Photos by Daniel McFadin

Gallery: Coca-Cola 600 patriotic paint schemes

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With Memorial Day weekend here, many NASCAR teams will be racing patriotic paint schemes in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Here’s a look at the unique schemes that will compete in NASCAR’s longest race.

All photos by Daniel McFadin.

Landon Cassill – No. 00 Chevrolet

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Ford

Ryan Newman – No. 6 Ford

Aric Almirola – No. 10 Ford

Ty Dillon – No. 13 Chevrolet

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – No. 17 Ford

Kyle Busch – No. 18 Toyota

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Martin Truex Jr. – No. 19 Toyota

 (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

William Byron – No. 24 Chevrolet

Corey LaJoie – No. 32 Ford

 

Michael McDowell – No. 34 Ford

Matt Tifft – No. 36 Ford

David Ragan – No. 36 Ford

Ryan Preece – No. 47 Chevrolet

Jimmie Johnson – No. 48 Chevrolet

Cody Ware – No. 51 Ford

Bayley Currey – No. 52 Ford

BJ McLeod – No. 53 Chevrolet

Alex Bowman – No. 88 Chevrolet

Xfinity Series

Michael Annett – No. 1 Chevrolet

Jefferey Earnhardt – No. 18 Toyota

Ryan Sieg – No. 39 Chevrolet

Mike Harmon – No. 74 Chevrolet

Daniel Hemric tops speed chart in practice for cars in Monster Energy Open

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
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CONCORD, N.C. – Daniel Hemric led the way in the final practice session Friday for cars in the Monster Energy Open.

Each of the three stage winners from the Open and the fan vote winner will advance to the All-Star Race on Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Hemric led the way with a lap of 180.234 mph. He was followed by Michael McDowell (179.539 mph), Matt Tifft (178.997), Kyle Larson (178.159) and Ty Dillon (177.690). Dillon also ran the most laps in the session at 51.

Qualifying for the cars in the Open will be at 6 p.m.

What Cup drivers said after Digital Ally 400 at Kansas

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Brad Keselowski – winner: “We were just too loose early and then in the traffic I brushed the wall a little bit and we couldn’t get it tightened up and finally with about 100 to go (crew chief) Paul Wolfe and the team made some adjustments and the car responded. I felt we were a top-three or top-five car but then the yellow came out right as we came to pit road and I thought we would have to claw to get a top 10. We clawed and clawed and a couple opportunities presented themselves and we were fighting for the lead. Alex Bowman ran an incredible race. I feel kind of bad. I think I kinda stole one from him. He was one of the best cars, him and Kevin Harvick. We just had a little fresher tires and I was able to catch the traffic just right to make the move on him and from there we were able to get the win.”

Alex Bowman – finished second: “We had a really good car, I just made bad decisions going through lap traffic on lane choice. They stayed where I needed to run. I should have gone high and I shouldn’t have picked the middle like I did. I just had to lift and let (Keselowski) and (Erik Jones) drive right around me. I’m pretty frustrated with myself. There was no way around that, that was a bad mistake on my part. We’ll go home and get them next week.”

Erik Jones – finished third: “It was kind of all over the map. When it started, we were kind of off and then we got better. Then we got off again and got better at the end. It was a good night and it was nice to have a shot at the win. The DeWalt Camry was for sure capable of winning. We just weren’t in the right situation and didn’t have some runs work out and the caution at the end. Just didn’t have the right push. Not a lot more you can ask for other than the win. Everybody did a great job, but it’s good momentum going on to two weeks now having good runs and having shots to run up front, it’s been nice after a rough month. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

Chase Elliott – finished fourth: “It was OK. It was nice running top five. I hate to have been leading the laps that we did and not finish it off, but what do you do. It was unfortunate.”

Clint Bowyer – finished fifth: “Tonight wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be. We struggled. We struggled with handling, especially as soon as the night fell and it got dark outside we were not handling at all. It was tight and it was loose and on top of the race track. With two stops to go we came in and raised the back of the car up and we got better in traffic and were able to race. Then all hell broke loose on the restart and things like that. It was tires, no tires, two tires. Everyone was on different strategies, people were a lap down that should have been up front. It was hard to even figure out who you were racing. We should have finished second. I had a huge run on both those guys but that kid, I guess he was willing to wreck himself to hold the position.”

Jimmie Johnson – finished sixth: “The first three-quarters of the race was pretty awful for us. But, the guys kept their head in the game and made some big adjustments and made some good adjustments and we got back in the mix. We’re still missing some speed though. So, we’ve still got plenty of work to do. I’m pretty frustrated and we’ve got to try to get on top of things. That’s the bottom line.”

Kurt Busch – finished seventh: “It feels like when the sun was out, our car had grip and I could make moves and make aggressive passes and then as the sun went down and each of our adjustments, I was just struggling for grip as the track got cooler. So, it doesn’t quite make sense. We did battle for good stage points today. I think we were like fifth, seventh, and seventh. But overall, our car was real racey early. So, thanks to my crew and the set up and everything that (crew chief) Matt Mccall is doing, normally we get better as the race goes on. Today was not the case. We just kind of plateaued and stayed there and I think others got better grip at the end or maybe we didn’t quite get it exactly racey enough. Literally, I was just kind of stuck in one groove at the end.”

Kyle Larson – finished eighth: “I feel like the Hendrick guys are really close to winning right now. I don’t feel like I’m close to winning yet. I feel like I’ve had eighth to 12th-place car speed all year long, I just haven’t gotten the finisher. The last couple of weeks we’ve finally got to finish some races where we deserve. We still have a lot of room to improve, but it is nice to see some Chevy’s up there.”

Tyler Reddick – finished ninth: “We are very fortunate to have a lot of cars that were trapped down a lap or two. It honestly saved us from having a pretty unfortunate finish to how good we were at times throughout the race. I think we could have definitely had a little more there with the way the situation played out. From that aspect, it’s disappointing, but a top ten has a lot of positives. It was a lot of fun driving the car. It was a unique opportunity. I always want more. I’ve raced against some of these guys in the Xfinity Series. It’s still a lot of fun to finish in the top ten, but we didn’t come here to run top ten. We can here for the win.”

Chris Buescher – finished 10th: “It was really fun all day. This group did a fantastic job this week. We knew we had a good car. I’m not complaining about the system, I loved it. We did not qualify as good as we wanted to, but it was something that we sacrificed to be able to go out there and run up there. We did not need that caution at the end, that definitely made it hard to get going for the first two laps. After that, we were really solid. I had a lot of fun. I always love Kansas. This has been a really good track for me over the years. We always put on a good show. We are pretty happy with that.”

Aric Almirola – finished 12th: “We had a fast Smithfield Ford Mustang to start the race. We drove from the back all the way up to the top five but couldn’t seem to find that speed for the rest of the race. We’ll keep working hard to improve each weekend.”

Ty Dillon – finished 13th: “This just wasn’t our day. We decided to run a setup similar to our Texas car that ran well back in March after practice didn’t go how we wanted it to. Our GEICO Camaro ZL1 qualified well with it, but we weren’t quite sure what it would do during the race because all of the intermediate tracks are just so different from each other. It started off a little loose, but my team made great adjustments when they had the opportunity and I was really happy with my car by the end of Stage 2. I wish we could have gotten a better finish, but we will take this as a learning night and be ready to come back in the fall.”

 

Eleven cars fail inspection, will start at the rear tonight at Kansas

Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
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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.

Tonight’s Cup race at Kansas: Start time, lineup and more

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
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Martin Truex Jr. has won two of the past three Cup races. His toughest competition might be from his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates. Kyle Busch has three wins this year, and Denny Hamlin has two victories.

Stewart-Haas Racing still looks for its first win after 12 victories last season. Will any of its cars get to victory lane? Or will Team Penske or Hendrick Motorsports win again this weekend?

Here’s all the info you need for today’s event:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Famers Christian Okoye and Neil Smith will give the command to start engines at 7:38 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 7:46 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage opens at 2:30 p.m. Cars will go through inspection. Any car that fails once will lose its starting spot. The drivers meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Driver introductions will begin at 7 p.m. The invocation will be given by Father Brian Schieber at 7:30 p.m. Retired Navy Veteran Steven Powell will perform the National Anthem at 7:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 267 laps (400.5 miles) around the 1.5-mile track.

COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 30

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 80. Stage 2 ends on Lap 160.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race at 7:30 p.m. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with NASCAR RaceDay. Motor Racing Network will broadcast the race. MRN’s coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast, which is also available at mrn.com.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for mostly cloudy skies with a high of 58 degrees and a 5% chance of rain for the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Chase Elliott won the October playoff race, finishing ahead of Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson. Kevin Harvick won the race there last May, finishing ahead of Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano.

TO THE REAR: Aric Almirola, Daniel Suarez, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Ty Dillon, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Landon Cassill, Joey Gase and Timmy Hill. All to the rear for failing inspection once.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for updated starting lineup