Ed Carpenter Racing Is Ready To Attack Pocono

Ed Carpenter

  • The second of two 500-mile races on the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series calendar awaits Ed Carpenter Racing’s drivers this weekend at Pocono Raceway. JR Hildebrand and team owner Ed Carpenter will take on the 2.5-mile, three-turn triangular oval nicknamed “The Tricky Triangle” in Long Pond, PA on Sunday, August 20.
  • In 2013, the Verizon IndyCar Series returned to Pocono Raceway for the first time since 1989. Carpenter has competed in each race since, with a highest qualifying position of 10th last year and a best finish of 9th in 2013. Hildebrand, whose last full-time season prior to this year was 2012, has not yet competed at Pocono. 2017 will mark the 24th year of Indy car racing at the track nestled in the Pocono Mountains.
  • Last year’s ABC Supply 500 was just over a quarter of the way to completion when Carpenter radioed in that his No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet had lost power. He coasted in from Turn 2, bringing the car to a stop in his pit box on Lap 57. The electrical failure was deemed terminal and Carpenter exited the car, credited with a 21st place. The sister No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka car, then driven by Josef Newgarden, finished 4th after starting on the outside of the front row.
  • The last time Carpenter and Hildebrand competed in a 500-mile race, they were at the 2.5-mile oval of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Carpenter qualified 2nd for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500, giving ECR their 4th front row start in the past five years. Hildebrand earned the best qualifying position of his career at Indianapolis and started 6th. Both drivers led laps in the event; when Carpenter took the lead, 2017 became the 10th year in a row in which he has led a Verizon IndyCar Series race.

JR Hildebrand

  • Hildebrand has collected solid results at the majority of the oval races this season. In addition to leading the Indianapolis 500, he scored podium finishes at two of the four oval races so far this year. Just 20 days removed from breaking a bone in his left hand in a last-lap incident at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Hildebrand turned 250 laps under the lights at Phoenix Raceway and raced his way to a 3rd place finish. Last month at Iowa Speedway, he topped that performance when he matched his career-best Indy car result and finished 2nd.
  • Pocono will be the penultimate race of Carpenter’s season, who competes exclusively in the oval events. The only owner/driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series has finished no worse than 12th in his four races so far this year, including a 7th place at Phoenix. In addition to his front row start at Indianapolis, he also qualified 4th at Iowa. Carpenter has been quick throughout the year, recording the fastest lap times in practice sessions at Indianapolis and Texas Motor Speedway and the second-fastest lap in final practice at Iowa.
  • The design of each of Pocono’s three turns draws inspiration from different race tracks. Turn 1 is modeled after New Jersey’s Trenton Speedway (closed in 1980), Turn 2 mimics the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Turn 3 is comparable to the Milwaukee Mile. The 2017 ABC Supply 500 at “The Tricky Triangle” will air live on NBC Sports Network, beginning at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 20.

 

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet): “I have always really enjoyed racing an Indy car at Pocono. It’s such a challenging track that requires a lot of work to get the right setup on the car. While we’ve had good cars there in the past, good results have eluded us. It’s my second-to-last race of the year, so I’m hopeful we can get the finish we have been working towards!”


JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet): “I’m excited to put my first laps in around Pocono and just really looking forward to getting back on track! Pocono’s a very unique place that I know can be pretty tough, so I’m anxious to get out there and work with the team. Hopefully, we’ll put together another solid weekend at an oval race!”

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

Grant Enfinger Returns To His Roots, A Bullring

Grant Enfinger

Team Information:

Driver Point Standings: 7th

Owner Point Standings: 9th

Sunoco Rookie of the Year Contender

2017 Stage Wins: 0

2017 Stage Bonus Points: 57

2017 Playoff Points: 0

Sounding Off – Grant Enfinger:

Are you looking forward to making your track debut at Bristol Wednesday night? 

“I’m definitely a short-track racer at heart, so I’m really looking forward to Bristol. I don’t really know what to expect – whether they do the tire dragon all the way up and down the race track, or what they will do with the VHT. There will be a lot of factors that play into that, but I’m really looking forward to getting back to a short track.”

Does your experience at Winchester or Salem, in the ARCA Racing Series, help you at a place like Bristol?

“Absolutely. Those are the only two tracks that you can compare it to. Those really super fast, high-banked tracks. I’ve had a good bit of success at both, so I’m really look forward to Bristol in a couple days.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter… The No. 98 ThorSport Racing (TSR) team will unload chassis No. 55 forWednesday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS). This is the same chassis the Champion Power Equipment driver raced at Pocono Raceway (13th), Charlotte Motor Speedway (7th), and Atlanta Motor Speedway (8th), earlier this season.

  • Thunder Valley Stats… Although Grant Enfinger will be making his 28th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start, the TSR driver will make his track debut in the 200-lap event in “Thunder Valley.”

  • Powering Champions Challenge…Enfinger will take on his Champion powered teammate, and Bassmaster Elite Angler, Jason Williamson, in a head-to-head battle for bragging rights on Tuesday, August 15. The duo will compete in a one-hour fishing challenge on South Holston Lake, and then take on the high-banks of BMS in the new NASCAR Heat 2 game, from the grandstands on Colossus.

  • Playoff Status… Enfinger has three races remaining on the 2017 NCWTS schedule to lock his No. 98 Champion Power Equipment Toyota Tundra into the first round of the Playoffs, which kicks-off at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September. With the top-8 drivers moving on, the TSR driver is currently on the outside looking in. Enfinger is currently seventh in the NCWTS driver point standings, but seeded ninth in the Playoff standings, entering the 14th race on the 2017 NCWTS schedule.

  • Rookie Stripe: Enfinger is currently second in the 2017 Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings after 13 of 23 races this season.

  • Race Rewind – Michigan…. In his second start at Michigan International Speedway, in the NCWTS, the TSR driver started sixth, finished 15th in Stage 1, 10th in Stage 2, and eighth in the 100-lap LTi Printing 200 at the 2-mile D-shaped oval.

  • Catch Grant at Bristol…Enfinger, along with his ThorSport Racing teammates, will participate in the NCWTS autograph session on Wednesday, Aug. 16 from 1:00-1:45 p.m. ET at BMS.

Enfinger’s 2017 NCWTS Stats:

  • Starts: 13

  • Wins: 0

  • Poles: 0

  • Laps Completed: 1858 of 1968 (94.4%)

  • Laps Led: 23

  • Top-5 Finishes: 5

  • Top-10 Finishes: 8

  • Best Start: 5th (Texas)

  • Best Finish: 3rd (Dover & Texas)

Enfinger’s Career NCWTS stats:

  • Starts: 27, since 2010

  • First Start: Talladega (2010)

  • First Full-time Season: 2017

  • Poles: 1 (Daytona, 2016)

  • Wins: 1 (Talladega, 2016)

  • Top-5 Finishes: 7

  • Top-10 Finishes: 13

  • Laps Completed: 3,513

  • Laps Led: 73

  • Avg. Start: 12.2

  • Avg. Finish: 12.2

Bristol Stages:

Stage 1 – 55 laps (concludes at lap 55)

Stage 2 – 55 laps (concludes at lap 110)

Stage 3 – 90 laps (concludes at lap 200)

Broadcast Schedule – Bristol:

Wednesday, Aug. 16

  • 9:00-9:55 a.m. ET – Practice (FS1)

  • 11:00-11:55 a.m. ET – Final Practice (FS1)

  • 4:30 p.m. ET – Qualifying (Starts on FS2, switches to FS1)

  • 8:00 p.m. ET – NCWTS Setup Show (FS1)

  • 8:30 p.m. ET – UNOH 200 (FS1)

Race Information:

Date: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1

Track: .533-mile oval

Distance: 200 Laps/106.6 miles

Social: @BMSupdates #UNOH200

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

John Hunter Will Be In His Element At Bristol

John Hunter Nemechek

Event: UNOH 200

Date: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Venue: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway

NEMCO Motorsports’ NASCAR Camping World Truck Series History at the Bristol Motor Speedway … This weekend will mark NEMCO Motorsports’ fifth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the Bristol, Tenn., facility. The organization posted a team best third-place finish at the track with driver John Hunter Nemechek on August 19, 2015. Four starts at the Bristol Motor Speedway have earned NEMCO Motorsports an average starting position of 15.8 and an average finish of 11.5.

Welcome Plan B Sales, Inc. … The NEMCO Motorsports No. 8 Chevrolet Silverado returns to the Bristol Motor Speedway with Plan B Sales, Inc., as the primary sponsor in a single race partnership with NEMCO Motorsports and driver John Hunter Nemechek. Plan B Sales was founded in 2010 by Brent and Ladonna Powell and quickly became the largest distributor of Lionel die-casts. Based in Concord, N.C., Plan B Sales also serves the retail market with products from Lionel, Chase Authentics, Auto World, Greenlight Collectables and Wincraft Racing for licensed motorsports related product lines.

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 113 starts from five drivers, resulting in strong performances that include six victories (Watkins Glen, Chicago, Atlanta, Canada, Gateway, and Iowa) and 26 top-five finishes, as well as 53 top-10 finishes with an average starting position of 13.9 and an average finishing position of 13.2.

Collective NEMCO Motorsports … In the season’s first 13 events, NEMCO Motorsports’ two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entries have posted two victories (Gateway and Iowa), seven top-five and seven top-10 finishes. The NEMCO Motorsports-prepared Chevrolet Silverados have completed 2,142 total laps and lead 92 of those laps. John Hunter Nemechek and Joe Nemechek rank eighth and 26th respectively in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver points.

All in the Family … Team owner Joe Nemechek has two top-five and four top-10 finishes in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 20 starts at the Bristol Motor Speedway – all as a driver-owner. In addition, Nemechek has 36 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at the track since 1994. John Nemechek had two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at the 0.533-mile oval – in 1995 where he finished in the 29th-place, and in 1996 where he finished in the 20th-place.

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.

Local Connection … Gere Kennon, a Memphis, Tenn., native, is the crew chief on NEMCO Motorsports’ No. 8 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry. Kennon can boast of a well-developed racing résumé; he led the legendary Sam Ard to back-to-back NASCAR XFINITY Series championship titles in 1982 and 1983, and served as the general manager of Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series program in 2012. In his 30-plus year career, Kennon has served as a crew chief in all three national NASCAR series, and has worked with such legends as Mark Martin, Brett Bodine, Rick Mast, Ron Hornaday, Jr., and Sterling Marlin.

Meet John Hunter Nemechek … John Hunter Nemechek is scheduled to participate in an autograph session with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, August 16 under the Bristol Motor Speedway grandstands – at the Waltrip Concourse inside of Gate 14 (outside of Turn 4). Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing display located in the midway at the Bristol Motor Speedway for a question and answer session with Nemechek on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. (ET).

Keys to the Cities … Joe Nemechek and John Hunter Nemechek are scheduled to participate in an autograph session at the 30th Anniversary Food City Family Race Night on Thursday, August 17 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (ET) on State Street located in Bristol, Tenn. On behalf of Food City, Steve Smith, president and CEO, will make a donation to the Darrell Gwynn Quality of Life Chapter of The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis as the charity of choice of honorees Joe Nemechek and John Hunter Nemechek. The father-son duo will then be presented keys to the cities, and given a proclamation from the mayors of Bristol, Tenn., and Bristol, Va.

Catch the Action … The UNOH 200 will be broadcast live on FS1 on Wednesday, August 16 starting with the pre-race show at 8:00 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 14th event of the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule will air at 4:45 p.m. (ET) on FOX Sports 2. In addition, both practice sessions on Wednesday will be televised live on FS1 with the first session starting at 9:00 a.m. (ET), and the final practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at 11:00 a.m. (ET).

The UNOH 200 at the Bristol Motor Speedway will re-air on Thursday, August 17 at 8:00 a.m. (ET) on FS1.

John Hunter Nemechek
No. 8 Plan B Sales, Inc., Chevrolet Silverado

This Week’s NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado at the Bristol Motor Speedway … John Hunter Nemechek will pilot Chassis No. 034 in the UNOH 200 at the Bristol Motor Speedway. The Gere Kennon-led team last unloaded this NEMCO Motorsports prepared chassis at the Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on April 1 where Nemechek finished in the 28th-position after starting in the 12th-position in the chassis’ first appearance of the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Since 2014, Chassis No. 034 has an average finishing position of 11.5 in 13 starts at the Martinsville Speedway, Dover International Speedway, Gateway Motorsports Park, Bristol Motor Speedway and the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The chassis has two previous starts at the Bristol Motor Speedway with Nemechek.

Battle in the Last Great Colosseum … This weekend marks John Hunter Nemechek’s fourth Bristol Motor Speedway appearance with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The Mooresville, N.C., driver has earned an average starting position of 12.0 and an average finishing position of 5.7 at the Bristol, Tenn.,-facility. He made his track debut on August 20, 2014.

Short Track Stats: In 15 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts on short tracks (less than one mile in length), John Hunter Nemechek has recorded one win, five top-five and eight top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 11.5 and an average finish of 11.1 on these racetracks.

Race Rewind: Bristol Motor Speedway … John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet Silverado for NEMCO Motorsports, finished eighth in the UNOH 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the Bristol Motor Speedway on August 17, 2016. Nemechek started in the 16th-place for the UNOH 200, and by Lap 50 he was scored in the 20th-place. The 19 year-old maneuvered to the third position with less than 30 laps remaining in the 200-lap event. With no radio communication to his spotter on the final restart on Lap 194, Nemechek was shuffled back and ultimately finished in the eighth-place.

In the Rearview Mirror: Michigan International Speedway … John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 8 Fire Alarm Services, Inc., Chevrolet Silverado for NEMCO Motorsports, scored a 29th-place finish in the Lti Printing 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, August 12 at the Michigan International Speedway. Nemechek started third, and was scored in second-place by Lap 4. On Lap 5, Nemechek was involved in a single-truck incident and his Chevrolet Silverado sustained enough damage to send it to the garage, resulting in a 29th-place finish.

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 second in the Playoff standings, with two wins and 11 playoff points.

Season-to-date … Through the first 13 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races of the 2017 season, John Hunter Nemechek has completed 1654 of 1968 laps contested (84.0 percent) and has led 92 laps. Nemechek is currently eighth in the driver point standings and 10th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner points. In addition, the NEMCO Motorsports driver has collected two victories (Gateway and Iowa), six top-five and six top-10 finishes, has spent 1,343 laps running in the top 15 and has made 407 green-flag passes thus far this season.

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

Ben Rhodes: “The Stress Level Is Really High At Bristol”

Ben Rhodes

Team Stats:

Driver Point Standings: 6th

Owner Point Standings: 7th

2017 Stage Wins: 1 (Kentucky)

2017 Stage Bonus Points: 100

2017 Playoff Points: 1

Sounding Off – Ben Rhodes:

You’ve got quite a few laps around “Thunder Valley.” Are you looking forward to getting back there this week?

“Yeah, I’m really excited to get back to Bristol. We ran really well there last year, up to the point where we had a motor problem, which ended our race prematurely. Up until then though, we were running second, and I felt like we had the opportunity to compete for a win. We’re taking a different truck to Bristol this year, and a new setup that we have been working hard on. I feel like if you’re not trying to innovate with setup this year, you’re going backwards. Everything we’ve done this year, has been new – never done at ThorSport (Racing) – I think that’s shown. We’ve had a lot more speed this year.”

As a driver, what is the stress level like at a place like Bristol?  

“I would say its probably the most active track that we have on the schedule. Everything happens so quickly. You don’t get a break on the straightaways, you don’t get those extra few seconds to slow down, take a breath, look in your mirror – do the things you would like to do. Your driving by the seat of your pants there. Lap times are so fast at a place like Bristol, that I find myself holding my breath, reminding myself that I need to breathe. It’s such a tough track. I do enjoy it, but you really do have to be on your game the whole time – no mistakes – the stress level is definitely high.”

 

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Information…The No. 27 ThorSport Racing (TSR) team will utilize   for Wednesday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS). This particular chassis will make its 2017 debut in the 200-lap event in “Thunder Valley.”

  • Thunder Valley Stats… The Safelite AutoGlass driver will make his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start at BMS on Wednesday night. Additionally, Rhodes has two starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at the .533-mile track.

  • Playoff Status… Ben Rhodes has three races remaining on the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) schedule to lock his No. 27 Safelite Tundra into NASCAR’s first round of the Playoffs, which kicks-off at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September. With the top-8 drivers moving on, the TSR driver is currently in, on points. Rhodes is currently sixth in the NCWTS driver standings, but seeded eighth in the Playoff standings.

  • Take Me Back – Bristol, 2016... Making his second start at BMS in the NCWTS, Rhodes started fourth, a track-best, ran as high as second, and finished 30th, due to an engine problem.

  • Rearview Mirror – Michigan… Starting from the 14th position, Rhodes finished fourth in Stage 1, fifth in Stage 2, and 11th in the LTi Printing 200 at Michigan International Speedway.

  • Catch Ben at Bristol...Rhodes, along with his TSR teammates, will participate in the NCWTS autograph session on Wednesday, Aug. 16 from 1:00-1:45 p.m. ET at BMS.

Rhodes NCWTS Bristol Stats:

  • Starts: 2; since 2014

  • Laps Completed: 328 of 400 (82.0%)\

  • Laps Led: 0

  • Top-Five Finishes: 0

  • Top-10 Finishes: 2

  • Best Start: 4th (2016)

  • Best Finish: 9th (2014)

Rhodes Bristol K&N East Stats:

  • Starts: 2

  • Poles: 1 (2014)

  • Top-5 Finishes: 1

  • Top-10 Finishes: 2

  • Laps completed: 257 of 257 (100%)

  • Laps Led: 130 (2014)

  • Best Finish: 3rd (2014)

Rhodes 2017 NCWTS Stats:

  • Starts: 13

  • Poles: 1 (Pocono)

  • Laps Completed: 1736 of 1968 (88.2%)

  • Laps Led: 121

  • Best Start: 5th (Charlotte & Kentucky)

  • Best Finish: 2nd (Pocono)

  • Top-5 Finishes: 4

  • Top-10 Finishes: 6

Rhodes Career NCWTS Stats:

  • Starts: 40 since 2014

  • First Full-time Season: 2016

  • First Start: Martinsville-1, 2014 (8th)

  • Poles: 2 (Martinsville-1, 2016 and Pocono, 2017)

  • Top-5 Finishes: 7

  • Top-10 Finishes: 14

  • Laps Completed: 5649

  • Laps Led: 176

  • Best Finish: 2nd; (Gateway, 2016 and Pocono, 2017)

Bristol Stages:

  • Stage 1 – 55 laps (concludes at lap 55)

  • Stage 2 – 55 laps (concludes at lap 110)

  • Stage 3 – 90 laps (concludes at lap 200)

Broadcast Schedule – Bristol:

Wednesday, Aug. 16

  • 9:00-9:55 a.m. ET – Practice (FS1)

  • 11:00-11:55 a.m. ET – Final Practice (FS1)

  • 4:30 p.m. ET – Qualifying (Starts on FS2, switches to FS1)

  • 8:00 p.m. ET – NCWTS Setup Show (FS1)

  • 8:30 p.m. ET – UNOH 200 (FS1)

Race Information:

Date: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1

Track: .533-mile oval

Distance: 200 Laps/106.6 miles

Social: @BMSUpdates #UNOH200

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

Matt Crafton Is Excited To Return To Bristol

Matt Crafton

Stats:

2017 Driver Point Standings: 3rd

2017 Owner Point Standings: 3rd

2017 Stage Wins: 2

2017 Stage Points: 136

2017 Playoff Points: 7

Sounding Off – Matt Crafton:

“Bristol is a unique, half-mile, high -banked, bullring-type race track. You are flying around the place, and it gets crowded with 32 other trucks vying for position. It’s a fun race to drive, but an even better track for the fans. We have been close there. 2015 was a heartbreak, for sure. We were leading it, and I felt like I had a pretty comfortable lead, and then we had a yellow for whatever reason. We thought we were gonna win it. Then when it started raining, I was leading the race, and then when we went back green after the rain, I think it was like 7 to go, 10 to go, something right in there, if that. On that restart, the fuel just didn’t pick-up in the fuel cell. I went thru the gears and I took-off okay, and then just before the start/finish line it laid over on its nose, and we ended up finishing seventh. We were running inside the top-five there last year, until we had engine problems. It’s on the bucket list to win, that’s for sure.”

 

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing (TSR) team will unload chassis No. 48 for Wednesday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS). This is the same chassis Crafton piloted at Iowa Speedway (19th), Dover International Speedway (11th), and Charlotte Motor Speedway (6th), earlier this season.

  • Thunder Valley Stats…The Menards driver will make his 15th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start on Wednesday night at BMS. Among active series drivers, Crafton has the most starts (14), the most top-10 finishes (8), has completed the most laps (2684), and has the most lead lap finishes (11).

  • Playoff Status… Following Crafton’s first win of the 2017 NCWTS season at Eldora Speedway, the TSR driver has locked himself into the first round of the Playoffs, that kicks-off at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September. Crafton was in the inaugural Chase in 2016, finishing third overall.

  • Take Me Back – Bristol, 2016…Making his 14th career start at BMS, Crafton started 17th, ran as high as eighth, and finished 30th, due to an engine problem.

  • Rearview Mirror – Michigan… Starting first, Crafton finished second in Stage 1, fourth in Stage 2, and sixth in the LTi Printing 200 at Michigan International Speedway.

Crafton’s Bristol Stats:

  • Starts: 14, since 2003

  • Laps Completed: 2684 of 2821 (95.1%)

  • Laps Led: 39

  • Poles: 0

  • Wins: 0

  • Top-5 Finishes: 3

  • Top-10 Finishes: 8

  • Best start: 5th (2003)

  • Best finish: 2nd (2009)

Crafton’s 2017 NCWTS Stats:

  • Starts: 13

  • Laps Completed: 1949 of 1968 (99.0%)

  • Laps Led: 106

  • Poles: 1 (Michigan)

  • Wins: 1 (Eldora)

  • Top-5 Finishes: 3

  • Top-10 Finishes: 9

Crafton’s Career Truck Series Stats:

  • Starts: 397, since 2000

  • Wins: 14

  • Top-five Finishes: 100

  • Top-10 finishes: 235

  • Poles: 13

  • Laps Completed: 61,249

  • Laps Led: 2241

  • Average start: 12.5

  • Average finish: 11.4

Bristol Stages:

Stage 1 – 55 laps (concludes at lap 55)

Stage 2 – 55 laps (concludes at lap 110)

Stage 3 – 90 laps (concludes at lap 200)

Broadcast Schedule – Bristol:

Wednesday, Aug. 16

  • 9:00-9:55 a.m. ET – Practice (FS1)

  • 11:00-11:55 a.m. ET – Final Practice (FS1)

  • 4:30 p.m. ET – Qualifying (Starts on FS2, switches to FS1)

  • 8:00 p.m. ET – NCWTS Setup Show (FS1)

  • 8:30 p.m. ET – UNOH 200 (FS1)

Race Information:

Date: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1

Track: .533-mile oval

Distance: 200 Laps/106.6 miles

Social: @BMSUpdates #UNOH200

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

Christopher Bell Is In Search Of His Fifth Win This Week

Christopher Bell

Christopher Bell and the No. 4 Toyota Tundra Racing team head to Bristol Motor Speedway leading reigning champion Johnny Sauter in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular season standings with three races remaining before the playoffs start. Bell will be in search of his series-leading fifth win of the season on Wednesday night, a win that would go a long way in his effort to earn the much-coveted 15 playoff points that are awarded to the regular season champ.

Over the last four races, two wins and a runner-up finish have helped Bell make a 79-point swing in the regular season standings on Sauter. He entered the series’ 10th race of the season at Kentucky Speedway with a 42-point deficit and now enters the 13th race of the season this week with a 37-point lead. After spending nine weeks in the runner-up position in the championship standings, Bell moved ahead of Sauter with his victory at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., two races ago. The Oklahoma native nearly made it two wins in a row last week at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, but had to settle for a runner-up finish behind former Kyle Busch Motorsports’ (KBM) driver Darrell Wallace Jr.

The talented wheelman showed he has the speed necessary to conquer “The Last Great Colosseum” in last year’s event, but wasn’t able to pull off the victory. After starting from the fifth position, he made his way to the front of the field just before a competition caution at lap 41. Bell would remain out front for 100 of the next 101 laps, stretching his lead to over four seconds at one point. With 58 laps remaining in the event he was in a side-by-side battle with KBM teammate Daniel Suarez shortly after a restart and ended up spinning. After pitting for four fresh tires, he restarted from the 12th position with 52 laps remaining and would end the night with a seventh-place finish.

The 22-year-old driver enters this year’s event at Bristol as a more polished talent. In addition to leading the Truck Series point standings, he also leads NASCAR’s third division in a majority of the statistical categories, including wins (four), poles (three), driver rating (118.2), playoff points (24), average starting position (4.9), average finish (5.3), laps led (521) and fastest laps run (232).

While the application of the PJ1 TrackBite will make the bottom the preferred groove in the first half of Wednesday night’s race, when it comes down to the closing laps and the substance has worn off the winner will likely have to be able to run what Bell and other dirt racers refer to as “the bonus lane” — high up against the wall. With nine dirt wins in addition to his four Truck Series victories this year, the driver No. 4 Toyota Tundra will be in a prime candidate to ride “the bonus lane” to the five bonus points awarded at the end of the night to the winner and will also help him inch a step closer to the 15 bonus points awarded at the end of the regular season.

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

Do you enjoy racing at Bristol?

“Bristol is one of my favorite tracks — it’s one of everybody’s favorites because it’s so unique. We don’t go to a place where you pretty much run inside a cup. It’s so banked that you barely turn the wheel left because you almost ride around it instead of turn around it. It’s one of the best race tracks we go to, it’s one of the fastest race tracks that we go to — not mile per hour wise, but lap-time wise and it’s a ton of fun. After watching it on TV and then going there in person, TV just doesn’t do it justice of how banked and how fast it really is. It’s just an immaculate place.”

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

How will the PJ1 TrackBite being applied to the surface affect the racing at Bristol?

“With PJ1 going down, we expect that the racing will be a lot like it was for the Cup Series race earlier this year. The trucks will probably stick to the bottom early, but as the stuff starts to wear out towards the middle of the race you’ll see guys moving up and running higher. Christopher likes to run the high side from his dirt racing, so hopefully that high side comes in. I think it will be a fun race.”

Christopher Bell’s No. 4 Toyota Tundra:

 

KBM-28: The No. 4 Toyota Tundra team will unload KBM-28 for Wednesday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. It is the same Tundra that Bell led 54 laps with en route to victory at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta last month.

KBM-28 Performance Profile:

 

Date
Site
Driver
Start
Finish
Laps
Laps Led
Status
7/6/2017
Kentucky
Bell
2
1
150/150
54
Running
6/23/2017
Iowa
Bell
2
5
200/200
99
Running
10/1/2016
Las Vegas
Byron
10
5
146/146
0
Running
11/13/2015
Phoenix
Jones
1
9
150/150
106
Running
8/19/2015
Bristol
Jones
4
6
202/202
0
Running
7/9/2015
Kentucky
Jones
3
2
145/145
55
Running
6/19/2015
Iowa
Jones
1
1
200/200
112
Running
5/29/2015
Dover
Jones
2
3
200/200
50
Running
Totals
8 starts, 2 Win
3.1
4.0
476

 

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

13 of 13

4

9

12

3

1803

521

4.9

5.3

12

12

3 years

 

43

6

20

32

3

6058

829

7.9

8.6

38

35

 

Christopher Bell’s NCWTS Bristol Performance Profile:

 

Date

Start

Finish

Laps

Laps Led

Status

8/17/16

5

7

200/200

101

running

 

Christopher Bell 2017 Highlights

  • Has posted four wins (Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.), three poles, 521 laps led, nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 5.3 across 13 NCWTS events

  • After 13 races, leads Johnny Sauter by 37 points in the NCWTS regular season driver’s point standings

  • Leads the NCWTS in wins (four), poles (three), driver rating (118.2), playoff points (24), average starting position (4.9), average finish (5.3), laps led (521) and fastest laps run (232)

  • Became 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)

  • Has one pole, one top-five and one top-10 finish in two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing

  • In Midgets has six victories; opened the 2017 season by winning 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) and the USAC National Midget event at Solomon Valley in Beloit, Kansas (8/3/17)

  • In Sprint Cars has three 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) and the Knight Before the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio (7/14/17) 

Christopher Bell 2016 Highlights

  • Finished third in the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase after collecting one win, nine top-five and 17 top-10 finishes across 23 NCWTS starts in his first full-time campaign

  • Earned his first NCWTS win of 2016, his first on pavement and the second of his career, when he led 38 of the final 42 laps at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill.

  • Led a race-high 91 laps, including the final 44, of the 200-lap event at Salem (Ind.) Speedway en route to victory in his first-career start in the ARCA Racing Series and made it a sweep of the Indiana track leading 88 laps and bringing home the victory in the September event

  • Picked up his eighth career Late Model victory for KBM with a win in the CARS Super Late Model Tour event at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, N.C and on dirt collected four 410-Winged Sprint Car wins and one USAC National Midget victory 

Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 4 Tundra:

  • The No. 4 Tundra has collected eight wins, eight poles, 29 top-five and 49 top-10 finishes across 59 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 

KBM NCWTS Program

  • Holds the NCWTS records for most career wins (62), 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 62 wins, 33 poles, 146 top-five and 236 top-10 finishes across 389 starts since originating in 2010

  • Nine different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 32. Erik Jones and William Byron each collected seven victories, Christopher Bell has earned six triumphs, Darrell Wallace Jr., has five wins, Denny Hamlin has produced two victories while 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 @ Bristol Motor Speedway

  • KBM drivers have collected two wins, three poles, 387 laps led, five top-five and seven top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.7 across 14 starts at Bristol

  • Owner-driver Kyle Busch earned the organization its two wins at the half-mile track in 2010 and 2013

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 20 wins, 12 poles and 41 top-five finishes across his 81 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 one win, eight laps led, two top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 3.7 across three starts at The Last Great Colosseum. Kyle Busch led seven laps en route to victory in the 2013 event with Fugle calling the shots.

 

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

 

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

The Pressure To Make The Playoffs Is Mounting For Clint Bowyer

Clint Bowyer
Clint Bowyer said coming close to victory in several Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races in 2017 is nice, but it isn’t good enough. He’d like to change that Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race 500.

With three races remaining in the regular season, Bowyer is in a battle to secure one of the 16 spots in the 10-race Cup Series playoffs. He trails Matt Kenseth by 31 points, Jamie McMurray by 52 points and Chase Elliott by 62 points in the battle for the final three berths in the playoffs.

A win would secure a postseason berth, but a good points finish Saturday night would increase the Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) driver’s chances in the playoff race.

“We’ve come close to victory several times this year,” said Bowyer, who has scored the 10th-most points of any driver this season with three second-place and two third-places finishes. “That’s what can be so frustrating. You are only one or two spots away from where you want to be, but there’s a huge difference between first and everything else in this business.”

Like many drivers, Bowyer feels the Bristol night race on the .533-mile, high-banked oval with lap speeds at 130 mph is one of the highlights of the Cup Series season. Although he won an Xfinity race at Bristol in 2008, a Cup Series victory at Bristol would be near the top of his career accomplishments.

He owns seven top-five finishes and 11 top-10s in 23 Bristol races during in his 11 full Cup Series seasons. He finished second to Jimmie Johnson on April 24 in a race that saw Bowyer battle back from 21st midway through the race, then restart seventh with 48 laps remaining. He used new tires to slice through the field and drive to within 1.199 seconds of Johnson’s bumper.

If he finishes one spot better Saturday night, he promises a victory party unlike any other Bristol fans have witnessed since its first race in 1961.

“I want to celebrate in front of all those wild and crazy fans,” he said. “There’s no better atmosphere. They’re so close to you that you feel that environment.

“I’m telling you, during driver intros you’re walking down there and it’s just the feeling that comes over you before you get in that car. It’s just something you don’t feel anywhere else. It’s because of the closeness of the fans to you. They’re all breathing down on you and expecting big things out of you, and you can’t wait to go out there and get in that coliseum and go to battle.”

Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford Fusion will carry the Rush Truck Centers paint scheme during Saturday night’s race. Hopefully, he’ll restart his recent hot streak that cooled last week with a 23rd-place finish at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. In the two races before Michigan, Bowyer finished fifth Aug. 6 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and sixth July 30 at Pocono (Pa.) International Raceway.

Bowyer replaced three-time champion and SHR co-owner Tony Stewart in the No. 14 car in 2017. He and the Mike Bugarewicz-led crew have enjoyed a great first season, but their view of 2017 will likely depend on how the next three races play out. Unless Bowyer wins during the next three races, it appears his playoff fate will be decided in the final laps of the last regular-season race Sept. 9 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

“I’m the hunter, not the hunted,” he said. “So it’s a lot of fun to go into this weekend knowing that you’ve got to go out there and chase that guy down or chase those guys down and, hopefully, pop off a win here and just put it all to bed.”

Clint Bowyer: Driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What kind of pressure do you feel to get into the playoffs?

“There’s always pressure. It doesn’t matter. There’s pressure in the Daytona 500 to go out there and perform and try to win that race. There’s always pressure. It’s no different now. You still focus on the task at hand. You focus on unloading a fast racecar, making good downforce, making good horsepower, knowing it’s gonna take that on this racetrack. And you focus on the adjustments, the balance of your car, so you can go out and qualify well. That enables you to gain those stage points as we go through the race and then work hard to get a finish. It’s the task at hand, week-in and week-out, that you have to focus on. You can’t worry about those points. You have to go out and do your job week-in and week-out and, if you do that, I feel like, with the way we’re running, we can get in two different ways. I think we could win and I think we can point our way in. I think both of those are definite doables right now for us, I guess.”

 

Do you take chances?

“You always have to take chances. That’s the hard thing. When the pressure cooker is turned up and the situation is where it is right now, you can afford to take chances, you need to be able to take those chances to enable you to get those stage points if you’re out – make a gain to try to get them. But there’s also a Catch-22 to every decision there, so you just have to lay it all out, focus on the task at hand, whether that’s a stage win or the second stage or the finish at the end – focus on that and let the rest take care of itself.”

No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Ford Fusion Team Report

Round 24 of 36 – Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race 500 – Bristol

Car No. 14: Rush Truck Centers Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing
 
At Track PR Contact: Mike Arning with True Speed Communication (Mike.Arning@TrueSpeedCommunication.com)
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 McMullenHometown: 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:
  • Saturday night’s race will mark Clint Bowyer’s 421st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 24th Cup Series start at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, where he has seven top-five finishes, 11 top-10s and led 137 laps.
  • Bowyer owns career totals of eight wins, two poles, 63 top-five finishes, 177 top-10s and 2,360 laps led in 420 NASCAR Cup Series races. He also owns eight Xfinity Series victories. He is 10th in the Cup Series standings after 22 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).
  • SHR has one points-paying victory at Bristol (Kevin Harvick in August 2016) and has eight top-five finishes and 17 top-10s in 50 starts.
  • Tony Stewart and Gene Haas co-own Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), which has recorded 38 victories and 33 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, and Kevin Harvick won June 25at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.
  • Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz is in his second season after overseeing Stewart’s final campaign in 2016. Bugarewicz’s pit strategy played a key role in Stewart’s victory at Sonoma in June 2016. The Lehighton, Pennsylvania native served as the lead engineer on SHR’s 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.
  • The No. 14 Ford Fusion will carry the Rush Truck Centers paint scheme this weekend at Bristol. Rush operates the largest network of commercial vehicle dealerships in North America and is a longtime sponsor of SHR. Rush has installed telematics devices on SHR’s fleet of eight Peterbilt Model 389s and five Ford F-450 trucks. With a telematics device installed on a truck and an app on a mobile device, drivers and fleet managers can access a dashboard that displays vehicle and driver performance, electronic logs, location and overall vehicle health. In addition to telematics, SHR is supported by the RushCare Service Connect team, which monitors and can alert the team to any performance issues, fault codes or needed maintenance on any of their trucks, allowing them to transport the necessary parts and equipment from race to race. SHR hauler drivers access the telematics app on their smartphone or tablet, eliminating the need for an additional display in the truck’s cab. Since the app is on their mobile device, they can access the telematics dashboard whenever and wherever is most convenient. The app is compliant with the electronic logging device requirements expected later this year and makes it easy for drivers to generate logs, as well as vehicle and trailer inspection reports.
  • Bowyer’s Top-Five Finishes In 2017
    • 2nd-place: 
      • Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (April 24)
      • Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (June 25)
      • Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (July 1)
    • 3rd-place:
      • Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (March 26)
      • Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (April 9)
  • Bowyer’s Stage Victories In 2017
    • Pocono (Pa.) Raceway Stage 2 (July 30, 2017)
  • 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)

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

Noah Gragson Prepares For Another Grueling Race At The Last Colloseum

Noah Gragson

This week fans do not have to travel to Rome to watch the gladiators battle in the Coliseum. They only have to get to Tennessee to see “The Last Great Colosseum,” Bristol Motor Speedway, where these gladiators will trade horses for horsepower. Rookie Noah Gragson will be making his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start at Bristol under the lights on Wednesday night in the UNOH 200 and his armor will his No. 18 Switch Tundra.

Although it will be his first Truck Series start at the famed half-mile oval, he has raced there twice in other series. Most recently he competed in the CARS Super Late Model Tour at Bristol in May driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). Unfortunately, he was taken out of contention in an accident on lap 10. He also made one start there in 2016’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race when he finished 12th.

Gragson will not enter the arena alone for this event. With the addition of a fourth KBM Tundra for this race, he will have some knowledgeable teammates to lean on for information. Owner-driver Kyle Busch has won twice at Bristol in the Truck Series (2010 and 2013), Christopher Bell led 101 laps in last year’s NCWTS race and Harrison Burton captured a win (and a sword) earlier this year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race leading 68 of 70 laps.

With three races remaining in the NCWTS regular season, Gragson is still fighting for his place in the NASCAR playoffs. With five drivers locked in on wins, only three spots remain and he is currently 44 points out of making it into the elite eight. A win at Bristol is the ultimate goal for Wednesday night, and Gragson is up for the challenge. He knows it will not be easy, but he has never backed down from a challenge (or a dare).

Gragson will have 200 laps to prove he is a worthy opponent and intends to leave “The Last Great Colosseum” as the winning gladiator with a sword, trophy and a spot in the playoffs.

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

Talk about your two previous starts at Bristol?

“My previous experience there will help me quite a bit, just knowing how to get on pit road and the characteristics of the race track. I’ll be in a different type of vehicle being in the truck, but for the most part it should be the same. I haven’t really had a lot of experience with the VHT on the bottom. When I ran the CARS Super Late Model race in May was the only experience I have with the VHT, but it was three weeks after the Cup race, so it was pretty worn off by then. I have a rough idea of what to expect.”

Describe a lap around Bristol?

“Racing at Bristol reminds me of that Gravitron ride at the state fair. You go inside, lay up against the wall and it starts spinning you around really fast and the gravity holds you against the wall so you can’t move. That’s what it feels like to go around Bristol. Your head is pinned to the right side of the headrest because there are so many G-forces from the high speeds and banking. It’s utter chaos and you are always racing someone side by side, whether for the lead, or 15th place or a lapped car. That’s what makes it so difficult.”

If the NCWTS drivers could pick a driver introduction song, what would your song be and why?

“There are a lot of Tennessee fans there so maybe the Alabama fight song to make them all fired up. I did an appearance for the track in Knoxville, Tenn., a couple weeks ago and wore an Alabama hat and the track president (Jerry Caldwell) brought me a Tennessee hat. It would just be fun to get the crowd all riled up. I only root for Alabama because my friend Brandon McReynolds is a big fan.”

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

Is Bristol one of the toughest races for a crew chief because everything happens so fast?

“It’s hard to hit the perfect balance because you are always loose in and tight off, so you can have 10 different combinations of set-ups which will work. It just depends on what your driver likes and what your truck needs at that moment. There is a lot going on in a short period of time, driver feedback is a very big part of it and the track changes a lot, so there are a lot of variables.”

How will the VHT change how you approach this race?

“It definitely affects the track a lot. If it’s on the bottom you will have to run it and as soon as it starts wearing out, which usually doesn’t happen in time for trucks to move up, but if it does we’ll have to have a truck that’s versatile and can move up to the middle groove.”

Noah Gragson’s No. 18 Switch Tundra:

KBM-041: The No. 18 Switch team will race KBM-041, for Wednesday’s UNOH 200 at Bristol. This is the same Tundra Kyle Busch won with at Chicagoland Speedway last September and Daniel Suarez finished fifth with at Texas Motor Speedway last November. Christopher Bell placed 25th with it due to an accident at Dover in June.

 

KBM-041 Performance Profile

Starts

Wins

Average Start

Average Finish

Laps Led

 3

1

7.0

10.3

95

 

Notes of Interest:

Noah Gragson 2017:

  • Earned his first top-five finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series by finishing fourth at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in April. He also finished fifth at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta in July

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

  • Has posted two top-five and nine-top 10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.9 across 13 NCWTS starts this season

  • Is currently 10th in the NCWTS playoff standings, 44 points out of the eighth and the final playoff spot

  • Competed in the ARCA Racing Series at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and Pocono (Pa.) Raceway

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 11th in owner points and ninth in driver points after collecting two top-five and nine 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 (62), most wins in a single season (14 in 2014) and mostOwner’s championships (five)

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

  • Has collected 62 wins, 33 poles, 146 top-five and 236 top-10 finishes across 389 starts since originating in 2010

  • Nine different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 32. Erik Jones and William Byron each collected seven victories, Christopher Bell has earned six triumphs, Darrell Wallace Jr., has five wins, Denny Hamlin has produced two victories while 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 @ Bristol

  • KBM drivers have collected two wins, three poles, 387 laps led, five top-five and seven top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.7 across 14 starts at Bristol

  • Driver-owner Kyle Busch claimed both of KBM’s victories at Bristol in 2010 and 2013

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 five top-10 finishes in 10 starts as a NCWTS crew chief at Bristol. His teams’ best finish was sixth with Cole Custer in 2016 and Ty Dillon 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

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

HMS Motorsport Partners With BK Racing At Bristol

Corey LaJoie

HMS Motorsport, an industry leader in racing safety equipment, will be joining BK Racing for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Having been a long-time supporter of Corey LaJoie, HMS Motorsport will be on board the No. 83 Toyota Camry for Saturday night’s race.

“HMS, the leader in motorsport safety is proud to sponsor BK Racing and Corey LaJoie,” said Joe Marko, Owner of HMS Motorsport. “HMS Motorsport is the exclusive importer for Schroth Harnessbelts and Stilo Helmets and has been the leading supplier to Monster Energy NASCAR Cup teams for belts and helmets for the last 10 years. We have worked closely with NASCAR, Corey, and his dad Randy (two-time Xfinity Series Champion) since 2002 trying to educate racers and improve driver safety.”

“I’m very appreciative to HMS Motorsport for coming on board for the Bristol night race,” said LaJoie. “Their equipment has been keeping me safe since I was thirteen, and they’ve been supporting me for almost my entire racing career.”

“BK Racing is very proud to have HMS Motorsports on the No. 83 Toyota this weekend,” said Doug Fritz, BK Racing Chief Marketing Officer. “Safety is paramount in NASCAR and all other forms of racing, and HMS Motorsport’s products are keeping a lot of racers safe.”

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

Donny Schatz Wins The Knoxville Nationals For The 10th Time

Image result for donny schatz
Dates: Wednesday-Saturday, August 9-12, 2017

Series: World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series

Event: 57th annual 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals

Location: Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway

Winners: Wednesday – Kyle Larson of Paul Silva Motorsports

Thursday –David Gravel of CJB Motorsports

Friday – Jason Johnson of Johnson/Marshall Racing

Saturday – Donny Schatz of Tony Stewart-Curb/Agajanian Racing

TSR Results:  Wednesday – Schatz: Started 6th, Finished 2nd/Running, completed 25 of 25 laps

Christopher Bell: Started 9th, Finished 9th/Running, completed 25 of 25 laps

Saturday – Schatz: Started 2nd, Finished 1st/Running, completed 50 of 50 laps

Bell: Started 6th in B-Main, Finished 8th in B/Running, completed 22 of 22 laps

TSR Points: Donny Schatz – (1st with 7,675 points, 82 ahead of second-place Brad Sweet)

The historic pace at the Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals continued Saturday night for Tony Stewart-Curb/Agajanian Racing (TSR) driver Donny Schatz. The eight-time and reigning World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion led the final 27 laps of the 50-lap finale of the 57th annual 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals to earn his 10th Nationals victory.

Schatz started second in the TSR No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J and led the field to the green on lap 23 after polesitter David Gravel brought out a caution. Schatz withstood challenges from both Kerry Madsen and Kyle Larson to pick up his 26th career triumph at the famed half-mile dirt oval in Central Iowa and continued his remarkable run on Sprint car racing’s biggest stage, where he’s finished first or second 16 of the past 18 years.

 

 

 

“Winning the Knoxville Nationals never gets old and never gets any easier,” Schatz said. “I may get a lot of the credit, but this Arctic Cat/Ford Performance race team is incredible and they deserve every bit as much. Nobody realizes the pressure that is on this team. They have to make the right decisions every time. With as many races as we have won, the pressure just keeps building and building because, if you don’t win, you are under a lot of scrutiny and we don’t want to be in that position. We want to win races. We want to be competitive and be at the forefront of this sport. Tony Stewart has assembled and incredible team here. We are celebrating 10 years together and tonight we are going to celebrate another incredible week here at the Knoxville Nationals.”

Schatz started on the front row for the sixth time in his career at the Nationals following an impressive qualifying-night performance Wednesday. He qualified fourth in the field of 48 competitors and charged from eighth to win the fourth heat race to transfer into the 25-lap preliminary feature. He started sixth in the A-Main and quickly began his charge forward. He was up to third on lap five and took second from Austin McCarl on lap 13. Polesitter Larson was setting a strong pace up front, but Schatz was able to close the gap as the two worked through lapped traffic. Larson didn’t make any mistakes during the final portion of the race and scored the win ahead of Schatz. The results of the evening earned Schatz 492 points, the most by any driver.

Following Thursday’s qualifying program, Schatz ranked second overall and was locked into Saturday’sA-Main finale.

When Saturday’s A-Main went green, Gravel and Schatz raced side by side into turn one. Gravel dove low and pulled out to a small lead coming out of turn two and, when Gravel went high in turns three and four, Schatz made a run for the lead with a low move in turns three and four. Gravel had enough momentum to maintain the top spot and the two settled in for the early portion of the race. Once Gravel reached traffic, Schatz was able to close in and make a run at the top spot. He tried a slide job in turns three and four and later briefly held the lead down the backstretch on lap 16, but Gravel was able to surge back in front and hold the top spot until his engine expired on lap 22.

 

 


Schatz led the field back to the green and raced away from Madsen until a caution two laps later was used for the mandatory pit stop. The TSR crew of Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti replaced the rear tires, filled the Arctic Cat No. 15 with fuel and made minor chassis adjustments before sending Schatz back out for the second half of the race. On the restart, Schatz rode the cushion in turn one and Madsen made his bid for the lead by throwing a big slider at Schatz, but Schatz never flinched and drove around the outside of Madsen to maintain the lead. The gamble cost Madsen second as Larson was able to sneak under the Australian driver coming out of turn two.For the next dozen laps, Schatz set a torrid pace around the top and held a solid margin over Larson until another caution on 38 slowed the pace. Schatz was clean again on the restart and re-established his lead with only 10 laps remaining. Things got dicey during the final three laps as Schatz tried to maneuver lapped traffic. He split a pair of cars and then was forced to make a couple of attempts to lap Brooke Tatnell. Larson was able to cut into the lead, but his last-corner attempt at a slide job fell short and Schatz drove away for the victory.

“These young guys keep getting better, and that Kyle Larson is pretty awesome,” Schatz said. “Early in the race, David set a really torrid pace and he was right up on the top. There were some pretty big holes up there and I didn’t even realize how big they were until we got slowed down on one of those yellows when I saw them and said to myself I may want to be careful up here. Once we got going, I felt really good, but you have to get yourself to the end of the race. You have to make sure when you get into traffic that you are in a good spot, that you are in the right place, and I did that for most of the race. We came down to that last 12-lap run there and I thought we might catch traffic at the end and we caught them. I got to a car that was just going for it and got myself in a couple of bad spots, but we got there. I know Kyle was coming and he had to do whatever I wasn’t and, for two laps, I was all over the place. That’s what racing is. It’s what we strive for and, if I was running second, that’s what I would have been hoping for. It worked out. We got the win and it feels good.”
Knoxville Nationals Notes:

• This was the 25th Knoxville Nationals for Schatz, who made his debut in 1993 as an 18-year-old. In his debut, he qualified 63rd and finished sixth in the non-qualifiers race.

• After qualifying fourth in Wednesday’s preliminary program, Schatz raced from eighth to win his seventh career qualifying-night heat race.

• His runner-up finish Wednesday was his seventh second-place finish and third in a row in Knoxville Nationals qualifying programs.

• Saturday’s triumph was number 10 for Schatz and the 11th Knoxville Nationals A-Main win for car owner Tony Stewart. Schatz has won eight driving for TSR and the organization earned three Nationals triumphs with Danny Lasoski (2001, 2003, and 2004).

• By leading 27 laps Saturday, Schatz surpassed Steve Kinser as the all-time lap leader in the Nationals. Schatz now has led 320 laps, 19 more than Kinser. Schatz also became the first driver in Nationals history to lead laps in 14 A-Mains.

• Schatz trails only Kinser (12) for most Nationals A-Main wins.

• Schatz ranks 10th all-time with 26 career wins at Knoxville Raceway.

• He now has 245 career WoO A-Features wins.

• Schatz has career earnings of $2.17 million in his 25 Knoxville Nationals appearances.

The Nationals only provided WoO teams with participation points since the event follows a format that differs from the regular WoO program. Schatz continues to the lead the 2017 WoO championship standings and has a 82-point advantage over Brad Sweet.

Up Next:

With the Nationals behind them, Schatz and the TSR team will prepare for the Outlaws’ annual August run through North Dakota before heading west for the next month. The North Dakota native will compete on his home soil three nights starting Friday at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks beforeSaturday’s return to Red River Valley Speedway in Fargo. The Fargo event was originally scheduled for June but was washed out and rescheduled for this weekend. The finale of the weekend will be held at Nodak Speedway in Schatz’s hometown of Minot.

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