The Good, Bad, and Ugly of XFINITY at Pocono

Kyle Busch grabbed the victory in the Pocono Green 250, but it was the new race package that stole headlines. Was it good, bad, or ugly?

The Good: Kyle Busch

While I still don’t agree that Cup drivers should be in the XFINITY Series, it’s hard to deny how talented Kyle Busch is. He’s now won 189 times total in the top three NASCAR touring series, including 92 times in the XFINITY series. His win on Saturday also means he’s won at all 15 tracks where all three national series run, in Cup, XFINITY, and Trucks. That’s a mind-boggling feat. Busch is clearly in the absolute prime of his career, and probably won’t slow down for a while now. While it’s a prickly topic, Busch should be in the conversation right up there with Petty, Earnhardt, and Johnson, by the time his career is finished. It’s hard to dispute that Busch is the best driver racing right now.

The Bad: The Rules Package

The new rules package was something, but it wasn’t all that great. The highlight was the couple of times when there were several cars under a blanket for one position, be it the lead, or a little farther back. Other than that, though, it wasn’t a great race. A few laps after each restart, the field would string out, and the leader would stretch out a significant lead. While the package did allow some gaps to close, the gaps up front didn’t seem so susceptible. It truly didn’t look much different from any old Pocono race. It only had seven lead changes, and only a couple under green. It’s going to take some more experimenting to find the right balance at Pocono.

The Ugly: Lap Cars

While lap cars are always a bit of a pain for the leaders, at the end of stage two they caused a real ruckus. Mike Harmon, running well off the pace in his No. 74 Chevy Camaro, broke up a four-car battle for the stage win between Paul Menard, Cole Custer, Austin Cindric, and Justin Allgaier. Harmon was running the preferred bottom as the field entered turn three. The four battling for the lead (who had been two-by-two) were forced to the outside to avoid contact with Harmon, who almost ran himself into the grass. It’s worth noting that this put Harmon a second lap down. It’s absolutely pathetic that someone who was running 38th at the time ruined what could have been a close stage finish. The only thing I can say is Harmon should be glad that race wasn’t on lap 100.

Teammates Until the Green Flag Falls: Allgaier Beats Sadler in Wild Finish

Justin Allgaier won the OneMain Financial 200 after 104 of 200 laps and winning stage two. The race featured eight cautions and a very close finish.

Polesitter Brandon Jones grabbed the lead on the initial start, but the caution came out on lap two as Matt Tifft went for a spin. Tifft didn’t hit anything. On the lap nine restart, Jones again cleared Elliott Sadler for the lead. By the time the race hit lap 15, Tyler Reddick, who started from the rear of the field after inspection issues during qualifying, was inside the top ten. On lap 23, Elliott Sadler caught and passed Brandon Jones for the lead. On lap 31, the caution came out again when Josh Bilicki had a left rear tire go down and slammed the wall.

When the green flag came out again, there were ten laps remaining in stage two. Sadler maintained the lead despite a challenge by teammate Justin Allgaier, and captured the stage win. On pit stops, Tyler Reddick’s crew had a stellar stop, getting him off pit road first after finishing the stage in fifth. Brandon Jones, however, was busted for speeding on pit road after finishing the first stage third. Ty Majeski and Matt Tifft stayed out after pitting during the lap 31 caution.

The race went back green on lap 53, and Majeski had a transmission issue on the restart, losing fourth gear. He pitted, and was forced to head behind the wall as the team discovered an axle issue on top of the transmission problem. Because of Majeski’s issues, Matt Tifft assumed the lead. Tifft, however, was quickly overtaken by Tyler Reddick. With 12 laps left in stage two, Justin Allgaier took the lead from Reddick. The lap was very eventful, as Ryan Reed and Noah Gragson got together, sending Reed into the wall. The caution came out several seconds later as Kaz Grala blew a tire, spun, and backed into the wall, ending his day. Under caution, Elliott Sadler pitted from fourth place, giving up valuable stage points.

The race went back green with six laps left in stage two, and Justin Allgaier easily jumped away from teammate Tyler Reddick. Allgaier would grab the stage win easily. The field pitted, and Allgaier maintained his position out front. Christopher Bell, who was running inside the top five, was busted for an uncontrolled tire and sent to the rear of the field. Brandon Jones and Jeb Burton stayed out.

Jones grabbed the lead on the restart and got away from second-place Elliott Sadler. Sadler got by Jones, but with 90 laps to go, Justin Allgaier got by Sadler for the lead. With 72 laps to go, Austin Cindric got into the back of John Hunter Nemechek, sending Nemechek into the wall and bringing out the yellow. The two had had contact shortly before the incident as they went three-wide with Johnny Sauter. Under yellow, Noah Gragson had a disastrous pit stop after pitting outside his block.

The restart came with 66 to go and it was Allgaier that prevailed over second-place teammate Elliott Sadler. With 57 laps left, Alex Labbe went around after getting bumped by Ryan Reed. Labbe avoided contact, but his right front tire shredded, destroying the fender and hood.

The race restarted with 50 to go, and Justin Allgaier grabbed the lead, but this time it was Daniel Hemric who got second. With 31 laps to go, Ty Majeski got turned around by Ryan Sieg, collecting Dylan Lupton. This brought out the eight caution of the day, and ended Ty Majeski’s day.

On the restart with 27 to go, Justin Allgaier prevailed, and Elliott Sadler grabbed second back from Daniel Hemric. Throughout the closing laps, Allgaier and Sadler battled, and, in the final corner, they made contact, but Allgaier held Sadler off despite hitting the wall exiting turn four.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series will be back on track on Saturday, May 26th, at 1 p.m. at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Alsco 300.

Here are the full results from the OneMain Financial 200 at Dover International Speedway:

  1. Justin Allgaier
  2. Elliott Sadler
  3. Daniel Hemric
  4. Christopher Bell
  5. Tyler Reddick
  6. Johnny Sauter
  7. Noah Gragson
  8. Matt Tifft
  9. Austin Cindric
  10. Brandon Jones
  11. Ryan Truex
  12. Jeb Burton
  13. Cole Custer
  14. John Hunter Nemechek
  15. Michael Annett
  16. Ross Chastain
  17. Ryan Sieg
  18. Jeremy Clements
  19. Ryan Reed
  20. Joey Gase
  21. Alex Labbe
  22. Vinnie Miller
  23. BJ McLeod
  24. Dylan Lupton
  25. Chad Finchum
  26. David Starr
  27. Ray Black Jr.
  28. Brandon Brown
  29. Josh Bilicki
  30. Spencer Boyd
  31. Joe Nemechek
  32. Garrett Smithley (Suspension)
  33. Stephen Leicht (Vibration)
  34. Ty Majeski (Accident)
  35. Timmy Hill (Transmission)
  36. JJ Yeley (Vibration)
  37. Kaz Grala (Accident)
  38. Morgan Shepherd (Transmission)
  39. Carl Long (Brakes)
  40. Jeff Green (Vibration)

Brandon Jones Wins Pole at Dover

Brandon Jones won the pole for the OneMain Financial 200 at Dover International Speedway with a lap time of 23.102 seconds. It’s his second career series pole. Austin Cindric led the first two rounds, but ended up seventh in the final round.

With three and a half minutes left in the first round, the red flag came out for debris. Austin Cindric was fastest in the first round at a 22.999 second lap. Nine cars were unable to make a lap due to inspection issues, including Tyler Reddick, John Hunter Nemechek, Cole Custer, Michael Annett, and Christopher Bell. Mike Harmon also did not make a lap and will miss the race.

In the second round, Austin Cindric and Justin Allgaier tied for the fastest time, both running 23.183 second laps. Those who failed to make the final round included Ryan Sieg (13th), Dylan Lupton (14th), Kaz Grala (16th), and Jeremy Clements (19th).

In the final round, Brandon Jones grabbed the pole with a lap time of 23.102 seconds. Jones’ teammate Noah Gragson qualified second.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series OneMain Financial 200 will take place at 12 p.m. eastern time on Saturday.

Here is the full starting lineup for the OneMain Financial 200 at Dover International Speedway:

  1. Brandon Jones
  2. Noah Gragson
  3. Matt Tifft
  4. Elliott Sadler
  5. Daniel Hemric
  6. Justin Allgaier
  7. Austin Cindric
  8. Ryan Truex
  9. Ty Majeski
  10. Jeb Burton
  11. Johnny Sauter
  12. Ryan Reed
  13. Ryan Sieg
  14. Dylan Lupton
  15. Alex Labbe
  16. Kaz Grala
  17. Brandon Brown
  18. Ross Chastain
  19. Jeremy Clements
  20. JJ Yeley
  21. Joey Gase
  22. Timmy Hill
  23. Garrett Smithley
  24. Jeff Green
  25. Vinnie Miller
  26. BJ McLeod
  27. Spencer Boyd
  28. Morgan Shepherd
  29. Ray Black Jr.
  30. Chad Finchum
  31. Josh Bilicki
  32. Carl Long
  33. Tyler Reddick
  34. Christopher Bell
  35. John Hunter Nemechek
  36. Cole Custer
  37. Michael Annett
  38. David Starr
  39. Joe Nemechek
  40. Stephen Leicht

Out of Nowhere: Gallagher Shocks for First Career Win at Talladega

Spencer Gallagher won the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. It’s Gallagher’s first career win, and he led only one lap: the last one. That lap was also Gallagher’s first career lap led in the series. The race featured five cautions, 12 lead changes, and an overtime finish.

At the initial green flag, Daniel Hemric cleared Spencer Gallagher to claim the lead, and was able to keep the field behind him early on. Elliott Sadler, who started from the rear, flew up to the top five in only about six laps, settling in fourth. After about ten laps, the field strung out single file, still led by Daniel Hemric. On the final lap of stage one, Christopher Bell blew a tire, but saved it with no caution. Daniel Hemric won stage one unchallenged.

On pit stops, strategies varied between no tires and two tires, but the frontrunners stayed up front. Ryan Truex was caught for speeding on pit road after finishing third in stage one. On the lap 32 restart, Hemric again took the lead. A few laps later, trouble erupted as Shane Lee got into the back of Dylan Lupton, sending Lupton spinning. The wreck collected Ty Majeski, Chad Finchum, Ryan Truex, and Spencer Boyd, but everyone was okay.

On the lap 41 restart, Hemric got the jump once again, Ryan Reed blew by him and caught him in the middle, dropping Hemric to the rear of the group. Reed, though, didn’t assume the lead. Instead, Elliott Sadler grabbed it, with Reed second. All this mixing of the field brought it single-file once again. Although some drivers attempted to build runs, Sadler held the lead and brought home the stage two in. Under caution, the No. 51 of Jeremy Clements had a mechanical issue, sending him behind the wall. Clements had been dealing with fuel pressure issues all race.

On the lap 57 restart, it was Christopher Bell in the lead, but Sadler drove right by and took the lead back. Bell, though, remained in second. On lap 62, Austin Cindric spun, but was able to avoid contact, bringing out the caution. Under caution, a few drivers pitted, including Ryan Reed, Tyler Reddick, and Justin Allgaier. Most everyone else stayed out.

On the restart, Sadler again took the lead. After a few laps of two and three wide racing, the field went single file again. With 39 to go, some cars pitted, and John Hunter Nemechek spun coming on to pit road, but didn’t hit anything or bring out the caution. Sadler, who came down with Nemechek and sped up to avoid him, was caught for speeding on pit road. Justin Allgaier assumed the lead, since he pitted under the caution for Cindric’s spin. With 16 to go, Matt Tifft had a tire go down, but made it to pit road without incident. With nine laps left, Daniel Hemric had a right front tire come apart, tearing apart the fender and bringing out the caution. Under caution, some cars near the middle and back of the pack pitted, and John Hunter Nemechek and Michael Annett were busted for blend line violations. As they ran under the yellow flag, Justin Allgaier ran out of gas, ending his chances for a victory. David Starr and Kaz Grala also ran out under yellow, adding laps to the caution and sending the race to overtime, kicking up the nerves for new leader Austin Cindric, who pitted at the same time as Allgaier.

On the overtime restart, Austin Cindric ran out of gas, but they went green anyways. Tyler Reddick grabbed the lead, but Spencer Gallagher challenged as they made it to the final lap. Gallagher got by Reddick and won his first career race.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series will be back on track on Saturday May 5, when they head to Dover International Speedway for the OneMain Financial 200.

Here are the results for the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway:

  1. Spencer Gallagher
  2. Brandon Jones
  3. Justin Allgaier
  4. Noah Gragson
  5. Elliott Sadler
  6. Ryan Sieg
  7. John Hunter Nemechek
  8. Tyler Reddick
  9. Cole Custer
  10. Garrett Smithley
  11. JJ Yeley
  12. Christopher Bell
  13. Jeff Green
  14. Michael Annett
  15. Shane Lee
  16. Chase Briscoe
  17. Vinnie Miller
  18. Tommy Joe Martins
  19. BJ McLeod
  20. Kaz Grala
  21. Joey Gase
  22. Ryan Reed
  23. Daniel Hemric
  24. Alex Labbe
  25. Matt Tifft
  26. Josh Williams
  27. Timmy Hill
  28. Josh Bilicki
  29. Jennifer Jo Cobb
  30. Austin Cindric
  31. Joe Nemechek
  32. David Starr
  33. Mike Harmon
  34. Ross Chastain (Suspension)
  35. Jeremy Clements (Fuel Pump)
  36. Dylan Lupton (Crash)
  37. Ty Majeski (Crash)
  38. Ryan Truex (Crash)
  39. Chad Finchum (Crash)
  40. Spencer Boyd (Crash)

Hemric Wins XFINITY ‘Dega Pole

Daniel Hemric won the pole for the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway with a lap time of 50.559 seconds, 0.168 seconds in front of second-place Elliott Sadler. Sadler, though, will start from the rear due to an engine change. The session contained no incidents and consisted of single-car runs, rather than the typical group qualifying format. There were two rounds, the first having all 40 cars, and the second having the fastest 12 running for the pole.

In the first round, Daniel Hemric ran fastest, with a lap of 50.640 seconds. No Joe Gibbs Racing cars were among the top 12, but all four JR Motorsports cars were able to advance. Also among the fast 12 were John Hunter Nemechek, Ryan Truex, and Spencer Gallagher. Morgan Shepherd failed to qualify.

In the second round, Hemric again lit up the scoring sheet, gaining nearly a tenth of a second on his first round time. Hemric was followed by Elliott Sadler, Spencer Gallagher, and John Hunter Nemechek.

The Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway will take place at 2 p.m. eastern time on Saturday afternoon.

Here is the full starting lineup for the Sparks Energy 300:

  1. Daniel Hemric
  2. Elliott Sadler
  3. Spencer Gallagher
  4. John Hunter Nemechek
  5. Michael Annett
  6. Justin Allgaier
  7. Shane Lee
  8. Tyler Reddick
  9. Ryan Truex
  10. Matt Tifft
  11. Austin Cindric
  12. Cole Custer
  13. Christopher Bell
  14. Ty Majeski
  15. Brandon Jones
  16. Chase Briscoe
  17. Dylan Lupton
  18. Joey Gase
  19. Ryan Reed
  20. Noah Gragson
  21. Alex Labbe
  22. Ryan Sieg
  23. Joe Nemechek
  24. Jeremy Clements
  25. Vinnie Miller
  26. Ross Chastain
  27. JJ Yeley
  28. Tommy Joe Martins
  29. BJ McLeod
  30. Spencer Boyd
  31. Josh Williams
  32. Josh Bilicki
  33. Kaz Grala
  34. Garrett Smithley
  35. Jeff Green
  36. Chad Finchum
  37. David Starr
  38. Timmy Hill
  39. Jennifer Jo Cobb
  40. Mike Harmon

Bell Holds Off Gragson to Win at Richmond

Christopher Bell won the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway. It’s his second career series win and first of 2018. Bell led 120 laps en route to his victory. Daniel Hemric won stage one, while Elliott Sadler won stage two. The race featured five cautions and nine lead changes. Noah Gragson, in his XFINITY Series debut, finished second.

When the race went green for the first time, Cole Custer quickly cleared outside polesitter John Hunter Nemechek. On lap 18, David Starr brought out the caution as he limped around the track with smoke coming from the rear of the car. On the restart, Christopher Bell flew around the outside to grab second spot, right behind Custer. After a couple of attempts, Bell would get by Custer. Justin Allgaier and Daniel Hemric got together fighting inside the top ten, and Allgaier ended up in the fence. The caution didn’t wave, but Allgaier fell back, clearly without the speed he had early on.

With 13 laps left in stage one, Josh Bilicki got into the wall in turn two, bringing out the caution. Four drivers, including Spencer Gallagher and Noah Gragson, were penalized for uncontrolled tires on pit road.

The race restarted with only a handful of laps left in stage one, and Daniel Hemric was able to pass Christopher Bell on the restart, but Bell didn’t let Hemric get away. Unfortunately for Bell, he wasn’t able to catch Hemric, who captured victory in stage one.

When stage two began, Nemechek was up front, having pitted on the previous caution. Daniel Hemric quickly ascended to second, but Noah Gragson, Christopher Bell, Spencer Gallagher, and others were able to get by Hemric as he lost the handle on his car. About halfway through stage two, Christopher Bell was finally able to get by Nemechek and take the lead away. Elliott Sadler was able to climb past a few drivers up to second, and, with 19 laps left in the stage, Sadler grabbed the lead from Bell. The stage ended with Sadler up front.

When the final stage began, Noah Gragson took away the lead as Sadler ended up hung on the outside lane. Not long after, Justin Allgaier spun in an accordian effect incident. Algaier only sustained minor damage, but Chase Briscoe recieved significant front-end damage. Jeb Burton was also involved.

Once the race got back going, Gragson initially cleared Christopher Bell, but Bell got back by him after a lap. Despite a number of hard charges from Gragson, who was running in his series debut, Bell was able to finish it off and win.

The XFINITY Series goes back racing at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, April 28, at 3 p.m. eastern time.

Here are the full results from the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway:

  1. Christopher Bell
  2. Noah Gragson
  3. Elliott Sadler
  4. Matt Tifft
  5. Austin Cindric
  6. Cole Custer
  7. Ryan Truex
  8. Jeremy Clements
  9. Ryan Reed
  10. Brandon Jones
  11. Tyler Reddick
  12. Jeb Burton
  13. John Hunter Nemechek
  14. Justin Allgaier
  15. JJ Yeley
  16. Alex Labbe
  17. Spencer Gallagher
  18. Ross Chastain
  19. Brandon Brown
  20. Michael Annett
  21. Ryan Sieg
  22. Joey Gase
  23. Tommy Joe Martins
  24. Tony Mrakovich
  25. Joe Nemechek
  26. Chase Briscoe
  27. Garrett Smithley
  28. Spencer Boyd
  29. Daniel Hemric
  30. Kaz Grala
  31. Vinnie Miller
  32. BJ McLeod
  33. Josh Bilicki
  34. Chad Finchum
  35. David Starr
  36. Mike Harmon (Clutch)
  37. Stephen Leicht (Brakes)
  38. Timmy Hill (Fuel Pump)
  39. Morgan Shepherd (Brakes)
  40. Jeff Green (Electrical)

Custer Wins Second Consecutive XFINITY Series Pole

Cole Custer won the pole for the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway. It’s Custer’s second career and second consecutive XFINITY Series pole after winning his first at Bristol last week. Series rookie Christopher Bell will start second.

In the first round, it took about half of the session for the contenders to start making laps. Once they did, it was John Hunter Nemechek who topped the board, at a time of 22.340 seconds, far in front of second-place Ryan Reed’s 22.638. There were no notables that missed out advancing to the next round. Tony Mrakovich, who will make his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut on Friday night, ran a time good enough for 35th.

In the second round, Justin Allgaier’s 22.466 second lap put him at the top of the board. Notables Ryan Reed (13th), Chase Briscoe (15th), and Brandon Jones (18th) missed out on a chance to run for the pole. Tyler Reddick scraped the wall, but made the final round. All four JR Motorsports cars were able to make the final round.

In the final round, Cole Custer ran fastest, with a session-best 22.253 second lap after running only one fast lap in each of the two previous rounds. Noah Gragson, who will make his debut in Friday night’s race, will start 11th. Because 40 drivers were entered, there were none that failed to make the race.

The ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway will take place on Friday night at 7 p.m eastern time.

Here is the full starting lineup for the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway:

  1. Cole Custer
  2. Christopher Bell
  3. Austin Cindric
  4. Daniel Hemric
  5. John Hunter Nemechek
  6. Ryan Truex
  7. Justin Allgaier
  8. Elliott Sadler
  9. Michael Annett
  10. Tyler Reddick
  11. Noah Gragson
  12. Matt Tifft
  13. Ryan Reed
  14. Jeb Burton
  15. Chase Briscoe
  16. Ross Chastain
  17. Spencer Gallagher
  18. Brandon Jones
  19. Alex Labbe
  20. Joe Nemechek
  21. Brandon Brown
  22. Kaz Grala
  23. Joey Gase
  24. Ryan Sieg
  25. David Starr
  26. Jeremy Clements
  27. JJ Yeley
  28. Garrett Smithley
  29. Stephen Leicht
  30. Tommy Joe Martins
  31. Morgan Shepherd
  32. Jeff Green
  33. Chad Finchum
  34. Spencer Boyd
  35. Tony Mrakovich
  36. BJ McLeod
  37. Josh Bilicki
  38. Vinnie Miller
  39. Timmy Hill
  40. Mike Harmon

Preece Takes Hard-Fought Victory at Bristol

Ryan Preece won the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. It’s Preece’s second career XFINITY Series win and his first at Bristol. The race contained twelve cautions and one red flag.

On the initial start, Justin Allgaier got by polesitter Cole Custer on the outside as Custer had a big sideways moment. About five laps in, Christopher Bell slammed the wall after a tire went down on his No. 20, causing everyone to check up behind him. This caused a pileup involving Jeremy Clements, Ty Majeski, Chase Briscoe, Kaz Grala, and Alex Labbe.

When the race restarted, Allgaier again took the lead from the outside, getting in front of second-place Daniel Hemric. Allgaier led all the way until the competition yellow came out on lap 45. On pit stops, Cole Custer and Christopher Bell took two tires, lining up second and fourth on the restart. Daniel Hemric stayed out due to a miscommunication, while Allgaier took four tires and lined up third. Custer had a fire in his pit stall, but all his crewmen were okay and the flames were put out.

When the green flag flew again, Hemric took the lead early, but after a lap, Christopher Bell was able to get by him, fully recovered from his lap five incident. Matt Tifft and Elliott Sadler wrecked with less than 30 laps remaining in stage one after Tifft and Justin Allgaier collided, turning Tifft into the inside wall. Elliott Sadler and John Hunter Nemechek got together trying to avoid, sending Sadler into the outside wall. Sadler and Nemechek exchanged bumps during the resulting caution.

The race got back underway with 20 laps left in stage one, and immediately after the restart, Matt Tifft slammed the outside wall after his right front tire went down. The tire failure likely stemmed from damage sustained in the previous wreck. This time, Tifft wouldn’t be able to return to the track.

Christopher Bell led the field to the green, clearing Daniel Hemric once again. Hemric challenged Bell, making a little contact, but Bell was able to drive away and win a very eventful stage one. On pit stops, Ryan Reed took only two tires and jumped up to third. Ryan Preece and Justin Allgaier stayed out. Cole Custer was sent to the rear of the field due to a speeding penalty.

The race restarted at the lap 99 mark, and Ryan Preece easily jumped away. A couple laps later, Justin Allgaier and Brandon Jones got together, sending Allgaier spinning. Also involved were John Hunter Nemechek, Ty Majeski, Tommy Joe Martins, and Alex Labbe.

On the lap 110 restart, Daniel Hemric cleared Preece for the lead. With about 30 laps remaining in stage two, Vinnie Miller spun, collecting Cody Ware. Third place Christopher Bell flew passenger-door-first into the front end of Miller’s car, destroying both cars. Bell’s car hit so hard its roof buckled, but Bell would get out okay. NASCAR would elect to put out the red flag for seven minutes.

Once the race got back underway, Hemric got away, but Dylan Lupton had something go wrong, sending him into the outside wall, bringing out caution number eight at the halfway mark in the race.

The restart came with only nine to go in stage two. Hemric cleared Preece, but Preece decided that that wouldn’t do and took the lead away from Hemric. With two laps left in the stage, Cole Custer and Spencer Gallagher hit the wall after Elliott Sadler locked up his brakes got up into Custer. The incident didn’t bring out the yellow, but did knock all Sadler and Custer outside the top ten. On pit stops, Austin Cindric was first off pit road, while Chase Briscoe, Brandon Jones, and Tyler Reddick stayed out.

The race went back green with 123 laps remaining, and Briscoe, despite the damage he’d sustained early in the race, jumped to the lead past Brandon Jones. Jones, though, would get by Briscoe after a few laps, followed by Ryan Preece. A couple laps after Briscoe lost the lead, Daniel Hemric got into the back of him, sending the No. 98 car spinning, but Briscoe would get away without damage.

With 107 laps left, Brandon Jones led the field back to the green. Jones would stretch his lead to over a second after only a couple laps. With 30 laps to go, John Hunter Nemechek, who had been running inside the top five, pitted due to a suspected tire issue. With 24 laps to go, Cole Custer got into the outside wall, but maintained position in tenth, one lap down. With 18 to go, Shane Lee brought out caution number 11 as he blew a tire and slammed the outside wall. Leader Brandon Jones led the field down pit road and was the first one off pit road as well. Jones took two tires, while everyone else took four.

The restart took place with 10 to go, and Ryan Preece got by Jones, whose old tires were no match for the new tires of Preece and the rest of the field. Preece was able to get away from the field and take his first win of 2018. As Preece took the win, Austin Cindric got turned into the wall by Tyler Reddick and limped across the line in 12th.

Below are the full results from the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway:

  1. Ryan Preece (Stage two)
  2. Justin Allgaier
  3. Daniel Hemric
  4. Elliott Sadler
  5. Spencer Gallagher
  6. Brandon Jones
  7. Tyler Reddick
  8. Cole Custer
  9. Ross Chastain
  10. Ryan Truex
  11. Alex Labbe
  12. Austin Cindric
  13. John Hunter Nemechek
  14. Shane Lee
  15. Ryan Sieg
  16. Joey Gase
  17. Garrett Smithley
  18. Ryan Reed
  19. Joe Nemechek
  20. BJ McLeod
  21. Michael Annett
  22. Josh Williams
  23. Chase Briscoe
  24. David Starr
  25. Spencer Boyd
  26. Tommy Joe Martins
  27. Timmy Hill
  28. Stephen Leicht
  29. Christopher Bell (Stage one)
  30. Cody Ware
  31. Dylan Lupton
  32. Josh Bilicki
  33. Vinnie Miller
  34. Ty Majeski
  35. Matt Tifft
  36. Chad Finchum
  37. JJ Yeley
  38. Kaz Grala
  39. Jeff Green
  40. Jeremy Clements

Custer Grabs First Career XFINITY Series Pole at Bristol

Cole Custer won the pole for the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. It’s Custer’s first career XFINITY Series pole, and the first pole for Stewart-Haas Racing in the series. Justin Allgaier will start beside Custer on Saturday afternoon.

After about 30 seconds in the first round, Morgan Shepherd brought out the red flag after he slammed the wall exiting turn four on his warm up lap. While Shepherd got out to make more laps, he would be the one to miss the race of the 41 drivers entered. Similar to Cup qualifying, most of the contenders waited until around halfway through the 15-minute round. John Hunter Nemechek went fastest in the first round with a time of 15.176 seconds. Tyler Reddick (25th) missed out on advancing to the second round. Reddick and Joey Gase had a discussion after Reddick pulled in front of Gase to make his qualifying run. Neither advanced to the second round.

The second round changed the pace as drivers headed out after only about one minute. Unfortunately, Ryan Sieg brought out the red flag as he slid off of turn four, pounding both the outside and inside walls. At that point, only five drivers had taken time. It was quite a while before the track went back green. When it did, Ryan Truex went out, and he wasn’t very fast. That caused the waiting game to begin again, with only the odd driver making laps until about two minutes remained in the round. John Hunter Nemechek again ran fastest, this time running a lap in 15.179 seconds. Elliott Sadler (13th), Ty Majeski (14th), Ryan Truex (21st), and Chase Briscoe (22nd) missed out on advancing to run for the pole.

In the final round, drivers headed out right away, but it was Cole Custer who won the pole with a lap late in the round. Custer ran the fastest lap of the session, at 15.090 seconds.

The Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway will take place at 1 p.m. eastern on Saturday.

Here is the full lineup for the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300:

  1. Cole Custer
  2. Justin Allgaier
  3. Christopher Bell
  4. Daniel Hemric
  5. John Hunter Nemechek
  6. Brandon Jones
  7. Ryan Preece
  8. Shane Lee
  9. Spencer Gallagher
  10. Austin Cindric
  11. Matt Tifft
  12. Ryan Reed
  13. Elliott Sadler
  14. Ty Majeski
  15. Ross Chastain
  16. Alex Labbe
  17. Kaz Grala
  18. Michael Annett
  19. Jeremy Clements
  20. Ryan Sieg
  21. Ryan Truex
  22. Chase Briscoe
  23. JJ Yeley
  24. Jeff Green
  25. Tyler Reddick
  26. BJ McLeod
  27. Tommy Joe Martins
  28. Joey Gase
  29. Chad Finchum
  30. Joe Nemechek
  31. Timmy Hill
  32. Josh Williams
  33. Dylan Lupton
  34. Vinnie Miller
  35. Garrett Smithley
  36. Josh Bilicki
  37. Spencer Boyd
  38. Stephen Leicht
  39. Cody Ware
  40. David Starr

Blaney Earns Third Consecutive XFINITY Win for Penske at Texas

Ryan Blaney won the My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. Blaney led 132 of 200 laps and won stage one. It’s his seventh career series win and his first at Texas. Team Penske has won the last three consecutive XFINITY Series races with three different drivers. Christopher Bell and Daniel Hemric finished second and third, and both spent time up front.

On the initial start, Ryan Blaney jumped to the lead past Ryan Truex, but on lap two Chad Finchum brought out the caution by spinning exiting turn two. Finchum would continue without damage.

On the lap six restart, Blaney took the lead once again, this time getting by second-place Brandon Jones. Michael Annett pitted on lap eight after contact with Dylan Lupton caused a tire rub. While Annett was still on pit road, Jamie McMurray spun off of turn four and into the grass. McMurray would continue with minimal right rear damage.

On the lap 14 restart, Blaney again took the lead. Ryan Reed got sideways fighting with Ryan Truex for third and fell quickly outside the top five. Not long after, Vinnie Miller backed into the outside wall, destroying his car and ending his day.

The next restart came on lap 21, and Ryan Blaney took the lead once again, and the stage would go caution-free from then on. Blaney led all 45 laps of stage one to win it. On yellow flag pit stops, Cole Custer jumped to second and Christopher Bell lept to fourth, while Kevin Harvick fell to 20th. Justin Allgaier headed to the garage due to a broken valve spring before the race went back green. He would return before the end of stage two, but the issues would eventually end his day.

Ryan Blaney and Cole Custer led the field to the green to begin stage two, and Blaney darted away once again, and Bell took away second. Matt Tifft slid up the track and fell all the way to the 25th spot, the final car on the lead lap. Tyler Reddick started to have issues as he got loose and bumped into Ryan Reed. With about 20 laps remaining in stage two, Spencer Gallagher got loose and spun battling Ryan Reed, bringing out the caution, the fifth of the day.

The restart came with 15 to go in stage two, and Blaney lost the lead after he had a big sideways moment. Christopher Bell, Ryan Preece, and Kevin Harvick became the top three, with Blaney falling to fourth. With ten laps left in stage two, Chad Finchum spun again, this time destroying the back end of his car and ending his race.

The leaders pitted, but many stayed out, including Brandon Jones, Ryan Reed, Ryan Truex, Ryan Sieg, and Michael Annett. Former leader Christopher Bell, who did pit, was busted for an uncontrolled tire. On the restart with a single lap left in stage two, Brandon Jones was able to take the lead and victory in stage two.

During the caution, everyone that didn’t pit during the last caution pitted, putting Daniel Hemric up front. On the restart to begin stage three, Daniel Hemric grabbed the lead, but another restart would be needed as Brandon Jones got loose and into the wall. Ryan Sieg spun to avoid Jones, and Kaz Grala and Alex Labbe both heavily damaged their cars after getting into the grass. The wreck ended the day for Jones and Labbe, but Grala and Sieg continued.

On the lap 106 restart, Hemric once again took away the lead, getting by Tyler Reddick, who restarted on Hemric’s outside. Ryan Blaney got to Hemric, and after quite a few laps of battling, Blaney was able to get by Hemric. Not long after Blaney grabbed the lead, green flag pit stops began. Tyler Reddick, who was running near the front, was busted for speeding entering pit road. When he served his penalty, Reddick sped entering pit road again and was forced to come down a third time in a row. Ross Chastain, who had been having a good day, broke a gear on pit road, ending his day with about 50 laps left.

Kevin Harvick came down pit road with less than 25 laps to go for a vibration. With a couple of laps left, Garrett Smithley headed to the garage due to a fuel pump issue. Tyler Reddick sped on pit road for a third time, and was forced to come back down again. Blaney, meanwhile, strolled to the victory by over two seconds.

Here are the full results from the My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway:

  1. Ryan Blaney (Stage 1) (Cup)
  2. Christopher Bell (Rookie)
  3. Daniel Hemric
  4. Cole Custer
  5. Ryan Preece
  6. Matt Tifft
  7. Jamie McMurray (Cup)
  8. Elliott Sadler
  9. Austin Cindric (Rookie)
  10. Spencer Gallagher
  11. Chase Briscoe
  12. Ty Dillon (Cup)
  13. Ryan Truex
  14. Ryan Reed
  15. Michael Annett
  16. Jeremy Clements
  17. Dylan Lupton
  18. Ryan Sieg
  19. Kevin Harvick (Cup)
  20. Joey Gase
  21. David Starr
  22. Bayley Currey
  23. Tyler Reddick (Rookie)
  24. Josh Bilicki (Rookie)
  25. Spencer Boyd (Rookie)
  26. Kaz Grala (Rookie)
  27. Garrett Smithley (Fuel Pump)
  28. Ross Chastain (Rear Gear)
  29. BJ McLeod (Clutch)
  30. Josh Williams (Suspension)
  31. JJ Yeley (Engine)
  32. Alex Labbe (Crash) (Rookie)
  33. Brandon Jones (Crash) (Stage 2)
  34. Chad Finchum (Crash) (Rookie)
  35. Justin Allgaier (Engine)
  36. Timmy Hill (Fuel Pump)
  37. Stephen Leicht (Electrical)
  38. Morgan Shepherd (Suspension)
  39. Vinnie Miller (Crash) (Rookie)
  40. Jeff Green (Electrical)