By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
MARTINSVILLE, VA – Despite the chaos in the Call 811 Before You Dig 250 at Martinsville Speedway, Landon Cassill earned a career best finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
The Kaulig Racing driver aimed to earn Stage points at ‘The Paperclip.’ Cassill accomplished that goal with a fourth-place finish in Stage 1 and a runner-up in Stage 2. The 32-year-old slipped back in the No. 10 Chevy Truck Month Chevrolet Camaro SS as the varying strategies shook up the running order.
However, a late-race crash provided the opportunity for Cassill to rocket back up to the front. A 15-car pileup on a restart in overtime eliminated many of the frontrunners. Cassill narrowly snuck through the carnage to line up inside the top-five in a second overtime. More chaos allowed the Cedar Rapids, IA native to pass teammate AJ Allmendinger and earn a second-place finish.
“It’s really good because we had some good strategy getting stage points,” Cassill explained. “We knew that was important. That’s something that we hadn’t been getting up to this point this year. We’ve had some good finishes so far this year, but this was the first complete weekend where I felt like I maximized my car throughout the entire race. I’m proud of that for myself, my own work that I’ve been putting in.
“Just really proud of this team. They’re bringing great cars. They know what they have to do and where they want to continue to improve. I don’t even feel like I have to tell them. I’ve got great teammates that know what these cars need. It’s really allowed me to just focus on myself as a driver to start the season and settle into Kaulig Racing.”
The runner-up finish is another example of the continued improvement for Cassill. Over the off-season both he and sponsor Voyager made the jump to the championship caliber Kaulig Racing. Although Cassill’s had a rocky start to the season, the help from his teammates has allowed him to focus on improving as a driver.
“It was already worth it the moment that I that I signed the contract,” Cassill admitted. “I’m just so happy to have this opportunity, I wouldn’t have it without Voyager. We had Chevy Truck Month on the car today, and it’s really cool to have our manufacturer on the car, but Voyager Digital, is really the biggest reason why I’m in this opportunity and I can’t thank them enough.”
The second-place finish is the best career finish for Cassill. It’s his second top-five this season and the third of his Xfinity Series career. Cassill’s previous best finish, third, came in the 2011 season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
The runner-up finish moved Cassill from 16th in the championship points standings to 12th. He is 141-points behind leader and teammate Allmendinger. On the playoff cutline, Cassill has a 15-point cushion over Anthony Alfredo.
Featured Photo Credit: Photo by NKP / NKP Photo.