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

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

 

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.

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
Tyler Reddick – 509
Austin Cindric – 495
Chase Briscoe – 487
Kurt Busch – 485
Denny Hamlin – 443

In the Playoff standings, Chase Elliott has a 16 point lead over Ross Chastain with 2,040 points.

Playoff Point Standings:
Chase Elliott – 2,040
Ross Chastain – 2,024
Joey Logano – 2,016
William Byron – 2,015
Kyle Larson – 2,015
Ryan Blaney – 2,013
Martin Truex Jr – 2,013
Denny Hamlin – 2,012
Christopher Bell – 2,010
Kyle Busch – 2,009
Tyler Reddick – 2,007
Kurt Busch – 2,007
Daniel Suarez – 2,007
Chase Briscoe – 2,007
Alex Bowman – 2,006
Austin Cindric – 2,006


In  the Xfinity Series Ty Gibbs and Justin Allgaier are tired in Playoff Points with 2,031 each but Gibbs is listed as the leader with four race wins to Allgaier’s three race wins.

Playoff Point Standings:
Ty Gibbs – 2,031
Justin Allgaier – 2,031
Noah Gragson – 2,028
AJ Allmendinger – 2,027
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 Cassill – 2,000


In the Camping World Truck Series the playoff field is set after the final regular season race at Pocono.  Zane Smith won the regular season and the 15 bonus playoff points.  Zane Smith has 35 playoff points – 15 in front of Chandler Smith.

Playoff Standings:
Zane Smith – 35
Chandler Smith – 20
Ben Rhodes – 15
John Hunter Nemechek – 14

Stewart Friesen – 11
Christian Eckes – 5
Ty Majeski – 4
Carson Hocevar – 3
Grant Enfinger and Matt Crafton round out the top 10 on points but have no playoff points to carry over.

NASCAR Issues New Hampshire Penalty

 Before the 2022 racing season began NASCAR announced that penalties for violating the rule book would be more severe.  One that has appeared repeatedly is the loss of a tire which does not bring any fines but will have three crew members including the crew chief for four weeks.

After a great deal of criticism from the fans, NASCAR has amended the ruling to include a waiver if it is determined that the freely moving tire does not impede or cause a danger to any other drivers.

That change was put into play at Atlanta Motor Speedway when a tire from Christopher Bell’s car on pit road; saying that the tire caused no danger to any other driver and therefore no penalty would be levied on the number 20 team.

However, in the only penalty issued this week NASCAR officials determined that when the Team Penske number two car driven by Austin Cindric lost a tire on pit road, the speed alone was enough to cause potential damage to another car or crew member.

As a result of the infraction crew chief Jeremy Bullins, front tire changer Curtis Thompson, and Jack an Patrick Gray have all been suspended for the next four point races.

NASCAR officials say that they will continue to evaluate each incident on a case by case basis to determine when the lost tire penalty will be enforced.

NASCAR Heading to Chicago

Over the past few weeks there has been a great deal of speculation over whether or not NASCAR would run its very first road course on the streets.

In a press conference, NASCAR announced that not only were they going to run a street course race, but that it will held on the streets of Chicago.

While it will be the first time that the Cup Series drivers will run on the streets of Chicago live, several of them ran an iRacing event last June on the streets of Chicago.

The race is set to take place on July 2, 2023 with IMSA running a race on July 1 for a special doubleheader weekend.  The Chicago Street Course will replace Road America at Elkhart Lake.

NASCAR senior vice president of racing development and strategy Ben Kennedy spoke on the upcoming race saying, “like the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, we seized an incredible opportunity to add an unprecedented element to our schedule and take center stage in the heart of another major metropolitan.  This is the ideal setting for the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series street race. The NASCAR Cup Series Next Gen cars and the IMSA machines will race along the shores of Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago, marking a truly historic moment for our sport. We are very appreciative of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her team, along with the entire city of Chicago for working with us to make this concept a reality.”

City of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also spoke on the upcoming event saying, “Chicago’s streets are as iconic as our skyline and our reputation as a world class sports city is indisputable.  I am thrilled to welcome our partners at NASCAR to Chicago for an event that will attract thousands of people to our city. Chicago’s world class entertainment and hospitality industries, coupled with our city’s history as a conduit for sports talent, make us the perfect hosts for this unique event.”

The 12 turn 2.2 mile race course will include Lake Shore Drive, Michigan Avenue, and Columbus Drive as it winds through the city.  Pit road and the start/finish line are on Columbus Drive in front of Buckingham Fountain.  From there it will go through Grant Park and approach Soldier Field as it works its way through the city streets.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker noted that Illinois has, “a longstanding tradition of innovation” and, “is a fitting host for NASCAR’s first-ever street race.”  Pritzker added, “we are thrilled to welcome this new series to America’s most iconic drive next summer.”

The remainder of the NASCAR 2023 schedules will be released later this year.

The new road course race on the streets of Chicago is the latest in new additions to the NASCAR schedule.  Previously, NASCAR has created a dirt track on the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway and turned the iconic Coliseum in Los Angeles into a race course for the annual Busch Clash.

feature photo credit: NASCAR.com

NASCAR Point Standings – July 18

There are just six races remaining in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series regular season.  With Christopher Bell’s win in New Hampshire, there are now 14 different race winners.

Chase Elliott continues to dominate the standings and stage points.  Elliott is the only driver to win three races so far in the 2022 season and is one of three drivers to have more than five stage wins this season.  Despite sweeping stages one and two of the Ambetter 301 on July 17 and a series leading seven stage wins, Martin Truex Jr stands at third place in the stage point standings with Chase Elliott leading the way with 184.

Stage point standings:
Chase Elliott – 184
Ryan Blaney – 151
Martin Truex Jr – 146
Joey Logano – 145
Kyle Larson – 142
Ross Chastain – 138
William Byron – 134
Kyle Busch – 114
Christopher Bell – 109
Tyler Reddick – 85
Denny Hamlin – 84
Kurt Busch – 77
Alex Bowman – 74
Chase Briscoe – 69
Erik Jones – 67
Kevin Harvick – 62

Chase Elliott leads the driver point standings with 734; the only driver to have earned at least 700 points.  Second place driver Ross Chastain is 67 points back with 667 points.

Cup Series Driver Point Standings:
Chase Elliott – 734
Ross Chastain – 667
Ryan Blaney – 656
Martin Truex Jr – 619
Kyle Larson – 616
Kyle Busch – 594
Joey Logano – 582
Christopher Bell – 570
William Byron – 536
Alex Bowman – 510
Austin Cindric – 489
Kurt Busch – 485
Daniel Suarez – 475
Tyler Reddick – 474
Chase Briscoe – 465
Denny Hamlin – 441

Chase Elliott makes it a sweep in the standings with three wins and 2.035 playoff points.

Playoff Point Standings:
Chase Elliott – 2.035
Ross Chastain – 2,0 23
Joey Logano – 2.016
William Byron – 2,014
Martin Truex Jr – 2,014
Kyle Larson – 2,013
Ryan Blaney – 2,013
Denny Hamlin – 2.012
Kyle Busch – 2,011
Christopher Bell – 2,008
Tyler Reddick – 2,007
Kurt Busch – 2,007
Chase Briscoe – 2,007
Daniel Suarez – 2,007
Alex Bowman – 2,006
Austin Cindric – 2,006


In the Xfinity Series, Ty Gibbs has just a one point lead in the playoff standings with 2,031.  With Justin Allgaier’s win at New Hampshire on July 16, there are seven race winners in the Xfinity Series with Ty Gibbs leading the way with four wins.

Xfinity Series Playoff Standings:
Ty Gibbs – 2,031
Justin Allgaier – 2,030
AJ Allmendinger – 2,027
Noah Gragson – 2,022
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 Cassill – 2,000


The Camping World Truck Series had the weekend off.

NASCAR Issues Nashville Penalties

As expected, the Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing number 17 car has been hit with a major penalty after loosing a wheel during the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway on June 26.  As a result of violating the NASCAR rule book, crew chief Scott Graves, rear tire changer Seth Gajdorus, and jackman Matthew Wilps have all been suspended for the next four Cup Series races.

It has been a rough few weeks for the driver of the number 17 car Chris Buescher; he ended up on the roof of his car after a wreck during the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, then missed the race at World Wide Technology Raceway after testing positive for Covid, and then just missed out on a win at Sonoma Raceway.


In other NASCAR penalties, four teams in the Xfinity Series were charged with lug nut violations after the Tennessee Lottery 250 at Nashville Superspeedway…

Crew chief Alex Bird of the number six JD Motorsports car driven by Ryan Vargas

Crew chief Jason Trinchere for the number 10 Kaulig Racing car driven by Landon Cassill

Crew chief Shane Whitbeck for the number 31 Jordan Anderson Racing car driven by Myatt Snider

And crew chief Michael Brandt for the Allpha Prime Racing number 44 car driven by Ryan Ellis…

have all been fined $5,000 for the infraction.

Hauler driver Tony Waters for the number four Kyle Busch Motorsports truck driven by John Hunter Nemechek has been suspended indefinitely for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy.

NASCAR Silly Season Update – June 24

A few more pieces of the 2022 Silly Season puzzle have fallen into place over the past couple of days with contract extensions and one driver announcing that he indeed will be back for another year.

William Byron has signed a multi year extension with Hendrick Motorsports and Ricky Stenhouse Jr has also signed a contract extension with car owner JTG Daugherty Racing.

On June 24, Martin Truex Jr cleared up a great deal of speculation simply by saying, “I will be back for another year.” 

Stewart-Haas Racing is still quiet on their plans to replace Aric Almirola as the driver of the number 10 car.  At the beginning of the season, Almirola announced that this would be his last season as a full time driver in NASCAR.  He wants to spend more time with his wife and children.

And while Joe Gibbs Racing has announced a contract extension of a crew member; there has still been no news on a new sponsor for the number 18 car or of a new contract for the number 18 driver Kyle Busch.

NASCAR Silly Season Has Begun

There are 10 races remaining in the NASCAR Cup Series regular season.  As the summer months approach, the NASCAR Silly Season begins; only this year the silly season got started even before the season began when M&M/Mars announced that the 2022 season would be their final season as a major sponsor for the number 18 Joe Gibbs Racing car driven by Kyle Busch. 

It just so happens that Kyle Busch is also in his final year of his contract.  While details on whether Busch will stay with Joe Gibbs Racing and the number 18 car are still unclear; David Wilson of Toyota has stated that “it would be unacceptable” to let the two time Cup Series champion leave.

Fellow Joe Gibbs Racing driver Martin Truex Jr who drives the number 19 car also has a future up in the air.  Truex himself has expressed some uncertainty when it comes to his future with JGR and as a Cup Series driver.  Truex just recently made his 600th Cup Series race start.

While Ty Gibbs is a rookie as a full time driver in the Xfinity Series; he is also the grandson of his car owner Joe Gibbs.  Gibbs is a talented but aggressive driver who has already had his share of the headlines.  It is a foregone conclusion that the young Gibbs will end up driving in the Cup Series for his grandfather; the only question is how soon and in which car.

It took 195 starts for Mexican born driver Daniel Suarez to win his first race; and that day finally came on June 12 at Sonoma Raceway on the 1.99 mile road course when he crossed the finish line in the number 99 car.  An exuberant Suarez says that he has found a home with car owner Justin Marks and Trackhouse Racing. 

This season marks the first year that Trackhouse Racing has fielded more than one car.  In 16 races Trackhouse has notched three wins – one from Suarez and two from Ross Chastain in the number one car.

Stewart-Haas Racing driver Aric Almirola announced at the beginning of the season that this would be his final year in the number 10 car.  The father of two said that he wants to spend more time with his young family.

Stewart-Haas Racing has yet to make any announcements about who will take over the driving duties in the number 10 car beginning next season.

After losing his ride with Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of last year, Kurt Busch signed a multi year contract with 23XI Racing where he has already won a race this season.  Now in his 40’s and a veteran of over 20 years, rumours are abound over when the elder Busch brother will hang up the helmet.

Two time Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick drives the number eight car for Richard Childress Racing.  His contract is up for renewal soon but he has yet to win a race for RCR.  

Point Standings – June 13

Sonoma Raceway brought NASCAR its twelfth different winner this season when Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez earned his first Cup Series win.  Only 10 races remain in the 2022 regular Cup Series season.

In the Stage Point standings, Chase Elliott continues to lead with 136 points and three stage wins; William Byron, Ross Chastain, and Martin Truex Jr also have three stage wins.  Ryan Blaney continues to lead in the stage wins with four.  Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, and Kurt Busch each have two stage wins; while Kyle Busch, Chase Briscoe, Alex Bowman, Austin Cindric, and Bubba Wallace each have a single stage win.

In the Point Standings, Chase Elliott continues to lead with 536 points.  Only four of the 12 drivers who have won races this season have earned more than one win; Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and William Byron each have two wins.  Even with two race wins, Denny Hamlin is still outside the top 20 in points in 21st place, but his two wins puts him near the top of the playoff standings.

Cup Series point Standings:
Chase Elliott – 536
Ross Chastain – 520
Kyle Busch – 513
Ryan Blaney – 511
Joey Logano – 506
Martin Truex Jr – 481
Kyle Larson – 476
William Byron – 466
Alex Bowman – 460
Christopher Bell – 444
Aric Almirola – 423
Kevin Harvick – 416
Chase Briscoe – 386
Tyler Reddick – 381
Austin Dillon – 376
Erik Jones – 368
Daniel Suarez – 366
Austin Cindric – 362
Kurt Busch – 355
Michael McDowell – 330
Denny Hamlin – 325

In the playoff standings, Ross Chastain leads 2,023 points; while he is tied in points with Chase Elliott, Chastain’s two wins give him the edge.

Playoff Point Standings:
Ross Chastain – 2,023
Chase Elliott – 2,023
Joey Logano – 2,018
William Byron – 2,016
Kyle Busch – 2,014
Denny Hamlin – 2,012
Kyle Larson – 2,011
Ryan Blaney – 2,011
Alex Bowman – 2,008
Martin Truex Jr – 2,008
Kurt Busch – 2,007
Daniel Suarez – 2,007
Chase Briscoe – 2,006
Austin Cindric – 2,006
Christopher Bell – 2,001
Aric Almirola – 2,000



The Xfinity Series had the weekend off.

In the Camping World Truck Series, Kyle Busch won his 62nd Truck Series race in his fifth and final truck race this season.  With Busch’s winning the race, Ben Rhodes holds on to the points lead with 444 points.  Ben Rhodes, Chandler Smith, Zane Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, and Stewart Friesen are the only Truck Series regulars who have won races this season.  Zane Smith leads the way with three race wins.

Camping World Truck Series Point Standings:
Ben Rhodes – 444
Chandler Smith – 439
Zane Smith – 432
John Hunter Nemechek – 430
Ty Majeski – 399
Stewart Friesen – 397
Christian Eckes – 383
Carson Hocevar – 374
Grant Enfinger – 344
Matt Crafton – 320

NASCAR Addresses Race Issues at WWTR

For the past few years NASCAR has had the “boys have at it” attitude where they have chosen to let the drivers sort out their disputes whether it be on or off the track.

That policy may be coming to an end after the on track events last weekend at the inaugural Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway during the Enjoy Illinois 300. 

On June 7, 2022 NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition Scot Miller stated that they will be monitoring the situation involving Ross Chastain and any rivals – namely Denny Hamlin.  Officials noted that they will step in if the situation escalates.

Early in the race on Sunday, Chastain made contact with Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott in separate events – something Chastain later apologized for during a FOX interview.

While both Elliott and Hamlin retaliated, Hamlin, continued to crowd and block Chastain including sending him into the grass on one occasion and event blocked Chastain and keeping Chastain from passing; risking Chastain not being able to make minimum speed and being knocked out of the race.

During the race, NASCAR officials sent Hamlin’s team enough is enough message to which FOX aired the radio response where Hamlin laughed and said “right”.

Scott Miller noted that the issue would be addressed during the weekend debrief and the drivers would be called to the NASCAR hauler for a discussion.

In a SiriusXM radio broadcast Scott Miller said, “I mean, certainly we don’t like to see things like that, but there’s a certain amount of … we kind of have to let them handle it on their own somewhat.  And what we saw, while we were annoyed by it, there was no real contact. Neither one. I mean, they tried to make life miserable for Ross, we all witnessed that. But at least we didn’t see a blatant take-out or anything like that. And it was obvious from Ross’ post-race comments that he’s made some mistakes out there and wants to make it right, but it’s kind of up to those guys to sort it out and how it moves forward from there.  We’ll obviously keep a close eye on them as we do in all these situations. Probably will, may have them in the trailer face to face to talk about it as we’ve done before. We have our debrief, actually just after this call of the race weekends. We do that on Tuesday mornings, and we’ll discuss that situation further and decide how we’re going to move forward with it.”

Miller added, “we haven’t spoken to any of the parties,” Miller said. “It’s usually better to kind of let things die down and speak to him before we hit the track again, rather than do it at the race track. We’ll do that if absolutely necessary, but in this situation where there was no sort of blatant take-out in retaliation, best to kind of let that calm down a bit, and then have a word with him later.”

This weekend the NASCAR Cup Series travels to Sonoma for some road racing.

NASCAR Issues WWTR Penalty

In this week’s penalty report, NASCAR has issued a single penalty and reinstated a crew member.

After the post race inspection for the Camping World Truck Series, the number 13 ThorSport Racing truck driven by Johnny Sauter was found to have a single lug nut improperly secured.  As a result, crew chief Carl Jones Jr was fined $2,500. 

The Camping World Truck Series shared a double header weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway with the Cup Series this past weekend.


Last October, NASCAR suspended driver Carson Ware after an abuse charge for violation of the NASCAR rule book’s behavioural policy.  On June 7, NASCAR has reinstated Ware.  NASCAR officials stated that Ware has “successfully completed the terms and conditions mandated for reinstatement”.  The Rowan Country, North Carolina Sheriff’s Department arrested Ware on October 21, 2021 for “simple assault” on a woman.  He issued a $1,000 secured bond.

The 22 year old Ware had only competed in nine Xfinity Series races prior to his suspension.

Ware was driving for SS Green Light Racing at the time of his suspension and the team also suspended the driver even though he had four races remaining on his contract.

NASCAR Issues Charlotte Penalties

On May 31, NASCAR issued just one penalty after the triple header weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  They also issued a couple of suspensions.

After the Xfinity Series race on Saturday, the Alpha Prime number 44 car driven by Ryan Ellis was found to have a single lug nut improperly secured.  As a result of the infraction, crew chief Michael Brandt has been fined $5,000.

NASCAR has suspended hauler driver Michael Adair for violations of the substance abuse policy.  Adair has been suspended indefinitely from his job with the number 43 Petty GMS Motorsports team.

Xfinity Series number six JD Motorsports car crew chief Kase Kallenbach has also been suspended indefinitely for violation of NASCAR’s Code of Conduct policy.

NASCAR has reinstated Iwuji Motorsports number 34 crew chief Jason Houghtaling.  He may now return to all NASCAR activities.  Houghtaling was suspended on May 3 for violation of the NASCAR Conduct Code.



NASCAR Issues Texas Penalties

This past weekend at Texas Motor Speedway all three of the NASCAR racing series raced with the Cup Series running the annual All Star Race.

On Tuesday, NASCAR issued a penalty report that included only two minor penalties – one in the Xfinity and one in the Camping World Truck Series.

The Cup Series has moved to a single lug nut hub but the other two series are still using the five lug wheel hubs.

The Kaulig Racing number 16 car driven by points leader AJ Allmendinger had a single lug nut improperly secured during the post race inspection after the SRS Distribution 250.  The number 16 crew chief Bruce Schlicker has been fined $5,000 for the infraction.

The Xfinity Series has run 12 races this season, AJ Allmendinger has finished in the top 10 in all of those races.

In the Camping World Truck Series, the Kyle Busch Motorsports number 18 truck driven by Chandler Smith also had a single lug nut improperly secured after the SpeedyCash.com 220 and crew chief Danny Stockman Jr has been fined $2,500 as a result.

NASCAR Point Standings – May 23

It was a busy weekend at Texas Motor Speedway with a triple header weekend filled with firsts.  While the Cup Series drivers ran their annual All Star Race where Ryan Blaney earned $1 million in his first All Star Race win.  The non-points race brought excitement with big crashes and overtime finishes.

In the Xfinity Series, former Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick returned and earned Big Machine Records their first win.

AJ Allmendinger leads the point standings with 500 points.  He is one of seven drivers to have won a race in the Xfinity Series.

Xfinity Series Point Standings:
AJ Allmendinger – 500
Noah Gragson – 456
Ty Gibbs – 448
Justin Allgaier – 423
Josh Berry – 411
Brandon Jones – 377
Sam Mayer – 376
Riley Herbst – 350
Austin Hill – 342
Landon Cassill – 326
Ryan Sieg – 319
Daniel Hemric – 312


In the Camping World Truck Series, Stewart Friesen ended a long drought with his first win of the season on Friday night’s race.  John Hunter Nemechek leads the points standings with 343 points.

Camping World Truck Series Point Standings:
John Hunter Nemechek – 343
Ben Rhodes – 339
Chandler Smith – 325
Stewart Friesen – 322
Zane Smith – 311
Ty Majjeski – 310
Christian Eckes – 298
Carson Hocevar – 284
Grant Enfinger – 262
Matt Crafton – 260

NASCAR Point Standings – May 16

Despite having a bad day at the track at Kansas Speedway, Chase Elliott continues to lead the points standings with 124 points.  Kyle and Kurt Busch joined the list of stage winners during the Advent Health 400.  Ryan Blaney sill has the lead with four stage wins.

2022 Stage Point Standings:
Chase Elliott – 124
William Byron – 120
Ryan Blaney – 101
Joey Logano – 98
Martin Truex Jr – 92
Kyle Larson – 91
Ross Chastain – 88
Kyle Busch – 80
Christopher Bell – 74
Alex Bowman – 55
Denny Hamlin – 53
Erik Jones – 48
Tyler Reddick – 48
Chase Briscoe – 43
Aric Almirola – 32
Daniel Suarez – 32

In the Driver Point Standings, Chase Elliott also holds the lead with 475 points – over 50 points ahead of Ryan Blaney.  With his race win at Kansas, Kurt Busch became the eleventh different driver to win a race this season; only William Byron and Ross Chastain have won more than one race.  While he is among the race winner, Denny Hamlin is out the top 16 drivers in points, sitting in 20th place.

Driver Point Standings:
Chase Elliott – 475
Ryan Blaney – 423
Kyle Busch – 417
William Byron – 415
Ross Chastain – 407
Martin Truex Jr – 400
Joey Logano – 396
Alex Bowman – 386
Kyle Larson – 376
Christopher Bell – 359
Kevin Harvick – 335
Aric Almirola – 322
Austin Dillon – 311
Chase Briscoe – 300
Tyler Reddick – 300
Austin Cindric – 291


In the Playoff Standings, once again Chase Elliott leads the way with 2,022 points. 

Playoff Point Standings:
Chase Elliott – 2,022
William Byron – 2,020
Ross Chastain – 2,018
Kyle Busch – 2,014
Ryan Blaney – 2,014
Joey Logano – 2,010
Alex Bowman – 2,009
Kyle Larson – 2,008
Martin Truex Jr, – 2,008
Denny Hamlin – 2,007
Kurt Busch – 2,006
Chris Briscoe – 2,006
Austin Cindric – 2,005
Christopher Bell – 2,001
Kevin Harvick – 2,000
Aric Almirola – 2,000

In the Camping World Truck Series, Ben Rhodes leads the points race with 319, but it is two time race winner Zane Smith who leads the playoff points with 2,027.

Camping World Truck Series Point Standings:
Ben Rhodes – 319
John Hunter Nemechek – 299
Zane Smith – 298
Chandler Smith – 290
Ty Majeski – 271
Stewart Friesen – 264
Carson Hocevar – 251
Christian Eckes – 250
Grant Enfinger – 236
Matt Crafton – 232

All Star Race Format Announced

This year the annual All Star Race will be held at Texas Motor Speedway on May 22.  A non-points race,  the drivers are racing for a $1 million prize.

NASCAR has revealed the format for the race.

Always looking to shake things up, one of the biggest changes for this year is the format for qualifying.  Similar to normal qualifying procedures, the drivers will make a single lap to set their qualifying speeds.  The order of making a run will be the reverse of current point standings at the time of the run.  The top eight drivers will then battle for the pole in a head to head battle that features two drivers facing off against each other that will include a pit stop.  After a four tire change and a drop of the jack the drivers will race down pit road – no speed limit – and race for the start/finish line.  The driver who crosses the line first is the winner.

However, the qualifying format for the All Star Open race will reflect the more traditional format used during points races with the order being based on the points standings.  The drivers will qualify in reverse order of the points.

The Open race itself will have three stages of two 20 laps segments and a 10 lap segment.  The winner of each stage and the race winner will all transfer into the main All Star race.

There will also be a driver who makes it into the main race via the fan vote (which is currently open at nascar.com/fanvote).

Like the Coca-Cola 600, the All Star race will include four stages with stages one, two, and three lasting 25 laps each and stage four lasting 50 laps for a total of 125 laps around the mile and a half track.

However, things get very complicated once the drivers reach the final stage…  If the driver who wins stage one places no further than 15th in stages two and three, he will sit on the pole for stage four.  The winner of stage two will start alongside the pole sitter if he places no further than 15th in stage three.  And the winner of stage three will start stage four in third place.

Once stage two is complete ALL of the drivers must come down pit road for a four tire change pit stop.  The crew that completes service in the shortest amount of time will win the pit challenge and start stage four in fourth as long as their stage three finish is no further back than 15th.

NASCAR has frequently called a “competition caution” to allow crews to check tire wear after inclement weather conditions or any time they feel it is needed.  If there is no caution flag between lap 15 and lap 25 of stage four, NASCAR will call a “competition caution” they are calling an ”All Star competition caution”.

Fans will need to pay close attention during this year’s All Star race once the race reaches the final stage.

Hamlin Ordered to Sensitivity Training

NASCAR’s history stems from “good ole boys” trying to out run the “revenuers”; but in the 70 plus years since that beginning the sport has seen a great deal of change, including diversity and tolerance.

After the race at Talladega Superspeedway on April 24, driver Denny Hamlin made a post on social media in reference to fellow driver Kyle Larson causing a wreck that involved 23XI drivers Bubba Wallace and Kurt Busch – a team that Hamlin is a minority owner.

Aimed at Larson, who is a Japanese American and the only driver in NASCAR of Asian heritage, Hamlin posted a meme based on the “Family Guy” series intermixed with the final lap of the race when the wreck occurred.

Hamlin later took the post down and issuing an apology saying, “I took down a post I made earlier today after reading some of the comments. It was a poor choice of memes and I saw how it was offensive. It came across totally wrong. I apologize.”

But, that was not enough for NASCAR who has ordered Hamlin to complete a course of sensitivity training that must begin by the end of this week.

Two years ago, it was Kyle Larson who was required to take sensitivity training after using a racial slur on the radio during an iRacing event.  Larson was also suspended from NASCAR until after he had completed the training.

feature photo credit: Denny Hamlin Xfinity Charlotte 2016.jpg

NASCAR Clarifies RFK Penalty

While NASCAR officials did not assess any penalties to the Cup Series teams after the race at Martinsville Speedway last weekend, they did take two cars to their R&D Center for further inspection.

After the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March, NASCAR also took the number six Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing car driven by Brad Keselowski to their R&D Center that later resulted in a major penalty for RFK Racing and Keselowski.

NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller elaborated on what took place to warrant the L2 penalty that cost RFK $100,000 and 100 points; as well as, a 100 point loss for Keselowski and a suspension for Keselowski’s crew chief.

Under the current rule book, the some 30 parts issued by NASCAR or one of its single source suppliers must be used as it with no modifications. 

According to the report, a tail panel was modified; which is against the rules.  Miller spoke on the ruling saying, “the repair policy is very straightforward.   Any repair that’s done is to bring the part back to the original specification. On this part, that was not adhered to. There are body mounting landings that are part of the rear fascia that weren’t brought back to the original specifications. That’s a key design feature of the part. The repair policy was not followed. That’s really what it comes down to. A critical dimension of the part was altered.”

When NASCAR began the design process for what is now the Next Gen car, they relied heavily on input from the drivers themselves and team owners.

Miller added, “as we worked through what the NextGen car was going to be over that long journey with the teams, one of the things was the single-source parts had to be strictly enforced or we’ll get right back to the place where we were with the other car — of constant development.  A strict deterrence model was asked for by the folks in the garage, and it was our job to do that.”

When the Next Gen car was introduced, NASCAR announced that the penalties for the new car would be more severe than those for previous versions of the Cup Series cars.

NASCAR Issues Martinsville Penalties

On a weekend in Martinsville where the biggest story should have been the number of the famous hot dogs were sold and that the Hot Dog Stand actually sold out of the famous $2 treat; the lead story was a dust up between Xfinity Series drivers Ty Gibbs and Sam Mayer after the race on Friday night.

Prior to the trading of punches, Gibbs hit Mayer on pit road.  NASCAR has fined the 19 year old Gibbs $15,000 for the infraction that is a violation of the NASCAR rule book under Member conduct.

On the way to his win at Richmond the previous week, Gibbs bumped another team mate out of the way for the win.  At Martinsville, Gibbs was bumped in the same fashion allowing Brandon Jones to take the win and give the $100,000 Dash-4-Cash prize to AJ Allmendinger.  Gibbs took exception to being bumped and showed his displeasure on the cool down lap and onto pit road.

During the race, NASCAR officials “invited” Gibbs to the NASCAR hauler after some question over how Gibbs restarted the race.  After Gibbs and Mayer were separated after the race, both drivers were called to the hauler for a “meaningful conversation”.

In addition to his fine, the number 54 Joe Gibbs Racing car driven by Ty Gibbs was found to have a single lug nut improperly secured; as a result, crew chief Chris Gayle has been fined $5,000.

Richard Childress Racing’s number two car driven by Sheldon Creed was charged with a ballast violation during the Thursday practice session.  AS a result of the infraction, crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz, car chief Kris McCabe, and engineer Sam Bowers were all suspended for the next four Xfinity Series races.

There were no penalties issued for the Camping World Truck or Cup Series; however, NASCAR has taken two cars from the Cup Series – the number 10 car driven by Aric Almirola and the number 43 car driven by Erik Jones – to their R&D Center for further inspection.

NASCAR Point Standings – March 28

It was a wild ride for some of the NASCAR drivers this past weekend at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.  A 20 turn road course, COTA provided plenty of challenges…and opportunities to pass.

Watermelon Man Ross Chastain became the sixth different race winner after COTA – and the third first time driver in the Cup Series.  And in true Chastain fashion, his celebration included the smashing of a watermelon on the track – part of which he picked up and began eating during his post race interview.

So far this season Alex Bowman, Ross Chastain, William Byron, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, and Kyle Larson have all won races this season.

Chase Elliott holds on to the lead in the playoff standings with 208 points.

NASCAR Cup Series standings:
Chase Elliott – 208
Ryan Blaney – 195
Joey Logano – 185
Alex Bowman – 183
Ross Chastain – 180
William Byron – 175
Martin Truex Jr – 172
Aric Almirola – 168
Chase Briscoe – 166
Tyler Reddick – 158
Kyle Busch – 154
Austin Cindric – 153
Kurt Busch – 153
Kevin Harvick -153
Daniel Suarez – 150
Kyle Larson – 149


Chase Elliott also leads in the playoff points with 2,015.  During the regular season, the top 16 drivers are given 2,000 and any stage and playoff points are added to that number.

Cup Series Playoff Points:
Chase Elliott – 2,015
Alex Bowman – 2,013
Ross Chastain – 2,012
William Byron – 2,012
Ryan Blaney – 2,012
Joey Logano – 2,008
Chase Briscoe – 2,007
Martin Truex Jr – 2,006
Kyle Larson – 2,005
Austin Cindric – 2,005
Tyler Reddick – 2,003
Aric Almirola – 2,003
Daniel Suarez – 2,001
Kurt Busch – 2,000
Kyle Busch – 2,000
Kevin Harvick – 2,000


After the Pit Boss 250 at COTA, Noah Gragson leads the points race with 258 points.  Pit Boss winner AJ Allmendinger is right behind with 257 points.

Xfinity Series points standings:
Noah Gragson – 258
AJ Allmendinger – 257
Ty Gibbs – 227
Justin Allgaier – 190
Josh Berry – 181
Austin Hill – 172
Brandon Jones – 172
Daniel Hemric – 166
Sam Mayer – 162
Ryan Sieg – 151
Sheldon Creed – 149
Riley Herbst – 145


In the Camping World Truck Series, Chandler Smith leads the points race with 170 points.

Truck Series point standings:
Chandler Smith – 170
Ben Rhodes – 155
Stewart Friesen – 147
Zane Smith – 139
Tanner Gray – 139
Christian Eckes – 122
Ty Majeski – 122
John Hunter Nemechek – 115
Tylaer Ankrum – 104
Derek Kraus – 104

NASCAR Issues First Major Penalty

On March 24, NASCAR issued a major penalty to Rousch Fenway Keselowski Racing…one that will have long lasting implications on the team and owner/driver Brad Keselowski.

The penalty is in relation to a violation of the NASCAR rule book – modification of a supplied part – and will cost RFK Racing $100,000, a reduction of 100 car owner points, a reduction of 100 driver points, and a four race suspension of crew chief Matt McCall.  Should Keselowski make it to the first round of the playoffs, he will also be docked 10 playoff points.

Prior to the Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 20, Keselowski’s start was pushed to the back of the field after the crew made some unapproved adjustments to the car.  It was during the tear down inspection at the NASCAR R&D Center that the infraction was discovered.

Prior to the penalty, Keselowski was in the final spot – 16th – to make the playoffs with 122 points.  Since the issuance of the penalty, Keselowski has dropped to 35th place with just 22 points.  Only part time drivers Greg Biffle and Jacques Villeneuve have fewer points.

When the new Next Gen car was revealed, NASCAR also issued a warning to the teams noting that penalties relating to the new car would be far more severe than in the past.  The first few weeks of the season has already seen three crew chiefs suspended several races for loss of a tire during the race.

When NASCAR introduced the new Next Gen car, they also announced that many of the parts used in the cars would be provided and any alterations would not be tolerated.


NASCAR has also suspended crew chief Eddie Troconis for a second time for violating the NASCAR rule book when it comes to member conduct.  He was previously suspended last October and was reinstated in February.

NASCAR/Hendrick Plan Le Mans Entry in 2023

NASCAR Cup Series team owner Hendrick Motorsports isone of the most successful car owners in the sport.

With the help of NASCAR, IMSA, Chevrolet, and Goodyear Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports is hoping to bring a modified Next Gen stock car to the 24 Hours at Le Mans in 2023 – which marks the centennial celebration of the race.

While this would not be his first involvement with IMSA, it would be Hendrick’s first 24 Hour race at Le Mans with a Garage 56 car.

Once approved by the l’Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the specially modified Camaro ZL1 would occupy Garage 56 – the spot reserved for entries that represent nontraditional innovative vehicles.

Former crew chief and current vice president of competition Chad Knaus is overseeing the project. Knaus noted that the driving team would be announced at a later date. The seven time champion crew chief has epxressed an interest in running a race at Le Mans.

The seventh generation car, the Next Gen car has been year in the making and will bring an American flavour to the Circuit de la Sarthe.


NASCAR chariman and CEO Jim France spoke on the chance to run a NASCAR stock car at Le Mans saying, “from the early days of NASCAR, it was important to my father that we played a visible role in international motorsports, and there is no bigger stage than the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In partnering with Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear, we have the winningest team, manufacturer and tire in NASCAR history. We look forward to showcasing the technology in the Next Gen car and putting forward a competitive entry in the historic race.”

Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendick spoke on the opportunity to put a car in the race at Le Mans saying, “participating in one of the truly iconic events in auto racing and representing NASCAR and Chevrolet on the world stage is a privilege. Jim deserves tremendous credit for having the vision for the project, and we thank him for trusting our organization with the responsibility. Even though Garage 56 is a ‘class of one,’ we are competitors and have every intention of putting a bold product on the racetrack for the fans at Le Mans. It’s a humbling opportunity — one that will present an exciting challenge over the next 15 months — but our team is ready.”

The Hendricks Motorsports entry would not be the first forray for NASCAR into Le Mans; NASCAR founder Bill France Sr arranged for Hershel and Doug McGriff; as well as, Junie Donlavey with Richard Brooks, Dick Hutcherson and Marcel Mignon as drivers to run in a Le Mans race.

A special entry, the car that occupies Garage 56 is not eligible for the overall race win; but can be listed as winner in class. The 55 car field runs the 24 hour endurance race on the streets of Monaco.

Appeals Panel Upholds Suspensions

Since the 2022 NASCAR racing began, officials have handed down a number of suspensions to Cup Series teams for violating the rule book in relation to the Next Gen car and the single lug nut hub.

Teams charged with penalties have the right to appeal those penalties to a three member appeals panel. Earlier this season, that panel upheld one suspension penalty.

On March 16, two more penalties were upheld in separate events.

During the Daytona 500, the Kaulig Racing number 31 car driven by Justin Haley lost a wheel. Kaulig Racing appealed the four race suspension of crew chief Trent Owens, jackman Marshall McFadden, and tire changer Jacob Nelson. The appeals panel of Tom DeLoach, Dixon Johnston, and Dale Pinilis upheld that penalty.

In the second appeal, Front Row Motorsports appealed the suspension of crew chief Seth Barbour, and crew members Jourdan Osinskie and Tanner Andrews when the number 38 car driven by Todd Gilliland lost a wheel during the race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The three member appeals panel of Hunter Nickell, Bill Mullis, and Kevin Whitaker also upheld the penalty issued by NASCAR.

Appeals Panel Upholds Penalty

NASCAR issued no penalties this week after the triple header weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but the National Motorsports Appeals Panel did hear a case and make a ruling over an appeal.

After the Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night, NASCAR disqualified the Front Row Motorsports number 38 truck driven by Zane Smith when it was discovered that not all of the lug nuts were properly secured as is stated in the rule book. As a result, the truck was disqualified from its second place finish and placed in last place.

Front Row appealed the ruling, to the three panel Appeals board of Dixon Johnston, Lake Speed, and Cathy Rice. The Panel upheld NASCAR’s decision and the penalty will stand.

Since the appeal was over a disqualification, Front Row cannot make an appeal the Final Appeals Office.

Point Standings – March 7

Last weekend, all three NASCAR racing series ran a race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

In an overtime win, Alex Bowman crossed the finish line to earn car owner Rick Hendrick his 282nd career win.  Earlier, Hendrick had pledged $200,000 to aid humanitarian efforts in the Ukraine; additionally, Hendrick pledged a $2,000 donation for every lap one of his four drivers led the race.  Thanks to Bowman, Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Kyle Larson that total came to 51 laps and $102,000!  Bowman is the second Hendrick Motorsports driver to win a race this season so far.

After his win at Auto Club Speedway Kyle Larson took the lead in the Cup Series Point Standings.  He continues to hold that lead with 113 points. 

Cup Series Point Standings – March 7, 2022:
Kyle Larson – 113
Martin Truex Jr – 107
Joey Logano – 104
Austin Cindric – 103
Kyle Busch – 102
Aric Almirola – 97
Chase Elliott – 88
Alex Bowman – 80
Bubba Wallace – 78
Austin Dillon – 78
Kurt Busch – 77
Brad Keselowski – 77
Ryan Blaney – 75
Chase Briscoe – 74
Erik Jones – 74
Kevin Harvick – 69

Drivers earn stage points by finishing in the top 10 at the end of each stage.  Joey Logano leads the field in stage points with 31.  So far only Alex Bowman, Ross Chastain, Martin Truex Jr, and Tyler Reddick have won a stage.

After the first three races in the 2022 season, the stage point standings are:
Joey Logano – 31
Kyle Larson – 29
William Byron – 26
Martin Truex Jr – 25
Erik Jones – 21
Tyler Reddick – 20
Ross Chastain – 18
Brad Keselowski – 16
Chase Elliott – 16
Alex Bowman – 15
Ryan Blaney – 14

Ricky Stenhouse Jr – 14
Austin Cindric – 11

Chase Briscoe – 10
Denny Hamlin – 10
Bubba Wallace – 9
Todd Gilliland – 9
Kyle Busch – 8
Kevin Harvick – 6
Austin Dillon – 5

Cole Custer – 5
Kurt Busch – 4
Chris Buescher – 4
Aric Almirola – 3
Christopher Bell – 1


In the Xfinity Series Noah Gragson leads the point standings with 144 points.

Xfinity Series Points Standings:
Noah Gragson – 144
Ty Gibbs – 127
AJ Allmendinger – 123
Justin Allgaier – 120
Josh Berry – 108
Daniel Hemric – 103
Riley Herbst – 94
Anthony Alfredo – 82
Sam Mayer – 80
Austin Hill – 74
Ryan Sieg – 72
Brandon Jones – 70



After two Camping World Truck Series races, Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Chandler Smith leads the points standings with 87 points.  Fellow KBM driver John Hunter Nemechek is in tenth place with 55 points.

Camping World Truck Series points standings:
Chandler Smith – 87
Tanner Gray – 82
Ty Majeski – 72
Ben Rhodes – 70
Stewart Friesen – 65
Matt DiBenedetto – 58
Carson Hocevar – 58
Austin Wayne Self – 57
Matt Crafton – 55
John Hunter Nemechek – 55

Overtime Finish for Cup Series in Vegas

On a very windy afternoon, the Cup Series drivers take to the track for a 30 minute practice session before making a qualifying run to set the field.

Six minutes into practice, home town driver Kyle Busch slammed the wall hard with a flat tire, causing significant damage to his number 18 car and will have to move to a backup car. Joe Gibbs Racing brought a single “backup car” for the west coast swing – a car they intended to use as a parts car for the four JGR teams. The car will require a great deal of work in order to make it ready for the race.

The pre-qualifying/race inspection process continues to cause some major issues for the teams. A total of five teams had issues with the process in preparation for Sunday’s Penzoil 400.

The Stewart-Haas Racing number four car driven by Kevin Harvick, the Hendrick Motorsports number nine car driven by Chase Elliott, the Wood Brothers number 21 car driven by Harrison Burton, the Front Row Motorsports number 38 car driven by Todd Gilliland, and the Spire Motorsports number 77 car driven by Josh Bilicki all failed inspection at least once and will lose crew members as a result.

Group A driver Christopher Bell is the first driver on the track to make a qualifying run and clocked a time of 29.75 seconds around the mile and a half track.

Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Chase Elliott, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Austin Dillon are the top five drivers in Group A that will make a run for the pole.

Greg Biffle is the first driver from Group B to make a qualifying lap with a time of 30.467 seconds.

Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Denny Hamlin,Kyle Larson, and Joey Logano will join the Group A drivers to qualify for the pole.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr is the first of the top 10 drivers to make a run for the pole and clocked a time of 30.04 seconds.

Next up is Austin Dillon who ran a time of 30.046.

Chase Elliott ran a time of 29.716 seconds.

Tyler Reddick ran a tie of 29.801 seconds.

Christopher Bell had a time of 29,561 seconds. The fastest time of any driver so far in qualifying.

Joey Logano had a time of 29.777 seconds.

Austin Cindric ran a time of 29.704 seconds.

Denny Hamlin runs a time of 29.802

Chase Briscoe had a time of 29. 714 seconds.

The final car on the track is Kyle Larson who ran a time of 29.668 seconds.

Christopher Bell earns his first Cup Series pole with Kyle Larson alongside on the front row.


The winds have died down and the skies are sunny as the Cup Series drivers prepare to run 400 miles around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The starting lineup for the Penzoil 400:
Christopher Bell
Kyle Larson
Austin Cindric
Chase Briscoe
Chase Elliott
Joey Logano
Tyler Reddick – moved to the back of the field
Denny Hamlin
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Austin Dillon
Ryan Blaney
Martin Truex Jr
Alex Bowman
William Byron
Brad Keselowski
Daniel Hemric – moved to the back of the field
Bubba Wallace
Ross Chastain
Harrison Burton
Aric Almirola
Daniel Suarez
Michael McDowell
Erik Jones
Cole Custer – moved to the back of the field
Kevin Harvick
Greg Biffle
Chris Buescher
Justin Haley
Corey LaJoie
Todd Gilliland
Kurt Busch
Ty Dillon
Cody Ware
Josh Bilicki
BJ McLeod
Garrett Smithley
Kyle Busch

Tyler Reddick, Daniel Hemric, and Cole Custer have been moved to the back of the field after their crews made unapproved adjustments to the cars. Kyle Busch wrecked during practice and did not qualify for the race. He starts the race from the back of the field in a backup car.

Danica Patrick joins Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer in the FOX broadcast booth this week.

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

Chris Meyers revealed that no driver that led the first lap at LVMS has gone on to win the race in a Cup Series race.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 30 in order for teams to check tire wear.

Hendrick Motorsports has donated $200,000 to the humanitarian efforts in the Ukraine; additionally, HMS has pledged to donate $2,000 for each lap an HMS driver leads.

Christopher Bell brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the inside lane and edges out in front for the lead with the help of a push from Austin Cindric.

Christopher Bell leads laps one.

Lap two, the top five are Christopher Bell, Kyle Larson, Austin Cindric, Chase Briscoe, and Chase Elliott.

Lap five, Christopher Bell has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Kyle Larson; Chase Briscoe, Joey Logano, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five. Kyle Busch has moved up six spots to 31st place.

Lap eight, Christopher Bell has increased his lead to over a second and a half on Kyle Larson. Chase Elliott has dropped out of the top 10.

Lap 10, Christopher Bell now has a lead of two seconds on Kyle Larson; Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Denny Hamlin reported some electrical issues before the race start and is monitoring the alternator readings.

Lap 16, Christopher Bell holds on to a two second lead with Joey Logano in second; Kyle Larson, Kenny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 20, Christopher Bell has led every laps so far and now has a lead of over two and a half seconds on Denny Hamlin; Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Lap 22, Kyle Larson is just outside the top 20 in 21st place.

With 21 green flag laps, the drivers have made a green flag run longer than any green flag runs at Auto Club Speedway last week.

Lap 24, Christopher Bell holds a two second lead on Denny Hamlin; Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Kevin Harvick has moved up ninie spots since the start of the race and is now in 14th place.

Kyle Busch has entered the top 20. The crew spent over eight hours getting the car ready for today’s race after Busch crashed into the wall with a flat tire during practice.

When the caution flag comes out at the end of lap 30 for the competition caution, Christopher Bell has a two and a half second lead on Ryan Blaney.

Drivers come down pit road for service and adjustments. Ryan Blaney wins the race off of pit road. Leader Christopher Bell came out third. Tyler Reddick had a slow stop after having to back into his pit stall.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 36 and jumps out in front for the lead. After a transmission issue, Kyle Busch restarts the race in 28th place.

Daniel Suarez was caught speeding on pit road and had to restart the race from the back of the field.

The top five are Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, and Christopher Bell.

Lap 38, Cole Custer spins out in a single car incident to bring out the caution flag.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 43 and goes nose to nose with Alex Bowman.

The caution flag comes out on lap 43 for contact between Austin Dillon and Justin Haley. Kyle Busch and Daniel Hemric were also involved.

Daniel Hemric is on pit road with the hood up.

Alex Bowman was scored the leader at the time of the caution flag.

Alex Bowman brings the field down for the green flag restart with 33 laps remaining in stage one. Bowman edges out for the lead from the inside lane.

Lap 48, the top five are Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, and Ross Chastain. There are 35 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 50, in a three way battle for the lead, Denny Hamlin is the new leader with Ryan Blaney in second and Alex Bowman in third; William Byron, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

All 37 cars are still on the track.

Lap 54, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over half a second on Ryan Blaney; Alex Bowman, William Byron, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Lap 61, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over a second on Ryan Blney; Martin Truex Jr, Alex Bowman, and William Byron round out the top five. Pole sitter Christopher Bell is in sixth place. Kyle Busch is in 21st place.

Tyler Reddick spins out and brings out the caution flag on lap 63; making a run through the grass in a single car incident.

Drivers come down pit road for fresh tires and adjustments. Taking only two tires, Aric Almirola wins the race off of pit road.

Martin Truex Jr was charged with equipment interference and will have to restart the race from the back of the field. A wheel rolled into Chris Buescher’s pit stall.

After staying out on the track, Kurt Busch brings the field dow nfor the green flag start of the race on lap 69. Drivers get three and four wide behind him.

Kurt Busch leads the race with William Byron in second; Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Aric Almirola takes the lead.

Lap 71, William Byron is the new leader with team mates Alex Bowman in second and Chase Elliott in third; Ross Chastain and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Lap 73, Kurt Busch has fallen out of the top 10.

Denny Hamlin reports power steering issues.

Lap 74, William Byron holds on to the lead with Alex Bowma in second; Chase Elliott, Ross Chastain, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

While Rick Hendrick is raising money via his drivers leading laps; fellow car owner Richard Childress has pledged to send one million rounds of ammunition to the Ukraine.

Lap 78, Alex Bowman takes the lead to continue the Hendrick Motorsports efforts.

Lap 79, Kyle Busch has entered the top 10!

Alex Bowman wins stage one for his fifth career stage win.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Alex Bowman
William Byron
Ross Chastain
Denny Hamlin
Chase Elliott
Kyle Larson
Ryan Blaney
Chase Briscoe
Kyle Busch
Christopher Bell

Drivers come down pit road for service and adjustments with Brad Keselowski winning the race off of pit road after taking only two tires.

After staying out on the track, Michel McDowell brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 87 with Brad Keselowski alongside.

Brad Keselowski takes the lead with Michael McDowell continuing to battle for the spot.

Lap 89, Brad Keselowski leads the race with Denny Hamlin in second; Ross Chastain, Alex Bowman, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 92, Denny Hamlin takes the lead with Alex Bowman in second; Brad Keselowski, Ross Chastain, and William Byron round out the top five.

Daniel Suarez gets into the wall on lap 93 and brings out the caution flag after Chase Briscoe and Michael McDowell make contact.

A few drivers come down pit road for service, but most stay out on the track.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 98 and holds on to the lead with Ross Chastain in second as the drivers get four and five wide across the track.

Lap 98, Denny Hamlin leads the race with Ross Chastain in second; William Byron, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Busch rounding out the top five.

Daniel Suarez is out of his car, has been checked at the infield care center, and is fine.

Lap 102, Denny Hamlin has a half second lead on Ross Chastain; William Byron, Kyle Busch, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Brad Keselowski brings out the seventh caution flag of the race on lap 103 when he gets loose and spins out. Ryan Blaney hits Keselowski in the door with no place to go. Keselowski takes his car to pit road but Ryan Blaney takes his car to the garage.

All of the drivers still on the track are on the lead lap.

Drivers come down pit road for service. Taking fuel only, Chase Briscoe wins the race off of pit road. Aric Almirola also took fuel only.

Michael McDowell 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, Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 110 and takes the lead from the inside lane.

Lap 110, the top five are Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle Larson.

Lap 112, it’s the Kyle and Kyle battle with Ross Chastain joining in a battle for the lead.

Lap 113, Ros Chastain passes Kyle Busch for the lead with Kyle Larson taking second; Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Ryan Blaney is out of the care center and is a bit angry, but fine.

Lap 116, Ross Chastain leads the rac with Denny Hamlin in second; Kyle Busch, Alex Bowman, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 119, “watermelon man” Ross Chastain has a lead of over half a second on Denny Hamlin; Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson, ad Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Brad Keselowski is the only driver on the track not on the lead lap. Daniel Suarez and Ryan Blaney are out of the race.

Lap 126, Ross Chastain holds on to the lead with Denny Hamlin in second; Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Lap 130, Ross Chastain has a half second lead on Denny Hamlin; Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Eight of the top 10 cars belong to Hendric Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing.

Rookie driver Austin Cindric spins out, bringing out the caution flag on lap 135. Aric Almirola makes contact with Cindric prior to Cindric’s spin. Harrison Burton gets caught up in the melee.
Chase Briscoe alsp spins out and gets into the wall in a separated incident.

Drivers come down pit road en masse. Kyle Busch’s team reported that he was nine laps short of making the end of the stage after he stayed out in the last caution. Kyle Larson wins the race off of pit road. Denny Hamlin’s team had an air hose issue when he ran over the hose.

Alex Bowman was charged with an equipment interference penalty and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the gren flag restart on lap 140 and takes the lead with Ross Chastain in second; Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Chase Briscoe has taken his car to the garage and is out of the race.

Christopher Bell gets loose and spins out bringing out the caution flag on lap 142, Harrison Burton also spun out but both were single car incidents. Christopher Bell’s car is bouncing badly withflat tires..

Pit road is still closed but Christopher Bell and Erik Jones are on pit road. With flat tires, the crew cannot get the jack under the car and are having to try and lift the car. NASCAR Cup Series cars weight 3,400 pounds each. Erik Jones had the hood up with a brake issue.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 148 with Chase Elliott alongside. Kyle Larson leads the race with Elliott in second; Ross Chastain, Kyle Busch, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 150, Kyle Larson has a lead of almost half a second on Ross Chastain; Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Kyle Busch and William Byron battle for fourth.

Greg Biffle takes his car to the garage with 30 cars on the lead lap.

Aric Almirola is reporting that his car is vibrating so bad that his legs are numb.

Lap 159, Ross Chastain has caught up to leader Kyle Larson and is challenging for the lead. Ross Chastain takes the lead on alp 160.

Kyle Busch slaps the wall but the track stays green. He is reporting some handling issues with his car.

Lap 162, Ross Chastain has a lead of over half a second over Chase Elliott; Kyle Larson, William Byron, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five. Kyle Busch is in sixth place after hitting the wall.

Ross Chastain wins stage two for his first and the first stage win ever for Trackhouse Racing.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Ross Chastain
Chase Elliott
Kyle Larson
William Byron
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Joeyu Logano
Kevin Harvick
Denny Hamlin
Bubba Wallace

Seven of the nine drivers who have won stage two have gone on to win the race.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Ross Chastain winning the race off of pit road and Kyle Busch right behind him.

Cole Custer is stopped on the track with blue smoke coming from the car.

Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three from the inside lane with Kyle Busch on the outside lane on lap 175. There are 30 cars on the lead lap. Cole Custer has been pushed to the garage. Ross Chastain edges out for the lead but Busch comes back up on the outside to battle for the lead.

Kyle Busch takes the lead but Ross Chastain comes right back to continue the battle.

Lap 177, Ross Chastain takes the lead with Kyle Busch in second; Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 181, Ross Chastain has pulled out to a lead of nearly half a second on Kyle Busch; Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, and William Byron round out the top five.

With 80 laps remaining in the race, Ross Chastain continues to lead the race with Kyle Busch in second; Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

There are 74 laps remaining in the race and Ross Chastain has a lead of over half a second on Kyle Busch; Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Larson, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Leader Ross Chastain’s team have been making pit stops of less than 12 seconds. Pit stop times have dropped over two seconds this year from last year’s car.

Lap 200, Ross Chastain leads the race by over half a second on Kyle Busch; Martin Truex Jr, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson rounds out the top five.

Kyle Busch is slowly eating into Ross Chastain’s lead. Chastain is just half a second in front.

William Byron hits the wall but the track stays green. He is reporting some handling issues with the car now.

Lap 207, Ross Chastain has pulled out to a one second lead on Kyle Busch; Martin Truex Jr, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Lap 211, there are 56 laps remaining in the race; Austin Dillon is the first driver to come down pit road for his green flag pit stop to begin the cycle.

Ross Chastain now has a lead of over a second on Kyle Busch.

So far, Hendrick Motorsports has raised $86,000 for Ukrainian relief with their four drivers leading laps.

More drivers are making their green flag pit stops.

Fifty to go, leader Ross Chastain comes down pit road for his green flag stop and gives the lead over to Kyle Larson.

Leading 77 laps so far, Ross Chastain has led more laps then his previous 117 career laps.

Denny Hamlin is slowing on the track but the track stays green.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr leads the race.

The caution falg comes out with 47 laps to go with Denny Hamlin stopped on the track after spinning out. Hamlin said that he “broke something”. Drivers are finding it difficult to ajust to the new shifter which runs up and down instead of the old H pattern. Hamlin reports he cannot shift the car.

Kyle Larson was charged with speeding on pit road. He will have to start the race from the back of the field.

Denny Hamlin is out of his car…and out of the race. He reports that the transaxle is broken.

Kyle Busch is listed as the leader of the race. There are 24 cars on the lead lap; not counting the wave arounds.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart with 41 laps remaining in the race with Ross Chastain alongside. The battle for the lead continues with Chastain and Busch swapping back and forth befoe Kyle Busch gets out in front for the lead.

Forty to go, the top five are Kyle Busch, Ross Chastain, Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr, and Ty Dillon.

Twenty-four hours ago the car in the lead had no engine, seat, or paint scheme. The Joe Gibbs Racing number 18 team spent eight hours putting the car together. Busch started the race dead last and is now leading the race. The car was meant as a JGR parts car, not a backup for a driver.

Lap 231, Kyle Busch has a third of a second lead on Ross Chastain; Martin Truex Jr, Alex Bowman, and William Byron round out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr and Ross Chastain battle for second with Kyle Busch leading the race.

Temperatures are dropping – they have dropped eight degrees since race start – and is bringing some cars to life.

With 30 laps to go, Kyle Busch ahs a one second lead on Martin Truex Jr; Ross Chastain, Alex Bowman, and William Byron round out the top five.

Twenty-five to go, Kyle Busch has a lead of over a second on Martin Truex Jr; Ross Chastain, Alex Bowman, and William Byron round out the top five.

Twenty-two to go, Martin Truex Jr is eating into Kyle Busch’s lead; he is now only half a second in front with 23 cars on the lead lap and six cars out of the race.

Twenty to go, Martin Truex Jr has caught leader and team mate Kyle Busch. The previous two races have had issues involving team mates at the end of the race.

Kyle Busch has not won at his home track since 2009; he has won 47 races since his last Las Vegas win.

Fifteen to go, the battle begins between leader Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.

Martin Truex Jr takes the lead with 13 laps remaining in the race but Kyle Busch comes back to retake the lead. But the battle continues as they encounter slower traffic.

Ten to go, Kyle Busch leads the race with Martin Truex Jr in second; Ross Chastain, Alex Bowman, and William Byron round out the top five.

Seven to go, the battle continues as Martin Truex Jr looks for a lane to get around Kyle Busch for the lead.

Five to go, Kyle Busch has held on to lead the race as Martin Truex Jr continues to battle for the positon.

Erik Jones brings out the caution flag with just two laps remaining in the race when he gets loose and gets into the wall. He collects Bubba Wallace and sends him into the wall. Jones had no control of the steering wheel.

The race goes into overtime.

Drivers come down pit road for tires. Most all of the teams have no more sticker tires and are putting scuffs on the car. Kyle Larson wins the race off of pit road; Kyle Busch comes out fourth the first car to take four tires.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr was caught speeding on pit road.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the two lap overtime shootout from the outside lane with team mate Alex Bowman alongside. Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson battle for the lead, swapping the lead back and forth.

Alex Bowman takes the white flag.

Alex Bowman wins the race! This is the 282nd win for car owner Rick Hendrick.

The unofficial results of the Penzoil 400:
Alex Bowman
Kyle Larson
Ross Chastain
Kyle Busch
William Byron
Aric Almirola
Tyler Reddick
Martin Truex Jr
Chase Elliott
Christopher Bell
Austin Dillon
Kevin Harvick
Kurt Busch
Joey Logano
Corey LaJoie
Harrison Burton
Justin Haley
Chris Buescher
Austin Cindric
Ty Dillon
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Daneil Hemric
Todd Gillialnd
Brad Keselowski
Bubba Wallace
Cody Ware
Michael McDowell
BJ McLeod
Josh Bilicki
Garrett Smithley
Erik Jones
Denny Hamlin
Cole Custer
Greg Biffle
Chase Brisco
Ryan Blaney
Daniel Suarez

feature photo credit: NASCAR Facebook page

NASCAR DQ’s Driver in Truck Series Race

It has been a rough week for Front Row Motorsports. After the race at Auto Club Speedway, the number 38 team was penalized for a tire issue that would see the crew chief and two crew members suspended for four races. The team has appealed the ruling.

During the Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night, the Front Row Motorsports number 38 truck driven by Zane Smith was involved in an on track altercation and had to fight his way back to the front of the pack.

Smith, Chandler Smith, and Kyle Busch were involved in a heated battle for the lead and the win of the race on the mile and a half track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Chandler Smith won the race with Zane Smith taking second while several trucks were involved in a last lap crash.

During the post race inspection process, NASCAR officials found a violation according to the rule book in relation to the lug nuts. As a result if the infraction NASCAR has disqualified the number 38 truck and placed in the 36th position. The remainder of the field is moved up one position; putting Kyle Busch in second place behind his driver Chandler Smith.

Spencer Boyd, Jordan Anderson, John Hunter Nemechek and Grant Enfinger were all involved in the last lap crash of the race. While the trucks had some severe damage all of the drivers walked away from the wreck apparently in good shape. NASCAR requires that all drivers involved in on track incidents must get checked out at the infield care center.

During that check up, Spencer Boyd needed a little further attention and was sent to a local hospital. Boyd reported a dislocated shoulder but adds that he should be fine to drive in the next Camping World Truec Series race when the Series travels to Atlanta Motor Speedway in two weeks.

NASCAR Modifies Practice Schedule

This season NASCAR has implemented some new rules for practice and qualifying where the drivers are divided into two groups with the top five drivers in each group making a run for the pole.

At Auto Club Speedway that practice time was only 15 minutes per group; something the drivers were very vocal about.

For the Cup Series race this weekend as Las Vegas Motor Speedway, NASCAR has modified the schedule when it comes to practice.

The entire field will have a 35 minute practice session for a little extra time on the track before the drivers will be divided into the two groups for qualifying.

When NASCAR announced penalties this week, the Front Row Motorsports number 38 car driven by Todd Gilliland was issued a four race suspension for a loose tire. The crew chief and two crew members would not be available for the next four races; however, Front Row Motorsports has filed an appeal of the penalty. As a result, the number 38 crew will be intact and on the track for the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend. Crew members will not have to serve the penalty until after the appeal is heard and a decision made.

NASCAR Issues Single Penalty After Auto Club Race

While there is no longer a ‘lug nut monster” to plague the crews in post race inspections, the new 18 inch single lug hub tires are continuing to cause some issues for the crews.

In this week’s penalty report following the races at Auto Club Speedway, another team faces a four race suspensiondue to a lost tire.

The Front Row Motorsports number 38 car driven by Todd Gilliland will lose its crew chief Seth Barbour, jack man Jourdan Osinskie, and front tire changer Tanner Andrews for the next four races after Gilliland’s car lost a wheel during the stage one caution during the Wise Power 400 on February 27.

The loss of the tire falls under the “loss or separation of an improperly installed tire/wheel from the vehicle” in the NASCAR rule book.


This was the only penalty issued by NASCAR this week.

Point Standings – Feb 28

After the race at Auto Club Speedway over the weekend, rookie driver Austin Cindric remains the leader in the points standings with 85 points. In the playoff standings, Cindric also leads with 2,020 points.

Cindric and Kyle Larson have both secured spots in the first round of the playoffs after winning the first two races of the season.

Currently, reigning Cup champion Kyle Larson is listed in eighth place in the playoff standings with 2,008 points.

The top 16 playoff drivers are each given a base of 2,000 points and then any stage and playoff points earned are added to the base.

The top 16 drivers in the point standings are:
Austin Cindric – 85
Joey Logano – 77
Martin Truex Jr – 73
Ryan Blaney – 70
Chase Briscoe – 69
Erik Jones – 68
Aric Almirola – 66
Kyle Larson – 65
Bubba Wallace – 65
Brad Keselowski – 64
Kyle Busch – 61
Kurt Busch – 53
Ricky Stenhouse Jr – 53
Austin Dillon – 52
Daniel Suarez – 52
Cole Custer – 48


In the Xfinity Series, AJ Allmendinger tops the points standings with 90 points. He currently tops the playoff standings with 2,015 points.

The top 12 drivers in the point standings for the Xfinity Series are:
AJ Allmendinger – 90
Noah Gragson – 89
Justin Allgaier – 87
Riley Herbst – 71
Ryan Sieg – 71
Ty Gibbs – 71
Josh Berry – 63
Anthony Alfredo – 62
Daneil Hemric – 61
Brandon Brown – 60
Austin Hill – 57
Sam Mayer – 51


There was no change in the point standings for the Camping World Truck Series. The drivers had the week off.

NASCAR Issues First Penalties of Season

As expected, NASCAR came down heavily on two teams that had tire issues during the Daytona 500 this past weekend,

The number 31 Kaulig Racing car driven by Justin Haley and the number 50 Money Team car driven by Kaz Grala both lost a wheel during the race. The new 18 inch wheels use a single central hub lug nut intead of the five lug nuts used on the old 15 inch tires.

Citing a safety violation, NASCAR has penalized both teams with suspensions. On the number 31 car, crew chief Trent Owens, front tire changer Jacob Nelson, and Jackman Marshall McFadden; and number 50 crew chief Tony Eury Jr, jackman Chris Zima, and rear tire changer Aaron Powell were all suspended four races each. The penalties were issued under the “Loss or separation of an improperly installed tire/wheel from the vehicle with the note: Loss of tire/wheel during the event” in the rule book.

After having their tires confiscated, NASCAR issued no further penalties to Team Penske and RFK Racing.

NASCAR issued a statement saying, “NASCAR met with Next Gen suppliers and several race teams this week to discuss wheel specifications. Following that discussion, NASCAR made small adjustments to increase the upper tolerance on pin and pilot bores for Fontana. NASCAR will reevaluate with suppliers and race teams and determine a path forward following this weekend’s race.”


NASCAR Speaks on Tire Issue

When NASCAR developed the new Next Gen car, they changed the wheel assembly so that instead of a 15 inch tire with five lug nuts, the new wheels are 18 inches and have only one central lug nut.

During the Daytona 500 on February 20, Kaz Grala lost a tire during stage one; noting that it wasn’t good when the wheel passes by without you.

On February 18, NASCAR confiscated the wheels from Team Penske and Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing over some apparent modifications to the wheel – a clean violation of the rule book. The crews noted that they were concerned about a safety issue.

During a SiriusXM radio interview, NASCAR Seinior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller spoke on the events of the weekend saying, “we have some meetings with vendors and other team folks and analyzing deeper what we saw there. You’ll be hearing some more about that later in the week I’m sure. And honestly, it’s just one of those things that is really another one of the learning processes of what needs to be. Some people thought something needed to be one way, and others another. It’s the newness of it all, and we’re continuing to dig in.”

In relation to the mishap with Kaz Grala’s car, Miller noted that any information would be forthcoming along with the information on the wheel confiscation; adding, “a four-race suspension for crew chief Tony Eury Jr. is possible based on NASCAR’s new deterrence policy.”

Miller also spoke on the wreck involving Harrison Burton, whose car went airborne and flipped over before landing on its wheels after being hit by Brad Keselowski’s car saying, “we have to look at what led up to creating that. Every one of those situations when a car gets hit, the angle it gets hit, the angle it is going backwards when it gets hit, contributes a lot to the learnings for us. … We had a lot of other cars spin around at speed with no contact that did the job exactly as designed. When there’s contact involved that’s a big variable so it’s something we study with the safety team and learn from.” Miller noted that the lug nut is, “supposed to be fool proof. When it’s tightened on the wheel, a safety locking pin pops out to prevent the lugnut from backing off the wheel stud.” He added, “the wheel likely wasn’t placed into the alignment pins. That prevented the single lugnut from getting tight. It’s unclear if that was related to any mechanical issue or an installation error.”

Previously teams would sometimes cheat on getting all of the lug nuts tight in order to save time on pit road, but with the new wheel assembly and a single lug nut, the crews are having to wait for the fuel tank to fill after the tires have been changed.

NASCAR Points Standings

After the races at Datona International Speedway this past weekend, the first points standings of the season have been released.

In the Cup Series, Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric has secured himself a spot in the first round of the playoffs and is at the top of the points standings with 54 points; ties with team mate Brad Keselowski. After sweeping stages one and two, Martin Truex Jr comes in third with 49 points.

Cup Series point standings:
Austin Cindric – 54
Brad Keselowski – 54
Martin Truex Jr – 49
Bubba Wallace – 47
Chase Briscoe – 41
Ryan Blaney – 41
Michaekl McDowell – 39
Kyle Busch – 38
Chris Buescher – 35
Chase Elliott – 34
Joey Logano – 33
Aric Almirola – 32
David Ragan – 29
Ty Dillon – 26
Ricky Stenhouse Jr – 25
Kurt Busch – 24

According to the playoff standings, all of the 16 playoff drivers have received 2,000 points and were then awarded playoff points according to who they finished in the stages and at the end of the race. Austin Cindric also tops the playoff standings with 2,021 points. Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr follow with 2,010 points.


In the Xfinity Series, Austin Hill won the race, but it is AJ Allmendinger who sits atop the points standings with 51 points.

Xfinity Series point standings:
AJ Allmendinger – 51
Austin Hill – 47
Riley Herbst – 42
Justin Allgaier – 42
Ryan Sieg – 41
Noah Gragson -40
Ty Gibbs – 35
Brandon Brown – 34
Sheldon Creed – 31
Anthony Alfredo – 30
Daniel Hemric – 29
Josh Bilicki – 28


In the playoff points, Allmendinger and Hill are tied at 2,015 points.

Camping World Truck Series driver Zane Smith won the truck race on Friday night in an overtime event with 46 points.

Camping World Truck Series point standings:
Zane Smith – 46
Ben Rhodes – 44
Christian Eckes – 41
Tanner Gray – 36
Ty Majeski – 35
Chandler Smith – 33
John Hunter Nemechek – 33
Parker Kligerman – 32
Jesse Little – 31
Danny Bohn – 29

NASCAR Confiscates Wheels of Two Teams

On June 17, the Cup Series drivers ran the Bluegreen Vacations Duel races to complete setting the field for the Daytona 500. New car owner Brad Keselowski won Duel number one to start the race behind pole sitter Kyle Larson. In Duel number two, fellow Roush Fenway Keselowski driver Chris Buescher won the race to start the 500 beside his team mate and boss Brad Keselowski.

On Friday afternoon NASCAR has confiscated the wheels of the RFK Racing team. NASCAR has also taken the wheels of the Team Penske drivers Joey Logano, Austin Cindric, and Ryan Blaney.

NASCAR gave no details as to why the wheels were confiscated. They have been sent to the NASCAR R&D Center for further inspection.

The new Next Gen car no longer has a five lug nut wheel; but a larger 18 inch single center hub lug nut that is reusable.

Coming to the finish line in Duel number two, Joey Logano made contact with Chris Buescher and wrecked his car. Logano will start the Daytona 500 in a backup car.

Last month NASCAR announced a new set of penalties to go along with the new car. As predicted, the penalties are much harsher than those for the previous models. If a penalty is severe enough or has been repeated enough times, it can reach $500,000 and/or loss of participation in the playoffs.

NASCAR Lifts Suspension

When it comes to following the rules laid down in the NASCAR rule book, officials have a no tolerance policy and leave little room for any doubt.

Last October after the race at Talladage Superspeedway, NASCAR suspended crew chief Eddie Troconis on the number 02 Young’s Motorsports car after he violated Section 12.8.1.c of the rule book.

On February 11, NASCAR reinstated Troconis who can now return to all NASCAR related activities.

While NASCAR did not specify the infraction, Section 12.8.1.c pertains to the behaviour of personnel. NASCAR would only say that the infraction did not involve an on track incident.

Prior to his suspension, Troconis sat on the pit box in both the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.

NASCAR Drivers Create Advisory Council

At times it appears that NASCAR officials and the sport’s drivers are at odds over the rules; however, the safety of the drivers is a top priority for everyone in the sport.

After a failed attempt to form a driver’s council in 2014, some of the drivers have formed a new council formed from drivers at the front of the field on a regular basis and drivers from further back in the field; as well as, a couple of former drivers.

Called the Drivers Advisory Council, the group hopes to aid in enhancing the communication between NASCAR officials and the drivers and crews.

Known for his emphasis on safety and always looking for ways to make a dangerous sport less so for the drivers, Jeff Burton was often called The Mayor when he was a drivers.  Now a member of the NBC Sports broadcast crew, Burton has been tapped to head the council.  Fellow BNC Sports broadcasting crew member Kyle Petty is also a part of the new advisory council.

Other council members include driver/owner Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, Corey LaJoie, and Daniel Suarez.

Each member of the council will be a representative for a smaller group of drivers; a la a representative and constituents. 

Denny Hamlin spoke on being a part of the council saying, “as a current driver and also a team owner, I now see things from a different perspective and that has made me appreciate the importance of collaboration across the industry. The new council will deliver a unified, collective voice from the drivers to help address any challenges we  f  ace and help accomplish the common goals the industry shares.”

Talk of relaunching the council began at the NASCAR Awards ceremony last December when drivers had issues with NASCAR moving to bring in the Next Gen car this season.

NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell spoke on the new advisory council saying, “collaboration is critical to our growth, and we welcome any opportunity to strengthen communication with our drivers.  We often look to drivers for input when making decisions that affect the sport, and the Drivers Advisory Council will help streamline that communication. Working together, we will continue to deliver the great NASCAR racing experience our fans expect and deserve.”

The Race Team Alliance  – a group of 14 Cup Series organizations – is supporting the new Driver Advisory Council.

President of Joe Gibbs Racing Dave Alpern noted, “having a formalized group through which the drivers can better communicate will be a great asset for all of us.”

Driver Joey Logano noted that the advisory council is,  “made up with experienced, forward-thinking drivers” who can help improve a broken communication system between the competitors and NASCAR stakeholders.  This will most definitely help clarify feedback from drivers and help move our sport forward with a unique perspective from behind the wheel.”

Mexican born driver and the only driver on the council to graduate from NASCAR’s diversity program Daniel Suarez added, “this will benefit present and future sponsors, our current and future fan base, as well as the teams and viewership in general — I say this with great sincerity and commitment to support this sport, the fans and the sponsors we represent.”

Big Class in Rookie of the Year for 2022 NASCAR Season

As drivers move up in the ranks or a veteran driver retires and leaves a spot open, it gets filled in one of two way – another drivers from the same series takes over the car or a new driver comes into the series to fill the spot.

Each year the official NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco presents the Rookie of the Year award to a new driver for the best performance at the end of the season.  When the season officially begins next week, a total of eleven drivers across all three of the racing series will be eligible for the Rookie of the Year honours.

While all three are veterans of NASCAR racing, Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, and Todd Gilliland are eligible for Rookie of the Year in the Cup Series.  Last season Cindric and Burton were full time drivers in the Xfinity Series; while Gilliland was a Camping World Truck Series regular.  Cindric is the 2020 Xfinity Series champion.

Driving the iconic Wood Brothers number 21 car, Harrison Burton is the youngest full time driver in the Cup Series at 21 years of age.

The son of retired driver David Gilliland, Todd Gilliland bypasses the Xfinity Series and jumps to the Cup Series to become team mates with the 2021 Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell.

Former Camping World Truck Series drivers Sheldon Creed and Austin Hill have made the move up to the Xfinity Series and will complete with new full time driver Jesse Iwuji for the Rookie of the Year honours. 

Iwuji announced earlier this week that he has partnered with NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith to for Jesse Iwuji Motorsports where he will drive the number 34 car.

In the Camping World Truck Series a total of five drivers will compete for the Rookie of the Year honours when Jack Wood, Dean Thompson, Lawless Alan, Corey Heim, and Blaine Perkins drive full time this season.

The action begins on February 16 with pole qualifying in the Cup Series for the Daytona 500.

Jesse Iwuji Goes Full Time in NASCAR

Wendell Scott was the first man of colour to run…and win…in a NASCAR Cup Series race.  During the era of Jim Crowe laws, Scott never received his trophy. It took over 50 years for NASCAR to present the trophy to his family.

With the help of Richard Petty, Bubba Wallace, the sport’s first bi-racial driver, followed in Scott’s footsteps.  Last season in his first year with 23XI Racing, Wallace won his first race in a rain shortened Talladega.

Naval commander Jesse Iwuji – the first naval officer to run in NASCAR – has been a part-time driver in NASCAR driving predominantly in the Camping World Truck and Xfinity Series…until now. 

Teaming up with NFL Hall of Fame player Emmitt Smith, to form Jesse Iwuji Motorsports for a full time run in the Xfinity Series.  Iwuji will be driving a Chevrolet with the number 34 car – the same number as Wendell Scott.  The number 22 – Smith’s jersey number – is already in use by Team Penske.

Iwuji spoke on the choice of car number saying, “Wendell Scott, back in the day, he had the 34 and it meant a lot because he was the first African American to win a Cup Series race.  With everything he did to pave the way for African Americans in the future, we just felt like it would be fitting.”

Iwuji and Smith join Brad Daugherty, Michael Jordan, and Pitbull as owners or part owners who are non-white.

Speaking on the new venture Iwuji said, “We’re building together a team of people who are on the same mission and we’re grinding for it every single day. There will be good days, there will be bad days but if everyone just stays together, continues to unite, we’re all about sharing the dream and sharing the moment.”

Emmitt Smith added, “Once you got a chance to know this young man and spend time and discipline to understand his process and the way he thinks, not to mention the service he has provided to this great nation, all of those things became part of something I could get behind.”

Serving full time in the United States Navy, Iwuji reserved his commission in 2017 in order to focus on racing cars.

Jason Houghtaling will be Iwuji’s crew chief.

feature photo credit: Jesse Iwuji Racing Facebook page

NASCAR Names More Clash Grand Marshals

Last weekend the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona celebrated their 60th anniversary with six grand marshals – all former race winners.  This weekend, NASCAR will celebrate the first Busch Light Clash in Los Angeles with a six pack of grand marshals of their own.

Earlier in the week, NFL star Eric Dickerson and MLB pitcher Jim Abbot were named as grand marshals.  More grand marshals have been named – all athletes.

As a member of the Los Angeles Rams, Dickerson has spent a good bit of time on the playing field of the Memorial Coliseum.

Abbott, who is excited to see his first NASCAR short track race, spent his career on the baseball diamond.

The only female in the group, retired professional beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor dominated the sand with team mate Kerri Walsh Jennings.  Along the way they earned three Olympic gold medals and over 100 championships.  Speaking on being named as one of the grand marshals May-Trainor said, “I am so humbled and honored to be one of the grand marshals for this unique and historic event.  I am so excited. I can’t wait for the speed, I can’t wait for the adrenaline rush, I can’t wait for the sounds of the crowd.”

NFL player Greg Townsend spent most of his career as a member of the Los Angeles Raiders and was a member of the 1984 Super Bowl winning team.  Townsend also spent one year with the Philadelphia Eagles.

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the latest athletes to be named as one of the grand marshals for The Clash.  Earning five NBA championships as a Los Angeles Laker, Jabbar is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame,a six time MVP, and 19 time All Star.  “The NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum is going to be very special and unique.  So I have to be there and I can’t wait,” said Jabbar.

And finally, NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and current vice chairman at Hendrick Motorsports Jeff Gordon is the lone motorsports grand marshal.  Gordon notched 93 race wins during his 23 season career.  A California native, Gordon took home the Daytona 500 trophy three times and earned the Cup Series championship four times.  An enthusiastic Gordon noted, “I think the fans are going to blown away. I know I can’t wait to see what happens on track and all the action.”

DJ Skee, Ice Cube, and Pitbull will be providing the entertainment during the packed weekend of fun and racing.

With three days remaining before the big event, NASCAR is sure to add to the star studded list appearing for The Clash.

Creating the Clash Track

The NHL has turned football fields into hockey rinks, the NCAA has turned a race track into a college football field, and NASCAR has taken a high banked asphalt track into a dirt track.  This weekend race fans will see a historic football field become a quarter mile short track as the NASCAR Cup Series kicks off with the annual Busch Light Clash at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.

But exactly what did it take to transform the football field into a race track?

The process began with asking the question “how do you protect what they have here and build up a track within the middle of a football field?”

While a small patch of the grass field remains, much of the grass is now covered in asphalt; but the asphalt has been laid in such a way that it will not harm the grass even though two dozen 3,400 pound cars will be racing on the track.  The east endzone is now turns three and four.

On December 21, 2021, construction began and in just one month the track was laid and ready for painting.

It began with placing a big plastic barrier of Visqueen laid upon the floor of the Coliseum; covering the field, turf, and dirt.  Next came a layer of plywood.  Then came a layer of geotextile woven fabric that will also help with slipping.

Next came 9,200 cubic yards of crushed miscellaneous base making 12 inches of fill in the infield and four feet on the track to create a banking of 2.5 degrees.

Finally it was time for the asphalt – four inches deep and over 13,000 square yards of it.

Laying the track was a tricky experience, construction crews had to be very careful not to damage the Visqueen or create pockets in the base that could damage the course.

In its long history, the LA Memorial Coliseum has been host to UCLA Trojan football games, Los Angeles Gitinis rugby, two summer Olympic games, a World Series in 1959, two Super Bowl games, and numerous rock concerts including Kanye West.  In fact, some of the base used to build the track was left over from West’s show.

The catch fence, walls, and safer barriers were all loaned to the effort by Auto Club Speedway in nearby Fontana and the Long Beach Grand Prix.

One minor modification had to be made to the Coliseum in relation to the entrance tunnel.  Building up of the track meant a portion of the tunnel had to be repaved in order for the new Next Gen cars to get on the track without bottoming out.

Press and coaches boxes are reserved for NASCAR officials.  The home team locker room will become the Media Center; with the away locker room reserved for the “green room”.  The training room will become the “infield care center”.  FOX Sports will take over the television booth for the broadcast; while the jumbotrons will be dedicated to the entertainment.

With no garage or pit lanes, the haulers will take up part of the parking lot.  There will be no in race live pit stops but there is a “halftime” break that will include a musical performance.

Once the Clash is complete, NASCAR has until February 26 to get everything cleared out.  The Giltinis have a home game on February 27.

Since its inception in 1979, this is the first time that the Clash will take place outside of its home at Daytona International Speedway.

Triple Truck and Dash Challenges Return

Sponsors in the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series offer some additional incentives to drivers during the season.  The Camping World Truck Series has the Triple Truck Challenge and the Xfinity Series has the Dash-4-Cash.  Both challenges offer drivers an opportunity to earn bonus cash for winning races.

NASCAR has released the races that will be a part of those challenges for the 2022 racing season.

In the Truck Series, the June 4 race at World Wide Technology Raceway, the June 24 race at Nashville Superspeedway, and the July 9 race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course are the Triple Truck Challenge races.

Open to full time Truck Series drivers, the Triple Truck Challenge offers a cash bonus that multiples with each race win.

Camping World Truck Series director Seth Kramlich spoke on the program saying, “a very cool program and a lot of money on the line for our guys.  It’s a big incentive for our trucks and a lot of money on the line for those guys to be able to move their programs and step them into a greater place for the future.”

In the Xfinity Series, the Dash-4-Cash runs in four consecutive races and gives the top four finishers from each race a chance to win a cash prize.  Open only to regular Xfinity Series drivers, the Dash-4-Cash begins on March 26 and runs on April 2, 8, and 23.

NASCAR has increased the number of cars that will be allowed in each race from 36 to 38 for the 2022 season.

NASCAR Makes Penalty Changes

With a new car in the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR officials have updated the rule book and penalties for violations where the Next Gen car is concerned.

The new car was designed with keeping down some of the costs involved with running a team. But when it comes to violating the new rules, some of the fines have gone up…way up.


NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller spoke on the new rules noting that they intend to keep everything above board saying, “ there’s going to have to be a culture shift from the way that the teams and NASCAR, for that matter, have done business.” He added, “if there aren’t penalties for altering parts and pieces on the new car, then the business model with new car won’t work.”

Miller also noted, “if a regular-season violation has playoff ramifications to it, obviously I think the teams will take that much more seriously than they ever did points with the current playoffs and playoff-point format that we have.”

All throughout the history of NASCAR, teams have routinely pushed the limits of the rules and have at times gotten caught. With the new rules, it will be harder for the teams to push those limits.

NASCAR has various levels of penalties form L1 to L3 – the most serious.

L1 penalties include failures in post race inspections, use of unapproved parts, and minimum weight requirements.

Violations of an L1 penalty include points deductions beginning at 20 points, deductions of playoff points, suspension of a crew member, and fines from $25,000 to $100,000.

L2 penalty violations include part modifications, failure to make engine-seal requirements, unapproved alterations of the engine control system, and the use of the unapproved on-board electronics.

Violaton of an L2 rules begin at 75 points, playoff point deductions beginning at 10 points, suspension of crew members, and fines from $100,000 to $250,000.

L3 level penalties include modification or counterfeiting of Next Gen parts, infractions related to the engine, violations of the ECU – Engine Control Unit – or the EFI – Electronic Fuel Injections, modification of tires or fuel, and, modification of the team testing policy.

The penalties for violation of any L3 rules include points deductions beginning at 120 points, deduction of playoff points beginning at 25 points, suspension of crew members, nullifying eligibility for the post season, and in the case of a repeat offender suspension of one race for the team resulting in a DNF with no points for the driver and owner. Fines for violating an L3 penalty begin at $250,000 and can run as high as $500,000.

Busch Clash Adds More Entertainment

On February 5 and 6, NASCAR will make history when they bring the Busch Light Clash to the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles; turning the historic football stadium into a quarter mile dirt track.

Award winning Latin music star and part owner in Trackhouse Racing Pitbull has already announced that he will be performing during the two day event.

NASCAR has just announced that actor and rapper Ice Cube will also be a part of the historic race when he performs during a race break during the main race event on February 6.

NASCAR senior vice president for strategy and innovation Ben Kennedy spoke on the addition of Ice Cube saying, “Ice Cube is more than a rapper, actor and entertainer,” said Ben Kennedy. He’s an icon who has risen to the top in all of his endeavors. We’re honored to have him perform at this first-of-its-kind event in the heart of Los Angeles.”

He added, “to call Ice Cube a game-changer in entertainment is an understatement. He rose to prominence with the groundbreaking group N.W.A. before launching a solo career that showcased his visionary talent and led to countless collaborations with some of the music industry’s biggest stars. Yet his versatility as an actor propelled him to greater heights, beginning with his screen debut in the film Boyz n the Hood and continuing through his work in the Friday and Barbershop franchises.

Ice Cube spoke on his upcoming performance during the race saying, “I’ve long been a fan of NASCAR from afar, and I’ve become an even bigger fan after seeing the action in person. And now to perform for all of the fans at the Coliseum and for the millions watching at home, I’m excited to be part of an incredible day for NASCAR and LA.”

With three weeks remaining before the big event, more performance announcements may be coming.

Field Set for Busch Clash

Throughout its history, the annual Clash race that marks the beginning of the NASCAR Cup Series the race has been held as a kickoff to Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway.  For the first time, the Busch Light Clash will not only be held on the dirt but at the historic Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.

On January 14 NASCAR released the entry list for the race.  Theree are 36 drivers entered into the initial event but only 23 of then will make it to the 150 lap main event.

The Busch Light Class consists of practice, qualifying heats, a last chance qualifier, and the main race over a two day period.

The excitement begins on February 5, 2022.

Listed according to car number, the drivers entered into the Busch Light Clash are:
Ross Chastain
Austin Cindric
Austin Dillon
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Larson
Brad Keselowski
Corey LaJoie
Tyler Reddick
Chase Elliott
Aric Almirola
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Blaney
Chase Briscoe
Ryan Preece
AJ Allmendinger
Chris Buescher
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Christopher Bell
Harrison Burton
Joey Logano
Bubba Wallace
William Byron
Justin Haley
Michael McDowell
Todd Gilliland
Cole Custer
Ty Dillon
Erik Jones
Kurt Busch
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Alex Bowman
Cody Ware
Landon Cassill
BJ McLeod
Daniel Suarez

Top Starts in NASCAR

Last season, Cup Series champion Kyle Larson not only participated in

Rous races across the three NASCAR racing series; he also, took to the dirt for some short track racing every chance he got.  As a result, he participated on over 100 races during 2021.

Up until a few years ago, drivers ran as many races as they wanted across all three of the series – Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Trucks – racking up dozens of races each year.  Over the past few years, NASCAR has limited the Cup Series drivers to just five races each in the Xfinity and Truck Series.

Over the course of a career a driver runs hundreds of races, even reaching over 1,000.  Before his death in 2001, Dale Earnhardt made a total of 812 total race starts to rank 25th in the list of most race starts.  The number one driver has over 1,000!  Four of the drivers on the list are still currently driving and have a chance to move up the list.

The top 25 race starts in NASCAR history:
Dale Earnhardt – 812
Kurt Busch – 814 – current driver
Jeff Green – 815
Sterling Marlin – 825
Greg Biffle – 837
Elliott Sadler – 855
Bill Elliott – 874 – current driver
Jeff Gordon – 878
Kyle Petty – 885
Dave Marcus – 888
Kenny Wallace – 904
Ricky Rudd – 909
Darrell Waltrip – 921
Bobby Labonte – 942
Ken Schrader – 984
Matt Kenseth – 985
Dale Jarrett – 997
Jeff Burton – 1,005
Terry Labonte – 1,017
Morgan Shepherd – 1,027
Michael Waltrip – 1,072
Kyle Busch – 1,128 – current driver
Mark Martin – 1,143
Richard Petty – 1,185
Joe Nemechek – 1,197
Kevin Harvick – 1,227 – current driver

NASCAR Set Superspeedway Rules Package

Last month NASCAR officials released the rules package for most of the tracks in the 2022 schedule at 650 horsepower.  The only exception were the Supersppedway tracks of Daytona and Talladega.

After the first day of testing the Next Gen car on the high  banks of Daytona, NASCAR has determined the rules package for the remaining tracks.  With restrictor plates no longer a part of racing, NASCAR has set the engines at 510 horsepower with a seven inch spoiler for the Superspeedway tracks.  The new paved and configured Atlanta Motor Speedway is also on the list with the big tracks.

While some of the drivers were dirt track racing in the Chili Bowl; Dale Earnhardt Jr and Jacques Villeneuve joined NASCAR regulars Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr on the track to the aerodynamic draft of the Next Generation car that will make its debut in the 2022 season.

Logano noted that he, Kurt, Denny, and Ricky, “we were out there shoving each other pretty hard.”  Logano added, “we were racing like we were coming to the end of the Daytona 500. I don’t know why we do that, but it’s a race. It’s race cars and it’s on a race track, it turns into a race and we race each other.”

Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin paired up for some side drafting and aero pushes around the 2.5 mile track.

NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Racing Innovation John Probst spoke on the testing saying, “now granted, there’s no trophy. There’s no points. There’s no money on the line. So I think the level of intensity when they come back will be ratcheted up significantly, but I think that if you look at what the cars were able to do as far as spreading out, grouping back up, moving around, definitely three-wide a couple times, I feel like we’re in a really good spot, put on a pretty good show February here in the 500.”

The drivers will return on Wednesday for more testing at Daytona.  One final test is scheduled for January 25 and 26 at Phoenix Raceway.

NASCAR Partners with CLGBTCC for Diversity

In recent years NASCAR has made some major efforts and strides toward making the sport a more diverse one that is no longer a “good ole’ boys club”.

The Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s in the Charlotte area. On January 5, 2022 they announced a partnership with NASCAR as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion partner for the 2022.

The marks the first time that NASCAR has partnered with an LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

The vice chair of the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce Tiffany Keaton spoke on the partnership saying, “NASCAR has a rich history in our region and continues to be one of the most popular sports in the nation. The intentionality of their partnership will allow the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber to leverage relationships and increase our work in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. The distinct brand that NASCAR brings to the chamber validates their commitment to equality and non-discrimination both on and off the track. It is an honor to name the league our ‘DE&I Partner’ for 2022, and I look forward to developing this amazing relationship.”

The Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce mission is to foster equity, inclusion and economic prosperity for the LGBTQ community through strategic policy, professional enrichment, ally partnerships and economic development.

NASCAR’s vice president of diversity and inclusion Brandon Thompson also spoke on the partnership saying,
“NASCAR is excited to partner with the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce. With NASCAR offices and much of our industry based in the Carolinas, we look forward to working with CLGBTCC in support of its mission to foster equity, inclusion and economic prosperity for the LGBTQ community.”

While NASCAR has yet to sign a driver who identifies as a member of the LGBT+ community, there has been some strides toward diversity with the signing of Mexican driver Daniel Suarez, bi-racial driver Bubba Wallace, and numerous non-white crew members.

Drivers, Teams Make Changes for ’22 NASCAR Season

While there is still time for teams to bring in more members, the 2022 NASCAR season begins in just over a month with the Bud Light Clash at the Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.

The 2021 season saw many changes including a return of the fans, the closing of an iconic team, new racing teams, and plenty of driver changes.

Below is a list of drivers on the move for the 2022 season:

Harrison Burton is moving up from the Xfinity Series to drive the Wood Brothers Racing number 21 car in the Cup Series.

After Chip Ganassi Racing shut down its NASCAR teams, Kurt Busch and Ross Chastain found themselves out of a ride.  Both drivers are moving to new teams for the 2022 season with Busch heading for 23XI Racing who is fielding a second team.  Busch will drive the number 45 car.

Ros Chastain is moving to Trackhouse Racing and the number one car.  Trackhouse bought the facility previous held by Chip Ganassi.

Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric moves up from the Xfinity Series to take over driving duties of the number two car after Brad Keselowski leaves Penske Racing.

Brad Keselowski has moved over to Roush Fenway Racing where is becomes a part owner and driver of the number six car.  The team has been renamed Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing or RFK Racing.

Ty Dillon spent the 2021 season as a part time driver in the Xfinity and Cup Series.  For 2022 he will be a full time driver for Petty GMS Racing in the number 42 car.

Camping World Truck Series driver Todd Gilliland is skipping over the Xfinity Series and moving up to the Cup Series as a full time driver in the Front Row Motorsports number 38 car.

Former Xfinity Series driver Justin Haley is moving up to the Cup Series to drive the Kaulig Racing number 31 car.

After losing his ride with Front Row Motorsports in the Cup Series, Anthony Alfredo will move to the Xfinity Series and drive for Our Motorsports joining Brett Moffitt and Jeb Burton.

Jeb Burton moves to Our Motorsports in the Xfinity Series.

Josh Berry goes from a part time driver for JR Motorsports to a full time driver in the number eight car.

Landon Cassill moves to the number 10 Kaulig Racing car in the Xfinity Series.

Camping World Truck Series driver Sheldon Creed moves up to the Xfinity Series to driver the Richard Childress Racing number two car.

Part time driver Bayley Currey gets a full time ride JD Motorsports.

Daniel Hemric moves to Kaulig Racing to drive the number eleven car in the Xfinity Series.

Camping World Truck Series driver Austin Hill moves up to the Xfinity Series to drive for Richard Childress Racing.

Part time driver and naval commander Jesse Iwuji will field his own car in the Xfinity Series.

Stefan Parsons moves from a part time driver for BJ McLeod Motorsports to a full time ride in the Xfinity Series.

Myatt Snider moves to Jordan Anderson Racing to take over the driving duties of the number 31 car in the Xfinity Series.

Josh Williams comes to BJ McLeod Motorsports to driver the number 78 car.

Lawless Alan joins Neice Motorsports to drive the number 45 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Tyler Ankrum moves over to Hattori Racing Enterprises and the number 16 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Grant Enfinger moves over to GMS Racing to driver the  number 23 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Tate Fogleman comes to On Point Motorsport to drive the number 30 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Timmy Hill goes from a part time to a full time driver with Hill Motorsports in the number 56 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Colby Howard moves from the Xfinity Series to McAnally-Hilgemann in the Camping World Truck Series.

Blaine Perkins goes from a part time driver to drive the number nine truck for CR7 Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series.

Chase Purdy moves to Hattori Racing Enterprises to drive the number 61 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Zane Smith moves over to Front Row Motorsports to drive the number 38 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Dean Thompson gets a full time ride with Niece Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series.

Jack Woods goes from a part time driver to a full time driver with GMS Racing with the number 24 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Part time driver Kris Wright gets a full time ride with Niece Motorsports to drive the number 44 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.


Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Newman, and Ryan Preece have yet to find a ride for the 2022 season.

Bootie Barker takes over the crew chief duties for the number 23 car driven by Bubba Wallace for 23XI Racing.

Jerame Donley comes to Petty GMS Racing to serve as crew chief for Ty Dillon in the number 42 car.

Dave Elenz comes to Petty GMS Racing to serve as crew chief for the number 43 car driven by Erik Jones.

Scott Graves moves over in RFK Racing to take over the crew chief duties for the number 17 car driven by Chris Buescher.

Jonathan Hassler comes to Team Penske to take over the crew chiefing duties for the number 12 car driven by Ryan Blaney.

Matt McCall comes to RFK Racing to take over as crew chief for Brad Keselowski in the number six car.

Billy Scott comes to 23XI Racing to serve as crew chief for Kurt Busch in the number 45 car.

Phil Surgen follows Ross Chastain to take over as crew chief of the number one car with Trackhouse Racing.

Brian Wilson moves over to Wood Brothers Racing to take over as crew chief for the number 21 car driven by Harrison Burton.

With a new car in the Cup Series – the Next Gen car – comes a new rules package that will include a four inch spoiler and 670 horsepower on most tracks.  The super speedway tracks will have a different package which is yet to be determined.  A test is scheduled in the coming days to determine that rules package.

The Next Gen car has been designed to more closely resemble the street cars driven by racing fans.

The Camping World Truck Series teams will be updating the noses on their trucks for the new season to more reflect the trucks driven by fans.


Richard Petty has sold a majority stake in his team to GMS Racing and is now known as Petty GMS Racing.

Chip Ganassi has shuttered the NASCAR side of his racing empire with Trackhouse Racing purchasing the team and taking over the facilities.

The Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin owned team of 23XI Racing has expanded to two cars for the 2022 season.

JTG Daugherty Racing has cut back and is fielding a single car for the 2022 season instead of the two cars in previous seasons.

Kaulig Racing is known for fielding teams in the Xfinity Series.  They are moving up to the Cup Series in the 2022 season with one full time driver and a second car with three part time drivers.

With Brad Keselowski coming over to Roush Fenway Racing as a owner/driver, the team has been renamed RFK Racing for Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing.

Rick Ware Racing has changed car manufacturers to Ford and has formed an alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Yates engines.

As of the end of the 2021 racing season, StarCom Racing has ceased operations.

Team Hezeberg is fielding a part time team for 2022 with Loris Hezemans and Jacques Villeneuve serving as drivers on the road courses and some select other races.

Tommy Joe Martins and Caesar Bacarella have paired up to form Alpha Prime Racing.  The two drivers plan on running a part time schedule; along with Rajah Caruth, Andy Lally, and Ryan Ellis.

Big Machine Racing has joined with Richard Childress Racing for a partnership with support for chassis and engineering.

Joey Gase and Patrick Emerling are forming Emerling-Gase Motorsports and will field one full time and one part time car with Emerling, Gase, Shane Lee among those scheduled to drive the number 35 car.

Our Motorsports has increased their team from two to three full time cars.

Xfinity Racing team RSS Racing has joined with Stewart-Haas Racing for an alliance.  Ryan Sieg will continue as the team’s full time driver.

Hattori Racing Enterprises is fielding two full time teams in the Camping World Truck Series.

Hill Motorsports is fielding two teams in the Camping World Truck Series.

McAnally-Hilgemann Racing is moving to Chevrolet for the 2022 season.  They have formed an alliance with GMS Racing.

Spire Motorsports is expanding in the 2022 season and adding a team in the Camping World Truck Series.  While a driver has yet to be named, Kevin “Bono” Manion will serve as crew chief.

NASCAR: Interesting Stats from 2021 Cup Series

When it comes to setting the field for the playoffs and even the playoffs themselves NASCAR has a unique setup like no other.  Only in motorsports do the playoff drivers find themselves in the middle of a field filled with playoff drivers and non-playoff drivers together.

Racing itself provides some interesting opportunities for drivers to earn points toward the playoffs…even when a driver does not win a race.  As a result, there are some very interesting statistics that appear in the record books.

In the 2021 NASCAR season the Cup Series drivers ran a total of 9,200 laps and while all four of the drivers who competed for the championship racked up hundreds of laps led, it was 2021 champion Kyle Larson who topped the list by leading nearly a quarter of the laps with 2,581 on his way to racking up 10 race wins.

While Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch won only two of the 36 races run in the Cup Series in 2021, he had no trouble when it came to racing…and winning his 10 races in the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series.  After winning half of the Truck Series races driving for his own team, Busch notched Truck Series win number 60.  In the Xfinity Series, Busch secured career win number 100 and cemented his spot in the record books for the driver with the most wins ever.  He now has a total of 222 career wins across all three of the NASCAR series – Truck, Xfinity, and Cup.

After multiple race wins in 2020, Kevin Harvick failed to cross the finish line first in 2021 or even earn a playoff point; however, it did not stop him from making it into the playoffs before just missing out a spot in the final four.  Oddly enough, Harvick finished the season in the same spot in 2021 as he did in 2020 with nine wins…fifth.

Proving that the only thing that matters is crossing the finish line first; AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, and Michael McDowell all won a race in 2021 without winning a stage.

Michael McDowell and Brad Keselowski each notched a Cup Series win in the 2021 racing season…but did so on the final lap of the race at the two biggest tracks on the circuit.  McDowell began the season by winning at Daytona and Keselowski won at Talladega

Again demonstrating that the only lap that really natters is the last one, Alex Bowman is a four time race winner in 2021, but led only 161 laps all season.

Racers love to driver and will frequently drive anything with four wheels.  Cup Series champion Kyle Larson could be found racing on a dirt track just as much as on the asphalt.  Racing in all three of the NASCAR racing series, Chase Briscoe actually ran more miles than Kyle Larson.  Briscoe ended the season in 23rd place with no race wins.

Josh Bilicki is another driver who runs in more than one of the NASCAR racing series; as a result he ended up completing more laps than final four driver Ryan Blaney who won three races.

A total of 37 different drivers finished a race in the top 10 during the 2021 Cup Series season.

Full time driver and minority race team owner Denny Hamlin finished the season on the lead lap 34 of the 36 races and is the only full time driver not to have a DNF – did not finish – during the 2021 Cup Series season.

Joey Logano won the inaugural dirt race at Bristol but failed to win any other race during the season.  It is the first time that Logano has not won a race on asphalt since 2011.

The 2021 racing season was a unique one in many respects.  For the first time since NASCAR implemented the current playoff system in 2014, all four of the championship four drivers had cars with odd numbers – Kyle Larson in the number five, Chase Elliott in the number nine, Denny Hamlin in the number eleven, and Martin Truex Jr in the number 19.

NASCAR Sets Next Gen Package

Shortly after the 2021 NASCAR season concluded in early November, NASCAR has scheduled a number of testing sessions for teams to check out the new “Next Gen” car that will make its debut in February.

On December 21, NASCAR has announced the rules package for the Cup Series cars – the only series driving the Next Gen car – in the 2022 season.  Along with an engine power of 670 horsepower, the cars will carry a four inch spoiler on the back of the car to aid in downforce.  Competition officials made the decision after testing four different configurations at Charlotte Motor Speedway and consulting with teams and drivers.

Prior to the various testing sessions, NASCAR has spent the past two years developing the car.  Revealed over the summer, the “Next Gen” cars are designed to resemble the street models.

NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell spoke on the decision saying, “we met with the industry, a number of drivers post-test on Friday with the packages we had narrowed down and really hit on what we all thought would be a great Next Gen car in terms of going out under one rules package with 670 horsepower and then a low-downforce 4-inch spoiler, which we believe we can implement across all of our tracks outside of superspeedways.”

He added, “so the bottom line of all this, and you’ll hear this from the drivers is that this package with the Next Gen car puts it back in the drivers’ hands and we’re excited about what that will do in 2022, for sure.”

Race fans will get their first look of the Next Gen car at the Busch Light Clash in the Los Angeles Coliseum on February 6, 2022.

NASCAR will announce a superspeedway package at a later date.

Not always in agreement with NASCAR, several drivers took to social media applauding the new car and rules package including Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Todd Gilliland, Chase Briscoe, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Justin Haley, Cole Custer, William Byron, and NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin who is anxious for the season to get started.

Accompanied by a big smiley face, Chase Briscoe said, “Slipping and sliding around on 1.5 miles, sign me up.”

William Byron simply responded with, “awesome!”

Brandon Brown Speaks Out on ‘Let’s Go Brandon’

Any racing fan knows that it takes a great deal of money to field a racing team.  Teams work very hard in order to secure sponsors who are willing to put up the finding necessary to run the races.

Early in the 2021 NASCAR season, Xfinity Series driver Brandon Brown took the matter into his own hands by creating a video of himself taking on the persona of the used car salesman in order to secure some sponsorships…and it worked.  The empty panels began to fill with spronsorships.

In October, Brown earned his first career win at Talladega Superspeedway.  During the post race interview by the NBC Sports crew, some unruly NASCAR fans took the opportunity to loudly chant a derogatory expletive toward President Joe Biden. 

The reporter doing the interview remarked that the fans were shouting “Let’s Go Brandon”.  Unfortunately due to that “misunderstanding”, Brandon’s name has now become synonymous with the expletive.

NASCAR has tried to discourage its fans from using the expression and have even threatened taking fans to court it they use the expression as a part of any official NASCAR branding.

Two months after the event, Brandon Brown has finally opened up on the subject, “I am Brandon, the NASCAR driver and unlikely meme. A 28-year-old who now finds himself in the middle of the American political conversation. As a pro driver, I never expected to be in the passenger seat of my own viral moment.”  He added, “I am fully aware that the millions of Americans chanting my name know little about me or about my winning the Talladega race that day.”

Saying, “no one knew how my sponsors would react and, in my world, there is no car to drive without the sponsors,” Brown says that he was advised to keep quiet.  Fearing he would lose his hard fought for sponsors, Brown followed the advice and kept quiet.

“My job is to run the next lap faster than the last one. Politics has never been that interesting to me. Though, like most, I have always had the impression that politicians were likely the cause of more problems than they were the solutions,” said Brown.  He added, “I have no interest in leading some political fight. I race cars. I am not going to endorse anyone, and I am certainly not going to tell anyone how to vote.”

With one exception, Brown’s fellow drivers have avoided using the expression.  Then Wood Brothers Racing driver Matt DiBenedetto used the phrase during the last race of the season and has since apologized for his actions.  After knowing that he would be losing his ride at the end of the year, DiBenedetto has yet to secure a ride for the 2022 season. 

Fearing backlash from sponsors, drivers seldom take any kind of stance where political issues are concerned.

However, Brandon Brown has decided that it is time to take a stand, saying, “ninety-nine percent of my time this upcoming NASCAR season will be spent trying to take the next lap a little faster. But, when I have the opportunity and the time, I am not going to hesitate to speak about issues I am passionate about, or the problems we face together as Americans. How you vote is none of my business. Instead, I will use what free time I have to highlight the struggle we all feel and share, as Americans. “

“To my fans, to NASCAR fans and to everyone who has chanted my name: I dedicate myself this upcoming season to compete hard on the racetrack and to spotlight issues that are important to me and to millions of Americans across the country,” he added and concluded his remarks with, “Let’s Go America.”

feature photo credit: Brandon brown (51307958983) (cropped).jpg

NASCAR Continues Next Gen Testing, Sets Possible Horsepower

There are less than 60 days until the beginning of the 2022 NASCAR season with The Clash in Los Angeles.

This week, NASCAR continued to sponsor testing in the Cup Series’ Next Gen car.

With time quickly approaching the beginning of a new season and with that NASCAR has turned their attention toward setting up the parameters for the cars during the various races.

NASCAR officials has indicated that the target output for the engines will be 670 horsepower for most of the tra ks on the circuit.

NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell spoke on the decision saying, “I would say we’re more than likely going with that number across all of our tracks.  We’ve still got a few boxes to check post tests here where we get together with our (OEMs, original equipment manufacturers) and the teams and just confirm that’s the direction we want to go with. But everything we’ve seen so far, that tells us and that’s the horsepower we want to target and go with.”  O’Connell added that there would be a separate horsepower package for the superspeedways of Daytona and Talladega.  After a test at Atlanta Motor Speedway next week where banking is being adjusted to a steeper angle may also be added to the superspeedway configuration.

During the past two days of testing, NASCAR had the teams test a number of different setup packages to help determine what would work best to ensure a good race and ensure safety on the track.

Noting that they needed to give the car a bit more forward downforce, NASCAR managing director of aerodynamics and vehicle performance Dr. Eric Jacuzzi said, “it seems like now that the car’s a little happier, better behaved at different ride heights, I think we’re pretty comfortable with where we’re at. It seems like product-wise, we feel pretty good.”

While more testing is scheduled all the way to just before the start of the season, NASCAR officials believes that most of the configurations for the cars are set.

Pitbull to Perform at Busch Clash

The 2021 racing season in NASCAR saw some new teams and team owners in the Cup Series. 

The new 23 XI Racing brought in the second former professional basketball player when Michael Jordan joined forces with Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin.

And Trackhouse Racing brought the first Latino owner to the sport when Hip-Hop artist Pitbull became one of the owners.

Since coming to NASCAR Pitbull has performed at a few of the races.

On December 8 NASCAR and race sponsor Coca-Cola announced that Pitbull will help kick off the 2022 racing season with a performance prior to the main event of the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum in Los Angeles on February 6.

NASCAR vice president of marketing services Patrick Rogers spoke on the upcoming 45 minute concert saying, “Pitbull transcends cultures and generations with his positive, upbeat performances and his humanitarian work away from the stage and studio.  We’re excited that he’s providing his star power to this historic day for our sport.”

Armando Christian Perez, also known as Pitbull, also spoke on his upcoming show saying, “this is history in the making to be part of this special Los Angeles Coliseum NASCAR event.  It’s an honor to integrate culture, music and NASCAR racing as the universal language to unite new audiences around the world.”

Along with being an owner in Trackhouse Racing, Pitbull is a Grammy Award winning artist who has sold over 25 million albums with 18 multi platinum records.  His videos have been viewed over 15 billion times.

feature photo credit: [[File:Pitbull (7906566112).jpg|Pitbull_(7906566112)]]

NASCAR Crowns Champions

On December 2, 2021 NASCAR held its annual awards ceremonies in Nashville.  While the burnouts on Broadway were a bit hit, the presentation of the awards was the highlight of the week.

With his win in Phoenix for the final race of the season, Kyle Larson was crowned the champion.  Larson led 2,581 laps on his way to earning 10 wins for the Cup season.  NASCAR President Steve Phelps noted that this was Larson’s first championship; adding that he was sure it would not be his last.

Also earning their first championships, Ben Rhodes took home the trophy in the Camping World Truck Series and Daniel Hemric took the title in the Xfinity Series.

Winning his 14th championship as an owner, Rick Hendrick said, “It never gets old.”

Chase Elliott came up a little short to repeat as the champion but he took home the trophy for the Most Popular driver for the fourth year in a row.  Elliott noted that the fans have been a big part of his career.  Elliott also won the award twice when he drove in the Xfinity Series.

In the Xfinity Series, JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier won the Most Popular Driver award.  Allgaier joins fellow JR Motorsports winners Elliott Sadler, Regan Smith, and Danica Patrick.  JR Motorsports is owned by 15 time Cup Series Most Popular Driver winner Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Camping World Truck Series rookie driver Hailie Deegan took home the Most Popular Driver Award in the Truck Series.

Previously announced, Jeff Harmon – a longtime volunteer for Down Syndrome Louisville – received his award as the Betty Jane France Humanitarian winner.

Bob Jenkins was posthumously awarded the NMPA Myers Brothers Award.

Goodyear executive Stu Grant received the Buddy Shuman Award.

NASCAR Suspends Members

The NASCAR racing season may be officially over, but NASCAR continues to expect its members to follow the rule book.

Officials have suspended three Cup Series crew members indefinitely due to violating laws related to behavioural issues.

Motorsports Business Management crew chief Johnny Roten for the number 13 car has been suspended under NASCAR’s substance abuse policies.  When it comes to substance abuse, NASCAR has a no tolerance policy.

Front Row Motorsports hauler driver for the number 38 car and BJ McLeod Motorsports Xfinity Series car chief Austin Zivich were both suspended for violation for violating the behavioural policy.

NASCAR did not give any specifics of the violations but the crew members will have to undergo some form of “training” in order to be eligible to return to the sport.

RPM Sells Majority Stake

The name of Petty has been a part of stock car racing nearly as long as NASCAR itself.

Over the years Richard Petty Motorsports has been run under a variety of names including Petty Enterprises.  Team owner Richard Petty – also known as The King – is a seven time NASCAR champion who has won a total of 200 Cup Series wins during his career.

On December 1, 2021 Petty announced that he has sold a majority stake in his team to Maury Gallagher of GMS Racing.  The sale includes two charters which will be used during the 2022 NASCAR season.

In a statement Petty and Gallagher said, “this is a special moment for both organizations as the Next Gen car allows a new chapter to be written.”

Ty Dillon is scheduled to drive the GMS Racing number 94 car for the 2022 season.

Erik Jones drives the iconic number 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports.  In the past AJ Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler, Reed Sorenson, Aric Almirola, Paul Menard, Marcos Ambrose, Sam Hornish Jr., Brian Scott, and Bubba Wallace have all driven the number 43 car for Petty.

feature photo credit: [[File:Richard petty (51370771398).jpg|Richard_petty_(51370771398)]]

More Spots Fill in NASCAR Silly Season

The NASCAR racing season is over but the NASCAR Silly Season is not.  Teams and drivers continue to shuffle around.

On November 30, Front Row Motorsports announced their driver line up for the 2022 season.  Michael McDowell returns to the Cup Series for a fifth year of driving the number 34 car.  Camping World Truck Series driver Todd Gilliland moves up to the Cup Series to join Front Row.  In the Camping World Truck Series Zane Smith will take over the driving duties in the number 38 truck.

Gilliland will join Harrison Burton and Austin Cindric in a battle for the title of “Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.

Hattori Racing Enterprises has a new car number and a new driver for the 2022 season.  In the Camping World Truck Series Chase Purdy will drive the number 61 truck.  A longtime sponsor for Purdy, BAMA Buggies will continue to sponsor Purdy’s truck.

The winningest team last season in the Camping World Truck Series, Kyle Busch Motorsports has resigned 19 year old driver Chandler Smith to drive the number 18 truck for the 2022 season.  KBM has announced that Safelite AutoGlass returns to sponsor the number 18 truck.  Danny Stockman also returns to the team as crew chief.

The name Menards has been a part of NASCAR for many years.  The auto parts company returns to NASCAR and Team Penske to sponsor the number two car driven by Austin Cindric and the number 12 car driven by Ryan Blaney.  Menards will also be sponsoring the Wood Brothers number 21 car driven by Harrison Burton in 2022.

NASCAR Penalizes 2 Xfinity Drivers

The 2021 racing season is over and the 2022 season will not begin for another three months; however, NASCAR officials never take time off.

Xfinity Series owner and driver of the number 74 car Mike Harmon was penalized for violating the rule book relating to testing.  Harmon will begin the 2022 racing season with negative 75 owner and 75 driver points.  The number 74 crew chief Ryan Bell has also been fined $50,000 and has been suspended for the first six point races of the 2022 season.

Video of Harmon running testing laps at Rockingham Speedway appeared online. 


Xfinity Series driver Caesar Bacarella has been suspended indefinitely for violating the NASCAR rule book’s substance abuse policy.  He will have to go through the program before he can return to the track.

Bacarella ran only five races in the 2021 season driving the number 90 car.

Practice and Qualifying Returns to NASCAR

When NASCAR returned last spring after a seven week hiatus due to the global shutdown in response to the pandemic practice sessions and qualifying runs were eliminated in the name of safety.  Practice and qualifying returned in a limited capacity during the 2021 season.  In 2022, NASCAR is returning to a full weekend of racing activities including practice sessions and qualifying runs…but with some changes.

NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition Scott Miller spoke on the change saying, “NASCAR is excited to return practice and qualifying to its race weekends.  We missed seeing cars and trucks on track all weekend long, and so did our fans. We worked closely with our broadcast partners, teams and racetracks to create an exciting, unique qualifying format, while keeping several of the efficiencies that helped our entire industry successfully navigate the pandemic.”

Among the changes in practice and qualifying procedures, the Cup Series drivers will be divided into two groups for practice and qualifying. 

NASCAR is also introducing what they are calling an “expanded weekend” where a 50 practice session will be separate from the qualifying sessions.  NASCAR has listed the races at Daytona in February, Atlanta, the dirt race at Bristol, World Wide Technology, Nashville, and the championship weekend at Phoenix as “extended weekend” events.  In addition, the Camping World Truck Series races at Knoxville, Sonoma, and Mid-Ohio are also listed as “extended weekend” events.

In the Cup Series, NASCAR has divided the qualifying sessions into four categories – one lap, two lap, superspeedway, and road course.

Under the one lap qualifying format, the drivers will be divided into two groups where they will get a 15 minute practice session before making a single qualifying run.  The top five drivers from each group will move on to round two where the top driver will sit on the pole.  As before, the field will be set according to a driver’s qualifying run.

Under the two lap format, the procedure will be the same as for the one lap format with the exception that drivers get two laps to qualify instead of just one.

In the super speedway format all of the drivers will qualify in a single group and have just one lap to make their attempt.  The top 10 drivers will move on to the second round and have one lap to try and make the pole.

In the road course format the divers will be separated into two groups and have a 20 minute practice session before being given 15 minutes of qualifying time.  The top five drivers from each session will have 10 minutes to make a run for the pole.

At the dirt race in Bristol, the format will remain the same with four qualifying races to set the field.  The drivers will also have two 50 minute practice sessions for this race.



In the Xfinity Series the qualifying formats are for single lap, double lap, super speedway, and road course.  The format for the single and double lap sessions will have all of the drivers getting a 20 minute practice session before making a qualifying run and setting the field.

In the super speedway format, the drivers will have one lap to make a qualifying run with the top 10 drivers moving on to a second round to set the pole.

In road course qualifying the drivers will get a 20 minute practice session before being divided into two groups and getting a 15 minute session to qualify.  The top five drivers from each group will have 10 minutes to decide the pole position.



Like the Xfinity Series, the Camping World Truck Series formats will be divided into single lap, double lap, super speedway, and road course formats.

The Truck Series drivers will also have a 20 minute practice session before making their qualifying runs with all drivers qualifying in the same group.

For the super speedway tracks, the Truck Series drivers will all have one lap to qualify with the top 10 drivers moving on to a second round to set the pole.

For road course races the drivers will be divided into two groups and have 15 minutes to make a qualifying run.  The top five drivers from each group will have an additional 10 minutes to determine the pole position.

For the two dirt track races, the drivers will get two 50 minute practice sessions and set the field via four qualifying races.

NASCAR Sets Format for The Clash

The 2021 NASCAR season is over and now it is time to turn the calendar over to 2022.

On November 9, NASCAR has announced the format for the Busch Light Clash that will begin the season. 

For the first time in NASCAR history, The annual Clash race is not being held at Daytona International Speedway but at The Coliseum in Los Angeles on February 6.

In the two day event, The Clash will feature practice sessions, heat races, a last chance qualifier, and a 150 lap race.

Forty drivers will enter the heat races but only 23 will appear in the main event.

NASCAR senior vice president of strategy and innovation Ben Kennedy spoke on the Busch Light Clash saying, “there has already been an enormous amount of buzz around next year’s Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, and we feel that this race format and the accompanying programming throughout the entire weekend will only build on that already established momentum.  The unprecedented nature of this event, coupled with the fact that our sport will be in the spotlight in the middle of downtown Los Angeles, makes this a can’t-miss event when we get our 2022 season underway next February.”

The “track” at the Coliseum will be the shortest in NASCAR at only a quarter of a mile around. 

On February 5 the drivers will hit the track for practice and qualifying runs to set the field for the heat races.

On February 6 the action begins at 5pm eastern time with four 25 lap heat races with 10 cars in each heat.  The four fastest cars in each heat will move on to the main event.

The 24 drivers who did not make it into the main event after the heat races will get a second chance to make it into the main event with the Last Chance Qualifier races.  The Last Chance races will feature two 50 lap races with 12 cars in each race.  The top three finishers from each race will move on to the main race.

The final spot in the starting lineup of the main race goes to the driver with the highest point standings from 2021 not already in the race.

Former NASCAR Cup Series driver and FOX analyst Clint Bowyer spoke on the event saying, “I’ve had the chance to drive on the track through iRacing and make some laps in the NextGen car at Bowman-Gray on a similar layout, and there’s no doubt that this race is going to be awesome.  The different qualifying events and format for the Clash are only going to add to what will be an unforgettable weekend. This is definitely a race you’re not going to want to miss.”

feature photo credit: NASCAR

NASCAR Issues Final 2021 Penalties

The NASCAR racing season has just ended, but there is one last penalty report the triple header weekend at Phoenix Raceway. 

While the pit road penalties were held to a minimum, that was not the case when NASCAR performed their post race inspections.  A total of 10 teams were fined all in relation to lug nut violations.

The most severe violation was the Joe Gibbs Racing number 18 Cup Series car driven by Kyle Busch who had two lug nuts improperly secured.  As a result of the infraction, crew chief Ben Beshore has been fined $20,000 and when the drivers begin the 2022 season with The Clash, Busch will not have his crew chief on the pit box after Beshore was suspended for the next Cup Series race.

The remainder of the penalties were for a single lug nut improperly secured including two more of the Final Four drivers.

Five Cup Series teams had their crew chiefs fined $10,000…
The Team Penske number two car driven by Brad Keselowski with Jeremy Bullins as crew chief

The Hendrick Motorsports number five car driven by 2021 champion Kyle Larson with Cliff Daniels as crew chief

The Joe Gibbs Racing number eleven car driven by Denny Hamlin with Chris Gabehart as crew chief

The Joe Gibbs Racing number 19 car driven by Martin Truex Jr with James Small as crew chief

The Wood Brothers Racing number 21 car driven by Matt DiBenedetto with Jonathan Hassler as crew chief

In the Xfinity Series, only two teams were charged with a lug nut violation.  The crew chiefs were each fined $5,000 for the infraction…

The Kaulig Racing number eleven car driven by Justin Haley with Alex Yontz as crew chief

And the Joe Gibbs Racing number 54 car driven by John Hunter Nemechek with Chris Gayle as crew chief

Two more teams in the Camping World Truck Series were also found to have a single lug nut improperly secured and their crew chiefs were fined $2,500 for the infraction…

The Hattori Racing Enterprises number 16 truck driven by Austin Hill

And the GMS Racing number 26 truck driven by Tyler Ankrum with Charles Denike as crew chief

In 2022, the Cup Series will be driving the Next Gen car which foregoes the five lug nut wheel and replaces it with a single lug nut.  While this should make changing tires quicker, teams will not see times drop much during a four tire pit stop due to the amount of time needed to fuel a car.

Wild Day for Playoff Cup Drivers in Texas

The Cup Series finishes out the doubleheader weekend of racing at Texas Motor Speedway with the Autotrader EchoPark 500. This also marks the first race in the round of eight and will set the final four for the championship race in Phoenix next month.

Last week reigning Cup Series champion Chase Elliott survived a harrowing weekend of racing to make it into the round of eight. But his bid to notch a spot in the final four just got a bit more difficult after his Hendrick Motorsports number nine car failed the pre-race inspection process twice. As a result, Elliott will have to start the race from the back of the field.

While the only playoff driver with inspection issues, Chase Elliott was not the only driver whose car had difficulties making it through inspection; Corey LaJoie, Chase Briscoe, Garrett Smithley, and David Starr will also have to start the race from the back of the field after their cars failed inspection twice.


Points leader and Roval winner Kyle Larson will sit on the pole and bring the field to green with Denny Hamlin alongside on the front row.

The starting lineup for the Autotrader EchoPark 500:
Kyle Larson
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Busch
Ryan Blaney
Joey Logano
Chase Elliott – moved to the back of the field
Brad Keselowski
Martin Truex Jr
Tyler Reddick
Chris Buescher
Christopher Bell
William Byron
Matt DiBenedetto
Alex Bowman
Austin Dillon
Michael McDowell
Kurt Busch
Bubba Wallace
Daniel Suarez
Cole Custer
Erik Jones
Aric Almirola
Ryan Preece
Kevin Harvick
Ross Chastain
Chase Briscoe – moved to the back of the field
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Anthony Alfredo
Corey LaJoie – moved to the back of the field
Quin Houff
Ryan Newman
Justin Haley
Josh Bilicki
Cody Ware
BJ McLeod
Garrett Smithely – moved to the back of the field
Joey Gase
David Starr – moved to the back of the field
Timmy Hill

Stages one and two of the race are 105 laps each with stage three lasting 124 laps for a total of 334 laps around the mile and a half track.

The drivers can run around 65 laps on a single load of fuel; there will be pit stops for fuel in all three stages.

NASCAR has scheduled a competition caution for lap 25.

NFL Hall of Famers Tony Dorsett and Tim Brown gave the command to start the engines.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and jumpis out in front for the lead with Kyle Busch in second.

Lap two, Kyle Larson leads the race with Kyle Busch in second; Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap five, Chase Elliott has already moved up nine spots since the start of the race and is in 19th place.

Lap six, Kyle Larson has a half second lead on Kyle Busch; Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

While Chase Elliott has moved up through the field, Kevin Harvick has fallen nine spots and is in 28th place.

Lap nine, Kyle Larson holds a half second lead on Kyle Busch; Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five. Chase Elliott is in 18th place.

Lap 18, Kyle Larson continues to lead the race but has pulled out to a two second lead on Joey Logano; Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, and William Byron round out the top five. There are 36 cars on the lead lap. Chase Elliott has moved up to 16th place.

Kyle Larson’s team reports a bit of a radio issue.

Lap 21, Kyle Larson continues to increase his lead and is now over two and a half seconds in front of Joey Logano; Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 24, three seconds in front of the field, Kyle Larson has encountered slower traffic. There are now 34 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 25, NASCAR displays the yellow flag for the competition caution.

Kyle Larson lead the field down pit road for service and adjustments. Taking only two tires, William Byron wins the race off of pit road. Martin Truex Jr, Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, Joey Logano, Matt DiBenedetto, Kyle Busch, and Austin Dillon also took only two tires.


Kyle Busch was caught speeding on pit road and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

William Byron brings the field down for the green restart on lap 31 and gets out in front for the lead.

A big crash on the backstretch brings out the second caution flag. In the middle of a three wide battle,Bubba Wallace gets turned around, drivers start spinning, and blocks the track causing more cars to crash. Ryan Newman, Aric Almirla, Chase Briscoe, Michael McDowell, Ryan Preece, Anthony Alfredo, Cole Custer, Ross Chastain, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Alex Bowman, Josh Bilicki, Joey Gase, and Justin Haley were also involved in the crash. This is the biggest crash to ever happen at TMS.

Kyle Busch also sustained a bit of damage and was concerned about whether he had a flat tire. Busch brings his car down pit road for repairs.

Drivers are now within their pit window to make it to the end of stage one and are coming down pit road to top off the fuel cell.

William Byron brings the field down for the green flag restart of the race on lap 40 and goes side by side with Martin Truex Jr before Byron takes the lead on lap 41.

The top five are William Byron, Martin Truex Jr, Matt DiBenedetto, Tyler Reddick, and Joey Logano. Chase Elliott is now in the top 10 in eighth place. There are 27 cars on the lead lap. Kyle Busch is in the top 20 in 18th place.

Lap 43, William Byron leads the race with Tyler Reddick in second; Matt DiBenedetto, Martin Truex Jr, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Lap 48, William Byron has a half second lead on Tyler Reddick; Matt DiBenedetto, Martin Truex Jr, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five. Chase Elliott is just outside the top five in sixth place.

Lap 57, William Byron holds a half second lead on Tyler Reddick; Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott round out the top five. Kyle Busch is just outside the top 10 in eleventh.

Ryan Blaney is reporting a vibration. The crew reports that all of the lug nuts are tight.

Lap 64, William Byron has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Tyler Reddick; Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 66, William Byron has increased his lead to a second and a half on Tyler Reddick; Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and Chase Elliott round out the top five. Kyle Busch is up to seventh place after getting a speeding penalty and a bit of damage from the big crash.

Lap 70, Tyler Reddick has closed the gap on leader William Byron to under a second and a half; Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 77, William Byron continues to lead the race but his lead is down to under a second; Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick, Denny Hamlin, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 82, Kyle Larson has caught up to leader William Byron and passes for the lead. There are just 20 cars on the lead lap.

Several of the crews are telling their drivers to start saving fuel so that they can make it to the end of the stage.

Lap 87, Kyle Larson has a lead of nearly a second on William Byron; Tyler Reddick, Denny Hamlin, nad Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 90, Kyle Larson puts fellow playoff driver Brad Keselowski a lap down.

Austin Dillon is the first of the drivers who cannot make it to the end of the stage and must make a stop for fuel. Leader Kyle Larson is also one of those drivers and comes down pit road on lap 95.

William Byron is the new leader.

Lap 96, William Byron comes down for some fuel and gives the lead over to Denny Hamlin.

Joey Logano comes down for service. Chase Elliott takes fuel only.

With nine laps remaining in stage one, Kyle Busch is the new leader with Christopher Bell is inecond; Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

There are 17 cars on the lead lap.

Second place driver Christopher Bell and Martin Truex Jr will also have to make a pit stop.

Five laps remain in stage one, Kyle Busch is the leader with Ryan Blaney in second in big fuel conservation mode; Kurt Busch, Chris Buescher, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Two laps to go, pit road is closed, Kyle Busch leads the race with just 12 cars on the lead lap.

Kyle Busch wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Kyle Busch
Ryan Blaney

Kyle Larson
Kurt Busch
William Byron
Chase Briscoe
Denny Hamlin
Chase Elliott
Tyler Reddick
Brad Keselowski

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

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two from the inside lane on lap 113 and it is the Kyle and Kyle battle for the lead. Kyle Busch gets out in front after a littl push form William Byron.

The top five are Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Blaney. There are 17 cars on the lead lap.

Ryan Blaney gets loose on the track and moves up the track, losing a few spots.

Lap 116, Kyle Larson battle with Kyle Busch for the lead. Kyle Larson takes the lead with Kyle Busch in second; Kevin Harvick, William Byron , and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Lap 120, Kyle Larson has a half second lead on William Byron; Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five. Chase Elliott is right behind Harvick in sixth place.

Lap 124, William Byron has closed the gap on leader Kyle Larson to two tenths of a second; Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 132, Kyle Larson has a half second lead on William Byron; Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Kyle Busch is reporting a chatter; adding that he has no grip.

Lap 137, Kyle Larson has increased his lead to a second on William Byron; Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five. There are 17 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 141, Kyle Larson continues to increase his lead and is now nearly a second and a half in front of William Byron; Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five. Three of the top five drivers are not in the playoffs.

Lap 145, Kyle Larson’s lead is now two seconds over William Byron.

Lap 154, Kyle Larson has pulled out to a lead of over three seconds on William Byron; Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Chase Elliott makes an unscheduled trip down pit road with a tire vibration. He is in his pit window, but having to take tires has put Elliott a lap down. He returns to the track in 20th place with 16 cars on the lead lap.

Chase Elliott’s crew reports that there was an issue with the right front tire. The tire showed some major tire wear.

Lap 159, William Byron has cut into the leader Kyle Larson’s gap; Larson is now less than three seconds out in front; Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 161, Joey Logano begins the cycle of green flag pot stops.

Lap 163, Kyle Larson has again opened up the gap with a lead of nearly four seconds on William Byron; Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, and Kevin Harvick rund out the top five.

The fourth caution flag comes out on lap 166 for debris on the track. Chase Elliott and Joey Logano were in danger of being lapped for a second time when the caution flag came out.

There are only eleven cars on the lead lap; all eleven of them come down pit road for service. Kyle Larson wins the race of off pit road with Kyle Busch coming out in second.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart with 40 laps remaining in stage two. Kyle Larson jumps out in front of Kyle Busch to take the lead with William Byron taking second.

Lap 171, the top five are Kyle Larson, William Byron, Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, and Brad Keselowski.

There are 15 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 174, Kyle Larson has a tenth of a second lead on William Byron; Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 176, Brad Keselowski pushes Ryan Blaney and takes fourth from Kyle Busch.

Lap 177, Kyle Busch is falling through the field and is now in seventh.

Team mates Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski battle for third with Blaney taking the spot.

Lap 178, Kyle Larson leads the race with team mate William Byron in second; Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 181, Kyle Larson has just a third of a second lead on William Byron but it is over tow seconds back to third place driver Ryan Blaney; Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 191, Kyle Larson has a half second lead on William Byron; but it is four seconds back to third place driver Ryan Blaney; Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski round out the top five. Kyle Busch has dropped to 10th place.

Lap 195, Kyle Larson has increased his lead on William Byron to nearly a second; Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick ,and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Kyle Busch is reporting some handling issues. Martin Truex Jr is also reporting some issues with his car.

Lap 204,, William Byron has some debris on his grille.

Lap 205, Kyle Larson has a half second lead on William Byron; Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick nad Brad Keselowski round out the top five with 15 cars on the lead lap.

The last car on the lead lap, Chase Elliott is continuing to report some issues with his car.

Kyle Larson wins stage two.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Kyle Larson
William Byron
Ryan Blaney
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
Kurt Busch
Denny Hamlin
Chase Briscoe
Tyler Reddick
Kyle Busch

Drivers come down pit road for service with Kyle Larson leading the race off of pit road with William Byron coming out second.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 217. Kyle Larson gets a push from Ryan Blaney and gets out in front for the lead.

The top five are Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick.

Kurt Busch gets loose and looses a few spots. He brings his car down pit road for an unscheduled pit stop.

Ryan Blaney got loose and dropped a couple of spot and is battleling with team mate Brad Keselowski.


Lap 220, Kyle Larson leads the race with William Byron in second.

Kurt Busch had a loose tire, not all of the lug nuts were secured.

Lap 222, the top five are Kyle Larson, William Byron, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney.

During his pit stop, Martin Truex Jr’s crew made some major adjustments to the car.

Lap 227, Kyle Larson has a half second lead on William Byron; Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 231, six of the top 10 drivers are round of eight playoff drivers.

Lap 238, William Byron is reporting a vibration issue.

Lap 239, Kyle Larson has a lead of over a second and a half on William Byron; Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, and Kevin Harvick.

Kyle Larson is also reporting a bit of a vibration issue.

Lap 242, Daniel Suarez is the last car on the lead lap in 15th place.

Lap 243, Tyler Reddick passes Kevin Harvick for fifth.

Lap 247, Kyle Larson has increased his lead to two seconds on William Byron; Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Lap 252, William Byron has closed the gap on leader Kyle Larson to just over a second and a half; Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

With 78 laps remaining in the race, Kyle Larson has pulled out to a lead of over a second on William Byron.

Joey Logano reports an issue with the splitter.

Lap 260, Kyle Larson has pulled out to a lead of nearly two and a half seconds on William Byron; Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Kyle Busch reports some major handling issues in his car.

Ryan Blaney reported that his car sputtered from nowhere and then came back to life.

Christopher Bell made an unscheduled trip down pit road with a crush panel issue.

Lap 267, Kyle Larson has a lead of over a second and a half on William Byron; Brad Keselowski is in third over four and a half seconds back with Ryan Blaney and Tyler Reddick rounding out the top five.

With 66 laps remaining in the race, drivers are now within their fuel window.

The caution flag comes out on lap 275 when Chase Briscoe hits the wall and cuts a tire. Briscoe was battling with Denny Hamlin at the time of the wreck.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Kyle Larson winning the race off of pit road; William Byron and Brad Keselowski follow to hold on to their spots.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 55 laps remaining in the race. Kyle Larson gets a push from Brad Keselowski and Larson takes the lead.

Kyle Larson leads the race with Tyler Reddick and William Byron battling for second.

Lap 283, the top five are Kyle Larson, William Byron, Tyler Reddick, Brad Keselowski, and Denny Hamlin.

Ryan Blaney passes Denny Hamlin for fifth.

Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin battle for position and barely miss a wreck and shakes up the field.

With 47 laps remaining in the race, William Byron moves to battle with Kyle Larson for the lead.

With 44 laps to go, Kyle Larson has a third of a second lead on William Byron; Brad Keselowski, Tyler Reddick, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five with 15 cars on the lead lap.

The caution flag come out on lap 299 after Joey Logano blows an engine and takes his car to the garage. A playoff driver, the blown engine drops Logano 26 points below the cut line.

Some drivers come down pit road for service. There are just 13 cars on the lead lap.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 30 laps remaining in the race. Kyle Larson gets out in front wit the help of Tyler Reddick.

Kyle Busch gets in the back of Chris Buescher after Buescher tried to block him. In the melee, Anthony Alfredo gets into the wall and his car catches fire. With flames on the ground outside the driver’s side door, Alfredo gets out of the car unharmed.

NASCAR has brought out the red flag to stop the race in order to get the track cleaned up.

After a delay of about 10 minutes to clean up the track and get Anthony Alfredo’s car towed, NASCAR pulled the red flag to display the yellow and the cars are moving once again.

Chris Buescher was the only driver to come down pit road.

Out of the infield care center, Anthony Alfredo says that he is fine; adding that the wreck was a bummer.

All seven of the remaining playoff drivers are on the lead lap.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart with 25 laps remaining in the race. Kyle Larson gets a push from Tyler Reddick to get out in front for the lead.

With 24 laps to go, Kyle Larson leads the race with William Byron in second; Tyler Reddick, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Drivers are three wide across the track.

Denny Hamlin has a smoking car with a tire rub.

Twenty-two to go, Tyler Reddick gets around William Bryon to take second.

Denny Hamlin spins out and brings out the ninth caution flag of the race. He has multiple flat tires.

Denny Hamlin managed to stay on the lead lap but since he pitted while pit road was closed, he will have to serve a penalty and will have to restart the race from the end of the longest line.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 16 laps remaining in the race with Tyler Reddick alongside. William Byron gives Kyle Larson a push to send him out in front for the lead.

The top five are Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick, William Byron, Kevin Harvick, and Brad Keselowski.

Martin Truex Jr slams into the wall hard and brings out the tenth caution flag of the race with 14 laps to go. Truex has some significant damage to the right side of the car. Truex has some slight contact with Daniel Suarez prior to loosing the car and hitting the wall.

Martin Truex Jr is out of his car and out of the race. Denny Hamlin is back on pit road with the crew working on the car.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart with just nine laps remaining in the race. William Byron is alongside with Tyler Reddick behind Larson.
Tyler Reddick pushed Kyle Larson to the lead. Kevin Harvick drops back.

Kyle Larson leads the race with William Byron in second.

Tyler Reddick and William Byron make contact in a battle for second. Tyler Reddick drops back.

Drivers are getting three wide across the track.

The eleventh caution comes out after Chris Buescher slams the wall. Denny Hamlin also has some major damage to his car. Chris Buescher and Chase Briscoe make contact and send Buescher around who comes down in front of Denny Hamlin who has no where to go.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for a two lap shootout to the end of the race with William Byron alongside. Brad Keselowski gives Kyle Larson a push and Larson gets out in front for the lead. William Byron and Brad Keselowski battle for second.

Kyle Larson takes the white flag.

Kyle Larson wins race number eight of the season after leading 256 laps. Larson has secured his spot in the final four.

Half of the drivers who finished in the top 10 are not playoff drivers.

The unofficial results of the Autotrader EchoPark 500:
Kyle Larson
William Byron
Christopher Bell
Brad Keselowski
Kevin Harvick
Ryan Blaney
Chase Elliott
Kyle Busch
Tyler Reddick

Daniel Suarez
Denny Hamlin
Erik Jones
Matt DiBenedetto
Austin Dillon
Chase Briscoe
Kurt Busch
Michael McDowell
Aric Almirola
Cole Custer
Corey LaJoie
Chris Buescher
BJ McLeod
David Starr
Garrett Smithley
Martin Truex Jr
Josh Bilicki
Timmy Hill
Ross Chastain
Anthony Alfredo
Joey Logano
Quin Houff
Bubba Wallace
Alex Bowman
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ryan Newman
Ryan Preece
Justin Haley
Cody Ware
Joey Gase

NASCAR Has ‘Conversation’ with Feuding Drivers

Feuds among NASCAR drivers is as old as the sport itself. Some were simply an exchange of words while others escalated into some knock down drag out fist fights. But one this in for sure…they all started on the track and involved multiple tracks before the dust…or rubber….settled.

On October 10, the most recent feud came to a point that has NASCAR officials stepping in and saying enough is enough.

During the road course race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, Kevin Harvick rear ended Chase Elliott, sending Elliott into the wall which resulted in some significant damage to Elliott’s car. The wreck put both drivers in danger of being eliminated from the playoffs.

With just eleven laps remaining in the race, Elliott was closing in on Harvick’s car when Harvick hit the wall hard and crashed out of the race. As a result, Harvick was also eliminated from the playoffs – the first time since the creation of the playoff system that Harvick has not advanced past the round of 12.

NASCAR officials have stepped in and held a conference call with the parties involved.

Chase Elliott’s crew chief Alan Gustafson spoke on the phone call saying, “they try to allow the competitors to compete and the competitors to be the ones to determine the outcome of the races and let the competitors take care of it on their own. I think that’s the way it should be, right? The story shouldn’t be NASCAR, it should be about the competitors, racing and being the best they can be.” He added, “the message that NASCAR has delivered is they tried to do the best job they could do in allowing it to happen and they’re over it.

While the exact results of any future “incidents” were spelled out, NASCAR indicated that the consquences would be serious.

NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller also spoke on the phone call saying, “now, we’ve had Bristol, which one felt slighted on, and obviously (Sunday), which the other feels slighted on, so hopefully we can put a truce in place there. But we will just continue to monitor the situation and try not to let it get out of control. We don’t want to park anybody. We want all the fans to see the drivers that they came out to see, so that’ll try to be a last resort. If we keep seeing things, then we will absolutely have to take some sort of action there.”

NASCAR Issues Roval Penalties

The Roval turned out to be a wild and crazy place for the Xfinity and Cup Series drivers this last weekend with exploding turtles, renewed feuds, and record breaking wins.

On October 12, NASCAR revealed that a total of four teams were charged with penalties during the post race inspection process. All of the penalties were lug nut related with one resulting in a suspension.

In the Xfinity Series, the number eleven Kaulig Racing car driven by Justin Haley was found to have one lug nut improperly secured. As a result, crew chief Alex Yontz was fined $5,000.

In the Cup Series, Crew chief Chris Gabehart for the number eleven Joe Gibbs Racing car driven by Denny Hamlin and crew chief Scott Graves for the number 17 Roush Fenway Racing car driven by Chris Buescher were each fined $10,000 for having one lug nut improperly secured.

The biggest penalty of the week went to the Joe Gibbs Racing number 18 car driven by Kyle Busch whom NASCAR officials found had two lug nuts improperly secured during the post race inspection process. As a result, crew chief Ben Beshore has been fined $20,000 and has been suspended from the upcoming race at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend.

NASCAR Presents Drive for Diversity Awards

For much of its 70 plus year history, NASCAR has often been viewed as a “good ole boys” club where the Confederate stars and bars were as much a part of racing as the checkered flag.

In recent years, NASCAR has been working very hard to change that image from banning the “Stars and Bars” from all tracks to creating numerous diversity programs designed to open the sport to groups that have long thought the sport had no place for them.

On October 7, 2021 NASCAR presented the annual Drive for Diversity Awards in a ceremony from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.

On October 4 in a rain shortened event, Bubba Wallace and his 23 XI Racing number 23 car became only the second driver of colour to win a NASCAR premiere league event at Talladega Superspeedway.

Twelve recipients were presented awards in the 14th annual Drive for Diversity Awards for their commitment to expanding diversity and inclusion to NASCAR, its tracks, events, and races, and personnel.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps spoke on the Awards and the recipients saying, “the substantial progress our sport has made with regard to diversity, equity and inclusion is a result of the collective work of many leaders within the NASCAR community who are driving us forward together.  These awards celebrate those whose passion and commitment are strengthening a NASCAR culture that is welcoming and inclusive of everyone that shares a love of racing.”

Winners of the 2021 Drive for Diversity Awards:
The Crew Member Award went to pit crew veteran and Drive for Diversity alum Brian Eastland.

The Developmental Series Driver Award has two winners; Rajah Caruth is the first person to make the transition from iRacing to live racing.  When Caruth joins the Xfinity Series next season, he will join Bubba Wallace as a DFD alum who has achieved success in NASCAR as a driver one of the sports top three series.

Toni Breidinger is the first Arab American female to compete in a NASCAR sanctioned event.  She helped to welcome in the 2021 racing season as one of the drivers in the ARCA Menards Series race in Daytona.  In a sport filled with alcohol, auto parts, and products aimed predominantly toward men; Breidinger brought the first female centric beauty sponsorship to NASCAR with Huda Beauty.

The past few years has seen a wave of non-racing athletes come to NASCAR as owners and crew members.  Former NFL player Bernard Pollard took home the Sam Belnavis Industry Ambassador Award.  His enthusiasm over learning more about NASCAR has inspired others to also learn more about the sport.  Using social media to document his journey, Pollard has begun iRacing, attending races, and has become an ambassador in the sport.

After the death of Sam Belnavis in July of this year, NASCAR has renamed the award after the former GM and owner.  As a man of colour, Belnavis was a trailblazer himself.

A Youth Community Partner of NASCAR, The Boys and Girls Club has been named the recipient of the Institution Award.  The partnership helps to show young minorities that NASCAR is a viable career path.

Fresh off of his Talladega win, Bubba Wallace won the National Series Driver Award.  Wallace has been instrumental is opening dialogue on issues of diversity, racism, and social injustice  It was Wallace who helped lead the way for NASCAR to eliminate open signs of racism at tracks including the Confederate flag.  Wallace drivers the number 23 car for the newly formed 23 XI Racing owned by NBA legend Michael Jordan and NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin.

As a winner of the Outstanding Intern Award, Thailand native Korn Supatrabutra has completed an internship and is now a part of the NASCAR marketing department.

Also a winner of the Outstanding Intern Award Iris Wright is not only a member of the NASCAR Multicultural and Youth Marketing team; she has also initiated the NASCAR Kids Club.

The Partner Award went to RISE – a non-profit organization aimed at addressing racial issue in sports.  NASCAR now requires diversity training for all drivers and team employees; it is RISE who helps present those training programs.

Another new team this year, Trackhouse Racing was presented with the Team Award.  Trackhouse Racing is owned by Justin Marks and Latin music star Pitbull with Mexican born driver Daniel Suarez behind the wheel of the Trackhouse Racing number 99 car.  While Marks and Pitbull are hoping to rack up numerous race wins and championships; the duo is also focused on promoting diversity within the sport.

Nashville Superspeedway won the Track Award for returning to NASCAR  this season hosting events in all three series and helping to improve communities.  As the head of Nashville Superspeedway, Erik Moses is the first man of colour in NASCAR to be a track president.

The first Mexican born female driver, Young Racer Award winner Regina Sirvent is a staunch advocate for female and Hispanic drivers in NASCAR. 

NASCAR Suspends CWTS Crew Chief

When it comes to breaking the rules of the NASCAR Rule Book, officials have a no tolerance policy. And on October 6, NASCAR suspended Camping World Truck Series crew chief Eddie Troconis indefinitely for violating the rules of conduct.

Troconis has been a crew chief in the CWTS for nine years and has chiefed 142 races with two wins.

NASCAR did not give the specifics on how Troconis broke the rules; they only said that it was not for a competition related or on track incident.

Troconis was the crew chief for the number zero two Young Motorsports truck driven by Kris Wright

According to the NASCAR Rule Book violations of the sport’s behavioural policy include, “physical confrontation with officials, media, fans, etc; confrontations that involve violence, abuse, or threats; manipulating or attemps to manipulate race outcomes; and intentionally wrecking a fellow driver.

NASCAR Issues Las Vegas Penalties, Including a Suspension

During the races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last weekend, loose lug nuts were a major issue that required several drivers to make an additional trip down pit road to tighten up lug nuts.

When NASCAR officials handed down the penalties on September 28, a total of six teams were charged with having at least one lug nut improperly secured during the post race inspection process.

The biggest penalty issued by NASCAR was to the Stewart-Haas Racing number four car driven by Kevin Harvick. It was found to have two lug nuts improperly secured and as a result, crew chief Rodney Childers has been fined $20,000 and suspended from the race at Talladega this weekend. Stewart-Haas has named Greg Zipadelli as the crew chief for Harvick’s car this weekend.

The remaining four Cup Series teams had their crew chiefs fined $10,000 for a single lug nut improperly secured. The teams were:

The Hendrick Motorsports number five car driven by Kyle Larson with Cliff Daniels as crew chief
The Joe Gibbs Racing number 18 car driven by Kyle Busch with Ben Beshore as crew chief
The Chip Hanassi Racing number 42 car driven by Ross Chastain with Phil Surgen as crew chief
The Trackhouse Racing number 99 car driven by Daniel Suarez with Travis Mack as crew chief

There was just one car who did not have all 20 lug nuts properly secured in the Xfinity Series – the JR Motorsports number one car that was driven by Josh Berry. Crew chief Mike Bumgarner was fined $5,000 for the infraction. The penalty does not affect Berry’s winning the race on Saturday.

Camping World Trucks Get New Look for ’22

The manufacturers in the Camping World Truck Series – Ford, Chevrolet, and Toyota – will remain for the next racing season in 2022; however, NASCAR has authorized some “tweaking” to the body in the form of new noses and tails. The new designs will be more in align with the trucks found on the street


NASCAR has long desired to have all of its vehicles look the same, but is allowing the change to make the truck more recognizable to the truck buying public.

NASCAR promises that the changes will not alter the on track thrills currently seen by race fans.

NASCAR’s senior vice president of innovation and racing development John Probst said, “I think you’ll see a lot more characteristics of the production trucks in the trucks that you see on track in 2022.” He added, “they look really good with all that additional styling on the fenders and the hood and in the lower nose. It’s even striking again when you see them all painted up with the decals on them and the paint schemes they implement. There’s a lot of thought that went behind them. I think the fans are going to be over the moon with how these trucks look.”

The proposal for the new designs were first submitted last year. After all three manufacturers passed the wind tunnel test on the first attempt, NASCAR approved the changes.

Like the Xfinity Series cars, the new nose and tail pieces of the 2022 truck designs will be composed of the stronger composite material in stead of the current sheet metal.

The racing teams will be given the option of using the new designs or the current design for the 2022 season to aid in managing the finances of building trucks.

NASCAR Releases 2022 Cup Series Schedule

Just one day after announcing that the annual Clash that begins the NASCAR Cup Series racing season has been moved to Los Angeles and the L.A. Coliseum, NASCAR announces the Cup Series schedule for the 2022 season.

Other changes include the addition of World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway and Homestead-Miami returns as one of the playoff races.

Gateway has been a part of the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series in the past but will make it Cup Series debut next June. With the addition of Gateway, Pocono will lose one of its races.


Despite weather issues, the dirt track race at Bristol was a hit with both fans and drivers in 2021 and will return for 2022; this time under the lights on Easter Sunday. Circuit of the Americas, Nashville Superspeedway, Road America, and the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will also be back for another season. After missing a couple of year due to Covid issues, Auto Club Speedway in Fontana returns to the schedule as a part of the early season west coast swing.

The inaugural race on the road course at Indy brought quite a controversy among fans and drivers when multiple cars were destroyed due to a curb issue. However, the road course returns to the schedule. NASCAR senior vice president of strategy and innovation spoke on the decision saying, “I think the reason behind that is just, the racing product that we saw on the road course, I think fans liked it quite a bit. “I think a few things to work through, and we’ve been working hand in hand with (IMS track president) Doug Boles and the entire team ever since that event, but I think as we look towards the future, it’d be great to get back to the oval. Obviously, a ton of history and prestige around running on the oval and the Brickyard 400, so looking forward to seeing us back there sometime in the future.”

A number of the tracks in the final 10 races of the season will be playing musical dates as they which around to host different playoff races.

Ben Kennedy spoke on the changes saying, “I think we have a really strong playoff slate right now. That said, we want to keep it fresh, we want to keep it new, we want to keep it exciting, and I think with a lot of the great tracks that we have online, a lot of great tracks that we already have in our schedule, I think we’ve got a bunch of options to play with in the future. So excited about some of the changes we’ll see in ’22. I think, that said, as I think about ’23 and beyond, I think the opportunity for us to rotate some of those playoff venues will be there, something that we’ll definitely take a look at.”

The annual All Star race returns to Texas Motor Speedway again next year; making it only the second track after Charlotte Motor Speedway to host the race more than once.

In seasons past, the NASCAR Cup Series did not race on Easter Sunday or Mother’s Day; they will be racing on both of those days but will take off for Father’s Day in 2022 for the only week off during the season.

Daytona International Speedway will start and end the regular season again next year.

The schedules for the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series will be announced in the coming weeks.

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series schedule:
Feb 6 – The Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Feb 17 – Bluegreen Vacations Duels at Daytona International Speedway
Feb 20 – the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway
Feb 27 – NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA
March 6 – Penzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 13 – Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix Raceway
March 20 – Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway
March 27 – EchoPark Automotive Texas Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas
April 3 – Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway
April 9 – Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway
April 17 – Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway
April 24 – Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway
May 1 – NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway
May 8 – NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway
May 15 – NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway
May 22 – NASCAR All Star races at Texas Motor Speedway
May 29 – Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 5 – NASCAR Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway
June 12 – Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway
June 26 – Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway
July 3 – NASCAR Cup Series race at Road America
July 10 – Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart at Atlanta Motor Speedway
July 17 – NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire
July 24 – NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway
July 31 – NASCAR Cup Series race at Indianapolis Road Course
Aug 7 – FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway
Aug 14 – Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway
Aug 21 – NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International
Aug 27 – Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway
Sept 4 – Southern 500 at Darlington Racway (Playoffs begin)
Sept 11 – Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway
Sept 17 – Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway
Sept 25 – AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway
Oct 2 – YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway
Oct 9 – Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Oct 16 – South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Oct 23 – Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Oct 30 – Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway
Nov 6 – NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway

The Clash Gets New Home for 2022

For over 70 years the NASCAR racing season has begun with Speedweeks at the home of NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway. But when the 2022 season begins in February, The Clash will begin across the country in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Normally run on the two and a half mile high banks of Daytona, the 2022 Clash will be run on a quarter mile oval that circles the football field that has hosted two Olympic games and hundreds of football games in its 98 year history. Currently NASCAR does not have any quarter-mile tracks – the half mile tracks at Bristol and Martinsville are the shortest tracks on the NASCAR circuit.

The new location for the 2022 Clash has been two years in the making.

The February 6 race will also debut the Next Gen car.

The Clash began in 1979 as the Budweiser Shootout. This will mark the first time that the race has benn held outside of Daytona.

NASCAR senior vice president of strategy and innovation Ben Kennedy spoke on the new location for The Clash saying, “we’ve been discussing the Clash for a while, and we’ve had it at the (Daytona) oval for a number of years. We moved it to the road course this year, but really wanted to think outside the box as we thought about the Clash in the future — and seeing that it’s an exhibition event, we looked at a number of different places and locations that we could host it at, and ultimately narrowed it down to the L.A. Coliseum. Kennedy added, “I think the large fan base that we have here in Los Angeles, the largest that we actually have in the nation, paired with exciting racing and being here in the downtown Los Angeles market, I think will be really special.”

This will not be the first time that racing has occurred at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The 77,500 seat stadium has hosted supercross, speedway motorcycle, off-road trucks, rallycross, and X Games events. This will mark the first time a stock car event will be held at the venue.

Construction of the temporary asphalt track will begin on New Year’s Day. Officials have used the iRacing simulator to help in designing the track and obtain feedback from Cup Series drivers who have tested on the virtual track.

In years past, The Clash has included previous winners, Series champions, pole winners, and race winners; however, the format for eligible drivers in the 2022 series will be announced at a later date. Ben Kennedy noted, “ the format will be a little bit different from what we’ve traditionally seen at the Clash at Daytona.”

feature photo credit: USC vs University of Oregon November 2019.png

NASCAR Issues Richmond Penalties

After the doubleheader races at Richmond Raceway on Sept 11, a total of three teams were fined for lug nut violations.

In the Xfinity Series, after the Go Bowling 250, NASCAR found that the number 20 Joe Gibbs Racing car driven by Harrison Burton had on lug nut improperly secured. As a result, crew chief Jason Ratcliff was fined $5,000.

After the Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders, two teams were charged with penalties relating to lug nuts.

In the post-race inspection process, NASCAR officials found that the race winning number 19 Joe Gibbs Racing car driven by Martin Truex Jr had one lug nut improperly secured and has fined crew chief James Small $10,000.

NASCAR officials found two lug nuts improperly secured on the Spire Motorsports number 77 car driven by Justin Haley. NASCAR has fined crew chief Kevin Bellicourt $20,000 and has suspended him from the next points race which is at Bristol Speedway on Saturday night.


NASCAR Issues Single Daytona Penalty

This past weekend at Daytona International Speedway, there was plenty of excitement on the track during both the Xfinity and Cup Series races with big pile ups and overtime finishes.

On Sunday several Cup Series drivers had to start the race from the back of the field due to pre-race inspection issues and after the race, NASCAR officials disqualified Chris Buescher’s second place finish after it was discovered that there was an illegal part on his car.

But when it came to issuing penalties, NASCAR handed out one penalty for a single lug nut infraction.

In the Xfinity Series the SS Green Light Racing number 17 car driven by JJ Yeley was found to have a single lug nut improperly secured. As a result, crew chief Jason Miller was fined $5,000.

In other penalty news, NASCAR has reinstated Michael Leoncini. The crew member is now eligible to return to his normal duties.

NASCAR DQ’s Driver from Daytona Race

Once a NASCAR sanctioned race has been completed, NASCAR officials inspect several of the car. Some infractions like loose or missing lug nuts garner fines for the crew chiefs; but a major infraction can result in fines, lost points, and even a disqualification.

Such was the case for the Roush Fenway Racing number 17 team after the final race of the regular season in the Cup Series on Saturday night. Officials found that the track bar mounting assembly under the car did not meet technical specifications and was therefore, illegal.

As a result, Buescher’s second place finish in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 was disqualified and Buescher is listed as the final driver in 40th place. Third place driver Bubba Wallace in the 23XI Racing number 23 is now the second place driver as all drivers will move up one spot. Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney won the race for his third win of the 2021 season.

However, the disqualification does not change any of the point standings when it comes to placing the 16 playoff drivers.

Cup Series Sets Playoff Feld

The NASCAR Cup Series had an unprecedented 13 different drivers win at least one race this season.

With the “win and you’re in” format for the playoffs, that left little room for other drivers to earn their way into the first round of the playoffs set to begin September 4 at Darlington Raceway for theSouthern 500.

After leading in the point standings most of the season, Denny Hamlin clinched his spot on points at the end of the road course race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

After the race at Michigan, Kevin Harvick secured himself a spot in the playoffs based on points.

And after a late race pile up in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway to end the regular season, Austin Dillon was knocked out of the race…and a chance at the playoffs that went to Richard Childress Racing team mate Tyler Reddick.

Leading the way with five race wins this season, Kyle a Larson has been named the regular season champion and earns an additional 15 bonus points going into the playoffs.

The remainder of the 16 playoff drivers are:

Ryan Blaney

Martin Truex Jr

Kyle Busch

Chase Elliott

Alex Bowman

William Byron

Joey Lugano

Brad Keselowski

Kurt Busch

Christopher Bell

Michael McDowell

and Aric Almirola

The 16 playoff drivers have had their point totals reset to 2,000 points plus any bonus points earned from stage and race wins. All playoffs points earned carry over to the next round as long as the driver moves on until the final race of the season when a champion is crowned.

Each round is three races with the four drivers having the lowest number of points being eliminated from the playoffs.

The NASCAR playoff system is unlike any other sport; all of the drivers continue to run in the races and compete for the wins not just the playoff drivers.

The “final four” are the top four drivers from the round of eight; those four drivers compete, along with the rest of the field, in the final race of the season at Phoenix Raceway and the driver who finishes in the highest position wins the championship. A driver does not have to be the race winner to be crowned the champion.

NASCAR Issues Michigan/Gateway Penalties

Last weekend all three NASCAR racing series – Camping World Trucks, Xfinity, and Cup – raced with the Xfinity and Cup Series in Michigan; while the Truck raced at Gateway.

NASCAR issued a total five penalties with all but one of them related to the lug nut infraction.

In the Camping Worl Truck Series

NASCAR penalized three Cup Series teams, an Xfinity Series team and a Camping World Truck Series team Wednesday for infractions during last weekend’s events at Michigan International Speedway and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.

In the Camping World Truck Series the McAnally-Hilgemann Racing number 19 truck driven by Derek Kraus was found to have a single lug nut improperly secured. As a result, crew chief Mark Hillman was fined $2,5000.

In the Xfinity Series, the Kaulig Racing number 16driven by AJ Allmendinger was also found to have a single lug nut improperly secured. Crew chief Jason Trinchere was fined $5,000 for the infraction. The penalty does not affect Allmendinger’s race win.

Also in the Xfiity Series, NASCAR has suspended crew member Brian Thomas indefinitely; citing a behavioural infraction.

A total of three teams were assessed a penalty by NASCAR officials.

During the race, Ross Chastain had to take his Chip Ganassi Racing number 42 car to the garage for extended repairs after losing an axle. As a result, number 42 crew member David Fero has been suspended from the the race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night.

The remaining two penalties in the Cup Series were as a result of a lug nut infraction where a single lug nut was found to be improperly secured. Each crew chief was fined $10,000 for the infraction. The teams were the 23XI Racing number 23 car driven by Bubba Wallace with Mike Wheeler as crew chief and the Petty Ware Racing number 51 driven by Cody Ware with Mike Hillman as crew chief.

NASCAR Updates Covid Protocols

The numbers are rising again when it comes to the Covid-19 virus and the delta variant. As a result, companies and organizations are re-assessing protocols.

Among those is NASCAR who have made a number of changes to how the teams, drivers, and fans interact for the foreseeable future.

Beginning this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway and Michigan International Speedway fans will no longer be allowed in the garage, haulers, and racing grid. Only NASCAR licensed personnel will be allowed on the grid and members of the media must wear a face covering when interacting with the drivers and will not be allowed in the garage area on inside the haulers.

Drivers can no longer visit the suites and must keep their distance from fans. The drivers will have to plan out their routes to minimize casual interactions with fans. Interactions with drivers will be in a controlled environment that includes distancing.

NASCAR will limit the number of people during driver introductions and on Victory Lane.

All persons in an enclosed area must have their face covered at all times, regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated.

Over the past year and a half, NASCAR has been meticulous about the safety of crews and drivers; as a result, there have been very few incidents of positive cases and no mass outbreaks.

NASCAR Issues Atlanta Penalties

The lug nut monster strikes again…

Over the weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway a total of six teams were charged with lug nut violations when NASCAR issued penalties on July 13.

In the Xfinity Series, two teams had a single lug nut improperly secured. As a result the crew chiefs have been fined $5,000.

The teams are:
The Team Penske number 22 car driven by Austin Cindric with Brian Wilson as crew chief
The Joe Gibbs Racing number 54 car that was driven by race winner Kyle Busch with Chris Gayle as crew chief

In the NASCAR Cup Series, four teams were charged with having a single lug nut improperly secured during the post race inspection process. The crew chiefs were each fined $10,000.

During the post race inspection process the teams charged with a lug nut violation are:
The number 20 Joe Gibbs Racing car driven by Christopher Bell with Adam Stevens as crew chief

The Wood Brothers number 21 car driven by Matt DiBenedetto with Jonathan Hassler as crew chief

The number 23 23XL car driven by Bubba Wallace with Mike Wheeler as crew chief

The Hendrick Motorsports number 48 car driven by Alex Bowman with Greg Ives as crew chief

There were no penalties issued in the Camping World Truck Series after the race on the dirt at Knoxville Speedway.

NASCAR Issues Pocono Penalties

Last week during the race packed weekend at Pocono Raceway, the lug nut monster was very busy when NASCAR penalized six teams for violating the rule for having all 20 of the lug nuts properly secured.

In the NASCAR Cup Series four teams were penalized after the Pocono Organics CBD 325 on Saturday.

The number four Stewart-Haas Racing car driven by Kevin Harvick with Rodney Childers as crew chief,
The number 12 Team Penske car driven by Ryan Blaney with Todd Gordon as crew chief
The number 18 Joe Gibbs Racing car driven by Kyle Busch with Ben Beshore as crew chief
and The number 23 23XI Racing car driven by Bubba Wallace with Mike Wheeler as crew chief
were all charged with having one lug nut improperly secured and the crew chiefs were fined $10,000 each.

After the Xfinity Series Pocono Green 225 on Sunday two teams were charged with lug nut violations when the number 22 Team Penske car driven by Austin Cindric with Brian Wilson as crew chief and the number 18 Joe Gibbs Racing car driven by Daniel Hemric with Dave Rogers as crew chief were each charged with having a single lug nut improperly secured and the crew chiefs were fined $5,000.


Joe Gibbs Raicng crew member Micah Horton has been suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for violation of the NASCAR’s conduct policy. Horton has been a mechanic on the Xfinity Series JGR number 18 car driven by Daniel Hemric. Prior to that he was listed as the car’s car chief.

NASCAR officials did not specify exactly what the violations were.

NASCAR Cup Series Standings – June 28, 2021

After the doubleheader weekend at Pocono Raceway, there are less than 10 races remaining in the NASCAR Cup Series regular season.

Denny Hamlin continues to hold on to the point lead but his lead is now down to just two points over Kyle Larson who has won four races so far this season. Larson also leads the standings in the number of stage wins with 12.

While Chevrolet continues to lead the manufacturers standings with 702; Toyota has closed the gap on Ford to just five points with 655 for Ford and 650 for Toyota.


While technically listed number 17 in the point standings, Michael McDowell is assured a spot in the playoffs with his win in the Daytona 500.

The top16 drivers in the points standings:
Denny Hamlin

Kyle Larson
William Byron
Joey Logano
Kyle Busch
Chase Elliott
Martin Truex Jr
Ryan Blaney
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
Alex Bowman
Austin Dillon
Tyler Reddick
Kurt Busch
Chris Buescher
Christopher Bell

#17 – Michael McDowell with one race win

Of the current list of playoff drivers; Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Tyler Reddick, and Austin Dillon have yet to win a race.

At the end of the regular season, the driver with the most points will be crowned the winner of the regular season…whether he has won a race or not.

NASCAR Earns Prestigious Sporting Award.

In a category that placed NASCAR, the NBA, NFL, NHL, PGA Tour, UFC and the WNBA in a battle for the Sports League of the Year at the 2021 Sports Business Awards; NASCAR took home the prize in their first time on the ballot. The award is one of the most prestigious awards in the sports industry.

In the virtual event, NASCAR president Steve Phelps was named a finalist in the ports Executive of the Year and the eNASCAR iRacing was a finalist in the Sports Breakthrough of the Year for its eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series.

Steve Phelps spoke on the honour saying, “we’re honoured to be named 2021 Sports League of the Year and thank Sports Business Journal for this incredible recognition. This award is a testament to the collective resolve and creativity of our industry as we worked through some extraordinary circumstances in 2020 and in the process led the way for live sports in our country.”

In a year plagued by a global pandemic, cancelled events, empty stands, and altered schedules; NASCAR was the first major sport to return to competition, to welcome fans back to the venues, and the first to have a full season of events.

During the seven weeks that all sporting events were shut down, NASCAR premiered the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series where drivers competed via simulator rigs on a virtual track. A hit series, the six “races” produced some of the highest ratings in history.

Last year was also a year of racially charged events that resulted in riots and murders across the country; NASCAR took a stand against racism when it banned all Confederate flags and related material from all NASCAR tracks and events after a push from Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace. In a step toward more diversity in the sport, NASCAR’s two newest car owners are basketball star Michael Jordan and iconic Latin music star Pitbull.

Being called the best season yet, NASCAR has expanded the series to a more diverse schedule with seven road courses including the iconic Circuit of the Americas and dirt track racing at Bristol Motor Speedway.

NASCAR Issues Nashville Penalties

When NASCAR officials issued penalties after the triple header weekend in Nashville, surprisingly further penalties for the Hendrick Motorsports number nine car were not forth coming past the disqualification after the race on Sunday when it was discovered that five of the 20 lug nuts were not properly secured. Driver Chase Elliott’s being disqualfied in the race resulted in Elliott being placed in 39th (last) place and the loss of his stage one win.

However, Joe Gibbs Racing received two penalties, both for lug nut violations.

In the Cup Series, the Joe Gibbs Racing number 19 car driven by Martin Truex Jr was found to have one lug nut improperly secured. As a result, crew chief James Small was fined $10,000.

In the Xfinity Series, the Joe Gibbs Racing number 54 driven by race winner Kyle Busch who earned Xfinity Series race number 100 was also found to have a single lug nut improperly secured in the post race inspection process. Crew chief Chris Gayle has been fined $5,000 for the infraction.

There were no penalties issues in the Camping World Truck Series.

NASCAR Cup Series Standings – June 21, 2021

Kyle Larson became the first driver in the 2021 NASCAR season to win four races this season after his third win in a row in the Ally 400 in a NASCAR Cup Series return to Nashville Superspeedway on June 20.

Larson’s win puts him in second place in the points standings behind Denny Hamlin who has led the points standings all season despite not having won a race so far this season.

At one point in the season, Hamlin had a lead of over 100 points on the second place driver; that lead is now down to just 10 points with 686 points – Larson has 676 points.

Despite his disqualification at Nashville, Chase Elliott holds down the fourth place spot in the standings.

After winning the Daytona 500, Michael McDowell is listed in 16th place, the last spot to move on to the playoffs. Kurt Busch is in 17th place eight points behind McDowell.

With eleven different race winners this season, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Austin Dillon,Tyler Reddick, and Chris Buescher are the only drivers in the top 16 that have yet to win a race.

In the manufacuters race, Chevrolet holds on to the lead with eight wins and 627 points; Ford comes in second with four wins and 589 points and Toyota is in third with five wins and 575 points.

The top 16 drivers in the playoffs:
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Larson
William Byron
Chase Elliott
Joey Logano
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Kevin Harvick
Ryan Blaney
Brad Keselowski
Austin Dillon
Alex Bowman
Tyler Reddick
Christopher Bell
Chris Buescher
Michael McDowell

NASCAR Re-instates Spotter

On May 26, 2021 NASCAR suspended Hendrick Motorsports spotter Eddie D’Hondt when it was discovered he had been arrested in Catawba Country, North Carolina.

At the time of the suspension, NASCAR stated that it was indefinite; however, on June 18 officials announced that D’Hondt has been re-instated, effective immediately and has had his membership privileges restored.

Hendrick Motorsports spoke on the re-instatement via statement saying, “we are pleased about the resolution of this matter and look forward to Eddie D’Hondt re-joining our team this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway.”

D’Hondt also spoke on his return to NASCAR via a statement saying he is, “very pleased with today’s announcement of dismissal.” He added that he is, “grateful that based on the diligent efforts of his defense team the District Attorney was able to process this case and ultimately decide it had no merit and the charges levied against him were totally unfounded.”

D’Hondt was suspended for violating the NASCAR rule book by not reporting the arrest.


NASCAR has also re-instated Kurt Bbutcher after he has completed the Road to Recovery program. The Sam Hunt Racing hauler driver was suspended April 13 for violating NASCAR’s Substance Abuse policy.

NASCAR Silly Season Begins

Like Christmas sales, it seems that the NASCAR Silly Season begins earlier every year. The NASCAR season hasn’t even reached the halfway point and already teams are making moves for the 2022 season.

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Season will also debut the new “Next Gen” car.

Currently fielding teams in the Xfinity Series, Kaulig Racing has announced that they will field a team full time and a second team part time in the Cup Series next season.

Currently driving the number eleven car for Kauling Racing, Justin Haley will be moving into the Cup Series full time next season. AJ Allmendinger drives the number 16 car in the Xfinity Series full time and will continue to do so next season while running a partial schedule in the Cup Series next season.

Kaulig Racing purchased two charters from Spire Motorsports who will continue to field the number seven car in the Cup Series driven by Corey LaJoie.

Kaulig Racing isn’t the only Xfinity Series that will be fielding a car in the 2022 Cup Series. GMS Racing is currently working on partnerships and other details for the new team. Further details of the team and a driver will be forthcoming in the next several months.

In other Silly Season news…

Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman has signed a two year extension with HMS. With two wins this season, Bowman is one of four HMS drivers who has helped car owner Rick Hendrick become the winningest team owner in NASCAR Cup Series history.

Short of any details, reports are that Brad Keselowski will be leaving Penske Racing and the number two car and will be headed for Roush Fenway Racing where he will be a driver and a part owner. Currently all parties are mum on the subject and Penke owner Roger Penske has stated that they have a contract with Keselowski through the 2021 season.

Current Xfiity Series champion Austin Cindric is the driver in waiting for the number 21 Wood Brothers car next season, which would put current driver Matt DiBenedetto out of a ride. But there is speculation that if there are any truth to the Keselowski rumours, Cindric may be changing rides and leaving Matty D where he is.

Another driver who may be tired to the Keselowski/Roush rumours is Roush Fenway Racing driver Ryan Newman who is the current driver of the number six car.

Kurt Busch is currently the driver of the Chip Ganassi Racing number one car but has announced that he has no plans once the season is over; however, he has said that 23XI Racing and Trackhouse Racing – both new teams this season – have approached him about driving for them. Busch has also said that he plans to talk to car owner Chip Ganassi about extending his current contract.

For those worried that 23XI Racing owners Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin are going to replace current driver Bubba Wallace, the team is looking to expand to two teams next season.

The other new team this season – Trackhouse Racing – currently has Daniel Suarez as its driver, but is looking to expand to two teams next season.

NASCAR Assesses Texas Penalties

While the NASCAR Cup Series ran their annual All Star race at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend, the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series both ran points races.

On June 15, NASCAR officials levied a penalty, a suspension, and issued a disqualification after those races.

In the Xfinity Series, the number eight JR Motorsports car driven by Josh Berry was charged with having one lug nut improperly secured during the post race inspection process. As a result of the infraction, crew chief Taylor Moyer was fined $5,000.

In the Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR has suspended Kyle Busch Motorsports employee Matthew Moermond for violating the Conduct guidelines in the NASCAR rule book. He was listed as a technical director for KBM.

During the post race inspection process, NASCAR officials discovered that the number 45 Niece Motorsports truck had an unapproved throttle body installed. As a result, the truck was disqualified from the race and putting driver Ross Chastain in last place.

Prior to the All Star race on Sunday, officials discovered that the number 42 car driven by Ross Chastain had a violation with his air ducts. As a result, NASCAR fined the team $25,000, ejected crew chief Phil Surgen, and put Chastian at the back of the field for the start of the All Star race. No further penalty was assessed to the team.

NASCAR Cup Series Standings – May 31

With the playoffs still two months away, the NASCAR Cup Series has only three repeat winners so far this season after Kyle Larson won his second race of the season with a dominating win at the Coca Cola 600 on May 30. The win also saw car owner Rick Hendrick break the record for the most wins by a team owner with 269 wins. Hendrick tied the record last week with Petty Enterprises (Richard Petty Motorsports) after the win by Chase Elliott at the road course Circuit of the Americas. Petty held the record for over 60 years.

Martin Truex Jr has three wins; while team mates Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman have two wins each. Eight other drivers have notched a win this season.

Still winless, Denny Hamlin continues to dominate in the Cup point standings with 633 points. Hamlin’s lead has diminished slightly over the past couple of weeks, but he still holds a lead of 76 points over Kyle Larson in second place.

With a total of six wins, Chevrolet has a 24 point lead in the manufacturers standings with 547 points. Ford is in second with 523 points with four wins and Toyota is in third with 513 points with five wins.


The top 16 drivers in the playoff standings are:
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Larson – race winner
William Byron – race winner
Chase Elliott – race winner
Joey Logano – race winner
Martin Truex Jr – race winner
Ryan Blaney – race winner
Kyle Busch – race winner
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski – race winner
Austin Dillon
Alex Bowman – race winner
Tyler Reddick
Chris Buescher
Christopher Bell – race winner
Michael McDowell – race winner

NASCAR Suspends Spotter

When it comes to violations of the NASCAR rule book, NASCAR officials have a zero tolerance policy.

After it was discovered that Cup Series spotter Eddie D’Hondt – who is currently the spotter for Hendricks Motor Sports driver Chase Elliott – had recently been arrested,D’Hondt was immediately suspened indefinitely.

According to reports, Hickory Police Department, D’Hondt was arrested May 12 and charged with two misdemeanor counts for battery of an unborn child and assault on a female.

NASCAR suspended the spotter for violating the Member Conduct Guidelines – section 12.8.1.e of the NASCAR rule book which states: “Being charged with or convicted of significant criminal violations (e.g. Domestic Violence, Trafficking, Assault), or having had determinations rendered by criminal or civil authorities that in NASCAR’s judgement necessitate action. NASCAR will not pre-judge guilt or innocence in the criminal or civil legal system, or the guilt or innocence of the Member, but rather review each matter in its own context and circumstances and with regards to its potential effects upon the sport.”

NASCAR also stated that D’Hondt also violated Section 2.11 of the rule book which states: “Any NASCAR Member charged with any violation of the law (misdemeanor and/or felony) shall notify NASCAR … prior to the next scheduled Event or within 72 hours of being so charged, whichever is earlier.”

A suspension by NASCAR does not equate a suspension by the team owner/employer. D’Hondt is an employee of Hendrick Motorsports who has also suspended the spotter. HMS issued a statement saying, “We became aware of the situation this morning and have immediately and indefinitely suspended Mr. D’Hondt’s role with our company. We are taking this matter very seriously and will continue to seek additional information about the alleged incident.”

Currently Chase Elliott’s cousing Trey Poole is listed as the new spotter for the number nine team. Last week at Circuit of the America’s, Poole was one of the three spotters used at the 3.41 mile track; along with D’Hondt and Elliott’s father and former racer bill Elliott.

Along with spotting for Elliott, D’Hondt spotted for the JR Motorsports driver of the number seven car Justin Allgaier in the Xfinity Series and for Hattori Racing driver of the number 16 truck driven by Austin Hill in the Camping World Truck Series.

Prior to joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2016 for Elliott’s rookie year, D’Hondt served as a spotter for Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch.

NASCAR Tracks Expand Capacity

After over a year of lock downs and empty stadiums, the country is beginning to open up and allow fans back into the events.

This season NASCAR has been allowing a very limited number of fans into the tracks. Last week at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas the stands were filled with race fans.

As the country goes forward and more Americans get vaccinated, more tracks will be opening up to larger groups of fans and return to allowing access to the garage.

NASCAR has already announced that masks will no longer be required by crews, drivers, and reporters.

This weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the restrictions on grandstand seating has been lifted. While fans who have not been vaccinated are urged to continue covering their faces, North Carolina has lifted the social distancing and mask requirements.

At the road course race at Sanoma on June 5 and 6, the grandstands will be open to fans after not hosting a race last year due to travel restrictions as a result of the pandemic. The 2.52 mile track allows for plenty of social distancing.

In a return to Texas and Texas Motor Speedway for the annual All Star race, track officials have announced that not only will the grandstands be open; but the east side of the infield will also be open to campers; as well as; the dining area.

When NASCAR travels to Pocono Raceway in June for a doubleheader weekend, fans can pack the stands; however, until at least 70 percent of the Pennsylvania state residents have been vaccinated, face coverings are still required.

For the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, Atlanta Motor Speedway will be open to a full capacity crowd when NASCAR comes to race in July. However, the speedway has announced that sanitizing stations will be available and efforts to limit contact with cashless transactions.

When NASCAR travels to The Brickyard in August, updated protocols have yet to be updated; however, current protocols call for a capacity of 135,000 fans and requres face coverings.

Ending the regular season, NASCAR returns to Daytona International Speedway in late August. Fans will not face any capacity limits like they did at the beginning of the season for the Daytona 500.

The playoffs kick off in a return to Darlington Raceway on Labor Day Weekend with the Southern 500. When fans return to the track, they will face no crowd restrictions in the stands.

With The Strip filled with casinos and performance lounges opening up, Las Vegas Motor Speedway is following suit and when fans travel to the desert for a late September race, NASCAR is looking to pack the stands after hosting no fans last September and only allowing 15,000 fans in the stands for the race that was held in March.

When NASCAR returns to Kansas Speedway in late October the fans will see no crowd restrictions for the triple header weekend.