Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Talk content recap

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In case you missed any of NASCAR Talk’s coverage entering Sunday’s Coke Zero 400, here’s a recap of all the links from the past several days:

LONGREADS

Dustin Long- Once known as a controversial daredevil, Brad Keselowski is learning to downshift without slowing down.

Nate Ryan – Tony Gibson and his band of brothers.

Joe Posnanski – Jimmie Johnson will do whatever it takes to win.

SPRINT CUP RACE

Start time, lineup and TV information for the Coke Zero 400

SPRINT CUP QUALIFYING

NASCAR cancels Sprint Cup qualifying; Dale Earnhardt Jr. starts on pole

Wood Brothers’ seven-year qualifying streak ends

SPRINT CUP PRACTICE

Kyle Busch at the center of multicar crash just after the start of Daytona practice

Brad Keselowski takes responsibility for incident but says he’s not alone

Dale Earnhardt Jr. fastest in first Coke Zero 400 practice

Danica Patrick leads Stewart-Haas Racing sweep of final practice

SPRINT CUP/NASCAR NEWS

NASCAR, tracks ask fans to not bring Confederate flags to races

Drivers aren’t expecting rules changes for Chase for the Sprint Cup races

Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series award ceremonies won’t return to Trump National Doral

Martin Truex Jr. has handshake deal to return to Furniture Row Racing

NASCAR meets again with Sprint Cup driver’s council

NASCAR exploring more rule changes for races after Kentucky Speedway

Kyle Busch calls on tracks to remove infield grass adjacent to racing surfaces and fix unprotected walls

Rico Abreu scores first NASCAR win in the K&N East Series

International Speedway Corp. reports a rise in attendance at some tracks

Race Team Alliance partners with Draft Kings

SELECTED OTHER PRERACE POSTS

Some NASCAR fans defend their Confederate Flags at Daytona

A story about Dale Earnhardt and the Confederate flag

Joe Gibbs Racing looking for first Daytona points win since 2008

Jeff Burton ready for new role as NASCAR on NBC analyst

XFINITY SERIES

Full results from the Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona

Austin Dillon survives two major crashes to win Firecracker 250 at Daytona

Crash collects 12 cars with 10 laps remaining in the Firecracker 250

Points leader Chris Buescher in no hurry to get where he’s going

Daniel Suarez earns first career Xfinity Series pole for Firecracker 250

Starting lineup for Texas Cup race: Brad Keselowski wins pole

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Brad Keselowski will be at the front of the field to start Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway (3:30 pm ET, USA Network).

Keselowski, who is not a part of the 12-driver playoff group, won the pole Saturday afternoon with a speed of 188.990, edging Joey Logano‘s 188.805.

MORE: Texas Cup starting lineup

The race is the first of three in the second round of the Cup playoffs. Round of 12 races will follow at Talladega Superspeedway Oct. 2 and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval Oct. 9.

MORE: Waffle House a headquarters for race winners

Also starting in the top five Sunday will be William Byron, Tyler Reddick and Michael McDowell.

Brad Keselowski wins Cup pole at Texas Motor Speedway

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Brad Keselowski, hoping to extend Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing’s turnaround, won the pole Saturday for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway.

It was the second piece of good news for RFK Racing in two weeks. Chris Buescher,  Keselowski’s teammate, won last week’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the first victory for the team under the RFK banner.

Keselowski, who ran 188.990 mph, is not a part of the 12-driver playoff group. Nine of the first 14 starting positions were filled by playoff drivers.

MORE: Texas Cup qualifying results

Following in the top five Saturday were Joey Logano, William Byron, Tyler Reddick and Michael McDowell. Playoff point leader Chase Elliott will start sixth.

“Texas is a really tough track,” Keselowski told NBC Sports. “As hot as it’s going to be, that will be even tougher.”

Race-time temperatures are expected to be in the mid-90s Sunday.

The race (3:30 p.m. ET), the first event in the second round of the playoffs, will be televised by the USA Network.

Sunday Texas Cup race: Start time, TV info, weather

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The first race in the second round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs is scheduled Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Twelve drivers are racing for eight spots in the next round. Chase Elliott leads the standings by 15 over Joey Logano entering Sunday’s 500-mile event, the only Cup points race at TMS this year. Ryan Blaney, who is in the playoff group, won the All-Star Race at the track in May.

Chase Briscoe, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez and Austin Cindric are below the cutline entering the 3:30 p.m. ET (USA Network) race.

MORE: Big race celebration? Try Waffle House

The playoffs will continue at Talladega Superspeedway (Oct. 2) and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (Oct. 9).

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway:

START: The command to start engines will be given by “Top Gun: Maverick” actors Jay Ellis and Lewis Pullman at 3:38 p.m. (ET) … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 3 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Bret Shisler of Texas Alliance Raceway Ministries at 3:30 p.m. … The 1st Cavalry Division Band will perform the anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 334 laps (501 miles) on the 1.5-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 105. Stage 2 ends at Lap 210.

MORE: Ryan Blaney’s team to appeal penalty

TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 2:30 p.m. on USA Network. The post-race show will air on USA Network. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

STREAMING: NBCsports.com

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Partly cloudy skies. High of 96 with a 5% chance of rain.

LAST TIME: Kyle Larson won by .459 of a second over William Byron last October. Larson led 256 of the race’s 334 laps.

CATCH UP ON NBC SPORTS COVERAGE

Friday 5: Waffle House a headquarters for winning drivers

Brandon Jones wins Texas Xfinity pole

Dr. Diandra on the art and science of the pass

Red Farmer: A racer and a winner at almost 90 years old

NBC Sports Power Rankings entering Texas race

Brandon Jones wins Xfinity pole at Texas Motor Speedway

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Playoff driver Brandon Jones won the pole position Saturday morning for Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Jones was clocked at 185.637 miles per hour. He has won three of the past four Xfinity poles.

MORE: Texas Xfinity qualifying results

MORE: Texas Xfinity starting lineup

Scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on the USA Network, the race is the opening event of the Xfinity playoffs.

Following Jones in the top five were Noah Gragson (winner of three consecutive Xfinity races), Daniel Hemric, John Hunter Nemechek and Sam Mayer.

MORE: Post-race celebration? Try the Waffle House

The race is 200 laps (300 miles) on the 1.5-mile track. Drivers will be battling heat in the mid-to-high 90s.