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21 Questions with Ryan Blaney and Jake Short
Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 21 Ford, puts Kids Drive NASCAR Honorary Ambassador, actor Jake Short, on the clock with a set of 21 questions.
Single car spins plague first half of Truck race
Several cars hit the wall early including Jake Crum , John Wes Townley and Todd Bodine.
First-time winner Clampitt takes New Hampshire
Logan Clampitt (High Performance Motorsports) visited Victory Lane for the first time in the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series, holding off championship contenders Ray Alfalla (Slip Angle Motorsports) and PJ Stergios (ineX Racing) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . Brad Davies came home behind Alfalla and Stergios, with Ryan Lowe rounding out the top five. Clampitt used pit strategy to take the lead after a round of green-flag pit stops late in the race and never looked back. He showed impressive poise for a rookie on a pair of late-race restarts, maintaining the lead as chaos erupted behind him. Stergios started on pole but outside polesitter Nick Ottinger had the fastest car on the first run and moved into the lead on Lap 12. Ottinger began building a gap that grew to nearly 1.5 seconds before the first caution flag flew on Lap 23, drawing the leaders to pit road. The leaders all took four fresh tires and Ottinger won the race off pit road, barely beating Stergios who restarted in second. On the next run, Alfalla moved to second and kept pace with Ottinger as Stergios fell to fourth behind Josh Berry . The four would run in this order until the third caution flew on Lap 52 for Chris Overland's spin. Ottinger once again kept the lead on pit road and looked to run away from the field when the green flag flew. This time, however, Ottinger had company at the front as Alfalla showed he could keep pace as the run wore on. On Lap 92 Alfalla made his move on the bottom and drew alongside Ottinger through Turns 3 and 4 but could not complete the pass as he lost drive off the corner on the flatter bottom groove. For the next nine laps Alfalla hounded the race leader, diving to the inside on multiple occasions without success. Finally, on Lap 101, Alfalla got a strong run off Turn 2 and completed the pass entering Turn 3. The lead awarded Alfalla with an important bonus point, but green flag pit stops loomed. Clampitt pitted a couple laps before the race leaders and the strategy paid off as he inherited the lead with 30 laps to go once the pit cycle completed. Alfalla was closing with his fresher tires, but Timmy Hill 's spin with 18 to go brought the leaders to pit road and set up the dash to the finish. Alfalla maintains the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze championship lead into the series finale thanks to his runner-up finish. He gained one point on Stergios and holds a slim five-point lead. Disaster nearly struck Stergios with 10 laps to go when Mitchell Hunt crashed off Turn 2, slamming into Stergios' door in the process. Somehow, Stergios continued on despite the damage and kept pace well enough to score a strong finish. Jake Stergios appears relatively safe in third place, 104 points back of Alfalla and 22 points ahead of fourth-place driver Overland. Overland is in the middle of a points battle of his own as Dylan Duval (The TEAM) is now only two points behind after Overland's troubles left him in 31st. The battle for the back end of the top five will likely be decided between the two as Kenny Humpe is 27 points back of Duval after experiencing Internet troubles. With only one race remaining, all eyes will be on Alfalla and Stergios as the twosome head to Homestead-Miami Speedway in search of a NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series title title. Stergios is looking for his first championship while Alfalla is hoping to win his third after finishing runner-up the past three seasons. A five-point margin gives Alfalla the advantage, but if Stergios can get out to an early lead the pressure will be squarely on Alfalla. Who will take home the crown? Be sure to tune into iRacing Live in two weeks to see the conclusion of the 2016 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series from Homestead!
2013 champ Hudson snags first win of season
Tyler Hudson made his first visit to Victory Lane in the 2016 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series at Darlington Raceway Tuesday night, holding-off Taylor Hurst ( Aero Precision Chassiswerks ) and Brad Davies on the race's final run. Hudson, the 2013 series champion, had found limited success by his standards in 2016 with only a single top five to his name through the first 13 races. Hudson took the lead for the final time on Lap 150 after completing of the final pit cycle of the race. He then ran steady, consistent lap times over the final 33 laps to earn his first trip to the winner’s circle in three years, pulling away from the rest of the field -- including PJ Stergios ( ineX Racing ) who looked dominant early in the race. Stergios seemed to lack long-run speed and fell to fourth on the final run. He was followed across the finish line by brother Jake Stergios in fifth. Championship contenders Ray Alfalla ( Slip Angle Motorsports ) and PJ Stergios shared the front row with Alfalla getting the jump from pole position at the green flag. Alfalla and Stergios quickly built a gap on the field only for a caution flag to wave on Lap 13 for a crash near the back of the field. The caution drew the leaders to pit road for tires and fuel where Alfalla made an uncharacteristic mistake by stopping too short in his pit box. The error cost him seven positions, allowing Stergios through to the lead; Alfalla would not lead another lap in the race. Stergios made the most of the situation by leading 83 of 183 laps, but Hurst also looked strong and reeled-in the ineX Ford Fusion before pitting on Lap 51. Stergios made his stop on Lap 57 which gave Hurst, thanks to his fresh tires, a 12-second gap on the former race leader once the two returned to the track. Even with the tire disadvantage and a quickly closing Stergios, Hurst was able to hold the lead until his next pit stop on Lap 84. Stergios once again inherited the lead and before he could hit pit road again, a caution waved on Lap 94 for a crash involving Robin Williams and Bryan Blackford. The biggest loser among the leaders was Alfalla, who pitted early in the cycle and was trapped a lap down when the caution flew. He took the wave around to regain the lap lost, albeit on older tires. When the race went green again, Stergios led from Hudson and looked to capitalize on Alfalla's misfortune while Hurst was trying to regain the track position he lost as the result of pitting under green. As the run wore on, Stergios was unable to get away from the field as he had earlier in the race. Initially, Hudson and Hurst matched his lap times but, as the laps added up and the tires wore down, they began closing on the leader with Hudson's iAnalyze Racing Fusion passing Stergios for the lead on Lap 125. Then, Hudson made the winning move in the pits, gaining valuable time on Stergios while also enjoying the advantage of clean air. Stergios could never find the speed he had earlier in the race and faded as Hudson asserted himself when it mattered most. Not all was lost for Stergios, however. Alfalla’s troubles caused him to finish a disappointing fourteenth, all but erasing his points lead with two races remaining. Alfalla now leads Stergios by only four points, setting the stage for a thrilling battle in the weeks to come. Jake Stergios is third in the standings ahead of Chris Overland and Dylan Duval ( The TEAM ), who holds fifth by a single point over teammate Kenny Humpe. With the championship picture tightening once again the series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the penultimate race of 2016. The NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series has not visited New Hampshire since 2014, but both Stergios and Alfalla have had success on the Magic Mile in the past. Stergios finished fifth in 2014 while Alfalla finished second in 2012 and third in 2013. Who can avoid trouble on the slow, flat corners of NHMS? Who will enter Homestead in the best position to win the 2016 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series title? Find out in two weeks on iRacingLive !
Jake Owen: My connection to NASCAR
Singer details his relationship with Kevin Harvick for NASCAR.com Editor's note: Country music star Jake Owen has played at NASCAR races and is a client at KHI Management. The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion recently made an appearance in the music video for Owen's latest single, "Real Life." Learn more about Jake by clicking here and follow Jake on Twitter here . See below for a behind-the-scenes video of "Real Life." I've always enjoyed NASCAR and have always been a fan of the sport. I definitely became more involved once Kevin Harvick and I started working together. The last several years, watching how well he's done, has been incredible. To have the changes he did, not just in racing but in life, to go out and win the championship and join a new team and really start his own company when he had a new baby -- he's done so much stuff and has been so successful. He and his wife DeLana enjoyed my music, and four years ago they asked me to perform at a charity event for him, and I did. It was right about time they found out they were going to have a baby. I was going to be a dad as well, so we were going through the same things at the same time. We became friends, and it made sense for us to team up. Another reason it's been so great to work with him is that I think country music and NASCAR go together like peanut butter and jelly. The same folks who watch a NASCAR every race weekend are the same folks who come out to our shows and sing with us. Country music is fueled by people who live real lives, who are just everyday, good people. Both are very loyal. Our fans support us our whole careers. Same with NASCAR -- if there's a Dale Earnhardt fan or a Junior fan, they are lifelong fans. I just love that. When you talk about a NASCAR driver moving up and a country music singer making it big, I think they correlate a lot. Kevin and I really do get along and understand and have a similar background. I have good family, but I didn't have anything handed to me. I dropped out of college and moved to Nashville. My dad said, 'Good luck.' I worked really hard and built a little following, playing county fairs and festivals and backyard barbecues. I played everywhere I could. Now to be out playing stadiums with guys like Kenny Chesney, and to headline my own arenas, is amazing. When I go back to the city where that county fair was 10 years ago, it's so flattering that people will lay down money they’ve worked hard for to see my show. There's nothing more fulfilling to know after all the hard work, you make it -- call it going from dirt tracks to Daytona. I ended up asking Kevin to be in my new music video and told him, "I just want you to celebrate in the back of truck like you won a race, spraying everyone with champagne." Kevin was like, "I'm totally down with that." The song is called "Real Life," and it's about anything that happens on a daily basis that's out of our control, in our control, just things that happen every day. Really, it's about living it and treating others with respect. It's about being what I call a good all-American human being. We all have high moments and low. The guy who brings his camper out to race on Sunday, there's a chance he gets a flat tire. It's hot, kids are yelling in the background … those situations to me are what real life is all about -- living life to your best and fullest and smiling along the way.
Race Rewind: Chicago in 15
Relive the first race of the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway as drivers fight to solidify the first spot to advance to the Round of 12.
Alfalla retakes points lead on last-lap pass at Michigan
Ray Alfalla ( Slip Angle Motorsports ) captured his second victory of the 2016 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series by passing Brad Davies off Turn 4 on the final lap at Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday evening. The finish marked the second-straight race that has been decided by a last-lap pass for the lead, although unlike one race earlier at Watkins Glen, there was no contact or controversy after the Michigan thriller. Davies played a good strategy to take the lead during the last round of pit stops and held the top spot for 20 laps due to repeated crashes and yellow flags. Alfalla had the better car and was on fresher tires, but never got a long enough run to challenge for the lead. His chance finally came on the final restart with two laps to the flag. When the green flew, Davies got a good jump on Alfalla, but the two-time series champion had closed up to the leader's bumper as the pair took the white flag. Alfalla was not close enough entering Turn One so instead of charging in over his head he was patient, backed up the corner, and got a great run on exit. Alfalla closed quickly down the backstretch and dove to the bottom entering Turn 3 as Davies protected the top. His fresh tires were too much for Davies as Alfalla passed uncontested off Turn 4 and took the checkered flag .05 of a second in the clear. Logan Clampitt ( High Performance Motorsports ) came home third, combining a solid pit strategy with a fast car and steady driving. Justin Bolton ( The TEAM ) was fourth, ahead of Andrew Fayash in his first top-five result. Alfalla started on pole and had the fastest car for much of the race but only led 46 of 125 laps, largely due to pit strategy. Instead of changing two tires and losing position on a subsequent long run, Alfalla opted for four fresh tires each time down pit road. This decision meant he had to fight through traffic on several occasions, but Alfalla used his experience to cleanly and effectively move through the field. During the middle segment of the race the field strung out and allowed some differing strategies to develop. Some sim racers chose a three-stop strategy in hopes fresh tires would make up for the extra trip down pit road, while others opted for a two-stop strategy. Alfalla chose the two-stop strategy and was helped out by a timely yellow flag on Lap 81 just before he was going to make his final pit stop. All but one car on the three-stop strategy also chose to pit, allowing Alfalla to keep nearly all of his track position, which put himself in prime position to win the race. From there, the race turned into a series of short sprints broken up by frequent caution flags. Seven of the nine cautions flew in the last 45 laps, making track position more important than a typical Michigan race. The win vaulted Alfalla back into the championship lead with three races remaining in the season. He now enjoys a 15-point advantage over PJ Stergios ( ineX Racing Team ) after Stergios struggled to a 14th-place finish at MIS. PJ's brother, Jake , is still hanging onto third, but his margin over Chris Overland shrunk to just four points after a Tuesday's disappointing 31st-place result. Dylan Duval is fifth, but is only seven points clear of Kenny Humpe after finishing 35th at Michigan. Only three weeks remain in the 2016 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze season, and Darlington Raceway looms large as the next race on the schedule. Widely considered to be the toughest oval on the circuit, Darlington requires impeccable car control and patience to succeed. For Alfalla and Stergios, the goal is simple: get out front and stay there, away from potential carnage that can be common farther back in the field. Can Stergios close the gap on Alfalla, or is Alfalla primed to edge closer to his third world championship? Tune-in to iRacing Live in three weeks to catch the sim racing action from The Track Too Tough to Tame!
NASCAR launches youth mobile app as 'Kids Drive NASCAR' week continues
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 23, 2016) -- Kids everywhere are going back to school, but not before celebrating the end of summer with NASCAR. All this week, Kids Drive NASCAR is engaging the sport's young fans with news, events and social content geared toward kids leading up to the NASCAR national series races at Michigan International Speedway and Road America . As part of the festivities, NASCAR today announced the launch of the Acceleration Nation app, the first digital experience created just for kids featuring racing-themed games, activities and fun ways to learn more about NASCAR. Parents can download the new app for their children at the App Store and Google Play. "This week is all about the kids and bringing NASCAR's youngest fans even closer to the sport through innovative platforms like NASCAR Acceleration Nation," said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "With Kids Drive NASCAR, we've created a fun way to engage children by putting them in the driver's seat for a change." Karsyn Elledge, the host of Nickelodeon's "NASCAR Hammer Down," Monday helped introduce Kids Drive NASCAR during a kids-only press conference streamed on Facebook Live from the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The launch coincided with an industry announcement that, beginning in 2017, kids ages 12 and younger will be admitted free to all NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. Jake Short, the star of Disney XD's Lab Rats: Elite Force, will serve as Honorary Kids Drive NASCAR Ambassador this weekend at Michigan International Speedway . Children attending the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at MIS, as well as those attending the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Road America , will be featured guests at driver and crew chief meetings and receive behind-the-scenes garage tours and photos with drivers. NASCAR's social media channels will share Kids Drive NASCAR content throughout the week, including videos and Snapchat takeovers featuring young drivers sharing their off-track experiences, and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers with their kids. Fans are also invited to get in on the fun by sharing pictures of their children and families enjoying NASCAR races using #KidsDriveNASCAR. Beginning this week, new NASCAR Acceleration Nation learning materials focused on lessons in aerodynamics and energy are being distributed to more than 10,000 elementary and middle schools across the country. NASCAR teamed with Scholastic to develop the motorsports industry’s first Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) in-school education program in 2015. The 6,400-square-foot NASCAR Acceleration Nation live experience will be on display at Michigan International Speedway and will host interactive activities and driver autograph signings for kids throughout the weekend. On Thursday, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ben Kennedy and Michigan International Speedway executives will visit students at Ezra Eby Elementary School in Napoleon, Mich., to talk about NASCAR and STEM. Last fall, the school received a grant from MIS Cares, a donor advised fund of The NASCAR Foundation, for 35 digital tablets for student use across all subjects. For more information about NASCAR Acceleration Nation, visit Accelerationnation.com . The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Michigan International Speedway for the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and MRN. A double-header on Saturday, Aug. 27 begins with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at MIS (1 p.m. ET; FS1, MRN) followed by the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Road America (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, MRN).
Defending iRacing champ Humpe claims Kentucky triumph
Kenny Humpe ( The TEAM ) kept his hot streak going at Kentucky Speedway by winning his third NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series race of the 2016 season. The defending series champion led 50 of 167 laps, the most of any driver, in what turned out to be one of the most competitive events of the season thus far. Humpe closed the deal on a three-lap shootout that was punctuated by a caution on the penultimate lap with Humpe well in the clear. Michael Conti ( Team Conti ) finished second for his first top-five finish of the season. Conti was strong from the drop of the green and led 10 laps, flashing some of the speed that made him NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series champion in 2014. Dylan Duval followed Conti across the line in third, just in front of point leaders Ray Alfalla ( Slip Angle Motorsports ) and PJ Stergios ( ineX Racing ). Duval looked to have a car capable of winning the race the last 50 laps, but cautions held him back from challenging for the win; he started 34th. Alfalla looked poised to battle Humpe for the win but contact with Conti under caution with a handful of laps to go damaged the rear of Alfalla's car and dashed any chance he had of keeping up with Humpe on the last restart. The race was one of the more unpredictable of the season, as several drivers looked like they had a legitimate shot to win. Alfalla started on pole and led until pitting under green on Lap 35, where he lost the lead to Conti after the cycle of stops due to Conti pitting a lap earlier for tires. Alfalla methodically reeled him in, using his superior speed on the long run to take the lead back on Lap 55. Alfalla pitted for the second time on Lap 68 and again lost the lead on the exchange -- this time to Justin Bolton and Humpe, along with Conti for a second time. Humpe went to the point on Lap 81 with Alfalla looking to keep pace, but Conti held Alfalla at bay, using the outside lane to keep his momentum off the corners. Alfalla was persistent though, and after four laps of working the bottom lane he cleared Conti, but could not run down Humpe before the leaders hit pit road for a third time. Humpe maintained his lead after stops but a caution shortly after the round of stops changed the outlook of the race. While most of the leaders pitted for fresh tires, nine drivers decided to stay out with their slightly worn tires in hopes that track position would make a difference. Tyler Hudson ( One Up Motorsports ) inherited the race lead as the field took the green flag on Lap 109. Hudson held the lead for the next eight laps before another caution bunched the field and drew everyone to pit road for fresh rubber. Humpe went from 12th to seventh on the run, but now did not have a tire advantage. After a crash on the restart, the race restarted on Lap 126 and Humpe started to make his move back to the front. In 10 laps, Humpe was in third and had his sights set on Hudson in the lead. On Lap 140, Humpe drew alongside Hudson and completed the pass on the outside off Turn 4. Another caution with 17 laps to go could have derailed Humpe's chances, but a solid final pit stop and two stellar restarts let him hold the lead uncontested to the checkered flag. Alfalla's fourth-place result combined with Stergios' fifth-place effort saw Alfalla build his championship lead slightly. His margin over Stergios is 13 points, with Humpe a distant third, 78 points back. Teammates Jake Stergios and Chris Overland hold fourth and fifth, 91 and 96 points adrift, respectively. After four-straight races on 1.5 mile tracks, the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series shifts gears for Week 11 as the SIM racing series visits the Indianapolis Motor Speedway . Overtaking at the one-groove IMS is notoriously difficult; thus, qualifying is more important than usual. Alfalla's average start of seventh makes him the clear favorite, but a dark horse could be Cody Byus, whose eighth-place average starting position is second-best in the series. Can Humpe or Stergios topple Alfalla, or will the two-time champ cross the yard of bricks for his second victory of 2016? Find out in two weeks on iRacingLive !
Stergios earns third NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series Victory at Chicagoland
PJ Stergios (ineX Racing) won his third NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series race of the 2016 season, beating Slip Angle Motorsports' driver Ray Alfalla at Chicagoland Speedway . The two were the class of the field in the series' first race after the summer break, but Stergios pulled-off the victory with better long-run speed and a superior pit strategy. Alfalla settled for second, 2.2 seconds behind the winner after starting from the pole and leading a race-high 90 of 167 laps. Chris Overland was third, more than seven seconds behind Stergios. Taylor Hurst and Justin Bolton rounded out the top five. On the short runs Alfalla was in a class of his own, but the race came down to long-run speed with only one caution being thrown for Timmy Hill ’s (Aftermath) spin entering pit road during the first round of stops. Alfalla, who was the leader at the time of the caution, led the field down pit road but lost the lead to Dylan Duval (The TEAM) on the pit exchange. On the ensuing restart Duval held-off Alfalla for six laps before finally giving way as he simply could not match the speed of two time champion's Ford Fusion. However, as the run wore on Stergios began to reel Alfalla in. By the time green-flag pit stops were imminent, Stergios' Ford was right on Alfalla’s bumper and inherited the lead when Alfalla was the first to pit. Due to pitting a lap sooner than Stergios, Alfalla returned with a sizable margin over his nearest competitor. Stergios almost immediately started cutting into the margin and by the time 25 laps had elapsed in the run he was within striking distance of the lead again. On Lap 98 Stergios made his move to the bottom in Turn Three in an attempt to take the lead but Alfalla hung tough on the outside to keep Stergios at bay. Unable to clear Alfalla, Stergios devised a new plan to take the lead. On this run Stergios pitted a lap before Alfalla; this allowed him to take the lead and build a gap of nearly three seconds. With only one more pit stop needed before the finish, Alfalla was now chasing the lead for the first time all race. On this run Alfalla had more speed and began to reel Stergios in despite a near disaster with Overland that saw Alfalla on the receiving end of an inadvertent tap from behind entering Turn One. The contact sent Alfalla into a slide but he masterfully recovered and continued his pursuit of Stergios. Alfalla was only a couple car lengths behind Stergios when the final pit window opened and once again it was Stergios getting the jump on Alfalla on pit road. By pitting a lap earlier for the second run in a row, Stergios saw his lead grow to over four seconds. Alfalla started to close the gap again but stalled-out midway through the run and was unable to mount a challenge. T he win could prove critical for Stergios' championship hopes as he cut into Alfalla's points lead. Alfalla now leads by just 11 points as the top two continue pulling away from the rest of the field. Kenny Humpe retained third place in the standings but lost ground after a twenty-eighth place finish due to a blend line violation while leaving pit road. Humpe’s poor result allowed Jake Stergios to move into a tie for third in the standings despite finishing P14 in the Windy City. However, Humpe and Jake now sit a distant 85 points behind Alfalla. Overland bookends the top five, jumping in front of Corey Vincent and making for three ineX Racing drivers in the first five positions. Week 10 of the 2016 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze season takes the sim racers to another 1.5-mile track: Kentucky Speedway . While Chicagoland and Kentucky are equal in length, the similarities end there. Kentucky’s surface is very rough, flat, and wide making it a challenge to create an optimal setup. Will Stergios and Alfalla continue to duel for the victory or can Humpe or another driver spoil the party at the front? Be sure and catch all the sim racing action in two weeks on iRacingLive when the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series drivers take on Kentucky!