Xfinity Series News

Xfinity Series News (5778)

NASCAR Xfinity Series News

The Toyota Care 250 at Richmond International Raceway was calm and smooth until the final couple of restarts. The restarts that caused confusion amongst drivers, media, and fans.

 

The first incident happened on the lap 245 restart. Ty Dillon was the control car. Justin Allgaier line up second and Kyle Larson third. As the field was about to hit the restart zone, T. Dillon accelerated before the zone. NASCAR reviewed the restart and deemed that Dillon did in fact jump the start and was to start at the end of the field. When T. Dillon was relayed the message, he was hot.

 

Dillon started in the back of the field because shortly after the green flag waved again, the caution flag flew on lap 247 for an accident that involved six cars in the third turn. That caution also brought out the red flag for two minutes and 43 seconds.

 

Larson was deemed the leader after passing Allgaier on the first restart. The second caution would send the race in NASCAR Overtime. With NASCAR’s Overtime procedures, the race is deemed official when the leader crosses a pre-determined line on the first lap of overtime.

 

On the restart, Larson and Allgaier were battling for position and crossed the overtime line as three cars made contact towards the back of the field that would bring out the caution to end the race. Larson and Allgaier were in the third and fourth turn when the caution lights were illuminated.

 

However, as they were about to take the white flag, the caution flag was not waving. According to the NASCAR Rule Book, the race is deemed under caution when the lights are illuminated and/or the yellow flag is waving.

 

After the race, NASCAR would not allow anybody near T. Dillon to talk and Allgaier went up to a NASCAR Official to express his displeasure of how the race was handled in the end.

 

Once cooled down, Allgaier made comments to the media about the debacle in the closing laps.

 

“I wanted to punch and kick the side of the car once the race was over, but I felt like there were enough camera around that it might look goofy. I am frustrated, very frustrated actually. When you have these races, every scenario we could do something different and you could change the way you did it. You look back on it. It sucks. I just wish I could have done a few things differently. I wish other competitors would have done things differently. I think being that close to victory and having that dominant of a car with not really anything to show for it was probably the hardest part,” said Allgaier post-race.

 

While sitting under the red flag, Allgaier mentioned that his heart rate was 205 to 210 because of his frustration in the final laps.

 

Larson had a different approach and viewpoint to the final few laps in the race.

 

“I figured he (T. Dillon) would take off early. Ty got a little aggressive taking off too soon. This is kinda a tougher place to see where the zone starts because we are still turning when we get to the zone. It’s hard to see the zone start. He pushed early and definitely jumped a few feet and NASCAR made the right call,” said Larson of the restart that ultimately have him the victory.

 

After serving the penalty, T. Dillon ultimately finished in the 19th position.

 

Next up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the Sparks Energy 300 from Talladega Superspeedway.

Ryan Reed found himself closing in on a top-five finish in NASCAR’s overtime Saturday afternoon, but his efforts were foiled by contact with one lap to go.  Reed had steadily advanced all day, but the contact sent him into the wall and ended his efforts one lap short of the finish.  Reed was scored 23rd in the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang.

“It’s always frustrating when something like that happens,” said Reed after the late-race caution.  “We worked on our Lilly Ford all race and made a lot of gains at the end.  We’ll bounce back next weekend at Talladega.”

Reed started the race 17th and lost one lap to the leaders over the first 75-lap stage while battling a free handling Ford, closing out stage one 17th.  Over the stage break, Reed pitted for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to help with forward drive.

Reed started stage two 17th and had the same handling woes.  A chassis adjustment under caution on lap 119 helped Reed gain one spot to close out stage two 16th.  Under caution between the stages Reed received four tires, fuel, track bar and wedge adjustments.  The big swing on handling set Reed up for the final stage.

As the laps went by in the closing stage, Reed continued to advance forward through the field.  Reed was scored 10th when the field took the green flag with five laps to go.  A quick caution set the field up for a green-white-checkered overtime finish.  Reed had a solid restart and was looking to make a move on seventh when he was clipped from behind.  The contact sent his No. 16 Ford spinning and heavily damaged the left side.  Reed limped his Ford to pit road and wasn’t able to cross the finish line, resulting in a 23rd-place finish.

RFR PR

Bubba Wallace, driver of the No. 6 Mello Yello Ford Mustang, took advantage of the final restart in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Richmond International Raceway to earn a sixth-place finish. The result is Wallace’s sixth top-10 overall and his sixth sixth-place finish in the first eight races of the 2017 season.

“What a day,” said Wallace. “This sixth-place finish is not like our other ones. We definitely didn’t deserve it but our attitude is to never give up. I didn’t think we would get up to the top-10 but long runs helped us for sure. We just didn’t have that fire-off speed. Thanks to Mello Yello for coming on board and Ford. It isn’t Mello Yello’s debut, they have been in the sport longer than me, but a good debut on our car. We had Leidos for a sixth-place, Mello Yello for sixth-place and we have a great partner with Globe Life coming up for hopefully two sixth-place finishes or better. We will make the most of it.”

Wallace began the scheduled 250-Lap event from the 19th position and battled with a tight-handling Mello Yello Mustang for much of the first stage. Although not handling to his liking, Wallace improved five positions during the 75-Lap opening stage to take the green-checkered flag in 14th.

Stage 2 began with similar handling issues for the Roush Fenway Racing driver as the Mello Yello Mustang was too tight through the center of the corner and struggled to find forward drive on the exit of the corner. Despite the handling issues, Wallace maintained his top-15 track position throughout the stage and crossed the finish line at the completion of Stage 2 on Lap 150 in 14th.

Wallace took the restart for the third and final stage from the 12th position on Lap 164 but was shuffled back to 15th before the caution came out once again on Lap 181. The driver of the Mello Yello Mustang took the ensuing restart in 14th and took advantage of a long green flag run to drive into 10th before the yellow flag waved again on Lap 238. Crew chief Seth Barbour took advantage of this caution period to bring Wallace back to pit road for four fresh tires and a chassis adjustment.

Wallace returned to the track following the stop in ninth and wasted little time moving into seventh just prior to the caution coming back out following a Lap 244 restart. This caution set up NASCAR’s version of overtime.

Wallace took the green flag for overtime from seventh but quickly drove up to sixth before the caution flag waved once again after the race leaders took the white flag. In the end, Wallace took the checkered flag in the sixth position.

The result is Wallace’s sixth sixth-place finish of 2017 and ranks the Roush Fenway driver second in top-10 finishes among all drivers with six top-10s.

RFR PR

Ross Chastain finished 38th in Saturday’s ToyotaCare 250 Xfinity Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

The race was Chastain’s fifth in the series at RIR.

Chastain, who drove the Florida Watermelon Association Chevrolet, started 23rd in the race, which was extended to overtime by a six-car crash three laps from the scheduled finish.

“Not the day we hoped for here at Richmond,” Chastain said. “We’ll get back on track next time here.”

JDM PR

Garrett Smithley, who started from the back of the pack, advanced through the field to finish 29th in Saturday’s ToyotaCare 250 Xfinity Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

Smithley finished three laps off the lead pace.

“We had to come a long way from the back, and that made it tough,” Smithley said. “It proves how much starting close to the front can mean. Had a pretty good car for a tough track, though.”

Smithley is 21st in Xfinity driver points.

JDM PR

Harrison Rhodes survived a tough run at Richmond International Raceway to finish 24th in Saturday’s ToyotaCare 250 Xfinity Series race.

Rhodes started 29th and moved through the field steadily, but his progress was stalled near the end of the race when he was involved in a six-car crash, an accident that pushed the event into overtime.

The wreck caused a 2:43 red flag.

“We had a pretty good car then got pulled into that wreck late,” Rhodes said. “We should have had a better finish, but we got in some good laps and had a respectable run.”

Rhodes is 19th in Xfinity driver points.

JDM PR

Kyle Larson will leave Richmond International Raceway with his seventh career NASCAR XFINITY Series victory on Saturday. Larson, who started the ToyotaCare 250 in seventh, led only 10 laps to capture his second win of the year.

The win did not come easy for the California native. The race was sent into NASCAR Overtime when a six-car crash brought out the caution in turn three. NASCAR displayed the red for two minutes and 43 seconds as crews cleaned the track. When the field went back green in NASCAR Overtime, a caution occurred just after Larson crossed the overtime line involving Ryan Reed, Cole Custer, and Daniel Suarez on the backstrech. This froze the field and resulted in a victory for Larson.

Larson now holds two victories, four top five and five top 10 finishes through five starts in 2017.

Justin Allgaier took home the runner-up spot in the No. 7 BRANDT Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. Allgaier, after starting in sixth, led three different times for 157 laps. By finishing second, the Illinois native will take home an additional $100,000 by being the highest finishing Dash4Cash eligible driver.

The series veteran sits second in the NASCAR XFINITY Series standings after eight races.

Daniel Hemric rounded out the top three finishers on Saturday at Richmond. Hemric, a Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, started on the pole and led the first 26 laps of the race. Despite losing the lead, Hemric stayed inside the top 10 for the rest of the way to earn his second career XFINITY top five.

Kyle Benjamin had a clean day going in his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut until the middle portion of the ToyotaCare 250. The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team had a pit road mishap where Benjamin left the box too early.

Later at lap 245, Benjamin and five other cars tangled in turn three. The crash forced NASCAR to display the red flag for a brief period to allow track crews to clean the surface.

Benjamin finished 32nd and seven laps down in his No. 20 ToyotaCare Toyota.

Ty Dillon found himself leading the race in the waning laps of the event. However, while restarting at the front of the field, Dillon jumped the restart and forced NASCAR to review. While reviewing, a caution displayed as they determined that he did jump the start and sent him to the rear of the field for the restart. Had the caution not come out in that situation, Dillon would’ve had to serve a pass-through penalty.

Dillon will leave the track with a 19th-place finish.

Elliott Sadler, who took home a seventh-place finish on Saturday afternoon, leaves Richmond leading the series driver standings by 41 points over teammate Justin Allgaier. William Byron, a teammate of Sadler and Allgaier, sits third going into next weekend’s event at Talladega. Daniel Hemric and Darrell Wallace Jr. round out the top five.

The series will travel to Talladega Superspeedway for the Sparks Energy 300. Coverage will begin at 1:00 p.m. ET. live on FOX. The Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM Channel 90 will carry the live radio broadcast.

Daniel Hemric will start on the pole in Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Hemric, who scored the Dash4Cash bonus and winner of stage two last weekend at Bristol, posted a 22.885, 117.981 mph. in the final round of qualifying.

Hemric will start on the pole for the first time of his career in the XFINITY Series. Through seven races this year, the 26-year old has one top five and three top 10 finishes.

Starting beside Hemric and making his XFINITY Series debut today will be Kyle Benjamin. Benjamin posted a 22.903, 117.888 mph. in the final round to take the second spot in his No. 20 ToyotaCare Toyota.

In 32 NASCAR K&N East starts, Benjamin has five victories, 14 top five and 19 top 10 finishes. His latest win in that series came earlier this month at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.

Rounding out the top three will be Daniel Suarez in the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Suarez posted a 22,926, 117.770 mph. when the final round ended. The native of Mexico holds three wins, 29 top five and 47 top 10 finishes through 73 XFINITY Series starts.

Series points leader Elliott Sadler will roll from the 11th starting spot later Saturday. Sadler enters the weekend leading the series standings by 16 points over William Byron. Allgaier, who starts sixth, sits third in points coming into the ToyotaCare 250. Ryan Reed and Daniel Hemric round out the top five.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series travels to Richmond International Raceway for the 30th annual ToyotaCare 250. The event on Saturday will serve as the eighth race of the season for the series. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will not race in this event, enters the weekend as the defending race winner.

Entry List:

A total of 42 drivers are entered into the ToyotaCare 250. That means two cars will go home after qualifying on Saturday at 10:05 a.m. ET. live on FOX Sports 1. The session will be a multi-car / three round format.

Storylines:

Daniel Hemric left Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend with a little more money in his pocket. That is because he left the track as the Dash4Cash winner and took home an extra $100,000.

Not only did the young racer win the Dash4Cash bonus last weekend, but he also won the second stage of the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300. He went on to finish fifth and moved into the top five of the series driver standings.

"This whole day is just a testament to everyone on the No. 21 Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet team and everyone at Richard Childress Racing,” said Hemric after the race at Bristol. “I was hoping we could get up there and earn the overall victory, but to take home the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash prize and win Stage 2 of the race is big for this group.”

As the series heads to Richmond International Raceway this weekend, Hemric will lean on his teammates for advice.

"The amount of teammates I have to lean on at Richard Childress Racing is going to be a big advantage for me heading into Richmond,” Hemric said. “A lot of the guys we have inside our shop have run there a lot of times, they have experience in the day races and the night races, and have been a part of that scenario. Looking at the short track race package, we could take what we learned at Phoenix and Bristol and apply it to Richmond. On the backside of that, my wife, Kenzie, ran pretty well at Richmond in the NASCAR K&N Series. I'm going to lean on her for a bit of advice as well and make the most of the weekend."

Through seven races this year, Hemric holds one top five and three top 10 finishes. He continues to search for his first career XFINITY Series win.

Kyle Benjamin will make his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut on Saturday for Joe Gibbs Racing. The South Carolina native will pilot the No. 20 ToyotaCare Toyota with crew chief Christopher Gabehart.

"I can’t think of or ask for a better opportunity than to make my NASCAR XFINITY Series debut with Joe Gibbs Racing.  I’m excited and I am looking forward to representing ToyotaCare by driving the No. 20 JGR Toyota Camry at Richmond International Raceway this Saturday,” Benjamin said in a release. “I do have some experience in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East to draw from for my XFINITY Series 7debut at Richmond and I feel confident that I can be competitive right out of the gate.  I think Richmond is a track that suits my driving style well and I really tend to like worn out tracks that you have to roll around the corner and pick up the gas late. That’s one of the key things that fits my driving style.  I have had lots of success at places like Richmond, so I look to continue that success and have lots of fun at Richmond.”  

In 32 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts, Benjamin holds five victories, 14 top five and 19 top 10 finishes. One of those wins came earlier this month at Greenville-Pickens Speedway where he started on the pole and led 46 circuits.

Elliott Sadler continues leading the series standings by 16 points over teammate William Byron. Justin Allgaier, also a JR Motorsports driver, comes into the weekend at Richmond sitting third in points. Rounding out the top five is Ryan Reed and Daniel Hemric. Darrell Wallace Jr., who sits sixth in points going into this weekend’s event, is tied with Hemric.

Sadler is excited about racing at his home track on Saturday.

“I love racing at home. There's nothing like racing in front of my family and friends,” said Sadler. “It's just a short drive up from where I was born and raised-- and it's just a fun track. My JR Motorsports team is hungry for our first win of the season and when we get another top 10 this weekend, kids will eat free (on Monday, May 1) thanks to our partner, Golden Corral.”

Byron is also looking forward to the upcoming weekend.

“I am very excited to get to Richmond this weekend,” said Byron. “I think our No. 9 Liberty University team is ready to get in a rhythm of races and Richmond has always been a good track for JRM. I am ready to get in the car and see what we can do this weekend.”

Where to Watch:

The ToyotaCare 250 will air live on FOX Sports 1 at 2:00 p.m. ET. on FOX. The Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM Channel 90 will carry the live radio broadcast.