Kyle Busch wins Kansas Lottery 300, few Xfinity Chase drivers left unscathed

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Kyle Busch led 150 of 200 laps Saturday in winning the Xfinity Series’ Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway.

Busch earned his 85th Xfinity win and ninth of the year.

Busch did it in a race where only three of the eight remaining Chase drivers finished on the lead lap. Busch had been a lap down and took a wavearound after a caution came out in the middle of green-flag stops.

“There was a lot of things trying to work against us there towards the end,” Busch said. “We just persevered and made it through everything.”

Busch has won the past three Xfinity race at Kansas Speedway.

All five Chase drivers who finished off the lead lap were involved in accidents with less than 35 laps left in the race.

Busch was followed by Elliott Sadler, Daniel Suarez, Joey Logano and Kyle Larson. The third Xfinity Chase driver on the lead lap was Blake Koch (ninth).

MORE: Race results

MORE: Point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Elliott Sadler finished second, earning his 15th straight top 10 … Daniel Suarez led six laps and finished third, his seventh top five in eight races … Regan Smith finished sixth for his first top 10 in three Xfinity starts this year … Matt DiBenedetto finished 11th. In 15 Xfinity starts this season, it’s only the second race he’s finished.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Cole Custer was involved in three cautions, including a five-car wreck on Lap 165 that collected Chase drivers Darrell Wallace Jr and Justin Allgaier. Custer finished 35th, Wallace 33rd and Allgaier 14th … Brendan Gaughan was another Chase causality, spinning out of Turn 4 with 23 laps left and slid through the grass, receiving significant damage. After being cleared in the medical center, Gaughan dashed back to his car, returning to the race with less than 10 laps left and finishing 31st … Erik Jones raced up front most of the day until contact with Kyle Larson on a restart with 24 to go sent him into Ty Dillon. Jones’ Toyota began smoking from damage, and he pitted before finishing 15th, one lap down.

NOTABLE: If Team Penske’s No. 22 car does not win the Nov. 5 race at Texas Motor Speedway, it will have been a full year since the team’s last victory.

NEXT:  O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 5 at 3:30 p.m. ET

NASCAR America: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. talks Phoenix finish, racing roots

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. joins NASCAR America to go over his fourth-place finish at Phoenix Raceway.

The Roush Fenway Racing driver also shares his racing origins in Mississippi and the hobbies he and girlfriend Danica Patrick share with each other.

Stenhouse is in his fifth full-time year competing in the NASCAR Cup Series with Roush Fenway Racing.

NASCAR America: 50 States in 50 Shows: Alaska

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NASCAR America continues its journey through the United States with the second chapter in “50 States in 50 Shows.”

Following South Alabama Speedway, the show features Capitol Speedway and Alaska Raceway Park in Alaska.

Owned by Nancy and Wes Wallace, Capitol Speedway is a 3/8th-mile oval and features sprint car racing and demolition derbies.

 

Kevin Harvick crew chief fined, suspended one race for encumbered finish

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Kevin Harvick‘s crew chief, Rodney Childers, has been suspended for one NASCAR Cup Series race and fined $25,000 for an unapproved track bar slider assembly last weekend at Phoenix Raceway.

The penalty, a L1 infraction, results in an encumbered finish. Harvick placed sixth in the Camping World 500.

The No. 4 team has also been docked 10 driver and owner points. Harvick was seventh in the standings after four races. He trailed leader Kyle Larson by 61 points. The loss of points drops Harvick one spot to eighth behind Jamie McMurray.

Harvick has not won a race yet, which would qualify him for the playoffs.

MORE: Brad Keselowski closes crew chief for three races, team docked 35 driver points

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NASCAR docks Brad Keselowski, Team Penske 35 points; suspends crew chief Paul Wolfe

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NASCAR docked Brad Keselowski 35 points, suspended crew chief Paul Wolfe three races and fined Wolfe $65,000 because Keselowski’s car failed inspection after finishing fifth in last weekend’s race at Phoenix Raceway.

NASCAR also docked the team 35 owner points for the L1 infraction. NASCAR stated that Keselowski’s result is an encumbered finish.

NASCAR cited Keselowski’s car for failing weights and measurements on the laser platform. NASCAR stated in Wednesday’s penalty report that the team failed the rear wheel steer on the Laser Inspection Station. 

MORE: NASCAR suspends crew chief Rodney Childers one race

Team Penske issued a statement Wednesday:

“We have acknowledged the penalties levied against the No. 2 team following last weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.  The race cars returned to the race shop today and we are in the process of evaluating the area in question. In the meantime, we have decided Brian Wilson will serve as Brad Keselowski’s crew chief at Auto Club Speedway while we evaluate our approach relative to today’s penalties.”

The penalty drops Keselowski from second in the standings to fourth heading into this weekend’s race at Auto Club Speedway.

The more significant issue is how this could impact Keselowski, who already has a win, in the playoffs.

The top 10 in points before the playoffs begin earn additional points. The points leader earns 15 playoff points. The driver second in the standings earns 10 playoff points, the driver third in the standings earns eight playoff points, the driver fourth in the standings earns seven playoff points. It goes down to the driver 10th in the standings earning one playoff point.

Those playoff points carry through the first three rounds, which is different from last year. Falling behind in the regular season – or losing points because of a penalty – could have ramifications in the playoffs. 

“I think it’s real important to explain why points matter this year,” Keselowski said on Fox Sports 1’s “Race Hub” on Wednesday night. “Last year, you got a win and you locked in and you got to the next round. This year with points, you still lock in with wins. The difference is there’s a huge points bonus for having the most points at the end of the season that carries all the way through the playoffs, and you only get that bonus if you’re one of the best cars and leading up front at the end of the regular season, which requires having a lot of points. Thirty-five points is a pretty big deal, and so is 10 points for Kevin (Harvick) and his team.”

 

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