NASCAR playoffs roar again
Fall is starting out kind of hot. It has made for some beautiful race evenings. All the events that run this time of the year in our region have had large car counts and great races. It seems it’s always a struggle to get official results from some of these tracks. I will keep trying to report the results as I get them in.
Elkins Raceway Awards Banquet will be held Nov. 11. Please contact the raceway for tickets. There will be no tickets sold at the door.
NASCAR action was in New Hampshire and Kentucky this weekend as the playoffs begin in all three top series.
The Camping World Truck series kicked things off Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Speedway with the UNOH 175. Christopher Bell swept both the first two stages and carried that momentum on into victory lane for the race. He was dominant in his KBM Toyota Tundra. Ryan Truex was second and had a great truck but Bell made no mistakes and Ryan settled for second. West coast standout rookie Todd Gilliland finished third. He is the younger brother of Cup driver David Gilliland. Grant Enfinger continues to have strong consistent runs finished fourth. Canadian dirt track star Stewart Frieson rounded out the top five.
Two drivers need to step up their game in the next couple of races or face elimination from the championship playoffs. Both drivers are very talented. Chase Briscoe and John Hunter Nemechek are in the last two points spots, which just goes to show the depth of talent in the truck series.
On Saturday night, action moved to the Kentucky Motor Speedway where the Xfinity drivers ran the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300. Cole Custer had a very strong car and captured both of the first stages. He could only manage a fifth-place finish as the final run played out.
First-time winners are always great to see and this time it was Tyler Reddick, who made his first Xfinity trip to victory lane. Excited doesn’t begin to describe his emotions. Tyler was racing Super Late Model dirt cars just a few years ago and visited Elkins Raceway once.
Another fine young talented driver finished second. Brennan Poole matched his best finish of his career. Justin Allgaier finished third and leads the point standings. Rookie Ryan Preece finished fourth with another great effort. Custer finished up fifth and felt he had the car to win with but things just didn’t fall into place.
The drivers in this playoff group that need to pick up the pace or face elimination are Brendan Gaughan, Blake Koch, Michael Annett and Jeremy Clements.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series had its turn at the flat one-mile oval in New Hampshire on Sunday afternoon in the ISM Connect 300. Martin Truex Jr. won the first stage by a large margin and appeared to be a threat to dominate the event. Kyle Busch had other plans, though, and took stage two and the race win. This win locks him into the next round of the playoffs.
Kyle Larson finished second with a very strong run also. Matt Kenseth, who is still seeking a ride for next season, finished third. Brad Keselowski had the highest-finishing Ford in fourth. Once again the car that was so strong early finished fifth, as Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five.
The top five were Toyota, Chevrolet, Toyota, Ford and Toyota. The Toyotas are definitely strong but there is still parity in the finishing order.
The four drivers that find themselves in danger of elimination from the playoffs are Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne. These teams and drivers need to have solid runs in the next few weeks to keep their hope alive.
This coming weekend the Camping World Truck series heads west to Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday for the Las Vegas 350 race.
The Xfinity series will be in Dover Delaware at the Infamous Dover Downs Raceway to take on “Miles the Monster’s” concrete surface Saturday for the Use Your Melon Drive Sober 200.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series will race Sunday at Dover in the Apache Warrior 400 presented by Lucas Oil.
All of these races are playoff events and will help determine who will race for the Championship when the season ends at Homestead-Miami Speedway. So sit back, watch some great racing and remember, at the end of the straightaway there’s always Another Left Turn!