Speedway Digest Staff
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Ross Chastain delivered Niece Motorsports its fourth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in dramatic fashion in Friday night's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Chastain inherited a golden opportunity to win after Carson Hocevar, his Niece teammate, was involved in a crash with Ryan Preece to set up the final caution. Chastain restarted second on the green-white-checkered restart with two laps to go, and used pushes from John Hunter Nemechek and Grant Enfinger to take the lead and hold it in the closing moments.
The win also marked the fourth Truck Series triumph for Chastain, who used Friday's race as a tune-up for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 in his bid for his third NASCAR Cup Series win of the year.
Hocevar's hopes of a breakthrough Truck Series victory appeared all but set in the closing laps, when a three-second lead over Preece seemed to be more than enough. A caution with four laps to go, however, forced Hocevar to get aggressive in keeping Preece behind him on the restart – and both drivers paid a high price.
Hocevar slid into Preece and both went into the wall, necessitating another restart and knocking each contender out of the running.
Chastain inherited a front-row spot on the final restart and sped to the point thanks to help from Nemechek, who finished third, and Enfinger, the runner-up.
Christian Eckes and Zane Smith completed the top five. Tanner Gray was sixth with Kyle Busch seventh, Chandler Smith eighth and Stewart Friesen ninth. Defending series champion Ben Rhodes rounded out the top 10.
ROSS CHASTAIN, No. 41 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet (Race Winner): "My thoughts are, Carson Hocevar won this race. He did such an amazing job. He's a great kid and he's going to take somebody's job in this sport, maybe mine, and he's going to win a lot of races. There were times when I felt like one of our teammates could win, but I'm happy to pick up the smashed watermelon pieces and win this race.
The Cup cars drive very differently than the trucks, but it's always good to add to the muscle memory – especially at the same track as Sunday's race (the Coca-Cola 600). I'll race a wheelbarrow to get more laps."
GRANT ENFINGER, No. 23 GMS Racing Chevrolet (Runner-Up): "The track seemed like it changed a lot from practice. I honestly feel like we were a top-five or top-six truck most of the race. We were able to have a good pit stop there. Our guys have honestly carried us there this year. Very, very proud of the hard work from all the guys at GMS Racing."
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota (Third-Place Finisher): "We weren't very good all night. Just thankful for all my guys on this No. 4 truck. We never stropped working on it, we put ourselves in the ballpark and we were able to have a shot there at the end. We struggled from the time we unloaded, so we have a little bit of work to do, but I'm proud of all the guys, proud of all the hard work they've put in and we're just racking up top-fives."
The USF2000 series was at the Lucas Oil Raceway last Friday night for the only event of the season on an oval track. Thomas Nepveu, driver of the #10 Cromwell | Pétrole Bélanger | Home Hardware | Karting Excellence car, finished sixth in the 75-lap Cooper Tire Freedom 75.
It was a challenging two-day event as the rain came and delayed the track activities on Thursday and Friday. However, Thomas had a great qualifying session once the skies cleared, posting the 5th fastest time.
The race, delayed by an hour and a half due to bad weather, went off without a hitch, much to the dismay of some rivers who would have liked a caution to bring the field together. The start of the race went very well for Thomas, who spent several laps battling with competitors around. As the race progressed, the Oka native settled into 6th place.
"It was a really good race," said Thomas. "The start went well, I tried to pass the 4th place driver for about five laps, but I ended up staying in 5th. Then Jagger Jones made a good pass and took my position. My goal after that was to fall into a good momentum to try a pass again later on, but eventually, my strategy changed to aim for a perfect race."
"All the drivers on the track were fast, and the field was very tight. We had a great car, so I'm very happy with the result." As Thomas mentioned this week, it is challenging to overtake on the oval track; it can sometimes take ten laps to complete the maneuver.
"Solid points run again after 75 laps under green," said Coy Arbour, Thomas' coach. "Thomas managed his strategy well and without making any mistakes. We look forward to the next race at Road America, where he scored his first Road to Indy win."
Thomas Nepveu PR
Mission Foods, the world’s leading brand for tortillas and wraps, is excited to announce the winner of an all-expense-paid trip to this Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. Racing fan Taylor Ness and a guest will be given the chance to cheer on Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist, and Juan Pablo Montoya from McLaren team hospitality at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mission Foods is a proud partner of Arrow McLaren SP.
Ness was selected in a drawing among other winners of Mission Foods’ #2Fast2Tasty campaign. Throughout the 2021 INDYCAR season, and before each racing event, Mission Foods invited social media followers on Facebook and Twitter to comment on posts for a chance to win a Mission Fan Pack following the event.
At the end of the season, Mission Fan Pack winners were invited to a Zoom call with Arrow McLaren SP, Mission Foods and driver Pato O’Ward to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Arrow McLaren SP team garage. On the call, Ness was announced as the winner.
“It was very cool,” Ness said. “I was speechless. The moderator on the Zoom said, ‘Say something,’ but I simply could not. I’ve always been a fan of McLaren and INDYCAR is the best form of motorsport in the world.”
“We are pleased to provide a fan with an Indy 500 experience for the second year in a row,” said Juan Gonzalez, Mission Foods Chief Executive Officer. “Mission Foods is proud to bring motorsports and fans together, just like our delicious products bringing people together around the table. For Taylor and his father, I hope this will be an unforgettable moment.”
Ness and his father, who is his chosen guest, not only won two tickets to the Indy 500, but also a ride with a driver in the INDYCAR Two-Seater Experience. The winnings also include paid airfare, lodging and a $500 gift card for meals and other expenses during their trip.
Ness said that racing has been a lifelong passion for him. “I have been into things with wheels ever since I think I knew what they were,” he said. “What kid doesn’t love going fast?”
He said he raced go-karts as a child but found the most joy in working on race cars and going to the track with his family. His parents were major supporters of his racing enthusiasm.
“We went to Watkins Glen INDYCAR racing a lot because it was close to where I grew up,” Ness said. “I knew my dad was the right person to take to the Indy 500 because of our history of going to races together.”
In addition to being an INDYCAR race fan, Ness is also a fan of Mission Foods. “I go out of my way to buy their tortilla strips,” he said. “They’re so, so good.”
Ness said he hopes to eat plenty of Mission Foods’ limited edition Racing Style Tortilla Chips, which are made in the shape of racecars and motorcycles and available at Mission Foods-sponsored racing events. “I wish I could buy the racecar chips at the store, but having them at the racetrack makes them special,” he said.
Ness and his father will be flying out on Thursday morning. “We don’t want to miss anything,” he said. “I’m so excited to go and support the team. They’ve got a good chance to win on Sunday.”
Mission Foods PR
One of the most anticipated events on the NASCAR schedule – the 63rd running of the Coca-Cola 600 – will be on display in front of a packed house on Sunday, as Charlotte Motor Speedway officials have announced that all reserved, premium and standing-room-only seating has sold out.
“From thrilling racing action and raucous pre-race concerts, to an unforgettable salute to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Coca-Cola 600 has always been about the fans,” said Greg Walter, executive vice president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “It’s going to be a spectacular sight watching the field come to green in front of a sold-out crowd at America’s Home for Racing.”
Fans from all 50 states and 12 foreign countries – as far away as Australia – have purchased tickets to the iconic Memorial Day Weekend showcase of speed. Ticketholders still have the opportunity to upgrade their race ticket with a track pass to get up-close access to driver introductions and a rocking pre-race concert with Lynyrd Skynyrd.
All fans interested in renewing their seats for 2023 are encouraged to do so online. Fans who lock in their eligible 2023 tickets this weekend will be able to choose from one of three special gifts, while supplies last.
Macon Speedway is set for its annual Memorial Day race, this coming Monday, May 30. Six full divisions of action will be racing but the headline events will be 50-lappers for the Decatur Building Trades Big 10 Pro Late Models and the BillingsleyRewards.com Big 10 Modifieds.
2022 Macon Speedway point champion, Colby Sheppard, out of Williamsville, IL, leads the field of Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models into town Monday. Four different winners have been in victory lane in four different races so far this season. Sheppard holds the point lead due to his consistency of top fives in all four events. Dakota Ewing, a former track champion, is second in points, while Colby Eller, Eric Doran, and Dalton Ewing complete the top five. Monday’s race will pay $1,000 to win and $125 to start.
Springfield, IL driver, Guy Taylor, last year’s champion in the BillingsleyRewards.com Modified class, leads this year’s points in his Pro Mod, driving in both classes every week. Riverton, IL’s Tim Luttrell is off to a great start and is second in points, followed by Clint Martin, Jacob Steinkoenig, and Jarrett Stryker. Taylor, Steinkoenig, and Rick Conoyer have won features in the division this year. Much like the Pro Late Models, the Mods will pay $1,000 to win and $125 to start.
The aforementioned Taylor also leads the points in the DIRTcar Pro Mod class, taking one win and finishing in the top five all three races. Austin Seets, of Brighton, IL, has taken the other two feature victories and is just four points behind. Kevin Crowder, Zach Taylor, and Josh Robb round out the top five in the standings, entering Monday’s race.
The point leader in the 51 Bistro Street Stock division is still looking for his first win of the season. Cerro Gordo, IL’s Terry Reed sits atop the standings with three top five finishes but hasn’t found victory lane. Point runner-up, Bobby Beiler, has won a feature and is just two points behind. Jaret Duff, Rudy Zaragoza, and Brian Dasenbrock round out the top five. The class has seen three different winners in three nights of racing.
Decatur, IL driver, Jeremy Reed, has won two of the four features in the DIRTcar Hornet class and finds himself in the point lead over Tristan Quinlan by six points. Brady Reed, Taryn Page, and Billy Mason are others in point contention. Reed and Mason have also claimed feature events. The Monday Hornet race will be a tune-up for next weekend’s Ed Cain Trucking Hornet Challenge, featuring potential $1,000 to win races on Friday night at Lincoln Speedway and Saturday night at Macon Speedway.
A young driver from Riverton, IL, Aarik Andruskevitch, leads the points in the Micros By Bailey Chassis class. The division has seen great action this year, with large car counts and fast competitive racing. Many of the familiar faces over the last couple of years are up top in the standings again. Hayden Harvey, John Barnard, and Daryn Stark are again among those competing for victories weekly.
Monday’s action will be a little earlier than the normal Saturday night times with pit gates opening at 3:00, grandstands at 4:00, hotlaps at 5:00, and racing at 6:00. Grandstand admission is $18, while kids 11 and under are free.
For more information, visit www.maconracing.com.
Macon Speedway PR
Jordan Anderson Racing Bommarito Autosport NASCAR Xfinity Series Race Overview- Charlotte Motor Speedway
News and Notes:
- Practice; After the completion of a 20-minute practice session on Friday afternoon, Myatt Snider would record a fast lap of 31.816 at 169.726 mph on Lap-11 of his 13-lap practice session making the No. 31 Bommarito Automotive Group Chevrolet Camaro SS 31st fastest of the 42 cars entered for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) Alsco Uniforms 300.
– Starting Position; Immediately after the 20-minute practice session teams would move into NXS qualifying to determine the starting order for Saturday afternoon’s Alsco Uniforms 300. In 2022, intermediate-track qualifying would consist of a single round of single car qualifying for one lap. Rolling off 24thto make his qualifying effort Snider would lay down a lap of 31.640 at 170.670 putting the No. 31 Bommarito Automotive Group Chevrolet Camaro SS inside Row number 33 starting in the 33rd position.
– Charlotte Motor Speedway Stats; Saturday’s NXS Alsco Uniforms 300 will mark Snider’s third NXS start at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS). In May of 2020, Snider would make his NXS debut at CMS earning himself a 10th place finish his first Top Ten of the 2020 season. Looking to back up his Top-10 finish in his return to CMS in May of 2021; things didn’t fare as well coming home with a 26th place finish.
- Bommarito Automotive Group; A primary supporter of Jordan Anderson Racing, Bommarito Automotive Group is celebrating 50 years in the St. Louis marketplace, the Bommarito Automotive Group currently operates 20 automotive franchises throughout every St. Louis neighborhood led by president John Bommarito and the over 900 dedicated team members. Bommarito is recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal as Missouri’s No. 1 selling automotive group and is currently ranked 52nd in the nation. What once started as a vision to have one Bommarito vehicle in every driveway, is today a reality thanks to the ‘Where Price Sells Cars” mission.
For more information on the Bommarito Automotive Group, visit them online at Bommarito.com, and follow their social channels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
– Chassis; Jordan Anderson Racing Bommarito Autosport will bring Chassis No. 109 to Charlotte Motor Speedway for Snider to compete with in the Alsco Uniforms 300. Chassis No. 109 will make its debut for Jordan Anderson Racing Bommarito Autosport this weekend.