What drivers said after Kansas


A look at what drivers said after Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Kansas Speedway…

Kyle Larson (playoffs) – WINNER: “I don’t know (if I’m the championship favorite). I think looking at the drivers in the Round of 8, you can make a strong case for every single one of us, why we could win the championship at Phoenix. So, I don’t know. I don’t think you can pick a favorite. I think maybe, yes, you can look at me as being the favorite because of the momentum and stuff that we’re on and all that. But I can make a case for any one of the other seven drivers, why they could beat me and beat any of us. Anybody can win I think in the final eight right now.”

Chase Elliott (playoffs) – Finished 2nd:

Kevin Harvick (playoffs) – Finished 3rd: “We were just getting tight at the end of the runs and the 5 (Kyle Larson), 9 (Chase Elliott) and 1 (Kurt Busch) cars could really hold it wide open. I needed to get past (Larson) so I was trying to hold it wide open and had a lot of wheel in to it and got a little tight as we went to the last half of that run. I am really proud of everyone on the Subway Ford Mustang. We closed a huge gap at 1.5 mile race tracks and everyone is doing a great job.”

Kurt Busch – Finished 4th: “We did everything right, we just didn’t combo it all together at the perfect time. Pit road was awesome. (Crew chief) Matt McCall and all my guys, sticking together this late in the year with the team switching over. Just thank you to AdventHealth. I wanted to give them a good run and we were there. We did all of this right and it was so much fun racing right in the mix. It’s the little things that make the big difference. We freed it up on that last run; it got too tight. When you’re running with the big dogs, you have to do everything right. Thanks to Chevrolet and Hendrick power. That was a big deal today. Thank you to my guys at Ganassi. We’ll keep chipping away.”

Denny Hamlin (playoffs) – Finished 5th: 

William Byron – Finished 6th: “Yeah, it was tough for us. On the first one, we got a good chunk of them and we got inside the top 10 and restarted ninth. Just didn’t really go anywhere on that one and it took us a while to kind of get back up there. But yeah, just a bummer we had that issue. I feel like we were executing a really good race and probably had the best car. We just had that issue and it took us out. We will rebound. This RaptorTough.com Chevrolet looked really good and we have had so much speed this year. It’s just a bummer to not get more wins, but I feel like our time is coming. We just have to keep at it.”

Martin Truex Jr. (playoffs) – Finished 7th: “It was a long day. You never quit fighting in these things and all you can do is the best you can do. Just kept working on it and kept making adjustments and do what we could. We were able to get back on the lead lap there and take the wave around with the quick caution and battle from there. All the guys did a great job on this Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry and it was pretty fast. Just sixth or seventh, where we finished was about where we were going to be. I would have liked to have done without that damage; it was pretty fast before that. Unfortunate the way that deal worked out, but we’re still in it and we’re still fighting and we look forward to next weekend.”

Joey Logano (playoffs) – Finished 9th: “Yeah, we made decent restarts and our pit crew was good today and got us some spots. We were able to get the restarts and get up to the top four or so and then from lap two to 10 I just couldn’t stay with them. I went to the bottom they would pass me on the top, if I went to the top they would pass me on the bottom. I just couldn’t hold them off. From lap 10 on, we were as good as the top three or four cars, we just had last the track position at that point. We were too far back to be able to do much and try to strategize ourselves to the lead somehow. We tried the long run there in the first stage. We just didn’t really get the opportunity to do much. On to Martinsville. One more shot to do it. It is crazy watching this thing. They are trying to give it away it seems like. I have never seen so many issues in this round. Yeah, it seems like survival was the key in this round so far.”

Austin Dillon – Finished 10th: “We had a really fast No. 3 Get Bioethanol Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE today at Kansas Speedway. We ended up with damage in Stage 1 and never recovered, so it really says a lot that we were able to finish in the top-10. It was hard-earned by everyone on the team, for sure. We were running solidly in the top-10 in Stage 1 when another car fenced both of us. We had a lot of right-side damage, but we fixed it the best we could. Most of the rest of the day was a struggle because the damage was affecting our handling. By the end of the race, our car was pretty decent. Late in the race I got into a playoff contender and I hate it for everyone involved. It was side-drafting. It’s part of what we do, but I still hate that it happened. I tried to save it the first time, and the second time I just lost it. Overall, it was a good day for the Get Bioethanol team, and I am so proud of everyone at RCR and ECR for preparing fast Chevrolets.”

Alex Bowman – Finished 11th: “Kind of a frustrating day. We had a good Ally Chevy, but just fought being loose all day. We have two races left to get the finishes we want and that’s what we plan to do.”

Brad Keselowski (playoffs) – Finished 17th: “That was a heck of a race. We are all just fighting to hard. I am bummed I didn’t get more out of it. I had a heck of an opportunity to score a lot of points and make next week easy. We still aren’t in a bad spot but not as good as spot as we could be.”

Chase Briscoe – Finished 19th: “It was a tough day with the DEKALB Ford. The handling just was never where we needed it to be. The team did a good job of making something out of it, getting one of the laps back that we lost. We will just take it and look to Martinsville.”

Parker Kligerman – Finished 20th: “Thanks to Gaunt Brothers Racing, Toyota and Fast Checkout for being awesome to work with today. It was definitely a day where we struggled on the short run and were really fast on the long one. It was just a matter of me learning and trying to figure stuff out in the second half of the race. We needed a Lucky Dog or something to go our way to get back on the lead lap. We could’ve easily finished in the top-15. I probably asked for one adjustment that made us go back a little bit. Overall, a successful top-20 day. I don’t think that’s a miss at all after hopping back in a Cup car after two years. It was one of the best Cup cars I’ve ever driven.”

Tyler Reddick – Finished 22nd: “These RCR Chevrolets are so fast, and once again we were able to run up front and contend in the No. 8 Caterpillar Dealer Tech Chevrolet. I absolutely hate how the day wrapped up, but I can’t say enough about RCR and how hard everyone has worked this year to make our 550 package better. I’m gutted that we haven’t won yet, but I know we are capable. Our Chevy was strong all day, and it felt good to run up front and lead for a bit today. It was really windy out there and I could definitely feel the wind pushing our car around during the race, but (crew chief) Randall Burnett and all of the guys did a great job adjusting on our car. Cautions didn’t fall our way today, and we also had to make an unscheduled pit stop for a tire going down with less than 20 laps remaining. That really ruined our chances of a solid finish. Overall, I’m so proud of this team and I know we are capable of winning.”

Kyle Busch (playoffs) – Finished 28th:

Erik Jones – Finished 29th: “Tough day for the Petty’s Garage Chevy. Never quite had the balance where we wanted and then cut a tire down that put us way behind towards the end. Hopefully we can rebound at Martinsville.”

Ryan Blaney (playoffs) – Finished 37th: “Yeah, we got run into from two lanes below me. I have no idea. Obviously, it hurts. Finishing 37th is not prime. We didn’t have a great day but we did a good job of fighting back and getting back into the top-10 but then just got wiped out when we had plenty of room. That sucks. It is very unfortunate.”

NASCAR Cup playoff standings after Coca-Cola 600


The severe penalty to Chase Briscoe and his Stewart-Haas Racing team Wednesday for a counterfeit part dropped Briscoe from 17th to 31st in the season standings. Briscoe now must win a race to have a chance at the playoffs.

The penalty came a day after NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one race for his retaliation in wrecking Denny Hamlin in Monday’s Coca-Cola 600. Elliott is 28th in the points. The 2020 Cup champion also needs to win to have a chance to make the playoffs.

Ten drivers have won races, including Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney. That leaves six playoff spots to be determined by points at this time. With 12 races left in the regular season, including unpredictable superspeedway races at Atlanta (July 9) and Daytona (Aug. 26), the playoff standings will change during the summer.

Among those without a win this season are points leader Ross Chastain and former champions Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Elliott.

Here’s a look at the Cup playoff standings heading into Sunday’s Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois. Drivers in yellow have won a race and are in a playoff position. Those below the red line after 16th place are outside a playoff spot in the graphic below.

NASCAR issues major penalties to Chase Briscoe team for Charlotte infraction


NASCAR fined crew chief John Klausmeier $250,000 and suspended him six races, along with penalizing Chase Briscoe and the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team 120 points and 25 playoff points each for a counterfeit part on the car.

The issue was a counterfeit engine NACA duct, said Elton Sawyer, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, on Wednesday. That is a single-source part.

MORE: Updated Cup playoff standings

The team stated that it accepts the L3 penalty.

“We had a quality control lapse and a part that never should’ve been on a car going to the racetrack ended up on the No. 14 car at Charlotte,” said Greg Zipadelli in a statement from the team. “We accept NASCAR’s decision and will not appeal.”

Asked how then piece could have aided performance, Sawyer said Wednesday: “Knowing the race team mentality, they don’t do things that would not be a benefit to them in some way, shape or form from a performance advantage.”

The penalty drops Briscoe from 17th in the season standings to 31st in the standings. Briscoe goes from having 292 points to having 172 points. He’ll have to win to make the playoffs. Briscoe has no playoff points at this time, so the penalty puts him at -25 playoff points should he make it.

Briscoe’s car was one of two taken to the R&D Center after Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 for additional tear down by series officials.

The penalty comes a day after NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one race for wrecking Denny Hamlin in last weekend’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NASCAR Championship Weekend returns to Phoenix in 2024


Phoenix Raceway will host the championship races for the Cup, Xfinity, Craftsman Truck and ARCA Menards Series in 2024, NASCAR announced Wednesday.

The races will be held Nov. 1-3, 2024. The Cup season finale will be Nov. 3, 2024. The only other Cup race for 2024 that has been announced is the Daytona 500. It will be held Feb. 18, 2024.

Phoenix Raceway has hosted the championship finale for Cup, Xfinity and Trucks since 2020. Chase Elliott won the Cup title there in 2020. Kyle Larson followed in 2021. Joey Logano won the crown there in 2022.

This year’s Cup finale at Phoenix will be Nov. 5 and air on NBC.



Drivers to watch at World Wide Technology Raceway


After the fireworks from the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR heads to World Wide Technology Raceway, a 1.25-mile speedway just outside of St. Louis. Sunday’s race (3:30 p.m. ET on FS1) marks the second time the Cup Series has raced at this track.

Much is at stake. The race to win the regular season championship has intensified. Tempers are high. The pressure to make the playoffs builds. Ten drivers have wins this season. Twelve races remain in the regular season.


Kyle Larson

  • Points position: 11th
  • Best finish this season: 1st (Richmond, Martinsville)
  • Past at WWTR: 12th last year

While a driver coming off back-to-back finishes of 20th or worse might not seem like a frontrunner, it actually does make Larson one. His topsy-turvy season has seen him place outside the top 10 in back-to-back races four times. In the three previous times he had consecutive finishes outside the top 10, he came back to finish second, first and second. Can he keep that streak going this weekend?

Bubba Wallace

  • Points position: 15th
  • Best finish this season: 4th (Las Vegas I, Kansas I, Coca-Cola 600)
  • Past at WWTR: 26th last year

Wallace has scored three consecutive top-five finishes, his best streak in his Cup career. He has climbed from 21st to 15th in the standings during this run.

William Byron

  • Points position: 3rd
  • Best finish this season: 1st (Las Vegas I, Phoenix I, Darlington I)
  • Past at WWTR: 19th last year

Byron has finished no worse than seventh in the last five races. He’s led nearly 20% of the laps run during that time. Byron has averaged nearly 47 points a race during that streak.


Corey LaJoie

  • Points position: 20th
  • Best finish this season: 4th (Atlanta I)
  • Past at WWTR: 36th last season

NASCAR’s one-race suspension to Chase Elliott gives LaJoie the chance to drive a Hendrick Motorsports car for the first time. This will be the best car LaJoie has driven in his career. Many eyes will be on him to see how he does.

Ross Chastain

Chastain has finished 29th and 22nd in the last two points races. He’s not gone more than three races without a top-10 finish this season. After his struggles last weekend at Charlotte, Chastain saw his lead cut to one point over Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney in the standings. Five drivers are within 17 points of Chastain in the season standings.

Aric Almirola

  • Points position: 26th
  • Best finish this season: 6th (Martinsville I)
  • Past at WWTR: 5th last year

Almirola has finished 13th or worse in all but one race this season for Stewart-Haas Racing. In the five races since placing sixth at Martinsville, Almirola has finished an average of 21.0.