Chastain watching his mirrors in playoff elimination race
Ross Chastain, the driver with a growing list of enemies, heads into the first elimination race of NASCAR's playoffs in a pretty comfortable position above the cutline. It's Kyle Busch, and Austin Dillon, Chase Briscoe and Kevin Harvick, who are trying to stave off elimination Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. “I can’t speak for what other people are thinking,” Chastain said before Friday's practice and qualifying at Bristol. Hamlin had already declared “I've reached my peak” with Chastain before his aggressive retaliation forced Chastain into the wall. Elliott called for a more compact schedule, more night races, and argued against NASCAR continuing its season into November and going head-to-head with the NFL.wftv.com
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.
Dillon, Blaney nab last playoff spots at rain-soaked Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — (AP) — Austin Dillon avoided a massive wreck in the rain to win at Daytona International Speedway and snag a playoff spot in the Cup Series’ regular-season finale Sunday. Blaney finished seven spots behind Truex in the race but three points ahead in the standings. That allowed Austin Dillon, who started the day 19th in points, to essentially steal a playoff spot. Blaney started the day third in points and had the best chance of landing one of the two postseason spots up for grabs. That created a second open spot at Daytona, where 15 guys entered the day with postseason hopes.wftv.com
Hamlin holds off Busch in OT in wild Coca-Cola 600
Hamlin won for the 48th time in the Cup Series, and for the time in a points race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race featured a 12-car wreck and a magnificent crash that sent Chris Buescher's car flipping over five times before stopping upside down. In the overtime period Larson had the inside lane on the restart in overtime, but Austin Dillon got a push from the second row and soon was running four-wide along with Larson, Hamlin and Ross Chastain. I had to do what I had to do to win the race given where we are in points. We had a shot there to bring home another 600.”On the next restart Hamlin took the lead and held off Busch for the win.wftv.com
William Byron wins wild NASCAR race at remodeled Atlanta
Wallace still seemed to be in the most enviable position, especially if he could get a helpful push for a slingshot on the final lap. But everyone behind Byron started jostling for position, all of them wanting to put themselves in position to make the winning move. Kyle Busch gave Austin Dillon a slight bump from behind entering the quad-oval, sending Dillon into the wall. “I was in the gas wide open and the 18 (Busch) pushed us and got me loose,” Austin Dillon said. That’s the second week in a row I've been taken out.”At Phoenix, Daniel Suarez made contact with Dillon on the final lap and sent the No.wftv.com
William Byron wins wild NASCAR race at remodeled Atlanta
William Byron had a freight train in his rearview mirror. While Byron cruised to the checkered flag for the third victory of his NASCAR Cup career, one last crash unfolded behind him Sunday in an appropriate finish to a chaotic, thrilling race at remodeled Atlanta Motor Speedway. “Pretty wild,” the 24-year-old Byron said.news.yahoo.com
Larson holds off Dillon, Suarez for NASCAR win at Fontana
FONTANA, Calif. — (AP) — Defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson held off Austin Dillon and Daniel Suarez in a tense finish Sunday to win at Fontana for the second time. “There was definitely some guys that were quicker than us, but they had their misfortune,” Larson said. Larson had victory in sight with eight laps to go when Chase Elliott spun and forced a race-record 12th caution. Larson made it out of the pits first, and he led off the restart with four laps to go. Dillon came in second, and Suarez slipped to fourth behind Erik Jones as Chevrolets took the top four spots.wftv.com
Blaney wins at Daytona, Reddick earns final playoff berth
Reddick needed only to beat Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Dillon and hope for a repeat winner to earn his first playoff berth. It meant only a first-time race winner could edge Reddick or Dillon for the final spot. “To miss that playoff spot by one spot, that’s a tough ending to a day,” Buescher said. McDowell clinched a spot in the playoffs with his Daytona 500 victory so the early exit didn't affect his playoff chances. Kevin Harvick is the defending race winner and Martin Truex Jr. won at the South Carolina track in May.wftv.com
Race organizers looking for answers after Brickyard finish
When the NASCAR Cup Series race restarted after track workers removed the curbing, seven more cars had similar results in the same section of the Indianapolis road course Sunday. It looked like a demolition derby and race organizers have plenty to reconsider before next year's race. Many of those running at the end looked like they had been involved in a rough-and-tumble short track or dirt track race rather than a road course. As a result, most Cup teams will spend this week scrambling to repair and rebuild their cars after a second straight road race. I thought the race track had the right limitations.wftv.com
Rain swamps Bristol dirt track; NASCAR to try again Monday
NASCAR canceled all Sunday activity because even if Bristol's converted dirt track could eventually be readied for night racing, the entire facility was a swampy mess. The first Cup Series race on dirt since 1970 was rescheduled for 4 p.m. Monday; trucks were set to run at noon. He openly fretted that a bad show at Bristol would damage the future of NASCAR dirt racing — and NASCAR itself seemed to admit it was a valid concern. Stewart, who has insisted Eldora can successfully host the Cup Series, declined to comment Sunday when reached by The Associated Press. “People need to understand this is not how dirt racing is and I think they need to try and appreciate how hard this is to pull off.
What a Mess: NASCAR worried about first Bristol dirt race
AdBristol also made a bold change this year by converting its facility into a dirt race as part of radical changes to the 2021 schedule. NASCAR needed a major shakeup and the dirt race joined an influx of road courses and new venues for the most adventurous schedule in sport history. So when NASCAR broadcast partner Fox pushed for a dirt race on the Cup schedule, Speedway Motorsports said Bristol would be the guinea pig. “That's probably the most uncomfortable I've ever been in a race car,” said Kevin Harvick, running his first Truck Series race since 2015. The first NASCAR Cup Series points-paying sanctioned race in the inaugural 1949 season was on dirt at Charlotte (Old) Speedway.
NASCAR's 'unique' winners already altering playoff landscape
Christopher Bell celebrates at the finish line after winning the NASCAR Cup Series road course auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)HOMESTEAD, Fla. – NASCAR’s postseason landscape has been altered after just two Cup Series races. “The number of unique winners is really going to change how many cars get in on points, right? Although Bell drives for powerhouse Joe Gibbs Racing, he was a rookie for that top team and in his second full season in the Cup series. The Cup Series opened on a superspeedway, then raced on a road course, and now heads to an intermediate track. Whether that’s different markets, different racetracks, it has to be different from year to year.
Allmendinger back at Daytona in 1st Cup race since 2018
Allmendinger will run his first Cup race since the 2018 season finale in Kaulig's first Cup race not at a superspeedway. The longshot Daytona 500 win earned McDowell his first playoff berth and FRM now is positioned to build a once unthinkable cushion. This road course race was added to NASCAR's schedule in December because COVID-19 restrictions would not allow a stop at Fontana, California. AdThe Daytona road course was wedged into the open slot, creating two weekends of very different racing that very much suits Furniture Row. Dillon missed the Cup race in August because he'd received a positive COVID-19 test.
Michael McDowell beats 100-1 odds for upset Daytona 500 victory
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Michael McDowell was glued to Brad Keselowski’s bumper, watching and waiting for his chance to win the Daytona 500. Denny Hamlin was trying for a record third-consecutive Daytona 500 victory, and the team he started with Michael Jordan was debuting with driver Bubba Wallace. Kyle Larson was back after nearly a year in exile for using a racial slur, and reigning Cup champion Chase Elliott was going for his first Daytona 500 win. And all the way at the back of the field, 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope made what he said would be his final NASCAR start. “I wanted to make the pass to win the Daytona 500 and it ended up really bad,” Keselowski said.
Cindric starts new season with big Xfinity win at Daytona
Austin Cindric celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Austin Cindric launched his bid for a second consecutive Xfinity Series title with a victory in Saturday night's season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Cindric makes his Cup Series debut Sunday in the Daytona 500. “What a way to start the season,” Cindric said. Cindric won the Xfinity Series debut on Daytona’s road course last August as well as a rallycross event early in his career. The 22-year-old has this final season in Xfinity before moving next year to Cup to drive for Penske-supported Wood Brothers Racing.
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.
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.”
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: Keselowski dominates in playoff win at Richmond
RICHMOND, Va. – Brad Keselowski entered NASCAR's playoffs certain he has as good a chance at the Cup championship as favorites Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin. His confidence was correct as Keselowski indeed won Saturday night at Richmond, the second playoff race, and advanced into the second next round. Harvick, the title favorite, won last week’s opener to earn the automatic berth into the second round. Harvick, Hamlin and Keselowski are the only drivers locked into the next round of the playoffs. Harvick finished seventh.
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.
NASCAR drivers cautious of COVID-19 as playoffs begin
CHARLOTTE, N.C. NASCAR has decided it will not grant COVID-19 relief during the playoffs, meaning a positive coronavirus test will end a driver's championship bid. The playoffs begin Sunday at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina without a safety net for the 16 participants during the pandemic. Jimmie Johnson and Austin Dillon both missed one race during the season following a positive COVID-19 test and earned zero points. NASCAR made no changes for the 10-race playoff series, so missing a race would would effectively end a driver's championship chances. Johnson was not suffering symptoms but was tested after his wife received a positive test; Dillon was experiencing mild symptoms.
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.
Dillon leads 1-2 RCR finish in Cup race before fans at Texas
Dillon raced to his third career win and first since Daytona at the start of the 2018 season. On the final restart, Dillon got a good jump and raced to the checkered flag ahead of his rookie teammate and some veteran drivers. After leading six times for 150 laps, both highs for the race, Blaney finished seventh. It was 30 degrees warmer than it was on March 29, when the race had been scheduled before the pandemic. The spectators were spread out along the frontstretch, which was fully shaded late in the race, and there were also people in about 40 suites.
Denny Hamlin wins on a long day at Homestead
HOMESTEAD, Fla. Denny Hamlin found the magic at Homestead-Miami Speedway, once again. Hamlin went to the lead for the final time with 30 laps left and held off Chase Elliott for his record-tying NASCAR Cup Series victory at Homestead. At Homestead, he led 137 of 267 laps on the 1 1/2-mile track in Joe Gibbs Racing's No. Most of those fans were gone when Hamlin drove under the checkered flag at 10:46 p.m., ending the marathon day. Austin Dillon had a day hell never forget, though his seventh-place finish wasnt even close to the most significant development.
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.
NASCAR grabs much-needed momentum in return to live racing
The coronavirus pandemic put those plans on hold and NASCAR is frantically trying to recover from a 10-week layoff. Reeling from the loss, Briscoe was able to hold off Busch, the best driver in Xfinity Series history, for his second win of the season. I know its gained a lot of traction and theres a lot of people talking about it, so that was ultimately a win for the sport, Elliott said Friday. The series rolls into the event with huge momentum and confidence from North Carolina Gov. I know a lot of people are looking forward to this live sporting event on TV I know that I am, Cooper said.
Big rain and big wreck leads to Haley's 1st career Cup win
A 500-1 longshot making just his third career Cup start, Haley won the rain-postponed, rain-shortened race at Daytona on Sunday. He inherited the lead after a 17-car accident decimated the field and a lightning strike forced NASCAR to stop the race. "I had no expectation to win this race," said Haley, admitting he'd have quickly been passed for the lead if the race resumed. They needed the huge accident, Busch's decision to pit and then yet another heavy rainstorm to become winners in their 17th Cup race. KESELOWSKI CRASH: Brad Keselowski has crashed out of five of his last six Cup races at Daytona.
LIVE UPDATES: Austin Dillon leads Chevy charge in Stage 2
2:45 p.m.Austin Dillon led a Chevrolet charge to win Stage 2 of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Bowyer led an outside lane charge by Ford drivers. After the pit stops, the lead drivers were Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Erik Jones, Austin Dillon and Chase Elliott. On the restart (Lap 87) the top drivers were Austin Dillon, Alex Bowman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., William Byron and Chase Elliott. At the restart on Lap 79 the lead drivers were the Chevrolets of Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, William Byron, Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson.news-journalonline.com
LIVE UPDATES: Coke Zero Sugar 400 stopped Big One, red flag for lightning
There were 17 cars were involved in the Big One accident in Turn 1 on Lap 119 taking out several top contenders for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 win. 2:45 p.m.Austin Dillon led a Chevrolet charge to win Stage 2 of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Bowyer led an outside lane charge by Ford drivers. After the pit stops, the lead drivers were Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Erik Jones, Austin Dillon and Chase Elliott. [PHOTOS: On the grid before the start of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona]2:19 p.m.Kurt Busch's No.news-journalonline.com