Kyle Busch wins Xfinity race at Kansas, Buescher maintains points lead

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Overcoming an earlier speeding penalty on pit road, Kyle Busch roared back to capture Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 race at Kansas Speedway.

The victory was Busch’s record 75th in the Xfinity Series.

“This was a good day for us and something to kind of build off hopefully and see what we can do tomorrow (in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race),” Busch said. “(In the last 30-40 laps) my tongue was hanging out, man. I can’t imagine what Matt felt like. He was driving way harder than I was. But, man, when you’ve got two real good race cars like that, you just have to bring ’em home.”

Busch passed Matt Kenseth, who led the most laps (148), with 20 laps to go and never relinquished it, even when the race was extended four extra laps and a green-white-checkered finish.

Busch led 56 laps, making he and Kenseth the only drivers to lead a lap in the 204-lap event.

Joey Logano finished third, followed by Ty Dillon, Regan Smith, points leader Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, Ryan Sieg, Daniel Suarez and Brendan Gaughan.

On Lap 195, the motor in Joey Gase’s car blew up, bringing out the eighth caution of the race.

When the race resumed on Lap 202, Busch got a great restart ands sailed on to the victory.

How Busch won: Once he got past Kenseth with 16 laps to go in the scheduled 200-lap race (which eventually would be extended four additional laps due to a late caution), Busch kept his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate at bay every time Kenseth tried to get past him. On the previous restart, Kenseth was shocked to see Busch come to the front so quickly. Kenseth said over his team radio, “How did he get up there without jumping the restart?”

Who else had a good day: Chris Buescher finished sixth, continuing to maintain his lead in the Xfinity Series standings. … Ty Dillon’s fourth-place finish kept him within striking distance of Buescher with three races remaining in the season. The series has the next two weekends off before resuming again at Texas. … Regan Smith’s fifth-place finish preceded the post-race revelation that he will not be returning to JR Motorsports next season, per a tweet by NBCSN’s Marty Snider.

Who had a bad day: Korbin Forrister and Jennifer Jo Cobb got together in a wreck, leaving Forrister with a 31st place finish, while Cobb finished two spots higher in 29th. … Brian Scott had what he thought was a car to potentially win, but ultimately finished 23rd, one lap behind the leaders. … Cale Conley had what looked like a strong car before he wrecked just before the midpoint, finishing 30th.

Notable: Even though he qualified 12th, Chase Elliott had to start from the back of the field in a back-up car after wrecking his primary No. 9 Chevy during qualifying. The back-up was outstanding early on, as Elliott moved up 23 spots in the first 12 laps. … Darrell Wallace Jr. had to go to a back up car after wrecking in practice Friday, but still managed a strong 11th-place finish.

Quote of the day: “Every point counts. When you take a look at the finish there and realize where the guys are at about in points, one or two points (gained) isn’t going to cut it down for them. If we keep knocking down where we are, then we’ll just fine.” – Xfinity Series points leader Chris Buscher, who maintains a semi-comfortable lead in the standings.

What’s next: After 16 consecutive races, the Xfinity Series takes the next two weekends off. The series resumes on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 3:30 pm ET with the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway.

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Goodyear tire info for Richmond race weekend

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If Goodyear tires at Richmond Raceway look familiar this weekend, there’s a good reason.

Teams competing in Friday’s Xfinity and Saturday’s Cup races will have the same Goodyear tire compounds as they raced upon in the spring at the 3/4-mile bullring in April.

Richmond is simply one of the more high-wear tracks on the NASCAR circuit,” Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing, said in a media release. “What we’ve seen this year with this higher downforce package, with the cars more ‘in the track’ and with less lateral slip, wear is down a bit compared to 2018.

Saying that, tires are still very important at Richmond. The tread compounds we bring do a good job rubbering in the track, creating multiple racing grooves throughout the race.”

As a result, tire management is a significant element for this weekend’s races, “meaning a good amount of passing throughout the field as a run progresses,” according to the Goodyear media release. “Richmond has traditionally lined up with a couple other tracks of similar length – New Hampshire and Phoenix – but its ‘racy’ configuration requires more stagger (difference in height between the shorter left-side tire and the taller right-side tire) be built into the tire set-up.”

NOTES: This is the only track at which Cup or Xfinity teams will run either of these two Goodyear tire codes. … As on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run liners in their tires at Richmond.

Here is the information for this weekend’s tires at Richmond:

Tire: Goodyear Eagle Intermediate Radials

Set limits: Cup: Three sets for practice, one set for qualifying and 10 sets for the race (nine race sets plus one set transferred from qualifying or practice); Xfinity: Six sets for the event

Tire Codes: Left-side — D-4874; Right-side — D-4876

Tire Circumference: Left-side — 2,214 mm (87.17 in.); Right-side — 2,244 mm (88.35 in.)

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front — 12 psi; Left Rear – 12 psi; Right Front — 30 psi; Right Rear — 27 psi

Daniel Hemric not returning to Richard Childress Racing’s No. 8 car next year

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Daniel Hemric will not return to drive Richard Childress Racing’s No. 8 Chevrolet in 2020, the team announced Tuesday. The team said in a statement it had exercised its option and would release Hemric following this season.

Hemric is in his rookie Cup season and has been with RCR for three years. He competed for the team in the Xfinity Series from 2017-18 before moving to Cup. Hemric has competed in five full-time seasons across Cup, Xfinity and the Truck Series and has yet to visit victory lane.

More: NASCAR schedule, video and more

Through 27 races this year, Hemric has two top-10 finishes – a fifth at Talladega and a seventh at Pocono in July – and an average finish of 22.7.

The move by RCR to release Hemric creates a potential open seat for RCR’s Xfinity series driver Tyler Reddick, who is the defending Xfinity champion. Owner Richard Childress said in July the only way he could keep Reddick was if he moved Reddick up to Cup.

Reddick has five wins this season, including last Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Reddick enters the postseason as the regular-season champion. The postseason begins Friday at Richmond Raceway (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Statements from RCR and Hemric are below.

Joey Gase joins Garrett Smithley to defend self from Kyle Busch criticism

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Joey Gase on Tuesday joined Garrett Smithley to basically tell Kyle Busch to double-check his facts before pointing fingers.

Busch criticized Smithley and Gase for their driving – having made contact with Smithley and was impeded by Gase – late in Sunday’s Cup playoff opener at Las Vegas, leaving Busch with an eventual 19th-place finish.

Busch said in an interview on NBCSN: “We’re the top echelon of motorsports, and we’ve got guys that have never won Late Model races running on the racetrack. It’s pathetic, they don’t know where to go. What else do you do?”

Gase stood up for himself in an extended tweet Tuesday.

Here’s a transcript of that post:

Well someone implied (Sunday) night that I have never won a late model race before. As you can see in the pics below I have won a few in my day and just wanted to share my story a little bit and thank the people who have helped me get to where I am today.

My dad raced before I did at the local short track level and that’s how I fell in love with racing. When I was 4 years old my dad got me my first yard kart and would turn hundreds of laps on the driveway everyday. When I turned 14 my dad retired from racing and I started to race his old open wheel modified and won that year up in Oktoberfest in Lacrosse, WI which anyone in the Midwest knows how big of a weekend that is.

When I was 16 I was the youngest ever to win the track championship in the Late Model division at Hawkeye Downs Speedway racing against some of the best in the Midwest like Johnny Spaw, Tim Plummer, Griffen McGrath, Doughly Fleck, Brad Osborn and the list goes on and this is when my career took off.

This was only made possible because a family friend believed in me and bought my first two late models and the motors to go with it. Our crew consisted of my dad, my uncle, grandpa, and I. My parents were not rich, my dad worked in a coal power plant for 20 plus years and my mom was a hair stylist. It took the effort of my whole family and a lot of people who believed in me to get to where I am today and I can’t thank them enough.

We have accomplished a lot of cool things over the years, my top memories being winning my first race back after my mom’s passing, finishing fifth with Jimmy Means Racing at Talladega after almost missing the race and making my first start in the Daytona 500 and being the highest finishing rookie (23rd).

I have to give HUGE thanks to Jimmy Means for giving me a big chance and making it possible for myself to get established in NASCAR with nearly no funding when we first started and Carl Long for picking me back up after my big sponsor from last year did not stand by their commitments and letting me know in the middle of December.

We have to work for every sponsor we get and I am proud to say I have 30 different sponsors this year and would not be here without them. Also have to thank all of my fans for always standing by me.”

Gase’s tweet follows Smithley’s rebuke of Busch late Monday afternoon, giving his side of the contact with the former Cup champ.

On Monday’s NASCAR America, analysts Steve Letarte, Kyle Petty and Nate Ryan discussed if Busch was wrong in his criticism.

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Preliminary entry lists for Richmond Raceway

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The NASCAR playoffs continue this weekend at Richmond Raceway for two of the national series.

The Cup Series holds the second race of its opening round while the Xfinity Series kicks off its postseason.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for each race.

Cup – Federated Auto Parts 400 (7:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN)

There are 38 entries for the race.

Quin Houff is entered in Premium Motorsports’ No. 27 Chevrolet.

Austin Theriault is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 51 Chevrolet.

Garrett Smithley is entered in RWR’s No. 52 Ford and Spencer Boyd is in the team’s No. 53 Chevrolet.

Martin Truex Jr. won the spring race at Richmond over Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer. Kyle Busch won this race last year over Kevin Harvick and Truex.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity – Go Bowing 250 (7:30 p.m. ET Friday on NBCSN)

There are 38 entries for the race.

Harrison Burton is entered in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota for the fourth time this season.

Zane Smith is entered in JR Motorsports’ No. 8 Chevrolet.

Hermie Sadler is entered in Ryan Sieg Racing’s No. 38 Chevrolet. It will be his first Xfinity start since this race in 2016.

Joe Graf Jr. is entered in Richard Childress Racing’s No. 21 Chevrolet.

There is no driver attached to Rick Ware Racing’s No. 17 Chevrolet.

Cole Custer won at Richmond in the spring over Austin Cindric and Justin Allgaier. Christopher Bell won this race last year over Ross Chastain and Daniel Hemric.

Click here for the entry list.

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