General Tire and Dover International Speedway have reached a partnership agreement, making General Tire the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Friday, Oct. 4 during the Monster Mile’s 50th Anniversary celebration, track officials announced today.
The “General Tire 125” NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Oct. 4 will be the season finale for the 12-race NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season. In recent years, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East has served as a proving ground for top drivers such as William Byron, Justin Haley and Joey Logano.
General Tire has been manufacturing tires for American passenger and commercial vehicles for more than 100 years, since its founding in Ohio in 1915 as The General Tire & Rubber Company.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with such an iconic venue as the Monster Mile.” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for General Tire. “General Tire has been committed to promoting the NASCAR regional and international series across two continents and more than 11 countries and this partnership is a natural fit as we continue to work to bring the fans exciting racing.”
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East has been a staple of Dover International Speedway’s fall NASCAR tripleheader weekends every year since 2001. Past Dover winners in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East include Aric Almirola, Harrison Burton and Bubba Wallace.
“This partnership puts two well-known and time-tested brands together. We are looking forward to having General Tire as a part of our Monster Mile family as well as our fall race weekend as we continue our track’s 50th Anniversary celebration,” said Dover International Speedway President and CEO Mike Tatoian.
The Oct. 4-6 NASCAR tripleheader weekend at Dover International Speedway also includes the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff race on Saturday, Oct. 5 and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race on Sunday, Oct. 6. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race is the fourth race of the 10-race postseason schedule, the first race in the Round of 12, and also the 100th NASCAR Cup Series race in track history. Dover International Speedway will be just the 10th track in the United States to host 100 or more NASCAR Cup Series races.
The “General Tire 125” NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race is just part of Dover’s planned events and celebrations during the Oct. 4-6 NASCAR tripleheader weekend. In addition to the special gold Monster trophies given to the race winners, fans can also enjoy free Micro Wrestling Federation matches (Saturday and Sunday) and a Winston Cup Mobile Museum display (all weekend) and much more in our FanZone.
For tickets or more information on Monster Mile events and 50th Anniversary activities, call (800) 441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com. You can also keep up with track activities at Facebook.com/DoverInternationalSpeedway, or on Twitter and Instagram at @MonsterMile.
Dover Motorsports PR
Cole Custer won the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway and Ford Performance teammate Austin Cindric earned his first pole of the season. The No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang recorded its fifth win of the season and first win at Kentucky.
“Congratulations to Cole, Tony, and Gene,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Cole and the entire organization at Stewart-Haas Racing continue to put themselves in a position to win each weekend. Mike Shiplett and the No. 00 crew made some great adjustments to the car and were well prepared for the transition into the night.”
Custer’s No. 00 Ford Mustang came to life when the sun set and he passed his teammate Chase Briscoe on lap 111 for the lead. Cole dominated after this pass, leading 88 overall laps and crossed the finish line 1.651 seconds ahead of Christopher Bell’s No. 20 Toyota. All three Ford Performance Mustangs finished the race. Following Custer was Briscoe in P5 while Cindric finished P14.
“This one just goes to my team,” Custer commented in post-race interview. “The car was unbelievable at the end. They knew exactly what to do with it when the track changed, and I was just lucky to drive it there at the end. I can’t thank Gene Haas and everybody at Haas Automation enough. You don't get cars like that very often.”
Custer is currently P3 while, pole winner, Cindric is in P4, and Briscoe is P8 in NXS driver points standings with nine races to go until the NXS Playoffs start.
Daniel Suárez won his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). Suárez bested his teammate Aric Almirola for a SHR front row at Kentucky Speedway. In the Quaker State 400, four Fords finished in the top-10; Clint Bowyer in P6, Joey Logano P7, Suárez in P8, and Ryan Newman in P9. The Ford Mustangs also led a combined 150 laps out of the 269-lap race, led by Suárez with 52 laps.
NASCAR heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend while IMSA heads to Lime Rock Park. Reference the full 2019 schedule on www.roushyates.com.
Nolan Pope wrapped up a strong weekend with a victory in late model stock car competition on Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway.
After letting a win slip through his fingers at Cornwall Motor Speedway last year, Mat Williamson had some extra motivation to park the No. 6 DIRTcar 358 Modified in Victory Lane this year. Williamson had to fend off major challenges from runner-up Mike Mahaney from King Ferry, NY who nearly passed Williamson on the final lap before a caution flag came out. Tim Fuller finished third and was reeling in the leaders at the end of the race.
Williamson has had a banner weekend picking up three Feature wins including Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship events at Ransomville Speedway and Merrittville Speedway, but tonight it was all about the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series. Williamson came into Cornwall with the Series points lead and has now stretched that lead out further by winning another 100-lapper.
“We’re on a roll. That final caution (on lap 99) might have saved my race. I don’t know if Mike [Mahaney] would have gotten by us as I was fighting with lapped traffic. Mike raced me as clean as you can ask for and I thank him for that. We’re rolling right now and we’ve got one more to go,” a grinning Williamson told Series announcer Tim Baltz in Victory Lane.
The family-owned No. 6 started fourth and quickly entered the top three in the opening stages. Williamson dueled with Steve Bernard for the lead and got around him on lap 18. As only two caution periods interrupted the 100-lap race, he was forced to contend with some fast lapped cars on the slick bullring.
Williamson said, “It was very tough in traffic. We had a great car early but used our stuff up racing the around the No. 96 car. I was just happy to hang on. The last lap we were coming to the white flag and I just got visions of the No. 3RS going around me last year. I made the car wide as possible and luckily we’re here.”
Count Mat Williamson as a fan of Cornwall, “I love this place. The fans are awesome. The atmosphere is like going to a rock concert every time we come here so I’m happy to be here and happy to finally get it done.”
Meanwhile, Mike Mahaney was pleased with this best-ever effort at on the quarter-mile Long Sault oval. On several occasions, Mahaney looked like he was going to pass eventual winner Williamson. When the field took the white flag on lap 99, Mahaney drove in with a huge run on the No. 6 but suddenly the caution flag was displayed for a spinning Danny Johnson. On the restart, Williamson was too strong for Mahaney.
He noted, “This is definitely our best run here ever. I’ve always struggled with this place, especially in turns one and two. I want to thank Stephane LaFrance. He gave me some tips before the Feature and it really helped my driving.”
The DIRTcar 358 Modified Series is quickly gathering momentum and drivers and fans are taking notice. Last year’s incredible finish at NAPA Super DIRT Week was not a fluke.
“It’s awesome to be able to follow this tour and be able to do it for real. I haven’t had a chance to do this for a long time. It’s pretty cool running well and it was a great race with Mat Williamson. He raced me really clean and we caught him there a couple of times in lapped traffic but as soon as I showed him a nose, he would take off. I don’t know if he was saving his stuff or what. It was good racing. It’s a great track and a lot of fun.”
Wily veteran Tim Fuller crossed the finish line ahead of Erick Rudolph by a bumper. No. 19 was catching the two leaders and had a strong car on the long runs.
“I think I was really good towards the end until a caution would come out. It seemed like on warmer tires Mat [Williamson] was coming back. The No. 35 car was really fast. I thought he was gonna get him there at the end. That was great racing. I mean you can’t beat that right there, slippin’ and slidin’ around. No one knew until the very end who was going to win this.”
The Series is back in action Monday, July 15 at Mohawk Int’l Raceway for another $4,000-to-win DIRTcar 358 Modified. Williamson will be looking to extend his points lead, but about forty other drivers are hoping to take a bite out of it.
Drummondville, QUE native Yan Bussiere set the Billy Whittaker Cars Fast-Time Award, breaking Erick Rudolph’s two-race quick-time streak.
Jordan McCreadie is the lucky driver to pick up a certificate from Hoosier Racing Tire for one free tire. A random finishing position is pulled prior to the race and McCreadie, while not happy with a twenty-second-place finish, will get a free tire.
Long-time racer Danny Johnson lost a rear end during Time Trials and needed a provisional to start the race. After starting twenty-seventh, Johnson moved up to the sixteenth position.
DIRTcar 358 Modified Series (Feature Results)
1. Mat Williamson 2. Mike Mahaney 3. Tim Fuller 4. Erick Rudolph 5. Yan Bussiere 6. Steve Bernier 7. Luke Whitteker 8. Corey Wheeler 9. Carey Terrance 10. David Herbert 11. Todd Root 12. Dave Marcuccilli 13. J.F. Corriveau 14. Kyle Dingwall 15. Mario Clair 16. Danny Johnson 17. Louie Jackson Jr. 18. Tim Sears Jr. 19. Michael Parent 20. Joey Ladouceur 21. Lance Willix 22. Jordan McCreadie 23. Ryan Arbuthnot 24. Chad Brachmann 25. Jeff Sykes 26. Brian McDonald 27. Tristan Draper 28. Dany Gagne 29. Steve Bernard 30. Chris Raabe 31. Ronnie David III
DIRTcar Racing PR
Toyota driver Tanner Carrick led the final three laps to win a wild USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship “Mid-America” Midget Week finale at Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex, Sunday.
The win is the first in USAC competition for the 17-year-old Lincoln, Calif., native. He also has two POWRi national midget feature wins. After sweeping both the USAC and POWRi events on Sunday, Toyota-powered drivers have registered 24 national midget feature victories in 2019.
Carrick’s Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) teammate Logan Seavey started from the pole position and was involved in a first-lap incident with Andrew Layser, which ended up collecting fellow KKM driver Tanner Thorson. Seavey would be able to continue, but Thorson’s night was over.
On the restart, Layser would take the lead, followed by Seavey, Tyler Courtney, Jason McDougal, Chris Windom and Carrick. Seavey would quickly move past Layser on lap two, only to see another caution fly, reverting the field back to the lap one standings.
Layser maintained the lead on the following restart as Courtney would pass Seavey and then take the lead on the following lap as McDougal overtook Seavey for third. McDougal, who won his first USAC feature on Friday night for the Toyota-powered Frank Manafort Racing team, would then go past Layser for second with Seavey in tow.
Caution flags continued to fly with five in the first 20 laps as Courtney continued to pace the field, while Seavey retook the second position on lap 10. Things began to heat up just past the midway point as Seavey closed on lap 27, but he was unable to execute the pass. As the leaders began to encounter heavy lapped traffic, Seavey had another run on Courtney on lap 31, only to get the door slammed by a lapped car.
With just five laps remaining in the 40-lap event, Seavey was all over Courtney, making a run into turn three and taking the lead on a slider, only to have Courtney cross back over, but Seavey remained close on his tail.
Things would then change drastically on lap 38 when Courtney got high and slammed into the cushion, then turned right into Seavey, who was left with no place to go. Seavey would suffer right front damage and be forced into the pits, eventually finishing 16th.
That set up a three-lap dash for the victory between Carrick and Windom. Windom would immediately try to use a slider to force his way past Carrick, but Carrick countered to maintain the lead, while Windom would fall back to third behind Zeb Wise. Carrick would then drive off to the victory, followed by Wise, Windom, McDougal and Chad Boat rounding out the top five.
“We’ve been close lately,” said Carrick afterward. “It means a lot to get a win for everyone on this KKM team. We just needed to be there at the end. I’ve been really close lately. I’ve had a number of races I should have won, but they didn’t go my way. This one did.”
Kevin Thomas Jr. (sixth), Jerry Coons Jr. (seventh) and Tucker Klaasmeyer (ninth) joined Carrick, McDougal and Boat as Toyota drivers finishing in the top 10.
After three races in three nights, the USAC National Midget Series will take a two-week hiatus before returning to the track on July 30 at Grandview Speedway for the beginning of the five-race Pennsylvania Midget Week.
Toyota driver Jesse Colwell drove from eighth to first to earn his first career national midget feature victory in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League’s event at Humboldt Speedway, Sunday. Colwell’s teammate, 14-year-old Daison Pursley, finished a career-best second to make it a Toyota one-two finish on the night.
Colwell, who joined the Keith Kunz Motorsports team after winning the KKM Giveback Challenge at Millbridge Speedway in November, becomes the 11th different Toyota-powered driver to win a national feature event in 2019. With the victory, the Red Bluff, Calif., native has taken over the series point lead in his rookie season.
While Colwell took home the victory, it was fellow Toyota driver Zach Daum who would dominate much of the night. Starting from the pole, Daum immediately went to the lead with Pursley falling in behind him. The two would hold down those positions for much of the race.
Daum would pull out to a three-second lead in the first 10 laps, with Pursley comfortably in second, while Andrew Felker and Jake Neuman battled for the third position. Behind them, Colwell had moved from eighth to fourth by lap 11.
As the laps began to wind down, Daum continued to lead, stretching his advantage out to almost five seconds. Behind him, Colwell had moved up to third and began to challenge Pursley for the second spot. The two KKM drivers began trading sliders for second before Colwell would claim the position on lap 25.
Daum’s dominating night came to a sudden end on the following lap as something appeared to break on his car coming down the front stretch. He would hit the wall and go tumbling end-over-end before catching on fire. He quickly climbed out of the car under his own power, but what appeared to be an easy victory on the way to taking over the series point lead was gone.
Colwell would bring the cars back to green on lap 26 and would never trail over the final five circuits to earn his first feature win ahead of Pursley, with Neuman finishing third, followed by Jonathon Beason and KKM driver Holley Hollan in fifth after being involved in an early incident that dropped her to the back of the field.
Daum would eventually be scored in 11th, while Hank Davis finished 15th and Cannon McIntosh placed 20th after a first-lap incident.
The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League will resume action with a two-night trip to Federated Auto Parts I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., August 2-3.
French driver Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske showed the NTT IndyCar Series how to celebrate Bastille Day.
Pagenaud capped a near-perfect weekend in Canada by dominating the Honda Indy Toronto, scoring his third victory of the season - the 14th of his career - on France's national day.
The pole sitter led 80 of the 85 laps at Exhibition Place and held back five-time series champion Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing in the late going to score his first victory on the 11-turn, 1.786-mile temporary street circuit.
"I'm very proud to fly the French flag here in a cousin country, which is Canada," said Pagenaud, the winner of this year's Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. "I guess (countryman Julian Alaphilippe) is leading the Tour de France today on the bike. I felt like I had to do the same."
Official results: Honda Indy Toronto
Pagenaud was only threatened a couple of times, the first being in the opening-lap dash to Turn 1. Dixon challenged him but couldn't execute the pass. From there, Pagenaud began building a lead, which became eight seconds before he incurred traffic in the final laps.
"We took off and the car handled really well," Pagenaud said, driver of the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet. "We definitely had an advantage on the tire wear. I knew we had a really good race car. We were able to match the Honda power (of Dixon) pretty well; (it) helped us to perform even better, so thanks to Chevy."
Said Dixon: "(Pagenaud's) straight-line speed was ridiculous today, to be honest."
Dixon's No. 9 PNC Bank Honda was hampered by wall contact early in the race. He drove the rest of the way with the steering wheel misaligned.
"I made a mistake, a pretty big mistake, probably around Lap 12 or 15 where I hit the inside wall on (Turn) 9," he said. "Bent the suspension pretty bad. I thought I had a (tire) puncture."
Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport finished third, one position ahead of series points leader Josef Newgarden of Team Penske. The first four finishers are the top four drivers in the standings heading to Saturday night's Iowa 300, a short-oval race at Iowa Speedway.
With Rossi, Dixon and Rossi finishing ahead of Newgarden, the championship race tightened. Rossi drew to four points with six races remaining. Pagenaud, who scored the maximum number of points in this race, is 39 points of the lead with Dixon 86 back.
Ontario native James Hinchcliffe of Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports finished sixth in his home race. He was the driver who advanced the highest number of positions (eight) among the entire field.
Another Toronto-area native - driver Robert Wickens, who finished third here last year - gave the race an inspirational start by driving a specially prepared Acura NSX. Wickens, who is rehabilitating use of his legs following a racing accident 11 months ago, used hand controls developed by Arow to drive around the track and gave the command to start the race.
Wickens' fiancé, Karli Woods, rode with him during the two laps around the track.
To watch today's race highlights in less than seven minutes, visit https://youtu.be/Q-KQ8xnK_fw
NTT IndyCar Series PR
The next time Kentucky Speedway celebrates a milestone anniversary, the finish of the 2019 Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart will be a no-brainer to include in any highlight reel.
A late caution pushed Saturday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race into overtime and set up a furious two-lap dash between two brothers who traded paint and produced the closest finish in race history.
In the end, Kurt Busch beat Kyle Busch to the finish line by 0.076 of a second.
After taking the checkered flag, Kurt Busch performed a celebratory burnout on the frontstretch as his crew jogged over from pit road. The driver climbed out of his No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, chugged an energy drink and exclaimed for all to hear, "Hell, yeah! Hell, yeah!"
"What a battle with my little brother," he said later. "To race him side-by-side, to try to play the chess game at 180 miles per hour on the side draft. We were wide open through Turns 1 and 2. We were trying to go wide open through (Turns) 3 and 4…. As we drove down into Turn 3 on the last lap, I just stared straight as his door. I could see the No. 18 to my left and I never lifted (off the gas) until I heard him lift. Then I was like, 'Wait a minute, I've still got to miss the wall.'
"He gave me just enough room, as a true racer would, or as my little brother would. But I'm really proud of the way we finished this race, finishing 1-2. We put on a hell of a show. One of those old-school type races where it's two guys duking it out. Just happened to be brothers. Different manufacturers. This one, I can't wait to go watch the video of and tell people about it and show the sport of NASCAR."
The victory represented several firsts - for Busch, crew chief Matt McCall and Chevrolet.
Neither had won a Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway. It also was Busch's first victory this season, his first with Chip Ganassi Racing, and McCall's first as a crew chief in the Cup Series.
"Badass," was McCall's initial summation of the Busch brothers' battle. "That's the easiest way to put it. Two racers getting after it, and the ol' wheel man figured it out."
Joe Gibbs Racing placed three of its four cars in the top five, led by Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota. Erik Jones finished third in the No. 20 Toyota and Denny Hamlin finished fifth in the No. 11 Toyota. Kurt Busch's teammate, Kyle Larson, finished fourth in the No. 42 Chevrolet.
"I'm glad it was a thriller," said Kyle Busch, a two-time Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart winner and four-time winner in the Cup Series this season. "Just unfortunately we were on the wrong end of the deal. Congratulations to Kurt and Chip and (sponsor) Monster and all the guys over there.
"It's obviously cool to put on great races and great finishes, and (I've) been a part of a lot of them and not very many - in fact, none with my brother like that. So that was a first."
Saturday’s race stretched two laps past its scheduled distance after Bubba Wallace spun with six laps remaining to bring out a caution.
Joey Logano led and chose the outside lane on the restart. To the inside of his No. 22 Team Penske Ford was Kyle Busch.
Lined up behind them were Jones and Kurt Busch.
The restart mirrored others throughout the race - furious racing with three- and sometimes four-wide racing in the turns.
"The caution came out at the wrong time. It happens," said Logano, who finished seventh. "You try to think through your notebook on how to have a good restart. I thought I was going to have a decent one but I got stopped on the left rear there when Kyle (Busch) got into me. That is what it is. That stopped all my momentum. (Kurt Busch) had a huge run and I didn't have anywhere to go. I couldn't block them all. I tried to stop (Kyle Busch) on his right rear by side-drafting. I saw the 1 (of Kurt Busch) coming and felt like if I could get in front of him that we were so low at the time if I blocked the 1 he would just go to the middle and pass me. I felt like I couldn't stop the 1. I was in a bad spot. Once I got stopped on the left rear on the restart I was a sitting duck and they just went by me on both sides."
A new rules package. A different right-side tire from Goodyear. The ample application of traction compound in the turns. NASCAR's best drivers pushing their cars and their skills to the limits because they wanted to win in the worst way.
Added up, those variables produced a classic reminiscent of the speedway's most famous finish between Greg Biffle and Todd Bodine in a 2002 Xfinity Series race.
"Yeah, it was a great race," Logano said. "It was a lot of fun. You had strategy and cautions and it was probably the best Kentucky race we have ever had. If I was a race fan, I would say that was a cool finish. I am a little too close to the fire to say it was a cool finish right now."
Earlier in the final stage, Clint Bowyer and the Busch brothers treated fans to a three-car battle for the lead that persisted for several laps. Kurt Busch continually challenged Bowyer for the lead. As that happened, Kyle Busch entered the fray.
Kurt Busch finally powered past Bowyer on Lap 205. Bowyer pitted one lap later and Kurt Busch ducked onto pit road a handful of laps later, handing the lead to his brother. Kyle Busch then pitted from the lead on Lap 226. In the mix throughout was Logano, who pitted at the same time as Kyle Busch.
The Busch brothers swept the first two stages of Saturday's race.
Seven cars stayed on the track at the conclusion of Stage 1 while the leaders made pit stops. Of the seven, only Alex Bowman had won a race this season.
Kyle Busch was eighth on the restart and steadily improved his position. By Lap 104, he had Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in his sights and passed the driver of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing for the lead at the start/finish line. Stenhouse pitted 11 laps later.
After taking the lead, Kyle Busch extended his advantage over the second place car to about eight seconds after passing Stenhouse. He maintained the lead through a cycle of green-flag pit stops and easily earned his sixth stage win of the season.
Busch gave up the lead under caution before the start of Stage 3 but did not lose many spots because he took only fuel on his pit stop. He led 72 laps overall Saturday.
Kurt Busch qualified fourth and vaulted to the lead with a fuel-only pit stop in Stage 1 and led the final 28 laps for his first stage victory this season. He led 41 laps overall.
Pole-winner Daniel Suarez led the first 50 laps and 52 overall Saturday. He finished eighth.
"It was an eventful night, for sure," Suarez said. "We had a fast race car but we got a bit tight. I feel like we made the car better, but we never got the track position back. We had a tire going down and then I was speeding coming to pit road because I was wheel hopping because of the tire. It was one problem after another. We were fast enough to overcome that but not enough to get a better finish."
Martin Truex Jr., who entered Saturday as the two-time defending race winner, finished 19th in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Three-time Quaker State 400 winner Brad Keselowski led three laps but finished 20th in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford.
In total, there were 15 lead changes among 10 drivers and the race was slowed by five cautions for incidents on the track. Saturday's finish put an exclamation point on Kentucky Speedway's tripleheader race weekend and its 20th season of racing.
It was a blur for McCall.
"It worked out at the end," he said. "I knew we had a car capable and Kurt could obviously get it done. When the caution came out, the seas parted and the Lord was with us."
Two years ago, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin delivered the green flag for the Quaker State 400 by rappelling in from a helicopter and then drove the pace car.
This year, Bevin took a joyride with NASCAR on NBC analyst Jeff Burton during the pace laps in NBC's demonstration Toyota Camry before the green flag and had a blast.
"We dialed in a perfect night for you. Not a cloud in the sky. I'm here with the man, the myth, Jeff Burton," Bevin said while strapped into the passenger seat. "Toyota is a rock star and to be in a Toyota Camry, made right here in Kentucky, not all of them are 900 horses. But I tell you what, it is an honor to have this world class company right here in the Commonwealth."
When Burton stepped on the gas, Bevin lit up.
"I'll tell you what, there is nothing quite like getting stuck to the side of a Toyota on a hot lap," he said. "This is the way we do it in Kentucky. Perfect weather. Perfect cars. Perfect track. Engineering and manufacturing the best products in America every single day."
SPECIAL GUEST: The honorary race director for the 2019 Quaker State 400 was Jefferson County resident Elaine Chao, the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary and the only Kentuckian appointed to the President's Cabinet since World War II.
"This is the thrill of a lifetime and I am just delighted beyond belief," she said. "It is great to see everyone here. There are 80,000 Kentuckians and fans from the region and around the country. This is a great sport. We want to make sure that it is safe, that fans have a great experience and we welcome all to Kentucky."
Chao also spoke about the U.S. Department of Transportation's relationship with NASCAR.
"We both share a great concern about safety," she said. "We are still involved with the various state department's of transportation to emphasize safety, to emphasize seat belt use.
"Today, I am here to take a look at one of the great sports of America, a quintessential American sport, to see what goes on here at Kentucky Speedway, to work with NASCAR and emphasize their issues about safety and then, of course, to welcome fans to my home state of Kentucky."
WHO DEY IN SPARTA: First-year Bengals head coach Zac Taylor served as honorary pace car driver for the Quaker State 400 and had never attended a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event before Saturday.
"Just seeing the whole atmosphere right now, overwhelming is not the right word. It's such an awesome experience," Taylor said. "I've already fallen in love with the sport just being around it today.
"I got a chance to ride in the pace car. I only get to go 45 miles per hour, which is probably a good thing because seeing all those cars behind me is going to be a little bit different experience. Really looking forward to it."
As part of his experience Saturday, Taylor got a behind-the-scenes look at how NASCAR pit crews prepare for their roles in a race.
"A lot of them have used football terminology, 'Here's our head coach. Here's our (offensive coordinator). Here's our (defensive coordinator).' That puts it into perspective for us. That part of it - the strategy, what goes on during the week, how they prepare, how they study film of themselves - that's what's really been intriguing to me as a coach. The race is really just the icing on the cake."
Bengals fans greeted Taylor with chants of "Who dey!" everywhere he went Saturday.
"It's good to get out and get a chance to meet a lot of different people and just hear what their experiences are and what that fan support is like," he said. "Sometimes when you isolate yourself in the building and you're only around other coaches and you do what you do, you lose a little bit of what the organization means to all these people out here."
THE BIG ONE: Professional angler and Quaker State brand ambassador Jimmy Houston returned to Kentucky Speedway and hosted a series of lakeside fishing events on property in the lead-up to the Quaker State 400.
While filming a segment for Jimmy Houston Outdoors, an angler fishing from the bank hooked into a trophy largemouth bass.
"I heard it floppin' around. I run down there and pull it up on the bank and helped him with it," he said. "Let me tell ya, I don't know how many of you fish, but an 8-pound bass is a really large bass. I don't care if you're fishing in Florida or wherever. A 7- or 8-pound bass in the state of Kentucky is a really big fish because it gets cold up here. They don't grow as well as they do in the south. Maybe he might've caught the largest fish in that pond down there."
The video is posted on the Jimmy Houston Outdoors channel on YouTube.
REMEMBERING DAVEY: Veteran NASCAR crew chief and television analyst Larry McReynolds was the grand marshal for the Quaker State 400.
Before the race, was asked about late NASCAR star Davey Allison. Saturday was the 26th anniversary of Allison's death in 1993.
McReynolds was Allison's crew chief, but their relationship ran deeper than that.
"I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought about - 26 years ago yesterday was when, unfortunately, Davey crashed in the helicopter at Talladega. We got the word in the wee hours 26 years ago this morning that he had passed away," McReynolds said. "I did a radio show earlier and it kind of dawned on me about that time of day I was on an airplane headed back to Charlotte to gather with the race team like when a family gathers when you lose a family member.
"Not only 26 years ago, July 13, 1993, did I lose a great racecar driver and just a great man. I lost my best friend. Our relationship as a driver and crew chief was small compared to our relationship as friends. We even had our sons baptized together…. That Daytona 500 trophy from 1992 sits in my office and there's not a day that I don't walk by it and smile. I can almost safely say there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about Davey Allison."
Three previous times this season Bobby Jones and Kyle Strohl had one-two finishes, all very close too with Jones winning twice and Strohl the other. However, none could match Saturday night’s 75-lap feature as they not only fashioned another 1-2 run which went in favor of Jones, but it was a thrilling white-knuckle duel that went done to the wire.
After Strohl had taken the lead from Earl Paules on lap 26, it wasn’t long after that Jones stepped into second spot and thus began a torrid battle of side-by-side racing. Each taken turns at the lead in the process and for Jones, he had an exhausting time when out front as Strohl attacked him relentlessly from both inside and outside lanes.
There was even a point when it became a three car battle for the lead when John Markovic made it a triple-wide attempt for the spot. He would later concede to the front pair and over the final dozen laps it was extremely hard fought with Jones doing everything possible to hold off Strohl.
“I’m really tired and I felt I didn’t have a car that could win tonight, maybe second or third place at best. But I never wanted to give up and I really wanted to win this race,” offered Jones who was slightly overcome from heat exhaustion. “I gave everything I had and this kid – he’s is something.”
Jones won $2500 in picking up his class leading third win of the season and remain firm in the points lead with the start of the second half underway.
On a few restarts Jones proved slightly better and that allowed him the advantage in embracing his lead at those times.
“I was good on some of the starts. I could heat that right front (tire) up and get the car a little tighter and stay out on front of him (Strohl). But I only had about three laps to stay there and cover him and I had to decide what line I wanted to run in order to defend because he was much faster,” explained Jones.
“Luckily for me I stayed the higher lane and it didn’t get us loose and it helped me keep enough momentum that he couldn’t fully make the pass and that’s what I needed to get this win.”
Strohl indeed gave it his all having to settle for close second. His car was working perfectly and it showed with his ability to change lanes at will and push Jones to the limit.
“Tonight we really hit it on the set-up. I just needed one little slip up from him (Jones) and this was mine,” bottomed lined Strohl.
“But he held his line prefect and congrats to Bobby. I like aggressive racing but I wasn’t going to wreck him for the win. He gives a lot of respect and despite to hard racing we both have clean race cars.”
Markovic placed a solid third. Eric Kocher had a respectable outing taking fourth with Paules rounding out the top five.
Frankie Althouse continued his amazing streak of either first or second place finishes in garnering his firth Late Model victory in 11 2019 starts.
Early in the day Althouse could be seen watching his top rival, Mike Sweeney, taking in early practice and getting a feel for what lie ahead for him, after all in the last six races alone he was second and of those four times it was behind Sweeney’s No. D11.
Not looking for another runner-up score, this night saw Althouse take the lead at the outset and then what has become a somewhat common scene, there was Sweeney on his tail. This time, though, there would be no denying him as he kept up his front running pace and confidently held back any and all advances from Sweeney in racing to his 31st career Late Model win. In the process he holds onto a slim lead in points.
Jon Moser raced to a third Street Stock win of the season and in doing so would deny a very strong running Jillian Long of her first.
Long roared past Austin Santee on lap two and then proceeded to keep firm in her first time leading a feature this season. When Moser finally came upon her with 10 laps to go, she never gave way and the two competed closely and cleanly.
However, a restart with six laps go would be the decisive moment for Moser as he used that moment to surpass Long for the lead and hold he back to the checkers. For Long it would mark her best finish to date.
Bobby Jones, Frankie Althouse and Jon Moser all won their respective features and all as class point leaders, so for Bobby Kibler Sr., it was much of the same during the Pro 4 main.
Kibler led from the outset and notwithstanding some late race pressure from Jake Kibler, held on to notch his fourth win and add slightly to a slim lead in the standings in his quest for a career firct championship.
In just her second season of Hobby Stock racing, Peyton Arthofer has developed into a highly competitive driver. She proved that statement soundly with a flag to flag run in front of the 20 car pack, at times with a significant distance over the rest.
Had it not been for a late caution that bunched the field her class leading third win of the year would have been considerably ahead of second place Jacob Boehm and third place Devin Schmidt, who were a car length behind at the conclusion.
Modified Feature Finish (75-laps): 1. Bobby Jones, 2. Kyle Strohl, 3. John Markovic, 4. Eric Kocher, 5. Earl Paules, 6. Lou Strohl, 7. Gene Bowers, 8. Kevin Rex Jr., 9. Ron Haring Jr., 10. Josh Scherer, 11. Brian DeFebo, 12. Todd Bear, 13. Heath Metzger, 14. Don Wagner, 15. Nick Baer, 16. Austin Kochenash, 17. Matt Hirschman, 18. Anthony Sesely, 19. Corey Edelman, 20. Jacob Kerstetter, 21. Terry Markovic DNQ: Beau Drobot, BJ Wambold
Late Model Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Frankie Althouse, 2. Mike Sweeney, 3. Jeremy Miller, 4. Samantha Osborn, 5. Brandon Turbush, 6. Dylan Osborn, 7. Rick Smith, 8. Kenny Hein, 9. Avery Arthofer
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Jon Moser, 2. Jillian Long, 3. Jamie Smith, 4. Randy Ahner Jr., 6. Josh Mooney, 7. Johnny Bennett, 8. Eric Kocher, 9. Mark Martini, 10. Mark Deysher, 11. Aaron Kromer. 12. Tucker Muffley, 13. Shayne Geist, 14. Dennis Buss, 15. Brennen Coulter, 16. Jeremy Scheckler, 17. Ruch, 18. Todd Ahner, 19. Austin Santee, 20. Bobby Kibler Jr. DNQ: Randy Schlenker, Cody Geist DQ: Steven Steigerwalt
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Peyton Arthofer, 2. Jacob Boehm, 3. Devin Schmidt, 4. Travis Solomon, 5. Al Arthofer, 6. Shawn Kistler, 7. Trisha Connolly, 8. John Petro, 9. Cody Boehm. 10. Cody Kohler, 11. Tyler Nemeth, 12. Kevin Behler, 13. Ken Reeder, 14. Peter Maier, 15. Kassidy Altemose, 16. Austin Ahner, 17. Eddie Jones, 18. Josh Oswald, 19. Tad Snyder, 20. Taylor Schmidt DNQ: Rich Mutarelli, Mallory Kutz, Terry Peters
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20-laps): 1. Bobby Kibler Sr., 2. Jake Kibler, 3. Tucker Muffley, 4. Cody Kohler, 5. Tyler Stangle. 6. Jeremy Guerra, 7. Kadie Pursell, 8. Matt Clark, 9. Randy Schaffer DNS: Bobby Kibler Jr.