Rough Day for Playoff Drivers in Kansas

NASCAR Cup Series

The Cup Series drivers finish out a triple header weekend at Kansas Speedway that saw the end of round one in the playoff for the Truck Series and a rain shortened race for the Xfinity Series with the Hollywood Casino 400.

None of the teams had issues during the inspection process this week.

After tire issues early in the season, Goodyear has brought a new tire combination to Kansas with a new left side tire.

After the fire in Kevin Harvick’s car at Darlington last week, NASCAR has made some adjustments and issued new rules in an effort to alleviate the collection of rubber in the undercarriage.

JJ Yeley is the first driver on the track to make a qualifying run and posted a time of 31.064 seconds around the mile and a half track.

After hitting the wall during practice, Ricky Stenhouse Jr used he qualifying lap to test out the car’s repairs and will start the race near the back of the field.

Group A drivers Austin Cindric, Bubba Wallace, Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, and Chris Buescher will all be moving on to the second round of qualifying.

After some engine issues, Aric Almirola did not make a qualifying run and will start at the back of the field.

Ross Chastain was the first driver to break the 30 second mark with a time of 29.870 seconds.

Tyler Reddick, Ross Chastain, Alex Bowman, William Byon, and Joey Logano will move on to round two of qualifying from Group B.

After leading Group B practice, Tyler Reddick put his number eight car on the pole with a time of 29.899 seconds and will bring the field to the green flag.

The starting lineup for the Hollywood Casino 400:
Tyler Reddick
Joey Logano
Alex Bowman
Christopher Bell
Ross Chastain
Bubba Wallace
Kyle Larson
Austin Cindric
William Byron
Chris Buescher
Austin Dillon
Martin Truex Jr
Chase Briscoe
Kevin Harvick
Daniel Suarez
Ty Gibbs
Ryan Blaney
Harrison Burton
Corey LaJoie
Kyle Busch
Ty Dillon
Chase Elliott
Michael McDowell
Erik Jones
Denny Hamlin
Brad Keselowski
Justin Haley
Noah Gragson
Cole Custer
Cody Ware
Landon Cassill
Todd Gilliland
JJ Yeley
BJ McLeod
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Aric Almirola

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 25.

Stages one is 80 laps long with stage two lasting 85 laps with stage three lasting 102 laps for a total of 267 laps around the mile and a half track.

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag start of the second race in round one of the playoffs from the outside lane with Joey Logano alongside.  Joey Logano edges out for the lead from the inside lane.

Lap two, Joey Logano leads the race with Alex Bowman in second; Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Alex Bowman battles with Joey Logano for the lead and passes for the lead on the outside. 

Lap three, Tyler Reddick passes Joey Logano for second.

Lap four, Alex Bowman leads the race with Tyler Reddick in second; Joey Logano, Christopher Bell, and Ross Chastain rounding out the top five.

After starting in 20th place, Kyle Busch has fallen to 26th place.  Chase Elliott has also lost several spots since the race start.

Lap seven, Alex Bowman has a half second lead on Tyler Reddick; Joey Logano, Christopher Bell, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Moving in the opposite direction, Ricky Stenhouse Jr has advanced 13 spots since the race start after having to start at the back of the field due to unapproved adjustments to the car.

Lap 10, Alex Bowman has increased his lead to over half a second on Tyler Reddick; Joey Logano, Christopher Bell, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

After unloading a very loose car, Denny Hamlin’s crew has been trying to tighten the car all weekend; now Hamlin reports that the car is way tight.

Lap 15, Alex Bowman has a lead of nearly a second on Tyler Reddick; Joey Logano, Christopher Bell, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

Lap 21, Alex Bowman has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Tyler Reddick; Joey Logano, Christopher Bell, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

After falling back in the field, Kyle Busch has begun moving up and is now in 17th place.

William Byron reports that he is plowing tight.

Lap 25, leader Alex Bowman has begun lapping slower traffic; there are now 34 cars on the lead lap.

NASCAR throws the yellow flag on lap 26 for the competition caution.  Drivers can make it to the end of the stage from here if they make a pit stop.

Drivers come down pit road for service with drivers going four wide in the race off of pit road.  Tyler Reddick wins the race off of pit road.

Chase Briscoe, Brad Keselowski, and Martin Truex Jr were all caught speeding on pit road.  Denny Hamlin has to restart from the back of the field after an equipment interference issue – tire interfered with the gas man for the number eight car – during his pit stop.  This was the 34th pit road penalty for Denny Hamlin THIS season!

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 32 from the outside lane.  Drivers get four wide for third.  Tyler Reddick and Alex Bowman go side by side in a battle for the lead.

Lap 33, Kevin Harvick gets hard into the wall on the right side and brings out the caution flag.  Ross Chastain and Bubba Wallace are in a battle for position when they get in front of Harvick and Harvick gets loose and hits the wall hard.  This is the second week in a row that Kevin Harvick has had a major issue during the race that has put him out of the race and cost him a lot of points.  He is currently below the cut line and in danger of elimination of being eliminated from the playoffs.

One more time Tyler Reddick and Alex Bowman bring the field down for the green flag restart on lap 39, but this time Tyler Reddick gets out in front for the lead.

Lap 40, Tyler Reddick has the lead with Ryan Blaney in second; Alex Bowman, Ross Chastain, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Drivers are getting three and four wide as they battle for position.  In a four wide battle, Martin Truex Jr, slaps the wall but the track stays green.

Lap 44, Tyler Reddick has the lead but is getting a challenge from Ryan Blaney; Alex Bowman, Ross Chastain, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 48, Tyler Reddick pulls out to a lead of nearly a second on Ryan Blaney; Alex Bowman, Ross Chastain, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.  Joey Logano has fallen to seventh place after not being able to complet passes.

Kyle Busch’s crew reports a “fire off” issue and looses several spots on starts and restarts.

Lap 59, Tyler Reddick has the lead with Ryan Blaney in second; Alex Bowman, Christopher Bell, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.  After starting near the back of the field, Ricky Stenhouse Jr has entered the top 10.

Chris Buescher hits the wall and brings his car down pit road; saying that the “car is bent”.

Lap 65, Tyler Reddick has a near one second lead on Ryan Blaney. 

Leader Tyler Reddick gets into the wall with a flat tire and brings out the caution flag on lap 67.  Reddick reports to the crew that it feels like the right front is broken.

Reporting that something is still wrong, Tyler Reddick brings his car down pit road for a second time.

Austin Dillon wins the race off of pit road after taking only two tires.

Alex Bowman also took only two tires but got blocked coming out of his pit box when Chase Briscoe was pulling into his pit box.

Tyler Reddick’s car is too damaged to repair in time and joins Kevin Harvick out of the race.

Austin Dillon brings the field down for the green flag restart with nine laps remaining in stage one but it is Christopher Bell who gets out in front for the lead with Ryan Blaney in second; Austin Dillon, Martin Truex Jr, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr rounding out the top five.

Five laps remain in stage one, Kyle Busch has entered the top 10.

Lap 75, Christopher Bell leads the race but is getting a challenge from Ryan Blaney.

There are 32 cars on the lead lap.

The two drivers that took only two tires during the pit stop are falling through the field.

 Christopher Bell wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Christopher Bell
Ryan Blaney
Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
 Bubba Wallace
Chase Elliott
Kyle Busch
Ross Chastain
Joey Logano
Austin Dillon

Drivers come down pit road for service.  Bubba Wallace reports that he still has a tight condition in his car. Michael McDowell wins the race off of pit road after taking only two tires.

Aric Almirola stayed out on the track.

Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace had to make a second trip down pit road for a loose wheel.

Aric Almirola brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 87; drivers quickly get three wide.  Chase Elliott has to check up to avoid a wreck.

Lap 88, Martin Truex Jr leads the race with Ricky Stenhouse Jr in second; Michael McDowell; Christopher Bell, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 90, Ty Gibbs gets into the wall and loses a tire after some on track contact with Corey LaJoie to bring out the caution flag.  Both of the right side tires on Gibbs car are flat; causing some damage to the car.

Ty Gibbs becomes the third driver out of the race.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane on lap 96 with Ricky Stenhouse Jr alongside.  After a side by side battle Ricky Stenhouse Jr edges out for the lead but Martin Truex Jr continues to battle for the lead and takes the top spot on lap 97.  Drivers are three wide through the field.

Lap 98, Martin Truex Jr leads the race with Ricky Stenhouse Jr in second; Christopher Bell, William Byron, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Chris Buescher is the only driver on the track not on the lead lap with three drivers out of the race.

Lap 104, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of nearly half a second on Ricky Stenhouse Jr; Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 109, Martin Truex Jr has a half second lead on Ricky Stenhouse Jr; Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, and William Byron round out the top five.

Stenhouse brings out the caution flag with a flat tire on lap 110.  Stenhouse had a similar issue during practice.

Drivers are within their fuel window to make it to the end of the stage.  Drivers come down pit road for service with Martin Truex Jr winning the race off of pit road.

Leader Martin Truex Jr had to make a second trip down pit road for a loose wheel.

Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, and Daniel Suarez were all charged with equipment interference penalties and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

William Byron brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 115.  Big crash going into turn one.  Corey LaJoie, Harrison Burton, Erik Jones, and Aric Almirola were all involved.  Drivers were four wide in a battle for position.  Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski made some contact that started it all.

Already at the back of the field, Kyle Busch complains that the car is “numb” and brings it down pit road for adjustments.  He was charged for a second equipment interference penalty.

William Byron brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 121 with Alex Bowman alongside.  Drivers quicky fan out three and four wide going into turn one.  Alex Bowman takes the lead with William Byron in second; Chase Brisoce, Chase Elliott, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Chase Briscoe has a loose hood pin.

Lap 124, Alex Bowman leads the race with William Byron nearly a half second back; Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

Christopher Bell, Austin Cindric, and Kyle Larson are in a three wide battle.

Lap 127, after two equipment interference penalties, Kyle Busch has moved up to 16th place.

Five laps down, Ricky Stenhouse Jr is the only car on the track not on the lead lap.

Lap 130, Alex Bowman has a near one second lead on Joey Logano; William Byron, Chase Elliott, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

Austin Cindric reports that his car is “stupid tight”.

The caution flag comes out on lap 137 when Kyle Busch takes a spin through the grass with a flat tire.  He reports that he doesn’t have lateral right now.

Drivers are coming down pit road for service with Alex Bowman winning the race off of pit road.

Kyle Busch is back on the track but is one lap down in 30th place.  He is the only car one lap down.

The teams had only eight sets of tires when the race started – seven stickers and one set of scuffs.

Alex Bowman brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 144 with Bowman edging out William Byron after a push from Christopher Bell.

Drivers are three and four wide through the field.

Lap 146, Alex Bowman has a near half second lead on William Byron; Christopher Bell, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 149, Alex Bowman has a third of a second lead on William Byron; Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott, and Joey Logano round out the top five with Bubba Wallace in a battle with Logano for fifth.

Lap 152, Bubba Wallace takes fifth form Joey Logano after a little help from boss Denny Hamlin.

Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson are eighth and ninth, battling back and forth for position.

With seven laps remaining in stage two, Alex Bowman has a quarter of a second lead on Christopher Bell; William Byron, Chase Elliott, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

Alex Bowman wins stage two for his second stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Alex Bowman
Christopher Bell
William Byron
Bubba Wallace
Chase Elliott
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Larson
Joey Logano
Ryan Blaney
Ross Chastain

Kyle Busch is the “lucky dog” and is back on the lead lap.

Drivers come down pit road for service with a three wide battle for the win off of pit road.  Alex Bowman wins the lead off of pit road.

Alex Bowman brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 172 with Bubba Wallace alongside.  Drivers get three and four wide through the field.

Alex Bowman takes the lead with Bubba Wallace in second; William Byron, Kyle Larson, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Bubba Wallace and William Byron battle for second.

After restarting in 30th, Kyle Busch is up to 23rd.

Lap 175, Alex Bowman has a half second lead on William Byron; Bubba Wallace, Kyle Larson, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Brad Keselowski had to make an unscheduled trip down pit road and is now one lap down.

Lap 177, Alex Bowman has a lead of over half a second on William Byron; Kyle Larson, Bubba Wallace, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

With less than 100 laps remaining in the race, the drivers are battling for position as if only 10 laps remained in the race.

Lap 180, Alex Bowman has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second and a half on Bubba Wallace; William Byron, Kyle Larson, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Lap 183, Alex Bowman has a second and a half lead on Bubba Wallace; William Byron, Kyle Larson, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Lap 190, Alex Bowman holds a second and a half lead on Bubba Wallace; William Byron, Christopher Bell, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

With 74 laps remaining in the race, Bubba Wallace has closed the gap on leader Alex Bowman to just over a half a second; William Byron, Christopher Bell, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Kyle Larson hit against the wall but the track stays green; he also reports a loose condition in the car.

Bubba Wallace is running some of the fastest laps on the track.  The 45 car piloted by Kurt Busch won the spring race at Kansas.

Lap 197, Bubba Wallace is just a quarter of a second behind Alex Bowman.

Lap 200, Bubba Wallace begins to challenge Alex Bowman for the lead.  Bubba Wallace blows by Alex Bowman for the lead and is beginning to pull away.

Lap 202, Bubba Wallace has a second lead on Alex Bowman; William Byron, Christopher Bell, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Lap 207, Bubba Wallace has a lead of over a second and a half on Alex Bowman; Christopher Bell, William Byron, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.  There are 25 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 210, Christopher Bell passes Alex Bowman for second.

With 56 laps remaining in the race, Bubba Wallace has a two and a half second lead on Christopher Bell; Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 213, Martin Truex Jr begins the parade of green flag pit stops.

Leader Bubba Wallace comes down pit road for his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over to Alex Bowman.

With 51 laps to go, Alex Bowman comes down pit road for his green flag pit sotp and gives the lead over to Daniel Suarez.

As green flag pit stops continue to cycle through, there are only eleven cars on the lead lap.

With 45 laps to go, Daniel Suarez leads the race but has yet to make his pit stop.

Daniel Suarez gives up the lead to make his green flag pit stop with Joey Logano taking the lead.  Once Logano makes his pit stop, Bubba Wallace will retake the lead.

With 43 to go, Joey Logano completes the cycle of green flag pit stops.  Bubba Wallace retakes the lead with a three and a half second lead over Christopher Bell.

There are 20 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 230, Bubba Wallace has a three second lead on Christopher Bell; Denny Hamlin, William Byron, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Christopher Bell is slowly closing the gap on leader Bubba Wallace.

With 32 laps to go, Christopher Bell has closed the gap on Bubba Wallace to just two seconds; Denny Hamlin, William Byron, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.  With traffic all around, Bubba Wallace has just a two second lead on Christopher Bell.  There are just f18 cars on the lead lap.

One lap down in 19th, Joey Logano is in a battle with Bubba Wallace to unlap himself. 

Just 20 laps to go, Bubba Wallace has a lead of nearly two second on Christopher Bell; Denny Hamlin, William Byron, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.  There are just 16 cars on the lead lap.

Christopher Bell continues to slowly close the gap on leader Bubba Wallace; the lead is just under two seconds.

With 17 to go, Denny Hamlin battles with Christopher Bell for second.  Hamlin passes Bell  for second with Bubba Wallace over two seconds in front.

Thirteen to go, Bubba Wallace has a two second lead on boss man Denny Hamlin.

Denny Hamlin passes Joey Logano with 10 to go.  Bubba Wallace has a two second lead on Denny Hamlin.

A win for Denny Hamlin would ensure a spot in the next round of the playoffs; however, if Bubba Wallace wins the race in the number 45 car, it would greatly help 23XI Racing in their bid for an owners championship.

Seven to go, Bubba Wallace has just a second and a half lead on Denny Hamlin.

Four to go, still mired in slower traffic, Bubba Wallace’s lead is down to less than a second and a half in front of Denny Hamlin; Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Denny Hamlin reports that his car is loose.

Bubba Wallace takes the white flag.

Leading by 1.1 seconds Bubba Wallace wins the race in the number 45 car – the same car that won the spring race with Kurt Busch – to become winner number 18 for the 2022 season.  This is the second week in a row that a non-playoff driver wins the race.

Bubba Wallace exits the car to rousing cheers from the crowd.  Bubba said that he was so proud of the team; adding that he appreciates everyone at 23XI.  He said that it was cool to beat the boss.  He also thanked the fans and hopes he has finally shut up the doubters.

The unofficial results of the Hollywood Casino 400:
Bubba Wallace
Denny Hamlin
Christopher Bell
Alex Bowman
Martin Truex Jr
William Byron
Ross Chastain
Kyle Larson
Ryan Blaney
Daniel Suarez
Chase Elliott
Austin Cindric
Chase Briscoe
Austin Dillon
Chris Buescher
Michael McDowell
Joey Logano
Noah Gragson
Justin Haley
Ty Dillon
Aric Almirola
Cole Custer
Todd Gilliland
Landon Cassill
Brad Keselowski
Kyle Busch
Cody Ware
JJ Yeley
Erik Jones
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
BJ McLeod
Harrison Burton
Corey LaJoie
Ty Gibbs
Tyler Reddick
Kevin Harvick

No playoff driver has won a race to secure a spot into the next round but Christopher Bell has secured a spot in the round of 12 on points.  After today’s race Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Chase Briscoe, and Kevin Harvick are below the cut line and in danger of elimination.





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