Speedway Digest Staff
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Making his return to Martinsville Speedway and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Saturday, Nelson Piquet Jr. looked to gain more seat time in the Kroger 250 before heading back to the NASCAR Nationwide Series next Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Piquet Jr. and his No. 30 Wolf Pack Energy Services Chevy team started the weekend strong by qualifying in the top 15 at the 0.526 mile short track. Despite having to start from the rear due to adjustments following impound, Piquet Jr. was able to drive his Wolf Pack Energy Services Silverado to a 19th-place finish.
During the nearly two hour practice session on Friday morning, crew chief Chris Carrier and the No.30 Turner Scott Motorsports team worked to help the Wolf Pack Energy Services Silverado find more traction coming off the corners. Their hard work paid off as Piquet Jr. and his team qualified 13th. Following qualifying on Friday, Piquet Jr. reported to his crew that he might have a brake issue. The team took no chances and decided to fix the problem after qualifying which caused the No. 30 Chevy Silverado to start the 250-lap race in the rear of the field.
Shortly after the green flag dropped at the half-mile paper clip, Piquet Jr. quickly worked his way through traffic and found himself in the top 15 after only 55 short laps. Piquet Jr. was happy with his truck and radioed to his crew that they "were in good shape." During the first caution of the day, on lap 57, crew chief Chris Carrier called Piquet Jr. down pit road to change four tires and add fuel to the No. 30 Wolf Pack Energy Services Silverado. After a quick pit stop by the crew, Piquet Jr. left pit road in the 12th position. A few laps after the restart, the second caution of the day came out on lap 70. Piquet Jr. relayed to his crew that another competitor ran into him from behind, but Carrier radioed to his driver that there was no serious damage to his truck and decided to keep the No. 30 Chevy Silverado out on the track. Working under green-flag conditions after the second caution, Piquet Jr. and team found themselves in the sixth position at the halfway mark of the race.
Piquet Jr. worked his way to into the fourth position on lap 145 when the seventh caution of the day came out.. The No.30 Wolf Pack Energy Services team decided to stay out to gain track position and restarted in the second position. It didn't take long for this strategy to pay off as Piquet Jr. grabbed the lead on lap 152. After battling back and forth for the lead during the long green-flag run, the final pit stop came on Lap 196, after a spin in turn four brought out the final caution of the day. Piquet Jr. brought his Chevy Silverado down to the attention of the crew to add four tires and fuel. After the pit stop was made, Piquet Jr. lost two laps and fell back to the 23rd position when his No. 30 would not restart. During the remaining portion of the race, Piquet Jr. would turn top-10 lap speeds en route to a 19th-place finish.
"I would like to thank everyone at Turner Scott Motorsports for giving me a chance to return back to the Camping World Truck Series," Piquet Jr. said. "My guys gave me a great truck and we were really dialed in for most of the race. Unfortunately, we had some bad luck towards the end of the race and our finish wasn't what these guys deserved. I would love to return to the Truck Series again soon."
After starting the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Kroger 250 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway from the 15th position, Joey Coulter was running solidly inside the top 10 before a pit road infraction just 60 laps into the 250-lap event forced the No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toyota Tundra to lose valuable track position and ultimately go a lap down to the race leader. However, a solid pit strategy and a never give-up attitude allowed the Florida native to rally from as far back as 29th to finish 15th in his fifth start at the .526-mile "Paperclip."
"I wasn't thrilled with my qualifying effort, but I thought we were going to be in pretty good shape for the race," Coulter said. "The incident on pit road, which was my fault, put us behind early and caused us to play catch-up. Harold (Holly) did a great job keeping up with the truck though and we were able to get our lap back. I really thought we were going to be good there at the end, but everyone started slamming into each other, we got knocked around, and just had to fight for what we had left at that point. We will keep digging. We have gotten ourselves out of holes like this before and it's still early in the season."
In the early laps of the second NCWTS event on the 2013 schedule, it looked as if Coulter had a truck to contend for his first Martinsville Speedway grandfather clock. Just 10 laps into the event, the No. 18 Toyota Tundra had gained five positions on track and raced solidly inside the top 10, until the first caution flag was waved at lap 59 for a spin in Turn 2. Hitting pit road for service, the Florida native slid to a stop with his right side tires outside the pit box, forcing his crew to push it inside the box before they could complete the stop. The lengthy stop cost him valuable track position and ultimately a lap to the race leader. When racing resumed on lap 64, the No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Tundra was scored 29th, one of 14 trucks a lap down.
With four fresh Goodyear tires, Coulter was able to make up ground on the field over the next 41 laps and put himself in position for the Lucky Dog award when the fourth caution flag was displayed for a two-truck incident in turn-four at lap 105.
Crew chief Harold Holly summoned his driver, who complained of needing more side bite on exit, down pit road for fuel and a chassis adjustment. Coulter was scored in the 23rd position on the lead lap when racing resumed at lap 109.
Over the next 36 circuits, the 22-year-old driver raced hard, working his way through traffic into the top 15 before the field was slowed for the seventh time for a spin in Turn 3. With no grip on entry into the corner, Holly brought the Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toyota Tundra down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, setting Coulter up for the final 100-lap stint. With several teams electing not to pit, the No. 18 Tundra would be scored in the 21st position for the ensuing restart.
As they normally do at the Virginia short track, cautions bread cautions and three cautions flags slowed the field over the next 58 laps. Early in the run, Coulter was able to work his way back into the top 15 but as the laps winded down, so did the grip in his tires. Scored 16th under the 10th caution, Holly called the No. 18 machine down pit road one final time, making a four-tire stop with a chassis adjustment.
Restarting 17th with less than 50 laps remaining, it was "go time" and the tough trucks got aggressive on the race track. With help from the 9 truck, Coulter spun on the exit of Turn 4, but recovered quickly and only lost two positions. Over the final 11 laps, a determined Coulter fought hard for position and was able to gain four spots, advancing to 15th by the end of the race to collect his third top-15 finish in five starts at Martinsville.
Johnny Sauter went on to win his second consecutive race of the 2013 NCWTS season and his second Martinsville Speedway grandfather clock. ThorSport Racing teammate, Matt Crafton, finished second. Jeb Burton, Timothy Peters and Coulter's Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) rookie teammate, Darrell Wallace, Jr. rounded out the top-five finishers. KBM's third driver, Erik Jones, came home ninth in his first career Truck Series start.
There were 11 caution periods for 71 laps and seven different drivers led at least one lap, exchanging the lead 13 times.
Coulter, who gained six positions in the championship point standings and now sits 15th, will make his 50th Truck Series start when the series returns to action next Sunday, April 14 at Rockingham (NC) Speedway for the N.C. Education Lottery 200. Live coverage of the third race on the 2013 NCWTS schedule begins at 2 p.m. ET on SPEED.
Teenager Erik Jones showed the skill and patience of a veteran throughout Saturday's Kroger 250 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, bringing home an impressive ninth-place finish in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut. Jones, the first 16-year-old to compete in a Truck Series event since his owner Kyle Busch did so in October of 2001, raced side-by-side with crafty veterans and other up-and-coming stars for much of the afternoon, advancing from his 19th starting position to as high as the fourth spot in the second half of the race. The Michigan native was closing in on a top- five finish with under 10 laps remaining, but lost a handful of positions in the closing laps after he found himself on the wrong end of a Martinsville bump-and-run.
"Our Toyota Tundra was fast from the beginning and stayed a strong truck all day," Jones said. "That second set of tires that we put on -- we lost a little bit of forward drive, but that was about it. Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) did a good job of getting it back to where it needed to be. That last set of tires that we put on -- we had to start back in the field, but we got lucky and started on the bottom and drove back up into the top-10. We were running sixth and got rooted off the bottom and fell back to ninth, but I can't complain with it being my first truck race and getting a top-10 out of it. Happy to come home with the truck in one piece and ready to head to Rockingham."
After getting a feel for his No. 51 Tundra by turning 108 laps around the .526-mile oval in Friday's lone practice session, the Michigan native qualified 19th Friday afternoon with a tight-handling Toyota. In the early stages of Saturday's event, Jones ran just outside the top 15 as he got a feel for the aggressive nature of a short-track Truck Series race.
As the race progressed, he became more and more comfortable with his Toyota Tundra and began advancing forward near the halfway mark of the event. He made his way inside the top 15 for the first time on lap 80, where he ran until the race was slowed for the fifth time for a debris caution on lap 112.
Crew chief Rudy Fugle summoned his young driver down pit road, where the No. 51 over-the-wall crew administered a four-tire and fuel stop, making minor repairs to a crinkled right-rear fender in the process. Due to the time spent making repairs, the team lost several spots on pit road and Jones returned to the track scored in the 21st position.
The high school junior had made his way back inside the top 15 just before the next caution occurred on lap 145. Several crew chiefs elected to bring their drivers down pit road, while Fugle decided to gain track position and save his tires for a later stop.
Jones took the lap-150 restart from the fifth position and just five laps later had advanced into the fourth position, where he remained for the next 20 laps. As the race proceeded caution free for another 20 laps, the Michigan native began surrendering positions to drivers with fresher tires and by the time the next caution occurred on lap 196 had subsided to the 11th spot.
When pit road opened, the KBM over-the-wall crew put its final set of Goodyear tires on the No. 51 Tundra, filled it with fuel and returned Jones to the track scored in the 14th position. On the lap-207 restart Jones got stuck on the outside lane for several laps, falling back to the 18th position before he was able to squeeze his way into the inside lane.
From there, the young driver began his march back towards the front, maneuvering into to the 14th position by the time a one-car spin slowed the field for the final time on lap 229. After the race went back green, the teenager continued to move forward in the closing laps. He returned to the top 10 just two laps later and then with five laps remaining, the youngster had positioned his Toyota in the sixth spot.
Jones was tucked in behind KBM teammate Darrell Wallace Jr., who was scored in fifth, when he fell victim to a "Martinsville Bump-and-Run" from the seventh-place competitor. By the time he was able to right his path and fall back in line, his No. 51 Tundra had subsided to the ninth position, where it remained for the final three laps.
"Erik did an excellent job today -- we had a plan to make sure that he took care of his tires over the first 15 laps of a run and with him being as young as he is you're not sure how he will react, but he showed a lot of patience and was aggressive when he needed to be," Fugle said. "We moved forward all day long. I couldn't be happier with his performance -- he kept his nose clean and did everything we needed him to do."
Johnny Sauter became just the second driver in Truck Series history to open the season with back-to-back wins, equaling the feat accomplished by Mark Martin in 2006. Matt Crafton finished 1.888 seconds behind his ThorSport Racing teammate in the runner-up spot. Jeb Burton finished third, while Timothy Peters and Wallace Jr. rounded out the top-five finishers.
There were 11 caution periods for 71 laps. Seven drivers led a lap, exchanging the lead 13 times. Six drivers failed to finish the race.
The No. 51 Tundra team, which has posted top-10 finishes in each of the first two events of the season, leaves Martinsville ranked third in the Truck Series owner's point standings. Jones will be back behind the wheel of the Toyota for next Sunday's N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway. Live television coverage of the 200-lap event begins with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Setup Show at 1:30 p.m. ET on SPEED.
Slightly more than two and a half years after the dedication of Pocono Raceway’s solar farm, the total amount of electricity produced by the 25 acre facility reached the 10,000,000 kilowatt hour (kWh) mark this morning. The Pocono Raceway solar installation consists of 39,960 American made photovoltaic modules that will produce more than 72 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy over the next 20 years. The environmental attributes associated with the system will offset more than 3,104 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide annually and will generate enough power to provide the electricity needs for over 300 homes beyond the power needs of Pocono Raceway.
“This is another important milestone for Pocono Raceway,” said Brandon Igdalsky, President and CEO of Pocono Raceway. “Pocono Raceway strongly believes in the commitment to operate in a more environmentally responsible way and is proud to be the first race track to power our sport with clean, renewable sunlight with the world’s largest renewable energy project to –power a sports facility. This solar power system, built with timber, steel and solar panels made in the U.S., satisfies all our Raceway’s energy needs, while helping to power local homes. This project demonstrates real sustainability and proves that any business that truly wants to Go Green, can do it.”
The 10,000,000 (kWh) produced has already impacted the environment. The total energy generated equals the use of more than 57,000 - 60Watt light bulbs for one year at eight hours per day and represents a savings of more than 810,000 gallons of gasoline with a carbon dioxide (CO2) offset equaling that of 180,000 trees or 294,000 Propane BBQ Grills.
The Raceway has been awarded a number of environmental awards for its sustainable energy efforts including the Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards, Readers Choice Award presented by RenewableEnergyWorld.com and the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence, presented each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. These awards highlight the best in environmental innovation and expertise
The Pocono Raceway Solar Farm is located along Long Pond Road adjacent Pocono Raceway’s storied 2.5 mile Super Speedway. Pocono Raceway will host two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekends in 2013. The 32nd annual Fan Driven 400, June 7-9 and the 40th annual GoBowling.com 400, August 2-4.
After a 23 year absence, the July 6-7 Pocono INDYCAR 400 marks the return of Indy car racing to Pocono.
Pocono Raceway PR
Brandon Gdovic saved his best for last.
After starting in the ninth position, the 21-year-old out of Yorktown, Va., led the final 33 laps and won the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 presented by G-Clean in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East action on Saturday night at Greenville Pickens Speedway.
It was Gdovic’s first series career win in 27 starts. His previous best finish was third in this event a year ago.
Jeremy Burns finished second in his series debut followed by Kenzie Ruston in third. The effort by Ruston was the best finish for a female driver in K&N Pro Series East history. Local favorite Coleman Pressley finished fourth after leading 52 laps followed by pole sitter Brett Moffitt, who led a race-high 61 laps, in fifth. It was the ninth career pole win for Moffitt.
Sam Hunt, Daniel Suárez, Eddie MacDonald, Brandon McReynolds and Gray Gaulding completed the top 10.
The race slowed due to caution just three times for a total of 12 laps and there were three lead changes among four drivers.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is right back on the track next week on April 13 for its inaugural visit to Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. for the NAPA Auto Parts 150.
NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES EAST-Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 presented by G-Clean Results
At Greenville Pickens Speedway
Lap length: 0.5 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (9) Brandon Gdovic, Yorktown, Va., Toyota, 150 laps, 72.058 mph.
2. (15) Jeremy Burns, Simpsonville, S.C., Toyota, 150.
3. (17) Kenzie Ruston, El Reno, Okla., Chevrolet, 150.
4. (5) Coleman Pressley, Asheville, N.C., Toyota, 150.
5. (1) Brett Moffitt, Grimes, Iowa, Toyota, 150.
6. (26) Sam Hunt, Midlothian, Va., Toyota, 150.
7. (8) Daniel Suarez, Monterrey, Mexico, Toyota, 150.
8. (12) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass., Toyota, 149.
9. (6) Brandon McReynolds, Mooresville, N.C., Chevrolet, 149.
10. (4) Gray Gaulding, Colonial Heights, Va., Toyota, 149.
11. (13) CJ Faison, Seaford, Del., Chevrolet, 149.
12. (20) Austin Dyne, Malibu, Calif., Chevrolet, 149.
13. (16) Ryan Gifford, Winchester, Tenn., Toyota, 149.
14. (14) Cale Conley, Vienna, W.V., Toyota, 149.
15. (11) Dylan Kwasniewski, Las Vegas, Nev., Chevrolet, 149.
16. (3) Jesse Little, Sherrills Ford, N.C., Chevrolet, 148.
17. (2) Ben Kennedy, Daytona Beach, Fla., Chevrolet, 148.
18. (7) Mackena Bell, Carson City, Ne., Toyota, 148.
19. (10) Cole Custer, Ladera Ranch, Calif., Chevrolet, 147.
20. (24) Scott Heckert, Ridgefield, Conn., Chevrolet, 147.
21. (23) Jimmy Weller, Hubbard, Ohio, Toyota, 146.
22. (18) Enrique Contreras, III, Mexico City, Mexico, Toyota, 146.
23. (19) Nate Caruth, Ames, Iowa, Chevrolet, 145.
24. (22) Bryan Ortiz, Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Toyota, 144.
25. (21) Jordan Anderson, Forest Acres, S.C., Toyota, 61, brakes.
26. (25) Matthew Tifft, Hinckley, Ohio, Chevrolet, 19, accident.
- Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 12th (Brendan Gaughan) and 18th (Ty Dillon).
- Dillon is eighth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings, 28 markers behind the leader; while Gaughan ranks 17th in the standings.
- The No. 3 Chevrolet team is ninth in the Camping World Truck Series owner championship point standings, and the No. 62 team 19th.
- According to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics, Gaughan earned a ninth-place Driver Rating (89.5), while Dillon ranked 10th with a rating of 87.4.
- Gaughan made 67 green-flag passes ranking him first among the rest of the field, and Dillon made 50 green-flag passes ranking him eighth.
- Gaughan scored the eighth-highest Average Running Position of 11.076, while Dillon ranked ninth with an 11.104.
- Gaughan spent 91.2 percent of the 250-lap affair running in the top 15.
- Johnny Sauter took the checkered flag at Martinsville Speedway for his second-consecutive win of the season and was followed to the line by Matt Crafton, Jeb Burton, Timothy Peters and Darrell Wallace Jr.
- The next scheduled Camping World Truck Series race is the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Rockingham Speedway on Sunday, April. 14. The third race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on SPEED beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on Motor Racing Network.
Ty Dillon Finishes 18th at Martinsville Speedway
Ty Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops team earned an 18th-place finish in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway after battling an ill-handling Chevrolet for the majority the 250-lap affair. Dillon took the green flag from the sixth position and was scored third on lap 65. As the track temperature began to rise, Dillon radioed to the Marcus Richmond-led crew his truck was too tight in the center of the corners. He fell to the eighth position before a caution flag slowed the field on lap 145. Richmond called the Richard Childress Racing driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to combat the tight-handling machine. When Dillon was getting ready to leave the pit stall, the jack post broke delaying the team from returning to the racing surface as quickly as they would have desired. Dillon was forced to restart from the 23rd position on the ensuing restart. The 21-year-old driver maneuvered through the field and was scored ninth when another competitor spun in front of him and made contact with the No. 3 Chevrolet, causing slight damage to the right-rear fender. The RCR team pitted to repair the damage and sent Dillon back on track with new Goodyear dancing shoes. With only a few laps remaining in the race, he was unable to improve his position and crossed the finish line in the 18th position.
Start - 6 Finish - 18 Laps Led - 0 Points - 8
TY DILLON QUOTE:
"We had a fast truck, but didn't get the result we should have today. We will learn from today and use it the next time around. We'll put this behind us and head to Rockingham (Speedway) and work hard to get a good finish."
Brendan Gaughan Captures 12th-Place Finish at Martinsville Speedway
Brendan Gaughan and the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet team collected a 12th-place finish in the Kroger 250 Saturday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway. The Las Vegas native rolled off the starting grid from the 11th position and became a fixture within, and near, the top 10 for the first 125 laps of the event. Following a four-tire pit stop on lap 146, the gold and black Chevrolet was scored in the 18th spot, positioning the truck in the outside line for the double-file restart. Forced to run a line where it was difficult to pass, Gaughan lost valuable track position and slipped back to 21st. As the race progressed, the 38-year-old driver methodically worked his way back toward the front settling into the top 10 by lap 181. Gaughan held on near the top 10 during the final laps and ultimately crossed the finish line 12th. The top-15 finish allowed Gaughan to gain 11 positions, moving up to 17th, in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings.
Start - 11 Finish - 12 Laps Led - 0 Points - 17
BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTE:
"Man, that was an exciting race. We were stuck in the outside line for restarts a few times and I had some issues with the shifter, so that set us back a bit. Even with the few minor setbacks, we were able to keep the South Point Hotel & Casino near the front most of the day. I really had a lot of fun racing at Martinsville Speedway this weekend. The big thing is we were able to earn valuable points and gain 11 positions in the point standings."
After working their way up from a 20th-place starting position to race much of the Kroger 250 inside the top five, James Buescher and the No. 31 Rheem Chevy slipped back in the pack during a late race green-flag run. Buescher patiently picked his way through the field throughout the 250-lap race and looked like a threat for the victory on Saturday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway. During a late race green-flag stretch, Buescher, who was on older tires than most of the field, got caught up on the outside groove and slipped back and finished in 14th place at Martinsville Speedway.
During the nearly two-hour practice session on Friday morning, the No. 31 Rheem team came in with a plan from their test session just a couple weeks prior. The Rheem team spent most of the practice session working on race setups and possible in-race adjustments for the No. 31 Chevrolet Silverado. Just before the practice session ended, Buescher was able to make a mock qualifying run, placing the No. 31 in the 16th position on the charts for final practice.
After a disappointing qualifying effort later Friday evening, Buescher was scheduled to roll off the grid for the Kroger 250 in the 20th position. When the green flag flew Saturday afternoon for the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway, Buescher stuck to his race strategy of staying patient and taking positions when they were available. On lap 25, Buescher radioed to his Rheem crew that he was lacking forward bite and was a little free in the center of the corner. On lap 60, while running in the 14th position, Buescher got the opportunity to bring his Rheem Silverado down to the attention of the crew for adjustments. Michael Shelton, Buescher's crew chief, called for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment on the No. 31. After a quick pit stop by the crew, Buescher exited in the 11th spot. Continuing his hunt for the leaders, Buescher worked his way up to the seventh running position by lap 86 and radioed to the crew, "I'm just riding around, saving what we have for later in the race; I think we have a pretty good truck and might have something for the leaders."
On lap 103 Buescher cracked the top five, a position where he stayed much of race. With different pit stop strategies up and down pit road, the No. 31 Rheem team decided to make their final stop on lap 144. Still fighting a slightly free race truck, Shelton called for four tires, fuel and reversed some of the changes from the previous pit stop. Buescher restarted the race back in the 12th spot.
After just logging laps to get to the latter half of the race, Buescher still continued his march back up to the top five. On the second-to-final restart of the race, Buescher got caught up on the outside line and slipped back to the 10th running position. During the final yellow flag period of the race, Buescher radioed to the crew that the truck was just too tight and was looking to see if they could pit to make adjustments. With only a few laps remaining, Buescher stayed on the track and continued to battle for a 14th-place finish at the short track.
"Coming into today we had our work cut out for us but I knew we had a great truck during practice so we just needed to stay patient throughout the day," said Turner Scott Motorsports driver James Buescher. "We were able to spend much of the day inside the top five, and I thought we really had a truck that could contend for the win. Unfortunately the last set of tires didn't take well to our setup. Overall, I felt the whole Rheem team had a great day; I'm looking forward to getting on to Rockingham where I know we can contend for the win."
Ryan Blaney and the No. 29 Cooper Standard Performance Products Ford F-Series started the race in the 14th position. Blaney battled and battled his Truck, but ended up falling off the lead lap on lap 40 due to serious vibrations and no side-bite.
As the first caution flag of the afternoon waved on lap 58, Blaney was instructed by crew chief Doug Randolph to bring the No. 29 F-Series to pit road for a major track bar adjustment, four tires and fuel. The laps to follow were testament to the pit strategy taken, as Blaney climbed closer and closer to gaining the lucky dog -- which he ended up achieving on lap 74.
Blaney made steady moves throughout the afternoon and made a push to third place for just a few laps before falling back to sixth position, as the caution waved once again on lap 195. Shortly after the green flag dropped on lap 202, the caution came out due to spin in turn three, which brought the No. 29 F-Series to pit road for four tires, one round on the track bar and fuel.
After starting in the 16th position on lap 216, Blaney maintained track position and wound up moving all the way up to the 10th position after the final caution flag waved on lap 228.
In the closing stages of the race, Blaney climbed from the 24th position to finish in 16th.
Blaney and the No. 29 Cooper Standard Performance Products team now sits 10th in NCWTS driver point standings, 64 points back from first.
"We tested at Little Rock a couple of weeks ago and felt really confident with our short track package. The new tires Goodyear brought set us back from the early stages of practice on Friday. My Cooper Standard Performance Products team stayed on it all day, but we left some out there on the table today." - Ryan Blaney
Ross Chastain and the No. 19 Checkered Flag Foundation team started the race from the 25th position after posting a qualifying lap of 19.992 seconds around the .533 mile oval
Chastain got off to a hot start moving all the way up to the 12th position on lap 58 The caution flag waved for the first time due to a spin in turn one. It was the kind of start, crew chief Chad Kendrick had envisioned as he brought the CFF F-Series down pit road for the first time, changing all four tires and topping it off with fuel.
Kendrick and Chastain continued to communicate constantly on their radios making gradual improvements to the No. 19 CFF F-Series as the day progressed.
The yellow flag waved for a second time on lap 70, as Chastain got caught up in an altercation, which ultimately damaged the front end of his Truck. Electing to stay on track under the caution period, Chastain secured the 12th position as the green flag fell again.
The No. 87 brought out the seventh caution flag of the afternoon on lap 143 for a spin, forcing Kendrick to reel Chastain from the 11th position down pit road for a second time replenishing him with fuel, four new tires and echoing a loud applause throughout the No. 19 pit stall due to efficient stop.
On lap 240, right after Chastain had already come to pit road for a third time for fuel and four tires, he had to make an unexpected stop, because his BKR Ford F-Series had a left rear cut down by the No. 81, forfeiting him a top 10 finish in the Kroger 250 and placing 20th.
As a result of Chastain's finish, the No. 19 team now sits 16th in owner point standings.
"Although we didn't qualify well yesterday, we had a strong Brad Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation F-Series, as I moved to the front in a hurry. It's always a great time to be able and run here at Martinsville Speedway, especially when Brad's CFF is on the hood of the Truck. I can't thank my team (@TeamBKR) enough for supporting me throughout the up and down day as we look forward to Rockingham next weekend."- Ross Chastain