What Happened At 86th And Ditch Speedway Last Night? [Expert Guide!]

Last night was another installment of the hugely popular Ditch Speedweeksend series of events. As the name would suggest, this year’s event took place on a short course near Toronto, Ontario. The short course was an added bit of challenge this year, as it was freshly seeded with grass and featured some very tight turns. That made for some unpredictable racing and a whole new level of engagement for spectators. There were a number of crashes over the three-day event, with one multiple-car pile up resulting in one fatal injury. Here’s a look at the big stories and the highlights from last night’s racing.

Dylan Fritchey’s Breakdown Of Last Night’s Racing

One of the biggest stories of the night came from Dylan Fritchey. The Canadian driver was a real force to be reckoned with, racing in the Top 15 most of the night. Ultimately, Fritchey would finish 6th, his highest career finish to date. This was also the final year of the legendary Hagerty Insurance agency presenting the checkered flag. Fritchey credits a lot of his success to his team, which he calls “The Fab Four”. Those are his teammates Scott Sharp, J.R. Fitzpatrick, and Jordan Palmer, along with their engineer Jason Wolfe. Fritchey says their work ethic is second to none and that they’re always trying to find ways to improve their cars and their performances. Watch the full interview here:

Scott Sharp’s Breakdown Of Last Night’s Racing

Another driver who had a good run was Scott Sharp. The Brit put in some excellent drives in the early going before crashing out on lap 41. He finished 6th in the championship, his best result yet. Sharp also picked up some valuable top-five finishes and managed to avoid any bad luck, finding himself lined up for a clean-sweep on several occasions. The highlight of Sharp’s night came on lap 28, when he passed Fritchey at the finish line and took the checkered flag while the crowd went berserk. The finish also served as a celebration for Sharp, who dedicated the win to his son, who was sitting in the grandstand. We’re looking forward to seeing Sharp back on the track in the future.

Kyle Busch’s Breakdown Of Last Night’s Racing

Kyle Busch had a rough go of it last night, starting 15th and finishing 29th. He had only one top-10, finishing second on lap 45 of the 82-lap competition. The big story here is the fact that Busch spun out of control on lap 42 and crashed into the wall, heavily damaging his car in the process. He was eventually forced to park it on the grid and walked away from the accident unharmed. This was certainly the worst race of Busch’s career at the Ditch Speedweeks. In an interview after the race, Busch credited the damage to an ill-handling car that had been sitting in the garage for some time and needed some serious work. The repair costs alone were estimated to be around $200,000. The title sponsorship for this year’s event was also pulled and will be replaced by Hagerty, which has been the presenting sponsor for the last few years. We’ll miss seeing Busch in the #5 Dodge, but we can still cheer for him on the radio. We wish him the best of luck in the future.

Points-Leader Dalby’s Breakdown Of Last Night’s Racing

It was another fairly quiet points night for defending champ Michael Dalby. The Kiwi driver finished 6th in the championship with 265 points. This was his third straight top-six finish and fourth in the last five Ditch Speedweeksends. He had a pretty good run, considering he was forced to sit out the first half of the season. Dalby had some fast cars this year and picked up some solid points finishes in the process. One of the biggest surprises of the season was the fact that Dalby has been able to keep up with the frontrunners all year, showing that his team of mechanics and engineers have been hard at work. It’s always a pleasure to see Dalby behind the wheel. He’s a fan favorite and one of the good guys of NASCAR. Let’s just hope he can keep this up next year. We shouldn’t have to wait until then to see him in the playoffs.

Lap Times Of Last Night’s Races

It’s hard to put into words how much lap times changed last night. Most notably, the pace quickened significantly and things became a bit more dangerous, as evidenced by the multiple crashes. This was especially noticeable in the late going, when the cars were racing at a frantic pace and a number of twists and turns made for some unpredictable and often spectacular behavior. It was a real feast for spectators, who watched in awe as drivers went airborne and others got extremely lucky and managed to avoid major injuries. It’s fair to say that things got a bit out of hand at times, but that’s what makes this sport so great.

Kurt Busch’s Massive Crash And The Injury That Followed

One of the biggest news stories last night was the crash involving Kurt Busch. The former champion spun out on lap 42 and hit the wall head-on, bringing down two other cars in the process and causing quite a bit of damage. His car was eventually destroyed, as was one of the others. Busch walked away almost unharmed, but was taken to the hospital as a precaution. According to those who were there, it was one of the most horrific accidents they’d ever witnessed. It’s amazing that Kurt Busch walked away from that accident without a scratch. In the aftermath, there were several scary moments when it looked like he might not be okay. Ultimately, it was a blessing that he was and he could celebrate with the fans after the race. It’s a good thing that Kurt Busch is such a tough person and has been battling his demons for so long. We wish him a speedy recovery.

Kyle Larson’s Unseasonal, Lady-Friendly Performance

It was another quiet night for Kyle Larson. The 23-year-old finished 11th in the championship with 263 points. This was his first Ditch Speedweekend and his first top-10. Larson had a solid first season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, making a name for himself as one of the top up-and-coming drivers in the sport. It’s amazing how far Larson came in such a short time and how much he was able to impress with just one season of experience. It might not be the best track for him, but we should be seeing a lot more of Larson and his exceptional performances in the near future.

Larson’s Teammates Celebrate With Epic Dance Party

Speaking of dances, Kyle Larson’s teammates celebrated their Champion status with an epic dance party in the garage. They were joined by some of the biggest names in NASCAR, including Kurt Busch, who was the defending champ this year. It was quite the dance party and it’ll be fun to see the videos from this weekend when everything settles down.

Points-Leader Martin’s Injury-Free Racing

It was a clean sweep for Martin at the Ditch Speedweeksend. The 27-year-old from Wales picked up his fifth straight top-six finish and sixth in the last seven events. This year, Martin won his first championship title after only competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2018. We don’t know how long it’ll be before we see Martin back behind the wheel of a NASCAR racecar, but at least for now, he can focus on celebrating.

Gaines’ Dominance Continues

It was another dominant performance from Josh Gaines. The 19-year-old from Owensboro, Kentucky picked up where he left off last year and won the championship, his fourth in the last five years. Gaines had some fast cars this year and picked up some great results along the way. He didn’t have a bad night, either, finishing 4th in the championship. For now, at least, it looks like Gaines will be carrying on where he left off in 2019 and keep proving that he’s the best rookie in the sport. Let’s hope his team of engineers and mechanics can keep up the pace and get him some additional wins next year. This is a talented group of guys they’ve assembled and we can’t wait to see what they’re able to produce next year. The future looks very bright for Gaines and his team. Let’s just hope his teammates and friends from the Drive For Diversity program don’t get in the way too much. They’ve been through a lot this year and deserve a break once the season is over.

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