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What upcoming Cup playoff races NASCAR fans can attend

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Wednesday saw Kansas Speedway announce “up to 10,000” NASCAR fans will be able to attend its Oct. 18 Cup playoff race.

Eight Cup races remain in the season with Saturday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway closing out the first round of the playoffs (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, not all tracks are allowing fans to attend.

Here are the fan policies for the remainder of the Cup Series playoffs.

 

Bristol Motor Speedway (Saturday)

Roughly 30,000 fans are expected. The track sold out its ticket availability. Fans will also be allowed for the Xfinity race.

 

Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Sept. 27)

The track announced Sept. 18 that no fans will be permitted for any of its races.

 

Talladega Superspeedway (Oct. 4)

Reduced number of fans.

 

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)

To be determined.

 

Phoenix Raceway – Championship race (Nov. 8)

Limited number of fans for all three days.

Kansas Speedway to host ‘limited number’ of fans for Cup playoff race

Kansas Speedway fans
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Kansas Speedway announced Wednesday that it will host a “limited number” of fans for its Oct. 18 Cup playoff race. A track spokesperson said it allow “up to 10,000” fans.

The news comes after no fans were permitted to attend any of NASCAR’s races at the 1.5-mile track in July due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Oct. 18 event is the first race in the Round of 8 in the playoffs. The Round of 16 ends Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“At Kansas Speedway we have a tradition of fantastic playoff racing, and what better treat for our fans than to have them witness that in person,” track president Pat Warren said in a press release. “I know the drivers feed off the excitement of having the fans on hand, and we are enthusiastic for the opportunity to welcome them back to the track, offering a safe, healthy environment for everyone.”

To ensure social distancing between groups, fans who have already purchased tickets to the Oct. 18 race may be reseated to new locations, as comparable as possible to original seats, with new, lower ticket pricing applied. In addition, all fans will be screened before entering the facility and maintain six-feet of social distancing throughout the venue.

fans three and over will be required to wear face coverings at all times. Tailgating and coolers will not be permitted (clear bags up to 18″x18″x14″ in size will be allowed). Detailed fan protocols can be found at www.kansasspeedway.com/return.

Camping will still be available in the GEICO Turn 1, Turn 3, Turn 4 and Backstretch Terraces. Outside camping will be limited to the GEICO Martinsville, Phoenix, Daytona White and Daytona Blue Campgrounds. GEICO Reserved Infield, Richmond and Tent Camping will not be available for this event.  

Sunday Cup race at New Hampshire: Start time, TV channel, lineup

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After a few days off, NASCAR is back with a Sunday Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the NBC Sports App).

This is the first Cup race since July 23 at Kansas Speedway, a race won by Denny Hamlin. The Sunday Cup race at New Hampshire marks the first of seven series races in the month of August. Those are the final races before the playoffs begin next month.

The series returns to the 1-mile track after a dramatic battle for the win between Kevin Harvick and Hamlin in last year’s race. Harvick prevailed for his second consecutive win at this track.

Aric Almirola will start from the pole and have Hamlin next to him on the front row. Harvick starts seventh.

Here’s all the info for the Sunday Cup race at New Hampshire:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Jason Guyot, interim CEO & SVP of Resort Operations at Foxwoods Resort Casino, will give the command to start engines at 3:03 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:13 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage access health screening begins at 8 a.m. Drivers report to their cars at 2:45 p.m. Moment of silence at 2:55 p.m., followed by the invocation by Alec Kindred. The Canadian anthem and national anthem will be performed by Todd Angilly, official anthem singer of the Boston Bruins, beginning at 2:57 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 301 laps (318.46 miles) around the 1.058-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 75. Stage 2 ends on Lap 185.

COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 30

PACE LAP: At the direction of race control, NASCAR will run the entire field down pit road during one of the pace laps for pit road speed verification. If you stop anywhere on pit road for any reason you will start at the rear of the field.

TO THE REAR: Bubba Wallace (15th) and Corey LaJoie (33rd) have lost their starting positions will start from the rear after NASCAR issued penalties for improperly mounted ballast on their cars. Austin Dillon (23rd) will also start from the rear (unapproved adjustment).

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Coverage begins at 2 p.m. with NASCAR America, followed by Countdown to Green at 2:30 p.m. and the race broadcast. Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage will begin at 2 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 partly cloudy skies with a high of 83 degrees and a 15% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST RACE: Denny Hamlin won at Kansas Speedway on July 23. Brad Keselowski finished second. Martin Truex Jr. was third.

LAST RACE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: Kevin Harvick held off Denny Hamlin on the last lap to win. Erik Jones placed third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for Cup starting lineup

Catch up on NBC Sports’ coverage:

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Power Rankings: Kevin Harvick still No. 1

 

NASCAR Power Rankings: Kevin Harvick No. 1 for 4th straight week

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Can Kevin Harvick be stopped?

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver finished fourth in last Thursday’s Cup race at Kansas Speedway, but he’s still No. 1 in the latest NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.

More: Cup playoff grid

More: Cup races that will allow fans

While it’s his fourth consecutive week at No. 1, it’s the first time Harvick hasn’t been unanimous.

Eleven drivers received votes this week and Harvick beat out Brad Keselowski by just one point.

Here are this week’s power rankings.

1. Kevin Harvick (19 points): Has scored half a dozen top-five finishes in a row. He’s closing in on his career long streak of eight such finishes in 2014-15. Last week: No. 1.

2. Brad Keselowski (18 points): His runner-up finish in Kansas was his 12th top-10 finish in the last 14 races. Last week: Fourth.

3. Denny Hamlin (16 points): Claimed his series-leading fifth win of the season in Kansas. Last week: Unranked.

4. Aric Almirola (15 points): Sixth at Kansas extended career-long streak of top-10 finishes to eight consecutive races. Last week: Third.

(Tie) 5. Kyle Busch (10 points): Earned his first stage win of the season in Kansas before placing 11th after he cut a tire. Last week: Second.

(Tie) 5. Cole Custer (10 points): Finished seventh in Kansas for this third top 10 in the last four races, including his Kentucky win. Last week: Unranked.

(Tie) 7. Austin Cindric (7 points): Has finished in the top two in the last four Xfinity races, including three wins. Won both stages in Kansas before being passed on the last lap by Brandon Jones. Last week: 10th.

(Tie) 7. Martin Truex Jr (7 points): Third-place finish was his fourth top 10 in the last six races. Last week: Unranked.

9. Tyler Reddick (4 points): Has placed in the top 10 in three of the last four Cup races. Last week: Fifth.

10. Austin Hill (3 points): The Truck Series points leader earned his first win of the year in Kansas. He’s finished outside the top 10 just once through 10 races. Last week: Unranked.

Also receiving votes: Erik Jones (1 point).

Xfinity Series playoff grid after Kansas

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The Xfinity Series heads into its first off weekend since May following Brandon Jones’ overtime win Saturday at Kansas Speedway.

The victory was Jones’ second of the season and kept any new drivers from locking themselves into the 12-driver playoff field.

Six playoff spots remain up for grabs on the Xfinity Series playoff grid with nine races left in the regular season. Brandon Brown is 12th on the playoff grid after his 11th-place finish at Kansas. Brown is 32 points above the cutline and Jeremy Clements. Clements finished 12th at Kansas.

In the graphic below, drivers in green have won at least a race to earn a playoff spot, those drivers in yellow don’t have a win but have enough points to be in a playoff spot at the moment, those drivers in the red are currently outside a playoff spot.

Xfinity Series playoff grid

Xfinity Series playoff grid