Iowa Speedway

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Two-day Xfinity Series tire test concludes at Iowa Speedway

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While the Xfinity Series — as well as the Trucks and Cup teams — are off this weekend for Easter, five Xfinity teams were still in action Tuesday and Wednesday for a Goodyear tire test at Iowa Speedway.

The test on the 7/8-mile oval was in preparation for the speedway’s race weekend on June 15-16.

Teams that took part in the test were the No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford (driver: Cole Custer), the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet (Tyler Reddick), the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet (Justin Haley), the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (Christopher Bell) and the No. 23 GMS Racing Chevrolet (John Hunter Nemechek).

Custer, Bell and Nemechek are all past winners at Iowa. Custer, who won there in the K&N East Series, is looking forward to returning to the track in hopes of securing another win there.

We were able to do a lot of different things and I think we found a little bit, for sure,” Custer said. “Our team has always struggled a little bit on short tracks so to get to come and test at one is a huge deal for us and I think it will help us a ton when we come for the race. We still have to get it a little better to be with that 20 car (Christopher Bell), but we’re right in the ballpark and just need a few more adjustments.

Everybody has worked so hard to get us where we are right now. Every single track we go to, we can compete for wins. I love the surface here, it’s so bumpy and so wore out it makes for good racing. It’s one of the best tracks we go to.”

Rain threatened to disrupt Wednesday’s action, but held off until the session was completed.

“It’s a good thing we came and did this tire test because we would have rolled into this race a good bit off the pace of the guys we need to compete with for the championship this year,” Reddick said. “We know we have to work on something and hopefully with all this data we were able to acquire, we’ll have a good sense of direction in the next coming weeks.

We found out we have some work to do compared to Cole (Custer) and Chris (Bell), especially. They were just able to be a lot more consistent and fire off faster and end the run faster, almost faster than we could start ours. That’s not very good for us but gives us something to chase after and work for.”

The next Xfinity Series race is the Dash 4 Cash event at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, April 27. Custer, Reddick, Austin Cindric and Justin Allgaier will compete for the $100,000 bonus to the highest-finishing driver in that race.

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2020 sees Xfinity back at Martinsville, Trucks return to Richmond

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The Xfinity Series will return to Martinsville Speedway in 2020 and the Gander Outdoors Truck Series will return to Richmond Raceway, NASCAR announced in revealing next year’s schedules for both series.

The announcements come a week after the 2020 Cup schedule was revealed.

Like the Cup Series, both the Xfinity and Truck Series will hold their final playoff elimination races at Martinsville Speedway.

The Oct. 30 Truck race – the series’ only trip to Martinsville next year – will be held under the lights. The next day’s Xfinity race will be the series’ first on the short track since 2006 and just its second since 1994.

The Truck Series will return to Richmond Raceway (April 18) for its first visit to the short track since 2005.

Both series will again hold a doubleheader at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with it coming on March 14.

Both series will also be part of the Cup Series’ doubleheader at Pocono Raceway in June.

The Trucks will race on June 27 (a Saturday), with the Xfinity Series competing on June 28.

Gateway Motorsports Park will host the Truck Series playoff opener on Aug. 21.

Richmond will serve as the site of the Xfinity Series playoff opener on Sept. 11.

The Xfinity Series’ first road-course race will come earlier, with a visit to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on May 30. The race is on Aug. 10 this year.

While the Cup Series will take two weeks off in August during the Olympics, the Xfinity and Truck Series will be in action during that time.

Trucks will have their annual dirt race at Eldora Speedway on Thursday, July 30.

Xfinity will visit Iowa Speedway for the second time two days later.

Below are the full schedules.

2020 Xfinity schedule

DATE TRACK
Saturday, Feb. 15 Daytona International Speedway
Saturday, Feb. 22 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Saturday, Feb. 29 Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, March 7 ISM Raceway
Saturday, March 14 Atlanta Motor Speedway
Saturday, March 21 Homestead-Miami Speedway
Saturday, March 28 Texas Motor Speedway
Saturday, April 4 Bristol Motor Speedway
Saturday, April 25 Talladega Superspeedway
Saturday, May 2 Dover International Speedway
Saturday, May 23 Charlotte Motor Speedway
Saturday, May 30 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Saturday, June 6 Michigan International Speedway
Saturday, June 13 Iowa Speedway
Saturday, June 20 Chicagoland Speedway
Sunday, June 28 Pocono Raceway
Saturday, July 4 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Friday, July 10 Kentucky Speedway
Saturday, July 18 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Saturday, Aug. 1 Iowa Speedway
Saturday, Aug. 8 Road America
Saturday, Aug. 15 Watkins Glen International
Saturday, Aug. 22 Dover International Speedway
Friday, Aug. 28 Daytona International Speedway
Saturday, Sept. 5 Darlington Raceway
Friday, Sept. 11 Richmond Raceway
Friday, Sept. 18 Bristol Motor Speedway
Saturday, Sept. 26 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Saturday, Oct. 10 Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval
Saturday, Oct. 17 Kansas Speedway
Saturday, Oct. 24 Texas Motor Speedway
Saturday, Oct. 31 Martinsville Speedway
Saturday, Nov. 7 ISM Raceway

 

2020 NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES SCHEDULE

DATE TRACK
Friday, Feb. 14 Daytona International Speedway
Friday, Feb. 21 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Saturday, March 14 Atlanta Motor Speedway
Friday, March 20 Homestead-Miami Speedway
Friday, March 27 Texas Motor Speedway
Saturday, April 18 Richmond Raceway
Friday, May 1 Dover International Speedway
Friday, May 15 Charlotte Motor Speedway
Saturday, May 30 Kansas Speedway
Friday, June 5 Texas Motor Speedway
Friday, June 12 Iowa Speedway
Friday, June 19 Chicagoland Speedway
Saturday, June 27 Pocono Raceway
Thursday, July 9 Kentucky Speedway
Thursday, July 30 Eldora Speedway
Saturday, Aug. 8 Michigan International Speedway
Friday, Aug. 21 Gateway Motorsports Park
Sunday, Sept. 6 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Thursday, Sept. 17 Bristol Motor Speedway
Friday, Sept. 25 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Saturday, Oct. 3 Talladega Superspeedway
Friday, Oct. 30 Martinsville Speedway
Friday, Nov. 6 ISM Raceway

NASCAR unveils 2019 K&N Pro Series East schedule

Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images for NASCAR
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The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will race 13 times in 2019, including six times on tracks that also run NASCAR Cup races.

The season begins Feb. 10 at New Smyrna (Florida) Speedway and ends Oct. 4 at Dover International Speedway.

South Boston (Virginia) Speedway will host twin 100-lap features on May 4, the second consecutive year the .400-mile track has done so. Thompson (Connecticut) Speedway will host the third annual NASCAR Throwback with the K&N Series on June 15.

The East Series will go head-to-head twice with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West – July 26 at Iowa Speedway and Aug. 24 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois.

2019 K&N Pro Series East Schedule 

Feb. 10 – New Smyrna (Florida) Speedway

April 6 – Bristol Motor Speedway

May 4 – South Boston (Virginia) Speedway *

June 1 – Memphis International Raceway

June 15 – Thompson (Connecticut) Speedway Motorsports Park

July 20 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway

July 26 – Iowa Speedway

Aug. 2 – Watkins Glen International

Aug. 15 – Bristol Motor Speedway

Aug. 24 – Gateway Motorsports Park (Madison, Illinois)

Sept. 21 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Oct. 4 – Dover International Speedway

  • Twin 100-lap races

 

NASCAR America: Christopher Bell’s three-peat quite a feat

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Christopher Bell overcame contact with another car in the closing laps at Iowa Speedway and two late-race restarts to win his third consecutive Xfinity race. In doing so, he became the first Xfinity regular to perform the feat since Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 1999.

The three-peat put Bell in rarified air along with Earnhardt, Larry Pearson and Sam Ard as the only regulars in the series who have won three consecutive races.

It has the question being asked once again about Bell’s future in the Cup series.

“I see no reason in holding this young man back,” Dale Jarrett said on Monday’s edition of NASCAR America. “And that has not been Toyota’s forte that they say, ‘Ok, we’ll let these guys hang around a couple of years.’ They want to move them on to the Cup series. They know that’s what they have in mind for Christopher Bell.”

MORE: Christopher Bell taking a step in goal to ‘conquer’ Xfinity Series
MORE: Third consecutive victory in Xfinity for Christopher Bell
MORE: Can Toyota make room for Christopher Bell in Cup?

The decision comes down to sponsorship, but there is already a path that has been blazed by Joe Gibbs Racing to develop drivers when its Cup organization is full.

“If there’s money available, I don’t know why they wouldn’t go back to Furniture Row where Joe Gibbs Racing took Erik Jones last year and have him perform there,” Jarrett continued. “Supposedly, all of the employees were kept.”

Putting Bell in the Cup series might solve two problems.

Furniture Row continues to look for full-time sponsorship of Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 78, but instead of that uncertainty lessening the appeal of running a second car, Jarrett believes it could improve the financial considerations.

“I think the money would also help that Furniture Row organization in that they are looking for a major sponsor right now for the 78 car,” Jarrett said. “If you know you have these dollars it would help in that situation – maybe you could take a little bit less than what you were thinking about for the 78.”

For more, watch the video above.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter.

NASCAR America: Ross Chastain is a David among the Xfinity Goliaths

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In his fourth fulltime season in the Xfinity series driving for Johnny Davis, Ross Chastain is still one of the Davids battling Goliath.

Last week at Iowa Speedway, Chastain took advantage of attrition late in the race to score his second career top five – and more importantly, finish one spot ahead of John Hunter Nemechek in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

The two drivers are battling for the final playoff spot in the Xfinity series and Chastain’s finish increased his lead over Nemechek to five points.

“He was running in the top 10 before those last restarts and the wreck that he gained a couple of more spots on,” Parker Kligerman said in Monday’s edition of NASCAR America. “He was running in the top 10 in a car that does not deserve to be in the top 10 – he’s told me many times.

They don’t deserve to be in the playoffs, but they are.”

Kligerman believes the difference is the driver. Chastain is able to get more out of the No. 4 Chevrolet than it has to give.

Kligerman added: “He does the same thing in Cup for Premium Motorsports when he goes out and runs top 25 in a car that should not be running in the top 25.

“It’s amazing what Ross Chastain is doing in underfunded equipment and you’ve got to think someone in this sport is going to take notice of this young man and say, ‘I can find value in what he’s doing.’ “

For more, watch the video above.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter.