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Saturday’s practice holds at Charlotte Motor Speedway

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Five Cup teams will receive practice holds today during the final two practice sessions for the Coca-Cola 600.

JJ Yeley‘s team originally had a 15 minute hold in each session, the first for being late to qualifying inspection and the second for failing inspection twice.

Due to rain cancelling the first practice, Yeley will serve a 30 minute hold in final practice.

The teams of Aric Almirola, Kasey Kahne and Parker Kligerman will also receive 15 minute holds in final practice for failing inspection twice.

Kevin Harvick has a 30 minute hold in final practice for failing qualifying inspection three times.

Harvick will start from the rear Sunday and his car chief was ejected for the remainder of the race weekend.

 

Kyle Busch wins pole for Coca-Cola 600

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CONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Busch will start from his second career pole in the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday.

Busch claimed his third pole of the season Thursday with a top speed of 191.836 mph around Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Busch’s last Coke 600 pole was in 2008. His only other Charlotte pole was in 2014.

He has never won a points race at Charlotte.

“The M&M’s Camry was fast, it felt pretty good,” Busch told Fox Sports 1. “The guys did an amazing job in practice, we weren’t very good in practice. … Fortunately I had extra track time, so I got my Xfinity ride to thank a little bit of that today. It’s all good, it was pure talent all the way around, this whole team.”

Busch’s “pure talent” remark was a reference to his criticism of his team following last week’s Camping World Truck Series race.

Busch will be joined on the front row by Joey Logano, who posted a speed of 191.218 mph. It ties Logano’s career-best qualifying result at Charlotte and his best for the year.

Completing the top five is Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones and Brad Keselowski.

Ryan Newman qualified sixth. It’s his best Coke 600 starting spot since winning the pole in 2010.

Of the top 11 qualifiers, none have won the Coke 600.

None of Hendrick Motorsports’ four cars will start in the top 20.

William Byron qualified 21st and he was followed by Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson. Alex Bowman qualified 27th.

“I got told that the fast guys had run the top and I tried it and it didn’t work,” Bowman said. “I mean that’s my fault, I should have stuck with what I know, but our Nationwide 88 car is not bad, we shouldn’t be the far back, but we will be okay on Sunday.”

Kevin Harvick, the defending pole-sitter for the race, will start from the rear after his No. 4 Ford failed inspection three times. His car chief, Robert Smith, has been ejected for the rest of the race weekend. Harvick will serve a 30 minute practice hold on Saturday.

Harvick is trying to win three consecutive races for the second time this season.

JJ Yeley also didn’t make a qualifying run and will start from the rear.

Ross Chastain, Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer, Michael McDowell and AJ Allmendinger did not advance out of the first round.

Click here for the results.

Cup team’s debut stirs debate on value of smaller part-time teams

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The entry of NY Racing for this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 has stirred talk about the value of smaller teams unable to compete a full season in Cup after a comment from the chairman of the Race Team Alliance.

NY Racing is entered in its first Cup race of the year. JJ Yeley is the driver. The team announced Tuesday a multi-year deal with Steakhouse Elite as sponsor. The team is owned by John Cohen, whose previous Cup teams ran 16 races between 2012-15. His team’s best finish was 32nd in the 2015 Daytona 500 with Reed Sorenson. His teams also failed to qualify for seven races and withdrew five times.

The entry of NY Racing means one car will fail to qualify for the Coca-Cola 600. The five teams going for the four spots available for non-charter teams are those of BJ McLeod (No. 52, Rick Ware Racing), Jeffrey Earnhardt (No. 55 Premium Motorsports), Timmy Hill (No. 66, Motorsports Business Management), Parker Kligerman (No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing) and Yeley.

NY Racing’s entry drew the ire of Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing and chairman of the Race Team Alliance. Kauffman tweeted about NY Racing’s entry and then responded to a few who questioned him.

Kauffman’s tweet drew a response from Xfinity driver Tommy Joe Martins, who has been vocal about the importance of smaller teams in NASCAR’s national series and the need to raise the profiles of such teams. Martins responded to Kauffman’s comments with a series of tweets.

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Preliminary entry lists for Cup, Xfinity at Charlotte Motor Speedway

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Forty-one cars are on the preliminary entry list for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NBC Sports analyst Parker Kligerman will make his first Cup start since 2014 this weekend. He’s driving the No. 96 for Gaunt Brothers Racing.

BJ McLeod will be in the No. 52, a second entry for Rick Ware Racing.

The entry list was updated Monday to add a 41st car — the No. 7 that will be driven by JJ Yeley for NY Racing Team. The team is owned by John Cohen, who was owner of Team Xtreme when it had its Atlanta car stolen from the parking lot of a Georgia hotel in Feb. 2015.

Rob Kauffman, chairman of the Race Team Alliance, tweeted his displeasure with the team entering the event:

Austin Dillon is the defending Coca-Cola 600 winner.

Click here for updated Coca-Cola 600 entry list

In the Xfinity Series, 43 cars are entered for the Alsco 300.

Cup drivers entered are: Ty Dillon, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott and Jamie McMurray. Elliott is driving the No. 23 for GMS Racing in place of suspended driver Spencer Gallagher.

Kaz Grala, who lost his ride at JGL Racing when the organization shut down the No. 24 because of lack of sponsorship, is entered with the No. 61 car for Fury Race Cars.

Ryan Blaney won last May’s race.

Click here for Xfinity entry list

12 Cup cars to be docked practice Friday at Talladega

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TALLADEGA, Ala. — Twelve cars, including those of Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch will be docked 15 minutes of practice in Friday’s opening session for inspection issues.

The opening session is from 12:35 – 1:25 p.m. ET.

The cars of Johnson, Michael McDowell and Gray Gaulding will  miss 15 minutes for failing inspection twice last weekend at Richmond.

The cars of Trevor Bayne, Ty Dillon and Erik Jones will miss 15 minutes for failing pre-qualifying inspection twice at Richmond.

The cars of Truex and Busch will miss 15 minutes of practice for being late to inspection before the race at Richmond.

The cars of David Ragan, Daniel Suarez, Ross Chastain and Timmy Hill will miss 15 minutes because they were late to qualifying inspection last week at Richmond.

Eleven cars will be held 15 minutes in the opening practice Friday in the Xfinity Series.

Cars penalized for being late to inspection at Richmond are those of Tyler Reddick, Joe Nemechek, Noah Gragson, Spencer Gallagher, JJ Yeley, Chad Finchum, John Hunter Nemechek, Jeremy Clements and Chase Briscoe.

Cars being penalized for failing inspection twice at Richmond are those of Ryan Truex and Kaz Grala.

Clements also will be penalized 15 minutes in the final practice session for failing inspection twice at Richmond.

Opening Xfinity practice is from 11:35 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. ET

Final Xfinity practice is from 1:35 – 2:25  p.m. ET.

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