Sam Ard

Chase Briscoe wins Sunday Xfinity race at Dover

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Chase Briscoe took a backup car from the rear of the field to the win in Sunday’s Xfinity Series race at Dover International Speedway.

The win is Briscoe’s sixth of the year, breaking his tie with Austin Cindric for most victories this year.

“Awesome car,” Briscoe said on the radio to his team after the race. “Way to work.”

MORE: Race results

Briscoe had to go to a backup car after he spun and hit the inside wall in Saturday’s race.

He remained confident about Sunday’s race, telling his wife that he would win.

“We haven’t won in a month and a half but it feels like five years,” Briscoe told NBCSN. “We’re kind of back where I feel we were at the beginning of the year. Truthfully, I feel like today was the most dominant car we’ve had all year long.”

Ross Chastain, who earned his first stage win and first playoff point of the season, placed second. Cindric finished third and was followed by Brandon Jones and Daniel Hemric.

Justin Allgaier, who won Saturday’s race at Dover, finished seventh

STAGE 1 WINNER: Ross Chastain

STAGE 2 WINNER: Chase Briscoe

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Ross Chastain remains winless but scored his first playoff point with the stage victory on the way to finishing second. … Daniel Hemric’s fifth-place finish was his best result he finished fourth at Atlanta. … Brett Moffitt‘s 10th-place finish was his best result since placing 10th at Kentucky.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Vinnie Miller finished last after contact with Jeffrey Earnhardt and hit the wall, ending his race after 11 laps. … Harrison Burton finished 11th after two penalties. He was penalized for a choose rule violation and for a commitment line violation.

NOTABLE: Austin Cindric’s third-place finish snapped his streak of seven consecutive top-two finishes. That was the third longest streak in Xfinity history behind Sam Ard’s streak of eight such consecutive finishes and Kyle Busch‘s streak of nine such races.

NEXT: The series races at 7:30 p.m. ET Friday, Aug. 28 at Daytona on NBCSN

Austin Cindric triumphs on Daytona Xfinity road course

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Austin Cindric avoided the chaos and crashes to win Saturday’s inaugural Xfinity Series race at the Daytona International Speedway road course. It marked his fifth victory in the last six races.

Cindric passed Brandon Jones for the lead in Turn 6 with five laps to go and pulled away to win.

“I didn’t feel I drove my best today but we executed,” Cindric told NBCSN after the race.

Cindric’s five victories tie him with Chase Briscoe for the most in the series this season.

Jones finished second and was followed by Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger and Andy Lally. Jeremy Clements, who is battling for the final playoff spot, finished sixth.

On a restart with seven laps to go, several cars drifted wide in Turn 1, including Chase Briscoe. He ran into the back of Allmendinger’s car when he was squeezed by another car and then knocked off course. That ended Briscoe’s race. He finished 29th. Jones went from seventh to first on that restart, putting him in position for the runner-up result.

Chaos reigned early.

Justin Haley‘s race ended in this incident early in Saturday’s race. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Justin Haley had his race end on Lap 12 when he got into the grass on the backstretch chicane and the grass tore up his splitter and damaged the front of his car, ending his race. He finished last in the 38-car field. At the same time, Kaulig Racing teammates Ross Chastain and Allmendinger had problems. Chastain had a mechanical issue. Allmendinger was penalized a lap for pitting out of the box when his fuel can was still attached as his car moved out of its stall.

Gragson crashed while leading on Lap 18. He got his right side tires into the grass, lost control in the infield portion of the course and slid through Turn 5 into the tire barrier.

The start of the race was delayed more than 90 minutes by lightning. NASCAR declared race conditions as damp for the start of the 52-lap race, meaning teams had the option to put on rain tires before the race.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Austin Cindric

STAGE 2 WINNER: Chase Briscoe

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Noah Gragson’s third-place finish continued his road course success. He has finished in the top 10 in all seven Xfinity road course starts. … Jeremy Clements’ sixth-place finish is his fourth top 10 of the season, tying his total from last season for the most in a year.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Justin Allgaier left frustrated with his ninth-place finish. He was upset with AJ Allmendinger for spinning him late while Allgaier ran third. … Daniel Hemric‘s rough season continued. He finished 37th after a crash. It is Hemric’s fifth finish of 30th or worse in 13 starts this season. … Earl Bamber, the two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, turned Riley Herbst early and wrecked late after getting off course on the backstretch chicane. He finished 33rd for Richard Childress Racing after running toward the front.

NOTABLE: Austin Cindric joins Sam Ard as the only drivers to win five times in six series races.

NEXT: The series races Saturday, Aug. 22 at Dover (12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). The Xfinity Series

March 28 in NASCAR history: Texas Terry Labonte gets a home win

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Terry Labonte’s last two Cup Series wins were anything but forgettable.

The last one, in 2003, came in the Southern 500. That was the same race he earned his first Cup win in way back in 1980.

But four years earlier, the two-time champion got a home win.

A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, the driver nicknamed “Texas Terry” claimed a victory in the 1999 race at Texas Motor Speedway. It was just the third Cup race held at the facility after it opened in 1997.

Labonte started fourth and would lead 124 of 334 laps around the 1.5-mile track, including the final 12 after he passed Dale Jarrett on the outside going into Turn 1 for the lead.

Jarrett wouldn’t get a chance to fight for the lead again. With four laps to go, Jimmy Spencer crashed on the frontstretch to bring out the caution. Labonte took the checkered and yellow flags together for his 21st Cup win.

“We picked places to go test this year and I said ‘I want to go here cause this is a race I want to win,” Labonte told CBS. “Besides Daytona, coming here to Texas is awesome.”

Making the day even better for the Labonte family was Terry’s younger brother, Bobby, placing third.

Also on this day:

1954: The premier series held two races on different sides of the country. Dick Rathmann won a 125-mile race at Oakland Speedway in California after starting last. In Georgia, Al Keller won his first career race at Savannah’s Oglethorpe Speedway.

1982: Sam Ard claimed his first career Xfinity Series win in a race at Martinsville Speedway. Ard would go on to win 22 Xfinity races and the championships in 1983 and 1984.

1992: Robert Pressley passed Harry Gant on the last lap to win the Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway.

1993: Dale Earnhardt came back from a lap down to win at Darlington Raceway. It was his first win since the Coca-Cola 600 10 months earlier. Alan Kulwicki finished sixth in what would be his last race before his death in a plane crash on April 1.

2004: Kurt Busch won at Bristol for his third consecutive victory on the half-mile track.

NASCAR Hall of Fame fan vote underway

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Fan voting for the 2020 NASCAR Hall of Fame class has begun.

Fans can vote online and the five nominees receiving the highest percentage of votes will comprise the Fan Vote ballot.

The fan vote ends on May 20 at 11:59 a.m. ET. The class will be formally voted on and announced at the Hall of Fame on May 22.

Here are the 20 nominees for the 2020 class:

Sam Ard, NASCAR Xfinity Series pioneer and two-time champion

Buddy Baker, won 19 times in the NASCAR Cup Series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500

Neil Bonnett, won 18 times in the NASCAR Cup Series, including consecutive Coca-Cola 600 victories

Red Farmer, three-time Late Model Sportsman champion; 1956 Modified champion

Ray Fox, legendary engine builder, crew chief and car owner

Harry Gant, winner of 18 NASCAR Cup Series races, including two Southern 500 victories

Joe Gibbs, combined for nine car owner championships in Cup and XFINITY series

John Holman, won two NASCAR Cup Series championships as co-owner of Holman-Moody Racing

Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR Cup Series championship crew chief

Bobby Labonte, won a championship in both the Cup Series and XFINITY Series

Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR west series champion

Ralph Moody, won two NASCAR Cup Series championships as co-owner of Holman-Moody Racing

Marvin Panch, won 17 times in the NASCAR Cup Series, including the 1961 Daytona 500

Jim Paschal, 23 of his 25 NASCAR Cup Series wins came on short tracks

Larry Phillips, first five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion

Ricky Rudd, won 23 times in NASCAR Cup Series, including the 1997 Brickyard 400

Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships

Tony Stewart, three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, two-time Brickyard 400 winner

Red Vogt, the first master mechanic of NASCAR, and a founding member

Waddell Wilson, won three NASCAR Cup Series championships as an engine builder

Click here to vote on the Hall of Fame class.

Joe Gibbs on Christopher Bell: ‘We have to keep him’

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Christopher Bell’s three consecutive Xfinity wins have raised questions of if he’ll move to Cup next year, but car owner Joe Gibbs said Wednesday on “The Morning Drive” that the youngster is “scheduled” to be in Xfinity next year.

Bell’s status has gained attention because there’s seemingly no place for him in a Toyota Cup ride next year.

Joe Gibbs Racing already has Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones in its four-car lineup. The only other high-profile Toyota team, Furniture Row Racing, has reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr., and seeks sponsorship for that team. That leaves the possibility of a second ride there less likely. Truex is a free agent after this season but indicated last month at Kentucky that “I don’t plan on doing anything different” for next season.

If Toyota added another organization, it could provide Bell with a path to Cup as early as next year.

“We have to keep him,” Gibbs said to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio of ensuring Bell remains in the Toyota and JGR fold. “Just put it that way. We have to. I think Toyota has a lot invested. We do. I really think he’s a future star. You never know when you step up to the next level, that’s a huge step. We think he’s well on his way. I think he’s showing everyone what his abilities are and his talents.”

Bell won the Camping World Truck Series title last year for Toyota-backed Kyle Busch Motorsports. He ran eight Xfinity races last year for Joe Gibbs Racing, winning in his fifth series start, before moving to that series full-time with JGR this year. Bell has four victories and 12 top-five finishes in 19 Xfinity races this season. He goes for his fourth consecutive Xfinity win — an accomplishment achieved only by Sam Ard in 1983 — Saturday at Watkins Glen (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC).

Bell’s rise and the limited number of Toyota seats in Cup create a conundrum the manufacturer has faced before. Toyota’s driver development program goes from midget racing all the way to Cup, providing a ladder system for drivers to climb as they progress. But with limited seats in Xfinity and Cup, Toyota has lost some young drivers to other manufacturers and organizations.

Kyle Larson, who had been racing on dirt for a Toyota-backed team, signed with Turner Motorsports, a Chevrolet team, to drive in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2013. He later moved to Chevrolet’s Chip Ganassi Racing in Cup. After that, Toyota began to examine its development program to find more avenues for its young drivers.

Even with that in place, the manufacturer lost William Byron, who won a series-high seven Camping World Truck races in 2016 for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Byron moved to JR Motorsports, a Chevrolet team in the Xfinity Series, in 2017. He won the title before moving up to Cup with Hendrick Motorsports this season.

If there’s no room immediately at Joe Gibbs Racing in Cup for Bell, could the organization move him elsewhere as it did when Jones ran as a rookie last year at Furniture Row Racing before returning to JGR?

“Well, it’s so far in the future,” Gibbs said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “I think that’s what we’re all right now planning and looking at. I think it’s kind of up in the air right now. We’re kind of set next year. We want to keep him in Xfinity next year.

“I think he may have a chance to race a few other things. I think that’s kind of our plan. A year away, a lot can happen in a year. We’re just glad that we’ve got him under our banner.”