New Hampshire Motor Speedway will host one Cup weekend next year for the first time since 1996 after its other date was sent to Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
So what happened?
Marcus Smith, chief executive officer and president of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns both tracks, said Wednesday it was the “right time” to move the New Hampshire September date to Las Vegas. He cited the city’s worldwide renown and how holding another NASCAR race there will be better for the sport.
“If you think about it, over the last almost 20 years, Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been very successful having one major NASCAR weekend,’’ Smith said. “We believe that it’s a net positive bringing the sport to the entertainment capital of the world in the fall and for a second time.’’
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority states that 96,000 out-of-town fans came to Las Vegas Motor Speedway last year. New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s seating capacity, according to the 2015 SMI annual report, is 89,000. With large swaths of empty seats at New Hampshire for recent races, the move was easy for SMI to make.
After this year, New Hampshire will have only its July race date.
“We’re going to really double down on the summer racing weekend in July this year to make it a phenomenal New England summer destination for NASCAR fans all over the country,’’ Smith said. “We think that race will actually draw more attention and more fans being a standalone.’’
What about that empty September weekend next year?
Smith is looking to have a “spectacular” weekend of modified racing.
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KANSAS CITY, Kansas – Six Cup teams, including playoff contenders Chase Elliott and Jamie McMurray, will each miss 15 minutes of today’s final practice session at Kansas Speedway because of inspection issues, NASCAR announced.
Three teams were penalized 15 minutes in Saturday morning’s first practice – Derrike Cope, Landon Cassill and AJ Allmendinger. Each were penalized for being late to qualifying inspection Friday.
Teams penalized 15 minutes in final Cup practice will be Elliott, McMurray, Cope, Trevor Bayne, Paul Menard and Aric Almirola.
Bayne, Elliott and Almirola were penalized for failing qualifying/race inspection twice at Talladega.
Cope, McMurray and Menard were penalized for failing qualfiying qualifying inspection twice at Kansas.
Final Cup practice is scheduled from 1:30 – 2:20 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
The Xfinity Series begins the second round of its playoffs with today’s Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway.
Here is all the info you need for the race.
(All times are Eastern)
START: Kansas Lt. Gov. Dr. Jeff Colyer will give the command to start engines at 2:56 p.m. Green flag is scheduled for 3:05 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 200 laps (300 miles) around the 1.5-mile oval.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 90.
PRERACE SCHEDULE: Qualifying is slated for 12:05 p.m. Driver introductions are at 2:25 p.m.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: Mary Ann Hotaling will perform the anthem at 2:51 p.m..
TV/RADIO: NBC will broadcast the race at 3 p.m. Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. on NBCSN with Countdown to Green. Motor Racing Network will broadcast the race on radio and at mrn.com, starting with its pre-race show at 2:30 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.
FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts a temperature of 76 degrees and a 15 percent chance of rain at race time.
LAST TIME: Kyle Busch dominated this race last fall, leading 150 of 200 laps. Elliott Sadler finished second. Daniel Suarez was third.
STARTING LINEUP: Qualifying is at 12:05 p.m.
Today’s racing action at Kansas Speedway includes two NASCAR Cup practices, as well as Xfinity qualifying and race.
Today’s Xfinity race will be the first in the Round of 8, which will determine the four finalists for next month’s championship race.
Here is today’s schedule:
(All times are Eastern)
8 a.m. — Xfinity garage opens
9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. — Cup garage open
11 – 11:55 p.m. — Second Cup practice (NBC Sports App, MRN)
12:05 p.m. – Xfinity qualifying (multi-vehicle, three rounds) (NBCSN)
1:15 p.m. – Xfinity driver/crew chief meeting
1:30 – 2:20 p.m. – Final Cup practice (NBCSN, MRN)
2:30 p.m. – Xfinity driver introductions
3 p.m. – Kansas 300 Xfinity race (200 laps, 300 miles) (NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
KANSAS CITY, Kansas – Playoff contender Ryan Blaney’s car failed inspection after qualifying third Friday night at Kansas Speedway, NASCAR announced.
NASCAR stated that the car’s package tray did not maintain its original shape. That is the metal that holds the rear window in place.
Blaney will start last in the 40-car field and have the last pick of pit stalls this weekend and next weekend at Martinsville Speedway. There will be no further penalties.
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said:
“The rules are pushed to the max in every area, and today the NASCAR officials found something they didn’t like about our car. We’re not disputing their decision. We’ll own it and move on.
“We’ll work on our car in Saturday’s practice, line up in the back on Sunday and look forward to watching Ryan drive his way to the front.”
Blaney enters Sunday’s elimination race two points ahead of Jimmie Johnson, who holds the eighth final transfer spot for the next round. Kyle Busch is nine points behind Blaney and Matt Kenseth is 10th.
Four of the 12 playoff contenders will be eliminated after Sunday’s race.
By starting at the rear, Blaney will be challenged to be in the top 10 by Lap 80 to score stage points. If he doesn’t, he could fall behind Johnson and Busch after the first stage.
Below is Section 184.108.40.206 of the Cup Rule Book, which features a diagram of the package tray
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