Category Archives: NASCAR

Tyler Ankrum & Anthony Alfredo Earn First Wins of K&N East Series; Sellers and Pierce Win in Late Models

Anthony Alfredo celebrates his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win in the second of the Who’s Your Driver Twin 100s Saturday night at South Boston Speedway. (Barry Cantrell, NKP)

SOUTH BOSTON, VA – Tyler Ankrum and Anthony Alfredo split wins in the twin 100-lap NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races that headlined Saturday night’s whosyourdriver.org NASCAR K&N Twin 100s racing program at South Boston Speedway.

The wins were the first victories for both Ankrum and Alfredo on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East circuit. Also, Saturday night, defending South Boston Speedway Champion Peyton Sellers of Danville, Virginia and Brandon Pierce of Oak Ridge, North Carolina split wins in the twin 75-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division races that shared the spotlight with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East doubleheader.Ankrum wrestled the lead away from DGR Crosley teammate Tyler Dippel on lap 55 following the restart that ensured after the fourth of the race’s seven caution flags. He fended off South Boston, Virginia resident Colin Garrett

Ankrum wrestled the lead away from DGR Crosley teammate Tyler Dippel on lap 55 following the restart that ensured after the fourth of the race’s seven caution flags. He fended off South Boston, Virginia resident Colin Garrett and Justin Carroll after the final restart with nine laps to go and drove to a 1.250-second win over Carroll with Garrett finishing third to give Hunt-Sellers Racing its best-ever finish in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.

Marcos Gomes and Dippell rounded out the top five finishers in the opening race.In the nightcap, Alfredo muscled his way past Chase Cabre on the last lap to score his first career win in the series. Cabre got out of shape and got into the wall after contact with Alfredo, opening the door for Dippel, Ankrum

In the nightcap, Alfredo muscled his way past Chase Cabre on the last lap to score his first career win in the series. Cabre got out of shape and got into the wall after contact with Alfredo, opening the door for Dippel, Ankrum and others to speed past him to the checkered flag.

Alfredo edged Dippell by 4.176 seconds at the finish with Ankrum, Ronnie Bassett Jr. and Spencer Davis rounding out the top five finishers in the race that saw four different drivers hold the lead in the race.

 

Late Model Stock Car Twinbill

In the Late Model Stock Car Division doubleheader, Sellers picked up his first win of the season at South Boston Speedway in the first of the night’s pair of 75-lap races.Sellers won the pole, lost the lead to Philip Morris on the fourth lap, but regained the lead on lap 38 when Morris was sidelined by a broken engine pulley. Once in front, Sellers was able to hold off Pierce for the win.

Thomas Scott of Efland, North Carolina, Nathan Crews of Long Island, Virginia and Mike Jones of South Boston, Virginia rounded out the top five finishers in the race that saw the lead change hands twice between Sellers and Morris.

In the nightcap, Pierce drove past Morris with 16 laps to go and edged Morris by .774-second to score his first career South Boston Speedway win.

Scott finished third, Austin Thaxton of Clarksville, Virginia finished fourth and Dusty Ellington of Burkeville, Virginia finished fifth.

There were three lead changes among three drivers with Pierce leading twice for a total of 27 laps.

 

Next Race At South Boston Speedway

NASCAR racing action returns to South Boston Speedway Saturday, May 26, with the Danville Toyota Presents Bojangles NASCAR Late Model 100 racing program.

Getting the green flag at 7 p.m., the six-race card will be highlighted by a 100-lap race for the competitors in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division. A 50-lap Limited Sportsman Division race, twin 15-lap races for the Budweiser Pure Stock Division, a 15-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets Division and a 30-lap race for the Mod 4 Division will round out the night’s action.

Registration and pit gates open at 2:30 p.m., practice runs from 4 p.m. until 5 p.m. Grandstand gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and qualifying starts at 6 p.m. The first race gets the green flag at 7 p.m.

Admission is $10 for adults. Kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.

For additional information about the whosyourdriver.org NASCAR K&N Twin 100s racing program or any other events at South Boston Speedway, please visit the speedway’s website at www.southbostonspeedway.com or telephone the speedway at 434-572-4947 or 1-877-440-1540.

Tyler Dippel Sweeps the Visit Hampton VA 150 Weekend at Langley Speedway

Tyler Dipple enters turn one at Langley Speedway during final practice of the Visit Hampton VA 150 on April 28, 2018. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Hampton, VA – Tyler Dippel was fastest in both afternoon practices and that transferred over to qualifying. Dippel’s 15.510-second lap (91.915 MPH) was good enough to win himself the pole and set a new track record. Keeping that momentum going through the night Dippel played the strategy game just right and found himself in victory lane at the end of the night.

It was a night of long runs, tire conservation, and different strategies at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway. It did not take long for Dippel to start working his way towards the back of the field as he gave up the lead to Anthony Alfredo on lap four. He and DGR teammate Tyler Ankrum shared the same strategy as they both fell quickly out of the top ten as they worked on saving their tires. Even though the race had a planned break at the halfway point there were no tires given to the teams to take on.

Anthony Alfredo would lead a handful of laps before handing that over to the No. 55 of Marcos Gomes who set a blistering pace in the caution free first half. Behind them, however, witnessed some close nose to tail racing as positions seven through fourteen all worked to maintain their spots on the track and their tires under the car.

Local drivers Connor Hall and Justin Carroll both stood out early on in the 150-lap feature at their home track; both drivers at one point running competitively in the top five. It appeared that just before the halfway point in the race that Carroll had found a little something on the outside line that helped him improve his position throughout the run.

The proverbial cream rose to the top so to speak in the second half only about three cars came down pit road for adjustments. Both Dippell and Ankrum turned up the heat for the second half of the race and tore through the field. Anthony Alfredo was able to take the lead and hold it for most of the second half while Ankrum led the DGR charge through the field. With the help of a couple late race cautions and a few lap cars, Ankrum was able to collapse Alfredo’s lead and take it from him on lap 137. He would miss his mark going back into turn one, wash up the track, and not only lose the lead back to Alfredo but fall to third behind Dipple and ultimately goes for a spin in turn two to bring out the nights final caution.

On the final restart, Alfredo spun his tires just a little bit and it was all Dipple need to take the lead. Behind him, it was a mad dash for second and third. Dillon Bassett trying to hold off Ankrum and Quinlan but it was ultimately not enough and Ankrum secured the third spot using the second groove on the brand new asphalt. With just a couple laps left Ankrum gave Alfredo a little shot through turn three and four but just did not have enough track left to make the pass and would have to settle for third.

The race win was all Dipple needed to close out and sweep the Visit Hampton VA 150 weekend at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway after finishing on top of the board in both practices and winning the pole. In victory lane, he thanked his crew for giving him the car to beat this weekend.

“This thing was on rails the whole weekend,” Dipple said in Dale Lemonds Victory Lane. “I cannot thank these guys enough. They are all All-Stars on this team. Man, this has been so long overdue. This win means so much. It feels so good to be back in victory lane.”

Alfredo, who earned his season-best finish on Saturday in Hampton, VA, felt he had the car to beat but ran into some bad luck with some of the slower cars towards the end of the race that clearly played a factor into his finishing position.

Tyler Ankrum, who entered the weekend’s event third in points behind Todd Gilliland and Harrison Burton – who were both not entered as you can see – should leave Langley Speedway as the points leader as results are made official.

 

Racing will return to the K&N Pro Series East Tour on Saturday, May 12th, 2018 for the Who’s Your Driver Twin 100’s.

Racing action will return to Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway on Saturday, May 5th with twin Late Model features, Grand Stocks, Super Trucks, Legends, Bando’s and Enduros.

 

Visit Hampton VA 150 UNOFFICIAL Results

  1. #54 Tyler Dippel; 150
  2. #40 Anthony Alfredo; 150
  3. #17 Tyler Ankrum; 150
  4. #44 Dilon Bassett; 150
  5. #30 Grant Quinlan; 150
  6. #18 Colin Garrett; 150
  7. #31 Connor Hall; 150
  8. #4 Chase Cabre; 150
  9. #2 Ryan Vargas; 150
  10. #6 Ruben Garcia Jr.; 150
  11. #04 Ronnie Bassett Jr.; 149
  12. #5 Juan Manuel Gonzalez; 149
  13. #55 Marcos Gomes; 149
  14. #32 Salvatore Iovino; 145
  15. #91 Justin Carroll; 121

Tyler Matthews Set to Make 2018 Truck Series Debut with MDM Motorsports at Martinsville

Tyler Matthews celebrates in victory lane at East Carolina on a Sunday after noon in September 2016. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

It was announced earlier today that Richlands, North Carolina native and 2016 North Carolina state Late Model Champion, Tyler Matthews, will be making his Camping World Truck Series debut later this year in the No. 99 truck for MDM Motorsports at Martinsville Speedway. Matthews, who currently competes in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock series, earned Rookie of the Year honors for North Carolina in 2015. He continued his rise through the stock car ranks the following year after winning both the Southern National Late Model track championship, he also finished third in points at his home track of East Carolina Motor Speedway – all while working on his degree from East Carolina University.

2017 would bring Matthews even more success as we would go on to win seven races and collect nineteen top fives, twenty top tens all in twenty starts en route to yet another track championship, this time at Carteret County Speedway, Matthews found himself, however, in a rather precarious position coming into 2018 after his Late Model was destroyed following a wreck at Carteret.

“That is kind of how this whole thing got started,” Matthews said in an interview with The Weekly Racer. “We took a step back to see where we wanted to go from there. I do plan on running some of the bigger Late Model races. This is a great opportunity with a really good team.” Matthews told The Weekly Racer once we caught up with him. “I owe everything to my parents and the people behind the scenes getting this deal together. They have believed in me since day one and now it is up to me to get it done.”

The three-race deal will kick off later this year at Martinsville Speedway here in Virginia. The following two races are set for Iowa and Gateway Motorsports Park where Matthews should get approval to run some of the bigger tracks on the Camping World Truck Series schedule.

“We are approved for 5/8 tracks,” Matthews went on to explain. “After Martinsville, we will get approved for Iowa and after Gateway, we should be approved to run the bigger mile and a half’s. Once we get approved for those we plan to run a few more races during the second half of the year. This team has had a lot of success with several different drivers. So I feel good about of chances to run well out of the gate.”

Matthews will certainly have his hands full making the jump from a stock car to a heavier, more powerful race truck, however, Matthews is keeping himself focused and setting smart goals for himself as he takes on this next step in his racing career. We also asked Tyler if there was any added pressure coming into a program that Monster Energy Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace took to victory lane towards the end of the 2017 season.

“You always want to win,” Matthews said. However, I would be really happy with some consistent top ten runs and keeping my nose clean. I want to learn as much as I can. I would say more confident because you know the team and the equipment is capable of winning but there is definitely some high expectations there.”

 To learn more and keep up with Tyler Matthews in 2018, make sure to follow him on his facebook page https://www.facebook.com/tyler.matthews.731572.

Burton Cousins Set To Go Head-to-Head for First Time Ever Saturday at Martinsville Speedway

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Oct. 22, 2017) – For 13 years, brothers Jeff and Ward Burton raced against each other at NASCAR’s highest level. While the South Boston natives are no longer racing, they will still have their full attention on the Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday at Martinsville Speedway.

There will once again be two Burtons in the field, as Ward’s son Jeb and Jeff’s son Harrison will be racing in the same race for the first time.

“It’s definitely special,” Harrison said. “Jeb is someone that’s always helped me a lot and I’ve tried to help him the best I can. Now that we are going to be going against each other it’s going to be a little bit strange. I’ve never race anyone from my family, even my dad. It’s going to be weird, I don’t know how I’m going to act when I see him in his truck and see Burton on the back glass. It’s going to be strange, but it’s going to be fun. I’m really excited to race him and hopefully we get to be door-to-door for some time and get to go at it. It should be a lot of fun.”

Jeb, who has a pole and a top-three finish at Martinsville, will offer any advice he can to his younger cousin.

“Harrison has been doing a good job, and maybe I can teach him a little something there,” Jeb said. “I don’t think he’s finished in the top-10 there yet so maybe I can help him a little bit.”

And Harrison will take all the advice he can get from the elder Burton.

“Jeb has been really good there,” Harrison said. “He is definitely a resource before you go to Martinsville. Before my first truck race there I actually got to drive his Late Model Stock Car around there in a test, and that helped me a lot for the track. So, yeah, he’s definitely a huge resource that I can use to get better. He has so much more experience than me.”

With the holiday season right around the corner, Jeb wants to make sure things stay civil at family gatherings.

“Harrison is a lot younger than me,” Jeb said. “I’ve never raced with him before, so I don’t know what to expect, but I don’t want to start any family drama there for sure.”

That’s something Harrison doesn’t think they need to worry about.

“I’m just going to race him like I would like to be raced and hopefully it will turn out good,” Harrison said.

That doesn’t mean Harrison won’t be afraid to use the bumper if he finds himself running second to Jeb on the final lap, but he would also expect the same from Jeb.

“I think I’d move him,” Harrison said. “You’re going there for one reason and that’s to win. I definitely would not wreck him. I’d definitely use the old bump-and-run tactic on him and I think he would do the same thing. That trophy means a lot to him as well.”

The Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions is Saturday, October 28. The race is the first race in the Round of Six in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs. If a Playoff driver wins, he would be the first to lock himself into the Championship Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Last year, Johnny Sauter won the race en route to the Series Championship.

Tickets to the race are $35 for adults. Kids 12-and-under are admitted free. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online atwww.martinsvillespeedway.com.

The Weather Company, an IBM Business, Named Official Weather Partner of NASCAR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 6, 2017) – NASCAR and The Weather Company, an IBM Business (NYSE: IBM), announced today a multi-year agreement that will optimize the weather-related decision process for NASCAR as it incorporates hyper-local weather data and forecasts into their races to improve race-day operations and fan engagement. As part of the agreement, The Weather Company, via The Weather Channel brand, becomes the Official Weather Partner of NASCAR.

In collaboration with Flagship Solutions Group, The Weather Company will provide critical weather information to NASCAR through an advanced weather insights dashboard developed by Flagship that will be integrated into NASCAR’s racing operations and decision support system. Additionally, The Weather Channel will work with NASCAR on educational content, which will present fans with information on things like how weather impacts vehicle performance.

“There is an enormous amount of logistics and planning needed to support a NASCAR race, but the one thing we do not have control over is weather,” said Elton Sawyer, NASCAR vice president, officiating and technical inspection. “This partnership with The Weather Company and Flagship Solutions Group will provide NASCAR access to critical information that can improve race operations and help minimize delays while improving the race day experience for millions of our loyal fans.”

Through this partnership, NASCAR will now have access to The Weather Company’s world-renowned weather data, as well as direct input from an onsite personal weather station, at each race. The Weather Company produces the most accurate forecast for more than 2 billion locations around the world every 15 minutes. NASCAR will incorporate hyper-local weather data and forecasts into their races to improve race-day operations and fan engagement.

“Every business needs a weather strategy – and this is especially true for a partner like NASCAR where every race has the potential to be impacted by weather,” said Bill Dow, head of media and entertainment for The Weather Company. “Having access to the most accurate, precise, and hyperlocal weather information positions NASCAR to make more informed and timely, critical business decisions that impact race day operations, as well as improve planning for future events that will help drive their success.”

The Weather Track, a real-time, weather insights dashboard, developed on the IBM Cloud and leveraging Flagship Solutions’ trademarked Infralytics™ methodology, will provide critical information including rain start and stop times, wind speed, lightning proximity, tornado/flash flood warnings, and more to help organizers optimize each event. Longer term, NASCAR plans to use weather forecasting and analytics to help improve planning.

 

About NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR XFINITY Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).

 

The Weather Company, an IBM Business

The Weather Company helps people make informed decisions and take action in the face of weather. The company offers the most accurate forecasts globally with personalized and actionable weather data and insights to millions of consumers, as well as thousands of marketers and businesses via Weather’s API, its business solutions division (business.weather.com), and its own digital products from The Weather Channel (weather.com) and Weather Underground (wunderground.com).

 

The company delivers around 25 billion forecasts daily. Its products include the world’s most downloaded weather app, a network of 250,000 personal weather stations, a top-20 U.S. website, one of the world’s largest IoT data platforms, and industry-leading business solutions. Weather Means Business™. The world’s biggest brands in aviation, energy, insurance, media and government rely on The Weather Company for data, technology platforms and services to help improve decision-making and respond to weather’s impact on business. For more, visit theweathercompany.com.

 

About Flagship Solutions Group
Flagship Solutions Group provides IBM solutions, managed services and cloud solutions worldwide. These include cutting-edge hardware and software products, data center strategic planning and hybrid cloud implementations based on a wide range of assessments that look at virtualization, server consolidation, security, and infrastructure-focused integration. With over 30 years in the industry, Flagship’s expert staff take the time to understand and assess each customer’s specific needs and requirements. They realize that for many organizations, the future depends on technology. Flagship delivers real results through solutions that keep technology secure, efficient and working at optimal performance. To learn more or to find a solution that best fits your needs, contact Flagship Solutions Group at sales@flagshipsg.com or call (561) 208-FYI1 (3941).

Gilliland Wins Visit Hampton 150 K&N East Series on Labor Day Weekend; Leaves with Six Point Lead in Championship Hunt – Chris Roberts Wins Thrilling Super Street Feature

Todd Gilliland works under Dillion Bassett to retake the lead out of turn two Monday, September 4th, 2017. (Shawn Dulin/TheWeeklyRacer.com & Shawn Dulin Photography)


Hampton, VA – Todd Gilliland, fresh off a top fifteen finish in the Camping World Truck Series race just yesterday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in a Kyle Bush Motorsports ride, grabbed the 21 Means 21 Pole award earlier in the afternoon with a 16.369 (87.091 MPH) second lap of record. Collin Cabre, Dillon Bassett, Ronnie Bassett and Chase Purdy were the fastest five cars once euro qualifying concluded. Harrison Burton, who entered the weekend as the points leader over Gilliland, would roll off in the sixth position

Gilliland would lead the first sixteen circuits as the field got settled behind him. Dillon Bassett, of Winston-Salem, NC, would have other ideas on how the race should go however. Bassett would take the lead from Gilliland in commanding fashion as the field entered turn one. Applying plenty of pressure to the rear bumper of the No. 16 Napa Toyota, Gilliland was forced to chase his machine up the hill a bit allowing Bassett to get around. Seemed like the clean air was all Bassett needed as he immediately opened up over a three second lead on the field. As Gilliland, Cabre, and Burton faded in his mirror many immediately questioned if he was using too much, too soon. That question was answered in grand fashion just a handful of laps past halfway.

Things seemed to stay pretty calm throughout the middle segment of the race as drivers were all saving their tires for that final laps of the feature. Things started to get real interesting around lap 112 when Gilliland ran down Bassett and set him up coming out of turn two. It was a side-by-side drag race down the very short backstretch with Gilliland on the inside. With the position through turn three Gilliland was able to power off turn four to take the lead back for the final time.

Things went down hill for Dillion Bassett from then on as car after car found their way around the No. 44 machine. We even saw three wide racing out of turn four around this tight .395-mile oval as Dominque Van Weringen made herself know in the the ranks of the K&N East series this weekend. A handful of circuits later the evening went from not so good to extremely horrible for Dillion Bassett, who would bring out the nights fourth and final caution in turn three after racing hard to hang onto his position. He would ultimately lose three laps on the field and finish in the thirteenth position after a dominating performance in the midsection of the event.

Gilliland would handle the final restart of the night with no issues clearing the field at the exit of two bringing Chase Purdy along with him down the backstretch after a brief battle with Collin Cabre. Behind the two, however, was a different story. It was time for drivers to get up on the wheel and no one was hungrier than Weringen who fought tooth and nail – and often on the outside – to a third place finish when the dust settled. Ronnie Basset Jr. and Collin Cabre would round out the top five. Harrison Burton would have to settle for a seventh place finish.

“This NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry was hooked up tonight,” Gilliland said in victory lane. “All these guys behind be from Bill McAnally Racing are the best guys here I feel like. They are always encouraging when we are not the fastest. They are always trying to pick us up and get us there. These guys are never scared to try something new to get better than we are.”

The win was Gilliland’s fourth of the season for the East tour and tenth over all in the K&N Series – six wins on the west circuit. The victory comes after, as we mentioned above a solid top fifteen finish the day before in the Camping World Truck Series.

“It was a long night last night,” Gilliland said about the truck race. “This makes its all worth it, I am very lucky to be racing for the teams I do. We are just trying to do our best at every race and sometimes it works out”

Gilliland will leave Langley Speedway with a six-point advantage over Harrison Burton with just two races left in the 2017 season. The East series will roll in New Jersey in just two weeks on September 16th and finish their season at Dover on September 29th. A complete run down of tonight’s race can be found below. 

Super Streets

It was Sammy Gaita who qualified on the pole earlier in the afternoon for the 40-lap Old Skool Video Games Super Street feature. Chris Roberts would start just to his outside with Landon Abbott, Dale Parro and Randy Akers behind them. With the season winding down and only fifteen points separating first to fourth in the standings the outstanding crowd on hand for a Monday afternoon race was in for a treat.

Gaita looked to lead the way early before Chris Roberts turned up the wick and took the lead after just twelve circuits. The two would swap the lead six times throughout the forty lap feature while drivers battled hard behind them for position. 

The race saw just two caution periods, the biggest coming on lap thirty-two when the No. 5 of Parro went around in turn three, damaging a few other cars in the process. Roberts, who took the lead back from Gaita, ironically on lap 24, was able to hold off the field on the final restart to earn his first victory in the Super Streets in 2017. Sammy Gaita, Sean Calway, Randy Akers and Landon Abbott rounded out the top five.Racing will return to Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway in two weeks, September 16

Racing will return to Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway in two weeks, September 16th for Twin Late Model features. Modifieds, Grand Stocks, UCAR, Champ Karts and Enduro’s will also be in action.

Super Street Results:

  1. #11 Chris Roberts; 40
  2. #24 Sammy Gaita; 40
  3. #12 Sean Calway; 40
  4. #21 Randy Akers; 40
  5. #70 Landon Abbott; 40
  6. #46 Jason Michaud; 40
  7. #5 Dale Parro; 40
  8. #8 Dale Nichols; 40
  9. #22 Bill Eaker Jr; 40
  10. #20 Gordon Weeks; 40
  11. #54 Josh Perry; 40
  12. #26 Louie Pasderetz; 37
  13. #54s Billy Newman; 3

A Team Penske Sweep of the Toyota Owners 400 – Joey Logano From Last to First

RICHMOND, VA – APRIL 30: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 30, 2017, in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

Richmond, VA – From last to first, is exactly what Joey Logano did this Sunday at Richmond International Raceway, after starting shotgun on the field after a transmission change after qualifying. The call to replace the transmission came from crew chief Todd Gordon late Saturday afternoon when debris was found in the transmission of the Shell-Pennzoil Ford.

A caution early in the race on lap five was just what Todd Gordon and the #22 team needed as it allowed them to come down pit road for fresh tires. Which ultimately allowed Joey to pick his way through the field much easier.

“I got a text yesterday from Todd while I was up in the booth and was just like aw man,” Logano said about the debris found in the transmission. “This is not the place you want to start in the back for a lot of reasons. For one, you have five or six laps on your tires from qualifying. Two, for being a short track you have to go hard on a short run to try and not go down a lap and hope for a caution and that worked out really well. We got a nice caution five laps in the race and put some sticker tires on it when some still had their qualifiers on.”

From that point on it was one car at a time for Logano as the strategy early this morning was to run about 80% at the start of the race. The plan seemed to work out pretty well because Logano found himself inside the top ten at the completion of both 100-lap segments collecting two additional playoff points.

“We picked them off slowly,” Logano went on to explain. “Took us forever to get into the top five. It seemed like everyone from fourth to tenth had the same speed so it was all about gaining position on restarts and pit stops.”

A few late cautions and great calls from the top of the #22 pit box helped gain very important track position giving every opportunity to Joey to get the win. Logano was able to retake the lead shortly after the final restart of the race getting by Kyle Larson with a little bump out of three.

“Some good calls there at the end got us some track position,” Logano said. “We had a good pit stop at the end that got us some good track position that maintained the track position. A good restart that helped us get the lead back when everyone else stayed out on old tires and we just tried to check out. It wasn’t a save your tires and don’t get too big of a lead, it was a go as hard as you possibly can because I knew how fast Brad was. He was the fastest car and lead a ton of laps today. Glad the race was 400-laps,” Logano said. “If it was any shorter we probably wouldn’t have won. If it was any longer, we probably wouldn’t have won.”

The win was Logano’s first of 2017 and 18th of his career which came in his 300th start. Making him just the fifth driver in history to win in his 300th career start. Putting him in the company of Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, and Rusty Wallace.

At the drop of the green flag, it appeared that it was going to be the Matt Kenseth show. Kenseth set a blistering pace early in the race, leading a race-high 164 laps, to win the first segment and over half of the second. Kenseth said at the segment break the car still needed some work and he hadn’t run too much in traffic yet – which may have been his Achilles heel this weekend. The pass for the lead came as the leaders approached heavy lap traffic. Keselowski made the move on the high side and never looked back.

Denny Hamlin, who was spectacular all day on pit road, along with Kevin Harvick, made it tough for Keselowski though as the race continued. Leading the second most laps of the day, 110 to be exact, it looked like the two-car was poised to win the race. Restart after restart, Keselowski found his way back to the front of the field. However, the late race cautions seemed to not help with the strategy from the Detroit Genuine Parts Ford pit box – who was as far back as fifth with fifteen laps to go.

“That’s just how things fall with these double-file restarts,” Keselowski explained in the media center following the race. “We got behind some of these guys that I think I lapped at least six times today. I think the fact that it was a day race makes this track change drastically. I know I was hot all day but some of the best races are in the day.”

The Team Penske front row sweep was the second of the weekend as Simon Pagenuad & Will Power finish one-two Saturday out in Phoenix in the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix.

NASCAR will head south to the 2.66-mile monster that is Talladega.

 

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series – Toyota Owners 400 – April 30, 2017

  1. #22 Joey Logano
  2. #2 Brad Keselowski
  3. #11 Denny Hamlin
  4. #17 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
  5. #4 Kevin Harvick
  6. #1 Jamie McMurray
  7. #31 Ryan Newman
  8. #41 Kurt Busch
  9. #43 Aric Almirola
  10. #78 Martin Turex, Jr.
  11. #48 Jimmie Johnson
  12. #19 Daniel Suarez
  13. #6 Trevor Bayne
  14. #42 Kyle Larson
  15. #14 Clint Boyer
  16. #18 Kyle Busch
  17. #37 Chris Buescher
  18. #10 Danica Patrick
  19. #38 David Ragan
  20. #3 Austin Dillon
  21. #34 Landon Cassill
  22. #5 Kasey Kahne
  23. #20 Matt Kenseth
  24. #24 Chase Elliot
  25. #27 Paul Menard
  26. #13 Ty Dillon
  27. #72 Cole Whitt
  28. #32 Matt DiBenedetto
  29. #95 Michael McDowell
  30. #88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  31. #23 Gray Gaulding
  32. #83 Corey LaJoie
  33. #15 Reed Sorenson
  34. #51 Timmy Hill
  35. #33 Jeffery Earnhardt
  36. #21 Ryan Blaney
  37. #47 AJ Allmendinger
  38. #77 Erik Jones
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