Garrett Smithley

Kyle Busch criticizes lapped cars, predicts playoff elimination

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Kyle Busch took shots at Joey Gase, Garrett Smithley and Joey Logano after his second-place finish at Bristol Saturday night before predicting his elimination from the playoffs in the next round.

Busch expressed frustration with how lapped traffic factored in his runner-up finish, which extended his Cup winless streak to 29 races.

Busch shared his ire for Smithley and Gase when asked about why he didn’t attempt to dump Kevin Harvick on the last lap.

“It actually never crossed my mind,” Busch said. “You always try to win races clean, you always try to race hard, race clean and get the job done right. If that lapped car wasn’t there I would have blown it in on the outside or the inside and maybe we would have banged each other’s doors or whatever and had a greater finish to the checkered, but some of them (expletive) kids don’t know what the hell they’re doing or where they’re at and can’t stay out of the way. Nothing like a Gase and a Smithley.”

Harvick and Busch had to navigate around Gase in the No. 51 car as they went into Turn 3 on the final lap. Gase was in the outside lane and forced both of them to the inside.

Gase placed 31st, 37 laps down. Smithley, driving the No. 78, finished 32nd, 64 laps down.

This is not the first time Busch has been angered by Smithley or Gase. Busch finished a lap down in 19th in last year’s playoff opener at Las Vegas after he ran into the back of Smithley, who finished the race 12 laps down.

“We’re at the top echelon of motorsports, and we’ve got guys who have never won Late Model races running on the racetrack,” Busch said. “It’s pathetic. They don’t know where to go. What else do you do?”

Both Smithley and Gase responded to the criticism by defending their careers on social media.

On Saturday, Busch also took aim at Logano when asked about being held up by the No. 22 Ford earlier in the stage.

“He’s nobody’s friend for a reason, so there you have it,” Busch said.

Busch’s runner-up finish Saturday night came after he started from the rear because of two pre-race inspection failures.

He led 159 of 500 laps on the way to his fourth runner-up finish of the season.

“Just didn’t have enough at the end,” Busch said. “The guys did a great job and gave me a really great piece tonight to contend and at least be up there and be close. Unfortunately, just didn’t have enough. Lapped cars were definitely a problem. It’s part of racing. You have to try to get around them where you can and there was just no room for me to do what I needed to do with a couple of those opportunities to get past them.”

Busch enters the Round of 12th in 10th in the standings. When asked if he felt the No. 18 team was close to Harvick and Denny Hamlin in terms of speed and performance going into next weekend’s race at Las Vegas, Busch bluntly answered “no.”

“We’ll be eliminated in the next round, so don’t care,” Busch said.

Chase Elliott eliminated in multi-car wreck at Dover

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Chase Elliott will finish 39th in the 40-car field after a multi-car wreck on the sixth lap of Sunday’s Cup race at Dover International Speedway.

Problems started when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun on the frontstretch after contact from Joey Logano. Elliott ran into the back of Kyle Busch‘s car and damaged the front of his car enough that it could not be repaired. Busch had to pit for repairs.

Erik Jones, who is battling to make the playoffs, suffered left front damage in the incident. He hit the back of Joey Logano’s car and had to pit for repairs. Garrett Smithley and Joey Gase spun behind the Stenhouse incident and Gase hit the wall, ending his race. Gase finished last.

Said Logano of the contact with Stenhouse: “I screwed up. I don’t know any way better to put it. We raced each other hard and I was trying to make the bottom work and my car was tight. I got a little loose down into three which kind of sent me up the race track and there was a pocket of air that if your front is really close to someone’s left rear tire the nose really takes off.

“I am not making excuses for the mistake. it is on me. I got in that pocket and then got started really going up the race track and I barely tagged him. I am not sure if I actually tagged him or not but it was enough to spin him around and I needed to be further away to protect the damage to our car and countless others. Like I said, I apologize to him and his race team and the others involved. I got myself in a tight spot and I didn’t do a good job getting out of it.”

Sunday Cup race at Dover: Start time, TV channel

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Denny Hamlin goes for the weekend sweep, while Kevin Harvick seeks to clinch the regular-season title Sunday at Dover International Speedway.

This weekend marks the third Cup doubleheader weekend this season. Hamlin and Harvick split the Pocono weekend, each winning once. Harvick swept the Michigan weekend.

He clinches the regular-season title if he is 61 points ahead of second place in the standings after Sunday’s race. Harvick enters the race 100 points ahead of Hamlin, who is second.

Jimmie Johnson enters the Sunday Cup race at Dover in what would be the final playoff spot. He pushed Byron out of that spot after Saturday’s race. Johnson leads Byron by three points. Erik Jones is 22 points behind Johnson.

Here is all the info for the Sunday Cup race at Dover:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Dave Klinger, president of Drydene Performance Products, will give the command to start engines at 4:08 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 4:18 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage access health screening begins at 8 a.m. Drivers report to their cars at 3:50 p.m. The invocation will be given at 4 p.m. by Captain Jonathan Dawson, Chaplain of the 436th Airlift Wing, Dover Air Force Base. The national anthem will be performed by Matt Stell at 4:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 311 laps (311 miles) around the 1-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 70. Stage 2 ends on Lap 185.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. with NASCAR America Pre-Race. Countdown to Green follows at 3:30 p.m. and the race coverage begins at 4 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio coverage will begin at 3 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the broadcast.

STREAMING: Watch the race on the NBC Sports App

FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for isolated thunderstorms with a high of 82 degrees and a 34% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST RACE: Denny Hamlin passed Martin Truex Jr. for the lead with nine laps to win. Truex finished second. Kyle Busch placed third for a 1-2-3 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing.

TO THE REAR: Alex Bowman (backup car), Kurt Busch (backup car), Garrett Smithley (engine change)

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for starting lineup

CATCH UP ON NBC SPORTS’ COVERAGE:

Winners and losers after Saturday’s Dover races 

Denny Hamlin charges to Saturday Dover Cup win

Jimmie Johnson passes William Byron for playoff spot

What drivers said after Saturday’s Cup race at Dover

Results, points report after Saturday’s Cup race at Dover

Saturday Cup race at Dover: Start time, TV channel, forecast

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NASCAR’s busy weekend continues with a Saturday Cup race at Dover. That will be the first of two races for Cup this weekend at the 1-mile speedway. Both races will follow Xfinity races there Saturday and Sunday.

Kevin Harvick could clinch the regular-season title as early as Saturday and claim the 15 playoff points that go with it.

Jimmie Johnson has a track-record 11 wins at Dover but hasn’t won there since June 2017 – his last Cup victory. He trails Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron by 25 points for the final playoff spot entering the Saturday Cup race at Dover.

Here is all the info for the Saturday Cup race at Dover:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Actress Malin Akerman will give the command to start engines at 4:08 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 4:18 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup haulers enter at 7 a.m. Garage access health screening begins at 9 a.m. Drivers report to their cars at 3:50 p.m. The invocation will be given at 4 p.m. by Chaplain Andre Davis of the 436th Airlift Wing, Dover Air Force Base. The national anthem will be performed by Senior Airman Brianna Cooper of the 512th Airlift Wing, Dover Air Force Base, at 4:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 311 laps (311 miles) around the 1-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 70. Stage 2 ends on Lap 185.

COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 25

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. with NASCAR America. Countdown to Green follows at 3:30 p.m. and the race coverage begins at 4 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio coverage will begin at 3 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the broadcast.

STREAMING: Watch the race on the NBC Sports App

FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for cloudy skies with a high of 82 degrees and a 15% chance of rain at the start of the race.

TO THE REAR: Brennan Poole (failed inspection to times)

LAST RACE: Chase Elliott won the inaugural Cup race on the Daytona road course. Denny Hamlin placed second. Martin Truex Jr. finished third.

LAST RACE AT DOVER: Kyle Larson won last year’s playoff race in October. Martin Truex Jr. was second. Alex Bowman placed third.

TO THE REAR: Brennan Poole (two inspection failures), Joey Gase (unapproved adjustment), Daniel Suarez (unapproved adjustment), Garrett Smithley (impound procedure infraction). Smithley also must perform a pass-through penalty after taking the green on track.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for starting lineup

Catch up on NBC Sports’ coverage:

Friday 5: A million to one shot never before seen in NASCAR

Matt DiBenedetto: “Crazy” to be making 200th Cup Series start

Dueling teammates: Jimmie Johnson, William Byron in playoff race

Corey LaJoie will not return to Go Fas Racing

Silly Season Scorecard 

Kevin Harvick close to clinching Cup regular season title

Tony Stewart: “It’s time to get Kyle (Larson) back in the sport.”

NASCAR seeks solution for overheating drivers 

Hendrick Motorsports honors Jimmie Johnson with Southern 500 schemes

Jimmie Johnson honors Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt with Southern 500 car

Cup entry list for New Hampshire

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Thirty-eight cars are on the NASCAR Cup entry list for Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The race airs at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

The entry list has JJ Yeley in the No. 27 for Rick Ware Racing. Joey Gase is in the No. 51 for RWR. James Davison will make his third start of the season but first for RWR. Garrett Smithley will drive the No. 77 for Spire Motorsports.

Click here for Cup entry list

The Xfinity and the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series are both off this weekend.

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