Getty Images

Roush Fenway Racing not planning to expand for 2018 season

3 Comments

Roush Fenway Racing is planning to field one Xfinity and two Monster Energy Cup teams next year, a senior executive told SiriusXM Radio on Tuesday.

Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing, noted on “Tradin’ Paint’ that the organization’s 2018 plans could change.

Roush Fenway Racing cut back from three to two Cup teams before this season. The organization opened the year with two Xfinity teams but suspended Darrell Wallace Jr.’s team last month because of lack of sponsorship.

“I think our objective right now and plan is to stay two (Cup) and one (Xfinity),’’ Newmark said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “On the Cup side, that’s clearly our direction. I think even if sponsorship came for the third team, I think right now we feel this process has worked.

“We made a very painful decision to cut down to two this year, and we had the option to stay at three but decided that the most important thing is to put our cars in the best position to win. To do that, we thought that it was best to consolidate to two teams but maintain the same size engineering staff and R&D and laser focus that on the two cars.’’

The result is that Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has won two races and qualified for the playoffs. Those wins are the most for the organization in a season since 2014.

If Roush Fenway Racing stays at two Cup teams next year, it leaves a question about its driver lineup.

The team also has Chris Buescher, who has been loaned to JTG Daugherty this season after being loaned to Front Row Motorsports last year. Roush Fenway Racing leased its third charter, which was from the No. 16 team, to JTG Daugherty for Buscher’s ride this year.

“Obviously, the way we’re structured right now Ricky and Trevor are the anchors of this organization,’’ Newmark said. “That’s going to be our focus. My hope is that five years from now those guys are the grizzly old veterans of the sport at that point.

“Chris has done a great job. We’re fortunate that he and Tad (Geschickter, owner of JTG Daugherty) have struck up a great relationship and he’s getting some great experience there.’’

 and on Facebook

Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer tied at top of Xfinity playoff standings

Leave a comment

Justin Allgaier and Cole Custer are tied for the top spot in the Xfinity playoff standings after the playoff opener at Kentucky Speedway.

Each driver has 2,057 points.

Allgaier finished third after bouncing back from losing a tire on Lap 19 and going two laps down. He was two laps down for 27 laps and one lap down for 30 before getting back on the lead lap.

Custer, who finished fifth, won the first two stages of the race, earning two playoff points in the process.

The top five in points are Allgaier, Custer, Elliott Sadler (-2), Daniel Hemric (-5) and William Byron (-6).

Click here for the points standings.

Results from Xfinity race at Kentucky Speedway

Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tyler Reddick scored his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win, leading a 1-2 finish for Chip Ganassi Racing on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.

Reddick beat teammate Brennan Poole by 14.5 seconds in the playoff opener.

Reddick is the seventh different winner in the last seven series races. He led twice for 66 laps. Reddick had not led any laps until Saturday night.

Playoff contender Justin Allgaier rallied from two laps down after a right front tire went down early in the 200-lap race to finish third. Ryan Preece placed fourth. Rookie Cole Custer, who won both stages, finished fifth.

Click here for race results

Tyler Reddick wins playoff opener at Kentucky for first career Xfinity victory

Leave a comment

Tyler Reddick, a part-time driver for Chip Ganassi Racing, led 66 laps to win the Xfinity Series playoff opener at Kentucky Speedway.

In his rookie year in the series, Reddick earned the win in his 15th start in the No. 42 Chevrolet.

The 21-year-old driver beat teammate Brennan Poole, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Preece and Cole Custer.

“I don’t know if it was necessarily me making a statement, it’s just Chip Ganassi Racing making a statement,” Reddick told NBCSN. “(Crew chief) Mike Shiplett has brought me from ground zero all the way to here. All the guys at Ganassi have gone above and beyond in helping me become a better driver. To be here today is surreal.”

Reddick, who had not led a lap before Saturday night, took the lead for the first time on Lap 126 of the 200-lap race.

Reddick is the fourth Xfinity driver to get his first win this season.

Saturday’s win comes after it was announced on Sept. 14 that Reddick would join JR Motorsports full-time in 2018.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Cole Custer

STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Justin Allgaier bounced back from losing a tire and going two laps down to finish third. He leaves Kentucky tied with Cole Custer at the top of the playoff standings. … Brennan Poole’s runner-up finish is a career-best result in 77 starts … Ryan Preece has finished in the top four in all three of his starts for Joe Gibbs Racing. … Ryan Reed finished 10th, ending an eight-race streak without a top 10.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Sam Hornish Jr. finished 31st, nine laps down after contact with Brandon Jones on Lap 53 caused him to hit the wall at the exit of Turn 2, forcing him to pit for repairs. … William Byron finished 18th, two laps down after he was forced to pit on Lap 101 for a loose wheel.

NOTABLE: The No. 2 of Ben Kennedy failed rear heights in post-race inspection. … Reddick is the seventh different driver to win in the last seven races this season. … Reddick is the seventh different winner in the last eight races at Kentucky.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “I was about the color of my car (red) there for a little bit.” – Justin Allgaier after finishing third following a rebound from going two laps down early in the race.

NEXT: Drive Sober 200 at Dover International Speedway at 3 p.m. ET on Sept. 30 on NBCSN.

Social Roundup: Sights from first Martinsville night race

Marty Snider
Leave a comment

The wait is over.

Night racing at Martinsville Speedway is now a reality.

After tests and practice sessions, the half-mile track in Virginia hosted the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 and its qualifying races Saturday night for the NASCAR Late Model Series, which was won by Timothy Peters.

In attendance at the race were Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin and Daniel Suarez, as well as NBCSN’s Marty Snider, who watched his son Myatt compete in the race.

Here’s a look at some of the sights and sounds from the historic night for NASCAR’s oldest track.