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Archive for July 22nd, 2017

19-year-old William Byron wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in first attempt; holds off veteran Paul Menard in Lilly Diabetes 250



William Byron takes the checkered flag (photo credit Daniel Shirey of Getty Images courtesy

Speedway, Indiana — When you think of the NASCAR XFINITY Series, there are several veteran drivers who are expected to win every race: Elliott Sadler, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Ty Dillon and Justin Allgaier.

Would think and expect a 19-year-old rookie to beat them? No, but it happened on Saturday afternoon at the famous racetrack of them all, The Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In a very competitive race due to the new aero package setup, rookie William Byron, driving the #9 Liberty University-Chevrolet, held off veteran NASCAR Monster Energy Series veterans Menard and Logano to win the 6th annual Lilly Diabetes 250. He led 26 of 100 laps and captured his third win of the season. He also the highest finishing rookie in the race.

Byron became the youngest series winner at Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the age of 19 years, 7 months and 23 days, which beats the old record that was held by  Dillon at 22 years, 4 months and 29 days.

The Charlotte, North Carolina native with those three victories, has himself ahead of the other championship eligible drivers in NASCAR’s second-tier series. He now has 12 Top-10 finishes in 2017.

Byron, who attended Charlotte Country Day School, while taking online classes through sponsor Liberty University, graduating in May 2016, still has some points to pickup to get into the series’ championship playoffs. He trails Sadler, the leader, by 40 points.

1. Elliott Sadler: Leader (0 wins)

2. William Byron: -40 (3 wins)

3. Justin Allgaier: -133 (1 win)

4. Brennan Poole: -192 (0 wins)

5. Daniel Hemric: -207 (0 wins)

6. Cole Custer: -230 (0 wins)

7. Matt Tifft: -251 (0 wins)

8. Ryan Reed: -257 (1 win)

9. Dakoda Armstrong: -297 (0 wins)

10. Michael Annett: -298 (0 wins)

11. Blake Koch: -321 (0 wins)

12. Brendan Gaughan: -336 (0 wins)

Saturday’s race was run in stages. The first stage winner at 30 laps was Byron. Second stage winner was Sadler at Lap 60.

The race also had it’s dangerous and scariest moments, especially in the pits.

Justin Allgaier took the trophy for those moments where he ran into his jack man; drove off too quickly with the lugnuts on his right front tire not secure. The wheel locked up a few seconds later and fell inward and during that same pitstop, he broke off the gas hose when he drove off.

The official race result showing the Top 10 finishers:

1. William Byron

2. Paul Menard

3. Joey Logano

4. Elliott Sadler

5. Cole Custer

6. Ryan Reed

7. Brennan Poole

8. Daniel Hemric

9. Brandon Jones

10. Ty Dillon


William Byron celebrates his first win at Indianapolis (photo credit Daniel Shirey courtesy

Elliott Sadler, 2014 photo was the race's pole-sitter By I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following license, Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.or


* Coors Light Pole Winner: Elliott Sadler

Age: 42

Team: #1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet

Owner: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Crew Chief: Kevin Meendering

Sadler won the Pole Award for the 6th Annual Lilly Diabetes 250 with a lap of 54.452 seconds, 165.283 mph.

This is Sadler’s 17th pole in 347 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.

This is his first pole and eighth Top-10 start in 2017.

This is his first pole in six races at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

* There were 16 lead changes involving 8 different drivers. The 16 breaks the old record of 9 set in 2014. The 8 drivers breaks the old record of 6 in 2015.

* Byron has had a very successful run in less than two years driving in the Camping World Trucks Series and the XFINITY Series. In 42 starts, he has 10 wins and 28 Top-10 finishes. Just remarkable!

* Menard finishing second, posted his sixth Top-10 finish in six races at IMS. It is his second Top-10 this year.

* Logano, finishing third, posted his fifth Top-10 finish in five races at IMS.

* There were a couple of penalties handed out before the race even began. Ryan Sieg, driving the #39 RSS Racing Chevrolet, for missing a drivers meeting. Furthermore, Spencer Gallagher, driving the #23 Allegiant Airlines Chevrolet, had unapproved adjustments on his car. Both had to start after the last row of cars.

* Time of the Race was 1 hour, 58 minutes, 50 seconds.

* Average Speed was 126.227MPH.

* Margin of victory by Byron was 0.108 seconds.

* Everyone qualified for the race.

* Caution flags, 5 for 22 laps.

* Next series race is July 29 at Iowa Speedway.


Next Race: Lilly Diabetes 250

The Place: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Date: Saturday, July 22

The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBCSN, 3 p.m. ET

Radio: IMS Radio Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 250 miles (100 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on lap 30),

Stage 2 (Ends on lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on lap 100)



New Competition Package Highlights The Return To Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The NASCAR XFINITY Series returns to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the sixth annual running of the Lily Diabetes 250 this Saturday, July 22 (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), but this time the teams and competitors will be working with a new competition package specific for this event.

Designed specifically for the 100-lap race at Indianapolis the modifications are as follows:

  • The 2016 spoiler and splitter will be reimplemented (teams must run the ear flaps on both sides)
  • New aero ducts will be supplied by NASCAR at the track, and will be attached to the front bumper
  • A 7/8-inch restrictor plate will be used.

The new package is designed to create close racing and passing opportunities for competitors. The key to the package are the aero ducts, which will move air out of the front wheel wells and create a larger wake (punch a bigger hole in the air behind the vehicle). This will increase the draft envelope by approximately 25%, which will allow the trailing car to race closer to the leading car.


Indianapolis Motor Speedway Is A Record Breaking Playground For Kyle Busch

The list of accolades that follow Kyle Busch’s name in the NASCAR XFINITY Series is quite long, and this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway the Las Vegas, Nevada, native looks to add a couple more records to the list.  First off, he will attempt to become the first driver in series history to win five consecutive poles (he has four: 2013-2016) at a single track. Then, if he accomplishes that feat, he will try his hand at becoming the first driver in series history to win three consecutive races from the pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Kyle Busch already leads the series in wins at Indianapolis with three (2013, ’15 and ’16); Brad Keselowski (2012) and Ty Dillon (2014) are the only drivers to win in the series at IMS.

Busch has been dominant at IMS in his five starts. He leads the series in poles (four), wins (three), top fives (four), average starting position (1.2), average finishing position (5.4) and laps led (268).

Keep in mind, Busch became the first driver to sweep both the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at IMS from the pole last season.


Playoff Bubble: Who Is In And Who Is Out Following New Hampshire

With just nine races left until the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs, time is running out for drivers and teams to lock themselves into the post-season.

Three drivers are locked in on wins (William Byron, Justin Allgaier and Ryan Reed), leaving nine spots up for grabs.

Five of the nine winless championship contending drivers currently in on points have built such large point leads over the 13th-place driver in the standings it would take a major collapse for them not to make it into the post-season – Elliott Sadler (+331 points ahead of 13th), Brennan Poole (+139), Daniel Hemric (+132), Cole Custer (+107) and Matt Tifft (+98).

The next two drivers, Michael Annett (+66) and Dakoda Armstrong (+62) have also put a sizable difference between themselves and 13th place, but are not out of the woods yet.

The two drivers sitting right on top of the playoff bubble following New Hampshire are Blake Koch (+35) and Brendan Gaughan (+9) as both are currently in on points but a poor finish could change that.

Ryan Sieg is sitting in the first spot outside of the playoffs in 13th, just nine points back from Gaughan. JJ Yeley is also in the hunt for the final playoff spot as he is just 15 points behind Gaughan.

Of the nine drivers currently in the playoffs on points but without a win, three will be making their series track debut at Indianapolis this weekend – Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer and Matt Tifft.

Of the aforementioned drivers, who has the best chance to break through and get their first win of the season this weekend? Here are their average finishing positions at IMS – Michael Annett (7.5), Elliott Sadler (10.8), Brennan Poole (11.0), Brendan Gaughan (16.0), Ryan Sieg (18.0), Dakoda Armstrong (18.7), JJ Yeley (24.5) and Blake Koch (30.7).

* Two cars started from the rear of the pack. #39 car driven by Ryan Sieg for missing the driver’s meeting. Also, car #23 Spencer Gallagher for unapproved adjustments on his car.

* Lap stages for the race are 30, 60, 100. A winner will emerge from each stage. Overall winner at the end.

Friday night preliminary leaders at NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals include Courtney Force, Kalitta, Skillman & Krawiec

MORRISON, Colo. — Courtney Force powered to the Funny Car qualifying lead Friday night at the 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.


Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Drew Skillman (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional qualifying leaders in their respective categories at the 14th of 24 events on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.


Force set both ends of the track record after a 3.889-second pass at 328.30 mph in her Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro during the first qualifying session. She is aiming for her sixth No. 1 qualifier of the season and is currently chasing her first win of 2017.


“It’s important to make a solid pass early at a track like this, but the coolest part is my team taking full advantage of the great conditions that we had today,” Force said. “I’m really proud of my guys and I know we are going to put in the effort to try and have another great run tomorrow.”


John Force landed second in Funny Car qualifying with a 3.899 at 301.87 in his Peak Performance Chevy Camaro. Robert Hight rounded out the top three in preliminary qualifying, securing a 3.973 at 315.56 in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevy Camaro.


Kalitta leads the Top Fuel category with an elapsed time track record run of 3.767 at 323.97 in his Mac Tools dragster during his second pass of the day. He is searching for his second No. 1 qualifier on the year and 49th of his career.


“I was confident coming into the day, but knew nothing would be easy at a track like this,” Kalitta said. “I tip my hat to my guys after not even making a run in the first round to having the type of run we were able to have in the second qualifying session.”


Steve Torrence sits second in the preliminary qualifying after a 3.775 run at 323.97 in his Capco Contractors dragster, while Tony Schumacher is third with a 3.776 pass at 326.63 in his U.S. Army dragster.


In Pro Stock, Skillman currently holds the top spot after driving to a 6.925 run at 197.94 in his Ray Skillman Chevrolet Camaro during the only Pro Stock session of the day due to inclement weather. He is looking for his first No. 1 qualifier of the season following his first victory in 2017 in Chicago.


“We worked really hard these past few days and changed a lot on the car to get it ready for tonight and it obviously showed with the results tonight,” Skillman said. “I have some work to do and know there’s some improvement with my driving, but we have to come out with the same mindset tomorrow and see what happens.”


Erica Enders is second in preliminary qualifying with a 6.944 at 198.17 in her Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. Greg Anderson is in the third spot with a 6.958 run at 196.70 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro.


Krawiec finished atop the Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying order after posting time of a 7.178 at 185.66 in his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson during his only pass of the day. He is aiming for his 35th career No. 1 qualifier and the second of this season.


“We definitely left a little out there, mainly because we underestimated the track and the amount of power we needed for a good run,” Krawiec said. “I do think we have room to improve and we know which direction to go, we just have to learn how to run on air like this on a track this unique.”


Hector Arana Jr. is in the No. 2 slot after a 7.191 at 186.36 in his Lucas Oil Buell during his second pass of the day, while Jerry Savoie sits at third with a 7.206 at 183.37 in his White Alligator Racing Suzuki.


Qualifying continues at 4:00 and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.




MORRISON, Colo. — Friday’s results after the first day of qualifying for the 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, 14th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.


Top Fuel — 1. Doug Kalitta, 3.767 seconds, 323.97 mph; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.775, 323.97; 3. Tony Schumacher, 3.776, 326.63; 4. Brittany Force, 3.782, 318.84; 5. Shawn Langdon, 3.795, 313.37; 6. Leah Pritchett, 3.801, 318.09; 7. Clay Millican, 3.910, 251.44; 8. Bob Vandergriff, 3.913, 274.16; 9. Antron Brown, 3.941, 308.50; 10. Terry McMillen, 4.022, 293.92; 11. Scott Palmer, 4.082, 230.53; 12. Terry Haddock, 4.224, 275.56; 13. Troy Coughlin Jr., 6.287, 111.69; 14. Greg Carrillo, 7.483, 108.78.


Funny Car — 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.889, 328.30; 2. John Force, Camaro, 3.899, 301.87; 3. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.973, 315.56; 4. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 3.981, 300.06; 5. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.989, 319.82; 6. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.993, 319.98; 7. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.010, 322.65; 8. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.016, 303.37; 9. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.024, 319.60; 10. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.078, 308.35; 11. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.266, 219.47; 12. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.320, 232.07; 13. Todd Simpson, Charger, 4.342, 248.07; 14. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 4.398, 295.79; 15. Jim Campbell, Charger, 5.316, 133.38; 16. Matt Hagan, Charger, 5.544, 113.27.


Pro Stock — 1. Drew Skillman, Chevy Camaro, 6.925, 197.94; 2. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.944, 198.17; 3. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.958, 196.70; 4. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.959, 198.06; 5. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.959, 197.48; 6. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.966, 197.65; 7. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.968, 196.13; 8. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.981, 196.87; 9. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.984, 196.10; 10. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 7.004, 196.33; 11. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 7.080, 194.60; 12. Deric Kramer, Dart, 7.494, 181.62; 13. Richie Stevens, Dart, 7.648, 141.53; 14. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 12.716, 69.10.


Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 7.178, 185.66; 2. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 7.191, 186.36; 3. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 7.206, 183.37; 4. Matt Smith, Victory, 7.217, 185.49; 5. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.225, 185.89; 6. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 7.229, 183.32; 7. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.270, 183.05; 8. Cory Reed, Victory, 7.275, 181.37; 9. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 7.276, 183.92; 10. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 7.294, 181.28; 11. Melissa Surber, Buell, 7.387, 183.79; 12. David Hope, Buell, 7.410, 179.92; 13. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.444, 177.63; 14. Lance Bonham, Buell, 7.477, 178.31; 15. Andie Rawlings, Suzuki, 8.162, 165.56; 16. Angelle Sampey, Victory, 10.283, 79.50.  Not Qualified: 17. Angie Smith, 11.113, 75.25.





Honorary Starter for Brickyard 400 goes to Big Machine Label Group President/CEO Scott Borchetta; race honors Brantley Gilbert



24th Annual Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, July 22, 2017 – Scott Borchetta, the president and chief executive officer of Big Machine Label Group, will serve as the honorary starter of the 24th annual Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 23 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Borchetta will wave the green flag to send the field of 40 cars into Turn 1 at the start of the marquee Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, which begins at 2:44 p.m. (ET).

“Of all of the great places to watch the start of a NASCAR race, there are none better than the starter stand!” Borchetta said. “I can’t wait to wave the green flag to start the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400!”

Music industry leader Big Machine Label Group became the new entitlement sponsor of the Brickyard 400 in late June, expanding its longtime relationship with the race and IMS.

Founded in 2005, Big Machine Label Group is an independent record label headquartered in Nashville. The label’s artist roster includes superstars such as Brantley Gilbert, Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Rascal Flatts, Danielle Bradbery, The Cadillac Three, Justin Moore, Ronnie Dunn, Jennifer Nettles, Eli Young Band, Drake White, Brett Young, Tucker Beathard and A Thousand Horses.

Visit to purchase tickets for all 2017 IMS events, including the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400, and for more information on all events.




Justin Allgaier takes NASCAR XFINITY Series Opening Day practice lead for Lilly Diabetes 250


INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, July 21, 2017 – Justin Allgaier came to grips with the new equipment package for the Lilly Diabetes 250 faster than any other driver, turning the top overall lap of two practice sessions for the NASCAR XFINITY Series on Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Allgaier led the second practice at 166.485 mph in the No. 7 Breyers Chevrolet. Elliott Sadler was second overall at 166.420 with his session-leading lap in the first practice in the No. 1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet.

NASCAR XFINITY Series cars are using an engine restrictor plate and an aero duct for the first time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at this event, in an effort to create closer racing and more passing on the 2.5-mile oval.

“There are still a lot of unknowns, but I wasn’t as on board with it before we got here,” Allgaier said of the new technical package. “I have a fast race car, so I’m not disappointed in the package. For us, we need to put on a good race for the fans. This racetrack, this area of the country, Indianapolis is a racing town. We talking about Racing USA in Mooresville (North Carolina), but Indianapolis is built on that racing foundation.

“I feel like, if nothing else, for the fans that come and the fans that watch on TV, this race is going to be exciting, and we’re trying to put on a great race.”

Matt Tifft was third at 166.291 in the No. 19 Surface/Fanatics Toyota. Kyle Busch, who has won this race the last two years, was fourth at 166.162 in the No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Rowdy Toyota.

William Byron rounded out the top five at 165.874 in the No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet.

Qualifying for the Lilly Diabetes 250 takes place at 12:45 p.m. (ET) Saturday. The 100-lap race starts at 3:30 p.m.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series action gets underway Saturday with practice sessions at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Qualifying for the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 starts at 6:15 p.m.

The Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 starts at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday. Visit to purchase tickets for all 2017 IMS events, including the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 and Lilly Diabetes 250 on July 21-23, and for more information on all events.




Dalton Sargeant takes control with 8 laps to go and wins at Lucas Oil Raceway in Greater Indianapolis


BROWNSBURG, Ind. (July 21, 2017) — Dalton Sargeant drove underneath Michael Self with eight laps to go, then scooted away to win the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 Friday night at Lucas Oil Raceway. The Boca Raton, Florida racer also inched closer to Austin Theriault in ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship standings with nine races left.
Sargeant, in the No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports-Big Tine Ford, also caught a break when Mother Nature intervened late in the going with just enough rain to bring out the final caution on lap 174. Sargeant darted onto pit road for four fresh General Tires with 20 laps remaining and, once the brief shower let up, took off like a rocket when the green flag unfurled for the final time on lap 189 of the 200-lap race.
When Sargeant got to Self, a great two-wide battled ensued for nearly two laps before Sargeant finally cleared the former leader for good. In the end, Sargeant beat Self to the line by a full second.
“I was just begging there at the end to go back to green,” said Sargeant. “Just a smart call from Chad (Bryant/crew chief) to stay out and pit when we did. Great car…great call. I knew it was going to take everything I had. We closed the points gap a little more…just really excited for the rest of the year.”
Self, in the No. 28 MDM Motorsports-Sinclair Lubricants Chevrolet, finished a career-best second. However, just before the last caution, Self, who led 29 laps, had built and second-and-half lead and was pulling away from everyone. Self had pitted with 70 laps to go for his last set of General Tires.
“If not for that last yellow, they never would have caught us,” said Self. “Our car was so loose in the beginning…wrecking every lap. But the crew took some big swings at it and put four fresh tires on it for that last run. If not for the rain, we would have won it. It was a really hard-fought race. The 77 made a smart call…they’re a championship team. I can’t complain, but I really want to win one.”
Chad Finley, in the No. 51 Auto Value-Air Lift Company Chevrolet, led 74 laps and finished third. Like Sargeant, he pitted under the last caution, but ran out of time trying to make his way back to the front.
“I’m disappointed,” said Finley. “I’m proud of my team…proud of my sponsors Auto Value, Air Lift, XLT…but I thought we had the best car…thought we were better than everyone. Car was phenomenal in clean air. We just didn’t have enough time. We needed one more caution. We’ll get ‘em at Chicagoland.”
Championship leader Austin Theriault finished fourth in the No. 52 EJP Ford for Ken Schrader Racing. Self’s MDM teammate, Sheldon Creed, who led 25 laps, finished fifth in the No. 41 United Rentals Toyota.
The night started off great for Austin Cindric, setting a new one-lap track record in General Tire Pole Qualifying. Cindric, in the No. 99 Pirtek Ford, led the first 53 laps before he stalled on the track and brought out the first caution. Cindric’s crew got it fixed but not before he lost several laps. He was later involved in a frontstretch incident that resulted in damage to the back of his car. He eventually fell out just past the halfway point. That gave the lead to Riley Herbst who led the next 11 laps before Creed raced his way to the front. Creed then swapped the lead back and forth with Finley before Finley took control. But Finley eventually fell back on older tires while Self, on fresher tires, charged his way forward.
Gus Dean, Zane Smith, Bret Holmes, Shane Lee and Christian Eckes completed the top-10.
Sargeant, who won last time out at Iowa Speedway, unofficially trimmed Theriault’s points lead to 130, shaving 30 points off the leader. The ARCA Racing Series is off to Pocono Raceway next for the ModSpace 150 Friday, July 28.