Kentuckiana Motorsports Presented by Lucas Oil
It isn't a whisker, but it's just about as close. Louisville's Ben Rhodes had a horrible race at Kansas. He finished 25th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Rhodes fought a ill-handling truck all day. After the Kansas truck race two drivers were eliminated: Matt Crafton and Matt DiBenedetto. Rhodes earned enough stage points to barely dig out of the hole to make the Final Round of 8 by a few points. Christian Eckes won the Kansas race. Rhodes, the 2021 NASCAR Truck Series Champion has a shot at another title. Last year he finished in the runner-up spot to the eventual champion, Zane Smith. If Ben is going to truly make a run at the 2023 title, his team will have to step up. That includes the driver, crew, team, and owner. The playoffs continue at Bristol this week.
In the NASCAR Cup Series, Tyler Reddick punched his ticket to the round of 12 after finishing just ahead of Denny Hamlin at Kansas. Hamlin had it won until a caution flag waived with under 10-laps top go. On the re-start Reddick was in the right spot has surged forward. Reddick joins Kyle Larson at Darlington as the two playoff Cup winners to advance. No other driver advanced into the playoffs on points. But two drivers, Hamlin and William Byron each have more than 40-playoff points. As long as they start and finish Bristol, the two should get to the next round of 12. The four drivers on the bubble: Truex, Wallace, McDowell, and Stenhouse. Martin Truex Jr. won the regular season title. Like other drivers, he had problems at Kansas.
After Bristol four get cut and 12 keep going. Prior to the playoffs we passed along our thoughts on what drivers would advance to the final race at Phoenix in November, or the Championship 4. Craig selected: Logano, Hamlin, Busch, and a longshot but a past champion, Brad Keselowski. Scott: Truex Jr., Byron, Logano, and a sentimental choice-Kevin Harvick. Expect much tension, strong feelings, and some anger at Bristol!
The NASCAR Xfinity Series finally starts this weekend at Bristol. John Hunter Nemechek and Austin Hill have dominated all season. At Kansas, John Hunter Nemechek won his 6th race of the year. It was also announced he would move on in 2024 to the NASCAR Cup Series and drive the #42 for the Legacy Motor Club.
It is going to be a huge weekend locally in racing! At the Sportsdrome Speedway Saturday, it is the 77th Annual Clark Nickles Excavating Season Ending Championships. You never know what will happen with the weather, so keep an eye on the Sportsdrome Facebook page. The short flat track is just off I-65 in Jeffersonville, IN (About 5 minutes from downtown Louisville). Also this weekend, the Salem Speedway (An hour from Louisville in Southern Indiana) has a full-slate of action including GAS action, Legends, and Scrappers. Both Salem and The Drome have other events scheduled before the season closes. The schedules are on the track websites. Other area tracks are also winding down the 2023 racing season the next couple are the Ponderosa Speedway in central Kentucky at Junction City near Danville (About an hour and fifteen minutes southeast of Louisville), Beech Bend in Bowling Green (KY), and just outside of Louisville in West Point Kentucky is the Ohio Valley Dragway, a small drag strip on Dixie Highway.
The NHRA will be busy this weekend too! Be sure to tune in to Fox Sports1 1 or 2. It is the Pennsylvania NHRA Nationals outside of Reading, PA.
Congrats to 2023 Indy Car Series Champion, Alex Palou. Palou actually won the title after Portland last week. Once he fired up the car in California Sunday it became official. 6-Time Indy Car Title holder Scott Dixon actually won the California event. The last race for the stars of the Indy Car Series in 2023. Dixon surged late in the season, winning 3 events! But it wasn't enough to overtake Palou who crushed the competition all year.
Kentuckiana Motorsports has continued to provide racing coverage for more than two decades. It started with a half hour program and specials on cable, then a major television channel, and as media has transformed, online and social media. Lucas Oil has been a huge part of it. They support local and grass roots. Always have. We remind you to make sure your car, truck, motorcycle, boat, other vehicles, and lawn equipment are all running efficiently. Think Lucas Oil Products. They do so much for racing communities across America. Other sponsors of KMS include PNC Bank (Sponsor of Scott Dixon's Indy Car Series Car), Sportsdrome Speedway (Celebrating more than 75 years of Racing!), locally owned Bright Pest Control and Bright Retail in Louisville, (Offering Do-It-Yourself Professional Pest Products with a retail store), and Knox Ford in Radcliff, Kentucky) (It also has a sister dealership, Tri-County Ford in Oldham County, KY). KMS friends also include: VoiceTel Kentucky (Offering telephone service for low as $25.00 a line per month), Temco Roofing, Jim Ellis/Attorney-At-Law, ICA Dumpsters, Kentucky Raceway Ministries, Nimlok Kentucky, Dynamic Healthcare, Lyndon Mower Repair, and Kentucky Medicare Plans (Serving Kentucky and Southern Indiana with Health and Medicare plans). We also thank our media connections in all series, NASCAR and with NASCAR Media, Indy Car, Monster Jam, ARCA, and NHRA for helping us bring the sport to the fans!
Be sure to check out the FREE Lucas Oil/KMS Giveaway! It is a great Kentucky Speedway Picture Book. Very hard to find. Great memories of the first action at the NASCAR Kentucky track! There is less than two weeks left to enter!