tickets – all using the free WiFi.

Additional WiFi hotspots will be explored and created in the coming years. Curtis added it would be difficult to launch hotspots across the entire 1,400-acre MIS in one swoop. So he’s starting in popular areas where fans gather and working his way out. 

The free WiFi will be available to all cell phone carriers, though Sprint is always the preferred cell service at MIS.

And since 20 percent of its fan base comes from Canada, this will be a great opportunity for all of the international guests to stay in contact with their families back across the border.

For a map of WiFi hotspot locations around the facility, please visit http://bit.ly/13MfgVb.


Kyle Larson appeared to be poised for a solid finish at Watkins Glen International when his race unexpectedly came to a premature end. The No. 32 McDonald's Chevrolet was running inside the top 15 and on its way to the front when a powertrain problem brought Larson to a halt halfway through the race, forcing him to the garage and resulting in a 30th-place finish.


After qualifying his McDonald's Camaro 15th in the road-course style qualifying session, Larson took the green flag ready to back up the top-10 finish he earned at Road America in June. On lap 15, Larson had bettered his position by two spots, relaying to his team that his Chevrolet was a little tight in the left-hand turns. Larson was scored in the 13th position when the caution flag waved on lap 18 for a stalled car, and crew chief Trent Owens called the 21-year-old into the pits for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment.


A quick pit stop put the No. 32 in the 11th spot for the lap 21 restart, and he continued to battle within the top 15 until the second caution on lap 27. Owens made the strategic call for a fuel-only pit stop. With a few competitors opting out of the fuel stop, Larson returned to the track in 18th on lap 30.


Larson was once again gaining positions when the green flag waved, and by the time the field had completed one circuit around the road course, he'd advanced to the 14th spot. However, the trend reversed five laps later, and Larson keyed the radio, "I think I'm blowing up."


The No. 32 team sprang into action, preparing to assess the motor and take necessary action. As Owens attempted to troubleshoot possible issues over the radio and determined they had likely dropped a cylinder, Larson dropped back to the 19th position. Determined to keep the No. 32 on track as long as possible, Larson continued to log laps, but on lap 41, he was no longer able to continue around the track under his own power. Coming to a stall in the esses, Larson was pushed back into the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) garage. Upon further assessment, it was determined that Larson's motor had initially dropped a cylinder, but that the transmission slipping out of gear ultimately caused the terminal engine failure. Unable to make any repairs, Larson was forced to withdraw from the race in the 30th position.


"Today was really unfortunate for the No. 32 team," said Larson after retiring from the race. "I thought our motor was blowing up for the last five or six laps there, but I was hoping that we'd be able to limp to the finish. Ultimately the rear end just gave out; I'm not sure if the problem was in the transmission the whole time, but we wound up with an engine failure. I was actually having a blast out there, it's probably the most fun I've had in a stock car in a while. We were pretty fast and we were definitely top-10 capable; we were even better than we were in Road America. Unfortunately this is just some bad luck for us. We've been running really consistently and making up a lot of points in the last couple months, and we're going to have to work hard to make up what we lost today. This is the first time I've ever experienced a failure like this with Turner Scott Motorsports, so it shows just how good our equipment is and how hard our team works. I'm sure we're going to dissect the problem once we get back to the shop so we won't have anything like this happen again."


Larson's 30th-place finish drops him two spots to eighth in the NNS Driver Point Standings. The next stop for the series is the third and final road course of the season, the inaugural Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The event air lives on ESPN at 2:30 p.m. EDT.


Richard Childress Racing has named Mark McArdle as their Director of Racing Operations on a full-time basis, effective this weekend at Watkins Glen International. 


For the past four years, McArdle was with Furniture Row Racing, first as Director of Competition and this year holding the title of Executive Director of Competition. This season, his duties have included operating on a shared basis between RCR and Furniture Row Racing, which has had a technical alliance with RCR since 2010. McArdle will report to Dr. Eric Warren, Director of Competition for RCR, and still work closely with Furniture Row Racing, but from the RCR facility and not traveling to FRR's facilities  in Colorado. 


"Mark's experience with Furniture Row Racing was beneficial for both teams," Warren said. "His role has become more and more integral with RCR, especially with the oversight of all we have going on right now in all three series. We started working closer together with him and his involvement was becoming very important to our organization. His experience, technical knowledge and expertise in competition processes will be beneficial to RCR in many capacities."


McArdle spent 20 years in open-wheel racing and won three Indianapolis 500 trophies before making the move to NASCAR in the summer of 1999. Another benefit to this move allows him to be closer to his family in North Carolina.


"I am delighted to join the RCR family on a full-time basis, and be closer to where my family lives," McArdle said. "Having been part of the team on a shared basis with Furniture Row Racing makes me feel very comfortable and will make for a smooth transition. We have races to win and championships to earn this year at RCR. I'm going to focus all of my experience and knowledge on making that happen."




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