Kyle Busch steers answers away from last-lap contact with Carl Edwards that cost him win


Give Kyle Busch credit for sticking around to answer the questions this time – even though his answers might not have elicited the information being sought.

After being bumped from the lead by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Carl Edwards on the final corner Sunday at Richmond International Raceway, Busch was asked – twice – about the contact that cost him the win.

He gave two answers that would have left Rasheed Wallace, Marshawn Lynch or more recently Russell Westbrook smiling.

Q: Did you have any expectations that he was going to make contact with you for the win?

Busch: Our Banfield Camry was real awesome today.  We had a great race car.  My guys made some awesome adjustments to it.  It was really good for us to have an opportunity to run and race for the win like that.

Q: Carl said maybe he felt a little bit differently about it because you both had wins, because you both were already in the Chase.  Do you feel like these races are different with both of you holding a win?

Busch:  My guys give me great racecars each and every week.  We continue to have fast Camrys.  We’ll be continuing to run up front and race for wins.

It might not have been helpful to the news media covering the event, but it could be viewed as a cost-savings maneuver (as well as another chance to weave in some sponsor plugs) by Busch, who was fined $10,000 for skipping postrace media obligations a second in an Xfinity race at Fontana, Calif., last month.

JGR teammate Denny Hamlin, who finished sixth, could appreciate Busch’s frustration after passing teammate Matt Kenseth for the win on the last lap of the Daytona 500.

“I think every driver is trying to win for themselves,” Hamlin said. “Ultimately if you give yourself an opportunity to win, you know you’re not going to wreck your teammate

“I think it’s OK. That’s the biggest thing – you can’t wreck a teammate for a race win, that’s for sure.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Edwards’ winning move entirely was justified.

“It was awesome,” Earnhardt said. “I know Kyle was probably disappointed, but it’s short-track racing, man. The fans come to see something like that. If you can reach them, if you can get to them on the last lap, you better be leaning on them a little bit. He didn’t wreck him. As long as you don’t put a guy in the fence. I think the fans really enjoy it, and that has always been good for the sport for 50 years.  Hopefully, we have more exciting races come up in the next several weeks.”

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