Thursday, May 19, 2022
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
LASTCAR.info Guest Contributor
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
LASTCAR.info Staff Writer
Arnout Kok picked up the second last-place finish of his ARCA Menards Series career in Saturday’s Dutch Boy 150 at Kansas Speedway when his #01 Brand South Africa Toyota did not start the race.
The finish was Kok’s first since Milwaukee in 2021, eight races ago.
Since his engine troubles at Milwaukee, Kok returned to ARCA action at Kansas last year for Fast Track Racing, falling out of the race with rear end troubles. He tested at Daytona with Fast Track at the beginning of this season, and Kansas would mark his first actual start under race conditions. Longtime supporters Brand South Africa, Wild West Jerky, and Polar Bear Coolers supported the effort, plus Space Grill, a sponsor from Kok’s stint with Obaika Racing.
Nineteen other entrants joined Kok on the entry list for Kansas, which shrank by one after the CCM Racing entry of Matt Wilson withdrew. Will Kimmel took over the #69 entry after Scott Melton broke his leg at Talladega, and Ron Vandermeir, Jr. ran one of his own cars using owner points from Richmond Racing. Connor Mosack returned for one of his races in the Bret Holmes Racing machine, and Gus Dean ran one of his scheduled races with Venturini Motorsports. After being charged with felony battery, leading to an indefinite suspension by ARCA, Daniel Dye returned after his charge was reduced to a misdemeanor, his suspension lifted the day before the race. Fast Track Racing completed its lineup with D.L. Wilson, Bryce Haugeberg, and Ryan Huff.
The combined practice/qualifying session was held from 9:45-10:30 AM local time, and around 10:15, reports on social media started to surface that a car crashed, and to add insult to injury, it rolled into a Niece Motorsports hauler after it was taken off the tow truck. Those reports, as it turned out, concerned Arnout Kok and the #01 team. Brad Smith Motorsports crew member Colby Evans, who was at the track, noted that Kok was very upset about the incident and team owner Andy Hillenburg had to console the South African driver. The car was damaged beyond repair for the race that afternoon, but since the car took part in qualifying, ARCA listed the entry as a “did not start” and credited the driver and team with a 19th-place finish with no laps completed.
Finishing 18th was Brad Smith, whose crew was worn down from heat exhaustion throughout the course of the day. Alex Clubb was 17th, completing an even half of the race before falling out. Corey Heim and Drew Dollar rounded out the Bottom Five after Dollar drifted high into Heim in Turn 3 and wrecked them both on Lap 57, leading to a terse round of interviews for drivers and even a car owner after the incident.
THE ILLUSTRATED BOTTOM FIVE (Thank you, @DnfRacers)
19) #01-Arnout Kok / did not start
18) #48-Brad Smith / 31 laps / unknown
17) #03-Alex Clubb / 50 laps / unknown
16) #20-Corey Heim / 59 laps / crash
15) #18-Drew Dollar / 67 laps / crash
2022 LASTCAR ARCA MENARDS SERIES MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Ford (2)
2nd) Chevrolet, Toyota (1)
2022 LASTCAR ARCA MENARDS SERIES OWNERS CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Fast Track Racing (2)
2nd) CCM Racing, Jones Racing (1)
2022 LASTCAR ARCA MENARDS SERIES DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP
|PHOTO: Dalton Kellett via Twitter|
Dalton Kellett finished last for the 4th time in his NTT IndyCar Series career in Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when his #4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet crashed out of the race after completing 34 of 75 laps in the time-shortened event.
The finish was Kellett’s first since Long Beach, two races ago.
In the one race in between his last-place finish at Long Beach and this one at Indianapolis, Kellett started and finished a quiet 23rd at Laguna Seca, bringing home a clean car for A.J. Foyt Racing.
Fresh off her last-place finish in the previous round at Barber, Tatiana Calderon was the slowest car in Indy's first practice, two seconds behind leader Alex Palou and two-tenths behind teammate Kellett, who was 26th. Speeds generally picked up in the second session, though this time it was Jimmie Johnson who was at the bottom of the charts, almost exactly two seconds behind leader Pato O’Ward. In qualifying, Will Power surged to his 64th career pole, and it was once again Johnson at the back, the lone starter on row 14 for the GMR Grand Prix. Foyt teammates Kellett and Calderon were 26th and 25th, respectively.
At the start of the race, Calderon and Johnson were side-by-side as Kellett gained a couple positions; Johnson soon was able to clear Calderon. However, there was a flurry of activity in the back of the running order. Colton Herta and Takuma Sato pitted on Lap 2; Christian Lundgaard pitted on Lap 3 and assumed the last position in the running order. All three stopped for dry tires, as the race had been started under a declared “wet” condition by IndyCar but some drivers felt that a dry tire would be more suitable for the conditions. The rest of the field pitted on Laps 4 and 5, and defending series champion Alex Palou stalled after an off-track excursion on his out lap, causing a caution.
Palou was the only entry a lap down until Lap 16, when Josef Newgarden had contact with Sato, Alexander Rossi and Jack Harvey all in quick succession, spinning off the track and puncturing both rear tires. He required a tow back to the garage area and NBC’s Leigh Diffey even declared Newgarden out of the race, seemingly putting the last-place battle to rest. However, ten laps later, Newgarden re-entered the race. Since the car had two flat tires, Newgarden required a tow back to the pits. However, safety procedure prevents cars from being towed with drivers inside of them. Since Newgarden’s car was not terminally damaged, IndyCar made an exception and allowed Newgarden’s crew to make necessary repairs and have him return to the race.
Newgarden plodded along until Lap 35, when Kellett lost control of his car in a quick left-right combo of corners and skidded along the wet grass, eventually contacting the outside wall and ending his race. It was a bittersweet turn of events for Kellett, who even earned a call from the broadcast booth in the early portions of the race for making some aggressive moves.
It was a tough scene for A.J. Foyt Racing, which saw Kellett finish last at Long Beach and then Calderon finish last at Barber before the mishap at Indy. It didn’t get better for them throughout the course of the event. Kyle Kirkwood, who ran as high as second near the midpoint of the race, finished 26th when Graham Rahal sent it deep into a corner and spun the #14 car, causing gearbox problems that proved to be the end of Kirkwood’s race. Newgarden rounded out the Bottom Three, fifteen laps down and still running at the finish. The third crash victim of the day was Juan Pablo Montoya, driving in the month of May for a third Arrow McLaren SP entry, who got in the grass and into the wall with about two minutes left in the race (IndyCar switched to a timer when they determined that the 85 laps would not be hit within the series’ two-hour time limit) and finished 24th.
Obviously a mistake on my part cost us yesterday. Can’t change that but I can appreciate the experience gained from a hard lesson. We had moved up and raced well to that point.— Dalton Kellett (@Dalton_Kellett) May 15, 2022
Big props to the 4 crew for being fast on their feet for the late call to pit for slicks! #INDYCAR pic.twitter.com/O74i7bKrwC
THE BOTTOM THREE
27) #4-Dalton Kellett / 34 laps / crash
26) #14-Kyle Kirkwood / 53 laps / crash
25) #2-Josef Newgarden / 60 laps / running
2022 LASTCAR NTT INDYCAR SERIES MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Chevrolet (3)
2nd) Honda (2)
2022 LASTCAR NTT INDYCAR SERIES OWNERS CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) A.J. Foyt Racing (3)
2nd) Andretti Autosport, Dale Coyne Racing (1)
2022 LASTCAR NTT INDYCAR SERIES DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP
Sunday, May 15, 2022
Saturday, May 14, 2022
|Iwuji pulls behind the wall after he is parked.|
When the green flag dropped, Fogleman was last across the stripe, 3.423 seconds back of the leader and just behind Iwuji, 3.277 back. By Lap 3, Iwuji had fallen to the 35th spot, and was already 1.722 seconds back of Trey Hutchens, back in action for the first time since last summer in Nashville, his #14 Quality Roof Seamers Chevrolet 1.722 seconds ahead. Just two laps later, the gap between the two trucks opened to 4.497 seconds, Iwuji’s entry 15.14 back of the lead. The spotter told him to run the bottom, remarking “they’ll wreck us if we go the middle or top.” But the deficit continued to grow as Iwuji fought to pick up his speed. Regardless, by Lap 8, Iwuji was 25.876 back of the leader and 8.280 behind new 34th-place runner Spencer Boyd in the #12 Freedom Warranty Chevrolet. NASCAR warned Iwuji to pick up his speed as on Lap 10, the #43 became the first truck to lose a lap.
Thursday, May 12, 2022
PREVIEW: Trey Hutchens, some XFINITY drivers, and Hill Motorsports’ second entry among those returning to action at Kansas
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
|Cosentino's car in the garage at New Smyrna earlier this year.|
PHOTO: RJ Starcevic, @RJStarcevic
Just 17 cars showed up on the entry list, but only 14 actually started the race. Matt Wilson’s #22 CCM entry withdrew from the event, with Wilson eventually moving into Fast Track’s #10 car. Ashton Higgins was also set to return in his #49 entry, but he also withdrew. Finally, Pensacola last-place finisher Nate Moeller was scheduled to return with Wayne Peterson’s #06 team, but an accident in practice left the team unable to start the race.
Sunday, May 8, 2022
CUP: Kyle Larson’s “throwback” weekend results in first Darlington last-place run for the #5 since 1986
|Geoffrey Bodine's first-lap exit at Darlington, 1986.|
SCREENSHOT: ESPN, video on YouTube courtesy SMIFF TV
Saturday, May 7, 2022
Friday, May 6, 2022
TRUCKS: Akinori Ogata prevails in epic war of attrition over Brennan Poole; Crafton's disqualification rescinded
|Akinori Ogata's #43 goes behind the wall.|
PHOTO: Max Neuwirth, @racingfan83
With his own truck back on track – and with fresher tires due to his early trip to the garage – Poole was now running faster than other trucks at the back of the field, and on Lap 34 passed Lawless Alan’s #45, still on the lead lap in 30th place. The next time by, NASCAR informed Ogata that he was not meeting minimum speed. Having just cleared the “Crash Clock” moments earlier, this meant the Reaume team had one opportunity to fix the issue. He came down pit road on Lap 37, when the crew examined the ECU, and finally returned on Lap 41. As the spotter hurriedly found Ogata a spot in line, the #43 was now 13 laps back, eight ahead of last-place Poole. Looking to cool down the engine, Ogata tried to engage the fans, but they’d been disabled in the wreck with Reaume. When Stage 1 ended on Lap 45, Poole remained in last, 21 laps down.
|Matt Crafton, classified last by DQ until Thursday's successful appeal.|