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Preliminary entry lists for Cup, Xfinity at Charlotte Motor Speedway

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Forty-one cars are on the preliminary entry list for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NBC Sports analyst Parker Kligerman will make his first Cup start since 2014 this weekend. He’s driving the No. 96 for Gaunt Brothers Racing.

BJ McLeod will be in the No. 52, a second entry for Rick Ware Racing.

The entry list was updated Monday to add a 41st car — the No. 7 that will be driven by JJ Yeley for NY Racing Team. The team is owned by John Cohen, who was owner of Team Xtreme when it had its Atlanta car stolen from the parking lot of a Georgia hotel in Feb. 2015.

Rob Kauffman, chairman of the Race Team Alliance, tweeted his displeasure with the team entering the event:

Austin Dillon is the defending Coca-Cola 600 winner.

Click here for updated Coca-Cola 600 entry list

In the Xfinity Series, 43 cars are entered for the Alsco 300.

Cup drivers entered are: Ty Dillon, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott and Jamie McMurray. Elliott is driving the No. 23 for GMS Racing in place of suspended driver Spencer Gallagher.

Kaz Grala, who lost his ride at JGL Racing when the organization shut down the No. 24 because of lack of sponsorship, is entered with the No. 61 car for Fury Race Cars.

Ryan Blaney won last May’s race.

Click here for Xfinity entry list

New rules for All-Star Race make this anyone’s event to win

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How will Saturday night’s All-Star Race unfold at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a new rules package virtually untested in the real world?

“We will just have to wait and see,” Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman said, succinctly summarized the thoughts of many.

“The rules package NASCAR is planning to use for the All-Star Race is definitely going to be interesting and something different,” Bowman said in a release this week. “It’s cool that NASCAR is trying to constantly make the racing better.”

This week’s prerace releases have been filled with uncertainty. Martin Truex Jr. hopes to use that to his advantage because the rules won’t carry over to the Coca-Cola 600. He isn’t the only one experiencing a change in attitude this year.

Locked into the All-Star Race because of his 2008 victory in the event, Kasey Kahne has the opportunity to deliver Leavine Family Racing one of its biggest successes. Much like racing on the restrictor-plate superspeedways, conventional wisdom will not apply, and this likely will be a wild-card race.

“With us not having run this rules package, we go into this weekend not exactly sure how the cars are going to feel in general, how they’ll work around other cars, or what the speeds will be like,” Kahne said. “It’s tough to say how it will all work out, but we won’t be learning much from this weekend to carry over into the 600 like we may have in years past. Teams will try to go out and win the All-Star Race with this package, and then next weekend, we’ll go back to racing what we’ve been racing all season long.”

“This package is going to be different, there’s no question about it,” David Ragan said. “Charlotte Motor Speedway is a place where the field tends to get strung out really fast, but these rules will slow everybody down a little, and I think we might see more side-by-side racing. And maybe it can spark some new conversation in the industry on a direction we need to go.”

The teams aren’t exactly working in a vacuum. NASCAR used a version of this rules package at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Xfinity race last year, and the general consensus was that it did, in fact, create more side-by-side racing.

“I think we have to try this new aero package and see where it goes,” Chris Buescher said. “I know the (Xfinity cars) were able to use it at Indy, and I think as far as statistics go, there was a lot of movement in the field and green-flag passing, and I know that’s what NASCAR is after to try and create something different for the All-Star Race.”

Because no one really knows what to expect, a new rules package levels the playing field and may just well give a less experienced driver a chance to shine.

“Hopefully, what I learned with that aero package last year at Indy (in Xfinity) will apply,” William Byron said. “I feel like maybe I’ll have a little bit of the upper hand just knowing what my car needs to do because I think a lot of guys may be up in the air on what to do with their cars (with the new package).”

What will actually happen in the race is anyone’s guess – much the same as on plate tracks.

Without points on the line, there is an incentive to take risks one might not otherwise. This race is already prone to high-risk moves. If the rules package slows the cars arbitrarily and the entirety of the race is run in a pack or multiple packs, the proximity of these enthusiastic drivers to one another could be a recipe for excitement – or disaster.

What other drivers said:

  • “This year’s race in particular will be interesting with the new rules package. I can’t really give any opinion one way or the other until we get on the racetrack around other cars to see what it will be like.” – Jamie McMurray
  • “I’m excited to get on track with the new package we’ll run and see how it feels and how it races.” – Kyle Larson
  • “You never know what is going to happen, especially with the new aero package that we will run. Anyone can win the race.” – Ty Dillon
  • “Obviously, speeds are going to be slower, a lot more downforce, a lot more drag. But it’s still a big question mark. Nobody knows how it’s really going to play out.” – Michael McDowell

Entry lists for NASCAR’s All-Star weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway

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NASCAR’s All-Star Weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway nears this weekend with the Monster Energy All-Star Race and a Camping World Truck Series race.

The field for the All-Star Race is made up of race winners in 2017 and 2018, former All-Star Race winners who are competing full-time and Cup champions who are competing full-time.

The drivers currently set to compete in the All-Star Race are: Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Martin Truex Jr.

Kyle Busch is the defending winner of the race.

The All-Star Race is preceded by the 50-lap Monster Energy Open.

The Open is broken up into three stages of 20 laps, 20 laps and a 10-lap sprint. The winner of each stage will advance to the main event.

A fan vote will advance a fourth driver.

There are 21 entries for the Open.

Click here for the entry list.

Truck Series – North Carolina Education Lottery 200

There are 36 entries for the race.

Kyle Busch will make his third start of the season. He will drive the No. 51 Toyota.

Brandon Jones is entered in Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 46 Toyota.

Todd Gilliland, driving KBM’s No. 4 Toyota, makes his third start of the year. He turns 18 on Tuesday, allowing him to compete on all NASCAR tracks.

Last year this race was won by Busch. He won over Johnny Sauter and Christopher Bell.

Click here for the entry list.

Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney involved in incident with 20 laps left in Kansas Cup race

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Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson, the drivers who won Stage 1 and Stage 2 respectively, were involved in an incident with 20 laps to go in the Cup race at Kansas Speedway

The two were in the top five when they made contact entering Turn 1. The damage from the contact cut a tire on Blaney’s car and sent him into the wall.

Blaney was eliminated from the race and Larson continued. Larson had to pit twice, the second time in order to tighten lug nuts.

Blaney led 53 laps and Larson has led 100 laps after having to start last for changing tires after qualifying.

“It was hard racing,” Blaney told Fox Sports 1. “I definitely take the blame on that one.  I was just trying to side draft hard and the car was kind of light down the frontstretch there and it was just hard racing at the end.  I got about spun out in one and two on the restart, getting sucked around.  We were making some spots back up and just trying to get back up to the front and tried too hard.  That stinks. … I hate I got (Larson), but it was just hard racing.”

A few laps after the race restarted, a seven-car wreck brought out the red flag on Lap 253.

The wreck eliminated William Byron, Matt Kenseth, Ty Dillon, Chris Buescher, Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman. Clint Bowyer was also involved.

Byron’s car was lifted off its rear wheels when Newman plowed into him

“That one hurt really bad,” Byron told FS1. “I’m fine. We took two tires there and just couldn’t get it turned on the bottom and then got sucked around at the last minute. Couldn’t rotate. Couldn’t cut. Overall tried to push some things there, and it didn’t work out.”

Byron added, “That’s the hardest hit I’ve been in. I’m thankful to be walking.”

Kevin Harvick wins Cup pole at Kansas Speedway

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Kevin Harvick will start first in Saturday’s Cup race at Kansas Speedway after earning his second pole of the year.

He won the pole with a speed of 188.811 mph. It’s a career-best fourth pole for Harvick at the 1.5-mile track.

Harvick, who won last week at Dover, will be joined on the front row by Ryan Blaney (187.826 mph).

The top five is completed by Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola and Brad Keselowski.

Almirola’s starting spot is his best of the year.

Jimmie Johnson will start 23rd and Jamie McMurray will start 24th after neither made a lap in Round 2. Fox Sports 1 reported Johnson wasn’t comfortable with his car in the first round and didn’t want to risk making any more laps.

McMurray’s team couldn’t get his car to start for the second round.

That was after Johnson and McMurray’s teams scrambled to get their cars on the track after having to go through inspection multiple times.

“We intended on running again, but for some reason the engine wouldn’t start,” McMurray said. “The starter would only spin it over for like one revolution and then the starter would disengage.  We really tried hard to get it to start and just couldn’t ever get it to fire again. We will start wherever we are at there and yeah, nothing we could do about it.”

Kyle Larson spun in Turn 4 in Round 2. If the team changes tires on the No. 42 Chevrolet, that would force Larson to start from the rear. It would also be the second consecutive race Larson has had to start from the rear.

Six drivers did not make a qualifying attempt after their cars failed to get through inspection in time. That includes Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Matt DiBenedetto, Kasey Kahne, Timmy Hill and Michael McDowell

They will all start from the rear of Saturday’s race.

“We’re stuck back there in jail,” Bowyer told FS1. “Pretty bad taste in my mouth right now. It’s hard not to go off because it’s frustrating. You’re sitting there watching the guys. The body was off, they made some adjustments and went back through and then the chassis is off.”

Click here for qualifying results.