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Santos walks away from hard crash in Nationwide Series practice
Bobby Santos hits the inside wall hard after something broke in the front end of his car.
Bobby Pierce making a name for himself at Eldora despite faltering in the end
RELATED: Results " Standings " Updated Chase Grid ROSSBURG, Ohio -- Kyle Larson had never heard of Bobby Pierce until last year's running of this event, when the dirt track standout earned the pole, led 39 laps and finished second. After Wednesday night's Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway, won by Larson, there's a good chance the Sprint Cup Series driver -- and NASCAR fans in general -- won't be forgetting his name any time soon. Pierce, in just his seventh career truck start, stomped the field to a tune of 102 of 150 laps led, sometimes approaching a full 5-second lead on the half-mile short track. But the 19-year-old had his shifter stuck in fourth gear and was unable to get it unstuck before an impending restart with less than 30 laps to go. The issue relegated him to a disappointing 25th-place finish after wrecking and slowly landing against the inside wall. "Kind of what bit me there was I couldn't get it out of fourth gear on the caution, so I was riding around there just beating it, just trying to get it out," Pierce told NASCAR.com after he was cleared and released from the infield care center. "I was restarting in second or third and I'm sure that's what Larson was doing, too, but on the restart I just couldn't get going. "I got to second (place) and I caught him there and just kind of drove it in a little too hard. Kinda hit the baby powder or whatever it was. The baby powder made it a little slick getting in, and that was all she wrote. Hit the wall, knocked the right rear off the rim." Pierce was unable to get his truck moving after hitting the wall and, despite his pleas to get pushed back on the track, was required to exit his vehicle and make a trip to the care center even though he "only hit the wall going about 1 mile per hour." Even if he'd been able to get it going again, it was unlikely that his team could've fixed the shifter, patched up any body damage and gotten him back out on the track in time to compete for the win. That's just how racing goes, sometimes. "Heck, it's always gotta be something. If you're going to win the race, you've gotta have luck and be good at the same time," said Pierce, whose best CWTS finish of the season came at Kansas (23rd). "Larson had a flat there early on and he charged back through there, but unfortunately our deal was later on so we couldn't come in and get it fixed. Even if it did, I don't think they could've gotten the tranny fixed getting it out of fourth because I tried every single trick in the book to get it out and it just would not go." Pierce said he's planning on running the event again next year, and likely has to be the odds-on favorite at this point, whether or not Larson aims to repeat his win. While no more national series events are on his schedule for the season, Pierce isn't ruling them out for the future. "Heck, the two years I've done (Eldora) have been really good so far," Pierce said. "(MB Motorsports team owner) Mike Mittler has treated me really well so far; planning on doing it again next year. As far as asphalt goes, just gotta find sponsorship if I'm going to do it. "(I'm pursuing more races) a little. Our dirt late model year and the previous years have been so good that even if I don't get sponsorship to try it a couple more times or whatever, then I'll be all right. It's good to run these deals. It's good to run pavement, too, because it makes you a better driver, going back to the late model and trying to pick up sponsorship." People noticed. Some of whom are undoubtedly sponsors. Feel free to do a quick Twitter search. Race fans knew Bobby Pierce was there, and race fans know Bobby Pierce is a driver to watch after these thrilling performances. "Well, hey. If I can't win," he said. "At least I put on a good show, I guess."
Tony Stewart to honor Bobby Allison at Darlington
Tony Stewart unveils his throwback paint scheme honoring NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison. Stewart will run the Coca-Cola No. 14 at Darlington Raceway Labor Day weekend.
GarageCam gets wicked awesome in New Hampshire
GarageCam host Matthew Dillner takes you through the NASCAR XFINITY Series garage at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as drivers gear up for the AutoLotto 200.
Eldora star Bobby Pierce goes for second Truck start
MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Bobby Pierce has made countless dirt-track starts in his career, thanks to the barnstorming nature of Late Model racing. But when asked how many appearances he's made on paved speedways, the answer is also countless, but in a quizzical way. "About four to five races," Pierce says with a half-grin, recalling his handful of trips to asphalt tracks. Pierce, best remembered among the NASCAR crowd for his dirt-slinging performance this summer at Eldora Speedway , will attempt to change his answer to "about five or six" with his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start on asphalt in Saturday's Kroger 200 (1:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). He got his first taste of racing trucks on pavement in Friday's two practices, placing 30th and 29th on the afternoon leaderboards. "It's completely different, especially for a dirt driver," Pierce said after Friday's first practice session. "There's just a lot of things that you're kind of molded into that you've got to throw out the window. I'm just trying to take all those experiences that I've had in other asphalt cars and apply it to this." Pierce first wowed NASCAR fans on Eldora's dirt half-mile, taking his tattered No. 63 truck to a hard-fought, second-place finish in his series debut behind eventual winner Christopher Bell . He led 39 of 154 laps for underdog MB Motorsports, handing team owner Mike Mittler his best finish in his two decades in the series. The 18-year-old Pierce -- a native of Oakwood, Illinois -- said he still has the race saved on his DVR for the sake of posterity. Though he didn't hoist the golden shovel in Victory Lane, his feverish battle with Bell down the stretch raised the profile for both himself and the team. "I don't know, though -- finishing second in a Truck race whether it's dirt or asphalt, it's still a NASCAR truck race and when I was a little kid, you dreamed of doing stuff like this," Pierce said. "I don't think it'll really ever sink in to the full potential that it can, but I'll try." For Mittler, it was only natural that he would turn again to the driver who nearly snared the MB organization's first victory. "That's exactly what the feeling is with us that a guy that can drive, he can drive and it doesn't matter if it's dirt or asphalt," Mittler said. "Did we have the home-track advantage at Eldora? Sure we did. He's got tons of dirt experience, been driving dirt since he could almost walk, so we knew. We had no delusions that we were going to come here and run top-five right off the bat. By the end of the race, he'll be good. I know he will be. Experience is all it is." The spotlight has shown brightly on Eldora in its three-year affiliation with NASCAR, but at Martinsville, Pierce has a chance to grab more time in the public eye on a shared stage with the Sprint Cup Series. It's the next step toward potentially extending his relationship with MB Motorsports in 2016, a partnership Mittler hopes can continue. "There's nothing firm yet, but we're absolutely looking at what the options are and we really like Bobby , his family, Bob and Angie," Mittler said. "Just a great, great group of people who come from a parallel background in the Midwest with us -- a hard-working family race team, so there's just a lot of synergy between us. If we can figure out how to make it work, we're going to do it."
Seinfeld, 'Ricky Bobby' share ride in 'The King's car
Inside Groove: Racing with an attitude The latest installment of actor and comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s web-based series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" sees a few NASCAR references made in the episode. The episode begins at Irwindale Speedway, a track that has hosted NASCAR K&N Pro Series West events in recent years, including the 2016 series opener on March 19. From there, Seinfeld takes the track in a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner, a car model that was made famous by seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty. Coming along for the ride a bit later off the track is none other than "Ricky Bobby " himself, actor and funnyman Will Ferrell, who left the “Shake ‘n’ Bake moniker at home. You can see the full episode here . (Check out the STP keychain as Seinfeld cranks it up.) Seeing the Road Runner was a really nice treat there Jerry. If you are looking for some sweet rides for a future episode, we hear quite a few NASCAR stars have some impressive vehicles in their collections. RELATED: See the classic cars of the stars " Go inside Dale Jr.'s garage Perhaps, Jerry, would feel just as comfortable with a vehicle from a name he has a long history with from his sitcom days: "Hello, Newman."
#TBT: Bobby Allison avoids six-car wreck to win at Michigan
It was 1981 when the Gabriel 400 at Michigan International Speedway saw a total of 47 lead changes, ending with Bobby Allison winning -- but there's much more to the story. On Lap 196 out of 200, Allison jumped from seventh to first, stealing the lead from Darrell Waltrip. But this isn't where the race's craziness ended, it's where it began. Behind Allison on Lap 197, a six-car pileup occurred in Turns 1-2, involving Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Buddy Baker, Mike Potter, Cale Yarborough and Lake Speed. Waltrip had led a total of 54 laps, the race's longest leader. Earnhardt had led a total of 37 laps. Since the wreck occurred with just three laps remaining and green-flag-checkered finishes didn't exist in 1981, the event ended under caution, deeming Allison the winner. The Hall of Famer would go on to win at Michigan one more time in his Sprint Cup Series career in 1982, ending with a total of four wins at the 2-mile track. The 1982 victory was a thriller in which Allison outdueled Richard Petty to the stripe.
Bobby Pierce earns first career pole at Eldora
The 18-year-old will be making his first Truck start in tonight's event RELATED: Qualifying race lineups " Qualifying results After recording top-five speeds in both practices today, newcomer Bobby Pierce earned his first career 21 Means 21 Pole Award on Wednesday, using a high speed of 86.889 mph to bring his No. 63 MB Motorsports Chevrolet owned by Mike Mittler to the top of the leaderboard. It also was Mittler's first pole. Pierce, an 18-year-old dirt Late Model driver, will be making his first Camping World Truck Series start in tonight's 1-800-CarCash Mud Summer Classic (9 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). His qualifying effort tonight made him the fifth driver in Truck Series history to win the pole in his first start. He joins former series champions Ron Hornaday Jr . (Phoenix, 1995) and Bobby Hamilton (Martinsville, 1996) as well as Kerry Earnhardt (Daytona, 2005) and Alex Tagliani (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, 2014). After sustaining damage in the second practice, Johnny Sauter rebounded, posting the second-fastest speed (84.818 mph) on the leaderboard in his No. 98 ride. Ray Black Jr . was third on the leaderboard, his No. 07 Truck recording a high speed of 84.567 mph. Cameron Hayley (84.380 mph) and John Wes Townley (84.309 mph) rounded out the top five. The top five from this evening's single truck qualifying willl start on the pole for each of the five qualifying races, which will determine the rest of the field for tonight's 1-800-CarCash Mud Summer Classic (9 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). Beyond the pole, the random draw will decide the order of the qualifying races. RELATED: Learn more about Eldora race format Sprint Cup Series Brad Keselowski will be making his dirt track debut in tonight's Mud Summer Classic. After a brush with the wall, Keselowski's No. 29 BK Racing Truck picked up the 21st-fastest spot on the leaderboard. Former Sprint Cup Series driver Ken Schrader -- who was the first pole winner for the annual Eldora race -- ranked 18th on the leaderboard in his own No. 52 Toyota. Wednesday's opening qualifying session provided the drivers with plenty of challenges associated with dirt track racing. JR Motorsports' Cole Custer took a hard hit to the wall in his first qualifying run, damaging his No. 00 Chevrolet and giving him a flat tire. The incident left him with a 34th qualifying spot. Ty Dillon 's No. 33 GMS Racing truck made contact with the wall on his first qualiyfing run, giving him a 20th qualifying position for tonight's five-race event. Madeline Crane's No. 80 truck -- which took on damage in the second practice -- also hit the wall in Turn 1 early in the qualifying session, which qualified her 33rd. Matt Tifft -- who qualified 27th -- spun out in his second lap, but didn't make contact. The Camping World Truck Series is back on track for the first qualiyfing race at 7 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 2). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Member of the Month: September
Name: Eric Hometown: Lakeland, Florida Current City: South Riding, Virginia (currently deployed in Afghanistan) Member since: 2016 Getting to know ERIC Q. Why did you join the Official NASCAR Fan Council? "I wanted to participate in the NASCAR Fan Council since it provides the fans an active voice and engagement directly with the sanctioning body, as they try to ensure the quality of competition is always top-notch." Q. How did you first become interested in NASCAR? "My grandfather raced in the 1950s at short tracks throughout South Florida, and I was the first-born grandson. Naturally, when I was old enough, it was straight to karts and we would spend Saturday nights at our local tracks, and Sunday was watching or attending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races." Q. What makes NASCAR special for you? "To me, it's the camaraderie and competition in the garage among the teams. There is nothing greater than cars racing into Turn 1 every week. The personalities, and being able to relate to them, is what makes NASCAR great -- the never-give-up attitudes, and the underdog story we all pull for every week." Q: Do you have any favorite NASCAR memories or traditions? "I have many fond memories at the racetrack. The 1998 Pepsi 400 at Daytona, which was delayed due to the wildfires. I had the opportunity to meet Dave Marcis and spend several minutes talking with him about how far the sport had come at that time. The 2012 spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway , I had the opportunity to stand in the bed of the truck during the parade lap at driver introductions with Kyle Busch and Marcos Ambrose . By far, my most favorite memory was being able to talk with NASCAR Hall of Fame Driver Bobby Allison about races in the 1950s at Medley Speedway, Key West and other locations in South Florida. My wife (who wasn't a fan until her first race at Bristol in 2012) and I make a point to attend Richmond and Martinsville for both races every year, because of the hospitality Dennis Bickmeier and Clay Campbell provide to the fans!" Q: Do you have a favorite in any of the following categories? Tracks: "Martinsville and Watkins Glen" Q: If you could go to any NASCAR race/track, where would you go? " Sonoma and Talladega" Q: What do you like to do in your free time? "I love spending my time at racetracks. I race Legend cars on ovals and road courses throughout the mid-Atlantic, and when I'm not doing that I'm a spotter in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series for David Polenz at Dominion Raceway in Virginia." Q: Tell us about your family. Do you have children and/or pets? "My wife, Christine, and I have been married for two years. We don't have kids yet, but we do have a beagle, Max, and a basset hound, Sadie Belle." Q: What’s your dream car? "A McLaren 650S, but I'm trying to convince my wife the new Corvettes are practical." From all of us at NASCAR, we thank Eric for his continued support and look forward to hearing from him in 2016.
'Smoke' wins Darlington paint scheme fan vote
Tony Stewart is the winner of the best throwback paint scheme vote in a result announced Sunday during driver introductions. 'Smoke' has a classic Coca-Cola paint job on his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, a look intended to honor Bobby Allison. His crew got into the spirit was well, wearing throwback pants and outfits this weekend. NASCAR.com and Darlington Raceway teamed up over the past month to allow fans to vote on their favorite throwback schemes. Voting ended Sept. 1, and the top five vote-getters were eligible for the overall win. In order of fan vote, those five schemes were: the No. 14 of Tony Stewart , the No. 4 of Kevin Harvick , the No. 16 of Greg Biffle , the No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson and the No. 20 of Matt Kenseth . Those five schemes were presented to a panel of NASCAR Hall of Famers, who then picked the winner from those five. This is the second consecutive throwback weekend, and also the second consecutive fan vote. Kyle Larson won last year's inaugural contest with his No. 42 Mello Yello Chevrolet. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;