Speedway Digest Staff
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- Lessard started in the 20th position after a performance matrix based off of finishing position from the previous race, ranking in owner points standings and the fastest lap from the previous race at Kansas Speedway.
- When the first caution flew on Lap 34, Lessard had fallen back to the 22nd position and would finish the stage there.
- At the stage break, Lessard radioed to his crew that his CANAC Tundra was loose throughout the racetrack. Veteran crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. summoned his rookie driver to pit road to tighten up to the No. 4 CANAC Tundra as the over-the-wall pit crew administered a four-tire and fuel stop. Lessard would restart in the 17th position.
- During the second caution on Lap 44, Lessard was running 16th and radioed to this crew that his truck was better but that he was having problems with his gas pedal. Under the caution, Hillman summoned his driver onto the pit lane to fix the issue. The rookie driver had to make a second pit stop under the caution on Lap 46 due to a flat tire. He would restart in the 23rd position.
- Under the third caution, Lessard was running in the 21st position and stayed out. He restarted in the 20th position.
- Lessard finished the stage in the 18th position.
- Under the break, Lessard radioed to the CANAC crew that his Tundra was better than the previous runs. Hillman summoned his driver to pit road for a small adjustment, four tires and fuel. Lessard would restart in the 15th position.
- When the fifth caution of the day flew on Lap 93, Lessard radioed to his crew that his CANAC Tundra was "pretty good." Hillman summoned his driver to pit road for the final stop of the day. After the pit stop, Lessard was asked to save fuel in the event of a green-white-checkered finish. He restarted in the 14th position,
- After four caution periods over 21 laps, Lessard worked his way up to the eighth position when the ninth caution of the day flew. After staying out, Lessard restarted seventh,
- As the field was under the first and only green-white-checkered event, Lessard worked his way up to fourth before a caution in Turn 2 ended the race under yellow.
- Eckes started from the10th position after a performance matrix based off his finishing position from the previous race, ranking in owner points standings and the ranking of the fastest lap he turned from the previous race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.
- He advanced to eighth in the opening laps of the stage but fell back to ninth in the middle of the segment as he reported to be in need of more grip.
- The New York native made his way back up to the seventh position when a one-truck accident on Lap 33 brought Stage One to completion under caution.
- Eckes communicated to veteran crew chief Rudy Fugle that he needed more grip in his Tundra before hitting pit road for four tires and fuel between stages.
- The Safelite Tundra would line up on the outside of the fourth row when Stage Two went green on Lap 40. A one-truck accident put the field under red-flag conditions on lap 44 with Eckes scored in the sixth position.
- Shortly after electing to start from the top of the fourth row again for the ensuing restart, the New York native slid up the track and fell back to the 12th position. Another one-truck accident slowed the field on Lap 52 with the No. 18 Toyota in the 11th spot.
- Eckes this time elected to start in the top of the sixth row and the move paid off as he settled into the ninth position with 10 laps remaining in the stanza.
- Despite being "a little free" in the closing laps, he was able to gain one more position and finish Stage Two in the seventh position.
- Fugle ordered up a four-tire and fuel stop with a chassis adjustment in an effort to improve the handling of the Safelite Tundra for his young driver.
- A speedy stop by the over-the-wall crew allowed the No. 18 team to line up on the outside of the second row when the Final Stage went green on Lap 77. Eckes would settle into the third position until the field was slowed for the fifth time on Lap 93 for fluid on the track.
- On the ensuing restart, the Safelite Tundra lined up on the bottom of the second row and by the time the field came back to the start-finish line had made his way into the runner-up position.
- A two-truck accident slowed the field for the sixth time on Lap 106 with the 19-year-old driver in the third position. He communicated to Fugle that his Toyota was "a little free." After the ensuing restart, he lost several positions and was in the seventh spot when the next caution occurred on Lap 118.
- After hitting pit road for four fresh tires and fuel, the rookie driver lined up on the top of the fourth row for the restart on Lap 122 but fell back to eighth when the yellow flag flew for the eighth time on Lap 129.
- The next restart was better for Eckes as he went from the bottom of the third row to battling for a spot inside the top three. With just two laps remaining he was passing Rhodes for the third spot when he got turned into the outside wall and ended his strong run.
- After coming to rest in the infield grass, the No. 18 team's day was done, and the official result was a 25th-place finish.
Derek Kraus drove the McAnally-Hilgemann Racing No. 19 Shockwave/ENEOS Toyota Tundra to another top-10 finish at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, following an up and down event in the SpeedyCash.com 400.
The 19-year-old series rookie was in the top 10 for most of the race and in the top five on several occasions, but ended up finishing ninth after battling back from a late pit stop. It marked his 12th top-10 finish in 21 starts this season.
After starting 11th on the grid, Kraus quickly charged to fifth place in the first six laps. He was later shuffled back to 11th, where he finished the first stage. He worked his way up to fourth by Lap 60 and finished one position behind that when the second stage concluded on Lap 70. After a pit stop, he restarted 13th.
In a move to gain track position under a subsequent caution at Lap 92, Kraus only took on fuel during his pit stop. He led briefly and battled to remain in the lead pack, running against trucks with fresher tires.
Kraus pitted for tires and fuel during a caution on Lap 106 and lined up 20th for the restart. He battled for track position through the remaining laps, getting back into the top 10 with less than 20 laps to go. He crossed the finish line in ninth in an overtime finish.
Derek Kraus – Thoughts about this week
Another top-10 finish. How was your race as a whole?
“We started off really strong, and just battled for track position all day. It’s really tough to pass when there’s the PJ1 or VHT or whatever you want to call it on the racetrack. It’s really tough to pass; you try to stay up front. We kind of fell back a bit and were crawling trying to make our way back to the front on these restarts. Our SHOCKWAVE Toyota is clean, and overall, it was a good day.”
Anthony Alfredo and The No. 21 Maestro's Classic Chevrolet Team Score Season Best Third-Place Finish at Texas Motor Speedway
"Our No. 21 Maestro's Chevrolet fired off really well to start the race. We were able to quickly make our way inside the top-10 after starting in the 18th position. The biggest issue we fought throughout the race was just being a little too tight through the center and on exit of the corner. My crew chief, Andy Street, did a great job keeping up with the track and making adjustments throughout the race. One of the biggest things I've learned this year is just to be patient. Thankfully, we were able to put ourselves in position at the end and that is all you can really ask for. I'm just very thankful for everyone at Richard Childress Racing and ECR because they have no quit and it definitely showed today. It's been a privilege to drive these fast RCR Chevrolets and an honor to work with this organization. To score my best career finish and the best finish for the entire No. 21 team this season in my last start is pretty special. I really wish we could have caught the No. 9 car, but we just kind of stalled out and the No. 20 car ended up passing both of us. Nevertheless, I am extremely proud of my team and thankful to be in this position."