NASCAR says no changes for the Daytona 500; team owners say racing will improve


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The racing has been less than regal during Speedweeks for “The King.”

No, I don’t,” Richard Petty said Friday when asked whether he thought the quality of racing had been good at Daytona International Speedway the past six days.

But the Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner – and many fellow car owners – believe the drafting and passing will be on the rise in Sunday’s Daytona 500 after a preponderance of single-file racing in Thursday’s qualifying races and Sunday’s Clash.

The biggest thing, we haven’t seen full fields,” Richard Childress said during a panel of Chevrolet team owners. “You get 40 cars out there, you’re going to see a different race.”

Instead of one lane, you’ll see two lanes,” Petty said.

Rick Hendrick said some drivers likely were being conservative rather than risk a backup car for the biggest race of the year. He always noted that the racing could change after Sunday, which will mark the last hurrah for restrictor plates (tapered spacers will be used to slow speeds in the future).

“We go to Talladega, it’s going to be different,” Hendrick said.

There were six lead changes across 120 laps in two races Thursday (which did include a dazzing last-lap move from fourth to first by Joey Logano), and four lead changes in 59 laps Sunday. Many drivers said postrace Thursday night that the current package didn’t need tweaks.

NASCAR officials said there has been “zero” discussion about making any changes for the 61st running of The Great American Race, which seems fine with team owners such as Roger Penske.

“I think we have to put it in context,” said Penske, whose No. 22 Ford driver Joey Logano won Thursday’s second qualifier. “The racing will be certainly better on race day than maybe you saw (Thursday) night. Cars are trying to get up last night to the front and draft.  From a show perspective, I think you’re going to have a blanket over the cars that can win.”

Plate racing, though, has been mostly lackluster since the 2018 Daytona 500 a year ago. The most recent Talladega race was dominated by Stewart-Haas Racing’s Fords and featured little of the nonstop action from past plate races.

SHR co-owner Tony Stewart said the lack of incentive in the qualifying races – with 38 of 40 cars already locked into spots – also was a factor.

“The worst thing you want to do is put yourself in a bad position to have to bring a backup car,” Stewart said. “Guys are a lot more careful.  But we saw guys like Chase Elliott (and) Daniel Suarez that were trying moves by themselves (in the qualifying races). That’s something you typically don’t see a lot of, where guys can move and pass by themselves.  I thought that was encouraging to see you’re not having to rely necessarily on a whole pack of cars to help you move through the field.

“Watching that, to me it was a show.  As a driver and car owner, I caught myself paying attention to those two guys, their races, the effort they were making to try to figure out how to get around somebody, get back in a hole, get back in line.  From that standpoint, I was entertained from it.

“The big thing is, like Roger said, the more cars you get out there, the more the pack racing gets a lot better and bigger.  Qualifying races typically aren’t as exciting from that standpoint.”

NASCAR likely would be limited on how it could alter the cars for Sunday. It has regulated ride height in the past, but it would be too late to institute any changes for the race leaving a spoiler adjustment as the most likely option.

Truck race results at WWT Raceway: Grant Enfinger wins

Truck race results WWT Raceway
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Grant Enfinger took the lead when the leaders wrecked in the final laps and held off the field in overtime to win Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

It is Enfinger’s second win in the last five races. He also collected a $50,000 bonus for winning the Triple Truck Challenge.

MORE: Truck race results

Christian Eckes finished second and was followed by Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar and Chase Purdy.

Ty Majeski and Zane Smith wrecked while racing for the lead with six laps to go. Majeski, running on the inside of Smith, slid up the track and clipped Smith’s truck. Both hit the wall. That put Enfinger in the lead.

Smith finished 20th. Majeski placed 30th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Grant Enfinger’s victory is his fourth top 10 in the last five races. … Carson Hocevar’s fourth-place finish is his fourth consecutive top-five result. … Stewart Friesen’s third-place finish moved him into a playoff spot with four races left in the regular season. … Matt DiBenedetto‘s sixth-place finish is his third consecutive top 10. … Jesse Love finished ninth in his series debut.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ty Majeski had a chance to take the points lead with series leader Corey Heim out because of illness, but Majeski’s 30th-place finish after running at the front most of the day, leaves him behind Heim. … Hailie Deegan finished 32nd after contact sent her truck into the wall hard. … After finishing a career-high third last week at Charlotte, Dean Thompson placed 34th Saturday due to an engine issue.

NEXT: The series races June 23 at Nashville Superspeedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1)

Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.

Sunday Cup race at WWT Raceway: Start time, TV info, weather


Twelve races remain until the playoffs begin in early September. Ten drivers have won races. The pressure to secure a playoff spot builds as the Cup Series heads into the summer months.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at WWT Raceway

(All times Eastern)

START: Six-time Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee will give the command to start engines at 3:32 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting is at 2:40 p.m. … Driver intros are at 2:55 p.m. … Tim Bounds, pastor at The Crossing Church St. Louis, will give the invocation at 3:24 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by Bebe Winans and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at 3:25 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 240 laps (300 miles) on the 1.25-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 140.

STARTING LINEUP: Cup starting lineup

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. … Coverage begins at 2 p.m. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground — Partly cloudy with a high of 90 degrees and a 15% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Joey Logano won the inaugural Cup race at this track. Kyle Busch was second. Kurt Busch placed third.


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Cup starting lineup at World Wide Technology Raceway


Kyle Busch will lead the Cup starting lineup to the green flag in Sunday’s Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.

Busch will be joined on the front row by Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney.

MORE: Cup starting lineup

The second row will have Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. The third row has Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano.

Corey LaJoie, driving the No. 9 car in place of the suspended Chase Elliott, qualified 30th after hitting the wall on his lap.

The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1.