Tuesday, August 23, 2016

CUP: Open Team Roundup - Bristol Night / Day

SOURCE: @RisingStarMG

#55 Premium Motorsports
Driver: Reed Sorenson
Started 36th, Finished 27th

For the first time all season, Premium Motorsports’ second team finished tops among the four Open teams, and did so by a wide margin - seven spots ahead of his teammate Cole Whitt.  Sorenson, Whitt, and Josh Wise all lost a lap before the rains came on Saturday night, but Sorenson managed to avoid an extended stay in the garage area on Sunday, putting him ahead of 10 chartered teams.  It also tied Sorenson’s second-best finish of the year at Kentucky in June.  Next week, Sorenson returns to Michigan, where in June he finished 31st driving Whitt’s #98.

#98 Premium Motorsports
Driver: Cole Whitt
Started 35th, Finished 34th

Cole Whitt’s #98 was once again covered in an array of sponsor, highlighted by Carolina Skiff, which ran as a primary for the first time in 2016.  Unfortunately, trouble under the hood forced Whitt to spend 51 laps in the garage area starting around the 172nd circuit, dropping him to last around Lap 210.  The Premium Motorsports team did manage to get Whitt back into competition, and he leaped six spots in the second half of the race.  Whitt heads to Michigan looking to back-up his 27th-place run in June.

#21 Wood Brothers Racing
Driver: Ryan Blaney
Started 4th, Finished 35th

Clad in the colors of Virginia Tech, Ryan Blaney once again showed speed, and just as in the spring ran as high as 2nd during the opening green-flag run on Sunday afternoon.  After the first round of pit stops under the competition caution, however, Blaney never ran quite that close to the front, leaving him in the wrong place at the wrong time.  On Lap 373, Blaney checked-up as cars wrecked in front of him on the frontstretch, only to find Matt Kenseth’s Toyota spinning sideways directly in his path.  The two cars collided, taking Kenseth out of the race and forcing the Wood Brothers to spend more than 60 laps in the garage.  In the end, Whitt nipped Blaney for 34th by five laps.  When the Cup Series last raced at Michigan in June, Blaney started 5th and came home 17th.

#30 The Motorsports Group
Driver: Josh Wise
Started 40th, Finished 36th

Rounding out the Open teams was Josh Wise, who started last and held 40th for much of the day after several trips to the garage area.  Had the attrition of the final 200 laps not happened, Wise would have secured his 4th last-place finish of the year.  But, like his competitors, The Motorsports Group kept their driver on the track, and he finished 84 laps down, ranking him ahead of Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, and last-placer Justin Allgaier.  Michigan saw Wise finish 30th in June.




#26 BK Racing
#35 Front Row Motorsports
#40 Hillman Racing
#59 Leavine Family / Circle Sport Racing
#93 BK Racing

None of the other part-time Open teams attempted the race in Bristol.

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