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UPDATED: Entry lists for playoff races at Martinsville Speedway

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It’s time for the last short track races of the NASCAR season as the playoffs roll on at Martinsville Speedway.

The Cup and Camping World Truck Series will be in action this weekend at the .526-mile track in Virginia.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for the weekend.

Cup – First Data 500 (2:30 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN)

There are 40 entries for the race.

Matt Kenseth is back in Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 6 Ford.

Hermie Sadler is entered in Premium Motorsports’ No. 7 Chevrolet for his first start of the year. Five of his last six Cup starts have been at Martinsville.

Jeb Burton is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 51 Ford. It will be his first Cup start since 2016 at Pocono Raceway.

Clint Bowyer won the March race at Martinsville. He beat Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney.

Busch is the defending winner of this race. He beat Martin Truex Jr. and Bowyer.

Click here for the entry list.

Trucks – Texas Roadhouse 200 (1 p.m. ET Saturday)

There are 35 entries for the race. Three trucks will not make the field.

Kyle Benjamin, Jeb Burton and Timothy Peters are entered in the race.

Harrison Burton is entered in Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 51 Toyota.

John Hunter Nemechek won the March Martinsville race over Benjamin and Brett Moffitt. Noah Gragson won this race last year over Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter.

Click here for the entry list.

Long: Is Talladega supposed to look like this?

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So what is NASCAR? Is it a sport? Or is it a show?

Admittedly, those in the NASCAR offices likely will view its racing as both. But that creates a conflict over how to look at Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.

If one views it as a sporting event, Stewart-Haas Racing’s domination — qualifying all of its cars in the top four, running there much of the race and Aric Almirola winning with Clint Bowyer second — should be celebrated because SHR did what every team hopes to do every weekend.

But that performance doesn’t play well to the overall view of the race (or show). With SHR controlling the front and drivers battling ill-handling cars, the two- and three-wide racing so common at Talladega often was replaced by single-file racing.

The 15 lead changes were the fewest at Talladega since 1973.

Green flag passes — a stat NASCAR tracks based on position changes over each scoring loop on every lap — were down 54.4 percent from last fall’s playoff race at Talladega.

Think about that … lead changes at its lowest level since before any driver in Sunday’s race was born and green-flag passes down more than 50 percent from the previous year.

Is that something fans want to see more of?

Doesn’t seem to be the case based on Jeff Gluck’s weekly Twitter poll. He stated that only 42 percent of those who voted this week thought Talladega was a good race.

Fewer than 50 percent of the voters said either Talladega race this year was a good one in Gluck’s poll. The April race had 24 lead changes — the fewest for that event since 19 lead changes in the 1998 race — and saw a 57.8 percent decline in green-flag passes.

There’s an expectation when NASCAR races at Daytona and Talladega of pack racing, passing and wild action.

Such was in limited supply at both Talladega races this year. But it wasn’t just there. The four plate races (Daytona and Talladega) saw 89 lead changes this season — down 29.4 percent from last year’s plate races.

While three of the four plate races this year ended with a last-lap pass (Austin Dillon in the Daytona 500, Erik Jones at Daytona in July and Aric Almirola at Talladega last weekend), not everyone may be willing to wait through the racing to those final laps.

With the 2019 rules package, NASCAR anticipates pack racing to remain key at Daytona and Talladega but Sunday’s race might force series officials to make some additional changes to ensure the pack is back next year.


Questions have been raised about how NASCAR officiated the end of the Truck and Cup races this weekend at Talladega.

Kurt Busch was critical of NASCAR’s decision. Had NASCAR called a caution for the crash in Turn 1 on the last lap, Busch likely would have won. Instead, he ran out of fuel and Aric Almirola won.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s chief racing development officer, explained Monday on SirusXM NASCAR Radio how series officials made the call on if to throw the caution in either race.

“Our first job is to always make sure everybody is safe, and we felt we did that in this case,” O’Donnell said about letting the Cup race finish under green.

While each last-lap scenario presents different challenges, NASCAR must remain steadfast in following what O’Donnell said in terms of driver safety. That must be No. 1 regardless of it is the last lap at Talladega, the last lap of the Daytona 500 or the last lap of the championship race in Miami.

NASCAR must be consistent with that. And that may mean calling for a caution instead of a dramatic race to the finish line.


It won’t be next year but maybe someday GMS Racing likely will field a Cup team.

GMS Racing, owned by Maury Gallagher, was in talks with Furniture Row Racing earlier this year to purchase the team’s charter, align with Joe Gibbs Racing and move to Cup next season. It’s one of the reasons why the team, through Mike Beam, didn’t try to top Front Row Motorsports’ bid for BK Racing’s charter and equipment in a court-appointed auction in August.

After examining all the costs, Gallagher decided not to pursue the Furniture Row Racing charter and equipment.

“We’re still talking and thinking about it, but first things first, we’re trying to get through this year and do some good things, particularly winning the (Truck) championship,” Gallagher said after Timothy Peters won the Truck race at Talladega.

Spencer Gallagher called the deal not working out a “tempered disappointment” but added “we got into that deal and we realized that we were going to have to undertake some additional complications with it. More than anything, if and when we make the decision to go Cup racing, I’d like to think that if we have one true luxury it is that we get to choose when and where we get to do it, which means that we’re committed to only doing it if it can be done right.

“As Maury likes to say, there’s always another deal that comes along. Patience is our watchword for getting ourselves into Cup.”

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Truck results, point standings after Talladega

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The Round of 8 came to a close at Talladega with several playoff contenders involved in accidents. In the end, it was part-time driver Timothy Peters who survived the carnage to score his third Truck victory at Talladega and 11th of his career.

Last-lap contact with Noah Gragson opened the door for Peters to win and caused the Fr8Auctions 250 to end under caution with Myatt Snider second and David Gilliland third.

Fourth-place Justin Haley was the only playoff contender in the top five. Wendell Chavous rounded finished fifth to score his first Tuck top 10.

Click here for complete results

Johnny Sauter scored enough stage points to advance in the playoffs. He enters the Round of 6 with the lead and 42 bonus points.

Brett Moffitt is seeded second with 27 bonus points and is followed by Noah Gragson (25), Grant Enfinger (18) and Justin Haley (14). Matt Crafton is seeded in the sixth and final position with three bonus points.

Ben Rhodes and Stewart Friesen failed to advance.

Click here for the complete points

 

Timothy Peters wins Truck race at Talladega after last-lap contact

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Contact on the final lap of the Fr8auctions 250 at Talladega Superspeedway between Timothy Peters and Noah Gragson sent one driver spinning and the other to victory lane.

Peters made contact with Gragson’s right rear quarter panel while battling for the lead, sending Gragson’s truck into the wall. Peters was ahead of the field as the caution waved to freeze the field to score the win.

“My spotter said clear coming down to the tri-oval and I just didn’t get cleared enough,” Peters said. “I had my teammate coming on the outside and had a good push … to the outside and it was just formed up quicker, better trucks, coming off of Turn 2. We’re coming down to the checkered flag and we’re trying to make the best of it. Noah is going for it, too. Was it a block? At that point it didn’t matter, I wasn’t going to lift. I hated the outcome that it was but it feels good to cross that finish line knowing we won that race.”

Myatt Snider finished second with David Gilliland third. Justin Haley, who was already locked into the Round of 6 with his win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, finished fourth. Wendell Chavous placed a career-best fifth in what he said would be his last series race.

Ben Rhodes and Stewart Friesen were eliminated from title contention.

Stage 1 and Stage 2 went caution-free with a few close calls. It boiled over in the final stage. On lap 59, Chris Fontaine changed lanes from the high side and came across the nose of Haley. Fontaine spun into Johnny Sauter and then shot back up the track. When the smoke cleared, 10 trucks were heavily damaged, including those of points contenders Matt Crafton and Ben Rhodes. Also involved were Parker Kligerman, Spencer Gallagher, John Hunter Nemechek, Bo LeMastus and Justin Fontaine. The accident brought out a red flag that lasted 11 minutes, 42 seconds.

Gragson tweeted after the race that there were no hard feelings toward Peters.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Todd Gilliland

MORE: Click here for complete results
MORE: Click here for the complete points

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Wendell Chavous finished fifth to earn his first top 10 in 50 Truck races. … Bryan Dauzat (8th) scored his first top-10 finish in his fourth career start. … In his third career Truck race, Max Tullman scored his first top 10 (10th). His previous best was a 23rd at Chicagoland earlier this year.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Tanner Thorson (31st) got turned out of the draft with three laps remaining in Stage 2, collecting Brett Moffitt. Early in the final stage, he cut a tire and spun in a single-truck incident. … Making his fourth start of the season, Parker Kligerman (28th) pinballed his way through the Lap 59 accident and made heavy contact with the inside wall. … Coming off Turn 4, Todd Gilliland (20th) made contact with Enfinger with 11 laps remaining while battling for the lead. Gilliland made heavy contact with the inside wall.

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “That’s Talladega. That’s what we race here for: wild wrecks and crazy finishes. … We had a great first two segments and then got hooked in the right rear in that one,” Crafton said on Fox after being involved in a Lap 59 accident.

WHAT’S NEXT: Texas Roadhouse 200 at 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 27 on Fox Sports 1.

UPDATED entry lists for NASCAR at Talladega

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The last restrictor-plate races of the season have arrived with the Cup and Truck Series events at Talladega Superspeedway.

Sunday’s Cup race is also the series’ last restrictor-plate race at Talladega.

The Cup race is the second race in the Round of 12 in the playoffs. The Truck Series will end its first playoff round more than a month after it started.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for each race.

Cup – 1000Bulbs.com 500 (2 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC)

There are 41 entries for the race. Only 40 cars will qualify for the field.

Cody Ware is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 51 Chevrolet. David Starr is entered in Obaika Racing’s No. 97 Toyota.

Brendan Gaughan is entered in Beard Motorsports’ No. 62 Chevrolet.

DJ Kennington is entered in Premium Motorsports’ No. 7 Chevrolet.

In April’s race, Joey Logano led the final 42 laps and beat Kurt Busch and Chase Elliott.

Click here for the updated entry list.

Truck Series

There are 36 entries for the race.

Spencer Gallagher is entered in GMS Racing’s No. 2 Chevrolet.

Timothy Peters is entered in GMS Racing’s No. 25 Chevrolet.

David Gilliland is entered in Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 51 Toyota.

Joey Gase will drive Copp Motorsports’ No. 83 Chevrolet.

Last year, Parker Kligerman led the final two laps to claim the win over Christopher Bell and Myatt Snider.

Click here for the entry list.