Regan Smith wins Xfinity race at Dover

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DOVER, Del. – Regan Smith took first from Elliott Sadler after a midrace delay for rain and led the final 80 laps to win the Hisense 200 at Dover International Speedway.

Scoring his second victory of the season in the No. 7 Chevrolet, the JR Motorsports driver fended off the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch for his sixth career win in the Xfinity Series.

A two-tire stop had lifted Sadler into the lead under yellow on Lap 113, and the race then was red-flagged for more than 30 minutes because of a brief rain shower.

After a Lap 119 restart, Smith zoomed by Sadler for the lead two laps later after getting by Hamlin, who had restarted second.

Smith moved up to third in the Xfinity points standings and passed Ty Dillon, who fell to fourth in the rankings with a 28th-place finish.

Chase Elliott (seventh) improved a spot to second in the standings, 24 points behind leader Chris Buescher (eighth).

MORE: race results

MORE: driver points

HOW SMITH WON: Once in front of the field, he managed his fuel and didn’t make any mistakes that would have provided Busch or Hamlin an opportunity.

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Ryan Blaney continued to maximize his limited appearances in Team Penske’s No. 22 Ford, finishing fourth after starting from the pole. … Kyle Larson (fifth) and Austin Dillon (sixth) gained some valuable laps to prepare for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race during a weekend in which rain heavily has limited practice time. … Daniel Suarez (10th) was the highest finishing rookie.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Ty Dillon entered the race second in points and saw his title hopes take a big hit when he apparently ran over debris, cutting a right-front tire and slamming the wall on Lap 24. … Brian Scott’s Chevrolet went behind the wall after 39 laps because of a tire problem. … Cale Conley took a heavy front-end hit on Lap 106 after being collected in a spin by Stanton Barrett Jr.

NOTABLE: Ben Rhodes rebounded for a 13th-place finish after spinning into the inside frontstretch wall on Lap 15. … Smith became the third full-time Xfinity driver to win in the past four races, joining Chase Elliott (Richmond International Raceway) and Ryan Blaney (Kentucky Speedway).

QUOTES OF THE DAY: “I’m trying to figure out some things for next year, so wins never hurt.” — Regan Smith, who hasn’t announced where he will be driving in 2o16.

“I’ve never had much luck with the rain. I’ve always been on the wrong side of that going back to the 2009 Daytona 500.” — Elliott Sadler, who finished ninth after leading nine laps by gambling the race might be cut short by rain.

NEXT: The Xfinity Series will race Friday, Oct. 9 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, an 8 p.m. start on NBCSN.

Cup to run on Indianapolis road course in 2021

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The NASCAR Cup Series will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2021 but will race on the road course for the first time instead of the oval, track officials announced Wednesday.

Cup will race on the road course on Aug. 15. That race will be held a day after the NTT IndyCar Series races on the Indy road course.

The Cup Series has raced at Indy since 1994. But as the racing there has been questioned and the sport has made a push for more road course races, NASCAR moved the Xfinity Series to the road course this year as a trial. The event was well received, creating the opportunity to move next year’s Cup race to the road course as well.

MORE: Atlanta to have two Cup dates in 2021

MORE: Darlington to run Cup races on Mother’s Day, Labor Day weekend in 2021

Indy’s road course is 2.439 miles and features 14 turns. Chase Briscoe won the Xfinity race there after a four-car battle for the lead in the final laps.

 

Darlington Raceway gets second Cup race for 2021

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Darlington Raceway will have two races in 2021, marking the first time since 2004 that the track has been scheduled to hold multiple Cup races in a season. The track announced its schedule Wednesday with South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster at the Governor’s mansion.

“Congratulations. Thank you. Hallelujah,” Gov. McMaster said after the dates were announced.

Darlington was scheduled to host one race in 2020 but added two more in NASCAR’s return to racing after the season was suspended by the COVID-19 pandemic.

MORE: Atlanta to host two Cup races in 2021 for first time since 2010

The track will hold its first Cup race next season on May 9. That is Mother’s Day. It marks only the third time in the last 40 years the series will have run on Mother’s Day. The series last raced on Mother’s Day in 2007 when rain forced the Darlington race to be held that afternoon. The only other time NASCAR raced on Mother’s Day in the last 40 years was 1986 when the All-Star Race was held at Atlanta.

Darlington’s second date will be its Southern 500 event on Sept. 5, Labor Day weekend. That race will again open the  Cup playoffs.

NASCAR will announce the 2021 Cup schedule on Wednesday afternoon.

Darlington hosted two Cup races a season from 1960-2004. It held one Cup race from 2005-19.

The track stated that 2021 schedules for the NASCAR Xfinity and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be announced at a later date.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, tweeted that the Darlington races would be run with the low downforce package.

 

 

Atlanta to host two Cup races in 2021

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Atlanta Motor Speedway will host two Cup races in 2021, marking the first time since 2010 that the 1.5-mile speedway will have multiple Cup events in the same season.

Atlanta will host Cup races on March 21 and July 11.

The July 11 race will be the Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart, moving sponsorship that had been with Kentucky Speedway. Kentucky Speedway will not be on the 2021 schedule. Its date becomes the second Atlanta date. The March race will be known at the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.

The July race marks the first 400-mile race at Atlanta since 1966.

The track announced its dates Wednesday morning. The full 2021 Cup schedule will be released Wednesday afternoon.

Atlanta Motor Speedway stated on its website that it plans to host fans in its stands and camping areas in socially distanced, limited capacity for each of its Cup races in 2021.

“We’re beyond excited to deliver what our fans have been yearning for: a second weekend of NASCAR action in Atlanta once again,” AMS Executive Vice President and General Manager Brandon Hutchison said in a statement. “Folds of Honor and QuikTrip continue to be phenomenal partners for our spring weekend of racing and we’re thrilled to have Quaker State and Walmart on board this summer as we put together two weekends of entertainment and excitement for race fans.”

Talladega Truck starting lineup

Talladega Truck starting lineup
Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Sheldon Creed will lead the Talladega Truck starting lineup to the green flag in Saturday’s playoff race.

Creed led a race-high 89 laps last week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway before finishing second to Austin Hill. That win moved Hill to the next round of the playoffs.

Hill will start Saturday’s race second. Zane Smith, Grant Enfinger and Chandler Smith will follow him.

Click here for starting lineup

The race is the final event in the first round. Two drivers will be eliminated. Ben Rhodes is six points behind Christian Eckes for the final transfer spot. Todd Gilliland trails Eckes by 19 points.

Eckes starts sixth, Gilliland starts 10th and Rhodes starts 11th.

“We’re gonna go in there and be aggressive,” Gilliland said. “If we wreck trying to go for the win, I think we can live with ourselves on that, whereas other guys that might be able to let someone in and still make it on points, those guys are gonna be looking behind them and worrying about points this whole week. For us, it’s pretty simple.  There’s no one behind us. We can only move forward from here if we do our job right.”

The Talladega Truck starting lineup is set by using a formula based on four statistical categories: owner points position, owner final race position, the finish and fastest lap from the most recently completed race.

Performance Metrics Qualifying is a total number based on the previous race. The formula is 15% of a fastest lap time position, 25% of the driver’s final race finish position, 25% of the owner’s final race position and 35% of the owner points position. Any ties will be broken by the rule book.

NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega 

Race time: 1 p.m. ET, Saturday

Track: Talladega Superspeedway; Talladega, Alabama (2.66-mile speedway)

Length: 94 laps (250.04 miles)

Stages: Stage 1 ends Lap 20. Stage 2 ends Lap 40.

TV coverage: FS1

Radio: Motor Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Streaming: NBC Sports app (subscription required); mrn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Lineup: Click here for starting lineup

Next Xfinity race: Saturday at Talladega (113 laps, 300.58 miles), 4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Next Cup race: Sunday at Talladega (188 laps, 500 miles), 2 p.m. ET on NBC