Wednesday, Oct 20
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.

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.

The NASCAR Cup Series regular season finale at Daytona on Saturday, slated for a 7:00 p.m. ET. start, will present some television conflicts in four local NBC markets. 

A representative for NBC Sports told SpeedwayDigest.com Wednesday that it will show the race in 99% of its markets, while Washington D.C., Baltimore, Harrisburg and Roanoke/Lynchburg will have preseason NFL football coverage.

In the four markets showing preseason coverage, they will join the NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona in progress at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Fans living in the affected areas can watch the race flag-to-flag in its entirety on NBCSports.com or NBC Sports App via authentication. 

As always, fans can also listen to the race via MRN Radio or SiriusXM Ch. 90.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Worldwide Technology Raceway didn’t disappoint for those watching on television and at the event. The race featured a 48-minute and 38-second red flag period because of a power outage, a hood flying up on the track under green, an overtime finish, and chaos action all over the track. After all this, the Toyota 200 ended 2-hrs, 15-min, and 56-seconds later.

Sheldon Creed led the charge for most of the night in his No. 2 LiftKits4less.com Chevrolet at Gateway, winning both stages and leading 142 of the 163 circuits. The reigning truck series champion starts the NCWTS Playoffs right where he left off last season after winning his first national series championship.

“My guys put together such a good truck" said Creed.. “We’ve been working hard all year and obviously haven’t had the speed at times and I’ve made mistakes at times. But we were able to build this brand new truck and I feel like we’ve taken everything we’ve learned this year and applied it. They gave me a hot rod today and I couldn’t be happier.”

The California native leaves the track in west Illinois with six top five and seven top 10 finishes along with his victory on Friday.

Two-time truck series champion Matt Crafton took home the runner-up spot. The driver started the night 10th on the leaderboard and sat seventh in stage one and third at the end of stage two. 

“They know we’re here. We drove from 10th to get second,” said Crafton after the race. “Just needed a little bit more to catch that No. 2. The two was really good, but all in all, I can’t thank these guys for working as hard as they had worked lately.”  

The driver from California leaves with two top fives and seven top 10 finishes so far in 2021.

Playoff drivers Ben Rhodes and Stewart Friesen rounded out the top four finishers on Friday while non-playoff driver Johnny Sauter spoiled the fifth spot

Sauter scored his first top five finish since May 7th at Darlington Raceway on Friday at Worldwide Technology Raceway. 

Chase Purdy, Hailie Deegan, Carson Hocevar, Austin Wayne Self and Jack Wood all took home top 10 finishes. 

28 of the 38 starters finished the race when the night ended. 

Chandler Smith had issues early when his No. 18 Toyota dropped possible fluid on the track and had to pit. After spending time behind the wall, Smith returned and finished 40 laps down in 28th.

Playoff drivers Todd Gilliland and Zane Smith weren’t so lucky as they did not finish the 163-lap overtime event. Gilliland, piloting the No. 38 Ford was involved in a 10-truck pileup on the frontstretch while the No. 21 team of Smith had a transmission issue end their night. 

The next race for the Camping World Truck Series will be at Darlington Raceway on September 5th.

After winning the second race of a two-day double-header at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, Kyle Busch had some opinions regarding the double-header event and visiting some tracks twice. 

“Doubleheaders? My personal opinion with as much as the schedule has kind of changed over the last couple years, what all has been going on with different racetracks and such, fans’ reception to coming and supporting some of those racetracks, we don’t need to go to any racetrack more than once,” said Busch after the race in the media center regarding the double-header event.

Kyle’s opinion is that NASCAR should spread the wealth across many tracks around the nation instead of visiting some tracks twice a year.

“You know what I mean? Spread the wealth. That’s my opinion.”

This season has featured the most change to the NASCAR Cup Series schedule since probably the early 2000s with Nashville, Circuit of The Americas, an additional Atlanta stop, and the addition of Road America. While these tracks were added, some notable tracks did not make the schedule in 2021, notably Chicagoland Speedway and Kentucky Speedway.

Busch loved the addition of Nashville while questioning why Chicagoland and Kentucky Speedway were left off while Atlanta gained a second date.

“I like how we’re able to take a date from Dover, go to Nashville. I don’t know why we don’t go to Chicago still. We go to Atlanta twice. That was dumb. I don’t know why we don’t go to Kentucky. Apparently that governor is pretty pissed off. That wasn’t a smart move.”

The circuit features some tracks twice but hold a different type of event such as Bristol Motor Speedway in the spring and Charlotte Motor Speedway in October. For the first time this past March for NASCAR, Bristol covered their 0.533-mile high-banked concrete oval with dirt. For the last few seasons, Charlotte has converted their 1.5-mile oval into a “Roval” road course. 

Busch is correct. And honestly, if the series wants to visit a certain track twice, at least put on a different type of event for one of those. These are the things NASCAR should focus on the most if they plan on visiting tracks twice. Another significant thing that NASCAR is looking / should look into is street course racing. 

Pairing with the IndyCar Series, owned by NASCAR team owner Roger Penske, will help further guide the sanctioning body to a street course or two should NASCAR decide to go in that direction.

The cup series veteran and winner of 220 NASCAR National Series events later re-emphasized that the series should only make one visit at each track to spread the wealth and offerings to fans.

“We should go to every place once, find a couple more places we can go to and spread the wealth.”

Kyle Busch persevered on Sunday to win the Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday. Busch, battling a transmission issue with his No. 18 M&M’s Mini’s Toyota, took the lead when several leaders ran out of fuel in the closing laps. 

Busch took the lead from teammate Denny Hamlin with two laps remaining to score his second victory of the year. The driver from Las Vegas now has four victories at the “Tricky Triangle” in Pennsylvania. 

“Yeah, stuck in fourth gear. About out of gas (laughter),” said Busch after the race. “Just saving, just riding, playing the strategy the best we could with what was given to us. It was awesome today.”

Denny Hamlin finished 14th. 

Busch goes into the inaugural event at Road America with eight top five and 12 top 10 finishes in 2021. 

“You know, I don’t know. You don’t know, you know? The biggest thing was trying to time the restart right,” Busch continued. “Leave pit road, come back around, be at full speed by the time the field takes the start/finish line. We were a little bit off on that. We were from here to pit road off on that. That’s about all we could do. That’s all you could think about doing in that situation, just thinking through any opportunity and obstacle that’s on you. That’s just what we did. Again, great job to my team. Thanks to Ben Beshore. Thanks to Matt the fuel guy for getting it full. That’s a big important one today. Really great to take home another checkered flag.”

Stage two winner William Byron, leading with three circuits remaining before also running out of fuel, finished 12th.

Looking to score his fifth victory of the year in the Cup Series, Kyle Larson finished 8.654 seconds behind race winner Kyle Busch.

Keselowski, finishing third, led the most laps of the 350-mile event of 31. Keselowski said after the race that they just didn’t have the fuel to land in victory lane.

“We ran a really good race but just didn’t have enough fuel to make it to the end like those other guys did,” said Keselowski. “They beat us on power and fuel mileage. We have a lot of work to do to keep up with those guys.”

Kevin Harvick and Bubba Wallace rounded out the top five.

Ryan Blaney, Saturday’s winner Alex Bowman, Ryan Preece, Tyler Reddick and Joey Logano rounded out the top 10.

Stage one winner Martin Truex Jr. finished 11th on the leaderboard. 

Caution slowed the field twice for incidents involving Anthony Alfredo on the third lap of the race and debris from the 43 of Erik Jones on lap 94. The two additional yellows marked the end of the two scheduled stages at laps 35 and 90.

The series will shift focus to Road America for the Jockey Made in America 250 on Sunday. Coverage of the event will take place at 2:30 p.m. ET. live on NBC, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Ch. 90.

The Pocono Organics CBD 325 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday didn’t disappoint as Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson battled for the win late. Larson, chasing his fifth cup series victory of the year and looking to win four in a row, came short when the left front on his No. 5 Chevrolet went down after taking the white flag as the leader. 

“Yeah, I hate to win one that way, but hell; yeah, I’ll take it,” said Bowman. “Man, we kind of gave the lead away. We were on two tires and just got super tight. I tried to hold him off as long as I could.”

The tire going down allowed Larson’s teammate Alex Bowman to take the lead and sail to his third win of the year. The No. 48 Chevrolet led the field for 16 circuits while Larson led 15. Bowman apologized to his crew before misfortune struck the No. 5 team.

“Yeah, I don’t know what to think about that,” said Bowman. “‘Bad Luck Bowman’ had some luck there. I mean, the No. 5 beat us. Their misfortune, it happens. That’s part of the sport. I’ll take it.”

Bowman will go into the second race at Pocono, scheduled for Sunday afternoon, with five top five and nine top 10 finishes.

Kyle Busch, sitting 0.683 seconds behind Bowman at the checkered flag, led the most laps of the 325-mile event of 30. The driver from Las Vegas won stage one and finished ninth at the end of stage two. 

Busch has seven top fives and 11 top 10 finishes through 18 completed events. 

Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron rounded out the top three finishers on Saturday at the “Tricky Triangle”.

Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five.

Kurt Busch, winner of stage two, took home sixth. Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top 10.

The field slowed eight times for the caution flag throughout the day while nine drivers led laps with 14 different different leaders throughout the first of two races at Pocono this weekend.

The cup series will race following the NASCAR XFINITY Series event on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET. on NBCSN. The Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 will also air live on MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Ch. 90.

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