Thursday, Mar 30
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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  1. Alex, you bring it home third. How difficult was this one today?

ALEX BOWMAN: It probably wouldn't have been that bad if my interior stuff worked. When this Coolshirt doesn't work, it just heat soaks, kind of cooks you. I'm hot. It stopped working pretty early. I don't have issues with stuff from Hendrick Motorsports very often.

Shout-out to all the guys back at the shop. This road crew, I'm not the greatest road course racer, so to come here and run top five again means a lot.

It was a hot day. Proud of the 45. A heck of a road course racer. Fastest car definitely won today. Wish our Ally Camaro was a couple spots better. All in all a good day for us.

  1. I saw you and Suarez have words afterwards. What were you saying?

ALEX BOWMAN: He just thought I drove in and tried to drive through him. I had the corner made. Only reason I was inside of the 99 was to protect from the 1. Then the 1 just hammered me in the corner, dumped me, then I ran into the 99, kind of cleaned him out.

Daniel and I, we've been teammates in the past, raced together a long time. I respect the hell out of him. I'm sure he's still not super happy. Just tried to explain that I wouldn't race him like that, that I was shoved in there.

You see that a lot at these road courses. Indy last year, Harvick was super mad at me and crashed me. Then he watched the video, and he was like, Man, I crashed the wrong guy.

Sometimes just it's a chain reaction. Fortunately, it worked out for us, ended up with a top five.


  1. Kyle Busch brings it home second today. Got that track position there. Three overtime restarts, what did you need to hold off Tyler?

KYLE BUSCH: I don't know if we could have. Even if we were on equal tires, when we tested here, they were lights out. Had us beat on the frontside of the runs. We needed longer runs. Even today we didn't have great long-run speed. We had great middle-run speed.

Overall, for as much effort and everything that we've put into coming here and focusing on this place, all the testing and everything we've been able to do during the off-season, come out here with a really good finish.

Tyler obviously is a really good road racer. He proved it driving this car here last year. I was able to get in it and run right back to him. I've been trying to emulate the things he did in order to make this car fast last year, but not quite all the way there.

They had a whale of a car. Want to thank NetSpend for being on our car, Austin, hometown partner in Austin, Texas. Excited to get them a runner-up finish.


  1. Tyler, you had to overcome three restarts at the end of that race, multiple restarts, different pit strategies throughout the course of the day. This car was flat-out fast. What does it mean?

TYLER REDDICK: It means the world. This whole 23XI team has been working so hard all winter long to make the road course program better. Was extremely motivated to come in here and prove that performance, too.

Just so proud of this Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD. Toyota, everybody, all the resources they've been putting into this to help turn around the road course program means a lot.

I'm out of gas. But I feel a little bit better with Monster Energy.


Tony Rispin is a true blue Irishman, hailing from the village of Kildalkey, Meath, Ireland so to say he had the luck of the Irish when he won the 4/6-Cylinder Enduro at Evergreen Raceway on Sunday afternoon would be a bit of an understatement.

            Be it the “green” in Evergreen, the leftover of St. Patrick’s Day, his crewman John Gilroy, who is also from Ireland or any of other kind of luck, the fact is he did a fantastic job of skillfully weaving through traffic after starting deep in the pack and coming away with his first win here in 11 years.

“It felt great today, lucky but still a great day, it was about time my luck turned around, it’s been over 10 years since I last won a race here at Evergreen,” said Rispin, who now resides in Tannersville.

“I was wondering there for a while when my luck would run out but as the race went on it just got easier and easier. You didn’t have to take as many big chances when you have to go through the middle on the straights as the field thinned out.”

Rispin, who is a past two-time Enduro champion at Evergreen, was slotted back in the 36th starting spot for the outset of the 100 lap grind. However, early on he was having transponder issues and was forced to pit and make a change, although it was under a track caution to do so and did not lose any laps in the process.

While Rispin was able to get his problems solved, the race was being handled at the front by Justin Carneavale who led the early going over Michael Klotz and Michael Mujsce III. By lap 19 Enduro/4-Cylinder Stock specialist Harry O’Neill, who started two spots behind Rispin in 40th, had maneuvered his way into the lead.

From that point he was looking tough as his No. 126 was having little trouble in getting around the heavy traffic that dotted all around the race track.

Unlike Rispin though, O’Neill wasn’t as lucky when on 37th circuit he got clipped by a car he was attempting to lap and crashed hard into the Turn 1 barriers. O’Neill, thankfully was unhurt but done for the day nonetheless.

When the field was sorted out Rispin was now the new leader over Paul Mercante and Rob Longo but truth be told there was no stopping him from that point on as he was far and away the class of the field.   

“I started way back in the 12th row and in one of these events it gets very hard to know where you’re at as far as your position and you can have four or five cars that get out front early. Then I didn’t see Harry O’Neill and I knew he was still in the race and is obviously going to be running good,” said Rispin.

“But then when they took me in to replace the transponder and I knew I was doing well and was trying to watch the (score) board and I couldn’t see my number up there. But then when Harry (O’Neill) was knocked out they told me I was leading and luckily we held our own the rest of the way.”

            Indeed he was not only lucky but good too. Rispin would continue to pull away from the pack, lapping cars with ease and steering clear of trouble, almost.

            On lap 65 his luck almost ran out when he was making a move to get by a lapped car but contact was made and he suddenly went sideways. Rispin though made a tremendous save and got the car pointed back right without losing his spot.  

“When you get by someone once and maybe twice then you know you can trust them no matter if you’re on the outside or inside but sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way,” said Rispin.

When he crossed the finish line he had lapped all but second, third and fourth. It was his first Evergreen win since June 3, 2012.

“I tried Street Stocks once and I just couldn’t afford it to be honest. But with the Enduro’s you get the adrenalin going with all these cars out here, cars spinning out in front of you, it’s a big rush for me this type of racing,” Rispin said.

            Rispin, who still has a strong accent, began his was racing back in Ireland in fields and sandpits. He also won a pair of championships at his local raceway before coming to America in 1986.

            While he was running away en route to the win the battle for second between Longo and Mercante was a hot one that waged up until the final lap. That pair had swapped back and forth and heading into the last two corners on the final lap Mercante was trying to make the pass on Longo but got pinched instead from behind and lost the spots to Jason Bentzoni. Rounding out the top five with a steady run was 2022 4-Cylinder Stock champion Mackenzie Adams.

            In the Spectator Drags that started out the day, Charlie Guardino from Nassau, Long Island NY, was the winner.

Enduro feature finish (100 laps): 1. Tony Rispin, 2. Rob Longo, 3. Jason Bentzoni, 4. Paul Mercante, 5. Mackenzie Adams, 6. Mark Rittenhouse Jr., 7. Mike Mujsce III, 8. Justin Carneavale, 9. Tony Hilliard, 10. Stewart Smith, 11. Michael Klotz, 12. Jake Oswald, 13. Mariah Lawrence, 14. Jeremy Randy, 15. Destinee Arnold, 16. Jacob Shearer, 17. Jeremy Spanburg, 18. Larry Spencer III, 19. Victoria Burd, 20. Dan Boughton, 21. Evan Wood, 22. Travis Frantz, 23. TJ Kapish, 24. Kevin Behler, 25. Adam Kratzer, 26. Adam Kraus, 27. Kevin Brown, 28. Mitch Sharpe, 29. Jerry Daignault, 30. Harry O’Neill, 31. Cliff Jones, 32. David Duran, 33. Mike Green, 34. Mike Mujsce Jr., 35. Blake Snyder, 36. Jimmy Ayre, 37. Rachel Morgan, 38. Corey Koch, 39. Brian Kohut, 40. Brian Halecki, 41. Danny Cascioli

Evergreen Raceway PR

This weekend wasn’t the way it was supposed to go at all, was it?

“No, not at all. What a disappointing finish. Unfortunately we got off to a slow start yesterday and qualified poorly. We all know what happens when you start in the back and unfortunately we were caught up in that.


Just a wild and crazy first lap that was taking place. I thought I had the wreck missed, but I just saw a flash of red out of nowhere. I guess there was more going on the outside of the No. 6 car (Brad Keselowski) as it was spinning, and I saw him and just got collected.


I’m most disappointed for Club Wyndham. They came on board for this race, and they’ll be with me at the Coca-Cola 600. Really disappointed we couldn’t give them a better show.”





"Fought hard here all day at COTA. Obviously coming from the back was a little eventful early on, but Allen [Hart] had a pretty good strategy for us. We cycled in the mix when we needed to be, and we were in a pretty good position. I think we found ourselves in the Top-10 at times, Top-15 pretty solidly for a good chunk of the day. Unfortunately, we had a tire going down at the end and lost a few spots. It finally went completely flat with about two corners to go and just kind of limped it home. Still, after the last few weeks, we'll take a P18 finish. It got us solid points and a little foundation here that we can work with. One of my favorite tracks is coming up next weekend at Richmond Raceway. I love it there. I feel like today was a small step in the right direction for some momentum that was much, much needed for the 26 team, and I'm excited to see what we will do from here."


- Kaz Grala, Driver of the No. 26 Fire Dept. Coffee GR Supra


"I feel like we were pretty okay on speed in practice. I felt we needed to tighten the car up pretty well, and we did for the race. In qualifying, I had lap going that would have probably put us 10th-12th, and I made a mistake and wheel-hopped in Turn 11 pretty badly and lost a lot of time. I figured we'd be good in the race and move forward, and that's exactly what we did for most of the race. Kris [Bowen] did a great job making adjustments and we kept getting better and better with every run. I still needed more speed there in the end. We were probably about a second off from where we wanted to be, but I felt like we had the speed to run in the Top-12, but I got turned with six or seven laps to go and fell back to 26th. I passed a few guys right there at the end and got back up to P19. I feel like this was a good recovery, and the car is in one piece, so I feel like, overall, we still had a decent day. Obviously, we would have liked to have had a better finish, but it's good to keep the car in one piece, build a little bit of momentum and gain on it in Richmond."


- Connor Mosack, driver of the No. 24 Toyota GR Supra


Tyler Ankrum delivered his best finish of the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season with a fourth-place effort on Saturday afternoon at Circuit of the Americas (COTA). His first top-5 result of the year was due to a resilient effort to hold off Cup series regular Ross Chastain in the waning laps of the Xpel 225. The fourth-place run vaulted Ankrum up four positions in the driver championship standings to seventh and into playoff contention.
The driver of the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro began the day by receiving a declaration from Mayor Kirk Watson who proclaimed March 25, 2023 “Tyler Ankrum Day” in Austin, Texas. Ankrum took the green flag from 12th position for the Xpel 225 on Saturday afternoon. The 22-year old maintained position inside the top-10 in the opening stage. As green flag pit stops began to unfold on lap nine, crew chief Doug Randolph kept Ankrum on track for the entirety of Stage 1, which netted the LiUNA! crew four points by finishing the stage in seventh position on lap 12.
With the change in format, there were no cautions between stages at COTA, adding to the complex strategy of road course racing. Randolph would call Ankrum to pit road for four tires and fuel at the conclusion of lap 12. Ankrum would rejoin the field in 29th position, but he wouldn't stay there for long. As the laps ticked by, Ankrum and the LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro would pick up a position or two each lap. At the conclusion of stage two, Ankrum would cycle up into the top-15.
Ankrum and Randolph took advantage of the timely caution, when Parker Kligerman came to a stop on the front stretch, to put on a fresh set of tires to gain an advantage over the field for the final 13 laps. Ankrum would leapfrog the field and restart in position number six. Ankrum would make quick work of competitors who stayed out on older tires by listening to the wise words of veteran spotter Eddie D'Hondt and settled into position number five. The last two laps proved to be exciting with a hard fought battle between Ankrum and Chastain for the fifth position. Ankrum would hold off Chastain after multiple attempts and would cross the finish line in position number four.
Tyler Ankrum on a great day in Austin:
“Well, it was really weird because the first half of the stage – we went to the stage break and not a lot of other drivers did. I came out right behind Christian Eckes and for 15 laps I didn’t see anyone. That was really confusing. I didn’t know where we were going to come out. We were on a two-stop strategy, and we came out – I want to say ninth or 10th – right when the caution fell. It was perfect. It was really a God send. Kyle (Busch) smoked me on the restart. I’ve got a lot to learn. I don’t know how he does that. We were able to get a fourth place finish out of this. Thank you to LiUNA!, Toyota. All of the Tundra TRD Pros are built here in Texas. I can’t thank everyone enough. Coming to Texas, I always love coming here. Austin is one of the best cities in the world.”

On Saturday’s Race at COTA: “A run like this gives me a lot of confidence just in general. We were fast and they knew we were here. A controversial penalty during the final stage put us in the rear; but, we salvaged a top-20 finish and picked up stage points. Overall, it is what it is and we’ll be back next week,” Alan said.

Lawless Alan had a career-run Saturday afternoon at Circuit of the Americas. The Los Angeles driver would pick up stage points in the second stage and run inside the top-ten for most of the race.

Alan would have a very smooth day for the first half of the XPEL 225, finishing in 18th and 3rd in the first two stages, respectively. But, as the race neared the end, a pass-through penalty was dealt to the No. 45 team for corner-cutting in the esses. This penalty would take Alan and team out of contention for the win, leaving him with a 17th-place finish at the road course.

Niece Motorsports PR

On Saturday’s Race at COTA: “It was a tough day for our Worldwide Express team. We were able to start up front and stay there for a while until our brake problem put us in the sandpit. But, we’ve been strong at the intermediate tracks in the past and I’m hoping for the same in Texas,” Hoccevar said.

After qualifying inside the top-ten on Friday afternoon, Carson Hocevar would find himself within the top-five for a majority of his race. Unfortunately for Hocevar, a brake problem on with less than five laps to go in Stage One would force the No. 42 to retire from the event.

Ultimately, the Portage, Michigan driver would finish 34th — pushing him to 14th in the driver’s championship standings.

Niece Motorsports PR

Chastain on Saturday’s Race at COTA: “It means a lot to run for Al [Niece] at his home track. Our team is known to bring really fast race trucks and we sure had one today. So, I’m proud to do that here in Austin with our Worldwide Express team even though we’re a little disappointed, but we have to be proud of how fast we were,” Chastain said.

A quick-time for Ross Chastain on Friday would put the Florida driver on pole for the XPEL 225 at Circuit of the Americas. From his front-row starting position, Chastain would lead a majority of the first stage after battling with Christian Eckes in the early laps.

A caution late in the first stage would bring the No. 41 Silverado down pit road for the first time for a routine pit stop. Although a handful of the leaders remained on the track under this caution, Chastain would make easy work of them to finish 6th in Stage One.

As the race progressed, a fuel cell issue would be the cause of a lengthy pit stop which would restart Chastain in 28th for the final stage. But, the NASCAR Cup Series driver would use his experience at COTA to weave through the field to salvage a fifth place finish, the second in as many weeks for the No. 41 team.

Niece Motorsports PR


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