Saturday, Dec 04

Christopher Bell wins the CircuitCity.com 250 at Iowa Speedway after dominating all three stages. 

His quest for the win began after taking four fresh Goodyear tires with 10 laps to go in the first stage. He passed Stewart Haas Racing's, Cole Custer with two to go and won his seventh stage of the season. 

The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota led majority of the laps and maintained almost a two second lead over Cole Custer throughout Stage 2. 

When the green flag waved for stage three, Bell went into defense mode. Cole Custer, who had been battling tough handling all race long, slammed into the outside wall and brought out the sixth caution of the day. The leaders took the opportunity to get four fresh tires and Sunoco fuel before the green waved for what they thought would be the final time. 

Custer had a fast stop and was able to beat Bell off of pit road, giving him the preferred lane on the restart. The outside line ran good all race long and gave anyone running it the advantage over those on the bottom. Battle ensued for the top spot between Custer and Bell, as they raced side by side around the racetrack. After making contact with the No.00, Bell took the lead and had his sights set on the checkered flag. 

Unfortunately, Chad Finchum made contact with the outside wall bringing out the seventh caution of the day. With 10 to go, Bell took the lead over Cole Custer and held him off as the laps were winding down. 

Christopher Bell took the checkered flag for the fourth time this season and for the 12th time in his Xfinity Series career. 

“I got to win at Dover on Mother’s Day weekend, with my mom there and now on Father’s Day weekend with my dad here. That’s pretty special.” 

Cole Custer, Justin Allgaier, Harrison Burton and Zane Smith rounded out the top-five. 

The Xfinity Series will be back in action on June 29 at 3:30 PM ET from Chicagoland Speedway for the Camping World 300 on NBCSN. 

After spinning out from the lead earlier in the race, Kyle Busch was able to recover to win the Zippo 200 from Watkins Glen International.

“Just finally being able to win here at Watkins Glen in the Xfinity Series is box we’ve been wanting to check off for a long, long time,” Busch said. “It feels good. It feels good in front of this crowd here at Watkins Glen.
I tried to screw it up a couple times but thankfully I was able to drive back up there and the pit strategy worked to our advantage,” Busch said.

This is Joe Gibbs Racing and Busch's first win at Watkins Glen. The organization broke the tie with Roush-Fenway Racing for the most wins in XFINITY competition. This was Busch's 90th win in the XFINITY Series.

For Joey Logano, the streak of winning three races in a row from the pole position ended today with a second place finish.

“It’s fun. Dang, I wish it was for the win and not for second. I had such a good short run car, just in the wrong position to start that last run. I feel like if I was second I could have won the race. I just had a really good short run car,” sad Logano. “Our long run speed was off a bit and that’s when the 18 and 22 would drive by us and we were a third-place car on the long run but probably a winning car on the short run. By time I cleared the 22 the 18 was gone. If we had another four or five laps (he would have drove off again). I needed a caution”

Despite having a strong car throughout the day, Brad Keselowski finish third.

“The Toyotas had the Fords and Chevy’s out-classed so bad on horsepower and downforce that they can spin out on their own and still win the race,” said Keselowski. “That just goes to show you how big a difference there is. I gave it all I had. Joey and I were racing for best in class and he did a good job. It was a heck of a race there at the end.”

Justin Allgaier, Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick, Ty Dillon, Erik Jones, Brendan Gaughan, and William Byron round out the top-10.

The race saw eight leaders among five different drivers. There were five cautions for 15 laps. The time of race was two hours 10 minutes and 13 seconds. The average speed was 92.569 mph. The margin of victory was 1.049 mph.

Next up for the NASCAR XFINITY Series is a trip to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Motor Racing Network and NBCSN will have the call beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET on August 12.

TALLADGEA, Al— After a last lap charge from the back of the field, Aric Almirola was able to hold off the charge to win the Sparks Energy 300 from Talladega Superspeedway. Darrell Wallace, Jr. and Ryan Siege spun on the backstretch, but the caution did not fall. Almirola lost the draft after a long green flag run in the final stage, but a caution flew for debris giving Almirola the chance to head to victory lane.

 

“It means so much.  First, I want to thank God.  And then I want to thank Fresh from Florida and everybody at this Biagi DenBeste race team.  They let me run this thing seven or eight times a year and I have so much fun, especially at the speedway races.  Doug Yates brings some awesome horsepower and our Ford Mustang was super-fast.  I knew it right from the beginning of practice.  We ran about 10 laps in practice and I said, ‘Put it on jack stands.  We’re ready to go.  This thing is fast.’  What an awesome day.  I feel really bad about the 16.  I got in the back of the 16 and tore up a lot of cars there, but I got a good push and I got in the back of him.  I was trying to help him, trying to make the Fords work together and I hooked him, so I feel sorry about that.  But an awesome job.  I told the kids we were gonna get soaking wet again.  They’ve talked about Daytona for a year and it’s just awesome to get this Fresh from Florida Ford Mustang into Victory Lane, so we’ll drink down a cold glass of orange juice and get ready to qualify.”

 

 

This is the third career win for Almirola in the NASCAR Xfintiy Series. This is Biagi-DenBetse first win since July 2016 at Daytona.

 

Elliott Sadler finished second in the Sparks Energy 300. Sadler hit the wall early in the first stage after a charge from Logano. Sadler and his JR Motorsports team worked on the car all day long to finish in the second position. Although he finished second, Sadler was disappointed in the finish.

 

“I really wanted to win this race today. I came up a little short. I am proud of my guys for battling getting us back to where we need to be, one spot short today,” said Sadler post-race.

 

Joey Logano finished third in the race. Logano was a contender for most of the race, but debris on the grill towards the end of the final stage gave Justin Allgaier the lead. Logano also had to hit pit road at the conclusion of the second stage to make sure that his lug nuts were tight for the final stage.

 

"Man we were so close, aggravating, but so much fun. I love racing here at Talladega in these XFINITY cars. The draft is so crazy and different. The runs come so quick and it's hard to block them. You have to physically block them with your car and it's really tight. We came through (Turns) 3 and 4, I thought I had a run and Aric was late to block and I was like, 'This is could be where it all ends (laughs)'. (He) got there just in time and I just got into his rear and had to cross him over. Dang it! I had a good push there at the end with the 2 car and we just couldn't stay attached like we needed to. If the caution came out sooner, we would have won the race. I'm glad they let us race to the end. Selfishly, I wish the caution came out, but for the fans I'm glad that it didn't. We did everything that we could do."

 

The Sparks Energy Solutions 300 was slowed five times by caution for 20 laps. The red flag was displayed twice for a combined time of 20 minutes and 33 seconds. There were 27 lead changes amongst 13 different drivers.


Sadler continues to hold a 29 point lead over second place driver Justin Allgaier.

 

Next up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series has two off weekends before the Hisense 4K TV 300 from Charlotte Motor Speedway. That race will be on May 27th at 1:00 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1 and Performance Racing Network.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fl.— Ryan Reed scored the victory at Daytona International Speedway in the Powershares QQQ 300, a race that was plagued with two red flags. This is Reed’s second career win at Daytona.

 

“I had several people come up to me today and tell me how amazing my first win was. To see what that win meant to people, it drove me to get back into victory lane,” said Reed in victory lane.

 

Reed started the race in stage one in the second position. Reed ran up front for the first stage, while being the pushee and pusher through much of the first segment. Reed was involved in the second caution of the day on the backstretch that collected 20 cars. Reed was able to continue in the race. Elliott Sadler won the stage wth Kasey Kahne in second, Brennan Poole in third, Ty Dillon in fourth, and Blake Koch rounded out the top-five.

 

In the second stage,  Reed was a silent contender working his way back to the front. Reed hooked-up with Sadler to help him get towards the lead on lap 46. Shortly after pushing Sadler to the lead, the field went single file for a few laps before Reed went to the bottom to form a second lane going into ending of the stage, but lost momentum as he was side drafted. Sadler won the second round with Austin Dillon was second, T. Dillon was third, Reed was fourth, and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five.

 

In the third and final stage, Reed was silent at the beginning, but on lap 82 Reed pushed Keselowski to the lead. When Reed pushed Keselowski to the lead, Keselowski dropped to the bottom leaving Reed on the high side with Sadler pushing him. A. Dillon found a hole on lap 85 to jump in front of Reed. A. Dillon gained a huge lead from the push by Reed, but was sidelined as Reed passed him to gain the lead. Reed also received a huge push from behind, but as quickly as he gained the lead, he was split on both sides by the draft, getting shuffled towards the back of the pack. Reed moved his way back towards the front before the caution fell for an accident on the backstretch. On the restart, Reed challenged Kahne with eight laps to go for the lead.  Reed blocked Kahne from taking his position, and received drafting help from T. Dillon. With just three laps remaining, the caution flag flew sending the race into NASCAR Overtime. On the final restart of the race, Reed was able to get a jump on the field to win the race.

 

Kahne finished second, A. Dillon finished third, Keselowski finished fourth, and Brendan Gaughan finished in the fifth position.

 

The Powershares QQQ 300 from Daytona was slowed by 10 cautions for 42 laps with two red flags, resulting in the race being stopped for 46 minutes, 13 seconds.  There were 23 lead changes among seven drivers with Reed leading nine laps.

 

Next up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Fire up the scanners, it is time for Crew Chatter with Speedway Digest writers. This week we tackle Homestead-Miami with the question, “Now that the Championship 4 is set for all series, who has the best shot to become a champion in 2016?”

Brett Winngingham

This weekend will certainly be awesome. Why? Because we not only see a Chase format on Sunday, but also on Friday and Saturday. The Chase this year has certainly been one of the most competitive and Sunday will really show that.

With Joey Logano, Carl Edwards, Jimmy Johnson and Kyle Busch in the Sprint Cup Series, I'm sticking with my pick at the beginning of the Chase and going with Joey Logano. Logano came into the season as one of the drivers to watch.

In the XFINITY Series, where you have Elliott Sadler, Daniel Suarez, Justin Allgaier and Erik Jones, I'm going with veteran racer Elliott Sadler. That team has certainly been running better lately even though they will not have Kevin Meendering on the pit box this weekend

In the Camping World Truck Series, where you have Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton, Christopher Bell and Timothy Peters, this one is a little more difficult to choose from. I feel that it will be a battle all night long between Sauter and Crafton. So with that said, I think I'll go with Johnny Sauter.

Katie Williams

This one is going to come right down to the last lap and we may or may not even see one of the top four Chase contenders cross the checkered flag first.

I think Carl Edwards has the best shot. He won at Texas with the same tire they'll be racing with at Homestead. He's also a previous two-time winner on the south Florida Speedway. After losing out to Tony Stewart in 2011, he may be primed to be the champion this year.

Kyle Busch almost didn't get the chance to defend but when Matt Kenseth ran into trouble in Phoenix, it opened the door. Watching the points-as-they-run, it looked like Busch was too far down to have a shot, but when Kenseth suffered that disaster, it changed things didn't it. Kyle Busch had never won Homestead before a year ago when he had to do so in order to secure his title. To repeat, he may have to do the same or finish high.

Joey Logano got in by the skin of his teeth. If Kenseth would have won Phoenix, it would have been a different story for the No. 22 team. I think all they need to do is not make any pit-road mistakes. Logano is good on 1.5-milers, which is what Homestead is so he has a shot. I'm just thinking he needs a little luck on his side.

Jimmie Johnson is a six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. Here's the kicker. He won all those titles under the old Chase format where you only had to finish a certain way and you're the winner. He has never won Homestead although he too is good on mile-and-a-half tracks. This is his first time in contention under this fairly new format. It will be interesting to witness how this team handles it.

I think they all have a shot but it is not going to be a cake walk.

Davey Segal

I think you have to rely on past history as well as "what have you done for me lately" when going about answering this question. History says Jimmie Johnson will win. His six championships (five consecutive) have been unparalleled in this generation of stock car racing, and seeing him win a seventh would be so cool to see.

"What have you done for me lately" would go to Kyle Busch. He won this race and the championship (his first) last season and obviously knows what it takes to win a title in this type of scenario.

The hot hand is Joey Logano. Coming off his win at Phoenix, he proclaimed that his No. 22 team would win the championship. It's a very real possibility, especially considering he was perhaps a fully jack away from winning it all in 2014.

And then there's Carl Edwards. He has the best stats out of the four drivers at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and is hungrier than anybody. After having the title ripped way from him in 2011 after tying Tony Stewart, he's back for more.

Who am I picking? I think it'd be hard to go against JJ. But I know one thing is for sure: the fans win this weekend. They're going to see a great show in the NSCS as well as NXS and NCWTS.

Caleb Whisler

In the NCWTS, I believe Johnny Sauter will become the 2016 champion. Suater has peaked at the right time when it comes to the season.

The Xfinity Series will be a little harder. I believe the race for the championship will come down between Elliott Sadler and Daniel Suarez. Sadler will have a challenge because his crew chief was suspended after Phoenix for not having two lug nuts properly secured. Suarez will be interesting to watch to see if he becomes the first international driver to win a championship in the top-three series.

For the Sprint Cup Series, all four have a great shot at winning the championship. Logano and Edwards are coming into Homestead “hot as rocks” due to their recent victories. Johnson and Edwards have experience to back up their drive for a championship. I believe the Ford EcoBoost 400 will come down to the last lap between these drivers. Who knows, we may even see a bump and run determine the championship.

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