NASCAR: Cale Conley lands full-time XFINITY Series ride with Tri-Star

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After running part-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series last year for Richard Childress Racing, Cale Conley will now compete in the division full-time in 2015 as a member of Tri-Star Motorsports.

The 22-year-old West Virginian competed in 11 NXS races last season in RCR’s No. 33 machine, a part-time car that was also driven by Sprint Cup regulars Paul Menard and Austin Dillon as well as reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton in 2014. Conley’s best finish was a sixth at Kentucky Speedway in September.

“I am looking forward to working with people that are excited to work with me and help me mature as a driver and competitor in this series,” Conley said in a Tri-Star release.

“I am grateful to [owner] Mark Smith and TriStar Motorsports for being willing to take a chance with me and let me race weekend after weekend after weekend, so I can get one step closer to my ultimate dream of being a NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.”

Tri-Star’s four-car operation competed with 13 different drivers last year. Ex-Truck Series champion Mike Bliss ran all 33 NXS events (best finish of 10th at Road America), while Eric McClure, Blake Koch, and former NXS champion Jeff Green also ran a majority of the season with the team.

“TriStar Motorsports is proud to field a Toyota Camry for a rising star in NASCAR,” said Mark Smith, TriStar Motorsports team owner. “With Cale’s drive and passion for NASCAR, I know that we will have a successful 2015 season with him behind the wheel.”

Before entering the NXS scene in 2014, Conley had come up through the sprint car ranks and then the K&N Pro Series East, where he notched his first win in 2012 and raced full-time in 2013.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.