Cool Down Laps: NASCAR News for February

Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series kicked off its season in thrilling fashion on Sunday, February 17th, 2019. The season opener had 12 cautions throughout the event. The record number of cautions for the Daytona 500 is 16, which was set in 2011.

Denny Hamlin earned his second Daytona 500 victory in the last four years, leading 30 laps and battling his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Busch, for the win.

JGR became just the second team in NASCAR history to sweep the podium in the prestigious event, with Busch and Erik Jones finishing second and third, respectively. Hendrick Motorsports was the first team to do it with Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, and Ricky Craven in 1997.

 Matt DiBenedetto potentially had the best race of his career, despite getting caught up in the “Big One” on Lap 191. The Leavine Family Racing driver led the most laps, with 49. He finished in the 28th position.

JTG-Daugherty Racing earned their first top-10 finish since finishing sixth at Talladega. Rookie Ryan Preece finished eighth during the Great American Race, earning him his first MENCS top 10.

Brad Keselowski didn’t get to start practice on Saturday, February 23rd due to illness, but that did not hurt his chances during Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Keselowski held of a charging Martin Truex Jr in the final laps to earn his 60th NASCAR victory with Team Penske equipment. Keselowski led 33 laps and earned Ford Mustang its first victory in the Cup Series.

Hometown hero Chase Elliott finished outside the top 10 for the first time in his MENCS career. Elliott was on pit road when Preece and B.J. McLeod brought out the final caution of the day. Elliott finished 19th.

The Chase Elliott Foundation supported Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for the third straight year with its “Desi9n to Drive” shoe campaign. Elliott and his teammates wore the designed shoes by patients at Atlanta that will be auctioned off at through Saturday, March 2, 2019.

Kurt Busch finished third in his 650th career start. Busch led one lap on Sunday and earned stage points in Stage 1 (fourth) and Stage 2 (seventh).

Kyle Busch made his 500th MENCS career start on Sunday, February 24th. He finished in the sixth position. Busch reflected on the milestone on Friday before practice.

“I think it means that I’m old,” Busch laughed. “But seriously, just makes you reflect on all the great things we’ve been able to accomplish over the years and all the people that have helped me get to where I am and win all the races we’ve been able to win.”

Xfinity Series:

Credit: Lisa Janine Cloud for Skirts and Scuffs

Michael Annett earned his first career series victory during the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 at Daytona on Saturday, February 16th.

Annett led 45 laps on route to victory and won by a margin of .116 seconds over JR Motorsports teammate, Justin Allgaier.

Christopher Bell got his first win of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway, dominating the event by sweeping all the stages. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver led 142 of 163 laps during the Rinnai 250.

Jeffrey Earnhardt had a strong performance in the No. 18 Toyota for JGR. Earnhardt started eighth and was fifth by mid-race. He ran as high as second and earned stage points in both segments before finishing in the sixth position.

John Hunter Nemechek finished in the 15th position after spinning with eight laps to go.

Bell holds the series points lead by four  over Brandon Jones and is 18 points ahead of Allgaier.

Gander Outdoors Truck Series:

Credit: Jared C. Tilton

Austin Hill’s first start with Hattori Racing Enterprises was a stellar one at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2019. Hill led 39 laps and earned his first career victory.

Kyle Busch earned his 52nd NGOTS victory at Atlanta on Friday. Busch is now the most winning driver in the series.

Ross Chastain earned his second straight top-10 finish for Niece Motorsports. After finishing third at Daytona, Chastain finished in the sixth position at Atlanta Friday night.

When the NGOTS head to Las Vegas, Matt Crafton will be looking for his first victory since winning at Eldora in 2017. In 19 starts at the 1.5-mile track, Crafton has seven top-five finishes and 11 top-10 finishes.


Before she even knew what NASCAR was, Courtney watched the races while sitting in her father’s lap. When she attended her first race at Talladega, her love for the sport grew even stronger.

Courtney has always loved NASCAR, but her love for the Truck Series began in 2013 and she hasn't looked back since. Through her column, Trackin' Trucks, she gets to showcase her appreciation for the drivers that may go under the radar.

Cool Down Laps: NASCAR News for February Cool Down Laps: NASCAR News for February Reviewed by Anonymous on Monday, February 25, 2019 Rating: 5