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What NASCAR drivers said after wild GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway

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There was a lot to be said following the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Here’s what most of the Sprint Cup field thought about its day, which saw Brad Keselowski come away with his fourth win at the track.

BRAD KESELOWSKI — Finished 1st: “The last three or four restarts before (final restart), the high lane had went and as the leader a lot of it is out of your control. You need the cars behind you to push and a couple of them they did and a couple they didn’t. That’s just part of racing and there was nobody at fault with that. We actually lost the lead and got a better run. Jamie McMurray behind me gave me a great push and then Kyle Busch gave me a push that was big to clear the 41 and without those two I couldn’t have made it to the front, so thank you to them. It’s Talladega. This is my fourth win here. I never thought I’d win at Talladega four times and I’m super-pumped. This is awesome.”

KYLE BUSCH — Finished 2nd: “It was some moves that you made that were just lucky and just trying to get through some of the holes that were there and that were forming and guys bumping and banging each other, pushing all around and everything and trying to get the most out of what we had with our Skittles Camry. You know, second’s not bad. I think the quota of three cars on their lids today is a little high, but its racing.”

Austin DillonFinished 3rd: “My guys, man. It’s a testament to my guys. They work their butts off. They never panicked today. We’ve panicked a lot this year on certain problems and today was smooth and calm and they handled the situations that they were put through and it was a great race for us.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY — Finished 4th: “I was really fortunate. I was only caught-up in one of the wrecks. And I don’t know exactly what happened in the other two. Honestly, I don’t even know what happened in mine. I was so lucky that I got hit in the back and I spun to the bottom, but it didn’t tear-up the front-end. It didn’t tear the splitter up. And I don’t know that my car was faster afterwards, but it didn’t seem to hurt it any.”

Chase ElliottFinished 5th: “You can’t have a good day unless you finish. Just trying to focus in on that. Obviously it got a little wild. For us, we just tried to keep that in mind and make it to the end.”

Clint BowyerFinished 7th: “Man we had a decent shot at it today. We were able to stay out of trouble all day and that’s what you have to do to be there at the end. Proud of the effort and we will take a top 10 today.”

Kurt BuschFinished 8th: “Just didn’t get the best final restart. It’s like a roulette wheel on restarts and how you get a run and who is there pushing and how the line is going to form and stay together. Just feel bad. My guys deserve to win. They built me a great car, the put me in position to win and I didn’t deliver for them. It was a great day with the Monster Energy colors on board, hoping to get into Victory Lane for them, we just didn’t quite get it done.”

Ryan Blaney Finished 9th: “It was a good day. We felt like earlier in the race I couldn’t pick a lane that was worth a dang. We kept going backwards. Hopefully this turns around for us. There was one run before we got in that wreck where we got up through there into the top-10. I think we got to fifth actually again and then lost spots on the last pit stop. We got in that wreck too. They did a good job fixing it. It ran fine after that. I didn’t want to see that last caution. I thought we were set up good to go to the end there and I wanted to keep digging. Everyone bailed to the top and I didn’t have a lot of help on the bottom.”

Trevor BayneFinished 10th: “We were on the bottom on that last restart and when they all went to the top, I might as well just be driving out of the rearview mirror trying not to get run over. We pushed the 41 to a really good start. I think he might have cleared the 2 and I had help from the 21 but I think the damage on the 21 deterred some help. They all went to the top and we ended up 10th. I thought we had a great race car. I am proud of what my guys brought to the track this weekend but we finished 10th.”

Martin Truex Jr. —  Finished 13th: “We ran a good portion of the race in the top 10 and a number of laps in second, but something always seemed to come up to stall our progress. This is Talladega and you have to drive with your head on and put your car in holes that it will fit into. Not much else to say except we’re looking forward to Kansas next week. That was one race we should have won last year.”

Kevin HarvickFinished 15th: “Landon Cassill trying to cause a wreck for the last 40 laps and he finally got it done there at the end. It was just unfortunate for our Busch Trophy Can Chevrolet. We just got shuffled out there and in a pretty big wreck there at the end. But all-in-all it was an okay day. We led some laps and ran up front; just got shuffled out when the No. 20 and don’t remember who else. We got back there and racing where we didn’t need to be racing and got crashed. We still finished, it is just torn up.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Finished 16th: “The nose damage that we got in that earlier wreck punctured our radiator which is why we had to keep coming to pit-road to add water late in the race. On that last restart, we were on the high side and we were moving forward. It’s unfortunate but it’s just a product of superspeedway racing.”

Michael McDowellFinished 21st: “We were in position there to have a top 10 and we just got caught up in a wreck.  Not sure exactly what happened, just got hit from behind, ran into the No. 10 and she spun.  It was just one of those chain reaction deals.  I will have to go back and see.  Everyone did good, the Thrivent Financial Chevrolet was up front, got some TV time, was running hard, unfortunately, we didn’t get the finish.”

Jimmie JohnsonFinished 22nd: “It’s Talladega, plate racing. Handling wasn’t a big issue. We could all run in the throttle hard and it really just came down to aggression from behind the wheel from behind the wheel, from everything that I saw it created all the madness.”

Matt KensethFinished 23rd: “We got behind a little bit there and I went to pass the 22 (Joey Logano) and he ran me off the race track and lost four or five spots and then got us back there where we didn’t want to be. I don’t know, somebody must have gotten turned out of the top lane and just collected me. I was just going straight and saw a car come from the right side and cleaned our clock.”

Danica PatrickFinished 24th: “I mean I’m okay. I got an X-Ray so that was a concern. Just taking a deep breath. I hit my foot pretty hard and hit my arm pretty hard. I have hit the inside wall at a superspeedway I think like four times how, and that was the hardest. You know these races are just….I get the running close and pushing. But the No. 95 was just drilling me every time. There is a high likelihood that he can take himself out. I’m all about bumping, and pushing and being close but when you hit people with a certain amount of momentum, it is a problem. I can’t quite remember exactly what started it. I know I got drilled from behind and turned sideways and hello wall.”

JOEY LOGANO — Finished 25th: “It’s unfortunate. We had a pretty decent car. I wouldn’t say it was the fastest car out there. It took us all day to get towards the front, but we positioned ourselves well at the end there with around 20 to go up there in the front row and in the lead. I was proud of what our Shell/Pennzoil team did. We worked hard all day, but unfortunately didn’t end up as well as we’d like to two days in a row. A couple big hits, so I can’t wait to get out of this place.”

Ryan NewmanFinished 28th: “We did what we needed to do. We raced a strategy we felt comfortable with. We dodged as many accidents as we could. We made the move when it was time to go and got caught up in the big wreck. The Caterpillar Chevrolet raced up into the top 10 and when we were wrecked, the team did the best they could to get us back out so we could finish the race.”

Carl EdwardsFinished 35th: “Definitely sorry to the 88 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) guys for getting their car involved in that. We had something torn up there, drove down into Turn 1 and I just felt the right front fall down and that was it. You’re kind of just along for the ride.”

Kasey KahneFinished 39th: “Guys were being aggressive and it felt like it was late in the race the whole race. That first run was as wide-open as I’ve had it. As I remember it in a while at times of the first run, probably three-quarters of that first run. It was pretty wild how all that went down, but we had a good car. It was going to be a strong race if we just stayed out of trouble.”

DALE EARNHARDT JR. — Finished 40th: “Yeah, I feel good. It was pretty hard. I don’t know. I think Carl (Edwards) hit harder. He had a longer way to go to get the fence than I did. That is why I was riding up there in case anything happened to our car we wouldn’t have far to go before we hit anything. I was in a pretty good spot to withstand something like that.”

Xfinity race results, point standings after Bristol

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Chase Briscoe led the final six laps and won Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Bristol for his seventh win of the season.

Briscoe beat Ross Chastain for the win. The top five was completed by Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton and Justin Allgaier.

Click here for the race results.

Playoff standings

The 12-driver field for the playoffs has been set with Briscoe’s win in the regular-season finale.

Brandon Brown placed 12th and clinched the 12th and final spot.

Here are the re-seeded point standings entering the playoffs.

Chase Briscoe – 2,050 points

Austin Cindric – 2,050

Justin Allgaier – 2,033

Noah Gragson – 2,025

Brandon Jones – 2,020

Justin Haley – 2,018

Harrison Burton – 2,014

Ross Chastain – 2,010

Ryan Sieg – 2,002

Michael Annett – 2,002

Riley Herbst – 2,001

Brandon Brown – 2,000

Click here for the re-seeded standings.

Click here for the normal point standings.

Chase Briscoe wins Xfinity race at Bristol Motor Speedway

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Chase Briscoe took the lead with six laps to go and won Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, which marked the end of the regular season.

Briscoe passed Austin Cindric to assume the lead and went unchallenged to the checkered flag. The victory is his series-leading seventh of the season.

“I was so mad after last week (at Richmond),” Briscoe told NBCSN. “I told all the guys there ain’t no way we’re getting beat today. I was so mad after how we ran last week and I get on the internet all the time and see guys count us out after one bad race and I know what this team is capable. … I finished second here the last two races and I wanted to win here so bad and it’s awesome that I can actually celebrate it with all these race fans.”

The top five was completed by Ross Chastain, Cindric, Harrison Burton and Justin Allgaier.

More: Race results, playoff standings

Allgaier dominated the early portion of the race, leading 126 laps and winning the first two stages. But he lost the lead for good in the pits during the Stage 2 break.

Brandon Brown finished 12th and clinched the 12th and final playoff spot.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Ross Chastain led three times for 117 laps, but had to settle for his fifth runner-up finish of the season without a win … Austin Cindric earned his 13th top-10 finish in the last 14 races … Harrison Burton earned his 13th top five of the season.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Brett Moffitt finished 27th after he had to pit three times in the opening laps and was penalized for taking fuel before the competition caution … BJ McLeod finished 34th after he was eliminated in a multi-car wreck that began when he made contact with teammate Jeffrey EarnhardtMichael Annett finished 31st and Joe Graf Jr. placed 27th after they were involved in an incident on Lap 120.

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “I hit pit road and I wanted to cry.” – Ross Chastain after he finished second for the fifth time this year. He is winless entering the playoffs.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Xfinity playoffs open at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 26 on NBCSN.

 

Fans not allowed at Las Vegas races

Fans not allowed
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Spectators will be not be allowed for any of the NASCAR playoff races next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the track announced Friday night.

A press release said only essential personnel will be allowed to attend the Cup, Xfinity and Truck playoff races there.

“To say we’re disappointed that we will conduct the South Point 400 playoff weekend without fans would be a gross understatement,” said Las Vegas Motor Speedway President Chris Powell. “Our staff has been working – many of them remotely – since the February Pennzoil 400 to prepare the speedway for our playoff tripleheader.

“But we must adhere to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s directive that limits gatherings due to COVID-19.  While we disagree with this policy, we have no choice but to oblige.  We certainly regret this situation for the thousands of race fans who won’t be able to attend our NASCAR-weekend events.”

Nevada’s re-opening plan does not permit fans at sporting events, concerts. Groups are limited to 50 or fewer people.

The Las Vegas Raiders announced last month that they would not have fans at any of the team’s home games in its inaugural season there.

The Truck playoff race will be at 9 p.m. ET Sept. 25 on FS1. The Xfinity playoff opener will be at  7:30 p.m. ET Sept. 26 on NBCSN. The Cup playoff race will be 7 p.m. ET Sept. 27 on NBCSN.

Fans holding tickets for those events will be contacted by the speedway ticket services department to discuss credits for future races or refunds.

Pit crew change for Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson teams

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Hendrick Motorsports teammates Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson each will have a pit crew change for Saturday night’s playoff race at Bristol.

The change is the result of an injury to one pit crew member.

Dustin Lineback, jackman for Bowman’s team is out with an injury, the team stated. Kyle Tudor, who has been Johnson’s jackman, moves over to that role for Bowman’s team. Eric Ludwig, a backup for Hendrick Motorsports, moves up to be the jackman for Johnson.

MORE: Saturday Cup race at Bristol: Start time, forecast, lineup

Bowman enters the elimination race 27 points ahead of teammate William Byron, the first driver outside a transfer spot to the second round. Bowman opened the playoffs by finishing sixth in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. He followed that by placing ninth at Richmond. Bowman was collected in a crash and finished 37th in the May Bristol race.

Johnson, who is in his final full-time Cup season, seeks his first victory of the season. He finished third at Bristol in May.