Kyle Larson overcomes electrical issues, wins at Charlotte Roval

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Kyle Larson claimed his seventh win of the NASCAR Cup Series season in Sunday’s Round of 12 playoff elimination race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

MORE: Roval Cup race results, driver points

Larson’s car suffered early electrical issues that forced his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team to change the battery and alternator belt.

But the regular season champion quickly climbed back into contention. And off the race’s final restart with eight laps to go, Larson muscled past Denny Hamlin – who had already advanced into the Round of 8 via his win at Las Vegas – for the lead before going on to win.

Non-playoff drivers Tyler Reddick and Chris Buescher finished second and third, respectively. Kyle Busch and Hamlin rounded out the top five.

In post-race comments to NBC Sports, Larson admitted some trepidation over the electrical problems and that he was aware they’d put him below the cutline to advance for a period of the race.

“Obviously, I had a pretty good idea,” Larson said. “I’d gone through it here a few years ago in the (No.) 42 (car). When you think you’re good and all of a sudden, you’re running, like, 40th, you’re like, ‘Well, I’m down below the cutline!’

“I knew I was going to have some sketchy moments. I just had to pick my way through traffic and stay calm. And we had some good restarts there near the end. I was able to kinda use my tire damage to get under Denny and squeeze him out of real estate off of (Turn) 4 there.”

Kevin Harvick, Christopher Bell, William Byron and Alex Bowman all were eliminated from the playoffs.

Harvick’s exit came after his playoff feud with reigning Cup champion Chase Elliott resumed during the race’s final stage.

At Lap 55, contact from Harvick sent Elliott into the Turn 7 wall. At Turn 8, Elliott’s heavily damaged car appeared to move toward Harvick but instead clipped Cole Custer.

That sent Elliott and Custer spinning to trigger a caution. After the wreck, conversation over Elliott’s team radio centered on payback against Harvick.

But as it turned out, Elliott didn’t have to resort to those measures.

With 11 laps to go, as Elliott was lurking behind Harvick on the frontstretch, Harvick locked up his brakes at Turn 1 and slid into the SAFER Barrier.

Following Harvick’s crash, Elliott’s team radio promptly weighed in: “Karma.” “Yes sir, it is.”

When Harvick was released from the infield care center, he was asked by NBC Sports if his earlier contact with Elliott stemmed from their prior clash this postseason at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“Sometimes, real life teaches you good lessons,” Harvick said. He left the next question, ‘Are you guys even?’ unanswered.

Elliott, who finished 12th, later chimed in from pit road afterward.

“Our team has a lot of fight and I’m super proud of that,” he told NBC Sports. “As far as Kevin goes, I just want to wish them a merry offseason and a Happy Christmas.”

Harvick’s crash set up the eight-lap run to the finish. Larson got past Hamlin and then managed the gap to Reddick for the rest of the race.

Needing a win to advance, Byron made a valiant effort to keep up with Larson and Reddick heading to the checkered flag.

With 19 laps to go, contact from Reddick caused Byron to miss the backstretch chicane, which forced Byron to serve a stop-and-go penalty.

But with two laps left, Byron went off-course in the Roval’s infield section. He finished 11th, not enough to keep his postseason going.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Chase Elliott

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Busch

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Before Kyle Busch’s fourth-place finish Sunday, he had finished 32nd, 37th and 30th in his three previous Roval starts.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: One day after winning Saturday’s Xfinity playoff race on the Roval, engine failure saw AJ Allmendinger out Sunday after 57 laps. … Ryan Newman was the first to drop out Sunday after a crash at Lap 19 broke the rear-end housing on his car.

NOTABLE: Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was found with two lug nuts not safe and secure during post-race inspection. That means his crew chief, Ben Beshore, will be suspended for next week’s Round of 8 playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway and fined $20,000 by NASCAR.

NEXT: Sunday, Oct. 17 – Round of 8 opener at Texas Motor Speedway (2 p.m. ET, NBC)

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.

 

Ryan Blaney’s team to appeal Bristol penalty

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Team Penske will appeal the penalty to Ryan Blaney‘s team from last weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the organization confirmed Friday.

NASCAR suspended crew chief Jonathan Hassler, jackman Graham Stoddard and rear tire changer Zachary Price four races each after a wheel came off Blaney’s car during a pit stop. His left rear wheel rolled off when he exited his stall and the tire bounced down pit road through before it was captured.

The penalty would have caused Hassler and the pit crew members to miss all of the second round and the first race in the third round. With the appeal. Hassler, Stoddard and Price will be able to participate in Sunday’s Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network.).

Blaney enters the second round holding the final transfer spot. He, Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell are tied with 3,013 points. He won the All-Star Race in May at Texas.

Chase Briscoe is the first driver below the cutline. He’s four points behind Blaney. Alex Bowman and Daniel Suarez are each six points behind Blaney. Austin Cindric is seven points behind Blaney.