NASCAR mulls pit speed monitoring changes for New Hampshire after Martin Truex Jr. penalty

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LOUDON, New Hamsphire – NASCAR officials are contemplating changes to their electronic timing systems in the pits at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after the controversy surrounding last week’s penalty to Martin Truex Jr.

Truex was penalized for passing leader Kevin Harvick Jr. on the inside while accelerating into his pit stall. The Furniture Row Racing driver said he unfairly was singled out by NASCAR on the call, noting that several other drivers have made the maneuver this season without penalty (a claim that was supported this week by video evidence).

By increasing the number of timing lines, which typically split the pits into six or eight sections, it would decrease the efficacy of the practice of accelerating to enter or exit the pit stall because there would be less wiggle room for drivers. Speeding in the pits is measured by time over distance rather than in real time, so with shorter sections for monitoring, there’d be less opportunity to exceed the prescribed mph.

NASCAR officials said they also are considering other methods that could be implemented in Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 and will address it in the prerace drivers meeting.

“I think that all of us will be looking for some kind of answer,” Ryan Newman said. “When I say, ‘All of us,’ I think all the drivers, all the crew chiefs, all the team owners will be looking for some kind of answer. I thought that the response was a little bit jaded with respect to, ‘We needed to set an example.’ The reference that was used was to the NBA (and) was rather uncalled for (and) not exactly our sport.

“My perspective is there is a rule and we either stick to that rule or we don’t stick to that rule. We don’t just decide to make an example out of somebody on a given lap at a given race. It’s just not right. It’s not fair.”

Newman apparently was referring to NASCAR vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell referencing the NBA’s 3-second rule in a SiriusXM NASCAR interview this week.

Newman said he had operated with the understanding that what Truex did was considered within bounds by NASCAR.

“I have gone to the officials after the driver’s meetings and asked if it’s OK to accelerate to pass somebody going into your pit box, and they assured me that it was,” he said. “And if Martin was not speeding, then there was absolutely nothing wrong, from my perspective, with what he did. Although I know that in the video and in the rule book, it says you are supposed to stay single file and not pass anybody on pit lane unless it is to the right.”

Kyle Busch said NASCAR drivers have been trying to gain an advantage more often by gaming the timing lines.

“I watched it live and while I watched I was like, ‘Alright, if you don’t get busted for that then that’s interesting,’” he said of Truex’s maneuver. “I certainly have seen those moves being made before on pit road with other cars. I specifically remember it was Jimmie Johnson at Atlanta – maybe it was earlier this year or last year – that made a couple passes to the left side before getting into his box and slowing down, and nothing was ever called.

“That’s why I think more and more guys have gone into that and have been trying to do that.”

Busch said he was fine with NASCAR getting more vigilant about enforcing the penalties –provided the calls were consistent.

“I do feel like when we have asked NASCAR to be more forceful and to make more calls, especially like the restart (zone), they have gone on to make more restart calls on people,” he said. “They do review the restarts it seems a heck of a lot more than they used to and make sure that everybody was clean and that things were done properly.

“And it has seemed to have cleaned up restarts. Hopefully with them making some calls on pit road it will clean up pit road a little bit.”

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 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.