Jimmie Johnson wins at Charlotte; five Chase drivers finish 30th or worse


Jimmie Johnson won Sunday’s rescheduled Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, his third victory this season.

The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion captured his eighth career win at the 1.5-mile oval and his 78th career victory in NASCAR’s premier series.

Johnson will advance to the Round of 8 for the first time since the elimination-style format debuted in 2014.

But Johnson’s victory, which ended a career-long 24 race winless drought, was overshadowed by problems for Chase drivers Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin.

MORE: Click here for full results of Sunday’s Bank of America 500

MORE: Click here to see the Sprint Cup points after Charlotte 

Harvick and Logano both went out on Lap 152. Harvick had an apparent oil pressure problem, and Logano hit the wall twice after tire issues. Harvick’s day was done, placing 38th, but Logano returned and finished 36th.

Dillon’s trouble happened on a Lap 260 restart when he was tapped from behind by Martin Truex Jr., triggering a multicar crash that included six Chase drivers – half of the remaining playoff field: Dillon, Elliott, Truex, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards.

“It sucks,” Dillon said.“We’ll have to work hard the next two weeks to get the points back. I felt like I got into third gear pretty clean. The next thing, I felt contact, and I was spinning through the grass.”

Truex apologized for “pushing too hard” and wrecking Dillon.

HOW JIMMIE JOHNSON WON: The six-time champion had one of the strongest cars in the field. Johnson took the lead from Matt Kenseth on Lap 317 and held on for the final 18 laps to take his third win of the season. Johnson also led a race-high 155 laps.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD DAY: Matt Kenseth started last (40th) due to unapproved adjustments to his car, and finished second. If Kenseth had a better restart on Lap 317, he may have had a chance to hold off Johnson, but could not catch the eventual winner.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Several Chase drivers started out the Round of 12 with significant issues, most notably Kevin Harvick (38th), Joey Logano (36th), Chase Elliott (33rd), Austin Dillon (32nd) and Denny Hamlin (30th). … Alex Bowman had a tire issue on Lap 62 that led to a wreck and collected Casey Mears in the process. Bowman placed 39th.

NOTABLE: Five Chase drivers finished 30th or worse, the worst single-day showing of playoff contestants since Kansas in 2007. … Truex had a strong car and was near the front for much of the race before he suffered clutch issues on the final pit stop. Truex finished 13th.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We’re not out by any means. … Things happen. It’s part of racing, but we’re not out.” – Chase driver Joey Logano after tire issues led to a 36th-place finish in the first of three Round of 12 races in the Chase.

WHAT’S NEXT: Hollywood Casino 400, Sunday, Oct. 16 (2:15 p.m. ET) at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas.

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NBCSN to broadcast NASCAR announcement at 6 p.m. ET Monday

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NBCSN will air live a press conference held by NASCAR industry stakeholders to discuss the upcoming 2017 season at 6 p.m. ET Monday.

The announcement will be attended by NASCAR executives, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers, NASCAR team representatives and NASCAR track representatives.

The press conference is being held at the Charlotte Convention Center.

Kyle, Kurt Busch compete in first day of Race of Champions exhibition

DOVER, DE - MAY 30:  Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, left, talks with brother Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 30, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
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Kurt and Kyle Busch are in Miami this weekend to take part in the international auto racing competition, Race of Champions. The exhibition event is two days and pits drivers from every major auto racing league against each other.

The Busch brothers are the only NASCAR representatives in the competition. They are joined multiple Formula One drivers, Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya, Alexander Rossi, Ryan-Hunter Reay, James Hinchciffe and Tony Kanaan and action sports star Travis Pastrana. Prior to the start of the races, all of the drivers got psyched up together.

And right before the event began, Kurt Busch showed off his new No. 41 Monster Energy Ford by doing donuts in the middle of the race course.

But when it came time to race Kurt Busch’s had a tough day. He and former Formula One driver David Coulthard competed in the vehicles used in the NASCAR Euro Series and Coulthard crossed the finish line with a healthy lead over the Stewart-Haas Racing driver.

Kyle Busch was marginally better in his first race against F1 driver Jenson Button, who won but with the Joe Gibbs Racing driver right at Button’s rear wheel.

But Kyle Busch bounced back in his second race and defeated Hinchcliffe, which advanced him out of the first round. But he was eliminated from the competition when he was swept by Coulthard in the next round.

In Kurt Busch’s second race, he faced Hunter-Reay, who was one of his teammates when he competed in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. Busch won, but he wasn’t able to advance to the next round.

The competition was eventually won by Montoya, who is taking part in the Race of Champions for the first time.

Both Busch brothers will be back on Sunday to compete for the Nations Cup.

Kyle Busch entered into SRL Winter Showdown Super Late Model race

JOLIET, IL - SEPTEMBER 16:  Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive for Safety 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 16, 2016 in Joliet, Illinois. Busch is seen here wearing his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series fire suit.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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Kyle Busch is entered into the third annual SRL Winter Showdown, a Super Late Model race at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California.

Busch, who is competing in the Race of Champions this weekend in Miami, will drive the No. 51 Toyota Camry sponsored by JBL in the Feb. 11 race.

Busch and his competitors will be trying to claim the $30,000 prize for winning the race. Kyle Busch Motorsports had a presence in last year’s Showdown when Todd Gilliland competed for the team.

“They have a pretty strong field lined up again this year with Bubba Pollard coming back and trying to make it three-in-a-row. And then you add in some of the West Coast guys like Derek Thorn, David Mayhew and Noah Gragson, who will be running one of my trucks full-time this season, and it has a lot of great drivers,” Busch told Speed51.com. “One of the things that is going to be really cool is that this will be the first time that Erik Jones and I get to race against each other in the supers since he beat me in the Snowball Derby back in 2013.”

Busch is quite successful in his Super Late Model career, having won the Snowball Derby, CRA SpeedFest, the Oxford 250, the Winchester 400 and the Battle at Berlin in recent years.

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Social Roundup: 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 20:  NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees (L-R)Richard Childress, Mark Martin, and Rick Hendrick pose for a portrait prior to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Induction Ceremony at NASCAR Hall of Fame on January 20, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
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Last night, the NASCAR Hall of Fame inducted its eighth class, including Rick Hendrick, Richard Childress, Mark Martin, Benny Parsons and Raymond Parks.

The night was filled with current and future Hall of Famers celebrating the history of the sport and the lives of the five inductees.

MORE: Benny Parsons’ Hall of Fame induction an emotional celebration

MORE: Mark Martin went from a “broken man” to a Hall of Famer

Here’s a look at how the night played out on social media with observations on the inductees from current NASCAR drivers and one message from future NFL Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.

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