Speedway Digest Staff
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Below are the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup clinch scenarios for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway, the final race before the Chase field is set. Six drivers have clinched top-10 spots in the Chase: Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. Kasey Kahne, on the strength of two wins, has clinched at least a Wild Card spot.
Four drivers control their top-10 clinching destiny. Regardless of the finishes of any other driver…
Dale Earnhardt Jr., currently seventh in points, will clinch a top-10 spot with a finish of 32nd or better, 33rd with at least one lap led or 34th with the most laps led.
Joey Logano, currently eighth in points, will clinch a top-10 spot with a finish of 11th or better, 12th and at least one lap led or 13th and the most laps led.
Greg Biffle, currently ninth in points, will clinch a top-10 spot with a finish of ninth or better, 10th and at least one lap led or 11th and the most laps led.
Kurt Busch, currently 10th in points, will clinch a top-10 spot by winning, finishing second with at least one lap led or finishing third with the most laps led.
The remaining mathematically eligible drivers need help to clinch a top-10 spot. Some, however, control their own Wild Card destiny (a win would guarantee at least a Wild Card spot).
Clinch scenarios for the remaining eligible drivers follow…
Jeff Gordon: Currently 11th in points, Gordon would clinch at least a Wild Card spot with a victory at Richmond. Gordon, currently six points outside the top 10, remains eligible for a top 10 spot.
Kasey Kahne: Kahne, currently 12th in points, has already clinched at least a Wild Card spot. Ten points outside the top 10, Kahne remains eligible for a top 10 spot.
Martin Truex Jr.: Currently 13th in points, Truex would clinch at least a Wild Card spot with a victory at Richmond. Fifteen points outside the top 10, Truex remains eligible for a top 10 spot. Truex, currently holding the provisional No. 2 Wild Card spot, could clinch a Wild Card spot without a victory.
Ryan Newman: Currently 14th in points, Newman would clinch at least a Wild Card spot with a victory at Richmond. Twenty points outside the top 10, Newman remains eligible for a top 10 spot. Newman could clinch a Wild Card spot without a win (Logano and Biffle must remain in the top 10 or be replaced by Kahne; Newman must out-point Truex by six points; Gordon must not win; and Brad Keselowski or Jamie McMurray cannot win and overtake Newman).
Brad Keselowski: Currently 28 points outside the top 10, Keselowski remains eligible for a top-10 spot. Currently winless, Keselowski must win to be in contention for a Wild Card spot. Mathematically there will be at least two drivers outside the top 10 with wins. To clinch, Keselowski would need to win and outpoint Truex by 13 and Newman by eight (and would only need to outpoint one of these drivers if Kahne would displace a winless driver from the top 10). If Truex or Newman displaces Kurt Busch from the top 10, he would need to outpoint the other one-win driver remaining outside the top 10 by the requisite amount.
Jamie McMurray: Currently 39 points outside the top 10, McMurray remains eligible for a top-10 spot. Currently winless, McMurray must win to be in contention for a Wild Card spot. To clinch, McMurray would need to win and outpoint either Truex by 25 and Newman by 19 (and would only need to outpoint one of these drivers if Kahne would displace a winless driver from the top 10). If Truex or Newman displace Kurt Busch from the top 10, he would need to outpoint the other one-win driver remaining outside the top 10 by the requisite amount.
Paul Menard: To clinch, Menard would need to win and outpoint Truex by 47 and Newman by 42 (and would only need to outpoint one of these drivers if Kahne would displace a winless driver from the top 10). If Truex or Newman displace Kurt Busch from the top 10, he would need to outpoint the other one-win driver remaining outside the top 10 by the requisite amount.
With the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) making their return to the road course, Buescher turned out an impressive qualifying lap to sit on the pole for the inaugural Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP). After leading the way for the first couple of laps, Buescher eventually settled into the top 10. With an eventful final restart with five laps to go, Buescher and his MotoMaster Eliminator team found themselves battling for a top 10 and were able to hold on for a ninth-place finishing spot. In the process, Buescher closed the battle for the NCWTS Driver Point Standings by two points heading into next week's race at Iowa Speedway.
Buescher and his MotoMaster Eliminator team came into CTMP with very limited road course experience, but after a test day and two practice sessions, Buescher felt like he had a feel for the track. During his qualifying effort, Buescher posted the fastest qualifying time. Leading the field to the green on Sunday afternoon, Buescher was able to lead the first two laps and gained valuable bonus points towards the NCWTS Driver Point Standings. Buescher eventually was passed by faster trucks behind him, allowing him to settle into his pace without any pressure. When the first yellow flag was displayed on lap eight, some of the leaders decided to pit, but the No. 31 MotoMaster Eliminator team stuck to their pit strategy and stayed out to restart in the second position. The team would eventually give up the third running spot to come down pit road on lap 15 under green, taking four tires, fuel and a major air-pressure adjustment to help with the handling on the No. 31 Chevy Silverado. When the pit stops cycled through, Buescher found himself running inside the top 10, scored in the seventh position.
At the halfway mark, Buescher radioed to his crew that he was lacking grip in his MotoMaster Eliminator Silverado but he was still running two tenths quicker then the positions ahead of him. On lap 41 and safely within his fuel window, crew chief Michael Shelton called for his driver to come down pit road for their final pit stop of the 64-lap race. The crew gave Buescher fresh Goodyear Wrangler tires and a full load of fuel. When Buescher returned to the track, he was turning his fastest laps of the race. With just under 20 laps remaining, Buescher once again cracked the top 10 and was working on closing the gap on the top five. Trying to make a pass on multiple trucks in turn five, Buescher wasn't able to make the move stick and lost two spots in the process, slipping back to ninth. The race's final restart came with just five laps to go and Buescher was able to hold on to his running spot and come home with a ninth-place finish.
"Overall, I thought our MotoMaster Eliminator team had a good day," said Buescher. "Not having much experience on a road course, I am happy to leave with another top-10 finish and get another step closer to closing the points gap. I am really looking forward to getting to Iowa where we've run pretty good in the past."
The NCWTS will revisit Iowa Speedway for The Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland. Catch the action live on Sunday, September 8 on FOX Sports 1 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
Career-best truck series finish for Hackenbracht
Chad Hackenbracht, who is driving a limited scheduled for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) behind the wheel of the No. 51 Tastee Apple/Ingersoll Rand Toyota Tundra, used his road course racing experience and extended track time around the 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course to bring home a second-place finish in the Inaugural Truck Series 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Canada on Sunday. The historic event marked the third start in the Truck Series for Hackenbracht and the first race for the series north of the border.
"We were great all day long, just sort of raced our own race and didn't worry about anyone else." Hackenbracht said. "Rudy (Ryan Fugle, crew chief) got the truck handling really good - we hardly made any changes - I couldn't ask for a much better race. I think the extra track time in the Canadian Tire Series race definitely helped me find that preferred line. I had a lot of fun out there today; I'm going to be smiling for a couple days. It's pretty sweet to finish second here in just my third start in the Truck Series, so I'm pretty pumped."
Following six-and-a-half hours of practice in the Truck Series and two NASCAR Canadian Tire Series practices, Hackenbracht was able to capitalize on his added track time - qualifying his No. 51 Toyota Tundra in the eighth position - a career best start for the 22-year-old driver.
With a Tastee Apple/Ingersoll Rand Toyota Tundra that was "Tight, but manageable," crew chief Ryan Fugle brought his No. 51 KBM Tundra to pit road for a green flag pit stop, which included four tires and fuel at lap 14. When the No. 51 machine returned to the track he was scored in the 18th position.
The green flag run continued for the next 19 circuits until the second caution flag of the afternoon was thrown for a truck stalled in Turn 2. Fugle opted to bring his driver down pit road on lap 33 for four tires and fuel. Hackenbracht would restart 12th with 29 laps remaining in the inaugural event.
Five laps later, Fugle decided to bring his rookie driver to pit road to top-off with fuel at lap 40 returning him to the Ron Fellows-owned road course in the 12th position with 24 laps reaming.
Working his way up to the fifth position by lap 50, the Truck Series rookie was poised for a solid finish. Following a lap 58 caution for a stalled truck in Turn 6, the No. 51 Toyota Tundra would line-up fourth for the final five laps on the inside of row two.
Hackenbracht quickly tucked into the fourth position on the restart behind the No. 6 of Skeen for the next two circuits, until Max Papis, in the No. 14 passed him with three to go, shuffling the No. 51 back to fifth.
However, on the final lap of the event, the second- place driver and eventual race winner, Chase Elliott sent race leader Ty Dillon hard into the tire barriers in the final turn of the course and the No. 14 and 6 trucks made considerable contact battling for third. Hackenbracht was able to weave his way through the incidents to finish an impressive second in just his third Truck Series start.
Chase Elliott won the Inaugural Truck Series 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, his first victory in the NCWTS - making him the youngest race winner in Truck Series history. Hackenbracht finished second followed by Miguel Paludo (third), Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Darrell Wallace, Jr. (fourth) and Ron Hornaday, Jr. (fifth).
The field was slowed five times for 11 laps and the lead was exchanged seven times by six different drivers.
Following his second-place finish, the No. 51 Toyota Tundra remains second in the 2013 NCWTS owner's point standings a mere 24 markers behind series-leading No. 88 team.
The NCWTS will make their second stop of the year at Iowa Speedway in Newton for the Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland on Sunday, Sept. 8 and rookie Erik Jones will be back behind the wheel of the No. 51 Toyota Tundra. This is the fourth of five starts for the 17-year-old driver, including his second start of the 2013 NCWTS season at the .875-mile oval. Earlier this year, Jones finished a career-best second at Iowa Speedway after starting seventh in the American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen.
Hackenbracht's fourth and final start behind the wheel of the No. 51 Tundra for KBM will be the Smith's 350 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 28.
The 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season has been a year of firsts and this weekend's Inaugural Truck Series 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Canada was no different. For the first time in its 18-year history the Truck Series went abroad to Canada - marking their first appearance on a road course in 13 years. The 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course was a historic event for the 30-truck field and one that Joey Coulter and his No. 18 Monster Energy team would like to put in the history books.
Entering the 14th race on the 2013 NCWTS schedule there was a lot of unknowns for the Truck Series garage. However, after four practice sessions and qualifying, Coulter lined his Monster Energy Toyota Tundra up on the inside of row 10 in the 19th position for the 64-lap feature - confident that patience and pit strategy would be the key to a successful finish in the historic event.
Fighting a Toyota Tundra that was "Bouncy and Free on entry into the turns," Coulter was up to the 15th position when the first of five caution flags was displayed on lap eight for an accident in Turn 5. Crew chief Harold Holly brought the Monster Energy machine down pit road for fuel and a trackbar adjustment to aid in the handling. When racing resumed on lap 9, Coulter was scored in the 16th position.
Unfortunately, two laps later, Coulter was unable to control his Toyota Tundra and found his Monster Energy machine in the tire barrier in Turn 8 with extensive left side damage. Ultimately, the Miami Springs, Fla. native was forced to the garage for an extended period of time to repair the left front nose, radiator and oil cooler.
Coulter would eventually return to the Ron Fellows-owned course, scored 28th, multiple laps down to the race leader. In the closing laps the third-year Truck Series driver was able to pick-up two more positions to cross the line in the first Truck Series race north of the border in the 26th position - 23 laps down to race winner, Chase Elliott.
"It was just a rough day for this No. 18 Monster Energy team," Coulter said. "I really hate it for everyone on this Kyle Busch Motorsports team - they worked so hard all weekend and never gave up. We fought with this Toyota Tundra all weekend - didn't have anything super great, but I felt like we could race our way up to the top 10 and come out of here with a good finish. The front end of the truck was bouncing around a lot and I drove into Turn 8 and got up in the loose stuff and just couldn't hold on to it and bounced off the tire barrier. My team did such a great job - they had to change a radiator and oil cooler and for that kind of change and for us to get back out there and gain some positions says a lot about this team. We will regroup and get back at it in Iowa next week."
Chase Elliott won the Inaugural Truck Series 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, his first victory in the NCWTS - making him the youngest race winner in Truck Series history. Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) teammate Chad Hackenbracht (second) posted his career-best Truck Series finish followed by Miguel Paludo (third), KBM teammate Darrell Wallace, Jr. (fourth) and Ron Hornaday (fifth).
The field was slowed five times for 11 laps and the lead was exchanged seven times by six different drivers.
Following his disappointing 26th-place finish, Coulter is down two positions to 12th in the 2013 NCWTS driver point standings a mere eight markers behind 10th-place Johnny Sauter, 47 points behind fifth-place Miguel Paludo and 115 points behind series point leader Matt Crafton.
The NCWTS will make their second stop of the year at Iowa Speedway in Newton for the Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland on Sunday, September 8. Coulter has four starts at the .875-mile oval including one top-five and two top-10 finishes. The Miami Springs, Fla. native finished ninth in the American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen earlier this year.
Live television coverage of the 15th event on the 2013 schedule will air live on FOX Sports 1 at 2 p.m. ET.
Miguel Paludo reclaimed fifth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Driver Point Standings with his third top-five finish in four races, putting himself within arm's reach of the top three in points. Paludo, who has two championships in road-course racing series, led 10 laps and survived an epic finish in the Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The Brazilian finished third in the first international race in series history and first NCWTS road-course event in 13 years, earning four spots in the closing turns of the 2.459-mile track in the Duroline Brakes and Components Chevy.
With top-five times in the weekend's two extended test sessions and two official practice sessions, Paludo backed up the team's early performance by qualifying the No. 32 Duroline Chevrolet Silverado fifth on the grid. After taking the green flag, Paludo dropped briefly to the sixth position, but entered the top five once again just as the first full-course caution flag of the day waved on lap eight. Paludo relayed to crew chief Jeff Hensley that his truck was a tick tight in turn three and needed more grip off the throttle, but the team's fuel-mileage strategy kept the No. 32 out on the track.
Paludo restarted in the third position on lap 10, and overtook second place just one circuit later. Maintaining the runner-up spot, Paludo made his first pit stop of the day under green-flag conditions on lap 22, keeping with the team's strategic plan. The team provided Paludo with four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment, sending him back onto the track in 11th. When the caution flag waved for a stalled truck on lap 33 with Paludo running seventh, the Turner Scott Motorsports crew had an important decision to make in the strategy-intensive race: to pit or not pit. With 31 laps remaining, the Duroline Chevrolet was just outside their 25-27 lap fuel window. Sticking to his original strategy, Hensley made the call for Paludo to remain out on the racetrack, putting him third for the lap 36 restart.
With the slight adjustment on his first pit stop of the day, Paludo began to consistently run his fastest laps of the race, overcoming his competitors with both speed and experience. Before the completion of the first lap back to green, Paludo worked his way back into the second spot, then took over the lead just one lap later. Paludo held onto the first position for the next 10 laps, pulling ahead of the competition by multiple truck lengths. When the yellow flag waved on lap 46 for a stopped race truck, Paludo dove to pit road for his final pit stop of the day. The No. 32 crew performed a four-tire pit stop with a track-bar adjustment and enough fuel to make it to the end.
Scored in the 14th position with 15 laps remaining, Paludo had a long way to go in the closing laps. However, the road-course veteran had both tires and experience on his side, in addition to enough fuel to last in the event of multiple green/white/checkered restarts. As soon as the green flag dropped, Paludo ticked off positions with every trip around the circuit, battling his way up to seventh with four laps remaining. The racing action hit full tilt in the closing laps, with contact being made by his competitors in all 10 turns of the 2.459-mile course. As desires to win the first international NCWTS race came to a head in an exciting final lap, there were multiple wrecks in Paludo's path. The Brazilian narrowly avoided the melee, charging to third before crossing the finish line.
"This was so much fun," said Paludo after emerging from the Duroline Chevrolet. "We really had a truck to beat today, but unfortunately, our pit strategy just didn't pan out. It was a really good fuel strategy that we all agreed on before the race, and we'd probably be celebrating a win right now if the cautions had fallen when we needed them to. Our adjustments on that final pit stop took a few laps for us to get up to speed, and once I lost those positions from pitting under caution, I couldn't recover the lead. It wound up being a great points day for our team because so many of the guys in front of us had problems; we gained on everybody. I hope we have two or three of these road courses next year. It generated so much excitement and brought out a lot of very enthusiastic fans. I loved it. A big 'thank you' to the fans here at the track and at home. We gave you a great show and I hope that the trucks get to come back next year."
Paludo is now fifth in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings, with just five markers separating him from third. The NCWTS heads from the capital of Canada to America's heartland at Iowa Speedway on Sunday, September 8. The Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland will air on FOX Sports 1 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
Roush Fenway Racing’s Trevor Bayne finished seventh Saturday night in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race from Atlanta Motor Speedway. The No. 6 Cargill/Sam’s Club team battled hard all night, starting third and racing in the top-five for most of the night.
“We’re getting the runs that we want now, almost,” said Bayne. “We’re working on these top-fives and top-threes, and I thought we had that tonight. We were running top-five a majority of the night. These guys did a great job with this Sam’s Club Mustang and Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks. It was really good to be here, but there at the end we just got bottled up on the restart. I had nowhere to go. The 22 and the 3 spun the tires in front of me and I had to wait until the start-finish to go to the top. I got black-flagged for that once this year and I did not want to make that mistake again. I waited until the line and went to the top and got a couple, but that just really bottled us up. The inside lane went and a few of them got by us that we were faster than all night, but we’ll keep working hard.”
Bayne qualified third for the 195-lap race and quickly moved up to second by lap 7. Bayne radioed to crew chief Mike Kelley that his Ford Mustang was tight through the middle and loose off. Even with the car not exactly where he wanted it, Bayne managed to turn the fastest laps on the track by lap 10.
When the caution came out on lap 36, Kelley called his driver down pit road for a track bar adjustment as well as four tires and two cans of fuel. The team completed the stop in blistering fashion and sent the driver back out.
By lap 58 Bayne radioed in the car was just too tight to gain any ground on the leaders, Kelley radioed back, “We will fix you up once the caution comes out, hang in there.”
Kelley got his chance on lap 89; Bayne was called down pit road for another wedge adjustment along with four tires and two cans of fuel. Bayne radioed in the adjustments seemed to help the tightness through center, but still had an issue with the car being loose on exit.
The team eventually made one last adjustment on lap185 after the No. 14 car got loose and hit the wall, sending most of the field into the pits for their final adjustments of the night. Kelley and Bayne both agreed they were heading in the right direction with the adjustments so another track bar adjustment was made along with four tires and one can of fuel.
On the restart Bayne was pinned in by the No 3 and No. 22 spinning their tires and was unable to move up from the bottom, shuffling him back to seventh, where the team eventually finished.
Elliott, 17, becomes youngest NASCAR Truck winner
At 17 years, nine months and four days of age, Chase Elliott overtook Ryan Blaney to become the youngest race winner in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history as he moved aside leader Ty Dillon in a controversial and action-packed finish to Sunday's inaugural Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Dillon last pitted for fuel under caution on Lap 32 and appeared to be on his way to capturing his second win of the season when Elliott drove hard into his right rear-quarter panel on the last corner of the final lap, sending the driver of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet hard into the tire barrier on the outside of turn 10.
"I was doing all I could to make it to the finish," said Dillon, who dropped from first to 17th. "He just gave up trying to race and dumped me. I mean, he killed our truck. He killed our day."
A visibly upset Dillon leaned into Elliott's truck on pit road immediately following the race to share some choice words with the Dawsonville, Ga., driver as well as promised that payback was forthcoming.
"He obviously wasn't happy and he had every right not to be happy. I wouldn't have been happy either," said Elliott. "At the same time, you have to do what you have to do."
Chase Elliott's father, 1988 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bill Elliott, was spotting for his son in turns eight, nine and 10 of the 2.459-mile road course.
"All in all he did a great job. I guarantee you, I've lost many races like that and I've won 'em," the elder Elliott said. "These things have a way of working their way out. I think it was a great TV race though and I can tell you the fans in the turns where I was spotting were on their feet."
Max Papis and Mike Skeen made considerable contact with one another as they battled for third place during the final two laps. The rivalry culminated with Skeen and Papis both spinning out in a cloud of smoke in the last corner.
Chad Hackenbracht, who is running a limited 2013 schedule for Kyle Busch Motorsports, weaved his way through the incident to finish an impressive second.
Miguel Paludo came home third as KBM driver Darrell Wallace Jr. was the highest finishing rookie in fourth.
Series championship points leader Matt Crafton struggled to a 10th-place finish but retained a 47-point lead over James Buescher. Buescher, the polesitter, finished ninth.
Dillon's Chevrolet led the most laps -- 25 -- with Elliott's Chevy in front for 22 of the race's 64 serials. Six different drivers exchanged the lead seven times.
Elliott averaged 87.775 mph in winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' first race outside the United States and first road-course event since June 2000.
Germán Quiroga and the No. 77 OtterBox Toyota Tundra team continue to grow and learn in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie year. Quiroga qualified 12th and by lap 15 he was running inside the top 10 where he stayed for majority of the race. Crew chief Dan Stillman played fuel strategy well, keeping Quiroga out during a caution period because it was not within the fuel window to make it to the end. This was a good move as it put Quiroga in position to take the lead with 29 laps to go and picking up bonus points for leading the race. After the team pitted, Quiroga dropped back into the 19th position and made a charge for the front. Unfortunately, with four laps to go, a competitor slammed into Quiroga resulting in a spin which relegated him to a 15th-place finish.
Germán Quiroga talks about racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park:
"We had a really fast OtterBox Toyota Tundra that was good enough to be in victory lane. These races keep getting away from us. Our chance is coming and it's coming soon. I'm really looking forward returning to Iowa Speedway next weekend."
John Wes Townley continues to showcase his consistency and patience each and every NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.Sunday's 64-lap event was no exception as the No. 7 Zaxby's Toyota Tundra driver started 25th and was able to make exceptional gains during the course of the race. A complete learning process for all involved, the young driver maneuvered his way through the field and earned a 12th-place finish.
John Wes Townley talks about racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park:
"I had a blast today, a lot of fun. It's been a tough weekend and for us to finish up 12th I think that's pretty good. I screwed up in practice and my Zaxby's team did a great job of putting my Toyota Tundra back together. We got a top-15 finish and at the end of the day you've got to look at the whole picture. I think everyone did a great job."
There are a lot of tired jokes about NASCAR drivers only making left-hand turns, but this was certainly not true for Timothy Peters and the No. 17 Parts Plus Toyota Tundra. Peters qualified for the 64-lap race in the 15th-place placing him in the middle of the pack. Over the years, Peters has distinguished himself as a driver that can patiently pick his way through traffic and being there at the end and he did just that.
Peters was running in the sixth place when crew chief Butch Hylton called him in for a pit stop. Fuel strategy is incredibly important in a race like this so Hylton put Peters in a good position to finish the race. Later while others pitted, the Parts Plus Tundra was able to stay out picking up eight positions. Peters skillfully made his way right around the track and earned an eighth-place finish.
Timothy Peters talks about racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park:
"This race was all about survival. Our Parts Plus Tundra did well all day - it was better than I was. I went to school there for those 64-laps. We stayed out of trouble and no one was upset with me. We came home eighth with a top-10 finish and had a good points day. We'll go onto Iowa."