Regan Smith pushes Alex Tagliani out of way to steal Xfinity win at Mid-Ohio

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Regan Smith doesn’t know where he’ll be next year.

It’s that fact, in addition to a 52-race winless streak in the Xfinity Series and a 57-point deficit in the driver standings, that drove him to use his bumper on pole-sitter Alex Tagliani and win the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio.

Smith forced Tagliani’s out of his way two corners from the finish and took his first series win since the 2014 season opener at Daytona.

“I don’t what I’m doing next year, yet, at this moment,” Smith told NBCSN. “That’s the other reason for the aggression driving. I want those wins when I can still get them.”

Competing in his only Xfinity race of the year for Team Penske, Tagliani wasn’t pleased with Smith’s driving temperament, which kept him from earning his first series win in eight starts.

“If I knew (Smith) was going to win like that, probably instead of passing him fair-and-square early on in the race, I probably would have pushed him off a bit,” Tagliani told NBCSN. “It’s really unfortunate to win like that, but also to see him celebrate after a win like that…he knows he wasn’t going to win unless he pushed us off.”

The JR Motorsports driver won with a No. 7 Chevrolet completely rebuilt after being in two wrecks at Watkins Glen International and finishing 20th last weekend.

“These guys worked their butts off all week,” Smith said. “This car was destroyed, door tops down. They rebuilt it in one day. The guys back at the shop, phenomenal job. My road guys, they’ve stuck behind me for awhile. We’ve had a lot of opportunities to win.”

This was Smith’s seventh top five of the year and second in three races.

“I hate doing that in that last corner,” Smith said. “It’s been a long time, I wasn’t going to pass up that opportunity up. I’ve been wreck so many times on these road courses, I had to do what I had to do there.”

MORE: Xfinity points standings

MORE: Race results

HOW REGAN SMITH WON: Smith got close enough to Alex Tagliani in the final two turns to hit his rear bumper, sending him out of the race groove and opening the door to the checkered flag.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Darrell Wallace rebounded from a spin early into the dirt to finish eighth … Tagliani finished second after leading a race-high 38 laps … Ben Rhodes got stuck in the dirt off Turn 2 on Lap 20 and bounced back to finish 10th, his second top 10 of his Xfinity career … Ty Dillon and Chris Buescher safely raced each other in the closing laps and finished third and fourth respectively

WHO HAD A BAD RACE:  Kenny Habul helped create three cautions, the last on a restart with seven laps to go which collected Boris Said and Tomy Drissi. Habul finished 28th … Dakoda Armstrong spun while running 17th on Lap 38, damaging his left rear in the process. He finished 23rd … Dylan Kwasniewski stalled his car on Lap 41 to bring out the caution and finish 34th. … During the Kwasniewski caution, Said stalled on pit road, losing many positions and Daniel Suarez suffered damage to his left front after hitting Eric McClure … Said would then be spun out with 28 to go, then again in the crash with seven to go, leading to a 13th-place finish … Ryan Reed was 11 laps from his first top-10 finish since winning the season opener at Daytona when he and Justin Marks made contact in Turn 2, spinning Reed into the dirt where got stuck. Reed finished 22nd.

NOTABLE: Regan Smith gained six points on leader Chris Buescher in the driver standings … Darrell Wallace Jr. (eighth) was the highest finishing rookie.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He knows I’m not going to be there next week to retaliate and give him the payback.” – Alex Tagliani after losing to Regan Smith on a last turn bump-and-run.

UP NEXT: Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 21 on NBCSN at 7:30 pm ET

Daytona road course trophy: Handle with care

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A word of warning for the Cup Series driver who wins Sunday’s inaugural race on the Daytona road course (3 p.m. ET on NBC).

When you’re celebrating the victory, don’t get too excited with the trophy.

It could wind up all over Victory Lane.

That’s because the trophy waiting at the end of the 65-lap/234.65-mile-race is made out of glass.

More: Will chaos (and rain) reign on the Daytona road course?

Via: NASCAR

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.”

NASCAR Pinty’s Series 2020 TV schedule released

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The NASCAR Pinty’s Series, which competes in Canada, will get its season under way this weekend after it was postponed back in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shortened season will consist of three doubleheaders with twin 125-mile races.

The races will be held at Sunset Speedway (Aug. 15), Flamboro Speedway (Aug. 29) and Jukasa Speedway (Sept. 12).

More: Xfinity Series start time for Daytona road course

No NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion or Rookie of the Year will be crowned in 2020 due to the shortened schedule. There will be special recognition for the overall winner of the shortened season.

All races will air delayed on TSN and RDS in Canada and MAVTV in the United States. Fans in the United States can stream races after they air on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.

Here is the full schedule with TV information.

 

Saturday’s Xfinity race at Daytona road course: Start time, forecast and more

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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.

STREAMING: Watch the race on the NBC Sports App by clicking here.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for cloudy skies, a high of 88 degrees and a 70% chance of rain and thunderstorms at the start of the race.

LAST RACE: Austin Cindric beat AJ Allmendinger and Chase Briscoe to win at Road America.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for Xfinity starting lineup

Justin Marks planning to start new Cup team

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Former NASCAR driver Justin Marks is in the process of starting a new Cup Series team and competing as early as 2021, Marks detailed to the Sports Business Journal.

Marks, who has 80 NASCAR starts and last competed in 2018, is building a team called Trackhouse that would have a “cause-marketing focus around promoting STEM education” according to SBJ.

More: Bubba Wallace lands multi-year deal with DoorDash

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.

Click here for more from Sports Business Journal.