Dillon Bassett

Getty Images

Practice holds for Phoenix Raceway

Leave a comment

NASCAR announced its practice holds for the Cup and Xfinity Series today at Phoenix Raceway. Each series will hold two practice sessions.

Cup Series

Martin Truex Jr. is being docked 30 minutes in final practice for failing pre-qualifying inspection three times at Auto Club Speedway.

Kurt Busch will miss 15 minutes of final practice for failing pre-qualifying inspection at Auto Club Speedway.

JJ Yeley will miss 15 minutes of final practice for being to late inspection last week.

Xfinity Series

Nine Xfinity teams will be docked practice time today.

David Starr will miss 30 minutes of first practice for failing inspection twice.

Ross Chastain, Colby Howard and Jeff Green will miss 15 minutes of first practice for failing inspection twice.

Justin Allgaier, Ryan Sieg, Kody Vanderwal, Timmy Hill and Dillon Bassett will miss 15 minutes of first practice for being late to inspection.

NASCAR official addresses incident involving sweeper truck at Iowa

1 Comment

A NASCAR senior executive suggested Monday that series officials could have delayed opening pit road by a lap in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway to avoid the incident Dillon Bassett had with a sweeper.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s chief racing development officer, made the comments Monday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Bassett’s race ended when he ran into the back of a sweeper truck while trying to enter pit road with 28 laps left in the race. Bassett’s vision was obscured by the cloud kicked up by the sweeper. Bassett finished 26th.

There were two trucks in the apron near the entrance to pit road as the field passed. Some cars cut down to enter pit road under caution.

Tyler Reddick, Justin Allgaier, Riley Herbst, Justin Haley and Zane Smith passed the sweeper truck, which appeared to stop as the cars came by. Bassett was a little further back and hit the back of the truck. Gray Gaulding, who was behind Bassett, had to dart to the right to avoid hitting Bassett’s car after it slammed into the back of the sweeper truck.

O’Donnell was asked on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about what happened and what could be done to avoid that situation from repeating in future races.

“You look at the circumstance on our end of what happened,” O’Donnell said. “You saw a number of cars able to pass the sweeper. We had a conversation with the driver (Bassett). There was some lack of communication, I would say, with the spotter on the team side. We’ll correct that. The team will correct that.

“But then on our end, you look at the circumstances there. It’s one thing to be parked, which we’ve had many times and it’s worked successfully. It’s another when you look at kind of the smoke or fog, I guess, that was created.

“I think in that instance, you learn from it, you maybe keep pit road closed one more lap and don’t try to get back to green as fast. Always a challenge for us because we want to make the fans happy and get back racing as quickly as possible but in that case you could probably wait one more lap. We’ll go back and continue to look at the film and make adjustments.”

Dillon Bassett’s car runs into track sweeper in Iowa Xfinity race

1 Comment

Dillon Bassett was in the proverbial wrong place at the wrong time in Saturday’s U.S. Cellular 250 Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway.

With 28 laps to go, Bassett was among several cars that tried to make it to pit road for what would likely be the final pit stop of the race.

While the other cars made it onto pit road without incident, Bassett did not, as his Chevrolet ran into the rear of a track sweeper that had been clearing up track drying powder near the entrance to pit road.

There was some smoke coming out of the rear of the sweeper just before impact that may have obscured Dillon’s vision.

Bassett finished 26th.

MORE: Chase Briscoe passes Christopher Bell late for Iowa Xfinity win

MORE: Results, points after Xfinity race at Iowa

Follow @JerryBonkowski

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

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