Xfinity Series News (6388)
NASCAR Xfinity Series News
Ross Chastain, driver of the No. 4 JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Chevrolet Camaro, finished 21st in the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300. Saturday night’s race at Kentucky Speedway was Chastain’s 100th NASCAR Xfinity Series start.
“We rolled off 21st and went forward a little bit,” Chastain said. “We fought a tight car all night, and we were loose into turn three. We got a lot better but just didn’t pick up as much speed as we thought we should have. We’ll go back to work and get ready for Dover, which should be a big one for this No. 4 team.”
Chastain remains 15th in NASCAR Xfinity Series driver points.
The series moves on to Dover International Speedway for the Drive Sober 200 on Saturday, September 30th.
JGL Racing PR
Spencer Gallagher and the No. 23 Allegiant Chevrolet team showed speed in both NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) practice sessions on Friday finishing seventh in first practice and third in the final session.
Gallagher started the NXS VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 in the 19th position. Gallagher reported to the No. 23 crew that he was experiencing a loose condition on and off the corners. Crew chief Joey Cohen called for Gallagher to visit pit road three times throughout the 200-lap event to try and fix the loose handling conditions. On the last pit stop Gallagher came to pit road from the 15th position under green flag conditions on lap 145 for right side tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Gallagher battled his way back into the 15th position on lap 163 where he crossed the start-finish line. This finish marks Gallagher's fifth top-15 in his first full-time NXS season.
"We had a fast Allegiant Chevrolet Camaro this weekend. These GMS Racing guys have been bringing faster cars week in and week out. We had some issues on pit road but we never stopped fighting back and we got a top-15 out of it. Looking forward to going to Dover next weekend."
GMS Racing PR
Ryan Reed drove his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang to a 10th-place finish Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway. The solid top-10 run seeds Reed eighth, just two points out of seventh, with two races remaining before the Playoff field is cut from 12 cars to eight.
“We did exactly what we needed to do to keep ourselves in Playoff contention,” said Reed. “We struggled in practice, but Phil (Gould) made all the right adjustments throughout the race and we were able to start the Playoffs with a solid run.”
Reed struggled with his Lilly Diabetes Ford in practice on Friday at Kentucky, but on Saturday the handling came around. Reed narrowly missed making the final round of qualifying, setting himself up with a 13th-place starting position for 200-laps under the lights at Kentucky Speedway.
The opening Stage of the race was 45 laps that went caution free for the field. Despite a loose handling condition right from the start, Reed was able to pick up a few positions from his 13th-place starting position to close out Stage 1 11th. Reed pitted at the Stage break for fresh tires and a chassis adjustment. Thanks to quick work by his pit crew, Reed gained two positions on pit road to line him up ninth for the start of Stage 2.
The loose handling condition from Stage 1 continued into Stage 2, but despite the handling, Reed was able to maintain his position. Reed closed out Stage 2 ninth before coming down pit road for air pressure and track bar adjustments to tighten up his Lilly Diabetes Ford.
Reed took the green flag for the final Stage of the race 13th and cycled up to eighth before coming down pit road for a routine green flag pit stop with just over 50 laps remaining. As the laps dwindled down, Reed reported the handling had gone to the tight side. Despite the handling woes, Reed was able to steadily advance to cross the finish line 10th at Kentucky.
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):
● Cole Custer started third, finished first. Earned one playoff point and 10 bonus points.
● Custer powered his Haas Automation Ford Mustang to second place on the first lap of the opening stage.
● On lap 41, Custer passed leader Kyle Benjamin to secure the first stage win of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career.
● Custer pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments at the conclusion of the stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):
● Started second, finished first. Earned one playoff point and 10 bonus points.
● Custer regained the lead on the first lap of Stage 2.
● Despite a caution on lap 74, Custer led the field for the remainder of Stage 2 before earning his second-straight stage win.
● At the conclusion of the stage, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments. He was the first car on four tires off pit road.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):
● Started sixth, finished fifth.
● Custer noted a loose-handling condition at the beginning of the final stage.
● On lap 151, Custer pitted under green-flag conditions for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.
● Custer said his Haas Automation Ford Mustang ran free into the corners and was tight to the center of the turns, but managed to fight the balance issues to earn his fifth top-five of the season.
● Custer won Stages 1-2 to earn two playoff points and 20 stage points. These were the first stage wins of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career.
● Custer is tied for first in the playoff point standings with Justin Allgaier. Each driver has 2,057 points and is two points ahead of nearest pursuer Elliott Sadler.
● Custer’s 20 bonus points were his highest single-race total in 32 career XFINITY Series starts.
● Custer earned 52 points in the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300, the second-highest total in the race.
● Custer led twice for 49 laps, the third-highest total in the race.
● The 49 laps led were Custer’s highest single-race total in 32 career XFINITY Series starts, breaking Custer’s previous best of 41 laps led in the preceding XFINITY Series race Sept. 16 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.
● Custer was the highest finishing rookie, earning his seventh rookie of the race award this season and his fourth at a 1.5 mile-oval.
● Custer earned his fifth top-five of the 2017 season and his sixth top-five in 32 XFINITY Series starts.
● This marked Custer’s 14th top-10 of the 2017 season and his 16th top-10 in 32 XFINITY Series starts.
● Three cautions slowed the race for 14 laps.
● Tyler Reddick won the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 to score his first career XFINITY Series victory. His margin of victory over second-place Brennan Poole was 14.540 seconds.
|Ben Kennedy Finishes 11th at Kentucky Speedway in the Rheem Chevrolet|
"We worked hard for our finish tonight. We were fast in practice and qualifying, but once the sun went down to start the race, our Rheem Chevrolet was too loose. I couldn't put much wheel into it without wrecking. The team took big swings at the handling with air pressures and trackbar adjustments to tighten me up during our stops. We found adjustments that worked for our Camaro, and I was feeling more comfortable with the balance at the end of the race. There just wasn't enough time to make up the ground we had lost at the end. I wish we could have finished in the top 10, but it was a hard-fought 11th-place finish."
- Ben Kennedy
|Brian Scott Brings Home Top-10 Finish in Final Race of the Season for Daniel Defense|
"It's been a lot of fun to have an opportunity to wheel this No. 3 Daniel Defense Chevrolet. We had a lot of speed all weekend in Kentucky. We struggled at the start of the race being too tight, but Matt (Swiderski, crew chief) made changes during the stage breaks to loosen me up and got us going in the direction that we needed. Track position really was key tonight. With clean air, my car was great. As soon as I ran up on someone to pass them, though, I lost the nose and got too loose. I wish we could have gotten more positions there at the end. Fighting through so much lapped traffic kept us from making gains in the closing laps, but it was still a good night for this team. I'm proud of how hard they worked and have enjoyed racing with them."
- Brian Scott
|Daniel Hemric Earns Stage Points, Finishes Seventh in Opening NASCAR XFINITY Playoff Race at Kentucky Speedway|
"We did what we needed to do tonight on the No. 21 Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet. It was solid all around. We had great pit stops all night and gained spots almost every stop. I had something happen on the second-to-last pit stop. We came in, I thought I had the car in gear, but when they came around from the right side to the left side of the car I didn't get it all the way in gear when they dropped the jack. That cost us a few spots on pit road. All-in-all, it was probably the best balanced race car we've had all year at any racetrack. That's something to be proud of. We'll take this momentum that we've got, work on the balance and make sure that we come back next week better than we were the week before and keep going."
- Daniel Hemric
|Brandon Jones Fights Through Tough Track Changes to Top-15 Finish at Kentucky Speedway|
"We fired off really strong in practice on Friday with our No. 33 Tide / Menards Chevrolet. I thought it was the best we've unloaded at a 1.5-mile track. Unfortunately, it didn't transfer over to the race like we thought it would. It wasn't the day we were expecting. We got caught up in a couple incidents early on there, which got us in a bit of a hole where we couldn't capitalize on anything. Good job to my guys though. I'm looking forward to our next shot at a intermediate track."
- Brandon Jones
New RCR Chevrolet Camaro Gains Brendan Gaughan Two NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff Spots
"We had great pit stops all night with our No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet. I loved the new car RCR gave me this weekend to run. It was awesome in Turns 1 and 2 but too snug in Turns 3 and 4. Like anything, we just need to learn how to work with this new car and get the balance to where we want it to be. We gained two spots in the points, so it was still a solid night by everyone in this South Point team."
- Brendan Gaughan
Kyle Benjamin will start on the pole for the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday. Benjamin, making his fifth career XFINITY Series start of the season, posted a 29.633, 182.229 mph. in the final round of knockout qualifying to capture his second career XFINITY Series pole.
Benjamin earned his first career pole back in June at Pocono Raceway. The South Carolina native went on to lead 28 of the 100 laps to score a 16th-place finish in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Through four starts in 2017, Benjamin holds one top five and one top 10 finish.
Ryan Preece, a teammate of Benjamin piloting the No. 20 Toyota, will start in the runner-up position on Saturday. The young driver from Connecticut enters the weekend with momentum after scoring the victory at Iowa Speedway his last time out.
Preece’s worst finish of the year came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway where he finished second. He led two laps on that particular July afternoon after starting from the sixth starting spot.
Cole Custer in the No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford will round out the top-three starters on Saturday. Custer posted a 29.694, 181.855 mph. in the final round of knockout qualifying and sat 0.061 seconds behind the pole winner.
Through 26 events in 2017, Custer holds four top five and 13 top 10 finishes.
Where will the Playoff drivers start:
A total of 40 drivers appeared on the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 entry list. That means there were no DNQ’s after round one of qualifying.
Ryan Reed secured his position in the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs with his win in his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. The 2017 Playoffs kick off this Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway and Reed has his eyes on a solid finish to set the tone for the remainder of the season and to advance through the Playoff field.
“We had a good run last year at Kentucky to start the Playoffs and were able to carry that momentum through the first round,” said Reed. “It’s important to be consistent and not dig yourself a hole to start the Playoffs. We’ve got some fast cars and have had some speed lately. I’m excited to get these Playoffs underway and see what we’ve got.”
The 2016 season was the inaugural year for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs. Reed advanced all the way to the conclusion of the Round of 8 at Phoenix International Raceway, barely missing a spot in the final four for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
In Kentucky one year ago, Reed drove his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang to a seventh-place finish and set the tone for the Playoffs. Reed followed up his run with a top-10 finish at Dover then advanced to the Round of 8 with a 15th-place finish at Charlotte.
Reed entered the cutoff race at Phoenix sixth in the Playoff standings, just five points out of fourth place after finishing 16th at Kansas and 12th at Texas. Reed put forth a valiant effort at Phoenix, racing his way to a sixth-place finish, narrowly missing a spot in the Championship round at Homestead.
Ross Chastain will reach a career milestone this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. Saturday night’s VisitMytleBeach.com 300 will be his 100th NASCAR Xfinity Series race start. The majority of Chastain’s Xfinity career has been in the No. 4 JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Chevrolet Camaro, and he is eager to make race number 100 a good one.
“It’s hard to believe that I’ve reached my 100th race in the Xfinity Series,” says Chastain. “It has been a great ride so far, and I’m excited to see how the next 100 races go. Kentucky is a very challenging track, especially since the repave, but I’m confident that my No. 4 crew will set me up with a great ride.”
Kentucky Speedway practice is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (ET) Friday. Qualifying will start at 5:35 p.m. Saturday. The VisitMytleBeach.com 300 will get the green flag at 8:00 p.m. on NBCSN.