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NASCAR suspends three Truck team members for Eldora violation

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NASCAR suspended three members of Sheldon Creed‘s Gander Outdoors Truck Series team for a violation last week at Eldora Speedway.

NASCAR penalized the team Tuesday for loss or separation of added ballast from the vehicle.

NASCAR suspended crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz, truck chief Austin Pollak and engineer Jonathan Stewart for the next three Truck events through Sept. 10.

GMS Racing stated it would not appeal the penalty. The team announced that Darren Fraley will serve as interim crew chief. Fraley was an engineer for GMS Racing in 2018 with Justin Haley. Fraley had served as Jordan Anderson‘s crew chief earlier this season.

NASCAR also announced Tuesday that crew chief Mark Hillman has been fined $10,000 because a lug nut was not safe and secured on Parker Kligerman‘s car after Sunday’s Cup race at Watkins Glen International.

Tales from the road: Ross Chastain’s recent travels anything but easy

Photo: Ross Chastain
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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — A camper, a Greyhound bus and an SUV. No, this is not the beginning of a joke.

Those were the modes of transportation Ross Chastain used to go from New York to Ohio and back to New York to compete this weekend at Watkins Glen International.

“It’s normal,” Chastain told NBC Sports on Friday at Watkins Glen after completing his journey and two sessions of Xfinity practice.

“Not normal for a driver but normal for me. I don’t fit in with a lot of these drivers. Yes, this is hectic.”

But normal for NASCAR’s busiest driver — Chastain has competed in 50 of the 55 NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck Series races this year.

His hectic schedule started after last weekend’s Cup race at Pocono Raceway. He made the 160-mile-plus trip with his girlfriend and their two dogs on Sunday night and did appearances Monday and Tuesday in the Watkins Glen area. He left the camper to use it this weekend.

So he needed to get to Eldora for practice Wednesday. Simple, book a flight. Right?

No.

“I was scared of the commercial flights, you couldn’t find anything under $700, $800, and I’m pretty cheap when it comes to that stuff,” Chastain said. “And you had a layover, and I was scared of delays and whatever. I don’t like to fly commercial on practice day. If you miss practice, you could upset your career. People think you’re not taking it serious.”

So, how to get from the Finger Lakes region to Western Ohio?

Chastain and his girlfriend boarded their dogs and took a Greyhound bus from Ithaca, New York, to Columbus, Ohio.

“I knew if something happened (with the bus), I could Uber somewhere and get a car,” Chastain said.

“I just didn’t want to drive all night. And I’ve never ridden a bus.”

Now he has.

The bus left at 7:35 p.m. and arrived at the Columbus bus station around 7 a.m. Wednesday.

“I’m glad I did it,” Chastain said. “I would do it again. It was cheap, quiet, the ride was smooth.”

Chastain’s father, who was traveling from Delaware, picked them up at the bus station in the SUV. They headed to Eldora Speedway so Chastain could compete in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series race there. Chastain’s mom and brother flew up from Florida to watch Chastain race.

Chastain finished 12th in his first race on a dirt track. He, his girlfriend and family loaded into the SUV around 12:30 a.m. Thursday. Chastain slept as his family drove through the night to Watkins Glen.

About five miles from Watkins Glen International, a right rear tire went flat.

They pulled over, put the spare on and were on their way about 20 minutes later.

Finally, this journey was over.

So what about after this weekend?

“We had plans of going straight to Michigan, but I don’t know,” Chastain said. “I have a flight reserved to go (home to North Carolina). We’ll see. Honestly, I haven’t made my mind up.”

Eldora qualifying race results; Derby starting lineup

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Chase Briscoe and Matt Crafton will start on the front row of the Eldora Dirt Derby after winning their respective qualifying races.

Briscoe and Crafton are the winners of the last two Eldora races.

The 32-truck field was formed through six qualifying races.

Click here for the starting lineup.

Last chance qualifying race

Tyler Ankrum won the last chance qualifying race for the Eldora Dirt Derby, leading all 15 laps.

He beat Norm Benning by more than six seconds. With the win Ankrum will start 26th in the main event. Benning will start 27th in the 32-truck field.

Austin Wayne Self spun to bring out the red flag twice, on Lap 3 and Lap 5. He was running second the first time. Self went behind the wall and finished last.

Devin Dodson spun on his own on Lap 8 to cause a red flag. He finish sixth a lap down.

Click here for the race results.

Check back for the starting lineup for the Derby.

Fifth qualifying race

Kyle Strickler won the fifth of six qualifying races for the Eldora Dirt Derby.

Stickler, driving DGR-Crosley’s No. 54 Toyota, led all 10 laps and beat Sheldon Creed.

Mason Massey brought out the red flag on Lap 2 after he stalled on the track. He did not finish the race and advanced to the last chance qualifying race.

Click here for the results.

Fourth qualifying race

Stewart Friesen won over Ben Rhodes after leading all 10 laps.

Norm Benning finished last out of six trucks and advanced to the last chance qualifying race.

Click here for the results.

Third qualifying race

Brett Moffitt won the race after leading all 10 laps.

Mike Marlar and Devin Dodson both spun with two laps to go in the race, causing a red flag. Dodson finished last and will advance to the last chance qualifying race.

Click here for the results.

Second qualifying race

Matt Crafton won the race, leading all 10 laps.

Tyler Ankrum and Darwin Peters advance to the last chance qualifying race.

Click here for the results.

First qualifying race

Chase Briscoe easily won the first race, leading all 10 laps.

He beat Johnny Sauter, Harrison Burton, Colt Gilliam and Jeffrey Abbey, who all advance to the main event.

Austin Wayne Self and Jennifer Jo Cobb advanced to the last chance qualifying race.

Click here for the race results.

NASCAR’s weekend schedule for Watkins Glen, Eldora

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This weekend NASCAR will go road-course racing with two of its national series while the third plays in the dirt.

The Cup and Xfinity Series will make their annual visit to Watkins Glen International. The Xfinity Series will hold its first road course race of the season Saturday — and the first of three road course events in the next four races.

Thursday, the Gander Outdoors Truck Series will hold its seventh annual Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

The wunderground.com site forecasts clear skies and a 72 degree temperature for the start time of the Truck Series race.

For Saturday’s Xfinity race, the forecast calls for partly cloudy skies, high of 83 degrees and a 15% chance of rain at the start time.

Sunday’s Cup race sees a forecast of partly cloudy skies, a high of 79 degrees and a 15% chance of rain at the start time.

Here’s the full weekend schedule with TV and radio info.

(All times are Eastern)

Eldora Speedway

Thursday, Aug. 1

2 p.m. – Truck garage opens

5:30 p.m. – Driver-crew chief meeting

7 p.m. – First qualifying race; 10 laps (FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

7:09 p.m. – Second qualifying race; 10 laps (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

7:18 p.m. – Third qualifying race; 10 laps (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

7:27 p.m. – Fourth qualifying race; 10 laps (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

7:36 p.m. – Fifth qualifying race; 10 laps (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

8:15 p.m. – Last chance qualifying race; 15 laps (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

8:40 p.m. – Driver introductions

9 p.m. – Eldora Dirt Derby; 150 laps/75 miles ; (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

 

Watkins Glen International

Friday, Aug. 2

9:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

12:35 – 1:25 p.m. – Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)

2:05 – 3:25 – Final Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)

Saturday, Aug. 3

7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. – Cup garage open

9:30 a.m. – Xfinity garage open

10:35 a.m. – 11:25 p.m. – Cup practice (NBCSN, MRN)

11:40 a.m. – Xfinity qualifying; multi-car/two rounds (NBCSN)

1:05 – 1:55 p.m. – Final Cup practice (NBCSN, MRN)

2:30 p.m. – Xfinity driver introductions

3 p.m. – Zippo 200; 82 laps/200.9 miles (NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

6:40 p.m. – Cup qualifying/impound; multi-car/two rounds (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, Aug. 4

9 a.m. – Cup garage opens

1 p.m. – Driver/crew chief meeting

2:20 p.m. – Driver introductions

3 p.m. – Go Bowling at the Glen; 90 laps/220.5 miles (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Eldora Truck practice report

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Stewart Friesen, who holds the final playoff spot with two races left in the regular season for the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, posted the fastest lap in Wednesday’s final practice session at Eldora Speedway.

Friesen’s best lap was 90.516 mph. Defending race winner Chase Briscoe was next at 90.303 mph. They were followed by Brett Moffitt (90.090 mph), Todd Gilliland (90.027) and Matt Crafton (89.901).

Click here for practice report

Qualifying races the feature will be Thursday night.

Click here for qualifying race lineups

 

OPENING PRACTICE

Chase Briscoe showed his dirt track roots, being fastest in the first of two practices Wednesday at Eldora Speedway.

Briscoe, who won Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway, covered Eldora’s half-mile dirt racing surface at a speed of 93.473 mph. Briscoe also comes into Thursday’s Eldora Dirt Derby as the defending winner from last year’s race there.

Series veteran Matt Crafton was second-fastest (92.874 mph), followed by Brett Moffitt (92.450 mph), Stewart Friesen (92.398 mph) and Sheldon Creed (92.237 mph).

Sixth through 10th were Johnny Sauter (92.185 mph), Tyler Dippel (91.907 mph), Todd Gilliland (91.710 mph), Ben Rhodes (91.636 mph) and Kyle Strickler (91.598 mph).

A second practice session is scheduled later tonight between 9 and 9:55 p.m. ET. Like the first practice, there is no TV coverage for the second practice, either.

Click here for the first practice results.