Chase Success Is Slow to Come Johnny Sauter’s Way

Johnny Sauter
Johnny Sauter
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
UNOH 175 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Start: 10th
Finish: 10th
Points Position: 6th

Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 21 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet Silverado, earned his thirteenth top-ten finish of the 2016 season in UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Sauter started the 175-lap event from the 10th position but two quick cautions stalled his progression through the field. By lap 26, when the third yellow flag of the day was waved, Sauter was riding in the eighth position.

He reported to crew chief Joe Shear that he was loose on entry all around. Shear told his driver to stay on track with the leaders to avoid falling too far behind the other Chase competitors. Sauter battled through the loose handling condition until lap 53 when he visited pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment under caution. He was relegated to a 14th-place restart position with several trucks ahead of him taking two tires. The Necedah, Wis., native reported that the handling was not improving and by lap 104, when the caution clock expired, his Chevrolet was loose in and tight on exit, running in the 12th position. Sauter returned to the attention of his Allegiant Travel team on pit road for right side tires and a chassis adjustment. The two-tire stop advanced the No. 21 into the top 10 for the lap 108 restart. Sauter bounced between the tenth and eleventh position for the remaining 67 laps, ultimately crossing the line in tenth for his sixth consecutive top-ten finish.

Sauter is currently sixth in the driver championship point standings, occupying the last transfer spot into the Round of Six. Two races remain before the first Chase elimination, set to take place following the event at Talladega Superspeedway. The No. 21 will return to the track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 1.

JOHNNY SAUTER QUOTE:
“This ended up being another tough day for the No. 21 team. I think there’s some comfort in knowing that we were right there with every other driver in the Chase, including the No. 33 team, but it would be a lot more fun to be the ones leading that pack. Overall it was disappointing to not be in the top five but we have a really fast truck for Las Vegas and I love that track. Joe (Shear, crew chief) and I had a lot of success there early in my Truck Series career so I’m really excited to have a chance to get back to that early on in the Chase.”

NEXT RACE:
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to the track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 1.

ABOUT GMS RACING, LLC: 
GMS Racing competes full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with drivers Johnny Sauter, Spencer Gallagher, Grant Enfinger, Ben Kennedy and Kaz Grala. GMS Racing also competes in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with Spencer Gallagher. GMS Racing is housed in a 100,000 square-foot state-of-the-art campus in Statesville, North Carolina.

SOCIAL MEDIA:
To keep up-to-date with the latest news, information and exclusive content, follow GMS Racing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at GMSRacingLLC.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Kaz Grala Secures A 7th Place Finish in The UNOH 175

Image result for kaz grala

Kaz Grala
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
UNOH 175 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Start: 9th
Finish: 7th
Owner Points Position:16th

Kaz Records Career-Best Finish In Front of Hometown Crowd at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race in the ninth position on Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and finished seventh. In the beginning stages of the race Kaz Grala reported to crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz that he was experiencing a loose-handling condition in the center and exit of the corners. During several pit stops under yellow-flag conditions, the No. 24 crew made chassis and air pressure adjustments to help the handling around the track. Battling within the top 15, the Boston native radioed to Stankiewicz that the adjustments helped slightly but he was still battling with a loose-handling chassis. When the caution clock expired on lap 104, Kaz came to pit road for four tires, fuel, air pressure and chassis adjustment, restarting in the 13th position on lap 108. Kaz charged through the field and broke into the top 10 on lap 113. He reached the ninth position before the final caution of the day occurred on lap 129 and restarted in the eighth position on lap 135. Kaz claimed seventh on lap 136 and maintained that position until he crossed the start-finish line on lap 175. The seventh place finish marks Kaz’s third top-10 finish in seven NCWTS starts with GMS Racing.

KAZ GRALA QUOTE:
“This is one of the biggest races of the year for me and to bring home my best finish yet of seventh in the Truck series is really exciting and important. I was struggling with a loose-handling condition for majority of the race but Jeff (Stankiewicz, crew chief) made some really great calls and had a really great strategy to get us the track position that we needed to come home with this great finish. I can’t thank my GMS Racing crew enough; they built one fast No. 24 Descartes Chevrolet and I am looking forward to getting back in it at Martinsville.”

NEXT RACE:
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to the track on October 1 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kaz Grala will return to the No. 24 at Martinsville Speedway.

ABOUT GMS RACING, LLC: 
GMS Racing competes full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with drivers Johnny Sauter, Spencer Gallagher, Grant Enfinger, Ben Kennedy and Kaz Grala. GMS Racing also competes in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with Spencer Gallagher. GMS Racing is housed in a 100,000 square-foot state-of-the-art campus in Statesville, North Carolina.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

To keep up-to-date with the latest news, information and exclusive content, follow GMS Racing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at GMSRacingLLC.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Ross Chastain Excels At Kentucky

Garrett Smithley & Ross Chastain


Ross Chastain turned in his best performance in the past six Xfinity Series races Saturday, finishing 19th in the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway.

Chastain, driving the corvetteparts.net Chevrolet, started 21st and raced as high as 13th. He finished on the lead lap and kept the 16th position in the Xfinity driver standings.

The race was slowed by 12 cautions.

“It was a wild night,” Chastain said. “Just trying to stay out of the cautions was a full-time job, but we got some good speed out of the car and got a decent finish.”

Chastain finished 22nd in the season’s earlier visit to Kentucky Speedway.

Elliott Sadler won the race, the first event in the new Xfinity Chase playoffs.

The series moves on to Dover International Speedway in Delaware Oct. 1.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Late Race Caution Hinders Truex From Claiming Victory At Louden

Martin Truex, Jr.

Last week a late-race caution helped propel Martin Truex Jr. to victory at Chicagoland Speedway. But on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway the Furniture Row Racing driver suffered the opposite effect when two cautions in the final 15 laps took him out of contention for the win.

Though he finished seventh after leading a race high of 141 laps in the second Chase playoff race, Truex had a shot at winning when he was running a close second to Matt Kenseth when the second-to-last caution came out on Lap 286 of 300.

“I raced with Matt (Kenseth) so hard for the lead for such a long time that I just kind of burned my tires up and then really had trouble getting going on those last two restarts,” explained Truex. “It was unfortunate to have a car that good all day long and then come home seventh. But all in all it was a fun day.”

Truex, who started second, led four different times in his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota Camry. He initially moved into first place on Lap 31. He led laps 31-75 (45), 81-125 (44), 126-166 (41) and 168-178 (11).

“We led a lot of laps and the team did a great job all weekend,” said Truex. “We’ll go on to Dover and see if we can’t finish the deal off there.

Truex, who has now posted four straight top-10 finishes, is second in the Chase standings, one point behind leader Brad Keselowski.

The race winner was Kevin Harvick. Rounding out the top 10 in order were: Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Truex, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson.

The race had six cautions for 31 laps and there were 14 lead changes among eight drivers.

With a berth already assured in the second round of the Chase, Truex will close out the first round next Sunday (Oct. 2) at his home track – Dover International Speedway.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Ryan Blaney Came From A Lap Down To Post A 12th Place Finish

Ryan Blaney

Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team rallied in the last 100 laps of the Bad Boy Off Road 300 to post a strong 12th-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this afternoon.

Starting 16th on the grid, Blaney ran in the top 20 for most of the race despite having an Ill-handling race car. He was was put a lap down on lap 105 but managed to stay in the lucky-dog position. Just when it looked like a caution would never come, one did on lap 239 when Michael Annet contacted the wall.

Once back on the lead lap, Blaney piloted the Wood Brothers’s iconic No. 21 steadily up the field, getting as high as ninth with five laps to go. He slipped back to 12th in those final five revolutions.

“We didn’t start out like we wanted but the team worked hard and let us get better and be able to come away with a decent run,” Blaney said.

The finish is Blaney’s 14th top 15 of the 2016 season. He maintained his lock on the 19th position in the driver points standings.

The next race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule is the Citizen Soldier 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 2 p.m.. 

About Motorcraft

Motorcraft® offers a complete line of replacement parts that are recommended and approved by Ford Motor Company. From routine maintenance to under-hood repairs, Motorcraft parts offer exceptional value with the highest quality and right fit at competitive prices. Motorcraft parts are available nationwide at Ford and Lincoln dealers, independent distributors and automotive parts retailers are backed by Ford Motor Company’s two-year, unlimited-miles Service Parts Limited Warranty. Ask for Motorcraft by name when you visit your local auto parts store or your favorite service facility. For more information, visit www.motorcraft.com.

 About Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers

Ford’s Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center offers routine vehicle maintenance such as oil and filter changes, light repair services including brake repair, and tire replacements on all vehicle makes and models. With nearly 800 locations and growing, customers can visit  www.quicklane.com to find a center that is closest to them, print savings coupons and review maintenance tips to keep their vehicles running at peak efficiency. This site includes information on how to spot tire wear, how to jump-start a battery and even a series of tips to improve a vehicle’s fuel economy.

 Wood Brothers Racing

Wood Brothers Racing was formed in 1950 in Stuart, Va., by Hall of Famer Glen Wood.  Wood Brothers Racing is the oldest active team and one of the winningest teams in NASCAR history. Since its founding, the team won 98 races (including at least one race in every decade for the last seven decades) and 117 poles in NASCA’s top-tier series. Fielding only Ford products for its entire history, the Wood Brothers own the longest association of any motorsports team with a single manufacturer. Glen’s brother, Leonard, is known for inventing the modern pit stop.  The team currently runs the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion driven by Ryan Blaney in the famous number 21 racecar.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK! 

Ray Black Jr. Secures His Eighth Top 20 Finish Of The Year

Ray Black, Jr.


It was a hectic race weekend for NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) driver Ray Black Jr., as he and his SS Green Light Racing team fought hard from the start of the weekend to secure his eighth Top-20 finish of the season. The driver of the No. 07 ScubaLife.com Chevrolet Camaro had little practice time at Kentucky Speedway due to a terrible vibration but rebounded and survived a caution-filled race to finish 20th on Saturday night.

Black only turned 18 laps during the two practice sessions at Kentucky Speedway due to a serious vibration in the car. The team tried multiple adjustments to rid the car of the issue, but noticed at the end of final practice that the nose of car under the grill had cracked. The team would go on to rebuild the nose between final practice on Friday night and qualifying on Saturday afternoon, solving the vibration issue.

After qualifying 25th for the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300, Black started the race with a slight radio issue, as he could hear the team but the team could not hear him. Luckily the radio issue corrected itself before the competition caution at Lap 25, as the team was going to use hand signals to figure out how Black’s car was handling.

On Lap 77, things got a little chaotic for Black as he spun out from the 24th position when all the cars in front of him bottled-up and braked going into Turn 1. However, Black handled the spin like an expert, keeping it off the wall and preventing any serious damage to come his way.

Black and his team went on to fight hard for every spot they could get on the track, avoiding caution after caution and competing in the Top-20 for the majority of the second half of the race. Black was up in the 18th position on the final restart of the night before he got pinched three-wide and finished in the 20th spot.

“It was a good weekend for my team and I at Kentucky Speedway,” stated Black. “They did an excellent job fixing up my car and getting it ready after we discovered the cracked nose after final practice. That was a race of survival, and we are able to make it through all those cautions and grab another Top-20 finish! We’ll take it and move on to Dover.”

Black and his team will now return to Dover International Speedway for the Drive Sober 200 on Saturday, October 1. Black is looking forward to revisiting the 1-mile concrete track, as it is the site of a breakthrough finish for the team this season.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Darrell Wallace, Jr. Looks For Continued Success At Dover

Darrell Wallace, Jr.

Roush Fenway Racing driver Bubba Wallace kicked off the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) Chase with a strong performance in Saturday night’s NXS race at Kentucky Speedway. Wallace qualified ninth and spent virtually the entire event inside the field’s top 10, driving his No. 6 Bleacher Report Ford Mustang all the way to the front at one point – while leading nine laps.

“It was a solid effort,” said Wallace. “We had trouble on those restarts which hurt us in the end, but we came in here and got a good finish. We ran up front for much of the night and we’ll take this top 10 and build on that for next week when we head to one of my favorite tracks at Dover.”

With the finish, Wallace leaves the Bluegrass State tied for fourth in the NXS Chase standings with Roush Fenway teammate Ryan Reed.

After advancing to the final round of qualifying, Wallace needed only 25 laps to move into the top five, before driving all the way to second on lap 29. In a caution filled event, Wallace continued to run inside the top five before powering his way to the lead on lap 105. With Wallace running in the third position, the team opted for four fresh tires after a caution on lap 117. Wallace restarted 15th, but the strategy ultimately paid off with Wallace taking fuel only during a caution on lap 130.

Wallace restarted fifth, but was unable to hold the high line and was shuffled back to 10th. The race, which saw 12 cautions on the night, continued to be plagued by accidents, as Wallace remained in the top 10 for the remainder of the race, moving on to the eighth place finish; his ninth top-10 finish of the season and his second at Kentucky this season.

The NXS will head to Dover International Speedway next weekend for the second race of The Chase. Wallace posted a career-best second place finish earlier this year at the Monster Mile.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Harvick Closes the Deal At Louden

Kevin Harvick

Remember last week, when Kevin Harvick was trapped a lap down at Chicagoland Speedway, finished 20th and fell out of the top 12 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings?

Remember last year, when Harvick crashed at Chicagoland and ran out of fuel while leading at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and had to win at Dover to advance in the Chase?

That’s all moot!

Harvick redeemed himself with a victory in Sunday’s Bad Boy Off Road 300 at New Hampshire, the second race in the Chase.

Surging ahead of Matt Kenseth after a restart with six laps left in the 300-lap event at the 1.058-mile track, Harvick pulled away to win by .442 seconds and joined Chicagoland winner Martin Truex Jr. in the Chase’s Round of 12.

“One of our main goals this year was to not stress ourselves out so bad,” said Harvick, who won last year’s Dover race to escape the Round of 16 in his last opportunity. “I feel like the performance of the car and the things that we’re doing are good enough to be competitive, and we just need to not make mistakes and go from there.”

Harvick got his opportunity to win the race when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Reed Sorenson collided on the backstretch on Lap 291 to bring out the sixth and final caution of the race.

Starting on the inside lane and timing the restart perfectly, Harvick stayed side-by-side with Kenseth entering the first corner and cleared Kenseth’s No. 20 Toyota through Turn 2. Kenseth was unable to get back to the rear bumper of Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet over the final six laps.

“Man, that worked out really good,” said Harvick, who won for the second time at the Magic Mile, the third time this season and the 34th time in his career. “The car was pretty good on the restarts. Once we got clean air there at the end, it wound up being really good up front. I’m just really proud of our team. They did a great job.”

NASCAR admonished Kenseth before the final restart not to slow down in the restart zone, as the sanctioning body believed he had done on the previous restart, when Kenseth held off Truex for the lead.

“They made it sound like I slowed down the last time,” Kenseth said. “But in my opinion, the leader is always supposed to have the advantage. He’s the leader. He earned that advantage. They said I slowed down a little bit last time, which I’ve got to re-watch it.

“I don’t really think I did, but if I did at all, it’s because the inside car (Truex) was laying back a little bit, and you want to make sure he gets up to your nose so it’s a fair restart. If he’s back at your door and anticipates a little bit, it’s not a fair restart. He’s going to be equal to you or a little bit better.”

Then Kenseth second-guessed the way he handled the final restart with Harvick beside him.

“I saw Kevin at my door, and I should have known better,” Kenseth said. “I should have went deep in the box and waited, and the acceleration was probably better down there anyway, but I didn’t. I went right at the first line, and he anticipated a little bit of that and got rolling good through the gears, and then I got through the gears bad. I spun the tires in second (gear), I spun the tires in third, so I had a really bad restart besides all that.”

Kyle Busch finished third behind Harvick and Kenseth after pitting for fresh tires under caution on Lap 265 and charging through the field. Brad Keselowski ran fourth and took over the Chase points lead by one point over Truex, who led a race-high 141 laps in a seventh-place run but wore out his tires trying to pass Kenseth after a restart on Lap 269.

Kurt Busch came home fifth, followed by polesitter Carl Edwards, Truex, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson.

Harvick escaped the bottom four in the standings, and that left Jamie McMurray, Austin Dillon, Tony Stewart and Chris Buescher all needing to improve their positions to avoid elimination next Sunday at Dover International Speedway.

McMurray and Dillon (19th and 16th, respectively, at New Hampshire) are five points behind Larson in 12th place. Stewart is 11 points back of Larson after a 23rd-place run on Sunday, and Buescher trails by 30 points, needing a Dover miracle.

Check out the unofficial results of the Bad Boy Off Road 300.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Elliott Sadler Wins The VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300

Elliot Sadler

It was a huge emotional victory for the 41 year old Elliott Sadler at Kentucky Speedway Saturday night!

A huge push from Daniel Suárez on a restart with four laps to go in Saturday night’s eventful VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 sent Elliott Sadler ahead of Ryan Blaney to win the opening race of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase at Kentucky Speedway.

Sadler’s third win of the season and 13th of his XFINITY Series career was about more than just stamping his way into Round 2 of the Chase. The Emporia, Virginia, native fought for the win while thinking of his mother, Bell, who was released from the hospital Saturday, after a week of hospitalization and two surgeries.

“We fought through a lot tonight,” said Sadler in Victory Lane. “I’m going to get a little emotional on you, I’ve been in the hospital all week with my mom in ICU watching her fight and fight through a lot of pain and suffering. (She) made her way back home tonight to watch the race. Mom I love you. She leads so much by example.”

Sadler also credited his team, who helped Sadler battle from outside the top 15 earlier in the race.

“These guys are my heroes,” Sadler said. “We had a 10th or 15th place car at best. Still had to come in and really take our time and work on it. Great pit calls by Kevin (Meendering, crew chief) and the guys to get us in position. Got a good push there at the end. I do want to say thanks to Josh Berry for helping me a ton tonight. That kid did some cool things on the restarts. This OneMain Financial team has no quit in them. We just fight till the end. This is a great way to start the Chase.”

Suárez, who finished second, said he struggled with a tight condition all night but was best at the end of the race.

“Right at the end, we were pretty good, maybe just a little tight but we were strong,” he said. “I feel like we were the fastest car out there at the end. I just needed one or two laps more to get the win.”

The inaugural XFINITY Series Chase race offered plenty of excitement and drama. With the “win and advance” format putting an even greater premium on victories, drivers found themselves on the edge of control at a track where the racing groove was extremely tight since undergoing a repave in May.

“At halfway, we were running 20th,” added Sadler. “By my calculations, we were probably 10th or 11th in points, so to fight back that last 100 laps to gain that kind of momentum probably means a lot for us and these guys. I’m so proud of these guys. Dale (Earnhardt Jr., team owner) and Kelley (Earnhardt-Miller, team manager) and all of our partners for Hunt Bros., and Chevrolet and everyone that does so much for us at JR Motorsports. This is a great way to start off the Chase and keeps the momentum on our side, we can relax and go to Dover and have fun there and Charlotte and get ready for the second round.” 

XFINITY Chase drivers Ty Dillon, Brandon Jones and Erik Jones all found themselves in a deep hole after being collected in accidents throughout a caution-filled race. Dillon and Erik Jones tangled while racing for second with 12 laps remaining. The event was red-flagged for five minutes, 34 seconds for cleanup of the Turn 3 incident.

Jones, the pole sitter who led a race-high 100 laps, took responsibility for the crash.

“I just got sucked around,” Jones said after the incident. “I tried to slow down but Ty was holding me down there pretty tight on the restart, slamming doors through (Turns) 1 and 2. It was my fault but it’s a pretty tough aero situation to be in.

“I just couldn’t hang on to it. I tried to slow down but he kept slamming down on my door and I did all I could to hang on to it. It definitely looks like we’re going to have to run really well at Dover and Charlotte or even win.”

Behind Sadler and Suárez, Sprint Cup rookie Ryan Blaney finished third while Sam Hornish Jr. and Matt Tifft completed the top-five. Tifft, a NASCAR Next alumnus made his XFINITY Series return after undergoing brain surgery in July to remove a remove a benign low-grade glioma.

Sadler leaves Kentucky Speedway with an eight-point lead in the standings and guaranteed admission to the next round of the Chase at Kansas Speedway in three weeks. Suárez (+27 points above the cutoff line) is second in the Chase standings, followed by Brendan Gaughan (+21), Ryan Reed (+19), Darrell Wallace Jr. (+19), Justin Allgaier (+17), Brennan Poole (+16), Blake Koch (+15), Erik Jones (-3), Ryan Sieg (-5), Brandon Jones (-15) and Ty Dillon (-15).

Check out the unofficial results of the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

William Byron Punches His CWTS Chase Ticket To The Round Of 6

William Byron

William Byron stole a page from his mentor and team owner, “Rowdy” Kyle Busch.

Leading 161 of 175 laps in Saturday’s UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – the first race in the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase – Byron cruised to victory, the way Busch has done so many times before, and punched his ticket into the Chase’s Round of 6.

Not that runner-up Christopher Bell, Byron’s stablemate at Kyle Busch Motorsports, didn’t make it interesting in the closing laps. As Byron worked traffic in the late going, Bell closed from 1.325 seconds behind with five laps left to .430 seconds down on the next-to-last lap.

But Bell ran out of time and crossed the finish line .446 seconds behind his No. 1-seeded teammate, who won for a series-best sixth time.

“I wore myself out passing some lappers,” Byron said. “But with the amount of laps we had left, I thought I’d be OK. I was afraid the 4 (Bell) was going to catch us there at the end. We started to get tight, but that’s what happens sometimes when you get out front.

“It was really good – just a great race for us. I can’t thank these guys enough. Everyone at KBM, (sponsor) Liberty University – it’s just really cool to get a win here in the Chase. It feels awesome.”

Two-time series champion Matt Crafton came home third, followed by Tyler Reddick and Timothy Peters.

With the Chase field to be trimmed from eight to six drivers two races hence at Talladega Superspeedway, Ben Kennedy and Daniel Hemric fell below the provisional cut line. Kennedy finished 11th and trails Johnny Sauter (10th on Saturday and sixth in the standings) by one point.

If Kennedy’s result was only mildly disappointing, Hemric’s was a catastrophe. With his left rear tire cut down to the rim, Hemric spun in Turn 1 on Lap 25 to bring out the third caution of the race. His truck suffered a cut brake line and consequent fire in the left rear wheel well.

Hemric lost 33 laps under repairs, finished 28th and fell to last in the Chase standings, 21 points behind Sauter with two races left in the Round of 8. In all probability, Hemric will have to win one of those two events, at Las Vegas and Talladega, to advance to the Round of 6.

After leading the first 54 laps, Byron lost the top spot briefly when Cody Coughlin stayed out under the fourth caution and Bell, Kennedy, Crafton and Spencer Gallagher leap-frogged ahead of Byron with two-tire and fuel-only calls in the pits.

But Byron regained the lead from Bell on Lap 69 and held it the rest of the way. As Bell gained ground in the final laps, Byron was trying to save his equipment to prepare for a possible late caution.

“I was expecting it, so I didn’t push too hard,” Byron said. “I was expecting to get a caution, hopefully save something, but we gave it all we had there the whole race, and I just can’t thank these guys enough.”

Byron leaves New Hampshire with a 16-point lead in the standings and guaranteed admission to the next round of the Chase. Crafton (+11 points above the cutoff line) is second in the Chase standings, followed by Bell (+10), John Hunter Nemechek (ninth on Saturday, +5), Peters (+3), Sauter (+1), Kennedy (-1) and Hemric (-21).

Check out the unofficial results of the UNOH 175.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!