Race Recap for the Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield
Sunday, September 29th, Race Recap
Date: September 28, 2019
Event: Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield (Round 28 of 33)
Location: Charlotte Motor Speedway: Roval (2.32-mile road-course)
Format: 67 laps in three stages (20 laps/20 laps/27 laps)
-No. 86 (Will Rodgers)
Kelly Benefit Strategies Chevrolet 10th/28th (completed 67 laps)
-No. 68 (Brandon Brown)
Mid-Atlantic Wrecker Services Chevrolet 35th/17th (completed 67 laps)
19th – No. 86 (451 points)
15th – Brandon Brown (476 points)
Race Winner: AJ Allmendinger of Kaulig Racing
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Briscoe of Stewart-Haas Racing
Stage 2 Winner: Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-20):
● Will Rodgers started 10th in the no. 86 and Brandon Brown started 35th in the no. 68
● Will Rodgers took advantage of a great qualifying effort to run in the top ten throughout the first stage. A strategy call was made to bring Rodgers down pit road before NASCAR closed pit entry, which was lap 17. Four tires and fuel was put on board to “hop over” the cars who would choose to pit under the stage caution. As a result, the no. 86 finished outside of the top 15 at the stage end.
● Brandon Brown and the no. 68 team rolled off in the 35th position to start the race. Brown, besides just over one lap in practice, plus his qualifying run, had no prior experience on this challenging track. Brown maneuvered his way through the first stage incident-free with help from rookie crew chief, Jordan Irving. They stayed out throughout the entire stage, running the opposite strategy as their teammate in the no. 86, ultimately grabbing a top 20 finish in stage one.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 24-40):
● Will Rodgers used the great strategy employed by crew chief Doug Randolph to restart the second stage inside the top eight. The no. 86 settled back solidly in the top ten until the stage end neared once again. The same strategy as the first stage was brought out, and Rodgers brought the car down pit road with only a few laps left in the second stage. Unfortunately, an uncontrolled tire penalty on this pit stop would put the no. 86 at the rear of the field on the start of the final stage.
● Brandon Brown started the second stage outside of the top 20, and as the laps clicked on, the times kept getting faster and faster. For the no. 68 team, the name of the game was figuring out how to hit each corner to perfection given the lack of practice time the team and driver got throughout the weekend. The car would be called down pit road under caution and Brown and the no. 68 team would be ready to pounce come stage three.
Stage 3 Recap (Lap 43-67):
● Will Rodgers finished 28th and Brandon Brown finished 17th.
● For Rodgers and the no. 86, starting deep in the field after an uncontrolled tire penalty put the team in a precarious position as the final stage began. Rodgers avoided a multi-car incident on the stage three restart and fought his way back up into the 12th position as the white flag flew. Unfortunately, contact with the no. 20 of Christopher Bell in the final corners turned the no. 86 around, which took away a great result for the Kelly Benefit Strategies Chevrolet. Rodgers ultimately crossed the line in 28th position.
● Brandon Brown and the no. 68 team continued their effort as Brown continued to make laps on the very difficult track, keeping the car on the track and out of harm’s way. Brown avoided the carnage throughout the final stage, bringing the Mid-Atlantic Wrecker Services Chevrolet home in the 17th position.
Next Up: The next event on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the Bar Harbor 200 at Dover Speedway. The race starts at 3:00 PM EST on NBCSN.