Brad Keselowski wins Coca-Cola 600 in overtime; Jimmie Johnson disqualified

1 Comment

Brad Keselowski won the Coca-Cola 600 in an overtime finish, beating Chase Elliott to score his first win in NASCAR’s longest race.

Keselowski took the checkered flag just after midnight on Memorial Day to end a 30-race winless streak.

Elliott’s finishing order was improved after the car of Jimmie Johnson, who originally finished second, failed post-race inspection and was disqualified. The car failed rear-end alignment in the OSS station.

The top five was Keselowski, Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick.

Elliott, who took the lead from Keselowski with 38 laps to go, was leading with three laps to go in the scheduled 400-lap distance when the caution came out for a William Byron spin, a result of a cut left-rear tire.

Elliott was then among a group of drivers, including Martin Truex Jr., who pitted under the caution. That gave Keselowski the lead on the restart with Johnson second. Elliott restarted 11th.

“I feel like I’ve thrown this race away a handful of times,” Keselowski told Fox. “I thought we were going to lose it today. I know we’ve lost it the way Chase lost it and that really stinks, and today we finally won it that way and I’m so happy for my team. I wish my wife was here, I wish my daughters were here. It’s a major! It’s the Coke 600. That leaves one major for me, the Daytona 500. We’re checking them off.”

Keselowski’s win is the first by a Ford in the Coke 600 since 2002. It also comes after Keselowski started the race from the rear due to an unapproved adjustment to his car after qualifying.

For Elliott, it’s the second disappointing finish in four days after he wrecked from contact with Kyle Busch late in Wednesday’s race at Darlington while running second.

Of the fallout on the decision to pit under the final caution, Elliott told Fox “those guys are going to do the opposite of whatever we do. That’s just part of it. You make decisions and live with them. It wasn’t the pit call. I think being on offense is fine.”

The race was stopped for rain in the middle of Stage 1. The delay lasted 1 hour and 9 minutes.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Alex Bowman

STAGE 2 WINNER:  Alex Bowman

STAGE 3 WINNER: Joey Logano won it after he and two other drivers stayed out of the pits during a late caution.

More: Race results and point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Ryan Blaney’s third-place finish is his first finish better than 13th in six Coke 600 starts … Martin Truex Jr. finished sixth after leading 87 laps. It’s his third straight top 10 after not having any in the first four races of the season … Kevin Harvick has placed in the top 10 in all seven races this year … Rookies Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell finished eighth and ninth respectively in their first starts in the Coke 600.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Denny Hamlin‘s chances to win were dashed before the green flag. A piece of ballast fell off his car during the pace laps and he was forced to have it repaired on pit road before he could start the race. He joined the race eight laps down and finished 29th … Clint Bowyer finished 39th after a lower control arm on his car broke, causing him to hit the Turn 2 wall with four laps left in the first stage. He was the first car out of the race. … Bubba Wallace placed 38th after he fell out due to mechanical problems … Ryan Newman finished 27th after suffering battery issues .. Matt Kenseth finished 26th after he had an early speeding penalty and then got into the wall on Lap 276.

NOTABLE: With its overtime finish, the race was 607.6 miles, the longest Cup race ever in mileage … With the top-20 finishers from the Coke 600 being inverted to determine the starting lineup for Wednesday’s Cup race at Charlotte, William Byron will start first and Alex Bowman will start second.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Cup Series returns to Charlotte Wednesday night for a 500-kilometer race (8 p.m. ET on FS1).

Daytona road course entry lists

Leave a comment

NASCAR’s national series will make their debuts on the Daytona road course this weekend. The Cup, Xfinity and Truck events will be held without any practice or qualifying.

NASCAR is prohibiting drivers from competing in more than one series this weekend on the Daytona road course in an effort to get extra track time. NASCAR states that is to make the event fair for everyone.

Sunday’s Cup race will be broadcast on NBC.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for the races at the Daytona road course 

Cup – Go Bowling 235 (3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC)

Thirty-nine drivers are entered for the race at the Daytona road course.

JJ Yeley is in the No. 27 for Rick Ware Racing.

Joey Gase is in the No. 51 for Petty Ware Racing.

Gray Gaulding is in the No. 53 for Rick Ware Racing.

Brendan Gaughan is in the No. 62 for Beard Motorsports.

Timmy Hill is in the No. 66 for Motorsports Business Management.

Reed Sorenson is in the No. 77 for Spire Motorsports.

Click here for Cup entry list

 

Xfinity – UNOH 188 (3 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN)

Thirty-eight cars are entered.

Andy Lally is back in the No. 02 Our Motorsports car after finishing fifth last week at Road America.

AJ Allmendinger, who finished second last week at Road America, is in the No. 16 for Kaulig Racing.

IMSA driver Earl Bamber will make his Xfinity debut this weekend in the No. 21 for Richard Childress Racing.

Brandon Gdovic will make his second start of the season, driving the No. 26 for Sam Hunt Racing.

Click here for Xfinity entry list

 

Truck – Sunoco 159 (Noon ET Sunday on FS1)

Thirty-nine trucks are entered in the race that will be held before the Cup event on Sunday on the Daytona road course.

Alex Tagliani will drive the No. 51 for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Click here for Truck entry list

Silly Season Scorecard: Christopher Bell moves back to JGR

Leave a comment

No surprise that Christopher Bell moves over to the No. 20 at Joe Gibbs Racing next season with Leavine Family Racing being sold and Erik Jones not remaining with JGR beyond this season. Joe Gibbs Racing made the announcement Monday.

While JGR lets the 24-year-old Jones, who has 133 Cup starts go, it brings in the 25-year-old Bell who has made 22 career Cup starts. Jones said before Sunday’s race he was “blindsided a little bit” by JGR’s move.

It’s part of the building momentum of Silly Season. In the last week, Team Penske signed Brad Keselowski to a reported one-year extension and Bubba Wallace said he has an offer for next year not only from Richard Petty Motorsports but also Chip Ganassi Racing.

Here’s how the Cup Silly Season scorecard looks as of Aug. 10.

ANNOUNCED CUP RIDES FOR 2021

No. 00: Quin Houff enters the second year of his two-year deal with StarCom Racing.

No. 1: Kurt Busch enters the second year of a multi-year contract that Chip Ganassi Racing announced last season.

No. 2: Brad Keselowski and Team Penske announced a contract extension Aug. 3.

No. 4: Kevin Harvick signed a contract extension in February that will keep him at Stewart-Haas Racing through the 2023 season.

No. 8: Tyler Reddick said in a press conference Aug. 7 that he will be back with Richard Childress Racing next season.

No. 9: Chase Elliott is under contract with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2022 season.

No. 11: Denny Hamlin is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through at least next year.

No. 12: Ryan Blaney and Team Penske announced a multi-year extension earlier this season.

No. 18: Kyle Busch is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through at least next year.

No. 19: Martin Truex Jr. is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through at least next year.

No. 20: Christopher Bell moves from Leavine Family Racing to take over this ride in 2021.

No. 22: Joey Logano is tied to Team Penske “through the 2022 season and beyond.”

No. 24: William Byron is under contact with Hendrick Motorsports through at least 2021.

No. 47: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. enters the second year of a multi-year deal with JTG Daugherty Racing.

No. 88: Alex Bowman will race for Hendrick Motorsports under a one-year contract extension announced earlier this year.

 

Available/possibly available rides

No. 10: Aric Almirola is in a contract year at Stewart-Haas Racing.

No. 13: Ty Dillon is in a contract year at Germain Racing.

No. 14: Clint Bowyer is in a contract year to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing.

No. 21: Matt DiBenedetto is in a contract year at Wood Brothers Racing. He said after the Aug. 9 Michigan race: “I haven’t really talked about that stuff for next year yet, but we’ve just been so focused and head down on digging and trying to make the playoffs and run well. We haven’t even really talked about it, so, hopefully, I stay here for a very long time to come and that’s what they had expressed to me when I came over here.”

No. 32: Corey LaJoie is in a contract year at Go Fas Racing.

No. 42: Matt Kenseth told NBC Sports on Aug. 8 in regards to talks with Chip Ganassi Racing for next year: “We really haven’t had any very meaningful discussions really about any of that to be honest with you.

No. 43: Bubba Wallace said Aug. 9 he has an offer from Richard Petty Motorsports and an offer from Chip Ganassi Racing to drive the No. 42 car next season.

No. 48: With Jimmie Johnson retiring from full-time competition, Hendrick Motorsports has this seat to fill.

No. 95: Leavine Family Racing announced it was selling its assets earlier this week. The buyer has not been announced. Christopher Bell will move to the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team for 2021.

Christopher Bell to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2021

2 Comments

Christopher Bell will drive for the No. 20 next season for Joe Gibbs Racing, the team announced Monday, a decision that was expected with Erik Jones’ contract expiring after this season and it not being renewed. 

“I’m so appreciative of the opportunity I have this year with LFR and I want to finish this season strong for Bob (Leavine) and everyone there,” Bell said in a statement from the team. “At the same time, I’m extremely excited to return to Joe Gibbs Racing starting in 2021. It’s an organization I’m very comfortable with and have had a lot of success with.”

Said car owner Joe Gibbs: “We are excited to bring Christopher into our Cup Series program starting in 2021. He obviously had tremendous success in the Xfinity Series with us and we look forward to his return to JGR.”

Bell drove for JGR in in the Xfinity Series in 2018 and 2019, winning 15 races, before moving to the Cup Series and Leavine Family Racing this season. Leavine Family Racing announced last week that it has been sold.

Entering Sunday’s race at the Daytona International Speedway road course (3 p.m. ET on NBC), Bell is 19th in points. His best finish this season is fourth at the first Pocono race in late June.

Xfinity playoff grid after Road America

Leave a comment

Brandon Brown extended his hold on the final spot in the Xfinity playoff grid last weekend at Road America after struggles early in the race.

Brown needed to be pushed back to pit road before the field took the green because of a mechanical issue. He fell a lap down as his crew diagnosed the issue, got his lap back, scored four stage points in the second stage and finished 12th, one spot off his best career finish on a road course.

MORE: Brandon Brown wants to reward father with a special celebration

MORE: Austin Cindric wins at Road America 

Brown’s effort and Jeremy Clements misfortune in being collected in a crash to finish 29th led to Brown extending his lead on Clements for the final spot in the Xfinity playoff grid to 53 points. Myatt Snider is 73 points behind Brown. Eight races remain until the Xfinity playoffs begin Sept. 26 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Here is a look at the playoff grid. Drivers shaded in green are locked in the playoffs. Those shaded in yellow are in a playoff spot based on their point total. Drivers shaded in red are outside a spot in the Xfinity playoff grid.