Monday, 18 November 2019

K&N Catch-Up: What We Learned at Bristol – NASCAR

K&N Catch-Up: What We Learned at Bristol – NASCAR
20 Aug

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Who doesn’t enjoy short track tempers and a bump-and-run for the win? After all, it is Bristol, baby

A rivalry between championship contenders was ignited, a series veteran came oh so close to his first win in almost three years and a part-time driver surprised many with a top five run.

Here is everything we learned from the Bush’s Beans 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Bush’s Beans 150: Race Results | Race Recap | Video

Bad Blood

Lap One. Turn 3. Sam Mayer and Chase Cabre.

The move that’ll be remembered for quite some time, as Mayer sent Cabre into the wall.

“I tried to get in there and move him out of the way, but I got in there too hard,” Mayer said. “I mean, he kind of deserves it for how he’s been racing me this year, but I didn’t want to do it like that. I never try to race like that. But I mean it happened, I’ll take it. Like I said, I didn’t want to do it like that at all.”

Mayer also admitted he did “flat out dump him” but also said he doesn’t want the two feuding to become a rivalry.

Too late for that…

“He keeps racing me like you know what,” Mayer said. “I can’t say the word that describes him right now, but he definitely does not race me clean and I didn’t appreciate it all year. It started at Memphis. I waited until it really mattered to do something, and unfortunately I did it big. I wouldn’t want to call it a rivalry.”

Cabre experienced lower back pain from the initial inpact which worsened throughout the event. It forced him to be helped from the car post-race and required him to be transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

RELATED: Chase Cabre Transferred To Local Hospital Due To Lower Back Pain

Mayer was unaware of Cabre’s medical condition at the time of his comments. As the 16-year-old wound up coming from the rear of the field back up front and earned his second victory at Bristol this season, he also extended his championship points lead to a whopping 22 over Cabre with just three races remaining.

“I’m ecstatic. The emotions, coming across the flag and going to get that flag this time really was special,” he said. “Going two-for-two […] I’m just here to have fun. The wins and hopefully the championship will come with it.”

But not if Cabre has anything to say about it.

Davis Dominant, But Falls Short

After leading a race and career-high 137 laps, Spencer Davis left Bristol heartbroken, but with that Dawsonville, Georgia, smile on his face.

The No. 30 JRI Shocks Ford for Rette Jones Racing was rooted out of the way with a patented Bristol bump-and-run by eventual winner Mayer with 13 laps remaining in the 150-lap event. Could Davis have done anything differently to hold off the 16-year-old?

“Maybe him getting another rough driving penalty before the end of the race,” he joked. “No, you know that GMS cars are going to be the class of the field every time they show up, unfortunately, and you just gotta do your best. We’re fighting pistols against fully automatics right here.”

Davis said the major handling problem with his car throughout the final 50-lap run was the right front being burned up. In hindsight, he said a right rear spring adjustment may have done the trick. Even so, he admitted what the rest of the field did: nobody had anything for GMS Racing and Mayer.

“When he got by, I knew my laps were numbered,” he said. “And I know how he drives, so when he got close, I was just preparing for what happened to Chase, pretty much. He spared me a little bit, just knocked us up the track and went on his way to winning another race how he does his thing. Couldn’t hold him off, man. Tough to do.”

“I can only get so mad because it’s Bristol. You expect it, but he gave me a little bit of courtesy, which I’m thankful for. Because when he gets on his jet today, I’ll be driving home getting ready to fix this thing on Sunday if we’d junked this.”

Leading into Bristol, Davis had three straight top 10 finishes (seventh, ninth and eighth). Overall, he’s finished outside the top 10 once (Memphis).

Racing-Reference: Spencer Davis Career Statistics

It’s been awhile since his only K&N Pro Series victory (Dominion Raceway, 2016), but confidence is high for Davis and the No. 30 camp moving forward, especially given the fact that their shop has only two members working on cars during the week.

“They knew we were here,” he said. “We had out first legitimate shot. Things just didn’t play out. Take ‘em as I can get’ em, man. Led 130+ laps today. Nothing to really complain about, all smiles. We’re working at it hard. We don’t have the manpower like most people, but we make up for it in hours, ambition and the want.”

Diaz Delivers With Top 5 Finish

Mason Diaz took some time off following the South Boston Twin 100s, opting to reallocate funds at MAD Motorsports to the right places to improve their fleet.

They did it well, coming back at Bristol, qualifying fourth, running inside the top five for the entirety of the race and coming home with his first career top five finish in a brand new race car.

“For the first time out of the box, with it being fast off the trailer, it was a great weekend getting to know the new car,” he said. “We knew we had speed the whole weekend, so we just played the race smart. We were there at the end until the No. 21 (Mayer) and No. 17 (Ty Gibbs) got together on the frontstretch and the No. 6 (Ruben Garcia Jr.) blew us away. But if not, I think we would’ve had a top three finish for sure.”

Diaz had the help of a familiar face in the series: Kevin Reed Jr. Reed parted ways with Bill McAnally Racing as Hailie Deegan’s crew chief earlier in the season, but made a big impact on the No. 24 Solid Rock Toyota’s performance.

“He’s very important, and same with Venturini (Motorsports),” he said. “They help us and let us use the pull down rig. Mike Darne, he studies this stuff, his first year into it, third race under this belt now. He’s made a great change into it. Kevin Reed Jr. helped giving his opinions in, he helped us a tremendous amount for this race.”

2019 K&N Pro Series East Standings


  • Ty Gibbs finished second … again. For the fourth time this season, the DGR-Crosley driver fell one spot short.
    • His teammates Tanner Gray and Hailie Deegan (made her debut for DGR) finished sixth and ninth, respectively.
  • Ruben Garcia Jr. earned his third straight top five finish after having only one in the first six races.
  • Max McLaughlin, coming off his first career win at Watkins Glen, finished seventh for his seventh straight top 10 finish.
  • Brandon McReynolds, who finished third in the spring at Bristol, struggled all afternoon and brought the No. 74 The Reichert Group Chevrolet home in 11th for Visconti Motorsports.
  • Colin Garrett spun on Lap 24 and finished 15th, his worst finish of the season and his fourth finish outside the top 10 this season.
Bristol Whatwelearned 081919
Spencer Davis came oh-so-close to earning his second career series victory. (Matthew T. Thacker, NKP/NASCAR)



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