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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

XFINITY SERIES DAYTONA

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES

Crew Chief Swap Is Expected To Turn Season Around For RCR
Starting this weekend at Daytona International Speedway, the crew chiefs for Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 and 33 cars will look a little different. That’s because they have been switched; a good old fashioned swap. Now Danny Stockman Jr. will lead the No. 33 Chevrolet team with driver Austin Dillon, and Nick Harrison will now serve as crew chief for the No. 3 team with driver Ty Dillon. 

"Like many teams this time of year, we are making some mid-season personnel changes to improve the overall performance of our teams this season," said Richard Childress.

Danny Stockman Jr. had spent the last four years guiding the No. 3 team, leading both Austin and Ty Dillon during that time. Stockman and the Dillon Brothers have won three series races and have posted 38 top fives and 82 top 10s in the No. 3.

Stockman joins a No. 33 team that’s third in the NASCAR XFINITY Series car owner standings with 503 points, just 55 back from standings leader Roger Penske and his No. 22 Ford team. Look for the No. 33 team to contend this weekend for the win. Austin Dillon has made five series starts at Daytona posting four top fives and an average finish of 7.8.

Crew chief Nick Harrison turns his attention to the No. 3 team that has driver Ty Dillon second in the standings, 29 points behind leader Chris Buescher. Harrison had worked with the No. 33 team since 2013.  In that time, he posted three series wins.

This isn’t the first time Ty Dillon has worked with Harrison. The two were paired together in two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races last season. Harrison and Dillon will look to build on Dillon’s season-opening third-place finish at Daytona earlier this season.

Roush Fenway Racing Returns To Daytona To Win
Daytona is known for its spectacular finishes and this past February was nothing short of impressive when Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Reed and Chris Buescher finished 1-2 to kick off the 2015 season. Now some 14 races later the Roush Fenway brigade heads back to the sunny sands of Daytona to defend their win and score some records.

Reed has the opportunity to become the fourth driver in series history to win consecutive races at Daytona joining Darrell Waltrip (1983, ‘84), Dale Earnhardt (1990, ’91, ’92, ’93 and ’94) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003 sweep and season opener of 2004).  

Reed can also become just the second driver in series history to sweep both NASCAR XFINITY Series races in the same season joining Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003 sweep). Daytona started running two series races in 2002.

Reed is currently ninth in the standings, 118 points behind Buescher, who boasts the standings lead. Reed has made three series starts at Daytona posting one win (2015), two top fives and an average finish of 7.7 (his career-best track).

Standings leader Chris Buescher is having a career-defining season. In 14 starts, he has posted two wins and a series-leading eight top-five finishes. He is 29 points ahead of second-place Ty Dillon and 43 points ahead of third-place Chase Elliott.

Unfortunately for Buescher’s competitors, he’s good at Daytona too. In two starts at the 2.5-mile facility Buescher has an average finish of 7.0; including his runner-up finish in the season opener earlier this year.

“We know we have a good superspeedway program at Roush Fenway,” Buescher said. “I just need to try to position myself in a good spot at the end of the race to get a win.”

Florida Drivers Embrace The High Banks Of Daytona
Welcome to the Sunshine State.

Florida is known for many things like warm weather, long sandy beaches and some of the best racing NASCAR has to offer.  This weekend, local Florida fans will get the chance to cheer for four drivers in the Subway Firecracker 250 who share their home state: Blake Koch (W. Palm Beach), Scott Lagasse Jr. (St. Augustine), Ross Chastain (Alva) and Aric Almirola (Tampa).  

Aric Almirola hails from the west coast of Florida in the Tampa Bay area and has participated in six series events this season, posting three top 10s and an average finish of 11.7. Almirola won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona last July for Richard Petty Motorsports and since has been on everyone’s radar when the series comes to the 2.5-mile speedway. Almirola will look to capitalize in the No. 98 Ford this weekend on his seventh-place finish in the series’ season opener in February.

Driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet, Ross Chastain, calls Alva - a small city near the Fort Myers / Naples area with a population of just over 2000 – his hometown. A 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate, Chastain, is having a good start to his season. He is currently third in the rookie of the year standings and 15th in the XFINITY Series driver standings. In 14 races this season, he has posted one top-10 finish – his ninth-place finish in the season opener at Daytona. Chastain has made two series starts at Daytona in his career, posting an average finish of 19.0.

Blake Koch from W. Palm Beach will be in the No. 8 Toyota this weekend at Daytona for TriStar Motorsports. Koch has made 14 starts this season posting two top 20s and an average finish of 25.4. Koch has made six series starts at Daytona, posting an average finish of 24.0.

Scott Lagasse Jr. from St. Augustine will be in the No. 15 Chevrolet this weekend at Daytona. Lagasse has just one other start this season - Daytona back in February. Lagasse started 22nd but finished 37th due to accident. 

Daytona Draws A Host Of Sprint Cup Motorists
Each week several of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will participate in the NASCAR XFINITY Series logging extra laps and raising the level of competition. This week is no different, except it’s Daytona. Five NSCS championship-contending drivers are entered to compete this weekend: David Ragan, Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne and Aric Almirola.

David Ragan will be one to watch this weekend, as he will be in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota.  Ragan has had mediocre success in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Daytona; in eight starts he has four top 10s. But Ragan has won at Daytona in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (July, 2011).

When it comes to how dominant Joey Logano has been this season, he’s as close to a guaranteed win as anyone has ever been in the series. In his six starts this season, Logano has three victories (Phoenix, Bristol and Talladega), five top fives, six top 10s and an average finish of 2.3.

Yes, 2.3.

He has also led 54% (629 laps led) of his total laps completed (1,151 laps). Logano has made 10 series starts at Daytona posting one win (July, 2011), seven top 10s and an average finish of 8.2.

Kasey Kahne returns to the series in the No. 88 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. Kahne is the defending winner of the Subway Firecracker 250. He started 13th and drove to victory with the help of his JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith pushing him to the lead last season. Kahne has made 19 series starts at Daytona posting one win (2014), three top fives and nine top 10s.

Austin Dillon will be in the No. 33 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing and Aric Almirola will be in the No. 98 Ford for Biagi DenBeste Racing. Both are looking for their first series win at Daytona.

Erik Jones Is Back In the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 For Daytona
When it comes to hot prospects in NASCAR, none are scorching the temperature gauge more than Erik Jones at the moment.

The last time the young 19-year old Jones was behind the wheel, he won, sweeping two NASCAR national series events in the same weekend (NCWTS at Iowa and NXS at Chicago).

This weekend he is back in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota to make his 14th start of the season. In his previous 13 races he has posted two wins (Texas and Chicago), seven top fives, eight top 10s, three poles and an average finish of 10.4.

While expectations are high for Jones, and rightfully so based on his recent performance, his early accomplishments haven’t translated to restrictor-plate racing. In his two starts on restrictor-plate tracks this season he has finished 18th at Daytona and 30th at Talladega.

Though Jones can expect a nice piece to drive come Saturday, the No. 54 JGR team has posted two wins, six top fives and an average finish of 11.6 this season.

NASCAR XFINITY Series Etc.:
NASCAR XFINITY Series Welcomes NBC Sports Network: For the first time in NASCAR history the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network. On Wednesday, July 1 the NBC Sports Group will hold a media teleconference to preview the launch of its 10-year chapter as a home for NASCAR. The teleconference is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET. NBC will broadcast the final 19 NXS events of the season; for more information about the teleconference check out NASCARMedia.com. … Series Milestones: J.J. Yeley will attempt to post his 200th career NASCAR XFINITY Series start this weekend. Yeley will be driving the No. 28 Toyota. … This weekend Joey Logano will attempt to become the 16th driver in series history to post 75 top-five finishes. …

July Driver Birthdays: Several of the drivers competing this weekend have birthdays in the month of July: Brendan Gaughan (7/10/75), Dakoda Armstrong (7/16/91), Harrison Rhodes (7/15/93), and Bobby Gerhart (7/21/58).

CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES OFF WEEK

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES 7/1/15

One In The Same: Will The Driver And Owner Champion Come From The Same Team?
No NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver/owner combination has won both the driver and owner’s championships since 2012 when James Buescher captured the NCWTS driver points crown for himself and the owner points title for his No. 31 truck proprietor Steve Turner.

In fact it has only happened once since 2009 when Ron Hornaday Jr. and his truck owner DeLana Harvick both captured championships.

Nine races into the season, the top three trucks in the driver standings are also the top three trucks in the owner standings. ThorSport’s No. 88 (Matt Crafton) leads, followed by Brad Keselowski Racing’s No. 19 (-12, Tyler Reddick) and Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 4 (-26, Erik Jones).

The highest ranked multi-driver truck in the owner standings is fourth-place KBM’s No. 51 Toyota Tundra (-37), which has been driven by Daniel Su├írez, Matt Tifft and Christopher Bell. The No. 51 has won the owner’s championship the last two seasons.

Canadian Cruiser: Sunoco Rookie Hayley Coming On Strong
Cameron Hayley has put together a solid Sunoco Rookie season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

The 18-year-old Canadian currently ranks ninth in the driver points standings and has been coming on strong his last few races. Hayley, a NASCAR Next alum, led a season-high 37 laps at Iowa before a wreck relegated him to a 19th-place finish. Before Iowa, he finished a career-best fifth at Gateway and seventh at Texas.

In nine starts this season, Hayley claims two top fives, three top 10s and a 13.2 average finish.

Hemric Keeps Hemming Together Top-10 Finishes
Here’s a good trivia question to stump your friends with.

“Who has the longest current top-10 streak in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series?”

Answer: Daniel Hemric.

The NTS Motorsports driver has placed in the top 10 four consecutive times, beginning with the May 29 race at Dover.

Entering the Dover race, Daniel Hemric ranked 10th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings.

Since starting his top-10 streak, Hemric has moved up to eighth in the driver standings and is just 12 points away from joining John Wes Townley in the fifth spot. 

These are the results of Hemric’s last four races: Dover (fourth), Texas (ninth), Gateway (ninth), Iowa (10th).

MB Motorsports Celebrates 20 Years
Missouri-based MB Motorsports celebrates its 20th Anniversary on Wednesday, July 1. MB Motorsports is the sole surviving original team from the inaugural year of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, which began its first season in 1995. Since its first race at the Milwaukee Mile, MB Motorsports has gone on to become the only team to compete in every season of the series.
In its 20-year history, MB Motorsports has hosted a “Who’s Who” of NASCAR behind the wheels of its trucks. The list includes 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski  and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Carl Edwards, Justin Allgaier and Jamie McMurray, all of whom drove for the team during their young careers.
 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

ARCA double header July 24 at Lucas Oil Raceway

ll-ARCA double header July 24 at Lucas Oil Raceway; Schrader, Enfinger, Jones among entrants; discount tickets on sale at area Menards

(TOLEDO, Ohio - June 30, 2015) - The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is headed back to Lucas Oil Raceway, and it's bringing along the ARCA/CRA Super Series for an all-ARCA double header Friday night, July 24.

The 100-lap ARCA/CRA Super Series race will kick off the big night of stock car racing, culminating with the Sioux Chief PowerPEX® 200 presented by Federated Car Care under the lights.

NASCAR/ARCA veteran Ken Schrader, ARCA point leader Grant Enfinger and defending race winner Brandon Jones are just some of the drivers entered for the big show.  

"The track has a history of producing great, exciting racing and the ARCA Racing Series event Friday July 24 under the lights will surely add to that tradition," said ARCA President Ron Drager. "Everyone associated with our series really looks forward to returning to Lucas Oil Raceway."

The Sioux Chief PowerPEX® 200, live on FOX Sports 1, is scheduled to get the green flag shortly after 9 p.m. Friday night. The race will once again be part of a huge weekend of racing in the Indianapolis area featuring USAC, ARCA and NASCAR.

On-track activities at Lucas Oil Raceway include USAC Silver Crown Series action Thursday night, July 23, with the ARCA/CRA Super Series and ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards stock car doubleheader on Friday. The NASCAR Xfinity and Sprint Cup Series will race the same weekend at nearby Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Discount tickets for the Sioux Chief PowerPEX® 200 are on sale now at 20 Menards stores in Indiana. The tickets are being offered for $10 off the gate price.

Indiana stores slated to sell the discount tickets include locations in Anderson, Avon, Bloomington, Camby, Carmel, Columbus, Greenwood, Kokomo, Lafayette, Lebanon, Muncie, Richmond, Terre Haute, West Lafayette, three in Indianapolis and three in Fort Wayne.

Gates will open at 12:45 p.m. on July 24 with Menards Pole Qualifying at 5:30, driver introductions at 8:30 with the Sioux Chief PowerPEX® 200 following.

ARCA history at LOR does way back; Allison, Stott, Schacht, Dillon, Kimmel former winners 
Two-time ARCA Racing Series champion Ramo Stott won the inaugural ARCA race at Lucas Oil Raceway in 1971. Ralph Latham followed as victor in 1972, and Bruce Gould was the winner in 1974. Nearly 10 years would go by before ARCA would return in 1983 when two-time series champ Marvin Smith was the race winner. Bob Schacht won in 1984. In 1985, two ARCA races were on the schedule with Schacht and Davey Allison claiming victories. It would be 26 years before the ARCA tour would return to Lucas Oil Raceway in 2011 when Ty Dillon, driving for Richard Childress Racing, won the 200-lap event. Frank Kimmel won in 2012. Brandon Jones is the most recent winner at Lucas Oil Raceway, taking the victory last year.