DGR NCWTS Recap: Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park

Friday, July 29
Track: Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, .686-mile oval
Race: 17 of 23
Event: TSport 200 (200 laps, 137 miles)

Hailie Deegan, No. 1 Wastequip Ford F-150
Start: 17th
Stage 1: 26th
Stage 2: 26th
Finish: 13th

Hailie Deegan qualified 17th for the TSport 200 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. The 21-year-old fought an uphill battle early, wrestling with an ill-handling Ford F-150 from the drop of the green. Tightness in the center and a lack of rear grip hindered her to back-to-back 26th place finishes in Stage 1 and 2. However, a plethora of yellows in the race’s closing stages opened the door for Deegan to climb back up the order. Escaping the carnage of volatile late-race restarts proved beneficial, as the Temecula, CA native guided the Wastequip Ford F-150 to a 13th-place finish, her third top-15 of 2022.

Tanner Gray, No. 15 Lincoln Welders Ford F-150
Start: 14th
Stage 1: 17th
Stage 2: 18th
Finish: 23rd

Tanner Gray started 14th in the TSport 200 and struggled early with the handling on his F-150 battling loose into the corner and tight on exit. He finished 18th in Stage 1 and made wholesale adjustments at the break. After firing off 14th in Stage 2, a late yellow with 13 to go provided an opportunity to pit for further adjustments. The No. 15 would stack up 12th in the Stage 2 rundown. Gray battled inside the top-10 early in the final stage peaking as high as eighth before the handling began to go away. Caution flag waved with 10 laps remaining and he pitted from 16th for four fresh tires. Chaos on the final lap dealt the Lincoln Welders F-150 light damage and a 23rd-place finish.

Taylor Gray, No. 17 Ford Performance F-150
Start: 13th
Stage 1: 17th
Stage 2: 18th
Finish: 22nd

Taylor Gray qualified 13th for his first NCWTS appearance at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. The younger Gray made it to 11th before fading back to 17th by the end of Stage 1. A caution at the end of the second stage gave the No. 17 team a chance to make adjustments and they settled for an 18th-place finish in Stage 2 to better line up for the start of the final stage. The 17-year-old driver fired off 14th and battled around there before electing to pit under yellow on lap 156 for fresh tires while the majority of the field stayed out. While marching through the field, the caution waved again with 10 laps remaining and Gray stayed out to restart on the front row for the green-white-checkered restart. The Ford driver sailed off into turn one as the leader, but second place running John Hunter Nemechek had other ideas and sent Gray spinning off his nose in turn three, ripping away a potential first career NCWTS victory.

Next event: Worldwide Express 250 at Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia on August 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com


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