Red-hot Kevin Harvick burns up Phoenix International Raceway with first career pole there


The red-hot Happy Harvick Freaky Fast Express rolls on.

Kevin Harvick, who has won the last three races and four of the last five at Phoenix International Raceway, continued his dominance there Friday by capturing the pole position for Sunday’s 500 Sprint Cup race.

Harvick, who has six career wins at PIR, earned his first career pole at the one-mile flat track with a speed of 140.751 mph.

Over his last six Sprint Cup starts, including the last three races of 2014, the defending Sprint Cup champion has three wins and three runner-up finishes. He’s going for a second straight win Sunday, having won last Sunday at Las Vegas.

“Everything can always be better, but I think everyone’s doing a great job and continuing to get better as we go from week to week, and never sitting on what you did last week, and always communicating on the little things and what you can do better,” Harvick said. “I’m just fortunate to be a part of this team and what they do.”

Joey Logano was second fastest in Friday’s qualifying (140.543), followed by Jamie McMurray (140.422), Matt Kenseth (140.072) and Ryan Newman (139.833).

“That’s three straight front row starts, so we’re proud of that,” Logano said. “We still have only one pole, which we’re not proud of. We need to find more speed there, but obviously it’s a good starting spot. … We’re going to race hard and try to win this thing.”

Kurt Busch, who is making his first start of the season after being suspended by NASCAR for the first three races, qualified eighth.

“It was fun to get back out there and feel the car in the three sessions out there,” Busch said. “Overall, it was just a pleasant day, overwhelming support from the team and the garage area. ‘Glad you’re back’ is what I hear a lot of, and I’m thankful to be back and to have this competitive car that I can put in the top 10 on the first day out.”

Also of note, the No. 83 car of Matt DiBenedetto was the only car to fail pre-qualifying inspection more than two times.

As a result, DiBenedetto will be penalized 15 minutes of practice time, which will be assessed during the first practice session next week at Auto Club Speedway. The penalty is the result of new rules set forth by NASCAR this week.

Qualifying results for the 500:

1. Kevin Harvick … 140.751 mph
2. Joey Logano … 140.543
3. Jamie McMurray … 140.422
4. Matt Kenseth … 140.072
5. Ryan Newman … 139.833
6. Brad Keselowski … 139.817
7. Carl Edwards … 139.779
8. Kurt Busch … 139.665
9. Kasey Kahne … 139.643
10. Jeff Gordon … 139.535
11. Austin Dillon … 138.969
12. Kyle Larson … 138.755
13. David Ragan … 139.157
14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. … 139.141
15. Martin Truex Jr. … 138.884
16. Dale Earnhardt Jr. … 138.814
17. Tony Stewart … 138.718
18. Brian Vickers … 138.654
19. Greg Biffle … 138.515
20. Jimmie Johnson … 138.483
21. Paul Menard … 138.478
22. AJ Allmendinger … 138.430
23. Danica Patrick … 138.297
24. Casey Mears … 137.862
25. Denny Hamlin … 137.562
26. Alex Bowman … 137.363
27. Sam Hornish Jr. … 137.211
28. Justin Allgaier … 136.674
29. David Gilliland … 136.586
30. Clint Bowyer … 136.550
31. Michael Annett … 136.467
32. Aric Almirola … 136.405
33. Landon Cassill … 136.266
34. Josh Wise … 136.245
35. Matt DiBenedetto … 135.834
36. Trevor Bayne … 135.675
37. Mike Bliss … Owner Points
38. Brett Moffitt … Owner Points
39. Cole Whitt … Owner Points
40. JJ Yeley … Owner Points
41. Jeb Burton … Owner Points
42. Brendan Gaughan … Owner Points
43. Alex Kennedy … Owner Points

Did not qualify: Tanner Berryhill and Travis Kvapil.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Las Vegas Xfinity results, driver points

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Chase Briscoe‘s victory Saturday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway sends him into the next round of the Xfinity playoffs.

Noah Gragson led a 2-3-4 finish for JR Motorsports. Gragson was second and followed by Daniel Hemric and Justin Allgaier. Ryan Sieg finished fifth.

Briscoe dominated the race, leading 164 of the 200 laps.

Click here for Xfinity race results


Ross Chastain finished 16th, last among the playoff drivers, and fell out of a transfer spot to the second round. He’s two points behind Harrison Burton for the final transfer spot. Michael Annett is 10 points behind Burton. Riley Herbst is 14 points behind Burton. Brandon Brown is 20 points behind Burton.

Click here for driver points report

Chase Briscoe scores 8th Xfinity win of year with Las Vegas triumph

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Chase Briscoe met a preseason goal of winning eight races with his victory in Saturday night’s Xfinity playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Briscoe, who also won at Las Vegas in February, advances to the second round.

Briscoe dominated, winning both stages on the way to his second consecutive victory and eighth of the year. He led 164 of 200 laps.

“Awesome car,” Briscoe said on the radio of the car that also won at this 1.5-mile speedway earlier this year. “Can’t say enough, awesome car.”

Gragson said of Briscoe’s car on NBCSN: “Lot of race cars out here and one space shuttle.”

Las Vegas native Noah Gragson finished second and was followed by JR Motorsports teammates Daniel Hemric and Justin Allgaier. Ryan Sieg placed fifth.

Austin Cindric placed sixth and was followed by Michael Annett, Anthony Alfredo, Harrison Burton and Justin Haley.

Briscoe’s eight wins through 27 races ties him with Jack Ingram and Sam Ard for the most wins by non-Cup drivers through 27 races in a season. Ard and Ingram both did it in 1984. Briscoe’s eight wins ties him with Carl Edwards for most wins by a Ford driver in a season in the Xfinity Series. Edwards accomplished the feat in 2011.

“I knew this team was fully capable of achieving that and even more,” Briscoe told NBCSN of winning eight races this year. “I just can’t say thank you enough to Gene Haas and Tony Stewart and everyone that lets me drive these race cars. It has been an unbelievable season and we still have a lot, six more wins that we can try to get and a championship. That is what we are going to try to do. I am so happy to start the playoffs like this. After the last couple weeks we had, to go to Bristol and win and now here is a pretty good way to start our playoffs.”

The 25-year-old Briscoe does not know where he’ll run next season. He has a year left on his contract with Ford.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Chase Briscoe

STAGE 2 WINNER: Chase Briscoe

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Ryan Sieg’s fifth-place finish is his fifth top five of the season, the most he’s had in a season. … Runner-up Noah Gragson has finished in the top six in all four of his Xfinity Las Vegas starts. He did it by overcoming a bloody nose during the race. At one point, he put roll bar padding up his nose to clog it. … Daniel Hemric had finished 24th or worse in four of his last five starts before Saturday’s race. He finished third at Las Vegas.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ross Chastain finished 16th, last among the playoff drivers. It’s his first finish outside the top 10 at a 1.5-mile speedway this season.

NEXT: The series races Oct. 3 at Talladega Superspeedway (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN) in the middle race of the opening round of the playoffs.

Gracie Trotter becomes first female to win ARCA-sanctioned race

Gracie Trotter
Photo by Brian Cleary/Getty Images
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Gracie Trotter became the first female to win a race sanctioned by ARCA when she captured the ARCA Menards West race Saturday at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I’m at a loss for words right now. My first year in ARCA, out West, far from home – it just really means a lot to me,” Trotter said after her first series win.

The best finish by a female in ARCA Series history had been second. Shawna Robinson (1999 at Daytona), Erin Crocker (2005 and ’07 at Kentucky and 2006 at Kansas) and Hailie Deegan (2020 at Daytona) each finished runner-up in an ARCA race.

This is the first year that the West Series has been sanctioned by ARCA. It was previously known as K&N Pro Series West. Deegan was the most recent female winner in that series. She won three times. Deegan scored her first career West win in 2018 at Meridian (Idaho) Speedway. That victory made her the first female to win in that series. Deegan went on to win twice more in that series in 2019.

The 19-year-old Trotter is a third-generation racer. She drives for Bill McAnally Racing. Trotter began competing in go-karts at age 8. She was the first female to win the Young Lions Legends Cars division at Charlotte Motor Speedway, capturing the title in 2017. This is her first season in the ARCA Menards West Series.

Trotter pulled away from teammate Gio Scelzi to win by 0.821 seconds Saturday. Teammate Jesse Love, who is the series points leader, finished third.

She took the lead on Lap 54 with a three-wide pass.

“I kind of got a little lucky there,” Trotter said. “The two front cars were battling side by side. I took it three-wide, a little sketchy at first, but I made it stick.”

She went on to lead 95 of the 150 laps.

Trotter also competes for Rev Racing as part of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program. She won her first Late Model race at Hickory (North Carolina) Motor Speedway on Sept. 13. The win made her the fourth female to win a Late Model Series race at the historic 0.363-mile track, which opened in 1951.

A replay of Saturday’s ARCA Menards West race will air at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday (Sept. 30) on NBCSN.

Sunday Cup race at Las Vegas: Start time, TV channel

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The second round of the Cup playoffs begins with the Sunday Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The 1.5-mile track kicks off the Round of 12. Winning the race and stage points are a premium for playoff drivers before the races at Talladega and the Charlotte Roval.

Kevin Harvick, who won at Bristol, starts from the pole.

Here is all the info for the Sunday Cup race at Las Vegas:

(All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given by Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis at 7:07 p.m. The green flag waves at 7:17 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at Noon. Drivers report to their cars at 6:50 p.m. The invocation will be given at 7 p.m. by Motor Racing Outreach Chaplain, Billy Mauldin. The national anthem will be performed by Sierra Black at 7:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 267 laps (400.5 miles) around the 1.5-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 80. Stage 2 ends on Lap 160

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Coverage begins at 6 p.m with NASCAR America, followed by Countdown to Green at 6:30 p.m. Race coverage begins at 7 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage will begin at 6 p.m. and also can be heard at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the broadcast.

STREAMING: Watch the race on the NBC Sports App

FORECAST: The forecast calls for sunny skies with a high of 96 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST RACE: Kevin Harvick beat Kyle Busch to win at Bristol and claim his ninth win of the season.

LAST POINTS RACE AT LAS VEGAS: Joey Logano beat Matt DiBenedetto and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in February.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the lineup.


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