NASCAR Gateway Preview

By Kyle Magda

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to the Midwest for the inaugural visit to World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway for the Enjoy Illinois 300. 

The track is celebrating its 25th year when both IndyCar and the NASCAR XFINITY Series ran events in 1997. 

A 300-mile race was won by Elliott Sadler for his second-career series victory. The 1997 Gateway 300 still remains one of the longest races in XFINITY Series history.

The Cup cars take to the 1.25-mile track first Friday afternoon for a 50-minute practice session. Following Cup qualifying is NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice and qualifying to wrap up the day.

Rick Carelli won the inaugural Truck race at Gateway in 1998. Gateway was also the site of Ted Musgrave's only win during his 2005 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship season. David Starr won a wild Truck race there in 2004, as the lead swapped three times in the final eight laps between Starr, Shane Hmiel and Chad Chaffin.

Grant Enfinger came close to victory lane at Charlotte after giving the winning push to eventual Truck Charlotte winner Ross Chastain on the backstretch. Carson Hocevar will be hungry for a win, a week after almost winning the North Carolina Education Lottery 200. Gateway can be the week the No. 42 finally gets into victory lane.

Johnny Sauter returns to the No. 13 ThorSport Racing Toyota Tundra after a strong second-place run at Martinsville to William Byron in April. Sauter has a runner-up finish at Gateway in 2009 and four third-place finishes at the 1.25-mile track. 

The Toyota 200 is also the first race in the Triple Truck Challenge. Nashville Superspeedway and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course are the other two events for the challenge. 

Defending Truck Series champ Ben Rhodes will practice and qualify A.J. Allmendinger's No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet for Sunday's Cup race. Allmendinger will be at Portland for the XFINITY Series race on Friday and Saturday. 

The Enjoy Illinois 300 is the 15th race of 36 on the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series schedule. More former winners at the track include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch to name a few. Gateway was a staple for the XFINITY Series schedule from 1997 to 2010. Brad Keselowski won the final series race held there.

Saturday's slate includes Cup qualifying at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT and the 200-mile Truck race at 1:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. CT. 

Current XFINITY Series driver Sheldon Creed won the last two Truck events at Gateway and Ross Chastain captured the win in 2019. 

Chastain has been having a career year in Cup for Trackhouse Racing and has two wins so far in 2022. Teammate Daniel Suarez has been knocking on the door of victory lane, especially with a strong run at Fontana in February. 

Expect Hendrick Motorsports to be fast again at Gateway. All four Hendrick drivers have been running up front and another win for the Hendrick camp is possible. It was also announced the return of Hendrick Motorsports to the NASCAR XFINITY Series for the first time since 2009. Kyle Larson (Road America), Alex Bowman (Indy Road Course) and William Byron (Watkins Glen) will drive the No. 17 Chevrolet in a Hendrick effort. 

The weather for Gateway looks good throughout the weekend and it looks like all on-track activity will get in. 

Photo credits to John Sommers II/Getty Images for NASCAR, Jason Smith/Getty Images and Getty Images for NASCAR.

Lafferty Wins in 410 Sprints, Bard Sweeps 305 Twin 20s at Port Royal

By Kyle Magda

Rick Lafferty pulled away from the field in the 25-lap feature Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway to win in the 410 sprint division.

Lafferty put on a spirited battle with Blaine Heimbach for the top spot, before Lafferty got around Heimbach for good. 

Heimbach came home second and Mike Wagner completed the podium at Port Royal. Logan Wagner earned the Hard Charger Award, coming from 15th to fourth in the No. 1 ZEMCO Racing machine. Ryan Smith rounded out the top-five in Saturday's 410 feature.

Garrett Bard had a perfect night in the PASS 305 Sprint Series by sweeping both Twin 20s at the Speed Palace. Bard raced Austin Reed for the top spot, but Bard was able to get around Reed in the first Twin 20 and drive away to the win. 

Bard had his work cut out from the eighth starting position in the second Twin 20, but found his way to the front in the closing stages to pick up a clean sweep on the night.

Trent Brenneman made a late-race pass of Ryan Zook in the first Limited Late Model feature of the night to end up in victory lane. Dillan Stake took home the make-up Limited Late Model feature to wrap up the Saturday, June 11 show at Port Royal Speedway.

Below are the feature results from Saturday night at Port Royal:

410 Sprints: 1. Rick Lafferty, 2. Blaine Heimbach, 3. Mike Wagner, 4. Logan Wagner, 5. Ryan Smith, 6. Kody Lehmann, 7. Mike Walter II, 8. Justin Whittall, 9. Jeff Halligan, 10. Lucas Wolfe, 11. Gerard McIntyre, 12. Trenton Shaeffer, 13. Kassidy Kreitz, 14. Curt Stroup, 15. Dylan Cisney, 16. Derek Hauck, 17. Zach Newlin, 18. Ryan Linder, 19. Devin Brenneman, 20. Tyler Reeser, 21. Austin Burke

PASS 305 Sprints First Twin 20 (top-10): 1. Garrett Bard, 2. Doug Dodson, 3. Austin Reed, 4. Fred Arnold, 5. Roger Irvine, 6. Scott Frack, 7. Ken Duke, 8. Kenny Heffner, 9. Mike Melair, 10. Seth Schnoke

Limited Late Model Feature (top-10): 1. Trent Brenneman, 2. Ryan Zook, 3. Dillan Stake, 4. Shawn Shoemaker, 5. Kevin Probst, 6. Devin Hart, 7. Daulton Bigler, 8. Todd Snook, 9. Taylor Farling, 10. Derick Garman

PASS 305 Sprints Second Twin 20 (top-10): 1. Garrett Bard, 2. Kenny Heffner, 3. Ken Duke, 4. Fred Arnold, 5. Roger Irvine, 6. Larry McVay, 7. Tyler Snook, 8. Logan Spahr, 9.  Mike Melair, 10. Austin Reed

Limited Late Model make-up feature (top-10): 1. Dillan Stake, 2. Todd Snook, 3. Jared Fulkroad, 4. Shawn Shoemaker, 5. Kevin Probst, 6. Taylor Farling, 7. Trent Brenneman, 8. Devin Hart, 9. Daulton Bigler, 10. Chad Smith

​ Rowdy Maglite Racing Media