Bump & Run: Most memorable crashes where drivers walked away

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Bubba Wallace walked away from his crash at Pocono Raceway. What are crashes that stand out to you where drivers walked away?

Nate Ryan: Michael McDowell in April 2008 qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway; Jimmie Johnson in the August 2000 Xfinity race at Watkins Glen International; Mike Harmon in August 2002 Xfinity practice at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Dustin Long: Austin Dillon’s crash after the finish of the July Daytona race in 2015. Michael McDowell‘s crash at Texas, and Michael Waltrip‘s Bristol crash in 1990.

Daniel McFadin: Since we’re about to go to Watkins Glen, it would have to be Jimmie Johnson’s Xfinity Series wreck there in 2000 when he lost his brakes going into Turn 1 and plowed into a foam barrier. Johnson celebrated being uninjured by standing on top of his car like he was in Victory Lane.

Dan Beaver: Michael Waltrip’s 1990 crash at Bristol in the Busch series. They literally picked up most of his car by hand and put it on the rollback. Mike Harmon’s 2002 Bristol accident was eerily similar.

Hendrick Motorsports placed three cars in the top 10 at Pocono, the first time the organization has done that this year. How soon do you believe it will be before a Hendrick car wins?

Nate Ryan: It still feels as if the team will spring a major leap forward in the playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but some incremental improvements are clearly being made in the interim. With as well as he’s run the past two weeks, Chase Elliott could be a contender at Michigan International Speedway, one of his better tracks.

Dustin Long: Michigan next month could be a good place for the organization, particularly Chase Elliott, to score its first victory of the season. 

Daniel McFadin: I wouldn’t place any bets on a Hendrick driver until they visit Bristol. Jimmie Johnson has top 10s in three of the last four visits there and he and Alex Bowman finished in the top five there in April. 

Dan Beaver: Chase Elliott is beginning to show the speed he had at the end of 2017. It’s too soon to know if the No. 9 is going to be able to maintain it, but Michigan in two weeks could produce his first Cup victory.

Who are you taking this weekend at Watkins Glen? The Big 3 or the field?

Nate Ryan: Martin Truex Jr. is the defending race winner, and Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch both run well there. There are a few in the field (Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin) who can challenge them, but none is performing well enough to be given a better shot than the top three.

Dustin Long: I think the Big 3 will be challenged but one of the three will win.

Daniel McFadin: The Big 3 until they’re bested on a regular basis.

Dan Beaver: There are so too many unknowns on a road course that factor into victory. The Big 3 are just as susceptible to losing track position as the rest of the field, so I’ll take the field.

NASCAR Open starting lineup at Bristol

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Michael McDowell will start on the pole for the NASCAR Open at Bristol Motor Speedway after a random draw. Aric Almirola joins him on the front row.

Click here for NASCAR Open starting lineup

The winners of each segment advance to the All-Star Race, along with the fan vote winner. Last year, Kyle Larson won a segment in the Open to advance to the All-Star Race and then won that event. Other segment winners last year were William Byron and Bubba Wallace. Alex Bowman advanced through the fan vote a year ago. Bowman has already qualified for this year’s All-Star Race.

 

NASCAR Open at Bristol 

Race Time: 7 p.m. ET Wednesday

Track: Bristol Motor Speedway; Bristol, Tennessee (0.533-mile speedway)

Length: 85 laps over three segments, 45.3 miles

Segments: Segment 1 is 35 laps. Segment 2 is 35 laps. Segment 3 is 15 laps.

TV coverage: FS1

Radio: Performance Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Streaming: Fox Sports app (subscription required); goprn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Next Xfinity race: Saturday at Texas (200 laps, 300 miles), 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Next Truck race: Saturday at Texas (167 laps, 250.5 miles) 8 p.m. ET on FS1

Martin Truex Jr. to start on pole for All-Star Race at Bristol

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Martin Truex Jr., who is seeking his first All-Star Race win, will start on the pole for Wednesday night’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway after a random draw.

Truex will be joined on the front row by Alex Bowman.

Rookie Cole Custer, who earned a spot in the All-Star Race with his win Sunday at Kentucky, will start eighth.

Click here for All-Star Lineup

  • Positions 17-19 will go to segment winners from the NASCAR Open. The 20th starting spot goes to the fan vote winner, which will be announced after the NASCAR Open

Among the special rules for the race:

# The Chose Rule will be used. As drivers approach a designated spot on the track, they must commit to the inside or outside lane for the restart.

# The car number will move from the door toward the rear wheel to give sponsors more exposure.

# Cars that have automatically qualified for the All-Star Race will have underglow lights on their cars.

 

NASCAR All-Star Race at Bristol 

Race Time: 8:30 p.m. ET Wednesday

Track: Bristol Motor Speedway; Bristol, Tennessee (0.533-mile speedway)

Length: 140 laps over four segments, 74.6 miles

Segments: Segment 1 is 55 laps. Segment 2 is 35 laps. Segment 3 is 35 laps. Segment 4 is 15 laps (only green flag laps count in this segment).

TV coverage: FS1

Radio: Performance Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Streaming: Fox Sports app (subscription required); goprn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Next Xfinity race: Saturday at Texas (200 laps, 300 miles), 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Next Truck race: Saturday at Texas (167 laps, 250.5 miles) 8 p.m. ET on FS1

Xfinity playoff grid after Kentucky doubleheader

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The Xfinity Series went to Kentucky Speedway for a doubleheader and Austin Cindric left the track with two wins and a spot in the playoffs.

Cindric, who claimed the first oval track NASCAR wins of his career, is now third on the playoff grid among the six drivers locked into the postseason. He has 15 playoff points.

Noah Gragson, who is second on the grid, won three of four stages in Kentucky and has 18 playoff points.

Six spots remain to be filled on the playoff grid. The last two drivers currently in the top 12 are Ryan Sieg (+57 points above cutline) and Brandon Brown (+14).

The first four drivers outside the top 12 are Myatt Snider (-14 points from cutline), Jeremy Clements (-30), Alex Labbe (-42) and Jesse Little (-47).

Cup playoff grid after Kentucky Speedway

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Cole Custer delivered the first curveball to the NASCAR Cup Series’ playoff chase Sunday when he won at Kentucky Speedway.

Custer entered the race 25th in the points, nine spots back from the cutoff line for 16-driver field.

Now, Custer is one of nine drivers locked into the playoffs, meaning the cutoff for the postseason is 15th in points.

Among those currently in the playoff grid who are not locked in, the last two are William Byron (+30 points) and Jimmie Johnson (+24).

The first four drivers sitting outside a playoff spot are Austin Dillon (-24 points from cutoff), Tyler Reddick (-41), Erik Jones (-42) and Bubba Wallace (-84).