Wednesday, Aug 17
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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After last racing at Stafford Speedway in a K & N East Series race in 2016, Dawsonville, GA native Spencer Davis will be part of the Open Modified brigade for the Lincoln Tech 80, set for Friday, August 19.  The 23 year old Davis has driven a wide range of vehicles in different touring series during his career such as the Truck Series, ARCA, K & N Pro Series, CARS Late Models, and the Whelen Modified Tour.  Davis finished third in his lone Stafford K & N Series start back in 2016 but he wasn’t quite as fortunate in his two Whelen Modified Tour starts in 2015, with mechanical issues leaving him with finishes of 30th and 31st.  Davis is hoping to get his #29 Inox Supreme Lubricants / Casagrande Builders / Kopec’s Truck and Auto machine into the top-5, but would like a victory.

“Stafford is a fun track and it has a unique layout,” said Davis.  “We’re hoping to have a little more luck on the modified side than I’ve had before.  I had a really good run with the K & N East Series back in 2016 so I’m looking forward to coming back to Stafford.  I have to give a big thanks to Casagrande Builders and Kopec’s Tire and Auto for making it possible for us to be able to come up to Stafford and race.  If we could get a top-5 finish, that would be a respectable night for us, but we come to the track to win races.”

Davis originally had planned to make his Stafford return back in April for the NAPA Spring Sizzler®, but his #29 car wasn’t quite ready.

“Since we’ve been back short track racing, we’ve wanted to go to race at tracks that I’ve liked,” said Davis.  “We were planning on running the Spring Sizzler® back in April but we just didn’t have everything put together in time since this is the first time we’re running a modified out of our own shop.  We’ve finally got everything worked out between work schedules and racing schedules to make it back to Stafford.”

Davis will be coming to Stafford with some positive momentum on his side after competing in the two modified events that were held 2 weeks ago at the North Wilkesboro revival.

“We had a good showing at North Wilkesboro a couple weeks ago with a second and sixth place finish, so we’re hoping we can come to Stafford and take the win back down south with the momentum we have,” said Davis.  “Every time we hit the track our goal is to win.”

With only 3 career starts at Stafford, Davis will be at a distinct experience disadvantage when compared with the drivers that he will be racing against in the Lincoln Tech 80, but his goal is still to go out and win the race.

“I think we’ll be pretty good,” said Davis.  “My whole career I’ve raced against guys that have raced weekly at tracks and we come in with whatever touring series I was with and we’ve had good runs.  It showed with the K & N car at Stafford while things didn’t work out so well for me on the modified side of things.  Obviously not running at Stafford every week like some of the guys will be a little bit of a disadvantage, but we’re going to do our best and see if we can make the most out of it.”

In order to help prepare for the Lincoln Tech 80, Davis has gone back and rewatched the previous four open modified races that have been held at Stafford this season on FloRacing replays.  While Davis says he can’t pick up much from watching older races, he has a general idea of what he can expect when he hits the Connecticut half-mile pavement this Friday night.

“The key to this race is going to be about being smart and saving tires,” said Davis.  “From watching some of the other open 80 races this year on FloRacing, it’s going to take having a clean race and being there at the end.  You really can’t pick up too much, but you can at least see how the races trend and there’s some little differences from race to race that you can pick up on.  I’ve run against a bunch of these guys at other tracks so I know their driving styles and it’s all going to be about racing the track and seeing how things unfold.”

The 3rd Annual Lincoln Tech 80 is scheduled for this Friday, August 19th.  Stafford’s SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, and Street Stock divisions will join the Open Modifieds in feature action.  Tickets for the Lincoln Tech 80 are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates.  Tickets for the Lincoln Tech 80 are $30.00 for adults, $10.00 for kids 6-14, and free for kids 5 & under.  Reserved seating is priced at $35.00 for all ages and pit passes are $45.00 with a valid 2022 Stafford Competition License and $50.00 without a Stafford license.  If you are unable to attend the event, tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway.

For more information, visit www.staffordspeedway.com, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.

Stafford Speedway PR

 

5 KYLE LARSON

 

Age: 30 (July 31, 1992)

 

Hometown: Elk Grove, California

 

Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina

 

Crew Chief: Cliff Daniels

 

Standings: 3rd

 
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No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

 

BOWLING FOR A DOUBLE AT THE GLEN: Last year at Watkins Glen International, Kyle Larson led the final 26 laps to capture the victory. The win in the 23rd race of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season moved the Elk Grove, California, native into the top spot in the points standings – his first time atop the standings during his inaugural season with Hendrick Motorsports.

JUUUUUNIOOOOR: Saturday will mark Larson’s second start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season. The driver of the No. 88 HendrickCars.com JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro has won four of his last six starts in the Xfinity Series, capturing victories at Bristol Motor Speedway, Daytona International Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2018. In July of this year, Larson won stages one and two in the No. 17 Hendrick Motorsports Xfinity Series entry before ultimately finishing second at Road America.

NEW YORK STATE OF MIND: In seven Cup Series starts at Watkins Glen, Larson has one win, two top-five finishes and four top-10s. In six Xfinity Series starts at the 2.45-mile road course located in New York, the 30-year-old driver has one top-five – a third-place finish in 2016.

KING OF THE ROAD: Larson won three road course events in 2021, the most ever during a NASCAR Cup Series season. Victories at Sonoma Raceway in June, Watkins Glen in August and the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL in October were integral during his 10-win championship season.

BACK NINE: Dating back to June 2021, Larson has been victorious in three of the last nine Cup Series road course events – tops in NASCAR’s premier series. Overall, the 2021 Cup Series champion ranks fourth among active drivers in road course wins (three), one behind Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., who are tied for second.

ROAD COURSE RINGERS: Only two Hendrick Motorsports drivers have scored more wins on road courses than Larson. On serpentine layouts in the Cup Series, the all-time winningest driver is NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon with nine while Chase Elliott has crossed the line first on seven occasions.

GOOD STARTING POINT: With a 6.71 average starting position in seven Watkins Glen Cup Series starts, the defending event winner is tops in this statistical average among active drivers at NASCAR’s highest level. Among drivers with a minimum of three starts, Larson trails only Tony Stewart, who posted a 5.88 average start at the New York track during his NASCAR Hall of Fame career.

YOUR CAR NEEDS: This weekend, Larson will drive the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the Cup Series and No. 88 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro in the Xfinity Series. From the convenience of home, customers can select the category, make, model and vehicle packages that are important to them from the nearly 30,000 new, high-quality pre-owned and certified cars, trucks and SUVs available at HendrickCars.com. The website also makes it easy for customers to find one of Hendrick Automotive Group’s 93 dealership locations nationwide.

 
 
 
 

9 CHASE ELLIOTT

 

Age: 26 (Nov. 28, 1995)

 

Hometown: Dawsonville, Georgia

 

Resides: Dawsonville, Georgia

 

Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson

 

Standings: 1st

 
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No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

 

BACK WHERE IT STARTED: In 2018, Watkins Glen International was the site of Chase Elliott’s first NASCAR Cup Series win. He led 52 of 90 laps en route to victory. In just five starts on the 2.45-mile road course, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native has three top-two finishes including two wins. Elliott’s most recent trip to victory lane at Watkins Glen came in 2019 after he swept the stages and led all but 10 laps of the race. His average finish is an impressive 6.0, which is the best among active drivers at the venue, and he has led for a total of 141 laps.

IN THE RUNNING: The four-time National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Most Popular Driver Award winner heads into the weekend with a 116-point lead in the Cup series point standings. Elliott could be named the regular season champion as early as this Sunday, needing only a 61-point advantage following the race over second place to clinch the title. It would mark the 26-year-old’s first Cup Series regular season championship and give him 15 bonus points heading into the playoffs. So far in 2022, Elliott has earned a series-high 25 playoff points thanks to his four victories and five stage wins. He’s also tops in the laps led category, pacing the field for 659 circuits. Elliott is the only driver with more than two wins this season.

WATKINS GLEN REWIND: Last season, Elliott and the No. 9 team came from the back of the field to score a second-place finish at Watkins Glen behind teammate Kyle Larson. It was the fourth time in the season that the duo had scored 1-2 finishes. Elliott took the green flag for the final stage of the race from the 19th position and was up to third with 20 laps to go. At that time, he was 11 seconds behind leader Larson and made the pass for second on lap 82. He cut into Larson’s lead by more than eight seconds but ran out of time, ultimately taking the checkered flag in the runner-up spot. It was his third consecutive top-two finish at the track.

FEELING ‘22: Elliott has three top-10 finishes on road courses in 2022 out of four events. The 2020 Cup Series champion drove to a fourth-place result at Circuit of The Americas, scored an eighth-place result at Sonoma Raceway and was the runner-up finisher at Road America. He’s tied with Austin Cindric for the most points earned on serpentine tracks this season with 138.

GETTING IT DONE: Elliott has proven his road-racing prowess, leading all active drivers with seven wins on road courses. He’s also third on the overall list of drivers with road course victories, trailing only NASCAR Hall of Famers Jeff Gordon (nine) and Tony Stewart (eight). Elliott has victories across five different road courses, the most in series history. In 23 Cup Series starts on road courses, Elliott has an average finish of 7.83, which is not only the best among active drivers, but ranks third all-time among drivers (five or more starts) behind NASCAR legends Fireball Roberts (nine starts) and Buck Baker (10 starts). He is also tied with Kyle Busch for the most laps led on road courses among active drivers with 404.

GUSTAFSON THE GREAT: No. 9 crew chief Alan Gustafson will call his 16th Watkins Glen Cup Series race from atop the pit box. In 15 races at the venue, the Ormond Beach, Florida, native has two victories – both with Elliott – two top-five finishes and four top-10s with 178 laps led. Gustafson leads all active crew chiefs with seven road course victories. 

KBB IS BACK: This weekend at Watkins Glen, Kelley Blue Book will make its second and final appearance on the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the 2022 season. The Atlanta-based Cox Automotive Group company was the primary partner for Elliott and the No. 9 team earlier this year for the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway, finishing eighth. The long-standing Hendrick Motorsports partner has one win with the No. 9 team coming at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2020. Earlier this year, KBB unveiled a new look for its 2022 paint scheme. See all the angles of the No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet here.

 
 
 
 

24 WILLIAM BYRON

 

Age: 24 (Nov. 29, 1997)

 

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Crew Chief: Rudy Fugle

 

Standings: 10th

 
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No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

 

RACKING UP THE POINTS: So far in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, William Byron has secured 13 playoff points – tied for the third-most by a driver this season with Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano. In the last six races, the 24-year-old driver has collected 45 stage points – the fourth-most among the Cup Series field.

UP FRONT: Byron continues to hold the statistic of leading the second-most laps this season with 611, just behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott who has led 659. Those 611 laps led are not only Byron’s most in a single Cup Series season but have come across 12 races – tied with Ross Chastain for the seventh-most races led by a driver this year.

ROAD RESULTS: During his Cup Series career, Byron has been working to step up his road course racing skills. In the last 10 road course races to hold qualifying, Byron has won the pole for three of them (Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL 2019, Road America and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course 2021). He also has five top-10 finishes in the last 14 road course races. In the four road course races this year, Byron has finished 12th at the Circuit of The Americas, ninth at Sonoma Raceway, 16th at Road America and was poised for a top-five finish at the Indianapolis Road Course before a late-race incident left him with a 31st-place result.

WATKINS GLEN WIZ: Sunday’s race will mark Byron’s fourth Cup Series start at Watkins Glen International and his fifth NASCAR national series start overall at the road course. In the Cup Series, Byron has a track-best qualifying effort of second (2019) and a best finish of sixth (2021) at the 2.45-mile course. Prior to his Cup Series starts, Byron made his first start at the track in the 2015 ARCA Menards Series East race, starting second and finishing seventh. He then returned to the road course in 2017 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, qualifying 15th and crossing the line in 10th. In fact, in his five previous national starts at Watkins Glen, Byron has finished outside the top-10 running order only once, which occurred during the 2019 Cup Series race when he was collected in an on-track incident while running second.

HOMEWARD BOUND: While Rudy Fugle may have limited experience at Watkins Glen, the Livonia, New York, native is excited to be heading to his hometown track for Sunday’s race. This weekend will mark Fugle’s second Cup Series start at the 2.45-mile road course. In his first Cup Series start in front of his hometown crowd, the crew chief led Byron and the No. 24 team to a sixth-place finish. In total, Fugle has 11 Cup Series starts on road courses, three starts in the Xfinity Series and seven in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In those seven Truck Series starts, he has one win (Erik Jones, 2015), three top-five finishes, and five top-10s. One of those seven truck starts was also with Byron, where the duo raced to a 10th-place finish at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2016.

DOUBLE UP: Byron is pulling double duty at Watkins Glen this weekend. In addition to Sunday’s Cup Series race, he’ll drive the No. 17 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro for Hendrick Motorsports in the Xfinity Series race on Saturday afternoon. Byron’s primary partner in the Cup Series, Axalta, will also serve as an associate partner on his Xfinity Series car. The No. 17 has raced in two other Xfinity races this year, scoring runner-up finishes in both events with Kyle Larson at Road America and Alex Bowman at the Indianapolis Road Course. 

RAPTOR® TOUGH: The Charlotte, North Carolina, native will be back behind the wheel of the No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend. RAPTOR® is a durable protective coating and bed liner that is designed to tolerate the toughest climatic conditions and can be applied to a wide range of substrates from steel, wood, concrete and plaster to plastics and composites. Resistant to common fuels, U.V., scratches and stains, RAPTOR® is available at local paint distributors, auto parts stores and can also be purchased from online retailers like Amazon. 

 
 
 
 

48 Alex Bowman

 

Age: 29 (April 25, 1993)

 

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

 

Resides: Concord, North Carolina

 

Crew Chief: Greg Ives

 

Standings: 11th

 
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No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

 

TWO TO GO: With just two races left in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series regular season, Alex Bowman has tallied one win (Las Vegas Motor Speedway), three top-five finishes, 10 top-10s and six playoff points. 

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: For the fifth time in the 2022 Cup Series season, Bowman will be turning left and right as the top series races at Watkins Glen International. In his previous four road course starts this year, the Tucson, Arizona, native has a runner-up finish at Circuit of The Americas – tied for the best result by any Hendrick Motorsports driver on serpentine layouts this season. 

SECOND PLACE: In his career, the 29-year-old driver has two second-place finishes on road courses, which is the second-most among active drivers without a win. In addition to his runner-up showing at COTA this year, he also placed second at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL in 2019. Brad Keselowski leads the category with three second-place results without a win on road courses.

SLINGING DIRT: On Tuesday, Bowman strapped back into the No. 55 Ally sprint car for Alex Bowman Racing in the Kyle Larson High Limit Open at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Indiana. Bowman won his heat race to qualify for the feature race, where he placed sixth. 

NO. 48 PIT CREW: This weekend, the No. 48 pit crew will have four new members going over the wall. The five-man crew is made up of Austin Dickey (front-tire changer), Andrew Bridgeforth (rear-tire changer), Scott Riddle (tire carrier), Allen Holman (jackman) and Jacob Conley (fueler).

BEST FRIENDS UPDATE: Through 24 Cup Series races, Bowman and Ally - the primary sponsor of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 - have teamed up to donate $125,200 to Best Friends Animal Society and its network partners in the race markets that NASCAR’s premier series has visited. Each week of the season, Bowman and Ally join forces and donate $4,800 to Best Friends Animal Society. If Bowman wins, the donation increases to $10,000. 

 
 
 

HENDRICK

MOTORSPORTS /

Hendrick Motorsports
 
 

 

2022

 

 

All-Time

 

 

Watkins Glen

 

Races

 

24

 

 

1,297

 

 

35

 

Wins

 

8*

 

 

288*

 

 

9*

 

Poles

 

5

 

 

236*

 

 

7*

 

Top 5

 

25*

 

 

1,181*

 

 

22

 

Top 10

 

43*

 

 

2,026*

 

 

41

 

Laps Led

 

1,590*

 

 

76,532*

 

 

659*

 

Stage Wins

 

12*

 

 

73

 

 

3**

 

 

*Most **Most (tie)
 

REVVING TO A MILESTONE: The engine shop at Hendrick Motorsports sits five wins away from 500 victories. To date, the company’s engine program is responsible for 336 wins in the NASCAR Cup Series, 122 wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, 22 wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and 15 wins in the ARCA Menards Series and K&N Pro Series ranks. 

EDGE OF SEVENTEEN: For its three 2022 Xfinity Series races, Hendrick Motorsports will field the No. 17 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro - the same number Ricky Hendrick drove in the Camping World Truck Series. That number has won 39 times in Xfinity Series history and two of the four drivers to win in it – Darrell Waltrip and Terry Labonte – would go on to win in the Cup Series with the Rick Hendrick-owned organization. You can see renderings of the Xfinity Series paint scheme here.

GETTING GOING AT THE GLEN: The No. 17 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro will be making its final Xfinity Series start of the season with William Byron piloting the ride in Saturday’s race at Watkins Glen International. Kevin Meendering is serving as the team’s crew chief. The organization has 26 wins in the series with Tony Stewart recording the last win to date at Daytona International Speedway in 2009. Last month, Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman each finished second at Road America and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, respectively, in the team’s first Xfinity starts in 13 years.

LEADING THE WAY: With eight wins through 24 NASCAR Cup Series races in 2022, Hendrick Motorsports has earned the most victories so far this season. It is the only four-car team to see all of its drivers win a race this season. The 1,590 laps out front lead all teams in the series by 40 circuits. Teammates Chase Elliott and Byron rank 1-2 in laps led this year. 

STARTING STRONG: In six of the last nine road course events with qualifying, the Concord, North Carolina, based team has scored the pole position. During that span, which dates back to 2019, Byron has won three poles, Elliott has had two and Larson got one. In fact, two of the poles came this season with Elliott (at Road America) and Larson (at Sonoma Raceway).

RULERS OF THE ROAD: At 25 wins, Hendrick Motorsports has the most all-time triumphs on road courses in Cup Series history. The two closest teams in this statistic have combined for only 21 wins. Since their inaugural season in 1984, the organization has won 28 percent of road courses events (25 wins in 89 races).

COUNTING 'EM UP: Seven different drivers have accounted for the 25 road course wins in team history and those seven winners are the most for a Cup Series team on road courses. Jeff Gordon leads the way for the team with nine victories (which are also the most among all drivers) followed by Elliott with seven. Larson and Tim Richmond are tied for third on the list with three wins apiece. Jimmie Johnson, Geoff Bodine and Ricky Rudd each tallied one victory.

WATKINS GLEN WINNERS: Among those 25 serpentine layout wins, nine have come at Watkins Glen - most among all Cup Series teams. Gordon’s four wins are the most for the squad followed by two for Elliott. Richmond, Rudd and Larson each have one win at the track near New York’s Finger Lakes region. 

NEW YORK MINUTE: Larson’s win last year came in an event that saw Hendrick Motorsports finish first, second (Elliott) and sixth (Byron). The victory extended the organization’s winning streak at the 2.45-mile venue to three with Elliott’s victories in 2018 and 2019 - there was no 2020 race due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s the second time the team has won three in a row at this track, with Gordon scoring triumphs from 1997 to 1999.

SWEEP SENSATIONS: In the era of stage racing, there have been two times - both by Hendrick Motorsports - when one driver swept every road course stage and won the race. Elliott was the first to do so in his 2019 win at Watkins Glen. Larson also accomplished this with his victory in 2021 at Sonoma. 

 
 
 

QUOTABLE /

 

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the difference going from the NASCAR Xfinity Series car to NASCAR Cup Series car: "At Road America, the braking points were pretty similar, which was surprising. I thought the Cup car would brake much deeper. I hope it’s the same this weekend at Watkins Glen (International) because it would really, really help getting into a rhythm quickly for the entire weekend."

Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the benefit of Larson running in the Xfinity (Series) race at Watkins Glen International: "I think him getting the track time is great – not really because of his skill and abilities, but for him to understand the grip level. I know he is going to be fast in the Xfinity car and I know he is going to be fast in our car, but having the extra time to understand the grip level and other nuances of the track that’s different from a year ago. We do have recent test data to go off of and feedback from those tests – but nothing replaces actual track time and the condition of the track and how we approach it."
 



Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on racing at Watkins Glen: "Watkins Glen (International) was where I got my first win so it’s of course a place that holds some great memories for me. We’ve had a good amount of success there as a team and I feel like this year we’ve come a long way in our road course program with the new car. This is a track that I feel like we can really go and have a good run and get some momentum back heading into the playoffs."

Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen: "Certainly the last three years have been good for our team at Watkins Glen (International). We’ve been really competitive there and we feel like this is another opportunity for us to go out there and have a good race. Our focus will be winning and ultimately trying to get some more playoff points. That’s the key. This is a track we should be able to do that at. Hopefully that will come to fruition and put us in a good position for the playoffs."
 



William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on why he enjoys racing at Watkins Glen: "Honestly Watkins Glen (international) is one of the most fun race tracks we go to as a driver because it’s so fast. It’s not like a lot of the other road courses we go to that have much slower zones and such aggressive braking. Watkins Glen almost really feels like a superspeedway for road courses. I got to test there earlier this year in the Next Gen car and I think it’s just as fun of a road course in these cars compared to last year’s. I’m excited that I get extra track time this weekend there too with being able to run Xfinity on Saturday. It will make for a full day, but I think it will be beneficial to get those extra laps before Sunday’s race in similar race conditions. Plus, I want to be able to get Mr. Hendrick a win in the No. 17, especially since they’ve been so close this year already."

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the preparation by the No. 24 team for Watkins Glen: "I think our race last year at Watkins Glen (International) went well but I always think there’s room to improve. Since then, we have really worked on improving not only our road course racing notes but especially now with the Next Gen car and getting up to speed there. We’ll be utilizing the same tire Sunday that we have for most of the other road course races this year, so we have a good notebook built up on how they will react over a run. We also were able to test there earlier this year and had a lot of positive feedback while we were there. I think we’re more prepared for this race than we have been earlier this year on road courses. The main difference is how much faster this track is compared to the other road courses on the schedule. Downforce really plays a factor and so does handling, but I think that’s where our testing notes will really come into play."
 



Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his expectations heading to Watkins Glen: "We have had good runs on road courses this season, but each track has its challenges, so I look at them one at a time. Hendrick Motorsports has had a lot of speed on road courses, and I have run a few extra races. Whether it was in the No. 7 Spire truck or the No. 17 Chevy Camaro in Xfinity, I had the opportunity to get more time on road courses, which I think has helped me this season. I will prepare like I have every week and make sure I give Greg (Ives, crew chief) all the feedback he needs to get the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the right place and we will go compete on Sunday."

Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the strength of Hendrick Motorsports at road courses this season: "We have had speed every time we have raced at a road course this year and it goes to show how talented our team is back at the shop at building exceptional race cars. We had a No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 capable of winning at Circuit of The Americas and had a great car at Road America, so I know we will have another great car this weekend at Watkins Glen International. Alex (Bowman) continues to do his homework and our team is matching his effort as we get ready to head up to New York and try to get Hendrick Motorsports a win on a road course this year."

Hendrick Motorsports PR

A legendary driver who knows his way to Victory Lane at Watkins Glen International will say the most famous words in motorsports on Sunday afternoon, as the track today announced NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace as the grand marshal for the Go Bowling at The Glen NASCAR Cup Series race.

Wallace, inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2013, has twice won the Go Bowling at The Glen race, first in 1987 and then again in 1989 en route to winning the NASCAR Cup Series championship. He also posted 10 top-10 finishes in 20 starts at The Glen.

He was named the Cup Series rookie of the year in 1984. In all, Wallace won 55 NASCAR Cup Series races over 26 years.

“All the drivers in the field on Sunday have a common goal – to become one of the best in the sport, just like Rusty Wallace,” said Watkins Glen International president Michael Printup. “We are honored that Rusty, who has twice conquered The Glen, will be serving as our grand marshal. And we know how much it will mean to the fans to see this legendary driver introduced on stage Sunday afternoon.”

Wallace knows the impact winning at The Glen could have on a driver’s season, and to have the racing legend get things started on Sunday is appropriate given the influence the event could have on the NASCAR Playoffs.

Sunday’s race serves as the penultimate race in the NASCAR Cup Series regular season. With 15 drivers already posting wins this year, there could be a shake-up in the 16-driver Playoff field should a new driver win at Watkins Glen with two races to go before the postseason begins.

“I’m really looking forward to being the Grand Marshal for Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen,” said Wallace. “It’s such an iconic and historic racetrack.  The Glen is the place where I got my first road course win and won the IROC title, so it’s a really special track to me personally.  Watkins Glen always puts on an exciting race and I’m sure that this weekend will be no exception!”

Two-time Watkins Glen winner Chase Elliott currently leads the regular season championship battle over Ryan Blaney by 116 points. Elliott could clinch the regular season title this weekend at the Glen.

Watkins Glen hosts the NASCAR Go Bowling at The Glen race weekend August 17-21, with racing action beginning with the ARCA Menards Series race on Friday, August 19. The NASCAR Xfinity Series will compete on Saturday, August 20, in the SUNOCO Go Rewards 200 at The Glen, and the Go Bowling at The Glen NASCAR Cup Series race will cap off the weekend on Sunday, August 21.

Sunday’s race will help the NASCAR Cup Series set the field for the Playoffs, as only one race will remain in the regular season following the road course battle in New York. Kyle Larson, the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion, won last year’s Go Bowling at The Glen race.

To purchase NASCAR race tickets or for camping and additional information, call 1-866-461-RACE or visit TheGlen.com. Fans can view the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series schedules and purchase tickets at nascar.com/tickets.

WGI PR

In the NASCAR Cup Series world the spotlight is shining directly on Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. at the moment.

The two Cup Series veterans are at the front of a pack of drivers who are working hard to qualify for the NASCAR Round of 16 Playoffs, which begins at Darlington, S.C., on Labor Day weekend, and finishes two weeks later at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sept. 17. The Bass Pro Shops Night Race is once again a much-anticipated Playoff elimination race that will be held under the lights on the all-concrete high-banked half-mile where we will see the end of championship hopes for four of the 16 drivers.

Following racing last weekend at Richmond, Virginia, Blaney is holding down the 16th and final Playoff transfer spot. Truex sits just outside the cut off line at 17th. Neither Blaney nor Truex are currently included in the Playoff-era record 15 winners so far in the regular season, yet both are hoping to qualify for the Playoffs, either by winning one of the final two regular season races over the next two weeks, or advancing by virtue of points standings.

Both drivers have accumulated lots of stage wins and Playoff points and have been in contention during several races. However, this season, which saw the debut of the new Next Gen car and has featured five first-time winners, has been anything but routine. Both drivers are planning to give it everything they’ve got at Watkins Glen (Aug. 21) and Daytona (Aug. 28) to advance to the post-season.

Truex, the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion with 31 career Cup Series victories, says as a driver you just have to be prepared to put it all on the line.

""You just go out and fight, man,” said Truex, who has compiled an impressive season resume of three top-fives, 11 top-10s and seven stage wins. “You go give it all you got. There are no magic triggers. Just go trying to figure it out and work hard and race hard and see what we can come up with.
“It’d be disappointing with the season we’ve had to not make it.”

Said Blaney, who posted a seventh-place finish at Richmond and has had eight top-fives, 12 top-10s and 5 stage wins on the year: “You never know what could happen. You could have a bad day next week or the next two weeks, you could have a new winner one of those weeks. You just never know... Just one race down and proud of the effort we had and try to do the same thing next week.”

Interestingly, whether they qualify for the Playoffs or not, both drivers will head to the Bass Pro Shops Night Race with an intriguing subplot storyline. Both have an opportunity to join an exclusive club at the iconic bullring.

In BMS’ 62-year history, only five drivers have scored BMS victories in all three of NASCAR’s top-three touring series: The NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck series. The short list includes Kyle Busch, the winningest NASCAR driver in BMS history with 23 wins across all three series, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin and Brad Keselowski. Martin became the first member of the club when he won a Truck race at BMS in August of 2006.

Yes, its an exclusive fraternity that’s being referred to as the BMS Trifectas. If either Blaney or Truex wins the Bass Pro Shops Night Race, they would become a member of that impressive group.
Blaney scored a Camping World Truck Series victory at BMS in 2015 and claimed his Xfinity Series victory at Bristol at the Food City 300 in 2014. Blaney still holds the Cup Series track record at 132.075 mph set in April 2019.

Truex raced to an Xfinity Series win at BMS in the spring of 2004, then made history by winning the Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt in 2021.

Neither driver has had much luck at Bristol in their Cup Series pursuits. Blaney has a career best finish of 4th at Bristol, while Truex has a best Cup effort of 2nd in the 2011 Night Race. However, from 2012-2020 Truex has been snake-bit at Bristol, managing only one top 10 finish at the unique and demanding oval that’s been called the “Holy Grail of Short Tracks.”

Truex, who pilots the flagship Bass Pro Shops No. 19 machine for Joe Gibbs Racing, says his relationship with Bristol in the Cup Series has been complicated.

"I enjoy racing there and we’ve had some great cars, but for whatever reason, we have had no luck whatsoever on the Cup side," Truex has said. "Whether it’s flat tires, loose wheels, speeding penalties, getting caught up in crashes, you name it and it’s happened to us at Bristol. So, from that standpoint, it hasn’t been our best track, but we’re capable of running well there if we can just have a smooth night."

Truex says he’s ready for his luck to change at the fan-favorite venue in the Appalachian Highlands region of Northeast Tennessee.

“We all know the odds favor the track at Bristol, so that’s why we have to race smart and not make any unforced errors,” Truex has said. “We’re due for something good to happen at Bristol.”

In the 2020 Food City Supermarket Heroes 500 Blaney saw one of his best chances to win a Cup trophy at Bristol taken away in an instant. He was among the leaders when he crashed hard between turns one and two.

“I thought we were gonna be OK and then we got destroyed about six seconds later, so that’s just Bristol and a part of Bristol,” Blaney said at the time. “I probably shouldn’t have been pushing that hard, but trying to get back to the lead. I thought we found some speed up there, just a mistake on my part… It’s just one of them things at Bristol. Things happen fast and just couldn’t get slowed up enough.”

THE BMS TRIFECTAS CLUB (Active drivers only; bold shows year of entry into club; Kyle Larson and Joey Logano need a Truck win at BMS to enter the club but are not eligible to compete in the upcoming UNOH 200 Truck Series race)

Driver                         BMS Truck Win               BMS Xfinity Win              BMS Cup Win
Mark Martin                 Aug. 2006                      Aug. 1989                       Aug. 1993
Carl Edwards               Aug. 2004                      March 2007                    Aug. 2007
Kyle Busch                  Aug. 2008                      March 2006                    March 2007
Kevin Harvick              Aug. 2011                       Aug. 2000                      April 2005
Brad Keselowski         Aug. 2014                       Aug. 2008                      Aug. 2011
Ryan Blaney               Aug. 2015                        Aug. 2014                               
Martin Truex Jr.           April 2021                        March 2004
Joey Logano                                                        Aug. 2012                        Aug. 2014
Kyle Larson                                                         Aug. 2018                        Sept. 2021


The weekend begins with Zane Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes and defending winner Chandler Smith battling for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory Thursday night in the UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics (Sept. 15, 9 p.m., FS1, MRN Radio). The rising stars in the ARCA Menards Series also will take on the challenging half-mile bullring in the Bush’s Beans 200 as part of the Thursday night doubleheader (Sept. 15, 6:30 p.m., FS1, MRN Radio).  

On Friday, Sparks are sure to fly in the Food City 300, as NASCAR Xfinity Series favorites A.J. Allmendinger, Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, Ty Gibbs and Josh Berry will be trying to lock in their Playoff positions in the season’s final regular season race (Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m., USA Network, PRN Radio). The stars of the NASCAR Cup Series will take to the track on Saturday for the Bass Pro Shops Night Race (Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m., USA Network, PRN Radio), you’ll get to see all of your favorite drivers racing hard to advance in the first elimination race of the Playoffs.

To purchase tickets, please visit www.bristolmotorspeedway.com or call the BMS Ticket Sales Center at (866) 415-4158. Fans can also purchase tickets at any Food City location through Sept. 6.

BMS PR

No. 54 Cub Cadet Toyota GR Supra News and Notes

  • ALREADY PLAYOFF BOUND: By winning the Las Vegas, Atlanta, Richmond, Road America and Michigan NASCAR Xfinity Series races, Ty Gibbs has qualified for the Xfinity playoffs which will begin at Texas Motor Speedway on Sept. 24.
  • WATKINS GLEN: Gibbs started 15th, led 43 laps and won the Xfinity race in 2021 at Watkins Glen. He started on the pole and led 99 of 100 laps en route in victory in the ARCA Series in 2021. He finished third after starting first in the 2021 ARCA race.
  • ONE OF THIRTY-SEVEN: Gibbs made his first career NASCAR Cup Series start last month at Pocono Raceway for 23XI Racing. Gibbs is the 37th driver younger than 20-years old to make a Cup Series start. Gibbs started at the rear of the field, but completed all 160 laps and finished an impressive 16th. He has competed in four Cup races with a best finish of 10th at Michigan International Speedway.
  • NEW RECORD: Gibbs is the youngest driver ever to reach nine victories in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at age 19 years 10 months and two days old. The previous record was held by Joey Logano.
  • 2021: Gibbs completed in only 18 Xfinity races in 2021, but won four races and finished 13th in the Xfinity Series final driver point standings. That earned him the Xfinity Rookie of the Year award.
  • WHAT A DEBUT: In Gibbs’ Xfinity Series debut in February 2021 at the Daytona Road Course, he led 14 of the 56 laps en route to his first career Xfinity Series win. Gibbs became the youngest driver to win a Xfinity road course race at 18 years, 4 months, 16 days. The Charlotte, N.C., native also became the second-youngest winner in Xfinity Series history after Joey Logano who won in June 2008 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta when he was 18 years and 21 days old.
  • IN GOOD COMPANY: Gibbs is the sixth driver to win in his Xfinity Series debut, joining Dale Earnhardt, Joe Ruttman, Ricky Rudd, Terry Labonte and Kurt Busch. Those five drivers had already driven in the NASCAR Cup Series before racing in the Xfinity Series.
  • ARCA CHAMPIONS: Gibbs became the 2021 ARCA Menard Series Champions on the strength of 10 wins, plus one win each in ARCA West and ARCA East.
  • ATOP THE PIT BOX: Veteran crew chief Gayle will oversee the No. 54 team’s efforts in the 2022 season. Gale, who is from Little Rock, Arkansas, has led his drivers to two NASCAR Cup Series victories and 35 Xfinity Series wins. The list of drivers Gayle has visited victory lane with includes Gibbs, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Sam Hornish Jr., Erik Jones, Elliott Sadler, Christopher Bell and John Hunter Nemechek.
  • JGR AT WATKINS GLEN: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has 46 total starts at Watkins Glen in Xfinity competition with two wins, 17 top-five and 25 one top-10 finishes and the team has led 226 laps.
  • RACE INFO: The NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Watkins Glen is scheduled for 3 pm EDT on Saturday, August 13 and will be broadcast on USA, SiriusXM Channel 90 and the MRN.

Ty Gibbs, Driver of the No. 54 Cub Cadet Toyota GR Supra

“It was great to win at Michigan and that helps us in playoffs picture too. Great to have Cub Cadet on board on our No. 54 Toyota GR Supra. It’d be nice to win back to back at Watkins Glen and I know Chris Gayle and the 54 boys will bring me a solid car.”

Chris Gayle, Crew Chief of the No. 54 Cub Cadet Toyota GR Supra

“We had a good week at Michigan. It was great to get a win and Ty did a great job throughout the race. It was good for the boys and we’d love to do it again at Watkins Glen. Great to have Cub Cadet on board and we’ll bring a strong No. 54 Toyota GR Supra.”

JGR PR

The penultimate race of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series regular season will be held this Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on USA Network at Watkins Glen International, while the NTT INDYCAR SERIES visits World Wide Technology Raceway this Saturday at 6 p.m. ET on USA Network and Peacock featuring a tightly-contested points standings with only three races remaining. The NASCAR Xfinity Series will also race at Watkins Glen this Saturday on USA Network, which is presenting all three major races this weekend. NBC Sports digital platforms will live stream all television coverage.

Date Race Coverage Platform Time (ET)
Sat., Aug. 20 NASCAR Xfinity Series at The Glen 200 USA Network 3 p.m.
  Bommarito Automotive Group 500 USA Network, Peacock 6 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 21 NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at The Glen USA Network 3 p.m.

Kevin Harvick has won two straight Cup Series races following his victory at Richmond Raceway last weekend. Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., and Bubba Wallace lead the list of drivers still looking for a win to try and secure a spot in the playoffs. Blaney currently leads Truex Jr. by 26 points in the final playoff position. 2007 Formula One World champion Kimi Raikkonen will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut on Sunday.

NBC Sports’ signature fan-favorite “Radio Style” broadcast returns this weekend at Watkins Glen, with announcers positioned from vantage points around the track at the following positions:

  • Main Broadcast Booth: Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte and lead NASCAR race announcer Rick Allen
  • “The Esses”: Veteran MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio announcer Mike Bagley
  • “Inner Loop” and “The Carousel”: Two-time Daytona 500 Champion and NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • Turn 6: 21-time Cup Series race winner and “The Mayor” of NASCAR Jeff Burton

Last weekend’s Cup Series race from Richmond Raceway averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 2.432 million viewers on USA Network, up 34% from last year’s Richmond race on NBCSN and up 11% vs. the 2021 NBCSN Cup Series average. Richmond marked NBC Sports’ sixth consecutive Cup Series race and fifth consecutive USA Network Cup Series race with year-over-year viewership gains.

With only three races remaining in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, Big Machine Music City Grand Prix winner Scott Dixon trails standings leader Will Power by six points, and only 33 points separate Power from fifth-place points sitter and 2021 season champion Alex Palou. Dixon, who ranks second all-time with 53 series wins, is aiming to capture a record-tying seventh INDYCAR championship with A.J. Foyt following his victory in Nashville on Aug. 7.

TOP FIVE DRIVERS IN 2022 INDYCAR SERIES STANDINGS

Driver Points
Will Power 450
Scott Dixon 444
Marcus Ericsson 438
Josef Newgarden 428
Alex Palou 417

NBC Sports’ motorsports coverage this weekend also includes MotoGP and Monster Jam.

NASCAR: CUP SERIES GO BOWLING AT THE GLEN & XFINITY SERIES AT THE GLEN 200

Watkins Glen International in New York hosts the penultimate race of the NASCAR Cup Series regular season this Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on USA Network. An hour-long edition of Countdown to Green begins pre-race coverage at 2 p.m. ET on USA Network with NASCAR America post-race immediately following the checkered flag at 5:30 p.m. ET.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season continues with the Glen 200 Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, with pre-race coverage getting underway at 2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network. Complete programming details can be found below.

Marty Snider, Parker Kligerman and Dave Burns will serve as pit reporters in their customary race day roles throughout the weekend.

NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett and auto racing icon Kyle Petty will anchor pre- and post-race studio coverage with Snider from the Peacock Pit Box on Saturday and Sunday. Petty earned a victory at “The Glen” in 1992.

Sunday’s pre-race coverage will feature a piece on Michael McDowell’s crew team member Brett Sanchelli.

The official home of the NASCAR Championship and Playoffs, NBC Sports will once again present the final 20 NASCAR Cup Series races and 19 NASCAR Xfinity Series races in 2022 across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, culminating with the Championship at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 5-6. Click here for more information on NBC Sports’ 2022 NASCAR coverage.

NASCAR Pick ‘Em: NBC Sports’ free-to-play game, NASCAR Pick ‘Em, features a weekly contest for each NASCAR Cup Series race throughout the season. NASCAR Pick ‘Em is available for download now on the NBC Sports Predictor app powered by PointsBet (available in the App Store and Google Play Store).

Austin Dillon's Life in the Fast Lane airs each Thursday at 9:30 p.m. ET on USA Network. The half-hour unscripted series will follow the over-the-top NASCAR lifestyle of Daytona 500 Champion Austin Dillon, along with wife Whitney, adorable son Ace, and best friends Paul and Mariel Swan. Featuring high-stakes races, hilarious adventures and heartwarming moments at home, Austin leans on his loved ones both on and off the track as he trains and competes in the NASCAR season.

HOW TO WATCH

  • TV – USA Network
  • Streaming – NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app
Date Coverage Platform Time (ET)
Sat., Aug. 20 NASCAR Xfinity Series Practice & Qualifying NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app 10 a.m.
  NASCAR Cup Series Practice NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app Noon
  NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying USA Network 12:30 p.m.
  Countdown to Green – NASCAR Xfinity Series USA Network 2:30 p.m.
  NASCAR Xfinity Series at The Glen 200 USA Network 3 p.m.
  NASCAR America Post-Race – NASCAR Xfinity Series USA Network 5:30 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 21 Countdown to Green – NASCAR Cup Series USA Network 2 p.m.
  NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at The Glen USA Network 3 p.m.
  NASCAR America Post-Race – NASCAR Cup Series USA Network 5:30 p.m.

INDYCAR: BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Ill., is presented this Saturday at 6 p.m. ET on USA Network and Peacock. Race coverage will immediately follow NASCAR America Xfinity Series post-race coverage on USA Network.

Live coverage of qualifying, practice, and the Indy Lights race from the oval circuit on Friday and Saturday will stream exclusively on Peacock. For more information about INDYCAR on Peacock and how to sign up, click here.

Leigh Diffey (play-by-play), Townsend Bell (analyst), and James Hinchcliffe (analyst) will call the race. Kevin Lee and Dillon Welch will provide reports from pit road.

Josef Newgarden, currently fourth in the points standings, took home the checkered flag at World Wide Technology Raceway in 2021.

NBC Sports’ free-to-play game, INDYCAR Pick ‘Em, features a weekly contest for each race throughout the season with a $25,000 jackpot. INDYCAR Pick ‘Em is available for download now on the NBC Sports Predictor app powered by PointsBet (available in the App Store and Google Play Store).

BROADCAST TEAM

  • Play by Play: Leigh Diffey
  • Analysts: Townsend Bell, James Hinchcliffe
  • Pit Reporters: Kevin Lee, Dillon Welch

HOW TO WATCH

  • TV – USA Network
  • Streaming – Peacock, NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app
Date Coverage Platform Time (ET)
Fri., Aug. 19 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 – Practice Peacock 1 p.m.
  Bommarito Automotive Group 500 – Qualifying Peacock 4:15 p.m.
  Bommarito Automotive Group 500 – Practice 2 Peacock 7 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 20 Indy Lights Peacock 4:15 p.m.
  Bommarito Automotive Group 500 USA Network, Peacock, NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app 6 p.m.

MOTOGP: AUSTRIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX

The 2022 MotoGP season continues this weekend with the Austrian Motorcycle Grand Prix from Red Bull Ring in Spielberg on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET on CNBC. Fabio Quartararo (180 pts) currently leads the premier class points standings ahead of Aleix Espargaro (158 pts), while Francesco Bagnaia (131 pts) has jumped back into championship contention following back-to-back wins. The Spielberg track has also added two additional turns that will be used in a race for the first time this weekend.

Live and on-demand coverage of all races will be available to stream on MotoGP VideoPass, in addition to every session of MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3. For more details, click here or visit MotoGP.TV.

MONSTER JAM

NBC Sports continues its presentation of the 2022 Monster Jam season this Saturday from Salt Lake City, Utah, at noon ET on CNBC. The complete schedule can be found here.

THE DALE JR. DOWNLOAD

Former NASCAR crew chief Michael “Fatback” McSwain joins this week’s The Dale Jr. Download episode streaming this Thursday at 6 p.m. ET on Peacock. Weekly and on-demand episodes of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s podcast will stream exclusively on the platform, taking viewers table-side for unparalleled perspective, candid commentary, and insight from Dale Jr.

NBC Sports PR

GREG ZIPADELLI, Chief Competition Officer, Stewart-Haas Racing – WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF THREE STRAIGHT WINS THIS WEEKEND AT WATKINS GLEN?  “We go every week to win with all four of our teams performing to the highest level.  That’s always the goal.  The 4 car has done a really good job in the last, honestly you’ve got to go back to Nashville, Sonoma, Pocono, I think it gets overlooked at how good they ran at some of those racetracks.  They didn’t have an opportunity to win or lead a bunch of laps, but they had speed and it kind of started then.  The last two weeks they’ve done a great job of executing.  Things have gone their way.  The cars have unloaded with a little bit more raw speed and it’s allowed them to have an opportunity to win and they’ve been able to capitalize on that.”

 

WITH THE TWO WINS DO YOU FEEL YOU’VE MADE SOME GAINS OR SOME WOULD ARGUE THAT YOU WEREN’T THE FASTEST CAR THE LAST TWO WEEKS.  DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE MAYBE A BIT BEHIND?  “I think we’ve made gains, but I don’t think by any means that you can sit and say that you can stop working.  I’d say that Kevin had a really good car last week.  He drove around a car for the lead and never looked back, so you can say what you want, you know what I mean?  There’s always room for improvement.  I think what I look at last week was all four cars were fast.  Honestly, if things went well and Cole didn’t have his issue and Chase didn’t have his fire, I feel like we had the potential to have four cars in the top 10 or top 12 pretty easily.  So, to me, that’s something that as a group we’ve struggled with.  We’ve unloaded here every week and had at least one if not two cars qualify in the top 10, top 12 and run there, but we haven’t been able to have all four cars and have that kind of speed and execution.  From that perspective, I think it shows that all of the work we’ve been doing is going in the right direction, but, like I said, it’s the time of year where everyone is working just as hard as you are, so you’ve got to continue to push and build as much speed in these cars as you can on a weekly basis.”

 

IS THE 10 CAR SITUATION UNSETTLING OR TYPICAL OF WHERE WE ARE IN AUGUST?  “To me it’s not a big deal.  We’ve waited a lot longer to make some of those decisions to try to build around, so I think we’ll be fine there.  We’ve got a couple of good options and just kind of waiting to see how everything plays out.”

 

DO YOU KNOW WHAT CAUSED THE FIRE IN CHASE’S CAR?  WAS IT THE SAME THING AS WHAT HAPPENED TO LOGANO AND BUESCHER TWO WEEKS AGO?  “It doesn’t appear to be exactly why that insulation in the rocker box caught fire.  We’re looking into it.  There wasn’t damage to it, so that’s kind of the surprising thing.  I don’t know if rubber got up in there and started the fire and burned.  It’s so hard to tell because so much of it had burned for a while, so pretty disappointing.  Chase and Johnny and that whole group had done a really good job of adjusting on their car and keeping him in the game all day and that’s what they needed.  To come up short again was a little disappointing.”

 

WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE FOR KEVIN AND RODNEY OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS?  “I think they’ve done a good job of not letting it tear them up and making a bigger deal out of it.  They’ve just gone every week and raced as hard as they could and tried to put themselves in position.  I’ve been in some of those situations before where it’s like you feel like you’re doing everything you have been doing and you’re working just as hard and you’re just not getting the results.  You’re not having the speed.  As a whole, I would say us as a group – the Fords as a group – have been off a little bit this year.  We’re working hard along with all the other Ford teams and hoping to peak at the right time.”

 

WHAT ARE THE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS FOR THE 4 TEAM IN THE PLAYOFFS.  THE FIRST FOUR TRACKS ARE PRETTY STRONG FOR THEM.  “I think if we continue to progress and keep working on our cars and pit crew keeps doing what they’ve been doing and Rodney keeps his group focused and executing like they have the last six weeks or so, I think they’re gonna have a shot to move much further into the playoffs.  Like you said, a couple of the first races are good tracks for Kevin.  He ran pretty solid at Kansas with a lot of speed in the spring and pit stops and pit road, so there were some issues there that took them out of a really good finish, but it’s always been a really good place for him – there and Bristol.  I would expect nothing less than strong runs there.”

 

WHAT DO YOUR DUTIES AS CHIEF COMPETITION OFFICER AT SHR ENTAIL?  “It’s basically over all of our departments from manufacturing to building the cars to our pit crews to traveling to and from the racetrack.  It’s just a lot of logistics and budgets and a lot to do with people and contracts and things of that nature.  It’s not as much hands-on as I used to like from working on the cars.  Gosh, some days it’s even hard to get down on the floor to see the guys with all the stuff we have going on.  That’s pretty much the gist of it is just really overseeing and to help support these guys in any way that is needed.”

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE NEXT GEN CAR?  “I think being an old-schooled racer, and a lot of us here in this building came into the year thinking, ‘Oh, man.  This is not what we’re used to.  It’s not what we want.’  I think maybe that might have even been some of why we started out slow.  There are a lot of good old racers here and maybe sometimes we’re creatures of habit too much, but, in all honesty, I think this car has performed at most racetracks above expectation.  There has been some little issues, like we were talking about the fire and toe links breaking and things like that, but, in all honesty, when you look at the scope of this car and what they did in two years, all the parts and pieced that had to get manufactured, I don’t know that anybody could have done it any better.  I really feel like it’s gone off really really well.”

 

WHAT KIND OF LETTER GRADE WOULD YOU GIVE IT SO FAR?  “Just because I’m old-school and not many A’s ever come out of anywhere because you can always do better, but, in all honesty, I’d say it’s a strong B, B-plus.  A lot of the problems that we have had with this car that are probably our frustrations aren’t because of what the group at NASCAR did as far as launching this car.  It was parts and pieces were hard to get and that’s everywhere in the industry.  You can’t buy appliances.  You know what I mean?  Everybody is out of everything, so we just hit trying to produce this car at probably the worst time in my life as far as working and getting over COVID and people working from home – just all those things that are so different from what we’re used to in this industry.  Because of that, it has put a lot of frustration on teams because we haven’t had parts and we were taking them off and bringing them home, but that’s just part of the era we’re living in right now.  They haven’t had a lot of parts changes from that perspective, so I think they’ve done a really good job.”

 

WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON THE SEASON TO DATE?  “I think we started the year off.  We thought we went to Daytona and raced and we went to Phoenix and Vegas and California and we thought we had decent cars and speed, and then it seemed like we got off a little bit.  I think through the early part of the summer it was a dry spell.  We won one early and were like, ‘Oh, man.  We’ve got this.  We’re good.  We’ve got this figured out,’ and now we’re back to everybody running better, so it’s been a bit of a disappointing year.  It’s not those years you go, ‘Oh, my God.  You’ve won three races.  That’s a solid year in today’s sport as competitive as it is.’  But we haven’t run good week in and week out like we expect ourselves to do and what’s expected of us from our fans and all of our partners and sponsors.  We definitely had work to do and I feel like everybody has dug deep and worked well together here in the last two months or so and feel like we’ve moved the needle on making our cars better.”

 

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES IN 2023?  “We’re right in the middle of those negotiations right now.  Probably, more than likely, we’re gonna have an Xfinity team, but we don’t have that all locked up yet.  I think in the next 10-14 days we should have things ironed out and be able to let the world know what we’re doing.”

 

HOW HAS THE COMPETITION FOR PIT CREW MEMBERS EVOLVED OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS?  “I think you’ve got to go back a couple of years.  I wouldn’t say it’s gone crazy, but to have that right group of guys that can work together and execute a stop at the speed that these are today, it’s crazy how these guys are getting it done and how fast and how strong and athletic they need to be.  I think that’s a lot of what’s changed is where you’re finding these guys and bringing them in and how you’re training them.  It’s definitely still growing, also.  That’s the crazy thing is I don’t think it’s plateaued yet.”

 

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT – STILL GROWING?  IS IT IN TERMS OF WHAT YOU’RE DOING OR JUST THE CRAZINESS IN TRYING TO GET PEOPLE AND SIGN THE BEST PEOPLE BECAUSE THERE IS SO MUCH BALANCE IN THIS SPORT?  “Not to be vague, but all of the above, honestly.  Everybody is looking for the next football or baseball player that didn’t make it to the majors that is right there on that edge that’s just one of those freak athletes that is super strong and very dedicated.  It’s turned into way more than from when I was changing tires in 14-second stops.  It’s crazy.  We’ve seen some 8-second stops in practice, so they’re not far around the corner.  I think just from finding athletes and from different sports that you can bring into NASCAR and train them and teach them to change tires, carry the jack, whatever it might be – gas – it’s been a little hectic, but it’s been fun to try to have to look outside places.  All of the other teams are doing it.  You’re competing in a lot of different areas to bring the future in.  That’s why we’ve got so many development guys and development teams that go to the racetrack on the weekends.  It’s just trying to run through a lot of people and see who is out there and who is stepping up to the plate.”

 

IN TERMS OF DRIVERS WITH WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT HAS THAT EVOLVED AND CHANGED WITH LESS TRACK TIME AND MORE ENGINEERING ON THE SIM?  ARE YOU LOOKING AT THINGS DIFFERENTLY?  “I think the sport has definitely changed from that perspective.  You need guys willing to work and study and put their time in the simulator and watch previous races, look at pit road, study the restarts and all of those aspects of on and off pit road because all of that stuff matters and when you don’t have but 15 minutes to do that, you’ve got to show up and have a pretty good idea of what you need and the feel that you’re looking for and you’ve got to be able to go out and execute that.  So, I think from the team’s perspective a lot of it is done obviously before you show up at the racetrack and for drivers I think it’s very similar.”

 

LOOKING AT THE CAR AND HOW BULLET PROOF IT HAS APPEARED IS THERE ANYTHING THAT HAS SURPRISED YOU?  “No, overall I think the car has held up really well.  There are no good wrecks, but we’ve had damage where you couldn’t continue on in a race and you got it home and it was literally some bolt on components.  And then there were other times where the car didn’t even look like it was damaged, but we couldn’t finish because a control arm broke because it hit the wheel at just the right direction at the right force.  But, overall, I think from the bodies, the chassis, the transaxle, all of those little things that we thought might be issues, for the most part, none of them are issues at all.”

 

WILL COLE CUSTER CONTINUED WITH SHR IN 2023?  “Right now, I believe that’s what our plan is right now.  We’re just looking and trying to sort out the 10 car at this particular time.”

 

IS THERE ANY CHANCE FOR TWO TEAMS IN THE XFINITY SERIES IN 2023?  “If we had the right deal, we would be excited about doing it, but I don’t know that we’re in that position or have all the key ingredients to do that – basically funding any younger driver that we believe in could be in one of our Cup cars in the future right now.  I would not say never, but that’s not very likely.”

Ford Performance PR

During an event held at Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina headquarters in Charlotte, McCall Gaulding, the winning driver of the 2022 Better Half iRacing Dash, presented the organization the entire $10,000 purse she won from this year’s annual Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) fundraising race.

Joining McCall was her crew chief, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Zane Smith. They presented the check to Kathy Helms, CFO of Second Harvest Food Bank. Also in attendance was MRO Board of Directors member and Commissioner of the Better Half iRacing Dash, Kristin Labonte.

The amount of $10,000 will provide 70,000 pounds of food to those in need. Kathy Helms, CFO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina (left) is presented with a $10,000 donation from 2022 Better Half iRacing Dash winner McCall Gaulding (second from left), NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Zane Smith (second from right), and MRO Board of Directors member/Better Half iRacing Dash Commissioner Kristin Labonte (right).

“Thank you to Zane and McCall for making this generous donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina,” said Kay Carter, CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. “Special congratulations to McCall who defended her first-place win in the Better Half iRacing Dash Championship and is donating her $10,000 prize winnings.

It is through community partners like Motor Racing Outreach that we are able to reach more individuals and companies who are interested in helping us feed our neighbors in need.”

This year’s win of the Better Half iRacing Dash, an event held and broadcast on FS1 in late May, marks Gaulding’s second victory in as many years.

“It was very educational and emotional visiting Second Harvest and learning about their regional hunger relief operations as part of the Feeding America network of food banks,” said Gaulding, whose race car sponsor, KOIA, is a nutritious, plant-based beverage maker. “Opportunities like this to feed hungry people and pets is why I love participating in the MRO Better Half iRacing Dash each year.

I had a lot of competition from the other NASCAR Better Half drivers this year. It’s a fun event for great causes. I don’t know if I can win again next year for a third time, but I’m willing to try.”

As the commissioner of the event, Labonte and her team were very instrumental in putting together and promoting the event, which aired on FS1-TV during the popular “NASCAR Race Hub” daily show.

"As a board member, I am honored to represent Motor Racing Outreach today,” Labonte said. “MRO's work has an incredible breadth and such a heartfelt intentional impact on the NASCAR community and the Charlotte area where so many of us call home. As the ‘Commissioner’ of the Better Half iRacing Dash, I am really proud of McCall and all the drivers who participated. The effort each driver-crew chief team put into the competition and race preparation, plus the tremendous commitment to fundraising was second to none. These women should be inspiring for all of us - look at what we can accomplish when we come together to do good. Congratulations to McCall and her charity Second Harvest, job well done."

To learn more about Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, check out their website www.SecondHarvestMetrolina.com and for more information about MRO, log on to www.Go2MRO.com.

MRO PR

ARCA Menards Series

Driver: Daniel Dye
Hometown: Deland, Florida
Birthday: December 4, 2003
Series: ARCA Menards Series
Vehicle:
#43 GMS Racing Chevrolet SS
Crew Chief: Chad Bryant
Owner: Maury Gallagher
Primary Sponsors: Champion Container, Race to Stop Suicide, Solar-Fit

 

WATKINS GLEN Race Notes:

Track: Watkins Glen International
Location:
Watkins Glen, New York
Date:
Friday, August 19
Race: 6:00 PM ET
Length: 41 Laps - 100.45 Miles
Coverage: FS1, FOX Sports App, MRN Radio, SiriusXM (XM channel 391, online channel 981), ARCARacing.com

- Daniel Dye will make his first career start at the 2.45-mile, seven-turn Watkins Glen International located in the Finger Lakes region of central New York.

- Dye's white No. 43 GMS Racing Chevrolet will once again feature Edison, New Jersey based Champion Container on the hood and quarter panels.

- Daniel's only previous road course experience came this season at Portland (OR) International Speedway (Won the Pole, and finished 4th) and most recently at Mid Ohio (OH) Sports Car Course (finished 8th).

- The Deland, Florida competitor, is currently third in ARCA Menards Series national points, two points out of second and nine from the series lead.

- DD will have BecomeADeputy.com featured as the onboard camera sponsor for Friday’s race live on FS1 and the FOX Sports App. (6:00 p.m. ET)

- Friday’s 41-lap race can be seen on FS1 and the FOX Sports App at 6:00 p.m. ET. Coverage will also be provided by the Motor Racing Network, on SiriusXM Satelite Radio, and through ARCAracing.com.

- Behind-the-scenes updates and content will be posted to Daniel's Twitter account (@danieldye43) on race day.

 

SPRINGFIELD Race Notes:

Track: Springfield Mile at Illinois State Fairgrounds
Location:
Springfield, Illinois
Date:
Sunday, August 21
Race: 2:00 PM ET
Length: 100 Laps - 100 Miles
Coverage: MAVTV, FloRacing, ARCARacing.com

- Daniel Dye will make his first career start at the flat 1-mile dirt oval, Springfield Mile at Illinois State Fairgrounds on Sunday afternoon.

- Dye's black No. 43 GMS Racing Chevrolet will feature 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline on the hood, with additional support from Solar-Fit, Sparco, Arai Helmet, and Race to Stop Suicide.

- Sunday's Atlas 100 event will be Daniel's first career start at a dirt track in any kind of racecar.

- DD will have Race to Stop Suicide featured as the onboard camera sponsor for Sunday's race on MAVTV. (2:00 p.m. ET)

- The 100-lap race can be seen on MAVTV and FloRacing at 2:00 p.m. ET. In addition, live scoring can be seen through ARCAracing.com.

- Behind-the-scenes updates and content will be posted to Daniel's Twitter account (@danieldye43) on race day.

 

DD Weekend Quote:

“I'm looking forward to this weekend and the opportunity to race at two completely different style racetracks. I learned a lot at Mid Ohio and am ready to use those notes for Friday at The Glen and see how all that goes. And Springfield is something I have absolutely zero experience with, being a flat one-mile dirt track, so hopefully we can get out of there with a solid finish and learn for DuQuoin.”

 

Daniel Dye PR

Go Bowling at the Glen

Watkins Glen International

NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)

Sunday, August 21 at 3 p.m. ET on USA

 

  • In the 2022 NCS season, Kaulig Racing has earned one top five, six top-10 finishes and has led 25 laps
 

AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Action Industries Camaro ZL1

 

  • AJ Allmendinger earned his first-ever NCS win at Watkins Glen International
  • He has recorded three top five finishes, has an average finish of 9.9 and has led 58 laps at Watkins Glen in the NCS
  • In 2022, Allmendinger has earned three top-10 finishes and has led five laps

 

Watkins Glen will always be a special place for me. The crowd is always amazing and the memories from my first Cup win will last forever. Ever since they repaved the track, it’s been a challenge for me, but with the NextGen car in the Cup Series, it may be completely different. Hopefully we will have two really great finishes for the weekend."

 

- AJ Allmendinger on Watkins Glen International

 

Justin Haley, No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Camaro ZL1

 

  • Justin Haley has made one start at Watkins Glen in the NCS
  • He has earned one top five, two top 10 and and nine top-15 finishes in 2022
  • Haley’s third-place finish at Darlington was Kaulig Racing’ first top-five not at a superspeedway or road course
  • Haley has led 20 laps in the 2022 season

 

“We had a good week at Richmond and have something to really build on that we can use this weekend at Watkins Glen. The road courses have been pretty decent tracks for us so far this season, so hopefully we will be able to contend."

 

- Justin Haley on Watkins Glen International

Sunoco Go Rewards 200 at The Glen

Watkins Glen International

NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS)

Saturday, August 20 at 3 p.m. ET on USA

  • Kaulig Racing has earned three wins, 14 top five and 36 top-10 finishes in the 2022 NXS season
  • The team has led 341 laps in the 2022 NXS season so far
  • Allmendinger: 271 laps            
  • Hemric: 53 laps
  • Cassill: 17 Laps
 

Landon Cassill, No. 10 Carnomaly Chevrolet

  • Cassill has made five starts at Watkins Glen in the NXS
  • Landon Cassill has earned three top five and eight top-10 finishes in the 2022 NXS season and has an average finish of 15.7
  • He has led 17 laps in the 2022 NXS season

 

"Coming off a top 10 finish in Michigan, I’m excited to get to Watkins Glen this weekend. We have been gaining speed the last few weeks and I am excited to build on that and keep that momentum going. We’ve also had a ton of speed at the road courses this year, so I know Kaulig Racing will bring some fast Chevrolets this week.” 

 

 

- Landon Cassill on Watkins Glen International

 

Daniel Hemric, No. 11 AG1 Chevrolet

  • Daniel Hemric has made three starts and led 11 laps at Watkins Glen
  • Daniel Hemric has earned two top fives and eight top-10 finishes in the 2022 NXS season
  • Daniel Hemric has an average finish of 16.3 in 2022 and has led 53 laps in 2022

 

"Watkins Glen is more of a speedway-style road course since it was repaved. I feel like each time I go back there, the track is getting a little bit more of its character back and losing a little bit of grip throughout the runs. That makes it a ton of fun and also challenging. As a team, we need to minimize our mistakes and execute at a high level to give ourselves the best opportunity at the end."

 

- Daniel Hemric on Watkins Glen International

 

 

AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Nutrien Ag Solutions Chevrolet

 

  • He has earned a win for Kaulig Racing in four-straight NXS seasons
  • In 2022, Allmendinger has led 271 laps, recorded two wins, nine top five and 18 top-10 finishes
  • Allmendinger has an average finish of 7.0 in the 2022 NXS season

Kaulig Racing PR

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