Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Qualifying presented by Dollar General for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 took place for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Saturday morning at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The drivers come onto the track based on practice speeds on Friday, from slowest to fastest. The top 25 in owner points are locked into the race. For this race, 37 were entered for 36 spots. 65 Stephan McCurley had to go home. 3 Austin Dillon sits on the pole for the race with a speed of 169.966 mph and 31.771 seconds. 2 Clint Bowyer will start next to him on the front row. Eleven different drivers sat on the provisional pole!
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series then qualified for the STP 400 race at Kansas. 45 cars qualified for 43 spots. Starting with the next race at Pocono, there will not be two sessions. All drivers entered will come onto the track based on speeds in the first practice session. There will no longer be “knock out qualifying”. (Thankfully, the NASCAR Fan Council listened to me!) If qualifying is rained out, they will line up in that order.
22 Kurt Busch came out fifth and sits on the pole with a speed of 174.75 mph and 30.901 seconds. No one could knock him off. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya will start second. 50 T. J. Bell and 37 Tony Raines did not make the race.
Next up was the O’Reilly 250 Truck race. This is the Series’ 400th race. Johnny Benson and Greg Biffle are the only Truck drivers who also have a Busch Championship and have won in Cup. Ron Hornaday has four Truck Championships, while Mike Skinner has three. Neither of them have any Cup wins. Mike Bliss and Travis Kvapil both won Championships in the 16 Truck. The Series started in 1995 as the Super Truck Series so drivers could hone their skills and move up to Cup. Kyle Busch is using the Series to win races and beat the Truck drivers so the media will tell him how great he is because he can beat the Truck drivers. Cole Whitt leads the points going into this race.
Clint Bowyer entered two Truck races and finished second to Busch in both. He hopes to win in his home state. 4 Ricky Carmichael starts the race from the rear with no practice laps, having crashed the primary Truck in qualifying. past Champion, Greg Biffle drives the pace car in this race.
And now for the O’Reilly 250 race review: 2 Clint Bowyer started out strong and finished that way. 18 Kyle Busch moves over 33 Ron Hornaday to get by. This causes the tire to go down on 33 and the tire blows for the first caution. (I won’t give a blow by blow account here.) 13 Johnny Sauter was strong. 77 Justin Lofton led during Green Flag Pitting. The second caution was for 39 Ryan Sieg blowing up. 13 took the lead from 2.
The third caution was for spinning 32 Brad Sweet after contact with 8 Nelson Piquet, Jr. They were three wide with 20 Johanna Long. The fourth caution is for 8 spinning. The fifth is for debris. 30 Todd Bodine takes the lead for awhile before 2 gets it back. 33 comes back out, 65 laps down. The sixth caution comes out for 93 Shane Sieg and 9 Max Papis. 9 bumped 93, so the next lap 93 bumped 9 and they both get into the wall.
60 Cole Whitt and 23 Jason White stay out to lead. 18 makes it three wide but can’t get by. 2 gets back into the lead. The seventh caution comes out when damaged 92 Clay Rogers gets loose and sideways. 18 looks to pit but stays out. On the final lap 18 tries to get by 22 Joey Coulter for fifth and gets upset with him because Joey wouldn’t let him by. Kyle finished outside the top five and didn’t lead a single lap. (Of course a Cup driver win the race, but at least it was Bowyer in the 2 in his home state, not the master of the Truck drivers, Kyle.)
The NASCAR Nationwide Series is in Chicagoland Speedway where rain and hail cancelled qualifying for the STP 300. Trevor Bayne is back in the 16 car and will start further down in the field, having missed the race at Iowa Speedway. Nationwide will race this evening.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR racing.