NASCAR official explains lengthy caution at Road America, Trucks may get another road course race


For fans that questioned why NASCAR went six full laps under caution late in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race around the massive four-plus mile Road America track, there’s a very good explanation.

NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said Monday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio the lengthy caution was a culmination of a number of circumstances.

“You never want to have to red-flag a race,” O’Donnell said. “So if you can avoid that, keep the cars or trucks moving out on the track and do that in a reasonable amount of time, that’s always our first goal.

“If you look at Road America, we had a car get off into the sand pit (No. 88 of Ben Rhodes), we thought that would probably take two laps. You have a long course there with over four miles, so we thought that was plenty of time to get that vehicle off the track, allow for the pit cycles as well.

“As we were coming to one to go, multiple times we had incidents on the track with either vehicles stalling and we had oil put down with another vehicle coming off pit road that stopped the one-to-go.

“It was kind of a chain of events that you cannot predict, unfortunately. You never want to have a caution that long, but it was one of those that each (incident) would have brought out an individual caution flag and a red in that time frame would almost cause more damage because it would have been down for longer.

“It’s something you never want to see, but it’s an unusual circumstance that happened and Road America presents challenges. We’re happy we were able to get some green flag racing back towards the end there.”

Wisconsin native and Sprint Cup regular Paul Menard won the race, holding off a charge by Ryan Blaney in the final four laps under green.

This was the sixth consecutive season that the Xfinity Series has raced at Road America.

O’Donnell said NASCAR has considered adding another road course race to the Truck Series, and the central Wisconsin track — which has proven to be a very popular venue for the Xfinity Series — would likely be on the short list of potential candidates.

“You never know,” O’Donnell said. “Certainly, from the Xfinity Series, we’ve got the number of road courses that we need. We think it provides a really great venue for the Xfinity Series.

“You never know with Trucks. Right now, you’ve only got one road course in an ideal situation (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, site of Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250, won by Erik Jones).

“You’d like to have at least two (road course races) for the race teams, and I think it’s consistent that we’ve put on some great racing on the road courses. So that is something we could look at down the road.”

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Portland Xfinity race results

Portland Xfinity results
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Cole Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when the top three cars made contact and went on to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway. Custer is the 10th different winner in 13 races this season.

MORE: Portland Xfinity race results

JR Motorsports took the next three spots: Justin Allgaier placed second, Sam Mayer was third and Josh Berry was fourth. Austin Hill completed the top five.

Cole Custer wins Xfinity race at Portland in overtime


Cole Custer held off Justin Allgaier at the finish to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race in overtime at Portland International Raceway. It is Custer’s first victory of the season.

JR Motorsports placed second, third and fourth with Allgaier, Sam Mayer and Josh Berry. Austin Hill finished fifth.

Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when Parker Kligerman, who restarted third, attempted to pass Allgaier, who was leading. Sheldon Creed was on the outside of Allgaier. All three cars made contact entering Turn 1, allowing Custer to slip by. Creed finished seventh. Kligerman placed 14th.

Custer won the second stage when John Hunter Nemechek made contact with Creed’s car while racing for the lead on the final lap of the stage. The contact spun Creed and Custer inched by Nemechek at the line.

Early in the final stage, Creed gained revenge with contact that spun Nemechek, who went on to finish 10th. A few laps later, Nemechek and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Sammy Smith had issues. Smith spun Nemechek. After getting back around, Nemechek quickly caught Smith and turned into Smith’s car, damaging it.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Sheldon Creed

STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Despite the contact on the overtime restart, runner-up Justin Allgaier managed to score his fourth consecutive top-three finish. … Sam Mayer’s third-place finish is his best on a road course. … Austin Hill’s fifth-place finish gives him four consecutive top-five results.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Daniel Hemric finished 33rd after a fire in his car. … Riley Herbst placed 32nd after an engine issue. After opening the season with six top 10s in a row, Herbst has gone seven races in a row without a top 10.

NEXT: The series competes June 10 at Sonoma Raceway (8 p.m. ET on FS1).

Truck race results at WWT Raceway: Grant Enfinger wins


Grant Enfinger took the lead when the leaders wrecked in the final laps and held off the field in overtime to win Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

It is Enfinger’s second win in the last five races. He also collected a $50,000 bonus for winning the Triple Truck Challenge.

MORE: Truck race results

MORE: Driver points after WWT Raceway

Christian Eckes finished second and was followed by Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar and Chase Purdy.

Ty Majeski and Zane Smith wrecked while racing for the lead with six laps to go. Majeski, running on the inside of Smith, slid up the track and clipped Smith’s truck. Both hit the wall. That put Enfinger in the lead.

Smith finished 20th. Majeski placed 30th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Grant Enfinger’s victory is his fourth top 10 in the last five races. … Carson Hocevar’s fourth-place finish is his fourth consecutive top-five result. … Stewart Friesen’s third-place finish moved him into a playoff spot with four races left in the regular season. … Matt DiBenedetto‘s sixth-place finish is his third consecutive top 10. … Jesse Love finished ninth in his series debut.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ty Majeski had a chance to take the points lead with series leader Corey Heim out because of illness, but Majeski’s 30th-place finish after running at the front most of the day, leaves him behind Heim. … Hailie Deegan finished 32nd after contact sent her truck into the wall hard. … After finishing a career-high third last week at Charlotte, Dean Thompson placed 34th Saturday due to an engine issue.

NEXT: The series races June 23 at Nashville Superspeedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1)

Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.