Rain 2, NASCAR 0: Trucks qualifying joins Cup practice as rained out Saturday at Martinsville

Leave a comment

The rain continues to fall at Martinsville Speedway Saturday afternoon.

Earlier in the morning, the first of two scheduled Sprint Cup practices was cancelled due to the wet stuff.

Then, late Saturday morning, NASCAR officials cancelled qualifying for the Camping World Trucks Series.

Hopes are that the 250-lap Kroger 250 trucks race, scheduled for 2:30 pm ET, will still be able to take place.

Before that, the Sprint Cup drivers are scheduled to have their final Happy Hour practice from 1 pm ET to 1:50 pm ET, which at this writing is not looking promising.

With NCWTS qualifying cancelled, the grid for the field in Saturday’s hoped-for race was set by Friday’s first practice order (the second practice session was not a full session due to, what else, rain).

Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., who won last October’s Trucks race at Martinsville — becoming only the second African-American driver to ever win a race in NASCAR’s three marquee series, and the first in nearly 50 years after Wendell Scott won at Jacksonville, Fla., in 1964 — will start from the pole because he was fastest in Friday morning’s first practice.

Here’s the starting grid for Saturday afternoon’s Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway — if the rain stops, that is:

Row 1 Darrell Wallace Jr, Ryan Blaney

Row 2 Timothy Peters, Erik Jones

Row 3 Ben Kennedy, Brian Ickler

Row 4 German Quiroga Jr., Ron Hornaday Jr.

Row 5 Cole Custer, Matt Crafton

Row 6 Gray Gaulding, Ben Rhodes

Row 7 Ross Chastain, Johnny Sauter

Row 8 Chase Pistone, John Wes Townley

Row 9 Tyler Reddick, Joey Coulter

Row 10 Mason Mingus, John Hunter Nemecheck

Row 11 Brandon Jones, Jeb Burton

Row 12 Tyler Young, Alex Guenette

Row 13 Spencer Gallagher, Caleb Holman

Row 14 Bryan Silas, Clay Greenfield

Row 15 Ray Black Jr., Raymond Terczak Jr.

Row 16 Justin Jennings, Josh Williams

Row 17 Travis Kvapil, Korbin Forrister

Row 18 Norm Benning, Jennifer Jo Cobb

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

‘One and Only’ Kyle Larson wins Outlaws opener at Knoxville Raceway

Kyle Larson wins Knoxville
Paul Arch/World of Outlaws
Leave a comment

The magic of dirt racing wins for Kyle Larson continued Thursday night at Knoxville Raceway, where he scored his third consecutive World of Outlaws victory at the famed half-mile track to open “The One and Only.”

After starting 10th, Larson sliced through the field and passed pole-sitter Logan Schuchart to lead the final eight laps in the No. 57 of car owner Paul Silva.

“Just an awesome race,” Larson said after earning $10,000 for his second consecutive NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series victory (after winning at Pevely, Missouri, last Saturday), his sixth Outlaws victory this season and 14th of his career.

LARSON ON NASCAR‘I’d love an opportunity if it came’

“I was able to track Logan down and hit the bottom really well in (turns) 1 and 2 and got a run on him.  It felt like I needed to take advantage of that before we got to heavier traffic and slid him and felt some contact. So, glad to see him not in the wall or anything like that. Just, hard work there. Heartbeat is up again.”

Kyle Larson wins Knoxville
Kyle Larson scored his sixth World of Outlaws victory Thursday (Trent Gower/World of Outlaws).

It was the fourth Knoxville victory this year for Larson, who swept a World of Outlaws doubleheader weekend June 12-13 at the Sprint Car Captial of the World. He has more than 30 victories this year in sprint cars and midgets.

The One and Only continues Friday night with another $10,000 feature race that will set the starting lineup for Saturday’s Brownells Capitani Classic, which pays $50,000 to win.

The event is the Outlaws’ richest purse of 2020 and subs in for the annual Knoxville Nationals, which was canceled for COVID-19 concerns. Larson, a two-time Knoxville Nationals runner-up, has said winning The One and Only would be on the same as Knoxville’s signature event because of its tough three-day format.

Through the first of three nights, Schuchart and Larson are tied for second in The One and Only points standings, which factor in qualifying, heats, dash and feature races. Aaron Reutzel, an All Star Circuit of Champions stalwart who finished third Thursday, leads with 430 points.

A crash in Thursday’s 25-lap feature eliminated past Outlaws champions Brad Sweet and Donny Schatz after Cory Eliason spun in front of Sweet in Turn 1 to start the wreck, which also collected Sweet’s teammate, James McFadden. Sweet and Schatz finished outside the top 20, which moved Schuchart into the points lead for the 2020 season.

Schuchart still seemed slightly miffed after finishing second to Larson.

“As the race went on, I felt like I wasn’t hitting my marks as good,” he said. “I would have liked to of had a little bit better of a race with Kyle there. I wish his slide job was a little better there, but he’s got a reputation to live up to. That’s where you let other people make the rules and maybe we’ll get him next time.”


RESULTS

NOS Energy Drink Feature (25 Laps) – 1. 57-Kyle Larson [10]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [1]; 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel [2]; 4. 2-Carson Macedo [24]; 5. 41-David Gravel [6]; 6. 21-Brian Brown [7]; 7. 71-Spencer Bayston [3]; 8. 18-Gio Scelzi [15]; 9. 12N-Joey Saldana [5]; 10. 5-Ian Madsen [19]; 11. 17A-Austin McCarl [21]; 12. 1A-Jacob Allen [11]; 13. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [16]; 14. 7S-Jason Sides [20]; 15. 24-Rico Abreu [22]; 16. 4-Terry McCarl [13]; 17. 2KS-Brooke Tatnell [18]; 18. O9-Matt Juhl [23]; 19. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [25]; 20. 83-Daryn Pittman [9]; 21. 11K-Kraig Kinser [17]; 22. 15-Donny Schatz [8]; 23. 26-Cory Eliason [4]; 24. 49-Brad Sweet [12]; 25. 9-James McFadden [14]; Lap Leaders: Logan Schuchart 1-17, Kyle Larson 18-25; KSE Hard Charger Award: 2-Carson Macedo[+20]

Kyle Larson wins Knoxville
Kyle Larson celebrated with his family and team after the first night of The One and Only (Trent Gower/World of Outlaws).