JJ Yeley

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Kyle Busch, Austin Cindric on front row for today’s Xfinity race in Phoenix

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Kyle Busch won the pole and will start alongside Austin Cindric on the front row in today’s LS Tractor 200 Xfinity Series race at Phoenix Raceway.

Busch and the No. 54 Toyota covered the one-mile oval at 133.983 mph, while Cindric knocked Harrison Burton, last week’s winner at Fontana, off the front row with a late run of 133.665 mph.

This will be Busch’s 24th career Xfinity start and 10th pole at Phoenix, where he’s also earned 11 wins in 23 starts. Five of those wins have been from the pole at the one-mile short track. It’s also Busch’s 68th career pole in 353 Xfinity Series races.

Burton will start third, having turned in a speed of 133.496 mph. Brad Keselowski will start forth (133.378 mph), followed by Ross Chastain (133.358 mph), Justin Allgaier (133.348 mph), Noah Gragson (133.333), Brandon Jones (133.279), Chase Briscoe (132.631) and Ryan Sieg (132.631).

A total of 39 cars made qualifying attempts for the 36-car race field. Three drivers failed to qualify: Phoenix native JJ Yeley, Matt Mills and Bayley Currey.

Qualifying results

Today’s race begins at 4 p.m. ET and will air on FS1, as well as on the radio on Motor Racing Network (including MRN.com) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The only other on-track action today at Phoenix Raceway will be NASCAR Cup qualifying at 2:35 p.m. ET for Sunday’s FanShield 500.

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Practice holds for Phoenix Raceway

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NASCAR announced its practice holds for the Cup and Xfinity Series today at Phoenix Raceway. Each series will hold two practice sessions.

Cup Series

Martin Truex Jr. is being docked 30 minutes in final practice for failing pre-qualifying inspection three times at Auto Club Speedway.

Kurt Busch will miss 15 minutes of final practice for failing pre-qualifying inspection at Auto Club Speedway.

JJ Yeley will miss 15 minutes of final practice for being to late inspection last week.

Xfinity Series

Nine Xfinity teams will be docked practice time today.

David Starr will miss 30 minutes of first practice for failing inspection twice.

Ross Chastain, Colby Howard and Jeff Green will miss 15 minutes of first practice for failing inspection twice.

Justin Allgaier, Ryan Sieg, Kody Vanderwal, Timmy Hill and Dillon Bassett will miss 15 minutes of first practice for being late to inspection.

Four Cup, eight Xfinity teams will lose practice time at Auto Club

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NASCAR announced that four Cup teams and eight Xfinity teams will lose practice time Friday at Auto Club Speedway for inspection issues last week at Las Vegas.

In Cup, Chase Elliott‘s team will lose 15 minutes of practice in the final session for failing inspection twice last weekend. The cars of Michael McDowell and JJ Yeley will lose 15 minutes each in the final practice session for being late to inspection. Also, the car of Garrett Smithley will lose 30 minutes of final practice for failing inspection three times.

Final Cup practice will be from 5:35 – 6:25 p.m. ET

In Xfinity, the cars of Ryan Sieg, Austin Hill, Stephen Leicht, Mike Harmon, Vinnie Miller and Josh Williams each will miss 15 minutes of first practice for being late to inspection. Also, the cars of Brandon Brown and Josh Bilicki each will miss 15 minutes of first practice for failing inspection twice.

First Xfinity practice will be 3:05 – 3:55 p.m. ET.

Garrett Smithley returns to Rick Ware Racing for ‘expanded’ Cup schedule

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Garrett Smithley will return to Rick Ware Racing this year to compete in an “expanded” Cup Series schedule, the team announced Tuesday.

Smithley, who made nine Cup starts for the team last year, will make his season debut this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

He joins a driver lineup that includes JJ Yeley, Joey Gase, and BJ McLeod.

Smithley has 17 Cup starts since 2018 and 132 Xfinity Series starts since 2015. He spent the last four years as a full-time driver for JD Motorsports in the Xfinity Series.

“The time is now to increase my Cup Series schedule,” Smithley said in a press release. “It’s important to get as much seat time in the Cup Series as NASCAR transitions to the next generation car. Also, the Cup Series offers my marketing partners additional exposure.”

Victory Lane Quick Oil Change and Trophy Tractor will be Smithley’s sponsors.

 

William Byron wins second Daytona 500 qualifying race

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William Byron won the second Daytona 500 qualifying race Thursday night, beating Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Larson.

Byron led the final three laps after he passed Kevin Harvick for the lead with help from a push by Kurt Busch.

Harvick, who led a race-high 34 laps, finished fourth. The top five was completed by rookie Cole Custer.

As the race winner, Byron will start fourth in Sunday’s Daytona 500.

“There wasn’t any Chevy orders or anything like that,” Byron told FS1. “We just did a good job of working together. Kurt was a great pusher and great helper and I really had a lot of trust in him. I was really trying to go with one to go, but I had enough momentum out of the tri-oval, just watching old races that’s kind of where the momentum lines up. I didn’t know if I’d get that same momentum once everyone started pushing with one to go.”

The win is Byron’s first of any kind in the Cup Series. He joins Jeff Gordon and Chase Elliott, his predecessors in the No. 24, in having earned their first trip to victory lane in the Cup Series in a qualifying race.

MORE: Click here for the race results.

MORE: Joey Logano wins first Daytona 500 qualifying race

Timmy Hill was the highest finishing non-chartered – or “open” – driver, placing 16th and locking himself into the Daytona 500.

The other “open” driver in the race, JJ Yeley, was eliminated in a crash with 18 laps to go.