Blaney Lands Fourth Consecutive Top Five Finish

Ryan Blaney
Track: Richmond International Raceway

Race: ToyotaCare 250

Date: April 29, 2017


No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney

Start:  10th

Finish: 5th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 254/254

Laps Led: 0

Owner’s Points Position (ahead of second):  1st (+54 points)


Recap: Ryan Blaney and the No. 22 Discount Tire team captured its fourth-consecutive top-five finish in the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway. The 23-year-old started from the 10th position, quickly moving up to sixth as the race took the green flag on Saturday afternoon.  As the early stages of the race progressed, Blaney radioed to substitute crew chief Brian Wilson that his Mustang was very loose and lacked rear grip. Once the first stage of the ToyotaCare 250 was complete, Blaney had dropped from sixth to ninth. On lap 80, Wilson called his driver to pit road for major chassis adjustments to fix the ill-handling Ford Mustang. Blaney would restart the second stage from the eighth position and would remain in the top-10 throughout the remainder of the second stage. On lap 154, the crew went back to work, again taking a major swing at the handling of Blaney’s Ford. An exceptional stop by the No. 22 Discount Tire pit crew gained Blaney two positions on track, allowing him to restart from the fifth position. Blaney would remain in the top-10 until the races’ end. By lap 239, Blaney fell to the seventh position and, after a series of late race cautions, Blaney was able to drive his way back up to the fifth position. The top-five finish gives the No. 22 team eight top-10 finishes to start the 2017 season, helping the team remain as the leader in the NXS Owners’ Points Championship standings.


Quote:  “It was a long day for us for sure. We made small gains throughout the day but not where we needed to be to run up front. It is something to think about next time we come back here. I didn’t really know the deal with the 3. I guess he jumped the restart. I have been on that side of the deal for sure. It stinks, especially when you have a good car like that. Hopefully the fans enjoyed the race. I know it was exciting from where I was sitting. I think it will be like that tomorrow too.”


“Young Money” Steals One At Richmond

Kyle Larson

Justin Allgaier had the best car in Saturday’s ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

Kyle Larson isn’t very good at Richmond—and isn’t bashful about saying so.

Nevertheless, when two late restarts played out at the .75-mile short track, Larson was the race winner in overtime, and Allgaier was a disappointed second, consoled only by the $100,000 check he collected as the winner of the XFINITY Dash 4 Cash bonus as the highest finishing series regular.

“It’s a bittersweet day, I’ll be honest with you,” said Allgaier, who finished second to Larson despite leading a race-high 157 of the 254 laps. “I’m really dejected—I won’t lie to you. That’s going to hurt for a long time.”

What stung so badly for the driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet occurred in the final 15 laps of the race. Allgaier was leading, and teammate Elliott Sadler was closing fast on fresher tires, thanks to an aggressive pit call under caution on Lap 184.

But NASCAR had to call a caution on Lap 239 of a scheduled 250 when the engine expired in BJ McLeod’s Chevrolet. Allgaier hit pit road along with the other lead-lap cars, including Sadler, whose only option was a set of 17-lap scuffed tires.

Ty Dillon took the lead out of the pits on a two-tire call, but Dillon jumped the restart on Lap 246, mashing the gas before he reached the restart zone.

After a five-car wreck involving William Byron, Daniel Suarez, Brennan Poole, Harrison Rhodes and Kyle Benjamin slowed the field on the restart lap, and Dillon was sent to the rear of the field because of the restart infraction, Larson had the lead at Allgaier’s expense and controlled the overtime restart on Lap 253.

Restarting in the inside lane, Larson cleared Allgaier off Turn 2 and crossed the overtime line before a wreck on the backstretch caused the seventh and final caution and froze the field with Larson in the lead.

“I’m not good at this place, so a win is pretty neat,” said Larson, who will start 18th as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points leader in Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 (on FOX at 2 p.m. ET) at Richmond International Raceway. “I still have to work on myself for long runs. I’m terrible on long runs.

“I was OK today, but (on Sunday) the competition is a lot harder. The drivers are better. Just have to be patient. Struggled in Happy Hour (final practice), so we’ll see how we are (on Sunday).”

Polesitter Daniel Hemric ran third, followed by Austin Dillon and Ryan Blaney.

Sadler retained the series lead by 41 points over Allgaier, but the driver of the No. 1 Chevy was frustrated, too. Sadler had race leader Allgaier in his sights, having closed the gap from 3.5 seconds to a couple of car-lengths before McLeod’s engine blew.

“I’m proud of the guys for taking the chance we did, and we definitely had the race won,” said the Virginia native, who finished seventh on the set of scuffed tires. “It’s heartbreaking. We really wanted to win here at our home track, in front of our home fans.”

Notes: Larson led 10 laps–the final 10… Allgaier won the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus for the second time this season, having also taken the prize at Phoenix, where he also won the race… In his XFINITY debut, Kyle Benjamin ran consistently in the top 10 until he had to return to pit road to tighten lug nuts after what should have been his final stop. Mired in traffic, he was a victim of the Lap 246 incident and retired from the race in 32nd-place, seven laps down… Astute pit strategy helped Dylan Lupton to a 12th-place, lead-lap finish in his first XFINITY start of the season… Darrell Wallace Jr. finished sixth for the sixth time in eight races this season. His other two finishes are a pair of 33rds.

Check out the unofficial results from the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond.


Castroneves On The Pole Again At Phoenix

Helio Castroneves
For the second-straight year, Helio Castroneves showed his intricate knowledge of the fastest way around Phoenix Raceway’s 1.022-mile oval during Beach Whiskey Outback Steakhouse Qualifying Day. The 41-year-old Brazilian and driver of the No. 3 REV Group Team Penske Chevrolet set a new one-lap record (18.8701 seconds, 194.975 mph) and consecutive two-lap (37.7538 seconds, 194.905 mph) record to earn the pole position and win another “Speed King” crown for this year’s running of the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix Raceway.

Castroneves’ Penske teammates Will Power (second fastest), Josef Newgarden (fourth) and defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud (fifth) were close behind, split only by J.R. Hildebrand (third) in the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing. In total, seven cars broke the speed record set by Castroneves a year ago.

“It was a really good lap,” said Castroneves. “Obviously, it was a great team effort, and the REV Group guys did a phenomenal job to put in all the details. The car was hooked, and when the car is hooked, you just have to go for it. The Firestone tires did a good job at improving. Obviously, the conditions helped a little bit for us to be faster than last year. I think already five cars broke the track record from last year, so it shows that there is a lot more downforce in the evening than the afternoon from last year.”

Earlier in the day, Bobby Santos claimed his first pole at Phoenix Raceway. During qualifying for the Phoenix Copper Cup, the native of Franklin, Mass. posted the second-fastest lap ever for USAC Silver Crown cars at Phoenix Raceway. Santos, who won the Midget portion of the Copper Classic here in his last appearance at the venue in 2009, set a blistering pace of 25.362 seconds (141.945 mph), just off the record of 25.317 seconds (142.197 mph) set by Dave Steele in 2004. Two-time series champ Kody Swanson of Kingsburg, Calif., was second fastest.

Fans were also treated to exhibition runs by 40 vintage Indy cars as part of the inaugural Vintage Desert Classic, including 10 cars that won at Phoenix and two more that led significant portions before having mechanical failures.

The family aspect of racing was visible throughout the day in the Phoenix Mini Copper Cup as the USAC Quarter midgets staged qualifying and heat races for competitors age 5 to 16 in 13 categories on a temporary 1/20th of a mile oval set up on the DC Solar Power Pavilion.

The 100-lap Phoenix Copper Cup race takes the green flag at 3 p.m., while the feature event – the 250-lap Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix – is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.


BJ McLeod Motorsports Is Looking For Some Strong Finishes At Richmond

B.J. McLeod
Beginning a massive stretch that carries the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) tour well into the summer months, B.J. McLeod Motorsports (BJMM) heads to Richmond (Va.) International Raceway looking for strong finishes in Saturday’s Toyota Care 250.

On the heels of satisfying results in a rain-marred weekend at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, the team looks to up the ante to close out the month of April in the first of two races on Strawberry Hill.

“We’re looking forward to Richmond this weekend,” said team principal and driver B.J. McLeod. “We’ve had some luck as the season has marched on. We’re focused on ever to keep the momentum train shifting in our direction. We still have some work to do, but we’re excited about our direction and this stretch for our still young growing team.”

In Thunder Valley last weekend, BJMM’s second entry driven by former XFINITY Series champion Jeff Green posted his career-best run inside the top-25, while McLeod overcame a mechanical gremlin to persevere and finish the race inside the top-30.

For Saturday afternoon’s race, McLeod will pilot the team’s flagship No. 78 Chevrolet Camaro, while Virginia native Matt Mills returns to the team for his second XFINITY Series race of the year at what he considers his hometown track.

Last but certainly not least, Texas’s David Starr continues to surge forward in his No. 99 Chevrolet in the third XFINITY Series entry.

Mills, 20, will make his second career NASCAR XFINITY Series start after successfully making his series’ debut earlier this year at Phoenix International Raceway posting a finish inside the top-30. Saturday’s XFINITY Series Dash4Cash race will be Mills fifth career NASCAR national series event.

Thompson Electric returns as the primary partner on Mill’s No. 8 Chevrolet.

Founded in 1977, Thompson Electric, Inc. is a diverse full service electrical contractor with highly trained and experienced crews that can perform any electrical task.

Whether it’s constructing or maintain substations, transmission or distribution lines, providing emergency storm restoration, lighting the highways and controlling traffic flow, or installing and maintaining the electrical systems within your facilities, no job is too small or too large.

McLeod, a native of Wauchula, Fla. will make his third career XFINITY start at the D-shaped Richmond International Raceway.

Starr, the Houston, Tex. native is set for his fourth career XFINITY Series showing at Richmond. Last fall’s 21st place effort was a track best driving for RSS Racing.

For Richmond, B.J. McLeod Motorsports is proud to welcome the additional support of Baker’s Crust Artisan Kitchen, ICE-FROST and @CouchCrewChief who will serve as associate marketing partners for the team’s 41st career XFINITY Series race.

The ToyotaCare 250 (250 laps / 187.5 miles) is the eighth of 33 NASCAR XFINITY Series on the 2017 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., Apr. 28 from1:00 p.m. – 1:55 p.m. A second and final practice session is set from 3:00 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Sat., Apr. 29 beginning at10:05 a.m. The 40-car field will take the green flag shortly after 1:00 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Eastern).

Be sure to follow B.J. McLeod Motorsports on social media;, on Instagram (@BJMcLeodMotorsports) and on Twitter@TeamBJMcLeod.


Michael McDowell Returns To One Of His Good Tracks, Richmond

Michael McDowell
Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing (LFR) are looking forward to returning to Richmond International Raceway (RIR) for the first time since securing one of their best finishes last year during the 2016 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Season (MENCS).

LFR and McDowell are especially looking forward to bouncing back at RIR after struggling through a rain-plagued weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway during the Food City 500. After qualifying for the 500-lap race was rained out, McDowell started the race 28th, as per NASCAR’s rulebook.

Throughout the majority of the Food City 500, McDowell dealt with tire issues as well as throttle linkage issues in his No. 95 WRL Chevrolet SS. He fell back multiple laps and was not able to gain them back, eventually finishing 26th at the Last Great Colosseum.

McDowell and LFR are eager to head to RIR, where they recorded a 12th place finish in the fall of 2016.

“The fall race for us in Richmond last year was great,” said McDowell. “We finished 12th, and it was a really good run for us there. It may not have been our best finish, but it was one of our best races as a team. We definitely want to come back and build on that. You just never know. There have been a lot of rule changes and package changes. It’s another short track that has been good to us in the past.

Richmond also does a great job with fan interaction. There’s a ton of fun things that happen around the racetrack during the weekend. It’s one of the tracks that I’ve worked most closely with, so I have a great relationship with the fans and everyone there.”

The Toyota Owners 400 will take place at RIR on Sunday, April 30 at 2PM ET. Race fans can tune-in to FOX for race day coverage and follow @LFR95 on Twitter.


Is The Fernando Alonso and McLaren Collaboration An Indicator Of What’s To Come?

Image result for fernando alonso indy 500

This year the world shattering news of Fernando Alonso making his Indy 500 debut is really still hard to grasp.  The collaboration of Alonso, McLaren, Honda and Andretti is just earth shaking, and could very well could be a possible winning combination!

Zak Brown, the bossman at McLaren, sees a future for McLaren in the Verizon IndyCar Series.  However he is uncertain when that time will be.

McLaren was a successful fixture at the Indianapolis 500 for the decade of the 1970’s. Peter Revson claimed the pole for the 1971 Indianapolis 500 and finished second. Team Penske and Mark Donohue started the winning Indy 500 tradition a year later with the famous M16 chassis. It was the first of what is now 16 wins for Team Penske in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” but it came as a privateer effort and not an official McLaren team entry.

The team founded by racing icon Bruce McLaren finally captured the Borg-Warner Trophy in 1974 and again two years later, both times with Indy car legend Johnny Rutherford at the wheel. Electing to leave Indy car racing and focus on Formula One in 1979, a unique set of circumstances has brought McLaren back to Indianapolis Motor Speedway after nearly four decades away.

Not in the hunt for the Formula One championship this season with its McLaren-Honda entries, Brown, the executive director of McLaren Technology Group, and F1 driver Fernando Alonso joined with Honda for an extraordinary jump into the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, electing to miss the Monaco Grand Prix on the same date, May 28. Honda’s partnership with McLaren and Andretti Autosport, which will prepare and field Alonso’s Indy 500 entry, made for a relatively seamless transition for the two-time Formula One champion.

Brown is hopeful that this year’s one-off appearance by McLaren in the Verizon IndyCar Series could be just the beginning.

“I would like to see McLaren-Honda competing in Indianapolis every year,” Brown said during a news conference Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park when Alonso made his first visit to a Verizon IndyCar Series event, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by America’s First.

“Originally, this was an idea that I thought we could pursue in 2018,” Brown added. “Given the circumstances of how we are running in Formula One right now, and given Fernando’s desire and Honda’s desire to win together, this created a very, very small window of opportunity that we jumped on.”

New to McLaren this year, Brown has deep ties to motorsports. A former racer himself, Brown founded what was Just Marketing International in suburban Indianapolis and catered to clients in INDYCAR, Formula One and NASCAR. Acquired by CSM Sports & Entertainment in 2013, it is regarded as the world’s largest motorsports marketing agency.

The deal to put Alonso in an Indy 500 car came soon after Brown, 45, accepted his new position at McLaren in November. Alonso expressed his burning desire to one day compete in the great race. Brown contacted Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, to see if any Honda seats were open.

Miles contacted Michael Andretti, CEO of Andretti Autosport. After Stefan Wilson magnanimously agreed to step out of a ride he had secured with Andretti but had not yet been announced, things moved rapidly to put Alonso and McLaren in place.

Brown brought on 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner and two-time Indy car season champion Gil de Ferran – who has a long history with Honda – to serve as Alonso’s driver coach as the 35-year-old Spaniard gets up to speed. Brown understands well McLaren’s legacy in all forms of motorsports and would like nothing better than to see the marque back in Indy car racing fulltime.

With all the hoopla going on with Alonso, Honda, McLaren and Andretti Autosport, it will be quite surprising if McLaren doesn’t jump back into Verizon IndyCar racing in the relatively near future.  I am sure that the business/sponsorship/money side of the deal will dictate just how quickly that McLaren is able to startup their IndyCar operations.


Phoenix IndyCar Notable Notes For The Weekend

Phoenix International Raceway

Here are a few of the IndyCar race facts and notable records for Phoenix International Raceway.  If you didn’t pay close attention to the track record set last year by Helio Castroneves check it out.  The IndyCars run about 50+ mph faster around this one mile facility than do the “door slammers” of NASCAR!

Here is the basic configuration of this one mile race track:

Frontstretch length: 1,179 feet

Backstretch length: 1,551 feet

Banking: turns 1 & 2…. 10-11 degrees

Banking turns 3 & 4……8-9 degrees

IndyCar Track Record:  Helio Castroneves (4/1/17) 19.608 secs./192.324 mph

Fastest Race: 250 miles  Scott Dixon 4/2/16  time (1:40:38.485), speed (139.822 mph)

200 miles Robert Guerrero 4/12/87 time (1:26:56.620), speed (138.020 mph)

150 miles Bobby Unser time (1:10:31.380), speed (127.618 mph)

Most Wins:  6 Al Unser (11/15/69, 3/28/70, 3/27/71, 11/7/76, 10/20/79, and 10/13/85)

Most Poles Earned: 11 Bobby Unser (11/19/67, 4/7/68, 3/27/71, 10/23/71, 10/23/71, 3/18/72, 11/7/76, 10/29/77, 3/11/79, 3/22/81, 10/31/81(

Moat Wins By A Team: 6 Team Penske (3/28/82, 10/31/85, 4/9/89, 4/8/80, 4/10/94, 3/17/02, 3/19/85

Most Lead Changes:  11 (4/6/86, 4/2/95)

Fewest Lead Changes:  0 (4/9/67)

Moat Race Leaders:  8 (3/19/00

Fewest Race Leaders:  1 (4/9/67)

Most laps led by the winner:  200 (Bobby Rahal 4/5/92)

Fewest laps led by the winner:  1 (Swede Savage 11/21/70)

Closest Margin of Victory:  0.5344 seconds (Tony Kanaan over Scott Dixon 3/21/04)

Widest Margin of Victory:  2 laps (George Follmer over Wally Dallenbach 3/30/69, Gordon Johncock over Steve Krisiloff, 3/18/78)

Lowest Starting Position of a Winner:  26th (Buddy Lazier 3/19/200)

I looked it up so that you would not have to, and now you know the rest of the story!


Bowyer Enjoys Being Reunited With His Buddy, Kevin Harvick

Clint Bowyer
After finishing second Monday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway, one of the first people Clint Bowyer sought out on pit lane was Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate and friend Kevin Harvick, who finished third.

Congratulating each other after a good race was like old times for the pair. They have history.

Bowyer leaned on Harvick’s driving knowledge when he started his NASCAR career at Richard Childress Racing in 2005. The Emporia, Kansas native was new to the sport and Harvick was already winning races on a regular basis. Instead of reinventing the wheel, Bowyer quickly figured out it might be easier and wiser just to mimic what seemed to work well for Harvick both on and off the track.

“Everything I have learned in this sport of racing and racecars was always in his seat, with his pedals and where his steering wheel was,” Bowyer said. “Kevin always had it and I didn’t know any better. I had never driven one of these cars before. Everything I did when I learned how to drive these cars was how Kevin did it.”

It seemed to work.

At Childress, Bowyer started 217 Cup Series races, earning five victories and posting 31 top-five finishes. In the Xfinity Series races, he notched eight victories, including the 2008 series title. Bowyer and Harvick, who ultimately won 23 races at Childress, were not only friends but teammates who knew if one outran the other, then it was likely a good day. But those days came to an end when Bowyer left the team and joined Michael Waltrip Racing before the 2012 season and Harvick joined SHR in 2014.

SHR put the band back together when it announced Bowyer would take over the No. 14 vacated by three-time champion Tony Stewart, who retired from NASCAR competition after the 2016 season. Bowyer had some big shoes to fill in replacing a legend in Stewart, so he found a familiar friend to lean on for guidance.

“When I came to Stewart-Haas, they asked what I want to do with my pedals and seat and I said, ‘Hell, I don’t know, ask Kevin,’ Bowyer said. “It has been that way my whole career.”

Bowyer and Harvick are tied for eighth in the series standings and look to be contenders for the Cup Series title this season. Harvick seems to relish in his teammate’s success.

“I watched him drive his first stock car at RCR and, from that point on, he progressively learned and listened and brought a lot to the table as a driver,” Harvick said. “And we are good friends, which is something you can’t really buy. You either get along with somebody or you don’t. You communicate and drive like them or you don’t. It has been refreshing and fun to have him there and seeing him progress.”

Harvick isn’t Bowyer’s only resource. Bowyer said he values both SHR teammates Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch. Plus, there is always Stewart.

“Danica brings so much to SHR through her open-wheel experience and what she does away from the track,” Bowyer said. “Kurt really dissects his car more than anything I have ever heard. It really gets your mind going about maybe what you thought, or a trick somewhere. Makes you think about what maybe you were feeling when you thought you were feeling about something else. It’s a breath of fresh air to be in the meetings with those guys and debrief with them and work on the next week, or even just the race after practice.

“It is really cool to have those guys’ input going into a race, or the following week. What can I say about Tony except he’s one of the greatest drivers in the history of motorsports. Add in all the competition guys and you realize there’s a lot of brainpower at SHR. Gene Haas and Tony have built a really great racing organization.”

This week, Bowyer and his No. 14 Haas Automation Ford team led by crew chief Mike Bugarewicz, who was Harvick’s engineer before moving to the No. 14 team, visit Richmond (Va.) International Raceway for Sunday’s 400-lap race. Two of Bowyer’s eight career victories came at the .75-mile oval – in September 2015 and May 2008. He’s also notched four top-fives and led 348 laps there.

Bowyer would like nothing better than to visit victory lane again at Richmond. If he does, Harvick might be one of the first to come by victory lane or send a congratulatory text message.

Just like old times.

CLINT BOWYER , Driver of the No. 14  Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
You’ve come a long way in the last 18 months. Why would you be frustrated with second place after Bristol?


“You struggle and struggle and struggle for a year and a half here and, hell, next thing you know you’re being greedy about second. You know what I mean? That’s just the way racers are wired and the way it’s always been. Having a ton of fun and working hard and seeing the results is gratifying for this race team. I mean, we need sponsorship on the side of this car rather than the boss, and good runs like we had at Bristol, and positive momentum and mojo, is a good way to do that. You start getting that close to wins – know what I mean? – you can’t let too many of those go by the wayside. You’ve got to use those opportunities and capitalize on those opportunities but, definitely, a confidence- and momentum-builder, for sure.”


Haas Automation Racing Team Report

Round 9 of 36 – Richmond 400 – Richmond

Car No. 14:     Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing
At Track PR Contact: Drew Brown with True Speed Communication (704-498-7596 or
Primary Team:


Driver: Clint Bowyer

Residence: Emporia, Kansas


Crew Chief: Mike Bugarewicz

Hometown: Lehighton, Pennsylvania


Car Chief: Jerry Cook

Hometown: Toledo, Ohio


Engine Specialist: Matt Moeller

Hometown: Monroe, New York


Engine Builder: Roush Yates Engines: Mooresville, North Carolina


Spotter: Brett Griffin

Hometown: Pageland, S.C.

Over-The-Wall Crew:


Front Tire Changer: Ira Jo Hussey

Hometown: Manchester, New Hampshire


Front Tire Carrier: Brett Morrell

Hometown: Windham, Maine


Rear Tire Changer: Chris McMullen

Hometown: Canton, Michigan


Rear Tire Carrier: Josh Sobecki

Hometown: New Kensington, Pennsylvania


Gas Man: James “Ace” Keener

Hometown: Fortuna, California


Jackman: Getty Cavitt

Hometown: Owensboro, Kentucky


Windshield: Justin Peiffer

Hometown: Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Road Crew:


Truck Drivers: William “Stump” Lewis and Rob Fink

Hometown: Linkwood, Maryland and Baltimore, Maryland, respectively.


Engineers: Lee Deese, Chris Chidgey and Kenny Oates

Hometown: Rockingham, North Carolina, Gainesville, Florida and Huntersville, North Carolina, respectively.


Mechanics: Tony Silvestri and Rich Letendre

Hometown: Sylvania, Ohio and Lowell, Massachusetts, respectively


Tire Specialist: Russell Simpson

Hometown: Medford, New York


Shock Specialist: Wayne Smith

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

Notes of Interest:
  • Clint Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford will carry a special decal on the hood this weekend highlightingHaas Automation’s Demo Day 2017 planned for May 10. The annual event provides Haas Factory Outlets an opportunity to feature the latest CNC machines, innovations, and technology from Haas Automation. The outlets will showcase machine cutting demonstrations, as well as educational seminars to explain how the latest Haas machines and options can you make you more efficient and profitable. Current Haas users, potential customers, and anyone in the manufacturing industry is invited to attend and learn how the latest Haas machines can help a business be more productive, efficient, and profitable. For more information, please contact your local Haas Factory Outlet.
  • Sunday’s race will mark Clint Bowyer’s 406th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and 23rd career Cup Series start at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, where he has two victories, four top-five finishes and 12 top-10s and has led 348 laps.
  • Bowyer owns career totals of eight wins, two poles, 60 top-five finishes, 171 top-10s and 2,338 laps led in 405 NASCAR Cup Series races. He also owns eight Xfinity Series victories. He is tied for eighth in the Cup Series standings after eight races. His most recent Cup Series victory came at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (Oct. 13, 2012).His most recent Cup Series pole came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 16, 2007).
  • Bowyer in 2017: A 17-car accident on lap 127 of the Daytona 500 collected Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford and left him with a 32nd-place finish. At Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bowyer started 24th and climbed to third with 85 laps remaining before contact with another car and a cut tire left him with an 11th-place finish. At Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the No. 14 Ford team struggled early but improved throughout the race to finish 10th. At Phoenix International Raceway, Bowyer drove from 17th to 13th in overtime. Bowyer repeated his overtime feat at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, when he drove from sixth to third in the added laps to record his best finish of 2017. At Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Bowyer overcame a midrace accident to finish seventh. He finished 11th at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and second at Bristol on Monday, his seventh consecutive top-13 finish.
  • Tony Stewart and Gene Haas co-own Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), which has recorded 37 victories and 32 poles since its inception in 2009. Stewart won the 2011 NASCAR Cup Series title and Kevin Harvick gave SHR its second title in 2014. SHR’s Kurt Busch won this year’s season-opening Daytona 500.
  • SHR owns one victory (Kurt Busch in April 2015), 10 top-five finishes and 20 top-10s in 46 starts at Richmond. SHR cars have led 655 laps on the Virginia.
  • Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz is in his second season after overseeing Tony Stewart’s final campaign in 2016. Bugarewicz’s pit strategy played a key role in Stewart’s victory at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in June 2016. The Lehighton, Pennsylvania native served as the lead engineer on Stewart-Haas Racing’s (SHR) No. 4 entry in 2014 and 2015. The Penn State University graduate was the only rookie crew chief to be part of last year’s Cup Series playoffs.
  • Bowyer Cup Series Career Victories:
    • Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (Oct. 13, 2012)
    • Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (Sept. 8, 2012)
    • Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (June 24, 2012)
    • Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 23, 2011)
    • Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 31, 2010)
    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 19, 2010)
    • Richmond International Raceway (May 3, 2008)
    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 16, 2007)
  • Bowyer Cup Series Career Poles:
    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 14,2007)
    • Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (May 11, 2007)
  • Bowyer Career Cup Series Points Finishes:
    • 2016   27th
    • 2015   16th
    • 2014   19th
    • 2013   7th
    • 2012    2nd
    • 2011 13th
    • 2010   10th
    • 2009   15th
    • 2008    5th ​
    • 2007    3rd
    • 2006   17th
  • Bowyer Cup Series Career Stops:
    • 2017  Stewart-Haas Racing
    • ​2016  HScott Motorsports
    • 2012-2015  Michael Waltrip Racing
    • 2006-2011 Richard Childress Racing
  • Bowyer Xfinity Series Career Victories:
    • Dover (Del.) International Speedway (Sept. 26,2009)
    • Daytona (Fla) International Speedway (July 3, 2009)
    • Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (March 15, 2008)
    • Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (May 4,2007)
    • Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in Avondale (April 20, 2007)
    • Dover (Del.) International Speedway (Sept. 23, 2006)
    • Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park  (Oct. 22, 2005)
    • Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway (June 12, 2005)
  • Bowyer Camping World Truck Series Victories:
    • Kansas (Kan.) Speedway in Kansas City (June 4, 2011)
    • Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in Avondale (Nov.12, 2010)
    • Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (Nov 3, 2006)


Erik Jones And Games Stop Are Looking Forward To Richmond

Erik Jones
Continuing their partnership with Erik Jones, GameStop is taking the leap to NASCAR Cup Series competition sponsoring Jones for two races this season on the No. 77 Toyota Camry with Furniture Row Racing. GameStop kicks off their Cup Series venture this weekend at Richmond International Raceway and again at Pocono Raceway on June 11, 2017.

“GameStop has been a great partner for me and one of the first sponsors to come on board with me when I started running in the XFINITY Series,” said Jones. “It’s really cool to see them grow and move up to the Cup Series with me on the 77 team. We’ve gotten several wins together in the XFINITY Series, including one a few weeks ago at Texas. I’m excited to represent GameStop and their partners in the Cup Series and look forward to having the same success we’ve seen together over the last few years.”

Since partnering with Jones in 2015, GameStop has been present for several career milestones for Jones in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS). In 2015 at Auto Club Speedway, Jones scored his first-career NXS pole before finishing third the in the race. The following week at Texas Motor Speedway, Jones earned the pole and his first-career NXS victory. Since joining the XFINITY series, Jones has taken GameStop to victory lane three times and while carrying the GameStop brands, has earned seven poles, 15 top-five finishes and 17 top-10 finishes.

No. 77 GameStop Prey Toyota Camry News and Notes:

  • JONES AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: Erik Jones will make his first-career NASCAR Cup Series start at Richmond International Raceway this weekend in the Toyota Owners 400. While this will mark Jones first-career Cup Series start at the track, he has competed on the track four times in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS). In his four NXS starts at the track, Jones has earned three top-five finishes, one pole and led 19 laps. His best finish came in the September 2016 race when he started the race from the fourth position and led two laps before finishing second to Kyle Busch.
  • THIS WEEK ON THE NO. 77 CAMRY: PREY: Prey is an upcoming first-person action-adventure video game developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks.In Prey, you awaken aboard Talos I, a space station orbiting the moon in the year 2032. You are the key subject of an experiment meant to alter humanity forever – but things have gone terribly wrong. The space station has been overrun by hostile aliens and you are now being hunted. As you dig into the dark secrets of Talos I and your own past, you must survive using the tools found on the station, your wits, weapons, and mind-bending abilities. Prey will be available May 5, 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
  • ROOKIE UPDATE: After eight races of the 2017 Cup Series season, Jones sits second in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, two points behind Toyota Racing teammate Daniel Suarez.
  • RACE INFO: The Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway is scheduled for Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Watch and listen live on FOX, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio.

 Jones Career NASCAR Cup Series Stats at Richmond International Raceway:

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


Jones 2017 Season NASCAR Cup Series Stats:

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
8 0 0 1 0 0 19.0 17.4


Jones Career NASCAR Cup Series Stats:

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
11 0 0 1 0 1 16.1 19.1


From the Cockpit:

Erik Jones: “After having such a strong Camry last weekend at Bristol, I am definitely ready to get back to the track this weekend at Richmond. Richmond is another short track and short tracks have always been good tracks for me. I’ve run Richmond a few times in the XFINITY Series and always run well and even came close to getting a win last fall. The 77 Camry has been fast all year and I know this weekend will be no different. Everyone on the 77 team is ready for the finishes we deserve, we just need a little luck to finish races where we run early on and throughout the day. If we can put all the pieces together, we should be able to run up front and contend for a top five again this weekend in the No. 77 GameStop Prey Toyota Camry.”


No. 77 GameStop Prey Toyota Camry / Furniture Row Racing Team:

Driver – Erik Jones                                        Crew Chief – Chris Gayle                         Car Chief – Todd Brewer

Engineer – James Small                               Engineer – Chris Yerges                               Engine Tuner – David McClure

Mechanic – John Furino                              Mechanic – Cesar Villanueva                     Mechanic – Henry Katzke

Tire Specialist – Scott Simmons                Shocks – Alex Michie                                   Spotter – Rick Carelli

Gasman – Matt Tyrell                                  Jackman – David O’Dell                                 Front Tire Changer – David Mayo

Front Tire Carrier – Richard Coleman      Rear Tire Changer – Brain Eastland     Rear Tire Carrier – Blake Haugland

Transportation – Mike Clementson               Transportation – Jason Taggart                Transportation – Dave Shano

Transportation – Travis Watts


David Ragan Talks Aout Richmond

David Ragan

Ragan on Richmond

“It’s awesome that Richmond went out on their own and said, ‘We’re going to have a day race and a night race.’ The cars don’t drive as good, you can move around more, and the tires wear out more any time the sun’s out and it’s hotter.

“The downforce changes do have an effect at short tracks. You see it in your lap times and how you get on the throttle and the amount of brake that you’re using. Last year, the racing at Richmond was great. You could move around and use multiple lanes, and I think that’s neat for racers to race and for fans to watch. We’ve run well there in the past, and I think we can have another great race in our Camping World/Good Sam Ford this weekend.”