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Derek Kraus Dominates Again At Douglas County

ROSEBURG, Ore. — Douglas County, Derek Kraus and dominance. For the second year in a row, the three converged.

After leading 133 laps an route to the win last season, Kraus led flag-to-flag this go around to claim his third K&N West victory of the season and fifth overall in 2019.

“It helps a lot when BMR brings me a great car like they did,” Kraus said. “They prepared me a great car here. We had to push Sonoma behind us from what happened there. Overall, we came to Roseburg knowing that we won last year, kept up the momentum and won this year. They brought me a really great car and I can’t thank them enough.”

The win continues Bill McAnally Racing’s dominance at the 0.375-mile Oregon oval. A BMR car has entered Victory Lane in eight of the last nine trips to Roseburg. Clearly, Kraus, BMR and DCS have a good thing going.

“They know what they’re doing when we come here to Roseburg,” he said. “I’m just fortunate enough to be able to be driving the race car.”

Jagger Jones came home second, 3.158 seconds behind Kraus, tying his career best finish. Hailie Deegan, Kraus’ BMR teammate, finished third. Trevor Huddleston and Brittney Zamora rounded out the top five finishers, putting all three BMR cars inside the top five.

Travis Milburn and Todd Souza finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Kody Vanderwal, John Wood and Takuma Koga completed the top 10.

Vanderwal, who ran as high as second but sustained hood damage when James Cooley slammed on the brakes in Turn 2 as the the caution was out, took the checkered flag in seventh but was rather disappointed in his run.

With the win, Kraus’ championship points lead grew by seven points and now leads Deegan by eight markers at the halfway point of the season.

The Clint Newell Auto Group Toyota 150 presented by ENEOS is scheduled to air on Thursday, July 4 at 6 p.m. EST on NBCSN.

The next K&N Pro Series West event will take place on Friday, July 26 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, the first of two combination events in the K&N Pro Series.

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Raphael Lessard Grabs Checkered Flag in Series Debut

VALLEE-JONCTION, Que — If anyone had any doubts about Raphael Lessard being the real deal, they were quickly crushed.

Lessard, who grew up minutes from Autodrome Chaudiere in St. Joseph de Beauce, Quebec, made his presence known, winning the Budweiser 300 in dominating fashion in his series debut. The 17-year-old Kyle Busch Motorsports and Toyota Racing Development driver became the first to claim the checkered flag in their series debut since Don Thomson Jr won the inaugural NASCAR Pinty’s Series race in 2007.

Lessard’s No.07 Societies Louis Jacques/ FRL Express Dodge used its speed on the restarts to take the lead from teammate LP Dumoulin on Lap 137 and never looked back. Lessard was able to hold off all who challenged him, until the race was called on Lap 286 when rain came pouring down.

“I didn’t expect it at all,” Lessard said. “At first, I thought our car was okay, and on new tires it wasn’t great but as the race went on it just seemed to get better and better. Everyone seemed to fall off and we just didn’t.”

“I’m super pumped and can’t thank everyone enough,” Lessard added. “It’s just awesome to do a deal like this for one race and dominate. I’ve never worked with those guys before, it just feels great.”

Following a strong first two events, Kevin Lacroix added another podium to make it three in a row in 2019. Lacroix started fifth and slowly fought his way up the field before settling for his second straight runner-up finish.

“We always have a hard time here and we were targeting top 5 maybe top 6 and we would’ve been really happy,” Lacroix said. “And now second place, top contender. Everything is very nice for us, we’re really happy, gaining a lot of points, taking the points lead.”

Pole sitter and 2016 Chaudiere winner Alex Labbe led the early going before being passed by Dumoulin and Lessard. Labbe would fight his way to a third-place finish, his first podium since his one-off race at GP3R last season.

Jukasa winner Andrew Ranger and Alex Tagliani rounded out the top five.

Mark Dilley scored his second top ten of the season in sixth, followed by CBRT’s Brett Taylor in seventh, notching his best career NASCAR finish.

Despite being laps down at certain points in the race, Brandon White was able to defy the odds and score his best career finish in eighth. Simon Dion-Viens also recovered after numerous spins for a ninth-place finish, with Donald Theetge completing the top ten.

Lap 271 saw a turning points in the race after LP Dumoulin and Jason Hathaway crashed in turn three to draw the red flag.

The Budweiser 300 will air on TSN on Saturday, July 6 at 2 p.m. and RDS2 on Monday, July 15 at 7 p.m.

The NASCAR Pinty’s Series will take a few weeks off before arriving in the heart of Canada’s largest metropolis for the Pinty’s Grand Prix of Toronto live from the Streets of Exhibition Place.

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Ty Majeski Scores Third ARCA Menards Series Win of 2019 in Bounty 150 at Chicagoland

Ty Majeski (No. 22 Crestliner Boats Ford) scored his third ARCA Menards Series win of the season with a dominant performance in the Bounty 150 on Thursday night at Chicagoland Speedway. Majeski led 72 of the race’s 100 laps and at times opened up a 12-second advantage on the field. Several late-race cautions allowed the field to close the gap, but Majeski would reopen the advantage repeatedly, eventually winning by 9.179 seconds over second-place finisher Harrison Burton (No. 20 Ruud Toyota).

“We’ve won all three races in a different way,” Majeski said. “We didn’t have the best car at Charlotte and beat them on a couple of late race restarts, we got them in the pits at Pocono, we almost got them on fuel mileage at Michigan and we wore them out with the best car here tonight.”

Majeski’s biggest challenge throughout was to stay focused on hitting his marks and not abusing his tires.

“The last thing I wanted to do was to build up a fifteen second lead and blow the right front out from driving it too hard and abusing it,” Majeski said. “I just wanted to hit my marks and keep the car out of trouble and bring it home. This is as much about showcasing Chad Bryant Racing and the stuff they build as it is showing the world what I can do and it would make me look horrible to throw away a car that dominant.”

The battle behind Majeski over the last 20 laps was intense and Burton, Bret Holmes (No. 23 Techworks Trailers Chevrolet), Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota), and Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford) all swapped positions throughout. Burton would end up coming out on top of that battle.

Burton is doing double duty this weekend, bouncing back and forth between the ARCA car and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck garage.

“The two drive so differently,” Burton said. “There’s a lot more off-throttle time in the ARCA car. It’s a bit of an adjustment after spending so much time in the Truck. We had a great night with the Venturini Motorsports team. We aren’t running for the drivers championship over here, but they are leading in the owner’s points and it’s really important for us to keep them up front.”

Holmes finished third, his best finish of the season, a year after parking his family-owned team for this race as the team struggled with performance.

“Last year at this time we were 450 points out of the points lead and had run every race,” Holmes said. “This year we are 30 points out of the lead. It’s a night and day change. We’re getting better every week. We finished ahead of Michael (Self) tonight but he still will get those bonus points for the pole and leading laps. That’s the next step we need to make as a team. We went from the top ten to the top five. Now we need to go to finishing first or second and leading laps.”

Self ended up fourth after starting from the General Tire Pole, but it was an adventurous night.

“I made a couple of mistakes on pit road that cost us a lot of spots,” Self said afterwards. “I left before the left rear tire was on the car on the final stop and instead of restarting fourth we restarted ninth. The last lap was a good one, the best lap I ran all night. I wish we could have had a couple more laps so I could do more of what we did on the last lap.”

Braden rounded out the top five.

“It was great to be here and be competitive with the guys at the front of the pack,” he said. “We know what we need to do. We know we aren’t where we need to be. Nights like tonight show us we can get to where we need to be and compete with these guys.”

The race got off to a halting start as three caution flags were displayed in the first twenty laps. The first was when Morgen Baird (No. 11 Founders Brewing Company/Rave Associates Toyota) stalled in turn four on lap 5, the second was when Jason Miles (No. 1 NJC Real Estate Ford) suffered nose damage on the ensuing restart, and the third was when Eric Caudell (No. 7 Honoring America’s Warriors Toyota) spun into the infield on lap 17.

Other cautions involved Tanner Gray (No. 54 Valvoline/Durst Inc.), who slapped the wall in turns one and two on lap 54, Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) who spun with a flat left rear tire on lap 64, and Joe Graf, Jr. (No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford) who spun into the backstretch grass on lap 77. The six cautions slowed the field for a total of 31 laps and kept the race’s average speed to 112.617 miles per hour.

There were six lead changes among four drivers. Self, Eckes, and Burton all led in addition to Majeski.

The ARCA Menards Series will take next weekend off before returning to action in the Menards 250 at Elko Speedway on Saturday July 12. Practice will begin at 2:15 pm ET/1:15 pm CT, General Tire Pole Qualifying is set for 6:15 pm ET/5:15 pm CT, and the race will go green shortly after 10 pm ET/9 pm CT. The race will be televised live on MAVTV, and ARCA for Me members can follow along with free live timing & scoring, live chat, and live track updates at ARCARacing.com. Discounted tickets are available at Minneapolis/St. Paul-area Menards locations.

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Ty Gibbs Takes First ARCA Menards Series Win with Last Lap Pass in Day to Day Coffee 150 at WWT Raceway

Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Monster Energy/Terrible Herbst/ORCA Coolers/Advance Auto Parts Toyota) scored his first career ARCA Menards Series win with a last-lap pass of Sam Mayer (No. 21 Chevy Accessories Chevrolet) in Saturday’s Day to Day Coffee 150 at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Gibbs had the dominant car over the last third of race, but came down pit road under the final caution flag of the night with ten laps to go. When the race restarted with six laps to go, Gibbs was eighth but he knifed his way through the field to second within three laps. He stalked Mayer the final three laps, and the two made contact in the final corners and Mayer drifted up the track and Gibbs went on to the victory.

“I had a pretty big gap coming to the white flag and I gained on him in turns one and two,” Gibbs said. “He overdrove it into three and four and gave me that shot and we’re at a short track so you might as well take it. It’s for the win and that’s pretty big. It’s a hard deal, but it’s been a long day. We had a motor issue and we fought back and won. It just shows how hard my guys work.”

“I come to the track every week with the same determination and mentality to win the race,” he continued. “Every single weekend we run as hard as we can. We are super excited to that that first win.”

Mayer ended up third, and was not thrilled with the events of the last lap.

“I didn’t get passed,” Mayer said. “We had a fifth or sixth place car and we ended up third, so that’s good. But we were leading at the white flag. The GMS Racing guys gave me a really great car and made great calls to give us chance to win the race. I am really happy to come out of here with a third-place finish, which is probably better than we were going to be without that last caution. But we didn’t get passed on the last lap, we got moved on the last lap.”

Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) was able to sneak past Mayer in turn four to take second behind Gibbs. Eckes immediately climbed aboard his Kyle Busch Motorsports-owned Truck to compete in the CarShield 200 for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. He knew he didn’t have a shot to win without the last caution of the night, and his crew chief Kevin Reed made the only call he could to give him a chance to win.

“We had a great car but we weren’t going to catch Ty under green,” Eckes said. “We made the only call we could to pull off the win and we took it. We restarted second and finished second, so I guess it evened out. It was a great call by Kevin and the guys, and it was the only shot we had to win.”

Gibbs was joined post-race by his grandfather Joe Gibbs, team owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. The elder Gibbs is a member of the National Football Hall of Fame and is a 2020 inductee of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. While he has seen a lot of memorable moments in both sports, watching his grandson win for the first time was an emotional experience for the man everyone affectionately calls “Coach”.

“I’ve been lucky to see a lot of really special moments in both football and in racing, but this is up there near the top,” he said. “We had a lot of success in football, and I thought Denny (Hamlin) winning the Daytona 500 with J.D. on the car was as good as it could get. But this is really special. When that last caution came out and we restarted eighth I was just…I was really discouraged. But he did a great job. Coy (Gibbs, Ty’s father) was here tonight and it’s just special we can all be here to see this.”

Corey Heim (No. 22 Speedway Children’s Charities Ford) and Carson Hocevar (No. 28 GMPartsNow.com/Scott’s/KBR Development Chevrolet) rounded out the top five.

The race saw many challengers for the ARCA Menards Series championship fight bad luck. Leader Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) led the first 41 laps and was in contention for a top-five finish when he suffered a transmission issue on lap 87. Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation Toyota) was involved in two spins, the first on lap 11 and the second on lap 68, damaging the car in the second incident. Chandler Smith (No. 20 Craftsman/828 Logistics Toyota), driving for the Venturini Motorsports team that leads the owner’s standings, was running among the lead pack when he broke an axle. Self finished 13th and unofficially maintains a 30-point advantage over Holmes, who finished tenth, and a 45-point advantage over seventh-place finisher Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford) in third.

There were five cautions for 32 laps and the lead was traded seven times among seven drivers. Gibbs’s winning average speed was 97.773 miles per hour. His margin of victory over Eckes was 0.649 seconds.

The ARCA Menards Series returns to action on Thursday, June 28 in the Bounty 150 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. Practice is scheduled to start at 1 pm ET/12 noon CT, General Tire Pole Qualifying is set for 5:35 pm ET/4:35 pm CT, and the 100-lap/150-mile feature event is set for 8 pm ET/7 pm CT. The race will be televised live on FS1; ARCA for Me users can access live timing & scoring, live chat, and live track updates throughout each on-track session at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free at ARCARacing.com/login. Discounted tickets are available for just $10 at nearly 75 Chicagoland-area Menards locations until the close of business on Wednesday.

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Noah Gragson Wins At Sonoma In Chaotic Overtime Finish

SONOMA, Calif. — The black flag taketh away; the black flag giveth.

In a race where Noah Gragson thought his chance for a win disappeared with a penalty for jumping a restart, the 20-year-old from Las Vegas wound up in Victory Lane after Ryan Preece’s apparent win disappeared under similar circumstances.

In the end, it was Gragson celebrating the win in Sunday’s Procore 200 at Sonoma Raceway.

“Helluva race,” Gragson said. “Kind of had a little bit of … adversity there in the middle of the race. Got called for jumping the start as the leader. Never really heard that one before, but we battled back through adversity and ended up the winner.”

Preece was extremely frustrated with how his afternoon concluded after leading over 20 laps to the finish.

“What are you gonna do?” Preece said. “It’s their sandbox, they’re gonna do what they want. They manipulated the race at the end of the day and we won that race. Jumping a restart is going two car lengths early; it’s part of it. You might as well hold my hands behind my back and tie them up if you’re going to make me go at the same line every single time.”

Gragson started second and took the lead from pole-sitter Hailie Deegan on the initial start. He didn’t relinquish the top spot until he encountered the aforementioned adversity: a restart violation of his own.

Gragson was slicing and dicing his way through the field from that point on, putting his No. 7 Switch Chevrolet in places it appeared wouldn’t warrant a pass.

But Gragson kept clawing back. After a few cautions bunched the field back up, he found himself in position to pounce. And although he was behind Preece when the final caution flew on the white flag lap, he was scored the winner. The NASCAR Xfinity Series regular collected his fifth K&N Pro Series West career win and and seventh overall in K&N.

Daniel Hemric, Austin Dillon, Cole Custer and David Mayhew rounded out the top five finishers with defending race winner Will Rodgers, Jim Inglebright, Deegan, Dave Smith and Paul Pedroncelli Jr. completing the top 10. With the penalty, Preece was scored 20th, the last car on the lead lap.

erek Kraus, the championship points leader coming into Sonoma, encountered engine issues around the halfway point and was on pit road for multiple laps as his team repaired the issue on the No. 16. After getting the free pass twice and making up three laps, he was in position for a top 19 finish, but crossed the finish line in 19th after being spun out on the final lap.

Kraus saw his championship lead cut to one over teammate Deegan, while Trevor Huddleston is 11 back and Huddleston’s rookie teammate Jagger Jones is now only 13 behind Kraus.

The Procore 200 will be broadcast Thursday, June 27 at 6 p.m. on NBCSN.

The next K&N Pro Series West event will take place on Saturday, June 29 at Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg, Oregon.

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Moffitt declared Iowa winner after No. 44 truck fails post-race inspection

The No. 44 Niece Motorsports race-winning truck of Ross Chastain failed post-race inspection at Iowa Speedway and was officially disqualified from Sunday’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series race.

NASCAR officials discovered the No. 44 truck was too low in the front during post-race technical inspection, according to a NASCAR spokesperson. Chastain will not receive credit for the victory and will be scored as earning last-place points for the race. He will lose the points earned from the victory and the seven playoff bonus points as a result.

The second-place finishers in both stages received 10 race points associated with respective stage wins. Matt Crafton has been awarded 10 points and the playoff bonus point for Stage 1, while Ben Rhodes collected the same amount of points for Stage 2.

The team can appeal the penalty in an expedited process up until noon ET on Monday, according to NASCAR.

Brett Moffitt was officially declared the winner of Sunday’s M&M’s 200 at Iowa, earning his first victory of the 2019 season with GMS Racing in his first season with the organization. Moffitt will also collect the $50,000 bonus for the Triple Truck Challenge program. He won this race last season as well.

The post-race process is part of a new, more timely approach to inspection for all three NASCAR national series. Competition officials announced in February that thorough post-race inspections would take place shortly after the checkered flag at the track instead of midweek at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina.

Those inspections come with a stiffer deterrence structure that includes disqualification for significant rules infractions — “a total culture change,” according to Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer. In the past, race-winning teams found in violation of the rules were penalized with post-race fines, points deductions and/or suspensions, but victories were allowed to stand.

Competition officials introduced the quicker post-race inspection timetable in an effort to make the results official on race day, aiming for a 90-minute target time frame to complete their scrutineering. The new post-race inspection process was also designed to deal with potential violations more promptly, avoiding any midweek news that might cloud the previous week’s results or the build-up to the following week’s event.

NASCAR will still inspect cars and parts at the R&D Center as needed, but the more comprehensive at-track inspection will take priority.

According to NASCAR statistical archives, the last time a premier series driver was disqualified occurred in 1973, when early retiree Buddy Baker was demoted to last place in the National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The last time an apparent race winner in NASCAR’s top division was disqualified came on April 17, 1960, when Emanuel Zervakis’ victory at Wilson (N.C.) Speedway was thrown out because of an oversized fuel tank on his No. 85 Chevrolet.

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Gander Trucks M&M’s 200 postponed till Sunday at Iowa

The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series M&M’s 200 at Iowa Speedway has been postponed due to inclement weather.

The race has been rescheduled for Sunday, June 16 at noon ET, airing live on FS1 and MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Chandler Smith will lead the field to the green flag in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra following the cancellation of qualifying. Per the NASCAR Rule Book, the starting lineup was set by owner points.

Sunday’s race is the second of three races in the Triple Truck Challenge as the race winner will receive an extra $50,000 bonus.

The M&M’s 200 will be followed up with the NASCAR Xfinity Series CircuitCity.com 250 Presented by Tamron from Iowa at 5:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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Chandler Smith Takes Second Straight ARCA Menards Series Win at Madison with Victory in Shore Lunch 200

After dominating the first three quarters of the ARCA Menards Series Shore Lunch 200 at Madison International Speedway, Chandler Smith (No. 20 Craftsman/828 Logistics Toyota) had to utilize pit strategy and some hard racing to earn his second straight series victory. Smith won the last time he raced in the ARCA Menards Series at Toledo Speedway in May.

Smith, who started from the General Tire Pole after setting a track record in qualifying, stretched out nearly a half-lap lead as the field raced the first 112 laps caution-free. Then, Corey Heim (No. 22 Speedway Children’s Charities Ford) lost control in turn three and made contact with the wall bringing out the first caution of the night. From there on, Smith would face pressure from – and eventually lose the lead to – Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Monster Energy/ORCA Coolers/Terrible Herbst/Advance Auto Parts Toyota).

Gibbs would hold the lead until a red flag for rain with 38 laps remaining. Just before the red was displayed, Smith came to the pits for two tires, and when the field went back under caution after the weather cell passed through the rest of the lead lap cars came to pit road handing the lead back to Smith.

Smith lost the lead to Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) on the restart, and Smith would lose second to his other Venturini Motorsports teammate Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) with 25 laps to go when Eckes made contact in turn one.

Eckes would go on to pressure Self for the lead but would spin down the frontstretch on lap 180. He would go on to finish seventh.

Once back under green, Self would retain the lead on the restart but Smith would move him out of the way just as their teammate Hailie Deegan’s engine expired. That would put the field under the red for the second time of the night for track cleanup, and left just five laps to settle it once back under green.

Self spun his tires on the restart, scrambling the field behind him. Gibbs would receive the black flag for changing lanes on the restart, and dropped from second to eighth at the finish.

Smith was ecstatic with his win, even if he had to knock fenders to do it.

“We’re in victory lane and that’s what matters,” he said. “If those guys are upset, I am sorry but it was rough out there tonight. I had people run into me all night long. That’s just how it was.”

Smith knew the only chance he had to win was to pit before the rest of the field did while it was sprinkling and hope the weather moved through quick enough to get back underway.

“It was out only hope at that point,” he said. “It could have rained and we would have been eighth or tenth. But once we got back underway we knew everyone else would pit and we’d get our track position back.”

Self was happy to finish second in his first ever appearance at Madison.

“This is a much better outcome than it could have been tonight,” Self said. “We went from asking Chandler how to get around this place to battling him for the win in about eight hours. I can’t say enough about my team to help make that happen. I am not mad about it at all but he did get into us down there and move me out of the way. I get it. That’s what he had to do.”

The Venturini duo finished just ahead of Sam Mayer (No. 21 Chevy Accessories Chevrolet), who hails from nearby Franklin, Wisconsin. Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford) was fourth and Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation/Champion Power Equipment Chevrolet) rounded out the top five.

There were five caution flags and two red flags that slowed the pace, including a red flag for rain and for clean up after Deegan’s engine failure.

Smith led three times for a total of 166 laps, while Gibbs led for 14 and Self led for 20 laps. Smith needed one hour, 29 minutes, and nine seconds to complete the 200-lap distance at an average speed of 67.302 miles per hour. His official margin of victory over Self was 1.422 seconds.

Next up for the ARCA Menards Series is the Day to Day Coffee 150 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway coming up on Saturday, June 22. Practice starts at 12:35 pm ET/11:35 am CT, with General Tire Pole Qualifying set for 5:30 pm ET/4:30 pm CT, and the 120-lap/150-mile race will go green at 7:45 pm ET/6:45 pm CT. The race will be televised live on MAVTV. ARCA for Me members can access live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email at ARCARacing.com/login.

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Weather delays FireKeepers Casino 400 in Michigan

Weather again delayed the start of the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.

Rain in the area led to a revised green-flag time of 3:02 p.m. ET being missed. Cars got on the track, but rain picked up during pace laps to prevent the start, which originally was slated for 2 p.m. ET. Cars were brought down pit road at approximately 3:08 p.m. ET.

The race was postponed until Monday at 5 p.m. ET with coverage on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

When the race gets started, Joey Logano will lead the field to the green flag in his No. 22 Team Penske Ford. Aric Almirola, in the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, will join Logano on the front row for the season’s 15th race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Clint Bowyer, the defending winner of the race, will line up fifth as Ford drivers make up eight of the top 10 starting spots.

NASCAR had a sizable contingent of track-drying equipment on hand to prepare the 2-mile oval: 13 Air Titans, 10 jet dryers, one track blower, two track vacuums and one Elgin sweeper.

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Michael Self Stops Ty Majeski’s Win Streak with His Third ARCA Menards Series Win in VizCom 200 at Michigan

Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) dominated the first 90 laps of the ARCA Menards Series VizCom 200 at Michigan International Speedway, but needed a last lap pass to score his third series win of the season. Self snuck past Ty Majeski (No. 22 Crestliner Boats Ford), who was attempting to run the final 50 laps of the race on one tank of fuel, in turn three of the final lap.

Self led at will over the first 90 laps of the race, at times building a nine-second advantage over the field. He made his final pit stop of the night on lap 90, giving the lead to Majeski. With wins at Charlotte and Pocono, Majeski was looking for his third consecutive series victory and it looked like he had a chance to pull it off. But as he entered the final set of corners on the final lap his fuel tank ran dry and Self blew by to take the lead and the win.

“Any time you’re up against a driver like Ty and his team you know it’s going to be tough,” Self said. “When my spotter told me the 22 was going to try to stretch it, I knew they had a good chance of making it because they’re that good. They came on the radio and said he sputtered a little when he came across the stripe to take the white, but he was still under power off of turn two and it made my heart sink a little bit. But then we got to three and he had run out of fuel and I knew we had him. He did what he needed to do and tried to block me but there’s just too much room here and we were able to get by.”

Self credited his third win of the season to a call on pit road by crew chief Shannon Rursch.

“When we heard they were going to try to stretch it to the end, we knew we had to get off pit road really quickly,” Self said. “We didn’t take tires because we knew if we did it would take too much time. It turns out that we needed all the time we could just to get to him. If we took tires we wouldn’t have had the time to catch him on the last lap, even if he did run out of fuel. This win is all because of Shannon on the guys in the pits.”

Despite narrowly missing out on his third straight series victory, Majeski was upbeat with his runner-up finish.

“That was the only shot we had and we almost made it,” Majeski said. “We had a lot of issues today. First we had a plug wire come loose, and then the digital dash came unplugged. We didn’t know how much fuel pressure we had or what the RPM was so making a green flag stop would have been a disaster. Our only chance was the try to stretch it. We did everything we could. If I ran any harder, we would have run out sooner. If I saved any more he would have caught me and passed us. This is the first time I’ve ever been in the position to have to save fuel and I think I did a pretty good job the circumstances just didn’t work out in our favor today.”

Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation/Champion Power Equipment Chevrolet) finished third, Joe Graf, Jr. (No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Chevrolet) was fourth, and Tanner Gray (No. 54 Gray Motorsports/Valvoline/Durst, Inc. Toyota) rounded out the top five. For Holmes, it was his best finish of the season and for Graf it was his first top-five of the season.

“Shane Huffman and I have really hit it off this season,” Holmes said. “Last year at this time we were running tenth every week, this year we’re running up in the top five and fighting for wins. It’s only a matter of time until we get one.”

The race was slowed once by caution for an incident involving Brandon McReynolds. He made contact with the wall in turn three and coasted to a stop on the frontstretch on lap 48, right as many of the leaders were on pit road. Some, like Graf, were able to get off pit road without losing a lap, while others, like Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford) weren’t able to get off pit road in time and were trapped a lap down. Braden would eventually go on to finish seventh.

Self and Majeski traded the lead four times on the afternoon, with Self leading 86 laps and Majeski leading the other 14. The lone caution was for seven laps, which allowed the race to be completed in a brisk one hour and 12 minutes at an average speed of 165.365 miles per hour.

Self unofficially leads the championship standings by 60 points over Holmes and 100 points over Braden in third.

The ARCA Menards Series returns to action Friday, June 14 in the Shore Lunch 200 at Madison International Speedway. Practice is scheduled for 2 pm ET/1 pm CT, General Tire Pole Qualifying is set for 6 pm ET/5 pm CT and the green flag on the tenth race of the 2019 season will fly shortly after 9 pm ET/8 pm CT. Discounted tickets are available at Madison-area Menards locations. The race will be televised live on MAVTV; ARCA for Me members can access live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login.