The Future NASCAR Stars Are Here!

Christopher Bell

According to NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, you don’t have to look far to find the next generation of stars.

“They are here,” France said on Sunday morning before the Ford EcoBoost 400 during a question-and-answer session with reporters at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “They are here, and they’ve got to develop their performance, but they’re doing well. You look at Ryan Blaney, you look at Chase (Elliott) almost making the final here in Miami. Go down the list. We’ve got a loaded group.

“But it’s true, we’re in a transition, too. But that happens from time to time, not usually in the concentrated manner that we have now, but it happens. But we’re excited. We’ve got a great, great bunch of 19-, 20-(year-olds), and they’re talented, so we’re in good shape.”

NASCAR President Brent Dewar, who appeared with France on the dais, echoed those sentiments.

“We anticipate every decade you’re going to go through this rotation, and between NASCAR Next and Drive for Diversity, these young stars that you’re talking about have all come through those classes, and they’re all good wheel men and women that are coming up through these series. And I think that’s the key thing, and we’re working with them in terms of how they work outside the car.

“And I think the other part is if you look at most sports, name any other major sport where you get to have a 15  to 20 year career at the highest level. It just does not exist. Those are exceptions.  It’s the norm here. So if you look at all the ones you take and you add 20 years, you’re going to be somewhere around the age of a Dale Jr. and a Matt Kenseth, so they were those same very 19 , 20 , 21 year olds years back.”

France’s and Dewar’s comments were juxtaposed against the backdrop of a sea change in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, from which the sport’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., is retiring after Sunday’s race. Kenseth, the 2003 champion, also faces a hiatus from NASCAR’s premier series, and Danica Patrick announced on Friday she will race for the last time in the series in the 2018 Daytona 500.

“Dale Jr. has made an obviously big contribution on and off the track for a long time,” France said. “So while we’re going to miss him for obvious reasons, he’s not going to be that far away, being an owner and working with NBC.

“So he’s going to be glued to the sport, and that’s a good thing for us.”

Both France and Dewar expressed optimism about the state of the sport and were thankful for the dialogue and collaboration between the sanctioning body, team owners, manufacturers, drivers and race tracks toward a long-term strategic plan for the sport.

“Well, I’m really more optimistic right now, and I know you may expect me to say that, but we’ve made the transition largely,” France said. “We’ve gotten the council meetings going. We’ve gotten charters in position so we can get our interests aligned more closely with drivers, OEMs and the charters and the team owners.

“We have the young drivers already in place. We’d like a couple more, of course. We’ve got some diversity with Bubba Wallace going in the 43 car (as the only African-American driver competing at NASCAR highest level). We like that. We’d love to see more of that. And we like all the changes that we’ve made in the last four or five years, including stage racing this year. It has created the things that we thought were important.”

And just as the sanctioning body has collaborated extensively with race teams on the evolution of the racing on the track, so too has NASCAR and the industry worked to improve the overall business model.

“The difference is now we have a mechanism of working together and a process to do that, and we’re all in,” Dewar said. “From tracks to teams to drivers, we’re all in, and we’re trying to focus on the sport, the business behind the scenes, and just continue to make continuous improvement to do that.

“I’m making it sound easy. It’s really hard. It’s really, really hard. At the end of the day, they’re racers. Race car drivers want to win, and team owners want to win, and we want them to win. We want to cultivate and nurture that as much as possible, but there’s still a business behind all these sports, and we need to make continued improvement on the business side.”

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

JH Nemechek Rolls Into Homestead With Eyes Wide Open

John Hunter Nemechek

Event:                    Ford EcoBoost 200

Date:                      Friday, November 17, 2017

Venue:                   Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway

 

NEMCO Motorsports’ NASCAR Camping World Truck Series History at the Homestead-Miami Speedway … This weekend will mark NEMCO Motorsports’ fourth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the Homestead, Fla.,-facility. The organization posted a team best finish of second-place with John Hunter Nemechek on November 20, 2015. Three starts at the Homestead-Miami Speedway have earned NEMCO Motorsports an average starting position of 7.3 and an average finish of 7.0.

 

NEMCO Motorsports’ NASCAR Camping World Truck Series History … Since entering the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 1995, the Mooresville, N.C.,-based organization has logged 131 starts from six drivers, resulting in strong performances that include six victories (Watkins Glen, Chicago, Atlanta, Canada, Gateway, and Iowa) and 28 top-five finishes, as well as 58 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 14.3 and an average finishing position of 14.2.

 

NEMCO Motorsports Collectively … In this season’s 22 events, NEMCO Motorsports’ two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entries have posted two victories (Gateway and Iowa), nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. The NEMCO Motorsports-prepared Chevrolet Silverados have completed 3,522 laps and have lead 108 of those laps. John Hunter Nemechek and Joe Nemechek rank eighth and 29th respectively in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver points.

 

All in the Family … Team owner Joe Nemechek has found success in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) in south Florida with three victories (1997, 1999, and 2001) credited to his name, as well as five top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 17 starts. Nemechek has posted more wins at the Homestead-Miami Speedway then at any other track in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. In 12 starts at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nemechek is credited with one top-five finish and one top-10 finish in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS). In addition, Nemechek has two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at the track with an average finish of seventh-place. John Nemechek had two starts at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

 

Follow NEMCO Motorsports on Social Media … To keep up-to-date with the latest news, information and exclusive content, visit NEMCO Motorsports’ Twitter page – @NEMCOMotorsport. Also, follow the NEMCO Motorsports drivers on their personal Twitter pages – @FrontRowJoe87 and @JHNemechek. You can also “like” Joe Nemechek on his official Facebook page at /NASCARJoe, and John Hunter Nemechek on his official Facebook page at /JohnHunterNemechek.

 

Catch the Action … The Ford EcoBoost 200 will be broadcast live on FS1 on Friday, November 17 starting with the pre-race show at 7:30 p.m. (ET). It will also broadcast live at 7:30 p.m. (ET) on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Qualifying for the final event of the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule will air Friday at 3:30 p.m. (ET) on FS1. In addition, the Friday practice sessions will be televised live on FS1 at 8:30 a.m. (ET) and at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

 

John Hunter Nemechek

No. 8 Fire Alarm Services Inc., Chevrolet Silverado

 

This Week’s NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado at the Homestead-Miami Speedway … John Hunter Nemechek will pilot Chassis No. 041 in the Ford EcoBoost 200 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Gere Kennon-led team last unloaded this NEMCO Motorsports prepared chassis at the Texas Motor Speedway on November 3, where they finished in the 19th-place after starting in the 11th-place. In the chassis’ ten starts at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Michigan International Speedway and the Homestead-Miami Speedway with Nemechek, the chassis has an average finishing position of 13.6.

 

Sound the Alarm … The NEMCO Motorsports No. 8 Chevrolet Silverado returns with the Fire Alarm Services, Inc., (FAS) brand as the primary sponsor at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Headquartered in Arvada, Colorado, Fire Alarm Services, Inc., provides superior fire and life safety and security services and products for protecting their client’s real estate investment.

 

“I’m going to Miami, welcome to Miami” … This weekend marks John Hunter Nemechek’s third Homestead-Miami Speedway appearance with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The Mooresville, N.C., driver has earned an average starting position of 4.0 and an average finishing position of 6.5 at the 1.5-mile track. Nemechek made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series track debut on November 20, 2015.

 

Speedway Stats: In 39 combined NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts on speedways (tracks 1 to 2-miles in length), John Hunter Nemechek has recorded three victories (Chicago, Atlanta and Gateway), 12 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes. He has led for a total of 171 laps on NASCAR’s speedway tracks.

 

Race Rewind: Homestead-Miami Speedway … John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 8 Fire Alarm Services, Inc., Chevrolet Silverado for NEMCO Motorsports, finished in the 11th-place in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 last at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2016. Nemechek started the scheduled 134-lap event from the 11th-place, and the 19-year old was scored in the ninth-place by Lap 34, and holding that position through Lap 101 before ultimately finishing in the sixth-place.

 

In the Rearview Mirror: Phoenix International Raceway … John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 8 Fire Alarm Services, Inc., Chevrolet Silverado for NEMCO Motorsports, scored a second-place finish in the Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, November 10, at the Phoenix International Raceway. Nemechek started in the sixth-position in the 32-truck field. The 20-year old finished Stage 1 in the fifth-place, on Lap 40, and was scored in the seventh-place by Lap 80. After three red flags, with an intense side-by-side duel with seven laps left, Nemechek restarted second on Lap 149 of 150, and the leader was able to hold-off Nemechek by .668 seconds. Despite finishing second, only a win would secure a position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs final four for Nemechek.

 

Season-to-date … Through the first 22 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races of the 2017 season, John Hunter Nemechek has completed 2782 of 3298 laps contested (84.4 percent) and has led 108 laps. Nemechek is currently eighth in the driver point standings and seventh in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner points. In addition, the NEMCO Motorsports driver has collected two victories (Gateway and Iowa), eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes, has spent 2,246 laps running in the top 15 and has made 640 green-flag passes thus far this season.

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

Austin Cindric Carries Memories Of Departed Heroes With Him To Homestead

Austin Cindric

Austin Cindric was precocious from the beginning of what would become a racing career.

First he had to talk his mother, Megan, and father, Tim, the president of Team Penske, into allowing him to race karts. Then he had to overcome each of the obstacles they intentionally placed before him to make sure he truly wanted it. He overcame each of them in turn.

Cindric, 19, could become a precocious NASCAR champion if he betters the three other championship contenders – Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton and Christopher Bell – in Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“He’s an interesting kid. He’s very studied,” Tim Cindric said. “When he was growing up in Bandoleros and Legends and stuff, we wouldn’t let him paint his helmet. The driving suits he had were very generic, not even name-brand stuff. I never felt like he needed to go in there like a Penske kid. He needed to go in there and be a kid.”

He’s a teenager with, as his father describes it “an old soul,” not just in the way he has been able to become rapidly acquainted with — and successful in — a myriad of different race cars including Australian Super Cars, sports cars and the NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series, but in the mature way he approaches a sobering side of the sport.

The reminder is right there for all of the Cindrics to see, in the worn black rubber bracelet he’s worn on his right wrist since October of 2011, the white lettering worn nearly illegible.

“Dan Wheldon passed,” Tim Cindric said of the IndyCar driver who perished in a crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. “After I got back from Dan’s funeral – Dan wasn’t somebody Austin really knew, he probably said ‘hello’ to him – at that service they had these little black rubber band things and they just said ‘Remember’ on them. I took it home and threw it on my vanity and Austin said ‘Can I have that?”

“What are you going to do with it?,” Tim Cindric countered.

“I’m going to wear it,” Austin answered.

“You didn’t really know Dan,” Tim Cindric responded again. “And he said ‘Us race drivers, we all understand all this.’ You do? It was a little deep for us. And he said, ‘If anything ever happens to me doing this, you and mom just have to remember, this is what we do.’ And he’s never taken that thing off.”

Austin Cindric describes the decision as “just part of my childhood” but said the moment, involving a driver he said he idolized left a mark.

“At my age, that was the first time that it happened that I could remember,” he said during Championship 4 Media Day at the Loews Miami Beach, “and I was watching the TV, watching the race, watching the championship fight and something like that happens. It’s pretty impactful, but it’s part of the sport, part of what we do and race cars are pretty safe.”

It wasn’t the first time that Cindric had surprised his parents not only with his attitude toward the sport, but a connection he’d made with a late driver he’d never met. The previous instance hit even closer to the Cindric home as it involved Greg Moore, who had signed to drive for Team Penske in 2000 but died at age 24 in an October, 1999 CART crash at Auto Club Speedway.

“Greg Moore’s father, Rick, had sent me Greg’s Marlboro helmet. There were only a couple,” Tim Cindric said. “After he passed away, we’d had some made for the test he was going to do and it sits in my basement. Austin obviously sees it all the time, but Austin didn’t know Greg. He was one when that happened. [Austin] said ‘If I ever get my helmet painted, I’d like to paint it like Greg’s.’ He was ten or eleven at the time.

“I said, ‘Austin, you can’t just paint a helmet like somebody else’s without permission.’ I said, ‘If you really want to pursue that, first of all …., why?’ He says, ‘Well, I think he’s very similar to myself. I think Greg and I would have gotten along really well.’ I said, ‘You never met Greg. What do you know about Greg?’ He said, ‘Well, on the Internet I’ve watched videos, I’ve read his book.’ And he went on to tell me more about Greg than I knew about Greg.”

With “that box checked,” Tim Cindric said, he allowed his son to contact Rick Moore, who enthusiastically agreed, telling helmet design Troy Lee that the boy could have access to any designs he wanted.

“Whatever he wanted, relative to Greg, it was his,” Tim Cindric said. “Rick sent him an autographed Greg Moore hero card from every year Greg drove, which I thought was really cool. Greg used to put a little space ship guy, a little Troy Lee icon thing on the back of his helmet. He sent him a pile of those to put on his dash and on his helmets, so he’s always done that to each of his helmets.”

Cindric’s Brad Keselowski Racing is ceasing operations at the end of the season and the driver has no announced plans for 2018. The Bowmanville winner has a breadth of experience, but said he has “committed” himself to NASCAR. Cindric earned his spot in the final amid controversy at Phoenix Raceway, as he made contact with and spun Ben Rhodes in the waning laps, costing Rhodes a chance to run for a title. Cindric said he attempted to reach Rhodes this week but that his call went directly to voicemail. The pair have raced together since childhood and are friends, he said.

“Obviously, the way I handled it wasn’t the cleanest,” Cindric said, “but you’ve got to move on from something like that.”

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

Jordan Anderson Looks To End The Season On A High Note

Jordan Anderson
Adventures we experience during our lives are often times categorized in how amazing they were by the amount of stories that can be shared from the journey, through all the twists and turns experienced along the way and memories made.

Starting at Daytona earlier this year in February, and culminating this coming Friday night at the Homestead-Miami Speedway; the 2017 season has been an amazing journey for Jordan Anderson and his small team as they competed full time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with their #1 Chevrolet Silverado.

While using the same race truck in every event they’ve competed in since the start of the season, and traveling over 18,000 miles together in their dually and gooseneck trailer, Anderson and his crew are sitting 17th in the the championship standings and have logged seven Top 20 finishes with a season best coming last weekend in the Lucas Oil 150 at the Phoenix Raceway with a 13th place finish.

With a do-whatever-it-takes attitude and never give up mindset, they are on the final leg of a 3 week road trip. Starting with their race in Fort Worth, Texas, which was crowdfunded through the Fueled By Fans SponsorJordan.com website, it led them to the deserts of Phoenix, and has them heading back across the country to Miami.

During Friday night’s race, Jordan Anderson’s #1 will feature a new blue and white paint scheme this weekend with a familiar name on the truck. Jacob Companies, the Official Construction Company of NASCAR, will return as a primary partner for Anderson at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in the Ford Ecoboost 200.

“The entire 2017 season has been made possible by each person that believed in what it was we were trying to do this year and joined the journey.” said Anderson. “It’s been humbling to see the support we’ve gotten each week, through the friends behind the scenes in the shop, fans, and our partners, that keep us on the racetrack. Through the high’s and lows, we’ve trekked through it all with perseverance and faith that has kept us moving forward. It’s going to be an absolute honor to have the opportunity to represent Jacob Companies and their entire family of team members and clients this weekend.”

Joining Jacob Companies on the truck for Friday night’s race will be the Bommarito Automotive Group, Lucas Oil, iSponsor Racing, Knight Fire, and LTi Printing. Jacob Companies and Anderson will also be raising awareness for A World of Pink and women everywhere with a goal of changing breast aftercare one fitting at a time.

Don Perry, CEO of Jacob Companies was excited at the opportunity of finishing the season strong with Jordan Anderson and his #1 team. “Jordan’s character, integrity, and work ethic are unparalleled. He’s dependable, loyal, and a part of our family here. His approachable and engaging style; appreciating all who support the sport, has captured our hearts. I am grateful and proud to have him represent our entire team of JACOB Companies on his #1 Truck this weekend in Homestead-Miami.”

Follow along this weekend online at;
Facebook.com/JordanAndersonRacing
Twitter: @J66Anderson  |  @Jacob_Companies
Instagram: @JordanAndersonRacing   |   @Jacob_Companies
Snapchat: @J19Anderson

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

Thorsport Racing Previews The Ford EcoBoost 200 At Homestead

Catch the action…
Friday, November 17: (All times Eastern)
8:30-9:25am – Practice 1 (FOX Sports 1)
10:00-10:55am – Practice 2 (FOX Sports 1)
3:30pm – Qualifying (FOX Sports 1)
7:30pm – NCWTS Setup Show (FOX Sports 1)
8:00pm – Ford Eco-Boost 200 (FOX Sports 1 & MRN Radio)
Homestead Stages…
Stage 1 – 40 Laps (Concludes at lap 40)
Stage 2 – 40 Laps (Concludes at lap 80)
Stage 3 – 54 Laps (Concludes at lap 134)
A Major Milestone…  Friday night’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway marks a special milestone for ThorSport Racing. The Sandusky, Ohio based team will make it’s 500th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start – ThorSport Racing has fielded at least one or more trucks in 500 NCWTS events, dating back to 1996.
 
Let’s Go Places…Toyota has eight NCWTS wins in 21 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the NCWTS, including wins in the last four races at the 1.5-mile track.
Team Stats:
Driver Point Standings: 13th
Owner Point Standings: 14th
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Contender
Notes:
  • This Week’s No. 13 RIDE TV Toyota Tundra… The No. 13 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 51 for Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS). This is the same chassis Cody Coughlin piloted to two top-10 finishes earlier this season at Pocono Raceway (8th), and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (6th).
  • Miami Minute… Although Coughlin will make his 35th career NCWTS start on Friday night at HMS, the RIDE TV driver will be making his track debut at the 1.5-mile oval.
  • Feeling at Home in Homestead… Coughlin may call Delaware, OH home, but the ThorSport Racing driver loves the “Miami Heat.” Coughlin, who enjoys spending time in South Beach, also favors the local fare, and jet skiing when he’s in South Florida.
  • Calling The Shots… Rich Lushes will once again call the shots for Coughlin and the No. 13 ThorSport Racing team at HMS.
  • A Career-Best… Coughlin scored a career-best, third-place finish in the series’ last stop at Phoenix International Raceway. In 22 starts this season, the ThorSport Racing driver has one top-five and three top-10 finishes.
  • Truck Series Stats… Coughlin has made 34 career NCWTS starts since 2015, with a career-best start of seventh at Talladega Superspeedway (2016), and a career-best finish of third at Phoenix International Speedway (2017).
Chatting with Cody Coughlin…
 
“I’ve always loved Miami, but it’s always been a vacation spot. This week we’ll get to combine that with the race on Friday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It’s a new track for me, so that’ll be interesting. I know that we can race from the bottom of the track, all the way up to the wall, so that’ll be interesting too. I’ll be relying on the notes prepared by Terry Cook (spotter) to get me ready for the race, just like I did for last week’s race at Phoenix.”
Team Stats:
Driver Point Standings: 5th
Owner Point Standings: 10th
Notes:
  • This Week’s No. 27 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra… The No. 27 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 62 for Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS). This is the same chassis Ben Rhodes piloted to two top-five, and four top-10 finishes earlier this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway (4th), Charlotte Motor Speedway (8th), Pocono Raceway (started 1st, finished second), and Chicagoland Speedway (6th).
  • Miami Minute… Rhodes made his HMS debut in 2016. The ThorSport Racing driver started 11th, and finished 20th.
  • 2017 Season Stats… In 22 starts this season, the ThorSport Racing driver has earned one pole (Pocono), and led 160 laps en route to one win (Las Vegas), six top-five, and 12 top-10 finishes.
  • Truck Series Stats… In 49 NCWTS races, Rhodes has two poles, and has led 215 laps en route to one win, nine top-five, and 20 top-10 finishes.

Chatting with Ben Rhodes…

 

With nothing to lose, what are your plans to close out the season on a high-note at Homestead Friday night? 
“I plan to win the race. I plan to end the season on a high note for all the hard work and sacrifice that each and every person on this No. 27 Safelite team has put in. They deserve a championship, and while I can’t give them that, I can give them a win. Duke and Rhonda Thorson, as well as everyone back at the shop who makes it all possible, deserves a good finish to the season. Thank you to all of my fans and sponsors for the support throughout the year.”
Team Stats:
2017 Driver Point Standings: 3rd
2017 Owner Point Standings: 2nd
2017 Playoff Position: 3rd
Notes:
  • This Week’s No. 88 Black Label Bacon/Menards Toyota Tundra… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 56 for Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS). This is the same chassis Matt Crafton piloted to a runner-up finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this season.
  • Miami Minute… Crafton has made 16 starts at HMS since 2001. The ThorSport Racing driver’s success includes one pole (2015), and 141 laps led en route to one win (2015), three top-five, and eighth top-10 finishes.
  • That’s a Stat… Among active series drivers, who are entered in Friday night’s 134-lap event at HMS, Crafton has the most starts (16), is one of two drivers with a win, is one of three drivers with three top-five finishes, has the most top-10 finishes (8), is the only driver entered with a pole, has completed the most laps (2185), and has led the most laps (141).
  • Championship 4… Crafton, a two-time NCWTS champion, clinched his third consecutive Playoff berth following last Friday night’s race at Phoenix International Raceway. The Menards driver will be one of four drivers vying for the title in Fridaynight’s season finale at HMS.
  • Intermediate Track Facts…No current NCWTS driver is better at Intermediate-size tracks (1.5-miles) than Crafton. The ThorSport Racing driver has more starts (127), laps (18,548), second-place finishes (13), top-five (41), and top-10 finishes (80), than any other NCWTS driver entering Friday’s 22nd annual event at HMS.
  • Season Stats… In 22 starts this season, the ThorSport Racing driver has one win (Eldora), one pole (Michigan), and has led 321 laps en route to five top-five, and 15 top-10 finishes.
  • Career Stats…In 406 NCWTS starts, Crafton has earned 13 poles, and led 2456 laps en route to 14 wins, 102 top-five, and 241 top-10 finishes.
  • Catch Crafton at Homestead… Crafton will join his fellow Championship 4 contenders for an autograph session on Friday, Nov. 17 from 2:00-2:30pm ET at the Fanatics Stage at HMS.
Chatting with Matt Crafton…
 
How will you approach the race Friday night at Homestead?
“I have no friends. All my friends are going to come in yellow fire suits with Menards on them. We’re going to take our gloves off, and I promise you that we’re going to have no friends going into that race. We’re going to do whatever it takes to win.”
Having won two championships previously, do you have an advantage at Homestead?
“Without a doubt. I have nothing to lose, to be honest, and I’ve done it twice. I don’t think there’s anybody that has an advantage, it’s whoever has the best truck, and the best man will win Friday night. If it’s meant to be, it will happen, and if not, we have 2018 to focus on. I’m looking forward to it.”
Team Information:
Driver Point Standings: 11th
Owner Point Standings: 13th
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Contender
Notes:
  • This Week’s No. 98 Champion Power Equipment Toyota Tundra… The No. 98 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 44 for Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS). This is the same chassis Grant Enfinger piloted to a third, and seventh-place finish, earlier this season at Texas Motor Speedway.
  • Miami Minute… Enfinger made his HMS debut in 2016. The Champion Power Equipment driver started 23rd, and finished 23rd.
  • Sunoco Rookie Update… The ThorSport Racing driver is currently second in the 2017 Sunoco Rookie of the Year battle, a mere four points behind Chase Briscoe.
  • Season Update… In 22 starts this season, Enfinger has led 41 laps en route to nine top-five, and 14 top-10 finishes, with a season-best start of fifth (Texas Motor Speedway), and a season-best finish of third (Texas Motor Speedway, and Gateway Motorsports Park).
  • Truck Series Stats… In 36 career NCWTS starts, Enfinger has one pole (Daytona, 2016), and has led 91 laps en route to one win (Talladega, 2016), 11 top-five, and 19 top-10 finishes.
Chatting with Grant Enfinger…
 
“I’m looking forward to ending the season on a high note with Champion Power Equipment at Homestead, Friday night. The tires wear very quickly there, combined with the progressive banking – it makes for a really fun track. We haven’t run to our potential the last few weeks, but everyone is focused on rebounding for our last race of the season.

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

Christopher Bell Has One Shot To Seal The Deal

Christopher Bell

In his second full-time campaign in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Christopher Bell has put together a season that ranks among the greats in series history. The 22-year-old driver will be looking to cap off his spectacular season by capturing his first NASCAR championship in Friday night’s Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.

After winning one race and finishing third in the Truck Series championship standings a year ago, Bell returned with a vengeance in 2017. Since capturing the pole and sweeping all three stages in the second race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., the dirt stalwart turned pavement prodigy has been widely considered the favorite to capture this year’s crown and he’s done nothing to sway public opinion throughout the course of the year. Entering Friday’s championship race, the Oklahoma native leads NASCAR’s third division in nearly every major statistical category, including wins (five), poles (five), top-five finishes (14), top-10 finishes (20), driver rating (118.5), average starting position (4.6), average finish (5.9), average running position (5.9), laps led (865) and fastest laps run (419).

Three of Bell’s wins this season have come on mile-and-a-half tracks and a fourth came at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., a unique 2.5-mile track where many teams race the same trucks and similar setups to what they do at the 1.5-mile venues. Pocono happens be the last place that the No. 4 team raced the Tundra that they will unload for Friday night’s championship race, KBM-38. “38 Special” was victorious at Pocono in July and also was Bell’s winning chariot at Atlanta in February, as well as in June at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It also happens to be the same Toyota that William Byron won from the pole with in last year’s season finale at Homestead.

If Bell win’s Friday night’s Truck Series championship, and does so by finishing eighth or better, he’ll join elite company as one of four drivers in the history of the series who won the championship with an average finish below 6.0. 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Ron Hornaday Jr., accomplished the feat twice (1996 and 2007), and is joined in the club by Mike Skinner (1995) and Greg Biffle (2000).

Year

Driver

Races

Wins

T5

T10

Pole

Laps

Led

AvSt

AvFn

1995

Mike Skinner

20

8

17

18

10

2834

1053

3.8

4.8

1996

Ron Hornaday, Jr.

24

4

18

23

2

4534

833

7.3

4.5

2000

Greg Biffle

24

5

18

18

4

4038

833

4.5

5.8

2007

Ron Hornaday, Jr.

25

4

13

22

1

4070

827

9.8

5.7

2017

Christopher Bell (Entering Final Race)

22

5

14

20

5

3313

865

4.5

5.9

Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 4 NCWTS JBL Tundra:

 

How do you feel heading into the Championship 4 Friday night?

“To be able to make it to the Championship 4 two years in a row and have another shot to bring home a championship to Kyle Busch Motorsports is something I’m really proud of. It will be kind of a bittersweet weekend for me — it’s the end of a long run at KBM, but it’s been a great one and I’m thankful for all the people that I’ve met and the relationships I’ve built. Winning a championship on Friday night for everyone at KBM, Toyota, Toyota Racing Development and JBL — all the people that were there when I started my run in the Truck Series in 2015 and have helped me be in the position I am — would be a great way to end this chapter of my career.”

How do you feel that your team stacks up against the other three teams in the Championship 4?

“I think everyone on this No. 4 JBL team is as prepared as we can be. Overall, if you look back on the season, I think we’ve shown the most speed in the Truck Series, and week in and week out we’ve been the best team. I’ve always enjoyed Homestead and Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) has been really fast there the last few years. If we can just go out and focus on what has gotten us to this point, I think we should be in good shape. Regardless of the outcome, it’s been an amazing season.”

Ryan “Rudy” Fugle, crew chief of the No. 4 NCWTS JBL Tundra:

 

How do you feel about your team’s chances to bring home another championship to KBM?

“KBM has been really good at Homestead since they came into the Truck Series, so I’m definitely excited about our chances to bring home another championship. We are bringing a Tundra that we feel is our fastest truck — it’s had a lot of success on the intermediate tracks including a win at Homestead last year. Our goal all year has been to go out and win this championship and we’ve worked hard all year to get to put ourselves in this situation. Our team definitely has the most experience in these situations — now we just have to go out and execute.”

Christopher Bell’s No. 4 JBL Tundra:

 

KBM-38: The No. 4 JBL Racing team will unload KBM-38, for Friday night’s championship race at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. Bell has won three times in four starts driving “38 Special” this season. It is also the same Toyota that William Byron won from the pole with in last year’s season finale at Homestead.

KBM-38 Performance Profile:

 

Date
Site
Driver
Start
Finish
Laps
Laps Led
Status
7/29/2017
Pocono
Bell
3
1
60/60
7
Running
6/9/2017
Texas
Bell
21
1
167/167
92
Running
5/12/2017
Kansas
Bell
1
4
167/167
37
Running
3/4/2017
Atlanta
Bell
1
1
130/130
99
Running
11/18/2016
Homestead
Byron
1
1
134/134
31
Running
Totals
5 Starts, 4 Wins
5.4
1.6
266

 

Notes of Interest:

 

Christopher Bell NCWTS Career Stats:

 

Year

Age

Races

Win

T5

T10

Pole

Laps

Led

AvSt

AvFn

RAF

LLF

2015

20

7 of 23

1

2

3

0

1018

111

9.3

11.9

6

4

2016

21

23 of 23

1

9

17

0

3237

197

9.2

9.5

20

19

2017

22

22 of 22

5

14

20

5

3113

865

4.5

5.9

20

20

3 years

 

52

7

25

40

5

7368

1173

7.2

8.3

46

43

 

Christopher Bell’s NCWTS Homestead Performance Profile:

 

Date
Start
Finish
Laps
Laps Led
Status
11/18/2016
8
8
134/134
0
Running
11/20/2015
9
25
130/134
5
Out of Fuel

 

Christopher Bell 2017 Highlights: 

  • Has posted five wins (Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. and New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon), five poles, 865 laps led, 14 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes resulting and an average finish of 5.9 across 22 races

  • Won the NCWTS first-ever regular season title and earned the No. 1 seed in the playoffs

  • Has posted one win, four top-five and six top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 4.0 across the first six races of the NCWTS playoffs and earned his spot in the Championship 4 by finishing the Round of 6 atop the point standings

  • Leads the NCWTS in wins (five), poles (five), top-five finishes (14), top-10 finishes (20), driver rating (118.5), average starting position (4.6), average finish (5.9), average running position (5.9), laps led (865) and fastest laps run (419)

  • Became the first driver under NASCAR’s new format to sweep all three stages of a race when he led 99 of 130 laps en route to victory from the pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway (3/14/17)

  • Collected his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (10/21/17) and overall in seven starts this season for Joe Gibbs Racing has one pole, 156 laps led, three top-five and five top-10 finishes

  • After restarting eighth with three laps to go, won the ARCA Racing Series event at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., (9/14/17) in his lone series start this season

  • In Midgets has eight victories; opened the 2017 season by winning his preliminary night and the feature at the prestigious Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway (1/15/17), swept both features at the Fourth Annual POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Turnpike Challenge at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City, Okla. (3/26/17), won consecutive USAC National Midget events at Macon (Ill.) Speedway (7/1/17) and Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway (7/2/17), the USAC National Midget event at Solomon Valley in Beloit, Kansas (8/3/17) and the Mike Phillips Memorial POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget event at Southern Illinois Raceway in Marion, Ill. (9/16/17)

  • In Sprint Cars has four victories; won the NRA Sprint Invaders feature at Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, Ohio (4/21/17), the Ninth Annual Lou Blaney Memorial All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car race at Sharon (Ohio) Speedway (7/8/17), the Knight Before the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio (7/14/17) and the All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car race at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio (10/7/17) 

Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 4 Tundra: 

  • The No. 4 Tundra has collected nine wins, 10 poles, 34 top-five and 57 top-10 finishes across 68 starts since originating in 2015

  • Ten members of this year’s No. 4 Tundra team were a part of last year’s No. 9 Tundra team which collected seven wins, three poles, 727 laps led, 11 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes across 23 starts last season and captured the 2016 NCWTS Owner’s Championship

  • Erik Jones delivered KBM its first-ever NASCAR Camping World (NCWTS) Driver’s Championship behind the wheel of the No. 4 Tundra in 2015 Christopher Bell will be contending for KBM’s second driver’s championship, while Bell and Myatt Snider’s teams will both compete for KBM’s sixth Owner’s championship Friday night 

KBM NCWTS Program: 

  • Holds the NCWTS records for most career wins (65), most wins in a single season (14 in 2014) and most Owner’s championships (five)

  • Erik Jones earned the organization its first-ever NCWTS Driver’s championship in 2015

  • Christopher Bell will be contending for KBM’s second Driver’s championship, while Bell and Myatt Snider’s teams will both compete for KBM’s sixth Owner’s championship Friday night

  • Has collected 65 wins, 37 poles, 158 top-five and 255 top-10 finishes across 418 starts since originating in 2010

  • Ten different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 33. Christopher Bell, Erik Jones and William Byron have each collected seven victories, Darrell Wallace Jr., has five wins, Denny Hamlin has produced two victories while Noah Gragson, Daniel Suarez, Kasey Kahne and Brian Scott each collected one trophy

  • With Bell’s victory at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway KBM has at least one win at all 21 tracks on the 2017 NCWTS schedule

KBM NCWTS @ Homestead-Miami Speedway:

  • KBM drivers have collected four wins, 247 laps led, seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.9 across 17 starts at Homestead

  • Owner-driver Kyle Busch scored wins for KBM in 2010 and 2013, Darrell Wallace Jr., won in 2014 and William Byron in 2016

The Fugle File:

 

Ryan “Rudy” Fugle begins his fourth season as a crew chief at KBM and sixth overall with the organization.  The New York native has guided his team to an Owner’s championship in all three of his seasons (2013, 2015 & 2016) atop the pit box at KBM, including a combined Owner’s/Driver’s Championship with Erik Jones in 2015. His drivers have combined for 21 wins, 14 poles and 47 top-five finishes across his 90 races calling the shots for the organization. Under his tutelage last season, William Byron collected a Truck Series’ rookie record seven wins while leading the No. 9 Tundra team to KBM’s fourth consecutive and fifth overall Owner’s championship.

Fugle’s NCWTS drivers have posted two wins, one pole, 93 laps led, two top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 2.7 across three starts at Homestead. Fugle won last year’s event from the pole with William Byron and in 2013 was victorious with owner-driver Kyle Busch. Both victories secured Owner’s championships for KBM.

 

Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 4 Tundra 2017 NCWTS Box Score:

 

Date
Site
Driver
Start
Finish
Laps
Laps Led
Status
Driver Pts./Pos.
2/24/17
Daytona
Bell
4
8
100/100
6
Running
33/9th
3/4/17
Atlanta
Bell
1
1
130/130
99
Running
93/1st
4/1/17
Martinsville
Bell
6
3
250/250
96
Running
136/2nd
5/12/17
Kansas
Bell
1
4
167/167
37
Running
187/2nd
5/19/17
Charlotte
Bell
1
3
134/134
2
Running
227/2nd
6/2/17
Dover
Bell
3
25
35/200
0
Accident
239/2nd
6/9/17
Texas
Bell
21
1
167/167
92
Running
298/2nd
6/17/17
Gateway
Bell
3
6
160/160
7
Running
342/2nd
6/23/17
Iowa
Bell
2
5
200/200
99
Running
391/2nd
7/6/17
Kentucky
Bell
2
1
150/150
54
Running
436/2nd
7/19/17
Eldora
Bell
4
9
150/150
22
Running
471/2nd
7/29/17
Pocono
Bell
3
1
60/60
7
Running
528/1st
8/12/17
Michigan
Bell
13
2
100/100
0
Running
572/1st
8/16/17
Bristol
Bell
2
7
203/203
0
Running
615/1st
9/3/17
Canadian Tire
Bell
5
26
44/64
0
Engine
634/1st
9/15/17
Chicagoland
Bell
3
3
150/150
72
Running
2040/1st
9/23/17
New Hampshire
Bell
2
1
175/175
73
Running
2100/1st
9/30/17
Las Vegas
Bell
4
2
146/146
64
Running
2152/1st
10/14/17
Talladega
Bell
1
2
95/95
9
Running
2195/1st
10/28/17
Martinsville
Bell
15
8
200/200
16
Running
3083/1st
11/3/17
Texas
Bell
3
3
147/147
20
Running
3135/1st
11/10/17
Phoenix
Bell
1
8
150/150
90
Running
3184/1st

 

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK

Myatt Snider Gets One Last Shot This Year With KBM

Myatt Snider

For one last time this season, Myatt Snider will sit behind the wheel of the No. 51 Toyota Tundra. He will secure his helmet, strap in his seat, slide on his gloves and start his engine – all for one last time. And this time, there’s a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Owner’s championship on the line.

Throughout the NCWTS 2017 season, The No. 51 Tundra has been shared by four different Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) drivers – owner-driver Kyle Busch, Harrison Burton, Todd Gilliland and Myatt Snider. All four drivers have played their part in advancing the No. 51 Tundra into the final four in the Owner’s championship playoffs, and now it comes down to one race and one driver to seal the deal, Snider.

Friday’s race will be Snider’s eighth start for KBM in the NCWTS this season. The 22-year-old made his season debut at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Snider started that race 13th and ultimately crossed the finish line 10th to earn his first of three top-10 finishes so far this season. Snider’s second NCWTS race of the season came at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth where he was in place to grab a top 10 until a late-race spin relegated him to a 16th-place finish.  At Kentucky Speedway in Sparta he started the race from the sixth position, led four laps and ultimately crossed the finish line 16th. In his fourth race of the season, he took the green flag 10th and persevered from a mid-race spin to capture his second top 10 of the season at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Snider qualified ninth for the race at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway, but his day ended early after he was clipped from behind on the first lap and his Tundra ran into the inside wall first and came to rest on the outside wall. The damage was too severe for Snider to continue and he was scored with a 28th-place finish. Last month, Snider rolled off the grid ninth at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and earned his career-best finish of third at the superspeedway. In his most recent start at Texas, Snider started the race 12th and eventually crossed the finish line 12th.

For the season finale, Snider will once again don the patriotic colors of Liberty Tax Service on the hood of his No. 51 Tundra. Headquartered in Virginia Beach, Va., last year Liberty Tax Service prepared over two million individual income tax returns in more than 4,000 offices and online. Liberty Tax also supports local communities with fundraising endeavors and contributes as a national sponsor to many charitable causes.

Kyle Bush Motorsports has a record five NCWTS Owner’s championships. The No. 51 Toyota Racing team has one goal in mind as they prepare to race one last time this season – a sixth championship. With Victory Lane in mind, there’s only 134 laps standing between the team and one more trophy to end the season.

Myatt Snider, Driver of the No. 51 NCWTS Liberty Tax Service Tundra:

You are closing out the season this weekend, what have you learned from your season and what will you take with you going into Homestead?

“I’ve really learned a lot about racing trucks and racing on mile-and-a-half tracks. It’s something that is so different from where I came from racing late models and short tracks. You have to think a lot more about where you position your truck in respect to how the other trucks are surrounding you. I am lucky to have had great trucks the whole year at KBM and have been competitive at every race so far. This weekend I’m going to take everything I’ve learned so far this season with me to Homestead and hopefully take the checkered flag and win Kyle (Busch) another Owner’s championship.”

Mike Hillman Jr., Crew Chief of the No. 51 NCWTS Liberty Tax Service Tundra:

What are your expectations for the last race of the season?

“I have high expectations for Friday’s night race. We have one last chance to get another win for the No. 51 team and help Myatt (Snider) capture his first win.  Homestead is a fun race, but it can also be challenging because the stakes are so high there. We just need to run up front, stay out of trouble and hopefully win KBM its sixth Owner’s championship.”

Myatt Snider’s No. 51 Liberty Tax Service Tundra:

KBM-043: The No. 51 Liberty Tax Service team will race KBM-043 for Friday’s race under the lights. This Tundra was raced earlier this season by owner-driver Kyle Busch at Atlanta Motor Speedway and KBM teammate Todd Gilliland at Dover International Speedway.

KBM-043 Performance Profile:

Starts
Wins
Average Start
Average Finish
Laps Led
2
0
8.5
23.0
25

Notes of Interest:

Myatt Snider 2017:

  • Snider has posted 26 laps led, one top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.6 across seven NCWTS starts this season

  • Brought home a win at Bristol Motor Speedway (5/21/17) in the CARS Late Model Stock Tour after starting from the pole. Overall has one win, one top-five and four top-10 finishes in seven series starts

  • Made one start in the ARCA Racing Series at Chicagoland Speedway earning a ninth-place finish

  • Started 21st in the NASCAR Wheelan All-American Series Late Model Stock race at Martinsville Speedway under the lights and rallied from being two laps down to finish on the lead lap in the 14th position

Myatt Snider 2017 Stats:

 

Series
Races
Win
Top 5
Top 10
Pole
Laps
Led
AvSt
AvFn
NCWTS
7
0
1
3
0
801
25
10.3
13.6
ARCA
1
0
0
1
0
102
0
10.0
9.0
CARS Super LM
7
1
1
4
2
636
145
5.1
9.3
NASCAR LM Stock
1
0
0
0
0
200
0
21.0
14.0
Totals
16
1
2
8
2
1,739
170
11.6
11.4

 

Myatt Snider 2016:

  • Made first career NASCAR Camping World Series start at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in November

  • Earned first ARCA Racing Series win in his debut at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway, collected one win, 68 laps led, three top-five and five top-10 finishes across nine ARCA starts

  • Competed in three CARS Late Model Stock Tour races earning three top-five, three top-10 finishes and three laps led

Series
Races
Win
Top 5
Top 10
Pole
Laps
Led
AvSt
AvFn
NCWTS
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
19.0
17.0
                ARCA
9
1
3
5
0
832
68
6.2
13.8
CARS Super LM
3
0
3
3
0
400
3
4.7
3.3
Totals
13
1
6
8
0
1,232
71
9.9
11.3

Myatt Snider 2015:

  • Made CARS Late Model Stock Tour debut earning one pole, 87 laps led, five top-five and 10 top-10 finishes across 10 races, resulting in an average finish of 5.6 and a third-place finish in the final points standings

  • Captured the victory at the UNOH Battle at the Beach at Myrtle Beach (S.C.)

Myatt Snider 2014:

  • Competed regularly in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series

Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 51 Tundra:

  • The No. 51 team has earned two wins (Kansas and Charlotte), six top-five, nine top-10 finishes, 310 laps led and an average finish of 12.1 across 22 races in 2017

  • The No. 51 team earned a spot in the Championship 4 of the 2017 NCWTS Owner’s Playoffs on Friday night by finishing fourth in the point standings in the Round of 6

  • The No. 51 Tundra team has compiled 22 of KBM’s 65 NCWTS victories, the most of any truck number in the team’s stable

KBM NCWTS Program:

  • Holds the NCWTS records for most career wins (65), most wins in a single season (14 in 2014) and most Owner’s championships (five)

  • Erik Jones earned the organization its first-ever NCWTS Driver’s championship in 2015

  • Has collected 65 wins, 37 poles, 158 top-five and 255 top-10 finishes across 418 starts since originating in 2010

  • Ten different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 33. Erik Jones, Williams Byron and Christopher Bell have each collected seven victories, Darrell Wallace Jr., has five wins, Denny Hamlin has produced two victories while Noah Gragson, Daniel Suarez, Kasey Kahne and Brian Scott each collected one triumph

  • Has collected victories at all 21 tracks on the 2017 schedule

KBM NCWTS @ Homestead-Miami Speedway:

  • KBM drivers have collected four wins, 247 laps led, seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.9 across 17 starts at the 1.5-mile track

  • Owner-driver Kyle Busch has collected two wins at the track (2010 & 2013), Darrell Wallace Jr. took the checkered flag in 2014 and William Byron went to Victory Lane in 2016

Hillman’s History:

Two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion crew chief Mike Hillman Jr., will be calling the shots for KBM’s No. 51 Toyota Racing team. Hillman Jr., helped Toyota capture its first-ever NASCAR national series championship when he guided Todd Bodine to the Truck Series title in 2006. The duo won 14 races as a pairing from 2006 to 2011 and topped the driver’s standings in NASCAR’s third division again in 2010. Overall in his 10-plus seasons atop the pit box, the New York native’s NCWTS drivers have collected 20 wins and 18 poles.

Hillman Jr., has two wins, six top-five and six top-10 finishes in 10 starts as a crew chief in the NCWTS at Homestead. His wins came in 2005 and 2008, both with Todd Bodine.

Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 51 Toyota Tundra 2017 NCWTS Box Score:

Date

Site

Driver

Start

Finish

Laps

Laps Led

Status

Owner Pts./Pos.

2/24

Daytona

Snider

13

10

100/100

0

Running

30/13

3/4

Atlanta

Busch

2

26

127/130

25

Running

59/9

   4/1

Martinsville

Burton

      7

13

250/250

0

Running

87/10

5/12

Kansas

Busch

10

1

167/167

91

Running

147/3

5/19

Charlotte

Busch

4

1

134/134

90

Running

207/3

6/2

Dover

Burton

10

13

198/200

0

Running

235/3

6/9

Texas

Snider

13

16

160/167

0

Accident

265/5

6/17

Gateway

Gilliland

4

21

112/160

0

Transmission

278/6

6/23

Iowa

Burton

15

11

199/200

0

Running

304/5

7/6

Kentucky

Snider

6

16

149/150

4

Running

332/5

7/19

Eldora

Burton

23

15

150/150

0

Running

354/8

7/29

Pocono

Busch

2

25

36/60

32

Accident

385/8

8/12

Michigan

Busch

10

3

100/100

47

Running

439/5

8/16

 Bristol

Burton

13

18

99/100

0

Running

458/6

9/3

Canadian Tire

Gilliland

13

11

64/64

0

Running

487/7

9/15

Chicago

Snider

10

10

150/150

0

Running

2,022/3

9/23

New Hampshire

Gilliland

5

3

175/175

0

Running

2,062/2

9/30

Las Vegas

Snider

9

28

0/146

0

Accident

2,061/7

10/14

Talladega

Snider

9

3

95/95

0

Running

2,109/5

10/28

Martinsville

Burton

10

4

200/200

0

Running

3,061/4

11/3

Texas

Snider

12

12

147/147

21

Running

3,099/4

11/10

Phoenix

Gilliland

5

7

150/150

0

Running

4,000/4

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

Noah Gragson’s Season Has Has Its Share Of Highs An Lows

Noah Gragson

The final race of the season at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway can mean a lot of different things for different drivers. For one driver, it will culminate in a championship and having his name in the NASCAR history books. For some, it’s putting a disappointing season behind them to start with a clean slate in 2018. For Las Vegas native Noah Gragson, the season finale falls somewhere in between. While not in contention for the 2017 championship, his rookie season has been full of highs and lows, which is expected for most young drivers moving up into a new series. The 19-year-old has learned from his experiences, both bad and good, and is already looking toward the future.

Gragson had his share of defining moments in the No. 18 Switch Tundra during his rookie season. He notched his first win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) last month at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and earned the coveted grandfather clock. He nearly won with a second-place finish on the road course in Canada. He also showed impressive speed by winning three poles at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Iowa Speedway in Newton and New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. He has led 187 laps so far and hopes to add at least one more to that total Friday night, leading the final lap.

It has been a steep learning curve for Gragson facing a variety of new tracks and figuring out the aerodynamics of racing a truck. It’s also a challenge to learn how to race against a new group of competitors in the NCWTS. This is not just any group of competitors either, it’s an interesting mix of wily veterans like Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter, other rookies such as Chase Briscoe and Grant Enfinger, and even his own Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate, Christopher Bell. He was learning all of this while also completing his high school degree in April.

Friday night’s race is a milestone for Gragson. Whether he wins the finale, or not, he has many achievements to be proud of this season and many more to come in the future. It’s like the end of the school year, but without yearbooks to sign. Some of his competitors, like Bell, will be moving on to start his higher education in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. His fellow rookie classmates look ahead to their sophomore year where they won’t be the underclassmen any longer. But as the drivers part ways for a few months off, they are already looking ahead to the start of the 2018 season.

Noah Gragson, Driver of the No. 18 NCWTS Switch Tundra:

You made your second NCWTS start at Homestead last year. What did you learn from that experience?

“It was my first race on a mile-and-a-half track and I really didn’t understand the aero, dirty air and side drafting yet, so going back this year I’ll have more of an idea of what to expect and how to prepare going into the race. I learned all night and got better on my restarts, so it was a productive race for me. I can definitely use that knowledge for this race on Friday.”

Knowing there are four drivers racing for a championship, will you race them any differently?

“I will definitely race them differently than I will race my teammates, but all of those guys deserve a clean race to fight for the championship. Christopher (Bell) can win the driver’s and owner’s championship for KBM, and Myatt (Snider) can help get the owner’s championship for the No. 51 team. If I can help their chances, not by wrecking anyone, but if we can help them a little bit we’ll definitely do that.”

How would you recap your 2017 season?

“We’ve had speed, we’ve had three poles and we’ve got a win checked off the list, so now it’s all about trying to prepare for the future. Looking back on it, we’ve had a lot of highs and lows, probably more lows than highs, but I’ve become a much different driver over the course of this season. I’ve grown a lot and feel like I’ve improved a lot from the beginning of the year. I am always trying to learn from the mistakes I made earlier in the year and not make them again. I definitely want to end the season on a high note with another win Friday night.”

Marcus Richmond, Crew Chief of the No. 18 NCWTS Switch Tundra:

With one race to go, how would you recap your 2017 season?

“I feel like it’s been a really good year from where we started at Daytona. It was my first year here at KBM too, so I had to learn the team and work on my communication with Noah. It’s been a good turnaround from the first four, or five races. We’ve been solid here at the end of the year and I think that we can continue that this weekend.”

Noah Gragson’s No. 18 Switch Tundra:

KBM-041: The No. 18 Switch team will race KBM-041, for Friday’s race. Gragson raced this Tundra at Bristol Motor Speedway and Dover International Speedway earlier this year. Kyle Busch won in this truck at Chicagoland Speedway in 2016.

KBM-41 Performance Profile

Starts

Wins

Average Start

Average Finish

Laps Led

 4

1

6.3

11.5

95

 

Notes of Interest:

Noah Gragson 2017:

  • Won his first NCWTS race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on 10/28

  • Won first career NCWTS pole at Texas Motor Speedway on 6/9, second at Iowa Speedway on 6/23 and third at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on 9/23

  • Has posted one win, four top-five and 13 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.3 across 22 NCWTS starts this season

  • Won the prestigious Winchester 400 Champion Racing Association Super Series race at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway driving for KBM on 10/8

  • Competed in the ARCA Racing Series at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc., and Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., earning one top-five and two top-10 finishes

Noah Gragson 2016:

  • Made first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in November where he completed all the laps to finish 16th. Finished 15th the following week at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway

  • Returned to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West where he earned two wins, eight top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in 14 starts to finish third in the driver point standings

  • Competed in 13 of 14 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races claiming two wins, four top-five and six top-10 finishes

Noah Gragson 2015

  • Finished second in the final NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver point standings as a rookie after posting two wins, one pole, seven top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in 13 starts

  • Claimed his first victory at Tucson (Ariz.) Speedway battling with his teammate for the win

  • Recorded first career pole and led 176 laps to win at Meridian Speedway in Meridian, Idaho

Noah Gragson 2014

  • Started racing Bandoleros at The Bullring at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway

  • Moved up to compete in Late Models

  • Competed in the INEX Legends car racing series, winning the 2014 Young Lion Road Course championship

 

Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 18 Tundra:

  • The No. 18 team is currently 12th in owner points and 10th in driver points after collecting one win, four top-five and 13 top-10 finishes this season

  • Five members of this year’s No. 18 Tundra team were a part of last year’s No. 4 Tundra team which collected one win, 197 laps led, nine top-five and 17 top-10 finishes across 23 starts and made the inaugural Championship Four in the Chase

KBM NCWTS Program

  • Holds the NCWTS records for most career wins (65), most wins in a single season (14 in 2014) and most Owner’s championships (five)

  • Erik Jones earned the organization its first-ever NCWTS Driver’s championship in 2015

  • Has collected 65 wins, 37 poles, 158 top-five and 255 top-10 finishes across 418 starts since originating in 2010

  • Ten different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 33. Christopher Bell, Erik Jones and William Byron have each collected seven victories, Darrell Wallace Jr., has five wins, Denny Hamlin has produced two victories while Noah Gragson, Daniel Suarez, Kasey Kahne and Brian Scott each collected one trophy

  • With Bell’s victory at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway KBM has at least one win at all 21 tracks on the 2017 NCWTS schedule

KBM NCWTS @ Homestead-Miami Speedway

  • KBM drivers have collected four wins, 247 laps led, seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.9 across 17 starts at Homestead

  • Owner-driver Kyle Busch scored wins for KBM in 2010 & 2013, Darrell Wallace Jr., won in 2014 and William Byron in 2016

  • Christopher Bell will be contending for KBM’s second Driver’s championship, while Bell and Myatt Snider’s teams will both compete for KBM’s sixth Owner’s championship Friday night

Richmond’s Record:

Entering the 2017 season, Marcus Richmond had collected nine wins, 11 poles, 52 top-five and 107 top-10 finishes across 222 races in his 11 seasons as a crew chief in the Truck Series. The veteran crew chief has been to victory lane with five different drivers (Ty Dillon, Kevin Harvick, Timothy Peters, Johnny Sauter and Dennis Setzer) and has recorded at least one win every year since 2012. The North Carolina native’s drivers have finished inside the top five in the Truck Series championship standings four times in the last five seasons, including a runner-up finish in the standings with Ty Dillon in 2012. His most recent stop was at JR Motorsports last season, where he guided Cole Custer to two poles, four top-five and 12 top-10 finishes over the last 16 races of 2016. Richmond joined KBM in December 2016 to coach rookie Noah Gragson in 2017.

Richmond has two top-five and three top-10 finishes in 10 starts as a NCWTS crew chief at Homestead. His best finish was third with Timothy Peters in 2013.

Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 18 Switch Toyota Tundra 2017 NCWTS Box Score:

Date

Site

Driver

Start

Finish

Laps

Laps Led

Status

Driver Pts./Pos.

2/24

Daytona

Gragson

12

26

1/100

0

Accident

11/22nd

3/4

Atlanta

Gragson

10

14

130/130

0

Running

34/17th

4/1

Martinsville

Gragson

9

4

250/250

0

Running

70/11th

5/12

Kansas

Gragson

4

28

68/167

0

Clutch

79/13th

5/19

Charlotte

Gragson

15

9

134/134

0

Running

111/13th

6/2

Dover

Gragson

8

9

199/200

0

Running

145/10th

6/9

Texas

Gragson

1

7

167/167

13

Running

181/10th

6/17

Gateway

Gragson

7

9

160/160

0

Running

209/10th

6/23

Iowa

Gragson

1

6

200/200

16

Running

255/9th

7/6

Kentucky

Gragson

11

5

150/150

32

Running

299/9th

7/19

Eldora

Gragson

10

7

150/150

0

Running

329/9th

7/29

Pocono

Gragson

8

24

39/60

0

Accident

345/9th

8/12

Michigan

Gragson

5

7

100/100

0

Running

382/9th

8/16

Bristol

Gragson

4

15

202/203

0

Running

418/9th

9/3

Canadian Tire

Gragson

6

2

64/64

0

Running

458/9th

9/15

Chicago

Gragson

6

8

150/150

0

Running

489/11th

9/23

New Hampshire

Gragson

1

15

174/175

40

Running

519/11th

9/30

Las Vegas

Gragson

13

13

144/146

12

Running

548/11th

10/14

Talladega

Gragson

8

14

95/95

0

Running

571/11th

10/28

Martinsville

Gragson

5

1

200/200

10

Running

625/11th

11/3

Texas

Gragson

2

10

147/147

9

Running

663/11th

11/10

Phoenix

Gragson

2

15

142/150

55

Accident

703/10th

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

Can John Hunter Nemechek Make The Final Four At Phoenix?

John Hunter Nemechek

Event:                    Lucas Oil 150

Date:                      Friday, November 10, 2017

Venue:                   Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway

 

NEMCO Motorsports’ NASCAR Camping World Truck Series History at the Phoenix International Raceway … This weekend will mark NEMCO Motorsports’ seventh NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the 1.022-mile track. The organization posted a team best finish of second-place with John Hunter Nemechek on November 13, 2015. John Nemechek was the first to post a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the Avondale, Ariz.,-facility for NEMCO Motorsports in 1995. Six starts at the Phoenix International Raceway have earned NEMCO Motorsports an average starting position of 14.0 and an average finish of 10.5.

 

NEMCO Motorsports’ NASCAR Camping World Truck Series History … Since entering the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 1995, the Mooresville, N.C.,-based organization has logged 129 starts from six drivers, resulting in strong performances that include six victories (Watkins Glen, Chicago, Atlanta, Canada, Gateway, and Iowa) and 27 top-five finishes, as well as 57 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 14.3 and an average finishing position of 14.2.

 

NEMCO Motorsports Collectively … In this season’s 21 events, NEMCO Motorsports’ two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entries have posted two victories (Gateway and Iowa), eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. The NEMCO Motorsports-prepared Chevrolet Silverados have completed 3,360 laps and have lead 108 of those laps. John Hunter Nemechek and Joe Nemechek rank sixth and 29th respectively in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver points.

 

All in the Family … Team owner Joe Nemechek has found success in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) in the “Valley of the Sun” with one top-five and two top-10 finishes in 15 starts. In 28 starts at the Phoenix International Raceway, Nemechek is credited with one top-10 finish in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS). In 1996, Nemechek posted his single NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the track, finishing in the eighth-place. John Nemechek had four starts at the Phoenix International Raceway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

 

Follow NEMCO Motorsports on Social Media … To keep up-to-date with the latest news, information and exclusive content, visit NEMCO Motorsports’ Twitter page – @NEMCOMotorsport. Also, follow the NEMCO Motorsports drivers on their personal Twitter pages – @FrontRowJoe87 and @JHNemechek. You can also “like” Joe Nemechek on his official Facebook page at /NASCARJoe, and John Hunter Nemechek on his official Facebook page at /JohnHunterNemechek.

 

Vote for John Hunter Nemechek … Fans have the opportunity to make their voices heard by casting their votes to determine who will be the Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2017. Fans are able to cast their votes viahttp://www.nascar.com/mostpopulardriver from September 3 to November 16. Fans may select (1) candidate per ballot submission. Voting is limited to (1) vote per person per email address per day, per series. Fans selected John Hunter Nemechek as the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Most Popular Driver.

 

Meet John Hunter Nemechek … Fans can visit the Chevrolet Racing display located in the fan midway of the Phoenix International Raceway for a question and answer session with John Hunter Nemechek on Friday, November 10 at 12:45 p.m. (MT). Nemechek is scheduled to participate in an autograph session with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, located in the Phoenix International Raceway Fan Midway, from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. (MT) on Friday.

 

Catch the Action … The Lucas Oil 150 will be broadcast live on FS1 on Friday, November 10 starting with the pre-race show at8:00 p.m. (ET). It will also broadcast live at 8:00 p.m. (ET) on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Qualifying for the 22nd event of the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule will air Friday at 5:30 p.m. (ET) on FS1. In addition, the final practice session on Friday will be televised live on FOX Sports 2 at 11:00 a.m. (ET).

 

John Hunter Nemechek

No. 8 Fire Alarm Services Inc., Chevrolet Silverado

 

This Week’s NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado at the Phoenix International Raceway … John Hunter Nemechek will pilot Chassis No. 042 in the Lucas Oil 150 at the Phoenix International Raceway. The Gere Kennon-led team last unloaded this NEMCO Motorsports prepared chassis at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 23, where they finished in the 20th-place after starting in the 14th-place.  In the chassis’ 10 collective starts at the Gateway Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway, and the New Hampshire Motor Speedway with Nemechek, the chassis has an average finishing position of 8.4.

 

Sound the Alarm … The NEMCO Motorsports No. 8 Chevrolet Silverado returns with the Fire Alarm Services, Inc., (FAS) brand as the primary sponsor at the Phoenix International Raceway. Headquartered in Arvada, Colorado, Fire Alarm Services, Inc., provides superior fire and life safety and security services and products for protecting their client’s real estate investment.

 

In the “Valley of the Sun” … This weekend marks John Hunter Nemechek’s fifth Phoenix International Raceway appearance with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The Mooresville, N.C., driver has earned an average starting position of 11.0 and an average finishing position of 9.0 at the 1.022-mile track. Nemechek made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series track debut on November 8, 2013.

 

Speedway Stats: In 38 combined NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts on speedways (tracks 1 to 2-miles in length), John Hunter Nemechek has recorded three victories (Chicago, Atlanta and Gateway), 11 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes. He has led for a total of 171 laps on NASCAR’s speedway tracks.

 

Race Rewind: Phoenix International Raceway … John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 8 Fire Alarm Services, Inc., Chevrolet Silverado for NEMCO Motorsports, finished in the sixth-place in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at the Phoenix International Raceway on November 11, 2016. Nemechek started the 150-lap event from the sixth-place, and the 19-year old raced to the fifth-place by Lap 140, and ultimately finished in the sixth-place, maintaining his position in the closing laps.

 

In the Rearview Mirror: Texas Motor Speedway … John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 8 Fire Alarm Services, Inc., Chevrolet Silverado for NEMCO Motorsports, scored a 19th-place finish in the Jag Metals 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, November 3, at the Texas Motor Speedway. Nemechek started in the 11th-position in the 32-truck field. The 20-year old finished Stage 1 in the fifth-place, on Lap 35, and Nemechek was in the 10th-place by Lap 70. The team’s variant pit strategy placed Nemechek as the leader on Lap 127. Nemechek’s No. 8 Chevrolet Silverado ran out of fuel on Lap 134 after leading eight laps. He headed to pit road for fuel, and then upon exiting pit road, Nemechek received a pass-thru penalty by NASCAR for speeding while exiting. Under green flag conditions, Nemechek was scored two laps down in the 18th-place. With seven laps remaining in the 147-lap event, Nemechek was unable to gain positions in the remaining laps, and crossed the finish line in 19th-place.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs … With his win at the Gateway Motorsports Park on June 17, John Hunter Nemechek claimed NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff eligibility with a victory during the regular season. Nemechek is sixth in the Round of 6 Playoff standings with 14 playoff points.

 

Season-to-date … Through the first 21 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races of the 2017 season, John Hunter Nemechek has completed 2632 of 3148 laps contested (83.6 percent) and has led 108 laps. Nemechek is currently sixth in the driver point standings and sixth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner points. In addition, the NEMCO Motorsports driver has collected two victories (Gateway and Iowa), seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes, has spent 2,096 laps running in the top 15 and has made 623 green-flag passes thus far this season.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK

Thorsport Racing Previews The Lucas Oil 150

Catch the action…
Friday, November 10: (All times Eastern)
11:00am – Final Practice (FOX Sports 2)
5:30pm – Qualifying (FOX Sports 1)
8:00pm – NCWTS Setup Show (FOX Sports 1)
8:30pm – Lucas Oil 150 (FOX Sports 1)
 
Phoenix Stages…
Stage 1 – 40 Laps (Concludes at lap 40)
Stage 2 – 40 Laps (Concludes at lap 80)
Stage 3 – 70 Laps (Concludes at lap 150)
Cast Your Vote… We need your help to determine who will be the 2017 Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. You can cast your vote at www.nascar.com/mostpopulardriver once a day, every day, until November 16.
Team Stats:
Driver Point Standings: 13th
Owner Point Standings: 14th
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Contender
Notes:
  • This Week’s No. 13 RIDE TV Toyota Tundra… The No. 13 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 36 for Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). This is the same chassis Cody Coughlin piloted at Iowa Speedway (12th), and Bristol Motor Speedway (17th), earlier this season.
  • Phoenix Profile… Although Coughlin will make his 34th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start on Friday night at PIR, the RIDE TV driver will be making his track debut at the one-mile oval.
  • Calling The Shots… Rich Lushes, former truck chief for the No. 13 ThorSport Racing team, will once again call the shots for Coughlin at PIR. Lushes, who acted as crew chief at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend, was Coughlin’s Pro Late Models (JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour) crew chief in 2011, when the JEGS driver won the Rookie of the Year title.
  • Truck Series Stats… Coughlin has made 33 NCWTS starts since 2015, with a career-best start of seventh at Talladega Superspeedway (2016), and a career-best finish of sixth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (2017).
  • Catch Coughlin at Phoenix… Coughlin will join his ThorSport Racing teammates for an autograph session on Friday, Nov. 10 from 1:00-1:45pm MST in the Fan Midway (next to the Busch Garage) at PIR. The session is first-come, first-serve.
Chatting with Cody Coughlin…
“My spotter, Terry Cook, does a great job helping me prepare for each track we go to, especially the new ones. I’ll study the notes that he usually gives me and we’ll go from there, and hopefully be strong right off the truck on Friday.”
Team Stats:
Driver Point Standings: 5th
Owner Point Standings: 10th
2017 Playoff Position: 5th
Notes:
  • This Week’s No. 27 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra… The No. 27 ThorSport Racing team will debut chassis No. 45 for Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). This is a proven ThorSport Racing chassis that will make its 2017 debut under the lights on Friday night.
  • Phoenix Profile… Rhodes will make his third career start at PIR on Friday night. The Safelite AutoGlass driver has a track-best start of fourth (2014), and a track-best finish of fifth (2014). In 2015 Rhodes started ninth and finished 14th.
  • Settling The Championship 4 Field at Phoenix… Rhodes, who is currently fifth in the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Playoffs, is a mere five points outside of the Championship 4 entering Friday night’s elimination race at PIR. To lock himself in to the Championship 4, and compete for his first series title at Homestead-Miami Speedway next week, the Safelite AutoGlass driver will need to win, or leave PIR with a fourth-place finish in the driver point standings.
  • Beyond The Glass… In advance of the Lucas Oil 150 on Friday night, Rhodes will attend the “Best of Belron” (Southwest Region) competition on behalf of partner, Safelite AutoGlass, on Wednesday. Rhodes will MC a portion of the event, in which Safelite technicians compete in various areas including, but not limited to, windshield repair, and windshield replacement. Rhodes will also visit one of the largest Safelite AutoGlass call centers, located in Chandler, Arizona on Thursday. The facility, which opened in 2010, covers 86,000 square feet. Additionally, there will be more than 600 Safelite employees in the grandstands on Friday night, cheering on Rhodes and the No. 27 Safelite team.
  • 2017 Season Stats… In 21 starts this season, the ThorSport Racing driver has earned one pole (Pocono), and led 160 laps en route to one win (Las Vegas), six top-five, and 12 top-10 finishes.
  • Truck Series Stats… In 48 NCWTS races, Rhodes has two poles, and has led 215 laps en route to one win, nine top-five, and 20 top-10 finishes.
  • Catch Ben at Phoenix… Rhodes will join his ThorSport Racing teammates for an autograph session on Friday, Nov. 10 from 1:00-1:45pm MST in the Fan Midway (next to the Busch Garage) at PIR. The session is first-come, first-serve.

Chatting with Ben Rhodes…

 

Phoenix is the last race to determine the Championship 4. Currently you’re on the outside looking in. What’s your “Game Plan” to make it into the Top-4 following Fridaynights race? 
“To beat everyone else sounds simple, but it’s going to be quite the challenge. ThorSport Racing has given me some unbelievably fast Safelite Toyota Tundra’s in the past, so I know I can count on that same speed Friday night. My crew chief Eddie Troconis and I also communicate really well, so if I need changes I know he will be on top of it. It will come down to keeping this Safelite AutoGlass Tundra clean, having great pit stops, and running up front – especially ahead of the 19 – all night. I know we are more than capable of getting a win, and I’ll do what it takes to make that happen.”
Team Stats:
2017 Driver Point Standings: 3rd
2017 Owner Point Standings: 3rd
2017 Playoff Position: 3rd
Notes:
  • This Week’s No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 63 for Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). This is the same chassis Matt Crafton piloted to two top-five, and four top-10 finishes, earlier this season at Martinsville Speedway (9th), Gateway Motorsports Park (4th), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (6th), and Martinsville Speedway (2nd).
  • Phoenix Profile… Crafton has made 16 starts at PIR. The ThorSport Racing driver’s success includes 15 laps led en route to six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. The Menards driver has a track-best start of second (2007, 2010, 2014), and a track-best finish of second (2014).
  • Settling The Championship 4 Field at Phoenix… Crafton, who is currently third (+24 points) in the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Playoffs, is looking to lock himself in to the Championship 4 following Friday night’s elimination race at PIR. With the top-four drivers transferring to the Championship 4, the Menards driver needs to win, or maintain a top-four position in points, to race for the title in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway next week.
  • Back to Where It All Began… Although the central California town of Tulare, is more than 500 miles from PIR, the ThorSport Racing driver calls the one-mile oval a “hometown” race. Crafton, who got his start in the Featherlite Southwest Tour, a highly competitive regional series, made 12 starts at PIR between 1997 and 2006, and his success at the Avondale, Ariz. track included two poles (2000, 2001), a win (2006), and three top-five finishes. Crafton’s four-year tenure in the series produced a championship title in 2000, and opened the door to his career in NASCAR, racing for Duke and Rhonda Thorson at ThorSport Racing in 2001.
  • Season Stats… In 21 starts this season, the ThorSport Racing driver has one win (Eldora), one pole (Michigan), and has led 321 laps en route to five top-five, and 15 top-10 finishes.
  • Career Stats…In 405 NCWTS starts, Crafton has earned 13 poles, and led 2456 laps en route to 14 wins, 102 top-five, and 241 top-10 finishes.
Chatting with Matt Crafton…
 
“I’ve always had Phoenix circled on the schedule. I basically started my career at Phoenix, and it would be nice to bring that full circle, and win one in front of a lot of friends and family. We’ve been pretty decent there in the past, and I’ll drive as hard as I can from the green flag to the checkered flag, just like I do every week. I’m sure every lap will be just as intense as it was last year, but we know what we have to do to advance to Homestead. So, God willing, and we do our jobs, we will have a shot next week.”
Team Information:
Driver Point Standings: 10th
Owner Point Standings: 12th
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Contender
Notes:
  • This Week’s No. 98 RIDE TV Toyota Tundra… The No. 98 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 55 for Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR).This is the same chassis Grant Enfinger piloted to one top-five and two top-10 finishes earlier this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway (8th), Charlotte Motor Speedway (7th), Pocono Raceway (13th), and Bristol Motor Speedway (4th).
  • Phoenix Profile… Although Enfinger will be making his 36th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start on Friday night, the Jive Communications driver will make his track debut at PIR.
  • Sunoco Rookie Update… The ThorSport Racing driver currently leads the charge in the 2017 Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, by four points over second-place Chase Briscoe.
  • Season Update… In 21 starts this season, the ThorSport Racing driver has led 41 laps en route to nine top-five, and 14 top-10 finishes, with a season-best start of fifth (Texas Motor Speedway), and a season-best finish of third (Texas Motor Speedway, and Gateway Motorsports Park).
  • Truck Series Stats… In 35 career NCWTS starts, Enfinger has one pole (Daytona, 2016), and has led 91 laps en route to one win (Talladega, 2016), 11 top-five, and 19 top-10 finishes.
  • Catch Grant at Phoenix… Enfinger will join his ThorSport Racing teammates for an autograph session on Friday, Nov. 10 from 1:00-1:45pm MST in the Fan Midway(next to the Busch Garage) at PIR. The session is first-come, first-serve.
Chatting with Grant Enfinger…
 
You’re closing in on the end of your rookie campaign. How would you Grade your first full-time season in the Truck Series? 
“I’d say overall, for a rookie season, I would grade us a B at this point. We’ve been a consistent truck, and have had a lot of good finishes. However, we haven’t won a race yet, and we really haven’t contended for wins on a regular basis. I’m proud of the effort everyone has put into this year, and we still have two shots to get to victory lane, with the first one being Phoenix on Friday night, and I’m really looking forward to it. Phoenix is a place I’ve been wanting to race at for a long time.”

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