Clint Bowyer will start from the Pole in tomorrow’s South Point Casino 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
For Bowyer, this marks jus his third career Cup Series pole with a top speed of 178.926 mph. Bowyer’s other poles came at Darlington and New Hampshire in 2007.
Bowyer, who is a playoff driver, led his Stewart-Haas Racing drivers in qualifying. Daniel Suarez will start second, followed by Kevin Harvick in third and Aric Almirola in fourth.
Kurt Busch rounded out the top five.
“I just asked the guys, There’s something wrong here. What’s going on here?” Clint Bowyer told NBCSN post-qualifying. “The throttle stuck, that’s what it was. We were here at the test earlier in the spring before the season got started. Kind of have an opportunity to figure out how to try to make the track a little bit smaller. It’s all about getting up through the gears, getting momentum built up, making the track as big as possible coming to the green.”
Out of the sixteen playoff drivers, only five will start in the top 12.
Below is where the rest of the playoff drivers will start.
Chase Elliott - P8
Denny Hamlin - P11
William Byron - P14
Kyle Larson - P15
Ryan Newman - P17
Brad Keselowski - P18
Alex Bowman - P19
Kyle Busch - P20
Joey Logano - P22
Ryan Blaney - P23
Martin Truex Jr. - P24
Erik Jones - P26
Coverage of the South Point Casino 400 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway begins tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN.
Wood Brothers Racing announced on Tuesday that their current driver Paul Menard would be retiring from full-time competition following the end of the 2019 season, and the team also announced on Tuesday that they’ve signed Matt DiBenedetto to drive the No. 21 Ford full-time in 2020.
Throughout Menard’s career, Menard has over 460 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series starts, and has been with his current team Wood Brothers Racing since the 2018 season. Menard has one career NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series win which came at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2011 while driving for Richard Childress Racing.
“I’ve enjoyed every moment of my career racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, and I’m so thankful for all the great memories and friendships I’ve made through this sport. But I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife, Jennifer and our two young children while moving forward with the next chapter of my life,” Menard said. “I’m excited for what the future holds and I’m looking forward to sharing the plans for 2020 and beyond in the coming weeks.”
Matt DiBenedetto, who currently drives for Leavine Family Racing, which announced earlier this year that DiBenedetto would not be returning to the No. 95 for 2020.
DiBenedetto has three top-five finishes thus far this season, including a second place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway which he led 93 laps of the race.
"I am so excited about this opportunity to race for one of the most successful teams in NASCAR history beginning in 2020," said DiBenedetto. "The No. 21 Ford is one of the most accomplished and iconic cars in our sport and it will be an honor to join Wood Brothers Racing and help carry on the team’s tradition of success in NASCAR. I want to thank Eddie and Len Wood, Kim Wood Hall, Menards, Edsel Ford and Ford Motor Company for this opportunity.”
Kevin Harvick won Sunday’s regular season finale at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
For Harvick, this marks his second win at the historic track.
Harvick, who started the race from the pole, led 118 laps of the 160 lap race and beat Joey Logano and Bubba Wallace late in the race to score the victory, which is his third of the season.
“This is great, just got to say thanks to all the fans,” Kevin Harvick told NBC post-race. “Can’t tell you how coming to Indianapolis meant to me as a kid. I watched Rick Mears win Indy 500’s and got to be around him as a kid and he was my hero. So coming here and winning here is pretty awesome.”
Driver No. 4 is running on some momentum thus far as he’s won three of the last seven races.
“I don’t know if we had the best car, but we had the fastest car,” Kevin Harvick told NBC in victory lane post-race. “We gave up the lead there on one of those restarts and then we came and pitted and the caution came out and it worked our way. We’ve given so many away just because of circumstances here, and the way that the caution flag fell today actually worked in our favor. It gave us control of the race and we were able to keep control of the race and not make any mistakes and here we are in victory lane at one of the greatest places on earth to race.”
Rounding out the top five were Joey Logano in second, Bubba Wallace in third, William Byron in fourth and Clint Bowyer in fifth.
Brad Keselowski was involved in a hard wreck along with Erik Jones with two laps to go in Stage 1.
Kyle Busch experienced his first DNF of the season when he suffered a mechanical issue with 13 laps to go in Stage 2.
Ryan Newman, who finished eighth, clinched the final playoff spot along with Clint Bowyer.
“It’s been a year of progress, a year of learning, a year of a lot of things. I’m more rookie this year than I’ve ever been. An ice cold Coke never tasted so good after these first 26 races,” Ryan Newman told NBC post-race.
Daniel Suarez, who finished 11th came just four points shy of the top 16 in the playoff standings.
Jimmie Johnson’s playoff chances came to an end when he was involved in a multi-car wreck on a restart with 55 laps to go. It was the 7-time champion’s first DNF of the season.
The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series playoffs begins next Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the running of the South Point 400 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN.
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick
7-time NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson will have one last chance to make the playoffs this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A 16th-place finish didn’t do driver No. 48 any favors on Saturday at Darlington Raceway. Nor did his finish accurately represent Johnson’s overall performance in Saturday’s Southern 500.
For most of the 367 lap race, Johnson ran in either the top five or top ten. “I had at least 15 years with a lot of luck on my side, seven years of championships and having two or three bad ones is just part of it,” Johnson told NBC Sports post-race on Saturday night. “I keep saying that we’re getting there and tonight we showed it, from the way we qualified to how we ran on those stages. I was running fourth when that accident took place in Turn 3 and I just had nowhere to go.”
Johnson was collected when Daniel Hemric’s tire went down and hit the wall. Driver No. 48 continued and would soon find the lead briefly.
Crew chief Cliff Daniels kept Johnson out on the track when others began to pit early in what was the final pit cycle with just 45 laps remaining, hoping a caution would put the team back into contention for the race win. Johnson would only lead laps 324-326 in the 367-lap race before he pitted.
“Had we done it all over again, we would have done the exact same thing.” Cliff Daniels told NBC Sports post-race.
For 2019, Johnson has 3 top five place finishes and 8 top ten place finishes with an average start of 13.8 and an average finish of 16.2.
To put that into perspective, when Johnson won his last NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Championship back in 2016, driver No. 48 had 5 wins, 11 top five’s, 16 top ten’s with an average start of 12.1 and an average finish of 14.0.
In his 2016 Championship season, Johnson led 737 laps throughout the season. Over the past three years, Johnson has led a combined 341 laps. That’s 396 laps less than what he led in his entire 2016 season.
If Johnson wants a shot at an eighth career NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Championship, he’ll likely need a victory to make the playoffs.
Cole Custer won Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington after Denny Hamlin’s car failed post-race inspection.
NASCAR disallowed Denny Hamlin’s victory after the No. 18 did not meet the minimum requirement for the left-front height.
Wayne Auton, managing director for the Xfinity Series said that Joe Gibbs Racing has until Monday at noon to decide if they choose to appeal the penalty.
This marks the fourth time in the Xfinity Series this season that a car has been disqualified after a race but the first time it has been declared the winner of the race.
The victory was awarded to Custer, who initially crossed the finish line second behind Denny Hamlin.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who made his first NASCAR Xfinity Series start of the season and first at Darlington since 1999, finished fifth.
Rounding out the top five were Tyler Reddick in second, Ryan Blaney in third, Christopher Bell in fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in fifth.
Rounding out the top ten were Chase Briscoe in sixth, Brandon Jones in seventh, Noah Gragson in eighth, Justin Allgaier in ninth and Austin Cindric in tenth.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head into Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September, 7th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN.
Stage 1 Winner: Tyler Reddick
Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney
Race Winner: Cole Custer
Christopher Bell won Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Road America in a two-lap shootout, earning his sixth win of the 2019 season.
“I’m honestly in shock,” Bell told NBCSN. “I really butchered qualifying, tore the crap out of that left-front. I felt like once we got in the race there I’d be able to drive by those guys. And they dropped the green flag and they’re driving by me. That wasn’t very much fun. Then I told Jason I’m just really, really tight. We got those tires off and he said that left front was hurt pretty bad. We got pretty good there whenever we got the fresh tires on. The strategy obviously worked out really good for us pitting there.”
Driver No. 20 led 10 of the race’s 45 laps in route to victory. Bell was in position to win Saturday’s race thanks to a debris caution caused from his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Brandon Jones with 14 laps remaining. Bell would pit from second place right before the caution came out and was able to stay out while the rest of the field came to pit road.
The final restart of the day was result of Gray Gaulding spinning off course in Turn 1 with five laps remaining.
Bell’s win on Saturday snaps Austin Cindric’s two-race win streak on road courses.
Matt DiBenedetto, who led the most laps of any driver with 18, bounced back from going off track in the middle of the race and was second on the final lap before he spun in the final turn. He would finish 27th.
“Just being stupid on my part,” Matt DiBenedetto told NBCSN. “Was looking in my mirror and got too high and barley got up in the middle and made the most rookie mistake of my life. It was dumb. Uncalled for. We had the fastest car on track and nothing to show for it. I drove stupid. I’m pretty pissed off at myself. Nothing else. Won’t sleep all week. This isn’t exactly a good run when I’m trying to make my career.”
Justin Allgaier the defending race winner, finished ninth after he locked up the brakes entering Turn 1 on the final lap on the fist stage and became stuck in the gravel. Points contender Cole Custer finished 10th after he went off course on the Stage 2 restart and suffered damage to his grille and had to make several pit stops for repairs.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head into Darlington Raceway in the running of the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 where Dale Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to compete. Live coverage begins at 4:00 p.m. Eastern on NBC.
Stage 1 Winner: AJ Allmendinger
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Briscoe
Race Winner: Christopher Bell
Kevin Harvick won Sunday's Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
For Harvick, this was his second win of the season.
Harvick ran down Joey Logano in the final laps on Sunday and drove away from Joey Logano and the rest of the competition to earn his second straight August win at Michigan International Speedway.
"Takes a lot of people to make these cars go around, and winning races is what it's all about," Kevin Harvick told NBCSN. "Just can't do it without all you guys. I mean, to come here to Michigan and win for Ford, and i know how much Mobil 1 likes to beat that Shell car, so that was cool."
Driver No.4 didn't need to save fuel like several others had to do in the closing laps on Sunday, as crew chief Rodney Childers told Harvick that he has two laps to the good on fuel with 13 laps to go.
Harvick had to overcome an early-race flat right front tire issue that forced him to make an unscheduled pit stop, making in to pit road with no damage. Harvick took only two right-side tires and good fuel management helped Harvick get the No. 4 to victory lane.
Joey Logano had to pit with three laps to go for a splash of fuel, ending his hopes of finishing in the runner-up spot. Denny Hamlin would then move up to finish in the second position.
Kyle Larson would finish in the third position, followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Daniel Suarez. Truex made an stellar comeback with his fourth place finish after he was forced to start from the rear of the field due to inspection issues pre-race.
"We lost track position for the start of Stage 3, restarted 19th and lost some spots, got going a little bit and got some back and then another restart got in the wrong lane and lost some more," Truex told NBCSN. "The track position deal really hurt us but we just had to pick them off one-by-one and of course fuel mileage helped us get some more."
The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series will head into Bristol Motor Speedway next Saturday in the running of the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN.
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr.
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick
Chase Elliott held off Martin Truex Jr. to win Sunday's Go Bowling at the Glen at Watkins Glen International.
Elliott lead a race-high 80 laps in route to his victory on Sunday.
Driver No. 9 successfully defended his 2018 on the road course, which saw Elliott once again go head-tohead with Martin Truex Jr. in the closing laps.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver swept every stage of the race as Truex followed, beginning with a restart with just four laps left in the second stage.
For Elliott, this is his second win of the 2019 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series season following his win at Talladega earlier this year.
"That was freaking awesome," Elliott told NBCSN. "I've never been so far from and felt like i was at my house. Just stayed mistake free. Martin was a little quicker i felt like those last two runs. But the track position was king, and i didn't mess up into (Turn) 1 this time, so that was good, so just a huge thanks to everybody that makes that happen."
With his win on Sunday, Elliott snaps a seven-race streak of finishing outside of the top 10.
Rounding out the top five were Martin Truex Jr. in second, Denny Hamlin in third, Erik Jones in fourth and Ryan Blaney in fifth.
For Martin Truex Jr., driver No. 19 has finished in the top two in five of the last six road course races.
"I tried to do all i could," Truex told NBCSN. "Chase did an excellent job, just not making mistakes, and really all i could do was get to two car lengths, one and a half at the closest in braking, and just try to force a mistake but he hit his marks. His car was really fast in the key areas thst you need to be, leaving a few of the key corners. I just couldn't get a run on him and we werekind of stuck there."
Rounding out the top ten were Matt DiBenedetto in sixth, Kevin Harvick in seventh, Kyle Larson in eighth, Brad Keselowski in ninth and Kurt Busch in tenth.
The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series will head into Michigan International Speedway next Sunday Aug. 11 in the running of the Consumers Energy 400. Live coverage begins at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN.
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott
Race Winner: Chase Elliott
Kevin Harvick won Sunday's Foxwood Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in a thrilling finish against Denny Hamlin.
Harvick and Hamlin made contact with each other several times over the last lap before Harvick would pull away from Hamlin coming to take the checkered flag.
For Stewart-Haas Racing, this is their first win of the 2019 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series season.
Hamlin made contact with Harvick's rear bumper in Turn 1, sending Harvick up the track and allowing Hamlin to take the lead. After the two drivers dragged raced down the backstretch, Harvick pulled ahead and Hamlin went to driver No. 4's outside as the two drivers entered Turn 3.
Driver No. 4 moved up the track as they both exited Turn 4 and Hamlin made contact with his left-front fender before Harvick raced to the checkered flag.
"Hamlin go to me, he tried to move me out of the way down there and i knew that was coming as close as he was," Kevin Harvick told NBCSN post-race. "So i just stood on the brakes and i'm like half throttle down the back straightaway. I'm like, you're not getting under me again and he drove to the outside of me and i just waited till he got near me and i just put a wheel on him."
Sunday's win ends a 21-race for Kevin Harvick, who last won at Texas Motor Speedway in November of 2018. Rounding out the top five were Denny Hamlin in second, Erik Jones in third, Ryan Blaney in fourth and Matt DiBenedetto in fifth.
Hendrick Motorsports had a weekend to forget as Chase Elliott had an engine issue and finished 29th and Jimmie Johnson lost power steering and finished 30th. William Byron did finish 12th and Alex Bowman, who was driving Jimmie Johnson's backup car after a mechanical problem in qualifying and a practice crash with Bowman's own backup car on Saturday during practice. Bowman would finish 14th.
The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series will head into Pocono Raceway at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on July 28th on NBCSN.
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch
Stage 2 Winner: Aric Almirola
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick
Justin Haley won today's rain-shortened Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. This was also Haley's first NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series victory.
The win is Haley's first and also his teams first win in the Cup series. Spire Motorsports, who hasn't had a top-20 finish in the teams first 17 races this season. It's best finish was with Jamie McMurray who finished 22nd in the Daytona 500 earlier this year.
Haley, who drives full-time for Kaulig Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series is only the fourth driver in NASCAR's modern era to win in their first three career Cup series starts.
"It's absolutely a blessing," Haley told NBC Sports after his win. "It's pretty incredible to have so many great people around me that have given me this opportunity to come to this level and the stage we're performing on. I never even saw myself running a Cup race until i got a call a few months ago to do Talladega. It's just unreal. I don't know how to feel."
Haley took command of the lead under caution when Kurt Busch pitted under caution after NASCAR initially declared that they would go back to green a lap later but the red flag would be displayed for lightning in the area, stopping the race with only 33 laps remaining.
The 20-year old has seen his luck go both good and bad at Daytona. Last year, Haley crossed the finish line first in the July Xfinity Series race at Daytona, but was disqualified after NASCAR ruled that he went below the yellow lines trying to make a last-second pass.
Rounding out the top five on Sunday was William Byron in second, Jimmie Johnson in third, Ty Dillion in fourth and Ryan Newman in fifth.
"The Big One," which we've all came to expect on tracks like Daytona and Talladega occured in Sunday's race with 18 laps to go in Stage 2. The wreck began when Kevin Harvick got a run in the tri-oval and turned Brad Keselowski into the outside wall. The wreck took out 18 cars. Notable drivers included Austin Dillion, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Ryan Blnaey, Kyle Busch, Ty Dillion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr.
The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series will head into Kentucky Speedway next Saturday in the running of the Quaker State 400 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN and PRN/Sirius XM Channel 90.
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano
Stage 2 Winner: Austin Dillion
Race Winner: Justin Haley