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The NASCAR X-FINITY Series Visit Indy For The Lilly Diabetes 250

THE NASCAR X-FINITY SERIES … also visits the famed Indy oval this weekend for Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250. Saturday’s race will be the final Dash 4 Cash race of the season offering four drivers the opportunity to win a one-hundred-thousand dollar bonus. For Ty Dillon it also is an opportunity to lock himself into the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase should he win the Dash 4 Cash by virtue of winning the bonus at Richmond. Winning the race would also snap a sixty-four race winless streak stringing back to his first series victory at Indianapolis in 2014. He will be up against tough competition, not only from the series regulars but also six Sprint Cup Series drivers who will be pulling double duty. Those drivers are Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, Matt DiBenedetto and Kyle Busch, who was able to sweep the weekend last year.

Kyle Larson Takes The Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway

Kyle Larson came from a lap down to win Wednesday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway. Larson drove the No. 24 DC Solar GMS Motorsports Silverado to his first victory in three tries in the annual summer visit to the historic dirt track. However, it was not smooth sailing to the checkered flag for Larson who was penalized for intentionally causing a caution on lap fifty-two when he spun after a tire went down. He went a lap down but was able to make it up and charged into the lead with thirty-two laps to go. Last year’s winner Christopher Bell made a late charge but made contact with the wall in the closing laps and would take the checkered flag in second. Rico Abreu, who also experienced problems earlier in the race, charged back to finish third. Jake Griffin and Tyler Reddick rounded out the top-five. Dirt late model driver Bobby Pierce looked as if he might pull off the upset, leading one hundred and two of the one hundred and fifty lap race, but experienced clutch and transmission problems on the final restart, eventually spinning out trying to pass Larson with only a few laps to go. Pierce would end the night a disappointing twenty-fifth. Pierce, Reddick, Ken Schrader, JR Heffner and Ben Rhodes won preliminary qualifying races while Cody Coughlin and Abreu made their way into the feature by finishing first and second in the last chance race in a night that was filled with action from start to finish.

Sprint Cup Teams Test At Indianapolis

A number of NASCAR Sprint Cup teams took part in a two-day organizational test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday. The test was in advance of the Crown Royal presents the Wounded Warrior Coalition 400 to be held on July 24. Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, and Kevin Harvick were among those at the test that were consistently fast in each of the sessions. Two sessions were held on Tuesday, with teams working through the lunch break Wednesday due to a threat of weather in the area. Matt Kenseth who was second quickest in the opening session on Tuesday noted that the tire fall off was significant with the new lower downforce package being used this season and expected that fall off to translate to good racing. Others taking part in the test included Paul Menard, Joey Logano, Brian Scott, Chris Buescher, Trevor Bayne, Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. AJ Allmendinger and his No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing team were originally scheduled to attend the test, but following two incidents on Saturday night in Kentucky that injured Allmendinger’s hand, the team passed on attending the test. Allmendinger has been cleared to return to NASCAR competition following an X-ray on Monday.

Brad Keselowski Claims His Twentieth Career Victory And Third This Season

Brad Keselowski led a race-high 115 laps on Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway, including the final seventeen, to claim his twentieth career victory and third this season. The final caution period forced the race one lap past its scheduled distance. On the restart, Keselowski darted away from the field and beat runner-up Kyle Busch to the checkered flag by fifteen one-hundredths of a second. Trevor Bayne finished third with Joey Logano fourth and Ricky Stenhouse Junior fifth. Fords claimed four of the five top finishing positions with Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota the only “outsider” among them. Pole sitter Greg Biffle led just one lap and finished eighth in the forty-car field.

Keselowski started fifth in his Number-2 Team Penske Ford, took his first lead nine laps into the race and ran steadily in the top five throughout the night. His three wins tie Busch for the series lead as drivers start thinking about seeding for the post-season Chase that begins in two-and-a-half months … Saturday’s race included five cautions, most notably for a massive crash that gobbled up half the field early in the second half of the race.

The twenty-two-car melee was triggered when Jamie McMurray brushed teammate Kyle Larson and then went up the track across the nose of Jimmie Johnson’s Chevrolet. Dale Earnhardt Junior and Kevin Harvick were among those victimized. Earnhardt was able to complete the race and finished twenty-first. Harvick could not and he placed thirty-ninth, watching his regular-season points lead shrink to fourteen over Keselowski – who advanced from fourth to second in the standings with nine races remaining before the Chase opens.

More Penalties For Ganass Racing

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Number-42 Sprint Cup Series team has been penalized for the second week in a row, following Kyle Larson’s third-place finish Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. Last week, crew chief Chad Johnston drew a one-race suspension after it was discovered during post-race inspection at Pocono that all the lug nuts on Larson’s Chevrolet were not properly tightened. On Wednesday, interim crew chief Philip Surgen was fined twenty-five thousand dollars after Larson’s car failed post-race inspection at M-I-S. The team was also docked fifteen driver and owner championship points.

In the Camping World Truck Series, Red Horse Racing crew chief Scott Zipadelli has been suspended for one race, fined five thousand dollars and placed on probation through December 31st. Following German (air-MONN) Quiroga Junior’s eighth-place finish last weekend in Texas, it was determined that all the lug nuts on his Number-11 Toyota were not properly tightened.

And in the X-FINITY Series, Team Penske crew chief Brian Wilson has been fined seventy-five hundred dollars and the Number-22 team was docked ten championship points. Joey Logano’s Ford failed post-race inspection at Michigan following his sixth-place finish in the Menards 250.

In addition to the Ganassi penalties after the Michigan race, sixteen Sprint Cup teams – more than one-third of all entries  were issued written warnings for various infractions.

The list of drivers whose teams violated NASCAR rules includes Hendrick Motorsports teammates Chase Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Junior … and Stewart- Haas Racing’s Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart.

Joey Logano takes FireKeepers Casino 400

Joey Logano started fast and closed strong Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, dominating the day in marching to his first points-paying win of the season. The Team Penske driver started from the pole, led thirty of the first forty laps and sealed the deal by keeping his Number-22 Ford in front over the final forty-eight trips around the two-mile Irish Hills oval. Logano led 138 of the two hundred laps run Sunday, backing up last month’s victory in the Sprint All-Star Race with his fifteenth career Cup Series win.

The margin of victory was eighty-eight one-hundredths of a second over rookie runner-up Chase Elliott. Kyle Larson came home in third place with Michigan native Brad Keselowski running fourth and regular-season points leader Kevin Harvick completing the top five. With team owner Roger Penske celebrating fifty years in motor sports this season, Sunday’s victory by Logano was the team’s fiftieth with Ford Motor Company … Youth was served on Sunday with the average age of the top three finishers – Logano, Elliott and Larson – just 23 years old, the youngest average age for the top three finishers in a Sprint Cup race in NASCAR’s sixty-eight- year history.

Kurt Busch finished tenth, not only bidding for his second straight win of this season but his second consecutive victory in Michigan’s June race. Although he missed another trip to Victory Lane, Busch did hold onto second place in the regular-season standings and now trails leader Harvick by thirty points heading into an off-weekend. The Sprint Cup Series will then resume June 26 th in Sonoma, California.

Another Cup Crew Chief Suspended

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Chad Johnston has become the fourth Sprint Cup Series crew chief to be suspended in eight days. During post-race inspection following Kyle Larson’s eleventh-place finish on Monday at Pocono Raceway, it was discovered that all the lug nuts on his Number-42 Chevrolet were not properly tightened.

Johnston received a one-race suspension, was fined twenty thousand dollars and placed on NASCAR probation through December 31 st . On June 1 st, Cup Series crew chiefs Randall Burnett (who works with A-J Allmendinger), Tony Gibson (Kurt Busch) and Brian Pattie (Greg Biffle) were suspended for rule violations at Charlotte.

In addition to Johnston’s suspension, six Cup teams were given written warnings on Wednesday for a variety of inspection violations at Pocono. Drivers whose teams were warned are Aric Almirola, Matt DiBenedetto, Ty Dillon, Jamie McMurray, Danica Patrick and Regan Smith.

Kyle Larson Takes The Pocono Green 250

“Mother Nature” kept her word on Saturday and Kyle Larson was in the right place at the right time to capitalize at Pocono Raceway. He had his Number-42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet at the front of the field when the race was stopped by rain three laps past the halfway point of the track’s inaugural X-FINITY Series race. A wet weekend was forecast heading into Saturday’s race, in which Larson led twenty-seven laps including the last nineteen trips around “The Tricky Triangle.”

Rookie pole sitter Erik Jones finished second with Ty Dillon, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano completing the top five. Elliott Sadler grabbed sixth place and cut three points off Daniel Suarez’s lead in the standings. Suarez finished ninth on Saturday and will carry an eleven-point advantage into the next race next weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

With Larson’s victory, Sprint Cup Series drivers have now won nine of the first twelve X-FINITY Series races run this season. Jones and Sadler are the only series regulars to taste victory. Larson started fourth in the forty-car field and had his first lead of the day at Lap-24 … The race included six lead changes among five drivers, four of which are Sprint Cup regulars: Busch, Logano, Larson and Aric Almirola.

Joey Logano Takes Sprint All-Star Race

Joey Logano chased race leader Kyle Larson down in the late stages of the final segment Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, grabbing his final lead of the night just two laps from the finish and keeping the Number-22 Ford in front the rest of the way to notch his first victory in the annual non-points special event. Brad Keselowski finished second, giving Team Penske a one-two sweep in the race – which featured a new format that included mandatory pit stops within a prescribed period of time that left many competitors confused and uncertain of what was unfolding.

In a random draw before the night’s final thirteen-lap segment, it was revealed that the top eleven drivers would have to pit for four tires while the remainder of the field would remain on the track on old rubber. Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson restarted on the front row for the final segment but on worn tires, they were no match for competitors who clearly benefitted from the four-tire pit stop. Larson quickly moved into the lead and held the top spot until Logano’s late charge to victory. Larson brushed the outside wall while racing hard with Logano and slipped to sixteenth place at the finish.

Larson and Carl Edwards each won one of the two fifty-lap segments that preceded the final dash to the checkered flag, which netted Logano a one-million-dollar payday. Keselowski led a race-high thirty-nine laps en route to his runner-up finish. Dale Earnhardt Junior placed third with Edwards and Kurt Busch completing the top five.

39 Entries For Cup Series Race

There are thirty-nine drivers on the preliminary entry list for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 including thirty-six “Charter” teams. The three non-Charter drivers are rookie Ryan Blaney, Cole Whitt and Josh Wise.

There are six Cup Series competitors who are signed up for double duty and will also drive in Saturday’s X-FINITY Series race: Blaney, Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson. Harvick is the defending race winner. Busch leads all drivers with six X-FINITY Series wins on the two-mile Fontana oval including a stretch of three in a row in 2010 and 2011.

Joe Gibbs leads all car owners with eight victories there, all coming consecutively from 2008 through 2012. Busch, Joey Logano and Tony Stewart contributed to that run of success.

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