Cole Custer wins Xfinity race in Texas with last-lap pass

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Cole Custer won Saturday’s Xfinity race at Texas Motor Speedway with a last-lap pass of Tyler Reddick.

Custer, who snapped a 30-race winless streak, passed Reddick on the backstretch after their cars banged doors.

It is Custer’s second Xfinity Series win. Custer had to rebound from a penalty for a crew member going over the pit wall too soon on Lap 127.

“I can’t believe it,” Custer told NBCSN at the start-finish line. “We just did all we could. I drove it in deeper than I have all weekend into (Turn) 1 trying to get on (Reddick’s) bumper. It worked out.”

Reddick, who placed second, admitted to making a “mistake” on the last lap as they exited Turn 2, which allowed Custer to get a run on him.

“I’m not mad at all with what happened there,” Reddick told NBCSN. “I think a lot of him. He’s a great driver.”

The win locks Custer into the championship four at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the site of his first series win.

“We haven’t won all year and we’ve been so close,” Custer said. “We kept going and this is the perfect time to (win).”

The top five was completed by Austin Cindric, John Hunter Nemechek and Justin Allgaier.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Daniel Hemric

STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer

MORE: Points, race results

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Austin Cindric earned his fifth career top five after he started from the rear in a backup car and suffered damage to his right-front bumper on the first lap … John Hunter Nemechek bounced back from a Lap 1 spin to finish fourth … Justin Allgaier earned his first top five at Texas in 17 starts.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Christopher Bell, who started from the pole, earned his second consecutive DNF after he was spun by Austin Cindric and wrecked on Lap 134 … Ryan Truex wrecked on Lap 126 and finished 33rd … Brandon Jones managed to place sixth and Michael Annett finished 16th after they made contact and spun on a Lap 97 restart. Jones later got loose and wrecked teammate Ryan Preece on Lap 139. Preece placed 31st.

NOTABLE: The race saw a track record 13 cautions … Cole Custer has finished in the top five in all four of his Xfinity starts at Texas.

QUOTE OF THE RACE No. 1: “The 2 (Matt Tifft) drove into the back of me off of (Turn 2) and that put me in the middle and put the 3 (Shane Lee) underneath me. He just lost it underneath me and took me out. Nothing the 3 could do. The 2 is the one that put me in that situation. It’s all good. We work really good together. It’s just a frustrating day. You’re bound to have days where we run into each but never happy about it when it happens.” – Daniel Hemric to NBC Sports and NASCAR.com on the incident with his two teammates on Lap 194.

QUOTE OF THE RACE No. 2: “The good thing is we ran together the whole race and both of our cars had speed. I think both we’re both frustrated at the end because we felt like it played out to where we got to the back of the pack and we were both trying to make our way back up. Honestly, I don’t think I ever touched (Hemric). I think the air got him free. I had momentum behind, so once he got sideways, I just tried to duck out to make sure he didn’t get turned and I had a clear path too. He was frustrated that he got put in that situation but he understood that I had to go. If I would have gave, somebody would have done the same to me and put me in the same spot. It’s so narrow coming off of (Turn) 2. We’ll be find. We’ll talk it out.” – Matt Tifft to NBC Sports

WHAT’S NEXT: Whelen Trusted to Perform 200 at ISM Raceway at 3:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 10 on NBCSN.

Former NASCAR Chairman Brian France defends leadership style in interview

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Former NASCAR Chairman Brian France defended his leadership style when running the stock-car series and said in an interview with Sports Business Journal that he was working on leaving the sport before he was ousted after his DWI arrest in August 2018.

The interview with Sports Business Journal marked France’s first public comments since his arrest.

France became NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in September 2003, assuming the position from his father, Bill France Jr.

Brian France held that position until Aug. 6, 2018, when he took a leave of absence after his arrest for driving while intoxicated in Sag Harbor, New York. He was replaced by Jim France and did not return to NASCAR.

Brian France pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in June 2019. As part of the agreement, he was required to complete 100 hours of community service and undergo alcohol counseling. If he completes those and does not run afoul of the law, his misdemeanor charge will be reduced to a non-criminal infraction in June 2020.

France told Sports Business Journal that he was actively talking to and identifying potential replacements before his arrest but did not go into detail.

France, who oversaw the TV deal with NBC and Fox that goes through 2024 and created what the Chase/playoff format, defended his absence from the track during his reign. France did not attend every race and that became an issue in the garage, raising questions about how involved he was with the sport.

“I understand that kind of criticism, but there is no other sports league that gets any criticism like that,” France told Sports Business Journal of the time he spent at the track. “I’ve always found that a bit interesting that no one else asks another commissioner how many football games or practices he made.”

Jim France is at the track nearly every weekend. Brian France told Sports Business Journal that while his uncle attends more races to match his objective, “(it) didn’t match up with mine, so I had to take the criticism on my way to managing the commercial side.”

France, who endorsed Donald Trump for president at a Feb. 29, 2016 rally at Valdosta State University in Georgia, accompanied President Trump on Air Force One to Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, according to the pool media report.

Monday’s Daytona 500: Restart time, weather and more

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Let’s try this again.

After rain postponed Sunday’s race, Cup drivers will get back on track Monday at Daytona International Speedway to complete the Daytona 500. And the forecast looks very good for Monday’s race.

The race was halted after 20 of 180 laps with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leading.

Here are today’s details:

(All times are Eastern)

RESTART: Command to fire engines at 4:05 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 4:12 p.m. 

DISTANCE: 180 of the scheduled 200 laps remain to be run on the 2.5-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 65. Stage 2 ends on Lap 130.

TV/RADIO: Fox’s broadcast begins at 4 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s broadcast begins at 4 p.m. and also can be heard on mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 73 degrees and a 3% chance of rain when the race resumes.

RUNNING ORDER:

  1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Aric Almirola
  4. Ryan Newman
  5. Kevin Harvick
  6. Brad Keselowski
  7. William Byron
  8. Jimmie Johnson
  9. Ty Dillon
  10. Timmy Hill
  11. David Ragan
  12. Chris Buescher
  13. Matt DiBenedetto
  14. Chase Elliott
  15. Ross Chastain
  16. Alex Bowman
  17. Kyle Larson
  18. Kurt Busch
  19. Austin Dillon
  20. Cole Custer
  21. Michael McDowell
  22. Tyler Reddick
  23. Ryan Blaney
  24. Bubba Wallace
  25. Reed Sorenson
  26. BJ McLeod
  27. Corey LaJoie
  28. Brendan Gaughan
  29. Ryan Preece
  30. Justin Haley
  31. Martin Truex Jr.
  32. Kyle Busch
  33. Erik Jones
  34. Christopher Bell
  35. Denny Hamlin
  36. Clint Bowyer
  37. John Hunter Nemechek
  38. Quin Houff
  39. Joey Gase
  40. Brennan Poole

Daytona 500 postponed to Monday

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The Daytona 500 has been postponed until Monday, NASCAR announced Sunday evening.

The race is scheduled to take the green flag at 4:05 p.m. ET Monday. The garage will open at 1:30 p.m. The race will air on Fox.

The wunderground.com forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 72 degrees and an 11% chance of rain when the race is scheduled to resume.

The race was scheduled to take the green flag Sunday at 3:18 p.m. ET but that was pushed back because of President Donald Trump’s participation in ceremonies before the race. He gave the command to start engines and his motorcade led the field on a pace lap. An extra pace lap was done to honor Jimmie Johnson, who is making his final Daytona 500 start.

As the field was set to take the green flag at 3:29 p.m. ET, rain in Turns 1 and 2 prevented the start. Rain fell throughout the track and led to a 51-minute delay.

When the race resumed, the field completed 20 laps before rain led to a caution at 4:36 p.m. ET. The field again was brought to pit road and the race was stopped. NASCAR told teams they could uncover cars on pit road at 6:18 p.m. ET but almost immediately there were reports of rain drops around the track. Drivers were called to their cars but never got in them. It began to pour around 6:44 p.m. ET. The race was called at 6:50 p.m. ET

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led the opening 20 laps. He is followed by Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick.

Sixth through 10th is Brad Keselowski, William Byron, Jimmie Johnson, Ty Dillon and Timmy Hill.

This is the second time the Daytona 500 has been postponed by rain. It happened in 2012.

Daytona 500 once again under rain delay

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Rain has once again put a damper on the 62nd Daytona 500.

The race got through the first 20 laps of the scheduled 200-lap event before the yellow flag came out, sending cars back to the pits.

Pole Sitter Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and his Chevrolet has led all laps since the green flag fell. Fords make up the next five spots (Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski), while the highest Toyota’s driver — Martin Truex Jr. — is back in 31st place.

It was the second time rain has impacted the event. After seven pace laps, the start of the race was delayed for 51 minutes due to rain. Engines were re-fired at 4:14 p.m. ET

The race is airing on Fox.

We will keep you updated on the status of the race and when it resumes.