Kyle Busch tops first of today’s two Daytona 500 practice sessions


Kyle Busch knocked Daytona 500 front-row starter Jimmie Johnson from the top spot late in today’s first 500 practice session with a lap of 200.776 mph in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Johnson, a two-time 500 winner, was fastest for much of the 45-minute run before his best lap of 200.530 mph was eclipsed by Busch.

2011 500 champ and Roush Fenway Racing Cup newcomer Trevor Bayne was third-fastest at 200.053 mph. Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Kasey Kahne, was fourth on the time sheets at 199.858 mph, and the top-five was completed by 2008 500 winner Ryan Newman, who posted a top lap of 199.645 mph.

The early moments of the session saw Danica Patrick, Jeb Burton, Denny Hamlin, Casey Mears, and Michael Annett involved in an accident that forced Patrick, Annett, and rookie Burton to backup machines.

JGR reported that their driver, Hamlin, took cosmetic damage to the left side and right front fender of his No. 11 Toyota but would not need to go to a backup himself.

A second practice session will take place today at 3:15 p.m. ET.

Daytona 500 Practice 3
Daytona International Speedway
1. Kyle Busch, 200.776 mph … 24 laps run
2. Jimmie Johnson, 200.530 … 21 laps run
3. Trevor Bayne, 200.053 … 17 laps run
4. Kasey Kahne, 199.858 … 16 laps run
5. Ryan Newman, 199.645 … 23 laps run
6. Brian Scott, 199.552 … 17 laps run
7. Jeff Gordon, 199.437 … 20 laps run
8. Casey Mears, 199.313 … 13 laps run
9. Michael Waltrip, 199.164 … 12 laps run
10. David Gilliland, 199.150 … 12 laps run
11. David Ragan, 199.146 … 12 laps run
12. Justin Marks, 198.921 … 17 laps run
13. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 198.869 … 19 laps run
14. Tony Stewart, 198.702 … 26 laps run
15. Carl Edwards, 198.684 … 13 laps run
16. Paul Menard, 198.264 … 14 laps run
17. Justin Allgaier, 198.129 … 9 laps run
18. Josh Wise, 197.972 … 12 laps run
19. Denny Hamlin, 197.928 … 16 laps run
20. Ty Dillon, 197.694 … 16 laps run
21. Austin Dillon, 197.663 … 13 laps run
22. Landon Cassill, 196.850 … 9 laps run
23. Kevin Harvick, 196.640 … 10 laps run
24. Brad Keselowski, 196.447 … 6 laps run
25. Michael McDowell, 195.537 … 8 laps run
26. Sam Hornish Jr., 195.499 … 11 laps run
27. Ryan Blaney, 195.427 … 8 laps run
28. Greg Biffle, 194.961 .. 10 laps run
29. Jeb Burton, 194.767 … 1 lap run
30. Michael Annett, 194.738 … 1 lap run
31. Matt Kenseth, 194.489 … 16 laps run
32. Kyle Larson, 194.275 … 1 lap run
33. Kurt Busch, 193.970 … 15 laps run
34. Joey Logano, 193.332 … 14 laps run
35. Clint Bowyer, 193.199 … 5 laps run
36. Jamie McMurray, 192.674 … 9 laps run
37. A.J. Allmendinger, 192.489 … 11 laps run
38. Alex Bowman, 192.489 … 2 laps run
39. Aric Almirola, 192.102 … 8 laps run
40. Danica Patrick, 192.090 … 1 lap run
41. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 191.636 … 11 laps run
42. Cole Whitt, 191.355 … 7 laps run
43. Ron Hornaday Jr., 188.913 … 5 laps run
44. Bobby Labonte, 0.000 … 0 laps run

Best 10-Consecutive Lap Average
1. Kyle Busch, 197.905 mph … Laps 15-24
2. Kasey Kahne, 197.672 … Laps 2-11
3. Jeff Gordon, 197.591 … Laps 2-11
4. Carl Edwards, 197.521 … Laps 4-13
5. Tony Stewart, 197.509 … Laps 4-13
6. Jimmie Johnson, 197.420 … Laps 12-21
7. Michael Waltrip, 197.373 … Laps 3-12
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 197.338 … Laps 1-10
9. Brian Scott, 197.274 … Laps 3-12
10. Trevor Bayne, 197.158 … Laps 4-13
11. Justin Marks, 197.136 … Laps 7-16
12. Denny Hamlin, 197.086 … Laps 7-16
13. Ryan Newman, 196.743 … Laps 13-22
14. Austin Dillon, 196.510 … Laps 2-11
15. Ty Dillon, 196.487 … Laps 1-10
16. Paul Menard, 196.263 … Laps 4-13
17. Casey Mears, 196.166 … Laps 3-12

NASCAR displays counterfeit part from Chase Briscoe car


NASCAR displayed the counterfeit part from Chase Briscoe‘s car on Saturday at Sonoma Raceway, showing how the part did not correspond to what should have been in the car.

NASCAR found the issue at its R&D Center after last month’s Coca-Cola 600. The sanctioning body fined crew chief John Klausmeier $250,000 and suspended him for six races. NASCAR also docked Briscoe and the team 120 points and 25 playoff points for the L3 infraction.

“We want to be transparent on the penalties,” said Brad Moran, managing director of the Cup Series as he displayed the counterfeit part to media.

Moran displayed a a portion of the engine panel from Briscoe’s car. He noted the engine duct was counterfeit. He said the proper pieces are 3D printed at the R&D Center and Fiberworks Composites sells them and installs them for teams. Moran said the duct is “in the bottom of the car under the engine panel. It’s to help cool the driver. It was added prior to the first race. During testing … we realized we wanted to get heat out of the engine compartment, and that’s what this piece does.”

Moran noted that with the counterfeit part, “we can clearly see the textures are different (from the proper part).”

He displayed what officials call a gauge that determines if the duct fits the proper parameters. He showed it fitting a proper duct and not properly fitting in the counterfeit part.

“It was a part that was made, and it was made for whatever reason,” Moran said. “It was, I guess, put on by error, but it was on the vehicle. It is a piece that should not have been made in the first place, and it was spotted at our teardown at the R&D Center.”

Moran said the issue was found in a visual inspection of the part. NASCAR inspected it further and Moran said “there are certain little characteristics that are in (a proper piece)” that officials did not see in the one on Briscoe’s car. “The more we examined it, the more we realized that’s not a part they bought.”

Moran noted that while the penalties were severe, they could have been worse based on the rulebook.

“It was the low end of the L3,” Moran said. “It’s a real big hit for any team. If it continues, and we feel we are not where we need to be, unfortunately, it’s going to ramp up. We’re not going to stop.

“The deal with this car is it needs to be run without modifying. It costs teams a lot of money in development. All the owners agreed. We all agreed where we need to be to make this a successful program, and we’re not going to give up.”



Sunday Cup race at Sonoma Raceway: Start time, TV info, weather


The Cup Series heads to wine country to compete on the 1.99-mile road course at Sonoma Raceway. This race leads into the final off weekend of the season. After the break, the series races 20 consecutive weekends. NBC and USA will broadcast those races.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway

(All times Eastern)

START: Adam Devine will give the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:50 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting is at 2:45 p.m. … Driver intros are at 3 p.m. … Earl Smith, pastor for the Golden State Warriors and San Francisco 49ers, will give the invocation at 3:30 p.m. … Tiffany Woys will perform the national anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 110 laps (218.9 miles) on the 1.99-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 25. Stage 2 ends at Lap 55.

STARTING LINEUP: Qualifying begins at 6 p.m. Saturday

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. … Coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and switches to Fox at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground — Partly cloudy with a high of 69 degrees and a 1% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Daniel Suarez won his first career Cup race last year at Sonoma. Chris Buescher finished second. Michael McDowell placed third.


Friday 5: Kyle Busch, Randall Burnett forming potent combination

Rick Hendrick hopes rough driving settles down after Chase Elliott suspension

Concussion-like symptoms sideline Noah Gragson

NASCAR implements safety changes after Talladega crash

Dr. Diandra: Brad Keselowski driving RFK Racing revival 

NASCAR penalizes Erik Jones, Legacy MC for L1 violation

Drivers to watch at Sonoma Raceway 

NASCAR Power Rankings: William Byron, Kyle Busch rank 1-2

NASCAR Saturday schedule at Sonoma Raceway


Cup and Xfinity teams will be on track Saturday at Sonoma Raceway.

Cup teams will practice and qualify for Sunday’s race. Xfinity teams will qualify and race Saturday on the 1.99-mile road course in Northern California.

Sonoma Raceway


Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a high of 75 degrees. Forecast is for mostly cloudy skies, a high of 71 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the Xfinity race.

Saturday, June 10

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.  — Cup Series
  • 1 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 3 – 4 p.m. — Xfinity qualifying (FS1)
  • 5 – 6 p.m. — Cup practice  (FS2)
  • 6 – 7 p.m. — Cup qualifying  (FS2)
  • 8 p.m. — Xfinity race (79 laps, 156.95 miles; FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Alpha Prime Racing’s road woes don’t keep team from competing


SONOMA, Calif. — Alpha Prime Racing owner Tommy Joe Martins laughs. He can. His Xfinity Series cars all are here at Sonoma Raceway.

At one point last week, it was not certain if his team’s cars would make it to Portland International Raceway.

“It was probably the toughest professional week I’ve had of my NASCAR career,” Martins told NBC Sports on Friday at Sonoma.

MORE: Kyle Larson leads Xfinity practice at Sonoma

The Alpha Prime Racing team had both its trucks break down and one of its haulers have mechanical issues last week on the way to the Pacific Northwest.

“We basically sent four pieces of equipment on the road and three of them broke,” Martins said.

For a time, the car Sage Karam is driving this weekend at Sonoma was left in a hauler in Kansas City because there wasn’t room in the dually Martins sent. It had room only for the car that was needed at Portland and other equipment. Karam’s car, which was to be a backup at Portland, was left behind.

“It’s a very helpless feeling when you feel like your stuff is stuck on the side of the road,” Martins said.

He still has one truck still in St. Louis and another in Oregon. Martins estimates the mechanical issues will cost his team about $50,000 when everything is totaled.

Trouble started well before the team left its Mooresville, North Carolina, race shop for Portland.

The Xfinity Series race at Charlotte was scheduled to run May 27. Rain forced that event to be rescheduled to May 29. Martins said the team had planned to send its trucks to Portland on May 28. With the race pushed back to the 29th, the travel schedule tightened.

It got worse.

After the Xfinity race started, rain came. With the Coca-Cola 600 scheduled for 3 p.m. ET that day – after being delayed by rain from Sunday – the rest of the Xfinity race was pushed back until after the 600. That further tightened the window on Xfinity teams to make it to Portland.

The Xfinity race ended around 11:30 p.m. ET on May 29. Alpha Prime Racing’s haulers left the shop around 6 a.m. ET on May 30.

The two trucks traveled together until issues in St. Louis.

The truck hauling the Nos. 44 and 45 cars had engine issues in St. Louis. The other truck kept going until it had mechanical issues with its hauler in Kansas City. The air bags on the hauler failed.

So, Alpha Prime Racing had a truck that worked in Kansas City with a hauler that didn’t and a truck that didn’t work in St. Louis with a hauler that did.

The truck in Kansas City went back to St. Louis to attach to the hauler and take those cars and equipment to Portland. Martins then had to find something to haul the stranded equipment in Kansas City and a driver. He eventually did. A dually left North Carolina for Kansas City. Once there, what fit in the dually was taken to Portland and what didn’t, including Karam’s Sonoma car stayed behind.

Yet, more trouble was headed for Martins and his team.

The truck that had gone back from Kansas City to St. Louis to take hauler that worked then broke down about 200 miles from Portland.

“I laugh knowing that we’re on the other side of it,” Martins said Friday of all the issues his team had transporting cars and equipment across the country.

“We’ve started to make plans and corrections for it not happening again,” he said.

That hauler that was left in Kansas City? It was repaired and transported to Sonoma, arriving earlier this week.

“Our guys are troopers,” Martins said. “Both of our (truck) drivers were just awesome about the whole thing. … They went through hell week as far as driving somewhere, fly back and pick something up, drive again and now are going to have to do the same thing getting back.”

When the garage opened Friday at Sonoma, Alpha Prime Racing had all its cars.

“I don’t think we had any major issues here, so that was good,” Martins said.

The focus is back on the track. Karam was 24th on the speed chart in Friday’s practice, leading Alpha Prime Racing’s effort. Dylan Lupton was 32nd. Jeffrey Earnhardt was last among 41 cars.

After Saturday night’s race, the team heads back to North Carolina for a well-earned weekend off.