Erik Jones overcomes penalty to win Xfinity race at Bristol in three-lap shootout

Leave a comment

A speeding penalty against Erik Jones on Lap 230 wasn’t enough to keep Erik Jones from winning the Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway 70 laps later.

Jones outmaneuvered Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suarez on a restart with three to go and raced untouched to win the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is the first repeat Xfinity winner of 2017 following his win two weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway. It’s Jones’ second straight win in the spring race at Bristol.

“It’s a day kind a little bit like last year,” Jones told Fox Sports 1. “Didn’t really know if we had a winning car or not. To come back from a pit road penalty like that, especially with not much green flag racing was a lot of fun. It’s a race I won’t forget for a long time.”

Jones took the lead for the last time when he nudged Blaney out of the groove entering Turn 1 with 20 to go.

“That’s just a racing incident,” Blaney said. “I don’t have any hard feelings about it.”

Rookie Daniel Hemric won the Dash 4 Cash bonus of $100,000 by finishing fifth in the race. It’s his first career top five.

“This makes it real when you’ve got your name on it,” Hemric told FS1 as he was handed a large check. “I was hoping we could get both of them there. Starting on the bottom hurt us those last couple of restarts. All in all, such a great performance from our guys. Coming from a lap down, getting the Lucky Dog. … Every stop was a true testament to my group of guys. Can’t thank everyone enough. Hopefully this is the start of a lot of thing for us.”

Stage 1 winner: Kyle Larson

Stage 2 winner: Daniel Hemric

MORE: Full race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Kyle Larson started from the pole, led 180 laps and finished seventh after rebounding from losing a right-rear tire and a commitment line violation … Elliott Sadler finished fourth for his third top five of the year and his best finish … Blake Koch and Michael Annett finished ninth and 10th respectively. Koch’s result was his first top 10 of the season.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Ryan Reed finished 38th after his right-front tire rolled off his No. 16 Ford and sent him into the wall on Lap 80 … Brendan Gaughan crashed with 57 to go after Darrell Wallace Jr. caught his left rear exiting Turn 4. Gaughan hit the inside wall. Gaughan, who had been competing for the Dash 4 Cash bonus, finished 35th … Wallace’s day ended on the ensuing restart. Wallace spun after the field bottle-necked ahead of him and he was hit by Garrett Smithley. Both drivers were OK. Wallace finished 33rd, ending his stretch of five sixth-place finishes in a row … Cole Custer‘s damage from the restart incident ended his day in 32nd, his third finish below 30th this year.

NOTABLE: During the first rain delay, Jeremy Clements came up behind Ross Chastain to discuss their issues on the track. Clements turned Chastain around. Chastain responded by punching Clements. Clements went to the infield care center because to ice his swollen eye. He returned to race. … Ryan Blaney’s No. 22 Ford was found to be too low in the left front in post-race inspection.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I think that’s three second (place finishes) this year. That’s getting old.” – Ryan Blaney, who has finished second in all three of his Xfinity start this season.

WHAT’S NEXT: ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway at 12:30 p.m. ET on April 29 on Fox Sports 1

Kevin Harvick wins Bristol night race

Kevin Harvick Bristol
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kevin Harvick held off Kyle Busch to win Saturday’s Cup night race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Harvick came out on top after a spirited battle with Busch over the last 40 laps of the race. Harvick claimed his ninth win of the season, a career-best mark. He previous high was eight wins in 2018.

The top five was completed by Erik Jones, Tyler Reddick and Aric Almirola. Clint Bowyer finished sixth and was the last car on the lead lap.

Harvick’s nine victories has him on pace to become the first driver to win at least 10 Cup races in a season in more than a decade and only the third driver to reach that mark in the past quarter century.

Jimmie Johnson is the last driver to accomplish the feat. He won 10 races in 2007. The only other driver to reach that mark in the last 25 years is Jeff Gordon. He won 13 races in 1998 and 10 races each in 1996 and ’97.

The last driver not from Hendrick Motorsports to reach at least 10 wins in a season was Rusty Wallace. He won 10 times in 1993 for car owner Roger Penske.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Chase Elliott

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Busch

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished last after he was eliminated in a crash on Lap 29 after he made contact with Jimmie Johnson … Matt DiBenedetto‘s chances of advancing in the playoffs were dashed when he had to pit for loose right-rear tire on Lap 187 and then was caught speeding on pit road after returning to the lead lap. He finished 19th …. Martin Truex Jr. finished 24th after he had to pit for a tire issue on Lap 214 … Denny Hamlin finished 21st after he rammed into the back of Truex moments after he exited pit road following his stop … William Byron was eliminated from the race and playoff contention late in Stage 2 after he ran into the back of Christopher Bell … Pole-sitter Brad Keselowski placed 34th after he lost power steering early in the final stage and was black flagged for not meeting minimum speeding. After a lengthy stay in the garage, Keselowski returned to the race with about 105 laps left in the race.

WHAT’S NEXT: Round of 12 opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 7 p.m. ET Sept. 27 on NBCSN.

Check back for more.

William Byron’s title hopes end in Bristol incident

Leave a comment

William Byron‘s playoffs ended when he ran into the back of a car shortly before halfway in Saturday night’s Cup playoff race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Byron was running 10th and in position to advance to the second round after Saturday’s elimination race before the incident.

Byron told NBCSN’s Marty Snider that Joey Gase‘s car slowed on a straightaway and Byron ran into the back of Christopher Bell‘s car.

“I literally had nowhere to go,” Byron said. “Just ridiculous that’s what takes us out.”

Byron said he was running behind Bell, who was behind Gase, on the high side. Byron said he had Aric Almirola on his inside and could not move down there.

Byron entered the race the first driver outside the final transfer spot to the second round. He entered the race trailing Clint Bowyer by three points.

 

 

 

Three Joe Gibbs Racing cars going to rear for inspection violations

inspection violations
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The cars of Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Erik Jones will start at the rear after each car failed inspection twice before Saturday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Busch enters the race 18 points above the cutline to transfer to the second round of the Cup playoffs. Saturday’s race (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). Busch was to have started ninth.

This is the second playoff race in a row that Busch’s team has failed inspection twice before the race and had to start at the rear. Busch started at the rear last weekend at Richmond. He finished sixth.

Hamlin has already advanced to the second round via points. He was to have started seventh.

“We’ve got 500 laps,” he said. “If we’re good enough, we’ll get to the front. Not really too worried about it in that sense.”

Jones is not in the playoffs. He would have started 20th.

NASCAR also announced that the cars of Corey LaJoie and Bubba Wallace will start at the rear for unapproved adjustments. JJ Yeley will go to the rear for a driver change since he was not listed on the preliminary entry list for the No. 15 car.

Wallace was to have started 27th. LaJoie was to have started 30th. The No. 15 was to have started 32nd with Brennan Poole as the driver.

 

Saturday Cup race at Bristol: Start time, TV channel

Leave a comment

Four drivers will be eliminated from the Cup playoffs after Saturday night’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

This marks the first time the track has been in the playoffs. The Saturday Cup race at Bristol will end the first round. The 16-driver field will be cut to 12.

William Byron (3 points behind the cutline), Cole Custer (-8), Matt DiBenedetto (-25) and Ryan Blaney (-27) are the four drivers out of a playoff spot. Clint Bowyer holds the final transfer spot.

Here is all the info for the Saturday Cup race at Bristol:

(All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines is at 7:38 p.m. The green flag waves at 7:45 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup haulers enter the garage (screening and equipment unload) at 10:30 a.m. Garage access health screening begins at 12:30 p.m. Garage opens at 12:30 p.m. Drivers report to their cars at 7:10 p.m. Driver introductions will be at 7:15 p.m. The invocation is at 7:30 p.m. The national anthem will be performed by Joe Nichols, three-time Grammy nominee, at 7:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 500 laps (266.5 miles) around the .533-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 125. Stage 2 ends on Lap 250

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m with NASCAR America, followed by Countdown to Green at 7 p.m. Race coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the broadcast.

STREAMING: Watch the race on the NBC Sports App

FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 62 degrees and a 3% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST RACE: Brad Keselowski won at Richmond. Martin Truex Jr. finished second. Joey Logano placed third for the second race in a row.

LAST POINTS RACE AT BRISTOL: Brad Keselowski won in May after Denny Hamlin lost the lead when he hit the wall. Chase Elliott ran into Joey Logano as they battled for the lead late in the event.

TO THE REAR: Denny Hamlin (two inspection failures), Kyle Busch (two inspection failures), Erik Jones (two inspection failures), Corey LaJoie (unapproved adjustments), Bubba Wallace (unapproved adjustments), JJ Yeley (driver change).

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for Cup starting lineup

CATCH UP ON NBC SPORTS’ COVERAGE:

Three Joe Gibbs Racing cars going to the rear for inspection violations

Bubble drivers brace for Bristol battle

Pit crew change for teams of Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson

Friday 5: The thin line between aggressive and dirty driving

Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Blaney seek NASCAR history to advance

What upcoming Cup playoff races NASCAR fans can attend

Trevor Bayne says the fire remains to run more races