Disappointment binds Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano at Richmond

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Denny Hamlin shouted. Joey Logano spoke in a resigned tone.

The radio conversations with their teams were different — Hamlin’s had stronger language — but the frustration was similar for both after 400 laps Sunday at Richmond Raceway.

The two drivers who appeared set to duel for the victory — just as they had last month at Bristol — were left to watch Alex Bowman win.

Sunday proved similar to previous races this season for Hamlin, who was strong but has yet to win a quarter of the way through the season.

“It’s frustrating for sure,” Hamlin said after losing the lead to Bowman 10 laps from the finish. “I’d rather be where I am than Alex Bowman. I don’t care that he’s got a win. We’re smashing everyone. I’d still rather be where I’m at.”

Bowman will take his victory and spot in the playoffs, especially since he entered the race outside a playoff spot.

Hamlin does have a point, though. He won both stages, giving him a series-high five stage wins this season. He led a race-high 207 laps, the second race in a row he’s led at least 200 laps. His runner-up finish is his eighth top-five result in the first nine races. He’s the fifth driver all-time in Cup to start the season that way, but he’s the only one to do so without a win.

“It doesn’t change my attitude or work ethic,” Hamlin said of not winning Sunday. “I’m going to work just as hard to win next week and the week after that. You’re a competitor, you want to win. Especially when you have a great opportunity to win.

“It just didn’t happen. I just got to digest it, look at it and see where we could have been a little bit better. But ultimately, there’s nothing I can do. My effort was as high as it could be. There’s nothing that’s glaring that I feel like I could have or should have done different.”

Logano also did not expect Bowman to win. Logano and Hamlin were side-by-side on the final restart with 12 laps left.

“I thought we were going to be a battle between the front row, especially the way we launched on the final restart there,” Logano said. “Just could barely hang on to (Hamlin)’s quarter(panel) down into (Turn 1). I thought, ‘Maybe I can roll the top here.’ Got there, the front just wasn’t woken up yet. Wasn’t turning for about three laps. Obviously (Bowman) was in a different league for about five laps.”

Bowman admitted he had not been good on short runs all race. Bowman was third on the final restart, situated on the inside of the second row and behind Hamlin.

“My strong suit all day was being able to get into the corner really deep,” Bowman said. “I was able to get in deep, aside Denny. I knew I had the preferred lane, could probably clear him. I kind of figured he would get right back to me and be faster than us.

“When we drove away, I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, what’s happening?'”

Logano wondered the same thing.

“(Bowman) kind of made us all look kind of goofy there for a minute,” he said.

Had there not been a caution, could Hamlin have passed Logano for the win?

“We were in good position,” said Hamlin, who took the lead with a faster pit stop before the final restart. “I mean, it was 20 to go or so, we were obviously faster. Trying to be patient there. But, yeah, who knows.”

Instead, he saw another win slip away.

“We should have won,” Hamlin said. “Certainly (Bowman) wasn’t better than us all day. Just got to lead the last lap. You’ve got to figure out how to lead the last lap, that’s pretty much all that matters.”

Sunday Texas Cup race: Start time, TV info, weather

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The first race in the second round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs is scheduled Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Twelve drivers are racing for eight spots in the next round. Chase Elliott leads the standings by 15 over Joey Logano entering Sunday’s 500-mile event, the only Cup points race at TMS this year. Ryan Blaney, who is in the playoff group, won the All-Star Race at the track in May.

Chase Briscoe, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez and Austin Cindric are below the cutline entering the 3:30 p.m. ET (USA Network) race.

MORE: Big race celebration? Try Waffle House

The playoffs will continue at Talladega Superspeedway (Oct. 2) and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (Oct. 9).

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway:

START: The command to start engines will be given by “Top Gun: Maverick” actors Jay Ellis and Lewis Pullman at 3:38 p.m. (ET) … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 3 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Bret Shisler of Texas Alliance Raceway Ministries at 3:30 p.m. … The 1st Cavalry Division Band will perform the anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 334 laps (501 miles) on the 1.5-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 105. Stage 2 ends at Lap 210.

MORE: Ryan Blaney’s team to appeal penalty

TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 2:30 p.m. on USA Network. The post-race show will air on USA Network. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

STREAMING: NBCsports.com

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Partly cloudy skies. High of 96 with a 5% chance of rain.

LAST TIME: Kyle Larson won by .459 of a second over William Byron last October. Larson led 256 of the race’s 334 laps.

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Brandon Jones wins Xfinity pole at Texas Motor Speedway

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Playoff driver Brandon Jones won the pole position Saturday morning for Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Jones was clocked at 185.637 miles per hour. He has won three of the past four Xfinity poles.

MORE: Texas Xfinity qualifying results

MORE: Texas Xfinity starting lineup

Scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on the USA Network, the race is the opening event of the Xfinity playoffs.

Following Jones in the top five were Noah Gragson (winner of three consecutive Xfinity races), Daniel Hemric, John Hunter Nemechek and Sam Mayer.

MORE: Post-race celebration? Try the Waffle House

The race is 200 laps (300 miles) on the 1.5-mile track. Drivers will be battling heat in the mid-to-high 90s.

 

NASCAR Saturday schedule at Texas Motor Speedway

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NASCAR Cup and Xfinity teams will be busy Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway.

The Cup Series enters the second round of the playoffs with 12 drivers remaining for the title. Cup teams will practice and qualify today.

The Xfinity Series begins its playoffs Saturday with 12 drivers in championship contention. Xfinity teams will practice and qualify before racing.

All track activity will be broadcast on USA Network. The temperature will climb into the mid-90s Saturday, according to Weather Underground.

Saturday, Sept. 24

Garage open

  • 8:30 a.m. — Xfinity Series
  • 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. — Cup Series

Track activity

  • 10:30 – 11:05 a.m. — Xfinity Series practice (USA Network, NBC Sports App)
  • 11:05 a.m. – noon — Xfinity Series qualifying (USA Network, NBC Sports App)
  • 12:35 – 1:20 p.m. — Cup Series practice (USA Network, NBC Sports App)
  • 1:20 – 2:30 p.m. — Cup Series qualifying (USA Network, NBC Sports App)
  • 3:30 p.m. — Xfinity Series race (200 laps, 300 miles; USA Network, NBC Sports App, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Saturday Texas Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather

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The Xfinity Series playoffs begin this weekend. Noah Gragson and Ty Gibbs enter as the favorites. They’ve combined to win 11 of the 26 races this season.

Gragson, who has six wins this season, seeks to win his fourth consecutive victory.

MORE: Noah Gragson’s special celebrations at Waffle House

Gibbs, who has five victories this year, is one of four drivers in the Xfinity playoffs for the first time. The other three are Josh Berry, Austin Hill and Sam Mayer.

Also in the playoffs are reigning series champion Daniel Hemric, Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Brandon Jones, Jeremy Clements, Riley Herbst and Ryan Sieg.

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Texas Motor Speedway

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given by Andy’s Frozen Custard executives Andy Kuntz, Dana Kuntz and Carol Kuntz at 3:38 p.m. … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 8:30 a.m. … Practice begins at 10:30 a.m. … Qualifying begins at 11:05 a.m. … Driver introductions are at 3 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Bret Shisler of Texas Alliance Raceway Ministries at 3:30 p.m. … Janie Balderas will perform the anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (300 miles) on the 1.5-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 90.

TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 3 p.m. on USA Network. The post-race show will air on USA Network. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 3 p.m. and also will stream at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

STREAMING: NBCsports.com

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Sunny with a high of 96 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Tyler Reddick gave Big Machine Racing its first series win in May. William Byron was second and Sam Mayer was third.