How would new Cup-Xfinity rules have affected teams in recent seasons?

Leave a comment

NASCAR announced a new rule Wednesday limiting participation in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series by Sprint Cup drivers.

Under the restrictions, full-time Cup drivers with at least five years of experience will be limited to 10 races annually in Xfinity and seven in the Camping World Truck Series. They also will be prevented from entering the final eight races of the season in both series, covering their championship playoffs.

The new rules would have affected three drivers this season — Kyle Busch (16 Xfinity starts for Joe Gibbs Racing), Brad Keselowski (13 Xfinity starts for Team Penske) and Joey Logano (13 Xfinity starts for Team Penske).

This is the first major rules change affecting the eligibility of Cup drivers in Xfinity since 2011 when drivers were prevented from earning points. Here is the breakdown of how often the top teams in the Xfinity Series with Sprint Cup affiliations fielded full-time Sprint Cup drivers (regardless of experience):

2016 XFINITY SERIES

Joe Gibbs Racing

Kyle Busch – 16 starts

Denny Hamlin — 2

Richard Childress Racing

Austin Dillon – 16

Michael McDowell – 1

Paul Menard — 8

Team Penske

Brad Keselowski – 13

Joey Logano — 13

JR Motorsports

Clint Bowyer – 1

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 2

Chase Elliott — 6

Kevin Harvick – 6

Kasey Kahne – 1

Chip Ganassi Racing

Kyle Larson — 14

Roush Fenway Racing

Trevor Bayne  — 1

2015 XFINITY SERIES

Joe Gibbs Racing

Kyle Busch – 15 starts

Denny Hamlin — 11

Matt Kenseth – 5

David Ragan — 1

Richard Childress Racing

Austin Dillon – 20

Paul Menard — 8

Team Penske

Brad Keselowski – 9

Joey Logano — 11

JR Motorsports

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 4

Kevin Harvick – 12

Kasey Kahne — 7

2014 XFINITY SERIES

Joe Gibbs Racing

Kyle Busch – 26 starts

Denny Hamlin — 1

Matt Kenseth – 19

Richard Childress Racing

Austin Dillon – 1

Paul Menard – 8

Team Penske

Brad Keselowski – 11

Joey Logano — 10

JR Motorsports

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 4

Kevin Harvick – 15

Kasey Kahne — 3

2013 XFINITY SERIES

Joe Gibbs Racing

Kyle Busch – 26 starts

Brian Vickers — 30

Denny Hamlin — 1

Matt Kenseth – 16

Michael McDowell – 2

Richard Childress Racing

Kevin Harvick – 11

Paul Menard – 4

Tony Stewart — 1

Team Penske

Brad Keselowski – 16

Joey Logano – 15

AJ Allmendinger — 2

JR Motorsports

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 4

Jimmie Johnson – 1

Kasey Kahne – 11

Jamie McMurray — 1

Roush Fenway Racing

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — 1

2012 XFINITY SERIES

Joe Gibbs Racing

Joey Logano — 22 starts

Denny Hamlin — 12

Brian Vickers – 1

Michael McDowell – 5

Mark Martin – 1

Clint Bowyer — 1

Richard Childress Racing

Kevin Harvick – 13

Paul Menard – 7

Tony Stewart — 1

Team Penske

Brad Keselowski – 21

JR Motorsports

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 4

Roush Fenway Racing

Carl Edwards — 1

2011 XFINITY SERIES

Joe Gibbs Racing

Kyle Busch – 20 starts

Joey Logano — 22

Denny Hamlin — 5

Michael McDowell – 5

Team Penske

Brad Keselowski – 29

JR Motorsports

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 3

Jimmie Johnson – 1

Kasey Kahne – 2

Jamie McMurray — 3

Roush Fenway Racing

Carl Edwards – 33

Matt Kenseth — 1

Breaking down drivers’ records in the Chase for the Sprint Cup

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Leave a comment

The field for the 13th Chase for the Sprint Cup will finally be decided this weekend after 25 races of buildup and 13 different winners.

There are three spaces left to be filled on the Chase grid, four if Chris Buescher finds a way to drop out of the top 30 in the points standings. Among the drivers hovering around the bubble area include Buescher, Chase Elliott, Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman.

Newman’s hill toward Chase eligibility became tougher to climb Wednesday after he was docked 15 driver points for failing post-race inspection at Darlington. Newman is now 22 points behind McMurray for the final Chase spot.

Here’s a look at the Chase records of the 12 drivers who have clinched a Chase spot and their postseason history, followed by a look back at the five times drivers raced their way into the Chase.

Driver Chase history

Brad Keselowski – Fifth Chase appearance; five wins in Chase; won 2012 championship.

Kyle Busch – Ninth Chase appearance; three wins in Chase races (one as Chase member); won championship in 2015

Kevin Harvick – 10th Chase appearance; nine wins in Chase races; won championship in 2014

Carl Edwards – 10th Chase appearance; eight wins in Chase races; best Chase finish of second in 2008 and 2011

Denny Hamlin – 10th Chase appearance; seven wins in Chase races; best Chase finish of second in 2010

Martin Truex Jr – fourth Chase Appearance; no Chase wins; best finish fourth in 2015

Matt Kenseth – 12th Chase appearance; seven wins in Chase races; best finish of second in 2006 and 2013

Jimmie Johnson – Only driver to make the Chase in all 13 seasons; 26 wins in Chase races; won championship six times (2006, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10 and ’13)

Joey Logano – Fourth Chase appearance; Five wins in Chase races; best Chase finish of fourth in 2014

Kurt Busch – 10th Chase appearance; three wins in Chase races (two since winning 2004 championship, first year of Chase)

Kyle Larson – First Chase appearance

Tony Stewart – Ninth Chase appearance; 11 wins in Chase races; won championship in 2005 and 2011 (one non-Chase championship)

Drivers who have raced their way into Chase at Richmond

2004: Jeremy Mayfield – Entered race 14th in points, won race and left 10th in points; replaced Kasey
Kahne who came in ninth.

2005: Ryan Newman – Entered race in 11th in points and left sixth, replacing McMurray who came in 10th.

2006: Kasey Kahne – Entered race 11th in points and left in eighth, replaced Tony Stewart who entered in eighth and left in 11th.

2009: Brian Vickers – Entered race 13th in points and left 12th, replacing Matt Kenseth who came in 12th

2012: Jeff Gordon – Entered race 13th in points, finished second and replaced Kyle Busch as the wild
card who finished 16th and missed the last wild card slot by three points.

 

Entry list for the 23rd annual Brickyard 400

Leave a comment

Forty cars are entered into the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which was won by Kyle Busch in 2015.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is on the entry list but his status for the race has not been determined after he missed Sunday’s race at New Hampshire for concussion-like symptoms.

If Earnhardt is not cleared to race, five-time Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon will come out of retirement to drive the No. 88 car this weekend.

 

Entry-page-001

Denny Hamlin tops ‘happy hour’ practice at Dover

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

The third and final Sprint Cup practice session at Dover International Speedway was led by Denny Hamlin, who topped out his No. 11 Toyota at 157.239 mph.

Hamlin, who was second fastest in Saturday’s first session, was the only driver to exceed 157 mph.

Hamlin was followed by pole-sitter Kevin Harvick (156.447), Kyle Busch (156.365), Kurt Busch (155.777) and Chase Elliott (155.696).

The top five best 10-lap averages belonged to Harvick (154.471), Martin Truex Jr. (154.318), Hamlin (154.024), Matt Kenseth (153.634) and Chase Elliott (153.462).

Speed Chart

final practice-page-001

final practice-page-002

After qualifying rained out, Kevin Harvick, Dale Jr. on front row at Dover

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
1 Comment

Rain forced the cancellation of qualifying for the Sprint Cup Series’ AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover International Speedway.

With the field set by the NASCAR rule book, Kevin Harvick was awarded the pole based on practice speed. It is Harvick’s 16th pole and his first since the spring race at Phoenix in 2015.

Starting second is Dale Earnhardt Jr., with his best starting position of the year. Outside of starting third at Daytona at Talladega, Earnhardt’s best previous starts at a non-restrictor plate track was 16th, three times (Richmond, Atlanta and Texas).

Filling out the top five for Sunday’s race are Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. This is Stenhouse’s third top-five start this season.

Starting Grid for AAA 400 Drive for Autism

Startin Order-page-001