Noah Gragson won Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series opening race at Daytona, winning in a three-lap shootout that would end under caution.
For Gragson, this marks his first ever NASCAR Xfinity Series victory in his 37th career start.
“I’m so thankful for the opportunity,” Gragson told FS1 post-race. “Man I’m speechless right now, I didn’t think this would come. I spent a lot of time with Dale Jr. this week talking for about two hours. Wanted to be a better speedway racer. He told me ‘go have fun, wreckers or checkers, you got to manage your gaps, be there at the end and just lead the damn thing.’ That’s what we did.”
For Jr Motorsports, this is their third straight win in the February race at Daytona.
Driver No. 9 had to rebound from a speeding penalty on Lap 32. This was the fifth time in the last seven races that the winner rebounded from a penalty during the race.
Gragson led 15 laps of the race and beat out Harrison Burton, Timmy Hill, Brandon Jones and Chase Briscoe rounding out the top five.
Harrison Burton earned his best finish (second) in his 10 Xfinity Series starts and his second top five place finish.
The race would end under caution due to a massive wreck on the back straightaway on the final lap.
The late-race restart was set up by a wreck on a restart with seven laps to go.
The wreck collected Jeb Burton, Austin Cindric, Ryan Sieg, Brett Moffitt and others. It started when Briscoe, who took the lead moved up to block Gragson as the field entered Turn 3. Harrison Burton, running behind Gragson had to check up and was turned by Cindric. Burton collected Jones before turning back into the wall.
The wreck would result in a red flag that would last nearly eight minutes.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Feb. 22 in the running of the Boyd Gaming 300. Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on Fox Sports 1.
Stage 1 Winner: Jeb Burton
Stage 2 Winner: Justin Allgaier
Race Winner: Noah Gragson
Erik Jones won Sunday’s wrecked filled Busch Clash at Daytona International Speedway.
Jones survived four wrecks in the late stages of the race and plus three overtime restarts to win Sunday’s Busch Clash at Daytona International Speedway.
Driver No. 20 had arguably the most damaged car of the six cars that finished the race.
Jones received a push from his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin, who was a lap down and pushed Jones passed Ryan Newman and Austin Dillion on the final lap to claim the win.
The fourth wreck of the day occurred in Turn 4 as result of contact between Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson.
The third wreck occurred on the first attempt at overtime, when Denny Hamlin lost control of his car while trying to block Elliott’s attempt to take the lead and spun out.
The second wreck occurred before the field even took the green flag with three laps to go. William Byron spun and was hit from behind by Kevin Harvick, which also collected Martin True Jr., Kyle Larson, Austin Dillion, Clint Bowyer and others as well.
The first wreck of the afternoon occurred when Joey Logano was leading and trying to hold off a charge from Kyle Busch when they made contact as they both exited Turn 4. That would cause Busch to loose control and collect Logano. Brad Keselowski was also collected. Ryan Blaney and Jimmie Johnson also made contact as the wreck occurred ahead of them.
Keselowski, who led 33 laps, slammed the side of an ambulance in frustration after exiting his car.
The NASCAR Cup Seres will return on Thursday for the Daytona Duel's. Coverage begins on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on Fox Sports 1.
Known as “Smoke”, Tony Stewart a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has been a force to be reckoned with ever since he stepped foot into the Cup series back in 1999.
Stewart earned three victories in his Rookie of the Year season in 1999. Titles would soon follow. Driver No. 20 would win his first NASCAR Cup championship in 2002 for Joe Gibbs Racing and would soon capture his third title in 2005.
Over his 17-year NASCAR Cup Series career, “smoke” compiled 49 wins and won the Brickyard 400 in his home-state of Indianapolis twice.
In 2009, Stewart would become a team owner in the NASCAR Cup series. During his time at Stewart-Haas Racing, Stewart won 16 times as a driver/owner including his thrilling 2011 championship battle with Carl Edwards.
Stewart-Haas Racing has 55 wins, including the 2017 Daytona 500 with Kurt Busch and two championships (2011/Tony Stewart, 2014/Kevin Harvick)
Cup Series Stats:
Championships: 3 (2002, 2005, 2011)
Known as “coach” because of his time coaching the Washington Redskins, Joe Gibbs has won in both football and NASCAR. Gibbs was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
The three-time Super Bowl champion started Joe Gibbs Racing in 1992 and has led his Cup Series team to five Cup Series championships and five Xfinity Series championships. Gibbs currently ranks third on the all-time owner wins list in the Cup series with 176 owner wins.
His wins include three Daytona 500 victories and five Brickyard 400 wins. Gibbs five Cup series championships have come with three different drivers: Bobby Labonte in 2000, Tony Stewart (2002, 2005) and Kyle Busch (2016, 2019).
Cup Series Owner Stats:
Championships: 10 (5 in Cup, 5 in Xfinity)
Brother of NASCAR Hall of Famer Terry Labonte, Bobby Labonte got his break as a full-time Cup Series driver at 28 years old in 1993.
Throughout his career, Labonte made 21 trips to Victory Lane and one Cup Series championship in 2000.
Labonte was the first of four drivers to win both a Cup Series championship and Xfinity Series championship. He’s also one of 27 drivers to win a race in all three of NASCAR’s national series.
Labonte’s career is highlighted by his 2000 Cup Series championship and his wins in both the Brickyard 400 and Southern 500.
Cup Series Stats:
Championships: 2 (Cup - 2000, Xfinity - 1991)
As an engine builder and crew chief, Waddell Wilson guided cars to some of the biggest victories in NASCAR Cup Series history.
Wilson supplied the power that led David Pearson (1968, 1969) and Benny Parsons (1973) to Cup Series championships.
Wilson’s engines helped some of NASCAR’s greatest drivers - including NASCAR Hall of Famers David Pearson, Fireball Roberts, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip to 109 wins and 123 poles.
Wilson guided three cars to Victory Lane in the Daytona 500 with Buddy Baker in 1980 and Cale Yarborough (1983, 1984). Wilson also assembled the famed “Grey Ghost” that still to this day holds the Daytona 500 record with an average speed of 177.602 mph.
Cup Series Stats:
Championships: 3 (1968, 1969, 1973)
Known as the “Gentle Giant,” Buddy Baker stood at six feet, six inches tall. In 1970, right after Talladega Superspeedway opened, Baker became the first driver to surpass the 200-mph mark on a closed course while testing there.
Baker won at Talladega four times throughout his career. In 1980, the Charlotte, NC, native won the Daytona 500 with an average race speed of 177.602 mph. That track record still stands to this day.
Son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Buck Baker, Buddy Baker won 19 times in the Cup Series, including a victory in the 1970 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway where he lapped rest of the field.
Baker also won back-to-back Coca-Cola 600s at Charlotte in 1972 and 1973.
After his retirement in 1992, Baker made a transition from the drivers seat to the television booth for CBS.
Sadly, Buddy Baker would pass away from Lung Cancer in 2015.
Cup Series Stats:
Jimmie Johnson announced on Wednesday that he would no longer be racing full-time in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series following the 2020 season. On Thursday, Johnson addressed the media along with his team owner Rick Hendrick regarding the decision.
Johnson stated in Thursday’s press conference that his retirement wouldn’t be from racing all together.
“This is not a retirement from driving race cars,” Johnson said during Thursday’s press conference at Hendrick Motorsports. “This is slowing down from 38 weekends a year and you certainly know the stress and pressure. That grind that it takes and 19 years in Cup and 2 years in the Xfinity Series. Plus everything before that, like you know one of the more balances is really where that sits but it’s been a bit of a run and we’re gonna keep going.”
Rick Hendrick said during Thursday’s press conference that he was “shocked” to learn about Johnson’s retirement following next season.
“Shocked. Every time one of these drivers calls me and they want to come to my house, I know that’s not a good situation,” Rick Hendrick said.
The 7-time champion also stated that all options are open when it comes to racing except for IndyCar and fast ovals. Johnson also said that he would come back and drive Cup cars for Rick Hendrick if the opportunity came about.
Post 2020 and beyond, Johnson has not had any discussions yet for what that may entail.
“No, I haven’t talked to anybody. Haven’t even thought about it.”
At the end of Thursday’s press conference, Johnson would hold back tears when he was talking about Rick Hendrick and all of the people in the NASCAR industry.
“When I look back on the years I’ve had so far at NASCAR, I fall back to the experiences of the people. Those are the things that come to mind. Not holding the trophy in Victory Lane or on the stage at Las Vegas as we did so many times. It’s the people,” Johnson said.
As for the 2020 season, Johnson said that his ultimate goal is to make it to the Championship 4 next year in Phoenix.
“The outlook for next year is absolutely to win races and be in the final four. That is absolutely the goal for next year,” Johnson said.
Denny Hamlin won Sunday’s NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series final playoff elimination race at ISM Raceway, clinching a spot in the championship race next Sunday in Miami.
“I can’t believe it,” Denny Hamlin told NBC post-race. “This race team worked so hard this whole year. They deserve it. I put them in a bad hole last week. I told them today I’m going to give them everything I’ve got to make up for the mistake I made last week. That’s all I got.”
Hamlin started the Sunday’s playoff elimination race as the first driver outside the top 4 advancing into Homestead by 20 points. Driver No. 11 led 143 of 312 laps in route to sixth win of the 2019 season.
“One of the best cars of my career, I can tell you that,” Denny Hamlin told NBC posy-race. “I pushed for all I had. I mean that’s all I got. Once we got the big lead there a little over 10 seconds, I just kind of sat there. I got to thinking about if the caution does come out I want to lap as many as I can.”
Joining Denny Hamlin in the championship race next Sunday in Miami will be Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.
Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott were eliminated from the playoffs following Sunday’s cutoff race.
“I went from a car that could lead and win a stage and run really well and from what they told me, it was an air pressure adjustment made it go from a winning car to can’t stay on the lead lap,” Joey Logano told NBC post-race. “One of the tightest things I’ve ever driven. I don’t really understand it. It doesn’t make any sense.
Rounding out the top five were Kyle Busch in second, Ryan Blaney in third, Kyle Larson in fourth and Kevin Harvick in fifth.
The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series will head to Homestead-Miami Speedway in the championship deciding race. Coverage begins at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Nov. 17 on NBC.
Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin
Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin
Christopher Bell won Saturday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway and has now locked him a spot into the Xfinity championship race at Homestead in two weeks.
Bell won every stage in the race and would go onto claim his eighth victory of the year which leads the Xfinity Series for the most victories this season.
This is the fourth time thus far this Eason the Bell has swept every stage of the race and won too. He’s also the only driver to ever do it.
Driver No. 20 led 101 of the 200 lap event.
“That was pretty special to win here at Texas,” Bell told NBCSN post-race. “I got a lot of family over there in the background. This is for my nephew. I promised him years ago that if I ever won I’d give him the flag at Texas. I knew we were competitive. Us and Tyler Reddick were really similar early on. Then I started having brake problems. Whenever I got those brake problems I just wasn’t as good. I couldn't keep the car underneath me. I got really loose. Had to work a little bit harder.”
Rounding out the top five were Ross Chastain in second, Austin Cindric in third, Brandon Jones in fourth and John Hunter Nemecheck in fifth.
Playoff driver Noah Gragson’s day didn’t go as planed after making contact with Harrison Burton with 50 laps to go sent Gragson through the grass and made damage. Gragson would finish in 30th.
Tyler Reddick also had an unfortunate night after he wrecked on the backstretch while racing Chase Briscoe and Brandon Jones. Reddick would finish 29th. Chase Briscoe would finish in 22nd after he had a pit stop late in the race due to a right-front tire problem.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head into ISM Raceway in the final race on the Round of 8. Live coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC.
Stage 1 Winner: Christopher Bell
Stage 2 Winner: Christopher Bell
Race Winner: Christopher Bell
Chase Elliott won Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Driver No. 9 overcame a missed turn in the final stage, which sent him into the turn 1 wall and made his way back through the pack and would find the lead with six laps remaining and would go on to win at the Charlotte Roval.
“Holy moly, did y’all like that?” Chase Elliott asked the fans after the race. “What a mistake. Holy moly. You talk about messing something up. Right here. Don’t fo that. What a day. Such a fast NAPA Camaro and that was the only reason we were able to get back in it.
Elliott made sure to do his victory celebration right where he hit earlier in the race.
Driver No. 9 led the most laps of any other driver on Sunday afternoon with 35 laps.
Rounding out the top five were Alex Bowman in second, Kevin Harvick in third, Clint Bowyer in fourth and Brad Keselowski in fifth.
Rounding out the top ten were William Byron in sixth, Martin Truex Jr. in seventh, Ryan Blaney in eighth, Jimmie Johnson in ninth and Joey Logano in tenth.
Drivers who missed the playoff cutoff were Aric Almirola, Erik Jones, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch.
The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series will head into Dover International Speedway next Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN.
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott
Race Winner: Chase Elliott
AJ Allmendinger won today’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield Drive for the Cure 250 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Allmendinger out ran Tyler Reddick and Austin Cindric with a restart with 3 laps to go. For Allmendinger, this marks his third career NASCAR Xfinity Series win and his first win since 2013.
“The last few years were rough,” Allmendinger told NBCSN post-race on his firing at the end of 2018 from JTG-Daugherty Racing.
Driver No. 10 took the race lead with 20 laps to go. Allmendinger moved Christopher Bell out of the race lead in Turn 8 and would take control of the lead.
Allmedinger led 20 of the 67 laps in his Chevrolet. His car still has to pass post-race inspection, something Kaulig Racing has failed to do in 2 of Allmendinger’s last 4 races with the team.
Rounding out the top five were Tyler Reddick in second, Austin Cindric in third, Justin Allgaier in fourth and Noah Gragson in fifth.
Tyler Reddick, who finished second posted his second top-10 finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. It's also his 24th top-10 finish in 2019 which is the series most.
Noah Gragson, who finished fifth was the highest finishing rookie of the race.
Rounding out the top ten were Alex Labbe in sixth, John Hunter Nemecheck in seventh, Cole Custer in eighth, Chase Briscoe in ninth and Ryan Truex in tenth.
Below is where the remaining playoff drivers finished:
Christopher Bell - P12
Michael Annett - P15
Brandon Jones - P16
Ryan Sieg - P30
Justin Haley - P31
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head into Dover International Speedway next Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN.
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Briscoe
Stage 2 Winner: Cole Custer
Race Winner: AJ Allmendinger
Chase Elliott was fastest in NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series final practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Elliott posted a top speed of 102.101 mph around the Roval.
Rounding out the top five in final practice were Martin Truex Jr. in second (playoffs) with a speed of 102.101 mph, Brad Keselowski in third (playoffs) with a speed of 101.891 mph, Clint Bowyer in fourth (playoffs) with a speed of 101.775 mph and Michael McDowell in fifth with a speed of 101.756 mph.
Drivers has their fare share of troubles in final practice.
Martin Truex Jr. brought out the red flag early in final practice when a mechanical issue caused him to stall on the backstretch.
Jimmie Johnson spun and backed into the tire barrier in Turn 5 later in final practice.
Austin Dillion spun Turn 5 with under 5 minutes left in final practice.
Alex Bowman, who qualified in the second position, wrecked with 35 seconds left in final practice.
The team just announced that Bowman will have to go to a backup car, which means driver No. 88 will have to start from the rear of the field.
Below is where the remainder of the playoffs drivers placed in final practice.
Ryan Blaney - P6
William Byron - P7
Kyle Larson - P8
Kurt Busch - P9
Alex Bowman (backup) - P10
Denny Hamlin - P11
Joey Logano - P12
Kevin Harvick - P14
Kyle Busch - P18
Aric Almirola - P19
Erik Jones - P20
Ryan Newman - P24
Live coverage of the Bank of America Roval 400 begins tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC and PRN/Sirius XM Channel 90
William Byron won the Pole for Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Byron claimed the top spot with a speed of 103.198 mph. For Byron, this is his fifth Pole of his career.
Joining Byron on the outside of row 1 will be his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman. Byron also leads Bowman by just two points for the final cutoff spot to advance into the second round of the playoffs.
“I knew I was a little weak under the brakes the first couple of runs in trim today,” Byron told NBCSN after qualifying. “Tried to fix it maybe fixed it a little too good.” Really takes every corner around this race track to get a pole. I knew we could qualify top five but I was really wanting the pole.”
Rounding out the top five in qualifying were Alex Bowman (playoffs) in second, Joey Logano (playoffs) in third, Jimmie Johnson in fourth and Clint Bowyer (playoffs) in fifth.
Rounding out the top ten were Kevin Harvick (playoffs) in sixth, Kyle Larson (playoffs) in seventh, Martin Truex Jr. (playoffs) in eighth, Ryan Blaney (playoffs) in ninth and Paul Menard in tenth.
Denny Hamlin posted the 28th fastest lap but will have to start from the rear due to a wreck in practice.
Below is where the remaining playoff drivers qualified:
Brad Keselwoski - P11
Erik Jones - P15
Aric Almirola - P16
Kyle Busch - P17
Chase Elliott - P19
Kurt Busch - P23
Ryan Newman - P24
Denny Hamlin - P28
The Bank of America Roval 400 gets underway on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC.