Saturday, May 8, 2021

NASCAR Xfinity Series: Steakhouse Elite 200

NASCAR Xfinity Series: Steakhouse Elite 200

News & Notes

#NASCAR Xfinity Series:  Steakhouse Elite 200


  • Next Race: Steakhouse Elite 200
  • The Place: Darlington Raceway
  • The Date: Saturday, May 8
  • The Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV: FS1, 12:30 p.m. ET
  • Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
  • Distance: 200.1 miles (147 Laps)
    • Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45)
    • Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90)
    • Final Stage (Ends on Lap 147)


A @TooToughToTame finish we're still thinking about.

What's in store for us today? (1 PM ET, FS1)

— NASCAR Xfinity (@NASCAR_Xfinity) May 8, 2021


Xfinity Series heads to Darlington Raceway

After another off week for the NASCAR Xfinity Series last weekend, the series is back in action this weekend for the Steakhouse Elite 200 at Darlington Raceway (1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) on Saturday, May 8.


AJ Allmendinger will start from the pole with Austin Cindric joining him on the front row. Jeb Burton, Justin Haley and Noah Gragson will round out the top five starters on Saturday.


There have been 61 NASCAR Xfinity Series races held at Darlington Raceway producing 33 different race winners and 29 different pole winners.


The youngest pole winner is Kyle Busch in 2004 at age 18 years, 10 months, 18 days and the oldest pole winner was Harry Gant in 1991 at 51 years, 7 month, 21 days.


There have been 33 different race winners. The youngest winner is Chase Elliott in 2014 at age 18 years, 4 months, and 14 days. The oldest winner was Dick Trickle in 1998 at 56 years, 10 months, and 9 days.


A total of 15 of the 61 races have been won from the pole or first starting position. The last race won from the pole was in 2017 by Denny Hamlin.


NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin holds a bunch of records for the Xfinity Series at Darlington. He has the most poles (eight), most wins (eight), most top fives (14), and most top 10s (18). He’s also led the most laps at 972.


Another First: Jeb Burton wins first career Xfinity Series race at Talladega


Another First: Jeb Burton wins first career Xfinity Series race at Talladega

Time was of the essence on Saturday as a thunderstorm was barreling toward Talladega Superspeedway in the middle of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race. The competition was fierce but as the skies opened up, it was Kaulig Racing’s Jeb Burton that was able to hold onto the lead just before the final caution came out before the race was red-flagged and ultimately called because of weather securing his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win.


Burton’s win marked the third straight win at Talladega Superspeedway for Kaulig Racing as Justin Haley swept both races at the Alabama track last season.


The first two stages had no incidents. Haley won the first stage and JR Motorsport’s driver Noah Gragson won the second stage.


Series standings leader and Team Penske driver Austin Cindric finished second at Talladega followed by AJ Allmendinger, Riley Herbst and Ryan Sieg rounding out the top five.


The #Dash4Cash battle continues at @TooToughToTame! @JebBurtonRacing, @AustinCindric, @AJDinger and @NoahGragson will compete for the next $100,000 bonus on May 8.

— NASCAR Xfinity (@NASCAR_Xfinity) April 24, 2021



Not only did Gragson grab a stage win at Talladega, but he also pocketed another $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus as the highest finisher among the four eligible drivers. He won the money at the previous Dash 4 Cash event at Martinsville Speedway as well bringing his 2021 Dash 4 Cash bonus total to $200,000.


Jeb Burton, Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger and Noah Gragson have all qualified for the next round of the Dash 4 Cash that will take place at Darlington Raceway on May 8 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.


Doubled Up: Gragson wins back-to-back Dash 4 Cash checks, Darlington is next

The NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash program was designed to add elements of unpredictability and drama leading up to and during four designated races, increase on-track competition, engage fans and reward and recognize NASCAR Xfinity Series regular competitors.


The NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash will take place at four tracks in 2021 - Martinsville Speedway (April 9), Talladega Superspeedway (April 24), Darlington Raceway (May 8) and Dover International Speedway (May 15).


JR Motorsport’s Noah Gragson took home both Dash 4 Cash prizes so far this season at Martinsville and Talladega bringing his Dash 4 Cash bonus total to $200,000.


Gragson and the next three highest finishing full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers (Allmendinger, J. Burton, and Cindric) have qualified for the next round of the Dash 4 Cash program at Darlington Raceway this weekend (May 8).


The format will then continue to Dover International Speedway as the finale, with the Dash 4 Cash winner and the highest three finishing NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers at Darlington qualifying for the final round.



source: NASCAR Media

Friday, May 7, 2021

RCA EAST “Crosley Record Pressing 200”

RCA EAST “Crosley Record Pressing 200”

Nashville (3/8) Race Preview
#RaceNashville #MusicCity200 #NorthSouthChallenge

By Nascarvd NascarvĂ©dĂ© 


RCA EAST “Crosley Record Pressing 200”  #ARCA


After more than two months of waiting, our patience is finally paying off. The East Series is back for its 3rd race of the season. After Max Gutierrez in New Smyrna and Sammy Smith in Pensacola, who will take home the trophy at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, Nashville, TN?


There will not be 36 possibilities to bet on a winner. Indeed they are only 14 registered for this race. And among them, 9 have a real chance of visiting Victory Lane. The big absentee is Taylor Gray. Victim of a road accident, he still has to wait to be fully recovered after surgery to repair his 4th lumbar vertebra, his foot and his left ankle. In such a short championship with only 8 races, he's already out for the title.


There will be 200 laps on the 0.596 mile paved oval which was previously on the calendar of the Cup Series (1958-1984), the Xfinity (1984-2000) and even the Camping World Truck (1996-2000). The ARCA, in its national version, came there 6 times between 1992 and 2019. Finally concerning what interests us here, the EAST Series, it will be the 3rd time after the races of 2007 and 2008 respectively won by Rogelio Lopez and Matt Kobyluck.


The race will be divided into 3 segments with breaks on (or near) the 75th and 150th laps.


We will review the 14 drivers entered.


#06 Wayne Peterson

Last minute hired, he's just there to…? In fact, I don't know why he's there… It’s not to get a good result, he's the undisputed master of "start & park" ! With 112 DNFs in 116 races including 36 times after ... zero lap! It's not for the gains either. They are already ridiculous in ARCA for the winner, so for the 14th and last ... Evil tongues will say that he escaped from his retirement home ... At 82 years old he deserves all our respect for his tenacity.


#6 Rajah Caruth

Struggling in New Smyrna and surprisingly good in Pensacola. The REV Racing driver will have to confirm that he can be a regular candidate for the top5.


#10 Dick Doheny

He knows the track to have driven very little there in 2019 ... He's part of the badly named Fast Track Racing led by Andy Hillenburg. Nailing a top 10 in the event of a massacre among the leaders is his only hope.


#11 Richard Garvie

Aside from the missed race in Kansas due to illness, he's the one who rode the most in ARCA this year as he combines the ARCA, East and West. Thanks to the DNFs he had obtained his first top10 at Pensacola despite he was 22 laps behind the winner! But the guy is friendly and passionate.


#12 Stephanie Moyer

Like her teammate Richard Garvie, she had for her debut at Pensacola benefited from the rout of several favorites to obtain a nice 8th position with 12 laps behind the 7th and without.. no less than 2 spuns. Difficult learning but ultimately successful!


#18 Sammy Smith

Succeeding Ty Gibbs at the wheel of the #18, he quickly showed that he knew how to operate top quality equipment. 2nd for his debut, he obtained a victory on his 2nd attempt. And with the manner. Pole position, and the most laps led. In short 2021 was to be a partial season, it's now a full season with the goal of winning the championship. And Sammy already leads the standings with an 8 point lead over Taylor Gray and 9 over Max Gutierrez.


#21 Conner Jones

This is the newbie to the race. The young driver from Fredericksburg, VA replaces Jack Wood in the #21 at GMS. Indeed, Jack having changed his 2021 plans by leaving the East in favor of a full season in the ARCA National Series. Jones, who usually rides in CARS Late Models, set the bar high by announcing that he was aiming for no more and no less than a top 3 for his debut.


#30 Max Gutierrez

The Rette-Jones Racing #30 driver took the photo finish victory at New Smyrna but had a complicated race at Pensacola where to get 7th position he had to benefit 3 times from the free pass. He didn't have the speed. Hope he finds her in Nashville.


#41 Carson Kvapil

Travis’s son, the 2003 NCWTS champion, showed he could go fast but also lacked the pace for an entire race. He's looking for his first top10 of the season. In his defense, he also had his share of problems that he was not the source of. Luck is a determining factor in motorsport.


#42 Parker Retzlaff

He's very, very fast, no doubt about it. But he will have to funnel his enthusiasm so as not to burn out his tires and brakes like in New Smyrna where he led the race more than 5 seconds ahead before collapsing. Once he has completely mastered the management of a race, he will be formidable. And Parker learns fast. So that could be the case here in Nashville.


#43 Daniel Dye

Very fast but he too must manage his effort better (like Parker) and be let down by bad luck (like Carson). If everything works correctly, he will at least be a candidate for the top5.


#48 Brad Smith

The veteran has fun, he rides at his own pace and when the car hold up, he goes under the checkered flag. We wish him a good walk and who knows a top10 is still possible.


#54 Joey Iest

Twice 5th is really good. But that didn't mean Joey was a candidate for victory. He's young and is discovering the tracks. But so are the majority of his opponents. He will be the only representative of David Gilliland Racing following the withdrawal of his teammate Taylor Gray (#17). It's time to show more aggression on the track. To be more biting. This is the only complaint I can make with him.


#74 Mason Diaz

Mason is one of the most experienced drivers as he has competed in NCWTS and NXS races before. But he hasn't had a chance to win any races yet. With Visconti Motorsports he has a great car. He came very close to victory in New Smyrna and confirmed to Pensacola with a 2nd position. In my opinion, he's one of the favorites for the win.


Despite the low number of drivers, the quality is there and we should have a good race.


Race live this Saturday on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold at 9:30 p.m. ET



Opinions in this Post are solely Nascarvd Nascarvédé

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Derek Kraus: 2021 NCWTS at Darlington Race Preview

Derek Kraus: 2021 NCWTS at Darlington: Race Preview By Nascarvd NascarvĂ©dĂ© 


Derek Kraus: 2021 NCWTS at Darlington Race Preview


May 7, 2021 “ 200”
(Stages 45/90/147 laps = 200.802 miles)

“How avoiding a sophomore slump? By a win of course!”


This Friday it's the now traditional "Throwback Race" that awaits us in Darlington, South Carolina.


The old Lady in Black has been on the NASCAR schedule continuously since 1950. For the NCWTS this will be the 8th race in series history on this atypical 1,366 mile oval. After a first series of 4 races between 2001 and 2004, the trucks returned to it in 2010 and 2011 before a further hiatus until last year. A race won by Ben Rhodes. Ben who could tie the record of two NCWTS wins co-owned by Kasey Kahne and the late Bobby Hamilton, Sr.


If Ben Rhodes won last year, it was in large part thanks to a small slip by Derek Kraus during the last restart with 2 laps to go. Following an excellent strategy he was in the lead for the last restart. Despite everything, he had managed to keep the 2nd position under the checkered flag. What remains his best career result. Hopefully this year it’s on Victory Lane that we will find the young driver from Stratford, WI.


Since the arrival of Mark Hillman as crew chief, the speed is there, unfortunately the results are not yet. Blame it on incredible bad luck. When it's not a tire puncture, or a drop in engine power, it's sometimes a driving error that is the cause of the sinking ... A driving error? Yes, you read that right. Derek doesn't do a lot of errors. But it was the case in Kansas when he brushed the wall, messing up his Toyota Tundra. But Derek knows how to admit his mistakes without looking for false excuses. And that’s to his credit.


Derek Kraus: 2021 NCWTS at Darlington Race Preview



Like last year Derek will be wearing the historic colors of his sponsor NAPA Auto Parts. In 2020 it was a tribute to the 1996 championship of Ron Hornaday, Jr. This year it's again a former paint scheme of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. which is honored, that of Michael Waltrip when won the Daytona 500 in 2003. The McAnally-Hilgemann Racing's #19 Toyota Tundra is simply superb. As long as his destiny is also prolific and gets Derek into the 2021 Playoffs, it's ok for me. A win would be a fantastic result. And would help to forget that disappointing first third of the season. Indeed in the first 7 races, the #19 team only obtained one top10 (7th at Daytona RC) and two DNFs. Derek is 17th in the championship. Last year after the first 7 races, he was 11th in the championship with 4 top10s (including one top5). You must absolutely avoid the sophomore slump!


Like all atypical tracks, Darlington suits Derek's riding style well. So let's keep our fingers crossed. Because in the modern world where only profitability and money count, I wouldn't get over a "Raphael Lessard issue" for my favorite Derek!


For those who did not follow, for lack of results and money this year, despite a victory last year, the young Quebecer Raphael Lessard has just lost his ride of the #24 Chevrolet at GMS. A real injustice in my opinion. Certainly the situation was a little different for Raphael who had to scramble to finance each race by finding sponsors. Derek and MHR having multiple sponsors this year. But what about the future? Getting a ticket to the Playoffs would be a real breath of fresh air.


Michael Waltrip was able to benefit from the name of his illustrious big brother Darrell, but also from the love of the fans. His very bankable side allowed him to have a long career before finally winning his first victory after 462 races in the Cup! But what was possible in the 1980s and 1990s is no longer possible. Derek doesn't plan to wait that long to win his first race anyway. That's good because me neither!


Derek Kraus: 2021 NCWTS at Darlington Race Preview


GO Derek GO !!


Entry list, starting lineup and much more here:


Race live this Friday on FS1 at 7:30 p.m. ET