NASCAR announced Friday morning it had closed on its merger with International Speedway Corp.
Jim France will serve as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. Lesa France Kennedy will be the executive vice chair. Steve Phelps has been appointed president and will oversee all operations of the company.
“The merger of NASCAR and ISC represents a historic moment for our sport,” France said in a statement. “There is much work ahead of us, but we’re pleased with the progress made to position our sport for success. Delivering for our race fans and partners is job number one, and we look forward to doing that better than ever for years to come.”
As part of the new organization, the Board of Directors will consist of France, France Kennedy, Mike Helton and Gary Crotty, chief legal officer Phelps’ direct reports will include Ed Bennett, executive vice president & chief administrative officer; Jill Gregory, executive vice president & chief marketing and content officer; Craig Neeb, executive vice president & chief innovation officer; Steve O’Donnell, executive vice president & chief racing development officer; and Daryl Wolfe, executive vice president & chief operations and sales officer.
Helton and John Saunders will serve as senior advisors under the new leadership structure.
“With great racing across all of our series, an exciting 2020 schedule on tap, and the Next Gen race car in development, we are better positioned than ever before to lead the sport into a new era of growth,” said Phelps in a statement. “We have a strong, experienced leadership team in place with incredibly dedicated employees at every level throughout our organization. Our best days are ahead of us and our new organization is going to allow us to better deliver great racing to our fans everywhere.”
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.
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.
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 mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.
STREAMING: Fox Sports
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.
CATCH UP ON NBC SPORTS COVERAGE:
Kyle Busch wins Cup pole at WWT Raceway
Friday 5: NASCAR’s $1 million question is can the culture change?
Dr. Diandra: How level is the playing field after 50 Next Gen races?
NASCAR issues major penalties to Chase Briscoe team for Charlotte infraction
NASCAR Cup playoff standings after Coca-Cola 600
Drivers to watch 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.
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.
Kyle Busch collected his first Cup pole of the season and will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway.
Busch last won a Cup pole at Phoenix in November 2019. He earned his 33rd career Cup pole Saturday with a lap of 137.187 mph on the 1.25-mile speedway.
“Being able to get a pole here with Richard Childress Racing, Team Chevy and everybody on this No. 8 team is good for us and just try to get some momentum rolling,” Busch said. “Our short track stuff hasn’t been the greatest this year so far, but this isn’t the short track aero package here this weekend, so that might pay dividends hopefully for us to just have a better day than what we anticipated. Just excited to have the guys pumped up and raring to go, and knowing that their hard work is paying off.”
Busch will be joined on the front row by Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney, who qualified at 137.153 mph. Blaney’s car failed inspection twice before qualifying. He will lose his pit selection for Sunday’s race. His car chief also was ejected. Brad Keselowski‘s car also failed inspection twice before qualifying. He loses pit selection and had the team’s car chief ejected. Keselowski qualified 19th with a lap of 135.743 mph.
Denny Hamlin (136.903 mph) starts third and is followed by Kevin Harvick (136.766) and Martin Truex Jr. (136.360). Harvick has two top-five starts this season and both have come in the last two events.
“I think we have a little bit of work to do on our car in race trim, but a lot of it is just getting into a rhythm I think – more than anything,” Harvick said. “Qualifying, we were just a little bit tight through Turns 1 and 2, and the car was good in 3 and 4. So, we have to have a better balance, and that’s what probably cost us a little bit of speed to get the pole. But, still a good day and a good starting spot.”
Corey LaJoie, subbing for the suspended Chase Elliott, will start 30th after hitting the wall on his qualifying lap. He qualified at 134.561 mph. Carson Hocevar, making in his Cup debut in LaJoie’s car, qualified 26th with a lap of 135.220 mph.
Green flag for Sunday’s race is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m. ET on FS1.