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Kurt Busch wins pole at Talladega, Stewart-Haas sweeps first two rows

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Stewart-Haas Racing swept the top four positions in qualification with Kurt Busch winning the pole for the 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 195.804 mph. This is Busch’s first restrictor plate pole.

He beat teammate Clint Bowyer (195.301 mph) by .126 seconds with Kevin Harvick (195.186) and Aric Almirola (194.571) rounding out the top four.

Starting spots are unofficial until after post-qualification inspection.

Hendrick Motorsports took the next four positions. Chase Elliott (194.394), Jimmie Johnson (194.172), Alex Bowman (193.768) and William Byron (193.768) qualified fifth through eighth.

HMS was the last team to sweep the top four positions before today’s qualification session. In April 2011 at Talladega, Jeff Gordon won the pole with Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. lined up behind him.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch (193.693) in ninth and Denny Hamlin (193.380) in 10th round out the top 10.

Playoff contender Martin Truex Jr. (192.928) qualified 11th.

Team Penske has six Talladega wins in the last eight races but failed to advance any car into the final round of qualification. Brad Keselowski (191.900), Ryan Blaney (191.731) and Joey Logano (191.386) will line up 18th through 20th.

Kyle Larson (188.731) was the slowest among the playoff contenders in 34th.

David Starr failed to qualify.

Click here for qualifying results

NASCAR docks seven Cup cars practice time at Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS – Martin Truex Jr. and Daniel Suarez will be penalized 30 minutes each in the first practice Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for inspection issues last weekend at Indianapolis. They are among seven Cup cars that will be penalized.

Truex and Suarez are being docked practice time for failing pre-race inspection three or more times at Indy.

The cars of Austin Dillon and Reed Sorenson will miss 15 minutes each in the first practice for failing pre-race inspection. Dillon’s team failed it at Darlington and Sorenson’s team at Bristol.

Also missing 15 minutes of the first practice is Kyle Larson (late to inspection), B.J. McLeod (late to inspection) and Ross Chastain (missing the rookie meeting).

Opening Cup practice is from 2:05 – 2:55 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

In the Xfinity Series, two cars will be docked 30 minutes of practice in the first session and 10 cars will be docked 15 minutes each of the opening practice.

Penalized 30 minutes will be the teams of Brandon Jones and Spencer Gallagher for failing pre-race inspection three or more times.

Missing 15 minutes of Xfinity practice will be the teams of Matt Tifft, Justin Allgaier, Max Tullman, Joey Gase and David Starr for being late to inspection.

Missing 15 minutes of Xfinity practice for failing inspection twice are the teams of Ryan Truex, Ryan Preece, Austin Cindric and Ross Chastain.

Missing 15 minutes of Xfinity practice for inspection interference after a race is the team of Cole Custer.

Xfinity practice is from 3:05 – 3:55 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

NASCAR suspends two Xfinity crew chiefs for New Hampshire violations

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NASCAR suspended the crew chiefs for Ryan Preece and John Hunter Nemechek for the next three Xfinity races after both their cars failed inspection after last weekend’s New Hampshire race.

NASCAR announced Tuesday that it also had fined crew chiefs Eric Phillips (Preece) and Mike Shiplett (Nemechek) $10,000 each. NASCAR penalized both drivers 10 points and docked the teams 10 owner points each. Their finishes will not count if needed in any tiebreaker. Preece placed third, and Nemechek was fourth at New Hampshire.

Both teams were penalized for failing post-race height requirements. It is an L1 infraction.

Joe Gibbs Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing both stated that they would not appeal the penalties.

NASCAR also fined Timothy Brown, the crew chief for David Starr, $5,000 for having one lug nut not safe and secure after the race.

In Cup, NASCAR fined Darian Grubb, crew chief for William Byron, $10,000 for one lug nut not safe and secure on Byron’s car after the race.

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Seven Cup cars to be penalized practice time at New Hampshire

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LOUDON, N.H. – Seven Cup cars will be docked practice time Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for inspection issues last weekend at Kentucky Speedway. Six Xfinity cars also will be penalized practice time.

In Cup, the teams of Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Weatherman, BJ McLeod and Blake Jones will be docked 15 minutes of opening practice for being late to pre-qualifying/race inspection last weekend at Kentucky.

The teams of Daniel Suarez and AJ Allmendinger will miss 15 minutes of the opening practice for failing inspection before last weekend’s race twice.

Opening Cup practice is from noon – 12:50 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Denny Hamlin‘s team will be penalized 15 minutes of final practice on Saturday for failing inspection before last weekend’s qualifying at Kentucky twice.

In Xfinity, the teams of Josh Bilicki and David Starr will be held 15 minutes in opening practice for being out of the garage late. The teams of Ty Dillon, Brad Keselowski, Brandon Hightower and Austin Cindric will be penalized 15 minutes for failing inspection twice last weekend at Kentucky. Opening Xfinity practice is from 1:05 – 1:55 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

 

Three Cup teams penalized practice time at Michigan

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BROOKLYN, Mich. — Three Cup teams each will be docked 15 minutes of practice Friday at Michigan International Speedway.

Joey Logano and Chase Elliott each will miss 15 minutes for failing inspection twice last week at Pocono. The No. 99 StarCom Racing team, which features Garrett Smithley making his Cup debut this weekend, also will be docked 15 minutes for being late to inspection previously.

Opening Cup practice is from 11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. ET today.

In the Xfinity Series, the teams of Smithley, Michael Annett, Ryan Reed, Brandon Jones and David Starr each will be penalized 15 minutes of practice for being late to inspection previously.

Opening Xfinity practice is from 1:05 – 1:55 p.m. ET Friday.

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