Justin Allgaier talks about finishing third in the Dollar General 200 Fueled By AmeriGas and how this is his strongest start of any season.
RELATED: Team transporter catches fire coming home from Kentucky DOVER, Del. -- It might be the oldest transporter in the garage. Hard to say, but if there's one older … Up front in the lounge area there are mirrors on the ceiling. The cabinet includes a stereo system that features a side- by -side cassette tape deck. The lone photo on the wall is an artist's rendering of the No. 52 entry. The car in the picture is sporting sponsorship from Alka-Seltzer. Maybe it's the oldest hauler, maybe not. But the white trailer used to move the Jimmy Means Racing entry from its shop in North Carolina to Dover International Speedway this weekend served its purpose. Called back into active duty after a fire destroyed the team's primary hauler, it's a throwback of sorts to an earlier era. "Watch your head when you go up there," team owner Jimmy Means advised. "This one's old school." Driver Joey Gase finished 21st in last Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race and Means was headed back to North Carolina when a wheel bearing overheated and caught a tire on fire. The fire quickly spread into the hauler. RELATED: Dover race results "We had just stopped 30 miles up the road," Means said Saturday, " fueled up and I personally went around and laid my hand on all the hubs and they were normal." In the days after the incident, other teams reached out and offered assistance. Some offered to loan trailers. One Sprint Cup team owner told his group to give Means whatever he needed to make sure he made it to the next race. Friends and fans raised more than $10,000. Fortunately, help from the No. 22 Team Penske team, which stopped to help, lessened the damage done by the fire. "If it hadn’t been for them … we used up all the fire extinguishers, 42 bottles of water, coke soda, orange soda, ice by the handful," Means said. "We actually thought we had it out and it (flared) up again and we were all out of supplies. Watched it burn for about 15 or 20 minutes until the fire department got there. "At least they helped us keep it from burning the cars up. If they hadn't have stopped it would have burned the cars up for sure." Other than damage to the hauler itself, and the pit box used on pit road, most of the damage to the contents was smoke and water related. The cars, while looking the worse for wear, were salvageable. The trailer and pit box were not. Gase competed in Saturday's Hisense 200 at Dover in the same car he raced at Kentucky. "The cars, I'm amazed they weren't hurt" Means said. "They needed to be completely taken apart, everything painted and all that. They did get warm and from the water on them naturally they all rusted. Plastic strips to keep the heat and the air in (at the rear of the transporter) melted, all that went up in the air and just settled on everything. It was just a big mess. "It really didn't hurt the equipment that much other than just being filthy and water damage to some of it. We were fortunate that our radios were in the front … did get a little water damage but didn't get any intense heat." Prepping the back-up hauler, built in 1990, was a task in itself. It had been sitting idle for several years -- Means said he hadn't kept the license plates up to date and had to rush to the courthouse to pay three years' worth of taxes to get it back on the road. Volunteers joined in to help the team prepare for this week’s race. "Definitely a thrash to get it done," he said. "Actually, by the last day it came out better than we thought it was going to be. We were prepared to be here Friday morning; we loaded Wednesday night at 9:30. Thought that was a pretty good job. "Probably the average age of the crew helping us was 65. Anywhere from 78, 74, 65, 68 working on this stuff, getting it clean. Crew chief (Tim Brown) did a whale of a job of getting everything cleaned up and hopefully putting on the truck what we needed to get through this weekend. That will give us a little more time to get this thing stocked so we can operate out of it the rest of the year." Gase called it "kind of the worst time possible for us for this to happen," but said after going through the car "as best we could," nothing seemed beyond repair. "We had a lot of guys come in, worked a lot of hours, even my girlfriend came in and helped get everything cleaned up," he said. "That was the hardest thing. But it was a group effort and I think we did pretty good to get it back and get it here." Gase's Donate Life Chevrolet started 28th Saturday as the field was set per the rulebook when qualifying was canceled. After a flat left rear early in the race, he finished 24th. It wasn't a win, but given all that the team had to overcome just to get to Dover, it was impressive just the same.
RELATED: Full starting lineup Saturday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series was canceled by heavy Friday rain and a shifting weekend schedule at Dover International Speedway , placing Ryan Blaney on the pole for Saturday's race. Qualifying for the Hisense 200 (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM), the 28th of 33 races this season, was originally scheduled for 12:15 p.m. ET. But a complete rainout of Friday's schedule at the 1-mile track forced NASCAR officials to scramble Saturday's slate, with qualifying for Sprint Cup and K&N Pro Series East cars also being nixed. The washout puts Blaney on the pole for Saturday's 200 -miler by virtue of his Team Penske No. 22 Ford ranking first in the XFINITY owners' points standings. He'll start alongside Kyle Busch , a four-time winner in the series this year, in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota. Chris Buescher , a two-time winner this season and the leader in the XFINITY drivers' standings, will start third in the Roush Fenway Racing No. 60 Ford. Brothers Ty and Austin Dillon will complete the top five on the starting grid. With 40 cars on site for 40 starting berths in a full field, no teams failed to qualify.
RELATED: Race results " Updated NXS standings DOVER, Del. -- Regan Smith charged from fourth to first during a restart on Lap 121 and stayed there for the rest of the Hisense 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Dover International Speedway Saturday, posting his second victory of the season and working his way back into championship contention. After a 31-minute rain delay, Smith passed Kyle Busch , Denny Hamlin and leader Elliott Sadler on the restart on Lap 121 of 200 , staved off intense pressure from Hamlin midway through the final green-flag run and pulled away as the Joe Gibbs Racing teammates battled for second place. Without a concrete deal in place for next season, Smith won for the first time at the Monster Mile -- in fact, the 80 laps he led were the first circuits he had ever spent out front at Dover. The victory was the sixth of Smith's career, and all of them have come under the JR Motorsports banner. RELATED: Dillon has tire failure as caution waves Hamlin won the fight for the runner-up spot, crossing the finish line .703 seconds behind Smith. Busch led a race-high 110 laps and came home third, followed by Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson . Austin Dillon ran sixth, one spot ahead of Chase Elliott , who moved into second place in the series standings, 24 points behind leader Chris Buescher , who finished eighth on Saturday. Smith, who rallied from a flat tire in the first third of the race, took over third in points, 36 behind Buescher. "I knew the car was fast, but I didn't know it was that fast until we got out in clean air," Smith said in Victory Lane. "This wasn't a Hail Mary. We came from the back to the front and just had a fast race car. "If we can keep doing that every week, and get another win or two here or there, I don't know what's going to happen. I'm trying to figure out some things for next year, so wins never hurt -- that's never a bad thing going forward." A victory for Smith was not even a remote consideration when a light rain began falling shortly after the halfway point, with the race already under caution for a wreck involving Stanton Barrett and Cale Conley on Lap 106. Sadler, whose 2016 move to JR Motorsports was announced on Friday, took two new tires under the yellow and was first off pit road, leading the race and praying for a monsoon. But the rain abated, depriving Sadler of a going-away present to Roush Fenway Racing , the organization he will leave at season's end. "I've never had much luck with the rain," Sadler said ruefully. "I've always been on the wrong side of that, going back to the 2009 Daytona 500 (where Sadler was fifth with a chance to win when the race was called because of rain after 152 laps)." Note: Ty Dillon cut a tire and hit the outside wall on Lap 24, resulting in a 28th-place finish. He slipped from second to fourth in the series standings, 39 points back of Buescher.
RELATED: Live weather updates from Dover Saturday morning started out the same way Friday ended, with wet weather canceling NASCAR XFINITY Series opening practice at Dover International Speedway . Practice was scheduled to run from 8:35 a.m. to 9:20 a.m. ET, but Mother Nature had other ideas. Practice for the K&N Pro Series East was also canceled on Saturday morning. Track drying was underway to try to get the K&N race, the Drive Sober 125, on track for a 9:30 a.m. ET start but rain returned shortly after 9 a.m. ET to hinder those efforts and delay the start of that race. The K&N Pro Series East race will now run at 12:30 p.m. ET. Rain returned about 15 minutes into the final practice for the Sprint Cup Series causing that practice to be abbreviated. Final practice ended up running from about 2:05-2:20 p.m. ET before the red flag was displayed for moisture and practice was eventually called. The first Sprint Cup practice was initially scheduled to begin as soon as the track was available from the K&N Pro Series East race and run until 11:55 a.m. ET. That practice was initially scheduled for 11-11:55 a.m. ET with final practice set for 12:30-2:45 p.m. ET. The revised schedule will see cars on track as soon as its ready (close to 11:30 a.m. ET) until 12:15 p.m. ET, and then final practice going from 2-2:45 p.m. ET. The Hisense 200 XFINITY Series race, 3:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), will be run with no practice time for those drivers. There will be two competition cautions for that race at Lap 25 and Lap 65, because of the lack of practice time. RELATED: How rain could impact Challenger Round This came after all of Friday's on-track activity for the Sprint Cup Series, XFINITY Series and K&N Pro Series East was wiped out by rain as Hurricane Joaquin churns away from the East Coast. Saturday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying in the XFINITY Series was canceled on Friday to provide the Sprint Cup Series with additional practice time.
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RELATED: Full race results from Dover " Updated Series standings DOVER, Del. -- Already dressed in street clothes, a disappointed Ty Dillon stood near the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing hauler, huddled with his crew following a tough 28th-place result in the XFINITY Series' Hisense 300 at Dover International Speedway . The finish dropped Dillon from second to fourth in the championship standings, 39 points behind leader Chris Buescher . Dillon's grandfather and team owner Richard Childress stopped by to console his grandson with a few words and a pat on the back. "I ain't finishing fourth." Dillon told Childress. Dillon's unfortunate day began when he blew a tire at Lap 25, taking his Chevrolet off the race track and into the garage for repairs. He returned to the track around Lap 88, finishing the race 85 laps down. "Well, it started with a bang," Dillon said after the race. "Kind of putting things together, I heard that -- sounded like a car exploded, a brake rotor and the 43 might have ran over it and then we were one of the cars to come through. "Because I had no warning -- the car was still handling great. Then all of a sudden I heard a 'pow' into the wall." The XFINITY Series hit the track Saturday for the 200 -mile race without any practice or qualifying time due to inclement weather. And the lack of practice time, Dillon said, may have affected the way many of the cars were running. "You can't blame it on anybody," Dillon said. "When you don't have practice, some of these back marker cars, they aren't able to prepare the race car from week to week like most teams are. It's a bummer, it happens." With five races remaining on the XFINITY Series season, Dillon's once-bright outlook for the championship title appears significantly dimmer. In addition to leader Buescher, Dillon's No. 3 sits behind JR Motorsports' Chase Elliott and Regan Smith , who won Saturday's event at Dover. Nonetheless, Dillon remains optimistic, siting the his team's jump from 43 points down after Daytona in July to 20 points down four races later after Iowa. "I'm proud of my guys -- we've had some awesome race cars lately," Dillon said. "… I know in my heart I can win some of these races and get back in this thing. We're not going to give up, that's for sure."
RELATED: Track live weather updates " Updated Dover weekend schedule DOVER, Del. -- All track activity at Dover International Speedway for Friday has been canceled due to inclement weather. Friday's opening practice for Sprint Cup Series teams was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET. Coors Light Pole Qualifying was set for 3:45 p.m. Now, the lineup for Sunday's AAA 400 (2:30 p.m., NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR) will be set per the NASCAR rulebook, meaning the 43-car field will be set based on current points standings. That will put Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Matt Kenseth , Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards 1-2-3, with Joey Logano ( Team Penske ) and Jimmie Johnson ( Hendrick Motorsports ) completing the top five. RELATED: See the full starting lineup for Sunday's Cup race Additionally, qualifying in the XFINITY Series, scheduled for Saturday, has also been cancelled. Ryan Blaney , who is driving the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, which leads the series' owner points, will start on the pole as that field will also be set per the rulebook. RELATED: See the full lineup Activity in three series -- Sprint Cup , XFINITY and K&N Pro Series East -- was scheduled to take place at the 1-mile track. However, rain fell steadily in the area all morning as Hurricane Joaquin churns away from the East Coast. Two Sprint Cup practice sessions are on tap for Saturday, from 11-11:50 a.m. ET and 12:30-2:50 p.m. ET. The Sprint Cup garage will open at 9 a.m. ET. Friday's season-ending K&N race, the Drive Sober 125, has been rescheduled for approximately 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday while the start of the Hisense 200 XFINITY Series race, 3:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), remains unchanged.
RELATED: Results John Wes Townley won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rhino Linings 350 on Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway by coasting to the finish line as drivers such a Erik Jones , Matt Crafton and Cameron Hayley ran short of fuel or needed to make a late stop. For Townley it was his first career victory in a major NASCAR series, but it didn't come without some tense moments as his crew chief was advising him to use three-quarters throttle in the race's final three laps. However, it turned out to be enough as race leader Crafton (eighth place) had to pit for a spalsh-and-go with five laps remaining and Jones (ninth) and Hayley (10th) were seen wiggling their trucks short on fuel in the final laps. Timothy Peters finished second, followed by Ben Kennedy , John Hunter Nemechek and Brandon Jones to round out the top five. Erik Jones leads Crafton by four points in the driver standings, with Tyler Reddick , who finished seventh, 16 points down. Reddick wrecked with teammate Austin Theriault on Lap 13. Theriault, whose truck went head-on into the wall, was airlifted to a nearby hospital for observation. According to a post on the driver's Facebook page, Theriault was alert and communicating. RELATED: Theriault airlifted after Vegas wreck The Truck Series will return to the track on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Talladega Superspeedway for the Fred's 250 Presented by Coca-Cola (1 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM).
RELATED: NASCAR doubles restart zone " Drivers weigh in on restart change DOVER, Del. – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers appear to be pleased with NASCAR's decision to lengthen the restart zone used at tracks, but say that the move won't completely erase the gamesmanship that plays out when the field prepares to take the green flag. The sanctioning body announced earlier this week that the restart zone for this weekend's AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway had been expanded from 70 feet to 140 feet. Likewise, the zones at upcoming events in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup would also be expanded, with the actual length of the zone to be determined by the size of the track. Restart zones, located prior to the start/finish line, indicate where the race leader, or control car, is allowed to accelerate when the race is either beginning or coming out of a caution period. Issues with drivers timing their starts to gain an advantage on the leader have led to complaints from competitors and explanations of how restarts are policed as well as warnings to toe the line during drivers' meetings. Beginning with the first Chase race, at Chicagoland Speedway , NASCAR stationed an official inside the track near the restart zone, and added a high definition camera to provide additional information should the need arise. At Chicagoland, Jeff Gordon appeared to jump the restart while starting second alongside Kyle Busch . NASCAR reviewed the restart and eventually ruled that no infraction took place. RELATED: What NASCAR said after the Chicagoland restart was reviewed Last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway , Brad Keselowski was black-flagged for jumping the restart, although he did not complete a pass of race leader Greg Biffle during the restart. "I absolutely love it," Gordon, a four-time series champion, said Friday at Dover. "I think it's a great move." Gordon's been around longer than any current full-time driver, and has seen the way NASCAR handles restarts evolve from single-file to double-file, from not allowing the leader to be passed before the start/finish line to making that line a non-factor on restarts. The use of restart zones and how they have been policed, while a good idea, was "too extreme," according to the Hendrick Motorsports driver. "It used to be a mark on the wall and it was go in the vicinity of this mark and this area, but really the way the rules were written you could kind of go all the way to the start/finish line," he said. "People pushed the limits on that and forced NASCAR to make this box that we currently have. "The box was always too small. It just makes the whole front row very vulnerable and not just the second-place car, but the leader as well. It has needed to be bigger. My only question is did they go big enough?" Gordon said he had his team's engineers do a study of the restart zones, and discovered that "the average time that you are in that box and had time to react to a restart was barely more than one second. "It may look like it's fairly big out there, (but) it is not," he said. "When you have one second to react in that area everyone can just anticipate what is going on but the people in the front row." The fact that a driver is the leader, said Joe Gibbs Racing 's Kyle Busch , should provide him with some advantage, however slight it might be. "This business isn't easy," Busch said. "... I think the biggest thing is just NASCAR making sure that they watch the roll – the people rolling up on other people. And … I feel as though the second-place guy can't beat the leader to the first (restart zone) mark, the end of the restart zone. "It doesn't matter about the start-finish line. It's the restart zone I feel like the leader should always be ahead." While extending the zone will give officials a bigger window in which to determine if a driver has jumped a restart, the change won't end drivers' attempts to push the envelope. But by finally ruling against a driver on a restart – something officials had not done recently – teams now know the possibility of the call coming down exists. "There's going to be plenty of gamesmanship still, and I think NASCAR has also set the precedent with what they did last week and enforcing the rule," Joey Logano , Keselowski's teammate at Team Penske , said. "That's something they need to continue doing. "It's not just having it happen one time and ... scare us, and then don't do anything about it for the next three weeks. "They finally put their foot down last week on what we can and can't do, and that rule needs to be consistent and make sure that when they see something they make the same call and be consistent with that."