What others were saying on radio about Kevin Harvick at Talladega

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While Kevin Harvick struggled with an ailing car in the final laps of Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway, drivers behind were being kept abreast of Harvick’s woes.

NASCAR Talk reviewed radio conversations for Trevor Bayne, who was behind Harvick on the final restart, Matt Kenseth, who was behind Bayne, and Danica Patrick, who was behind Kenseth and the nearest Stewart-Haas Racing teammate behind Harvick.

The transcript has been edited for clarity and to eliminate extraneous portions.

Trevor Bayne’s radio channel

Coming to what was the aborted first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, Bayne tells his team: “I don’t want to get hung out on this restart man, but you got to go and start a lane soon, otherwise you’re just blocked up and can’t do anything.’’

Later Bayne says: “4 (Harvick) is blowing up.’’

Bayne: “What are they saying about him?’’

Spotter Freddie Kraft says: “The 4 is going to try to stay high.’’

Bayne: “He’s going to get me trapped probably.’’

After the restart is aborted with the incident involving Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson, Kraft tells Bayne that NASCAR says that did not count as the single attempt at a green-flag finish.

Kraft: “4 … he goes in front of you. I’m sure he’ll do the same layover.’’

Kraft: “We’ll be top (lane) with (Harvick). Hopefully, he’ll do the same again.

Kraft: “Now the 4 is saying he’s not going to do the same because he’s on the verge of the Chase deal.’’

Bayne: “Well, what am I supposed to do?’’

Crew chief Bob Osborne: “If (Harvick) lays back, NASCAR needs to do something about it. Tell the spotter official up there the same thing.’’

Kraft: “Just got to see about the 4. I’ll let this official up here know.’’’

Kraft: “Just got to see what (Harvick) does here. Timmy (Fedewa, spotter for Harvick) don’t know. He thinks they might get out of the way. He’s not sure. They’re right on the verge. 20 (Matt Kenseth) will be on the bumper.’’

Bayne: “As long as the 20 knows the situation.’’

Coming to the restart, Kraft says: “Just be heads up on the 4 if he’s real slow. We’re just going to change lanes before the stripe or go back to 20th with him.’’

Kraft: “Be ready. 10 away (from restart zone). Five away. Ready, green, green, green. Rolling. Go up. Keep rolling, keep rolling, keep it. That’s exactly what he was hoping for. He was trying to wreck the field so he’s in the Chase.’’

Kraft: “Are you all right Trev?’

Bayne: “No!’’

Bayne: “He pushed me.’’

Later, Bayne says: “Harvick turned right and wrecked the crap out of me. I’m ticked.’’

Kraft: “He did it on purpose. Timmy told me that they were hoping for a yellow. He didn’t tell me they were going to wreck half the field to get one.’’

Bayne: “We need to have a talk with those guys because that was ridiculous.’’

Osborne: “Don’t waste your breath Trevor. Don’t waste your breath.’’

Bayne: “Somebody needs to.’’

Matt Kenseth’s radio channel

As the field heads toward what will be the aborted restart, spotter Chris “Crazy” Osborne tells Kenseth about Harvick’s situation ahead of him.

Osborne: “4 car is talking about having issues two to three cars in front of you on the top line. Be ready.

Osborne on the restart: “(Harvick) is pulling over. Be ready, be ready, be ready. Green flag. Clean out the front. … Caution is out. They did not cross the line.’’

During the caution, Harvick moves up to regain his original spot after falling back on the restart. That confuses Kenseth.

Kenseth: “Why is the 4 going to start up there again?

Osborne: “I’m really not sure.’’

Kenseth: “Did the 4 pit?’’

Osborne: “I did not see him pit.’’

Kenseth: “He was stalled on the top lane. I’m just trying to figure out what happened. He just fall back four rows and get going or something or pit?’’

Crew chief Jason Ratcliff: “No, I don’t think he pitted.’’

Kenseth: “So obviously he’s not out of gas, something else wrong?’’

Ratcliff: “I think he’s blowing up.’’

After Kenseth is told one lap to go, he talks to Osborne about Harvick.

Kenseth: “Try to watch for him checking up again best you can.’’

Ratcliff: “Check your switches here. Red where you need it. (Kyle Busch) still racing the 4. (Denny Hamlin) racing the 31.’’

Kenseth: “Alright.’’

Kenseth: “4 still saying he has a problem, Crazy?’’

Osborne: “Yeah, 10-4. He just said he’s still racing, trying to get into the Chase or try to make it, so he’s not moving out of the way this time. So be ready for it. Says he’s about to blow up.’’

Kenseth: “Not going to pull to the right? Then where are we supposed to go then?’’

Osborne: “He just said he’s going to stay in his lane.’’

Kenseth: “Oh, he’s probably hoping we wreck, so there’s a yellow. I gotcha.’’

As the field comes to the restart, Osborne calls it.

Osborne: “Be ready, be ready, be ready … jamming up out front … all clear out front. Watch your 4, watch your 4. That was really nice. 4 just dumped us right in the fence to cause a caution. Caution is out.’’

Kenseth: “NASCAR has officially lost any control of this racing that they have.’’

Ratcliff: “I know man, this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.’’

Kenseth: “He told me he’s going to stay in his lane. So the 13 (actually it was the 6 of Trevor Bayne) went outside of him. As soon as (Bayne) went outside him, he hung a right and wrecked (Bayne). I was going to go outside and he swerved right into me. I don’t know.’’

Danica Patrick’s radio channel

Spotter Brandon Benesch tells Patrick before the aborted restart that there’s an issue with Harvick’s car.

Benesch: “The 4 has a problem. He thinks he’s either got a cracked head or a cylinder down or something.’’

Benesch: “The 4 sounds bad.’’

Patrick: “I think the 4 is going to go high if the thing won’t run. Check with him.’’

After the failed restart, the field is set again for what will be the single attempt at a green-flag finish.

Benesch: “The 4 is going to be lined up on the top … He’s having major issues. He may pull off the top before the start here. He hasn’t made up his mind yet.’’

Patrick: “Then what will I do?”

Benesch: “I just asked. He said he won’t keep up, so there’s no use (of pushing him).’’

Benesch: “What do you think about that Danica? He said don’t bother.’’

A short time later, Benesch says: “OK, the 4 is going to stay in line. Nobody is going to be able to pass him until the (start/finish) line, so it’s going to be a little bit slow going I believe.’’

Patrick: “Should I be pushing or not?’’

Benesch: “There’s going to be a three-car buffer in between. Just push the whole line I say. I’m going to check with them.’’

Patrick: “Should I push or not?’’

Benesch: “Yeah, push if you can.’’

Patrick: “I’ll try to do the right thing. Try to be smart.’’

Benesch: “10-4, big picture here.’’

The field comes to the restart and Patrick is among those collected in the crash.

Sunday Cup race at Las Vegas: Start time, TV channel

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The second round of the Cup playoffs begins with the Sunday Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The 1.5-mile track kicks off the Round of 12. Winning the race and stage points are a premium for playoff drivers before the races at Talladega and the Charlotte Roval.

Kevin Harvick, who won at Bristol, starts from the pole.

Here is all the info for the Sunday Cup race at Las Vegas:

(All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given by Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis at 7:07 p.m. The green flag waves at 7:17 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at Noon. Drivers report to their cars at 6:50 p.m. The invocation will be given at 7 p.m. by Motor Racing Outreach Chaplain, Billy Mauldin. The national anthem will be performed by Sierra Black at 7:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 267 laps (400.5 miles) around the 1.5-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 80. Stage 2 ends on Lap 160

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Coverage begins at 6 p.m with NASCAR America, followed by Countdown to Green at 6:30 p.m. Race coverage begins at 7 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage will begin at 6 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the broadcast.

STREAMING: Watch the race on the NBC Sports App

FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for sunny skies with a high of 96 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST RACE: Kevin Harvick beat Kyle Busch to win at Bristol and claim his ninth win of the season.

LAST POINTS RACE AT LAS VEGAS: Joey Logano beat Matt DiBenedetto and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in February.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the lineup.

CATCH UP ON NBC SPORTS’ COVERAGE:

Kurt Busch seeks first Las Vegas win but without hometown fans

Michael Jordan excited for NASCAR future with Denny Hamlin

Carolina Blue: Brad Daugherty and Michael Jordan bonded by NASCAR

Germain Racing sells charter, will exit sport at end of season

Charlotte Roval to host limited number of fans

Friday 5: Team’s departure adds to ‘extremely stressful’ time

NASCAR fines Hendrick Motorsports $100,000

NTSB releases final report on Dale Jr. plane crash

Bubba Wallace to receive Stan Musial award for extraordinary character

Long: 100 days left in 2020, what else can happen?

Kurt Busch seeks first Las Vegas win, but without hometown fans

Kurt Busch
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A win by Kurt Busch in tonight’s Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (7 p.m. ET on NBCSN) couldn’t come under more bittersweet circumstances for the Chip Ganassi Racing driver.

Should Busch claim the victory on the 1.5-mile track, he’d go from being the last driver on the playoff grid (3,001 points entering the race) to the first driver to advance to the Round of 8.

While it would be his first victory of the year, it would also be his first NASCAR win at his home track in 23 starts across the Cup and Xfinity Series.

More: Stage points critical at Vegas

“The Vegas track has definitely been one of the tough ones for me over the years with results and finishes not where I would have expected them to be,” Busch said this week. “And the teams that I’ve raced for just have never quite found that right magic set-up or combination. And then for me, it’s a track that I just have that trouble with.

“There are a few tracks like Indianapolis and Martinsville; those are a few places where I struggle. And so with Vegas, I always put that little extra hometown pressure on myself and I would love to win there.”

The 42-year-old Las Vegas-native rolls off ninth on the 1.5-mile track. It’s his fourth while driving for Ganassi.

In his 21 Cup starts in Las Vegas, Busch’s best result is third in 2005 when he competed for Roush Fenway Racing. He has just one other top five. That came in last year’s spring race when he drove a throwback paint scheme to his 1999 NASCAR Southwest Series championship.

That day he led 23 laps. It was only the seventh time he’d led laps there and just the third time he’d totaled more than six laps led.

In February, Busch finished 25th.

If Busch were to finally make it to Vegas’ Victory Lane, the celebration would be somewhat muted.

It was announced last weekend that fans would not be allowed to attend the races at Las Vegas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would love to win through the spirit of the camera and everything on NBC Sports; and I know the fans there, local, will be watching and cheering on the Busch brothers,” Busch said. “So, that’s where I would connect. And hopefully do it through the TV side of it. We’ll get fans back one day and we’ll come back and race.”

Busch enters the Round of 12 having earned just one top 10 in the first round, an eighth-place finish at Darlington. He finished 13th at Richmond and 15th at Bristol.

“What I like is we have had better lap times at all three races so far compared to maybe the five or six races leading into the playoffs,” Busch said. “We know that our cushion is gone. We ended Bristol with 33 points to the good. And now we start Vegas minus four (points behind Austin Dillon in the cutoff spot). So that’s just part of the system and now we have to be perfect. We have to get every point possible that we’re able to get on our own at Vegas, Talladega, and the Roval. And, that should help us advance.”

Carolina Blue: Brad Daugherty and Michael Jordan bonded by NASCAR

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Brad Daugherty and Michael Jordan were teammates from 1982-84 at the University of North Carolina and Eastern Conference rivals throughout the 1980s and ’90s in the NBA.

But their friendship was about more than just hoops. While growing up on opposite ends of the Tar Heel State, Daugherty and Jordan both developed a passion for following NASCAR.

Tobacco Road meant fast cars and hard-driving heroes for these two North Carolina natives.

LIFELONG FAN: Michael Jordan explains why he’s partnering with Denny Hamlin

In a NASCAR on NBC feature, Daugherty recalls how NASCAR impacted his life and Jordan’s and led both into team ownership. Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin announced they will form a team to field cars for Bubba Wallace next season.

Daughterty notes in the feature that Wallace “has led a dynamic transformation as NASCAR banned Confederate flags and recommitted to inclusion amidst times of great unrest. This is a huge moment for NASCAR, a cultural momentum shift. This is people of all colors coming together to create an all-American race team already with championship lineage.

“With proper funding, equipment and crewmembers, this will be the best chance ever for a Black driver to win – and while driving for a Black owner. An opportunity to shock the world like Muhammad Ali once did.”

Watch the feature above on Brad Daugherty and Michael Jordan or by clicking this link.

Las Vegas Xfinity results, driver points

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Chase Briscoe‘s victory Saturday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway sends him into the next round of the Xfinity playoffs.

Noah Gragson led a 2-3-4 finish for JR Motorsports. Gragson was second and followed by Daniel Hemric and Justin Allgaier. Ryan Sieg finished fifth.

Briscoe dominated the race, leading 164 of the 200 laps.

Click here for Xfinity race results

POINTS

Ross Chastain finished 16th, last among the playoff drivers, and fell out of a transfer spot to the second round. He’s two points behind Harrison Burton for the final transfer spot. Michael Annett is 10 points behind Burton. Riley Herbst is 14 points behind Burton. Brandon Brown is 20 points behind Burton.

Click here for driver points report