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Larson continues NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs domination with third straight win at Kansas

 Getty Images

By Holly Cain

NASCAR Wire Service

 

Kyle Larson did the heavy-lifting on Sunday, leading nine different times for a race-high 130 laps, ultimately crossing the finish line a hefty 3.619-seconds ahead of the field to earn a NASCAR Cup Series-best ninth win of the season (15th of his career) in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

 

It is the third consecutive race win for the 29-year old Californian and the second time this season he’s won three in a row. The last time a driver won three straight races twice in a season was 1987 when the late, seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt accomplished the feat.

 

As important as the milestone and positive Playoff outcome to Larson’s Hendrick Motorsports team, however, Sunday’s victory also comes 17 years to the day that the storied organization lost 10 people – including Rick Hendrick’s son Ricky and brother John – in a plane crash near Martinsville, Virginia.

 

In Victory Lane, Larson’s No. 5 Chevy team turned their hats backward in tribute to Ricky’s favorite style and pointed upward in tribute to the organization’s beloved lost members.

 

“I want to dedicate this win to Rick and Linda (Hendrick),’’ Larson said. “I didn’t ever get to meet Ricky or the other men and women who lost their lives that day, but I felt the importance of this race, no doubt.

 

“It’s crazy how it kind of all worked out there for me to win. I know they were all looking down and helping out there with all the re-starts and stuff after getting into the wall. Again, thank you to Rick Hendrick. I know this means a lot to you and I’m glad I could get it done.‘’

 

There was a lot to be proud of. Larson has four race victories and a runner-up finish in seven Playoff races this season as the series holds its penultimate Playoff race next week at Martinsville Speedway. The outcome will determine which four of the current eight Playoff-eligible drivers will advance to the Nov. 7 season finale able to contend for the NASCAR Cup Series Championship.

 

Larson’s Hendrick teammate Chase Elliott was runner-up Sunday, nursing a car with some damage after he hit the wall pushing for a win in the final laps. Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch, who are not Playoff-eligible and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin, a Playoff driver, rounded out the Top five.

 

“Once I hit the wall, I really didn’t have a choice, I hurt it pretty bad, but I’m really proud of the effort,’’ Elliott said. “Our NAPA team did a great job today and I felt like we had something for Kyle [Larson] there, just got the wall off of Turn 2. Just so hard to get up to him. Every few feet you get closer, the harder it gets.’’

 

William Byron, who won his fourth Stage of the year, and Playoff driver Martin Truex Jr. were sixth and seventh, followed by Christopher Bell, Playoff contender Joey Logano and Austin Dillon.

 

At least six of the eight Playoff drivers – including Larson – endured some competitive drama during the competitive afternoon that saw 23 lead changes.

 

Notable, was the early exit for Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney. He entered Kansas ranked second in the standings. But his No. 12 Ford was hit by Dillon and sent into the wall as the two ran among the frontrunners with only 44 laps remaining. Blaney’s car was unable to continue and he ended up 37th on the afternoon, dropping from second to fifth in the Playoff standings, one point behind Kyle Busch, who finished 28th.

 

“We got run into from two lanes below me,’’ a clearly frustrated Blaney said. “I have no idea (why). Obviously it hurts. Finishing 37th is not prime. We didn’t have a great day but we had did a good job of fighting back and getting back into the Top 10 but then just got wiped out when we had plenty of room.

 

“That sucks. It was very unfortunate.’’

 

Strong winds and season-pressures made for action-packed runs all afternoon. Some cars scraped the wall and could continue like Larson and Elliott, but others, such as Playoff drivers Busch, Brad Keselowski, who finished 17th, and Truex had to pit for repairs and rally back into contention or points-saving modes.

 

Heading into Martinsville, Larson has the only automatic entry into the Championship 4 with his wins last week at Texas and this week at Kansas. Elliott is now second in the standings with a two-point edge over Hamlin.

 

Fourth place, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Busch, has that one-point advantage over Blaney and a three-point edge on his JGR teammate Truex. Penske Racing’s Keselowski is six points behind Busch and his Penske teammate Logano goes into Martinsville 26 points below the cutoff line.

 

The series moves to the Martinsville Speedway next weekend for Sunday’s Xfinity 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The top-four ranked drivers then move on to the Nov. 7 NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway to decide who will hoist the hardware.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Race – 21st Annual Hollywood Casino 400

Kansas Speedway

Kansas City, Kansas

Sunday, October 24, 2021

 

  1. (1)  Kyle Larson (P), Chevrolet, 267.
  2. (5)  Chase Elliott (P), Chevrolet, 267.
  3. (11)  Kevin Harvick, Ford, 267.
  4. (13)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 267.
  5. (6)  Denny Hamlin (P), Toyota, 267.
  6. (9)  William Byron, Chevrolet, 267.
  7. (7)  Martin Truex Jr. (P), Toyota, 267.
  8. (10)  Christopher Bell, Toyota, 267.
  9. (8)  Joey Logano (P), Ford, 267.
  10. (14)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 267.
  11. (25)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 267.
  12. (21)  Chris Buescher, Ford, 267.
  13. (24)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 267.
  14. (27)  Bubba Wallace, Toyota, 267.
  15. (16)  Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 267.
  16. (18)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 266.
  17. (3)  Brad Keselowski (P), Ford, 266.
  18. (22)  Cole Custer, Ford, 266.
  19. (19)  Chase Briscoe #, Ford, 266.
  20. (40)  Parker Kligerman(i), Toyota, 266.
  21. (32)  Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, 265.
  22. (12)  Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 265.
  23. (15)  Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 265.
  24. (28)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 265.
  25. (23)  Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 263.
  26. (20)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 263.
  27. (31)  Ryan Newman, Ford, 263.
  28. (4)  Kyle Busch (P), Toyota, 261.
  29. (17)  Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 260.
  30. (26)  BJ McLeod(i), Ford, 259.
  31. (36)  Cody Ware(i), Chevrolet, 258.
  32. (39)  Joey Gase(i), Chevrolet, 256.
  33. (30)  Josh Bilicki(i), Ford, 256.
  34. (38)  David Starr(i), Ford, 255.
  35. (35)  Quin Houff, Chevrolet, 255.
  36. (34)  Ryan Ellis(i), Chevrolet, 254.
  37. (2)  Ryan Blaney (P), Ford, Accident, 224.
  38. (29)  Anthony Alfredo #, Ford, Accident, 171.
  39. (33)  Justin Haley(i), Chevrolet, Engine, 165.
  40. (37)  Chad Finchum(i), Toyota, Handling, 47.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  130.728 mph.

Time of Race:  3 Hrs, 3 Mins, 49 Secs. Margin of Victory:  3.619 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  7 for 33 laps.

Lead Changes:  23 among 8 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   K. Larson (P) 1-14;B. Keselowski (P) 15-16;K. Larson (P) 17-24;M. DiBenedetto 25-27;K. Larson (P) 28;M. DiBenedetto 29;K. Larson (P) 30-32;C. Elliott (P) 33-34;W. Byron 35-36;K. Larson (P) 37-87;C. Elliott (P) 88-121;W. Byron 122;K. Busch 123;J. Logano (P) 124-145;W. Byron 146-163;K. Larson (P) 164-167;W. Byron 168-169;K. Larson (P) 170-172;T. Reddick 173-178;K. Larson (P) 179-185;W. Byron 186-219;K. Busch 220-222;C. Elliott (P) 223-228;K. Larson (P) 229-267.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Kyle Larson (P) 9 times for 130 laps; William Byron 5 times for 57 laps; Chase Elliott (P) 3 times for 42 laps; Joey Logano (P) 1 time for 22 laps; Tyler Reddick 1 time for 6 laps; Matt DiBenedetto 2 times for 4 laps; Kurt Busch 2 times for 4 laps; Brad Keselowski (P) 1 time for 2 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 5,24,9,1,11,4,48,42,18,8

Stage #2 Top Ten: 24,9,5,1,4,8,48,11,23,42

 

Kyle Larson secures spot in Championship Four after dominant Texas win

 

Getty Images

 

October 17, 2021 

 

By Holly Cain

NASCAR Wire Service

 

The Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway had dramatic ups-and-downs all Sunday afternoon with the victorious exception of Kyle Larson, who absolutely dominated the race – leading 256 of 334 laps and holding off the field on seven different re-starts in the final 125 laps alone.

 

Larson’s win by .459-seconds over Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron was his series best – and career best – eighth of the season and 14th of his career. Most importantly, it punched his ticket into the Championship Four at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 7 – the first time in the 29-year old Californian’s career he will get to race for the NASCAR Cup Series championship trophy.

 

“This is unreal,” a smiling Larson said. “I knew we had a good shot to win today. Our car was amazing, probably the best 550-package, intermediate car we’ve had all year.

 

“This is so cool. And we get to race for a championship in a couple weeks. This is crazy.”

 

With a two-lap shootout to settle the checkered flag, the end of the race was dramatic up front. For much of the day, it was disastrous just behind. A 12-car incident on Lap 32 eliminated nine cars early on.

 

Playoff drivers Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. all suffered late race problems that impacted the championship standings with only two races remaining now to decide which three drivers join Larson in that Championship race at Phoenix.

 

Logano’s No. 22 Team Penske Ford was sidelined after suffering a rare engine problem and both Hamlin and Truex were involved in collisions. Logano finished 30th – worst among the eight Playoff drivers. Hamlin’s No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota soldiered on despite the heavy damage in two incidents and he finished 11th.  Truex’s No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was unable to finish the race after a hard hit in Turn 4 following a collision with Daniel Suarez. Truex finished 25th.

 

All these incidents were part of rapid-fire caution periods in the final third on the race; 11 on the day plus an 11-minute red flag. And on each ensuing re-start – no matter which driver was directly behind him – Larson was able to pull away and hold the lead.

 

“I just got good pushes from behind me, really,” said Larson, who also added a series best 16th stage win.

 

“I tried to stay patient on the throttle to keep them to my back bumper and thankfully, I was able to just barely clear them every time going into [Turn] 1 and not have to fight off [Turn] 2.

 

“So thanks to William [Byron], Tyler [Reddick] and [Brad] Keselowski, anybody who was behind me, especially Brad on that last restart.”

 

Ironically, the only member of the Joe Gibbs Racing team not still Playoff-eligible, Christopher Bell, finished best among his teammates Sunday, taking third place just ahead of Penske Racing’s Keselowski and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick.

 

Penske driver Ryan Blaney, Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott, JGR’s Kyle Busch, Richard Childress’s Tyler Reddick and Trackhouse Racing’s Suarez rounded out the Top-10.

 

“It’s all about the push and I think here at Texas the shortest lane kind of wins out because of the way the track separates going into Turn 1, the Axalta Chevy was fast all day just never got control [of the re-starts],” Byron said. “I think he [Larson] was definitely better than us the first stage and I was right there with him the rest of the time, but it was just clean air basically.

 

“Congrats to those guys, Kyle really deserves it. They’ve been awesome all year, flawless on pit road and on pit calls.”

 

Despite all the drama, the Playoff picture remains largely the same as when the drivers started the race. Larson’s win locks him into the Championship Four. Blaney is second followed by Hamlin and Kyle Busch (who won Stage 1) among the top four positions.

 

Defending series champion Elliott is fifth, eight points behind Busch. Keselowski is sixth (-15) followed by Truex (-22) and Logano (-43).

 

“Just a bummer, what do you do, this is the first time we’ve blown a motor in a really long time,” Logano said from the garage after retiring early.

 

“We have to move on,” the 2018 series champion added. “It is what it is now. We can’t change it. Not many points today, so that is a bummer. We will be fighting from here.”

 

The NASCAR Cup Series moves to Kansas Speedway for next Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Logano won the Playoff race there last year. Kyle Busch won at the track in May. And Hamlin and Logano lead all active drivers with three wins each at Kansas.

 

–30–

 

 

NASCAR Cup Series Race – 17th Annual Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500

Texas Motor Speedway

Fort Worth, Texas

Sunday, October 17, 2021

 

  1. (1)  Kyle Larson (P), Chevrolet, 334.
  2. (12)  William Byron, Chevrolet, 334.
  3. (11)  Christopher Bell, Toyota, 334.
  4. (7)  Brad Keselowski (P), Ford, 334.
  5. (24)  Kevin Harvick, Ford, 334.
  6. (4)  Ryan Blaney (P), Ford, 334.
  7. (6)  Chase Elliott (P), Chevrolet, 334.
  8. (3)  Kyle Busch (P), Toyota, 334.
  9. (9)  Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 334.
  10. (19)  Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 334.
  11. (2)  Denny Hamlin (P), Toyota, 334.
  12. (21)  Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 334.
  13. (13)  Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 334.
  14. (15)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 334.
  15. (26)  Chase Briscoe #, Ford, 334.
  16. (17)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 332.
  17. (16)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 332.
  18. (22)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 331.
  19. (20)  Cole Custer, Ford, 330.
  20. (29)  Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 329.
  21. (10)  Chris Buescher, Ford, Accident, 327.
  22. (35)  BJ McLeod(i), Ford, 324.
  23. (38)  David Starr(i), Ford, 323.
  24. (36)  Garrett Smithley(i), Chevrolet, 321.
  25. (8)  Martin Truex Jr. (P), Toyota, Accident, 320.
  26. (33)  Josh Bilicki(i), Ford, 319.
  27. (39)  Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, 317.
  28. (25)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 311.
  29. (28)  Anthony Alfredo #, Ford, Accident, 299.
  30. (5)  Joey Logano (P), Ford, Engine, 298.
  31. (30)  Quin Houff, Chevrolet, Suspension, 59.
  32. (18)  Bubba Wallace, Toyota, Accident, 38.
  33. (14)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, Accident, 36.
  34. (27)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, Accident, 31.
  35. (31)  Ryan Newman, Ford, Accident, 31.
  36. (23)  Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, Accident, 30.
  37. (32)  Justin Haley(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 30.
  38. (34)  Cody Ware(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 30.
  39. (37)  Joey Gase(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 29.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  134.859 mph.

Time of Race:  3 Hrs, 42 Mins, 54 Secs. Margin of Victory:  .459 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  11 for 55 laps.

Lead Changes:  8 among 5 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   K. Larson (P) 1-27;W. Byron 28-39;M. Truex Jr. (P) 40;W. Byron 41-82;K. Larson (P) 83-93;W. Byron 94;D. Hamlin (P) 95-96;K. Busch (P) 97-116;K. Larson (P) 117-334.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Kyle Larson (P) 3 times for 256 laps; William Byron 3 times for 55 laps; Kyle Busch (P) 1 time for 20 laps; Denny Hamlin (P) 1 time for 2 laps; Martin Truex Jr. (P) 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 18,12,5,1,24,14,11,9,8,2

Stage #2 Top Ten: 5,24,12,4,2,1,11,14,8,18

 

Kyle Larson wins battle royal at Charlotte ROVAL, advances in Playoffs 

 

Getty Images

October 10, 2021

 

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

 

CONCORD, N.C. – Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 featured a frequent winner, a couple of unlikely heroes and occasional villainy.

 

Kyle Larson took the checkered flag after 109 laps at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course to win for the seventh time this season and advance to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

 

Larson won for the third time on a road course—the most ever in series history in a single season—in a race that featured the violent renewal of the Bristol-born rivalry between Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott.

 

And Larson’s victory was no stress-free Sunday drive. Car chief Jesse Saunders and hauler driver Steven Legendre changed the battery and alternator belt on Larson’s No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet under caution and kept him on the lead lap at the end of Stage 2, after the voltage dropped and put Larson in danger of elimination from the Playoff.

 

“It wasn’t looking too good,” Larson said of the electrical problems that beset his car. “Thankfully, everybody on our 5 car did a great job of staying calm. (Crew chief) Cliff (Daniels), as always, did a great job of communicating with me what was going on, getting the battery changed, the alternator—whatever was going on to get our battery running.

 

“I knew I was going to have some sketchy moments. I had to work my way through traffic, stay calm, and we had some good restarts there at the end… It was just a fun race there and a lot of craziness all day long.”

 

The victory was Larson’s first at the Charlotte Road Course and the 13th of his career.

 

Harvick failed to advance from the Round of 12 for the first time since the inception of the elimination format in 2014. His race ended in the SAFER barrier on Lap 99 after he locked up the left front tire on his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford and shot straight into the wall.

 

“I just pushed it in there too hard and I got the tire locked up and I couldn’t stop it,” Harvick said. “I felt like I needed to go get a couple spots back that I had lost, and I got the left front locked up, and I couldn’t get it to turn.”

 

“Karma,” Elliott’s spotter, Eddie D’Hondt, said on the radio with understandable satisfaction, given that Harvick had spun Elliott into the wall in Turn 8 to jeopardize the reigning Cup champion’s chances of advancing to the next round.

 

But Elliott did advance after recovering to finish 12th, joining Larson, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. in the Round of 8.

 

Joining Harvick on the sidelines were Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman and William Byron, who led a race-high 30 laps but lost track position after a bump from race runner-up Tyler Reddick entering the backstretch chicane after a restart on Lap 90.

 

Byron missed the corner and had to come to a full stop before continuing. Later, he was running third before hitting the wall on the penultimate lap. Needing a victory to advance to the Round of 8, Byron instead finished 11th.

 

Harvick’s shot into Elliott’s back bumper on Lap 55 appeared to be retaliation for the Sept. 18 Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, where, in Harvick’s view, Elliott cost him a victory by taking his line in the late stages of the race—after Harvick had run Elliott into the outside wall and cut a tire on the No. 9 Chevrolet.

 

Asked whether his intent was payback for the Bristol race, Harvick said, “Sometimes real life teaches you good lessons.”

 

Chris Buescher finished third on Sunday—his first top five of the season. Kyle Busch was fourth, followed by Hamlin, Matt DiBenedetto, Logano, Bell, Blaney and Bowman.

 

Notes: Larson is the first driver since Kasey Kahne in 2006 to win both the Coca-Cola 600 in May and the fall race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kahne won both races on the 1.5-mile oval. The ROVAL became the venue for the fall race in 2018… Larson enters the Round of 8 as the No. 1 seed with 4,065 points, 35 more than second-place Hamlin… The victory was Hendrick Motorsports’ 36th at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including the oval and ROVAL events and the NASCAR All-Star Race… Team Penske is the last organization with all off its Playoff drivers still eligible for the championship—Keselowski, Logano and Blaney.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Race – 62nd Annual Bank of America ROVAL 400

Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course

Concord, North Carolina

Sunday, October 10, 2021

 

  1. (10)  Kyle Larson (P), Chevrolet, 109.
  2. (29)  Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 109.
  3. (16)  Chris Buescher, Ford, 109.
  4. (9)  Kyle Busch (P), Toyota, 109.
  5. (1)  Denny Hamlin (P), Toyota, 109.
  6. (30)  Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 109.
  7. (3)  Joey Logano (P), Ford, 109.
  8. (4)  Christopher Bell (P), Toyota, 109.
  9. (6)  Ryan Blaney (P), Ford, 109.
  10. (12)  Alex Bowman (P), Chevrolet, 109.
  11. (11)  William Byron (P), Chevrolet, 109.
  12. (8)  Chase Elliott (P), Chevrolet, 109.
  13. (25)  Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 109.
  14. (15)  Bubba Wallace, Toyota, 109.
  15. (14)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 109.
  16. (19)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 109.
  17. (17)  Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 109.
  18. (23)  Cole Custer, Ford, 109.
  19. (31)  Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, 109.
  20. (2)  Brad Keselowski (P), Ford, 109.
  21. (18)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 109.
  22. (22)  Chase Briscoe #, Ford, 109.
  23. (27)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 109.
  24. (21)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 109.
  25. (13)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 109.
  26. (20)  Anthony Alfredo #, Ford, 109.
  27. (36)  Joey Hand, Ford, 109.
  28. (37)  Josh Bilicki(i), Ford, 109.
  29. (5)  Martin Truex Jr. (P), Toyota, 109.
  30. (28)  Quin Houff, Chevrolet, 109.
  31. (35)  Scott Heckert, Ford, 109.
  32. (39)  Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, 108.
  33. (7)  Kevin Harvick (P), Ford, Accident, 98.
  34. (34)  Garrett Smithley(i), Chevrolet, 96.
  35. (26)  Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, Accident, 93.
  36. (32)  Cody Ware(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 90.
  37. (38)  Justin Haley(i), Chevrolet, Engine, 66.
  38. (33)  AJ Allmendinger(i), Chevrolet, Engine, 57.
  39. (24)  Ryan Newman, Ford, Accident, 19.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  77.783 mph.

Time of Race:  3 Hrs, 15 Mins, 4 Secs. Margin of Victory:  .782 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  9 for 18 laps.

Lead Changes:  15 among 10 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   D. Hamlin (P) 1-9;J. Logano (P) 10-13;R. Blaney (P) 14-22;*. Allmendinger(i) 23-24;C. Elliott (P) 25-26;*. Allmendinger(i) 27-29;K. Busch (P) 30-51;R. Blaney (P) 52;W. Byron (P) 53-75;K. Busch 76;C. Buescher 77;D. Hamlin (P) 78-80;W. Byron (P) 81-87;K. Busch 88;D. Hamlin (P) 89-101;K. Larson (P) 102-109.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  William Byron (P) 2 times for 30 laps; Denny Hamlin (P) 3 times for 25 laps; Kyle Busch (P) 1 time for 22 laps; Ryan Blaney (P) 2 times for 10 laps; Kyle Larson (P) 1 time for 8 laps; * AJ Allmendinger(i) 2 times for 5 laps; Joey Logano (P) 1 time for 4 laps; Chase Elliott (P) 1 time for 2 laps; Kurt Busch 2 times for 2 laps; Chris Buescher 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 9,16,12,19,22,1,18,24,34,4

Stage #2 Top Ten: 18,9,4,12,22,5,2,19,48,24

 

Bubba Wallace scores historic triumph in rain-shortened NASCAR Cup race at Talladega

Getty Images

 

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

 

An opportune caution and a sudden rain shower helped make Bubba Wallace the second African-American driver ever to win a NASCAR Cup Series race.

 

Wallace held the lead in Monday’s rain-delayed YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway when Ryan Preece turned into the outside wall off the bumper of Chris Buescher’s Ford to cause the fifth caution of the event.

 

As the cars circled under the yellow, rain drenched the 2.66-mile race track. NASCAR brought the cars to pit road on Lap 118 of a scheduled 188.  After another shower thwarted track-drying attempts, NASCAR called the race and declared Wallace the winner.

 

Wallace is the first black driver to win a race in NASCAR’s premier series since Wendell Scott took the checkered flag at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Fla., on Dec. 1, 1963.

 

It was the first victory for 23XI Racing, a team that debuted this year with driver Denny Hamlin and Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan as co-owners. Drivers outside the respective Playoffs won all three Talladega races in NASCAR’s top three divisions this week. All were first-time winners.

 

Wallace’s victory came at the same track where the sport came together to support him after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and after a noose—later found not to be directed at Wallace—was discovered in his garage stall.

 

“Man, I’m just so proud of everyone at 23XI,” Wallace said. “New team coming in and getting a win late in the season. I know a lot of history was made today, I believe, which is really cool, but it’s about our guys, about our team, about what was done.

 

“I appreciate Michael Jordan, I appreciate Denny for believing in me and giving me the opportunity… It’s pretty fitting that it comes here at Talladega.”

 

Wallace was choked up when asked about the historic significance of his achievement.

 

“I never think about those things, and when you say it like that, it obviously brings a lot of emotions, a lot of joy to my family, fans, friends… You’ve got to stay true to your path and not let the nonsense get to you and stay strong, stay humble, stay hungry.

 

“There’ve been plenty of times when I wanted to give up. You surround yourself with the right people, and moments like this that you appreciate.”

 

Team Penske drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano improved their chances of transferring into the Round of 8 in the Playoff with second- and third-place finishes. Kurt Busch was fourth, followed by Christopher Bell, Chris Buescher, Hamlin and Kevin Harvick.

 

The wreck that ultimately made a winner of Wallace severely damaged the Playoff hopes of William Byron, whose Chevrolet was collected by the spinning car of Preece. Byron was relegated to 36th in the finishing order and likely will need a victory in Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte to advance to the Round of 8.

 

“He (Preece) was just coming down the track, and I was kind of trying to run a third lane,” Byron said of the wreck. “Just part of Talladega. We’ll go to the Roval, try to win that one and advance that way.”

 

Byron was the last of three Hendrick Motorsports drivers to get swept up in an accident. Kyle Larson was the first. By the time the first sudden rain shower of the day darkened the asphalt in Turns 1 and 2 and forced a stoppage on Lap 74, Larson’s fortunes already had taken a turn for the worse.

 

A strong push from Byron’s Chevrolet turned Justin Allgaier’s Camaro sideways as the cars thundered through the tri-oval on Lap 56. Allgaier shot up the track into Larson’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, severely damaging the front suspension and the sheet metal on the driver’s side of the car.

 

Larson was able to make minimum speed after a restart on Lap 65. The caution for the five-car wreck that crippled Larson’s car also encompassed the end of Stage 1, won by non-Playoff driver Chris Buescher.

 

On Lap 67, Larson shredded his right front tire, which was cocked at an angle toward the outside wall when he resumed racing. He lost three laps on pit road and fell to 39th in the running order as his crew made frantic repairs.

 

Attrition elevated Larson to 37th at the finish, but he lost the security he had as a six-time winner in the series this year. The regular-season champion leaves Talladega second in the standings but just 22 points above the current cutoff for the Round of 8.

 

A multicar chain-reaction wreck after the resumption of the action brought an early end to Alex Bowman’s afternoon. On Lap 98, Chase Elliott pushed the Chevrolet of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. into the rear bumper of Bowman’s Chevy, turning the No. 48 Camaro into the outside wall and out of the race.

 

“The 9 (Elliott) just shoved me one last time there, and it got the 48 loose,” Stenhouse radioed to his team.

 

Bowman was fighting for the race lead when he was turned by the contact from Stenhouse’s car.

 

“Yeah, just dumped over on the left rear and turned us around really bad,” Bowman said. “Bummer for the Ally 48 team. We had a fast car; we were leading there. That’s just superspeedway racing and the box that we’re put in by these racetracks. You’ll have that. Bummed to have torn up race car, but we’ll move on and try to go win the Roval.”

 

Kyle Busch was another victim of the Lap 98 wreck, but the two-time Cup champion remains nine points above the current cut line—tied with defending champion Chase Elliott—heading to the Round of 12 elimination race on Sunday at the Charlotte Roval.

 

Harvick is nine points below the cutoff, with Bell 28 points in arrears and Byron and Bowman 44 and 52 points on the outside, respectively.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Race – 53rd Annual YellaWood 500

Talladega Superspeedway

Talladega, Alabama

Sunday, October 3, 2021

 

  1. (19)  Bubba Wallace, Toyota, 117.
  2. (7)  Brad Keselowski (P), Ford, 117.
  3. (8)  Joey Logano (P), Ford, 117.
  4. (14)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 117.
  5. (12)  Christopher Bell (P), Toyota, 117.
  6. (24)  Chris Buescher, Ford, 117.
  7. (1)  Denny Hamlin (P), Toyota, 117.
  8. (9)  Kevin Harvick (P), Ford, 117.
  9. (26)  Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 117.
  10. (30)  Anthony Alfredo #, Ford, 117.
  11. (16)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 117.
  12. (6)  Martin Truex Jr. (P), Toyota, 117.
  13. (28)  Cole Custer, Ford, 117.
  14. (17)  Chase Briscoe #, Ford, 117.
  15. (4)  Ryan Blaney (P), Ford, 117.
  16. (21)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 117.
  17. (22)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 117.
  18. (3)  Chase Elliott (P), Chevrolet, 117.
  19. (35)  Quin Houff, Chevrolet, 117.
  20. (38)  Justin Haley(i), Chevrolet, 117.
  21. (25)  Ryan Newman, Ford, 117.
  22. (29)  Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 117.
  23. (18)  Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 117.
  24. (40)  Landon Cassill(i), Toyota, 117.
  25. (36)  Joey Gase(i), Ford, 117.
  26. (20)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 117.
  27. (2)  Kyle Busch (P), Toyota, 117.
  28. (31)  Cody Ware(i), Chevrolet, 117.
  29. (37)  Garrett Smithley(i), Chevrolet, 117.
  30. (32)  BJ McLeod(i), Ford, 117.
  31. (34)  Josh Bilicki, Ford, 117.
  32. (27)  Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, Accident, 116.
  33. (23)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 116.
  34. (39)  James Davison, Ford, 116.
  35. (15)  Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, Accident, 115.
  36. (10)  William Byron (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 115.
  37. (5)  Kyle Larson (P), Chevrolet, 113.
  38. (11)  Alex Bowman (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 97.
  39. (13)  Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, Accident, 97.
  40. (33)  Justin Allgaier(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 55.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  130.218 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 23 Mins, 24 Secs. Margin of Victory:  Under Caution Seconds.

Caution Flags:  5 for 27 laps.

Lead Changes:  35 among 19 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   D. Hamlin (P) 0;K. Busch (P) 1;J. Logano (P) 2;K. Busch (P) 3-5;K. Harvick (P) 6-11;M. DiBenedetto 12-13;K. Harvick (P) 14;M. Truex Jr. (P) 15-16;K. Larson (P) 17-19;C. Custer 20-26;A. Alfredo # 27;K. Harvick (P) 28-29;K. Busch 30-33;K. Harvick (P) 34-37;D. Hamlin (P) 38;B. Keselowski (P) 39-40;D. Hamlin (P) 41-42;B. Keselowski (P) 43-53;C. Buescher 54-60;R. Stenhouse Jr. 61;J. Logano (P) 62-64;T. Reddick 65-66;J. Logano (P) 67-71;C. Ware(i) 72-75;*. Haley(i) 76-79;C. Bell (P) 80-83;D. Hamlin (P) 84-86;C. Bell (P) 87-88;K. Harvick (P) 89-91;C. Bell (P) 92-96;A. Bowman (P) 97;R. Stenhouse Jr. 98-105;C. Bell (P) 106;R. Stenhouse Jr. 107;K. Busch 108-112;B. Wallace 113-117.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Kevin Harvick (P) 5 times for 16 laps; Brad Keselowski (P) 2 times for 13 laps; Christopher Bell (P) 4 times for 12 laps; Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 3 times for 10 laps; Joey Logano (P) 3 times for 9 laps; Kurt Busch 2 times for 9 laps; Chris Buescher 1 time for 7 laps; Cole Custer 1 time for 7 laps; Denny Hamlin (P) 3 times for 6 laps; Bubba Wallace 1 time for 5 laps; * Justin Haley(i) 1 time for 4 laps; Kyle Busch (P) 2 times for 4 laps; Cody Ware(i) 1 time for 4 laps; Kyle Larson (P) 1 time for 3 laps; Tyler Reddick 1 time for 2 laps; Martin Truex Jr. (P) 1 time for 2 laps; Matt DiBenedetto 1 time for 2 laps; Anthony Alfredo # 1 time for 1 lap; Alex Bowman (P) 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 17,22,2,4,8,12,9,42,1,48

Stage #2 Top Ten: 23,2,22,1,20,17,11,4,43,38

 

NASCAR Cup Playoff race at Talladega postponed until Monday 

 

October 3, 2021 

 

By Reid Spencer 

NASCAR Wire Service 

 

TALLADEGA, Ala. – Intermittent and ill-timed rain showers prevented the start of Sunday’s scheduled YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway and forced postponement of the second Playoff race in the Round of 12 until 1 p.m. ET on Monday (to be broadcast on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

Minutes after the Cup drivers were given the command to start engines and began circling the track on pace laps, a hard rain began falling in the tri-oval at the 2.66-mile speedway and soon drenched the entire track, erasing the progress that had been made in drying the asphalt.

 

Without hope of completing the race before dark, NASCAR announced the postponement shortly before 4 p.m. ET. Denny Hamlin, winner of this race last year, will lead the field to green on Monday with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch beside him.

 

Hamlin already has clinched a spot in the Round of 8 in the Playoff by virtue of his victory last week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Denny Hamlin Secures Spot in Round of 8 with Las Vegas Win

getty images

By Holly Cain

NASCAR Wire Service

 

LAS VEGAS – As he crossed the Las Vegas Motor Speedway finish line to claim the South Point 400 trophy, Denny Hamlin screamed into his team radio, “Viva Las Vegas.” And indeed, it was that kind of night for the perennial championship contender, who led a race best 137 of the 267 laps to earn his first Las Vegas victory in 20 starts and take an automatic bid into the next round of the Playoffs.

 

The 40-year old Virginian edged reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott by .442-seconds. Elliott cut into Hamlin’s lead on every one of the closing 10 laps, taking full advantage of traffic, but was ultimately unable to catch Hamlin’s No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

 

Hamlin’s JGR teammates Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. finished third and fourth with Penske Racing’s Ryan Blaney rounding out the Top-5 – all Playoff drivers.

 

Tyler Reddick, who just missed advancing to this three-race Playoff round by a mere two-points last week, finished sixth after running among the Top-3 for much of the late race laps.

 

Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick and regular season champion, Kyle Larson rounded out the Top-10. Keselowski, Harvick and Larson are also championship eligible.

 

Hamlin led seven different times, won Stage 2 and took the lead for good with 39 laps remaining – facing that challenge from Elliott in the waning laps of a what was a relatively clean race – only one yellow flag outside of the competition caution and two stage breaks.

 

The only other caution for an on-track incident came out for a single car accident involving driver Joey Gase, who whose No. 15 Chevrolet lost a tire and made heavy impact with the wall. He was examined in the Infield Care Center but transported to an area hospital for a precautionary exam.

 

“It feels so good to win in Vegas, last couple times I’ve been so close but just didn’t have the right breaks, but they got the car great and great to hold those guys off,” said Hamlin, who earned his 46th career victory and becomes the first driver to officially earn a shot into the Playoff Round of 8.

 

“I’m so happy to not have to worry about the next two weeks, but I am a professional and I will work just as hard each and every week to win.”

 

Obviously disappointed not to win, Elliott was still enthusiastic about his runner-up finish – his 12th top five of the season – rallying from a pit stop strategy that put him a lap down at one point.

 

“We were really close, just not quite close enough,” Elliott said. “Denny did a really good job controlling the gap to me and he was having a hard time [lapping] with the 21 (Matt DiBenedetto).

 

“Super close. Really proud of our NAPA team and I feel like we’ve been performing at a really nice level the last three or four weeks, just haven’t had great results to show for it.

 

“Proud of the effort tonight and looking forward to the next two [races]. It’s going to be wild.”

 

Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Larson certainly looked like the driver to beat early on. He led 95 laps and won his series best 15th Stage win in the opening portion of the night, but a different pit strategy put him a lap down mid-race and he never fully recovered to challenge for the lead again.

 

While Hamlin earned the automatic bid into the next round of the Playoffs, Larson still leads the championship standings – 22 points over Kyle Busch.

 

With his seventh-place finish Keselowski moved into the eighth position in the standings, with races at Talladega, Ala. and the Charlotte ROVAL remaining to determine which eight drivers move on in the championship battle.

 

Hendrick Motorsports William Byron, who suffered a tire problem late in the race, finished 18th and is now four points below the cutoff line. Even with his Top-10, Harvick remains ninth in the standings – still looking for his first victory of the season.

 

Hendrick driver Alex Bowman finished 22nd and is 13 points behind Keselowski and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell finished 25th, two laps down Sunday night fighting through several setbacks. He is 25 points out of that transfer position.

 

The second race in this Playoff NASCAR Cup Series round is the YellaWood 500 next Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Keselowski won at Talladega this April. Hamlin is the defending Playoff race winner there.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Race – 4th Annual South Point 400

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas, Nevada

Sunday, September 26, 2021

 

  1. (6)  Denny Hamlin (P), Toyota, 267.
  2. (11)  Chase Elliott (P), Chevrolet, 267.
  3. (10)  Kyle Busch (P), Toyota, 267.
  4. (4)  Martin Truex Jr. (P), Toyota, 267.
  5. (2)  Ryan Blaney (P), Ford, 267.
  6. (13)  Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 267.
  7. (8)  Brad Keselowski (P), Ford, 267.
  8. (20)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 267.
  9. (5)  Kevin Harvick (P), Ford, 267.
  10. (1)  Kyle Larson (P), Chevrolet, 267.
  11. (9)  Joey Logano (P), Ford, 267.
  12. (14)  Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 267.
  13. (15)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 266.
  14. (19)  Chase Briscoe #, Ford, 266.
  15. (26)  Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 266.
  16. (21)  Bubba Wallace, Toyota, 266.
  17. (22)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 266.
  18. (3)  William Byron (P), Chevrolet, 266.
  19. (17)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 266.
  20. (29)  Ryan Newman, Ford, 266.
  21. (23)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 266.
  22. (7)  Alex Bowman (P), Chevrolet, 265.
  23. (18)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 265.
  24. (12)  Christopher Bell (P), Toyota, 265.
  25. (25)  Chris Buescher, Ford, 265.
  26. (16)  Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 265.
  27. (32)  Anthony Alfredo #, Ford, 265.
  28. (24)  Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, 265.
  29. (28)  Cole Custer, Ford, 265.
  30. (27)  Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 264.
  31. (35)  Cody Ware(i), Chevrolet, 260.
  32. (33)  Justin Haley(i), Chevrolet, 260.
  33. (34)  BJ McLeod(i), Ford, 257.
  34. (36)  Quin Houff, Chevrolet, 255.
  35. (30)  Garrett Smithley(i), Chevrolet, 254.
  36. (31)  Josh Bilicki, Ford, 252.
  37. (37)  Joey Gase(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 84.
  38. (38)  JJ Yeley(i), Toyota, Handling, 76.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  144.643 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 46 Mins, 8 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.442 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  4 for 21 laps.

Lead Changes:  21 among 10 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   K. Larson (P) 0;R. Blaney (P) 1-7;D. Hamlin (P) 8-26;R. Blaney (P) 27;K. Busch (P) 28-29;D. Hamlin (P) 30-44;K. Larson (P) 45-83;D. Hamlin (P) 84-88;K. Larson (P) 89-91;W. Byron (P) 92-98;K. Larson (P) 99-101;C. Elliott (P) 102;K. Larson (P) 103-152;D. Hamlin (P) 153-162;T. Reddick 163;D. Hamlin (P) 164-166;M. Truex Jr. (P) 167;D. Hamlin (P) 168-213;T. Reddick 214-217;B. Keselowski (P) 218-221;A. Dillon 222-228;D. Hamlin (P) 229-267.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Denny Hamlin (P) 7 times for 137 laps; Kyle Larson (P) 4 times for 95 laps; Ryan Blaney (P) 2 times for 8 laps; William Byron (P) 1 time for 7 laps; Austin Dillon 1 time for 7 laps; Tyler Reddick 2 times for 5 laps; Brad Keselowski (P) 1 time for 4 laps; Kyle Busch (P) 1 time for 2 laps; Martin Truex Jr. (P) 1 time for 1 lap; Chase Elliott (P) 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 5,18,11,12,24,9,8,4,21,19

Stage #2 Top Ten: 11,18,8,19,22,2,1,4,3,23

 

 

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Hollywood Casino 400

The Place: Kansas Speedway

The Date: Sunday, October 24

The Time: 3 p.m. ET

The Purse: $7,972,577

TV: NBCSN, 2 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 400.5 miles (267 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 80),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 160), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 267)

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Kansas Speedway is set for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs

Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson became the first 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff contender to secure their spot in the Championship 4 Round with his win last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Now, the remaining seven Playoff challengers have just two chances left to compete for the final three spots; including this Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Remember, a Playoff driver can advance to Championship 4 Round on a win, but with only three races in the Round of 8, one driver is guaranteed to get in on points.

 

Kansas Speedway is the final 1.5-mile track on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule. The paved oval boasts variable degree banking in the turns that fluctuate between 17-20 degrees.

 

Since the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs inception in 2004, Kansas Speedway has participated and played a pivotal role in the postseason occupying six different positions on the Playoff schedule through the years:

  • From 2004, 2005, 2011, 2013 and 2014 Kansas Speedway hosted the fourth race in the Playoffs.
  • From 2006-2010 Kansas Speedway hosted the third race in the Playoffs.
  • From 2015 to 2016 Kansas Speedway hosted the fifth race of the postseason.
  • From 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Kansas Speedway hosted the sixth race of the Playoffs.
  • In 2020, Kansas Speedway hosted the seventh race of the Playoffs.  

 

The 2021 season marks the first time Kansas Speedway has hosted the eighth race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, the second race of the Round of 8. Kansas Speedway is the third different track to host the eighth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (Race No. 34); joining Phoenix Raceway (2004) and Texas Motor Speedway (2005-2020).

 

A total of 12 different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races at Kansas Speedway. Team Penske’s Joey Logano leads the NASCAR Cup Series in Playoff wins at Kansas Speedway with three postseason victories (2014, 2015, 2020).  

 

NASCAR Cup Series Kansas Speedway Playoff Race Winners

Track

Race Winners

Date

Race No.

Kansas

Joe Nemechek

Sunday, October 10, 2004

30

Kansas

Mark Martin

Sunday, October 9, 2005

30

Kansas

Tony Stewart

Sunday, October 1, 2006

29

Kansas

Greg Biffle

Sunday, September 30, 2007

29

Kansas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, September 28, 2008

29

Kansas

Tony Stewart

Sunday, October 4, 2009

29

Kansas

Greg Biffle

Sunday, October 3, 2010

29

Kansas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 9, 2011

30

Kansas

Matt Kenseth

Sunday, October 21, 2012

32

Kansas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, October 6, 2013

30

Kansas

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 5, 2014

30

Kansas

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 18, 2015

31

Kansas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, October 16, 2016

31

Kansas

Martin Truex Jr

Sunday, October 22, 2017

32

Kansas

Chase Elliott

Sunday, October 21, 2018

32

Kansas

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, October 20, 2019

32

Kansas

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 18, 2020

33

 

Twice the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway has gone on to win the title that same season: 

  • In 2008, Jimmie Johnson won the Kansas Speedway NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race from the pole, leading 124 laps, and then went on to win his third consecutive series title later that season. Kansas was the third race of the Playoffs in 2008. The Kansas win was the first of three Playoff wins en route to the 2008 title.

 

  • In 2017, Martin Truex Jr. won the Kansas Speedway NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race from the pole, leading 91 laps, and then went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series title later that season. Kansas was the sixth race of the Playoffs in 2017. The Kansas win was the second of four Playoff victories en route to the championship in 2017.

 

Three non-Playoff drivers have won a NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway:

  • In 2004, Joe Nemechek won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas and was ranked 21st in the points at the time of the win.

 

  • In 2006, NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas and was 11th in points at the time of the victory.

 

  • In 2007, Greg Biffle won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas and was 14th in points at the time of the win. 

 

The worst finish in a NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway by a driver that went on to win the championship later that same season was 15th by NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart in 2011. Last season’s champion, Chase Elliott, finished sixth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway.

 

A total of eight different drivers have won the eighth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (Race No. 34). Jimmie Johnson leads the NASCAR Cup Series in Playoff race No. 8 victories with five (2007, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015) – all at Texas Motor Speedway. Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in Playoff race No. 8 wins with three (2017, 2018, 2019) – again all at Texas Motor Speedway.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Race No. 8 - Race Winners

Track

Race Winners

Date

Phoenix

Dale Earnhardt Jr

Sunday, November 7, 2004

Texas

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Texas

Tony Stewart

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Texas

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Texas

Kurt Busch

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Texas

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Texas

Tony Stewart

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Texas

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Texas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Texas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Texas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Texas

Kyle Busch

Sunday, October 25, 2020

 

Three times the winner of the eighth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs has gone on to win the title later that same season – all three at Texas Motor Speedway: 

  • In 2007, Jimmie Johnson won from the eighth starting position at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to win his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series title later that season. The Playoff win at Texas was his third of four consecutive victories in the 2007 Playoffs – the only driver to win four straight in the NASCAR Cup Series postseason (Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix).

 

  • In 2011, Tony Stewart won from the fifth starting position at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to win his third NASCAR Cup Series championship later that season. The Texas Playoff win was Stewart’s fourth of his record setting five NASCAR Cup Series Playoff wins in a single postseason run in 2011 (Chicago, New Hampshire, Martinsville, Texas, Homestead-Miami).

 

  • In 2013, Jimmie Johnson won from the third starting position at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to win his sixth NASCAR Cup Series championship later that season. The Texas Playoff win was Johnson’s second of two postseason victories (Dover, Texas) in 2013.

 

The worst finish in the eighth NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race by a driver that went on to win the title:

  • At Texas Motor Speedway it was 38th by Jimmie Johnson in 2009.
  • At Phoenix Raceway it was 10th by Kurt Busch in 2004.

 

Last season’s champion, Chase Elliott, finished 20th in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway, the eighth race of the 2020 postseason. 

 

Four times a non-Playoff driver has won the eighth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, all at Texas Motor Speedway:

  • In 2006, Tony Stewart was ranked 11th in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings at the time of the win.

 

  • In 2014, Jimmie Johnson was 11th in points at the time of the win. Johnson had made the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2014 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.

 

  • In 2015, Jimmie Johnson was 12th in points at the time of the win. Johnson had made the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2015 but was eliminated in the Round of 16.

 

  • In 2020, Kyle Busch was ninth in points at the time of the win. Busch had made the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2020 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.

 

Kansas Speedway’s NASCAR Cup Series Quick Facts

Groundbreaking for Kansas Speedway was held on May 25, 1999. The official opening of Kansas Speedway was in 2001, with the first events being an ARCA Menards Series race and an ARCA Menards Series West race on the same day – June 2.

 

The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway was on September 30, 2001 and the race was won by Hendrick Motorsport’s driver and NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet).

 

During the 2012 season, between the April and October events, the 1.5-mile track underwent a repave, adding variable banking in the corners (17 to 20 degrees).

 

In total, there have been 31 NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway, one event from 2001 - 2010 and two races per year since 2011.

 

The 31 NASCAR Cup Series races have produced 16 different pole winners and Six of the 16 NASCAR Cup Series Kansas Speedway pole winners are active this weekend, led by Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick with five poles.

 

Active Kansas Pole Winners

Poles

Seasons

Kevin Harvick

5

2013, '14 sweep, '18, '19

Martin Truex Jr

2

2016, '17

Joey Logano

2

2015, '18

Ryan Blaney

1

2017

Brad Keselowski

1

2015

Kurt Busch

1

2011

 

This weekend’s starting lineup was decided by Metric Qualifying and as a result, Hendrick Motorsport’s Kyle Larson will start from the pole and Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney will join him on the front row. Six of the 31 NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway (19.35%) have been won from the pole or first starting position; the most proficient starting spot in the field: Joe Nemechek (2004), Jimmie Johnson (2008), Matt Kenseth (spring 2013), Kevin Harvick (Playoffs 2013), Martin Truex Jr. (Playoffs 2017), Kevin Harvick (spring 2018).  Plus, eight of the 31 NASCAR Cup Series races have been won from the front row (25.8%). The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Kansas Speedway is 25th, by Brad Keselowski in the spring of 2011.

 

Eight of the 15 NASCAR Cup Series Kansas Speedway winners are active this weekend.

 

Active Race Winners

Wins

Seasons

Denny Hamlin

3

2012, '19, '20

Joey Logano

3

2014, '15, '20

Kevin Harvick

3

2013, '16, '18

Brad Keselowski

2

2011, '19

Kyle Busch

2

2016, '21

Martin Truex Jr

2

2017 sweep

Chase Elliott

1

2018

Ryan Newman

1

2003

 

Five drivers are tied for the all-time lead in wins in the NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas Speedway with three victories each: Jeff Gordon (2001, 2002, 2014), Kevin Harvick (2013, 2016, 2018), Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2011, 2015), Denny Hamlin (2012, 2019, 2020) and Joey Logano (2014, 2015, 2020)

 

Team Penske’s Joey Logano is the most recent Playoff race winner at Kansas grabbing the victory last season. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch the most recent winner at Kansas collecting the win back in May.

 

Kyle Larson is the first of the 2021 Championship 4

With the most wins (eight) this season and his Championship 4 Round bid locked-up already, Hendrick Motorsport’s Kyle Larson is no surprise the frontrunner for the NASCAR Cup Series title this season.

 

It’s the first time the Californian has qualified for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Championship 4 Round which will guarantee his best career finish in the final standings; which until this year was sixth in 2019.

 

Plus, with three races left in the season Larson has the opportunity to etch his name alongside some of the greatest to ever compete in the series if he can reach double digit wins in a single season. Currently with eight victories this year, if Larson reaches 10 or more wins this season, he will become just the 11th different NASCAR Cup Series driver in the Modern Era (1972-Present) to accomplish the feat. He would also become just the second driver alongside Jimmie Johnson (10 wins, 2007) since 2000 to do it and the only active driver to achieve it scrubbing Kevin Harvick’s current record of most wins in a Cup season among active drivers at nine wins in 2020.

 

Larson has made 13 series starts at this weekend’s track Kansas Speedway posting three top fives and five top 10s. He finished 19th after starting 32nd at Kansas earlier this season.

 

Clinch Scenarios at Kansas Speedway

Looking to this weekend at Kansas Speedway, seven drivers are vying for three spots as Kyle Larson’s win last weekend at Texas has secured him one of the four positions in the Championship 4 Round. Interestingly, six of the seven Playoff contenders looking for Championship 4 spot are former NASCAR Cup Series Kanas Speedway winners.

 

Already Clinched

The following driver has clinched a spot in the 4-driver field of the next round: Kyle Larson.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the 3rd winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Ryan Blaney or Denny Hamlin.

  • Ryan Blaney: Could only clinch with help
  • Denny Hamlin: Could only clinch with help

 

If there is a new winner from Kyle Busch or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the 2nd winless driver in the standings.

  • Ryan Blaney: Could only clinch with help

 

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano

 

Playoff Bubble: Seven drivers fighting for three spots

Only two races left in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8; including this weekend’s Hollywood Casino 400 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Below is a look at the seven Playoff drivers not locked into the Championship 4 Round at Kansas Speedway.

 

1

Kyle Larson (P)

4,123

8

16

65

In On Wins

2

Ryan Blaney (P)

4,072

3

4

24

17

3

Denny Hamlin (P)

4,064

2

10

30

9

4

Kyle Busch (P)

4,063

2

7

23

8

5

Chase Elliott (P)

4,055

2

4

22

-8

6

Brad Keselowski (P)

4,048

1

2

8

-15

7

Martin Truex Jr. (P)

4,041

4

5

29

-22

8

Joey Logano (P)

4,020

1

5

13

-43

9

Kevin Harvick

2,248

0

0

2

Eliminated from the Playoffs

10

Christopher Bell

2,198

1

0

5

11

Kurt Busch

2,196

1

3

8

12

Tyler Reddick

2,192

0

3

3

13

William Byron

2,183

1

3

14

14

Aric Almirola

2,136

1

0

5

15

Alex Bowman

2,135

3

0

15

16

Michael McDowell

2,107

1

0

5

 

Ryan Blaney has made 13 series starts at Kansas posting three top fives and six top 10s.

 

Denny Hamlin has made 26 series starts at Kansas posting three wins, eight top fives and nine top 10s.

 

Kyle Busch has made 27 series starts at Kansas posting two wins, nine top fives, and 13 top 10s.

 

Chase Elliott has made 11 series starts at Kansas posting one win, five top fives and seven top 10s.

 

Brad Keselowski has made 23 series starts at Kansas posting two wins, seven top fives and 13 top 10s.

 

Martin Truex Jr. has made 26 series starts at Kansas posting two wins, nine top fives and 13 top 10s.

 

“It’s obviously not the position you want to be in, but we’re not out of it,” said Truex. “We have two shots to win at tracks we’ve had success in the past. There’s an outside chance of making it on points, but you can’t count on that with how strong the teams we are racing are. At the end of the day, I’m not going to give up and our team isn’t going to give up, so we’re going to do all that we can these next two weeks and see what happens.”

 

Joey Logano has made 24 series starts at Kansas posting three wins, eight top fives and nine top 10s.

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Parker Kligerman to make first Cup start since 2019 – NBC Sports pit reporter and part-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Parker Kligerman will be piloting the No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota this weekend in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway for the first time in the NASCAR Cup Series since 2019. Kligerman made his series track debut at Kansas Speedway in 2019 where he started 32nd and finished 29th. But he does have a win at the 1.5-mile track in the ARCA Menards Series in 2009.

 

 

 

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date: Sunday, October 17

The Time: 2 p.m. ET

TV: NBC, 1:30 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 501 miles (334 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 105),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 210), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 334)

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Dust off your Cowboy hats, the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs are headed to Texas

They say it’s always bigger in Texas and this weekend we agree as the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway on October 17 at 2 p.m. ET (on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 the first race in the Playoffs’ Round of 8.

 

The inception of the Playoffs in the NASCAR Cup Series was in 2004 and Texas Motor Speedway was added to the postseason schedule in 2005 – at the time replacing Darlington Raceway – and the famous facility has been hosting Playoff events ever since. Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) is a 1.5-mile paved oval located in Fort Worth, Texas and is equipped with 20 degrees of banking in Turns 1 and 2 and 24 degrees of banking in Turns 3 and 4. 

 

The 2021 season will mark the first time since joining the Playoff schedule in 2005 that Texas Motor Speedway will not host the eighth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (2005-2020) but instead will host the seventh race of the postseason. This weekend, Texas Motor Speedway will become the fifth different track to host the seventh race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs; joining Atlanta Motor Speedway (2004-2008), Talladega Superspeedway (2009-2010), Martinsville Speedway (2011-2019) and Kansas Speedway (2020).

 

Eight different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races at Texas Motor Speedway, led by Jimmie Johnson with five victories (2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers with three Texas Playoff wins (2017-2019).

 

Texas Motor Speedway Playoff Race Winners

Track

Playoff Race Winners

Date

Texas

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Texas

Tony Stewart

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Texas

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Texas

Kurt Busch

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Texas

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Texas

Tony Stewart

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Texas

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Texas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Texas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Texas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Texas

Kyle Busch

Sunday, October 25, 2020

 

Three times the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series Texas Motor Speedway Playoff race has gone on to win the title later that same season: 

 

  • In 2007, Jimmie Johnson won from the eighth starting position at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to win his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series title later that season. The Playoff win at Texas was his third of four consecutive victories in the 2007 Playoffs – the only driver to win four straight in the NASCAR Cup Series postseason (Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix).

 

  • In 2011, Tony Stewart won from the fifth starting position at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to win his third NASCAR Cup Series championship later that season. The Texas Playoff win was Stewart’s fourth of his record setting five NASCAR Cup Series Playoff wins in a single postseason run in 2011 (Chicago, New Hampshire, Martinsville, Texas, Homestead-Miami).

 

  • In 2013, Jimmie Johnson won from the third starting position at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to win his sixth NASCAR Cup Series championship later that season. The Texas Playoff win was Johnson’s second postseason victory (Dover, Texas) in 2013.

 

Three times a non-Playoff driver has won the Playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway:

 

  • In 2006, Tony Stewart was ranked 11th in the point standings at the time of his Texas Playoff race win.

 

  • In 2014, Jimmie Johnson was 11th in points at the time of the win. Johnson had made the Playoffs in 2014 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.

 

  • In 2015, Jimmie Johnson was 12th in points at the time of the win. Johnson had made the Playoffs in 2015 but was eliminated in the Round of 16.

 

A total of 10 different drivers have won the seventh race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, led by Jimmie Johnson with four victories (2004 Atlanta, 2007 Atlanta, 2012 Martinsville and 2016 Martinsville). Joey Logano leads all active drivers in victories in the seventh race of the postseason with two (2018 Martinsville, 2020 Kansas).

 

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Race No. 7 Winners

Track

Playoff Race Winners

Date

Atlanta

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Atlanta

Carl Edwards

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Atlanta

Tony Stewart

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Atlanta

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Atlanta

Carl Edwards

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Talladega

Jamie McMurray

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Talladega

Clint Bowyer

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Martinsville

Tony Stewart

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Martinsville

Jeff Gordon

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Martinsville

Dale Earnhardt Jr

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Martinsville

Jeff Gordon

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Martinsville

Kyle Busch

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Martinsville

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Martinsville

Martin Truex Jr

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Kansas

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 18, 2020

 

Four times the winner of the seventh NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race has gone on to win the championship later that same season: 

 

  • In 2007, Jimmie Johnson won from the sixth starting position at Atlanta Motor Speedway and went on to win his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series championship.

 

  • In 2011, Tony Stewart won from the fourth starting position at Martinsville Speedway and went on to win his third NASCAR Cup Series championship.

 

  • In 2016, Jimmie Johnson won from the third starting position at Martinsville Speedway and went on to win his record tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series championship.

 

  • In 2018, Joey Logano won from the 10th starting position at Martinsville Speedway and went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series championship.

 

Three non-Playoff drivers have won the seventh race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs:

 

  • In 2006, Tony Stewart won the seventh race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he was 11th in points at the time of the win.

 

  • In 2009, Jamie McMurray won the seventh race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Talladega Superspeedway, he was ranked 22nd in the points at the time of the win.

 

  • In 2010, Clint Bowyer won the seventh race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Talladega Superspeedway, he was 12th in the points at the time of the win. 

 

The worst finish by a driver in the seventh NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race that later went on to win the title that same season was a 42nd-place finish by Kurt Busch in 2004 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The finish was due to engine failure.

 

The worst finish by a driver in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway that later went on to win the title that same season was a 38th-place finish by Jimmie Johnson in 2009. The 2018 NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano, finished third in the 2018 Texas Playoff race and in 2019, series champ Kyle Busch finished seventh in the Texas Playoff race. Last season’s champion, Chase Elliott, finished 20th at Texas in the Playoff race. 

 

Eight drivers advanced to the third round of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and will battle it out this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway: Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. Expect the competition intensity to keep bubbling over in this round as five former series champions make up the elite eight.

 

Cup Series expects to be Texas two-stepping on Sunday 

The stage is set for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Texas Motor Speedway for another great weekend of racing action on the 1.5-mile high-speed oval. 

 

In total, Texas Motor Speedway has hosted the NASCAR Cup Series 40 times producing 25 different pole winners and 20 different race winners. The inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway was on April 6, 1997 and the race was won by Jeff Burton driving for Roush Fenway Racing (Ford). Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kurt Busch leads the series in poles at Texas with three (2015, 2017, 2018) and Jimmie Johnson leads the series in wins at Texas with seven victories (2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 sweep and 2017) in 34 starts. Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in wins at Texas with four victories (2013, 2016, 2018, 2020).

 

This weekend’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 (Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will be 334 laps (501 miles) and will be broken up into three stages. The first two stages will be 105 laps each and the final stage will be 124 laps.

 

The starting lineups for this weekend’s Playoff race at Texas were set by Metric Qualifying and as a result Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson will start from the pole and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin will join him on the front row. Four of the 40 NASCAR Cup Series races (10%) at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the pole or first starting position: Kasey Kahne (2006), Jimmie Johnson (2012), Kyle Busch (2013) and Kevin Harvick (2019).  And seven of the 40 series races (17.5%) at Texas have been won from the front row.

 

Clinch Scenarios in the Lone Star state

Following an intense Round of 12, Texas Motor Speedway is set to kick off the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 and much like every first race of a new round in the postseason the clinch scenarios are simple – ‘Win and You’re In’.  But only four drivers will advance to the next round and heading into this weekend the drivers straddling the Championship 4 Round cutoff are separated by only one point.

 

Already Clinched

No drivers have clinched a spot in the 4-driver field of the next round.

 

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski.

 

1

Kyle Larson (P)

4,065

7

15

65

42

2

Denny Hamlin (P)

4,030

2

10

30

7

3

Martin Truex Jr. (P)

4,029

4

5

29

6

4

Ryan Blaney (P)

4,024

3

4

24

1

5

Kyle Busch (P)

4,023

2

6

23

-1

6

Chase Elliott (P)

4,022

2

4

22

-2

7

Joey Logano (P)

4,013

1

5

13

-11

8

Brad Keselowski (P)

4,008

1

2

8

-16

 

Kyle Larson gets seventh win this season, joins rare company

Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson has several nicknames, but the one heard most frequently this season in the NASCAR Cup Series is winner. Larson overcame several obstacles last weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course to clutch his seventh win of 2021 season – series-most. Now the 29-year-old is looking to make it the Championship 4 Round for the first time in his career.

 

Larson’s most recent victory makes him the 21st different driver in the NASCAR Cup Series Modern Era (1972-Present) to win seven or more races in a single season and just the sixth different active driver to accomplish the feat joining Denny Hamlin (2010, 2020), Kevin Harvick (2018, 2020), Kyle Busch (2008, 2018), Martin Truex Jr. (2017, 2019) and Ryan Newman (2003).

 

The record in the Modern Era for the most wins in a single Cup season is 13 by NASCAR Hall of Famers Jeff Gordon (1998) and Richard Petty (1975). Petty also holds the all-time record for most Cup wins in a single season at 27 in 48 starts in 1967.

 

Larson returns to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend as the most recent winner at the track, taking the NASCAR All-Star Race victory back in June. In total, Larson has made 13 series starts at Texas posting three top fives and four top 10s.

 

Playoff Bubble: The Elite Eight at Texas

Since the NASCAR Cup Series introduced the elimination-style format in 2014, Texas Motor Speedway Playoff race winner has advanced to the Championship 4 Round in four of the seven races (2014-2020) – Carl Edwards in 2016 and Kevin Harvick in 2017-2019. Eight Playoff drivers are vying for four spots in the next round and four of the eight are former series winners at Texas.

Kyle Larson continues to be red hot this season grabbing his seventh win of 2021 and his second of the Playoffs last weekend at the Charlotte Road Course. Larson is currently the Playoff standings leader with 4,065 points, 42 points up on the Championship 4 Round cutoff. He is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the first time in his career. Larson has made 13 series starts at Texas posting three top fives and four top 10s. His average finish at Texas is 19.7.

 

Denny Hamlin remains one of the top performers this season having put up two wins, 17 top fives and 23 top 10s. He is currently ranked second in the Playoff standings with 4,030 points just seven points ahead of the Championship 4 Round cutline. Hamlin is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the fourth time in his career (2014, 2019, 2020). Hamlin has made 30 series starts at Texas amassing three wins (2010 sweep, 2019), seven top fives and 13 top 10s. His average finish at the 1.5-mile track is 13.8.

 

Martin Truex Jr. was the final driver to advance on points into the Round of 8 last weekend at the Charlotte Road Course, but 2017 series champion is no stranger to postseason adversity. To this point in the season, he has posted four wins, 11 top fives and 17 top 10s. Truex is currently third in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings a mere six points ahead of the Championship 4 Round cutoff and is looking to make the final round for the fifth time in his career (2015, 2017, 2018, 2019). He has made 31 series starts at Texas putting up five top fives and 17 top 10s. His average finish at Texas is 13.6. 

 

Ryan Blaney leads the Team Penske brigade into the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 8. Blaney has collected three wins, 10 top fives and 18 top 10s this season. The 27-year-old is currently fourth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings – the final transfer spot to the Championship 4 Round – and only one point ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch in fifth. Blaney is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the first time in his series career. He has made 12 series starts at Texas posting three top fives and six top 10s. His average finish on the 1.5-mile track is 17.2. 

 

Kyle Busch, the only active multiple series champion (2015, 2019), enters the NASCAR Cup Series Round of 8 for the sixth time in his career (2015, '16, '17, '18, '19, '21). In 2021, Busch has put up two wins, 13 top fives and 19 top 10s. The Las Vegas native find himself one point back from Ryan Blaney in the fourth and final transfer position to the Championship 4 Round. Busch has qualified for the Championship 4 Round in five of the last six seasons. His five Championship 4 Round (2015-2019) appearances are tied with Kevin Harvick for the NASCAR Cup Series most and if he makes the final around again this season, he will break that tie and become the NASCAR Cup Series sole leader in Championship 4 Round appearances at six. Busch has made 30 series starts at Texas Motor Speedway and leads all active drivers in wins with four (2013, 2016, 2018, 2020). He has also put up 14 top fives, 17 top 10s and an average finish of 10.9 at Texas.

 

Chase Elliott managed to overcome an on-track feud with Kevin Harvick to barely scrape into the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 last weekend at the Charlotte Road Course, and now the 2020 series champion finds himself sixth in the Playoff standings just two points back from Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney in the fourth and final Championship 4 Round transfer spot. This season, Elliott has been superb, collecting two wins, 13 top fives and 18 top 10s. The 25-year-old, Elliott, is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the second time in his career (2020). He has made 10 series starts at Texas posting two top fives and five top 10s. His average finish at the 1.5-mile track is 12.0.

 

Joey Logano advanced to the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 8 this last weekend at Charlotte; It was the seventh time in his career has advanced out of the second round (2014, '15, '16, '18, '19, '20, '21). Logano has been impressive this season grabbing one win, 10 top fives and 17 top 10s. Now the 31-year-old is ranked seventh in the Playoff standings 11 points behind his Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney in the fourth and final Championship 4 Round transfer spot. Logano is looking to make the final round for the fifth time in his career (2014, 2016, 2018, 2020). The 2018 Cup champion has made 25 series starts at Texas posting one win, 11 top fives and 14 top 10s. His average finish at Texas is 13.4.

 

Brad Keselowski currently occupies the eighth and final position in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 and is 16 points behind his teammate Ryan Blaney in the final Championship 4 Round transfer spot. Keselowski has put up one win, eight top fives and 14 top 10s this season. The Michigan native advanced to the Round of 8 for the fifth time in his career (2014, '15, '17, '20, '21) and now is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the third time in his Cup career (2017, 2020). Keselowski has made 25 series starts at Texas posting five top fives and 10 top 10s. His average finish at the 1.5-mile track is 16.8.

 

For the NASCAR Cup Series Round of 8 Playoff driver bios, Playoff and championship specific statistics, and eliminations grids visit the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Media Content Hub at the following link on NASCARMedia.com.

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

 

Three-way tie for most Cup wins at Texas – Heading into to this Playoff weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Roush Fenway Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing are all tied for the most NASCAR Cup Series wins at Texas Motor Speedway with nine victories each; boding the question, who will break the tie?  Joe Gibbs Racing is the most recent points-paying race winner at the track with Kyle Busch taking the checkered flag in last season’s Playoff race, but it was Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson who won the NASCAR All-Star race held at Texas Motor Speedway back in June. Below is a breakdown of Roush Fenway Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing’s NASCAR Cup Series victories at Texas:

 

Roush Fenway Racing – Jeff Burton (Spring 1997), Mark Martin (1998), Matt Kenseth (Spring 2002, Spring 2011), Greg Biffle (2005, 2012), Carl Edwards (Playoffs 2005, 2008 sweep).

 

Hendrick Motorsports - Terry Labonte (Spring 1999), Jeff Gordon (Spring 2009), Jimmie Johnson (Playoffs 2007, Playoffs 2012, Playoffs 2013, Playoffs 2014, Spring 2015, Playoffs 2015, Spring 2017).

 

Joe Gibbs Racing – Tony Stewart (Playoffs 2006), Denny Hamlin (2010 sweep, Spring 2019), Kyle Busch (Spring 2010, Spring 2016, Spring 2018, Playoffs 2020), Carl Edwards (Playoffs 2016).

 

Next Gen Test at the Charlotte Road Course – The NASCAR Cup Series conducted and Next Gen car test at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course on Monday and Tuesday of this week at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. A total of 21 teams participated with 25 drivers sharing seat time during the test. 

 

For photos and audio from the press conferences during the test sessions please visit the Next Gen Car Content Hub at the following link on NASCARMedia.com: Next Gen Car Content Hub

 

And for unofficial speeds from the two days of testing please visit this link at NASCAR.com

 

 

 

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Bank of America ROVAL 400

The Place: Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course

The Date: Sunday, October 10

The Time: 2 p.m. ET

TV: NBC, 1 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 252.88 miles (109 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 25),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 50), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 109)

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Playoffs’ Round of 12 elimination race at Charlotte Road Course is a wildcard

The intense NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 comes down to this weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course for the Bank of America ROVAL 400 elimination race at 2 p.m. ET this Sunday on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90). The 12-driver Playoff field will be cut to eight as four driver’s title hopes will come to an end this weekend. Ever since the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course has joined the NASCAR Cup Series postseason in 2018, it has proven to be a wildcard event with twists and turns that challenge the competitors along its multi-elevational 2.32-miles.

 

Construction began on Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) in 1959 and the track’s first NASCAR Cup Series race was held on June 19, 1960 – won by Joe Lee Johnson in a Chevrolet. But it wasn’t until 2017, the track underwent renovations to add what is now known as the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course (ROVAL) a 2.32-mile, 17-turn, multi-elevational road course. The Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course has hosted a total of three NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races, occupying two spots on the postseason schedule – from 2018-2019 Charlotte RC hosted the third race in the Playoffs and in 2020 the sixth race. The 2021 season marks just second-time the track has hosted the sixth race in the postseason.

 

The Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course is the fourth different track to host the sixth race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (2004-Present); joining Martinsville Speedway (2004-2010), Talladega Superspeedway (2011, 2013-2016) and Kansas Speedway (2012, 2017-2019).

 

From 2018-2019, the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course hosted the third race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs – Ryan Blaney won the event in 2018 and Chase Elliott won in 2019. 

 

A total of 10 different drivers have won the sixth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, led by Jimmie Johnson with four victories – all at Martinsville Speedway (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008). Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers with three victories (2009, 2010 at Martinsville and 2019 at Kansas) in the sixth race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Chase Elliott leads all active drivers in Charlotte ROVAL wins with two (2019, 2020).

 

NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs - Race No. 6 Winners

Track

Race Winner

Date

Charlotte RC

Chase Elliott

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Kansas

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Kansas

Chase Elliott

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Kansas

Martin Truex Jr

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Talladega

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Talladega

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Talladega

Brad Keselowski

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Talladega

Jamie McMurray

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Kansas

Matt Kenseth

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Talladega

Clint Bowyer

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Martinsville

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Martinsville

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Martinsville

Jeff Gordon

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 24, 2004

 

 

Five-times the winner of the sixth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs has gone on to win the title later that season; once at Kansas Speedway, three-times at Martinsville Speedway and once at the Charlotte ROVAL: 

  • In 2006, Jimmie Johnson won at Martinsville, then the sixth race in the Playoffs, and went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series title later that season.

 

  • In 2007, Jimmie Johnson won at Martinsville, then the sixth race in the Playoffs, and went on to win his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series title later that season.

 

  • In 2008, Jimmie Johnson won at Martinsville, then the sixth race in the Playoffs, and went on to win his third consecutive NASCAR Cup Series title later that season.

 

  • In 2017, Martin Truex Jr. won at Kansas, then the sixth race in the Playoffs, and went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series title later that season.

 

  • In 2020, Chase Elliott won at the Charlotte Road Course, then the sixth race in the Playoffs, and went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series title later that season. It was the first of his three wins during the 2021 postseason.

 

The worst finish by a driver in the sixth Playoff race that went on to win the series title was: 

 

  • At Kansas Speedway (2012, 2017-2019) - Brad Keselowski in 2012 and Joey Logano in 2018 each finished eighth in the sixth race of the Playoffs at Kansas Speedway and then went on to win the title later those same seasons.

 

  • At Talladega Superspeedway (2011, 2013-2016) – Jimmie Johnson in 2016 finished 23rd in the sixth race of the Playoffs at Talladega Superspeedway and went on to win the title later that season.

 

  • At Martinsville Speedway (2004-2010) – Jimmie Johnson in 2010 and Kurt Busch in 2004 each finished fifth in the sixth race of the Playoffs at Martinsville Speedway and then went on to win the title later that same season.

 

When the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course hosted the third race in the Playoffs (2018-2019) the winner in 2019, Chase Elliott, finished the season 10th in the final championship standings and the 2018 ROVAL winner, Ryan Blaney, finished the season 10th in the final standings as well.

 

Three non-Playoff drivers have won the sixth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs:

 

  • Jeff Gordon (2005) won the Playoff race at Martinsville Speedway he was ranked 15th in the series standings at the time of the win.

 

  • Clint Bowyer (2011) won the Playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway he was ranked 13th in the series standings at the time of the win.

 

  • Jamie McMurray (2013) won the Playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway he was ranked 14th in the series standings at the time of the win. 

 

This weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs elimination race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course will be 109 laps (252.88 miles) and will be broken up into three stages. The first to stages will be 25 laps each and the final stage is scheduled for 59 laps. This weekend’s starting lineup was determined by Metric Qualifying and as a result Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin will start from the pole and Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski will join him on the front row.

 

Clinch Scenarios: Making the Playoffs’ Round of 8

The Bank of America ROVAL 400 (Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is the last chance for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff contenders to secure their spot in the Round of 8. Only one driver has locked themselves into the Round of 8 – Denny Hamlin – heading into this weekend leaving 11 drivers vying for just seven positions.

 

Already Clinched

The following driver has clinched a spot in the 8-driver field of the next round: Denny Hamlin.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 8th winless driver in the standings.  The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott or Kyle Busch.

 

  • Kyle Larson: Would clinch with 34 points
  • Joey Logano: Would clinch with 35 points
  • Brad Keselowski: Would clinch with 35 points
  • Martin Truex Jr.: Would clinch with 36 points
  • Ryan Blaney: Would clinch with 41 points
  • Chase Elliott: Would clinch with 47 points
  • Kyle Busch: Would clinch with 47 points
  • Kevin Harvick, Christopher Bell, William Byron and Alex Bowman: Could all only clinch with help.

 

If there is a new winner from Kevin Harvick or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 7th winless driver in the standings.

 

  • Kyle Larson: Would clinch with 41 points
  • Joey Logano: Would clinch with 42 points
  • Brad Keselowski: Would clinch with 43 points
  • Martin Truex Jr.: Would clinch with 43 points
  • Ryan Blaney: Would clinch with 48 points
  • Chase Elliott: Would clinch with 53 points
  • Kyle Busch: Would clinch with 54 points
  • Kevin Harvick, Christopher Bell, William Byron and Alex Bowman: Could all only clinch with help.

 

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone this weekend: Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Christopher Bell, William Byron, Alex Bowman.

 

Chase Elliott’s road course playground – The ROVAL

With a win this weekend, Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott could tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart for the second-most road course wins all-time in the NASCAR Cup Series with eight victories each. Elliott enters this weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course leading all active drivers in road course wins with seven; including two earlier this season at the Circuit of The Americas (Austin, Texas) and Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin).

 

NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon leads the NASCAR Cup Series in overall road course wins with nine victories (Sonoma, five; Watkins Glen, four); followed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart in second with eight road course wins (Watkins Glen, five; Sonoma, three). Chase Elliott is ranked in third with seven of his 13 career NASCAR Cup Series wins coming on road courses (Watkins Glen, two; Charlotte ROVAL, two; Daytona RC, one; COTA, one; Road America, one).

 

Looking to this weekend at the Charlotte ROVAL, Elliott is clearly the favorite. He leads all active drivers in road course wins (seven) and wins at the Charlotte Road Course (two). In three starts at the Charlotte Road Course, Elliott has put up two wins, two top fives and three top 10s. His average finish of 2.667 is the series-best. Plus, he leads the series in every key pre-race Loop Data category: Average Running Position of 8.028, series-best, Driver Rating of 124.5, series-best, 49 Fastest Laps Run, series-best, 278 Laps in the Top 15 (85.0%), series-most and 111 Quality Passes, series-most. He has also led the most laps in the series at the 2.32-mile track collecting 62 laps out front.

 

Elliott will start eighth in this weekend’s Bank of America ROVAL 400.

 

Playoff Bubble: Bowman, Byron, Bell and Harvick facing elimination

It all comes down to this one last race for the drivers facing elimination this weekend in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. The Playoff challengers below the Round of 8 cutline will have to showcase their best skills this weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course if they want to move on in the postseason.

 

Following a wild Talladega Superspeedway Playoff race last weekend, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick (-9 points), Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell (-28), Hendrick Motorsport’s William Byron (-44) and Hendrick Motorsport’s Alex Bowman (-52) all find themselves below the Playoffs’ Round of 8 cutline and will have their work cut out for them this weekend at Charlotte.

 

1

Denny Hamlin (P)

3,116

2

10

30

In On Wins

2

Kyle Larson (P)

3,097

6

15

60

22

3

Joey Logano (P)

3,096

1

5

13

21

4

Brad Keselowski (P)

3,095

1

2

8

20

5

Martin Truex Jr. (P)

3,095

4

5

29

20

6

Ryan Blaney (P)

3,090

3

4

24

15

7

Chase Elliott (P)

3,084

2

3

21

9

8

Kyle Busch (P)

3,084

2

5

22

9

9

Kevin Harvick (P)

3,075

0

0

2

-9

10

Christopher Bell (P)

3,056

1

0

5

-28

11

William Byron (P)

3,040

1

3

14

-44

12

Alex Bowman (P)

3,032

3

0

15

-52

13

Kurt Busch

2,146

1

3

8

Eliminated from the Playoffs

14

Tyler Reddick

2,125

0

3

3

15

Aric Almirola

2,104

1

0

5

16

Michael McDowell

2,064

1

0

5

 

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick (3,075 points) is nine points back from the Playoffs’ Round of 8 cutoff in the first spot outside the cutline (ninth). Harvick has made three starts at the Charlotte Road Course posting one top five and two top 10s. His average finish is 7.667. Harvick has advanced out of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 12 in every postseason since the inception of the elimination-style format in 2014 and is looking to make it eight consecutive seasons this year. 

 

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell (3,056 points) in his first appearance in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs finds himself in 10th in the Round of 12 standings 28 points back from the cutline as the series heads to Charlotte for the second elimination race of the postseason. Bell has yet to win at the Charlotte Road Course, but his first Cup win of his career came on road course earlier this season at Daytona. In Bell’s Cup Series career debut last season at the ROVAL he started 35th and finished 24th.

 

Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron (3,040 points) is currently 11th in the Playoff standings 44 points back from Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch (3,084 points) in eighth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs standings – the final transfer spot to the Round of 8. Byron should feel optimistic about this weekend though, the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course is one of his better tracks. In three starts at the 2.32-mile road course he posted two top-10 finishes. Byron is looking to advance out of the second round of the Cup Playoffs for the first time in his career.

 

Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman (3,032 points) is ranked 12th in the Playoff standings 52 points back from the Round of 8 cutline. Bowman enters this weekend in a must-win situation if he wants to advance to the next round. In three starts at the Charlotte Road Course he has amassed two top fives and three top 10s. His average finish at the track is a stellar 4.667. Bowman is looking to advance out of the second round of the Playoffs for the second-time in his career.

 

Cup Playoff Dozen at the ROVAL

Playoff elimination races amp up the intensity and this weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course is no different. Here is a quick look at the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 drivers at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course (in order of Playoff standings position).

 

Denny Hamlin has made three series starts at the Charlotte Road Course posting a best finish of 12th in 2018. His average finish is 15.3 and his pre-race driver rating is 69.4.

 

Kyle Larson has made two series starts at the Charlotte Road Course putting up a best finish of 13th in 2019. His average finish is 19.0 and his pre-race driver rating is 110.1 (second-best among Playoff drivers). He has also led 52 laps – second-most behind Chase Elliott’s 62.

 

Joey Logano has made three series starts at the Charlotte Road Course collecting one top-five and three top-10 finishes. His average finish is 7.3 and his pre-race driver rating is 98.1.

 

Brad Keselowski has made three series starts at the Charlotte Road Course grabbing one top-10 finish. His average finish is 18.0 and his pre-race driver rating is 95.5. He has also led 39 laps at 2.32-mile track.

 

Martin Truex Jr. has made three series starts at the Charlotte Road Course posting two top-10 finishes. His average finish is 9.3 and his pre-race driver rating is 103.0.

 

Ryan Blaney has made three series starts at the Charlotte Road Course putting up one win (2018), two top fives and three top 10s. His average finish is 4.7 and his pre-race driver rating is 100.4. He has also led 30 laps at 2.32-mile track.

 

Chase Elliott has made three series starts at the Charlotte Road Course accumulating two wins (2019, 2020), two top fives and three top 10s. His average finish is 2.7 (best among Playoff drivers) and his pre-race driver rating is 124.5 (leads the series). He has also led a series-most 62 laps at 2.32-mile track.

 

Kyle Busch has made three series starts at the Charlotte Road Course posting a best finish of 30th in 2020. His average finish is 33.3 and his pre-race driver rating is 78.8.

 

Kevin Harvick has made three series starts at the Charlotte Road Course putting up one top-five and two top-10 finishes. His average finish is 7.7 and his pre-race driver rating is 102.3.

 

Christopher Bell made his series track debut at the Charlotte Road Course last season he started 35th and finished 24th.

 

William Byron has made three series starts at the Charlotte Road Course posting one top-five and two top-10 finishes. His average finish is 7.7 and his pre-race driver rating is 102.3.

 

Alex Bowman has made three series starts at the Charlotte Road Course collecting two top-five and three top-10 finishes. His average finish is 4.7 and his pre-race driver rating is 87.8.

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Harvick to make 750th Cup start – Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick will be making his 750th NASCAR Cup Series career start this weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. Harvick will become the 13th different driver in series history to make 750 or more series starts. His first start in the series was on February 26, 2001 at Rockingham Speedway. In his previous 749 starts he has posted 58 wins, 234 top fives and 410 top 10s. In his three career starts at the ROVAL he has posted one top five and two top 10s.

 

Trackhouse Racing & Pitbull to donate collegiate scholarships – This week, Justin Marks, co-owner of TrackHouse Racing, announced a program with Pitbull’s SLAM! Charter School in the Little Havana section of Miami, Florida that was designed to provide career skills and collegiate scholarships to less fortunate children. Trackhouse Racing will donate a primary paint scheme on its No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro with driver Daniel Suárez, along with marketing elements on Pitbull’s 2022 concert tour, to SLAM! all money raised from the donation will be dedicated to the students’ collegiate scholarship fund.

 

Trackhouse representatives have worked with SLAM! teachers and administrators on developing the fall curriculum where the students in the SLAM! Marketing Academy are learning about the sport and business of NASCAR, including career and life skills. Students will research and identify prospective corporations, build sales and marketing presentations, develop oral presentation skill and teamwork. Trackhouse executives and the students will make the final presentations with all of the sponsorship funds earmarked for collegiate scholarships.

 

Marks announced Pitbull as a partner of Trackhouse Racing in January and the two have collaborated on impactful youth education programs.

 

“It is truly a blessing to have Trackhouse get so involved with the SLAM! students,” said Armando Christian Perez, aka Pitbull.

 

SLAM! is a non-profit educational organization operating public charter schools nationwide. GRAMMY-winning international superstar, entrepreneur and education advocate Armando Christian Pérez (Pitbull) opened the first SLAM! school in Miami, Florida in 2012. The SLAM! network has since expanded to 12 tuition-free charter schools in Florida, Nevada and Georgia.

 

 

 

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: YellaWood 500

The Place: Talladega Superspeedway

The Date: Sunday, October 3

The Time: 2 p.m. ET

TV: NBC, 1 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 500 miles (188 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 60),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 120), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 188)

 

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Unpredictable Talladega Superspeedway Playoff weekend arrives

Known as one of the biggest hurdles in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, Talladega Superspeedway opens the gates and unleashes the postseason contenders to battle it out in Sunday’s YellaWood 500 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90). Expect the unexpected in this weekend’s event at Talladega as it is literally anyone’s to win and with the stakes so high and the Playoff standings so tight, the competition could reach new heights.

 

This season marks the fifth consecutive year Talladega Superspeedway will host the fifth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (2017-2021) – race No. 31 of the season. Talladega is the third different track to host the fifth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs; joining Charlotte Motor Speedway (2004 – 2014) and Kansas Speedway (2015 - 2016). The 2.66-mile track is the largest paved oval the series competes on with 33 degrees of banking in the turns.

 

Talladega Superspeedway has participated in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs since its inception into the series in 2004 and has occupied five different spots on the postseason schedule. Talladega has hosted the third race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (2004 – 2005); the fourth race (2006 – 2008 and 2012); the fifth race (2017-2021); the sixth race (2011, 2013 – 2016); and the seventh race (2009 – 2010).

 

A total of 13 different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races at Talladega Superspeedway; five of the 13 are active this weekend. Brad Keselowski (2017, 2014), Clint Bowyer (2010-2011), Jamie McMurray (2009, 2013) and Joey Logano (2015-2016) lead the NASCAR Cup Series in Playoff wins at Talladega Superspeedway with two postseason victories each. 

 

Talladega Superspeedway Playoff Race Winners

Track

Race Winner

Date

Talladega

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Talladega

Ryan Blaney

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Talladega

Aric Almirola

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Talladega

Brad Keselowski

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Talladega

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Talladega

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Talladega

Brad Keselowski

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Talladega

Jamie McMurray

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Talladega

Matt Kenseth

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Talladega

Clint Bowyer

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Talladega

Clint Bowyer

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Talladega

Jamie McMurray

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Talladega

Tony Stewart

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Talladega

Jeff Gordon

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Talladega

Brian Vickers

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Talladega

Dale Jarrett

Sunday, October 2, 2005

Talladega

Dale Earnhardt Jr

Sunday, October 3, 2004

 

During the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Era (2004-Present), the winner of the Talladega Superspeedway Playoff race has never gone on to win the title in the same season. But twice the Talladega Playoff race winner has finished runner-up in the championship standings at the end of the season: Jeff Gordon (2007) and Joey Logano (2016). Last season’s Talladega Playoff race winner Denny Hamlin finished the season fourth in the final standings.

 

A total of 13 different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series fifth race in the Playoffs; six of the 13 are active this weekend. Jimmie Johnson leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins during the fifth race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs with three victories (2004, 2005, 2009 – all at Charlotte Motor Speedway).

 

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Race No. 5 Winners

Track

Race Winner

Date

Talladega

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Talladega

Ryan Blaney

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Talladega

Aric Almirola

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Talladega

Brad Keselowski

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Kansas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Kansas

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Charlotte

Kevin Harvick

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Charlotte

Brad Keselowski

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Charlotte

Clint Bowyer

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Charlotte

Matt Kenseth

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Charlotte

Jamie McMurray

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Charlotte

Jimmie Johnson

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Charlotte

Jeff Burton

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Charlotte

Jeff Gordon

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Charlotte

Kasey Kahne

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Charlotte

Jimmie Johnson

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Charlotte

Jimmie Johnson

Saturday, October 16, 2004

 

Twice the winner of the fifth race in the Playoffs has gone on to win the title later that season; both happening at Charlotte Motor Speedway (2004-2014). In 2009, Jimmie Johnson won the fifth race of the Playoffs from the pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway and then went on to win his fourth consecutive NASCAR Cup Series title – it was his third of four wins in the 2009 postseason. Then in 2014, Kevin Harvick won the fifth race of the Playoffs from the seventh starting position at Charlotte Motor Speedway and went on to win his first career NASCAR Cup Series title – it was his first of three wins during the 2014 postseason.

 

The worst finish in a NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway by a driver that went on to win the title that same season was 24th by Jimmie Johnson in 2006. Last season’s champ, Chase Elliott finished fifth in the fifth race of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Talladega Superspeedway.

 

Five times a non-Playoff driver has won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway:

  • In 2005, Dale Jarrett won the Playoff race at Talladega; he was 14th in points.
  • In 2006, Brian Vickers won the Playoff race at Talladega; he was 16th in points.
  • In 2009, Jamie McMurray won the Playoff race at Talladega; he was 22nd in points.
  • In 2011, Clint Bowyer won the Playoff race at Talladega; he was 13th in points.
  • In 2013, Jamie McMurray won the Playoff race at Talladega; he was 14th in points.

 

Twice a non-Playoff driver has won the fifth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs:

  • In 2010, Jamie McMurray won the fifth race in the Playoffs at Charlotte; he was 14th in points.
  • In 2013, Brad Keselowski won the fifth race in Playoffs at Charlotte; he was 16th in points.

 

In total, there have been 104 NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway, one Cup event in 1969, and two races per year since 1970. Among the 104 events, the track has hosted 17 Playoff races in the NASCAR Cup Series. 

 

Overall, 44 different drivers have qualified on the pole at Talladega Superspeedway, 23 of the 44 have done it multiple times and six of the 44 NASCAR Cup Series pole winners at Talladega are active this weekend.

 

Active Pole Winners

Poles

Seasons

Chase Elliott

2

2019, '16

Kevin Harvick

2

2018, '05

Austin Dillon

1

2019

Kurt Busch

1

2018

Ricky Stenhouse Jr

1

2017

Martin Truex Jr

1

2016

 

NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott lead the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Talladega Superspeedway with eight (1985 sweep, 1986 sweep, 1987 sweep, spring 1990 and fall 1993). Kevin Harvick (2005, 2018) and Chase Elliott (2016, 2019) lead all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in poles at Talladega with two each.

 

This weekend’s starting lineups was decided by Metric Qualifying and as a result Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin will start on the pole and Kyle Busch will join him on the front row.

 

The 104 Cup races at Talladega have also produced 49 different NASCAR Cup Series winners at the 2.66-mile track. NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in wins at Talladega with 10 victories (1983, 1984, 1990 sweep, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1999 sweep and 2000).

 

Nine of the 49 NASCAR Cup Series race winners at Talladega Superspeedway are active this weekend, led by Brad Keselowski leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in wins at Talladega Superspeedway with six victories (2009, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2021); followed by Joey Logano with three wins (2015, 2016, 2018).

 

Active Race Winners

Wins

Seasons

Brad Keselowski

6

2021, '17, '16, '14, '12, '09

Joey Logano

3

2018, '16, '15

Denny Hamlin

2

2020, '14

Ryan Blaney

2

2020, '19

Chase Elliott

1

2019

Aric Almirola

1

2018

Ricky Stenhouse Jr

1

2017

Kevin Harvick

1

2010

Kyle Busch

1

2008

 

Clinch Scenarios: Trying to advance at Talladega

Just two races left for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff challengers in the Round of 12 to secure their spot in the Round of 8. Denny Hamlin, with his win last weekend at Las Vegas, is the only driver locked into the next round, leaving seven spots still up for grabs as the series heads to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for the YellaWood 500 (Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) the fifth race of the 2021 postseason.

 

Already Clinched

The following driver has clinched a spot in the eight-driver field of the next round: Denny Hamlin.

 

Can clinch via points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the 7th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott or Joey Logano.

 

  • Kyle Larson: Would clinch with 54 points (55 points if Joey Logano wins)
  • Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano: Could only clinch with help this weekend.

 

If there is a new winner from Brad Keselowski or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the 6th winless driver in the standings.

  • Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano: Could only clinch with help this weekend.

 

Can clinch via win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, William Byron, Kevin Harvick, Alex Bowman, Christopher Bell

 

1

Denny Hamlin (P)

3,082

2

10

30

In On Wins

2

Kyle Larson (P)

3,096

6

15

60

57

3

Kyle Busch (P)

3,074

2

5

22

35

4

Martin Truex Jr. (P)

3,070

4

5

29

31

5

Ryan Blaney (P)

3,063

3

4

24

24

6

Chase Elliott (P)

3,061

2

3

21

22

7

Joey Logano (P)

3,045

1

5

13

6

8

Brad Keselowski (P)

3,043

1

2

8

4

9

William Byron (P)

3,039

1

3

14

-4

10

Kevin Harvick (P)

3,036

0

0

2

-7

11

Alex Bowman (P)

3,030

3

0

15

-13

12

Christopher Bell (P)

3,018

1

0

5

-25

13

Tyler Reddick

2,118

0

3

3

Eliminated from the Playoffs

14

Kurt Busch

2,104

1

3

8

15

Aric Almirola

2,093

1

0

5

16

Michael McDowell

2,044

1

0

5

 

 

Denny Hamlin can rest easy the next two weeks

The one driver resting easy over these next two weeks of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs is Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin, who secured his spot in the Round of 8 by winning the opening race to the Round of 12 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This is the sixth time in his NASCAR Cup Series career he has advanced out of the second round of the Playoffs (2014, ’16, ’17, ’19, ’20, ’21). Now the 40-year-old from Chesterfield, Virginia, can focus on racking up more Playoff points and wins with little regard for his postseason status; which doesn’t bode well for the competition as he is also the defending winner of last season’s Talladega Playoff race.

 

This season, Denny Hamlin has posted two wins (Darlington, Las Vegas), 16 top fives and 21 top 10s. His average starting position this season is 7.1 and his average finish is 8.3. He has led the second-most laps this season at 1,366 laps led; his second consecutive season and fifth season overall in his Cup career he led more than a 1,000 laps in a season. He is also ranked second in season-to-date Driver Rating with a 110.3; just behind series leader Kyle Larson at 111.6.

 

Hamlin is one of nine active drivers this weekend at Talladega with a previous victory at 2.66-mile facility. He has made 31 series career starts at Talladega posting two wins (2014, 2020 Playoff race), nine top fives and 13 top 10s. He has also led 389 laps at Talladega – second-most among active drivers.

 

Playoff Bubble: Round of 12 provides plenty of unpredictability

While the unpredictability of the close quarters racing at Talladega, or the twists and turns of the Charlotte ROVAL are enough to keep the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff teams up at night, they should find some solace in knowing it could be those same track attributes that help get them to Victory Lane over these next two weekends.

 

Since the inception of the elimination-style format in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2014, the driver that wins at Talladega Superspeedway in the postseason has clinched a needed spot in the next round in six of the seven races held (2014-2020). Joey Logano in 2015 is the lone winner at Talladega since 2014 that had already clinched his spot in the next round prior to competing at the 2.66-mile track – Logano swept the Round of 12 in 2015 winning all three races that season (Charlotte, Kansas, Talladega).

 

Talladega Superspeedway Playoff Race Winners Since 2014

Track

Race Winner

Clinch Status Heading Into 'Dega

Date

Talladega

Denny Hamlin

2nd in Points

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Talladega

Ryan Blaney

12th in Points

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Talladega

Aric Almirola

9th in Points

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Talladega

Brad Keselowski

10th in Points

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Talladega

Joey Logano

8th in Points

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Talladega

Joey Logano

Clinched On Wins

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Talladega

Brad Keselowski

10th in Points

Sunday, October 19, 2014

 

This weekend, William Byron (ninth), Kevin Harvick (10th), Alex Bowman (11th) and Christopher Bell (12th) find themselves south of the NASCAR Cup Series Round of 8 cutline as they head into this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

 

Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron (3,039 points) is currently just four points back from Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski (3,043 points) in eighth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs standings – the final transfer spot to the Round of 8. Byron posted his best finish at Talladega back in April when he finished runner-up to Keselowski. Byron is looking to advance out of the second round of the Cup Playoffs for the first time in his career.

 

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick (3,036 points) is seven points back from the Playoffs’ Round of 8 cutoff. Harvick is one of nine drivers with former wins at the track but hasn’t been to Victory Lane at Talladega since 2010. Harvick has advanced out of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 12 in every postseason since the inception of the elimination-style format in 2014, and is looking to make it eight consecutive seasons this year. 

 

Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman (3,030 points) in 14th is 13 points back from the Playoffs’ Round of 8 cutline. Bowman has yet to win at Talladega but has posted a best finish of runner-up in (April) 2019.

 

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell in his first appearance in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs finds himself in the 12th and last position in the Round of 12 standings. Bell has yet to win at Talladega, but in his three series career starts at the 2.66-mile track he has posted a best finish of 17th earlier this season.

 

Cup Series’ Playoff Dozen at ‘Dega

Seven of the nine active NASCAR Cup Series Talladega Superspeedway winners entered this weekend are still in the Playoffs vying for a shot at the title. Below is a look at the Playoff dozen their career NASCAR Cup Series statistics at Talladega.

 

Drivers are ordered by current Playoff Round of 12 standings position:

 

Kyle Larson (No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) has made 13 series starts at Talladega posting two top-10 finishes. His average finish at the 2.66-mile track is 23.5. His pre-race driver rating at Talladega is 73.9. 

 

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) has made 31 series starts at Talladega posting two wins, nine top fives and 13 top 10s. His average finish at the 2.66-mile track is 17.2. His pre-race driver rating at Talladega is 83.8. 

 

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) has made 32 series starts at Talladega posting one win, six top fives and eight top 10s. His average finish at the 2.66-mile track is 20.8. His pre-race driver rating at Talladega is 81.5. 

 

Martin Truex Jr. (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) has made 33 series starts at Talladega posting two top fives and eight top 10s. His average finish at the 2.66-mile track is 21.8. His pre-race driver rating at Talladega is 76.2. 

 

Ryan Blaney (No. 12 Team Penske Ford) has made 14 series starts at Talladega posting two wins, three top fives and five top 10s. His average finish at the 2.66-mile track is 17.4. His pre-race driver rating at Talladega is 91.1 

 

Chase Elliott (No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) has made 11 series starts at Talladega posting one win, four top fives and five top 10s. His average finish at the 2.66-mile track is 15.7 (second-best among Playoff drivers). His pre-race driver rating at Talladega is 88.1.

 

Joey Logano (No. 22 Team Penske Ford) has made 25 series starts at Talladega posting three wins, eight top fives and 10 top 10s. His average finish at the 2.66-mile track is 17.5. His pre-race driver rating at Talladega is 90.9. 

 

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Ford) has made 25 series starts at Talladega posting six wins (series-most among active drivers), eight top fives and 12 top 10s; including his first career Cup win. His average finish at the 2.66-mile track is 15.6 (series-best among Playoff drivers). His pre-race driver rating at Talladega is 91.0.

 

William Byron (No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) has made seven series starts at Talladega posting two top fives. His average finish at the 2.66-mile track is 17.1. His pre-race driver rating at Talladega is 85.7. 

 

Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) has made 41 series starts at Talladega (series-most among active drivers) posting one win, eight top fives and 17 top 10s. His average finish at the 2.66-mile track is 15.8 (third-best among Playoff drivers). His pre-race driver rating at Talladega is 80.5. 

 

Alex Bowman (No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) has made 12 series starts at Talladega posting one top five and three top 10s. His average finish at the 2.66-mile track is 24.6. His pre-race driver rating at Talladega is 73.1. 

 

Christopher Bell (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) has made three series starts at Talladega (fewest among Playoff drivers) posting a career-best finish of 17th earlier this season. His average finish at the 2.66-mile track is 28.3. His pre-race driver rating at Talladega is 60.8. 

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Pre-Race dignitaries announced for this weekend at Talladega - Talladega Superspeedway is one of the best places to come watch a race and the pre-race activities. Below is a list of the dignitaries and traditions for the pre-race activities for the full weekend:

 

YellaWood 500: 1:00 p.m. CDT (NBC, SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90 & MRN)

Grand Marshal – Jimmy Rane, Founder and CEO of Great Southern Wood Preserving, along with his family and representatives of the company’s Board of Directors

 

Honorary Starter – Katie Britt, former president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama

 

Invocation – Chaplain Barbara Embry, Citizens Baptist Medical Center

 

Presentation of Colors – Robertsdale High School (AL) NJROTC

 

Pledge of Allegiance – Scout Troops from AL

 

God Bless America – Hoover High School (AL) Choir (40 performers)

 

National Anthem – United States Army 313th Band

 

John Ray’s iconic Big Semi-Truck with giant American flag around track during National Anthem

 

Flyover-2 Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213, FIGHTING BLACK LIONS, F/A-18F Super Hornets

 

Chevrolet Silverado 250: 12:00 p.m. CDT (FS1, SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90 & MRN)

Invocation – Raceway Ministries

 

Presentation of Colors – Central High School (AL) NJROTC

 

Pledge of Allegiance – Scout Troops from Alabama

 

God Bless America – Spain Park High School (AL) Choir (25performers)

 

National Anthem – Vestavia Hills High School (AL) Choir (15 performers)

 

John Ray’s iconic Big Semi-Truck with giant American flag around track during National Anthem

 

Sparks 300: 3:30 p.m. CDT (NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90 & MRN)

Grand Marshal – Wayne Sternbergh, friend of Sparks, Inc.

 

Invocation – Lindsay Lane Baptist Church

 

Presentation of Colors – Central High School (AL) NJROTC

 

Pledge of Allegiance – Scout Troops from Alabama

 

God Bless America – Marbury High School (AL) Band (40 performers)

 

National Anthem – Marbury High School (AL) Choir (30 performers)

 

John Ray’s iconic Big Semi-Truck with giant American flag around track during National Anthem

 

Kurt Busch, Daniel Hemric paint the wall pink - Alongside dozens of pink shirt-wearing breast cancer survivors, NASCAR drivers Kurt Busch and Daniel Hemric joined officials from Charlotte Motor Speedway and Blue Cross NC in painting Charlotte Motor Speedway’s pit wall pink on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. The speedway’s eighth Paint Pit Wall Pink event has become an annual tradition to celebrate survivors, provide hope for those battling breast cancer and paint the 1,500-foot pink pit road wall to raise awareness of the importance of early detection.

 

Cheryl Parquet, Blue Cross NC’s director of community development and marketing activation, said that Paint the Wall Pink is inspiring each year.

 

“We’re grateful for partners like Charlotte Motor Speedway who share our passion for honoring survivors and increasing breast cancer awareness and early detection,” said Parquet. “The pink canvas ribbons our volunteers have painted are a reminder that our patients and survivors are not alone. In the face of breast cancer, we stand together.”

 

  Xfinity series 

www.nascar.com

Rising star Ty Gibbs gets fourth NASCAR Xfinity win in Kansas

 Getty Images

Oct. 23, 2021

 

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

 

Ty Gibbs continued his phenomenal NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie season on Saturday with his fourth victory of the year in the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway.

 

Gibbs passed reigning series champion Austin Cindric on Lap 190 and 200 and beat the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford to the finish line by .759 seconds to earn his ninth top-five finish in his 16th start.

 

“He got a little bit free and kind of slowed down in (Turns) 3 and 4, and I could get to his left rear and side-draft him and get away from him,” the 19-year-old Gibbs said of the winning pass.

 

“I got loose a couple of times over there (pointing to Turns 3 and 4), but I was just trying to give it my all, trying to come back with a win. To have four wins this year in the Xfinity Series is just unbelievable.”

 

Gibbs victory as a non-Playoff driver means that at least three drivers will advance to the Championship 4 on points after next Saturday’s race at Martinsville Speedway. That’s good news for Cindric and AJ Allmendinger (third Saturday), who have made a habit of swapping the series lead this year.

 

Cindric and Allmendinger leave Kansas 47 points above the cutoff for the Championship 4, and barring disaster at NASCAR’s shortest track, both will earn spots in the title race Nov. 6 at Phoenix Raceway.

 

“I feel like I could hold my own with the track position and we did a good job being consistent and not making mistakes today,” said Cindric, who won the second stage and led a race-high 151 laps to 14 for the race winner. “Maybe if I didn’t enter (the corner) as high, I could have maybe air-blocked a little better.

 

“The cooler it got, the freer I was getting. I thought the tire cycle would help me, but it didn’t help me. I would have loved the win to lock our way in, but it’s better than crashing out at a Kansas Playoff race like I have the last three years. We led a lot of laps but finished second, but it could have been a lot worse.”

 

Indeed. Cindric could have suffered the fate of Noah Gragson or Harrison Burton who wrecked out of the race on Lap 179 when a misjudged move by Sam Mayer sent Burton’s Toyota spinning into Gragson’s Chevrolet, and both cars clobbered the outside frontstretch wall.

 

Burton and Gragson finished 34th and 35th respectively, dropping Gragson to sixth in the Playoff standings (24 points below the cut line) and leaving Burton eighth (51 points out of fourth and needing a win next Saturday at Martinsville).

 

“We were fast today,” Burton said. “We felt like this was a race we were finally showing what we were capable of, and it’s been a rough couple of weeks really. I don’t know—it’s just so frustrating.”

 

Ninth-place finisher Justin Allgaier is nine points above the cutoff for the Championship 4, two points ahead of Saturday’s polesitter, Daniel Hemric, who recovered from a spin with Gragson on Lap 97 to finish 15th.

 

Gibbs came back through the field to win despite a pit road speeding penalty under caution on Lap 93 after the completion of the second stage.

 

Justin Haley improved his chances of qualifying for the championship race with a fourth-place result, leaving him fifth in the standings and seven points behind Hemric. Non-Playoff drivers Ryan Sieg, Brett Moffitt, Michael Annett and Sam Mayer finished fifth through eighth, respectively.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – 21st Annual Kansas Lottery 300

Kansas Speedway

Kansas City, Kansas

Saturday, October 23, 2021

 

  1. (10)  Ty Gibbs #, Toyota, 200.
  2. (2)  Austin Cindric (P), Ford, 200.
  3. (5)  AJ Allmendinger (P), Chevrolet, 200.
  4. (6)  Justin Haley (P), Chevrolet, 200.
  5. (14)  Ryan Sieg, Ford, 200.
  6. (16)  Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, 200.
  7. (8)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 200.
  8. (12)  Sam Mayer #, Chevrolet, 200.
  9. (3)  Justin Allgaier (P), Chevrolet, 200.
  10. (15)  Myatt Snider, Chevrolet, 200.
  11. (9)  Brandon Jones (P), Toyota, 200.
  12. (11)  Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 200.
  13. (13)  Riley Herbst, Ford, 200.
  14. (23)  Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 200.
  15. (1)  Daniel Hemric (P), Toyota, 200.
  16. (22)  Bayley Currey(i), Chevrolet, 200.
  17. (19)  Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 200.
  18. (39)  Garrett Smithley, Toyota, 200.
  19. (38)  Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 200.
  20. (27)  Jordan Anderson(i), Chevrolet, 200.
  21. (25)  Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 200.
  22. (20)  Ryan Vargas #, Chevrolet, 200.
  23. (17)  Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 199.
  24. (34)  Patrick Emerling, Chevrolet, 199.
  25. (31)  Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 199.
  26. (18)  Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 198.
  27. (28)  Dylan Lupton, Toyota, 198.
  28. (24)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 198.
  29. (30)  Joe Graf Jr., Chevrolet, 198.
  30. (29)  Jesse Little, Chevrolet, 197.
  31. (32)  Spencer Boyd(i), Chevrolet, 196.
  32. (36)  Loris Hezemans, Toyota, 192.
  33. (21)  Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 191.
  34. (7)  Harrison Burton (P), Toyota, Accident, 178.
  35. (4)  Noah Gragson (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 178.
  36. (33)  David Starr, Ford, 152.
  37. (26)  Mason Massey, Toyota, Accident, 133.
  38. (35)  Jade Buford #, Chevrolet, Accident, 28.
  39. (40)  Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, Engine, 13.
  40. (37)  Joey Gase, Chevrolet, Electrical, 2.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  112.641 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 39 Mins, 48 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.759 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  10 for 46 laps.

Lead Changes:  19 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   D. Hemric (P) 0;D. Hemric (P) 1-9;A. Cindric (P) 10-37;A. Allmendinger (P) 38-42;D. Hemric (P) 43;A. Allmendinger (P) 44-47;D. Hemric (P) 48;A. Cindric (P) 49-92;D. Hemric (P) 93-96;A. Cindric (P) 97-106;M. Snider 107;A. Cindric (P) 108-136;T. Gibbs # 137;A. Cindric (P) 138-140;T. Gibbs # 141-142;A. Cindric (P) 143-155;N. Gragson (P) 156-158;A. Allmendinger (P) 159;N. Gragson (P) 160-165;A. Cindric (P) 166-189;T. Gibbs # 190-200.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Austin Cindric (P) 7 times for 151 laps; Daniel Hemric (P) 4 times for 15 laps; Ty Gibbs # 3 times for 14 laps; AJ Allmendinger (P) 3 times for 10 laps; Noah Gragson (P) 2 times for 9 laps; Myatt Snider 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 16,18,22,54,7,2,9,19,11,1

Stage #2 Top Ten: 22,54,18,9,2,16,20,7,8,11

 

 

John Hunter Nemechek overcomes penalty for second Xfinity Series victory

Getty Images

 

October 16, 2021 

 

By Holly Cain

NASCAR Wire Service

 

John Hunter Nemechek overcame a late race pit penalty to rally through the field and take his second career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory Saturday in the Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 at Texas Motor Speedway – the first of three Playoff events that will set the Championship Four field for the season finale.

 

Nemechek, whose full-time job is contending for a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, is the third different driver to win an Xfinity Series race in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota joining Kyle Busch and Ty Gibbs – the trio combining for nine wins in 2021 in assorted part-time starts.

 

Nemechek’s victory by .956-seconds over Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Hemric marked the third win in four series Playoff races by a non-Playoff driver this season.  It was the second Xfnity Series win in the 24-year old Nemechek’s career – the other coming at Kansas Speedway in 2018.

 

A penalty during a pit stop – a crewman coming over the wall too soon – took Nemechek from the lead to 18th position for a restart with 51 laps remaining. Far from crushing his hopes, it motivated Nemechek and his team.

 

During a pit stop on the 10th and final caution period with 28 laps remaining, Nemechek’s team called for a two-tire change while the rest of the contenders took four tires. The strategy put him on the front row for the re-start and he navigated his way forward and re-took the lead for good with 20 laps remaining.

 

“[Spotter] Stevie Reeves and [crew chief] Chris Gayle kept me calm,” said Nemechek, who led a race best 92 laps on the afternoon. “I’ve grown a lot as a driver and been put in positions like that in the truck series as well.

 

“Man, I can’t say enough about this whole team. The 54 has been fast every single week. My goal coming in was to win. I had to win to prove to myself I can do this.”

 

It marked the third runner-up finish for Hemric this season and the 10th of his Xfinity Series career as he races for his first career victory. He was the top Playoff driver on Saturday.

 

“They just made a really good call to take two [tires] there, obviously,” an understandably subdued Hemric said of Nemechek, adding, “Congratulations to those guys. We just weren’t quite good enough [to catch him].”

 

Those two Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas were pretty much the story of the day. NASCAR Xfinity Series championship leader A.J. Allmendinger led the opening 13 laps and then his chief challenger, defending series champion Austin Cindric, took the lead, earning his 10th stage victory.

 

The JGR Toyotas pushed forward and started racking up the laps led. Nemechek won Stage 2 and primarily exchanged the lead with Hemric for the remainder of the race. The exception was a bold pit move – defending Texas winner Harrison Burton (also a JGR driver) opted not to pit on the last caution and led six laps before Nemechek overtook him and held the lead until the checkered flag.

 

JR Motorsports driver Noah Gragson finished third rallying from damage early in the race, followed by his teammate Justin Allgaier and Cindric.

 

Allmendinger was sixth, followed by Justin Haley, Burton, Michael Annett and Brandon Jones. All eight of the Playoff drivers were among the top 10 with Nemechek and Annett the exceptions.

 

The sixth-place finish for Allmendinger was good enough to keep him atop the championship standings by four points over Cindric. Allgaier is third, 26 points back and Gragson is fourth.

 

Despite his runner-up effort, Hemric is fifth, two points behind Gragson. Hailey is sixth (-6), Burton (-21) and Jones (-32) round out the Playoff standings.

 

The NASCAR Xfinity Series moves to the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway for the second race of this Playoff round next Saturday afternoon, the Kansas Lottery 300 (3 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

Current NASCAR Cup Series rookie Chase Briscoe is the defending race winner. However, Jones is a two-time Kansas winner, taking back-to-back wins in Fall, 2019, and Spring, 2020.

 

 

–30–

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – 17th Annual Andy’s Frozen Custard 335

Texas Motor Speedway

Fort Worth, Texas

Saturday, October 16, 2021

 

  1. (10)  John Hunter Nemechek(i), Toyota, 200.
  2. (3)  Daniel Hemric (P), Toyota, 200.
  3. (5)  Noah Gragson (P), Chevrolet, 200.
  4. (6)  Justin Allgaier (P), Chevrolet, 200.
  5. (2)  Austin Cindric (P), Ford, 200.
  6. (1)  AJ Allmendinger (P), Chevrolet, 200.
  7. (4)  Justin Haley (P), Chevrolet, 200.
  8. (8)  Harrison Burton (P), Toyota, 200.
  9. (9)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 200.
  10. (7)  Brandon Jones (P), Toyota, 200.
  11. (13)  Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 200.
  12. (20)  Riley Herbst, Ford, 200.
  13. (11)  Sam Mayer #, Chevrolet, 200.
  14. (22)  Ryan Sieg, Ford, 200.
  15. (32)  Kaz Grala(i), Chevrolet, 200.
  16. (26)  Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, 200.
  17. (39)  Bayley Currey(i), Chevrolet, 200.
  18. (24)  Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 200.
  19. (15)  Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 200.
  20. (21)  Austin Hill(i), Toyota, 199.
  21. (12)  Myatt Snider, Chevrolet, 199.
  22. (30)  Ryan Vargas #, Chevrolet, 199.
  23. (23)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 199.
  24. (16)  Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 199.
  25. (25)  Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 199.
  26. (38)  Joe Graf Jr., Chevrolet, 198.
  27. (35)  Mason Massey, Toyota, 196.
  28. (28)  Spencer Boyd(i), Chevrolet, 196.
  29. (14)  Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 196.
  30. (37)  Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 195.
  31. (34)  Jesse Little, Chevrolet, 195.
  32. (31)  Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 193.
  33. (18)  Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, Accident, 171.
  34. (36)  David Starr, Toyota, Engine, 152.
  35. (40)  CJ McLaughlin, Chevrolet, Suspension, 145.
  36. (19)  Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, Electrical, 108.
  37. (27)  Tanner Berryhill, Chevrolet, Accident, 100.
  38. (29)  Dylan Lupton, Toyota, Accident, 100.
  39. (17)  Jade Buford #, Chevrolet, Accident, 81.
  40. (33)  JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, Engine, 37.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  115.533 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 35 Mins, 48 Secs. Margin of Victory:  1.316 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  10 for 54 laps.

Lead Changes:  8 among 5 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   A. Allmendinger (P) 1-13;A. Cindric (P) 14-47;D. Hemric (P) 48-71;J. Nemechek(i) 72;D. Hemric (P) 73;J. Nemechek(i) 74-144;D. Hemric (P) 145-174;H. Burton (P) 175-180;J. Nemechek(i) 181-200.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  John Hunter Nemechek(i) 3 times for 92 laps; Daniel Hemric (P) 3 times for 55 laps; Austin Cindric (P) 1 time for 34 laps; AJ Allmendinger (P) 1 time for 13 laps; Harrison Burton (P) 1 time for 6 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 22,9,16,7,1,11,20,51,02,68

Stage #2 Top Ten: 54,18,8,10,11,98,1,7,9,16

 

 

AJ Allmendinger streaks to third straight NASCAR Xfinity win at Charlotte Road Course

Getty Images

 

October 9, 2021

 

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

 

CONCORD, N.C. – AJ Allmendinger stayed undefeated at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course.

 

The driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet won his third straight race at the 2.28-mile, 17-turn Roval and achieved several milestones in the process.

 

With his overtime victory in the Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Allmendinger clinched a spot in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. He won for the fifth time this season and the 10th time in his career.

 

Winning for the sixth time on a road course, Allmendinger broke a tie with race runner-up Austin Cindric for most-ever Xfinity road course victories.

 

Allmendinger, who worked his way forward from the 14th starting position, took the lead for good on Lap 48 when Ty Gibbs suffered brake problems, blew the chicane on the backstretch and had to come to a full stop before continuing.

 

From that point, Allmendinger stretched his lead to 8.8 seconds before a caution for Tommy Joe Martins’ wreck on Lap 64 sent the race to overtime.

 

After the subsequent restart on Lap 67, Allmendinger pulled away again and beat Cindric to the finish line by 3.192 seconds.

 

Cindric, the defending series champion, already had clinched a spot in the Round of 8. Third-place finisher Daniel Hemric joined him, along with Justin Haley (fourth Saturday), Brandon Jones (fifth), Noah Gragson (sixth), Justin Allgaier (ninth) and Harrison Burton (15th).

 

Jeb Burton, Myatt Snider, Jeremy Clements and Riley Herbst were eliminated from the Playoffs.

 

“I knew it was coming out,” Allmendinger said of the final caution. “It wasn’t going to go simple like that. That was a fight today. We had to be kind of on defense early, worrying about the points. This place was tough to pass—the track was really slick to start with, obviously, because of all the rain.

 

“Once we got the lead, the (car) was stupid-fast.”

 

As the final run progressed, Cindric didn’t have the pace to keep up with Allmendinger.

 

“I feel like this has honestly been one of my weakest road courses for probably exactly what you saw—the rear tires fall off way too much,” Cindric said. “I felt like I was driving a skid-pad car after about 10 laps.

 

“I feel a little bit lucky and a bit fortunate, honestly. I didn’t get moved or put in the wall, so either way we had a fast car. I think we set a fast lap time and got a good finish, so that sets us up well for Texas. I just wish we could have taken advantage of getting a Playoff point.”

 

Instead, it was Hemric who added to his Playoff point total by winning the first two stages of the race. Allmendinger gained five additional Playoff points for the victory.

 

The race featured six lead changes among five drivers, with Allmendinger leading the final 21 circuits. There were seven cautions for 13 laps, the fourth of which also caused a brief stoppage when the brakes failed on the No. 07 Chevrolet of Josh Bilicki, with the car plowing through the backstretch chicane and dislodging pieces of curbing in its path.

 

Track workers had to remove the exposed bolts that had held the curbing in place before the race could continue.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – 40th Annual Drive for the Cure 250

Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course

Concord, North Carolina

Saturday, October 9, 2021

 

  1. (14)  AJ Allmendinger (P), Chevrolet, 68.
  2. (1)  Austin Cindric (P), Ford, 68.
  3. (3)  Daniel Hemric (P), Toyota, 68.
  4. (5)  Justin Haley (P), Chevrolet, 68.
  5. (6)  Brandon Jones (P), Toyota, 68.
  6. (10)  Noah Gragson (P), Chevrolet, 68.
  7. (37)  Preston Pardus, Chevrolet, 68.
  8. (13)  Myatt Snider (P), Chevrolet, 68.
  9. (2)  Justin Allgaier (P), Chevrolet, 68.
  10. (15)  Sam Mayer #, Chevrolet, 68.
  11. (17)  Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 68.
  12. (11)  Jeremy Clements (P), Chevrolet, 68.
  13. (7)  Jeb Burton (P), Chevrolet, 68.
  14. (20)  Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 68.
  15. (8)  Harrison Burton (P), Toyota, 68.
  16. (19)  Jade Buford #, Chevrolet, 68.
  17. (35)  Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 68.
  18. (40)  Austin Hill(i), Toyota, 68.
  19. (23)  JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 68.
  20. (32)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 68.
  21. (12)  Ty Gibbs #, Toyota, 68.
  22. (16)  Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 68.
  23. (24)  Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 68.
  24. (36)  Stefan Parsons, Chevrolet, 68.
  25. (28)  Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 68.
  26. (25)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 68.
  27. (4)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 68.
  28. (30)  Joe Graf Jr., Chevrolet, 67.
  29. (29)  Will Rodgers, Toyota, 67.
  30. (26)  Matt Mills, Toyota, 67.
  31. (33)  Spencer Boyd(i), Chevrolet, 67.
  32. (18)  Ryan Sieg, Ford, 66.
  33. (21)  Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, Accident, 63.
  34. (9)  Riley Herbst (P), Ford, Suspension, 61.
  35. (34)  Loris Hezemans, Toyota, Electrical, 59.
  36. (27)  Ryan Vargas #, Chevrolet, Axle, 47.
  37. (22)  Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, Accident, 30.
  38. (31)  Josh Bilicki, Chevrolet, Accident, 28.
  39. (38)  Kris Wright(i), Toyota, Suspension, 19.
  40. (39)  Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, Rear Gear, 10.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  74.396 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 7 Mins, 14 Secs. Margin of Victory:  3.192 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  7 for 13 laps.

Lead Changes:  6 among 5 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   A. Cindric (P) 0;A. Cindric (P) 1-7;D. Hemric (P) 8-20;N. Gragson (P) 21;A. Cindric (P) 22-36;D. Hemric (P) 37-40;T. Gibbs # 41-47;A. Allmendinger (P) 48-68.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Austin Cindric (P) 2 times for 22 laps; AJ Allmendinger (P) 1 time for 21 laps; Daniel Hemric (P) 2 times for 17 laps; Ty Gibbs # 1 time for 7 laps; Noah Gragson (P) 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 18,16,9,54,11,19,98,20,10,51

Stage #2 Top Ten: 18,11,2,9,51,19,20,54,10,8

 

Brandon Brown wins Sparks 300 at Talladega Superspeedway

 

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

TALLADEGA, Ala. – As he crossed the finish line under caution on a dark race track, Brandon Brown surrendered to the emotion of his first victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. 

“Thank God,” Brown exulted. “We did it. We did it. We won!”

 

On a day of unexpected victories at Talladega Superspeedway—a track where the unexpected sometimes seems commonplace—Brown had a narrow lead three-wide with Justin Allgaier and Brandon Jones at the previous scoring loop when NASCAR called the fifth caution of the race on Lap 102 for a multicar wreck in Turn 4.

With darkness preventing the resumption of the race, NASCAR showed the checkered flag to Brown under yellow on Lap 107 of a scheduled 113, with Jones credited with second and Allgaier third. 

Brown’s excitement hadn’t abated one iota by the time he got to Victory Lane.

“You can ask my neighbors at Coastal Carolina, I did plenty of burnouts to practice for this moment,” said Brown, who drives for his family-owned team, Brandonbilt Motorsports. “Oh, my god. It’s a dream come true. A Talladega winner. Oh my god, Dad, we did it!

“This is everything we hoped and dreamed for. Everything I’ve ever wanted to do is take the trophy home to Mom and Dad. Oh, my god. Thank you so much Larry’s Lemonaid…all of our partners. It’s unbelievable.” 

Brown was a keen student of the action during the first two stages of the race, won by John Hunter Nemechek and Blaine Perkins. He noticed major changes in momentum between the top and bottom lanes at the 2.66-mile track. 

“Everything shifted top to bottom so much, it was like, ‘OK, let’s just stay patient where we’re at and hope for the best,” Brown said. “We saw our moment and we seized it. God, I’m just so proud of Brandonbilt Motorsports and so proud of our team, here and at home and everyone that worked on our team since the beginning. 

“We did it. We did it. We did it.”

Brown, Jones and Allgaier were trading the lead three-wide when the No. 20 Toyota of Harrison Burton broke loose in Turn 4 and ignited an eight-car crash that slowed the race for the final time.  

Daniel Hemric finished fourth, followed by Jordan Anderson, Justin Haley, Jeb Burton and defending series champion Austin Cindric, who clinched a spot in the Round of 8 in the Xfinity Playoff with an insurmountable points edge over ninth-place Jeb Burton.

On the final lap of the first stage, the cars of Sam Mayer and regular-season champion AJ Allmendinger collided in Turn 3, demolishing both vehicles. The No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet of Mayer slammed the outside wall so heavily that NASCAR had to red-flag the race for repairs to the SAFER barrier.

Allmendinger took a heavy hit in the points, but he’s still 33 above the cut line heading to next Saturday’s Round of 12 elimination race at the Charlotte Roval, a track where he is expected to excel. 

“That’s why you work so hard during the regular season to build up bonus points,” Allmendinger said after a trip to the infield care center. “We’ll see where it puts us going into the Roval… It’s a minor setback in a great year.”

If Allmendinger’s setback was minor, the hit Noah Gragson suffered in a Lap 88 wreck was a major one. Gragson was running at the front of the field in the inside lane when slight contact from Jeb Burton’s Chevrolet to the left rear of Brett Moffitt’s Camaro—after Moffitt’s car had gotten loose—triggered the first major wreck of the event.

Moffitt’s Chevy slid down the track into Gragson’s No. 9 Camaro, which rocketed nose-first into the outside wall. As Gragson slipped back down the track, Myatt Snider—with nowhere to go—plowed into the rear of Gragson’s car.  

Like Allmendinger, Gragson suffered a significant blow in the standings but remained 18 points above the current cut line for the Round of 8.

“The 02 (Moffitt) just got turned by the 10 (Burton), and I got it head-on and got cleaned out by the 2 (Snider),” Gragson said. “So, just a bummer. We had a fast car.” 

Brown’s victory was the nightcap—literally—of a Playoff doubleheader with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Earlier on Saturday, Tate Fogleman secured his first Truck Series win in the Chevrolet Silverado 250. 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – 2nd Annual Sparks 300 at Talladega

Talladega Superspeedway

Talladega, Alabama

Saturday, October 2, 2021

                   1. (19)  Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 107.

                   2. (7)  Brandon Jones (P), Toyota, 107.

                   3. (1)  Justin Allgaier (P), Chevrolet, 107.

                   4. (6)  Daniel Hemric (P), Toyota, 107.

                   5. (29)  Jordan Anderson(i), Chevrolet, 107.

                   6. (8)  Justin Haley (P), Chevrolet, 107.

                   7. (14)  Jeb Burton (P), Chevrolet, 107.

                   8. (2)  Austin Cindric (P), Ford, 107.

                   9. (3)  Josh Berry #, Chevrolet, 107.

                   10. (40)  Joe Graf Jr., Chevrolet, 107.

                   11. (17)  Ryan Sieg, Ford, 107.

                   12. (26)  Jade Buford #, Chevrolet, 107.

                   13. (23)  Blaine Perkins, Chevrolet, 107.

                   14. (24)  Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 107.

                   15. (39)  Joey Gase, Ford, 107.

                   16. (38)  JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 107.

                   17. (33)  Santino Ferrucci, Toyota, 107.

                   18. (18)  Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 107.

                   19. (35)  Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 107.

                   20. (25)  Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 107.

                   21. (32)  Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 107.

                   22. (11)  John Hunter Nemechek(i), Toyota, 107.

                   23. (30)  Matt Mills, Toyota, 106.

                   24. (15)  Jeremy Clements (P), Chevrolet, 104.

                   25. (9)  Harrison Burton (P), Toyota, Accident, 101.

                   26. (16)  Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, Accident, 101.

                   27. (13)  Riley Herbst (P), Ford, Accident, 101.

                   28. (34)  Jason White, Ford, Accident, 101.

                   29. (31)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, Accident, 93.

                   30. (4)  Noah Gragson (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 88.

                   31. (10)  Myatt Snider (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 88.

                   32. (37)  Caesar Bacarella, Chevrolet, Accident, 88.

                   33. (22)  Ryan Vargas #, Chevrolet, Accident, 88.

                   34. (36)  CJ McLaughlin, Chevrolet, Accident, 88.

                   35. (27)  Mason Massey, Toyota, Accident, 88.

                   36. (20)  Bayley Currey(i), Chevrolet, Driveshaft, 73.

                   37. (21)  Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, Engine, 50.

                   38. (12)  Sam Mayer #, Chevrolet, Accident, 24.

                   39. (5)  AJ Allmendinger (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 24.

                   40. (28)  David Starr, Toyota, Engine, 20.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  128.486 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 4 Mins, 55 Secs. Margin of Victory:  Under Caution Seconds.

Caution Flags:  5 for 21 laps.

Lead Changes:  33 among 17 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   A. Cindric (P) 1-2;J. Berry # 3;A. Cindric (P) 4-6;J. Berry # 7-8;A. Cindric (P) 9;A. Allmendinger (P) 10-12;B. Jones (P) 13-16;H. Burton (P) 17-18;B. Jones (P) 19;J. Nemechek(i) 20-26;B. Currey(i) 27;R. Herbst (P) 28-31;J. Nemechek(i) 32;R. Herbst (P) 33-49;B. Perkins 50-51;J. Graf Jr. 52;R. Herbst (P) 53-54;J. Allgaier (P) 55;A. Cindric (P) 56-57;J. Allgaier (P) 58-63;B. Moffitt 64;J. Burton (P) 65;A. Cindric (P) 66-67;J. Burton (P) 68-70;A. Labbe 71;B. Currey(i) 72;M. Massey 73-76;R. Herbst (P) 77-79;N. Gragson (P) 80-87;B. Moffitt 88-89;J. Burton (P) 90-92;B. Jones (P) 93-99;B. Brown 100-107.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Riley Herbst (P) 4 times for 26 laps; Brandon Jones (P) 3 times for 12 laps; Austin Cindric (P) 5 times for 10 laps; Noah Gragson (P) 1 time for 8 laps; John Hunter Nemechek(i) 2 times for 8 laps; Brandon Brown 1 time for 8 laps; Justin Allgaier (P) 2 times for 7 laps; Jeb Burton (P) 3 times for 7 laps; Mason Massey 1 time for 4 laps; Brett Moffitt 2 times for 3 laps; Josh Berry # 2 times for 3 laps; AJ Allmendinger (P) 1 time for 3 laps; Harrison Burton (P) 1 time for 2 laps; Bayley Currey(i) 2 times for 2 laps; Blaine Perkins 1 time for 2 laps; Alex Labbe 1 time for 1 lap; Joe Graf Jr. 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 54,10,98,22,20,2,7,19,23,18

Stage #2 Top Ten: 23,02,54,98,7,10,20,11,22,9

Stage #1 Top Ten: 99,16,88,52,13,4,51,2,38,22

Stage #2 Top Ten: 2,13,21,88,16,18,15,4,52,32

 

Josh Berry Steals Spotlight in Xfinity Series Playoff Opener

getty images

By Holly Cain, NASCAR Wire Service

LAS VEGAS – Josh Berry seized opportunity and drove away from the competition Saturday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Tabbed to substitute for injured JR Motorsports driver Michael Annett, the Tennessee late model champion Berry earned his second win of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season claiming an impressive 4.396-second victory in the Playoff opener.

Berry, 30, led a 1-2-3 JR Motorsports team sweep in the Alsco Uniforms 302 – besting his teammates Justin Allgaier and Noah Gragson, whose second and third place finishes were tops among the 12 Playoff eligible drivers. 

It was the second consecutive night one team showed the way up front at the Vegas 1.5-miler. On Friday, the ThorSport Racing team swept the top four positions in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff race.

Berry’s win proves himself versatile and up for the challenge. He won at the Martinsville, Va. short track earlier this year in the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet that he will drive fulltime next year. He matched that standard Saturday in the No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. And he drove four other races this season in the No. 31 Chevrolet for team owner Jordan Anderson.

“Oh my gosh, that thing was so fast, it just took me a while to figure out,” Berry said, adding, “I just had to stay disciplined and keep working on it and the guys made the right adjustments. And it was fast, man. Finally got a long run and got it all together.”

As for racing his teammates, who are fighting for the championship.

“It was tough,” Berry said smiling. “Me and Justin raced together a lot this year and most of them, he’s gotten the better of me. Today we were able to get one. This is cool.”

Eight of the 12 Xfinity Series Playoff drivers finished among the Top-10, including championship leader, Penske Racing’s Austin Cindric in fourth and Joe Gibbs Racings drivers Daniel Hemric and Brandon Jones in fifth and sixth.

Regular season champion A.J. Allmendinger, who won Stage 1 for a season best 10th stage win – was seventh. Ty Gibbs, who joined Berry as the only two non-Playoff drivers among the Top-10 finished eighth. Allmendinger’s Kaulig Racing teammate Justin Hailey was ninth and JGR’s Harrison Burton 10th. Playoff driver Myatt Snider finished 15th, the last Playoff driver running at the end of the race.

The sweep up front was indicative of the evening as the JR Motorsports teammates paced the field all night. Allgaier led a race best 90 laps and won the Stage 2. 

Berry took the lead from Allgaier with 42 laps remaining, relinquishing it only during final late race pit stops. He re-took the position with 17 laps and drove away for the victory.

Gragson’s third place finish was remarkable considering the Las Vegas native was penalized twice on pit road and still drove through the field multiple times.

“I need to be better and they brought an unbelievable race car to the track and I’m happy for Josh and happy for everyone at Junior Motorsports, just wish we could have been the guy.

“We have really fast race cars at Junior Motorsports and everyone is super proud.”

A handful of Playoff drivers were on the other end of fortune Saturday with Riley Herbst, Jeb Burton and Jeremy Clements all having their race cut short because of a 12-car accident on the restart following the Competition Caution period.

“I don’t really think we need to be four-wide getting into [turn] one on lap 26,’’ Burton said. “Nothing we could do there, frustrating. We needed a good run today, but we’ll go to Talladega next week and win a race.

“Won there earlier in the year and almost won Daytona a couple weeks ago so I know I can go do it. Have the best team in the garage at speedway tracks so we’ll go get it done next week and then go to the ROVAL.”

With his fourth place finish at Vegas, Cindric takes a seven-point lead over Allmendinger in the Playoff standings. Allgaier is 28 points back, followed by Gragson (-29) and Hemric (-32).

Round 2 of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, the Sparks 300 at Talladega, takes place next Saturday (4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) on the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. Jeb Burton won at Talladega this Spring. Justin Haley is the defending Playoff race winner.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – 4th Annual Alsco Uniforms 302

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas, Nevada

Saturday, September 25, 2021

               1. (15)  Josh Berry #, Chevrolet, 201.

               2. (3)  Justin Allgaier (P), Chevrolet, 201.

               3. (9)  Noah Gragson (P), Chevrolet, 201.

               4. (1)  Austin Cindric (P), Ford, 201.

               5. (7)  Daniel Hemric (P), Toyota, 201.

               6. (8)  Brandon Jones (P), Toyota, 201.

               7. (2)  AJ Allmendinger (P), Chevrolet, 201.

               8. (28)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 201.

               9. (4)  Justin Haley (P), Chevrolet, 201.

               10. (5)  Harrison Burton (P), Toyota, 201.

               11. (6)  Ty Gibbs #, Toyota, 200.

               12. (27)  Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, 200.

               13. (36)  Bayley Currey(i), Chevrolet, 200.

               14. (19)  Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 200.

               15. (12)  Myatt Snider (P), Chevrolet, 200.

               16. (37)  Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 200.

               17. (20)  Ryan Sieg, Ford, 199.

               18. (26)  Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 199.

               19. (31)  Ryan Vargas #, Chevrolet, 199.

               20. (24)  Blaine Perkins, Chevrolet, 198.

               21. (38)  David Starr, Toyota, 197.

               22. (16)  Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 197.

               23. (30)  Mason Massey, Toyota, 197.

               24. (18)  Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 196.

               25. (32)  Spencer Boyd(i), Chevrolet, 196.

               26. (23)  Jade Buford #, Chevrolet, 195.

               27. (34)  Matt Jaskol, Toyota, 195.

               28. (29)  Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 194.

               29. (22)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 194.

               30. (39)  BJ McLeod(i), Chevrolet, 193.

               31. (35)  Carson Ware, Toyota, Electrical, 113.

               32. (40)  CJ McLaughlin, Chevrolet, Overheating, 100.

               33. (10)  Riley Herbst (P), Ford, Accident, 31.

               34. (11)  Sam Mayer #, Chevrolet, Accident, 31.

               35. (25)  Dylan Lupton(i), Toyota, Accident, 31.

               36. (14)  Jeb Burton (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 30.

               37. (33)  JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, Accident, 30.

               38. (17)  Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, Accident, 30.

               39. (13)  Jeremy Clements (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 30.

               40. (21)  Joe Graf Jr., Chevrolet, Accident, 30.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  123.509 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 26 Mins, 28 Secs. Margin of Victory:  4.398 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  6 for 32 laps.

Lead Changes:  13 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   A. Cindric (P) 1-29;A. Allmendinger (P) 30-48;T. Dillon 49-65;J. Allgaier (P) 66-92;N. Gragson (P) 93;J. Allgaier (P) 94-121;A. Allmendinger (P) 122;J. Allgaier (P) 123-133;A. Cindric (P) 134-137;J. Allgaier (P) 138-159;J. Berry # 160-180;J. Haley (P) 181-182;J. Allgaier (P) 183-184;J. Berry # 185-201.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Justin Allgaier (P) 5 times for 90 laps; Josh Berry # 2 times for 38 laps; Austin Cindric (P) 2 times for 33 laps; AJ Allmendinger (P) 2 times for 20 laps; Ty Dillon 1 time for 17 laps; Justin Haley (P) 1 time for 2 laps; Noah Gragson (P) 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 16,18,22,54,9,20,39,19,1,02

Stage #2 Top Ten: 7,31,22,9,18,1,54,02,16,11

 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Kansas Lottery 300

The Place: Kansas Speedway

The Date: Saturday, October 23

The Time: 3 p.m. ET

The Purse: $1,638,185

TV: NBC, 2:45 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 300 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 54 team scores 10th win of the season, Championship 4 still up for grabs

It was another win by a non-Playoff driver last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, when John Hunter Nemechek took the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota to Victory Lane giving the team its series leading 10th win of the season. Nemechek overcame a late-race pit road penalty and charged through the field to hold off the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff drivers fighting for their spot in the Championship 4 Round.

 

Nemechek currently runs fulltime in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports and is currently a Playoff driver in that series but got behind the wheel of the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for the first time this season. The win marked the second of his Xfinity Series career and he joined Ty Gibbs, Christopher Bell and Kyle Busch as a winner in the No. 54.

 

Nemechek’s JGR teammate, Daniel Hemric finished runner-up in the No. 18 Toyota followed by Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, Michael Annett and Brandon Jones. All of the eight Playoff drivers finished in the top-10 at Texas.

 

This weekend, the series heads to Kansas Speedway for the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday, October 23 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. This will be the first visit to the track for the series since 2020 when Chase Briscoe was victorious.

 

The starting lineup for this weekend’s Xfinity Series race was set by Metric Qualifying and as a result Hemric will lead the field to green with Cindric joining him on the front row. Allgaier, Gragson, Allmendinger, Haley, Harrison Burton, Annett, Jones and Ty Gibbs will make up the starting 10 positions.

 

The race will be 300 miles (200 laps) and will be broken up into three stages with the first stage ending on Lap 45 and the second stage ending on Lap 90.

 

Xfinity Facts and Figures: Kansas Speedway Edition

Kansas Speedway is up next for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs with the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday, October 23 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The Xfinity Series heads to the 1.5-mile track for the first time this season.

 

There have been 21 NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Kansas Speedway producing 16 different race winner and 15 different pole winners. Only two Xfinity races at Kansas have ever been won from the pole or first starting position and the most recent was in 2016 by Kyle Busch.

 

Parker Kligerman holds the record as the youngest pole winner at 19 years, one month and 25 days in 2009. Matt Kenseth is the oldest pole winner in history at 43 years, seven months, seven days in 2015.

 

Joey Logano holds the record as the youngest winner in Kansas Xfinity Series history at 19 years, four months, nine days in 2009 and former series champion David Green is the oldest Kansas winner in history at 45 years, eight months, six days from 2003.

 

Christopher Bell holds the race record from 2017 at 141.158 mph and Kenseth also holds the qualifying record from 2015 at 184.906 mph.

 

Last season, there were 36 cars in the field with 10 lead changes and six different leaders. There were 10 cautions for 45 laps. There were 14 cars running on the lead lap and only 29 cars were running at the finish. Race winner Chase Briscoe led 159 laps and the Margin of Victory was 1.199 seconds.

 

Kyle Busch’s name is at the top of a lot of lists at Kansas Speedway for the Xfinity Series. He has the most wins (4), most top fives (8), most top 10s (10), most lead lap finishes (10), most laps completed (2,344) and most laps led (544).

 

Brandon Jones is the only active driver with a win in the last five races at Kansas. He won in 2019 and in 2020. His win in 2019 was the first of his career.

 

Exploring the 2021 Round of 8 Xfinity Playoff Drivers at Kansas
This weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway will be the second race of the Round of 8 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. All eight drivers are still fighting for their spot in the Championship 4 Round – with only three chances to do so beginning last weekend at Texas, Kansas this weekend, and Martinsville on Halloween weekend. Currently, there are no drivers locked into the Championship 4 Round so let’s take a look at the driver performances at Kansas Speedway.

 

Austin Cindric: The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford has made four starts at Kansas Speedway in his Xfinity Series career. His first start was in 2019 and he started fourth and finished 39h due a to a crash on the opening lap of the race. Most recently, the series visited Kansas in 2020 and Cindric started second but finished 28th after being involved in another incident. He has a best finish of runner-up from the spring Kansas race in 2020. He has an average start of 3.3 and an average finish of 23.5.

 

AJ Allmendinger: The driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet will visit Kansas Speedway for the second time of his Xfinity Series career and the first time since 2007. He made his first and only start at Kansas in 2007 and started eighth but finished 25th.

 

Justin Allgaier: The driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will make his 12th Kansas Speedway start on Saturday. His first start at the track came in 2009 when he started 18th and finished sixth. He has three top fives and eight top 10s in his 11 starts at the track. He has an average start and finish of 10.7. Most recently, he finished 10th in this race last season. 

 

Noah Gragson: The driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet has made three Xfinity Series starts at Kansas Speedway. In those three starts, he has a best finish of 13th from his first start in 2019. Most recently, he started on the pole in 2020 and finished 36th after being involved in an incident. He has an average start of 7.0 and an average finish of 21.3.

 

Daniel Hemric: The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will make his fifth start at Kansas on Saturday. He has two top fives and three top 10s in his previous four starts and has led 128 total laps. He has an average start of 5.8 and an average finish of 7.3. Most recently, he started third and finished runner-up at this race in 2020.

 

Harrison Burton: The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has made three Xfinity Series starts at Kansas Speedway. He has one top five and one top 10 in those three starts with a best finish of third in the spring Kansas race in 2020. Most recently, he started 18th in this race in 2020 and finished 11th. 

 

Brandon Jones: The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will make his seventh Xfinity Series start at Kansas on Saturday. His first came in 2016. Kansas has been good to Jones in the past as he has two wins, two top fives and four top 10s. He won this race in 2019 and he won the spring race at Kansas in 2020. Most recently, he started fifth and finished ninth in this race in the 2020 season. He has an average start of 6.7 and an average finish of 11.0. He’s led 20 total laps at Kansas.

 

Justin Haley: The driver of the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet will make his fourth start at Kansas this weekend. He has one top five and three top 10s at the track, meaning he has never finished outside of the top-10 in all three of his starts. He has an average start of 11.0 and an average finish of 5.7. His best finish came last season in this race when he started ninth and finished fourth.

 

Clinch Scenarios: Following the Yellow Brick Road

The NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs Round of 8 began last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway but with a non-Playoff driver winning the event, all eight drivers in the Playoffs are still fighting for their spot in the Championship 4 Round this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Currently none of the eight drivers have clinched a spot in the final round.

 

Already Clinched

No drivers have clinched a spot in the 4-driver field of the next round.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the fourth winless driver in the standings. The same points requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric or Justin Allgaier.

 

  • AJ Allmendinger: Could only clinch with help
  • Austin Cindric: Could only clinch with help
  • Justin Allgaier: Could only clinch with help

 

If there is a new winner from Noah Gragson or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the third winless driver in the standings.

 

  • AJ Allmendinger: Could only clinch with help
  • Austin Cindric: Could only clinch with help

 

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, Brandon Jones.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs Standings Post-Kansas:

1

AJ Allmendinger

3,090

5

10

50

30

2

Austin Cindric

3,086

5

10

44

26

3

Justin Allgaier

3,064

2

3

21

4

4

Noah Gragson

3,062

2

3

17

2

5

Daniel Hemric

3,060

0

9

16

-2

6

Justin Haley

3,056

1

5

15

-6

7

Harrison Burton

3,041

0

2

8

-21

8

Brandon Jones

3,030

0

1

3

-32

9

Jeb Burton

2,115

1

1

9

Eliminated From The Playoffs

10

Myatt Snider

2,091

1

0

5

11

Riley Herbst

2,067

0

0

1

12

Jeremy Clements

2,057

0

0

0

 

Heading into this weekend, AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier and Noah Gragson are the four drivers above the cutline while Daniel Hemric, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton and Brandon Jones are the four below. When the series was heading to Texas last weekend, the standings looked very similar to the way they do now.

 

But, when it comes down to these final races in the season, those numbers can be shaken up fairly easy. If a driver has one bad race, they can find themselves going from above the cutline to below.

 

Allmendinger is 30 points above the cutline and has 50 Playoff points and five wins this season. He has the most comfortable points buffer of all the drivers as he’s ranked first in the standings. Cindric is 26 points above the cutline. But, from there, Allgaier is only four points above and Gragson is two points above.

 

Hemric is only two points below the cutline and Jones has the biggest deficit to fight back from as he is now 32 points below the cutline in eighth, but as we know, anything can happen in the Playoffs, especially as we head to a track that Jones is very good at and has two wins at.

 

All it takes is a win and you’re in – for all eight Playoff drivers.

 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year Update: Gibbs leading the way

It’s been a back-and-forth between rookies Ty Gibbs and Josh Berry for the entire 2021 season in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings.

 

Currently, Gibbs leads the standings with nine awards and 589 points. So far this season, Gibbs has competed in 16 of 31 events and has three wins, eight top fives, nine top 10s and one pole award, impressive numbers for a rookie who also won in his first ever Xfinity Series start at the Daytona Road Course in February.

 

Josh Berry has competed in 21 of 31 events this season and has two wins, six top five and 14 top 10s. Berry was running a part-time schedule for JR Motorsports but has filled in for an injured Michael Annett for a few races as well as. He is second in the rookie standings right now with eight awards and 525 points, 64 points behind Gibbs.

 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year

Rookie

Points

Awards

Ty Gibbs

589

9

Josh Berry

525

8

Jade Buford

284

3

Ryan Vargas

272

4

Sam Mayer

250

5

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

 

Nick Sanchez to make Xfinity Series debut with BHMM in ’22: BJ McLeod Motorsports announced that ARCA Menards Series driver Nick Sanchez will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut with team owner BJ McLeod for several races in 2022. Sanchez, a member of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, is coming up from a full-time season in the ARCA Menards Series where he’s earned eight top fives and 12 top 10s in 2021. Additional details including partners and a schedule for Sanchez will be announced at a later date.

 

Brandon Jones returning to JGR in ’22: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Brandon Jones will return to the team full-time in 2022 behind the wheel of the No. 19 Toyota Supra. Jeff Meendering will also return as his crew chief. Menards will also return as the primary sponsor and will expand its longtime support of Jones with a full season of sponsorship for all 33 races in 2022.

 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Andy’s Frozen Custard 335

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date: Saturday, October 16

The Time: 3 p.m. ET

TV: NBC, 2:30 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 300 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

AJ Allmendinger Remains Undefeated at Charlotte Road Course; Xfinity Playoffs Round of 8 Confirmed

AJ Allmendinger has made three starts at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course, including on Saturday for the Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, and he has won all three of the races.

 

He won his third straight race at the 2.32-mile, 17-turn road course and clinched his spot in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. The win was his fifth of the season and 10th of his career. Winning for the sixth time on a road course, Allmendinger is now the winningest Xfinity Series driver on road courses in the series.

 

Saturday’s race was also the final chance for drivers to make their way into the Round of 8. Four drivers – Jeb Burton, Myatt Snider, Jeremy Clements, and Riley Herbst – were eliminated from the Playoffs.

 

This weekend, the series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 on Saturday, October 16 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90). The race marks the first of the Round of 8. The series heads to Kansas Speedway after Texas and then to Martinsville Speedway to decide the Championship 4.

 

The race will be 300 miles and 200 laps with Stage 1 ending on Lap 45 and Stage 2 ending on Lap 90.

 

Metric Qualifying set the field for this weekend and AJ Allmendinger will lead the field to green with Austin Cindric joining him on the front row. Hemric, Haley, Gragson, Allgaier, Jones and Harrison Burton will make up the top eight starting positions.

 

Xfinity Facts and Figures: Texas Motor Speedway Edition

There is not time to cool off for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs this weekend in the Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 on Saturday, October 16 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio as the Round of 8 is about to get underway.

 

There have been 41 Xfinity Series races at Texas Motor Speedway. The first Xfinity Series race took place on April 5, 1997 and was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin.

 

There have been 24 different pole winners and 21 different race winners in the 41 Xfinity races at Texas Motor Speedway. Erik Jones holds the record for the youngest pole winner at 18 years, nine months, 11 days in 2015. Mark Martin holds the record as the oldest pole winner at 47 years, nine months, 26 days in 2006.

 

Only six races in history have been won from the pole or first starting position and most recently, Ryan Blaney won from the pole in 2018.

 

Kyle Busch holds the race record at Texas Motor Speedway from April 5, 2008, at 151.707 mph. Jeff Green holds the qualifying record from April 6, 2002 at 193.493 mph.

 

In the most recent race at the Fort Worth, Texas track in June, there were 40 cars in the field with 14 lead changes and eight different leaders. There were 10 cautions for 52 laps and 26 cars finished on the lead lap. Thirty-two cars were running at the finish and 94 laps were led by the race winner, Kyle Busch.

 

The Margin of Victory was 0.433 seconds. The largest Margin of Victory in track history was 5.561 seconds in 2019 and the smallest was in 2007 at 0.128 seconds.

 

Kyle Busch leads the Xfinity Series in most stat categories at Texas. He has the most poles (four), most wins (10), most top fives (17), most top 10s (18), most lead lap finishes (20), most laps completed (4,463) and most laps led (1,795).

 

Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chase Elliott, and Erik Jones all got their first Xfinity Series wins at Texas Motor Speedway. Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin and David Ragan all got their first pole at the track, too.

 

Scouting the 2021 Round of 8 Xfinity Playoff Drivers at Texas
This weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway will kick off the Round of 8 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. All eight drivers will be fighting for their spot in the Championship 4 Round – with only three chances to do so at Texas, Kansas, and Martinsville. Currently, there are no drivers locked into the Championship 4 but let’s take a look at the Playoff drivers stats at Texas Motor Speedway.

 

Austin Cindric: The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford has made seven starts at Texas, with his first start coming in 2018. In his seven career starts, he has one win (2020), five top fives, six top 10s and has led 106 laps. He has an average start of 8.7 and an average finish of 4.9. Most recently, he finished third earlier this season at the track after starting fourth. In this race last season, he started seventh and finished fourth.

 

AJ Allmendinger: The driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet and the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series Regular Season Champion will make only his second Xfinity Series start at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. In his first start earlier this season, he started on the pole and ended up finishing sixth. He led eight of 171 laps.

 

Justin Allgaier: The driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will make his 23rd career start at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday. His first start at the track was in 2008. In his 22 starts, he has three top fives and 11 top 10s. He has led 193 laps and has an average start of 12.5 and an average finish of 12.4. Most recently, he started 16th at the track earlier this season and finished runner-up.

 

Noah Gragson: The driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet has made five starts at Texas. He has one top five and two top 10s in those starts. Most recently, he started 30th and finished seventh earlier in 2021. He has a best finish of runner-up in this exact race in 2020. He has led 56 laps and has an average start of 14.8 and an average finish of 16.4.

 

Daniel Hemric: The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will make his sixth Xfinity start at Texas on Saturday. In his five starts, he has two top fives and three top 10s. Most recently, he started fifth earlier this season and finished fourth. He has led laps (94 total) in his last three starts. He has a best finish of third from 2018.

 

Harrison Burton: The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will make his fifth start this weekend at Texas. Burton won this race in 2020 after starting from the 12th position. Earlier this season, he started 18th but was involved in a wreck that forced him to finish 30th. He has one win, two top fives and three top 10s in his four starts at the track. He’s also led 43 laps. 

 

Brandon Jones: The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has 11 starts to his name at Texas. He made his first start in 2016 and started ninth and finished ninth. Most recently, he started third and finished ninth in early 2021. He has two top fives and five top 10s in his 11 starts. He has a best finish of fourth in 2019. He’s led 47 laps and has an average start of 7.6 and an average finish of 17.4.

 

Justin Haley: The driver of the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet will make his sixth start at Texas on Saturday. He has four top 10s in those five starts. Most recently, he started second and finished ninth earlier this season. He has a beset finish of seventh (2019 and 2020) at the track. He has an average start of 12.8 and an average finish of 12.6.

 

Clinch Scenarios: Reset After the Road Course

The Round of 8 begins this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway where eight drivers will be fighting for their spot in the Championship 4 Round. Currently none of the eight drivers have clinched a spot in the final round.

 

Already Clinched

No drivers have clinched a spot in the 4-driver field of the next round.

 

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, Brandon Jones.

 

Heading into this weekend, AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier and Noah Gragson are the four drivers above the cutline while Daniel Hemric, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton and Brandon Jones are the four below.

 

But, when it comes down to these final races in the season, those numbers can be shaken up fairly easy. If a driver has one bad race, they can find themselves going from above the cutline to below.

 

Allmendinger is 34 points above the cutline and has 50 Playoff points after his fifth win of the season at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course last weekend. He has the most comfortable points buffer of all the drivers as he’s ranked first in the standings. Cindric is 28 points above the cutline. But, from there, Allgaier is only five points above and Gragson is one point above.

 

Hemric is only one point below the cutline. Jones has the biggest deficit to fight back from as he is 14 points below the cutline in eighth, but as we know, anything can happen in the Playoffs.

 

All it takes is a win and you’re in – for all eight Playoff drivers.

 

1

AJ Allmendinger

3,050

5

10

50

34

2

Austin Cindric

3,044

5

9

44

28

3

Justin Allgaier

3,021

2

3

21

5

4

Noah Gragson

3,017

2

3

17

1

5

Daniel Hemric

3,016

0

9

16

-1

6

Justin Haley

3,015

1

5

15

-2

7

Harrison Burton

3,008

0

2

8

-9

8

Brandon Jones

3,003

0

1

3

-14

9

Jeb Burton

2,082

1

1

9

Eliminated From The Playoffs

10

Myatt Snider

2,075

1

0

5

11

Jeremy Clements

2,046

0

0

0

12

Riley Herbst

2,037

0

0

1

 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

 

Big Machine Racing partnering with RCR in ’22: Big Machine Racing announced that it will return to the Xfinity Series in 2022 with Jade Buford as its driver and the team will also work with Richard Childress Racing in an enhanced partnership. Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta said, “To be able to join Richard Childress and the iconic RCR means we just put a turbocharger on our Big Machine Racing program. As a racer and fan, I’ve always looked up to Richard, all of his accomplishments and his organization. He’s a winner in the truest sense and I look forward to the day that we can share our first victory together.”

 

Michael Annett retiring from fulltime competition after ’21 season: Michael Annett announced that he will retire from full-time driving duties at the end of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. Annett’s NASCAR career spans over 16 years, spending 11 of them in the Xfinity Series and three of them in the Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series. Annett’s first and only Xfinity Series career win, so far, came at Daytona International Speedway in the season-opener in 2019. He also won at Kentucky Speedway in 2008 in the Truck Series. Annett suffered from an injury in 2021, forcing him to miss a handful of races for JR Motorsports. Annett, 35, has competed in more than 430 races across all of NASCAR’s national series.

 

Creed announced ’22 sponsorship: Sheldon Creed and Richard Childress Racing announced earlier this season that Creed would pilot the No. 2 Chevrolet for the team in 2022. RCR and Creed also announced that Whelen Engineering, Inc., a global leader in the emergency warning industry, will be the primary partner for Creed’s rookie year in the No. 2 for the full season.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

The Place: Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course

The Date: Saturday, October 9

The Time: 3 p.m. ET

TV: NBC, 3 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 155.44 miles (67 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 20),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 40), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 67)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Brandon Brown Becomes First-Time Winner; Up Next: Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course

Talladega Superspeedway is known for its intense racing, wild wrecks and unexpected winners and Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff race did not disappoint.

 

Brandon Brown, driver of his family-owned No. 68 Brandonbilt Motorsports Chevrolet, took home his first victory after rain and darkness loomed over the track. The win marked his first in 115 Xfinity Series races and his ninth top-10 finish in 2021. 

 

Since Brown isn’t a part of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs this season, seven spots in the Round of 8 are still up for grabs as Austin Cindric clinched a spot in the Round of 8 at Talladega Superspeedway on points. Brandon Jones finished runner-up to Brown, the highest finishing Playoff driver, with Justin Allgaier in third and Daniel Hemric in fourth. Jordan Anderson finished fifth – a career-best for driver/owner in the series. 

 

This weekend, the NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course for the Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina on Saturday, October 9 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The race marks the cutoff for the Round of 8 and right now, Cindric is the only driver locked in and for the remaining eleven drivers looking to make it to the next round, everything is on the line.

 

This weekend’s Xfinity Series race determined its starting lineup by Metric Qualifying and as a result Team Penske’s Austin Cindric will lead the field to green with JR Motorsport’s Justin Allgaier joining him on the front row. Hemric will start third with Josh Berry, Justin Haley, and Brandon Jones occupying the first three rows.

 

This weekend’s race will be 155.44 miles and 67 laps with Stage 1 ending on Lap 20 and Stage 2 ending on Lap 40.

 

Facts and Figures: Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course

Saturday’s Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will be the fourth race on the 17-turn, 2.32-mile road course.

 

The inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course was run on September 29, 2018 and was won by Chase Briscoe. AJ Allmendinger has won the last two races run at the Charlotte Road Course; including starting from deep in the field in 22nd position last season.

 

There have been two different pole winners and only two different race winners in the three events held. None of the three races have been won from the first starting position.

 

Last season’s race had 38 cars in total. There were 14 lead changes and six leaders. There were 10 cautions for 24 laps and only 24 cars finished on the lead lap. There were 27 cars running at the finish and Allmendinger led only 12 laps en route to the victory. The Margin of Victory was 0.446 seconds.

 

Allmendinger and Austin Cindric are the two active drivers with the best numbers at road courses this season heading into this weekend. In six road course starts in 2021, Cindric has one win, four top fives and five top 10s and has led 122 laps.

 

Allmendinger has one pole, one win, five top fives, five top 10s and 56 laps led in six road course races this season.

 

Ty Gibbs is also a noticeably good road-course racer grabbing his first career win in his first Xfinity Series start at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course. He has one pole, two wins, three top fives and three top 10s in five road course races this season. He’s led 79 laps as well. Gibbs, who runs a part-time schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing, is entered to run this weekend at the Charlotte Road Course.

 

Clinch Scenarios: Xfinity’s Round of 12 finale at Charlotte Road Course

Just one race remains in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs Round of 12 for the postseason contenders to guarantee a spot in the Round of 8. With Josh Berry and Brandon Brown, both non-Playoff drivers winning at Las Vegas and Talladega, and only Austin Cindric clinching his spot on points, seven spots are still up for the taking as the series heads to the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course this Saturday.

 

Already Clinched

The following driver has clinched a spot in the 8-driver field of the next round: Austin Cindric.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 9th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Haley, Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson or Harrison Burton.

 

  • Justin Allgaier: Would clinch regardless of finish
  • Daniel Hemric: Would clinch with 15 points
  • AJ Allmendinger: Would clinch with 23 points
  • Justin Haley: Would clinch with 32 points
  • Brandon Jones: Would clinch with 34 points
  • Noah Gragson: Would clinch with 38 points
  • Harrison Burton: Would clinch with 48 points
  • Jeb Burton, Myatt Snider, Riley Herbst and Jeremy Clements: Could all only clinch with help.

 

If there is a new winner from Jeb Burton or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 8th winless driver in the standings.

 

  • Justin Allgaier: Would clinch with 8 points
  • Daniel Hemric: Would clinch with 23 points
  • AJ Allmendinger: Would clinch with 31 points
  • Justin Haley: Would clinch with 40 points
  • Brandon Jones: Would clinch with 42 points
  • Noah Gragson: Would clinch with 46 points
  • Harrison Burton, Jeb Burton, Myatt Snider and Riley Herbst: Could all only clinch with help.

 

Can Clinch Via Win

All 12 drivers would clinch on their win alone this weekend: Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Haley, Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton, Jeb Burton, Myatt Snider, Riley Herbst, Jeremy Clements.

 

Scouting the 2021 Xfinity Playoff Drivers at the Charlotte Road Course
We are one race away from the start of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs Round of 8. This weekend, the 11 drivers still fighting for their spot in the 8-driver field will compete on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. Two non-Playoff drivers, Josh Berry and Brandon Brown, took home the victories in the first two races of the Round of 12, leaving all but Austin Cindric – who clinched on points – looking for their way in. Below is a look at the Playoff drivers’ past performances at the Charlotte Road Course.

 

Austin Cindric: The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford will make his fourth start at the road course this weekend. In the inaugural race in 2018, Cindric started from the pole and led the field to green. He has two top fives and three top 10s in only three starts. He has two third-place finishes (2018 and 2019) and last season, he finished sixth. He’s led 14 laps of 190 completed.

 

AJ Allmendinger: The driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet and the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series Regular Season Champion will make his third start at the Charlotte Road Course on Saturday. In his first two starts (2019 and 2020), he won both races. In 2019, he started from the fifth position and in 2020, he started from 22nd and rallied to the front for the win. He’s led 32 of 135 laps completed.

 

Justin Allgaier: The driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet has competed in all three races at the Charlotte Road Course. He has one top five and one top 10 to his name. He best finish came in 2019 after he started seventh and finished fourth. Last season, he started 10th and finished 23rd. Allgaier has an average start of 9.7 and an average finish of 14.0 at the 2.32-mile track.

 

Noah Gragson: The driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will make his third start at the Charlotte Road Course on Saturday. In his first start in 2019, he started 12th and finished fifth and last season, he started from the pole position and finished runner-up to AJ Allmendinger. He led 16 laps in 2020 and has an average start of 6.5 and an average finish of 3.5.

 

Jeb Burton: The driver of the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet will make his Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course debut on Saturday. He has never competed on the 17-turn road course before.

 

Daniel Hemric: The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will make his third start on Saturday at the road course. His first start was in 2018, when he started second and finished 10th for Richard Childress Racing. In 2020, he was back again at the road course for JR Motorsports, this time he started third and finished third. He led four laps in his two starts and has an average start of 2.5 and an average finish of 6.5. He completed all 123 laps attempted.

 

Harrison Burton: The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota is making his third start on Saturday at the road course. His first start was in 2019 and he started 22nd and finished 13th. Last season, he started ninth but had a transmission issue that forced him to finish 33rd. He completed only 37 of 68 laps in 2020. 

 

Myatt Snider: The driver of the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet has made one start at the Charlotte Road Course, and it was last season. He started 21stt and finished 14th, completing all 68 laps.

 

Brandon Jones: The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will make his fourth start at the Charlotte Road Course this weekend. In three starts, he has one top-10 finish that came last season. He started fourth and finished 10th. He has an average start of 13.7 and an average finish of 16.0.

 

Justin Haley: The driver of the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet will make his third start at the ROVAL this weekend. Haley has struggled at this track specifically, with finishes of 31st (2019) and 35th (2020) in the starts. Last season, he was involved in a crash and only completed 34 of 68 laps. He has an average start of 5.5 and an average finish of 33.0.

 

Riley Herbst: The driver of the No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford will be making his second series start at the Charlotte Road Course. Last season in his series track debut, he started 13th and finished 12th for Joe Gibbs Racing. He led seven laps and completed all 68 laps.

 

Jeremy Clements: The driver of the No. 51 Jeremy Clements Racing Chevrolet has made three starts at the Charlotte Road Course. His best finish of 11th came in 2019 after starting eighth. Last season, he started 18th and finished 16th. He has an average start of 15.0 and an average finish of 15.0.

 

Playoff Bubble: One Race Remains

The Playoff standings got shaken up after last weekend’s wild race at Talladega Superspeedway.

 

Team Penske’s Austin Cindric managed to clinch his spot in the Xfinity Playoffs’ Round of 8 on points with an eighth-place finish last weekend at Talladega. Justin Allgaier and Daniel Hemric jumped up in the standings to second and third, while AJ Allmendinger dropped to fourth in the standings after an incident at Talladega relegated him to a 39th-place finish.

 

Justin Haley and Brandon Brown moved up in the standings as well with their top-five finishes. Noah Gragson and Harrison Burton are in the seventh and eighth positions in the standings post-Talladega. Harrison Burton is eight points above the cutline while Jeb Burton is eight points below the Round of 8 cutline. Myatt Snider, Riley Herbst and Jeremy Clements are all in must-win situations at the Charlotte Road Course.

 

Allgaier and Hemric have a pretty good points cushion, but nothing is guaranteed in the Playoffs.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs Standings Post-Talladega-2:

2

Justin Allgaier

2,109

2

3

21

55

3

Daniel Hemric

2,095

0

7

14

41

4

AJ Allmendinger

2,087

4

10

45

33

5

Justin Haley

2,078

1

5

15

24

6

Brandon Jones

2,075

0

1

3

21

7

Noah Gragson

2,072

2

3

17

18

8

Harrison Burton

2,062

0

2

8

8

9

Jeb Burton

2,054

1

1

9

-8

10

Myatt Snider

2,038

1

0

5

-24

11

Riley Herbst

2,030

0

0

1

-32

12

Jeremy Clements

2,014

0

0

0

-48

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Sparks 300 at Talladega

The Place: Talladega Superspeedway

The Date: Saturday, October 2

The Time: 4:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBCSN, 4 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 300.58 miles (113 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 25),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 50), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 113)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Expect the Unexpected: Talladega Superspeedway Up Next for Xfinity Series Playoffs

The NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs kicked off last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the 12-driver field took the stage at the Nevada track and the opening act provided a lot of excitement as well as a lot of drama for the Playoff drivers.

 

JR Motorsports’ Josh Berry, who is not competing in the Xfinity Series Playoffs and was filling in for an injured Michael Annett in the No. 1 Chevrolet, was victorious – leading a 1-2-3 sweep for the JR Motorsports camp on Saturday night at Las Vegas. The win marked Berry’s second of the season with the first coming at Martinsville Speedway earlier in the year.

 

Berry’s JRM teammates, Justin Allgaier and Noah Gragson, finished in the top three, respectively, while Austin Cindric, Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, AJ Allmendinger, Ty Dillon, Justin Haley and Harrison Burton rounded out the top-10 finishers. Playoff drivers Riley Herbst, Jeb Burton and Jeremy Clements were all taken out of the race early on due to incidents and finished 33rd, 36th, and 39th, respectively.

 

Saturday’s Xfinity Series Playoff race at Las Vegas saw 13 lead changes with six cautions for 32 laps. The Margin of Victory was a whopping 4.398 seconds.

 

This weekend, the NASCAR Xfinity Series continues their Playoff run at Talladega Superspeedway, the track that produces some of the wildest and craziest racing on the schedule. The Sparks 300 at Talladega will be on Saturday, October 2 at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio as the second leg of a doubleheader Saturday that will start at 1 p.m. ET with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race the Chevrolet Silverado 250 (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

The Xfinity Playoff race will mark the second-time the series heads to the Alabama track this season. Kaulig Racing’s Jeb Burton took home his first career Xfinity Series win in a rain-shortened event at Talladega earlier this season.

 

Saturday’s Playoff race will be 300.58 miles (113 laps) and will be broken up into three stages. The first stage will end on Lap 25 and the second stage will end on Lap 50.

 

This week’s starting lineup was decided by Metric Qualifying and as a result JR Motorsport’s Justin Allgaier will lead the field to green with Team Penske’s Austin Cindric joining him on the front row.

 

Xfinity By The Numbers: Talladega Style

There have been 31 NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Talladega Superspeedway with the inaugural race being won by Ernie Irvan on July 25, 1992.

 

The 31 Xfinity Series races have produced 21 different pole winners and 25 different race winners. Only three races have been won from the pole (or first starting position). The last time it happened was in 2020 when Justin Haley won from the pole. Haley is also the youngest winner in series history at Talladega at 21 years, 1 month, 23 days.

 

NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin holds the race record at 168.937 mph in 1997 and Joe Nemechek holds the qualifying record for the same year at 193.517 mph.

 

The most recent race at Talladega Superspeedway was earlier this season. There were 40 cars in the field and 22 lead changes among 12 different leaders. There were four cautions for 15 laps and only 31 cars finished on the lead lap. There were 34 cars still running at the end of the race.

 

The race winner, Jeb Burton, led 20 laps en route to victory and the race ended under caution due to weather.

 

Clinch Scenarios: Xfinity’s Round of 12 at Talladega

Just two races left in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs Round of 12 for the postseason contenders to lock-up a spot in the Round of 8. With Josh Berry, a non-Playoff driver, winning at Las Vegas all eight spots are still up for the taking as the series heads to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend.

 

Already Clinched

No drivers have clinched a spot in the eight-driver field of the next round.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the 8th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric, Justin Haley or Harrison Burton.

  • Austin Cindric: Would clinch with 51 points (needs 52 points if Justin Haley wins, needs 53 points if Harris Burton wins)
  • AJ Allmendinger: Would clinch with 55 points (needs help if Justin Haley or Harris Burton win)
  • Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric, Justin Haley and Harrison Burton: Could only clinch with help.

 

If there is a new winner from Brandon Jones or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the 7th winless driver in the standings.

  • Austin Cindric: Would clinch with 55 points.
  • AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric, Justin Haley and Harrison Burton: Could only clinch with help.

 

Can Clinch Via Win

All 12 Xfinity Playoff drivers can clinch on their win alone this weekend at Talladega: Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, Brandon Jones, Myatt Snider, Jeb Burton, Riley Herbst, Jeremy Clements

 

Scouting the 2021 Xfinity Playoff Drivers at ‘Dega
We are one race into the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs after the series competed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last weekend. Josh Berry, a non-Playoff driver was victorious, meaning that none of the 12 drivers in the Playoffs have punched their ticket to the next round. Below is a look at the Playoff drivers’ past performances at Talladega Superspeedway.

 

Austin Cindric: The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford has made five starts at Talladega. His first start was in 2018. Most recently, earlier this season, he started on the pole and finished runner-up to Jeb Burton. He has three top fives and three top 10s at the track in his five starts. He’s led 35 laps and has an average start of 7.8 and an average finish of 15.0.

 

AJ Allmendinger: The driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet and the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series Regular Season Champion has made three Xfinity Series starts at Talladega. He has one top five and two top 10s in those three starts. Most recently, he started 11th and finished third earlier this season. He has an average finish of 11.3 at the superspeedway.

 

Justin Allgaier: The driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet has three top fives and six top 10s in 12 starts at Talladega. He has an average start of 12.3 and an average finish of 16.2. He has led 79 laps of 1,369 completed. He has had five DNFs due to crashes and an engine issue. His best finish of second came in 2016. Most recently, Allgaier has struggled at Talladega. He has not finished better than 28th in the last four races at the track.

 

Noah Gragson: The driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will make his sixth start at Talladega on Saturday. He has two top fives and four top 10s in those starts with 48 laps led. He has an average start of 9.0 and an average finish of 6.8. Most recently, he finished sixth earlier this season after starting fourth. His best finish of third came at this race in 2020.

 

Jeb Burton: The driver of the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet will make his fourth start at the Alabama track on Saturday. Talladega is the home of Burton’s first career Xfinity Series victory earlier this season. He has one win, two top fives and two top 10s at the track. He’s led 28 total laps and had an average start of 9.7 and an average finish of 7.0.

 

Daniel Hemric: The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will make his fifth Xfinity Series start at Talladega on Saturday. He has one top five and one top 10 along with one pole award at the track. His best finish of fifth was at this race in 2020 and most recently, he started second and finished 12th at ‘Dega earlier this season. He has led 157 laps and has an average start of 2.8 and an average finish of 19.5.

 

Harrison Burton: The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has only one top 10 to his name at Talladega. In three starts, he has a best finish of 10th that came earlier this season. He has an average start of 8.3 and an average finish of 21.7.

 

Myatt Snider: The driver of the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet has made three starts at Talladega. Earlier this season, he finished runner-up after started ninth. He has an average start of 20.0 and an average finish of 20.7. His first two starts at Talladega ended early due to an incident.

 

Brandon Jones: The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has seven starts at the track. He has two top five and two top 10s in those starts with 39 laps led. He has an average start of 10.3 and an average finish of 18.9. Earlier this season, he was involved in a crash and finished 37th. His best finish of runner-up came in 2018.

 

Justin Haley: The driver of the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet has been extremely good at Talladega in his four starts. He has two wins, two top fives and four top 10s in his four starts. He has an average start of 4.8 and an average finish of 4.3. Earlier this season, he finished eighth, which is the worst he’s ever finished at the track but is still a top-10 result. He swept both races in 2020 and has led a total of 20 laps.

 

Riley Herbst: The driver of the No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford will make his fourth Talladega start on Saturday. He has one top five and one top 10 in three starts and the best finish of fourth came earlier this season. He has an average start of 17.7 and an average finish of 25.3. In his first two starts, he ended up not finishing the races due to incidents.

 

Jeremy Clements: The driver of the No. 51 Jeremy Clements Racing Chevrolet has made 12 starts at Talladega Superspeedway. In those starts, he has one top five and two top 10s. His best finish of fourth was in 2016 and earlier this season, he finished 14th.

 

Playoff Bubble: Only two races left in Round of 12

Taking a look at the Playoffs standings as we head into this weekend’s racing at Talladega, most of the drivers stayed in the same position they entered the Playoffs in at Las Vegas.

 

However, the same can’t be said for Jeb Burton, who was involved in an incident early on at Las Vegas which results in a 36th-place finish. He entered the race above the cutline but now since in 10th, 27 points behind Brandon Jones in eighth – in the final Round of 8 transfer spot.

 

Jones entered the Playoffs below the cutline but jumped up to eighth, the last driver above the cutline. He is only 10 points above, battling Myatt Snider who is sitting in ninth.

 

Daniel Hemric jumped up a spot in the standings as well to fifth. Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier and Noah Gragson stayed in the same position that they entered the race in, and each have a pretty decent buffer from the Playoff cutline.

 

Jeremy Clements is 36 points out of the Playoffs after a rough weekend at Las Vegas and he is currently sitting last in the standings.

 

1

Austin Cindric

2,093

5

9

44

66

2

AJ Allmendinger

2,086

4

10

45

59

3

Justin Allgaier

2,065

2

3

21

38

4

Noah Gragson

2,064

2

3

17

37

5

Daniel Hemric

2,061

0

7

14

34

6

Justin Haley

2,044

1

5

15

17

7

Harrison Burton

2,040

0

2

8

13

8

Brandon Jones

2,037

0

1

3

10

9

Myatt Snider

2,027

1

0

5

-10

10

Jeb Burton

2,010

1

1

9

-27

11

Riley Herbst

2,005

0

0

1

-32

12

Jeremy Clements

2,001

0

0

0

-36

 

2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series Schedule Unveiled

The 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule has been released featuring new and old significant adjustments to the schedule, including the addition of a new track back on the schedule.

 

For the first time since 2000, a NASCAR national series will return to the twists and turns of Portland International Raceway, when the series heads to the Pacific Northwest on June 4. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is the only national series that visited the track (1999 and 2000) in the track’s long history.

 

Texas Motor Speedway will kick off the Playoffs for the Xfinity Series on September 24 and the cutoff races for the series will mirror the Cup Series as the Charlotte ROVAL and Martinsville are set to cut the field from 12 to 8 to 4. The series will kick off at Daytona International Speedway, as usual, in February.

 

A total of 15 tripleheader weekends will make up the 2022 schedule. Broadcast times and networks for all three series have not been announced yet and will be at a later date.

 

To view the press release from this week and a printable version of the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule, please click the following link: 2022 NXS Schedule.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Hemric moving to Kaulig Racing in ’22: Daniel Hemric and Kaulig Racing announced that Hemric will join the team’s NASCAR Xfinity Series lineup in 2022. Hemric, who currently pilots the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, will transition to Kaulig and back to a Chevrolet for the 2022 season. He will pilot the No. 11 full-time to compete for the 2022 championship title. Partnerships for Hemric and the No. 11 will be announced at a later date.

 

Ferrucci returning to Sam Hunt Racing at ‘Dega: Santino Ferrucci will return to Sam Hunt Racing for this weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway. Ferrucci will make his superspeedway debut at Talladega. He made his Xfinity Series debut earlier this season at Homestead-Miami Speedway for Sam Hunt Racing and will be back behind the wheel of the Toyota this weekend with sponsorship from Hy-Vee/Palermo’s Screamin’ Sicilian Pizza Co. He has made six starts in the series and has accumulated four top-15 finishes in those starts.

 

Carquest and Team Penske representing America Heart Association this weekend: Carquest Auto Parts and Team Penske will represent the American Heart Association at the Xfinity Series race on Saturday at Talladega, with Austin Cindric, the reigning NXS champion. The American Heart Association logo will be featured on the TV Panel of Cindric’s No. 22 Carquest Ford during the race. This partnership is part of Carquest’s ongoing initiative with the American Heart Association. From now until October 15 at participating locations, customers and race fans are encouraged to donate. The campaign donations will fund lifesaving research on heart disease and stroke.

 

  CAMPING WORLD truck series 

www.nascar.com

 

Fogleman Bags Unlikely Win in Wild NASCAR Truck Series Race at Talladega

Getty Images

By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service

TALLADEGA, Ala. – That’s Talladega for you.

Before upset winner Tate Fogleman could go to Victory Lane, he had to visit the infield care center after sliding sideways across the finish line in tandem with runner-up Tyler Hill and slamming into the inside wall.

Fogleman claimed the win in the Chevrolet Silverado 250 after he turned then-race-leader John Hunter Nemechek sideways and passed him in the Talladega Superspeedway tri-oval as the trucks approached the stripe.

The victory was Fogleman’s first in 46 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts. The driver of the No. 12 Chevrolet scored his second top 10 in the series and his first on pavement, having run ninth on dirt at Knoxville Raceway.

Fogleman had never finished a superspeedway race before, but his luck turned on Saturday when he avoided two multicar wrecks earlier in the event.

“It was crazy,” said Fogleman, whose margin of victory was .052 seconds. “I missed that first big wreck, got through the second one, and it felt like things were finally starting to go right finally on a superspeedway. I’d never finished a superspeedway race before. I had a good feeling about it.

“We lined up third there (for the final restart in overtime), and I knew we just had to be aggressive… I got a push from behind, and we were able to do it.”

Todd Gilliland came home third, followed by Nemechek, who slid across the finish line in fourth. Nemechek was the only one of eight Playoff drivers to finish in the top 10 in an event that left several drivers in the postseason in must-win positions for the Oct. 30 Round of 8 elimination race at Martinsville Speedway.

“I had a run, got by the 38 (Gilliland) and was trying to keep the 12 (Fogleman) in the mirror,” Nemechek said of the final lap. “He had a huge run through the tri-oval. He faked high and I went to block high, and then the block was a little too late, I guess. I should have stayed up and probably still would have won the race. 

“Solid points day for us—35 above the cut line (actually 36), I think, or something like that going into Martinsville. Just have to survive and advance to get to the final four.” 

Nemechek leaves Talladega first in the Playoff standings, one point ahead of Ben Rhodes, who finished 13th on Saturday.

A gigantic wreck on Lap 58 had huge implications both for the race and for the Playoff. Chase Purdy shoved the Ford of Gilliland into the back of Austin Hill’s Toyota, and the resulting off-center contact shot Hill’s Tundra up the track, knocking Zane Smith’s Chevrolet into the outside wall.

Smith was eliminated in 33rd place and likely must win Oct. 30 at Martinsville Speedway to advance to the Championship 4.

“The last thing I remember, the 16 (Hill) was about in my windshield,” a rueful Smith said after exiting the infield care center.

All told, 21 trucks—more than half the 40-truck field—were involved in the wreck. Among them was the No. 18 Toyota of Playoff driver Chandler Smith, who managed to continue in the race despite heavy damage to his Tundra. Smith came home 19th, seven laps down.

A subsequent multi-truck accident on Lap 76 brought an early end to the race for Playoff drivers Stewart Friesen and Carson Hocevar, as well as for former Talladega winner Grant Enfinger.

Enfinger steered from the bottom lane to the top, in front of a line of trucks led by reigning series champion Sheldon Creed. When Creed moved higher on the track, Enfinger attempted to block him, and contact between the trucks ignited the seven-truck incident.

Chase Purdy spun while leading after contact from with Gilliland’s truck to bring out the sixth and final caution of the race on Lap 93 and set up the overtime. Only 20 of the 40 trucks that started the race were running at the finish.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race – 16th Annual Chevy Silverado 250

Talladega Superspeedway

Talladega, Alabama

Saturday, October 2, 2021

                   1. (20)  Tate Fogleman, Chevrolet, 99.

                   2. (21)  Tyler Hill, Toyota, 99.

                   3. (2)  Todd Gilliland, Ford, 99.

                   4. (7)  John Hunter Nemechek (P), Toyota, 99.

                   5. (14)  Ryan Truex, Chevrolet, 99.

                   6. (31)  Cory Roper, Ford, 99.

                   7. (28)  Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 99.

                   8. (23)  Danny Bohn, Toyota, 99.

                   9. (15)  Chase Purdy #, Chevrolet, 99.

                   10. (38)  Keith McGee, Toyota, 99.

                   11. (34)  Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 99.

                   12. (9)  Sheldon Creed (P), Chevrolet, 99.

                  13. (1)  Ben Rhodes (P), Toyota, 99.

                   14. (3)  Matt Crafton (P), Toyota, 99.

                   15. (19)  Bret Holmes, Chevrolet, 99.

                   16. (29)  Codie Rohrbaugh, Chevrolet, Accident, 98.

                   17. (39)  Norm Benning, Chevrolet, 98.

                   18. (30)  Willie Allen, Chevrolet, 94.

                   19. (10)  Chandler Smith # (P), Toyota, 92.

                   20. (13)  Derek Kraus, Toyota, 90.

                   21. (17)  Grant Enfinger, Toyota, Accident, 78.

                   22. (4)  Stewart Friesen (P), Toyota, DVP, 76.

                   23. (32)  Clay Greenfield, Toyota, Accident, 75.

                   24. (26)  Hailie Deegan #, Ford, Accident, 75.

                   25. (6)  Carson Hocevar # (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 75.

                   26. (25)  Dylan Lupton, Toyota, Accident, 71.

                   27. (35)  Jason White, Chevrolet, DVP, 66.

                   28. (27)  Tyler Ankrum, Chevrolet, DVP, 65.

                   29. (12)  Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, Electrical, 63.

                   30. (11)  Johnny Sauter, Toyota, Accident, 61.

                   31. (33)  Jennifer Jo Cobb, Ford, Accident, 58.

                   32. (5)  Austin Hill, Toyota, Accident, 57.

                   33. (8)  Zane Smith (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 57.

                   34. (22)  Tanner Gray, Ford, Accident, 57.

                   35. (18)  Drew Dollar, Toyota, Accident, 57.

                   36. (16)  Kris Wright #, Chevrolet, Accident, 57.

                   37. (37)  Parker Kligerman, Chevrolet, Accident, 57.

                   38. (36)  Lawless Alan, Chevrolet, Accident, 57.

                   39. (40)  Bryan Dauzat, Chevrolet, Accident, 27.

                   40. (24)  Jack Wood, Chevrolet, Engine, 23.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  125.119 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 6 Mins, 17 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.052 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  6 for 29 laps.

Lead Changes:  23 among 12 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   B. Rhodes (P) 1-2;T. Gilliland 3;B. Rhodes (P) 4-14;J. Nemechek (P) 15;B. Rhodes (P) 16-22;T. Ankrum 23;J. Nemechek (P) 24-25;M. Crafton (P) 26-27;J. Nemechek (P) 28-34;M. Crafton (P) 35;S. Creed (P) 36-37;J. Nemechek (P) 38;J. Sauter 39;S. Creed (P) 40-42;K. McGee 43;C. Purdy # 44-47;B. Holmes 48-49;A. Hill 50;B. Holmes 51-59;T. Gilliland 60-62;S. Creed (P) 63;T. Gilliland 64-98;T. Fogleman 99;M. Crafton (P) 100.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Todd Gilliland 3 times for 39 laps; Ben Rhodes (P) 3 times for 20 laps; John Hunter Nemechek (P) 4 times for 11 laps; Bret Holmes 2 times for 11 laps; Sheldon Creed (P) 3 times for 6 laps; Chase Purdy # 1 time for 4 laps; Matt Crafton (P) 3 times for 4 laps; Keith McGee 1 time for 1 lap; Tyler Ankrum 1 time for 1 lap; Tate Fogleman 1 time for 1 lap; Johnny Sauter 1 time for 1 lap; Austin Hill 1 time for 1 lap.

 

Christian Eckes wins the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Victoria's Voice Foundation 200 presented by Westgate Resorts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

getty images

 

For the second consecutive week the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series crowned a first-time winner. Christian Eckes, a 20-year old New York native, took the lead on a final restart with four laps remaining to claim his first trophy and lead a historic 1-2-3-4 finish for the ThorSport Racing team.

Eckes teammate Ben Rhodes finished .272-seconds back, followed by Playoff driver Matt Crafton and veteran Johnny Sauter who completed the ThorSport four-of-a-kind at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Todd Gilliland finished fifth after leading a race best 66 laps.

Although understandably excited on the radio when he realized he’d won the race, Eckes was more subdued and reflective when he climbed out of his No. 98 ThorSport Toyota and greeted the crowd.

“Man, this is big,” said Eckes, formerly a Kyle Busch Motorsports driver, who was making only his ninth start in a part-time campaign with ThorSport this season.

“It’s been a tough year. That’s all I got to say, it’s been a tough year since last November. Hopefully I proved I can still do this.

“I’m speechless. It’s been a rough year, been a rough year.”

With the runner-up effort, Rhodes was the top finishing Playoff driver in a race that saw five of the eight playoff contenders finish 20th or worse. Rhodes’ work, coupled with an uncharacteristically tough outing for regular season champion John Hunter Nemechek changed the points standings for the first time since Week 3 of the season.

Rhodes, who won the opening two races of the season, now holds a six-point edge over Nemechek, who finished 33rd with mechanical problems as the series goes into the second race of this three-race Playoff round. Prior to his No. 4 KBM Toyota suffering issues, Nemechek earned his series best 11th stage win, taking the opening Stage Friday night.

Playoff driver Stewart Friesen finished sixth, followed by Grant Enfinger, Austin Wayne Self, Ryan Truex and Austin Hill.

Not only was it a rough night for the championship contenders – it was a bitter pill to swallow for Gilliland, who paced the race most of the night and had been leading prior to that last restart.

“I think that was the most fun I’ve ever had racing a truck, but it stinks walking away from a race track for the second straight week, ultra-disappointed,” said Gilliland, who won Stage 2 and led a race best 66 laps. Last week, he was eliminated from Playoff contention by a mere two points.

The majority of current Playoff drivers could relate.

Last week’s first-time race winner Carson Hocevar, who ran among the Top-10 most of the night, had a late race green flag pit stop and ended up 22nd.  Zane Smith was 29th and Chandler Smith and reigning series champion Sheldon Creed were 35th and 36th after being involved in a big accident on Lap 70.

“Restarts were insane all night,” Creed said, adding, “I didn’t have a great truck but  thought we were a top-eight truck at least. Unfortunate, but it’s going to make Talladega fun and interesting.”

The series races next Saturday in the Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Talladega Superspeedway (1 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).  Raphael Lessard won the race in 2020.

 

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race  Results

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas, Nevada

Friday, September 24, 2021

  1. (15)  Christian Eckes, Toyota, 134.
  2. (7)  Ben Rhodes (P), Toyota, 134.
  3. (6)  Matt Crafton (P), Toyota, 134.
  4. (11)  Johnny Sauter, Toyota, 134.
  5. (8)  Todd Gilliland, Ford, 134.
  6. (3)  Stewart Friesen (P), Toyota, 134.
  7. (23)  Grant Enfinger, Chevrolet, 134.
  8. (13)  Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, 134.
  9. (14)  Ryan Truex, Chevrolet, 134.
  10. (10)  Austin Hill, Toyota, 134.
  11. (35)  Bret Holmes, Chevrolet, 134.
  12. (12)  Derek Kraus, Toyota, 134.
  13. (19)  Chase Purdy #, Chevrolet, 134.
  14. (33)  Tate Fogleman, Chevrolet, 134.
  15. (34)  Spencer Davis, Toyota, 134.
  16. (26)  Kris Wright #, Chevrolet, 134.
  17. (24)  Tyler Hill, Chevrolet, 133.
  18. (28)  Danny Bohn, Toyota, 133.
  19. (31)  Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 133.
  20. (30)  CJ McLaughlin(i), Toyota, 133.
  21. (36)  Dylan Lupton, Toyota, 133.
  22. (5)  Carson Hocevar # (P), Chevrolet, 132.
  23. (29)  Tanner Gray, Ford, 132.
  24. (18)  Drew Dollar, Toyota, 132.
  25. (22)  Brett Moffitt(i), Chevrolet, 131.
  26. (25)  Howie Disavino III, Chevrolet, 130.
  27. (32)  Jennifer Jo Cobb, Ford, 129.
  28. (21)  Cory Roper, Ford, 121.
  29. (4)  Zane Smith (P), Chevrolet, 115.
  30. (20)  Jack Wood, Chevrolet, Accident, 114.
  31. (17)  Hailie Deegan #, Ford, Accident, 101.
  32. (37)  Keith McGee, Toyota, Too Slow, 91.
  33. (1)  John Hunter Nemechek (P), Toyota, 85.
  34. (16)  Tyler Ankrum, Chevrolet, Accident, 70.
  35. (2)  Chandler Smith # (P), Toyota, Accident, 70.
  36. (9)  Sheldon Creed (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 70.
  37. (27)  Chris Hacker, Chevrolet, DVP, 6.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  105.358 mph.

Time of Race:  1 Hrs, 54 Mins, 28 Secs. Margin of Victory:  Under Caution Seconds.

Caution Flags:  10 for 39 laps.

Lead Changes:  14 among 11 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   J. Nemechek (P) 1-33;T. Gilliland 34-36;S. Friesen (P) 37;T. Gilliland 38-45;B. Rhodes (P) 46-50;T. Gilliland 51-62;C. Hocevar # (P) 63-70;A. Hill 71-82;T. Fogleman 83;B. Holmes 84;B. Moffitt(i) 85;T. Gilliland 86-115;J. Sauter 116-117;T. Gilliland 118-130;C. Eckes 131-134.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Todd Gilliland 5 times for 66 laps; John Hunter Nemechek (P) 1 time for 33 laps; Austin Hill 1 time for 12 laps; Carson Hocevar # (P) 1 time for 8 laps; Ben Rhodes (P) 1 time for 5 laps; Christian Eckes 1 time for 4 laps; Johnny Sauter 1 time for 2 laps; Tate Fogleman 1 time for 1 lap; Brett Moffitt(i) 1 time for 1 lap; Bret Holmes 1 time for 1 lap; Stewart Friesen (P) 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 4,38,18,99,52,21,98,2,16,26

Stage #2 Top Ten: 38,99,42,52,2,15,16,88,98,18

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: United Rentals 200

The Place: Martinsville Speedway

The Date: Saturday, October 30

The Time: 1 p.m. ET

The Purse: $674,952

TV: FS1, 12 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 105.2 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 50),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 100), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

 

Martinsville Speedway awaits penultimate Camping World Truck Series Playoffs race

After a crazy NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway that granted Tate Fogleman his first career victory, the series has just one weekend left to regroup before heading to Martinsville Speedway for the penultimate race of the season, the United Rentals 200 (Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) to decide who advances to the Championship 4 Round. 

 

With the first two races of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Round of 8 being won by non-Playoff drivers – Christian Eckes at Las Vegas and Tate Fogleman at Talladega – none of the eight postseason contenders have secured a spot in the Championship 4 Round – which is the second-time since the inception of the Playoffs in the series in 2016 none of the Championship 4 drivers are locked-in heading into the Round of 8 elimination race; joining 2019.

 

Martinsville Speedway had participated in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs since its inception into the series in 2016. Martinsville Speedway has occupied three different spots on the postseason schedule. From 2016-2018 Martinsville hosted the fourth race of the Playoffs, in 2019 it hosted the fifth race and last season it hosted the sixth race of the Playoffs – the same event as this year.

 

The 2021 season marks just the second-time Martinsville Speedway has hosted the penultimate race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs (2020-2021). Martinsville Speedway is the second track to host the Round of 8 elimination race in Playoffs joining Phoenix Raceway (2016-2019).

 

The sixth race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has produced five different winners in as many races (2016-2020). Only once has a non-Playoff driver won the sixth race in the seven-race NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs and that was Daniel Suarez in 2016, who had elected to run for the title in the NASCAR Xfinity Series that season. The last four winners in the sixth race of the Truck Playoffs catapulted them into the Championship 4 Round.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff Race No. 6 Winners

Track

Race Winner

Date

Race Number

Martinsville

Grant Enfinger

Friday, October 30, 2020

22

Phoenix

Stewart Friesen

Friday, November 8, 2019

22

Phoenix

Brett Moffitt

Friday, November 9, 2018

22

Phoenix

Johnny Sauter

Friday, November 10, 2017

22

Phoenix

Daniel Suarez

Friday, November 11, 2016

22

 

 

The five Playoff races Martinsville Speedway has hosted have produced four different winners, led by ThorSport Racing’s Johnny Sauter with two postseason victories at the half-mile track (2016, 2018).

 

Martinsville Speedway Playoff Race Winners

Track

Race Winner

Date

Race Number

Martinsville

Grant Enfinger

Friday, October 30, 2020

22

Martinsville

Todd Gilliland

Saturday, October 26, 2019

21

Martinsville

Johnny Sauter

Saturday, October 27, 2018

20

Martinsville

Noah Gragson

Saturday, October 28, 2017

20

Martinsville

Johnny Sauter

Saturday, October 29, 2016

20

 

Of the Playoff contenders this season, Halmar Friesen Racing’s Stewart Friesen is the only former series winner that has won the sixth race in the Playoffs to clinch his spot in the Championship 4 Round. He accomplished the feat in 2019 with a win at Phoenix.

 

The winner of the sixth race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has gone to win the title that same season only once – Brett Moffitt accomplished the feat in 2018. Moffitt won at Phoenix Raceway in the penultimate event and then won again in Homestead-Miami for the championship finale to secure the title.

 

The winner of the Martinsville Speedway race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has gone to win the title that same season only once as well – Johnny Sauter accomplished the feat in 2016. Sauter won at Martinsville Speedway, then the fourth race in the postseason, and then went on to win the championship later that season.

 

This year’s Martinsville Speedway NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff race will be 200 laps (105.2 miles) and will be broken up into three stages. The first two stages will be 50 laps each and the final stage will be 100 laps. ThorSport Racing’s Grant Enfinger is the defending winner of this event. 

 

Clinch Scenarios: Wide open for the Championship 4 Round

With non-Playoff drivers taking the first two races of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Round of 8, the race for the Championship 4 Round is wide open and all eight drivers still have a shot at the coveted four spots as it all comes down to final race of the round at Martinsville Speedway.

 

Already Clinched

No drivers have clinched a spot in the 4-driver field of the next round.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 5th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton or Sheldon Creed.

 

  • John Hunter Nemechek: Would clinch with 20 points
  • Ben Rhodes: Would clinch with 21 points
  • Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 46 points
  • Sheldon Creed: Would clinch with 51 points
  • Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith: Could all only clinch with help.

 

If there is a new winner from Stewart Friesen or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 4th winless driver in the standings.

 

  • John Hunter Nemechek: Would clinch with 25 points
  • Ben Rhodes: Would clinch with 26 points
  • Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 51 points
  • Sheldon Creed: Could only clinch with help
  • Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith: Could all only clinch with help.

 

Can Clinch Via Win

All eight drivers would clinch on their win alone this weekend: John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Sheldon Creed, Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar, Zane Smith.

 

1

John H. Nemechek (P)

3,105

5

11

50

36

2

Ben Rhodes (P)

3,104

2

2

19

35

3

Matt Crafton (P)

3,079

0

0

4

10

4

Sheldon Creed (P)

3,074

3

7

26

5

5

Stewart Friesen (P)

3,069

0

0

1

-5

6

Chandler Smith # (P)

3,040

1

1

6

-34

7

Carson Hocevar # (P)

3,037

0

0

2

-37

8

Zane Smith (P)

3,034

0

3

9

-40

9

Todd Gilliland

2,187

1

4

15

Eliminated from the Playoffs

10

Austin Hill

2,147

2

1

21

 

First-time winners a trend in Camping World Truck Series

Young’s Motorsports’ Tate Fogleman was the fifth different first-time winner this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with his surprising win two weeks ago at Talladega Superspeedway; joining Martin Truex Jr. (Bristol Dirt), Ryan Preece (Nashville), Chandler Smith (Bristol) and Christian Eckes (Las Vegas).

 

With Fogleman’s victory, the 2021 season becomes the third consecutive season and 14th overall (since 1995-Present) the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has produced five or more first-time winners in a single season. Every season since the inception of the series in 1995 has it produced at least one first-time winner. The 2012 season hold the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series record for the most first-time winners in the series in a single season at nine.

 

Martinsville Speedway has been home to 11 different first-time winners in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the most recent was Todd Gilliland’s win in 2019.

 

First-Time Camping World Truck Winners at Martinsville Speedway

Track

First-Time Winners

Date

Martinsville

Todd Gilliland

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Martinsville

Noah Gragson

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Martinsville

Joey Logano

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Martinsville

Bubba Wallace

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Martinsville

Denny Hamlin

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Martinsville

Timothy Peters

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Martinsville

Bobby Labonte

Saturday, April 9, 2005

Martinsville

Ricky Craven

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Martinsville

Jamie McMurray

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Martinsville

Scott Riggs

Saturday, April 7, 2001

Martinsville

Bobby Hamilton

Monday, April 10, 2000

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Round of 8 contenders at Martinsville

When the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action at Martinsville Speedway expect a lot of beaten and banging on the race track as a lot will be on the line. Below is a quick look at the Round of 8 challengers at Martinsville Speedway.

 

Rank

Driver

Races

Poles

Wins

Top Fives

Top 10s

DNFs

Average Finish

Driver Rating

1

John H. Nemechek

12

0

1

4

5

3

14.3

86.3

2

Ben Rhodes

10

2

0

3

5

0

10.8

93.2

3

Matt Crafton

37

1

2

10

21

2

10.8

98.3

4

Sheldon Creed

4

0

0

0

1

0

13.8

83.9

5

Stewart Friesen

7

1

0

1

4

0

11.3

86.5

7

Carson Hocevar

1

0

0

0

0

0

13.0

74.3

8

Zane Smith

1

0

0

1

1

0

3.0

124.9

 

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: United Rentals 200

The Place: Martinsville Speedway

The Date: Saturday, October 30

The Time: 1 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 12 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 105.2 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 50),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 100), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

 

Martinsville Speedway awaits penultimate Camping World Truck Series Playoffs race

After a wild NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway that granted Tate Fogleman his first career victory, the series has three weekends to regroup before heading to Martinsville Speedway for the penultimate race of the season, the United Rentals 200 (Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASDCAR Radio) to decide who advances to the Championship 4 Round. 

 

With the first two races of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Round of 8 being won by non-Playoff drivers – Christian Eckes at Las Vegas and Tate Fogleman at Talladega – none of the eight postseason contenders have secured a spot in the Championship 4 Round – which is the second-time since the inception of the Playoffs in the series in 2016 none of the Championship 4 drivers are locked-in heading into the Round of 8 elimination race; joining 2019.

 

Martinsville Speedway had participated in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs since its inception into the series in 2016. Martinsville Speedway has occupied three different spots on the postseason schedule. From 2016-2018 Martinsville hosted the fourth race of the Playoffs, in 2019 it hosted the fifth race and last season it hosted the sixth race of the Playoffs – the same event as this year.

 

The 2021 season marks just the second-time Martinsville Speedway has hosted the penultimate race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs (2020-2021). Martinsville Speedway is the second track to host the Round of 8 elimination race in Playoffs joining Phoenix Raceway (2016-2019).

 

The sixth race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has produced five different winners in as many races (2016-2020). Only once has a non-Playoff driver won the sixth race in the seven-race NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs and that was Daniel Suarez in 2016, who had elected to run for the title in the NASCAR Xfinity Series that season. The last four winners in the sixth race of the Truck Playoffs catapulted them into the Championship 4 Round.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff Race No. 6 Winners

Track

Race Winner

Date

Race Number

Martinsville

Grant Enfinger

Friday, October 30, 2020

22

Phoenix

Stewart Friesen

Friday, November 8, 2019

22

Phoenix

Brett Moffitt

Friday, November 9, 2018

22

Phoenix

Johnny Sauter

Friday, November 10, 2017

22

Phoenix

Daniel Suarez

Friday, November 11, 2016

22

 

 

The five Playoff races Martinsville Speedway has hosted have produced four different winners, led by ThorSport Racing’s Johnny Sauter with two postseason victories at the half-mile track (2016, 2018).

 

Martinsville Speedway Playoff Race Winners

Track

Race Winner

Date

Race Number

Martinsville

Grant Enfinger

Friday, October 30, 2020

22

Martinsville

Todd Gilliland

Saturday, October 26, 2019

21

Martinsville

Johnny Sauter

Saturday, October 27, 2018

20

Martinsville

Noah Gragson

Saturday, October 28, 2017

20

Martinsville

Johnny Sauter

Saturday, October 29, 2016

20

 

Of the Playoff contenders this season, Halmar Friesen Racing’s Stewart Friesen is the only former series winner that has won the sixth race in the Playoffs to clinch his spot in the Championship 4 Round. He accomplished the feat in 2019 with a win at Phoenix.

 

The winner of the sixth race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has gone to win the title that same season only once – Brett Moffitt accomplished the feat in 2018. Moffitt won at Phoenix Raceway in the penultimate event and then won again in Homestead-Miami for the championship finale to secure the title.

 

The winner of the Martinsville Speedway race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has gone to win the title that same season only once as well – Johnny Sauter accomplished the feat in 2016. Sauter won at Martinsville Speedway, then the fourth race in the postseason, and then went on to win the championship later that season.

 

This year’s Martinsville Speedway NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff race will be 200 laps (105.2 miles) and will be broken up into three stages. The first two stages will be 50 laps each and the final stage will be 100 laps. ThorSport Racing’s Grant Enfinger is the defending winner of this event. 

 

Clinch Scenarios: Wide open for the Championship 4 Round

With non-Playoff drivers taking the first two races of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Round of 8, the race for the Championship 4 Round is wide open and all eight drivers still have a shot at the coveted four spots.

 

Already Clinched

No drivers have clinched a spot in the 4-driver field of the next round.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 5th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton or Sheldon Creed.

 

  • John Hunter Nemechek: Would clinch with 20 points
  • Ben Rhodes: Would clinch with 21 points
  • Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 46 points
  • Sheldon Creed: Would clinch with 51 points
  • Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith: Could all only clinch with help.

 

If there is a new winner from Stewart Friesen or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 4th winless driver in the standings.

 

  • John Hunter Nemechek: Would clinch with 25 points
  • Ben Rhodes: Would clinch with 26 points
  • Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 51 points
  • Sheldon Creed: Could only clinch with help
  • Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith: Could all only clinch with help.

 

Can Clinch Via Win

All eight drivers would clinch on their win alone this weekend: John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Sheldon Creed, Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar, Zane Smith.

 

1

John H. Nemechek (P)

3,105

5

11

50

36

2

Ben Rhodes (P)

3,104

2

2

19

35

3

Matt Crafton (P)

3,079

0

0

4

10

4

Sheldon Creed (P)

3,074

3

7

26

5

5

Stewart Friesen (P)

3,069

0

0

1

-5

6

Chandler Smith # (P)

3,040

1

1

6

-34

7

Carson Hocevar # (P)

3,037

0

0

2

-37

8

Zane Smith (P)

3,034

0

3

9

-40

9

Todd Gilliland

2,187

1

4

15

Eliminated from the Playoffs

10

Austin Hill

2,147

2

1

21

 

First-time winners a trend in Camping World Truck Series

Young’s Motorsports’ Tate Fogleman was the fifth different first-time winner this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with his surprising win two weeks ago at Talladega Superspeedway; joining Martin Truex Jr. (Bristol Dirt), Ryan Preece (Nashville), Chandler Smith (Bristol) and Christian Eckes (Las Vegas).

 

With Fogleman’s victory, the 2021 season becomes the third consecutive season and 14th overall (since 1995-Present) the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has produced five or more first-time winners in a single season. Every season since the inception of the series in 1995 has it produced at least one first-time winner. The 2012 season hold the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series record for the most first-time winners in the series in a single season at nine.

 

Martinsville Speedway has been home to 11 different first-time winners in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the most recent was Todd Gilliland’s win in 2019.

 

First-Time Camping World Truck Winners at Martinsville Speedway

Track

First-Time Winners

Date

Martinsville

Todd Gilliland

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Martinsville

Noah Gragson

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Martinsville

Joey Logano

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Martinsville

Bubba Wallace

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Martinsville

Denny Hamlin

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Martinsville

Timothy Peters

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Martinsville

Bobby Labonte

Saturday, April 9, 2005

Martinsville

Ricky Craven

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Martinsville

Jamie McMurray

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Martinsville

Scott Riggs

Saturday, April 7, 2001

Martinsville

Bobby Hamilton

Monday, April 10, 2000

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Round of 8 contenders at Martinsville

When the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action at Martinsville Speedway expect a lot of beaten and banging on the race track as a lot will be on the line. Below is a quick look at the Round of 8 challengers at Martinsville Speedway.

 

1

John H. Nemechek

12

0

1

4

5

3

14.3

86.3

2

Ben Rhodes

10

2

0

3

5

0

10.8

93.2

3

Matt Crafton

37

1

2

10

21

2

10.8

98.3

4

Sheldon Creed

4

0

0

0

1

0

13.8

83.9

5

Stewart Friesen

7

1

0

1

4

0

11.3

86.5

7

Carson Hocevar

1

0

0

0

0

0

13.0

74.3

8

Zane Smith

1

0

0

1

1

0

3.0

124.9

 

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: United Rentals 200

The Place: Martinsville Speedway

The Date: Saturday, October 30

The Time: 1 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 12 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 105.2 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 50),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 100), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

 

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

 

Martinsville Speedway awaits penultimate Camping World Truck Series Playoffs race

After a wild NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway last weekend that granted Tate Fogleman his first career victory, the series has three weekends to regroup before heading to Martinsville Speedway for the penultimate race of the season, the United Rentals 200 (Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASDCAR Radio) to decide who advances to the Championship 4 Round. 

 

With the first two races of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Round of 8 being won by non-Playoff drivers – Christian Eckes at Las Vegas and Tate Fogleman at Talladega – none of the eight postseason contenders have secured a spot in the Championship 4 Round – which is the second-time since the inception of the Playoffs in the series in 2016 none of the Championship 4 drivers are locked-in heading into the Round of 8 elimination race; joining 2019.

 

Martinsville Speedway had participated in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs since its inception into the series in 2016. Martinsville Speedway has occupied three different spots on the postseason schedule. From 2016-2018 Martinsville hosted the fourth race of the Playoffs, in 2019 it hosted the fifth race and last season it hosted the sixth race of the Playoffs – the same event as this year.

 

The 2021 season marks just the second-time Martinsville Speedway has hosted the penultimate race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs (2020-2021). Martinsville Speedway is the second track to host the Round of 8 elimination race in Playoffs joining Phoenix Raceway (2016-2019).

 

The sixth race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has produced five different winners in as many races (2016-2020). Only once has a non-Playoff driver won the sixth race in the seven-race NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs and that was Daniel Suarez in 2016, who had elected to run for the title in the NASCAR Xfinity Series that season. The last four winners in the sixth race of the Truck Playoffs catapulted them into the Championship 4 Round.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff Race No. 6 Winners

Track

Race Winner

Date

Race Number

Martinsville

Grant Enfinger

Friday, October 30, 2020

22

Phoenix

Stewart Friesen

Friday, November 8, 2019

22

Phoenix

Brett Moffitt

Friday, November 9, 2018

22

Phoenix

Johnny Sauter

Friday, November 10, 2017

22

Phoenix

Daniel Suarez

Friday, November 11, 2016

22

 

 

The five Playoff races Martinsville Speedway has hosted have produced four different winners, led by ThorSport Racing’s Johnny Sauter with two postseason victories at the half-mile track (2016, 2018).

 

Martinsville Speedway Playoff Race Winners

Track

Race Winner

Date

Race Number

Martinsville

Grant Enfinger

Friday, October 30, 2020

22

Martinsville

Todd Gilliland

Saturday, October 26, 2019

21

Martinsville

Johnny Sauter

Saturday, October 27, 2018

20

Martinsville

Noah Gragson

Saturday, October 28, 2017

20

Martinsville

Johnny Sauter

Saturday, October 29, 2016

20

 

Of the Playoff contenders this season, Halmar Friesen Racing’s Stewart Friesen is the only former series winner that has won the sixth race in the Playoffs to clinch his spot in the Championship 4 Round. He accomplished the feat in 2019 with a win at Phoenix.

 

The winner of the sixth race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has gone to win the title that same season only once – Brett Moffitt accomplished the feat in 2018. Moffitt won at Phoenix Raceway in the penultimate event and then won again in Homestead-Miami for the championship finale to secure the title.

 

The winner of the Martinsville Speedway race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has gone to win the title that same season only once as well – Johnny Sauter accomplished the feat in 2016. Sauter won at Martinsville Speedway, then the fourth race in the postseason, and then went on to win the championship later that season.

 

This year’s Martinsville Speedway NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff race will be 200 laps (105.2 miles) and will be broken up into three stages. The first two stages will be 50 laps each and the final stage will be 100 laps. ThorSport Racing’s Grant Enfinger is the defending winner of this event.  

 

Clinch Scenarios: Wide open for the Championship 4 Round

With non-Playoff drivers taking the first two races of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Round of 8, the race for the Championship 4 Round is wide open and all eight drivers still have a shot at the coveted four spots.

 

Already Clinched

No drivers have clinched a spot in the 4-driver field of the next round.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 5th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton or Sheldon Creed.

 

  • John Hunter Nemechek: Would clinch with 20 points
  • Ben Rhodes: Would clinch with 21 points
  • Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 46 points
  • Sheldon Creed: Would clinch with 51 points
  • Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith: Could all only clinch with help.

 

If there is a new winner from Stewart Friesen or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 4th winless driver in the standings.

 

  • John Hunter Nemechek: Would clinch with 25 points
  • Ben Rhodes: Would clinch with 26 points
  • Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 51 points
  • Sheldon Creed: Could only clinch with help
  • Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith: Could all only clinch with help.

 

Can Clinch Via Win

All eight drivers would clinch on their win alone this weekend: John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Sheldon Creed, Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar, Zane Smith.

 

1

John H. Nemechek (P)

3,105

5

11

50

36

2

Ben Rhodes (P)

3,104

2

2

19

35

3

Matt Crafton (P)

3,079

0

0

4

10

4

Sheldon Creed (P)

3,074

3

7

26

5

5

Stewart Friesen (P)

3,069

0

0

1

-5

6

Chandler Smith # (P)

3,040

1

1

6

-34

7

Carson Hocevar # (P)

3,037

0

0

2

-37

8

Zane Smith (P)

3,034

0

3

9

-40

9

Todd Gilliland

2,187

1

4

15

Eliminated from the Playoffs

10

Austin Hill

2,147

2

1

21

 

 

 

First-time winners a trend in Camping World Truck Series

Young’s Motorsports’ Tate Fogleman was the fifth different first-time winner this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with his surprising win last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway; joining Martin Truex Jr. (Bristol Dirt), Ryan Preece (Nashville), Chandler Smith (Bristol) and Christian Eckes (Las Vegas).

 

With Fogleman’s victory, the 2021 season becomes the third consecutive season and 14th overall (since 1995-Present) the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has produced five or more first-time winners in a single season. Every season since the inception of the series in 1995 has it produced at least one first-time winner. The 2012 season hold the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series record for the most first-time winners in the series in a single season at nine.

 

Martinsville Speedway has been home to 11 different first-time winners in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the most recent was Todd Gilliland’s win in 2019.

 

First-Time Camping World Truck Winners at Martinsville Speedway

Track

First-Time Winners

Date

Martinsville

Todd Gilliland

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Martinsville

Noah Gragson

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Martinsville

Joey Logano

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Martinsville

Bubba Wallace

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Martinsville

Denny Hamlin

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Martinsville

Timothy Peters

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Martinsville

Bobby Labonte

Saturday, April 9, 2005

Martinsville

Ricky Craven

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Martinsville

Jamie McMurray

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Martinsville

Scott Riggs

Saturday, April 7, 2001

Martinsville

Bobby Hamilton

Monday, April 10, 2000

 

 

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: Chevrolet Silverado 250

The Place: Talladega Superspeedway

The Date: Saturday, October 2

The Time: 1 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 12 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 250.04 miles (94 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 20),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 40), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 94)

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

 

Playoff Pressure Cooker: Talladega Superspeedway to help decide Championship 4

Just when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff teams thought is couldn’t get any wilder or more unpredictable, they now must contend with the 2.66-mile behemoth that is Talladega Superspeedway in the Chevrolet Silverado 250 (1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) leading off a NASCAR doubleheader Saturday with the NASCAR Xfinity Series race the Sparks 300 at Talladega (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) following.

 

Last weekend, ThorSport Racing put on a clinic taking the top four spots at Las Vegas Motor Speedway led by first-time winner Christian Eckes. It was the second consecutive race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with a first-time winner (Chandler Smith won at Bristol two weeks ago). With Eckes taking the checkered flag at Las Vegas none of the eight Playoff driver secured their spot in the Championship 4 Round. The highest finishing Playoff driver at Las Vegas last weekend was Eckes’ ThorSport teammate Ben Rhodes, who finished runner-up. 

 

Talladega Superspeedway has participated in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs since its inception into the series in 2016. The 2021 season marks the first time Talladega has hosed the fifth race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs and becomes the third different track to occupy the spot; joining Texas Motor Speedway (2016-2018, 2020) and Martinsville Speedway (2019). This is the third different spot on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs schedule Talladega Superspeedway has resided; from 2016-2018 and in 2020 the track hosted the third race of the postseason – the elimination race of the first round – then in 2019 Talladega hosted the fourth race on the Playoff schedule and this season the 2.66-mile track is setting the stage for the fifth race of the Playoffs.

 

Interestingly, five different drivers have won the five previous NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff races at Talladega Superspeedway and none of them were Playoff drivers at the time of their victories. Will we see a sixth different non-Playoff driver win this weekend at Talladega?

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – Talladega Superspeedway Playoff Race Winners

Track

Race Winner

Organization

Date

Talladega

Raphael Lessard

Kyle Busch Motorsports

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Talladega

Spencer Boyd

Young's Motorsports

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Talladega

Timothy Peters

GMS Racing

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Talladega

Parker Kligerman

Henderson Motorsports

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Talladega

Grant Enfinger

GMS Racing

Saturday, October 22, 2016

 

 

In total, Talladega Superspeedway has hosted 15 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races from 2006 -2020. The first series race at Talladega was held on October 7, 2006 and was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin driving for Roush Fenway Racing. The 15 Camping World Truck races at Talladega have produced 14 different pole winners and 10 different race winners. Timothy Peters leads the series in wins at Talladega with three victories (2014, 2015, 2018). The most recent winner is Raphael Lessard (2020), but he is not entered for Saturday’s event.

 

Four of the 10 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Talladega winners are active this weekend, led by Parker Kligerman with two wins (2012, 2017) and followed by Spencer Boyd (2019), Grant Enfinger (2016) and Johnny Sauter (2013) each with one.

 

This weekend’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 will be broken up into three stages. The first two stages are 20 laps each and the final stage is 54 laps. The starting lineup for this weekend’s race was decided by Metric Qualifying and as a result Ben Rhodes will start on the pole and Todd Gilliland will join him on the front row.  

 

Clinch Scenarios: No one is locked into Championship 4 Round yet

Time is of the essence for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ eight-Playoff challengers with just two races left to decide which four will advance to the next round and have a shot at the title. With Christian Eckes stealing the spotlight last weekend at Las Vegas, none of the Playoff drivers have secured a spot in the Championship 4 Round. 

 

Already Clinched

No drivers have clinched a spot in the four-driver field of the next round.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the 4th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from Ben Rhodes, John Hunter Nemechek or Stewart Friesen.

  • Ben Rhodes: Could only clinch with help
  • John Hunter Nemechek: Could only clinch with help
  • Stewart Friesen: Could only clinch with help

 

If there is a new winner from Matt Crafton or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the 3rd winless driver in the standings.

  • Ben Rhodes: Could only clinch with help
  • John Hunter Nemechek: Could only clinch with help

 

Can Clinch Via Win

All eight drivers can clinch on their win alone this weekend: Ben Rhodes, John Hunter Nemechek, Stewart Friesen, Matt Crafton, Sheldon Creed, Carson Hocevar, Zane Smith and Chandler Smith.

 

Playoff Bubble: Only four contenders can move on

The eight-driver NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff field will be cut to four at the end of this round and the postseason contenders only have two races left to secure their spot in the Championship 4.

 

A lot can happen in just two weeks in the Camping World Truck Series Playoffs, just ask GMS Racing’s Sheldon Creed. He entered last weekend’s race at Las Vegas ranked second in the Playoff points with two wins in the opening round, but was caught in an incident and finished 36th at the 1.5-mile track. Now the Californian is ranked fifth in the standings five points back from the Championship 4 Round cutoff.

 

1

Ben Rhodes (P)

3,070

2

1

19

34

2

John H. Nemechek (P)

3,064