Race Weekend Central

Pace Laps: Swings Galore at Las Vegas and Joey Logano’s XFINITY Dominance

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: You can say Kyle Busch put the “swing” in the West Coast Swing – After Joey Logano made contact with Kyle Busch coming to the checkered flag in Turn 4, Busch went after his former teammate on pit road, leading to punches and a bloody forehead for Busch.

“There wasn’t much talking, just a lot of swinging,” Logano said, who finished fourth. “Kyle and I usually racing really well together. We usually don’t have issues. That was not intentional, but obviously, he thinks that.”

Rolling on the ground with a couple No. 22 crew members, crew chief Todd Gordon said they did what they needed to do “defuse the situation.”

Judging from Busch’s reaction, that may be questionable.

Busch bluntly stated that that is how Logano races and that he will be “getting it” in the races to come.

So, in a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season that kicked off with a crash-filled Daytona 500 and a slippery day-night in Atlanta, now we have some major tempers to watch as the stage format continues to gel with the drivers. – Zach Catanzareti

XFINITY Series: Joey Logano Dominates in First Career XFINITY Race at Las Vegas – It didn’t take Joey Logano long to get acclimated in an XFINITY Series car at Las Vegas. In the final stage, the No. 12 car was out front for 105 of the 110 circuits, only losing the lead during a cycle of green flag pit stops.

In the last two races, Cup Series regulars have led all but one lap, dominating the preliminary series. JJ Yeley, former Cup Series competitor, led the lone lap for XFINTIY Series drivers, and that was during a cycle of pit stops.

Justin Allgaier was the only XFINITY Series driver who finished in the top five, bringing his No. 7 car home fourth. Just outside of the top five was Darrell Wallace Jr., who for the second week in a row, rebounded to finish sixth after putting his Ford into the wall during the first stage. His Roush Fenway Racing teammate Ryan Reed finished ninth, picking up his second career top-10 finish on an intermediate track.

Heading to the desert, Elliott Sadler leads Reed by four markers. Busch is the defending winner of the event, leading 175 of 200 laps in 2016. – Dustin Albino

Sports Cars: RealTime Racing Endures Difficult Debut for NSX – Last weekend marked the Pirelli World Challenge race debut for RealTime Racing’s Acura NSX GT3;s.  Ryan Eversley and Peter Kox appeared to have speed in their new mounts, but encountered a lot of bad luck.

Eversley crashed his No. 43 on Thursday, putting the team way behind.

With a brand new car, spare parts are scarce.  Fellow Acura squad Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian (Acura’s factory team in IMSA) overnighted parts to St. Petersburg from Ohio so that the team could repair the car.  Despite missing qualifying on Friday, Eversley was able to start Round No. 1 from the rear.  The race ended with a mechanical issue forcing retirement in the closing minutes, but not before turning in a fast enough lap to start from seventh on Sunday.  Round No. 2 saw Eversley deal with a somewhat squirmy car under braking, but he was able to bring home the No. 43 in eighth.

Kox was the slower of the two Acuras, but was able to keep it clean early in the weekend.  Round No. 1 saw Kox finish a trouble-free eighth.

Round No. 2 was not so great as Kox ran in the back of James Davison‘s Aston Martin at the first turn.  Davison spun and Kox’s Acura was damaged.  In addition to radiator damage that Kox noted in his tweet, the hood was peeled back as well.  – Phil Allaway

Short Track Pace Laps – Harrison Burton and Josh Berry Score Wins in CARS Season Opener

The CARS Tour kicked off the 2017 season with an event at Concord Speedway. In the Super Late Model race, Harrison Burton was penalized under the first ever, live pit stops in the series. After starting shotgun on the field he drove to the front, with two additional strong pit stops, and led the final 30 laps of the event for the win.

On the Late Model side, Josh Berry has run 14 races in Late Model competition on the CARS tour. He has taken home the trophy in nine of those 14 races. Saturday was the latest addition when Berry started on the pole and dominated the event. Austin McDaniel made a run at Berry on a late race restart but it wasn’t enough to wrest the win away from the JR Motorsports driver. – Mike Neff


About the author


Growing up in Easton, Pa., Zach Catanzareti has grown his auto racing interest from fandom to professional. Joining Frontstretch in 2015, Zach enjoys nothing more than being at the track, having covered his first half-season of 18 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017. With experience behind the wheel, behind the camera and in the media center, he thrives on being an all-around reporter.

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