Martin Truex, Jr. punched his ticket to the final four of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs after taking the checkered flag at Martinsville Speedway. 

 

After being moved on the last lap in 2018, Truex came ready for battle. He dominated from the start, winning stage 1 and 2 and leading 464 of the 500 lap show. 

 

The No. 19 Joe Gibbs Toyota seemed to have no issue throughout the race, even when faced with several late race restarts. Truex was able to pull away fairly easily on each restart and maintain position. 

 

Martinsville has not always been one of Martin’s strongest tracks, but the team gets better every year. This was his first win at the famed short track and his seventh win of the season. 

 

William Byron, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-5. 

 

The Round of 8 playoff battle continues at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 3 PM ET on NBCSN. 

Ryan Blaney survived three big ones to take the checkered flag in the 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. 

After rain began to fall at the end of the first stage on Sunday afternoon, the race was postponed to Monday afternoon. Ryan Blaney spun on pit road and got hit with speeding penalty on Sunday, but used the postponed race to redeem himself. 

The No. 12 Dent Wizard Ford stayed in the top 10 for the most of the day. Blaney led three different times for a combined total of 35 laps led. He managed to be in the right place at the right time when three different big ones occurred around him, escaping unscathed. 

With less than 15 laps to go at Talladega, the field began to scramble resulting in an 11-car crash in Turn 3. Brendan Gaughan went upside down as many of the playoff contenders that were racing for those playoff points saw their day come to am end. When the green flag waved, Blaney was on the move to the front. 

Before the race got underway, all manufacturers met to talk to the drivers to discuss manufacturer teammates getting banding together to push one another to the front. The Ford camp certainly listened and it paid off in the end. 

In the closing laps, Ryan Newman got a big push, rocketing him passed Ryan Blaney. Aric Almirola drove to Blaney's bumper and gave him the push that ultimately got him the win. Blaney took the checkered flag by 0.007 seconds over Newman, making it the sixth-closest finish in series history. 

“We spun out early yesterday and missed some big ones today. We were able to weave our way through. I can’t thank Aric Almirola enough for helping me out there at the end.”

The No. 12 Dent Wizard Ford drove to victory lane for the first time this season, locking Ryan Blaney into the Round of 8 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. 

Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola and Michael McDowell rounded out the Top 5 at Talladega Superspeedway. After a series of accidents, Bowman, Elliott, Bowyer and Byron have found themselves in a must-win situation at Kansas Speedway. 

Catch the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in action again next week at Kansas Speedway for the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, October 20 at 2:30PM ET on NBC. 

 

 

After a fierce battle with Matt DiBenedetto, Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. 

Like some of his race wins in the past, Denny faced a few setbacks early on in the race and had to fight his way back to the front. 

Hamlin received damage after an incident in Stage 1 when a car spun in front of him leaving him with bad tire rub. He raced his way back in to the top-15 before the end of the stage and finished p.11. 

The issues did not stop there. The FedEx Toyota had to make unscheduled pit stop under green because of a loose wheel. As he pulled off of pit road, Almirola tagged the wall to bring out the caution, putting Hamlin a lap down. 

With a handful of laps to go in Stage 2, the caution flag waved again when Clint Bowyer spun coming out of the turn. Hamlin received the free pass and finished the stage in p.18

The No. 11 FedEx Toyota made his way to the front. He cracked the top ten within 100 laps and began knocking on the doors of the top five. 

Denny drove up to second and set his sights on the No.95 of Matt DiBenedetto. As Hamlin inched closer to DiBenedetto, the laps winded down. Lapped traffic slowed the No.95 just enough for Hamlin to make a run for the lead. With 12 laps to go, Denny Hamlin took the lead and never looked back. 

Hamlin took the checkered flag for the fourth time this season. 

“It’s on a roll like I’ve never seen before. It hasn’t been this good in a long time,” Hamlin said.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is back in action on Sunday, September 1 at 6 PM for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on NBCSN. 

Kyle Busch took the checkered flag at Pocono Raceway for the 55th time in his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.

The No. 18 Camry was not dominate throughout the race, but he was there when it mattered the most. With nine laps to go on the final restart, Busch ran away with the lead over Brad Keselowski, teammate Erik Jones, Chase Elliott and Clint Bowyer.

Pit strategy played a big factor at the Tricky Triangle, as teams had to factor in fuel mileage and possible tire wear. Many drivers opted to stay on the track until the caution flag waved to gain valuable playoff points, but some elected to pit during green flag action. The No. 18 crew elected to pit before the end of each stage to give Kyle Busch a better restart position when the green flag waved.

"Overall my guys on pit road were awesome. It's cool to get a win at Pocono again," said Busch after earning his fourth win of the 2019 season.

Though he was not the dominate car in the first two stages, Busch led 79 of the 160 laps earning him his third Pocono win and tying NASCAR Hall of Famer, Rusty Wallace for the series all-time win list.

Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, Chase Elliott and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five in the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be back in action for the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, June 9 at 2:00 PM EST.

Kyle Busch took the checkered flag at Pocono Raceway for the 55th time in his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.

The No. 18 Camry was not dominate throughout the race, but he was there when it mattered the most. With nine laps to go on the final restart, Busch ran away with the lead over Brad Keselowski, teammate Erik Jones, Chase Elliott and Clint Bowyer.

Pit strategy played a big factor at the Tricky Triangle, as teams had to factor in fuel mileage and possible tire wear. Many drivers opted to stay on the track until the caution flag waved to gain valuable playoff points, but some elected to pit during green flag action. The No. 18 crew elected to pit before the end of each stage to give Kyle Busch a better restart position when the green flag waved.

"Overall my guys on pit road were awesome. It's cool to get a win at Pocono again," said Busch after earning his fourth win of the 2019 season.

Though he was not the dominate car in the first two stages, Busch led 79 of the 160 laps earning him his third Pocono win and tying NASCAR Hall of Famer, Rusty Wallace for the series all-time win list.

Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, Chase Elliott and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five in the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be back in action for the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, June 9 at 2:00 PM EST.

Kyle Busch took the checkered flag at Pocono Raceway for the 55th time in his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.

The No. 18 Camry was not dominate throughout the race, but he was there when it mattered the most. With nine laps to go on the final restart, Busch ran away with the lead over Brad Keselowski, teammate Erik Jones, Chase Elliott and Clint Bowyer.

Pit strategy played a big factor at the Tricky Triangle, as teams had to factor in fuel mileage and possible tire wear. Many drivers opted to stay on the track until the caution flag waved to gain valuable playoff points, but some elected to pit during green flag action. The No. 18 crew elected to pit before the end of each stage to give Kyle Busch a better restart position when the green flag waved.

"Overall my guys on pit road were awesome. It's cool to get a win at Pocono again," said Busch after earning his fourth win of the 2019 season.

Though he was not the dominate car in the first two stages, Busch led 79 of the 160 laps earning him his third Pocono win and tying NASCAR Hall of Famer, Rusty Wallace for the series all-time win list.

Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, Chase Elliott and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five in the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be back in action for the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, June 9 at 2:00 PM EST.

BRISTOL, Tenn.— For the second time in his career, Kyle Busch will sweep the August race weekend Bristol Motor Speedway.

“Man, it’s just great to have a guy like that. This M&M’s Caramel Camry was awesome tonight. Adam Stevens and these guys they never quit working on it. Every single pit stop we kept working on it, kept adjusting on it, so I can’t say enough about his Toyota Camry, everybody at TRD – want to thank Interstate Batteries, NOS Energy Drink, Cessna, DVX Sunglasses and of course the fans,” said Busch. “This is for Rowdy Nation. Rowdy Nation’s really what fuels us to get ‘em out, to get around and get along and all the noise is good noise, that’s how I feel about it. These M&M’s Caramels are going to be celebrating tonight.”

This is Ky. Busch’s second victory of 2017. This is his 14th top-10 finish of the season. This is his sixth career victory at Bristol.

After running up front all night and a late race charge to battle Ky. Busch, Erik Jones finished second.

“It’s a bummer, I mean you can’t lie. I thought we had a really good day and we fought hard all day. We had our ups and downs and led a lot of laps and didn’t have quite enough at the end,” said Jones. “Kyle (Busch) is really good here. But we had a good 5-Hour Energy Camry. Just needed a little more at the end. It’s just unfortunate we didn’t have it. I did what I could, but it just wasn’t quite enough.”

Being the silent contender most of the night in a satisfying yet disappoint finish, Denny Hamlin finished third.

“Half and half. Definitely with the track position, we definitely could have held those guys off. We caught them a little bit in that last run, but I restarted on the bottom so many times that it’s one of those weekends where I would love that cone rule where you can pick what lane you want to go in on restarts. I’d be willing to start 12th on the outside versus third on the inside. It’s just I got killed on restarts all day, but we did a really good job of bouncing back and good finish,” said Hamlin.

Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Trevor Bayne, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-10.

There were 21 lead changes six different drivers. Jones led the most laps at 260. The caution flag flew eight times for 53 laps. The average speed of the race was 95.970 mph. Ky. Busch and Kenseth won the first two stages. The time of race was two hours, 46 minutes, and 37 seconds.

Next up for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is an off weekend before the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR at Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles Southern 500.

Following an altercation on pit road, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has suspended Lee Cunningham and Chris Taylor, pit crew members on Martin Truex Jr.'s car.

 

The altercation took place after Truex and Kyle Busch wrecked each other coming off the second turn at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Lap 112.

 

NASCAR on FOX was the first to report the incident:

 

 

Barney Visser, Furntiture Row Racing (FRR) owner, released a statement following the announcement:

 

"Our No. 78 pit crew is hired, trained and managed by Joe Gibbs Racing. They are one of the best pit crews on the circuit and have kept us up front all season. We admire the talent and dedication of our pit crew and support all of the decisions and actions taken by Joe Gibbs Racing."

 

Kip Wolfmeier and John Royer will take their respective positions during the suspensions of Cunningham and Taylor.

 

FRR and JGR have a technical alliance. Both teams share technical information, pit crews, and car chassis.

INDIANAPOLIS— After a wild and crazy Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, was made available to the media to discuss the final moments of the event and other pressing issues.

As darkness loomed over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Brickyard 400 went into double overtime. As sunset approached, the second attempt at NASCAR Overtime ended the event.

The problem for many was that the cars were wrecking well before the overtime line before NASCAR threw the caution flag. Ultimately NASCAR threw the caution flag after race winner, Kasey Kahne crossed the overtime line.

“What we have always said and been consistent, as much as I talked about it, we are going to make every attempt to finish the race under green. To do that, you have to see what happens with an incident,” said O’Donnell. “In this case, we did that. Once we decided to throw the caution when we wanted to dispatch equipment, we also knew there was oil on the race track, and threw the caution. Ultimately, that was the end of the race.”

When asked if darkness played a factor into the decision, O’Donnell stated, “It didn’t, but we would not have been able to restart that race. There was oil down. It would have been another red flag. I think the last red flags were 15 to 20 minutes with oil. We were up against it as well.”

O’Donnell clarified that when the leader crosses the overtime line and the caution falls, that the race was official.

As NASCAR finished close to darkness, O’Donell stated that they have not discussed the start times of the event.

During the final red flag period of the race, NASCAR parked Landon Cassill of Front Row Motorsports for driving under the red flag. Cassill’s spotter did not hear the call from the NASCAR official that the red flag has been displayed. O’Donnell was unsure of what the specific reason was behind the call.

“We checked with the spotters. We made sure the sight lines were still good. Obviously, if you continued to have cautions and red flags, that would have been a problem, but we wanted to make every attempt to go back green. The cleanup did a great job to get us back going,” said O’Donnell about the looming darkness.

NASCAR is expected to show photo proof that the leaders were in fact across the overtime line at the time of caution.

Don’t like the overtime line rule? O’Donnell mentioned that the sanctioning body is in discussions about potentially moving the overtime line to the start/finish line in the future.

INDIANAPOLIS— In his final voyage to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400, the day for Dale Earnhardt Jr finished on a sad note. Earnhardt Jr was sidelined only 76 laps into the 160 lap event.

The day ended prematurely after damage concurred to the radiator. Earnhardt made contact to the rear of Trevor Bayne. Shortly after contact, smoke billowed from the front of the Earnhardt’s damages car. Earnhardt took the car straight to the garage.

Earlier in the race, Earnhardt had contact with Brad Keselowski. At that impact, the bumper bar was knocked out of the car resulting in no protection for the radiator.

“We had a great car and I was having a lot of fun. The car was fast. We had a top 10 car for sure. It’s kind of frustrating because I was really enjoying being out there,” said Earnhardt. “Hopefully our luck’s going to turnaround. It’s been pretty tough and this is a difficult one to put up with.”

Earnhardt’s accident in the Brickyard 400 came when the race was restarting.

“You’ve got to push hard and that got us in a little bit of trouble there when they all started checking up on the outside. I was just trying real hard to get as much as we could on restart, and we got bit,” said Earnhardt.

Earnhardt’s not the only Hendrick driver to have retired from the event. Chase Elliott retired from the event earlier on due to engine issues. Earnhardt will be credited with a 36th place finish.

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