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Eight Cup teams to be penalized practice Saturday at Phoenix

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AVONDALE, Ariz. – Eight Cup teams will be docked practice Saturday for inspection issues at ISM Raceway. Only one team is a playoff team.

The cars of DJ Kennington, Ty Dillon, JJ Yeley, Jimmie Johnson, Timmy Hill and Tanner Berryhill will miss 15 minutes of practice Saturday morning for being late to pre-qualifying inspection.

Practice will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. ET on CNBC.

The cars of AJ Allmendinger and Berryhill will miss 15 minutes of the final practice session for failing pre-qualifying inspection twice.

Playoff contender Martin Truex Jr. will miss 30 minutes of final practice for failing pre-qualifying inspection three times.

Final Cup practice is from 2 – 2:50 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

 

Aric Almirola fastest in Saturday’s first Cup practice

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Aric Almirola posted the fastest speed in Saturday’s first Cup practice at Texas Motor Speedway, recording a speed of 193.854 mph.

He was followed by Kyle Busch (193.805 mph), Clint Bowyer (193.771), Brad Keselowski (193.555) and Denny Hamlin (193.403).

Pole-sitter Ryan Blaney was 13th fastest.

Kevin Harvick had the best 10-lap average at 192.022 mph.

JJ Yeley got into the wall and suffered minor damage in the session.

Click here for the practice report.

Martin Truex Jr. to start at rear at Martinsville

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Martin Truex Jr. will start at the rear of the 40-car field for today’s playoff race (2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN) at Martinsville Speedway after his car failed inspection.

His car was one of seven that failed inspection Sunday morning.

MORE: CLICK HERE FOR UPDATED STARTING LINEUP

Cars were impounded after Saturday’s qualifying and inspected Sunday morning. Any car that failed inspection the first time had its qualifying time disallowed and lost its spot in picking pit stalls.

Truex was to have started sixth. He is one of the eight playoff drivers competing for a spot in the championship race next month at Miami. Today’s race is the opener of the third round. Truex is winless in 77 career short-track Cup races.

Jimmie Johnson, who has won nine Cup races at Martinsville, also will start from the rear after his car failed inspection for mechanical measurements. He qualified 23rd. Johnson is winless this season. He has scored at least one victory in each of the past 16 seasons.

David Ragan also will start at the rear after his car failed inspection. He was to have started 14th. Ragan’s car failed a second time. The penalty for that is the loss of one crew member.

Brad Keselowski and Landon Cassill will start from the rear for unapproved adjustments.

Bubba Wallace’s backup car also failed. He already was starting at the rear for going to a backup car.

Also failing inspection were the cars of JJ Yeley, Jeb Burton and Timmy Hill.

Paul Menard also will start at the rear for an engine change the team made after qualifying.

The car chiefs on Ragan and Timmy Hill’s cars were ejected for failing inspection twice.

 

 

Today’s Cup race at Martinsville: Start time, lineup and more

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The Round of 8 begins today in the Cup playoffs with a trip to NASCAR’s oldest track in Martinsville, Virginia.

The last short track race of the season could throw the playoff field into chaos.

Here’s all the info you need for today’s race:

(All times are Eastern)

START:  First Data CEO and Chairman Frank Bisignano will give the command to start engines at 2:32 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 2:38 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 500 laps (263 miles) around the .526-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 130. Stage 2 ends on Lap 260.

PRE-RACE SCHEDULE: The garage opens at 7:30 a.m. The driver/crew chief meeting is at 12:30 p.m. Driver introductions are at 1:50 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: 380th Army Band will perform the anthem at 2:25 p.m.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will broadcast the race beginning at 2:30 p.m. Coverage begins with NASCAR America at 1 p.m. on NBCSN. Countdown to Green airs at 2 p.m. on NBCSN. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 1:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for mostly sunny skies with a high of 61 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Clint Bowyer won the March race, finishing ahead of Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney.  Last fall, Busch won over Martin Truex Jr.

TO THE REAR: Paul Menard (engine change), Bubba Wallace (backup and failed inspection), David Ragan (failed inspection, qualifying time disallowed), Martin Truex Jr. (failed inspection, qualifying time disallowed), Jimmie Johnson (failed inspection, qualifying time disallowed), JJ Yeley (failed inspection, qualifying time disallowed) and Jeb Burton (failed inspection, qualifying time disallowed), Brad Keselowski (unapproved adjustments), Landon Cassill (unapproved adjustments)

STARTING LINEUP: CLICK HERE FOR UPDATED STARTING LINEUP

Six Cup teams to be penalized practice time Saturday at Kansas

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KANSAS CITY, Kansas – Chase Elliott‘s team is among six that will be docked practice time Saturday at Kansas Speedway, NASCAR announced.

Four cars will be penalized 15 minutes of Saturday’s first practice session for being late to qualifying inspection. Docked practice time will be the teams of Landon Cassill, JJ Yeley, Timmy Hill and Kyle Weatherman.

Two cars will be penalized 15 minutes of Saturday’s final practice session for failing qualifying inspection twice Friday. Docked practice time will be the teams of Elliott and Matt DiBenedetto.

First Cup practice Saturday is from 10:30 – 11:20 a.m. ET on CNBC.

Final Cup practice Saturday is from 1:05 – 1:55 p.m. ET on NBCSN.