NASCAR America: Dale Jarrett sits down with Championship 4 drivers

Leave a comment

Five days before the Cup Series’ championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, NASCAR America’s Dale Jarrett sat down with all four championship drivers.

The NASCAR Hall of Famer spoke with Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick about various topics, including how difficult it is to make it to the championship race in the current format and what they would consider crossing the line in trying to win the title on Sunday.

Here’s how Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick responded to the latter question.

Busch: “I’ll just answer like this. I think in my personal taste and my opinion, I don’t try to go out there and dirty race anybody or wreck somebody in order to go for a win. This is a rare circumstance, and we got to do what we need to do for our team in all instances. That track is pretty wide, so there should be opportunity to race each other with class and like champions.”

Harvick: “You look at the last two weeks (with Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott), that took those guys totally out of championship contention. That’s where you don’t want to be right now. You don’t want to have somebody that’s just looking for you on the race track and you don’t want to have the circumstance that (Hamlin) and (Elliott) were in. You want to go out and race hard and earn it the right way.”

Among the four drivers, Truex is the only one who doesn’t have a Cup title. He came close in 2015 when he finished fourth.

Jarrett asked Truex how that serves as motivation for the Furniture Row Racing driver.

“I feel like we left there (Miami in 2015) and it was just a lost opportunity,” Truex said. “Ever since that day we’ve been working to get back there, to get another chance. I think we’re ready for it. I think we have the right mindset. I think for us honestly, we just really need to do what we’ve done all year. We’ve literally gone to every race this year and said, ‘we need to win this race. This is like Homestead.'”

Keselowski said a championship under the current elimination format would mean more to him, simply because it’s in a different format.

“Championships are about legacies,” Keselowski said. “The three of us here (Busch and Harvick) have a chance to join that club, 15, that have won multiple championships in NASCAR (Cup Series). … That’s quite a club to be in. Of course Martin has a chance to add to his own legacy and be one of the (31) champions that there are in the sport. I think it’s an interesting position to be in and it’s one we all want to make the most of.”

Watch the above video for the full interview.

NASCAR Power Rankings: Kevin Harvick still No. 1 after quiet Vegas

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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