Xfinity Series News (7342)
NASCAR Xfinity Series News
iK9 Racing: 1st Foundation Rides with Rowdy -- Kyle Busch to Feature Non-Profit on No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra in NXS27 Feb 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
The No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra Kyle Busch will race this weekend in the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will prominently feature the 1st Foundation, a 100-percent volunteer organization that provides assistance to those arriving first on the scene in foreign and domestic conflicts.
Working with Special Operations Forces and Law Enforcement Operations, the 1st Foundation administers grants for continuing education, specialized equipment, and training for those in need. The non-profit also helps with medical bills and access to PTSD programs, as well as college scholarships to those operators and their families in need of assistance through their Gold Star Family Programs. 1st Foundation board members cover all administrative costs, allowing every dollar donated to be utilized for its core mission.
“The time, effort and sacrifice our veterans have made is exceptional, and the dedication they put into their roles defending our country can sometimes make their transition to civilian life a challenge,” said Landon Ash, executive director of the 1st Foundation and founder of Birmingham, Alabama-based Xtreme Concepts, the parent company of iK9. “The 1st Foundation helps ease that challenge in a variety of ways, and it’s a part of our never-ending commitment to those who serve.”
The 1st Foundation also ensures our K9 heroes are rewarded for their service and dedication by placing retired military dogs requiring rehabilitation with veterans in need of companionship, helping both reacclimate to civilian life. The 1st Foundation also supplies service dogs to veterans in need, all of which are trained to Veteran Affairs standards. Additionally, 1st Foundation provides K9s to police departments, ultimately making our communities a safer place.
To assist the cause of 1st Foundation, please visit 1stfoundation.com/donate. Residents of Alabama can go a step further by purchasing a specialized 1st Foundation license plate for their personal vehicles through the Alabama Department of Revenue’s website.
Busch, the all-time leader in Xfinity Series victories with a whopping 92 career wins, will carry a 1st Foundation license plate on his No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra with his nickname “ROWDY” emblazoned on the tag.
Richard Childress Racing announced today that Hurdl, an experiential SMS tech company that helps fans connect with their favorite teams, drivers, and brands, joined the team with a multi-race partnership in 2019. Hurdl will make its first appearance in NASCAR as a primary partner on defending Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick's No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro during NASCAR's West Coast Swing, starting at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 2.
Coming off the first NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) race of the season in Daytona with four clean cars, the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller (JDM) race teams headed to Atlanta Motor Speedway full of confidence.
The first mile and a half intermediate track is always a tough one on both the equipment and the tires, as the track surface hasn’t been repaved since the late 1990’s. Atlanta is known as a driver’s track, one that showcases drivers’ abilities more than others due to its’ difficult nature.
Ross Chastain made his triumphant return to JDM this past weekend driving the No. 4 Chevrolet Camaro SS, and he led the way for the team in all on track sessions. Due to qualifying being rained out, however, the field was set by owner’s points from last season, relegating Chastain to a 15th place starting spot. He hung in tough all afternoon, running a smart race near the Top 10, all while keeping care of his equipment. He brought his Chevy home in the 14th position, scoring the team’s first Top 15 finish of the year.
Nipping at Ross’s heels most of the race was Garrett Smithley in the No. 0 “In Memory of Hippie” Chevrolet Camaro SS. Owner’s points had Smithley starting from the 22nd position, but he was able to quickly work his way through the field, and with a fortunate caution, he was able to receive the Free Pass to put himself back on the lead lap. He finished in 18th place and moves up a few positions in the points standings.
For BJ McLeod’s No. 15 crew, they knew going into Atlanta that they would have to fight an uphill battle due to the fact that they would not have the full tire allotment for the race. However, McLeod was able to take care of his equipment and manage his tire wear throughout the event, coming home with a 24th place finish after starting in 29th in his No. 15 Chevrolet Camaro SS.
Stephen Leicht, driver of the No. 01 “In Memory of Hippie” Chevrolet Camaro SS, had a relatively successful weekend as well. Like McLeod, Leicht’s team did not have the full tire allotment, but some clean driving allowed them to bring home a 25th place finish after starting in 30th place.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads out west to Las Vegas, Nevada for the first leg of the “West Coast Swing” on Saturday, March 2nd. The Boyd Gaming 300 can be viewed live on FOX Sports 1 at 4:00 PM ET (1:00 PM local). Be sure to tune in to cheer on all four JD Motorsports with Gary Keller race teams and see how well they are able to roll the dice in the desert.
Tyler Reddick Leads Laps, Comes Home Fifth in Pinnacle Financial Partners Camaro at Atlanta Motor Speedway
"This No. 2 Pinnacle Financial Partners Camaro was so fast and handled really well today. We were able to hug the bottom groove like I wanted and that's where I was able to make a lot of speed and passes from. As time went on, I needed a little more rear security in our Camaro, but overall it handled really well. We have the speed, which is the important part for us to build on. We got shuffled back a little on that final restart, which I think if that yellow hadn't come out Christopher Bell and I would have put on a really good finish for the fans. The good news is it's only February and they hand out the big trophy in November. If we keep bringing Camaros like this, we'll be in a good spot."
Race Winner: Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-40):
● Earnhardt started eighth, finished seventh. Earned four bonus points.
● Earnhardt spun his tires at the start and fell to 15th, but worked his way back into the top-10 by lap eight.
● After rejoining the top-10, Earnhardt reported that his No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra was tight in the center of turns one and two.
● Pitted for four tires, fuel, an air pressure adjustment and tape on the grille at the conclusion of the stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 41-80):
● Started fifth, finished fifth. Earned six bonus points.
● Picked up two spots during a restart on lap 48 and then settled into the fourth position until lap 71.
● Late in the run, Earnhardt’s No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra got tight from the center of turns one and two through the exit, and he slipped to fifth.
● Pitted for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment at the end of the stage.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 81-163):
● Started fifth, finished sixth.
● Earnhardt ran in the top-five until lap 116.
● After reporting the iK9 Toyota Supra was still a bit tight through the center of the corner, Earnhardt pitted under green for four tires, fuel and a slight air pressure adjustment on lap 122.
● Earnhardt returned to the track in sixth place and advanced to fourth before the last caution of the day on lap 157.
● Earnhardt pitted for four tires and fuel under the caution and lined up on the outside of row one for the final restart.
● With less grip in the outside lane, Earnhardt spun his tires at the start as the inside line motored into turn one, dropping the iK9 Toyota Supra to sixth.
● Earnhardt took the checkered flag in sixth place to earn his first top-10 finish in the Xfinity Series.
● Earnhardt’s sixth place finish was his best Xfinity Series result in 68 career starts, with his previous best being a 12th-place effort on Aug. 22, 2014 in the Food City 300 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
● This was Earnhardt’s best career finish across 153 combined starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series. His previous best finish was seventh on Feb. 18, 2011 in the season-opening Truck Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
● Earnhardt started eighth in the Rinnai 250 after qualifying was canceled due to inclement weather and the field was set by owners’ points.
● Earnhardt scored 41 points in the Rinnai 250 to place the No. 18 team 10th in the championship owners’ standings.
● Earnhardt’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Christopher Bell swept all three stages of the Rinnai 250 to score his ninth career Xfinity Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Atlanta.
● There were three caution periods for a total of 16 laps.
● Only 14 of the 37 drivers in the Rinnai 250 finished on the lead lap.
Jeffrey Earnhardt, driver of the No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“The only way to sum up today is awesome. Just to go and compete in a really good car like this is awesome. I hate we got stuck on the outside on that last restart. Restarts are really hard on the outside here and it seemed like everyone kind of struggled up there. Just couldn’t get the power to the ground. I had Brandon (Jones) push me, trying all he could do to get me going. These guys put a heck of a racecar underneath me and I was really looking forward to maybe winning this thing for iK9 and Joe Gibbs and all the fans that came out here to see us today. We came up short on the win, but we showed we belong here and we’re going to run up front the rest of the races.”
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Boyd Gaming 300 on Saturday, March 2 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race starts at 4 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FS1.
Christopher Bell won Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Bell led all but just 20 laps in route to victory on Saturday afternoon.
For Toyota, this is their first victory with the for the Supra that they're using this season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
"First Supra win in the Xfinity Series, so that means a lot for me to be able to win the first one," Christopher Bell told Fox Sports.
Mist and foggy conditions would cancel qualifying, so the starting lineup would be set by points and Cole Custer would be awarded the pole position. Bell would pass Cole Custer on the first lap and he would remain in control of the lead for the entire fist stage.
Thanks to Bell's pit crew, a clean stop would give driver No. 20 the top spot for the start of the second stage and he would lead all but one lap as his Toyota would take control of the early part of the race.
Driver No. 20 would loose his lead during green flag pit stops but cycled back to the lead with 30 laps remaining. With just eight laps remaining, Bell would see his lead gap come to an end due to a caution. However, that didn't stop the Joe Gibbs Racing driver as he would go onto claim his first win of the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
Rounding out the top five were Cole Custer in second, Justin Allgaier in third, Brandon Jones in fourth and Tyler Reddick in fifth.
Jeffery Earnhardt, the grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt, finished sixth for his first career top-ten finish. This year Earnhardt will run a partial deal with Joe Gibbs Racing.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway next Saturday, March 24th for the running of the Boyd Gaming 300.
Stage 1 Winner: Christopher Bell
Stage 2 Winner: Christopher Bell
Race Winner: Christopher Bell
To hear Christopher Bell describe his race in Victory Lane, you’d never know that he had just won it.
“I felt pretty sloppy there as a driver sometimes,” Bell said after leading 143 of 163 laps in winning Saturday’s Rinnai 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “Running the yellow line (at the bottom of the track) is so hard.
“I don’t know, I would just struggle on the longer runs there.”
Struggling, of course, is a relative thing. After the only caution for a racing incident slowed the field on Lap 156, Bell held off Cole Custer by .191 seconds in a three-lap dash for the finish. The victory—including a sweep of all three stages—was Bell’s first of the season, his first at Atlanta and the ninth of his career.
Bell also baptized the new Toyota Supra with its first win in NASCAR competition, as Toyota picked up its 150th victory in the Xfinity Series.
After rain washed out qualifying, Bell started third in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota according to 2018 owner points, grabbed the lead on the first lap and held it for the entire first stage. That set the tone for the entire race. The 24-year-old Oklahoma driver surrendered the top spot only under caution on pit road or during the one cycle of green-flag pit stops late in the race.
Custer surged from fifth to second after the final restart on Lap 161, but Bell managed to keep the No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford behind him.
“He took the air away from us (on the final lap),” Custer said. “I thought I was going to have a run going down the backstretch. We just have to build on that—we’ll be a threat all year.”
In fact, with Justin Allgaier finishing third, the Xfinity Series returned to form after a scramble at Daytona that saw Michael Annett pick up his first victory. Bell, Custer and Allgaier are three drivers expected to contend for the series championship.
Starting third in the preferred bottom lane, Allgaier thought he had a chance for the win, but Custer slipped past him on the restart lap.
“We were just a little tight today,” Allgaier said. “All day long we didn’t get the balance exactly where we wanted it, but the guys did a fantastic job. We had great pit stops. That last run, we got the inside, and I thought we were going to be OK.
“I chose to go to the middle, thinking I could get the run on the back and let Cole by me, but still, a great race. Hats off to C. Bell. He had the best car all day.”
Brandon Jones overcame a pit road penalty to finish fourth, with reigning series champion Tyler Reddick coming home fifth and Jeffrey Earnhardt sixth, a career best.
Earnhardt restarted next to Bell on Lap 161, but the slick top lane was at a clear disadvantage.
“It was really hard on the outside lane,” Earnhardt said. “But the Toyota Supra was super-fast today. They (JGR) put me in a heck of a car. We came up short on the win. We showed we belong here, and we’re going to run up front the rest of the races.”
Reddick had cut Bell’s two-second lead to less than .300 seconds before the final caution.
“It made for a good finish, that’s for sure,” Bell said. “Man, the 2 (Reddick) and the 00 (Custer) really both of them were pretty good on the long runs. Our Supra was really good.
“I feel like the last five or 10 laps, I died. Very thankful there to get the yellow and put some tires on it, but it would have been fun to race it out with Tyler there.”