CONCORD, N.C. — Brad Keselowski tweeted after Saturday night’s Monster Energy All-Star Race that NASCAR “made up” a rule regarding the use of special soft “option” tires during the exhibition race.
But the rule that kept the No. 2 team from executing its tire strategy and ultimately ended Keselowski’s chances of winning the race was in black and white: it was listed on the race’s entry blank for drivers and teams.
NASCAR told NBC Sports the rule read as, “One (1) set of ‘Soft’ tires will be available for each team to use at their discretion during the Monster Energy All-Star Race. When choosing to put on ‘Soft’ tires it MUST be a full set of ‘Soft’ sticker tires.”
Correct. I did not know we didn't pit because @Nascar made up a rule.
Following the end of the second stage of the exhibition race, Keselowski’s team elected to use its set of option tires for the third 20-lap stage.
According to Team Penske’s post-race report, Keselowski pitted a second time under caution because of loose lug nuts. Crew chief Paul Wolfe then ordered the team to put the “primary” tires back on Keselowski’s car. The team hoped to save the tires for the final 10-lap stage, when Keselowski would have to start from the rear of the field.
But with Keselowski’s laps on the “option” tires, the stickers had been burned off.
Keselowski was forced to run the rest of the event on the primary tires. He finished eighth in the third stage and advanced to the final round. Keselowksi did not pit during the break after the third stage and restarted first. Kyle Busch started behind Keselowski and with fresher tires was able to pass him for the lead on the first lap.
Keselowski finished the night in ninth.
NASCAR America: Elliott Sadler having fun mentoring William Byron
If there’s anyone in the Xfinity Series William Byron should turn to for advice during his rookie season in the series, it’s Elliott Sadler.
A veteran of more than 800 NASCAR races across all three of its national series, Sadler has taken the lead in advising the 19-year-old driver this season. During his appearance on NASCAR America, Sadler praised the driver and the time he’s spent with him.
“That kid is special,” Sadler said. “I want to be that guy (that helps), because I had that guy. I had Jeff Green when I started, I had Dale Jarrett, people I could lean on all the time that could help the learning curve.”
Sadler leads the points standings with four races left in the regular season, but he is winless so far. Byron has earned three wins and is second in points behind Sadler.
“He’s a student of the game,” Sadler said. “I’ve been in meetings with young kids that come along, we’ve been in the meeting and kids are still playing on their phones. I’m in a meeting with William … and he’s still learning and taking notes. He’s got great questions. We’re usually sitting beside each other on the airplanes and we’re talking about things for that particular weekend. I can’t help him drive the car faster. But I can help him maybe with restarts and getting on pit road. Maybe things to think about on Friday to maybe make your car better for Saturday.”
Roush Fenway Racing and artist Sam Bass have worked together to create Ryan Reed‘s throwback paint scheme for the Sept. 2 Xfinity race at Darlington Raceway on NBCSN.
Reed’s No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford will resemble the No. 7 Zerex Ford driven by Alan Kulwicki in 1989.
Kulwicki was sponsored by Zerex from 1987-90, earning two of his five Cup wins in that time.
“My dad was huge fan of Alan and had a lot of respect for him, so it’s awesome to get to run this throwback scheme in Darlington,” Reed said in a press release. “My Dad ran his own race team and drove for himself throughout the 90s, just like Alan. Alan overcame a lot of challenges to become a champion and I can’t help but have a lot of respect for him.”
Bass, who lives with type 1 diabetes like Reed, worked with Kulwicki during his career and helped design Reed’s car. In a Facebook Live video, Bass said he took extra care to make the one in Reed’s No. 16 resemble Kulwicki’s No. 7.
Bass’ name will also be on the passenger-side nameplate on the roof of Reed’s car.
Reed’s car won’t be the only one at Darlington that will pay tribute to the 1992 Cup champion.