Cool Down Laps: NASCAR News for April

The month of April brought some unexpected announcements off the track, including a former NASCAR Champions’ retirement from his second career as a broadcast analyst.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series kicked off the month of April at the high banks of Thunder Valley in Bristol, Tennessee.


Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

2015 champion Kyle Busch earned his third win of the 2019 season at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch was involved in a multi-car wreck on Lap 2, but the damage he suffered to his No. 18 Toytota  was insignificant by the end of the race.

Busch led three times, first on Lap 384 of 500, for 71 laps. The win was the Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s eighth overall victory at the half-mile track.

Kurt Busch finished second, followed by Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney, who led 146 and 158 laps respectively. Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.

Paul Menard finished sixth, Clint Bowyer seventh, Daniel Suarez eighth, with Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson completing the top 10.

Ty Dillon finished in the 15th position after earning the Stage 1 victory. Logano was the winner of Stage 2.

Brad Keselowski finished 18th after being penalized by NASCAR for failing to follow a NASCAR order.

Kyle Larson finished 19th after hitting the wall that brought out the 11th and final caution.

The following week NASCAR traveled to Richmond Raceway for their first race under the lights this season.

Credit: Carol D'Agostino for Skirts and Scuffs

Martin Truex Jr. held off a charging Logano to earn his first victory with his new team at JGR, after the now-defunct Furniture Row Racing closed its doors at the end of last season. This was also the first career short track victory for Truex.

Truex led four times for a total of 186 laps, finishing third in Stage 1 and second in Stage 2. There were five different leaders and eight lead changes.

Teammates Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick finished third and fourth, respectively, while Denny Hamlin earned his sixth top-five finish throughout nine races.

Kyle Larson’s dreary season continued in Virginia after a hard crash in Turn 1 ended the driver’s day. He finished 37th out of a 37-car field.

All three NASCAR series were off the following week to celebrate Easter. It was the MENCS first off week of the season.

They returned the following week to Talladega Super Speedway.

Credit: Sean Gardner

Chase Elliott earned his fourth career win, and first at Talladega, on Sunday, April 28th in a four-lap shootout after a five car wreck put the Geico 500 on hold for 8 minutes and 47 seconds.

During the final lap of the race, the No. 42 of Kyle Larson went airborne after David Ragan made contact with William Byron. Jeffrey Earnhardt was also involved in the incident.

Chevrolet secured four of the top five positions, including Rookie of the Year contenders Ryan Preece and Daniel Hemric, who finished third and fifth, respectively.

Alex Bowman finished second and Joey Logano finished fourth. 

Xfinity Series:

The Xfinity Series Dash for Cash program kicked off on Saturday, April 6th at Bristol Motor Speedway, where four qualifying drivers battled for the $100,000 bonus.

Christopher Bell took the race victory and the Dash for Cash check. Bell passed Brandon Jones with less than 20 laps to go, earning the young star his second victory of the season, and first at Bristol.

Tyler Reddick finished second, Cole Custer third, Chase Briscoe fourth, and John Hunter Nemechek finished in fifth place.

Justin Allgaier finished 30th after suffering a blown engine moments after battling with Bell, Reddick, and Custer.

Allgaier won two stages while leading 138 laps, he pulled his No. 7 Chevrolet behind the wall after 227 laps.

Cole Custer earned himself the Dash for Cash paycheck at Richmond Raceway on April 12th, leading 122 of 250 laps before crossing the finish line in first place.

Custer won by over two seconds from Austin Cindric, Allgaier finished third, Reddick fourth, and Ryan Sieg finished fifth.

Zane Smith finished sixth, Nemechek seventh, Briscoe eighth, Riley Herbst ninth, and Justin Haley finished 10th.

Virginia native Elliott Sadler finished 12th in his return to Xfinity Series competition. The veteran piloted the No. 10 for Kaulig Racing and will return to drive again on September 14th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Reddick overcame adversity at Talladega on April 27th to win his fourth career Xfinity Series victory and the $100,000 Dash for Cash check.

Reddick, who is the reigning series champion, came back from a pit road speeding penalty and contact to his No. 2 Chevrolet to earn Richard Childress Racing their first series victory at the 2.66-mile track.

There were eight cautions during the Money Lion 300, including a seven-car pileup on the backstretch that ultimately resulted in a red flag.

Gray Gaulding finished second, Bell finished third, Briscoe finished fourth, and Cindric rounded out the top five after being involved in a multi-car wreck on Lap 95.

Nemechek finished sixth, Haley finished seventh, Josh Williams finished eighth, while Landon Cassill and Chris Cockrum rounded out the top 10.

Other News:

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

Darrell Waltrip’s last race as a TV analyst will be at Sonoma Raceway, which was announced on April 4th. The Hall of Fame driver began his broadcasting career in 2001 and perfected his signature calling card, “Boogity, boogity, boogity!”

On April 22nd JR Motorsports announced the passing of Brenda Jackson, the mother of two-time Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt Miller.

Jackson was a longtime employee of JR Motorsports, she passed away at the age of 65 after a battle with cancer.

Cool Down Laps: NASCAR News for April Cool Down Laps: NASCAR News for April Reviewed by Courtney Horn on Monday, April 29, 2019 Rating: 5

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