NASCAR will keep towing policy in place for Las Vegas


As NASCAR seeks a way for cars to drive back to pit road on flat tires, series officials will have drivers stay in their cars and be towed to pit road this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

NASCAR used that policy last weekend at Auto Club Speedway. This is not viewed by competitors as a permanent solution because of the laps a driver loses when towed to pit road. 

Austin Dillon says something needs to be done.

“It would really suck to end your race trying to miss a wreck and having to spin and having flats,” he said. 

Dillon suggested that without changes, it could lead to a safety issue. He noted that drivers might try to go through accidents instead of spinning to avoid them and risk having flat tires, which would cause them to lose laps waiting on a tow truck, being hooked to the truck and then towed to pit road.

The issue with the Next Gen car is that it sits low to the ground. Combined with the larger wheel, there’s no room for an inner liner, which was used previously and allowed cars to drive back to pit road on flat tires. Once the tires are flat, the Next Gen car rests of the bottom of the vehicle and can damage or destroy aerodynamic components there. 

Joey Logano, who was stuck on flat tires after spinning in the Daytona 500, offered an idea this week on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. 

“We should have a AAA truck that goes out on the racetrack when cars spin out and have flat tires … and they change your tires right there on the racetrack, so you can get to pit road, instead of trying to hook it to a tow truck and dragging everything off the bottom of the car or pushing me,” he said. “Daytona was horrible. It was horrible for me. 

“This is how I went crazy. I spun out missing this crash. Tires are flat. I didn’t hit anything. I’m OK. I’m stuck, and then the tow truck comes behind me. He starts pushing me up the racetrack I go, and I get stuck again. Now, the ambulance is behind me and I’m stuck. The ambulance won’t move. No one knows what is going on. I back into the ambulance. Now I’m stuck again. 

“Here comes the tow truck again. Tow truck is trying to push me, and now I’m just going to turn through the (infield) grass because I can’t go two-and-a-half miles on these wear blocks (on the bottom of the car). The car is not even moving. I start going through the grass and everything is OK. Here comes Kurt Busch down pit road and the tow truck stops so it doesn’t put me into him, which was great. 

“Now the tow truck can’t push the car anymore because he doesn’t have any momentum. He’s spinning his tires behind me. He backs up, and now he starts ramming me. … It just kept getting worse. Now I’m three laps down … because I had a flat tire. So yes, I went bonkers for a little bit.”

NASCAR is continuing to have discussions with teams and suppliers on possible solutions to this issue. 

Pin hole tolerances remain the same

NASCAR will keep the tolerances the same for the pin and pilot bores the next two weeks at Las Vegas and Phoenix. 

NASCAR confiscated tires from RFK Racing and Team Penske two days before the Daytona 500 because of changes to teams made to the wheels. Both teams stated they had made safety modifications to the drive pin holes to ensure the wheels securely attached. 

NASCAR did not penalize either team, stating that it “made small adjustments to increase the upper tolerance on pin and pilot bores for (Auto Club Speedway).”

Series officials stated they would reevaluate the matter with suppliers and race teams and determine a path forward following last weekend’s race at Auto Club Speedway. The decision to extend the current regulation to Phoenix gives NASCAR more time to find a solution.

Appeal pending

Kaulig Racing has appealed the penalty to the No. 31 team of Justin Haley for having a wheel come off in the Daytona 500. That is a four-race suspension for the crew chief and the two crew members who had their hands on that wheel.

NASCAR has yet to schedule the appeal as teams go back and forth from the West Coast to North Carolina during this three-race swing. 

Front Row Motorsports announced Wednesday that it will appeal its penalty for a wheel coming off Todd Gilliland‘s car last weekend at Auto Club Speedway.

Sonoma Xfinity starting lineup: Kyle Larson wins pole


SONOMA, Calif. — Kyle Larson will start on the pole for Saturday’s inaugural Xfinity Series race at Sonoma Raceway.

Larson won the pole with an average speed of 91.393 mph around the 1.99-mile road course. Justin Allgaier joins Larson on the front row after a lap of 90.562 mph. Sheldon Creed (90.429 mph) qualified third. Aric Almirola (90.375) will start fourth. AJ Allmendinger (90.274) will start fifth.

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Larson is one of seven Cup drivers entered. The others are Almirola (starting fourth), Allmendinger (fifth), Ty Gibbs (seventh), Ross Chastain (15th), Daniel Suarez (17th) and Ty Dillon (32nd).

The green flag is scheduled to wave at 8:20 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.

Could Daytona International Speedway host NFL games?


The president of Daytona International Speedway says track officials plan to speak with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars about hosting the team’s games if Jacksonville’s stadium is renovated.

The Jaguars will need a temporary home site if plans go forward to renovate the team’s stadium. Daytona International Speedway has been mentioned as a possible candidate. The Jaguars released details Wednesday of what the stadium will look like after the renovation project.

Provided the project is approved by the city of Jacksonville, it is believed the Jaguars would need to find another home site for a couple of seasons while work is being done to its stadium. Daytona International Speedway is among possible sites for the Jaguars to play. More than 100,000 people saw Ricky Stenhouse Jr. win this year’s Daytona 500.

“Daytona International Speedway is a world-renowned sports and entertainment venue and hosts a full schedule of events each year,” said Frank Kelleher, president of Daytona International Speedway, in a statement. “As good neighbors in the Florida sports community, DIS will be speaking with the Jacksonville Jaguars to see if we can assist them with their potential upcoming facility needs around our scheduled events.”

Daytona International Speedway hosted Soccer Fest in July 2022. An announced crowd of 7,573 fans saw the Orlando Pride and Racing Louisville play in a National Women’s Soccer League game at Daytona.

NASCAR displays counterfeit part from Chase Briscoe car


SONOMA, Calif. — NASCAR displayed the counterfeit part from Chase Briscoe‘s car on Saturday at Sonoma Raceway, showing how the part did not correspond to what should have been in the car.

NASCAR found the issue at its R&D Center after last month’s Coca-Cola 600. The sanctioning body fined crew chief John Klausmeier $250,000 and suspended him for six races. NASCAR also docked Briscoe and the team 120 points and 25 playoff points for the L3 infraction.

“We want to be transparent on the penalties,” said Brad Moran, managing director of the Cup Series as he displayed the counterfeit part to media.

Moran displayed a a portion of the engine panel from Briscoe’s car. He noted the engine duct was counterfeit. He said the proper pieces are 3D printed at the R&D Center and Fiberworks Composites sells them and installs them for teams. Moran said the duct is “in the bottom of the car under the engine panel. It’s to help cool the driver. It was added prior to the first race. During testing … we realized we wanted to get heat out of the engine compartment, and that’s what this piece does.”

Moran noted that with the counterfeit part, “we can clearly see the textures are different (from the proper part).”

He displayed what officials call a gauge that determines if the duct fits the proper parameters. He showed it fitting a proper duct and not properly fitting in the counterfeit part.

“It was a part that was made, and it was made for whatever reason,” Moran said. “It was, I guess, put on by error, but it was on the vehicle. It is a piece that should not have been made in the first place, and it was spotted at our teardown at the R&D Center.”

Moran said the issue was found in a visual inspection of the part. NASCAR inspected it further and Moran said “there are certain little characteristics that are in (a proper piece)” that officials did not see in the one on Briscoe’s car. “The more we examined it, the more we realized that’s not a part they bought.”

Moran noted that while the penalties were severe, they could have been worse based on the rulebook.

“It was the low end of the L3,” Moran said. “It’s a real big hit for any team. If it continues, and we feel we are not where we need to be, unfortunately, it’s going to ramp up. We’re not going to stop.

“The deal with this car is it needs to be run without modifying. It costs teams a lot of money in development. All the owners agreed. We all agreed where we need to be to make this a successful program, and we’re not going to give up.”



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


The Cup Series heads to wine country to compete on the 1.99-mile road course at Sonoma Raceway. This race leads into the final off weekend of the season. After the break, the series races 20 consecutive weekends. NBC and USA will broadcast those races.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway

(All times Eastern)

START: Adam Devine will give the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:50 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting is at 2:45 p.m. … Driver intros are at 3 p.m. … Earl Smith, pastor for the Golden State Warriors and San Francisco 49ers, will give the invocation at 3:30 p.m. … Tiffany Woys will perform the national anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 110 laps (218.9 miles) on the 1.99-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 25. Stage 2 ends at Lap 55.

STARTING LINEUP: Qualifying begins at 6 p.m. Saturday

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. … Coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and switches to Fox at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground — Partly cloudy with a high of 69 degrees and a 1% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Daniel Suarez won his first career Cup race last year at Sonoma. Chris Buescher finished second. Michael McDowell placed third.


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