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NASCAR Next’s Dylan Lupton Scores First Career XFINITY Series Top-10 At Mid-Ohio

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200, Dylan Lupton

NASCAR Next’s Dylan Lupton Scores First Career XFINITY Series Top-10 At Mid-Ohio

Chris Knight
Knight Motorsports Management
August 13, 2015

Dylan Lupton Dylan Lupton
NASCAR XFINITY Series, Third Annual Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200
Event No. 21, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio
Athenian Motorsports Race Report
Saturday, August 15, 2015

For the second consecutive race, NASCAR Next driver Dylan Lupton scored a career-best finish in NASCAR XFINITY Series competition.

Saturday afternoon though, Lupton honed his road course skills which rewarded the Wilton, California native with his first career top-10 finish in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200.

After finishing 17th at Iowa Speedway earlier this month, the 21-year-old rookie driver entered Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course still carrying momentum on his side.

From the moment the rising star climbed aboard his No. 25 Zaxby’s Chevrolet Camaro, Lupton knew he had a car capable of a good finish.

And despite battling some over-rotation issues during practice Friday afternoon at the 2.25-mile road course, crew chief Mike Ford masterfully adjusted the No. 25 Athenian Motorsports Chevrolet to his drivers liking.

In knock-out qualifying Saturday morning, Lupton showcased how strong his yellow and black automobile was, but found himself trapped behind a slower vehicle during his second simulated run, forcing the two-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series West winner to settle for a career-best 16th place qualifying run.

Confident in the capabilities of his race car, Lupton cleverly crafted his way through the field from the drop of the green flag. When the first full-course caution waved early in the race, Ford elected to bring his young driver to pit road for routine service.

Quick work by the Athenian Motorsports pit crew kept their driver in the heat of the battle and with the race cycling through pit stops, Lupton found himself sixth, knocking on the door to entering the top-five.

While sixth was the highest that Lupton ran during the 75-lap race, early race strategy by Ford kept the NASCAR Next driver in the hunt.

With pit stops and hard racing, the UNCC-Charlotte student found himself hovering much of the race inside the top-10, but a late race restart shuffled Lupton out of line allowing a few cars to pass.

A relentless driver refused to give up. When two cars ahead of him tangled inside the final 10 laps, the caution bunched the field back together allowing the likable driver the opportunity to attack.

In the closing laps, Lupton found himself battling Darrell Wallace Jr., and Ben Rhodes for a stop inside the top-10. While Clements was able to overpower him late in the race, a resilient Lupton fended off Rhodes to take the checkered flag ninth.

It was Lupton’s first top-10 finish in five NASCAR XFINITY Series race. It also was the first top-10 for Athenian Motorsports in XFINITY Series competition.

Regan Smith won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200, followed by Alex Tagliani, Ty Dillon, Chris Buescher and Chase Elliott to round out the top-five. Brian Scott, Wallace Jr., Lupton and Rhodes comprised the remainder of the top-10.

John Wes Townley will return to the No. 25 Zaxby’s Chevrolet Camaro next Friday night, Aug. 21 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for the Food City 300. The 300-lap event will be televised live on NBC Sports Network, the Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite Radio Channel 90.


Team: Athenian Motorsports

Starting Position: 16th

Finishing Position: Ninth

Laps Completed: 75 / 75

Status: Running

Driver’s Rating: 94.5 / 150

Owners Point Standings: 22nd


“I can’t even begin to describe how I feel. I’m so proud of everyone on this Athenian Motorsports team. Our first top-10 finish together, I don’t know what to say.

“The car was pretty good from the moment we unloaded. Of course, we had to pick and choose our battles with the handling, but Mike (Ford) and the team did a good job trying to rectify the situation as best as they could.

“I knew it was my job to get up on the wheel and drive. The car was pretty strong in qualifying, which had me looking forward to the race.

“In the race we took our time. We didn’t need to put ourselves in a position where we would lose all the track position we had. It was nice to be running inside the top-10 for a majority of the race. Of course, I would have loved to have finished a little better than what we did, but we have to look at the positive. The car was good, we stayed on the track and when push came to shove, I gave 100 percent behind the wheel.

“Hopefully we can take this momentum into Road America in about two weeks and maybe have a shot at an even better finish. I can’t thank Mike (Ford), Rick (Carpenter), Mike (Hamlin), Tony and John Wes (Townley) enough for the opportunity. I certainly had a lot of fun. Can’t wait to get to Road America.”

Fast Links:

Driver: Dylan Lupton on Twitter @LuptonDylan or visit LuptonRacing.com.

Team: Follow Athenian Motorsports on Twitter @AthenianMotors.

Marketing Partner: Zaxby’s: Zaxbys.com.

Sanction: NASCAR XFINITY Series: NASCAR.com.

About Zaxby’s Racing:

Zaxby’s has been a fixture in NASCAR since 2007 with driver John Wes Townley. In July 2014, Zaxby’s joined forces with Athenian Motorsports. AMS will operate out of a new, state-of-the-art, 43,000 square foot facility in Concord, N.C. in 2015. The team will carry the Zaxby’s colors as it fields full-time entries in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

About Zaxby’s:

An alternative to fast food, Zaxby’s offers its guests prepared-at-order Chicken Fingerz, Traditional or Boneless Wings, sandwiches, Zalads and Zappetizers, along with a variety of nine sauces ranging from Wimpy and Tongue Torch to Nuclear and Insane. Childhood friends Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley hatched the Athens, Ga.-based chain in 1990 to provide a fun, relaxing atmosphere that would keep guests coming back for more. The company ranked number seven in the 2012 Top 10 Excellent Large Fast-Food Chains With 500 or More U.S. Units Quick-Track study published by Sandelman & Associates.

The chain also ranked number five in the nation for total sales and number one in the chicken segment in the 2012 Top 150 Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant Report published by Technomic. In honor of the thousands of children the restaurant chain serves every year, Zaxby’s is a proud supporter of Make-A-Wish. The company operates more than 595 locations in 13 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

PHOTO CREDIT: Dylan Lupton, driver of the No. 25 Zaxby’s Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) for Athenian Motorsports. (Photo Credit: Dennis Michelson for Lupton Racing).

PHOTO CREDIT II: Dylan Lupton, driver of the No. 25 Zaxby’s Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) for Athenian Motorsports races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. (Photo Credit: Kirk Irwin for Getty Images).


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