NASCAR's Bowman drives on, shrugs off Hamlin 'hack' label
Bowman infuriated championship contender Denny Hamlin with six laps remaining Sunday at Martinsville Speedway when he spun Hamlin out of the lead. It sent the race into overtime, which Bowman won for his fourth victory of the season. Bowman has insisted the contact that spun Hamlin from the lead was accidental, but Hamlin still attacked Bowman's talent level. “Look, he’s won four races this year. Reigning Cup champion Chase Elliott and title favorite Kyle Larson in a pair of Chevrolets will square off against Toyotas driven by teammates Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing.wftv.com
Bowman wins as tension builds ahead of NASCAR title race
It sent the race into overtime and Bowman held off Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski to win. The well-filled grandstands erupted in cheers when Bowman spun Hamlin, and loudly booed him when he was interviewed over the public address system. Both he and Larson, the heavy favorite and a nine-race winner, have never won a NASCAR championship. UP NEXT: The championship finale Sunday at Phoenix Raceway, where Elliott won the race last year to claim his first Cup championship. Truex won in March.wftv.com
Talladega race delayed by rain in NBC's tight NFL window
NASCAR Talladega Auto Racing Team members walk through pit row in the rain before a NASCAR Cup series auto race Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Talladega, Ala. (AP Photo/John Amis) (John Amis)TALLADEGA, Ala. — (AP) — The start of Sunday's playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway has been delayed by rain and NBC has a tight television window for the important NASCAR race because of the evening airing of Tom Brady's return to New England. Drivers have been on edge headed into Sunday's race because of the unpredictability of the 2.66-mile superspeedway and the risks of pack racing. Both the Truck Series race and Xfinity Series race doubleheader on Saturday were crash-marred and won by non-playoff drivers. “I'm going into a superspeedway race below the cutoff line, so it's definitely a stressful weekend,” Alex Bowman, ranked 11th out of 12 drivers, said before Sunday's race. ___More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsCopyright 2021 The Associated Press.wftv.com
NASCAR charges into Talladega for unpredictable playoff race
TALLADEGA, Ala. — (AP) — Denny Hamlin is already through to the third round of NASCAR's playoffs with nothing to worry about at Talladega Superspeedway. ODDS AND ENDSDenny Hamlin is the 9/5 favorite to win Talladega, according to FanDuel. Since the start of the playoffs in 2004 the winner of the Talladega playoff race has never gone on to win the Cup title. The Talladega winner did finish second in the final standings, twice. ... A non-playoff driver has won Talladega five times in 17 races.wftv.com
Hendrick stars dodging playoff elimination at Bristol
Alex Bowman and William Byron both start Saturday night's race at Bristol Motor Speedway below the cutline, and reigning series champion Chase Elliott isn’t breathing any easier than his Hendrick teammates. He was sixth at Bristol in the spring, but that race was run on dirt and delayed a day by dangerous rain and flooding. He likes Bristol, but in 21 career starts has an average finish of 30th. Nutrien AG is in its third season of sponsorship and funds 19 Xfinity Series races for Jeb Burton. If he's not retained in the Xfinity Series, he could have a shot at driving the second Cup car that Kaulig will field as a “trophy hunter” driven by specialists.wftv.com
NASCAR penalizes Hendrick Motorsports for engine infractions
NASCAR has penalized the Hendrick Motorsports teams of reigning Cup champion Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman for engine allocation infractions at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Elliott's No. 9 team and Bowman's No. 48 were found in violation of a rule that covers engine assembly. A statement from Hendrick Motorsports released Thursday said the violations were the result of an administrative error that resulted in a sealed engine assigned to Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet being unintentionally allocated to the No. 48.news.yahoo.com
Bowman zips past Larson after late flat and wins at Pocono
Larson had won three straight Cup races and was in prime position to take this one at Pocono when he passed Bowman with three laps left in the race. Bowman was in the right spot to take advantage and win for the third time in his last 10 races. “I don’t know what to say.”For team owner Rick Hendrick, the wins keep coming. The Xfinity Series races Sunday followed by the second Cup race. Bowman is in his sixth full season of Cup racing and his fourth with Hendrick.wftv.com
Bowman parks 48 in familiar spot in victory lane at Dover
48 Chevrolet in its familiar spot in victory lane at Dover International Speedway, leading a dominant outing for Hendrick Motorsports on Sunday. Bowman won his second race of the season and passed 1,000 laps led in his career. Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR champion now in IndyCar, won a track-record 11 times at Dover in the 48. The 1.33-mile concrete track was built in 2001 by Dover Motorsports and hosted NASCAR and IndyCar events until 2011. Dover hosted one race weekend in 1969 and 1970 and then held two races every season from 1971 to 2020.wftv.com
The Latest: Keselowski has no regrets about Daytona 500 end
Racers crash during the last lap in the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Latest on the Daytona 500 (all times local):12:35 a.m.Brad Keselowski has no regrets about the way he handled the final lap of the Daytona 500. ___12:15 a.m.Michael McDowell won the Daytona 500 after Penske Racing teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski wrecked on the final lap. ___3:25 p.m.Derrike Cope was knocked out after only three laps, an ignominious end for the 62-year-old driver who won the 1990 Daytona 500. ___2 p.m.Bubba Wallace’s car failed inspection twice for the Daytona 500 and will have to start at the back of the field. AdWallace drives a new entry owned by NBA great Michael Jordan and three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin.
Rain washes out NASCAR’s final practices for Daytona 500
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. Ad“I’m still confident in the backup car the guys brought us," said Byron, adding that it's the car he drove to victory lane at Daytona last August to slip into the playoffs. ..."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.
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.
Drivers competing in the 2021 Daytona 500
Austin Dillon (3) takes the checkered flag to win the second NASCAR Daytona 500 duel qualifying auto race Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 40 drivers competing in the 2021 Daytona 500, in order of starting position:___No. This is his 20th Daytona 500; he was hired days after Earnhardt's death. Son of two-time Daytona 500 champion and Hall of Fame driver Bill Elliott. Finished a career-best seventh in the 2017 Daytona 500, but has been 27th, 28th and 19th since. McLeodBORN: Nov. 17, 1983AdHOMETOWN: Wauchula, FloridaCREW CHIEF: Frank KerrSPONSOR: NASCAR HeatsTWITTER: @bjmcleod78NOTEWORTHY: Owner-driver racing in his third Daytona 500.
Hendrick hesitant to change Bowman's engine before 500
48 team will ideally use Saturday's final two practice sessions to determine if the engine can make it 500 miles on Sunday. “We think the engine is OK, but we're undecided just yet,” said Knaus, who won the NASCAR title seven times as a crew chief. AdHendrick Motorsports suffered another blow when William Byron was involved in a crash in his qualifying race that destroyed his Chevrolet. Hendrick will now have only one car at the front of the Daytona 500 field — maybe none if Bowman's engine is deemed too risky not to change. The pole-sitter has not closed out a Daytona 500 victory since Dale Jarrett in 2000.
Hiccup for Hendrick Motorsports ahead of Daytona 500
Alex Bowman and William Byron were slated to lead the Daytona 500 field to green but that's in danger following Thursday night's qualifying races. Byron was collected in a crash in the second Duel and it ruined his Chevrolet. AdAustin Cindric and Kaz Grala both earned their first berths into the Daytona 500 by claiming the two available transfer positions in the Duels. He was the leader on the final lap of the second Duel until Dillon crossed to Wallace’s inside and inched ahead. “We’ve got an incredible race car and I can’t wait for the Daytona 500.”
Bowman, Byron give Hendrick sweep of Daytona 500 front row
Alex Bowman and William Byron swept the front row Wednesday night in qualifying for the Daytona 500, giving Hendrick its 14th pole and sixth in the last seven years. “Here it really just comes down to who built the fastest race car. It’s the fourth consecutive year Bowman will start from the front row, but he's got a completely new look this time. Only the front row was set Wednesday, the first time Daytona 500 qualifying has been held at night under a condensed Speedweeks schedule. “My motto is, ‘No more excuses.’”Hamlin, who is trying to become the first driver to win three consecutive Daytona 500s, was 12th.
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.
Martinsville set for high-stakes Sunday in NASCAR playoffs
NASCAR's needed horsepower for its stale playoffs so Martinsville was shuffled to the back of a revamped schedule. So Martinsville was moved to the final elimination race and NASCAR created a high-stakes last-chance Sunday at the historic Virginia paperclip. It means at least one of NASCAR’s top stars and maybe even a legitimate title contender won’t advance out of Martinsville. Hamlin hasn't been great in the playoffs and he holds just a two-point lead over Brad Keselowski above the cutline. “It’s up to us to get it done," said Hamlin, a five-time Martinsville winner.
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.
NASCAR playoffs rained out for 3rd consecutive day at Texas
Drying trucks continue to prepare the track for a possible NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)FORT WORTH, Texas – NASCAR will make a fourth attempt to complete its playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway on Wednesday after persistent mist and cold temperatures continued the long delay. The resumption of the race was set for Wednesday at 3 p.m. EDT at the Texas track. The Truck Series and Xfinity Series are scheduled for Friday night and Saturday afternoon, and both series completed racing in Texas. The bigger concern is likely the NBC production crews that must complete the Texas broadcast and then prepare Martinsville for Friday night's Truck Series race.
Logano wins at Kansas to clinch spot in Cup Series finale
Chase Elliott (9) leads Joey Logano (22) on the first lap of a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. It was the first win for Logano since before the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the track to reduce the crowd to about 10,000 fans. The message not got through, and Elliott took a left turn onto pit road and lost a handful of spots. Hamlin and Harvick, who had combined for 16 wins this season, wound up dueling for the stage win. Kurt Busch had to serve a penalty for speeding on pit road that hurt him in the opening stage.
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.
Alex Bowman shuffled to the No. 48 to replace Jimmie Johnson
The most coveted seat in NASCAR went to Alex Bowman in a Hendrick Motorsports lineup shuffle to replace seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson in the iconic No. (AP Photo/Terry Renna, File)CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The most coveted seat in NASCAR belongs to Alex Bowman in a Hendrick Motorsports lineup shuffle to replace seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson in the iconic No. Bowman and crew chief Greg Ives, who won five championships with Johnson as his engineer, will move from the No. “Every season, Alex gets better. “He earned his way into the 88 car through hard work and dedication and doing the stuff nobody else wanted to do," Johnson said.
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.
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.
Playoffs begin with 14 drivers chasing Harvick and Hamlin
Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin are expected to race head-to-head for the NASCAR Cup title when the 10-week playoff series begin Sunday at Darlington Raceway. That theoretically leaves the 14 other drivers racing for just two spots in the winner-take-all race. Busch joins his older brother, Kurt, Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer and DiBenedetto as drivers without a win as the playoffs begin. Logano won twice in the first four weeks of the season, while Elliott scored his two wins after racing resumed. Others have been labeled dark horses, but Truex has very quietly made himself a strong challenger to Harvick and Hamlin.
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.
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.
Chase Elliott ends week of misery with overdue Cup victory
Chase Elliott does a burnout after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Charlotte Motor Speedway Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Concord, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)CONCORD, N.C. NASCAR's grueling return to racing finally ended with a Cup victory for Chase Elliott. The event, postponed Wednesday night, was the fourth Cup race since the series resumed racing May 17. Man this is a tough week, we've had some tough losses," Elliott said from the frontstretch. Elliott reeled in Kevin Harvick with 27 laps remaining and closed out the victory. Elliott's victory was the first for a Chevrolet driver in NASCAR's return to Cup racing.
NASCAR Cup race in Charlotte pushed back day because of rain
A man walks through the infield as rain falls before a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Charlotte Motor Speedway Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in Concord, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)CONCORD, N.C. Rain washed out the Cup Series race Wednesday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway a slight break for NASCAR teams taxed by a grueling return to racing. The race was rescheduled for Thursday night at 7 p.m., which in turn forced NASCAR to move the Xfinity Series race scheduled for Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Xfinity Series race will instead be run Monday night, a day after the Cup Series. The second consecutive Wednesday night race would have been the fourth for the elite Cup Series since May 17. The starting order for the second Cup race at Charlotte this week was set based on the finishing order of the Coca-Cola 600 but with an inversion.
Keselowski looks to heat up market with 2nd Charlotte win
Then a caution with two laps remaining at Charlotte Motor Speedway cluttered Elliott's clear path to the win and gave Keselowski an opening. Now Keselowski returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway for a Wednesday night race and a shot at consecutive victories. That was the situation we were put in.Both Keselowski and Busch could empathize with Elliott's heartbreak at Charlotte. Keselowski spoke with Elliott as the two switched spots in front of a laptop during the post-race Zoom media availability. But Elliott's team has been the most consistent late in races and Wednesday brings another chance for the driver to finally get his first win of the season.
Harvick wins at Darlington as NASCAR returns to racing
I just want to thank everybody from NASCAR and all the teams for letting us do what we do, Harvick said. Gray smoke billowed during a caution, which isn't that odd a sight at a NASCAR race. It was the 50th career victory for Harvick, in a Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing. A previous winner at Darlington, Harvick led 159 of the 293 laps. Harvick tied Hall of Famers Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett for 12th on NASCAR's all-time wins list.
NASCAR picks up at tricky Darlington after 10-week hiatus
FILE - In this May 11, 2012, file photo, drivers take the green flag for the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series auto race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. NASCAR will re-fire the engines moments after mask-clad drivers climb into their cars at Darlington Raceway. (Tyler Barrick/Pool Photo via AP, File)DARLINGTON, S.C. NASCAR will not be as you remember it when racing returns at old egg-shaped Darlington Raceway. He tested at Darlington shortly before the season was suspended and determined then he was fit to race again. Busch and Hill are adding Xfinity Series races at Darlington and Charlotte, and a Truck Series race at Charlotte to their calendar. His only victory so far this season was the Truck Series race at home track Las Vegas.