(Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)

Joe Gibbs Racing matches owners’ win total of Junior Johnson

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Junior Johnson’s last victory as an owner in the Sprint Cup Series came 22 years ago on Sept. 4, 1994.

On that day, Bill Elliott drove the No. 11 Budweiser Ford into victory lane in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

The victory, Elliott’s 40th of his career (and last until 2001), was the 132nd Sprint Cup win by Johnson as an owner. Twenty-nine year earlier, Johnson earned the first one himself, winning a Daytona 500 qualifying race in 1965.

In 1994, Joe Gibbs Racing was still in its infancy, competing in only its third seasons in the Sprint Cup. But like Johnson, Joe Gibbs’ first win as a team owner came in Daytona in the 1993 Daytona 500, with Dale Jarrett clinching his second career win.

At the time of the 1994 Southern 500, JGR still only had one victory. That changed five races later in the Mello Yello 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jarrett won the race under caution, a week after failing to make a race at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

Johnson’s last season as an owner came in 1995, but JGR would grow into one of the top teams in NASCAR. On Sunday, Carl Edwards‘ win in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway was the 132nd Sprint Cup win for JGR.

That puts JGR in a tie for fourth on the all-time wins list for teams.

Edwards’ win, JGR’s fourth of the season, puts the team within three of Roush Fenway Racing’s total of 135. It was Edwards himself who got Roush to that total when he won at Sonoma in 2014, his last season with the team before joining JGR in 2015.

It has been 64 races since that Sonoma victory. In the meantime, JGR has won 18 times. None of those wins came in the 2014 season after Edward’s Sonoma win.

JGR’s 132 wins have come with Edwards, Jarrett, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, and Joey Logano.

Ahead of Roush on the wins list is Hendrick Motorsports with 242. That is 26 wins away from the top mark of 268 wins by Petty Enterprises, which ceased operations in 2008.

The next stop on the Sprint Cup circuit is Richmond International Raceway, where JGR has recorded 10 wins, a tie for second most in its history with Pocono Raceway.

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