What drivers said after Roval race

Leave a comment

Chase Elliott – winner: Holy moly! Did you like that (fans applaud & cheer). Oh my gosh. What a mistake. Holy moly. You talk about messing something up, right here. Don’t do that. What a day. We had such a fast NAPA Camaro ZL1 and honestly, that was the only reason we were able to get back in. I pretty well blew it; and got the cautions at the right time, and brought it home. Thank you guys. I made a whole lot of noise right there.

It’s almost like an away team taking away a win at home. All my guys are from here and obviously Hendrick Motorsports is right over here behind the race track. It’s a home win for most people and that’s all that matters. What a day; I was about as tired as I think I’ve ever been after an event. So, I just appreciate the effort. The guys just didn’t quit. It was unbelievable, they fixed the thing the right away. A lot of times, you can make mistakes fixing these things and sometimes you can even make it worse. They made sure they did it the right way and got us a win.

(What kind of message does this send to the competition?) It’s our last road course, so the biggest thing is I think we have six more bonus points to continue forward with. A win is awesome. It doesn’t get any better than that. There’s no feeling like winning one of these races. … Obviously had great power today to drive back up through there. What a day. Somebody in the media the other day asked me if this would be like an upset if a guy from Georgia came up here to North Carolina and won, and I never really thought about that, but now that he says that, I kind of like it. We’ll take this one back to Georgia. For me and all my guys here, we’re going to celebrate and enjoy it. These wins are too hard to get not to enjoy, and just happy we could overcome a lot of adversity.”

Alex Bowman – finished second: “(What led you to go to the infield care center after the race?) I was just really sick Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; I felt a little bit better today. But I was just really behind on being hydrated and just kind of exhausted. I was tired and everything was real tingly, which is not a great feeling inside a race car. I got some fluids and I’m definitely feeling better. We’ll be good to go in Dover.

(How did you finish second after the first lap incident and how touch were the final laps, knowing you didn’t feel well?) I mean probably about lap 10 of the race, I was pretty done and out of it just from a physical standpoint. I just tried to keep digging and obviously, I tried to give it away on lap 1. As soon as I touched the brake pedal it started wheel-hopping and turned around on me. I apologize to those that got collected in that. I feel like I hurt myself more than anybody on that one. But I’m glad we were able to rebound and the guys obviously gave me a really strong car to get back through the field. There at the end, cautions were rough. Under green it is what it is. But under caution, when you actually have time to think about how you feel, it’s not much fun.

(What happened with Bubba Wallace?) I don’t know if he was mad about the first lap, or what, but obviously that was just a mistake. And then I got flipped off every single straightaway on the entire race track for three laps. I got flipped off by him for like three or four laps in a row at Richmond, so I’m just over it. … (And you decided to take action on your own?) I’ve got to stand up for myself at some point, right? He probably wouldn’t have got wrecked if he had his finger back in the car. But, I’m just proud of our guys today and just really focused on moving forward and being good this weekend (in Dover).

Kevin Harvick – finished third: Honestly, it was a great day for us. Without all of those cautions at the end, or one or two less, I think our Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang probably still wins the race, but I could see that 9 creeping in my mirror and I knew how good his car was from practice yesterday. Once he got to us, he just rolled right around the outside of us. I thought if I could just get through turn one and beat the 19, I’d be in decent shape, but the 9 was just so good even after he crashed. … (Are you thinking about Dover?) It’s not Monday yet. We’re gonna enjoy this one. We worked hard to try to have a better showing here this year than last year and all that work paid off. We’re closer. We’re not where we need to be with the Hendrick cars, but we’re getting close.”

Clint Bowyer – finished fourth: “We did what we had to do. We knew what we had to do all weekend long. We knew we had to dig ourselves out of a hole we put ourselves in at Vegas. We had a good weekend last weekend and had a great weekend this weekend. Coulda, woulda, shoulda – maybe a little bit more aggressive on those restarts, but, again, you could have got yourself wrecked too. When it got down there to the end and we got our stage points and got ourselves in contention and was where we needed to be, it was time to re-evaluate your situation and where you were running and just protect. We were in protection mode. That 9 and the 88 coming on those tires, man. It seems like every cycle would hurt old tires. I think if we could have got back green I honestly think Kevin would have won the race. I don’t know what, just heat-soaked or whatever else, we were a good bit slower after those cycles than we were before them, so I was bummed out for Kevin. 

(Are you ready to reset now?) Hell, yes. I’m excited to reset and not be playing catch-up. I won’t put ourselves in a hole again. Dover is a good track for me. Dover is a good track for our organization. I feel like we can get reset and go for that next Round of 8.”

Brad Keselowski – finished fifth: (How do you feel?) That was a hot race, pretty miserable, but we got through with a decent finish and made the most with what we had. … (Did you have anything for the leaders with track position?) No, I think Chase could have ran around on seven cylinders. He was handling so good that nobody was gonna touch him. … (What were the passing conditions like?) You could pass, you just had to be super, super fast and the 9 car was that.

(Are you ready for the next round?) I’m ready to go have a beer. It was a hot one and we got through with a decent finish and that was all we had.

William Byron – finished sixth: “(What does it feel like advancing to the second round of the playoffs?) It feels awesome. It was a goal accomplished. We had a good car and we could have gone for more, for sure. But I just wanted to finish the race. I knew we were close on points, so just to finish the race was a goal accomplished. A sixth-place finish is good and we’ll go onto Dover. I know it’s a good track for us. … (How does your mindset change now from getting enough points to move on to next week?) Same thing, we can continue to do this for sure. I have to recover from this race, the heat and go to Dover and have a really good race there.”

Martin Truex Jr. – finished seventh: (What kind of day did you have?) It was up and down for sure, you know? To start from the back like that and get penalized in the beginning for avoiding a wreck, missing the chicane to avoid a wreck and you penalize us is kind of stupid. We started from way behind there and made our way up. Got to second and just didn’t have a good enough car to take the lead and then all those heat cycles again, I just got really loose. We probably should’ve got tires, but we didn’t expect all of the cautions at the end. … (Are you ready for Round 2?) Oh yeah, I’m ready. I think the team is ready. We had a hell of challenge on our hands today, starting from the back, so to get up to second and be battling for the lead late was good. We just didn’t expect so many cautions at the end. All those heat cycles heated my tires up and I just was wicked loose at the end. The last three or four laps, I couldn’t hold anybody off. Luckily, the power steering held up. That was a good thing.”

Ryan Blaney – finished eighth: “We definitely had a lot of ups and downs. I thought we did a pretty decent job most of the day finding ourselves towards the front. There were a lot of mixed strategies with the way the cautions fell. I messed up really bad and hit the fence and really set us back, but I’m really proud of the whole group for fighting and getting it fixed to where we could make some ground.”

Jimmie Johnson – finished ninth: “We had a good car. We lacked a little drive off of the turns and would fade a little bit over the long haul, but I still think we really were a top-five car. I just made three really big mistakes in the race and cost us. I locked up my front tires three different times, flat-spotted the tires, and we had to pit out of sequence. I spun around once on one of those wild restarts. So, a rally back to ninth was a nice recover, but I’m kicking myself for the mistakes I made.

(Hendrick cars were fast today. How does that impact your confidence the rest of the season?) Yeah, we’re getting better. Man, it was impressive to watch that 9 car. He had the field covered. If we keep working together and understanding what’s making the cars go, then we’re going to have all four cars where they need to be soon.”

Joey Logano – finished 10th: “(Are you any more confident here now after two races on the Roval?) Confident about what? That we’re all gonna crash? Yes. It’s a mess. … (How taxing was this race with the heat?) It was so hot. It was brutal inside the car. The temperature was up for sure. It was a tough day. It was really tough in there. During that red flag I think everyone was probably ready to pass out in there, so it’s nice to have a little shade come over right now. … (You’ve been off the last couple of weeks?) Today is on me. We had a pretty good car, something that could compete. We were in the top five there the first stage and looked like we were gonna have a car that could contend and then I just made a mistake on pit road and hit the wall. It’s not speed. I keep saying that. It’s not that we’re far off on speed, we just have to clean up the races and today is on me.”

Kyle Larson – finished 13th: “I felt like Chase (Elliott) was probably the fastest, but I felt like myself and William (Byron) were probably the next best. We won the first stage and during that pit stop, I didn’t wait on them to pull tape and kind of drug the crew member out of the pit box. So, I got a penalty there, a pretty stiff one. I had to lose a lap, but I got the lucky dog. I thought we were going to be OK and there at the end. We actually had a slow green-flag stop because we had some damage and they couldn’t get the right front out. We ended up 13th, but I felt like we could have easily been in the top-three. Just disappointed that we don’t have the finish to show for how good our car was. We just had to be cautious and stay out on older tires to try to be ahead of the craziness that was bound to happen. I just lost a lot of spots to guys on new tires. I just wish I would have had more points so we could have come to pit and be aggressive on tires and not really worry about crashing. We’re onto the next round. We’ve been running pretty strong in these Playoffs, so we’ll keep going.”

Aric Almirola – finished 14th: (How was the heat?) Yeah, it was tough. That’s part of it. They pay us to drive race cars and we don’t get to pick the weather, so some days it’s really hot and miserable and that’s what you train for. It’s just hot in general. We’re inside of a race car with engine temps 250-300 degrees. The cars get really hot, so there’s nothing you can do. It’s just part of it and that’s why we do what we do. … (What did you need to get more?) I don’t know. I think they said we missed by five points, so the strategy we were on if the race would have continued to go green to the end we were gonna be in a good situation. I think we were seven or eight points to the good. That caution came out and kind of put us in a spot to where we had to choose, and I knew and Johnny knew that all the guys we were racing in points were gonna do the opposite of whatever we did. We were the first car ahead of all those guys on the cutline, so we stayed out and made our bed and all those guys came and got tires. That’s just part of it.

(What were you thinking when Newman jumped the chicane?) I knew he was gonna have to make a pass-through. I was putting a lot of pressure on him there trying to get by him. He was either gonna make a mistake or I was gonna move him out of the way and he made a mistake, but it wasn’t enough. We still had to get more cars, so I think we came up four or five points short.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — finished 17th: “Overall it was a clean weekend for our Sunny D Ford. Our goal was to be there at the end and try to make minimal mistakes. Last year we really struggled so I’m pleased with our performance today.”

Denny Hamlin – finished 19th: “Just missed it overall. Having a backup car and having to go to the back and then through that wreck that happened in Turn 1 we got caught in, had to go to the back again. We just couldn’t ever make it back towards the front. Just not enough passing zones. You can’t really get the flow going at this race track, so it’s just kind of – you just wait on the wrecks, you try to avoid them and get the best finish you can. … (Were you more relaxed today knowing you were already locked into Round 2?) Yes. There was no stress. Certainly we knew that we were moving on, but you still like to run well. It was just one of those weekends where if we do, we do, if we don’t, we don’t. … (How much of a game-changer was the new chicane?) I don’t know. I think the track raced close to the same. There’s just so few passing zones really and it’s so narrow and it’s off-cambered in a lot of spots. Passing is just difficult generally at this race track and it just seems like we’ve got to get a little bit better here.”

Austin Dillon — finished 23rd: “We invested a lot of time and effort preparing for this race, including simulator time right down to Friday night after qualifying. Even though we qualified far back in the field, we had confidence that we could race our way to a decent finish. My crew chief Danny Stockman and the whole team did a great job utilizing pit strategy to get the Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet as high as the top five in the running order. We were looking solid but, with less than 20 laps to go, the No. 17 car was on the outside of me and we tried to make it two-wide. He ended up hitting the wall and me. We pitted for tires and repairs to the left rear crush panel, which relegated us to the back of the field and made it difficult to get positions back. Our right-front fender was flared out so I had to draft the best I could around the banking at the end of the race. We have a lot of work to do on these road courses but we’re not going to give up.”

Ryan Newman – finished 32nd: “I felt like I made a lot of mistakes trying too hard. We did not have the race car and that’s what I had to do. I felt like we were in a position at one point and then just kept trying too hard trying to keep the 10 car behind us and missed the curbs. That was unfortunate. We came in at a big deficiency and finished one point out or whatever it was, but, no matter what, we’re still gonna fight for fifth. I’m proud of everybody at Roush Fenway for the fight and the opportunity that they’ve given me. We’re not done, we’re just out at this point.

(What happened with Suarez late in the race?) We had a little miscommunication. I missed the curbs down there in the chicane and I was under the impression that I had to do a stop-and-go over there, but then they told me I had to do a pass-through, I guess because I didn’t get it that lap, so I zigged and zagged and I guess got him turned around or whatever. It wasn’t anything intentional by any means, but whether he thought it was or didn’t I didn’t really care.

Daniel Hemric — finished 23rd: “This is not how we planned to end the day here at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval. It was a battle for sure. We tried to play some strategy by staying out late in the race and led some laps. It looked like it was going to work out when the caution flew and we were able to come down pit road under yellow. Unfortunately, we had damage to the left front fender that made it difficult to get the tire off and that slowed our stop down. I was trying to get as many positions back as possible in those closing laps, but the No. 41 had an issue ahead of me and I could not avoid him. We made hard contact and it ripped the right front apart. I had to do all I could just to cross the finish line. That’s obviously a frustrating way to end the day with this Caterpillar Next Gen Excavators Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. There’s no quit in this team and I can’t wait to get to Dover next week.”

Daniel Suarez — finished 34th: “Our No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang was fast. We just didn’t get the finish we were hoping for. We’ve still got time to get a win this season.”

Kyle Busch – finished 37th: It just wasn’t our weekend. I don’t really know why we had the trouble we’ve had with our M&M’S Hazelnut Spread Camry. It’s not the way you want to run in the playoffs. We are fortunate that we had such a strong regular season and that we have the playoff points that we have. We just can’t keep relying on that as we go through the playoffs.”

Erik Jones – finished 40th: It’s unfortunate. We just had three really bad weeks and it’s some of our own doing and some not our own doing, but it’s racing. We’ve got really fast cars. I know we can probably go out and win some more races this year, which is I guess a consolation prize. I’d love to be moving forward here and challenging for the championship. I thought we could’ve went pretty deep this year, but it’s just the nature of the Playoffs. The Craftsman Camry – we were struggling today here early on, but we were going to fight all day and unfortunately we didn’t get that opportunity. We’ll keep racing all year and you know next year, come back and improve on what we can.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Saturday Cup race at Bristol: Start time, TV channel

Leave a comment

Four drivers will be eliminated from the Cup playoffs after Saturday night’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

This marks the first time the track has been in the playoffs. The Saturday Cup race at Bristol will end the first round. The 16-driver field will be cut to 12.

William Byron (3 points behind the cutline), Cole Custer (-8), Matt DiBenedetto (-25) and Ryan Blaney (-27) are the four drivers out of a playoff spot. Clint Bowyer holds the final transfer spot.

Here is all the info for the Saturday Cup race at Bristol:

(All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines is at 7:38 p.m. The green flag waves at 7:45 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup haulers enter the garage (screening and equipment unload) at 10:30 a.m. Garage access health screening begins at 12:30 p.m. Garage opens at 12:30 p.m. Drivers report to their cars at 7:10 p.m. Driver introductions will be at 7:15 p.m. The invocation is at 7:30 p.m. The national anthem will be performed by Joe Nichols, three-time Grammy nominee, at 7:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 500 laps (266.5 miles) around the .533-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 125. Stage 2 ends on Lap 250

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m with NASCAR America, followed by Countdown to Green at 7 p.m. Race coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the broadcast.

STREAMING: Watch the race on the NBC Sports App

FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 62 degrees and a 2% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST RACE: Brad Keselowski won at Richmond. Martin Truex Jr. finished second. Joey Logano placed third for the second race in a row.

LAST POINTS RACE AT BRISTOL: Brad Keselowski won in May after Denny Hamlin lost the lead when he hit the wall. Chase Elliott ran into Joey Logano as they battled for the lead late in the event.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for Cup starting lineup

CATCH UP ON NBC SPORTS’ COVERAGE:

Friday 5: The thin line between aggressive and dirty driving

Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Blaney seek NASCAR history to advance

What upcoming Cup playoff races NASCAR fans can attend

Trevor Bayne says the fire remains to run more races

Trevor Bayne says fire remains to run more races

Leave a comment

Former Cup driver Trevor Bayne says he’d like to continue racing in NASCAR after running the past three Truck races for Niece Motorsports.

Bayne crossed the finish line fifth in Thursday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway but was disqualified when his truck failed post-race inspection.

He will not drive for the team in next weekend’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway but looks to be back for an undetermined number of races.

“We’ll see what happens from here,” Bayne said after Thursday’s race. “Obviously, I don’t want to be done. I don’t feel like I need to be done. I’m 29 years old and I have a lot of experience and the fire to still do this thing.”

Trevor Bayne and his crew celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the 2011 Daytona 500. (Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner, last competed in NASCAR in 2018 before his return.

He made 187 Cup starts from 2010-18. He won the Daytona 500 for Wood Brothers Racing in his second career series start. Bayne didn’t run a full schedule until 2015 when he moved to Roush Fenway Racing.

He ran 21 Cup races in 2018 season, sharing his ride with Matt Kenseth at Roush. Bayne was not retained after that season and had not competed until driving for Niece Motorsports at the Darlington Truck race on Sept. 6.

“I’m trying to make the most of every lap and enjoy every lap because you don’t know when it’s your last lap,” Bayne said. “For me I would love to rebuild. If I could run a truck full-time and battle for a championship, I think that would be awesome. I think that would be great. If down the road it led to a Cup deal, then I wouldn’t be mad about it, but that’s also not really the goal right now. The goal is to make the most of it at Niece Motorsports with how many races I get.”

Since losing his ride, Bayne opened Mahalo Coffee Roasters, a specialty coffee shop in Knoxville, Tennessee. Bayne admits to mixed emotions since his exit from racing.

“It was a roller coaster,” he said. “There were weeks when I was blowing everybody’s phone up that I knew in racing, like, ‘Hey man, what do you got? Is there anything we can put together?’ Probably getting on everybody’s nerves. Some weeks I was just over it.”

Bayne said he decided recently to compete in Super Late Model races and was preparing a car when he got the chance with Niece Motorsports to run at Darlington.

“It’s putting a smile on my face to be turning laps,” Bayne said.

Friday 5: Thin line between aggressive and dirty driving

Leave a comment

Ryan Blaney’s message to competitors in Saturday night’s Cup playoff race is simple.

I caution those in front of me that I am not going to be behind them for very long if we are faster than them,” he said.

Ditto for Matt DiBenedetto.

“You’re not going to do anything stupid, he said, “but you can’t sit and wait behind them.”

Those two drivers face the biggest challenges to advance to the second round of the playoffs. DiBenedetto is 25 points behind Clint Bowyer, who holds the final transfer position entering Saturday’s race at Bristol (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). Blaney trails Bowyer by 27 points.

No driver so far back entering an elimination race has made it to the next round since the playoff format debuted in 2014.

“I would love to say it is another race weekend, but it is our season, pretty much,” Blaney said Saturday’s race.

It will take a mix of aggression and patience during the 500-lap playoff race by Blaney and DiBenedetto to advance.

The line between aggressive and dirty driving can be blurry. Not every driver will see it the same way. With the need to move through the field and score as many points as possible — or win stages and the race — Blaney and DiBenedetto will have less patience, but where is the line?

DiBenedetto goes back to the All-Star Open in July. He restarted deep in the field after pitting in the first stage when not all the cars did. He worked his way through the field to win the final stage to advance to the All-Star Race.

“Some of the moves that I made in the Open race were aggressive to get through the field,” DiBenedetto said. “Everything’s on the line and you’re trying to make the All-Star Race and it’s a very short race. 

“Some of the moves that I made in the Open race, if it were a regular points race and we’re at the beginning of the race or something, some of those moves probably at that time were just considered aggressive because everyone knows what we’re doing and what’s at stake. In other situations, they could have been dirty because I moved some people out of the way. That’s a little bit of a moving target, so it’s hard to answer that question. 

“I would say for this weekend that everyone usually knows what’s on the line for different people.”

2. Out of sight but not out of mind

Crew chief Johnny Klausmeier knew that he faced a one-race suspension late in the Southern 500 when it was evident that Clint Bowyer’s car had two lug nuts not tight.

From my vantage point on the pit box, I kind of watched the tire changers, and I saw that it didn’t look like he was hitting all the lug nuts,” Klausmeier said. “He was swinging for them, but not making contact and then the car left. I kind of knew that we would have some kind of issue there, so we kind of went back and looked at the video and made sure that it wasn’t going to be a safety thing.”

Johnny Klausmeier and driver Clint Bowyer enter Bristol holding the last transfer spot to the second round. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images)

The team didn’t see a safety issue so Bowyer stayed on track, finishing 10th. Had Klausmeier called his driver back to pit road to secure the lug nuts, Bowyer likely would have lost at least 10 points. Instead of holding on to the final transfer spot entering Saturday night’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Bowyer would have been outside the cutline.

Saving those points, though, meant that Klausmeier would miss last weekend’s race at Richmond because of the suspension.

What was it like not to be at the track and still call the race?

“I didn’t feel like it was more efficient than actually being there,” Klausmeier said. “There is a delay in the audio. There is a delay in the broadcast. There is a delay in the information transfer.

“Then just being there and when the tires come off the race car on a pit stop, being able to walk down behind the pit box and visually look at the tires and see what the wear looks like. (Also) coming up and calculating changes and things that you’re going to do based on what you see and feel looking at the racetrack and getting that information real time. 

“I do not think the role of a crew chief can be done virtually. I think you have to be there. You have to be immersed in it. You can’t just go down and get the pit crew guys rallied up. You can’t see what’s going on with the car, so you miss out on those things and there is a little bit of a delay in the communications, so it’s not ideal but we managed to do it.”

3. Pit road speeding

Pit road speeding penalties could play a key role in Saturday’s Cup race.

Twenty-one speeding penalties were called in the May Cup race there. Each of the last three Cup races at Bristol has had at least 11 speeding penalties.

Brad Keselowski overcame a pit road speeding penalty to win the May race — but he was helped by leader Denny Hamlin hitting the wall and then Chase Elliott and Joey Logano later making contact racing for the lead in the final laps.

Matt DiBenedetto was caught speeding on pit road after Stage 1. He finished the stage seventh and restarted 28th because of the penalty. DiBenedetto was 22nd when he was collected in a nine-car crash, ruining his race. He finished more than 40 laps behind the leaders.

Joey Logano and Kyle Busch also were penalized for speeding on pit road in the May race. Austin Dillon was penalized twice in May. Both times came after he was involved in a crash on Lap 330.

4. Almost there

Brandon Brown is set to clinch the final spot in the Xfinity Series playoffs Friday night at Bristol. He enters with a 49-point lead on Jeremy Clements for the final transfer spot. Brown will clinch a playoff spot provided there is not a new winner outside the top 12 in points.

Brandon Brown is in position to make the Xfinity Series playoffs on Friday night for the first time. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Brown’s family-run team has eight employees. He spends part of his time at the shop helping with the vehicles. Brown also is focused on trying to find sponsorship for this season and next year.

He has been to a simulator only once this season, going before the Daytona road course race. When he wants to get some sim time, he starts his iRacing rig. And his physical training? It’s limited to running. The gym he uses in his apartment complex is closed because of COVID-19.

So with all that around him, he’s about to clinch a playoff spot.

Brown also knows some view him as being aggressive on the track. He doesn’t hide from such viewpoints.

Getting down to the playoffs and having an opportunity like this, it’s not something that comes around for everyone,” Brown said. “So for me, it pushes me that much harder to want to make that happen.

“It’s hard to back yourself down to ‘I need to run smarter to make sure we’re bringing the car home all four corners on it.’ At the same time, I want to get everything out I can out of the car and push to get the best result possible because this is our run, our chance at the playoffs.

“Taking a little bit extra risk, to me, it’s worth it, to really put my name out and to really make something happen this year. The risk is worth the reward to me, but I’m sure that others would view it differently.”

5. Odds and ends

# Matt DiBenedetto said his contract with the Wood Brothers is through this year with options for 2021, ’22 and ’23. He said the deadline for the team to pick up the option for next season is the end of this month.

I guess I should know pretty soon,” he said. “I wish I knew now because I don’t want to go anywhere and it would put me in a pretty bad situation if something were to change, but I don’t expect any changes.”

# The Joey Logano Foundation will donate $22,000 each week of the playoffs to organizations that support children and young adults in crisis. The organizations selected help those that are homeless, within the foster care system or aging out of the foster care system.

Those organizations include Children’s Hope Alliance, The Relatives, Youth Villages, Least of These and Crossnore School & Children’s Home.

# Martin Truex Jr. has won four of the last seven races at short tracks.

# Kyle Busch has one victory in his last 50 Cup races.

# Kevin Harvick has scored 46% of his Cup wins after turning age 40.

 and on Facebook

Bristol Truck race results, driver points

Bristol Truck race results
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Sam Mayer scored his first career NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series win Thursday night. The 17-year-old finished ahead of GMS Racing teammate Brett Moffitt.

Mayer is the youngest driver to win a Truck race at Bristol.

Tanner Gray placed third and was followed by Parker Kligerman and Chandler Smith.

Gray’s finished tied a career high. Kligerman’s finish was his best this season.

Trevor Bayne crossed the finish line fifth but his truck was disqualified for failing post-race heights in inspection.

The next race in the playoffs is Sept. 25 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Click here for race results

POINTS

Brett Moffitt leads the points after the opening race in the first round of the playoffs. He leads Sheldon Creed by nine points. Zane Smith trails Moffitt by 12 points.

Click here for points report