Xfinity Series News (7439)
NASCAR Xfinity Series News
Cole Custer won the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Camping World 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, as Ford Performance finishes 1-2. The No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang recorded its fourth win of the season and first win at Chicagoland.
"Congratulations to Cole, Tony, and Gene,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Cole ran another great race. He’s having a solid year with four wins and six poles heading into Daytona. Our guys at the shop and track continue to deliver powerful engines and we look forward to seeing these Fords back on the track this weekend.” During qualifying on Saturday afternoon, the Ford Mustangs set the pace, as Joey Logano and Cole Custer made it an all Ford front row. Logano took the pole in his first NXS race this season.
After leading the field to green, No. 12 Logano pulled out ahead of the field. Within three laps, Custer was able to chase down the No. 12 to take the lead. The No. 00 proved his Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang would be hard to pass as he won Stage 1, on his way to leading a race high 151 laps out of the 200-lap race. Followed by pole winner, Logano, who won Stage 2, led 21 laps, and finished the day in P2.
“I think we’re going to hit it this summer, we have some awesome cars,’’ Custer committed in post-race interview. “I don’t know how to get the car any better, I’m just lucky to drive it.’’
Custer moves up the NXS driver standings to P2 with 11 races to go until the NXS Playoffs start.
All four Fords finished the race. Following Custer and Logano was Austin Cindric P6, and Chase Briscoe P15 after a tire puncture, late in the race, set him back in the field. After a rain delay start to the MENCS Camping World 400, three Fords finished in the top-10; Team Penske teammates Logano in P3, Brad Keselowski P5, and Ryan Blaney P6. The Ford Mustangs also led a combined 138 laps out of the 267-lap race, led by Kevin Harvick with a race high of 132 laps.
In addition, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team scored a third-place podium finish in Watkins Glen, NY. The No. 67 of Richard Westbrook & Ryan Briscoe finished on the podium, while teammates Joey Hand & Dirk Müller, drivers of the No. 66, finished P4.
NASCAR heads to Daytona to celebrate July 4th this weekend while IMSA heads to the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Reference the full 2019 schedule on www.roushyates.com.
Team 08 ABA/WorldWide Safety Chevrolet Camaro:
After coming off a solid 14th place finish in Iowa a few weeks ago, Gray Gaulding and his No. 08 team were excited to continue their push for the playoffs this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Gaulding would roll off from the 17th position for the Camping World 300 in Chicago.
Two cautions were displayed during the opening stage of the race. Gaulding radioed to Crew Chief Patrick Donahue that the car was sliding the nose especially across the bumps and he was plowing tight off the corner. The 08 finished the first stage in the 21st position.
Donahue called for adjustments to help loosen up the 08 Camaro for the second stage. A fast pit stop placed Gaulding 17th for the start of stage two. On lap 78 caution flew for the 39 car spinning. Donahue called Gaulding to the pits and put four fresh tires on the 08 Camaro. Gaulding was able to take advantage of the fresh tires and drove to the 13th position by the end of the second stage.
Gaulding restarted the final stage from the 5th position after Donahue's strategy played out. Caution waved once again on lap 112 for the 39 car spinning. The 08 pitted and restarted from the 15th position. On lap 172 caution waved in the middle of green flag pit stops after the 15 car made contact with the wall. Gaulding was scored 16th and was forced to take a wave around to remain on the lead lap. After a 20 lap shootout Gaulding was 15th across the line, but would officially advance to 14th after the 20 car failed post race inspection. The 14th place result was the team's sixth top 15 finish of the year. Gaulding remains the first car out of playoff contention and trails Ryan Sieg by 98 points heading into Daytona.
“It was a great effort by all my guys. Thank you to everyone from WorldWide Consulting and ABA. It's really cool to have people up here support us. My crew did a great job with fast pit stops. I think we maximized our day today. We never gave up and made some good calls. It was a hot one, but I'm all good."
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 08 Team:
“It was another solid points day for the 08 team. Gray drove a great race and the team did a great job improving the car throughout the day. It's special to get two solid finishes in Chicago for sure."
Team 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet Camaro:
After a very solid 16th place finish at Iowa a few weeks ago, Ray Black Jr. and his 07 team were determined to continue their momentum into Chicago. Ray Black Jr. would roll off from the 25th position for the Camping World 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Black struggled with the handling of his car throughout the first stage. The team remained in the 25th position and went a lap down, narrowly missing the lucky dog at the end of the first stage. Black started out plowing tight and ended the stage in the 25th position a little too loose.
Crew Chief Jason Miller went to work adjusting the 07 to his driver's liking and assured him they would be better for the second stage. The 07 restarted from the 28th position. On lap 78 Ray Black Jr and his 07 team were the beneficiaries of the lucky dog when caution waved. At the conclusion of stage two, Black was in the 23rd position and back on the lead lap.
After a few more adjustments and a fast pit stop, Ray Black Jr. found himself starting the final stage from the 19th position. With 28 laps remaining in the race, the 07 team elected to take a wave around to gain a lap back after the 15 car brought out the caution flag. After a 20 lap shootout Ray Black Jr. was 21st across the line, but would officially advance to the 20th position after the 20 car failed post race inspection. The 20th place result was the team's eighth top 20 finish of the year.
Ray Black Jr:
“It was a solid day. We caught some good breaks and were able to capitalize. We've been getting our cars in a really good place lately and I'm excited for Daytona."
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 07 Team:
“The 07 team did a great job today. The team continually adjusted on the car all day and Ray drove a smart race. We will take a top 20 and start focusing on Daytona."
After another solid weekend, SS Green Light Racing drivers Gray Gaulding and Ray Black Jr. sit 13th and 17th respectively in the NASCAR Xfinity Series points standings. Chicagoland Speedway this weekend marked the first race of 15 races in a row for the Xfinity Series. The attention will now shift to Daytona. Coverage of the Circle K Firecracker 250 from Daytona International Speedway will begin Friday July 5th at 7:30 PM ET on NBCSN.
SS Green Light Racing PR
For the vast majority of Saturday’s Camping World 300 at Chicagoland Speedway it looked like another non-too-subtle reminder of how good the NASCAR Xfinity Series triumphant trio has been – championship leaders Cole Custer, Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick showed the way.
Ultimately it was Custer’s time to celebrate this weekend, leading a dominant 151 of the race’s 200 laps to take his fourth Xfinity win of the season in the No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford and the sixth victory of his career.
He earned a solid 2.917-second triumph over reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano, who was making his first Xfinity start of the season. Bell originally placed third, but was disqualified after measuring too low in post-race technical inspection. Reddick ended up 10th, losing positions only in the waning laps.
Michael Annett, who led 25 laps late in the race playing a pit stop strategy, finished third, followed by Brandon Jones in fourth, and fifth-place Austin Cindric.
“I think we’re going to hit it this summer, we have some awesome cars,’’ Custer excitedly told the front grandstands. “I don’t know how to get the car any better, I’m just lucky to drive it.’’
Custer, Bell and Reddick have now combined to win 11 of the season’s 15 races, including the last nine consecutively. Custer and Bell have a series best four wins apiece.
At times – especially following a restart – the affectionately well-worn Chicagoland Speedway surface helped sustain four and five-wide racing in a free-for-all that set the tone of the race behind Custer.
The SHR driver never seemed to have a problem retaking the lead – he passed polesitter Logano only three laps into the race, en route to the Stage 1 victory. Logano, who started from the pole position, retook the lead late in Stage 2 and held on to claim that stage victory.
But Custer’s No. 00 Ford was just too much for the field, losing the lead only briefly at times but then forcefully and easily retaking it at every opportunity. He passed Michael Annett on a restart with 22 laps to go and never looked back. It’s Custer’s second win in the last four weeks (also including Pocono) and he was runner-up to Bell in the last race at Iowa.
The effort in the oppressive 90-degree heat was impressive even to Custer’s competitors.
When asked where he was getting beat by Custer on track, Logano grinned and deadpanned, “At Chicagoland.’’
“They did a good job. They had the fastest car in practice and Cole did an amazing job.’’
Bell, who failed to lead a lap for the first time this season, was awarded one point for finishing last due to his disqualification. As a result, Bell fell from second in the standings to third. Custer ascended over Bell into second and trails leader Tyler Reddick by 71 points. Bell is 94 points behind Reddick.
Race Winner: Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):
● Started 21st and finished 14th.
● Earnhardt worked his way up to 14th before the first caution of the race occurred on lap 13. He reported his Toyota Supra was free on entry and tight on exit with the team electing not to pit.
● Earnhardt’s XCI Racing Supra continued to get tighter through the remainder of Stage 1 and he completed the first 45 laps in the 14th position.
● The 30-year-old driver visited his team on pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help secure his Toyota on entry and exit.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):
● Started 14th and finished 24th.
● Earnhardt restarted 14th and gained one spot on the lap-51 restart.
● He ran in the 13th position until the third caution of the race on lap 79.
● Earnhardt brought the XCI Racing Supra to pit road on lap 80 for four tires, fuel and additional adjustments to improve his entry.
● Earnhardt restarted 22nd on lap 84 with several cars staying on track. He told the team that he had a vibration with two laps remaining in the second stage and was able to stay on track to finish Stage 2 in 24th.
● With the possibility of a loose wheel, Earnhardt pitted for four tires and fuel and returned to the track in 18th.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 90-200):
● Started 18th and finished 17th.
● Earnhardt went straight to work on the restart and entered the top-10 for the first time on lap 101.
● The XCI Racing Supra was running eighth when the fifth caution of the race occurred on lap 112.
● Earnhardt stayed on track under the caution to inherit the second position as the leaders pitted under the caution.
● Earnhardt took the lead on the lap-115 restart, but began to immediately drop back as cars on fresher tires began to catch him.
● The XCI Racing driver settled into the ninth position on lap 120 and maintained his top-10 postion until lap 140 when he fell back to 11th.
● On lap 152, Earnhardt pitted under green for a scheduled stop to get four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments. He rejoined the field in the 19th position.
● Earnhardt reported on lap 156 that he once again had a vibration while running in the 14th position.
● After telling the team the vibration was getting worse, Earnhardt pitted under green on lap 163 for four scuffed tires, going down two laps and returning to the track in 22nd.
● When the leaders pitted during the sixth caution on lap 173, the Mooresville native stayed on track to get back one lap and restart just one lap down in 20th with 21 laps to go.
● With the race going green until the final lap, Earnhardt was only able to advance his position to 17th, but picked up his best finish at Chicagoland Speedway.
● Earnhardt’s 17th result was his best in three Xfinity Series starts at Chicagoland Speedway.
● Cole Custer won the Camping World 300 to score his sixth career Xfinity Series victory, his fourth of the season and his first at Chicagoland. His margin of victory over second-place Joey Logano was 2.917 seconds.
● There were sixth cautions for a total of 30 laps.
● Fifteen of the 38 drivers finished on the lead lap.
● Reddick continues to lead the championship point standings by 42 points over Christopher Bell.
Jeffrey Earnhardt, driver of the No. 81 XCI Racing Toyota Supra:
“Our Xtreme Concepts Racing Supra was really good, we just ended up getting slowed down with a loose wheel late in the race and we didn’t have a chance to get back on the lead lap and recover. The finish doesn’t show how good we were, but I know we did everything we could and we’re in a good position to go into Daytona and fight for the finish we deserved at the start of the year.”
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Circle K Firecracker 250 on Friday, July 5 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Tyler Reddick and the No. 2 KCMG Team Battle Through
Balance Issues to 10th-Place Finish
"We could never quite get the balance of our No. 2 KCMG Chevrolet Camaro to where we wanted to to be at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend until the very end of the race. We had the speed to contend, we just couldn't get the handling to be where I needed it to be to run the lines I wanted to. Our car started to handle the best it did all race towards the end of the day. It just needed to be a little bit tighter to run the top lane. Unfortunately, with about 15 laps to go it suddenly felt like something was wrong with our Camaro. It didn't feel like a loose wheel but more like something was coming apart. I had to slow down the pace we were running to keep it out on the track and not end up wrecking. We luckily had enough of a cushion to stay in the top 10 though the checkered flag. We'll go back and study what went wrong and regroup at Daytona. A big thanks to all the KCMG guests that we had at the track today."
Cole Custer took the checkered flag for the Camping World 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Custer started on the outside of pole-sitter, Joey Logano when the green flag waved. It did not take long for the No. 00 to take the lead and claim the Stage 1 victory.
With less than 15 laps to go in Stage 2, Ryan Sieg took a spin to bring out the caution flag. The caution gave Joey Logano the advantage when they went back to green. The field went 5 wide into the turn and all managed to keep it together. Logano retook the lead to claim Stage 2.
Stage 3 was action-packed and caution filled with many drivers fighting for position and others running into late race issues. Cole Custer was able to take advantage of late race cautions and retake the lead with 50 laps to go. After passing Michael Annett on the restart with 22 laps to go, the SHR driver never looked back.
The No. 00 Ford led 151 of 200 laps, earning Custer his fourth win of the season and sixth Xfinity Series victory of his career.
“I can’t do anything but thank everyone at Haas Automation and Stewart-Haas Racing because we’re going to take it to them in the summer time,” Custer said while celebrating in victory lane with his Haas Automation crew.
Logano, Annett, Jones and Cindric rounded out the top five at Chicagoland. Christopher Bell originally finished in the third position, but was demoted to a last-place finish after his car failed post-race inspection and was disqualified.
Tyler Reddick remains the leader in Xfinity Series points, followed by Christopher Bell, Cole Custer, Justin Allagaier and Austin Cindric rounding out the top five.
The Xfinity Series is back in action for the Circle K Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6 at 7:30 PM ET.
NASCAR driver and organ donation advocate Joey Gase will attempt to put organ and tissue donation in the winner’s circle at the Camping World 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, June 29. Gase will be racing in honor of his mother, Mary Gase and donor Alyssa Smith. Mary died of a brain aneurysm in April 2011. Just 18 at the time, Joey made the courageous decision to donate her organs, and he has become a staunch advocate for organ and tissue donation ever since.
“When my mom donated her organs and tissue, we thought she would maybe help two or three people,” said Gase. “We found out she helped save and improve the lives of 66 people and met her kidney and liver recipients. It’s crazy to think that these people are alive today thanks to my mom’s gift.”
“Organ donation was something we never really talked about before and we did not have her drivers license with us at the time of her passing but we knew if she could no longer continue her life she would want to so whatever she could to help others continue theirs. Later when we found her drivers license we found that she was already a registered donor,” said Gase. “Seeing that she was registered was a huge relief to us knowing that we made the right decision. Unfortunately, many families are not as lucky and can make the wrong decision. This is why I push so hard for everyone not to only register as an organ donor but also to talk about it with their loved ones.”
Joey is also racing in honor of 16-year-old Alyssa Smith. The Plainfield South High School student was a caring and giving person who loved animals and children. She was passionate about her volunteer work at Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue, Joliet, and at the Little Cougars Preschool at her school. In 2017, Alyssa was in a fatal car accident. Her final act of generosity was being a tissue donor through the Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network.
Joey’s car is regularly adorned with a special logo that honors his mom and pictures of others who have offered the gift of life through donation, making the MBM Motorsports #35 car one of the most unique vehicles in all of NASCAR. Joey’s driver suit and car will also display the Gift of Hope logo in honor of all organ and tissue donors in the state of Illinois.
Joey regularly makes appearances at hospitals and donor awareness-related events to promote donation. He has advocated for organ, tissue and eye donation at more than 100 events, has been featured as a member of the Donate Life Float in the Rose Parade, has been featured on ESPN multiple times and done hundreds of donation-related stories for local television, radio and newspaper outlets.
His hard-racing style, humble attitude and willingness to share his story have won him a loyal following at racetracks across the country. He has also developed a strong following on social media and is a popular personality at organ procurement organizations from coast-to-coast. The 200-lap, 300-mile Camping World 300 will be televised live on Saturday on NBC Sports Network at 2:30 p.m. CST. Visit Joey Gase Racing and the NASCAR XFINITY Series websites to learn more about Joey and Saturday’s event.
Joey Gase Racing PR