Brad Keselowski wins Kentucky 300 for first Xfinity Series win of 2015

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A bad restart couldn’t keep Brad Keselowski from continuing his Kentucky Speedway dominance.

Keselowski outran Erik Jones in a last-lap drag race to claim the win in the Kentucky 300 and his first Xfinity Series win of 2015. The Michigan-native now has three wins in the last five Xfinity races at Kentucky.

WATCH: Full replay of the Kentucky 300

The win came after Keselowski spun his tires on a restart with 30 laps remaining. Keselowski has the lead after taking two tires during pit stops.

“That was a hell of finish, wasn’t it?” Keselowski told NBCSN. “I almost messed it up with a restart. I just got a launch and Kyle (Busch) was right behind me and he gave me a hit right as I was going and it just made me spin the tires and the 20 (Jones) took off.”

It would take Keselowski 22 laps to reel Jones in. Those were the only 22 laps Jones led all night.

“I think we were pretty even,” Keselowski said. “I was just kind of driving the crap out of it to keep up with him, him having the clean air

Lapped traffic came to Keselowski’s rescue, slowing Jones down to allow Keselowski to get to his bumper with 10 laps remaining.

Then with eight laps left, the lapped car of David Starr impeded Jones just enough for Keselowski to overtake him on the frontstretch.

“I thought it might happen and went into the corner high just ready for something to happen,” Keselowski said. “Opportunity struck and I was able to make the most of it.”

Jones got back to Keselowski on the final lap, but was never able to make a move for the lead.

Keselowski started fourth and led 72 laps around Kentucky on his way to his first Xfinity win since taking the checkered in the fall Phoenix race last year. This was his fourth race in the No. 22 car in 2015.

source: Getty Images
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Keselowski was followed by Jones, Kyle Busch, Daniel Suarez and Elliott Sadler.

MORE: Xfinity points standings

MORE: Kentucky 300 results

How Brad Keselowski won: Keselowski can thank the lapped car of David Starr for slowing down Erik Jones on the frontstretch with eight laps to go. Jones went high, Keselowski went low and come out on the other side of Starr in the lead.

Who had a good day: Joe Gibbs Racing finished the night 2-3-4 with Jones, Busch and Suarez. Busch led a race-high 88 laps but was the only car in the top five that took four tires instead of two on the final pit stop. Busch was never able to get higher than third in the final segment.

Who had a bad day: Brian Scott’s competitive chances ended during a caution on Lap 71 when he stayed on pit road to have a carburetor replaced. Scott finished two laps down in 19th … J.J. Yeley started on the pole after rain canceled qualifying but slowly fell back in the pack, finishing 18th, two laps down … John Wes Townley brought out two cautions for a spin on Lap 4 and hitting the Turn 2 wall with 38 laps remaining before finishing 32nd … Chris Buescher finished Friday still the points leader, but was mired in 15th for much of the race. Buescher had an extended stay on pit road with 38 laps remaining for a vibration and would finish 11th.

Notable: Daniel Suarez finished fourth for his second career top five. Suarez said Friday night was the first time his mother was able to watch him race in-person in the United States.

Quote of the night: “I know us (Joe Gibbs Racing) guys are scratching our heads right now wondering how the 22, being a single-car team, can beat us three finishing second, third and fourth tonight. ” – Kyle Busch, who finished third after leading 88 laps.

What’s next: Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, July 18 at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN

NASCAR Pinty’s Series to compete on dirt for first time in 2020

NASCAR Pinty's Series
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NASCAR’s continued embrace of dirt racing will continue in 2020 with the Canada-based Pinty’s Series.

The series announced on Friday a multi-year deal that will see it compete on a dirt track for the first time next season at Ohsweken Speedway in Ontario.

The event on the 3/8-mile track will consist of practice, time trials, qualifying heats, and a 100-lap feature event to be run at 9 p.m. ET on Aug. 18.

The series follows in the steps of the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series and its yearly visit to Eldora Speedway, which began in 2013. It also joins the ARCA Menards Series West, which has held a race on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track the last two seasons.

“Next year is the 25th anniversary of Ohsweken Speedway,” said track owner Glenn Styres in a press release. “It will be amazing to see NASCAR stock cars racing around this place. This is a great chance to show the world what a first class facility we have here in Ohsweken.”

“Pinty’s has a long history in motorsports and whether it’s our NASCAR Pinty’s Series venues, Short Track Nationals at both Jukasa in Canada and Bristol in the USA or our investment in Pinty’s All North Racing on MavTV, we know our target audience lives for authentic experiences.” said Anthony Spiteri of series sponsor Pinty’s Delicious Foods in a press release.. “Taking the Pinty’s Series to the ever popular Ohsweken Speedway combines the best of the best in teams, drivers and venues. I suspect a few surprises for our fans as well!  August can’t come quick enough.”

Joey Logano set to test Next Gen car today, Tuesday at ISM Raceway

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Joey Logano will become the second Cup driver to test the Next Gen car when he hits the track today and Tuesday at ISM Raceway.

This test of the car, which is scheduled to debut in 2021, follows the session that took place Oct. 8-9 at Richmond Raceway by Austin Dillon. Logano will drive the same car that Dillon did. That car was prepared by Richard Childress Racing.

Logano explained what he was looking forward to with the new car:

“Just understanding, for one, just some durability stuff but also understanding what works and what doesn’t. I’d like to, once we get to some point, I’d like to make some longer runs just to kind of see where things go. There are so many differences with the car that we need to understand.

“I think it’s still very much in the beginning of the process. I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to getting back in a race car.

Logano said he was “curious” how the car would drive with the independent rear suspension.

“I think that will be interesting to say the least,” he said.

The next text for the car is scheduled in January at Homestead-Miami Speedway. That will mark the car’s first test on a 1.5-mile track.

Rain washes out Snowball Derby, rescheduled to Monday

Five Flags Speedway
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Rain has postponed the 52nd Snowball Derby Super Late Model race from Sunday to Monday at 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.

Track officials tried several times to dry the track, only to be met with recurrences of rain.

Even with the rain issue, one bit of significant news was announced: the track is granting a special provisional exception and expanded the race day field from its normal 36-driver field to 37 drivers. The reason: veteran racer David Rogers was presented with the Derby Dedication Award for his 32 previous starts in the Snowball Derby.

Monday will make Roger’s 33rd career start in the annual pre-winter event, breaking a tie with legendary driver Red Farmer for most starts in the race.

Rogers has had a challenging year, having battled and then overcoming lymphoma. Monday’s rescheduled race will be the Florida resident’s first start behind the wheel since he was officially declared cancer-free.

“David’s Snowball Derby dedication has been unmatched in the history of this race,” Five Flags Speedway owner Tim Bryant said in a statement.  “We felt like being in this race served as real motivation for David in his battle with cancer this year, and we wish him the best of luck in today’s race.”

Also, driver Justin Bonnett, grandson of late NASCAR star Neil Bonnett, is recovering in a Mobile, Alabama hospital after undergoing surgery to repair a broken leg and treat burns to his face, hands and body. Bonnett was involved in a crash and subsequent fireball created by a fuel cell that broke away from a fellow competitor’s race car during Saturday night’s Snowflake 100 race at Five Flags Speedway.

 

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UPDATED: Neil Bonnett’s grandson seriously injured in fiery crash

Photo courtesy Justin Bonnett Racing official Facebook page
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The grandson of late NASCAR Cup star Neil Bonnett was seriously injured in a crash during Saturday night’s Snowflake 100 late model race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.

Justin Bonnett suffered a compound fracture of the fibula and tibula and burns to his hands, face and neck in a fiery wreck that prompted him to be transferred to a hospital in Mobile, Alabama, according to a post on his team’s Facebook page.

According to various media reports, Bonnett was running 26th on Lap 54 when he was unable to avoid and made contact with the spinning car of Jarrett Parker.

Driving the No. 12, the same number his late grandfather carried for much of his Cup career, the younger Bonnett’s car was engulfed in flames after the fuel tank on Parker’s car became dislodged and caught fire, spilling fuel and flames across the racetrack. Here is a video of the incident, courtesy of Joshua Nelms, who shot the video, and Sidedrafting Productions, which posted it.

Bonnett’s car came to a stop on the apron between turns three and four, where he was quickly pulled from his car by safety crews, who also extinguished the fire. The race was red-flagged for a lengthy period of time afterward.

According to media reports, the 26-year-old Bonnett was taken by ambulance to a local Pensacola hospital, where he was briefly treated before he was airlifted to a hospital in Mobile.

It was upon arrival at the Mobile hospital that it was determined Bonnett would undergo late night surgery, according to several posts on his Facebook page, written by his aunt and Neil’s daughter, Kristen Bonnett Ray.

Later Sunday morning, Bonnett’s aunt posted this update on his condition:

Justin Bonnett still lives in Hueytown, Ala., home of the famous “Alabama Gang,” of which his grandfather was part of, as well as Bobby and Donnie Allison, Red Farmer, Jimmy Means, the late Davey Allison, Hut Stricklin and David Bonnett, Justin’s father.

The Snowflake 100 was a preliminary race for Sunday’s main event, the 52nd annual Snowball Derby. The 300-lap race starts at 2 p.m. ET.

Here are several additional posts on Bonnett’s wreck from social media:

 

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