Joe Gibbs Racing continues to look for its first points win of the season. The Toyotas have been fast this weekend. Will that win come today? Or will Martin Truex Jr. win again? Of course, Jimmie Johnson, who has 10 wins at this track, can never be counted out.
Here are the particulars for today’s race:
(All times are Eastern)
START:Gordon Ramsay, celebrity chef, will give the command for drivers to start engines at 1:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 1:15 p.m.
DISTANCE:The race is scheduled for 400 laps (400 miles) around the 1-mile speedway.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 120. Stage 2 ends on Lap 240.
PRERACE SCHEDULE: The Cup garage opens at 7:30 a.m. The drivers meeting is at 11 a.m. Driver introductions are at 12:30 p.m.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: Cassidy Daniels will perform the Anthem at 1:01 p.m. A flyover will be performed by A-10 Warthogs from the 104th Fighter Squadron of the Maryland Air National Guard.
TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race at 1 p.m. Its coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. Motor Racing Network will broadcast the race on radio and at mrn.com. MRN’s coverage begins at 12 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.
FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts 80 degrees at race time with a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.
LAST YEAR:Matt Kenseth held off Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott to win this race a year ago. Larson finished second. Elliott was third. Martin Truex Jr. led 187 of 400 laps to win the October race. Kyle Busch was second. Elliott placed third.
If there’s anyone in the Xfinity Series William Byron should turn to for advice during his rookie season in the series, it’s Elliott Sadler.
A veteran of more than 800 NASCAR races across all three of its national series, Sadler has taken the lead in advising the 19-year-old driver this season. During his appearance on NASCAR America, Sadler praised the driver and the time he’s spent with him.
“That kid is special,” Sadler said. “I want to be that guy (that helps), because I had that guy. I had Jeff Green when I started, I had Dale Jarrett, people I could lean on all the time that could help the learning curve.”
Sadler leads the points standings with four races left in the regular season, but he is winless so far. Byron has earned three wins and is second in points behind Sadler.
“He’s a student of the game,” Sadler said. “I’ve been in meetings with young kids that come along, we’ve been in the meeting and kids are still playing on their phones. I’m in a meeting with William … and he’s still learning and taking notes. He’s got great questions. We’re usually sitting beside each other on the airplanes and we’re talking about things for that particular weekend. I can’t help him drive the car faster. But I can help him maybe with restarts and getting on pit road. Maybe things to think about on Friday to maybe make your car better for Saturday.”
Roush Fenway Racing and artist Sam Bass have worked together to create Ryan Reed‘s throwback paint scheme for the Sept. 2 Xfinity race at Darlington Raceway on NBCSN.
Reed’s No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford will resemble the No. 7 Zerex Ford driven by Alan Kulwicki in 1989.
Kulwicki was sponsored by Zerex from 1987-90, earning two of his five Cup wins in that time.
“My dad was huge fan of Alan and had a lot of respect for him, so it’s awesome to get to run this throwback scheme in Darlington,” Reed said in a press release. “My Dad ran his own race team and drove for himself throughout the 90s, just like Alan. Alan overcame a lot of challenges to become a champion and I can’t help but have a lot of respect for him.”
Bass, who lives with type 1 diabetes like Reed, worked with Kulwicki during his career and helped design Reed’s car. In a Facebook Live video, Bass said he took extra care to make the one in Reed’s No. 16 resemble Kulwicki’s No. 7.
Bass’ name will also be on the passenger-side nameplate on the roof of Reed’s car.
Reed’s car won’t be the only one at Darlington that will pay tribute to the 1992 Cup champion.