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Scott Lagasse Jr. teams with RCR for Homestead
Veteran will drive No. 33 Chevrolet in season finale RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Richard Childress Racing announced Wednesday that it has signed second-generation driver Scott Lagasse Jr . to NASCAR Nationwide Series duty for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Lagasse , scheduled to make just his third Nationwide start of the year, will drive the team's No. 33 Chevrolet in the Nov. 15 Ford EcoBoost 300 (4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2). "I'm honored for the opportunity to drive the RCR No. 33 Chevrolet," Lagasse said. "Mr. Childress runs a first-class organization, from his team all the way down to the equipment he provides for them." Nick Harrison will serve as crew chief for the No. 33 effort, which will carry sponsorship from the Florida Department of Transportation's "Alert Today Alive Tomorrow" program and the Boy Scouts of America. The car has run on a part-time basis alongside Childress' three full-time teams, fielded for drivers Ty Dillon , Brendan Gaughan and Brian Scott . Rookie Cale Conley has driven the No. 33 in 11 races, Paul Menard in seven (including a victory at Michigan in June), and defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton in one. The 33-year-old St. Augustine, Florida native is the son of former racer Scott Lagasse , who enjoyed his most successful stint in NASCAR as a full-time competitor in the truck series' inaugural season in 1995. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Lagasse Jr. to drive in Daytona Nationwide race
Joint effort between RAB Racing, TeamSLR puts Lagasse Jr. in No. 29 Toyota
Gallagher, Peters strong in first 2016 Truck practices
MORE: Full Practice 2 results Spencer Gallagher led Thursday's final practice ahead of Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway . Gallagher, running just six laps in the late afternoon session, paced the field with a best speed of 188.135 mph. He was followed closely by Timothy Peters at 188.029 mph. Peters topped the opening session at 189.028 mph for the best speed of the day. Defending race winner Tyler Reddick was third on the charts at 187.946 mph, followed by ThorSport Racing teammates Rico Abreu (185.778 mph) and Matt Crafton (185.647 mph). Tune in Friday night for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1). MORE: Full Practice 1 results Veteran driver Timothy Peters topped the opening NASCAR Camping World Truck Series action of the 2016 season, pacing the first of two practices Thursday at Daytona International Speedway . Peters logged a best speed of 189.028 mph in his 23 laps around the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Ben Rhodes and teammate Ben Kennedy were right on his tail, with speeds of 188.687 mph and 188.644 mph, respectively. Grant Enfinger (making his first NCWTS appearance since 2012) was next on the charts at 188.399 mph, followed by Johnny Sauter at 188.383 mph to round out the top five. A handful of minutes into the session, Scott Lagasse ran over a piece of debris on his first lap, sending his No. 14 Chevrolet into the outside wall, taking heavy damage and halting the field.
Moffitt hopes third-place run opens more doors
RELATED: Full race results LONG POND, Pa. -- Brett Moffitt finished the 2015 season as the Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year. He started the 2016 season without a ride -- in any national series. After completing his rookie campaign behind the wheel of the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports ride currently inhabited by reigning XFINITY Series champion Chris Buescher, Moffitt found himself seatless heading into this season with more questions than answers regarding his career trajectory. Fill-in duty came calling earlier this month as Red Horse Racing needed a driver for its No. 11 Toyota at Kentucky, with Matt Tifft sidelined following surgery to remove a low-grade brain tumor. After starting second, an engine failure while running in the top five relegated Moffitt to a 31st-place finish. RELATED: Tifft tweets upbeat video post-surgery The 23-year-old was again behind the wheel at Pocono Raceway for Saturday's Pocono Mountains 150, carving his way through the field -- and a wreck-heavy, race-record nine cautions -- to finish third after starting 15th. Despite the lack of seat time this season, it appears Moffitt hasn't forgotten what to do when his team gives him a machine capable of competing. "We didn't make a single adjustment on it during the race; we really had a good truck. (Crew chief) Scott (Zipadelli) called a great race; great strategy. Got us up front when it mattered," Moffitt said. " … We were actually really lucky (to stay out of the wrecks). It seemed like when it happened, it would happen right in front of us, so we were able to duck to the bottom and avoid before cars get stacked up three and four-wide trying to avoid it and you get forced into a lane. "It worked out alright for us, we just saw a lot of attrition right in front of us. Part of qualifying getting rained out was that we started mid-pack and we had to do what the leaders didn't. So that's why we went with that strategy and it ended up working out, but it was a little bit nerve-wracking through the middle section of the race there." With the finish -- his best across all NASCAR national series in 43 starts -- Moffitt is hoping it results in keeping his name fresh in people's minds, as he has no other opportunities lined up at the current moment. Regardless, he'll be ready at the drop of a hat should any team, Red Horse Racing included, call him up for a spot start or more. "(Red Horse) like to keep it last minute, so I found out about a week ago Friday," he said. "It's a little stressful during that week to get everything ready and it's hard on the guys at the shop, but they do a great job adjusting to multiple drivers this year and they continue to prove that. "I don't think I've had a clear path my whole career. I've kind of been riding each opportunity I get, you know? Last year it was in the 55 car when Brian (Vickers) was out and this year it's in the 11 truck with Matt Tifft being out. Not the way I want to get opportunities, by someone else's hard fortune, but it's good to make the most of them. "Hopefully this opens the door for some more races."
Truex tames Pocono for Coors Light Pole Award
RELATED: Qualifying results " See every car in the field LONG POND, Pa. – Martin Truex Jr. found a lot more than light at the end of the Tunnel on Friday afternoon at Pocono Raceway. Gaining time on the rest of the field through Turn 2—the Tunnel Turn—at the 2.5-mile triangular race track, Truex put his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota on the pole for Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400 (on NBCSN at 1:30 p.m. ET; MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), knocking fellow Toyota Camry driver Carl Edwards out of the top starting spot. It's not that Truex and his team made a special point of emphasis on that particularly tricky corner. It just worked out that way, earning Truex his third Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his first at Pocono and the 10th of his career. "For whatever reason, today—all day long—I felt comfortable there, more so than past times here," said Truex, who ran his fastest lap of the day (179.244 mph) in the third and final round of knockout qualifying for the 21st NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season. "The first race here (in June) we really struggled in the Tunnel Turn. "We kind of focused on it a little bit coming back, as far as just making sure it was closer to Turn 1 and Turn 3 and not something that would really handcuff us so bad. So maybe that had something to do with it—I'm not sure—but it just kind of worked out that way, for whatever reason. "Each round I felt a little bit more comfortable and was able to gain a little more time there, and the third round I was able to just kind of sail off in there and get a little bit lucky and hit it right. It's one of those corners that, if you take a risk going in, nine out of 10 times it doesn’t pay off coming out of the corner. This time it did, and we were able to take advantage of it." On the strength of his run through the Tunnel Turn, Truex covered the distance in 50.211 seconds, .104 seconds faster than Edwards (178.873 mph), who thought he had the pole won when he completed his lap in the final round. "As I crossed the line, I felt like, 'That’s it'," said Edwards, who was a close second to Kyle Busch in pole qualifying last week at Indianapolis. "But after seeing what (Truex) ran, I thought 'Well, maybe I could go back and change this or that,' but that was a really good lap for me. It just was. "You can always go back and pick your lap apart, but the last two weeks, Indy and here, I was pretty proud of my lap, and they just got us." Paul Menard (178.671 mph) qualified third, the fastest of three Richard Childress Racing drivers in the top 12, with Ryan Newman placing fifth and Austin Dillon placing 12th. That's the first time all three RCR Chevrolets have cracked the top 12 for the same race since August of 2014 at Michigan. Denny Hamlin claimed the fourth spot on the grid. Tony Stewart, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano will start from positions six through 10, respectively. Subbing for ailing Dale Earnhardt Jr., six-time Pocono winner Jeff Gordon advanced to the second round but went no farther, qualifying 24th. Gordon made two runs in the first round to ensure he would make the second, and that eventually cost him. "The first time out, the car was pretty close, a little bit tight, but we should have been better that first time out, and then we wouldn't of had to gone out the second time," Gordon said. "But overall just too tight over the Tunnel (Turn). "The car is really good down in (Turn) 1. I picked up speed every time we went out. I think having to do that last run our third time on tires didn’t really give us a good chance to advance and get the lap that we wanted. It's still a work in progress." NASCAR competition officials delayed the start of qualifying by 20 minutes to allow teams extra time to make their way through the Laser Inspection Station (LIS). Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said that a glitch early Friday forced the wait time in the inspection process. "I'm not exactly sure of the exact technical thing that happened (with the LIS), but it got back online really quick," Miller said. "One thing I want to make clear is, the reason we're moving this back is because we had a little bit of ownership in it with our equipment. On a regular weekend, if everything … if we had our time block and our equipment worked fine and this was a team issue getting through templates and they didn't get out there, we would be inclined not to extend qualifying and if they miss qualifying it's on them." Despite the delay, all teams made it through inspection in time for the first 20-minute round of qualifying. The last of those was the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota team for driver Kyle Busch, who cut it close but made his first qualifying pass with roughly five minutes left in the opening session. No. 18 crew chief Adam Stevens told NBCSN that the car was initially out of tolerance with the rear-axle toe. Busch will start 16th after missing out on the 12-driver cut after qualifying's Round 2. His brother Kurt, who won the Sprint Cup tour's most recent race at Pocono, was 15th-fastest and will start alongside him in the eighth row. Contributing: Staff reports &amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;
Michigan's August race will use provisional 2017 aero rules package
NASCAR competition officials announced Thursday morning that the Sprint Cup Series' Aug. 28 race at Michigan International Speedway will feature an additional, final test of the provisional 2017 aerodynamics rules package. The reduced downforce rules setup will be the same that was used in the series' June 12 stop at the 2-mile oval. NASCAR's top division also used forms of the package during the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May and the series' stop at Kentucky Speedway earlier this month. RELATED: How repave, aero package worked at Kentucky in July The most prominent visible changes from the current rules package are a smaller rear spoiler -- reduced 1 inch to a 2.5-inch height -- and the removal of rear-axle offset or "skew." Those adjustments -- combined with modifications to cooling fans, the front splitter and the rear-deck fin -- continue the trend in NASCAR's premier series of limiting the effects of downforce and sideforce on the cars. The effects have favored driver control over an overly stabilized car in an effort to promote passing and side-by-side racing. Before Thursday's announcement, the series' July 9 Quaker State 400 at newly repaved Kentucky was to be the final audition for the 2017 base package. Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, said after that race that he wouldn't rule out an additional tryout, but indicated that the sanctioning body would likely avoid tinkering with aero rules for the final 10 races that make up the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. "After tonight we'll go back and we'll sort of reconvene with the drivers and the owners and the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and decide where we're going," Miller said July 9. "We're open to a lot of different options, and if something like that bubbles up and we have industry support for it, nothing right now is out of the question." Miller added that the Kentucky race was originally intended to be the proposed package's final event to provide teams "the most runway" toward preparations for next season. But when asked, drivers said they supported one final demonstration, singling out Michigan as a possible venue. RELATED: New rules on display at Michigan 'a promising direction' "I think, obviously subject to change after this weekend is over, but my initial thought is I would like to see it back at Michigan with just a few subtle changes that can be ascertained from what we've learned over this weekend and the previous Michigan weekend," Brad Keselowski said July 7. "Maybe a small tweak from what we've learned and go again at Michigan in the second race would kind of be my initial thought, so I would say yes." Said Matt Kenseth, the defending race winner of Michigan's August 400-miler: "I think Michigan is a pretty good judge. I mean, there's only the one race on it, but that place is starting to wear in a little bit. They've been able to bring a little bit softer tire. The groove has been widening out because it's been a few years since the repave, so I think that's our fastest top-speed track we go to. I think that's a pretty good place to evaluate it." Next month's Pure Michigan 400 will mark the first time in three races that the 2-mile track has hosted consecutive Sprint Cup events with the same rules package. Last August, competition officials experimented with a high-drag aero configuration before trying out the potential 2017 package in June. The set-up was also used by four teams during a Goodyear tire test at Michigan on May 17. Michigan was last repaved ahead of the 2012 season.
Johnson helps promote bicycle safety
Jimmie Johnson helps promote bicycle safety at Daytona International Speedway by participating in Scott Lagasse Jr.'s Champions for Bicycle Safety Ride.
Scott Miller comments on Kentucky repave, lower downforce package
NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, Scott Miller, comments on the effectiveness of the lower downforce rules package used at Kentucky Speedway and how the track raced after the repave.
James Buescher's future with NTS Motorsports uncertain
Scott Lagasse Jr. driving No. 31 this weekend
Buescher, Hemric headline NTS Motorsports lineup
Gray Gaulding will also get seat time for the team Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge Daniel Hemric and James Buescher will headline the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series lineup for NTS Motorsports in 2015, the team announced Monday. Hemric will drive the No. 14 Chevrolet Silverado and compete for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors as a full-time driver. Ryan McKinney will serve as his crew chief. Hemric has made three career starts in the Truck Series with his best finish, a 12th-place result, coming at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2014. McKinney was the crew chief for the team's No. 9 Truck last season and had four top-10 finishes atop the pit box in 2014. The 2012 series champion, Buescher will be behind the wheel of the No. 31 Chevrolet Silverado for select events. The No. 31 will be a full-time truck, but the team did not announce how many races Buescher would run. When Buescher is behind the wheel, he will have sponsors GunBroker.com and Great Clips on board. NASCAR.com contributor Chris Rice will be the crew chief of the No. 31 team, while also serving as NTS Motorsports' competition director. Rice has one career win atop the pit box in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. He worked with Buescher in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for part of last season as the crew chief of the No. 99 team. The organization will also field a part-time team in the form of the No. 20 Chevrolet Silverado. Gray Gaulding will run eight races and have sponsorship from Krispy Kreme, while Scott Lagasse Jr. will drive in two events. Gaulding, who turns 17 on Tuesday, ran nine events last season, scoring his first top-five finish in the series at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Gaulding will also pilot a full-time effort for the organization in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Lagasse Jr. will be behind the wheel for the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He will be supported by the Florida Department of Transportation's Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow initiative in addition to Boy Scouts of America. Veteran crew chief Doug Howe, who has one win in the series, will be atop the box for both drivers. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule