Daniel McFadin

NASCAR writer for NBCSports.com. Former Sporting News intern. Graduated from IUPUI in Indianapolis with a master in sports journalism in 2014 and from Arkansas State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism. Originally from Lewisville, Texas, now in Fort Worth. Ask me if I like Star Wars. I dare you.

Clint Bowyer: Pressure of playoff elimination ‘almost healthy for me’


Clint Bowyer might be one of the few NASCAR drivers in history to hope for a race to be postponed by rain.

There’s more than an 80% chance of rain at the start of Sunday’s Cup playoff elimination race on the Charlotte Roval (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC). As a result, Bowyer has 38 reasons to root for rain to “literally wash enough that it floods somehow.”

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver enters the race 11th in the playoff standings, 38 points behind Joey Logano and the cutoff to advance to the Round of 8.

“I’m gonna sneak in there and put a plug in the tunnel so it’ll just flood and that way we can’t race until Monday when the sun is out,” Bowyer said Thursday, a few hours before announcing this will be his final season in Cup. “I think if it does rain, boy, all hell is gonna break loose. There’s a lot of unknowns.”

MORE: Clint Bowyer headed to Fox Sports booth in 2021

Bowyer, who is winless this year and has top-five finishes in the first two Cup races run on the Roval, is fine having his back up against a potentially rain-covered wall.

In fact, said Bowyer, “I like being scared.”

“Honestly, I think it keeps me sharp, it keeps … your eye on the ball,” he said. “It’s almost healthy for me. I didn’t realize it until I’ve been doing this a long time and usually when you’re on that bubble or something like that we’ve been able, for the most part, to prevail because you’re back is up against the wall and you’re out of options and there are no excuses or anything else. You just got to go out and get the job done.”

If it rains, it would be the first time a Cup points race has been held in wet conditions. Bowyer isn’t a stranger to racing under wet conditions, but it’s been awhile.

He recalled in 2008 when he competed in the rain in a Xfinity Series race at Montreal.

“It became too much,” Bowyer said. “It was a flood. I remember literally hydroplaning across the infield and being like, ‘Hey, man. We’re not racing anymore. We’re surviving. What is this?’ … I remember the biggest challenge of all of it was literally seeing. It wasn’t attacking the track or trying to figure out grip levels or setups or whatever else, it was flat-out just visually being able to see where you’re going.”

Bowyer’s job Sunday, or whenever the race is run, begins with him starting 11th. Whatever transpires after the green flag, Bowyer doesn’t think he needs to win to advance.

“If you finish second, more than likely you’re gonna add stage points to it and somebody is gonna have trouble,” Bowyer said. “You’ve got to look at this thing as an opportunity and that’s what I’m looking at. I’ll take second.”

Saturday Xfinity race at Charlotte Roval: Start time, TV channel


The first round of the Xfinity Series playoffs ends with Saturday’s Xfinity race at the Charlotte Roval.

It’s the series’ third and final road course race of the year and will determine the field for the Round of 8.
Four drivers will be eliminated.

Here is all the info for Saturday’s Xfinity race on the Charlotte Roval:

(All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 3:25 p.m by Gerald Petkau. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:37 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage access health screening begins at 9 a.m. Drivers report to their cars at 3 p.m. The invocation will be given at 3:18 p.m. by Nick Terry of Motor Racing Outreach. The national anthem will be performed by Stephanie Owens at 3:19 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 67 laps (155.44 miles) around the 2.32-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 20. Stage 2 ends on Lap 40.


  • Definition of missing or shortcutting a chicane: A competitor will be judged as missing or shortcutting a chicane when all four tires are on the non-track side of the red and white ruble strips that define the chicane.
  • If in NASCAR’s discretion a competitor deliberately misses a chicane that competitor will be assessed a drive through penalty.
  • If a competitor is judged to have missed a chicane to avoid an accident NASCAR may, in its discretion, forgo penalties and adjust the lineup based on running position prior to the avoidance maneuver.

TV/RADIO: Coverage begins on NBC with Countdown to Green at 3 p.m. Race broadcast begins at 3:30 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage will begin at 3 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the broadcast.

STREAMING: Watch the race on the NBC Sports App. Click here for the link.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for a high of 69 degrees and a 51% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST RACE: Justin Haley beat Ryan Sieg and Noah Gragson at Talladega.

LAST RACE AT CHARLOTTE ROVAL: AJ Allmendinger beat Tyler Reddick and Austin Cindric.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for starting lineup

Silly Season: Matt DiBenedetto staying with Woods for 2021

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After a long wait, Wood Brothers Racing announced Thursday it would keep Matt DiBenedetto in its No. 21 Ford next season.

But 2021 will be DiBenedetto’s last year with that ride, as Austin Cindric will take over the No. 21 car full-time in 2022.

Here’s how the Cup Silly Season scorecard looks as of Oct. 8


No. 00: Quin Houff enters the second year of his two-year deal with StarCom Racing.

No. 1: Kurt Busch enters the second year of a multi-year contract that Chip Ganassi Racing announced last season.

No. 2: Brad Keselowski and Team Penske announced a contract extension Aug. 3.

No. 3: Austin Dillon is signed with Richard Childress Racing through at least next year.

No. 4: Kevin Harvick signed a contract extension in February that will keep him at Stewart-Haas Racing through the 2023 season.

No. 8: Tyler Reddick said Aug. 7 that he will be back with Richard Childress Racing next season.

No. 9: Chase Elliott is under contract with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2022 season.

No. 10: Aric Almirola extended his deal with Stewart-Haas Racing for 2021 season.

No. 11: Denny Hamlin is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through at least next year.

No. 12: Ryan Blaney and Team Penske announced a multi-year extension earlier this season.

No. 18: Kyle Busch is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through at least next year.

No. 19: Martin Truex Jr. is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through at least next year.

No. 20: Christopher Bell moves from Leavine Family Racing to take over this ride in 2021.

No. 21: Wood Brothers Racing announced Oct. 9 Matt DiBenedetto would race for the team in 2021.

No. 22: Joey Logano is tied to Team Penske “through the 2022 season and beyond.”

No. 24: William Byron is under contact with Hendrick Motorsports through 2022.

No. 42: Ross Chastain was chosen by Chip Ganassi Racing to replace Matt Kenseth.

No. 47: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. enters the second year of a multi-year deal with JTG Daugherty Racing.

No. 48: Alex Bowman will drive the No. 48, moving over from the no. 88, Hendrick Motorsports announced Oct. 6.

No. 99: Daniel Suarez will compete for the new Trackhouse Racing team.

Denny Hamlin / Michael Jordan team: Bubba Wallace will drive for the new team in 2021.

Available/possibly available rides

No. 14: Clint Bowyer will move to the Fox Sports booth for NASCAR races in 2021.

No. 32: Ride is open with Corey LaJoie announcing he will not return to Go Fas Racing in 2021.

No. 43: Bubba Wallace will not return to Richard Petty Motorsports in 2021, the team confirmed on Sept. 10.

No. 95: Spire Motorsports purchased the charter and assets of Leavine Family Racing and will be a two-car operation in 2021. Christopher Bell will move to the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team for 2021. Spire has not named who will take over this ride for next season.

No. 96: Daniel Suarez and Gaunt Brothers Racing announced Sept. 15 that they would part ways after this season.

2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame ceremonies postponed until 2022

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The NASCAR Hall of Fame announced Thursday that it has postponed its 2021 class induction and induction week activities.

Originally scheduled for Feb. 5, the ceremonies honoring Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Red Farmer, the late Mike Stefanik and Landmark Award recipient Ralph Seagraves, are now expected to take place in early 2022.

The postponement was made as a result of the ongoing “uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Farmer, 87, recently spent five days in the hospital battling COVID-19.

“Without question, the safety of our inductees, our guests and our staff is the highest priority for us,” said Winston Kelley, NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director. “The ongoing public health crisis prohibits our ability to plan for and celebrate these honorees’ landmark achievements as originally scheduled to the fullest extent – with their families, friends and fans present – and in a manner that’s representative of their incredible accomplishments in NASCAR and their contributions to the sport.”

The new dates for the Class of 2021 induction ceremony and induction week will be announced sometime next summer.

Martinsville Speedway to allow limited fans for playoff weekend


Martinsville Speedway will allow a limited number of fans to attend its playoff race weekend, Oct. 30 – Nov. 1, the track announced Thursday.

All three of NASCAR’s national series will be competing on the short track that weekend for their final playoff elimination races.

The reduced number of fans are in accordance with public health officials and local, state and federal authorities. Fans who have already purchased tickets to one of the races will be reseated in new locations, as comparable as possible to original seats, with new, lower ticket pricing applied.

All guests will be screened before entering the facility, required to wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet of social distancing throughout the venue. In addition, coolers will not be permitted, but clear bags up to 18”x18”x14” in size will be allowed.

“Martinsville Speedway is home to some of the most competitive and dramatic racing in NASCAR, so we look forward to welcoming fans back to be a part of the experience,” Martinsville President Clay Campbell said in a press release. “The roar of the engines combined with the return of fans’ cheers will make the intense battle to set the field for the NASCAR championship that much greater. After successfully hosting a June NASCAR Cup Series race, Martinsville will be ready to welcome fans back for a safe race experience in the Commonwealth.”

Here are the fan attendance policies for the remaining five Cup Series race weekends.

Charlotte Roval (Oct. 11)

A limited number of fans will be allowed at each of its races Oct. 10-11.


Kansas Speedway (Oct. 18)

Limited number of fans.


Texas Motor Speedway (Oct. 25)

50% of capacity permitted.


Martinsville Speedway (Nov. 1)

Limited number of fans for all three weekend races.


Phoenix Raceway – Championship race (Nov. 8)

Limited number of fans for all three days.