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.
The ARCA Menards Series invaded the Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park for the Reese’s 200 on Friday. When all 200 laps of the Reese’s 200 were complete, Chandler Smith was left celebrating in victory lane.
Smith started the night third behind the wheel of the No. 15 QuickTie / ChargeMe Toyota and led 111 circuits. The Georgia driver scored his 10th career ARCA victory with the win.
Sammy Smith sat 1.213 seconds behind the winner. Smith, one of four drivers with the last name Smith in the field, started the event on the pole and led 89 of the other laps. He’ll leave the track with six top-five and six top-10 finishes in just seven starts in ARCA’s main division in 2022.
Taylor Gray picks up his sixth top five with a third-place finish.
Daniel Dye and Connor Mosack rounded out the top five.
Taking home top 10s were Jesse Love, Nick Sanchez, Rajah Caruth, Dylan Smith (who made his ARCA debut), and Greg Van Alst.
There were two leaders and two lead changes throughout the Reese’s 200. It had six cautions that included a brief red flag period.
The next race for the series will be at Michigan International Speedway on August 6th.
The ARCA Menards Series tackled the “Tricky-Triangle” on Friday at Pocono Raceway for the General Tire Delivers 200. The event, with 28 entries in the field, was cut 16-laps short due to darkness approaching. Taylor Gray, overcoming a penalty earlier in the event, led 38 laps to win the event.
Gray will take home his third career ARCA Menards Series victory, his third of the season. The driver from North Carolina has five top-five and top-10 finishes in six ARCA starts this season.
Nick Sanchez started fifth after the field was set by practice speeds as storms cut the one and only practice session scheduled short. Finishing second, Sanchez leaves the track with his third top-five and seventh top-10 finish.
Brandon Jones takes home the third spot following a sixth-place start.
ARCA Menards Series points leader Rajah Caruth and Daniel Dye rounded out the top five finishers.
Connor Mosack, Jake Finch, Kris Wright, Jason Kitzmiller, and Toni Breidinger rounded out the top 10.
Six caution flags slowed the field including a 14-minute and 29-second red flag period.
Ed Pompa, Amber Balcaen, Sean Corr, Andy Jankowiak, Christian Rose, D.L. Wilson, Zachary Tinkle, Bryan Dauzat and Alex Clubb had DNFs.
The General Tire Delivers 200 had four leaders and eight lead changes.
For the first time since Stafford Speedway in 2016, Jimmy Blewett visited victory lane at Wall Stadium Speedway on Saturday. Blewett, starting second on the grid, didn’t appear to be a factor until late into the Jersey Shore 150.
“These guys prepared such a good car. Just ride, by their time, watching these guys burn it up, so we had some stuff there at the end,” described Blewett after taking the checkered on FloRacing. “I wanna dedicate this win to my grandfather as he never ever doubts me.”
The driver picks up his seventh career victory and has 32 top-five and 57 career top-10s.
Matt Hirschman leaves with the runner-up position by placing 1.910 seconds behind the race winner. Hirschman started the event 10th on the leaderboard and quickly worked his way to around the fifth position in the No. 60 machine. He’ll leave Wall Stadium Speedway scoring his fourth top-five of the season in just four starts.
“They (Blewett) were gonna be tough tonight,” said Hirschman on FloRacing. “Before the race, I had no idea really what to do with my car, or what I’d have,” he added in regards to the tires.
Third-place starter Patrick Emerling rounded out the top three finishers.
“It was a little rough out there, but I had a lot of fun tonight!” said Emerling after the race. “We had a pretty good racecar for running here only once before. We got some really good notes and I’m happy.”
Andrew Krause and Ron Silk, who had the strongest cars entering the event and led the majority of the race, rounded out the top five.
Justin Bonsignore, Austin Beers, Jon McKennedy, Blake Barney, and Kyle Bonsignore rounded out the top 10.
Four cautions slowed the event with one of those involving multiple cars on a restart on lap 70. The rest of the yellows impacted Matthew Kimball, Blake Barney and Ed McCarthy in turn two on lap 123, and Eric Goodale on lap 133 on the frontstretch.
The next race for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be at New Hampshire Speedway on July 16th for the Whelen 100. The event will air live on FloRacing.
Jake Drew claimed his third career ARCA Menards Series West victory on Saturday at Irwindale Speedway. Drew, making his 15th career start in the series at the half-mile oval outside of Los Angeles, goes to victory lane for the third race in a row.
Leading the overtime event wire-to-wire, Drew leaves the track with his 10th career top-five and 13th career top-10 finish.
Cole Moore sat 0.458 seconds behind the winner and pole-sitter Jake Drew in the No. 99 Toyota to finish second. Moore started the event third before claiming his third top-five and top-10 finish of the season.
Huddleston finishes third after an intense night in his No. 50 Ford and takes home his first top-five of the season in only his third start of the year. In his two previous races, Huddleston scored finishes in the top 10.
Kyle Keller and Landen Lewis rounded out the top five.
Taking home top 10s were Jake Finch, Tanner Reif, Sebastian Arias, Amber Slagle, and Todd Souza.
The caution flag was displayed seven times in the event – including one that resulted in roughly a 13-minute red-flag period.
Second-place starter Paul Pedroncelli Jr. brought the third yellow out on lap 73 in turns three and four. The yellow also sent the race into the scheduled race break at lap 75 early.
The next significant yellow at lap 121 involved Takuma Koga, Christian Rose and Nick Joanides in turns three and four, resulting in roughly a 13-minute red flag for clean-up.
On lap 145 with five to go, Todd Souza, Joey Iest, and Eric Rhead tangled in turns one and two to send the race into ARCA Overtime. The No. 11 of Chris Lowden barely avoided the 66 machine of Rhead stopped sideways.
The series heads to Evergreen Speedway on August 20th
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.
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.
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.
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.