Big wreck shuffles front of field at Daytona

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With inclement weather approaching, several cars near the front of the pack in Sunday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 were involved in a major wreck with 43 laps remaining in the scheduled 160-lap event at Daytona International Speedway.

Entering Turn 1, leader Austin Dillon moved down the track in front of Clint Bowyer, who also was attempting to cut down to the lower side of the corner. Contact was made that included more than at least 18 cars.

“That was pretty bad, man, and then he just kept coming down,” Bowyer said of Dillon to NBC Sports. “I had a big run, and he tried to block me. I got off him, and he kept trying to block it.

“It’s pretty unfortunate for us. … It’s a mess that (Dillon) created. The kid was doing everything he could do to stay in the lead. It was just pretty foolish. It was pretty early in the race and a lot of racing left to be aggressively blocking or whatever the hell that was.”

When asked by pit reporter Marty Snider if he spoke with Dillon in the infield care center, Bowyer said, “It doesn’t matter.”

Dillon told NBC Sports’ Kelli Stavast: “I really thought it was urgent because of the lightning and rain coming, so I jumped up there, had a good push from (Bowyer). My plan was to as soon as I cleared (Denny Hamlin) was to cut left and cut down again to go with my Chevy teammates. I was just trying to get a race win, that’s all it was.

“It’s part of this kind of racing. I was being aggressive and keep the lead, and that’s what you get. It’s part of it. I wish we could have worked with the Chevys to finish off what we started.”

In addition to Dillon and Bowyer, other drivers involved in the major wreck included Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, Ty Dillon, Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Parker Kligerman, Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones, Kyle Larson, Ryan Preece, Bubba Wallace, Alex Bowman and Matt DiBenedetto.

 

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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).