Points after the Cup race at Las Vegas

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Brad Keselowski kept the momentum alive that he generated with wins at Darlington and Indy by winning the South Point 400 at Las Vegas. The win locks Keselowski into Round 2 of the playoffs. It also gives Roger Penske his 500th win for the organization.

Martin Truex Jr. made a statement about how this team will not give up by winning Stage 1. He finished third.

Kyle Busch spun by himself on Lap 232 and drove into the infield grass. He stayed on the lead lap and finished seventh.

Kevin Harvick  cut a tire near the end of Stage 2 and made heavy contact with the wall. He finished 39th.

Joey Logano spun his tires on two late race restarts. He fell two spots at the end and finished fourth.

Kurt Busch sustained damage when Alex Bowman hit him on a late-race pit stop. Back in traffic, he crashed with two laps remaining in regulation. Busch finished 21st.

Ryan Blaney got pinched into the wall during Stage 1 but did minimal damage before finishing fifth.

Kyle Larson had a flat near the end of Stage 1 and had to take a wave around at the beginning of Stage 2 to remain in contention. He finished second.

Other than slight contact with Blaney early in the race, Aric Almirola kept his nose clean and finished sixth.

Austin Dillon had to drop the back of the pack to start the race after making unapproved adjustments. He rebounded to finish 11th.

Clint Bowyer slapped the wall with 10 to go. He got caught in an accident with two laps remaining in regulation after David Ragan and Michael McDowell crashed. Bowyer finished 23rd.

Alex Bowman cut a left front with 10 to go after getting into the side of Kurt Busch. He finished 19th.

Bottom Four

Jimmie Johnson was running in the top 10 until he hit the wall hard with 10 to go and was forced to pit. Johnson finished 22nd.

Chase Elliott had nowhere to go when Jamie McMurray cut a tire and hit the wall. He crashed and failed to finish, credited with 36th.

Erik Jones won the pole and was running among the top 10 when he was collected in Harvick’s accident near the end of Stage 2. Jones finished last (40th).

Denny Hamlin spun into the infield on Lap 245 and ripped the front splitter off. He finished 32nd, “trying to get more than the car is capable of,” Hamlin told NBCSN.

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Austin Dillon without crew chief for playoff opener

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Austin Dillon will start the Cup playoffs Sunday without crew chief Justin Alexander on his pit box, Parker Kligerman reported Sunday on NASCAR America.

Alexander is back home in North Carolina due to a family matter. He will be replaced by Danny Stockman.

Stockman is the crew chief for Daniel Hemric on Richard Childress Racing’s No. 21 car in the Xfinity Series.

Dillon starts the South Point 400 in 18th. The race is set to begin at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Playoff media day from Las Vegas

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Today’s special episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and previews the Cup playoffs, which open Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Carolyn Manno hosts with Parker Kligerman from Stamford, Connecticut. Kyle Petty joins them from Burton’s Garage.

Reporting from Las Vegas is Rutledge Wood, Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte, Marty Snider, Dave Burns, Kelli Stavast and Nate Ryan.

We’ll have interviews with all 16 playoff drivers including the “Big 3” of Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and the regular-season champion Kyle Busch. We’ll also hear from seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski, who enters this weekend having won the Southern 500 and Brickyard 400 in consecutive weeks.

Then at 6 p.m. ET, it’s NASCAR Burnout Blvd Fueled by Sunoco featuring all 16 playoff drivers showcasing their burnout skills on the Las Vegas Strip.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Indy review; playoff preview

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Today’s NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN, looking back at Monday’s Indianapolis races and looking ahead to the beginning of the Cup playoffs this weekend in Las Vegas.

Krista Voda hosts and is joined by Parker Kligerman in Stamford, Connecticut. Kyle Petty joins from Burton’s Garage.

  • We’ll look back at Brad Keselowski’s Brickyard 400 win. Heading into the playoffs with back-to-back wins, where does he rank among the best drivers in 2018?

 

  • We also have reaction from team owner Roger Penske, who continues to add his Indianapolis Motor Speedway legacy.

 

  • Plus, we look ahead to the Monster Energy Series playoffs that begin on Sunday at Las Vegas. Our panel of experts break down all 16 drivers and determine who are the favorites and long shots.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

NASCAR America: Brickyard 400 is barometer of success

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If one wants a good indicator of who is going to win the championship and who will eventually join NASCAR’s Hall of Fame, look to the Brickyard 400.

In 24 previous editions of this race, only five drivers have won multiple Brickyard 400s. Two of them are already in the Hall of Fame: Jeff Gordon with his five wins and Dale Jarrett with two. The other three multiple winners will almost certainly join them in the Hall. Jimmie Johnson has four Brickyard 400 wins with Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch at two each.

As Nate Ryan pointed out on Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America, it has also been a good way to determine who is going to win the championship.

“It’s been an excellent championship barometer,” Ryan said. “Nine times in 24 Brickyard 400s, the winner of this race has gone on to win the championship the same year.

“That tells you everything about how difficult it is to win. You have to be a team that is on its game in terms of horsepower, in terms of aerodynamics. The track is extremely difficult to drive … it’s not built for stock cars, you have to be very precise through every turn at extremely high rates of speed and that’s why the best drivers and the best teams win here.”

The list of multiple winners underscores the importance of winning a Brickyard 400. It is possible to win this race based on strategy, but repeating takes a special kind of driver.

“I think back to what Jeff Burton was saying about the Southern 500 this past weekend. … When you look at the Southern 500 winners list, there’s not a lot of flukes,” Parker Kligerman said. “And when you look at the Brickyard 400 – it’s not a lot of flukes. Yes, we’ve had some crazy one-offs here and there, but when you look at drivers like (the multiple winners) who are certain Hall of Famers … that tells you this race really allows drivers and teams to rise up. The cream is going to rise to the top in these bigger races.”

For more, watch the videos above.

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