Erik Jones survives duel with Kyle Larson to take Xfinity win in Chicagoland

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A 14-lap shootout resulting from Kyle Busch spinning from the lead ended with Erik Jones holding off Kyle Larson to win the Drive for Safety 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Jones fended off Larson for six laps until the latter brushed the wall on the last lap, giving Jones enough space to drive to his fourth Xfinity Series win of the season.

“It was tough, I knew we were in a good spot on tires, but we were pretty far back there,” Jones told NBC Sports. “I think we restarted sixth there. I did know if the Hisense Camry was going to have enough time to get up to the front. We had a really good restart, got clear for third then had to go Chase Elliott (Sadler) down.”

Jones enters the Chase with the No. 1 seed. His win Saturday was his first this season on a 1.5-mile track after wins at Bristol, Dover and Iowa.

Jones led only 10 laps; Larson led nine. Filling out the top five were Larson, Elliott Sadler, Daniel Suarez and Justin Allgaier.

“What an awesome day, winning right before the Chase,” Jones said. “This is great momentum for us.”

Blake Koch and Ryan Sieg clinched the last two spots on the 12-driver Chase grid heading into next week’s race at Kentucky Speedway.

The full field for the first Xfinity Chase is Erik Jones, Justin Allgaier, Brendan Gaughan, Brandon Jones, Ty Dillon, Brennan Poole, Ryan Reed, Elliott Sadler, Daniel Suarez, Darrell Wallace Jr., Koch and Sieg.

MORE: Xfinity race results

MORE: Xfinity point standings

HOW ERIK JONES WON: Jones passed Elliott Sadler after the last restart and led the final nine laps of the race while fending off a charge from Larson.

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Paul Menard had to make an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 14 for a left-side tire going down. Menard bounced back to finish ninth after he was running in the top five on the final restart … Under the Lap 25 competition caution, Daniel Suarez received damage on pit road, forcing him to pit twice and restart 29th. He fought back to finish fourth for his 12th top five of the year … Clint Bowyer finished sixth in his first Xfinity race since 2012.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Brennan Poole had to pit on Lap 35 for a flat tire. Poole finished 21st, two laps down … Ryan Reed brought out a caution on Lap 83 when he spun trying to enter pit road. On Lap 101, Reed didn’t clear Kyle Larson while exiting Turn 2 and hit the wall after making contact. Reed went to the garage and finished 32nd … Kyle Busch had led a race high 154 laps before losing a tire while in the lead and spinning with 19 laps left. Busch finished 13th.

NOTABLE: There were eight cautions, the most in a Xfinity race at Chicagoland since nine in the 2006 race … Erik Jones’ 13 top fives are the most in the series … Joe Gibbs Racing has won all six races on 1.5-mile tracks this year.

WHAT’S NEXT: VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. on NBCSN.

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