Kentucky, Kansas to host races without fans

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While there will be a combined total of nine races next month at Kentucky and Kansas speedways, those races will be held without fans in attendance.

Kentucky Speedway will be hosting Xfinity Series races on July 9 (8 p.m., FS1) and July 10 (8 p.m., FS1), a Truck Series race on July 11 (1 p.m., FS1) and a NASCAR Cup race on July 12 (2:30 p.m., FS1). The Cup Series race will be held on the day it was originally scheduled for prior to the hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would like to thank Governor Andy Beshear, Senior Advisor Rocky Adkins and Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack for working in collaboration with NASCAR and Kentucky Speedway to assure this year’s race weekend takes place in a way that protects the safety of participants and the community,” Kentucky Speedway executive vice president and general manager Mark Simendinger said in a statement. “We are very disappointed that the coronavirus pandemic dictates that we will not have spectators at this year’s races.

“We work all year for this weekend and to not be able to share it with fans, especially in the 10th anniversary year of the Quaker State 400, is tough. The health and safety of the public comes first so we hope fans will catch all of the action on FOX or PRN.”

Kansas Speedway will host five races: a Cup race July 23 (7:30 p.m., NBCSN), a Truck Series race on July 24 (7 p.m., FS1), an ARCA Series race on July 24 (10 p.m., FS1), a Truck Series race (1:30 p.m., FS1) on July 25 and Xfinity Series race on July 25 (5 p.m., NBCSN).

Those races were rescheduled from the May 30-31 weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are excited to be a part of NASCAR’s return to racing,” Kansas Speedway president Pat Warren said in a statement. “This is an important first step in the resumption of sports to the Kansas City area, and we feel a deep sense of responsibility to play an integral role in that process.”

While the races at Kansas are scheduled to be run without fans, track officials said in a statement on the track’s website that could change if state and local officials further loosen restrictions:

“The situation today requires us to plan our events without fans. However, we continue to work closely with state and local officials to determine if it may be possible to have fans attend our races in July. As the situation evolves, we will immediately share any new information with our customers.”

MORE: NASCAR announces revised schedule through Aug. 2


Charlotte Motor Speedway states that for the July 15 All-Star Race “options for fan entry are being evaluated in consultation with state and local health officials, but no decisions have been finalized at this time.”

Texas Motor Speedway states that it has developed with NASCAR “a comprehensive plan and continue to work with state and local officials to determine the size and scope of the number of race fans who will be able to attend the weekend’s events.”

Kansas Speedway announced that its NASCAR revised schedule has July races that will be run without spectators, but will re-evaluate if conditions improve.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway states that “it’s unclear at this time if fans will be allowed access” for the Aug. 2 Cup race.

Here is the NASCAR schedule through Aug. 2:


June 26 at Pocono: ARCA race (6 p.m., FS1)

June 27 at Pocono: Truck Series race (12:30 p.m., FS1)

June 27 at Pocono: Cup Series race (3:30 p.m., Fox)

June 28 at Pocono: Xfinity Series race (12:30 p.m., FS1)

June 28 at Pocono: Cup Series race (4 p.m., FS1)

July 4 at Indianapolis: Xfinity Series race (3 p.m., NBC)

July 5 at Indianapolis: Cup Series race (4 p.m., NBC)

July 9 at Kentucky: Xfinity Series race (8 p.m., FS1)

July 10 at Kentucky: Xfinity Series race (8 p.m., FS1)

July 11 at Kentucky: Truck Series race (1 p.m., FS1)

July 12 at Kentucky: Cup Series race (2:30 p.m., FS1)

July 15 at Charlotte: ARCA Series race (4 p.m., FS1)

July 15 at Charlotte: Cup Series All-Star Open race (7 p.m., FS1)

July 15 at Charlotte: Cup Series All-Star Race (8:30 p.m., FS1)

July 18 at Texas: Xfinity Series race (3 p.m., NBCSN)

July 18 at Texas: Truck Series race (8 p.m., FS1)

July 19 at Texas: Cup Series race (3 p.m., NBCSN)

July 23 at Kansas: Cup Series race (7:30 p.m., NBCSN)

July 24 at Kansas: Truck Series race (7 p.m., FS1)

July 24 at Kansas: ARCA Series race (10 p.m., FS1)

July 25 at Kansas: Truck Series race (1:30 p.m., FS1)

July 25 at Kansas: Xfinity Series race (5 p.m., NBCSN)

August 2 at New Hampshire: Cup Series race (3 p.m., NBCSN)

Further national series dates will be announced at a later date.

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NASCAR Power Rankings: William Byron, Kyle Busch rank 1-2


Kyle Busch moved closer to the top spot after his win Sunday at WWT Raceway, but William Byron keeps hold of No. 1 after another top-10 run.

The series heads to Sonoma Raceway this weekend, the second race of the season on a road course.


(Previous ranking in parenthesis)

1. William Byron (1) — He goes into Sonoma with six consecutive top-10 finishes after his eighth-place result at WWT Raceway. Byron has led a series-high 717 laps this season.

2. Kyle Busch (4) — Recorded his third win of the season Sunday. He is tied with Byron for most wins this year. Busch scored 59 of a maximum 60 points and won his first stage of the year Sunday. He has 16 playoff points. Only Byron has more with 17 this season.

3. Kyle Larson (3) — His fourth-place finish continued his up-and-down season. In the last nine races, Larson has two wins, four top fives, a 20th-place result and four finishes of 30th or worse. He has led 588 laps this season, which ranks second this year to Byron.

4. Martin Truex Jr. (2) — His fifth-place finish is his sixth top 10 in the last eight races. He ranks third in laps led this year with 383.

5. Denny Hamlin (7) — Runner-up result at WWT Raceway is his fourth top 10 in the last seven races.

6. Ryan Blaney (10) — Followed Coca-Cola 600 win with a sixth-place run at WWT Raceway. He had an average running position of 2.6 on Sunday, second only to winner Kyle Busch’s average running position of 1.9.

7. Joey Logano (9) — Third-place finish is his second top 10 in the last four races.

8. Kevin Harvick (NR) — His 10th-place finish is his fourth consecutive finish of 11th or better.

9. Ross Chastain (6) — Lost the points lead after placing 22nd, his third consecutive finish outside the top 20.

10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (NR) — Headed for his eighth top 15 in a row until he was collected in a crash after the contact between Austin Cindric and Austin Dillon late in Sunday’s race.

Dropped out: Chase Elliott (5th), Tyler Reddick (8th)

NASCAR will not penalize Austin Cindric for incident with Austin Dillon


Despite Richard Childress and Austin Dillon saying that Austin Cindric intentionally wrecked Dillon late in Sunday’s Cup race at WWT Raceway, NASCAR will not penalize Cindric.

Elton Sawyer, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that there would be no penalty to Cindric after reviewing the contact.

Dillon and Childress were upset about the incident, which brought out the caution on Lap 220 of the 243-lap race. Dillon said NASCAR should suspend Cindric for the contact, just as NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one race for hooking Denny Hamlin in the Coca-Cola 600.

Contact between the left front of Cindric’s car and the right rear of Dillon’s car sent Dillon up the track into Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Dillon finished 31st. Cindric continued and placed 13th.

Dillon told “I was wrecked intentionally by (Cindric), hooked right just like Chase and Denny and Bubba’s deal (in wrecking Kyle Larson at Las Vegas in 2022). He better be suspended next week.”

Childress said: “(Dillon) had drove up to about 10th until (Cindric) wrecked him in there on purpose, sort of a payback.”

Sawyer said a review of the incident included viewing video and data.

“We didn’t see anything — and haven’t seen anything — that really would rise to a level that would be a suspension or a penalty,” Sawyer said. “It looked like hard racing. One car coming up a little bit and another car going down.

“As we said last week, we take these incidents very serious when we see cars that are turned head-on into another car or head-on into the wall. I spent a lot of time (Monday) looking at that, looking at all the data, looking at TV footage and just deemed this one really hard racing.”

Sawyer said NASCAR plans to talk to both Cindric and Dillon “to make sure we’re all in a good place as we move forward to Sonoma.”



Seven Cup drivers entered in Xfinity race at Sonoma


Kyle Larson is among seven Cup drivers entered in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Sonoma Raceway.

The race marks the first time the Xfinity Series has competed at the California road course. Teams will get 50 minutes of practice Friday because this is a new event on the schedule. That additional time will give those Cup drivers more laps on the 1.99-mile road course.

MORE: Sonoma Xfinity entry list

Here is a look at what Xfinity rides the Cup drivers will pilot this weekend:

The race is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET Saturday.

The ARCA Menards Series West also is competing this weekend at Sonoma Raceway. Cup driver Ryan Preece is entered in that event. Xfinity drivers Cole Custer, Riley Herbst, Sammy Smith and Parker Retzlaff also are entered in that race, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. ET Friday.


Winners and losers at WWT Raceway


Winners and losers from Sunday’s Cup race at WWT Raceway:


Kyle BuschWins the pole, leads the most laps and holds the field off over the last five restarts to win the race. He scored six playoff points, giving him 16 on the season, second only to William Byron’s 17. Busch left Joe Gibbs Racing after last season for Richard Childress Racing. Busch’s three wins this year equals what JGR has done so far.

Ryan BlaneyHis sixth-place finish moved him into the points lead. He last led the points after the spring 2022 Richmond race. Blaney also won a stage Sunday to collect another playoff point. He has seven this season.

Kyle LarsonFourth-place finish was a big turnaround after struggles earlier in the race. It has not been easy for this team the last few weeks. He has three top-five finishes and four finishes of 20th or worse in the last seven races.

Daniel SuarezHis seventh-place finish moved him up two spots to 16th in the standings, the final playoff transfer spot at this time.


Ross ChastainHe finished 22nd for his third consecutive result outside the top 20. He entered the weekend leading the points and fell to fifth afterward. He is 29 points behind new series leader Ryan Blaney with 11 races left in the regular season.

Tyler ReddickRebounded from an early spin to lead but had his race end after a brake rotor failed. He was one of four drivers eliminated by brake rotor failures. The others were Carson Hocevar, Bubba Wallace and Noah Gragson.