Kaulig Racing Post-Race Report | New Hampshire Motor Speedway
July 18, 2023
Justin Haley, No. 31 Campers Inn RV Camaro ZL1
Justin Haley qualified 19th for the Crayon 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
During the first 10 laps of the opening stage, Haley dropped back four spots to 23rd. When the first caution fell on lap 28, Haley radioed that his No. 31 Campers Inn RV Camaro ZL1 was free-handling on the right rear, and he had nothing to lean on. The caution would become the stage break, and Haley pitted for tires, fuel and to work on rear stability. Restarting from 20th, Haley settled into 21st before reporting brake shaking on lap 44. By the closing laps of the stage, Haley noted that the platform of his No. 31 Chevy was better running on the bottom and would need to be freed up in order to run the top. He finished the opening stage in 21st.
During the first stage break, Haley pitted for tires, fuel, air pressure adjustments and a chassis adjustment to help with the stability of the No. 31 Chevy. Running in the top 20 on lap 108, Haley reported the changes made during the previous pit stop caused the No. 31 Chevy to continue handling on the free side. As he made his green-flag pit stop on lap 129, the No. 24 hit Haley’s left-rear while exiting his pit stall, delaying the No. 31 team’s pit stop. Haley settled into 22nd place and one lap down before the next caution came out on lap 163. The No. 31 team took the wave around, putting Haley back on the lead lap with 17 laps remaining in the second stage. As the next green flag was displayed, the field went back under caution on the restart, allowing Haley to pit for scuff tires and fuel. Haley was put four wide on the lap-176 restart and reported his No. 31 Chevy began handling extremely aero tight. He went on to finish the stage in 26th place.
During the second stage break, Haley pitted for fresh tires and an air pressure adjustment to free up the No. 31 Chevy. With less than 70 laps left in the race, Haley reported he was struggling in traffic and was free in the right rear. Just after getting lapped by the leader, the next caution came out with 31 laps remaining, putting Haley in the free pass position. He pitted for four tires and chose lanes 23rd with 23 laps remaining at the green flag. The next caution came out on the restart and went back to green with 16 laps to go. Haley remained 23rd when the final caution came out with 13 to go. Restarting with nine laps remaining, Haley worked his way to 17th where he finished the race.
AJ Allmendinger qualified 14th for the Crayon 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Allmendinger took over 11th place by lap two, where he ran until spinning off turn two on lap 29. The car suffered no damage after the spin and Allmendinger told the team his car was too free and bouncy. The No. 16 Nutrien Ag Solutions Chevy came down pit road for an air pressure adjustment, four tires and fuel and would restart lap 34 at the tail end of the longest line in 33rd after receiving a pit stop penalty for interference. Allmendinger drove his way up to 25th before the conclusion of stage one.
Allmendinger restarted stage two in 21st on lap 77. He was quiet on the radio as he made his way up to 18th by lap 91. As green flag stops began, Allmendinger came down pit road from 17th place on lap 129 telling the team he had a loose handing car. Once green flag stops cycled through, Allmendinger made his way back up to 17th before the caution came out on lap 161. Under caution, he told the team his car handles well for the first 10 laps of each run. Allmendinger came down pit road to put on qualifying scuffs to save the slicks for later in the race. Allmendinger restarted 16th on lap 168 as the caution came out on the restart. Allmendinger stayed out and would restart from 16th on lap 174 before being shuffled back to finish stage two 20th.
Allmendinger continued to battle the handling of his car. The team came down pit road under the stage break for sticker tires and restarted stage three in 25th place on lap 191. By lap 193, Allmendinger made his way to 21st before falling back to 25th on lap 213. As green flag stops began, Allmendinger came down pit road from 16th on lap 236 for an air pressure adjustment, four tires and fuel. After green flag pit stops cycled through on lap 258, Allmendinger sat 24th. Allmendinger took over 23rd on lap 266 and maintained position until the caution came out on lap 269. The No. 16 Chevy came down pit road for four tires and fuel and restarted lap 277 in 20th. Allmendinger battled hard on the restart and avoided the No. 48 spinning and bringing out the caution on lap 279. Allmendinger was running 19th where he would restart on lap 285. Allmendinger struggled with the handling of his car in traffic and had fallen back to 22nd when the caution came out on lap 288. Allmendinger restarted 21st on lap 292 and went on to finish 19th.
Ambetter Health 200
Chandler Smith, No. 16 Quick Tie Chevrolet
Chandler Smith qualified on the pole for the Ambetter Health 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Smith led the initial lap of the race before conceding the position to the No. 7 on lap two. He fell back to fourth by lap eight and ran lap times consistent with the top-three cars for the rest of the opening stage, which he finished in fourth place.
During the stage break, Smith pitted for four fresh tires and fuel with an air pressure adjustment to help the car stabilize in the corners. He restarted in first, after gaining three spots on pit road, but was passed by the No. 20 on the first green-flag lap of the second stage, on lap 55. Smith fought on the outside with the No. 21 for second for the following six laps and inched away before the yellow flag waved on lap 66. Crew chief, Bruce Schlicker, said that Smith’s overall pace was better than it was in stage one. Just as the green flag fell on lap 71, another caution came out, leading to another restart on lap 82 with nine laps to go in the stage. Smith lost second to the No. 8 and fought to stay in third before another caution came out on lap 84. To strategically set the team up for the final stage, Smith pitted for four tires and fuel with a minor air pressure adjustment. He restarted in 14th with two laps to go in the stage and made his way to 10th by the time the green-white-checkered flew on lap 90.
Smith started the final stage in eighth on lap 98 and got shuffled back to 10th after being forced into the middle, three-wide. He settled into ninth by lap 111 and started to methodically climb his way towards the front, moving up to fifth on pace by lap 146. He momentarily took the lead on lap 151 before pitting for full service and blending back on track in 17th. A caution came out in the middle of the race’s final pit cycle, but Smith had made his way back on the lead lap in 13th at the time of the yellow. He restarted on lap 168 in seventh, moving up to fifth by the exit of turn two. Smith passed the No. 18 for third on lap 180 and stayed there until the penultimate yellow flag came out on lap 192, setting up a potential five-lap shootout to the checkered. Smith took second on the lap-196 restart just before a final caution set up overtime. He picked the second row on the outside for the final restart but couldn’t pass the No. 20. Smith finished second.
Daniel Hemric, No. 11 Campers Inn RV Chevrolet
Daniel Hemric qualified 11th for the Ambetter Health 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
By lap three of the opening stage, Hemric drove up to the seventh place, reporting he needed to carry more speed in the center. Hemric maintained an average position of 10th for the majority of the stage. With five to go in stage one, Hemric took over eighth place before the caution came out on lap 45, ultimately ending the stage and earning Hemric two stage points.
Hemric came down pit road under the stage break for an air pressure adjustment, four tires and fuel. Hemric restarted ninth on lap 55 when the field took the green flag for stage two and quickly reported his No. 11 Cirkul Chevy was tight handling. When the caution came out on lap 66, Hemric was in 10th place. The team elected to stay out under caution to restart 10th with 20 laps to go in the second stage. On the restart, the field got stacked up resulting in rear bumper damage on the No. 11 Chevy. The team stayed out under caution and Hemric restarted eighth with nine laps remaining the stage. Hemric was in ninth position when the caution came out with six to go in the stage. Hemric brought the No. 11 Chevy down pit road on lap 86 for a track bar adjustment, four tires and fuel. Hemric restarted 17th with two to go in the stage when he was shuffled back to 14th, where he finished stage two.
Hemric restarted the third stage in 11th on lap 98 and fell back to 13th before the caution came out on lap 102. Saving fuel under caution, Hemric restarted 11th on lap 108. Hemric managed to stay in the top 15 until he came down pit road for a scheduled, green-flag stop on lap 155 for four tires and fuel. As pit stops cycled through with 15 laps to go, Hemric was in 13th place. Under caution on lap 191, Hemric stayed out and would restart 12th with four to go in the race. The caution came out on the restart, sending the race into overtime. Hemric restarted seventh and went on to finish fourth when the caution flag flew, as the field took the white flag, making the race official and earning Hemric his second top-five finish in a row.
Austin Dillon, No. 10 LA Golf Chevrolet
Austin Dillon qualfiied ninth for the Ambetter Health 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Dillon fired off strong and was running the fastest lap times by lap 25. By lap 39, Dillon was told he was faster than the field by more than two tenths of a second. The first caution of the day fell on lap 41, which would end the first stage early. Dillon finished the opening stage seventh, and reported that his No. 10 LA Golf Chevrolet handled well.
During the first stage break, crew chief, Alex Yontz, made the call to put on sticker tires and remove air pressure from both rear tires of the No. 10 Chevy to help the front turn. Dillon restarted the second stage eighth. The first caution of the second stage came on lap 65. Dillon was running ninth and radioed that he needed help with fire-off speed in his No. 10 Chevy. The race went back to green on lap 70, with Dillon on the outside of row five. A pileup on the restart put the field back under caution, and Dillon acquired minor nose damage. Dillon pitted twice under caution to fix the damage on the nose and started at the tail of the field, due to a pit-road penalty. The field went back to green on lap 80 and only went four laps before the next caution flag fell. The race went back to green with only two laps remaining in the second stage. Dillon finished the stage in ninth place and was told to save fuel.
Dillon stayed out during the second stage break, after pitting earlier for damage. On lap 102, Dillon made contact with the No. 98 car, giving Dillon more left-front fender damage. Crew chief, Yontz, made the call to pit for more repairs and four sticker tires. The field went back to green on lap 108, and by lap 124, Dillon was back to running top-five lap times as he made his way back through the field. As the green-flag pit stops cycled through, Dillon took over the lead before the next caution on lap 160. Dillon pitted under caution before the restart on lap 167. Another caution would come out on lap 191. The field went green with four laps to go. On the restart, the No. 1 spun, collecting the No. 10 with it. Dillon acquired more damage and was forced to pit for more repairs. After the final restart, the caution came out as the white flag flew, ending the race under caution. Dillon was scored 16th.