Niece Motorsports NCTS Race Recap: North Wilkesboro Speedway

NKP #45: Ross Chastain, Niece Motorsports, NC Governor’s Hwy Safety Prgm Chevrolet Silverado

– Key Takeaway: Ross Chastain and the No. 45 team experienced a rear gear pinion failure in the practice session on Friday afternoon, but the crew was able to make repairs and prep for the race. As the rain canceled qualifying, Chastain was slated to start the highest of the Niece Motorsports drivers in third. Chastain fought for the lead in stage one, but later dropped to 11th with varying strategies. The loss of track position hurt the No. 45 team, and they dropped to 19th at the end of stage two. A late pit stop helped the team gain some positions to finish in 15th place.

 – Ross Chastain’s Post-Race Thoughts: “We struggled with balance all weekend, it felt like we were chattering the front tires the whole way. There were times where we were loose enough to be competitive, but still it seemed like we missed something fundamentally that kept us from competing. It’s a new track with a fresh repave on it, so we’ll learn and be better next time.”

– Key Takeaway: Matt Mills made his first-career start at North Wilkesboro, starting in 15th due to the cancelation of time trials. Mills and the No. 42 team fought similar, tight handling conditions like their teammates on the No. 41 crew, dropping to 21st at the conclusion of stage one. When the race resumed on Sunday, Mills dropped to 27th at the end of stage two, but the crew made huge swings on the setup. The adjustments worked out well, and Mills ended the race in the 18th position.

– Matt Mills’ Post-Race Thoughts: “Our day started off about the same as it did yesterday with it being greasy and we couldn’t get going with us fighting for grip until the rubber came in. Kind of the same today; It took a while for the rubber to come in I thought, but once it did, the truck started gradually coming to us. We mostly had a tight truck all day long. What really made the difference there was when Jon (Leonard) told us to come down for four tires at that last caution. We knew we weren’t going to have great track position, but we took that risk and took the tires, and it worked out. Those helped us drive back up through the field to 18th. It’s another day to build on; we have a slightly tore up truck, but nothing too bad. I learned a lot today, and it was fun.”

– Key Takeaway: Bayley Currey started off his weekend on a high note at North Wilkesboro as the driver of the No. 41 Chevrolet finished fourth in practice. With qualifying rained out, Currey was relegated to a 19th-place starting position. Fighting a tight handling condition, the No. 41 slipped to 24th at the conclusion of stage one before the rain washed all activity out in postponement for Sunday. Fighting for track position, Currey worked his way up to 20th in stage two, and made up one more position at the end to finish 19th.

– Bayley Currey’s Post-Race Thoughts: “We got our No. 41 Chevy better throughout the day. When we started off yesterday, we were super tight. Our team made a lot of adjustments and got it driving better – maybe we went even too far there at the end. It was just a long day for us. Really hard to pass, there were a bunch of different strategies, and it was track position over tires. We took tires at the end thinking it would come to us, but we were just too free to fire off. It is what it is; I think we learned some things for when we come back next year, and we’ll keep digging.”

Niece Motorsports PR

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