Byron gives NASCAR another surprise winner at Homestead
Joey Logano (22) and William Byron (24) battle for position during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, in Homestead, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)HOMESTEAD, Fla. – William Byron gave NASCAR its third surprise winner in three weeks, this one not quite as stunning as the first two at Daytona International Speedway. Byron entered the weekend as a 28-1 shot to win a race many expected would provide a return to normal for the racing series. When Byron’s former crew chief, Chad Knaus, moved up at Hendrick Motorsports, Rick Hendrick hired Fugle and paired him with Byron. The Roush Fenway Racing driver led five times for a total of 57 laps, but he started to fade when as sunset neared. Josh Shipplett complained of rib soreness after Xfinity Series driver Daniel Hemric overshot his pit stall and hit one of the right-side tires Shipplett was carrying during an early pit stop.
The Latest: McDowell wins Daytona 500, 1st career victory
Denny Hamlin wins the first stage during the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Latest on the Daytona 500 (all times local):12:15 a.m.Michael McDowell won the Daytona 500 after Penske Racing teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski wrecked on the final lap. Wallace became the Black driver to lead a lap in Daytona 500. Cope zipped past Earnhardt, who blew a tire with a mile to go, to win 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. Wallace drives a new entry owned by NBA great Michael Jordan and three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin.
Hiccup for Hendrick Motorsports ahead of Daytona 500
Alex Bowman and William Byron were slated to lead the Daytona 500 field to green but that's in danger following Thursday night's qualifying races. Byron was collected in a crash in the second Duel and it ruined his Chevrolet. AdAustin Cindric and Kaz Grala both earned their first berths into the Daytona 500 by claiming the two available transfer positions in the Duels. He was the leader on the final lap of the second Duel until Dillon crossed to Wallace’s inside and inched ahead. “We’ve got an incredible race car and I can’t wait for the Daytona 500.”
Jones lands iconic No. 43 with Richard Petty Motorsports
43 next season for Richard Petty Motorsports, a pairing of a driver and a team both in need of fresh starts. 43 next season for Richard Petty Motorsports, a pairing of a driver and a team both in need of fresh starts. The loss of Wallace could have crippled RPM, the cash-strapped team co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty. Jones won rookie of the year in the Truck, Xfinity and Cup Series, as well as the Truck Series championship. Richard Petty took on a series of different investors beginning in 2009 for re-branded Richard Petty Motorsports, which last put the No.
Elliott wins at Roval as champ Busch bounced from playoffs
Chase Elliott won on the hybrid road course-oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Busch and three others were trimmed from title contention. Elliott, meanwhile, won for the second consecutive year at “The Roval” and third time this season. “Best way to get into the next round is to win,” Elliott said. Bowman battled anxiety through the race as he worried Kyle Busch would win bump him from the playoffs. When Busch didn't pit, Bowman nervously asked his Hendrick Motorsports team if he was about to be eliminated.
NASCAR champion Busch tries to stave off elimination
Busch doesn't need to win on the “Roval” to advance, but there's only five races remaining for him to improve his season. The Sunday forecast calls for an 80% chance for rain and the road course portion of the Roval permits NASCAR to race in wet conditions. The Cup drivers have never before used rain tires in competition. NASCAR stopped the Xfinity Series race for about 40 minutes Saturday so its track dryers could push water off the racing surface. "What is the drainage like at that racetrack through the infield road course?
Hamlin wins in 3rd overtime of Talladega's longest race
Denny Hamlin (11) races William Byron (24) and Matt DiBenedetto (21) to the finish line during the YellaWood 500 NASCAR auto race at Talladega Superspeedway, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Talladega, Ala. Hamlin won. His sweeping three-wide pass in triple overtime Sunday brought an end to the sloppiest race of the season. “To win the championship, you have to win the last race and you have to get to the last race. But Talladega's finish line is unusually close to Turn 1 and Elliott had not made it there before a crash behind him. DiBenedetto was initially denied his first career victory a year ago by Hamlin the same week DiBenedetto learned he was out of a job.
Kurt Busch ends 0-for-21 skid to finally win at home track
Busch ended an 0-for-21 losing streak at Las Vegas with good timing and then three tremendous restarts. Kyle Busch appreciated the milestone his older brother achieved in finally winning at Las Vegas. Not only had Kurt Busch never won before at Las Vegas, but he had just five top-10 finishes before the win. “We’ve never really been very good here, I think he would admit it,” said Kyle Busch. “It was pretty cool to finally see him get a victory here in Las Vegas and score a hometown win.
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.
Harvick holds off Hamlin for Michigan doubleheader sweep
BROOKLYN, Mich. Kevin Harvick won just about everything he could in a stellar weekend at Michigan International Speedway, although fittingly, Denny Hamlin was the last driver to pressure him. Harvick held off Hamlin on Sunday to complete a doubleheader sweep in the NASCAR Cup Series. With NASCAR running an adjusted schedule because of the coronavirus, both Michigan races were held on the same weekend. That meant Harvick became the first driver since Richard Petty in 1971 to win back-to-back Cup races on consecutive days. Its been a long time since Ive raced back-to-back days, let alone in the Cup car, Harvick said.
Keselowski still seeking 1st win at home track in Michigan
Keselowski still hasn't won a Cup race in his home state, and it seems like every year that is a story when NASCAR comes to Michigan. I was actually talking to Joey Logano about it, because I won last weekend at his home track in New Hampshire. Normally, Michigan hosts races in June and August, but the pandemic pushed them both onto the same weekend this year. The races in Michigan always take on a special importance for Ford, which has swept the MIS Cup races each of the past two years. DOUBLEHEADERMichigan is set to become the second track in series history to run a doubleheader at the same facility on back-to-back days.
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.
Wallace crashed out of chance of racing for $1 million prize
BRISTOL, Tenn. Bubba Wallace was wrecked out of the qualifying race for NASCARs annual All-Star event, ruining his shot of racing for the $1 million prize. One driver advanced into the All-Star race through a fan vote and Wallace had been leading when results were last updated by NASCAR a week ago. Aric Almirola advanced by winning the first stage, William Byron for winning the second stage and Matt DiBenedetto for winning the third stage. Crowd estimates for that event have been around 10,000 spectators, but the NASCAR race would likely be the largest sporting event in the United States since March. Meanwhile, Martin Truex Jr. failed inspection twice and forfeited the top starting spot in the All-Star race.
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.
Wallace, NASCAR's agent of change, doing 'what feels right'
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)LONG POND, Pa. Being an agent of change in NASCAR cuts both ways for Bubba Wallace. To others, the 26-year-old Wallace represents something else entirely and he has seen plenty of haters out on social media over his career. Its just what I feel in my heart, what feels right, Wallace said Friday. Its not like I wanted to be in this position or asked to be in this position, Wallace said. Lets get away from what happened at Talladega, Wallace said.
Keselowski wins 600 to extend Johnson's losing streak
Keselowski extended Jimmie Johnson's losing streak to 102 races by holding off the seven-time NASCAR champion in overtime early Monday to win the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race on the NASCAR schedule. It was the first win for Keselowski this season, his first Coca-Cola 600 victory and the first win at this event for Ford since 2002. I wanted to win the 600 my whole life and wanted to win in front of everybody, Keselowski said. But almost two hours after the race, NASCAR disqualified Johnson because his Chevrolet failed post-race inspection. I was a lap-and-a-half away from winning the 600, Elliott said.
NASCAR picks up at tricky Darlington after 10-week hiatus
FILE - In this May 11, 2012, file photo, drivers take the green flag for the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series auto race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. NASCAR will re-fire the engines moments after mask-clad drivers climb into their cars at Darlington Raceway. (Tyler Barrick/Pool Photo via AP, File)DARLINGTON, S.C. NASCAR will not be as you remember it when racing returns at old egg-shaped Darlington Raceway. He tested at Darlington shortly before the season was suspended and determined then he was fit to race again. Busch and Hill are adding Xfinity Series races at Darlington and Charlotte, and a Truck Series race at Charlotte to their calendar. His only victory so far this season was the Truck Series race at home track Las Vegas.