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WHAT TO WATCH FOR: 28th DIRTcar Fall Nationals Features Five Divisions in Three Nights at Lincoln

Late Models, UMP Modifieds, Pro Late Models, Pro Modifieds, Stock Cars set for action on premier Illinois bullring

LINCOLN, IL (Sept. 25, 2023) – Five divisions. Three nights. DIRTcar Midwest’s year-end marquee event is here.

The 28th annual DIRTcar Fall Nationals closes the 2023 regular season this Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 28-30, at Lincoln Speedway in Lincoln, IL.

Five DIRTcar divisions will take to the 1/4-mile bullring, starting with a group of practice sessions for all divisions Thursday night. Friday night features a full racing program for the DIRTcar Late Models, Stock Cars, UMP Modifieds and Pro Modifieds.

The DIRTcar Pro Late Models will join the Super Late Models, UMP Modifieds and Pro Modifieds on the docket for Saturday night in the second full night of racing.

Tickets will be available at the gate on race day, and plenty of camping space is available. Follow along on DIRTcar’s social media channels for updates throughout the event – Facebook @DIRTcarX (formerly known as Twitter) @DIRTcarRacing, and Instagram @dirtcar_official.

Here are the drivers to watch and storylines to follow this weekend:

LATE MODELS – For the first time since 2009, Jason Feger has clinched the DIRTcar Late Model national points championship and is projected to cap off a 14-win regular season at Fall Nationals.

Feger, of Bloomington, IL, reigned supreme in Midwest regional competition this year, clinching his first career Midwest Auto Racing Series (MARS) championship with eight Feature wins in 19 starts. In June, Feger won with the DIRTcar Summer Nationals at Lincoln, leading all but one lap en route to the $7,500 grand prize.

Among other notable projected entrants is fellow Midwest Late Model competitor Ryan Unzicker. The 2011 DIRTcar national champion from El Paso, IL, won the 2021 Fall Nationals Late Model Feature and has been strong in the national standings this year with seven Feature wins in 41 starts.

UMP MODIFIEDS – Recently crowned with his third Lincoln track championship in the last six years, veteran racer Brian Lynn, of Mason City, IL, leads the charge for Lincoln’s weekly UMP Modified racers into the doubleheader weekend alongside son Austin, both still on the hunt for their first wins of the season.

The current runner-up in UMP Modified national points – Mike McKinney, of Plainfield, IL – is also scheduled to compete on both nights. The former DIRTcar Stock Car national champion has won 18 times in 47 recorded starts this year but has yet to go to Victory Lane at Lincoln. In Fall Nationals’ first year at Lincoln in 2020, McKinney won the opening UMP Modified Feature on Friday night.

Allen Weisser – veteran UMP Modified racer from Peoria, IL – took the checkered flag in the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Feature event at Lincoln in June and has won three times in four starts at the 1/4-mile this year, making him another favorite for his first career Fall Nationals trophy should he attend.

PRO LATE MODELS – With 19 wins in 21 starts, Jose Parga has cemented his 2023 season in DIRTcar history as one of the most dominant displays of weekly racing ever recorded.

From April to October, Parga – the 26-year-old Pro Late Model racer from New Berlin, IL – strung together 19 Feature wins across five different tracks. That streak came to an end after posting back-to-back third-place runs three weekends ago. He seeks his 20th Feature win of the season Saturday night, also clinching his fourth career national championship in the division.

Projected to head to Lincoln and spoil his celebration are several of his division rivals including 2023 track champion Braden Johnson, Dakota Ewing (the only other Feature winner in the division at Lincoln this year) and Devin McClean – winner of 12 Features in DIRTcar competition this year.

PRO MODIFIEDS – For the second-straight year, Deece Schwartz has clinched the DIRTcar Pro Modified national championship and will end his regular season with a victory lap at Fall Nationals.

Schwartz – the 20-year-old, third-generation racer from Ashmore, IL – won half of the races he started this year, going 20-for-40 and capturing both the Kankakee County Speedway and Charleston Speedway track championships for the second year in-a-row. This weekend, he’s set to pull double duty, entered in both the Pro Modified and UMP Modified divisions.

A slew of other Pro Modified competition has pre-entered for the event, including Brayden Doyle (national championship runner-up and the only driver to win a Pro Modified Feature at Lincoln this year), 2020 Pro Modified national champion Billy Knebel Jr. and his son – Highland Speedway track champion Cole Knebel.

STOCK CARS – The only national points title left to be decided in 2023 will be partly settled at Lincoln this weekend. Twenty-five points is all that separates Jerrad Krick and Bobby Beiler in the standings with only two races remaining.

Krick, of Earl Park, IN, is the points leader with 12 wins and the Kankakee County Speedway track championship. Beiler, of Blue Mound, IL, also has 12 wins this year and was recently crowned track champion at Macon Speedway.

Both drivers will battle for their first Fall Nationals Feature win Friday at Lincoln and then for the DIRTcar national title on Saturday in the annual DIRTcar Street Stock Fall Nationals event at Charleston Speedway in Charleston, IL – where Krick has won eight times in 2023.

Race Wrap | 22nd Annual Red Line Synthetic Oil NMCA World Finals Presented by Chevrolet Performance

The Red Line Synthetic Oil NMCA Drag Racing Series wrapped up a successful 2023 campaign with the crowning of world champions during the 22nd annual NMCA World Street Finals presented by Chevrolet Performance. Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park has been the site of many historic drag racing moments, and that now includes both the event winners and series champions that were crowned on Sunday evening.

Ty Tutterow, of Mocksville, N.C. has been in command of the championship battle in VP Racing Lubricants Pro Mod for most of the season and he put a tidy bow on his season by winning his third event. Tutterow, a winner in Orlando and Norwalk, stopped Mike DiDomenico, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, 3.661 to a slowing 5.568. Tutterow, the son of Pro Mod legend Todd Tutterow, defeated Bob Glenn, Ed Marx, and low qualifier David Monday on his way to the final round. 

In Holley EFI Factory Super Car A.J. Berge of Bayshore, N.Y., drove his ’21 Dodge Challenger to a 7.680 in the final round to stop Jonathan Allegrucci, Scott Township, Pa., who trailed with a 7.732 in his Cobra Jet Mustang. In addition to the FSC purse, Berge takes home an addition $10,000 thanks to the Dodge bonus! Allegrucci may have lost the final, but he scored enough points to pass Tony Scott for the season championship. The Factory Super Car class features a modern twist on classic muscle cars with intense competition between supercharged Chevy, Dodge, and Ford entries.

Dwight Ausmus, LaFollette, Tenn., picked up his first win of the season in Dart N/A 10.5 by beating Ft. Wayne, Ind., Chad Neuenschwander in the final round. Ausmus recorded a 7.931 on his ’72 Firebird to take the title over Neuenschwander’s 8.114 run. Earlier in the day, Joe Clemente was crowned the Dart N/A 10.5 class champion.

David Fallon Jr. was able to successfully defend his championship in ARP Nitrous Pro Street, but his streak of five-straight final rounds was broken in Indianapolis. Fallon Jr. went out early, opening the door for Tim Barton, Bohemia, N.Y., to drive to a 4.352 to 4.378 win over Joe Bucaro, Addison, Ill., in the final round. Barton and Bucaro came into the event ranked fifth and sixth, respectively in the ARP Nitrous Pro Street standings.

Martin Connelly of Salyersville, Ky., lost just two rounds of eliminations during the season on his way to a Edelbrock Xtreme Street championship but he did not win in Indianapolis. Connelly went to the final round where he lost a tough race against Stephen Barnett, Rose City, Texas, 4.585 to 4.639. Connelly reached the final round with wins against Kent Nine, Nick McGrath, low qualifier Bill Trovato, and Ray Cox. 

Kevin Lumsden of Rose City, Texas came into the final event of the season with the championship clinched in SDPC Chevrolet Performance Stock after winning three events earlier this season. Lumsden qualified No. 1 in Indy and reached the final round where he lost a close 9.797 to 9.836 battle against Ronnie Hackelton of Hazen, Ark.

Mark Nowicki of Gaylord, Mich., successfully defended his 2022 championship in Micro Strategies Super Stock, but he came up one round short of a win at the season finale. Brody Daugherty, of Shepherdsville, Ky., came from behind to drive his Cobra Jet Mustang past Nowicki’s ’98 Dodge Avenger. Nowicki did not win a race this season, but claimed the championship on the strength of three runner-up finishes. 

Dave Swanson, DePere, Wis., had the quickest car in the Micro Strategies Stockclass and used that to his advantage to earn a victory over Clarence Harding, of Lowell, Ind. Swanson, the low qualifier, won automatically when Harding red-lighted at the start and put a punctuation mark on the win with a 7.993 on his 7.96 dial. The championship went to Bruce Boyle, who lost early, but accumulated enough points early on to secure the title.

There was a huge field of 65 entires in Quick Fuel Technologies Nostalgia Super Stock, which meant that eventual winner Dennis Breeden, Washington, Ind., had to win 7 rounds in order to secure the title. Breeden did just that in his classic ’65 Plymouth with a double-breakout win against Bruce Lang, Marathon, Wis.Both drivers were racing on a 9.50 index and Breeden won with a 9.499 to Lang’s 9.493. 

Susan Roush-McClenagan, of Livonia, Mich., made a dramatic comeback to claim the win in Magnafuel Open Comp. McClenaghan earned the victory in her ’10 Mustang with a 9.435 against her 9.39 dial after a red-light start by final round opponent David Ricky, Tipp City, Ohio, who entered eliminations as the low qualifier. The Michigan-based driver also took home the 2023 NMCA OC championship, winning by just one round of racing over Steve Satchell.

David Simpson, Danville, Ind., climbed a tall mountain on his way to the win in Erson Cams Nostalgia Muscle as he defeated reigning and multi-time champ Danny Towe of Westminster, S.C. in the final round. Simpson drove his ’71 Nova to a 10.542 on his 10.50 index to upset Towe, who slowed to an 11.926 from his 11.75 index. Despite the loss, Towe has wrapped up the title, and is also in line to win a championship the NMRA Ford Muscle class.

Cody Poston of Roundhill, Ky., wrapped up a dominant season in LME Street King with his second victory of the season. Poston was able to defend his 2022 title by driving his ’10 Camaro past Kurt Anderson’s ’01 Camaro. Poston left first with a nearly perfect .006 reaction time and finished the job with a 9.034 against his 9.00 dial.  

Taylor Lumsden of Royse City, Texas ran just two events in the Proform Rumbleclass, but made the most of them with a runner-up in St. Louis and a win to finish the season in Indianapolis. Lumsden ran a perfect 10.000 on his 10.00 dial in the final and needed it as opponent Nicholas Massengale had an early lead with a .002 reaction time. Masengale broke out at the finish line with a 14.233 on his 14.25 prediction, allowing Lumsden to take the victory.

In the final round of the HHP Hemi Quick 8, Bryce Rohrs of Hicksville, Ohio ran a 9.517 on his 9.51 dial-in to defeat John Johnson, who gained an advantage off the starting line, but came up short at the finish line with an 8.566 on his 8.50 dial. Rohrs also won a handful of Hemi races in 2023 and he also competes in Micro Strategies Stock with a COPO Camaro.

The Indianapolis event also featured an appearance by the popular NPD F.A.S.T. and Factory Stock muscle car series. The FAST class, more correctly known as NPD Factory Appearing Stock Tire, went to Julie Pennington of Mishawaka, Ind over Don Giannone of Langdale, Pa. Pennington drove her ’69 Corvette to a 9.524 to beat Giannone, who drove his ’66 Chevelle to a 10.426.

The Factory Stock title was won by Ryan Vandusen of Osceola, Ind., who drove his ’69 Corvette past the ’67 Dodge Coronet of Jim Keyes, Durand, Mich. 

Sydnie Turner of Indianapolis won the Innovative Performance Technologies Jr. Street class, which is open to new drivers aged 13-16. Turner won the all-truck battle over Parker Wheeler, who red-lighted in the final.

The Bracket Open class featured a large field of entries with Bill Howell of Morgantown, Ind., driving his classic ’41 Coupe to a final round win against Tim Russell, who red-lighted at the start.


 Byron Takes Hendrick Motorsports to 300 All-Time NASCAR Cup Series Wins at Texas Motor SpeedwayClaims Spot in Round of Eight
·       The victory marked a milestone victory for Hendrick Motorsports with Byron delivering the organization its 300th all-time NASCAR Cup Series victory – all recorded with Chevrolet. ·       Byron’s triumph extended Chevrolet’s series-leading win count to 15 trips to victory lane in NASCAR’s premier series this season. ·       Chevrolet continues to lead the series with 17 NASCAR Cup Series victories at Texas Motor Speedway; and 848 all-time in NASCAR’s premier series. ·       Chevrolet drivers have recorded back-to-back victories playoff opener races this season, with Byron’s victory securing his spot into the Round of Eight. 
FORT WORTH, TX (Sept. 24, 2023) – Team Chevy’s William Byron claimed the first ticket into the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) Round of Eight after picking up the win in Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. Already a career-season for the 25-year-old North Carolina native, Byron also secured an unprecedented milestone victory for Hendrick Motorsports, taking the organization to its 300th all-time victory in NASCAR’s premier series. The winningest organization in series’ history, each of Hendrick Motorsports’ NCS victories have come with Chevrolet.  “On behalf of everyone at Chevrolet, congratulations to Rick Hendrick and the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization on reaching 300 wins in the NASCAR Cup Series,” said Jim Campbell, General Motors U.S. Vice President of Performance and Motorsports. “This milestone victory is a testament to the dedication and teamwork by everyone who has contributed to Hendrick Motorsports. As a longtime partner of the winningest organization in NASCAR Cup Series history, we are proud that all 300 Hendrick Motorsports wins have been in partnership with Chevrolet. We look forward to continuing to race together for wins in the NASCAR Cup series.” The victory came after chaos ensued in the closing laps of the Round of 12 opening race. With a series of late-race cautions, Byron lined-up the No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 in the third position for the race’s final restart. Making a power move to the front, the Team Chevy driver quickly pulled away from the lead pack – leading the final six circuits en route to his series-best, and personal-best, sixth victory of the season.  Byron led Chevrolet to a one-two finish at the 1.5-mile Texas oval with fellow playoff contender Ross Chastain taking the checkered flag in the runner-up position. The 30-year-old Florida native will head into the second race of the round above the cutline with a 12-point advantage. Despite a disappointing finish after an incident in the final laps, Kyle Larson claimed crucial points with a win in Stage Two – placing the Team Chevy driver eighth in the points standings and two-points above the cutline.  Race Two of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 will get underway at Talladega Superspeedway with the YellaWood 500 on Sunday, October 1, at 2 p.m. ET. Live coverage can be found on the NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by our winning crew chief, Rudy Fugle. It’s your sixth win of the season. Tell us about your day.
RUDY FUGLE: Wow, what a year and what a race. We had a really good Stage 1 and lost some track position, just making sure we pitted and didn’t do anything dumb with our tires trying to run long and didn’t get ourselves in a pinch.
Had to work our way forward and had to pass a lot of cars and finally found ourselves in the right spot at the end, and once William sees a sniff of the lead, there’s a good chance he’s going to do well. Just really proud of him and the whole team.
Q. Keeping William out there, having him stay out after that J.J. Yeley wreck, what did that mean to put that faith in William’s hands and bring home that 300th win?RUDY FUGLE: Yeah, at that point in the race, I think that’s your best play with where we were. I think we were seventh or eighth, so if we pit with the majority of them, we’re going to be 18th or 20th, and it’s an okay call to pit. If you’re going to be 10th or 11th — I think the 11 car was the first one on two rights, and he got close to the front.
But it worked out, and it was a fairly easy call. We were just hoping with that long a laps on tires that everything was going to go okay and the air was going to stay in them and everything, so that was good.
Q. Earlier in the race we saw a lot of tire issues from a variety of teams. Where does the concern start to come in when you start to see that from various teams? Obviously if it’s one team or one manufacturer that’s one thing, but when it’s a wide variety, when do you consider some more conservative strategies or starting to talk about that with different team members?RUDY FUGLE: Yeah, for these type of racetracks it’s everything. It’s the whole week. The whole week is based around what air pressures and what cambers we can run and how long we can run on tires.
With all of our key partners and all of our teammates, it’s a nonstop discussion from Tuesday all the way until now.
It’s been that way for at least a year now. This race last year was tough, so we were prepared for that, and we were able to share information and kind of — when the 8 had his issue, he was really confident that it was a contact and not air pressure or anything like that, that they did damage to the tire. You’ve just got to get that information and try to make good decisions.
Q. What statement do you want to say to your critics who were saying, what happened to the pace of the No. 24 team after the regular season? And secondly, what is it with your chemistry with William that makes you guys work so well together?RUDY FUGLE: Yeah, I mean, first of all, thank you. I just believe in this team no matter what. I don’t do social media. I don’t really read or watch any of that stuff. I don’t watch anything NASCAR really during the week, especially during the Playoffs. I’m busy enough as it is. I didn’t know anybody was saying that about us.
I thought we had a decent round. Nobody had to talk about us good or bad and nobody talked about us on the cut line. That was our goal for the first round.
I’ve been through a ton of different types of playoff situations and rounds, one point and five points, in the trucks and won tons of championships every which way. I have a way I want the team to do things, and we’re doing that, so that’s the main thing.
Then William and I just always had a great relationship, and we can trust each other. We have each other’s back, and that just breeds into the whole team. That’s the key.
Q. William said that there was one point today where he pitted when you wanted him to stay out, so I’m curious before the last — when you made the decision to stay out there at the end, did you do anything different to make sure that he knew what you wanted him to do?RUDY FUGLE: Yeah, I mean, so early in the race, we talk through things. That’s one of the main things we always try to do. I tell him what I want to do. But he’s driving the race car. He always has a chance to change his mind.
He didn’t not understand me or anything like that. He was worried that he was going to get too loose staying out on tires to start Stage 2 and not be able to survive. He spun out in Kansas, so I’m sure that’s in the back of his mind, so he’s just not wanting to do any of those things. He thought the safer play was get four, and he apologized later in Victory Lane for doing that because I think we would have been in a little bit better spot.
But it is what it is. We’re a team. We work together, and it made us better. It made us realize what we were good at, how we can get the car better. We were able to get four or five spots kind of every single run, which I don’t know many people did.
Q. A milestone day for Hendrick Motorsports for you guys, but coming into the season, did you think this would be a dominant year? You guys are really on fire and continuing to hit at the right time.RUDY FUGLE: Yeah, I think we’ve grown. This is year three, so we’ve grown every single year. Year one we won that race early. We had confidence going, a lot of consistency. We didn’t have race winning pace like the 9 and the 5 did, our teammates, but we were good, and that grew into last year where we were leading more laps and won more races and we kind of had some ups and downs. A big slump in the summer, but then I thought we were awesome in the Playoffs last year, really out-pointed a ton of people, and had Martinsville not go our way and some of the things that happened there to keep us out of the Final Four. Then we went to Phoenix and we ran really well, as well.
I knew that was going to — that playoff run was going to give us confidence over the off-season to get where we are now.
Yeah, I think we can — we would like to be winning and running in the top 3 all day every week like we did at the beginning of the year. We’re working towards that. It’s tough, and we’re continuing to find speed in our cars. The engine shop showed up today. They were really, really working hard and finding more power, just everybody.
Q. With Talladega being next week I guess you breathe a big sigh of relief?RUDY FUGLE: We kind of have two goals we’ve set ourselves. In three races we think that if we earn this many points, and we know what that is every round, that we’re going to advance and/or you get a win. Those two things are on our mind. We wanted to score big points to get us at least halfway to the point goal or win the race. So winning the race is huge.
Now we get to go help the 5; we get to help the 9; we get to help our Chevy partners next week. We don’t have to be as stressed about what happens. We can just go try to get more playoff points, and that’s a big goal.
Q. With the win being locked into the round of 8, looking towards Las Vegas, winning earlier there in March and winning Martinsville last year, does that give you a lot of confidence that you’ll make the Championship 4?RUDY FUGLE: It changes — this series changes so fast. It’s so cyclical. We’re going to have to bring our “A” game to every one of those races. Somebody will find more power; somebody is going to find more downforce; and somebody is going to find more setup grip in between now and then. We’ll go to work on that and bring all we can to those races.
They’re races that we’re excited about for sure. Homestead is probably my favorite track. I’ve won the most here, one of my favorite tracks. Then I like Las Vegas; William does, as well. And Martinsville, there’s nothing like it. We’ll try to acquire those points and/or if we’re in the spot, we’ll win that race.
Q. As you talk about the success you guys had last year during the Playoffs and the things that you built upon, and as you referenced a couple things go right, you’re in Phoenix potentially. In one sense, that’s a very short period. It’s been less than a year since that. But I’m curious, what is it like to build from that moment to this, and you’re still a few races away, but to have run 30 races, is it a quick time, long time, and what is that period like and how tough is it to be in those moments and to be able to have an opportunity to potentially put yourself in that situation again?RUDY FUGLE: Yeah, it’s a grind. This whole deal is a grind. The season is a grind. It’s tough to stay up, and it’s tough even when you’re winning. It’s tough to stay up and keep going.It seems like forever ago that last year happened, but just remembering the process, and the whole team believing in the process and how things work and how we want to approach each race and each round and whatnot.
I think that just becomes a habit, and the more habits, you can be habitual winners, habitual run in the top 5, then it’s just easier and it’s more common. You don’t get as high, you don’t get as low. You know that you’re going to be a strong team with a chance to win.That’s kind of what we’ve been trying to prove.
Q. The 36 playoff points going into the Playoffs, into this round, how does that impact or affect any decision making? I know it’s still all about the process, so I know that’s not going to change, but how does that play into anything that you do or think about?RUDY FUGLE: It’s huge. It’s 41 now. The next round when we get to the Round of 8, we’re going to know on average what it took to advance to the Final Four. Each year you know on average what it takes to advance, and if you start with 41 and say it takes 120, then you only need 80 in three races instead of needing 120.
That’s the thing. Anytime you can put some in the kitty, that’s great.
Q. Obviously you guys came into the Playoffs tied with the 19 team. I know you can’t control anything that they do, but they haven’t finished better than 17th. In one sense that could have been you guys in a way. When you look at how that team, because they were tied, how volatile the Playoffs can be, how scary is that in a sense?RUDY FUGLE: Yeah, I mean, since the Next-Gen car the Playoffs are super volatile. It’s just hard to go get a victory. You have way more cars that are competitive, that are super hard to pass, especially by the end of the race.
You used to not have to have that. You’d have 12 cars that were competitive in the Playoffs, and now if you’re 21st, it’s really hard to pass any of them cars. They’re all super good, especially by the end of the race, great drivers, and so it’s easy to get set back at the wrong point and get a bad race. That’s where the points cushion is huge and just sticking with it, and being able to come back like we did today was great.
THE MODERATOR: We’re now joined by our winning driver, William Byron. 10th win of your career, 300th win for Hendrick Motorsports. Tell us about your day.
WILLIAM BYRON: Yeah, it was a really good day. I think it was kind of one of those days that I knew it would be a grind from start to finish. Just honestly, we had kind of advanced forward quicker than maybe I expected and got the Stage 1 points and felt good about that, and then just the sequence in Stage 2, I just made a mistake and pitted there, and Rudy made the right call, and we restarted 25th or wherever we were. It was just really hard to go forward after that.We kind of slowly inched our way forward after Stage 2 and got ourselves to like 15th and I felt good about our race car, like we had good confidence, like I could do what I needed to do and pass people on the long run, so I felt good about that.
Then once we got in the top 10 it was kind of picking one off each six, seven to ten laps, and once we got a sniff of probably the first two rows, our car was right up there and just needed a couple good restarts. I didn’t hit the sequence of restarts very well.
The first one was pretty good with Kyle. Had pretty good push there and just couldn’t — they couldn’t get clear, and then the next one after that I was terrible on, and then the final one I just felt like I got a good launch and knew what I wanted to do in 1 and 2 and got a good run off of 2 and put it three wide, and that was kind of it.
Felt good about that to end on a good one, but yeah, just really happy about the win and everything it means for the company.
Q. Two questions for you: How much of a relief is it to win this early in the Round of 12 and not have to worry about Talladega and the Charlotte Roval? And secondly, in your case, what has been the most inspirational and empowering quote from Mr. H that’s really engaged you as a driver?WILLIAM BYRON: Yeah, first off, just making the Round of 8 is an accomplishment in itself. I think for us and where we are with our team, the Round of 16 is definitely would be a big disappointment not to make it through, but the Round of 12 is tough. You don’t really control your destiny at Talladega, and then the other two could go either way. You can have a good car, you can have a bad day and crash or whatever.
That makes it nerve-racking in this round, so it’s always an accomplishment to get to the Round of 8. So excited about that.
Then yeah, win 300 and everything that Mr. H has meant to me in my career so far. I don’t know if it’s one quote, but just how he values people and just how people make things go, and I think that I’ve always valued that because he’s taught us and instilled that in us.
I think getting a good crew chief like Rudy and just getting people around me that believe in each other just makes all the difference.
Q. Did you feel like at any point as Kyle was out front that you had a chance to win this race or had you conceded that this wasn’t your day? When did it dawn on you maybe I’ve got a chance?WILLIAM BYRON: To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about the win. I just couldn’t put myself in that mindset where we were running. We were running fifth, fifth to sixth, and I felt like that was going to be a good points day.
I think honestly for me, that’s what I had to focus on. Like I can’t give up free points. I was just trying to focus on my job.
I think my crew chief had more optimism that we had speed to win, but I was just thinking about trying to get to the end of the race and get a 40- to 50-point day.
Once Kyle crashed there, obviously the door was open, and I think the first time it was open I didn’t do a good job with the restart, so I was kicking myself for that, and then was able to nail the last one.
Yeah, I think after it all transpired there with 11 to go or whatever, that’s when I thought I had a shot.
Q. I understand in the preseason Mr. Hendrick put the 300 on the table, that it was important to him and he wanted you guys to go out and get it. How does it feel now that as a team you guys all pitched in, you got the 300th but that you actually got there for him?WILLIAM BYRON: Yeah, I mean, it’s really special. Growing up a Hendrick Motorsports fan, I watched win No. 200 on TV when Jimmie won that race. I always felt like obviously the gold standard was Hendrick Motorsports, so if I could ever drive for them, once I started having success in my own career, that was the goal.
When I met Mr. Hendrick when I was 14 at JR Motorsports I told him that, that that was a goal to drive for him. I didn’t have a lot of confidence that that would work out, but I was going to put it out there, and when we met again when I was 18 and running the Truck Series and sat down, I just had the confidence that he was going to take care of me and he was going to put me in the right places to succeed.
He committed to me, and even through my rookie season and 2019 and all those years that I was kind of struggling, he just committed and kept encouraging me.
I’m super thankful to him, and to give him 300 is really cool.
Q. Looking at the last four races, you have a career win at all of the last four races coming up. What is the confidence level now that you have locked the first place in the standings coming into the Round of 8 and then going into Phoenix?WILLIAM BYRON: Yeah, I mean, I’m a bit reserved. I think we’ve got to keep working and keep steadily kind of climbing our way forward. I think there’s a lot of good teams out there, so it’s really hard to get ahead of yourself with this Next-Gen car because it’s really all about nailing the setup and nailing the weekend as a whole, giving the right feedback, all those things.
Still have some work to do there on my end, but I think we’re very capable of winning at all the tracks. It’s just a matter of trying to put it all together.
I’m excited. I think we have opportunities there, and hopefully we capitalize.
Q. What does it mean that your team gave you that confidence going into staying out on those last 30 laps to get the win?WILLIAM BYRON: Yeah, I wasn’t worried about it at all because I felt like our car was just starting to handle really well. We were kind of catching the top four guys there, minus Kyle, and I felt like Kyle was probably lights out the best.
I felt like we were right there behind him.
Just trying to manage that, and I felt like when we stayed out, I wasn’t worried about the tires or anything. I just felt like I needed to nail the restarts, and I didn’t, and then I finally got a good one at the end.
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by NASCAR Hall of Famer Mr. Rick Hendrick. Mr. Hendrick got win No. 300. Tell us how it feels.
RICK HENDRICK: It feels good to get to 300. We’ve been thinking about it since 299.I’m proud of all the drivers that have driven at the company since we started because every one of them have participated in this 300 wins, so it’s really good to see William get it.
He’s had a heck of a year. The whole organization is proud because we put these marks — we have glass on the wall that every time we have a win, we put another flag up there. It’s good to get to 300.
Q. William, back at Phoenix in March, you said that your career is a constant evolution. Now as a six-time winner in 2023 and looking like a clear favorite to win the title, where does that evolution stand now?WILLIAM BYRON: Yeah, I mean, I think we’re still working on it, so I think there’s still ways to get better.
I felt like this year it’s easy to kind of look at the wins and be like, okay, we’re there, we’re doing everything we need to do, and we are, but we’ve got to keep working and keep improving.It’s kind of an evolution. I feel like we went through a little bit of a lull with the bigger racetracks, the high-speed tracks, just what balance I needed in the car. I think I was looking for a car that was a little too free. Just trying to figure out what that balance is and go fast with it. I felt like today we kind of did that.
I feel really good about the future, but we’ve got to go to the simulator on Tuesday or whatever and try and work on Vegas because we don’t have to focus on the next two.
Q. If I’d have told you when you met with William when he was 14 years old that he’d get you your 300th win and have six wins and locked into the next round of the Playoffs as a favorite, what would you have said?RICK HENDRICK: I think I would have said you’re crazy because he did walk up to me at JRM very determined — not cocky, but I’m going to drive for you one day. Then my neighbor told me, you said that Byron kid driving that truck. I said, that’s William. So I called him, and the rest is history.
But he’s such a great young man, but to be honest with you, with no more experience than he had and to step into Xfinity cars and do what he did there, what he did in the trucks, and how quick he’s learned, he’s a student, and he spends a lot of time in the simulator, and he’s got a work ethic — I don’t know if everybody knows this, but he went to the toughest private school in Charlotte, Country Day, at the same time he got his Eagle Scout badge, and he was taking courses at Liberty, and he won the Grand National series. Any one of those would have been pretty sporty. I don’t think I could have done any one of the four.
But that says a lot about his tenacity and his work ethic. So I’m real proud of him, and he’s — I’m just thinking about how he’s progressing and what the future looks like with he and Rudy together.
WILLIAM BYRON: I don’t know what to say to answer that. I think to your question, when I watched as a kid, like they were the standard, and I was a big Jimmie Johnson fan. So I think that as I progressed in my career, obviously wanted to be with Hendrick Motorsports.When he got with me when I was 18 years old, I think it was in July of that year, running the Truck Series, and I had a lot of questions of what I was going to do next, and he just gave me the confidence that he was going to take care of me, and I just — he trusted me, and I don’t know, I just appreciate that so much because I went through some struggles my first couple years and he would always encourage me and always pick me up.
It’s paying off now. We’ve got a great team, and starting to put it together.
Q. I want to talk to you about this track and the changes or your thoughts on this race this weekend and how this track seems like it changed. 22 lead changes among 13 drivers; it seemed to me like we were seeing some really good passing and really good racing going on despite the heat that I think was playing a bigger part than it would with cars being very slick, as well. Your thoughts on the track, and did it race differently this weekend than it has over the last few years?WILLIAM BYRON: I don’t know. It just seems like with this racetrack, it takes a long time for it to get good. It seems like we start the weekend and the track is real treacherous, there’s a lot of wrecks, and as we get further and further along in the weekend, it just gets better and better.I don’t know how to get there quicker, but it is pretty racy by the end, and there’s a lot of action on the restarts.
Yeah, I loved it, obviously, but yeah, I think it took a while for the track to come in for sure.
Q. Rick, I remember you guys going to Martinsville in 1984 and Jeff winning that race and how it was kind of all on the line right then. We get this done or maybe the door is shut. Now we fast forward and we’re talking about your 300th win. Can you talk about how the first one saved the day and catapulted you to this?RICK HENDRICK: Yeah, we didn’t have a sponsor, and the deal was Ritchie Petty was going to drive, and Kenny Rogers and everybody left me with no driver and no sponsor, so Harry — we talked to Jeff Bodine, and I think we wrecked at Darlington, and I said, Harry, we’ve got to quit. We don’t have any money. We’ll start back when we get some help.
You know once you shut down you’re not going to come back. He said, let’s go to Martinsville because Bodine is good there, and we went to Martinsville, and I wasn’t at the race that day.Yeah, I think about that a lot. The twists and turns in life that if you’d not been in the right place or hadn’t been in Atlanta to see Gordon, if I hadn’t been at JRM and William and then my next door neighbor who’s a friend of his dad’s calling me and said, hey, have you been watching this kid.So life is — we’ve been blessed. I think about it a lot, the drivers that I’ve had, and I really think the most rewarding thing to me is to see guys like Chase when I think I met him at 14 become a champion and William and Jeff and Jimmie Johnson and the crew chiefs.
Yeah, I’m very, very — I think about it all the time, had we not won that race, it wouldn’t be a Hendrick Motorsports, and it wouldn’t be 300 wins.
I’m very, very thankful for that.
Q. When did you know as a team owner that you guys had finally solidified enough, like okay, now I’m finally good to go? I was on the edge, we got the win. Did you immediately know, okay, we’re good to go on the big roll or was it later on you felt your team had the legs to be there for good?RICK HENDRICK: No, I’ll tell you, Randy Dorton — I wish Randy was here to see all this because his engine shop was going bust right beside us, and Harry’s, and we won three races that year. It was amazing. I went to Daytona, and the year before I went to Daytona, I think we finished 10th. I was standing on top of a motor home and couldn’t go in the garage area with Raymond Beadle. Then the next year I’m there.
But when we won three races and we won that last race, I think, and we got — after we got a partial sponsor and then we got Levi Garrett and they came on board, and then we got a call wanting me to run another car, and I knew Tim Richmond.
Once we started clicking like that and did some innovative things with two-car team sharing — yeah, I think about how close we were, but then I think about if you could come in the sport today with five employees, and Harry Hyde was making $500 a week and two of the other guys were volunteers, and that’s what we went to Daytona with.
From a very humble start, you think about what it takes today to come into this sport and be able to compete or win a race in your first year, let alone three races.I’m glad I don’t have to start now.
Q. Rick, obviously in four decades of fielding cars, it was win 1, win 100, 200, 269, now 300. At what point did win 300 become a goal?RICK HENDRICK: The 300 wasn’t a goal. 269 was a goal to tie and beat Petty’s record. That was a goal, and I never thought we’d get there, so we started counting down until we got to break that record.
Once we got to 269, then everybody started talking about 300.
We had a heck of a year in 2021, won a lot of races, and I guess we’ve won 10 this year with the Million Dollar Race. But it’s hard.
I’m not thinking about 350, I’ll tell you that. I’m going to enjoy 300 and see what happens. I’d like to win another championship.
Q. Mr. H, what are the intangibles for you to determine the people you’ve brought on to be a part of your organization, and secondly, how much does it mean to accomplish this milestone carrying on the dream that you and your father built back in 1984?RICK HENDRICK: Well, you know, I’m in the automobile business and I started that exactly like the racing. I had five or six employees of a little deal that was busted, and today we’ve got 11,000 employees and 100 dealerships. I don’t know how that happened, either, other than it’s people.The secret to any business you’re in is people. If you surround yourself with good people and take care of them, my top six guys in the automobile side have been with me a minimum of 25 years, and when I look at guys like Jeff Andrews and like I said, Randy Dorton — Randy Dorton had so much to do with building this organization because he was more than an engine builder. We attract good people, and we try to hire people and — we like to promote from within. Chad started on the 24 car as a tire changer. Alan has been with me that’s the crew chief on the 9, he was an engineer with Gary DeHart. So our guys have kind of grown up in the company, and we’ve kind of got a character and a way they work together.
It’s not easy to have four cars race each other, and tonight when I went out on the pavement to take a picture with all the teams, I felt for the other three guys because they wanted to win, but only one guy, and then I reminded them, all of you guys have contributed to 300. I mean, you’ve all — we wouldn’t have it without you.
So I think any business that you’re in, it’s about people. We take care of our people, and we treat everybody like a family. I grew up on a farm, and that’s one thing my dad taught me is you have to depend on your neighbors.
I’ve had that philosophy all of my adult working life.
Q. Mr. H, you mentioned Martinsville and your beginnings, and we talked about that before, but when we hear reports of charters at $40 million and things of that nature, what are your thoughts on that, and is that a sustainable business model when a charter typically brings probably $5 to $10 million in prize money a year?RICK HENDRICK: You know, it depends. It’s like going to a car auction. All you need is two people bidding on a car, and then it brings all the money.
Until someone sold and closed for that kind of money, it could go the other way just as quick. But thank NASCAR for coming up with a charter that gives us something of value that if we didn’t have it, our parts would be 10 cents on the dollar. So if you worked in the sport and you’ve got a charter and you want to retire or it’s time for you to get out, you should be able to get something — I think Bud Moore and Junior Johnson, those guys wished they had a charter because they put all their life into the sport. When it’s over, it’s like, what have you got to sell.
I think the charter is a great thing, and I think it’s going to be driven by the amount of people that want to get in the sport.
Q. How confident are you that the charter system is going to remain in place as you guys work through a future financial plan with NASCAR beyond next season?RICK HENDRICK: Well, I think the charters are going to be there. All indications are they will be there. We’re getting close, I think. I haven’t been in the negotiations, but I think they’re ramping up things. You might know more about that than I do.
But I spent a lot of time with Jim France when I was at the 24-hour race, and he wants to see the sport grow and go. He wants to build a fan base, wants to go to new tracks and do new things.I think NASCAR — I think we’ll get everything sorted out, and I think there will be charters. I don’t have any inkling that there’s not going to be charters.
Q. William, you talked earlier about — Rudy even talked about the inconsistency of results in the Next-Gen era because of the competition, yet here in the last six races you’ve won a couple times, five top 10s. You’ve put together a nice little stretch here. If you look at your season results, there was a good run of six, seven straight top 10s and there have been some runs where there haven’t been in terms of that. To have such a good run or solid run at this point with still six more races to go to the end of the season, at least four that significantly matter in terms of the championship, the next round in Phoenix, what’s the challenge or how difficult is it to maintain that because it doesn’t seem like people — like Rick is used to seeing Jeff scoring 20 straight top 10s or something like that. That just doesn’t happen.WILLIAM BYRON: Yeah, I think the results are really individual when they happen. You just have to be like super disciplined to get results. I feel like you can — because it is all — it’s all so close. I looked at the lap times from practice, and it was — the first-place guy was at 05 and the 30th place guy was at 40. It’s so hard.
I think you just have to be really disciplined to grind through the times that aren’t so good and get the balance of the car right and just make your way forward.
I honestly look at the last six races, I don’t think besides today and Watkins Glen were we like really, really contending, but we ended up with top 5s and top 10s. It’s just tough.I think you can easily — if you let your guard down going into a weekend, you can easily end up with a 15th to 20th place finish. It’s really trying to just approach each weekend as its own thing, and that’ll apply for us when we go to Vegas. When we get through Vegas, we’ll go to Homestead and approach it like it’s a completely different race.
Q. Since you talk about the grinding, and again, I understand you work really hard and you did last year to go as far as you did, is there more grinding when you look back at last year you could have done, or is that experience — for as difficult as it is, is there something you got out of that that’s helping you put together maybe an eighth-place finish or 12th-place finish or 15th-place finish or maybe getting a couple extra stage points?WILLIAM BYRON: Yeah, I think I just look back at my whole career and look at the moments that I just got too excited and jumped the gun and made a mistake.
I think last year even looking back at last year’s race here, just getting emotional, getting just caught up in the moment too much in terms of emotion and not really staying in the moment and making the right decisions.
I think this year has been different in that way. I find myself when I have chances to win, it’s almost calming. I feel like for me I kind of just stay patient, and I’ve worked really hard to manage those emotions that come up throughout the race.
Yeah, I think it is — for me it’s a grind mentally, I guess, more than physically, but it’s just the grind of kind of staying in it.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you to you both for coming in. Appreciate your time. Good luck next weekend.

Caruso Races to Quarterfinals to Stay in Championship Hunt

CHARLOTTE, NC (September 24, 2023) —- For the second Countdown race in a row 2022 NHRA Rookie of the Year Camrie Caruso and the Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro produced a strong qualifying effort and backed it up on race day. Caruso and her KB Titan powered Pro Stock team came off the trailer on Friday at her home track, zMAX Dragway, and posted the second quickest pass of the first qualifying session. It was a blistering 6.525 second run at 210.18 mph and it held up in the No. 2 spot through two more rounds on Saturday.

Camrie Caruso and Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro at zMAX Dragway, photo credit Innovation Creative Experts

Heading into race day Caruso had lane choice over veteran driver Chris McGaha and the second year pro did not take any chances. When the Christmas Tree flashed Caruso crushed the tree with a .023 reaction time launching her Tequila Comisario Camaro out in front of McGaha’s Camaro and the third generation drag racer never trailed in the race. Her winning time of 6.597 seconds easily outdistanced McGaha’s 6.639 second pass.
In the quarterfinals Caruso drew KB Titan Racing teammate Deric Kramer. Kramer got off the starting line first and that was enough of an advantage to hold off a charging Caruso at the finish line. Caruso had a solid .049 reaction time, but Kramer’s .024 second reaction proved to be the difference. The elapsed times at the finish line went Caruso’s way 6.580 to 6.596 seconds but the young driver was relegated to only two rounds of racing today.
“We have a great race car that is quick and consistent, so I am excited about that,” said Caruso, who won the Arizona Nationals earlier this season. “That was a close race with Deric and I know I can win races like that down the road. We are holding our own after two races and I feel really good heading to St. Louis.”
Caruso sits No. 9 in the Pro Stock standings less than two rounds out of the top five. A solid race in St. Louis could catapult Caruso right into the middle of the world championship battle.

Camrie Caruso and Tequila Chevrolet Camaro, photo by Innovation Creative Experts

“We have four races left and I want to go more rounds in St. Louis,” said Caruso. “I feel so much more comfortable during this Countdown than last year. These KB Titan Racing cars are awesome, and we have a great team. I want to make a move and I think we can do that in St. Louis.”
During her Pro Stock championship pursuit Caruso competed in Top Dragster this weekend driving an entry for sponsor Right Trailers. Caruso turned on three win lights today racing to the semifinals. The versatile driver has had success from the Junior Dragster ranks up through the Top Alcohol Dragster class. She has wheeled a variety of Pro Stock race cars to round wins and today’s effort produced the added benefit of additional track time. The second year pro will be back on track on Friday for the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway.
Qualifying Results
Q1: 6.525 sec, 210.18 mph; Qual. 2
Q2: 6.564 sec, 208.10 mph; Qual. 2
Q3: 6.578 sec, 206.92 mph; Qual. 2
Bonus Points: +2 (2nd quickest of Q1)
Race Results
First Round
Camrie Caruso, Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro, (.023), 6.597, 206.80 mph def. Chris McGaha, Harlow Sammons Racing Chevrolet Camaro, (.073), 6.639, 206.83 mph
First Round
Deric Kramer, BioFuel Chevrolet Camaro, (.024), 6.596, 208.39 mph def. Camrie Caruso, Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro, (.049), 6.580, 206.92 mph
Pro Stock Camping World Top Ten
1. Matt Hartford         2250
2. Erica Enders             2246
3. Dallas Glenn           2235
4. Greg Anderson       2189
5. Troy Coughlin Jr      2186
6. Aaron Stanfield      2165
7. Deric Kramer           2163
8. Kyle Koretsky          2151
9. Camrie Caruso        2122
10. Cristian Cuadra     2104

Burton Finishes 20th at Texas

September 24, 2023

Harrison Burton and the No. 21 DEX Imaging team battled to the end of Sunday’s AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway and came home with a 20th-place finish. It was the team’s 10th top-20 finish of the season.

As they have in the past three weeks, Burton and the team were able to find speed as the race went on and overcome a disappointing qualifying effort. On Sunday, Burton started 30th and had worked his way to 21st by the end of the first 80-lap Stage.

Burton and the team dropped back to 29th by the end of the second Stage but began moving forward again, making the most gains thanks to a two-tire stop at Lap 210. That allowed the No. 21 DEX Imaging team to move up to 14th.

Crew chief Jeremy Bullins made another successful strategy move when he elected to stay on the track when many others made pit stops at Lap 245, and that allowed Burton to restart from 12th place.

Over the remaining laps Burton ran inside the top 20, avoiding several incidents on the track. The DEX Imaging team made its final stop at Lap 257 during a caution period for a multi-car crash that Burton managed to avoid.

Burton restarted 20th and ended the race in that spot for his best finish since being paired with Bullins four races back.

The No. 21 team now turns its focus to Talladega Superspeedway and next Sunday’s YellaWood 500.

chevy racing–nascar–texas–post race

 Byron Takes Hendrick Motorsports to 300 All-Time NASCAR Cup Series Wins at Texas Motor SpeedwayClaims Berth to Round of Eight
William Byron won his sixth NASCAR Cup Series Race of the season to secure his spot in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Not only was it his sixth win of the season, it was Hendrick Motorsports’ 300th win overall. The victory secured a spot for Byron in the third round of the playoffs with two rounds to go. 

Leading the final six circuits of the opening race of the Round of 12 at Texas Motor Speedway, William Byron took the No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 team to its series-leading sixth NASCAR Cup Series win of the season. ·       The victory marked a milestone victory for Hendrick Motorsports with Byron delivering the organization its 300th all-time NASCAR Cup Series victory – all recorded with Chevrolet. ·       Byron’s triumph extended Chevrolet’s series-leading win count to 15 trips to victory lane in NASCAR’s premier series this season. ·       Chevrolet continues to lead the series with 17 NASCAR Cup Series victories at Texas Motor Speedway; and 848 all-time in NASCAR’s premier series. ·       Chevrolet drivers have recorded back-to-back victories playoff opening races this season, with Byron’s victory securing his spot into the Round of Eight. 
“On behalf of everyone at Chevrolet, congratulations to Rick Hendrick and the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization on reaching 300 wins in the NASCAR Cup Series,” said Jim Campbell, General Motors U.S. Vice President of Performance and Motorsports. “This milestone victory is a testament to the dedication and teamwork by everyone who has contributed to Hendrick Motorsports. As a longtime partner of the winningest organization in NASCAR Cup Series history, we are proud that all 300 Hendrick Motorsports wins have been in partnership with Chevrolet. We look forward to continuing to race together for wins in the NASCAR Cup series.”
TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL TOP-10 RESULTS:POS.   DRIVER1st      William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL12nd     Ross Chastain, No. 1 Worldwide Express Camaro ZL18th      Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Kubota Camaro ZL19th      Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Kroger / NOS Energy Drink Camaro ZL1  TOP-FIVE UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: POS.  DRIVER1.        William Byron (Chevrolet)2.       Ross Chastain (Chevrolet)3.        Bubba Wallace (Toyota)4.        Christopher Bell (Toyota)5.        Denny Hamlin (Toyota)  Race Two of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 will get underway at Talladega Superspeedway with the YellaWood 500 on Sunday, October 1, at 2 p.m. ET. Live coverage can be found on the NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
Ross Chastain, No. 1 Worldwide Express Camaro ZL1Finished: 2ndA runner-up finish after what seemed like kind of a major issue. That throttle position sensor went bad, went dead. First of all, tell us what that was like in the car.“It was terrible. You push the gas and it doesn’t have any gas. I noticed something on a few cautions like having the car off in third gear – clutching, dropped the clutch with the ignition on, and it kind of stumbled, but I thought I just had it too low of RPM.
Then I pitted and that pit stop is when it had already failed, and it wouldn’t go. I’m part throttle to get it fired, and it doesn’t think I’m doing anything.
From there, they walked me through it, and basically I just had to give it a lot of throttle. So the next pit stop for our final two-tire stop was just a whole lot of throttle. I’m sure the eardrums were blown out of everybody behind our pit box, but for our Worldwide Express Chevy, we were not fast enough to run second with two tires. We were with four.
Early in the race I thought we were one of the best cars, and I wish we could have raced with those guys. We just worked our way back with taking four tires a lot and some bad restarts on my side. But we had the speed and we showed it all weekend.
We did everything we needed to do, and at this race, if you follow the chart for running position is everything that the 1 team is about, and I love it.”
You feel confident headed to the next two races?“I don’t know about those. I only care about here, and I just want to run good at the track I’m at. When we go to Talladega and the Roval, we’ll just go try to perform like we did today. If it’s not looking good, just what does the next lap take – what does the next breath take. And whenever we do the right things, those races, they give out the same amount of points as this one, and we’ll go and race them the same way.”

Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Camaro ZL1Finished: 36th “Yeah, we had a loose wheel. It stinks.. it’s kind of been the way our year has gone. Coming off of turn two, it’s a little slick there getting up to speed. I didn’t really think it was a loose wheel, but it was really loose, which could have given me a little bit of a hint. But I got down into turns three and four, you can just see the wheel comes off. It’s unfortunate. We’ll go back to work – try to stay positive through the rest of the year and try to get a win for this No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy team.”
Was there any warning? “Coming off the flat and getting up to speed, I was a little free. I didn’t know what it was and then halfway down the backstretch, I was a little worried and then it just blew off when we got to the center of the corner.”

Kyle Larson, No. 5 Camaro ZL1Finished: 31stTell us about that hard racing with Bubba (Wallace) in turn two. Yeah, he did a good job to stay with me during the restart between three and four and all that. I tried to open up and have my shape into one. With these cars, you normally don’t get sucked around like that, so I wasn’t really expecting that and thought that I would be fine. I just lost it and crashed. 
Pretty bummed, but happy for William (Byron) and happy for Mr. Hendrick for 300 wins, which is incredible. So, great night overall for our organization, and great for William and our team, too. We had a super-fast Chevy today. We have had a fast car for every race in the playoffs to start, so we will go to Talladega and try to have a good day and have some good fortune.”

Kyle Busch, No. 8 3CHI Camaro ZL1Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident at the end of Stage One. Finished: 34th For a moment, did you just feel like it was debris on your tires that you were feeling? “I have no idea. It felt really good when we came off of pit road after that green-flag stop. The car had good grip in it. We had those couple of yellows back-to-back and we restarted on the outside. I felt like I had a flat right front (tire) and I was going to come to pit road. I second-guessed it and said ‘I don’t think so, man. It’s just something is wrong.. something isn’t right, but it’s not a flat’. And just all on its own, just turned into the bottom of the race track in turn one and it just swapped ends on me. That’s the rear, not the front, not having grip.. so I just don’t know. 
I hate it for everyone on this No. 8 3CHI Chevrolet team. I felt like our car was for sure a top-five or top-10 car today. That right there, I just said it two laps before that – I got up on the high-side and was like, you know what, I just need to stop and just run the bottom.. make laps here, just finish the stage and it swaps ends on me.”
William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1 – Race Winner QuotesHow did you steal that one on that final restart?“Man, that’s badass. I finally got a good restart at the end. It was hot today. I think it’s finally hitting me. But No. 300 for Hendrick Motorsports. Kyle (Larson) really deserved this one. Those guys were really fast all day, and hate it for them at the end.
Man, it was awesome to get our car to the front. I loved clean air. We just fought through traffic all day and our No. 24 Liberty University Chevy was just tight back in traffic but had good pace. 
This was one of those hot days. It felt like I was playing football and went through two-a-days, just wanted to quit. It was a grind all day and our team was there at the end. I’m really proud of this one as hot as it was and as tough as it was. We’ll take it and go on to the next round.”
Rick Hendrick gave you a shot as a young driver. What does bringing him win No. 300 mean for Hendrick Motorsports?“I don’t know if I can even put it into words. I was such a Hendrick Motorsports fan growing up as a kid – watching Jimmie Johnson and became really fond of Jeff Gordon as I got to know him. Just thankful for all the people and men and women back at Hendrick Motorsports, and Mr. Hendrick for his investment in me and telling me at 17 years old that he was going to take me to Cup racing. Just appreciate everything he’s done for me. This is awesome. We’re definitely going to enjoy this one.”
Now you and the No. 24 team are one step from a potential championship run. You don’t have to worry about Talladega and the Roval; how cool is that?“Yeah, it’s cool. We’ve just been kind of ‘Steady Eddie’ through the first three, four races, and we haven’t shown any flashes. But today I thought we had a good car if we could have just gotten to the front, and at the end there we were really fast.”
How about these Texas fans who stood out here in 100-degree heat this afternoon?“Yeah, they’re better than I would be. Appreciate all you guys coming out. It was a really good crowd for as hot as it was. We’ve got some of the best fans in Texas. I love it here. Look forward to coming back next year.”
Justin Haley, No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Camaro ZL1Finished: 13th“We brought a fast No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Camaro ZL1 to Texas. I was super happy with the handling from the start; we just started getting a little tight on the shorter runs. Once we overcame a pit-road penalty and had a longer run, we were so fast running similar times to the leader. It’s not quite the finish we had here last year, but it was still a really good day.”

Carson Hocevar, No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Camaro ZL1Finished: 16th“Overall, it was a solid day for the No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Chevy team. We got a good result there at the end. We were a top-10 to top-15 car all day. We either had a loose wheel or just got really loose and I hit the fence. I just made a mistake on my end. I hit the fence and knocked the toe link in and bent a lot of stuff. I was in survival mode and started to figure out how to drive it with everything broken and moving around in the rear-end. On the last restart, we gained a lot of spots that we really shouldn’t have on paper. But I’m really proud of this group. We had a really fast Chevy. Finishing 16th was better than we probably should have ended it with how torn up this thing is.”

Erik Jones, No. 43 Camaro ZL1Finished: 30th “We had a fast Chevy all weekend. The No. 5 (Kyle Larson) was really checked out and running second to him based on what happened. So, we pitted there and it obviously put us pretty far back. I was just aggressive there to try and get some positions back, and just got high and out of the groove and into the wall. It’s a narrow groove up there – I was forcing the issue and I just used too much of it. 
It was unfortunate. The car has been fast week in and week out for us, and we just have to keep working and we will have days like this. At the end of the day, it’s just racing and it doesn’t always work out. We had a quick car, and I appreciate that. We will keep working at it.”

Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Kubota Camaro ZL1Finished: 8th“It was an up-and-down kind of day for the No. 99 Kubota Chevy team. I felt like the car had potential, but we just continued to work on the balance and try to make it a little bit better. We had a couple of issues on pit road. I made a mistake coming onto pit road on a green-flag stop. I felt like the car was a top-10 car, and overall, it was a good day for our team.”
STAGE ONE ·       The Round of 12 for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs got underway at Texas Motor Speedway with the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400. Four Team Chevy drivers took the green-flag from a top-10 position in the starting lineup, including two of the manufacturer’s playoff contenders – Ross Chastain (fifth) and Kyle Busch (seventh). ·       The first caution of the day came at lap 43 for Team Chevy’s Austin Dillon, who lost the right-rear wheel on his Camaro ZL1 as the driver was entering turn three, with damage forcing the team’s early departure from the race. ·       Trouble continued for the Richard Childress Racing stable when a caution on lap 74 involved Dillon’s teammate Kyle Busch. The Team Chevy driver brought his No. 8 3CHI Camaro ZL1 to pit road as the team went to work, but with heavy damage deemed unrepairable, the team took their Chevrolet to the garage to retire from the race. ·       With a one-lap dash to the end of the stage, a handful of teams at the top of the leaderboard elected a pit strategy to stay out during the caution, including Team Chevy playoff contender William Byron. Choosing the low lane, Byron took the restart in the third position, ultimately taking the green-white checkered flag in the fourth position to lead Chevrolet to the end of Stage One. ·       Choosing a similar pit strategy, Byron’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott also took a top-10 finish in the stage – driving his No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Camaro ZL1 to a sixth-place finish in the stage. 

STAGE TWO·       Collecting top-five points in Stage One, Crew Chief Rudy Fugle called Byron down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Rejoining the field behind the cars that opted to pit prior to the stage end, Byron took the green-flag for the start of Stage Two from the 29th position. ·       On a different pit strategy than his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Larson visited pit road under the caution just before the end of Stage One – taking four tires, fuel and a round of adjustments. After an 11th-place finish in the stage, Larson remained out when pit road opened under the stage break. Electing the inside lane at the choose cone, the Team Chevy driver took the green-flag for the start of Stage Two from the ninth position. ·       The 85-lap stage saw only one caution, coming on lap 111 for Team Chevy’s Corey LaJoie. Running in the third position at the time of the caution, Larson reported to his team that he was battling loose-handling conditions on his No. 5 Camaro ZL1. Crew Chief Cliff Daniels called Larson to pit road under the caution period for four tires, fuel and a round of adjustments – rejoining the field in the seventh position with 47 laps to go in the stage. ·       Running the fastest laps in the second-half of the stage, Larson progressively closed the gap to the leaders – taking the lead with 23 laps to go in the stage. Never looking back, the former champion led the field to the conclusion of Stage Two for the team’s fifth stage win of the season. ·       Team Chevy Stage Two: Top-101st      Kyle Larson, No. 5 Camaro ZL12nd      Erik Jones, No. 43 vs.everybody Camaro ZL16th      Chase Elliott, No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Camaro ZL18th      Ross Chastain, No. 1 Worldwide Express Camaro ZL110th     Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Kubota Camaro ZL1

FINAL STAGE / POST-RACE NOTES·       Leading Chevrolet with a one-two finish at the end of Stage Two, Kyle Larson and Erik Jones brought their Camaro ZL1’s to pit road for a scheduled stop under the stage break. The race off pit road saw Larson and Jones in the top-two positions – taking the front-row for the start of the final stage. ·       The Team Chevy drivers quickly defended the top-two positions in the opening lap of the final stage, with Larson driving his No. 5 Camaro ZL1 to a three-second lead with 75 laps to go. ·       With Larson continuing to pace the field by a strong margin, the eighth caution of the day came out with 59 laps to go. With the majority of the field coming to pit road, a repeat performance by Larson and Jones’ pit crews put the Team Chevy drivers back out front – leading the field to the green with 53 laps to go in the event. ·       Again taking advantage of a front-row starting spot for the restart, Larson took his Chevrolet to the lead at the drop of the green-flag. Continuing to pace the field, Larson continued to build the gap back to fellow Team Chevy driver Jones in the runner-up position – holding nearing a five-second lead with 32 laps to go. ·       Continuing in the top position, a caution came out with 25 circuits remaining. With pit road open, Larson made a quick call to forgo a visit to pit road with a strong presence behind him opting to make a stop. Running in the second position at the time of the caution, Crew Chief Dave Elenz called for a four-tire and fuel stop for the No. 43 Camaro ZL1, with the team taking the 15th position for the restart with 20 laps to go. ·       Battling for the lead on the restart, Larson got loose entering turn one, forcing the No. 5 Camaro ZL1 into the wall. With too much damage to repair, Larson’s strong day came to a close. ·       Choosing the low lane for the restart with six laps to go, Byron made a power move from the third position – taking the lead with five laps to go. Quickly pulling to more than an one-second lead, Byron continued to pace the field to the checkered flag – collecting his series-leading sixth NASCAR Cup Series win of the season. 

chevy racing–nhra–zmax post race

Capturing his first win of the 2023 NHRA season, Greg Anderson raced to his 102nd career Pro Stock victory, as well as Chevrolet’s 378th, over Dallas Glen in an all-KB Titan Racing Chevrolet Camaro SS final round at zMAX Dragway.Racing to victory, Greg Stanfield defeated Allen Johnson to take Chevrolet to the Winner’s Circle in Factory X with his run of 7.100 ET at 190.70 MPH.Racing to his fourth final round versus Tasca, III, Robert Hight finishes runner-up for the second time this year in his fifth final round of the season as he marches on in the Countdown for the Championship.Earning his fifth No. 1 Qualifier of the season, and 82nd in his career, Robert Hight and the Cornwell Tools/AAA Chevrolet team topped the leaderboard with his qualifying effort of 3.824 ET at 330.15 MPH.Erica Enders set the pace on the Pro Stock field, earning her fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season with her run of 6.509 ET at 210.18 MPH.
CONCORD, North Carolina (September 24, 2023) – Chevrolet claimed two Wally trophies at Charlotte’s betway NHRA Carolina Nationals Sunday at zMAX Dragway, with Greg Anderson capturing his 102nd career Pro Stock victory, as well as the Bowtie brand’s 378th Pro Stock victory, and Greg Stanfield racing to the win in his COPO Camaro in the Factory X category. Racing his way to the final round, Anderson, a Pro Stock veteran in his 174th career final round, captured his 102nd win in the category over KB Titan Racing teammate Dallas Glenn, with his fast pass of 6.590 ET at 206.73 MPH to Glenn’s 6.554 ET at 203.23 MPH. It was the effort that captured not only the win light, but also Chevrolet’s 378th Pro Stock win and 259th in the Camaro. A home race for KB Titan Racing and Anderson, he said of the emotional win, “It’s huge. If I did what I did last week again this week, I was out, I was done. I think I saved a lot of people’s bacon today. That other team (teammate Dallas Glenn and the RAD Torque Systems team) is bad to the bone right now and fast as can be. Man, we are really racing tough on Sunday. You saw that these last two weeks we put two KB Titan (Racing) cars in the finals. This time it was my turn, and I had a heck of a Chevrolet hot rod.” “Yeah. My dad has been trying to win here for Rick (Hendrick) for three years now, so this is big,” said Crew Chief, and son of Greg, Cody Anderson. “A big win, a big Playoff win. We’re not done yet. We’re here, and the car’s running great.” Representing Chevrolet in the Funny Car final round, Robert Hight, driver of the Cornwell Tools/AAA Chevrolet Camaro SS machine, started his race day near Charlotte from the top position of the leaderboard after qualifying No. 1 for the 82nd time of his career and fifth of the year. Taking a bye run in the first round, then defeating Paul Lee in Round 2 and Alex Laughlin in the semifinals, he squared off versus Bob Tasca, III. With Tasca moving first on the tree slightly over Hight, a close race saw Tasca defeating Hight by just .001 seconds and forcing Robert to runner-up despite a strong effort run of 3.923 ET at 326.95 MPH. “We wanted to win this thing, to have back-to-back victories but it just wasn’t in the cards today,” said Hight. “This Cornwell Tools Chevrolet team deserves all the credit still though, for the turnaround that they did from Friday into Saturday and then to come out here on race day in completely different conditions and make it to the finals, they’ve done a great job, Jimmy Prock and Thomas and Nate tuning, they’ve all worked hard.” Making another appearance on track, Greg Stanfield raced to the final round in Factory X with his Chevrolet COPO Camaro machine, to face Allen Johnson. With Johnson getting the jump, Stanfield was able to race around him to get the win light and Wally with a strong lap in his Chevy at 7.100 ET at 190.70 MPH. With only four races remaining in the 2023 season, NHRA next heads to World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis for the NHRA Midwest Nationals, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2023. In competition and representing Chevrolet, Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and FlexJet Factory Stock Showdown take to the track that weekend. Broadcast of Sunday’s eliminations air at 3 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). Coverage streams live throughout the weekend on, and is available via AppleTV, Android TV, and Roku devices.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING (QUOTES):Brittany Force, driver of the Flav-R-Pac/Monster Energy Chevrolet Top Fuel dragster for John Force Racing:This Flav-R-Pac / Monster Energy team is leaving Charlotte sitting No. 6 in the points standings after a strange, tough weekend for everyone out here. We were trying to move up in points and make progress and we had two out of three good qualifying runs to finish fourth when it was all said and done. Completely swapped conditions into race day, from a cool killer track to a hot track. There were a lot of adjustments and changes for the tuners to make but in round one we had a solid run down there at 3.73 and in the second round we couldn’t get off the line and it was a pedal fest with my teammate Austin Prock. Luckily, it was against a teammate so he got to move on. Just wish it had been in the final round.” Austin Prock, driver of the Montana Brand/Rocky Mountain Twist Chevrolet Top Fuel dragster for John Force Racing:“A good healthy points day for us. It was fun to go some rounds today with this Montana Brand/Rocky Mountain Twist team. Any way that you can get those flashing win lights makes you feel good. For me, getting to recover the race car out of tire smoke is a lot of fun and I got a few shots at it today. Leaving Charlotte with our heads up, we’ve got some momentum going into St. Louis next weekend.” John Force, driver of the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car for John Force Racing:“Not the day I thought we’d have after how qualifying went. It’s tough, but we’ll move forward. Still four races left and things are tight in the points. A lot of upsets first round, there’s a lot of variables. We aren’t out of it, just have to keep our heads down and keep working hard.” Robert Hight, driver of the Cornwell Tools/AAA Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car for John Force Racing:“We wanted to win this thing, to have back-to-back victories but it just wasn’t in the cards today. This Cornwell Tools Chevrolet team deserves all the credit still though, for the turnaround that they did from Friday into Saturday and then to come out here on race day in completely different conditions and make it to the finals, they’ve done a great job, Jimmy Prock and Thomas and Nate tuning, they’ve all worked hard. When you have partners like Cornwell Tools and Chevrolet and AAA, Flav-R-Pac, we’ve got everything we need to do the job. The guys do the hard work and they perfect what they do, that’s how you win the close races. We were in another final and that’s what you’ve got to do to win a championship, just keep going rounds but it’s going to take wins, too.” Erica Enders, driver of the Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage/SCAG/Melling Chevrolet Camaro SS Pro Stock for Elite Motorsports:“It took a hard left on me, and just blew smooth through the clutch in low gear. That’s where we get all of our momentum and we make all of that torque down low, and we utilize it the best that we can. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t our day today in Charlotte, but that’s okay. JHG has had an awesome performance here. I was the lone soldier left for Elite Motorsports, and when usually we are, we survive. But today’s not the day. We have four more left. It ain’t over, it ain’t even close.”
GREG ANDERSON, driver of the Chevrolet Camaro SS Pro Stock – Charlotte 2 Winner’s Press Conference:YOUR 102ND CAREER WIN, FIRST OF THE SEASON, AND FOURTH AT ZMAX DRAGWAY. YOU MOVE FIFTH INTO THE POINTS. GO OVER YOUR RACE DAY…“It was incredible. It was my day. I haven’t had many “my days” this year. It’s definitely sweet. To do it here at Charlotte, my home track, with all of my family here, my friends, all my support, the Hendrick group, it’s perfect. It’s totally perfect. I have a couple of storybook wins last year. This one is right up there. It’s been a long year for me. My team has been doing a great job all year long, and I’m very, very proud of that. But, just, sheesh. I wish I could’ve won one. It’s been a struggle, and it’s been a tick off each race. We’re capable of winning, we just haven’t been able to make four perfect runs down the racetrack. The car didn’t either made a mistake, or the driver didn’t made a mistake. We did that today. We’re four and zero. We did not make any mistakes. The car was fantastic and I didn’t screw it up. Here we are in the winner’s circle at the betway Carolina Nationals. Feels pretty dang good. It’s been a long year for me, but I never give up. I could definitely see that things were trending in the last couple of months. We’re climbing the mountain and being a race winning car again. We weren’t that the first couple of months, but the last couple of months, we’ve had a car that could win races. We just had to put everything together. When you’ve got the depth I’ve got on my race team, it’s hard to win when you’re racing against a great group like Elite Motorsports. It’s tough out there. It’s hard to win. Especially when the Playoffs come around, everyone brings their A-Game. You saw it last weekend when everyone’s effort ratcheted up. It’s tougher yet when everyone’s to try and race and win. We found way to race better than they did on Sunday. We made it a final round with two KB Titan (Racing) cars last weekend, and again this weekend at zMAX Dragway. Great, great day. Couldn’t be prouder of my guys. What a day. Couldn’t be prouder than my guys, it was a team effort all day long. Beautiful weekend, fantastic weekend, couldn’t be proud than to do it here.” ARE WE SEEING TODAY THE RESULT OF WHAT YOU’VE BEEN WORKING FOR?“I hope so, yes. We didn’t back into a win today; we earned a win today. We earned one. We earned one. We did a better job racing than everybody. We’re peaking at the right time, without a doubt. With Dallas (Glenn) in the final right alongside me, it’s not just one car of our six or seven car fleet, it’s all of them. Pretty safe feeling, pretty great feeling. It’s going to be an exciting Countdown. I’m sure today scrambled the points up quite a bit, and it put a lot of people right back in the hunt, myself being one of them. I’m not out of it. I certainly felt like that a little bit last week, and if I would have had another weekend this weekend like last weekend, I would be out of it. We climbed the mountain this week, and we’re back in the game, back in the hunt. We’ve got four races to go and at least 10 cars that can win this thing.” TALK ABOUT THAT ‘GO OUT AND WIN MENTALITY.’ HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT THIS WEEKEND?“I think so. It’s obviously what I need. I lose focus of that every once in a while. But you’ve got to get tough; you’ve got to tell yourself you can do this. You’re not over the hill; you’re not washed up. Sometimes you want to think that way, and sometimes it looks that way. Today it didn’t look that way, and today I didn’t think that way. This year, I’ve been asked “can you win anymore?” Today proved I can. So great, great day. Cody (Anderson), you’re just going to have to wait a bit longer.” HOW’S THAT SWAGGER?“You’re only as good as your last race, and I know that better than anybody. Any race win could be your last race win. It’s 102 today, but you never know. You never know if there will ever be 103. I’m sure as hell going to try to make it 103, but you never know. You’ve got to appreciate every day and every opportunity you’ve got, and I had an opportunity today and we made the most of it.” WAS THERE A POINT TODAY YOU JUST FELT IT WOULD BE YOUR DAY?“To be honest, even after the first round when the win light came on, I haven’t seen a lot of win lights lately, so yeah. I told myself after first round, ‘maybe things would be different today.’ You can turn on a win light, so I think first round was a great confidence booster for me, and that sounds kind of silly, but I’m telling you in this class, you can get beat first round or final round, like many times you go out there. There are so many guys that can win. Unless the wheels fall off, you can absolutely get your butt whipped any round you go up there in this class. That’s what great about it, and that’s why you feel so good when a win light comes on. To have four win lights come on in one day, it seems like a long time since I’ve seen that happen. But it happened today.”
Round 1 Recap:Top Fuel:No. 10 Austin Prock defeated No. 5 Josh Hart with his run of 3.722 ET at 323.27 MPH to Hart’s 5.109 ET at 139.18 MPH.No. 4 Brittany Force defeated No. 11 Clay Millican with her run of 3.736 ET at 332.67 MPH to Millican’s 3.777 ET at 330.47 MPH.
Funny Car:No. 1 Robert Hight moved on to Round 2 on a bye run with a pass of 7.473 ET at 87.25 MPH.  No. 5 John Force fell to No. 13 Alex Laughlin after smoking the tires early on the run.   Pro Stock:No. 1 Erica Enders defeated No. 16 Mason McGaha with her run of 6.544 ET at 209.65 MPH to McGaha’s 6.629 ET at 205.82 MPH.No. 8 Matt Hartford defeated No. 9 Fernando Cuadra, Jr. with a run of 8.162 ET at 163.87 MPH to Cuadra, Jr.’s 11.895 ET at 74.59 MPH. No. 4 Bo Butner, III fell to No. 13 Christian Cuadra with his run of 6.570 ET at 208.14 MPH to Cuadra’s 6.584 ET at 208.59 MPH.No. 3 Greg Anderson defeated No. 12 Jerry Tucker on a run of 6.559 ET at 208.65 MPH to Tucker’s 6.604 ET at 209.14 MPH.No. 2 Camrie Caruso defeated No. 15 Chris McGaha with her run of 6.597 ET at 206.80 MPH to McGaha’s 6.639 ET at 206.36 MPH.No. 7 Kyle Koretsky fell to No. 10 Deric Kramer on his run of 6.586 ET at 207.66 MPH to Kramer’s 6.576 ET at 208.59 MPH.No. 3 Aaron Stanfield defeated No. 14 Eric Latino with his run of 6.596 ET at 208.81 ET to Latino’s 6.674 ET at 207.02 MPH.No. 6 Troy Coughlin, Jr. fell to No. 11 Dallas Glenn on his pass of 6.569 ET at 209.36 MPH to Glenn’s 6.580 ET at 207.78 MPH.
Round 2:Top Fuel:Prock defeated teammate B. Force in a pedal fest after both smoke the tires early on the run, with Prock running 4.655 ET at 223.17 MPH to Force’s 4.834 ET at 195.90 MPH. Funny Car:Hight defeats Lee with a run of 3.963 ET at 314.68 MPH to Lee’s 4.643 ET at 176.70 ET while smoking tires mid-track. Pro Stock:Glenn defeated Stanfield with his run of 6.590 Et at 207.75 MPH to Stanfield’s 7.660 ET at 140.36 MPH.Enders defeated Hartford 6.567 ET at 208.68 MPH to Hartford’s 6.564 ET at 209.46 MPH.Anderson defeated Cuadra with a pass of 6.561 ET at 209.17 MPH to Cuadra’s 9.692 ET at 88.26 MPH and get loose mid-track.Kramer defeats Caruso with his run of 6.596 ET at 208.39 MPH to Caruso’s 6.580 ET at 206.92 MPH.
Semifinals:Top Fuel:Prock fell to Salinas after running 4.189 ET at 305.77 MPH to Salinas’ 3.898 ET at 257.68 MPH. Funny Car:Hight defeated Laughlin with a pass of 3.934 ET at 325.22 MPH to Laughlin’s 4.200 ET at 305.77 MPH. Pro Stock:Glenn defeats Kramer after Kramer redlights on the start.Anderson defeats Enders on his run of 6.546 ET at 209.30 MPH to Enders’ 6.590 ET at 208.97 MPH. Finals:Funny Car:Hight falls to Tasca, III with his run of 3.932 ET at 326.95 MPH to Tasca, III’s 3.933 ET at 329.26 MPH. Pro Stock:Anderson defeated Glenn with his run of 6.590 ET at 206.73 MPH to Glenn’s 6.554 ET at 203.23 MPH.


CHARLOTTE, NC (September 24, 2023) — The Countdown has long been recognized by regular season Top Fuel champion Justin Ashley and the Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster team as a marathon and not a sprint. After an early exit today at the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals, Ashley who will leave the second race of the Countdown in third place is eager to hit his stride next weekend at the NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis. Coming into race day Ashley was qualified No. 7 after opening qualifying as the No. 3 Top Fuel dragster, collecting a qualifying bonus point on Friday night for his 3.698 second pass at 331.61 mph.

Justin Ashley and Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster at zMAX Dragway, photo by Gary Nastase/Auto Imagery

“We felt really good coming out of qualifying,” said Ashley, a six-time Top Fuel winner in 2023. “Mike Green and Tommy DeLago do an excellent job with this Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster week in and week out.” 
In the opening round Ashley had lane choice over No. 8 qualifier Leah Pruett and Tony Stewart Racing backed dragster. The team had to wait for the entire Top Fuel field to run before they were able to make their first pass. Both lanes appeared to be even with winners coming from the right and left side of the Christmas Tree.
Ashley and the Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster, which also receives backing from KATO Fastening Systems, Mac Tools, Lucas Oil and Chip Lofton’s, was first off starting line. As soon as more power was transferred to the track from his 11,000-horsepower race car his Goodyear slicks lost traction and he was forced to pedal his dragster, lifting off the throttle and then reengaging to pick up valuable speed and momentum. Pruett was on a smooth run and Ashley was unable to track her down before the finish line. She made her quickest pass of the weekend, 3.708 seconds, while Ashley slowed to a 4.922 second pass and only 152.99 mph.
“We launched with a lot of power and were on a nice pass ,” said Ashley. “But we came up short and Leah got the job done. This a part of racing and understand the strength of competition. We are a resilient group that thrives when the pressure mounts. We have four more races and plenty of time to continue progressing forward.’ 
Yesterday Ashley was able to pick up a win for the Wyakin Foundation, the charity of choice for Ashley and his Phillips Connect team, when he was presented a check for $2,500 from Toyota as part of the Supra Showdown event. Throughout the season Ashley and the rest of the Toyota Top Fuel drivers battled their Toyota Funny Car teammates in head-to-head races leading up to this weekend. Antron Brown took the final win light over Ron Capps to secure victory for Ashley and team Top Fuel.
“It was great to raise money for the Wyakin Foundation as well as a lot of other great organizations through the Supra Showdown all year,” said Ashley. “I love representing Toyota and I am grateful for the opportunity to do so. Certain things are bigger than racing and charity is one of them.”
Ashley and the Phillips Connect Toyota team will be back on track on Friday at the NHRA Midwest Nationals from World Wide Technology Raceway.
Qualifying Results
Q1: 3.698 sec, 331.61 mph; Qual. 3
Q2: 10.369 sec, 76.09 mph; Qual. 3
Q3: 4.534 sec, 166.15 mph; Qual. 7
Bonus Points: +1 (3rd quickest of Q1)
Race Results
First Round

Leah Pruett, Rinnai dragster, (3.708), 3.708, 333.08 mph def.  Justin Ashley, Phillips Connect Toyota dragster, (.063), 4.922, 152.99 mph
Top Fuel Top Ten

1. Doug Kalitta                         2284
2. Steve Torrence                   2221
3. Justin Ashley                      2216
4. Leah Pruett                         2208
5. Antron Brown                     2192
6. Brittany Force                     2178
7. Mike Salinas                       2165
8. Austin Prock                        2130
9. Shawn Langdon                  2101
10. Tony Schumacher             2089


CHARLOTTE, NC (September 24, 2023) — Two races into the NHRA Countdown and Top Fuel championship contender Josh Hart is looking at a serious challenge to secure his first world championship driving the R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster. The team owner and driver from Ocala, Florida, continued his qualifying dominance at zMAX Dragway posting a strong run in the final session that jumped the two-time Top Fuel national event winner to the No. 5 spot on the ladder. It was a serious 3.680 second pass at 332.59 mph to close out his first two days on track and it earned him a qualifying bonus point as the third quickest run of the session.

 Josh Hart and R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster launch at zMAX Dragway, photo credit Auto Imagery

Heading into the first round Hart and the R+L Carriers Top Fuel team drew a tough match-up against Austin Prock. This would be the third time the Top Fuel team matched up and Hart was looking to extend his perfect record to 3-0 over the third generation drag racer. Conditions swung from cool to hot overnight and Hart’s Ron Douglas-tuned 11,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragster was ready to go rounds.
Hart’s R+L Carriers team came out on track in the second pair of race cars to start the day and he immediately grabbed a starting line reaction time advantage, .029 to .068 seconds. The advantage had Hart out in front as they accelerated past the Christmas Tree and as they closed in on half-track Hart’s race car briefly overpowered the warmer race surface robbing him of much needed momentum. Prock jumped in front and never gave up the lead, winning with a 3.722 second pass to Hart’s off-the-pace 5.109 second run. It was Prock’s quickest pass of the weekend against Hart’s surprising effort.
“We tuned this R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster up over the first two days to make a great cool temperature run and we got that on Saturday night,” said Hart. “We needed that data because we are headed to tracks at the end of the Countdown where you will need to be able to run low. We have that data, which is great, but we missed it in the first round when it warmed up. There are four races left which means there are 16 win lights potentially in our future.”
While he was looking to win his second Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals Top Fuel title today at the end of the day Hart will leave Charlotte in twelfth place in the Top Fuel standings. With a variety of drivers losing early the deficit to close the gap on the leaders is not insurmountable by any means. The R+L Carriers team will be back on track at World Wide Technology Raceway for the Midwest Nationals in five days.
“The good news is we can put this race behind us and start focusing on the Midwest Nationals in St. Louis,” said Hart. “This team is too good to get discouraged by our start in the Countdown. We just need to keep working hard and we will get it figured out.”
Qualifying Results
Q1: 3.723 sec, 327.59 mph; Qual. 7
Q2: 3.751 sec, 310.84 mph; Qual. 8
Q3: 3.680 sec, 332.59 mph; Qual. 5
Bonus Points: +1 (3rd quickest of Q3)
Race Results
First Round

Austin Prock, Montana Brand Rocky Mountain Twist dragster, (.068), 322, 323.27 mph def. 
Josh Hart, R+L Carriers dragster, (.029), 5.109, 139.18 mph
Top Fuel Top Ten

1. Doug Kalitta                         2284
2. Steve Torrence                   2221
3. Justin Ashley                       2216
4. Leah Pruett                         2208
5. Antron Brown                     2192
6. Brittany Force                     2178
7. Mike Salinas                       2165
8. Austin Prock                        2130
9. Shawn Langdon                  2101
10. Tony Schumacher             2089

11. Clay Millican                     2082
12. Josh Hart                          2066


CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 24, 2023) – Robert Hight and the Cornwell Tools / AAA Chevrolet Camaro SS team raced to their fifth final round of the season and second runner-up finish Sunday at the betway NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team made a semifinal appearance while Brittany Force and the Flav-R-Pac / Monster Energy team raced to the quarterfinals and John Force with the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS team had a first-round exit.
Coming in as the No. 1 qualifiers, Robert Hight and the Cornwell Tools team earned a first-round bye. It would be a throwaway run with Hight going red and the Cornwell Tools Chevy smoking the tires. In the second round, Hight faced Paul Lee. With cylinders out on the Camaro, Hight managed to hold on for a 3.963-second pass at 314.68 mph defeating Lee’s 4.643 at 176.70.
Hight would take on Funny Car up-and-comer Alex Laughlin in the semifinals. The Cornwell Tools team continued their impressive performance with a stout 3.934-second pass at 325.22 mph to defeat Laughlin’s 4.200 at 305.77 setting Hight up for the 101st final round of his career and fifth at the Carolina Nationals.
In the finals, Hight had a solid 3.932-second pass at 326.95 mph but with a .091-second reaction time, it wasn’t enough for Tasca’s 3.933 at 329.26 and a .050 reaction time, giving Tasca the win on a holeshot.
“We wanted to win this thing, to have back-to-back victories but it just wasn’t in the cards today,” Hight said. “This Cornwell Tools team deserves all the credit still though, for the turnaround that they did from Friday into Saturday and then to come out here on race day in completely different conditions and make it to the finals, they’ve done a great job, Jimmy Prock and Thomas and Nate tuning, they’ve all worked hard. When you have partners like Cornwell Tools, Chevrolet, AAA, and Flav-R-Pac, we’ve got everything we need to do the job. The guys do the hard work and they perfect what they do, that’s how you win the close races. We were in another final and that’s what you’ve got to do to win a championship, just keep going rounds but it’s going to take wins, too.”
Austin Prock and the Montana Brand team opened race day with a takedown of Josh Hart in the first round. Prock would have a clean 3.722-second pass at 323.27 mph to Hart’s 5.109 at 139.18 after smoking the tires. With the win, Prock and the Montana Brand dragster would see Brittany Force and the Flav-R-Pac team in the second round. It would be a pedal fest for the John Force Racing teammates, Prock would manage to get his dragster hooked back up quicker for a 4.655 at 223.17 while Force would manage a 4.834 at 189.18.
In the semifinals, Prock found himself lined up against the No. 1 qualifier, track record holder, and the first dragster to 300 mph at the eighth mile, Mike Salinas. Prock would have to pedal his way to a 4.189-second pass at 305.77 mph but it wouldn’t be enough for Salinas’ 3.898 at 257.68.
“A good healthy points day for us. It was fun to go some rounds today with this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team. Anyway that you can get those flashing win lights makes you feel good,” Prock said. “For me, getting to recover the race car out of tire smoke is a lot of fun and I got a few shots at it today. Leaving Charlotte with our heads up, we’ve got some momentum going into St. Louis next weekend.”
Brittany Force and the Flav-R-Pac team had a solid first-round pass of 3.736 seconds and 332.67 mph to defeat Top Fuel veteran Clay Millican’s 3.777 at 330.47. The win set her up with the second-round matchup against Prock. Force would leave first on the starting line but come up short in the pedal fest.
“This Flav-R-Pac / Monster Energy team is leaving Charlotte sitting No. 6 in the points standings after a strange, tough weekend for everyone out here. We were trying to move up in points and make progress and we had two out of three good qualifying runs to finish fourth when it was all said and done. Completely swapped conditions into race day, from a cool killer track to a hot track. There were a lot of adjustments and changes for the tuners to make but in round one we had a solid run down there at 3.73 and in the second round we couldn’t get off the line and it was a pedal fest with my teammate Austin Prock. Luckily, it was against a teammate so he got to move on. Just wish it had been in the final round.”
Force who qualified in the No. 4 spot, landed a first-round match-up against Alex Laughlin. The PEAK Chevy Camaro would smoke the tires early and coast to a 9.366-second pass at 79.86 allowing Laughlin to take the win at 4.138 at 306.46.
“Not the day I thought we’d have after how qualifying went. It’s tough, but we’ll move forward. Still four races left and things are tight in the points,” Force said. “A lot of upsets first round, there’s a lot of variables. We aren’t out of it, just have to keep our heads down and keep working hard.”
The halfway point of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship will be at World Wide Technology Raceway for the NHRA Midwest Nationals Sept. 29 – Oct. 01.
AUSTIN PROCK, 28, Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist dragsterQualifying:10th; 3.725-seconds; 325.53 mphBonus Qualifying Points:0Race Results: Beat Josh Hart, Brittany Force; Lost to Mike SalinasBRITTANY FORCE, 37, Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac dragsterQualifying:4th; 3.673-seconds; 335.48 mphBonus Qualifying Points:+5 (quickest Q2; 2nd quickest Q1) Race Results: Beat Clay Millican; Lost to Austin ProckJOHN FORCE, 74, PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SSQualifying:4th; 3.861-seconds; 329.02 mphBonus Qualifying Points: +1 (3rd quickest Q2) Race Results: Lost to Alex LaughlinROBERT HIGHT, 54, Cornwell Tools / AAA Chevrolet Camaro SSQualifying:1st; 3.824-seconds; 330.15 mph Bonus Qualifying Points:+4 (quickest Q3; 3rd quickest Q2) Race Results:Beat Bye, Paul Lee, Alex Laughlin; Lost to Bob Tasca
Photo Credit: Gary Nastase, Auto Imagery
Unofficial NHRA Camping World Series Championship Points Standings
TOP FUEL – 1. Doug Kalitta, 2284; 2. Steve Torrence, 2221; 3. Justin Ashley, 2216; 4. Leah Pruett, 2208; 5. Antron Brown, 2192; 6. Brittany Force, Monster Energy/FLAV-R-PAC dragster, 2178; 7. Mike Salinas, 2165; 8. Austin Prock, Montana Brand/Rocky Mountain Twist dragster, 2130; 9. Shawn Langdon, 2101; 10. Tony Schumacher, 2089; 11. Clay Millican, 2082; 12. Josh Hart, 2066. FUNNY CAR – 1. Robert Hight, Cornwell Tools/AAA Chevy Camaro SS, 2299; 2. Bob Tasca III, 2274; 3. Tie, Matt Hagan and Ron Capps, 2230 each; 5. Chad Green, 2167; 6. Alexis DeJoria, 2131; 7. Tim Wilkerson, 2129; 8. J.R. Todd, 2123; 9. John Force, PEAK Coolant and Antifreeze Chevy Camaro SS, 2104; 10. Alex Laughlin, 2092; 11. Cruz Pedregon, 2064;


Toyota earns seventh consecutive Top Fuel victory

CONCORD, N.C. (September 24, 2023) – After claiming his long-awaited 50th career victory last weekend, Doug Kalitta won his second straight NHRA Top Fuel event in the Betway Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway on Sunday. Kalitta defeated no. 1 qualifier Mike Salinas in the category final Sunday afternoon. With his stellar run in Charlotte, Kalitta now leads the Top Fuel points standings as the Countdown to the Championship approaches its halfway point next weekend.

Antron Brown and Shawn Langdon were the other Toyota Top Fuel drivers that advanced on Sunday, and both were eliminated in the second round of competition. 

In Funny Car, it was a tough Carolina Nationals for Toyota’s three drivers. Battling adversity throughout the weekend, Ron Capps, J.R. Todd and Alexis DeJoria were eliminated in the first round on Sunday. All three Toyota Funny Car drivers will have an immediate chance to bounce back next weekend in the Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway. 

Toyota Post-Race Recap

NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series

zMAX Dragway

Race 17 of 21


NameCarFinal ResultRound-by-Round
Doug KalittaMac Tools Toyota Top Fuel DragsterWinnerW 3.718 vs. S. Torrence (3.725) W 3.741 vs. S. Langdon (4.907) W 3.745 vs. L. Pruett (3.778) W 3.696 vs. M. Salinas (3.718)
Antron BrownMatco Tools Toyota Top Fuel DragsterSecond RoundW (3.686) vs. S. Massey (3.745) L 5.050 vs. L. Pruett (3.829)
Shawn LangdonKalitta Air Careers Toyota Top Fuel DragsterSecond RoundW (3.764) vs. T. Schumacher (4.257) L 4.907 vs. D. Kalitta (3.741)
Steve TorrenceCapco Contractors Toyota Top Fuel DragsterFirst RoundL 3.725 vs. D. Kalitta (3.718)
Justin AshleyPhillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel DragsterFirst RoundL 4.922 vs. L. Pruett (3.708)


NameCarFinal ResultRound-by-Round
J.R. ToddDHL Toyota GR Supra Funny CarFirst RoundL 3.947 vs. P. Lee (3.919)
Ron CappsNAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra Funny CarFirst RoundL 4.729 vs. D. Richards (4.176)
Alexis DeJoriaBandero Tequila Toyota GR Supra Funny CarFirst RoundL 6.692 vs. B. Tasca III (3.871)


DOUG KALITTA, Mac Tools Toyota Top Fuel Dragster, Kalitta Motorsports

TF Final Result: Winner

Can you take us through your day?

“Well, the sun was out most of today, which was much different to what we’ve been running most of the weekend with all the cloud cover and low temperatures. So yeah, it was really nice to get this win today. We were getting 74s times down the track and we really had to tune the car up for the final. Mike (Salinas) was right there at the end; Mr. 300 I guess you could call him now. Overall, it was a great run today for my guys.”

What’s it like to be back in the points lead?

“It’s been a while, that’s for sure. With Alan Johnson (crew chief), Brian Husen (co-crew chief) and all those guys on the team, they’re used to winning championships. I’m glad I’ll be along for the ride with wherever we end up with. It’s a great start to the Countdown for us, and I just have a ton of support from everyone’s who been following me over the years. This should be a good run, and we’ll keep plugging away at it.”


(9/25/23) Hanford, California … The cars and stars of the NARC 410 Sprint Series, presented by NAPA Auto Parts, make their highly anticipated return to racing on Saturday, September 30th, for the Morrie Williams Memorial at Kings Speedway. The Hanford 3/8-mile clay oval will host two exhilarating 20-lap feature events. This show also marks the final appearance by the traveling NARC series at Kings Speedway this season.

 “We look forward to this race every year,” said Ashley Smith, longtime crew chief for the Williams Motorsports #0 team and Morrie’s son-in-law, “we try and make this a special event, not just a regular race, and I think the twin feature format gives a lot back to the fans.”

The Morrie Williams Memorial is raced in honor of iconic California car owner Morrie Williams. Williams fielded an incredibly successful team that won NARC 410 Sprint Series titles in 2006, 2008, 2012, and 2017 with drivers Jonathan Allard and Bud Kaeding.

Established in 2020, the Morrie Williams Memorial runs twin features, with an overall champion crowned at night’s end. The first feature lineup is based on the standard NARC 410 Sprint Car Series format. In contrast, the second main event is a complete inversion of the finishing order of the finish from the initial one. So, a driver that finished towards the back of the opening main could win the concluding feature. Past overall champions include Tim Kaeding (2020), Justin Sanders (2021), and Corey Day (2022).

“We’re leading points with NARC by a good margin, and going back to Hanford gets me excited with how consistent and good we’ve been there,” stated Day, “hopefully, we can extend our lead a little bit.”

Friday’s show will feature the Sprint Car Challenge Tour 360s for the Cotton Classic. It will be accompanied by the Western RaceSaver Sprints. The Southern California Dwarf Car Association will join the card for Saturday only as the companion division.

Who to Watch

Defending Morrie Williams Memorial winner Corey Day already has two 410 Sprint Car scores at Kings in 2023. He is coming off a remarkable World of Outlaws West Coast Swing, including winning the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway for his first Outlaw win. The Clovis teenager also turned heads at the Knoxville Nationals by making the main event.

2023 Dirt Cup winner Justin Sanders enters the Morrie Williams Memorial second in championship points and is looking to earn his second career overall title in this special race. Running the Mittry Motorsports #2X, the Aromas racer was fourth at the 49er Gold Rush Classic at Placerville Speedway and the runner-up at the Gold Cup to Day, with an impressive stint against the Outlaws in California.

Two-time defending NARC 410 Sprint champion Dominic Scelzi has been very fast at this event in years past and is third in the series points table. The Fresno phenom won the second feature in 2020 and the first one in 2021, as well as the Peter Murphy Classic finale in May. Scelzi is coming off a third-place performance in Hanford against the Outlaws at the Tom Tarlton Classic on September 15th.

2019 NARC champ D.J. Netto will make a big hometown stand to win his first Morrie Williams Memorial. Netto was the 2021 Dave Helm Memorial winner at Kings for his lone 410 triumph at the facility. He was an impressive second at the Kings of Thunder 360 event on September 14th, a week ago.

Jonathan Allard is expected to make his long-awaited 2023 debut with the NARC series. The three-time series champion, originally from Chico and now calling Waimauku, Auckland, New Zealand home, has four Kings Speedway wins since 2001, including last year’s Morrie Williams Memorial second main event. Allard drove for Morrie Williams from 2005-2013,

The Bates-Hamilton Racing #42X team is ready to get back to NARC 410 Sprint Series competition. Driven by Justyn Cox, earned two seventh-place results at Kings with the series in the spring. The Roseville racer is a force to be reckoned with, as he won the Dennis Roth Classic in April at Thunderbowl Raceway. He also has found a lot of speed in the summer by winning back-to-back 360 features at Placerville Speedway in early August.

Bud Kaeding is another former Williams Motorsports pilot and earned the team their last NARC 410 Sprint Car Series title in 2017. The third-generation Campbell native drove for Morrie Williams from 2014-2019 and has come very close to capturing his first NARC win of the current campaign and no doubt is a threat this weekend.

Also, look out for more stars of the NARC 410 Sprint Car Series circuit, including Chase Johnson of Penngrove, Oakley youngster Dylan Bloomfield, Benicia’s Billy Aton, and Tucson transplant Nick Parker. Several other Central Valley challengers, such as Fresno veteran Craig Stidham, Tipton’s Dawson Faria, and Gauge Garcia of Lemoore, will be on tap, among others.

Fan & Competitor Info

Kings Speedway is located at the Kings Fairgrounds at 801 S 10th Avenue in Hanford, CA.

Ticket prices are $25.00 for Adults, $20.00 for Seniors/Military (with valid I.D.)/Students (7-17), and Kids (6 and Under) are FREE. For online ticket purchases, log on to  Additional information is available at

Pit Gates open at 1:00 pm, Front Gates at 4:00, Hot Laps at 5:00, and Racing is scheduled to kick off around 6:00. Be sure to visit Pete’s Pub after the Front Gates open and take advantage of special deals on food and beverages before the races start.

The NARC racing format includes qualifying, four 8-lap heat races, an exciting six-lap trophy dash, a 12-lap last chance race, and two 20-lap NAPA Auto Parts-sponsored Morrie Williams Memorial main events.

The NARC 410 Sprint Series, presented by Napa Auto Parts, is the leading 410 Sprint Car tour west of the Rocky Mountains. Since 1960, they have enthralled countless thousands of fans from tracks up and down the Pacific Coast. For more information, visit their website at or social media pages.

The Morrie Williams Memorial can be viewed live on, along with every NARC 410 Sprint Car Series race.

The NARC 410 Sprint Car Racing Series is also sponsored by Hoosier Racing Tires,, and NAPA Auto Parts. Associate and product award sponsors include Automotive Racing Products (ARP), Beacon Wealth Strategies-Raymond James Financial, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Bullet Impressions, D & D Roofing, Diversified Machine Inc., Johnstone Supply, Kaeding Performance Center, Kimo’s Tropical Car Wash, KSE Racing Enterprises, Lifeline LLC, Maxim Racing Products,Mettec Titanium, Pyrotect, Safecraft Safety Equipment, Saldana Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, Scelzi Enterprises, SCI Racing Products, Starr Property Management, Sunnyvalley Bacon, System 1 Ignition, Ultra Lite Brakes, Williams Roofing, Wilwood Disc Brakes, and Winters Performance Products.


  1. Corey Day, Clovis – 2239
  2. Justin Sanders, Aromas – 2192
  3. Dominic Scelzi, Fresno – 2190
  4. Justyn Cox, Roseville – 2165
  5. Bud Kaeding, Campbell – 2159
  6. Dylan Bloomfield, Oakley – 2098
  7. Billy Aton, Benicia – 2028
  8. Chase Johnson, Penngrove – 2028
  9. Nick Parker, Tucson, AZ (R) – 2017
  10. Tanner Holmes, Central Point, OR – 1483
  11. Joel Myers Jr., Sebastopol – 1465
  12. DJ Netto, Hanford – 1453
  13. Shane Golobic, Fremont – 1381
  14. Cole Macedo, Hanford – 1354
  15. Burt Foland Jr., San Jose (R) -1220
  16. Colby Copeland, Roseville – 1207
  17. Joey Ancona, Concord (R) – 1023
  18. Kaleb Montgomery, Templeton (R) – 1010
  19. Karl Hoffmans, Australia – 816
  20. Andy Caruana, Australia – 799

Upcoming Events:
October 28th – The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park (Bakersfield) – Halloween Spectacular
November 4th – Stockton Dirt Track – 40th Annual Tribute to Gary Patterson

November 5th – Championship Celebration at the Brookside Country Club in Stockton, CA.

Luke Horning Scores DIRTcar Pro Stock Series Win At Albany-Saratoga

MALTA, NY (SEPT. 23, 2023) – The DIRTcar Pro Stock Series pulled into Albany-Saratoga Speedway for one last tune-up before heading to Oswego Speedway for Super DIRT Week 51, Oct. 2-8.

Luke Horning remained a force to be reckoned with in the 30-lap, $1,000-to-win, showcase at the Malta, NY track. After starting on the inside of row two, the Gloversville, NY driver moved into second place on Lap 1. He didn’t stay there for long as he set his sights on leader Chuck Dumblewski of Amsterdam, NY.

It took “Cousin Luke” another seven laps to find his way into clean air, taking the lead on Lap 8.  The Series points leader did not relinquish his position for the remaining 22 laps, scoring his 19th win of the season and bolstering his Series points lead.

Behind him, Dumblewski was overtaken on Lap 19, dropping two places back to fourth when both Kim Duell and Pete Stefanski made their way around him.

Duell ran in second with Stefanski following behind in third for the last 10 laps. There was no further passing for podium positions, as Duell finished runner-up and Stefanski finished in third place.

“We just need a slick track to show what the car can do,” Horning said. “Tonight was slick and it really worked out good for us. The car is phenomenal.”

Runner-up Duell overcame several mechanical issues throughout the event and how his car would run during the Feature. After overcoming the challenges, he was happy with the result.

“Luke (Horning) was really fast,” Duell said. “There was no catching him. Once he got lose, that was the end of it. We were just trying to hang on to second…the car was good…we had some issues but threw everything we knew at it and came out and were able to finish this good.”

Stefanski also battled challenges with his vehicle, but was satisified with his podium finish.

“Tonight, we were running with these guys and the right rear tire was going low,” Stefanski said. “We’re lucky we made it to the end of the race with the tire going low and finishing third. We’re happy with that.”

Dumblewski finished in fourth and Jaxson Ryan finished in fifth to round out the top five finishers.

UP NEXT: The DIRTcar Pro Stocks head to Oswego Speedway for Super DIRT Week 51, Oct. 2-8.

DIRTcar Pro Stock Feature (30 Laps): 1. 2H-Luke Horning[3]; 2. 14-Kim Duell[6]; 3. 2-Pete Stefanski[4]; 4. 7D-Chucky Dumblewski[2]; 5. 04-Jaxson Ryan[10]; 6. 25-Chad Jeseo[20]; 7. 57K-Kevin Fetterly Jr[1]; 8. 9-Shane Henderson[8]; 9. 9B-Slater Baker[7]; 10. 14J-Johnny Rivers Jr[5]; 11. 1X-Ian Bressette[12]; 12. 4M-Jordan Modiano[14]; 13. (DNF) 112-Christopher Wemple[16]; 14. (DNF) 28D-Phillip Defiglio[15]; 15. (DNF) 55-Dave Stckles[11]; 16. (DNF) 09J-Shawn Perez Jr[9]; 17. (DNS) 08-Doug Sheely; 18. (DNS) 711-Rich Crane; 19. (DNS) 322-Jay Casey; 20. (DNS) 324-Jason Casey

Thornton Earns First Career Jackson 100 at Brownstown

BROWNSTOWN, IN (September 23, 2023) – Ricky Thornton Jr. regained the lead from Hudson O’Neal with 18 laps remaining and pulled away to win the richest event in Brownstown Speedway history on Saturday night. Thornton’s victory in the 44th Annual Jackson 100 was worth $30,000. It was Thornton’s first win in the annual event that has been held every year since its inception in 1980. O’Neal who led 28 laps during the mid-point of the race could not hold off Thornton who went on to win by 2.167 seconds. Devin Moran rounded out the Big River Steel Podium in third with defending Jackson 100 champion Tim McCreadie finishing fourth and Cory Hedgecock rounding out the top five. Thornton jumped to lead at the start of the race with Mike Marlar and Devin Moran holding down the second and third positions. Marlar was running in the runnerup position and was still within striking distance of Thornton until a flat right rear tire with 54 laps scored ended his hopes of a Brownstown weekend. On the restart, O’Neal exploded to the front on the top side and went to the lead on lap 58 by Thornton. O’Neal would lead until lap 82 when Thornton went back to the top spot. From then, Thornton cruised to his 21st Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season. The Jackson 100 victory was the second for his car owners Todd and Vickie Burns who went to Victory Lane in 2019 with O’Neal. In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the 26th time in his career Thornton said: “Once he [O’Neal] got by me I thought the race was over. I moved up to his lane and he just drove off. I just kept my cool. He made one little mistake over there off two and I think it broke his concentration a little bit and then he started searching around. It’s pretty awesome to win this race. I felt like I had a pretty good car early. I didn’t know what to do on the restart whether I needed to be high or low. He got by me, and I thought I just gave this one away. It’s pretty cool for Todd and Vickie to get their second Jackson win here.” O’Neal, who remains second to Thornton in the Big River Steel Chase to the Championship – Presented by ARP nearly pulled off his second career Jackson 100 victory. “After the weekend we’ve had, we just haven’t been where we needed to be, and we just kept working and working and my guys really worked their tails off trying to get better. We had a great race car there, just unfortunately I just didn’t quite have as good a race car as Ricky did in lapped traffic. I felt pretty good whenever I was out by myself and able to roll that top. Whenever I got behind people, I just struggled a little bit. Man, we will take second after starting 10th we were able to pass a lot of good guys.” Moran finished third for the second night in a row. “It’s good to race with the Lucas Oil guys you know that’s tough. Man, I just wanted to get up there a little better. Our guys worked really hard. We put our minds together, we couldn’t get it just right, but it was close. I just want to win this race so bad, it’s such a great atmosphere here at Brownstown cheering and stuff. It’s really fun to race here and they gave us a great racetrack to run on.”   The winner’s Todd and Vickie Burns-owned, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Big River Steel, Hoker Trucking, Sub-Surface of Indiana, Dyno One Inc., West Side Tractor Sales Company, D&E Outside Services, Certified Inspection Services, Midwest Sheet Metal, Excel Floor Covering, Murty Farms, Sunoco Race Fuels, and Bilstein Shocks. Completing the top ten were Michael Chilton, Daulton Wilson, Tanner English. Nick Hoffman, and Max Blair.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Race Summary 44th Annual Jackson 100Saturday, September 23, 2023Brownstown Speedway | Brownstown, IN
Allstar Performance Time TrialsFast Time Group A: Daulton Wilson | 13.423 seconds (overall)Fast Time Group B: Ricky Thornton, Jr. | 13.528 seconds
Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 99-Devin Moran[2]; 2. 18D-Daulton Wilson[1]; 3. 96V-Tanner English[4]; 4. 39-Tim McCreadie[6]; 5. 11R-Josh Rice[7]; 6. 18-Trevor Landrum[3]; 7. 11-Spencer Hughes[5]; 8. 12-Jason Jameson[9]; 9. 20TC-Tristan Chamberlain[8]; 10. 18B-Chase Burda[10]; 11. 11T-Tyler Collins[11]; 12. (DNS) 14-Quentin White
Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 23-Cory Hedgecock[2]; 2. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[4]; 3. 49-Jonathan Davenport[1]; 4. 71R-Rod Conley[3]; 5. 10-Garrett Smith[5]; 6. 76M-Shelby Miles[6]; 7. 23K-Keegan Cox[10]; 8. 1G-Devin Gilpin[7]; 9. 32-Chad Stapleton[8]; 10. 29J-Jordan Wever[9]; 11. 11J-Jarod Fleetwood[11]; 12. 1CJ-Casey White[12]
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[1]; 2. 76-Brandon Overton[2]; 3. 1H-Hudson O’Neal[4]; 4. 1T-Tyler Erb[5]; 5. 58-Garrett Alberson[3]; 6. 9H-Nick Hoffman[8]; 7. 13W-David Webb[6]; 8. 68-Adam Stricker[7]; 9. 15-James Rice[9]; 10. 48J-Jug Wethington[11]; 11. 93-Zak Blackwood[10]; 12. 80-Logan Mounce[12]
AP1 Insurance Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 157-Mike Marlar[2]; 2. 97-Michael Chilton[1]; 3. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[4]; 4. 99B-Boom Briggs[3]; 5. 7-Ross Robinson[6]; 6. 88-Greg Johnson[7]; 7. 111B-Max Blair[8]; 8. 42-Terry Casey[5]; 9. 22-Skyller Lewis[10]; 10. 19-Marty O’Neal[11]; 11. 24-Jared Bailey[9]
Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 11R-Josh Rice[1]; 2. 11-Spencer Hughes[5]; 3. 12-Jason Jameson[7]; 4. 18-Trevor Landrum[3]; 5. 32-Chad Stapleton[10]; 6. 18B-Chase Burda[11]; 7. 20TC-Tristan Chamberlain[9]; 8. 11T-Tyler Collins[13]; 9. 11J-Jarod Fleetwood[14]; 10. 23K-Keegan Cox[6]; 11. 10-Garrett Smith[2]; 12. 76M-Shelby Miles[4]; 13. 1CJ-Casey White[16]; 14. 1G-Devin Gilpin[8]; 15. (DNS) 29J-Jordan Wever; 16. (DNS) 14-Quentin White
UNOH B-Main Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 58-Garrett Alberson[1]; 2. 9H-Nick Hoffman[3]; 3. 7-Ross Robinson[2]; 4. 13W-David Webb[5]; 5. 88-Greg Johnson[4]; 6. 15-James Rice[9]; 7. 68-Adam Stricker[7]; 8. 22-Skyller Lewis[10]; 9. 48J-Jug Wethington[11]; 10. 19-Marty O’Neal[12]; 11. 93-Zak Blackwood[13]; 12. 80-Logan Mounce[15]; 13. 111B-Max Blair[6]; 14. 24-Jared Bailey[14]; 15. (DNS) 42-Terry Casey
44th Annual Jackson 100 Feature Finish (100 Laps):
Race Statistics  Entrants: 47Terminal Maintenance & Construction Pole Sitter: Devin MoranLap Leaders: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 1-57); Hudson O’Neal (Laps 58-85); Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 86-100)Wieland Feature Winner: Ricky Thornton, Jr.Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: Ricky Thornton, Jr.Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/aMargin of Victory: 2.168 seconds Gorsuch Performance Solutions Cautions: Debris (Lap 2); Trevor Landrum (Lap 25); Mike Marlar (Lap 54)Series Provisionals: Spencer HughesFast Time Provisional: Trevor LandrumSeries Emergency Provisionals: n/aTrack Provisionals: Jared Bailey; David WebbBig River Steel Podium Top 3: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Hudson O’Neal, Devin MoranPenske Shocks Top 5: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Hudson O’Neal, Devin Moran, Tim McCreadie, Cory HedgecockTodd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Max Blair (Advanced 13 Positions) Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Daulton WilsonDeatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Garrett AlbersonEarnhardt Technologies Most Laps Led: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (72 Laps) Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Ricky Thornton, Jr.Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Ricky Thornton, Jr. O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: Max Blair Etchberger Trucking Fastest Lap of the Race: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Lap 3 – 14.052 seconds) MD3 Tough Break of the Race: Mike MarlarOuterwears Crew Chief of the Race: Anthony Burroughs (Ricky Thornton, Jr.) ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Race EnginesMiller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn ChassisDirt DraftFastest in Hot Laps: Brandon Overton (13.357 seconds)Time of Race: 35 minutes 43 seconds  The Big River Steel Chase for the Championship Presented by ARP Point Standings:

A SWEET SHOWDOWN: Brad Sweet Arises Victorious from Three-Man Sharon Speedway Battle

The four-time champion holds off challenges from Giovanni Scelzi and David Gravel for Sharon victoryHARTFORD, OH (September 23, 2023) – The box score from Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts Showdown at Sharon Speedway will simply show Brad Sweet led flag to flag. But the 30 laps were far from an easy cruise for “The Big Cat.”The four-time and defending World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car champion took everything Giovanni Scelzi and David Gravel could throw at him. “The Big Cat” may have led every lap, but he had company challenging him for many of those trips around the Hartford, OH oval. Early in the main event, Scelzi searched every bit of racetrack real estate for speed. He found momentum multiple times, but Sweet fended off each challenge. Then in the second half of the race it was Sweet’s championship rival – Gravel – surging into second and looking to steal the win. Gravel showed Sweet a nose multiple times, but the Grass Valley, CA native kept the door closed. Ultimately, Sweet dodged every punch the two had as he went on to grab his ninth win of the year with The Greatest Show on Dirt.“I just didn’t know where to be sometimes. Lapped traffic was tough,” Sweet explained. “I was probably a little too free. I started off a little too good and got free pretty quick and was trying to use the wall on the (corner) exits to get me down the straightaways. I just was struggling a little bit, but we got into Victory Lane. That’s half the battle.”Sweet’s ninth victory of the year moved him up to 88 for his career. The 37-year-old also joined Steve Kinser and Danny Lasoski as the only competitors with multiple World of Outlaws wins at Sharon through 13 Series visits to the 3/8-mile.When the green flag dropped on the 30-lap Feature, Sweet led the way after topping the Toyota Racing Dash. The Napa Auto Parts #49 pulled ahead on the opening lap while Scelzi rocketed from fourth to second out of Turn 2 and down the back straightaway.Early on in clean air, Sweet put a solid gap between himself and Scelzi, but the Fresno, CA driver wouldn’t allow Sweet to escape. Scelzi kept him well within his sights as they began to near traffic. While Sweet preferred the cushion all the way around Sharon as the race worked through its first third, Scelzi found speed rolling the bottom in Turns 3 and 4. The gap between the two began to vanish, and Scelzi began to show Sweet a nose repeatedly as they neared the halfway point.After the cross flags were displayed, Scelzi ramped up the intensity in his pursuit of the lead. On Lap 19, Scelzi tried a slide job on Sweet in Turns 1 and 2 but came up slightly short as Sweet slipped back by on the outside. Two laps later, Scelzi hit the bottom perfectly in the same set of corners to nose ahead of Sweet as they hit the back straightaway. Sweet refused to go down, though, as he used the high side momentum to inch back in front heading into Turn 3 and protect the lead causing Scelzi to slip back.With Scelzi losing ground to Sweet, he fell right into the clutches of a fast-closing Gravel who snuck by on the bottom on Lap 23 to take over runner-up. Up ahead, Sweet began to question where he needed to be as he struggled to move by a lapped car.“I probably stayed up top a little too long, but I didn’t want to leave that lane open,” Sweet said. “With the lapped car there, I was just always kind of right off his right rear (tire)… Based off experiences kind of knowing how hard I was having to work to pass him on the top and what pace he was running. Once I got down to his pace, I knew someone would’ve had to really run the wall exceptionally well.”Before Sweet wound up deciding to move to the bottom, Gravel gathered enough steam for one bid at the lead. On the 25th lap, Gravel used a strong run on the inside of Turns 1 and 2 to pull alongside Sweet and looked as if he may snatch the top spot. But heading into the next turn, Sweet slammed the door shut to maintain the lead as Gravel slipped back.The move sealed the deal for Sweet who went on to cross the finish line with a half second advantage.“I’m excited to get the win,” Sweet said. “It was a tough battle for sure. I saw Gio multiple times, I think, off of (Turn 2), or it could’ve been David. I just saw orange. It was a great race. The bottom got cleaned off. Once I found it, I knew if I was just patient and didn’t overdrive the car it would be really hard for someone to get by me.”Gravel settled for second to net his 29th World of Outlaws podium of the season. While it was a strong run, he knows he needs to be finishing ahead of the Kasey Kahne Racing #49 if he wants a chance at running Sweet down in the title chase. Sweet’s victory grew the margin to 80 markers between the two.“It was a good weekend,” Gravel said. “I just wish I could take that start back. I thought Brad was going to go to the top and he went to the middle and kind of confused me and Gio got by me. I thought Gio was really good early, and it looked like Brad was searching and didn’t know where to go as well. I thought the bottom was kind of the best place to be, but we were just a little too free down there. Then it started cleaning up, and our car really came to life when that bottom came in and the grip picked up and made our car sit right. We were alongside Brad there, and I guess I just wish I ran in harder than him and banged wheels and pushed him out of the way if I could do it over again. Obviously, we’ve got to beat him every night here moving forward. Obviously, if he wins, the best we can do is run second.”After his early challenges for the lead, Giovanni Scelzi completed the podium aboard the KCP Racing #18. The World of Outlaws rookie knew he had a car capable of winning but simply came up short to two of the sport’s best at the top of their game.“It was really good all night. I’m really proud of my guys. I can’t say enough about them,” a grateful Scelzi said. “I’m going to replay that one a lot in my head tonight and the next couple days. Brad and David are really good. They’re the two top guys out here, and they’re the most consistent guys to race against. You learn every time you race against them what moves to make. I just kind of panicked there. I didn’t realize it was cleaning off that much around the bottom. I saw Gravel try the top in (Turns) 3 and 4, and that was my chance to get him. Brad was playing the right game just staying the bottom.”Tanner Holmes and Carson Macedo rounded out the top five.Brock Zearfoss snagged KSE Racing Hard Charger honors with a 20th to 13th effort.In Low-E Insulation Qualifying, Carson Macedo earned his 14th Simpson Performance Products QuickTime of the year and 33rd of his career.CASE No. 1 Engine Oil Heat One went to David Gravel (235th Heat Race win of career). NOS Energy Drink Heats Two through Four were topped by Sheldon Haudenschild (96th of career), James McFadden (50th of career), and Giovanni Scelzi (35th of career).Donny Schatz won the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown.UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars are Pennsylvania bound for one of the sport’s crown jewels. Mechanicsburg, PA’s Williams Grove Speedway is the destination next week (September 29-30) for the 61st Champion Racing Oil National Open. The winner of the finale will take home $75,000. For tickets, CLICK HERE.If you can’t make it to the track, catch all of the action live on DIRTVision.RESULTS:NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps): 1. 49-Brad Sweet[1]; 2. 2-David Gravel[2]; 3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[4]; 4. 1T-Tanner Holmes[3]; 5. 41-Carson Macedo[8]; 6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[6]; 7. 10-Dave Blaney[10]; 8. 32B-Dale Blaney[11]; 9. 5-Spencer Bayston[12]; 10. 22-Cole Duncan[9]; 11. 83-James McFadden[5]; 12. 1S-Logan Schuchart[17]; 13. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[20]; 14. 39M-Justin Sanders[7]; 15. 2F-AJ Flick[13]; 16. 15-Donny Schatz[21]; 17. 1M-Landon Myers[14]; 18. 13-Brandon Matus[16]; 19. 4-Danny Smith[23]; 20. 2X-Ricky Peterson[24]; 21. 5M-Jeremy Weaver[15]; 22. 11J-David Kalb[18]; 23. (DNF) 08-Danny Kuriger[22]; 24. (DNF) 6F-Bob Felmlee[19]


CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 23, 2023) – Robert Hight and the Cornwell Tools / AAA Chevrolet Camaro SS team earned their fifth No. 1 qualifying position of the season Saturday at the betway NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Brittany Force with the Flav-R-Pac / Monster Energy dragster and John Force in the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevy Camaro SS are in the No. 4 positions while Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist dragster are No. 10.
After a fiery end to their first qualifying day, Robert Hight and the Cornwell Tools team jumped right back to the top half of the Funny Car field with a stout 3.849-second pass at 323.27 mph to land No. 3 heading into the final session. After a lengthy rain delay, Hight and the Cornwell Tools team threw down a 3.824-second pass at 330.15 mph to steal the No. 1 qualifying spot by one-thousandth of a second.
“Sometimes when you push and try real hard, it doesn’t work out. There are a lot of moving parts and everything has to come together, there are a lot of variables. It’s a science but there is some luck to it too. We were pushing on that run. We wanted the No. 1 spot because of the bye. To get it by one-thousandth of a second, it just shows you how tough it is out here,” Hight said. “Honestly, I thought with Bob Tasca III and Matt Hagan running behind us, I could still be third after that but you’re going to see a lot of these close races. Really, hats off to the Cornwell Tools team for pulling through after what we went through last night. I’m just really proud of them for working hard all night. I wouldn’t want to jump back in the car after what happened last night with any other team than them.”
Hight, the points leader, will enter race day with a first-round bye as he looks for his fourth win of the season and a chance to widen his points lead. It was Hight’s 82nd career No. 1 qualifying position and first at the Carolina Nationals. He’s qualified No. 1 at the spring Four-Wide event three times.
Coming into the day sitting No. 6, John Force and the PEAK Chevy team improved with a 3.866-second run at 327.66 mph to jump to the No. 4 spot. In the final session Force stayed consistent with a 3.861 pass at 329.02 mph to keep No. 4. He will race Alex Laughlin in the first round of eliminations.
“Good two days of qualifying for this PEAK Chevy team. We had some consistency and we just need to keep it going tomorrow,” Force said. “This Funny Car field is impressive. They’re out there running some big numbers but we’re right there in the mix. Danny Hood and Tim Fabrisi, all our guys, they’re working hard and it seems to be showing so we just need to keep it going and see what happens tomorrow.”
Already qualified No. 2 from Friday night, Brittany Force and the Flav-R-Pac team ran quickest of the second qualifying session with a 3.673-second pass at 335.48 mph to earn three bonus qualifying points. To wrap up their qualifying efforts at the Carolina Nationals, the Flav-R-Pac dragster had a misstep, pushing too hard to smoke the tires near 100 feet for only 8.901 at 70.02. They’d finish in the No. 4 spot with a matchup against Clay Millican waiting for them in the first round.
“We head into race day from the No. 4 position and face Clay Millican in round one of eliminations. In qualifying we ran a 3.686 and our best 3.673. On our last qualifying run we didn’t make it down the track. The conditions were great and this Flav-R-Pac team wanted to take advantage of that track but pushed a little too hard,” Force said. “Tomorrow will be a whole new day, with completely different conditions. It’s going to be tough to adjust but that’s the same boat everyone is in. It’s zMAX Dragway and race number two of the final six and this team is looking for four win lights.”
Austin Prock and the Montana Brand team improved on their performance from Friday with a solid 3.725-second run at 325.53 mph but shifted into the No. 10 spot. In the last qualifying session, the Montana Brand dragster drove into tire smoke almost immediately to coast to a 9.810 pass at 117.69 but stayed No. 10.
“We’re looking forward to a strong race day tomorrow. Conditions will be different than we’ve seen all weekend with warmer temperatures so it will be a fresh start for all of us,” said Prock who will race against Josh Hart in the first round. “We made some progress on this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist car today and we will be ready to attack tomorrow morning.”
Competition at the betway NHRA Carolina Nationals will continue with eliminations Sunday at 11:00 a.m. Television coverage of the second of six races in the Countdown to the Championship will continue to air on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with a second qualifying show Sunday at 11:00 a.m. ET and eliminations at 2:00 p.m. ET.
AUSTIN PROCK, 28, Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist dragsterQualifying:10th; 3.725-seconds; 325.53 mphBonus Qualifying Points:0BRITTANY FORCE, 37, Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac dragsterQualifying:4th; 3.673-seconds; 335.48 mphBonus Qualifying Points:+5 (quickest Q2; 2nd quickest Q1) JOHN FORCE, 74, PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SSQualifying:4th; 3.861-seconds; 329.02 mphBonus Qualifying Points: +1 (3rd quickest Q2) ROBERT HIGHT, 54, Cornwell Tools / AAA Chevrolet Camaro SSQualifying:1st; 3.824-seconds; 330.15 mph Bonus Qualifying Points:+4 (quickest Q3; 3rd quickest Q2) 
Photo Credit: Gary Nastase, Auto Imagery

Chevy Racing–nascar–texas–kyle busch

  KYLE BUSCH, NO. 8 3CHI CAMARO ZL1, met with the media prior to the NASCAR Cup Series practice and qualifying session at Texas Motor Speedway. Press Conference Quotes:  It’s been a great week for you because your son, Brexton, is racing over at little Texas. From a parent standpoint, how exciting is it to see him race against these competitive drivers? And secondly, given how Texas is such a tricky track, what are some of the keys in getting around here successfully? “Yeah, I mean it’s definitely been fun to come out to Texas a little early and have some dirt track action out on the backstretch there Thursday night and last night, as well. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a good night last night for Brexton – something in the engine quit running and shut him off. But we won the first night, so that gives us a decent starting spot for him for tonight, but it could have been a lot better. Wish we were able to finish yesterday.  And then, as far as Texas (Motor Speedway) goes with the new configuration a couple of years ago – it really changed the dynamic of Texas a lot with how you drive it and what you do to get around here and what makes it fast. It’s really tricky in turns one and two – knowing where to lift and knowing how much to arc out the corner. You’ve got to get down to the bottom, and then how soon do you get back to the throttle to drive up off the corner and clear the wall on exit. So there’s just a lot of different variables down there. But three and four is still old Texas, per say – just a little bit more action down there with the bumps and such, especially with this new car. You run lower to the ground anyways, you run stiffer, so it already kind of reacts to those bumps a lot more than the old car did. But yeah, just try to be as fast as you can. You want to try and make that turn two exit back to that turn one entry as long of a straightaway as you can and stay in the gas in three and four as much as you can.” Last Sunday, NASCAR announced that the Mexico Series is going to join you guys at the Clash next year. Just how important is it to have that crossover with an international series to showcase one of those series that you don’t really have that crossover with on a weekly basis? “Yeah, I think that’s cool. I think we had a little bit of that crossover a couple of years ago at Phoenix (Raceway), they were there. But other than that, we haven’t seen much of the Mexico series, so that will be cool. Daniel Suarez spent a lot of time there in that series. I know there’s a few other drivers that are coming up through the ranks that have been in that series. One of those guys at Rev Racing with Max Siegel’s team in the ARCA Series, and then also Max Gutierrez, I think is his name, is another one that’s there. So yeah, there’s some notable names that I’ve heard of that’s come through there. It would be nice to get them some more recognition on a bigger stage.” How do you feel about this round? You look at your stats – you won at Talladega Superspeedway, but plate races are plate races. Road courses, you’ve been up and down. Do you have any clue whether you’re going to be good in this round or not? “Realistically, I mean I have no clue. I have high confidence here, just based off of how the No. 8 Chevy was here last year, and how the No. 24 Chevy was here last year. So we based most of our stuff off of that – just kind of jump in and go, and hopefully it’s good, fast and it’s where we need it to be. And then with Talladega (Superspeedway), it’s a crap shoot.. it’s luck. Go read my post-race presser – I can’t tell you how many times I probably said ‘we just got lucky today’, you know what I mean. And then with the (Charlotte) ROVAL, last year, I ran third there. There was a tire strategy at the end – we took tires and we were able to make it work for us. I feel like our road course program this year has been strong. Our results at Watkins Glen (International) weren’t indicative of that because of coming to pit road, the light turning on, having to go back out, cycling to the back, not being able to pass as well as you want to come back up through. So yeah, just lots of stuff. I would like to think that normal races, normal circumstances, we can make it through this round.” Is there any different feeling for you in the playoffs, so far, compared to when you were at Joe Gibbs Racing? I think everybody expected you to challenge year in and year out, and here, there were a lot of questions going into the year. Is there any different – I don’t want to say pressure, but a different feeling about this playoff run versus others?“Yeah, to your point, the pressure is always there. As a JGR or an HMS guy, you’re expected to transfer through – make it through and be in contention for the final four spots. And so, probably where I’m at, I think the Round of 16, a lot of people had us out. And so the Round of 12, I’m sure there’s going to be a lot more that will probably have us out. Honestly, it’s just as simple as winning at Texas (Motor Speedway) and winning at Las Vegas (Motor Speedway) and you’re going to Phoenix (Raceway), you know what I mean. That’s all we can really focus on right now – what’s in front of us and this weekend is Texas. We’ll go out here with it being hot and sunny and go get the most we can.” Being at RCR and looking back on the season, did you expect the success and the things that have gone your way so far this year with the No. 8 team? “I would not have expected as good as we fired off – almost winning the Clash, almost winning the Daytona 500 and winning Fontana (Auto Club Speedway). I felt like that was a really, really good kick in the pants, and just an awesome feeling to be able to come over to a new team, a new organization, and have the opportunity to go out there and run that well and run that strong. There’s been a lot of ups and downs since then. We won, convincingly, at Gateway. We got lucky and won at Talladega. So we’ve got three wins on the year, which is great. But there’s been a lot of races where we’ve had top-five cars and something happened and not get a chance to show that. And then there’s been races where we haven’t had top-five cars and we finished top-five because we just stretched it out, made a pit call or something like that to get some spots. I feel like everybody is kind of that way though. There’s just so many variables and difference that you really don’t control your own destiny with this car as much as you used to. And so I think it’s a lot more equal, there’s a lot more parity. So when you do get drug down, it’s hard to make your way back up that ladder and it’s getting increasingly more difficult as guys figure this thing out.”
Can you talk about Kurt’s retirement and how he’s been since making that announcement? “Yeah, I mean honestly, I haven’t seen him a lot. I feel like it was a burden kind of weighing on him, a lot of people always asking him. It’s like when you first get married – it’s like people asking you when you’re going to have kids, you know what I mean. So it’s like everybody asking Kurt – well when are you going to get back into the car.. when are you going to get back in the car. So you just kind of have to get it out there, make that announcement. I feel like it was a weight off of his shoulders. I feel like he’s a bit more relaxed now that he can try to figure out what his next steps are and what he wants to do. I think he talked about that.. going and running some different forms of racing and not long, 500 mile events, like the NASCAR Cup Series is. Also, his dedication to all the teams that he’s been with, and now being with 23XI – he works within there and does a lot of consulting stuff and whatnot. So it’s good for him to have something to do, but he’s got some sponsor stuff that he always takes care of, as well. He’s just busy.. living what he can right now. Probably just trying to collect a check (laughs).”
Back in January at the COTA tire test, you were asked about your persona coming over to Richard Childress Racing. And if you recall, you said you wore the black hat for a reason.. there needs to be excitement on and off the track. This year, you’re hearing cheers. Denny Hamlin is now the villain. I’m just curious, is villainhood in your rear view? What do you make of all of this change?“I’m sure I can put myself right back into that category real easy (laughs). It only takes something spectacular to do. But yeah, I mean it’s different, right? I don’t know that I’ve ever been in this spot because when I first came into this sport, my brother had made a lot of enemies, both on and off the race track, and so I was kind of thrown into that right off the bat. But it’s been good to just kind of get a different light, be in a different light. And it’s been fun over at RCR. A lot of people have just kind of told me how much excitement there is around that, and me being a part of the No. 8 car, with RCR and everybody over there. Yeah, just keep rolling with it. When you’re in that spot like I was, and I guess Denny (Hamlin) is, you have to do what Denny is doing. It’s perfect.. you have to play with it, go with it, roll with it and egg them on. I mean I did it – there were so many quotes in the years past when I was talking about Jr. Nation and other stuff. Trust me, you’re never going to win those battles.. they’re hard, hard, hard to win. But I guess it makes you feel better inside.. it makes you feel bigger to say stuff like that. It’s fun to watch.”
There’s some rumors that this race will go from its current date in September to April. Obviously the schedule has been delayed a little bit. Given this weekend, both days are going to be 100 degrees, do you feel like April would be more preferable to have a race, or are you fine with this current date? “Yeah, I mean for whatever reason, say it for what it is.. speak the truth – Texas (Motor Speedway) has been very lack-luster lately. So being a playoff race, I’m not sure that we’re indicative of that. I’ve actually seen a lot of people say that it shouldn’t be on the calendar, period. All of us drivers would highly, highly, highly not want it to be reconfigured again into an Atlanta-style race track, but I hear rumblings of that’s where it’s heading. So that wouldn’t be fun. But yeah, I think the heat – if you strictly talk about weather, the heat and stuff like that – look I give NASCAR fans all the credit in the world because they are a damn strong bunch. They are passionate and they are loving to our sport as much as we want them to be. But to be out in the 100 degree heat in aluminum grandstands, I’m not paying to do that. I’m getting paid to do that (laughs). So I give them credit where credit is due. That’s what it’s all about. You can talk about TV and everything else, but it’s all about putting people in the grandstands. If we have empty crowds, we’re not going to be on TV. Get people in the stands and make it easier for them.”
Since drivers may not want this as a playoff date, are there certain tracks where like – this should be in playoffs.. this should not be, or is it relatively interchangeable with the tracks that are currently there?“No, I think it’s interchangeable. I think we’ve all kind of talked about how Phoenix (Raceway) needs to be moved around and not be the final race every year. So for me to say what race track should be in the final 10, I’m not going to pick because I really don’t care. I think it’s just a matter of what works; what tracks you kind of need and what mixture you need to be in there. You need some intermediates. You need a superspeedway, a road course, you need some of that stuff. You need variety, so yeah I wouldn’t pick, necessarily.”
You first started racing at 13 years old and you look at how many more kids are racing at a younger age. What do you see in that sense? If you were starting at 13 now, could you have moved up the ranks like you did? Is there still that place for someone who comes in late, or is it if you’re not racing at seven, nine, 10 years old, you’re not going to be able to make it because you just don’t have the laps? “No, I think William Byron bunks that, right?” 
I mean that was 10 years ago.. “Yeah, no I’m with you. He started at 13 years old, I believe, in legend cars or something like that. And so he was a late start, kind of like me. 
You ask Joey Logano and he said he wouldn’t start his kid young. I think there was somebody that wrote something with what he said. But honestly, I think if your kids want to do it and just go out there and have fun and you don’t push them too hard early on, then let them go do it. That’s what we did with Brexton. I was pushy on him to get him better than what we were when we first started. But honestly, I think everything that we’ve done, he’s come so far and has been a really good listener and his growth of how fast he’s been in all the different things that he drives has been cool to watch. It’s only going to get tougher as you get older. Kids racing against kids – yeah, if your kid is really, really good, they’re going to win a lot like we do. But as we get older and as we get into other classes – right now, he’s eight years old and racing against 16 year olds, so it’s only going to get tougher as you get higher.. the competition, the cars, everything. 
I think 10, 11, 12, you could probably get started around that age and still make it. I don’t see a problem in that. Obviously money and a name is going to take you there a lot faster than being a nobody with no money.. it’s just a fact. So I think there’s a lot of drivers out there that I get to see racing with Brexton that do have the potential and could make it someday. It’s just a matter of if they’ll ever get seen and picked up.”
You referenced the heat earlier. Is there a point where it’s too hot to compete? Are there any other extra precautions you take for a weekend like this? “I don’t know how to answer that question. I don’t know if there’s ever ‘too hot’, but like Gateway this year, I think we saw a couple of people in the grandstands that had to be taken out of the grandstands because it was too hot.. had a heat stroke or something. I think we saw that the first year at Gateway. I think it was 98-99 degrees, the track was coming apart and everything else. People were falling out of the grandstands. Heat is sometimes a dangerous thing, right? These cars are really hot. We’re in 140-150 degree cockpit temperatures, so it gets warm out there, for sure. But you have to be conditioned for it, for us, to withstand that. And a lot of us are, so I feel like our bodies are more accustomed to that than some others.”
How would perceive your career evolution in the past 20 years, in terms of what you experienced both as a person and as a driver?“Wait for my book.. I’m not writing a book (laughs).
I don’t know, just everything, right? Just learning, growth and figuring things out – whether it’s in life, on the race track, working, work ethic, professionalism, all that sort of stuff. I’m not professional anyways at speaking, so hard for me to say exactly. I’ve done a lot of really cool things and been fortunate in the positions I’ve been in. I’ve had a lot of great experiences and have won a lot of races; won a lot of championships and it’s been amazing. To me, I feel like since having a family and things like that, it’s been really fun on that front to kind of learn, see perspective from a different set of eyes. That’s been really, really cool with my growth and who I’ve become the last few years. Just excited for the future.. still of what’s ahead. Like I said earlier, a lot of dumb stuff in the past. You learn from those and you try to better yourself forward, and I feel like a lot of that has happened.”

chevy Racing–NASCAR–Texas–William Byron

 WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1, met with the media prior to the NASCAR Cup Series practice and qualifying session at Texas Motor Speedway. Press Conference Quotes:  You started driving in a car at age 14, several years after a lot of other competitors. As more and more kids are racing at an earlier age, do you think that somebody could be in your position a decade later by not competing until the age 14 on the track? Is there still that path that you were able to do through iRacing? “I mean, I think you can still do it that way, just because I feel like it’s more of a maturity thing. I don’t think that me starting younger would have yielded the same results. I just feel like me starting when I did, I felt like I understood things. I watched racing for a long time and I had a little bit better idea of what I was looking to do. I feel like starting really young is fine, if that’s what you choose to do. But it’s easy to get burnt out, too. So you don’t want to be burnt out at 14 years old – have raced for so many years, so many weekends, that you don’t have much of a life outside of that. I feel like I’ve learned a lot of things by starting when I did and kind of going from there, and still having the desire and the drive now to do it every weekend.” Can maturity still overcome laps run? “Yeah, I think it’s quality of laps. I don’t think just any laps are good. I think I’ve spent plenty of time at go-cart tracks and going to race different things, and I can’t say that all of those laps were valuable to what I do on Sunday’s. I think some of them were. It’s more quality than quantity, I think, and getting yourself in competitive environments where it’s very difficult to compete and win. I think that’s really important because having that false sense of confidence that you’re going to win every race is not real. So you have to put your kid in different situations that he’s going to be challenged – see how they perform and see if they enjoy it. If they enjoy that challenge, that’s usually what it takes. When you get to this level, you’re only going to win maybe 10 to 20 percent of the time. So it’s very difficult – you go a lot of weeks losing.” The temperature Sunday is supposed to be around 100 degrees. Is there a point where it’s too hot to compete and what precautions are you taking? “Yeah, I mean it’s certainly going to be really hot. Last year was around 96 degrees.. I was looking at that, for reference. But I do think it’s going to be tough. These cars are really hot. We take a lot of measures to help cooling on our side, with the cool shirts and all those things. So hopefully all of that stuff works well and we can have a smooth day. It’s nice that it’s 100 miles shorter. It’s a bigger race track, so there’s a little bit more airflow and less work in the corners. I feel like if you were at Bristol (Motor Speedway) and it was 100 degrees, you’d have guys really falling out. But here, I think it will be a little bit easier.” I assume you watched last year’s race – what’s it like to watch and see all those tires blow, and you had your deal with (Denny) Hamlin that created drama for a couple of weeks. What are those feelings when you’re watching it – you’re trying to learn, but there was all this stuff going on? “Yeah, there was a lot of chaos last year. I think what I looked at is how fast our car was. What inspired me was how good we were last year – how we could pass through the field. We missed out on a couple of stage points here and there, I thought, during the race. Stage Two, just the way that it went at the end there, we probably missed out on two. And then Stage One, as well. I feel like we could have had even more points that day. So that’s kind of what I look at – how do we maximize that day a little bit better if we have the same speed this year, or hopefully a little bit better. I like this race track and I feel like I was able to navigate through traffic. I’m hopeful that tires aren’t an issue this year. They did a tire test here, so I’m trusting all of that stuff. And for us, just hopefully bring similar speed.” It’s been a great season for your team to this point. Looking back on what you’ve accomplished so far, personally, how does that make you feel to say – I’ve had a dominate season to this point? “Yeah, I haven’t really reflected on that too much. I thought about that over the last couple of weeks, or really the last week, in general, as we start the next round – trying to enjoy what we’ve accomplished if this doesn’t work for me. I haven’t thought about how good of a season it’s been or anything like that, so definitely not where my mind is. Maybe in November, I might look back and reflect and say it was a great year, but there’s still a lot to accomplish and I feel like we’re just starting to get into the meat of the season. This is an important time of the year and it’s hard to just reflect and look back.” Getting through this race and looking forward to Talladega Superspeedway and the ROVAL, being the two wild card races, so to speak for the next couple of races – that momentum, those points, are going to help you. But how do you tackle those two races to move onto the next round?“Yeah, I mean Talladega (Superspeedway) has been hit-or-miss for us in the last couple of years. We’ve had solid finishes. We’ve been good at avoiding crashes with my spotter and we’ve been good at managing our way to the front. I think we can get a little bit better at getting some stage points here and there. So I look at that – try to make better decisions. Definitely a lot of studying that’s going to go into this week to figure out what we need to do a little bit better for Talladega, based on Daytona (International Speedway) and Talladega in the spring. I’m a little nervous about that one. The (Charlotte) ROVAL, I’m confident in it. I think we’ve always been fast there. It’s always been a good track for me, and just winning Watkins Glen (International), I think we’ve got a good road course feel. We just have to get through Talladega, really.” With how difficult it is to pass here, typically, what is the importance of getting a good qualifying lap in and the importance of strategy? “Yeah, it is important, for sure. But last year, I saw a lot of passing. As crazy as that was to see, I thought there was a lot of passing throughout the field last year. I think this Next Gen car yields itself to have some of that. With it being hot out, I think you’re going to move around the track some within those two grooves that we have here. You’re going to be off the throttle and able to pass people. Not a huge deal to start in the teens, I would say, but you definitely don’t want to start in the 20s. And it is a short first stage, so you have to get a lot done quickly. So hopefully we start in the top-10 like we have been and hopefully on the front-row. But if not, your day’s not done.” I know you said you don’t really want to reflect on some of the accomplishments that you’ve had so far this year, however, you’ve improved every season, statistically. Do you feel like this year is the year that you legitimately can go for the championship? Do you have the expectation and confidence to possibly be able to do that?“I mean, I definitely think it’s my best chance that I’ve had, so far. I look at being 25 years old – I feel like I have a lot of opportunities at this, so this is a learning experience to see what the pressure is like getting to Phoenix (Raceway). So hopefully we make it past Martinsville (Speedway) this year. We were close last year and hopefully we just get a little bit closer. I feel like each year has been that steady progression, steady learning curve, so I just want to keep that going and try to make that next step.  Yeah, I think it’s a great opportunity. I think our team is probably as good as it’s ever been, so we’re definitely really capable.” You do have the most wins on the season and it’s your best year, so far. Is there one thing you can point to that’s made the difference between this year and years past? “I don’t know – I think we just came out of the off-season with a lot of hunger and a lot of drive to be better, and I think we prepared like that throughout the off-season. Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) was working on Christmas Eve, so I think it really never stopped, and I think that started with him and then trickled throughout the team. Myself, I never really took a break. I was racing throughout the off-season, so I think a lot of things were different. We didn’t really settle for what we did last year – having a couple of wins and getting close. I think we went at it full-steam and tried to get better, and it showed once we showed up at Las Vegas (Motor Speedway) for the third race of the year and we were really strong. I think it just continued throughout the year and we just have to keep improving.”

ELDORA EXCELLENCE: Rico Abreu Fends Off Gravel for Third Eldora World of Outlaws Victory

Abreu survives Gravel’s final corner slider notch yet another win at the historic half mileROSSBURG, OH (September 22, 2023) – Rico Abreu is on a roll at Eldora Speedway. The high banks and high speeds of “The Big E” seem to suit the Californian perfectly. And on Friday night, Abreu delivered the latest testament to his prowess at the historic facility.The 31-year-old took the lead on the opening circuit of the 30-lapper and never looked back. Abreu held off early challenges from Giovanni Scelzi and survived a Hail Mary slide job from David Gravel in the final corner to seal a win in the BeFour the Crowns Showdown as the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars kicked off Four Crown weekend.The victory moved Abreu up to six with The Greatest Show on Dirt in 2023. He’s now at four triumphs in his last 10 Sprint Car starts at the half mile. The other three are last year’s BeFour the Crowns Showdown, another World of Outlaws win this past May, and an Eldora Million prelim in July. As the World of Outlaws closed out their 2023 slate at Eldora, Abreu became the first and only to notch multiple Series victories at “The House that Earl Built.”“Just more seat time around this track,” Abreu said of his recent Eldora success. “Ricky Warner and these guys work so hard. They’re so passionate about racing. What I’ve understood in my career is just surround yourself with people that are passionate about this sport and want to see me do good, and that’s how we stand up here in Victory Lane. We all just believe in each other.”The pole position at the drop of the green flag belonged to Logan Schuchart courtesy of topping the Toyota Racing Dash. But it was Abreu blasting around the top side to lead down the back straightaway on Lap 1 and pace the first circuit.On the second lap, Gio Scelzi quickly began to flex his muscle as he cleared a perfect slide job on Schuchart to take over the runner-up spot in Turns 1 and 2. Right after snagging second, Scelzi went to work tracking down Abreu.While the pilot of the Rico Abreu Racing #24 ripped the thin cushion all around Eldora, Scelzi made up ground tip-toeing the low line in Turns 3 and 4. The Fresno, CA native rolled tightly along the inside fence to close in. On the seventh lap, Scelzi used a strong run out of Turn 4 to attack. He threw a massive slider at Abreu heading into Turn 1 in a bid for the lead. But Abreu kept the gas pedal mashed to the floor and motored around Scelzi as the two nearly touched exiting the second turn.Scelzi’s unsuccessful slider scrubbed momentum from the KCP Racing #18 as Abreu pulled ahead down the backstretch. The close call appeared to lift Abreu’s elbows up as he began to distance himself from Scelzi and the rest of the field.As the race neared the halfway point, Abreu opened up his advantage as the St. Helena, CA native expertly sliced through traffic. The gap between he and Scelzi eclipsed two seconds on Lap 16, and as the race dwindled to 10 laps to go, Abreu appeared headed to an easy win. But then the yellow lights flashed for the first time as James McFadden got into the fence and spun to a stop.The race was interrupted one last time as Spencer Bayston had an issue in Turns 1 and 2 to set up a six-lap dash to the checkered flag. On the late restart, Abreu inched ahead as a surging David Gravel began to challenge Scelzi for second. Gravel could comfortably move his Big Game Motorsports #2 around the surface, and he used a run to slide by Scelzi for the runner-up spot on Lap 27 before setting his sights on Abreu.Like Scelzi earlier in the race, Gravel found speed on the bottom of Turns 3 and 4, and he trimmed three tenths of a second off Abreu’s lead on the lap after he took over second. The next lap another three tenths were erased as they took the white flag. And as the lead duo rolled down the backstretch one last time, Gravel launched a Hail Mary slider into Turn 3 but barely missed clearing Abreu as the exited Turn 4.“I knew,” Abreu said of Gravel’s closing presence. “My pace slowed down on the top. There weren’t too many cars running all the way up on the wall and it was getting crumby. I knew I won a race here a couple years ago just cheating it into (Turns) 3 and 4. The sun bakes that end, so it’s the fastest corner to slicken up. You’ve just really got to pay attention. Racing with the Outlaws things happen really quickly.”Abreu surviving Gravel’s last gasp allowed him to reach the finish line first to lock up another Eldora victory to continue his recent tear at the Rossburg, OH facility.“That’s the best Eldora right there,” Abreu said. “It was just really maneuverable with our race car.”The slide job that came up a little short caused Gravel to settle for second as he narrowly missed making the trip to Victory Lane. The runner-up result marked Gravel’s Series-high 28th World of Outlaws podium of the season. Gravel left feeling satisfied with the strong run but also wished the Feature could’ve been slightly longer with how his machine came alive late.“We definitely needed a 40-lap race there,” Gravel said. “I felt like everybody was getting worse and we were either staying the same or getting better there at the end. I just kind of figured out (Turns) 3 and 4. And in (Turns) 1 and 2 Rico was leaning on the cushion really hard and hitting it and getting tight and wasn’t making a lot of corner speed where I felt like I was. If I was in clean air in front of him through (Turns) 1 and 2, we would’ve been really hauling ass through there, but still a solid run for us.”After challenging for the lead early on, Gio Scelzi brought his #18 machine home third to round out the top three. The finish marked his sixth podium of his rookie World of Outlaws campaign. Most importantly, the strong run suppled he and the team with a much needed confidence boost following a rough west coast swing.“We were fast all night from the drop of the green flag,” Scelzi said. “I felt like every move we made and every change we made really made the car a lot better. It’s been probably the crappiest three weeks I’ve had in my entire racing career. I don’t think people realize whether we suck or whether we win, the same amount of work goes in with my crew guys. This is 100% dedicated to them and all the sponsors that stay behind us.”Carson Macedo and Logan Schuchart completed the top five.With Brad Sweet finishing ninth, Gravel’s runner-up helped him trim Sweet’s point lead down from 90 markers to 76.Donny Schatz collected the KSE Racing Hard Charger with a 15th to 6th drive.David Gravel earned the Simpson Racing QuickTime Award for the 11th time in 2023 and 108th time in his career.CASE No.1 Engine Oil Heat One went to David Gravel (234th Heat Race win of career). NOS Energy Drink Heats Two through Four were topped by Giovanni Scelzi (34th of career), Logan Schuchart (119th of career), and Justin Peck (ninth of career).Kerry Madsen won the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown.After an incident with less than 10 laps to go ended a potential top 10 run, James McFadden was given the Smith Titanium Brake Systems Break of the Race.UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars make their last appearance in the state of Ohio on Saturday, September 23 at Sharon Speedway for the Federated Auto Parts Showdown. For tickets, CLICK HERE.If you can’t make it to the track, catch all of the action live on DIRTVision.RESULTS:NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps): 1. 24-Rico Abreu[2]; 2. 2-David Gravel[4]; 3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[3]; 4. 41-Carson Macedo[9]; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart[1]; 6. 15-Donny Schatz[15]; 7. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild[6]; 8. 13-Justin Peck[7]; 9. 49-Brad Sweet[11]; 10. 26-Zeb Wise[19]; 11. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[13]; 12. 8-Aaron Reutzel[8]; 13. 9R-Chase Randall[12]; 14. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss[17]; 15. 21H-Brady Bacon[10]; 16. 11-Cory Eliason[24]; 17. 88-Austin McCarl[16]; 18. 42-Sye Lynch[22]; 19. 4-Chris Windom[23]; 20. 7S-Robbie Price[26]; 21. 9-Kasey Kahne[18]; 22. 1T-Tanner Holmes[25]; 23. (DNF) 5-Spencer Bayston[14]; 24. (DNF) 83-James McFadden[5]; 25. (DNF) 55-Kerry Madsen[21]; 26. (DNF) 9P-Parker Price Miller[20]

Mike Marlar Captures C.J. Rayburn Memorial Friday Night at Brownstown

BROWNSTOWN, IN (September 22, 2023) – Mike Marlar and the late C.J. Rayburn were long time friends and on Friday Night he paid the best tribute he could to one of his racing mentors – winning the 40-lap 2nd Annual C.J. Rayburn Memorial at Brownstown Speedway. The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned event drew 45 cars to the historic Southern Indiana venue. Marlar grabbed the lead from Nick Hoffman on lap nine when Hoffman slipped off the frontstretch. Marlar then went on to take the $10,000 victory ahead of Ricky Thornton Jr., Devin Moran, Jonathan Davenport, and Hoffman. The race went green to checkers without any caution flags. Hoffman jumped to the lead at the start of the race and held the top spot for the first eight circuits until he got off the track on the frontstretch allowing Marlar to take over. Hoffman held the second spot behind Marlar for several laps with Brandon Overton, Thornton, and Moran all in the hunt. Thornton outdueled Overton moving to third and then passed Hoffman for second. Thornton then caught Marlar bringing Moran and later Davenport into the fray. At one point the top four were separated by mere seconds as Marlar would fight off challenges for the win – the 21st Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory of his career.  Marlar’s third win this season with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series was arguably the most emotional of his racing career. “I will try to keep it together, C.J.’s special to us and when he passed away, I took it as hard as when my granddad or anybody. I fought hard there, I didn’t have the best car, but he [C.J.] was up there helping me out. I was just making it happen. I am just glad that C.J.’s family and all of these supporters of Brownstown Speedway were here. He [C.J.] means so much to all of us and we hated to lose him, but nobody ever lived as good as he did. So, I just really miss him, and miss him everyday honestly and I was glad to get this race won. It’s definitely one of the biggest ones for sure.” Thornton looking for his series-leading 21st win of the season pulled alongside Marlar on several occasions but settled for second. “He [Marlar] was good we had a couple of shots and just got ran off the racetrack. But we’ll try again tomorrow congrats to him [Marlar] he had a really good car. I was watching him at the beginning, and he could just fire off better than any of us. But I felt like in the longer race our race will be pretty good tomorrow, overall, the track was pretty good I am glad they did something to it.”  Moran, who was in the thick of things in the waning laps rounded out the Big River Steel Podium in third. “They finally widened the track out enough and you could get on the bottom. The track was really good. We could race all over it. Congrats to Mikey I know him and C.J. were pretty tight, so it was cool to see him win.”  The winner’s Ronnie Delk-owned Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Can-Am Auto Salvage, Delk Equipment, Petroff Towing, Bilstein Shocks, Paulson-Stussy Construction, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Midwest Sheet Metal, Capital Race Decals, Delk-Marlar Racing Development. Completing the top ten were Brandon Overton, Tim McCreadie, Jason Jameson, Josh Rice, and Daulton Wilson.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Race Summary 2nd Annual CJ Rayburn MemorialFriday, September 22, 2023Brownstown Speedway | Brownstown, IN
Allstar Performance Time TrialsFast Time Group A: Brandon Overton | 13.465 seconds (overall)Fast Time Group B: Nick Hoffman | 13.990 seconds
Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 76-Brandon Overton[1]; 2. 11R-Josh Rice[3]; 3. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[5]; 4. 97-Michael Chilton[6]; 5. 96V-Tanner English[4]; 6. 10-Garrett Smith[2]; 7. 29J-Jordan Wever[8]; 8. 23-Cory Hedgecock[7]; 9. 76M-Shelby Miles[9]; 10. 18B-Chase Burda[10]; 11. 33M-Dallas Miller[12]; 12. 14-Quentin White[11]
Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[1]; 2. 39-Tim McCreadie[2]; 3. 12-Jason Jameson[3]; 4. 20TC-Tristan Chamberlain[4]; 5. 15-James Rice[5]; 6. 11-Spencer Hughes[7]; 7. 1T-Tyler Erb[6]; 8. 42-Terry Casey[8]; 9. 68-Adam Stricker[9]; 10. 22-Skyller Lewis[11]; 11. 93-Zak Blackwood[10]
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 9H-Nick Hoffman[1]; 2. 99-Devin Moran[3]; 3. 58-Garrett Alberson[2]; 4. 111B-Max Blair[4]; 5. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[5]; 6. 88-Greg Johnson[6]; 7. 24-Jared Bailey[8]; 8. 13W-David Webb[7]; 9. 71R-Rod Conley[9]; 10. 23K-Keegan Cox[10]; 11. 11J-Jarod Fleetwood[11] AP1 Insurance Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 157-Mike Marlar[1]; 2. 49-Jonathan Davenport[3]; 3. 18D-Daulton Wilson[2]; 4. 7-Ross Robinson[4]; 5. 1H-Hudson O’Neal[6]; 6. 32-Chad Stapleton[5]; 7. 18-Trevor Landrum[7]; 8. 1CJ-Justin Shaw[11]; 9. 1G-Devin Gilpin[9]; 10. 99B-Boom Briggs[8]; 11. 28S-Jeffrey Shackelford[10]
Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 15-James Rice[2]; 2. 11-Spencer Hughes[4]; 3. 96V-Tanner English[1]; 4. 1T-Tyler Erb[6]; 5. 29J-Jordan Wever[5]; 6. 10-Garrett Smith[3]; 7. 68-Adam Stricker[10]; 8. 76M-Shelby Miles[9]; 9. 22-Skyller Lewis[12]; 10. 93-Zak Blackwood[14]; 11. 18B-Chase Burda[11]; 12. 33M-Dallas Miller[13]; 13. 14-Quentin White[15]; 14. 23-Cory Hedgecock[7]; 15. 42-Terry Casey[8]
UNOH B-Main Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 1H-Hudson O’Neal[2]; 2. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[1]; 3. 32-Chad Stapleton[4]; 4. 1CJ-Justin Shaw[8]; 5. 88-Greg Johnson[3]; 6. 24-Jared Bailey[5]; 7. 18-Trevor Landrum[6]; 8. 71R-Rod Conley[9]; 9. 23K-Keegan Cox[11]; 10. 99B-Boom Briggs[12]; 11. 11J-Jarod Fleetwood[13]; 12. 28S-Jeffrey Shackelford[14]; 13. (DNS) 13W-David Webb; 14. (DNS) 1G-Devin Gilpin
2nd Annual CJ Rayburn Memorial Feature Finish (40 Laps):
Race Statistics  Entrants: 45Terminal Maintenance & Construction Pole Sitter: Brandon OvertonLap Leaders: Nick Hoffman (Laps 1-8); Mike Marlar (Laps 9-40) Wieland Feature Winner: Mike MarlarArizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/aBrandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/aMargin of Victory: 0.803 seconds Gorsuch Performance Solutions Cautions: n/aSeries Provisionals: Tyler Erb; Boom BriggsFast Time Provisional: n/aSeries Emergency Provisionals: n/aTrack Provisional: Skyller LewisBrownstown Hall of Fame Race Provisional: Devin GilpinBig River Steel Podium Top 3: Mike Marlar, Ricky Thornton, Jr., Devin MoranPenske Shocks Top 5: Mike Marlar, Ricky Thornton, Jr., Devin Moran, Jonathan Davenport, Nick HoffmanTodd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Hudson O’Neal (Advanced 7 Positions) Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Tim McCreadieDeatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Garrett AlbersonEarnhardt Technologies Most Laps Led: Mike Marlar (32 Laps) Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Ricky Thornton, Jr.Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Ricky Thornton, Jr. O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: Max Blair Etchberger Trucking Fastest Lap of the Race: Nick Hoffman (Lap 2 – 14.480 seconds) MD3 Tough Break of the Race: Boom BriggsOuterwears Crew Chief of the Race: Josh Davis (Mike Marlar) ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Race EnginesMiller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn ChassisDirt DraftFastest in Hot Laps: Hudson O’Neal (13.244 seconds)Time of Race: 10 minutes 39 seconds
The Big River Steel Chase for the Championship Presented by ARP Point Standings: