Kyle Busch scores Xfinity Series win at Las Vegas

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Kyle Busch led all but one lap to win the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his first Xfinity Series win at his home track.

Busch won from the pole for the second week in a row and led a sweep of the top three positions by Joe Gibbs Racing, as he was chased in the final laps by Daniel Suarez , who finished second, and rookie Erik Jones, who fought back from two speeding penalties that sent him two laps down.

“It feels really good for as good as this car was,” Busch told Fox Sports 1. “I hated to lose but man, Daniel Suarez was coming on there at the end. He was really, really fast.”

Busch led 199 of 200 laps and along the way led his 16,000th lap, which is a Xfinity Series record. At one point, Busch had lapped all but 10 cars in the 40-car field. Eleven drivers managed to finish on the lead lap.

“Suarez was definitely faster than us when he got clean track,” Busch said. “If roles were reversed, he would have been pulling away from me and I wasn’t going to be able to catch him.”

Suarez earned his first top five of the year and the ninth of his career. The second-year driver made a last effort at the lead in the closing laps, getting within a few car lengths of Busch before the No. 18 took the checkered flag.

“I just felt like it took me too much time to figure out how to be fast with a loose car in traffic,” Suarez told Fox Sports 1. “I think in the end we were able to figure it out, but it took me 10 laps.”

HOW KYLE BUSCH WON: The No. 18 started from the pole and stayed out front for the entire race except for one lap during green flag pit stops.

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Erik Jones had a complicated relationship with pit road. During the first set of green flag stops, the rookie was caught speeding entering and leaving the pits. Then, while serving his pass through penalty, he was caught speeding again, leading to a stop-and-go penalty. Thanks to cautions, the rookie clawed his way back to finish third … Brendan Gaughan, another Las Vegas native, finished 10th, one of the 11 cars that finished on the lead lap … Brennan Poole finished 11th, just shy of earning his third top-10 finish of his career.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY:  Blake Koch had a mechanical issue on Lap 108 that made his No. 11 lose power and head to the garage for a short time. Koch finished 26th … The red flag was brought out on Lap 137 for a crash involving Cody Ware, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Justin Marks. Ware’s car became loose in Turn 2, spun and slid down the outside wall before coming to a rest in the middle of the track. Wallace was unable to avoid Ware and slammed into the car. The impact destroyed the right-rear of Wallace’s car, which continued down the track before being hit again by Marks. All three drivers walked away and Wallace finished in 33rd, 65 laps down. “By the time we saw (Ware) it was too late. I was already kind of pinched sideways. It was a hell of a hit,” Wallace said … It was an uncharacteristic day for the No. 22 at Team Penske. Brad Keselowski started 15th and by Lap 50 was being lapped by Kyle Busch. A vibration caused him to pit out of sequence and fall further off the pace. He finished 15th, three laps down.

NOTABLE: The only lap not led by Kyle Busch was led by Darrell Wallace Jr. on Lap 55 … Daniel Suarez leaves Las Vegas leading the point standings. He has a three-point lead over Elliott Sadler … Xfinity Series regulars have failed to win in the first three race of 2016 and qualify for the series’ Chase.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s awesome that they have always supported racing out here in Vegas. Fans have always supported the Bullring and then fans always come out here to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I love it and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.” – Kyle Busch after winning his first Xfinity Series race at his home track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

NEXT: Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 12.

Sponsor adds more races in 2023 with Josh Berry

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Jarrett Companies will increase the number of races it will sponsor Josh Berry‘s No. 8 JR Motorsports ride in 2023, the Xfinity Series team announced Monday.

Jarrett Companies will sponsor Berry in six races after serving as the primary sponsor in three races in 2022. Those six races will be Phoenix (March 11), Richmond (April 1), Dover (April 29), Atlanta (July 8), Indianapolis (Aug. 12) and Texas (Sept. 23).

The deal gives Berry at least 26 races with sponsorship for next season. Bass Pro Shops will serve as the primary sponsor of Berry’s car in 11 races in 2023. Tire Pros is back with JRM and will sponsor Berry in nine races in the upcoming season.

Berry, who reached the Xfinity title race and finished fourth in the points, will have a new crew chief in 2023. Taylor Moyer will take over that role with Mike Bumgarner serving as JRM’s director of competition.

The 2023 Xfinity season begins Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway.

 

Where are they now? Buddy Parrott enjoying down time

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Buddy Parrott played outsized roles in two of the most dramatic races in NASCAR history.

Now 83 years old and retired from the sport since 2001, Parrott looks back on those two days as highlights of a career that began in the early 1970s.

In the 1990 Daytona 500, champion driver Dale Earnhardt seemed on course to end his frustration in NASCAR’s biggest event. He held the lead roaring down the backstretch on the last lap. Suddenly, Earnhardt slowed with a blown tire.

The lead was inherited by Derrike Cope, who charged to the checkered flag to score one of racing’s biggest upsets.

Parrott was Cope’s crew chief.

MORE: NASCAR Power Rankings: Memorable quotes through the years

In 1984, Richard Petty edged Cale Yarborough to win the summer race at Daytona International Speedway. It was Petty’s 200th – and final – win.

Parrott was Petty’s crew chief.

Those victories were high marks in a long pit-road career that saw Parrott’s drivers win dozens of races. He worked with, among others, Darrell Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, Jeff Burton and Petty and for team owners Jack Roush and Roger Penske.

Parrott remains active at 83, although he admits to having moved to a slower gear.

“I haven’t been living on the edge,” Parrott told NBC Sports. “I’ve been taking it really easy. I told my sons when you get to be 80 you can do anything you want because basically you’ve already done it.”

MORE: NASCAR, ARCA 2023 schedules

His strongest current connection to NASCAR is as a voter in the annual Hall of Fame balloting.

After more than 20 years roaming pit roads as a crew chief, Parrott moved into a general manager role at Roush Racing in 1997. He retired four years later and didn’t look back.

“I finally told Jack one day, ‘I don’t have time to ride my motorcycle,’ ” Parrott said. “He looked at me and said, ‘What do you want to do about it?’ I said, ‘I’m ready to retire.’ He told me I could work whatever schedule I wanted, but I decided that was it. I didn’t have a going-away thing or whatever.”

Parrott spent much of the next 15 years traveling with his wife, Judy, who died in 2016, and playing with his grandchildren.

“I had a great time in retirement because Judy was ready and I was ready,” he said. “We had a lot of fun. We’d go to Florida for two and three months at a time. I’m so happy that I didn’t hang on and go to the shop every day and try to find something to do. I spent that time with Judy, and we had 16 years of good retirement.”

Parrott, a native of Gastonia, N.C., lives in Statesville, N.C. His sons, Todd and Brad, also were NASCAR crew chiefs.

MORE: Jody Ridley’s Dover win an upset for the ages

Parrott is perhaps best remembered as crew chief for Rusty Wallace, Team Penske and the No. 2 black cars sponsored by Miller Lite. From 1992-94, they won 19 races and were consistently competitive at the front.

“I still get a lot of cards sent to me to sign from those years,” Parrott said. “I can say that was some of the happiest times I had. Those years with Rusty – and then with Jack Roush – really stand out. And who in the hell could not have fun having a beer sponsor?”

 

 

NASCAR Awards to air at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on Peacock

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Joey Logano didn’t need much time to answer the question.

Who would the two-time Cup champion want to introduce him at the NASCAR Awards?

Racing icon Mario Andretti, Logano immediately said. 

And there was Andretti on the stage at the Music City Center introducing Logano, the 2022 Cup champion. Watch that and the rest of the night’s festivities at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on Peacock. You can order Peacock here.

MORE: See the red carpet scene

MORE: Sport shows support for Gibbs family at NASCAR Awards

NBC Sports’ Marty Snider and Kim Coon co-hosted the show along with Fox Sports’ Kaitlyn Vincie. The Cup, Xfinity and Truck champions were honored. Xfinity champion Ty Gibbs, whose father died hours after Gibbs won the Xfinity title last month, received a standing ovation and thanked the industry for its support.

The highlight of the night for Logano was having Andretti on stage to introduce him.

“He’s just been a great role model for me, not only as a racer, but as a person for so long,” Logano said afterward. “I had his picture on my wall. I looked at Mario Andretti before I went to sleep every night as a kid. I thought it was the coolest thing that he signed it to me.”

NASCAR Awards and Champion Celebration
Cup champion Joey Logano on stage with racing icon Mario Andretti during the NASCAR Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Logano and Andretti have gotten to know each other through the years. Logano ran a throwback car that honored Andretti at Darlington Raceway in 2015 and 2021.

But none of that compared to being on stage with Andretti.

“That’s still like a pinch-me moment,” Logano said. “It’s Mario Andretti. He’s the man. The fact that he knows my name I think is really, really cool.”

Catch the NASCAR Awards at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on Peacock

Sport shows support for Gibbs family at NASCAR Awards

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The NASCAR community showed its support Thursday at the NASCAR Awards for the Gibbs family, grieving the death of Coy Gibbs on Nov. 6. 

During his interview on stage, car owner Joe Gibbs thanked the NASCAR industry for its support. (The NASCAR Awards show airs at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on Peacock).

Coy Gibbs, son of Joe Gibbs and father of Xfinity champion Ty Gibbs, died hours after seeing Ty Gibbs win the series title last month at Phoenix Raceway. Coy Gibbs, 49, was the vice chairman and chief operating officer at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR chief operating officer, introduced Ty Gibbs at the NASCAR Awards and noted that “everyone gathered tonight is all a part of the NASCAR family, and I know I speak for everyone that the entire NASCAR family is 100% percent behind this young man.”

Ty Gibbs received a standing ovation.

“Thank you,” he told the crowd, “that means a lot.”

Ty Gibbs spoke for less than a minute, thanking his team, sponsors, fans and the NASCAR community.

He closed his speech by saying “And thanks to my family. I love you. I hope everybody has a great offseason. Enjoy it. Thank you for all the support. Thank you for all the claps. I really appreciate it.”

Ty Gibbs spoke to the media earlier Thursday. Asked how he was doing, he said: “I’ve been doing good. Thank you for asking and definitely appreciate you guys. We’ve been doing good, doing a lot of stuff this week. … It’s been fun to experience this stuff.”

Asked about Joe Gibbs addressing the organization after Coy’s death, Ty Gibbs politely said: “For right now, I’m not going to touch on any of that subject at all. I’m just going to stick with all the racing questions and go from there.”

Cup champion Joey Logano said he spent time with 20-year-old Ty Gibbs on Wednesday at the champion’s dinner.

Logano said he told Ty Gibbs that “we’re here for you. You need something reach out.”