The Latest: Keselowski has no regrets about Daytona 500 end
Racers crash during the last lap in the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Latest on the Daytona 500 (all times local):12:35 a.m.Brad Keselowski has no regrets about the way he handled the final lap of the Daytona 500. ___12:15 a.m.Michael McDowell won the Daytona 500 after Penske Racing teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski wrecked on the final lap. ___3:25 p.m.Derrike Cope was knocked out after only three laps, an ignominious end for the 62-year-old driver who won the 1990 Daytona 500. ___2 p.m.Bubba Wallace’s car failed inspection twice for the Daytona 500 and will have to start at the back of the field. AdWallace drives a new entry owned by NBA great Michael Jordan and three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin.
Rain washes out NASCAR's final practices for Daytona 500
“I think we proved as an industry last year that track time was a little overrated," said David Wilson, head of Toyota Racing Development. Heavy rain soaked the track early, though, prompting officials to shift gears before the Xfinity Series opener later Saturday. An ARCA series race also was scheduled for the middle of the day. “I'm fine without it,” said 2017 Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch. ..."Obviously, we didn’t want to go to a backup car, but I think we’re still in a really good place for the 500.
Talladega briefly stopped after 13-car crash and wall damage
TALLADEGA, Ala. – NASCAR's playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway was briefly red-flagged so a wall could be repaired after Kurt Busch went airborne in a 13-car crash. The melee Sunday required a welding truck go onto the track to repair a damaged section of the wall. Busch smashed into the outside wall, was hit from behind and his car launched over the car of Cole Custer. Busch, winner of last week's playoff race at his home track of Las Vegas, is the only driver already locked into the third round of the playoffs. “That's the nature of the sport — you are on top one week and the next week you are at Talladega,” Busch said.
Kevin Harvick nabs 9th win of season to roll into 2nd round
Busch furiously tried to catch him as the two weaved their way through lapped traffic, but Harvick held firm in the No. Only six cars finished on the lead lap in a tepid event at the 0.533-mile bullring revered for bumping and banging. Track officials sold all 30,000 tickets allowed — making Bristol one of the largest sporting events since the pandemic — and the spectators crowded the fence as Harvick celebrated his second win of the playoffs. Erik Jones, who is not eligible for the playoffs, finished third for Joe Gibbs Racing and was followed by rookie Tyler Reddick and playoff contenders Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer. Denny Hamlin, considered the closest challenger to Harvick this year, closed out a sub-par opening round of the playoffs with a 21st-place finish.
Ryan Blaney hopes to avoid playoff elimination at Bristol
With a bit of disbelief over his fast fall in the NASCAR standings, Ryan Blaney is determined to avoid elimination from the playoffs. William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto and Blaney are the four drivers below the cutline headed into the knockout race. “This whole group, this team, we are not a 16th-place-in-points team,” Blaney said. 12 team was also off last week at Richmond, where Blaney finished 19th to fall to the edge of elimination. Cole Custer trails Bowyer by eight points, while DiBendetto is 25 points behind and Blaney is 27 points out.
Suarez on the move again after parting with Gaunt Brothers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Daniel Suarez, who landed a ride two weeks before the season-opening Daytona 500, will not return to Gaunt Brothers Racing next season and is seeking a new team for the third time in three years. Gaunt Brothers said Tuesday it was a mutual decision for the Mexican driver to leave the team. “I’m extremely thankful to my entire Toyota family for everything they have done for me, especially this year," Suarez said. “I will always be grateful to them for having my back.”Suarez has struggled with Gaunt Brothers, which is in its first full season of Cup competition. His long relationship with Toyota helped Suarez get the job with Gaunt Brothers, a team that began in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series in 2010 and the Canada-based NASCAR Pinty’s Series.
NASCAR: Keselowski dominates in playoff win at Richmond
RICHMOND, Va. – Brad Keselowski entered NASCAR's playoffs certain he has as good a chance at the Cup championship as favorites Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin. His confidence was correct as Keselowski indeed won Saturday night at Richmond, the second playoff race, and advanced into the second next round. Harvick, the title favorite, won last week’s opener to earn the automatic berth into the second round. Harvick, Hamlin and Keselowski are the only drivers locked into the next round of the playoffs. Harvick finished seventh.
Harvick takes Southern 500 after leaders Elliott, Truex bump
Harvick didnt dominate the Southern 500 in his series-best eighth victory of the season. The leaders got tangled up there and the next thing you know we were racing for the win, Harvick said. PLAYOFF PUSHAlmiorola is now squarely on the bubble ranked 12th among the 16 drivers after the first playoff race. BLANEY PENALTYBlaney's title chances took a hit just hours before the first playoff race began. UP NEXTThe second playoff race is at Richmond Raceway on Saturday night.
Playoffs begin with 14 drivers chasing Harvick and Hamlin
Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin are expected to race head-to-head for the NASCAR Cup title when the 10-week playoff series begin Sunday at Darlington Raceway. That theoretically leaves the 14 other drivers racing for just two spots in the winner-take-all race. Busch joins his older brother, Kurt, Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer and DiBenedetto as drivers without a win as the playoffs begin. Logano won twice in the first four weeks of the season, while Elliott scored his two wins after racing resumed. Others have been labeled dark horses, but Truex has very quietly made himself a strong challenger to Harvick and Hamlin.
Higher stakes at Daytona mean 'crazy things will happen'
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Racing at Daytona International Speedway always comes with a hefty dose of drama. Nearly half the field is looking to clinch a postseason berth with a victory, including seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson. Crazy things will happen.Thats exactly what NASCAR envisioned when it moved Daytonas summertime extravaganza to the regular-season finale. Cup races at Daytona already were considered wild-card events in which just about anyone could end up in victory lane. Throw in the raised stakes, and it's sure to create an ultra-intense couple of hours on the track.
Dillon leads 1-2 RCR finish in Cup race before fans at Texas
Dillon raced to his third career win and first since Daytona at the start of the 2018 season. On the final restart, Dillon got a good jump and raced to the checkered flag ahead of his rookie teammate and some veteran drivers. After leading six times for 150 laps, both highs for the race, Blaney finished seventh. It was 30 degrees warmer than it was on March 29, when the race had been scheduled before the pandemic. The spectators were spread out along the frontstretch, which was fully shaded late in the race, and there were also people in about 40 suites.
Harvick, Hamlin still predictable Cup favorites at hot Texas
FORT WORTH, Texas Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin can easily be considered favorites for the first summertime race at Texas, even in this unpredictable and unprecedented NASCAR Cup season. There are no rules changes from last year for the aerodynamic or engine packages used at Texas, where Hamlin won in the spring before Harvick won his third consecutive fall race there. We will take into account weather and all that stuff to figure out what kind of car we need to take to that race track to be successful, said Hamlin, who won both Texas races in 2010. Harvick, who has an 88-point lead over Brad Keselowski this season, paced a 1-2-3 finish for Stewart-Haas Racing at Texas last November. When Harvick takes the green flag Sunday, he will become the 18th driver to make his 700th career Cup Series start.
NASCAR Cup rookie Cole Custer wins in upset at Kentucky
SPARTA, Ky. Cole Custer became the first rookie winner in the NASCAR Cup Series in nearly four years, surging to the lead in a four-wide, final-lap scramble Sunday at Kentucky Speedway. The victory was the first by a series rookie since Chris Buescher at Pocono on Aug. 1, 2016. Making his 20th series start, the 22-year-old Custer celebrated with a frontstretch burnout as his crew happily ran to greet him. That didn't last long as Truex quickly stalked him on the last-stage restart and took over on 181 in hopes of his third Kentucky win in four years. Truex settled for watching Custer take the win.
NASCARs Bumper Crop Of Rookies
Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer, and Bell were the Big Three of NASCARs No. Bell, Reddick, and Custer are the linchpins of a rookie field that also include Quin Houff, John Hunter Nemechek, and Brennan Poole. He was dumped by RCR and will run a part-time schedule this season in the Xfinity Series. TYLER REDDICKThe 24-year-old Reddick won the last two Xfinity Series championships and will drive the No. You cant make the mistakes that you can normally get away with with a good team in the Xfinity Series, Reddick said.detroit.cbslocal.com
Jones Gets First Career Win In Wild Kansas Race
Brandon Jones raced to his first career Xfinity Series victory Saturday at Kansas Speedway after a lapped car wrecked what was shaping up as an entertaining duel between playoff contenders Chase Briscoe and Christopher Bell. Fellow playoff contenders Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick got into a pit-road melee after getting out of their cars. Reddick finished second and Briscoe rallied to third, while playoff drivers Michael Annett and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top five. Custer was 11th with Bell right behind him. Thats the way its going to be.Reddick remained third behind Bell and Custer in the playoff standings.detroit.cbslocal.com
Custer Gets 7th Xfinity Win Of Year
Cole Custer raced to his seventh Xfinity Series victory of the season Saturday at Dover International Speedway. I wanted to win here so bad for so long, Custer said. Custer, Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick have combined to win 19 of the 29 Xfinity Series races. Dover also marked the first cutoff race in the Xfinity Series and John Hunter Nemechek, Brandon Jones, Ryan Sieg and Justin Haley were knocked out from championship contention. Going into Kansas and Texas, we just know that were going to fire on all cylinders and we can go in there and win, Custer said.detroit.cbslocal.com