Christopher Bell will lead the field to green in tomorrow nights NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Bell took the top spot in qualifying with a lap of 126.997 mph. With his pole win on Friday, Bell becomes the first driver to win the pole for the first three playoff races.
Bell’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin will start second with a lap of 126.930 mph, William Byron qualified third with a lap of 126.345 mph. Michael McDowell qualified fourth with a lap of 126.220 mph and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five with a lap of 126.154 mph.
McDowell, who qualified fourth and Truex who qualified fifth both need a good showing tomorrow night as they are both below the cutoff line heading into tomorrow’s cutoff race.
Rounding out the top ten were Brad Keselowski in sixth (125.963 mph), Chase Elliott in seventh (125.914 mph), Ty Gibbs in eighth (125.914 mph) Bubba Wallace in ninth (125.897 mph) and Corey LaJoie in tenth (125.625 mph).
Notable Kyle Larson will start last tomorrow night after he got loose in Turn 4 and almost spun out. Larson was able to correct his No.5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet but lost all of his momentum.
Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick both need a good race tomorrow night as they are the first two drivers above the cutline. Logano will start in the 28th position with a lap of 124.468 mph and Kevin Harvick will start 21st with a lap of 124.971 mph.
The green flag for tomorrow nights NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is set to wave at 6:35 p.m. Eastern on USA Network.
Christopher Bell will lead the field in NASCAR’s Cup Series playoff opener at Darlington Raceway after he posted the fastest lap in qualifying.
Bell won the pole with a lap of 169.193 mph. For Bell, this marks his seventh career Cup series pole and his third pole in the past eight Cup series races.
Bell’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin will start alongside him in second after he posted a lap of 169.042 mph.
Rounding out the top five were Tyler Reddick in third with a lap of 168.972 mph, Ryan Blaney in fourth with a lap of 168.273 mph and Brad Keselowski was fifth with a lap of 168.227 mph.
Kyle Busch, who made contact with the wall prior to qualifying in practice will start 11th. Busch recorded a time of 169.397 mph as he was the top Chevrolet driver in qualifying.
All Ford’s would round out the top ten in qualifying. Joey Logano in sixth, Kevin Harvick in seventh, Chris Buescher in eighth, Michael McDowell in ninth and Aric Almirola in tenth.
Carson Hocevar, who will be making his second career Cup series start on Sunday qualified 15th with a lap of 168.677 mph.
Martin Truex Jr., who won the Regular Season Championship last Saturday at Daytona International Speedway would be the lowest qualifying playoff driver. Truex was 31st with a lap of 166.913 mph.
The green flag for tomorrow’s playoff opener at Darlington Raceway is scheduled for 6:19 p.m. Eastern on USA Network.
1. No. 24 William Byron
Heading into his sixth season in the Cup Series, William Byron is the No. 1 seed in the point standings heading into Darlington this weekend. 2023 has been a breakout year for Byron with five wins, nine top fives, three poles and 877 laps led throughout the 2023 season. For Byron, this marks his fifth consecutive season where he has made the playoffs (’23, ’22, ’21, ’20, ’19).
2. No. 19 Martin Truex Jr.
The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series regular season Champion Martin Truex Jr. heads into Darlington this weekend as the No. 2 seed in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs with 2,036 points. 2023 marks the second time Truex has won the regular season championship (2017, 2023). In 2017, Truex would go onto win the Cup Series championship for the first time in his career at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2023, Truex has accumulated three wins, nine top fives and 832 laps led. Truex has won 10 playoff races in his career and has made the Championship 4 in five of his last seven seasons (’21, ’19, ’18, ’17, ’15).
3. No. 11 Denny Hamlin
Heading into his seventeenth season in the Cup Series playoffs, Hamlin is seeded third in points with two wins, nine top fives, 389 laps led and 2,025 points. Hamlin is tied with Kevin Harvick for the most playoff appearances at 17 each. Hamlin has posted 11 Cup Series playoff wins and has made the Championship 4 Round 4 times in his career (’21, ’20, ’19, ’14). Hamlin completed the 2022 season in fifth after being eliminated in the Round of 8. Hamlin finished runner-up in the playoffs in 2010.
4. No. 17 Chris Buescher
Chris Buescher heads to Darlington as the No. 4 seed in the playoffs with 2,021 points. In 26 starts this season, Buescher has acclaimed three wins to his resume, six top fives, 231 laps led with 2,021 points. For Buescher, the 2023 season marks the second time in his career that he has made the playoffs (2016, 2023). Buescher heads to Darlington playoff bound for the first time since the 2016 season. Buescher has failed to make the playoffs the last six seasons. Buescher is one of only five rookies in the playoff era in NASCAR to make the playoffs in their rookie season (2004-present). The other five were Denny Hamlin (2006), Chase Elliott (2016), Cole Custer (2020) and Austin Cindric (2022).
5. No. 8 Kyle Busch
Two-time Cup Series champion Kyle Busch heads to Darlington seeded fifth in the points standings with 2,019 points. Busch, who won the Championship in 2015 and 2019 is only one of two active drivers with multiple Cup Series titles. Busch has eight playoff wins and has made the Championship 4 five times in his career (’19, ’18, ’17, ’16, ’15). The 2023 season marks the 16th time that Busch has made the Cup Series playoffs. Busch finished the 2022 season 13th in points after being eliminated in the Round of 16. For the first time in his career, Busch heads to the Cup Series playoffs with a different team and manufacturer with RCR and Chevrolet.
6. No. 5 Kyle Larson
2021 Cup Series Champion Kyle Larson heads to Darlington as the No. 6 seed in the point standings with 2,017 points. In his playoff career, Larson has won seven times and has made the Championship 4 once in his career (2021). In that same year, Larson would win the series championship. Last season, Larson finished the year seventh in points after being eliminated from the playoffs in the Round of 12. In 2023, Larson has won two wins to his name as well as 10 top fives and 624 laps led.
7. No. 20 Christopher Bell
Christopher Bell heads to Darlington this weekend with one win this season, six top fives and 259 laps led. Bell is currently No. 7 in the point standings with 2,014 points. Last season, Bell finished a career best of third in the 2022 Cup Series playoffs. The 2023 season marks the third straight year where Bell has made the playoffs (’23, ’22, ’21). In his Cup Series playoff career, Bell has won two times in the playoffs and has made the Championship 4 once in his career of which came in 2022.
8. No. 1 Ross Chastain
Ross Chastain heads to Darlington as the No. 8 seed in the point standings with 2,011 points. The 2023 season marks the second time in his career that Chastain has made the playoffs (’23, ’22). In 2022, Chastain made the Championship 4 with his last corner video game like pass at Martinsville the perplexed him into the Championship 4. In 2022, Chastain finished the season runner-up in point standings.
9. No. 6 Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski heads to Darlington as the No. 9 seed in the point standings with 2,010 points. In 2023, Keselowski has six top fives, eleven top tens and 259 laps led. In his Cup Series career, Keselowski has won in the playoffs seven times and won the Cup Series championship in 2012. The 2023 season marks Keselowski’s eleventh playoff appearance and his first playoff appearance since 2021. Last year, Keselowski failed to make the playoffs and would finish 24th in the point standings at years end.
10. No. 45 Tyler Reddick
Tyler Reddick heads to Darlington as the No. 10 seed in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoff standings with 2,009 points. Reddick finished a career-best of 13th in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. In 2023, Reddick has one win to his record along with seven top fives and 312 laps led. The 2023 Cup Series season marks the third time that Reddick has competed in the Cup Series playoffs (’23, ’22, ’21). Last year, Reddick completed the season 14th in standings after being eliminated from the Round of 16.
11. No. 22 Joey Logano
In 2023, Joey Logano has one win, eight top fives and 260 laps led. Logano heads to Darlington as the 11th seed in the point standings with 2,008 points. Logano is one of two multiple cup series champions in the playoffs this season. Logano won the 2018 and 2022 Cup Series championship. For Logano, the 2023 season marks the 10th time that Logano has competed in the playoffs. Last year, Logano made the Championship 4 for the fifth time in his career and went onto win the Cup series championship at Phoenix Raceway.
12. No. 12 Ryan Blaney
Ryan Blaney heads to Darlington Raceway as the No. 12 seed in point standings with 2,008 points. In 2023, Blaney has one win, four top fives and 348 laps led. In his Cup Series playoff career, Blaney has posted two wins to his record (Charlotte Roval 2018/Talladega 2019). The 2023 season marks Blaney’s seventh time that he has competed in the playoffs. Last year, Blaney competed the playoffs ninth after being eliminated in the Round of 8.
13. No. 34 Michael McDowell
Michael McDowell heads to Darlington as the No. 13 seed in the point standings with 2,007 points. In 2021, McDowell finished a career best of 16th in the Cup Series playoffs. In 2023, McDowell has one win, two top fives and 92 laps led. Last year, Logano failed to make the playoffs and would ultimately finish 23rd in the championship standings.
14. No. 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. heads to Darlington as the No. 14 seed in the 2023 playoff standings with 2,005 points. In 2023, Stenhouse Jr. has one win, two top fives and 25 laps led. Stenhouse finished a career best of 13th in the 2021 playoff standings. For Stenhouse, the 2023 season marks the second time in his career that he has competed in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs (’17, ’23).
15. No. 4 Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick heads to Darlington as the No. 15 seed in the point standings with 2,004 points. In 2023, Harvick has six top fives, twelve top tens and 122 laps led. In his playoff career in the Cup Series, Harvick has won sixteen times and made the championship 4 round five times (’19, ’18, ’17, ’15, ’14). In 2014, Harvick went onto win the Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Last year, Harvick finished the season 15th in the point standings after being eliminated in the Round of 16.
16. No. 23 Bubba Wallace
Bubba Wallace heads to Darlington as the No. 16 seed in the 2023 Cup Series playoffs with 2,000 points. In 2023, Bubba Wallace has four top fives, six top tens and 159 laps led. For Wallace, the 2023 season marks the first time in his career that he has made the Cup Series playoffs. In 26 starts this season, Wallace has an average start of 14.5 and an average finish of 16.8
The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs kick off this Sunday at Darlington Raceway at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on USA Network
Austin Hill won Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Pocono Raceway.
Hill became victorious after gambling on fuel strategy and staying out front in the final laps of the race. For Hill, this marks his fourth win of the 2023 Xfinity Series season.
Driver No. 21 started 11th and after the first stage was complete, Hill would only have one stage point. Hill would then receive a speeding penalty on pit road during pit stops that would send him to the rear of the field for the start of the final stage.
Hill would not become a factor in the final stage until the leaders pitted under green flag conditions. That would leave just Hill, Riley Herbst and Sam Mayer as the only drivers out on the track that have yet to pit.
Hill would catch a big break when the caution would come out after Joey Gase spun out on Lap 80. As result, Hill would restart from the second row. When the race would resume, Hill would take over the top spot from Herbst and Mayer. Josh Berry would challenge Hill for the lead and ultimately take over the top spot before Connor Mosack hit the wall and sent the race into a overtime finish.
Driver No. 21 would take the lead from Berry entering Turn 1 in overtime, but Berry would not back down after the Jr Motorsports driver made one last charge on the final lap.
Hill would be able to hold onto the lead until the yellow and checkered flag flew in the air, signaling the race was over.
“On that restart Berry drove into one and he got really loose on entry and I was just trying to hit my line,” Hill told NBC Sports following his victory.
Rounding out the top five were Sam Mayer in second, Chase Elliott in third, Riley Herbst in fourth and Daniel Hemric in fifth.
Daniel Hemric, who finished fifth marked his third consecutive top five this season and his fifth consecutive top ten finish.
Rounding out the top ten were Sammy Smith in sixth, Brandon Jones in seventh, Brett Moffitt in eighth, Parker Kligerman in ninth and Daniel Suarez in tenth.
After Saturday’s race at Pocono, John Hunter Nemechek currently holds the top spot in the points standings over Austin Hill. Cole Custer, Justin Allgaier and Chandler Smith round out the top five in points.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Road America in the running of the Henry 180 on Saturday, July 29th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on NBC.
Stage 1 Winner: Josh Berry
Stage 2 Winner: Josh Berry
Race Winner: Austin Hill
Corey Heim won Saturday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Heim, who started from the Pole led 30 of the 67 lap race.
The victory marks his fourth win of his career and second this season.
“It’s just unbelievable,” Heim said post-race. “We came here with high expectations. I felt like I did a good job last year of staying up front but I put in the work to go from being a third place truck to a winning truck.”
Rounding out the top five were Zane Smith in second, Christian Eckes in third, Stewart Friesen in fourth and Ben Rhodes in fifth.
Zane Smith, who finished in second rebounded after starting the race from the rear of the field after his team had to make adjustments to his truck prior to the start of the race.
Saturday’s race at Mid-Ohio started in the rain, giving Truck series drivers time on NASCAR’s wet weather tire. The rain would eventually pass and teams would switch back to slicks for the remainder of the race.
Rounding out the top ten were Matt Crafton in sixth, Ty Majeski in seventh, Matt DiBenedetto in eighth, Nicholas Sanchez in ninth and Tyler Ankrum in tenth.
Saturday’s race at Mid-Ohio seen 10 cautions for 23 caution laps.
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads to Pocono Raceway in two weeks as just two races remain before the playoffs. Coverage begins at noon eastern on FS1 & MRN on Saturday, July 22nd.
Stage 1 Winner: Ben Rhodes
Stage 2 Winner: Ty Majeski
Race Winner: Corey Heim
Three-time Australian Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen became the first driver in over 50 years to win in their first career start in the Cup series.
Gisbergen made NASCAR history by becoming the first driver to win on a street course in the premier series of NASCAR.
“This was so cool,” Shane van Gisbergen told NBC Sports post-race. “This is what you dream of. Hopefully I can come and do more.”
With his win on Sunday, van Gisbergen becomes the first driver since Johnny Rutherford to win in their first career start. Rutherford won in 1963 in a Daytona qualifying race.
For Trackhouse Racing, Sunday’s win marks Trackhouse’s second win in a row. Shane van Gisbergen drove this weekend for Trackhouse Racing in their Project 91 entry.
Sunday’s race which was originally scheduled for 100 laps was shortened to 75 laps due to incoming darkness. Before the checkered flag flew there would be another overtime finish, which added an additional four laps of caution flags.
Rounding out the top five were Justin Haley in second, Chase Elliott in third, Kyle Larson in fourth and Kyle Busch in fifth.
Justin Haley, who finished runner up to van Gisbergen marked his best result on a road course in the Xfinity Series.
Kyle Busch, who finished fifth on Sunday, had to overcome an early crash into the Turn 6 tire barriers.
Chase Elliott, who finished third reacted to van Gisbergen’s win on Sunday. “He was in a league of his own,” Chase Elliott told the media following his third place finish. “In my opinion, he put on a really big time clinic qualifying race
Rounding out the top five were: Michigan McDowell in sixth, Joey Logano in seventh, Ty Gibbs in eighth, Chris Buescher in ninth
Sunday’s race at the Chicago street course started on a wet course after nonstop rain throughout the day.
The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 9th at 7:00 p.m. Eastern
Stage 1 Winner: Christopher Bell
Stage 2 Winner: Christopher Bell
Race Winner Shane van Gisbergen
Martin Truex Jr. dominated Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway.
Truex showed the competition just how good he was on Sunday, winning for the second time in 2023 and his fourth win at the Sonoma road course.
Driver No. 19 took command of the lead with 14 laps to go in the race and stayed there for the remainder of the race.
“Great freaking car,” Truex told his team over the radio after crossing the start-finish line.
Truex led 51 of the 110 lap race.
Rounding out the top five were Kyle Busch in second, Joey Logano in third, Chris Buescher in fourth and Chase Elliott rounding out the top five.
Chase Elliott, who finished fifth returned to the Cup series this weekend at Sonoma after being suspended for one race.
Denny Hamlin, who started on the pole for Sunday’s race ended his race in the garage after being involved in an incident.
After winning the first stage, Hamlin’s race took a turn for the worse. Hamlin was on track when a caution came out on Lap 51 during green flag pit stops, forcing Hamlin to restart deep in the field. Hamlin would then get involved in a wreck ending his changes of contending for the win. Driver No. 11 would finish last.
Both Truex and Hamlin led for a combined 84 laps of the 110 lap race.
Rounding out the top ten were AJ Allmendinger in sixth, Michael McDowell in seventh, Kyle Larson in eighth, Christopher Bell in ninth and Ross Chastain in tenth.
Ross Chastain, who finished tenth ended his streak of three consecutive finishes of 20th or worse. AJ Allmendinger, who finished in sixth earned his highest placing finish in the Cup series at Sonoma.
With his win on Sunday, Truex takes back the points lead. He leads over William Byron who is second in point standings by 13 points.
The NASCAR Cup Series will have next weekend off. The series will pick back up on June 25th at Nashville Superspeedway at 7 p.m. Eastern on NBC.
Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.