Kaulig Racing Post-Race Report | World Wide Technology Raceway and Portland International Raceway
June 5, 2023
Enjoy Illinois 300 Presented by TicketSmarter
AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Nutrien Ag Solutions FARMSMART Camaro ZL1
AJ Allmendinger qualified 11th for the Enjoy Illinois 300 Presented by TicketSmarter.
On lap two, a caution came out for the No. 45 spinning in front of the No. 16 Nutrien Ag Solutions FARMSMART Chevy. The restart was called off and the red flag was displayed on lap five due to lightening in the area. When the race restarted on lap nine, Allmendinger consistently ran in 11th place until his car continued to tighten up in the middle of the corner and the rear began to fade. With four laps remaining in stage one, Allmendinger was passed resulting in a 12th-place finish in stage one.
The No. 16 team made air pressure adjustments to help the handling of the car during the stage break, and Allmendinger started the second stage in 11th place. Allmendinger battled with the No. 47 for the 10th spot, with Allmendinger holding onto it for several laps before falling to 12th. Allmendinger’s No. 16 Chevy continued to tighten up, and he struggled to carry speed through corner. Under caution on lap 99, the team gambled and pit for right side tires. Allmendinger restarted third, but quickly fell back, telling the team on lap 125 he had no grip, and his car was loose as he fought to stay in the top 15. Allmendinger continued to fade and finished stage two in 22nd.
The No. 16 team had a slow stop under caution at the stage break, and Allmendinger restarted 30th for stage three. He continued to battle a loose race car as he tried to climb back through the field, making his way up to 25th by lap 154. Under caution on lap 200, Allmendinger reported his car was now too tight, and the team pit for an adjustment and four tires. From the restart on lap 203, Allmendinger moved through the field as the cautions continued to come out, making his way up to 15th before NASCAR overtime, ultimately finishing 14th for the second-consecutive week.
Justin Haley qualified 23rd for the Enjoy Illinois 300 Presented by TicketSmarter.
In the opening stage, Haley’s No. 31 was tight-handling in traffic, making it difficult for him to pass. Finishing 27th in the stage, crew chief, Trent Owens, came up with a plan to free up the No. 31 Chevy. The team made a long pit stop, making adjustments to both the left and right front of the car.
With the adjustments seemingly helping, Haley climbed his way back uo to 21st and thanked his team for the positive adjustments before a caution came out on lap 91. The team decided to make a minor adjustment and put four fresh tires on the No. 31 Chevrolet. Haley restarted inside the top 20 with 38 laps remaining in the stage. In the final 20 laps of stage two, Haley reported his No. 31 car began handling tight in traffic. He went on to finish the second stage in 18th place.
During the second stage break, the team decided to go back on previous air pressure change when Haley pitted for four tires and fuel, as the balance of No. 31 regressed during the last run. A pit stop mishap lost him a few positions. The race went green until a caution with 66 to go. Haley reported the No. 31 became very aero tight. He pitted for four tires and a right rear adjustment. With 11-total cautions, the final stage ended in overtime with Haley finishing 16th.
Pacific Office Automation 147
Chandler Smith, No. 16 Quick Tie Products Chevrolet
Chandler Smith qualified seventh for the Pacific Office Automation 147 after advancing to the final round of the qualifying session by topping Group A.
In the first corner of the opening lap, Smith was hit from behind by the No. 24, resulting in severe damage to the right-rear of the No. 16 Quick Tie Products Chevrolet. Smith spun as a result, sending him to the back of the field.
After serving a drive-through penalty for not re-entering the track through the chicane run-off area pathway, Smith went on to finish 22nd in the first stage.
Smith started crawling his way through the field, reaching 13th-place in the second stage before a spin sent him back to 20th, where he’d finish the stage in the waning laps of the second 25-lap stint.
In the final stage, Smith fought his way up to ninth place after multiple late-race cautions to solidify a top 10 from a hard day’s work.
Jordan Taylor, No. 10 Leaf Home Water Solutions Chevrolet
With minimum time behind the wheel of his first NXS start, Jordan Taylor qualified sixth for the Pacific Office Automation 147.
Quickly advancing to the top three at the start of the race, Taylor flexed his road racing muscles and settled into the field.
While running in the top five, Taylor tried different lines throughout the course to see what suited the No. 10 Leaf Home Water Solutions Camaro, but was unable to make significant gains.
Taylor finished the first stage where he started, sixth and the second stage one position better in fifth.
After sustaining right-front fender damage and losing second/third gear in the final stage, Taylor pitted on lap 69 from the 11th position for tires and repairs to the fender. Taylor limped the No.10 to a 27th-place finish.