Brad Keselowski wins Cup race at Bristol

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Brad Keselowski won Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway after he capitalized on contact between Joey Logano and Chase Elliott as they raced for the lead with three laps to go.

Keselowski, who took two left-side tires during a caution and was 12th on a restart with 37 laps to go, beat Clint Bowyer for his second win of the year.

MORE: Joey Logano mad at Chase Elliott

MORE: Race results, point standings

The top five was completed by Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Erik Jones. Keselowski is the second straight Bristol winner who started from the pole. His win follows his victory in last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600.

“Oh my goodness, I think everybody on this Discount Tire Ford Mustang team is going to go to Vegas, is it open yet?” Keselowski told FS1. “Because things have been going our way from the luck of the (randodm) draw on the qualifying to the last few laps there. We couldn’t get anything to go our way at the start of the race with cars staying out and I kept getting the bottom lane on restarts and nothing was working out and then right at the end we came in and put two tires on the left and drove up to, I guess fourth or sixth, I don’t know, something like that and put ourselves in position.

“I could see Joey and Chase were getting really racy there and I didn’t know what was gonna happen, but I knew if I kept my eye open something good might happen and, sure enough, it did. An incredible day. I’m so happy for the team.”

Keselowski’s worst finish in the last four races is seventh, which came Thursday at Charlotte.

Logano was leading with three laps to go as Elliott attempted to pass him in Turn 3. Elliott’s car got loose and slid into Logano’s car, forcing it into the wall.

Elliott finished 22nd and Logano placed 21st.

“He wrecked me,” Logano said. “He got loose underneath me.  The part that’s frustrating is that afterwards a simple apology — like be a man and come up to someone and say, ‘Hey, my bad.’  But I had to force an apology, which, to me, is childish. … It’s hard racing at the end, I get that.  t’s hard racing, but, golly, man, be a man and take the hit when you’re done with it.”

The race ended in a five-lap run to the checkered flag, setup by a incident with 12 laps to go involving Denny Hamlin. Logano passed Hamlin on the backstretch to take the lead and was followed by Elliott. In Turn 4, Logano got loose in the high lane and Hamlin made contact with his left-rear quarter panel, which sent Hamlin into a spin and resulted in him hitting a lapped car.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Chase Elliott

STAGE 2 WINNER: Chase Elliott

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Clint Bowyer earned his best finish since he was second at Texas in April 2019. He’s finished top 10 in the last five Bristol races … Jimmie Johnson, who placed third, matched his best finish for the fourth time since his last win at Dover in June 2017 (winless streak goes to 104 races) …  Kyle Busch rebounded from a Lap 63 speeding penalty to get his third top-four finish in the last four races … Bubba Wallace placed 10th. It’s his sixth Cup top-10 finish and first on a short track.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ryan Blaney finished 40th after he spun on Lap 200 while running in second and was then hit by Ty Dillon. Dillon placed 39th … A multi-car wreck with 20 laps left in Stage 2 eliminated Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Alex Bowman, Tyler Reddick and Cole Custer. It also involved Kurt Busch. … Ryan Newman finished 15th after he spun on his own twice during the race … Kevin Harvick finished 11th after he suffered damage in a run-in with Erik Jones with 68 laps to go. It ends Harvick’s career-best streak of 13 consecutive top-10 finishes.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Cup Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, June 7 on Fox

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.

Oval or road course? Cup drivers address future of Brickyard 400

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For 27 years, the Cup Series has competed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with its annual Brickyard 400. All 27 of those races have been run exclusively on the track’s traditional 2.5-mile oval.

But following Saturday’s Xfinity Series race on the track’s 2.4-mile, 14-turn road course, an obvious question has been raised:

Should the Brickyard 400 remain on the oval, where passing is made difficult due to a combination of the rules package and the design of the track, or should moving it to the road course be considered?

“I would never vote for that,” Kevin Harvick declared last week before he won his third Brickyard 400 on Sunday. “I love everything about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For me it is all about the oval … racing on the traditional track because for me I am kind of old school and I think that the Cup cars belong and really started the Brickyard 400.

“That was kind of what it was always meant to be, that iconic one-off, just the Cup cars event. I think with the Xfinity cars and the trucks and (ARCA Menards) cars and all the things that used to race at IRP (Indianapolis Raceway Park), it was a great event. Hopefully the road course can kind of take that role that IRP used to have and be able to bring the Indy cars and NASCAR together to add to that event at the Speedway. For me personally, I would never vote for the Cup cars to not run on the oval.”

Harvick is joined in that camp by his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Aric Almirola, who finished third in Sunday’s race for his first top five and top-10 finish at Indy.

“I hope that we never stop running the oval,” Almirola said. “I just think it’s one of these places that regardless if it puts on the greatest race or not, it’s historic. It’s just a special place. It’s hard to explain when you don’t grow up a racer and you don’t aspire to come to race at Indy.

“But for me, I grew up watching stock car racing and dirt sprint car racing. I grew up watching Thursday Night Thunder, seeing so many guys go from USAC racing and sprint car racing to racing at Indy. It’s something I’ve always kept up with, always dreamed about getting the opportunity to race here. I get that opportunity now.”

Matt Kenseth, who finished second Sunday in his 20th Brickyard 400, said the Cup Series “should be” on the oval. But the Chip Ganassi Racing driver is open to the idea of Cup using the road course in some manner.

 “I think it’s one of those racetracks that we need to race at as long as we can,” Kenseth said of the oval. “It’s arguably the most famous speedway in the world, or one of them.

“To be able to race on the ovals with the Cup cars, which is the highest form of stock car racing here, we should be on the big track as well. I don’t think it would be bad to maybe test the road course and look into it, maybe do a second race on a road course, kind of like the IndyCars did this week.

“I really do think the Brickyard 400 has a lot of prestige. It’s not a southern race, but similar to the Southern 500, races like that. I think there’s a few of those races you sure would hate to see disappear.”

Crew chief describes ‘frightening’ scene on pit road at Indy

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Crew chief Todd Gordon said it was “frightening” to see rear tire changer Zach Price hit on pit road and then try to scoot away from cars during Sunday’s Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Price, who changes tires for Ryan Blaney’s team, was injured when he was struck by Brennan Poole’s car during a melee near the entrance of pit road early in the race.

Gordon, speaking Monday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, said indications are that Price’s injury was a “fracture someplace in the knee area.”

Price was treated and released from an Indianapolis hospital on Sunday night and traveled home with the team. Gordon said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that Price was scheduled to see a doctor Monday.

“Just hope to get him back and get him back going again and healthy,” Gordon said.

Gordon described what he saw as cars made contact.

“A really frightening moment for me,” he said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “I was really terrorized when I saw (Price) drag himself back across the pit box arms only for a while there. As the situation kind of progressed and the medical staff was working with him, I could see in his face he was better off than I thought he was to start with.

“Fortunate that the guys got up and got at least in the air. The jackman (Graham Stoddard) got on top of the car. Just one of those terrible situations. I felt like those accidents happened mid-pit road. That’s why I picked way back there to be behind it.”

Said Justin Allgaier, who was involved in the accident on pit road that led to six cars eventually being eliminated:  “The No. 15 (Poole) actually got in the back of me. I didn’t know if I got the gentleman on (Blaney’s pit crew) or not. Once the wreck started happening in front of us and we all got bottled-up there, one car after another were getting run into.”

Indianapolis’ pit road is the most narrow of all the tracks the Cup Series races. The two travel lanes are 24 feet wide. The pit stall for each team is 15 feet wide.