Christopher Bell says concussion concerns necessitated hospital trip after Daytona wreck

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HAMPTON, Ga. – Christopher Bell said it was symptoms of dizziness that sent him to the hospital after his terrifying wreck in the Camping World Truck Series opener at Daytona International Speedway.

After his No. 4 Toyota stopped its barrel roll down the frontstretch on the last lap, Bell radioed his team he was fine and was able to walk to an awaiting ambulance. But the dizziness worsened during his trip to the infield care center, so the track medical staff elected to send the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver to the hospital to ensure he hadn’t sustained a concussion.

“I’m just really thankful that everyone before me that have taken hard crashes and NASCAR has done all their research about it,” Bell said Friday morning at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he returned to practicing for Saturday’s truck race. “They just wanted to take me in for precautionary reasons and, yeah, (the dizziness) probably (is) why they took me back there.

“I was a little bit nauseaous but not bad. Went (to the hospital), did concussion tests, but thankfully I never really took a super hard hit, and I didn’t have a concussion.”

Aside from some facial bruising on his forehead, Bell said he felt 100 percent the next morning until “I got out of bed and realized I couldn’t move quite as fast, but after a couple of days that was all gone, and I’m good to go.”

Bell, a former USAC star in sprint cars who scored his breatkthrough victory last summer in the Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway, was looking forward to putting the wreck behind him by racing Saturday.

“I have flipped a couple of times in my open-wheel days, but the biggest thing about the stock car is it might not hurt as bad because you’ve got more material around you,” Bell said. “But the g-forces were way more just because I think the biggest thing was you’re sitting to the left compared (with) an open-wheel car, you’re in the center of the car, so everything is flipping around you, where in the stock car you’re off to the side of the truck. So whenever you start barrel-rolling, it’s trying to throw you out of the car.

“Basically I was just trying to wonder when this thing was going to stop, and whenever you start flipping, it just feels like it goes on forever. I was in the tuck position just gripping the wheel as tight as I could just hoping it would stop and whenever it would stop then no one would hit me and I’d be on all fours. Luckily, my spotter he called over to me that everyone’s gone by, nobody’s hit you and, yeah, just waiting for it to stop.”

The Norman, Okla., native, who is highly thought of by Toyota Racing Development as one of its developmental drivers, said he watched the replay just to see how the wreck began. Bell’s truck flipped nearly nine times.

“In the truck, you really don’t realize how you get moved around and how it starts, but then after that the flip, actually, I was just really thankful it never hit hard on the cage or on the nose,” Bell, 21, said. It was all kind of just barrel rolls and so just really grateful that it never hit that super hard hit.

Watching Austin Dillon (in the airborne crash last July) at Daytona, you think that it will never happen to me, and then next thing you know, it is happening to you. So watching it was definitely an eye-opener because even after I went through the crash, it still didn’t really sink in, but then whenever I got to watch myself flipping, it’s like, ‘Wow, that did happen to me.’ It puts everything in perspective for sure.”

NASCAR Power Rankings: Kevin Harvick still No. 1 after quiet Vegas

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Kevin Harvick didn’t have a flashy night Sunday in Las Vegas, but it didn’t keep him from retaining the No. 1 spot in this week’s NASCAR Power Rankings.

After winning the Bristol night race, Harvick finished in the top 10 in the first two stages in Vegas before placing 10th at race’s end.

Kurt Busch’s win at his home track vaulted him into the top 10 as 12 drivers received votes.

More: Playoff standings after Las Vegas

Here is this week’s NASCAR Power Rankings:

1. Kevin Harvick (Last week No. 1): In the last eight races he’s won three times and finished outside the top 10 only twice.

2. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week No. 5): Placed fourth for his 11th top-five finish in the last 14 races.

3. Alex Bowman (Last week unranked): Finished fifth for his second top five and fifth top-10 finish in the last six races.

4. Denny Hamlin (Last week unranked): Left Vegas with a third-place finish to snap a three-race streak of finishing outside the top 10.

5. Kurt Busch (Last week unranked): Snapped a 46-race winless streak with his victory and advanced to the Round of 8.

6. Kyle Busch (Last week No. 3): Finished sixth after a “dismal” night. He has four consecutive top 10s.

7. Brad Keselowski (Last week No. 5): Finished 13th to give him two finishes outside the top 10 since he won at Richmond.

8. Chase Briscoe (Last week unranked): Opened the Xfinity playoffs with his second consecutive win.

8. Chase Elliott (Last week No. 2): Led 73 laps, but had to settle for a 22nd-place finish in Vegas.

8. Joey Logano (Last week No. 3): Finished 14th for his second straight finish outside the top 10.

Also receiving votes: Erik Jones and Chris Buescher.

NASCAR announces changes to Kansas playoff weekend

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Citing “programming changes,” NASCAR announced shifts in the race dates and start times for its visit next month to Kansas Speedway.

The Xfinity, ARCA and Truck Series races have been shifted, while the Cup race remains at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Oct. 18.

The biggest move is the Truck Series race shifting from Friday night to Saturday afternoon.

Here are the changes.

Friday, Oct. 16, 8:30 p.m. ETARCA Menards Series on FS1 or FS2; network TBD at a later date (previously at 10 p.m. ET)

Saturday, Oct. 17, 4 p.m. ETTruck Series on FOX (previously Friday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. ET on FS1)

Saturday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m. ET Xfinity on NBCSN (previously 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN)

 

Xfinity Series playoff standings after Las Vegas

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Chase Briscoe opened the Xfinity Series playoffs by earning his second consecutive win.

His victory Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway gives him 57 playoff points and an automatic spot in the Round of 8.

Harrison Burton holds the final transfer spot. He has a two-point advantage over Ross Chastain.

Behind Chastain below the cutline are Michael Annett (-10 points), Riley Herbst (-14) and Brandon Brown (-20).

Below is the full Xfinity Series playoff standings going into Saturday’s race at Talladega (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Drivers in red are below the cutline to advance. Drivers in yellow are in the remaining playoff spots.

Xfinity Series playoff standings

Cup playoff standings after Las Vegas

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Kurt Busch flipped the script on the Cup playoff standings with his win Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

He entered the Round of 12 as the last driver in the playoff standings, but is the first driver to clinch a spot in the Round of 8.

Replacing Busch in the bottom spot of the playoff standings is Austin Dillon. He is 32 points behind Alex Bowman, who holds the final cutoff spot.

Behind Bowman is Kyle Busch (-9 points), Clint Bowyer (-20), Aric Almirola (-27) and Dillon.

“Obviously, the 1 car (Kurt Busch) was not a car that we needed to win a race,” Clint Bowyer said after Sunday’s race. “It’s been a hell of a battle back there with cars that are kind of in the same wheelhouse as far as points-wise. (Kurt Busch) winning changes that landscape quite a bit, but we’re only 20 points out.”

Here is the full playoff standings entering Sunday’s playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET on NBC).

Drivers in red are below the cutline to advance to the Round of 8. Drivers in yellow hold the remaining available playoff spots.

Cup playoff standings