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NASCAR meets with Kyle Busch, Joey Logano at Phoenix

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NASCAR officials met with Kyle Busch and Joey Logano before Friday’s Cup practice session at Phoenix Raceway to discuss last weekend’s last-lap incident and post-race altercation at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The meeting lasted about 15 minutes.

Afterward, Busch answered every media question by saying: “Everything is great. Really looking forward to getting back into my car and being here in Phoenix” or some form of that statement.

Logano had more to say afterward.

“Just tried to explain that, hey, I made a mistake underneath him,” Logano said. “That’s basically what it was. He asked for some data, and I was able to show him that. That’s that and we’ll move on and we’ll start practicing in a little bit.”

Asked if he felt Busch had a better understanding of Logano’s side after seeing the data, Logano said: “I hope so. You never know, Hope so. Hope he was able to see that and I was sincere about that. Time will tell.”

Asked if he felt things were good with Busch, Logano said: “I guess time will tell. We’ll see. The only thing I could do in this case was plead my case and say that it was an honest mistake, it was hard racing at the end.”

Fox Sports 1 broadcast both driver sessions with the media after their meeting.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, told Fox Sports 1 after the meeting: “It’s always our job to bring them face-to-face vs. texting to hear where drivers really stand. The ultimate goal for us is to make them clear of our expectations moving forward.”

Asked what those expectations are, O’Donnell told FS1: “In terms of on-track, they’re very clear on something that is an intentional act, we’re going to react to, we don’t want to have to do that. Do we think they’re best friends? No, but, again, that’s not what this sport is built on. Those are two guys that we really need out there racing hard for position.”

NASCAR did not penalize either driver for their actions at Las Vegas but stated that they would speak to both drivers before either got back on track.

Logano and Busch were racing for fourth on the backstretch on the final lap last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Busch came down the track and hit Logano’s car to squeeze between Logano and Brad Keselowski‘s car. Busch’s action caused Logano to enter Turn 3 at a lower entry. That led to contact, which Logano broke down on Fox Sports 1’s “Race Hub” on Tuesday night

After the race, Busch walked up pit road and approached Logano. Busch immediately threw a punch but Logano said he wasn’t hit. Logano went after Busch, but was pulled away from the scene as crew members from both teams swarmed. A NASCAR security official pulled Busch, who had blood coming out of a cut on his forehead, out of the scrum.

Logano said on FS1’s “Race Hub” that he called Busch on Tuesday.

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NASCAR America: Chase Elliott ‘biggest surprise’ of Cup playoffs

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Only two drivers are safely in the third round of the NASCAR Cup playoffs. Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski secured spots through their wins at Charlotte and Talladega.

That leaves six spots to be decided Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

NASCAR America analysts Parker Kligerman and Kyle Petty broke down the drivers competing for spots. Both of them agreed that Chase Elliott, who has finished in second in three of the five playoff races, has a great chance to make it all the way to the championship race in Miami.

“If Talladega had played out, he was either going to be in victory lane or in the top two or three,” Petty said. “When you look at that, he has had the most solid playoffs of any driver out there. We keep talking about the big three: Larson, Busch and Truex. This guy is a sleeper. But he’s my No. 4.”

Said Kligerman: “He’s been the biggest surprise. That 24 team has been incredible through the playoffs. One thing I’ve noticed about that team, just speaking to (crew chief) Alan Gustafson, speaking to Chase, it’s almost as if they want that first win more than they care about the playoffs.”

Watch the above video for more on the playoff drivers.

Friday’s NASCAR Cup, Xfinity schedule at Kansas Speedway

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Things get started today for the pivotal weekend at Kansas Speedway.

The NASCAR Cup Series will have its elimination race in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400, where four of the 12 remaining playoff drivers will not advance to the Round of 8.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series begins its Round of 8 with Saturday’s Kansas 300.

But it all begins today, as Cup has its first practice (the other two are Saturday) and qualifying, while the Xfinity Series will have its two practice sessions.

Here’s how today’s schedule shapes up:

(All times are Eastern)

10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. — Cup garage open

12 – 8:30 p.m. — Xfinity garage open

1 – 2:25 p.m. — First Cup practice (NBCSN, Motor Racing Network)

2:30 – 3:25 p.m. First Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)

5 – 5:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

6:15 p.m. – Cup qualifying (multi-vehicle, 3 rounds) (NBCSN, MRN)

NASCAR: Will Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch advance in playoffs?

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The last two drivers to win NASCAR Cup titles are in precarious positions ahead of the Round of 12 elimination race at Kansas Speedway.

Kyle Busch, the 2015 champion, is outside the top eight in ninth. He sits seven points behind defending champion Jimmie Johnson.

NASCAR America analysts Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman debated who they think had the best chance to advance to the Third round after Sunday.

Petty put his money behind Busch, who has finished in the top five in each of his last five starts at the 1.5-mile track.

“He’s one of the big three: Truex, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson,” Petty said. “I don’t see where these (last) two races (Charlotte, Talladega) have changed anything. The one thing Kyle Busch brings into Kansas City … he brings speed. These guys have had speed all year-long.”

Johnson on the other hand has produced only four top fives all season and just one since he won at Dover in June.

But Kligerman explained why he thinks the seven-time champion will prevail on Sunday.

“Jimmie Johnson knows how to pass and that is what has become evident throughout this season,” Kligerman said. “No, they have not had the fastest cars at Hendrick Motorsports. No, they have not qualified well. They’ve actually been sort of abysmal at qualifying of late.

“… He has three wins this year. Two of those he started at the back.”

Watch the video for more.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN: Daniel Hemric, Daniel Suarez’ racing roots

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America begins at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and continues to preview the Round of 12 elimination race at Kansas Speedway.

Carolyn Manno hosts with Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman from Stamford, Connecticut.

On the show:

  • We’ll debate which past Cup Series champion will advance to the Round of 8. Defending champion Jimmie Johnson currently leads 2015 champ Kyle Busch by only seven points for the final transfer spot. Who has the edge going into Kansas this Sunday? This elimination race will be a heated competition just to finish above the cut line. Log on to NBCSports.com/NASCARVote and weigh in!
  • Xfinity Series playoff driver Daniel Hemric calls into the show to talk about his chances of advancing to the championship four in Miami. He’ll also describe his experience being one of the four drivers to participate in the recent tire test at the Charlotte Motor Speedway “Roval.”
  • We take a look at the Daniel Suarez’s Racing Roots and discuss his transition from Xfinity Series champion to Monster Energy Cup Series rookie.
  • Parker Kligerman hops into the iRacing simulator to preview Sunday’s elimination race at Kansas, as well as the Formula 1 race in Austin, Texas.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, you can also watch it via the online stream at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.