Monday, February 21, 2022

Daytona - NASCAR / ARCA Race Weekend Recap

Daytona - NASCAR / ARCA Race Weekend Recap

Winners: Austin Cindric (Cup); Austin Hill (Xfinity); Zane Smith (Trucks) and Corey Heim (ARCA)

Welcome back to the World Center of Racing, fans! Not sure about the reader, however this author can express that it has been a long off-season. NASCAR’s return to the big stage did not disappoint.



Rookie Austin Cindric gets first NASCAR Cup Series


On the 85th birthday of his car owner, Roger Penske, 23-year-old NASCAR Cup Series rookie Austin Cindric beat Bubba Wallace  to the finish line by .036 seconds in overtime to win Sunday’s 64th running of the Daytona 500.


In a thrilling run to the finish in NASCAR’s new Next Gen race car at Daytona International Speedway, Cindric held off Wallace and Chase Briscoe (.091 seconds behind) to notch his first Cup victory in his eighth start in the series.


“Oh, my God—do you know what makes this even better? A packed house,” Cindric exulted after climbing from his car. “A packed house at the Daytona 500. “Oh, my God, I’ve got so many people to thank. First and foremost, Roger Penske. Happy Birthday!


“Everyone has worked so hard on this Next Gen car and through the whole process. I am so excited. This makes up for losing a championship in the last race I was in (2021 Xfinity Series season finale at Phoenix Raceway).


“I’m surrounded by great people, that’s all there is to it. I know there’s going to be highs and lows, being a rookie. I’m just grateful for the opportunity and excited to climb the mountain ahead of us on the No. 2 team. We’re in the Playoffs—that’s one box checked. My gosh, what an awesome group of fans; what an awesome race car. I’m just really thankful.”


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NASCAR Xfinity

Austin Hill Wins in First Full-Time Xfinity Series Start At Daytona

Austin Hill Wins in First Full-Time Xfinity Series Start At Daytona
Austin Hill driver of the No. 21 Bennett/United Rentals Chevrolet,
celebrates in the Ruoff Mortgage Victory Lane after winning
the NASCAR Xfinity Series Beef. It's What's For Dinner. 300.


Austin Hill nosed ahead of AJ Allmendinger moments before an incident on the backstretch at Daytona International Speedway ripped the engine and rear end out of Myatt Snider's  car. 


The caution froze the field with Hill the winner of Saturday‘s ‘Beef. It‘s What‘s for Dinner. 300’ in his first NASCAR Xfinity Series start with Richard Childress Racing.


“We timed it perfectly,” an elated Hill said after climbing from his car on the frontstretch. “Obviously, that caution came out, but we had a heck of a run, so who knows what would have happened there.


“I was able to drag back, the 98 (Riley Herbst) gave me a heck of a push, we were able to get by (Allmendinger), and this is so crazy.


“I won (a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season opener) in 2019 with a new team, now we’re with RCR, first race with them. We were able to get the job done… Man, I’m speechless. (Crew chief) Andy Street, (owner) Richard Childress, just all these guys back at RCR for believing in me. It’s been a fun offseason, and now we get to go race for a championship. Let’s go!”


Daniel Hemric, driver of the No. 11 AG1 Athletic Greens Chevrolet won the pole award during qualifying for Saturday's Xfinity Series race. 



Myatt Snider‘s Last Lap Crash

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Zane Smith Wins in Overtime in Truck Series Opener

Zane Smith celebrates with his Front Row Motorsports crew in Victory Lane after winning the Camping World Truck Series
Zane Smith celebrates with his Front Row Motorsports crew
in Victory Lane after winning the Camping World Truck Series


A seventeen-car incident as the field approached the white flag signaling one lap to go instead sent Friday night’s ‘NextEra Energy 250’ NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season-opener into overtime where 22-year old Californian Zane Smith won under caution over defending series champion, Ben Rhodes. 


A nearly 16-minute red flag was needed to clean up all the debris from the frontstretch melee, which happened only a few feet before the start-finish line and littered much of the track’s tri-oval. Had Smith – the leader at the time – crossed the line before the wreck began, the race would have ended. Instead, the remaining cars that were able to continue, continued. 


So Smith had to do it all over again. He lined up alongside Eckes for the final two-lap run to the checkered. A sturdy nudge from behind from Parker Kligerman sent Smith’s No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford-150 to the front and he was able to pull away – taking the white flag before a caution flew on the final lap. He led only three laps on the night – including the important last two. 


“It’s something else, man,” Smith said of winning at the iconic Daytona International Speedway. “This place is its own, I’ll tell you that. Literally, my heart hurt during that red flag. I thought we had it.


“Just hats off to this whole group. They’ve really put the work in and it’s so damn cool to see when it pays off. Man, this is going to be a really fun year and I’m going to try and make it a record year for myself.”


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Crash Before the White Flag



Corey Heim dominates ARCA Menards Series Season-Opener at Daytona

Corey Heim celebrates winning the Lucas Oil 200 driven
by General Tire for the ARCA Menards Series


Corey Heim and Venturini Motorsports experienced a déjà vu Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. 


Last year, Heim and his team opened the season with a superspeedway victory when he won the race following an overtime restart. While it was not technically an overtime finish this time, the 2022 Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire ended with a restart on the final lap. 


And once again, Heim wheeled his No. 20 Crescent Tools Toyota for Venturini Motorsports to the checkered flag. 


The win marked VMS’ fifth consecutive ARCA Menards Series victory at Daytona. It was Heim’s eighth trip to Victory Lane in the ARCA Menards Series dating back to 2020. 


“My team made it easy on me,” Heim said. “I had great teammates with me the whole way. Venturini Motorsports — the most organized team out here. Toyota Racing has helped me get here, Crescent Tools … It just all came together for this race, and it worked out.”


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Superstar Racing Experience

First Race on the 2022 Schedule is June 18th -Five Flags Speedway


source: NASCAR Media

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