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NASCAR Chairman Brian France continues to discuss Tony Stewart fine


For the second time in two days, NASCAR Chairman Brian France called into SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to discuss a fine levied last week to Tony Stewart.

France took offense that Stewart’s comments last week questioned NASCAR’s stance on safety in a public forum instead of being made directly to NASCAR officials.

“He’s part of the driver’s council and he’s an owner as well, so he has a direct line to express those views, which he did not do,’’ France told hosts Jim Noble and Chocolate Myers on Tuesday. “We listen very carefully because their opinions are very important. When you imply that NASCAR doesn’t care about safety, you can expect a reaction from us.’’

France also was asked about the Sprint Cup Drivers Council issuing a statement against the fine to Stewart and if the Council has set the tone for action in the future.

“Listen, they’re our most important voice on what goes on,’’ France said. “I’m really proud that we opened that line up. They’ve got my cell phone number. They’ve got everybody from (NASCAR senior executives) Brent Dewar to Steve O’Donnell; they have an unprecedented access to voice any concerns they have.

“By the way, what you don’t see is that most of the time, they do. They’re calling us, ‘Tell me about this, explain that, I don’t understand this.’ We get a lot of thank yous and a lot of cooperation that way. We’re all trying to do the same thing. We’re all trying to make the racing the best it can be, and we’re trying to make it as safe as we can, for sure, and have fun along the way.

“It’s a fun business we’re in. We do cool stuff together. We’re innovative, and we’re changing formats and we’re open to their suggestions. Almost all of our most important advice has really come from our drivers council and our drivers.

“I always talk about Kevin Harvick had a big role in how we formatted the Chase, where we changed it around. We incorporated two of his ideas that have now served us really well. We have incredible appreciation and communication and a line that is open. Just because there is a line out there that every once in a while somebody crosses and we’ve got to react, that’s no big deal. They get it. They understand  that. That’s part of a free-flowing, fun sport. Basically we’re all going in the same direction. Things have never been better. We’re thrilled.’’

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