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Stewart-Haas Racing: NXS Race Report from Atlanta
Race Winner: Austin Hill of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Austin Hill of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Parker Kligerman of Big Machine Racing (Chevrolet)
SHR Race Finish:
● Riley Herbst (Started 5th / Finished 5th, completed 163 of 163 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 8th / Finished 12th, completed 163 of 163 laps)
● Riley Herbst (3rd with 202 points, 46 out of first)
● Cole Custer (9th with 147 points, 101 out of first)
● Herbst earned his second straight top-five of the season and his second top-five in six career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Atlanta.
● This was Herbst’s third straight top-10 finish at Atlanta. He finished fourth and ninth, respectively, in last year’s races.
● Herbst has not finished outside the top-20 at Atlanta in his six Xfinity Series starts.
● Herbst is one of only three Xfinity Series drivers to finish in the top-10 in every race so far this season.
● This was Herbst’s eighth straight top-10 finish in the Xfinity Series, a streak dating back to an eighth-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 22, 2022.
● Herbst finished fifth in Stage 1 to earn six bonus points and second in Stage 2 to earn nine more bonus points.
● Herbst led two times for 11 laps – his first laps led at Atlanta
● Custer earned his fourth top-15 of the season and his third top-15 in four career Xfinity Series starts at Atlanta.
● Custer has only finished outside the top-15 at Atlanta once in the Xfinity Series.
● This was Custer’s second straight top-15 at Atlanta. He finished second in his last start there in February 2019.
● Custer finished ninth in Stage 1 to earn two bonus points and ninth in Stage 2 to earn two more bonus points.
● Austin Hill won the RAPTOR King of Tough 250 to score his fifth career Xfinity Series victory, his third of the season, and his second at Atlanta. His margin over second-place Daniel Hemric was .085 of a second.
● There were 12 caution periods for a total of 68 laps.
● Twenty-five of the 38 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Austin Hill remains the championship leader after Atlanta with a 46-point advantage over second-place John Hunter Nemechek.
“That one was tough. We had such a great Ford Mustang, and the speed to win. I saw a chance there coming to the checkered flag, but we got caught up in an incident. I’m proud of this No. 98 Monster Energy team for all of their hard work. It’s paying off, and I think people are taking notice. Hopefully, we can make it to victory lane soon.” – Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
“You know, it was just an up-and-down day. We were kind of running toward the front and trying to make moves, but then a run wouldn’t work, and we would get shuffled back. I thought we had a solid No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang, but we just couldn’t get it all to work together. We learned a lot for the next time though.” – Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang
The next event on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the Pit Boss 250 presented by USA Today on Saturday, March 25 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The race begins at 5 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Drake Edwards of Surprise, Ariz. drove the Kevin Felkins-owned No. 4 Western Midget to victory in Saturday’s debut appearance for WMR at Mohave Valley Raceway. A series-best 22 car field assembled for the 25-lap feature, serving as round two for the Western Midget Racing championship season.
“We got to the lead pretty fast. I was able to slide (AJ Hernandez). A couple laps later Isaiah showed me the bottom, then the power steering went out. He tried a couple of different times but we got lucky enough to get the win,” Edwards said. “This track is awesome. We will definitely be back.”
Edwards drove from seventh to win the opening eight lap heat race. Henderson, Nevada’s Racin Silva drove the No. 5s Spike to victory in heat two while AJ Hernandez of Phoenix won heat three in Mike McCluney’s No. 11 Triple-X Chassis.
Kyle Huttenhow of Surprise, Ariz. in the No. 57 Triple-X shared the front row with Hernandez on the one-third mile dirt track before a vocal and excited crowd. Hernandez grabbed the lead at the start. Brian Corso suffered a flip in Cameron Beard’s No. 42 but was uninjured. Edwards slid past Hernandez on the restart for the lead. The caution came out a lap later for Tyler and Chloe High tangled in turn four.
Hernandez fell backwards with Isaiah Vasquez of Rio Linda moving up to second position. Lodi’s Nate Wait charged from 14th to third by lap 18. Tyler High flipped in turn three for a red flag on lap 18. Vasquez briefly challenged Edwards to no avail. Edwards topped Vasquez, Wait, Peoria’s Cory Brown, and 12th starting Kyle Hawse of Las Vegas.
Western Midget Racing has its first NorCal double header slated for March 31 at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville and April 1 at Antioch Speedway.
For more information on Western Midget Racing, visit them at www.WesternMidgetRacing.com or follow them on Facebook!
March 18, 2023 – Mohave Valley Raceway (Mohave Valley, Ariz.) Results
A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 4-Drake Edwards; 2. 7-Isaiah Vasquez; 3. 76-Nate Wait; 4. 29-Cory Brown; 5. 20-Kyle Hawse; 6. 50S-Rocky Silva; 7. 21-Brody Wake; 8. 57-Kyle Huttenhow; 9. 28-JR Wood; 10. 31-Todd Hawse; 11. 3AZ-Chloe High; 12. 81K-Rickey Kinney Jr; 13. 66-Darin Horton; 14. 01-Nathan High; 15. 33-Tyler High; 16. 11-AJ Hernandez; 17. 48-Gary DeWitt; 18. 68-Gene Sigal; 19. 96X-Logan Mitchell; 20. 5S-Racin Silva; 21. 42-Brian Corso; 22. (DNS) 50K-Patrick Kop
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 4-Drake Edwards; 2. 57-Kyle Huttenhow; 3. 96X-Logan Mitchell; 4. 3AZ-Chloe High; 5. 31-Todd Hawse; 6. 50S-Rocky Silva; 7. 68-Gene Sigal; 8. 48-Gary DeWitt
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 5S-Racin Silva; 2. 29-Cory Brown; 3. 33-Tyler High; 4. 01-Nathan High; 5. 76-Nate Wait; 6. 28-JR Wood; 7. 50K-Patrick Kop
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 11-AJ Hernandez; 2. 7-Isaiah Vasquez; 3. 21-Brody Wake; 4. 20-Kyle Hawse; 5. 42-Brian Corso; 6. 81K-Rickey Kinney Jr; 7. 66-Darin Horton
Madera’s Robbie Kennealy, 17, stormed to his first career MAVTV-televised Lunkerdaddy Pro Late Model feature win, taking the $5,000 to win Speed Fest at Madera Speedway on Saturday night. 11-year-old Vito Cancilla of Martinez claimed the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series feature while 15-year-old Ethan Nascimento of Manteca scored the INEX Legends Tour win. INEX Bandoleros were won by Andrew Williams.
Kennealy previously tied atop the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series standings in 2022 after a season finale victory in October, ultimately finishing runner-up in the championship after the points tie-breaker. Saturday’s Pro Late Model victory continues a red hot streak of momentum for the 17-year-old.
“Man I need to catch my breath right now. I can’t believe we just did that. That one is for my grandma, she passed away a couple weeks ago,” Kennealy said. “It was just about being patient and making the right adjustment. We had a really good adjustment thanks to John Keller. Just stayed in third and when it was time to pounce, we did. It’s a long season, but after that – I don’t’ know how you couldn’t be looking forward to the rest of this season.”
Kennealy earned fast-time in qualifying on the one-third asphalt oval, then rolled off fourth in the 100-lap feature. 2021 Jr. Late Model champion Brody Armtrout of Smartsville drew the pole and held the lead at the start. San Jose’s Jay Juleson was pinned on the outside and fell back to seventh from his third starting position on lap 15. His teammate Matt Erickson of La Grange, a four-time season opener winner, started ninth but drove up to fifth within the first 20 laps.
The first caution flew on lap 35 when Howard Ferguson, Jr. spun in his series debut. Armtrout picked the inside of Shelden Cooper of Clovis for the restart. A slide for Armtrout allowed Cooper to use the outside to seize the lead on lap 36. The caution flew on the following lap for Loomis’ Kenna Mitchell having trouble in turn three.
Juleson got pinned on the outside again and fell back to eighth, being passed by Eagle, Idaho’s Jacob Smith for seventh. Cooper led the field into the break on lap 50 ahead of Armtrout, Kennealy, Tyler Herzog of Fresno, and Erickson. Cooper selected the outside on the restart with Armtrout driving inside of him to take over on lap 52. Eric Nascimento, Jr. spun rear first into the turn one wall for a caution on lap 54. Erickson fell outside the top-five, then had a prolonged pit stop for repairs.
Cooper and Armtrout collided on the backstretch on a lap 56 restart, sliding into a nose-to-nose contact in turn three to end their duel for the lead. Cooper was unable to continue while Armtrout restarted at the back.
The skirmish allowed Robbie Kennealy to assume the top position with Tyler Herzog leaping into second. Jason Aguirre of Atwater spun after tagging Smith on the restart and was eliminated from the race as well. Rick Thompson of Fresno worked his way up to fourth position by lap 61, then was a part of some of the tightest battling over the second half of the event.
Juleson and 16th starting Keith Nelson of Ukiah battled side-by-side for third for several laps until Juleson cleared Nelson on lap 94. Kennealy drove ahead of Herzog for a 1.43 second advantage and the $5,000 triumph. Juleson topped Nelson for fourth. Kenna Mitchell came back to finish fifth.
11-year-old Vito Cancilla of Martinez, Calif. topped a new crop of drivers ages 10-16 years-old for his first career 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series victory. The 70-lap feature took the green flag with no previous series winners in the field.
Madera’s Joey Kennealy started on the pole position and led Bakersfield’s Taylor Mayhew. Cancilla was the first driver to go upstairs, passing Chase Hand of Wilton, Calif. for third on lap five. Cam Carraway and Las Vegas’ Bryson Brown collided to bring out a caution on the following lap. Mayhew peeked inside Kennealy for the lead before the next caution on lap 13.
Cancilla restarted third behind Kennealy and muscled his way to the inside. Cancilla took over the top spot on lap 16. Kennealy, Hand, and Mayhew swapped positions for second up to the lap 40 break for MAVTV interviews and adjustments. Cancilla led Hand, Kennealy, Mayhew, and San Antonio, Texas’ Tristan Pena into the break.
Hand and Kennealy put on a show for second with Hand eventually using a dramatic cross over move in turn one to swoop underneath Kennealy, taking second on lap 54. Vito Cancilla went on to lead Hand, Kennealy, Carraway, and Pena at the finish for his first series win, while Mayhew finished sixth.
2022 Jr. Late Model champ Ethan Nascimento of Manteca won the 40-lap INEX Legends Tour Series main event with 23 cars in action. Zach Sansom led the opening three laps before 2022 champion Cody Winchel of Sebastopol took over. Wyatt Sansom suffered a hard crash into the turn three wall and was transported to a local medical facility for evaluation, but was awake and alert. Kevin Travels and Bakersfield’s Josh Ayers had a tangle battling inside the top-five as well.
Bakersfield’s Colton Page collided with Winchel for the lead into turn one on lap 25, relegating both drivers to the rear. Nascimento assumed the lead with teammate Cancilla in tow. Aidan Phillips of Madera and Kayci Phillips, ironically unrelated, crashed in turn one to set up a five lap shootout to the finish. Nascimento held the lead for the victory over Cancilla, Henry Barton, Sacramento’s Jason Philpot, and a hard charging Kevin Travels.
Andrew Williams topped Kaine Bettencourt for the 15-lap INEX Bandolero victory.
Next Saturday night, March 25 will be CLUB RACE #1 / Smokey Hanoian Classic, featuring: Madera Late Models, Madera Super Stocks, MST/Toyota Sedans, Jr Late Model Exhibition race, Madera Mini Stocks, and Legends of Kearney Bowl.
For more information about the Madera Speedway including how to advertise with a race team on MAVTV please visit www.racemadera.com or call the race office at 209-356-1968.
The 2022 season would not be possible without the support of Lunkerdaddy Fishing Lures, 51FIFTY LTM, Mission Foods, 805 Beer, Race 2B Drug Free, Competition Carburetion, Hoosier Tires, and Sunoco Race Fuel.
Madera Racing on MAVTV airs Monday nights at 5:00pm Pacific and 8:00pm Eastern.
2023 MADERA MAVTV LATE MODEL SCHEDULE
March 18 - $5,000-to-win
May 20 – Military Tribute Night
June 24 – Reverend Ron Spencer Red, White Blue Classic
July 22 - $5,000-to-win
October 7 - $10,000-to-win Short Track Shootout
Madera Speedway PR
Langley Scores First Two Career Late Model Wins, Sweeps Saturday’s Season-Opening Twinbill at South Boston Speedway
Saturday’s season-opening Danville Toyota ’23 Opener at South Boston Speedway will be an event Carter Langley will never forget.
The Zebulon, North Carolina resident not only scored his first career Late Model Stock Car Division win, he went one step better - sweeping the twin 75-lap Sentara Healthcare Late Model Stock Car Division races that headlined South Boston Speedway’s 2023 season-opening event.
“I didn’t expect my first and second win to come this close,” Langley said after scoring the sweep. “This is special. This really means a lot. I couldn’t think of a better place to get my first win. I didn’t think I was going to get back into Victory Lane. Winning the first and second race back-to-back really gives you a big boost of confidence.”
Langley took the lead from Mike Looney of Catawba, Virginia with six laps to go, but had to hold off Looney and fast-closing Peyton Sellers of Danville, Virginia in a three-lap dash to the finish that followed the race’s third caution period. He prevailed at the end, edging Looney by .386-second with Sellers taking third place.
Camden Gullie of Durham, North Carolina finished fourth and Logan Clark of Mechanicsville, Virginia rounded out the top five finishers in the 23-car starting field.
The early portion of the race was a battle between pole winner Bruce Anderson of South Boston, Virginia, Sellers, Looney, Jacob Borst of Elon, North Carolina and Langley. However, that changed when Anderson, Sellers and Borst were involved in a mishap on lap 59 – a crash that sidelined Anderson and relegated Borst and Sellers back into the field. Sellers rallied to take third place and Borst recovered to finish seventh.
There were three lead changes among four drivers in the first 75-lap race, with Anderson leading the first 42 laps, and Sellers leading the next 17 circuits before he was involved in the mishap. Looney inherited the lead at the restart and led 10 laps before Langley surged into the lead and ultimately scored the win.
In the nightcap, Langley, who started the race in ninth-place after the drawing for the inverted start, gradually worked his way through the field, taking second place from Sellers with 25 laps to go and taking the lead from Borst with 16 laps to go. Once in front, Langley managed to separate himself from his challengers and sped across the finish line 1.636-seconds ahead of Borst, who started the race from third place.
Sellers finished third, giving him a pair of third-place efforts for the afternoon, with Mark Wertz of Chesapeake, Virginia, and Craig Moore of Rougemont, North Carolina completing the top five finishers.
There were two lead changes among three drivers with Borst leading 44 laps, Langley holding then top spot for 16 laps and Moore leading the first 15 laps of the race.
MURRAY, BARNES SPLIT BUDWEISER LIMITED SPORTSMAN DIVISION TWINBILL
Adam Murray of Bailey, North Carolina and last season’s division champion, Kyle Barnes of Draper, Virginia, split wins in Saturday’s twin 30-lap races for the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division.
Murray scored his first career South Boston Speedway win the first 30-lap race. He took the lead from J.D. Eversole of Richmond, Virginia on the 19th lap and led the rest of the way, edging Eversole by .314-second at the finish.
Carter Russo of Rougemont, North Carolina finished third, Barnes finished fourth and Jason Myers of Hurt, Virginia finished fifth in the 19-car starting field.
There were two lead changes among two drivers with Murray leading twice for a total of 28 laps. Eversole led once for two circuits.
Barnes started sixth in the second race but needed only 10 laps to get to the front of the field. He passed Zach Peregoy of Clarksville, Virginia to take the lead on the tenth lap and led the final 21 circuits in picking up the victory.
Ronnie Jones of Kenly, North Carolina finished second, 1.217-seconds behind Barnes. Myers finished third, Drew Dawson of Halifax, Virginia finished fourth and Justin Dawson of Halifax, Virginia rounded out the top five finishers.
There were two lead changes among three drivers with Barnes leading 21 laps, pole starter Ronald Renfrow of Kenly, North Carolina leading the first six laps and Peregoy leading three laps.
LAYNE WINS SOUTHSIDE DISPOSAL PURE STOCK DIVISION OPENER
Johnny Layne of Halifax. Virginia won Saturday’s 25-lap race for the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division – and had a tough path in doing so.
After the motor in Layne’s car blew during practice he left the speedway, headed home, retrieved his other car, returned to the speedway, and started the race at the rear of the field.
Undaunted, Layne quickly surged through the field, took the lead from defending division champion Scott Phillips of Halifax, Virginia on the seventh lap, and led the rest of the way to pick up the win. He crossed the finish line 1.395-seconds ahead of runner-up Zach Reaves of South Boston, Virginia, who had started the race from the pole.
B.J. Reaves of South Boston, Virginia, Bruce Mayo of Halifax, Virginia and Phillips, who led the first six laps of the race, rounded out the top five finishers.
GOBLE TAKES VIRGINIA STATE POLICE HEAT HORNETS DIVISION WIN
Cameron Goble of Ringgold, Virginia scored his first career South Boston Speedway victory Saturday, earning a flag-to-flag win in the 20-lap race for the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division.
Goble finished .883-second ahead of runner-up Dillon Davis of Nathalie, Virginia, with pole winner Jason DeCarlo of Chase City, Virginia, Steven Layne of Halifax, Virginia and Andrea Ruotolo of South Boston, Virginia rounding out the top five finishers.
NEXT RACE AT SOUTH BOSTON SPEEDWAY
South Boston Speedway will host its first special event of the 2023 season when racing action returns to the historic track on Saturday afternoon, April 1 with the URW Fools Rush 260 racing program. The first race of the afternoon is set for 3 p.m.
The high-horsepower open-wheel Modifieds of the SMART Modified Tour will be featured in a 99-lap race. Fans will also see the Sentara Healthcare Late Model Stock Car Division competitors battle it out in twin 71-lap races. A 21-lap race for the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division will round out the four-race card.
Advance adult general admission tickets are priced at $17 each. Tickets at the gate on race day will be $20 each. Seniors ages 65 and older, military, healthcare workers, and students (with ID) can purchase tickets for $17 each at the gate on race day.
The tentative event-day schedule for the URW Fools Rush 260 on Saturday afternoon, April 1 has frontstretch spectator gates opening at 10:45 a.m. Qualifying is set for 1:30 p.m. and the first race of the afternoon will get the green flag at 3 p.m.
The latest news and updates from South Boston Speedway are available on the speedway’s website, southbostonspeedway.com, through the track’s social media channels, and by phoning the speedway at 434-572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours.
Ryan Truex Scores Top-Three in His GR Supra
Ryan Truex battled through a record number of caution flags in Saturday night’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway to claim a third-place finish. Truex claimed the runner-up finish in last week’s race at Phoenix Raceway and continues his streak of top-three finishes with today’s performance in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota GR Supra.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Atlanta Motor Speedway
Race 5 of 33 – 251 miles, 163 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Austin Hill*
2nd, Daniel Hemric*
3rd, RYAN TRUEX
4th, Parker Kligerman*
5th, Riley Herbst*
8th, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
17th, SAMMY SMITH
30th, CONNOR MOSACK
35th, KAZ GRALA
37th, JOEY GASE
RYAN TRUEX, No. 19 Toyota Genuine Parts Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
What did you see on that final lap coming to the checkered flag?
“I saw cars wrecking and I just didn’t lift. I saw a lane, but if it was like Talladega and the start-finish line was down there, I probably would have won. That’s racing. It was a crazy race. I didn’t expect it to be the way it was. Man, Parker Kligerman’s car was so good. We were riding single file there for a while and he just made his lane by himself and drove all the way to the front. That’s what pulled everyone with him. I ended up getting shuffled out and getting pushed to the back. Our GR Supra was fast enough to drive back through the field. I pushed Brett (Moffitt), my old buddy, as hard as I could that whole last lap. I never got off his bumper and I thought we would have had a chance at a side-by-side finish for the win. All in all, it was a good day. Glad we brought home another good finish.”
John Hunter Nemechek Scores Top-Three in Tundra at Atlanta
John Hunter Nemechek claimed the top-finishing position for Toyota in Saturday’s NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Nemechek battled through a record number of caution flags to finish third on a day where he is competing in both the truck race as well as the afternoon’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series
Atlanta Motor Speedway
Race 3 of 23 – 135 Laps, 208 Miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Christian Eckes*
2nd, Nick Sanchez*
3rd, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
4th, Bailey Curry*
5th, Ben Rhodes*
8th, TIMMY HILL
14th, RYAN VARGAS
17th, AKINORI OGATA
22nd, STEWART FRIESEN
24th, TANNER GRAY
26th, TYLER ANKRUM
28th, LAYNE RIGGS
30th, DEAN THOMPSON
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 17 Berry’s Manufacturing Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, TRICON Garage
Finishing Position: 3rd
What happened when you made contact with the 51 truck of Jack Wood?
“Just pushing. Sorry to Brian Pattie and all the guys on the 51 (Jack Wood) truck at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports). Everybody was pushing each other on corner exit. I apologized to him, but I know I was sideways off the corner a few times. The 99 (Ben Rhodes) about wrecked underneath me. Guys are out here to gain experience and that’s part of the experience, I guess. Sorry to those guys. It wasn’t meant to happen. I was trying to push him away from everybody else so that we could get clear and just race, but that’s part of speedway racing and that’s what they turned Atlanta into.”
What made the bottom so challenging today?
“The spec motors, you turn them super low RPM and the trucks punch a huge hole in the air. Just trying to get the bottom lined up to go forward was the hardest thing. If there were guys that could stay committed to each other on the bottom and stay close, they could get going pretty well.”
COREY HEIM, No. 11 Safelite Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, TRICON Garage
Finishing Position: 34th
What happened in the accident that ended your race?
“Typically, once you get through first gear, I look in the mirror and try to block. I saw Zane Smith was behind me and he can be pretty aggressive, so I wanted to makes sure he wasn’t going to jump me at the line so I looked back and then the 2, I don’t know what happened. I thought I would get a really big run on him, but he didn’t get going. I hate it for TRICON and my Safelite team. We had an okay Toyota Tundra TRD Pro today. We got a little behind on pit road on the sequence before that. If we had still been up front, obviously that wouldn’t have happened, but team effort and we’ll move on.”
What happened on pit road from your perspective?
“With fuel only stops when you’re on pit road for only like two seconds, it’s really hard to judge who’s coming in and who’s going out. Just a communication thing between our team and the 9 team. Could have definitely been resolved in an easier way, but things happen sometimes.”
Ford Performance NCTS Atlanta 1 Post-Race Quotes
Ford FInishing Results:
5th – Ben Rhodes
9th – Matt Crafton
11th – Ty Majeski
12th – Hailie Deegan
20th – Zane Smith
23rd – Josh Reaume
29th – Mason Massey
33rd – Kaden Honeycutt
36th – Keith McGee
MATT CRAFTON, No. 88 Great Lakes Flooring/Menards Ford F-150 – “I didn’t want to take the bat off my shoulder until I had to go to the bottom and try to see if I could make something work because we kept picking the top and the top would go, but then the bottom would slow as soon as we got all of those yellows in that quick spurt and we kept losing track position. So, as soon as I did it we ran a lot longer green, and I sank big time. All in all, this Menards Ford F-150 was good. It handled great and we just made very minor adjustments. We’re already up front. We led laps and did everything we needed to do today, but we just made that one mistake.”
BEN RHODES, No. 99 Farm Paint Ford F-150 – WHAT WERE YOU THINKING ON THE FINAL RESTART? “I thought we were in really good shape. The 2 and the 19, although they’re Chevy’s, I don’t think wanted to really work together. The 19 and I, Christian, we get along really good off the track. We worked really well together at Daytona and he’s kind of become my satellite teammate, I guess, and just comes from his time at ThorSport of being real teammates there. Congrats to Christian on winning it. I pushed him as hard as I could down the backstretch, but, again, I had a big run and I tried to take it. I lost my momentum getting loose like that, but there was no need for the whole truck to be destroyed for sixth place. I think right now it should be a top five and a fairly clean truck.”
YOU AND YOUR TEAMMATES WERE 1-2-3 IN STAGE 2 AND OBVIOUSLY STRONG. “That’s right, but the racing changed a lot at the end of the race. The track got rubbered up. It got a little locked down on the bottom. You had the ability to push a lot harder and side force and aero became less of a thing. Mechanical grip started to reign supreme at the end and with that came a lot more aggressive racing, so I’m disappointed with the finish. When you go for a shot for the win going into turn three and four, and then you wind up with a sixth place finish and a destroyed truck, that’s not good, especially going into the five-race run we have here. We’ve got some work to do back at the shop and not a lot of time to fix it.”
HAILIE DEEGAN, No. 13 Advent Health F-150 – “I think it was a great day. I think our goal going into this race was to hang back until it really means something. It means something at the end in the third stage, so we just hung back and waited, and I think it worked because there were a few times where I’d be in a good position to keep going forward and I’d tell myself, ‘This doesn’t feel good. Something is gonna happen.’ And then like a lap later all of a sudden something would happen, so I think we put ourselves in a good position to bring home a clean truck and be able to have it for Texas. That’s great because we have something to build off of and we’re not repairing something.”
HOW DID YOU ATTACK THE GREEN-WHITE-CHECKER RESTART? “We took the bottom because every wreck here ends up at the top before it comes back down, so I think you’re guaranteed to at least if you get past it when it goes up that you’ll be pretty good. We were just gonna try to be on the bottom and go from there.”
TY MAJESKI, No. 98 Curb Records F-150 – “We just got behind. Our pit crew couldn’t get the gas engaged and we lost a lot of track position on that fuel only pit stop. We just never could recover. I tried the top and tried the bottom, but couldn’t really recover to get over that hump. All in all it was a solid points day. We wanted a top 10, but have to settle for 11th.”
Ford Performance PR
Fr8 208 results from Atlanta Motor Speedway
FORD DOMINATES CUP QUALIFYING SWEEPING THE TOP 8 SPOTS
Team Penske swept the top three spots for the first time in its NASCAR history and Ford took the first eight positions in qualifying for tomorrow’s Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Joey Logano won the pole with Austin Cindric second and Ryan Blaney third.
Both RFK Racing Fords ended up in the Top 10 as well with Brad Keselowski fourth and Chris Buescher seventh.
Ford Qualifying Results:
1st – Joey Logano
2nd – Austin Cindric
3rd – Ryan Blaney
4th – Brad Keselowski
5th – Aric Almirola
6th – Kevin Harvick
7th – Chris Buescher
8th – Chase Briscoe
12th – Michael McDowell
23rd – Todd Gilliland
24th – Ryan Preece
32nd – Cody Ware
33rd – Harrison Burton
34th – JJ Yeley
JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Autotrader Ford Mustang – POLE-WINNING PRESS CONFERENCE
TELL US ABOUT YOUR RUN? “It was probably a little bit more interesting than a lot of us expected with cars spinning out and hitting the wall. We’re thinking this is superspeedway qualifying and just keep it pinned all the way around, but the guys gave me a great Autotrader Mustang that seems like it goes fast by itself at least and hopefully handles well when the race starts. Nobody really knows what they have for handling yet, but hopefully we have a little bit of both in this thing and we can control the race. Obviously, Team Penske had a great day today and we’ll try to continue that tomorrow.”
IT SEEMED TODAY WAS MORE DRIVER THAN USUAL WITH DIFFERENT LINES BEING USED. WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THAT EVALUATION? “There are definitely more options and anytime a car is at its grip limit, it opens up the window for the driver to be more involved than what the driver is at Daytona or Talladega. Obviously, when you’re wide-open all the way around it’s more car than driver today, if I’m being honest, but it still opens up the door to where I can at least be impactful on what the car is doing, on the line that I’m running. It’s just the little details that stack up eventually, so we made some decent changes between runs and able to get the balance a little bit closer for me to where I could have a little bit more of an aggressive line and try to find some more speed that way. A total team effort. I probably put a little bit more weight on the team on this one, but, either way, it’s still cool to get a pole. I’ve never been on the front row of a superspeedway forget a pole, and I don’t think I’ve ever done it in Xfinity or anything, so this is kind of cool, and doing it here in Atlanta is special for me. There are so many memories here. I lived up in one of those condos for five years and raced Legends cars out here for six years and just the memories of walking into Victory Lane a minute ago to get the Pole Award and thinking about driving my Legend’s car in there with my dad and how cool that was and always dreaming about being on the big track when I was running the quarter-mile all the time and how neat it is just to be on the big track. I guess I try to keep those thoughts up front in my mind.”
THE FORDS HAD 8 IN THE TOP 10. WHY SO STRONG AND IS THAT SPEED TRANSFERABLE TO THE RACE? “I’m hoping it’s transferable to the race. I think it’s pretty obvious at this point throughout the field where certain manufacturers have gone over the offseason with some of their changes to the noses and what-not. It’s pretty obvious that this is kind of our wheelhouse – when you come to superspeedways or bigger racetracks like Fontana, Michigan, Atlanta, Talladega, Daytona. I think those will probably be our strongest racetracks and it kind of showed again today.”
HOW MUCH HAS NOT WINNING A CUP RACE AT THIS TRACK BOTHERED YOU? “In those races that we’ve been so close and races that we had the dominant race car and had issues happen, that was before they repaved it, but we were capable of winning and you definitely want to say you’ve won. For me, it’s a dream to always win on this racetrack. That’s something that’s always been stuck in my mind. I look at it as kind of a second home track to me. Loudon is always gonna be special because that’s where I’m from, but living down here for the amount of time that I did and the amount of time and the memories on the quarter-mile right there, I can’t come here and not think about growing up as a kid racing. I just saw a couple kids in Victory Lane that race Bandoleros and I just wanted to talk to them for 10 minutes. I don’t know. The memories and hearing them and their dad talk about it and what racing is like now, I just think that’s special. Honestly, it’s the most special times of racing in my career. You don’t realize it when you’re a kid, but you realize it when you get a little bit older how cool that really is, especially now that my son is getting a little bit older. Whatever he ends up doing, who knows what we’ll do, but those memories will be very special as well.”
DID YOU PRACTICE GETTING ON PIT ROAD IN TURN 3 DURING EITHER LAP AND DO YOU HAVE TO BE MORE CONSERVATIVE ON PIT ROAD BECAUSE IF YOU SPEED IT’S PROBABLY A 2-LAP PENALTY? “At least that. I practiced rolling time around the corner. They had that on for the first run, they had the timing lines on, but the second run they don’t, so we did the rolling time. We didn’t run a hot pit road entry for some reasons that we thought about that made sense not to do, but we’ll go back and look at some of the cars that did and try to find a decent breaking marker if we get to that situation in the race. I think a couple did from what I hear.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Menards/Knauf Ford Mustang – “Obviously, Ford domination. Congrats to everyone at Ford Performance and the Roush Yates Engine shop. Everybody including Team Penske bringing lot of speed. I’m proud of that. Hopefully, it translates for tomorrow. I think this is as much of a handling race as it is anything else. You’ve got to have speed to keep the lead, so we’ll see what we have tomorrow to be able to race through the field, but obviously we have the speed to stay up front.”
Ford Performance PR