CHASTAIN LOOKING FOR BRISTOL REPEAT

CHASTAIN LOOKING FOR BRISTOL REPEAT

BRISTOL, Tenn. – The April Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway was a memorable one for Ross Chastain.

Chastain drove the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller No. 4 Chevrolet to a ninth-place finish in that race. The result was his second-best run of the season and his best finish in seven career Xfinity races at the fast half-mile track.

Chastain will be looking for similar results Friday when Xfinity drivers return to BMS for the Food City 300.

“Bristol has always been one of my favorite tracks, and the performance we had there in April gave us a real boost,” Chastain said. “We can build off that for this week and hopefully have another top-10 finish.”

Chastain is 12th in Xfinity points and is battling for a spot in the playoffs.

Practices are scheduled at 10:05 a.m. and 1:35 p.m. Thursday. Qualifying is set for 3:40 p.m. Friday, with the race to follow at 7:30 p.m.

MILLER RETURNS TO BRISTOL

MILLER RETURNS TO BRISTOL

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Vinnie Miller is set for his second Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Miller will be driving the No. 01 JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Chevrolet in Friday night’s Food City 300, the second Xfinity race of the season at the tough half-mile track.

Miller will be looking for a better run this time around. In the April race at Bristol, he was T-boned in a crash 105 laps into the 300 and finished 33rd.

After two recent races on road courses, Miller said he looks forward to Bristol.

“I’m ready to be back on my stomping grounds -- oval tracks,” he said. “The last few weeks of road-course races have been disappointing. I am ready to be just turning left this weekend at Bristol. 

“We had a solid car in the spring race but had overheating issues. The team was able to fix the problem, but, unfortunately, we were collected up in a multi-car accident. I am hoping to come out with a clean finish this weekend for the No. 01 JD Motorsports team with Gary Keller.”  

Practices at Bristol are scheduled at 10:05 a.m. and 1:35 p.m. Thursday. Qualifying is set for 3:40 p.m. Friday, with the race to follow at 7:30 p.m.

SMITHLEY READY FOR SIXTH BRISTOL RUN

SMITHLEY READY FOR SIXTH BRISTOL RUN

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Garrett Smithley has a lot of experience at Bristol Motor Speedway, site of Friday night’s Food City 300.

Smithley has raced in five Xfinity events at the half-mile track, and that experience totals 1,249 laps around the bowl-shaped facility.

“You learn something there about every lap,” Smithley said. “Bristol is very fast, and it seems like you go into one turn as soon as you leave the previous one. You have to stay on your toes all the time.”

Smithley will drive the No. 0 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller in Friday’s race. He finished 17th in the series’ April visit to Bristol.

Practice is scheduled at 10:05 a.m. and 1:35 p.m. Thursday. Qualifying is set for 3:40 p.m. Friday, with the race to follow at 7:30 p.m.

CHASTAIN 16th AT MID-OHIO

CHASTAIN 16th AT MID-OHIO

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Ross Chastain remained solidly in the hunt for an Xfinity Series playoff spot Saturday with a 16th-place finish in the Rock N Roll Tequila 170 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Chastain, driving the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller No. 4 Chevrolet, survived a spirited late-race battle with Joey Gase to score his second straight top-20 road-course finish.

The run kept Chastain in 12th in the Xfinity point standings and leaves him above the cutoff line for the playoffs.

“We’re still rolling,” Chastain said. “It was another good road-course day for the team. Just a few more good runs, and we hope to get that spot in the playoffs.”

Justin Allgaier won the race.

The series moves on to tough Bristol Motor Speedway for an Aug. 17 race.

BRAKES HAMPER MILLER AT MID-OHIO

BRAKES HAMPER MILLER AT MID-OHIO

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Vinnie Miller parked his JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Chevrolet after only 14 laps and finished 36th Saturday in the Rock N Roll Tequila 170 Xfinity Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

A left front brake piston issue sent Miller to the garage.

“It’s not the redemption weekend we hoped for or had planned,” Miller said. “One of the left front brake pistons lost an O-ring, and all the fluid leaked out. Nothing we could do in the garage area to fix it. We will move on to Bristol and hope for a better week. 

“Thank you JAS Expedited Trucking, Bryan (Berry) and all these guys on the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team for all they do.

Miller is 26th in Xfinity points.

Justin Allgaier won the race.

The series races next at tough Bristol Motor Speedway Aug. 17.

SMITHLEY POSTS 28th AT MID-OHIO

SMITHLEY POSTS 28th AT MID-OHIO

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Despite a tough closing segment of the race, Garrett Smithley scored a 28th-place finish in Saturday’s Rock N Roll Tequila 170 Xfinity Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Smithley, driving the No. 0 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, said he ran well most of the day but struggled with an electrical problem over the closing laps.

“We actually had some fun at Mid-Ohio today,” he said. “Raced hard all day and got into the top 20. Had some  electrical issue in the last 20 laps but salvaged 28th. It was definitely the most fun road-course race I’ve had.”

Smithley stayed 20th in Xfinity points.

Justin Allgaier won the race.

The series races next at tough Bristol Motor Speedway Aug. 17.

CHASTAIN CONTINUES PLAYOFF HUNT

CHASTAIN CONTINUES PLAYOFF HUNT

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Ross Chastain will take his search for a spot in the Xfinity Series playoffs to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend.

Chastain sits 12th in Xfinity points entering Saturday’s Rock N Roll Tequila 170. He’s one spot above the playoff cutoff line with six regular-season races remaining.

“Another big week for us,” Chastain said. “We need to keep putting together good finishes over these next few weeks to stay in playoff contention. We look for good things at Mid-Ohio.”

Chastain, driving the No. 4 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, has raced three times at the 2.258-mile course. He has a top finish of 14th, in 2016.

The race is scheduled for 75 laps (170 miles).

Practice is scheduled at Mid-Ohio at 1:35 and 4:05 p.m. Friday. Qualifying is set for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, with the race to follow at 3 p.m.

MILLER READY FOR MID-OHIO

MILLER READY FOR MID-OHIO

LEXINGTON, Ohio – It’s Road Course Round Two for Vinnie Miller this week.

Miller made his Xfinity Series road-course debut for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller last week. He hits the road again Saturday in the Rock N Roll Tequila 170 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after finishing 35th at Watkins Glen International.

“After an unfortunate ending to the weekend at Watkins Glen, I’m excited to go to Mid-Ohio,” Miller said. “The track seems a little more technical, with not as much elevation change. From what I’ve been learning on iRacing, it sort of reminds me of the road course I was on at Bondurant Racing School.   

“I can’t thank the No. 01 JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team enough for working so hard to get a road course car ready for me this week.”

Miller is 25th in Xfinity Series points entering the weekend.

Practice is scheduled at Mid-Ohio at 1:35 and 4:05 p.m. Friday. Qualifying is set for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, with the race to follow at 3 p.m.

SMITHLEY ROLLS INTO MID-OHIO

SMITHLEY ROLLS INTO MID-OHIO

LEXINGTON, Ohio – The road racing adventure continues this week for Garrett Smithley.

Smithley finished 23rd last week at Watkins Glen International and rolls on to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Saturday in the Rock N Roll Tequila 170 Xfinity Series race, the second consecutive road-course event for the series. 

Smithley, driving the No. 0 JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Chevrolet, has raced twice at the 2.258-mile course.

“We’re looking for a better finish at Mid-Ohio,” Smithley said. “We had some good laps at Watkins Glen, but we want to be faster and finish higher this week. The course here is unique, and I like it.”

Smithley is 20th in Xfinity points entering the weekend.

The race is scheduled for 75 laps (170 miles).

Practice is scheduled at Mid-Ohio at 1:35 and 4:05 p.m. Friday. Qualifying is set for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, with the race to follow at 3 p.m.

CHASTAIN 20th IN THE RAIN AT THE GLEN

CHASTAIN 20th IN THE RAIN AT THE GLEN

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – On one of the most difficult race days of the season, Ross Chastain finished 20th Saturday in the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller No. 4 Chevrolet in the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International.

Importantly, Chastain stayed 12th in series points and remains solidly in the hunt for a playoff position with six races left in the regular season.

Chastain stayed on the lead lap and raced with the fast cars despite a heavy dose of rain that changed racing conditions dramatically. 

“As if road-course racing wasn’t tough enough, the rain made it an even bigger day,” Chastain said with a smile. “At times, I could barely see where I was headed because of the spray from other cars. But we had a pretty good run.”

Joey Logano won the race.

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course hosts the next Xfinity race Aug. 11.