Get to know Iowa Speedway

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Much attention will be on Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend where the Sprint Cup and Champing World Truck Series will race, but let’s not forget about what else is going on in the NASCAR world, as the Xfinity Series heads to Iowa Speedway for Sunday’s 3M 250.

It will be the 11th time the series has raced at the  track in Newton, Iowa, a town with a population of 15,136 located 30 miles from Des Moines and home to internationally famous Maytag Blue Cheese.

Iowa Speedway is off the beaten path from the Sprint Cup series, as it only hosts Xfinity and CWTS events.

Here’s a guide to getting know Iowa Speedway.

Rusty Wallace – The 1989 Sprint Cup champion was the lead designer of the track and was a co-owner before NASCAR bought the facility in November 2013. The track is located at 3333 Rusty Wallace Drive.

$50 million – The cost to build the speedway.

0.875-mile – The length of the oval track, which is paved with asphalt.

30,000 – The number of the speedway’s permanent grandstand seats.

2006 – The year the track opened, holding its first event on Sept. 15, as Woody Howard won the Hooters Pro Cup Series’ Soy Biodiesel 250.

2 – The number of Xfinity races at Iowa in the 2015 season.

Brad Keselowski – The 2012 Sprint Cup champion was the first winner of a NASCAR national series race at Iowa, winning the U.S. Cellular 250 on Aug. 1, 2009. Keselowski was a year away from his first full Sprint Cup season and was driving the No. 88 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

3 – How many times Brad Keselowski has won at Iowa Speedway.

.066 seconds: The closest finish at Iowa in an Xfinity race came in the 2011 U.S. Cellular 250. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. blew a tire coming to the finish and was rammed from behind by Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards as he took the checkered flag.

Mike Skinner – The winner of the first CWTS race at Iowa Speedway, the Lucas Oil 200 on Sept. 9, 2009. It was the next to last of Skinner’s 28 career CWTS wins.

6 – Number of winners at the track in both Xfinity and CWTS (through eight races).

Brett Moffitt – The driver of Front Row Motorsports’ No. 34 Sprint Cup car was the first Iowa native to win at the track. Raised in Grimes, Moffitt won a K&N Pro Series East race in 2011.

Track records: Xfinity: Qualifying, Austin Dillon, 136.737 mph (23.037 sec.) on June 8, 2013.
Race: Elliott Sadler, 115.622 mph (1:53:31) on Aug. 4, 2012.

CWTS: Qualifying, German Quiroga, Jr., 138.620 mph (22.724 sec.) on
July 13, 2013
Race: Erik Jones, 110.429 mph (1:35:05) on July 11, 2014

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