Three teams to take part in wet weather tire test Monday at Richmond


AUSTIN, Texas — Joey Logano, Chase Elliott and Christopher Bell each will take part in a wet weather tire test Monday at Richmond Raceway, another step toward Cup cars running on an oval in damp track conditions.

This follows the April 1 test that Kyle Larson and Chris Buescher did at Martinsville Speedway.

Monday’s test a Richmond will be with the same rain tire used this weekend at Circuit of the Americas.

“That’s what worked the best at Martinsville,” Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing, told NBC Sports. “We thought the easiest thing for everyone was just to move forward with the rain tire as we know it today. We felt like that as well as it worked at Martinsville, the next step up would be the Richmond, Phoenix, Loudon (New Hampshire) bracket.”

This project by NASCAR and Goodyear envisions races resuming from rain delays quicker. A wet weather tire would allow cars to be on an oval track before it was dry. Once the track was dry, teams would pit to put the regular racing tires on.

One of the key questions for Logano isn’t as much about the tire but the spray on running on a wet track.

“The hardest thing, I think, that all of us have to deal with is vision,” Logano told NBC Sports. “A road course is just spread out. You put everybody in a big wad (on an oval), I think that’s going to be the hardest thing to get a hold of. Is it racing in the rain or racing in the damp?

“(Saturday in practice at COTA) going down the backstretch here, you can’t see, and you’re going to 160-something, 170 mph and you literally can’t see from here to the garage (50 feet). That’s with just two cars in front of you. What happens when there is 30 cars out there? I don’t know. It’s one thing to get the cars driving well in the rain and the tires lasting and all that, it’s another thing to understand what the spray is like.”

Stucker said the plan is to have all three cars on the track together during the test to check how much spray there is and how that impacts a driver’s vision.

Even if the test goes well, it appears less likely that Goodyear could have enough wet weather tires on standby for the July 18 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The challenge is logistics. Goodyear typically makes tires about three months before an event. With so many rain tires being used this weekend at COTA, it has depleted that compound’s inventory.

“We proved to NASCAR at Martinsville that technically it will work, but now you’ve got the operational side, you’ve got the logistic side,” Stucker said of a wet tire on an oval. “How many sets are you going to want us to bring? In case it rains and then it dries, are we going to go back to them again? We’ve got to work through all that.”

Teams are testing a day after racing at COTA because Richmond Raceway had limited availability because it continues to be used as a vaccination site.

Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.

Sunday Cup race at WWT Raceway: Start time, TV info, weather


Twelve races remain until the playoffs begin in early September. Ten drivers have won races. The pressure to secure a playoff spot builds as the Cup Series heads into the summer months.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at WWT Raceway

(All times Eastern)

START: Six-time Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee will give the command to start engines at 3:32 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting is at 2:40 p.m. … Driver intros are at 2:55 p.m. … Tim Bounds, pastor at The Crossing Church St. Louis, will give the invocation at 3:24 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by Bebe Winans and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at 3:25 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 240 laps (300 miles) on the 1.25-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 140.

STARTING LINEUP: Cup starting lineup

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. … Coverage begins at 2 p.m. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground — Partly cloudy with a high of 90 degrees and a 15% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Joey Logano won the inaugural Cup race at this track. Kyle Busch was second. Kurt Busch placed third.


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Cup starting lineup at World Wide Technology Raceway


Kyle Busch will lead the Cup starting lineup to the green flag in Sunday’s Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.

Busch will be joined on the front row by Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney.

MORE: Cup starting lineup

The second row will have Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. The third row has Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano.

Corey LaJoie, driving the No. 9 car in place of the suspended Chase Elliott, qualified 30th after hitting the wall on his lap.

The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1.

Kyle Busch wins Cup pole at WWT Raceway


Kyle Busch collected his first Cup pole of the season and will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Busch last won a Cup pole at Phoenix in November 2019. He earned his 33rd career Cup pole Saturday with a lap of 137.187 mph on the 1.25-mile speedway.

MORE: Cup starting lineup

“Being able to get a pole here with Richard Childress Racing, Team Chevy and everybody on this No. 8 team is good for us and just try to get some momentum rolling,” Busch said. “Our short track stuff hasn’t been the greatest this year so far, but this isn’t the short track aero package here this weekend, so that might pay dividends hopefully for us to just have a better day than what we anticipated. Just excited to have the guys pumped up and raring to go, and knowing that their hard work is paying off.”

Busch will be joined on the front row by Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney, who qualified at 137.153 mph. Blaney’s car failed inspection twice before qualifying. He will lose his pit selection for Sunday’s race. His car chief also was ejected. Brad Keselowski‘s car also failed inspection twice before qualifying. He loses pit selection and had the team’s car chief ejected. Keselowski qualified 19th with a lap of 135.743 mph.

Denny Hamlin (136.903 mph) starts third and is followed by Kevin Harvick (136.766) and Martin Truex Jr. (136.360). Harvick has two top-five starts this season and both have come in the last two events.

“I think we have a little bit of work to do on our car in race trim, but a lot of it is just getting into a rhythm I think – more than anything,” Harvick said. “Qualifying, we were just a little bit tight through Turns 1 and 2, and the car was good in 3 and 4. So, we have to have a better balance, and that’s what probably cost us a little bit of speed to get the pole. But, still a good day and a good starting spot.”

Corey LaJoie, subbing for the suspended Chase Elliott, will start 30th after hitting the wall on his qualifying lap. He qualified at 134.561 mph. Carson Hocevar, making in his Cup debut in LaJoie’s car, qualified 26th with a lap of 135.220 mph.

Green flag for Sunday’s race is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m. ET on FS1.