Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.
Sammy Smith Wins Menards 250 at Elko Speedway
Sammy Smith took home the trophy for the second time in his ARCA Menards Series career on Saturday at Elko Speedway in Minnesota. Smith, scoring the pole with a lap of 14.397s / 93.770 mph earlier in the day, battled Jesse Love to win the 250-lap event.
“This one feels way better to win it like this,” Smith told MAVTV after the race. “We kicked their butts today and thanks to the whole team. We had a good car and here we are!”
Smith leaves the event with four top-five and four top-10 finishes of the season with two wins.
“There was a lot of junk in the way all night,” Smith later said in regards to navigating around the lap traffic. “We did a good job as it’s part of it and got around them all night.”
Jesse Love, starting the event second on the starting grid, sat 4.119 seconds behind Smith at the checkered flag. Love leaves Elko with his second top-five of the year and third top-10 finish.
“Just a little bit here and a little bit there – maybe a little bit more lap traffic to our way,” said the second-place finisher after the race. “At the end of the night, we just need to be a little bit better.”
Landon Pembelton sat third in his ARCA Menards Series debut at Elko on Saturday. Pembelton battled Daniel Dye and even Tom Hessert for position for the majority of the race to earn the third-place finish.
Taylor Gray and Daniel Dye rounded out the top five.
Picking up top 10 finishes were Tom Hessert, Rajah Caruth, Greg Van Alst, Willie Mullins, and Ron Vandermeir Jr.
Mullins had a tough night behind the wheel of the No. 12 Toyota. The driver was involved in three of the six cautions displayed in turns one and two and was eventually given a stop-and-go penalty on pit road by series officials. Among those involved were Bryce Haugeberg, Toni Breidinger, and Nick Sanchez.
Two of those six cautions were for segment breaks while Taylor Gray brought out the first yellow of the event on lap 6.
The next race for the ARCA Menards Series will be at Mid-Ohio on July 8th.
Penalties Following Sonoma Raceway Weekend
NASCAR announced penalties following their trip to Sonoma Raceway this past weekend on Tuesday. The penalties impacted two teams in the Cup Series garage area.
Kyle Larson’s No. 5 Chevrolet lost a tire/wheel during the event and will result in a four-race suspension through New Hampshire Motor Speedway for crew chief Cliff Daniels and crew members Donnie Tasser and Brandon Johnson.
Hendrick Motorsports announced shortly after the announcement that they will not appeal.
Rick Ware Racing and driver Cody Ware will lose 20 owner and driver points for having multiple inspection failures.
There were no penalties handed out in the Camping World Truck Series.
The ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series East went combo racing on Saturday night, or Sunday morning, at Iowa Speedway. The event was delayed a few hours because of rain and ended in the early hours on Sunday.
Three drivers contended for the victory in the 150-lap race, with Brandon Jones ending the night celebrating in victory lane. Other lap leaders included Sammy Smith and pole-sitter Jesse Love.
Brandon Jones leaves Iowa with his seventh career ARCA Menards Series victory and second of the season. The Atlanta Georgia driver, winning by 2.843 seconds, also visited victory lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway the last time out.
Sammy Smith qualified ninth and had to start the event at the rear of the field for an unapproved adjustment. Smith, entering the 0.875-mile Iowa Speedway searching for his fourth victory, takes home his fifth top five with the runner-up finish.
Connor Mosack picks up his third top-five of the year by placing third.
Jonathan Shafer and Connor Jones rounded out the top five.
Leland Honeyman, Nick Sanchez, Greg Van Alst, Ron Vandermier Jr., and Amber Balcaen took home top 10 finishes.
Five cautions slowed the field, two being for race breaks at laps 50 and 100.
The first yellow was brought out by Rajah Caruth on lap nine in turn two. Caruth went on to finish 12th and one lap down as a result of the issue early.
The No. 11 of Bryce Haugeberg brought out the second yellow flag on lap 30 in turn three. Haugeberg eventually took his No. 11 Chevrolet to a 14th place finish.
On lap 88 Daniel Dye suffered issues when his No. 43 machine dropped a valve. Dye finishes 17th as a result of the DNF.
Jesse Love developed an issue inside 10 laps to go that forced the No. 20 Toyota to pit road. Love, like Sammy Smith and Brandon Jones, showed promise to be one of the contenders for the victory all race long. As a result, Love finishes four laps down in 13th.
The ARCA Menards Series heads to Berlin on June 18th while the ARCA Menards Series East won’t race until August 28th at Milwaukee.
On-track tempers flared in the inaugural Enjoy Illinois 300 at World-Wide Technology Raceway, formally known as Gateway Motorsports Park. The three drivers that found themselves in hot water were Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott vs Ross Chastain.
It all started in turn one when Chastain and Hamlin made contact to bring out the caution on lap 66. Hamlin, after making repairs on pit road and being multiple laps down, made it very difficult for Chastain.
“It’s good to take responsibility, but ultimately, it ruined our day,” Hamlin told FS1 after the race. “I think we were kinda racing hard there on the inside and tried to keep sliding up in front of us and wasn’t able to because I wasn’t willing to back off and let him slide up in front.”
Later, on lap 103, Chastain, Bubba Wallace, and Chase Elliott got caught up in an incident on the frontstretch that displayed the fourth yellow flag of the day. Elliott, in addition to Hamlin, also became displeased with Chastain on the track.
“Just terrible driving. It’s one thing to do it once but I just kept driving into guys,” Chastain told FS1 after the event. “At this level, I’m supposed to be better than that. Just shame.”
Chastain moved on to finish eighth – scoring his eighth top-five and ninth top 10 finish.
“I deserve everything they do,” Chastain said on if he’ll think he’ll face retaliation later on.
Elliott drove to a 21st-place finish while Hamlin took home 34th – finishing 11 laps down.
NCS: Enjoy Illinois 300 Practice & Qualifying Weekend Recap
The NASCAR Cup Series invades Gateway Motorsports Park for the inaugural race on Sunday. Gateway, playing host to the NASCAR Camping World Truck and XFINITY Series for a number of years, is a track located just East of St. Louis on the Illinois side.
Joey Logano was fastest in the lone Cup Series practice on Friday posting a time of 32.906s / 136.753 mph. Logano is one of a handful of drivers that have made starts in the past at the 1.25-mile oval.
“I’ve missed it. This is a fun race track. It was already fun out there and memories are coming back from 2008, although they repaved it and the track is a fair amount smoother than it used to be. Turn 1 and 2 is one of the best corners in our sport,” said Logano. “You can move around and try different things and you are shifting.”
Blaney, who is a teammate of Logano and with previous experience at Gateway, sat second fastest in the practice session.
“It took me a little bit to kind of remember the place. That was eight years ago and it feels like a long time ago. I did have some things I remembered about it but it took me a handful of laps to get up to speed. I do think it helped a little bit. I think it helps the guys who have been here recently,” said Blaney.
Austin Cindric rounded out third on the practice sheet to give Team Penske the top three positions in practice.
Kurt Busch and Erik Jones rounded out the top five.
Chase Briscoe sat fastest on the timesheet in qualifying to earn his first career Cup Series pole. Briscoe, a driver from Indiana, posted a fast time of 32.544s / 138.274 mph.
“The second round I kind of did the opposite and overdrove that one. I didn’t think the lap was going to hold up. I felt like Reddick or Joey would be able to get us but we were able to hold it off,” said Briscoe. “It is super cool to be here. This is a cool race track and a cool area. There are a lot of really passionate race fans in the St. Louis area and a lot of great dirt tracks and race tracks in general.”
Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric sat second quickest in the qualifying session. Cindric enters the weekend searching for his second career Cup Series victory.
Christopher Bell was the fastest Toyota in qualifying posting the third quickest time.
Rounding out the top five starters are Kyle Busch, who led group B of drivers in round one, and William Byron.
35th and 36th starters Ben Rhodes and Parker Kligerman did not post times in their respective qualifying groups.
The Enjoy Illinois 300 presented by TicketSmarter airs live on FS1 and MRN Radio at 3:30 p.m. ET.
NCWTS: Corey Heim Grabs Second Career Victory at Gateway
Corey Heim captured his second career victory in Saturday’s event at Gateway Motorsports Park, piloting the No. 51 entry for Kyle Busch Motorsports. The driver from Georgia led the field for 20 of the 165 circuits in the overtime event.
Christian Eckes sat second when the caution on the final lap was displayed. Eckes started fifth on the leaderboard in the 98 Toyota and led the event for nine circuits. He’ll leave the 11th race of the season with six top-five and seven top 10 finishes.
Making his sixth start of 2022, Heim, who started from the pole, will leave with two top-five, three top 10s, and two victories.
Chandler Smith rounded out the top three finishers in the Toyota 200. Smith rolled off fourth and led the field 40 laps.
Rounding out the top five were Stewart Friesen and Johnny Sauter.
Taking home top 10s were Matt DiBendetto, Derek Kraus, Ben Rhodes, Zane Smith, and Chase Purdy.
Nine of the 11 total cautions in the event were for on-track reasons.
Most notable of them involved John Hunter Nemechek, Stewart Friesen, Ty Majeski, Jesse Little, and Blaine Perkins in turn four. The incident on lap 55 ended the day for Nemechek.
On lap 109 issues plagued both Carson Hocevar and Matt Crafton in turn two. Both drivers were able to continue with their days.
The incident that displayed the checkered flag early on the final lap involved four trucks of Derek Kraus, Carson Hocevar, Tyler Hill, and Austin Wayne Self in turn two. Hocevar was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. There were no further updates on his condition.
The trucks will go road course racing on June 11th at Sonoma Raceway. Coverage of the race will begin at 7:30p ET. on FS1 and MRN Radio.
NCWTS: Corey Heim Claims Pole Position at Gateway
Corey Heim won the pole for Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series event at Gateway Motorsports Park on Friday. Heim enters the race chasing his second career truck series victory after scoring his first career pole with a 32.554s / 138.232 mph.
Zane Smith enters Gateway looking for his fourth victory of the season piloting the No. 38 Ford. Smith sat 17th in practice just prior to posting the second-fastest time to earn the runner-up start. The driver enters Gateway with five top-five and eight top 10s in 2022.
Stewart Friesen rounded out the top three qualifiers for Saturday’s event. Friesen posted a 32.641 / 137.863 mph.
Chandler Smith and Christian Eckes round out the top five starters.
Practice leader Ty Majeski will start Saturday’s race in eighth.
Rajah Caruth, making his Camping World Truck Series debut Saturday, starts 19th on the leaderboard. The driver of the No. 7 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports sat 14th in practice.
Three trucks of Matt Mills, Justin Carroll and Blake Lothian DNQd.
Stewart Friesen and Christian Eckes battled for the lead in a thrilling NASCAR overtime finish at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night. The battle ended ultimately with Friesen scoring his third career victory, leading seven times for a total of 60 laps.
“I’m terrible at restarts and that was probably the best one on old tires,” said Friesen on the NASCAR overtime restart. “Didn’t spin the tires then got a jump then threw a slider in one and two and it stuck.”
Despite leading the most laps, Friesen didn’t have a mistake-free night. At the beginning of his victory interview with FS1, the driver from Canada noted he made mistakes in the first two stages of the race.
“I made all the mistakes I needed to make in the first two segments of the race,” continued Friesen.
The driver of the No. 52 machine holds two top-five and four top 10s this season.
Finishing 0.122 seconds behind the winner, Eckes takes home his fourth top-five and fifth top 10 finish of the year at Texas. The No. 98 ThorSport Racing Toyota led the field for 40 of the 149 laps.
Preece, making just his fifth Camping World Truck Series start of the year this weekend, turned a fifth-place start into a third-place finish. Preece claimed both stages of the SpeedyCash.com 220 and led 27 laps.
Preece, after the race on FS1, said they just need to clean a few things up.
“We just need to clean up a few things. When you get in control of the race you just can’t give it up here,” said Preece. “It was really top lane dominate there, basically, there in the middle of the race to the end.”
Carson Hocevar and Ty Majeski rounded out the top five.
Pole sitter John Hunter Nemechek, Corey Heim, Chandler Smith, Matt Crafton, and Matt DiBendetto rounded out the top 10.
Seven cautions slowed the 220.5-mile event at the 1.5-mile oval. Two of those were for scheduled stage breaks while five were for on-track incidents. One of those involved a single-truck incident in turn two while the remaining four were for a pair of trucks each. The two most notable incidents involved Derek Kraus and Ty Majeski on lap 87 while the other most notable incident involved Tanner Gray and Ben Rhodes on lap 143, sending the race into NASCAR Overtime. 33 of the 36 trucks in the field finished the race.
The next race for the Camping World Truck Series will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 27. Coverage of the NC Education Lottery 200 will air live on FS1 and MRN Radio at 8:30 p.m. ET.
NCWTS: Zane Smith Dominates Heart of America 200 at Kansas Speedway
After a dominating performance in Saturday’s Heart of America 200 at Kansas Speedway, Zane Smith finished the night celebrating in victory lane. Piloting the No. 38 Speedco Ford, Smith started fourth and led four times for 108 circuits en route to his third victory of the season.
“Really just an unbelievable truck. We honestly struggled there in the first stage,” said Zane Smith as fireworks flew in the sky. “That late restart scared me a little bit. Good thing I didn’t have another one there because I was stuck in fourth (gear).”
Ty Majeski took home the runner-up spot sitting 1.653 seconds behind the race winner. Making his eighth start of the season, Majeski scored his third top-five and fifth top 10 finish.
Through 54 career truck series starts, Smith leaves Kansas with his sixth career truck series victory along with his 15th top-five and 35th top 10.
The truck on track tonight was the same one that the No. 38 team took to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in early March, where they finished 36th and only completed six circuits.
“This was our Vegas truck – I feel like this would’ve been an image of Vegas – what we’ve seen tonight if I didn’t get damaged earlier in the race there.”
Grant Enfinger rounded out the top three finishers on Saturday under the lights at Kansas. The Alabama native picked up his second top-five of the season.
Chandler Smith and Christian Eckes rounded out the top five finishers.
Pole sitter John Hunter Nemechek, Matt DiBendetto, Derek Kraus, Matt Crafton, and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top 10.
“Spun tires, didn’t get a good push from behind. It’s on me. I spun the tires and that was pretty much it,” said Nemechek. “We missed it. The 38 (Zane Smith) had the dominant truck. He should have won the race. I feel like we should have finished second or third.”
Nemechek later mentioned that he’d like to get better on restarts before the upcoming Playoff race at Kansas in the fall.
“We’ve got to work on restarts and come back,” Nemechek added. “We know what we need to do here coming back for the Playoff race. We just debriefed right there.”
The 200-mile event sat relatively quiet with just four yellow flags – two of those being for the scheduled stage breaks at laps 30 and 60. Kris Wright brought out the yellow on lap 92 while Dean Thompson drew the yellow flag on lap 123. Both drivers continued to finish 25th and 22nd.
Corey Heim had solid days going in both the ARCA Menards Series and Camping World Truck Series events at Kansas. Unfortunately for the driver of the 51 Toyota, a tire went down that forced them to pit road late into the 134-lap event. Following that pit stop, Heim had another tire go down not long after forcing them back to pit road once again. The driver finished the night 10 laps down in 33rd.
The next race for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, May 20th. Race can be seen live on FS1 and heard on MRN Radio at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Back-to-Back ARCA Victories: Nick Sanchez Scores Dutch Boy 150 Victory at Kansas Speedway
Nick Sanchez scored his third career ARCA Menards Series victory in Saturday’s Dutch Boy 150 at Kansas Speedway. Winning last October at the 1.5-mile oval, as well in his previous start at Talladega, Sanchez led the field for 42 circuits after problems struck Corey Heim and Drew Dollar while racing for the lead.
Sanchez leaves the 1.5-mile oval with two top-five and three top 10 finishes through four ARCA races this season.
Rajah Caruth, Sanchez’s teammate, finished runner-up in the No. 6 Chevrolet after an eighth-place start. Caruth carries two top-fives and three top 10s going into the next event at Charlotte later this month.
Daniel Dye rounded out a tough day in the third position. The driver of the No. 43 Chevrolet fell behind a lap after not beating the pace car off pit road during the lap 50 competition caution.
Gus Dean and Connor Mosack rounded out the top five. In just his fifth career start, Mosack records his first career ARCA Menards Series top-five finish.
Will Kimmel, Greg Van Alst, Ron Vandermeir Jr., Amber Balcean and Toni Breidinger rounded out the top 10.
On lap 59 while battling for the lead, Corey Heim and Drew Dollar made contact with one another and spun through the infield grass. Leader of 56 circuits, Heim was unable to continue while Dollar was able to manage for eight more laps before bringing out another caution. Dollar then went behind the wall after completing only 67 laps. Dollar finished 15th as a result of the DNF while Heim finished 16th.
The series moves onto Charlotte Motor Speedway for the General Tire 150 on May 27th at 6:00 p.m. ET. Coverage of the event airs live on FS1.