Wallace holds off boss, title contenders to win at Kansas
Bubba Wallace won his second career NASCAR Cup Series race and denied the playoff field of an automatic spot in the next round for the second straight week when he held off championship contenders Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell to win at Kansas Speedway.
Bell snags first Cup victory in another surprise Gibbs win
Bell won in his second race driving for Joe Gibbs Racing to give the team a pair of surprising victories at Daytona International Speedway. Ty Gibbs, the 18-year-old grandson of team owner Joe Gibbs, won the Xfinity Series race Saturday night in his first career national series start. “I've prepared my whole life for this moment to race in the Cup Series, last year was such a learning curve for me. Kevin Harvick finished sixth and AJ Allmendinger, in his first Cup race since the 2018 season finale, finished seventh. It was the highest finish in three Cup races for Kaulig Racing, an Xfinity Series team formed in 2016 that wants to be full-time Cup next season.
Bell snags first Cup victory in another surprise Gibbs win
Michael McDowell was the surprise Daytona 500 winner and then Bell earned an earlier-than-expected first trip to victory lane. The 26-year-old Oklahoman is a longtime Toyota development driver who won 16 Xfinity Series races driving for Gibbs. Ty Gibbs, the 18-year-old grandson of team owner Joe Gibbs, won the Xfinity Series race Saturday night in his first career national series start. Kevin Harvick finished sixth and AJ Allmendinger, in his first Cup race since the 2018 season finale, finished seventh. It was the highest finish in three Cup races for Kaulig Racing, an Xfinity Series team formed in 2016 that wants to be full-time Cup next season.
Ready to retire? Kurt Busch leaves NASCAR fans guessing
“If you’re asking me if this is a retirement video, I’m leaving it open for interpretation,” Busch told The Associated Press on Saturday. Ad“Who gets to go and take a NASCAR car to Key West at 200 mph,” Busch asked. Gronkowski partied in victory lane when Busch won the 2017 Daytona 500 and the fellow Monster athlete says: “Don’t do it, man! Don’t retire!” Busch lives in South Florida near Vanilla Ice, the “Ice, Ice, Baby” rapper who pulls up next to the Chevy and gets caught up in smoke from a burnout. Whether this was a true retirement video, simply a marketing ploy for the energy drink or even a negotiating tactic for another contract remained unclear.
Rain washes out NASCAR's final practices for Daytona 500
“I think we proved as an industry last year that track time was a little overrated," said David Wilson, head of Toyota Racing Development. Heavy rain soaked the track early, though, prompting officials to shift gears before the Xfinity Series opener later Saturday. An ARCA series race also was scheduled for the middle of the day. “I'm fine without it,” said 2017 Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch. ..."Obviously, we didn’t want to go to a backup car, but I think we’re still in a really good place for the 500.
Elliott races into NASCAR championship; Harvick eliminated
That's how it was supposed to play out, at least, after Harvick won a Cup series-high nine races and the regular-season title. Chase Elliott won the high-stakes race to earn his first career berth in the championship four. Just came up short," Harvick said. “It was just a move I had to try knowing that I needed one point," Harvick said. Bill Elliott was 0 for 45 at Martinsville in his Hall of Fame career, and Chase Elliott won in his 11th try.
NASCAR resumes Texas playoff race 3 days after it started
FORT WORTH, Texas – NASCAR's playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway finally resumed Wednesday, three days after it started. The restart came nearly 72 1/2 hours after the race was red-flagged Sunday because of misty conditions and drizzle in the area that persisted until early Wednesday. It was overcast with temperatures still in the mid-40s when the race resumed, but there was no more precipitation in the forecast. The 40-car field resumed with four caution laps before going green on lap 57. Harvick won the last three fall races in Texas and is a nine-time winner this season, but was running 36th and a lap down.
Logano wins at Kansas to clinch spot in Cup Series finale
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Joey Logano spent the final 40-plus laps at Kansas Speedway keeping an eye on Kevin Harvick in his rear-view mirror. Now, he can look ahead to the NASCAR Cup Series finale at Phoenix. Using every bit of the track Sunday to hold off the winningest driver this season, Logano took the checkered flag on a cold, blustery Sunday to secure a spot in the championship round of the playoffs. Hamlin managed to hold off the 2014 series champion to win his 10th stage of the season. Then, midway through the final stage, he began to notice a problem in his car.
Race into NASCAR's championship round begins at Kansas
Elliott won the race. The path to the championship finale begins Sunday at Kansas Speedway, the first of three races in the title-setting third round. It's a fairly straightforward series with ensuing stops at Texas Motor Speedway, like Kansas a 1.5-mile intermediate oval, then half-mile Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR's shortest and oldest active track. Hamlin has won NASCAR's last two visits to Kansas, a turnaround after several so-so races. “If you fast-forward to Kansas and Texas, it’s a mile-and-a-half, so everything is just pointing in our direction right now,” he said.
Elliott wins at Roval as champ Busch bounced from playoffs
Chase Elliott won on the hybrid road course-oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Busch and three others were trimmed from title contention. Elliott, meanwhile, won for the second consecutive year at “The Roval” and third time this season. “Best way to get into the next round is to win,” Elliott said. Bowman battled anxiety through the race as he worried Kyle Busch would win and bump him from the playoffs. When Busch didn't pit, Bowman nervously asked his Hendrick Motorsports team if he was about to be eliminated.
NASCAR champion Busch tries to stave off elimination
Busch doesn't need to win on the “Roval” to advance, but there's only five races remaining for him to improve his season. The Sunday forecast calls for an 80% chance for rain and the road course portion of the Roval permits NASCAR to race in wet conditions. The Cup drivers have never before used rain tires in competition. NASCAR stopped the Xfinity Series race for about 40 minutes Saturday so its track dryers could push water off the racing surface. "What is the drainage like at that racetrack through the infield road course?
Hamlin wins in 3rd overtime of Talladega's longest race
Denny Hamlin (11) races William Byron (24) and Matt DiBenedetto (21) to the finish line during the YellaWood 500 NASCAR auto race at Talladega Superspeedway, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Talladega, Ala. Hamlin won. His sweeping three-wide pass in triple overtime Sunday brought an end to the sloppiest race of the season. “To win the championship, you have to win the last race and you have to get to the last race. But Talladega's finish line is unusually close to Turn 1 and Elliott had not made it there before a crash behind him. DiBenedetto was initially denied his first career victory a year ago by Hamlin the same week DiBenedetto learned he was out of a job.
Kurt Busch ends 0-for-21 skid to finally win at home track
LAS VEGAS – Two decades of heartbreak at his home track finally ended for Kurt Busch when a little bit of luck fell his way at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Busch then took the checkered flag to the finish line and smacked it on each of the letters in Las Vegas. Kyle Busch appreciated the milestone his older brother achieved in finally winning at Las Vegas. Not only had Kurt Busch never won before at Las Vegas, but he had just five top-10 finishes before the win. “It was pretty cool to finally see him get a victory here in Las Vegas and score a hometown win.
NASCAR champion returns home mired in 29-race losing streak
LAS VEGAS – Kyle Busch is in a terrible slump, winless this Cup season and his 15-year streak of at least one victory a year in danger. Las Vegas has rarely been good to him, though, and he's got just one win in 18 career Cup starts. Busch won just once that year and tied a career-low with just nine top-five finishes. Busch needs to be near the front to contend and gets his chance when the green flag flies at Las Vegas. His challengers have been wary about this second round, but Harvick has tunnel vision and is taking it one race at a time.
Chastain snags Ganassi Cup ride in busy NASCAR free agency
"Racing in the Cup Series with a serious contender has always been my goal, and I’m looking forward to joining what is a very strong team. Chase Briscoe began the year chasing eight victories, the number he believes will earn him a Cup ride, and he won his seventh race last weekend. Carpoff in November 2018 named Chastain the driver of a full Xfinity Series ride at Ganassi that would be sponsored by DC Solar. The sponsorship money evaporated, Ganassi shuttered the Xfinity Series team and Chastain was out of a job about six weeks before the 2019 season opener. He ran 35 Cup races, made 19 starts in the Xfinity Series and raced for the Truck Series championship for Niece Motorsports.
Harvick takes Southern 500 after leaders Elliott, Truex bump
Harvick didnt dominate the Southern 500 in his series-best eighth victory of the season. The leaders got tangled up there and the next thing you know we were racing for the win, Harvick said. PLAYOFF PUSHAlmiorola is now squarely on the bubble ranked 12th among the 16 drivers after the first playoff race. BLANEY PENALTYBlaney's title chances took a hit just hours before the first playoff race began. UP NEXTThe second playoff race is at Richmond Raceway on Saturday night.
Higher stakes at Daytona mean 'crazy things will happen'
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Racing at Daytona International Speedway always comes with a hefty dose of drama. Nearly half the field is looking to clinch a postseason berth with a victory, including seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson. Crazy things will happen.Thats exactly what NASCAR envisioned when it moved Daytonas summertime extravaganza to the regular-season finale. Cup races at Daytona already were considered wild-card events in which just about anyone could end up in victory lane. Throw in the raised stakes, and it's sure to create an ultra-intense couple of hours on the track.
Road king: Elliott wins at Daytona for 3rd straight on road
NASCARs most popular driver won the Cup Series road course race at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, holding off hard-charging Denny Hamlin following a late restart and notching his third consecutive victory away from ovals. The 24-year-old Elliott also won on road courses at Charlotte and at Watkins Glen last year. Elliott, Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. had the cars to beat. Making up that kind of ground on a 14-turn, 3.61-mile road course was a nearly impossible tough task, especially considering Elliott was turning mistake-free laps at the front of the field. Newman was one of the few Cup drivers with experience on Daytonas road course.
Unpredictability ahead as NASCAR gets on Daytona road course
NASCAR takes to the retooled road course at Daytona this weekend for what surely will be a unique unprecedented, really experience for dozens of drivers who have only raced it online. The Xfinity Series race is Saturday, followed a day later by the Truck Series and the Cup Series. Both ran the Rolex 24 endurance race on the road course in January. Kenseth and Ryan Newman have victories on the Daytona road course, each winning IROC races in the mid-2000s. While Busch and Allmendinger surely provided teammates help learning the tracks nuances, many teams eager to gain an advantage turned to road course experts for assistance this week.
Harvick holds off Hamlin for Michigan doubleheader sweep
BROOKLYN, Mich. Kevin Harvick won just about everything he could in a stellar weekend at Michigan International Speedway, although fittingly, Denny Hamlin was the last driver to pressure him. Harvick held off Hamlin on Sunday to complete a doubleheader sweep in the NASCAR Cup Series. With NASCAR running an adjusted schedule because of the coronavirus, both Michigan races were held on the same weekend. That meant Harvick became the first driver since Richard Petty in 1971 to win back-to-back Cup races on consecutive days. Its been a long time since Ive raced back-to-back days, let alone in the Cup car, Harvick said.
Keselowski still seeking 1st win at home track in Michigan
Keselowski still hasn't won a Cup race in his home state, and it seems like every year that is a story when NASCAR comes to Michigan. I was actually talking to Joey Logano about it, because I won last weekend at his home track in New Hampshire. Normally, Michigan hosts races in June and August, but the pandemic pushed them both onto the same weekend this year. The races in Michigan always take on a special importance for Ford, which has swept the MIS Cup races each of the past two years. DOUBLEHEADERMichigan is set to become the second track in series history to run a doubleheader at the same facility on back-to-back days.
NASCAR Cup rookie Cole Custer wins in upset at Kentucky
SPARTA, Ky. Cole Custer became the first rookie winner in the NASCAR Cup Series in nearly four years, surging to the lead in a four-wide, final-lap scramble Sunday at Kentucky Speedway. The victory was the first by a series rookie since Chris Buescher at Pocono on Aug. 1, 2016. Making his 20th series start, the 22-year-old Custer celebrated with a frontstretch burnout as his crew happily ran to greet him. That didn't last long as Truex quickly stalked him on the last-stage restart and took over on 181 in hopes of his third Kentucky win in four years. Truex settled for watching Custer take the win.
Day trippers: Familiarity key for drivers at Kentucky oval
Kevin Harvick, on far side of wall, celebrates with his crew after winning the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Sunday, July 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)SPARTA, Ky. The Kentucky Speedway winners' club is exclusive just five drivers have combined to win the first nine NASCAR Cup races. That trio also has multiple Kentucky wins, which speaks volumes of their mastery of the 1.5-mile oval. 48 Chevy again after missing his first career race last week in Indianapolis following a positive COVID-19 test. Kyle Busch remains the perennial Kentucky favorite with sevens wins across NASCARs three national series, including two in Cup, and a slew of top-10s.
Harvick takes advantage of Hamlin's crash to win Brickyard
INDIANAPOLIS Kevin Harvick turned up the heat on Denny Hamlin late in the Brickyard 400. It's the Brickyard, this is what I grew up wanting to do so to come here and win for the third time is something I couldn't have dreamed up." For the third straight race, Harvick and Hamlin were in a league of their own. And since racing resumed at Darlington in mid-May, Hamlin and Harvick have combined to win seven of 12 races. But the crash ended Hamlin's run of four straight top-five finishes with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Keselowski wins 600 to extend Johnson's losing streak
Keselowski extended Jimmie Johnson's losing streak to 102 races by holding off the seven-time NASCAR champion in overtime early Monday to win the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race on the NASCAR schedule. It was the first win for Keselowski this season, his first Coca-Cola 600 victory and the first win at this event for Ford since 2002. I wanted to win the 600 my whole life and wanted to win in front of everybody, Keselowski said. But almost two hours after the race, NASCAR disqualified Johnson because his Chevrolet failed post-race inspection. I was a lap-and-a-half away from winning the 600, Elliott said.
No fans, no problem: Some Coca-Cola 600 fans turn out anyway
The only people to see the race were those working it and those who live in the turn one condominiums at the track. But there were 33 motorhomes on his properties, with race fans traveling from as far away as New York, Texas and Maine. Like many around the country, Little has taken a financial hit due to fans being shut out of sports, but the third-generation owner of the campground said, honestly, I feel just terrible for the race fans." The Coca-Cola 600 promotional signs that normally adorn from the front of restaurants during race week were non-existent. Usually we would be packed out with NASCAR fans," said Mindy Segovia, the general manager of Iron Thunder Saloon, about a mile from the track.