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.
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.
BRISTOL, Tenn.— Despite getting a speeding penalty at the conclusion of the second stage, Kyle Busch was able to start from the pole to win the UNOH 200 from Bristol Motor Speedway.
“Well there was two (grooves). You know options, options are good and when you have options – you know when somebody is up high, you go down low and when somebody is down low, you go up high and it made for an interesting show that’s for sure. I didn’t want to. I’m sure NASCAR liked it. They wanted to, so truck yeah,” said Busch. “But pretty fun to be able to go out here and compete with these guys, compete with my guys and it was my late model team essentially you know. Just to go out here and have fun for Banfield, Banfield Pet Hospital team’s here and Cessna and Toyota, TRD, Rowdy Manufacturing, Joe Gibbs Racing Engines, NOS Energy Drink, everybody that’s a part of our team and makes our organization click.”
This is Ky. Busch’s third victory of 2017 and his fifth victory at Bristol.
After leading 90 laps and almost holding off Ky. Busch in the final 30 laps, Matt Crafton finished second.
“That last run we had really good speed. I found something right there at the end. I picked up two and a half tenths. When they were reading me lap times, I thought maybe we had something for them. Just a very good day. We will get one sooner or later here,” said Crafton.
John Hunter Nemechek finished in the third position.
“You never stop fighting until its over. We didn’t have the best qualifying spot. When the rain came, it washed most of the VHT off the bottom of the racetrack. After about five laps, the bottom rubbered up again. I am glad it rained because we were able to move to the middle and high lane. We didn’t have the best truck right off the lift gate, but we worked pretty hard to come home third. It’s a successful night,” said Nemechek.
Grant Enfinger, Ben Rhodes, Johnny Saucer, Christopher Bell, Parker Kligerman, Austin Cindric, and Brandon Jones rounded out the top-10 after the UNOH 200.
There were six lead changes among four different drivers. Ky. Busch led the most laps at 109. There were five cautions for 31 laps. The margin of victory was 0.962 seconds. The time of race was one hour, 16 minutes, and 42 seconds.
Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a trip to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Chevrolet Silverado 250. The race will be on Sunday, September 3rd at 2:30 ET on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network.
BRISTOL, Tenn.— After setting a new track record in the final round of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying, Kyle Busch will start from the pole in tonight’s UNOH 200 from Bristol Motor Speedway.
Busch was fastest in the opening round of qualifying at 128.848 mph. Christopher Bell was second fastest at 128.485 mph. Ben Rhodes was third fastest at 128.425 mph. Austin Cindric was fourth fastest at 128.417 mph. Parker Kligerman rounded out the top-five at 128.374 mph. Chris Windom and Mike Senica were the two drivers who will not participate in tonight’s event.
In the second round of qualifying, Bell was fastest at 128.848 mph. Busch was second fastest at 128.632 mph. Johnny Sauter was third fastest at 128.365 mph. Noah Gragson was fourth fastest at 128.211 mph. Rhodes rounded out the top-five at 127.911 mph.
In the final round of qualifying, Busch scored the pole with a speed of 129.413 mph. Bell will start second at 128.606 mph. Sauter will start third at 128.271 mph. Gragson will start fourth at 128.253 mph. Brandon Jones will round out the top-five a 127.911 mph.
Matt Crafton, Grant Enfinger, Cody Coughlin, Rhodes, and Jesse Little rounded out the top-ten.
It was a tale of two days for Roush Fenway’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and NASCAR Xfinity Series teams this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 from Bristol Motor Speedway was not the best race in 2017 for Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Reed and Darrell Wallace Jr.
In qualifying early Saturday Morning, Reed qualified 24th and Wallace Jr. qualified 14th. However, both drivers had to start in the rear of the field. In pre-race technical inspection, NASCAR found an unapproved splitter mount on both the cars.
For Reed, the first stage of the race was his last. After dropping to the rear of the field to serve his penalty, he began to make strides towards the front. Due to a tight handling race car in the early stages, Reed was put a lapped down by the leaders. Reed never had the chance to make a pit stop to fix the issue.
Reed’s day ended on lap 79 of the 300 lap event. The right front tire blew sending Reed into the wall. Reed also suffered a sprain to his wrist as he did not let go of the steering wheel in time before contact was made. Reed and his team deemed the car as unrepairable to finish 38th
“It was a tough day altogether, starting in the back,” said Reed. “The balance wasn’t very good and we went a lap down early. We were trying to fight through it, but had a tire go down and that ended our day. We’ll move on. We’ll go to Richmond, which is one of my favorite tracks, and rebound. The good thing about getting a win at Daytona is that buys you some insurance in case you have some days like this, so we’ll rebound. I’m really proud of everyone on the Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang. It’s a tough group mentally and physically, so we’ll persevere.”
After getting out of the car, Reed though his wrist was fractured. However, He went to social media to confirm it was just a sprain.
Ohh and wrist is all good. Just a little tight. ??— Ryan Reed (@driverRyanReed) April 22, 2017
For Wallace Jr., his day ended with 40 laps remaining ending his streak of five consecutive sixth place finishes.
In the first stage, Wallace Jr. worked his way towards the top-15 after starting from the rear. He improved over 20 positions in the stage, but went a lap down to the leaders due to a long green flag run. Wallace finished 15th in the first stage.
The second stage saw Wallace Jr. fighting to get his lap back that he lost in the first stage. Wallace Jr. battled Matt Tifft for that free pass position through much of the second and third stage. However, an accident on lap 259 that damaged the left rear of the car regulated Wallace Jr. to a 33rd place finish, tying his worst finish of the season at Daytona.
“It’s just an unfortunate day,” said Wallace. “I was just fighting hard for the lucky dog. We were put in the back for some circumstances we’ve got to get straightened out, but we were trying to make the most of it. We were fast. We were so fast there with our Leidos Mustang. It’s just unfortunate. We were clawing ourselves out of that lap-down spot and just ran out of time and ran out of luck.
The Food City 500 provided Roush Fenway’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers, Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., with the best luck of the weekend for the organization. Both drivers ran up front most of the day and ended up with top-11 finishes.
Bayne started in the 12th position due to qualifying being cancelled on Friday. Bayne maintained a top-20 position throughout much of the first stage. As the track rubbered up, Bayne began to experience a tight handling race car towards the end of the stage. Bayne finished the stage in the 15th position.
The second stage Bayne continued to work on his handling working his way up into the top-10. Bayne held off Stenhouse Jr. towards the conclusion to score two points by finishing in the ninth position.
The third stage saw Bayne going from tight conditions in the middle of the corners and loose on corner entry. Bayne was on and off in the top-10. Using the top lane, Bayne gained track position to finish in the 11th position to score his sixth top-15 finish of 2017.
Just like Bayne, Stenhouse Jr. ran up front throughout much of the race and scored a ninth place finish.
Stenhouse was almost going to a backup car after contact with the wall in the only practice session on Friday, but the team repaired the car to full glory for the race.
Stenhouse held onto a position in the top-20 throughout much of the first stage. while battling a loose car. Once the loose condition was treated, Stenhouse marched his way to the front of the field. Stenhouse worked his way towards the top-10 at the conclusion of the second stage.
Stenhouse used the high lane to work his way up to seventh, but ultimately ended up in the ninth position in the Food City 500.
The Food City 500 for Kyle Busch was one that he would like to soon forget. The five-time winner was set to compete for his sixth victory at the 0.533-mile track, but tire issues plagued the driver.
Busch was fastest all weekend in practice sessions, but was did not show speed on Monday.
Busch slapped the wall the first time on lap 211, but was able to bring the car down pit road for repairs. When repairs were complete, Busch was 23rd and the last car on the lead lap.
Busch had battled up into the top-10 before the tire exploded the second time on lap 385. This time the damage was worse than the first one sending Busch and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team behind the wall and out of the race.
Busch was baffled by what partook on the track.
“I didn’t need anything, I was the fastest one out there those last two runs picking cars off and driving from the back to the front after we lost our track position the first time. We had our issues and we were trying to march our way back up towards the front and get there and thought we were doing a good job of that and trying to be conservative with the tires because obviously they can’t make it through a full distance for us for some reason,” said Busch. “I don’t know, I don’t know if it’s fundamentally wrong what we’re doing, but it seems like all the rest of our five JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) cars are fine.”
Unlike previous tire issues, Busch was advised not to blame Goodyear for the problems.
Goodyear determined that the issues were bad bead related, not heat related. Goodyear made no further comment about the issues.
Busch was the only driver in the field to experience tire issues throughout the Food City 500. Because of the issues, Busch finished in the 35th position. He currently sits 11th in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points just 146 points behind leader Kyle Larson.
After a late race charge from Clint Bowyer and pit road penalties for Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson was able to win the rain-delayed Food City 500 from Bristol Motor Speedway, his second win of 2017.
“Yeah, it was kind of interesting because when the No. 42 (Kyle Larson) was there, it just created an environment to run the top and I wasn’t as good on the top. The No. 42, not being up there and that first couple of cars; the bottom was really where it was at for the short run. This Lowe’s Chevrolet was flying!”
"I’m so happy to give everybody at A.O. Smith a good ride on the quarter panel this weekend. We wouldn’t be here without a ton of support from Valvoline, Gatorade, the fans, Lowe’s, and Chevrolet. This track has been difficult over the years and we really hit on something Saturday afternoon in that last practice session around the bottom and honestly, it’s what I’ve been looking for here for 16 years and we finally figured it out. So, I’m very very happy.”
This is Johnson’s 82nd career win. He is only one win behind Cale Yarborough and two wins behind Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip on the all time career wins list. This is Johnson’s second career victory at Bristol; He scored his first in 2010.
Bowyer was considered “Mr. Where Did He Come From?” in the closing laps of the race. A caution or a few more laps could have gave Bowyer the win. Despite being disappointed in a second place finish, this is Bowyer’s best finish of 2017. This is also Bowyer’s best Cup Series finish since driving for Michael Waltrip Racing in the spring race at Richmond in 2013.
“Yeah, you have to put it into perspective. We’ve come a long way with this team. These guys have worked so hard; it’s a fun group, everybody at Haas. My teammates are awesome. It’s so much fun to work with this group each and every week. Hell yeah you want to be up there and win it. But the day we had, I got caught speeding on pit road and had to bounce back,” said Bowyer. “The guys kept working on the car. I appreciate the opportunity that Gene Haas and Tony Stewart gave me. Mobil 1, Haas Automation and everyone that’s a part of it.”
Kevin Harvick sat quietly in the front of the field for the 500 lap event. Harvick led 14 of the 500 laps to finish in the third position.
“I thought our Jimmy Johns Ford was the fastest car, we just needed track position. I think we showed how fast it was there on no tires and kind of able to hold our own,” said Harvick. “You just never know where you’re going to come out on those restarts. I felt like we had a couple cautions and we were in control of the race with the 11 on two tires and we might have had a chance. A good weekend and we’ll just keep going.”
Larson, who won the first stage, finished in the sixth position. Larson led 202 laps, but a late race pit road speeding penalty bit Larson and his chance for a second victory in 2017.
“I’m a little disappointed, but not bad. I’m more disappointed in myself from getting that speeding penalty with 80 (laps) or so to go. I was just pushing it down pit road and pushed it a little too far. I had a shot there still at the end, but four tires were better than ours,” said Larson.
Truex Jr, who won the second stage, finished in the eighth position. Truex also received a late race speeding penalty sending him to the end of the field.
“We were going for it you know. Wish we could have had a shot there just to see if we could have won. This Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota with everyone that helps us make it right – Toyota, TRD 5-hour, Wix, Bass Pro and just everybody. This is the best run we’ve had here in a long time. It’s bittersweet, I wish we could have seen if we could have beat the 48 (Jimmie Johnson). We were close there before that last caution, but it is what it is and you try to get what you can get and sometimes you cross the line and today we crossed the line,” said Truex Jr. about the penalty
The Food City 500 was slowed nine times for 76 laps. There were 14 lead changes amongst seven drivers. The race was stopped once for a red flag on lap 67 for five minutes and 10 seconds.
Next up for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the Toyota Owner’s 400 from Richmond International Raceway. FOX and Motor Racing Network will have the broadcast beginning at 1:30 p.m. EST on Sunday April 30th.
Due to persisting rains and the time to try Bristol Motor Speedway. NASCAR has cancelled qualifying for the Food City 500 on Sunday. Qualifying was scheduled for later on in the afternoon.
The Food City 500 will be set according to the NASCAR Rule Book. Kyle Larson will start from the pole position.
Instead of qualifying, Cup cars will hit the track at 3:00 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1. That practice session will run until 3:55 p.m. EST.
The revised Friday schedule shapes up as this:
-- 1-1:55 p.m.: NASCAR K&N Pro Series practice
-- 2-2:55 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series practice
-- 3-3:55 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice
The NASCAR Sprint Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Truck series teams have wrapped up a long weekend at the 0.533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway, a weekend that began on Wednesday, August 17th. Here are my five takeaways from this weekends events at Bristol Motor Speedway:
- Weather: Weather was once again a factor all weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Weather, unfortunately, is a major key when it comes to NASCAR. The running joke, “if you ever wanted to end a drought, send NASCAR into town”, held true. Weather, in my opinion effected the action on Saturday night into Sunday for the Sprint Cup Race. Hopefully, the rest of the 2016 will be free from weather.
- Rosin/Resin: This sticky stuff placed on the bottom groove at Bristol seemed to work. I would have liked to see how this substance would work without the rain. I found it interesting for this substance to be effective, it had to be heated up. The weather washed off some of this substance. However, what was left on the track provided for some great racing all weekend long. Should we see this substance added to more speedways?
- Kyle Busch: It is a love/hate relationship amongst fans when it comes to Kyle Busch. Busch talked to the media after the Xfinity Series race and after his accident on Sunday in the Cup race. His comments were made after coming out of the heat of the battle. I would rather have a champion that speaks what is on his mind instead of one who keeps quiet instead of calling it the way it truly is.
- NCWTS Race: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race was a huge indicator when it came to the rosin/resin on the racetrack at Bristol. The trucks were the guinea pigs, and the test was successful and an indicator into how the weekend would be. The race also featured a new first time winner in NASCAR, Ben Kennedy.
- Speedway Motorsports Inc.: I applaud Bruton Smith, Marcus Smith, Jerry Caldwell, and the entire team at Bristol Motor Speedway for trying something outside of the box. Bristol and SMI took a risk move to try to make the racing at Bristol to what fans seem to remember from the “good ole days”. The risk taken seemed to be successful. I love the motto Speedway Motorsports Inc. and Bruton Smith use, “We work for the fans”, because this weekend shows that everyone at SMI is concerned with the on track action taking place on their speedways.
What are your five takeaways from this weekends events at Bristol Motor Speedway?
Kevin Harvick holds off weather and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to win the almost 24-hour long Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon, and Chris Buescher rounded out the top-five. Harvick started from 24th to win today’s race. This is Harvick’s 33rd victory in 561 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series started.
“We should have won a lot of race this year, and we’ve just had things not go our way, made mistakes, or whatever the case may be, but to get back in victory lane here at bristol feels really good. We’ve had some good cars here the last few years. And to have Busch Beers on the car, we’ve had some crap luck with these guys on the car. Just really happy for Busch Beers and Jimmie Johns, and really proud for all these guys on the 4 team,” said Kevin Harvick in post-race victory lane interview.
“Just frustrating. Starting sixth on that last restart with him (Harvick) starting on the front row was tough. We were going to have to get everything perfect. It took me a minute to get the top going, but I wanted to give up there, but I remembered we had Bryan Clauson’s tribute car here. The guys dug deep to make our Fastenal Ford a lot better. We really wanted to park in victory lane for his whole family, friends, and fans. We were just a little bit short. I thought we were matching lap times there at the end; I just needed a restart or to start a little bit closer. I am definitely happy with how the weekend ended,” said second place finisher, Stenhouse Jr. post race.
Despite the race was delayed due to lightening in the area, the race began shortly after 9:00 pm eastern on Saturday night. Drivers were debating on whether to run high or on the bottom, but the lower groove prevailed at the beginning of the race. After getting the race underway for 31 laps, rain returned to the Bristol area bringing out the caution and ultimately the red flag. As the track dried, the engines refired shortly after 10:40 pm eastern. The red flag was displayed for 1 hour 24 minute and 4 seconds. While the cars were on the track and the jet dryers were finishing up drying pit road, the rain returned on lap 47. The race was postponed shortly after 11:20 pm eastern, and was scheduled to begin at 1 pm on Sunday. However, when 1 pm came on Sunday, rain was still a factor, delaying the even more. The red flag was lifted shortly after 4:30PM (EST). Green flag racing resumed on lap 58. When the race resumed, drivers were on the high and low lines trying to gain positions. The first half of the race was a dominating performance and a blistering pace set Kyle Busch, who lead 184 of 250 laps in the opening portion of the race.
Just as the race crept past halfway, the caution flew for debris. Busch continued his early dominance from the first half of the race into the second half. Tony Stewart, who had a terrible qualifying effort at Bristol, ended behind the wall to fix the tire vibration issues, but did return back on the speedway. The bottom and high line began to equalize in the second half of the race. Teams began to play cat and mouse on pit road in an effort to restart on the outside line. After dominating most of the are, Ky. Busch reported that the rear-end housing might be broken, but ended up crashing before heading to the garage. Unlike the first half of the race, cautions were breeding cautions. Weather brought out a caution on lap 433, but cars were brought onto pit road with 54 laps remaining as the red flag delayed. After a brief timeout the red flag was lifted after 6 minutes, 47 seconds. The end of the race went business as usual. The second half of the race was dominated and ultimately won by Harvick and the 4 team.
Overall, the 56th annual Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway say 20 lead changes among 8 different drivers. Ky. Busch led 256 laps, the most laps led, before getting caught up in an accident. The caution flag flew nine times for a total of 106 laps. The red flag was displayed three times all for weather. The average speed of the race was 77.968 mph. The official time of race was 3 hours, 25 minutes, and 5 seconds. The margin of victory was 1.933 seconds.
Harvick continues his reign as the point leader. Brad Keselowski is 27 points behind, Kurt Busch is 70 points behind, Carl Edwards is 73 points back, and Joey Logano rounds out the top five behind 78 points.
The Chase for the Sprint Cup grid has shifted some after today’s race. Buescher has raced his way into the top-30 and points, shifting the grid to only four spots remaining in the next three races. Ryan Newman is currently in the 12th spot on the grid. Because of Beuscher’s run, Kyle Larson was bumped out of the Chase.
The next race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will head to the Irish Hills of Michigan for the second time in 2016 for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Alex Bowman will be in the no. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy at Michigan if Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not medically cleared to race due to concussion-like symptoms. The Pure Michigan 400 will be on NBCSN and Motor Racing Network beginning at 2:00PM (EST).