Justin Haley says it was ‘BS call’ by NASCAR to nullify win

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Justin Haley called it a “pretty BS call,” but NASCAR said he clearly violated the yellow line rule, and that’s why he was not declared the winner of Friday night’s Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway.

Haley, in his second career Xfinity start, rocketed underneath Kyle Larson and Elliott Sadler to cross the finish line first and seemingly win.

However, Haley’s path caused his left-side tires to go below both yellow lines that separate the apron from the racing surface. NASCAR warned competitors in the drivers meeting before the race – as series officials do before every restrictor-plate race – not to go below the yellow lines to pass or they will be penalized.

NASCAR penalized Haley for the move. Instead of winning, he was dropped to the last car on the lead lap. He finished 18th. Larson was declared the winner.

Haley was unclear of the rule and expressed his frustration after the race.

“I just wish NASCAR would be a little more, tell us how much of the car we could have under the yellow line,” Haley said. 

Section 10.8.3.c of the Xfinity Rule book states: “NASCAR defines beneath the double yellow lines as follows: when the vehicle’s left-side tires are beneath the left line of the inside double yellow lines that separate the apron from the racing surface while passing another vehicle.”

Said Haley: “There’s room for me to go up, so I don’t know why they’re calling me like that.”

Wayne Auton, managing director of the Xfinity Series, said video showed that Haley violated the rule.

“The 24 car’s left sides were clearly inside the lines, so we had to make the call,” Auton said of Haley.

Auton was asked about Haley’s position on the track, and if he was leading at the time, thus his position would have already been advanced.

“The rule states if you advance your position,” Auton said. “He clearly advanced his position at that time. It doesn’t matter if his nose is an inch out front or a foot out front, he’s still clearly inside the inside lane, and it’s a violation of the rule.”

Said Sadler on the ruling:  “It’s a rule, and I’m glad to see NASCAR stay behind their rules on restrictor-plate racing, because if not, I think you’re going to see people take advantage of it. So I think they set a precedent again tonight making sure we all know we race above the yellow line. They tell us every single time restrictor-plate racing. A lot of times we get runs, especially down the backstretch here where it’s one of those things where you’ve got to put your lefts right on the line or over it, and you just can’t do it. Because you don’t want to put it in their hands.”

GMS Racing officials met with NASCAR after the race and remained displeased with the result. Spencer Gallagher, who will return to driving for the team next weekend at Kentucky, expressed his anger on Twitter:

Kurt Busch on contract status beyond 2018: ‘we’ll see how it all comes together’

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LOUDON, N.H. — Former champion Kurt Busch said Friday that he’s focused on his performance on the track even though his contract ends after this season.

“For me, I’ve just been racing, driving and performing, doing all the things I can do to exceed in all categories, whether it’s teammate things, things on the track … communication with (crew chief) Billy Scott,” Busch said after winning the pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“I don’t know many drivers that have a primary sponsor with them. Monster Energy has been very loyal to me. It’s just a matter of when the time is to start talking about a contract. Last year, it went long just because I felt I deserved more. The landscape is changing in NASCAR on primary sponsorship values, teams with the purse and the guarantee that they get off the historical performance. There are a lot of things that move, so we’ll see how it all comes together.”

MORE: Stewart-Haas Racing makes pit crew changes

MORE: Martin Truex Jr. laments sponsor leaving after this year

Last year, Stewart-Haas Racing declined the option on Busch’s contact when there were questions about if Monster Energy would return as a primary sponsor. After that was settled, Busch signed a one-year contract with the team. The deal was announced Dec. 12.

This is Busch’s fifth season with Stewart-Haas Racing. He’s won five races, including the 2017 Daytona 500 with the team. He has made the playoffs each year with SHR.

Busch’s pole Friday was his third of the year. He has yet to win a race this season but has 10 top-10 finishes.

“When you go to a track that you have good vibes about and with the team doing well, it gives you that feeling like you’re a step ahead and you just have to execute with confidence and not get too far off expecting good things to happen,” Busch said. “Just go out there and do your job and that’s what we’re doing right now and it’s great to have the pole with the 41 car.”

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Starting lineup for New Hampshire Cup race

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Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr. will start from the front row in Sunday’s Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (2 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Busch starts from the pole position for the third time this season and the first time at New Hampshire.

The top five is completed by Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney.

Alex Bowman in eighth and Daniel Suarez in ninth earned their best starting position at New Hampshire.

Kevin Harvick missed the final round of qualification and starts 14th.

Click here for the complete starting lineup.

Kurt Busch wins pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

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Kurt Busch posted a lap of 133.591 mph in the final round of qualification for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and will lead the field to green on Sunday. Busch was the only Stewart-Haas Racing driver to advance to the final round.

This is Busch’s first pole at New Hampshire, but he has started on the front row twice before – most recently in July, 2013. He finished 31st in that race and was 21st after starting second in July, 2007.

He beat Martin Truex Jr. (133.502 mph) by .019 seconds.

Kyle Busch (133.431), Denny Hamlin (133.361) and Ryan Blaney (132.720) round out the top five.

Alex Bowman (132.618) had the fastest Chevrolet in eighth. This is his best New Hampshire start in his seventh race.

Kevin Harvick (132.554) failed to advance to the final round and posted the 14th fastest time.

Kyle Larson (132.039) failed to back up his practice speed. He had the third fastest car in that session, but failed to make the final round and qualified 20th.

Last year, Kyle Busch won from the pole for the first time since Ryan Newman did so in the July 2011.This is Busch’s first pole at New Hampshire, but he has started on the front row twice before – most recently in 2013. He finished 31st in that race and was 21st after starting second in 2007.

Daniel Suarez  (132.581) in ninth earned his best New Hampshire start in three tries.

NASCAR America at 6 p.m. ET: Today’s action from New Hampshire

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 6-7 p.m. ET on NBCSN and gets a jump on this weekend’s racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Carolyn Manno hosts with Parker Kligerman in Stamford, Connecticut.

On today’s show:

  • The New Hampshire race weekend is off and running. Carolyn and Parker have complete coverage following today’s practices and Monster Energy Series qualifying from Loudon.
  • They will get reaction from several drivers, including the one who will start from the pole in Sunday’s race.
  • Plus, New England native Parker Kligerman jumps in the NBC Sports iRacing simulator to show us the challenges of racing the Magic Mile.
  • Nate Ryan of NBCSports.com examines the dominance of NASCAR’s Big 3 of Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.
If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 6 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.