Father’s Day has special meaning to NASCAR’s stars

Leave a comment

The Sprint Cup Series’ summer hiatus happens to fall on Father’s Day weekend. Instead of being at the track, drivers and teams have scattered to their homes, local dirt tracks or even Chicagoland Speedway for the rain delayed Xfinity Series race.

In honor of Father’s Day, here’s a look at what it means for NASCAR’s stars and how they’re spending the day with their dads and families or passing on racing to their children.

All quotes are from team press releases unless otherwise noted.

Matt Kenseth

Today Matt Kenseth will watch his son Ross Kenseth make his Xfinity Series debut at Chicagoland Speedway.

Kyle Busch

“My father (Tom Busch), he’s probably number one,” Busch said. “He and my mom just taking all of their resources and money and everything to help Kurt (Busch) and I get farther along in our careers in Las Vegas through Dwarf cars, Legends cars, Modifieds, whatever it was. Modifieds was about as far as we could go as a family – that was all we could afford.

“Then, past that was Jerry Spilsbury – he used to own an air conditioning company back in Las Vegas and he had a Late Model team out at the speedway the year before I ran. It was a one-car team and then, the year I ran, we actually became a three-car team. Jerry spent a lot of money, employed my father and just allowed me to succeed in winning 10 of 15 Late Model races (when Kyle was 15) – we finished second in three, third once and broke a rear-end gear in the other one while leading. We were plenty fast and through racing that car that year, I think a lot of people took notice that Kurt Busch’s little brother back in Vegas was pretty good, and that’s all history now.”

Tony Stewart

“Probably the first 10 years of my life in racing, we (he and father Nelson) raced together with our go-karts. I would say probably our greatest memory is the first Grand Nationals that we went to in Iowa together. We won out there, and I think it was about 4 o’clock in the morning when we finally finished. I was 12 years old, so it was way past my bedtime, but it was the first time I had seen that much excitement in my father’s face. I guess he realized more at the time what we had accomplished than what I realized had happened.”

Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick and father T.J. (Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

“Father’s Day, just like Mother’s Day, is a very important day to love and take a moment to share that in a special way to your dad. Fathers are super important no matter what you’re doing and where you’re at, whether you’re in NASCAR or not. I know that definitely in racing there are a lot of dads who have played a big part in helping get their child to the level they’re at.

“My dad (T.J. Patrick) was definitely a huge part of me getting to where I am in racing. Aside from that, dads are just important, in general. It’s a nice day to get a card and write something special, say something special or do something special for your dad.”

Jeff Gordon

Gordon is already passing on his love of racing to his kids. Here, Gordon is seen earlier this week with his daughter, Ella, in her own quarter-midget racecar.

On Saturday, Gordon visited his old stomping grounds in California, including the quarter-midget track he first raced on.

Chase Elliott

While it won’t be on Father’s Day, it was announced this week that Chase Elliott, the son of Bill Elliott, would sport a special paint scheme in this year’s Southern 500. Elliott, racing in his last Sprint Cup race of 2015 before taking over the No. 24 from Gordon next year, will have a paint scheme resembling the one used by Bill Elliott when he won the “Winston Million” at Darlington Raceway in 1985.

AJ Allmendinger

Matt Crafton

Kevin Harvick

Casey Mears

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Terry Labonte

Clint Bowyer

Brian Vickers

Justin Allgaier

Joe Nemechek

Jeb Burton

Check back for more throughout the day….

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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