Category Archives: NASCAR

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Bristol

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Over the last six NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races, no one has been able to post better results than Ryan Preece. The Berlin, Connecticut, driver has four wins, a runner-up and a fourth and it has allowed him to claw his way right back into the fight for the championship. Even though he missed a race at Virginia’s Langley Speedway in May to get married, Preece sits only 19 points from the points lead with seven championship races left on the 2017 schedule.

His recent run of success in NASCAR also included his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series victory while driving for Joe Gibbs Racing at Iowa Speedway on July 29. As Preece enters the third Whelen Modified Tour race in 12 days, he is hoping to continue his recent success on the tricky high-banks of Bristol Motor Speedway. In his career at “Thunder Valley,” Preece has six top 10 finishes in seven starts, including a victory in the rain-shortened race in 2015.

Tour points leader Timmy Solomito enters the race with a 10-point advantage on Rowan Pennink, but if he wants to maintain the top spot, he will need to come away from Bristol in one piece. His best career finish at the track is eighth, but last season, he was involved in a wreck and finished 26 laps down in 18th. He joins Preece as the only multiple-time winners so far this season on the Tour.

Defending Bristol race winner Eric Goodale enters the race looking to go back-to-back and knock some points off his deficit to the top of the championship standings. Goodale enters the race fifth in the points off an eighth-place finish at Thompson last Wednesday behind the wheel of his No. 58.

The Bristol race marks the third event in 12 days for Whelen Modified Tour teams. Following the mid-week stop in Tennessee, the series will have a 10-day break before visiting Massachusetts and the Seekonk Speedway on August 26.

Race: Bush’s Beans 150
Place: Bristol (Tenn.) Speedway
Time: 6 p.m. ET
2016 Winner: Eric Goodale
2016 Pole Winner: Todd Szegedy
Track Layout: .533-mile banked concrete oval
Event Schedule: Final Practice: 12:30-2 p.m., Qualifying: 3:15 p.m., Driver Autograph Session: 4:45 p.m., Bush’s Beans 150: 6 p.m.
Track Contact:
Track Twitter: @BMSupdates
Event Hashtag: #BushsBeans150
NASCAR IMC Contact: Jason Christley, (386)-547-2469jchristley@nascar.com

RACE CENTRAL LIVE: EVENT SCHEDULE & ENTRY LIST

Fast Facts:

The Race: The Bush’s Beans 150 is the 10th of 16 races on the 2017 unified NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship points schedule. It is the first and only appearance at Bristol Motor Speedway for this season.

The Procedure: The maximum starting field for the race is 36 cars, including any provisionals. The first 30 positions in the race will be awarded through the qualifying process, while six provisionals will also be available through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (79.95 miles) and will have a five minute break on or about lap 75.

The Track: Nicknamed as the “World’s Fastest Half Mile,” Bristol Motor Speedway is a 0.533-mile high-banked concrete oval. The track also holds two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races each season. On Wednesday night, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will also hold their annual Bristol night race.

Race Winners: Seven different drivers have visited Victory Lane in Whelen Modified Tour action at Bristol. Ryan Newman (2) is the only multiple-time overall winner. Seven other drivers are tied with one overall victory. Eric Goodale is the defending overall race winner. This is the first year of the unified tour racing at Bristol; in the past, the highest finishing driver in the Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tour have been awarded a victory.

Pole Winners: There have been six different Coors Light Pole award winners at Bristol in the eight races. Qualifying was rained-out for the inaugural event back in 2009. Justin Bonsignore has two career overall poles, while five other drivers are tied with just one career pole.

Bush’s Beans 150 Notes:

Coby Crawling Back: Four-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby found himself in a large hole in the point standings when the season got underway. He left the first four races of the season with only one top 10 finish and has since been trying to dig himself out since. However, in his last five races, things have turned the opposite way for the Milford, Connecticut, driver. The reigning champion has five top five finishes in the last six starts, including a second-place finish in last Wednesday’s Bud 150 at Thompson. Coby has climbed to fourth in the championship standings, just 30 points from the lead with seven races left to go. If he wants to continue the climb towards a fourth straight title, he will need to escape the Bristol high-banks with a solid finish. In his six career starts there, Coby has two top five finishes, but also two DNFs.

Dowling Pairs With Harvey: Chase Dowling will be taking his talents to Bristol Motor Speedway behind the wheel for a new team on Wednesday night. Former Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship car owner Eddie Harvey has paired with Dowling and LFR Chassis’ Rob Fuller to put Dowling behind the wheel of his No. 11 in the Bush’s Beans 150. In two career starts at “Thunder Valley,” Dowling has a best finish of seventh while driving for Cheryl Tomaino in 2015. In five races this season, Dowling has a best finish of fifth driving for Fuller.

Silk Teams With Stuart: Continuing a streak of mid-season shakeups on the Whelen Modified Tour, 2003 series champion Todd Szegedy decided to part ways with Kevin Stuart Motorsports following the Stafford 150 on August 4. Although Jeff Rocco drove the car last Wednesday at Thompson, the team has tabbed former series champion Ron Silk to drive the car for most of the remainder of the season. Silk has just four starts on the tour this season, but has one victory to his resume at Bristol, along with an average finish of ninth in seven career starts. Silk has competed in all of the Tour’s prior trips to the 0.533-mile oval.

Winning: Ryan Preece (four) and Timmy Solomito (three) are the only two NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers with multiple wins so far this season. Rowan Pennink and Bobby Santos both have one victory to theri credit as well. Coby, Justin Bonsignore, and Ron Silk are among active drivers who won last season, but have yet to grace Victory Lane in 2017.

Wednesday Doubleheader: The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s Bush’s Beans 150 will serve as the first of two races at Bristol on Wednesday night. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will also join in on the action with a 200 lap race. The Trucks have just three races remaining before the playoffs begin.

Darrell Wallace Jr Wins LTi Printing 200 at Michigan

(Courtesy: NASCAR Media)

BROOKLYN, MI – AUGUST 12: Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #99 Maestro’s Classic Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series LTi Printing 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 12, 2017 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, Mich.— For the final 11 laps of today’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway, Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr. protected his leading position. He blocked high and low and middle, and when he briefly lost the lead, he quickly surged his No. 99 MDM Motorsports Chevrolet back ahead. Every move he made in today’s LTi Printing 200 to earn a trip to Victory Lane turned out to be the right one. 

Actually getting to Victory Lane, that was another story. 

After laying down a massive burnout to raucous applause from the MIS crowd, Wallace stopped his truck on the apron—he seemed unsure where to go. A NASCAR official pointed forward and to the right. Wallace followed those directions. 

“It’s been so long since I’ve been in Victory Lane,” Wallace said. “I try to hold a positive mindset over it, and everybody in my family knows it eats at me every day.” 

It was Wallace’s first race in a truck since the last race of the 2014 season; he won that race, too. It was his sixth win in a truck and first at Michigan.  

BROOKLYN, MI – AUGUST 12: Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #99 Maestro’s Classic Chevrolet, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series LTi Printing 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 12, 2017 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

After he parked his truck in Victory Lane, it appeared that every member of his team stuck their head in to say congratulations. His girlfriend, Amanda Carter, leaned in and kissed him. This was her first visit with him to a NASCAR Victory Lane. Still shaking a few minutes later, she said, “This is so incredible. It is so awesome.” 

It certainly was that for Wallace, whose roller coaster career appeared stalled this season. Wallace, who opened 2017 as NASCAR’s only full-time African American driver, lost his NASCAR XFINITY Series ride with Roush Fenway Racing earlier this year due to a lack of sponsorship. He debuted in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for four races as a replacement for the injured Aric Almirola. But since then, nothing. His deal with MDM Motorsports was announced just this week. 

Wallace entered the race confident his truck was fast. He struggled early on, including a penalty on lap 53 when his pit crew went over the wall too soon. But he worked his way toward the front. He appeared content to stay in third behind Austin Cindric and Christopher Bell as the laps wound down. He and spotter Freddie Kraft sketched out a plan—Wallace would wait for those two to get side-by-side so he could pass them both at once. 

“You’re going probably 10 miles an hour faster than they are,” Kraft said. “As soon as they do that, you have the momentum.” 

BROOKLYN, MI – AUGUST 12: Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, leads the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series LTi Printing 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 12, 2017 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Wallace preferred to wait for the pass until there were only a handful of laps left. But when Cindric and Bell got side-by-side with 11 to go, Kraft keyed his radio and said, “Here’s your chance.” 

“I closed my eyes, turned left, and heard clear,” said Wallace when discussing the heroic three-wide move to give truck owner Mike Millner his first series victory.  

As cool as it was to see nobody in front of him, Wallace figured it wouldn’t last. He thought other drivers would do to him what he had just done to Cindric and Bell. But the drivers behind him spent most of the time racing each other instead of trying to pass him. And when they did devote their attention to getting by Wallace, he darted and dived and kept them behind. 

Christopher Bell finished second behind Wallace by 0.176 seconds. Bell’s teammate Kyle Busch finished third followed by Ryan Truex (fourth) and Austin Cindric (fifth).

Hornish Jr Claims Victory at Mid-Ohio

(Courtesy: NASCAR Media)

LEXINGTON, OH – AUGUST 12: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, takes the green flag to start the NASCAR XFINITY Series Mid-Ohio Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 12, 2017 in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Sam Hornish Jr. dominated Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Mid-Ohio Challenge, but his victory was anything but certain until the waning laps of a caution-filled race. 

Hornish, driving Team Penske’s No. 22 Ford Mustang, earlier had eclipsed his own qualifying record at the 13-turn, 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and edged series rookie Daniel Hemric by 1.335 seconds when the event ultimately went green for the final time with five circuits remaining in the 75-lap distance. 

The victory was the fifth in the series by Hornish, whose last win came in June of 2016 at Iowa Speedway. 

LEXINGTON, OH – AUGUST 12: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, poses with the winners sticker after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Mid-Ohio Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 12, 2017 in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Hornish, who led four times for 61 laps, traded the top spot with Hemric’s No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro four times over the race’s third and final stage. He took the point for the last time on Lap 62, on a restart following the seventh caution. 

Veteran Brendan Gaughan advanced to the second after Justin Allgaier and James Davison slipped off the track in Turn 3 at Lap 63, setting up a final restart battle that ended prematurely when Gaughan’s No. 62 RCR Chevrolet Camaro was forced off the track by Hornish shortly after the green flag. 

“I finally got the win (at Mid-Ohio),” said Hornish, who finished second here a year ago. “We had a smart, almost flawless day but I feel bad about the 62. I didn’t want to beat him that way.” 

LEXINGTON, OH – AUGUST 12: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, practices for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Mid-Ohio Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 12, 2017 in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Rookie Matt Tifft finish third in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry, improving his best NASCAR XFINITY Series finish from a fifth-place at Kentucky Speedway last September. Davison, an international racing star and Indianapolis 500 competitor, took fourth in the No. 20 JGR Toyota, followed by sports car veteran Andy Lally, whose No. 07 Chevrolet Camaro team posted their first top-10 finish in the series. 

Twenty-four of the race’s 40 starters completed all 75 laps. Five drivers, Hornish, Hemric, Blake Koch, Ryan Reed and Elliott Sadler, traded the lead nine times. 

NASCAR XFINITY Series points leader Sadler spotted the field an early spin and a green flag pit stop to change a flat tire, but he ultimately took sixth, ahead of Gaughan, Brennan Poole, Justin Marks and Dakoda Armstrong. 

Koch won the race’s first stage when Hornish elected to pit with three laps left and leader Sadler was spun in Turn 1 by Poole. 

Hornish quickly went back to the front of the field after Stage 1 pit stops, claiming Stage 2 over Hemric and Davison. 

Saturday’s race left the playoff picture unchanged with no bubble drivers able to bump their way into the standings. Sadler holds an 81-point lead over William Byron, who appeared headed for a top 10 until being caught up in a late accident relegating him to a 25th-place finish.