NASCAR America analysts predict Kyle Busch will hit 200 wins at Fontana

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On Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America/The Motorsports Hour, analysts A.J. Allmendinger and Parker Kligerman were adamant in agreement that Kyle Busch will reach the 200-win milestone this weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

Busch has 199 combined wins across all three of NASCAR’s major series: 52 wins in Cup, 53 in Trucks and 94 in Xfinity. At Fontana, he’s entered in both the Xfinity and Cup races, meaning he not only has a chance to hit 200 wins (if he wins the Xfinity race) but also to exceed it (if he also wins the Cup race).

Remember, Busch is coming off back-to-back wins this past weekend at Phoenix. He’d love to make NASCAR history with another back-to-back accomplishment.

Here’s why our analysts think Busch will emulate comedian Larry The Cable Guy and Git-R-Done for No. 200 (and potentially more) this weekend:

ALLMENDINGER: “I believe so. He’s got that feel right now, where no matter what vehicle he gets in, whether it’s a Truck, Xfinity or Cup car, he goes out there and runs up front. I feel for him, there’s so much talk about it, he just wants to get it over with. He wants it to happen so he’s able to go out there and not have to talk about it again. It’s going to be a big deal. We should celebrate it.

I know there’s a lot of topics about the whole Richard Petty vs. Kyle Busch thing. Forget about it. When it happens, let’s just celebrate it. I think in one of those races, it happens this weekend and he gets No. 200.”

KLIGERMAN: “Kyle Busch doesn’t focus on that. He doesn’t amass this amount of wins focusing on whether he gets the most wins of this driver or he gets this win at this time. He just goes out there racing to win every time. Does this mean something? Yes. Is it significant? Yes. Does it compare to Richard Petty? I’m going to say no. I’ve said that for a while, every time this has been brought up over the last couple years, that it does not compare. Basically, those were Cup wins (for Petty), the best at that time, while (Busch) has done it over three different series.

“What is amazing to me is his win percentage, that’s what I find really interesting, how high of a win percentage he has. Do I think it can happen this weekend? Absolutely. One, Fontana is a great track for him. In any series he steps in right now, he’s on top of his game. And the Joe Gibbs Racing cars are all really fast right now. I think all those things combined, yes, it can happen this weekend and he’s on top form, so why not?”

Do you agree with Allmendinger and Kligerman? Check out the video above.

They also talk about Martin Truex Jr., who has been knocking on victory’s door with two runner-up finishes in the last three races, may finally reach victory lane for the first time in 2019 if Busch doesn’t win the Cup race.

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Kyle Busch has idea for NASCAR’s Xfinity, Truck limits

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Kyle Busch would entertain the opportunity to pursue the one NASCAR championship that has eluded him – in the Gander Outdoor Truck Series – when his Cup career is over.

But he’s got an idea that would allow him to run both series concurrently and address the limits on Cup drivers running in lower series.

“Why don’t you let us run as many races as we want to run and then once we miss one, we’re done?” Busch pondered after his victory Saturday in the TruNorth Global 250 truck race at Martinsville Speedway. “So if I go all the way to (the June 15 race at Iowa Speedway) in the trucks and run 10 races and can’t go to Iowa, I’m done.

“You can race for points or whatever and so if that ever came down to that, then maybe there’d be an opportunity years down the road that then you can run multiple series and try to go after a championship that way.”

What was NASCAR’s reaction to the plan?

“That’s probably the first time I’ve said that or thought about it,” Busch said with a laugh. “Now that it’s out there … there’s not a damn fan that’s ever going to let it happen.”

Indeed, Busch’s 201st career victory in a NASCAR national series drew the usual outrage on social media Saturday, both from his Rowdy Nation legion of fans and those who vehemently believe he should be limited beyond the NASCAR cap of five truck races and seven Xfinity races allowed for full-time Cup drivers.

Busch has won in seven of 11 starts in trucks, Xfinity and Cup this season.

“Could have been nine or 10 (victories) probably, that’s what the scary part is if it wasn’t for simple mistakes,” Busch said. “Overall, it’s been fun. It’s a damn shame I’m only allowed five and seven.”

Busch has two 2019 starts left in trucks: at Texas Motor Speedway next week and Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.

He said the chances are solid for going 5 for 5.

“I’d like to think Texas is a good place,” he said. “I think our guys have a good baseline. Charlotte is always one of my best tracks, favorite tracks and enjoy running there with the trucks, especially. There’s a good opportunity.

“It’s kind of an expectation (to win every race). We just go out, work hard and smart, and today we let the race play itself out and come to us.”

Busch won the 2009 Xfinity championship in the last season in which he ran full time in NASCAR’s top two series. He has focused solely on Cup full time since then, and NASCAR has changed rules over the past eight years limiting the ability to run for more than one title.

Despite 148 starts (and 54 victories), he is yet to run a full truck season, but the 2015 Cup champion has said he’d like to become the first driver to win a championship in each of NASCAR’s top three series.

Three Cup cars fail prerace inspection at Martinsville Speedway

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. — The cars of William Byron, DJ Kennington and Jeb Burton failed inspection Sunday morning at Martinsville Speedway.

Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet failed mechanical measurements. His sixth-place qualifying time will be disallowed, and he will have to start from the rear.

Kennington failed the OSS. He qualified 34th.

Burton had qualified 33rd.

The three cars will officially start behind those that passed inspection. Cars that qualified behind them will move up one spot.

The No. 24 suffered a right-front tire problem in the opening minutes of first practice Saturday morning, and the team made repairs to put the car back on track.

Today’s Cup race at Martinsville Speedway: Start time, lineup, more

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MARTINSVILLE — High downforce could bring hot tempers to Martinsville Speedway, where today’s STP 500 will mark the first short track of the 2019 Cup schedule.

In the last visit to the 0.526-mile oval, Joey Logano bumped Martin Truex Jr. aside entering the last two corners in one of the most thrilling finishes of the 2018 season.

Here’s the pertinent information for today’s race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Robert DeRidder, the senior vice president and general manager of Energizer Holdings Inc. (owners of STP), will give the command to start engines at 2:01 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 2:07 p.m.

PRERACE: The crew chief and drivers meeting is at noon. Driver introductions will begin at 1:20 p.m. The invocation will be given by track chaplain Mike Hatfield at 1:54 p.m. The 380th Army Band will perform the national anthem at 1:55 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 500 laps (263 miles) around the 0.526-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 130. Stage 2 ends on Lap 260.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race with coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network will broadcast the race. MRN’s coverage begins at 1 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast, which is also available at MRN.com.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 63 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain for the start of the race.

LAST TIME: In a race delayed to Monday by a snowstorm, Clint Bowyer scored his first victory for Stewart-Haas Racing. Kyle Busch finished second. Ryan Blaney placed third. Joey Logano won at Martinsville last fall. Denny Hamlin placed second. Martin Truex Jr. was third. 

TO THE REAR: William Byron (mechanical measurements), DJ Kennington (OSS) and Jeb Burton will start from the rear after failing inspection Sunday morning.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.

Cup starting lineup at Martinsville

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Fords flexed their muscle during Saturday’s qualifying, grabbing the first four spots and six of the first 11 for Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Joey Logano will start from the pole, alongside Aric Almirola. Brad Keselowski will start in Row 2, alongside Kevin Harvick.

Row 3 will have Denny Hamlin and William Byron. Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott make up Row 4, while Martin Truex Jr. and Daniel Suarez will start from Row 5.

Click here for the full row-by-row Cup starting lineup.

Note that the starting lineup is provisional until Sunday morning’s pre-race inspection. Any car that fails inspection will lose its starting spot and move to the back of the field.

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