Kasey Kahne squeezes past Dale Earnhardt Jr. for fastest in Friday Sprint Cup practice at Bristol

2 Comments

Kasey Kahne nipped Dale Earnhardt Jr. for bragging rights of being the fastest in the lone Sprint Cup practice session Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Kahne’s best lap was 128.168 mph, while Earnhardt went 128.159 mph.

Qualifying will take place at 4:45 pm ET today.

There will be two more practice sessions for the Cup drivers on Saturday at the .533-mile bullring. The Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes will take place Sunday at 1 pm ET.

Here’s how Friday’s practice session played out:

1 Kasey Kahne … 128.168 mph … 38 laps

2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. … 128.159 … 52 laps

3 Brad Keselowski … 127.971 … 41 laps

4 Carl Edwards … 127.554 … 36 laps

5 David Ragan … 127.546 … 44 laps

6 Justin Allgaier … 127.503 … 43 laps

7 Joey Logano … 127.495 … 33 laps

8 Ryan Newman … 127.495 … 45 laps

9 Jamie McMurray … 127.410 … 33 laps

10 Austin Dillon … 127.385 … 46 laps

11 Michael McDowell … 127.385 … 27 laps

12 Kevin Harvick … 127.292 … 29 laps

13 Jeff Gordon … 127.165 … 33 laps

14 Kyle Larson … 127.031 … 45 laps

15 Matt Kenseth … 126.980 … 42 laps

16 Kurt Busch … 126.938 … 29 laps

17 Greg Biffle … 128.829 … 35 laps

18 Paul Menard … 126.745 … 51 laps

19 AJ Allmendinger … 126.695 … 38 laps

20 Landon Cassill … 126.695 … 43 laps

21 Martin Truex Jr. … 126.537 … 36 laps

22 Denny Hamlin … 126.537 … 30 laps

23 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. … 126.528 … 34 laps

24 Alex Bowman … 126.478 … 21 laps

25 Clint Bowyer … 126.395 … 27 laps

26 Brett Moffitt … 126.303 … 57 laps

27 Michael Annett … 126.278 … 60 laps

28 Jeb Burton … 126.270 … 36 laps

29 Aric Almirola … 126.121 … 38 laps

30 Josh Wise … 126.088 … 19 laps

31 Matt DiBenedetto … 126.030 … 14 laps

32 David Gilliland … 125.922 … 38 laps

33 Jimmie Johnson … 125.889 … 20 laps

34 Sam Hornish Jr. … 125.881 … 41 laps

35 Tony Stewart … 125.650 … 65 laps

36 Casey Mears … 125.559 … 47 laps

37 Trevor Bayne … 125.412 … 34 laps

38 Danica Patrick … 125.363 … 53 laps

39 Chris Buescher … 125.264 … 41 laps

40 Mike Bliss … 124.768 … 22 laps

41 Cole Whitt … 124.703 … 24 laps

42 JJ Yeley … 124.210 … 24 laps

43 Ron Hornaday Jr. … 123.698 … 23 laps

44 Alex Kennedy … 123.650 … 59 laps

45 Brendan Gaughan … 122.835 … 17 laps


Best 10 Consecutive Laps

1 Brad Keselowski … 123.670 mph

2 Kyle Larson … 123.243

3 Justin Allgaier … 123.107

4 Aric Almirola … 123.040

5 Paul Menard … 122.879

6 David Ragan … 122.801

7 Brett Moffitt … 122.555

8 Jeff Gordon … 122.536

9 Austin Dillon … 122.471

10 David Gilliland … 122.197

11 Jamie McMurray … 121.994

12 Kasey Kahne … 121.906

13 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. … 121.861

14 Michael Annett … 121.641

15 Tony Stewart … 121.318

16 Trevor Bayne … 120.825

17 Alex Kennedy … 119.708

Follow @JerryBonkowski

NASCAR America: Dramatic elimination races

Leave a comment

Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman enter the Hollywood Casino 400 below the cutoff line by significant amounts.

Keselowski is in the best shape with an 18-point disadvantage to Martin Truex Jr. who sits on the bubble. Considering that Truex has finished first or second in the last three Kansas races, it still is not an enviable position.

Each team outside of the Top 8 feels that it is in a must-win situation unless something catastrophic happens to the competition.

As NASCAR America detailed in Wednesday’s edition, it is not the first time a driver has had to pull out a last-minute victory to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Keselowski was in this situation in 2014 at Talladega.

“I don’t want to talk about this one,” Steve Letarte said. “Because it was a must-win for me and Dale Jr. as well and he was in victory lane, which meant we were on the hauler eliminated.”

In the next round, Kevin Harvick was in a similar situation after suffering a couple of bad races early in Round 3. He dominated the field and won at Phoenix – and then went on to win the championship the next week in Homestead.

Harvick’s record at Phoenix made that win unsurprising, but the next year he found himself in trouble again entering Dover. Once more, he won and advance.

For more dramatic clutch wins in elimination races, watch the video above.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Kansas preview, Kevin Meendering interview

NBCSN
Leave a comment

Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and continues to preview this weekend’s races at Kansas Speedway.

Marty Snider hosts with Steve Letarte and Landon Cassill from Charlotte.

On today’s show:

  • We’ll react to the penalty handed down to Kyle Larson that makes advancing to the Round of 8 even more challenging.
  • As cut-down day approaches in the Round of 12 for the Cup Series, we’ll look back at drivers who kept their title hopes alive with victories in elimination races.
  • Dillon Welch talks to crew chief Kevin Meendering, who is set to become Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief in 2019.
  • Joey Logano may be racing for a championship, but one of his other main goals is a far more important one: helping the lives of others, especially children. We’ll look at the story behind the Joey Logano Foundation.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it 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 at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Bubba Wallace named to Ebony Power 100

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bubba Wallace has been named to Ebony Magazine’s Ebony Power 100 for his accomplishments as a NASCAR Cup series driver.

Listed as an “MVP,” Wallace joins other athletes such as Antonio Brown, Stephen Curry and Venus Williams as well as former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama. 

The list was created to recognize leaders of color who have positively impacted their community.

“This is quite an honor to be recognized with others in the African-American community,” Wallace said in a press release. “It’s humbling to join a list of the other star athletes, artists and community and national leaders. I’m just trying to be the best driver that I can be and focus on winning races for Richard Petty Motorsports and our partners. To be recognized for some of our accomplishments this season is an honor and I’d like to thank Ebony for the recognition.”

Wallace gained the honor based on his on track performance early in the year, including a second-place finish in the Daytona 500 and a top-10 finish at Texas Motor Speedway.

His off-track accomplishments also played a role in the selection. Wallace has been a notable influencer on social media. Earlier this year, Facebook posted a “Behind the Wall: Bubba Wallace” docu-series that earned more than five million views.

“We are proud of what Bubba is doing both on and off the track for our race team and our partners,” said Brian Moffitt, CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports, in a press release. “We know that we have something very special with him and he continues to break barriers outside our sport to be a first-class athlete, spokesperson and inspiration to many.”

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

K&N East champion to make Truck Series debut at Martinsville

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tyler Ankrum, who won the NASCAR K&N East Pro Series title on Oct. 6, will make his Camping World Truck Series debut next weekend at Martinsville Speedway.

Ankrum, 17, will drive for DGR-Crosley’s No. 54 truck. Ankrum drove for the team co-owned by David Gilliland in the K&N East series.

Driving the No. 17, Ankrum earned four wins and nine top fives and led the standings for the final 12 races of the season.

The native of San Bernadino, California, had an average finish of 4.8.

Next Saturday’s race will be Ankrum’s second at Martinsville. He competed in a Late Model Stock Car race there in 2014.

“Making my Truck Series debut at Martinsville is huge. So many big names in the sport have made their national series debut at Martinsville,” Ankrum said in a press release. “I’ve been dreaming of this day for so long now, I can’t believe it’s actually happening. It’s going to be really cool having (crew chief) Seth (Smith) and my K&N guys there with me.”