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October 2017 News Archives

News from October 31, 2017

A look at some of the top statistical performers and top-10 driver ratings at Texas, see the stats on the Statistical Advance – Analyzing Texas page

David Starr pulling double-duty in Texas: Texas native, David Starr, is ready to pull double duty at his home track, Texas Motor Speedway. Starr will pilot the #99 Whataburger Chevrolet for SS Green Light in the Xfinity O’Reilly 300 and the #66 Moore Freight Services Chevy for MBM Motorsports in the Monster Energy AAA Texas 500.[More](10-31-2017)

Smithfield and Richard Petty Motorsports resolve issues: Smithfield Foods said that the company has reached a resolution with Richard Petty Motorsports over the fallout from the pork conglomerate’s planned move next season to Stewart-Haas Racing. Smithfield is now expected to stay on in some form with RPM next year in addition to its move to SHR.[More](10-31-2017)

Could Danica move to Roush-Fenway? One of the most talked about vacancies in the NASCAR garage is the one that will be occur at the end of the season when Danica Patrick steps away from Stewart-Haas Racing and the #10 car but at no point in the process has she said he is done with racing. Now, there is talk she could end up at Roush Fenway Racing with boyfriend, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and she would neither confirm nor deny when asked this past week at Martinsville Speedway.[More](10-31-2017)

Entry List for the AAA Texas 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is posted, 40 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed.
36 teams with Charters are guaranteed to make the field. The rest need to make the field via qualifying / qualifying races / rules book (owners attempts/points).
Some of the drivers entered include: #7-Gase*, #15-Sorenson, #23-LaJoie, #33-JEarnhardt, #51-Ray Black, Jr.*, #66-Long*, #83-Gaulding*
Since only 40 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race.
See the full entry list on the Entry List (pdf)

Front Row Motorsports to stay with Ford, no Toyota; McDowell & Ragan? Although it had been rumored that Toyota Racing Development was courting the two-car operation owned by Bob Jenkins, on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway, general manager Jerry Freeze said he expects to stay the course with Ford. In addition, Ford sweetened the deal by offering FRM a Tier 1 engine program. Roush Fenway Racing will also provide superspeedway and road course cars for Front Row so the organization can focus on its intermediate program. FRM was ‘really, really close’ to re-signing with Ford. Front Row wanted to put the manufacturer piece together before shoring up its roster. Michael McDowell appears to be in line for Landon Cassill’s seat.(Motorsport), No word on the use of their third charter, which in 2017 has been leased to #72 TriStar Motorsports team.[Read More Here](10-31-2017)

Martinsville Recap From ESPN Research Some news, facts and stats from the FirstData 500 MENCS Race at Martinsville: Kyle Busch: clinches spot in Championship Race at Homestead; Busch: first driver to win with last-lap pass at Martinsville since Darrell Waltrip in 1987; Martin Truex Jr.: finished 2nd; 16th top-5 finish this year is twice as many as he’s had in any other season in MENCS career; Chase Elliott: finished 27th after leading with 3 laps to go; last in playoff standings, 26 points from the cutoff; First non-restrictor plate race decided by a last-lap pass this season(ESPN Research)[Read More Here](10-31-2017)

XFINITY Entry List: There are 40 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway.
See the complete list on the Texas entry list page.(10-31-2017)

Truck Series entry list: There are 32 trucks entered for Friday night’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.
See the complete list on the Texas entry list page (pdf).
(10-31-2017)

Texas Motor Speedway will celebrate to make Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final race gr-eight From the concession stands to “Big Hoss,” Texas Motor Speedway will celebrate Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final race in the Lone Star State during this weekend’s AAA Texas 500 NASCAR playoff tripleheader. The most unique tribute for NASCAR’s most popular driver, who is set to retire at the conclusion of the season, comes best served warm with salt and dipping sauces. Levy Restaurants has created the “JR88” pretzel that features two four-ounce soft pretzels shaped into Earnhardt Jr.’s iconic #88. The specialty concession item, only available at this weekend’s AAA Texas 500, will be served in a specially branded “JR88” box and include bacon beer cheese and spicy brown mustard for dipping. The “JR88” pretzels will sell for $10 and are hearty enough to feed two hungry JR Nation fans. The pretzels can be purchased throughout the race weekend at concourse stands outside Gates 4.(Texas Motor Speedway)[Read More Here](10-31-2017)

60th Annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Tickets On Sale Wednesday, Nov. 1 Tickets for the 60th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, the Independence Day holiday weekend classic scheduled for Saturday, July 7 at Daytona International Speedway, will go on sale Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 9:00am/et. Race fans can experience the excitement of night racing at the “World Center of Racing” as the stars of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series battle underneath the lights in the 160-lap, 400-mile race. Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 start at $60 and children 12 and under are $20 in reserved stadium seating. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)[Read More Here](10-31-2017)


News from October 30, 2017

Reason explained why Hamlin not penalized for Elliott crash Asked on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive” about NASCAR’s perspective of the Denny Hamlin-Chase Elliott incident during the final laps of the race at Martinsville, Steve O’Donnell, the sanctioning body’s chief racing development officer, said: “Certainly, what Chase was able to do in an attempt to win his first race there, I think you saw by the fans how much he has a fan base and how much everyone wants to see him win. Denny, I think, did in his mind what he needed to do and probably went too far. We did not make a call there. That race stands. We’re not in the business of calling an in-race penalty postrace. That was good hard racing, for the most part, all day at Martinsville.(NBC Sports)[Read More Here](10-30-2017)

Martinsville Race and Commercial Breakdown For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 3:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:51 PM (all times are EDT). NBCSN was the broadcast team for this event. Total race brdcst time 187 Total comm. brdcst time 44.(CawsnJaws.com)[Read More Here](10-30-2017)

Elliott-Hamlin dust-up all a matter of perspective A new era of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing debuted at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. A son of Virginia and five-time winner at the Paperclip was booed as the 23rd-place finisher was adored and all while new LED lights came into play during the final laps of the First Data 500. And labeling either as a bully or a victim or both was a matter of perspective.
It was inside a cloak of laser brightness at Martinsville that Denny Hamlin hustled his way to a seventh-place finish in the First Data 500. That wasn’t the championship-spot-clinching victory that seemed to be his at the start of overtime — no, that went to Kyle Busch. Yet, Hamlin didn’t freefall to the back of the playoff pack. He’ll go to Texas, the second race in the last three-race block before the championship, in seventh place and trailing #4 Kevin Harvick by eight points. Meanwhile, Chase Elliott is looking up from the final spot in the Round of 8, back an intimidating 26 points after yet another time career victory #1 slipped from his grasp in the closing moments. Elliott took the lead from Brad Keselowski with three laps remaining in regulation when Hamlin spun him into Turn 3 to prompt the race’s 11th caution and overtime. A multicar accident developed as the checkered flag dropped and, with the race over, Elliott engaged Hamlin as teams began to separate cars on the track. “He has been doing this long enough where it shouldn’t happen,” Elliott, who led a total of 123 laps, said afterward. “What he did was unnecessary (and) there’s no reason for that. He knows the deal. He knows how the race works. He knows how Martinsville is. He didn’t even try to move me out of the way. He just shoved me and wrecked me.” Boos muffled celebratory cheers for Busch as the infield video board showed television coverage of Elliott and Hamlin’s post-race interaction.

The two were separated before it escalated, though not until it had drawn the ire of a pro-Elliott crowd that lingered as cold temperatures set in even as tensions grew heated.(NASCAR Wire Service)[Read More Here](10-30-2017)

Sunday Martinsville Notebook The drama between Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott garnered most of the attention after Sunday’s First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway, and justifiably so. When Hamlin dumped Elliott in Turn 3 with three laps left in regulation, the entire complexion of the race – and of Elliott’s season – change in an instant. Overshadowed, but not overlooked, was the ongoing war between Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff contenders Kevin Harvick and Ryan Blaney, who swapped sheet metal throughout the event. During a 121-lap green-flag run that consumed the second stage of the race, Harvick pounded on the bumper of Blaney’s #21 Wood Brothers Ford, as Blaney used every tactic he could muster to keep Harvick’s #4 Stewart-Haas Racing Fusion behind him. Both drivers were involved in a multicar wreck after race winner Kyle Busch took the checkered flag, with Harvick coming home fifth and Blaney sliding across the finish line in eighth. After exiting their cars, the drivers had a pointed conversation on pit road.
Keselowski comes close in ‘must-win’ race Brad Keselowski came close to calling his own shot. Coming to Martinsville Speedway, the driver of the #2 Team Penske Ford termed Sunday’s First Data 500 a ‘must-win’ event, uncertain of his organization’s ability to keep up with the Toyotas at downforce tracks like Texas. And with eight laps left in regulation distance at the .526-mile short track, Keselowski was cruising toward a victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Round of 8 opener and a ticket to race for his second series title at Homestead-Miami Speedway. But teammate Joey Logano had developed a severe tire rub after contact from race winner Kyle Busch’s Toyota, and on Lap 492, the tire went flat and Logano went spinning, causing the 10th caution of the race. Chase Elliott muscled his way past Keselowski on the subsequent restart on Lap 497, and after Hamlin dropped-kicked Elliott into the Turn 3 wall to force overtime, Keselowski came home fourth.
Johnson struggles to 12th-place finish at Martinsville The track that used to be Jimmie Johnson’s personal playground recently has become an enigma to the seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion. Johnson wheel-hopped and spun in Turn 3 during Sunday’s qualifying session at Martinsville Speedway. Precautionary changes to the rear end of the #48 Chevrolet sent the nine-time Martinsville winner to the rear for the start of the First Data 500. Handling was an issue throughout the race. Ultimately, Johnson salvaged a 12th-place finish after losing a lap and getting it back as the highest scored lapped car under ninth of 11 cautions.(NASCAR Wire Service)[Read More Here](10-30-2017)

Austin Wayne Self to join Niece Motorsports in 2018: Officials for Niece Motorsports announced today that Austin Wayne Self will join the organization next season, piloting a full time entry in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Marketing partners and a crew chief for Self will be named at a later date.[More](10-30-2017)

Crafton returning to ThorSport in 2018: Unlike most athletes, Matt Crafton has spent the majority of his career with just one team – ThorSport Racing. After two championships, 14 wins, 13 poles, 96 top fives and 233 top 10 finishes behind the wheel of the #88 truck, Duke and Rhonda Thorson have once again picked up the option for the 39-year-old Tulare, Calif.-native to return in 2018.[More](10-30-2017)

Sauter to test crate engine at Martinsville: NASCAR Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter will return to Martinsville Speedway on November 6 to test the new crate engine. Sauter has tested the “Delta” engine three times this season-most recently tested the engine two weeks ago Talladega Superspeedway following the truck race and Monster Energy Cup Series qualifying. During the test, Sauter posted speeds that topped the pole-winning time for the Talladega truck race.[More](10-30-2017)


News from October 29, 2017

Kyle Busch wins wild race at Martinsville The sun went down, the new lights came on, and all hell broke loose at Martinsville Speedway. In a wild overtime finish that took Sunday’s First Data 500 to 505 laps at the .526-mile short track, Kyle Busch beat Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series leader Martin Truex Jr. to the stripe by .141 seconds to take the checkered flag and earn a spot in the Nov. 19 Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. As Busch crossed the finish line, a multi-car wreck behind him scrambled the running order and left a parking lot of mangled cars on the frontstretch. But that was simply the final act in a drama that saw a succession of Playoff contenders lose excellent chances to win the first event in the Round of 8. Chase Elliott held the lead with three laps left in regulation distance when Denny Hamlin dumped Elliott’s #24 Chevrolet in Turn 3, causing the 11th caution and sending the race into overtime. Ten laps earlier, Brad Keselowski appeared headed for victory and a guaranteed ticket to Homestead before Joey Logano developed a severe tire rub after contact from Busch’s #18 Toyota in Turn 1. Logano spun off Ryan Blaney’s front bumper when the tire went flat in Turn 2, and Elliott grabbed the lead after the restart on Lap 497, with Hamlin following. Hamlin punted Elliott a lap later, and hard feelings continued after the race, with Elliott running Hamlin’s Toyota into the outside wall on the cool-down lap. Elliott’s wreck set the stage for Busch to win for the second time at Martinsville, the fifth time this season and the 43rd time in his career. After Hamlin cleared Busch on the overtime restart, Busch cut to the inside and wheel-hopped into Hamlin’s Camry, forcing his JGR teammate up the track. Hamlin fell to seventh at the finish behind Clint Bowyer in third, Keselowski in fourth, Kevin Harvick in fifth and Trevor Bayne in sixth.(NASCAR Wire Service)[Read More Here](10-29-2017)

#18-Kyle Busch won the First Data 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in NASCAR Overtime for his 5th win of 2017, 2nd win at Martinsville and 43rd career win.
After #11-Hamlin wrecked then leader #24-Elliott going for the lead, the race ended in NASCAR Overtime, adding five extra laps.
#11-Hamlin took the lead with #18-Busch 2nd, Busch was able to take the lead, #11 fell back and just before the checkered flag, #21-Blaney made contact with #11-Hamlin.
The #11 spun collecting a bunch of cars including: 11 21 41 6 19 48 31 4 20 17
The win assures that Kyle Busch will run for the championship at Homestead.
#78-Truex Jr. finished 2nd followed by #14-Bowyer, #2-Keselowski, #4-Harvick, #6-Bayne, #11-Hamlin, #21-Blaney, #20-Kenseth and #17-Stenhouse Jr.
Pole winner, #22-Logano led 59 laps and finished 24th after wrecking late while running up in top-five.
#78-Truex Jr. leads the driver points over #18-Busch by 17 points
Stage 1 was won by #2-Keselowski, finished 4th
Stage 2 was won by #2-Keselowski, finished 4th
There were 16 lead changes among 6 drivers and 11 cautions for 74 yellow flag laps.
The average speed of the race was: 70.902mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more at:
Unofficial Race Results (pdf)
Cumulative Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).

Race Fast Facts – Martinsville
Kyle Busch (P) won the 69th Annual First Data 500, his 43rd victory in 459 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
This is his fifth victory and 20th top-10 finish in 2017.
This is his second victory and 14th top-10 finish in 25 races at Martinsville Speedway.
Martin Truex Jr. (P) (second) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 24 races at Martinsville Speedway. It is his 23rd top-10 finish in 2017.
Clint Bowyer (third) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 24 races at Martinsville Speedway.
Daniel Suarez (15th) was the highest finishing rookie.
Martin Truex Jr. (P) leads the point standings by 17 points over Kyle Busch (P).
(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(10-29-2017)

2017 MENCS Playoff Drivers Finish Positions at Martinsville
[by standings before Martinsville (started)]
1) #78-Martin Truex Jr. (2) 2nd
2) #18-Kyle Busch (14) WIN
3) #2-Brad Keselowski (7) 4th
4) #4-Kevin Harvick (13) 5th
5) #48-Jimmie Johnson (24) 12th
6) #11-Denny Hamlin (6) 7th
7) #21-Ryan Blaney (4) 8th
8) #24-Chase Elliott (3) 27th

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Leaderboard:
[after Martinsville, race 32 of 36 for the season, 7 of 10 in Playoffs, 1 of 3 in Round of 8]
1) #18-Kyle Busch, 1 WIN(A)
2) #78-Martin Truex Jr., +69
3) #2-Brad Keselowski, +29
4) #4-Kevin Harvick, +3
these drivers would not advance to the Championship Round
5) #48-Jimmie Johnson, -3
6) #11-Denny Hamlin, -6
7) #21-Ryan Blaney, -8
8) #24-Chase Elliott, -26
(A) automatically advances to Championship Round

Top-Ten Stage 2 Results (lap 260) of the First Data 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway (lap 260/500):
#2-Keselowski, 10pts
#18-Busch, 9pts
#22-Logano, 8pts
#78-Truex Jr., 7pts
#24-Elliott, 6pts
#21-Blaney, 5pts
#4-Harvick, 4pts
#20-Kenseth, 3pts
#14-Bowyer. 2pts
#48-Johnson, 1pt

Top-Ten Stage 1 Results (lap 130) of the First Data 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway (lap 130/500):
#2-Keselowski, 10pts
#18-Busch, 9pts
#22-Logano, 8pts
#48-Johnson, 7pts
#78-Truex Jr., 6pts
#24-Elliott, 5pts
#21-Blaney, 4pts
#5-Kahne, 3pts
#3-Dillon, 2 pts
#11-Hamlin, 1pt

Lucky Dogs, drivers that got a lap during the cautions (and their finish):
Caution 1: #34-Cassill, 23rd
Caution 2: #17-Stenhouse Jr., 10th
Caution 3: #95-McDowell, 19th
Caution 4: #15-Sorenson, 32nd
Caution 5: #3-Dillon, 13th
Caution 6: #5-Kahne, 16th
Caution 7: #31-Newman, 14th
Caution 8: none, #34-Cassill was in position but was the cause of caution
Caution 9: #48-Johnson, 12th
Caution 10: #37-Buscher, 21st
Caution 11: #34-Cassill(2), 23rd

Johnson to start in rear at Martinsville Jimmie Johnson goes for his 10th Martinsville victory today but will start at the rear because he spun in qualifying and will need to change tires as well as change the gear and axle. Richard Petty owns the record for most Martinsville wins with 15, followed by Darrell Waltrip (11) and then Johnson and Gordon with nine. Johnson has won in 29 percent of his Martinsville starts, the best of those four.(ESPN)(10-29-2017)

#22-Joey Logano won the Coors Light pole for the First Data 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway with speed of 96.504mph for his 2nd pole of 2017, 4th at Martinsville and 19th of his career. Logano has won 3 times from the 18 previous poles.
#78-Truex Jr. will start 2nd followed by #24-Elliott, #21-Blaney, #14-Harvick, #14-Bowyer, #11-Haml;in, #2-Keselowski, #77-Jones, #42-Larson, #43-Almirola, #41-Busch and #5-Kahne.
#22-Logano was fastest in the second round with a speed of 96.755mph, will start 1st
#22-Logano was fastest in the first round with a speed of 96.460mph, will start 1st
Driver(s) who will miss the race: none as 40 were entered for 40 spots
See round-by-round qualifying results on the Qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Starting Lineup page (pdf).(10-29-2017)

2017 MENCS Playoff Drivers Starting Positions at Martinsville
[using current playoff standings]
1) #78-Martin Truex Jr. 2nd
2) #18-Kyle Busch 14th
3) #2-Brad Keselowski 7th
4) #4-Kevin Harvick 13th
5) #48-Jimmie Johnson 24th
6) #11-Denny Hamlin 6th
7) #21-Ryan Blaney 4th
8) #24-Chase Elliott 3rd

Martinsville Speedway – Qualifying Fast Facts:
Joey Logano won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 69th Annual First Data 500 with a lap of 19.622 seconds, 96.504 mph.
This is his 19th pole in 324 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
This is his second pole and 19th top-10 start in 2017.
This is his fourth pole in 18 races at Martinsville Speedway.
Martin Truex Jr. (P) (second) posted his 26th top-10 start of 2017 and his seventh in 24 races at Martinsville Speedway.
Chase Elliott (P) (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Martinsville Speedway. It is his 18th in 33 races this season.
Erik Jones (eighth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
(NASCAR Statistics)(10-29-2017)

Second Round of Qualifying for the First Data 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over, after 10 scheduled minutes.
#22-Logano 96.755
#14-Bowyer 96.573
#41-Busch 96.312
#24-Elliott 96.195
#42-Larson 96.195
the rest of the top 12: 11 78 2 21 43 27 5
out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 4 18 19 1 20 31 27 95 88 17 10 48
(10-29-2017)

First Round of Qualifying for the First Data 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
#22-Logano 96.460
#43-Almirola 96.327
#20-Kenseth 96.317
#5-Kahne 96.283
#95-McDowell 96.200
the rest of the top 24: 42 2 19 18 1 31 88 21 14 78 27 10 4 48 24 77 14 41 11
out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 3 13 47 32 37 72 38 15 34 6 83 23 23 33 51 66 7
Drivers who will miss the race: none, 40 entered
(10-29-2017)

Coverage of Qualifying for the First Data 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 12:05pm/et.
Television (TV): NBCSN, 12:00pm/et
Radio: Live online at Motor Racing Network (MRN)

Group qualifying under the three-round qualifying format:
• Round 1 — All entries will have 20 minutes to post a qualifying time, after which the 24 registering the fastest laps will advance to the second round. Those failing to advance will be sorted based on first-round times in descending order (from fastest to slowest).
• Round 2 — The 24 fastest from the first round will have 10 minutes to post a second-round qualifying time, with the 12 fastest advancing to a third round. Those not advancing will earn starting positions 13 through 24 based on time, again in descending order.
• Round 3 — The final round will be five minutes in length. The fastest times from this session will determine the first (Coors Light Pole Award) through 12th starting positions.
There will be a seven-minute break between each round; teams may make adjustments to their entries only during the individual breaks. They will not be allowed to jack the vehicle or raise the hood, and once the car or truck enters the garage, it will no longer be permitted to return to the track for additional qualifying attempts.

Saturday Martinsville Notebook / Marco Andretti & Earnhardt? On Saturday morning at Martinsville Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. acknowledged discussing the possibility of providing a NASCAR XFINITY Series ride for Marco Andretti, Mario’s grandson. Only one problem: with four Chevrolets set to compete full-time for the XFINITY title next year – with drivers Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier, Michael Annett and Tyler Reddick – Earnhardt doesn’t have an “all-star car” to make occasional starts with a variety of drivers. Denny Hamlin plans to win one of the next three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, all tracks that set up nicely for the driver of the #11 Joe Gibbs racing Toyota. But if Hamlin can’t take a checkered flag at Martinsville, Texas or Phoenix, he’ll become a fan of fellow Toyota drivers Martin Truex Jr., the series leader, and JGR teammate Kyle Busch. Last Sunday at Kansas Speedway, Ryan Blaney advanced to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ Round of 8 with a third-place finish bolstered by 10 points accumulated during the first two stages of the Hollywood Casino 400. But Blaney isn’t willing to say he and the #21 Wood Brothers racing team have overachieved this season. Blaney and team owners Eddie Wood and Len Wood prefer to view their Playoff run as peaking at the right time.(NASCAR Wire Service)[Read More Here](10-29-2017)

Special scheme for DiBenedetto at Martinsville Martinsville Speedway marks the 33rd stop of the season for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. One of the circuits most unique racetracks, Martinsville is the site of some of the best racing on the circuit. Matt DiBenedetto and the #32 CorvetteParts.net team will be tackling the half-mile racetrack hoping to get some redemption on an earlier season run. This week’s CorvetteParts.net Ford will have a different look to it. This week, Tom and T.J. Keen from CorvetteParts.net decided to run a pink and white scheme representing Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The team has also created a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) allowing fans to donate through the Go Fas Racing team’s social media pages.(Go Fas Racing)[Read More Here](10-29-2017)

Cope plans to attempt Phoenix StarCom Racing will attempt two more NASCAR premier series races this season. SCR, which made its debut at Kansas last week (Oct 22), will attempt to qualify for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Texas and Phoenix next month, according to team manager and driver Derrike Cope. Cope said he will be the driver in the two remaining races on the team’s schedule this season. His role during the off-season will continue as team manager; working with six other employees, including two people in marketing.(The Racing Experts)
UPDATE 10-29-2017 StarCom Racing says their plans have changed and will attempt Phoenix but NOT Texas. The team has sponsorship for Phoenix and is choosing to focus efforts on that race.[Read More Here](10-29-2017)


News from October 28, 2017


Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the First Data 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway have been made.
Due to qualifying being held on Sunday, pit selections were based on qualifying at Kansas.
With the field downsized to 40 cars, three pit stalls (21.30.43) have been eliminated, are not in play and don’t count towards driving through more than three pit boxes.
Kansas pole sitter #78-Truex, Jr. chose pit stall 1, the first stall available [as do most pole sitters].
Martinsville pole sitter #18-Busch is in pit stall 13
Kansas outside pole sitter #4-Harvick took pit stall 22, with an opening in front of it.
Martinsville outside pole sitter #78-Truex Jr. is in pit stall 1
The final pit stall was taken by #1-McMurray, who starts 16th.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(10-28-2017)

Happy Hour (final) practice for the First Data 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
#22-Logano 94.416
#24-Elliott 94.326
#78-Truex Jr. 94.289
#14-Bowyer 93.901
#5-Kahne 93.896
slowest: #66-Long 89.148 & #7-HSadler 90.642
best 10 consecutive lap ave #18-Busch 93.186
most laps run: #22-Logano 85; #43-Almiola 77
notes: #77-Jones wrecked midway thru the session and will go to a backup cars for qualifying and the race.
See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Happy Hour Practice speeds page (pdf) (10-28-2017)

Inspection holds for final practice, all 15 minutes except noted:
#18-Busch, #21-Blaney, #24-Elliott, #10-Patrick, #20-Kenseth, #37-Buescher, #13-Dillon(30 minutes)
all penalized due to inspection failures at Kansas last weekend
the driver must sit in the car on pit road for the length of the penalty

First practice for the First Data 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top-five and notes:
#11 Hamlin 95.415
#42 Larson 95.299
#31 Newman 95.156
#21 Blaney 95.036
#18 Busch 95.003
slowest: #66-Long 89.502 & #51-Weatherman 89.274
most laps run: #1-Hamlin, 71; #17-Stenhouse, 54
best 10 consecutive lap ave: #18-Busch 94.460mph
no speed: #77-Jones (steering problem, team repaired)
See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf)(10-28-2017)

Darrell Wallace Jr. 1st First Full-Time Black NASCAR Cup Series Driver Since 1971 On Wednesday, Richard Petty Motorsports announced Darrell Wallace Jr. (nicknamed Bubba), will be the full-time driver of their #43 car next season, with sponsorship / manufacturer / alliance announcements to be made at later date. Wallace Jr. will be just the 2nd known black driver in series history to drive a full schedule, joining Wendell Scott, who is also the only black driver with a win, top-5 or top-10 finish. Wallace Jr. came close to joining Scott with a top-10, finishing 11th at Kentucky in his final start relieving an injured Aric Almirola.(ESPN Stats)[Read More Here and See lots of Stats](10-28-2017)

Bold outside pass at Martinsville sends Noah Gragson to Victory Lane: Blowing around two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton after a restart with 10 laps left, 19-year-old Noah Gragson scored his first victory in Saturday’s Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville Speedway.[More](10-28-2017)

Gragson wins Martinsville: #18-Noah Gragson won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday after he made a pass on #88-Matt Crafton on the outside following a restart. The win was the first of his career. Crafton finished second, followed by #21-Johnny Sauter, #51-Harrison Burton, #46-Todd Gilliland, #52-Stewart Friesen, #33-Kaz Grala, #4-Christopher Bell, #27-Ben Rhodes, and #19-Austin Cindric in the top-10.
#8-John Hunter Nemechek was the only Round of 6 playoff driver outside of the top-10. He finished 30th after being involved in an accident on lap 37.
There were six caution flags for 45 laps and six lead changes among five leaders.
See results on the Martinsville race results page(10-28-2017)

Martinsville Truck Series Race Fast Facts:
Noah Gragson won the 19th Annual Texas Roadhouse 200 Presented by Alpha Energy Solutions, his first victory in 22 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
This is his first victory and 12th top-10 finish in 2017.
This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in two races at Martinsville Speedway.
Matt Crafton (P) (second) posted his 19th top-10 finish in 32 races at Martinsville Speedway. It is his 14th top-10 finish in 2017.
Johnny Sauter (P) (third) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 20 races at Martinsville Speedway.
Gragson (first) was the highest finishing rookie.
Christopher Bell (P) leads the point standings by 3 points overJohnny Sauter (P).
(NASCAR Statistics)(10-28-2017)

Camping World Truck standings following Martinsville:
The Round of 6 began at Martinsville
1) #4-Christopher Bell, 5 wins, 3083
2) #21-Johnny Sauter, 2 wins, 3080, -3
3) #88- Matt Crafton, 1 win, 3068, -15
4) #27-Ben Rhodes, 1 win, 3049, -34
Two drivers will be eliminated after Phoenix:
5) #19-Austin Cindric, 1 win, 3038, -45
6) #8-John Hunter Nemechek, 2 wins, 3021, -62
See complete standings on Driver points standings page and the owner’s standings are posted on the Owner points standings page. (10-28-2017)

Stage Information: 
Stage 1 – lap 50, winner, #88-Matt Crafton
Stage 2 – lap 100, winner, #21-Johnny Sauter
Stage 3 – lap 200, winner, #18-Noah Gragson

Free Pass – Who got a lap back on each caution at Martinsville: (and their finish)
Caution 1: #45-Abbey, 22nd
Caution 2: #49-Chavous, 21st
Caution 3: #92-Smith, 14th
Caution 4: #49-Chavous, 21st
Caution 5: #1-Anderson, 24th
Caution 6: #92-Smith, 14th
(10-28-2017)

Briscoe on Truck pole at Martinsville: #29-Chase Briscoe won the pole for Saturday’s Texas Roadhouse 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway with a speed at 95.762mph. #88-Matt Crafton will start second. #27-Ben Rhodes, #21-Johnny Sauter, #18-Noah Gragson, #19-Austin Cindric, #16-Ryan Truex, #33-Kaz Grala, #86-Mason Diaz, and #51-Harrison Burton close out the top-10.
Remaining Round of 6 playoff drivers not in the top-10: #4-Christopher bell will start 15th and #8-John Hunter Nemechek will start 17th.
Failed to qualify: #57-Mike Senica.
The starting lineup is posted on the Martinsville starting lineup page(10-28-2017)

Martinsville Truck Qualifying Fast Facts:
Chase Briscoe won the Keystone Light Pole Award for the 19th Annual Texas Roadhouse 200 Presented by Alpha Energy Solutions with a lap of 19.774 seconds, 95.762 mph.
This is his third pole in 20 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
This is his third pole and 14th top-10 start in 2017.
This is his first pole in two races at Martinsville Speedway.
Matt Crafton (P) (second) posted his 17th top-10 start of 2017 and his 15th in 32 races at Martinsville Speedway.
Ben Rhodes (P) (third) posted his second top-10 start at Martinsville Speedway. It is his 15th in 20 races this season.
Briscoe (first) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
(NASCAR Statistics) (10-28-2017)

Martinsville Speedway Contributes $10,000 to Start Endowment for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Honorary Scholarship When #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. leaves Martinsville Speedway for the final time as a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver, he will leave behind a legacy that will be felt not only in the garage and in the grandstands, but at Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC), as well. Martinsville Speedway contributed $10,000 to start an endowment for the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Honorary Scholarship in the school’s Motorsports Program. Each year, two students enrolled in the program, who have a minimum GPA of 2.5, will receive a $1,000 scholarship.(Martinsville Speedway)[Read More Here](10-28-2017)


News from October 27, 2017


Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Drivers Test At Homestead With the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 on November 19 rapidly approaching, some of NASCAR’s biggest stars got a taste of the championship race during a team testing session at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Wednesday and Thursday. Teams and drivers took advantage of two full days of on-track activity, as they prepared for November’s season finale. The eight teams who participated in the tests had the opportunity to gain valuable racing data while experimenting on the Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval. Of the eight drivers who took part, five have advanced to the Round of 8 of the playoffs and are still in contention for the Monster Energy Series championship. Three more drivers participated in the two-day test on behalf of each of the manufacturers.(NASCAR)[Read More Here](10-27-2017)

Gaulding Raising Awareness for Autism Speaks at Martinsville Gray Gaulding returns to the #83 Proud Supporter of Autism Speaks Toyota for BK Racing at Martinsville Speedway. Gaulding and the #83 BK Racing team will race to raise awareness for Autism this weekend at Martinsville. Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. They do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. (GGR Enterprises)[Read More Here](10-27-2017)

Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award finalists announced Comcast announced the finalists for the 2017 Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award, which was created to recognize the charitable efforts of individuals associated with the NASCAR industry. Comcast’s Xfinity brand has been the Official Entertainment Provider of NASCAR and entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR XFINITY Series since 2015. The 2017 finalists are: Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and the Chip Ganassi Racing Pit Crew Department. This year’s winner will be selected by a panel comprised of Comcast and NASCAR executives and others.(Comcast)[Read More Here](10-27-2017)

Friesen paces final Martinsville Truck practice: #52-Stewart Friesen was fastest during final practice for Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway with a speed of 94.713mph. #51-Harrison Burton, #21-Johnny Sauter, #27-Ben Rhodes, #33-Kaz Grala, #18-Noah Gragson, #88-Matt Crafton, #29-Chase Briscoe, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, and #24-Justin Haley. Of the Playoff drivers not in the top-10, #19-Austin Cindric was 13th and #4-Christopher Bell was 15th. 33 trucks practiced during the session. See complete results on the Practice 2 speeds (pdf)(10-27-2017)

Crafton fastest in opening Martinsville Truck practice: #88-Matt Crafton was fastest during the opening practice for Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway with a speed of 94.073mph. #4-Christopher Bell, #46-Todd Gilliland, #21-Johnny Sauter, #27-Ben Rhodes, #51-Harrison Burton, #29-Chase Briscoe, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #18-Noah Gragson, and #15-Gray Gaulding were the remainder of the top-10. The remaining Playoff driver not in the top-10 was #19-Austin Cindric,in 17th. 32 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Practice 1 speeds (pdf)(10-27-2017)


News from October 26, 2017


Transcript: NASCAR Teleconference With Darrell Wallace Jr. And Richard Petty No word yet on sponsors or manufactuer for 2018; Wallace first full-time African American driver since 1971; three options for an alliance. Richard Petty Motorsports announced earlier today Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr. as the next driver of the #43, made famous by team co-owner, “The King,” Richard Petty. Wallace, 24, will compete full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and contend for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award beginning at the 2018 Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 18th.
Bubba, let’s start with you. What does today’s announcement mean for you?
DARRELL ‘BUBBA’ WALLACE JR.: It means a lot. No pressure on me at all, with the King sitting here right beside me watching every move that I make (laughter). But this is pretty special. I’m excited for the opportunity. I can’t thank Richard enough and everybody at RPM for giving me this shot. Even going back to August when I was able to fill in for them for those four races and made the most of it there, I think I impressed Richard a little bit. He called me back. Well, he doesn’t have a phone. He mailed me back (laughter). It’s been a pretty fun journey these last couple months, just getting to know them a little bit more and more, better and better each and every day. Now we’re here for the announcement and trying to make the most of it.(NASCAR)[See full Transcript HERE](10-26-2017)

Earnhardt Jr. to run Grey Ghost throwback scheme at MartinsvilleFitting with the JR Nation Appreci88ion Tour theme, Nationwide gave fans the chance to pick Dale Earnhardt Jr’s paint scheme for this weekend’s race at Martinsville. When the votes were tallied, fans selected the “Grey Ghost” as the #88’s scheme – fitting for Halloween weekend considering the orange and black colors. In 2016, Earnhardt was scheduled to run the sleek, silver scheme on his #88 Nationwide Chevy for the throwback race at Darlington Raceway, but Jeff Gordon ended up filling in as Earnhardt missed the final half of the season due to a concussion. It’s only fitting that Earnhardt will get to race one of his all-time favorite schemes before he retires from full-time Cup Series racing.(Hendrick Motorsports)[Read More Here](10-26-2017)

Busch Beer NA featured on Harvick’s car at Martinsville Kevin Harvick is heading to Martinsville Speedway for the First Data 500 for the first of three races of the Round of 8 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. He will have a crisp, cold new look with Busch NA on the hood of his #4 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing. Busch Beer’s non-alcoholic branding shows Busch’s commitment to promoting the responsible enjoyment of Busch products and encourages smart-drinking choices. Race fans attending Martinsville Speedway for the First Data 500 can enjoy Busch NA and other Busch family products at the midway and from select vendors throughout the track.(Stewart-Haas Racing)[Read More Here](10-26-2017)

Hamlin will drive a special #11 FedEx at Walgreens Toyota at Martinsville Denny Hamlin will drive a special #11 FedEx at Walgreens Toyota this Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. The new look celebrates FedEx and Walgreens joining together to provide the FedEx OnSite solution that will allow customers to drop off and pick up packages at nearly every Walgreens location by the end of October. More information on the FedEx OnSite initiative can be found at fedex.com/onsite.(Joe Gibbs Racing)[Read More Here](10-26-2017)

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series News and Notes The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs kicks off its Round of 8 at Martinsville. Martin Truex Jr. heads the Playoffs leaderboard (52 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson on the cutoff line). Here’s a look at the Round of 8 drivers heading into Martinsville. Hendrick Motorsports has won the last three Playoffs races at Martinsville since the “win and advance” era was implemented in 2014. Brad Keselowski might have Martinsville figured out. He won the last race at the track affectionately known as “The Paperclip,” has finished second or better in three of his last five races there and has placed fifth or better in four of his last five races there. He’ll go for the season sweep at Martinsville. Kyle Busch has made Martinsville Speedway his personal playground in his last few races there.
In his past four starts at Martinsville, he finished fifth or better. He led a race-high 352 laps to win its 2016 spring race and paced the field for an event-high 274 laps on his way to a runner-up showing in this April’s contest. Jimmie Johnson leads active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers with nine wins at Martinsville Speedway – four more than Denny Hamlin who has the second most victories at “The Paperclip.” Denny Hamlin, has five wins at Martinsville Speedway – second among active drivers. A sixth victory in Sunday’s First Data 500 would earn him a berth in the Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Through seven Playoff races, Chase Elliott has racked up three runner-ups and has a low finish of 16th at Talladega. He enters Sunday’s race at Martinsville coming off a fourth-place showing at Kansas.(NASCAR)[see full notes and facts at NASCAR National Series News & Notes — Martinsville page (10-26-2017)

Martinsville Speedway Hauler Parade Set For Return On Friday, October 27 Before the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars take to Martinsville Speedway for the First Data 500, the haulers transporting the cars will take to US 220 for the second Martinsville Speedway Hauler Parade. On Friday, the haulers will start at the city limits at the intersection of Memorial Boulevard and DuPont Road and drive down 220 South to the Speedway, giving fans the opportunity to cheer for their favorite car along the route. The parade will start around 6 p.m. Haulers from all 40 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams will join the parade and fans are encouraged to line along the route to cheer for their favorites. The parade route will remain open to regular traffic, however, people traveling along 220 may encounter some delays.(Martinsville Speedway)[Read More Here](10-26-2017)


News from October 25, 2017


Richard Petty Motorsports Announces New Driver of Famed #43: Bubba Wallace In one of the organization’s most anticipated moments in its history, Richard Petty Motorsports announced today Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. as the new driver of the #43 made famous by team co-owner, “The King” Richard Petty. Wallace, 24, will compete full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and for the Sunoco Rookie of The Year beginning at the 2018 Daytona 500. Wallace, a native of Mobile, Alabama, is already one of the sport’s most popular figures with an incredible record of success behind the wheel. A graduate of both NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity and NASCAR Next programs, Wallace has broken several barriers and records throughout his rise within the sport. Veteran and winning crew chief Drew Blickensderfer will continue to lead the #43 team in 2018 with Wallace. Petty believes that Wallace brings the current youth movement to RPM. Partners (sponsors and manufacturer) for Wallace and the #43 team for the 2018 season will be announced at a later date. (Richard Petty Motorsports)
Sports Business Journal Adam Stern tweeted that team president Brian Mofftt said the U.S. Air Force and STP will be sponsors on the car next year. STP was the primary sponsor for the spring Martinsville race and the Southern 500 this season and that the team has lined up a sponsor/sponsors for the team in 2018 that are new to the sport of #NASCAR. Not announcing today.[Read More Here](10-25-2017)

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion to be Honored in Las Vegas Soon after the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion is crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup will head to Las Vegas as NASCAR hosts its annual Champion’s Week festivities. Fans will gather in Las Vegas for events honoring the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion, Playoff Drivers, Sunoco Rookie of the Year and other season-ending award recipients. Beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 28 and culminating Thursday, Nov. 30, NASCAR Champion’s Week will feature the annual NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Myers Brothers Awards at the Wynn Las Vegas as well as the return of the NASCAR Fan Lounge at Beerhaus located at The Park, situated between New York-New York Hotel & Casino and Monte Carlo Resort and Casi# For more information on NASCAR Champion’s Week in Las Vegas and to purchase event tickets, please visit ChampionsWeek.NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)[Read More Here and on the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards page](10-25-2017)

Richard Childress Racing hires Andy Petree as Advisor NASCAR veteran Andy Petree will assist Richard Childress Racing in an advisory role in the competition area. Petree, who has held numerous roles in his 30-year stock car racing career, will be retained as an outside resource. Petree has experience as a championship-winning crew chief, driver, team owner and most recently, as an analyst for Fox Sports.(Richard Childress Racing)[Read More Here](10-25-2017)

State Water Heaters featured on Kurt Busch’s car at MartinsvilleKurt Busch will drive the #41 State Water Heaters Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). It’s a different look for the #41 Ford this week, but State has long been associated with NASCAR and SHR. In 1946, State Water Heaters was founded by Herbert Lindahl, Sr., as a small entrepreneurial company in a garage in Nashville, Tennessee producing coal- and wood-burning stoves. By 1948, one year before Red Byron won the very first NASCAR race at Martinsville, the company produced its first water heater. The #41 State Water Heater Ford Fusion will carry decals on the lower-rear quarter panel for Barrett Machine Inc. and Haas Factory Outlet Greensboro (NC)(Stewart-Haas Racing / True Speed Communication)[Read More Here](10-25-2017)

Latest on the Tony Stewart in Kevin Ward Jr. case Attorneys for Tony Stewart and the parents of Kevin Ward Jr. will be in U.S. District Court in Utica, N.Y., for a summary judgment hearing Friday as part of the Ward family’s wrongful death lawsuit against Stewart. During an Empire Super Sprints race Aug. 9, 2014, at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park, Kevin Ward Jr. got out of his car after a crash and approached Stewart’s car, which struck and killed the 20-year-old driver. Stewart was not criminally charged. The Ward family is suing Stewart on four claims: wrongful death, terror pain and suffering prior to death, intentional/reckless conduct and gross negligence. Stewart has asked for the judge to rule in his favor on all counts except for intentional/reckless conduct, which would have to be determined by a jury. The judge, David Hurd, will take into account facts that he views are not in dispute and will decide if the law favors Stewart.(ESPN)(10-25-2017)

Zeality Inc. and Justin Haley team up to jumpstart fan engagement in motorsports: GMS Racing announced today that technology pioneers Zeality Inc. have signed-on to partner with rookie Justin Haley for multiple races, beginning this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Following Saturday’s event, Zeality will be featured on-board the No. 24 Chevrolet for the NCWTS’ return to Texas Motor Speedway on November 3.[More](10-25-2017)


News from October 24, 2017


2018 Crew Chief named for Kasey Kahne Leavine Family Racing (LFR) has announced that Travis Mack will assume Crew Chief duties for the #95 with driver Kasey Kahne in the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) season. Mack, who is the car chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the #88 Hendrick Motorsports team, has worked as a car chief since 2013 and served as interim Crew Chief for the #88 team for one race at Richmond Raceway in 2017. Mack, 34, will remain as the car chief for the #88 for the remainder of the 2017 MENCS season, and will join LFR prior to the start of next season.(Leavine Family Racing)[Read More Here](10-24-2017)

Final Kansas TV Ratings NBC Sports Group’s presentation of this past Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race from Kansas Speedway averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 2.77 million viewers across NBCSN and NBC Sports Digital platforms, according to data released by The Nielsen Company, and digital data from Adobe Analytics. The NBCSN-only telecast averaged 2.76 million viewers, up 31% vs. NBCSN’s prior three NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs races this season, and up 4% vs. NBCSN’s 2016 Fall Cup Series race average. Through 16 races this season, NBC Sports Group’s 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series live race coverage is averaging nearly 3.4 million viewers, even with the first 16 races last season (3.388 million vs. 3.379 million).(NBC Sports)[Read More Here](10-24-2017)

Kansas post-race penalties: Two post-race penalties were issued following the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Kansas Speedway. The teams of #19-Tifft and #22- Blaney were each fined for lug nut violations.[More](10-24-2017)

Plan B Sales, Inc. partners with Landon Huffman at Martinsville:Plan B Sales, Inc., the largest distributor of Lionel die-cast collectibles, will partner with Landon Huffman as his primary sponsor for the Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions at Martinsville Speedway Saturday, October 28th. Huffman will pilot the #83 Chevy Silverado.[More](10-24-2017)

Ty Dillon in the #87 The Gracie Foundation, Inc. Silverado at Martinsville: This weekend, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Ty Dillon will be among the racers competing in Saturday’s “Texas Roadhouse 200 Presented by Alpha Energy Solutions” at the half-mile oval circuit. Dillon will drive the #87 The Gracie Foundation, Inc. Chevrolet Silverado for NEMCO Motorsports.[More](10-23-2017)


News from October 23, 2017


Court date set for Patricia Driscoll: The federal criminal trial of Patricia Pauline Driscoll on charges she defrauded the Armed Forces Foundation (AFF) and used funds earmarked to help wounded soldiers and their families as her own personal slush fund for travel, alcohol and jewelry, among other things, is set for February 5, 2018.[More](10-23-2017)

A look at some of the top statistical performers and top-10 driver ratings at Martinsville, see the stats on the Statistical Advance – Analyzing Martinsville page

Weatherman to make Cup debut at Martinsville: Rick Ware Racing, LLC has announced that 20-year-old ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards veteran Kyle Weatherman will make his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driving debut in the First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway Sunday, Oct. 29. Weatherman, of Wentzville, Mo., is slated to the drive the #51 Chevrolet. Weatherman will also be driving the #51 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet in the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway Nov. 12. [More](10-23-2017)

Kansas TV ratings: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing at Kansas earned a 1.6 overnight rating on NBCSN.[More](10-23-2017)

Entry List for the First Data 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is posted, 40 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed.
36 teams with Charters are guaranteed to make the field. The rest need to make the field via qualifying / qualifying races / rules book (owners attempts/points).
Some of the drivers entered include: #7-Yeley*, #15-Sorenson, #23-LaJoie, #33-JEarnhardt, #51-TBA*, #66-Long*, #83-TBA*
Since only 40 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race.
See the full entry list on the Entry List (pdf)

Steve O’Donnell explains Truex Jr’s Kansas penalty: A NASCAR executive said that series officials clarified a rule on starts and restarts after drivers came to them with concerns before Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway. The result was Richard Buck, managing director of the Cup Series, telling competitors in the drivers meeting: “A reminder to stay in your lane until you cross the start-finish line. The front row establishes the lanes and the inside lane must be established above the inside painted line.”[More](10-23-2017)

Goodyear expects contact extension with NASCAR: “We have not finalized the agreement yet; that’s true,” Grant said Sunday before the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. “We’re getting very close to a contract extension. But we are testing for 2018, we’re getting ready to build tires for the Daytona 500. We’re operating like we’re going to be here in 2018.”[More](10-23-2017)

Commercial breakdown and links related to the 2017 Hollywood Casino 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race.[More](10-23-2017)

Testing at Homestead UPDATE: In preparation for Homestead-Miami Speedway’s Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race on November 19, some of NASCAR’s biggest stars in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be taking the track for a NASCAR test session. The testing will take place Tuesday, October 24 on Homestead-Miami Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval, where one car from most of the major Monster Energy Series teams are slated to participate.(10-16-2017)
UPDATE: Testing has been pushed back from Tuesday to Wednesday because of rain in the forecast.[More](10-23-2017)

Stewart-Haas to partner with Biagi-DenBeste Racing for XFINITY Series program: Stewart-Haas Racing has bolstered its effort in the NASCAR XFINITY Series by partnering with Biagi-DenBeste Racing. The XFINITY Series operation will be known as Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste beginning with the 2018 season. The name change only applies to the company’s XFINITY Series program. With the new partnership, Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste will continue to field the #00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for current rookie-of-the-year contender Cole Custer. The outfit’s #41 team, which ran a limited XFINITY Series schedule with Kevin Harvick in 2017, will change to the #98. Sponsors Hunt Brothers Pizza and FIELDS will remain with Harvick as he drives the #98 Ford Mustang in another part-time schedule in 2018.[More](10-23-2017)

Truck Series entry list: There are 34 trucks entered for Saturday’s race at Martinsville Speedway. The #0 and #11 are TBA. Jeffrey Abbey is in the #45. Mason Diaz is in the #86. Cale Gale is in the #99.
See the complete list on the Martinsville entry list page (pdf).(10-23-2017)

Gaither Vocal Band and Medal of Honor Recipient headline prerace ceremonies for First Data 500: The Gospel Music Association’s 2017 Dove Award winners for Southern Gospel Vocal Group of the year, the Gaither Vocal Group, will perform the National Anthem as part of the prerace festivities at Martinsville Speedway before Sunday’s First Data 500. In addition to the Gaither Vocal Group, Medal of Honor Recipient Col. Jack Jacobs will serve as the Honorary Starter and will wave the Green Flag to start the race. Jacobs was awarded the military’s highest honor for actions in Vietnam.[More](10-23-2017)

Auto Club Speedway, NASCAR and ancillary events, bring more than $105 million in economic activity to Inland Empire each year: Auto Club Speedway generated $105.8 million in economic output in San Bernardino County, $148.7 million in economic output in Southern California and $156.2 million in economic output in the state of California.[More](10-23-2017)


News from October 22, 2017


Sunday Kansas Notebook: Engine failure at Kansas stuns Kyle Larson, ending his Playoff run; Jimmie Johnson survives close calls to advance in Playoff; Matt Kenseth parked-and bounced from Playoff-after rule violation.[More](10-22-2017)

Truex rallies for Kansas win, as Playoff field is trimmed to eight drivers: Martin Truex Jr. survived a restart penalty and an unscheduled pit stop to return to what has become a thoroughly familiar locale-Victory Lane-in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.[More](10-22-2017)

Martin Truex, Jr. won the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway for his 7th win of 2017, 2nd win at Kansas and 14th career win. He won from the pole despite being penalized early in the race for a restart violation and having to serve a pass through penalty.
#41-Busch finished 2nd followed by #21-Blaney, #24-Elliott, #11-Hamlin, #37-Buescher, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #4-Harvick, #43-Almirola, and #18-Busch.
Several playoff drivers encountered problems during the race: #78-Truex, Jr. was penalized for the restart violation, #42-Larson lost an engine, #17-Stenhouse, Jr cut a tire and hit the wall, #48-Johnson spun twice, #1-McMurray was in an accident, #20-Kenseth was parked by NASCAR after the team had too many men over the wall to work on the car following an accident.
#18-Busch won stage 1 and finished 10th.
#11-Hamlin won stage 2 and finished 5th.
Playoff drivers who advance to the Round of 8: #78-Truex, Jr., #2-Keselowski, #11-Hamlin, #4-Harvick, #24-Elliott, #21-Blaney, #18-Busch,and #48-Johnson.
Drivers who were eliminated from the Playoffs: #42-Larson, 20-Kenseth, #1-McMurray, #17-Stenhouse, Jr.
#78-Truex Jr. leads the reset driver points by 27 over #18-Busch heading to Martinsville and the Round of 8.
There were 14 lead changes among 7 drivers and 10 cautions for 49 yellow flag laps.
The average speed of the race was: 125.189mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more at:
Unofficial Race Results (pdf)
Cumulative Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)

MENCS at Kansas
– Martin Truex Jr.: 14th career win (7th this season and 11th over last 2 seasons)
– Truex Jr.: 6th win on a 1.5-mile track this season (no other driver has more than 1)
– Truex Jr.: surpassed 2,000 laps led on season in race; joins Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick as drivers to lead at least 2,000 in a season in playoff era (since 2004)
– Truex Jr.: 14 career wins is tied for 54th in Cup Series history (with LeeRoy Yarbrough and Dick Hutcherson)
– Kyle Busch: finished 9th; entered race 9th in points but made Round of 8
– Jimmie Johnson: finished 11th after spinning twice; last driver into the Round of 8 (defending series champion)
– Kyle Larson: finished 39th after blowing engine; entered race 3rd in points but misses Round of 8 (eliminated in Round of 16 last year)
– Matt Kenseth: finished 37th, parked after pit crew violations (too many men over wall to repair car after wreck); misses Round of 8 – does not have ride for 2018 season
– Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Jamie McMurray: also eliminated
– Chase Elliott: finished 4th; 4 top-5 finishes in 6 playoff races (6 in 26 regular season races)
– Kurt Busch: finished 2nd; 1st top-2 finish since winning Daytona 500
(ESPN Stats & Info)(10-22-2017)

Race Fast Facts – Kansas
Martin Truex Jr. (P) won the 17th Annual Hollywood Casino 400, his 14th victory in 437 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series races.
This is his seventh victory and 22nd top-10 finish in 2017. Truex’s seven wins are the most in a single season since Matt Kenseth’s seven wins in 2013.
This is his second victory and seventh top-10 finish in 19 races at Kansas Speedway.
Kurt Busch (second) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 24 races at Kansas Speedway. It is his 14th top-10 finish in 2017.
Ryan Blaney (P) (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in six races at Kansas Speedway.
Ty Dillon (16th) was the highest finishing rookie.
Martin Truex Jr. (P) becomes the first driver in series history to win four consecutive races on 1.5-mile tracks.
Truex sets the series record for the most wins (6) on 1.5-mile tracks in a single season; the previous record was held by Carl Edwards (5 wins, 2008).
(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(10-21-2017)

2017 MENCS Playoff drivers’ finishing positions at Kansas
[by standings before the race (started)]
1) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 1st (1)
2) #2-Brad Keselowski, 13th (10)
3) #42-Kyle Larson, 39th (13)
4) #4-Kevin Harvick, 8th (2)
5) #11-Denny Hamlin, 5th (4)
6) #24-Chase Elliott, 4th (14)
7) #21-Ryan Blaney, 3rd (39)
8) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 11th (12)
9) #18-Kyle Busch, 10th (7)
10) #20-Matt Kenseth, 37th (3)
11) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 29th (24)
12) #1-Jamie McMurray, 34th (8)

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Standings:
[after Kansas, race 32 of 36 for the season, 6 of 10 in Playoffs, 3 of 3 in Round of 12]
1) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 4069
2) #18-Kyle Busch, 4042, -27
3) #2-Brad Keselowski, 4026, -43
4) #4-Kevin Harvick, 4017, -52
5) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4017, -52
6) #11-Denny Hamlin, 4014, -55
7) #21-Ryan Blaney, 4009, -60
8) #24-Chase Elliott, 4006, -63
These drivers did not advance to the Round of 8:
#42-Kyle Larson
#20-Matt Kenseth
#17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
#1-Jamie McMurray
See full standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)

Kenseth talks about Kansas accident, penalty: Matt Kenseth was parked by NASCAR after the team had too many men over the fall after an accident.[More](10-22-2017)

Top-Ten Stage 2 Results (lap 160) of the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway (lap 160/267):
#11-Hamlin, 10pts, 1 playoff point
#4-Harvick, 9 pts
#2-Keselowski, 8 pts
#20-Kenseth, 7 pts
#18-Busch, 6 pts
#77-Jones, 5 pts
#1-McMurray, 4 pts
#21-Blaney, 3 pts
#24-Elliott, 2 pts
#48-Johnson, 1 pt

Kyle Larson quotes from engine failure: Larson fell out of the Hollywood Casino 400 on lap 77.[More](10-22-2017)

Top-Ten Stage 1 Results (lap 80) of the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway (lap 80/267):
#18-Busch, 10pts, 1 playoff point
#4-Harvick, 9 pts
#11-Hamlin, 8 pts
#21-Blaney, 7pts
#1-McMurray, 6 pts
#48-Johnson, 5 pts
#24-Elliott, 4 pts
#78-Truex, Jr., 3 pts
#20-Kenseth, 2 pts
#77-Jones, 1 pt

Means Motorsports to explore new opportunities for 2018 UPDATE:Without a commitment from their current driver Joey Gase, the team will be looking to fill that position for the upcoming season starting with the Daytona race.(10-19-2017)
UPDATE: Jimmy Means, owner of Means Motorsports, told Frontstretch that a meeting between the two sides took place more than two months ago, determining to go in this direction. However, there is no animosity from the car owner, as Gase is trying to make the jump to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.[More](10-22-2017)

Sad News – Jim Watson: James “Jim” Watson, a road-crew fabricator for Furniture Row Racing’s NASCAR Cup Series teams, passed away Saturday night at the age of 55 after suffering a heart attack. A native of Greenfield, Wis. (near Milwaukee), Jim had been a member of Furniture Row Racing since February 2017. [More](10-22-2017)

Truck ratings drop for Talladega race: Last Saturday’s NASCAR Truck Series race from Talladega earned a 0.7 rating and 1.1 million viewers on FOX, down 15% in ratings and 17% in viewership from last year (0.85, 1.3M) and down 22% and 19% respectively from 2015 (0.9, 1.4M). [Sports Media Watch](10-22-2017)

Burton cousins set to go head-to-head for first time at Martinsville:For 13 years, brothers Jeff and Ward Burton raced against each other at NASCAR’s highest level. While the South Boston natives are no longer racing, they will still have their full attention on the Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. There will once again be two Burtons in the field, as Ward’s son Jeb and Jeff’s son Harrison will be racing in the same race for the first time.[More](10-22-2017)


News from October 21, 2017


Saturday Kansas Notebook: Dale Earnhardt Jr. overjoyed at prospect of first child’s birth; Qualifying penalty is double whammy for Ryan Blaney; Short Strokes.[More](10-21-2017)

Happy Hour (final) practice for the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
#21-Blaney 182.057
#18-Busch 181.843
#4-Harvick 181.720
#19-Suarez 181.665
#20-Kenseth 181.543
slowest: #83-Moffitt 173.924, #00-Cope 165.996
best 10 consecutive lap average (of 30 drivers): #4-Harvick 180.120
notes: Daniel Hemric took a few laps in the #27. Paul Menard’s wife is expecting a baby any day.
See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Happy Hour Practice speeds page (pdf) (10-21-2017)

Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway have been made.
With the field downsized to 40 cars, three pit stalls (22,43,44) have been eliminated, are not in play and don’t count towards driving through more than three pit boxes.
Pole sitter #78-Truex, Jr. chose pit stall 1, the first stall available [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole sitter #4-Harvick took pit stall 8, with an opening in front of it.
#20-Kenseth, who starts 3rd, took the 41st and final pit stall.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(10-21-2017)

First Saturday practice for the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
#42-Larson 181.671
#4-Harvick 181.586
#19-Suarez 181.513
#27-Menard 181.269
#14-Bowyer 181.178
slowest: #51-Mcleod 170.508, #00-Cope 165.416
best 10 consecutive lap average (of 10 drivers): #4-Harvick 180.768mph
notes: no accidents or incidents
See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Practice 2 speeds page (pdf) (10-21-2017)

Inspection issue sends Blaney to the rear at Kansas: Ryan Blaney and the #21 Omnicraft Auto Parts team will have to come from the rear of Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway after their third-place qualifying time was disallowed because the #21 Fusion failed a post-qualifying inspection.[More](10-21-2017)

Christopher Bell gets first NASCAR XFINITY Series win at Kansas:Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 may have been the opening race in the Round of 8 of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff, but the real drama involved two Joe Gibbs Racing teammates outside the championship battle.[More](10-21-2017)

Christopher Bell wins Kansas XFINITY race: #18-Christopher Bell won the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway. It is his 1st XFINITY Series win in his 5th career start.
#42-Tyler Reddick finished second, followed by #22-Ryan Blaney, #9-William Byron, #7-Justin Allgaier, #2-Austin Dillon, #1-Elliott Sadler, #19-Matt Tifft, #3-Ty Dillon, and #16-Ryan Reed.
#20-Erik Jones dominated the race, leading 185 of the 200 laps, but was passed by Bell with 3 laps remaining. He then had a tire go down after contact with Bell and finished 15th.
There were 4 cautions for 20 laps and 8 lead changes among 4 leaders.
The average speed was 141.158mph.
Complete results are on the Kansas race results page (pdf).
(10-21-2017)

Race stage winners: 
Stage 1 – lap 45 – Winner, #20-Erik Jones
Stage 2 – lap 90 – Winner, #20-Erik Jones
Stage 3 – lap 200 – Race winner, #18-Christopher Bell

Kansas XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
Christopher Bell(i) won the 17th Annual Kansas Lottery 300, his first victory in five NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in 2017.
This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in his first start at Kansas Speedway.
Tyler Reddick (second) posted his first top-10 finish in his first start at Kansas Speedway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2017.
Ryan Blaney(i) (third) posted his second top-10 finish in three races at Kansas Speedway.
William Byron # (P) (fourth) was the highest finishing rookie.
Justin Allgaier (P) leads the point standings by 2 points over William Byron # (P).
Erik Jones set the new track record for the most laps led in a NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Kansas Speedway with 186.
Christopher Bell becomes the first driver to get his first NASCAR XFINITY Series career win at Kansas Speedway.
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(10-21-2017)

XFINITY Driver standings following Kansas:
[Race 30 of 33 in 2017. Race 1 of 3 in the Round of 8]
1) #7-Justin Allgaier, 3066
2) #9-William Byron, 3064, -2
3) #1-Elliott Sadler, 3055, -11
4) #48-Brennan Poole, 3038, -28
Bottom 4 drivers will be eliminated after Phoenix
5) #19-Matt Tifft, 3033, -33
6) #16-Ryan Reed, 3032, -34
7) #21-Daniel Hemric, 3032, -34
8) #00-Cole Custer, 3030, -36
See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(10-21-2017)

Free Pass – Who got a lap back on each caution at Kansas: (and their finish)
Caution 1: #5-Annett, 15th
Caution 2: #4-Chastian, 17th
Caution 3: #24-Lupton, 16th
Caution 4: #24-Lupton (2), 16th
(10-21-2017)

Tyler Reddick on XFINITY pole at Kansas: #42-Reddick won the Coors Light pole for the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway with a speed of 181.117mph. It is his first career pole.
#20-Erik Jones will start second. The rest of the top 10: #22-Ryan Blaney, #18-Christopher Bell, #2-Austin Dillon, #9-William Byron, #00-Cole Custer, #19-Matt Tifft, #48-Brennan Poole, and #21-Daniel Hemric.
Did Not Qualify: #74-Harmon.
The starting lineup is posted on the Kansas starting lineup page (pdf).(10-21-2017)

Kansas XFINITY Qualifying Notes:
Tyler Reddick won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 17th Annual Kansas Lottery 300 with a lap of 29.815 seconds, 181.117 mph.
This is his first pole in 17 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
This is his first pole and eighth top-10 start in 2017.
This is his first pole at Kansas Speedway.
Erik Jones(i) (second) posted his 13th top-10 start of 2017 and his second in two races at Kansas Speedway.
Ryan Blaney(i) (third) posted his second top-10 start at Kansas Speedway. It is his 10th in 11 races this season.
William Byron (sixth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(10-21-2017)

Hillman leaves BKR UPDATE: Brad Keselowski Racing announced today that crew chief Mike Hillman, Jr. has left the organization effective immediately. Buddy Sisco will serve as Chase Briscoe’s crew chief for the remainder of the 2017 season.(10-20-2017)
UPDATE: Kyle Busch confirmed on Friday that Mike Hillman Jr. has joined Kyle Busch Motorsports as crew chief of the No. 51 truck. Hillman replaces Kevin Manion.[More](10-21-2017)

Minor, Faith Motorsports to run Vegas tribute at Texas: Faith Motorsports announced that North Texas native Ted Minor will pilot the #44 SMD Chevrolet Silverado in the Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on November 3rd. Shawn Magee Design, a North Canton, Ohio design firm and official graphics partner of Faith Motorsports, will serve as the primary sponsor in the JAGS Metals/Driving Hurricane Harvey Relief 350 in Fort Worth,Texas. The #44 SMD truck will also feature a special tribute graphic on the deck lid honoring all 58 people who lost their lives in the tragic shootings at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on October 1st.[More](10-21-2017)


News from October 20, 2017


Martin Truex Jr. wins pole-and bonus-at Kansas Speedway: By posting the fastest lap in Friday’s qualifying session at Kansas, Truex got a leg up on a trip to the Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami, because the time trials at Kansas came with a significant bonus-first choice of pit stalls at Martinsville.[More](10-20-2017)

Martin Truex, Jr. won the Coors Light pole for the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway with speed of 188.029mph for his 3rd pole of 2017, 2nd at Kansas and 15th of his career. Truex, Jr. has won 1 time from the 14 previous poles.
#4-Harvick will start 2nd followed by #20-Kenseth, #11-Hamlin, #19-Suarez, #77-Jones, #18-Busch, #1-McMurray, #14-Bowyer, #2-Keselowski, #3-Dillon, an d #48-Johnson.
#21-Blaney had qualified 3rd fastest but failed post-qualifying inspection. He will start 40th.
#4-Harvick was fastest in the second round with a speed of 187.533mph, will start 2nd.
#41-Busch was fastest in the first round with a speed of 186.335mph, will start 16th.
Driver(s) who will miss the race: none as 40 were entered for 40 spots.
See round-by-round qualifying results on the Qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Starting Lineup page (pdf).(10-20-2017)

2017 MENCS Playoff Drivers Starting Positions at Kansas
[by current playoff standings]
1) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 1st
2) #2-Brad Keselowski, 10th
3) #42-Kyle Larson, 13th
4) #4-Kevin Harvick, 2nd
5) #11-Denny Hamlin, 4th
6) #24-Chase Elliott, 14th
7) #21-Ryan Blaney, 39th
8) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 12th
9) #18-Kyle Busch, 7th
10) #20-Matt Kenseth, 3rd
11) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 24th
12) #1-Jamie McMurray, 8th

Kansas Speedway – Qualifying Fast Facts:
Martin Truex Jr. (P) won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 17th Annual Hollywood Casino 400 with a lap of 28.719 seconds, 188.029 mph.
This is his 15th pole in 437 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
This is his third pole and 25th top-10 start in 2017.
This is his second pole in 19 races at Kansas Speedway.
Kevin Harvick (P) (second) posted his 22nd top-10 start of 2017 and his 10th in 24 races at Kansas Speedway.
Ryan Blaney (P) (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Kansas Speedway. It is his 19th in 32 races this season.
Daniel Suarez (sixth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
(NASCAR Statistics)(10-20-2017)

Second Round of Qualifying for the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is over, after 10 scheduled minutes.
#4-Harvick 187.533
#2-Keselowski 187.428
#78-Truex, Jr 187.344
#21-Blaney 187.266
#20-Kenseth 187.175
the rest of the top 12: 18 11 19 3 77 14 1
out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 48 42 24 41 95 22 31 88 37 5 10 27
(10-20-2017)

First Round of Qualifying for the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
#41-Busch 186.335
#10-Patrick 186.303
#78-Truex Jr 185.944
#11-Hamlin 185.842
#20-Kenseth 185.816
the rest of the top 24: 88 1 4 21 77 19 3 31 14 48 24 2 95 42 5 37 22 18 27;
out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 17 43 47 38 6 13 32 34 83 55 23 72 51 15 33 00
Drivers who will miss the race: none, 40 entered
(10-20-2017)

Friday Kansas Notebook: Lackluster qualifying has put Jimmie Johnson on the Playoff bubble; Kyle Busch facing first do-or-die test at Kansas Speedway; William Byron is prepping for Cup career in simulator.[More](10-20-2017)

First practice for the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top-five and notes:
#42-Larson 189.056
#4-Harvick 187.500
#18-Busch 197.331
#21-Blaney 187.182
#78-Truex, Jr. 187.123
slowest: #51-McLeod 175.444 & #00-Cope 170.025
most laps run: #22-Logano, 28 laps.
No driver ran 10 consecutive laps during this practice.
See fastest speeds, laps run on the Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf)(10-20-2017)

Erik Jones paces final XFINITY practice: #20-Erik Jones was quickest in final practice at Kansas with a speed of 177.189mph.
#22-Ryan Blaney was second, followed by: #39-Ryan Sieg, #42-Tyler Reddick, #1-Elliott Sadler, #7-Justin Allgaier, #9-William Byron, #16-Ryan Reed, #2-Austin Dillon, and #18-Christopher Bell.
All 41 drivers practiced during the session.
See complete results on the Kansas practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(10-20-2017)

Matt Tifft fastest in first XFINITY practice: #19-Matt Tifft was fastest during opening practice at Kansas with a speed of 177.936mph.
The rest of the top 10: #22-Ryan Blaney, #20-Erik Jones, #2-Austin Dillon, #42-Tyler Reddick, #1-Elliott Sadler, #00-Cole Custer, #48-Brennan Poole, #7-Justin Allgaier, and #9-William Byron.
38 drivers practiced during the session.
See complete results on the Kansas practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(10-20-2017)

Speedway Children’s Charities getting into the holiday spirit at Bristol: As the calendar flips to the final two months of the year, the Bristol chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities is busy preparing to host a pair of fundraisers to help get everyone into the holiday spirit, and officially kick off the annual Pinnacle Speedway in Lights. SCC will bring back one of its mainstay events and introduce a brand new event to get the season of giving started. The popular Moe’s Speedway in Lights 5K presented by Fleet Feet Sports will make its 2017 return and will be joined by the new Tastings, Bites and Twinkling Lights, a gourmet food, wine, craft beers and high-end spirits tasting. [More](10-20-2017)


News from October 19, 2017


What to Watch For: Kansas: Final Race in Round of 12; Champs on the Bubble; Martin Truex Jr. Dominates 1.5-Mile Tracks; Who’s Hot and Who’s Not – Kansas (Playoff Driver Edition)[More](10-19-2017)

Aspen Dental not expected to return: Aspen Dental is not expected to return to Stewart-Haas Racing next year, according to sources, amid the forthcoming departure of driver Danica Patrick. The dental-care chain signed on to sponsor the NASCAR team in ’15 for four primary races and this year increased its investment to a double-digit amount on SHR’s #10 Ford driven by Patrick after the unexpected departure of Nature’s Bakery. [More](10-19-2017)

Talladega overnight TV ratings UPDATE: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing at Talladega earned a 2.75 overnight rating for NBC.(10-16-2017)
UPDATE: The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs from Talladega (Ala.) earned a 2.8 rating and 4.7 million viewers on NBC, up 27% in ratings and 32% in viewership from last year (2.2, 3.6M) and up 8% and 11% respectively from 2015 (2.6, 4.2M), both of which aired on NBCSN.[More](10-19-2017)

Kansas Weekend Preview: Kyle Busch faces elimination at Kansas; Byron leads XFINITY Series into Round of 8.[More](10-19-2017)

Alon Day looking to run another Cup race this year: Less than three days after Israel’s Alon Day captured the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series championship, his circle is working on bringing him back to the United States to wrap up the 2017 stock car racing season. David Levin, a Florida attorney who helped Day land his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ride with BK Racing in June at Sonoma Raceway, is working on getting the Israeli back into America[More](10-19-2017)

Means Motorsports to explore new opportunities for 2018: Without a commitment from their current driver Joey Gase, the team will be looking to fill that position for the upcoming season starting with the Daytona race.[More](10-19-2017)

Boyd to drive a full season for SS Green Light with the #76; Sponsorship from Grunt Style: Spencer Boyd Racing announced today that a multi-year agreement has been reached with veteran-owned lifestyle brand, Grunt Style. Boyd will drive a full schedule in the No. 76 Chevrolet Camaro for SS Green Light Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2018.[More](10-19-2017)

Phoenix camping sold out: Phoenix Raceway, well known for its top-notch camping experience, is pleased to announce that all camping is sold out for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 race weekend on Nov. 10-12. Due to the high demand for reserved camping spots, the track has transitioned to fully reserved camping, and no unreserved spaces are available.[More](10-19-2017)


News from October 18, 2017


Drivers tackle Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval in Goodyear tire test: Two days of Goodyear tire testing on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval concluded on Wednesday with drivers gearing up for next year’s Bank of America 500 by lapping Charlotte’s challenging, 18-turn, 2.4-mile course. Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray and Daniel Hemric tested tires for next year’s Bank of America 500 on Sept. 28-30, 2018 – the first road course race in the 14-year history of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.[More](10-18-2017)

Roush Fenway carrying pink numbers in Kansas: Roush Fenway Racing carries its ‘Driven for a Cause’ platform, in support of breast cancer awareness, into Kansas Speedway this weekend as Trevor Bayne’s #6 AdvoCare Ford and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s #17 Fastenal Ford will both sport pink numbers this weekend. In addition to the pink numbers on the AdvoCare and Fastenal Ford Fusions, all Roush Fenway Fords have sported ‘Driven for a Cause’ pink ribbon decals on the C-Post during the month of October. Roush Fenway personnel have supported the cause through at track apparel, wearing #DrivenForACause ribbons each weekend.[More](10-18-2017)

A look at many news, notes and story lines for the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, see the stats on the NASCAR National Series News & Notes — Kansas

Gaulding back in the #55 at Kansas: Premium Motorsports has teamed up with Harrah’s North Kansas City for this weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ‘Hollywood Casino 400’ at Kansas Speedway. They will be featured prominently on the #55 car, driven by Gray Gaulding.[More](10-18-2017)

Omnicraft returns to the #21: Omnicraft, whose paint scheme the Wood Brothers’ #21 ran at Michigan in June, once again will be the primary sponsor at Kansas for the final Round 2 Playoff race. The first new parts brand offered by Ford Motor Company in 50 years, Omnicraft was launched in January to give Ford and Lincoln dealers and Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centers access to a complete family of quality and competitively priced parts to sell and to service all makes of vehicles.[More](10-18-2017)

M&Ms Halloween scheme for Kyle Busch at Kansas: Sunday afternoon in Kansas, Busch and the M&M’S Halloween team will look to tackle the final race of the Round of 12 of the 2017 Playoffs. Busch is looking to overcome a seven-point deficit to the all-important eighth-place spot in the playoff standings after bad luck struck when he was collected in a multicar accident Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The Las Vegas hopes for a strong run at Kansas in order to advance to the Round of 8.[More](10-18-2017)

Bobby Dale Earnhardt returns to the #40 at Kansas: Bobby Dale Earnhardt is ready to take on Kansas Motor Speedway after being OK’d by NASCAR to jump from short tracks to 1.5-mile speedways. The driver, son of Kerry Earnhardt and grandson of Dale Earnhardt Sr., will pilot the No. 40 Chevrolet for MBM Motorsports (MBM).[More](-2017)

Phoenix Raceway celebrates topping out: Phoenix Raceway installed one of the highest steel beams as part of the Phoenix Raceway Project Powered by DC Solar along with its partner Okland Construction. NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Rusty Wallace, longtime Phoenix Raceway season ticket holders and government officials joined Okland Construction team members and Phoenix Raceway staff to celebrate this important milestone in the project.[More](10-18-2017)


News from October 17, 2017


Truex, Jr., Pollex win NMPA Spirit Award: Furniture Row Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. and long-time girlfriend Sherry Pollex have been voted the third quarter winners of the National Motorsports Press Association’s Pocono Spirit Award. The Spirit Award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.[More](10-17-2017)

NASCAR Drive For Diversity Combine gets on track on day 2: After a day of media training and physical assessment, the 12 drivers participating in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Honda Generators finally got on track Tuesday. But not without a little extra waiting for the rain to clear at New Smyrna Speedway.[More](10-17-2017)

A look at some of the top statistical performers and top-10 driver ratings at Kansas, see the stats on the Statistical Advance – Analyzing Kansas page

Entry List for the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is posted, 41 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed.
36 teams with Charters are guaranteed to make the field. The rest need to make the field via qualifying / qualifying races / rules book (owners attempts/points).
Some of the drivers entered include: #00-Cope*, #15-TBA, #23-TBA, #51-TBA*, #55-Gaulding*, #66-Long*, #83-TBA*
Drivers who currently to not drive for a team with a Charter and need to race into the field: #00-Cope, #51-TBA, #55-Gaulding, #66-Long, #83-TBA.
Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts): #66-Long
See the full entry list on the Entry List (pdf)

The Mentholatum Company joins Leavine Family Racing: Leavine Family Racing (LFR) has partnered with Rohto Jolt cooling eye drops for a multi-race deal through the remainder of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) season. Rohto Jolt provides immediate relief from dry and tired eyes. This is the newest eye drop from the Rohto family of products which are currently the #1 Global OTC Eye Care Brand.[More](10-17-2017)

Congrats to Landon & Katie Cassill: Daphne Plum Mayola Cassill was born Monday night. The couple also have a son, Beckham.[More](10-17-2017)

StarCom Racing to debut at Kansas: StarCom Racing will make its NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series debut at Kansas Speedway for the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, October 22. The team, lead by NASCAR veteran Derrike Cope, will showcase the StarCom Racing brand on the big stage for the 400 mile event in the #00 Chevrolet.[More](10-17-2017)

XFINITY Entry List: There are 41 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway.
See the complete list on the Kansas entry list page.(10-16-2017)

Jennifer Jo Cobb driving the #78 at Kansas: Jennifer Jo Cobb returns to the Kansas Speedway in the #78 Mark One Electric Chevrolet owned by BJ McLeod Motorsports to compete in the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday, October 21st. Cobb is from Kansas City, Kansas and is the only Kansas native competing in this event.[More](10-17-2017)

First 30,000 fans at Texas 500 receive collectible Harvick bobblehead: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick’s mini alter ego – Lil’ Kev – was busy in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex last week promoting the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Playoffs race at Texas Motor Speedway set for Sunday, Nov. 5. Lil’ Kev, the seven-inch Harvick bobblehead outfitted in a Jimmy John’s black-and-white firesuit, visited the sandwich franchises in Grapevine, Arlington and Roanoke to “help out” the staff with making sandwiches and a “Freaky Fast” delivery run. Also on hand at those stores for the day was Big Kev, the life-sized bobblehead version of Harvick.[More](10-17-2017)

Martinsville Speedway joins Team Chevy and the American Cancer Society to Paint the Curbs Pink: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Kyle Larson and Ryan Newman joined 24 breast cancer survivors at Martinsville Speedway on Tuesday for the annual Paint the Curbs Pink event with Team Chevy and the American Cancer Society. After joining the survivors to paint the Speedway’s iconic curbs pink, Larson and Newman strapped into the same Chevy Pace Cars that will pace the First Data 500 and gave the survivors some laps around Martinsville.[More](10-17-2017)

Country 500 Music Festival returns to Daytona: Organizers today confirmed the third edition of Country 500 – The Great American Music Fest at Daytona-setting the dates for May 25, 26, & 27, 2018. Already a Memorial Day tradition, Country 500 draws over 75,000 fans from across the globe to Daytona International Speedway, the “World Center of Racing,” for an unforgettable weekend of music, camping, and summertime fun at one of America’s most iconic sports destinations.[More](10-17-2017)

Pat Green returns to Texas to headline Loud & Proud Pre-Race Show: Texas Motor Speedway is set to go green even before the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series hits the track for the AAA Texas 500 on Sunday, Nov. 5. Country music artist Pat Green returns to Texas Motor Speedway as he headlines the Loud & Proud Pre-Race Show Fueled by American Ethanol. Green and his legendary Texas country sound hit the stage at 11 a.m. CT for an hour-long concert on the frontstretch.[More](10-17-2017)


News from October 16, 2017


Cassill will not return to Front Row Motorsports in 2018 UPDATE: At just 28 years old, Landon Cassill has already made 253 starts in the NASCAR Cup Series. If it’s possible for a Millennial to be considered a veteran driver, that’s Cassill. But the journey will have to continue elsewhere next season. Cassill said he was informed Monday he will not return to Front Row Motorsports in 2018, and he will now begin the process of finding a new ride. Cassill said via phone call on Tuesday he was not told why he was out of a ride, other than the team was making “radical changes” for next season. In a statement to this website, the team said it was appreciative for his time there but offered no further details.(10-10-2017)
UPDATE: Jerry Freeze told a small group of reporters that this could be the first of several decisions to change the overall dynamic of the midtier program. “As it concerns Landon, we’re just trying to improve our program and thought we had some opportunities that would put us in a better place. “There’s a lot of cards still left to be dealt and try to figure out what’s going to put us in the best place competitively as an organization. So I don’t know. There may be more changes to come with some of the folks we got around our program and hopefully partners — some coming on board, new ones, and stuff that we’re talking about that I think is going to be really exciting.”[More](10-16-2017)

Commercial breakdown and links related to the 2017 Alabama 500For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race.[More](10-16-2017)

Amy Earnhardt expecting a baby: Dale Jr said Tuesday that the couple has a daughter on the way.[More](10-16-2017)

NASCAR expected to mandate standard pit gun: Over the last few years, race teams have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into developing pit guns that help gain valuable time for tire changers. But that will change next year. Two people with knowledge of the situation told JeffGluck.com on Monday that NASCAR is planning to move to a standard pit gun – manufactured by Paoli – starting in 2018.[More](10-16-2017)

#88 spotter change next season: T.J. Majors will leave Hendrick Motorsports as Kevin Hamlin serves as Alex Bowman’s spotter.[More](10-16-2017)

Testing at Homestead: In preparation for Homestead-Miami Speedway’s Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race on November 19, some of NASCAR’s biggest stars in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be taking the track for a NASCAR test session. The testing will take place Tuesday, October 24 on Homestead-Miami Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval, where one car from most of the major Monster Energy Series teams are slated to participate.[More](10-16-2017)

Talladega overnight TV ratings: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing at Talladega earned a 2.75 overnight rating for NBC.[More](10-16-2017)

Todd Parrott out at Leavine Family Racing: Jon Leonard will take over as interim crew chief for Michael McDowell and the #95 team.[More](10-16-2017)

Lupton driving a special pink scheme at Kansas: In celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, officials from Nut Up Industries and JGL Racing jointly announced today that NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) driver Dylan Lupton will run a special PINK paint scheme in Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway on October 21st. Partnering with Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City, the #24 Nut Up Industries Toyota team has pledged to not only support the foundation, but also create exciting opportunities for NASCAR fans to donate and win limited edition prizes. [More](10-16-2017)


News from October 15, 2017


Sunday Talladega Notebook: Dale Earnhardt Jr. completes bittersweet Talladega weekend in seventh place; Late wreck ruins Chase Elliott’s winning chances; Wild accident ends Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s restrictor-plate run.[More](10-15-2017)

Last-lap pass gives Brad Keselowski victory in wild Talladega race:On the Longest Day at Talladega-in a war of attrition that required three red flags and left 14 cars running at the finish-Brad Keselowski powered his #2 Team Penske Ford past the #31 Chevrolet of Ryan Newman on the final lap to win Sunday’s Alabama 500.[More](10-15-2017)

Goodyear to test location of chicane at Charlotte: Goodyear Tire officials said Sunday part of the first day of their two-day tire test next week at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s infield road course will be spent determining the final location of the backstretch chicane. When the final design of the 2.4-mile course was unveiled last week, it included a permanently-designed chicane off Turn 4 and a temporary chicane entering Turn 3 on the backstretch.[More](10-15-2017)

Keselowski won the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway for his 3rd win of 2017, 5th win at Talladega and 24th career win. It was his 300th career start. He passed #31-Newman on the final lap to take the win that was riddled with wrecks over the final 20 laps.
Keselowski is now locked into the NASCAR Playoffs Round of 8, along with Truex, Jr.
#31-Newman held on to finish 2nd followed by #6-Bayne, #22-Logano, #43-Almirola, #11-Hamlin, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #5-Kahne, #83-Gaulding (a career best), and #38-Ragan.
The “big one” happened with 17 laps to go and invovled 16 cars: #4-Harvick, #38-Ragan, #48-Johnson, #18-Busch, #78-Truex, #3-Dillon, #95-McDowell, #20-Kenseth, #10-Patrick, #13-Dillon, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #32-DiBenedetto, #75-Gaughan, #34-Cassill, #17-Stenhouse and #41-Busch. The race had to be red flagged for track cleanup.
There was also a wreck with 11 laps to go involving #4-Harvick, #21-Blaney, #22-Logano, and #75-Gaughan that also required a red flag for track cleanup.
Another wreck with 6 to go caught #19-Suarez, #24-Elliott, and #36-Buescher. A 3rd red flag was needed.
Playoff drivers who did not make it to the end of the race because of accidents included #1-McMurray, #4-Harvick, #17-Stenhouse, Jr., #18-Busch, #21-Blaney, #24-Elliott, #48-Johnson, #78-Truex, Jr.
#2-Keselowski won stage 1 and won the race.
#21-Blaney won stage 2 but was caught in a late accident and finished 18th.
#78-Truex Jr. leads the driver points by 19 over #2-Keselowski.
There were 30 lead changes among 16 drivers and 11 cautions for 47 yellow flag laps.
The average speed of the race was: 131.677mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more at:
Unofficial Race Results (pdf)
Cumulative Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)

MENCS at Talladega
– Brad Keselowski: 6th career restrictor plate win (5th at Talladega); ties Dale Jarrett for 4th-most all-time behind Jeff Gordon (12), Dale Earnhardt (11), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (10)
– Keselowski: clinches spot in Round of 8; was eliminated in Round of 12 last year (eliminated in Round of 8 in 2014 and 2015)
– Keselowski: 24th career win; sole possession of 33rd all-time (1 more would tie Jim Paschal and Joe Weatherly)
– Keselowski: 7th driver in series history to win in 300th career start (teammate Joey Logano also did so earlier this season)
– Keselowski: was only playoff driver to finish in top 5
– Keselowski: entered race 10th in playoff standings
– Ryan Newman: finished 2nd; was eliminated from playoffs in Round of 2
– Dale Earnhardt Jr.: finished 7th in final Talladega race; led 7 laps from pole
– Earnhardt Jr.: 1 win in final 25 starts at Talladega (5 wins in his first 10 starts at track)
– Gray Gaulding: finished 9th for 1st career top-10 finish
– 8 of 12 remaining playoff drivers failed to finish race; only 2 finished in top 12
– Kyle Busch: finished 27th; fell to 9th in Cup Series standings (7 points behind Jimmie Johnson for final spot in Round of 8 with 1 race remaining)
– Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: finished 26th; was attempting to join Dale Earnhardt (1990) as only drivers to win 3 restrictor plate races in a season
(ESPN Stats & Info)

Race Fast Facts – Talladega
Brad Keselowski (P) won the 49th Annual Alabama 500, his 24th victory in 300 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
This is his third victory and 18th top-10 finish in 2017.
This is his fifth victory and 11th top-10 finish in 18 races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Ryan Newman (second) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 32 races at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his 12th top-10 finish in 2017.
Trevor Bayne (third) posted his third top-10 finish in 14 races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Gray Gaulding (ninth) was the highest finishing rookie.
Martin Truex Jr. (P) leads the point standings by 19 points over Brad Keselowski (P).
(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(10-14-2017)

2017 MENCS Playoff drivers’ finishing positions at Talladega
[by standings before the race (started)]
1) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 23rd (21) Accident
2) #42-Kyle Larson, 13th (12)
3) #4-Kevin Harvick, 20th (22) Accident
4) #24-Chase Elliott, 16th (2) Accident
5) #11-Denny Hamlin, 6th (15)
6) #18-Kyle Busch, 27th (16) Accident
7) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 24th (8) Accident
8) #1-Jamie McMurray, 37th (17) Accident
9) #20-Matt Kenseth, 14th (19)
10) #2-Brad Keselowski, 1st (6)
11) #21-Ryan Blaney, 18th (9) Accident
12) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 26th (5) Accident

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Standings:
[after Talladega, race 31 of 36 for the season, 5 of 10 in Playoffs, 2 of 3 in Round of 12]
1) #78-Martin Truex Jr. (1 win) (A), 3120
2) #2-Brad Keselowski (1 win) (A), 3101 -19
3) #42-Kyle Larson, 3096 -24
4) #4-Kevin Harvick, 3089 -31
5) #11-Denny Hamlin, 3088 -32
6) #24-Chase Elliott, 3087 -33
7) #21-Ryan Blaney, 3076 -44
8) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 3074 -46
These drivers would not advance to Round 3
9) #18-Kyle Busch, 3067 -53 (7 points behind 8th)
10) #20-Matt Kenseth, 3066 -54 (-8)
11) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 3052 -68 (-22)
12) #1-Jamie McMurray, 3045 -75 (-29)
(A) automatically advances to the next round of the playoffs with a win
See full standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)

Talladega accident quotes: What several drivers had to say after late-race accidents at Talladega Superspeedway.[More](10-15-2017)

Top-Ten Stage 2 Results (lap 110) of the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway (lap 110/188):
#21-Blaney, 10pts, 1 playoff point
#2-Keselowski, 9 pts
#14-Bowyer, 8 pts
#24-Elliott, 7 pts
#41-Kurt Busch, 6 pts
#3-Dillon, 5 pts
#48-Johnson, 4 pts
#4-Harvick, 3 pts
#18-Busch, 2 pts
#11-Hamlin, 1 pt

Top-Ten Stage 1 Results (lap 55) of the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway (lap 55/188):
#2-Keselowski, 10pts, 1 playoff point
#22-Logano, 9 pts
#21-Blaney, 8 pts
#17-Stenhouse, Jr., 7pts
#48-Johnson, 6 pts
#14-Bowyer, 5 pts
#95-McDowell, 4 pts
#41-Busch, 3 pts
#6-Bayne, 2 pts
#5-Kahne, 1 pt

McMurray explains Talladega accident: He was knocked out of the Alabama 500 in an accident on lap 24 while attempting to enter pit road.[More](10-15-2017)

Jeffrey Earnhardt will return to the #33 in 2018: Circle Sport Racing with TMG made the announcement Sunday morning at Talladega Superspeedway.[More](10-15-2017)

Bass Pro Shops & 5-Hour Energy to sponsor Truex, Jr for 30 races:In a spirited partnership arrangement with Furniture Row Racing, Bass Pro Shops and 5-hour ENERGY® have teamed to form a 30-race co-primary sponsorship on Martin Truex Jr.’s #78 Toyota during the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season.[More](10-15-2017)

Talladega Sunday Pre-Race Schedule (ET):
1:54pm: Intro Presentation of Colors by: Alabama Army National Guard
1:54pm: Invocation by: Buster Taylor, Alabama Raceway Ministries
1:55pm: National Anthem: 313th United States Army Band out of Birmingham, AL
1:56pm: Flyover By: USAF Heritage Flyover, F-16 Fighting Falcon and P-51 Mustang
2:01pm: “Driver’s, Start Your Engines” by: Kay Ivery, 54th Governor of Alabama
2:13pm: Green Flag – Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Alabama 500 (188 laps, 500.08 miles), NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR


News from October 14, 2017


Dale Earnhardt Jr. bags first Talladega pole in last NASCAR season:Dale Earnhardt Jr. has started on the front row in every restrictor-plate race this season. The driver of the #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet has won six races at Talladega Superspeedway. But Saturday was special.[More](10-14-2017)

Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway have been made.
Pole sitter #88-Earnhardt, Jr. chose pit stall 1, the first stall available [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole sitter #24-Elliott took pit stall 15, with an opening in front of it.
#22-Logano, who starts 3rd, took the 2nd stall.
The 41st and final pit stall was taken by #48-Johnson, who starts 8th.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(10-14-2017)

#88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the Coors Light pole for the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway with speed of 190.544mph for his 2nd pole of 2017, 1st at Talladega and 15th of his career. Earnhardt, Jr has won 1 race from the pole in 14 previous races.
#24-Elliott will start 2nd followed by #22-Logano, #41-Busch, #17-Stenhouse, Jr., #2-Keselowski, #14-Bowyer, #48-Johnson, #21-Blaney, #6-Bayne, #5-Kahne, and #42-Larson.
#88-Earnhardt, Jr was also fastest in the first round with a speed of 190.382mph.
Driver(s) who will miss the race: none as 40 were entered for 40 spots.
See round-by-round qualifying results on the Qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Starting Lineup page (pdf).(10-14-2017)

Talladega Superspeedway – Qualifying Fast Facts:
Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 49th Annual Alabama 500 with a lap of 50.256 seconds, 190.544 mph.
This is his 15th pole in 626 NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
This is his second pole and seventh top-10 start in 2017.
This is his first pole in 35 races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Chase Elliott (second) posted his 17th top-10 start of 2017 and his fourth in four races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Joey Logano (third) posted his third top-10 start at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his 18th in 31 races this season.
Daniel Suarez (14th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
(NASCAR Statistics)(10-14-2017)

First Round of Qualifying for the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is over.
#88-Earnhardt, Jr. 190.382
#22-Logano 190.174
#24-Elliott 190.166
#41-Busch 190.091
#2-Keselowski 189.962
the rest of the top 12: 17 14 21 6 48 5 42;
not advancing to the final round: 10 19 11 18 1 3 20 27 78 4 77 47 13 43 31 37 95 34 7 32 38 33 75 15 23 72 83 55
Qualifying at Talladega is two rounds of single car qualifying.
Drivers who will miss the race: none, 40 entered
(10-14-2017)

2017 MENCS Playoff Drivers Starting Positions at Talladega
[by current playoff standings]
1) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 21st
2) #42-Kyle Larson, 12th
3) #4-Kevin Harvick, 22nd
4) #24-Chase Elliott, 2nd
5) #11-Denny Hamlin, 15th
6) #18-Kyle Busch, 16th
7) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 8th
8) #1-Jamie McMurray, 17th
9) #20-Matt Kenseth, 19th
10) #2-Brad Keselowski, 6th
11) #21-Ryan Blaney, 9th
12) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 5th

Slibermann leaving NASCAR: George Silbermann has been named President of the Automobile Competition Committee of the United States (ACCUS-FIA), an association of American auto racing sanctioning bodies (IMSA, IndyCar, NASCAR, NHRA, SCCA, USAC). In this role, he will focus on issues related to the domestic motorsports industry, while also representing the United States to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). Silbermann has been in professional auto racing for over 40 years, holding multiple positions including President/CEO of IMSA and, most recently, NASCAR Vice President.[More](10-13-2017)

Qualifying Order for the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is posted.
The qualifying order for the two restrictor plates races (Daytona/Talladega) is different.
The order for the 1st round is set by a practice speeds (both practices combined) from Friday, slowest to fastest.
The first driver scheduled to make an attempt is in round 1 is #15-Thompson.
The final driver scheduled to make an attempt is in round 1 is #2-Keselowski.
For the 2nd round, the remaining 12 cars line up by speed, slowest to fastest.
For the qualifying order, see the Qualifying Order page (pdf).(10-14-2017)

Testing at Charlotte: Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray and Paul Menard will participate in a Goodyear tire test at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Tuesday & Wednesday, October 17-18. The test will be in preparation for next year’s Banks of America 500 which will be held on the track’s Roval course.[More](10-14-2017)

Parker Kligerman triumphs at Talladega, as Nemechek makes Round of 6: The massive wreck in Turn 1 that gobbled up a pack of trucks in overtime at Talladega Superspeedway spared a part-time driver with one win on his career resume and a lower-budget team fighting for the final spot in the Round of 6 of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Playoff. [More](10-14-2017)

Kligerman wins Talladega: #75-Parker Kligerman won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday after a wreck broke out on the last lap of overtime, ending the race under caution. The win in the fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola, was the second of his career. #4-Christopher Bell finished second. #51-Myatt Snider, #98-Grant Enfinger, #19-Austin Cindric, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #66-Vinnie Miller, #68-Clay Greenfield, #88-Matt Crafton, #02-Tyler Young closed out the top-10.
#29-Chase Briscoe was forced to the garage early for repairs to his truck for mechanical issues and #33-Kaz Grala was involved in a wreck, ending his day. Both drivers failed to advance to the Round of 6 in the Playoffs.
There were six caution flags for 27 laps and 17 lead changes among 11 leaders.
See results on the Talladega race results page(10-14-2017)

Talladega Truck Series Race Fast Facts:
Parker Kligerman won the 12th Annual fred’s 250, his second victory in 68 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2017.
This is his second victory and third top-10 finish in four races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Christopher Bell (second) posted his second top-10 finish in three races at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his 17th top-10 finish in 2017.
Myatt Snider (third) posted his first top-10 finish in one races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Grant Enfinger (fourth) was the highest finishing rookie.
Christopher Bell leads the point standings by 52 points over Johnny Sauter (P).
(NASCAR Statistics)(10-14-2017)

Camping World Truck standings following Talladega:
1) #4-Christopher Bell, 5 wins, 2195
2) #21-Johnny Sauter, 2 wins, 2143, -52
3) #88- Matt Crafton, 1 win, 2140, -55
4) #27-Ben Rhodes, 1 win, 2124, -71
5) #19-Austin Cindric, 1 win, 2121, -74
6) #8-John Hunter Nemechek, 2 wins, 2107, -88
These drivers will not advance to the Round of 6:
7) #29-Chase Briscoe, points, 2099, -96
8) #33-Kaz Grala, 1 win, 2082, -113

See complete standings on Driver points standings page and the owner’s standings are posted on the Owner points standings page. (10-14-2017)

Free Pass – Who got a lap back on each caution at Talladega: (and their finish)
Caution 1: #83-Boyd, 13th
Caution 2: #47-Fontaine, 26th
Caution 3: #83-Boyd, 13th
Caution 4: #45-Self, 18th
Caution 5: #52-Friesen, 17th
Caution 6: none
(10-14-2017)

Bell on Truck pole at Talladega: #4-Christopher Bell won the pole for Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed at 180.118mph. #21-Johnny Sauter will start alongside in row one. #52-Stewart Friesen, #24-Justin Haley, #29-Chase Briscoe, #19-Austin Cindric, #16-Ryan Truex, #18-Noah Gragson, #51-Myatt Snider, and #27-Ben Rhodes close out the top-10.
Remaining Round of 8 Playoff drivers #88-Matt Crafton, #33-Kaz Grala, and #8-John Hunter Nemechek qualified 11th, 12th, and 15th respectively. Grala’s team will change an engine before the start of the race.
Failed to qualify: none
The starting lineup is posted on the Talladega starting lineup page(10-14-2017)

Talladega Qualifying Fast Facts:
Christopher Bell (P) won the Keystone Light Pole Award for the 12th Annual fred’s 250 with a lap of 53.165 seconds, 180.118 mph.
This is his fourth pole in 49 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
This is his fourth pole and 17th top-10 start in 2017.
This is his first pole in three races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Johnny Sauter (P) (second) posted his 17th top-10 start of 2017 and his fifth in nine races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Stewart Friesen (third) posted his first top-10 start at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his second in 15 races this season.
Stewart Friesen (third) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
(NASCAR Statistics) (10-14-2017)

Donnie Allison to lead the field to green in Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s #2 Chevrolet Monte Carlo: Donnie Allison, two-time Talladega Superspeedway winner and original member of the famed Alabama Gang, will lead the field to green in Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s historic #2 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Sunday’s Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) playoff race. The blue and yellow, white numeral machine was driven by Dale Sr. during the 1979 and 1980 MENCS seasons and was presented to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. as a retirement gift from the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Talladega Superspeedway on Friday.[More](10-14-2017)


News from October 13, 2017


Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s #2 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Presented to Dale Earnhardt Jr. by Talladega: Before six-time Talladega Superspeedway winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes his final laps at the track he considers his “second home” in Sunday’s Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race, the track surprised him Friday afternoon by presenting him – on permanent loan – with the No. 2 Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by his father Dale Earnhardt Sr. to the 1980 NASCAR Championship title. The presentation was made by Grant Lynch, Charmain of Talladega Superspeedway, and Alabama Senator Gerald Dial, Chairman of the Board of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (IMHOF), located outside of the 2.66-mile track.[More](10-13-2017)

Friday Talladega Notebook: Matt Kenseth sidesteps questions about his racing future; Joey Logano trying for three-peat at Talladega; Christopher Bell to move up to NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2018; Short Strokes[More](10-13-2017)

Happy Hour (final) practice for the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
#5-Kahne 191.222
#88-Earnhardt, Jr. 191.069
#41-Busch 190.257
#6-Bayne 190.102
#24-Elliott 189.729
slowest: #10-Patrick 161.495 & #95-McDowell 160.370.
Just 2 drivers ran 10 consecutive laps: #88-Earnhardt, Jr 182.542 & #5-Kahne 182.357.
notes: Just 23 drivers practiced during the session. No accidents or incidents
See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Happy Hour Practice speeds page (pdf) (10-13-2017)

First practice for the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top-five and notes:
#2-Keselowski 197.859
#41-Busch 197.806
#21-Blaney 197.798
#17-Stenhouse, Jr. 197.761
#4-Harvick 197.696
slowest: #55-Kennington 183.649m #72-Whitt 119.910.
most laps run: #3-Austin Dillon, 32 laps.
notes: #48-Johnson cut a tire early and spun. He did not hit anything.
Top 10 lap average (of 24 drivers): #21-Blaney 196.829mph.
See fastest speeds, laps run on the Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf)(10-13-2017)

Talladega Weekend Preview: Stenhouse tries for Talladega sweep; Grala goes for another superspeedway win.[More](10-13-2017)

Charlotte TV ratings: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing from Charlotte earned a 1.8 overnight rating on NBC.(10-9-2017)
UPDATE: The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs from Charlotte earned a 1.8 rating and 2.9 million viewers on the NBC broadcast network last Sunday, down 42% in ratings and 44% in viewership from 2014 on ESPN, the last time the race was run on the day it was scheduled (3.1, 5.1M).[More](10-13-2017)

Christopher Bell to run full-time XFINITY for Gibbs in 2018: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today that Christopher Bell will compete in NASCAR XFINITY Series full time in 2018. The 22-year-old is currently running full time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) and remains in contention for this season’s championship. Joe Gibbs Racing will announce additional details for its 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series program, including sponsors, car number and crew chief assignments at a later date. [More](10-13-2017)

Fontaine paces final Talladega Truck practice: #47-Chris Fontaine was fastest during final practice for Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 187.897mph. #52-Stewart Friesen, #98-Grant Enfinger, #51-Myatt Snider, #18-Noah gragson, #4-Christopher Bell, #24-Justin Haley, #21-Johnny Sauter, #68-Clay Greenfield, and #75-Parker Kligerman in the top-10. 26 trucks practiced during the session. See complete results on the Practice 2 speeds (pdf)(10-14-2017)

Coughlin fastest in opening Talladega Truck practice: #13-Cody Coughlin was fastest during the opening practice for Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 191.719mph. #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #92-Regan Smith, #27-Ben Rhodes, #98-Grant Enfinger, #24-Justin Haley, #21-Johnny Sauter, #75-Parker Kligerman, #88-Matt Crafton, and #33-Kaz Grala were the top-10. 29 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Practice 1 speeds (pdf)(10-13-2017)

HRE and Ryan Truex add Bass Pro Shops as primary sponsor at Talladega: Hattori Racing Enterprises is pleased to welcome Bass Pro Shops to Ryan Truex’s No. 16 Toyota Tundra for the 19th race of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Bass Pro Shops, the leading outdoor destination retailer based in Springfield, Missouri, joins HRE as primary sponsor of Truex and the No. 16 team.[More](10-13-2017)

Henderson Motorsports to honor crew chief’s mother in law: Food Country USA/Henderson Motorsports Toyota will have a tribute to Crew Chief Chris Carriers mother in law , Peggy Miller on the Talladega Truck Saturday for the Fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola. When Peggy Miller was diagnosed with breast cancer 23 years ago there was no support group in Bristol for breast cancer patients. Peggy was told it would be impossible to start a support group and keep it going. Peggy did indeed start a support group and facilitated the meetings with her friend, Ann Corrin, for 15 years. [More](10-13-2017)

Brian Hansen driving pace car at Kansas: U.S. Olympian Brian Hansen will lead the field to green as the Honorary Pace Car Driver of the 2018 Toyota Camry pace car for the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series payoff race at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 22.[More](10-13-2017)


News from October 12, 2017


What to Watch For: Talladega: One More Time at Talladega for Dale Earnhardt Jr.; Prepare for a Wild One at Dega; Can Stenhouse Make it 3 Straight?; Truex’s Dominance Continues; Time for Chase Elliott to Win One?; Who’s Hot and Who’s Not.[More](10-12-2017)

Justin Marks driving the #7 at Talladega: Justin Marks will pilot the #7 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Golden Corral is the primary sponsor, along with Katerra, as an associate, for Sunday’s Alabama 500.[More](10-12-2017)

Mark Thompson in the #15 at Talladega: Premium Motorsports welcomes United States Army veteran, Mark Thompson to the team this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Thompson will drive the team’s #15 chartered car in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, ‘Alabama 500’ and he will do so with ‘Phoenix Air’, as his primary sponsor.[More](10-12-2017)

Liftmaster will not renew sponsorship with Hendrick: The company sponsored Kasey Kahne in three races this season.[More](10-12-2017)

A look at many new, notes and story lines for the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, see the stats on the NASCAR National Series News & Notes — Talladega

Amy Earnhardt to drive pace car at Martinsville: When Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes his final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Martinsville Speedway on October 29, a familiar face will lead him and the rest of the field to the green flag. Earnhardt’s wife, Amy, will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the First Data 500.[More](10-12-2017)

State Senator to serve as honorary starter at Talladega: State Senator Del Marsh (R) will serve as the Honorary Starter and wave the green flag to start competition for this Sunday’s Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) at Talladega Superspeedway.[More](10-12-2017)

First 19,000 fans at Kansas get Dale Earnhardt, Jr commemorative lapel pin: For many race fans, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is synonymous with racing and NASCAR, and on Oct. 22, Kansas Speedway will hand out a commemorative lapel pin to the first 19,000 fans through the gates to recognize Earnhardt Jr.’s accomplishments. The number represents the 19 years that Earnhardt Jr. has raced in the NASCAR Cup Series.[More](10-12-2017)


News from October 11, 2017


Gaulding returning to BK Racing: Gray Gaulding returns to BK Racing for multiple races beginning this weekend with the Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Gaulding will also race the #83 Toyota in the AAA Texas 500 on November 5 at Texas Motor Speedway.[More](10-11-2017)

Brennan Poole could be headed to the #27: According to sources close to the situation, the likely landing place for Poole is a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ride at Richard Childress Racing. With Paul Menard departing for the Wood Brothers next season, RCR has a vacancy.[More](10-11-2017)

Furniture Row will not run #77 full time in 2018:Furniture Row Racing confirmed Wednesday that it will not field the #77 Toyota next season due to a lack of sponsorship: “As Furniture Row Racing looks ahead to the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season, the Denver, Colo. based team is not planning to field the No. 77 Toyota as a second car entry. It is our organization’s goal to operate a two-car team in the future and we will continue to seek sponsorship funding for the No. 77. Our 100 percent focus for next season will be on the No 78 Toyota Camry, which will be driven by Martin Truex Jr.” [More](10-11-2017)

DJ Kennington to pull double duty in Dega with Premium Motorsports: Canada native DJ Kennington will travel way down south to Talladega, Alabama where he will pull double duty this weekend with Premium Motorsports. Kennington will pilot the #55 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, ‘Alabama 500’ with primary sponsor ‘Dirt and Rock’ and he will pilot the #15 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, ‘Fred’s Pharmacy 250’ with primary sponsor, ‘Losers Bar & Grill’ at Talladega Superspeedway.[More](10-11-2017)

David Ragan expects to return to Front Row: He says, “I don’t have everything in pen yet, but I expect to be back at Front Row Motorsports. Bob has been really good to me over my career. We don’t have everything finalized, but we’re working toward that.”[More](10-11-2017)

Charlotte post-race penalties: After Charlotte, the Cup team of #19-Suarez was fined $10,000 for a lug nut violation, and the XFINITY teams of Matt Tifft and Blake Koch received height violations. Respective crew chiefs Chris Rice were fined $10,000 and suspended from the next NASCAR XFINITY Series points race, as well as the loss of 10 driver points and 10 owner points.[More](10-11-2017)

EVERFI joins Beaver Motorsports as Talladega primary: Beaver Motorsports announced EVERFI as the primary sponsor for the No. 50 Chevrolet Silverado of Josh Reaume at the Famous Talladega Superspeedway for the Fred’s 250.[More](10-11-2017)

Ray Evernham, Ryan Newman join Green Flag Experience:Martinsville Speedway’s Green Flag Experience offers fans a chance to get to know some of NASCAR’s brightest stars, but a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and a veteran driver with a win at Martinsville will bring some wisdom to balance out the youth of the current driver corps. Ray Evernham and Ryan Newman will be the third and fourth members of the Green Flag Experience, joining current drivers Joey Logano and Chase Elliott for the emceed question and answer sessions prior to the First Data 500 on October 29.[More]10-11-2017)

Pre-Race dignitaries announce for Talladega race weekend: With the stars of NASCAR set to hit the track at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) and fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) playoff races, speedway officials have announced the lineup of pre-race dignitaries for the events. [More](10-11-2017)


News from October 10, 2017


Teams complete first day of organizational test at Martinsville: With 12 drivers on hand for a two-day NASCAR organizational test that began Tuesday, “rhythm” was the word of the day at Martinsville Speedway ahead of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ visit to the track for the First Data 500 later this month. The First Data 500 falls at a crucial point in the NASCAR Playoffs schedule. As the first race in the Round of 8 for the Cup Series drivers, Martinsville represents an opportunity to clinch a spot in the Championship Finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.[More](10-10-2017)

Cassill will not return to Front Row Motorsports in 2018: At just 28 years old, Landon Cassill has already made 253 starts in the NASCAR Cup Series. If it’s possible for a Millennial to be considered a veteran driver, that’s Cassill. But the journey will have to continue elsewhere next season. Cassill said he was informed Monday he will not return to Front Row Motorsports in 2018, and he will now begin the process of finding a new ride. Cassill said via phone call on Tuesday he was not told why he was out of a ride, other than the team was making “radical changes” for next season. In a statement to this website, the team said it was appreciative for his time there but offered no further details.[More](10-10-2017)

#48 Team / Driver News The Jimmie Johnson Foundation announced today that its annual Jimmie Johnson Foundation Golf Tournament and Dinner raised more than $753,000 to fund grants to K-12 public schools. The tournament, which in eleven years has raised more than $7 million, benefits the Champions Grant program. The grants range from $20,000-$75,000 and are distributed to K-12 public schools in Chandra and Jimmie Johnson’s hometowns in California and Oklahoma, and where they currently reside in North Carolina.

A look at some of the top statistical performers and top-10 driver ratings at Talladega, see the stats on the Statistical Advance – Analyzing Talladega page

NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony set for January 19: Tickets to the 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony are now on sale to the public. Red Byron, Ray Evernham, Ron Hornaday Jr., Ken Squier and Robert Yates will be honored during this year’s ceremony set for Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Induction ticket prices range from $45 for general seats to $350 for the Exclusive Driver Dinner Package.[More](10-10-2017)

Vinnie Miller to debut with Bolen at Talladega: Vinnie Miller will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut driving the No. 66 Bolen Motorsports Chevrolet in the Fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway. The Michigan native posted one top-five and six top-10 finishes in 12 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards events this season.[More](10-10-2017)

Auto Club Speedway tickets on sale: How can you make your friends ‘green’ with envy? How about by going to the NASCAR Auto Club 400 race on St. Patrick’s Day Weekend when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 race weekend returns to Auto Club Speedway – March 16-18, 2018. Tickets are on sale now and start as low as $42.00 which includes parking. Fans can also save 50% off a Pre-Race Pit Pass and $10.00 off of general admission tickets to the NASCAR XFINITY 300 race on March 17. Special offer valid Oct. 9-13, 2017.[More](10-10-2017)

Madison McWilliams to sing National Anthem for Texas XFINITY race: Madison McWilliams, a rapidly emerging teenage pop star from Austin, Texas, will sing the National Anthem prior to the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Texas Motor Speedway. The 16-year-old McWilliams has been a whirlwind of activity with the releases of singles, music videos and her debut EP; live performances at major events; and numerous interviews with various media outlets, including several high-profile teen outlets, that are following her meteoric rise in the music industry.[More](10-10-2017)

Mike Vogel named honorary starter at Kansas: Mike Vogel, who can currently be seen on NBC’s new drama series, “The Brave,” has been named the honorary starter for the Oct. 22 Hollywood Casino 400. In his role on “The Brave,” Vogel stars as Captain Adam Dalton, the leader of an elite group of military professionals carrying out dangerous missions to keep the world safe.[More](10-10-2017)

Sunday will be Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Day in Alabama: This Sunday – Dale Earnhardt Jr. Day – Earnhardt Jr., will make his final start at the track he calls a “second home.”[More](10-10-2017)


News from October 9, 2017


Keselowski to honor Earnhardt Jr at Talladega: He will drive a #2 Miller Lite Ford with a scheme that resembles his #88 US Navy he drove for Earnhardt in XFINITY Series.[More](10-9-2017)

Charlotte TV ratings: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing from Charlotte earned a 1.8 overnight rating on NBC.[More](10-9-2017)

Organizational test at Martinsville: NASCAR will hold an organizational test at Martinsville Speedway on Tuesday, October 10. Drivers scheduled to participate include: #21-Ryan Blaney, #18-kyle Busch, #3-Austin Dillon, #13-Ty Dillon, #24-Chase Elliott, #4-Kevin Harvick, #2-Brad Keselowski, #42-Kyle Larson, and #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. The session will run from 9:00am-5:00 and the grandstands will be open for fans.(10-9-2017)

NASCAR explains why Johnson wasn’t penalized at Charlotte: A NASCAR rule states that teams servicing a car outside its pit box are subject to a one-lap penalty. A NASCAR spokesman explained after Sunday’s race that officials view that as a safety issue and that Johnson endured a penalty with the slower stop to immediately fix the problem.[More](10-9-2017)

Entry List for the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is posted, 40 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed.
36 teams with Charters are guaranteed to make the field. The rest need to make the field via qualifying / qualifying races / rules book (owners attempts/points).
Some of the drivers entered include: #7-Yeley*, #15-Mark Thompson, #23-TBA, #33-JEarnhardt, #55-Kennington*, #75-Gaughan*, #83-LaJoie*
The #51 team is not currently entered.
Since 40 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race.
See the full entry list on the Entry List (pdf)

Earnhardt, Jr. to be inducted into Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame:Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Texas Motor Speedway will forever be synonymous as the NASCAR superstar captured milestone victories in two national series at the world-renowned motorsports facility. That connection from his first career wins in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and XFINITY Series coming at Texas Motor Speedway will be further strengthened by Monday’s announcement of his induction into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame during November’s AAA Texas 500 NASCAR tripleheader playoff weekend.[More](10-9-2017)

Sad News – Randy Howe : Randall “Randy” Lee Howe, 65, passed away doing what he loved, riding his motorcycle in Huntsville, AR, on Thursday, September 21, 2017. He loved his high-paced lifestyle of racing, sports, and motorcycles. Randy spent sixteen year as a spotter for NASCAR with NEMCO Motorsports. Randy lived life with gusto, enthusiasm and never knew a stranger.[More](10-9-2017)

Truck Series entry list: There are 32 trucks entered for Saturday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway. See the complete list on the Talladega entry list page (pdf). (10-9-2017)

Phoenix Raceway to host Tough Mudder Arizona: This March, Tough Mudder, Inc. will bring a different kind of race to Phoenix Raceway, dropping obstacles and mud where race cars normally reign supreme. The world’s leading obstacle course racing organization announced that they will bring Tough Mudder Arizona to Phoenix Raceway on March 24-25, 2018, featuring 10 of the toughest miles on the planet with more than 20 world-class obstacles spread across the all-terrain Raceway property to test both the physical and mental strength of competitors.[More](10-9-2017)


News from October 8, 2017


Commercial breakdown and links related to the 2017 Bank of America 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race.[More](10-8-2017)

Sunday Charlotte Notebook: Kyle Larson runs 10th at Charlotte, but could have been much better; Despite leading the most laps, Kevin Harvick finishes third; Pit road miscue costs Jimmie Johnson valuable points.[More](10-8-2017)

Kyle Busch’s rough day at Charlotte puts him in surprising points hole: Kyle Busch didn’t stagger, nor did he stumble as he emerged from the Charlotte Motor Speedway Infield Care Center on Sunday. Still he gingerly made his way toward a golf cart while he delicately slipped a pair of dark sunglasses across an ashen face. Busch spent nearly an hour in the clinic following the Bank of America 500, receiving fluids and other treatment for the effects of a muggy day that was masked by overcast skies. Medical personnel attended to him shortly after he exited his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry following a 29th-place finish.[More](10-8-2017)

Richard Petty Motorsports still wants to sign Wallace: “He’s exactly what we need, and frankly what the sports need right now.”[More](10-8-2017)

Perfect execution propels Martin Truex Jr. to Charlotte victory: The only thing typical about Martin Truex Jr.’s performance at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the win. The No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team screwed up in qualifying on Friday-a rare occurrence in a remarkable season for the series leader.[More](10-2-2017)

Martin Truex, Jr. won the Bank of America 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his 6th win of 2017, 2nd win at Charlotte and 13th career win. Truex took the lead in the pits, restarted as the leader with 51 laps to go and never looked back, despite NASCAR overtime after a late spin by #41-Busch.
Truex, Jr. is now locked into the NASCAR Playoffs Round of 8.
Chase Elliott finished 2nd (6th career 2nd place finish, no win yet) followed by #4-Harvick, pole sitter #11-Hamlin, #1-McMurray, #19-Suarez, #48-Johnson, #21-Blaney, #5-Kahne, and #10-Larson.
#18-Busch had the worst day of the playoff drivers. He hit the wall several times and finished 29th.
The start of the race was pushed up by more than an hour due to the threat of rain but weather did not materialize.
#78-Truex Jr. leads the driver points by 34 over #42-Larson.
#4-Harvick won stage 1 & 2 but finished 3rd.
There were 14 lead changes among 8 drivers and 10 cautions for 44 yellow flag laps.
The average speed of the race was: 139.128mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more at:
Unofficial Race Results (pdf)
Cumulative Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)

Race Fast Facts – Charlotte
Martin Truex Jr. (P) won the 58th Annual Bank of America 500, his 13th victory in 435 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series races.
This is his sixth victory and 21st top-10 finish in 2017.
This is his second victory and ninth top-10 finish in 25 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Chase Elliott (P) (second) posted his second top-10 finish in five races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his 17th top-10 finish in 2017.
Kevin Harvick (P) (third) posted his 16th top-10 finish in 34 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Daniel Suarez (sixth) was the highest finishing rookie.
Martin Truex Jr (P) leads the point standings by 34 points over Kyle Larson (P).
(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(10-8-2017)

2017 MENCS Playoff drivers’ finishing positions at Charlotte
[by standings before race (started)]
1) #78-Martin Truex Jr., WON (17)
2) #18-Kyle Busch, 29th (4)
3) #42-Kyle Larson, 10th (10)
4) #2-Brad Keselowski, 14th (6)
5) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 7th (25)
6) #4-Kevin Harvick, 3rd (3)
7) #11-Denny Hamlin, 4th (1)
8) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 12th (22)
9) #21-Ryan Blaney, 8th (15)
10) #24-Chase Elliott, 2nd (7)
11) #20-Matt Kenseth, 11th (2)
12) #1-Jamie McMurray, 5th (18)

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Standings:
[after Charlotte, race 30 of 36, 4 of 10 in Playoffs]
1) #78-Martin Truex Jr. (1 win) (A), 3106
2) #42-Kyle Larson, 3072 -34
3) #4-Kevin Harvick, 3069 -37
4) #24-Chase Elliott, 3059 -47
5) #11-Denny Hamlin, 3056 -50
6) #18-Kyle Busch, 3055 -51
7) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 3051 -55
8) #1-Jamie McMurray, 3044 -62
These drivers would not advance to Round 3
9) #20-Matt Kenseth, 3043 -63
10) #2-Brad Keselowski, 3042 -64
11) #21-Ryan Blaney, 3039 -67
12) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 3034 -72
(A) automatically advances to the next round of the playoffs with a win
See full standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)

Top-Ten Stage 2 Results (lap 180) of the Bank of America 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (lap 180/334):
#4-Harvick, 10pts, 1 playoff point
#24-Elliott, 9 pts
#20-Kenseth, 8 pts
#78-Truex, Jr., 7 pts
#41-Kurt Busch, 6 pts
#11-Hamlin, 5 pts
#42-Larson, 4 pts
#48-Johnson, 3 pts
#21-Blaney, 2 pts
#1-McMurray, 1 pt

Top-Ten Stage 1 Results (lap 90) of the Bank of America 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (lap 90/334):
#4-Harvick, 10pts, 1 playoff point
#24-Elliott, 9pts
#1-McMurray, 8pts
#42-Larson, 7pts
#18-Busch, 6 pts
#11-Hamlin, 5pts
#20-Kenseth, 4pts
#41-Busch, 3pts
#19-Suarez, 2 pts
#48-Johnson, 1pt

Charlotte Sunday Pre-Race Schedule (ET):
12:20pm: Driver Introductions
12:54pm: Presentation of Colors: UNCC Air Force ROTC Detachment Color Guard
12:54pm: Moment of Silence
12:54pm: Invocation by: Billy Mauldin, MRO
12:55pm: National Anthem by: Carly Pearce
12:57pm: Fly By: 1 C-130 from the 145th Airlift Wing Charlotte NC
1:02pm: “Drivers, Start Your Engines” by: Brad Paisley
1:10pm: Green Flag – Bank of America 500 (334 Laps /500 Miles)

Dover XFINITY ratings: NASCAR Xfinity Series racing from Dover (Del.) earned a 0.9 rating and 1.4 million viewers last Saturday, up 29% in ratings and 31% in viewership from 2015 (0.7, 1.1M). Last year’s race was postponed due to rain and had 387,000. It was the most-watched Xfinity Series race on cable since the Brickyard in July (1.7M).[More](10-8-2017)

Drivers will win Talladega’s iconic Vulcan and Hammer & Anvil trophies: Both introduced within the last 12 months, Talladega Superspeedway’s two iconic trophies – the Vulcan and the Hammer & Anvil – are quickly becoming the most sought-out works of art in motorsports. To the victors of the fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) and Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS), nothing would be finer than to add these unique, handcrafted pieces to their trophy case.[More](10-8-2017)

Charlotte Motor Speedway presents Tony Eury Sr. with Smokey Yunick Award: Charlotte Motor Speedway presented legendary crew chief Tony Eury Sr. with the speedway’s prestigious Smokey Yunick Award on Sunday prior to the Bank of America 500. Eury – a longtime crew chief of Dale Earnhardt Jr. – guided Earnhardt to two NASCAR XFINITY Series championships and 15 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories. Eury’s considerable history in the sport led to 25 XFINITY Series wins with drivers including Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who makes his final Charlotte start as a full-time driver on Sunday.[More](10-8-2017)


News from October 7, 2017


Saturday Charlotte Notebook: Dale Earnhardt Jr. regrets not pegging “fun meter” this year; Even ride-arounds can be perilous-just ask Erik Jones; Ricky Stenhouse Jr. sees a points path into Round of 8.[More](10-7-2017)

Final practice for the Bank of America 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway was canceled due to rain.(10-7-2017)

First Saturday practice for the Bank of America 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway was canceled due to rain. (10-7-2017)

Erik Jones hits crossover steps at Charlotte: Erik Jones was participating in a segment for NASCAR on NBC/NBCSN when he rounded Turn 4 doing about 155 mph at Charlotte Motor Speedway and clipped the crossover steps that someone had left along the front stretch wall.[More](10-7-2017)

Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Bank of America 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway have been made.
With the field downsized to 40 cars, three pit stalls (19,42,43) have been eliminated, are not in play and don’t count towards driving through more than three pit boxes.
Pole sitter #11-Hamlin chose pit stall 1, the first stall available [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole sitter #20-Kenseth took pit stall 41, the final pit stall in use.
#4-Harvick, who starts 3rd, took the 15th stall, with an opening in front of it.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(10-7-2017)

Alex Bowman stuns at Charlotte, as Ryan Reed stays alive in NASCAR XFINITY Playoff: Behind the wheel of a car on something other than a virtual race track for the first time in nearly a year, Alex Bowman warmed up for the #88 Hendrick Motorsports ride he’ll inherit next season with a victory in Saturday night’s XFINITY Series race.[More](10-7-2017)

Alex Bowman wins Charlotte XFINITY race: #42-Alex Bowman won the Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his first career win.#12-Sam Hornish, Jr. finished second, followed by #22-Ryan Blaney, #2-Austin Dillon, #48-Brennan Poole, #00-Cole Custer, #21-Daniel Hemric, #18-Daniel Suarez, #19-Matt Tifft, and #1-Elliott Sadler.
The start of the race was delayed by more than 5 hours because of rain.
There were 8 cautions for 43 laps and 10 lead changes among 8 leaders.
The average speed was 122.685mph.
Complete results are on the Charlotte race results page (pdf).
(10-7-2017)

Race stage winners: 
Stage 1 – lap 45 – Winner, #20-Erik Jones
Stage 2 – lap 90 – Winner, #18-Daniel Suarez
Stage 3 – lap 200 – Race winner, #42-Alex Bowman

Charlotte XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
Alex Bowman won the 36th Annual Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, his first victory in 51 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2017.
This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in four races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Sam Hornish Jr. (second) posted his third top-10 finish in eight races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2017.
Ryan Blaney (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in six races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Spencer Gallagher (34th) was the highest finishing rookie.
William Byron (P) leads the point standings by 3 points overDaniel Hemric # (P).
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(10-7-2017)

XFINITY Driver standings after Charlotte:
[end of the XFINITY Playoffs Round of 12]
1) #9-William Byron, 3026
2) #7-Justin Allgaier, 3023
3) #1-Elliott Sadler, 3020
4) #21-Daniel Hemric, 3009
5) #00-Cole Custer, 3007
6) #48-Brennan Poole, 3006
7) #16-Ryan Reed, 3005
8) #19-Matt Tifft, 3004
These drivers will NOT advance to the Round of 8:
9) #62-Brendan Gaughan
10) #5-Michael Annett
11) #11-Blake Koch
12) #51-Jeremy Clements
See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(10-7-2017)

XFINITY qualifying canceled at Charlotte: Due to rain at the track, NASCAR XFINITY Series qualifying for the Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway was canceled. The starting lineup was set by the rule book.
#18-Daniel Suarez will start from the pole, then #22-Ryan Blaney, #20-Erik Jones, #42-Alex Bowman, #7-Justin Allgaier, #9-William Byron, #1-Elliott Sadler, #21-Daniel Hemric, #48-Brennan Poole, and #3-Ty Dillon.
Did Not Qualify: #92 Dexter Bean.
The starting lineup is posted on the Charlotte starting lineup page (pdf).(10-7-2017)

Pre-race fan question & answer session at Talladega: The past, present and future stars of NASCAR will be out in full force for Talladega Superspeedway’s Pre-Race Fan Question & Answer Session, set for Sunday, Oct. 15, prior to the start of the Alabama 500. Joining already announced drivers Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott will be this year’s Daytona 500 Champ Kurt Busch, along with original Alabama Gang member Donnie Allison, Rookie of the Year candidate Ty Dillon and Len & Eddie Wood of the iconic Wood Brothers Racing team.[More](10-7-2017)


News from October 6, 2017


BK Racing cars do not get on track Friday: Only 38 cars took the track for NASCAR Cup Series first practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway – two short because the #83 and #23 of BK Racing didn’t get on the track. BK Racing later presented the two cars for qualifying inspection but, again, did not take to the track for qualifying. Per the NASCAR rulebook, a qualifying attempt consists of passing initial inspection, participating in practice and passing qualifying inspection. At some point, unless the series director rules otherwise, the cars would have to, at least, make a practice attempt.[More](10-6-2017)

Denny Hamlin leads JGR qualifying sweep of Charlotte Front Row:Toyota drivers swept the front row in Friday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series knockout qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but, for once, the occupants of the top two spots on the grid aren’t named Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. Denny Hamlin, Busch’s teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, posted the fastest lap in the final round to win the pole for Sunday’s Bank of America 500 (NBC at 2:00 PM ET), the first race in the Round of 12 in the series Playoff. Hamlin covered the 1.5-mile distance in 28.184 seconds (191.598 mph) to edge another teammate, Matt Kenseth (191.489 mph), for the top starting spot by .016 seconds.[More](10-6-2017)

Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light pole for the Bank of America 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway with speed of 191.598mph for his 1st pole of 2017, 2nd at Charlotte and 25th of his career. Hamlin has won 4 times from the 24 previous poles.
#20-Kenseth will start 2nd followed by #4-Harvick, #18-Busch, #14-Bowyer, #2-Keselowski, #24-Elliott, #41-Busch, #5-Kahne, #42-Larson, #31-Newman, and #10-Patrick.
#41-Harvick was fastest in the first round with a speed of 192.589mph and fastest in the second round at 191.945mph. He will start 3rd.
Driver(s) who will miss the race: none as 40 were entered for 40 spots
See round-by-round qualifying results on the Qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Starting Lineup page (pdf).(10-6-2017)

Charlotte Motor Speedway – Qualifying Fast Facts:
Denny Hamlin (P) won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 58th Annual Bank of America 500 with a lap of 28.184 seconds, 191.598 mph.
This is his 25th pole in 428 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series races.
This is his first pole and 19th top-10 start in 2017.
This is his second pole in 25 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Matt Kenseth (P) (second) posted his 19th top-10 start of 2017 and his 14th in 37 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Kevin Harvick (P) (third) posted his 12th top-10 start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his 21st in 30 races this season.
Daniel Suarez (14th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
(NASCAR Statistics)(10-6-2017)

2017 MENCS Playoff Drivers Starting Positions at Charlotte
[by current playoff standings]
1) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 17th
2) #18-Kyle Busch, 4th
3) #42-Kyle Larson, 10th
4) #2-Brad Keselowski, 6th
5) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 25th
6) #4-Kevin Harvick, 3rd
7) #11-Denny Hamlin, 1st
8) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 22nd
9) #21-Ryan Blaney, 15th
10) #24-Chase Elliott, 7th
11) #20-Matt Kenseth, 2nd
12) #1-Jamie McMurray, 18th

Friday Charlotte Notebook: A Meaningful Gift In Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Honor; The Best Medicine for Talladega? A Win At Charlotte; NASCAR and Weather Company Announce Partnership.[More](10-6-2017)

Second Round of Qualifying for the Bank of America 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, after 10 scheduled minutes.
#4-Harvick 191.945
#14-Bowyer 191.476
#11-Hamlin 191.455
#20-Kenseth 191.211
#41-Busch 191.008
the rest of the top 12: 42 5 24 18 2 10 31
out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 3 19 21 95 78 1 47 27 37 17 88 43
(10-6-2017)

Jennifer Anderson wins Better Half Dash at Charlotte: Jennifer Anderson sped to a hotly contested victory in Friday’s seventh annual Better Half Dash Bandolero race during Bojangles’ Pole Night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 25-lap Bandolero battle among the better halves of NASCAR personalities saw Anderson prevail thanks to an impressive late-race restart over Tammy Rice and Kate Tomaino. Anderson got by Rice and race leader Paige Keselowski on Lap 17 of the popular event, which raises money for Motor Racing Outreach and driver-chosen charities.[More](10-6-2017)

First Round of Qualifying for the Bank of America 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
#4-Harvick 192.589
#14-Bowyer 191.932
#31-Newman 191.584
#19-Suarez 191.421
#21-Blaney 191.381
the rest of the top 24: 95 1 24 41 37 11 20 5 18 2 88 42 47 10 43 27 3 78 17;
out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 48 6 13 22 32 34 38 72 51 15 55 66 33 77 83 23
Drivers who will miss the race: none, 40 entered
(10-6-2017)

Charlotte, Speedway Children’s Charities establish Dale Earnhardt Jr. Concussion Research Fund: In honor of local hero Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s considerable contributions to the NASCAR community throughout his iconic career, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Speedway Children’s Charities have established the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Concussion Research Fund at Carolinas Healthcare System’s Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. The $100,000 gift underwrites ImPACT baseline concussion testing for more than 10,000 student athletes at 62 middle schools, high schools and athletic associations across eight area counties as well as Johnson C. Smith University and Gardner-Webb University. [More](10-6-2017)

NASCAR Drive For Diversity Combine set for New Smyrna & Bethune-Cookman: A dozen drivers from across the United States and Mexico will converge on northeast Florida to vie for an opportunity to follow in the tracks of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Daniel Suarez and Kyle Larson. The 2017 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Honda Generators will be held at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona and New Smyrna Speedway on Oct. 16-18, and will serve as a key element in the selection process for setting the driver lineup for Rev Racing in 2018.[More](10-6-2017)

First practice for the Bank of America 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top-five and notes:
#42-Larson 192.082
#31-Newman 191.442
#4-Harvick 191.225
#11-Hamlin 191.137
#24-Elliott 191.090
slowest: #51-McLeod 178.784 & #55-Gaulding 178.418.
most laps run: #22-Logano, 22 laps.
No driver ran 10 consecutive laps during this practice.
Early in the session #88-Earnhardt, Jr. slid out of the groove and into the outside wall. He went to a backup car. #2-Keselowski got loose off turn 4 a bit later, but only made light contact with the outside wall. #18-Busch got into the turn 4 outside wall with less than 10 minutes remaining.
See fastest speeds, laps run on the Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf)(10-6-2017)

Qualifying Order for the Bank of America 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is posted.
The first driver to be lined up on pit road will be #47-Allmendinger.
The final driver lined up on pit road will be #14-Bowyer.
The order is set by a random draw, how cars park on pit road before they qualify, held about an hour before the first practice.
After the first round, the cars lined up by speed.
For the qualifying order, see the Qualifying Order page (pdf).(10-6-2017)

The Weather Company becomes official partner of NASCAR: NASCAR and The Weather Company, an IBM Business, announced a multi-year agreement that will optimize the weather-related decision process for NASCAR as it incorporates hyper-local weather data and forecasts into their races to improve race-day operations and fan engagement. As part of the agreement, The Weather Company, via The Weather Channel brand, becomes the Official Weather Partner of NASCAR.[More](10-6-2017)

NASCAR community rallies to support Las Vegas: Las Vegas native drivers will have t-shirts and stickers available for sale in support of victims and families.[More](10-6-2017)

Otsuka collaborates with Chip Ganassi Racing and Kyle Larson at Charlotte: Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (Otsuka) announced today a collaboration that will include the pharmaceutical company’s logo on both the #42 Chevrolet SS in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) and the #42 Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS). Driver Kyle Larson will meet with members of Otsuka’s leadership team and the advocacy group Mental Health America on Saturday October 7th for a roundtable discussion on stress, mental illness, and the importance of monitoring mental health. Parts of that discussion will be shared on CGR’s social media channels. [More](10-6-2017)

Dover TV ratings UPDATE: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing TV Ratings from Dover earned a 1.3 overnight rating.(10-3-2017)
UPDATE: The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs from Dover (Del.) earned a 1.3 rating and 2.0 million viewers on NBCSN, down 13% in ratings and 20% in viewership from last year (1.5, 2.6M) and down 32% and 37% respectively from 2015 (1.9, 3.2M).[More](10-6-2017)

Sam Hornish, Jr.paces final XFINITY practice: #12-Sam Hornish Jr. was quickest in final practice at Charlotte with a speed of 182.420mph.
#22-Ryan Blaney was second, followed by: #19-Matt Tifft, #18-Daniel Suarez, #20-Erik Jones, #9-William Byron, #42-Alex Bowman, #21-Daniel Hemric, #2-Austin Dillon, and #24-Corey LaJoie.
All 41 drivers practiced during the session.
See complete results on the Charlotte practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(10-6-2017)

Justin Allgaier fastest in first XFINITY practice: #7-Justin Allgaier was fastest during opening practice at Charlotte with a speed of 181.690mph.
The rest of the top 10: #42-Alex Bowman, #9-William Byron, #20-Erik Jones, #19-Matt Tifft, #12-Sam hornish, Jr., #21-Daniel Hemric, #18-Daniel Suarez, #00-Cole Custer and #3-Ty Dillon.
30 drivers practiced during the session.
See complete results on the Charlotte practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(10-6-2017)

Gaughan to honor Las Vegas victims at Charlotte Motor Speedway:Veteran NASCAR driver and Las Vegas-native Brendan Gaughan will carry a special paint scheme this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway honoring the victims of the recent tragedy at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip. The hood of the No. 62 South Point Chevrolet Camaro will feature the iconic “Las Vegas” script and #VegasStrong in gold and black block lettering.[More](10-6-2017)

Jeb Burton joins Young’s Motorsports for Martinsville: Officials from Young’s Motorsports announced that veteran racer Jeb Burton will drive the team’s second entry, the No. 20 Chevrolet Silverado in the upcoming Alpha Energy Solutions 200 presented by Texas Roadhouse at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Sat., Oct. 28. Burton’s partnership with Young’s Motorsports marks the return of the Halifax, Va. native to the Truck Series since competing at Texas Motor Speedway in Nov. 2015.[More](10-6-2017)

Gossage to receive Distinguished Alumni Award: Eddie Gossage returns to Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro, Tenn., this weekend as his alma mater honors him with the prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award. The award, given by the MTSU Alumni Association, is presented to an alumnus representing excellence and distinction through their professional career, loyal support and service to the broader community. Gossage will accept his award during MTSU’s homecoming festivities Friday beginning at 4 p.m. Gossage also will receive recognition at other various homecoming activities throughout the weekend.[More](10-6-2017)


News from October 5, 2017


Hendrick Motorsports unveils 2018 paint schemes: Thursday evening, Hendrick Motorsports ushered in a new era with the reveal of its four primary Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 paint schemes for the 2018 Daytona 500. The thrilling event, held in uptown Charlotte, not only featured all four of the organization’s 2018 drivers – Chase Elliott, William Byron, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman – but also saw Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon, 14-time most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and 1988 Cup champion Bill Elliott supporting them on stage.[More](10-5-2017)

Finalists announced for NASCAR Foundation’s 7th Annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award: The NASCAR Foundation announced on Thursday the four finalists for its seventh annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide, which honors NASCAR fans who are also accomplished volunteers working for children’s causes in their communities throughout the United States.[More](10-5-2017)

What to Watch For: Charlotte: Round of 12 Gets Underway at Charlotte; Truex Back at His Bread and Butter; Can Kyle Win a (Points) Race at Charlotte?; Time for Jimmie to Snap His Drought; Dale Junior’s Last Trip to Charlotte; Who’s Hot and Who’s Not.[More](10-5-2017)

Charlotte Weekend Preview: Larson focused as Round of 12 kicks off at Charlotte; Reed fights for final transfer spot; NASCAR pit crews compete in fitness challenge.[More](10-5-2017)

Roush Fenway Racing ‘Driven for a Cause’ platform to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Roush Fenway Racing will once again utilize its ‘Driven for a Cause’ Platform to support Breast Cancer Awareness month during October. The team will support the cause through a variety of ways, both on track and digitally. All Roush Fenway Racing Fords will sport ‘Driven for a Cause’ pink ribbon decals on the C-Post during each race for the entire month. In addition, Trevor Bayne’s #6 Ford Fusion will carry special pink paint schemes at both Martinsville on his #6 Ford EcoBoost Fusion and at Talladega on the Liberty National Ford.[More](10-5-2017)

Dynamic Towing joins Circle Sport – TMG: Circle Sport-TMG welcomes Dynamic Towing Equip & Manufacturing as an associate sponsor on board the #33 Hulu Chevrolet, driven by Jeffrey Earnhardt for the remainder of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Dynamic’s partnership begins this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.[More](10-5-2017)

Team Penske & Snap-On announce five-year extension Building on one of the longest and strongest partnerships in sports, Team Penske and Snap-on Incorporated today announced the renewal of their partnership with a new five-year agreement. The multi-year agreement extends Team Penske’s longest-running partnership, as the organization and Snap-on are celebrating their 36th season together in 2017. As part of the extension of the partnership, Snap-on will be a primary sponsor for one race on the #2 Team Penske Ford Fusion driven by Brad Keselowski in the MENCS next season at Talladega Superspeedway in April. The company will also serve as a primary sponsor for two NASCAR XFINITY Series races with the team in 2018.[More](10-5-2017)

Wireless Communications sponsoring Sorenson: Wireless Communications will join Premium Motorsports for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, ‘Bank of America 500’ as an associate sponsor. They will be prominently featured on the lower rear panels and deck-lid of Reed Sorenson’s #15 this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.[More](10-5-2017)

Matt Tifft joins Richard Childress Racing for 2018: RCR has signed current XFINITY Series driver Matt Tifft to its driver lineup for 2018 on a multi-year agreement. Tifft is in his rookie season for Joe Gibbs Racing and is currently a Playoff contender for the driver championship. Tifft will drive the #2 Chevrolet Camaro.[More](10-5-2017)

Crew chief moves at Richard Childress Racing: The suspension of crew chief Danny Stockman Jr., prompted change among the crew chief line up for Richard Childress Racing’s Xfinity Series teams staring this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Randall Burnett will oversee the #21 team starting this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.[More](10-5-2017)

Charlotte Motor Speedway reveals revolutionary synthetic turf, roval upgrades: Charlotte Motor Speedway has added another revolutionary “first” to its illustrious history. During this weekend’s Bank of America 500, fans will notice a new frontstretch chicane developed with the installation of a Sports Fields Inc. synthetic turf. The new chicane and turf are located at the exit of Turn 4 and are part of a new layout for the speedway’s 2018 Roval course. The innovative Roval will feature an 18-turn, 2.4-mile layout for the Bank of America 500 on Sept. 28-30, 2018 – the first road course race in the 14-year history of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.[More](10-5-2017)

Monster Energy Bellator MMA Fight Series to visit Talladega Superspeedway: The Monster Energy Bellator MMA Fight Series heads to the legendary Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. for its third event on Friday, Oct. 13. For the first time, fighters will step into the cage after the sun has set on Friday evening, kicking off an exciting weekend for fans that culminates with the fifth race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.[More](10-5-2017)

Pocono Raceway tickets on sale: Tickets to the 2018 NASCAR and INDYCAR events at Pocono Raceway are now on sale. Pocono Raceway tickets for children, ages 12 and under, will remain free for Friday and Saturday support races and half price for Sunday events in the 100 and 200 Level Grandstand next summer. Additionally, 2018 Sunday NASCAR and INDYCAR tickets will come with Pocono Raceway’s Worry-Free Weather Guarantee.[More](10-5-2017)

Brad Paisley named Bank of America 500 grand marshal: Award-winning country music singer, songwriter, guitarist and entertainer Brad Paisley will serve as Grand Marshal for Sunday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, joining a diverse list of dignitaries set to take the stage during the action-packed race weekend.[More](10-5-2017)

Charlotte to test enhanced Wi-Fi: Charlotte Motor Speedway and Panasonic have teamed up to test Everest™ Network Ultra-high density Wi-Fi access for race fans in select frontstretch seating areas during the Bank of America 500 race weekend.[More](10-5-2017)


News from October 4, 2017


Brian France talks to SiriusXM NASCAR: NASCAR Chairman Brian France called into SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “Tradin’ Paint” show Wednesday and discussed various topics.[More](10-4-2017)

A look at some of the top statistical performers and top-10 driver ratings at Charlotte, see the stats on the Statistical Advance – Analyzing Charlotte page

A look at many news, notes and story lines for the Bank of America 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, see the stats on the NASCAR National Series News & Notes — Charlotte

Pink pace car to lead the field at Talladega: Race fans will see a burst of pink pacing Talladega Superspeedway during the Oct. 15th Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) event, a critical race for drivers vying for a championship in NASCAR’s playoffs, which is also Chevy driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final ride around the famed 2.66-mile venue.[More](10-4-2017)

Sam Bass’ Bank of America 500 program artwork salutes Dale Jr.’s memorable career: Bass’ 85th program cover for the speedway features a through-the-years look at Earnhardt, a third-generation star and a native of nearby Kannapolis, North Carolina. As a salute to Earnhardt’s lifelong affiliation with the speedway, the Bank of America 500 cover provides a glimpse into Earnhardt’s childhood memories of watching his famous father race at Charlotte. Earnhardt’s history as a driver is also prominently featured – including a nod to his iconic victory in the 2000 Monster Energy All-Star Race, when Earnhardt became the first rookie to win NASCAR’s all-star event.[More](10-4-2017)


News from October 3, 2017


Dover & Las Vegas post-race penalties: After Dover, the Cup teams of #14-Bowyer and #77-Jones were fined $5000 for lug nut violations, and the XFINITY teams of Erik Jones and Brennan Poole received lug nut violations. In addition the XFINITY team of #21-Daniel Hemric was penalized for the loss of ballast from the car. His crew chief, car chief and engineer were suspended for 4 races. In the Truck Series, Matt Crafton was cited for a lug nut violation. [More](10-3-2017)

Dover TV ratings: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing TV Ratings from Dover earned a 1.3 overnight rating..[More](10-3-2017)

NASCAR releases 2018 Cup rules package: After several seasons of reducing downforce and limiting horsepower, NASCAR’s 2018 rules package won’t take quite as big of a bite out of the aerodynamic platform currently employed by teams competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. There are changes, but overall the 2018 package, delivered to teams Tuesday, is more about maintaining the positive momentum from years prior.[More](10-3-2017)

Hendrick Motorsports 2018 car reveal Thursday at NHOF On Oct. 5 in Charlotte, North Carolina, 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports will reveal the 2018 Daytona 500 primary paint schemes for all four of its Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 teams. It will mark the first time Hendrick Motorsports has unveiled all four of its Daytona 500 cars together and the first official appearance of the team’s 2018 driver lineup:
– Chase Elliott and the #9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
– William Byron and the #24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
– Jimmie Johnson and the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
– Alex Bowman and the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
The event is open to fans via the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Information on how fans can attend is available at the NHOF website. The event will also be streamed live on NASCAR.com and the Hendrick Motorsports Facebook page.(Hendrick Motorsports / NASCAR Hall of Fame)[Read More Here](10-3-2017)

Ten Can’t-Miss Attractions during Bank of America 500 WeekendThe ultimate mix of family-friendly entertainment and full-throttle excitement awaits race fans attending the Oct. 6-8 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. NASCAR’s homecoming showcase marks the return of “Daylight Racing Time” to Charlotte Motor Speedway, with the first daytime-scheduled Bank of America 500 since 2002 promising to deliver high-octane, go-for-broke racing among 12 drivers eligible to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship. As a lead-up to the limitless litany of events surrounding the Bank of America 500, see the list of 10 things no fan should miss HERE.
TICKETS: As a salute to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final Charlotte race as a full-time driver, adult tickets to the Bank of America 500 are available as a two-pack for $88 through Sunday and include a Dale Jr. bobblehead while supplies last. All adult tickets are good for admission to the Oct. 7 Brad Paisley concert presented by Wrangler and Nationwide at zMAX Dragway. For tickets, camping packages and upgrades, fans can call the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(Charlotte Motor Speedway)(10-3-2017)

MotoRad sponsoring Tifft at Charlotte: This week the #19 MotoRad Toyota Camry will be on display for the Drive For The Cure 300. As a sponsor of Tifft’s #19 Camry, this will be the first time that MotoRad is represented as the primary sponsor for the 2017 season. Tunity, Wastebits and Surface Sunscreen will be featured as associate sponsors at the 1.5-mile track.[More](10-3-2017)

Childress team gets hefty penalty, minor infractions for two others at Dover: The #21-Daniel Hemric team led by crew chief Danny Stockman were penalized for Ballast Containers. Stockman, the team’s car chief and engineer have been suspended from all NASCAR Series Championship Points Events through November 14, 2017. The #20 team and #48 team were penalized for lug nut issues. Both teams were fined $5,000.[More](10-3-2017)

Crafton crew penalized following Las Vegas: Crew chief Junior Joiner has been fined $2,500 following the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The #88 Toyota driven by Matt Crafton was found to have lug nut(s) not properly installed.[More](10-3-2017)

Gaines to serve as honorary pace car driver at Texas: Chip Gaines, who co-stars with his wife Joanna on HGTV’s hit television show Fixer Upper, has been named as the honorary pace car driver for the AAA Texas 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race Sunday, Nov. 5, at Texas Motor Speedway. Gaines will lead a pack of 40 drivers, including the Round of 8 championship contenders, to the green flag in the official 2017 Chevrolet SS pace car in his role as the honorary pace car driver for the AAA Texas 500. He also will be acknowledged at the driver/crew chief meeting in the NASCAR XFINITY Series garage prior to the race at 11 a.m. CT and on stage during pre-race festivities.[More](10-3-2017)

‘600 Ale’ Soars onto Store Shelves The first officially licensed beer in Charlotte Motor Speedway history is ready to zoom into homes and provide race fans with “A Taste of the Race.” Cans of “600 Ale” – an American Ale first produced by Cabarrus Brewing Company – will hit Charlotte-area store shelves beginning Friday (Spet 29, 2017) The beer will be available in four-packs of 16-ounce cans. A popular choice among fans in May, 600 Ale provides fans with the ultimate tailgating beer for the Oct. 6-8 Bank of America 500 – NASCAR’s homecoming showcase. The 600 Ale will also be available at concession stands throughout Bank of America 500 race weekend.(Charlotte Motor Speedway)(10-3-2017)


News from October 2, 2017


Commercial breakdown and links related to the 2017 Apache Warrior 400 presented by Lucas Oil For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 2:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 5:38PM (all times are EDT). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. NBCSN was the broadcast team for this event. Total number of commercials: 135. Total race brdcst time 182 Total comm. brdcst time 36.(see full breakdown at CawsnJaws.com)(10-2-2017)

Kyle Busch’s Comments after winning Dover #18-Kyle Busch won the Apache Warrior 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway for his 4th win of 2017, 3rd win at Dover and 42nd career win.
Q) Is this what you race for?
Kyle Busch: “Yeah, no doubt. Yeah, it is. It’s no doubt the moment that you live for. It’s the moment that all these guys live for and what we with do with this M&M’s Caramel team and this Toyota Camry was not the best there early on, but we made a lot of gains on it and got it where it was really good there at the end and I was making the most out of it there and being able to run the top and get some speed going with some momentum around the top side and I can’t say enough about Chase (Elliott). I mean, he’s an awesome competitor and great kid, great friend. I raced with him in late models and coming off of (Turn) 2 there, you know, he could have pulled up and checked up my momentum. I did kind of check up because I wasn’t quite sure, but then he gave me a enough room and I put it back down and just kept my momentum up there, got along side of him and get ready for the entry to (Turn) 3.”(Toyota Racing([Read More Here](10-2-2017)

Sorenson hopes to return to Premium Motorsports in 2018 Reed Sorenson continues to plug along as a full-time driver in NASCAR’s top series. Sorenson is in his second full-time year with Premium Motorsports. Altogether, the two-car organization has seen various drivers and sponsors in their lineup this season. Of the ten drivers to compete for the team this year, two have had finishes inside the top-20 (Michael Waltrip and Ross Chastain). Sorenson has competed in the most races for Premium this season. Faster cars over the last few weeks. and the addition of former Cup Series team owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. as a crew chief and competition director for the team. are what Sorenson credits to the team running more competitive. “The past few weeks have gone pretty well,” Sorenson said. Sorenson, who leads the team in all-time starts for the organization in the Cup Series, would like to continue to race for Premium in 2018.(The Racing Experts)[Read More Here](10-2-2017)

Dover NASCAR Recap and Stats From ESPN Research Kyle Busch: passed Chase Elliott with 2 laps remaining for win; latest final lead change in 96 career Dover races. Chase Elliott: finished 2nd for 5th time in Cup Series career (has never won race); father Bill Elliott had 8 2nd-place finishes before his 1st Cup Series win. Jimmie Johnson: finished 3rd; 1st top-5 finish in his last 16 races (15-race drought without a top 5 was the longest stretch of his career). Winners of Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, Coca-Cola 600 all eliminated from playoffs.(ESPN Research)[Read Full Notes Here](10-2-2017)

Sunday Dover Notebook – Ryan Newman falls just short in bid to advance in Playoff The post-mortem on the run that eliminated Ryan Newman from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff boils down to three simple words-not good enough. Newman left Dover International Speedway with a 13th-place finish in Sunday’s Apache Warrior 400, a result that left him two points short of advancing to the Playoff’s Round of 12. Thanks to a fortunate bit of race strategy that garnered seven points in the first stage of the race, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., not Newman, survives to fight another day. Newman also played a role in the outcome of the race. As eventual winner Kyle Busch was closing on then-leader Chase Elliott, Newman was running in front of Elliott, trying desperately to remain on the lead lap. Busch overtook Elliott with just over one lap left, and that led to a testy post-race exchange between Newman and Jeff Gordon, who preceded Elliott in the #24 Chevrolet and still has a piece of the action at Hendrick Motorsports.
KURT BUSCH’S HORRIBLE LUCK CONTINUES AT DOVER Kurt Busch entered the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff buoyed by three straight top-five finishes and looked to be a lock to advance to the Round of 12. Then his season fell apart. At Chicagoland, it was a loose wheel and a pit road speeding penalty. At New Hampshire, it was a race-ending wreck in a dense cloud of smoke, after Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick was turned in front of him. And on Sunday at Dover, it was an ill-handling car on long runs, an inopportune caution that trapped Busch two laps down and a subsequent commitment line violation.
TO NO ONE’S SURPRISE, JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUND SPEED AT DOVER Suffice it to say, Sunday’s run in the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway was a major source of encouragement for Jimmie Johnson, who found enough speed to post his fourth top-five finish of the season and advance comfortably into the Round of 12 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff.(NASCAR Wire Service)[See Full Notes Here](10-2-2017)

NASCAR community grieves, prays for those affected by Las Vegas shooting: The NASCAR community joined the country in waking up Monday to horrific images of panicked concertgoers ducking or running while a gunman fired hundreds of shots into the crowd in Las Vegas. The staggering toll of more than 50 people killed and more than 500 injured made it the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.(NBC Sports)[Read More Here](10-2-2017)

XFINITY Entry List: There are 40 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
See the complete list on the Charlotte entry list page.(10-2-2017)


News from October 1, 2017


Kyle Busch steals Playoff win at Dover from Chase Elliott Call him the Grinch. Halloween may be the next holiday on the calendar, but Kyle Busch stole Christmas morning from Chase Elliott late on Sunday afternoon at Dover International Speedway. Running Elliott down from more than four seconds back in the last 40 laps of the Apache Warrior 400 at the Monster Mile, Busch powered his #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota around the outside of Elliott’s No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and cleared him off Turn 4 as the cars approached the white flag. A lap later, Busch had his second straight victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff, leaving a disheartened Elliott still in search of his first victory in the series and agonizing over what he might have done differently. Though Elliott was inconsolable, there were plenty of positives in his performance. The Hendrick cars showed real speed for the first time since the Playoff began two weeks earlier at Chicagoland, and Elliott moved on comfortably to the Round of 12. Not as fortunate were Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch, who were eliminated from the Playoffs, as Ricky Stenhouse Jr., claimed the 12th and final spot in the next round by two points over Newman, thanks to a risky-but-serendipitous pit call by crew chief Brian Pattie.(NASCAR Wire Service)[Read More Here](10-1-2017)

#18-Kyle Busch won the Apache Warrior 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway for his 4th win of 2017, 3rd win at Dover and 42th career win.
#24-Elliott finished 2nd (5th career 2nd place finish, no win yet) followed by #48-Johnson, #78-Truex Jr., #42-Larson, #14-Bowyer, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #19-Suarez, #1-McMurray and #2-Keselowski.
Pole winner, #78-Truex Jr. led 51 laps and finished 4th.
#78-Truex Jr. leads the driver points after the round of 12 reset over #42-Larson by 18 points
Stage 1 was won by #2-Keselowski, finished 10th
Stage 2 was won by #42-Larson, finished 5th
Four drivers did not advance to the Round of 12 in the Playoffs:
#31-Newman, #3-Dillon, #41-Busch and #5-Kahne.
There were 15 lead changes among 5 drivers and 4 cautions for 24 yellow flag laps.
There was a 15:09 minute red flag to fix the sand barrels at entrance to pit road
The average speed of the race was: 129.171mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more at:
Unofficial Race Results (pdf)
Cumulative Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).

Race Fast Facts – Dover
Kyle Busch (P) won the 48th Annual Apache Warrior 400 presented by Lucas Oil, his 42nd victory in 455 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series races.
This is his fourth victory and 18th top-10 finish in 2017.
This is his third victory and 16th top-10 finish in 26 races at Dover International Speedway.
Chase Elliott (P) (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish in four races at Dover International Speedway. It is his 16th top-10 finish in 2017.
Jimmie Johnson (P) (third) posted his 23rd top-10 finish in 32 races at Dover International Speedway.
Daniel Suarez (eighth) was the highest finishing rookie.
(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(10-1-2017)

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff RESET Standings:
[after Dover, race 29 of 36, 3 of 10 in Playoffs, Next race (Charlotte) is 1st race to round of 12]
1) #78-Martin Truex Jr. (1 win), 3059 (A)
2) #18-Kyle Busch (2 wins), 3041 -18 (A)
3) #42-Kyle Larson, 3034 -25
4) #2-Brad Keselowski, 3020 -39
5) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 3017 -42
6) #4-Kevin Harvick, 3015 -44
7) #11-Denny Hamlin, 3013 -46
8) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 3010 – 49
9) #21-Ryan Blaney, 3008 -51
10) #24-Chase Elliott, 3006 -53
11) #20-Matt Kenseth, 3005 -54
12) #1-Jamie McMurray, 3003 -56

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Standings (before reset):
[after Dover, race 29 of 36, 3 of 10 in Playoffs, Round of 16 Standings]
1) #78-Martin Truex Jr. (1 win), 2199 (A)
2) #18-Kyle Busch (2 wins), -24 (A)
3) #42-Kyle Larson, -27
4) #2-Brad Keselowski, -53
5) #24-Chase Elliott, -82
6) #48-Jimmie Johnson, -83
7) #20-Matt Kenseth, -86
8) #11-Denny Hamlin, -103
9) #4-Kevin Harvick, -107
10) #21-Ryan Blaney, -115
11) #1-Jamie McMurray, -116
12) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., -130
These drivers will NOT advance to Round 2
13) #31-Ryan Newman, -132
14) #3-Austin Dillon, -134
15) #5-Kasey Kahne, -153
16) #41-Kurt Busch, -155
(A) automatically advances to the next round of the playoffs with a win
See full standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)

Top-Ten Stage 2 Results (lap 240) of the Apache Warrior 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway (lap 240/400):
#42-Larson, 10pts, 1 playoff point
#78-Truex Jr., 9pts
#24-Elliott, 8pts
#18-Busch, 7pts
#48-Johnson, 6pts
#11-Hamlin, 5pts
#88-Earnhardt Jr., 4pts
#2-Keselowski, 3pts
#1-McMurray, 2pts
#14-Bowyer. 1pt

Top-Ten Stage 1 Results (lap 120) of the Apache Warrior 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway (lap 120/400):
#2-Keselowski, 10pts, 1 playoff point
#18-Busch, 9pts
#78-Truex Jr., 8pts
#17-Stenhouse Jr., 7pts
#10-Patrick, 6 pts
#42-Larson, 5pts
#24-Elliott, 4pts
#4-Harvick, 3pts
#38-Ragan, 2 pts
#11-Hamlin, 1pt

Lucky Dogs, drivers that got a lap during the cautions (and their finish):
Caution 1: #78-Truex Jr., 4th
Caution 2: #22-Logano, 15th
Caution 3: #6-Bayne 24th
Caution 4: #38-Ragan, 21st
(10-1-2017)

Race Coverage of the Apache Warrior 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, October 1, 2017.
Television (TV): NBCSN at 1:30 pm/et; Race coverage on NBCSN at 2:00pm/et; green flag approx. 2:15pm/et
Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90

Dover Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pre-Race Schedule for Sunday, October 1 (eastern time)
12:00pm: Driver/Crew Chief Meeting
1:30pm: Driver Introductions
1:55:30pm: US Air Force Heritage Brass: God Bless America
2:00pm: Presentation of Colors: Dover Air Force Base Color Guard
2:00:20pm: Invocation: Dan Schafer
2:01pm: National Anthem: USO Show Troupe
2:07:30pm: Command to Start Engines: Wyclef Jean, Three-time Grammy-Award winning musician
2:15:00pm: scheduled green flag

Dover: What to Watch For Who’s Hot and Who’s Not – Dover (Playoff Driver Edition); First Playoff Eliminations This Week. After Sunday’s race at Dover, the Cup Series playoff field will have the bottom 4 drivers eliminated. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is currently ahead of Austin Dillon for the final spot based on a tiebreaker. Notably outside looking in is 2017 Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch. Any playoff driver will automatically advance with a win. Don’t be surprised to see a big name go home early, in each year of this playoff format, a notable driver has been eliminated in the 1st Round. Jamie McMurray, currently 11th, will try to overcome history, he’s been eliminated in the Round of 16 in each of the last 2 seasons. Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch have won the 1st 2 races of this year’s playoffs, locking in their spots in the Round of 12, and they’ve done it in dominant fashion. Last week at New Hampshire, the 2 combined to lead 299 of a possible 300 laps as Busch won, and Truex came back from being involved in a wreck to finish 5th.(ESPN Research & Stats)[See Full Set of Notes Here](10-1-2017)

Wallace trolls Dominos on Twitter for NASCAR sponsorship Darrell Wallace Jr., otherwise known as “Bubba”, is one of NASCAR’s most popular up-and-coming drivers. Earlier this season, Wallace became the first African-American driver to race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series since Bill Lester in 2006 when he filled in for Aric Almirola, who was sidelined due to injury. Wallace remains without a full-time Cup Series ride for next season mostly because of lack of sponsorship, however that hasn’t stopped him from trying. Throughout the last week, he has been making his presence and ability to drive fans to one company in particular: Dominos.(CBS Sports)[Read More Here](10-1-2017)

Dover Weekend Notebook: Seventeen days after announcing her departure from Stewart-Haas Racing at season’s end, Danica Patrick has no concrete plans for her future in racing. For the time being, she’s leaving those matters to her ‘people’. “Yeah, I’ve had some (discussions), but not a ton,” Patrick said on Friday at Dover. “As I’ve said for a good while now, I let business people in my business handle that and have those conversations and figure out what options are out there, and I’m going to let them do that.” Patrick says she isn’t likely to return to IndyCar but won’t rule it out completely.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was surprised he’s still in contention After a disaster at Chicagoland Speedway and a nondescript performance at New Hampshire, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. can take solace that he’s still in contention to advance beyond the Round of 16 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
Kyle Busch is enjoying a breakout year in qualifying Before this year, Kyle Busch had never won more than three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series poles in a single season. Then the floodgates opened in 2017. Busch has become the top qualifier in the series with eight Coors Light Pole Awards this season, but the success was hardly instantaneous. The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota didn’t win his first 2017 pole until the 13th race of the season, at Dover International Speedway. Including that event, Busch has topped qualifying for eight of the last 17 races.
MARTIN TRUEX JR. LIKES HIS VIEW FROM THE TOP What’s it like to come to the race track knowing you’ll have one of the fastest cars every single week-even at venues that historically haven’t been your best? Martin Truex Jr. now knows the answer to that question. The driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota has enjoyed a dream season in 2017, winning a series-best five times and pacing the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in laps led (1,835), stages won (19) and Playoff points accumulated (59). Truex got a taste of success last year when he won four races and led 1,809 laps, but the surfeit of strong finishes hasn’t dulled his appetite for more.(NASCAR Wire Service)[Read Full Notes](10-1-2017)

U.S. Paralympian Hannah McFadden to Pace Cup Race at DoverDover International Speedway officials have announced that U.S. Paralympics Track & Field athlete Hannah McFadden will serve as the honorary pace car driver of the Toyota Camry XSE pace car for the “Apache Warrior 400 presented by Lucas Oil” Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Dover on Sunday, Oct. 1. McFadden is a two-time U.S. Paralympian (2012, 2016) and four-time world championship bronze medalist and is training for the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. McFadden, who was adopted from Albania shortly after she was born, is native of nearby Clarksville, Maryland, located less than 100 miles from Dover. The Paralympian was born with a bone deformity in her left leg, where she had an above-the-knee amputation.(Dover International Speedway)[Read More Here](10-1-2017)