Wednesday, Sep 28
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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The Pinty's Fall Brawl, held this Sunday, September 25, at Delaware Speedway, is the last chance this season for Louis-Philippe Dumoulin to score a race win. The NASCAR Pinty's Series will conclude its 2022 schedule on the paved half-mile Ontario oval, which is a two-hour drive West of Toronto, near London, Ontario.

Louis-Philippe Dumoulin and the #47 WeatherTech Canada | Groupe Bellemare team are shooting for nothing less than a win to close out the year on a positive note. “This is our last race of the season and I'm looking forward to returning to Delaware,” said the driver of the #47 WeatherTech Canada | Groupe Bellemare car. “It's a track that I really like because it's fast, we can run side-by-side and it's been repaved. It will be a fun race for the spectators as well as for the drivers.”

Last year, the series held three races at Delaware Speedway to close out the season and determine the 2021 season champion. In the end, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin used an effective strategy throughout the weekend and that won him his third NASCAR Pinty's championship.

Looking back on his 2022 season, the veteran driver says, “We went through a lot of changes over this past season. NASCAR added a race on a dirt track, visited Newfoundland and Labrador for another new event, all that over a season of ups and downs for our team.”

“I am happy with the work of the #47 WeatherTech Canada | Groupe Bellemare team, as we had a new crew chief, and we are still learning to work together. With a longer season, we would have had the opportunity to race more often and do well, such as we did in Toronto and at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this year. But for now, we must focus on the last oval event of the season,” added Louis-Philippe Dumoulin.

The Pinty's Fall Brawl will start at 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 25. The season finale will be broadcast live on the TSN app or FloRacing.

 LP Dumoulin PR

NASCAR is back on track this weekend at the home track for Toyota Motor North America – Texas Motor Speedway – with both the NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series in action, while the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series makes its second stop of the season at zMax Dragway in Charlotte.

NASCAR National Series – NCS | NXS

Bell continues to impress… Christopher Bell impressed throughout the Round of 16 in the Cup Series as the Oklahoma-native took the points lead for the first time, won multiple stages and was the only driver to earn top-five finishes in the first three events of the Playoffs. He now turns his focus to Texas Motor Speedway – a place he has seen additional success. Bell won in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) at Texas in 2019 and earned a season-best third-place finish at the track in his NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) rookie season in 2020.

Hamlin planning on securing Texas win… Denny Hamlin had three strong top-10 finishes in the Round of 16, including two runner-up results, to advance Hamlin to the next round of the NCS Playoffs. Hamlin earned Toyota’s first two NCS wins at Texas Motor Speedway – sweeping the 2010 races – before adding an additional victory in 2019.

Busch looks to add to impressive Texas resume… Kyle Busch has an incredibly impressive resume at Texas Motor Speedway as the Las Vegas-native has won multiple races across NASCAR’s top-three series. Busch has four NCS wins, 10 NXS triumphs and four Truck Series victories at Texas Motor Speedway during his career. 

Gibbs Texas double… Ty Gibbs will continue to sub for the injured Kurt Busch in the NCS for 23XI Racing, but is pushing for his first NXS title as he begins his first NXS Playoffs from the second seed. Gibbs is making his second career NXS start at the track. The North Carolina-native battled back from accident damage to finish 12th at Texas in the spring.

Jones looking for first Championship 4… Brandon Jones begins his latest championship push from the seventh seed on the strength of his win earlier this season in Martinsville. Jones, who is looking for his first Championship 4 berth, has multiple top-five finishes at Texas Motor Speedway, including a fifth-place finish one season ago.

Nemechek looking for Texas repeat … John Hunter Nemechek returns to the NXS in a week off for the Truck Series as he competes in his final start of the season with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). One season ago, Nemechek won in dominating fashion for JGR in Texas – leading 92 of 200 laps – on his way to his second career NXS win. Nemechek has one other NXS start scheduled this season at Las Vegas for Toyota’s Sam Hunt Racing next month.

NHRA – Top Fuel | Funny Car

Ashley holds points lead… Justin Ashley continues to impress in his debut season with Toyota as the New York-native took over the points lead with his runner-up finish at Maple Grove Raceway on Sunday. It is Ashley’s second time leading the points this season, and first since his season-opening victory at Auto Club Raceway of Pomona in February. Ashley, who has scored five consecutive semi-final finishes or better, earned the No. 1 qualifying position and an opening round win at zMax’s four-wide event earlier this year.

Brown, Torrence still in the hunt… Antron Brown and Steve Torrence have both continued their recent surges and both rank inside the top-five in the Top Fuel point standings heading to Charlotte. Brown, who has won two of the last four events, ranks fourth – 54 points out of the lead, with Torrence only one spot – and two points – behind Brown in fifth.

TRD PR

Renu joins Ross Chastain's No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro as the primary partner for Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

The Carrollton, Texas based company is a general contractor servicing multi-family, hospitality and commercial properties.

Chastain hopes the Renu branding on his Chevrolet will bring the same result it most recently did for Trackhouse Racing teammate Daniel Suárez when he won at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in June.

The second year Trackhouse team, competing in its first season as a multicar team, joins Hendrick Motorsports, Penske Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing as the only teams with playoff drivers still in contention.

Chastain enters the second round of the playoffs in third place with 3,020 points, 11 points above the ninth and final transfer position after the reset post-Bristol. If he remains in the top eight or wins any of this round's three races he will advance to the next playoff round that begins Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Chastain owns two wins already - Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on March 27 and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on April 24. The Alva, Florida native has 10 top-fives, 16 top 10s and 584 laps led throughout 29 races this season.

The Cup Series held its All Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway on May 22. Chastain's car was fast, but a spectacular, frontstretch accident on lap 48 when he hit Kyle Busch's slowing car nearly sent the No. 1 on its roof.

Chastain escaped uninjured but is obviously hoping for a better outcome Sunday.

USA Network will broadcast Sunday's Cup race at 3:30 p.m. ET.

video
 

USA Network's "Race for the Championship"

Watch Ross Chastain and teammate Daniel Suárez in upcoming episodes of USA Network's "Race for The Championship." The unscripted documentary follows Chastain, Suárez and other NASCAR Cup Series drivers and teams.

USA Network will air a new episode on Thursday at 10 p.m. ET.

The series will give a behind-the-scenes look at the elite drivers and teams competing in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Documenting the lives of the sport’s best on and off the track, viewers will get a rare glimpse of what it takes to balance personal relationships with the pressure to perform. Packed with action, heart and drama, this exhilarating series will offer up a taste of what it’s really like to partake in the world’s top level of stock car racing. Watch as the drivers are pushed mentally and physically to their limits, navigating a NASCAR season unlike any other – with a new car, new tracks and new challenges – for their chance to make history.

Over 10 episodes, “Race for the Championship” will tell the story of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season and playoffs.

 

Ross Chastain, Driver of the No. 1 Renu Chevrolet

Did you learn anything in the Sprint All-Star race that you think will be important in this Playoff race?

"In the spring we were flying in Texas. I would like to not fly as high (laughs). With the two ends being so different, you gain so much speed with the banking and you have to slow down a lot in turns 1 and 2. Keeping the balance on both ends is important. We obviously learned stuff in the All-Star race but now there is a lot more on the line."

Since its newer pavement at Texas, do you think we'll see more drastic things with the new car?

"It does actually. It has a lot of grip until you lose it, so when you do lose it you crash, or we blow tires.

"I think the whole field has gotten better with not blowing tires as easily. I don't know how long they're going to leave Texas the way it is, so it's probably time to enjoy it for what it is."

 
 

Enter to Win A Free Cruise From Trackhouse Racing

Trackhouse Racing and Princess Cruises will give 10 lucky race fans a 7-day Princess Medallion Class vacation for two if either or Ross Chastain or Daniel Suárez score a top-10 finish in any of the 2022 playoff races. 

If Suárez drives the No. 99 Princess Chevrolet to victory lane at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 23, Trackhouse will give away 99 Princess Cruise vacations. 

Twenty fans from Massachusetts to California have already won trips after Trackhouse's two top-10 finishes in the first three playoff races.

You can be next!

Click Here To Register To Win a Free Cruise

Trackhouse Racing PR

Sunday Race Info

Race: AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500

Date/Time: Sunday, Sept. 25 / 3:30 p.m. ET

Distance: 334 laps / 500 miles

Track Length: 1.5 miles

 

Express Notes

Press Kit: Download the 2022 FedEx Racing press materials at www.fedexracing.com/presskit, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Chris Gabehart and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights and statistics.

Bristol Recap: The FedEx Racing team continued their strong start to the playoffs with a ninth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway. After starting fourth, Hamlin spent most of the first two stages running solidly inside the top five. On lap 234, a flat left-front tire on Hamlin’s FedEx Camry brought out the caution. He spent the remainder of the night trying to fight his way back towards the front. Hamlin made his way back up to sixth before a miscue on the team’s final pit stop dropped him outside the top 10. In the end, he gained several positions to earn his third consecutive top-10 finish and his fifth top-10 in the past seven races.

Round of 16 Rundown: Hamlin turned in a 4.3-average finish in the first round of the playoffs. The Chesterfield, Virginia native finished second in the opener at Darlington Raceway after coming up just 0.252 seconds short of the win. One week later at Kansas Speedway, Hamlin was runner-up once again after his effort to chase down eventual winner Bubba Wallace came up one second shy of the victory. Last week at Bristol Motor Speedway, Hamlin finished ninth after overcoming a flat tire during stage two.

Texas Notes: Hamlin is a three-time NASCAR Cup Series winner at Texas Motor Speedway. After sweeping the track’s races in 2010, he most recently won in the Lone Star State in March 2019. Last fall, Hamlin finished 11th in the series’ lone points race at the 1.5-mile quad-oval. Earlier this year, he raced to a second-place finish in the NASCAR All-Star Race in Texas.

Pit Crew Swap: The Nos. 11 and 18 teams will trade pit crews beginning with this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. The FedEx pit crew now will consist of CJ Bailey (tire carrier), Lee Cunningham (rear tire changer), Thomas Hatcher (front tire changer), Kellen Mills (jack man), and Matt Tyrell (gas man).

Hamlin Statistics

Track: Texas Motor Speedway

Races: 31

Wins: 3

Poles: 0

Top-5: 7

Top-10: 14

Laps Led: 290

Avg. Start: 12.9

Avg. Finish: 13.7

 

Hamlin Conversation – Texas

What do you expect going to Texas this weekend?

“This is going to be a very important race. With the unknowns of Talladega and the (Charlotte) ROVAL, we’re looking at Texas as a place we can go run up front, try to maximize our points and be in contention for the win. Passing was very difficult in the All-Star Race though, so I expect that to be the case like it has been for the last few years at Texas, so qualifying up front and having a smooth day on the track and on pit road are going to be key for us to have a shot.”

JGR PR

The NASCAR ARCA Menards Series West roars into Roseville on October 1 for the NAPA AUTO PARTS 150 presented by Berco Redwood at All American Speedway powered by Roseville Toyota. The 24th nationally televised appearance of the West Series will be joined by four local championship races and the return of the Legends Tour Series. Over 300 laps of racing are scheduled on the one-third mile speedway located @the Grounds, for one of the largest single day sporting events in Placer County.
 
The speedway will honor first responders who were part of the local firefighting efforts. They helped reopen the fairgrounds for this annual NASCAR tradition in Roseville.
 
Grandstands open at 4pm followed by heat races at 4:30pm. Five preliminary main events of action will get underway at approx. 5:05pm. They precede the NAPA 150, which goes green at 7:45pm Tickets for the NAPA AUTO PARTS 150 are available online at www.AllAmericanSpeedway.com Adult general admission tickets are $35 while juniors ages 6-12 are $25. Kids 5 & under are free! Race fans can also purchase a VIP ticket for $65 which includes a Randy Peters Catering BBQ dinner with 2 drinks, live music, special gift, VIP Pit Tours, a meet and greet with drivers, and special reserved seating in turns one and four.
 
Race fans can enjoy the vendor midway, driver autograph session, fireworks, live music, classic car display, and much more! Each ticket sold raises money for the Placer Breast Cancer Foundation, with over $250,000 raised since the event’s inception.
 
The ARCA Menards Series West race will serve as the ninth round of the 11-race series. Southern California driver Jake Drew of Fullerton leads the championship on the strength of four wins in the last five races in the series. His rookie teammate Tanner Reif of Las Vegas has also scored two wins this season.
 
The series utilizes 625hp stock cars which have competed at All American Speedway since 1977 including the upcoming 24th appearance. Bill McAnally Racing leads all teams with nine victories at its home track along with back-to-back series championships in 2020 and 2021. 2020 All American Speedway Late Model track champion Cole Moore of Granite Bay and series rookie Landen Lewis of Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. will drive the BMR Chevrolets in the coveted race.
 
Legends Tour Series will race for $2,000-to-win in their first series start at the track since 2019. Legends machines are 5/8ths scale versions of NASCAR Modifieds from the past. These unique cars bring large fields and this year’s visit is no exception. Drivers will be racing for not only Legends Tour Series points but also state and national points. The 35-lap main event will also serve as a regional championship as well. A lucrative $750-to-win, 15-lap B Main is also planned. Sebastopol’s Cody Winchel leads the series standings with October 1 serving as the penultimate round of their touring championship.
Four divisions of NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series action are scheduled as well with double points being awarded in each division’s 2022 championship finales.
 
The tightest battle has been in the Foothills Tow Modified division. Eureka’s Brandon White leads North Highlands’ Rick Andersen by only eight points with each driver earning three wins. Roseville’s Tyler Wentworth is winless but has used consistency to stay within 20-points of the championship. Windsor’s Sammy Nuno and Colfax’s Cody Bailey round out the top-five heading into the 30-lap main event.
 
Roseville’s Josh Whitfield has had a perfect season in the Riebes Auto Parts Super Stocks with seven wins in his 2021 championship defense. Whitfield leads Roseville’s Phil Wilkins, Antelope’s Terry Thomas, Galt’s Larry Thornhill, and Loomis’ Harry Lambert into a 30-lap main event.
 
Ray Molina of Roseville has increased his points lead in the F4 division to a 25-point lead over Citrus Heights’ Vic Theberge. Rocklin’s John Sproule is well within striking distance at just 29-points out of the lead. 2021 champion Matthew Fuhs and Sun Valley, Nevada’s Rich Innis make up the rest of the top-five. The division with the largest car counts this year in Roseville will race in a 25-lap feature. $1,000 in bonus money will be up for grabs in the season finale
 
All American Speedway’s youngest drivers compete in the Mini Cup/Bando division with a 15-lap main event planned. Roseville’s Dayton Broyles looks to close out the championship with a 50-point lead over Stockton sixth grader Lucas Burton. Burton has the edge in main event wins with four wins to Broyles’ two. Meadow Vista’s Cash Page runs third in the standings during his rookie campaign.
 
Action gets underway on Friday with practice for the NASCAR Weekly Series and ride alongs for VIPs in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS. On Saturday, practice begins at 12:05pm for the NASCAR Weekly Series and Legends Tour Series. The ARCA Menards Series West will have a combined practice and qualifying session from 3:15pm to 4:30pm. Grandstand gates open at 4pm with heat races beginning at 4:30pm followed by five local championship main events. Opening ceremonies for the NAPA AUTO PARTS 150 begin at 7:15pm with the green flag scheduled for 7:45pm
 
All American Speedway wants to thank @the Grounds for their support along with partners such as Roseville Toyota, Berco Redwood, Riebes Auto Parts, JM Environmental, Sinister Diesel, Foothills Tow, Velocity Solar, Cardinal Financial- James Clark, Legends Real Estate, AAMCO Transmission & Total Car Care of Auburn, CA, Kim White Realtor, A-All Mini Storage, and Roseville Moose Lodge for their strong support of All American Speedway. Without competitor support and local community partners, these events would not take place. All American Speedway mandates a sound regulation for all competitors as specified in the track rule book.
 
For more information, visit www.AllAmericanSpeedway.com or follow the speedway on social media!
 
AAS PR

Roush Fenway Keselowski Weekly Advance | Texas II

RFK heads to the Lone Star State this weekend as Texas Motor Speedway hosts the fourth race in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. RFK is coming off a banner week where Chris Buescher earned his second career victory, as the company dominated much of the Bristol Night Race. Jack Roush has 18 wins all-time at Texas and nine in the NCS, behind only Michigan and Bristol all-time.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Race at Texas

Sunday, Sept. 25 | 3:30 p.m. ET

USA, PRN, SiriusXM Channel 90

  • Brad Keselowski, No. 6 ROUSHParts.com Ford Mustang
  • Chris Buescher, No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang

 

“Dream Season”

RFK won both the first NCS (Jeff Burton) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (Mark Martin) races at Texas in 1997. Burton began the afternoon from the fifth position and led 60 laps en route to the inaugural victory.

 

Houston, We Don’t Have a Problem

RFK has earned nine NCS victories at Texas, dating back to the inaugural event in 1997. Former drivers Burton, Martin, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth have captured the checkered flag in the Lone Star State.  

 

J.R.’s ‘08 Sweep

Edwards swept the 2008 NCS races for RFK at Texas, leading 335 laps in the two events.

 

9 A.M. in Dallas

RFK has started 150 NCS races at Texas, recording a total of nine victories, 38 top-five finishes, 59 top-10 finishes, an average finish of 16.0 and has led 2,524 laps. Biffle earned RFK’s most recent victory at Texas in the April 2012 event.

 

North Dallas Forty

RFK has earned eight victories, 26 top-five finishes, 47 top-10 finishes and an average finish of 13th at Texas in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. RFK won three of the first four races at the 1.5-mile oval.

 

Jack Roush; Texas Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Member

Based on the strength of RFK’s numerous accomplishments at Texas, team owner Jack Roush was inducted into the Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

 

Tale of the Tape

RFK has started 301 races all-time at Texas Motor Speedway, recording 18 wins, 76 top-fives and 133 top-10s. RFK Fords have captured nine poles at the 1.5-mile track and led 3500+ laps while turning more than 110,000 miles.

 

RFK PR

 There will be a few Coltman Farms Racing logos present for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway this weekend.
 

As part of a plan to expand his influence across motorsports, Brett Coltman will be sponsoring two MPM Marketing clients during the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 in Ross “Boo Boo” Dalton and Michael Faulk, the latter of whom will be making his first attempt in the prestigious race.
 

MPM Marketing founder Tonya McCallister has been thrilled with how her partnership with Coltman Farms Racing has bolstered during the year, adding that his support of Dalton and Faulk is the first step towards broadening his brand throughout motorsports.
 

“When Brett hired us, one of the main things he wanted was to expand his brand in across different motorsports disciplines,” McCallister said. “He mentioned wanting to branch out into asphalt and what better place than the iconic Martinsville Speedway with two phenomenal veteran drivers.”
 

The 2022 season has been dominated by success for Coltman with Kenny Collins piloting his Dirt Late Model. 
 

Among the highlights Coltman and Collins have experienced include setting the fastest time in his group during the Eldora Million, as well as claiming their first major victory together in the Alabama State Championships at East Alabama Motor Speedway last weekend.
 

Despite the on-track success, Coltman has always taken tremendous pride in ensuring smaller teams can reach the track on any given weekend and is thrilled to carry that philosophy over to pavement racing by sponsoring Dalton and Faulk at Martinsville. 
 

“I’ve wanted to expand into asphalt racing for some time, but I didn’t think it would be this soon,” Coltman said. “The success we’ve had recently convinced me to branch out sooner rather than later. What better way to start than supporting a couple of MPM clients at such a big race.”
 

Dalton admitted that qualifying for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 likely would not have been possible without Coltman’s financial backing.
 

With his operation lacking the resources of other big Late Model Stock programs, Dalton and his crew are constantly working on a budget while trying to stay competitive. This process can often be frustrating for Dalton, but he expressed his gratitude to Coltman for helping give him a chance to showcase the strength of his equipment on such a big stage. 
 

“[Brett Coltman] really came in clutch,” Dalton said. “Business is slow right now and it’s hard for my parents to do as much as they used to do, so when Brett came on with us, that put the closing cap on us having this opportunity. I can’t put into words what it means to have his support.”
 

While Dalton knows that simply making the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 will be a challenge on its own with such a big entry list, he feels confident about the speed of his car and intends to bring home a strong performance with Coltman Farms Racing and his other sponsors.
 

For Faulk, who primarily handles the management side of Lee Faulk Racing, he does not anticipate anything to come easy during his first trip to Martinsville and plans to emphasize patience during the Saturday heat races.
 

Having Coltman Farms Racing come aboard for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 was an exciting development for Faulk, who hopes to proudly represent the organization in their first venture into Late Model Stock competition.  
 

“I’m excited to represent Coltman Farms Racing as he expands into the asphalt world,” Faulk said. “They’ve had so much success on the dirt side of things and what Brett continues to do the motorsports community is amazing. Hopefully we can make the race and give Brett a good show on Saturday night.”
 

With so much changing in motorsports every passing year, McCallister stressed the importance of bringing in new sponsors and is thrilled to help Coltman Farms Racing branch out from dirt racing and gain exposure around so many prominent Late Model Stock figures.
 

The plan for McCallister is to get Coltman Farms Racing more involved with asphalt racing over the next few years. She hopes this new avenue for Coltman’s team starts on a positive note with Dalton and Faulk each qualifying for Late Model Stock racing’s most cherished event. 
 

“We are happy to bring a new sponsor into the asphalt world,” McCallister said. “We have some other things in the works next year with Coltman Farms Racing. All of us are really excited about the success they’ve had, so hopefully we can get them a clock in Virginia.”
 

Dalton and Faulk will kick off their quest for a grandfather clock in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 with qualifying on Friday evening. They will both try to transfer into the main event when the heat races commence at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. 

 

MPM PR

 
 

5 KYLE LARSON

 

Age: 30 (July 31, 1992)

 

Hometown: Elk Grove, California

 

Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina

 

Crew Chief: Cliff Daniels

 

Standings: 4th

 
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No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

 

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media at the Texas Motor Speedway media center on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 10:30 a.m. local time.

FIVE GUYS
: Kyle Larson and the No. 5 HendrickCars.com team finished fifth on Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway and advanced into the Round of 12 of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. The 2021 Cup Series champion enters the three-race round in fourth, 21 markers behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate and points leader Chase Elliott. Larson is 10 ahead of the cutoff position heading into Sunday’s 500-mile race at Texas Motor Speedway.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Last year at Texas, Larson won the non-points All-Star event in June before leading 256 laps – including the final 218 – to capture the 334-lap points-paying race on the 1.5-mile layout in October. The victory earned him a spot in the Championship 4 race at Phoenix Raceway, which Larson ultimately won to secure his first Cup Series championship. 

HIGH FIVE: Larson led 34 laps at Bristol en route to his 11th top-five finish of 2022. The Elk Grove, California, native is tied with Elliott atop the standings in that statistical category through 29 races this season.

TEXAS TERRY: With 12 victories while driving for the 14-time Cup Series championship organization, Larson is tied with Terry Labonte for fourth on Hendrick Motorsports' all-time wins list. Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon leads the charge with 93 victories while seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson has 83. Current teammate Elliott is third with 17.

WILD CARD ROUND: The Round of 12 consists of races on three very different tracks – 1.5-mile Texas, the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway and the 17-turn, 2.32-mile road course layout on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. In his last three points-paying starts on these tracks, Larson has two victories (Texas and the Charlotte ROVAL in 2021) and a fourth-place finish (Talladega in April).

ANIMAL STYLE: In 2021, Larson became only the third driver to win the Texas playoff event on the way to the championship. Hall of Famer Tony Stewart accomplished the feat in 2011 while Johnson did so during his 2007 and 2013 championship campaigns. Along with his victory in this event last year, Larson has four top-five finishes and five top-10s in 14 points-paying starts at the Texas venue and has paced the field 330 times.

HOME RUN: Larson and the No. 5 HendrickCars.com team will wear their “home” white uniforms at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. Home races occur in markets where there are Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships nearby, and the Dallas-Fort Worth area is home to two of them. Be sure to follow Hendrick Automotive Group’s social media channels and visit HendrickCars.com to view the complete home and away schedule.

A HERO RIDES ALONG: Through the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and The NASCAR Foundation’s “Honor a Cancer Hero” program, Johnny Mills’ name will appear above the driver-side door of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend at Texas. Brenda Nieto nominated her brother, who survived colon cancer in February but was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer in April. Mills, who resides in southern California, is an addiction counselor who is a big NASCAR and Larson fan.

 
 
 
 

9 CHASE ELLIOTT

 

Age: 26 (Nov. 28, 1995)

 

Hometown: Dawsonville, Georgia

 

Resides: Dawsonville, Georgia

 

Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson

 

Standings: 1st

 
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No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

 

PLAYOFF UPDATE: For the seventh consecutive year Chase Elliott and the No. 9 team have advanced to the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. The regular-season champion sits atop the standings, 31 points above the cutoff line for the Round of 8. Elliott has been in the playoffs every full-time season he’s raced in the Cup Series. The previous two seasons he advanced to the Championship 4, earning a Cup Series title in 2020. Elliott has six total victories in the playoffs, with the most recent coming in the 2020 season finale at Phoenix Raceway when he captured the championship.

SEVEN IN ‘22: Last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, the 26-year-old scored a runner-up finish for his series-best seventh top-two effort of the season. This marks the third consecutive season Elliott has had seven or more top-two results. He scored eight in his 2020 championship season and nine in 2021. Six of his seven top-two finishes earned so far in 2022 have come in his last 13 starts.

TEXAS STATS: Elliott has made 11 Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway in points-paying events. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native has garnered two top-five finishes, six top-10s and led a total of 44 laps in those starts. He collected his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at the 1.5-mile track in April 2014. In five Xfinity Series starts there, Elliott accumulated three top-five finishes and five top-10s.

1.5-MILERS: This weekend at Texas, Elliott will make his 72nd start on a 1.5-mile track in the Cup Series. In his previous 71 races on this track length, Elliott has led 1,063 laps. Along with three victories (Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2022, Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2020 and Kansas Speedway in 2018), he has collected 23 top-five finishes – eight of which are runner-up results – and 38 top-10s on 1.5-milers. This season, he’s earned the second most points (216) on 1.5-mile tracks, trailing only Ross Chastain (258).

GUSTAFSON AT TEXAS: No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson is set to call his 34th Cup Series points-paying race at Texas. In his previous 33 starts at the track, the Ormond Beach, Florida, native has eight top-five finishes and 17 top-10s with 348 laps led. His best finish of second came in 2014 with Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon. This season marks Gustafson’s 15th playoff appearance, second only to Hendrick Motorsports’ Chad Knaus. The duo is also 1-2 in most wins by crew chiefs in the playoffs – Knaus with 29 and Gustafson with 12. Six of Gustafson's playoff victories have come with Elliott.

NAPA IS BACK: This weekend, NAPA AUTO PARTS is back on board the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Texas. This marks the sixth time in points-paying events that the Atlanta-based company has been the primary partner at the Lone Star State track for Elliott in the Cup Series. Earlier this year, NAPA reached a multi-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports that will continue its 26-race majority sponsorship of Elliott and the No. 9 team.

HONOR A CANCER HERO: On Sunday, Elliott and the No. 9 team will honor breast cancer survivor Becky Muse from Rancho Palos Verdes, California, as part of the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and The NASCAR Foundation’s "Honor a Cancer Hero" program. Muse’s name will replace Elliott’s above the driver-side door for the Cup Series race in Texas.
 

 
 
 
 

24 WILLIAM BYRON

 

Age: 24 (Nov. 29, 1997)

 

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Crew Chief: Rudy Fugle

 

Standings: 5th

 
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No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

 

ON TO THE NEXT: With the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs Round of 16 coming to a close last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, William Byron locked himself into the next round early on in the race, advancing to the Round of 12 for the third time in his Cup Series career. With points reset for Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, Byron now sits fifth, six points above the cutoff line.
 
ONE AND ONLY: In the first round, Byron was the only playoff driver to not suffer an issue. He was also one of the three drivers – Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin were the others – to finish in the top 10 of all three races. He finished eighth at Darlington Raceway, sixth at Kansas Speedway and third at Bristol.

PIT ROAD PROWESS: In the first three races of the 2022 playoffs, the No. 24 pit crew had an average four-tire pit stop time of 10.821 – third-best in the field in the same timeframe.  The No. 24 pit crew consists of Spencer Bishop (jackman), Landon Walker (fueler), Ryan Patton (tire carrier), Jeff Cordero (front-tire changer) and Orane Ossowski (rear-tire changer).

FRONTING THE FIELD: The 24-year-old continues to hold the statistic of leading the second-most laps so far this season with 671 – behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott, who has led 719. Those 671 laps led by Byron are not only his most in a single Cup Series season but have come across 15 races.

1.5-MILE MOMENTUM: Byron is no stranger to success on mile-and-a-half tracks during his Cup Series career. Since the start of 2021 through the 2022 season so far, Byron has two wins, one runner-up finish, five top-fives, and 10 top-10s on 1.5-mile tracks. In fact, Byron is currently on a nine-race streak of races led on 1.5-milers that started back at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last fall – the most of any driver in that time span. Meanwhile, in 2022, Byron has collected 187 points on this style of track – the seventh-most in the field.

TRUCKIN’ IT IN TEXAS: Byron’s success at Texas started almost seven years ago in his first race at the 1.5-mile oval with crew chief Rudy Fugle on the pit box. Starting from the sixth position, the then-NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie led six laps before capturing the checkered flag to become the youngest to ever win a Truck Series race at Texas. 

LONE STAR-SIZED STATS: Texas is a track that the Charlotte, North Carolina, native has always run well at throughout his entire NASCAR career, even if the statistics don’t always reflect that. In seven Cup Series points races at the Lone Star State track, Byron has three top-10 results, including a track-best finish of second last fall. Byron also has five other starts at the 1.5-mile oval, with an average finish of 3.5 in two Truck Series starts and 6.0 in three NASCAR Xfinity Series races.

FUGLE HAS ‘NO LIMITS’: Sunday marks crew chief Fugle’s second Cup Series points-paying event at Texas. Last fall, Fugle and the No. 24 team battled for the win in the final stage before crossing the finish line in the runner-up position. However, Fugle has 18 other starts at Texas, with all but three coming in the Truck Series. He has visited victory lane at the “No Limits” track five times in the Truck ranks – the most for him at any track on the circuit – most recently in 2019 where he swept both races, first with Kyle Busch in March and then in June with Greg Biffle. Of those five wins, one includes a victory with Byron in June of 2016. In his 15 Truck Series starts, Fugle’s drivers have also racked up seven top-five finishes, 11 top-10s with 493 laps led. 

RAPTOR® TOUGH: Ready to take on the Fort Worth, Texas, venue, Byron will be back behind the wheel of the No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Sunday’s event. RAPTOR® is a durable protective coating and bed liner that is designed to tolerate the toughest climatic conditions and can be applied to a wide range of substrates from steel, wood, concrete and plaster to plastics and composites. Resistant to common fuels, U.V., scratches and stains, RAPTOR® is available at local paint distributors, auto parts stores and can also be purchased from online retailers like Amazon. 

HONORING BARBARA WELLNITZ: The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and The NASCAR Foundation have partnered together for the third time to recognize those who have battled cancer by auctioning off the space above the driver-side door to honor a cancer hero. For this Sunday’s race, Byron will have the name of Barbara Wellnitz riding on board his No. 24 Chevy, who was nominated by her son Paul Wellnitz. Known to always be the first to lend a helping hand, Wellnitz valued her family above everything and her favorite days were spent with making them happy. She was a NASCAR fan, especially of the No. 24 car, since the early 1990’s and passed that fandom on to her son. Unfortunately, Wellnitz lost her battle to cancer but was able to be reunited in the afterlife with her high school sweetheart and husband of 53 years who passed away just after her initial diagnosis. 

 
 
 
 

48 Alex Bowman

 

Age: 29 (April 25, 1993)

 

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

 

Resides: Concord, North Carolina

 

Crew Chief: Greg Ives

 

Standings: 10th

 
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No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

 

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media at the Texas Motor Speedway media center on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 10:45 a.m. local time. 

ROUND UP: In last Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Alex Bowman locked himself into the Round of 12 in the second stage by way of points. He started the race in third and finished the first and second stage in sixth before being caught up in an on-track incident on lap 277. This is Bowman’s fifth appearance in the Round of 12 in his Cup Series career. 

POINT MAN: After making it through the elimination race at Bristol, Bowman and the No. 48 Ally Racing team are currently scored 10th with 3,007 points, six points below the cutoff line for the Round of 8 and 33 markers behind the leader and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott. This Sunday, the Tucson, Arizona, native heads to Texas Motor Speedway – a 1.5-mile venue. In six starts on circuits of that length this season, Bowman is tied with Ross Chastain for the most top-10 results with five. As a result of his consistency, he has racked up the fourth-most points on 1.5-milers with 196. Only Martin Truex Jr. (199 points), Elliott (216 points) and Chastain (258 points) have tallied more.

WON IN SIX: In the last six races held on tracks 1.5 miles in length, Bowman took home hardware at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In that race, he won stage one en route to Ally’s fifth win in the Cup Series, punching his ticket to the 2022 Cup Series playoffs for the fifth consecutive year. In the most recent 1.5-mile race held two weekends ago at Kansas Speedway, he led a race-high 107 laps on his way to a fourth-place finish. 

TEXAS REWIND: Last time Bowman competed at Texas, he took home a sixth-place finish in the 2022 All-Star Race. His sixth-place result marked his fourth straight top-eight finish in the non-points-paying race.

DUAL TOP FIVES: Bowman will make his 13th Cup Series start at the Lone Star State venue on Sunday. In his 12 previous points races there, the No. 48 driver has two top-five finishes and two top-10s, with matching fifth-place finishes in the fall races of 2019 and 2020. In both races, Bowman took home a third-place finish in the second stage before crossing the finish line in the top five.

IVES ON 1.5-MILERS: Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, heads to the Fort Worth, Texas, facility this weekend to make his 14th and final points-paying appearance atop the pit box at the 1.5-mile track. In his previous 13 starts, the 43-year-old crew chief has five top-five finishes and six top-10s, with his best result of second coming in April 2016 with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

HUMANITARIAN HONOR: On Wednesday, Bowman was named the Halifax Humane Society’s Humanitarian of the Year. The 29-year-old driver was nominated for his continued support of saving homeless animals with the help of the primary partner of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Ally, and Best Friends Animal Society. Bowman will accept the award in December at the Halifax Humane Society’s FurBall Gala held in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

PAYING TRIBUTE: For Sunday’s race, Bowman’s No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will carry the name of Kenneth Chase above the driver-side door as part of the “Honor a Cancer Hero” program through the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and The NASCAR Foundation. Chase was a big fan of all the Hendrick Motorsports drivers and bonded with his grandson (and the person who nominated him) Brendon Harmon through the sport. Chase passed away from cancer in 2020.

 
 
 

HENDRICK

MOTORSPORTS /

Hendrick Motorsports
 
 

 

2022

 

 

All-Time

 

 

Texas

 

Races

 

29

 

 

1,302

 

 

41

 

Wins

 

9*

 

 

289*

 

 

10*

 

Poles

 

6

 

 

237*

 

 

7**

 

Top 5

 

31*

 

 

1,187*

 

 

42*

 

Top 10

 

53**

 

 

2,036*

 

 

75*

 

Laps Led

 

1,867

 

 

76,809*

 

 

2,822*

 

Stage Wins

 

14

 

 

75

 

 

1

 

 

*Most **Most (tie)
 

LEADING THE WAY: With nine wins through the 29 NASCAR Cup Series races in 2022, Hendrick Motorsports has earned the most victories so far this season. It is the only four-car team to see all of its drivers win a race this season. The organization is also the only one to have multiple drivers with at least two wins – Chase Elliott (four), Kyle Larson (two) and William Byron (two). On top of that, Elliott and Byron rank 1-2 in laps led this year. 

FOUR SCORE: For the second straight season and third time in nine seasons, all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers have reached the Round of 12 of the NASCAR playoffs. The quartet of Alex Bowman, Byron, Elliott and Larson did this in 2021. In the first year of the elimination-style playoff – 2014 – the foursome of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne each advanced to the second round of the playoffs. 

1.5-MILE MUSCLE: In the season’s six races at 1.5-mile layouts, Hendrick Motorsports has notched the win three times. In March, Bowman and Byron won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, respectively. Elliott took the victory at Atlanta in July. On top of that, all four drivers – Elliott (second), Bowman (fourth), Larson (sixth) and Byron (seventh) are in the top seven in points scored on that track length.

TEXAS TRENDS: The Rick Hendrick-owned organization has 10 points-paying wins at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson accounts for seven of those and he also holds the track record for most all-time Cup Series wins. Gordon, Larson and Terry Labonte each have one win at the 1.5-mile venue. Over the past 18 points-paying races at the Fort Worth, Texas, facility, the team has a series-best seven wins.

PLAYOFF BOSSES IN FRONT OF BIG HOSS: In 17 playoff races at Texas, Hendrick Motorsports has won a Cup Series-best six times. Johnson is responsible for five wins, while Larson’s win last year in the Round of 8 stands as the other victory. 

1-2 STEP: In 2021, at the track known for "No Limits," Larson and Byron placed first and second in the event and combined to lead a whopping 93% of the laps run. The team’s 311 laps led fell just one short of matching the track record for laps led by a single team. 

RECORD SETTERS: Hendrick Motorsports has posted a series-best 53 wins in the playoffs – 20 more than the next closest organization. Johnson has the most wins with 29. Among the current driver lineup, Elliott tops the board with six wins, followed by Larson with five and Bowman has one. Nine different drivers have won a playoff race for the team, which is the most in the Cup Series ranks. The company has won a race in the playoffs in 17 seasons and that mark is also the most among all Cup Series teams. 

 
 
 

QUOTABLE /

 

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on lessons learned during last season’s playoffs: "Be clean and let the other teams make the mistakes. Honestly, if you can just finish you don’t have to do anything crazy in the first couple rounds. Don’t take yourself out of stage points or a good finish and you can advance. Once you get to the Round of 8, that’s obviously when you need to get some top-five finishes or a win. You just don’t want to take yourself out of any race or get any DNF or anything like that where you put yourself in a must-win situation because winning is really difficult to do. You just want to keep yourself in contention every race."

Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the challenges of setting a car up for Texas Motor Speedway: "Texas (Motor Speedway) is definitely a different style intermediate track with less banking in (turns) one and two and a tighter corner radius than (turns) three and four. It’s actually fun to try to set up a car because the ends are so different. With some hotter temperatures this weekend compared to when we were there for the All-Star Race and with the groove widening out with resin or whatever they spray, 500 miles is a long race but I hope it can be a pretty fun day."
 



Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on racing at Texas: "I’d love to go to Texas (Motor Speedway) this weekend and have a good, solid run and start this round off on a high note. We didn’t get to run the full All-Star Race earlier this year, but I still feel like we got enough track time to have good notes as we head back there. We just need to put a good weekend together and execute a solid day. If we can do that, then we have as good a shot as anyone to get a win and lock ourselves into the next round."

Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on preparing for the Round of 12: "This is going to be a tough round, but we know what we need to do to keep our playoff run going. Execution and putting together three solid races is going to be key. Each of these races in this Round of 12 has its own unique set of challenges. There isn’t really much room for error, but if you make a mistake, you have to regroup quickly and do what you can to maximize the day and get as many points as you can. Our group is really good at that and I think we are fully capable of advancing."
 



William Byron, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on preparation for Texas: "I’m interested to see how racing at Texas (Motor Speedway) goes this weekend. We’ve always had speed there but I think in the spring we just were a little off on our setup since it was the first time at Texas in the Next Gen car. Our mile-and-a-half program is the one I think we needed to work on the most this season but I think, especially after Kansas (Speedway) a few weeks ago, that we’ve really improved on those style of tracks. With how this round shapes up there’s a lot of emphasis on Texas and leaving there with as many points as possible and that will be our goal, just like how we did last round. As long as we have a good Saturday, I think we’ll be in a good place for the race and then it’s all about execution on Sunday."

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on what he expects at Texas this weekend: "I think we have some good notes heading into this weekend’s race at Texas (Motor Speedway). We learned a lot from Kansas (Speedway) a couple weeks ago, and with us using the same tire as we did for that race, a good portion of those notes should translate. The biggest difference is going to be how much hotter it is and where the resin is applied on the track. From what we’ve been told, the resin is being applied like it was for the All-Star Race earlier this year, so we have those notes as well. Just with the heat and tire compound though, I think handling is going to play a much bigger factor this weekend than it did for the All-Star event. We’ve really focused on that this week, so we hopefully unload close to where we need to be and focus more on fine-tuning than anything."
 



Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on being named the 2022 Halifax Humane Society's Humanitarian of the Year: "It is really cool to be nominated for the award. Helping animals is a big passion of mine and something that I really value. Without Ally and Best Friends Animal Society helping me get the money and resources to Best Friends network partners across the country, none of this would be possible. I am honored to receive this award, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Hopefully we can win a few more races before the season ends and get even more money to the pets who need it."

Bowman, on what it takes to make it to the Round of 8: "Our team is really focused on taking it one race at a time. We did that in the Round of 16 to get to where we are now. The crew is really fired up right now and all of us are putting in the time to give ourselves the best chance of success. Greg (Ives) is really focused and leading us really well right now. I think that if we continue to pay attention to the small details and stay focused on one race at a time, we can go really far this postseason. We have Texas (Motor Speedway) circled right now and that’s all that matters."

Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on advancing to the Round of 12: "Despite the mechanical issues, we had a fast car in Bristol and glad we made it to the next round of the playoffs. Our team has worked hard to give Alex (Bowman) really fast race cars and Alex has been locked in on performing and the team is feeding off of his energy. We have a lot of momentum right now and I told the team we don’t have to hit home runs. We just need to get on base and maximize the results. Texas (Motor Speedway) is the next race we all have our focus on."

Hendrick Motorsports PR

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 begins this Sunday from Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network. A victory by a playoff driver at Texas will automatically clinch them a spot in the Round of 8.

The Playoffs get underway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this Saturday in Texas at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network. Noah Gragson has won three consecutive races and sits atop the points standings heading into the Round of 12.

2022 NASCAR CUP SERIES PLAYOFF STANDINGS ROUND OF 12

Driver Points
Chase Elliott 3040
Joey Logano 3025
Ross Chastain 3020
Kyle Larson 3019
William Byron 3015
Denny Hamlin 3013
Christopher Bell 3013
Ryan Blaney 3013
Chase Briscoe 3009
Alex Bowman 3007
Daniel Suárez 3007
Austin Cindric 3006

NASCAR: CUP SERIES AUTOTRADER ECHOPARK AUTOMOTIVE 500 & XFINITY SERIES ANDY’S FROZEN CUSTARD 300

The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 begins with the first of three races this Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. Chris Buescher became the 19th different Cup Series winner this season with his victory last weekend in Bristol.

Coverage of the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 in Texas will be presented Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network with an hour-long edition of Countdown to Green beginning pre-race coverage at 2:30 p.m. ET. NASCAR America post-race coverage will immediately follow the checkered flag at 7:30 p.m. ET on USA Network.

The Xfinity Series Playoffs begin Saturday with the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300, the first of three races in the Round of 12, at Texas Motor Speedway at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network, with Countdown to Green getting underway at 3 p.m. ET.

Two-time Daytona 500 Champion and NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., 21-time Cup Series race winner and “The Mayor” of NASCAR Jeff Burton, and Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte will serve as analysts for the Cup Series race from Texas Motor Speedway with lead NASCAR race announcer Rick Allen. JTG Daugherty Racing team owner Brad Daugherty, Burton and Allen will call the Xfinity Series race on Saturday.

Marty Snider, Parker Kligerman, and Kim Coon will serve as pit reporters this weekend.

Snider will anchor pre- and post-race studio coverage with racing icon Kyle Petty and Daugherty on Sunday from the Peacock Pit Box.

Burton (1997, 2007) and Earnhardt Jr. (2000) own Cup Series victories at Texas.

The official home of the NASCAR Championship and Playoffs, NBC Sports will once again present the final 20 NASCAR Cup Series races and 19 NASCAR Xfinity Series races in 2022 across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, culminating with the Championship at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 5-6. Click here for more information on NBC Sports’ 2022 NASCAR coverage.

NASCAR Pick ‘Em: NBC Sports’ free-to-play game, NASCAR Pick ‘Em, features a weekly contest for each NASCAR Cup Series race throughout the season. NASCAR Pick ‘Em is available for download now on the NBC Sports Predictor app powered by PointsBet (available in the App Store and Google Play Store).

BROADCAST TEAM

  • Analysts: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Sunday), Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte, Brad Daugherty (Saturday)
  • Play by Play: Rick Allen
  • Pit Reporters: Marty Snider, Parker Kligerman, Kim Coon

STUDIO COVERAGE TEAM

  • Host: Marty Snider
  • Analysts: Kyle Petty, Brad Daugherty (Sunday), Steve Letarte (Saturday)

HOW TO WATCH

  • TV – USA Network
  • Streaming – NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app
Date Coverage Platform Time (ET)
Sat., Sept. 24 NASCAR Xfinity Series Practice & Qualifying USA Network 10:30 a.m.
  NASCAR Cup Series Practice & Qualifying USA Network 12:30 p.m.
  Countdown to Green – NASCAR Xfinity Series USA Network 3 p.m.
  NASCAR Xfinity Series Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 USA Network 3:30 p.m.
  NASCAR America Post-Race – NASCAR Xfinity Series USA Network 6:30 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 25 Countdown to Green – NASCAR Cup Series USA Network 2:30 p.m.
  NASCAR Cup Series AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 USA Network 3:30 p.m.
  NASCAR America Post-Race – NASCAR Cup Series USA Network 7:30 p.m.

MOTOGP: GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN

MotoGP’s premier class returns to Japan for the first time since 2019 with the Grand Prix of Japan at Mobility Resort Motegi this Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on CNBC. Only 17 points separate the top three riders in the standings with leader Fabio Quartararo (211 pts), Francesco Bagnaia (201 pts), who has won four of the last five races in second place, and Aleix Espargaro in third (194 pts).

THE DALE JR. DOWNLOAD

A special ‘Best Of” episode of The Dale Jr. Download will air this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network following NASCAR Cup Series practice and qualifying.

NASCAR executive and former crew chief Tony Glover joins this week’s The Dale Jr. Download episode streaming tomorrow at 6 p.m. ET on Peacock. Weekly and on-demand episodes of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s podcast will stream exclusively on the platform, taking viewers table-side for unparalleled perspective, candid commentary, and insight from Dale Jr.

NASCAR AMERICA MOTORMOUTHS

NBC Sports’ fan-favorite NASCAR call-in show, NASCAR America Motormouths, discusses the latest motorsports news and interviews with NBC Sports’ NASCAR analysts and reporters each Monday and Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET exclusively on Peacock.

RACE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP

Episode four of Race for the Championship premieres tomorrow at 10 p.m. ET on USA Network. The one-hour unscripted docuseries will take viewers inside the lives of NASCAR’s top drivers and teams on and off the track. Click here for more details on the series and here for the episode four trailer.

Across ten thrilling episodes, the all-access series will chronicle the sport’s best as they balance their personal lives with the passion, pressure and perils of racing, all for a chance to make history.

NBC Sports PR

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date: Sunday, September 25

The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

The Purse: $8,455,617

TV: USA, 2:30 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 501 miles (334 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 105),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 210), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 334)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Andy’s Frozen Custard 300

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date: Saturday, September 24

The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

The Purse: $1,434,537

TV: USA, 3 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 300 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: Chevy Silverado 250

The Place: Talladega Superspeedway

The Date: Saturday, October 1

The Time: 12:30 p.m. ET

The Purse: $806,669

TV: FS1, 12 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 250.04 miles (94 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 20),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 40), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 94)

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Texas Motor Speedway to host Playoffs Round of 12 opener

Following the conclusion of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 16 at Bristol Motor Speedway, a total of 12 drivers have advanced, and now prepare for the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday, September 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio – the first race of the Round of 12.

 

The 2022 season marks the first-time the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 has opened at Texas Motor Speedway (Race No. 30 of the season). Texas is the seventh different track to host the fourth race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs; joining Kansas Speedway (2004, 2005, 2011, 2013, 2014), Talladega Superspeedway (2006, 2007, 2008, 2012), Auto Club Speedway (2009, 2010), Charlotte Motor Speedway (2015, 2016, 2017), Dover Motor Speedway (2018, 2019) and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (2020, 2021).

 

The inception of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs was in 2004 and Texas Motor Speedway was added to the postseason schedule in 2005 – at the time replacing Darlington Raceway – and ever since the 1.5-mile track has been hosting Playoff events (2005-2022). Texas Motor Speedway has occupied three spots on the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs schedule throughout the years. From 2005 – 2020, Texas Motor Speedway hosted the eighth race in the Cup Series Playoffs (Race No. 34 of the season). Then in 2021, Texas Motor Speedway hosted the seventh race in the Playoffs (Race No. 33), and this season, Texas will host the fourth race in the Playoffs (Race No. 30).

 

A total of 14 different drivers have won the fourth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, led by Jimmie Johnson with three postseason victories (2009, 2011, 2016). Team Penske’s Joey Logano leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers with two wins (2014, 2015). Four of the 14 drivers that have won the fourth Playoff race in the NASCAR Cup Series are active in the postseason this weekend – Denny Hamlin (2021), Kyle Larson (2019), Chase Elliott (2018) and Joey Logano (2014, 2015).

 

Fourth Race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs - Race Winners

Track

Playoff Race Winners

Date

Las Vegas

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Las Vegas

Kurt Busch

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Dover

Kyle Larson

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Dover

Chase Elliott

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Charlotte

Martin Truex Jr

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Charlotte

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Charlotte

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Kansas

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Kansas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Talladega

Matt Kenseth

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Kansas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Auto Club

Tony Stewart

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Auto Club

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Talladega

Tony Stewart

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Talladega

Jeff Gordon

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Talladega

Brian Vickers

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Kansas

Mark Martin

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Kansas

Joe Nemechek

Sunday, October 10, 2004

 

Nine different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races at Texas Motor Speedway, led by Jimmie Johnson with five postseason Texas victories (2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers with three Texas Playoff wins (2017-2019). Denny Hamlin (2010) and Kyle Larson (2021) are the only former Texas Playoff race winners still competing in this season’s Playoffs.

 

Texas Motor Speedway Playoffs Race Winners

Track

Playoff Race Winners

Date

Texas

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Texas

Tony Stewart

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Texas

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Texas

Kurt Busch

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Texas

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Texas

Tony Stewart

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Texas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Texas

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Texas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Texas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Texas

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Texas

Kyle Busch

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Texas

Kyle Larson

Sunday, October 17, 2021

 

Three times the winner of the fourth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs has gone on to win the title in the same season: 2009, 2016 and 2017.

 

  • In 2009, Jimmie Johnson won the fourth race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Auto Club Speedway and went on to win his fourth-straight series title in the same season (2006-2009). The victory was his second of four wins during his postseason run that year.

 

  • In 2016, Jimmie Johnson won at Charlotte Motor Speedway (oval) and went on to win his record tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series title that same season (2006-2010, 2013, 2016). The win was Johnson’s first of three that postseason.

 

  • In 2017, Martin Truex Jr. won at Charlotte Motor Speedway and went on to win the series title that same season. It was his first of three wins that postseason run.

 

Three times the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series Texas Motor Speedway Playoff race has gone on to win the title later that same season: 2007, 2011 and 2013.

  

  • In 2007, Jimmie Johnson won from the eighth starting position at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to win his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series title later that season (2006-2007). The Playoff win at Texas was his third of four consecutive victories in the 2007 Playoffs – the only driver to win four straight in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix).

 

  • In 2011, Tony Stewart won from the fifth starting position at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to win his third NASCAR Cup Series championship later that season. The Texas Playoff win was Stewart’s fourth of his record setting five NASCAR Cup Series Playoff wins in a single postseason run in 2011 (Chicago, New Hampshire, Martinsville, Texas, Homestead-Miami) – Larson’s five Playoff wins last year tied Stewart’s record. 

 

  • In 2013, Jimmie Johnson won from the third starting position at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to win his sixth NASCAR Cup Series championship later that season. The Texas Playoff win was Johnson’s second postseason victory (Dover, Texas) in 2013.

 

Twice a non-Playoff driver has won the fourth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs: 2004 and 2006.

 

  • In 2004, Joe Nemechek won the fourth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Kansas Speedway, he was ranked 21st in the point standings at the time of the victory.

 

  • In 2006, Brian Vickers won the fourth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Talladega Superspeedway, he was ranked 16th in points at the time of the victory.

 

Three times a non-Playoff driver has won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race at Texas Motor Speedway: 2006, 2014, and 2015.

 

  • In 2006, Tony Stewart was ranked 11th in the point standings at the time of his Texas Playoff race win.

 

  • In 2014, Jimmie Johnson was ranked 11th in points at the time of his Texas Playoff win. Johnson had made the Playoffs in 2014 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.

 

  • In 2015, Jimmie Johnson was 12th in points at the time of the win. Johnson had made the Playoffs in 2015 but was eliminated in the Round of 16.

 

The worst finish by a driver in the fourth NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race that later went on to win the series title that same season was the 24th-place finish by Jimmie Johnson in 2006 at Talladega Superspeedway.

 

The worst finish by a driver in the NASCAR Cup Series Texas Motor Speedway Playoffs race that later went on to win the title that same season was a 38th-place finish by Jimmie Johnson in 2009.

 

Looking Back: NASCAR at Texas Motor Speedway

The stage is set for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Texas Motor Speedway and another great weekend of racing action on the 1.5-mile high-speed oval is on tap as the series jumps into the Round of 12.

 

Texas Motor Speedway has hosted the NASCAR Cup Series 41 times producing 25 different Busch Light Pole winners and 21 different race winners. The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway was on April 6, 1997, and the race was won by Jeff Burton in a RFK Racing Ford (125.111 mph). The first NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway was held on November 6, 2005, and the race was won by RFK Racing driver Carl Edwards (151.055 mph). Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Kyle Larson is the most recent points-paying race winner at Texas Motor Speedway, grabbing the checkered flag in last season’s Playoff race. Larson also won the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway as well. This season’s All-Star Race winner at Texas Motor Speedway was Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney.

 

A total of 25 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won the pole at Texas Motor Speedway, and six of the 25 NASCAR Cup Series Texas Motor Speedway pole winners are active this weekend. Kurt Busch leads the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Texas with three (Spring 2015, Playoffs 2017, Spring 2018). Kevin Harvick (2017, 2019) and Martin Truex Jr. (2007, 2012) lead all active drivers in NASCAR Cup Series poles at Texas Motor Speedway with two each.

 

Active Texas Pole Winners

Poles

Season

Kevin Harvick

2

2019, '17

Martin Truex Jr

2

2012, '07

Ryan Blaney

1

2018

Austin Dillon

1

2016

Brad Keselowski

1

2015

Kyle Busch

1

2013

A total of 21 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Texas Motor Speedway, and six of the 21 Cup Series Texas winners are active this weekend. Jimmie Johnson leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with seven victories (2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 sweep and 2017) in 35 starts. Kyle Busch leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with four victories (2013, 2016, 2018, 2020).

 

Active Texas Race Winners

Wins

Seasons

Kyle Busch

4

2020, '18, '16, '13

Denny Hamlin

3

2019, '10 sweep

Kevin Harvick

3

2019, '18, '17

Kyle Larson

1

2021

Austin Dillon

1

2020

Joey Logano

1

2014

 

Last season’s NASCAR Cup Series Texas Motor Speedway Playoff race winner, Kyle Larson, returns to Texas to defend his win and get his first postseason victory of 2022. Larson has made 14 career starts at Texas Motor Speedway posting one win (2021), four top fives and five top 10s.

 

If Larson were to win this weekend, he would become the fourth different driver to win consecutive points-paying races at Texas Motor Speedway; joining Jimmie Johnson (2014 Playoff race and 2015 sweep), Carl Edwards (2008 sweep) and Denny Hamlin (2010 sweep).

 

Clinch Scenarios: Texas Motor Speedway

Following an intense NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 16 elimination-race at Bristol Motor Speedway, four postseason contenders were eliminated from the Playoffs – Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick and Austin Dillon, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick. Now, the Playoffs rerack as the Round of 12 gets underway at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend with the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 on Sunday, September 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

With this weekend’s race being the first of the Playoffs’ Round of 12, the clinch scenarios are quite simple.

 

Already Clinched

No drivers have clinched a spot in the eight-driver field of the next round.

 

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Christopher Bell, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Chase Briscoe, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez, and Austin Cindric.

 

Heading into this weekend at Texas, the entire NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 field is only separated by 34 points. Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney is currently sitting in the eighth and final transfer spot on points to the Round of 8 and holds a four-point lead on Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe in the ninth position – the first spot outside the next round’s cutoff.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Driver Playoffs Outlook Following Race No. 29

Rank

Driver

Points

Race Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

+/- Cutoff

1

Chase Elliott

3,040

4

5

40

31

2

Joey Logano

3,025

2

5

25

16

3

Ross Chastain

3,020

2

5

20

11

4

Kyle Larson

3,019

2

3

19

10

5

William Byron

3,015

2

4

15

6

6

Denny Hamlin

3,013

2

3

13

4

7

Christopher Bell

3,013

1

4

13

4

8

Ryan Blaney

3,013

0

5

13

4

9

Chase Briscoe

3,009

1

4

9

-4

10

Alex Bowman

3,007

1

2

7

-6

11

Daniel Suarez

3,007

1

2

7

-6

12

Austin Cindric

3,006

1

1

6

-7

13

Tyler Reddick

2,067

2

2

12

Eliminated from the Playoffs

14

Kyle Busch

2,067

1

3

10

15

Austin Dillon

2,058

1

0

5

16

Kevin Harvick

2,045

2

0

12

 

Up Next: Round of 12 tracks offer slew of challenges

Tabbed by many of the competitors this season as the ‘Wild Card’ round, the NASCAR Cup Series Round of 12 offers a bevy of challenges for the drivers and teams as they try to navigate through the next three races at vastly different racetracks.

 

Texas Motor Speedway is first up, and this 1.5-mile track is unlike any other on the schedule. The facility is located in Fort Worth, Texas, just outside Dallas and boast 20 degrees of banking in Turns 1 and 2 and 24 degrees of banking in Turns 3 and 4. This weekend’s race the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will be 501 miles (334 laps) and will be broken up into three stages. The first two stages will be 105 laps each and the final stage will be 124 laps. Though probably considered the most-tame of the three tracks this round, Texas is still unpredictable and has seen five different winners in the last five races – Denny Hamlin (03/2019), Kevin Harvick (11/2019), Austin Dillon (7/2020), Kyle Busch (10/2020) and Kyle Larson (10/2021).

 

Talladega Superspeedway is next on the Playoff schedule following Texas, the behemoth 2.66-mile superspeedway is one of the most unpredictable on NASCAR Cup Series schedule. With 33 degrees of banking in all four turns, Talladega produces some of the closest racing action the series has to offer. Next weekend’s race the YellaWood 500 on October 2 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will be 500.08 miles (188 laps) and will be broken up into three stages. The first two stages will be 60 laps each and the final stage will be 68 laps. Much like Texas, Talladega has produced five different winners in its last five Cup races – Ryan Blaney (10/2019), Denny Hamlin (10/2020), Brad Keselowski (04/2021), Bubba Wallace (10/2021) and Ross Chastain (04/2022).

 

Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL is scheduled for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 elimination-race in two weeks, cutting the postseason’s 12-driver field down to eight competitors. Though a road course, the Charlotte ROVAL is as unpredictable with its NASCAR Cup Series finishes as Talladega. The 17-turn course spans the infield and parts of the oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway making it a unique challenge for the Playoff competitors. The Bank of America ROVAL 400 on October 9 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will be 252.88 miles (109 laps) and will be broken up into three stages. The first two stages will be 25 laps each and the final stage will be 59 laps.

 

Texas native Chris Buescher is the 19th different winner of 2022

Holding off the field for 57 laps following the final restart and taking the checkered flag at Bristol Motor Speedway, RFK Racing’s Chris Buescher snapped the longest active winless streak in the series at 223 races and became the 19th different winner of the season. As a result, the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season is now tied with the 1956, 1958, 1961 and 2001 seasons for the series-most different winners in a single season at 19 each. If this year were to see another different winner in these final seven races, then the 2022 season would become the sole leader in the NASCAR Cup Series in the number of different winners in a single season at 20.

 

The Bristol victory was the first points-paying race win for RFK Racing since Brad Keselowski joined the organization as an owner, and the second win of Buescher’s Cup Series career (Pocono, 2016 and Bristol, 2022).

 

“We’ve had a great week celebrating and taking in everything associated with the Bristol win, but I’m just as excited to get back to my home state of Texas and see friends and family and give our Fastenal Mustang another good run this weekend. We put together a solid plan for the All-Star Race this spring and had good success, so our goal is to capitalize on that even more and keep the train rolling this weekend.”

 

Now the Prosper, Texas native, Buescher, heads to Texas Motor Speedway to make it two wins in a row. Buescher has made 12 series starts at Texas posting an average finish of 22.7. Buescher’s best finish at his home track is 15th back in 2018. 

 

Oklahoman Christopher Bell emerges from the Playoffs’ Round of 16 as a contender

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell entered the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 16 as the 10th seed with the pedal to the floor, as he was the only driver in that round to post three top-five finishes and clinch his spot in the Round of 12 prior to the elimination-race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Plus, he finished the Round of 16 in the Playoff standings lead by not only finishing well, but by dominating his competitors in stage points. Bell accumulated 50 stage points in the first three Playoff races – 14 more stage points than the next highest driver, Kyle Busch with 36.

 

Now that the Playoff competitors have been reseeded for the Round of 12, Bell is ranked seventh in the standings, just 27 points back from Chase Elliott in the Playoff standings lead, and only four points above the Round of 8 cut line. This is Bell’s second career appearance in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (2021, 2022) and the Oklahoma native is looking to advance to the Round of 8 for the first time. He was eliminated in the Round of 12 in last season’s Playoffs, ultimately finishing 12th in the final championship standings.

 

But this weekend is looking fortuitous for Bell, as Texas Motor Speedway is a track at which he has exceled. In three series starts at the 1.5-mile facility, he has put up two top-five finishes and has an average finish of 9.0 (second-best among active drivers).

 

“Texas is one of my best tracks statistically and a place I enjoy racing at,” Bell said. “It’s a very important race and we need to capitalize on Texas before heading into Talladega.” 

 

Playoff Bubble: All-Star winner Ryan Blaney returns to Texas

Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney has advanced to the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 after a slow start to his postseason run putting up just one top-10 finish in the Round of 16. Now the North Carolina native shows up to Texas Motor Speedway as the winner of the 2022 NASCAR All-Star Race, which was held at this same 1.5-mile facility back in May, needing a boost to his championship chase.

 

Currently, Blaney sits in the eighth and final transfer spot on points in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs standings up just four points on Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe in ninth – the first spot outside the Round of 8 cutoff. This is Blaney’s sixth appearance in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (2017, ’18, ’19, ’20, ’21, ’22) and he is looking to advance to the Round of 8 for the fourth-time in his career (2017, ’19, ’21).

 

In addition to his NASCAR All-Star Race win at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this season, the 27-year-old has made 13 points-paying race starts at the 1.5-mile speedway posting three top fives and seven top 10s. He has a career-best Texas finish of runner-up in 2018 and has an average finish at the track of 16.3.

 

Heading into this weekend at Texas, the four drivers seeded below Blaney in the Playoff standings and currently are ranked outside the Round of 8 cutoff are Chase Briscoe (-4 points), Alex Bowman (-6), Daniel Suárez (-6) and Austin Cindric (-7).

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Featured Matchups: AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 – Below is a close look at the featured matchups fans can bet on heading into this weekend’s event.

 

Chris Buescher vs. Ryan Blaney (Fan Vote) - Chris Buescher’s second career NASCAR Cup Series win came this past weekend at Bristol, where he held off Chase Elliott and made it three consecutive non-playoff race winners to open the 2022 postseason. Fans voted for Buescher to be matched up with Ryan Blaney, who had avoided a scare this week when he broke a toe link but managed to rebound and make the Round of 12. Texas is one of Blaney’s best tracks, boasting a driver rating of 111. He’ll be excited to come back to Texas where he won the All-Star race this year. Although Buescher is ineligible for the championship, he’ll look to continue his great season and build more momentum for RFK Racing ahead of next year.

 

Chase Elliott vs. Joey Logano - Although he finished second, it was a much-needed race for Elliott, who got back on track and is once again the leader in the Playoff standings as we kick off the Round of 12 at Texas. Elliott holds a 15-point cushion on second place Joey Logano, who’s had a consistent start to the Playoffs. Logano holds a 16-point advantage in driver rating over Elliott at Texas and has the edge with two top fives in his last five races here. At a track like Texas where track position is so crucial, it will be imperative that both drivers qualify well and avoid any mistakes.

 

Kyle Larson vs. Ross Chastain - Although neither driver got a win in the first three races of the Playoffs, Ross Chastain and Kyle Larson, both safely made it into the Round of 12. They find each other separated by just one point for third and fourth in the Playoff standings. Larson led 256 laps and won the Playoff race here last year, so he’ll be eager to repeat that performance this week. Ross Chastain will be looking to turn around his luck at Texas Motor Speedway, as he has yet to post a top 10 in eight races here. Both of these drivers are known to qualify well, so they should start with solid track position in this crucial Round of 12 opening race.

 

Denny Hamlin vs. Christopher Bell - They lost their lone Joe Gibbs Racing Playoff teammate Kyle Busch this week, as he was not able to qualify for the Round of 12, so Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell are the only Toyota teammates left in the Playoffs. Bell was the first driver to lock himself into the Round of 12 after putting together three quality races in a row. Both drivers run well at Texas as Christopher Bell has two top fives and Denny Hamlin has one win. Sitting sixth and seventh in the Playoff standings, will one of these JGR teammates be the first Playoff driver to record a Playoff win and seal a spot in the Round of 8?

 

Daughtry to perform pre-race concert at Texas Motor Speedway - Daughtry, the multi-platinum rock band, will perform a pre-race concert for the NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 on Sunday, Sept. 25, at Texas Motor Speedway.

 

Daughtry will perform a 60-minute set beginning at 1 p.m. CT on the pre-race stage near the start/finish line. The concert highlights the pre-race activities leading into the speedway’s 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race, the opening race of the Round of 12.

 

Daughtry is one of the most visible and consistently successful rock bands on tour, having sold more than nine million albums and 16 million singles worldwide.

 

“We’re honored to announce Daughtry as the pre-race concert for this year’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500,” said Texas Motor Speedway General Manager Rob Ramage. “The tremendous energy the band always brings to the stage and their lengthy catalog of great hits will have our NASCAR race fans singing along to every song leading into the green flag of our NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race. Daughtry’s performance is a great addition to the full schedule of entertainment and motorsports competition we have planned for the entire week.”

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Allmendinger becomes first to win back-to-back Xfinity Regular Season Championships

Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger is two-for-two when it comes to bagging NASCAR Xfinity Series Regular Season Championships, becoming the first driver in series history to do so. Other drivers that have earned a Regular Season Championship are Elliott Sadler (2017), Justin Allgaier (2018), Tyler Reddick (2019) and Austin Cindric (2020). Of the five Regular Season Champions only two have gone on to win the overall season title – Tyler Reddick in 2019 and Austin Cindric in 2020 – but Allmendinger intends to add his name to that list this year.

 

By clinching the NASCAR Xfinity Series Regular Season Championship, Allmendinger snagged an additional 15 bonus Playoff points that he will be able to carry with him through the postseason.

 

As he heads into his second Playoff stint in the Xfinity Series, he will look to better his record and perhaps add another win to his resume. In the 2021 Playoffs, he posted one win, two top fives and five top 10s and earned a spot in the Championship 4 Round ultimately finishing the season a career-best fourth in the final championship standings. Living up to his name as a the ‘master of road courses,’ his one post-season win last year was on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. In fact, Allmendinger has won on the 2.280-mile Charlotte course every single time he has competed in the Xfinity Series (2019, 2020, 2021) at the uniquely styled track.

 

But first, Allmendinger must get through this weekend’s challenges at Texas Motor Speedway, a track he has run well at. In three Xfinity Series starts at the 1.5-mile facility, he has put up three top-10 finishes and has a stellar average finish of 7.0. 

 

Gragson looks to tie Sam Ard’s consecutive wins record at Texas

JR Motorsports’ rising star Noah Gragson not only claimed his NASCAR Xfinity Series series-leading sixth victory of the season, but also his third in a row, becoming just the 10th different driver in NASCAR Xfinity Series history to take the checkered flag in three or more consecutive races. Now, the Las Vegas native, Gragson, will roll the dice once again and see if he can tie Sam Ard’s NASCAR Xfinity Series record of the most consecutive Xfinity Series races won in a row at four this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

 

Sam Ard currently sits as the only Xfinity Series driver to win four consecutive races, a feat he accomplished in 1983 – a record that has stood for 40 years.

 

The following season in 1984, Ard went on to once again manage three consecutive wins and since then nine other drivers have joined him – Noah Gragson, Austin Cindric, Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman Dale Earnhardt Jr, Mark Martin, Harry Grant and Larry Pearson.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Consecutive Wins - Three or More (1982-2022)

Rank

Drivers

Consecutive Wins

From

To

1

Sam Ard

4

September 17, 1983

October 8, 1983

2

Sam Ard

3

May 5, 1984

May 19, 1984

 

Larry Pearson

3

August 15, 1987

August 30, 1987

 

Harry Gant

3

September 6, 1991

October 5, 1991

 

Mark Martin

3

February 22, 1997

March 8, 1997

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr

3

June 5, 1999

June 27, 1999

 

Ryan Newman

3

August 13, 2005

August 26, 2005

 

Kyle Busch

3

April 5, 2008

April 20, 2008

 

Kyle Busch

3

March 16, 2013

April 12, 2013

 

Kyle Busch

3

February 27, 2016

March 12, 2016

 

Kyle Busch

3

July 8, 2016

July 23, 2016

 

Christopher Bell

3

July 13, 2018

July 28, 2018

 

Austin Cindric

3

July 9, 2020

July 18, 2020

 

Noah Gragson

3

September 3, 2022

September 16, 2022

 

Gragson, who will be moving up to the NASCAR Cup Series next season, will be looking to finish his final full-time season in the Xfinity Series with a title, but first the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet will have to tackle Texas Motor Speedway. In his seven starts at the Fort Worth, Texas track, he has posted two top fives and three top 10s. When the Xfinity Series was there earlier this season, Gragson proved he had speed as he won the pole, but he fell victim to a crash on Lap 95 and finished 36th.

 

Xfinity Playoffs kick off in the Lone Star State

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will be kicking off its postseason with the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 24 at 3:30 p.m. ET on the USA Network, the NBC Sports App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.

 

The Fort Worth, Texas, 1.5-mile track has hosted 43 Xfinity Series races, producing 23 different race winners and 25 different pole winners. Chase Elliott became the track’s youngest winner in 2014 at 18 years, four months and seven days old; while Jeff Purvis became the oldest winner in 2002 at 43 years, one month and 18 days old.

 

Kyle Busch holds the record at Texas Motor Speedway for most poles (four), wins (10), top fives (17), top 10s (18), lead lap finishes (20) and laps led (1,795).

 

The track is a place of “firsts” as some drivers posted their first wins in the Lone Star State – Dale Earnhardt Jr (1998), Kurt Busch (2006), Trevor Bayne (2011), Chase Elliott (2014) and Erik Jones (2015) all grabbed their first Xfinity Series win at the 1.5-mile track.

 

NASCAR Cup Series regular Tyler Reddick snagged the Xfinity win at Texas earlier this season, but he is not entered in this weekend’s race, so we won’t see a back-to-back winner. We could, however, see a repeat winner in Victory Lane. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular John Hunter Nemechek won last season’s fall Texas race and he is entered in the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 this weekend, making him the only previous winner entered in the race.

 

The Xfinity Series will jump start the doubleheader weekend on Saturday, Sept. 24 with practice at 10:35 a.m. ET followed by qualifying at 11:05 a.m. ET on USA Network and streamed on the NBC Sports App.

 

Time’s up: The 2022 Xfinity Series Playoffs grid is locked in

The 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season is over, and we now have our 12 drivers locked into the postseason: Noah Gragson, Ty Gibbs, Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Josh Berry, Austin Hill, Brandon Jones, Jeremy Clements, Sam Mayer, Daniel Hemric, Riley Herbst and Ryan Sieg.

 

The drivers will have to give it all they have in these next three races (Texas, Talladega and Charlotte ROVAL) to earn a spot in the Round of 8. Let us take a look at our Playoff lineup, and see how each driver has performed at Texas Motor Speedway:

 

Noah Gragson: He enters the Playoffs as the No. 1 seed with 2,051 points, marking his fourth time competing in the postseason. In his seven starts at Texas, he has posted two top fives, three top 10s and one pole. He has an average start of 11.4, an average finish of 17.3 and has led a total of 88 laps.

 

Ty Gibbs: He will be making his first Playoff appearance this season, coming in as the No. 2 seed with 2,038 points. His first and only start at the 1.5-mile Texas track was earlier this season. He started in the seventh position and finished in 12th.

 

Justin Allgaier: Making his seventh Playoff appearance, Allgaier is coming in as the No. 3 seed with 2,033 points. In his 24 starts at Texas, he has posted five top fives and 13 top 10s. He has a best finish of second (2021) and has led 226 laps. His most recent finish at the 1.5-mile track was fourth earlier this season.

 

AJ Allmendinger: The 2022 Regular Season Champion enters the Xfinity Playoffs as the No. 4 seed with 2,032 points in his second postseason appearance. In his three career starts at Texas Motor Speedway, he has posted three top 10s and has led a total of 21 laps.

 

Josh Berry: In his first ever Xfinity Series Playoffs, Berry comes in as the No. 5 seed with 2,022 points. He only has two starts at the 1.5-mile Texas track and one top-10 finish. He has led a total of 46 laps, all of which were racked up in the May race.

 

Austin Hill: The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender enters the 2022 Playoffs as the No. 6 seed with 2,016 points. He has three starts at Texas putting up one top-five and one top-10 finish. His most recent finish at the track was fifth earlier this season.

 

Brandon Jones: He enters his sixth career Xfinity Series Playoffs appearance, coming in as the No. 7 seed with 2,010 points. He has 13 starts at the Fort Worth, Texas track with two top fives, six top 10s and 49 laps led.

 

Jeremy Clements: For his third Playoff appearance, he comes in as the No. 8 seed with 2,005 points. He has 27 starts at Texas Motor Speedway with a best finish of 11th. He finished 16th at the 1.5-mile track earlier this season.

 

Sam Mayer: He comes into his first-ever postseason as the No. 9 seed with 2,005 points. He has two starts at Texas with one top-five and one top-10 finish. He finished third at Texas earlier this season.

 

Daniel Hemric: Last season’s Xfinity Series champion comes into his fourth Playoff appearance as the No. 10 seed with 2,003 points. He has seven starts at Texas Motor Speedway posting three top fives, four top 10s and 149 laps led. He finished 11th at Texas earlier this season.

 

Riley Herbst: He enters his third Playoff appearance as the No. 11 seed with 2,002 points. In his five series starts at Texas, he has posted one top 10 – eighth earlier this season.

 

Ryan Sieg: This season marks the fourth time he has qualified for the Playoffs, and he takes the final spot with 2,001 points. He has made 17 starts at Texas Motor Speedway posting three top-10 finishes.

 

For their full NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff driver bios, visit NASCARMedia.com - here.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

 

Where you start the Playoffs matters in Xfinity – When it comes to winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship, where a Playoff driver is originally seeded entering the postseason matters, because the lowest seeded driver to win a title in the series was last season’s champion Daniel Hemric, who started the Playoffs as the sixth seed. Four of the six Playoff season championships were won by driver who started the Playoffs seeded inside the top three.

 

Below is a list of the NASCAR Xfinity Series champions in the Playoff Era and seedings they started their championship runs with:

 

2016 – Daniel Suárez (No. 3 seed)

2017 – William Byron (No. 1 seed)

2018 – Tyler Reddick (No. 5 seed)

2019 – Tyler Reddick (No. 3 seed)

2020 – Austin Cindric (No. 2 seed)

2021 – Daniel Hemric (No. 6 seed)

 

Jeffrey Earnhardt to run at Texas this weekend – Jeffrey Earnhardt will be returning to Texas Motor Speedway for the second time this season behind the wheel of the No. 26 Sam Hunt Racing Toyota.

 

This will be Earnhardt’s ninth start this season with Sam Hunt Racing and 11th overall in 2022.

 

In total, Earnhardt has nine Xfinity Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway with one top-10 finish.

 

Brennan Poole joins JD Motorsports for three races – Brennan Poole has run in seven NASCAR Xfinity Series races this season and will compete in three more (Texas, Homestead-Miami and Phoenix) with JD Motorsports to close out the 2022 season.

 

A Texas native, Poole has made five Xfinity Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway posting two top-10 finishes.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

 

ThorSport Racing’s Ty Majeski wins his way into the Championship 4 Round

Not only did ThorSport Racing’s Ty Majeski score his first NASCAR national series victory last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, but he also claimed the first berth in the Championship 4 Round set to take place at Phoenix Raceway with the championship season finale on November 4.

 

Majeski will now get to breathe easy as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series takes the week off before partaking in some superspeedway action at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway.

 

The Talladega Superspeedway race on October 1 will be the first-time Majeski takes on the 2.66-mile track in the Truck Series. Although this will be a new track for him, he has proven he knows his way around a superspeedway. In the February season opener, he won the pole at Daytona and ultimately finished in the seventh position.

 

Clinch Scenarios: Three spots up for grabs at the ‘Wild Card’ Talladega Superspeedway

Ty Majeski made the trip to Victory Lane in the first race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Round of 8, so now drivers have just two opportunities – Talladega and Homestead-Miami – to claim their spot in the Championship 4 Round and join him. Plus, don’t forget at least one driver will make the Championship 4 Round on points making each finish in the final two races the much more imperative.

 

Already Clinched

The following driver has clinched a spot in the four-driver field of the next round: Ty Majeski.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the third winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Chandler Smith or Zane Smith.

 

  • Chandler Smith: Could only clinch with help
  • Zane Smith: Could only clinch with help

 

If there is a new winner from Stewart Friesen or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the second winless driver in the standings.

 

  • Chandler Smith: Could only clinch with help

 

Can clinch via win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Chandler Smith, Zane Smith, Stewart Friesen, John Hunter Nemechek, Christian Eckes, Grant Enfinger, Ben Rhodes.

 

Playoff Bubble: Nemechek, Eckes, Enfinger, Rhodes outside Champ 4 cutline

Looking at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff standings following the Round of 8 opener at Bristol Motor Speedway, now the postseason competitors are tasked with trying to make the Championship 4 Round with just two races to go. ThorSport Racing’s Ty Majeski won at Bristol last weekend and has clinched his spot in the next round leaving three spots still up for grabs.

 

Halmar Friesen Racing’s Stewart Friesen is currently ranked in the fourth and final transfer spot on points to the Championship 4 Round, up nine points on Kyle Busch Motorsport’s driver John H. Nemechek in fifth – the first spot outside the cutoff. Behind Nemechek is ThorSport Racing’s Christian Eckes in sixth (-13 points), then GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger in seventh (-15 points) and ThorSport Racing’s driver and 2021 series champion Ben Rhodes in eighth (-18 points).

 

Examining the Camping World Truck Playoffs field for Talladega

When the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action at Talladega Superspeedway, expect some hard racing as a lot will be on the line. Below is a look at how the Round of 8 drivers have performed at Talladega Superspeedway:

 

Ty Majeski: He currently ranks first and has racked up 3,053 points heading into the Truck Series’ next race at Talladega Superspeedway. This will be his first start at the Alabama track.

 

Chandler Smith: He sits second in the standings with 3,076 points. He has two starts at Talladega with one top five and one top 10 finish.

 

Zane Smith: He is currently in third with 3,073 points. He has given the 2.066-mile superspeedway a go twice and finished 33rd in both races.

 

Stewart Friesen: He comes in the next race in fourth with 3,061 points. He has five starts at the track with one top five and two top 10 finishes.

 

John Hunter Nemechek: He sits fifth in the standings and has accumulated 3,052 points. In his six starts at Talladega, he has posted one top five and two top 10s.

 

Christian Eckes: He is sixth in the rankings and is going into the next Playoff race with 3,048 points. He has had one stint at Talladega Superspeedway, and he finished in the 18th position.

 

Grant Enfinger: He currently ranks seventh and has 3,046 points. He has eight starts at the Alabama track with one win (2016), two top fives and three top 10s.

 

Ben Rhodes: He takes up the final Playoff spot with 3,043 points. He has six starts at Talladega with one top five and one top 10 finish.

 

For their full and updated Playoff driver bios, click here.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.

 

Natalie Decker to run at Talladega – Natalie Decker, the highest finishing female in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with a fifth-place finish at Daytona in 2020, is set to get behind the wheel of the No. 43 for Reaume Brothers Racing at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct 1.

 

“We have been working with Natalie for a while now, and we are all really excited to have her drive our #43 truck at Talladega. She brings a lot of great energy to the track and shop, which is very contagious, and we are looking forward to giving her a great opportunity when she returns to the Truck Series come October,” said team owner Josh Reaume. “I am very confident in Natalie that she will do an awesome job at Talladega.”

 

Decker has made 32 career Truck Series starts posting one top-five and one top-10 finish. She made her series track debut at Talladega in 2019; she started 19th and finished 16th.

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