Bubba Wallace blasts Kyle Busch in expletive-filled tirade after wrecking him

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Bubba Wallace sent an expletive-laden message Sunday to Kyle Busch at Watkins Glen International, and he wants the rest of NASCAR’s premier series to hear it.

“I’m going to get my respect on the track, and I don’t care who it is,” Wallace said. “That’s for when guys fail to think about the young guys, I guess, or with me.

“I won’t put up with no shit. So I flat out wrecked his ass back.”

The Richard Petty Motorsports driver said his No. 43 Chevrolet spun into the wall on Lap 39 because Busch “just run me the (expletive) over. I don’t care if I’m two years in, rookie stripes or what.”

So Wallace returned the favor on Lap 62, turning Busch just before the entry to Turn 1 (to loud cheers from the grandstands) after they made contact several times off Turn 7 and down the frontstretch (watch video below).

“I guess we’re even,” Wallace said. “We’ll see.“

Asked about the incidents with Wallace and with William Byron earlier in the race, Busch’s only reply was, “You saw what happened.”

This is the second consecutive race in which Wallace has been involved in an incident with another driver. He angered Daniel Suarez after Pocono Raceway with an obscene gesture, which Wallace said he had made in jest as he does with many veterans such as Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch.

But Sunday’s revenge was no laughing matter for the second-year driver,  had five victories for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the truck series from 2013-14.

“That’s what happens when you get run over,” said Wallace, who was met with fist bumps and congratulations from several team members after parking his battered Camaro near pit entry. “You just pay him back. So I won’t be like, ‘Oh, it’s Kyle Busch, he didn’t mean to.’

“(Expletive) him.”

With that, Wallace briskly marched away from two reporters and hung a right out of the pit lane. As he strode down an alley leading to the Cup garage, a fan yelled, “Bubba, you the man!”

Kyle Larson’s ribs feeling ‘pretty painful’ after disappointing finish

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. – If finishing 14th with “a top-three car” didn’t leave Kyle Larson ailing Sunday at Kansas Speedway, there was also the matter of his aching ribs.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver took a prerace cortisone shot and put on a medicated patch to help manage the injury he sustained in an Oct. 14 crash at Talladega Superspeedway.

“I felt great to start the race,” said Larson, who didn’t think the ribs were broken. “I could barely feel any tenderness. And as the race went on, it just got more tender and more tender, and it’s pretty painful right now.

“I’ve got a cough, but I’m afraid to cough. We’ll maybe get it checked out this week and see if there is anything wrong with me. And if there is, if there’s anything I can do to get better.”

He’ll have a week to get ready for 500 laps at rough-and-tumble Martinsville Speedway, where he will enter the Round of 8 for the first time with a shot at the championship (by virtue of his Oct. 6 win at Dover International Speedway).

Larson is worried about racing well at the 0.526-mile oval that has frustrated him, but he is less concerned about how he will feel physically.

“Not really because the loads (at Kansas) are higher than at Martinsville with Gs pushing you into the side of the seat,” he said. “Martinsville, we don’t really have that. There’s a lot more slowing down and all that. You can slam on the brakes and things. So I don’t know if that’s going to hurt, but another seven days from now, I should be quite a bit better, hopefully.”

Larson also might need some time to recover from a missed opportunity at Kansas, where he led 42 of the first 46 laps. He stalled the car while pitting under green on Lap 47 but rebounded to retake first on Lap 59.

During a slow pit stop under a Lap 76 caution, Larson lost eight spots, and he fell outside the top 10 because of an uncontrolled tire penalty on the next stop (under yellow on Lap 117).

“Today was our roughest day that I’ve had in a long time,” said Larson, who also had a dustup with the lapped car of Joey Gase. “We had some really slow stops. My pit box was really slick, so I couldn’t get in aggressive enough (and) couldn’t leave fast enough. It made the pit stops seem worse than they were.”

Larson still managed to be in the hunt for his second victory in three races, climbing into the top five when the caution flew on Lap 254 of 277. Larson moved into second behind race winner Denny Hamlin with a two-tire stop, but he faded over the course of the final three restarts.

“Tough to have a day like that, but we had a fast car,” Larson said. “We tried to gamble on tires. Worked out for Denny, didn’t work out for us and got ate up on those restarts. Finished 14th with a top-three car.

“With him getting clean air (as the leader on the restart), I thought (Hamlin) would have a good shot. I thought if I could ever clear him, I’d have a good shot, too, but he did a good job with all the restarts holding them guys off.”

After being eliminated in the second-round cutoff race at Kansas the past two years, at least Larson could find solace at avoiding the playoff drama that led to Brad Keselowski’s elimination Sunday.

“It was pretty interesting keeping in touch with what was going on with the points,” Larson said. “The intensity just ramps up every round and every race really. Yeah, it’s going to get wild.”

Race Team Alliance purchases Speed51.com site

Race Team Alliance
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Speed51.com confirmed Sunday night that it has been purchased by the Race Team Alliance, the organization of a majority of the NASCAR Cup teams.

Chris Knight first reported the deal on Twitter.

Speed51.com streams a variety of short track races from across the country.

Speed51.com’s statement read:

“Speed51 confirms that it has been purchased by the Race Team Alliance. Post-acquisition, Speed51 will continue to operate in the manner as it always has and remains committed to providing the best in live, short-track racing to the racing fan base. The RTA, with its mission to promote North American stock car racing, is ideally suited to provide Speed51 with access to an overall larger racing fan base over time.  Founder,  Bob Dillner, will continue is his role as the President of Speed51.”

Cup teams in the Race Team Alliance are: Stewart-Haas Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Team Penske, Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, JTG Daugherty Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing, Germain Racing, Leavine Family Racing, Go Fas Racing and Wood Brothers Racing.

The Race Team Alliance issued a statement to NBC Sports on the purchase of Speed51.com:

“Race Team Alliance confirms the purchase of Speed51, a leading live, short-track racing distribution company based in Concord, NC.  The RTA, which represents the common interests of its 13 NASCAR Cup Team members, looks for strategic opportunities which both compliment the RTA’s core principles of promoting and growing the sport and advancing the common interests of the member Race Teams. The RTA identified Speed51 as a growing company with strong synergies to RTA’s commitment to the racing community and aligns with our fan bases’ enthusiasm for grass roots racing. The Speed51/RTA combination will explore ways to create and distribute to race fans exciting new Team related content, and allow the Teams to better connect directly with their fans.

“Speed51, which first started operating as a short-track news and information site in early 2000’s, has become a prominent player in the live, short-track world, streaming over 400 races each year to a dedicated fan base.  Founded by racing and sports broadcasting personality, Bob Dillner, Speed51 has consistently grown throughout the years and the RTA identified the company as one with great potential.  Post-acquisition, Bob will continue in his role as the President of Speed51 and report to RTA’s Executive Director, Jonathan Marshall.”

Rob Kauffman, chairman of the RTA said in a statement: “On behalf of our Member Race Teams, we are very excited about  our new initiative with Speed51. Bob Dillner and his team have created a great platform to cover grass roots racing , which touches the core fanbase of our sport – as well as many of our past, current and future racers and team members. We are looking forward helping him grow the business and plan to work together to create even more interesting content for our fans.”

Bob Dillner, founder and president of Speed51 stated: “Speed51 has always had an intense passion for short track racing and the RTA shares the same desire to bring more attention to this style of racing.  The RTA member teams are undoubtedly some of the most influential race teams in the world and at the same time understand grassroots racing because it’s where they came from.  I am thrilled to be partnered with this group of owners and with their help, not only will Speed51 be able to grow, but so will the industry surrounding short track racing, from track owners and promoters, to series organizers and the racers themselves.  This initiative will create better access for fans to witness the rise to stardom of some of the sport’s future prospects.”

 

 

 

Second proves to be good enough for Chase Elliott to advance

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Chase Elliott didn’t think finishing second would be good enough to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Then, suddenly, it was.

A chaotic overtime finish allowed Chase Elliott to overcome a three-point deficit and make it to the Round of 8 for the third consecutive season.

“I was under the impression that we had to win. All day,” Elliott said after his runner-up finish Sunday at Kansas Speedway. “I was just trying to do whatever we had to do to do that.”

Elliott was not aware of what happened behind him so when he crossed the finish line, he thought he had failed to advance.

But second proved to be good enough when Brad Keselowski lost six spots on the final two laps. That allowed Elliott to pass Keselowski in the points for the final transfer spot.

“I felt like for us to come here and battle for the win is what a really good team is made of and what you’re going to have to do if you’re going to make it to Homestead,” Elliott said of next month’s title race.

Before he could look ahead, Elliott had to maneuver through numerous obstacles Sunday.

At the end of the first stage, Elliott pushed Joey Logano — who entered the race holding the final transfer spot that Elliott sought — and helped Logano win that stage and gain 10 points. Elliott finished second and gained nine points.

Why help the driver he was racing at the time for the final transfer spot?

“At that point I was going to do what was best for me,” Elliot said. “Unfortunately, it helped him. At the point in time it was the best thing I could do for myself. In those situations, you have to be as selfish as you can. Unfortunately, it was the best option and he happened to be the guy in front of me. It wasn’t by dumb luck. He put himself in a good position. He’s pretty sharp on that.”

Elliott faced greater challenges later in the race. On the first of two overtime restarts, Elliott was surrounded by Joe Gibbs Racing cars. Denny Hamlin led and restarted on the inside, putting Elliott, who was second, in the outside line. The second row featured Kyle Busch on the inside line and Erik Jones on the outside line.

“To be honest with you, I feel like all those guys pushed pretty hard,” Elliott said. “I was a little surprised that (Jones) gave me as good a shove as he did on that restart so appreciate that. At the end of the day, those guys moving their lane forward is going to help them. It might not look right at first, but you never know what is going to happen on the backstretch or down into Turn 3 that could give that guy behind you a shot to win. You’re just trying to do whatever you can to put yourself in a better position.”

Elliott was second on the final overtime restart but couldn’t make a move to get by Hamlin for the win.

“Had a good restart … and gave Denny a good push, and I think William (Byron) didn’t get as good of a restart and he wasn’t pushing me and that’s was what I kind of needed, I felt like, to give Denny a run,” Elliott said. “Once we singled out, it takes more than a couple of laps to get the momentum up now, so it was going to be really tough. Denny did a good job of running the bottom and not making any mistakes. From there it was luck, whoever messed up … and gave us those three points we needed.”

Elliott’s title hopes continue. The Round of 8 begins next weekend at Martinsville Speedway.

“Martinsville has been hit or miss for us,” he said. “Ran good there in the spring. Ran bad there last fall.

“We just need to do our homework this week and focus on it. We can run decent at Texas. I think we can run really strong at Phoenix.”

Joey Logano’s Kansas outcome is proof why ‘every point matters’

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Late in Sunday’s elimination race at Kansas Speedway, Joey Logano’s hopes of defending last season’s NASCAR Cup championship appeared in dire jeopardy.

He was involved in a wreck that fortunately for him was not as serious as it was for some of the other drivers involved, including Daniel Hemric and Daniel Suarez, allowing Logano to continue on with only moderate damage.

Logano, along with race runner-up Chase Elliott, were perhaps the two biggest beneficiaries of that last caution, as they both earned enough points by the time the checkered flag fell to assure they would move on to the Round of 8 semifinals that begin next Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.

Logano leaves Kansas in a much more secure spot than he was in Sunday’s closing laps. He’s fourth after the points were reseeded, just 16 points behind series leader Kyle Busch.

MORE: Results, points from NASCAR Cup elimination race at Kansas

Logano didn’t mince words after Sunday’s race, particularly when asked if he was shocked that he survived and advanced.

Yeah, it felt like that this whole round, starting in Dover when we watched the race start in the garage,” Logano said. “Then the crash in Talladega but scoring enough stage points and an okay enough finish to get some points.

Then today, whew, we got that stage win (Stage 1), which was great and that is a point that will continue on, so that is a big deal. We needed every point we could and it looked like we were in a good spot. Next thing you know they are wrecking on the outside and I get hit and I am going through the grass.

I felt comfortable before that but the next thing you know … I didn’t hit anything so I got lucky for sure. I have been lucky a few times. We were able to finish Talladega and I parked the thing and there was a hole in the radiator. It was a hard-fought and blue collar round for sure.”

With Brad Keselowski now eliminated, Logano and teammate Ryan Blaney are the only Team Penske drivers to advance to the Round of 8. Photo: Getty Images.

Logano hopes that the third round of the playoffs will be less drama-filled than the just-completed second round.

We just have to smooth it out a little bit,” Logano said. “We need to not have as much carnage out there and finish some of these things. We just need to get fast, too.

And the biggest thing, Logano added, is “it’s on to the next round. We get to reset, thank God, and we’ll move on from there.”

Sunday’s race was yet another example of what Logano has said for much of this year’s playoffs, that every point matters in every race. While some observers may not necessarily agree, Logano was vindicated in how things ultimately turned out.

He advances to the next round along with Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney, although their other teammate, 2012 Cup champ Brad Keselowski, fell back in the final two laps, lost three points and that was the difference between him advancing and what ultimately turned out: he was eliminated from further advancement.

Yet another example of why “every (point) matters for sure,” Logano said. “You just have to fight for every point.

I think everyone does the same thing. It is tough. You see a late race restart in Kansas and it is like, ‘Oh boy, we are about to crash some stuff.’ Because everyone is trying to get every point possible especially when cars are right on the cut line and know they have to pass three or four cars. Then it becomes a real mess. Luckily we made it.”

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