Saturday Talladega Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather

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The second race of the opening round of the Xfinity playoffs takes drivers to Talladega Superspeedway.

Noah Gragson secured his spot in the next round by winning last weekend at Texas. Ryan Sieg holds the final transfer spot. Riley Herbst is the first driver below the cutline, one point behind Sieg. Also below the cutline are reigning series champion Daniel Hemric (-8 points), Brandon Jones (-12) and Jeremy Clements (-28).

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Talladega Superspeedway

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 4:09 p.m. … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 4:21 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 1 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 3:30 p.m. … The invocation will be given at 4 p.m. … The Brookwood High School choir will perform the anthem at 4:02 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 113 laps (300.58 miles) on the 2.66-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 25. Stage 2 ends at Lap 50.

TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 4 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 3:30 p.m. on USA Network. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. and also will stream at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.

STREAMING: NBCsports.com

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Sunny with a high of 78 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Noah Gragson won and was followed by Jeffrey Earnhardt and AJ Allmendinger.

 

NASCAR viewer’s guide for Talladega Superspeedway

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After a messy Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs move on this weekend to another potentially messy spot — Talladega Superspeedway.

Home to the Big One — an almost certain multi-car crash, Talladega also occasionally produces unexpected winners, including Richard Brickhouse, James Hylton, Lennie Pond, Ron Bouchard and Brad Keselowski.

The mix of tight drafting, the Next Gen car and general playoff tension should make Sunday’s 500-mile run quite the adventure.

On Sunday at Texas, Tyler Reddick became the second driver (after Chase Elliott) to score three wins this season.

Joey Logano enters Talladega with the playoff point lead.

Playoff rookies roll on

The four drivers participating in the Cup playoffs for the first time remain factors approaching the second race in the second round.

Ross Chastain is second in the standings, 18 points above the cutline entering Talladega.

MORE: NBC NASCAR rankings put Denny Hamlin first

Daniel Suarez, Chastain’s Trackhouse Racing teammate, is seventh. He’s four points above the cutline.

Two other playoff rookies — Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric — will start Talladega below the cutline. Briscoe is four points below the cutline. Cindric is 11 points below the cutline.

Looking for wins

Only six of the remaining 12 playoff drivers have won races at the two remaining tracks in the second round (Talladega and Charlotte Roval).

Among the six, Joey Logano has the best win record at Talladega, having finished first there in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

Other Talladega winners in the group: Ryan Blaney (two), Denny Hamlin (two), Chase Elliott (one), Ross Chastain (one).

The Charlotte Roval is relatively new, of course, but Chase Elliott already owns two wins there. Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson also have won at the Roval.

An opening for Brad?

Few people who watched it will forget the first Cup Series victory scored by Brad Keselowski.

It occurred at this week’s tour stop — Talladega Superspeedway — in April 2009. Keselowski and Carl Edwards made contact approaching the finish line and notched the win, even as Edwards’ car flew into the frontstretch fence, spraying car parts into the grandstands.

Thirteen years later, Keselowski returns to NASCAR’s biggest track having recorded six Talladega wins. No other active drive has more than three.

Keselowski’s refurbished team — Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing — has new fire with Chris Buescher winning at Bristol and Keselowski winning the pole and finishing eighth at Texas.

RFK Racing has led 309 laps in the past two races, more than the team had led in the prior 105 races combined.

Although he hasn’t won a Cup race since scoring a victory in a Team Penske Ford in April 2021 at Talladega, Keselowski must be considered a threat Sunday.

Entry lists

Thirty-seven drivers, including Xfinity Series star Noah Gragson and reigning Xfinity champion Daniel Hemric, are entered for Sunday’s Cup race.

Talladega Cup entry list

The Xfinity entry list includes 41 drivers for 38 spots. Among those joining the series regulars are Trevor Bayne, Parker Kligerman, Timmy Hill and Jeffrey Earnhardt.

Talladega Xfinity entry list

Forty-one drivers are entered for Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race. Included are Kaz Grala, Ryan Preece, Natalie Decker, Jennifer Jo Cobb and Parker Kligerman.

Talladega Truck entry list

This week’s schedule and forecast

(All times Eastern)

Friday, Sept. 30

Forecast: Partly cloudy. High of 77. (Weather note: There is the possibility that Hurricane Ian could impact the race weekend, depending on its path).

  • 3:30 – 5 p.m. — Truck Series qualifying
  • 5:30 – 7 p.m. — Xfinity Series qualifying (USA Network)

Saturday, Oct. 1

Forecast: Overcast with showers at times. Potential for heavy rainfall. High of 73. 60% chance of rain.

  • 10:30 a.m. – Noon — Cup Series qualifying (NBC Sports app, Motor Racing Network, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio)
  • 12:30 p.m. — Truck Series race (94 laps, 250 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 4 p.m. — Xfinity Series race (113 laps, 300 miles; USA Network, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, Oct. 2

Forecast: Sun in the morning, increasing clouds in the afternoon. Slight chance of a shower. High of 74.

  • 2 p.m. — Cup Series race (188 laps, 500 miles; NBC, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

 

 

 

 

NASCAR viewer’s guide for Texas Motor Speedway

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The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs roll on this weekend to Texas Motor Speedway, which will be hosting its first points race of the season.

Former champion Chase Elliott, a four-time race winner and the only driver with more than two victories this year, leads the standings, followed by Joey Logano and Ross Chastain.

The Texas race (3:30 p.m. ET Sunday, USA Network) is the first of three races in the Round of 12. Events at Talladega Superspeedway (Oct. 2) and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (Oct. 9) will follow.

Entering Texas, Chase Briscoe, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez and Austin Cindric are below the cutline.

Chris Buescher won Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, becoming the third non-playoff driver to win during the playoffs.

Three tough teams

Three teams account for nine of the remaining 12 drivers in the hunt for the Cup championship.

Hendrick Motorsports, Team Penske and Trackhouse Racing put all of their drivers in the second round.

Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, William Byron and Alex Bowman are in the final 12 for Hendrick. Bowman is below the cutline.

MORE: NASCAR official fires back at Kevin Harvick’s comment

Team Penske drivers Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney are in the top eight entering Texas. Teammate Austin Cindric is below the cutline.

Trackhouse Racing drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez remain in title contention. Suarez is below the cutline.

In a playoff season marked by troubles of various sorts, Byron is the only driver who has not had a significant issue through the first three races. He has finished eighth, sixth and third in the opening races.

A 20th winner?

In a very unusual season, one of the most unusual statistics is this: Nineteen different drivers have won a race this year, tying the modern-era record set in 2001.

Could there be 20 different winners? In a word, yes.

Six drivers who won races last year haven’t won a points race this year. They are Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski and Michael McDowell.

Truex, Keselowski and Blaney might be the best bets to be No. 20 this weekend at Texas.

Truex is a three-time runner-up at Texas and has led 674 laps there, the most by any driver without a win at the track.

Keselowski has finished second twice at Texas and led 654 laps there. He led 109 laps Saturday at Bristol as part of Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing’s best race of the season.

Blaney remains in the championship race despite continuing to haul a big zero with him. He won the All-Star Race at Texas this year and has finished in the top 10 in seven of the past eight Texas races.

Playoff standings tight

Twelve drivers will be hoping to advance to the Round of 8 as the NASCAR playoffs stop at Texas Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval over the next three weeks.

The point totals in the top 12 entering Sunday’s race at Texas are tight.

MORE: NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings

Only 34 points separate leader Chase Elliott and 12th-place Austin Cindric. The point gap from first to 12th in recent seasons has been higher — 57 in 2021, 66 in 2020, 46 in 2019, 55 in 2018 and 56 in 2017.

The battle around the cutline is tighter. Only seven points separate sixth-place Denny Hamlin and 12th-place Cindric.

Entry lists

Thirty-six drivers are entered in Sunday’s 334-lap Cup race. Included in addition to Cup  regulars are Garrett Smithley and Noah Gragson.

Texas Cup entry list

Thirty-nine drivers are entered for 38 spots in Saturday’s 200-lap Xfinity Series race. On the list are Tommy Joe Martins, Stefan Parsons, Matt Mills, Jeffrey Earnhardt and Garrett Smithley.

Texas Xfinity entry list

This week’s schedule and forecast

 (All times Eastern)

Saturday, Sept. 24

Forecast: Sunny and hot. High of 98.

  • 10:35 – 11:05 a.m. — Xfinity Series practice (USA Network)
  • 11:05 – Noon — Xfinity Series qualifying (USA Network)
  • 12:35 – 1:20 p.m. — Cup Series practice (USA Network)
  • 1:20 – 2:30 p.m. — Cup Series qualifying (USA Network)
  • 3:30 p.m. — Xfinity Series race (200 laps, 300 miles; USA Network, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, Sept. 25

Forecast: Mostly sunny. Stray shower or thunderstorm possible. High of 95. 15% chance of rain.

  • 3:30 p.m. — Cup Series race (334 laps, 501 miles; USA Network, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

 

 

 

Justin Allgaier cruises to Xfinity Series win at Nashville

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LEBANON, Tenn. — Justin Allgaier led 134 of 188 laps to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series at Nashville Superspeedway, earning his second win of the season and 18th of his career.

Allgaier has won two of the last five races. He’s finished no worse than seventh in the last six races. He won both stages in his dominant victory for JR Motorsports. That’s the first time this year that a driver has won both stages and the race.

“Just proud of our team,” Allgaier said. “It’s no question that we’ve had great cars lately.”

Trevor Bayne, driving a limited schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing, finished second. Riley Herbst finished third and was followed by Ty Gibbs and Sam Mayer. Ryan Preece, who won Friday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Nashville, finished sixth.

Gibbs and Mayer, who fought on pit road at Martinsville, had contact with about 40 laps to go as Mayer went by. Gibbs later caught Mayer and Mayer let him by. Mayer said after the race that the contact was an accident. Gibbs said afterward he understood the contact was not intentional.

Stage 1 winner: Justin Allgaier

Stage 2 winner: Justin Allgaier

Who had a good race: Trevor Bayne’s runner-up finish is his best result of the year in five series races. … Riley Herbst matched his season best by placing third. … Jeffrey Earnhardt‘s seventh-place finish was his second top 10 of the season and fifth in his Xfinity career. … Parker Retzlaff placed 12th. He has finished in the top 12 in three of his five career series starts.

Who had a bad race: Sheldon Creed and Jeb Burton were both eliminated in a crash with about 65 laps to go and were done for the day. Creed finished 36th. Burton placed 35th.

Next: The series races July 2 at Road America (2:30 p.m. ET on USA)

NASCAR viewer’s guide: Nashville Superspeedway

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NASCAR returns in full force this weekend with racing in the Cup, Xfinity and Truck series at Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tenn.

NBC and the USA Network open coverage of the second half of the season with broadcasts of Saturday’s Xfinity (USA) and Sunday’s Cup (NBC) race. USA also will televise Xfinity and Cup practice Friday and Xfinity and Cup qualifying Saturday.

NASCAR returned to the 1.33-mile Nashville track last season. Kyle Larson won the first Cup race at the track, leading 264 of the 300 laps, including the final 78.

Larson The Favorite?

Kyle Larson figures to carry the favorite’s role into Sunday’s race. In last year’s race, which was run in pounding heat, his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet smashed the rest of the field as he led 264 laps and won by 4.33 seconds, an eternity in today’s NASCAR. He sped away as the final 68 laps were run under green.

The win was Larson’s fourth of the season. He was second in Stage 1 and first in Stage 2.

He’ll be looking for a rebound of sorts after two straight finishes of 12th or worse.

The weekend landscape will be new for Larson as he teams with Kevin Meendering, the No. 5 team’s interim crew chief. Meendering, a Hendrick veteran, replaces Cliff Daniels, who was suspended for four weeks after Larson’s car lost a wheel in the last race at Sonoma Raceway.

Wheels Up — And Off

Kyle Larson’s team is the latest to be penalized for wheels that wander off race cars.

Other drivers who have been nailed this year: Justin Haley (Daytona), Kaz Grala (Daytona), Todd Gilliland (Auto Club), Corey LaJoie (Phoenix), Bubba Wallace (COTA), BJ McLeod (Talladega), Denny Hamlin (Dover), AJ Allmendinger (Dover) and Justin Haley (Kansas).

Trent Owens (Haley) is scheduled to return to competition this weekend after serving four-week suspensions for lost wheels. This race is the final one Chris Gabehart (Hamlin) will miss as part of his four-race suspension.

Bubbling Up

The Nashville Cup race marks the first of 10 consecutive events leading to the end of the regular season.

Over that stretch, the remaining slots in the 16-driver playoff field will be filled. And some significant names are currently on the outside looking in.

Prominent among them is Kevin Harvick, who is one position and seven points below the cutoff line. Following Harvick in the “hopeful” list are Tyler Reddick (42 points out), Austin Dillon (47 points) and Erik Jones (55 points).

Of course, a win solves problems. Twelve drivers are in with wins. Among those still looking for a win are Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Bubba Wallace, Christopher Bell and Harvick, who hasn’t won in 59 consecutive races and has led only 13 laps this year.

Entry lists

Thirty-six drivers are entered in Sunday’s Cup race, including JJ Yeley in the Rick Ware Racing No. 15, AJ Allmendinger in the Kaulig Racing No. 16 and Josh Bilicki in the Spire Motorsports No. 77.

Allmendinger, the Xfinity Series point leader, has raced seven times in Cup this year with a top finish of 10th at Gateway.

Nashville Cup entry list

Forty-one drivers are entered for Saturday’s Xfinity race. Among those on the list are Trevor Bayne, Ryan Preece, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Tyler Reddick and Natalie Decker, who is looking for her second start this year. She finished 35th at Martinsville.

Nashville Xfinity entry list

Veteran Todd Bodine is among the 41 entries for Friday’s Camping World Truck Series race. The grid will hold 36 trucks.

Corey Heim and Ryan Preece are among other drivers on the entry list.

Nashville Truck entry list

This weekend’s schedule and forecast

(All times Eastern)

Friday, June 24

Forecast: Mostly sunny. High of 95 degrees

  • 4 – 4:30 p.m. — Truck practice (FS1)
  • 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. — Truck qualifying (FS1)
  • 5:35 – 6:25 p.m. — Xfinity practice (USA)
  • 6:30 – 7:20 p.m. — Cup practice (USA, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM Radio)
  • 8 p.m. — Truck race (FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM Radio)

Saturday, June 25

Forecast: Partly cloudy. High of 97 degrees

  • Noon – 12:50 p.m. — Xfinity qualifying (USA)
  • 1 – 2:20 p.m. — Cup qualifying (USA, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM Radio)
  • 3:30 p.m. – Xfinity race (188 laps, 250 miles; USA, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM Radio)

Sunday, June 26

Forecast: Partly cloudy with afternoon showers or thunderstorms. High of 96 degrees. 60 percent chance of rain

  • 5 p.m. — Cup race (300 laps, 399 miles; NBC, Peacock, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM Radio)