Unofficial race results, stats and earnings for the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. held off teammate Jimmie Johnson to win Sunday’s Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, all but assuring Earnhardt a spot in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup.

It was Earnhardt’s first win of 2015, the 24th win of his Sprint Cup career, his first triumph at ‘Dega since 2004 and moves him into a tie with Jeff Gordon for most wins by an active driver at the famed Alabama track, with each driver having six wins apiece.

Earnhardt and Gordon are four wins behind the all-time winningest driver at Talladega, NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Here’s the final results from Sunday’s Geico 500:

1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. … 188 laps … $306,065

2 Jimmie Johnson … 188 laps … $256,121

3 Paul Menard … 188 laps … $190,060

4 Ryan Blaney … 188 laps … $148,385

5 Martin Truex Jr. … 188 laps … $159,600

6 Sam Hornish Jr. … 188 laps … $156,715

7 Ryan Newman … 188 laps … $151,670

8 Kevin Harvick … 188 laps … $168,570

9 Denny Hamlin … 188 laps … $127,645

10 Josh Wise … 188 laps … $111,070

11 Jamie McMurray … 188 laps … $138,701

12 Kurt Busch … 188 laps … $127,435

13 Cole Whitt … 188 laps … $125,618

14 JJ Yeley … 188 laps … $121,993

15 Aric Almirola … 188 laps … $142,148

16 Alex Bowman … 188 laps … $117,918

17 AJ Allmendinger … 188 laps … $128,518

18 Matt DiBenedetto … 188 laps … $109,157

19 Tony Stewart … 188 laps … $128,724

20 David Gilliland … 188 laps … $108,710

21 Danica Patrick … 188 laps … $107,435

22 Brad Keselowski … 188 laps … $143,851

23 Justin Allgaier … 188 laps … $106,100

24 Chris Buescher … 188 laps … $94,185

25 Matt Kenseth … 188 laps … $133,721

26 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. … 188 laps … $104,085

27 Bobby Labonte … 188 laps … $95,435

28 Casey Mears … 188 laps … $102,885

29 Michael Annett … 188 laps … $91,685

30 Clint Bowyer … 188 laps … $128,643

31 Jeff Gordon … 188 laps … $145,872

32 Carl Edwards … 188 laps … $97,685

33 Joey Logano … 186 laps … $138,268

34 Kasey Kahne … 158 laps … $109,436

35 Austin Dillon … 157 laps … $127,721

36 Michael Waltrip … 151 laps … $117,874

37 Greg Biffle … 147 laps … $121,469

38 David Ragan … 123 laps … $129,515

39 Landon Cassill … 91 laps … $80,465

40 Brandon Gaughan … 90 laps … $76,465

41 Trevor Bayne … 46 laps … $117,040

42 Kyle Larson … 46 laps … $96,373

43 Brian Scott … 18 laps … $64,965

Average speed: 159.487 mph

Time of Race: 3 hours, 8 minutes, 8 seconds

Margin of Victory: 0.158 seconds

Lead changes: 27 among 15 drivers – Gordon 1-3, Kahne 4-6, Stewart 7-11, Earnhardt 12-15, Gordon 16-19, Harvick 20-20, Allgaier 21-21, Labonte 22-22, Gordon 23-48, Busch49-49, Johnson 50-91, Gilliland 92-92, Wise 93-93, Gordon 94-95, Johnson 96-103, Earnhardt 104-104, Hamlin 105-106, Earnhardt, 107-110, Gordon 111-115, Mears 116-116, Gordon 117-123, Earnhardt 124-147, Stewart 148-148, Earnhardt 149-155, Hamlin 156-158, Stenhouse Jr. 159-159, Cole Whitt 160-161, Earnhardt 162-188.

Laps led: Earnhardt (67 laps), Johnson (50), Gordon (47), Stewart (6), Hamlin (5), Kahne (3), Whitt (2), Gilliland (1), Harvick (1), Busch (1), Mears (1), Stenhouse Jr. (1), Allgaier (1), Labonte (1), Wise (1).

Cautions: 6 for 23 laps

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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

 

 

Kurt Busch win capped off big racing weekend for family

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After hopping from the door of his No. 1 Chevrolet Sunday night, Kurt Busch let out a primal scream.

The source of his emotion?

“20 years of agony and defeat” at the his home track, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, had been replaced by “triumph.”

After the fortunate timing of a caution and pit strategy Sunday night, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver led the final 26 laps and visited LVMS’ Victory Lane for the first time, a day after his brother Kyle Busch experienced a special win.

There was plenty more for the 42-year-old driver to celebrate. He’d entered the Round of 12 as the last driver in the playoff standings. But with his first win in 46 races, Busch became the first driver to plant in his flag in the Round of 8.

But the Las Vegas native’s focus was on the 1.5-mile track, which he’d seen evolve from a “desert gravel pit” into the site of two NASCAR race weekends each year.

“This feeling of growing up here and watching the track get built … when Speedway Motorsports came in and bought it, I’m like, ‘Man, there’s going to be a Cup race there, I hope I can make my way up through Legend cars (and race there). And just all the memories, all the memories of everybody, my mom and dad, every Saturday night, all the commitment they gave me and my little brother (Kyle Busch) to make it in racing.

“For me it was a hobby. I never knew I’d get this far. A guy named Craig Keough here locally in Las Vegas, the owner of the Star Nurseries here in Las Vegas, took a chance on me and let me run his late model a few times and we won a couple races and started working our way up.”

Busch made his first NASCAR start on the Las Vegas oval in 2001 driving for Roush Fenway Racing. Between then and Sunday, he won 31 Cup races, the 2004 championship and the 2017 Daytona 500.

But his home track eluded him until his 21st year competing on the sport’s top circuit.

Busch said Sunday’s win is “right there underneath” his Daytona win and the championship.

“Any time you win, it’s special,” Busch said. “But to do it in front of my hometown crowd and nobody was there (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and all the people that I see every time I come to Vegas and I get to say thank you and I can’t right now, that’s the hardest part. So this one is easily ramping up to being my third most favorite win ever.

“Right now it’s my favorite because it’s here, it’s Vegas, and I have so many people to thank. They know they helped me, and they know who they are, and it just all started with mom and dad taking me to the racetrack right here at the Bullring in Las Vegas.”

The Busch family got to celebrate more than one win over the weekend.

The night before Kurt’s Vegas breakthrough, a third generation racer got his first taste of victory.

Kyle and Samantha Busch’s son, Brexton, won his first karting race and celebrated with his parents in Victory Lane.

“It’s so much fun to watch him and just to see his excitement and how much he enjoys going to the race track and being with is friends,” Kyle Busch said after his sixth-place finish Sunday. “It’s three generations worth, I guess. My dad (Tom) did it, myself and Kurt and now him. It’s pretty fun to just be out there. My dad is kind of the truck driver, the team manager, the crew chief, the lead mechanic and all that stuff on his kart.

“He’s got a big task at hand in order to get it all ready to go and get us to the race track every week. It’s been fun to see (Brexton) and to see how excited he was when he was able to win and beat the other competition that was out there and to see his joy. I told him, ‘Whatever that feeling is, whatever you’re feeling, however that sits in you, that’s feasible, that’s possible a lot more often than just one time. So don’t rest on just getting one, we gotta go out there and fight for more.'”

Kurt Busch wasn’t there for his nephew’s win, but he got all the details from his sister-in-law as they flew to Las Vegas.

“It definitely felt like a generational shift was happening,” he said. “But maybe not. Maybe not. This old guy has still got it going on.”