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Alex Bowman Wins NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400

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Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

FONTANA, CA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – It’s very rare in modern day NASCAR that one car is the fastest through two practice sessions.  It’s even more rare when that car is the fastest in consecutive lap average.  Alex Bowman and the No. 88 Cincinnati Chevrolet were exactly that and won Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 to cap off a dominating weekend.

“I don’t know that we’ve changed anything since we unloaded off the truck, so that really comes down to a lot of great preparation in the shop, (Crew Chief) Greg (Ives) making really good decisions with our package that we brought here this year,” said Bowman, who led 110-of-200-laps en route to his second career Cup Series Victory.  “This is a place we’ve struggled at for the last two years, so for him to be able to unload that close, really the last two weeks in a row, makes my job much easier. We can really fine tune the car throughout practice instead of having to make huge changes. It’s really been our probably best couple practices the last two years that I’ve been driving for HMS, and I just attribute that to the hard work in the shop and great work over the off-season.”

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch finished second in the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry.  Busch started 17th and worked his way into the top ten by finishing tenth in the race’s first stage.  Busch managed to keep his car in the top ten in the ensuing laps, working his way up to seventh by the end of the race’s second stage.  Busch battled into the top five during the races final stage.

“The Interstate Batteries Camry wasn’t a second-place car, but thankfully we got a good finish out of here, we tried to get some points,” said Busch on pit road following the race.  “We’ve just got to get a little bit better.  We finished the end of last year so strong, I don’t know what we’re missing here, but obviously it’s a little bit of something here or there, maybe a little bit of something in a few different areas, but overall, good car today”.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch finished third in the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet Camaro after starting the race fourth.

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“All weekend the car just had a good vibe to it, the way it unloaded and the way we made small changes on our Monster Energy Chevy, I was really proud of this effort,” said Busch.

Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott finished fourth in the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet.  Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski rounded out the Top 5 in the No. 2 America’s Tire Ford.

The race featured 16-lead changes among eight drivers and was slowed by 3-caution flags for 13-laps.

The next NASCAR Cup Series race is March 8, 2020 at Phoenix Raceway.

Auto Club 400 Results

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NASCAR

Keselowski Wins At New Hampshire

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Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

LOUDON, NH (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski passed Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin on lap 221 and led the final 81-laps to win the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday.

The victory was Keselowski’s third of the year and 33rd of his Cup Series career.  Keselowski’s margin of victory was 1.647-seconds.

“I’m really proud of my Western Star/Alliance Parts Ford Mustang team and the effort that they gave today,” said Keselowski. I think this is my fifth straight year with three wins, but I don’t want to stop there. I want us to keep going and I know this team can do it.”

Hamlin finished second, his 12th Top 10 finish in 2020.

“We were just barely a little slower than he was for most of the day,” said Hamlin. “We could make some really good moves on the restarts and whatnot. Overall I just thought that we were a second-place car. That’s kind of how we ended up.”

Martin Truex Jr brought the No. 19 Sport Clips Toyota home in third place, his 13th top-10 finish in 27 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

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“We had a bit of an issue on pit road with a tire getting away, had to come from the rear,” said Truex. “That was pretty difficult. Sports Clips Camry was decent. I think we were probably a third-place car and we finished third.
Solid day. Just lacked a little bit of speed and drivability.”

The win leaves Keselowski in second place in the points standings, 81-points behind leader Kevin Harvick.

Hamlin’s second place finish helped him gain a spot in the points standings to third, moving Ryan Blaney back to fourth.

There were 22-lead changes among 7-drivers with Keselowski leading the most laps.  The race was slowed by 11-caution flags for 52-laps.

The next NASCAR Cup Series race is August 8 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.

NASCAR New Hampshire Results

NASCAR New Hampshire Results

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IndyCar

The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast – Episode 15 – Aaron Reutzel, Matthew Dillner, Chip Ganassi and more!

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast features the 2-time and defending Champion of the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 Aaron Reutzel.  We also talk to Matthew Dillner of Dirty Mo Media about the new show he co-hosts with Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chip Ganassi takes his own trip down memory lane and we hear from Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials about safety protocols in place at this year’s Indy 500.

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Local Racing

Dirty Mo Media’s ‘Lost Speedways’ About More Than Just Racing

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Dirty Mo Media/Peacock

MOORESVILLE, NC (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Dale Earnhardt Jr and Dirty Mo Media’s new show “Lost Speedways” is taking a trip down memory lane and visiting some of the race tracks that formed the foundation for what we see at our local tracks and on television every weekend.

Earnhardt Jr and co-host Matthew Dillner are preserving the history of one of the America’s great sports, auto racing, but also the stories hidden behind those fences, walls and guardrails.

“The whole point of this show is to document history before it’s gone,” Dillner told The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast. “To tell the stories about these racetracks that are shuddered and covered in weeds and being recaptured by nature.”

How the show came to fruition is a story in itself.  Earnhardt Jr and Dillner discovered they had something in common beside the sport of auto racing.

“We both realized we had the same hobby,” said Dillner, who is an executive producer of ‘Lost Speedways’ along with Earnhardt Jr and Mike Davis. “We had the same passion and nerdy obsession with mapping lost speedways. With him it was mapping lost speedways and with me it was mapping and exploring these lost speedways.”

Exploring these lost speedways is exactly what Earnhardt, Dillner and the Dirty Mo Media crew do.  Literally climbing through weeds and brush to uncover the stories of days gone by.

“They’re covered in weeds, but they have these mysterious stories and you’re bringing people back to that location and the people that were there and talking to them and it’s very romantic in a weird kind of a tribute,” said Dillner.

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The allure of the show is that it appeals to not only race fans but fans of history and Americana.

“It’s a lot about American culture and places that meant something to you, whether it’s a ballpark you grew up at or some memory from your childhood, all of that comes racing back when you’re exploring these places,” said Dillner. “For any history buff part of our show is about uncovering that history, the other part is kind of like ‘American Pickers’. We’re literally exploring, with boots on the ground, these locations and unearthing history. It’s definitely a magical combination.”

The magical combination responsible for ‘Lost Speedways’ put together the eight episodes with a small crew who had to overcome a huge obstacle.

“We’ve got a group of six or seven super-talented guys that fought through a Pandemic to meet our deadline for this show,” said Dillner. “A deadline that some studio shows didn’t make and we did it from our houses on laptops, overnights, working. Just really talented people with a passion to tell these stories and it’s something that I’m super, super proud of.”

Each episode takes the viewer to a different track and back in time with those who helped create the story being immortalized forever.

“They’ve got these great memories and incredible stories that haven’t been told and some of them think they’ve been forgotten, these places have been forgotten, these people have been forgotten,” said Dillner. “We’re bringing that to life in a really colorful way.”

All eight episodes of ‘Lost Speedways’ are available on Peacock TV, NBC’s new streaming service.

“I’m so, so happy that Dale convinced NBC to do this show on the Peacock and the fact that they said, ‘yes’ is incredible and we worked our butts off to make it happen and now we’re sitting back and enjoying the reaction,” said Dillner. “History matters to everybody, whether it’s your family history or something you grew up with, like you’re a big Pittsburgh Pirates fan, things matter from the past.”

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