Michigan Cup starting lineup
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Joey Logano draws the pole for Saturday’s Cup race at Michigan

Leave a comment

Joey Logano will start on the pole position in the starting lineup for Saturday’s NASCAR Cup race at Michigan International Speedway (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

The No. 22 Team Penske driver, who won last year at the 2-mile oval and has three career Cup victories at Michigan, was awarded the top starting spot in a random draw Thursday afternoon.

Denny Hamlin will start second for the second consecutive race, followed by Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola, who has received seven consecutive top-five starting positions in the random qualifying draws used by NASCAR this season.

STARTING LINEUP: Where everyone will start in the Cup race Saturday at Michigan

Here are the next four rows in order:

Brad Keselowski (fifth), Alex Bowman (sixth), Kyle Busch (seventh), Chase Elliott (eighth), Clint Bowyer (ninth), Kurt Busch (10th), Ryan Blaney (11th) and Martin Truex Jr. (12th).

Other notables in the Michigan starting lineup:

Tyler Reddick (14th); Cole Custer (16th), Bubba Wallace (24th); William Byron (19th); Erik Jones (23rd); Matt DiBenedetto (15th); Jimmie Johnson (17th); Matt Kenseth (20th); Austin Dillon (18th).

The Michigan Cup starting lineup was ordered Thursday afternoon through a random draw of the following groups:

  • Positions 1-12: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
  • Positions 13-24: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
  • Positions 25-36: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
  • Positions 37-40: Open teams in order of owners points

The starting lineup for Sunday’s race will be set based on the finishing order from Saturday. The top starters in Sunday’s race will be an inversion of the top 20 finishers Saturday. The 21st through 40th starting positions Sunday will match the finishing positions from Saturday.

Click here for the Michigan Cup starting lineup for Saturday’s race.

NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan 

Race Time: 4 p.m. ET Saturday

Track: Michigan International Speedway; Brooklyn, Michigan (2-mile speedway)

Length: 156 laps (312 miles)

Stages: Stage 1 ends Lap 40. Stage 2 ends Lap 85

TV coverage: NBCSN

Radio: Motor Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Streaming: NBC Sports app (subscription required); mrn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Michigan Cup starting lineup: Click here for the starting lineup Saturday

Next Xfinity race: Saturday at Road America (45 laps, 182.16 miles) noon ET on NBCSN

Next Truck race: Friday at Michigan (100 laps, 200 miles) 6 p.m. ET on FS1

Aric Almirola draws the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at New Hampshire

Leave a comment

Aric Almirola will start first for the third time this season in the NASCAR Cup Series after drawing the pole position in the starting lineup for Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Almirola, who finished third at New Hampshire two years ago, also started first June 27 at Pocono Raceway and July 19 at Texas Motor Speedway. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver’s No. 10 Ford has drawn a top-five starting spot in the last five Cup races set by random draws.

Denny Hamlin, who finished second at New Hampshire last year, will start second in his No. 11 Toyota.

STARTING LINEUP: Where everyone will start in the Cup race at New Hampshire

Here are the next five rows in order: Chase Elliott (the highest-starting Chevrolet in third), Brad Keselowski (fourth), Kyle Busch (fifth), Clint Bowyer (sixth after moving this week into the top 12 starting order draw), defending race winner Kevin Harvick (seventh), Alex Bowman (eighth), Joey Logano (ninth), Kurt Busch (10th), Martin Truex  Jr. (11th) and Ryan Blaney (12th)

Other notables in the New Hampshire starting lineup:

Tyler Reddick (13th); Cole Custer (14th) Bubba Wallace (15th); William Byron (16th); Erik Jones (17th); Matt DiBenedetto (19th); Jimmie Johnson (20th); Matt Kenseth (21st); Austin Dillon (23rd).

The New Hampshire Cup starting lineup was ordered Thursday afternoon through a random draw of the following groups:

  • Positions 1-12: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
  • Positions 13-24: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
  • Positions 25-36: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
  • Positions 37-40: Open teams in order of owners points

Click here for the New Hampshire Cup starting lineup for Sunday’s race.

NASCAR Cup Series at New Hampshire 

Race Time: 3 p.m. ET, Sunday

Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway; Loudon, New Hampshire (1.058-mile speedway)

Length: 301 laps (318.46 miles)

Stages: Stage 1 ends Lap 75. Stage 2 ends Lap 185

TV coverage: NBCSN

Radio: Performance Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Streaming: NBC Sports app (subscription required); goprn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

New Hampshire Cup starting lineup: Click here for the starting order Sunday

Next Xfinity race: Aug. 8 at Road America (45 laps, 182.16 miles) noon ET on NBCSN

Next Truck race: Aug. 7 at Michigan (100 laps, 200 miles) 6 p.m. ET on FS1

Kevin Harvick draws pole for Thursday Cup race at Kansas

Leave a comment

Kevin Harvick will start from the pole position Thursday night at Kansas Speedway (7:30 pm ET on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app), the first time he will lead the NASCAR Cup starting lineup to the green flag this season.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver’s previous best starting position in 2020 was second in qualifying for the March 8 race at Phoenix Raceway.

Since NASCAR’s return during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (with the majority of fields set by a random draw), the No. 4 Ford’s best starting spot had been a third at Kentucky Speedway. Harvick had started outside the top five in seven of the past 10 Cup races, but his luck changed when NASCAR randomly set the lineup Wednesday for Kansas.

STARTING LINEUP: Where everyone will start in the Cup race at Kansas

Harvick has three Cup victories at Kansas, most recently in the May 12, 2018 race at the 1.5-mile speedway.

Joey Logano‘s No. 22 will start second beside Harvick, making it an all-Ford front row for the second consecutive race. Fords also will comprise the second row with Aric Almirola starting third and Ryan Blaney fourth.

Martin Truex Jr.‘s No. 19 Toyota will start fifth beside the No. 88 Chevrolet of Alex Bowman in sixth.

Here are the next three rows in order:

Brad Keselowski (seventh), Kyle Busch (eighth), Kurt Busch (ninth), Denny Hamlin (10th), Chase Elliott (11th) and Matt DiBenedetto (12th).

Other notables:

Matt Kenseth (14th), William Byron (15th), Austin Dillon (16th), Bubba Wallace (17th), Clint Bowyer (19th), Jimmie Johnson (20th), Erik Jones (21st), Tyler Reddick (23rd).

The field was ordered Wednesday afternoon through a random draw of the following groups:

  • Positions 1-12: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
  • Positions 13-24: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
  • Positions 25-36: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
  • Positions 37-40: Open teams in order of owners points

Click here for the Kansas Cup starting lineup for Thursday’s race.

NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas 

Race Time: 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday

Track: Kansas Speedway; Kansas City, Kansas (1.5-mile speedway)

Length: 267 laps (400.5 miles)

Stages: Stage 1 ends Lap 80. Stage 2 ends Lap 160

TV coverage: NBCSN

Radio: Motor Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Streaming: NBC Sports app (subscription required); mrn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Next Xfinity race: Saturday at Kansas (167 laps, 250.5 miles) 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Next Truck race: Friday at Kansas (134 laps, 201 miles) 7 p.m. ET on FS1

Drivers lobby for practice on Daytona road course

2 Comments

EDITOR’S NOTE: For a list of Cup drivers who have driven on the Daytona road course before, go to the end of this story.

Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer both want to practice before the Cup Series races next month on the Daytona road course for the first time, but NASCAR is not planning to do so.

Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said Monday on “The Morning Drive” that “we have announced and committed to no practice and qualifying through Dover (Aug. 21-23). What’s beyond that is still a little bit up in the air.”

The Cup race at the Daytona road course is Aug. 16. That event replaces the Watkins Glen weekend because of COVID-19 travel restrictions in New York. The ARCA, Truck and Xfinity Series also will race on the Daytona road course in August.

NASCAR has yet to announce details on the race lengths and the course — there is consideration for a second chicane to slow the cars between Turn 3 on the oval track to the turn off into the infield course just past pit exit.

Hamlin and Bowyer both raise concerns about the type of race fans will see since most competitors have never driven on the track’s road course or last raced on it years ago.

I really, personally would have liked to have seen even 30 minutes (of practice) to get us acclimated to some braking points,” Hamlin said. “I definitely understand the owner’s side of it and NASCAR’s side of it where you don’t want to have to prepare backup cars just in case. Heck, maybe even – I’m just politicking through (the media) – why not have the implication of knowing that this 30-minute practice session, if you wreck, you finish last. Just like you would in the race. If someone is going to wreck in that 30-minute practice session, they were more than likely going to wreck in the race anyway.

“I think that we can take it easy, we can go slow and make sure we just get acclimated before we go green. You don’t want to put on a bad race that’s just filled with cautions. I worry that could be the case.

If there is practice and/or qualifying, then teams would need to have a backup car ready. That’s an extra cost that not all teams are wiling to have.

“I voted to practice at Daytona,” Bowyer said. “I guess I’m probably unique in at least I have some laps on the racetrack, it was a long time ago, I don’t even remember those laps but I ran the Rolex 24 (in 2013) and have some experience on that track. But that being said, not in our cars and anything else.

“I think it’s a tall order to show up there and run a track that we’ve never been on before with the tire combination with the package, with the aero, horsepower, we’ve never seen before, it’s going to be a crapshoot for everybody.

“I think there’s definitely drivers and teams that have experience running that Rolex that will be ahead of the pack, ahead of the curve for sure. These are challenging times. To ask the teams to come up with a unique car and again for a backup car and everything else. It’s saving them money (not to do so). I get it. Everything is tight right now. You’ve got to give and take in this scenario, and I think that’s definitely a give for the Daytona race.”

Here are current Cup drivers who have competed on the Daytona road course (overall finish)

Clint Bowyer — 2013 Rolex 24 (finished 16th)

Kurt Busch 2005 Rolex 24 (27th), 2008 Rolex 24 (3rd)

Kyle Busch2009 Brumos Porsche 250 (10th), 2020 Rolex 24 (26th),

Cole Custer2018 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (3rd), 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (9th)

Kevin Harvick 2002 Rolex 24 (69th)

Timmy Hill2012 Rolex 24 (51st)

Jimmie Johnson2004 Rolex 24 (28th), 2005 Rolex 24 (2nd), 2007 Rolex 24 (36th), 2008 Rolex 24  (2nd), 2009 Rolex 24 (7th), 2010 Rolex 24 (21st), 2011 Rolex 24 (15th)

Matt Kenseth2005 Rolex 24 (27th), 2006 IROC race (10th)

Michael McDowell2005 Rolex 24 (42nd), 2007 Rolex 24 (10th), 2008 Rolex 24 (15th), 2011 Rolex 24 (7th), 2012 Rolex 24 (3rd)

Ryan Newman 2006 IROC race (3rd)

Martin Truex Jr. 2006 IROC race (6th)

Entry lists for Kansas Speedway

Leave a comment

A packed month of NASCAR racing continues this week with all three national series visiting Kansas Speedway.

The Cup Series will have its fourth event in in less than two weeks when it races Thursday night (7:30 pm ET on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app).

The Truck Series hold races Friday and Saturday and the Xfinity Series joins them at the 1.5-mile track on Saturday.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for each race:

Cup – Super Start Batteries 400 (7:30 p.m. ET Thursday on NBCSN)

Forty cars are entered.

Reed Sorenson is entered in Tommy Baldwin Racing’s No. 7 Chevrolet.

JJ Yeley is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 27 Ford.

Josh Bilicki is entered in Rick Ware Racing No. 51 Chevrolet.

Garrett Smithley is entered in Spire Motorsports’ No. 77 Chevrolet.

Last year’s races at Kansas were won by Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity – Kansas Lottery 250 (5 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN)

Thirty-seven cars are entered.

Kaz Grala is entered in Richard Childress Racing’s No. 21 Chevrolet for his first start of the year.

Carson Ware is entered in SS Green Light Racing’s No. 07 Chevrolet.

Last year’s Xfinity race at Kansas was won by Brandon Jones over Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe.

Click here for the entry list.

 

Truck Series (7 p.m. ET Friday on FS1 and 1 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1)

Thirty-nine trucks are entered in both races. The are two differences in drivers for the doubleheader. For Hill Motorsports’ No. 56 Chevrolet, Timmy Hill is entered in Friday’s race and Tyler Hill is entered in Saturday’s race.

Kevin Donahue is listed for Reaume Brothers Racing’s No. 33 Toyota for Friday and Ryan Huff is entered in it for Saturday.

Ross Chastain won last year’s Kansas race over Ben Rhodes and Todd Gilliland.

Click here for race No. 1’s entry list.

Click here for race No. 2’s entry list.