Monday, October 8, 2018

NASCAR Weekend Recap - Dover

NASCAR Weekend Recap - Dover

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

I am sure NASCAR Race Mom was not the only fan on ‘pins and needles,’ hoping to see Aric Almirola nab his second career win on Sunday at Dover International Speedway. Fifty laps to go; twenty-laps to go; nine laps to go . . . . . But alas, it was not meant to be.

Instead, the bell in his hometown rang as Chase Elliott captured his second career MENCS checked flag.

When a late-race caution was shown with less than ten laps to go, Elliott became the leader when crew chief Alan Gustafson made a gutsy strategy call to not pit while many of the other leaders came to pit road for fresh tires.

The green flag waved with three laps to go, and Elliott maintained his lead and began pulling away. Then yet another caution was displayed, which brought out a red flag and sent the race into overtime.

Elliott led the field to the overtime restart and grabbed the lead as the field raced through turns one and two. Despite not having fresh tires, Elliott’s NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 proved to be too strong for the field to overcome as he raced to his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory.

Chase credits his trying times for allowing him to grow as a person and a race car driver. “It definitely makes you learn for sure, and it makes you appreciate a day like today more, I can assure you if last year wouldn’t have happened, I wouldn’t appreciate it as much as I do today,” Elliott said. “When you have those hard days, that certainly makes you learn and gives you no choice but to grow up a little bit.”

With the win, Elliott and the NAPA team secured their spot in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs Round of 8 beginning in three weeks at Martinsville Speedway.

#MENCS Playoff Standings
Round of Twelve

  1. Chase Elliott
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Martin Truex Jr.
  5. Joey Logano
  6. Kurt Busch
  7. Brad Keselowski
  8. Ryan Blaney
  9. Aric Almirola
  10. Clint Bowyer
  11. Kyle Larson
  12. Alex Bowman


NASCAR Xfinity Series

Christopher Bell drives full time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, piloting the No. 20 Toyota. Not only did he win the race at Dover, the win was Bell’s sixth of the season and gave him sole possession of 'the most wins in a season for a rookie.'

“It’s a credit to my team,” Bell said. “As a race car driver, you’re only as good as your race car.

Really fortunate to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing.

My crew chief and team work their butts off and bring really face cars to these tracks. Makes my job easy.”

He passed three drivers for most rookie wins: Greg Biffle won five races in 2001, as did Kyle Busch in 2004 and Carl Edwards in 2005.

Bell is the 2017 Truck Series champion, and a favorite to become the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity champ as well. However, with the currant system . . . . anything is possible.

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Round of Eight

  1. Christopher Bell #
  2. Justin Allgaier
  3. Daniel Hemric
  4. Cole Custer
  5. Elliott Sadler
  6. Tyler Reddick #
  7. Matt Tifft
  8. Austin Cindric # 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

The NASCAR Truck Series had a weekend off. However, they will join the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega next weekend.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Round of Eight

  1. Justin Haley
  2. Grant Enfinger
  3. Johnny Sauter
  4. Noah Gragson
  5. Brett Moffitt
  6. Matt Crafton
  7. Ben Rhodes
  8. Stewart Friesen
# = Rookie

K&N Pro Series East

Harrison Burton, the defending series champion took his No. 12 Rudd Toyota to the top of charts during the second of three qualifying groups. The pole marks the fourth in his K&N Pro Series career. The ‘Crosley 125’ was scheduled to take the green flag that evening. 

Unfortunately, due to inclement weather, NASCAR and Dover International Speedway officials postponed Friday evening’s race to Saturday, Oct. 6. 

NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series points leader Ruben Garcia Jr.’s took the lead after a battle with Todd Gilliland which ended with Gilliland making hard contact with the front-stretch wall. From there, Garcia set sail around the Monster Mile, becoming the third Rev Racing driver to win at Dover. (Bubba Wallace 2011 - Collin Cabre - 2015). His victory moved Garcia up into third place in the final championship standings.

Last year we dominated the race; we just came eight laps short with a problem tire so it is really really cool to come back and finally win this race; it is a really cool race track. It is one of those places that will give you enough experience for your plans in the future and it gives you a lot of exposure in front of Xfinity and the Cup garage. So I hope this can build some momentum for us. . . . .

After his eleventh-place finish on Saturday morning, seventeen-year-old Tyler Ankrum was officially crowned with the 2018 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title.

“Every single season you come with high expectations for yourself,” said Ankrum, who had an average finish of 4.8. “Sometimes they don’t come out the way you want, but everything that we dreamt of this year has exceeded more than our expectations. I’m ecstatic.”

Ankrum and DGR-Crosley will be honored along with NASCAR K&N Pro Series East top finishers and special awards winners at the NASCAR Awards Charlotte on Friday, Dec. 7.

The ‘Crosley 125’ will air on NBCSN on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. ET.

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