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Ty Majeski shakes off late-race contact to win Friday Night Thunder

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Ty Majeski once again showed why he’s one of the best iRacing drivers in the world, dominating from the pole en route to the win under the lights in Friday Night Thunder at a virtual Martinsville Speedway.

“I was able to control the race starting up front and was able to control all those restarts,” Majeski said on  the  eNASCAR broadcast. “Thankfully, I was just able to really stay in control the entire race, not make any mistakes and we were able to bring it home.

“Definitely, I feel like it was long overdue. I’ve always had speed but just never could put a whole race together.

“I don’t run these big cars a ton, so it took me a bit to find my rhythm with them and get the strategies right. I hurt myself so many times on strategy on the Pro Invitational races and Saturday Night Thunder races, so I just learned each and every week and we were finally able to put it all together tonight.

“It certainly helps being on a short track, which is what I primarily do on iRacing. So it was right in my wheelhouse and thankfully I was able to hold those guys off on all those restarts ad put a whole race together as well.”

Alex Labbe finished second, followed by Stefan Parsons, Donny Lia and Josh Berry.

Sixth through 10th were Chase Cabre, Derek Krause, Anthony Alfredo, Noah Gragson and Drew Herring.

Even after contact with Stephen Leicht with 14 laps to go didn’t keep Majeski from taking the checkered flag in the 125-lap race in Xfinity Series virtual cars.

Leicht had been involved in a solo incident and tried to spin his car back into traffic on the frontstretch, only to make contact with the cars of both Majeski and Lia.

Leicht was parked by race officials after turning into Majeski and Lia on Lap 111. The cars of both Majeski and Lia suffered only minor damage.

Majeski, a native of Seymour, Wisconsin, becomes the fifth and final different winner of the Friday or Saturday Night Thunder series.

Friday night’s race was a prelude to the final scheduled NASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series even, which takes place at 3 p.m. ET Saturday at a virtual North Wilkesboro Speedway.

Results

Feature

1. Ty Majeski
2. Alex Labbe
3. Stefan Parsons
4. Donny Lia
5. Josh Berry
6. Chase Cabre
7. Derek Kraus
8. Anthony Alfredo
9. Noah Gragson
10. Drew Herring
11. Ty Gibbs
12. Myatt Snider
13. Bayley Currey
14. Grant Enfinger
15. Christian Eckes
16. Ryan Ellis
17. Josh Bilicki
18. Landon Huffman
19. Kaz Grala
20. Ryan Truex
21. Brett Moffitt
22. Justin Allgaier
23. Kyle Weatherman
24. Harrison Burton
25. Jesse Iwuji
26. Logan Seavey
27. Jeb Burton
28. Todd Gilliland
29. Stephen Leicht
30. Drew Dollar

Heat 1 (10 laps – top 6 drivers advance to main event)

1. Ty Majeski
2.
Chase Cabre
3. Todd Gilliland
4. Brett Moffitt
5. Drew Dollar
6. Ryan Truex
7. Grant Enfinger
8. Ryan Truex
9. Chase Briscoe
10. Ty Gibbs

Heat 2 (10 laps – top 6 drivers advance to main event)

1. Anthony Alfredo
2. Stephen Leicht
3. Harrison Burton
4. Josh Bilicki
5. Landon Huffman
6. Myatt Snider
7. Drew Herring
8. CJ McLaughlin
9. Ryan Vargas
10. Ruben Garcia Jr.

Heat 3 (10 laps – top 6 drivers advance to main event)

1. Donny Lia
2. Josh Berry
3. Justin Allgaier
4. Derek Kraus
5. Kyle Weatherman
6. Kaz Grala
7. Brandon Brown
8. Jeffrey Earnhardt
9. Spencer Boyd
10. Scott Stenzel

Heat 4 (10 laps – top 6 drivers advance to main event)

1. Alex Labbe
2. Stefan Parsons
3. Bayley Currey
4. Logan Seavey
5. Noah Gragson
6. Christian Eckes
7. Ryan Ellis
8. Austin Cindric
9. Will Rodgers
10. Matt Mills

Last Chance qualifying race (15 laps – top six drivers advance to main event)

1. Grant Enfinger
2. Drew Herring
3. Jesse Iwuji
4. Ryan Ellis
5. Ty Gibbs
6. Jeb Burton
7. Scott Stenzel
8. Jeffrey Earnhardt
9. Chase Briscoe
10. Austin Cindric
11. Ruben Garcia Jr.
12. Will Rodgers
13. CJ McLaughlin
14. Brandon Brown
15. Ryan Vargas
16. Spencer Boyd
17. Matt Mills

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NASCAR teams, groups approved for millions in federal COVID-19 loans

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Several NASCAR teams and related organizations were approved for between $150,000 and $10 million in loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPE), according to data provided Monday.

The U.S. Small Business Administration posted a list of PPP loan data on the U.S. Department of the Treasury website. The Paycheck Protection Program was included in the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was established to help businesses weather the financial stress of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Among the many NASCAR teams, racetracks and related organizations (with data including the range of the loan and the number of jobs retained):

* Richard Childress Racing ($5-$10 million, 334 jobs)

* Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates ($2-5 million, 179 jobs)

* Roush Fenway Racing ($2-5 million, 179 jobs)

* Roush & Yates Racing Engines ($2-5 million, 192 jobs)

* JTG Daugherty Racing ($1-2 million, 88 jobs)

* GMS Racing ($1-$2 million, 89 jobs)

* Kyle Busch Motorsports ($1-$2 million, 71 jobs)

* JR Motorsports ($1-$2 million, 88 jobs)

* Germain Racing ($350,000-$1 million, 41 jobs)

* Richard Petty Motorsports ($350,000-$1 million, 43 jobs)

* Dale Earnhardt Inc. ($350,000-$1 million, 55 jobs)

* DGR-Crosley ($350,000-$1 million, 67 jobs)

* Premium Motorsports ($350,000-$1 million, 46 jobs)

* Pocono International Raceway ($350,000-$1 million, 142 jobs)

* Hattori Racing ($150,000-$350,000, 16 jobs)

* Jimmie Johnson Racing ($150,00-$350,000, 8 jobs)

* Motor Racing Outreach ($150,000-$350,000, 9 jobs)

* Rev Racing ($150,000-$350,000, 12 jobs)

* Starcom Racing ($150,000-$350,000, 20 jobs)

* Kaulig Racing ($350,000-$1 million, 36 jobs)

* Mesa Marin Raceway ($150,000-$350,000, 16 jobs)

* Bill McAnally Racing ($150,000-$350,000, 19 jobs)

* Young’s Motorsports ($150,000-$350,000, 0 jobs)

* JD Motorsports ($150,000-$350,000, 0 jobs)

In a statement accompanying the data, the SBA said the data was for businesses that were approved for PPP loans but “does not reflect a determination by SBA that the borrower is eligible for a PPP loan or entitled to loan forgiveness. All PPP loans are subject to SBA review, and all loans over $2 million will automatically be reviewed.”

Contributing: Nate Ryan

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Bump and Run: Should Cup race on the Indy road course?

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Should the Cup Series remain on the oval at Indy or should it move to the road course like Xfinity did this weekend?

Dustin Long: I’d rather see what the Next Gen car could do on the oval before abandoning that for the the road course. Stay on the oval for now.

Daniel McFadin: I’m firmly in the #MoreRoadCourses camp and Cup should give Indy’s a shot. It doesn’t need to replace the oval race, but Saturday’s Xfinity race was more memorable than any Brickyard 400 in my memory.

Jerry Bonkowski: Both. I think NASCAR should hold a weekend doubleheader at Indy next season (and beyond), with a road course race on Saturday and oval race on Sunday. For even added measure, switch them around for every other subsequent year.

Chase Briscoe said before the season started he felt he needed at least 8 Xfinity wins to move up to Cup. He now has five victories through 13 races. How many wins will he get this year?

Dustin Long: Twelve.

Daniel McFadin: I had my doubts Briscoe could get to eight wins, mostly because he’d never had more than one win in his previous two Xfinity seasons. But he arguably should be at six wins. I think he’ll at least get to nine wins.

Jerry Bonkowski: I can see him winning nine races at least … and maybe as many as 12. He is definitely on a roll and no one else is even close to him, not just in wins but overall performance.

Kyle Busch has one win in the last 38 Cup races. Does he win in any of the next four points races (Kentucky, Texas, Kansas and New Hampshire)?

Dustin Long: No. Team hasn’t shown elite level speed to contend for wins. He’s led 130 laps this season and 100 of those laps came at Bristol. Can’t lead, can’t win.

Daniel McFadin: I think he wins one of them. If he doesn’t, then his team will be on red alert when teammate Denny Hamlin is on a roll right now.

Jerry Bonkowski: I think Texas offers him the best opportunity to win at in the next four tracks. He’s won there three times there in his Cup career (he’s also won three times at New Hampshire, which would be my secondary choice for Busch). There’s just something about Texas that seems to bring out the best in Busch and the No. 18.

Xfinity playoff grid after Indianapolis

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Chase Briscoe‘s continued dominance of the Xfinity Series over the weekend on the Indianapolis road course ensured no additional drivers locked themselves into the 12-driver playoff field.

Through 13 races, Briscoe and four other drivers have qualified for the playoffs via race wins. Briscoe, who has five race wins, leads the field with 28 playoff points.

The last two drivers currently in the top 12 are Riley Herbst (+19 points above cutline) and Brandon Brown (+6 points).

The first four drivers outside the top 12 are Myatt Snider (-6), Alex Labbe (-32), Jeremy Clements (-49) and Josh Williams (-57).

Cup Series playoff grid after Brickyard 400

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With Kevin Harvick‘s victory Sunday in the Brickyard 400, no additional drivers locked themselves into the Cup Series playoff field.

But there was some movement at the bottom of the playoff grid as drivers jockey to make the 16-car field.

After he missed the race due to his COVID-19 diagnosis, Jimmie Johnson fell from 12th to 15th on the grid. He’s now 36 points above the cutline.

Matt DiBenedetto earned stage points in each stage before finishing 19th. He moved from 14th to 12th in the standings.

After earning stage points in both stages Sunday, Austin Dillon has cracked the top 16, moving up one spot. He has a six-point advantage over Erik Jones, who crashed out of Sunday’s race and had a 14-point advantage over Dillon entering the weekend.

With his ninth-place finish Sunday, Bubba Wallace is now within reach of the top 16. He sits at 19th, 42 points back from 16th.

Here’s the full playoff grid.