Friday, Dec 03
Brett Winningham

Brett Winningham

Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.

The ARCA Menards Series West season finale at Phoenix Raceway on Saturday didn’t disappoint in the slightest. With a stacked field of 34 entries coming into the event, it provided fans an amazing close battle for the championship all race long.

Ty Gibbs scored the victory from the pole on Saturday and dominated the event upfront leading all 100 circuits of the Arizona Lottery 100. Gibbs throughout 2021 scored 15 victories across the ARCA, ARCA East, and ARCA West divisions and scored his first victory in the West tour.

Taylor Gray and Sammy Smith rounded out the top three finishers.

Jesse Love claimed the 2021 ARCA Menards Series championship via tiebreaker with Jake Drew. Love won the title after confusion on the last lap when Drew Dollar and Trevor Huddleston slowed after taking the white flag while race winner Ty Gibbs was receiving the checkered flag right behind, thus allowing Love to pass Huddleston for 14th. 

Love finishes the championship season with two victories along with four top five and five top 10 finishes.

Jake Drew finishes the year with five top five and eight top 10 finishes.

Kansas Speedway ARCA Menards Series winner Nick Sanchez took home fourth while J.P. Bergeron finished fifth.

Jake Garcia, Drew Dollar, Rajah Caruth, Gracie Trotter and Cole Moore took home top 10 finishes.

The race had six cautions for 32 laps under yellow. 

ARCA will announce the 2022 ARCA Menards Series West schedule at a later date. Stay tuned to SpeedwayDigest.com all offseason long for more details.

Tony Stewart is one of three drivers that took part in a Goodyear tire test at Bowman Gray Stadium on Tuesday. The purpose of the test is to find the right tire combination for the season opening exhibition race at LA Coliseum in February 2022. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Clint Bowyer were also participants.

Bowman Gray Stadium is one of the oldest facilities in the country to host NASCAR sanctioned events. The track known as ‘Mad House’ does not currently host any national series races, however, is a stable on the local NASCAR tours.

“It was fun today to get a chance to come up here, to be invited by NASCAR to come up and do the tire test for the Coliseum race,” said Stewart. “This is a track I’ve only been to one time and got to watch the races. So it was pretty cool to be on track here. It was fun and to get a chance to drive the Next Gen car was cool too.

Stewart says Goodyear had a good plan going into the day and seemed happy with the results of the test. 

“I think what they brought with the control set is probably a little harder than what they need. They brought a softer tire and they were pretty happy with it and I think that’s probably a combination of what they’ll bring out West.”

Today marked the first time in five years that Tony Stewart has driven a NASCAR Cup Series stock car. The three-time Cup Series champion added that it was fun to do something different and something he hasn’t done for a long time now.

Is this a precursor to something more?

Reports show that NASCAR isn’t done moving around the schedule. Bowman Gray played host to 29 NASCAR Cup Series races from 1958 to 1971. The track hosted five ARCA Menards Series East (formerly NASCAR K&N Pro Series East) events between 2011 - 2015.

Considering that it’s just a Goodyear tire test, probably not. If the exhibition race at the LA Coliseum proves to be a success, only time will tell whether the historic track will once again see a national series race.

Kyle Larson parked his No. 5 Chevrolet into victory lane Sunday at Kansas Speedway for the ninth time of the season. Larson dominated the Hollywood Casino 400 from the pole by leading 130 of the 267 laps. The driver heads into the penultimate race of 2021 locked into the Round of 4 at Phoenix Raceway.

Chase Elliott leaves Kansas second in the standings after taking home runner-up on Sunday. The driver from Georgia started fifth and led 42 of the laps to capture his 14th top five and 20th top 10 finish in 2021.

Denny Hamlin was the next highest Playoff finisher in fifth. The driver of the No. 11 Toyota sits third in points leaving Kansas and will go into Martinsville Speedway looking to score his sixth victory there. 

Martin Truex Jr. sat seventh at the checkered flag, earning his 18th top 10 finish of the year. The driver of the No. 19 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing leaves Kansas sitting sixth in points. 

Joey Logano will leave Kansas with a ninth place finish in his No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Toyota. Logano goes into Martinsville next week sitting eighth in points and desperately needing a win to advance. In 25 starts at the ‘Paper Clip’, Logano has one victory and eight top fives along with 13 top 10s.

Brad Keselowski finished 17th on the board Sunday in the Hollywood Casino 400 and will go into next week sitting seventh in the standings. Keselowski, like teammate Joey Logano, is in a must win situation to race for a championship at Phoenix.

Kyle Busch was one of two Playoff drivers to have frustrating days at Kansas Speedway. Busch, sitting fourth in points, was involved in an incident in turn one on lap 24. The Las Vegas native finished six laps down in 28th.

Ryan Blaney will leave Kansas with a 37th-place finish. Blaney started the day second and will go into Martinsville fifth in points. In 11 starts at Martinsville, Blaney has five top five and six top 10 finishes.

Nick Sanchez leaves Kansas Speedway with his first career ARCA Racing Series victory on Saturday. Sanchez, en route to his first ever win, led just two circuits at the 1.5-mile oval. 

In addition to Sanchez scoring his first career victory, Ty Gibbs clinched the championship Saturday by taking the green flag. Gibbs, one of NASCAR’s brightest stars and winner of the Kansas Lottery 300 earlier in the day, dominated the event by leading 99 of the 102 laps.

Gibbs finishes the championship season with 10 victories, 19 top fives and 18 top 10s.

Sanchez finished the season with nine top five and 13 top 10 finishes.

Corey Heim took home the first spot.

Drew Dollar and JP Bergeron rounded out the top five.

Taking home top 10s were Kris Wright, Kyle Sieg, Dean Thompson, Rajah Caruth and Parker Chase.

The event had two cautions including a long yellow period for mist. 

The next race for the ARCA Racing Series will be at Daytona International Speedway in 2022. The ARCA Racing Series West will close out the season at Phoenix Raceway in November.

Ty Gibbs grabbed win No. 4 on Saturday at Kansas Speedway piloting the No. 54 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Gibbs, also looking to score the 2021 ARCA Menards Series championship later Saturday at the 1.5-mile track, led 15 of the 200 circuits.

Austin Cindric started second on the leaderboard and will leave Kansas second on the leaderboard in the No. 22 Ford. Cindric leaves with 60 top five and 87 top 10 finishes through 31 completed events. The North Carolina native has five victories in 2021.

AJ Allmendinger rounded out the top three finishers. Allmendinger started the day in fifth and led 10 total laps and leaves with his 21st top 10 this year.

Justin Haley and Ryan Sieg rounded out the top five. Today’s fifth place finish for Sieg marks his 14th XFINITY Series top five finish.

Brett Moffitt, Michael Annett, Sam Mayer, Justin Allgaier and Myatt Snider rounded out the top 10.

There were 10 caution flags throughout the race that impacted a couple of Playoff drivers. On lap 98, Noah Gragson, Myatt Snider and Daniel Hemric tangled on the backstretch. All cars involved continued. 

Sam Mayer, Noah Gragson and Harrison Burton tangled on the frontstretch to bring out the final yellow with 20 to go. The incident wiped out Gragson and Burton, respectively, while Mayer continued.

The next race for the NASCAR XFINITY Series will be at Martinsville Speedway on October 30th. Coverage of the event will air live on NBCSN and MRN Radio.

PJ Pedroncelli snuck away with the ARCA Overtime victory on Saturday at All American Speedway in Roseville, California, earning his first career ARCA West victory. Pedroncelli, a 31-year-old driver from Sonoma, California, took the lead away from Joey Iest off turn two on the last lap to score the victory in his No. 33 Toyota.

“We fought hard the whole race,” exclaimed Pedroncelli in victory lane. “Tried to be conservative at the beginning, got involved into some stuff … I don’t even know how this happened as we came all the way from the back. I was kinda upset that we got that last restart there. I was gonna be fine with second, but I'm happy now and we’re gonna party!”

Iest, the leader at the time of the caution flag that sent the race into overtime for Jake Drew and Jesse Love in turn four on the last lap, finished second. The California native goes into the ARCA West finale at Phoenix with six top-five and top 10 finishes, including a victory at Colorado National Speedway in July.

In ARCA, except at superspeedway tracks, if the caution comes out after the leader takes the white flag, the race will go into overtime. Overtime consists of a green - white restart followed by the checkered flag.

“It was a really hard battle as all three of us were racing really hard,” said Iest regarding the hard racing with Jesse Love and Jake Drew. “It was a really fun race there with PJ and it was tight racing with everyone.” 

Pedroncelli entered the event with only seven previous starts in the division and was quite emotional at the end of his victory lane interview with TrackPass.

“It means the world. It’s really cool,” Pedroncelli added.

Trevor Huddleston took home the third spot in his No. 6 Ford.

Todd Souza and Cole Moore took home top-five finishes Saturday.

Stafford Smith, Christian Rose, Jake Drew, Takuma Koga, and Amber Slagle took home top 10s.

Jesse Love finished 12th.

Dean Thompson started on the pole in his No. 51 Thompson Pipe Ford and stayed up front for most of the event until a flat tire derailed his chances. Thompson finished four laps down in 17th.

The night ended short for Taylor Gray in the No. 17E Ford after bringing out the third yellow flag of the night on lap 46. The No. 33 of PJ Pedroncelli got into the back of Taylor Gray and the No. 80 of Brian Kamiski had nowhere to go except into the No. 17E. Gray finished 22nd out of 23 starters.

The next race for the ARCA Menards Series West will be the season finale at Phoenix Raceway on November 6th. The Arizona Lottery 100 will air live on TrackPass NBC Sports Gold.

The ARCA Menards Series West visited the 0.375-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring on Thursday, kicking off four days of action in the area. Taylor Gray, the second-place starter in the Star Nursery 150, took home the checkered flag.

Pole winner Jake Drew took home the runner-up position in his No. 9 Ford, picking up his fourth top-five and sixth ARCA West top 10 finish of the year. He entered the event 19 points behind point leader Jesse Love.

Trevor Huddleston rounded out the top three finishers on Thursday, earning his first ARCA West top five of the year.

Taylor Gray, making just his third start of the season in the ARCA West division in the No. 17E David Gilliland Racing entry, scored his second victory of the year. 

Joey Iest and Kyle Keller rounded out the top five finishers.

Cole Moore, Paul Pedroncelli Jr., Takuma Koga, Josh Fanopoulos, and Christian Rose rounded out the top 10.

The field went under caution six times throughout the 150-lap event.

The most notable one involved Dean Thompson while racing three-wide for a top-five position on lap 115. Thompson at one point passed Jake Drew for the second spot before slipping further back around the top five position. The driver placed 14th out of 23 cars.

The series will make its penultimate stop at Roseville on October 9th and can be seen live on NBC Sports Gold TrackPass.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series visited Bristol Motor Speedway for the annual Thursday night short track event. The event, UNOH 200, had two red flag periods and featured 11 yellow flags. 

Chandler Smith, needing to win to advance into the Playoffs, scored his first career Camping World Truck Series victory, leading just five of the 200 circuits. 

Non-Playoff driver Grant Enfinger, starting the day sixth on the grid, took home the runner-up spot. Enfinger leaves the Tennessee oval with his sixth top-five and 10th top 10 finish in 2021. 

John Hunter Nemechek showed strength all night long inside the top five. Nemechek, after starting the day second on the grid, took home his 11th top five of the year. The driver from North Carolina earned his 63rd career top 10.

Chandler Smith, starting seventh on the grid, picked up his fourth top five and seventh top 10 of the year.

Stewart Friesen took home fourth while Johnny Sauter scored fifth.

Carson Hocevar, Matt Crafton, Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes and Todd Gilliland rounded out the top 10.

Sheldon Creed claimed both stages of the event on Thursday but not the checkered flag, respectively. Creed, leading 189 of the 200 circuits, experienced a problem with around three circuits to go that resulted in a 19th-place finish and two laps down. Despite the issue, Creed will advance into the next round of the Camping World Truck Series Playoffs.

The UNOH 200 featured 11 cautions and two yellow flags as chaos ran all night long. On lap 71, caution flew on the backstretch in a wreck that involved 10 drivers. This impacted notable drivers Drew Dollar, Lawless Alan, Cory Roper and Colby Howard. All drivers involved continued or were evaluated and released from the care center.

The second red flag period of the night involved six trucks on the frontstretch. Playoff driver Austin Hill along with Derek Kraus, Austin Wayne Self, Lawless Alan, Halie Deegan and Josh Berry. 

Tanner Gray, Parker Kligerman, Zane Smith and Chase Purdy were among others involved in the 11 yellow flags. 

Todd Gilliland and Austin Hill will not advance into the Round of 8. John Hunter Nemechek, Sheldon Creed, Ben Rhodes, Zane Smith, Chandler Smith, Matt Crafton Carson Hocevar and Stewart Friesen advance. 

The next race for the series will be at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 24.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour visited Richmond Raceway for the first time in 22 years on Friday. The event, Virginia is for Racing Lovers 150, finished in NASCAR overtime and featured 14 changes for the lead. 

Ryan Preece scored his 25th career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory, leading 98 of the 156 circuits. 

Jon McKennedy, starting the day 20th on the grid, took home the runner-up spot. McKennedy leaves the Virginia oval with his fourth top-five and seventh top 10 finish in 2021. 

Ronnie Williams showed strength atop of the leaderboard all race long in his No. 50 machine. Williams, after starting the day seventh on the grid, led three times for 34 laps. The driver from Ellington, Connecticut, earned his third career top five finish.

Preece, starting third on the grid, picked up his third win of the year.

Veteran Cup Series racer Ryan Newman took home fourth while Doug Coby scored fifth.

Kyle Bonsignore, Austin Beers, Andy Jankowiak, Burt Myers and Woody Pitkat rounded out the top 10.

The battle for the championship will remain somewhat stagnant after the top two in series points suffered issues during the event. Both Justin Bonsignore and Patrick Emerling had mechanical failures that placed them 24th and 25th in the finishing order. Third place in points coming into the event, Ron Silk, placed not far ahead in 19th.

The next race for the series will be at Riverhead Raceway on September 18.

NASCAR fined driver Kyle Busch $50,000 for a safety violation that occurred Sunday night at Darlington Raceway. 

Busch in the No. 18 Toyota was involved in an incident with Austin Dillon in turn two on lap 125. As Busch went to the garage area with damage, he drove through a line of cones leading into the garage area at a considerable amount of speed and sent three or so individuals scattering.

On Tuesday morning, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller talked with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90 about the incident.

“It was a situation that could have been bad. Fortunately nobody got hit or anything like that,” said Miller. “It all worked out, but putting people in harm’s way for no reason is something we take seriously.”

NASCAR holds meetings with photographers at various times throughout the race weekend. One thing constantly communicated at these meetings is the need to keep the head on a swivel at all times. That reminder also carries over to team members and media that work within the garage area.

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