Xfinity Series News (7593)
NASCAR Xfinity Series News
AJ Allmendinger won today’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield Drive for the Cure 250 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Allmendinger out ran Tyler Reddick and Austin Cindric with a restart with 3 laps to go. For Allmendinger, this marks his third career NASCAR Xfinity Series win and his first win since 2013.
“The last few years were rough,” Allmendinger told NBCSN post-race on his firing at the end of 2018 from JTG-Daugherty Racing.
Driver No. 10 took the race lead with 20 laps to go. Allmendinger moved Christopher Bell out of the race lead in Turn 8 and would take control of the lead.
Allmedinger led 20 of the 67 laps in his Chevrolet. His car still has to pass post-race inspection, something Kaulig Racing has failed to do in 2 of Allmendinger’s last 4 races with the team.
Rounding out the top five were Tyler Reddick in second, Austin Cindric in third, Justin Allgaier in fourth and Noah Gragson in fifth.
Tyler Reddick, who finished second posted his second top-10 finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. It's also his 24th top-10 finish in 2019 which is the series most.
Noah Gragson, who finished fifth was the highest finishing rookie of the race.
Rounding out the top ten were Alex Labbe in sixth, John Hunter Nemecheck in seventh, Cole Custer in eighth, Chase Briscoe in ninth and Ryan Truex in tenth.
Below is where the remaining playoff drivers finished:
Christopher Bell - P12
Michael Annett - P15
Brandon Jones - P16
Ryan Sieg - P30
Justin Haley - P31
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head into Dover International Speedway next Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN.
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Briscoe
Stage 2 Winner: Cole Custer
Race Winner: AJ Allmendinger
Will Rodgers will make his third NASCAR Xfinity Series start of his career and of 2019. Coming off a twelfth-place finish in his last start at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the Maui, Hawaii native looks to improve on that run by being a spoiler in the NASCAR playoffs.
Rodgers has positioned himself as road racer aficionado in his young career with a total of four wins and two second-place finishes in just six NASCAR road races.
“With six weeks off, I can’t wait to be back on track in the No. 86 KELLY Benefit Strategies Chevrolet at the Charlotte Roval this weekend. Following our result at Mid-Ohio I know I can rely on the guys at Brandonbilt Motorsports to bring a solid piece to the 2.28 mile, 17-turn configuration. I am thrilled to also have the folks from KELLY at the track on race day, including former senator The Honorable Frank Kelly Jr. Their support means so much to me. The last race Senator Kelly attended was Watkins Glen and I finished second in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race there. I want to do one better for him and the team”, said Rodgers.
“We are excited to support Will Rodgers as he races in the KELLY Benefit Strategies Chevrolet in Charlotte this weekend,” said John Kelly, President of KELLY Benefit Strategies. Kelly added, “Will Rodgers represents the KELLY Benefit Strategies brand with excellence – he is a top young driver who is dedicated to a first-rate performance every time he races.”
Veteran Crew Chief Doug Randolph will be on the box once again and the effort is supported by Kelly Benefit Strategies, The American Liver Foundation, WIX Filters, Safety-Kleen and Chevrolet.
Brandonbilt Motorsports PR
Digital Ally joins AJ Allmendinger this Weekend for Driver’s Last Race in the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet25 Sep 2019 Written by Speedway Digest Staff
On Friday night, the NASCAR Xfinity Series raced under the lights at Richmond Raceway for the 27th race of the 2019 season. JD Motorsports drivers Garrett Smithley. Stephen Leicht, BJ McLeod, and Ryan Repko entered the weekend looking to bring home solid finishes in the final short track race of the year while racing at “The Action Track”.
Ryan Repko, who drove the team’s No. 01 Chevrolet sponsored by The McLain Group, surprised many people in the garage area by coming home with the best finish of the team. Repko, who calls Denver, North Carolina, his home, started from the 19th position on Friday night. At the end of Stage 1, radio communication issues had placed the No. 01 in 25th, but he was quickly able to recover some spots to finish 21st in Stage 2. As the latter half of the race marched on, the nineteen-year-old rookie continued to make up spots, all while running times comparable to veterans who had much greater levels of experience. The No. 01 crossed the start/finish line in 19th at the end of the night, meaning that Repko had earned his best-career finish at the Virginia short track.
Garrett Smithley, the driver of the No. 0 Morooka/Trophy Tractor Chevrolet, shocked the garage area by posting a lap time good enough for 7th place in the lone Practice session of the day. Smithley had some rough luck in Qualifying, where he started from the 32nd spot, but he made up several spots early on in the race. The Ligonier, PA native finished 21st in Stage 1, but dropped back to 27th at the end of Stage 2. Garrett would stay around that same position for the remainder of the race, coming home with a 27th place finish. He remains in 18th place in the points standings leaving Richmond.
Stephen Leicht’s bad luck unfortunately struck once again this past weekend while driving car No. 4 in Richmond. After starting the race right behind Repko in 21st position, Leicht was up into the Top 20 early on before a flat right front tire brought him down pit road right before the end of Stage 1, causing him to finish 32nd. Leicht was able to recoup a couple of spots in Stage 2, but because he was multiple laps down, he only moved up to 30th. The lack of cautions in the final two stages left Leicht unable to recover any lost laps, and he ultimately was only able to finish with a 29th place run. Taking a look at the points standings, Stephen remains 19th, still sandwiched in between his JDM teammates.
BJ McLeod, who drove the No. 15 Chevrolet on Friday, started from the 33rd position. BJ was able to make up four spots early on in Stage 1 to finish 29th, but dropped back one spot to 30th in Stage 2. McLeod stayed consistent near the end of the race, bringing his Chevrolet home with a 30th place finish at Richmond. Heading into Charlotte this weekend, the Wauchula, FL native still sits 20th in the season’s points standings.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway’s “Roval” layout this Saturday for the running of the Drive for the Cure 200. With this weekend being just the second time in history that this road course/oval combo has been ran, it’s bound to be an exciting show, with new sections of the track being changed just for this iteration of the track. Be sure to tune into NBCSN at 3:30 PM Eastern Time to see live coverage of the last road course race of the season. For all things JDM, follow us along on social media with the handle @JDMotorsports01. #TeamJDM
Team 08 Panini Chevrolet Camaro:
Last week a late gamble on fuel by Crew Chief Patrick Donahue nearly earned the 08 team a spot in the playoffs. Although they did not win the race, the call proved successful with Gaulding bringing home a seventh place finish. If anyone thought not making the playoffs would kill the spirit of this small under dog team, you are sadly mistaken. The 08 team showed up in Richmond, Virginia with an attitude of something to prove. In the one and only practice session of the weekend, Gaulding went out and posted the fastest lap in practice. After a fantastic practice session, the team backed up their speed by qualifying in the ninth position for the race.
The race began and the first caution of the day waved almost immediately. After a quick clean up the race resumed and Gaulding fired off as expected. Gaulding worked his way up to as high as the sixth position in the opening 40 laps. Two more cautions waved on lap 52 and lap 61, slowing the pace down. During the second caution, it seemed like something was a miss on the 08 car. Gaulding had just started dropping through the field and something wasn't right. At the conclusion of the first stage Gaulding had dropped all the way back to the 18th position.
The team attempted to diagnose Gaulding's issue during the stage break; however, they could not find the cause. The entire second stage went caution free, as Christopher Bell completely dominated the stage. After 150 laps Gaulding was in the 19th position and two laps down to the leader. The final stage got underway and the goal of the 08 team was to simply finish the race and run as competitively as possible with their undiagnosed troubles. Christopher Bell continued to dominate the race. The final stage went the distance without any yellow flags. At the conclusion of 250 laps, Gaulding managed to still bring home a 22nd place finish. The result was only the team's fourth finish outside of the top twenty for the entire season. With only six races remaining in the 2019 season, Gaulding holds a 15 point advantage over the 51 of Jeremy Clements for the 13th position in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings.
“ It was a tough night finishing 22nd after qualifying 9th. Our SS Green Light team will diagnose the problem and will have us ready for the Roval next Saturday! Shout out to Panini for helping us turn some heads today!"
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 08 Team:
“It was great to see that no. 08 on top of the board after practice. It's unfortunate our finish did not reflect what kind of speed we had; however, it is very encouraging to see that we can have speed competitive to the leaders. We'll be ready for the Roval!"
Team 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet Camaro:
Ray Black Jr started off his day from the 18th position for the 250 lap dash. Four cautions including the one for the stage break plagued the opening stage at Richmond Raceway. At the end of the first stage, Black had gained one position and was up to the 17th position.
After an eventful stage one, the second stage was as calm as could be. The 75 laps flashed by quickly with Christopher Bell setting the pace. At the conclusion of stage two, Ray Black Jr. found himself back in the 18th position, one lap down. The team nearly received the lucky dog, but needed to be in front of the 51 car to claim it. As the final stage got underway the 07 team seemed to stall out a bit. The entire length of the third stage went caution free, giving teams only limited opportunities to work on their race cars. At the end of 250 laps, Ray Black Jr. brought his No. 07 Chevy home in the 18th position. The result marked the team's ninth top 20 finish in the last ten races. Ray Black Jr. currently sits in the 16th position and trail the 86 of Brandon Brown by just 14 points in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings.
Ray Black Jr:
“It was a tough night having such few opportunities to adjust the cars. I think we made the best out of our situation. We'll take this and get ready for the Roval!"
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 07 Team:
“Ray did a great job tonight. I think this team is really hitting their stride since the middle of the season and it's great to see the consistency. Excited to finish out these last six races strong!"
SS Green Light Racing drivers Gray Gaulding and Ray Black Jr. remain thirteenth and sixteenth respectively in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings. With only six races remaining in the 2019 season, the teams will prepare next for the Charlotte Roval next Saturday. Coverage of the Drive for the Cure 250 from the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval will begin Saturday September 28th at 3:30 PM ET on NBCSN.
SS Green Light Racing PR
Tyler Reddick and No. 2 Gimme Radio / Killswitch Engage Team Battle Handling Issues but Capture Top 10 at Richmond Raceway
"Richmond Raceway has always been a track that I've found challenging. It's just a tough place to get a handle on, and we faced that again tonight. Our No. 2 Gimme Radio / Killswitch Engage Camaro was fast during qualifying, but once the race started we really struggled to find that balance. I would fire off too loose on a run, but then the car would build too tight and I'd lose too much rear grip at the same time. It felt like we tried everything tonight to fix it, but nothing really seemed to solve our problems completely. We still kept our focus though, and were able to walk away tonight with a top-10 finish. I know my team will regroup and recover from this weekend. We'll come back next weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval and get back on track with our Playoff run."
Joe Graf Jr. Gains Valuable Experience with 14th Place Finish in the No. 21 EAT SLEEP RACE Camaro at Richmond Raceway
"Tonight was a really fun race, and I think I learned a lot and made big improvements from my first few races this season. Our No. 21 EAT SLEEP RACE team did a great job all night and we were able to stay consistent throughout the race. I'm really proud we were able to run in the top 15 for the majority of the night and come out with a 14th place finish. I've learned more this year than my entire racing career combined, and I can't thank everyone at Richard Childress Racing and EAT SLEEP RACE enough for this opportunity."
-Joe Graf Jr.
Eager to add a NASCAR Xfinity Series championship to his resume in perhaps his final season in the series, Christopher Bell made an emphatic statement in Friday night’s Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway.
Bell swept the first two stages of the series Playoff opener—bringing his total of stage wins to 17—and led a career-best 238 laps in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs racing Toyota, winning for the seventh time this season, the third time in five starts at the .75-mile short track and the 15th time in his career.
“That one was pretty special,” said Bell, who passed pole winner Austin Cindric for the lead on Lap 86 and never trailed after that. “Going 92 laps straight there (on the final green-flag run) was really difficult. We were sliding all around.
“I felt like, if I could get through traffic, I would be in good shape because my car could really move around good. I could run up (the track) and I could run down. The No. 00 (eventual third-place finisher Cole Custer) was keeping pressure on us pretty good, but this Supra was too good.”
Bell finished 1.700 seconds ahead of Cindric, who passed Custer on Lap 239 of 250 to secure the runner-up position. Bell’s car was so dominant that he opened a lead of 7.743 seconds over Cindric before Vinnie Miller hit the Turn 2 wall to bring out the second caution on Lap 51.
The only pressure Bell felt during his cruise to the checkers came from Custer, who passed Cindric for second on Lap 87 and shadowed the race winner early in the final stage, drawing within three car lengths at one point before Bell widened his advantage in traffic.
“The 00 could kind of close a little on us in the middle part of the run, but I was just trying to keep hitting my marks, keeping the rear tires underneath me and running on that yellow line (at the apron). When the 00 was closing, I was getting nervous, because I was pretty much running as hard as I could without slipping the tires), and he was gaining on me a little at a time there.
“It seemed like my car could move around maybe a little bit better than his, and lapped traffic helped me get a little bit of a gap.”
Custer faded to 4.432 seconds back at the finish.
“We were just kind of loose to start the run,” Custer said. “It kind of got worse, and I was using too much break and got to tight center (in the center of the corners). We were really close there for a second, but I just didn’t have the long-run speed.”
Cindric posted his second straight runner-up finish at Richmond, after running second to Custer in the spring. He’s fourth in the standings with a comfortable margin heading to the Charlotte Roval.
“This is the only double-digit buffer I think I’ve ever had in anything in NASCAR, so I’ll take it,” Cindric said. “Obviously, a really good night for the MoneyLion Ford Mustang, keeping the Fords up front. Two runner-up finishes here at Richmond is good, but you want to win races, so I’ve got to keep working and keep figuring out how to catch that guy in the 20 (Bell). But overall, a great day.”
Justin Allgaier finished fourth after qualifying second and dropping to the rear of the field for the start because of a pre-race tire change. Chase Briscoe ran fifth, followed by Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson, Zane Smith, Michael Annett and Tyler Reddick.
With an automatic berth in the Round of 12, Bell leads the Playoff standings by 18 points over Custer and Reddick. Brandon Jones (11th Friday), Ryan Sieg (12th), Justin Haley (17th) and John Hunter Nemechek (15th) fell below the cut line for the next round, with an elimination race looming two weeks hence at Dover.
Christopher Bell won Friday nights NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff opener at Richmond Raceway.
Bell led 238 of the 250 lap race and swept each stage, earning his seventh victory of the 2019 season.
“That one was pretty special,” Bell told NBCSN post-race. “Going 92 laps straight there is really difficult man. We were sliding all around. I felt like if I could get to traffic I was going to be in good shape. Because my car could really move around good. I could run up, I could run down. Cole Custer was keeping pressure on us pretty good, but this Rheem Supra was too good.”
Rounding out the top five were Austin Cindric in second, Cole Custer in third, Justin Allgaier in fourth and Chase Briscoe in fifth.
Harrison Burton was the highest finishing non-playoff driver in sixth.
With his win on Friday, Christopher Bell secures an automatic spot into the Round of 12. Bell leads the playoff standings by 18 points over Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick.
Below is where the remaining playoff drivers finished:
Noah Gragson - P7
Michael Annett - P9
Tyler Reddick - P10
Brandon Jones - P11
Ryan Sieg - P12
John Hunter Nemecheck - P15
Justin Haley - P17
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head into Charlotte Motor Speedway in the running of the Drive for the Cure 200 on the Charlotte Roval at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Sept. 28 on NBCSN. Stage 1 Winner: Christopher Bell Stage 2 Winner: Christopher Bell