JRM Places Each Driver in Top-10 at Indianapolis

JR Motorsports | 7/25/2015

Chase Elliott Clean Coal Indianapolis Kevin Harvick Morton Buildings NAPA News Race Report Regan Smith XFINITY Series

JR Motorsports drivers Kevin Harvick, Regan Smith and Chase Elliott all finished in the top-10 Saturday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Race 18 of 33: Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Track Specs: 2.5-mile oval / 100 laps

Weather: Partly cloudy; 87 deg.

Race Winner: Kyle Busch

Harvick’s finish: 6th

Smith’s finish: 8th

Elliott’s finish: 10th

Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick and the No. 88 Morton Buildings team rallied to finish sixth in Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After fighting an ill-handling car in practice and qualifying, the driver and team kept working until they had all but solved the issues that had plagued the Morton Buildings Chevrolet Camaro.

Harvick and crew chief Dave Elenz made several key pit calls during the 100-lap event. After starting 16th and battling a tight condition and front-tire chatter in the opening laps, the team had some ground to make up, but an early caution allowed the veteran driver to bring his Chevy to pit road for adjustments on lap 14. Elenz called for major changes during the four-tire pit stop and Harvick rejoined the field in the 14th position. After a few more circuits of the 2.5-mile oval, the two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) champion reported that the race car was handling better in the rear, but still chattering the front tires.

The caution flag was shown again on lap 23 with Harvick running 12th, allowing the Morton Buildings crew another opportunity to make adjustments. On the second stop, Elenz and the team took another huge swing at the car, taking extra time on pit road to take rounds out of both front springs, effectively lowering the front end of the Camaro. Harvick came back in just before the restart so that the pit crew could top off the No. 88 with fuel to get a few extra miles out of the Chevrolet in the event of a long green-flag run.

Harvick restarted 30th but moved into the top 15 just seven laps later through a combination of on-track passes and other competitors coming to pit road for scheduled stops. By lap 43, he had fought his way into the top 10, reporting that the back end of the race car was getting loose while the front end felt tight on corner exit, but was much improved from the beginning of the race. The run continued with Harvick moving up to the eighth position before making a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 63. He rejoined the field in 13th and moved all the way up to seventh by the time the third and final caution came out on lap 70. After some discussion, Harvick and Elenz decided that they had an opportunity to gain more ground by pitting for four fresh Goodyear tires under the caution. Harvick was 10th for the final restart on lap 75, and he steadily advanced his position to sixth before the checkered flag, earning his sixth top-10 finish in eight NXS starts this season.

Kyle Busch earned his second NXS victory of the year, and was followed to the stripe by Ryan Blaney, Daniel Suarez, Paul Menard and Elliott Sadler.

Kevin Harvick, driver No. 88 Morton Buildings team

“We were just trying to fix the handling all day on our Morton Buildings Chevy. We made it a lot better. We were a little loose at some points and tight off the corners there at the end. We fought hard all race long and I appreciate the effort everybody on this team put in today.”

Regan Smith

Regan Smith, Jason Burdett and the rest of the America’s Power Chevrolet team went into Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a three-point plan. Winning the race was the first part, followed by winning the $100,000 XFINITY Dash4Cash bonus that went to the top-finishing eligible driver, and third, having a good day in the points.

As the song goes, two out of three ain’t bad.

Smith didn’t win the race, finishing eighth. He did win the $100,000 XFINITY Dash4Cash bonus for the second time this season, topping JRM teammate Chase Elliott (10th), Brendan Gaughan (13th) and point leader Chris Buescher (15th) for the bonus. He did cut into Buescher’s advantage at the top of the point standings, slicing eight points off to trail by 51 with 15 races remaining.

From the first lap of the race, Burdett called it so that Smith would be in the top 10 after the final pit stop, with plenty of fuel for the end run and a chance at winning both the race and the bonus. An early pit stop on lap 15 saw Smith come in for two tires and fuel without losing any spots on pit road. On lap 37, another caution came out and Burdett had Smith stay out when the leaders pitted, advancing him up to third place by the time he came in six laps later under green.

That stop dropped Smith near the back of the field to 32nd place and precious few spots ahead of leader Kyle Busch. On lap 49, Busch passed Smith to put him a lap down. From there, Smith drove the America’s Power Camaro as hard as he could in relatively clean air and advanced all the way up to eighth on the lead lap by lap 67 as other drivers peeled off to pit under green. Then, the caution that Burdett expected came out on lap 68.

Smith, who had been loose on entry and loose on exit with a little tightness in the middle, came down pit road for four new Goodyear tires, a full tank of Sunoco fuel and a track bar adjustment, all in 11.89 seconds. He left in ninth place with better tires and more fuel than anyone else. All three goals were still in sight.

He entered the final segment three positions behind Buescher for the XFINITY Dash4Cash bonus, and in short order he was past him and into the top spot for the award. He held on over the final 27 laps to finish eighth, two spots ahead of Elliott and $100,000 richer. In addition, he remains the only driver eligible to win the $1 million bonus for winning all four Dash4Cash races.

Busch won the race, followed by Ryan Blaney, rookie Daniel Suarez, Paul Menard and Elliott Sadler. JRM teammate Kevin Harvick was sixth, followed by Kyle Larson, Smith, Ty Dillon and Elliott.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 America’s Power team

“It isn’t pretty how we’re getting it done, but all that matters is we are getting it done. I’ve got to thank my guys for working hard all weekend. We didn’t have the speed we wanted at the start, but they kept busting their butts to find anything we could and they made a good strategy for us. I was doubting it for a little while, and it worked out for Jason. I’m proud of him for that. We’re going to keep working hard. We had three races today. The first was trying to win the race, and it was pretty obvious this weekend that the speed wouldn’t be there to do that. The next race was to win the $100,000 and beat the guys we had to beat to do that, and the third was to finish ahead of the 60 car. We did two of the three. I appreciate XFINITY and having a series sponsor that is that invested in wanting to help their teams out and see their teams battle it out for something special, a little something extra. We’ll got Bristol with a chance at another $100,000.”

Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, finished 10th in Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).  For the second week in a row, Elliott gained on championship points leader Chris Buescher.  Coming into the 100 lap NXS race Elliott sat 31 points out of first place, when the checkered flag fell, the defending series champion was within 25 points of the leader and in sole possession of second place with 15 races remaining in the 2015 season.  Kyle Busch led four times for a race-high 53 laps on his way to capture his 72nd career NXS victory, which is most all-time in the series.

Elliott qualified 13th earlier in the day during a single car format.  After 10 laps into the 250-mile race, the 19-year-old NAPA driver told crew chief Ernie Cope his Chevy was not bad.  Elliott further explained that it was tough to voice the full potential of his Camaro, due to the air coming off the cars in front of him.  He entered the corners loose, but would tighten up tremendously as he exited them, experiencing both ends of the spectrum.

On lap 13, while under a caution, Elliott would bring his Chevy to pit road for right-side tires and fuel.  The NAPA crew executed a flawless stop, picking up one spot during the exchange.  As the caution flags kept falling during the race’s first half, Cope called an audible pit stop on lap 27, bringing Elliott back down pit road to swap right-side tires and give him more fuel. 

During the race’s second half, Elliott kept pace around the top 12, eventually making two more pit stops before the final green flag run.  His first time in came during a scheduled green-flag stop on lap 64, taking four tires and fuel.  During a caution, 12 laps later, Elliott made his final stop of the race.  He had been fighting a front end issue dealing with the nose of his Chevy, as it would bounce off the splitter.  Cope made a chassis adjustment on the machine and gave Elliott more fuel and fresh tires.

Elliott restarted 12th with 25 laps to go, picking up two positions to claim his series-leading 14th top-10 finish.  Busch bested Ryan Blaney, Daniel Suarez, Paul Menard and Elliott Sadler en route to his second NXS victory in 2015.

Chase Elliott, driver No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS team

“I was just too tight most of the day, but at times I felt loose when entering the corners.  I believe it had a lot to do with the air coming off the cars ahead of me, throwing my aero package off a bit.  I thought my NAPA team did a great job trying different things during today’s race.  We had a strategy in place early and we tried to stick to it the best we could.  We gained points today on Chris (No. 60 driver Chris Buescher), but we need to keep fighting hard in order to contend for wins.  That’s what it takes in this series.  Race wins are key to winning the ultimate prize.  We will turn our focus to Iowa where we had a great run earlier in the season.”

 

 

No. 88 Morton Buildings

Chevrolet Camaro

Kevin Harvick

Start

16th

Finish

6th

Laps Completed (Led)

100 of 100 (0)

Points (Bonus)

38 (0)

Standings (from leader)

6th (-88)

Status

Running

 

 

No. 7 America’s Power Chevrolet Camaro

Regan Smith 

Start

14th 

Finish

8th  

Laps Completed (Led)

100 of 100 (0)

Points (Bonus)

36 (0)

Standings (from leader)

4th (-51)

Status

Running

 

 

No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS

Chevrolet Camaro

Chase Elliott

Start

13th

Finish

10th

Laps Completed (Led)

100 of 100 (0)

Points (Bonus)

34 (0)

Standings (from leader)

2nd (-25)

Status

Running 

 

Articles

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • May 23 01:00 PM ET
    Alsco 300 at CharlotteCharlotte Motor Speedway
  • May 30 01:00 PM ET
    Mid-Ohio 170Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • June 6 01:30 PM ET
    LTi Printing 250Michigan International Speedway
  • June 13 08:30 PM ET
    Iowa 250Iowa Speedway
  • June 20 04:00 PM ET
    Chicagoland 300Chicagoland Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After LS Tractor 200

Phoenix Raceway | 3/7/2020
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Harrison Burton #1760
2Chase Briscoe173-3
3Austin Cindric155-21
4Brandon Jones148-28
5Ross Chastain146-30
6Noah Gragson143-33
7Ryan Sieg143-33
8Justin Haley140-36
9Justin Allgaier138-38
10Michael Annett119-57