Xfinity Series News (7593)
NASCAR Xfinity Series News
Henry Repeating Arms and Road America have reached an agreement naming Henry Repeating Arms as the title sponsor of the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the world-renowned 4-mile, 14-turn road course. The Henry 180, scheduled for August 8, 2020, takes place less than 300 miles away from Henry Repeating Arms' 138,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Rice Lake, WI.
"We're fortunate to have such a unique track in our home state of Wisconsin. The drivers love it, the track is beautiful, and the racing is always exciting," says Anthony Imperato, President and Owner of Henry Repeating Arms. He continues, "The Henry 180 is going to be a very special race on the NASCAR Xfinity Series calendar in 2020 and we are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Road America and Stewart-Haas Racing."
During the press conference at Road America, Henry Repeating Arms explained their current partnership with Stewart-Haas racing extending to the Henry 180. Cole Custer will be driving the No. 00 Henry Ford Mustang during the CTECH Manufacturing 180 at Road America on August 24, 2019.
"We have used Haas Automation CNC machines for years to manufacture our lever action rifles and shotguns," says Andy Wickstrom, Vice President and General Manager of Henry Repeating Arms. "We share a 'Made in America' DNA so the partnership is a great fit with our company, and we are proud to continue working with them at the Henry 180," Wickstrom concluded.
Both the pole qualifying winner and the race winner of the Henry 180 will receive custom lever action rifles manufactured by Henry Repeating Arms.
Henry rifles and shotguns can only be purchased through a licensed firearms dealer. Most Henry dealers will offer a discount from the MSRP. For additional information about the company and its products visit henryusa.com.
Henry Repeating Arms PR
With four races to go in the regular season, time is running out for NASCAR Xfinity Series championship contenders. With Playoff implications on the line, expect the competition to be tight and the action to be drama-filled this weekend as the series heads to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the 10th annual CTECH Manufacturing 180 on Saturday, August 24 (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Road America has seen nine different Xfinity Series winner’s pull into Victory Lane in as many races and this weekend we could see a 10th different winner – which would tie Michigan International Speedway for the longest active different winners streak in the series at 10 each. Only three former Xfinity Series Road America winners are entered this weekend – AJ Allmendinger (2013 winner), Jeremy Clements (2017) and last season’s winner Justin Allgaier. Both Allgaier and Clements are vying for Playoffs spots this season and are still looking for their first win of the year.
But the obvious road course ace to watch this weekend has to be Team Penske’s Austin Cindric, who won the first two of the four road courses the Xfinity Series visits this season (Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio), and now has the opportunity to become the first driver in series history to win at three different road courses in a single season.
Cindric will have his work cut out for him though, as the Xfinity Series’ “Big 3” – Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, and Cole Custer - have taken the 2019 season by storm, winning 14 of the first 22 races of the year – a winning percentage of 63.6%.
Looking ahead this weekend to Road America, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer has had the most success among the Big 3 on the four-mile course putting up one top five and two top 10s in two starts; including a best finish of fourth in this race last season. However, Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell haven’t had the same luck as Custer at Road America. Bell has made two series starts at the venue posting an average finish of 21.0 and Reddick made his series track debut at Road America last season, starting 29th and finishing 34th. A lot has changed since 2018, as Reddick and Bell both finished inside the top-five at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio earlier this year.
Plus, history has proven that road courses are notorious for giving drivers their first career series win. In fact, 15 different drivers have become first-time series winners on road courses; including Austin Cindric’s first career win earlier this season at Watkins Glen International. Road America stakes claim to the lion’s share of the Xfinity new winners on road courses producing five of the 15 first-time winners – Jeremy Clements (2017), Michael McDowell (2016), Brendan Gaughan (2014), AJ Allmendinger (2013) and Nelson Piquet Jr. (2012).
PLAYOFF PRESSURE FOLLOWS GANDER TRUCKS TO CANADA
With the opening race of the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs behind them, the eight drivers contending for the title head to the lone road course on the series schedule this weekend for the seventh annual Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sunday, August 25 (2:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Brett Moffitt is sitting pretty as the Gander Trucks head north of the border – he opened the postseason with a win at Bristol Motor Speedway and has locked in his spot in the second round of the Playoffs. But after that, it’s a big unknown for the Playoff contenders.
The trio of ThorSport Racing teammates in the Playoffs (Grant Enfinger, Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter), along with the fourth driver in their stable, Ben Rhodes, took a unique approach to preparing for the 2.459-miles of twists and turns in Bowmanville, Ontario. They paired up (Rhodes and Enfinger in one entry, Crafton and Sauter in another) and entered the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race in Ford Mustang GT4s with Multimatic Motorsports in early July.
But no matter who comes out on top this Saturday, it’s guaranteed that a new winner will be pulling into Victory Lane – and it will be the seventh consecutive different winner in the Chevrolet Silverado 250. Current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standout Chase Elliott won the inaugural event in 2013, and was followed by Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, John Hunter Nemechek, Austin Cindric and Justin Haley during the 2014-2018 versions of the race. All of those drivers have also moved on to either the NASCAR Xfinity Series or Monster Energy Series competition.
NASCAR announced Wednesday some important new procedural changes for the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season, all designed to strengthen the quality of the race fields and add to the intensity of the racing on track.
The updates come at a time the sanctioning body – along with the series sponsors, teams and the broadcast partners – have seen a tangible increase in interest level and excitement for the two series.
There are strong fields filled with both established teams and newcomers ready and capable of making an impact. And NASCAR feels optimistic that these new updates will only be more beneficial.
“We’re really addressing three different updates here between the field size, the driver participation guidelines and looking at 2020 for Dash for Cash and Triple Truck Challenge,’’ said Meghan Miley, NASCAR’s senior director of Racing Operations. “The goal is always to make sure we are enhancing the competition. We are making sure we put our best foot forward for all of our stakeholders – the teams, the drivers, the tracks, the broadcasters, our OEMS, and NASCAR, of course.
“All these updates we make, we look at every year and say, ‘hey, what could we be doing better?’ This is the result of some of those things.’’
Among the key changes for the upcoming season – the race fields in the Xfinity Series will now feature a maximum of 36 cars. The first 31 positions will be based on qualifying times with four provisional positions allotted according to the rulebook and one past champion provisional.
Additionally, driver participation guidelines have been adjusted for both series. In both the Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck Series, drivers with more than three years of fulltime Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series experience will be allowed a maximum of five starts in each of the two series – Xfinity and Gander Trucks.
“With the driver participation guidelines, what a chance to highlight these young talents,’’ Miley said. “We’ve gotten feedback from all our stakeholders and from the fans, who say, ‘we want to see more of the regulars’ and then we talk to some of the drivers who say, ‘we want the opportunity to drive against these [Cup] guys because they’re the best and they make us better.’
“So it’s more about finding that middle ground, what works for everybody but is great for us to highlight those series regulars.’’
A caveat to the participation outline is that drivers who elect to earn Monster Energy Series championship points are not eligible to compete in either the Xfinity Series’ Dash 4 Cash or the Gander Trucks’ Triple Truck Challenge, the regular season finale or the Playoffs.
Similarly, Xfinity Series regulars may not participate in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series’ annual Triple Truck Challenge or the championship race at ISM Raceway.
The 2020 Dash 4 Cash races will include stops at Texas Motor Speedway (March 28), Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (April 4), Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (April 25) and Dover (Del.) International Speedway (May 2). Homestead-Miami Speedway (March 21) will be the qualifier to set the Dash 4 Cash field for the opener at Texas.
The truck series’ Triple Truck Challenge will include races at Richmond (Va.) Raceway (April 18), Dover International Speedway (May 1) and Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 15). And, in an important caveat to the incentive program, the entry deadline requirement for the Triple Truck Challenge eligibility has been removed so the entire field will be vying for the bonus each week – a move NASCAR made to benefit both the teams and the fans.
That is the impetus for all the rule modifications. NASCAR is optimistic through this intrinsically collaborative approach that the competition will continue to reinvigorate naturally and the fan interest continues to rise and intensify.
After impressing in his first NWES season in 2018 and winning the last two races of the 2019 regular season, Loris Hezemans will become the fifth NWES driver to graduate to a national stage in the United States. The Dutchman will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Road America this weekend, driving the #99 Koolbox Chevrolet Camaro for BJ McLeod Motorsports.
The number of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series drivers crossing the Atlantic to compete in NASCAR in the US keeps growing as the official NASCAR Series in Europe continues to provide the best opportunities to its drivers to develop their professional career. In February Hezemans became the 19th NWES driver to race in NASCAR in America when he finished an impressive third in his Pro Late Model debut in the World Series Of Asphalt Racing.
“We got in touch with Carlos Lira, who used to field cars both in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series and in the ARCA Racing Series. He was positively impressed by my results and helped getting in touch with BJ McLeod Motorsports. We were looking for a chance to debut in the Xfinity Series on a road course and Road America is the perfect fit,” said Hezemans. “I’m really looking forward to go side-by-side with the best NASCAR drivers in the United States.”
Competing at the highest level of NASCAR in Europe proved to be a launching point in Hezemans’ career. Coming from Touring cars and GT racing, the Dutchman won his first NWES ELITE 1 Division race in his debut season in 2018 and conquered the Junior Trophy, the special classification rewarding drivers aged 25 and under. In his second full-time NWES season, he sits second in points among the main contenders for the European NASCAR title ahead of the playoffs.
“Choosing the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series was a fundamental step in my career. NWES provided me with many opportunities and it’s laying the foundations for NASCAR Europe, especially for drivers like me, coming from Europe and not really knowing a lot about NASCAR at the beginning. To be already able to go compete at the NASCAR Xfinity Series level in just one year and a half is incredible. NWES is really showing it is able to bring in people from all over the world and show them what NASCAR is all about,” said the 22-year-old Dutch driver.
“Another NWES driver making his debut in a NASCAR national series is the heart of our mission to build a complete path to NASCAR in the US for drivers coming from all over the world. From our NWES Racing School through the NWES ELITE 2 and ELITE 1 Divisions, we prepare drivers step by step and offer true career opportunities at affordable budgets,” declared NWES President - CEO Jerome Galpin. “Loris is a young and very talented driver coming from a great racing family. It will be very interesting to see how he will perform in correlation to the performance of the package he will have in his hands!”
Hezemans never raced at Road America and will therefore rely on his NWES experience, simulator sessions and footage analysis to prepare his NXS debut in the best possible way and on BJ McLeod Motorsports to hit the ground running in the first practice session.
“It’s not going to be easy for sure and I’m not setting specific goals. We know that with the package we have a top-15 finish would be a very good result and that with some luck on our side a top-10 fantastic. A little bit of rain would definitely spice things up. I’m watching and analyzing carefully many Road America race to be prepared for different situations, and I’m driving on the simulator to get familiar with the track. I can’t wait to hit the track!” concluded Hezemans.
The CTECH Manufacturing 180 at Road America is scheduled for Saturday, August 24. The green flag will wave at approximately 21:30 CEST.
Henry Repeating Arms Partners with Cole Custer and No. 00 NASCAR Xfinity Series Team at Road America20 Aug 2019 Written by Speedway Digest Staff
Henry Repeating Arms, an American manufacturer of classic rifles and shotguns that is a world leader in the lever-action category, has partnered with Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi (SHR) in the NASCAR Xfinity Series by serving as the primary sponsor of driver Cole Custer and the No. 00 team in the CTECH Manufacturing 180 Aug. 23-24 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
“Made in America, or not made at all” is the motto of Henry Repeating Arms. Named after Benjamin Tyler Henry, who invented and patented the Henry rifle in 1860, Henry Repeating Arms has two manufacturing facilities – one in Bayonne, New Jersey, and the other in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, located approximately 290 miles northwest of Road America.
“Road America is a home race for us and we partnered with Cole Custer because of his success this season and because of the strong relationship we have with Haas Automation,” said Anthony Imperato, president and owner, Henry Repeating Arms. “We use made-in-America Haas CNC machine tools to manufacture our products, all of which come with a lifetime guarantee backed by our award-winning customer service.”
Custer is having a career year in 2019, leading the Xfinity Series with five wins and five poles. The victories have placed the 21-year-old from Ladera Ranch, California, into the NASCAR Playoffs for the third straight season.
“We’re enjoying a lot of success on the track and moments like this are how we win off the track,” Custer said. “Henry Repeating Arms is a great customer of Haas Automation and we’re extremely proud to be representing them at Road America.”
Custer has made two career Xfinity Series starts at Road America, finishing in the top-10 each time. His best result at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course is fourth, earned in last year’s race.
“In road-course racing, the competition is more on the driver’s shoulders compared to your traditional oval-styled track,” Custer said. “You’re on the edge of your seat for the entire race, and even the smallest mistake can take you out of the race. I enjoy road-course racing and challenging my skills as a driver. I learned a lot in last year’s race at Road America and I’m looking forward to getting back there in my Henry Repeating Arms Ford Mustang.”
On Friday night, the NASCAR Xfinity Series made its’ second trip to Bristol Motor Speedway for the annual Food City 300 night race at the “World’s Fastest Half Mile”. The night race at Bristol always brings excitement and action to the forefront, and this year was no different. JD Motorsports with Gary Keller drivers Landon Cassill, Garrett Smithley, Stephen Leicht, and BJ McLeod brought their best gladiator suits with them for a hard-fought race - all under the lights.
Landon Cassill, driver of the No. 4 Flex Seal Chevrolet, qualified his Camaro in 20th position, but with the help of some strategy from atop the pit box, he was able to earn some stage points at the end of Stage 1, where he finished an impressive sixth place. Stage 2 showed Cassill in 14th position, but the crew worked hard on adjusting the car to stay up with the racetrack and keep Landon happy. At the end of the day, the Iowa native was able to come home with a 10th place finish, which is his best-career finish at the half mile short track. The finish was JD Motorsports’ fourth Top 10 of the season, two of which have been scored by Landon.
Stephen Leicht, driver of the No. 01 Flex Glue Chevrolet, started from the rear of the pack in 37th, but was able to slice his way through the field to come home with another solid finish. At the end of Stage 1, Leicht was up to 28th position, and he was able to make his way up through the pack even further to 23rd at the end of Stage 2. The #FlexGlueCrew led by Mark Setzer made some sizable changes near the end of the race to help earn Stephen some extra track position, enabling him to bring home a 19th place finish. Leicht remains 19th in the drivers’ points standings leaving Bristol, and looks to gain more points next weekend at Road America.
BJ McLeod, driver of the No. 15 Flex Shot Chevrolet, started from the 34th spot on the grid, but like Leicht, he was able to make up some ground early on in the 300 lap race. By Stage 1, McLeod was up to 23rd, and by Stage 2, he had continued his climb up to 21st. In the final stage of the event, BJ was running up inside the Top 20, and looked to have a promising finish for the #15Machine until an electrical failure brought his Camaro behind the wall on lap 242. McLeod would bring home a 26th place finish, and remains in 20th in the drivers’ points standings.
Garrett Smithley, driver of the No. 0 Flex Tape Chevrolet, rolled off from the 36th position in Friday night’s race. Along with Landon, Garrett was also able to gain a stage point at the end of Stage 1, where he placed 10th. It appeared to be shaping up for a great showing for Smithley at Bristol. Midway through Stage 2 however, a power steering issue forced him behind the wall, where he spent many laps waiting for the crew to fix the problem. Smithley was able to return to the racetrack and came home with a 28th place finish, keeping him 18th in the drivers’ points standings heading into Road America.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to road course racing this weekend on Saturday at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The Midwest track will be the end of a string of road course races in the month of August, and is always known for its’ exciting opportunities for aggressive “dive bomb” passing action. Be sure to tune into NBCSN at 3:00 PM ET to watch the Road America 180. For all things JDM, follow along on our social media pages @JDMotorsports01. #TeamJDM
Team 08 Panini Chevrolet Camaro:
Gray Gaulding and his No. 08 Panini team came into Bristol full of confidence after a 14th place finish last weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Gaulding considers Bristol Motor Speedway one of his favorite tracks and last night proved no different.
Gaulding would roll off from the 13th position for the Food City 300. It didn't take long for the first caution of the night to come out after the 68 car made contact with the wall on lap 8. On lap 38, 'the big' one took place on the back stretch. The wreck collected front runners Cole Custer, Christopher Bell, Erik Jones, and Joey Logano. The caution came at a perfect time for the 08 team as they thought they had a tire going down. Crew Chief Patrick Donahue called Gaulding to the pits under caution for four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment to tighten up the Panini Chevy. Gaulding restarted from the 23rd position and began picking his way back through the field. Cautions waved for the 23 car spinning, debris, and the 2 car spinning before the end of the stage. At the conclusion of the first stage Gaulding sat in the 8th position, collecting three stage points.
After pitting, Gaulding started the second stage from the 17th position. On lap 120, the race was red-flagged for the 90 car spinning into the wall after losing a tire. Gaulding restarted from the 12th position on lap 125. The remainder of the stage went caution free. Leader Kyle Busch was forced to retire from the race after his engine let go as he claimed the stage two victory. Gaulding was in the 11th position after the second stage.
Gaulding started the final stage from the 8th position on lap 178. The seventh caution of the night waved on lap 221 after the 1 car made contact with the wall. Crew Chief Patrick Donahue made the call to leave his driver out on old tires with hopes of getting a late race caution. Gaulding restarted from the third position, but was quickly overtaken by fresh tires. On lap 279 the eighth and final caution of the day waved. Donahue called Gaulding in for tires with only 20 laps remaining. Gaulding took advantage of a couple of the leaders struggling late and was able to pilot his No. 08 Panini Chevrolet to a sixth place finish. The result was Gaulding's third top ten of the season for SS Green Light Racing. Gaulding remains 13th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings and trails Ryan Sieg by 97 points for the final playoff spot.
“It was an unbelievable night. I just can't thank all our partners enough: GPS Pure, Panini, and Patrick Mahomes for being on the hood! We're a small organization at SS Green Light Racing and this is what I work for. This is what these guys work for. We've got five guys and moments like this is what we cherish."
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 08 Team:
“I'm extremely proud of Gray and the entire 08 team. Patrick brought a very fast Panini Chevy to the track this weekend and Gray took advantage of it. Despite all the attrition, I think we had a top ten car on speed alone, which says a lot for our small team. This was a great result and an awesome points day. I'm looking forward to carrying this momentum into the next couple weeks."
Team 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet Camaro:
Ray Black Jr. came into Bristol this weekend after finishing in the 15th position here in the Spring. Black would start from the 24th position, but was confident he would quickly move up the running order in his No. 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet.
The race began with a bit of uncertainty for the 07 team. On lap 18 Black radioed to Crew Chief Jason Miller that he thought they were blowing up. The car seemed to be down on power and Black began loosing positions, but nothing catastrophic happened. After 'the big one' on lap 38, Black brought the 07 to the attention of his crew. Black restarted from the 31st position and was focused on getting back on the lead lap. On lap 51 caution waved for the 23 car spinning. Black worked his way back to the 25th position and received the free pass. After a little pit strategy and some aggressive driving by Ray Black Jr, the 07 found themselves in the 15th position at the conclusion of stage one.
After pitting during the stage break, Black started stage two from the 23rd position. After the red flag was lifted, Miller again called his driver to the pits for service. Black restarted from the 20th position on lap 125. The remainder of the stage went caution free and Black worked his way up to the 18th position by the end of the second stage.
Black started the final stage from the 17th position on lap 178. On lap 221 Black came to the pits for what would be his final stop of the night. Black worked his way as far forward as the 13th position during the final stage. After a 15 lap shootout to end the race, Black brought his No. 07 Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevy home in the 15th position.
Ray Black Jr:
“We fought through a lot of adversity early in the race, but we were able to battle back. Proud of my guys for their never quit attitude."
Bobby Dotter Thoughts on the 07 Team:
“The 07 team continues to make the most out of tough situations. Ray was playing catch up most of the night after we thought we were losing an engine early. Jason called a smart race and Ray drove his heart out for a top-15 finish.
SS Greenlight Racing PR
Tyler Reddick Wins in the TAME the BEAST Chevrolet Camaro at Bristol Motor Speedway
"We had to overcome adversity all day long, so to cap this off with a win at Bristol Motor Speedway is huge. We started from the back with a pass through penalty, and had a little bit of a hole to dig out of. Luckily, we got a caution pretty fast and got back on the lead lap and we began to push our way through the field. I tried to make good on my promise to my crew chief Randall Burnett and the team to win the first stage, but the car slid out on me. We luckily didn't receive any damage, just some flat tires and were able to pit to fix that. Unfortunately, we had a slight miscue on pit road and got sent to the back again. I knew with how well our TAME the BEAST Chevrolet was handling, we could make it back up to the front, and we did. We were making some gains on the No. 7 for the lead as the laps wound down, and then all the sudden, it was like the seas parted. Everything came together in those final 10 laps, and we were able to get the win. It felt great to get this No. 2 TAME the BEAST team back in Victory Lane, and I hope we can find ourselves there a few more times before the end of the year."
Tyler Reddick’s No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet had the word “BEAST” in big block letters on its hood Friday night.
The car was aptly named.
Even though Reddick had to come from the rear of the field twice in his Tame the Beast Camaro—once the result of a stiff penalty and once after a spin—he still needed a bit of luck to win the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
A bit of luck—and large measure of heartache for snake-bitten Justin Allgaier
On older tires than Reddick had, Allgaier shot forward after a restart on Lap 287 of 300 and had a comfortable advantage until a flat tire sent him into the outside wall on Lap 289 and handed the top spot to Reddick, who had battled Brandon Jones and eventual runner-up Chase Briscoe for the second position behind Allgaier.
“I don’t know (how we did this),” said the reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, who picked up his fourth victory of the season, his first at Bristol and the seventh of his career. “I thought we made the wrong adjustment on the last (pit) stop, but we had a really fast Chevrolet. We had fresher tires than Justin Allgaier there. We came down pit road and we were just too tight and I thought we were done for.
“I don’t know what happened. Everything just happened at the right spot. I fell back to fourth, and Jones hit the fence and then (Allgaier) had some sort of issue. As you can see, I’m speechless. I couldn’t believe what was happening.”
Minutes after limping home in eight place, two laps down, a crestfallen Allgaier was still struggling to process what had just happened.
“I’ll be honest with you, this is the story of the year,” said Allgaeir, who led 131 laps, second only to the 137 of Kyle Busch, who fell out because of engine failure after winning the second stage. “We had a great car tonight. I don’t know if we could have beaten the 18 (Busch) apples to apples, but when he fell out, I thought—especially at the end—we had the best car.
“I don’t know what else to do, man. It’s just so frustrating. These guys deserve a win. It’s just a tire went down, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
John Hunter Nemechek ran third, followed by Jeremy Clements, pole winner Austin Cindric and Gray Gaulding, the last driver on the lead lap.
Reddick’s adventurous evening started with the first 85-lap stage. After his No. 2 Chevrolet failed pre-qualifying inspection four times, Reddick was not allowed to post a lap in time trials, started from the rear of the field and immediately served a pass-through penalty that put him a lap down.
But Reddick earned a free pass as the highest-scored lapped car when NASCAR called the first caution on Lap 7 for Mason Diaz’s crash on the backstretch. Back on the lead lap, Reddick hustled his car through the field, and on Lap 81 he was fighting Allgaier for the lead.
But Reddick spun in Turn 4 underneath Allgaier’s Chevrolet, knocking the right rear of Allgaier’s car into the outside wall. Brandon Jones sped past and scored the stage victory under caution.
Stage 2 was even more bizarre. Reddick worked his way back to second, passing Allgaier for the position with eight laps left in the stage. Kyle Busch was first to the green/checkered flag on Lap 170, but his engine had begun to fail with five laps left and gave up the ghost as he crossed the start/finish line.
That came long after championship contenders Christopher Bell and Cole Custer and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regulars Erik Jones and Joey Logano all sustained serious damage to their cars in a multicar pileup on Lap 37.
Custer went three-wide on the top to pass the lapped car of Matt Mills, who moved up the track, pinching Custer’s No. 00 Ford into the outside wall. Custer’s car bounced off the wall and slammed into Bell’s Toyota, sending both cars sliding sideways. With no clear lane, Jones plowed into Custer’s car, and Logano’s Ford slid into Jones’ Toyota.
Both Logano and Jones retired from the race. Bell and Custer lost three laps and four laps, respectively, while their teams hustled to repair their cars.
“Typical Bristol crash,” Logano said. “You see them wrecking in front of you, and you’re on the brakes as hard as you can, and they just keep piling in, and you can’t stop quick enough. Some of that comes from a poor qualifying effort and from that you get caught up in things.
“I thought we were OK. Even saying that, we were still up to seventh or eighth. We weren’t that far back from starting 19th. We were picking our way through there, but it just happens.”