1 – The debate on if a driver who misses 11 races deserves to have a chance to be in the Chase for the Sprint Cup might become moot after Kyle Busch finished last – his second finish of 36th or worse since returning to the car last month. Busch said on the radio after the incident that he crashed when he hit rain in Turn 4.
Call it bad luck that Busch was the one who crashed in that situation but it leaves him way behind in his bid to earn a Chase bid. He must win one of the remaining 11 races before the Chase field is determined and be in the top 30 in points by then. Justin Allgaier is 30th in points and on pace to score 435 points by the time the Chase field is set. Busch needs a win (at least 47 points) and then would need to average about a 13th-place finish in the other 10 races to match Allgaier’s projected total. Busch’s chances are dropping.
2 – More important than Kurt Busch winning is who didn’t win. Busch already had a win, so his victory keeps someone else from all but claiming a Chase spot. Kyle Larson tried to steal a win and a Chase spot but rain came a few laps too late for him. There have been 10 different winners in the first 15 races of the season. Last year, three drivers made the 16-team Chase via points. The top three winless drivers in points as of now are Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon. Those drivers are fine with repeat winners if they can’t win.
3 – When they did get to race, it was clear how valuable clean air was and how important the news is that NASCAR is looking at a different aero package at Kentucky Speedway next month. It remains unclear if the rule change – lower downforce – would be only for that track or any other tracks this season, but it’s a step in the right direction for a sport that’s been missing something that has the fan base buzzing for days that good side-by-side racing can create.
After looking to introduce the 2016 rules package at last month’s Sprint All-Star race, backing off after owners raised questions about the cost and then re-examining rule changes after drivers became more outspoken about a need for change, NASCAR is making the right decision to examine this issue again. The challenge becomes at what cost for the owners. This is where NASCAR and teams must find a way to address the costs because the most important thing is what will make the racing better and appease fans.
The 18” tall/4.5” wide trophy for the Daytona road course race was produced by the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. It’s the same institution that’s been responsible for designing the Watkins Glen International trophy since 2012.
Sunday’s race is being held in the place of the Cup Series’ annual visit to Watkins Glen.
Incorporating a blown glass cup, the trophy is inspired by the history of NASCAR and racing at Daytona.
“Thinking about the history of the track and long-held traditions, I was reminded that historically, trophies used to be cups and have evolved into sculptural forms,” said Eric Meek, Sr. Manager of Hot Glass Programs at The Corning Museum of Glass, said in a media release. “We took this trophy back to a more traditional shape. Daytona is the most historical track, and in thinking about a trophy design for a race held in this storied location, I was transported back to the golden age of speed. I wanted to design something that felt like a bit of a throwback – like it belonged in the era of streamline racers and the quest to go faster.”
Saturday’s Xfinity race at Daytona will mark the first time the series has competed in the track’s road course circuit.
Austin Cindric, who has won four of the last five races, is on the pole. He is joined on the front row by fellow Ford driver Chase Briscoe.
Here are the details for the Xfinity race at the Daytona road course (all times ET):
START: The command to start engines will be given at 3:07 p.m by Dr. Jeff Jarvis, president of UNOH. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:19 p.m.
PRERACE: Garage access health screening begins at 8:30 a.m. Drivers report to their cars at 2:50 p.m. The invocation will be given at 3 p.m. by Chaplain Farzad Nourian. The national anthem will be performed at 3:01 p.m. by Temecula Road.
DISTANCE: The race is 52 laps (187.72 miles) around the 3.61-mile road course
PACE LAP: At the direction of race control, the entire field will go down pit road during a pace lap for pit road speed verification. If a driver stops in the pit box for any reason, pulls over or slows down, they will start at the rear of the field.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 15. Stage 2 ends on Lap 30.
TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Its coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. with Countdown to Green followed by the race broadcast at 3 p.m. ET. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast will begin at 2:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.
Marks, who once was a co-owner of an ARCA Menards West team with the late Harry Scott, said a goal of the team is to “serve America’s minorities and underrepresented youth population”
Marks told SBJ he is in negotiations to acquire a charter for the team, that his family foundation will use investment capital to fund 50% of the team’s budget and that a “nationwide family entertainment business” will be a sponsor.
One of Marks’ partners will be Ty Norris, a former executive at Michael Waltrip Racing.
The work that @NASCAR is doing on the future of the sport is 100% what is needed. It’s been a dream of mine to compete at the highest levels in the sport and the business. Announcements to come. https://t.co/f4ilQiLKBR