What caused the brake issues at Pocono?

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Add another team to the list that had brake issues in Sunday’s Cup race at Pocono Raceway.

Crew chief Todd Gordon said on “The Morning Drive” that Joey Logano’s car lost its rear brakes with five laps to go.

“That actually was the demise of our day,’’ Gordon said Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Logano finished 23rd — his fifth consecutive finish outside the top 20.

Others who reported brake issues Sunday included Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Chase Elliott. Kevin Harvick said he had to be careful with his brakes.

“We never could stop like we needed to all weekend, so you just had to be really careful with the brakes,’’ said Harvick, who finished second to winner Ryan Blaney. “If I’d overdrive it for a lap or two, the pedal would start going down, and then I was really at a deficit. I had to be very aware of where I let off every lap.’’

So what was the issue with the brakes that affected some drivers?

Gordon cited the lower aerodynamic package NASCAR instituted this year.

“We’ve continued to evolve the aero packages here, and as we make the spoilers smaller and smaller, we’ve got a lot less drag in our cars,’’ Gordon said. “Drag just being when you lift off the throttle, there’s enough aero force to slow the car down. As that drag goes away, then we’ve got to slow the car down mechanically. That goes to brakes.’’

Drivers are relying on brakes as they eclipse 200 mph entering Turn 1 at Pocono.

“Without that spoiler on the back, there’s a lot more brake usage,’’ Gordon said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “That kind of compounds itself. The more you use the brakes, the hotter it gets, the more the wear rate goes up. It kind of works on itself.’’

Asked if he was worried about brake issues after his teammates had such troubles Sunday, Elliott said: “I wasn’t real pleased with it. That’s not a comforting feeling if your brakes are going away. But, mine weren’t bad enough. I could manage it. I could kind of keep them in check. I knew kind of when I was pushing them the pedal would fade, but if I took it easy on them they’d come back. So, it was on the edge but manageable.”

Kahne said he had been “fighting serious brake problems for a while” before he crashed. Johnson said his brake pedal “went right to the floor” before he wrecked.

The series returns to Pocono in seven weeks. Teams could be faced with these issues again.

“I would say of all the intermediate (tracks), outside of our short tracks, (Pocono is) probably one of the most aggressive on the brakes, especially in the rear because there’s so much decel that has got to happen,’’ Gordon said.

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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