Josh Berry wins Xfinity race at Charlotte


Josh Berry fought hard with his JR Motorsports teammates and was rewarded for it.

Berry held on to lead the final 23 laps after a heated battle with Justin Allgaier to score the NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon.

Berry and Allgaier battled hard for much of the race, combining to lead 152 of 200 laps. That contest came to an end when Allgaier contacted the outside wall and cut a right-rear tire, forcing him to pit road with 16 laps remaining.

MORE: Charlotte Xfinity results, driver points

Berry dominated the day, highlighted by his 18.039-second margin of victory over runner-up Ty Gibbs after leading a race-high 89 laps. Berry’s win, the second of the year and fourth of his career, marks JR Motorsports’ first Charlotte victory and is the team’s fourth triumph in the past five races.

“Man, it’s so amazing,” Berry told FS1. “This car was so good. (Crew chief) Mike (Bumgarner) and this whole group have worked so hard. We’ve been getting better every week. I think the sky’s the limit as we continue to learn about each other and keep getting better.”

The fight between Berry and Allgaier included tense racing with both drivers leaning on one another for the lead.

“That was a battle with Justin. It always is with us,” Berry said. “I don’t know. We always just seem to run good at the same places and always have to race each other. But he slipped up in (Turn) 1 and got the fence. I got loose too. I was following off him and he got loose and I got loose too. It all worked out.”

Allgaier was frustrated, crossing the line seventh, one lap down, after leading 63 laps and winning the second stage.

“Tried to put it all on the line today and get the best finish we could. Unfortunately, just came up a little bit short,” Allgaier said on FS1. “After the first contact in the wall down here (in Turn 1), I kind of thought maybe the right rear (tire) was going soft and ultimately it ended up going down, I got in the fence again and had to pit under green.

“So just disappointing but congrats to Josh and this whole JR Motorsports team. It’s nice to have the momentum we’ve got right now and we’re gonna keep riding that high.”

Trevor Bayne, who started from the rear of the field Saturday in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, was running third when green flag pit stops began with less than 50 laps remaining. However, Bayne was nabbed for speeding on pit road, relegating him to a ninth-place finish.

The first 120 laps of the event were full of attrition, including a first stage that saw four cautions for accidents.

The eighth and final caution of the day was for the biggest incident — a five-car pile up in Turn 3 at Lap 111. Cup regular Austin Dillon, piloting the No. 48 Chevrolet for Big Machine Racing, cut a right front tire after contact with Brandon Jones after a restart. Dillon tried to slow his car entering Turn 3 but the car carried up the banking and directly in front of Ryan Sieg. The pair slid up the track and into the outside wall, collecting Anthony Alfredo, Joe Graf Jr. and Stefan Parsons.

A crash at Lap 43 ended the first stage after Jeffrey Earnhardt slid high at the exit of Turn 4. The right rear of his No. 26 Toyota was caught by Ryan Ellis‘ left front, sending Kyle Weatherman crashing and Myatt Snider spinning. Ryan Vargas dove through the infield turf and escaped unscathed.

Completing the top five behind Berry and Gibbs were Sam Mayer, Noah Gragson and Ryan Preece. Gragson rebounded from a sour motor earlier in the day that sent him as far back as 30th place one lap down.

Daniel Hemric, the defending series champion, finished sixth as the final car on the lead lap. Allgaier, Sheldon Creed, Bayne and Snider rounded out the top 10.

Stage 1 winner: Josh Berry

Stage 2 winner: Justin Allgaier

Who had a good race: Ty Gibbs was quiet all race long after starting from the rear of the field but steadily worked his way into the top five. The No. 54 Toyota didn’t lead any laps but scored points in both stages en route to his runner-up finish, his first top five since placing third at Dover.

Who had a bad race: Brandon Jones trudged up and down the running order all day long. After starting in the rear for unapproved adjustments like his JGR teammate Gibbs, Jones spun from 12th place at Lap 16 for the first caution of the day. That was followed by a long slide after a Stage 2 restart from near the front of the field that he saved while plummeting outside the top 20. He later brushed the wall once more and finished 16th, two laps down.

Notable: AJ Allmendinger contacted the wall late, resulting in a flat tire and unscheduled green flag pit stop. That relegated last year’s regular season champion to a 19th-place finish, two laps off the pace. This is Allmendinger’s first finish outside the top 10 all season. … Myatt Snider’s 10th-place finish is his third top 10 of the year.

Next race: The series heads to Portland International Raceway for the first time on June 4 (4:30 p.m. ET, FS1).

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.