Elliott Sadler breaks 65-race Xfinity winless streak on 41st birthday at Talladega


Elliott Sadler gave himself one of his most memorable birthday presents, winning his first Xfinity Series race in his last 66 starts in Saturday’s Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway.

But it was far from easy.

Sadler was involved in a wreck with Joey Logano coming to the finish line. Logano tried to block Sadler but they made contact, sending Logano’s car up the track into the SAFER barrier.

Sadler bounced off Logano’s car but maintained control. Even though he dipped below the double yellow line and into the grass, Sadler was in the lead at that point and NASCAR threw the yellow flag.

“I felt that was one of the best saves I’ve ever made in the grass to keep it straight,” Sadler told Fox Sports.

Brennan Poole crossed the finish line first, but NASCAR determined — after about a five-minute review — that Sadler was the leader when the caution waved.

“People don’t know how hard it is to win these races and it’s very emotional,” Sadler told Fox Sports, his voice cracking. “Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. gave me a great opportunity to come here and I have one heck of a race team.”

While disappointed at not getting the win, Poole was also happy for Sadler.

“It was really cool to be able to have an opportunity to have a win,” Poole said. “I thought we were way to the good, but that’s how it is. Congrats to Elliott. He’s a former Late Model stock guy like myself, so it was cool to see him win.”

Sadler’s win came at the same place as his last Xfinity victory: May 3, 2014 at Talladega. Saturday’s race was scheduled for 113 laps, but went three laps longer due to a late wreck on Lap 110 when Jeb Burton‘s spin brought out the caution.

Sadler’s teammate at JR Motorsports, Justin Allgaier, finished second, followed by Poole, Jeremy Clements and Brendan Gaughan.

MORE: Results from Saturday’s Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega

MORE: Sadler moves into tie with Suarez for Xfinity Series points lead

HOW SADLER WON: Sadler faked right and went left to try and get around race leader Joey Loganotried to block Sadler but lost control of his car, bounced off Sadler’s car and went head-on into the wall. Sadler maintained control of his car even though he was partly pushed into the grass and in the lead when NASCAR called the caution, freezing the field and giving the win to Sadler.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Even though he was first thought to be the winner, and had to wait for five minutes while NASCAR reviewed video to make a final determination, Brennan Poole wound up third, his first top-five. … Others having good races were Justin Allgaier, Jeremy Clements and Brendan Gaughan.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: There was a hard wreck on Lap 31 between Chris Cockrum and Joey Gase. Cockrum spun seven times after clipping the wall that juts out on Turn 2 in an area that allows safety crews to access the track. Both drivers were uninjured. … Erik Jones had a rare off day, finishing 22nd. Jones was clipped by Jeb Burton on the second-to-last caution and suffered damage to the right front of his car.

NOTABLE: Chase Elliott was forced to start at the back of the pack after missing driver introductions. … Logano went from the leader to a 27th-place finish after the wreck on the frontstretch coming to the start-finish line.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Great birthday gift to me, with my wife and kids here with me. We needed this win. I told everybody this morning we’ve got the car to win it, things went our way, we had a little luck and we were able to make it at the end.” – Elliott Sadler.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Xfinity Series is off next weekend. The next race will be Saturday, May 14, at Dover International Speedway (2 p.m. ET).

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Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.

Sunday Cup race at WWT Raceway: Start time, TV info, weather


Twelve races remain until the playoffs begin in early September. Ten drivers have won races. The pressure to secure a playoff spot builds as the Cup Series heads into the summer months.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at WWT Raceway

(All times Eastern)

START: Six-time Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee will give the command to start engines at 3:32 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting is at 2:40 p.m. … Driver intros are at 2:55 p.m. … Tim Bounds, pastor at The Crossing Church St. Louis, will give the invocation at 3:24 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by Bebe Winans and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at 3:25 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 240 laps (300 miles) on the 1.25-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 140.

STARTING LINEUP: Cup starting lineup

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. … Coverage begins at 2 p.m. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground — Partly cloudy with a high of 90 degrees and a 15% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Joey Logano won the inaugural Cup race at this track. Kyle Busch was second. Kurt Busch placed third.


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Drivers to watch at World Wide Technology Raceway

Cup starting lineup at World Wide Technology Raceway


Kyle Busch will lead the Cup starting lineup to the green flag in Sunday’s Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.

Busch will be joined on the front row by Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney.

MORE: Cup starting lineup

The second row will have Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. The third row has Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano.

Corey LaJoie, driving the No. 9 car in place of the suspended Chase Elliott, qualified 30th after hitting the wall on his lap.

The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1.

Kyle Busch wins Cup pole at WWT Raceway


Kyle Busch collected his first Cup pole of the season and will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Busch last won a Cup pole at Phoenix in November 2019. He earned his 33rd career Cup pole Saturday with a lap of 137.187 mph on the 1.25-mile speedway.

MORE: Cup starting lineup

“Being able to get a pole here with Richard Childress Racing, Team Chevy and everybody on this No. 8 team is good for us and just try to get some momentum rolling,” Busch said. “Our short track stuff hasn’t been the greatest this year so far, but this isn’t the short track aero package here this weekend, so that might pay dividends hopefully for us to just have a better day than what we anticipated. Just excited to have the guys pumped up and raring to go, and knowing that their hard work is paying off.”

Busch will be joined on the front row by Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney, who qualified at 137.153 mph. Blaney’s car failed inspection twice before qualifying. He will lose his pit selection for Sunday’s race. His car chief also was ejected. Brad Keselowski‘s car also failed inspection twice before qualifying. He loses pit selection and had the team’s car chief ejected. Keselowski qualified 19th with a lap of 135.743 mph.

Denny Hamlin (136.903 mph) starts third and is followed by Kevin Harvick (136.766) and Martin Truex Jr. (136.360). Harvick has two top-five starts this season and both have come in the last two events.

“I think we have a little bit of work to do on our car in race trim, but a lot of it is just getting into a rhythm I think – more than anything,” Harvick said. “Qualifying, we were just a little bit tight through Turns 1 and 2, and the car was good in 3 and 4. So, we have to have a better balance, and that’s what probably cost us a little bit of speed to get the pole. But, still a good day and a good starting spot.”

Corey LaJoie, subbing for the suspended Chase Elliott, will start 30th after hitting the wall on his qualifying lap. He qualified at 134.561 mph. Carson Hocevar, making in his Cup debut in LaJoie’s car, qualified 26th with a lap of 135.220 mph.

Green flag for Sunday’s race is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m. ET on FS1.