Matt DiBenedetto — He won the night at Bristol if not the race, starting with his selection of the theme from “Rocky” for his intro music and then strolling on to the walkway in a silk boxing robe and boxing gloves. He led 93 laps and looked to be headed toward his first Cup win until Denny Hamlin passed him with 12 laps to go. DiBenedetto’s emotions after the runner-up finish also garnered new fans. They showed their appreciation with loud cheers when his interview was played on the track’s video board.
Denny Hamlin — Scored his fourth win of the season and sixth consecutive top-five finish. He is showing that this could be the year he wins that elusive championship.
Jeremy Clements — Finished fourth in the Bristol Xfinity race, his best result since he won at Road America in 2017. Next up on the Xfinity schedule? Road America. Clements said that “it wouldn’t matter if we wrecked and finished last, I’d still be pumped up to go to Road America. I’m ready to kick their ass. That’s a place we can win”
Gray Gaulding — Placed sixth in the Xfinity race for his best finish of the season at a track other than Daytona and Talladega. Afterward, he said: “What an awesome night. For all the little guys out there, this is what we work for … We’re definitely going to celebrate.”
Timmy Hill — Matched his career-best finish seventh in the Xfinity. That marked the first race in the partnership between Hattori Racing Enterprises and MBM Motorsports. How did the partnership help a team that had been cash strapped? Hill said HRE joining “gave us a little more tires. Normally we’re running on 40-50-lap scuff tires. That certainly helped tonight to have fresh tires.”
Austin Dillon — His 34th-place finish was his fifth finish of 30th or worse in the last seven races.
Clint Bowyer — His spin after making contact with Quin Houff just before the end of stage 2 could cost Bowyer a spot in the playoffs. The leaders pitted but those needing stage points, including Daniel Suarez and Ryan Newman, stayed out. Suarez scored nine stage points and passed Bowyer at the end of the night for the final playoff spot. Newman gained eight stage points and pulled further ahead of Bowyer in the points.
Aric Almirola — Damage from a crash led to a 29th-place finish. He has placed 29th or worse in four of the last five Bristol races.
Five of the top eight cars in qualifying failed inspection Saturday afternoon and will start at the rear for tonight’s Cup race at Kansas Speedway. Eleven of the 40 cars in the field failed inspection once.
Click here for updated starting lineup
Any car that failed inspection once lost its starting spot.
Cars that failed inspection (and where they qualified): Aric Almirola (second), Daniel Suarez (fourth), Chase Elliott (fifth), Martin Truex Jr. (sixth), Kyle Larson (eighth), Ty Dillon (15th), Joey Logano (20th), Michael McDowell (23rd), Landon Cassill (25th), Joey Gase (38th) and Timmy Hill (39th).
The cars of Elliott, Logano and Larson each failed a second time. Each had their car chief ejected.
Cars were impounded after qualifying on Friday night. They went through inspection Saturday.
For some cars that qualified deeper in the field and passed inspection, they gained several spots before the green flag waved.
Ryan Sieg was fastest in Friday’s second and final Xfinity Series practice at Talladega Superspeedway.
Sieg recorded a speed of 187.824 mph, followed by Ross Chastain (187.108 mph), who was fastest in the first practice earlier in the day.
Third through fifth fastest were John Hunter Nemechek (184.754), Josh Williams (184.726) and Timmy Hill (184.324).
Only 13 drivers took to the track for the session. As was the case in the first practice, Chevrolet dominated the second practice with eight Camaros in the top 10.
Qualifying and the MoneyLion 300 race will take place Saturday.
Click here for the full second practice speed chart.
In Friday’s first practice:
Ross Chastain was fastest in the first Xfinity practice session Friday.
Chastain, driving the No. 10 Chevrolet, was the only driver to turn a lap over 193 mph around the 2.66-mile superspeedway, at 193.779 mph.
In addition to Chastain, four of the next five fastest cars were also Chevrolets: Noah Gragson was second (192.874 mph), Justin Haley was fourth (192.820), Justin Allgaier was fifth (192.451) and Tyler Reddick was sixth (192.235).
The only non-Chevy driver in the top 6 was Ford pilot Chase Briscoe, who was third-fastest at 192.823 mph.
Toyotas struggled for speed, with 12th-ranked Timmy Hill the fastest at 191.172 mph.
Thirty-five cars took to the track for the session.
Click here for the full first practice speed chart.
Here are the entry lists for this weekend’s races at Texas Motor Speedway:
Cup – O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 (3 p.m. ET Sunday on Fox)
Forty cars are entered. The No. 97 Chevrolet of Obaika Racing has not named a driver yet.
Non-Cup regulars entered include B.J. McLeod (No. 52 Ford of Rick Ware Racing), Timmy Hill (No. 66 Toyota of Motorsports Business Management), Garrett Smithley (No. 77 Chevrolet of Spire Motorsports) and Parker Kligerman (No. 96 Toyota of Gaunt Brothers Racing).
Kyle Busch, who will once again go for the third weekend sweep of his career, entered in the Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series races. He’s the only driver in NASCAR history to have won races in three national series at the same track in the same weekend. Both of those previously came at Bristol Motor Speedway (2010, 2017).
Click here for the Cup Series entry list.
Xfinity – Bariatric Solutions 300 (1 p.m. ET Saturday on Fox Sports 1)
Forty cars are entered.
Cup drivers entered: Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) and Brad Keselowski (No. 12 Team Penske Ford).
Click here for the Xfinity Series entry list.
Trucks – Vankor 350 (9 p.m. ET Friday on Fox Sports 1)
Thirty-two trucks are entered.
Cup drivers entered: Busch (No. 51 Toyota of Kyle Busch Motorsports), Bubba Wallace (No. 22 Chevrolet of AM Racing and Ross Chastain (No. 45 Chevrolet for Niece Motorsports).
Click here for Truck entry list
AVONDALE, Ariz. – Eight Cup teams will be docked practice Saturday for inspection issues at ISM Raceway. Only one team is a playoff team.
The cars of DJ Kennington, Ty Dillon, JJ Yeley, Jimmie Johnson, Timmy Hill and Tanner Berryhill will miss 15 minutes of practice Saturday morning for being late to pre-qualifying inspection.
Practice will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. ET on CNBC.
The cars of AJ Allmendinger and Berryhill will miss 15 minutes of the final practice session for failing pre-qualifying inspection twice.
Playoff contender Martin Truex Jr. will miss 30 minutes of final practice for failing pre-qualifying inspection three times.
Final Cup practice is from 2 – 2:50 p.m. ET on NBCSN.