NASCAR Weekend Preview: Ty Dillon Determined At Road America XFINITY Event

(NASCAR Wire Service)

Staff Report ~ NASCAR Wire Service

Road America Race LogoChris Buescher gambled at Bristol and almost came up big. The key word in the previous sentence: ‘Almost.’

The 22-year-old Roush Fenway Racing driver took the lead at the .533-mile track after electing not to pit on Lap 192 of 300. Buescher paced the field for the next 106 laps, but a fuel pick-up issue on the penultimate go-around of the race ended any hopes of triumph. Buescher was relegated to 11th, while Ty Dillon finished third, cutting Buescher’s NASCAR XFINITY Series points lead to 19.

If Buescher didn’t go for the win, he wouldn’t have lost as many points to Dillon.

“We had the speed, but it wasn’t meant to be,” Buescher said. “I’m glad we took the chance. I wouldn’t change it if we could do it over again, but unfortunately it knocked us right out of a top-10 and out of a win.”

Buescher and Dillon will continue to battle for the points lead in Saturday’s Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (3 p.m. on NBCSN) – the third and final XFINITY Series road course race of the season. The two drivers are the only competitors who finished in the top five of the previous two road course races.

A natural on road courses, Buescher won at Mid-Ohio last year in addition to his two top fives while turning left and right this year. He placed 18th in his lone start at Road America last season.

“Road America is a very difficult and unique road course,” Buescher said. “I love road racing and look forward to the challenge.”

Dillon finished 19th in his first-ever series start at Road America last year. He enters Saturday’s race riding a streak of four top-five finishes.

“Our team is looking at the big picture and sometimes we have to take a step back and realize that this is a long season; to take it little by little,” Dillon said. “This past weekend in Bristol was a perfect example – we struggled the first part of practice but (Crew Chief) Nick (Harrison), (Race Engineer) Danny (Efland) and the team just took a step back and reevaluated. We have a championship to win here and it won’t be easy.

“We have 11 races to go and we’re not going to let up.”

‘Homecoming’ for Hayley at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

No one would blame Cameron Hayley for getting homesick.

The 19-year-old NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver resides in Sandusky, Ohio where his ThorSport Racing team is based – 1,891.3 miles away from his hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Most of the tracks he races at are even farther away.

Distance has not stopped Hayley from chasing his NASCAR dream. Although it’s located on the opposite side of Canada, Hayley will have a homecoming of sorts when he performs in front of his fellow countrymen in Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (1:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1) – the NCWTS’ only road course race of the season.

“Not only is this a track I’ve been to before, it’s also in my home country,” said Hayley, who ranks sixth in the NCWTS standings on the strength of three top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 14 starts this season. “I just hope that I will have a good run for all of my Canadian fans.”

An alumnus of the NASCAR Next initiative highlighting the sport’s top up-and-coming drivers, Hayley is still searching for his first NASCAR national series win. If he takes the checkered flag on Sunday, he would be the first Canadian to win a NASCAR national series race since Ron Fellows visited Victory Lane in Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2008.

Racing in his first full-time NCWTS season, Hayley has gained momentum lately, logging six top-10 finishes in his last eight starts, including a career-best fourth-place showing at Pocono. He made his series debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last season, finishing 11th and believes his prior experience there will help him on Sunday.

“We’ve done really well at tracks that I’ve been to in the past this year, already,” Hayley said. “I’ve been to Sonoma a couple times and that place was really difficult. You look at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and think, ‘it can’t be as difficult as Sonoma,’ but it’s a very fast race track, and fast race tracks are not forgiving. It takes a lot of finesse and a lot of guts to go out there and get it done. We are bringing a really good truck, so I think this will be another good race for us to go out and get a solid top five, if not a win.”

NASCAR Race Weekend Guide

Race: Road America 180
Track: Bristol Motor Speedway
Date and Time: Saturday, Aug. 29 at 3 p.m. ET
Tune-in: NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM Ch. 90
Distance: 182.16 miles (45 laps)
What to Watch For: Comcast announced the creation of the Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award, honoring NASCAR team members for their outstanding charitable endeavors. Comcast’s XFINITY brand is the title sponsor of the NASCAR XFINITY Series. … NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Paul Menard, an Eau Claire, Wisconsin native, will pilot the Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Chevrolet at Road America this weekend. … Defending Road America race winner Brendan Gaughan is the only former victor in the field who has taken the checkered flag at the Wisconsin road course. … Daniel Suarez attempts to increase his 27-point lead over Darrell Wallace Jr. in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings. … NASCAR Next alum Dylan Kwasniewski will make his third start for Obaika Racing this season. … Boris Said and Kenny Habul will compete for Joe Gibbs Racing for the third time this season (all at road courses). … Chase Elliott attempts to post his 25th career top-five finish on Saturday. He ranks third in the series standings, 23 points behind Chris Buescher.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Race: Chevrolet Silverado 250
Track: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Date and Time: Sunday, Aug. 30 at 1:30 p.m. (ET)
Tune-in: FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM Ch. 90
Distance: 157.37 miles (64 laps)
What to Watch For: Canadian Alex Tagliani takes the wheel of the Brad Keselowski Racing No. 29 Ford F-150 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park where he is the defending Coors Light Pole Award winner. … The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship points race is jam-packed with Tyler Reddick leading Matt Crafton (-7 points) and Erik Jones (-8). … NASCAR Next alum Gray Gaulding takes the wheel of a Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra for the first time. He logged a career-best fourth-place finish at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last season. … Daniel Hemric goes for his fifth consecutive top-five finish. … Chinese-American Brian Wong makes his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut on Sunday.

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