Chris Buescher wins Dover Xfinity race by nearly 12 seconds; Regan Smith takes $100,000 Dash 4 Cash prize

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With virtually every driver in fuel conservation mood, Chris Buescher had just enough gas in his tank to not only win — but also by nearly 12 seconds — in Saturday’s Buckle Up 200 Presented By Click It Or Ticket at Dover International Speedway.

Buescher won by running an unheard of 98 laps on the final tank of fuel to earn his second Xfinity Series race of the season (also won at Iowa three weeks ago) and third of his career. Matt Kenseth finished second.

Buescher had actually held more than a 16-second lead with two laps to go, but backed off to save the last few remaining drops of fuel he had in his tank, assuring that he’d make it to the finish line.

“I can’t believe how slow we were having to run to do it,” Buescher told Fox TV. “It was just such a slow pace there at the end. We’re clutching it before the start-finish line and just letting it role. They’re just telling me to stay off the gas, stay off the gas, but we made it to the end and had enough for a burnout.”

Regan Smith was third and earned the first of four $100,000 Xfinity Dash For Cash prizes. Austin Dillon finished fourth, followed by Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott, Brendan Gaughan, Ty Dillon, Erik Jones and Jeremy Clements.

MORE: Results of Buckle Up 200 Xfinity Series race at Dover

MORE: With Dover win, Buscher increases Xfinity Series points lead

How Buescher won: Buescher did a magnificent job of saving fuel, going the final 98 laps on one tank of fuel. He did his job in textbook fashion, by saving fuel along the way and then moving to the point for the first time with 10 laps to go, passing teammate Bubba Wallace Jr., while his fellow competitors had to slow down and save fuel themselves. It was Buescher’s second win in three races and allowed him to open up a 15-point edge in the points standings, the largest the spread has been this season.

Who else had a good day: Even though he finished third, Regan Smith had a very rewarding day – to the tune of $100,000 – by having the highest finish in the first of four Xfinity Dash 4 Cash events this season. “That certainly takes the sting away from that third. I don’t know how the 60 car (Buescher) made it all the way (to the finish). I don’t know how they did that. … We’ll take some of Xfinity’s money as a consolation prize, that’s okay, we’re always happy about that. We’re going to keep fighting hard. I want to win so freakin’ bad right now, it’s about to kill me, so we’ll keep battling.” Smith also moved up one spot, from fifth to fourth, in the Xfinity points standings with his third-place finish.

Who had a bad day: Brian Scott was hoping to repeat his win at Dover from six years ago (in the Truck Series). But on Lap 64, Scott and Ryan Blaney tangled, sending both drivers into the wall. As Scott’s crumpled car rolled down the track, Jamie Dick was unable to avoid it and slammed hard into Scott. While Blaney was able to continue on, Scott’s and Dick’s day were both over. “The 22 was kinda out of control,” Scott said of Blaney to Fox TV. “He got real loose out of (Turn) 4, so I got a run on his inside going into Turn 1. I just felt he didn’t give me any room, I feel like he was stuck to my door and it caused me to spin around.”

Notable: Erik Jones led a race-high 70 laps, and was hoping to celebrate his 19th birthday with a win. But a costly mistake coming onto pit road on the final pit stop cost him what had been a 20-second lead and ultimately relegated him to a ninth-place finish. “I just missed it, I screwed up, just trying a little too hard,” Jones told Fox TV. “I wanted to make sure we could get out ahead of everybody. Clean air was so big today. I thought that’s what we needed. It’s just tough to get on pit road here. I should have practiced it. I didn’t think about it during the day. We fought hard all day and put ourselves in position to have a shot and led a lot of laps, but it didn’t work out at the end.” … In post-race inspection, the 33 car of fourth-place finisher Austin Dillon was found to be too low. Any penalties will likely be issued this Tuesday or Wednesday.

Quote of the day, Part 1: “It’s my teammate so I can’t really say much. … He ran over me and winds up winning. It should be interesting Monday morning (in team meetings). We just got run over. It sucks that it was my teammate. … I would say I’m happy Roush won, but I’m not.” – Darrell Wallace Jr. on how he and teammate James Buescher got into each other late in the race, allowing Buescher to go on and win.

Quote of the day, Part 2: “Bubba and I were on the same (pit) strategy and we were able to run a quicker pace, still. I couldn’t do anything with him at the end of the straightaway. It is what it is. We got a win. It’s hard when somebody runs you down that close. I don’t know. It was a fun day, Ford did a great job. … It was quite the day for us.” – James Buescher responding to Bubba Wallace’s comments.

What’s next: The Xfinity Series enjoys an off-weekend next week. It returns to action on June 13 at Michigan International Speedway in the Great Clips 250 Benefitting Paralyzed Veterans.

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Raphael Lessard to drive full-time for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2020

Kyle Busch Motorsports
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Canadian driver Raphael Lessard will compete full-time in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the 2020 season, the team announced Thursday.

The 18-year-old native of St. Joseph de Beauce, Quebec, will drive the No. 4 Toyota Tundra for KBM and will also compete for Truck Series Rookie of the Year honors.

Lessard has competed in five Truck races this season, three for KBM and two for DGR-Crosley Racing, with two top-10 finishes including a best showing of ninth at Iowa. He has an average starting position of 10.4 and an average finish of 11.1.

Also this year, Lessard posted two top-five and three top-10 finishes in three ARCA Menards Series starts and one win, one top-five and two top-10 finish in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series in Canada. His win came at his home track, Autodrome Chaudiere in Vallee-Jonction, Quebec, on June 29 when he led a race-high 153 laps.

“I’ve been working really hard the last few years to put myself in position to drive full-time for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series — so this opportunity is a dream come true,” Lessard said in a media release. “Being able to drive for such a great organization in one of NASCAR’s top three series is going to be awesome and I’m going to work hard on and off the race track to learn as much as I can to get better every race.”

Added team owner and NASCAR Cup driver Kyle Busch, who will be bidding for his second career Cup championship this Sunday in Miami, “We’ve watched Raphael grow as both a driver and a person since joining our Super Late Model program in 2018 and we’re looking forward to being a part of his continued progression as he graduates to a full-time role in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series next year.”

Lessard won two events in KBM’s No. 51 Super Late Model in 2018; the Short Track U.S. Nationals at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and the Red Bud 400 ARCA/CRA Super Series race at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway.

In 16 starts for KBM across the CARS Super Late Model Tour, the Southern Super Series and the ARCA/CRA Super Series, Lessard posted two wins, three poles, seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes last season.

“Similar to Erik Jones and Christopher Bell before him, Raphael joined our Super Late Model program and immediately won some big races,” Busch added. “Then, when given a part-time Truck Series schedule, they all proved capable of running up front and earned the right to compete full time. Erik and Christopher went on to win races and a championship in trucks, now Raphael has the opportunity to continue to follow their blueprint.”

Sponsor and crew chief announcements for Lessard as well as announcements on the rest of the KBM driver lineup for 2020 will be made at a later date.

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NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN: Previewing championship races

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and will preview the championship races this weekend from Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Krista Voda will be joined by Marty Snider, Parker Kligerman and Nate Ryan. Snider and Ryan will be reporting from  NASCAR’s Championship 4 Media Day.

We’ll also have interviews with all four NASCAR Cup Championship 4 drivers: Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

NBC Sports, NASCAR to launch ‘TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold’

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Press release

STAMFORD, Conn. and DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2019) – NASCAR® and NBC Sports have teamed up to launch TrackPassTM on NBC Sports Gold, a new streaming product representing NASCAR’s most significant undertaking in the direct-to-consumer space.

Set to launch in early December, TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold builds off the foundation set by FansChoice.tv and immediately becomes the most robust live and on-demand motorsports content offering in the domestic digital marketplace.

TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold will bring fans more exclusive live motorsports events and an extensive library of archived documentaries and films. The platform will offer exclusive live viewing of a multitude of motorsports, including American Flat Track, select ARCA Menards Series™ events (including ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series West), NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour™, and tentpole grassroots racing events, as well as NASCAR Cup Series™ and NASCAR Xfinity Series™ practice and qualifying sessions (NBC Sports’ half of the schedule only).

International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) enthusiasts are also covered, as TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold will feature live and archived content from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge. Live NASCAR national series races (NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Trucks Series™) will not be offered on the platform.

“The launch of TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold is a significant step forward in both our commitment to grassroots racing and the evolution of our direct-to-consumer strategy,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR president. “By partnering with NBC Sports, we can deliver more high-quality content to fans who have passionately followed their favorite racing series via FansChoice.tv, while increasing product availability and reliability.”

“Our partnership with NASCAR on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold is a win for racing fans across the U.S., from four-wide action at superspeedways to two wheels sliding across dirt tracks,” said Sam Flood, Executive Producer and President, Production, NBC and NBCSN. “TrackPass will deliver unprecedented, exclusive live coverage of a wide variety of diehard racing fans’ favorite series – from IMSA, ARCA and American Flat Track, to grassroots racing at iconic local tracks like Bowman-Gray Stadium and Myrtle Beach Speedway. TrackPass is a must-have for passionate race fans.”

Fans can access all the content on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold for $4.99/month or $44.99/year. Lowerpriced, series-specific subpackages for IMSA, AFT and NASCAR Roots content will also be available. Both the IMSA and NASCAR Roots (which includes ARCA, Whelen Modified Tour, tentpole grassroots events and select NASCAR practice and qualifying sessions) packages are $2.99/month or $19.99/year. The American Flat Track package will have a $1.99/month or $10.99/year introductory rate for 2020. Existing FansChoice.tv registered users will receive an introductory free trial to TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.

While FansChoice.tv was a web-based platform, TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold allows users to cast streamed content on a connected device via NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app, letting fans to experience racing action on their preferred hardware, including big-screen environments. Upon launch, TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold will be available on desktop web browsers via the NBC Sports app on iOS and Android phones and tablets, Apple TV (Gen 4), Roku, Amazon Fire TV, AndroidTV, Xfinity X1, Xfinity Flex and Chromecast devices connected via HDMI.

Click here for additional information on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.

In the meantime, catch the crowning of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion from Homestead-Miami Speedway this Sunday, November 17, at 3 p.m. ET on NBC or click here to stream the race live.

JJ Yeley to drive full-time in Cup in 2020 for Rick Ware Racing

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Rick Ware Racing announced Thursday that it will field three full-time cars in the 2020 NASCAR Cup season.

The team revealed that veteran driver J.J. Yeley will be one of its three full-time drivers. The other two drivers will be announced at a later date, the team said.

“I can’t thank Rick and Lisa Ware enough for the opportunity to be back behind the wheel of a NASCAR Cup Series car full-time next year,” Yeley said in a media release. “They are a family owned team, who continues to grow and build new relationships with sponsors, and expand their efforts in NASCAR. Over the past couple weeks, we’ve accumulated some pretty solid finishes and can’t wait to see what we can accomplish in 2020.”

Yeley has made 14 starts for RWR this season with an average start of 35.9 and an average finish of 29.2. His best finish was 12th in the summer race at Daytona.

Yeley has made 290 career Cup starts, with a best finish of second at Charlotte in May 2007 for Joe Gibbs Racing. He also has made 328 Xfinity Series starts (0 wins, 15 top five finishes) and 35 Truck Series starts (0 wins, 2 top 10 finishes).

“I am excited to have JJ Yeley on board with the Rick Ware Racing organization for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season,” team owner Rick Ware said in a media release. “JJ is a great asset to any team, and has a proven track record for bringing home solid finishes for RWR. I look forward to having him on board, as we continue to grow this team.”

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