Who is hot and cold entering the Alabama 500 at Talladega

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Recent races at Talladega Superspeedway usually deliver in the last 10 laps, if not the last one.

Only twice in the last 26 races has the final green-flag run lasted longer than 10 laps.

In the 94-race history of the 2.66-mile track, there have been 23 last-lap passes for the win. In the 12 Chase for the Sprint Cup races it’s held, there have been seven.

However, four of the last six races, including the last two visits, have ended under caution.

But this is Talladega. None of these numbers mean anything. Bring on the chaos.

Here’s who is hot and cold entering the Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Brad Keselowski

  • Lost 32 points to the bubble at Kansas after an accident left him with his season-worst finish of 38th and his first DNF since the 2015 Daytona 500.
  • Finished top 10 in seven of the last eight races.
  • Won the fall 2014 Talladega race in a must-win situation. Has won at Talladega three times in 11 races and is the only repeat winner in that time.
  • Won May Talladega race and the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.

Kyle Busch

  • Top-10 finishes in the last six races, best streak of 2016.
  • One of two drivers with top-10 finishes in all five Chase races in 2016 (Matt Kenseth).
  • Finished 25th or worse in 11 of 22 Talladega starts.
  • Finished in the top three in all three restrictor-plate races this season.
  • Kansas was first Chase race this year he didn’t lead a lap in.

Matt Kenseth

  • Top-10 finishes in the last five races, including two runner-up results.
  • Since 2013 Daytona, has finished 14th or worse in 12 of 15 restrictor-plate races.
  • Only one finish of 20th or better in last six Talladega starts.

Jimmie Johnson

  • Finished top 10 in the last four races, best streak of 2016 after having only four top 10s in the
    prior 18 races.
  • 363 laps led in the Chase, 266 in the regular season.
  • One top 10 in last six Talladega starts.
  • Already advanced to Round of Eight with Charlotte win.

Who is cold

Carl Edwards

  • Finished fifth in this race last year, his only top-20 finish in the last five races at Talladega.
  • Two top 10s in last seven races.
  • Seven DNFs in 24 Talladega starts.
  • Top five at Kansas was first since Kentucky in July.

Chase Elliott

  • Won pole at Talladega in May and finished fifth.
  • Results of 31st and 33rd (DNF) at Kansas and Charlotte.
  • Top 10s in four of the last eight races.
  • Last on the Chase grid, 25 points back from eighth.

Martin Truex Jr.

  • After winning two races in the first round, finished outside top 10 at Charlotte and Kansas.
  • Had an issue in 23 of the 31 races this season, including a fueling problem at Kansas.
  • Four top 10s in the last seven races at Talladega (finished 13th in May).
  • Five top 10s in the last 14 plate races (nearly won the 2016 Daytona 500).

Other notes of interest ahead of the Alabama 500.

  • The No. 24 car has won the last three poles at Talladega. Two with Jeff Gordon in 2015 and one with Chase Elliott in May.
  • Team Penske has won three of the last four Talladega races. All four of its Talladega wins have come in the last nine races.
  • Hendrick Motorsports has led the most laps in four of the last six Talladega races, but won only once (Dale Earnhardt Jr., May 2015).
  • The driver leading the most laps won only two of the last 13 races at Talladega (Keselowski, May 2016; Earnhardt, May 2015).

 

Carolina Blue: Brad Daugherty and Michael Jordan bonded by NASCAR

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Brad Daugherty and Michael Jordan were teammates from 1982-84 at the University of North Carolina and Eastern Conference rivals throughout the 1980s and ’90s in the NBA.

But their friendship was about more than just hoops. While growing up on opposite ends of the Tar Heel State, Daugherty and Jordan both developed a passion for following NASCAR.

Tobacco Road meant fast cars and hard-driving heroes for these two North Carolina natives.

LIFELONG FAN: Michael Jordan explains why he’s partnering with Denny Hamlin

In a NASCAR on NBC feature, Daugherty recalls how NASCAR impacted his life and Jordan’s and led both into team ownership. Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin announced they will form a team to field cars for Bubba Wallace next season.

Daughterty notes in the feature that Wallace “has led a dynamic transformation as NASCAR banned Confederate flags and recommitted to inclusion amidst times of great unrest. This is a huge moment for NASCAR, a cultural momentum shift. This is people of all colors coming together to create an all-American race team already with championship lineage.

“With proper funding, equipment and crewmembers, this will be the best chance ever for a Black driver to win – and while driving for a Black owner. An opportunity to shock the world like Muhammad Ali once did.”

Watch the feature above on Brad Daugherty and Michael Jordan or by clicking this link.

Las Vegas Xfinity results, driver points

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Chase Briscoe‘s victory Saturday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway sends him into the next round of the Xfinity playoffs.

Noah Gragson led a 2-3-4 finish for JR Motorsports. Gragson was second and followed by Daniel Hemric and Justin Allgaier. Ryan Sieg finished fifth.

Briscoe dominated the race, leading 164 of the 200 laps.

Click here for Xfinity race results

POINTS

Ross Chastain finished 16th, last among the playoff drivers, and fell out of a transfer spot to the second round. He’s two points behind Harrison Burton for the final transfer spot. Michael Annett is 10 points behind Burton. Riley Herbst is 14 points behind Burton. Brandon Brown is 20 points behind Burton.

Click here for driver points report

Chase Briscoe scores 8th Xfinity win of year with Las Vegas triumph

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Chase Briscoe met a preseason goal of winning eight races with his victory in Saturday night’s Xfinity playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Briscoe, who also won at Las Vegas in February, advances to the second round.

Briscoe dominated, winning both stages on the way to his second consecutive victory and eighth of the year. He led 164 of 200 laps.

“Awesome car,” Briscoe said on the radio of the car that also won at this 1.5-mile speedway earlier this year. “Can’t say enough, awesome car.”

Gragson said of Briscoe’s car on NBCSN: “Lot of race cars out here and one space shuttle.”

Las Vegas native Noah Gragson finished second and was followed by JR Motorsports teammates Daniel Hemric and Justin Allgaier. Ryan Sieg placed fifth.

Austin Cindric placed sixth and was followed by Michael Annett, Anthony Alfredo, Harrison Burton and Justin Haley.

Briscoe’s eight wins through 27 races ties him with Jack Ingram and Sam Ard for the most wins by non-Cup drivers through 27 races in a season. Ard and Ingram both did it in 1984. Briscoe’s eight wins ties him with Carl Edwards for most wins by a Ford driver in a season in the Xfinity Series. Edwards accomplished the feat in 2011.

“I knew this team was fully capable of achieving that and even more,” Briscoe told NBCSN of winning eight races this year. “I just can’t say thank you enough to Gene Haas and Tony Stewart and everyone that lets me drive these race cars. It has been an unbelievable season and we still have a lot, six more wins that we can try to get and a championship. That is what we are going to try to do. I am so happy to start the playoffs like this. After the last couple weeks we had, to go to Bristol and win and now here is a pretty good way to start our playoffs.”

The 25-year-old Briscoe does not know where he’ll run next season. He has a year left on his contract with Ford.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Chase Briscoe

STAGE 2 WINNER: Chase Briscoe

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Ryan Sieg’s fifth-place finish is his fifth top five of the season, the most he’s had in a season. … Runner-up Noah Gragson has finished in the top six in all four of his Xfinity Las Vegas starts. He did it by overcoming a bloody nose during the race. At one point, he put roll bar padding up his nose to clog it. … Daniel Hemric had finished 24th or worse in four of his last five starts before Saturday’s race. He finished third at Las Vegas.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ross Chastain finished 16th, last among the playoff drivers. It’s his first finish outside the top 10 at a 1.5-mile speedway this season.

NEXT: The series races Oct. 3 at Talladega Superspeedway (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN) in the middle race of the opening round of the playoffs.

Gracie Trotter becomes first female to win ARCA-sanctioned race

Gracie Trotter
Photo by Brian Cleary/Getty Images
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Gracie Trotter became the first female to win a race sanctioned by ARCA when she captured the ARCA Menards West race Saturday at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I’m at a loss for words right now. My first year in ARCA, out West, far from home – it just really means a lot to me,” Trotter said after her first series win.

The best finish by a female in ARCA Series history had been second. Shawna Robinson (1999 at Daytona), Erin Crocker (2005 and ’07 at Kentucky and 2006 at Kansas) and Hailie Deegan (2020 at Daytona) each finished runner-up in an ARCA race.

This is the first year that the West Series has been sanctioned by ARCA. It was previously known as K&N Pro Series West. Deegan was the most recent female winner in that series. She won three times. Deegan scored her first career West win in 2018 at Meridian (Idaho) Speedway. That victory made her the first female to win in that series. Deegan went on to win twice more in that series in 2019.

The 19-year-old Trotter is a third-generation racer. She drives for Bill McAnally Racing. Trotter began competing in go-karts at age 8. She was the first female to win the Young Lions Legends Cars division at Charlotte Motor Speedway, capturing the title in 2017. This is her first season in the ARCA Menards West Series.

Trotter pulled away from teammate Gio Scelzi to win by 0.821 seconds Saturday. Teammate Jesse Love, who is the series points leader, finished third.

She took the lead on Lap 54 with a three-wide pass.

“I kind of got a little lucky there,” Trotter said. “The two front cars were battling side by side. I took it three-wide, a little sketchy at first, but I made it stick.”

She went on to lead 95 of the 150 laps.

Trotter also competes for Rev Racing as part of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program. She won her first Late Model race at Hickory (North Carolina) Motor Speedway on Sept. 13. The win made her the fourth female to win a Late Model Series race at the historic 0.363-mile track, which opened in 1951.

A replay of Saturday’s ARCA Menards West race will air at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday (Sept. 30) on NBCSN.