Quin Houff

Preliminary entry lists for Richmond Raceway

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The NASCAR playoffs continue this weekend at Richmond Raceway for two of the national series.

The Cup Series holds the second race of its opening round while the Xfinity Series kicks off its postseason.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for each race.

Cup – Federated Auto Parts 400 (7:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN)

There are 38 entries for the race.

Quin Houff is entered in Premium Motorsports’ No. 27 Chevrolet.

Austin Theriault is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 51 Chevrolet.

Garrett Smithley is entered in RWR’s No. 52 Ford and Spencer Boyd is in the team’s No. 53 Chevrolet.

Martin Truex Jr. won the spring race at Richmond over Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer. Kyle Busch won this race last year over Kevin Harvick and Truex.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity – Go Bowing 250 (7:30 p.m. ET Friday on NBCSN)

There are 38 entries for the race.

Harrison Burton is entered in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota for the fourth time this season.

Zane Smith is entered in JR Motorsports’ No. 8 Chevrolet.

Hermie Sadler is entered in Ryan Sieg Racing’s No. 38 Chevrolet. It will be his first Xfinity start since this race in 2016.

Joe Graf Jr. is entered in Richard Childress Racing’s No. 21 Chevrolet.

There is no driver attached to Rick Ware Racing’s No. 17 Chevrolet.

Cole Custer won at Richmond in the spring over Austin Cindric and Justin Allgaier. Christopher Bell won this race last year over Ross Chastain and Daniel Hemric.

Click here for the entry list.

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Entry lists for NASCAR at Darlington

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The Lady In Black. The Track Too Tough To Tame.

Whatever you call Darlington, one thing is for certain: it’s one of the most difficult tracks in NASCAR.

This weekend, the Cup and Xfinity Series will both be challenged by Darlington’s 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval.

The Gander Outdoors Truck Series is off this weekend. It returns to action at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 13.

Here’s the entry lists for Cup and Xfinity at Darlington:

CUP — Bojangles’ Southern 500 (6 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN)

There are 39 cars entered for this race.

Joe Nemechek will be in the No. 27 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet.

BJ McLeod is in the No. 51 Petty Ware Racing Ford.

JJ Yeley is in the No. 52 Rick Ware Racing Ford

Garrett Smithley is in the No. 54 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet.

Joey Gase is in the No. 66 Motorsports Business Management Toyota.

Reed Sorenson is in the No 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity– Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 (4 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC)

There are 38 cars entered for this race.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make his lone start of the year in the JR Motorsports’ No. 8 Chevrolet

Ryan Blaney will be in the No. 12 Team Penske Ford.

Denny Hamlin will be in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Joe Nemechek is listed as the driver in the No. 17 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet.

Stefan Parsons makes his third career start (and of the season) in the No. 99 B.J. McLeod Motorsports Toyota.

Click here for the entry list.

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Bristol winners and losers

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WINNERS

Matt DiBenedettoHe won the night at Bristol if not the race, starting with his selection of the theme from “Rocky” for his intro music and then strolling on to the walkway in a silk boxing robe and boxing gloves. He led 93 laps and looked to be headed toward his first Cup win until Denny Hamlin passed him with 12 laps to go. DiBenedetto’s emotions after the runner-up finish also garnered new fans. They showed their appreciation with loud cheers when his interview was played on the track’s video board.

Denny Hamlin — Scored his fourth win of the season and sixth consecutive top-five finish. He is showing that this could be the year he wins that elusive championship.

Jeremy Clements Finished fourth in the Bristol Xfinity race, his best result since he won at Road America in 2017. Next up on the Xfinity schedule? Road America. Clements said that “it wouldn’t matter if we wrecked and finished last, I’d still be pumped up to go to Road America. I’m ready to kick their ass. That’s a place we can win”

Gray GauldingPlaced sixth in the Xfinity race for his best finish of the season at a track other than Daytona and Talladega. Afterward, he said: “What an awesome night. For all the little guys out there, this is what we work for … We’re definitely going to celebrate.”

Timmy HillMatched his career-best finish seventh in the Xfinity. That marked the first race in the partnership between Hattori Racing Enterprises and MBM Motorsports. How did the partnership help a team that had been cash strapped? Hill said HRE joining “gave us a little more tires. Normally we’re running on 40-50-lap scuff tires. That certainly helped tonight to have fresh tires.”

LOSERS

Austin DillonHis 34th-place finish was his fifth finish of 30th or worse in the last seven races.

Clint BowyerHis spin after making contact with Quin Houff just before the end of stage 2 could cost Bowyer a spot in the playoffs. The leaders pitted but those needing stage points, including Daniel Suarez and Ryan Newman, stayed out. Suarez scored nine stage points and passed Bowyer at the end of the night for the final playoff spot. Newman gained eight stage points and pulled further ahead of Bowyer in the points.

Aric AlmirolaDamage from a crash led to a 29th-place finish. He has placed 29th or worse in four of the last five Bristol races.

Daniel Suarez ‘lucky’ to escape Clint Bowyer spin, Matt DiBenedetto near-win

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BRISTOL, Tenn. — Daniel Suarez admits he got “lucky” twice Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.

He was more enthusiastic about the first instance of luck, which struck on Lap 243.

That’s when his teammate and fellow winless driver, Clint Bowyer, accidentally cut down on the No. 27 of Quin Houff entering Turn 1, which sent Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford sliding toward the exit of Turn 2.

“It’s short track racing,” Bowyer said. “You’re making split decisions. I was trying to pass those two cars and get more stage points for us. I clipped him. It was nothing he did. I was just trying to shoot the gap. I had a run on those guys and was trying to do all I could.”

Bowyer’s car began backing up toward the outside wall, while Suarez’s No. 41 Ford was fast approaching the same area.

The two cars came so close to hitting, Suarez’s spotter mistakenly thought they had.

“I’m probably a little lucky and a little good,” Suarez said after his eighth-place finish. “It worked out pretty good. It was tight, it was pretty, pretty tight.”

Avoiding his teammate allowed him to benefit from pit strategy.

With the caution coming so close to the end of Stage 2, most of the leaders visited the pits. But Suarez stayed out and managed to finish second, earning nine stage points.

Those points, along with his eighth-place finish put him 16th in points with two races left in the regular season. He has a two-point advantage over Bowyer, who failed to earn any stage points Saturday night.

“I feel like that was probably the biggest thing of the day,” Suarez said of the move to stay out at the end of the stage. “I feel like that was an amazing call from my crew chief Billy Scott.”

Suarez was less enthusiastic about where else he was lucky. Denny Hamlin passed Matt DiBenedetto with 12 laps to go and raced to his fourth win of the year. That deprived DiBenedetto of his first win of the year and means there’s still seven spots left in the 16-driver playoff field.

“I feel like he deserved the win, but you never know how things are going to work out,” Suarez said of DiBenedetto. “I feel like I have to do my race and let everything else play out by itself. I can control that. I would tell you that in a way I’m kind of lucky that he didn’t win. But I wish he was winning the race because he’s an amazing driver, he deserves a ride.”

Bowyer, who survived his spin and fought back to finish seventh, was very mellow after his first top-10 finish in five races.

“All in all it was a good weekend for us. Kind of a rebound weekend, what we needed,” Bowyer said. “We did all we could do. I was hoping to be a top-five car and when you’re a top-five car here you’ve got a chance to win. But we were just a beat off of that all night.”

Bowyer said on a short track like Bristol “you’re not worried about” points.

“You’re worried about keeping up with the race track, keeping up with your adjustments, traffic and stuff like that,” Bowyer said. “You don’t have time to screw with that.”

But with two races left in the regular season, Bowyer and his Stewart-Haas Racing team have even less time to screw around before the playoffs begin.

“Gotta do what we gotta do,” Bowyer said. “Let’s go race, you know what I mean? Just got to perform the way we can perform and do our thing.”

When it came to a playoff spot being saved by DiBenedetto not winning, Bowyer said “I hate it for that guy. He’s racing for a job and everything else.”

Driver intro songs for the Bristol night race

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BRISTOL, Tenn. — Here are the songs Cup Series drivers were introduced with before tonight’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

In order from last to first place.

Ross Chastain – “Watermelon Crawl” by Tracy Byrd

Kyle Weatherman – “All About that Bass” by Meghan Trainor

Reed Sorenson – “Georgia on my Mind” by Ray Charles

JJ Yeley – “Raining Blood” by Slayer

Josh Bilicki – “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons

Quin Houff – “Levels” by Avicii

BJ McLeod – “Fuel” by Metallica

Landon Cassill – “Hang on Sloopy” by The McCoys

Kyle Busch – “Lights Come On” by Jason Aldean

Jimmie Johnson – “Enter Sandman” by Metallica

Chris Buescher – “Evil Like You” by Red Sun Rising

Michael McDowell – “The Floor is Lava” by Blake Rules and Netherfriends

Matt Tifft – “Cleveland Rocks” by The President of the United States of America

Corey LaJoie – “Brand New Man” by Brooks & Dunn with Luke Combs

Paul Menard – “Baby Shark” by Leo Moracchioli

Ty Dillon – “Gold” by Imagine Dragons

Ryan Preece – “Girls, Girls, Girls” by Mötley Crüe

Bubba Wallace – “Into Despair” by Currents

William Byron – “Fortunate Sun” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Clint Bowyer – “God’s Country” by Blake Shelton

Austin Dillon – “Cowboy Baby” by Kid Rock

Daniel Suarez – “El Mariachi Loco”

Daniel Hemric – “Lose Yourself” by Eminem

David Ragan – “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone” by Anna Kendrick

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – “Ain’t No Grave” by Johnny Cash

Ryan Newman – “These Are My People” by Rodney Atkins

Brad Keselowski – “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple

Ryan Blaney – “Living the Dream” by Sturgill Simpson

Joey Logano – “Circle of Life” by Elton John

Alex Bowman – “Bow Down” by I Prevail

Erik Jones – “The One I Loved Back Then” by George Jones

Kevin Harvick – “The Git Up” by Blanco Brown

Matt DiBenedetto – “Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti (song made famous by the movie “Rocky”)

Chase Elliott – “Beer Never Broke My Heart” by Luke Combs

Aric Almirola – “Give Me the Green Light” by Pit Bull

Kurt Busch – “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC

Martin Truex Jr. – “Drinkin’ Hours” by Cole Swindell

Kyle Larson – “Money in the Grave” by Drake

Denny Hamlin – “Some of It” by Eric Church