Carl Edwards upset with NASCAR drivers not slowing for spin: ‘That’s the most dangerous thing in the sport’

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TALLADEGA, Ala. – There was no yellow flag on the final lap of Sunday’s Geico 500, but Carl Edwards was angry that some Sprint Cup drivers didn’t proceed with caution.

Edwards finished 32nd after a collision with Casey Mears that caused a spin by his No. 19 Toyota, which slid sideways down the track as the field whizzed by.

“I really think that’s the most dangerous thing in the sport right now,” Edwards said. “When there’s a wreck, guys have to get on the brake or we’re going to have a lot of problems.

“The biggest cause of injury is going to be one of us not checking up when there’s a guy sideways. I’ve got my door facing the field, and (Justin Allgaier) goes by at about 160, 180 mph. That’s not the way I try to race these guys when there’s a wreck. That’s very frustrating.”

Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth said he did slow down “so I didn’t send Carl to the hospital. I’m just dumbfounded that NASCAR didn’t throw a caution. We were driving past wrecked cars for half a lap at 180 mph. It was a crazy ending.”

NASCAR has shown a reluctance to throw the yellow on the last lap because it freezes the field without the possibility of another restart.

“We make every effort to try to finish under green-flag conditions,” Sprint Cup managing director Richard Buck said in a statement distributed by NASCAR’s media relations staff. “We believe the circumstances that occurred allowed us to do that today.”

Edwards said he planned to talk with his NASCAR peers about being more mindful around cars that are spinning.

“Because there was a wreck at the end of the Daytona 500, and I slowed down, and it cost us a bunch of positions,” said the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, who finished 23rd in the season opener. “I guess some people would say, ‘Well, hell, your job is to stay on the throttle and go race, but we’re all out there and are human beings. You get a guy wrecking, you can’t just lay into his door. That’s pretty dangerous.”
Edwards did concede that he was making a nuanced point – “I come do all this complaining, and no one ran into me. But ooh. It’s tough. … Generally, if someone is spinning in front of you, you slow down a little bit, so if you do hit him, you don’t break their legs or hurt them. I don’t want to rant too much about it, but I was frustrated with that.”

NASCAR Power Rankings: Kevin Harvick still No. 1 after quiet Vegas

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Kevin Harvick didn’t have a flashy night Sunday in Las Vegas, but it didn’t keep him from retaining the No. 1 spot in this week’s NASCAR Power Rankings.

After winning the Bristol night race, Harvick finished in the top 10 in the first two stages in Vegas before placing 10th at race’s end.

Kurt Busch’s win at his home track vaulted him into the top 10 as 12 drivers received votes.

More: Playoff standings after Las Vegas

Here is this week’s NASCAR Power Rankings:

1. Kevin Harvick (Last week No. 1): In the last eight races he’s won three times and finished outside the top 10 only twice.

2. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week No. 5): Placed fourth for his 11th top-five finish in the last 14 races.

3. Alex Bowman (Last week unranked): Finished fifth for his second top five and fifth top-10 finish in the last six races.

4. Denny Hamlin (Last week unranked): Left Vegas with a third-place finish to snap a three-race streak of finishing outside the top 10.

5. Kurt Busch (Last week unranked): Snapped a 46-race winless streak with his victory and advanced to the Round of 8.

6. Kyle Busch (Last week No. 3): Finished sixth after a “dismal” night. He has four consecutive top 10s.

7. Brad Keselowski (Last week No. 5): Finished 13th to give him two finishes outside the top 10 since he won at Richmond.

8. Chase Briscoe (Last week unranked): Opened the Xfinity playoffs with his second consecutive win.

8. Chase Elliott (Last week No. 2): Led 73 laps, but had to settle for a 22nd-place finish in Vegas.

8. Joey Logano (Last week No. 3): Finished 14th for his second straight finish outside the top 10.

Also receiving votes: Erik Jones and Chris Buescher.

NASCAR announces changes to Kansas playoff weekend

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Citing “programming changes,” NASCAR announced shifts in the race dates and start times for its visit next month to Kansas Speedway.

The Xfinity, ARCA and Truck Series races have been shifted, while the Cup race remains at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Oct. 18.

The biggest move is the Truck Series race shifting from Friday night to Saturday afternoon.

Here are the changes.

Friday, Oct. 16, 8:30 p.m. ETARCA Menards Series on FS1 or FS2; network TBD at a later date (previously at 10 p.m. ET)

Saturday, Oct. 17, 4 p.m. ETTruck Series on FOX (previously Friday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. ET on FS1)

Saturday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m. ET Xfinity on NBCSN (previously 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN)

 

Xfinity Series playoff standings after Las Vegas

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Chase Briscoe opened the Xfinity Series playoffs by earning his second consecutive win.

His victory Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway gives him 57 playoff points and an automatic spot in the Round of 8.

Harrison Burton holds the final transfer spot. He has a two-point advantage over Ross Chastain.

Behind Chastain below the cutline are Michael Annett (-10 points), Riley Herbst (-14) and Brandon Brown (-20).

Below is the full Xfinity Series playoff standings going into Saturday’s race at Talladega (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Drivers in red are below the cutline to advance. Drivers in yellow are in the remaining playoff spots.

Xfinity Series playoff standings

Cup playoff standings after Las Vegas

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Kurt Busch flipped the script on the Cup playoff standings with his win Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

He entered the Round of 12 as the last driver in the playoff standings, but is the first driver to clinch a spot in the Round of 8.

Replacing Busch in the bottom spot of the playoff standings is Austin Dillon. He is 32 points behind Alex Bowman, who holds the final cutoff spot.

Behind Bowman is Kyle Busch (-9 points), Clint Bowyer (-20), Aric Almirola (-27) and Dillon.

“Obviously, the 1 car (Kurt Busch) was not a car that we needed to win a race,” Clint Bowyer said after Sunday’s race. “It’s been a hell of a battle back there with cars that are kind of in the same wheelhouse as far as points-wise. (Kurt Busch) winning changes that landscape quite a bit, but we’re only 20 points out.”

Here is the full playoff standings entering Sunday’s playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET on NBC).

Drivers in red are below the cutline to advance to the Round of 8. Drivers in yellow hold the remaining available playoff spots.

Cup playoff standings