Speedway Digest Staff
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Race Winner: Noah Gragson of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Daniel Hemric of Kaulig Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: AJ Allmendinger of Kaulig Racing (Chevrolet)
Riley Herbst and the No. 98 Monster Energy team proved to be resilient in the Texas heat in Saturday’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, the opening playoff race of the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. The Las Vegas native started the 200-lap race 11th and struggled with a loose racecar in the initial laps. The No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang then had to drop to the rear after a penalty during the day’s first pit stop, but Herbst made quick work in his drive back toward the front. By the end of Stage 2, he was sitting 12th, then restarted ninth for the final stage. Chaos ensued on multiple occasions during the last 100 laps, and Herbst used his savvy driving skills to maneuver his way around two accidents, sitting fourth on a lap-126 restart. He stayed in the top-five until his final scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 169 and rejoined the field in 15th. The race went caution-free until the checkered flag and Herbst was able to work his way into the top-10 by lap 182. He worked his way forward from there to score his seventh top-five of the season and his second in a row.
Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Focus was a tough factor all weekend. I’m thinking of the VanderLey family and DJ. Get well buddy, we missed you tremendously. I think today comes down to what we’ve been preaching all year – consistency. We’ve got to clean everything up on pit road and with qualifying. Coming out of Texas with a top-five is good and we’ll go to battle again at Talladega.”
● Herbst earned his seventh top-five of the season and his first top-five in six career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Texas.
● This was Herbst’s second consecutive top-five. He finished fifth last Friday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
● Herbst’s fifth-place finish bettered his previous best at Texas – eighth, earned in May.
● This was Herbst’s second straight top-10 at Texas. He finished eighth at the track in May.
● Noah Gragson won the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 to score his 12th career Xfinity Series victory, his seventh of the season, and his first at Texas. His margin over second-place Austin Hill was 1.238 seconds.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 52 laps.
● Only eight of the 38 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
The next event on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the Sparks 300 on Oct. 1 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race starts at 4 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by USA and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Chris Windom took the lead on lap three and never looked back, leading the final 23 laps to win his second consecutive USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series 4-Crown Nationals feature in front of a packed house at Eldora Speedway, Saturday.
Windom, the 2020 USAC National champion, was making just his third start of the season. It marks his fifth 4-Crown Nationals title. The victory also gave CB Industries a sweep of the weekend’s festivities at Eldora after teammate Mitchel Moles won Friday night’s feature.
Starting from the outside of row one, Chance Crum would take the early lead, with Windom moving from fourth to second on the opening lap. Windom stayed right with Crum and mastered the outside to go around him for the point position on lap three, with Buddy Kofoid moving up to third. The top three would remain tight throughout the first half of the 25-lap feature.
Series point leader Kofoid would run the fence coming out of four to take over second by a car length on lap 15 as the top three pulled away from the rest of the field, but his race would come to an end just one lap later when he appeared to blow his right rear tire going into turn one, getting into the wall and flipping. Crum had no place to go and was collected in the crash, also flipping. Both were able to climb from their cars uninjured.
With his two main rivals done for the night, Windom would lead Alex Bright, Justin Grant, and Bryant Wiedeman back to the green flag on lap 17. Within three laps, Windom pulled out to a 1.842-second lead while continuing to pull away from the field. Behind him, Wiedeman would pass Grant for third on lap 21 and then move past Bright for the second spot on lap 23.
Upfront, Windom stretched his advantage out to more than three seconds on the way to the victory. Wiedeman earned runner-up honors for the second consecutive night, with Bright placing third, followed by Grant, Thomas Meseraull, Taylor Reimer, Cannon McIntosh, and C.J. Leary.
The USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series returns to the track with a pair of races the weekend of October 7-8, kicking off at Wayne County (Ill.) Speedway, before heading to Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana, on Saturday night.
Chris Windom, CB Industries Toyota: “I love this place. It feels great to get this done. This car was so good around the top. It was good last year, but I think it was better this year. Hats off to all these guys on the CB Industries crew. I’m happy to get this for Chad Boat for the second year in a row. These cars are so good here. You have to stay laser-focused when you’re running this close to the fence. Thanks to all the fans for coming out. It was an awesome crowd here at the 4-Crowns.”
Stafford Speedway hosted the NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final headlined by the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series with the SK Modifieds®, SK Lights, and Vintage All-Stars also in feature action. Anthony Bello was victorious for the second time during his rookie SK Modified® season, Steven Chapman dominated the 20-lap SK Light Invitational, and Tony Ferrante, Jr. won the Vintage All-Stars race. Todd Owen finished 5th in the SK Modified® feature, which was good enough to clinch his second consecutive SK Modified® track championship.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Michael Gervais, Jr. took the lead at the drop of the green flag with Michael Christopher, Jr. quickly taking second. Tyler Leary was third in the early running with Keith Roccofourth and Ronnie Williams and Anthony Bello side by side for fifth place. Christopher took the lead from Gervais on lap-3 while Rocco took third from Leary. Bello followed him by Leary to take fourth place on lap-5 with Leary now in a wheel to wheel duel with Williams for fifth place. Just behind them, Cory DiMatteo and Todd Owen were side by side for seventh and Bryan Narducci and David Arute were side by side for ninth. Jimmy Broderick hit the turn 1 wall to bring the yellow and red flags out with 7 laps complete.
On the restart, Christopher’s car lost its air cleaner with the debris on the track bringing the caution right back out. Christopher had to come to pit road to reattach the air cleaner, which handed the race lead back to Gervais with Rocco beside him for the restart while Christopher rejoined the field at the rear.
Rocco took the lead from Gervais on the restart while both Bello and Williams went by Gervais to take second and third. Cory DiMatteo came to a stop in turn 2, which brought the caution flag back out with 8 laps complete.
Rocco and Williams went wheel to wheel for the lead on the restart with Bello nearly going 3-wide but falling back into third. Rocco got clear of Williams on lap-10 while Bello took second from Williams on lap-11. Owen followed Bello by Williams to take third and drop Williams back to fourth just before the caution came back out with 11 laps complete for a spin in the middle of turns 3+4 by Dylan Kopec that collected the cars of Anthony Flannery and Curt Brainard. R.J. Marcotte was sent to the rear of the field by Stafford officials for making contact with Kopec.
Back under green, Rocco took the lead with Bello glued to his back bumper in second. Owen got by Williams to take third with Narducci and Williams side by side for fourth place. Bello made a strong move in turn 3 to take the lead from Rocco on lap-13 just before Marcotte spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 13 laps complete.
Bello took the lead on the restart with Rocco taking a look for the lead before slotting back into second behind Bello. Owen and Narducci were wheel to wheel for third with David Arute in fifth, just in front of Williams in sixth. Teddy Hodgon spun on the backstretch and Troy Talman’s car came to a stop in turn 3 to bring the caution back out with 16 laps complete.
Back under green, Bello took the lead with Rocco in second. Owen and Narducci were once again wheel to wheel for third with Arute in fifth and Gervais in sixth. Owen took third from Narducci on lap-19 and Narducci slid back to fifth as he got loose in turn 2 and allowed Arute to take fourth. The caution came back out with 19 laps complete as Curt Brainard got into the frontstretch wall and collected Mikey Flynn, Marcotte, and several other cars.
Bello took the lead on the restart with Owen getting to the inside of Rocco in a duel for second. Narducci was fourth behind Rocco and Owen with Arute in fifth. Tyler Leary appeared to lose an engine in turn 2 as Hodgdon spun to bring the caution back out with 21 laps complete.
Bello took the lead back under green with Rocco now getting to the inside of Owen in a fight for second. They touched coming off turn 4 on lap-22 and got out of shape but both cars were abel to save their cars with Owen maintaining second while Rocco slid back to fifth as Owen went to second, Christopher to third after his earlier mishap, and Narducci fourth. Christopher made a move to the inside of Owen on lap-26 to take over second while Rocco got clear from Arute in the fight for fifth place. Rocco got around Narducci to take over fourth on lap-30 and Arute nearly took fifth from Narducci, but he fell back into line behind Narducci as Bello continued to hold the lead with Christopher in second and Owen in third.
Rocco took third from Owen on lap-37 and that move allowed Narducci to pull alongside Owen in a fight for fourth place. Christopher couldn’t get close enough to Bello to make a bid for the lead as he took down his second win of his rookie season. Rocco finished third with Narducci fourth and Owen rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Steven Chapman took the lead at the green while Todd Clark spun but was able to get going and the race stayed green. Nick Anglace was second behind Steven Chapman with Tony Membrino, Jr. third, Jason Chapman fourth, and Ron Midford, Jr. in fifth.
Membrino took second from Anglace and Midford got around Anglace to move into third place on lap-9 with Anglace slotting into fourth, just in front of Jason Chapman while Steven Chapman was comfortably out front.
Steven Chapman cruised to a wire to wire victory with Midford, Anglace, Jason Chapman, and Membrino rounding out the top-5.
In the 15-lap Vintage All-Stars feature event, Tony Ferrante, Jr. led the field to the green and he took the early lead with Paul Suprenant, Ben Levangie, Boots Jasinski and Tom Pickerel lined up behind him. Levangie took second place from Suprenant on lap-2 and Jasinski got around Suprenant on lap-3 to move into third and drop Suprenant back to fourth with Pickerel still running in fifth place as Ferrante continued to hold the lead.
Levangie couldn’t get close enough to Ferrante to make a bid for the lead as Ferrante led from start to finish to take the victory. Jasinski finished third with Suprenant and Gagner rounding out the top-5.
For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
Stafford Speedway PR
Ronnie Silk Wins NAPA Fall Final Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series Feature at Stafford; DiMatteo Wins RaceChoice.com B-Main
Stafford Motor Speedway welcomed the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series to the track $15,000 to win NAPA Fall Final. With 51 cars on hand to qualify for 32 starting positions, there was also a 20-lap RaceChoice.com B-Main feature which allowed the winner to choose from either a $1,000 payday or to join the starting field for the 80-lap main event. Cory DiMatteo won the race and he chose to join the 80-lap race and start in the 33rd and final starting position.
The NAPA Fall Final took the green flag with Ryan Preece and Ronnie Williams on the front row and Preece took the lead at the green with Williams in second. Dana DiMatteo was third in line followed by Max Zachem, Michael Christopher, Jr., and Woody Pitkat. Williams went to the outside of Preece on lap-3 to move into the lead while Zachem took third from DiMatteo. Pitkat also got by DiMatteo to move into fourth and drop DiMatteo back to fifth, just in front of Christopher.
Woody Pitkat was starting to charge towards the front as he moved into third on lap-10 and his move brought Christopher up to fourth and Ronnie Silk up to fifth as Zachem slid from third back to sixth while Preece and Williams were still out front. The caution flew with 16 laps complete for a spin in turn 2 by Kyle Bonsignore.
Back under green Preece took the lead with Pitkat right on his back bumper. Pitkat took the lead from Preece on lap-17 while Williams was third in line and he was followed by Christopher and Silk. Preece came back to the inside of Pitkat on lap-20 and he was able to retake the lead. The order remained the same until lap-31 when Silk went by Williams to take over third place. Preece and Williams were still the two leaders with Christopher still in fifth. Matt Galko was sixth, followed by Craig Lutz, Zachem, Andrew Molleur, and Keith Rocco.
At the halfway point of the race, Preece was still in command but Pitkat had worked his way into second with Silk third and Christopher fourth as Williams slid back to fifth in line. With 20 laps to go, it was still Preece, Pitkat, Silk, Christopher, and Williams at the front of the field. The caution came out with 63 laps complete for a spin coming out of turn 2 by Buddy Charette. Under the caution, the entire lead lap came to pit road for 2 tires and adjustments. Preece won the race off pit road and he was followed by Williams, Lutz, Silk, Jake Johnson, Matt Hirschman, Matt Galko, Andrew Molleur, and Rocco.
Preece took the lead on the restart with Silk moving up to second. Williams was third with Pitkat and Lutz lined up behind him. Going into turn 3, Pitkat and Williams touched with both cars spinning into the turn 3 wall with Flannery spinning to avoid hitting Pitkat and Williams to bring the caution and red flags out with 64 laps complete.
Preece took the lead on the restart with Silk in second. Lutz was third in line with Johnson fourth and Rocco fifth. Silk was all over Preece’s back bumper and he took the lead from Preece on lap-67 with a pass in turn 4. Just as Silk was glued to Preece’s back bumper Preece was now all over the back bumper of Silk and he nearly took the lead on lap-69 but couldn’t complete the pass. Silk fended off several more challenges but the caution came out with 73 laps complete for a spin in turn 3 by Flannery.
On the restart going into turn 3, Preece got turned around which brought the caution back out. This put Johnson alongside Silk for the restart with Lutz and Rocco on row 2.
Silk charged into the lead back under green with Lutz and Johnson side by side for second. The caution came back out with 74 laps complete for a spin on the backstretch by George Bessette, Jr.
Silk took the lead on the restart with Johnson taking second. Galko moved up to third with Matt Swanson taking fourth and Lutz slid back to fifth with Rocco in sixth. Silk led Johnson to the checkered flag to win the NAPA Fall Final. Galko finished third with Swanson and Lutz rounding out the top-5.
The 20-lap RaceChoice.com B-Main feature took the green with Cory DiMatteo streaking into the lead with polesitter Joey Cipriano slotting into second. Ryan Doucette was third in line with Tyler Barry fourth and Devin O’Connell in fifth. O’Connell took fourth from Barry on lap-7 while Burt Myers took fifth from Barry on lap-8. Barry would slide back to eighth place as J.B. Fortin took sixth and Anthony Nocella seventh while DiMatteo continued to lead the race with Cipriano and Doucette giving chase.
DiMatteo led Cipriano to the checkered flag to win the RaceChoice.com Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series B-Main feature. DiMatteo had a choice of taking either $1,000 for the win or he could elect to forgo the $1,000 and transfer into the 80-lap main event Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series feature event. DiMatteo chose the race option so he became the 33rd and final car in the starting lineup for the 80-lap main event.
For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
Stafford Speedway PR
Ty Gibbs (third) started his Playoff run with a strong third-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon. His fellow Playoff driver, Brandon Jones, got taken out in an accident not of his making and was scored 27th. With two races remaining in the Round of 12, Gibbs is third in the point standings with a 46-point advantage over the cutoff. Jones is 11th in the point standings, 13 points behind the final Playoff berth.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Texas Motor Speedway
Race 27 of 33 – 300 miles, 200 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Noah Gragson*
2nd, Austin Hill*
3rd, TY GIBBS
4th, AJ Allmendinger*
5th, Riley Herbst*
25th, JOEY GASE
27th, BRANDON JONES
28th, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
35th, ANIKORI OGATA
38th, JEFFREY EARNHARDT
TY GIBBS, No. 54 Interstate Batteries Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
What more did you need to compete with Noah Gragson?
“Honestly, we were just a little tight coming through there. We fired off really, really free and it set the tone for the rest. They adjusted for what I asked for, but I asked for a little too much so it’s my fault. Thank you to my team, Interstate Batteries, Monster Energy, Toyota. Thank you to the Man Above, all glory to Him. We will keep working on it and head to Talladega which is a yard sale.”
I know you had an interesting moment today, did your heart start to go into your chest heading to the wall there?
“I was just trying to give it my all, and I just got a little wide and I just missed it up the cushion a little bit. This Supra was fast, just got to find a little bit more speed. Getting loose there really hurt me, so it is what it is.”
BRANDON JONES, No. 19 Menards/Pelonis Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 27th
Could you have done anything different on that restart?
“Not really. I think that I already knew going up in the top lane that it was on the free side. I told Jeff (Meendering, crew chief) already a few times that it was trending looser on these restarts. Too much trash I think gets blown up there during caution laps so it takes a while before it blows off and becomes good again. I think that the 18 (John Hunter Nemechek) was pushing a little too hard. Nothing to fault him there for, but probably a little early to be going that far. It is what it is. No stage points hardly all day, and a bad finish. That kind of does it for you when you don’t get stage points, so frustrating day, but big thanks to Pelonis, Menards, everybody there. I think we can go to Talladega and you never know what happens there. We could win it. Our road course program is phenomenal lately, so we will go to the ROVAL and have a strong run there.”
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 18 Romco Equipment Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 28th
Can you walk us through what happened?
“The 7 (Justin Allgaier) chose the top behind me, and I haven’t seen the replay of it, but the 7 chose the top behind me and started pushing. The 21 (Austin Hill) made it three-wide on the 9 (Noah Gragson) and I was three-wide at the top being able to be in the race and I think we ended up four-wide at one point which doesn’t really work aero-wide in the pack. The resin was up there as well and I don’t know. It sucks. The Romco Toyota Supra was really fast and I thought we were going to have a shot to win the race and repeat from last year. It didn’t work out. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds.”
Martinsville Speedway and ValleyStar Credit Union announce a multi-year extension of the entitlement for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, the nation’s biggest, richest and most prestigious NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race. The multi-year extension will continue ValleyStar Credit Union’s entitlement at Martinsville Speedway that began in 2015.
“ValleyStar Credit Union is synonymous with the nation’s biggest, richest and most prestigious NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race, so we are proud to extend the entitlement for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway,” said Clay Campbell, Martinsville Speedway President. “We are grateful to our long-time partners at ValleyStar Credit Union for their continued support to bring the racing community together for the best Late Model racers to compete on the most storied short track in motorsports.”
“The ValleyStar Credit Union mission, ‘Employees First. Members Benefit.’ finds strength in the partnership we have with Martinsville Speedway,” said Mike Warrell, president and CEO of ValleyStar Credit Union. “To be the best in service and convenience not only means helping our members with an auto loan to get that sweet ride, or a mortgage loan so they can walk through the door of their dream home, it also means supporting this rich NASCAR tradition with our families, neighbors and friends. We are extremely proud and honored to be a part of this prestigious race.”
ValleyStar Credit Union was founded in 1953 in Martinsville, Virginia and has grown to serve families and businesses across Virginia. It’s ValleyStar’s mission to make banking and managing finances as easy and convenient as possible. The ValleyStar team goes beyond the dry language of mortgages, loans, accounts and credit cards to what people really care about – homes, cars, education, small business success and building that nest egg for retirement. ValleyStar Credit Union is here to help families and businesses achieve their dreams.
ValleyStar Credit Union is also committed to supporting and serving the communities where Virginians live and work so that, together, they can strive to lead better, more financially secure lives. To learn more about ValleyStar Credit Union’s community engagements, visit www.valleystar.org/real-
For more information on ValleyStar Credit Union, visit www.valleystar.org.
Martinsville Speedway PR
Coming off a week where RFK Racing saw its first win under the new banner, Brad Keselowski kept the momentum rolling Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway posting the fastest time of the field to earn the pole in the No. 6 ROUSHParts.com Ford.
“That was a heck of a lap,” Keselowski said. “I was proud to show my speed and be starting on the front row on pole. This is a tough track to qualify at because the speeds are so high and the track is so slick and hot. Three and four was one of those gutsy laps where you hold it wide open through there and hope it sticks. It was really close but we made it through. That was probably the difference maker.”
It marks the 18th pole of Keselowski’s career and first since 2019, and second overall at Texas (2015 – fall). It is the first pole for the famed No. 6 car since July 2011 when David Ragan posted quick time in Indianapolis.
“Credit to Matt McCall and the team here who worked on the car,” Keselowski added. “We made two good changes and here we are. It is a super exciting time for me and for our company here at RFK with a lot of the progress we have made over the last few months and now it is actually starting to show up. I am proud of our lap. It didn’t come unearned but we have a long way to go tomorrow for 500 miles here in Texas.”
Overall the pole is No. 91 in the Cup Series for Jack Roush’s team, and fourth at Texas Motor Speedway. RFK teammate Chris Buescher posted the 13th-quickest lap time on the day.
Keselowski enters Sunday’s race with three-straight top-10s at the 1.5-mile track and will lead the field to green in the 500-mile, 334-lap race. Race coverage is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on USA, and can also be heard on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
“Shugah” Shane Sexton Finishes 14th in Perris Auto Speedway Return and Breaks Into the Top 20 in Points
Shaking off the 410 cobwebs after nearly five months out of action, “Shugah” Shane Sexton returned to USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series competition last Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway. The affable driver started 19th in the 30-lap main event and drove forward for a 14th-place finish.
Driving a new GAS Chassis, Sexton timed in with a lap of 17.187 and contested the third 10-lap heat race. After a disappointing seventh-place finish in the heat, the Warner Springs, California driver lined up in the 19th position to start the 30-lap main event. He steered clear of all the tangles happening on the track and moved forward throughout the race. When Steve Russell’s checkered flag brought the proceedings to a halt at the end of the 30th lap, “Shugah” was all the way up to 14th.
Moving forward in the race also propelled Sexton higher up in the series championship point standings. To be exact, he jumped from 21st to 19th position heading into the next race at Arizona’s Mohave Valley Raceway on October 8th. Sexton’s only other appearance at the track which is located a few minutes from the Colorado River and only 20 minutes from Laughlin, was a prosperous one. After qualifying 22nd fastest and placing eighth in his heat on April 22nd, Sexton started 21st in the main and advanced nine positions to finish 12th on the racy 1/3 mile oval.
Sexton was due to be back on the track on October 1st at Perris with the USAC/CRA Series but that race has been canceled. As previously mentioned, he will return to action at Mohave Valley. The young driver will then wrap up his 410 sprint car season with five races in nine days. The first two dates are at the 55th Annual Chapman Chevrolet of Yuma Western World Championship at Arizona’s Cocopah Speedway on October 28th and 29th. That will be followed by the 26th Annual Heimark Anheuser Busch Budweiser Oval Nationals at Perris Auto Speedway on November 3rd, 4th, and 5th.
Sexton would like to extend a thank you to Brian Fonseca and Samantha Sproull for the opportunity to wheel their lightning sprint and he would like to thank their team sponsors for making it possible. They are the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, Foothill Tractor & Heavy Equipment, KB Rod Benders, and MJK Auto Sales.
Shane Sexton PR