Denny Hamlin spins and wins Chase opener

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Denny Hamlin overcame an early spin that put him a lap down and charged into the lead on the final restart to win Sunday’s 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Hamlin, driving with a torn ACL in his right knee, advances to the second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Carl Edwards, who overcame a speeding penalty, finished second and was followed by Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth. Hamlin’s victory marked the eighth in the last 10 races for JGR.

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

Reigning champion Kevin Harvick crashed shortly after contact with Jimmie Johnson on a restart and lost more than 50 laps while his crew made repairs in the garage. He finished 42nd and all but needs to win one of the next two races to advance to the second round. Afterward, Harvick struck Johnson in the motorhome lot after Johnson went to discuss their incident.

The key moment for the win came on a debris caution with nine laps left. Busch was in front but didn’t pit, leading him to say on the radio after several others stopped: “I can’t believe we stayed out.”

Busch was one of three drivers not to pit. The others were Jeff Gordon and Hamlin. Gordon faded on the restart and finished 14th. Hamlin charged into the lead and was not challenged for his second win of the year.

HOW DENNY HAMLIN WON: While the focus will be on crew chief Dave Rogers’ decision not to pit Hamlin on the final caution, allowing Hamlin to restart third, what happened earlier in the race should not be overlooked. Hamlin fell a lap down after he spun on the second lap after hitting AJ Allmendinger’s, causing the No. 47 to spin in front of him. What followed was the longest stretch of green-flag racing all season and Hamlin managed to stay only one lap behind. He got that back when he didn’t pit during a caution on Lap 131. Hamlin then got to pit under caution when Kevin Harvick crashed to bring out the caution on Lap 139 after contact with Jimmie Johnson. That put Hamlin back even with the leaders and gave him the chance to win.

CHASE DRIVERS WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Carl Edwards overcame a speeding penalty – his fifth of the season – and running out of fuel as he came down for a pit stop on another occasion to finish second. … Where have we seen this before? Ryan Newman scored a fourth-place finish, putting himself in a good spot to advance to the second round after not running in the top five most of the day. … Kurt Busch’s third-place finish was his best result since placing second at Sonoma in June.

CHASE DRIVERS WHO HAD A BAD DAY: The Chase took a dramatic turn when Kevin Harvick crashed just past halfway. He hit the wall after a left-rear tire blew. That came a few laps after contact with Jimmie Johnson on the restart. Harvick finished 42nd. … Clint Bowyer was never a factor and finished 19th, placing ahead of only Harvick among Chase drivers. … Kyle Busch led a race-high 121 laps but fell back late and finished ninth – a bad day considering where he spent much of the day.

NOTABLE: NASCAR’s restart policy – which officials reminded drivers of before the race – was tested when Jeff Gordon took the lead from Kyle Busch on a Lap 145 restart. NASCAR announced it was reviewing the restart but decided no infraction had been committed. No other restart was reviewed Sunday. … Kyle Larson was the highest-finishing non-Chase driver, placing seventh. … Aric Almirola was the only other non-Chase driver to place in the top 10, finishing 10th.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I just held my ground and he slammed into the side of the door like I wasn’t even there,” Kevin Harvick on the incident with Jimmie Johnson that led to Harvick crashing. They later met in the motorhome lot and Harvick struck Johnson.

NEXT: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races Sept. 27 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the second race of the Chase.


Xfinity Series playoff standings entering first round

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The Xfinity Series playoffs begin this weekend with a 12-driver field set to compete for the championship.

The playoffs start Saturday night with a race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric start the postseason tied after they each earned 50 playoff points during the regular season.

More: Las Vegas entry lists

The last four drivers in the standings are Ryan Sieg (2,002 points), Michael Annett (2,002), Riley Herbst (2,001) and Brandon Brown (2,000).

Here are the full playoff standings entering the Round of 12.


Cup playoff standings entering Round of 12

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The Round of 12 in the Cup playoffs has arrived following Saturday night’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Eliminated from contention were Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Blaney, Cole Custer and William Byron.

The second round begins Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (7 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

More: Entry lists for Las Vegas

Kurt Busch begins the round last in the standings with 3,0001 points.

Here is the full playoff standings entering the Round of 12.

Drivers in yellow are those who will compete in the Round of 12. Drivers in red were eliminated at the end of the first round.

Cup playoff standings


NASCAR entry lists for Las Vegas

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The Round of 12 begins this weekend for the Cup Series and NASCAR’s entry lists for Las Vegas Motor Speedway are out.

All three national series will compete at the 1.5-mile track as the Xfinity Series begins its playoffs and the Truck Series holds its second playoff race.

More: Bristol winners and losers

Here are the preliminary entry lists for Las Vegas:

Cup – South Point 400 (7 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN)

Thirty-nine cars are entered for the first race of the Round of 12.

Joey Logano won at Las Vegas in the spring over Matt DiBenedetto and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. This race was won last season by Martin Truex Jr. over Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski.

Click here for the Cup entry list.


Xfinity – Alsco 300 (7:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN)

Thirty-four cars are entered in the Xfinity playoff opener.

Daniel Hemric is entered in JR Motorsports’ No. 8 Chevrolet.

Austin Hill is entered in Hattori Racing Enterprises’ No. 61 Toyota.

Chase Briscoe won at Las Vegas in February over Austin Cindric and Ryan Sieg. This race was won last year by Tyler Reddick over Christopher Bell and Brandon Jones.

Click here for the Xfinity entry list.


Trucks – World of Westgate 200 (9 p.m. ET Friday on FS1)

Thirty-six trucks are entered.

Ryan Truex is entered in Niece Motorsports’ No. 40 Chevrolet.

IndyCar driver Conor Daly will make his Truck Series debut in Niece Motorsports’ No. 42 Chevrolet.

Travis Pastrana is entered in Niece Motorsports’ No. 45 Chevrolet for his second start of the season.

Kyle Busch won at Las Vegas in February over Johnny Sauter and Austin Hill. Austin Hill won this race last year over Ross Chastain and Christian Eckes.

Click here for the Truck entry list

NASCAR 2020 schedule: Times, TV channels, stream info and tracks for Cup series

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The second round of the NASCAR 2020 Cup series playoffs will begin on Sunday, September 27 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

William ByronCole CusterMatt DiBenedetto and Ryan Blaney saw their championship hopes end last Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway where Kevin Harvick stole the show with his ninth win of the season. Harvick’s victory at Bristol marked a career-best milestone as his previous best was eight wins back in 2018.

Click here to see the NASCAR entry lists for Las Vegas 

    RELATED: Bristol Cup results, driver points report

NASCAR 2020 Schedule Playoffs – Round of 12

Sept. 27 – South Point 400

Time: 7 p.m.
Track: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Oct. 4 – YellaWood 500

Time: 2 p.m.
Track: Talladega Superspeedway

Oct. 11 – Bank of America Roval 400

Time: 2:30 p.m.
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL

Playoffs – Round of 8

Oct. 18 – Hollywood Casino 400

Time: 2:30 p.m.
Track: Kansas Speedway, 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 25 – Texas 500

Time: 3 p.m.
Track: Texas Motor Speedway

Nov. 1 – Xfinity 500

Time: 2 p.m.
Track: Martinsville Speedway

Championship – Round of 4

Nov. 8 – NASCAR Cup Series Championship

Time: 3 p.m.
Track: Phoenix Raceway


Daytona 500

Date: Feb. 17
Winner: Denny Hamlin

Pennzoil 500 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Date: Feb. 23
Winner: Joey Logano (video)

Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway

Date: March 1
Winner: Alex Bowman

FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway

Date: March 8
Winner: Joey Logano (video)

The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway

Date: May 17
Winner: Kevin Harvick

Toyota 500 at Darlington Raceway

Date: May 20
Winner: Denny Hamlin (video)

Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Date: May 24
Winner: Brad Keselowski

Alsco Uniforms 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Date: May 28
Winner: Chase Elliott  (video)

Supermarket Heroes 500 – at Bristol Motor Speedway

Date: May 31
Winner: Brad Keselowski

Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Date: June 7
Winner: Kevin Harvick

Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway

Date: June 10
Winner: Martin Truex Jr. (video)

Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Date: June 14
Winner: Denny Hamlin (video)

Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway

Date: June 22
Winner: Ryan Blaney

Pocono Organics 325 at Pocono Raceway

Date: June 27
Winner: Kevin Harvick

Pocono 350 at Pocono Raceway

Date: June 28
Winner: Denny Hamlin

Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 at The Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Date: July 5
Winner: Kevin Harvick

Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway

Date: July 12
Winner: Cole Custer

NASCAR All-Star Race

Date: July 15
Winner: Chase Elliott

O’Reilly Auto Parts 500

Date: July 19
Winner: Austin Dillon

Super Start Batteries 400

Date: July 23
Winner: Denny Hamlin

Foxwoods Resort Casino 301

Date: Aug. 2:
Winner: Brad Keselowski

FireKeepers Casino 400

Date: Aug. 8
Kevin Harvick

Consumers Energy 400

Date: Aug. 9
Kevin Harvick

NASCAR Cup Series Race at Daytona Road Course

Date: Aug. 16
Chase Elliott

NASCAR Cup Series Race at Dover

Race 1

Date: Aug 22
Denny Hamlin

Race 2

Date: Aug. 23
Kevin Harvick

Coke Zero Sugar 400

Date: Aug. 29
William Byron

Playoffs – Round of 16

Date: Sept. 6 
Kevin Harvick

Date: Sept. 12
Brad Keselowski

Date: Sept. 19
Kevin Harvick

For more on the NASCAR 2020 schedule, news and information, read NASCAR Talk