Tag Archives: Xfinity Series

Austin Dillon Wins the Pole for the NASCAR XFINITY Race at Chicagoland Speedway

NASCAR XFINITY Series knock out qualifying was held for Saturday nights Owens Corning AttiCat® 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

In the First Session Brian Scott in the #2 Jewel-Osco/Kraft Singles Chevrolet ran a very fast lap and almost hit the wall but he held on to make it into the top 24. Joey Gase driving the #52 did find the wall to bring out a red flag for cleanup. Gase will start the race 32nd.

The top 24 was 22, 31, 62, 54, 20, 60, 33, 2, 42, 7, 18, 9, 43, and 28.

In the Second Session Ross Kenseth in the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota, went out earl and posted a very fast lap to let everyone know that even though this is his first XFINITY Series start he has arrived and they should take note. We have as well.

Ryan Blaney in the No. 22 Hertz Penske Ford was a favorite for the pole. He was driving like he was going to get it but hit the wall hard in turn 2. He is going to a backup car and will start the race from the back of the field.

The top 12 moving on to the final round were 20, 1, 33, 62, 3, 60, 79, 43, 54, 18 and 6.

Third Session is only 5 minutes which rarely leaves and time for multiple runs or shots at the pole. This held true today as every car only made one lap.

Ross Kenseth improved his time from the second round and looked like he would carry that through to get the Coors Light Pole Award. Austin Dillon in the No. 33 Rheem Chevy beat him by 12 hundredths of a second. Dillon will lead the field to green.

Elliott Sadler actually tied Ross Kenseth’s time but will start third because the No. 1 One Main Financial Ford is lower in owner points. Daniel Suarez will start the race seventh, he is the fastest qualifying rookie of the year candidate.

The top 12 will be 33, 20, 1, 7, 62, 9, 18, 3, 60, 6, 54 and 43.

If you cannot get to the Chicagoland Speedway for the Owens Corning AttiCat® 300 it will be broadcast live on Saturday June 20th at 9:30 PM ET on Fox Sports 1.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: Brian Berg Jr.

Chicagoland Speedway NASCAR XFINITY Practice Notes

The NASCAR XFINITY Series held two practice sessions for Saturday nights Owens Corning AttiCat® 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. Here is some of the highlights of what happened.

Friday’s on track activities was not open to Fans unless they happened to be staying in the infield or campground on the back stretch.

The first practice was 1 hour and 25 minutes. Austin Dillon (#33) and his brother Ty Dillon (#3) were the first to go out followed by the current point’s leader Chris Buescher (#60). They each made 3 laps setting the pace for the first 30 minutes of practice at #33 176.702 MPH, #60 176.114 MPH 60 and #3 176.056MPH.

#22 Ryan Blaney made a lap 30 min into practice and went right to the top 176.876MPH.

With 29 min. left in practice Ross Kenseth in his first NASCAR XFINITY Series start got loose coming off of turn four to bring out the one and only Caution of the practice. Until that point his fastest lap was 173.589 MPH 13th on the chart. Four new tires and he was back out with 12 minutes left in practice.

Ty Dillon made a mock qualifying run with 10 min to go in practice improving his time to 177.392 to lead first practice. The end of the first practice session is about the same time of the day that qualifying will be tomorrow.

The top ten of first practice is 3, 22, 33, 60, 2, 28, 54, 18, 62, and 6.

The second session of practice is actually the last practice session of the whole weekend. There will only be qualifying on Saturday before the race. As such most every car on the track ran in race trim multiple laps, some racing one another. It showed on the speed chart.

All of the drivers in the top swapped positions multiple times. Austin Dillon went to the top on his first lap of 34 with a speed of 177.340.

The rest of the top ten were #28 JJ Yeley, #22 Ryan Blaney, #54 Drew Herring subbing for Erik Jones, #3 Ty Dillon, #60 Chis Buescher, #25 Dylan Lupton subbing for John Wes Townley, #62 Brendan Gaughan, #9 Chase Elliott and last year’s pole winner #2 Brian Scott.

Although the top ten cars in the second session is significantly different than the first they all were on very different agendas and tires. The weather will also be significantly different when they qualify on Saturday. Over all the fast cars appear to be the Richard Childress Racing cars of Austin and Ty Dillon and Brian Scott. Ryan Blaney in the Hertz Ford for Penske Racing was also fast throughout both sessions.

Qualifying will be Saturday at 5:00 PM ET.

If you cannot get to the Chicagoland Speedway for the Owens Corning AttiCat® 300 it will be broadcast live on Saturday June 20th at 9:30 PM ET on Fox Sports 1.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: Brian Berg Jr.

Ross Kenseth Jumps Right Into the NASCAR XFINITY Series

The NASCAR XFINITY Series has the spot light at Chicagoland Speedway. Ross Kenseth is also making his first start in any of NASCAR’s national series. Ross Kenseth is the son of Former Sprint Cup Champion Matt Kenseth which in itself puts on the pressure but this being his first start also focuses the spot light on him. Having his dad here also is a big help.

We talked quite a bit about different lines here and kind of what you’re going to feel through a tire run here and through practice versus the race in the cars.” Ross Kenseth added, “Kind of where and where not to be. It’s been really helpful and defining where the edge is at and to not go too far – what to do and not to do.

He started his first practice ever in an XFINITY car making laps and learning about the handling of the car. With the help of his father along the way he was running pretty decent with a high lap of 31.108 or 173.589 MPH on his third lap of the session putting him 13th on the speed chart.

With 29 min. left in practice Ross Kenseth got loose coming off of turn four. He was sideways several times, kept it off the wall until he finally spun out onto the apron in front of the grand stands. It was one incredible save to keep that car off the wall. Considering it was his first time in this car makes it even more impressive.

Kenseth said, “We worked on it quite a bit. We were pretty free there for most of the session on throttle. Spent a lot of time working on that and got in the gas pretty hard off of (turn) four and started stepping out and got to the point I thought I had it and it got really loose and then from there it was hanging on, not trying to hit the wall or get into the grass and knock the front off it.

When Kenseth got back to the garage he went up on top of the hauler to confer with this father. When asked what his father said Ross Kenseth said “He asked if I got it out of my system or not.”

The number 20 Dollar General Toyota team put four new tires on and he was back out with 12 minutes left in practice. He wasn’t able to improve on his time even with those fresh tires but he was able to shake it off and make sure he was ready for the second and final practice session.

During the break between practice sessions he was asked if having his father at the track helped him.

Kenseth said, “It’s real helpful. He’s been real fast at a lot of these tracks and I think he’s one of the better ones at these mile-and-a-half tracks and that kind of racing. Having him there for questions and advice, that’s obviously a huge help and I feel like it’s going to get us up to speed in this session. Hopefully it goes as smooth as last weekend did.

In the second qualifying session Ross Kenseth took advantage of the extra practice and ran the second most laps of 47. Only fellow rookie Brennan Poole ran more, 52 laps. He finished the session with a top speed of 173.166 that he posted on his 28th lap to put him 14th on the speed chart.

All in all, Ross Kenseth had a pretty solid day of practice at the track. It will be interesting if he can continue that and qualify well for the race on Saturday.

If you cannot get to the Chicagoland Speedway for the Owens Corning AttiCat® 300 it will be broadcast live on Saturday June 20th at 9:30 PM ET on Fox Sports 1.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 309982 Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images

The NASCAR XFINITY Series Stars Get to Shine at Chicagoland Speedway

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is off for this Father’s day weekend but that doesn’t mean there is no NASCAR racing. The XFINITY Series is racing has the spotlight on Saturday night at Chicagoland Speedway.

There is only one Sprint Cup Series regular interloping in this race and that is 2013 XFINITY Series Champion Austin Dillon driving the No. 33 Rheem Chevy for Richard Childress Racing. With nine out of 13 races in the Series won by Sprint Cup Drivers this year, including two by Austin Dillon, will he spoil the XFINITY Series Regulars Saturday night party?

Will Austin Dillon spoil his Brother Ty Dillon’s quest for his XFINITY Series Championship? Ty Dillon is currently second in the points, 25 points behind the leader. They also happen to be teammates.

Brian Scott, last year’s pole winner, has shown lots of speed all season. Will he be able to hold off his teammates Austin and Ty Dillon and finally seal the deal to get his first XFINITY Series win?

Last year’s winner and XFINITY Series Champion, Chase Elliott is also back driving the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports. He is currently third in the standings, ten points behind leader Chris Buescher, can he repeat?

Speaking of Chris Buescher, the XFINITY Series point’s leader driving the famed No. 60 for Roush Fenway Racing has won two races this season. The only other XFINITY Series drivers to win are Ryan Reed and Erik Jones. Can any of these drivers repeat with a win here at Chicagoland?

Part time Sprint Cup and XFINITY driver Ryan Blaney will be back in the No. 22 Penske Racing car that is currently leading the Owner’s points in the XFINITY Series. They lead the No. 60 by 26 points and are looking to keep that lead. Joey Logano has won three of the 13 races in this car. Blaney came close finishing second at Las Vegas, can he add to that total with a win at this 1.5 mile speedway?

Ross Kenseth, last weekend’s ARCA series winner at Michigan will make his first XFINITY Series start driving the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing car. He is not entered in the accompanying ARCA race here. How will his first stint go in one of the best XFINITY team cars in the series?

There is a whole lot to watch on Saturday Night and there is a whole lot of other good drivers not mentioned who can equally race for the win. That is why this Saturday the XFINITY Series has the spotlight and is a must watch.

If you cannot get to the Chicagoland Speedway for the Owens Corning AttiCat® 300 it will be broadcast live on Saturday June 20th at 9:30 PM ET on Fox Sports 1.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 300031 Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Rk. Car Number Driver Average Finish High Rating Average Driver Rating
1 9 Chase Elliott 5.5 145.2 126.9
2 3 Austin Dillon 4 127.1 119.4
3 22 Ryan Blaney 6.5 118.7 113.5
4 3 Ty Dillon 6 110.9 104.6
5 20 Erik Jones 7 99.5 99.5
6 2 Brian Scott 9.3 117.4 98.3
7 11 Elliott Sadler 14.3 138.1 94.7
8 60 Chris Buescher 10 95 94.2
9 33 Cale Conley 12 87.5 87.5
10 62 Brendan Gaughan 16.2 86.9 80.3
11 29 Daniel Suarez 15 78.9 78.9

Note: Drivers listed may only have a few starts at this track!

Paul Menard is Sneaking Up on Two Mile Speedways

Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Moen/Menards Chevrolet SS for Richard Childress Racing has been doing quite well on the two mile speedways of Michigan International Speedway and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California. The big question is will he be able to improve on that and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway this Sunday, June 14th 2015.

The statistics for Paul Menard at Michigan are not that great. He is 22nd in driver ratings of 71.9 in the past ten years. His average finish of 18.4 is only worthy of a yawn as is his average running position of 19.2.

What is eye catching is the fact he has finished 4th in each of the last three Sprint Cup races at Michigan. He also finished in the top ten the last three years at Auto Club including 4th this year.

Will Menard be able to continue his run on two mile speedways and improve?

Menard said, “Hard to say, there will probably be a little advantage when drafting, similar to the XFINITY Series cars, with the increased throttle time. Because of the horsepower loss, it’ll be hard to complete a pass. We’ll find out what’s in store for us this weekend.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series is also racing a Michigan this weekend. Paul Menard will be driving the No. 33 Richmond/Menards car for Richard Childress Racing. He is defending champion of that race. This will give him the extra track time he needs.

Menard is currently 11th in the standings and in a position to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup. A win here at Michigan International Speedway would guarantee that spot.

If you cannot get to Michigan International Speedway for the Quicken Loans 400 it will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 starting at 1:00 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 305028 Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images