Kyle Larson begins Knoxville Nationals run Thursday night


Kyle Larson, coming off his NASCAR Cup win last weekend at Watkins Glen International, begins his quest for his first Knoxville Nationals sprint car title tonight at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway.

Larson will compete in the second night of preliminary events, leading to Saturday night’s main event. Defending Knoxville Nationals champion David Gravel won the feature in Wednesday’s preliminary event.

Larson finished second in the event in 2017 and was third in 2018. He did not make the Knoxville Nationals main event in 2019. The race was not held in 2020 because of COVID-19. Instead, the track held an event called “The One and Only.”

Larson said before last year’s event that if he won it, he would probably still consider himself a Nationals winner. But after winning that event, Larson found that he didn’t feel that way.

“Last year I thought it would be feel the same, but it definitely didn’t,” he said. “Glad that things are back to normal to where we, all of us competitors and fans and everybody, can go there and live through Nationals like it really is Nationals. I think the atmosphere will be there again, probably even bigger than it was in the past. Glad I get the opportunity to run it. Hopefully we can be as strong as we were last year.”

Larson said of the Knoxville Nationals that “outside of NASCAR, I think that’s the one (race)” on his bucket list remaining after he’s won the Chili Bowl Nationals (2020 and 2021) and King’s Royal (2021).

Points will determine the majority of starers for the 60th Knoxville Nationals. Drivers are awarded points based on how they perform in their preliminary night in qualifying and races. The top 16 in combined points from Wednesday and Thursday are locked into Saturday’s main event. The top four finishers from Friday’s feature make the Saturday main event and four finishers from Saturday’s B main make the main event for a 24-car field for the 50-lap race.

The winner of Saturday’s Knoxville Nationals receives $150,000 of a purse of more than $1 million.

Dirtvision is streaming the Knoxville Nationals and all the preliminary events. 

NASCAR Saturday schedule at Circuit of the Americas


Saturday will be a busy day at Circuit of the Americas, as all three national series are on the track.

Cup will qualify ahead of the Craftsman Truck and Xfinity Series races.

The forecast Saturday calls for sunny conditions and no chance of rain all day. The high is expected to be 69 degrees during Cup qualifying, 76 degrees at the start of the Truck race and 81 degrees for the start of the Xfinity race.

Zane Smith looks to win his second consecutive Truck race at the road course in Austin, Texas. AJ Allmendinger seeks his second consecutive Xfinity win at COTA.

Saturday, March 25

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Cup Series
  • 10:30 a.m.  — Truck Series
  • 2 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Cup qualifying (FS1)
  • 1:30 p.m. — Truck race (42 laps, 143 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 5 p.m. — Xfinity race (46 laps, 156 miles; FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

COTA Xfinity starting lineup: AJ Allmendinger takes pole


AJ Allmendinger, who won this race a year ago, will start on the pole for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas.

Allmendinger earned the pole with a lap of 92.173 mph Friday on the 20-turn, 3.41-mile road course.

MORE: COTA Xfinity starting lineup

He will be joined on the front row Sammy Smith (91.827 mph).
Ty Gibbs (91.665) will start third. Sheldon Creed (91.652) qualified fourth. Parker Kligerman (91.195) will start fifth.

Cup driver William Byron will start ninth. Byron’s time was disallowed for cutting the esses. Cole Custer, who will start 10th, didn’t make a lap in the final round of qualifying.

Cup driver Aric Almirola (91.269) qualified 13th. Truck Series racer Carson Hocevar (90.669) will start 17th. Alex Labbe (90.476) will start 23rd. He’s filling in for Josh Williams, who is serving a one-race suspension for parking his car at the start/finish line of last weekend’s race at Atlanta.

COTA Truck starting lineup: Ross Chastain wins pole


Ross Chastain will start on the pole for Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas.

Chastain earned the top starting spot in Friday’s qualifying with a lap of 91.877 mph. He’ll be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch (91.490 mph).

More: COTA Truck starting lineup

Ty Majeski qualified third with a lap of 91.225 mph. Rookie Nick Sanchez (90.993) will start fourth, and Christian Eckes (90.937) will complete the top five.

Alex Bowman failed to make the race. Bowman had a flat right front on his qualifying lap.

Tyler Reddick leads Cup practice at COTA


Tyler Reddick posted the fastest lap in Friday’s Cup practice at Circuit of the Americas.

Reddick, who won two road course races last season, topped the field in his 23XI Racing Toyota with a lap of 92.989 mph. Kyle Larson was next, posting a lap of 92.618 mph around the 3.41-mile road course.

MORE: COTA Cup practice results

Ross Chastain, who won this race a year ago, was third on the speed chart in practice with a lap of 92.520 mph. He was followed by Kyle Busch (92.498 mph) and Daniel Suarez (92.461 mph).

Jordan Taylor, subbing for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, was 10th on the speed chart in practice after a lap of 92.404 mph.

Former world champion Jenson Button, driving for Rick Ware Racing, was 28th in practice with a lap of 91.759 mph. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, driving the Project 91 car for Trackhouse Racing, was 32nd in practice after a lap of 91.413 mph.

Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, driving in his first race for Legacy Motor Club since the Daytona 500, was 36th in practice after a lap of 91.072 mph. IndyCar driver Conor Daly was last among the 39 cars in practice with a lap of 90.095 mph.

Cup qualifying is Saturday. The series races Sunday.