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.
NASCAR announced Monday in a statement that they will issue no penalties to the No. 20 NASCAR Cup Series team or Joe Gibbs Racing following Sunday’s penultimate race at Martinsville Speedway.
NASCAR reviewed a situation in Sunday’s race where Erik Jones did not pass teammate Denny Hamlin for position in the closing laps. NASCAR reviewed in-car radio chatter and on-track competition to reach its conclusion.
Statement from NASCAR:
“After conducting a review of the on-track competition and 20 team radio communication from Sunday’s race at Martinsville, NASCAR will not issue any penalties to the 20 team.”
It was also announced that Kevin Harvick will not be penalized for attempting to spin Kyle Busch on the last lap in an attempt to gain one more position.
From the rulebook:
7.5 PERFORMANCE OBLIGATION
.a NASCAR requires its Competitor(s) to race at 100% of their ability with the goal of achieving their best possible finishing position in the Event.
.b Any Competitor(s) who takes action with the intent to Artificially Alter the finishing positions of the Event or encourages, persuades or induces others to Artificially Alter the finishing positions of the Event shall be subject to a penalty from NASCAR, as specified in Section 12 Violations and Disciplinary Action.
.c "Artificially Alter" shall be defined as actions by any Competitor(s) that show or suggest that the Competitor(s) did not race at 100% of their ability for the purpose of changing finishing positions in the Event, in NASCAR’s sole discretion.
Did NASCAR make the right call?
I think so.
Telling a driver not to pass a teammate differs from a teammate not in the Playoffs intentionally wrecking another competitor or Playoff driver. Or, in NASCAR’s judgment, crashing their own car to bring out a caution to help a teammate advance.
Where’s the line drawn?
The line gets crossed when a teammate not in the Playoffs wrecks another competitor in the Playoffs or wrecks themselves on purpose to bring out a yellow. Wrecking or wrecking someone else, under those circumstances, is a foolish thing to do.
What Harvick did on Sunday in my mind was 100% legal and going by NASCAR’s performance obligation, it encourages drivers to do so. Harvick was also on the same lap as Kyle Busch as he tried everything he could to gain one more valuable spot, penalizing himself in the end by spinning.
It’ll be interesting to see how this rule progresses. Does it get changed this offseason? It’s very doubtful as NASCAR designed the rule to protect the integrity of the sport. That said, the rule is admittingly difficult to enforce.
Austin Hill entered Martinsville Speedway on Friday with one goal in mind: win and race for a championship next weekend at Phoenix Raceway. Instead, engine issues impacted Hill and the No. 16 AISIN Group Toyota.
Hill started Martinsville third and finished stage one in 18th. He went on to finish 29th in stage two just prior going to the garage.
The run to the front of the field began quickly as he sat third with nine laps complete. He then fought loose conditions for the remainder of stage one.
In stage two, as engine issues took hold, Hill and crew chief Scott Zipadelli believed that a tire was going down on the Toyota Tundra. On lap 74 of 200, Hill reported over the team radio that he may have developed an engine issue. It wasn’t long before the team came to pit road and went behind the wall as a result, ending their chances of racing for a championship next week with a 35th-place finish.
“We aren’t 100% sure what happened, but it was definitely blowing up on us. The first stage, I thought we had a tire going down maybe. We lost some track position and then got back to the lucky dog and then as soon as I got to the lucky dog, we started blowing up,” said a frustrated Austin Hill after getting knocked out of the race. “It started cutting in and out, so I guess it’s those really great built Ilmor engines. They like to breathe fire. It’s just frustrating to potentially end your season on an engine failure like that.”
Hill captured the regular season championship and led the series driver standings in the first 16 of 17 races. The Georgia native believes they should definitely be in the final four racing for a championship next week at Phoenix.
“Everybody at HRE (Hattori Racing Enterprises), all of our partners, everyone that makes this deal happen deserves a lot better. We should definitely be in this final four. It’s frustrating. I can’t even put it in to words what I’m feeling right now.”
The driver started on the pole and finished 13th last season at Phoenix. The very next week at Homestead, Hill ended 2019 with a victory, earning valuable momentum for 2020.
Austin Wayne Self ended Martinsville Speedway by scoring his second top 10 finish of 2020 on Friday under the lights. The driver from Austin, Texas, piloting the No. 22 Chevrolet took the small team to a ninth-place finish.
A week prior to Martinsville, at Texas Motor Speedway, Self took the small racing team to a seventh-place finish at his home track. The Texas native started 18th on the grid and finished stage one in 20th while finishing stage two in 19th.
“I’m super proud of this AM Racing team. We had such a strong and fast No. 22 GO TEXAN | AM Technical Solutions Chevrolet Silverado all night long,” said Self after the race. “We got off on strategy a little bit hoping to save a set of tires for the end of the race.”
Heading into the season finale next weekend at Phoenix, a one-mile oval, Self is quite proud of the team as they look to continue the momentum.
“Luckily, that caution came out and we came from the back of the lead lap group and got back to the top-10 but ran out of laps to finish better than ninth. Still, this finish is exactly what we were looking for. I had a lot of fun and I’m proud of Ryan (Salomon, crew chief) and all the AM Racing guys. Excited to go to Phoenix and end the year with a chance to chase another top-10 finish.”
Self capped stage one and stage two sitting 13th, same spot where he started.
In four career Gander & Outdoors Truck Series starts at Phoenix, Self’s best finish there came in November of 2019 of 18th. The year prior in 2018, the 24-year old posted a 19th-place finish.
Grant Enfinger survived chaos all evening at Martinsville Speedway on Friday to score his sixth career NASCAR Gander & RV Outdoors Truck Series victory and secure an opportunity to race for the championship at Phoenix Raceway next weekend. Enfinger, piloting the No. 98 Champion / Curb Records Ford, led the field for 49 circuits.
Joining Enfinger as the three Playoff drivers at Phoenix are Zane Smith, Sheldon Creed, and Brett Moffitt. Pole sitter Sheldon Creed finished eighth on the leaderboard while Brett Moffitt took home the 28th spot as a result of an accident. Smith, leading 20 of the 200 circuits, finished third.
“It was tough, we knew we were going to have to take our gloves off and fight for this one," Enfinger said after the victory. “It’s been an up and down season for us, but we tended to peak when we needed to. And now I feel really good about our chances at Phoenix."
Enfinger scored his fourth win of the season and goes into the season-finale next week with eight top five and 13 top 10 finishes.
Looking to get into the Playoffs at Phoenix next week, Ben Rhodes sat runner-up behind teammate Grant Enfinger. The Kentucky native, trading paint with Enfinger on the final restart with two laps remaining, could not find the momentum to get around his teammate for the lead.
“We had a shot, but first off, congrats to Grant [Enfinger] they worked their butts off all year," Rhodes said regarding his teammate. “They have three wins, this is their fourth, they deserve it.
Christian Eckes and Matt Crafton, also looking to advance to the Round of Four at Phoenix, rounded out the top five.
Taking home top 10 finishes were stage two winner Stewart Friesen, Danny Bohn, stage one winner Sheldon Creed, Austin Wayne Self and Derek Kraus.
Making his 12th career Gander & RV Outdoors Truck Series start on Friday, Danny Bohn scored his second career top 10 finish. Bohn’s previous best finishing position was one spot back in eighth at Martinsville Speedway in October 2019.
Austin Wayne Self made it back-to-back top 10 finishes in two races at Martinsville under the lights. Self sat seventh last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway and took his No. 22 Chevrolet to a ninth-place finish on Friday.
A total of 11 caution flags flew during the 200 lap, 105.2-mile event at Martinsville. In addition to 11 yellow flags, there were nine leaders for 16 total lead changes at the line. 82 of the 200 laps were under yellow while 118 of the 200 laps were under green.
Austin Hill was another driver looking to advance into the Round of 4 at Phoenix on Friday at Martinsville. However, with 83 laps to go, engine issues forced the No. 16 team behind the wall.
“We aren’t 100% sure what happened, but it was definitely blowing up on us. The first stage, I thought we had a tire going down maybe,” Hill said. “We lost some track position and then got back to the lucky dog and then as soon as I got to the lucky dog, we started blowing up. It started cutting in and out, so I guess it’s those really great built Ilmor engines. They like to breathe fire. It’s just frustrating to potentially end your season on an engine failure like that.
The No. 16 Toyota finished 35th as a result.
There were no issues during post-race inspection.
The next race for the series will be Friday, November 6th at Phoenix Raceway. The Lucas Oil 150 will take place at 8:00 p.m. ET. live on FS1 and MRN Radio.
Two drivers entered the season finale at Kansas Speedway on Friday with an opportunity to claim the 2020 ARCA Menards Series championship. Entering the season finale event at the 1.5-mile Kansas oval, Bret Holmes led the driver standings by eight points over Michael Self.
Bret Holmes started the evening second on the starting grid and took the lead from pole sitter Ty Gibbs on the opening lap. The Alabama native went on to lead the first 18 circuits of the event before Corey Heim took the top spot.
Despite losing the lead, Holmes stayed inside the top three all race long to finish second and claim the 2020 ARCA Menards Series title.
“The two things I’ve ever wanted was for my friends and family to be proud of me in racing and for my team to have the same respect as the others,” said Holmes celebrating the championship. “We’ve worked a long time for this. There’s been many times I’ve thought about quitting.”
How will Bret Holmes celebrate winning the championship later Friday night?
“I think I’m gonna go back to the hotel for a little bit and go to the casino,” Holmes joked to the media afterwards. “I may lose all my money, I may gain some, but I’m gonna have fun either way!”
Michael Self battled an intermittent fuel pick-up issue early and slid a lap down in his No. 25 Toyota. Self stayed out as the issue subsided on it’s own and received the free pass under the first of two scheduled breaks at lap 30.
Self, from Salt Lake City, Utah, went on to finish fifth.
While Bret Holmes claimed the championship, Corey Heim scored his first career ARCA Menards Series victory at Kansas Speedway. Heim started ninth on the leaderboard in his No. 10 Craftsman Toyota.
“Just really surreal right now,” Heim told FS1 after the race. “Kevin Jr. did an awesome job of dialing me in. We were a little loose throughout the race but I couldn’t have asked for more on that last run.”
Heim, in his 15th career ARCA start, scored his 10th top five and 15th top 10 finish.
Derek Griffith rounded out the top three finishers on Friday at Kansas Speedway, piloting the No. 22 Original Gourmet Lollipops Ford. The driver from New Hampshire scored his second top five and seventh top 10 finish through eight starts.
Dylan Lupton sat fourth at the checkered flag.
Rounding out the top 10 included Hailie Deegan, Kris Wright, Drew Dollar, Scott Melton and Eric Caudell.
Ty Gibbs spent 40 laps in the garage area to repair a mechanical issue surrounding the right rear of the No. 18 Toyota. Gibbs, winner of six races in 2020, finished 14th on the leaderboard.
The ARCA Menards Series will take an offseason hiatus before returning in February at Daytona. Check SpeedwayDigest.com periodically throughout the offseason for the latest updates.
Kansas Speedway will host the season-finale event for the ARCA Menards Series on Friday at 6:00 p.m. ET. live on FS1 / MRN Radio.
Two drivers, Bret Holmes and Michael Self, enter the final race of the year with an opportunity of securing the 2020 ARCA Menards Series driver championship. Holmes enters the 1.5-mile Kansas oval with one victory, 13 top five and 18 top 10 finishes while Self enters the event with two victories, 11 top five and 18 top 10 finishes.
What will it take for either driver to walk away with the title?
Bret Holmes enters Kansas with 910 points.
Michael Self enters Kansas with 902 points.
Maximum points to be earned at Kansas is 48 (no bonus point for qualifying on the pole will be awarded).
Tie breaker is: enter and compete (both will have 20), wins (Self leads 2 to 1 entering Kansas). There is no scenario where there would be a tie if Holmes wins, so any tie would go to Self (2 wins to 1).
If Holmes finishes ahead of Self, no matter the position, Holmes wins the championship.
Holmes can earn a maximum of 958 points with a win, leading a lap, and leading the most laps.
Self can earn a maximum of 950 points, leading a lap, and leading the most laps.
If Self wins and leads the most laps and earns his maximum 950 points, Holmes will need to finish second (952 points) or third (951 points) without leading a lap to win.
If Self wins and leads the most laps and earns his maximum 950 points, Holmes will need to finish fourth or higher (951 points) and lead at least one lap to win.
If Self wins but does not lead the most laps, he will earn 949 points. Holmes will need to finish fourth (950 points) without leading a lap to win.
If Self wins but does not lead the most laps, he will earn 949 points. If Holmes leads at least one lap he needs to finish fifth (950 points) to win.
If Self wins but does not lead the most laps, he earns 949 points. If Holmes leads the most laps he needs to finish sixth (950 points) or higher to win.
If Self does not win, he needs to finish six positions ahead of Holmes and lead the most laps to tie. Self wins any possible tie breakers.
If Self does not win, leads a lap, but does not lead the most laps, he needs to finish seven positions ahead of Holmes to tie. Self wins any possible tie breakers.
If Self does not win and neither driver leads a lap, he needs to finish eight positions ahead of Holmes to tie. Self wins any possible tie breakers.
If Self does not win and Holmes leads a lap, he needs to finish nine positions ahead of Holmes to tie. Self wins any possible tie breakers.
If Self does not win and Holmes leads the most laps, he needs to finish ten positions ahead of Holmes to tie. Self wins any possible tie breakers.
(Clinch scenarios provided by ARCA Racing)
Bret Holmes led the one and only ARCA Menards Series practice session on Friday at Kansas Speedway. The No. 23 Chevrolet ran five laps in the opening group, posting a lap of 30.753s / 175.592 mph. Salt Lake City, Utah, native Michael Self sat sixth quickest on the leaderboard. Rest of the top five included Ty Gibbs, Derek Griffith, Corey Heim and Hailie Deegan.
Racing Electronics announced via email to customers on Thursday that FanVision Entertainment, the company that provides the video and other features not in-car radio related on the FanVision LEGEND device, has ceased business operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result of FanVision Entertainment ceasing operations, Racing Electronics will no longer be allowed to sell or support the FanVision or other FanVision LEGEND devices going forward. Racing Electronics acknowledged in the email sent to its customers that this was disappointing news.
While FanVision will cease operations, a separate company from Racing Electronics, Racing Electronics says the scanner features of the LEGEND device will continue to work at any motorsports event with radio communications. In addition, existing LEGEND device owners have an opportunity to purchase a new RE3000 or RE1000 scanner 40% off. The offer will be in effect until December 31st, 2020.
Existing LEGEND customers can also get a free seven-day trial of NASCAR Mobile’s premium features. The company says there is no specific start or end date for this exclusive trial and can be cancelled anytime.
For those unfamiliar with FanVision, the tablet-like device allowed fans at the track to watch a closed-circuit TV broadcast along with in-car cameras and other angles of the race not offered to viewers at home. It also allowed those at the track to listen to officials, in-car radios, track PA and radio.
NASCAR fans did not hesitate to respond to this news on Twitter:
“As a visually impaired fan I really wanted to buy a Legend because after renting I saw a huge difference in my race day experience. Price was out of reach so I went with the RE3000. Hate to see them go out of business but also glad I never made the investment.” - @IngramsThe
“Covid claims a business that many fans enjoyed. At least @TXMotorSpeedway you can rent a scanner from @REradioz and see all the action on Big Hoss, the WORLD’S BIGGEST TV. I used FanVision when I went to other tracks and really like it.” – TMS President @EddieGossage
“Getting the email sucked. Bought my Legend in February in Vegas... I haven't even had it 8 months.” - @TMFlinchum
Racing Electronics will continue to operate and serve fans and teams at the track. The company has been operating since 1988, providing scanners, noise-reduction headphones, and intercom headset systems.
Ty Gibbs dominated the Toyota 200 presented by Crosley Brands on Saturday afternoon at Winchester Speedway. Gibbs, piloting the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, started on the pole and led 199 of the 200 laps to claim his fifth win of 2020.
Michael Self claimed the runner-up spot and led one lap throughout the event. Self edged Gibbs on lap 79 following a restart to earn a point towards the championship. The series points leader from Salt Lake City, Utah, leaves with 11 top five and 16 top 10 finishes in 2020.
Bret Holmes started fourth on the leaderboard and finished third on Saturday. Holmes, piloting the No. 23 Holmes II Excavation Chevrolet, recorded his 11th top five and 16th top 10 finish of the season. The Alabama native entered the event sitting one point behind Self.
Jesse Love and Taylor Gray rounded out the top five.
Taking home top 10s were Drew Dollar, Mike Basham, Eric Caudell, Brad Smith and Con Nicolopoulos.
Three drivers recorded their first career top 10 finishes on Saturday at Winchester.
Brad Smith, making his 363rd career ARCA Racing Series start since 1988, recorded his first top 10 by placing ninth.
Con Nicolopoulos and Eric Caudell also recorded their first career top 10 finishes. Nicolopoulos took home 10th while Caudell crossed the line in 8th.
Wayne Peterson and Owen Smith went to the garage in the completion of four laps.
Hailie Deegan’s day was cut short after making contact with the outside wall with around 90 laps to go. She also made contact with the outside wall prior to the incident that eliminated her No. 4 Ford from the 200-lap event. The California native will leave Winchester with a 12th-place finish.
A total of 14 drivers started the 100-mile event at the half-mile oval in Indiana.
The series heads to Memphis Motorsports Park for the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 on September 26th. The event will air live on MAVTV at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Niece Motorsports announced Tuesday that Trevor Bayne will pilot the No. 45 Chevrolet in Thursday’s NASCAR Gander & RV Truck Series event at Richmond Raceway. Bayne, former NASCAR Cup Series driver and Daytona 500 winner, will make his second career start in the series.
Piloting the No. 40 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet at Darlington on Sunday, Bayne started 26th and took home a 27th-place finish. The finish was the result of issues all throughout the event.
“I’m pumped to get another shot this weekend in the Niece Motorsports Proceller8 Chevy,” said Bayne in a team release. “Last weekend didn’t show what we are capable of, and I feel way more comfortable going into the weekend, now knowing what these trucks drive like. I’ve always liked short track racing and look forward to 250 more laps at Richmond.”
Bayne replaces Ty Majeski in the No. 45 entry for the first time this season.
It is unknown at this time why the move was made.
Majeski scored three top 10 finishes through 15 completed truck series races this season for Niece Motorsports.
Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag in Sunday’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in a surprise victory. Harvick took the lead with 13 circuits to go when Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott made contact while racing for the win. Truex had to pit because of a cut tire while Elliott slid to 20th.
“Anytime you can win the Southern 500 is a good day," said Harvick after the race. "This is one of the most prestigious races in our sport and this is one the most prestigious racetracks in our sport, so anytime you can win at Darlington it’s a big deal, but, man, Southern 500!”
Austin Dillon took a shot at the win on the final lap but could not make the momentum stick. Dillon, starting the 71st annual event in 12th, ended the night sitting second on the pylon. The driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet leaves the track with three top five and eight top 10 finishes.
As for Harvick, the series veteran will leave Darlington with his 57th career NASCAR Cup Series victory. He goes into the second race of the playoffs with 18 top five and 22 top 10 finishes with eight wins in 2020.
Joey Logano rounded out the top three finishers on Sunday at Darlington. Logano, piloting the No. 22 Shell Penzoil Ford, picked up his seventh top five and 15th top 10 of the year.
Erik Jones and William Byron rounded out the top five.
Taking home top 10s were Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer.
Seven yellow flags, one being for a competition caution at lap 25, slowed the Southern 500. 22nd-place finisher Martin Truex Jr. claimed both stages while four of the yellows were for either stage breaks or debris.
“It’s Darlington and typically you don’t want to go in side-by-side. I felt like I had enough of a run and enough space there that the last foot or so he (Chase Elliott) was going to understand that if I was committed, we both weren’t going to make it," Truex described the incident with Elliott. "Typically, here that’s kind of how you race. If a guy gets a run on you and he’s just about got you cleared, you have to give that last little bit. Now obviously, the end of the race, probably the pass for the win, he wanted to drive it on in there and I was committed to being clear and there was no way we were both going to make the corners. Basically, when I made up my mind and I was driving it in there and then he drove in on my right-rear quarter, there was no possible way that we both weren’t crashing. That’s what happened.”
“He (Truex) had a run on me there off of four and he just kind of cleared himself into one. He was close, but he wasn’t all the way clear, obviously. I hate it, obviously we had a fast NAPA Camaro - fast enough to contend," said Elliott. "We needed a little pace there to extend our lead instead of playing defense, but regardless I thought we were in a good spot. I ran the bottom in three and four to see if there was anything left down there, that’s what kind of gave him the run and then he just slid up in to my left front, I felt like and on we went.”
Bubba Wallace spinning in turn four was the result of the fourth yellow of the night. The driver of the No. 43 Chevrolet completed 217 of the 367 circuits and finished 38th in the garage.
John Hunter Nemechek brought out the yellow on lap 246 after going around on the frontstretch. Nemechek, son of Joe Nemechek, finished 36th in the garage as a result.
The series heads to Richmond Raceway on September 12th for the Federated Auto Parts 400. The event will air live on NBCSN and MRN Radio at 7:30 p.m. ET.