Xfinity Series News (6388)
NASCAR Xfinity Series News
After a tough day at Kansas Speedway, Garrett Smithley and the No. 0 JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team finished 28th in the Kansas Lottery 300.
Smithley qualified for the race in the 34th position.
“Tough day at Kansas,” Smithley said. “We fought the car, something just wasn’t right all race long. We chased it, and the No. 0 crew made it better for sure. I brought the car home in one piece, so hopefully we can learn from it and improve. Got to thank Harrington Brothers Heating and Cooling for coming on board. We’ve got an off-week to work on everything, so hopefully we’ll come back stronger for Texas.”
Despite his struggles in Kansas, Smithley was able to advance to 22nd in the NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers points standings.
The Xfinity Series will take a week off before heading to Texas Motor Speedway for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge on November 4th.
Stewart-Haas Racing has bolstered its effort in the NASCAR XFINITY Series by partnering with Biagi-DenBeste Racing. The XFINITY Series operation will be known as Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste beginning with the 2018 season. The name change only applies to the company’s XFINITY Series program.
With the new partnership, Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste will continue to field the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for current rookie-of-the-year contender Cole Custer. The outfit’s No. 41 team, which ran a limited XFINITY Series schedule with Kevin Harvick in 2017, will change to the No. 98. Sponsors Hunt Brothers Pizza and FIELDS will remain with Harvick as he drives the No. 98 Ford Mustang in another part-time schedule in 2018.
“We’re always looking to improve our performance and find ways to make our teams more efficient,” said Tony Stewart, who co-owns Stewart-Haas Racing with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. “While we’ve been in NASCAR for nine years, this was our first year in the XFINITY Series. Partnering with Biagi-DenBeste Racing gives our XFINITY Series program added depth as we prepare for next season.”
Biagi-DenBeste Racing traces its roots back to 2001 when it competed in what used to be known as the NASCAR Busch Series. It has won three races, with its most recent victory coming earlier this year when Aric Almirola won the May 6 XFINITY Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
“Racing is our passion and to ensure our presence in this sport for years to come, it made sense to partner with an established team that also fields entries in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series,” said Fred Biagi, co-owner of Biagi-DenBeste Racing with Bill and Lori DenBeste. “We look forward to competing for wins and defending our victory at Talladega.”
The 2018 schedule for the No. 98 team of Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste will be announced at a later date.
The No. 4 Chevrolet Camaro team continues to bring home solid finishes at the NASCAR Xfinity Series mile-and-a-half tracks. Chastain finished 17th in Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway.
Chastain made the second round in qualifying and started the race in the 21st position.
“We just keep plugging away,” Chastain said. “We’re running our plan that my No. 4 JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team set out for us. We’ve got to run our race and keep the car clean, and we accomplished that today. We worked on the car all day and got pretty aggressive on a few things setup-wise, and it worked a little bit. We just need to fine-tune it to take the next step. All and all, we’ve had more speed and the cars are driving better. We’re just trying to take that next step, and we’re close. ”
The Xfinity Series will take a week off before heading to Texas Motor Speedway for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge on November 4th.
Heading to Kansas Speedway for the first time in his NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) career, Spencer Gallagher and the No. 23 Allegiant team got to work early finishing Friday’s practice sessions 13th and 16th fastest. Gallagher went on to secure the 14th starting position for Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300.
Running in the top-15 for the first 45 laps of the 200-lap event, Gallagher reported to the No. 23 team that he was battling a loose Allegiant Chevy Camaro. Finishing Stage One in the 13th-place, Gallagher came to pit road under the stage break, for four tires, fuel and a both a track bar and air pressure adjustment to help tighten up his Chevy. Restarting 15th for the start of Stage Two, Gallagher immediately radioed to his Allegiant team that he felt a vibration in the right rear. Forced to come to pit road under green on lap 63 when the vibration worsened, Gallagher got four fresh tires, returning to the track two laps down.
When the caution came out on lap 78, crew chief Joey Cohen called the No.23 down pit road for a splash of gas, lining him up 25th for the remaining 9 laps of Stage Two. During the final stage break, Gallagher was going to “wave around” to try get one of his laps back, but unfortunately varying pit strategy among the leaders hindered that plan. Instead, Gallagher came to pit road for four tires and fuel for the final stage.
When the caution came out on lap 139, Gallagher hit pit road for the final time for four tires, fuel and a slight air pressure adjustment, lining him up 22nd for the final restart. During the remaining 56 laps, Gallagher reported that he felt an issue with the right rear tire again, but was able to hold on to finish the race in the 21st position, three laps down.
"I’m so proud of the Allegiant Chevy that my GMS Racing team brought me this weekend. It was probably one of the best cars we have had at an intermediate track all year. I hate that we couldn’t get the finish we deserved, but this weekend shows that we’re heading in the right direction. We’ll regroup during the off week and get ready for Texas.”
- To support the Vegas victims and their families, t-shirts and stickers are available at DriversForVegas.com.
GMS Racing PR
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):
● Cole Custer started seventh, finished 10th. Earned one bonus point.
● Custer piloted his Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang to ninth place before noting loose handling conditions.
● Handling became tighter as the stage wore on, but Custer was able to stay inside the top-10 before the stage ended.
● At the conclusion of the stage, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):
● Started 12th, finished seventh. Earned four bonus points.
● During a lap-77 caution, Custer pitted for four tires, fuel, air pressure and chassis adjustments.
● Restarted in the 16th position and powered his Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang to another top-10 stage finish.
● Crew chief Jeff Meendering radioed Custer to the pits at the conclusion of the stage for two fresh tires and fuel.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 91-200):
● Started fourth, finished 19th.
● Custer ran as high as second on the initial restart, but fell to eighth as those with fresher tires proved quicker.
● Pitted under caution on lap 137 for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments. Restarted in seventh.
● Custer ran inside the top-10 until lap 195 when he was forced to the pits due to a cut tire.
● The Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates crew changed four tires under green and sent Custer back out to finish the race.
● Custer has earned the most points at 1.5-mile tracks among NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers this season with 326 points.
● Custer earned a total of five combined stage points.
● The Kansas Lottery 300 was the first race of the second round of the playoffs. Two more races remain before the season finale Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
● This was Custer’s 35th XFINITY Series start and his third at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.
● Four cautions slowed the race for 20 laps.
● Christopher Bell won the Kansas Lottery 300 to score his first career XFINITY Series victory. His margin of victory over second-place Tyler Reddick was 2.670 seconds.
Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We had a solid Haas Automation/Code 3 Ford Mustang. We fought hard to keep it in the top-10 and earned good stage points. There was nothing we could do at the end of the race because we ran over something late that crippled the right front. It’s just how it goes. There was a big cut in the tire and we had to pit. We ran well at Texas, so I still think we have a good shot at making it into the final four.”
Ryan Reed kicked off The Playoffs Round of 8 with a 10th-place finish Saturday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. Reed started the race 15th in his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang and capitalized on chassis adjustments and fast pit stops throughout the race to earn a top-10 finish. Reed is currently sixth in the Playoff standings with two more races before the Playoff field is narrowed down to four contenders vying for the XFINITY Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“Phil, my crew chief, made a great call to put two spring rubbers on the car and I thought, ‘Man, that’s a really big change.’ I didn’t think that we were that far off. It worked,” said Reed. “The car came to life after that and started to pick up a lot of speed and got competitive. I had really good restart on the last restart and picked up some track position. That was really the key to having a good finish. I had to make up a bad restart that I had earlier in the day. P10, not bad. I think we made up some points. We’re going to have to be better. We need to find some more speed. We’re up to the challenge. We’re only five or six points out. Five or six points out, we can make that up. We’re hanging around and everyone knows that we’re there. We’re ready to go get them.”
Reed started the 200-lap race at Kansas Speedway from the 15th position and despite reporting that he was loose on entry, he maintained the position to close out Stage 1 15th. Reed made slight gains over the course of Stage 2 with the help of fresh Goodyear tires and a chassis adjustment. Reed was still looking for help with turn but on lap 90 at the conclusion of Stage 2 Reed was running 12th.
Crew chief Phil Gould made the call to put spring rubbers in both rears at the conclusion of Stage 2. Reed lost ground on the ensuing restart, but over the course of the final Stage the handling came around and Reed was able to make up ground on the track. Reed steadily advanced through the field and crossed the finish line 10th in his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford.
Austin Dillon Recovers from Challenges to Earn Sixth-Place Finish in Rheem Chevrolet
"We started off really fast today in the Rheem Chevrolet. I found grip early, and we were posting the fastest lap times of the field. Once the track started to rubber up, the rest of the field moved up to my line and caught up. Then, we got behind there with a tire that corded. We fought back and finished sixth. The car handled really well, and it was a good recovery for our team. It makes me excited for Texas. ."
- Austin Dillon
|Ty Dillon Earns Top-10 Finish in the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet|
"When we started the race, our Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet was just way too tight. My crew chief, Matt Swiderski, took a big swing at adjustments during the first stage break and got my balance how I needed it for the second stage. We used strategy to flip the stage during a caution before the final break, and we were able to restart in first for the final stage. I held on for a couple laps before people with fresher tires caught up. We knew that would happen, but it gave us the advantage that we needed to hold our track position in the top 10 to finish out the race."
- Ty Dillon
|Late-Race Pit Road Penalty Hurts Daniel Hemric and the Blue Gate Bank Team's Day at Kansas Speedway|
"I'll take the blame on that one. I struggled getting into the pit box all day and getting the Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet pointed the right way. I put some rear brake into it and just got too aggressive. I was trying to get all I could get and overstepped it. It put us in a bad spot for the pit stop, and the car was over the line. The guys already had the right-front tire off the car and put the sticker tire on before we backed up. We got penalized a lap for that. It was not ideal. We fought through and passed a bunch of cars at the end, but we got trapped a lap down and never got the caution we needed. The name of the game is pressure, and you have to rise up. Today we didn't do that. I did not do that. I've just got to do better, and we'll be fine moving forward."
- Daniel Hemric
Brandon Jones Overcomes Radio Issues to Finish 11th at Kansas Speedway in the American Ethanol/Casey's General Store Chevrolet
"It's always a challenge when radio issues happen during a race, but the No. 33 American Ethanol/ Casey's General Store team really came together and managed to still get a great 11th-place finish out of the day. We fired off lacking rear grip at the start of the race, but that grip came in eventually. From there on out, I was just fighting a snug feeling all day. Having to communicate with hand signals back to my crew chief, Brandon Thomas, was tough but luckily we have a great spotter in Doug Campbell and he was able to relay to the team what I was feeling. It feels good to overcome an issue like that and still walk away with a solid finish."
- Brandon Jones
|Brendan Gaughan and the South Point/City Lights Shine Team Fight Back from Disappointing Qualifying Effort to Finish 13th at Kansas Speedway|
"Today, it was about track position and considering we started 24th and got all the way up to 10th shows the quality of car we had. I cannot be more pleased with the pit crew. They were on point. They gained spots on pit road for me every time. We had a top-10 car and after the final stop, we were four laps short on fuel so we conserved a little and then went all out with about two laps to go. I brushed the wall trying to get 12th position and unfortunately that slowed us down a little. Considering where we started, I'm pretty pleased with our finish."
- Brendan Gaughan
Spencer Boyd was optimistic in his return to Kansas Speedway after a successful run earlier in the year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. After dropping a cylinder on lap 5 of the Kansas Lottery 300, a 33rd place finish was all the rookie driver could muster for the No. 07 Grunt Style Chevrolet Camaro.
“It was a frustrating weekend, especially considering how hard our team works,” a disappointed Boyd expressed. “We struggled with speed in both practices, but couldn’t identify the problem despite many changes. We even incurred a penalty and changed the carburetor after qualifying. Apparently it was internal as that cylinder gave up at the start of the race.”
The Grunt Style Camaro would start in 38th position after Boyd’s qualifying effort on the weakened engine. While the first stage would be rather uneventful for the field, losing a cylinder on lap 5 was the defining moment of the weekend for SS Green Light Racing. Erik Jones would capture the Stage One checkered flag with Spencer in 34th position.
Erik Jones would dominate the race winning Stage 2 only to be caught up in an accident with four laps to go when teammate Christopher Bell pulled a slide move to go in front of Jones for the race win. Boyd would trade spots with Bobby Dale Earnhardt for much of the second half of the race and was able to pass one more car at the end to finish 33rd.
"It’s racing," said Boyd. "There are ups and downs and this weekend was definitely a down. We’ll get back at it though for Texas. We’re a determined bunch and have a lot to look forward to with a full season in Xfinity next year.”
The 33rd-place finish in Boyd’s fifth start of NASCAR Xfinity Series competition this season wasn’t what the team was hoping for after a 13th place finish at Talladega last week.
Spencer Boyd PR
Christopher Bell went to victory lane for the first time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday. Bell, after starting in the fourth position, led just three laps to score his first career victory in the series.
Kansas Speedway is sort of a home track for Bell. That is because the 22-year old grew up in the state of Oklahoma in Norman.
The race victory didn’t come easy for the young man. He and leader Erik Jones made contact in the closing laps that caused Jones to lose the top spot and finish one lap down in 15th.
In five XFINITY Series starts in 2017, Bell holds two top five and three top 10 finishes.
Tyler Reddick started on the pole for the first time of his career in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday. When it was all said and done -- Reddick found himself in the runner-up position.
Reddick will leave Kansas Speedway with three top five and five top 10 finishes this season.
Ryan Blaney will round out the top three finishers on Saturday afternoon. Blaney led three of the 200 circuits and will leave the track with his ninth top five and ninth top 10 finish through 10 races.
William Byron will be the highest finishing NASCAR Playoff driver with a fourth-place run. Byron started the Kansas Lottery 300 from the rear of the field for unapproved adjustments.
NASCAR Playoff Drivers by Finish:
Elliott Sadler hit a snag towards the middle portion of the race. The No. 1 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet spun off of turn four on lap 76 to bring out the caution flag. Sadler was able to rebound and finish seventh on the leaderboard.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series will return to action on November 4 at Texas Motor Speedway. Race will air live on NBCSN at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM Ch. 90 will carry the live radio broadcast.