NASCAR amends Rule Book after William Byron appeal


NASCAR amended the Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series Rule Books a day after an appeals panel rescinded William Byron’s 25-point penalty.

The changes close a potential loophole that allowed the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to adjust the penalty to Byron this week.

NASCAR did not penalize Byron when he spun Denny Hamlin during the Sept. 25 race at Texas Motor Speedway, but series officials docked Byron 25 points and $50,000 two days later.

Hendrick Motorsports appealed the decision Thursday. The appeals panel gave Byron his 25 points back but raised his fine to $100,000.

On Friday, NASCAR’s Rule Books were changed in one of the sections cited in the Byron penalty. NASCAR cited Byron for violating Section 4.4.C. in the Cup Rule Book.

That section previously listed member actions that could result in a loss of 25-50 driver and team owner points and/or $50,000-$100,000 fine. The update replaces the “and/or” with “and” to make it clear that a point penalty and fine could be assigned to the infractions listed in that section.

Among the infractions that could result in such a penalty in Section 4.4.C, the words “or spinning” were added to a line that now reads: “Intentionally wrecking or spinning another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from Competition as a result.”

NASCAR also amended Section 4.4.B. in the Cup Rule Book, raising the fines for infractions listed in that section to $25,000-$50,000. Previously, that section listed the fines as $10,000-$15,000.

One of the infractions in Section 4.4.B also has been updated. The line now reads “Intentionally damaging another vehicle on pit road with no one around under yellow or red flag conditions or Post-Race.” The words “on pit road” were added to that line. Also, “Post-Race” was added to that line.

NASCAR also amended Section 4.4.D in the Cup Rule Book. The section now reads: “Member actions that could result in a loss of 50-100 driver and team owner points and $150,000-$200,000 fine. Violations may also result in Race suspension(s), indefinite suspension, or termination.”

The update replaces “and/or” with “and” between the points penalty and fine. Also, “Violations may also result in” were added in that line and race suspension had (s) added.

The same changes were made to the Xfinity and Camping World Series Rule Books.

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.


Saturday COTA Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather


Austin Hill, the dominant driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series through the early weeks of the season, will be looking for his first Xfinity road course win Saturday.

Hill has won three of the season’s first five races, scoring victories at Daytona, Las Vegas and Atlanta.

Hill has been close in previous road course runs. He has a second at COTA, a third at Portland, a fourth at Road America and a ninth at Indianapolis.

MORE: Dr. Diandra takes a look at top Cup road course drivers

Kyle Busch and AJ Allmendinger own wins in the previous Xfinity races at COTA.

Allmendinger and three other Cup Series regulars — Aric Almirola, William Byron and Ty Gibbs — are scheduled to race in the Xfinity event.

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 5:08 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled at 5:19 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 2 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Jordan Thiessen of Pit Boss Grills at 5 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by recording artist Payton Keller at 5:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 46 laps (156 miles) on the 3.41-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 14. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 5 p.m. … NASCAR RaceDay airs at 4 p.m. on FS1. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. and can be heard at …SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Mainly sunny. Temperature of 82 at race time. No chance of rain.

LAST TIME: AJ Allmendinger won last March’s Xfinity race at COTA. Austin Hill was two seconds behind in second place. Cole Custer finished third.