Dillon Bassett

Getty Images

Cole Custer claims Xfinity pole at New Hampshire

Leave a comment

Cole Custer will start first in today’s Xfinity Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (4 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Custer claimed his fifth pole of the year with a speed of 130.528 mph around the 1-mile track.

He topped Christopher Bell, who qualified second with a speed of 130.189 mph.

“It’s huge, I didn’t know if it was going to be a pole lap, honestly,” Custer told NBCSN. “I thought I could have hit it a little bit better. … This is the best car I’ve had at New Hampshire in a long time.”

It’s the ninth time Custer has started on the front row this year.

The top five is completed by Austin Cindric, Paul Menard and Chase Briscoe. This is the second time Briscoe has started in the top five this year.

Tyler Reddick qualified 11th, his worst starting position in the last 15 races.

Dillon Bassett, Josh Bilicki and Camden Murphy failed to make the race.

Click here for the starting lineup.

Tyler Reddick wins Xfinity race at Michigan

Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images
Leave a comment

BROOKLYN, Mich. – Tyler Reddick took the lead with 11 laps to go when the leaders had to pit and cruised to his third victory in the last five Xfinity Series races Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.

“I’ve had good strings of runs as a young driver racing in dirt cars, but this is the best run I’ve had in my career I feel like on the level that I am,” Reddick said. “I’m already thinking about (next weekend’s race) at Iowa.”

The race changed on a caution at Lap 78 of the 125-lap race. Christopher Bell led and Cole Custer was second. There was a miscommunication between Bell and his pits and he stayed on track. Custer, told to do what Bell did, also stayed out. Reddick pitted.

“My definition was a little different than what Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) had planned,” Bell said. “Ultimately, that was a big hiccup in our day.”

Said Custer: “The strategy just didn’t work out for us.”

With track position critical, Reddick’s move proved to be the key. The race went the rest of the way without a caution, forcing Bell and Custer to pit under green, moving Reddick into the lead.

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points report

Noah Gragson finished second and was followed by JR Motorsports teammate Michael Annett. Paul Menard, who started on the pole, placed fourth. JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier finished fifth.

Custer placed 12th. Bell finished 13th.

This marked the seventh consecutive race that either Reddick, Custer or Bell has won.

Stage 1 winner: Paul Menard

Stage 2 winner: Christopher Bell

Who had a good race: JR Motorsports had three drivers in the top five and all four place in the top 10. Noah Gragson tied his career high by placing second. Michael Annett was third for his best finish since winning at Daytona. Justin Allgaier was fifth for this third top five in the last four races. Jeb Burton spun early but battled back to finish ninth, giving him top-10 finishes in all three starts this year. … Chase Briscoe rallied back from a spin to place seventh.

Who had a bad race: Riley Herbst was involved in an early accident and finished 37th in the 38-car field. … Dillon Bassett finished last because of an accident.

Next: June 16 at Iowa Speedway

Xfinity practice report from Michigan

Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
Leave a comment

BROOKLYN, Mich. – Christopher Bell was the fastest in Friday’s final Xfinity Series practice at Michigan International Speedway, sweeping the day’s two sessions.

Bell had a lap of 189.021 mph. He was followed by Cole Custer (188.039 mph), Tyler Reddick (187.960), Dillon Bassett (187.588) and Landon Cassill (187.520).

Click here for final practice report

First practice

Christopher Bell posted the fastest lap in the first of two practices Friday for the Xfinity Series at Michigan International Speedway.

Bell led the way with a lap of 188.763 mph. He was followed by Tyler Reddick (188.536 mph), Justin Haley (188.181), Ryan Sieg (187.607) and Cole Custer (187.227).

Noah Gragson ran the most laps at 35. He was eighth on the speed chart with a top lap of 186.940 mph.

Click here for practice report

Riley Herbst hit the wall and went to a backup car. He will start at the rear of the field for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Report: K&N East driver loans car to Ronnie Bassett Jr. after team’s shop fire

David Calabrese
Leave a comment

For at least one more weekend, the family of Ronnie Bassett Sr. won’t have to call it quits on its dreams of racing.

Three days ago, a fire swept through Bassett Racing’s shop in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, destroying all of its K&N Pro Series East cars and equipment for drivers Ronnie Bassett Jr. and Dillon Bassett. On Monday, the family was given a reprieve courtesy of competitor David Calabrese.

According to Speed51.com, Calabrese called Ronnie Bassett Jr., early Monday afternoon and offered to let Bassett drive his No. 43 Ford Fusion this weekend at Dominion Raceway in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Bassett Jr., currently third in the K&N East point standings, will get the chance to keep pursuing the championship thanks to Calabrese, a rookie in the series Bassett barely knew.

“I’ve met him one time,” Bassett Jr. told Speed51.com. “We met at Bowman Gray (Stadium) a couple weeks ago after a Modified race. We’ve said hey to each other at the race track, but we didn’t grow up together. We’ve raced together a couple races and that’s about it.”

Calabrese, a native of Toms River, New Jersey, has only competed in two K&N East races this season, but was scheduled to race this weekend at Dominion Raceway. Bassett Jr. has been on the K&N East circuit since 2013.

Calabrese said part of the reason for offering to help the Bassetts out is their crew chief, Bruce Cook, who is also a native of New Jersey.

“Bruce has been helping me out since we blew a couple motors and he’s helped us get back on our feet and been giving us a hand,” Calabrese told Speed51.com. “When all of this stuff happened with Bassett I wanted to step in and help since they’re third in points. I want Bruce to finish good in points this year.”

The team-up will continue on a week-to-week basis.

Head to Speed51.com to read their entire report on the collaboration between teams.

K&N East team Precision Performance, owned by Rick Gdovic and Charles Denike, announced Tuesday that Dillon Bassett would race for it this weekend. Dillon Bassett is currently 12th in the series standings.

Fire destroys Bassett Racing’s NASCAR K&N Series team shop

(Getty Images)
Leave a comment

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East team Bassett Racing is assessing the future after its Winston-Salem, North Carolina area race shop seriously was damaged by fire on Friday evening.

Brothers Ronnie Bassett Jr. and Dillon Bassett have been racing for more than a decade for the team owned by their father, Ronnie Bassett Sr.

Now, everything is gone – cars, parts and tools – destroyed by a fast-moving fire. Damage is estimated at several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Still don’t have any words for it,” Ronnie Bassett Sr. told TWCNews.com. “It’s everything we worked for. Twenty-six years worth of stuff, 30 minutes it’s gone.”

Added Dillon Bassett, “I’m lost for words. Went to sleep last night hoping it was all a dream.”

According to TWCNews.com, investigators have traced the cause of the fire to a truck used to haul their race cars around the country.

The brothers’ next scheduled race is May 30 at Dominion Raceway in Woodford, Virginia. Ronnie Bassett Jr. is ranked third in the K&N East point standings, while Dillon is ranked 12th.

“Hopefully, we can get something for the next race,” Ronnie Bassett Jr. said. “We’re third in points. It would be nice to continue to run for the championship this year.”

Added Dillon, “Just to quit would just crush all of us. Hopefully, we can get something back.”

If you want to help the Bassetts, click here to reach them on their Facebook page.

Follow @JerryBonkowski