Matt Kenseth loses final appeal, will miss next two races


Matt Kenseth lost his final appeal Thursday evening and will miss the next two Sprint Cup races.

Kenseth will miss this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway and next weekend’s race at Phoenix International Raceway. He’ll be able to return for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“I feel like I was unfairly made the example instead of knowing where the line is and what the penalties are,” Kenseth said. “I’m extremely disappointed, but we’ll get through this and go to Homestead.”

Erik Jones will drive in place of Kenseth this weekend at Texas.

“Obviously I’m going to do the best I can for them and just to keep them in contention and hopefully have a good race for them,” Jones said of the prospect of driving Kenseth’s car this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kenseth’s case was heard Tuesday afternoon by Bryan Moss, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer. Moss’ decision is final.

Moss reduced Kenseth’s probation from six months to through Dec. 31, 2015. Moss did not state why he upheld the suspension but reduced the probation in a statement.

Moss stated: “Upon hearing this afternoon’s testimony, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer made the following decisions:

“The Appellant (Kenseth) violated the Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice. The Penalty is amended to: ‘Suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events. Place on NASCAR probation through December 31, 2015.”

Moss could have altered Kenseth’s Behavior Penalty in any way  – increasing it, decreasing it, or keeping it the same.

The National Motorsports Appeals Panel upheld NASCAR’s penalty to Kenseth earlier in the day, setting up this final appeal. Serving on the Panel were Ken Clapp, a former motorsports executive, promoter and currently a motorsports consultant; Bill Mullis, a former driver and current owner of Langley Speedway; and Dale Pinilis, promoter at Bowman Gray Stadium. They were scheduled to hear an appeal involving Brandon Jones in the Camping World Truck Series but moved to the Kenseth case when it was expedited.  Jones’ appeal was rescheduled.

The burden of proof switched to Kenseth in his hearing before Moss. It was up to Kenseth to show by a “preponderance of the evidence” that (1) a violation did not occur, (2) the penalty assessed is not within the score of the Guidelines, and/or (3) that he or she was denied appellate rights as specified,” according to the Sprint Cup Rule Book.

This was Moss’ third hearing involving a Sprint Cup driver or team this season. He upheld NASCAR’s decision and the Appeal Panel’s decision to suspend Kurt Busch in February after a Kent County (Del.) Family Court Commissioner concluded that it was “more likely than not” that Busch committed an act of domestic abuse against his ex-girlfriend last year (the Delaware Attorney General declined to file charges). Moss upheld the amended penalties from the Appeals Panel to Ryan Newman‘s team for manipulating tires.

Issues for Kenseth started last month at Kansas Speedway when he was hit by Logano while they raced for the lead. Logano said he had been blocked repeatedly and held his ground. Kenseth spun, losing his chance to win the race. NASCAR Chairman Brian France called the contact “quintessential NASCAR.”

Kenseth got his revenge at Martinsville. His car was damaged in an incident with Logano’s teammate, Brad Keselowski. Kenseth was 10 laps behind the leaders when he ran into the back of Logano’s car while Logano led with 45 laps left. The contact sent both cars into the wall. NASCAR parked Kenseth for the race. Two days later, NASCAR announced that it would suspend Kenseth for two days, stating that Kenseth “eliminated” Logano’s chance to “continue to compete in the race.”

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