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 made a series of twists and turns Friday on the road course of Watkins Glen International in upstate New York. Joining the series in a one-off event, Corey LaJoie started on the pole with Jesse Love celebrating afterward in victory lane.
Coming into the road course event as the series points leader, Love didn’t have the best car all day on track. The driver of the No. 20 Toyota still managed to stay up front waiting for any opportunity to pounce. That opportunity came after Jack Wood spun in the latter stages to send the race into ARCA overtime - a one-lap green-white/checker restart.
“To stay on slicks or change to wets?” was the key question as a heavy mist arrived.
Kris Wright and Stanton Barrett stayed out on slicks for the final restart with the rest of the field electing for wet weather tires. Connor Zilisch quickly re-took the lead into turn one and led until the very last corner of the circuit. Love took his car wide and battled side-by-side with Zilisch to the end of the final turn before taking the lead and checkered flag.
In 13 races this year, Love heads into the one-mile Springfield dirt track Sunday, who is the defending winner, with eight wins and 12 top-10 finishes.
Connor Zilisch finishes second in his ARCA Menards Series debut by 0.195 seconds.
Also making his ARCA Menards Series debut was third-place finisher Brent Cruise.
Rounding out the top five were William Sawalich and Dale Quarterley.
Kris Wright, Andy Jankowiak, Zach Herrin, Stanton Barrett, and Jake Finish all leave with top 10s.
Big names fell out of the race early due to various issues with their cars.
Jon Garrett retired his No. 66 entry early after four laps on the board after starting 18th.
Frankie Muniz had a power issue on his No. 30 ride that forced them to the garage with only 22 laps complete.
Pole winner Corey LaJoie fell out of the race a lap later than Muniz because of brake issues.
The series quickly shifts to Springfield, IL on Sunday for the Dutch Boy 100 at 2:00 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 1 and FloRacing.
ARCA: Jesse Love Continues ARCA Dominance With Friday's Reese's 200 Win at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park
Jesse Love continued his 2023 ARCA Menards Series dominance Friday at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. Leading 154 of 200 circuits from the pole, Love, entering as the series points leader, picked up his seventh win of the season.
Luke Fenhaus looked strong as the leader behind the wheel of the No. 28 Chevrolet later in the Reese’s 200. However, with 16 to go, Christian Rose and Conner Jones came together resulting in the fourth yellow flag of the event. This allowed Jesse Love to overtake Fenhaus for the lead with nine to go and win by 0.357 seconds. Fenhaus led 24 of the laps.
Love goes into the next ARCA Menards Series event at Watkins Glen with 10 top five and 11 top 10 finishes this season.
Sean Hingorani, William Sawalich and Lavar Scott captured top five finishes.
Conner Jones, Greg Van Alst, Andres Perez de Lara, Toni Breidinger and Christian Rose finished top 10.
Conner Jones and Christian Rose had some fireworks amongst themselves after the event. The two drivers met shortly after the race discussing some on-track issues when things escalated to pushing and shoving. The two drivers were quickly separated by team individuals.
The series heads to Watkins Glen International on August 18th. Coverage of the race will air live on FS1 and MRN Radio at 6:00 p.m. ET.
John Hunter Nemechek survived a roller coaster Saturday at Michigan International Speedway en route to his fifth victory of the season. The series points leader tied with Austin Hill also delivered Joe Gibbs Racing their 200th XFINITY Series victory in the process.
“It’s definitely special. Being able to win so many races for JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) in Xfinity Series – I’m just the lucky guy that gets to hold the wheel of these fast Toyota’s every single weekend,” said Nemechek. “Getting 200 is sweet. We’ve been joking about it for the past few weeks, and after the past couple of weeks that we’ve had, we’ve definitely needed to rebound.”
The victory for the No. 20 team didn’t come easy as there were fireworks among the Joe Gibbs Racing teammates. Following a restart on lap 12, Nemechek, Ty Gibbs, and Sammy Smith all came together down the backstretch that resulted in a DNF for Sammy Smith. Gibbs would voice displeasures for Nemechek over the No. 19 in-car radio as well as gestures out the window during the caution period.
Other cars impacted in the incident included Carson Hocevar and Mason Maggio.
Gibbs later drove to a fourth-place finish.
John Hunter Nemechek after the race offered his apologies to his teammates and that he’ll talk to Gibbs after the race.
“I have to apologize to Ty (Gibbs) and the 19 team. I didn’t mean to get into him. I’m the one that has been preaching about teammates,” Nemechek told NBC after the race. “It was my fault. I put him in a bad aero spot. It looked like he got loose and then I couldn’t checkup. Just chain reaction type of events – but it is my fault. I take the blame for that. We will move on from it. Him and I will have a discussion about it.
Josh Berry placed second by 1.495 seconds behind Nemechek. Brandon Jones and Sam Mayer joined Gibbs in the top five by placing third and fifth.
Riley Herbst, AJ Allmendinger, Parker Kligerman, Parker Retzlaff, and Jeb Burton took home top 10s.
Justin Allgaier showed strength at the front of the field in the No. 7 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports after a second-place start. Allgaier took the lead from the onset to win stage one of the event over teammate and pole-sitter Josh Berry. Issues later struck the team after Gibbs spun Allgaier on pit road and then later sustained a penalty for crew members over the wall too soon. Allgaier went on to finish 14th.
Cole Custer had a strong run going early in his No. 00 entry after starting 13th and finishing stage one in third. The team continued inside the top 10 to finish sixth in stage two before issues would come their way in the final stage.
Custer reported a violent vibration in the corners but that everything was fine while on straightaways. After much debate, the team elected to stay out hoping that a caution would come their way. Luckily for them, a caution flew with 11 circuits remaining and allowed Custer to pit for scuffs.
Custer went on to finish 16th on the leaderboard.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series moves to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on August 12th. The event will air live on USA and the IMS Radio Network at 5:30 p.m. ET.
On Wednesday night, Treyten Lapcevich swept both Leland Twin 125s at Sutherland Automotive Speedway in Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Lapcevich, entering both events as the series points leader, led a combined total of 217 laps in both double-header events to score his fourth and fifth wins of the year.
In race No. 1, Lapcevich led wire-to-wire picking up his fourth victory of the year. The No. 20 entry with FBM / Delta Bingo as the sponsor sat 2.504 seconds ahead of Donald Theetge.
The night's first event featured just one caution flag for the No. 24 of Thomas Nepveu in turn four. Nepveu continued finishing 11th.
Rounding out the top five in race No. 1 behind Theetge were Marc-Antoine Camirand, Alex Tagliani, and Alex Guenette.
LP Dumoulin tagged the wall to later finish 18th out of 18 cars. Not drawing the yellow for the incident, he No. 47 crew quickly got things turned around between races to compete in the second race just an hour and a half or so later.
Taking home top 10s were Andrew Ranger, Brandon Watson, Dexter Stacey, Kevin Lacroix, and DJ Kennington.
Race No. 2 went caution-free wire-to-wire. However, despite the event not having a single yellow flag, the on-track product didn’t disappoint.
Despite starting second, Lapcevich quickly took the lead away from pole-sitter Donald Theetge. The No. 20 Chevrolet would lead the first 17 laps of the event until Alex Guenette took the top spot. Guenette would lead the next 33 circuits before Lapcevich retook the spot with 75 to go.
Guenette would drop all the way to finish sixth.
Lapcevich scored the win by 8.632 seconds over Alex Tagliani.
Taking home top fives were LP Dumoulin, Brandon Watson, and Marc-Antoine Camirand.
Along with Guenette finishing sixth, Dexter Stacey, Thomas Nepveu, Kevin Lacroix, and Andrew Ranger claimed top 10s.
The series heads to Circuit de Trois-Rivieres on August 6th. That event will air live on TSN+ in Canada and FloRacing in the United States.
INDYCAR: Christian Lundgaard Wins at Toronto; Snaps 49-Race Winless Streak for Rahal-Letterman Lanigan Racing
Christian Lundgaard survived fuel conservation to earn his first career NTT IndyCar Series victory on the Streets of Toronto Sunday. The Denmark native started on the pole and led 54 of the 85 circuits to capture his second career IndyCar podium finish.
“I’m pretty drained from energy right now,” Lundgaard joked in his interview with Peacock. “The car just been fast all weekend. I said before the race that we had a car that was fast enough to win and we pulled it off.”
Lundgaard earned the victory sitting 11.7893 seconds ahead of Alex Palou, who entered the event as the series points leader by 110 driver points over Scott Dixon.
“This team, they do deserve this. If you look at where we were earlier this season and even last year at this point, we’re nowhere near this. I’m just extremely happy for everyone right now,” added Lundgaard.
Palau had to nurse his No. 10 Honda to the finish as a result of a broken wing. Palau started the afternoon 15th and picked up his sixth podium finish of the season as the result of the runner-up finish.
“I had a lot of ups and downs. Got into an accident there with the 27 (Kyle Kirkwood) and Helio (Castroneves),” said Palou. “I don’t know how we made it with this wing as the car was still handling okay.”
Colton Herta rounded out the top three finishers Sunday at Toronto after a 14th-place start. Herta told NBC / Peacock after the race that his No. 26 machine was sputtering coming to the checkered flag.
“We were in big time fuel saving mode most of the time. At the end had some real major savings,” Herta told Peacock. “Luckily we were able to save enough and make strategy work. I came across the line literally sputtering coming out of that last turn.”
Will Power and Marcas Ericsson weren’t as lucky as Herta on the fuel front as the two drivers had to pit for fuel on the final lap. Ericsson finishes 11th while Power takes home 14th.
“The strategy was right but could’ve just gotten a much bigger number earlier,” said Power. “I had no idea we were gonna run out. I was trying to put pressure on the two guys in front to run them out of fuel, and probably not watching mine close enough.”
Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden take home top-five finishes. Rounding out the top 10 were Scott McLaughlin, Marcus Armstrong, Pato O’Ward, Graham Rahal, and Felix Rosenqvist.
The series heads to Iowa Speedway for a twin-bill of races on July 22nd and 23rd. Both races on their respective day will air live on NBC and IndyCar Radio at 3:00 p.m. ET.
The ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series East joined forces Saturday at Iowa Speedway for a combination event just outside of Des Moines, Iowa.
William Sawalich won the pole with a lap of 24.143 seconds and an average speed of 130.473 mph in the 20-minute timed qualifying session. Luke Fenhaus earned the second starting spot sitting 0.414 seconds behind Sawalich. Lavar Scott, Toni Breidinger and Jesse Love rounded out the top five starters.
Sawalich cruised at the front of the field until the No. 15 of Conner Jones spun with two laps to go in turns one and two. The seventh caution of the night sent the race into overtime and set-up a two-lap dash between Sawalich and Fenhaus.
During the green-white-checkered attempt, Fenhaus managed to grab the lead from Sawalich to win the event despite Sawalich leading 155 of the 156 circuits.
“I knew I had to win the race.I knew he wasn’t giving me the top and just had to hit my restart right and not spin the tires,” said Fenhous, leading just one lap of the event and earning his second victory in the ARCA East ranks.
With Sawalich choosing the inside, getting the top to work and playing the restart right was all on the mind of Fenhous.
“I was just trying to get the top to work. I didn’t think it was the best, but, I was trying to make it work. I was really free in, really free off, it was hot and slick all day today. To come out on top means a lot as it was a big one for us,” the winner continued.
Fenhous scored a win earlier in the year at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in the ARCA East back in March.
Sawalich finishes second sitting 0.301 seconds behind the race winner.
Jesse Love battled issues with his No. 20 Toyota all race long, even starting at the rear of the field for unapproved adjustments. The driver came to pit road for more adjustments during an early caution period prior to the first of two scheduled race breaks.
Love’s team, leading the ARCA Menards Series points standings coming into the event, continued making adjustments all race long to eventually finish third.
Lavar Scott and Toni Breidinger rounded out the top five.
Taking home top 10s were Andres Perez de Lara, Christian Rose, Conner Jones, Frankie Muniz and Jon Garrett.
The race had seven caution flags with two of those as the result of race breaks.
The next race for the ARCA Menards Series East will again join forces with the ARCA Menards Series on August 11th at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis. The event will air live on FS1.
The ARCA Menards Series will shift focus to Pocono Raceway on July 21st. That event can be seen live on FS1 and heard on MRN Radio at 6:00 p.m. ET.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had some fun around the St. Louis area leading into the Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway this Sunday. Stenhouse, who won the season opening Daytona 500 at Daytona, had the one-of-a-kind opportunity to visit Busch Stadium Tuesday to throw out the first pitch.
“It was really cool! I grew up coming to Cardinals games when I was younger. I was a big baseball fan and I would always come up here with some of my cousins. Just a little road trip up.”
The St. Louis area has been synonymous with the driver from Olive Branch, Mississippi, as Stenhouse visited the area several times throughout his childhood and even the annual dirt races at the dome. Stenhouse spoke about the atmosphere around the city and the passionate fans.
“I think I noticed it when I came here to race in the dome in dirt cars, which was really neat,” Stenhouse told SD. “There’s a lot of big sports fans around here as I’ve been to some Blues (NHL hockey) games, obviously Cardinals games, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a football game but, this town loves their sports and they support them as shown here.”
The driver sat 28th on the practice chart early Saturday morning prior to posting the 12th fastest time in qualifying.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returned to action on Saturday for the Toyota 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park. Ty Majeski, posting a lap of 32.569s / 138.168 mph on Friday, started on the pole for the event with Ben Rhodes beside him.
Grant Enfinger survived an overtime finish with Christian Eckes beside him to win the event on Saturday. The veteran racer picked up his second victory of the season and leaves with five top five and seven top 10 finishes.
“You really don’t know what’s gonna happen until the end,” said Enfinger after the race in the media center. “That’s truck racing at Gateway. It’s so hard to stay off of someone when you’re really going for it.”
Eckes in the No. 19 entry picked up his third top five and fifth top 10 through this year after starting third. The driver from Middletown, NY, sat 0.256 seconds behind the winner.
Enfinger led 65 of the 162 laps en route to victory lane. Late, Enfinger battled a transmission issue with his No. 23 Chevrolet.
“I got to the white flag and I went ‘okay this is ours’, and I went into one and two and missed my shift, which I had three or four times for some reason towards the end of the race.” Enfinger added. “The transmission was getting sick going into third and in neutral.”
Finishing third after leading the field for 10 circuits was Stewart Friesen. Friesen entered the day looking to score his fourth career Camping World Truck Series victory. Rounding out the top five were Carson Hocevar and Chase Purdy.
Hocevar’s weekend isn’t over at Gateway. The driver will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet as a result of Chase Elliott’s suspension. Hocevar said post race that he’s ready to go and very excited for the opportunity.
“Yeah! A little bit! Nothing I won’t share because I just learned it,” Hocevar joked post-race. “Learning the race track and hydrating a little bit more and maybe more padding on my feet.”
Taking home top 10s were Matt DiBenedetto, Ben Rhodes, Nick Sanchez, Jesse Love and Jake Garcia.
The overtime event had four leaders for 11 total lead changes with an average speed of 132.158 mph.
There were 11 total yellows throughout the 200-mile event.
The most notable yellow drew on lap 156 with four to go in turn two that sent the event into overtime. Zane Smith, leader of 32 circuits, tangled with pole winner and leader of 55 laps, Ty Majeski in turn two. Majeski finished 30th while Smith scored 20th.
The series heads to Nashville Superspeedway next on June 23rd, live on FS1 and MRN Radio at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Josef Newgarden held off Marcus Ericsson in a one-lap battle to win the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. Newgarden, leading just five of the 200 circuits in his No. 2 Chevrolet with Shell Powering Progress as the sponsor, served Team Penske their 19th Indianapolis 500 victory.
“Just so thankful to be here. You have no idea! I started out as a kid in the crowd” said an emotional Josef Newgarden to NBC. “This place – it’s amazing! Regardless of where you’re sitting. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a car, you’re working on it, or you’re out in the crowd, you’re a part of this event and the energy.”
Team owner Roger Penske spoke with NBC after earning his 19th Indianapolis 500 victory as an owner.
“What a great day. All these wonderful fans. For us, to get number 19 racing my guy Chip Ganassi, my best friend in this business, terrific effort by Josef,” said Penske. “Tim Cindric called a perfect race. I’ll never forget it.”
Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson took home the runner-up by sitting just 0.0974 seconds behind Newgarden. Ericsson was the leader when the field went back green in a one-lap dash to the checkered. The driver of the No. 8 Huski Ice Spritz Honda had strong opinions regarding the red flag to force a one-lap shootout.
“I feel like it was an unfair and dangerous end to the race,” Ericsson told NBC. “I don’t think it was enough laps to do what we did. We’ve never done a restart right out of the pits where we don’t get the tires up to temperature.”
Santino Ferrucci rounded out the podium at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The driver from Connecticut earned his first career podium finish after starting fourth in his No. 14 Homes For Our Troops Chevrolet.
Newgarden scored his first Indianapolis 500 victory and his 27th career INDYCAR win. Afterward, he ran into the crowd to celebrate amongst the fans sitting in the frontstretch grandstand.
“I’ve always wanted to go into the crowd here at Indianapolis. I’ve seen people go up into the fence – I wanted to go through the fence and celebrate with the people,” Newgarden later said.
Pole winner Alex Palou and Alexander Rossi rounded out the top five.
Taking home top 10 finishes were Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato, Conor Daly, Colton Herta, and Rinus VeeKay.
Five cautions slowed the 500-mile race with three red flag periods.
The first caution came out just shy of halfway on lap 92 for Sting Ray Robb in turn one. Driving the No. 51 entry, Robb finished 31st out of 33 cars as a result of this crash.
The race went green over the next 51 laps until Romain Grosjean brought out the yellow with 50 to go in turn two. Grosjean fell out of the race and finished 30th.
With 15 laps to go, Felix Rosenqvist and Kyle Kirkwood made contact to bring out the third yellow flag of the day in turn two. During the crash, a wheel from one of the cars came off and flew over the catch fence damaging a parked car and settling down on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway golf course outside of the facility. Kirkwood’s car ended up upside down and slid down the track before coming to a stop.
INDYCAR later reported that one fan was taken to the infield care center as a result of debris from the incident and released. Luckily the tire that flew over the catch fence did not injure any workers or spectators.
Rosenqvist, leader of 33 circuits, finished 27th while Kirkwood finished 28th.
Both drivers were evaluated and released.
On lap 193, Pato O’ward, Simon Pagenaud, and Agustin Canapino came together in turn three to draw the fourth yellow flag of the race. O’Ward, leader of the most laps of 39, finishes 24th. Pagenaud takes home 25th while Canapino finished 26th in his debut.
With four to go, Ed Carpenter and Benjamin Pedersen came together on a restart to draw the fifth and final caution of the race. The two drivers finished 20th and 21st respectively.
The race had 52 lead changes and 14 leaders with an average speed of 168.193 mph.
The series heads to Detroit for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on June 4th. Fans can catch the event live on NBC or INDYCAR Radio at 3:00 p.m. ET.
INDYCAR: Katherine Legge and Stefan Wilson Have Scary Practice Crash; Wilson Transported to Local Hospital for Further Evaluation
Events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ahead of the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 have gone smoothly without an incident until Monday afternoon. The first incident of the Month of May happened when Katherine Legge made contact with Stefan Wilson in turn two.
Legge climbed out of the car under her own power and walked to the AMR safety truck while Stefan Wilson needed an assist from the safety crews. Wilson was placed on a stretcher and loaded into an awaiting ambulance while giving a thumbs-up.
Dr. Julia Vaizer, INDYCAR Medical Director, spoke to Peacock about Wilson’s condition after the crash. “He’s doing well and being transported to a local hospital for advanced imaging and further evaluation.”
Legge was evaluated and released from the medical unit.
“Cars in front were all checking up and I lifted as much as I could,” said Legge after the crash. “Downshift, hit the brakes, but it wasn’t enough. Went into the back of Stefan and ended up in the wall.”
The No. 44 team driven by Legge later told Peacock that they plan on repairing the primary car and have it ready for final practice this upcoming Friday.
Statement from Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports on driver Stefan Wilson:
"At 2:11 p.m., Wilson, driving the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports/CareKeepers Chevrolet, was struck from behind by Legge’s IndyCar and forced into the outside safer barrier in turn one at the 2.5-mile oval.
After being transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital for further tests, it was disclosed that Wilson suffered a fracture of the 12th thoracic vertebrae and will stay overnight at the hospital for further tests and observation. Based on this type of injury, Wilson will not be allowed to compete in this Sunday’s 107th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
The Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports team will have more information in due course."