Anthony Alfredo

Chase Briscoe scores 8th Xfinity win of year with Las Vegas triumph

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Chase Briscoe met a preseason goal of winning eight races with his victory in Saturday night’s Xfinity playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Briscoe, who also won at Las Vegas in February, advances to the second round.

Briscoe dominated, winning both stages on the way to his second consecutive victory and eighth of the year. He led 164 of 200 laps.

“Awesome car,” Briscoe said on the radio of the car that also won at this 1.5-mile speedway earlier this year. “Can’t say enough, awesome car.”

Gragson said of Briscoe’s car on NBCSN: “Lot of race cars out here and one space shuttle.”

Las Vegas native Noah Gragson finished second and was followed by JR Motorsports teammates Daniel Hemric and Justin Allgaier. Ryan Sieg placed fifth.

Austin Cindric placed sixth and was followed by Michael Annett, Anthony Alfredo, Harrison Burton and Justin Haley.

Briscoe’s eight wins through 27 races ties him with Jack Ingram and Sam Ard for the most wins by non-Cup drivers through 27 races in a season. Ard and Ingram both did it in 1984. Briscoe’s eight wins ties him with Carl Edwards for most wins by a Ford driver in a season in the Xfinity Series. Edwards accomplished the feat in 2011.

“I knew this team was fully capable of achieving that and even more,” Briscoe told NBCSN of winning eight races this year. “I just can’t say thank you enough to Gene Haas and Tony Stewart and everyone that lets me drive these race cars. It has been an unbelievable season and we still have a lot, six more wins that we can try to get and a championship. That is what we are going to try to do. I am so happy to start the playoffs like this. After the last couple weeks we had, to go to Bristol and win and now here is a pretty good way to start our playoffs.”

The 25-year-old Briscoe does not know where he’ll run next season. He has a year left on his contract with Ford.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Chase Briscoe

STAGE 2 WINNER: Chase Briscoe

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Ryan Sieg’s fifth-place finish is his fifth top five of the season, the most he’s had in a season. … Runner-up Noah Gragson has finished in the top six in all four of his Xfinity Las Vegas starts. He did it by overcoming a bloody nose during the race. At one point, he put roll bar padding up his nose to clog it. … Daniel Hemric had finished 24th or worse in four of his last five starts before Saturday’s race. He finished third at Las Vegas.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ross Chastain finished 16th, last among the playoff drivers. It’s his first finish outside the top 10 at a 1.5-mile speedway this season.

NEXT: The series races Oct. 3 at Talladega Superspeedway (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN) in the middle race of the opening round of the playoffs.

Retro Rundown 2020: Southern 500 paint schemes

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It’s officially Southern 500 week.

NASCAR will make its third visit of the year to Darlington Raceway this weekend, capped off by Sunday’s Southern 500 (6 p.m. ET on NBCSN) and the start of the Cup Series playoffs.

Since 2015, the Southern 500 Throwback Weekend has played host to various retro paint schemes that pay tribute to NASCAR’s past.

More: Up to 8,000 fans approved for Southern 500

Here’s the Retro Rundown for this year as we catalogue the throwback schemes Cup, Xfinity and Truck teams will bring to the track “Too Tough to Tame.”

Cup Series

Quin Houff, No. 00 Chevrolet

Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Ford

The Team Penske driver will have the Discount Tire scheme he had in the Xfinity Series 10 years ago.

Austin Dillon, No. 3 Chevrolet

The Richard Childress Racing driver’s car will be a tribute to NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson, who died last year at the age of 88.

Austin Dillon Southern 500

 

Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Ford

Harvick will drive a paint scheme based on the 1997 NASCAR-themed Busch Beer cans.

 

Ryan Newman, No. 6 Ford

The Roush Fenway Racing driver will pilot a scheme based on the 1999 scheme from the USAC Silver Crown Series, where he won the national championship.

Ryan Newman Darlington

 

 

Josh Bilicki, No. 7 Chevrolet

Tommy Baldwin Racing will honor Tommy Baldwin Sr.’s racing career.

 

Tyler Reddick, No. 8 Chevrolet

The Richard Childress rookie will throw back to the paint scheme NASCAR on NBC’s Jeff Burton had in 1994 when Burton won Cup rookie of the year honors.

 

Chase Elliott, No. 9 Chevrolet

Elliott will pay tribute to Jimmie Johnson with his 2009 championship scheme.

Chase Elliott Southern 500

 

Aric Almirola, No. 10 Ford

 

Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota

Hamlin’s scheme is a throwback to when FedEx was first founded at Federal Express in 1973. The design of the No. 11 is based based on Cale Yarborough’s number that year when he won at Darlington.

Denny Hamlin Darlington

 

Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Ford

The Team Penske driver will sport the Menards paint scheme that Paul Menard had when he competed in the ARCA Menards Series in 2003.

Ryan Blaney Darlington

 

Ty Dillon, No. 13 Chevrolet

Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Ford

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver will honor NBC Sports analyst Kyle Petty. Bowyer’s car will have the Peak Antifreeze scheme Petty drove for SABCO Racing in 1990 and won at Rockingham in.

 

Brennan Poole, No. 15 Chevrolet

Kyle Busch, No. 18 Toyota

Busch will pilot a paint scheme based on the M&M’s car driven by Elliott Sadler in 2004 at Robert Yates Racing.

Kyle Busch Southern 500

 

Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Toyota

 

Matt DiBenedetto, No. 21 Ford

DiBenedetto will arrive in Darlington with a tribute to the Wood Brothers’ 1963 Ford Galaxie. That’s the car Tiny Lund won the 1963 Daytona 500 with. It’s also the car Glen Wood won his final Cup Series race in at Bowman Gray Stadium on July 13, 1963.

Matt DiBenedetto

 

Joey Logano, No. 22 Ford

Logano will drive a scheme inspired by the No. 22 Miller car that Bobby Allison raced in 1985.

Joey Logano

 

William Byron, No. 24 Chevrolet

Byron will honor Jimmie Johnson with his 2013 All-Star Race winning scheme.

William Byron Southern 500

 

J.J. Yeley, No. 27 Ford.

 

John Hunter Nemechek, No. 38 Ford

The rookie driver’s scheme is based on Elliott Sadler’s CITGO scheme from 1999 and 2000.

 

Cole Custer, No. 41 Ford.

 

Bubba Wallace, No. 43 Chevrolet

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Chevrolet

For his final Southern 500, Johnson will pay tribute to his fellow seven time Cup champions, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.

Jimmie Johnson Southern 500

 

Joey Gase, No. 51 Chevrolet

Gase will drive a tribute to Bobby Allison’s 1971 win in the Southern 500 and the Coca-Cola scheme he had that year. It’s the same Allison tribute Tony Stewart had in the 2016 Southern 500.

Joey Gase

 

James Davison, No. 53 Chevrolet

Timmy Hill, No. 66 Toyota

Ross Chastain, No. 77 Chevrolet

Chastain will drive a paint scheme that honors the scheme Dale Earnhardt drove early in his career.

Alex Bowman, No. 88 Chevrolet

Bowman will honor Jimmie Johnson by racing his 2006 championship scheme, his first of five Cup titles in a row.

Alex Bowman Southern 500

 

Christopher Bell, No. 95 Toyota

Bell will drive the scheme he had when he won the Truck Series title in 2017.

 

Daniel Suarez, No. 96 Toyota

 

Xfinity Series

 

Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 0 Chevrolet

 

Brett Moffitt, No. 02 Chevrolet

 

Michael Annett, No. 1 Chevrolet

With sponsorship from Oreo, the JR Motorsports driver will honor his team owner, Dale Earnhardt Jr., with driving the scheme Earnhardt drove to a win in the 2002 Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Michael Annett Darlington
Top: JR Motorsports/Bottom: Getty Images

 

Ryan Vargas, No. 7 Chevrolet

 

Justin Allgaier, No. 7 Chevrolet

 

Daniel Hemric, No. 8 Chevrolet

The JR Motorsports driver will pilot a John Andretti tribute scheme. The scheme is based on the K Mart/Little Caesars car that the late Andretti raced in the 1995 and 1996 Cup seasons. 

Daniel Hemric Darlington

 

Joe Graf Jr., No. 08 Chevrolet

Chad Finchum, No. 13 Toyota

Harrison Burton, No. 20 Toyota

The son of NASCAR on NBC analyst Jeff Burton will honor his farther with one of his past schemes.

 

Anthony Alfredo, No. 21 Chevrolet

 

Tommy Joe Martins, No. 44 Chevrolet

 

Kyle Weatherman, No. 47 Chevrolet

Jeremy Clements, No. 51 Chevrolet

Clements, a South Carolina native, will drive a scheme that pays tribute to NASCAR champions from his home state. Drivers who will be honored include:

Cup Series: Buck Baker (Richburg, SC – C 1957-58), David Pearson (Spartanburg, SC – 1966, 1968-69) and Cale Yarborough (Timmonsville, SC –  1976-78)

Xfinity Series: Sam Ard (Pamplico, SC – 1983-84) and Larry Pearson (Spartanburg, SC – 1986-87)

Jeremy Clements Darlington

 

Stephen Leicht, No. 68 Toyota

Brandon Brown, No. 68 Chevrolet

 

Myatt Snider, No. 93 Chevrolet

 

Chase Briscoe, No. 98 Ford

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver will pay tribute to team owner Tony Stewart by driving his 2011 Cup championship scheme.

DGM Racing: Alex Labbe and Josh Williams

Truck Series

 

Derek Kraus, No. 19 Toyota

 

Spencer Boyd, No. 20 Chevrolet

Stewart Friesen, No. 52 Toyota

 

Timmy Hill, No. 56 Chevrolet

 

Clay Greenfield, No. 68 Toyota

 

GMS Racing

Starting lineup for Sunday Xfinity Race at Dover

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Brett Moffitt will start first and Brandon Brown will start second in the starting lineup for the Sunday Xfinity race at Dover International Speedway.

The top-15 finishers from Saturday’s race were inverted for Sunday’s race.

The top five is completed by Jeremy Clements, Ryan Sieg and Anthony Alfredo.

Justin Allgaier, who won Saturday’s race, will start 15th.

Chase Briscoe finished 10th Saturday, but he expects to go to a backup car after his car was in a wreck Saturday. If he does, he’ll have to start from the rear.

Click here for the starting lineup.

NASCAR Xfinity Series at Dover 

Race Time: 1 p.m. ET Saturday

Track: Dover International Speedway; Dover, Delaware (1-mile speedway)

Length: 200 laps (200 miles)

Stages: Stage 1 ends Lap 45. Stage 2 ends Lap 90

TV coverage: NBCSN

Radio: Motor Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Streaming: NBC Sports app (subscription required); mrn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Xfinity starting lineup: Click here for the starting lineup

Next Cup race: Sunday at Dover (311 laps, 311 miles), 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Next Truck race: Aug. 30 at Gateway Noon ET on FS1

NASCAR stock market: Ups and downs heading to Kansas

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On a recent edition of the “Positive Regression” podcast, racing analytics expert David Smith and broadcaster Alan Cavanna asked what was the third-best team in Cup behind those of Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin.

It was an interesting discussion with no clear-cut answer as they examined the pros and cons of Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.

It showed how up-and-down this season has been with teams struggling to find consistency in a time where there is no practice. You might see one driver rival Hamlin and Harvick for a couple of weeks and then be replaced by someone else before they fade back to the field.

MORE: NASCAR to speak to driver for “very poor decision” at Texas

MORE: Cup Series playoff grid after Texas

Cup teams again will have no practice before they race Thursday night (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN) at Kansas Speedway. NASCAR is not scheduled to have any practice for Cup teams for the next month.

Logano won two of the season’s first four races but then struggled after the series returned in May. His third-place finish Sunday at Texas was his best result since winning at Phoenix in March — the last Cup race before the season was suspended for 10 weeks by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s harder to recover,” Logano said about when teams fall behind the top teams. “When I said lost puppy, that’s what we are, that’s what we were. You don’t have a chance to fix anything, right? You get done with the race, this, this, and this we need to make better on the racecar at least. We’ll try this, this and this next week, but it’s a different track. We’ll go and race, have no practice. Who knows if we’re going to make it better or worse, right? How do you find direction out of that?

“That’s where practice was so important. You could go out there, make a run, make one change, go back out and say, ‘Was that better or worse? Now we’re done with the race, we have things we want to fix. Let’s go to a track that’s nowhere near the same as we just went to and make some changes to our car and tell me if it’s better or not.

“You can’t. You can’t. You only can tell just by overall finish compared to the field. That’s kind of what we worked on. Seems like there was some progress made.”

Lack of practice is something Kyle Busch has mentioned as to why he’s winless in 18 Cup races this year. He also has yet to win a stage this season and has no playoff points. Last year at this time, he had a series-high 25 playoff points. At this time in 2018, he had a series-high 30 playoff points.

Level of respect declining in Xfinity?

It has been a question asked throughout this season as more incidents take place on the track. The Xfinity Series is back on track at 5 p.m. ET Saturday at Kansas Speedway on NBCSN.

Last weekend at Texas saw Noah Gragson, who has already had issues with Myatt Snider, Harrison Burton and teammate Justin Allgaier this season, run up on the back of Riley Herbst, making contact and causing Herbst to crash before the race was six laps old. Herbst said afterward that he “got absolutely drove through” by Gragson.

“I don’t get it,” NASCAR on NBC analyst Steve Letarte said on the broadcast after the incident. “I just don’t get it. Five laps into the race why you have to be that aggressive on a slick race track with Riley in front of him. I know Noah didn’t drive in there with the intention of wrecking (Herbst) … but definitely pushing the issue early.”

Said NASCAR on NBC analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr., who also is Gragson’s car owner, on the broadcast: “To me, it looks like Noah got in the back of (Herbst) and didn’t give him a break. Just ran into the back of him. … I’ve got to put that on Noah. This early in the race Noah had a chance to cut that 18 a break.”

Kyle Busch says he’s seen a big change in the Xfinity Series in how drivers race each other.

“Nobody races with respect anymore,” Busch said after last weekend’s race at Texas. “They all just run as hard as you can every lap and when you’re running on ovals and stuff like that, you have to give room and you have to be courteous sometimes.

“Yeah, there’s going to be times you have to run hard, but other times where – like I was getting blocked down the back straightaway today by (Anthony Alfredo) on the second restart or something like that. What are we doing? It’s a long way from the end of the race and if you want a crashed car right now, I’ll give you one and you won’t even make it to the end of the race. I guess that’s what everybody else is kind of thinking too.”

Ross Chastain, who has built a reputation as someone who is hard to pass, says losing any positions can be too difficult to overcome in the shorter races.

“Track position is key in any series now,” Chastain said. “I definitely think there are some things that I’ve had some run-ins with and we agree to disagree on about everything. That’s just part of it.”

Busch said he understands that “you try to make it as hard on your competition as you can possibly can” but there are times to be smart about it.

“I learned from the likes of Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart and Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon and in that era,” Busch said. “Let’s call in the late 90s, early 2000s that it seemed like respect was a big deal on the racetrack and then you just started to get more and more call them kids that come on here and they beat and bang on short tracks in late models and K&N and ARCA and stuff like that and they just keep bringing it up into these levels.

“I don’t think they have a whole (lot of) respect for the equipment that they’re in sometimes because many of them have probably never worked on them before. They just pick up another ride and go on to the next year and run that stuff and then go on and move on.

“It’s just about trying to figure it out and pick and choose your battles. That’s typically what it boils down to. I certainly made poor decisions in the past and kind of still do sometimes today. You have to be smart as much as you can.”

Starting lineup draw Wednesday

NASCAR will set the starting lineup for the Cup race with a random draw on Wednesday.

Since replacing Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Clint Bowyer in the top 12 in owner points — and eligible for starting positions 1-12 in the random draw — Almirola has started in the top five all four times the random draw was used. Almirola started on the pole last weekend at Texas.

Bowyer became eligible for starting positions 13-24 since he fell into that group in owner points. In the four races the random draw has been used, Bowyer has started 18th, 22nd, 15th and 17th.

The way that the draw is for the top 12 it basically just protects those guys and makes it virtually impossible for anybody outside of that to capitalize on that first stage, which puts them in a really good position points wise for the rest of the race,” Bowyer said. “Furthermore, it puts you in a situation to have to try to gamble either at the tail end of that first stage or throughout that second stage to try to capitalize off some points, whether it be that second stage or set yourself up for the end of the race.

“Anytime you go to gamble we all know that it can either win or lose big. Nine times out of 10 the house wins from what I can see. So, I am kind of frustrated in a sense that I feel like over the last month and a half we have had a lot better runs than our stats show.”

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Austin Cindric celebrates third consecutive Xfinity win

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Kyle Busch‘s 98th career win in the Xfinity Series lasted less than an hour before his No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was disqualified following Saturday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Busch was DQ’d after his car failed height regulations during post-race inspection. He and Joe Gibbs Racing have until Noon ET on Monday to file an appeal, according to Xfinity Series director Wayne Auton.

Busch finishes last in the 37-car field and Austin Cindric is declared the winner. That makes it three straight wins for Cindric, who won both ends of the Xfinity doubleheader last weekend at Kentucky Speedway.

MORE: Updated Xfinity results, standings from Texas

“It’s great to get our Mustang into victory lane, no matter how it happens,” Cindric said. “It was a great points day. … I want to win on the track and felt like we had a shot to do that today but maybe didn’t execute as well as we should have and that’s what kept us out. But fast cars and being in position, that’s what counts.”

Cindric becomes the ninth different driver to win three or more consecutive races in the Xfinity Series. All three have come this season, with his two other career wins coming last season, both on road courses.

“I have more wins now on ovals than road courses, so I’ll take it,” Cindric said with a chuckle. “It’s great to be able to capitalize on fast race cars. I said it last week and I’ll say it again today. We’ve just got to keep building on that.”

Chase Briscoe finished runner-up followed by Justin Allgaier, Harrison Burton and Michael Annett.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Justin Allgaier (sixth stage win of season)

STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier (seventh stage win of season)

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Chase Briscoe’s runner-up finish marked his fifth consecutive top-five finish. He has two wins, two runner-up finishes and a fourth-place result in that time. … Although he remains winless this season, Allgaier won both stages of the race, giving him seven stage wins thus far this season.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Riley Herbst’s day ended early after he appeared to be tapped from behind by Noah Gragson on Lap 5 and slammed into the outside wall. Gragson denied over his team radio that he made contact. Herbst finished 36th in the 37-car field.

NOTABLE: Temperatures in cars were as high as 145 degrees at the end of Stage 1. “I wouldn’t say it was unbearable by any means,” Chase Briscoe said. “I’m hoping it’s even hotter than this next week at Kansas.”

WHAT’S NEXT: July 25, Kansas Lottery 250 at Kansas Speedway, 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Follow @JerryBonkowski