Monday, March 27, 2023

NASCAR & ARCA Race Recaps (Cota & Five Flags)

NASCAR & ARCA Race Recaps (Cota & Five Flags)

Winners: Tyler Reddick (Cup); AJ Allmendinger (Xfinity); Zane Smith (Trucks) William Sawalich (ARCA East) 



Tyler Reddick Scores First 2023 Win at COTA

Tyler Reddick Scores First 2023 Win at COTA


Tyler Reddick prevailed in three NASCAR Overtime restarts to claim his first trophy of the year – and first with his new team, 23XI Racing, with a 1.411-second victory over two-time series champion Kyle Busch in the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix – the NASCAR Cup Series’ first road course race of the season.


It was a field of international champions and NASCAR’s very best at the famed Circuit of The Americas course, but for most of the race, the outcome looked to be decided in a good ol’ Texas duel between the two fastest cars all weekend driven by Reddick and Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron. The pair exchanged the lead, lap after exciting lap for most of the afternoon.


And on the final two-lap restart, Reddick was able to put his No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota out front exiting Turn 1 – a tight left-hander – and power forward to the lead, while Busch and third-place finisher Alex Bowman, fourth-place finisher – and defending race winner – Ross Chastain and fifth-place Byron fought door-to-door, bumper-to-bumper as they chased after him.


“I’ve been wanting to win here in a Cup car for a long time,” Reddick, the 27-year-old Californian, said who now has four NASCAR Cup Series wins, but noted this was his first as a Toyota driver and with his 23XI Racing Team – co-owned by fellow competitor Denny Hamlin and NBA superstar Michael Jordan.


“It means the world,” said Reddick, who sat down on the track and leaned against his car with a bag of ice after winning to cool down on the typically Texas-hot afternoon. “This whole 23XI team has been working hard all winter long to make the road course program better and was extremely motivated to come in here and improve performance. Just so proud of this Monster Energy team and TRD (Toyota Racing Development). All the resources they’ve put in to turn around the road course program means a lot.”


Pole: William Byron

Click Here for Race Results


Next Race: The Cup Series will return on Sunday, Apr. 2 3:30 PM ET for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway. 


NASCAR Xfinity

AJ Allmendinger Scores Second Straight Xfinity Win at COTA

AJ Allmendinger Scores Second Straight Xfinity Win at COTA


AJ Allmendinger started on the pole position and won the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pit Boss 250 presented by USA Today on Saturday at the world-renowned Circuit of The Americas road course.


The 46 laps between the green and checkered flags, however, were dramatic and full of emotional highs and lows for the veteran Allmendinger, who led 14 laps to start the race and the final 14 laps to close it out. The series’ all-time road course winner earned his 11th road course trophy (and 16th career Xfinity Series victory) despite having to navigate through the field after falling back to 25th place during mid-race green flag pit stops.


It was a major league road course lesson for the rest of the field as the 41-year-old Californian diced and sliced his way forward in the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet to win this race for the second consecutive year. He ultimately took a 0.853-second victory over relentless Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron in the No. 17 Chevrolet.


“William Byron put his best foot forward, you’ve seen all the Cup races he’s winning,” Allmendinger said of the season’s two-race winner Byron. “I knew it was going to be tough just trying to fight to get back up to the front there. Hate that I had contact with Sheldon [Creed], he got under me, I was trying to stay off him, so I hate that happened but so proud of everyone at Kaulig Racing. The Celsius Chevy was really hooked up, and with all the damage we had, it didn’t hurt the car.”


“I spent a lot of years not winning anything, so I’m going to celebrate every one of them like it’s my last one,” Allmendinger added. “You never know. As much pressure as I put on myself, I’m always going to try to live up to it. The pit crew was awesome, and I’m so proud of everyone.”


Pole: AJ Allmendinger

Click Here for Race Results


Next Race: The Xfinity Series will return on Saturday, Apr. 1, 1:00 PM ET for the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway. 



Zane Smith Goes Back-to-Back with TrucksWins at COTA

Zane Smith Goes Back-to-Back with TrucksWins at COTA


Zane Smith became the first repeat NASCAR winner at the famed Circuit of The Americas road course, the reigning series champion holding off veteran Kyle Busch to claim his second straight victory in Saturday‘s XPEL 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.


The 23-year-old Californian‘s No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford led the final 15 laps — a race best 16 of the 42 laps in all — and crossed the finish line 5.451 seconds ahead of the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Busch. The win makes Smith‘s Front Row Motorsports team a perfect 3-for-3 in Craftsman Truck Series races at COTA. Todd Gilliland won the 2021 inaugural event here.


It‘s the second victory of the year for Smith, who won the season-opener at Daytona, too — the same first two victories he earned in his 2022 championship season as well.


“Shout out to Chris Lawson for an amazing strategy,” said Smith, whose Ford F-150 had a small fire under it extinguished after his burnout.


“So cool for [sponsors] Speedco, Peak and all our partners. It was fast when it mattered. I just enjoy coming to all the road courses, especially here. So cool. Just a true testament to this team.”


“Once we got to that eight-to-go point and I was told Kyle [Busch] was in second, my heart rate went up a little bit, just because he‘s so good at managing his stuff when it mattered,” Smith continued. “So, I just tried not to make any mistakes.”


Pole: Ross Chastain

Click Here for Race Results


Next Race: The Truck Series will return on Saturday, Apr. 1, 4:30 PM ET for the 250 at Texas Motor Speedway. 



William Sawalich Delivers a Dominant Run at Five Flags Speedway for his First ARCA Win

William Sawalich Delivers a Dominant Run at Five Flags Speedway for his First #ARCA Win


William Sawalich arrived at Five Flags Speedway for the Pensacola 200 with redemption on his mind.


A potential victory in his first ARCA Menards Series start on March 10 at Phoenix Raceway evaporated in the closing laps when Sawalich was turned by Bradley Erickson on a restart. The incident forced Sawalich to limp his battered No. 18 Starkey/ Sound Gear Toyota home with a disappointing 13th place run.


No such obstacle plagued Sawalich in his inaugural ARCA Menards Series East appearance Saturday, as he led every lap from the General Tire Pole to continue a pattern of success that’s followed the No. 18 on the ARCA platform over the past few years.


“I can’t thank this Joe Gibbs Racing team enough,” Sawalich said. “We had a really fast Toyota Camry here, and the team worked hard to make this car as good as it [was].”


Pole: William Sawalich

Click Here for Race Results
Next Race: The ARCA Series (West) will return on Saturday, April 1, 10 p.m. ET at Irwindale Speedway.


source: NASCAR Media

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