JJ Yeley

Alex Bowman’s victory takes Arizona off list of states without Cup winner

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When Alex Bowman is introduced before November’s Cup race at ISM Raceway outside Phoenix, it should be reinforced with some bragging rights.

“Now introducing, the first Arizona native to win a NASCAR Cup Series race: Alex Bowman!”

Yes, Bowman, a native of Tucson, Arizona, won Sunday’s race at Chicagoland Speedway and became the first native driver of the “Grand Canyon State” to win a Cup Series race.

The 26-year-old did what Phoenix natives Michael McDowell and J.J. Yeley weren’t able to before him.

It comes three years after Bowman nearly did so on his own turf. As a substitute driver for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bowman claimed the pole for the 2016 playoff race at ISM Raceway. He then led 194 laps before an incident on a late restart relegated him to a sixth-place finish.

Bowman’s achievement on Sunday makes Arizona the 34th state to produce a Cup Series winner since its inaugural race in 1949.

Which states have produced the most winners in the last 70 years?

Here are the top five according to Racing Insights:

State                    Number of Winning Drivers
North Carolina     28
California             25
Georgia                11
New York             11
Virginia                11

Now with 34 states having produced winners at NASCAR’s premier level, that leaves 16 that haven’t been that fortunate.

Here are those states:

Alaska
Delaware
Hawaii
Idaho
Louisiana (the only state in the Southeast to not produce a winner)
Minnesota
North Dakota
New Hampshire
New Mexico
Oklahoma
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Utah
Vermont
West Virginia
Wyoming

Kyle Larson has eventful night dirt racing

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After being disqualified in an Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions sprint car race Saturday night at the Dirt Oval at Route 66, Kyle Larson came back to win the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series “Summer Slash” feature.

In the All Star Circuit of Champions race, Larson started from the pole and led the first 13 laps. He was disqualified during a red flag break on Lap 14 for a work area violation when one of his crew members left the designated work area to speak with Larson under the caution. Aaron Reutzel went on to win the race.

In the USAC National Midget race, Larson set a track record in his first visit to the 3/8-mile dirt oval and started the feature sixth. He was contending for the lead by the first lap and took the lead on the third circuit. His lead grew until Lap 10 when JJ Yeley flipped down the frontstretch. He was uninjured.

Larson and Logan Seavey then dueled for the lead after the race resumed.

“I felt like I was running good laps,” Larson told usacracing.com.  “Then, Logan threw a slider on me.  I guess I was running 90 percent.  I was like, ‘crap, I got to step it up,’ and that’s when I started making mistakes.”

Larson withstood the challenge and went on to win. Tyler Courtney was second. Tanner Carrick placed third.

The victory was the first this year for Larson and the 16th of his career in the National Midget Series.

Engine change sends Daniel Suarez to rear at Sonoma

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Daniel Suarez will start at the back of the field for today’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway after an engine change.

Suarez qualified fifth.

Also going to the rear will be Erik Jones, JJ Yeley and Ross Chastain.

Jones and Yeley will go to the back for unapproved adjustments. Jones qualified 32nd. Yeley qualified 36th.

Chastain’s car was qualified by Kyle Weatherman because Chastain competed in and won the Truck race Saturday night at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Weatherman qualified the car 37th among 38 entries.

Today’s Cup race at Sonoma: Start time, lineup and more

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Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske have combined to win 14 of the first 15 points races of the season. Can anyone beat them? Will it happen today at Sonoma Raceway?

Today’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 marks the first event of the season on a road course. It also features the return of Sonoma’s Carousel. Cup cars last ran on that portion of the course in 1997 before this weekend. 

Here’s all the info for today’s event:

(All times are Eastern)

START: David Wilson, Toyota Racing Development President and General Manager, will give the command to start engines at 3:01 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:13 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage opens at 11 a.m. The driver/crew chief meeting is at 1 p.m.. Driver introductions begin at 2:20 p.m. The invocation will be given by Peadar Dalton, Rev. Member of Sonoma Valley Interfaith Ministerial Association, at 2:54 p.m. Tower of Power will perform the National Anthem at 2:55 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 90 laps (226.8 miles) around the 2.52-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 20. Stage 2 ends on Lap 40

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 3 p.m. Coverage begins at 2 p.m. with NASCAR RaceDay. Performance Racing Network will broadcast the race. PRN’s coverage begins at 2 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry PRN’s broadcast, which is also available at goprn.com.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for mostly sunny skies with a high of 82 degrees and a 0% chance of rain for the start of the race. 

LAST TIME: Martin Truex Jr. won and was followed by Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer

TO THE REAR: Daniel Suarez (engine change), Erik Jones (unapproved adjustments), JJ Yeley (unapproved adjustments), Ross Chastain (driver change, Kyle Weatherman qualified car).

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the full lineup.

 

Preliminary entry lists for Cup at Sonoma, Trucks at Gateway

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After a week off, the NASCAR Cup Series is back in action this weekend at Sonoma Raceway, just north of San Francisco.

Meanwhile, the Gander Outdoors Truck Series will compete at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis.

The Xfinity Series enjoys this weekend off before it returns at Chicagoland Speedway on June 29.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for this weekend’s Cup and Truck races:

Cup – Toyota/Save Mart 350 (3 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1)

There are 38 cars entered for the race around the twisting road course in Napa Valley’s wine country.

JJ Yeley will make his second Cup start of the season, driving the No. 51 Petty Ware Racing Ford.

Cody Ware will be back in the No. 52 Ford for Rick Ware Racing.

Justin Haley will make his second career Cup start, piloting the No. 77 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports.

NASCAR on NBC analyst Parker Kligerman will make his seventh start of the Cup season in the No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota.

Click here for the preliminary entry list.

 

Trucks – Gateway 200 (10 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1)

A total of 32 trucks are entered in this race.

Johnny Sauter will miss the race due to a suspension from NASCAR for his actions at Iowa Speedway. ThorSport Racing has not announced a substitute driver yet.

There is no driver listed yet for the No. 0 Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing Chevrolet or  Beaver Motorsports’ No. 1 Chevrolet

Camden Murphy makes his second start of the season, driving the No. 8 Nemco Motorsports Chevrolet.

Daniel Sasnett makes his second start of the season, piloting the No. 32 Reaume Brothers Racing Chevrolet.

Bryant Barnhill makes his first start of the season and second of his Truck career in the No. 34 Reaume Brothers Racing Chevrolet.

Kyle Benjamin makes his third start of the season, driving the No. 45 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet.

Following his Truck Series debut at Iowa, Chandler Smith will drive the No. 46 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.

Christian Eckes makes his second Truck start of the season, piloting the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.

Click here for the preliminary entry list.

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