Kevin Harvick dominates en route to Hisense 250 Xfinity race win at Atlanta

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Kevin Harvick made it three Xfinity Series wins in a row at Atlanta Motor Speedway, dominating in Saturday’s Hisense 250.

In winning a track-record fourth Xfinity race, Harvick led 101 laps of the 163-lap event.

“That [last] pit stop is what won this race,” Harvick told Fox Sports 1. “Joey probably had a little bit better car in the second half of the run, and it really played out for us there at the end as we were able to have that short run and take off.”

“I knew I needed to take off. I thought his car was a little bit better as we got to about Lap 20 and he started to reel us in from that point on. … Awesome pit stops all day long. We were able to make up ground on that last pit stop, and now we can enjoy a cold Budweiser in Victory Lane.”

Joey Logano finished second, followed by Ty Dillon, Chris Buescher and Chase Elliott.

“It’s racing, we did everything we can do,” Logano said. “As a team, we tried our hardest.”

Saturday was Logano’s fifth career Xfinity Series start at AMS. He’s finished runner-up the last two times there, preceded by three consecutive sixth-place finishes.

“I’m gonna keep running this Xfinity race until I win here,” Logano quipped. “I keep running it every year and I finish second every year. I’m so close. So, I’m gonna keep doing it until I get it.”

Finishing order:

1. Kevin Harvick … 101 laps led
2. Joey Logano … 59 laps led
3. Ty Dillon
4. Chris Buescher
5. Chase Elliott
6. Paul Menard
7. Brian Scott
8. Matt Kenseth … 3 laps led
9. Regan Smith
10. Kyle Larson
11. Darrell Wallace Jr.
12. Brendan Gaughan
13. Erik Jones
14. Daniel Suarez
15. Sam Hornish Jr.
16. Ryan Reed
17. Landon Cassill
18. Elliott Sadler
19. JJ Yeley
20. Dakoda Armstrong
21. Jeremy Clements
22. Blake Koch
23. Ryan Sieg
24. Ross Chastain
25. Mike Bliss
26. David Starr
27. John Wes Townley
28. Eric McClure
29. Chris Cockrum
30. Joey Gase
31. Cody Ware
32. Jeffrey Earnhardt
33. Jimmy Weller
34. Harrison Rhodes
35. Cale Conley
36. Derrike Cope
37. Mike Harmon
38. Josh Reaume
39. Carl Long
40. Morgan Shepherd

More to come

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Denny Hamlin hopes teams don’t shoot selves in feet with pit guns

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Denny Hamlin is the hottest driver on the Cup circuit. He has two wins – including Saturday night at Bristol – as well as two runner-ups, and a third- and fifth-place finish in the last six races. He’s also moved up to third in the rankings in that string.

But Hamlin isn’t taking anything to chance, particularly some of the smallest details – such as loose lug nuts and wheels.

Hamlin appeared Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “On-Track” show and was asked about how not only his team, but also other Cup teams, can overcome the loose lug nuts and wheels issues.

Hamlin said a significant part of the problem – particularly at a place like Bristol Motor Speedway – is pit guns, which are allocated and issued in a pre-race lottery by NASCAR, rather than have teams use their own guns.

MORE: Denny Hamlin earns hard-fought win over Matt DiBenedetto at Bristol

Hamlin does not like that system and explained why:

“(Bristol) puts probably some of the biggest loads we have on our tires. Truth be told, over the last two years since we’ve had these guns issued to us, they’re not capable of getting all the wheels tight, they really aren’t.

“It’s a lottery whether you get a gun that’s good enough to get ‘em tight. Through JGR, Stewart-Haas and other teams that have documented it, in the spring race there were over 20 loose wheels. This is not just a team thing. It’s just that the equipment is not quite up to par as far as what it’s capable of.

“We keep track of all the guns and how good they are and how bad they are. It’s a lottery system of whether you’re going to get (a good or bad one). It doesn’t matter how fast you go, you can hold the gun on there and it’s just not going to get the torque quite tight enough.”

Hamlin experienced a loose wheel that forced him to pit under green on Lap 186 of Saturday night’s race at Bristol, leaving him two laps behind the leaders. Hamlin had another loose wheel on Lap 374 and pitted while running 10th.

Thus far this season, in addition to several loose wheels in races, Hamlin’s team has also been penalized four times for loose lug nuts after races: Fontana, Bristol spring race, Chicagoland and the July race at Pocono.

This isn’t the first time Hamlin has publicly complained about pit guns and loose lug nuts and wheels.

NBC Sports has reached out to NASCAR for comment.

Check out what Hamlin said about that after Saturday night’s race in the video above (Hamlin talks about this issue starting around the 6:00 mark).

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Preliminary entry lists for Xfinity, Trucks this weekend

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While the NASCAR Cup Series will be off this weekend, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any racing.

On the contrary, the Xfinity Series will be racing Saturday at Road America and the Truck Series will compete Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Here are the entry lists for both series:

Xfinity – CTECH Manufacturing 180 (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN)

There are 39 cars entered.

Regan Smith will be in the No. 8 J.R. Motorsports Chevrolet.

A.J. Allmendinger will drive the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet.

Saturday’s Cup runner-up, Matt DiBenedetto, will drive the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

There is no driver listed yet for the No. 117 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet.

Click here for the entry list.

Trucks – Chevrolet Silverado 250 (2:30 p.m. ET FS1)

There are only 28 Trucks listed for the entry list.

All seats are filled.

Click here for the entry list.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. thanks all who have ‘lifted us up’ since plane crash

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. issued his first public comments Monday since he and his family survived a plane crash last Thursday afternoon at Elizabethton (Tennessee) Municipal Airport.

Earnhardt offered thanks to “everyone who has lifted us up with phone calls, messages and prayer since last Thursday. We are truly blessed that all on board escaped with no serious injuries, including our daughter, our two pilots and our dog Gus.”

Earnhardt also thanked the pilots, emergency personnel, law enforcement and hospital staff.

He stated that wife “Amy and I continue to be very appreciative of the privacy extended to us to process everything. It has been important to do that together and on our own time.”

Earnhardt stated that because of the ongoing investigation “we will not be speculating or discussing the cause of the accident.”

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board is expected this week. Ralph Hicks, a senior investigator for the NTSB said in a briefing last Friday that “the airplane basically bounced at least twice before coming down hard on the right wing landing gear. You can actually see the right wing landing gear collapsing on the video (from nearby buildings). The airplane continued down the runway, off to the end, through a fence and came to a stop … on highway 91.”

Both pilots have been interviewed and Hicks stated that what they said was “very consistent” with what the video showed. Hicks also said investigators had talked to the Earnhardt family.

NASCAR America 6-7 p.m. ET on NBCSN: Recapping Hamlin’s Bristol win

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs on NBCSN at a special time, from 6-7 p.m. ET, and will recap Denny Hamlin’s win at Bristol.

Steve Letarte will be joined by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and A.J. Allmendinger to discuss Hamlin’s win and other storylines.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch online 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 for the special start time at 6 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.