Here are the 16 drivers who made the NASCAR Cup playoffs

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After 26 races, the NASCAR Cup regular season concluded with Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway.

Now it’s on to the NASCAR Cup playoffs for 16 drivers. For every other driver, it’s wait until next year to make the playoffs.

Here are the 16 drivers who made the playoffs and how they finished the regular season, as well as the points they’ll have heading into the NASCAR Cup playoff opening race next Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway:

  • Martin Truex Jr.: Regular season champion, won four races, enters playoffs with 2,053 points.
  • Kyle Larson: Finished regular season in second place, won four races including Saturday night’s race, enters playoffs with 2,033 points.
  • Kyle Busch: Finished regular season in third place, won two races, enters playoffs with 2,029 points.
  • Brad Keselowski: Finished regular season in fourth place, won two races, enters playoffs with 2,019 points.
  • Jimmie Johnson: The defending and seven-time NASCAR Cup champion finished the regular season in fifth place, won three races, enters the playoffs with 2017 points.
  • Kevin Harvick: Finished regular season in sixth place, won one race, enters playoffs with 2,015 points.
  • Denny Hamlin: Finished regular season in seventh place, won two races, enters playoffs with 2,013 points.
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Finished the regular season in eighth place, won two races, enters playoffs with 2,010 points.
  • Ryan Blaney: Finished regular season in ninth place, won one race, enters playoffs with 2,008 points.
  • Chase Elliott: Finished regular season in 10th place, did not win any races, enters playoffs with 2,006 points.
  • Ryan Newman: Finished the regular season in 11th place, won one race, enters playoffs with 2005 points.
  • Kurt Busch: The Daytona 500 winner finished the regular season in 12th place, won one race, enters playoffs with 2,005 points.
  • Kasey Kahne: Finished the regular season in 13th place, won one race, enters playoffs with 2,005 points.
  • Austin Dillon: Finished the regular season in 14th place, won one race, enters playoffs with 2,005 points.
  • Matt Kenseth: Finished regular season in 15th place, has no wins, enters playoffs with 2,005 points.
  • Jamie McMurray: Finished regular season in 16th place, has no wins, enters playoffs with 2,003 points.

Drivers who failed to make the playoffs: Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Erik Jones, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Daniel Suarez.

Sonoma Xfinity starting lineup: Kyle Larson wins pole

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SONOMA, Calif. — Kyle Larson will start on the pole for Saturday’s inaugural Xfinity Series race at Sonoma Raceway.

Larson won the pole with an average speed of 91.393 mph around the 1.99-mile road course. Justin Allgaier joins Larson on the front row after a lap of 90.562 mph. Sheldon Creed (90.429 mph) qualified third. Aric Almirola (90.375) will start fourth. AJ Allmendinger (90.274) will start fifth.

MORE: Sonoma Xfinity starting lineup

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Larson is one of seven Cup drivers entered. The others are Almirola (starting fourth), Allmendinger (fifth), Ty Gibbs (seventh), Ross Chastain (15th), Daniel Suarez (17th) and Ty Dillon (32nd).

The green flag is scheduled to wave at 8:20 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.

Could Daytona International Speedway host NFL games?

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The president of Daytona International Speedway says track officials plan to speak with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars about hosting the team’s games if Jacksonville’s stadium is renovated.

The Jaguars will need a temporary home site if plans go forward to renovate the team’s stadium. Daytona International Speedway has been mentioned as a possible candidate. The Jaguars released details Wednesday of what the stadium will look like after the renovation project.

Provided the project is approved by the city of Jacksonville, it is believed the Jaguars would need to find another home site for a couple of seasons while work is being done to its stadium. Daytona International Speedway is among possible sites for the Jaguars to play. More than 100,000 people saw Ricky Stenhouse Jr. win this year’s Daytona 500.

“Daytona International Speedway is a world-renowned sports and entertainment venue and hosts a full schedule of events each year,” said Frank Kelleher, president of Daytona International Speedway, in a statement. “As good neighbors in the Florida sports community, DIS will be speaking with the Jacksonville Jaguars to see if we can assist them with their potential upcoming facility needs around our scheduled events.”

Daytona International Speedway hosted Soccer Fest in July 2022. An announced crowd of 7,573 fans saw the Orlando Pride and Racing Louisville play in a National Women’s Soccer League game at Daytona.

NASCAR displays counterfeit part from Chase Briscoe car

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SONOMA, Calif. — NASCAR displayed the counterfeit part from Chase Briscoe‘s car on Saturday at Sonoma Raceway, showing how the part did not correspond to what should have been in the car.

NASCAR found the issue at its R&D Center after last month’s Coca-Cola 600. The sanctioning body fined crew chief John Klausmeier $250,000 and suspended him for six races. NASCAR also docked Briscoe and the team 120 points and 25 playoff points for the L3 infraction.

“We want to be transparent on the penalties,” said Brad Moran, managing director of the Cup Series as he displayed the counterfeit part to media.

Moran displayed a a portion of the engine panel from Briscoe’s car. He noted the engine duct was counterfeit. He said the proper pieces are 3D printed at the R&D Center and Fiberworks Composites sells them and installs them for teams. Moran said the duct is “in the bottom of the car under the engine panel. It’s to help cool the driver. It was added prior to the first race. During testing … we realized we wanted to get heat out of the engine compartment, and that’s what this piece does.”

Moran noted that with the counterfeit part, “we can clearly see the textures are different (from the proper part).”

He displayed what officials call a gauge that determines if the duct fits the proper parameters. He showed it fitting a proper duct and not properly fitting in the counterfeit part.

“It was a part that was made, and it was made for whatever reason,” Moran said. “It was, I guess, put on by error, but it was on the vehicle. It is a piece that should not have been made in the first place, and it was spotted at our teardown at the R&D Center.”

Moran said the issue was found in a visual inspection of the part. NASCAR inspected it further and Moran said “there are certain little characteristics that are in (a proper piece)” that officials did not see in the one on Briscoe’s car. “The more we examined it, the more we realized that’s not a part they bought.”

Moran noted that while the penalties were severe, they could have been worse based on the rulebook.

“It was the low end of the L3,” Moran said. “It’s a real big hit for any team. If it continues, and we feel we are not where we need to be, unfortunately, it’s going to ramp up. We’re not going to stop.

“The deal with this car is it needs to be run without modifying. It costs teams a lot of money in development. All the owners agreed. We all agreed where we need to be to make this a successful program, and we’re not going to give up.”

 

 

Sunday Cup race at Sonoma Raceway: Start time, TV info, weather

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The Cup Series heads to wine country to compete on the 1.99-mile road course at Sonoma Raceway. This race leads into the final off weekend of the season. After the break, the series races 20 consecutive weekends. NBC and USA will broadcast those races.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway

(All times Eastern)

START: Adam Devine will give the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:50 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting is at 2:45 p.m. … Driver intros are at 3 p.m. … Earl Smith, pastor for the Golden State Warriors and San Francisco 49ers, will give the invocation at 3:30 p.m. … Tiffany Woys will perform the national anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 110 laps (218.9 miles) on the 1.99-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 25. Stage 2 ends at Lap 55.

STARTING LINEUP: Qualifying begins at 6 p.m. Saturday

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. … Coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and switches to Fox at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

STREAMING: Fox Sports

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Partly cloudy with a high of 69 degrees and a 1% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Daniel Suarez won his first career Cup race last year at Sonoma. Chris Buescher finished second. Michael McDowell placed third.

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Drivers to watch at Sonoma Raceway 

NASCAR Power Rankings: William Byron, Kyle Busch rank 1-2