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Who is hot and cold entering the Gander Outdoors 400 at Dover

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The Cup Series begins the second round of its playoffs this weekend with the Gander Outdoors 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Teams take to the 1-mile track coming off Ryan Blaney‘s dramatic win in the inaugural race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

Here’s a look the drivers who are on hot and cold streaks enters this weekend’s race (2 p.m. ET on Sunday on NBCSN).

Who is Hot

Kevin Harvick
• Finished 9th at Charlotte Roval (12th in Stage 1, 14th in Stage 2)
• Advanced to Round of 12 for 5th consecutive season
• Finished in top 10 in 10 of last 11 races
• Won 7 of last 28 races
• Twenty-nine races in 2018: 24 top 10s (including 7 wins) & 5 finishes of 19th or worse
• Last 7 Dover races: 4 top 10s (2 wins, including in May) and 3 finishes of 15th or worse
• Started 9th, 8th in Stage 1, 23rd in Stage 2, finished 17th in this race one year ago

Chase Elliott
• Finished 6th at Charlotte Roval (5th in Stage 1, 6th in Stage 2)
• Advanced to Round of 12 for 3rd consecutive season
• Finished 6th or better in last two races
• Finished in top 10 in 8 of last 10 races
• Finished in top 5 in 4 of 5 career Dover starts (12th in May)
• Started 12th, 7th in Stage 1, 3rd in Stage 2, 138 laps led, finished 2nd in this race one year ago

Ryan Blaney
• Won at Charlotte Roval (10th in Stage 1, 1st in Stage 2, 16 laps led); damaged in multi-car accident in Turn 1 on Lap 104; took lead in final corner after Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr spun racing for lead.
• Advanced to Round of 12 for 2nd consecutive season
• Finished in top 5 in 2 of last 3 races
• Five career Dover starts: 2 finishes of 8th and 3 finishes of 23rd or worse (8th in May)
• Started 11th, 21st in Stage 1, 24th in Stage 2, finished 23rd in this race one year ago; trapped 2 laps down when caution came out during green flag stops on Lap 88

Clint Bowyer
• Finished 3rd at Charlotte Roval (3rd in Stage 1, 5th in Stage 2)
• Advanced to Round of 12 for first time in career
• Finished in top 10 in last two races and 3 of last 4
• Last 6 races: 4 top 10s and 2 finishes of 23rd or worse
• Finished outside the top 10 in 8 of last 12 races
• Finished 6th or better in the last 2 Dover races and in Top 10 in 11 of last 15 (2nd in May)
• Started 19th, 14th in Stage 1, 10th in Stage 2, finished 6th in this race one year ago

Who is Cold

Austin Dillon
• Finished 39th at Charlotte Roval (35th in Stage 1, 7th in Stage 2); DNF – hit wall in oval Turn 4 on Lap 58 to avoid Chris Buescher while running 24th; hit front stretch wall on Lap 65 and destroyed car
• Eliminated in Round of 16 for 2nd straight year
• Finished outside the top 10 in 5 of last 6 races
• Finished outside top 10 in 24 of 28 races since Daytona 500 win
• One finish better than 13th in 10 career Dover starts (8th – Oct. 2016)
• Started 23rd, 24th in Stage 1, 20th in Stage 2, finished 16th in this race one year ago; trapped 2 laps down on Lap 88 after caution came out during green flag pit stops

Denny Hamlin
• Finished 12th at Charlotte Roval (19th in Stage 1, 17th in Stage 2); started in rear after going to a backup car; pit for flat left-front tire on Lap 5; wheel hopped into Turn 1 on Lap 16 and made contact with Erik Jones
• Eliminated in Round of 16 for first time in career
• Finished 12th or worse in 3 straight races
• Last 8 races: 3 top 10s and 5 finishes of 12th or worse
• Finished top 10 in 4 of last 5 Dover races (7th in May)
• Started 6th, 10th in Stage 1, 6th in Stage 2, finished 35th in this race one year ago; DNF – broke axle on Lap 374 while running 17th

Ricky Stenhouse Jr
• Finished 37th at Charlotte Roval (18th in Stage 1, 29th in Stage 2, 2 laps led); DNF – went off course in Turn 4 from the lead on Lap 72; missed Turn 17 on Lap 81 while running 11th and had to stop on frontstretch; spun in Turn 1 on Lap 101 and hit wall hard
• Finished outside the top 10 in 18 of last 19 races
• Finished 14th or worse in 23 of 29 races in 2018
• Finished outside the top 10 in 5 straight Dover races (15th in May)
• Started 15th, 4th in Stage 1, 18th in Stage 2, finished 19th in this race one year ago

Daniel Suárez
• Finished 21st at Charlotte Roval (20th in Stage 1, 28th in Stage 2); damaged left-front fender on Lap 2
battling Michael McDowell for 16th
• Finished 17th or worse in 2 straight races and 5 of last 6
• Finished top 10 in all 3 career Dover starts (3rd in May)
• Started 5th, 15th in Stage 1, 13th in Stage 2, finished 8th in this race one year ago

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

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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

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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

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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

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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