Talladega Xfinity Sparks Energy 300 Advance

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES

Suárez Opens Up Points Lead As Talladega Approaches
Tension within the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship battle has slightly loosened for standings leader Daniel Suárez after he posted his fourth top five of the season, increasing his lead to nine points over new second-place driver, Elliott Sadler. (Heading into Richmond, Suárez held a six-point lead over Erik Jones.)

In eight starts this season, Suárez has posted four top fives, seven top 10s and an average finish of 6.3 – best among title contenders.

Suárez’s performances on NASCAR’s two biggest ovals has improved. In his first two starts (Daytona, 39th and Talladega, 31st) he finished outside the top 30. Since then, he has finished 15th at Daytona last July and eighth there this past February.

“In my race last year (at Talladega), we had a fast Toyota Camry, I just got caught up in an accident towards the middle portion of the race and that set us back,” Suárez said. “We learned a lot in Daytona about our restrictor-plate package that I think we can carry over to this weekend. Anything can happen at Talladega, but I’m looking forward to the race on Saturday and hopefully coming home with our first win!”

Sadler Gains Ground In Points, Sets Sights On Lead
Virginia native Elliott Sadler performed stoutly in front of his hometown crowd last weekend at Richmond International Raceway, posting his best finish (third) of the season and in the process leaped two spots in the points to second, just nine markers back from standings leader Daniel Suárez.

Sadler’s success comes at an opportune time as the series heads to Talladega, a track at which he won two seasons ago.  In seven starts at Talladega, Sadler has posted the one win (2014), four top fives and seven top 10s.

Cash It: Runner-Up Finish At Richmond Has Dillon Back In The Title Mix
Ty Dillon’s title chances started to look a little hazy when he had dropped back to sixth in the points following Texas, but he rebounded mightily following his best finish (second) of the season last weekend at Richmond. Dillon not only finished second in the race, he also won the NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash bonus, taking home an additional $100,000. Dillon now sits third in the standings, just 19 points back from the standings lead.  

In three starts at Talladega, Dillon has posted one top 10 and an average finish of 15.6.  

Sunoco Rookie Update:  One Jones Slips, The Other Capitalizes
The tale of two Joneses continues.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones and Richard Childress Racing’s Brandon Jones are the two front runners in this season’s Sunoco Rookie of the Year campaign. Erik Jones currently leads Brandon Jones by 27 points in the rookie standings.

Erik Jones’s season has had its ebbs and flows. Richmond wasn’t kind to Erik Jones last weekend, as he was caught in two separate accidents during the race, relegating him to a 34th-place finish – his worst of the season.  Jones has posted one win and five top fives this year.

This weekend, the young the JGR driver will have his work cut out for him. He has only made four series starts on restrictor-plate tracks (three at Daytona and one at Talladega), posting one top-10 finish (Daytona – July, 2015). His lone Talladega start resulted in a 30th-place finish due to overheating.

“Talladega is definitely a place where you have to have everything go right, not only from a team perspective, but also from the perspective of being in the right spot at the right time of the race, and making sure you are up front and challenging for the win all day and trying to miss the wrecks and stay out of everything,” Erik Jones said. “If that happens, then usually you can be up at the front with a chance to win.”

On the other hand, Richard Childress Racing’s Brandon Jones has seen a season of solid consistency with not one finish outside the top 15. In eight starts in 2016, he has posted four top 10s and an average finish of 9.9.

This weekend will be Brandon Jones’ series debut at Talladega, but if his performance earlier this season at Daytona (seventh-place finish) was any indication of how he will do, expect a solid performance.     

XFINITY Series Chase Outlook: Breakdown By Team
With eight series races in the books, it’s time to take a look at how the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase is going to shake out with respect to the teams. Below is a snapshot of the teams that currently have drivers who qualify for this season’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase:

Joe Gibbs Racing – Erik Jones (one win) and Daniel Suárez (points lead)

JR Motorsports – Elliott Sadler (second in points) and Justin Allgaier (seventh in points)

Richard Childress Racing – Ty Dillon (third in points), Brandon Jones (fourth), Brendan Gaughan (sixth)

Chip Ganassi Racing – Brennan Poole (eighth in points)

Roush Fenway Racing – Ryan Reed (ninth in points) and Darrell Wallace Jr. (10th in points)

Richard Petty Motorsports – Jeb Burton (11th in points)

RSS Racing – Ryan Sieg (12th in points)

The seven-race NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase will begin at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 24, and feature 12 drivers and two elimination rounds, with four drivers competing in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Dale Jr. Takes JR Motorsports To Owner Points Summit With Win At Richmond
With a big win in dominating fashion last weekend at Richmond International Raceway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet team from third in the NASCAR XFINITY Series car owner points to first by one point over second-place Richard Childress and his No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet team.

Earnhardt’s win at Richmond was his first in JR Motorsports’ equipment. It marked his last start of the season.

This weekend, 2014 series champion Chase Elliott takes the reins of the 88. Elliott has made four starts this season, posting a win (season opener at Daytona), and four top fives. His average finish this season is 3.5.

The No. 88 JR Motorsports team has been led by crew chief David Elenz. Elenz will serve as crew chief for eight different drivers behind the wheel of the No. 88 Chevrolet this season – Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Kenny Habul, Cole Custer and Josh Berry.    

NASCAR XFINITY Series Etc.:

Defending Winner Returns: Joey Logano won at Talladega last season and will return to defend his victory in the Team Penske No. 22 Ford this weekend. Logano led 40 laps (the most) on his way to the checkered flag last season. This will be Logano’s third series start this season.  …

Tifft To Pilot JGR’s No. 18: Matt Tifft returns as the driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota this weekend at Talladega. Tifft has made one prior series start at Talladega posting a 23rd-place finish. When he is not behind the wheel, Tifft attends the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. He is a sophomore business management major. … 

NASCAR XFINITY Series In Alabama – There have been 24 NASCAR XFINITY Series races held in the state of Alabama – all at Talladega Superspeedway. The very first XFINITY Series race held in Alabama at Talladega Superspeedway was in 1992 and won by Ernie Irvan (Chevrolet, 158.359 mph).  … 

Alabama Drivers In NASCAR XFINITY Series – A total of 72 drivers with their home state recorded as Alabama have made at least one start in a NASCAR national series race. Of the 72 Alabama drivers, only 20 have competed in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Of the 20 that have competed in the XFINITY Series, Steve Grissom has made the most starts (309); followed by Mike Harmon (205) and Davey Allison (86). Only three drivers with their home state recorded as Alabama have won in the series – Steve Grissom (11 wins), Bobby Allison (two wins) and Neil Bonnett (one win).  Mike Harmon from Birmingport and Darrell Wallace Jr. from Mobile are the only two active drivers from Alabama competing this weekend.

25th annual Bud Light Small Block Super Classic Qualifying Format Finalized

OSWEGO, NY (April 27, 2016) – The 60th annual celebration of Budweiser International Classic Weekend at Oswego Speedway will no doubt be an historic affair with the return of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour as well as the 25th running of the Bud Light Small Block Super Classic 75, which will feature a new qualifying format in its silver anniversary to be run on Sunday, September 4.

Two-lap qualifying time trials will once again be held for the Pathfinder Bank Small Block Supers on International Classic Qualifying Night on Friday, September 2, however a total of 10 cars will now be locked into Sunday’s 75-lap Classic, as opposed to only six in previous seasons.

The fastest six qualifiers, known as the ‘Super 6’, will then redraw for their official starting spots in the front three rows of the SBS Classic, while positions 7-10 will lineup according to qualifying times from Friday.

The ‘Super 6’ redraw will take place during the LIVE concert put on by Dirtroad Ruckus as a part of the Party in the Pits Friday evening.

Those that do not lock into the top ten positions during time trials will participate in one of two semi-final qualifying events on Friday evening.  A yet to be determined number of drivers will qualify from each semi-final before Dirtroad Ruckus takes to the stage following the drop of the final checkered flag.

Drivers that do not qualify from the semi-finals will have one last chance to make the 25th Bud Light SBS Classic by taking part in the SBS Classic Consi on Sunday afternoon.

The Friday night Party in the Pits, highlighted by Dirtroad Ruckus, will begin a weekend of main event racing featuring the NASCAR Whelen Modified ‘Mod Classic 150’ and the Bud Light ISMA Super Nationals on Saturday, September 3 followed by the 25th anniversary Bud Light SBS Classic and the 60th Budweiser International Classic 200 for Supermodifieds on Sunday, September 4.

Three day tickets for Budweiser Classic Weekend are currently on sale by calling the Speedway box office at (315) 342-0646.  Full weekend tickets start at only $90.

Kids 16 and under will again be admitted free at all Speedway events in 2016 with the exception of Budweiser International Classic Weekend and Race of Champions Weekend.

On track activity beings at Oswego Speedway on Saturday, May 7 with the annual open test session for all racing divisions.  Testing will run from 1-5pm on May 7 and is free for spectators to sit in the main grandstand.

Racing action at the Speedway begins on Saturday, May 14 featuring the Speedway’s 66th consecutive opening night highlighted by the Race of Champions Modified Richie Evans Memorial 61 as well as kick-off events for the Novelis Supermodifieds and Pathfinder Bank SBS.

For more information on Oswego Speedway be sure to visit www.oswegospeedway.com.  You can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway and LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.

Nick Maniatis Ready to Defend Thompson Road Course Win

New Hampshire Native Leads Strong Field to Icebreaker, Road Race Style

Nick ManiatisSTONINGTON, CT – The North East Mini Stock Tour (NEMST) made their first visit to the newly-renovated road course at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in September last year. Fourteen cars participated in the inaugural event with southern New Hampshire-native Nick Maniatis besting the field.  Maniatis posted the fastest qualifying time, and then went on to lead everyone to  the checkered flag in the 12-lap main event. Fast forward seven months, and he now leads an anticipated entry list of 25 drivers to the historic 1.7-mile facility for this weekend’s Icebreaker, Road Race Style.

“The track is fast. It is smooth with lots of grip,” the driver of the No. 63 Here we Grow Learning Center Nissan explained.  He continued, “There is a lot of variation, a long straightaway, then you have to down shift and brake hard.”

Maniatis comes into Icebreaker, Road Race Style second in the NEMST championship point standings. He finished second last week’s season-opener at Lee USA Speedway – the same track where he began his racing career 10 years ago.  Though it’s early in the season, Maniatis is already making progress toward his 2016 goal.

“We are going to run a full season, as long as we are in contention for the Championship,” The Hoosket, NH-driver declared.

This weekend’s Icebreaker, Road Race Style may have significant championship implications. Many view the road course events on the NEMST schedule as a championship defining moment.  The skills required to master the tricky 11-turn course may make the difference at the head table at the 2016 NEMST Awards Banquet.

The Icebreaker, Road Race Style begins on Friday, April 29 with Qualifying Day, presented by DWW Motorsports. The US Legends cars will join three sports car classes, and an open wheel group for practice, qualifying, and races for the Legends.  Saturday is Race Day, presented by Fast Track Concesssions.  The card includes practice, qualifying and feature racing for the North East Mini Stock Tour.  In addition, races for the small and big bore groups, as well as the open wheel class will be contested.

For more information about the event, please visit the event page on www.thompsonspeedway.com.  You also can follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

For more information about OTB Promotions, please visit www.otbpromos.net, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Covering the Entire Northeast