What Drivers Said After Richmond

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What drivers said after the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway:

Kyle Larson – Winner: “I’ve got the greatest team out here and definitely the best pit crew. That showed tonight. I can’t thank those guys enough. They were money all night long to gain spots. This win is a huge congrats to them. The Target Chevy was pretty good all night. The No. 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) was definitely the best, but I thought I was second best for most of the runs but it came down to the last restart there and I got a good start. I spun my tires pretty bad and I was a little nervous, but we cleared him (Truex Jr) into (Turn) 1 and I was pretty excited about that. So, I can’t thank Target and all of our partners enough. I’m really pumped for the playoffs. We’ve got a great shot at the championship, I feel like, this year. So, I’m looking forward to it.”

Joey Logano – Finished 2nd: “Came up a little bit short overall.  Yeah, it stings a little bit. Last time we were sitting here after a race, it was after a win and this time it’s after a second, which if you look at our Richmond overall for a season with the two races, you’d say, that’s pretty good, a first and a second.  But just overall, obviously it stings to come up one spot short and not be able to get into the playoffs.  It is what it is.  It’s reality and we will move on.”

Ryan Newman – Finished 3rd: “I mean on the last lap we were in the best running spot we were the whole race. Good run for the Caterpillar Chevrolet. I sped on pit road the one time and put us back and then we had one bad pit stop, but other than that we had a great long run car. Struggled on the short runs and just continued to fight and the guys did a good job. It wasn’t easy.”

Kurt Busch – Finished 4th:  “We’re doing everything right on the 41 car, and we can do better in some categories. Our long-run speed was really good tonight and that last green-white-checker, I knew there was gonna be chaos. I hope we end up getting fourth out of it. We ran third tonight. We missed it on the setup early on, making the wrong changes, and then we backed it up and, to be honest with you, I think we ended up with what we unloaded with on Friday right in this car right now, so those are some good signs heading into the playoffs.”

Denny Hamlin – Finished 5th: “We both drove in really, really deep. When I got on the brakes, the splitter slammed down on the ground, shot me up the track into (Martin Truex Jr). We weren’t racing for the win or anything. But it’s unfortunate. Didn’t want to get into him. He’s a great teammate of ours. But, yeah, tough day for our FedEx team. Overnight we messed it up pretty good. We struggled all day. Got a little bit better there at the end by just kind of going back to where we started the day. Definitely not a car that could contend.

Jimmie Johnson – Finished 8th: “To finish just outside the top 10 the last couple weeks, then get a top 10 now, directionally it’s correct. We have much higher expectations for ourselves. Definitely putting a lot of pressure on ourselves to be better than this. We’re working really hard. It’s not easy. It’s not fun. But this is pro sports. It’s not easy to go out there and win. It’s not easy to stay on top. But we do have some good news. Fall is here. Winter is coming. Put a Game of Thrones on it.”

Kyle Busch – Finished 9th: “We were tight early on in the night. We keep freeing our car up. Was getting tighter. Then at the end we decided to tighten it up and it got better. Just weird. But we were kind of lost. Overall we were going to end up sixth. I thought that it was just going to be decent. That shows how fast our cars were for as bad of a night as we were going to have.”

Chase Elliott – Finished 10th: “Not very good.  We really struggled tonight, but it is good to be back in the playoffs.  But we have some work to do to be contenders each week.  We are not right now, so we have to be better.”

Brad Keselowski – Finished 11th: “You get these late-race yellows and everybody puts tires on and you just kind of play the bonsai game and I got bonsaied, but that’s how it goes sometimes. I’ve been on the other end of that too. We had a really fast Fitzgerald Glider Ford. Early in the race I thought we were gonna drive up and win it, and then the last two or three runs we just kind of lost the handle, but all in all a strong day. We’re still looking for some rear downforce in the Fords. I think if we had that, we might have had a shot at it, but, all in all, we ran solid and ran competitive, so that’s good.”

Kasey Kahne – Finished 12th: “Yeah, I mean it’s a big jump for us.  It’s great that we won the Brickyard.  Tonight, the guys did a really nice job with our Great Clips Chevrolet.  We took a little bit of a gamble on strategy to try to hope for a caution at the right time and end up in the top five.  It didn’t work out and maybe we lost two spots because of it and ended up 12th.  I thought we had a competitive car.  We raced hard and the guys did a really nice job.  It’s a good way to end the regular season and get ready for the final 10.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Finished 13th: “We could run up to fifth and sixth. We weren’t going to get around those five guys running in front of us. So we had to pull that (pit) strategy. If the caution comes out while we’re leading, then we got that track position we need. I ran around the 42 (Larson) and a lot of guys tonight. I think we had the speed in the car to keep that track position once we got it. I think if we could have got a restart on the front row late in the race, we would have had a shot at it.”

Jamie McMurray – Finished 14th:  “Yeah, the 42 (Larson) team has had an unbelievable season.  Kyle has done such a great job and that team is on a roll.  Our cars have just been awesome all year long and it’s been the best season I have had, as far as the most consistent, and that just comes from them giving us really good cars.”

Kevin Harvick – Finished 15th: “We missed it bad tonight. Just couldn’t get the car to turn in the corner, would spin the tires on the exit, fall off really bad. That’s a bad combination for our Jimmy John’s Ford. The best part of tonight was I did really good on pit road. The rest of it didn’t go well.”

Ryan Blaney – Finished 18th: “It’s been a decent year for us.  We knew tonight was gonna be a struggle.  This is probably our worst race track and it’s been my worst race track my whole career.  I don’t know what I need to do, but that’s for a different day.  I think all of the races in the playoffs we can go and do really good at.  I think the first round is pretty strong for us and Chicago has always been a fast race track for us, so hopefully we can start off with a strong showing and can have a good run to where we go to Loudon, which is probably our worst track in that little series.”

RICKY STENHOUSE JR – Finished 19th: “We were just working on some packages that we wanted to look for going into another semi‑short track at Loudon. Didn’t work as well as we wanted tonight. We had a really good Friday, practice and qualifying. But similar to Kevin (Harvick), we were struggling with a little bit of turn in the center, spinning the tires up off. It’s cool to be in our first playoffs. Can’t wait to see if we can’t advance a few rounds, put a good 10‑race stretch together.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR – Finished 20th: “Tonight sucked, plain and simple. Just the way it ended up. You’re out there dominating like that and you know your car is not very good on restarts for a couple of laps. Caution for a guy that shouldn’t even be out there. It’s ridiculous. … It’s unfortunate the way the race ended.” On Hamlin: “We talked and I know he didn’t do it on purpose. … I gave him room and he was aggressive on the brakes. That stuff happens.”

Austin Dillon – Finished 21st: “Well, as a team I think we’ve got a great team. I think we have a great solid group of guys and we have been working hard all year to try and get more speed in our race cars. I thought Darlington was a good place for us, Atlanta and Charlotte obviously, so we have had some good runs this year. Hopefully, the last 10 races of the year we have some more good runs. Three tracks I enjoy to go to are Chicago, New Hampshire and Dover, so that is the first round.”

Matt Kenseth – Finished 38th: “Well we were all just kind of coming to pit road and I saw an ambulance sitting there and so I looked left of the ambulance at the same time (spotter Jason) Hedlesky yelled at everyone to stop there was an ambulance just sitting there. It was an accordion effect and I just couldn’t get stopped. Not really sure why pit road was open with an ambulance parked there, but everybody stopped and I didn’t see it in time and ran into the car in front of me.”

Xfinity race results, point standings after Bristol

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Chase Briscoe led the final six laps and won Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Bristol for his seventh win of the season.

Briscoe beat Ross Chastain for the win. The top five was completed by Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton and Justin Allgaier.

Click here for the race results.

Playoff standings

The 12-driver field for the playoffs has been set with Briscoe’s win in the regular-season finale.

Brandon Brown placed 12th and clinched the 12th and final spot.

Here are the re-seeded point standings entering the playoffs.

Chase Briscoe – 2,050 points

Austin Cindric – 2,050

Justin Allgaier – 2,033

Noah Gragson – 2,025

Brandon Jones – 2,020

Justin Haley – 2,018

Harrison Burton – 2,014

Ross Chastain – 2,010

Ryan Sieg – 2,002

Michael Annett – 2,002

Riley Herbst – 2,001

Brandon Brown – 2,000

Click here for the re-seeded standings.

Click here for the normal point standings.

Chase Briscoe wins Xfinity race at Bristol Motor Speedway

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Chase Briscoe took the lead with six laps to go and won Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, which marked the end of the regular season.

Briscoe passed Austin Cindric to assume the lead and went unchallenged to the checkered flag. The victory is his series-leading seventh of the season.

“I was so mad after last week (at Richmond),” Briscoe told NBCSN. “I told all the guys there ain’t no way we’re getting beat today. I was so mad after how we ran last week and I get on the internet all the time and see guys count us out after one bad race and I know what this team is capable. … I finished second here the last two races and I wanted to win here so bad and it’s awesome that I can actually celebrate it with all these race fans.”

The top five was completed by Ross Chastain, Cindric, Harrison Burton and Justin Allgaier.

More: Race results, playoff standings

Allgaier dominated the early portion of the race, leading 126 laps and winning the first two stages. But he lost the lead for good in the pits during the Stage 2 break.

Brandon Brown finished 12th and clinched the 12th and final playoff spot.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Ross Chastain led three times for 117 laps, but had to settle for his fifth runner-up finish of the season without a win … Austin Cindric earned his 13th top-10 finish in the last 14 races … Harrison Burton earned his 13th top five of the season.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Brett Moffitt finished 27th after he had to pit three times in the opening laps and was penalized for taking fuel before the competition caution … BJ McLeod finished 34th after he was eliminated in a multi-car wreck that began when he made contact with teammate Jeffrey EarnhardtMichael Annett finished 31st and Joe Graf Jr. placed 27th after they were involved in an incident on Lap 120.

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “I hit pit road and I wanted to cry.” – Ross Chastain after he finished second for the fifth time this year. He is winless entering the playoffs.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Xfinity playoffs open at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 26 on NBCSN.

 

Fans not allowed at Las Vegas races

Fans not allowed
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Spectators will be not be allowed for any of the NASCAR playoff races next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the track announced Friday night.

A press release said only essential personnel will be allowed to attend the Cup, Xfinity and Truck playoff races there.

“To say we’re disappointed that we will conduct the South Point 400 playoff weekend without fans would be a gross understatement,” said Las Vegas Motor Speedway President Chris Powell. “Our staff has been working – many of them remotely – since the February Pennzoil 400 to prepare the speedway for our playoff tripleheader.

“But we must adhere to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s directive that limits gatherings due to COVID-19.  While we disagree with this policy, we have no choice but to oblige.  We certainly regret this situation for the thousands of race fans who won’t be able to attend our NASCAR-weekend events.”

Nevada’s re-opening plan does not permit fans at sporting events, concerts. Groups are limited to 50 or fewer people.

The Las Vegas Raiders announced last month that they would not have fans at any of the team’s home games in its inaugural season there.

The Truck playoff race will be at 9 p.m. ET Sept. 25 on FS1. The Xfinity playoff opener will be at  7:30 p.m. ET Sept. 26 on NBCSN. The Cup playoff race will be 7 p.m. ET Sept. 27 on NBCSN.

Fans holding tickets for those events will be contacted by the speedway ticket services department to discuss credits for future races or refunds.

Pit crew change for Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson teams

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Hendrick Motorsports teammates Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson each will have a pit crew change for Saturday night’s playoff race at Bristol.

The change is the result of an injury to one pit crew member.

Dustin Lineback, jackman for Bowman’s team is out with an injury, the team stated. Kyle Tudor, who has been Johnson’s jackman, moves over to that role for Bowman’s team. Eric Ludwig, a backup for Hendrick Motorsports, moves up to be the jackman for Johnson.

MORE: Saturday Cup race at Bristol: Start time, forecast, lineup

Bowman enters the elimination race 27 points ahead of teammate William Byron, the first driver outside a transfer spot to the second round. Bowman opened the playoffs by finishing sixth in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. He followed that by placing ninth at Richmond. Bowman was collected in a crash and finished 37th in the May Bristol race.

Johnson, who is in his final full-time Cup season, seeks his first victory of the season. He finished third at Bristol in May.