Thursday, Dec 07

NASCAR has canned all on-track activity due to rain. Tonight’s Bank of America 500 has been postponed until Sunday tentatively at 12 p.m. EST on NBC. NASCAR Xfinity Series will race 45 minutes after the conclusion of the Cup race on NBCSN. Performance Racing Network will have all the radio call for both races. 


This will be the second straight weekend there will be a Sprint Cup-Xfinity doubleheader at the same track.

Fire up the scanner, it is time for Crew Chatter with Speedway Digest writers. This week we tackle Charlotte with the question, “Should NASCAR award the regular season champion during the Chase?”

Brett Winningham:

I can see the argument here. Though I think something needs to be put into place where if the regular season saw more than 16 different winners, and the points leader went all throughout the season without a win, maybe give the 16th spot of the Chase to the driver leading the standings after race 26 should this ever happen. Same goes for the lower two series as well. It's unlikely that would ever happen, but there is still a slight possibility. 

Katie Williams:

I have no opinion on whether or not regular-season leaders should be rewarded but I've been listening to all the shows on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio discuss this and some of the callers have come up with some wacky ideas. I think it should be a monetary incentive. I don't know if they still do but they have actually done this in rodeo, rewarded the regular-season winners with a certain amount of money. It's nice to leave Richmond as the points/Chase leader but when the playoffs begin, it doesn't really mean anything because the slate is wiped clean every three races.

Davey Segal:

I think NASCAR should absolutely reward a driver for "winning" the regular season based on points. It's kind of a win/win for everyone, if you think about it.

The fans that want NASCAR to revert back to the old days where points really matter and this Chase format isn't in existence, it gives them a little of that back.

The drivers already have incentive to win in the regular season, but now they would have to temper back their driving styles to a certain extent in order to remain solid based on points for the first 26 weeks of the season.

As for what I think the reward should be, that's a different story. This might not be a popular opinion, but I believe if you win the regular season, you deserve not only a bye into the Round of 12, but an automatic bid into the Round of 8.

I say this because the regular season makes up just under 75% of the season as a whole. There should be a bigger reward for the person who emerges victorious from those races as "the best", right?

Caleb Whisler: 

I do believe that NASCAR should grant the regular season points leader something.It is sad to see that a team that has the best “record” lose that record when it comes to the Chase. Drivers work hard throughout the season, and to lose that points lead is ridiculous. What should it be? That is the question that has to be answered. I personally believe that there should be either a first round bye or that the regular season points leader have first choice of pit stall UNTIL they’re knocked out of the race. However, I will leave that decision up to the powers that be in Charlotte and Daytona.

NASCAR has canned all on-track activity due to rain. Tonight’s Drive for the Cure 300 has been postponed until Sunday tentatively at 11 a.m. EST on NBCSN. Performance Racing Network will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. The field for the Drive for the Cure 300 will be set per the rule book.


Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto, and Ryan Ellis are the three drivers who will not get to take on Sunday.  Kyle Larson will start from the pole, Erik Jones will start second, Joey Logano will start third, Daniel Suarez will start fourth, and Brandon Jones rounds out the top-five


NASCAR is hopeful and will do its best to get in tomorrow’s Bank of America 500 in at the scheduled time.

The NASCAR Xfinity heads back home to Charlotte Motor Speedway to finish off the “Round of 12” in the Xfinity Series Chase for the Drive for the Cure 300. This is the final voyage to the Charlotte area for 2016.


43 drivers are scheduled to compete in the Drive for the Cure 300 for only 40 spots. Seven NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will be competing in the event including Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick, and Joey Logano.


Charlotte Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile asphalt speedway located in Concord, North Carolina. The front stretch is 1980 feet long with the backstretch at 1500 feet. The first and second turns are 2400 feet in length with turns three and four at 2040 feet. The turns are banked at 24 degrees with the straightaways at five degrees.


This is the 35th annual October return for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. There have been 45 different pole winners with Chase Elliott as the youngest and Harry Gant as the oldest. 33 drivers have won at Charlotte with Kyle Busch as the youngest and Harry Gant as the oldest.11 races have been won from the pole with A. Dillion being the last one to do so back in 2015.

In 1996, the race record was set by Mark Martin at a speed of 155.799 mph. Jimmie Johnson holds the qualifying record set back in in 2005 at a speed of 187.735 mph.


This is an elimination race for the Xfinity Series in the Chase. Elliott Sadler and Daniel Suarez have the wins to advance. The bottom four drivers are Ty Dillon, Erik Jones, Ryan Sieg, and Brandon Jones. Drivers who are near the cut-off line, but are safe include Brennan Poole, Blake Koch, and Darrell Wallace Jr.


Drivers are excited to be racing “back home” at Charlotte Motor Speedway.


“I absolutely can’t wait to get back on the track this weekend at Charlotte and race under the lights in front of our family and friends. Last weekend was really special for our whole team and I’m really excited that we were able to get a win and lock ourselves into the ‘Round of 8.’ We had an amazing Interstate Batteries Camry in Dover with a lot of speed, so hopefully we can duplicate that effort on Friday night. Scott (Graves, crew chief) and the guys continue to work hard and bring the best Camrys to the track each week. Charlotte is a really good track for us and our mile-and-half program has been strong all year, so I’m really excited to get on the track and see how our Juniper Networks Toyota performs,” said Suarez.


“We ran pretty well in the May Xfinity Series race at Charlotte, and I thought we ran better than we finished (13th) in the Truck Series race there as well. I’m looking forward to getting back in the Haas Automation Chevrolet Camaro this week and running as well or better than we did then. As a team, JR Motorsports has been very good on 1.5-mile tracks lately, and I hope to add to that success this weekend,” said Cole Custer, driver of the No. 5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.


"Charlotte Motor Speedway has always been a pretty good track for me. It is a place where you will typically get long green flag runs. If we can get the Nexteer Automotive Chevrolet handling well and turning the corner the way we need it to, we'll be just fine out there. I feel like Charlotte is one of the strongest mile-and-a-half tracks we go to,” said Br. Jones.


The NASCAR Xfinity Series will have two practice sessions at 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on NBCSN. Qualifying will be at 4:45 p.m. on NBCSN. Performance Racing Network and NBCSN will have race coverage beginning at 8:00 p.m.


In a race that was supposed to have some Sprint Cup Driver, Daniel Suarez outlasts Xfinity Series regulars to win the Drive Sober 200 from Dover International Speedway. This is his second win of 2016. This win will send Suarez into the “Round of 8” in the Xfinity Series Chase.


“I’m very proud of this team – the 19 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry. They did a really good job today and the guys just brought an amazing car. We had a ton of speed. This is one of those races that you would feel bad to lose the race. ARRIS, Juniper, Toyota – everyone that supports this program together, it’s pretty unbelievable to win.”


Suarez was able to pass third place finisher Justin Allgaier on the final restart.


“He (Justin Allgaier) was racing aggressive because clean air was everything. He got me right there on the restart and I was a little faster than him and I knew if I was close to his rear bumper that I was going to make him loose. I don’t think I ever touched him, but I just wanted to make him loose to be able to complete the pass. Like I said, very proud of everyone and I want to apologize to the 42 (Justin Marks), it wasn’t my intention to wreck him that way. I felt like I had the inside line and he went to the bottom and I apologize for that. Norm Miller (Interstate Batteries), thank you for this run today. Very proud of everyone on this team.”


Ty Dillon finished second, Allgaier finished third, Ryan Blaney, who replace Joey Logano, finished fourth, and Alex Bowman rounded out


The caution flag flew four times for a total of 35 laps. The first caution was brought out due to fluid on the speedway. The other three cautions were brought out due to accidents on the speedway.


Suarez led the most laps at 123, Erik Jones led 54 laps, Blake Koch led 15 laps, Allgaier and Elliott Sadler led three laps, and Ray Black Jr. and Corey LaJoie led one lap.


The time of the race was 1 hour, 55 minutes, and 18 seconds. The average speed of the race was 104.076 mph.


Suarez and Sadler are the two Chase drivers who will automatically advance due to their wins at Kentucky and Dover. Dillion, who recovered from Kentucky at Dover is the first driver out of advancement only three points behind Brennan Poole, Erik Jones is four points away from the cutout line, Ryan Seig is 10 points from the cutoff line, and Brandon Jones is 18 points from the cutoff line.


Next up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the elimination race in the “Round of 12. Performance Racing Network and NBCSN will have all the coverage for the Xfintiy Series beginning at 8:00PM EST on October 7.


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