How NASCAR will set lineups for Cup, Xfinity, Trucks at Darlington, Charlotte

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NASCAR announced Tuesday competition changes for the next two weeks of racing for the Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series.

You can read in more detail on how NASCAR will determine the starting lineup for Sunday’s Cup race at Darlington Raceway and who that might impact the most here.

The starting lineup for the May 20 Cup race at Darlington will be based on the finish of Sunday’s Cup race. The top 20 finishers from Sunday will be inverted for the starting lineup for the May 20 race. Starting positions 21-40 for the May 20 race will be based on the finishing order of spots 21-40 from Sunday’s Darlington Cup race.

The same format will be used to set the starting lineup for the May 27 Charlotte race, based off the finish of the May 24 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte.

Here are the changes NASCAR announced for the races from May 17-27 at Darlington Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway for each of the three national series:

 

Darlington

May 17 (NASCAR Cup Series)

Pit selection:

  • Order based on charter team owner points followed by open team owner points. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.

 

Starting lineup:

  • Positions 1-12: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
  • Positions 13-24: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
  • Positions 25-36: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
  • Positions 37-40: Open teams in order of owners points

 

May 19 (NASCAR Xfinity Series)

Pit selection:

  • Order based on Phoenix qualifying.

 

Starting lineup:

  • Positions 1 -12:  The first 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up Eligibility will be assigned starting positions 1st – 12th using a random draw.
  • Positions 13 – 24:  The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 13th- 24th using a random draw.
  • Starting positions 25 – 36: The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 25th -36th using a random draw.
  • Any vehicles that are eligible for the Event in position 37th – 40th will be assigned starting positions based on their order of eligibility.

 

 

May 20 (NASCAR Cup Series)

Pit selection:

  • Order based on finishing position from the May 17th race at Darlington, followed by new entries in order of points. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.

 

Starting lineup:

  • Positions 1-20: Invert the top 20 from the May 17th race at Darlington
  • Positions 21-40: In finishing order from the May 17th race at Darlington, followed by new entries

 

 

Charlotte

May 24 (NASCAR Cup Series)

Pit selection:

  • Order based on finishing position from the May 20th race at Darlington, followed by new entries in order of points. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.

 

Starting lineup:

  • Based on qualifying

 

May 25 (NASCAR Xfinity Series)

Pit selection:

  • Order based on finishing position from the May 19th race at Darlington, followed by new entries in order of points.

 

Starting lineup:

  • Same procedure as Darlington

 

May 26 (NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series)

Pit selection:

  • Order based on Las Vegas qualifying.

 

Starting lineup:

  • Positions 1 -10:  The first 10 NGROTS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up Eligibility will be assigned starting positions 1st – 10th using a random draw.
  • Positions 11 – 21:  The next 11 NGROTS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 11- 21 using a random draw.
  • positions 22 – 32: The next 11 NGROTS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 22nd – 32nd  using a random draw.
  • Any vehicles that are eligible for the Event in position 33rd – 40th will be assigned starting positions based on their order of eligibility.

 

May 27 (NASCAR Cup Series)

Pit selection:

  • Order based on qualifying for the May 24th race at Charlotte, followed by new entries in order of points. If qualifying is rained out, pit selection will be determined by finishing order on May 24. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.

 

Starting lineup:

  • Positions 1-20: Invert the top 20 from the May 24th race at Charlotte
  • Positions 21-40: In finishing order from the May 24th race at Charlotte, followed by new entries

 

 

Modified Competition Caution Procedures:

With the absence of practice, NASCAR will be modifying its Competition Caution procedures to allow teams additional time for adjustments.

 

The competition cautions will occur at or around the following laps:

  • NASCAR Cup Series
    • Darlington – May 17: Lap 30
    • Darlington – May 20: TBD
    • Charlotte – May 24: TBD
    • Charlotte – May 27: TBD
  • NASCAR Xfinity Series
    • Darlington – May 19: Lap 15
    • Charlotte – May 25: TBD
  • NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series at Charlotte – May 26: TBD

 

Below are the procedures for the modified competition caution:

  • Field will be frozen at the time of the competition caution
  • Field will be assembled behind the pace car
  • The running order lead lap / lap down will be established and the free pass sent
  • Wave around rule is not in effect
  • Pit road will open to the top 20 – each car must beat the pace car off pit road to retain freeze position
  • Pit road will open to the next 20 – each car must beat the pace car off pit road to retain freeze position
  • Above pit cycle repeats – each team allowed to pit two times
  • Re-establish line-up per freeze and restart race

 

Infractions under modified competition caution:

  • Not beating the pace car off pit road results in loss of lap and restarting at tail of the field
  • Pitting more than twice or out of sequence results in restarting at the tail of the field
  • All current pit road rules are in effect

NASCAR announces changes to Kansas playoff weekend

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Citing “programming changes,” NASCAR announced shifts in the race dates and start times for its visit next month to Kansas Speedway.

The Xfinity, ARCA and Truck Series races have been shifted, while the Cup race remains at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Oct. 18.

The biggest move is the Truck Series race shifting from Friday night to Saturday afternoon.

Here are the changes.

Friday, Oct. 16, 8:30 p.m. ETARCA Menards Series on FS1 or FS2; network TBD at a later date (previously at 10 p.m. ET)

Saturday, Oct. 17, 4 p.m. ETTruck Series on FOX (previously Friday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. ET on FS1)

Saturday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m. ET Xfinity on NBCSN (previously 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN)

 

Xfinity Series playoff standings after Las Vegas

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Chase Briscoe opened the Xfinity Series playoffs by earning his second consecutive win.

His victory Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway gives him 57 playoff points and an automatic spot in the Round of 8.

Harrison Burton holds the final transfer spot. He has a two-point advantage over Ross Chastain.

Behind Chastain below the cutline are Michael Annett (-10 points), Riley Herbst (-14) and Brandon Brown (-20).

Below is the full Xfinity Series playoff standings going into Saturday’s race at Talladega (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Drivers in red are below the cutline to advance. Drivers in yellow are in the remaining playoff spots.

Xfinity Series playoff standings

Cup playoff standings after Las Vegas

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Kurt Busch flipped the script on the Cup playoff standings with his win Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

He entered the Round of 12 as the last driver in the playoff standings, but is the first driver to clinch a spot in the Round of 8.

Replacing Busch in the bottom spot of the playoff standings is Austin Dillon. He is 32 points behind Alex Bowman, who holds the final cutoff spot.

Behind Bowman is Kyle Busch (-9 points), Clint Bowyer (-20), Aric Almirola (-27) and Dillon.

“Obviously, the 1 car (Kurt Busch) was not a car that we needed to win a race,” Clint Bowyer said after Sunday’s race. “It’s been a hell of a battle back there with cars that are kind of in the same wheelhouse as far as points-wise. (Kurt Busch) winning changes that landscape quite a bit, but we’re only 20 points out.”

Here is the full playoff standings entering Sunday’s playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET on NBC).

Drivers in red are below the cutline to advance to the Round of 8. Drivers in yellow hold the remaining available playoff spots.

Cup playoff standings

 

 

Kurt Busch win capped off big racing weekend for family

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After hopping from the door of his No. 1 Chevrolet Sunday night, Kurt Busch let out a primal scream.

The source of his emotion?

“20 years of agony and defeat” at the his home track, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, had been replaced by “triumph.”

After the fortunate timing of a caution and pit strategy Sunday night, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver led the final 26 laps and visited LVMS’ Victory Lane for the first time, a day after his brother Kyle Busch experienced a special win.

There was plenty more for the 42-year-old driver to celebrate. He’d entered the Round of 12 as the last driver in the playoff standings. But with his first win in 46 races, Busch became the first driver to plant in his flag in the Round of 8.

But the Las Vegas native’s focus was on the 1.5-mile track, which he’d seen evolve from a “desert gravel pit” into the site of two NASCAR race weekends each year.

“This feeling of growing up here and watching the track get built … when Speedway Motorsports came in and bought it, I’m like, ‘Man, there’s going to be a Cup race there, I hope I can make my way up through Legend cars (and race there). And just all the memories, all the memories of everybody, my mom and dad, every Saturday night, all the commitment they gave me and my little brother (Kyle Busch) to make it in racing.

“For me it was a hobby. I never knew I’d get this far. A guy named Craig Keough here locally in Las Vegas, the owner of the Star Nurseries here in Las Vegas, took a chance on me and let me run his late model a few times and we won a couple races and started working our way up.”

Busch made his first NASCAR start on the Las Vegas oval in 2001 driving for Roush Fenway Racing. Between then and Sunday, he won 31 Cup races, the 2004 championship and the 2017 Daytona 500.

But his home track eluded him until his 21st year competing on the sport’s top circuit.

Busch said Sunday’s win is “right there underneath” his Daytona win and the championship.

“Any time you win, it’s special,” Busch said. “But to do it in front of my hometown crowd and nobody was there (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and all the people that I see every time I come to Vegas and I get to say thank you and I can’t right now, that’s the hardest part. So this one is easily ramping up to being my third most favorite win ever.

“Right now it’s my favorite because it’s here, it’s Vegas, and I have so many people to thank. They know they helped me, and they know who they are, and it just all started with mom and dad taking me to the racetrack right here at the Bullring in Las Vegas.”

The Busch family got to celebrate more than one win over the weekend.

The night before Kurt’s Vegas breakthrough, a third generation racer got his first taste of victory.

Kyle and Samantha Busch’s son, Brexton, won his first karting race and celebrated with his parents in Victory Lane.

“It’s so much fun to watch him and just to see his excitement and how much he enjoys going to the race track and being with is friends,” Kyle Busch said after his sixth-place finish Sunday. “It’s three generations worth, I guess. My dad (Tom) did it, myself and Kurt and now him. It’s pretty fun to just be out there. My dad is kind of the truck driver, the team manager, the crew chief, the lead mechanic and all that stuff on his kart.

“He’s got a big task at hand in order to get it all ready to go and get us to the race track every week. It’s been fun to see (Brexton) and to see how excited he was when he was able to win and beat the other competition that was out there and to see his joy. I told him, ‘Whatever that feeling is, whatever you’re feeling, however that sits in you, that’s feasible, that’s possible a lot more often than just one time. So don’t rest on just getting one, we gotta go out there and fight for more.'”

Kurt Busch wasn’t there for his nephew’s win, but he got all the details from his sister-in-law as they flew to Las Vegas.

“It definitely felt like a generational shift was happening,” he said. “But maybe not. Maybe not. This old guy has still got it going on.”