Brian Scott had ‘no clue’ of NASCAR future until Richard Petty Motorsports meeting this week

Associated Press

MOORESVILLE, N.C. – After an unnerving start to the offseason, Brian Scott’s Sprint Cup prospects accelerated from zero to 36 races this week.

Scott was announced Friday as the 2016 driver of Richard Petty Motorsports’ No. 9 Ford, replacing Sam Hornish Jr. in a deal that only was agreed upon at the team’s shop only a few days earlier.

“I went into the offseason really having no clue what the future held and giving some serious thought — or trying to think about — there’s a real possibility that something might not come together, and I might not be doing anything next year,” said Scott, who had raced full time in the Xfinity Series since 2010 and spent two seasons in the Camping World Truck Series before that. “This whole deal came together on Monday, literally just all materialized. Everything lined up right. We had a really good meeting, and everyone got pumped up, and I think there was some potential in that room Monday that led us to pull the trigger to come out of the gates and hit the ground running.”

Though no sponsorship was announced Friday, the team indicated that funding for the car was set and would be announced within the next month.

Scott has strong ties through his family to Albertson’s and Shore Lodge, which had backed his No. 2 Chevrolet at Richard Childress Racing the past three seasons. Though he had talked to multiple teams about rides for next season, RPM offered the only chance of racing full time in NASCAR’s premier series.

“That was ultimately the deciding factor,” said Scott, who will test Monday for RPM at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “It seemed the other opportunities were partial (in Sprint Cup) and piecing together races here and there. I felt for my development personally as a driver, I wanted to be in something full time. I wanted to be competing for a championship and gathering points and being in a Sprint Cup car week in and week out, and I’m so very fortunate to have this opportunity come together.

“There’s no doubt in my mind this is the best opportunity for me going forward.”

Scott said it was bittersweet to leave RCR for RPM. He finished a career-best fourth in the 2014 Xfinity points standings with RCR and also had three top-10 finishes during a 10-race stint in the Sprint Cup last season in a No. 33 Chevy owned by Richard Childress, who told last month that he was interested in having Scott return.

“It was difficult to put the pieces together that we needed,” Scott said. “I really enjoyed my time at RCR. They have amazing employees. I love the relationships we built. Of course, that was something we wanted to pursue. We wanted to continue that relationship. We just seemed to hit some roadblocks or some struggles that we couldn’t overcome to put the right deal together or the deal we wanted to have for 2016 and beyond with them.”

Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.

Sunday Cup race at WWT Raceway: Start time, TV info, weather


Twelve races remain until the playoffs begin in early September. Ten drivers have won races. The pressure to secure a playoff spot builds as the Cup Series heads into the summer months.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at WWT Raceway

(All times Eastern)

START: Six-time Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee will give the command to start engines at 3:32 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting is at 2:40 p.m. … Driver intros are at 2:55 p.m. … Tim Bounds, pastor at The Crossing Church St. Louis, will give the invocation at 3:24 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by Bebe Winans and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at 3:25 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 240 laps (300 miles) on the 1.25-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 140.

STARTING LINEUP: Cup starting lineup

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. … Coverage begins at 2 p.m. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground — Partly cloudy with a high of 90 degrees and a 15% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Joey Logano won the inaugural Cup race at this track. Kyle Busch was second. Kurt Busch placed third.


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Drivers to watch at World Wide Technology Raceway

Cup starting lineup at World Wide Technology Raceway


Kyle Busch will lead the Cup starting lineup to the green flag in Sunday’s Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.

Busch will be joined on the front row by Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney.

MORE: Cup starting lineup

The second row will have Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. The third row has Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano.

Corey LaJoie, driving the No. 9 car in place of the suspended Chase Elliott, qualified 30th after hitting the wall on his lap.

The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1.

Kyle Busch wins Cup pole at WWT Raceway


Kyle Busch collected his first Cup pole of the season and will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Busch last won a Cup pole at Phoenix in November 2019. He earned his 33rd career Cup pole Saturday with a lap of 137.187 mph on the 1.25-mile speedway.

MORE: Cup starting lineup

“Being able to get a pole here with Richard Childress Racing, Team Chevy and everybody on this No. 8 team is good for us and just try to get some momentum rolling,” Busch said. “Our short track stuff hasn’t been the greatest this year so far, but this isn’t the short track aero package here this weekend, so that might pay dividends hopefully for us to just have a better day than what we anticipated. Just excited to have the guys pumped up and raring to go, and knowing that their hard work is paying off.”

Busch will be joined on the front row by Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney, who qualified at 137.153 mph. Blaney’s car failed inspection twice before qualifying. He will lose his pit selection for Sunday’s race. His car chief also was ejected. Brad Keselowski‘s car also failed inspection twice before qualifying. He loses pit selection and had the team’s car chief ejected. Keselowski qualified 19th with a lap of 135.743 mph.

Denny Hamlin (136.903 mph) starts third and is followed by Kevin Harvick (136.766) and Martin Truex Jr. (136.360). Harvick has two top-five starts this season and both have come in the last two events.

“I think we have a little bit of work to do on our car in race trim, but a lot of it is just getting into a rhythm I think – more than anything,” Harvick said. “Qualifying, we were just a little bit tight through Turns 1 and 2, and the car was good in 3 and 4. So, we have to have a better balance, and that’s what probably cost us a little bit of speed to get the pole. But, still a good day and a good starting spot.”

Corey LaJoie, subbing for the suspended Chase Elliott, will start 30th after hitting the wall on his qualifying lap. He qualified at 134.561 mph. Carson Hocevar, making in his Cup debut in LaJoie’s car, qualified 26th with a lap of 135.220 mph.

Green flag for Sunday’s race is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m. ET on FS1.