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.
Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag in Sunday’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in a surprise victory. Harvick took the lead with 13 circuits to go when Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott made contact while racing for the win. Truex had to pit because of a cut tire while Elliott slid to 20th.
“Anytime you can win the Southern 500 is a good day," said Harvick after the race. "This is one of the most prestigious races in our sport and this is one the most prestigious racetracks in our sport, so anytime you can win at Darlington it’s a big deal, but, man, Southern 500!”
Austin Dillon took a shot at the win on the final lap but could not make the momentum stick. Dillon, starting the 71st annual event in 12th, ended the night sitting second on the pylon. The driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet leaves the track with three top five and eight top 10 finishes.
As for Harvick, the series veteran will leave Darlington with his 57th career NASCAR Cup Series victory. He goes into the second race of the playoffs with 18 top five and 22 top 10 finishes with eight wins in 2020.
Joey Logano rounded out the top three finishers on Sunday at Darlington. Logano, piloting the No. 22 Shell Penzoil Ford, picked up his seventh top five and 15th top 10 of the year.
Erik Jones and William Byron rounded out the top five.
Taking home top 10s were Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer.
Seven yellow flags, one being for a competition caution at lap 25, slowed the Southern 500. 22nd-place finisher Martin Truex Jr. claimed both stages while four of the yellows were for either stage breaks or debris.
“It’s Darlington and typically you don’t want to go in side-by-side. I felt like I had enough of a run and enough space there that the last foot or so he (Chase Elliott) was going to understand that if I was committed, we both weren’t going to make it," Truex described the incident with Elliott. "Typically, here that’s kind of how you race. If a guy gets a run on you and he’s just about got you cleared, you have to give that last little bit. Now obviously, the end of the race, probably the pass for the win, he wanted to drive it on in there and I was committed to being clear and there was no way we were both going to make the corners. Basically, when I made up my mind and I was driving it in there and then he drove in on my right-rear quarter, there was no possible way that we both weren’t crashing. That’s what happened.”
“He (Truex) had a run on me there off of four and he just kind of cleared himself into one. He was close, but he wasn’t all the way clear, obviously. I hate it, obviously we had a fast NAPA Camaro - fast enough to contend," said Elliott. "We needed a little pace there to extend our lead instead of playing defense, but regardless I thought we were in a good spot. I ran the bottom in three and four to see if there was anything left down there, that’s what kind of gave him the run and then he just slid up in to my left front, I felt like and on we went.”
Bubba Wallace spinning in turn four was the result of the fourth yellow of the night. The driver of the No. 43 Chevrolet completed 217 of the 367 circuits and finished 38th in the garage.
John Hunter Nemechek brought out the yellow on lap 246 after going around on the frontstretch. Nemechek, son of Joe Nemechek, finished 36th in the garage as a result.
The series heads to Richmond Raceway on September 12th for the Federated Auto Parts 400. The event will air live on NBCSN and MRN Radio at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Sam Mayer visited victory lane for the second time of his career on Friday at Dover International Speedway. Mayer, piloting the No. 21 Chevrolet for GMS Racing, started second on the leaderboard and led the final 21 of the 125 laps.
Ty Gibbs dominated the first and second segments of the event by leading the first 104 circuits. However, with 14 laps to go, after falling to the second spot, Gibbs made contact with the wall off turn two and suffered significant front-end damage.
The incident, resulting in a lengthy red-flag stoppage, ultimately ended their day with a 12th-place finish.
Prior to Gibbs making contact with the wall, Mayer took the lead from Gibbs on lap 105 to earn his fifth combined win across all three ARCA divisions in 2020.
Mason Diaz took home his first career top five finish in the ARCA Menards Series East division on Friday. The driver of the No. 25 Toyota started eighth on the leaderboard and sat 3.784 seconds behind the race winner.
Max McLaughlin and Drew Dollar rounded out the top five.
Corey Heim, Parker Retzlaff, Chase Cabre, Taylor Gray and Chuck Buchanan Jr. took home top 10 finishes.
The ARCA Menards Series East will return to action on September 12th at Loudon. The event will air live on TrackPass NBC Sports Gold.
The ARCA Menards Series went road course racing at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, a first for the series at the historic track known for stock car auto racing. The General Tire 100, delayed because of lightning in the area, was dominated by two drivers: Michael Self and Ty Gibbs.
Self, starting second, and Gibbs, starting fifth, quickly worked their way to the front of the field in the opening laps. Gibbs took the lead from pole sitter Chandler Smith on the opening lap to lead the first 14 circuits. Self later took the lead from Gibbs just prior to the scheduled five-minute break at lap 15.
Self lead the first lap into the second segment until Gibbs re-claimed the top spot for the next five laps. Then, on lap 23, with six laps remaining, Self passed Gibbs for the top position and cruised to his second ARCA Menards Series victory of the season.
“I hope he (Gibbs) had as much fun as I did there in that first stage,” said Self on MAVTV after the victory, his second ARCA victory of the year at Daytona. “That’s what racing on the road courses is supposed to be about. That was so much fun”
Gibbs, leading nine of 28 circuits, finished runner-up in his No. 18 Toyota. The North Carolina native leaves with his sixth top five of the season in eight starts.
“I’ve learned a lot from him (Michael),” said Gibbs following a runner-up finish. “He’s been really helpful and very fun to race against him. He’s got all this experience so I was just a little guy. It was a hard day, but I can’t thank this team enough.”
Sam Mayer will get credit for finishing third despite having relief driver Colin Braun in the No. 21 Chevrolet for the final segment. Mayer, piloting his car in the opening segment, suffered a hairline fracture in his hand at Road America a week leading up to the event at Daytona and had Braun on stand-by.
Holding two victories this season, Mayer has seven top five and seven top 10 finishes in eight races.
“We fired off really good at the start of the race when it was really wet,” Mayer told MAVTV. “I really couldn’t go much further; I’m glad that we had a halfway break because my hand started hurting pretty bad. I’m really proud of him (Colin Braun). He got into the race car when everyone else had 14 laps and he had zero and he was able to still bring a top-three.”
“I was a little worried when I got to second honestly,” said Braun. “These guys at GMS Racing did a great job, the Chevy was fast. I got myself up into second and went ‘I don’t know when I’m really supposed to break here going into the bus stop … I haven’t done a lap yet’. For me, I sorta overachieved early, and then realized I gotta figure it out.”
Taylor Gray and Will Rodgers rounded out the top five.
Hailie Deegan, Max McLaughlin, Bret Holmes, Chandler Smith and Parker Chase took home top 10s.
Only one yellow slowed the field for the halfway break at lap 15. Ayrton Ori had a tire go down on his No. 74 Chevrolet with around two-laps remaining, forcing him to pit road and giving up a top 10 finish. Max McLaughlin received damage on his No. 1 Toyota when he and Chandler Smith went around on the course. McLaughlin earned his third top 10 while Smith earned his sixth top 10 finish.
The ARCA Menards Series will go back oval racing on August 29th at Gateway. The event will air live on MAVTV and NBC Sports Gold TrackPass at 6:00 p.m. ET.
Riley Herbst and Bret Holmes battled for the lead all afternoon long at Michigan International Speedway in Sunday’s VizCom 200. Herbst, from Las Vegas, picked up his second career ARCA Menards Series victory while Holmes trailed in second.
Holmes started fourth on the grid and quickly moved to second on the initial start. The driver from Alabama passed Herbst for the lead on lap four and held the top spot for 31 laps. Herbst re-took the lead for a lap following a restart before Holmes re-took the spot for the next 29 circuits.
The field went green for the third and final segment on lap 64 and once again Holmes and Herbst battled for the top spot. On lap 67, Herbst, running the No. 18 Toyota for Ty Gibbs because of ARCA’s age restriction, took the lead and sailed to victory lane.
Holmes, coming off a third and fourth-place finish in a double-header weekend at Toledo Speedway, picked up his eighth top-five finish of the season.
Series points leader Michael Self rounded out the top three finishers.
Drew Dollar and Anthony Alfredo rounded out the top five.
Hailie Deegan, Ryan Repko, Jason Kitzmiller, Thad Moffitt and Armani Williams rounded out the top 10.
Two of the three cautions were for segment breaks while one was for an on-track incident involving the No. 21 Chevrolet of Kris Wright. Wright walked away from the impact and finished 14th as a result.
The series will go road racing at Daytona International Speedway on August 14th. The event will air live on MAVTV and MRN Radio at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Spencer Davis will not compete in Friday’s NASCAR Gander & RV Outdoors Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
The driver from Dawsonville, Georgia, announced on Twitter Thursday that he’s tested positive for COVID-19 and will have to sit-out Friday’s Henry Ford Health System 200 at the 2.0-mile oval.
Full statement from driver Spencer Davis (@SpencerDavis_29 on Twitter):
“With 2020 starting off as a lot of first for myself on many levels, starting a truck team, and venturing out with the start of a new business it seemed to be going well. But with the pandemic it has changed how we have to stay alert to keep everyone safe and healthy. With that being said we have been taking all the proper steps during traveling for races and at the events. This week I had to go take tests and one positive test result is keeping us from racing Michigan. I support the protocols put in place by the CDC and NASCAR, and plan on taking the correct steps to come back to the track.”
A replacement driver has not been named.
So far, since NASCAR’s return to action under COVID-19, Jimmie Johnson has been the only other driver to test positive. Johnson returned a week later following two negative tests in a 24-hour period, something Davis will have to do as well.
Davis, 21, has competed in nine of the 11 Gander & RV Outdoors Truck Series races in 2020. His best finish of those nine starts came at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where he finished 12th in February. Davis has 18 career starts in the series.
Matt Crafton visited victory lane on Saturday afternoon at Kansas Speedway for the first time since 2017. Crafton, piloting the No. 88 Menards Ford with ThorSport Racing, took the lead away from Austin Hill on a restart with 22 laps to go.
Austin Hill, winner of the first race of a double-header weekend, finished sixth on the leaderboard. The driver from Georgia, leading 19 circuits of the e.p.t 200, has five top five and nine top 10 finishes through 10 races in 2020.
Christian Eckes gave Crafton a run for the lead in the closing laps but could not make any of the runs stick. Eckes sat 0.324 seconds behind the race winner to score his third top five of the year.
Crafton will leave the 1.5-mile oval in Kansas with his fifth top five and sixth top 10 of the season. At Michigan, the site of the next race for the series, he holds an average finish of 13.7.
Rounding out the top five were Tanner Gray and Ben Rhodes.
Austin Hill, Derek Kraus, Brandon Jones, Zane Smith and Chase Purdy rounded out the top 10.
Zane Smith, earning his sixth top 10 of the year, won both stages of the e.p.t 200 at Kansas Speedway. The driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet led the field for 50 of the 134 laps, the most of any driver.
The first two stages were relatively clean with only one caution flag. It involved the No. 28 of Bryan Dauzat in turn two. Once the final stage begun it was all chaos with crashes that involved numerous heavy hitters.
Among those included a 12-truck incident on the frontstretch that involved a five-minute red flag period. Codie Rohrbaugh, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Spencer Davis, Johnny Sauter, Tanner Gray, Kevin Donahue, Travis Pastrana, Natalie Decker, Ty Majeski, Stewart Friesen and Clay Greenfield were all involved in the melee.
On lap 95 Tyler Ankrum brought out the yellow along with Brett Moffitt and Zane Smith. Moffitt and Ankrum was done for the day with 27th and 28th-place finishes while Smith continued in his No. 21 Chevrolet.
Throughout the day nine total yellow flags slowed the field.
Despite being involved in two of those yellow flags, Travis Pastrana finished 22nd and two laps down. Today marked Pastrana’s first career start in a national series race since the Las Vegas truck series event in 2017.
The next race for the NASCAR Gander & RV Outdoors Truck Series will be at Michigan International Speedway on August 7th. The Michigan 200 will air live on FS1 and MRN Radio at 6:00 p.m. ET.
Bret Holmes celebrated his first career victory at Kansas Speedway on Friday following a dominating performance in the Dawn 150. Holmes, driving the No. 23 Chevrolet, led 82 of the 100 laps to earn the top spot.
"We’ve been working so hard for this," said Holmes. "I’ve been working my whole life for this. My team did this for me. It’s been a long tough road. I just thank my family and my friends. They believed in me when I didn’t.”
The win was far from a surprise for the Alabama native.
Holmes came into the race with four top five finishes in the last five ARCA Menards Series races. His only finish outside the top 10 was a 15th-place finish at Phoenix in March. The series will re-visit Kansas for the season finale in October … something that Holmes is looking forward to.
“It’s a good feeling. The temperature will be a lot different so will be the main thing,” said Holmes. “It’s not too big of a set-up change for what we did last year to here. If it comes down to the wire I’m feeling pretty confident.”
The Alabama native holds 19 top five and 51 career top 10 finishes through 69 career ARCA starts. He leaves Kansas sitting 19 points behind standings leader Michael Self.
Ryan Repko sat 14.458 seconds behind Holmes at the checkered flag. Repko started the evening second on the leaderboard and will leave with his second top five of the season through four starts.
Riley Herbst started on the pole and rounded out the top three finishers. Herbst, piloting the No. 18 Toyota in the place of Ty Gibbs, led the first 18 laps of the Dawn 150 before eventual race winner Bret Holmes took the top spot.
Corey Heim and Tanner Gray rounded out the top five.
Rounding out the top 10 were Michael Self, Drew Dollar, Derek Griffith, Hailie Deegan and Thad Moffitt.
Other than the two scheduled breaks at lap 30 and 60, only one on-track incident occurred throughout the 150-mile event. On lap 12 Russ Lane got loose off turn two and took a hard impact into the inside retaining wall. Lane was done for the evening and finished 18th in the 18-car field.
The ARCA Menards Series travels to Toledo Speedway for a pair of events. Race one of the double-header will take place on July 31st at 8:00 p.m. ET. while race two will take place on August 1st at 6:00 p.m. ET. Both events will air live on MAVTV and NBC TrackPass Gold.
Chase Elliott scored his first career NASCAR Cup Series All-Star win under the lights on Wednesday at Bristol Motor Speedway. Elliott, piloting the No. 9 UniFirst Chevrolet with amber under glow lights, led 60 of the 140 circuits en route to the victory.
“There’s nothing like Bristol. There’s nothing like the lights here. There’s nothing like racing here,” Elliott told FS1 after the race. “I’ve never won here – what a race to do it. Just really proud of our team tonight and rebounding. We’ve had a really tough couple of weeks and just felt like we had kind of gotten off base and I felt like I was struggling. Just tried to hit the reset button this week, and came out and put on a great performance – great car. Just can’t thank all our partners enough, everybody that makes this happen.”
Kyle Busch finished 0.418 seconds behind Chase Elliott to claim the runner-up spot. Busch, a previous NASCAR Cup Series All-Star race winner, started 10th on the leaderboard in his No. 18 Toyota with red under glow lights.
“It just wasn’t quite wide enough. If it had been a little bit wider and you could carry a little more speed with it, I might have had a chance,” said Busch after the race. “I tried to run up there early in the last stage to make it go a little earlier than I probably should have. I went back down because I knew I wasn’t going to catch him (Chase Elliott) or pass him there and I had to do something different. I just tried and I think we inched up a little closer on him, but that was about it.”
The Las Vegas native leaves the 0.533-mile concrete oval with his sixth top five All-Star race finish in 14 starts.
Elliott, from the state of Georgia, entered the exhibition All-Star race with one top five and three top 10 finishes through four starts.
“There’s no feeling like it (cheering from the crowd). There’s nothing like it – this speaks for itself,” Elliott continued. “And like I said, Bristol is an electric atmosphere that is unlike any other that we go to. Couldn’t be more excited. We’re going to celebrate this one for sure. And we’ll take that million dollars back to Georgia, why don’t we!”
Kevin Harvick, leading six laps of the event, rounded out the top three finishers on Wednesday.
Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.
Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, Aric Almirola and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top 10.
Ryan Blaney appeared to have a strong car until the team elected to stay out while everyone else came to pit road at the end of stage two. Blaney was able to hold the lead until eventual race winner Chase Elliott took the top spot away with 31 laps remaining. They later stayed out at the end of stage three and fell all the way to finish seventh in the final 15-lap segment.
Three drivers raced their way into the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star race via finishes in the open. Aric Almirola got into the main show by winning stage one while William Byron claimed stage two of that race. Matt DiBenedetto, piloting the No. 21 Wood Brother’s Racing Ford, won the final segment of the open to advance into the All-Star race. Clint Bowyer, piloting the No. 14 Ford, earned his way in via the fan vote.
Michael McDowell started on the pole for the open and was caught up in an incident that involved Bubba Wallace and William Byron early. McDowell and Byron continued while Wallace was done for the night.
McDowell went on to finish seventh in the open while Wallace finished 21st because of the crash.
Top 10 in NASCAR Cup Series open: Matt DiBendetto, Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, Chris Buescher, Ty Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Michael McDowell, John Hunter Nemechek, Corey LaJoie and Tyler Reddick.
The series will move onto the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 19 at 3:00 p.m. ET. The O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 will air live on NBCSN and PRN Radio.
Ty Gibbs scored his fourth career victory on Saturday at Kentucky Speedway piloting the No. 18 Toyota. Gibbs, following a third-place start via 2020 owner points, led the field for 59 of the 100 laps.
The win did not come easy for the North Carolina native as Gibbs and Michael Self made contact while racing for the top spot. Gibbs fell back to fourth while Self fell all the way to ninth.
“I’m not really mad at him (Self). It’s hard … this track is so line sensitive,” Gibbs told FS1 after the race. “When we went down in there we were both racing our guts out. He drove it in hard and just kinda clipped me in the right rear. Fair game. Luckily I didn’t get in the fence there. Stuff like that happens. It’s racing.”
Self started on the pole and rebounded to a third-place finish. The driver of the No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota for Venturini Motorsports led 23 circuits at the 1.5-mile oval on Saturday.
Bret Holmes had a career day with his first career second-place finish. The Alabama native earned his third-top five finish of the year in his No. 23 Chevrolet while leading the field for 17 laps.
“Second sucks. Even though it’s our best finish I feel like we’ve should’ve finished that a few times,” said Holmes. “You hate to see it when you know it’s right there in your grasp. But that is the positive we take away from this and I think this is the best race from start to finish we’ve drove.”
Ty Gibbs leaves Kentucky with three top five and top 10 finishes along with two victories in four ARCA Menards Series starts.
“My life goal is to always keep going. I never try to give up,” Gibbs continued. “There’s a time right there I could’ve gave up and I didn’t. And I kept pushing forward, as my team did, and I came home as a winner. I can’t thank my team enough.”
Sam Mayer and Drew Dollar rounded out the top five.
Ryan Repko, Derek Griffith, Ryan Huff, Tanner Gray and Jason Kitzmiller rounded out the top 10.
Couple of big names found themselves involved in on-track incidents throughout the General Tire 150. Of those involved were Hailie Deegan and Thad Moffitt in separate incidents. Moffitt, related to Richard Petty, brought out the caution on lap 70 as his No. 46 Ford went around. The driver finished 15th as a result.
The final yellow of the day came out for Hailie Deegan one lap following the restart on lap 77. Deegan received right rear contact from the No. 15 Ford of Drew Dollar that sent her No. 4 Ford into the outside wall. The California native finished 14th.
The series will head to Iowa Speedway for the Shore Lunch 150 on July 18.
Chandler Smith dominated the Calypso Lemonade 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway on Friday piloting the No. 20 JBL Toyota for Venturini Motorsports. Smith, last year’s winner at the 0.686-mile short track, started on the pole via qualifying ahead of the 200-lap event.
“Man, I was running for all I was worth to be honest with you there,” Smith told MAVTV. “It was a hot night! Was my second or third ARCA race of the year and second one back. Honestly, I don’t feel like I’m in the shape I need to be in.”
Despite dominating, Smith had to hold off eventual second-place finisher Sam Mayer in the closing laps. Mayer, piloting the No. 21 Chevrolet, battled Chandler Smith side-by-side for the lead with around 15 to go. Despite that, with around five to go, Smith re-extended the gap.
As a result, the Wisconsin native sat 0.899 seconds behind Smith.
Smith will leave the track earning his second victory of 2020 and his ninth career ARCA Menards Series victory.
“Just running laps. Just like practice laps,” Smith continued when asked about his battle with Ty Gibbs early on.
Hailie Deegan started fourth on the leaderboard and ended the night sitting third. The driver of the No. 4 Ford has two top five and five top 10 finishes going into the next race at Kentucky Speedway.
Taylor Gray made his series debut with a fourth-place finish while Thad Moffitt took home fifth. Gray, piloting the No. 17 Ford, rebounded from a spin early on following contact with Michael Self.
Rest of the top 10 included Max McLaughlin, Bret Holmes, Michael Self, Howie DiSavino III and Kyle Sieg.
Two heavy contenders faced mechanical problems in the mid to late portion of the Calypso Lemonade 200. Ty Gibbs had an alternator belt come apart and forced the No. 18 Toyota to go several laps down as a result. Gibbs went on to finish 15th and 110 laps down.
Michael Self was another victim of an issue that ended their chances of seeing victory lane. The No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota was forced onto pit road for a flat left rear tire. He later finished two laps down in eighth.
The ARCA Menards Series will head off to Kentucky Speedway for the General Tire 150 on July 11th. Coverage of the event will take place live on FS1 and MRN Radio.