Cole Custer

Tyler Reddick starts last, wins Food City 300 at Bristol

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After starting last, Tyler Reddick won Friday night’s Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, leading the final 11 laps after Justin Allgaier made contact with the wall and had a tire go flat.

Reddick started 38th after his car failed pre-qualifying inspection four times. He had to serve a pass through penalty at the start of the race, putting him a lap down. He quickly returned to the lead lap after a caution on Lap 14.

The Richard Childress Racing driver raced through the field and found himself battling with Allgaier for the lead with four laps to go in the first stage. He got loose and spun while trying to make a pass, was undamaged, and drove back to the front to contend.

The defending series champion, it is Reddick’s fourth win of the season.

“I don’t know (how I won),” Reddick told NBCSN. “I thought I made the wrong adjustment there on the last (pit) stop, we have a really fast Tame the Beast Chevrolet. We had fresher tires than Justin Allgaier there. We came down pit road and it just got too tight. I thought we were done for. I don’t know what happened, everything just happened in the right spot. … As you can see, I’m speechless. I just couldn’t believe it was happening.”

The top five was Reddick, Chase Briscoe, John Hunter Nemechek, Jeremy Clements and Austin Cindric.

Allgaier, who led 131 of 300 laps, finished in eighth. He had been trying to outlast Reddick and other drivers on older tires over the final 72 laps before he made contact with the wall. He remains winless since last September’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“I don’t know how you process it, I’ll be honest with you,” Allgaier told NBCSN. “Just the story of the year. … Typical Bristol. Come out here and a have a great car. I don’t know if we could have beat (Kyle Busch) apples to apples, but when he fell out I thought especially there at the end we had the best car.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Brandon Jones

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Busch managed to get to the end of the stage as his engine expired, ending his night.

More: race results, point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Chase Briscoe finished second after bouncing back from a Lap 38 crash, a speeding penalty and a too many crew members over the wall penalty … John Hunter Nemechek placed third after he experienced a tire problem on Lap 49 … Jeremy Clement earned his third top five in 321 Xfinity starts … Gray Gaulding, sixth, earned his third top 10 in 30 Xfinity starts.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Cole Custer, Erik Jones, Joey Logano, Chase Briscoe and Christopher Bell were all involved in a crash on Lap 38. Jones and Logano were eliminated. Custer finished 22nd, nine laps down. Bell placed 14th, three laps down … Justin Haley’s engine expired with six laps left in Stage 1. He finished 34th … Jeb Burton placed 32nd after brake issues in Stage 2 ended his night … Brandon Jones placed 11th after he hit the wall moments after taking second place with 12 laps to go

WHAT’S NEXT: CTECH Manufacturing 180 at Road America at 3 p.m. ET Aug. 24 on NBCSN

 

Xfinity Series practice report from Mid-Ohio

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Jack Hawksworth, who will make his NASCAR and Xfinity Series debut this weekend, was fastest in Friday’s eventful final practice session at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car course.

Driving Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota, Hawksworth posted a top speed of 95.204 mph around the round course.

He was followed by Austin Cindric (94.953 mph), Christopher Bell (94.948), Chase Briscoe (94.755) and Justin Allgaier (94.624).

Jeremy Clements was sixth fastest (94.600).

Hawksworth briefly went off course with 46 minutes left in the session. Shortly after that Regan Smith went off course and was briefly stuck in sand before he drove away. Smith told NBCSN there was a problem in his brake system.

Patrick Gallagher then went off track momentarily with 30 minutes left in the session. With 24 minutes left, Will Rodgers caused a lengthy red flag after he plowed into and got stuck in the sand, losing his splitter in the process.

Gray Gaulding ran out of fuel and stalled on the track with three minutes left, bringing out the red flag.

Click here for the speed chart.

First practice

Justin Haley was fastest with a top speed of 95.201 mph around the road course. He made 17 laps in the session and recorded his fast lap in the final minute.

The top five was completed by Christopher Bell (94.707 mph), Cole Custer (94.555), Austin Cindric (94.503) and Regan Smith (94.489). Smith is making his first start of the year in JR Motorsports’ No. 8 Chevrolet.

Jack Hawksworth, who is making his first career NASCAR start in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota, was 13th on the speed chart.

The session was stopped three times. The first was very early after Michael Annett slid off track and got stuck in sand. The second stoppage was after Vinnie Miller dropped a hose on the track. The last red flag was at the end of the session for Will Rodgers’ car going off track and experiencing a electrical fire.

The final practice session is scheduled for 4:05 – 4:55 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the practice report.

Watkins Glen latest example of short track excitement, tempers on road courses

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The hurt feelings and damaged cars from revenge were so numerous this weekend, one could have mistaken the postrace atmosphere at Watkins Glen International for that of the Bristol night race during its peak in the late 90s and early 2000s.

All that was missing was a thrown helmet.

MORE: NASCAR won’t punish retaliatory actions from Watkins Glen

But Bristol is still two weeks away.

The Cup and Xfinity races on the New York track again provided further evidence that road courses are the new short tracks, and it wouldn’t hurt to see more added to the schedule.

Don’t believe us? Here’s proof from the last five years.

Jimmie Johnson vs. Ryan Blaney / William Byron vs. Kyle Busch / Bubba Wallace vs. Kyle Busch, Sunday

Ok, so a lot happened on Sunday. But even more happened after the race.

Bubba Wallace went on an expletive filled rant against Kyle Busch after their run-in.

William Byron provided a “no comment” on his retaliation against Busch.

But Jimmie Johnson?

After he was wrecked from contact with Ryan Blaney, a clearly angry Johnson confronted the Team Penske driver on pit road. Afterward, he shared his feelings with NBCSN. This isn’t the kind of Johnson we’re used to seeing. But we’re also not used to seeing Johnson desperate to make the payoffs.

“I couldn’t hear what he was saying, his lips were quivering so bad that he can’t even speak,” Johnson said. “I guess he was nervous or scared or both, I don’t know what the hell the problem is. He just drove through me and spun us out, and it clearly has big implications on what we’re trying to do for the playoffs right now. Clearly not happy with his actions there.”

Justin Allgaier vs. Ross Chastain, Saturday

A short book could be written about Chastain and his altercations with drivers over the last few years.

The latest chapter was Saturday between him and Allgaier in the first stage of the Xfinity race, when Chastain made contact with Allgaier in the inner loop and sent him into a tire barrier on Lap 14.

Six laps later, Allgaier used his front bumper to get his message across.

“We’ve had a rocky relationship over our racing career,” Allgaier said after he finished the race in third. “Unfortunately, I’ve been on the receiving end a number of times of him running into me. He flat wrecked me in the Bus Stop back there. At some point you just get to a point where you’re tired of getting run into. I ran back into him. I had no intention of putting him in the wall. I wanted to spin him out for sure. I wanted him to kind of have the same feeling that I had a few laps before whenever he spun me out.”

Said Chastain: “It’s better if I keep my opinion to myself.”

Jimmie Johnson vs. Martin Truex Jr., Charlotte Roval 2018

There’s one road course left on the Cup schedule: The Charlotte Roval (Sept. 29).

On any given day, Truex and Johnson are two of the more mild-mannered drivers in the garage.

That says a lot about the power of road courses.

On the final turn of the final lap of the inaugural Cup race on the Roval, Johnson locked his brakes while trying to pass Truex for the win. That sent Johnson’s car spinning and into Truex’s car, which also went around.

After Ryan Blaney slipped by for the win, Truex rammed into the back of Johnson’s car and turned him around.

“I was not mad at all about Jimmie trying to win,” Truex said the next weekend. “That’s his job. That’s what we all try to do every single weekend. He was trying to win the race. I get that.

“I was mad that he screwed up.”

While you have to wait two months for Cup to return to a road course, the Xfinity Series will satisfy your needs for two of the next three races. First up, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this Saturday (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Ross Chastain vs. Joey Gase, Mid-Ohio 2018

A year ago, Chastain and his JD Motorsports crew members got into an expletive-laden scuffle with Joey Gase following the race at Mid-Ohio.

The ruckus was a result of Chastain pushing Gase deep into a corner on the last lap and spinning him.

“I don’t really appreciate that a whole lot,” Gase said afterward. “He’s (JD Motorsports team owner) Johnny Davis’ golden child. He can’t do anything wrong. It’s always the other guy’s fault. I passed him clean through the Keyhole, he left the door open. In the esses, he hit me six times and pushed me off the track. He races everyone hard, but if you race him that way, it’s a problem.”

John Hunter Nemechek vs. Cole Custer, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park 2016

Something dramatic happens on the last lap of this Truck Series race every year.

No, seriously. Every. Single. Year. (Except 2015).

But only once did it result in the driver who lost tackling the winner while he celebrated on the frontstretch.

The series returns north of the border on Aug. 25

Regan Smith vs. Alex Tagliani, Mid-Ohio 2015

There were no blows or expletives exchanged after Smith performed a bump-and-run on Tagliani in the final corner of this race to capture the win.

But Tagliani let it be known he wasn’t happy with the maneuver or Smith’s choice of a burnout celebration.

“He knows I’m not going to be there next weekend to retaliate and give him the payback,” Tagliani said. “It’s just really unfortunate to win like that, but also to see him celebrate after a win like that … but he knows he wasn’t going to win unless he pushed us off.”

Regan Smith vs. Ty Dillon, Watkins Glen 2015

Smith had an eventful year on road courses in 2015. Before Mid-Ohio he was on the opposite end of a bumper at Watkins Glen when Ty Dillon tagged his right rear in Turn 1 and spun him on a restart.

After the race, Smith grabbed Dillon by the collar. They began grappling and had to be separated by NASCAR officials.

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Today’s Xfinity race at Watkins Glen: Start time, lineup and more

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The Xfinity Series takes to Watkins Glen International for today’s Zippo 200 at The Glen, kicking off three road course races in the next four events.

Will Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell or Cole Custer continue their dominance? With five drivers qualified for the upcoming 12-driver Xfinity playoffs, this could prove to be a pivotal race for drivers who have yet to qualify, including Justin Allgaier, Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson, Justin Haley and John Hunter Nemechek.

Here’s all the info you need for today’s Zippo 200:

All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 3:15 p.m. by Monte Hudda, owner of Star Importers. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:26 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage opens at 9:30 a.m. Qualifying (multi-car, two rounds) is at 11:40 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 12:45 p.m. Driver introductions are at 2:30 p.m. The invocation will be given at 3:08 p.m. by Rev. David Fife, Elmwood Avenue Baptist Church. Trina Vargas will perform the National Anthem at 3:09 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 82 laps (200.9 miles) around the 2.450-mile road course.

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

TV/RADIO: NBC will televise the race. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. The Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 2:30 p.m and also can be heard on mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: Wunderground.com forecasts a temperature of 83 degrees with a 13% chance of precipitation at the race start time.

TO THE REAR: Cole Custer (backup car), Josh Williams (engine change)

LAST TIME: Joey Logano won last year’s race over A.J. Allmendinger and Justin Allgaier.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here

Xfinity Series practice report at Watkins Glen

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Kyle Busch was fastest in both Xfinity Series practices Friday at Watkins Glen International.

Busch followed up his field-leading first practice effort with a 121.862 mph effort in the second and final practice in preparation for Saturday’s Zippo 200 at The Glen.

Busch was followed in the final session by Justin Haley (121.374 mph), Austin Cindric (121.280 mph), NASCAR on NBC analyst and former Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger (121.207 mph), and Ryan Blaney (120.752 mph). Blaney was second-fastest to Busch in the first practice, while Allmendinger was third-fastest in the opening practice.

Sixth through 10th in the final practice were Christopher Bell (120.520 mph), Jeremy Clements (120.155 mph), Justin Allgaier (120.113), Noah Gragson (120.087) and Tyler Reddick (119.962).

There were no major incidents in the second practice. A total of 31 cars took to the track during the session.

Cole Custer, who destroyed his primary car in a single-car incident in the first practice session, finally emerged in a backup car with about 15 minutes remaining in the final practice. Custer managed to finish the session 12th in speed (119.814 mph).

Click here for the second practice speed chart.

FIRST PRACTICE

NASCAR Cup regulars Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney and former Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger were fastest in the first of two Xfinity Series practices Friday afternoon at Watkins Glen International.

Busch covered the twisting road course at a top speed of 121.259 mph. Blaney was second-fastest at 120.804 mph, followed by Allmendinger, now a NASCAR on NBC analyst, who was third at 120.272 mph.

Austin Cindric was fourth (120.155 mph), followed by Tyler Reddick (120.026), Christopher Bell (119.938), Cole Custer (119.918), Justin Haley (119.843), Josh Bilicki (119.545) and Justin Allgaier (119.401).

Cole Custer’s car suffered extensive front-end and left side damage, forcing his team to go to a backup car. Photo: Dustin Long, NBC Sports.

There was one significant incident of note in the first practice when Custer got loose and wrecked hard.

Custer’s team immediately began transitioning to use a backup car for the final Xfinity practice session, but it’s uncertain how many laps they’ll be able to get in, given that the session is coming up shortly and runs from 2:05 – 3:25 p.m. ET.

Saturday marks the Zippo 200 at The Glen Xfinity Series race, which will air live on NBC at 3 p.m. ET.

Click here for the first practice speed chart.

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