Dick Seymour: 1962, Shot By Uncle Raymond Hale:1979, Heart Attack Wimpy Brown:1972, Heart Attack at North Wilkesboro Corpse Johnson: 1970, Drowned Art Kaufmann: 1995, Heart Attack Grassy Fin:1985, Malaria Buddy Griswald: 2015, Old Age Father Mitchell:2002, Stroke Cannonball Sap: 2017, Old Age Shorty McMichael:1994, Prostate Cancer Cobb Hogan: 1997, Car Accident Mert Socks: 2019, Diabetes Caravan Hayes: 2007, Lung Cancer Woody Barrett:2016, Lung Cancer Andy Wycoff: 1994, Heart Attack Willingham Stone:2003, Mesothelioma Hayes Ellis: 2009, Kidney Cancer Alexander Von Rathmann: 1981, Injuries from Michigan Accident Dunn Alexander:2018, Heart Attack Harrison James:2003, Injuries from Chicagoland Accident
A qualifying effort of the ages for the Lifesavers crew. Bink Lucas escapes the dire vortex of missing the Bud Shootout, clinching the 127 mile-per-hour barrier when nobody else could. Our three Championship contenders qualify 9th, 29th and 33rd, well out of reach of an early bonus point. Battista and Pettit are the farthest back, hoping to ride their recent momentum-waves to the Extravaganza promiseland.
The front row rode side-by-side during the first lap. The outside line held through, giving Johnny Reed Foley the reigns on lap 1. He would pull away from the field while the remaining cars searched their way by the #5.
Tony Pizzaro was the first car to pass the Lifesavers Ford. He and Craig Lee ran second and third for most of the stint, with Lee taking over the runner-up spot 41 laps in. Johnny Reed Foley ran with a near 6-second advantage as he drove by Ben Geer's nearly stopped #29 after a blown engine. He would finish 43rd, dead last in the field.
Two of the three points contenders were in stride. Ryan Heuser drove from 9th to 5th position by the end of the green flag run. John Battista gained 14 positions since the start and appeared to be the dominant car. In the back, Ken Pettit rode through the doldrums in 37th, in severe danger of going a lap down.
Coming out of the pits, Scott Jackson's engine errupted to bring out the first yellow flag. It was a hero's welcome for Pettit, coming out 30th after miraculous pit work. The #8 car would suddenly fly through the field like Battista did earlier, capturing a top-20 spot on lap 112.
Damage to Johnny Reed Foley's front bumper didn't stop him from maintaining his advantage. It hindered him little, but enough to force the hand of the Quick-Silver duo. An engine failure from Logan Sheets brought out the second caution, keeping Foley at the helm.
Ryan Heuser made his pass for the lead just after the halfway point, handing him the same five bonus points that Pettit would steal later in the race. He and Dave Miller tag-teamed away from the field. Unfortunately, their miraculous runs would not continue. The #138 blew a tire, forfeiting his second place spot and Championship lead for a new set. The #90 exploded an engine while leading, handing the top-spot back to Bink Lucas.
The high heat and lack of yellows put a myriad of cars into the garage. Tony Long was the next victim, ensuring his provisional for the Daytona 500 would be for not. Up front, all of the leaders came in for pit stops, handing Heuser a six-second advantage with 27 laps to go.
Holding off the field all race with an ill-handling racecar seemed to pay off. Bink Lucas remained near the front all day, passing Heuser with ease at the 14 to go mark. Ken Pettit would get by him, taking the second spot while earning a 10-point swing in the standings. The #8 team would only be 31 back heading to Homestead.
It's been an incredible Extravaganza Series stint for Bink Lucas. A fantastic Bonanza Series career earned him a spot-start at Pocono in 2019, taking the reigns of the #39 Lifesavers Chevrolet. An upset victory at Talladega two years later put him on the map, earning the Lifesavers sponsorship as his own to join forces with Jimmie Stevens in 2022. He won the Eddie Money Classic in his rookie campaign, and will come across the finish line at Phoenix victorious in his thrid straight year.
After much scrutiny over his early sophomore slump, Bink Lucas finds his way to victory lane to cap off an impressive second half of 2023. He earned a trip to the Bud Shootout and All-Star Race in a full swoop, becoming the 15th different winner and 19th different pole-sitter this season. Congrats to Bink, crew chief Doug Wilcox and the entire Lifesaver Racing organization for an excellent victory!
Ryan Heuser re-takes the points lead for the first time since Indianapolis. He went on a tear of three-straight top-3 finishes, reminiscent of his run at Bristol, Martinsville and Talladega to re-gain control of his Championship hopes. He is now at the top with two races left. Ken Pettit's advantage was nibbled away after a minor accident and Charlotte. Last week was the downfall, but his 70 laps led proves they still have the horsepower to re-gain their stride. If both drivers succumb to the desert heat, John Battista could steal the Championship away.
Bink Lucas continues to rack up the stat-sheet with his first pole of the season. He becomes the 19th different driver to lock himself into the Bud Shootout in 2024, hoping to capitalize the effort with his first victory in 2023. Bink and the Lifesaver's #5 average 47.4 laps led during their last five races, a dominant streak unlike any we've seen from the team. This could be it.
Points Standings (After 34 of 36 Events) 1. Ken Pettit: -
2. Ryan Heuser: -91
3. John Battista: -188 (+1) 4. Timothy McDonnell: -267 (+2) 5. Alex Crapser: -278 (-2) 6. Rick Jackson: -310 (+2) 7. Tony Pizzaro: -323
8. Zach Michael: -336 (-3) 9. Zakk Miller: -382
10. Matt Raboin: -557
Despite the adversity, Ken Pettit remains the points leader heading into "The Rock". No finish worse than 24th, and only two results outside the top-6 so far. He will start 28th today. His counterpart Ryan Heuser is on the pole, looking to diminish the 91-point gap.
The green flag waved. Heuser led the first three laps before a hard-charging Team Danger Zone duo freight-trained him. Zach Michael led the next seven. Markell Murphy led most of the green flag run, with Bink Lucas and John Battista making hard-charges for the top-spot.
Ken Pettit slithered through the field in grand style. The pulsating hearts of the New York faithful were enraptured with joy, watching their driver meander from 28th to the lead before green flag pit stops. Nobody could stop this man. An early pit stop put Murphy and Bink Lucas back on top, with the top-3 in points occupying the next three positions.
The #5 and #47 swapped the lead a couple times before John Battista took it away on lap 105. He would start lapping cars, including Timothy McDonnell and Alex Crapser who failed to move forward after starting in the rear. Battista lapped through 32nd position before losing the lead to Ryan Heuser.
The top-2 in points alternated the lead before Pettit took it outright on lap 39. He would win the "Halfway Bacon Bonus", losing the top spot only once during green flag pit stops. A short-pit by Johnny Reed Foley had him up front some, but the top-3 in points would again occupy the top-3 positions. Suddenly, distaster struck. Ken Pettit made contact with Chauncey Redmond Jr., who was trying to un-lap himself after a blown tire. The nice, pristine Bob Marley machine flew into the outside wall hard, with both sides caved in along with severe engine damage. The chink in the armor was finally found.
The caution finally came out nearly two-thirds into the event. Alan Nesfeder and Cristian Torres made contact entering turn-3, sending both cars into the outside wall with Torres sliding down the racetrack. Zach Michael was the only driver to hit him, with John Tharp slamming Michael in the rear. After 224 hard-fought laps, they would finish 44th and 45th. By this time, Pettit had made a pit stop to repair the damage, earning one of his two laps back with his fresher tires.
The ensuing restart saw the #8 around once again, this time completely dismantled. A hard blow to the inside and outside walls was too much for the "Marley Tank". He flew up the racetrack after the first impact, tagging Markell Murphy, Matthew Dominique and Aaron Cummings. William Perry and Craig Lee failed to make it through unscathed. Ahead of them, leader John Battista tapped his teammate Dalton Lucas exiting turn-2, sending their cars towards the inside wall. Battista would continue, but Lucas was finished. David Butterworth, Dan Johnston, Bill Werkheiser, Rob Scarberry and Philip Parker were involved in a tertiary crash while racing back to the line. Five cars failed to continue, including points leader Pettit.
Ryan Heuser's newfound luck was glorious. He had occupied the points lead with minimal effort, and meandered inside the top-5 throughout the next green flag run. Johnny Reed Foley dominated up front, leading the field by three seconds. He would short-pit with 110 laps-to-go, attempting to split his pit stops into three equal segments. This would be his downfall.
Devastation occurred on lap 287. Dave Miller blew a right-rear tire exiting turn-2. He drifted up the racetrack into oncoming traffic, into the path of Markell Murphy and Craig Lee. Dave's car slipped upside-down and spun like a top, sliding down the banking and onto the turn-4 apron still on his roof. He would be alright. Tony Pizzaro and Randy Dobbins pilled into the accident from behind. Of the five, only Dobbins would continue in the race. Rob Scarberry would blow up under caution, leaving only 32 cars on the racetrack for the final 100-lap stint.
Ken Pettit enters the four-to-go stretch 64 points ahead of Ryan Heuser for the Championship crown! Both drivers will start inside the top-10, with the NOS Energy Chevrolet on the pole. Ironically, the #138 and #8 cars finished 1st and 7th during the spring race. Today, they will start 1st and 7th.
Dakota Wilkins pulled ahead early with his Lucas Racing horsepower propelling him to the ultimate heights. He would lead three laps in total, before renouncing the lead to John Battista who is in a desperate plea to dominate the event. He and John Tharp would swap the top-spots early in the go.
Battista, Tharp, Timothy McDonnell and Matt Raboin pulled ahead in a four-car breakaway at the front. McDonnell would nab his first bonus points of the race, amongst the seven drivers with a realistic chance to to catch the #8 and #138 in the standings. Towards the back, Tony Pizzaro and Matthew Dominique fell victim to flat tires, going a lap down early.
The first casualty of the event was Cristiano De Sa after a broken camshaft on lap 50, earning his 9th finish outside the top-35 in only 15 races in 2023. A caution flag brought out by a Matthew Dominique spin packed the field back together, seeing Bink Lucas and Matt Raboin fight it out for the top spot. Battista, Zakk Miller and John Battista all meandered spots at the front while the rest of the field remained in a two-to-three-wide frenzy.
Ryan Heuser earns his 5th pole of the season! A league leading effort at at 203.667 mile-per-hour. Everybody in the field cracked 200+, giving the fans the speed they desire. Hopefully the hot dogs they eat will stay down, enduring vomit-producing speeds throughout the 500-mile show! Grand marshal Theron Reeves will lead the field to green, hoping to not fall off the flagstand. Hopefully he's still young enough to know what green is.
Top-2 points contenders Ken Pettit and Ryan Heuser finished last week's Charlotte event unfavorably. One didn't even finish, flipping past stopped racecars to gain spots and earn 32nd place. The points gap closed to 185 from third place Alex Crapser, with nine drivers realistically back in contention. All top-4 drivers will start inside the top-10. Good luck to the peach state faithful! This one will be intense.
Points Standings (After 32 of 36 Events) 1. Ken Pettit: - 2. Ryan Heuser: -64 3. Alex Crapser: -185 (+3) 4. John Battista: -194 (+3) 5. Zach Michael: -217 (-1) 6. Timothy McDonnell: -243 (+2) 7. Tony Pizzaro: -246 8. Rick Jackson: -274 (-2) 9. Zakk Miller: -275 10. Matt Raboin: -494
It's Friday Night fever at Charlotte Motor Speedway! Ryan Heuser enters the 500-mile event 45 points out, starting 23 positions ahead of points leader Ken Pettit. Both drivers have enjoyed success at this facility in the past, hoping to re-capture former glory at one of Extravaganza's oldest Superspeedways.
Just six laps in, points leader Ken Pettit is involved in an accident on the backstretch. He and Michael Henson tangle, sending the Black + Decker Chevrolet 180+ miles-per-hour head-on into the retaining wall, in shades of Rod Weston last season. Henson would be taken out on a stretcher, but ultimately okay and ready to race again. Pettit suffered moderate front-end damage but continued on.
Pole-sitter Johnny Reed Foley led the first six green flag laps, handing the spot to Zach Michael after staying out. He was the only driver to do so, remaining on top through lap 18 before dropping to the back. Ryan Heuser earned his five bonus points early, leading through lap 27 while Pettit rode defiantly in the 44th position.
Quick-Silver Motorsports managed to lead every circuit from lap 19 to lap 73. Craig Lee and Dave Miller dominated the majority of the run, with Miller re-taking the spot on lap 78 after the respite of green flag stops. He would lap cars through 30th position, including the #8 Bob Marley machine by the lap 100 mark.
Dave Miller's car built an enormously tight condition throughout the run, getting re-passed by the cars he previously lapped. Off of turn-2, he let off to prevent hitting the outside wall and got clipped by the Aaron Cummings Toyota. Both cars flew into the inside backstretch wall and back onto the racing groove in front of the rest of the leaders. Second place Craig Lee slammed head-first into the #90, with Bink Lucas, Dalton Lucas, Dan Johnston, John Tharp, Bill Werkheiser and Adam Crapser all pile-driving into the roadblock ahead. Fifth-place Ryan Heuser hit the #51, sliding into the path of Kevin Corbat who flipped the #138 three times before coming to a stop. Points leader Ken Pettit drove by the accident on the outside in an ultimate "Lap of The Gods" miracle, earning his lap back in the process. David Butterworth, Ben Geer and Matt Raboin were also involved in the accident. Thirteen cars would fail to continue. Rick Jackson would inherit the lead, only to blow up heading to the restart.
Only 29 cars remained as the field took the green with exactly 200 laps remaining. John Battista looked to capitalize on the misfortune of the top-2 in points, leading the field to the green and leading the first two laps in search of his 8th victory of the season. Miracle-man William Perry took over from there, leading the next three in only his third race led of the 2023.
Zakk Miller took the top-spot on lap 141, pulling ahead in a four-car breakaway with Perry, Jimmie Stevens and Johnny Reed Foley. The #3 AC-Delco Chevrolet took his first lead of the race since starting on the pole on lap 173. This would be his best chance to date to earn his first victory of the season.
While he and Miller swapped the top-spot multiple times late in the run, the #2 Ampio Mustang found his way to second-place before a debris caution with 149 laps to go. His pit crew would inherit him the top-spot, tugging the conga-line through lap 216 before a Zach Michael pass gave the #20 his second lead of the event. He and Tony Pizzaro would exchange the top-spot for the remainder of the green flag run.
A short-pit strategy by Randy Dobbins hoped to hand him the last victory of his remarkable career. He would lead 12 laps before Johnny Reed Foley flew past him with the fresher tires, with Michael and Pizzaro pitting later than both but not gaining ground. Pizzaro wound up tangling with John Tharp entering turn-3 to bring out the final caution flag.
A 23-lap dash for the victory saw Johnny Reed Foley up front as the green flag waved. He would hold off John Battista, Scott Jackson and Zach Michael, but an unbelievable charge from Alan Nesfeder brought him front 10th to second position with only 10 laps remaining. It was no
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Four years ago today, the greatest outside-move in Extravaganza Series history was almost perfected. Zach Michael's coke-can #20 rode the outside wall in immaculate style, grinding the outside air gap in a four-wide craze at the front. Here was the result:
Johnny Reed Foley sits on the pole in search of his first victory of 2023 at one of his favorite facilities! The #3 AC-Delco team went from one of the favorites to win it all to a disappointing 18th in points as we close the year. He and Logan Sheets have recorded a miraculous nine top-3 finishes without recording a victory, and would be a well-lauded win if one of the two could pull it off this Friday. Sheets will grid 9th, with Championship contender Ryan Heuser one row ahead in 7th. Mired deep in the field in a somewhat usual ritual is points leader Ken Pettit, failing to reach the 200 mile-per-hour barrier for a 30th-place time-trial effort. He comes in just 45 points ahead of the Rocket Man. The remaining eight will pray for a slip up of both drivers, something we've seen in the past. One driver who missed the field is Rod Weston, who's mortifying crash on the backstretch last year nearly took him out of Bonanza point contention. He will sit on the sidelines, watching the 45-car field dominate the masses for 500 miles. Grab your cheese puffs! This one will be immense, and intense!
Points Standings (After 31 of 36 Events) 1. Ken Pettit: -
2. Ryan Heuser: -45
3. Alex Crapser: -218 (+3) 4. Zach Michael: -258 (+1) 5. Rick Jackson: -261 (+3) 6. Tony Pizzaro: -266 (+1) 7. John Battista: -273 (-4) 8. Timothy McDonnell: -298 (-4) 9. Zakk Miller: -327
10. Matt Raboin: -460