charlotte motor speedway

Bubba Wallace confronts Alex Bowman with postrace splash


CONCORD, N.C. — Bubba Wallace angrily splashed liquid in the face of runner-up Alex Bowman as he was being attended to by medical personnel after Sunday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Bowman was sitting on the pavement beside his No. 88 Chevrolet and being attended to by Dr. Angela Fiege, medical director of NASCAR’s AMR Safety Team, when he was approached by Wallace, whose No. 43 Chevy was spun by Bowman into the Turn 3 wall on Lap 42 exiting the backstretch chicane.

“He don’t like to race,” Wallace told about Bowman as he left the track. “He just runs over everybody.

“He gets to Lap 1, and he runs over me and (Austin Dillon) into the back chicane. We’re back there in the trunk, man. Just take it easy for a lap. He had a fast car and he just run over us. Shoot us through the chicane and then we get a penalty for it. Every time he gets to me, he just runs over me.

“Smooth move of playing the sick card so I couldn’t bust him in his mouth.”

The liquid splashed on Fiege, Bowman and Fox Sports analyst and Hendrick Motorsports executive Jeff Gordon, who was kneeling to check in on Bowman (watch the video above). A NASCAR spokesman said officials would be talking to Wallace about his actions in the postrace incident.

Bowman, who was in a backup car after crashing Saturday and spun on the first lap Sunday after starting at the rear, advanced to the playoffs by finishing second behind Chase Elliott. Dehydrated after a long day in a hot car, Bowman received treatment at the care center postrace.

After wrecking Wallace, he radioed his Hendrick Motorsports team that he was upset by being continually shown the finger.

“He probably wouldn’t have gotten wrecked if he had his finger back in the car,” Bowman told reporters afterward.

Asked what Wallace had said to him, Bowman said, “I probably shouldn’t repeat what he said to me. Nothing classy by any means.”

Wallace, who rebounded to finish 24th and on the lead lap, declined to retaliate on track against Bowman as he had after getting wrecked at Watkins Glen International last month.

Wallace’s crew chief, Derek Stamets, told NBC Sports that he didn’t need to coach Wallace on avoiding revenge on a playoff driver.

“No. he takes care of that himself,” Stamets said. “That’s his world right there. For the most part, I pay attention to springs, bars, shocks and tires, getting them in and out and keeping the car under him. Got to let the guys go out and race out each other. Be boring if we told him what to do every week.

“I’m glad it didn’t just get worse than it did. It can just perpetuate forever, so maybe they’re done. NASCAR needs some rivalries, so it doesn’t hurt.”

Stamets said his team was disappointed that Bowman had wrecked Wallace with an obviously faster car after bumping him through the chicane.

“We’d rather he raced us clean,” Stamets said. “I know he’s frustrated to be behind us there, but we weren’t horrible. It’s probably the best Bubba has run on a road course all year, if not total.

“It was kind of blatant for (Bowman) to just take us out. If he was that much faster, you saw how fast he was at the end, he could have passed us clean somewhere else. He just lost his patience, I guess.”

Chase Elliott roars back from 37th to 1st in final 44 laps to win Roval race

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After wrecking while in the lead and then falling back to 37th with 44 laps to go, Chase Elliott roared back to win Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, ending the first round of the NASCAR Cup playoffs with the elimination of four drivers from further advancement.

It was Elliott’s third win of the season and sixth of his Cup career.

“Did you all like that?” Elliott asked to fans, who responded with a big round of cheers, while being interviewed on NBC Sports.

MORE: Results, points from playoff elimination race at Charlotte

While leading on a restart with 45 laps left and shortly after winning Stage 2, Elliott came into Turn 1 and drove straight into the wall. It appeared Elliott was carrying too much speed into the turn and also applied the brakes too late, missing the turn and going straight ahead into the tire wall.

“What a mistake,” Elliott told NBC Sports. “Talk about messing something up. … I pretty well blew it and had the cautions fall at the right time and we were able to bring it back home.”

Elliott’s tangle with the tire wall was very similar to how Brad Keselowski, also while in the lead, went into the wall in last year’s Roval race. However, several other drivers were collected in that wreck, while Elliott’s crash Sunday was a solo incident.

After repairs on pit road, Elliott returned to the race in 37th place, but flew back up to 14th 10 laps later, up to eighth on Lap 85, fourth on Lap 95, third with nine laps to go and second with five laps to go before overtaking Kevin Harvick in the closing laps to take the checkered flag.

Teammate Alex Bowman finished second, followed by Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Brad Keselowski.

Seven races now remain in the playoffs. Things now move on to the Round of 12 but will do so without Erik Jones, Ryan Newman, Aric Almirola and Kurt Busch, who were all eliminated after being the lowest-scoring drivers in the opening round.

The eliminations began with three laps to go in Stage 1 when several drivers made contact going into Turn 1, including Kurt Busch, Chris Buescher, Erik Jones, Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson. All but Jones’ car were able to continue. Jones took his car to the garage with a punctured radiator, ending his hopes of advancing to the second round of the playoffs.

It’s unfortunate,” Jones told NBC Sports. “We just had three really bad weeks, some of our own doing, today not really of our own doing. … I’d love to be moving forward and challenging for the championship … It’s just the nature of the playoffs. We’ll keep racing all year and next year come back and improve all we can.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Kyle Larson.

STAGE 2 WINNER: Chase Elliott (by winning the stage, locked himself into Round of 12 on points).

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: William Byron led 24 laps and finished sixth. … Martin Truex Jr., who won the first two races of the opening round of the playoffs, started from the back of the field due to an engine change but roared back to finish seventh.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: With 19 laps to go, Ryan Newman stalled his car after a pit stop, losing several positions and dropping below the cutline in the running points chart. … Being three laps down to the leaders and sitting in 37th place, Kyle Busch took his car out of the race during the red flag stoppage with seven laps to go. It’s the second time Busch has finished 37th in the last four races and the regular season champion has now dropped to seventh in the standings after the first three playoff races.

NOTABLE: Alex Bowman was taken to the infield medical center after the race, reportedly for exhaustion. … Ryan Blaney limped his car around the track for much of the second half of the race with a broken left rear strut. He was able to hold on to advance to the playoffs. … Two days after being hospitalized with a kidney stone, Michael McDowell had a strong race Sunday, including running in the top five at times before finishing 12th. … With seven laps to go, the race was red-flagged for 8 minutes, 22 seconds due to fluid that needed to be cleaned up on the race track.

WHAT’S NEXT: The second round of the NASCAR Cup playoffs – also known as the Round of 12 – will begin Sunday, Oct. 5 at Dover International Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

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Today’s Cup race on the Charlotte Roval: Start time, lineup and more

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The NASCAR Cup Series wraps up its opening round of the playoffs with today’s race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

Four playoff drivers will be eliminated today. The four drivers below the cutoff line entering today’s race are Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer and Erik Jones.

Here is all the info for today’s race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 2:26 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 2:38 p.m.

PRERACE: The Cup garage opens at 9 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 12:30 p.m. Driver introductions are at 1:50 p.m. The invocation will be given at 2:19 p.m. The National Anthem will be performed at 2:20 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 109 laps (248.52 miles) around the 2.28-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 25. Stage 2 ends on Lap 50.

TV/RADIO: NBC will televise the race. Coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. with Countdown to Green. Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 1:30 p.m. and also can be heard on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry PRN’s broadcast.

STREAMING ONLINE: Click here for NBC’s live stream of the race.

FORECAST: forecasts mostly sunny conditions with a temperature of 92 and a 4% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Ryan Blaney won this race last year after race leaders Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson wrecked on the last turn of the final lap. Jamie McMurray finished second while Clint Bowyer was third.

TO THE REAR: Denny Hamlin (backup), Alex Bowman (backup), Parker Kligerman (backup), Martin Truex Jr. (engine)

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.

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Goodyear tire info for Roval weekend at Charlotte

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The final road course race of the season for both the Cup and Xfinity Series takes place this weekend on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval.

When it comes to Goodyear tires, both Cup and Xfinity teams will race on the same traditional road course rubber, but air pressure recommendations will be different than in tires used at Watkins Glen International and Sonoma Raceway.

According to a Goodyear media release, the reason is: “Those two courses are run primarily in a clockwise direction, with a majority of right-hand turns. The Roval is run counter-clockwise – including utilizing the majority of the speedway’s oval – making it primarily a left-hand course. The air pressures reflect that difference, with the right-front tire having a recommendation of two psi greater than the left-front (28 psi vs. 26 psi), because that is the corner of the car that sees the most load most of the time around the 2.28-mile course.”

Added Goodyear director of racing Greg Stucker, While the course has gone through several changes since it was first laid out in late 2017, the fact remains that we treat the Roval as a road course from a tire perspective. The Roval is definitely unique in the NASCAR world, and requires us to be aware of many factors.

Similar to other road courses, we have to bring a tire and recommend air pressures that reflect the hard braking and acceleration on and off the corners. The main difference is the use of the oval as part of the course, where loads on the right-front will be higher than any other corner of the car.”

Teams will also have wet weather tires at their disposal should conditions warrant. Cup teams are allowed two sets of “wets” for practice and qualifying and up to four sets for the race, while Xfinity teams are allowed two sets of “wets” for practice and qualifying and up to two sets for the race.

The ‘Goodyear’ and Eagle lettering on the sidewalls of the wet weather tires is white, not the standard Goodyear yellow.

Here is the information for this weekend’s tires at Charlotte’s Roval:

Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

Set limits: Cup: Three sets for practice, one set for qualifying and eight sets for the race (seven race sets plus one set transferred from qualifying or practice); Xfinity: Six sets for the event

Tire Codes (same on all four tire positions): D-4940

Tire Circumference: 2,240 mm (88.19 in.)

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front — 26 psi; Right Front — 28 psi; Left Rear — 20 psi; Right Rear — 20 psi

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IndyCar champ Josef Newgarden to make Roval run after Cup qualifying

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Newly crowned IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden will extend his season a bit Friday when he wheels his No. 2 Shell-Pennzoil Dallara/Chevrolet Indy car in an exhibition run around the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

Newgarden’s jaunt around the Roval will take place following NASCAR Cup qualifying.

Sunday marked the second time Newgarden has won the IndyCar championship in the last three seasons.

Newgarden grew up in NASCAR country in Hendersonville, Tennessee, north of Nashville. He recently moved back to that area after living in Charlotte the last two years.

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