Mechanical Issues/ Flat Tires Dominate Bristol Night Race

NASCAR Cup Series

The Cup Series caps off the weekend of racing from all three NASCAR series with the first cut off race in round one of the playoffs with the Bass Pro Shops Night Race. 

Currently, Christopher Bell is the only driver that has secured a spot in the next round of the playoffs.  Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Chase Briscoe, and Kevin Harvick are all below the cut line and in danger of being eliminated from the playoffs.

During the practice session, some of the drivers were complaining of steering issues.

Kyle Busch spun out but managed to save the car and avoid hitting anything or anybody.

The first driver on the track to make a qualifying run is Landon Cassill who posted a time of 15.684 seconds.

Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, and Christopher Bell will all move on to round two of Qualifying from Group A.

Chase Briscoe was the first driver to break the 15 second mark with a time of 14.944 seconds.

In Group B; Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric
Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, and Kevin Harvick will be moving on to round two of qualifying.

With a time or 14.946 seconds, Aric Almirola puts his number 10 car on the pole.

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

This race will be Joey Logano’s 500th Cup Series start.

Stages one and two of the race are 125 laps each with stage three lasting 250 laps for a total of 500 laps around the half mile track.  Drivers can run 150 to 160 laps on a single load of fuel.   They will be able to complete the first two stages on a single load of fuel but will have to make at least one pit stop during stage three.

Aric Almirola brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane with Chase Briscoe on the inside.  Almirola edges out in front for the lead with Denny Hmlin taking second.

Lap two, the top five are Aric Almirola, Denny Hamlin, Chase Briscoe,, Ryan Blaney, and Christopher Bell.

Lap five, Ryan Blaney comes up on the outside to pass Chase Briscoe for third.

Lap eight, Aric Almirola has a third of a second lead on Denny Hamlin; Ryan Blaney, Chase Briscoe, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

The drivers have already started moving up the track and by the end of the night, they will be riding along the wall.

Lap 13, Ryan Blaney challenges Denny Hmlin for second; but so far Hamlin holds on to second place; just under half a second behind leader Aric Almirola.

Lap 18, two points below the cutline at the start of the race, Kyle Busch is tied with Tyler Reddick for twelfth place and a spot in the next round.

Lap 21, Aric Almirola has a near half second lead on Denny Hamlin; Ryan Blaney, Chase Briscoe, and Christopher Bell rounds out the top five.

Lap 25, Denny Hamlin has closed the gap on leader Aric Almirola to just two tenths of a second.

Lap 28, Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin battle for second.  Leaders have encountered slower traffic and have begun lapping cars.

Kyle Busch has now moved himself into the last spot in the next round of the playoffs.

Lap 31, Aric Almirola has a third of a second lead on Ryan Blaney; Denny Hamlin, Chase Briscoe, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Lap 34, Kyle Busch has entered the top 20; Aric Almirola continues to lead the race.

Lap 36, Ryan Blaney passes Aric Almirola for the lead.

Lap 42, the caution flag comes out for JJ Yeley and Harrison Burton who both have flat tires.

The top five are Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Chase Briscoe, and Christopher Bell.

Drivers come down pit road for service.  Kevin Harvick reports that his brakes are “wobbling”.  Denny Hamlin barely beats out Ryan Blaney in the race off of pit road.

After staying out on the track, Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart with Bubba Wallace alongside on lap 50.  Keselowski jumps out in front for the lead with Chris Buescher in second; Bubba Wallace, Tyler Reddick and Corey LaJoie round out the otp five.  There are 32 cars on the lead lap.

Daniel Suarez is reporting a very tight condition and the car is bouncing.

Chase Briscoe reports that it is very difficult to turn the wheel; saying that it feels like the power steering has gone out.

Lap 60, Brad Keselowski has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on teammated Chris Buescher; Bubba Wallace, Tyler Reddick, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Lap 65, Brad Keselowski has a one second lead on Chris Buescher; Bubba Wallace, Denny Hamlin, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Lap 69 the drivers have moved further up the race track toward the wall.

There are 32 cars on the lead lap.

Aric Almirola is also reporting a possible steering issue; saying it’s like the car is trying to pull it out of his hands.

Lap 84, Austin Cindric gets into the wall with a flat tire and is trying to work his way to pit road.  The track stays green as he makes it to his pit box.

Lap 87, Brad Keselowski has a one second lead on Chris Buescher; Bubba Wallace, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.  After starting the race back in the field, Kyle Busch is just outside the top 10 in twelfth place.

Ryan Blaney brings out the caution flag on lap 93 when Ryan Blaney gets a flat tire and Aric Almirola gets into the wall.  Ryan Blaney is stuck on pit road with a lost wheel; it rolled into the number three pit box.

Some drivers come down pit road for service and fresh tires.  Aric Almirola is on pit road with the hood up.

Joey Logano had to make a second trip down pit road for a loose tire.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 100 with Tyler Reddick alongside.  Kyle Busch comes form sixth to take third place.

Lap 101, Brad Keselowski leads the race with Christopher Bell in second; Kyle Busch, Chase Briscoe, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

There are sparks coming from the back of Ryan Blaney’s car.

Lap 106, Brad Keselowski has a third of a second lead on Christopher Bell; Kyle Busch, Chase Briscoe, and Kyle Larson round out the top five with 30 cars on the lead lap.

Ryan Blaney reports that it feels like something is dragging and broken. With 13 laps remaining in stage one, Blaney brings his car down pit road to raise the car to keep it from dragging.

Ten laps remain in stage one, Brad Keselowski has a lead of over half a second on Christopher Bell; Kyle Busch, Chase Briscoe, and Kyle Larson rounds out the top five.

NASCAR has posted Ryan Blaney for not making minimum speed.  The quick fix did not work and the car continued to drag.  He comes back down pit road with a flat tire.

Three laps to go in stage one; Christopher Bell is less than a half second behind leader Brad Keselowski.

Brad Keselowski wins stage one for his first stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Brad Keselowski
Christopher Bell
Kyle Busch
Chase Briscoe
Kyle Larson
Alex Bowman
Chris Buescher
Tyler Reddick
William Byron
Martin Truex Jr

Drivers come down pit road for service and fresh tires with Chase Briscoe winning the race off of pit road.  Joey Logano took only two tires and gained 13 spots.

Chris Buescher brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two with Kevin Harvick alongside on lap 134 and gets out in front for the lead.

Lap 135, the top five are Chris Buescher, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace, and Ross Chastain.

Lap 138, Chris Buescher has pulled out to a half second lead on Kevin Harvick.

Harrison Burton brings out the fourth caution flag of the race on lap 140 when he spins out after contact with Austin Cindric; who was tapped by Aric Almirola.

With 31 cars on the lead lap, there are no drivers just one lap down.

Chris Buescher brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 148 with Kevin Harvick on the inside.  Buescher gets out in front for the lead with Kevin Harvick in second; Denny Hamlin, Cole Custer, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

Lap 154, Chris Buescher has a lead of over half a second on Kevin Harvick; Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace,a nd Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Lap 159, Chris Buescher now has a one second lead on Kevin Harvick; Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace, and Ross Chastain round out the top five. 

Kyle Busch is reporting a very tight condition in his car.

Martin Truex Jr is reporting intermittent steering issues; adding he has something in his eye.

With eight race wins at Bristol, Kyle Busch has the most wins of any active Cup Series driver.

Lap 170, Daniel Suarez is very loose, Ryan Blaney’s number 12 car is still on pit road getting repairs.

Lap 171, Chris Buescher has a very narrow lead on Kevin Harvick; Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

On lap 178, Bubba Wallace’s car is smoking and he reports that he cannot turn the car.  He brings the car down pit road.  There is fluid on the tires when the crew changes them. 

Lap 182, Ryan Blaney is currently 70 laps down as the crew continues to work on the car.

Lap 185, Ty Gibbs brings his number 23 car down pit road and the crew lifts the hood; also with power steering issues.

Lap 188, Ryan Blaney takes his car to the garage for more repairs..

Lap 101, Chris Buescher and Kevin Harvick battle for the lead. 

Lap 194, Chris Buescher has pulled out to a lead of over half a second.

The fifth caution of the race comes out when Harrison Burton gets into the wall with a flat tire.  Erik Jones spins out and is stopped on the track after some contact with teammate Ty Dillon.

Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick were in danger of going a lap down when the caution flag came out.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Kyle Busch saying that he is still too tight.  Several drivers are reporting issues with their cars.  Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road.

Martin Truex Jr takes his car to the garage with power steering issues and is out of the race.

Alex Bowman is now reporting possible power steering issues.

Chris Buescher brings the field down for the green flag restart with Kevin Harvick on the inside lane.  Buescher jumps out in front for the lead with Kevin Harvick taking second.

Lap 208, the top five are Chris Buescher, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Cole Custer, and Ross Chastain.

Lap 210, even in second place, Kevin Harvick is still 14 points below the cut line.

Lap 215, Chris Buescher has a half second lead on Kevin Harvick; Denny Hamlin, Cole Custer, and Ross Chastain round out the top five with 24 cars on the lead lap.  Ty Gibbs, Bubba Wallace, Martin Truex Jr, and Ryan Blaney are all off the track with mechanical issues.

Lap 220, at the moment Tyler Reddick, Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick, and Austin Cindric are all below the cut line.

Lap 223, leader Chris Buescher has a clear field in front of him; he has a lead of just two tenths of a second lead on Kevin Harvick.

Denny Hamlin gets into the wall on lap 233 and brings out the caution flag with a flat tire.

Drivers come down pit road for service with 14 laps remaining in stage two.  Drivers can make it to the end of the race on one more pit stop from here.

After leader Chris Buescher makes a pit stop, Christopher Bell brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 10 laps remaining in stage two.

Christopher Bell has the lead with Ross Chastain in second; Chase Briscoe, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

The 10 crew of Martin Truex Jr loads his car on the hauler and is the first car officially out of the race.  While the 45 car of Bubba Wallace is having the same issues, the 45 car is currently in the running for the owner’s championship and the crew is working diligently to repair the car.

Christopher Bell wins stage two.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Christopher Bell
Ross Chastain
Chase Briscoe
Chase Elliott
Kyle Busch
Alex Bowman
William Byron
Austin Dillon
Kyle Larson
Kevin Harvick

Drivers who did not pit during the last caution come down pit road for service.  Austin Dillon reports that his steering is a little catchy.  Alex Bowman is also reporting steering issues and shaking brakes.

William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Alex Bowman have all earned enough points to lock in a spot in the next round of the playoffs.

Christopher Bell brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 260 with Chase Elliott alongside.

Christopher Bell has a quarter of a second lead on William Byron; Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, and Kevin Harvick rund out the top five.

Ryan Blaney returns to the track 152 laps down.

Kyle Larson passes teammate William Byron for second

Lap 265, Christopher Bell has a one second lead on Kyle Larson; William Byron, Chase Elliott, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 271, Kyle Busch brings out the caution flag after he gets into the wall with a blown engine and is out of the race.  The smoking car was spewing a mixture of oil and water.

Should the two time champion be eliminated, it will be the first time he has ever been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

Christopher Bell brings the field down for the green flag restart but the caution flag comes out with a big crash.  Tyler Reddick, Daniel Suarez, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Todd Gilliland, Alex Bowman, and Austin Dillon were all involved.

Kyle Busch said that he feels sorry for his guys; adding that they don’t deserve to be in this position.  He is currently just above the cut line.

Christopher Bell brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 287 with Bell getting out in front for the lead.

Lap 288, the top five are Christopher Bell, Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, William Byron, and Kevin Harvick.

Tyler Reddick returns to the track and has three laps to make minimum speed before he will be out of the race.

Alex Bowman is out of the race after losing power steering.

Lap 294, Christopher Bell has a half second lead on Kyle Larson; Brad Keselowski, William Byron, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Tyler Reddick has made minimum speed and is 13 laps down.  After coming back on the track he had to serve a pass through penalty after leaving pit road with equipment.

Bubba Wallace is back on the track after repairs 90 laps down.

Austin Dillon’s crew could not get the car repaired during the 10 minute “crash clock” and he is out of the race.

Lapa 303, Christopher Bell has a half second lead on Kyle Larson; Brad Keselowski, William Byron, and Kevin Harvick rounding out the top five.

Lap 307, Christopher Bell has increased his lead out over half a second on Kyle Larson; Brad Keselowski is in third over a second back with William Byron and Kevin Harvick rounding out the top five.

On lap 313, Tyler Reddick, Austin Cindric, Austin Dillon, and Kevin Harvick are all below the cut line.  Kyle Busch is five points above the cut line and would be the final driver in round two of  the playoffs.

Ty Gibbs returns to the track 132 laps down.

Lap 329, Christopher Bell has a lead of nearly a second and a half on Kyle Larson; Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Chris Buescher round out the top five with 17 cars on the lead lap.  Slow drivers Aric Almirola and Tyler Reddick are holding up the traffic.

Lap 344, Christopher Bell has a one second lead on Kyle Larson; Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.  Drivers still need to make a pit stop for fuel.

Lap 350, Kyle Larson continues to close the gap on leader Christopher Bell and is now just half a second back.

Erik Jones brings out the tenth caution flag on lap 352 with a flat tire.  The field will take the opportunity to come down pit road for fuel.  There are only 14 cars on the lead lap.

Austin Cindric also had a flat tire and comes down pit road early.

Kevin Harvick reports an issue with grip.

Kyle Larson wins the race off of pit road.

Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, and Ross Chastain have all secured spots in the next round of the playoffs.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 361 and gets out in front of Christopher Bell to take the lead. 

Lap 363, the top five are Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick, and Chris Buescher.

Tyler Reddick returns to the track from pit road and nearly causes a crash with the leaders.  Reddick is 29 laps down.

Lap 373, Kyle Larson has a one second lead on Brad Keselowski; Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

Lap 386, Kyle Larson has just a two tenths of a second lead on Brad Keselowski.

Lap 388, Brad Keselowski passes Kyle Larson for the lead and has a quarter of a second lead on Larson; Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

With 109 laps remaining in the race, there are 15 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 397, Joey Logano makes an unscheduled trip down pit road with a flat tire.  He had an extended stop after the lug fell out of the gun.

Ty Gibbs comes down pit road and the crew lifts the hood.

Just 95 laps remain in the race, Brad Keselowski has a lead of nearly two seconds on Christopher Bell with Kyle Larson in third; Kevin Harvick and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

The 23 car of Ty Gibbs is behind the wall again with the hood up.

Brad Keselowski gets into the wall with a flat tire.  He makes it to pit road and the track stays green.  Christopher Bell is the new leader with Kyle Larson in second; Kevin Harvick, Chris Buescher, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Ryan Blaney had to make another trip down pit road with a flat tire.  He is 158 laps down.

Just 80 laps remain in the race, Christopher Bell has a one second lead on Kyle Larson with Kevin Harvick in third; Chris Buescher and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Aric Almirola comes down pit road with steering issues and takes the car behind the wall.

Seventy-four laps remain in the race, Christopher Bell has a half second lead on Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Chris Buescher, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 436 when leader Christopher Bell has a flat tire. 

With 63 laps remaining in the race, Kyle Busch and Austin Cindric are separated by just one point.

Lead lap drivers come down pit road for service.  Kevin Harvick has a slow stop after the tire comes off of the car.

Denny Hamlin had to back up back into his pit stall with a loose wheel.  The crew had trouble getting the tire back on the car.

Chris Buescher won the race off of pit road after taking only two tires.

Twelve of the 16 playoff drivers have had some sort of an issue during the race.

Chris Buescher brings the field down for the green flag restart with 57 laps to go and gets out in front of William Byron for the lead.

Joey Logano is back on pit road.

With 54 laps to go, Chris Buescher leads the race with Chase Elliott in second; William Byron, Kyle Larson, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Austin Cindric is now tied with Kyle Busch in points and would be the final driver in the playoffs as it stands now.

Chris Buescher has a lead of over half a second on Chase Elliott; William Byron, Kyle Larson, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

There are 44 laps to go, Chris Buescher has a lead of nearly a second on Chase Elliott

Ty Dillon comes down pit road after getting into the wall; the track stays green.

Forty to go, Chris Buescher has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on Chase Elliott; William Byron, Kyle Larson, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.


Kyle Larson gets into the wall after some contact with Christopher Bell but the track stays green.

With 35 laps to go, there are just 12 cars on the lead lap with Chris Buescher over a half a second aheard.  Leaders encounter slower traffic.

Thirty to go, Chris Buescher has a lead under half a second on Chase Elliott; William Byron, Christopher Bell, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Joey Logano is behind the wall, multiple laps down.

With 26 laps to go, Chris Buescher has a lead of over half a second on Chase Elliott; William Byron, Christopher Bell, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.  It has been five years since a Roush Racing car has been to victory lane.

Twenty to go!  Chris Buescher holds a lead of over half a second on Chase Elliott with William Byon in third with Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson rounding out the top five.

Fifteen to go, Chris Buescher has a lead of nearly a second on Chase Elliott.

Just eleven laps to go, Chris Buescher holds onto the lead of nearly a second on Chase Elliott.

Five to go and Chris Buescher continues to lead the race with Chase Elliott in second.

This is Chris Buescher’s 250th race start.

Chris Buescher takes the whiteflag with a half second lead on Chase Elliott.

Chris Buescher wins the race to give Roush Fenway Keselowski their first win and the 19th different winner in the 2022 season to tie the all time record.

This is the first time in the playoff era that all of the winners were not playoff drivers.  Buescher thanked the 100,000 fans gathered at the track.

And with that Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, Kevin Harvick, and Austin Dillon have been eliminated from the playoffs.

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



The 12 playoff drivers moving on the next round are:
Chase Elliott
Joey Logano
Ross Chastain
Kyle Larson
William Byron
Denny Hamlin
Christopher Bell
Ryan Blaney
Chase Briscoe
Alex Bowman
Daniel Suarez
Austin Cindric

Leave a Reply