Tying History at Texas in Xfinity Series

Xfinity Series

The Xfinity Series kicks off the last full weekend in September with a doubleheader from Texas Motor Speedway in the first race of the playoffs with the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300.

Thirty-eight teams brought cars to the track; so all of the drivers will make the race.

After having some engine issues, Garrett Smithley and Akinori Ogata did not make a qualifying run and will start the race from the back of the field.



Joining Akinori Ogata at the back of the field are Garrett Smithley after an engine change; and Bayley Currey, David Starr, Tommy Joe Martins, Ty Gibbs, and JJ Yeley after the crews made some unapproved adjustments to the cars.  Bayley Currey will have to serve a pass through penalty once the green flag drops.

After posting a time of 29.069 seconds, Brandon Jones puts his number 19 car on the pole with Noah Gragson starting alongside on the front row.  The pole position is half a second faster than the pole time for the spring race in May.  This is Jones’ third pole in the last four races.

The starting lineup for the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300:
Brandon Jones
Noah Gragson
Daniel Hemric
John Hunter Nemechek
Sam Mayer
Justin Allgaier
AJ Allmendinger
Ty Gibbs
Austin Hill
Jeremy Clements
Riley Herbst
Landon Cassill
Sheldon Creed
Ryan Sieg
Kyle Weatherman
Josh Berry
Jeb Burton
Bayley Currey
Joe Graf Jr
Nicholas Sanchez
Brennan Poole
Brandon Brown
Parker Retzlaff
Stefan Parsons
Anthony Alfredo
Alex Labbe
Jeffrey Earnhardt
JJ Yeley
Tommy Joe Martins
Josh Williams
Myatt Snider
Matt Mills
Mason Massey
David Starr
CJ McLaughlin
Joey Gase
Garrett Smithley
Akinori Ogata

Stages one and two of the race are 45 laps each with stage three lasting 110 laps for a total of 200 laps around the mile and a half track.  The drivers can run around 60 laps on a single load of fuel.

On a hot Texas Saturday afternoon, Brandon Jones brings the field down for the green flag start of the race with Brandon Jones getting out in front but spins out after some contact from Daniel Hemric and the track stays green.  With the hottest Texas race in Xfinity Series history, air temperatures are approaching 100 degrees.

Lap three, Noah Gragson has a lead of over half a second on John Hunter Nemechek; Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, and Landon Cassill round out the top five.

Lap five, after falling back to 20th place after the spin, Brandon Jones is now in 18th place,

Parker Retzlaff is on pit road.  Bayley Cureey is one lap down after serving a pass through penalty at the start of the race.

Lap seven, John Hunter Nemechek has closed the gap on leader Noah Gragson to under half a second.

Lap eight, TY Gibbs was among several drivers who had to start the race from the back of the field, he has moved up to 27th since race start.

Lap 10, Noah Gragson has just a two tenths of a second lead on John Hunter Nemechek; Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, and Landon Cassill round out the top five.

Lap eleven, John Hunter Nemechek passes Noah Gragson for the lead.

Lap 12, Parker Retzlaff returns to the track eight laps down.

Justin Allgaier reports that the track feels like it has oil all over it.

Lap 14, Brandon Jones has moved up to 14th and Ty Gibbs is in 21st.

The first caution flag of the race comes out on lap 19 when Jeffrey Earnhardt gets into the wall and causes significant damage to both ends of his car.

A few drivers from the back of the field come down pit road for fresh tires.

Lap 25, John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green restart from the inside lane with Noah Gragson on the outside.  Justin Allgaier gives teammate Noah Gragson a push to put him out in front but Nemechek come up to retake the lead.

Landon Cassill falls back in the field after  some contact with Sam Mayer.

Lap 27, John Hunter Nemechek has a lead of over half a second on Noah Gragson; Daniel Hemric, Justin Allgaier, and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five.

Lap 31, there are 34 cars on the lead lap with Jeffrey Earnhardt out of the race.

Noah Gragson reports that his car has grip, then no grip…back and forth.

Lap 34, Ty Gibbs enters the top 10 after starting the race form the back of the field.

The second caution flag of the race comes out when CJ McLaughlin spins out.  Bayley Currey is the “lucky dog” and gets his lap back.

Several drivers come down pit road to short pit the end of the stage including Noah Gragson who wins the race off of pit road.

John Hunter Nemechek pitted from the lead but overshot his pit box and had to back up before service could begin. Riley Herbst’s crew was charged with coming over the wall too soon and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

After staying out on the track, Daniel Hemric brings the field down for the green flag restart with just three laps remaining in stage one.  Hemirc jumps out for the lead with Justin Allgaier in second; AJ Allmendinger, Josh Berry, and Austin Hill round out the top five.

Daniel Hemric wins stage one for his third stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Daniel Hemric
Justin Allgaier
Austin Hill
Noah Gragson
AJ Allmendinger
Josh Berry
John Hunter Nemechek
Ryan Sieg
Ty Gibbs
Kyle Weatherman

Drivers who did not pit during the caution flag come down pit road for service.  Noah Gragson had to make another trip down pit road for loose lug nuts.  He also changed two tires and wins the race off of pit road but will be mired back in the field on restart.

Back out in front, John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 52 from the inside lane and gets out in front for the lead.

John Hunter Nemechek, Ty Gibbs, Nicholas Sanchez, Brandon Jones, and Landon Cassill round out the top five.

Lap 53 Ty Gibbs passes John Hunter Nemechek for the lead with pole sitter Brandon Jones in third.

Noah Gragson reports that he still feels a vibration.

Lap 56, John Hunter Nemechek passes Ty Gibbs to retake the lead; Brandon Jones, Landon Cassill, and Nicholas Sanchez round out the top five.  Noah Gragson has entered the top 10 in eighth place.

Lap 59, John Hunter Nemechek continues to lead the race but is getting a challenge from Ty Gibbs.  Noah Gragson is moving through the field and has entered the top five.

Lap 62, CJ McLaughlin and Parker Retzlaff are the only drivers the only drives on the track not on the lead lap.

Austin Hill is reporting a vibration; Noah Gragson reports that his vibration is continuing and is maybe a little worse.

Lap 68, John Hunter Nemechek has a lead of nearly two seconds on Ty Gibbs; Noah Gragson, Brandon Jones, and Landon Cassill round out the top five.

Lap 78, David Starr gets into the wall with a flag tire and brings out the fourth caution flag of the race. 

Lap 79, Jeremy Clements loses power on the track and has to get a push to pit road.

Some of the drivers come down pit road to pit before the end of the stage including the leaders.  Landon Cassill is caught speeding on pit road.  Josh Berry’s crew was charged with having an uncontrolled tire on pit road.

Team owner and broadcaster Brad Daugherty said that he was confused, asking if the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 meant that he was supposed to eat 300 of them or was the race 300 miles.  He said that he was up to “a lot.”

Noah Gragson wins the race off of pit road but several drivers have stayed out on the track.

Brandon Jones had a close call on pit road when a wedge wrench from Alex Labbe’s crew comes out on pit road and Jones runs over it.

Jeremy Clements’ crew pushes his car to the garage for repairs.

Daniel Hemric brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 86 from the outside lane with AJ Allmendinger on the inside.  Allmendinger gets out in front for the lead.  Akinori Ogata spins out but the track stays green.

With four laps remaining in stage two, AJ Allmendinger leads the race with Daniel Hemric in second; Noah Gragson, John Hunter Nemechek, and Ryan Sieg round out the top five.

AJ Allmendinger wins stage two with a lead of over a second on Noah Gragson for his third stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
AJ Allmendinger
Noah Gragson
John Hunter Nemechek
Daniel Hemric
Ty Gibbs
Austin Hill
Ryan Sieg
Justin Allgaier
Brandon Jones
Sam Mayer

Drivers who did not make a pit stop during the caution now come down pit road for service.  Of the drivers who made a pit stop, AJ Allmendinger wins the race off of pit road.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 97 from the inside lane with John Hunter Nemechek on the outside.  Gragson gets out in front for the lead with Nemechek in second; Ty Gibbs, Austin Hill, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

David Starr is out of the race.

There are 32 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 100, half way, Noah Gragson has just a two tenth of a second lead on John Hunter Nemechek; Ty Gibbs, Austin Hill, and Justin Allgaier round out the otp five.

Jeremy Clements is out of the race with mechanical issues.

Lap 104, Akinori Ogata spins out again but this time he brings out the sixth caution flag of the race.

Coming to the choose box, Nicholas Sanchez ran over the box and will have to move to the back of the field.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 109.  Gragson gets out in front for the lead with Nemechek in second.  Brandon Brown spins out and starts a wreck involving AJ Allmendinger, Landon Cassill, Ryan Sieg, and Stefan Parsons which brings out the seventh caution flag of the race. 

Some of the drivers come down pit road for service; however, with some 90 laps remaining in the race, the drivers cannot finish the race without making at least one more pit stop.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 117.  Austin Hill comes up to make it a three wide battle and then a four wide battle for the lead when Justin Allgaier sticks his nose going in to turn two; John Hunter Nemechek gets loose and takes out several drivers with a big wreck.  Brennan Poole, Justin Allgaier, Joe Graf Jr, Daniel Hemric, John Hunter Nemechek, Brandon Jones, Kyle Weatherman, Josh Williams, and Mason Massey were all involved.  Noah Gragson is the leader.

Some drivers come down pit road but they are still outside of their pit window to make it to the end of the race.  Justin Allgaier, John Hunter Nemechek, Daniel Hemric, and Brandon Jones are out of the race.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with Austin Hill alongside on lap 126.  Hill and Gragson go side by side before Gragson gets out in front for the lead.  Garrett Smithley gets into the wall and brings out the caution flag.

With 68 laps remaining in the race, Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart and jumps out in front for the lead.  Ty Gibbs and Austin Hill battle for second; Riley Herbst and Nicholas Sanchez round out the top five.

Lap 136, Noah Gragson leads the race by nearly a second over Ty Gibbs; Austin Hill, Riley Herbst, and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five.

Lap 140, Noah Gragson continues to lead the race by three quarters of a second on Ty Gibbs; Austin Hill, Riley Herbst, and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five.

Lap 146, Noah Gragson continues to lead the race with Austin Hill in second; Ty Gibbs, Riley Herbst, and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five.

With 53 laps to go, the top six drivers are playoff drivers.

There are only 17 cars on the lead lap.  Tommy Joe Martins is the last car on the lead lap.

Fifty to go,  Noah Gragson is dominating the race as he looks to make it four in a row.  The last driver to win four races in a row in the Xfinity Series was Steve Ard – 39 years ago.

Lap 152, Noah Gragson has a lead of nearly three seconds on Austin Hill; Ty Gibbs, AJ Allmendinger, and Josh Berry round out the top five.

Lap 155, Noah Gragson comes down pit road for his green flag pit stop with a lead of over three second on Austin Hill. Austin Hill is the new leader.

Lap 157, Austin Hill makes his pit stop and gives the lead over the AJ Allmendinger.

Noah Gragson returns to the track in 14th place, one lap down.  He is the first car one lap down and will retake the lead once all of the green flag pit stops cycle through.

Lap 167, AJ Allmendinger has a near one second lead on Josh Berry with Sam Mayer, Bayley Currey, and Jeb Burton rounding out the top five as green flag pit stops continue.  Noah Gragson is still one lap down but is now in ninth place.

Thirty to go, AJ Allmendinger continues to lead the race but still has to make his pit stop.

With 27 laps to go, there are only seven cars on the lead lap.

Lap 175, With just five cars on the lead lap, Noah Gragson is in sixth place.

Lap 176, Noah Gragson is in sixth place but is on the bumper of teammate and second place driver Josh Berry; hoping to pass Berry and aim for AJ Allmendinger to unlap himself.

Just 21 laps to go and there are only fur cars on the lead lap with AJ Almendinger over a second in front of Josh Berry; Jeb Burton and Stefan Parsons are also on the lead lap and need to make a pit stop.

With just 18 laps remaining in the race, AJ Allmendinger and Josh Berry come down pit road for fuel; Jeb Burton is the new leader.  Noah Gragson is back on the lead lap in third place.  There are 12 cars on the lead lap.  Allmendinger takes fuel only.

Lap 184, Jeb Burton is the only driver who has not made a pit stop and has a lead of over three seconds on Noah Gragson.  There are only 21 cars still on the track.

Lap 188, Noah Gragson passes Jeb Burton for the lead; Austin Hill, Ty Gibbs, and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five.

Ten to go, Jeb Burton finally makes his pit stop.

Eight laps remain, Noah Gragson has a lead of nearly a second and a half on Austin Hill.

Just five laps remain with Noah Gragson over a second and a half out in front of Austin Hill with just nine cars on the lead lap.

Noah Gragson takes the white flag with a lead of nearly a second and a half.

Noah Gragson wins his fourth race in a row and his seventh race this season.  And the car disappears in a cloud of smoke with the burnout.  Noah comes through the roof hatch to exit the car before thanking everyone for coming out to the race and climbing the fence.

After a race, Noah and the crew like to eat at the local Waffle House.  After the Bristol race and a trip to the Waffle House, Noah paid for the dinners of everyone in the restaurant.

Noah Gragson becomes the first driver to secure a spot in the next round of hte playoffs.

The unofficial results of the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300:
Noah Gragson
Austin Hill
Ty Gibbs
AJ Allmendinger
Riley Herbst
Josh Berry
Sheldon Creed
Sam Mayer
Ryan Sieg
CJ McLaughlin
Nicholas Sanchez
Bayley Currey
Stefan Parsons
Tommy Joe Martins
Jeb Burton
Matt Mills
Alex Labbe
Joe Graf Jr
Anthony Alfredo
Myatt Snider
Parker Retzlaff
Kyle Weatherman
Garrett Smithley
Brandon Brown
Joey Gase
Josh Williams
Brandon Jones
John Hunter Nemechek
Justin Allgaier
Daniel Hemric
Brennan Poole
Mason Massey
Landon Cassill
JJ Yeley
AKinori Ogata
Jeremy Clements
David Starr
Jeffrey Earnhardt

NASCAR Issues Major Penalty

The first cutoff race in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend was a harrowing affair for many of the playoff drivers with several of the drivers having numerous issues from power steering issues to blown engines.

One such drivers was Ryan Blaney who lost a tire on pit road after coming into the pits with a flat tire on lap 93 of the Bass Pro Shops Nigh Race.  A 30th place finish was the least of the Team Penske’s worries.

Teams that lose a wheel on pit road may or may not receive a penalty – it is at the discretion of NASCAR as to whether or not the errant tire is a danger to other teams.  When the tire ended up in the pit box of the number three car, NASCAR deemed it severe enough to asses a penalty for violating the NASCAR rule book.  Crew chief Jonathan Hassler, rear tire changer Zachary Price, and jackman Graham Stoddard have all bee suspended for the next four races.  The suspended crew members may return to the track after the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 16.
 

NASCAR Playoff Standings – Sept 19

The races at Bristol Motor Speedway this past weekend had playoff implications for all three series. In the Camping World Truck Series it was the beginning of a new round in the playoffs, for the Xfinity Series it was the end of the regular season, and for the Cup Series it marked the end of the first round of playoffs and the first eliminations.

 

After winning the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Ty Majeski has secured himself a spot in the final four at Phoenix in November.

 

Currently Ty Majeski, Chandler Smith, Zane Smith, and Stewart Friesen are above the cut line; while John Hunter Nemechek, Christian Eckes, Grant Enfinger, and Ben Rhodes are below the cut line and are in danger of elimination.

 

 

During the Food City 300 on Friday night, AJ Allmendinger earned enough points to win the regular season championship in the Xfinity Series.

 

Noah Gragson earned his sixth race win of the season…and his record setting third in a row to become the first driver at JR Motorsports to win three races in a row.

 

With Noah Gragson leading the way with 2,051 point; Ty Gibbs, Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Josh Berry, Austin Hill, Brandon Jones, Jeremy Clements, Sam Mayer, Daniel Hemric, Riley Herbst, and Ryan Sieg have all earned spots in the playoffs.

 

 

After a tumultuous race on Saturday night that saw numerous mechanical issues in the cars and another blown engine for Kyle Busch, the first four drivers have been eliminated from the playoffs – Cup Series champions Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, and Tyler Reddick.

 

For the first time since the advent of the playoff system, round one of 2022 was the first time that a non-playoff driver won every race in the round with Erik Jones, Bubba Wallace, and Chris Buescher all getting their first win of the season.

 

The points have been reset and Chase Elliott continues to lead with 3,040 – the same 40 points he has held for several weeks.

 

Cup Series Playoff Standings:

Chase Elliott – 3,040

Joey Logano – 3,025

Ross Chastain – 3,020

Kyle Larson – 3,019

William Byron – 3,015

Denny Hamlin – 3,015

Christopher Bell – 3,013

Ryan Blaney – 3,013

Chase Briscoe – 3,009

Alex Bowman – 3,007

Daniel Suarez – 3,007

Austin Cindric – 3,006

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

Xfinity Series Sets Playoff Field at Bristol

Xfinity Series

It is a huge weekend for all three of the NASCAR Series this weekend with playoff implications in all of the races.  For the Xfinity Series it is the final race of the regular season and all but two of the 12 playoff spots have been secured.

Noah Gragson, Ty Gibbs, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, Austin Hill, and Brandon Jones have all earned a spot in the first round of the playoffs after winning at least one race.  After his penalty was overturned in an appeal, Jeremy Clements earns a spot in the playoffs for eight race winners.

After the race at Kansas last week Sam Mayer and Riley Herbst have earn a spot in the first round of the playoffs on points.

Defending Xfinity Series champion Daniel Hemric, Landon Cassill, Ryan Sieg, and Sheldon Creed are all in a battle for the final two spots in the playoffs.  Of the four Hemric is currently in the best position to move on, 37 points above the cut line.

Currently AJ Allmendinger tops the standings and can clinch the regular season championship with its 15 bonus playoff points if he can score 23 points in tonight’s race.

A total of 41 teams brought car to Thunder Valley to fill 38 starting spots.  Chad Finchum, Dawson Cram, and Brennan Poole failed to qualify for the race.

With a qualifying time of 15.653 seconds, Ty Gibbs puts his number 54 car on the pole with Josh Berry starting alongside on the front row.  This is Gibbs fifth career pole and fourth for this season.

The starting lineup for the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway:
Ty Gibbs
Josh Berry
Justin Allgaier
AJ Allmendinger
Sam Mayer
Sammy Smith
Jeb Burton
Daniel Hemric
Noah Gragson
Ryan Sieg
Brandon Jones
Riley Herbst
Brandon Brown
Stefan Parsons
Austin Hill
Landon Cassill
Mason Massey
Jeremy Clements
Anthony Alfredo
Bayley Currey
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Sheldon Creed
Patrick Emerling
Nicholas Sanchez
Alex Labbe
JJ Yeley
David Starr
Ryan Ellis
BJ McLeod
Josh Williams
Ronnie Bassett Jr
Sage Karam
Kyle Weatherman
Kris Wright
CJ McLaughlin
Myatt Snider
Joe Graf Jr
Bobby McCarty

Stages one and two are 85 laps each with stage three lasting 130 laps each around the half mile track for a total of 300 laps.  The drivers can run 140 to 150 laps on a single load of fuel.

Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the inside lane with Josh Berry alongside.  Ty Gibbs gets out in front for the lead with Josh Berry and Justin Allgaier battling for second.  AJ Allmendinger has some issue with his car.

Lap four, Ty Gibbs leads the race with Joshy Berry one second back in second; Justin Allgaier, Sammy Smith, and Sam Mayer round out the top five.

First caution flag comes out on lap six when Nicholas Sanchez has a flat tire and brushes the wall.

What he thought was a transmission issue on the 16 car, AJ Allmendinger missed a shift on the race start.

Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap eleven from the outside lane with Justin Allgaier alongside.  Gibbs edges out in front of Allgaier to hold on to the lead.

Lap 12, Ty Gibbs leads the race with Justin Allgaier in second; Josh Berry, Sam Mayer, and Sammy Smith round out the top five.

Riley Herbst gets loose and brings out the second caution flag of the race on lap 14.

Sheldon Creed has a “doughnut” on the driver’s side of his car.

Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag restart with Justin Allgaier alongside on lap 19 and jumps out in front for the lead.

Lap 20, Ty Gibbs has a near half second lead on Justina Allgaier; Josh Berry, Sammy Smith, and Sam Mayer round out the top five.

Lap 24, Noah Gragson and Jeb Burton continue their battle for sixth place.

Lap 27, Ty Gibbs has a one second lead on Justin Allgaier; Josh Berry, Sam Mayer, and Sammy Smith round out the top five.

AJ Allmendinger is concerned whether the car will make it to the end of the race after he over revved the engine.

Lap 33, Brandon Jones reports that his window net is coming down and he is driving one handed while trying to hold the window net in place.

Lap 36, Ty Gibbs leads is down to under a second on Justin Allgaier.

Lap 37, Nicholas Sanchez spins out and brings out the caution flag.  Sanchez reports some on track contact before spinning out.

Brandon Jones comes down pit road to get the window net repaired and service the car.  Several other drivers come down pit road for service.  Any driver who makes a pit stop now can make it to the end of stage one on a single load of fuel.

Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 42 and gets out in front of Justin Allgaier for the lead.

Lap 43, the top five are Ty Gibbs, Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, Noah Gragson, and Sam Mayer.

Lap 45, Brandon Brown gets loose, spins out, and hits the wall; bringing out the fourth caution flag of the race.  There is significant damage to Brown’s car.

Lap 51, Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with Justin Allgaier on the inside.  But this time Allgaier goes side by side with Gibbs until Gibbs gets out in front going into turn four.

The top five are Ty Gibbs, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Josh Berry, and Sam Mayer.

Lap 56, there are 34 cars on the lead lap.  Brandon Brown is on pit road for damage repairs.

Lap 58, Ty Gibbs has a lead of over half a second on Justin Allgaier; Noah Gragson, Josh Berry, and Sam Mayer round out the top five.

Lap 62, Brandon Brown is out of the race.

Lap 69, Ty Gibbs has led every lap so far with Justin Allgaier in second; Noah Gragson, Josh Berry, and Sam Mayer round out the top five.

After an earlier tangle on the track, Riley Herbst and Sheldon Creed have once again found each other and do a little door banging.

Lap 75, leader Ty Gibbs has encountered slower traffic; Justin Allgaier closes the gap ot the lead to less than a tenth of a second.

Lap 80, Ty Gibbs has a quarter of a second lead on Justin Allgaier; Noah Gragson, Sam Mayer, and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five.

Ty Gibbs leads every lap and wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Ty Gibbs, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Sam Mayer, AJ Allmendinger, Josh Berry, Jeb Burton, Daniel Hemric, Landon Cassill, and Ryan Sieg.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Ty Gibbs winning the race off of pit road.

After staying out on the track, Sheldon Creed and Jeffrey Earnhardt bring the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 95.  Sheldon Creed takes the lead with Justin Allgaier in second and Ty Gibbs in third; Sam Mayer and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five.

Lap 98, Justin Allgaier battles Sheldon Creed for the lead.  Going side by side, the two make contact with each other.  Lap 103, Creed gets Allgaier loose and holds on to the lead.

Lap 104, Justin Allgaier holds on to second with Ty Gibbs in third; Sam Mayer comes up on the outside to try and pass Ty Gibbs but fails to do so.

Lap 108, Landon Cassill makes an unscheduled trip down pit road with a flat tire.  The brakes are on fire on the right front of Landon Cassill’s car after he returns to the track.

Lapa 113, Sheldon Creed has a tenth of a second lead on Justin Allgaier; Ty Gibbs, Sam Mayer, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

There are 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 115, Landon Cassill is on pit road again, this time to address the car issue.

Landon Cassill is out of the race.

Lap 119, Sheldon Creed holds on to the lead by one tenth of a second on Justin Allgaier; Ty Gibbs, Noah Gragson, and Sam Mayer round out the top five.

Lap 123, Justin Allgaier continues to challenge Sheldon Creed for the lead.  He gets side by side but so far has been unable to take the lead.  One lap 125, Justin Allgaier passes Sheldon Creed to take the lead.; Ty Gibbs, Noah Gragson, and Sam Mayer round out the top five.

Lap 129, Sheldon Creed and Ty Gibbs battle for second when Gibbs makes contact with Creed and sends him into the wall after Noah Gragson makes contact with Ty Gibbs.

Sheldon Creed becomes the third driver out of the race.

Ty Gibbs is on pit road for crash damage.

Justin Allgaier brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 139 with Noah Gragson alongside.  Allgaier gets out in front for the lead with teammate Noah Gragson in second; Sam Mayer, AJ Allmendinger, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.  There are 26 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 144, Josh Berry gets high and brushes the wall but the track stays green.

Lap 151, Justin Allgaier has a lead of nearly a second on Noah Gragson; Sam Mayer, AJ Allmendinger, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.  There are 26 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 160, Justin Allgaier has a one second lead on Naoh Gragson; Sam Mayer, AJ Allmendinger, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Lap 163, Sam Mayer passes Noah Gragson for second.

With six laps remaining in stage two, there are 23 cars on the lead lap with four driver out of the race.

The seventh caution flag comes out after a three way battle between Sam Mayer, JJ Yeley, and CJ McLaughlin causes Mayer and JJ Yeley spin out.  Stage two ends under caution with Justin Allgaier winning the stage.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Justin Allgaier
Noah Gragson
AJ Allmendinger
Brandon Jones
Riley Herbst
Austin Hill
Jeb Burton
Daniel Hemric
Sammy Smith
Josh Berry

Drivers come down pit road but Bayley Currey and Joe Graf Jr stay out on the track.  Justin Allgaier wins the race off of pit road.

AJ Allmendinger has secured the Xfinity Series regular season championship!

Bayley Currey brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 180; third place driver Justin Allgaier is the first car with fresh tires.  Justin Allgaier quicky moves to take the lead with Brandon Jones coming up to take second; Bayley Currey, Austin Hill, and riley Herbst round out the top five.

Lap 186, Justin Allgaier has just a tenth of a second lead on Brandon Jones; Bayley Currey, Austin Hill, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

Sam Mayer narrowly misses hitting the wall when he gets loose back in 15th place but save the car and the track stays green.

Lap 187, Justin Allgaier holds on to a narrow lead on Brandon Jones; Bayley Currey, Austin Hill, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

Lap 203, there are now less than 100 laps remaining in the race, Justin Allgaier has a third of a second lead on Brandon Jones; Austin Hill, Noah Gragson, and Riley Herbst round out the top five.

Lap 214, Justin Allgaier has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on Brandon Jones; Austin Hill, Noah Gragson, and Riley Herbst round out the top five.  There are 22 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 220, Landon Cassill returns to the track 112 laps down.

Lap 225, Justin Allgaier has a lead of over a second on Brandon Jones; Austin Hill, Noah Gragson, and Riley Herbst round out the top five.

Seventy to go, Justin Allgaier has a lead of over a second on Brandon Jones with just 16 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 237, the top five are Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson Austin Hill, and AJ Allmendinger.

Lap 243, Justin Allgaier continues to lead the race with a three second lead on Noah Gragson; Brandon Jones, Austin Hill, and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five.

With 52 laps to go, Justin Allgaier has lapped all but 14 cars and is nearly two and a half seconds in front of teammate Noah Gragson.

Lap 256, there are only 13 cars on the lead lap with Justin Allgaier over a second in front of Noah Gragson.

With 38 laps remaining in the race, Noah Gragson has closed the gap on leader Justin Allgaier to under a second.

Lap 266, Noah Gragson begins to challenge leader Justi Allgaier.

Lap 271, in a three wide battle between leader Justin Allgaier, JJ Yeley, and Alex Labbe, JJ Yeley gets loose and gets turned around; hitting the inside wall.

Some of the drivers, including leader Justin Allgaier, come down pit road for fresh tires.  Allgaier and Jeffrey Earnhardt were caught speeding on pit road.  Both drivers will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

After staying out on the track, Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 281.  Getting a big push from Austin Hill, Noah Gragson takes the lead with Brandon Jones in second; Austin Hill, AJ Allmednger, and Riley Herbst round out the top five.

Seventeen to go, AJ Allmendinger gets loose but saves the car and keeps it off the wall.

Fifteen to go, Noah Gragson has a one second lead on Brandon Jones; Austin Hill, Riley Herbst, and Josh Berry round out the top five.

Lap 288, Justin Allgaier has entered the top 10.

Ten to go, Noah Gragson has a lead of over half a second on Brandon Jones; Austin Hill, Riley Herbst, and Josh Berry round out the top five.

With seven laps to go, Brandon Jones has caught up to leader Noah Gragson and challenges for the lead.  Earlies this week it was announced that Brandon Jones will be taking over the driving duties for the number nine car when Noah Gragson moves on to the Cup Series to driver the Petty GMS number 42 car.

Noah Gragson takes the white flag and the battle for the lead continues.

Noah Gragson wins the race for the third week in a row and his sixth race win of the season.  After a rain shortened win at Kansas that dampened celebrating the win; Noah Gragson can have a proper celebration this week.  The number nine car disappears in the smoke with the burnout that had Gragson hitting the wall.  And then comes the climbing of the fence with the crew.

This is the first time in the history of JR Motorsports that a driver has won three races in a row.

Daniel Hemric and Ryan Sieg earn enough points to fill out the 12 driver player offs.

The unofficial results of the Food City 300:
Noah Gragson
Brandon Jones
Austin Hill
Sam Mayer
Riley Herbst
AJ Allmendinger
Josh Berry
Stefan Parsons
Justin Allgaier
Ryan Sieg
Bayley Currey
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Anthony Alfredo
Sammy Smith
Jeb Burton
Jeremy Clements
Kyle Weatherman
Sage Karam
Ryan Ellis
Daniel Hemric
Josh Williams
Myatt Snider
Joe Graf Jr
CJ McLaughlin
Kris Wright
Alex Labbe
Patrick Emerling
Ronnie Bassett Jr
Nicholas Sanchez
David Starr
Bobby McCarty
Mason Massey
JJ Yeley
BJ McLeod
Landon Cassill
Ty Gibbs
Sheldon Creed
Brandon Brown


The 12 drivers in the Xfinity Series playoffs:
Noah Gragson
Ty Gibbs
Justin Allgaier
AJ Allnendinger
Josh Berry
Austin Hill
Brandon Jones
Jeremy Clements
Sam Mayer
Daniel Hemric
Riley Herbst
Ryan Sieg


First Time Winner in Truck Race at Bristol

The Camping World Truck Series kicks off a triple header weekend and round two of their playoffs with the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

FOX Sports broadcasters revealed that driver Jesse Little is retiring from driving after tonight’s race and will be working for NASCAR.

Thirty-seven teams brought trucks to Bristol to fill 36 starting spots.  After the drivers were divided into two groups for a 15 minute practice session, the drivers will do single truck qualifying with a two lap run.

John Hunter Nemechek blows a tire and hit the wall during his practice session and causes some significant damage to the truck.  Nemechek said that he blew a tire and will start the race in a backup truck.

Zane Smith also had an issue in practice, he was dropping fluid and will not make a qualifying run.  As a result he will have to start from the back of the field.

Justin Carroll is the first driver on the track to make a qualifying run.  If he makes the race, it will be his first time driving the truck in a race.  He clocked a time of 16.14 seconds around the half mile track.

Chris Hacker got loose during his qualifying run and tapped the inside wall.

Leland Honeyman Jr got loose during his qualifying run but managed not to hit anything.

Kaden Honeycutt tapped the wall during his qualifying run but saved the truck and will make the race.

With a qualifying time of 15.276 seconds, Derek Kraus put his number 19 truck on the pole with defending race winner Chandler Smith alongside on the front row.

Justin Carroll failed to make the race.

The starting lineup for the UNOH 200:
Derek Kraus
Chandler Smith
Stewart Friesen
Grant Enfinger
Corey Heim
Ty Majeski
Christian Eckes
Bayley Currey
Matt DiBenedetto
Carson Hocevar
Ben Rhodes
Tyler Ankrum
Dean Thompson
Rajah Caruth
Jake Garcia
Matt Crafton
Taylor Gray
Hailie Deegan
Colby Howard
Jack Wood
Connor Mosack
Blaine Perkins
Lawless Alan
Chase Purdy
Jesse Little
Tanner Gray
Kaden Honeycutt
Parker Kligerman
Timmy Hill
Chris Hacker
Leland Honeyman
Austin Wayne Self
Spencer Boyd
Josh Reaume
Zane Smith
John Hunter Nemechek

Playoff drivers Zane Smith and John Hunter Nemechek are currently above the cut line but no driver further back than 17th has won a race at Bristol.

Stages one and two are 55 laps each with stage three lasting 90 laps for a total of 200 laps around the half mile track.  The drivers can run 120 to 130 laps on a single load of fuel.

Blaine Perkins, Chris Hacker, and Josh Reaume also start the race from the back of the field after crews made unapproved adjustments to the trucks.

Derek Kraus brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane with Chandler Smith on the inside.  Kraus edges out Smith for the lead.  Stewart Friesen gets sideways but doesn’t wreck and the track stays green.

Lap three, Derek Kraus has a  quarter of a second lead on Chandler Smith; Grant Enfinger, TY Majeski, and Stewart Friesen round out the top five.

Lap five, Zane Smith and John Hunter have enter the top 30 after starting the race from the last two spots after difficulties during practice and could not make a qualifying run.

Lap eight, Derek Kraus ahs pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Chandler Smith; Grant Enfinger, Ty Majeski, and Stewart Friesen round out the top five.

Lap eleven, John Hunter Nemechek and Zane Smith are in 27th and 28th.

Lap 13, Derek Kraus is just under a second ahead of Chandler Smith and is approaching slower traffic.

Lap 26, Chandler Smith has caught up to leader Derek Kraus and is challenging for the lead.

The number 12 of Spencer Boyd got into the wall as sparks were coming out from the truck.  He gets down to pit road and the track stays green.

Lap 26, Chandler Smith passes Derek Kraus for the lead.  Zane Smith has moved up to 24th and John Hunter Nemechek is in 26th.  There are 30 trucks on the lead lap with Spencer Boyd out of the race.

Lap 34, there are now 29 trucks on the lead lap.  Chandler Smith leads the race by nearly half a second on Derek Kraus.

The first caution flag of the race comes out on lap 37 when Josh Reaume is stopped on the track after hitting the wall.  Trying to avoid the contact, Rajah Caruth also gets into Reaume.

Lap 41, the top five are Chandler Smith, Derek Kraus, Stewart Friesen, Grant Enfinger, and Ty Majeski.

Currently in 23rd and 24th, the caution flag was a break for Zane Smith and John Hunter Nemechek who were in danger of going a lap down.

Chandler Smith brings the field down for the green flag restart with just nine laps remaining in stage one.  Smith jumps out in front from the outside lane with Stewart Friesen taking second form Derek Kraus.

Lap 50, Chandler Smith leads the race with Stewart Friesen in second; Derek Kraus, Matt DiBenedetto, and Grant Enfinger ouund out the top five.

Chandler Smith wins stage one for his fourth stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Chandler Smith
Stewart Friesen
Derek Kraus
Matt DiBenedetto
Grant Enfinger
Ty Majeski
Christian Eckes
Corey Heim
Bayley Currey
Matt Crafton

Some of the drivers come down pit road for service; while other stay out on the track.  The drivers could complete stages one and two on a single load of fuel is they chose to do so.

After staying out on the track, Chandler Smith brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 66 with Chandler Smith getting out in front for the lead.

Lap 67, the top five are Chandler Smith, DerekKraus, Stewart Friesen, TY Majeski, and Christian Eckes.

Rajah Caruth and Josh Reaume join Spencer Boyd out of the race.

John Hunter Nemechek is just outside the top 10 in eleventh with Zane Smith in 14th.

Lap 73, Chandler Smith has a lead of nearly half a second on Derek Kraus.  John Hunter Nemechek enters the top 10.

There are 30 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 78, Chandler Smith has a half second lead on Derek Kraus; Stewart Friesen, Ty Majeski, and Christian Eckes round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 85 when Connor Mosack gets into the wall after a three wide battle and is stopped on the track.  He gets moving again after the caution flag comes out.

Drivers who make a pit stop during this caution, can make it to the end of the race with 113 laps to go in the race.

Chandler Smith brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 91 and jumps out in front for the lead.

Lap 93, Chandler Smith has a lead of over half a second on Stewart Friesen; Christian Eckes, Ben Rhodes, and Taylor Gray round out the top five.

John Hunter Nemechek and Zane Smith are both in the top 10.

There are 29 trucks on the lead lap.

With 13 laps remaining in stage two, Chandler Smith holds a lead of over half a second on Stewart Friesen; Christian Eckes, Ben Rhodes, and Taylor Gray round out the top five.

Four laps remain in stage two, Chandler Smith is less than half a second in front of Stewart Friesen with Christian Eckes, Ben Rhodes, and Taylor Gray rounding out the top five.

Chandler Smith wins stage two for the stage sweep.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Chandler Smith
Stewart Friesen
Christian Eckes
Ben Rhodes
Taylor Gray
Chase Purdy
Tanner Gray
John Hunter Nemechek
Kaden Honeycutt
Zane Smith

Drivers come down pit road for service including the leaders who have yet to make a pit stop.  Chandler Smith wins the race off of pit road.

Zane Smith is the new leader and brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 122 and edges out Parker Kligerman for the lead from the inside lane.

The top five are Zane Smith, TY Majeski, Parker Kligerman, Derek Kraus, and Grant Enfinger.

Grant Enfinger passes Derek Kraus and Parker Kligerman to take third.  Zane Smith has a lead of over half a second on Ty Majeski.

After his stage one crash, Josh Reaume has been take n to a local hospital for further evaluation.

Lap 129, Zane Smith has a near half second lead on Ty Majeski; Grant Enfinger, Parker Kilgerman, and Derek Kraus round out the top five.

Chandler Smith is just outside the top 10 in eleventh after pitting at the end of stage two.

Lap 135, Ty Majeski is closing the gap on leader Zane Smith with Smith just a third of a second out in front.

Lap 143, Zane Smith holds on to the lead with Ty Majeski in second; Grant Enfinger, Parker Kligerman, and Derek Kraus round out the top five.  Approaching slower traffic, Ty Majeski has caught up to leader Smith.

Fifty to go, and Chris Hacker brings out the caution flag when he spins out after some on track contact with Christian Eckes.

Zane Smith is very close on fuel, every caution lap aids in his fuel conservation.

Zane Smith brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with 44 laps remaining in the race with Ty Majeski on the outside.  Ty Majeski gets out in front for the lead with Zane Smith in second; Parker Kligerman, Grant Enfinger, and Derek Kraus round out the top five.

With 40 laps to go, Ben Rhodes in 16th is the lowest of the playoff drivers.

Lap 162, Ty Majeski has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Zane Smith; Parker Kligerman, Grant Enfinger, and Derek Kraus round out the top five.  After leading 88 laps, Chandler Smith is back in eighth place.

With 33 laps to go, there are 28 trucks on the lead lap with three drivers out of the race.

Lap 169, Ty Majeski has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds in Zane Smith; part time driver and NBC pit reporter Parker Kligerman, Grant Enfinger, and Derek Kraus round out the top five.

Twenty-five to go, Ty Majeski has increased his lead to nearly two seconds on Zane Smith; Parker Kligerman, Grant Enfinger, and Derek Kraus round out the top five with 27 trucks on the lead lap. 

Dean Thompson spins out after a block and gets into the wall with 21 laps remaining in the race.

Ty Majeski brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with just 12 laps remaining in the race.  Majeski jumps out in front for the lead with Zane Smith and Parker Kligerman in a battle for second.

Ten to go, Ty Majeski has a half second lead on Zane Smith; Parker Kligerman, Grant Enfinger, and Matt Crafton round out the top five.

Tyler Ankrum’s truck is smoking but the track stays green.

Ty Majeski takes the white flag.

Ty Majeski gets his first career win and is the first driver to secure a spot in the final four and a chance to make a run for the championship.

The unofficial results of the UNOH 200:
Ty Majeski
Zane Smith
Parker Kligerman
Grant Enfinger
Matt Crafton
Derek Kraus
Stewart Friesen
Christian Eckes
Chandler Smith
Corey Heim
Tyler Ankrum
John Hunter Nemechek
Kaden Honeycutt
Hailie Deegan
Bayley Currey
Taylor Gray
Tanner Gray
Ben Rhodes
Carson Hocevar
Austin Wayne Self
Jack Wood
Jake Garcia
Lawless Alan
Colby Howard
Jesse Little
Timmy Hill
Matt DiBenedetto
Blaine Perkins
Leland Honeyman Jr
Chase Purdy
Connor Mosack
Dean Thompson
Chris Hacker
Rajah Caruth
Josh Reaume
Spencer Boyd

NASCAR Releases 2023 Schedule

As the 2022 season begins to wind down, NASCAR has released the schedule for the 2023 reason which features a return to dirt, racing on the streets, a final race at a historic track, and a return to an old historic track.

The Cup Series gets the season started on FebrUary 5 with the annual Clash which will make a return to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum after its fun filled debut this year.

The. Things kick off in earnest with Speedweeks in Daytona with all three series running to kick off the regular racing season; culminating with the Daytona 500.  The 2023 season also marks 75 years of NASCAR.  NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Development and Strategy Ben Kennedy spoke on the historic upcoming season saying, “as we prepare to celebrate our 75th anniversary season, we are committed to delivering a schedule that acknowledges the deep history and tradition of our sport while establishing a bold future that brings the best racing in the world to new markets and new fans.”

Earlier this year it was revealed that street racing in NASCAR was moving past the iRacing simulator and becoming a reality.  But with the release of the schedule, racing fans have discovered that the street race in Chicago is not a stand alone event but the Xfinity Series

drivers will also be running the streets of Chicago.  It will mark the first time a stock car has raced on the streets of any city in a sanctioned NASCAR event.

NASCAR has not raced on the short track in North Wilkesboro since 1996.  But they will be making a return to the historic track in May with the Truck Series and the annual All Star race in the Cup Series.

Armed with a new name – rather the return of an old name –  when Craftsman takes over sponsorship, the Truck Series makes a return to the Milwaukee Mile late in August in a stand along event and will serve as one of the races in the first round of the playoffs.

This year it was the Truck Series that joined the Cup Series on the road course in the Napa Valley at Sonoma, next year the Xfinity Series will join the Cup drivers in wine country.

There are no changes in the 2023 season for the playoff races for the Cup Series, it will again begin at Darlington and end in Phoenix.

2023 NASCAR Cup Series schedule:
Feb 5 – Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum
Feb 16 – Duel Races at Daytona
Feb 19 – Daytona 500
Feb 26 – Auto Club Speedway
March 5 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 12 – Phoenix Raceway
March 19 – Atlanta Motor Speedway
March 26 – COTA
April 2 – Richmond Raceway
April 9 – Dirt Race at Bristol
April 16 – Martinsville Speedway
April 23 – Talladega Superspeedway
April 30 – Dover Speedway
May 7 – Kansas Speedway
May 14 – Darlington Raceway
May 21 – All Star Race at North Wilkesboro
May 28 – Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 4 – World Wide Technology Raceway
June 11 – Sonoma Raceway
June 25 – Nashville Superspeedway
July 2 – street race in Chicago
July 9 – Atlanta Motor Speedway
July 16 – New Hampshire Speedway
July 23 – Pocono Raceway
July 30 – Richmond Raceway
Aug 6 – Michigan Speedway
Aug 13 – Indianapolis Road Course
Aug 20 – the road race at Watkins Glen
Aug 26 – Daytona to end the regular season
Sept 2 – Darlington Raceway to begin the playoffs
Sept 10 – Kansas Speedway
Sept 16 – Bristol Motor Speedway
Sept 24 – Texas Motor Speedway
Oct 1 – Talladega Superspeedway
Oct 8 – The roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Oct 15 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Oct 22 – Homestead-Miami Speedway
Oct 29 – Martinsville Speedway
Nov 5 – Phoenix Raceway – Championship race


Xfinity Series 2023 schedule:
Feb 18 – Daytona Superspeedway
Feb 25 – Auto Club Speedway
March 4 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 11 – Phoenix Raceway
March 18 – Atlanta Motor Speedway
March 25 – COTA
April 1 – Richmond Raceway
April 15 – Martins fille Speedway
April 22 – Talladega Superspeedway
April 29 – Dover Speedway
May 13 – Darlington Speedway

May 27 – Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 3 – Portland road course race
June 10 – Sonoma Speedway
June 24 – Nashville Superspeedway
July 1 – street race in Chicago
July 8 – Atlanta Motor Speedway
July 15 – New Hampshire Speedway
July 22 – Pocono Raceway
July 29 – Road America
Aug 5 – Michigan Speedway
Aug 12 – Indianapolis Road Course
Aug 19 – Watkins Glen
Aug 25 – Daytona Superspeedway
Sept 2 – Darlington Raceway
Sept 9 – Kansas Speedway to end the regular season
Sept 15 – Bristol – first race of the playoffs
Sept 23 – Texas Motor Speedway
Oct 7 – the Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Oct 14 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Oct 21 – Homestead-Miami Speedway
Oct 28 – Martinsville Speedway
Nov 4 – Phoenix Raceway – championship race


2023 Craftsman Truck Series schedule:
Feb 17 – Daytona
March 3 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 18 – Atlanta Motor Speedway
March 25 – COTA
April 1 – Texas Motor Speedway
April 8 – on the dirt at Bristol
April 14 – Martinsville Speedway
May 6 – Kansas Speedway
May 12 – Darlington Raceway
May 20 – North Wilkesboro
May 26 – Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 3 – World Wide Technology Raceway
June 23 – Nashville Superspeedway
July 8 – Mid-Ohio
July 22 – Pocono Raceway
July 29 – Richmond Raceway to end the regular season
Aug 11 – Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park
Aug 27 – Milwaukee Mile
Sept 8 – Kansas Speedway
Sept 14 – Bristol Speedway
Sept 30 – Talladega Superspeedway
Oct 21 – Homestead-Miami Speedway
Nov 3 – Phoenix Raceway – championship race

JR Picks #9 Replacement

The next episode of “As the Wheel Turns” of the NASCAR Silly season has JR Motorsports owner Dale Earnhardt Jr naming the replacement for a driver in the number nine car after Noah Gragson was tapped to take over the driving duties for the Petty GMS number 42 car next season.

 

Instead of promoting one of his late model drivers to the Xfinity Series like in the past, JR has chosen Brandon Jones to take over the driving duties of the number nine next season.

 

Currently Jones drives the number 19 Xfinity Series car for Joe Gibbs Racing.

 

Speaking on Brandon Jones, JRM co-owner and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller said, “Brandon’s been a tough competitor over the years, and he’s a talented addition to JR Motorsports.  He’s a series veteran that brings a lot of experience, and we’re going to see big things from Brandon and the nine team in 2023.”

 

Currently one of the drivers set to participate in the Xfinity Series playoffs; Jones has one win, five top fives, and nine top 10’s this season.

 

Jones himself also spoke on his move to JRM saying, “to watch how competitive JRM has been over the years is really impressive.  They’re a threat to win every week, and one of the premier teams in our series. I’m so thankful.”         

 

JRM drivers have racked up a total of 10 race wins this season and over a dozen stage wins between the four drivers – Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, and Sam Mayer. Mayer is the only driver yet to take the checkered flag.

Rowdy Decides…18 Becomes 8

There has been a great deal of speculation all season long where Joe Gibbs Racing driver would be for the 2023 season.  Would he return to JGR and the number 18 car with a new sponsor or would he move to a new team and car number.

 All of those questions were answered in a press conference on September 13 held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 Coining a phrase from LeBron James, Busch said, “I’ll be taking my talents to Welcome, North Carolina to drive the number eight car starting in 2023.”

 Such thanked car owner for his patience adding, “you guys took a chance at a kid 15 years ago to let me drive a race car, and we hit the ground running; who allowed me to be a kid and grow into a man, most days.”

Car owner Joe Gibbs issued a statement saying, “Kyle has been a major part of our history and success here at Joe Gibbs Racing. We are thankful for all his contributions to our organization over the years.  When you look at all that he has accomplished already, it is truly remarkable, and we know someday we will be celebrating his Hall of Fame induction.”

Speaking on new car owner Kyle Busch said, “RCR has an impressive history in NASCAR and I’m honoured that Richard is putTing his trust in me to come in and continue to build on tHat legacy.  Growing up in a family of passionate racers myself, I feel like the culture that the Childress family has built within their organization will be an ideal fit for me.  As I  begin the next chapter of my career, I’m looking forward to driving for RCR and working with everyone there to add more wins and. Hampionships to both our resumes.”

Even before the season began, Busch’s primary sponsor Mars Wrigley announced that they would end their sponsorship of the number 18 car which frequently carried the comical M&M characters once the 2022 season was over.  So the search began for a new sponsor.  A search that is ongoing.

In the meantime, it was revealed that the driver of the number 18 car, Kyle Busch, was in the final year of his contract.  As the season progressed, negotiations dragged on until Busch finally admitted that he was in contact with other car owners.  Over the weekend rumors began to fly that Busch had made his decision.  On Tuesday morning, wearing his two championship rings – both won while driving for JGR – , Kyle Busch revealed that he would be moving to Richard Childress Racing after spending 15 years at JGR.

Tyler Reddick is the current driver of the number eight car but announced in July that beginning with the 2024 season he would be moving on to 23XI Racing. 

After telling Reddick that Busch would be taking over the driving duties for the number eight car just one hour before the press conference, Richard Childress said that Reddick would remain with RCR for the 2023 season where he will field a third RCR car.  Reddick is among the current list of 16 playoff drivers in eleventh place; as is teammate Austin Dillon, who is in 14th place.  RCR last won a championship in 1994 when Dale Earnhardt Sr won his seventh and final championship.

New car owner Richard Childress joined. Busch at the press conference where he presented Busch with a watch and seven year old son Brexton with an option to sign a contract with RCR. And Childress has given Busch permission to run in the Indianapolis 500 if he wants to do so in the future.

The watch stems from an altercation between Childress and Busch in 2011 where Childress removed his watch and handing it to someone saying, “hold my watch” before putting Busch in a headlock.  The two have long since resolved their differences and it was instrumental in Childress being able to land Busch as a new driver on the time.

Childress noted that the atmosphere in his race shop has been electric since the rumors began; adding that when he looks into Kyle Busch’s eyes, he sees the same fire for competition that he once saw in Dale Earnhardt Sr.  Speaking on Busch, Childress said, “the addition of Kyle Busch to the Richard Childress Racing lineup is significant, not only for our organization, but for the sport as a whole.  Kyle is a proven contender at the highest levels of the sport, and I believe that his experience and dedication to motorsports will elevate our race program across the board. I’ve always admired Kyle’s driving style and his ability to win and race for championships ever since he entered the sport. Who wouldn’t want a proven NASCAR Cup Series champion driving their car?”

In fact, it was Childress’ grandson, Austin Dillon, who approached his Grandfather and broached the subject of driving for RCR.

Along with driver Kyle Busch, comes Truck Series owner Kyle Busch who has fielded a three truck team in the Camping World Truck Series using Toyota trucks.  Beginning next season, KBM will switch to Chevrolets but it is not known at this time whether Busch will continue with a three truck team.

Parting manufacturer Toyota also issued a statement on Busch and his leaving the team saying, “we’re disappointed and saddened that his future won’t continue to be with Team Toyota.  Kyle has been an ambassador for Toyota since joining the program in 2008. He’s gone on to accumulate some of the most prestigious milestones possible for the Toyota brand. He will undoubtedly hold the record for the most wins in a Toyota across all three Championship Series for decades to come.”  Busch has 56 Cup wins driving a Toyota; as well as, numerous Xfinity and Truck Series wins.

President of Toyota Development David Wilson frequently noted that having Busch anywhere but with Toyota was unacceptable; adding that he didn’t want to face a pissed off Kyle Busch on the track.

“But more than that, Kyle has been a friend, part of our family and has played a key role in the development of many of our drivers through his ownership of Kyle Busch Motorsports. We wish nothing but the best for Kyle and his entire family as he moves into the next chapter of his Hall of Fame career. We’re thankful to have been along for the ride,” they added.

Kyle Busch began his Cup Series career with Rick Hendrick at the age of 19, but was let go after three years to make way for Dale Earnhardt Jr.  since that time he has racked up a total of 60 Cup Series races, 60 Truck Series Races, and 102 Xfinity Series races to top the list of total race wins.  He currently has a streak of at least one race win in each of the past 18 seasons.

As a Truck Series team owner he has 98 wins and two championships with Erik Jones and Christopher Bell.  This season KBM full time drivers Chandler Smith and John Hunter Nemechek are currently in the top four of the eight remaining playoff drivers.

Panel Rules on Clements Appeal

After winning the Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway last month, NASCAR assessed a L2 penalty against Jeremy Clements when officials found an issue with the intake manifold on the number 51 car. 

 As a result, Clements was allowed to keep the win but had his bid to be a part of the playoffs taken away.  Crew chief Mark Setzer was fined $60,000, the team owner and Clements were docked 75 points, and Clements would be docked 10 playoff points should he make the playoffs  The team appealed the penalty.

 On September 13 the National Appeals Panel ruled in favourites of Jeremy Clements Racing.  The penalty has been erased and Clements regains his lost points and playoff spot. While listed in 16th place in the point standings with 435 points, he is listed eighth in the playoffs with 2005 points, tied with Sam Mayer.  Clements becomes the eighth race winner to make the playoffs in the Xfinity Series this season with one more race remaining in the regular season. 

The Xfinity Series concludes the regular season on Friday with Friday night at Bristol Motor Seedsay.

NASCAR Playoff Standings – Sept 12

It was a busy weekend for NASCAR at Kansas Speedway the brought an end to the first of the playoffs in the Truck Series, a rain shortened race for the Xfinity Series, and the 18th different race winner in the Cup Series.

Despite having a couple of bad weeks on the track,Chase Elliott continues to lead the field with 2,040 points.  Martin Truex Jr continues to lead the field in stage wins with seven.  Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Ross Chastain all have dive stage wins exactly.

Cup Series Stage Point Standings:

Chase Elliott – 240

Joey Logano – 213

Ryan Blaney – 208

Martin Truex Jr – 198

Kyle Larson – 191

William. Udon – 189

Ross Chastain – 178

Kyle. Busch – 177

Christopher Bell – 170

Denny Hamlin – 147

Erik Jones – 103

Tyler Reddick – 102

Chase Briscoe – 96

Alex Bowman – 94

Daniel Suarez –  92

Bubba Wallace – 88

Kevin Harvick – 85

Kurt Busch – 77 (still out due to a head injury)

Aric Almirola – 66

Ricky Stenhouse Jr – 55

Brad Keselowski – 47

Austin Cindric – 45

Harrison Burton – 41

Chris Buescher – 34

Austin Dillon – 33

Cole Custer – 33

Ty Dillon – 33

Todd Gilliland – 31

Michael McDowell – 21

Justin Haley – 19

Joey Hand – 14

Corey LaJoie – 8

Cody Ware – 2

After the race in Kansas that brought the 18th different winner of the season when Bubba Wallace took the number 45 car to victory lane for the 23XI Racing sweep, it secured the 45 car would continue in the race for the owner’s championship and move on to the next round in fifth place.  It was the second week in a row that the race winner is a non-playoff driver.  As a result, the only driver to have secured a spot in the next round going into Bristol for the final race in the round is Christopher Bell.

Currently Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Chase Briscoe, and Kevin Harvick are below the cut line and at a risk of being eliminated from the playoffs.  After two playoff races with a DNF, Harvick will have to win the race in Bristol to assure he can advance to the next round.

Cup Series Playoff Standings:

Christopher Bell – 2,108

William Byron – 2,098

Denny Hamlin – 2,097

Joey Logano – 2,090

Ryan Blaney – 2,086

Alex Bowman – 2,080

Chase Elliott – 2,078

Kyle Larson – 2,077

Ross Chastain – 2,076

Daniel Suarez – 2,056

Tyler Reddick – 2,052

Austin Cindric – 2,052

Kyle Busch – 2,050

Austin Dillon – 2,049

Chase Briscoe – 2,043

Kevin Harvick – 2,017

In the Xfinity Series, it was the next to the last race in the regular season.  Drivers managed to complete stage two before the rains came and washed out the remainder of the race.  Noah Gragson notched his fifths win of the season to tie with Ty Gibbs for race wins.  That makes a total of 10 race wins for JR Motorsports drivers this season.

After his win on Saturday afternoon, Noah Gragson took over the lead with 2,045 points; five in front of Ty Gibbs.

Xfinity Series Playoff Standings:

Noah Gragson – 2,045

Ty Gibbs – 2,040

AJ Allmendinger – 2,032

Justin Allgaier – 2,030

Josh Berry – 2,022

Austin Hill – 2,016

Brandon Jones – 2,010

Sam Mayer – 2,005

Daniel Hemric – 2,003

Riley Herbst – 2,002

Ryan Sieg – 2,001

Landon Cassio – 2,000

In the Camping World Truck Series the Friday night race brought an end to the first round of the playoffs and the elimination of two drivers.

Camping World Truck Series Playoff Standings;

Zane Smith – 3,037

Chandler Smith – 3,028

John Hunter Nemechek – 3,024

Ben Rhodes – 3,017

Stewart Friesen – 3,013

Ty Majeski – 3,008

Grant Enfinger – 3,007

Christian Eckes – 3,007

Carson Hocevar – 2,099

Matt Crafton – 2,092

Carson Hocevar and Matt Crafton are the first drivers to eliminated from the playoffs.

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.





MLB Makes Rule Changes

A gentleman’s game, Abner Doubleday created baseball as a sedately game with no time limits; to be played at a leisurely pace.   But over the past few years Major League Baseball has thrown out a number of ideas designed to “speed up the game”.

A few of those ideas will become a part of the game next season that include limiting the time a pitcher may take between pitches and how the players on the field may defend the field of play.  The new rule changes were tested over some 8,000 games in the minor leagues before implementing them in the majors.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said that the new rules would, “bring back the best form of baseball.”  He added, “number one, fans want games with better pace. “Two, fans want more action, more balls in play. And three, fans want to see more of the athleticism of our great players.”

Not happy with all of the new rule changes, the MLB Players Association issued a statement saying, “Players live the game — day in and day out. On-field rules and regulations impact their preparation, performance, and ultimately, the integrity of the game itself.  Major League Baseball was unwilling to meaningfully address the areas of concern that players raised.”



While the distances from home plate to the outfield wall vary from ballpark to ballpark, two things have been constant throughout the history of baseball…the distance from the pitcher’s mound to home plate – 60 feet six inches – and the distance between bases – 90 feet.

One of the new rules will change those dimensions when MLB will begin using larger bases next year.  The new bases will shorten the distance from 90 feet to 85.5 inches with an increase from 15 square inches to 18 square inches.  The new larger bases are also expected to cut down on injuries to players.

Pitchers will be “on the clock” beginning next season.  They will have a maximum of 15 seconds between pitches when the bases are empty and 20 seconds when there are runners on base.  Pitchers are not the only players who have found  relative ways to “stall” the game, catchers and batters have also been known to take their time in getting set.  As a part of the pitch clock, a catcher must be in position and ready to receive the ball with no less than nine seconds remaining on the clock.  If he fails to do so, the batter will be awarded a ball.  Conversely, a batter must be ready to accept the pitch with no less than eight seconds remaining on the clock.  If he fails to do so, he will receive a strike.

Over the years there have been pitchers who have thrown nearly as many balls to first base in an attempt to pick off a runner.  Beginning next season, a pitcher is limited to just two such throws per batter.  Should a pitcher make a third “pick off” throw, a balk will be called.  Should a runner advance during a single at bat, then the number for “pick off throws” – what the MLB calls a disengagement – will be reset to zero.

Batters will be allowed one time out per at bat.  Any further time outs will be at the umpire’s discretion.

In recent years managers have taken to moving players around or “shifting” in order to defend against certain batters placement when they put the ball in play.  Beginning next season, the second baseman must be on either side of the base with all infielders within the infield; however, a five man infield will still be allowed.

Stat keepers have noted a significant increase in shifts over the past few seasons.

If a team has used all five of their mound visits by the eighth inning, they may receive one more visit for the ninth inning.

Rain Shortens Xfinity Race in Kansas

Xfinity Series

Just two races remain in the regular season for the Xfinity Series drivers. So far, seven drivers have locked in spots in the playoffs with at least one race win. Five spots remain open for drivers to work their way into the playoffs.

During the 20 minute practice session, Stefan Parsons spun out but kept the car off the wall. Justin Allgaier reported numerous issues with his car including a stuck tachometer and sof brakes.

Thirty-nine teams brought cars to Kansas Speedway for 38 starting spots.

The first car on the track to make a qualifying run is Brennan Poole who posted a time of 32.457 seconds around the mile and a half track.

Several of the drivers were fighting a loose condition in their cars while making a qualifying run and had to fight to save the car from wrecking.

Matt Mills is under the weather this week and Garrett Smithley is taking over the driving duties in the number five car.

Jesse Iwuji and Kyle Weatherman continue to share the driving duties in the number 34 car; this week Kyle Weatherman practiced and qualfied the car but Jesse Iwuji is driving the car in the race.

Brandon Brown was the first driver to break the 32 second mark with a time of 31.898 seconds.

Kris Wright spins out during his qualifying run and barely backs into the wall. He did not complete his qualifying run.

Ryan Vargas spun out and hit the wall hard causing significant damage to the right side of his number six car during his qualifying run. He will have to make a mandatory trip to the infield care center and will have to start the race from the back of the field in a backup car.

Posting a time of 30.911 seconds, Brandon Jones puts his number 19 car on the pole. He is the first driver to break the 31 second mark. After topping lap times in practice, Ty Gibbs will start alongside of Jones on the front row with a time of 30.942 seconds.

Part time drivers Akinori Ogata is the lone driver who failed to make the race.

The starting lineup for the Kansas Lottery 300:
Brandon Jones
Ty Gibbs
Sheldon Creed
AJ Allmendinger
Noah Gragson
Austin Hill
Daniel Hemric
Sam Mayer
Justin Allgaier
Josh Berry
Sammy Smith
Riley Herbst
Ryan Sieg
Landon Cassill
Ross Chastain
Brett Moffitt
Jeremy Clements
Kyle Weatherman
Jeb Burton
Brandon Brown
Myatt Snider
Anthony Alfredo
Bayley Currey
Mason Massey
Howie Disavino III
Dillon Bassett
Rajah Caruth
JJ Yeley
Josh Williams
Brennan Poole
David Starr
CJ McLaughlin
Garrett Smithley
Stefan Parsons
Derek Griffith
Joey Gase
Kris Wright
Ryan Vargas

Joey Gase, Josh Williams, CJ McLaughlin, Brennan Poole, JJ Yeley, Kris Wright, Stefan Parsons, and Brandon Brown will all be moved the back of the field after their crews made unapproved adjustments to the cars. Jesse Iwuji in the number 34 car not only had some unapproved adjustments made, there is a driver change form Kyle Weatherman to Iwuji.

This is the first trip to Kansas Speedway for the Xfinity Series drivers and the first time many of the drivers will race on the track.

Stages one and two of the race are 45 laps each with stage three lasting 110 laps for 200 laps around the mile and a half track. Drivers can run 55 to 60 laps on a single load of fuel. The teams were given just four sets of tires for today’s race.

Brandon Jones brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the inside lane and goes sided by side with Ty Gibbs before Jones gets out in front for the lead. Drivers quickly get three wide across the track already looking to advance their positions.

Lap two, Brandon Jones leads the race with Ty Gibbs in second; Sheldon Creed, AJ Allmendinger, and Austin Hill round out the top five.

Las three Ty Gibbs battles with Brandon Jones for the lead. After nearly losing the lead, Jones holds on to stay out front.

Lap four, Brandon Jones has the lead with Ty Gibbs in second; AJ Allmendinger, Sheldon Creed, and Austin Hill round out the top five.

Lap five, Ty Gibbs again comes up to battle with Brandon Jones for the lead and this time, Gibbs passes Jones to take the lead.

Lap seven, Ty Gibbs has pulled out to a third of a second lead on Brandon Jones; AJ Allmendinger, Sheldon Creed, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

Lap eight, Noah Gragson passes Sheldon Creed for fourth and is in danger of losing fifith to Justin Allgaier.

Lap nine, Justin Allgaier passes Sheldon Creed for fifth.

Lap eleven, Ty Gibbs holds on to the lead with Brandon Jones in second; AJ Allmendinger, Noah Gragson, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Lap 19, Ty Gibbs has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Brandon Jones; Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

AJ Allmendinger is reporting some issues with his car.

Lap 20 Justin Allgaier challenges AJ Allmendinger for fifth.

Daniel Hemric is reporting some tight issues in his car.

Lap 22, Josh Berry reports that he is very very loose.

Lap 23, Ty Gibbs has a lead of over a second and a half on Brandon Jones; Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, and Sammy Smith round out the top five.

There are 29 cars on the lead lap on lap 25 with all 38 drivers on the track.

Lap 26, Brandon Jones has closed the gap on leader Ty Gibbs to under a second and a half.

Lap 27, Ty Gibbs continues to lap cars and there are 26 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 28, Ty Gibbs has a lead of nearly two seconds on Brandon Jones; Noah Gragson, Smmy Smith, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Continuing to battle issues with his car, Sheldon Creed has dropped out of the top 10 and is currently in 12th ater starting the race in third place.

Ten laps remain in stage one, Ty Gibbs continues to lead the race with a lead of over two and a half seconds; Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson, Sammy Smith, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five with just 18 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 38, Brandon Jonesn and Noah Gragson battle for second.

With six laps remaining in stage one, Noah Gragson takes second; over three and a half seconds behind leader Ty Gibbs.

With four laps remaining in stage one, teammates Sam Mayer and Josh Berry battle for 10th with Josh Berry taking the spot. Josh Berry reports that the car is almost undrivable. He reports to the crew that he doesn’t care how long they have to sit on pit road, he wants the car fixed.

Ty Gibbs wins stage one by over two seconds over Noah Gragson.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Ty Gibbs
Noah Gragson
Brandon Jones
Sammy Smith
Justin Allgaier
Brett Moffitt
Austin Hill
AJ Allmendinger
Josh Berry
Riley Herbst

Drivers come down pit road for service with Ty Gibbs edging out Noah Gragson to win the race of off pit road.

NBC broadcaster Dale Earnhardt Jr reports that there is rain in the area.

Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two from the inside lane with Noah Gragson alongside on lap 52. Gibbs gets out in front for the lead and pulls away from the field.

The top five are Ty Gibbs, Austin Hill, Noah Gragsn, Justin Allgaier, and AJ Allmendinger.

Lap 54, Ty Gibbs has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Noah Gragson; Austin Hill, Justin Allgaier, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Brett Moffit brushes the wall but the track stays green.

Lap 58, Ty Gibbs has a one second lead on Noah Gragson; Justin Allgaier, Austin Hill, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Noah Gragson’s crew chief reports that rain is about 35 minutes away.

Lap 61, Ty Gibbs has a lead of over a second on Noah Gragson; Justin Allgaier, Austin Hill, and Brandon Jones round out the top five. Josh Berry has moved up to seventh place after restarting the race in 13th place.

Lap 63, Myatt Snider is the last car on the lead lap in 19th place.

Josh Berry has moved up to sixth place after the crew made some adjustments during the stage break.

After making qualifying runs with temperatures in the 90’s, temperatures are much cooler; causing a change in car conditions.

Jeremy Clemnets looses control heading for pit road and brings out the caution flag on lap 71.

Several of the drivers come down pit road for fresh tires including the leaders; while others stay out on the track to gain track position.

After staying out on the track, Austin Hill is the new leader. Brett Moffitt and Ryan Sieg also stayed out on the track.

Austin Hill brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with Brett Moffitt alongside. Drivers fan out o as many as six wide going into turn one. Austin Hill is the leader but Noah Gragson comes up to pass Hill and take the lead.

Lap 77, the top five are Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger, Brandon Jones, Ty Gibbs, and Justin Allgaier.

Lap 78, Noah Gragson has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Justin Allgaier; Brandon Jones, Ty Gibbs, and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five.

With 10 laps remaining in stage two, Noah Gragson has increased his lead to a second and a half on Justin Allgaier; Ty Gibbs, Brandon Jones, and Sammy Smith round out the top five.

Lap 82, Noah Gragson continues to pull away with a lead of over s second and a half on Justin Allgaier when the caution flag comes out for rain.

Since the big pile up in Daytona due to rain on the track, NASCAR has been quick to throw the caution flag when just a few raindrops hit the track.

The drivers are making laps under caution speeds with seven laps remaining in stage two.

Drivers who stayed out on the track during the last caution flag come down pit road for fresh tires.

NASCAR is looking to finish the stage under the green flag. Noah Gragson brings the field down for a two lap shootout to end stage two as the rain drops begin to fall. The caution lights come back on and the green flag is waved off.

NASCAR again tries to end the stage under the green flag with a two lap shootout to end the stage. Noah Gragson brings the field down from the outside lane with teammate Justin Allgaier alongside. Gragson and Allgaier go side by side with Gragson getting out in front as drivers spread out across the track.

Noah Gragson has the lead but Ty Gibbs comes up from the outside to challenge Gragson.

Noah Gragson holds on to win stage two.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Noah Gragson
Justin Allgaier
Ty Gibbs
Brandon Jones
Ross Chastain
AJ Allmendinger
Josh Berry
Sammy Smith
Sam Mayer
Brett Moffitt

Justin Allgaier and Ty Gibbs make some heavy contact coming to the green and white checkered flag.

Winds have picked up and there are some misting sprinkles around the track as inclement weather leads a cold front coming through the area.

Lap 94, NASCAR brings the cars down pit road and park them as they display the red flag.

Drivers are out of the cars and crews cover the cars as the rain begins to pick up.

In a short time the track is soak and has been “lost” as it begins to pour down rain.

Kansas Speedway is the only track that Noah Gragson has failed to finish in the top 10.

At 4:37pmEDT, NASCAR has called the race; which gives Noah Gragson the win for his 10th career win.

NASCAR would not allow a burnout but he and the crew did climb the fence in celebration.

The unofficial results of the rain shortened Kansas Lottery 300:
Noah Gragson
Justin Allgaier
Ty Gibbs
Brandon Jones
Ross Chastain
AJ Allmendinger
Josh Berry
Sammy Smith
Sam Mayer
Brett Moffitt
Sheldon Creed
Austin Hill
Landon Cassill
Ryan Sieg
Daniel Hemric
Riley Herbst
Brandon Brown
Anthony Alfredo
Myatt Snider
Kris Wright
Jeremy Clements
JJ Yeley
David Starr
Josh Williams
Rajah Caruth
Stefan Parsons
Derek Griffith
Howie Disavino III
Dillon Bassett
Joey Gase
Mason Massey
Garrett Smithley
Ryan Vargas
CJ McLaughlin
Bayley Currey
Jesse Iwuji
Brennan Poole
Jeb Burton



Kansas Cut Off Race in Truck Series

The Camping World Truck Series kicks off a triple header weekend with the Kansas Lottery 200.  This is the final race in round one of the playoffs for the Truck Series.  At the end of the night the bottom two drivers in points will be eliminated.  Currently, Carson Hocevar and Christen Eckes are on the bubble and facing elimination.

The 10 Camping World Truck Series playoff drivers are:

Chandler Smith with 2,111 points and a race winn

Grant Enfinger with 2,104 points and a race win

Zane Smith with 2,109 points

John Hunter Nemechek with 2,106 points

Ty Majeski with 2,099 points

Stewart a Friesen with 2,094 points

Ben Rhodes with 2,084 points

Matt Crafton with 2,066 points

Carson Hocevar with 2,063 points

Christian Eckes with 2,060 points.

John Hunter Nemechek put his number four Kyle. Such Motorsports truck and the pole and will bring the field to green with Ty Majeski starting alongside on the front row.

A total of 38 teams brought trucks to the track for 36 starting spots.  Tate Fogleman and Trey Hutchins failed to make the race.

The starting lineup for the Kansas Lottery 200:
John Hunter Nemechek
Ty Majeski
Corey Heim
Christian Eckes
Chandler Smith
Ben Rhodes
Ryan Preece
Matt Crafton
Zane Smith
Tanner Gray
Stewart Friesen
Grant Enfinger
Derek Kraus
Matt DiBenedetto
Carson Hocevar
Bayley Currey
Hailie Deegan
Colby Howard
Tyler Ankrum
Brett Moffitt
Kaden Honeycutt
Chase Purdue
Dean Thompson
Parker Kligerman
Timmy Hill
Bret Holmes
Jack Wood
Lawless Alan
Blaine Perkins
Kaz Grala
Brennan Poole
Tyler Hill
Jesse Little
Spencer Boyd
Armani Williams
Mason Maggio

Brett Moffitt joins Brennan Poole, Armani Williams, and Mason Maggio at the back of the field after the crews made some unapproved adjustments to trucks.

Stages one and two of the race are just 30 laps in length with stage three lasting 74 laps for a total of 137 laps around the mile and a half track.  The drivers will have to make at least one pit stop in stage three for fuel.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the inside lane.  Nemechek edges out Ty Majeski for the lead after a push from teammate Corey Heim.

Lap two, John Hunter Nemechek leads the race with Corey Heim in second; Ty Majeski, Christian Eckes, and Chandler Smith round out the top five.

Lap four, leader John Hunter Nemechek has already moved his truck to the top lane near the outside wall; Ty Majeski, Christian Eckes, Corey Heim, and Chandler Smith round out the top five.

All 10 of the playoff drivers are in the top 15.

Lap six. John Hunter Nemechek holds a lead of just a quarter of a second on Ty Majeski; Christian Eckes, Corey Heim, and Chandler Smith round out the top five.

Lap eight, Ty Majeski battle with John Hunter Nemechek for the lead and takes the top spot.

Lap 10, Ty Majeski has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on John Hunter Nemechek; Christian Eckes, Corey Heim, and Chandler Smith round out the top five.

Carson Hocevar is reporting a very loose condition in his truck.

Lap 12, Ty Majeski now has a one second lead on John Hunter Nemechek.

Lap 16, Ty Majeski continues to lead the race by over half a second on John Hunter Nemechek; Christian Eckes, Corey Heim, and Zane Smith round out the top five.  There are 33 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 19, on the bubble and in danger of being eliminated from the playoffs, Carson Hocevar has not been able to move higher than his 15th place starting spot.

Lap 20, John Hunter Nemechek passes Ty Majeski to retake the lead with 31 trucks on the lead lap.  All 36 trucks are on the track.

Lap 27, John Hunter Nemechek has a one second lead on Ty Majeski; Christian Eckes, Corey Heim, and Zane Smith round out the top five.

John Hunter Nemechek wins stage one for his fifth stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
John Hunter Nemechek
Ty Majeski
Christian Eckes
Corey Heim
Zane Smith
Ryan Preece
Derek Kraus
Chandler Smith
Matt Crafton
Tanner Gray

After their stage one finishes, John Hunter Nemechek and Zane Smith have locked in their spots in the next round of the playoffs; joining race winners Grant Enfinger and Chandler Smith.

The drivers head for pit road with multiple complaints of a loose truck.  John Hunter Nemechek wins the race off of pit road with Christian Eckes on his bumper.

Spencer Boyd, Bayley Currey, and Brennan Poole were all charged with crews coming over the wall too soon.  Tyler Hill was caught speeding on pit road.

Chandler Smith had a slow pit stop and restarts the race in 23rd place.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 38 from the inside lane.  Nemechek gets out in front to hold on to the lead.

The top five are John Hunter Nemechek, Ty Majeski, Christian Eckes, Ryan Preece, and Corey Heim.

John Hunter Nemechek is reporting a left rear tire vibration.

Lap 40, John Hunter Nemechek has a third of a second lead on Christian Eckes; Ty Majeski, Ryan Preece, and Zane Smith round out the top five.  There are 27 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 43, John Hunter Nemechek has a lead of over half a second on Christian Eckes; Zane Smith, Ryan Preece, and Ty Majeski round out the top five.

Lap 47, Stewart Friesen has dropped nine spots since the race restart.

Just nine laps remain in stage two, John Hunter Nemechek has a lead of nearly two seconds on Zane Smith; Christian Eckes, Ryan Preece, and Corey Heim round out the top five.

After falling to 23rd, Stewart Friesen is reporting a very loose condition and says that the truck is junk.

Lap 35, John Hunter Nemechek has pulled out to a lead of nearly three seconds on Zane Smith.

Lap 36, Bayley Currey brings out the caution flag when he got loose and spins out but keeps it off the wall.

Stage two ends under caution with John Hunter Nemechek taking the stage sweep.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
John Hunter Nemechek
Zane Smith
Ryan Preece
Christian Eckes
Corey Heim
Ty Majeski
Tyler Ankrum
Derek Kraus
Matt Crafton
Carson Hocevar

Drivers come down pit road for service and adjustments as the track cools with the sunset.  John Hunter Nemechek wins the race off of pit road.

Ty Majeski has clinched a spot in the next round of the playoffs.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 65 with Ryan Preece alongside.  Nemechek gets out in front for the lead.

The caution flag comes out after Kaden Honeycutt spins out.  He heads for pit road with flat tires.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 70.  He has led 53 laps so far.  Nemechek gets a push form Corey Heim and holds on to the lead.

The top five are John Hunter Nemechek, Zane Smith, Corey Heim, Ryan Preece, and Grant Enfinger.

Drivers are three wide in a battle for position with a few slapping the wall; the track stays green.

With 62 laps to go, John Hunter Nemechek has a half second lead on Zane Smith; Ryan Preece Corey Heim, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Brett Moffitt’s truck is on fire and brings out the caution flag on lap 73.

Brett Moffitt, Grant Enfinger, and Zane Smith are the only drivers in the field who have won a race at Kansas.

Several drivers get loose as they hit the fluid left on the track by Brett Moffitt’s truck.

A few drivers come down pit road for adjustments including Carson Hocevar who is in danger of being eliminated from the playoffs.  Hocevar and Matt Crafton are currently below the cut line to make it the next round.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag restart with 53 laps remaining in the race.  Nemechek gets out in front for the lead once again with Corey Heim in second.

With 52 to go, John Hunter Nemechek has a half second lead on Corey Heim; Zane Smith, Christian Eckes, and Ryan Preece round out the top five.  There are 28 trucks on the lead lap with Brett Moffitt the only driver out of the race.

Lap 86, John Hunter Nemechek has a one second lead on Zane Smith; Ryan Preece, Corey Heim, and Christian Eckes round out the top five.

There are 21 trucks on the lead lap with John Hunter Nemechek out in front.

Forty laps remain in the race, John Hunter Nemechek has a lead of over a second on Zane Smith; Ryan Preece, Corey Heim, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Lap 97, all five of the drivers moving on to the next round of the playoffs are in the top 10.

Lap 100, John Hunter Nemechek has a lead of nearly a second and a half on Zane Smith; Ryan Preece, Corey Heim, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Spencer Boyd is off the rtrack.

Carson Hocevar’s crew reports that he is good on fuel to make it to the end of the race.

Lap 103, leader John Hunter Nemechek makes his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over to Zane Smith.  Drivers begin to make their green flag pit stops.

Zane Smith makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Grant Enfinger.

Christian Eckes is the new leader with Carson Hocevar in second.

Christian Eckes makes his green flag pit stop and gives the lead to Carson Hocevar; Bayley, Colby Howard, Hailie Deegan, and Matt DiBenedetto round out the top five.

Chase Purdy was caught speeding on pit road during his pit stop.

Armani Williams is off the track.

There are 25 laps remaining in the race and Carson Hocevar leads the race.  If he can hold on, he would not only earn his first truck series win; but secure himself a spot in the playoffs.

Twenty to go, Carson Hocevar has a lead of over seven seconds in front of Bayley Currey; Colby Howard, Matt DiBenedetto, and John Hunter Nemechek round out the top five.  Nemechek passes DiBenedetto for fourth.  There are only 15 trucks on the lead lap.

Fifteen to go, Carson Hocevar continues to lead the race and is now over eight seconds in front of John Hunter Nemechek; Bayley Currey, Zane Smith, and Colby Howard round out the top five.

Ten to go, Ben Rhodes has unlapped himself and is now back on the lead lap in 16th place.  Carson Hocevar’s lead is down to under five seconds on John Hunter Nemechek; Zane Smith, Ryan Preece, and Bayley Currey roud out the top five.

Armani Williams is out of the race.

Seven to go, Carson Hocevar’s lead is down to two and a half seconds on John Hunter Nemechek.  Hocevar is the youngest driver in the playoffs at age 19.

Five to go, John Hunter Nemechek has closed the gap to just under two seconds behind Carson Hocevar.

Three to go, Carson Hocevar’s lead is down to just one second on John Hunter Nemechek.

Two to go, Carson Hocevar’s lead is down to just half a second on John Hunter Nemechek.

Carson Hocevar takes the white flag with John Hunter Nemechek on his bumper.  Nemechek passes Hocevar for the lead.  Hocevar is out of gas but holds on to take seconds with John Hunter Nemechek winning the race for his second win of the season.  This is the first time in his career that John Hunter Nemechek swept both stages and won the race.  He was also the pole sitter for the race.

The unofficial results of the Kansas Lottery 200:
John Hunter Nemechek

Carson Hocevar
Ryan Preece
Zane Smith
Grant Enfinger
Chandler Smith
Corey Heim
Ty Majeski
Colby Howard
Christian Eckes
Parker Kligerman
Matt DiBenedetto
Ben Rhodes
Tyler Ankrum
Matt Crafton
Tanner Gray
Bret Holmes
Kaz Grala
Timmy Hill
Stewart Friesen
Derek Kraus
Hailie Deegan
Dean Thompson
Kaden Honeycutt
Chase Purdy
Jack Wood
Bayley Currey
Jesse Little
Tyler Hill
Blaine Perkins
Lawless Alan
Mason Maggio
Spencer Boyd
Brennan Poole
Armani Williams
Brett Moffitt

Three time Truck Series champion Matt Crafton and despite a valiant effort and a second place finish Carson Hocevar have been eliminated from the playoffs.  Hocevar missed the playoffs by three points.

More Surprises from NASCAR

For many years, NASCAR Cup Series drivers could count on a two week stint at home in the Charlotte area for the annual All Star race before running the longest race of the year with the Coke 600.

But over the past few years, NASCAR has been shaking things up by holding the All Star game at various tracks.  On Thursday, September 8 NASCAR announced that the 2023 All Star race will be held at the iconic and recently renovated North Wilksboro Speedway.

The 2023 racing season marks 75 years of NASCAR and as a part of the celebration, they will be making a return to one of the original tracks.

NASCAR officials, members of Speedway Motorsports, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, and Hall of Fame driver and NBC broadcaster Dale Earnhardt Jr gathered in Raleigh, North Carolina at the North Carolina Museum of History to make the historic announcement.  Festivities will feature a three day event from May 19-21 with a list of events coming at a later date.

Earnhardt who ran a Late Model race at North Wilksboro last month spoke on the track saying, “there’s something about it, it’s just got a special place in our history.  And I’m so excited to see what can happen beyond this. The All-Star Race is a great thing, but going forward, but North Wilkesboro can continue to contribute to our lives and to our family’s lives.”

A historian of NASCAR and its tracks, Earnhardt was instrumental in the track’s renovation.  He place third in the inaugural race after the renovation late last month with one of his own JR Motorsports cars bringing home the trophy.

At .625 miles, the oval at North Wilkesboro is just over a half mile.  The first race – a Modified Division race – was held on 1948 with the first Cup Series race – then known as Strictly Stock – in 1949.  In 1951, the track saw two Cup Series races each year until it closed in 1996.
And I’m so excited to see what can happen beyond this. The All-Star Race is a great thing, but going forward, but North Wilkesboro can continue to contribute to our lives and to our family’s lives.”


Thanks to some grassroots efforts from Earnhardt and an $18 million allocation of federal funds, Nort Wilkesboro has a new life.  An additional $4 million grant is earmarked to further renovations including restrooms, concessions, safer barriers, permanent lighting, and scoring for the Cup Series All Star Race.

In 2019, Wilkesboro was cleaned in order for it to be scanned for an inclusion in the iRacing simulator.  Earnhardt was one of those who helped to clean up the track.

After plans to turn the asphalt track to dirt were scrapped, Earnhardt noted, “North Wilkesboro is going to remain historic, and it will remain authentic, but it will also be modern, and that will be a great thing to see. “So I’m excited to see the progress, all the things that will be happening there over the next couple of months. The rebuilding and so forth is going to be a lot of fun to watch, and then to finally go there in May, just can’t get here fast enough.”

Returning to its history is not the only big change coming to NASCAR…

As a part of its NASCAR Experience pay service, NASCAR offers a limited number of in car cameras for the fans that includes numerous views.

Beginning this weekend at Kansas Speedway, fans can access the NASCAR Drive inside cockpit views for every one of the cars in the field…free of charge.  Am ad supported offering will be available via the NASCAR mobile app; along with real time stats and information. 

NASCAR senior vice president and chief digital officer Tim Clark spoke on the increased in-car camera viewing saying, “our goal is to deliver an immersive experience for the most passionate fans in all of sports, no matter where they are.  We know the significant role second screens play in the overall viewing experience, so to provide live video from inside every car and alongside leaderboards, performance data, pit stats, live betting odds, and more is something we’re excited about.”

Fans will be able to see up to four live streams at one time.

NASCAR vice president of operations and technical production Steve Stum also spoke on the new video offering saying, “we’re fortunate to have tremendous people and partners who enable us to deliver this next-gen video experience to NASCAR fans all over the world.  It’s no small feat to introduce something as ambitious as 40 live-streaming cameras inside these cars as they race side by side at speeds upward of 200 miles per hour.”

As a part of the Next Gen car’s design and construction is the ability to accommodate a standard camera mount.

NASCAR Makes Rule Changes

In the wake of the fire in Kevin Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing number four car during stage three of the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, NASCAR has made some rule changes for the Cup Series cars going into Kansas this weekend.  JJ Yeley also had an issue with fire in his number 15 Rick Ware Racing car.  NASCAR has seen a few issues involving flames under the cars this season.  The fire in Harvick’s where flames were coming into the cockpit via the dash has been the worst so far.  Thankfully there have been no injuries due to those fires.

Teams are now allowed to add an intumescent coating to the underside of the lower crush panels, inside the the exhaust cover panels, on the upper surface of the rocker box, and to the right side stop panel.

An intumescent coating is one that aids in the fire protection of steel components.

Other changes include a lateral seal or dam be installed between the back of the front clip weight box and the top of the splitter panel to aid in the reduction of tire debris migrating from the splitter panel area.

NASCAR also issued instructions on trimming the stop panel and suggested that the crews maximize the clearance between the exhaust and the rocker box.

NASCAR will continue to study the matter and issue further updates and adjustments as needed.

NASCAR Point Standings – Sept 5

It was a tough weekend for the Cup Series drivers in the playoffs with Chase Elliott becoming the first driver out of the race as the result of a crash in stage one, Kevin Harvick’s car caught on fire, and Kyle Busch blew an engine.  Kyle Larson finished the race on the lead lap but not after going laps down with a potential engine issue and Daniel Suarez started the race a lap down after inspection issues required a pass through penalty on race start and finished on the lead lap in the top 20.

In the end, non-playoff driver Erik Jones took home the trophy for winning the Southern 500 and earned victory number 200 for the number 43 car.  It had been 55 years to the day since the 43 car landed in victory lane at Darlington Raceway.

Even with the shake up, Chase Elliott holds up to the lead in the stage points with 229; nearly 20 points in front of Joey Logano who takes over the points lead with 2,065.

Cup Series stage points as of September 5:
Chase Elliott – 229
Joey Logano – 208
Ryan Blaney – 197
Martin Truex Jr – 190
Kyle Larson – 187
William Byron – 181
Ross Chastain – 174
Kyle Busch – 173
Christopher Bell – 151
Denny Hamlin – 142
Erik Jones – 103
Tyler Reddick – 102
Chase Briscoe – 96
Daniel Suarez – 92
Kevin Harvick – 85
Alex Bowman – 84
Kurt Busch – 77
Bubba Wallace – 75
Aric Almirola – 66
Ricky Stenhouse Jr – 48
Brad Keselowski – 47
Austin Cindric – 45
Harrison Burton – 41
Chris Buescher – 34
Cole Custer – 33
Ty Dillon – 33
Austin Dillon – 32
Todd Gilliland – 31
Michael McDowell – 21
Justin Haley – 19
Joey Hand – 14
Corey LaJoie – 8
Cody Ware – 2

After his early exit from the race in Darlington, Chase Elliott falls in the point standings to ninth place.

Cup Series Playoff Standings:
Joey Logano – 2,065
William Byron – 2,059
Denny Hamlin – 2,057
Christopher Bell – 2,055
Tyler Reddick – 2,050
Ryan Blaney – 2,047
Kyle Larson – 2,044
Ross Chastain – 2,042
Chase Elliott – 2,041
Alex Bowman – 2,037
Kyle Busch – 2,035
Daniel Suarez – 2,029
Austin Cindric – 2,027
Austin Dillon – 2,025
Chase Briscoe – 2,019
Kevin Harvick – 2,016

Normally the ownership points are largely ignored except for teams among the racing paddock, but last week 23XI Racing caused some controversy among racing fans when it was announced that they were making some changes to preserve owner points for the number 45 car.  Teams may change drivers as often as they wish in a single car and still collect owner’s points for the car no matter who is behind the wheel.

Currently Team Penske’s number 22 car driven by Joey Logano leads the owner points with  2065.

Car Ownership Points Standings:
Team Penske #22 car – 2,065
Hendrick Motorsports #24 car – 2.059
Joe Gibbs Racing #11 car – 2,055
Joe Gibbs Racing #20 car – 2,050
Richard Childress Racing #8 car – 2,047
Hendrick Motorsports #5 car – 2.044
Trackhouse Racing #1 car – 2,042
Hendrick Motorsports #9 car – 2,041
Hendrick Motorsports #48 car – 2,037
23XI Racing #45 car – 2,036 (Bubba Wallace taking over for Kurt Busch)
Joe Gibbs Racing #18 car – 2,035
Trackhouse Racing #99 car – 2,029
Team Penske #2 car – 2,027
Richard Childress Racing #3 car – 2,025
Stewart-Haas Racing #14 car – 2,019
Stewart-Haas Racing #4 car – 2,016


The Xfinity Series also raced at Darlington Raceway over the weekend with Noah Gragson getting another win.  Gragson and Justin Allgaier helped to extend the impressive string of stage wins for JR Motorsports.

Ty Gibbs continues to lead the points race with his five wins during the season.

Xfinity Series Point Standings:
Ty Gibbs – 2,039
Noah Gragson – 2,039
AJ Allmendinger – 2,032
Justin Allgaier – 2,030
Josh Berry – 2,022
Austin Hill – 2,016
Brandon Jones – 2,010
Sam Mayer – 2,004
Riley Herbst – 2,003
Daniel Hemric – 2,003
Ryan Sieg – 2,001
Landon Cassill – 2,000

Rough Night for Playoff Drivers with 17th Winner

NASCAR Cup Series

It’s a big weekend for the Cup Series drivers as the Playoffs begin and the drivers try to avoid the infamous “Darlington stripe” in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Darlington Raceway is one of the oldest tracks on the NASCAR circuit; holding its first race in 1950.  In that first race the drivers were running speeds of just 73mph; today they are running speeds of 173mph.  The track is also known as “The Lady in Black” and “the track too tough to tame”.

During the pre-race inspection process the number 99 Trackhouse Racing car driven by Daniel Suarez had some inspection issues and failed the process three times.  As a result the playoff driver was not able to make a qualifying run and will have to serve a pass through penalty – a drive down pit road at pit road speed – once the green flag drops.  The number 99 crew has also lost their pit box selection and will lose a crew member for the weekend.  Not being able to qualify for the race, Suarez will start the race from the back of the field.

BJ McLeod’s number 78 car also failed the inspection process twice and has lost a crew member and his pit stall selection but will get to qualify the car and start the race where he qualified.

Brad Keselowski was the first driver on the track to qualify for the race and posted a time of 29.660 seconds around the 1,3 mile track.

After Group A completed their qualifying run; Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Bubba Wallace, Austin Cindric, and Ryan Blaney will move on to round two of qualifying.

And in Group B; Christopher Bell, William Byron, Kyle Busch, Michael McDowell, and Tyler Reddick will move on to round two of qualifying.

Posting a time of 29.181 seconds, Joey Logano put his number 22 car on the pole with Christopher Bell starting alongside on the front row.

The starting lineup for the Southern 500:
Joey Logano
Christopher Bell
William Byron
Tyler Reddick
Kyle Busch
Austin Cindric
Kyle Larson
Bubba Wallace
Ryan Blaney
Michael McDowell
Denny Hamlin
Ross Chastain
Austin Dillon
Justin Haley
Erik Jones
Alex Bowman
Martin Truex Jr
Kevin Harvick
Chase Briscoe
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ty Gibbs
Aric Almirola
Chase Elliott
Daniel Hemric
Brad Keselowski
Landon Cassill
Chris Buescher
Harrison Burton
Ty Dillon
Cole Custer
Todd Gilliland
Cody Ware
JJ Yeley
Corey LaJoie
BJ McLeod
Daniel Suarez
*Gold signifies a playoff driver

Stages one and two are 115 laps each with stage three lasting 137 for a total of 367 laps around the l.3 mile track.  Drivers can go 70 to 75 laps on a single load of fuel but it is the tires that are more important since the abrasive Darlington track is very tough on tires.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 25 after some rain earlier in the day.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane before a sell out crowd to kick off the playoffs.  Christopher Bell goes side by side with Logano in a battle for the lead.

Daniel Suarez comes down pit road for his pass through penalty.  He is now a lap down.

Lap three, Joey Logano finally gets out in front for the lead with Christopher Bell in second; William Byron, Tyler Reddick, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap six for rain.  Daniel Suarez gets his lap back and is now on the lead lap.

After a back qualifying run that put him back in the pack; Chase Elliott has lost five spots since the race start.

Kevin Harvick is reporting that the cooling system in his helmet is not working properly.

Lap eleven, pit road is open but few drivers take advantage.


With only a light rain, the cars are still on the track and making laps under the caution flag.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 17 and once again goes side by side with Christopher Bell before getting out in front for the lead.

NASCAR has moved the competition caution to lap 35.

Lap 18, the top five are Joey Logano, Christopher Bell, William Byron, Kyle Busch, and Tyler Reddick.

Lap 20, Joey Logano has a near half second lead on Christopher Bell; William Byron, Kyle Busch, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five with Bubba Wallace in sixth.  While Wallace failed to make the playoffs as a driver, 23XI Racing has switched the drivers; putting Wallace in the 45 car to give the team a better chance to win the owner’s championship.

Lap 23, Joey Logano has increased his lead to over half a second on Christopher Bell; William Byron, Kyle Busch, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.  Daniel Suarez is up the 30th place after getting back on the lead lap.

Austin Dillon is another driver who is going the wrong way and is falling back in the field.

Lap 28 Joey Logano has a lead of over half a second on Christopher Bell; William, Kyle Busch, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Driving a very tight car, Austin Dillon reports that his car is like dog poop.

Chase Briscoe also reports a very tight car and has lost several spots in the field.

Lap 34, Joey Loagno continues to hold a three quarter of a second lead on Christopher Bell; William Byron, Kyle Busch, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Kyle Busch battles with William Byron for third; so far, Byron has held him off.

The yellow flag comes out on lap 36 for the competition caution.

Drivers come down pit road for service; especially fresh tires.  Joey Logano barely edges out William Byron for the race off of pit road.

Kevin Harvick had a slow pit stop after a left front tire issue.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart with William Byron on the inside.  Logano gets out in front going into turn one with William Byron in second; Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

Lap 42, Joey Logano has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on William Byron; Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.  Kyle Busch restarted the race in ninth place and has moved up to seventh.

Lap 46, Joey Logano has a lead of over a second on William Byron; Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

Lap 50, Joey Logano’s lead on William Byron is down to just under a second; Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

In 31st place, Chase Briscoe is the lowest placing driver in the playoffs.

Lap 59. Joey Logano has a one second lead on William Byron; Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, and Deny Hamlin round out the top five with Kyle Busch in sixth and Bubba Wallace in seventh.

Kyle Larson reports no front or rear grip in his car.

Chase Elliott is slowly working his way up in the field.

Lap 64, Denny Hamlin passes Tyler Reddick for fourth.

Kyle Busch passes Tyler Reddick for fifth.

Lap 65, William Byron is closing the gap on leader Joey Logano and is now just a tenth of a second back.

Lap 66, William Byron passes Joey Logano for the lead as the leaders approach slower traffic.  All of the cars are on the lead lap with several in danger of going a lap down.

Lap 74, drivers begin making green flag pit stops.  Kyle Busch reports that he has no rear grip.

Lap 75, William Byron makes his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over to Bubba Wallace.

Joey Logano’s crew had a tire issue on pit road; causing a slow stop.

Lap 76, Bubba Wallace makes his green flag pit stop; William Byron retakes the lead with Kyle Busch in second.

Lap 77, the top five are William Byron, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, and Martin Truex Jr with 31 cars on the lead lap.

Kyle Larson has no power and makes an unscheduled trip down pit road. 

Erik Jones gets loose  and moves up the track but saves the car; barely missing Ryan Blaney.

Kyle Larson is moving again; the crew reports that they will run it while they can.

Lap 83, William Byron has a lead of over half a second on Kyle Busch; Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Now three laps down, Kyle Larson is seven points below the cut line.

Lap 91, William Byron has a one second lead on Kyle Busch; Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Kyle Larson’s crew reports that at the moment, there is no sign of an issue with the engine.

Lap 95, Kyle Busch is slowly eating into, William Byron’s lead; he is now just over half a second back.

Lap 99, William Byron’s lead is now just a third of a second on Kyle Busch; Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Lap 103, Martin Truex Jr passes Ross Chastain for fifth.

Lap 106, William Byron has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds on Kyle Busch with Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, and Martin Truex Jr rounding out the top five.

Teammates Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano make contact in a battle for position but the cars are fine and the track stays green.

Ty Gibbs is the last car on the lead lap in 21st place.

Lap 111 William Byron passes Ty Gibbs to put him one lap down; Daniel Suarez in 20th place is the last car on the lead lap.

The caution flag comes out with just two laps remaining in stage one when Chase Elliott and Chase Briscoe get into a crash that sees Elliott backing into the wall.

Last week NASCAR expanded the “crash clock” to 10 minutes so that the teams have a little more time to make repairs to the cars.

William Byron wins stage one for his fourth stage win of the season under caution. 

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
William Byron
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Busch
Christopher Bell
Martin Truex Jr
Ross Chastain
Tyler Reddick
Erik Jones
Ryan Blaney
Bubba Wallace

Drives come down pit road for service with Kyle Busch winning the race off of pit road with Denny Hamlin in second.

Making a return to the broadcast booth are an Earnhardt, a Jarrett, and a Petty with Dale Earnhardt Jr, Dale Jarrett, and Kyle Petty calling the race for stage two.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two from the outside lane on lap 122,  Busch gets out in front for the lead with Denny Hamlin in second; William Byron, Ross Chastain, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

The ”crash clock” has expired on Chase Elliott’s car and he is out of the race.

Lap 125, Kyle Busch has a half second lead on Denny Hamlin; William Byron, Ross Chastain, and Erik Jones round out the top 10.

Lap 128, there are only 20 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 131, after having to start the race from the back of the field, serving a pass through penalty, and going a lap down Daniel Suarez is back on the lead lap and in 15th place.

Lap 133, Kyle Busch as a lead of over half a second on Denny Hamlin; William Byron, Ross Chastain, and Erik Jones round out the top five.  Driving to keep the number 45 car in the owner’s championship, Bubba Wallace is in the top 10 in eighth place.

Lap 140, Kyle Busch continues to lead the race with Denny Hamlin a half a second back;  William Byron, Ross Chastain, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

William Byron is reporting some “strange noises” in his car; adding that it is loud inside the car.

Lap 143, Ross Chastain passes William Byron for third.

Lap 147, the lights have taken full effect on the track with Kyle Busch leading the race with Denny Hamlin in second.

Lap 150, Kyle Busch leads the race with teammate Denny Hamlin right behind him; Ross Chastain, William Byron, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Lap 151, Daniel Suarez is the first driver to come down pit road for a green flag pit stop.

Lap 153, leader Kyle Busch comes down pit road for his green flag pit stop; handing the lead over to Denny Hamlin.

Lap 155, Denny Hamlin makes his pit stop as several more drivers come down for service; Bubba Wallace is the new leader.

Leader Bubba Wallace makes his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over to Brad Keselowski.

Lap 160, Ross Chastain had to make a second trip down pit road for a potential loose wheel; it was not the case and he continues to have an issue with his car.

Kyle Larson reports continued issues with his car.

Lap 165, Brad Keselowski has yet to make his green flag pit stop and is losing time quicky to Kyle Busch who is on fresher tires.

There are only 18 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 169, Brad Keselowski has finally made his pit stop and Kyle Busch has retaken the lead.

Ross Chastain brings his car down pit road so the crew can attempt to find the issue with his car.  Chastain is the third playoff driver to have an issue with his car.

Lap 171, Kyle Busch has a lead of over a second and a half on Denny Hamlin; Martin Truex Jr, William Byron, and Christopher Bell rund out the top five.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr slaps the wall hard but the track stays green.

Alex Bowman is the last car on the lead lap in 17th place.

Lap 175, Kyle Busch ahs a lead of a second and a half on Denny Hamlin; Martin Truex Jr William Byron, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

The number one crew reports that the issue with the car has been repaired and driver Ross Chastain said that the car does feel better.  There was a drive pin issue.

Lap 178, Denny Hamlin is very slowly eating into Kyle Busch’s lead.

The caution flag comes out on lap 179 when Todd Gilliland gets loose and spins out, barely missing the wall.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Kyle Busch winning the race off of pit road.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 186 from the outside lane with Denny Hamlin on the inside.  Busch and Hamlin go side by side as drivers are getting three wide behind the leaders.  Kyle Busch takes the lead with Denny Hamlin in second; William Byron, Martin Truex Jr, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Lap 190, Kyle  Busch has a half second lead on Denny Hamlin; William Byron, Martin Truex Jr, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.  Daniel Suarez is in 10th place with 19 cars on the lead lap.

Kyle Larson brings out the caution flag on lap 192 when he hits the wall with the back of his car after getting lose.

Despite having made pit stops fairly recently, the drivers come down pit road for fresh tires with Kyle Busch winning the race off of pit road and William Byron coming out second.

Tyler Reddick’s cool suit has stopped working.

After staying out on the track, Corey LaJoie brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 198 with Kyle Busch alongside.  LaJoie and Busch go side by side before Kyle Busch gets out in sfront for the lead.

Lap 200, Kyle Busch has a lead of over half a second on Corey LaJoie; Martin Truex Jr, William Byron, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.  Daniel Suarez bumps the wall but the track stays green.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr is out of the race with JJ Yeley off the track.

Lap 205, Kyle Busch has a lead of just under a second on Martin Truex Jr; William Byron, Christopher Bell, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.  Corey LaJoie has dropped to eighth place.  There are 20 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 209, Kyle Busch gives up the lead to Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 216, Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds on Kyle Busch; William Byron, Christopher Bell, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five with Daniel Suarez in sixth place.

Cody Ware brings out the sixth caution flag of the night when he spins out on lap 219.  The only car one lap down, Aric Almirola is the “lucky dog”.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Kyle Busch winning the race off of pit road.  Busch saved his sticker tires and put scuffs on the car for the eleven laps remaining in stage two.

Several drivers including Kyle Larson took the wave around to get one of their laps back.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart with Martin Truex Jr on the inside lane with just seven laps remaining in stage two.  Busch and Truex go side by side before Kyle Busch edges out for the lead with six laps remaining in the stage.

The top five are Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr, Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell, and Joey Logano as drivers are muscling their way through for positon and precious stage points.

Three laps to go in stage two, Kyle Busch leads the race but Martin Truex Jr is on his bumper and challenging for the lead.

Kyle Busch wins stage two for his third stage win of the year.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Ryan Blaney
Joey Logano
William Byron
Christopher Bell
Alex Bowman
Daniel Suarez
Erik Jones
Michael McDowell

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

Drivers come down pit road for service with Kyle Busch winning the race off of pit road and Joey Logano coming out second.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 238 and holds on to the lead with Joey Logano in second and Martin Truex Jr in third; Daniel Suarez and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

JJ Yeley has returned to the track 42 laps down.

With 125 laps remaining in the race, Kyle Busch has a half second lead on Joey Logano; Martin Truex Jr, Daniel Suarez, and William Byron round out the top five.

After all the wave arounds, there are 23 cars on the lead laps and only two cars out of the race – Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Chase Elliott.

Lap 250, Kyle Busch has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on Joey Logano; Martin Truex Jr Daniel Suarez, and William Byron round out the top five.

There are 115 laps remaining in the race; all of the drivers will have to make at least one pit stop for fuel.

Lap 251, Ross Chastain makes a green flag pit stop.

Lap 253, Kyle Busch has increased his lead to over a second on Joey Logano; Martin Truex Jr, Daniel Suarez, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 261, Kyle Busch continues to lead the race by over a second on Joey Logano; Martin Truex Jr, Daniel Suarez, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 265, Kyle Busch has led 116 laps so far.

Daniel Suarez reports that he has hit the wall once again.

Some drivers are beginning to make green flag pi stops.

One hundred laps to go, Kyle Busch ahs a second and a half lead on Joey Logano.

Lap 270, Martin Truex Jr has gotten around Joey Logano to take second place but is a second behind leader Kyle Busch.

Corey LaJoie reports that there may be some fuel pump issues.

More drivers come down pit road for service.

William Byron comes down pit road reporting a very loose condition.

Kevin Harvick’s car is in flames.  He has pulled off the track into the grass and is out of the car.  The caution flag comes out on lap 275.  He was in ninth place at the time of the caution flag.

The drivers who have not made a pit stop take advantage of the caution and make their pit stops.  Once again Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road.

Kevin Harvick noted that the fire was coming in through the dash.  He is unhappy but fine.

Several drivers take the wave around.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart with 84 laps remaining in the race.  Busch battle with Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr for the lead.  Busch holds on to the lead with Martin Truex Jr in second and Denny Hamlin in third; Erik Jones and Michael McDowell round out the top five.  There are 19 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 287, Martin Truex Jr is just a tenth of a second behind leader Kyle Busch and is challenging for the spot.

Lap 289, Kyle Busch is slowly pulling away from Martin Truex Jr and is now a half second out in front of Martin Truex Jr.

After getting back on the lead lap, Kyle Larson has moved up to 16th place.

Lap 294, Martin Truex Jr has come up to battle Kyle Busch for the lead and is the new leader.

JJ Yeley is off the track once again.  Kevin Harvick is out of the race.

Kyle Busch has led 142 laps of the race.  Speaking on his teammate and leader Martin Truex Jr, Busch said whatever the 19 has – “holey moley!”

Lapa 303 – 65 to go – Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a lead of a second and a half on Kyle Busch; Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

Sixty to go, Martin Truex Jr ahs a lead of over a second on Kyle Busch who is very slowly eating into the lead; Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

Drivers are expected to make one more pit stop for fresh tires.

Lap 311, Martin Truex Jr has increased his lead on Kyle Busch ot over a second on the half.

Fifty-five to go, Martin Truex Jr leads the race by over a second on Kyle Busch; Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Lap 316, there are 17 cars on the lead lap with Martin Truex Jr leading the race.

Fifty to go, Austin Cindric is the first driver to come down pit road for fresh tires to begin the cycle of green flag pit stops.

Lap 320, leader Martin Truex Jr makes his green flag pit stop and hands the lead over to Kyle Busch.

Kyle Busch makes his pit stop and hand the lead over to Denny Hamlin.

Denny Hamlin is the only driver yet to make his green flag pit stop.  Martin Truex Jr is also on the lead lap after unlapping himself.

Lap 326, Denny Hamlin finally makes his pit stop; Martin Truex Jr is the leader.

With 16 cars on the lead lap Martin Truex Jr has a five second lead on Kyle Busch; Tyler Reddick, Erik Jones, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Cody Ware slaps the wall but the track stays green.

With 34 laps to go, Martin Truex Jr reports that he has lost power steering and the gap back to Kyle Busch is closing quickly.

Kyle Busch passes Martin Truex Jr for the lead.

Martin Truex Jr makes his way to his pit box.

Thirty to go, Kyle Busch has a near four second lead on Tyler Reddick; Erik Jones, Christopher Bell, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.  Bubba Wallace is back in the top 10 in eighth place.

The ninth caution flag of the race comes out with 28 laps to go when Cody Ware slams into the wall and is stopped on the track.

Crews are pushing Martin Truex Jr’s car to the garage and is out of the race.

Drivers come down pit road for that one last set of sticker tires.  Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road with Erik Jones coming out second.

Kyle Busch’s car is smoking badly and is blowing up.

Erik Jones is the new leader!

Derik Jones brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with Tyler Reddick on the inside with 20 laps remaining in the race. Jones jumps out in front for he lead with Tyler Reddick and Denny Hamlin battling for second; Joey Logano and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Eighteen to go, Erik Jones has a third of a second lead on Denny Hamlin; Tyler Reddick, Joey Logano, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Fifteen to go there are only 19 cars on the lead lap.  Erik Jones has pulled out to a half second lead on Denny Hamlin; Tyler Reddick, Joey Logano, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Ten to go, Erik Jones holds a half second lead on Denny Hamlin; Tyler Reddick, Joey Logano, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

With eight laps to go, leader Erik Jones encounters slower traffic.  It has been 55 years since the number 43 has been to victory lane at Darlington.  The 43 car last won a race in 2014 with Aric Almirola behind the wheel.

Five to go, Erik Jones holds a half second lead on Denny Hamlin with Tyler Reddick in third; Joey Logano and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Two to go and Denny Hamlin has closed the gap on leader Erik Jones.

Denny Hamlin is just one tenth of a second behind leader Erik Jones as Jones takes the white flag.

Erik Jones wins the Southern 500 for the 200th win for the 43 car.  Jones becomes the 17th different driver to win a race this season.

Jones rightfully does an impressive burnout that includes lots of smoke to celebrate the win – this third career win.

The unofficial results of the Southern 500:
Erik Jones
Denny Hamlin
Tyler Reddick
Joey Logano
Christopher Bell
Michael McDowell
Brad Keselowski
William Byron
Bubba Wallace
Alex Bowman
Aric Almirola
Kyle Larson
Ryan Blaney
Cole Custer
Ty Gibbs
Austin Cindric
Austin Dillon
Daniel Suarez
Justin Haley
Ross Chastain
Harrison Burton
Ty Dillon
Daniel Hemric
Corey LaJoie
Landon Cassill
Chris Buescher
Chase Briscoe
Todd Gilliland
BJ McLeod
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Cody Ware
Kevin Harvick
JJ Yeley
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Chase Elliott

Last Lap Finish for the Win in Darlington for Xfinity Series

Xfinity Series

The Xfinity Series kicks off a doubleheader weekend at the track called “too tough to tame” at Darlington Raceway with the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Hero 200.

Cup Series regulars Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, Ty Dillon, and Christopher Bell join the field of 38 drivers. Denny Hamlin was originally scheduled to run in the race but citing soreness withdrew after being involved in one of the many “big ones” last week in Daytona. Christopher Bell is taking over the driving duties of the number 18 car. Ty Gibbs, Daniel Hemric, and JJ Yeley will also be running the doubleheader this weekend.

Brandon Jones put his number 19 car on the pole with Noah Gragson alongside on the front row.

The starting lineup for the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Hero 200:
Brandon Jones
Noah Gragson
Sheldon Creed
Austin Hill
Ty Gibbs
Justin Allgaier
Kyle Larson
Riley Herbst
Landon Cassill
Daniel Hemric
Ross Chastain
Sam Mayer
Jeremy Clements
Stefan Parsons
Josh Berry
Kyle Weatherman
John Hunter Nemechek
Jeb Burton
AJ Allmendinger
Joe Graf Jr
Myatt Snider
JJ Yeley
Ty Dillon
Ryan Sieg
Ryan Vargas
Mason Massey
Brennan Poole
Josh Williams
David Starr
Ryan Ellis
Brandon Brown
Tommy Joe Martins
Kris Wright
Dawson Cram
Christopher Bell
Anthony Alfredo
Kyle Sieg

Stages one and two of the race are 45 laps each with stage three lasting 57 laps for a total of 147 laps around the mile and a third track. The drivers can run 65 to 70 laps on a single load of fuel but the track is very abrasive and the tires will run out before the fuel; but the teams only have four sets of tires in the pits.

With three races remaining in the regular season, there are seven drivers locked into the playoffs. While he maintains the win, Jeremy Clements is no longer a part of the playoffs after the post race inspection revealed an illegal intake manifold. The team has appealed the ruling.

There is some talk of possible inclement weather in the area.

While warming up their tires on the pace laps, Justine Allgaier and Ty Gibbs make contact.

Brandon Jones brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane and gets out in front going into turn two.

Lap two, Brandon Jones leads the race with Noah Gragson in second; Sheldon Creed Austin Hill, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Lap four, Brennan Polle is on pit road.

After starting the race at the back of the field due to an engine change Christopher Bell has moved up seven spots.

Noah Gragson takes the lead on lap five.

Lap seven, Noah Gragson leads the race with Brandon Jones in second; Sheldon Creed, Austin Hill, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Lap 10, Kyle Larson passes Justin Allgaier for fifth.

Noah Gragson has pulled out to a half second lead on Brandon Jones.

Lap 12, Christopher Bell is up to 22nd. Noah Gragson continues to lead the race with a half second lead on Brandon Jones.

Justin Allgaier has dropped to seventh place; reporting some issues with his car.

Lap 20, Noah Gragson leads the race with Brandon Jones in second with Christopher Bell up to 17th place and running some of the fastest laps in the race.

Lap 22, Noah Gragson has a lead of over a second on Brandon Jones; Kyle Larson, Sheldon Creed, and Austin Hill round out the top five. Brennan Poole is off the track.

Lap 25, Christopher is up to 15th. Noah Gragson’s lead over Brandon Jones is down to half a second with Kyle Larson, Sheldon Creed, and Ty Gibbs rounding out the top five.

Lap 27, leaders have encountered slower traffic and is beginning to lap cars.

Lap 29, Noah Gragson has once again pulled out to a one second lead on Brandon Jones; Kyle Larson, Ty Gibbs, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Lap 31, there are 33 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 32, Noah Gragson has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second and a half on Brandon Jones who is in a battle for second with Kyle Larson; Ty Gibbs and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Lap 39, Noah Gragson has a half second lead on Brandon Jones; Kyle Larson, Ty Gibbs, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five with 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 43, Noah Gragson’s lead is down to under half a second after being mired in traffic.

Noah Gragson is reporting a brake issue in the car.

Lap 44, Kyle Larson is slowed on the track and is headed for pit road with a flat tire.

Two laps remain in stage one and Noah Gragson is getting a challenge form Brandon Jones.

Noah Gragson wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Noah Gragson
Brandon Jones
Ty Gibbs
Justin Allgaier
Sheldon Creed
Riley Herbst
Austin Hill
Christopher Bell
Kyle Weatherman
Ross Chastain

Drivers come down pit road for service with a number of drivers reporting issues with the cars. NoahGragson wins the race off of pit road.

Anthony Alfredo has been charged with an uncontrolled tire on pit road and Jeremy Clements was charged with removing equipment from pit road. John Hunter Nemechek and Riley Herbst were charged with speeding on pit road.

Anthony Alfredo and John Hunter Nemechek made contact on pit road under caution; causing damage to both cars. Alfredo is on the six minute “crash clock”.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 54 from the inside lane. Teammate Justin Allgaier gives Gragson a push, putting him out in front with Allgaier taking second and Brandon Jones in third.

Lap 55 Noah Gragson leads the race with Justin Allgaier in second; Brandon Jones, Christopher Bell, and Ty Gibbs round out the top five.

Kris Wright gets into the wall and brings out the caution flag on lap 56, Myatt Snider, Joe Graf Jr, and Riley Herbst also sustained some damage to their cars.

Landon Cassill took advantage of the caution flag and made a trip down pit road with a loose tire.

The skies have darkened considerably since the race started.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 62 and jumps out in front for the lead with Brandon Jones in second; Justin Allgaier, Sheldon Creed, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Joe Graf Jr brings his car down pit road with a flat tire.

Christopher Bell passes Sheldon Creed for fourth.

The caution flag comes out on lap 64 for rain. While there are just a small amount of rain, NASCAR is quick to throw the caution flag after the big crash due some rain last week at Daytona in the Cup Series.

Caution laps are counting toward the end of the race with halfway at lap 74. Lap 68 NASCAR brings the field down pit road to wait out the rain that Justin Allgaier says is not happening. He noted that they drove an entire laps and there was not a single drop of rain.

NASCAR displays the red flag at 4:11pmEDT. Several crew chiefs along pit road are pleased with the decision to halt the race and wait out the rain.

The teams have covered the cars as the rain begins to fall.
At 4:51pmEDT the rains have abated and track drying is in progress.

5:35pmEDT, the sun is out and track drying continues.

At 6:02pmEDT the covers are off of the cars and the drivers have been called to return to their cars as track drying continues.

At 6:22pm the sun has begun to set and will become an issue for the drivers as they head into the evening.

At 6:30pm the drivers are climbing into their cars and getting ready to return to the track.

At the infield care center, Anthony Alfredo reported that he wasn’t feeling well in the car and was fighting an upset stomach when the wreck with John Hunter Nemechek occurred.

At 6:46pm NASCAR gives the order to re-fire the eninges after a rain delay of over two and a half hours.

The drivers are moving once again with 80 laps remaining in the race.

Only three drivers came down pit road for fresh tires.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 78 and jumps out in front for the lead with teammate Justin Allgaier in second; Brandon Jones, Sheldon Creed, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Brandon Jones and Christopher Bell battle for third with Bell taking the spot.

Lap 80, Justin Allgaier has caught up to leader Noah Gragson and is riding his bumper.

With nine laps remaining in stage two, Justin Allgaier passes Noah Gragson for the lead.

There are 22 cars on the lead lap with 32 cars on the track. Brennan Poole has returned to the track and is 41 laps down.

With three laps remaining in stage two, Justin Allgaier leads the race.

The caution flag comes out for JJ Yeley’s number 66 car that is on fire. Yeley quickly gets out of the car. Before the restart, Yeley had difficulty in getting the car re-fired and had to be pushed down pit road to get it moving. He has left a great deal of fluid on the track.

Justin Allgaier wins stage two under caution for his seventh stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Justin Allgaier
Noah Gragson
Christopher Bell
Brandon Jones
Austin Hill
Sheldon Creed
Ty Gibbs
John Hunter Nemechek
AJ Allmendinger
Josh Berry

And Kyle Larson is back on the lead lap.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Austin Hill edging out the wins of of pit road with Justin Allgaier on his bumper.

Noah Gragson reports that all of the lights on his dash have gone out.

Austin Hill brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three from the inside lane with 50 laps remaining in the race and gets into a side by side battle with Justin Allgaier who gets out in front for the lead.

Sheldon Creed comes up on the outside to take the lead from Justin Allgaier.

The top five are Sheldon Creed, Austin Hill, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson and John Hunter Nemechek.

Lap 100, 47 to go, Sheldon Creed has pulled out to a half second lead on Austin Hill; Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, and John Hunter Nemechek round out the top five.

After getting back on the lead lap, Kyle Larson is now nin 21st place.

There are 24 cars on the lead lap.

Coming into the race, Sheldon Creed was below the cut line to make the playoffs. If he wins, it will guarantee him a spot in the playoffs.

With 42 laps remaining in the race, Sheldon Creed has a lead of over half a second on Austin Hill; Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, and John Hunter Nemechek round out the top five.

Lap 112, Sheldon Creed has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Noah Gragson; Austin Hill, Justin Allgaier, and Ty Gibbs round out the top five.

With 31 laps to go, Noah Gragson is cutting into Sheldon Creed’s lead; which is now down to just one second.

Twenty-eight laps to go, Sheldon Creed’s lead is now under a second over Noah Gragson; Justin Allgaier, Ty Gibbs, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Just 25 laps to go with Sheldon Creed leading the race by under a second on Noah Gragson; Justin Allgaier, Ty Gibbs, and Christopher Bell rund out the top five.

With just 20 laps remaining in the race, Brandon Jones gets loose and brings out the caution flag. He was in ninth place at the time of the spin.

Drivers come down pit road for fresh tires with Sheldon Creed winning the race off of pit road followed by Noah Gragson.

Leader Sheldon Creed has never won a race in the Xfinity Series; while he has won a couple of races in the Camping World Truck Series.

Sheldon Creed brings the field down for the green flag restart with 14 laps remaining in the race from the outside lane iwht Noah Gragson on the inside but it is Noah Gragson who edges out in front but once they reach turn one, Sheldon Creed edges out for the lead.

The top five are Sheldon Creed, Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgiaer, and Kyle Larson.

Brennan Poole is off the track.

Ten to go, Sheldon Creed has a quarter of a second lead on Noah Gragson; Kyle Larson, AJ Allmendinger, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Third place driver Kyle Larson is running the fastest laps on the track.

Six to go, the top three drivers – Sheldon Creed, Noah Gragson, and Kyle Larson are separated by just half a second.

Five to go, Noah Gragson is on leader Shedon Creed’s bumper and is challenging for the lead.

Kyle Larson comes up on the inside and takes second place with Sheldon Creed holding on to the lead.

Three to go, Kyle Larson is challenging Sheldon Creed for the lead.

Sheldon Creed takes the white flag. Sheldon Creed and Kyle Larson battle for the lead but it is Noah Gragson who comes up on the inside and takes the win after Creed brushes the wall. This is Gragson’s fourth win of the season. He gives an impressive burnout that buries the car in smoke before climbing from the car to rousing cheers. He does a little stage dive into the arms of his crew members jumping off the car. And to top it off, Noah and the crew climbs the fence.

The unofficial results of the Sports Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Veteran 200:
Noah Gragson
Sheldon Creed
AJ Allmendinger
Justin Allgaier
Kyle Larson
Ty Gibbs
Christopher Bell
Josh Berry
John Hunter Nemechek
Austin Hill
Sam Mayer
Landon Cassill
Daniel Hemric
Brandon Jones
Ross Chastain
Kyle Weatherman
Stefan Parsons
Ryan Sieg
Bayley Currey
Mason Massey
Jeremy Clements
Ryan Ellis
Kyle Sieg
Jeb Burton
David Starr
Josh Williams
Ryan Vargas
Myatt Snider
Brandon Brown
Dawson Cram
Brennan Poole
JJ Yeley
Joe Graf Jr
Riley Herbst
Ty Dillon
Kris Wright
Alfredo Anthony
Tommy Joe Martins

College Football Playoffs to Expand

In a plan that has been over a year in the making, the current four team college football playoff system will expand to 12 teams over the next few years.

While there are still a number of details to work out, the current four team playoff system will feature 12 teams by 2026.

College Football Playoff chairman of the board of managers and Mississippi State president Mark Keenum spoke of the announcement saying, “this was a very historic day for college football.”  It was an unanimous decision by all eleven board members to expand the playoffs.

He added, “so our plans are to begin the 12-team format for sure beginning in the 2026 football season.  However, we have asked our (conference) commissioners on the management committee to explore the possibility of us beginning the 12-team playoff format before the 2026 seasons, in either 2024 or 2025. We as members of the board recognize there’s some pretty substantial issues that have to be resolved.”

In what is almost a hybrid between the current system and the old system of selecting teams, the new format will include the top six ranked conference champions and six at large teams chosen by a committee.  The top four ranked conference champions will earn a first round bid.  The first round of the playoffs will take place on home fields with the remainder of the games as a part of the annual bowl game festivities.

The committee estimates that the system could generate some $2 billion in media rights.  ESPN holds the current contract and will have the first crack at any new deals under the new format but the current contract ends in 2025 and the committee may decide to have an open market with multiple TV partners.

Among the list of items still to be ironed out are locations of games, dates and windows for television broadcasts, and how the new system will effect the regular season schedule.  With teams leaving conferences and expanding others, it is becoming increasingly more difficult in deciding how conference games and non-conference rivalries should be scheduled.  And then there is the issue of how to divide up all that money.

23XI Makes Driver Change

Even though Kurt Busch is no longer a part of the Cup Series playoffs, his number 45 car has been a part of every race this season and is eligible for the car’s 23XI Racing owners to continue being a part of the Owner’s Championship.

To that end 23XI is making a driver change.  Beginning with the race at Darlington Raceway this weekend, Bubba Wallace will slide over and finish out the season as the driver of the number 45 car.  Wallace will retain his current crew chief Bootie Barker with Billy Scott moving over to be crew chief of the number 23 car. 

Ty Gibbs, who has been sitting in for Kurt Busch will take over the driving duties of the number 23 car.

 Busch’s number 45 car became eligible the owners championship when he won the race at Kansas in May.  While 16 drivers will be competing for the Cup Series championship, 17 cars will be competing for the owner’s championship.  The 45 car is currently ranked in 12th place in the owner’s standings 33 behind the leader – the number nine car driven by Chase Elliott.

23XL Racing President Steve Lauretta spoke on the matter saying, “Kurt put us in the playoffs and isn’t able to finish out the mission.  We’re still qualified for the owners’ championship and now we’re looking to Bubba and Bootie, and that team to take the number 45 mantle and try to have our strongest run.”

He continued, “since we started 23XL as a one car team and grew to two cars, we’ve always said we are two cars but act as one team.  This is us putting that, again, into reality.  The whole point of this is to put our team in the best position to get as far in the owners’ championship playoffs as possible.”

Kurt Busch has not driven since he sustained a head injury during qualifying at Pocono Raceway in July.  He continues to heal but has not received medical clearance to return to racing.

NASCAR Amends ‘Crash Clock’

In 2017 NASCAR introduced tHe “crash clock” – also known as the damaged vehicle policy where crews are allowed to make minimal repairs to the cars – primarily using the “200 mile an hour tape” to secure required parts to the car.  When the rule was instituted, crews were given just five minutes for the driver to come down pit road, make repairs, and get back out on the track to make minimum speed or be declared out of the race.  Once a car goes to the garage after a crash, they are out of the race.  Crews may take a car to the garage only to address mechanical issues.

The rule was instituted after NASCAR determined that more often than not, cars taken to the garage for crash repairs seldom faired any better and frequently were the reason for further cautions in the form of dropping debris on the track or causing another crash.

In 2018, NASCAR increased the time for repairs from fix minutes to six minutes.

Beginning this week with the first playoff race for the Cup Series at Darlington Raceway, the “crash clock” has been increased to a full 10 minutes.  NASCAR officials noted that over the course of the regular season, the time needed for ,along repairs to the new Next Gen car required more time than previous versions of the car.

The policy of erasing the “crash clock” once a team has made repairs before the clock runs out and the driver makes minimum speed on the track will continue.  Once the “crash clock” and the driver has reached minimum speed, crews may continue to work on the car’s crash damage.

Daytona Penalty Removes Playoff Bid

After much of the field was unable to finish the Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway last Friday night, Jeremy Clements squeaked through to earn his second career race win.

However, after the post race inspection process, the number 51 car of Clements’ was found to have an issue with the intake manifold and did not conform with the NACAR rule book.

As a result, Clements’ will maintain his race win but he has been deemed ineligible for the playoffs.  Crew chief March Setzer has also been fined $60,000.  The Clements family – who owns the car – has been docked 75 car owner points and Jeremy Clements has been docked 75 driver points.  Should he win one of the three remaining races in the Xfinity Series regular season, he will begin the playoff with a 10 point deficit.

Clements is now in 20th place in the point standings with 328 points.

There were no other penalties issued for the Daytona races.

Final Stage Point Standings

As Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney learned during the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, a big lead in the points and standings can evaporate quickly after being caught up in an on track incident.

Regular season champion Chase Elliott still holds the lead in stage points with 229 but has seen a 37 point lead fall to 28 points.  While Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney Remain tied at 187 points, they fall to third after Joey Logano jumps up to second with 201 points after his stage one win at Daytona.

2022 Regular Season Stage Points:
Chase Elliott – 229
Joey Logano – 201
Kyle Larson – 187
Ryan Blaney -187
Martin Truex Jr – 175
Ross Chastain – 169
William Byron – 166
Kyle. Busch – 155
Christopher Bell – 139
Denny Hamlin -133
Tyler Reddick – 98
Erik Jones – 98
Chase Briscoe – 96
Daniel Suarez – 89
Kevin Harvick – 85
Alex Bowman – 80
Kurt Busch – 77
Bubba Wallace – 74
Aric Almirola – 66
Ricky Stenhouse Jr – 48
Brad Keselowski – 47
Austin  Cindric – 45
Harrison Burton – 41
Chris. Use her – 34
Cole Custer – 33
Ty Dillon – 33
Austin Dillon – 32
Todd Gilliland – 31
Michael McDowell – 20
Justin Haley  – 19
Joey Hand – 14
Corey LaJoie – 8
Cody Ware – 2

’40 Challenge’

“Sesame Street” Muppett Count. On Count loves to count things; but apparently he isn’t the only one.  There are entire droves of sports officials and enthusiasts who love to keep track of everything.

One such person is Steve Luvender whose passion is keeping track of where every NASCAR Cup Series driver finishes in a race.

While it has been a while since the Cup Series fielded a full roster of 40 drivers, it is a part of the rule book.

According to Luvender,  a total of eleven drivers have completed a race in all 40 spots at some time during their racing careers.  The most recent member of the “40 Challenge” Club is David Ragan.  He joins Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Martin Truex Jr, and part time Cup driver AJ Allmendinger as members of the “40 Challenge”.

Every driver hopes and strives to finish the race in first place, but only one driver can be declared the winner; and on occasions like the race this past weekend at Daytona, mayhem can end a driver’s day very quickly and aid in acquiring some of those less desirable finishing spots that help to complete the “40 Challenge”.

First Photojournalist Earns Squier-Hall Award

Today when there is a question of a close call at a race, MASCAR simply has someone rerun a tape…as slowly and as many time as needed.  But in the early days of

NASCAR, officials had to rely on photographs, often having to wait hours and sometimes days before the were developed.

T. Taylor Warren provided one such photo to NASCAR that ended up helping to decide the winner of the Daytona 500 in 1959.

Warren has been named the 2023 Squier-Hall Award for excellence in the media.  He is the first photojournalist to Winn the award that has been named for the award’s first two winners – Ken Squier and Barney Hall.

Warren was photographing races even before there was a NASCAR at the Milwaukee Fairgrounds in 1948.  Bill France Sr hired Warren in 1952 to photograph the race on the beach.  Once the races moved to the high banks of Daytona International Speedway Warren photographed every race until his death in 2008.

 Before NASCAR became a regular part of television programming, it was Warren’s photographs that told the story.

But Warren’s work was not limited to just Daytona and NASCAR; he worked for numerous racing events and publications, bringing the races to life through the camera lens.

Warren’s other honours include the Henry T. McLemore Award from International Motorsports Hall of Fame, the Myers’s Brothers Award from the National Motorsports Press Association, and induction into the NMPA Hall of Fame.

Warren will be honored as a part of the 2023 NASCAR Hall of Fame ceremonies in January and will have an exhibit in the Hall of Fame.

Cup Series Playoff Field Set

The last race of the regular season in the NASCAR Cup Series is finally over after a 14 hour start delay and a red flag of over three hours, both weather related.

Austin Dillion survived the massive 17 car pile up to become the 16th different race winner of the season, but with the withdrawal of Kurt Busch who still hasn’t been medically cleared after a head injury, one spot remained in the playoffs for a driver to make into the playoffs on points…and he did by just three points!

Now that the field has been set, the points will be adjusted next week at Darlington Raceway as the playoffs begin.

The 2022 Playoff Standings at the end of the regular season (after the Daytona race):

Chase Elliott – 2,040

Joey Logano – 2,025

Ross Chastain – 2,020

Kyle Larson – 2,019

William Byron – 2,014

Denny Hamlin – 2,013

Ryan Blaney – 2,013

Tyler Reddick – 2,012

Kevin Harvick – 2,012

Christopher Bell – 2,011

Kyle Busch – 2,010

Chase Briscoe – 2,009

Daniel Suarez – 2,007

Austin Cindric – 2,006

Alex Bowman – 2,006

Austin Dillon – 2,005

Playoff Set with Rain Delayed Coke Zero 400

NASCAR Cup Series

It all comes down to this…

It’s the final race of the 2022 Cup Series season. Last week at Watkins Glen, Chase Elliott was named the regular season champion. Currently Elliott and 13 other race winning drivers have secured spots in the playoffs. By the end of the Coke Zero 400 on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway the final two spots will be filled.

On Thursday, 23XL Racing announced that they had removed the medical waiver saved for Kurt Busch when it was revealed that Busch has not been medically cleared to continue racing as of yet. It is currently unknown how long Busch will be out of the number 45 car.

Minor team owner for 23XL, Denny Hamlin has stated that decisions on returning to racing are strictly up to Kurt Busch. Busch signed a multi year contract with 23XL; but Busch’s immediate future is still unclear while he continues to recuperate from a concussion after a qualifying accident at Pocono in early July.

With Kurt Busch unable to driver the number 45 car, Xfinity Series driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, Ty Gibbs has been filling in and will continue to do so until Busch can return. The team has said that while unable to drive, Busch has been a great help with the team and helping Gibbs in the car.

Six Cup Series teams penalized in pre-race inspection at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR officials penalized six Cup Series teams for multiple failures in Friday’s pre-race inspection at Daytona International Speedway.

Those teams each had one crew member ejected before Saturday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 (7 p.m. ET, NBC, Peacock, MRN, SiriusXM), the last race in the Cup Series’ regular season.

Thunderstorms and lightening cancelled out any practice and qualifying on Friday afternoon; however, Mother Nature does not stop the pre-race inspection process. Six teams failed the inspection process twice and will lose a crew member for the weekend; as well as, selecting their pit stalls. The drivers will maintain their original starting spots.

The teams that had inspection issues are:
the number three Richard Childress Racing car driven by Austin Dillon
the number 14 Stewart-Haas Racing car driven by Chase Briscoe
the Joe Gibbs Racing number 19 car driven by Martin Truex Jr
the number 41 Stewart-Haas Racing car driven by Cole Custer
The number 43 Petty GMS Motorsports car driven by Erik Jones
The number 78 Live Fast Motorsports car driven by BJ McLeod

After the cancellation of qualifying, the field was set by the NASCAR rule book, putting Kyle Larson on the pole with teammate Chase Elliott alongside on the front row.

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

And once again Mother Nature has spoken and rainy skies have delayed the scheduled start of the race. At 8:02pmEDT, NASCAR has called the race and announced that it will take place at 10am on Sunday morning.


After the rains washed out a Saturday night of racing, NASCAR and the Cup Series returns to the high banks of Daytona for an early morning race on Sunday.

Stage one of the race is 35 laps, stage two is 60 laps, and stage three is 65 laps for a total of 160 laps around the 2.5 mile track.

The drivers can run 42 to 45 laps on a single load of fuel. Teams have just six sets of tires in the pits for the race.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag start of the race on a cloudy humid Sunday morning with Kyle Larson getting out in front initially but a big push from Joey Logano puts Chase Elliott in the lead.

Chase Elliott leads lap number one with Joey Logano in second; Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

Lap three, after dropping to seventh, Kyle Larson begins moving back up through the field and is in a battle with Kevin Harvick for fourth.

Chase Elliott leads the race with Joey Logano in second; Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick, and Michael McDowell round out the top five. Kyle Larson falls back to ninth.

Lap six, the top nine drivers have gotten single file.

Lap seven, Chase Elliott has led every lap so far with Joey Logano in second.

Lap eight, the top 15 drivers are now single file with Chase Elliott leading the way. Pole sitter Kyle Larson has fallen to 21st.

Lap 10, Chase Elliott continues to lead the race with Joey Logano in second; Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

Lap 14, Chase Elliott leads the field of drivers that are hitting speeds of 193mph.

Kyle Larson heads for pit road very slowly with some kind of issue and heads for the garage with no power.

Lap 15, top five are Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick, and Michael McDowell.

Austin Cindric lost the draft after having to check up when Kyle Larson got slowed on the track.

Lap 19, Chase Elliott continues to lead the race but Erik Jones comes up to challenge for the lead.

Lap 20, the top five are Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney.

Erik Jones continues to battle with Chase Elliott for the lead with Elliott on the inside lane.

Lap 24, the battle for the lead continues with Chase Elliott and Erik Jones swapping the lead back and forth. Chase Elliott leads the race with Joey Logano in second; Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Lap 26, Erik Jones is back out in front with Chase Elliott in second.

Kyle Larson is out of the race with a blown engine.

The top five are Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, and Joey Logano.

The top five drivers have all won a race at Daytona.

Lap 30, the caution flag comes out for a multi car incident involving Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Ty Gibbs, and Christopher Bell. Bell is stopped on the track with safety crews on the scene. Denny Hamlin got loose when pushing Erik Jones to start the melee.

After losing the draft, Austin Cindric had just been lapped when the caution flag came out and is the “lucky dog”.

Some of the drivers come down pit road for service. Tyler Reddick is on pit road with the hood up.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for a one lap shootout to the end of stage one. Ryan Blaney is back on the track and running despite a heavily damaged car from the crash. Joey Logano gets out in front for the lead with Chase Elliott in second; Harrison Burton, Martin Truex Jr, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Joey Logano and Chase Elliott battle for the lead.

Joey Logano wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Joey Logano
Chase Elliott
Harrison Burton
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Corey LaJoie
Bubba Wallace
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Erik Jones
Michael McDowell

Brad Keselowski’s crew failed to complete repairs before the ”crash clock” ran out and is out of the race.

Drivers who did not pit at the caution come down pit road for service. Kyle Busch will have to restart the race from the back of the field after being charged with running over equipment during his pit stop.

At over 194mph, Justin Haley has run the fastest lap of the race so far.

Corey LaJoie is the race leader with Bubba Wallace in second; Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Erik Jones, and Michael McDowell round out the top five. None of the top five drivers are currently in the playoffs.

Corey LaJoie brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 40 with Bubba Wallace on the outside. Corey LaJoie and Bubba Wallace battle for the lead with Wallace getting out in front.

Lap 41, Bubba Wallace leads the race with Erik Jones in second. Erik Jones takes the lead with Corey LaJoie in second.

Lap 42, Corey LaJoie takes the lead as he battle with Erik Jones for the top spot.

Lap 43, Corey LaJoie leads the race with Chris Buescher in second; Alex Bowman, Erik Jones, and Bubba Wallace rounding out the top five.

Lap 45, Erik Jones takes the lead with Bubba Wallace in second; Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Corey LaJoie, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

Lap 47, Erik Jones is the race leader with Bubba Wallace in second; Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Corey LaJoie, and Todd Gilliland round out the top five.

Lap 50, Chris Buescher takes the lead with Corey LaJoie in second.

Lap 51, Erik Jones and Chris Buescher battle for the lead.

Lap 52, Chris Buescher retakes the lead as the battle between Buescher and Erik Jones continues and they swap the lead back and forth.

Only 1.5 seconds separates the top 30 drivers.

In a battle for a playoff spot, Ryan Blaney is one lap down with a damaged car. Currently he is one point behind Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 55, Erik Jones leads the race with Alex Bowman in second; William Byron, Chris Buescher, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

After having to restart the race from the back of the field, Kyle Busch is just outside the top 10 in eleventh.

Lap 57, William Byron and Erik Jones battle for the lead.

Lap 60, Erik Jones is the leader with William Byron in second; Chris Buescher, Alex Bowman, and Corey LaJoie round out the top five. Jones passes Ryan Blaney to put him a second lap down.

With a 60 lap stage, the drivers must make a pit stop at some point in the stage.

Lap 62, Erik Jones leads the race with Alex Bowman in second as they approach slower traffic.

Denny Hamlin takes the lead with Joey Logano in second; Harrison Burton, Kyle Busch, and Daniel Hemric round out the top five.

Lap 67, Denny Hamlin holds on to the lead with Joey Logano in second; Harrison Burton, Kyle Busch, and Justin Haley round out the top five.

After leading 22 laps, Erik Jones has lost the draft and has fallen back in the field. He reports a loose condition in the car as temperatures heat up.

Lap 71 is the leader with Joey Logano in second; Harrison Burton, Kyle Busch, and Justin Haley round out the top five. Ryan Blaney is now three laps down with a flapping hood.

Lap 74, even though he is three laps down, Ryan Blaney is still ahead of Martin Truex Jr in points and is currently in 15th place of the 16 playoffs spots.

Lap 76, the four Toyota drivers come down pit road for their green flag pit stops. Joey Logano is the new leader.

Lap 78, more drivers come down pit road for their pit stops. BJ McLeod is the new leader. Several of the teams took fuel only.

Lap 79, the remainder of the field makes their green flag pit stops.

Lap 80, halfway, Chase Elliott is the new leader with Tyler Reddick in second; Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Kyle Busch, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.

Lap 81, Tyler Reddick leads the race with Kyle Busch in second; Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

Lap 83, Tyler Reddick leads the race with Kyle Busch in second, but Chase Elliot is bringing a pack of drivers toward the front.

Lap 84 Chase Elliott takes the lead but Tyler Reddick battles for the spot.

Lap 86, Chase Elliott leads the race on the inside lane with Tyler Reddick in the outside lane. Tyler Reddick retakes the lead.

Lap 86, Kyle Busch gets out in front from the outside lane. Tyler Reddick comes up on the inside to battle for the lead.

Lap 88, Kyle Busch leads the race on the outside lane with Tyler Reddick on the inside in a battle for the lead.

Lap 90, Tyler Reddick leads the race after a push from Chase Elliott.

Lap 91, Kyle Busch is back out in front with the lead.

Lap 93 with only two laps remaining in stage two, drivers care battling aggressively for position…and stage points.

Lap 95, Kyle Busch wins stage two for his second stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Denny Hamlin
Joey Logano
Bubba Wallace
Todd Gilliland
Tyler Reddick
Kevin Harvick
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Austin Dillon

Drivers come down pit road for service with Michael McDowell winning the race off of pit road after taking fuel only.

Kyle Busch was caught speeding on pit road and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

After staying out on the track, Ty Dillon is the new leader with BJ McLeod in second.

Michael McDowell is the leader and brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 100 and holds on to the lead.

Lap 101, Joey Logano takes the lead.

Denny Hamlin reports a vibration.

Michael McDowell gets turned around and causes a big crash; bringing out the caution flag. Martin Truex Jr, Ross Chastain, Tyler Reddick, Corey LaJoie, William Byron, and Chris Buescher are all involved in the crash. Ross Chastain is out of his car and out of the race from crash damage. The damage to Martin Truex Jr’s car is similar to that of Ryan Blaney.

Joey Logano is the leader of the race.

Laps down, Ty Gibbs gets one of his laps back as the “lucky dog”.

Michael McDowell is out of the race; he reports that they know the bad weather is coming and were racing to beat the weather when the crash happened.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 107 and holds on to the lead with Alex Bowman in second.

Tyler Reddick takes the lead.

After Reddick could not block the lane, Joey Logano comes up to take the lead.

Lap 109, Joey Logano leads the race with Alex Bowman in second; Tyler Reddick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Austin Cindric round out the top five.

Tyler Reddick takes the lead.

Lap 111, Tyler Reddick leads the race with Ricky Stenhouse Jr in second.

Lap 113, Tyler Reddick holds on to the lead with Bubba Wallace in second.

With a dark horizon over the beach, the drivers are getting very aggressive in a battle for position. Alex Bowman leads the race.

Lap 115, Alex Bowman leads the race with Ricky Stenhouse Jr in second; Joey Logano, Chase Briscoe, and Cole Custer round out the top five.

Lap 117, Alex Bowman has the lead with Ricky Stenhouse Jr in second; Joey Logano, Chase Briscoe, and Cole Custer round out the top five.

Lap 118, after a second pit road penalty and starting from the back of the field, Kyle Busch has entered the top 10.

Lap 120, Alex Bowman holds on to the lead with Ricky Stenhouse Jr in second; Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

Lap 123, with another pit stop looming, crews are busy working on making deals for pit stops in groups.

Chris Buescher takes the lead.

The caution flag comes out on lap 124 for a crash when Chase Briscoe’s car spins out. Austin Dillon, Cole Custer, Bubba Wallace, Harrison Burton, Todd Gilliland, Alex Bowman, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr were all involved in the crash. Many of the drivers involved in the crash were in a must win situation.

Joey Logano is the leader with Justin Haley in second; Erik Jones, Daniel Hemric, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Drivers come down pit road for their pit stops; with many taking fuel only.

There is a fire in Martin Truex Jr’s pit. He gets away and the fire is out.

Justin Haley, Erik Jones, and BJ McLeod stay out on the track.

Justin Haley brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 130.

The caution flag comes out after Joey Logano and Erik Jones makes contact. All four of Erik Jones’ tires were flat. Joey Logano is stopped on the track with flat tires and won’t move.

Lap 132, Justin Haley leads the race with Aric Almirola in second; Daniel Suarez, Chris Buescher, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Justin Haley brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 134 with Aric Almirola alongside. Justin Haley holds on to the lead.

Daniel Suarez passes Justin Haley for the lead with Aric Almirola in second; Justin Haley, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Lap 136, Denny Hamlin takes the lead with Daniel Suarez in second.

Drivers are three wide across the field.

A massive “the big one” collects most of the field after Denny Hamlin gets into the wall…and the rains come.

Austin Dillon manages to make it through the melee to lead the race. It’s raining but the sun is out with rain in only parts of the track.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr has a flat tire and gets stuck in the grass and mud.

After the big crash Austin Dillon is the leader with Kevin Harvick in second; Cody Ware, Landon Cassill, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

NASCAR has brought the cars down pit road and the race has been red flagged. The front stretch is drenched moving into the infield but the remainder of the track are dry and under the sun.

Under the “what if” category…should the race be called and Austin Dillon wins the race, he will be in the playoffs. In the battle between Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr, Truex is currently 12 points in front of Blaney and would be the final driver into the playoffs.

Justin Haley reports that the rain was the cause of the big crash which involved Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, Kevin Harvick, Tyler Reddick, Chase Elliott, Aric Almirola, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Hemric, Chris Buescher, Kyle Busch, Harrison Buron, Bubba Wallace, Justin Haley, Ty Dillon, Erik Jones, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Cody Ware.

Kevin Harvick also reports that the rain was responsible for the wreck.

After being checked at the infield care center, Denny Hamlin also reports that the rain was the cause of the wreck.

Currently there are just 17 cars on the lead lap.

After NASCAR has checked all the data, Austin Dillon is listed as the leader with Kevin Harvick in second; Austin Cindric, Cody Ware, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Track drying is going on and should not take a great deal of time provided no more rain occurs.

The heavy rains have arrived.

DIS is eight miles from the beach; broadcast crews spotted a waterspout out over the Atlantic Ocean form the track.

NASCAR has announced that they will do everything possible to get the full 160 lap race in.

At 1:54pmEDT the rains have lightened considerably and officials anticipate track drying started soon.

At 3:30pm track drying continues, but racing is expected to resume shortly after 4pm.

After a rain delay of over three hours, the track is dry and the cars are moving once again!

Harrison Burton is out of the race after the crews could not complete repairs in time under the “crash clock”.

Stewart-Haas Racing has also pulled Kevin Harvick’s car out of the race due to damage.

Only 14 cars remain in the race with just four cars with no crash damage.

Austin Dillon leads the race with Austin Cindric in second; Cody Ware, Martin Truex Jr, and Landon Cassill round out the top five.

With just 10 cars on the lead lap, Austin Dillon brings the field down for the green flag restart with 16 laps remaining in the race from the inside lane. Austin Cindric gets the lead after a push from behind.

Austin Cindric leads the race with Austin Dillon on his bumper; Landon Cassill, Martin Truex Jr, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 146, Austin Cindric leads the way with Austin Dillon in tow; Landon Cassill, Martin Truex Jr, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 148, 12 to go, Austin Cindric holds on to the lead with Austin Dillon in second; Landon Cassill, Martin Truex Jr, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

Lap 149, it’s a battle of the Austin’s with Dillon challenging leader Cindric. Tyler Reddick and Noah Gragson have paired up and drafting their way forward.

Lap 151, Austin Cindric holds on to the lead with Austin Dillon in second; Noah Gragson, Tyler Reddick, and Landon Cassill round out the top five. Austin Cindric and Tyler Reddick have already qualfied for the playoffs; Landon Cassill and Noah Gragson are not eligible for the playoffs; leaving Austin Dillon as the only driver in the top five that can advance to the playoffs with a win.

Just seven laps remaining in the race; Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric leads the race with Austin Dillon in second; Noah Gragson, Tyler Reddick, and Landon Cassill round out the top five.

Cole Custer has a flat tire and drops debris on the track but it is not where the drivers run and the track stays green.

Austin Cindric holds on to the lead with three laps to go.

Austin Dillon takes the lead as Austin Cindric falls away with a possible issue.

Austin Dillon takes the white flag with Tyler Reddick in second; Landon Cassill, Noah Gragson, and David Ragan round out the top five.

Austin Dillon leads the race going into turn four with teammate Tyler Reddick in tow.

Austin Dillon wins the Coke Zero 400 for his first win of the season and a spot in the playoffs.

By just three points, Ryan Blaney secures the final spot in the playoffs!

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


Chase Elliott is the regular season champion and will lead the way into the playoffs.

The 16 playoff drivers are:
Chase Elliott
Kyle Larson
Ross Chastain
Joey Logano
William Byron
Kevin Harvick
Denny Hamlin
Tyler Reddick
Christopher Bell
Chase Briscoe
Kyle Busch
Daniel Suarez
Austin Cindric
Alex Bowman
Austin Dillon
Ryan Blaney


#48 Crew Chief Moving Up

For the past 17 years Greg Ives has sat atop the pit box as a crew chief with Hendrick Motorsports.  Once the 2022 season is over, Ives will hang up the headset and moving on to another position with HMS.

Ives took over the crew chief duties from Steve Letarte in 2015 for the number 88 car driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr.  After Jr’s retirement from full time racing, Ives became the crew chief for Alex Bowman in the number 88 and later number 48 car.

Ives issued a statement via Twitter saying, “after 17 seasons on the road and making countless memories, I’ve decided to step away as crew chief at the end of 2022. There are many reasons, but the most important one is the chance to focus on my family and spend more time with our kids as they grow up.”

Before coming to the Cup Series with HMS, Ives served as crew chief for Chase Elliott in the Xfinity Series where Elliott took home the championship in 2014.

feature photo credit: Nascarphx29.jpg

Weather Delay, Big Wrecks, Overtime Marks Xfinity Daytona Race

Xfinity Series

Earlier in the day, a thunderstorm with lightening moved through the Daytona area and drenched the high banks of Daytona International Speedway.  As a result, NASCAR cancelled both Xfiinty and Cup Series practice and qualifying.  The field for the Wawa 250 was set by the NASCAR rule book.  AJ Allmendinger will sit on the pole and bring the field to the green flag with Noah Gragson alongside.

Forty-three teams brought cars to the track with five teams going home.  Justin Williams, Ronnie Bassett, Timothy Viens, CJ McLaughlin, and Joe Nemechek all failed to make the race.

The starting lineup for the Wawa 250:
AJ Allmendinger
Noah Gragson
Sammy Smith
Sam Mayer
Josh Berry
Riley Herbst
Sheldon Creed
Ty Gibbs
Jeremy Clements
Landon Cassill
Ryan Sieg
Brandon Jones
Anthony Alfredo
Austin Hill
Justin Allgaier
Daniel Hemric
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Blaine Perkins
John Hunter Nemechek
Joe Graf Jr
Alex Labbe
Myatt Snider
Bayley Curre
Sage Karam
Brandon Brown
David Starr
Mason Massey
JJ Yeley
Jeb Burton
Caesar Bacarella
Joey Gase
Kyle Sieg
Matt Mills
Jesse Iwuji
Patrick Emerling
Ryan Vargas
Timmy Hill
Justin Haley

While this weekend marks the end of the regular season for the Cup Series drivers, the Xfinity Series still have four races – counting Daytona – before the end of the regular season and the playoff field is set.

Nasty weather remains in the area, but NASCAR believes they can get the race in.  As track drying continues, there are some lightening flashes in the background and rain drops on the camera lenses.

At 8:58pmEDT, track drying continues as NASCAR exerts every effort to get the race in on Friday night.

At 9:52pmEDT, NASCAR has called the drivers to their cars.  They are scheduled to strap in at 10:15 with engine start at 10:30.

Stages one and two of the race are 30 laps each with stage three lasting 40 laps for a total of 100 laps around the 2.5 mile track.  Drivers can run 45 to 50 laps on a single load of fuel.

After a three hour weather delay, the air is filled with the sound of roaring engines as the drivers exit the garage and head for pit road for pre-race ceremonies.

Justin Haley had to make an unscheduled trip down pit road for some radio issues.

AJ Allmendinger brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane at 10:52pm.  Allmendinger gets out in front for the lead with Noah Gragson in second.

The double yellow line is the no go line for the drivers,  they cannot go below the line and advance their position.  Drivers are allowed to bump draft but cannot lock on in the Xfinity Series.

Lap two, AJ Allmendinger leads the race with Noah Gragson in second; Riley Herbst, Josh Berry, and Ty Gibbs round out the top five.

Lap four, AJ Allmendinger continues to lead the race but Noah Gragson and Sam Mayer are on his bumper.

Lap five, Noah Gragson passes AJ Allmendinger for the lead with Sam Mayer in second; Josh Berry, Riley Herbst, and Sheldon Creed round out the top five.  AJ Allmendinger falls to ninth place.

Lap seven, Noah Gragson leads the group on the outside lane with Sheldon Creed leading the inside lane. Creed and Gragson swap the lead back and forth.

Drivers are three wide through the field.

Lap nine, Noah Gragson leads the race with Josh Berry in second; Sam Mayer, Riley Herbst, and Sheldon Creed round out the top five.

Justin Haley continues to have radio issues; he can hear but there is a lot of static.

Lap 12, Noah Gragson leads the race with teammates Josh Berry and Sam Mayer in tow.  The fourth JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier is in 18th place.

The first caution flag of the race comes out on lap 16 when 18 year old Sammy Smith gets loose and hits the inside wall.  Smith reports that his car is very loose.  This was the young driver’s first trip to Daytona.

Some of the drivers come down pit road including the leaders Noah Gragson and Sam Mayer.  The drivers are within the pit window to make it to the end of stage two.

Josh Berry brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with Riley Herbst on the inside on lap 20.  Riley Herbst gets out in front with Ty Gibbs right behind him; Josh Berry, Sheldon Creed, and Landon Cassill round out the top five.

Lap 21, Ty Gibbs leads the race with Riley Herbst in second on the outside lane; Sheldon Creed, Brandon Jones, and Landon Cassill round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 22 for Kyle Sieg who has lost a tire and there are sparks coming from his car.  The tire carcass is resting on the track.

Out of the infield care center, Sammy Smith said that he was really free and just made a rookie mistake.

A few more drivers come down pit road for service.

Justin Allgaier is also reporting that he is very free; adding that several of the drivers are also free.

Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside with Riley Herbst alongside with just six laps remaining in stage one.  Gibbs and Herbst are side by side with Herbst getting out in front. 

Lap 25, Ty Gibbs edges out for the lead with Riley Herbst in second; Brandon Jones, Landon Cassill, and AJ Allmendinger rounding out the top five.

Lap 27, Ty Gibbs leads the race with Brandon Jones in second; AJ Allmendinger, Daniel Hemric, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

With two laps remaining in stage one, the drivers are getting three wide.

Ty Gibbs wins stage one for his fourth stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Ty Gibbs
Austin Hill
Sheldon Creed
AJ Allmendinger
Josh Berry
Brandon Jones
Justin Allgaier
Sam Mayer
Justin Haley
Ryan Sieg

Drivers come down pit road for service.  Austin Hill and Caesar Bacarella make contact on pit road which spins Bacarella.  John Hunter Nemchek and Sage Karam also make contact on pit road.  Myatt Snider loses his fuel can.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr was caught speeding on pit road.

Josh Berry and Jeb Burton bring the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 35 with Josh Berry getting out in front on the inside lane.

Lap 36, Josh Berry is the leader with Brandon Brown in second; Anthony Alfredo, Jeb Burton, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Lap 37, Brandon Brown takes the lead with Anthony Alfredo in second; Josh Berry, Jeb Burton, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Lap 38 Anthony Alfredo takes the lead with Justin Allgaier in second; Noah Gragson, Brandon Brown, and Sheldon Creed round out the top five.  Back in the field the drivers are three wide.

Lap 39, Noah Gragson comes up on the inside and takes the lead briefly before Alfredo retakes the lead; Justin Allgaier, Sheldon Creed, and Ryan Sieg round out the top five.

Lap 41, Justin Allgaier takes the lead in a three wide battle; Ryan Sieg, Anthony Alfredo, Noah Gragson, and Sheldon Creed round out the top five.

Lap 42, the drivers have gotten more organized in double file with Justin Allgaier leading the way; Anthony Alfredo, Sheldon Creed, and Josh Berry round out the top five.

Lap 47, Justin Allgaier leads the race with Anthony Alfredo in second; Sheldon Creed, Noah Gragson, and Riley Herbst round out the top five.

Lap 50, Justin Allgaier leads the race on the inside lane with Anthony Alfredo moving up on the outside.

Lap 51, Anthony Alfredo on the outside lane ahs caught up to Justin Allgaier and is in a battle for the lead.

Lap 52, Anthony Alfredo takes the lead.

Justin Allgaier comes up on the inside to continue the battle for the lead.

Daniel Hemric had to make an unscheduled trip down pit road for a flat tire.

Lap 54, Sheldon Creed comes up from the middle lane and gets in front of Justin Allgaier on the inside lane; Anthony Alfredo is the lead on the outside lane.

Lap 55, Noah Gragson takes the lead .

With three laps remaining in stage two, all four of the JR Motorsports drivers are in the top 10.

Lap 57, Noah Gragson leads the race with Sheldon Creed in second; Justin Allgaier, Anthony Alfredo, and Sam Mayer round out the top five.

Sheldon Creed spins out on the final laps of stage two.  He keeps it off the wall and the track stays green.

Noah Gragson wins stage two for his eleventh stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Noah Gragson
Anthony Alfredo
Riley Herbst
Sam Mayer
Josh Berry
John Hunter Nemechek
Ty Gibbs
Justin Allgaier
Myatt Snider
Ryan Sieg

Drivers come down pit road for service.  Taking fuel only, Noah Gragson wins the race off of pit road.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 64 and gets out in front for the lead with teammate Justin Allgaier in second; Ty Gibbs, Brandon Jones, and Riley Herbst round out the top five.

Ty Gibbs passes Justin Allgaier for second.

Lap 67, Noah Gragson leads the race with Ty Gibbs in second; Justin Allgaier, Riley Herbst, and Sam Mayer round out the top five.  Sammy Smith is the only driver out of the race with all of the cars on the track on the lead lap.

Lap 71, Riley Herbst has a flat tire and spins out, making a run through the grass.  He got the car moving again and drove out of the grass.  While the track is dry, there is a great deal of water in the grass spaying everywhere.

A few of the drivers come down pit road for service.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart with Ty Gibbs alongside with 25 laps remaining in the race.  With a push from teammate Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson gets out in front but Ty Gibbs comes up on the outside to challenge for the lead.

Noah Gragson leads the race with Justin Allgaier in second; AJ Allmendinger, Justin Haley, and Jeb Burton round out the top five.

After his flat tire and run through the grass, Riley Herbst is the only driver one lap down.

Twenty to go, Noah Gragson leads the race with team mates Justin Allgaier and Sam Mayer right behind him; AJ Allmendinger and Justin Haley round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 83 for a wreck involving several cars; Joe Graf Jr’s car is destroyed on the grass.  Sheldon Creed, John Hunter Nemechek, and Brandon Brown were also involved.  Sheldon Creed came across the track and slammed into the outside wall.  Riley Herbst is the “lucky dog”.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 13 laps remaining in the race.  Teammate Justin Allgaier is alongside Gragson.  Getting a push from AJ Allmendinger, Noah Gragson gets out in front for the lead.

The top five are Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, Sam Mayer, AJ Allmendinger, and Austin Hill.

With eleven laps to go, Austin Hill in a damaged car tries to come up and challenge Noah Gragsn for the lead.

Ten to go, Noah Gragson leads the race with AJ Allmendinger in second; Justin Allgaier, Sam Mayer, and Daniel Hemric round out the top five.

AJ Allmendinger gets loose and brings out the caution flag and collects up JR Motorsports drivers Sam Mayer, Josh Berry, and Justin Allgaier.  Myatt Snider and Daniel Hemric were  also involved.

Sheldon Creed noted that it was probably the biggest hit he has ever taken in that crash with John Hunter Nemechek.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart with just four laps remaining in the race.  Noah Gragson gets a little help from Brandon Brown to take the lead but Daniel Hemric gets a big push to take the lead.

Austin Hill jumps down to the bottom lane and passes Daniel Hemric for the lead with three laps to go.

Landon Cassill gets into the wall and slaps the wall.

With three laps to go, several cars get into multiple wrecks bringing out the caution flag and sends the race into overtime.  Jeb Burton, Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, Justin Allgaier, Sage Karam, Anthony Alfredo, Myatt Snider, Riley Herbst, Matt Mills, and David Starr were all involved in the on track incidents.

Austin Hill brings the field down for the green/white/checker overtime start from the outside lane with Noah Gragson on the inside.  Hill and Gragson go side by side.  The caution comes out with another big wreck when the drivers begin doing a lot of pushing.  Several drivers are stuck in the grass.  Josh William, Alex Labbe, Riley Herbst, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Brandon Brown, Caesar Bacarella, Josh Williams, Ryan Sieg, Blaine Perkins, Bayley Currey, Justin Haley, Myatt Snider, Kyle Sieg, and Ty Gibbs were all involved in the overtime crash.

Austin Hill reports that his fuel pressure is “acting a little funky”; but the crew reports he should have enough fuel.

After winning the first race of the season, Austin Hill is looking for the Daytona sweep.

Austin Hill brings the field down for the second overtime start with Noah Gragson alongside.  With a push from AJ Allmendinger, Austin Hill gets out in front for the lead with Noah Gragsn in second. 

A big hit sends Noah Gragson into the wall, airborne, and spinning.  Matt Mills, Blaine Perkins, Landon Cassill, Myatt Snider, Ty Gibbs, and Jeb Burton were also involved in the wreck.

AJ Allmendinger says that his fuel pressure is bouncing all over the place; but the crew says he has enough fuel.  Allmendinger is having fuel issues and comes down pit road for a splash of fuel.

Austin Hill also reports that his gages are messing up; adding that his cool suit has also stopped working. 

Could the third time be the charm for the Wawa 250???  Austin Hill brings the field down for the third overtime restart of the race with Jeremy Clements alongside.  Jeremy Clements jumps out in front with Sage Karam giving a push.  Austin Hill falls back in the field after his car doesn’t get going.

AJ Allmendinger comes up from the inside.  Riley Herbst spins out.  Jeremy Clements takes the white flag and the caution flag comes out. 

Jeremy Clements wins the race!!!!    This is his second career win. It has been 164 races since Clements last won a race.

Clements is the eighth winner this season in the Xfinity Series.  The win puts Jeremy Clements in the playoffs for the first time in his career.

The unofficial results of the Wawa 250:
Jeremy Clements
Timmy Hill
AJ Allmendinger
Brandon Brown
Sage Karam
Ryan Vargas
Ty Gibbs
Alex Labbe
JJ Yeley
Kyle Sieg
Jesse Iwuji
Myatt Snider
Justin Allgaier
Austin Hill
Riley Herbst
Joey Gase
Blaine Perkins
Josh Berry
Daniel Hemric
Brandon Jones
Jeb Burton
Noah Gragson
Landon Cassill
Matt Mills
Justin Haley
Ryan Sieg
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Caesar Bacarella
Josh Williams
Bayley Currey
David Starr
Anthony Alfredo
Mason Massey
Sam Mayer
John Hunter Nemechek
Sheldon Creed
Joe Graf Jr
Sammy Smith

Almirola Confirms Future Plans

At the beginning of the 2022 racing season NASCAR Cip Series driver Aric Almirola announced that he would be retiring as a full trim driver at the end of the season to spend more time with his family now that the children are older and more involved in projects.  But as the season went on and there was no announcements coming from Stewart-Haas Racing as to who would be driving the number 10 car next season, fans and the media began to speculate on whether Almirola would be retiring.

In recent weeks when asked about his future plans, Almirola was vague at best.

Today that mystery has been solved with the announcement that not only has the primary sponsor for the number 10 car Smithfield signed a multi year contract extension, Aric Almirola himself has signed a new contract to stay at Stewart-Haas in the number 10 car.

Speaking on the decision Almirola said, “it just feels right.”

He added, “I’ve learned a lot this year and perhaps the biggest learning was to never say never.  I came into this year ready to soak everything up, and I have. I already knew I had the coolest job in the world, but being with my family and being there for (wife) Janice and Alex and Abby was really important. My desire to compete and win never wavered, but I didn’t want it to come at the expense of family. We found a way to accommodate both and I’ve never been happier.  Smithfield is a big part of that. They’ve been a part of my life for eleven years and, really, my entire NASCAR Cup Series career. They’re family to me. And, of course, it’s always nice to be wanted. Smithfield wanted me to continue representing them. Stewart-Haas Racing wanted me to continue driving their race cars. Everything just aligned and it’s something we all embraced.”

He continued, “the original decision to step away from full-time racing at the end of the season was a family one, and so is this decision. Janice, Alex and Abby are just as excited as I am to continue racing the number 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang.” 

Smithfield president and CEO Shane Smith issued a statement saying, “Aric has been a part of the Smithfield family for more than a decade and we’re very happy to have him back in the number 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang.  Just as Aric discovered new ways to enjoy this sport, Smithfield did too. I was at this year’s Daytona 500 with him and it was electric. NASCAR is exactly where we need to be. It’s where our customers are, and no one reaches them better than Aric Almirola.  He’s an incredibly talented racer and devoted family man who embodies Smithfield’s values. From day one, Aric has embraced our commitment to do good for our customers, employees and communities. This is a reinvestment in Aric, in Stewart- Haas Racing and in NASCAR.” 

 

Silly Season Update – Aug 26

Like Christmas sales, the NASCAR Silly Season seems to begin earlier each year.

Before the season even began, sponsor M&M’s announced that they would not be renewing their sponsorship for the Joe Gibbs Racing number 18 car.  And Aric Almirola announced that he would be retiring from full time driving of the Stewart-Haas Racing number 10 car at the end of the year.

While the future of JGR driver Kyle Busch is still up in the air, the big story of the 2022 NASCAR season is the number of drivers who have signed new contracts for the coming year and beyond.

Tyler Reddick shocked the racing world with his announcement that at the end of the 2023 racing season he would be leaving Richard Childress Racing and the number eight car and moving to 23 XI Racing.

The Cup Series got a second shock with the announcement that Aric Almirola isn’t’t retiring after all and will return to Stewart-Haas Racing and the number 10 car.

Team Penske drivers Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney, 23XIRacing’s Bubba Wallace, Petty GMS Racing’s Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr, JTG Daugherty’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Hendrick Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott and  William Byron, and Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez have signed contract extensions for at least the next year with some extending multiple years.

In the Camping World Truck Series – which is changing sponsors next season – points leader Zane Smith has announced that he will be returning to Front Row Motorsports in the number 38 truck and will have some opportunities to race in the Xfinity and Cup Series races.

Ty Dillion, driver of the Petty GMS Racing number 42 car has announced that he would not be returning to the team for the 2023 season.  Petty GMS has announced that the current driver of the JR Motorsports number nine car in the Xfinity Series Noah Gragson has been signed to driver the number 42 car next season.  JRM has not yet made an announcement of a new driver for the number nine car for next season.  Gragson has been a part time driver of the number 16 Kaulig Racing Cup Series car this season.

Although he has a multi year contract with 23XI Racing, Kurt Busch’s future has come into question after a qualifying crash at Pocono that resulted in a concussion has cost the driver six races and is now out of the playoffs due to the injury.

Meanwhile, two time Cup Series driver – the only multi year champion among current drivers – Kyle Busch is dealing with some sleepless nights over his Cup Series future.   Toyota is adamant about keeping Busch in one of their cars and preferably at JGR, but is team owner as adamant about holding on to his driver?  The team states that they are working hard to find a new sponsor and sign the driver but  that sincerity comes into question when announcements are being made almost daily about other drivers signing contract extensions.

 

 

Truck Series Gets New Sponsor

Earlier this season it was announced that after many years as the primary sponsor Dr the Truck Series Camping World would not return next season.

 Original sponsor Craftsman tools is returning to sponsor the Truck Series.   Craftsman sponsored the Truck Series for the first 13 years of the sport and is returning to after a 14 year absence.

 Fans will see the familiar logo beginning at Daytona International Speedway beginning February 17, 2023.

Except this time around, Craftsman will be doing much more than sponsoring a racing series, Stanley Black & Decker with its brands CRAFTSMAN, DEWALT and MAC TOOLS will become the official tools for all of NASCAR and it’s tracks.  The multi year partnership will provide the tools crews need to build and keep the vehicles running at peak performance.

President of Hand Tools and Storage for Stanley Black & Decker Doug Redpath spoke on the renewed partnership saying, “we celebrate the return of the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series  From proud homeowners and homebuilders to auto enthusiasts and master mechanics, CRAFTSMAN has been the brand generations have trusted to get the job done. The Truck Series represents authentic, bold and proud drivers and fans, which embody the same characteristics of our CRAFTSMAN brand. We look forward to our return in Daytona in 2023 to reunite with our loyal fans as we begin this new chapter in NASCAR history.”

Along with sponsoring the Truck Series, Triple Truck Challenge, and the Championship; Craftsman noted there will also be “a platform to support the launch of new products, amplify seasonal promotions, and highlight the many ways CRAFTSMAN is building pride.”

Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer at NASCAR Daryl Wolfe spoke on the new tool partnership saying, “Stanley Black & Decker is an innovative company that has a rich history in our sport and these new agreements connect our brands in an authentic and meaningful way.   We know NASCAR fans are brand loyal and recognize how important tool performance is in racing. We are excited to see how this official partnership deepens the connection with our racing community while also bringing back CRAFTSMAN, the brand that started it all in the Truck Series.”

 

 

 

Busch Out of Playoffs

With just race remaining in the NASCAR Cup Series regular season, there is a record tying 15 race winners,  up only 14 of them will be moving on to the playoffs, leaving two spots to be filled at the end of the race at Daytona on Saturday night.

On August 25, 23XI Racing withdrew the medical waiver that had been reserved for Kurt Busch when he returned to racing after suffering a concussion during qualifying at Pocono six weeks ago.  Busch is still dealing with the symptoms from that concussion and will not be a part of the 2022 Cup Series playoffs.

 The team gave no indication when Busch would return to the 45 car or even if he would be returning any time over the next eleven races remaining in the 2022 season.  However, 23XI did announce that Xfinity Series regular with Joe Gibbs Racing would continue to drive the 45 in Busch’s absence.

 Team president for 23XI Racing Steve Lauletta spoke on Busch saying, “Kurt has elevated our entire organization this year.  Although Kurt will not be competing for a championship this season, he will continue to play a vital role in the organization as he works with our competition group to keep improving and strengthening the team.”

 Kurt Busch himself also spoke on the situation saying, “as much as I wanted and hoped to be able to get back in the number 45 car to make the playoff run with our team, it’s still not the right time for me.  In addition to not being cleared to return to Racing, I know that I am not ready to be back in the car.  I respect the sport of NASCAR, my fellow drivers, and the fans too much to take up a playoff spot if I know I can’t compete for a championship this season.  The decision was not an easy one, but I know it is the right thing to do.  I will continue to take time to heal and strengthen as I prepare to be back in the car and will do all I can to help 23XI continue the success we have had this season.”

 While Kurt Busch is no longer a part of the playoffs, the number 45 is still in contention for a spot in the owner’s championship.

 

Dale Jr Becomes Producer

Even before he retired from full time driving, Dale Earnhardt Jr was a member of the media with his weekly podcasts – Dale Jr Download – and his company Dirty Mo Media.  Since retiring Junior has continued his  “Dale Jr Download”, created the series “Lost Speedways”, and is a full time of the NBC Sports broadcast crew.

The Hall of Fame driver is also a part of the upcoming television docuseries on USA Network titled “Race for the Championship” as an executive producer.

The series is set to premiere on September 1, just a few days prior to the first race of the Cup Series playoffs at Darlington Raceway.  The unscripted series follows the drivers through the season and into the playoffs as they navigate a new car on the way to racing their way into the playoffs and a championship.

Dale Jr spoke on the new series saying, “ I have such a passion and love for the sport that I feel like this type of content is something that our fans are starving for.  It’s always a lot of fun to work on a project that is unique and about something you’re passionate about.  So that makes it easy to want to dive in, give input, and get feedback – and be a part of of the process.”

He added, “ we need to give everyone a better opportunity to get to know the individuals that are involved in NASCAR.  I think this is a great opportunity to put a very human element into what we do and into our identity.  It’s something I think that should have a profound impact on on perception of the sport and also to give our fans a deeper dive into each individual.”

NASCAR Issues Watkins Glen Penalties

Fans who watched Cup Series qualifying on Saturday at Watkins Glen International May have noticed a DNS bride Christopher Bell and Cody Ware’s names.  And while it was noted by the NBC broadcast team that the crew for Christopher Bell’s car had to make an engine change after it blew during practice; nothing was said about Cody Ware…

Until now…

During the practice session, Ware’s car lost some ballast – a major penalty in the NASCAR rule book.  As a result of the infraction Ware was not allowed to qualify the car and had to start the race from the back of the field.  In addition; crew chief Billy Plourde, car chief Jamie Edwards, and engineer Steven Gray have all been suspended for the next four races.

In the Xfinity Series, the number 16 Kaulig Racing car driven by AJ Allmendinger was found to have a single lug nut improperly secured during post race inspection.  As a result, crew chief Bruce Schlicker was fined $5,000.

NASCAR Point Standings – Aug 22

Before the race at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, NASCAR announced that points leader Chase Elliott had indeed clenched the regular season championship.  Once the field of 16 playoff drivers is set, Elliott will be awarded an additional 15 bonus points for the win.

The only four race winner this season, Elliott took the points lead after the fifth race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway and has remained on the top ever since.

The only category Chase Elliott does not lead this season is stage point wins, which is held by Martin Truex Jr with seven.  However, Elliott does lead the stage point standings with 220 points.  Teammate Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney are tied for second with 187 each.

Stage Point Standings:
Chase Elliott – 220
Kyle Larson – 187
Ryan Blaney – 187
Joey Logan’s – 184
Ross Chastain – 169
William Byron – 165
Martin Truex Jr – 160
Christopher Bell – 139
Kyle Busch – 138
Denny Hamlin – 125
Erik Jones – 96
Chase Briscoe – 96
Tyler Reddick – 94
Daniel Suarez – 89
Kevin Harvick – 82
Alex Bowman – 80
Kurt Busch – 77
Aric Almirola – 66
Bubba Wallace – 64
Brad Keselowski – 47
Austin Cindric – 47
Ricky Stenhouse Jr – 43
Chris Buescher – 34
Cole Custer 33
Harrison Burton – 33
Ty Dillon – 33
Austin Dillon – 31
Todd Gilliland – 26
Michael McDowell – 19
Justin Haley – 19
Joey Hand – 14
Corey LaJoie – 3
Cody Ware – 2

In the overall Cup Series standings, Chase Elliott has a lead of over 100 points with 922; his closest competitor is Kyle Larson with 788.

 Chase Elliott also leads in the playoff standings with 2,040.

The Cup Series Playoff Standings:
Chase Elliott – 2,040
Kyle Larson – 2,023
Ross Chastain – 2,021
Joey Logano – 2,021
William Byron – 2,014
Kevin Harvick – 2,013
Denny Hamlin – 2,013
Ryan Blaney – 2,013
Tyler Reddick – 2,012
Christopher Bell – 2,011
Chase Briscoe – 2,009
Kyle Busch – 2,008
Kurt Busch – 2,007
Daniel Suarez – 2,007
Austin Cindric – 2,006
Alex Bowman – 2,006

The only race winning driver who has not secured a spot in the playoffs is Kurt Busch because he has been out of the car with a concussion and is not expected to return before the playoffs.

While AJ Allmendinger leads the point standings in the Xfinity Series with 887 points, it is Ty Gibbs who leads in the playoffs with five wins and 2,038 points.

The Xfinity Series drivers still have a few more races remaining in their regular season.

Aric Almirola’s Future Now Uncertain

At the beginning of the 2022 racing season Aric Almirola announced that this would be his final season as a full time driver in the Stewart-Haas Racing number 10 car.  However, as the season has progressed, Almirola’s decision has become somewhat more unclear.

When asked about his future, Almirola has no definitive answers; the latest report is that the driver’s future is uncertain. 

Motorsport.com has reported that Almirola will be returning to the number 10 car for the 2023 season but the driver himself has not confirmed those reports.

When asked about his future as a driver at Watkins Glen International, Almirola said, “a lot of thinking, a lot of praying about it.  That’s something that’s been very instrumental for me throughout my entire career and especially the last four or five years, I’ve (put) God first in a lot of the decisions, and I’m working on getting there to where He’s first in all of these decisions. Sometimes, I have a bad habit of thinking that I know what’s best. But certainly have prayed a lot about it and continue to think about it and still don’t have a final decision.”

He added, “I think a lot of that just stems from being smart enough to never say never and to be open to what doors God may or may not open — and to be accepting to whatever doors close, right?  And I think back to my whole career. There’s plenty of times where I shouldn’t have had another opportunity, and I did. And the only way I can explain it is by God’s grace. And there’s plenty of times that I should have had a door close, and it didn’t.  And when I think back to when I was 19 years old and got the opportunity to move from Florida to North Carolina, that is without a doubt God working in my life to allow that opportunity. Because I should have went to school and finished and got my mechanical engineering degree and moved to North Carolina and been an engineer on one of these teams in the garage area. But that wasn’t the case.”

Almirola originally. Item wanting to spend more time with his family, especially now that his children are getting bigger, as the reason for his wanting to retire.

feature photo credit: Aric Almirola Driver Introductions Pocono 2022.jpg

HMS Battles to the Checkers at The Glen

NASCAR Cup Series

When the drivers in the Cup Series Go Bowling at the Glen 300, for the first time in Cup Series history seven countries will be represented by the 39 drivers.  While the majority of the drivers are U.S. natives; Finland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom will also be represented.

Among those drivers is Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen driving in the special Project 91 car for Trackhouse Racing.

During the pre-qualifying inspection process the number five Hendrick Mototsports car driven by Kyle Larson failed inspection twice; as a result the team will lose a crew member and a chance to select his pit stall; but will get to start the race in his qualifying position.

During practice Ty Gibbs gets into the tire barrier; saying that he go too loose.  Christopher Bell blew an engine and will not make a qualifying run and will start the race from the back of the field.  Cody Ware also did not make a qualifying run.

The drivers are divided into two groups for qualifying and will have 15 minutes to run as many laps as they wish to post their best time.  The top five drivers from each group will move on to round two to make a run for the pole.

Kyle Tilley gets into the barrier while making his qualifying run and brings out the red flag.

From Group A Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Chris Buescher, Tyler Reddick, and AJ Allmendinger will move on to round two.

In Group B William Byron, Michael McDowell, Austin Cindric, Daniel Suarez, and Kyle Busch will move on to round two of qualifying.

Posting a time of 70.477 seconds around the 2.45 mile road course, Chase Elliott puts his number nine car on the pole.  Team mate Kyle Larson will start alongside Elliott on the front row.

The starting lineup for the Go Bowling at the Glen 300:
Chase Elliott
Kyle Larson
Michael McDowell
William Byron
Tyler Reddick
AJ Allmendinger
Chris Buescher
Austin Cindric
Daniel Suarez
Kyle Busch
Alex Bowman
Austin Dillon
Justin Haley
Chase Briscoe
Brad Keselowski
Ty Gibbs
Joey Hand
Ross Chastain
Todd Gilliland
Joey Logano
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Denny Hamlin
Bubba Wallace
Kevin Harvick
Martin Truex Jr
Ryan Blaney
Kimi Raikkonen
Ty Dillon
Cole Custer
Harrison Burton
Eirk Jones
Corey LaJoie
Mike Rockenfeller
Loris Hezemans
Aric Almirola
Daniil Kvyat
Kyle Tilley
Christopher Bell
Cody Ware

Stages one and two of the race are 20 laps each with stage three lasting 50 laps for a total of 90 laps around the 2.45 mile track.

Race start is delayed due to weather.  While the drivers will race in the rain, they cannot race with lightening in the area.

Along with Christopher Bell starting in the back of the field after an engine change, Kyle Busch will also give up his tenth place starting spot and move to the back of the field with an engine change. William Byron, Daniil Kvyat, Ty Gibbs, Cody Ware, and Kyle Tilley will also have to start the race from the back of the field after crews made some unapproved adjustments to the cars.

The lightening has moved away and NASCAR has called for a 4:09pm EDT start time.  The drivers will start the race under wet weather conditions – rain tires, windshield wipers, and red visual lights.  The cars are also equipped with a “mud flap” to aid with visibility and many of the cars are equipped with defoggers to help keep the windows clear.

This will be the first time the drivers have raced the Next Gen cars under wet weather conditions.  Kevin Harvick noted that the biggest issue will be visibility.  AND Goodyear has brought a new rain tire for the cars.

NASCAR has announced that the start of the race and all restarts under wet conditions will be single file.

NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Rusty Wallace is the grand marshal for today’s race and gives the command to start the engines.

After the drivers have run a few pace laps, NASCAR has brought the drivers down pit road with the drivers staying in their cars while they address a few “puddle” conditions.

The radar shows that the will move through the area in the not too distance future.

On pit road, crews are working on Chase Elliott’s radio.  The 77 car of Mike Rockenfeller is having some wiper issues that are being addressed.

Crowds can be heard from the crowd as the car covers come off and the window nets get put back up in preparation for the drivers to get going again.

There may be some radio issue in Christopher Bell’s car.

The teams have five sets of each tire – wet and slicks – in the pits.

Nearly two hours past the original start time, Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag start of the race.  Drivers quickly get three and four wide through the field with Chase Elliott taking the lead.  Michael McDowell passes Kyle Larson for second.

Drivers who miss the carousel or bus stop must come to a complete stop before moving on.

Lap two, Chase Elliott leads the race with Michael McDowell in second.  AJ Allmendinger spins out after some contact from Austin Cindric but the track stays green.  Harrison Burton also spins out.

The top five are Chase Elliott, Michael McDowell, Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick, and Chris Buescher.

Lap three Tyler Reddick battle with Kyle Larson for third.

Lap four, Michael McDowell battle with Chase Elliott for the lead and is the new leader.

Michael McDowell leads the race with Tyler Reddick in second; Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

Kyle Larson missed the bus stop and had to come to a stop to serve the penalty.

Justin Haley had to make an unscheduled trip down pit road after his window net came down.

Lap six, Michael McDowell has a lead of a second on Tyler Reddick; Chase Elliott, Chris Buescher, and Daniel Suarez round out the top five.

Ryan Blaney reports that his fuel pressure gauge is not working.

Lap seven, Michael McDowell’s lead is down to just over half a second on Tyler Reddick.

Chris Buescher is the first driver to come down pit road and change from the rain tires to slicks.

Lap nine, Michael McDowell has a lead of over half a second on Tyler Reddick; Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez, and Todd Gilliland round out the top five.

More drivers come down pit road to change from wet weather tires to the dry slicks.

Lap 10, Tyler Reddick has closed the gap on leader Michael McDowell to under half a second.

While some of the drivers are coming down pit road for tire changes, others are holding out to make it to their pit windows to complete the race on two stops.

Lap eleven, Tyler Reddick has caught up to leader Michael McDowell and is beginning to challenge for the lead.

Lap 12, the top five are Michael McDowell, Tyler Reddick, Todd Gilliland, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Larson.

Michael McDowell comes down pit road for a tire change and gives the lead over to Tyler Reddick.

Lap 14, Tyler Reddick comes down pit road for a tire change and gives the lead over to Chase Elliott.

Since making the tire change Chase Briscoe is running the fastest laps on the track and passing cars with ease.

Tyler Reddick misses the bus stop and has to serve a stop and go penalty.

Chase Briscoe passes Chase Elliott to take the lead and is now getting a challenge form Michael McDowell; Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Lap 18, Chase Briscoe leads the race with Michael McDowell on his bumper; Chris Buescher, Tyler Reddick, and Daniel Suarez round ou t the top five.  After starting from the back of the field after an engine change, Kyle Busch has moved up to the top 15.

Lap 19, Kyle Busch enters the top 10 – his original starting spot before the engine change.

Chase Briscoe wins stage one for his fourth stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one :
Chase Briscoe
Tyler Reddick
Daniel Suarez
Todd Gilliland
Ross Chastain
Joey Logano
Ty Dillon
Michael McDowell
Kyle Busch
Austin Dillon

A few drivers come down pit road for service including leader Chase Briscoe.

Chase Elliott has now earned enough points to secure the regular season championship.  The win also gives him 15 bonus playoff points to extend his lead.

In a double file start, Todd Gilliland brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two with Joey Logano alongside on lap 24.  Gilliland edges out for the lead going into turn one and holds on to the lead; Joey Logano, Ty Dillon, Michael McDowell, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

In a three wide battle, Kyle Busch takes third.

Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen is in the top 10 in ninth place.

There are 35 cars on the lead lap with Kyle Tilley off the track.

Lap 27, Todd Gilliland has a half second lead on Joey Logano with Kyle Busch three tenths of a second behind Logano; Michael McDowell and Ty Dillion round out the top five.

Lap 28, Todd Gilliland and Joey Logano battle for the lead with Joey Logano taking the spot as Todd Gilliland gets slowed on the track with a possible broken axle.

Lap 29, the top five are Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Michael McDowell, Ty Dillon, and Joey Hand.

Halfway through stage two; Joey Logano has a lead of over half a second on Kyle Busch; Michael McDowell, Ty Dillon, and Joey Hand round out the top five.  Since the race start Kyle Busch has moved up 30 spots.

Tyler Reddick and Mike Reckenfeller spin out but the track stays green and the cars get moving again even after being stuck in the grass.

Kyle Tilley is out of the race with Todd Gilliland and Daniil Kvyat off the track.

Lap 35, Joey Logano has a lead of over half a second on Kyle Busch with Michael McDowell over two seconds back in third; Chase Elliott and Ty Dillon round out the top five.

Three laps remain in stage two, Joey Logano leads the race with Kyle Busch in second; Michael McDowell, Chase Elliott, and Ty Dillon round out the top five as some drivers short pit the end of the stage.

Joey Logano wins stage two for his fourth stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Joey Logano
Kyle Busch
Michael McDowell
Chase Elliott
Ty Dillon
Joey Hand
Chris Buescher
Kyle Larson
Cole Custer
Christopher Bell

During his pit stop, Corey LaJoie was charged with leaving his pit box with equipment when he drove off with the gas can still attached.

Drivers come down pit road for service.  Chase Briscoe comes down pit road for repairs after concern over damage from some on track contact.

Kyle Busch had to make a second trip down pit road to serve a penalty after pitting just one inch over the line.

Michael McDowell brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three with 45 laps remaining in the race.  McDowell takes the lead as drivers get four and five wide.  McDowell holds off a three wide battle to hold on to the lead.

The first caution flag for an on track incident comes out after Kimi Raikkonen gets into the tire barrier head on and Austin Dillon spins out after some on track contact.  Raikkonen is out of his car and walks to the ambulance for the mandatory trip to the infield car center.

The top five are Michael McDowell, Chase Elliott, Joey Hand, Christopher Bell, and Chris Buescher.

Michael McDowell brings the field down for the green flag restart as the drivers get three, four, and five wide across the track in a battle for position.  McDowell holds on to the lead with Chase Elliott in second; Christopher Bell, Kyle Larson, and Joey Hand round out the top five.

Kyle Larson passes Christopher Bell for third.

With 34 cars on the lead lap, Cody Ware is the only driver on the track not on the lead lap.  Kimi Raikkonen, Todd Gilliland, and Kyle Tilley are out of the race with Daniil Kvyat off of the track.

Lap 49, Chase Elliott passes Michael McDowell for the lead.

Lap 50, Chase Elliott has a lead of a second on Michael McDowell; Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, and Joey Hand round out the top five.

Lap 52, Chase Elliott has increased his lead on Michael McDowell to over a second; Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, and Joey Hand round out the top five with AJ Allmendinger just outside the top five in sixth.

Lap 55, Joey Hand is the first driver to come down pit road for his last pit stop of the race.

Chase Elliott has a lead of nearly a second and a half on Michael McDowell; Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five as more drivers make their green flag pit stops.

To five drivers Michael McDowell and Kyle Larson come down pit road for their green flag pit stops.

Lap 59, Chase Elliott makes his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over to Cole Custer.

The top five drivers; Cole Custer, Austin Cindric, Corey LaJoie, Austin Dillon, and Mike Rockenfeller have yet to make their final pit stops.

Chase Briscoe and Ross Chastain spin out but get moving again and the track stays green  with 26 laps remaining in the race.

Cole Custer has a big lead on Corey LaJoie but both drivers; along with Austin Dillon and Mike Rockenfeller have yet to make their final pit stops.

Martin Truex Jr has complained of no grip and poor handling all race.

Lap 65, Cole Custer finally makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Austin Dillon.

Cody Ware spins out in the Bus stop but get the car moving again and the track stays green.

Mike Rockenfeller makes his pit stop; leaving only Austin Dillon and Corey LaJoie still needing a pit stop.

Twenty to go, Austin Dillon leads the race with Chase Elliott less than half a second back; Kyle Larson, Corey LaJoie, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

Lap 71, Chase Elliott passes Austin Dillon for the lead with Kyle Larson taking second.

Kyle Busch spins out and slaps the barrier but gets the car righted again; the track stays green.

Sixteen laps to go, Chase Elliott has a one second lead on Kyle Larson; Austin Dillon, Corey LaJoie, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.  Corey LaJoie makes his pit stop.  AJ Allmendinger is now in fifth place.

Daniil Kvyat has returned to the track 32 laps down.

With 13 laps remaining in the race, Chase Elliott has a two second lead on Kyle Larson; Michael McDowell, AJ Allmendinger, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Joey Hand brings out the caution flag when he gets into the tire barrier after getting loose and spinning out.

A few drivers in the back of the field come down pit road for fresh tires.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart with just nine laps remaining in the race with Kyle Larson alongside.  Drivers fans out four wide across the track going into turn one.  Chase Elliott takes the lead with Kyle Larson in second; AJ Allmendinger, Joey Logano, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Loris Hezemans gets off the track and is stuck in the gravel bringing out the caution flag.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart with just five laps remaining in the race with Kyle Larson alongside.  Kyle Larson gets out in front for the lead with AJ Allmendinger taking second.  Chase Elliott has dropped to fifth place. 

Four to go, Kyle Larson has a near half second lead on AJ Allmendinger; Joey Logano, Tyler Reddick, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

One of six drivers running the doubleheader this weekend, Kyle Larson won the Xfinity Series race on Saturday after William Byron and Ty Gibbs spun each other out.  Today it is a repeat with Larson in front and AJ Allmendinger trying to run Larson down.

Kyle Larson takes the white flag with AJ Allmendinger nearly a second back.

Making it a weekend sweep, Kyle Larson goes back to back at Watkins Glen to win the race.

The unofficial results of the Go Bowling at the Glen 300:
Kyle Larson
AJ Allmendinger
Joey Logano
Chase Elliott
Daniel Suarez
Michael McDowell
Tyler Reddick
Christopher Bell
Chris Buescher
Erik Jones
Cole Custer
Kevin Harvick
Austin Cindric
Alex Bowman
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ty Dillon
Austin Dillon
Justin Haley
Brad Keselowski
Denny Hamlin
Ross Chastain
William Byron
Martin Truex Jr
Ryan Blaney
Chase Briscoe
Ty Gibbs
Corey LaJoie
Harrison Burton
Aric Almirola
Mike Rockenfeller
Joey Hand
Kyle Busch
Loris Hezemans
Cody Ware
Bubba Wallace
Daniil Kvyat
Kimi Raikkonen
Todd Gilliland
Kyle Tilley

MLB to Open Umpire Camp

One of the most thankless jobs in sports is to be an official.  If the players and coaches aren’t complaining about a call, the fans are expressing their displeasure and sometimes in a very vulgar manner.

As long time baseball umpires retire, there is an increasing need for new replacements.  Major League Baseball is looking to make the path a less difficult choice.

Beginning in January 2023, amateur umpires will be able to attend a four week training camp an opportunity to learn from the professionals and carve a path for advancement into the Minor Leagues and even as the players say a chance to “go to the show”.

The camp is free of charge and will be held at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Florida.

Attendees who give an outstanding performance during the camp will be offered an expedited path to work as a professional umpire.

Currently the MLB offers a single day camp in various spots around the country to offer potential umpires an alternative to learn the art of calling a game.  A few dozen graduates of the one day camp are currently working as umpires in the Minor Leagues with Carlos Torres and Ramon De Jesus even making it into the Majors.

Major League Baseball’s senior vice president of on-field operations Michael Hill spoke on the new umpire camp saying, “this model will remove several significant barriers for prospective candidates and allow umpiring to become a more desirable career option for those who are interested.  This natural next step in the development space will help us find the next wave of talented and diverse umpires who reach the Major Leagues.”

The MLB is hoping that the new Umpire Prospect Development Camp will bring in an even broader pool of potential umpires including women and individuals outside of the United States.

NASCAR Tweaks Rules

Like the cars on the track, the NASCAR rule book is a constantly moving entity with tweaks and updates.

With the introduction of the Next Gen car, the drivers and teams have had a great deal to deal with from new and stricter rules to loose wheels and various parts issues.  This season saw the first disqualification in over 50 years when the first and second place drivers were disqualified over the location of a piece of tape.

Since the Pocono race that got both Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch disqualified, NASCAR has made a few adjustments to the rules…

Silicone is no longer allowed for sealing the quarter windows to the body

Teams used to phycsiczlily paint the schemes on the cars, today they are wrapped.  Under the new rules, the wraps must flush with the car body and not change the shape of the car in any way.

Windshield tear offs are allowed, but must be properly secured to prevent them from coming off during a race.  They may not cover the inlet for the driver’s cooling system intake duct.  The removal tabs for the windshield tear off must be eight inches from the upper corner of the windshield and on one side of the tear off only.

No Go for Kurt Busch

Continuing to deal with concussion systems after his wreck during qualifying at Pocono on July 24, Kurt Busch has announced that he will not be back in the number 45 23XI Racing car for the remainder of the Cup Series regular season.  Only two races remain for the Cup Series drivers before the playoffs begin – the road course this weekend at Watkins Glen and the high banked tri-oval of Daytona.

Joe Gibbs Racing Xfinity Series driver Ty Gibbs will continue to drive the 45 car in Busch’s absence.

Busch issued a statement via Twitter stating that he wanted to be back in the car but the timing isn’t right.

NASCAR has issued a waiver to Busch allowing to compete in the playoffs should he be able to return and qualify as one of the 16 playoff drivers; however, there are currently 15 race winners this season, putting Busch in danger of not making the playoffs despite his win at Kansas.   Currently 10 drivers have locked in their spots in the playoffs but after missing several races, it is possible that Kurt Busch will fall out of the top 16, especially if new drivers win the last two races of the season.

Richmond Penalties

After several weeks of lost wheels, the Cup Series. Rees have gotten things figured out, but the lone penalty issued this week was for a lug nut violation in the Camping World Truck Series.

During the post race inspection process after the race at Richmond Raceway, the Kyle Busch Motorsports winning number 18 truck driven by Chandler Smith was found to have a single lug nut improperly secured.  As a result of the infraction, crew chief Danny Stockman was fined $2,500.

NASCAR has re-instated two crew members who had been suspended for violating the substance abuse policy; Tony Waters who had previously been listed as the hauler driver for the Kyle Busch Motorsports number four truck driven by John Hunter Nemechek and Sean Kerlin who had previously been listed as a mechanic at JR Motorsports for the number nine car driven by Noah Gragson.

Point Standings – Aug 15

There are just more races remaining in the Cup Series regular season and with his current lead Chase Elliott is very close to being crowned the regular season champion even before the final regular season race in Daytona.  Elliott has a commanding lead in the stage point standings witH 213, 26 over Ryan Blaney.  Martin Truex Jr continues to lead the field in stage wins with seven but is in danger of not making the playoffs.

Cup Series Stage Point Standings:
Chase Elliott – 213
Ryan Blaney – 187
Kyle Larson – 184
Joey Logan’s – 169
William Byron – 165
Ross Chastain – 163
Martin Truex Jr – 160
Christopher Bell – 138
Kyle Busch – 127
Denny Hamlin – 125
Erik Jones – 96
Chase Briscoe – 86
Tyler Reddick – 85
Kevin Harvick – 82
Daniel Suarez – 81
Alex Bowman – 80
Kurt Busch – 77
Aric Almirola – 66
Bubba Wallace – 64
Brad Keselowski – 47

Chase Elliott also leads in the point standings with 882 points – 116 more than Ryan Blaney.  In a clean sweep, Elliott also leads in the playoff standings with 2,040.

After the race in Richmond on Sunday, the top 10 drivers with race wins have secured a spot in the first round of the playoffs.

Cup Series Playoff Standings:
Chase Elliott – 2,040
Ross Chastain – 2,021
Joey Logan’s – 2.018
Kyle Larson – 2.016
Ryan Blaney– 2.015
William Byron– 2.014
Kevin Harvick– 2.013
Denny Hamlin– 2.013
Tyler Reddick– 2.012
Christopher Bell– 2.011
Kyle Busch– 2.008
Chase Briscoe– 2.008
Kurt Busch– 2.007
Daniel Suarez– 2.007
Austin Cindric– 2.006
Alex Bowman– 2.006

In the Camping World Truck Series, the drivers run a shorter schedule and have already begun the first round of the playoffs with Grant Enfinger and Chandler Smith winning a race.

Chandler Smith leads the point standings with Grant Enfinger in second.

The top 10 drivers in the CWTS playoffs are;
Chandler Smith
Grant Enfinger
Zane Smith
John Hunter Nemechek
Ty Majeski
Stewart Friesen
Ben Rhodes
Matt Crafton
Carson Hocevar
Christian Eckes

Win #60 at Richmond in Cup Series

NASCAR Cup Series

The Cup Series will cap off a doubleheader weekend with the Federated Auto Parts 400 for some short track racing at Richmond Raceway.

But first on Saturday afternoon, the drivers will get in a little practice and make a qualifying run to set the field.

JJ Yeley is the first driver on the track to make a qualifying run and posts a time of 24.268 seconds around the ¾ mile track.

BJ McLeod will not make a qualifying run.

Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Ross Chastain, Martin Truex, Jr, and Ryan Blaney will all move on to round two of qualifying from Group A.

The Group Be drivers moving on to make a run for the pole are Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Brad Keselowski, and Cole Custer.

With a time of 23.042 seconds, Kyle Larson puts his number five car on the pole with Ross Chastain alongside on the front row.  This is Larson’s 13th career pole.

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

During the pre-qualifying inspection process five teams failed inspection two times; as a result they will lose one of the crew members for the race.  The teams also lost the opportunity to select their own pit stalls; however, all of the drivers will retain their original starting spots.  Brad Keselowski, Noah Gragson, Chris Buescher, Justin Haley, and Todd Gilliland were the cars that had inspection issues.

Harrison Burton will have to start the race from the back of the field after his crew made some unapproved adjustments to the car.  BJ McLeod’s crew was also charged with making unapproved adjustments but after not making a  qualifying run, he is already at the back of the field.

Washing Commanders player Chase Young is the honourary pace car driver for today’s race.

Stages one is 70 laps, stage two is 160 laps, and stage three is 170 laps for a total of 400 laps around the ¾ mile track.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the inside lane with Ross Chastain on the outside.  Ross Chastain takes the lead going into turn one.

Lap three Ross Chastain has a near half second lead on Kyle Larson.  Tyler Reddick spins out and brings out the first caution flag of the race.

The top five are Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Denny Hamlin, and Martin Truex Jr.

The crews have a total of nine sets of tires for today’s race.  Richmond is an old slick and abrasive track that is rough on tires.

Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap eight and holds on to the lead with Kyle Larson in second; Denny Hamlin, William Byron, and Brad Keselwoski round out the top five.

Lap eleven, Ross Chastain has a near half second lead on Kyle Larson.

The top seven drivers in the playoffs list have secured their spots in the playoffs; however, Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr are currently in a battle for the final spot in the playoffs – the only spot open at the moment not to be held by a race winner.

Lap 15, Ross Chastain has a lead of over half a second on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, William Byron, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Few of the drivers have made advancements on the track, but Christopher Bell is passing cars with little difficulty on the high line; he is currently in 13th place.

Lap 22, Ross Chastain has a near one second lead on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, William Byron, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

After Christopher Bell’s success on the high line, several of the other drivers are following suit.  The fastest laps are being run by drivers running the high line.

Lap 27, Ross Chastain has pulled out to a second and a half lead on Kyle Larson.  All 36 cars that started the race are on the lead lap.

Lap 34, Ross Chastain has pulled out to a lead of over two and a half seconds on Denny Hamlin; Kyle Larson, William Byron, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 39, Ross Chastain has a lead of over two seconds on Denny Hamlin; Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 43, leader Ross Chastain has begun lapping slower traffic.  Denny Hamlin has closed the ga on Chastain and the lead is down to two seconds.

Lap 50, Ross Chastain has led every lap so far; he has a two second lead on Denny Hamlin.

Kyle Busch brushed the wall but the track stayed green.  He is reporting no grip anywhere.

Lap 57, Ross Chastain holds a two second lead on Denny Hamlin; Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, and William Byron round out the top five with 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 61, Ros Chastain’s lead is down to just over a second and a half on Denny Hamlin; Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, and William Byron round out the top five.

With six laps remaining in stage one, Ross Chastain’s lead is down to just one second on Denny Hamlin.

Lap 66, Ross Chastain’s lead is now juover half a second on Denny Hamlin.

Two laps remain in stage one, Denny Hamlin is less than half a second behind Ross Chastain.

Ross Chastain wins stage one for his fifth stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Ross Chastain
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Larson
Brad Keselowski
William Byron
Ryan Blaney
Joey Logano
Alex Bowman
Cole Custer
Martin Truex Jr

Drivers come down pit road for service.  More grip and tight conditions are the most popular complaint of the drivers.

Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two from the inside lane on lap 79 with Kyle Larson on the outside.  Ross Chastain takes the lead after a  little contact between Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.  Drivers are getting three wide across the track.

Joey Logano comes up on the outside lane to battle with Ross Chastain for the lead.  Joey Logano takes the lead on lap 82.  Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson Martin Truex Jr and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Team mates Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr battle for fourth with Hamlin taking the spot.

Kyle Larson passes Ross Chastain for second.

Lap 85, Joey Logano has a one second lead on Kyle Larson.

Cole Custer has some smoke coming out of the back of his car.  The track stays green.

Lap 88, Joey Logano has a one second lead on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Ross Chastain, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.  There are 28 cars on the lead lap.

Cole Custer reports that he has lost all power steering.

Ross Chastain reports a possible issue with the right rear.

Lap 92, Joey Logano holds a one second lead on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Ross Chastain, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

After leading the first 79 laps of the race, Ross Chastain has fallen back in the field and has dropped to fifth after being passed by Ryan Blaney.

Dale Earnhardt Jr reports that Ty Gibbs was on his Dale Jr Download last week and said that Kyle Busch gave the 19 year old Gibbs some tips including that it is bad manners to flip off a fellow driver.

Lap 104, Joey Logano’s lead has dropped below one second on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Ty Gibbs and Kyle Busch continue a bumping and banging battle for position.  Kyle Busch is currently in 16th place.

The drivers cannot complete stages two and three on a single load of fuel and will have to make at least one pit stop.  With the abrasive tires, many teams are considering making two stops for fresher tires.

Ty Gibbs has passed Kyle Busch for 16th.

Lap 111, Joey Logano has a one second lead on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Lap 114, round two of the Busch/Gibbs battle commences.  Busch wins round two.

Lap 124, Joey Logano has pulled out to a two second lead on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Leader Joey Logano comes down pit road for servicean ad fives the lead over to Kyle Larson.

Kyle Larson makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Ryan Blaney.

Ryan Blaney makes his pit stop;Cole Custer is the new leader.

Cole Custer makes his pit stop and gives the lead to Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Drivers and getting three wide in a battle for position.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Noah Gragson are the only drivers who have yet to make a pit stop.

Lap 133, Ricky Stenhouse Jr has a half second lead on Joey Logano; Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

Joey Logano passes Ricky Stenhouse Jr for the lead on fresh tires.

Lap 142, Joey Logano has pulled out to a big lead with four seconds on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 146, Ryan Blaney passes Ricky Stenhouse Jr for fourth.

After starting in 30th place, Aric Almirola passes Ricky Stenhouse Jr for fifth place.

On old tires, Ricky Stenhouse Jr is falling through the field and is now in seventh after being passed by Kevin Harvick.

Lap 153, Chris Buescher passes Ricky Stenhouse Jr for 10th place as Stenhouse continues to fall through the field on old tires.

Lap 156, Kyle Larson has closed the gap on leader Joey Logano and the lead is now down to three and a half seconds.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr missed the entrance to pit road and made contact with Martin Truex Jr.  Stenhouse makes his pit stop on the next time around but Truex has some possible damage to his car.  Stenhouse was caught speeding on pit road and will have to serve a pass through penalty.

Lap 161, Kyle Larson has closed the gap on leader Joey Logano to three seconds; Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.  There are 20 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 171, Joey Logano has a three second lead on Kyle Larson as the next cycle of pit stops begin.

Lap 173, leader Joey Logano comes down pit road and gives the lead over to Ryan Blaney.

Ryan Blaney makes his pit stop.

Lap 174, Joey Logano retakes the lead with Kyle Larson in second two seconds back; Denny Hamlin Kevin Harvick, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

There is some concern in Ryan Blaney’s pits as to whether all of the lug nuts are tight.

Christopher Bell had to make a pass through penalty after a crew member came over the wall too soon.

Lap 183, Ty Gibbs is on pit road with the hood up.  A crew member reports seeing oil in the engine and the crew takes the car to the garage for repairs.

Lap 186, Joey Logano has a two and a half second lead on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.  Martin Truex Jr is the first car one lap down in 14th place.

Lap 193, Joey Logano’s lead is down to under two seconds on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

After starting back in the field, Kyle Busch is just outside the top 10 in eleventh.  Ross Chastain has fallen to 13th – the last car on the lead lap.

Lap 198, Kyle Larson continues to cut into Joey Logano’s lead which is down to just over one second.

The first car one lap down, Martin Truex Jr is behind the leader and trying to unlap himself.

Ty Gibbs is out of the race.

Lap 205, Joey Logano has a lead of just over a second on Kyle Larson; Kenny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr is reporting some severe brake shake in his car.

Lap 217, Joey Logano has a lead of a second and a half on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Ryan Blaney reports that he has zero drive off.

Lap 221, Martin Truex Jr finally gets around Joey Logano to get back on the lead lap.

Ryan Blaney and Aric Almirola battle for fifth.

Lap 223, Joey Logano’s lead on Kyle Larson is down to less than a second.

JJ Yeley gets into the wall but the track stays green.  Yeley is four laps down in 33rd place.

Two laps remain in stage two, Kyle Busch has entered the top 10.

Joey Logano wins stage two for his third stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Joey Logano
Kyle Larson
Denny Hamlin
Kevin Harvick
Ryan Blaney
Aric Almirola
Chris Buescher
Chase Elliott
Chase Briscoe
Kyle Busch

Drivers come down pit road for service with Kyle Larson winning the race off of pit road and Joey Logano coming out second.

Christopher Bell and Austin Dillon take the wave around.  Bell is now on the lead lap and Dillon is now just one lap down.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three from the inside lane on lap 240 with Joey Logano on the outside.  Kyle Larson takes the lead.  The caution flag comes out for a wreck involving Kyle Busch, Erik Jones and Ross Chastain.  Chastain made contact with Busch and sent Busch around.  Martin Truex Jr also got a piece of the crash.

William Byron is the “lucky dog” to make 17 cars on the lead lap.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane but this time around it is Joey Logano on the outside lane that gets out in front for the lead on lap 246.

The top five are Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, and Denny Hamlin.

Kyle Busch stays on the lead lap in 16th place.

Erik Jones is out of the race.

Ross Chastain reports that he was trying to give Ty Dillon some room.

Christopher Bell brings out the fifth caution flag of the race when he gets loose and spins out on lap 250.

Austin Cindric is the “lucky dog”.

Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin give up top five spots to make a pit stop.  Martin Truex Jr reports that his brake shake is so bad that it is yanking the steering wheel out of his hands. 

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with Kyle Larson on the outside on lap 257.  Joey Logano gets out in front as drivers get three wide in a battle for position.  Kyle Busch goes high and advances three spots.

Joey Logano leads the race with Chase Briscoe in second; Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Kyle Larson ;asses Chase Briscoe to take second.

There are 18 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 261, Joey Logano has a one second lead on Kyle Larson; Chase Briscoe, Kevin Harvick, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

Lap 265, Bubba Wallace has entered the top 10.

Lap 266, Joey Logano has a lead of nearly two seconds on Kyle Larson; Kevin Harvick, Chris Buescher, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

Lap 270, Joey Logano has a two second lead on Kyle Larson; Kevin Harvick, Chris  Buescher, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

Lap 278, Joey Logano holds a two second lead on Kevin Harvick; Chris Buescher, Chase Briscoe, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.  Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson make some on track contact and while the track stayed green, both drivers lost positions.

Lap 282, Kevin Harvick has cut into leader Joey Logano’s lead and is now less than two seconds back.

Lap 284, Kevin Harvick is now just one second behind leader Joey Logano; Chris Buescher, Denny Hamlin, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

Lap 288, Kevin Harvick is just half a second on leader Joey Logano.

Lap 294, green flag pit stops begin with Ryan Blaney.

Joey Logano has a lead of over half a second on Kevin Harvick.

Lap 295, leader Joey Logano makes his green flag pit stop.  Denny Hamlin is the new leader.

Chase Briscoe has a fire under his car.

NBC Sports broadcasters report that the clouds have moved in, cooling things off.

Lap 303, there are only five cars on the lead lap.

Lap 304, leader Denny Hamlin makes his green flag pit stop.  Joey Logano retakes the lead.

Lap 306, Joey Logano leads the race with Kevin Harvick in second; Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Chase Briscoe is on pit road with a fire.  Crews get the fire out and he returns to the track.

Lap 314, Joey Logano has less than half a second lead on Kevin Harvick; Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

With 82 laps to go, Kevin Harvick has closed the gap on leader Joey Logano to just two tenths of a second.

Seventy-five laps remain in the race; Joey Logano has just a tenth of a second lead on Kevin Harvick with Chris Buescher less than a second back; Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

There are only 15 cars on the lead lap with Brad Keselowski the last car on the lead lap.

Lap 331, Kevin Harvick battles with Joey Logano for the lead.  Lap 335, Kevin Harvick passes Joey Logano for the lead.

Lap 337, team mates Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr battle for positon.

With 61 laps remaining in the race, Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a two second lead on Joey Logano; Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Drivers begin making their final green flag pit stops.  It is the last set of sticker tires for many of the teams.

Denny Hamlin is the new leader with Christopher Bell in second.

Fifty to go!  Denny Hamline and Christopher Bell have yet to make a green flag pit stop.

Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell make their pit stops and give to lead back to Kevin Harvick with Chris Buescher in second; Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Lap 361, Chris Buescher has caught up to leader Kevin Harvick.  Third place on the track, Kyle Larson is not on the lead lap.

With 36 laps to go, Kevin Harvick has a half second lead on Chris Buescher; Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.  Bubba Wallace is the last car on the lead lap in 13th.

Lap 372, Kevin Harvick has a half second lead on Chris Buescher; Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

There is a lot of traffic in front of front of leader Kevin Harvick.  With 25 laps to go, Harvick passes Bubba Wallace to put him one lap down.

Twenty to go, Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a lead of a second and a half on Chris Buescher; Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Fifteen to go, Kevin Harvick holds his second and a half lead on Chris Buescher.  Christopher Bell passes Chase Elliott for third.

Nine to go, Kevin Harvick has a second and a half lead on Chris Buescher but Christopher Bell is coming on strong and is just two seconds back in third.

Five to go, Christopher Bell passes Chris Buescher for second.

Two to go, in eleventh place, William Byron is the last car on the lead lap.

Kevin Harvick takes the white flag with Christopher Bell less than half a second behind.

After breaking a 65 race losing streak last week in Michigan, Kevin Harvick makes it two in a row.  With career win number 60, Harvick ties with Kyle Busch for ninth overall on the winner’s list.  This is Harvick’s fourth Richmond win.

For the first time in four weeks, Bubba Wallace finishes outside the top 10; but for the first time in many weeks, Kyle Busch finishes in the top 10.

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

New Dad Wins CWTS Race in Richmond

The Camping World Truck Series travels to Richmond to kick off a doubleheader weekend with some short track racing.  This is race two of the first round of the playoffs with Grant Enfinger leading the way after his win at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Forty-two teams brought trucks to Richmond Raceway for 36 starting spots for the Worldwide Express 250 Cometic Gasket.

After a 20 minute practice session,

Mason Maggio is the first driver on the track to make a qualifying run.  The 17 year old driver posted a time of 24.256 seconds around the ¾ mile track.

After leading the field in practice, Ty Majeski puts his number 66 truck on the pole with a time of 22.579 seconds to earn his third pole of the season.

The starting lineup for the Worldwide Express 250:
Ty Majeski
Chandler Smith
Stewart Friesen
Layne Riggs
Grant Enfinger
Zane Smith
John Hunter Nemechek
Chase Purdy
Christian Eckes
Matt DiBenedetto
Tyler Ankrum
Carson Hocevar
Austin Wayne Self
Ben Rhodes
Matt Crafton
Corey Heim
Jake Garcia
Derek Kraus
Tanner Gray
Hailie Deegan
Kaden Honeycutt
Colby Howard
Blaine Perkins
Taylor Gray
Jack Wood
Kaz Grala
Lawless Alan
Rajah Caruth
Dean Thompson
Joey Gase
Bret Holmes
Spencer Boyd
Chad Chastain
Nick Leitz
Josh Reaume
Timmy Hill

Tyler Hill, Norm Benning, Trey Hutchins III, Brennan Poole, Justin S. Carroll, and Mason Maggio all failed to make the race.

Stages one and two of the race are 70 laps each with stage three lasting 110 laps for a total of 250 laps around the ¾ mile track.

Mason Maggio is replacing Josh Reaume; as a result, Maggio will have to start the race from the back of the field.

Stewart Friesen had to make a quick stop down pit road prior to race start.

Ty Majeski brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the inside lane.  The drivers quickly spread out three and four wide across the track.  Majeski goes side by side with Chandler Smith for the lead. 

Lap two, Ty Majeski gets out in front for the lead with new dad Chandler Smith in second; Stewart Friesen, Layne Riggs, and John Hunter Nemechek round out the top five.

Lap three, Stewart Friesen passes Chandler Smith for second.

Layne Riggs is the only driver in the top five not in the playoffs.

Lap seven, Ty Majeski has pulled out to a one second lead on Stewart Friesen; Chandler Smith, Layne Riggs, and John Hunter Nemechek round out the top five.

Lap 10, John Hunter Nemechek passes Layne Riggs for fourth.

Ty Majeski has a lead of over a second and a half on Stewart Friesen.

Lap 12, Chandler Smith passes Stewart Friesen for second; nearly two seconds behind leader Ty Majeski.

Lap 20, Ty Majeski continues to expand his lead and is now over two and a half seconds in front of Chandler Smith.

Lap 26, Ty Majeski is nearly three seconds in front of Chandler Smith; Stewart Friesen, John Hunter Nemechek, and Layne Riggs round out the top five.

There are 32 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 30, Ty Majeski has led every laps so far and is now over three seconds in front of Chandler Smith; John Hunter Nemechek, Stewart Friesen ,and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Lap 38, Ty Majeski now has a lead of over three and a half seconds on Chandler Smith; John Hunter Nemechek, Stewart Friesen, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.   There are 25 trucks on the lead lap as Majeski continues top pass trucks.

Lap 43, Ty Majeski continues to dominate the race and has increased his lead to over four seconds on Chandler Smith.  It takes a driver 22 to 24 seconds to make a lap at Richmond Raceway.

Lap 47, Ben Rhodes in 16th place is the lowest ranking driver of the top 10 playoff drivers.

Lap 51, mired in traffic, Ty Majeski’s lead is now under four seconds on Chandler Smith.

Lap 54, Ty Majeski’s lead is back to over four seconds on Chandler Smith; John Hunter Nemechek, Stewart Friesen, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Lap 61. Ty Majeski continues to pull away from the field and is now nearly five seconds out in front; there are only 17 trucks on the lead lap.  Ben Rhodes in seventeenth place is the last truck on the lead lap.

Lap 63, Ty Majeski is “driving it like he stole it” with a lead of over five seconds.  John Hunter Nemechek passes Chandler Smith for second; Stewart Friesen and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Two laps remain in stage one; there are three drivers not in the playoffs in the top 10.

Ty Majeski dominates by leading every lap of stage one and winning by five seconds for his third stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one :
Ty Majeski
John Hunter Nemchek
Chandler Smith
Stewart Friesen
Grant Enfinger
Tyler Ankrum
Matt Crafton
Layne Riggs
Christian Eckes
Corey Heim

Playoff drivers Zane Smith, Carson Hocevar, and Ben Rhodes finished stage one outside the top 10.

Drivers come down pit road for service.  The teams have only three sets of tires in the pits for tonight’s race.  Some of the drivers are having tight issues.  Chandler Smith wins the race off of pit road after the jackman for Ty Majeski fell coming over the pit wall.

Ty Majeski stopped short to avoid hitting his crewman.  He returns to the track in third place.

Hailie Deegan was charged with a crew member coming over the wall too soon.

Chandler Smith s the field down for the green flag start of stage two and takes the lead on lap 81.

Lap 83, the top five are Chandler Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Ty Majeski, Grant Enfinger, and Stewart Friesen.

Chandler Smith has a half second lead on his KBM team mate John Hunter Nemechek.

Lap 86, there are 18 trucks on the lead lap.

Chandler Smith has a one second lead on John Hunter Nemechek; Ty Majeski, Grant Enfinger, and Stewart Friesen.

Ben Rhodes reports continued brake issues; he says that the brake shake is unreal.

Lap 91, Chandler Smith has pulled out to a second and a half lead on John Hunter Nemechek; Ty Majeski, Grant Enfinger, and Stewart Friesen round out the top five.

Lap 100, Chandler Smith has a second and a half lead on John Hunter Nemechek; Ty Majeski is nearly three seconds back in third with Grant Enfinger and Stewart Friesen rounding out the top five.

Drivers are battling for position all through the field.

Lap 104, Chandler Smith has a two second lead on John Hunter Nemechek; Ty Majeski, Grant Enfinger, and Stewart Friesen round out the top five.

Lap 109, Chandler Smith is dominating stage two and has a lead of over a second and a half after leading every lap in the stage so far.

Lap 120, Chandler Smith has a lead of over three seconds on John Hunter Nemechek; Ty Majeski is in third over six seconds bac with Grant Enfinger and Stewart Friesen rounding out the top five.

Stewart Friesen is also reporting some shakey brakes.

Christian Eckes reports that his truck is “plowing”.

Lap 127, Grant Enfinger passes Ty Majeski for third.

Lap 132, Chandler Smith passes playoff driver Ben Rhodes to put him a lap down.  Rhodes is in 17th place.  There are now 16 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 135, Chandler Smith passes Matt DiBenedetto to put him a lap down; leaving just 15 trucks on the lead lap.

Just three laps remain in stage two and the only caution flag has been at the end of stage one.

Mowing down the field, leader Chandler Smith passes playoff driver Carson Hocevar to lead just 13 trucks on the lead lap.

After leading every lap in the stage, Chandler Smith wins stage two for his third stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Chandler Smith
John Hunter Nemechek
Grant Enfinger
Ty Majeski
Taylor Gray
Corey Heim
Stewart Friesen
Matt Crafton
Zane Smith
Tyler Ankrum

Drivers come down pit road for service.  Ty Majeski reports that he is very tight; Grant Enfinger is also very tight.

Chandler Smith wins the race off of pit road with John Hunter Nemechek coming out second.

The drivers can make it to the end of the race on a single load of fuel but may want fresh tires before the end of the race.  Richmond Raceway is an old track that is very abrasive on tires.

Stewart Friesen was caught speeding on pit road and will have to restart the race form the back of the field.

Chandler Smith brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 151 and gets out in front for the lead.

Lap 152, the top five are Chandler Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Grant Enfinger, Ty Majeski, and Christian Eckes.

The first two stages were very clean, but with 95 laps remaining in the race, the drivers are beginning to get aggressive as they battle for position.  There are just 14 trucks on the lead lap.  Eighteenth place driver Ben Rhodes is the last driver just one lap down.

Lap 161, Stewart Friesen is the last truck on the lead lap in 14th after having to serve a speeding penalty.

Lap 163, Chandler Smith has pulled out to a lead of over a second and a half on John Hunter Nemechek; Grant Enfinger, Ty Majeski, and Christian Eckes round out the top five.  Zane Smith is challenging Eckes for the spot.

Lap 172, Chandler Smith has a two and a half second lead on team mate John Hunter Nemechek; Ty Majeski, Grant Enfinger, and Christian Eckes round out the top five.

Lap 180, Chandler Smith holds on to a two and a half second lead on John Hunter Nemechek; Ty Majeski is in third nearly four seconds back with Grant Enfinger and Taylor Gray rounding out the top five.

Lap 190, Chandler Smith has a second and a half lead on John Hunter Nemechek; Ty Majeski, Grant Enfinger, and Taylor Gray round out the top five.  Stewart Friesen is the last truck on the lead lap in 14th.

Lap 197, John Hunter Nemechek has closed the gap on leader Chandler Smith to under a second and a half.

Fifty to go!  Chandler Smith has a lead of just over a second on John Hunter Nemechek; Ty Majeski is in third over five seconds back.

Lap 209, Chandler Smith has lost his big lead and is now in a tight race with team mate John Hunter Nemechek for the lead.  There are just 13 trucks on the lead lap with play off driver Carson Hocevar the last truck on the lead lap.  Stewart Friesen has moved up to 12th.

Lap 214, the first caution flag of the race for an on track event comes out when Nick Lietz has a flat tire and gets into the wall.  Carson Hocevar gets caught up in the wreck.

The field comes down for fresh tires.  Chandler Smith easily wins the race off of road.

NASCAR has deemed that when the caution flag came out Carson Hocevar was still on the lead lap; Chase Purdy is the “lucky dog”.

Chandler Smith brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with 28 laps remaining in the race.  Smith jumps out in front for the lead with John Hunter Nemechek in second; Ty Majeski is in third with Grant Enfinger and Corey Heim rounding out the top five.

Several drivers were charged with penalties during the pit stop.

With 22 laps to go, Chandler Smith has a lead of over a second on John Hunter Nemechek; Ty Majeski, Grant Enfinger, and Corey Heim round out the top five.

Twenty to go, Chandler Smith has a second and a half lead on John Hunter Nemechek.

Sixteen to go, Carson Hocevar has entered the top 10 after barely missing going a lap down.

Fifteen to go Chandler Smith has a lead of over two seconds on John Hunter Nemechek; Ty Majeski, Grant Enfinger, and Corey Heim round out the top five.

Ten to go!  Chandler Smith has a near three second lead on John Hunter Nemechek; Ty Majeski, Grant Enfinger, and Corey Heim round out the top five.

Six to go, Chandler Smith continues to expand his lead and is now over three seconds out in front of John Hunter Nemechek.

Four to go, Ben Rhodes is the only playoff driver not on the lead lap.

Chandler Smith takes the white flag.

With a lead of over three seconds, Chandler Smith wins his third race of the season at Richmond in dominating fashion after leading 176 of the 250 laps.

This is Smith’s first race since the birth of his son Chandler Smith Jr.  Chandler Smith joins Grant Enfinger with a guaranteed spot in the next round of the playoffs.

The unofficial results of the Worldwide Express 250:
Chandler Smith
John Hunter Nemechek
Ty Majeski
Grant Enfinger
Corey Heim
Taylor Gray
Matt Crafton
Christian Eckes
Zane Smith
Carson Hocevar
Stewart Friesen
Derek Kraus
Tyler Ankrum
Chase Purdy
Bret Holmes
Tanner Gray
Matt DiBenedetto
Ben Rhodes
Layne Riggs
Jake Garcia
Kaden Hoenycutt
Kaz Grala
Jack Wood
Lawless Alan
Rajah Caruth
Hailie Deegan
Austin Wayne Self
Colby Howard
Joey Gase
Chad Chastain
Timmy Hill
Spencer Boyd
Mason Maggio
Blaine Perkins
Dean Thompson
Nick Leitz

23XL Extends Contract

Another piece of the NASCAR Silly Season puzzle has dropped into place with another contract extension.

23XL Racing has signed driver Bubba Wallace to what they are calling a multi year extension: but have not revealed just how many years is in the contract.

Since Tyler Reddick announced his signing to 23 XL for the 2024 season, there has been a great deal of speculation about what the future of the NBA legend Michael Jordan and Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin owned team would look like in the coming seasons.

With 23XL driver Kurt Busch out on concussion protocols, that speculation has only increased.

After the extension keeping Bubba Wallace in the 23 car for the foreseeable future, at least there is a bit of security surrounding the team.

Wallace who has finished the past four races in the top 10 in his second season with 23XL spoke on the new contract saying, “ this is super cool, and I’ve felt right at home from day one.  So it’s nice to continue the relationship, continue the partnerships with our sponsors, and keep moving forward.  So thankful for the opportunity, for sure.  I feel like this has been my best year yet in the. Up Series, and we’re continuing to make strides and get better and better.  So I’ve definitely enjoyed the time and glad that we can keep going.”

Noting that he is focusing on his Cup racing and not running in other formats Wallace added, “these guys made a commitment to me, and I made a commitment to them that this is where it all is put together.  You know, I want to make this a super long term deal.  I’d love to retire here – hopefully retirement’s not until like 10, 15 years down the road – but that was my goal from day one.”

Wallace earned his first career win…and the first win for 23XL…last season at Talladega and this past weekend at Michigan International Speedway, he put the number 23 car on the pole and finished second behind Kevin Harvick.

In a post race interview in Michigan a very emotional Wallace felt like he had let everybody on the team down.

The Camping World Truck and Cup Series drivers travel too Richmond Raceway this weekend for a little short track racing.  But before all the racing excitement begins Bubba Wallace held Bubba’s Block Party at the track on Thursday where fans could see pit stop demonstrations, iracing, local food trucks, and live music from a number of artists including Wale, DJ Domo, Rob V, and the Virginia State University Trojan Explosion Marching Band in a free event open to the public.  Bubba was also on hand to sign autographs and pose for photos.  Bubba, and NASCAR Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Brandon Thompson also hosted a “fireside chat”.

‘Field of Dreams’ Game Returns

Is it heaven???

No, it’s a cornfield in Iowa!

The “Field of Dreams” game returns to Dyersville, Iowa for a second year; this time it’s the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs – two of the oldest teams in the MLB.

Last season for the inaugural game, Chicago White Sox player Tim Anderson capped off the night with a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning.  Can the players top last year’s game???

For the players, this is far more than a game…it’s about magic, remembering a childhood and “sharing a catch”.

First to come out of the field of corn are Ken Griffey Sr and Jr for a little game of catch as several children come out of the cornfield to join them.  The Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs emerge from the corn as the Griffey’s and children continue to play.  The player are sporting throwback uniforms.

Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell is a fourth generation MLB player.  The Reds will be the hone team for tonight’s game.

There is a video board out in the cornfield, but the scoreboard is from an era gone by and requires the cards be manually placed.

After getting two outs, the Cubs wake up the bats and put three runs on the board.

Middle of the 1st inning; Cubs 3 – Reds coming to bat.

At the end of the first inning, the Reds left two players on base and didn’t score any runs.

End of first; Cubs 3 runs, three hits and 0 errors – Reds 0 runs, one hit, and 0 errors.

In the first inning, the pitchers faced the shadows and hit two batters.

In the second inning, the Cubs failed to put anybody on base and the Reds stranded two more base runners.  Score remains Cubs 3 – Reds 0.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto spoke to FOX broadcasters while on the field. 

After a leg injury in the top of the third inning, Wilson Contreras stays in the game.  In the third inning, the Cubs left two runners on base; for the third inning in a row, the Reds left two batters on base.

After three innings it Cubs 3 – Reds 0.

In the top of the fourth, the Cubs score another run but end the inning

Ian Happ from the Cubs joins the FOX broadcast crew from the field to chat while playing.  The Reds ended the inning with no runs; score remains Cubs 4 – Reds 0.

In the top of the fifth inning with two outs and two on base, the Reds take out pitcher Lodolo with five strikeouts.  The new pitcher is Buck Farmer.  Midway in the fifth inning, the Cubs strand two baserunners.  After an atum ball from Joey Votto, the Reds end the fifth inning with a runner on base and still no runs.

After five innings: Cubs 4 – Reds 0.

In the top of the sixth inning, the Cubs get another hit but the score remains 4-0.  Drew Smyly leaves the game with a career high nine strikeouts in five innings.

Cubs turn a 4-6-3 double play.  Reds end the inning with a fly out.

Cubs 4 – Reds 0

Cubs go three up three down in the top of the seventh. 

In a special celebration for the seventh inning stretch, “Harry Carey” leads the crowd in a rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. 

The Reds open the bottom of the seventh with a double and a walk, Matt Reynolds puts one into the outfield for two RBI’s to finally get on the board.  Cubs manager David Ross goes to the bullpen.  Joey Votto strikes out to end the seventh inning.

Cubs 4 – Reds 2

Alexis Diaz takes the mound for the Reds.  First baseman Joey Votto makes an error that allows the runner to advance to second.  The Cubs strand a runner in the middle of the eighth inning.  The Reds end the eighth inning; the score remains 4-2.

Hunter Strickland takes the mound for the Reds.  With two left on base, Hunter Strickland and the Reds hold the Cubs to no runs.  The Reds take the field for their last chance to win the game.  Rowan Wick takes the mound for the Cubs.  After a seven pitch at bat, Matt Reynolds strikes out for a three up three down ninth to end the game.

Cubs win 4 – 2 over the Reds.  Drew Smyly gets the win.

The final line score was:
Cubs 4 runs, 10 hits, 0 errors
Reds 2 runs, 7 hits, 1 error

Busch Not Cleared for Richmond

Only three races remain in the regular season for the NACAR Cup Series.  But after wrecking his car during qualifying at Pocono Raceway and suffering from concussion symptoms, Kurt Busch has not been medically cleared to drive the race at Richmond Raceway.

On August 10, 23XI Racing announced that Busch would not be in the number 45 car for the fourth week in a row; adding that Xfinity Series driver Ty Gibbs would once again take over the driving duties this weekend at Richmond Raceway for the Federated Auto Parts 400 while Busch is out.

 
NASCAR has stated that once Kurt Busch returns to racing and still qualifies for the playoffs, he will receive a waiver for the missed races and be allowed to compete in the playoffs.

Petty GMS Names New Driver

Earlier this season, Petty GMS Motorsports announced that Ty Dillon would not be returning to the team and the number 42 car for the 2023 season.  While Dillon’s future in NASCAR is currently unknown, Petty GMS made a special announcement on August 10 to reveal the new driver of the number 42 car.

Petty GMS has signed Xfinity Series driver Noah Gragson for next season.  Currently Gragson drives the number nine car for JR Motorsports where he, along with his three team mates are in the top 10 in the standings and is in fourth place in the point standings and has three race wins this season so far.    

Petty GMS recently signed their driver of the number 43 car, Erik Jones, to a contract extension.  Bringing in Gragson cements the team for at least the next year.

SwitcHing to the new Next Gen car will not be a major issue since he has been signed by Kaulig Racing as a part time driver of the number 16 Cup Series car for this season; along with Daniel Hemric and AJ Allmendinger.  He has made nine starts in the new car.

Prior to signing with JRM in 2019, Gragson drove for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series.

While Dale Earnhardt Jr is losing one of his four phenoms next season, he has just secured the services of one of his drivers for next season.  Nineteen year old Sam Mayer will continue in the number one car on a full time basis for next season.  To date, he is the only JRM driver who has not won at least one race this season.

JRM general manager Kelly Earnhardt Miller spoke on Mayer saying, “we’ve seen tremendous growth and maturity from Sam on and off the racetrack.  He is consistently running upfront, is fast each and every week, and provides great visibility for his partners.  With all the situational knowledge he’s gained this year, I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do to finish out 2022 and into ’23.”

feature photo credit: Noah gragson (31168184486).jpg

Point Standings – August 8

Only three races remain in the regular season for the NASCAR Cup Series drivers and after Kevin Harvick added his name to the list of race winners at Michigan International Speedway at the FireKeepers Casino 400 on August 7, the list of winners has grown to 15.

 

 Chase Elliott continues to lead in nearly every category except stage wins which belongs to Martin Truex Jr with seven.  Elliott has a lead of over 100 points with 847 and a near 20 point lead in the playoff standings with 2,040.

 

Stage Point Standings:

Chase Elliott – 210

Ryan Blaney – 176

Kyle Larson – 167

Martin Truex Jr – 159

William Byron – 159

Joey Logan’s – 155

Ross Chastain – 153

Christopher Bell – 138

Kyle Busch – 126

Denny Hamlin – 108

Erik Jones – 96

Tyler Reddick – 85

Chase Briscoe – 84

Daniel Suarez – 81

Alex Bowman – 77

Kurt Busch – 77

Kevin Harvick – 75

Bubba Wallace – 64

Aric Almirola – 61

Austin Cindric – 45

 

In the top 16 spots that will move on to the playoffs at the end of the month after the final regular season race at Daytona, currently Ryan Blaney is the only driver without a win.

 

Playoff Standings:

Chase Elliott – 2,040

Ross Chastain – 2,022

Joey Logan’s – 2,017

Ryan Blaney – 2,015

William Byron – 2,014

Kyle Larson – 2,014

Denny Hamlin – 2,013

Tyler Reddick – 2,012

Christopher Bell – 2,011

Kyle Busch – 2,009

Chase Briscoe – 2,008

Kurt Busch – 2,007

Kevin Harvick – 2,007

Daniel Suarez – 2,007

Austin Cindric – 2,006

Alex. Woman – 2,006

 

 

In the Xfinity Series 19 year old Ty Gibbs continues to dominate after notching his fifth win of the season at Michigan International Speedway with the New Holland 250 on August 6.  While AJ Allmendinger holds on to the points lead with 835, Gibbs leads the playoff points with 2,036.

 

Xfinity Series Playoff Standings:

Ty Gibbs – 2,036

Noah Grayson – 2,032

AJ Allmendinger – 2,032

Justin Allgaier – 2,031

Josh. Berry – 2,022

Austin Hill – 2,01

Brandon Jones – 2,010

Sam Mayer – 2,004

Riley Her st – 2,003

Daniel Hemric – 2,003

Ryan Sieg – 2,001

Landon Cassio, 2,000

Ford Streak Continues with Winner #15 at MIS

NASCAR Cup Series

Preparing for the race on Sunday, the Cup Series drivers take to the track for practice and qualifying on the two mile track of Michigan International Speedway and the FireKeepers Casino 400.

BJ McLeod is the first driver on the track to run a qualifying lap and posted a time of 39,30 seconds.

Kyle Busch is the first driver to break the 38 second mark with a time of 37.890 seconds around the track.

From Group A; Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Christopher Bell, and Austin Cindric will make a run for the pole in round two.

In Group B; Bubba Wallace, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr, Joey Logano, and Tyler Reddick will move on to round two and a run for the pole.

Dale Earnhardt Jr revealed that no Michigan born driver has ever won a Cup Series race at MIS.

The first of the top 10 drivers to take to the track is Erik Jones who posted a time of 38.366 seconds.

With a time of 37.755 seconds, Bubba Wallace has his first career Cup Series pole.  It is also the first pole for 23XI Racing.

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

Just as the pre-race events of “Countdown to Green” began…so did the rains.   After a 30 minute rain storm…sometimes heavy…the skies begin to clear and track drying begins.

At 3:43pm EDT, NASCAR has called for the teams to remove the car covers.

At 3:54pm EDT the drivers have been called to their cars.

After an hour delay for rain and track drying, pre-race ceremonies begin at 4:05pm EDT.

Kevin Harvick has won a total of five races at Michigan; including four of the last six.  Coming from back in the pack, Harvick is hoping that he can extend that record today.

Homestate drivers Brad Keselowski and Erik Jones are hoping they will be the ones to wave the checkered flag at the end of today’s race.

After the rain storm that cleaned off the track, NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 20.

Stages one is 45 laps long, stage two is 75 laps in length, and stage three is 80 laps for a total of 200 laps around the two mile track.  The drivers cannot complete stages two and three on a single load of fuel and will have to make pit stops during the race.

At 4:33pm EDT, Bubba Wallace brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane with Christopher Bell on the inside.  With a push from Joey Logano, Bubba gets out in front for the lead.  Drivers are three and four wide across the track in a battle for position.

Bubba Wallace leads lap one.

Lap two, Bubba Wallace has the lead with Joey Logano in second; Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell round out the top five.  Tyler Reddick passes Kyle Busch for third.

Lap four, Bubba Wallace has a third of a second lead on Joey Logano; Tyler Reddick, Kyle Busch, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Lap six, Ross Chastain started the race in 22nd place and has moved up to 15th; Daniel Suarez is in 17th.  Bubba Wallace has a lead of nearly haf a second on Joey Logano with Tyler Reddick, Kyle Busch, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Lap eight, Bubba Wallace has a lead of over a second on Joey Logano.

Tyler Reddick passes Joey Logano for second.  Logano has some debris on his grille

Lap 10, Bubba Wallace has increased his lead to a second and a half on Tyler Reddick.

Kyle Busch passes Joey Logano for third.

Lap eleven, Bubba Wallace holds a lead of nearly a second and a half on Tyler Reddick; Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 15, Bubba Wallace has a second and a half lead on Tyler Reddick; Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Joey Logano reports some balance issues in his car.

Chase Elliott has some radio issues in his car.

Lap 17, Bubba Wallace continues to extend his lead on Tyler Reddick and is now nearly two seconds.

All 37 cars on on the lead lap.

Lap 19, Kyle Busch is on Tyler Reddick’s bumper and is challenging for second.  Kyle Larson comes up to battle with Kyle Busch for third.

Kyle Busch reports that he is super tight in turns one and two.

Lap 21, NASCAR displays the yellow flag for the competition caution.

The field is mixed on drivers coming down pit road; leaders are among those that make a stop.  Taking just two tires, Bubba Wallace wins the race off of pit road.

Coming out in eighth place, Kyle Busch is the first driver on the track with four fresh tires.

Making his Cup Series debut, Austin Hill gets into the back of Cody Ware on pit road.

After staying out on the track, Christopher Bell brings the field to the green flag on lap 25 with Erik Jones alongside.  Big contact and a crash ensues right after the restart.  Austin Cindric, Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, JJ Yeley, Ty Gibbs, Harrison Burton, Todd Gilliland, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Michael McDowell were all involved.  Cindric hit the wall head on hard.

Kyle Busch’s team notes that it looks like the left tire rod is damaged; he takes his car to the garage.

Austin Cindric is out of the infield care center and says that he is fine.  Kyle Busch is also out of the care center and ok.  Busch noted that he, “can’t get a break.”  When asked about his level of frustration, he said, “from one to 10…infinity.”

Christopher Bell brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with Erik Jones on the inside on lap 33.  Christopher Bell gets out in front with Erik Jones in second; Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

Lap 36, Christopher Bell has a half second lead on Denny Hamlin; Erik Jones, Martin Truex JR, and William Byron round out the top five.

Since the restart, Ross Chastain has moved up 12 spots to seventh place.

With five laps remaining in stage one, Christopher Bell has a half second lead on Denny Hamlin; Erik Jones, Martin Truex Jr, and William Byron round out the top five.  There are six cars out of the race after the big wreck.  Michael McDowell is the only car on the track not on the lead lap.

Lap 42, Chris Buescher passes William Byron for fifth.

Christopher Bell wins stage one for his second stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Christopher Bell
Denny Hamlin
Erik Jones
Martin Truex Jr.
Chris Buescher
Ross Chastain
William Byron
Kevin Harvick
Joey Logano
Chase Briscoe

Drivers come down pit road for service with Ross Chastain winning the race off of pit road after taking only two tires.  Kyle Larson and Bubba Wallace also took only two tires with Ryan Blaney taking fuel only.

Ty Gibbs and Corey LaJoie stayed out on the track.

Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two with Ross Chastain in the inside lane on lap 52.  After a push from Ryan Blaney, Ross Chastain gets out in front for the lead with Ty Gibbs in second.  Drivers are four and five wide across the track in a battle for position.

Lap 53, Ross Chastain leads the race with Ty Gibbs in second; Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

With the draft, drivers are topping speeds of 200mph.

Lap 57, Kyle Larson passes Ty Gibbs for second.

There are 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 60, Ross Chastain has a third of a second lead on Kyle Larson; Ty Gibbs, Ryan Blaney, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.  Bell passes Blaney for fourth.

Lap 62, Ros Chastain has a narrow lead on
Kyle Larson; Ty Gibbs, Christopher Bell, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Lap 67, Ross Chastain leads the race with Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell on his bumper; Denny Hamlin and Ty Gibbs round out the top five.

Lap 69, Ross Chastain leads the race with Kyle Larson in second; Christopher Bell, Noah Gragson, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Lap 71, Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson battle for second with Ross Chastain nearly a half second in front.

Lap 74, Ross Chastain leads the race with Christopher Bell on his bumper; Denny Hamlin, Noah Gragson, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Denny Hamlin battles with Christopher Bell for second.

Michael McDowell and Todd Gilliland are the only drivers laps down.

Lap 75, Denny Hamlin passes Christopher Bell for second and sets his sights on leader Ross Chastain…and a possible continuation of the feud.

Lap 79, Denny Hamlin passes Ross Chastain on the outside to take the lead; Christopher Bell, Noah Gragson, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Lap 82, drivers begin making their green flag pit stops.

Ty Gibbs had a 19 second pit stop.

Lap 86, Kevin Harvick passes Kyle Larson for fourth.

Lap 87, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Christopher Bell; Ross Chastain, Kevin Harvick ,and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Bubba Wallace reports that his car is “absolutely plowing”.

Lap 93, Ross Chastain brings his watermelon car down pit road for service.  Two tires rolled loose on pit road.  Chastain’s team has been charged with a uncontrolled tire penalty and will have to serve a pass through penalty.

Lap 95, leader Denny Hamlin makes his pit stop and hands the lead over to Christopher Bell.

Joey Logano brings his car down pit road with reports of a vibration.

Lap 96, Christopher Bell brings his car down pit road for service and gives the lead over to Erik Jones.

Cole Custer brings out the caution flag with a flaming tire on lap 98.  He brings his car to his pit stall with crews telling him to get out of the car.  Custer is out of the car amid a great deal of smoke as firemen put out the fire.

Tyler Reddick is reporting a possible engine issue.

Chase Elliott also had a very slow 19 second pit stop after a loose tire.

Drivers who have yet to make a pit stop come down pit road for service.  Denny Hamlin retakes the lead.

Saying that he smells smoke, Tyler Reddick brings his cr down pit road.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with Kevin Harvick on the inside on lap 106.  Kevin Harvick edges out for the lead but Denny Hamlin comes up on the outside to battle for the lead.  Hamlin takes the lead.

Lap 107, Denny Hamlin leads the race with Kevin Harvick in second; Christopher Bell, Brad Keselowski, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Kevin Harvick continues to battle with Denny Hamlin for the lead with Christopher Bell on their bumpers.

Denny Hamlin leads the race with Kevin Harvick and Christopher Bell in a battle for second.

The caution flag comes out on lap 109 after Noah Gragson spins out and gets into the wall.  Gragson has a broken toe link.

Several drivers come down pit road for service including Christopher Bell and Kevin Harvick.

Tyler Reddick’s car goes behind the wall.

Ryan Blaney had to make a second trip down pit road.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with seven laps remaining in stage two.  Denny Hamlin leads the race with Daniel Suarez in second; Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, and Cristopher Bell round out the top five.

Three to go in stage two; Denny Hamlin leads the race with Daniel Suarez in second; Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Denny Hamlin wins stage two for his third stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Denny Hamlin
Daniel Suarez
Kyle Larson
Christopher Bell
Brad Keselowski
Erik Jones
Austin Dillon
Alex Bowman
William Byron
Joey Logano

Several drivers come down pit road for service including leader Denny Hamlin.  Kyle Larson was caught speeding on pit road.

After staying out on the trac k, Daniel Suarez brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three from the outside lane with Christopher Bell on the inside lane with 74 laps remaining in the race.  Austin Dillon tries to make it a three wide battle for the lead but it is Joey Logano who comes up on the inside for a three wide battle.  Daniel Suarez leads the race with Christopher Bell in second; Ross Chastain, Joey Logano, and Austin Dillon round out the top five.

Seventy to go, Daniel Suarez has a narrow lead on Christopher Bell; over haf a second back is Ross Chastain in third with Joey Logano and Austin Dillon rounding out the top five.

Christopher Bell tries to challenge Daniel Suarez for the lead but so far Suarez has held him off.

Alex Bowman gets loose and moves way up the track but he saves the car and the track stays green

With 66 laps to go, Daniel Suarez has a lead of two tenths of a second on Christopher Bell.

Lap 138, Christopher Bell and Daniel Suarez battle for the lead with Ross Chastain on their bumper.

Lap 141, the battle for the lead continues with Christopher Bell trying to get around Daniel Suarez for the lead; Ross Chastain is in third with Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick rounding out the top five.

Lap 144 Christopher Bell comes down on the inside but Ross Chastain comes up to push Daniel Suarez back out in front with Chastain in second and Christopher Bell in third.

Lap 148, Daniel Suarez continues to lead the race with team mate Ross Chastain in second; Christopher Bell is in third with his team mate Denny Hamlin coming on hard.

Denny Hamlin passes Christopher Bell for third.

Lap 150, the drivers are now within their pit windows to make it to the end of the race on one more pit stop for fuel.

Lap 151, Denny Hamlin has caught up to Trackhouse team mates Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain.

Lap 152,  Austin Dillon is the first driver to make his green flag pit stop to begin the final ycycle of green flag stops.

The top five are Daniel Suarez, Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, and Bubba Wallace.

Fifth place driver Bubba Wallace is running laps faster than the leaders.

Lap 157, leaders Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain come down pit road for their green flag pit stops.  Denny Hamlin is the new leader.  Ross Chastain edges out Daniel Suarez on pit road.

Christopher Bell and Ross Chastain make contact and sends Bell into the wall bringing out the caution flag on lap 160.  Chastain was moving up the track and Bell tried to block him from coming up on the outside.  Bubba Wallace just missed getting involved in the wreck.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Denny Hamlin winning the race off of pit road and Bubba Wallace comes out in second with Kyle Larson in third.

Ty Gibbs was caught speeding on pit road.

Denny Hamlin had too many crew members over the pit wall.  A tire was rolling away loose and a crew member came out to retrieve the tire.  This was the 31st penalty for Hamlin’s team this season.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with Bubba Wallace on the inside with 35 laps remaining in the race.  After leading only 13 laps all season, Kevin Harvick edges out in front after a push from Kyle Larson.  Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson battle for second.  Joey Logano makes it a three way battle for second.

Kevin Harvick has a lead of over a second on Joey Logano; Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

Joey Logano is the only driver in the top five to have won a race this season.

Lap 169, After having to serve a penalty and restart from the back of the field, Denny Hamlin has entered the top 10.

With 29 laps to go, Kevin Harvick has a lead of a  second and a half on Joey Logano; Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

With 23 laps to go, Kevin Harvick has a lead of over two and a half seconds on Joey Logano; Bubba Wallace is in third over three seconds back.

With 22 laps to go, Kevin Harvick continues to increase his lead and is now nearly four seconds out in front of Joey Logano; Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

Twenty to go, Kevin Harvick has a four second lead on Joey Logano as Bubba Wallace continues to battle with Logano for second.

With 18 laps to go, Bubba Wallace finally gets around Joey Logano and pulls away quickly; Harvick is over four seconds in front of Wallace.

Bubba Wallace is running laps two tenths of a second faster than leader Kevin Harvick.

When Bubba Wallace passed Joey Logano for second; Kevin Harvick has a lead of over four and a half seconds; with 15 laps to go that lead is now just over four seconds.

Twelve to go and Kevin Harvick has led 26 laps – twice as many as he has led all season.  He has a lead of four and a halve seconds on Bubba Wallace.; Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Ten to go, Kevin Harvick has a four second lead on Bubba Wallace.

Ryan Blaney gets into the wall and fives the fifth place spot to Martin Truex Jr.  the track stays green.

Six to go, Denny Hamlin is running laps faster than the leaders; he has worked his way back to third after a penalty.

Daniel Suarez has a flat tire and is smoking with sparks coming from under the tire.  With five laps to go, the track stays green.

Four to go, Kevin Harvick has a lead of over three and a half seconds on Bubba Wallace; Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Martin Truex Jr rounding out the top five.

Kevin Harvick takes the white flag.

Breaking a 65 race losing streak, Kevin Harvick marks career win number 59.  He becomes the 15th different winner this season.  This is the eighth race win in a row for Ford at MIS.  Two years ago after a win, Harvick’s son Keelan rode to victory lane; this time it’s Piper’s turn to go for a ride.

With his second place finish, Bubba Wallace marks his fourth week in a row of a top 10 finish.

Kevin Harvick makes a backwards victory lap, waving to the fans as he goes before doing a massive burnout that buries the car in smoke.  Daughter Piper helps Harvick collect the checkered flag.

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

Fire Safety in NASCAR

There was a time that NASCAR drivers ran races in t-shirts and jeans with open faced helmets but after a firey crash that took the life of Fireball Roberts at Daytona in 1964, NASCAR mandated fire suits for the drivers.

Since those early days, there have been numerous advancements in keeping the drivers safe.

Last weekend during the road course race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, two drivers – Chris Buescher and Joey Logano – had issues involving fires in the cars after a race of some pretty heavy beating and banging.

Recent additions to the rules include pit crew members also wearing helmets and fire suits after a number of incidents on pit road during pit stops.

The newest edition of the fire suit not only protect drivers and crews up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit; but will also help to cool them off during the hot summer races.

But even with that, the drivers and crews still have to worry about a fire.  Not completely fireproof, the suits allow a driver time to get out of the car safely or a crew member to get away from a fire.

Developed by DuPont, the suits are constructed using a flexible fiber called Nomex.

But NASCAR doesn’t stop at the fire suits, they strive to make a dangerous sport as safe as possible for everyone.  For drivers and crews that protection includes fireproof underwear, and gloves.

IndyCar Issues Penalty After Indy Race

In a multi racing event last weekend that brought five racing series to two different tracks in Indianapolis that saw the NASCAR ARCA and the Camping World Truck Series run races at Indianapolis Raceway Park while IndyCar, the Xfinity, and the  ASCAR Cup Series all ran races on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway; there was lots of drama to be had.

Breaking a 49 race losing streak, Alexander Rossi put his Andretti Autosport car in victory lane.  But all was not sunshine and roses for the team when IndyCar issued a penalty to the team on Wednesday.

While not all of the drivers weigh the same, the rules state that all of the cars must meat a minimum weight in order to comply with the rules.

IndyCar determined during post race inspection that the team used a water bottle instead of the proper ballast to add weight to Rossi’s car and has fined Andretti Autosport $25,000.  While Rossi will keep his race win, he has been docked 20 driver points.  Rossi is currently not in the running for the championship.  In the final year of his contract, he will be moving to Arrow McLaren SP next season.  The California native spent some time driving in Formula One and is the last American to do so.

IndyCar president Jay Frye spoke on the infraction saying, “from a sporting perspective, the car met minimum requirements.  From a technical perspective, the way they achieved the weight is not allowed. To meet minimum weight, the drink bottle and its contents were used as car ballast, which is not permitted and why the team is being fined and penalized.”

Andretti Autosport responded to the penalty by saying, “we regret the mistake and appreciate IndyCar’s understanding that the number 27 was compliant during the race.”

This weekend IndyCar travels to Nashville to race on the city streets that includes crossing a bridge.

NFL Appeals Watson Ruling

As expected, the NFL has filed an appeal over the decision handed down by disciplinary officer Sue Robinson for a six game suspension of quarterback Deshaun Watson for violation of the League’s personal conduct policy.

As a part of her 16 page decision, Robinson noted that Watson violated three parts of the personal conduct policy, “sexual assault; conduct posing a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of another person; and conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity of the NFL.”

Currently the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, while he was with the Houston Texans Watson was accused of inappropriate behaviors toward female massage therapists – allegations he has vehemently denied.  Twenty-three of the 24 allegations have been settled out of court.

With the appeal, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell – or his designated authority – may impose a stiffer penalty on Watson.

When the case went before Robinson, the NFL was asking for a minimum of a one year suspension but would have preferred an indefinite one.

The NFL Players Association has until Friday to respond via a written response.  The NFLPA has the right to appeal the NFL appeal and possibly send the case before a federal court.

This was the first decision handed down by Robinson – a former federal judge selected by the League and the NFLPA to serve as a disciplinary officer.  Previously Commissioner Goodell ruled on all cases involving a violation of the personal conduct policy.

Kurt Busch Not Cleared for MI

23XI Racing driver Kurt Busch continues to exhibit concussion like symptoms after his crash during qualifying at Pocono Raceway and has not cleared concussion protocols.  As a result he will miss his third race this season when the Cup Series travels to Michigan International Speedway for the FireKeepers Casino 400.

Once again Joe Gibbs Racing Xfinity Series driver Ty Gibbs will driver the number 45 car in Busch’s absence. Gibbs has finished the race in the top 20 in his two previous races substituting for Busch.

Once Kurt Busch returns to the number 45 car, NASCAR has granted him a waiver for the missed races and he will be allowed to be a part of the playoffs provided he has not been eliminated due to more than 16 drivers make the winners list and he drops below the cut line.

FRM Rescinds Appeal

After announcing that they would be appealing the L2 penalty that would cost the team and driver 100 points, Front Row Motorsports has rescinded their appeal of the penalty and will accept the punishment.

FRM has stated, “the team has made internal changes in its build practices to ensure the issues leading to the penalties will not happen again in the future.”

As a result, driver of the number 34 car Michael McDowell will lose 100 points; as will Front Row Motorsports.  Crew chief Blake Harris will be suspended for four weeks.  With just four races remaining in the regular season, FRM will be without their crew chief for the remainder of the regular season.


Should McDowell win one of the four remaining regular season races and make it into the playoffs, he will also be docked 10 playoff points.

WNBA and Overseas Basketball

It is not uncommon for professional sports personnel to travel during the off-season in search of another league to continue playing.  For the WNBA – Women’s National Basketball Association – one of those places was Russia and the team at UMMC Ekaterinburg.

But after the arrest, detainment, and trial of eight time WNBA All Star and two time gold medal winning Olympian Brittney Griner all that has changed.  Thanks to players like Griner who come together from around the world to for a “super team”, UMMC Ekaterinburg has won five EuroLeague championships in recent years.

But now that Ekaterinburg is no longer an option for the players, where do they go?  The United States has issued a “Do Not Travel” order for Russia and the International Basketball Federation has issued a sanction on any Russian team participating in any international events.

Currently WNBA players have found new off-season homes with teams in Turkey and Hungary;  but players traveling to Turkey are cautioned to do so with “increased caution”.

While the issue old equality when it comes to pay between men’s and women’s teams is far from being resolved; players who travel overseas to play can make as much in a single month as they do for a whole season in the U.S.

And while Ekaterinburg pays its players very well, some of the American players are unsure whether or not they will ever return to play again in Russia.

Another issue that will come into play for the WNBA players is beginning with the 2023 season, players will face penalties for coming to camp late – the EuroLeague season can run into April when the WNBA is getting ready for camp.

feature photo credit: Avery Warley at 2 August 2015 game.jpg

NFL Penalizes Dolphins

The NFL has issued a ruling on the charges against the Miami Dolphins for violations of policies relating to the integrity of the game that include fines, a suspension, and the loss of draft picks.

An investigation was launched after the. Head coach Brian Flores filed a suit against the team for alleged racism and incentives to “tank” games”.

While the NFL found no sign of games purposely being lost, they did find three separate incidents of “tampering” – carrying on illegal conversations – involving quarterback To, Brady and then head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints.

While the Dolphins players avoid any punishment; the team will lose one of their first round draft picks in 2023 and a third round pick in 2024.

In addition, vice chairman limited partner Bruce Beal was fined $500,000 and cannot attend any league meetings for the remainder of the year.

The most severe punishment has been reserved for Dolphins owner Stephen Ross who has been fined $1,5 million, cannot attend any league meetings until the annual big owners meeting next March, and has been suspended until October 17 which includes not representing the team in any way or even being allowed at the Dolphins facility.

The NFL found no evidence of games being lost on purpose, but there are reports from several sources within the organization that the team owner was mad when the Dolphins pulled out a win and was overhead saying that draft pick position was more important than winning games.

What the NFL did find was that in his role as vice chairman Bruce Beal had improper conversations with Tom Brady – once while Brady was with the New England Patriots and again after he had moved to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  One such conversation allegedly included discussions of partial ownership.

The third violation was a conversation with Sean Payton on becoming the Do

Pains head coach.

The parties involved in initiating these conversations did not seek person from the respective teams before talking to Brady or Payton.

Calling the violations unprecedented, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement saying, “the investigators found tampering violations of unprecedented scope and severity.  I know of no prior instance of a team violating the prohibition on tampering with both a head coach and star player, to the potential detriment of multiple other clubs, over a period of several years. Similarly, I know of no prior instance in which ownership was so directly involved in the violations.”

An unhappy Brian Flores also spoke on the investigation and it’s outcome saying, “I am thankful that the NFL’s investigator found my factual allegations against Stephen Ross are true. At the same time, I am disappointed to learn that the investigator minimized Mr. Ross’s offers and pressure to tank games especially when I wrote and submitted a letter at the time to Dolphins executives documenting my serious concerns regarding this subject at the time which the investigator has in her possession.  While the investigator found that the Dolphins had engaged in impermissible tampering of ‘unprecedented scope and severity,’ Mr. Ross will avoid any meaningful consequence. There is nothing more important when it comes to the game of football itself than the integrity of the game. When the integrity of the game is called into question, fans suffer, and football suffers.”

Team owner Stephen Ross also issued a statement saying, “the independent investigation cleared our organization on any issues relating to tanking and all of Brian Flores’ other allegations. As I have said all along, these allegations were false, malicious and defamatory, and this issue is now put to rest.  With regards to tampering, I strongly disagree with the conclusions and the punishment. However, I will accept the outcome because the most important thing us that there be no distractions for our team as we begin an exciting and winning season. I will not allow anything to get in the way of that.”

In relation to being paid for tanking games, the investigator did not believe it was a serious offer.  Commissioner Goodell responded with, “every club is expected to make a good faith effort to win every game.  The integrity of the game, and public confidence in professional football, demand no less. An owner or senior executive must understand the weight that his or her words carry, and the risk that a comment will be taken seriously and acted upon, even if that is not the intent or expectation. Even if made in jest and not intended to be taken seriously, comments suggesting that draft position is more important than winning can be misunderstood and carry with them an unnecessary potential risk to the integrity of the game. The comments made by Mr. Ross did not affect Coach Flores’ commitment to win and the Dolphins competed to win every game. Coach Flores is to be commended for not allowing any comment about the relative importance of draft position to affect his commitment to win throughout the season.”

feature photo credit: Dolphinstadiumvikes.jpg

Suspension Recommended for Deshaun Watson

 Sue L. Robinson, a former Federal judge and the disciplinary officer for the NFL has finally made her ruling on Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.  Robinson has issued a six game suspension without pay for Watson. 

 

 Watson has had over two dozen women file complaints against him for sexual misconduct while he was the quarterback for the Houston Texans.  Many of the suits that allege that Watson acted inappropriately toward them during a massage have been settled out of court with one of the cases pending a trial.  While no criminal charges have been filed, the NFL is seeking further punishment on Watson for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

 

Watson has ardently maintained his innocence since the allegations became public last year.

 

The NFL had been asking for a much stiffer penalty against Watson.  They have three days in which to file an appeal of the ruling by Robinson.  As a part of the 16 page ruling Robinson said, “although this is the most significant punishment ever imposed on an NFL player for allegations of nonviolent sexual conduct, Mr. Watson’s pattern of conduct is more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL.”

 

In addition to the six game suspension, Watson may use only team authorized massage therapists for the remainder of his professional football career and must steer clear of any entanglements with law enforcement or violations of the NFL personal conduct policy.

 

The NFL Players Association stated that they would abide by Robinson’s ruling.  However, should the NFL choose to appeal the ruling, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, or his designee, may pass what they deem an “appropriate punishment” for Watson’s conduct.  The NFL may determine a punishment according to collective bargaining rules, but the  FLPA may challenge the ruling with a possible settlement in the federal courts.

 

During the hearing the NFL was seeking a much stiffer suspension and a fine for Watson.

 

Currently, Deshaun Watson has a five year$230 million guaranteed contract that includes a $45 million signing bonus.  His actual salary for 2022 is $1,035 million.  As a result, if the suspension stands, he will loose $345,000 of that salary.

 

The suspension if for regular season games only, which means Watson may participate in camp, practices, and pre-season games.  While he will not be allowed on the playing field until October 23 when the Browns play the Baltimore Ravens, he may return to team facilities for practice beginning in week number four.

While some of the fans cheered Watson when he took the practice field when camp opened, his greeting among team mates has been a lackluster affair.

 

 

NASCAR POint Standings – Aug 1

Only four races remain in the NASCAR Cup Series regular season. After Tyler Reddick earned his second race win of the season and secured himself a spot in the playoffs, there are still 14 different winners in the 2022 racing season

Chase Elliott continues to lead the standings in all three categories – stage points, point standings, and playoff standings.  Elliott is also the only driver with four race wins this season.

Stage Point Standings:

Chase Elliott – 210

Ryan Blaney – 176

Kyle Larson – 159

William. Horn – 153

Joey Logan’s – 152

Martin Truex Jr. – 152

Ross Chastain – 148

Kyle. Such – 126

Christopher Bell – 121

Denny Hamlin – 89

Tyler Reddick – 85

Erik Jones – 83

Chase Bris one – 83

Kurt Busch – 77

Alex Bowman – 74

Daniel Suarez – 72

Kevin Harvick – 72

Bubba Wallace – 64

Aric Almirola – 61

Austin Cindric – 45

 

In the point standings with 820 Chase Elliott has a lead of over 100 points over Ryan Blaney with 696.

But what really counts when it comes to setting the field for the playoffs, Chase Elliott is nearly 20 points ahead with 2,040.  The winner of the regular season will receive 15 bonus points – the equivalent of three race wins.

Cup Series Playoff Point Standings:

Chase Elliott – 2,040

Ross Chastain – 2,022

Joey Logan’s – 2,016

William Byron – 2,015

Ryan Blaney – 2,015

Kyle Larson – 2,014

Martin Truex Jr – 2,014

Tyler Reddick – 2,012

Denny Hamlin – 2.012

Christopher Bell – 2,011

Kyle Busch – 2,009

Chase Briscoe – 2,008

Kurt Busch – 2,007

Daniel Suarez – 2,007

Austin Cindric – 2,006

Alex Bowman – 2,006

 

 

In the Xfinity Series, AJ Allmendinger has a one point lead over Ty Gibbs and Justin Allgaier.

 

Xfinity Series Playoff Standings:

AJ Allmemdinger – 2,032

Ty Gibbs – 2,031

Justin Allgaier – 2.031

Noah Grayson – 2,029

Josh Berry – 2,023

Austin Hill – 2,016

Brandon Jones – 2,010

Sam Mayer – 2,005

Daniel Hendrick – 2,003

Riley Herbst – 2,002

Ryan Sieg – 2,001

Landon Cassio – 2,000

 

 

In the Camping World Truck Series the drivers kick off their round one of the playoffs at Indianapolis Raceway Park and some short track racing.  After his win, Grant Enfinger leads the playoff standings and has secured himself a spot in round two.

 

CWTS Playoff Standings:

Grant Enfinger

Chandler Smith

Zane Smith

Ben Rhodes

Stewart Friesen

John Hunter Nemechek

Ty Majeski

Carson Hocevar

Christian Eckes

Matt Crafton

 

18 Cautions, Red Flag, Double Overtime at CocaCola 600

NASCAR Cup Series

The Coca Cola 600 is the longest race of the season for the Cup Series drivers.  The race begins in the daylight of early evening and ends under the lights 400 laps later.

The Coca Cola 600 is more than just a race, it is a salute to the military and those who lost their lives on active duty.  Many of the drivers will be featuring special paint schemes to honour the occasion.  The cars will also include the names of some of those fallen heroes.

One of the drivers involved in the Drivers Only broadcast, Kevin Harvick said that he is glad to hand the duties back over to the broadcast crew because it is way too much work up there.

Jamie McMurray comes from the Charlotte studio this weekend to join Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer in the FOX broadcast booth for the race.

After hitting the wall during practice, Kyle Larson’s crew will need to make some repairs to the body of the car and will not make a qualifying run.  Larson will start the race from the back of the field.

During his practice session, Tyler Reddick reports that he has no feeling in his steering wheel.

BJ McLeod is the first driver on the track to make a qualifying run and posts a time of 30.46 seconds.

Only the third driver on the track, Justin Haley, is the first driver to break the 30 second mark with a time of 29.929 seconds.

Brad Keselowski spins out on his qualifying lap but didn’t hit anything and saved the car.

After two rounds of qualifying, Denny Hamlin puts his number eleven car on the pole with a time of 29.39 seconds around the mile and a half track.  Starting alongside on the front row, Kurt Busch missed the pole by three thousands of a second.  This is Hamlin’s first pole of the season.

The starting lineup for the Coca Cola 600:
Denny Hamlin
Kurt Busch
Christopher Bell
Kyle Busch
William Byron
Austin Cindric
Bubba Wallace
Tyler Reddick
Alex Bowman
Michael McDowell
Ryan Blaney
Daniel Suarez
Chase Elliott
Martin Truex Jr
Chase Briscoe
Austin Dillon
Harrison Burton
Kevin Harvick
Chris Buescher
Justin Haley
Cole Custer
Ross Chastain
Joey Logano
Aric Almirola
Erik Jones
Ryan Preece
Noah Gragson
Ty Dillon
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Todd Gilliland
BJ McLeod
Josh Bilicki
Cody Ware
Kaz Grala
Brad Keselowski
Kyle Larson
Corey LaJoie

After failing pre-qualifying inspection twice the number 31 car driven by Justin Haley and the number 50 car driven by Kaz Grala will lose a crew member but will get to keep their starting spot in the lineup.

Joining Corey LaJoie in a backup car and Kyle Larson after not making a qualifying run at the back of the field are Aric Almirola, Cole Custer, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Kaz Grala after their crews made unapproved adjustments to the cars.

A 600 mile, 400 lap race; the Coca Cola is the only race on the schedule with four stages.  All four of those stages are 100 laps each.  Drivers can run 60 to 64 laps on a single load of fuel.

A special event and a day to remember, the pre-race ceremonies included the playing of “Amazing Grace” on the highland bagpipes, a 21 gun salute, and the playing of “Taps”; along with the usual prayer and singing of the “National Anthem”.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane and gets out in front for the lead with Kurt Busch alongside.  Drivers are two by two throughout the field.

Denny Hamlin leads lap one…barely.

Lap two the top five are Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, William Byron, and Bubba Wallace.

Lap three, Kurt Busch battles with Denny Hamlin for the lead with the two swapping back and forth before Hamlin gets out in front.

Lap six, Denny Hamlin leads the race with Kurt Busch in second; Kyle Busch, Bubba Wallace, and William Byron round out the top five.

Kyle Busch passes brother Kurt after a battle with Bubba Wallace for second.  Denny Hmlin has a near half second lead.

Lap nine, Kyle Larson has moved up to 25th after starting the race from the back of the field.

Lap 10, Kyle Busch passes Denny Hamlin for the lead; Bubba Wallace, Tyler Reddick, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Lap eleven, Kyle Busch is now in 22nd place.

Lap 15, Kyle Busch has a lead of over a second on Bubba Wallace; Tyler Reddick, William Byron, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out for a  crash involving Ryan Preece and Chris Buescher.  Both drivers got loose but did not hit the wall.  Noah Gragson was also involved.

Kyle Busch leads the field down pit road for service with Kyle Busch winning the race off of pit road.  Denny Hamlin reports that he is too loose.

Martin Truex Jr and Ryan Blaney were caught speeding on pit road and Todd Gilliland was charged with having an uncontrolled tire on pit road.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane and jumps out in front for the lead on lap 23.

Lap 24, Kyle Busch leads the race with William Byron in second; Tyler Reddick, Bubba Wallace, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.  Kyle Larson is in the top 20 in 15th.

Lap 26, Kyle Busch has a half second lead on Bubba Wallace; William Byron, Tyler Reddick, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Ryan Preece is out of the race with 34 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 30, Kyle Busch has a lead of over half a second on Bubba Wallace; William Byron is in third over a second back with Tyler Reddick and Denny Hamlin rounding out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 33 when Josh Bilicki spins out and crashes. 

Drivers come down pit road for service.  After working his way up in the field, Kyle Larson will have to move to the back of the field after he leaves pit road with equipment – jack was still attached.

Bubba Wallace told his crew that he didn’t want to hear anything about tires; if it blows, it blows.

Chris Buescher is the “lucky dog”.

The top five drivers stayed out on the track and Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane on lap 39.  Getting a push form Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch edges out for the lead but Bubba Wallace comes up to battle for the position as drivers get four wide across the track.

After going side by side for a couple of laps, Kyle Busch gets out in front with the lead; Bubba Wallace, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Daniel Suarez passes Bubba Wallace for second.

Lap 44, Kyle Busch has just a third of a second lead on Daniel Suarez; Bubba Wallace, Denny Hamlin, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 45, Kyle Larson is back inside the top 20 in 18th.

Lap 46, Daniel Suarez passes Kyle Busch for the lead.  Busch gets loose and goes around but did not hit anything.  Kyle Busch brings out the caution flag.

Kyle Busch has a long pit stop and goes a lap down.

Daniel Suarez brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 51 and gets out in front for the lead with Denny Hamlin in second.

Drivers are three wide across the track.

Lap 52, Daniel Suarez leads the race with Alex Bowman in second; Denny Hamlin, William Byron, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.  Kyle Larson is just outside the op 10 in eleventh.

Lap 53, in the top 10, Kyle Larson hits the wall but keeps going and the track stays green.

Lap 54, Daniel Suarez has a lead of over half a second on Alex Bowman; Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 57, Daneil Suarez now has a lead of a second and a half on Alex Bowman; Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin,and William Byron round out the top five. 

Josh Bilicki is out of the race.

Kyle Busch is the only car one lap down in 35th place.

Lap 58, Daniel Suarez has pulled out to a lead of over two and a half seconds on Chase Elliott; Alex Bowman, William Byron, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five. 

Corey LaJoie gets into the wall with a flat tire and brings out the caution flag on lap 61.  LaJoie was in a backup car after hitting the wall during practice on Saturday.

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

Drivers come down pit road for service with Chase Elliott winning the race off of pit road.

Last year there were only four caution flags for the whole race; this year there has already been four caution flags and the race is still in stage one.

The crews have a total of 13 sets of tires for the race.

Kyle Larson’s day is not going well; he just got a second penalty on pit road; he and Justin Haley were charged with leaving pit road with equipment.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 67 with William Byron on the outside.  The Hendrick drivers go side by side before Chase Elliott gets out in front for the lead.

Lap 69, Chase Elliott leads the race with William Byron in second; Daniel Suarez, Alex Bowman, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Corey LaJoie is out of the race.

Lap 73, Chase Elliott has a narrow lead on William Byron; Daniel Suarez, Tyler Reddick, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 78, three of the top five drivers are from Hendrick Motorsports.  Chase Elliott leads the reace with William Byron in second; Tyler Reddick, Alex Bowman, and Daniel Suarez round out the top five.

After leading the race, Daniel Suarez is falling through the field; he is now in ninth place.

Lap 82, Chase Elliott has a lead of over a second on William Byron; Tyler Reddick, Alex Bowman, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Lap 86, Tyler Reddick passes William Byron for second; Christopher Bell is up to fourth with Alex Bowman in fifth.  Chase Elliott holds on to the lead.

Lap 90, Chase Elliott has a half second lead on Tyler Reddick; William Byron is in third over two seconds back with Christopher Bell and Ross Chastain rounding out the top five.  Kyle Busch has entered the top 20 after spinning out and getting a lap down.

Lap 93, William Byron gets loose but saves the car and the track stays green.  He falls out of the top five to eighth place.

With five laps remaining in stage one; Chase Elliott has the lead with Tyler Reddick in second; Christopher Bell, Ross Chastain, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

Chase Elliott wins stage one for his first Coca Cola 600 stage win.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Chase Elliott
Tyler Reddick
Christopher Bell
Ross Chastain
Bubba Wallace
Ryan Blaney
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Martin Truex Jr
Alex Bowman
Denny Hamlin

In 17th place, this is the first Coca Cola 600 that Kyle Busch has not finished a stage in the top six.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Chase Elliott winning the race off of pit road.  Ross Chastain reports a very loose condition in his car.

Alex Bowman’s crew is having difficulties getting one of his lug nuts off.

Kevin Harvick made a second trip down pit road for a steering issue.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two from the inside lane on lap 108 with Christopher Bell alongside.  Getting a push from Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott gets out in front for the lead.

Lap 109, the top five are Chase Elliott, Ross Chastain, Christopher Bell, Bubba Wallace, and Ryan Blaney.  Kyle Busch is just outside the top 10 in 12th place.

Lap 111, Ross Chastain passes Chase Elliott for the lead.

Lap 113, Kyle Larson enters the top 10 in 19th.

Lap 115, Kyle Busch enters the top 10.

Lap 115, Ross Chastain has a half second lead on Chase Elliott.

Bubba Wallace, Daniel Suarez, and Ross Chastain have all led laps for the first time in a Coca Cola 600 race.

Lap 121, Ross Chastain has a third of a second lead on Chase Elliott; Christopher Bell, Bubba Wallace, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five. Kyle Busch has fallen out of the top 10 to 12th.

Bubba Wallace brings out the sixth caution flag when he spins out and blows a tire.  After sliding through the grass and on to pit road, he comes to a stop in his own pit stall on lap 126.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Chase Elliott winning the race off of pit road.  There is a big fire in Kyle Larson’s pit.  The rear of Larson’s car is on fire as he goes down the track.  The first was the result of a bit of spillage while fueling the car.

Lap 131, Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane and battles with Ross Chastain before taking the lead.

Christopher Bell’s crew had trouble changing the tires on his car.

Lap 134, Chase Elliott leads the race with Ross Chastain in second; Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr, and Kurt Busch round out the top five. 

As the sun begins to go down, the track is cooling down and the speeds are going up.

After crashing in practice, two penalties on pit road, hitting the wall during the race twice, and a fire on pit road; Kyle Larson tells his crew that it is the worst race of his life and it isn’t even half over yet.  Larson is currently in 24th place.

Lap 141, Chase Elliott has a lead of over half a second on Ross Chastain; Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

The FOX broadcast crew reports that Kevin Harvick has no power steering.

Austin Cindric brings out the seventh caution flag of the race on lap 146 when he gets loose on the track with a flat tire and gets into the wall.  Bubba Wallace is the “lucky dog”.

Many of the drivers come down pit road for service.  Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson stay out on the track.  Chase Elliott wins the race off of pit road.

Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson bring the field down for the green flag restart o lap 152 but Chase Elliott on fresh tires gets out in front for the lead.

Lap 153, the top five are Chase Elliott, Ross Chastain, Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch, and Kyle Larson.

Kurt Busch passes Ryan Blaney for third.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Todd Gilliland were caught speeding on pit road.  Christopher Bell’s crew was charged with coming over the wall too soon.  Bell had a long pit stop with a loose tire and making damage repairs.

Lap 158, Chase Elliott has a lead of nearly a second on Ross Chastain; Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five. 

Daniel Suarez is back in the top 10 in eighth place.

Lap 164, Chase Elliott leads the race with Ross Chastain in second; Kurt Busch, Tyler Reddick, and Chase Briscoe round ou t the top five.

Ryan Blaney is off the pace after getting loose and hitting the wall.  The track stays green.

Kyle Larson brings out the eighth caution flag of the race on lap 165 when he spins out  He saves the car and does not blow any of the tires.

The sun has gone below the grand stands and the glare is no longer a major issue.

Some of the drivers come down pit road for service including Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 171 from the outside lane with Ross Chastain in the inside.  Drivers get three wide across the track.

Ross Chastain takes the lead with Daniel Suarez coming up on the inside to take second.

Lap 172, Trackhouse Racing team mates Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez battle for the lead.

Lap 173, the to five are Ross Chastain, Daniel Suarez, Chase Elliott, Chase Briscoe, and Kurt Busch.

Lap 174, there has been 15 lead changes with 10 different drivers leading the race so far.

Lap 177, Ross Chastain has a third of a second lead on Daniel Suarez; third place driver Chase Elliott is a second back with Chase Briscoe and Kurt Busch rounding out the top five.

William Byron is reporting some radio issues.  He can hear the crew, but they can’t hear him.
 
Fifteen laps to go in stage two, Ross Chastain leads the race with team mate Daniel Suarez in second; Chase Elliott, Chase Briscoe, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

The caution flag coms out on lap 186 when Chase Elliott spins out.  Elliott had just passed Daniel Suarez for second when the car moved up the track and hit the wall.

Some of the drivers come down pit road for service.  With half of their tire allotment already used, the crew chiefs are putting scuffs on the cars in some pit stops.

Chase Elliott is on pit road with the crew making repairs.  The are replacing the tie rod.

The lights are on at Charlotte as Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with 10 laps remaining in stage two.  Chastain gets out in front for the lead as drivers block each other. 

Ryan Blaney gets turned around and causes a big wreck on lap 191 and brings out the 10th caution flag.  Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch, Noah Gragson, Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace, William Byron, Harrison Burton, Martin Truex Jr, Brad Keselowski, Todd Gilliland, Michael McDowell, and Kevin Harvick were all involved in the crash.

Chase Elliott and William Byron are out of the race after the “crash clock” has expired.

Of the 37 cars that started the race, only 13 of them have not been involved in any sort of crash or spin.

The first World 600 lasted five hours and 33 minutes. 

Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with team mate Daniel Suarez on the inside lane.  Chastain jumps out in front but Suarez comes up to make it a head to head battle.  Daniel Suarez gets out in front for the lead as drivers get three wide with just three laps remaining in stage two.

Daniel Suarez wins stage two for his second stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Daniel Suarez
Ross Chastain
Erik Jones
Chase Briscoe
Joey Logano
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Kevin Harvick
Tyler Reddick
Martin Truex Jr
Christopher Bell

Before coming down pit road to service the cars, NASCAR takes a moment to pause.  The pace car brings the field down pit road to “Honour and Remember”.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Daniel Suarez edging out team mate Ross Chastain.  Kyle Larson has a long pit stop for repairs.

Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr bring the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 209 with Joey Logano taking the lead and Kyle Busch in second.

Lap 211, Joey Logano leads the race with Kyle Busch in second; Ross Chastain, Daniel Suarez, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Lap 212, Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez pass Kyle Busch in a three wide battle.

Lap 214, Daniel Suarez passes Joey Logano for the lead with Ross Chastain taking second.

Kyle Larson’s crew chief Cliff Daniel pointed out that in the first half of the race they have passed more cars than he can count, been penalized more than any other driver, spun out, hit the wall, and caught on fire; adding that the second half has to be better than the first half.  Kyle Larson is in 14th place on lap 218.

The caution flag comes out on lap 219 when Kevin Harvick gets into the wall.  Harvick has been having steering issues all night.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Daniel Suarez winning the race off of pit road but not all of the drivers came down pit road.  Kevin Harvick’s team has an extended pit stop to check for damage.

Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 225.  Chastain and Joey Logano battle for the lead with Ross Chastain getting out in front.

Lap 226, Ross Chastain leads the race with Joey Logano in second; Chase Briscoe, Kyle Busch, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Daniel Suarez restarted the race in 18th but is moving through the field and is already inside the top 10.

Lap 230, Ross Chastain has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Joey Logano; Chase Briscoe, Kyle Busch, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Lap 232, Daniel Suarez is just outside the top five in sixth place after restarting in 18th.

Lap 240, Ross Chastain has pulled out to a lead of over two seconds on Joey Logano; Chase Briscoe, Daniel Suarez, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 242, Daniel Suarez passes Chase Briscoe for third.

Lap 243, Daniel Suarez passes Joey Logano for second.

Lap 244, Ross Chastain has a lead of over two and a half seconds on Daniel Suarez.

Lap 246, despite all of his first half issues, Kyle Larson is in 13th place, 10 seconds back.

Lap 248, Daniel Suarez has closed the gap on leader Ross Chastain to under a second and a half.

The 13th caution flag comes out on lap 253 when Noah Gragson spins out, hits the wall, and gets into the grass.

Daniel Suarez passed Ross Chastain for the lead prior to the caution flag coming out.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Ross Chastain and Chase Briscoe coming out together.  Kyle Busch has an extended stop on pit road.

Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 159 and gets out in front for the lead.

Lap 261, Ross Chastain leads the race but is getting a battle from Chase Briscoe; Tyler Reddick, Chris Buescher, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.  Daniel Suarez restarts the race outside  the top 10.  After an extended pit stop Kyle Busch restarts the race back in 20th place.

Lap 265, Ross Chastain has a third of a second lead on Chase Briscoe; Tyler Reddick, Kyle Larson, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

Lap 267, Ross Chastain has a lead of over half a second on Chase Briscoe; Tyler Reddick, Kyle Larson, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

With 30 laps remaining in stage three, Ross Chastain has a lead of nearly a second on Chase Briscoe; Tyler Reddick Kyle Larson, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.  Christopher Bell hits the wall but makes it to pit road and the track stays green.

Lap 275, Ross Chastain continues to expand his gap on Chase Briscoe and now has a lead of nearly a second and a half; Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five with Daniel Suarez just outside the top five in sixth.

Twenty laps remain in stage three, Ross Chastain has a near second lead on Chase Briscoe; Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick, and Daniel Suarez round ou t the top five.

Just 14 laps remain in stage three, Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch continue their battle for position just outside the top 10.  Ross Chastain continues to lead the race with Chase Briscoe in second; Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick, and Daniel Suarez round out the top five.

With just nine laps remaining in stage three, Kyle Busch comes down pit road; he felt like something was wrong with the right side tires after touching the wall.

Five laps remain in stage three, Ross Chastain has a one second lead on Chase Briscoe with Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick, and Daniel Suarez rounding out the top five.

Top 10 Denny Hamlin, Chris Buescher, Joey Logano, and Cole Custer have a battle of their own going on.

Ross Chstain wins stage three for his third stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage three:
Ross Chastain
Chase Briscoe
Kyle Larson
Tyler Reddick
Daniel Suarez
Joey Logano
Cole Custer
Chris Buescher
Austin Dillon
Denny Hamlin

Drivers come down pit road for service with Tyler Reddick winning the race off of pit road.  Ross Chastain comes out second.

Alex Bowman was charged with removing equipment from his pit stall.

Denny Hamlin clipped the tire changer for Joey Logano coming into his pit stall.

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green start of stage four on lap 307 and gets out in front after a push from Cole Custer.

Lap 309, Tyler Reddick leads the race with Ross Chastain in second; Kyle Larson, Cole Custer, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

Ross Chastain and Kyle Larson battle for second including making some contact on the track.

Lap 113, Tyler Reddick has the lead with Ross Chastain in second; Kyle Larson, Cole Custer, and Daniel Suarez round out the top five.

Tyler Reddick and Ross Chastain continue to battle for the lead with Reddick out in front.

Lap 323, Ross Chastain passes Tyler Reddick for the lead; Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

Ross Chastain has led 125 laps so far.

Tyler Reddick is reporting a vibration; adding that it is getting worse and he can hear it.

Seventy laps to go, Ross Chastain has a lead of over a second on Tyler Reddick.  Erik Jones and Aric Almirola make contact but the track stays green.

Lap 333, Ros Chastain has a second and a half lead on Tyler Reddick; Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.  The drivers have reached the 500 mile mark.

The caution flag comes out on lap 338 for the 15th time when Tyler Reddick has a flat tire and leaves debris on the track.

Drivers come down pit road for service.  With 60 laps remaining in the race, the drivers are on the edge of their pit window to make it to the end of the race.

Ross Chastain wins the race off of pit road with Kyle Larson coming out second.

It was a lucky caution flag for Daniel Suarez who had reported a vibration just before the caution flag came out.

Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag restart with 55 laps remaining in the race.  Chastain gets a push from Cole Custer and gets out in front for the lead. 

The 16th caution flag comes out for a big crash that puts Chris Buescher on his roof after flipping several times.  Daniel Suarez and Chase Briscoe were also involved.  NASCAR has red flagged the race.

Chris Buescher has dropped the window net – a sign they are okay – and is moving around in the car.  The safety crew works to flip the car back on it wheels.  Chris Buescher climbs out of the car and walks to the ambulance.

After an eleven minute red flag, NASCAR displays the yellow flag and the drivers get moving again.

Chris Buescher said that the wreck was painful but he is okay; adding that it was a shame the car got wrecked.

Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag restart with 48 laps remaining in the race from the inside lane.  Ross Chastain takes the lead with Kyle Larson on his bumper and battling for the lead.

Kyle Busch takes the lead with 47 laps to go after Larson called the first half of the race the worst race in his life.

Lap 354, Chase Briscoe passes Ross Chastain for second.

There are 19 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 357, Kyle Larson has a lead of nearly half a second on Chase  Briscoe; Ross Chastain, Joey Logano, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.  After numerous issues on pit road and hitting the wall, Kyle Busch is back in the top 10 in seventh place.

Forty to go, Kyle Larson continues to extend his lead on Chase Briscoe and is now nearly a second out in front.

Lap 361, Kyle Larson’s lead is now over a second on Chase Briscoe with Ross Chastain in third; Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Denny Hamlin passes Joey Logano for fourth.

With 35 laps to go, Kyle Larson continues to increase his lead on Chase Briscoe and is now nearly a second and a half out in front.

Now in third place, Ross Chastain has led 144 laps of the race.

Thirty to go, Kyle Larson has a lead of over a second on Chase Briscoe; Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, and Cole Custer round out the top five.

Just 25 laps to go, Kyle Larson leads the race with Chase Briscoe in second; Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, and Cole Custer round out the top five.

Twenty to go, Chase Briscoe has closed the gap on leader Kyle Larson to just over half a second; Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, and Cole Custer round out the top five..  There are 17 cars on the lead lap.

With 18 laps to go, Chase Briscoe is less than half a second behind leader Kyle Larson.

Christopher Bell passes Cole Custer for fifth.

Fifteen to go, Kyle Larson is just two tenths of a second in front of Chase Briscoe; third place driver Ross Chastain is over two seconds back.

Christopher Bell gets into the wall and works his way to pit road.  The track stays green.

Ten to go, Kyle Larson has a quarter of a second lead on Chase Briscoe.

Aric Almirola gets into the wall with eight to go but the track stays green.  Almirola was the last car on the lead lap in 15th.

Six to go, Chase Briscoe has caught leader Kyle Larson.

Erik Jones gets into the wall but the track stays green/

Five to go, Chase Briscoe challenges Kyle Larson for the lead.

Four to go, Chase Briscoe and Kyle Larson battle for the lead with Briscoe getting in front briefly.

Three to go; Kyle Larson has the lead with Chase Briscoe on his bumper.

Trying to pass Kyle Larson, Chase Briscoe gets loose and wrecks; bringing out the caution flag and sending the race into overtime.

Drivers come down pit road with Kyle Larson and Ross Chastain coming off pit road nose to nose.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the overtime shootout to the end on the inside lane with Ross Chastain alongside. Larson gets a push from Joey Logano and gets out in front for the lead.  Austin Dillon comes up on the inside to battle for the lead and gets loose, causing a pile up and bringing out caution flag number 18.  Cole Custer, Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr,  and Austin Dillon were all involved. 

Austin Dillon, Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, and Denny Hamlin were in a four wide battle when the crash began.

Denny Hamlin is the leader with Ross Chastain in second.  Hamlin brings the field down for the second green/white/checker overtime finish from the inside lane.  Hamlin jumps out in front for the lead but Kyle Busch comes up on the outside to battle his JGR team mate for the lead.  Denny Hamlin takes the white flag.

Denny Hamlin edges out Kyle Busch to win the longest race in NASCAR history!  This is Hamlin’s second win of the season.  This was Hamlin’s first 600 win.

The unofficial results of the Coca Cola 600:
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick
Chase Briscoe
Christopher Bell
Tyler Reddick
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Michael McDowell
Kyle Larson
Alex Bowman
Harrison Burton
Martin Truex Jr
Ty Dillon
Erik Jones
Ross Chastain
Todd Gilliland
Aric Almirola
Cody Ware
BJ McLeod
Joey Logano
Cole Custer
Austin Dillon
Kaz Grala
Noah Gragson
Daniel Suarez
Chris Buescher
Justin Haley
Bubba Wallace
Ryan Blaney
Brad Keselowski
Kurt Busch
William Byron
Chase Elliott
Austin Cindric
Corey LaJoie
Josh Bilicki
Ryan Preece


NASCAR Penalizes Chastain, Dillon

It is not unusual for a race to end in a chaotic manner with drivers aggressively battling for position.  On an oval track the drivers have little choice but to stay on the track or make a run through the grass.  But on a road course there are often a number of access roads where drivers can make it to pit road without running the entire course or avoid a wreck.

On the final laps of the Verizon 200 in an overtime restart Ross Chastain and Austin Dillon escaped a potential wreck by driving on the access road.  In the process the two drivers also missed turns one and two and returned to the course on turn three.

The move enabled Chastain to catch and pass race leader Tyler Reddick.  Reddick later passed Chastain to retake the lead and win the race.

As a result of their using the access road, NASCAR has penalized Chastain and Dillon with a 30 second penalty.  The penalty took Chastain from a second place finish to 27th.  Dillon, already a lap down, ended with a 30th place finish.

Missed Turns and Overtime Finish for Cup Series at Indy

NASCAR Cup Series

For the second year the NASCAR Cup Series come to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to run the road course with the Verizon 200.

Before the drivers even take to the track the drama begins with the pre-race inspection process where three teams failed the inspection process twice.  The Kaulig Racing number 16 driven by AJ Allmendinger, the Kaulig Racing number 31 driven by Justin Haley, and the Team Hezeberg number 26 car driven by Daniil Kvyat will all lose a crew member for the weekend and their pit stall choice; however, the drivers will get to start the race in the spot they qualified after passing inspection on the third try.

It has also been a rough weekend for William Byron’s number 24 team; on Thursday night shortly after the haulers arrived at IMS, the 24 hauler caught on fire.  Car owner Hendrick Motorsports salvaged what they could from the truck, the backup hauler was summoned from North Caroline, and NASCAR allowed HMS to house the 24 car in the garage overnight – they normally remain in the haulers until the garage opens on Friday morning.  Team mates and fellow Cup Series teams lent a hand with whatever was needed until the backup hauler arrived.

Daniil Kvyat is a former Formula One driver who is making his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the number 26 car. Front Row Motorsports has appealed the L2 penalty for illegal parts modifications on the number 34 car driven by Michael McDowell and the crew chief will remain on the pit box until the verdict from the appeal comes through.  McDowell and FMS face a 100 point deduction in driver and owner points; as well as, a four race suspension of the crew chief.  Should McDowell make the playoffs, he would also lose 10 playoff points.

Qualifying for road courses is a bit different from oval races.  The drivers are divided into two teams but instead of single car qualifying, they will go out in groups for a 15 minute session.  The top five from each group will go out for round two and a 10 minute session to set the pole.

Thirty-eight teams brought cars to the track; all 38 will start the race.

As previously announced, Kurt Busch is out of the number 45 car for the second race with concussion symptoms.  Ty Gibbs is filling in for Busch for the second race.

During qualifying, Austin Dillon was charged with making an unapproved adjustment and was not allowed to go out and make a car qualifying run.

Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Todd Gilliland, Kyle Busch, and Ryan Blaney will all move on to the second round of qualifying from Group A.

From Group B; Tyler Reddick, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, and Michael McDowell will move on to round two of qualifying.

With a time of 1:28.35 Tyler Reddick puts his number eight car on the pole with Austin Cindric starting alongside on the front row.

The starting lineup for the Verizon 200:
Tyler Reddick
Austin Cindric
Chase Briscoe
Christopher Bell
Joey Logano
Ryan Blaney
Michael McDowell
Chase Elliott
Todd Gilliland
Kyle Busch
Daniel Suarez
Brad Keselowski
Harrison Burton
Aric Almirola
Denny Hamlin
Chris Buescher
Justin Haley
Kevin Harvick
Bubba Wallace
AJ Allmendinger
Ross Chastain
Kyle Larson
William Byron
Cole Custer
Martin Truex Jr
Ty Gibbs
Joey Hand
Alex Bowman
Austin Dillon
Ty Dillon
Corey LaJoie
Josh Bilicki
Cody Ware
Loris Hezemans
Erik Jones
Daniil Kvyat
Josh Williams
Ricky Stenhouse Jr

Aric Almirola has to start the race from the back of the field after the crew made an engine change and Cody Ware has to move to the back of the field after the crew made some unapproved adjustments to the car.

Stage one of the race is only 15 laps, stage two is 20 laps, and stage three is 47 laps for a total of 82 laps around the near two and a half mile road course.

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and edges out in front as drivers gets three, four, and five wide going into turn one.  Justin Haley gets turns around but the track stays green.

Lap two, Tyler Reddick leads lap one with Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric battle for second.

Ross Chastain gets into some contact and spins out but the track stays green.

Denny Hamlin spins out and gets off the track, the track stays green.

Lap two, Tyler Reddick has a lead of over a second and a half on Austin Cindric; Chase Briscoe, Christopher Bell, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Justin Haley brings his car down pit road.

Lap four, Tyler Reddick has increased his lead to over two seconds on Austin Cindric; Chase Briscoe, Christopher Bell, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

The helmet hose for Daniel Suarez is blowing hot air; says that its cooler when he lifts the visor.  He is currently in the top 10 in seventh place.

Denny Hamlin gets off the course after missing turn one.  He reports that the car is very loose.   After starting in 15th, Hamlin has dropped to 35th.

Lap five, Tyler Reddick has a lead of nearly two and a half seconds on Austin Cindric; Chase Briscoe, Christopher Bell, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

Lap six, Brad Keselowski spins out but the track stays green.

Ross Chastain spins out after making some contact with the 15 car of Joey Hand.

Lap eight, Tyler Reddick continues to lead the race with a two second lead on Austin Cindric; Chase Briscoe, Christopher Bell, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

NBC reporters announce that the track temperature is 115 degrees – hot and slick.  Drivers are reporting no grip and no lateral grip.  The track is 25 degrees hotter today than it was during practice and qualifying on Saturday.

Justin Haley is the only driver not on the lead lap.

Lap eleven, Ross Chastain brings his car down pit road for fresh tires and repairs.  He goes one lap down.

Lap eleven, Austin Cindric has closed the gap on leader Tyler Reddick to under two seconds.

Lap 13, Chris Buescher brings his car down pit road and the car catches on fire.

Short pitting, some of the drivers come down pit road including leader Tyler Reddick.  Chase Briscoe is the new leader.

With two laps remaining in stage one, Chase Briscoe leads the race with Ryan Blaney in second; Joey Logano, William Byron, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Chase Briscoe wins stage one for his third stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Chase Briscoe
Ryan Blaney
William Byron
Joey Logano
Chase Elliott
Todd Gilliland
Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch
Harrison Burton
Martin Truex Jr.

The rumble strip turtles are gone this year, but turn one is turning out to be just as big of an issue for the drivers.  Several of them have had major issues and spinning out going into turn one.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Chase Briscoe winning the race off of pit road but not all of the drivers made a pit stop.  The crew is reporting that they believe it was the door foam after some contact with Bubba Wallace.

Ryan Blaney leads the race and brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 19.  Drivers are five and six wide going into turn one.  Kevin Harvick gets turns around.

Lap 20, Ryan Blaney leads the race with William Byron in second; Brad Keselowski, Austin Cindric, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Lap 21, Alex Bowman comes down pit road with a flat tire.

Lap 22, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over half a second on William Byron; Austin Cindric, Tyler Reddick, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Kyle Larson brings his car down pit road for damage repairs after some on track contact with Aric Almirola.  Almirola also has some damage to his car and has to come down pit road for repairs.

Lap 25, Ryan Blaney has a half second lead on William Byron; Tyler Reddick, Austin Cindric, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

AJ Allmendinger gets into the sand; Cole Custer and Harrison Burton are also off the track after some contact.  Allmendinger had moved up to fifth when he got loose and made a run through the sand.

Lap 28, Ryan Blaney has a half second lead on William Byron; Tyler Reddick, Austin Cindric, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Aric Almirola is out of the race; Loris Hezemans is off the track.  There are 32 cars on the lead lap.

Brad Keselowski gives up fifth place to come down pit road for service.

Lap 30, more drivers come down pit road for service including second place driver William Byron.

Ryan Blaney leads the race with Tyler Reddick in second; Austin Cindric, Christopher Bell, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

Lap 33, more drivers come down pit road before it closes before the end of stage two  Ryan Blaney has a lead of nearly a second on Tyler Reddick; .

Ryan Blaney and Tyler Reddick come down pit road for service; Christopher Bell is the new leader.

Christopher Bell wins stage two for his first career stage win.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Christopher Bell
Kyle Busch
Bubba Wallace
Chase Elliott
Ty Dillon
Denny Hamlin
Chase Briscoe
Cole Custer
Erik Jones
Cody Ware

Drivers come down pit road for service but several drivers stay out on the track. 

Christopher Bell brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 40 with Bell getting out in front for the lead as the drivers get four and five wide going into turn one.

The top five are Christopher Bell, Bubba Wallace, Chase Briscoe, Denny Hamlin, and Ty Dillon.

Lap 41, Christopher Bell has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds on Bubba Wallace; Chase Briscoe, Denny Hamlin, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Brad Keselowski misses turn seven and gets off the track but the track stays green.

Lap 42, Christopher Bell has a lead of nearly two and a half seconds on Bubba Wallace; Chase Briscoe, Tyler Riddick, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Tyler Reddick passes Chase Briscoe for third and then passes Bubba Wallace for second.  Bubba Wallace’s crew chief reported that they are three laps short of making it on one more stop and for Bubba to save fuel.

Loris Hezemans returns to the track 17 laps down.  Daniil Kvyat is off the track.

Lap 45, Christopher Bell has a second and a half lead on Tyler Reddick; Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney, and William Byron round out the top five.  AJ Allmendinger reports a very loose condition in his car.

While there has been some beating and banging and a lot of incidents where drivers have gotten off of the track; there has been only two caution flags at the end of the two stages.

Lap 47, Tyler Reddick has cut Christopher Bell’s lead to just half a second; Ryan Blaney, William Byron, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

Daniil Kvyat is back on the track 16 laps down.

Lap 50, Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick battle for the lead.  Reddick takes the lead; Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five.

Drivers begin making their final pit stops.

Lap 51, Tyler Reddick has a one second lead on Christopher Bell.

Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell make their pit stops and gives the lead over to Ryan Blaney.

Lap 52, Ryan Blaney has a six second lead on AJ Allmendinger; Michael McDowell, Martin Truex Jr, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Michael McDowell makes his pit stop.

Lap 53, Brad Keselowski is stopped on the backstretch after getting loose.  He track stays green.

Leader Ryan Blaney comes down pit road for his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over to AJ Allmendinger.  Blaney takes fuel only but stalls the car on the way out of his pit box.

Lap 54, the top five are AJ Allmendinger, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, Austin Cindric, and Daniel Suarez.

Lap 55, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr com down pit road for service.

Lap 55, AJ Allmendinger has a lead of over half a second on Austin Cindric; Daniel Suarez, Todd Gilliland, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Loris Hezemans is off the track once again with 31 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 56, leader AJ Allmendinger makes his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over to Todd Gilliland.

Lap 58, Todd Gilliland has a third of a second lead on Kyle Busch.  Busch makes his pit stop.

The top five are Todd Gilliland, Alex Bowman, Joey Hand, Tyler Reddick, and Christopher Bell.

Lap 59, Alex Bowman comes down pit road.

Loris Hezemans is out of the race.

Lap 60, Todd Gilliland leads the race with Joey Hand in second; Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Daniil Kvyat comes down pit road after spinning out.

Todd Gilliland makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Joey Hand.

Lap 62 Ty Dillon and Kyle Larson bring out the first caution flag of the race for an on track incident after a big crash that has totaled Dillon’s car.  Both drivers are out of their cars and walking to the safety vehicles.  Kyle Larson’s car got airborne during its spin.

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag restart on 63 and the drivers gets spread out across the track.  Tyler Reddick takes the lead as the drivers gets three and four wide.  Kevin Harvick and Alex Bowman get into a crash.  Drivers make a run through the grass to avoid the wreck.

With 17 laps to go, Tyler Reddick leads the race with Ryan Blaney in second; AJ Allmendinger, Chase Elliott, and William Byron round out the top five.

Chase Elliott passes AJ Allmendinger for third.

Sixteen to go, Tyler Reddick ahs a lead of over a second on Ryan Blaney; Chase Elliott, AJ Allmendinger, and William Byron round out the top five.

Fifteen to go, there are 28 cars on the lead lap with four cars out of the race and one car off the track.

Lap 68, Tyler Reddick has a near two second lead on Ryan Blaney; Chase Elliott, AJ Allmendinger, and William Byron round out the top five.  Kevin Harvick takes his car to the garage.

Out of the infield care center and ok, Ty Dillon said it was the hardest he had ever been hit.

Lap 71, Cole Custer spins out in a cloud of smoke but the track stays green.

Lap 72, Tyler Reddick has a three second lead on Ryan Blaney; Chase Elliott, AJ Allmendinger, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 73, Chase Elliott passes Ryan Blaney for second.

Chase Elliott has had some brake issues during the race.

AJ Allmendinger reports that he has run out of water.

Tyler Reddick has a lead of three and a half seconds on Chase Elliott.

Lap 77 Christopher Bell flat spots a tire and it blows; bringing out the caution flag.

Lap 80, Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag restart.  Chase Elliott spins out going into turn one after some contact with Ryan Blaney; Elliott collects William Byron.  Erik Jones and Austin Dillon make contact in turn four with Dillon getting stuck in the gravel; Martin Truex Jr was also involved.  Chase Briscoe spins out.

Tyler Reddick leads the race.

Lap 81, the caution flag comes out and the race goes into overtime.

Not only is AJ Allmendinger out of water, his cool suit isn’t working.

In the first green/white/checker finish, Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the overtime start with AJ Allmendinger in second.  Drivers spread out four and five across the track with Tyler Reddick leading the race.  Ryan Blaney gets turned around.  Ross Chastain passes Tyler Reddick but Reddick battle to retake the lead.  Chastain missed turn one and used the access road to get back on the track.  Reddick retakes the lead.

Tyler Reddick takes the white flag.

Tyler Reddick wins his second Cup Series win of the season and his second road course win.  Reddick’s son runs out on the track to hug his dad.

NASCAR has determined that Ross Chastain was not legally allowed where he was on the track and will face a penalty.  Chastain said that he took the access road to avoid the wreck taking place on the track.

NASCAR has given Ross Chastain a 30 second penalty and placed in 27th instead of second.  Austin Dillon was also penalized 30 seconds.

Tyler Reddick’s crew climbs the fence and will kiss the bricks.

AJ Allmendinger literally falls out of his car in exhaustion after being overheated.

The unofficial results of the Verizon 200:
Tyler Reddick
Austin Cindric
Harrison Burton
Todd Gilliland
Bubba Wallace
Joey Logano
AJ Allmendinger
Michael McDowell
Cole Custer
Kyle Busch
Christopher Bell
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Denny Hamlin
Erik Jones
Chase Elliott
Ty Gibbs
Corey LaJoie
Justin Haley
Brad Keselowski
Martin Truex Jr
Josh Bilicki
Chase Briscoe
Cody Ware
Josh Williams
Ryan Blaney
Ross Chastain
Daniel Suarez
Joey Hand
Austin Dillon
William Byron
Alex Bowman
Kevin Harvick
Ty Dillon
Kyle Larson
Daniil Kvyat
Loris Hezemans
Aric Almirola




Record Setting Win at Indy in Xfinity Series

Xfinity Series

The Xfinity Series caps off a doubleheader day of racing with IndyCar when the NASCAR series runs the Penzoil 150 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

A total of ninet drivers from the Cup Series are doing the double dip with running both the Xfinity and Cup Series races – AJ Allmendinger, Ty Gibbs, Alex Bowman, Chase Briscoe, Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, Austin Dillon, and Ty Dillon.

Parker Kligerman trades in his microphone for a steering wheel and will be a part of the race today.

IndyCar driver James Hinchcliff joins the broadcast team for the race in a cross over where Dale Earnhardt Jr joined the IndyCar crew for the broadcast.

Forty-two teams brought cars for 38 starting spots for today’s race. 

Group A drivers Sam Mayer, Riley Herbst, Chase Briscoe, Josh Berry, and Noah Gragson will all move on to the second round of qualifying.

Parker Kligerman failed to make a qualifying run after a power steering issue.

From Group B; AJ Allmendinger, Alex Bowman, Ty Gibbs, Austin Hill, and Justin Allgaier will all run in round tow to set the pole.

With a time of 1:29.748, AJ Allmendinger puts his number 16 car on the pole with Ty Gibbs starting alongside on the front row.

Brad Perez, JJ Yeley, Mason Filippi, and Josh Williams all failed to make the race.

The starting lineup for the Penzoil 150:
AJ Allmendinger
Ty Gibbs
Riley Herbst
Alex Bowman
Sam Mayer
Chase Briscoe
Noah Gragson
Josh Berry
Austin Hill
Justin Allgaier
Landon Cassill
Sage Karam
Bubba Wallace
Alex Labbe
Sheldon Creed
Daniel Hemric
Brett Moffitt
Ross Chastain
Miguel Paludo
Austin Dillon
Jeb Burton
Andy Lally
Preston Pardus
Kaz Grala
Myatt Snider
Anthony Alfredo
Ty Dillon
Kyle Weatherman
Jeremy Clements
Santino Ferrucci
Ryan Sieg
Scott Heckert
Ryan Ellis
Bayley Currey
Patrick Gallagher
Brandon Jones
Parker Kligerman
Brandon Brown

Bayley Currey, Brandon Jones, Anthony Alfredo, Parker Kligerman, Brandon Brown, Kaz Grala, and Austin Dillon will all have to start the race from the back of the field after the crews made some unapproved adjustments to the cars.  Chase Briscoe and Miguel Paludo will also have to start the race form the back of the field after crews made tire changes.

Stages one and two of the race are just 20 laps each with stage three lasting 22 laps for a total of 62 laps around the near two and a half mile road course.  Drivers can run 26 to 29 laps on a single load of fuel.

Jeb Burton is on pit road with reports of a trackbar issue.  He has to take his cr to the garage for repairs.

Chase Briscoe reports that the idle is too high and is looking to have it repaired.

AJ Allmendinger brings the field down for the green flag start of the race with Allmendinger edging out for the lead but Ty Gibbs is right behind him.

Lap two, AJ Allmendinger has put a little distance between him and Ty Gibbs; Riley Herbst, Noah Gragson, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap three, AJ Allmendinger has pulled out to a one second lead on Ty Gibbs; Riley Herbst, Noah Gragson, and Alex Bowman round out the top five with Justin Allgaier, Sam Mayer, and Josh Berry right behind.

Alex Bowman passes Noah Gragson for fourth.

Brett Moffitt makes an unscheduled stop on pit road.  The crew is making a tire change.

Lap four, AJ Allmendinger has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds on Ty Gibbs.  Alex Labbe has locked up the tires twice and has two flat spotted tires.

Lap five, the top five are AJ Allmendinger, Ty Gibbs, Riley Herbst, Alex Bowman, and Noah Gragson.

Lap seven, AJ Allmendinger has a lead of over a second and a half on Ty Gibbs; Alex Bowman, Riley Herbst, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Noah Gragson is reporting no driver and no lateral.

Parker Kligerman makes an unscheduled stop on pit road.

Jeb Burton is off the track and in the garage for repairs.

Lap nine, AJ Allmendinger now has a lead of over two seconds on Ty Gibbs.

Sam Mayer is having some lockup issues and reports a vibration in his car.

Jeremy Clements makes a green flag pit stop.

Parker Kligerman returns to the track two laps down reporting some engine issues.

Bubba Wallace makes a green flag pit stop.  Wallace is having some overheating issues.

Lap 10, AJ Allmendinger continues to increase his lead and is now two and a half seconds in front of Ty Gibbs.

Lap 14, AJ Allmendinger has a two second lead on Ty Gibbs; Alex Bowman, Riley Herbst, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Lap 15, Parker Kligerman and Ryan Ellis bring out the caution flag when Kligerman has a mechanical issue and gets loose collecting Ellis in the process. 

Chase Briscoe just made it to pit road to address an overheating issue before the caution and pit road was closed.  But he ran over the orange pit box and has been charged with a commitment cone violation.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Ty Gibbs just edging out Alex Bowman to win the race off of pit road.  AJ Allmendinger had an issue with the rear of his car that caused a very slow pit stop.  He comes back out on the track in the middle of the pack.

After staying out on the track, Noah Gragson and Myatt Snider will bring the field down for the green flag restart with just two laps remaining in stage one.  Drivers get three and fur wide across the track.  Noah Gragson takes the lead with Myatt Snider in second; Ty Gibbs, Alex Bowman, and Riley Herbst round out the top five.

Ty Gibbs is falling through the field and has dropped to fifth.

AJ Allmendinger is back in the top 10.

Noah Gragson wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one :
Noah Gragson
Myatt Snider
Alex Bowman
Justin Allgaier
Riley Herbst
Ty Gibbs
Josh Berry
Sheldon Creed
AJ Allmendinger
Sam Mayer

Parker Kligerman reports that he lost the brakes just before his wreck; adding that he, “couldn’t Flintstone it”.  He wanted to avoid hitting Ryan Ellis but could not stop with no brakes.

Noah Gragson and Myatt Snider come down pit road for their pit stops.  Landon Cassill and Chase Briscoe also make pit stops.

Alex Bowman brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two with Justin Allgaier alongside on lap 25.  Alex Bowman gets out in front going into turn one.  Ty Gibbs spins out going into turn one but the track stays green.

Justin Allgaier gets the lead.  Josh Berry makes contact with Riley Herbst and spins him around.

The top five are Justin Allgaier, Alex Bowman, Josh Berry, AJ Allmendinger, and Ross Chastain.

Lap 26, Justin Allgaier has a narrow lead on Alex Bowman; AJ Allmendinger, Josh Berry, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Anthony Alfredo spins out.

The caution flag comes out for debris on the race track.

Teams are outside of their fuel window, but some drivers come down pit road for repairs and adjustments.

NASCAR has black flagged Noah Gragson for his damaged car.  He will have to come down pit road for repairs.

Justin Allgaier brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 29 and the drivers immediately get three and four wide.  AJ Allmendinger comes down to make it a three wide battle and takes the lead with Alex Bowman in second and Justin Allgaier in third.

Noah Gragson is on pit road for repairs.

Lap 29, the top five are AJ Allmendinger, Alex Bowman, Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, and Sheldon Creed.

Ryan Ellis, Parker Kligerman, and Jeb Burton are out of the race.

Lap 30, AJ Allmendinger has a lead of over half a second on Alex Bowman; Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Bubba Wallace is off the track.  All of the cars on the track are on the lead lap.

Josh Berry reports a flat spotted tire.

Lap 32, AJ Allmendinger has a lead of over a second on Alex Bowman; Justina Allgaier, Ross Chastain, and Jsoh Berry round out the top five.

Lap 34, AJ Allmendinger has a one second lead on Alex Bowman;  Justin Allgaier, Ross Chastain, and Josh Berry round out the top five.  Allmendinger has led 20 laps so far. 

Lap 35, drivers are now in their pit window to make it to the end of the race and are beginning to make green flag pit stops.

Bubba Wallace is out of the race with engine issues.

Lap 37, AJ Allmendinger has aone second lead on Alex Bowman; Justin Allgaier, Ross Chastain, and Josh Berry round out the top five.

Lap 38, leader AJ Allmendinger makes his green flag pit stop with Alex Bowman right behind him.  Josh Berry is the new leader.  Alex Bowman edges out AJ Allmendinger coming off of pit road.

AJ Allmendinger stopped a little too close to the wall for the jackman to raise the car with just one pump. 

Ty Gibbs and Jeremy Clements were charged with a commitment cone violation.  Daniel Hemric was caught speeding on pit road.

Josh Berry wins stage two.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Josh Berry
AAlex Labbe
Kaz Grala
Sage Karam
Preston Pardus
Ty Dillon
Bayley Currey
Anthony Alfredo
Kyle Weatherman
Patrick Gallagher

The top 12 drivers have yet to make a pit stops.  Some of the drivers come down pit road for service.

Ty Gibbs, Alex Labbe, and Jeremy Clements will have to restart the race form the back of the field to serve a penalty.

Flat spotting tires is an issue for the drivers today.

Alex Bowman brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three with AJ Allmendinger alongside with 18 laps remaining in the race.  Bowman jumps out in front for the lead but Allmendinger comes up alongside and takes the lead going into turn one.

The top five are AJ Allmendinger, Alex Bowman, Sheldon Creed, Justin Allgaier, and Sam Mayer.

Ross Chastain passes Sam Mayer for fifth.

Miguel Paludo gets turned around but the tracks stays green after he gets the car righted.

Sheldon Creed and Justin Allgaier make contact in a battle for position.  Allgaier takes the spot but has a smoking car.

Sheldon Creed gets turned around but gets moving again and the track stays green.

Lap 47, AJ Allmendinger has a second and a half lead on Alex Bowman; Justin Allgaier, Ross Chastain, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.  Four of the top five drivers will also be running in the race on Sunday.

Brandon Brown is the only driver one lap down.

Lap 48, AJ Allmendinger has pulled out to a lead of nearly two and a half seconds on Alex Bowman.

Lap 49, the top five are AJ Allmendinger, Alex Bowman, Ross Chastain, Justin Allgaier, and Chase Briscoe.

Lap 50, AJ Allmendinger has a lead of over two and a half seconds on Alex Bowman; Ross Chastain, Chase Briscoe, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Lap 51, AJ Allmendinger has increased his lead to three seconds on Alex Bowman.

Ten to go, three of the four JR Motorsports car are in the top 10 with the fourth car just outside the top 10 in eleventh.  AJ Allmendinger holds on to the lead by nearly three seconds.

Six to go, AJ Allmendinger has a lead of nearly three seconds on Alex Bowman; Ross Chastain, Justin Allgaier, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

AJ Allmendinger has eight road course wins in his career.

Five to go, Chase Briscoe reports that he has no third gear.

Alex Bowman has closed the gap on leader AJ Allmendinger to two and a half seconds; third place driver Ross Chastain is over eleven seconds back with  Justin Allgaier and Chase Briscoe rounding out the top five.

Kaz Grala gets off the track but gets it moving again and the track stays green.

Four to go, AJ Allmendinger’s lead is down to two seconds on Alex Bowman.

With a lead of over two seconds, AJ Allmendinger takes the white flag.

AJ Allmendinger wins the road course at Indy for his ninth career road course win – the most of any NASCAR driver.

The unofficial results of the Penzoil 150:
AJ Allmendinger
Alex Bowman
Justin Allgaier
Ross Chastain
Chase Briscoe
Riley Herbst
Sam Mayer
Ty Gibbs
Austin Hill
Noah Gragson
Landon Cassill
Alex Labbe
Sage Karam
Josh Berry
Brandon Jones
Brett Moffitt
Santino Ferrucci
Anthony Alfredo
Jeremy Clements
Ty Dillon
Bayley Currey
Daniel Hemric
Sheldon Creed
Miguel Paludo
Andy Lally
Austin Dillon
Ryan Sieg
Patrick Gallagher
Preston Pardus
Kyle Weatherman
Scott Heckert
Kaz Grala
Myatt Snider
Brandon Brown
Bubba Wallace
Ryan Ellis
Parker Kligerman
Jeb Burton
       

Overtime Finish Begins CWTS Playoffs

It’s the first race of the Playoff for the Camping World Truck Series with the TSport 200 from Indianapolis.

Thirty-six teams brought trucks to the Indianapolis Raceway Park to fill 36 starting spots after being away from IRP for over 10 years..

Zane Smith
Chandler Smith
Ben Rhodes
John Hunter Nemechek
Stewart Friesen
Christian Eckes
Ty Majeski
Carson Hocevar
Grant Enfinger
and Matt Crafton
will all be beginning their journey toward the championship.

Each drivers gets two laps to make a qualifying run with the best lap begin posted.  The best lap wins the pole.

 With a lap of 22.211 seconds John Hunter Nemechek puts his Kyle Busch Motorsports number four truck on the pole for the fifth time this season with team Mate Chandler Smith starting alongside on the front row.  Eight of the 10 playoff drivers are in the top 10 of the starting lineup.

The starting lineup for the TSport 200:
John Hunter Nemechek
Chandler Smith
Christian Eckes
Corey Heim
Grant Enfinger
Ty Majeski
Carson Hocevar
Stewart Friesen
Ben Rhodes
Derek Kraus
Tyler Ankrum
Colby Howard
Taylor Gray
Tanner Gray
Johnny Sauter
Matt Crafton
Hailie Deegan
Chase Purdy
Matt DiBenedetto
Jack Wood
Jesse Little
Austin Wayne Self
Zane Smith
Lawless Alan
Chris Hakcer
Layne Riggs
Jake Garcia
Dean Thompson
Blaine Perkins
Kaz Grala
Kris Wright
Josh Reaume
Spencer Boyd
Chad Chastain
Timmy Hill
Blake Lothian

Stages one and two of the race are 60 laps each with stage three lasting 80 laps for a total of 200 laps around the 7/10 mile oval.  Drivers can run 120 to 130 laps on a single load of fuel.

Chris Hacket and Josh Reaume will have to start the race from the back of the field.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the inside lane and edges out for the lead.

Lap two, John Hunter Nemechek leads the race with Chandler Smith in second; Grant Enfinger, Christian Eckes, and Corey Heim round out the top five.

Lap five, John Hunter Nemechek has a third of a second lead on Chandler Smith; Grant Enfinger, Carson Hocevar, and Christian Eckes round out the top five.

Lap seven, after starting the race in 23rd, points leader Zane Smith has moved up inside the top 20 to 17th.

Lap eight, Chandler Smith battle with Chandler Smith for the lead.  Smith passes Nemechek for the lead briefly but Nemechek holds on to the lead.

The first caution flag of the race comes out on lap nine after Spencer Boyd and Josh Reaume make contact and get into the wall.  Spencer Boyd’s truck is on fire.  The safety workers quickly respond and Boyd gets out of the truck on his own.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 21 and jumps out in front.  Carson Hocevar made a run for the lead but just missed out and ended up in third.

Lap 22, John hunter Nemechek has the lead with Chandler Smith in second; Carson Hocevar, Stewart Friesen, and Corey Heim round out the top five.  Zane Smith is up to 14tth.

Lap 27, John Hunter Nemechek has a half second lead on Chandler Smith; Carson Hocevar, Stewart Friesen, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Lap 30, Josh Reaume brings out the second caution flag when he spins out and creates a big cloud of smoke.  He has significant damage to his truck.  Reaume was already five laps down.  Jake Garcia is the “lucky dog”.

A few of the drivers come down pit road for adjustments.  The teams have only three sets of the tires for the race.

Leading every lap so far, John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 37 from the inside lane with Chandler Smith on the outside.  Nemechek holds on to the lead with Chandler Smith in second; Carson Hocevar, Stewart Friesen, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.  Zane Smith has entered the top 10.

Lap 40, John Hunter Nemechek has a lead of nearly a second on Chandler Smith; Carson Hocevar, Stewart Friesen, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

At 19, Carson Hocevar is the youngest driver in the playoffs.

Lap 49, John Hunter Nemechek has left the field behind and is now over a second and a half in front of Chandler Smith; Carson Hocevar, Stewart Friesen, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

With seven laps remaining in stage one, Chandler Smith has closed the cap on leader John Hunter Nemechek to a second and a half; Carson Hocevar, Stewart Friesen, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Spencer Boys is out of the lap with 31 trucks on the lead lap.

After leading every lap, John Hunter Nemechek wins stage one for his fourth stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
John Hunter Nemechek
Chandler Smith
Carson Hocevar
Stewart Friesen
Grant Enfinger
Ben Rhodes
Corey Heim
Ty Majeski
Zane Smith
Christian Eckes

Corey Heim is the only driver in the top 10 who is not in the playoffs.

Drivers come down pit road for service.  While they have enough fuel to make it to the end of stage two, the tires have fallen off.  Chandler Smith wins the race off of pit road wit Carson Hocevar coming out second ;and John Hunter Nemechek in third.

Ben Rhodes and Kris Wright were caught speeding on pit road and will have to restart the race from the longest line.

Chandler Smith brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 71 but it is Carson Hocevar form the inside lane who gets out in front for the lead.

Lap 72, the top five are Carson Hocevar, Chandler Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Grant Enfinger, and Corey Heim.

The caution flag comes out on lap 74 when Blake Lothian has an issue and is stopped on the track and out of the race.

Carson Hocevar brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 81 and jumps out in front for the lead with Chandler Smith and Grant Enfinger battling for second.

The top five are Carson Hocevar, Chandler Smith, Grant Enfinger, John Hunter Nemechek, and Tyler Ankrum.

Lap 84, Grant Enfinger passes Chandler Smith…with a little help from John Hunter Nemechek…to take second.

Lap 87, Grant Enfinger comes up to battle Carson Hocevar for the lead.  So far, Hocevar has held Enfinger off.

Lap 90, the top five are Carson Hocevar, Grant Enfinger, John Hunter Nemechek, Chandler Smith, and Stewart Friesen.

Lap 95, Grant Enfinger continues to battle with Carson Hocevar for the lead.

Lap 96, nineth place driver Ty Majeski ran the fastest lap on the track.

Lap 101, Carson Hocevar holds on to the lead with Grant Enfinger on his bumper; John HunterNemechek, Chandler Smith, and Tyler Ankrum round out the top five.

Lap 105, Grant Enfinger finally gets around Carson Hocevar for the lead; team mates John Hunter Nemechek and Chandler Smith battle for third.

John Hunter Nemechek brings out the caution flag after he makes contact with lapped driver Kris Wright.  Nemechek got in the edge of the grass and then went up the track and into Wright.  Several drivers narrowly missed the wreck trying to see through a very thick cloud of smoke.

Many of the drivers come down pit road for service and short pit the end of the stage.  Grant Enfinger wins the race off of pit road with Ty Majeski coming out second.

After staying out on the track, Chandler Smith brings the field down for the green flag restart with six laps remaining in stage two and takes the lead with Ben Rhodes in second; Ty Majeski, Grant Enfinger, and Lawless Alan round out the top five.

On fresh tires, Ty Majeski takes the lead with Grant Enfinger in second; Chandler Smith, Zane Smith, and Ben Rhodes round out the top five.

Zane Smith and Chandler Smith make contact and get into the wall.

Dean Thompson spins out and brings out the caution flag just short of the end of the stage.

Ty Majeski wins stage two for his second stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Ty Majeski
Grant Enfinger
Ben Rhodes
Carson Hocevar
Zane Smith
Corey Heim
Stewart Friesen
Chandler Smith
Tyler Ankrum
Colby Howard

Ben Rhodes is reporting some bad brake shake.

Some of the drivers come down pit road for service.  The drivers can make it to the end of the race on fuel but tire fall off is a major issue and they will need to make a stop for that last set of fresh tires at some point.

Ty Majeski brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 129 and gets out in front for the lead.

Lap 130, the top five are TY Majeski, Grant Enfinger, Carson Hocevar, Stewart Friesen, and Corey Heim.

With 69 laps remaining in the race, the drivers are getting spread out through the field; Ty Majeski has a lead of nearly a second on Grant Enfinger.  Drivers are getting four wide across the track.

Lap 134, Ty Majeski has a second and a half lead on Grant Enfinger; Stewart Friesen, John Hunter Nemechek, and Carson Hocevar round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 138 for debris on the track.

Ty Majeski brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with 55 laps remaining in the race.  Johnny Sauter runs over the choose cone and will have to restart the race form the back of the field.

Ty Majeski gets the lead with Grant Enfinger in second; John Hunter Nemechek, Stewart Friesen, and Ben Rhodes round out the top five.

The eighth caution flag of the race comes out on lap 148 when Lawless Alan spins out after a four wide battle for position and gets into the wall.  Chase Purdy and Zane Smith also get some damage after the contact.

A few of the drivers come down pit road for fresh tires.

Ty Majeski brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with 42 laps remaining in the race.  John Hunter Nemechek makes it a three wide battle but Ty Majeski gets out in front for the lead with Grant Enfinger in second; John Hunter Nemechek, Stewart Friesen, and Ben Rhodes round out the top five.

Just 35 laps remain in the race; Ty Majeski has a lead of over a second on Grant Enfinger; John Hunter Nemechek, Stewart Friesen, and Ben Rhodes round out the top five.

With just 27 laps to go, Ty Majeski has a lead of over a second and a half on Grant Enfinger; John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, and Stewart Friesen round out the top five.

With 20 laps remaining in the race, Christian Eckes is the only playoff driver not in the top 20 with six of the playoff drivers in the top 10.

Leader Ty Majeski reports a tight condition in his truck.

Fifteen to go, Ty Majeski has a second and a half lead on Grant Enfinger; John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, and Stewart Friesen round out the top five with 26 trucks on the lead lap.

With 13 laps to go, Grant Enfinger has caught up to leader Ty Majeski and is battling for the lead.  Eleven to go and Grant Enfinger takes the lead with Ty Majeski in second; John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, and Stewart Friesen round out the top five.

Ten to go, Colby Howard brings out the caution flag when he gets into the wall after making some contact with Carson Hocevar.

All 10 of the playoff drivers are in the top 20.

Many of the drivers come down pit road for fresh tires; John Hunter Nemechek stayed out on the track; along with nine other drivers.  Ty Majeski wins the race off of pit road after taking only two tires.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the shootout to the finish from the outside lane but it is 17 year old Taylor Gray who gets out in front for the lead.  John Hunter Nemechek gets into leader Taylor Gray and brings out the caution flag.  The race goes into overtime.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green/white/checker shootout for the finish from the outside lane with Zane Smith on the inside.  Drivers spread out four wide across the track.  Zane Smith takes the lead with Grant Enfinger in second.

Zane Smith and Grant Enfinger take the white flag as they battle for the lead.  Grant Enfinger takes the lead.

Grant Enfinger wins his first race of the season in the return to Indianapolis Raceway Park.  Enfinger has secured a spot in round two of the playoffs.  Enfinger is the 13th different race winner in the Truck Series this season.

The unofficial results of the TSport 200:
Grant Enfinger
Ben Rhodes
Zane Smith
Stewart Friesen
Corey Heim
Tyler Ankrum
Layne Riggs
Ty Majeski
Matt Crafton
John Hunter Nemechek
Matt DiBenedetto
Johnny Sauter
Hailie Deegan
Derek Kraus
Jesse Little
Christian Eckes
Timmy Hill
Chandler Smith
Austin Wayne Self
Kaz Grala
Carson Hocevar
Taylor Gray
Tanner Gray
Chris Hacker
Jack Wood
Blaine Perkins
Chase Purdy
Jake Garcia
Dean Thompson
Chad Chastain
Kris Wright
Colby Howard
Josh Reaume
Lawless Alan
Blake Lothian
Spencer Boyd

Kurt Busch Still Out

After making qualifying run at Pocono, driver of the number 45 23XI Racing car Kurt Busch had a close encounter of the hard kind with the wall.  As a result, Busch was placed under the concussion protocol and ruled out for the race.

 

While he was hoping to make the road course race this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Busch has not been cleared by medical personnel to drive in the race.

 

Due to missing the race at Pocono, Busch has dropped out of the top 16 in driver points but is currently ranked 12th in the playoff points after winning the race in Kansas.  NASCAR’s competition officials have stated that Busch will receive a medical waiver upon his return and will be eligible for the playoffs should he meet all of the other criteria.

 

After making his Cup Series at Pocono where he finished in the top 20, Xfinity Series regular Ty Gibbs will drive the 45 car again this weekend at Indianapolis for the Verizon 200.

Jackie Robinson Museum to Open

Just one week after turning 100 years old Jackie Robinson’s widow Rachel helped to commemorate the opening of a museum dedicated to her husband and Baseball Hall of Fame Jackie Robinson.

With children Sharon and David by her side Rachel attended the gala event in Manhattan that has seen 14 years and a number of delays finally come to life. The museum on Varick Street will not officially open to the public until September 5.

Prior to his mother cutting the ribbon, David Robinson spoke at the ceremony saying, “the issues in baseball, the issues that Jackie Robinson challenged in 1947, they’re still with us.  The signs of white only have been taken down, but the complexity of equal opportunity still exists.”  He continued, “he was a man who used the word ‘we’.  I think today Jackie Robinson would say I accept this honor, but I accept this honor on behalf of something far beyond my individual self, far beyond my family, far beyond even my race. Jackie Robinson would say don’t think of you standing on my shoulders, I think of myself as standing on the shoulders of my mother, who was a sharecropper in Georgia, my grandmother, who was born a slave.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams also spoke at the event saying, “there’s nowhere on the globe where dream is attached to our name — or our country’s name.  There’s not a German dream. There’s not a French dream. There’s not a Polish dream. Darn it, there’s an American dream. And this man and wife took that dream and forced America and baseball to say you’re not going to be a dream on a piece of paper, you’re going to be a dream in life. We are greater because of number 42 and because he had amazing wife that understood that dream and vision.”

Also in attendance were New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, Spike Lee, Billie Jean King, former National League president Len Coleman, former New York Mets owner Fred Wilson, MLB Players Association president Tony Clark,, Baseball Hall of Fame president Josh Rawitch, and former MLB pitcher CC Sabathia who said, “without him, there would be no me. I wouldn’t have been able to live out my dream of playing Major League Baseball.”

In 1947 Jackie Robinson signed a contract with the then Brooklyn Dodgers and with that he became the first man of color to play in the MLB. Prior to that, the only other option for a professional baseball career was in the Negro Leagues.

During his eleven year career Robinson had a career ,313 batting average, 141 home runs, and stole 200 bases. In that time he was the National League Rookie of the Year, a National League batting champion, a. OST Valuable Player in the National League, a seven time All Star, and a member of a World Series champion team. In 1962 he was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

But Robinson was far more than a pioneering baseball player; he helped to promote the issue of civil rights. He died in 1972 at tHe age of 53 as a result of heart disease.

The 19,380 foot facility features 350 artifacts, 450 hours of video footage, and some 40,000 photographs. Among the artifacts are Robinson’s minor league contract, his rookie contract, and playing equipment. The second floor has an educational center.

As a part of the 61st anniversary of Robinson crossing the color line, Rachel announced that they were going to have the museum. Delays in raising money and the Covid pandemic has prevented the project to come to fruition until now.

Tickets for the Jackie Robinson Museum will be $15 for students and $18 for adults.

NASCAR Issues Major Penalty After Pocono

It was a rough weekend at Pocono Raceway for the Cup Series teams.  After two teams were docked points for rule violations relating to the cars body parts and two drivers were disqualified from the race…including the winner…in post race inspection; NASCAR has issued a major penalty on the number 34 Front Row Motorsports car driven by Michael McDowell.

 

The team was charged with breaking five sections of reuses 14.1 and 14.5 of the NASCAR rule book.  All five of the sections are related to the car body and body assembly in relation to the modification of s single source supplied part.

 

As a result of the L2 penalty McDowell has been docked 100 driver points, Front Row Motorsports has been docked 100 car owner points, and crew chief Blake Harris has been suspended for four points races and has been fined $100,000.  Should McDowell win a race and make it into the playoffs, he will be docked 10 playoff points.

 

A.o get with disqualified cars driven by Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch; the number 34 car of Michael McDowell and the number 47 car driven by Ricky Stenhouse Jr have also been taken to the NASCAR R&D center for further inspection.

 

This is the second time that NASCAR has issued a major penalty since tightening the rules earlier this season.  In March Brad Keselowski’s number six RFK Racing car was determined to have violated the rule book in relation to modifications to the rear fascia of the car.  Keselowsi and RFK were also given penalties of the loss of 100 points.

 

At the beginning of the season NASCAR officials warned teams that the penalties would be harsher than in previous seasons.

Point Standings – July 25

It was a wild and chaotic weekend for NASCAR at Pocono Raceway as the first playoff round was set for camping World Truck Series and the Cup Series saw the first disqualification of a winner in over 60 years when winner Denny Hamlin and second place driver Kyle Busch were both disqualified after an issue with the fascia in post race inspection.  A couple of L1 penalties and a concussion protocol also came into play to shake up the point standings a bit.  Both Petty GMS cars – the 42 driven by Ty Dillon and the 43 driven by Erik Jones – were issued L1 penalties for box assembly issues that resulted in a 35 point loss for both drivers and owners.  And after a crash during qualifying, Kurt Busch was not cleared by medical personnel who is dealing with concussion like symptoms.

Through it all Chase Elliott was declared the winner for his fourth win of the season and holds on to his dominance over all of the point standings.  The only category that Chase Elliott does not lead is the stage point standings and Martin Truex Jr leads that with seven; Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney follow with five each.


Driver Point Standings:
Chase Elliott – 787

Ross Chastain – 682
Ryan Blaney – 676
Kyle Larson – 661
Martin Truex Jr – 654
Christopher Bell – 605
Joey Logano – 599
Kyle Busch – 595
William Byron – 572
Kevin Harvick – 571
Alex Bowman – 536
Daniel Suarez – 526
Aric Almirola – 514<