There are more than one hundred drivers entered across NASCAR’s three national series for this coming weekend’s tripleheader at Phoenix International Raceway. At this point of the post-season, just three are certain they’ll be racing for a championship the following weekend in Miami. In the Sprint Cup Series, Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson have advanced by virtue of victories in the semifinal round of the Chase. Six drivers remain in contention for the final two spots, with Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch – both former champions – likely facing a must-win situation to move on. In the inaugural Truck Series Chase, Johnny Sauter has swept the first two races in the Round of Six and will seek his first championship next week in Miami. Five drivers are left to battle for the three other spots. And in the X-FINITY Series, six drivers are currently in the mix for a berth in The Championship Four that will head to South Florida for the November 19th season finale.
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Post-Season Doubleheader At Martinsville
Fans headed to southern Virginia for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series races at Martinsville Speedway will see a post-season twin bill as the 2016 schedule enters its final month. Six title contenders remain in the inaugural Truck Series Chase heading into Saturday’s Texas Roadhouse 200 led by top-seeded rookie William Byron. Also still on The Chase Grid are Christopher Bell, Timothy Peters, Ben Kennedy, Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton … In the Sprint Cup Series, the title field is down to eight for the final short-track race of the 2016 season, Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500. Kyle Busch, the Number-1 seed in this year’s Chase, is looking for a season sweep on the Virginia half-mile after winning the year’s first stop there in early April. Denny Hamlin’s the last driver to win both races in a single season, doing so in 2010.
Post-Season Doubleheader On Tap In New Hampshire
Fans headed to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for this weekend’s Sprint Cup-Camping World Truck Series twin bill will be treated to a pair of post-season races as the title “Chase” picks up steam for twenty-four drivers. Martin Truex Junior won the opening race of the Sprint Cup Chase last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway while some familiar faces are at the bottom of the sixteen-driver field with just two weeks left to stave off elimination. Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson and rookie Chris Buescher – all race winners during the regular season – hold the last three spots on The Chase Grid … In the Truck Series, eight drivers are poised to embark on the inaugural post-season Chase – with Kyle Busch Motorsports rookie William Byron the top seed. The title field will be trimmed to six following the third race of the opening round on October 22nd at Talladega Superspeedway.
Kyle Larson Helps Chevrolet Finish With A One-Two Sweep
Kyle Larson got the best of rookie Chase Elliott on the day’s final restart Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, leading the last ten laps to record his first career Sprint Cup victory. Larson was ready to pounce when the green flag flew for the final time while Elliott briefly spun his tires, opening the door for Larson to drive his Number-42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet straight into Gatorade Victory Lane. The winning margin over Elliott was one-point-four seconds. Brad Keselowski, the only Michigan driver in the forty-car field, finished third. But his Number-2 Team Penske Ford failed post-race inspection, with any penalties likely to be announced at mid-week. Rookie Ryan Blaney grabbed fourth place with Kevin Harvick completing the top five. Pole sitter Joey Logano led twenty-four laps and finished tenth in his bid for a season sweep on the two-mile Irish Hills oval after winning in June … Larson led a race-high forty-one laps in helping to give Chevrolet a one-two sweep. Elliott drove his Number-88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to second-place finishes in both Sprint Cup Series events at M-I-S in 2016. Larson’s first Cup Series win comes in his ninety-ninth start and gives team owner Chip Ganassi just his second Michigan victory. The first one came fifteen years ago with Sterling Marlin behind the wheel … Larson’s victory capped an historic weekend for NASCAR during which first-time winners celebrated in each of the sanctioning body’s three national series: Brett Moffitt in the Camping World Truck Series, Michael McDowell (X-FINITY) and then Larson on Sunday in Michigan.
Truck Series Race To The Chase Moves On To Michigan
The 2016 season marks the first time the “Chase” format that’s been used by the Sprint Cup Series the past two seasons will also be implemented in the Camping World Truck Series and there are just three races remaining before the eight-driver field is set, including Saturday’s Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway. If the post-season began today, The Chase Grid would include rookies Christopher Bell and William Byron, who are teammates at Kyle Busch Motorsports … two-time champion Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek, Johnny Sauter, Ben Kennedy, Daniel Hemric and Timothy Peters, who leads rookie Cole Custer by twenty-nine points for what would be the final “playoff” spot. After Saturday’s stop at M-I-S, remaining races in the regular season will be run at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Chicagoland Speedway. The Chase will open September 24th in Loudon, New Hampshire.
Truck Series Race To The Chase Heading Down The Stretch
The 2016 season marks the first time the “Chase” format that’s been used by the Sprint Cup Series the past two seasons will also be implemented in the Camping World Truck Series, with the final month of the regular season set to open next week in Bristol, Tennessee. Eight drivers will qualify and if the post-season began today, the field would include rookies Christopher Bell and William Byron, who are teammates at Kyle Busch Motorsports … two-time champion Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek, Johnny Sauter, Timothy Peters and Daniel Hemric. The battle for the eighth and final “playoff” spot is fierce with four drivers within five points of each other: Cameron Hayley, Ben Kennedy, Tyler Reddick and rookie Cole Custer. After Bristol on August 17th, remaining races in the regular season will be run at Michigan International Speedway, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Chicagoland Speedway. The Chase will open September 24th in Loudon, New Hampshire.
Kyle Larson Takes The Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway
Kyle Larson came from a lap down to win Wednesday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway. Larson drove the No. 24 DC Solar GMS Motorsports Silverado to his first victory in three tries in the annual summer visit to the historic dirt track. However, it was not smooth sailing to the checkered flag for Larson who was penalized for intentionally causing a caution on lap fifty-two when he spun after a tire went down. He went a lap down but was able to make it up and charged into the lead with thirty-two laps to go. Last year’s winner Christopher Bell made a late charge but made contact with the wall in the closing laps and would take the checkered flag in second. Rico Abreu, who also experienced problems earlier in the race, charged back to finish third. Jake Griffin and Tyler Reddick rounded out the top-five. Dirt late model driver Bobby Pierce looked as if he might pull off the upset, leading one hundred and two of the one hundred and fifty lap race, but experienced clutch and transmission problems on the final restart, eventually spinning out trying to pass Larson with only a few laps to go. Pierce would end the night a disappointing twenty-fifth. Pierce, Reddick, Ken Schrader, JR Heffner and Ben Rhodes won preliminary qualifying races while Cody Coughlin and Abreu made their way into the feature by finishing first and second in the last chance race in a night that was filled with action from start to finish.
Nascar Enhances Competition Executive Team
NASCAR announced yesterday that Elton Sawyer has been promoted to the role of Vice President, Officiating and Technical Inspection from his current role of Managing Director of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Additionally John Probst has joined the organization as Managing Director, Competition and Innovation after serving as Technical Director for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. NASCAR also made promotions within its competition team that included Brad Moran transitioning to Managing Director, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Brandon Thompson will become the Senior Director, Touring Series. George Grippo will join the competition team as Managing Director, Competition Technology and Timing & Scoring, and Jusan Hamilton will become Manager, Racing Operations & Event Management.
Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 At The Kentucky Speedway
Next stop Kentucky Speedway for tonight’s seventeenth running of the Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 Camping World Truck Series race. The track, located in the northern part of the state near the Indiana-Ohio border is a mile-and-a-half oval with fourteen to seventeen degrees of banking in the turns and four to eight degrees along the straightaways. The length of the front stretch is 1,662 feet, the backstretch sixteen hundred feet. Grandstand seating capacity is 107,000.
Camping World Truck Series Staging Its First “Stand-Alone” Race Of The Year
The Camping World Truck Series will stage its first “stand-alone” race of the year, Saturday night’s Drivin’ for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois. The race kicks off the second half of the regular season. It’s the first year for the elimination-style Chase format to be used in the Truck Series.
There are presently thirteen drivers in the mix for eight berths in the seven-race title series that opens September 24th in Loudon, New Hampshire. Rookie William Byron, two-time series champion Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek and Johnny Sauter have won races this season. Ben Kennedy leads Spencer Gallagher by a mere three points in the battle for the final “playoff” spot with eight races left in the regular season. Prospects are good for those two to take that battle to the track come Saturday night since last year – with Gallagher finishing second and Kennedy seventh.
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