Kyle Petty: ‘You’ve got to have thick skin’ at Bristol

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An incensed Joey Logano said of Chase Elliott and the contact they had late in Sunday’s race at Bristol, “He wrecked me.”

NASCAR On NBC analyst Kyle Petty can understand Logano’s frustration.

“The one thing as a driver, whether you’re Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin or Chase Elliott, expect somebody to run into you, that’s going to happen at Bristol,” Petty said on NASCAR America At Home. “You’ve got to expect it and be prepared for it.

“These guys (Logano and Elliott) already have wins, but look at how they’re driving, look at how much and how important a NASCAR Cup win is to each and every one of these guys, but especially a NASCAR Cup win at Bristol. That’s a big feather in your cap.”

Even though both drivers have at least one win each this season, and even with no fans in the stands, there was still plenty of incentive for Logano and Elliott.

“When you look at it, it shows these guys aren’t just phoning it in, they’re not just mailing it in and saying we’re going to go to the racetrack and not have any practice,” Petty said. “They come to win, they come to win every week. And I think that came through today, maybe more so than anything else.

“Joey says it’s childish (that he almost had to force an apology from Elliott after the race). That’s heat-of-the-moment talk. Chase, he apologizes, but let’s go back to Darlington. It seemed like Kyle Busch was trying to apologize (to Elliott) but Chase wasn’t having any of that.

“If you’re going to dish, you’ve got to take. That’s the way it is. You’ve got to have thick skin. If you’re going to throw it out there and be mad at somebody, you’ve got to expect somebody to be mad at you. This is just Bristol.”

Petty reiterated that while the circumstances with three laps left dictated Elliott make a risky move, that kind of behavior is almost expected at a place like Bristol.

“Chase fired it off in the corner,” Petty said. “Why? Because he wanted to win the race. He felt he had a better car and that it would stick. It didn’t stick. Have we ever seen Joey Logano do that, or Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick or a number of other drivers? Yes. You count on that thing sticking but it doesn’t always stick, it doesn’t always go where you point.

“At Bristol you have to expect that when somebody fires it off in the corner under you with two-and-a-half or three laps to go or they’re on the last lap, there’s going to be some contact. And chances are if you’re on the outside, there’s going to be some contact with the wall.”

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All-Star Race, Open entry lists

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It’s officially All-Star Race week.

For the first time the annual exhibition event that awards $1 million will be held at Bristol Motor Speedway (7 p.m. ET Wednesday on FS1).

Twenty drivers will compete in the 140-lap, four-stage main event. Sixteen drivers currently make up the field following Cole Custer’s win Sunday at Kentucky Speedway.

Three drivers will qualify for the main event via the All-Star Open, the 85-lap preliminary race that’s divided into three stages. The winners of all three stages will advance. The remaining driver will advance via a fan vote.

Here are the entry lists for each race.

All-Star Race 

Drivers who automatically qualified for the All-Star Race: Those who won points races in 2019-20, past All-Star Race winners and previous Cup champions.

Drivers who have clinched an All-Star Race spot: Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Cole Custer, Chase Elliott, Justin Haley, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.

Click here for the entry list.

All-Star Open

Twenty-two drivers are entered in the preliminary race.

Notable drivers include Clint Bowyer, Matt DiBenedetto, William Byron, rookies Tyler Reddick, William Byron and John Hunter Nemechek, as well as Bubba Wallace.

Click here for the entry list.

NASCAR in ‘good place’ with Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson after fight

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Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, says that series officials will keep an eye on Harrison Burton and Noah Gragson moving forward but that the sanctioning body feels it is in a “good place” with those drivers after their fight last weekend at Kentucky Speedway.

Gragson punched Burton after Burton repeatedly shoved him in the garage area as they discussed their contact on the track late in Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Kentucky Speedway. A NASCAR spokesperson said Friday night that no penalties were anticipated.

Asked about where matters stood between NASCAR and the two drivers, Miller told “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday morning:

“I personally wasn’t in the post-race conversations. (NASCAR Xfinity Series Managing Director) Wayne Auton does a great job with that and the report that I got from him is he talked to some of the crew members that were involved and obviously both of the drivers. I think we got to a good place. They’re going to have some words this week and try to make sure we’re in a good spot when we start the weekend next weekend in Texas. We feel like we’re OK.

“This is an emotional sport and there’s going to be things like that that crop up. It’s not a great situation for us to deal with as a sanctioning body, but we also want the emotion in the sport. That’s what makes it so special. Those things are unfortunate, but we do know from time to time those are going to happen. If we feel good about the conversations we’ve had, in a lot of cases we’re going to move on from that and keep an eye on those individuals moving forward.”

Race and Sports in America: Conversations to air at 8 p.m. ET Monday

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Damon Hack will host two roundtables with athletes and former athletes for a conversation on race and sports in America. The show airs at 8 p.m. ET Monday on NBCSN, Golf Channel, Olympic Channel and the NBC Sports Regional Networks.

Appearing with Hack will be Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, NBA superstar Steph Curry, NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, NFL player Kyle Rudolph, pro golfer Troy Mullins, former tennis player James Blake, Major League Baseball player James Rollins and Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith.

Among the topics discussed are: The conversations they’ve had with family in the last few months, what they hope things will be like in a year’s time, the level of optimism vs. pessimism and their experiences.



Winners and losers from Kentucky

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Cole CusterHe entered Sunday’s race well out of a playoff spot at 25th in the points. He took advantage of a series of events in the final laps to score a dramatic victory and earn a playoff spot.

Martin Truex Jr.Lost the lead on the last lap but recorded his first top-five finish since his Martinsville win last month.

Matt DiBenedetto He was 18th with 14 laps to go and finished third.

Christopher BellSeventh-place finish was his fourth finish of 12th or better in the last six races.

Austin Cindric Had not won on an oval in the Xfinity Series before sweeping both series races at Kentucky Speedway.


Matt KensethA week after finishing runner-up at Indianapolis, he spun twice and finished 25th at Kentucky.

Ryan PreeceFinished last for the second race in a row. He was eliminated in a pit road accident at Indy and by transmission issues at Kentucky. He has failed to finish five of 17 races this season (29.4%).

Jimmie JohnsonWas third on a late restart when contact with Brad Keselowski spun him. Instead of contending for his first victory since 2017, Johnson finished 18th and had a little warning for Keselowski.