Denny Hamlin is halfway leader at Daytona 500, followed by Kenseth, Truex

(Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Denny Hamlin is the halfway leader of the 58th Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway at Lap 100 of the scheduled 200-lap event.

Matt Kenseth is second, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne and defending Sprint Cup champ Kyle Busch.

Sixth through 10th are Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch, Paul Menard, Johnson and Austin Dillon.

Hamlin has led the most laps (40), while Kyle Busch has led 19, Jimmie Johnson 18, Dale Earnhardt Jr. 15, pole sitter Chase Elliott 3 laps, and one lap led each by Ryan Newman, Michael Waltrip, David Ragan, Bobby Labonte and Martin Truex Jr.

Seconds after Kevin Harvick got loose, only to make a great save and did not hit any other cars, Elliott ran into trouble on Lap 19.

Elliott got loose while in the middle lane and spun into the infield grass, getting stuck in the process. A tow truck took Elliott’s No. 24 to the garage.

“I just got in the middle there, got loose off (turn 4) and just lost it,” Elliott told Fox Sports. “I hate it, it was such a fun week and you hate to end the race before you got started.

“I’m disappointed for everybody and we’ll have to look past it and get on for Atlanta. That’s the most important thing now. We can’t get caught up in what happened today.

“We’ll try to get it fixed and make some laps (still today). If not we’ll head it to Atlanta and make some laps and move forward from here.”

Elliott’s crew was able to repair his car and he returned to the race on Lap 60, 40 laps behind the leaders.

Regan Smith also spun in the incident, and like Elliott, suffered damage to his car when it hit the infield grass. Smith was able to get his car back onto pit road under its own power.

On Lap 56, Brian Vickers got loose and both Carl Edwards and Trevor Bayne got together trying to avoid Vickers’ car, with each car sustaining damage.

On Lap 92, rookies Matt DiBenedetto and 2015 Xfinity Series champ Chris Buescher wrecked together, with both cars suffering heavy damage. Their days are likely done in their respective debuts in the Daytona 500.

“I have nobody to blame,” DiBenedetto told Fox Sports. “It was my fault.”

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Brandon Jones wins Xfinity pole at Texas Motor Speedway

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Playoff driver Brandon Jones won the pole position Saturday morning for Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Jones was clocked at 185.637 miles per hour.

MORE: Texas Xfinity qualifying results

MORE: Texas Xfinity starting lineup

Scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on the USA Network, the race is the opening event of the Xfinity playoffs.

Following Jones in the top five were Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric, John Hunter Nemechek and Sam Mayer.

MORE: Post-race celebration? Try the Waffle House

The race is 200 laps (300 miles) on the 1.5-mile track. Drivers will be battling heat in the mid-to-high 90s.

 

NASCAR Saturday schedule at Texas Motor Speedway

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NASCAR Cup and Xfinity teams will be busy Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway.

The Cup Series enters the second round of the playoffs with 12 drivers remaining for the title. Cup teams will practice and qualify today.

The Xfinity Series begins its playoffs Saturday with 12 drivers in championship contention. Xfinity teams will practice and qualify before racing.

All track activity will be broadcast on USA Network. The temperature will climb into the mid-90s Saturday, according to Weather Underground.

Saturday, Sept. 24

Garage open

  • 8:30 a.m. — Xfinity Series
  • 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. — Cup Series

Track activity

  • 10:30 – 11:05 a.m. — Xfinity Series practice (USA Network, NBC Sports App)
  • 11:05 a.m. – noon — Xfinity Series qualifying (USA Network, NBC Sports App)
  • 12:35 – 1:20 p.m. — Cup Series practice (USA Network, NBC Sports App)
  • 1:20 – 2:30 p.m. — Cup Series qualifying (USA Network, NBC Sports App)
  • 3:30 p.m. — Xfinity Series race (200 laps, 300 miles; USA Network, NBC Sports App, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Saturday Texas Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather

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The Xfinity Series playoffs begin this weekend. Noah Gragson and Ty Gibbs enter as the favorites. They’ve combined to win 11 of the 26 races this season.

Gragson, who has six wins this season, seeks to win his fourth consecutive victory.

MORE: Noah Gragson’s special celebrations at Waffle House

Gibbs, who has five victories this year, is one of four drivers in the Xfinity playoffs for the first time. The other three are Josh Berry, Austin Hill and Sam Mayer.

Also in the playoffs are reigning series champion Daniel Hemric, Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Brandon Jones, Jeremy Clements, Riley Herbst and Ryan Sieg.

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Texas Motor Speedway

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given by Andy’s Frozen Custard executives Andy Kuntz, Dana Kuntz and Carol Kuntz at 3:38 p.m. … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 8:30 a.m. … Practice begins at 10:30 a.m. … Qualifying begins at 11:05 a.m. … Driver introductions are at 3 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Bret Shisler of Texas Alliance Raceway Ministries at 3:30 p.m. … Janie Balderas will perform the anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (300 miles) on the 1.5-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 90.

TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 3 p.m. on USA Network. The post-race show will air on USA Network. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 3 p.m. and also will stream at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

STREAMING: NBCsports.com

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Sunny with a high of 96 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Tyler Reddick gave Big Machine Racing its first series win in May. William Byron was second and Sam Mayer was third.

 

Ryan Blaney’s team to appeal Bristol penalty

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Team Penske will appeal the penalty to Ryan Blaney‘s team from last weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the organization confirmed Friday.

NASCAR suspended crew chief Jonathan Hassler, jackman Graham Stoddard and rear tire changer Zachary Price four races each after a wheel came off Blaney’s car during a pit stop. His left rear wheel rolled off when he exited his stall and the tire bounced down pit road through before it was captured.

The penalty would have caused Hassler and the pit crew members to miss all of the second round and the first race in the third round. With the appeal. Hassler, Stoddard and Price will be able to participate in Sunday’s Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network.).

Blaney enters the second round holding the final transfer spot. He, Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell are tied with 3,013 points. He won the All-Star Race in May at Texas.

Chase Briscoe is the first driver below the cutline. He’s four points behind Blaney. Alex Bowman and Daniel Suarez are each six points behind Blaney. Austin Cindric is seven points behind Blaney.