Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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NASCAR and the American Gaming Association (AGA) are teaming up to educate NASCAR fans on responsible sports betting through the AGA’s Have a Game Plan.® Bet Responsibly. public service campaign. As the campaign’s first professional sports league partner, NASCAR will develop co-branded content that encourages new and seasoned sports bettors to “Know when to Pit” and bet responsibly.

Today’s partnership announcement coincides with the AGA’s Responsible Gaming Education Week (Sept. 13-19), held annually to showcase the gaming industry’s year-round commitment to responsible gaming initiatives and promote transparency and gaming literacy to customers.

“Legal sports betting allows fans to engage with their favorite drivers and race teams in new, exciting ways. It is critically important to ensure they are informed about how to do so responsibly,” said Casey Clark, Senior Vice President, Strategic Communications, AGA. “This partnership further demonstrates NASCAR’s leadership among professional sports on responsible gaming.”

Over the last year, NASCAR entered into a series of partnerships with world-class brands to prepare the industry and its fans for the rapidly growing sports betting market. Sportradar signed on as NASCAR’s integrity partner, BetGenius as its data provider, Penn National Gaming and BetMGM as Authorized Gaming Operators, IMG Arena as its international streaming partner, and EquiLottery and LEAP in the lottery and virtual gaming spaces, respectively. To help fans become educated on sports betting, NASCAR recently launched NASCAR.com/betcenter and also works closely with The Action Network and VSiN.

“Ensuring that our fans have the resources to bet responsibly is a founding principle of our gaming strategy,” said Scott Warfield, Managing Director, Gaming, NASCAR. “The AGA uniquely understands the convergence of legal betting, sports, and responsible gaming. As sports bettors increasingly engage with NASCAR, we look forward to working together to promote bettor education and resources that help prepare our fans for the rapidly expanding legal sports betting landscape.”

As part of the partnership, NASCAR will develop co-branded content for distribution across its social platforms and produce public service announcements that will run across national radio. NASCAR.com will also produce original responsible gaming content for NASCAR.com/betcenter, which provide fans with stats, odds, and information designed to empower them to make informed decisions in the fantasy and gaming space.   

The American Gaming Association launched Have a Game Plan.® in late 2019 as an extension of the industry’s ongoing commitment to responsibility. The AGA and NASCAR are both contributors to the International Center for Responsible Gaming’s (ICRG) fund to support research on sports wagering; AGA as a founding donor and NASCAR as the fund’s first league supporter.

NASCAR PR

The 2020 season of Nicholas Risitano began with the podium conquered in the EuroNASCAR 2 Division on his hometrack at Vallelunga. The Rome native driver grabbed the third place in the Race 2 of the Italian round at the wheel of his #12 Camaro fielded by Solaris Motorsport, while Francesco Sini brought home twice the seventh position in the EuroNASCAR PRO top class. At the end of the Vallelunga season opener, Risitano is fourth in the EuroNASCAR 2 standing, while Sini is fifth with only 11 points gap to the EuroNASCAR Pro leadership.

Nichlas Risitano improved his performances session by session, gaining confidence with the car and the team. After the fifth row in the qualifying, the Italian driver recovered until the fifth position, stopping his come back only due the safety car. The Race 2 saw the driver of the #12 Camaro sponsored by Sanity System ending a great race on the podium, with Risitano that grabbed the third place under the checkered flag after a fierce battle on the track.

"It was an incredible weekend, the guys of the team did their best to give me a great car and I wanted to thank them with a huge result. We managed to do it, but, most important, now I know that I have a car and a team that will allow me to have a great season. I can't wait for Zolder, my Sanity System Camaro wants a victory!", said Risitano.

In the EuroNASCAR PRO Division, Francesco Sini had a good weekend, where the Pescara native driver was able to stay stably in the top positions, fighting all the weekend long with the the best protagonist of the European NASCAR series. "Ringhio" set two smart races thinking to the standings and brought home two seventh positions under the checkered flag. In the EuroNASCAR PRO Division standings Sini is now fifth, with only 11 point to the leader: "The level of the PRO class is very high this season, I think there will be many drivers able to win a race. Each placement will be fundamental, it will be very important to not score a 0. The collaboration with CAAL Racing did a great boost to us, we are competitive and with the same pace of the top drivers. I want to go in Zolder e try to grab the podium!" said  Francesco Sini.

Next round of the European NASCAR is scheduled in Belgium in two weeks on the track dedicate do Gilles Villeneuve, ready to host new four races of the European NASCAR series. 

Solaris Motorsport PR

JCR is pleased to welcome Fox Sports Radio Spartanburg 1400 / 98.3 as an associate sponsor for three races starting this weekend at Bristol. As well as Talladega and Charlotte. Plus Whitetail Smokeless makes a second consecutive appearance as an associate sponsor and long-time partners All-South Electric returns for their fifth race of 2020.

“It’s pretty exciting to have our hometown Fox Sports Radio station come aboard as an associate sponsor for these three races. These are three really good tracks for us, and we are capable of running in the Top 10 or winning at all three.” Clements said. 

“I’m also excited to have Whitetail join the JCR family for their second race this Friday night.” Clements went on to say.

Joining All-South Electric as associate sponsors too will be, Chalew, ELITE Towing & Recovery LLC Circle Body Shop, Mechanix Wear, Wix Filters, Carolina Driveline, and ZMAX

JCR PR

Country music duo Pryor & Lee will perform at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday night as the pre-race concert prior to the start of the 7:30 p.m. Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race, track officials announced today.

The hour-long pre-race concert, the first for BMS events in 2020, will start at 6 p.m. The duo will perform on the roof top of the BMS Media Center in the track’s infield, safely distanced away from fans and participants.

“We are thrilled to have live music once again at Bristol Motor Speedway to kick-off the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager, Bristol Motor Speedway. “Music here at Bristol Motor Speedway and the city of Bristol, which is the Birthplace of Country Music, is such a major tradition and we are blessed to be able to have red-hot country duo Pryor & Lee perform before Saturday night’s green flag in the NASCAR Playoffs.”

With the release of their first single to Country radio, “Y’allsome” was praised by American Songwriter who declared, “Pryor & Lee bring some overdue rowdy to country radio with their debut single “Y’allsome.” The song is written by hit-songwriters Rhett Akins, Marv Green, and JT Harding, produced by Doug Johnson and Chip Matthews, and is digitally available now.

“We are beyond excited to be able to bring live music back to NASCAR fans this season and playing the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway is a dream for us! We know y’all are gonna bring it and we’ll be ready to help hype up the energy before that first lap,” Pryor & Lee said about the opportunity to perform at The Last Great Colosseum, where many country greats have graced the stage including Kenny Chesney, Joe Nichols, Randy Houser, Old Dominion, The Band Perry, A Thousand Horses and Travis Denning to name a few.

Their performance at Bristol Motor Speedway will be their third NASCAR track appearance as they played at the Daytona 500 in February and then also sang prior to the Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Southern California on March 1st.

Pryor Baird and Kaleb Lee were brought together as roommates on NBC's singing competition The Voice and eventually began performing together, sparking an undeniable musical connection. The two artists finished in the top six in season 14 and were still pursuing solo careers while joining each other’s tour dates from time to time to perform as a duo. Ultimately, they decided to combine Baird's electric guitar skills and “growly bluesypipes and stellar vocal range” (Rare Country) with Lee's “soulful and whiskey-soaked vocals” (Billboard) to create a fresh sound with a throwback vibe and officially become a duo. Pryor & Lee signed a record deal with Black River Entertainment (Kelsea Ballerini) in January of 2020 and they had just started their “Country’s Back” tour together before the pandemic hit, stalling their plans. For more information on Pryor & Lee, visit www.pryorandlee.com and follow them on InstagramFacebook , Twitter, and YouTube.
 
The race weekend features Playoff action in the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series while the NASCAR Xfinity Series will have its season finale and the ARCA Menards Series will showcase some of the best future stars of the sport in the Bush’s Beans 200.

On Saturday night, the NASCAR Cup Series stars will be battling for Playoff survival during round number three of the NASCAR Cup Playoffs in the 60th running of the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race (7:30 p.m., NBCSN, PRN Radio, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio).

The NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers, headed by Austin Cindric, Chase Briscoe, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson and Ross Chastain, will battle to improve their positions for the Playoffs in what is expected to be a dramatic and exciting regular season finale, Friday night, Sept. 18, during the Food City 300 at 7 p.m. (NBCSN, PRN Radio, Sirius XM Radio) When the checkered flag falls, the 12 Playoff drivers will be set in the Xfinity Series.

On Thursday night, Sept. 17, the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will open its seven-race Playoff series during the UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics at 7:30 p.m. (FS1, MRN Radio, Sirius XM Radio). The 10 driver Playoff field includes Sheldon Creed, Zane Smith, regular season champ Austin Hill, Matt Crafton, Todd Gilliland, Christian Eckes, Brett Moffitt, Tyler Ankrum, Ben Rhodes and Grant Enfinger. 

Many of short track racing’s rising stars, like Hailie Deegan, Ty Gibbs, Bret Holmes, Sam Mayer and Drew Dollar, will hit the track on Thursday night after the Truck Series race for the Bush’s Beans 200 in the ARCA Menards Series. Race officials announced recently that this race, which is scheduled as the 9:30 p.m. (FS1) nightcap on Thursday, will be increased by 50 laps to a 107-mile distance.

For ticket information about Friday night’s Food City 300 Xfinity Series race, please visit the BMS website.

BMS PR

NBC Sports presents the first elimination race of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs this Saturday night in primetime at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN from iconic Bristol Motor Speedway, as the field of 16 narrows to 12 and drivers fight to keep their championship hopes alive.

Saturday’s coverage on NBCSN begins at 6:30 p.m. ET with the NASCAR America Pre-Race Show, followed by Countdown to Green and the wave of the green flag shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET.

Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski have advanced to the Round of 12 with their wins at Darlington and Richmond, respectively. Denny Hamlin has also advanced by virtue of total points. Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer currently occupy the final four spots in the Round of 12 heading to Bristol, while William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Blaney are on the outside looking in.

2020 NASCAR CUP SERIES PLAYOFF STANDINGS - ENTERING RICHMOND:

Drivers Points/Wins
Kevin Harvick 1 win
Brad Keselowski 1 win
Denny Hamlin +64
Joey Logano +51
Martin Truex Jr. +38
Austin Dillon +36
Chase Elliott +28
Alex Bowman +27
Kyle Busch +18
Aric Almirola +7
Kurt Busch +7
Clint Bowyer +3
William Byron -3
Cole Custer -8
Matt DiBenedetto -25
Ryan Blaney -27

 

NASCAR CUP SERIES RACING FROM BRISTOL – SATURDAY AT 7:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

NBC Sports’ NASCAR pre-race host Krista Voda, auto racing icon Kyle Petty, and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett will host NASCAR AMERICA pre- and post-race shows, as well as Countdown to Green.

NBC Sports’ lead NASCAR race announcer Rick Allen, 21-time Cup Series race winner and “The Mayor” of NASCAR Jeff Burton, two-time Daytona 500 Champion and recent NASCAR Hall of Fame selection Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte will call the race from the broadcast booth at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

Dave Burns, Marty Snider, and Dillon Welch will serve as pit reporters on-site from Bristol. Rutledge Wood will also report from Bristol’s Fan Zone and Victory Lane, sharing unique stories of the track and from fans at home.

KYLE PETTY, JEFF BURTON AND A.J. ALLMENDINGER LOOK AHEAD TO BRISTOL

This week, Kyle Petty, Jeff Burton and A.J. Allmendinger reviewed the weekend at Richmond and looked ahead to Bristol in the latest edition of NASCAR America Splash & Go on the Motorsports on NBC YouTube Channel. Click here to watch the episode.

Burton on struggles of Joe Gibbs Racing in Playoffs: “We saw the same thing at Darlington. They ran very well there, then they lost track position and then they went nowhere. That’s two races in a row…you wonder if that’s cause for concern. This was a team that was on fire.”

Burton on Austin Dillon: “Austin Dillon is the surprise of the year – not just the Playoffs. I didn’t see this coming. I just didn’t see it at all. Credit and kudos to them because they stepped their game up and found a way to bring speed to the Playoffs…at Richmond, they were lights out.”

Petty on bubble drivers: “These guys are working without a net. We’re going to Bristol with the Flying Wallendas and there’s six or seven of them, and a couple of them are going to hit the ground…I feel bad for them, but they had 26 races to gain playoff points and they missed it in those 26. I don’t know what would make any of us think that they would have a spectacular run at Bristol.”

Burton on Ryan Blaney: “If you look at the number of races Ryan Blaney has led at Bristol, and the number of times he has been leading when he got into a wreck…he has the speed…I think he can ‘win’ himself in. He is the guy that I think has enough speed and has shown me at Bristol to have enough speed where he can win this race and advance.”

Petty on Blaney: “Let me say this – if he wins Bristol, he wins the Championship – what concerns me about Blaney and that team are the points you’ve brought up…they’ve had speed, they’ve led races, they’ve run up front, and they’ve given it away in Stage 3 almost every time. They should be sitting here right now with at least three or four wins.”

Petty on William Byron: “Did he show up at Richmond? I thought I saw him on the grid, but I never saw him after that, and that surprised me. After they came out of Dover, after they went to Daytona, they seemed to be clicking…but they just absolutely missed it (at Richmond).”

 

XFINITY SERIES RACING FROM BRISTOL – FRIDAY AT 7 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

Bristol hosts the regular season finale for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, which has eleven of its 12 Playoff spots decided entering the “World’s Fastest Half Mile.” Brandon Brown currently holds a 49-point advantage over Jeremy Clements for the final open spot.

Rick Allen, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton and Kyle Petty will call Friday’s Xfinity race on NBCSN. Steve Letarte will be on site at Bristol, roaming pit road from the lens of a crew chief. Burns and Welch will serve as Friday’s pit reporters.


JUSTIN ALLGAIER FEATURED GUEST ON DALE JR. DOWNLOAD TODAY AT 6 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier is this week’s guest on the Dale Jr. Download tonight at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN, following his Xfinity Series doubleheader sweep at Richmond last weekend. Allgaier is seeking to win his first series title after making the Championship 4 in three of the past four seasons.

Produced on-site at Dirty Mo Media Studios in Mooresville, N.C., the Dale Jr. Download on NBCSN takes viewers couch-side for the taping of the motorsports icon’s weekly podcast, featuring unparalleled perspective, candid commentary, and insight that fans have come to expect from Dale Jr.


2020 PIT CREW ALL-STARS TO BE RECOGNIZED DURING NASCAR PLAYOFFS

During the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, NBC Sports will salute this year’s Pit Crew All-Stars. This group of unsung heroes - 16 in all, matching the 16 Playoff drivers - comes from the ranks of over-the-wall crew members, engineers, shop employees, hauler drivers, and/or team officials. Throughout the Playoffs, NBC will showcase the All-Stars’ stories, and what makes them and their abilities so special

 

MOTOGP EMILIA ROMAGNA GRAND PRIX AT MISANO WORLD CIRCUIT LIVE SUNDAY AT 7:30 A.M. ET ON NBCSN

The 2020 MotoGP season continues on Sunday from Misano World Circuit live at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN. Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso enters Sunday as the new leader in the points standings after finishing seventh in last week’s race at Misano, which saw the first career MotoGP win for Petronas Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli. Leigh Diffey and Ben Bostrom will anchor coverage.

 

LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS SPRING CREEK NATIONAL – SATURDAY AT 11:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

NBC Sports continues its coverage of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 2020 campaign with the Spring Creek National this Saturday night at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, following live Cup Series racing from Bristol. Zach Osborne, who took the first race at the RedBud National on Sept. 4, leads the 450 Class standings by 28 points over Marvin Musquin.

Race announcer Jason Weigandt will call the event alongside analyst and two-time AMA Pro Motocross Champion Grant Langston, with Will Christien reporting from the pits.

In addition to coverage on NBC and NBCSN, NBC Sports Gold’s Pro Motocross Pass will super-serve Motocross fans everywhere with programming that includes live, commercial-free coverage of every Moto 1 and Moto 2 from each round.

Following is this week’s motorsports programming across NBC Sports:

DATE

COVERAGE TIME (ET) NETWORK
Wed., September 16 Dale Jr. Download with Justin Allgaier   6 p.m. NBCSN
Thur., September 17 IMSA Lamborghini – Road Atlanta Noon NBCSN
Fri., September 18 Xfinity Series – Countdown to Green 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
  NASCAR Xfinity Series Racing – Bristol 7 p.m. NBCSN
  Xfinity Series Post-Race 9 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., September 19 NASCAR America Pre-Race Show 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
  Cup Series – Countdown to Green 7 p.m. NBCSN
  NASCAR Cup Series Racing – Bristol 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
  NASCAR America Post-Race Show 10:30 p.m. NBCSN
  Lucas Oil Pro Motocross – Spring Creek National 11:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., September 20 MotoGP – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. NBCSN

 

NBC SPORTS’ NASCAR COVERAGE

NBC Sports is the official home of the 2020 NASCAR Playoffs, covering the race for the NASCAR Cup Series & NASCAR Xfinity Series championships. NBC Sports’ NASCAR programming also includes NBCSN’s daily motorsports show, NASCAR America; races from NASCAR’s regional touring series; annual events such as the NASCAR Cup Series Awards and NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony; and original programming specials.

NBC Sports PR

Caleb Dyer is like many other racers in that he took opportunities to test at South Boston Speedway this summer but has not yet been able to apply the fruits of what he and his team learned to competing in races at the .4-mile oval.

“It’s very good,” the 16-year-old Clover, Virginia resident remarked when asked about the opportunity to get some track time and work on his car.

“You get to learn a lot. You get to know how the racing and qualifying is going to be.”

Following his last testing session at South Boston Speedway, Dyer said he wanted to compete in the Limited Sportsman Division at “America’s Hometown Track” this season. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic derailed his plans, and those of a lot of other competitors.

“I was planning on racing here at South Boston Speedway,” he pointed out.

“We tested twice. The first time I was down a lot on power. I went back home and did some research and came back and we were a lot better.”

While South Boston Speedway has not held any racing events this season, the speedway is open

Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to provide race teams an opportunity to get some track time to test their cars. Teams interested in scheduling a test date should contact the speedway office at 434-572-4947 for information.

This season is Dyer’s third season in the Limited Sportsman Division. He started out racing go-karts as part of the Halifax County, VA school system’s former motorsports program. Dyer then leaped into a racecar.

“I hopped into a Limited Sportsman car and went to Orange County Speedway when I was 13,” explained Dyer.

“Last year I went to Orange County Speedway some, then went to Carteret County Speedway (Swansboro, NC) and East Carolina Motor Speedway (Robersonville, NC). This year I was going to come here and try it here (at South Boston Speedway).”

The young racer says he is making good progress.    

“The first year I ran at Orange County we were decent,” he said, “but I was like a fifth-place car. Last year we were better but still needed more. This year we’re a lot better than the two previous years.”

Dyer’s goal is to continue to improve and be in the mix for wins and championships.

“The goal is to come out here and be in contention to win every weekend,” Dyer pointed out.

“I’m trying to get to that point. You’ve got all of the guys like Danny Willis Jr. and Jacob Borst and Daniel Moss here. They have been racing for years. I’m just trying to get up there with those guys.”

SBS PR

He hasn’t earned a victory yet after two races in the tough first round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, but Austin Dillion heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race feeling like he’s riding a huge wave of momentum.

Many stock car prognosticators had marked Dillion to be in the group of four drivers who wouldn’t advance to the Round of 12 as they logged their NASCAR Bracket Madness predictions at the close of the regular season. Dillion, who punched his Playoff ticket with a victory at Texas in July, has proved them all wrong so far by being impressive in the first two races in the demanding Round of 16, powering his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevy Camaro to a pair of top-five finishes at Darlington and Richmond.

He sits in a great position as he heads to Bristol for Saturday night’s cut-off race for the Round of 16, which will be broadcast on NBCSN, PRN Radio and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio starting at 7:30 p.m. He is sixth overall and will run the Bass Pro Shops paint scheme on his red-hot Chevy as he will no doubt receive tremendous support from the Bristol crowd, who has a long term love affair going with the famed 3 car.

“It was a lot of fun (at Richmond) and I think we had the best car, so thanks to (crew chief) Justin Alexander and everyone at RCR and ECR for giving us a solid Chevy,” Dillon said. “We’re headed to Bristol Motor Speedway in a good spot and it’s exciting to know we still have eight more chances to try and get another win. Our confidence level for Bristol is pretty high.”

Dillon has claimed one top-five and three top-10s in his career at Bristol, including a sixth place finish at the Food City Supermarket Heroes 500 in May. Following the second place run at Darlington in the Playoff opener and the fourth place finish in Virginia where he led 55 laps, Dillon feels like a victory could be right around the corner.

“I feel like I gave one away (at Richmond),” Dillon said. “Our Dow Chevrolet was so fast. We had a massive day for stage points, which is going to help us out big picture-wise. We had a speeding penalty in Stage 1, and to come from the back to the front in that Stage just shows how fast our Chevy was. This No. 3 team is on fire right now and showing up when it matters.”

Three of the 16 drivers are already locked in for the next round of the Playoffs, including Kevin Harvick who won at Darlington and Richmond winner Brad Keselowski, who won at Bristol in May during the Food City Supermarket Heroes 500. Defending Night Race winner Denny Hamlin also is locked in to the next round based on points earned.

As for the rest of the competitors, it all depends on how they fare during 500 exciting laps of action at The World’s Fastest Half-Mile. The four drivers entering the race below the cut-line are William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto and last place Ryan Blaney.

Byron is only three points below the line. Kyle Busch, who has eight BMS victories on his resume but no wins this season, is 18 points ahead of the cut-line. Three drivers are only single digits ahead of Bryon above the cut-line and include Aric Almirola, 2018 Night Race winner Kurt Busch and strong Bristol runner Clint Bowyer.

Yes, race fans, with that many drivers battling for what amounts to basically four transfer spots, this could get very interesting. Better grab two bags of popcorn.

Second-year Playoff contender Byron opened the post-season with a fifth place effort at Darlington, but finished 21st at Richmond. The young driver knows he needs to be at his best at BMS at the controls of his No. 24 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports if he’s going to keep his championship dreams alive.

“It is what it is – we ran horrible (at Richmond) and there's no excuse for that,” Byron said. “It was really kind of a slow death the entire race... it's disappointing.

“We just have to put this one behind us and go to Bristol. I think we’ve ran OK at Bristol – top-10 in the spring and made the All-Star race. So, I think we just have to go there and hopefully have a good run.”

A good run at Bristol for Byron is a strong possibility. He won the Food City Showdown in iRacing back in April, finished eighth in the Food City race in May and posted a 12th place finish in the NASCAR All-Star Race at Bristol in July. He will need to rely on his all-concrete high-banked short track driving expertise in order to get the finish he needs at Bristol.

“This is definitely our toughest round,” Byron said. “I’d like to say if we can get through this round, the rest of the Playoffs will be great. But I think going to Bristol, it’s a track that we can have a good setup. We’ve ran decent there in the past, so we can hopefully look at that… We have to perform at Bristol.”

There’s a logjam of drivers who are more than 25 points above the cutline, including Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman. Logano has two Night Race victories on his resume and was in contention late in the May race before getting collected in a racing incident with Chase Elliott. Elliott, meanwhile, won the All-Star Race in his No. 9 Hendrick Chevy and has posted three top-fives at BMS in the past. Bowman was eighth in the All-Star Race and registered 10th and 11th place finishes in his last two Bristol starts.

The one driver in this group who has had absolutely no luck at Bristol is Truex. At fifth in the Playoff standings he has a nice cushion going in to Bristol where he hopes to put his No. 19 Bass Pro Shops machine in Victory Lane for the first time. He will need all the moxie he can muster at Bristol, where he hasn’t posted a top-10 since 2017 and only has three top 10s in 29 career starts on the iconic short track.

Fortunately for Truex he is carrying some momentum to The Last Great Colosseum as he posted a solid second place finish at Richmond after being involved in a late race incident in the Playoff opener at Darlington with Elliott while battling for the lead with 13 laps to go. Despite his Bristol woes, Truex feels good about his Joe Gibbs Racing Team’s chances of advancing to the Round of 12.

“We’re strong,” said Truex, the 2017 Cup Series champ. “I feel like we’re executing well and we’re not making mistakes like we did early in the season, aside from (Darlington) obviously on the race track, but that was me, not the team. Just solid every week. Fast race cars and everybody is making good decisions. Hopefully, we can keep putting ourselves in the front and we’ll win some races eventually.”

Playoff cellar dwellars DiBenedetto and Blaney basically need to win the race in order to advance in the Playoffs. Those two will certainly receive a tremendous amount of support from the Bristol crowd as they are both beloved in Thunder Valley.

Bristol fans serenaded DiBenedetto after he led a ton of laps and posted a second place finish in last season’s Night Race. This year he drove his No. 21 Wood Brothers machine to a win in stage three of the NASCAR All-Star Open to advance to the All-Star Race, where he ultimately finished 13th.

“If there is one track to be in a must-win situation that I would choose it would definitely be Bristol,” DiBenedetto said. “I think we have a good shot at it. It is one that I am excited about and have circled off in this round... So, we will go to Bristol and do the best we can.”

Blaney continues to be one of the most-popular drivers in the sport and has posted four top 10s in his Bristol career and led 60 laps of the May race before getting caught up in a crash on lap 199. After logging finishes of 24th at Darlington and 19th at Richmond, Blaney says there’s only one path to keep his Playoff hopes alive.

“We have to win (at Bristol),” Blaney said. “It is pretty plain and simple. With the bad couple of races we have had here to start the playoffs off, we probably need to go out there and win Bristol. That is our mindset. That is our goal. It is our goal every week to win the race, but now it is our season on the line. We will see if we can get it done. We have been pretty close at Bristol before, it is just a matter of trying to put a whole race together there.”

The race weekend also will feature the regular season finale in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, more Playoff action in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series and what promises to be a thriller in the ARCA Menards Series.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers, headed by Austin Cindric, Chase Briscoe, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson and Ross Chastain, will battle to improve their positions for the Playoffs in what is expected to be a dramatic and exciting regular season finale, Friday night, Sept. 18, during the Food City 300 at 7 p.m. (NBCSN, PRN Radio, Sirius XM Radio) When the checkered flag falls, the 12 Playoff drivers will be set in the Xfinity Series.

On Thursday night, Sept. 17, the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will open its seven-race Playoff series during the UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics at 7:30 p.m. (FS1, MRN Radio, Sirius XM Radio). The 10 driver Playoff field includes Sheldon Creed, Zane Smith, regular season champ Austin Hill, Matt Crafton, Todd Gilliland, Christian Eckes, Brett Moffitt, Tyler Ankrum, Ben Rhodes and Grant Enfinger. 

Many of short track racing’s rising stars, like Hailie Deegan, Ty Gibbs, Sam Mayer, Brett Holmes and Drew Dollar, will hit the track on Thursday night after the Truck Series race for the Bush’s Beans 200 in the ARCA Menards Series. Race officials announced recently that this race, which is scheduled as the 9:30 p.m. (FS1) nightcap on Thursday, will be increased by 50 laps to a 107-mile distance.

For ticket information about Friday night’s Food City 300 Xfinity Series race, please visit the BMS website.

BMS PR

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race

The Place: Bristol Motor Speedway

The Date: Saturday, September 19

The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBCSN, 7 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 266.5 miles (500 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 125),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 250), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 500)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Food City 300

The Place: Bristol Motor Speedway

The Date: Friday, September 18

The Time: 7 p.m. ET

TV: NBCSN, 6:30 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 159.9 miles (300 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 85),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 170), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 300)

 

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series

Next Race: UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics

The Place: Bristol Motor Speedway

The Date: Thursday, September 17

The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 7 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 106.6 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 55),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 110), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Bristol Motor Speedway sets the stage for the Round of 16 cutoff

The stage is set, and the anticipation is high for this Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Round of 16 cutoff race, the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).  Three Playoff drivers have locked themselves into the Round of 12 by either wins or points in the first two races of the Round of 16 – Kevin Harvick (won Darlington), Brad Keselowski (won Richmond) and Denny Hamlin (clinched on points) – leaving nine spots still up for grabs this weekend. 

 

The 2020 season marks the first time the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff’s third race has been held at Bristol Motor Speedway and the first Cup postseason event at the 0.533-mile track. Bristol is the fifth different track in series history to host the third race of the Playoffs; joining Talladega Superspeedway (2004-2005), Kansas Speedway (2006–2010), Dover International Speedway (2011-2017) and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course (2018-2019).

 

A total of 13 different drivers have won the third race of the Playoffs, led by Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2013), Greg Biffle (2007, 2010), and Tony Stewart (2006, 2009) with two each. Three times the third race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs has been won by a non-Playoff driver. In 2005, NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett was 14th in points when he won the Talladega Superspeedway Playoff race. Then in 2006, NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart was ranked 11th in points when he won the Kansas Speedway Playoff race. And finally, Greg Biffle was ranked 14th in points when he won the 2007 Kansas Playoff race.

 

Third Race of the Playoffs - Race Winners

Track

Playoff Race Winners

Date

Charlotte RC

Chase Elliott

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Charlotte RC

Ryan Blaney

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Dover

Kyle Busch

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Dover

Martin Truex Jr

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Dover

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Dover

Jeff Gordon

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dover

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dover

Brad Keselowski

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dover

Kurt Busch

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Kansas

Greg Biffle

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kansas

Tony Stewart

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Kansas

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Kansas

Greg Biffle

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Kansas

Tony Stewart

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Talladega

Dale Jarrett

Sunday, October 2, 2005

Talladega

Dale Earnhardt Jr

Sunday, October 3, 2004

 

Since the inception of the Playoffs in 2004, three times the winner of the third race of the postseason has gone on to win the title that same year.  In 2008, Jimmie Johnson won the third race of the Playoffs at Kansas Speedway and went on to win his third consecutive title. It was his first of three Playoff wins that season (Kansas, Martinsville-2, Phoenix-2). In 2012, Brad Keselowski won the third race of the Playoffs at Dover International Speedway and went on to win his first series title. It was Keselowski’s lone win during the 2012 Playoffs. Then in 2013, Jimmie Johnson won the third race of the Playoffs at Dover International Speedway and went on to win his sixth series title. It was his first of two Playoff wins that season (Dover-2, Texas-2) for the Hendrick Motorsports driver.

 

The worst finish by a driver in the third NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race that went on to win the series title that same season was: 

  • At the Charlotte Road Course (2018-2019): In 2019, Kyle Busch finished 37th at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course – the third race of the Playoffs – and went on to win the title later that season.
  • At Dover (2011-2017): In 2011, Tony Stewart finished 25th at Dover International Speedway – the third race of the Playoffs – and went on to win the title later that season.
  • At Kansas (2006-2010): In 2006, Jimmie Johnson finished 14th at Kansas Speedway – the third race of the Playoffs – and went on to win the title later that season.
  • At Talladega (2004-2005): In 2004, Kurt Busch finished fifth at Talladega Superspeedway – the third race of the Playoffs – and went on to win the title later that season.

 

In total Bristol Motor Speedway has hosted 119 NASCAR Cup Series races dating back to the inaugural event on July 30, 1961 – the race was won by Jack Smith (with relief from Johnny Allen) driving a Pontiac. The 119 NASCAR Cup Series races at Bristol have produced 51 different pole winners and 42 different race winners. NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip leads the series in wins at Bristol Motor Speedway with 12 victories; including eight straight (1978, 1979, 1981 sweep, 1982 sweep, 1983 sweep, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1992).  Eight former Cup Bristol winners are entered this weekend, led by Kyle Busch with eight victories (Spring 2007, 2009 sweep, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019), followed by Kurt Busch (six wins), Matt Kenseth (four), Brad Keselowski (three), Joey Logano (two), Kevin Harvick (two), Jimmie Johnson (two) and Denny Hamlin (two).

 

Clinch Scenarios: Last chance to make the Playoff’s Round of 12

This weekend’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway will bring the first round of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs to a close and four drivers will be eliminated from the postseason. Three drivers are locked in and moving on, leaving nine spots still up for grabs.

 

Already Clinched

The following 3 drivers have clinched a spot in the 12-driver field of the next round: Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a new winner, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 10th winless driver in the standings.

o   Joey Logano: Would clinch with 7 points

o   Martin Truex Jr.: Would clinch with 20 points

o   Austin Dillon: Would clinch with 21 points

o   Chase Elliott: Would clinch with 30 points

o   Alex Bowman: Would clinch with 31 points

o   Kyle Busch: Would clinch with 40 points

o   Aric Almirola: Would clinch with 51 points

o   Kurt Busch: Would clinch with 51 points

o   Clint Bowyer: Would clinch with 55 points

o   William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Blaney: Could only clinch with help

 

If there is a repeat winner, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 11th winless driver in the standings.  They could also clinch if there was a new winner among Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch or Clint Bowyer and being ahead of the 10th winless driver in the standings.

o   Joey Logano: Would clinch with 4 points

o   Martin Truex Jr.: Would clinch with 17 points

o   Austin Dillon: Would clinch with 18 points

o   Chase Elliott: Would clinch with 27 points

o   Alex Bowman: Would clinch with 28 points

o   Kyle Busch: Would clinch with 37 points

o   Aric Almirola: Would clinch with 48 points

o   Kurt Busch: Would clinch with 48 points

o   Clint Bowyer: Would clinch with 52 points

o   William Byron: Would clinch with 55 points

o   Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Blaney: Could only clinch with help

 

Can’t Eliminate This: Previous drivers that have raced their way into the Round of 12

Since the introduction of the ‘elimination style’ format of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2014, several drivers have raced their way into the Round of 12 in the third and final cutoff race of the Round of 16.

 

2014: Heading to the Dover (third race of the Playoffs) in 2014, Denny Hamlin was ranked 13th in the Playoff standings and six points back from the Round of 12 cutoff. Hamlin finished 12th at Dover and advanced on points, knocking AJ Allmendinger (23rd-place finish at Dover) out of the Playoffs.

 

2015: Heading to the Dover (third race of the Playoffs) in 2015, Kevin Harvick was ranked 15th in the Playoff standings, 23 points back from the Round of 12 cutoff and Kyle Busch was ranked 13th in the Playoff standings just one point behind the Round of 12 cutoff. Kevin Harvick won the race at Dover and automatically advanced to the next round. Kyle Busch finished second at Dover and advanced on points to the Round of 12 knocking Jamie McMurray (fourth-place finish at Dover) and Jimmie Johnson (41st-place finish due to mechanical issues at Dover) out of the Playoffs.

 

2016: Heading to the Dover (third race of the Playoffs) in 2016, Austin Dillon was ranked 13th in the Playoff standings just five points back from the Round of 12 cutoff. Dillon finished eighth at Dover and advanced on points knocking Kyle Larson (25th-place finish at Dover) out of the Playoffs.

 

2017: The four drivers below the Round of 12 cutline heading into the third race of the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Dover International Speedway – Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch – all failed to advance to the Round of 12 and were eliminated from the Playoffs following the Dover race.

 

2018: Heading to the Charlotte ROVAL (third race of the Playoffs) in 2018, Clint Bowyer was ranked 13th in the Playoff standings and four points back from the Round of 12 cutoff. Bowyer finished third at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course and advanced on points knocking Austin Dillon (39th-place finish at the Charlotte ROVAL due to an incident) out of the Playoffs.

 

2019: Heading to the Charlotte ROVAL (third race of the Playoffs) in 2019, Clint Bowyer was ranked 14th in the Playoff standings, four points back from the Round of 12 cutoff and Alex Bowman was ranked 13th in the Playoff standings just two points behind the Round of 12 cutoff. Bowyer finished fourth and Alex Bowman finished second at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. Both drivers advanced on points to the Round of 12 knocking Kyle Larson (13th-place finish at Charlotte) and Aric Almirola (14th-place finish at Charlotte) out of the Playoffs.

 

Playoff drivers at Thunder Valley

Bristol Motor Speedway, a high-banked, concrete, 0.533-mile short track, is one of the most challenging venues the NASCAR Cup Series competes on. And this weekend the famous short track deemed ‘The Last Great Colosseum’ will hold the final race in the Playoff’s Round of 12. Below is a look at the top 16 Playoff contenders and their career performances at Thunder Valley.  

 

Kevin Harvick currently leads the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings and has secured his spot in the Round of 12 with a victory at Darlington. Harvick has made 39 career starts at Bristol posting one pole, two wins, 12 top fives and 19 top 10s. His average finish at the Tennessean half-mile speedway is 13.7.

 

Denny Hamlin rests in second in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and has secured his spot in the Round of 12 by clinching on points. Hamlin has made 29 series starts at Bristol putting up four poles, two wins, nine top fives and 14 top 10s. His average finish at Bristol is 14.4.

 

Brad Keselowski rides in third in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and has secured his spot in the Round of 12 with a win last weekend at Richmond Raceway. The Michigan native is also the most recent winner at Bristol Motor Speedway, taking the checkered flag at the historic track earlier this season. Keselowski has made 21 series starts at Bristol posting three wins, six top fives and seven top 10s. His average finish at Thunder Valley is 16.5.

 

Joey Logano currently is fourth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings, 51 points ahead of the Round of 12 cutoff. Logano has finished third in the last two Playoff races (at Darlington and Richmond) and is looking to advance to the Round of 12 like he has the last two seasons (2018, 2019). He has made 23 starts at Bristol posting one pole, two wins, six top fives and 10 top 10s. Logano’s average finish at 0.533-mile track is a 15.3.

 

Martin Truex Jr. resides in fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings, 38 points ahead of the Round of 12 cutoff. Truex opened the Playoffs with a 22nd-place finish at Darlington and followed that up with a runner-up last weekend at Richmond. Truex has made the Championship 4 round of the Playoffs the last three straight seasons (2017-2019). Truex has made 29 series starts at Bristol posting two top fives and three top 10s. His average finish at the half-mile raceway is 20.6.

 

Austin Dillon is off to one of the best postseasons of his career, currently sixth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings, a comfortable 36 points ahead of the Round of 12 cutoff. Dillion has put up a runner-up finish at Darlington and then a fourth-place result last weekend at Richmond. The North Carolina native has competed in the ‘elimination style’ Playoffs three times (2016, 2017, 2018) prior to 2020 and has only advanced to the Round of 12 once (2016). Dillon has made 13 starts at Bristol posting one top five and three top 10s. His average finish at Thunder Valley is 17.3.

 

Chase Elliott holds on to the seventh position in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs 28 points ahead of the Round of 12 cutoff. Elliott finished 20th in the Playoff opener at Darlington and then fifth last weekend at Richmond. The Georgia native has qualified for the ‘elimination style’ Playoffs four times prior to 2020 and has made the Round of 12 all four times. Elliott has made nine starts at Bristol putting up one pole, three top fives and four top 10s. His average finish at ‘The Last Great Colosseum’ is 12.6.

 

Alex Bowman sits eighth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings, 27 points ahead of the Round of 12 cutoff. Bowman has run well this postseason putting up a sixth-place finish at Darlington and a ninth-place finish at Richmond. Bowman has advanced to the Round of 12 the last two seasons (2018, 2019). The Hendrick Motorsports driver has made nine series starts at Bristol posting one top five and two top 10s. His average finish at half-mile speedway is 22.6.  

 

Kyle Busch, the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion, clings to ninth in the 2020 Playoff standings with just 18 points ahead of the Round of 12 cutoff. Busch kicked-off the Playoffs with a seventh-place finish at Darlington and a sixth-place last weekend at Richmond. Busch is looking to advance to the Round of 12 this weekend to keep his streak of making the Championship 4 round for the sixth consecutive season still a possibility. Busch has made 30 series starts at Bristol posting two poles and a series-leading eight wins (Spring 2007, 2009 sweep, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019). He finished fourth at Bristol earlier this season (May).

 

Aric Almirola currently is 10th in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings, a mere seven points ahead of the Round of 12 cutoff. Almirola has been consistent this postseason finishing ninth at Darlington and eighth at Richmond. The Tampa, Florida ,native has competed in the ‘elimination style’ Playoffs three times (2014, 2018, 2019) prior to the 2020 season and has only advanced out of the Round of 16 once (2018). Almirola has made 22 starts at Bristol posting one top five and two top 10s. His average finish at 0.533-mile track is 25.0. He finished 29th Bristol back in May due to an incident. 

 

Kurt Busch grips the 11th spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings, tied in points with Aric Almirola, a slim seven markers ahead of the Round of 12 cutoff. Almirola holds the tiebreaker of best finish in the current Playoff round. Busch has finished eighth at Darlington and 13th at Richmond. Busch has made the ‘elimination style’ Playoffs all six previous seasons (2014-2019) but has only advanced out of the Round of 16 three times (2015, 2016, 2018). The Las Vegas, Nevada native has made 39 series starts at Bristol posting one pole, six wins, 12 top fives and 21 top 10s. His average finish at Bristol is 14.0. 

 

Clint Bowyer hangs on to the 12th and final transfer position in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings by a scant three points over the Round of 12 cutoff heading into Bristol this weekend. Bowyer has been consistent this postseason finishing 10th at Darlington and Richmond. Bowyer has qualified for the ‘elimination style’ Playoffs three times prior to 2020 (2015, 2018, 2019) and has advanced out of the Round of 16 the last two seasons (2018, 2019). Bowyer has made 29 series starts at Bristol posting eight top fives and 16 top 10s. His average finish at Thunder Valley is 13.6. He finished runner-up at Bristol earlier this season (May).

 

William Byron is currently 13th in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings, just three points outside the Round of 12 cutoff. The 2020 season marks just the second time Byron has made the Playoffs, but in his first postseason appearance last year he advanced to the Round of 12. This year, Byron has started the Playoffs with a fifth-place finish at Darlington and a 21st-place finish last weekend at Richmond.  Byron has made five series starts at Bristol posting one top-10 finish – eighth earlier this season.

 

Cole Custer, the lone rookie of the 2020 Playoff contenders, sits 14th in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings, eight points back from the Round of 12 cutoff. He kicked the postseason off with a 12th-place finish at Darlington and then followed it up with a 14th at Richmond. Custer will have his work cut out for him this weekend as the youngster from California made his series track debut at Bristol earlier this season starting 22nd and finishing 35th due to being involved in an incident.

 

Matt DiBenedetto’s first appearance in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs is off to a slow start. He is currently 15th in the Playoff standings 25 points behind the Round of 12 cutoff. The Wood Brothers Racing star finished the first two races of the Round of 16 in 21st at Darlington and 17th at Richmond. DiBenedetto has made 11 series starts at Bristol posting one top five and two top 10s; including a runner-up finish in the August 2019 race. He was caught in an incident and finished 31st at Bristol earlier this season (May).

 

Ryan Blaney resides in the 16th position in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings, 27 points behind the Round of 12 cutoff. Blaney’s postseason has been wrought with trouble since the start. At Darlington, his No. 12 Ford failed pre-race inspection with an improperly mounted ballast which resulted in a penalty. He finished 24th at Darlington and then 19th last weekend at Richmond. Blaney has made 10 series starts at Bristol posting one top five and four top 10s. His average finish at Bristol 20.7. He finished last (40th) at Bristol earlier this season after being caught in an incident.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

One more race until the Playoffs

The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to “The Last Great Coliseum” on Friday night for the Food City 300 (7 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) for the final race of the regular season.

 

Austin Cindric clinched the regular season championship last weekend in the second race of the doubleheader weekend at Richmond Raceway.

 

There is only one Playoffs spot up for grabs in the series as all other 11 spots have been claimed. The spot is currently occupied by Brandon Brown based on points.

 

Justin Allgaier swept the race weekend at Richmond and now has three wins to his name. His first win was in the first race of the Dover doubleheader.

 

Noah Gragson won the race earlier this season at Bristol Motor Speedway with Chase Briscoe finishing in second, Brandon Jones finishing third, Harrison Burton fourth and Myatt Snider rounding out the top five.

 

Aside from Gragson, there are no other active drivers in the Xfinity Series with a race win at Bristol.

 

Allgaier will lead the field to green on Friday night with Ross Chastain joining him on the front row.

 

Friday night’s race will be 159.9 miles and 300 laps with Stage 1 ending on Lap 85 and Stage 2 ending on Lap 170.

 

Clinch Scenarios: Bristol on deck

With only one race left in the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season, there is only one spot left for a driver to make the 2020 Playoffs.

 

Eleven drivers have already clinched a spot in the 12-driver postseason field: Austin Cindric, Chase Briscoe, Noah Gragson, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones, Ross Chastain, Ryan Sieg, Michael Annett and Riley Herbst.

 

As a result, the main two scenarios are a new winner would clinch (who hasn’t already gotten in on points), or Brandon Brown, who currently has the final Playoff spot, will get in on points – provided we don’t see a massive comeback from Jeremy Clements, who trails Brown by 49 points for that final spot.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff Outlook following Richmond-2:

 
   

 

Rank

Driver

Points

Race Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

Pts from Cutoff

1

Chase Briscoe

1,014

6

5

35

In On Wins

2

Austin Cindric

1,085

5

10

35

3

Justin Allgaier

866

3

10

25

4

Brandon Jones

758

3

2

17

5

Noah Gragson

953

2

8

18

6

Justin Haley

879

2

3

13

7

Harrison Burton #

855

2

0

10

 

8

Ross Chastain

1,011

0

2

2

 

9

Michael Annett

769

0

0

0

Clinched On Points

10

Riley Herbst #

644

0

0

0

 

11

Ryan Sieg

616

0

2

2

 

12

Brandon Brown

537

0

0

0

49

13

Jeremy Clements

488

0

0

0

-49

14

Myatt Snider #

449

0

0

0

-88

15

Alex Labbe

438

0

0

0

-99

16

Josh Williams

435

0

0

0

-102

 

Past Bristol performances

With the Xfinity Series Playoffs grid set minus one spot, let’s take a look at the drivers who still have a chance to make the Playoffs this weekend at Bristol.

 

Brandon Brown has four starts at Bristol with a best finish of seventh coming at the race earlier this season. He has an average start of 24.5 and an average finish of 16.8.

 

Jeremy Clements is one of the veteran drivers with the most experience at Bristol. Friday will mark his 21st start at the track. In his last two starts, Clements has finished eighth (2020) and fourth (2019). In total, he has one top fives and three top 10s. He has an average start of 20.4 and an average finish of 19.9.

 

Myatt Snider’s first and only start at the track was earlier this season and for Richard Childress Racing. He started 22nd and finished fifth.

 

Alex Labbe will make his fifth start on Friday night. He has a best finish of 11th in 2018 and most recently finished 33rd due to an overheating issue. He has an average start of 21.5 and an average finish of 24.5.

 

Josh Williams has six starts at Bristol in his Xfinity Series career. He has a best finish of ninth that came earlier this season at Bristol. In all, he has one top 10 and an average finish of 21.7.

 

Those drivers are all currently ranked 12th-16th in the Playoffs standings. 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Sam Mayer reuniting with JRM: JR Motorsports announced that Sam Mayer, who used to run in their Late Model program, and 2019 ARCA Menards Series East champion, will reunite with JRM to begin the next part of his racing career. He will race for JRM in the second half of the 2021 season before taking the reins fulltime in 2022. Mayer is only 17 right now.

 

 

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series 

 

The 2020 Gander Trucks Playoffs begin!

The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series 2020 Playoffs begin on Thursday night at Bristol Motor Speedway for the UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics. The 2020 Playoffs field was set after last weekend’s race Richmond and there are now 10 drivers vying for the title at Phoenix Raceway.

 

As the regular season wrapped up last weekend at Richmond Raceway, Grant Enfinger took home another victory for with ThorSport Racing.

 

The 10 drivers competing for postseason glory are Sheldon Creed, Austin Hill, Zane Smith, Brett Moffitt, Grant Enfinger, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Christian Eckes, Todd Gilliland and Tyler Ankrum.

 

Enfinger will lead the field to green on Thursday night with Brett Moffitt joining him on the front row.

 

The Gander Trucks race will be 106.6 miles and 200 laps. Stage 1 will end on Lap 55 and Stage 2 will end on Lap 110.

 

2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoff Driver Bios:

 

1.   Sheldon Creed – No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado

Date of Birth: September 30, 1997

Hometown: Alpine, California

Organization: GMS Racing
Crew Chief: Jeff Stankiewicz
2020 Wins: 3 (Kentucky, Daytona RC and Gateway)
Playoff Points: 26

2020 Season Stats:

o    Enters the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs ranked No. 1 in the Playoff standings with 2,026 points.

 

o    Through the first 16 races of the season, Creed has posted three wins, five top fives and eight top 10s.

 

o    Has won five stages and has accumulated 26 Playoff points.

 

o    Has led 204 of 1,851 laps completed (11%)

 

o    2020 average starting position, 8.3 and average finishing position, 12.3.

 

Previous Gander Trucks Playoff Stats:

 

o    The 2020 season is the first time Sheldon Creed has qualified for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs.

 

o    In 2019, he failed to make the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs ultimately finishing the season 10th in the final standings.

 

o    In 2018, he failed to make the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs because he only competed in five series races that season. He finished 33rd in the final standings.

 

o    Made just one series start in 2017 at Eldora Speedway for truck owner Bryan Hill.

 

o    Made NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series debut in 2016 at Eldora Speedway driving for truck owner Bobby Dotter.

2.   Austin Hill – No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota Tundra

Date of Birth: April 24, 1994
Hometown: Winston, Georgia

Organization: Hattori Racing Enterprises

Crew Chief: Scott Zipadelli
2020 Wins: 1 (Kansas)
Playoff Points: 22

2020 Season Stats:

o    Enters the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs ranked second in the Playoff standings with 2,022 points.

 

o    Through the first 16 races of the season, Hill has put up one win, eight top fives and 13 top 10s.

 

o    Has two stage wins this season and has accumulated 22 Playoff points.

 

o    Has led 219 of 1,815 laps completed (12%)

 

o    2020 average starting position, 5.5 and average finishing position, 6.8.

 

Previous Gander Trucks Playoff Stats:

 

o    The 2020 season is the second time Austin Hill has made the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs (2019-2020).

 

o    In 2019, in his first season with Hattori Racing Enterprises, Hill made the Playoffs and posted two wins (Las Vegas, Miami) and finished the season a career-best fifth in the final standings after being eliminated in the Round of 6.

 

o    In his first full season (2018) in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series driving for Young’s Motorsports Hill failed to make Playoffs, ultimately finishing the season 11th in the championship points.

 

o    In 2016 and 2017, he failed to make the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs due to only running a part-time schedule; he finished 26th and 23rd in the championship standings, respectively.

 

o    Note: The No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises team won the 2018 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series driver and owner championships with driver Brett Moffit.

 

3.   Zane Smith – No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado

Date of Birth: June 9, 1999
Hometown: Huntington Beach, California
Organization: GMS Racing
Crew Chief: Kevin Manion
2020 Wins: 2 (Michigan and Dover)
Playoff Points: 22

2020 Season Stats:

o    Enters the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs ranked third in the Playoff standings with 2,022 points.

 

o    Through the first 16 races of the season, Smith has posted two wins, four top fives and nine top 10s.

 

o    Has won four stages and accumulated 22 Playoff points.

 

o    Has led 227 of 1,757 laps completed (12.9%)

 

o    2020 average starting position, 7.7 and average finishing position, 10.3.

 

Previous Gander Trucks Playoff Stats:

 

o    The 2020 season is the first time Zane Smith has qualified for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs.

 

o    He made his NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series debut in 2018 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway driving for truck owner David Gilliland.

 

o    Smith becomes just the seventh different Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate to make the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs; joining Christopher Bell (2016), William Bryon (2016), Austin Cindric (2017), Chase Briscoe (2017), Kaz Grala (2017) and Tyler Ankrum (2019). Cindric and Bell are tied for the best championship finish by a rookie in the Playoff Era (2016-Present) – they both finished third in points.

 

4.   Brett Moffitt – No. 24 GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado

Date of Birth: August 7, 1992

Hometown: Grimes, Iowa

Organization: GMS Racing

Crew Chief: Chad Norris
2020 Wins: 0
Playoff Points: 15

2020 Season Stats:

o    Enters the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs ranked fourth in the Playoff standings with 2,015 points.

 

o    Through the first 16 races of the season, Moffitt has posted six top fives and 10 top 10s.

 

o    Has won five stages and has accumulated 15 Playoff points.

 

o    Has led 213 of 1,721 laps completed (12.3%).

 

o    2020 average starting position, 5.9 and average finishing position, 10.1.

 

Previous Gander Trucks Playoff Stats:

 

o    The 2020 season marks the third time Brett Moffitt has made the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs. (2018-2020).

 

o    In 2019, he made the Playoffs and won the first two races of the postseason (Bristol and CTMP). He advanced all the way to the Championship 4 round for the second consecutive season, ultimately finishing third in the final championship standings.

 

o    The 2018 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series champion. In the seven Playoff races of 2018, he posted two wins (Phoenix and Homestead-Miami) and five top fives on his way to the Championship 4 round and winning his first career Gander Trucks championship.

 

o    In 2016 and 2017 he failed to make the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs due to only running part-time schedules; he finished 27th and 31st in the championship standings, respectively.

 

5.   Grant Enfinger – No. 98 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150

Date of Birth: January 22, 1985

Hometown: Fairhope, Alabama

Organization: ThorSport Racing

Crew Chief: Jeff Hensley
2020 Wins: 2 (Daytona and Atlanta)
Playoff Points: 14

2020 Season Stats:

o    Enters the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs ranked fifth in the Playoff standings with 2,014 points.

 

o    Through the first 16 races of the season, Enfinger has posted two wins, five top fives and eight top 10s.

 

o    Has one stage win and has accumulated 14 Playoff points.

 

o    Has led 86 of 1,827 laps completed (4.7%)

 

o    2020 average starting position, 8.1 and average finishing position, 10.9.

 

Previous Gander Trucks Playoff Stats:

 

o    The 2020 season marks the third time Grant Enfinger has qualified for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs (2018-2020).

 

o    In 2019, he made the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs, he posted three top fives and five top 10s during the postseason and advanced to the Round of 6 for the second consecutive year, ultimately finishing the season seventh in the standings.

 

o    In the seven Playoff races of 2018, he posted one win (Las Vegas) and three top fives and ultimately finished the season a career-best fifth in the championship standings after being eliminated in the Round of 6.

 

o    In 2017, he failed to make the Gander Trucks Playoffs in his first full season in the series; he finished the year 11th in the championship standings.

 

o    In 2016, he failed to make the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs due to only running a part-time schedule (eight starts); he finished 22nd in the championship standings and won the Talladega Playoff race.

 

6.   Ben Rhodes – No. 99 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150

Date of Birth: February 21, 1997

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky

Organization: ThorSport Racing

Crew Chief: Matt Noyce
2020 Wins: 1 (Darlington)
Playoff Points: 12

2020 Season Stats:

o    Enters the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs ranked sixth in the Playoff standings with 2,012 points.

 

o    Through the first 16 races of the season Rhodes has posted one win, six top fives and 10 top 10s.

 

o    Has yet to win a stage but has accumulated 12 Playoff points.

 

o    Has led 34 of 1,866 laps completed (1.8%)

 

o    2020 average starting position, 7.9 and average finishing position, 9.1.

 

Previous Gander Trucks Playoff Stats:

 

o    The 2020 season marks the third time he has qualified for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs (2017, 2018 and 2020).

 

o    In 2019, he failed to make the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs, ultimately finishing the season ninth in the final standings.

 

o    In 2018, he qualified for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs and posted three top fives and five top 10s, but was eliminated in the Round of 8, ultimately finishing the season eighth in the final standings.

 

o    In 2017, he qualified for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs and won the second race of the postseason (Las Vegas). He advanced to the Round of 6 and finished the season a career-best fifth in the championship standings.

 

o    In 2016, he failed to make the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs, ultimately finishing the season 14th in the final standings.

 

7.   Matt Crafton – No. 88 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150

Date of Birth: June 11, 1976

Hometown: Tulare, California

Organization: ThorSport Racing

Crew Chief: Carl Joiner Jr.
2020 Wins: 1 (Kansas)
Playoff Points: 9

2020 Season Stats:

o    Enters the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs ranked seventh in the Playoff standings with 2,009 points.

 

o    Through the first 16 races of the season, Crafton has posted one win, seven top fives, eight top 10s.

 

o    Has yet to win a stage but has accumulated nine Playoff points.

 

o    Has led 43 of 1,788 laps completed (2.4%)

 

o    2020 average starting position, 10.9 and average finishing position, 12.2.

 

Previous Gander Trucks Playoff Stats:

 

o    The 2020 season marks the fifth consecutive time he has qualified for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs. He is a three-time series champion (2013, 2014 and 2019).

 

o    In the 2019 Playoffs, he posted one top five (runner-up in season finale) and four top 10s, en route to the Championship 4 round and ultimately his third Gander Trucks championship.

 

o    In the 2018 Playoffs, he posted two top fives and four top 10s, but ultimately finished the season sixth in the championship standings after being eliminated in the Round of 6.

 

o    In the 2017 Playoffs, he posted one top five and six top 10s on his way to the Championship 4 for the second time in his career. He ultimately finished the season fourth in the championship standings.

 

o    In the 2016 Playoffs, he posted three top fives and five top 10s on his way to the Championship

  1. He ultimately finished the season runner-up to Johnny Sauter in the final standings.

 

8.   Christin Eckes – No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra

Date of Birth: November 10, 2000

Hometown: Middletown, New York

Organization: Kyle Busch Motorsports

Crew Chief: Jeff Stankiewicz
2020 Wins: 0
Playoff Points: 5

2020 Season Stats:

o    Enters the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs ranked eighth in the Playoff standings with 2,005 points.

 

o    Through the first 16 races of the season, Eckes has posted five top fives and seven top 10s.

 

o    Has yet to win a stage but has accumulated five Playoff points.

 

o    Has led 161 of 1,819 laps completed (8.8%)

 

o    2020 average starting position, 5.0 and average finishing position, 12.5.

 

Previous Gander Trucks Playoff Stats:

 

o    The 2020 season is the first time Christian Eckes has qualified for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs.

 

o    Competed in a part-time Gander Trucks schedule in 2019 making eight starts for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

 

o    Made NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series debut in 2018 running just four races for Kyle Busch Motorsports

 

o    Eckes joins Zane Smith this season as just the eighth different Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate to make the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs; joining Christopher Bell (2016), William Bryon (2016), Austin Cindric (2017), Chase Briscoe (2017), Kaz Grala (2017) and Tyler Ankrum (2019). Cindric and Bell are tied for the best championship finish by a rookie in the Playoff Era (2016-Present) – they both finished third in points.

 

9.   Todd Gilliland – No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford F-150

Date of Birth: May 15, 2000
Hometown: Sherrills Ford, North Carolina
Organization: Front Row Motorsports
Crew Chief: Chris Lawson
2020 Wins: 0
Playoff Points: 3

2020 Season Stats:

o    Enters the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs ranked ninth in the Playoff standings with 2,003 points.

 

o    Through the first 16 races of the season, Gilliland has posted four top fives and nine top 10s.

 

o    Has won two stages and has accumulated three Playoff points.

 

o    Has led 92 of 1,814 laps completed (5.1%)

 

o    2020 average starting position, 12.3 and average finishing position, 14.3.

 

Previous Gander Trucks Playoff Stats:

 

o    The 2020 season is the first time Todd Gilliland has qualified for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs.

 

o    In 2019, he failed to make the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs, ultimately finishing the season 11th in the final standings.

 

o    In 2018, he failed to make the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs, ultimately finishing the season a career-best 10th in the final standings.

 

o    Made NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series debut in 2017 making six starts for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

 

10.   Tyler Ankrum – No. 26 GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado

Date of Birth: April 24, 1994

Hometown: San Bernardino, California

Organization: GMS Racing
Crew Chief: Chad Walter
2020 Wins: 0
Playoff Points: 2

2020 Season Stats:

o    Enters the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs ranked 10th in the Playoff standings with 2,002 points

 

o    Through the first 16 races of the season, Ankrum has posted two top fives and six top 10s

 

o    Has yet to win a stage in 2020 but he has accumulated two Playoff points.

 

o    Has led 1 of 1,802 laps completed.

 

o    2020 average starting position, 9.1 and average finishing position, 13.3.

 

Previous Gander Trucks Playoff Stats:

 

o    The 2020 season marks the second time Tyler Ankrum has qualified for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs.

 

o    In the 2019 Gander Trucks Playoffs, he posted two top 10s, but ultimately finished the season eighth in the championship standings after being eliminated in the Round of 6.

 

o    In 2018, he made his NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series debut making two series starts for truck owner David Gilliland.

 

o    Ankrum became the sixth different Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate to make the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs in 2019; joining Christopher Bell (2016), William Bryon (2016), Austin Cindric (2017), Chase Briscoe (2017) and Kaz Grala (2017). Cindric and Bell are tied for the best championship finish by a rookie in the Playoff Era (2016-Present) – they both finished third in points.

 

Playoff driver numbers at Bristol

Here’s a look at how the Playoff drivers have fared at Bristol:

 

Sheldon Creed made one start at Bristol last year and started 24th and finished sixth for GMS Racing.

 

Austin Hill will make his fifth start at Bristol on Thursday night. He has one top 10 in those starts coming last season. He started eighth and finished 10th.

 

Zane Smith has never made a start at Bristol in his career. Thursday night will be his debut.

 

Brett Moffitt has made three starts in his career at the track. He started from the pole in 2019 and won the race. He has one win, five top fives and two top 10s in three starts. He has an average start of 7.7 and an average finish of 7.0.

 

Grant Enfinger will make his fourth start on Thursday night. He has two top fives and three top 10s at Bristol. His best finish was fourth in 2017. In 2019, he finished fifth.

 

Ben Rhodes has five starts at the track with one top fives and four top 10s. His best finish of fifth was in 2017. However, he hasn’t finished outside of the top 10 in his last three starts. He has an average stat of 5.6 and average finish of 11.8.

 

Matt Crafton will make his 18th start on Thursday. He has four top fives and 11 top 10s to his name. He’s led 129 lap and has an average finish of 10.5. Last season, he finished seventh. On two occasions, he has finished second (2009, 2017).

 

Christian Eckes will make his track debut this weekend.

 

Todd Gilliland will make his third start at Bristol. He has one top five and one top 10. Last season, he finished ninth and in 2018, he finished fifth. He has an average finish of 7.0.

 

Tyler Ankrum has made one start at Bristol and it was last season. He started fifth but finished 20th.

 

Camping World returns

NASCAR and Camping World announced this week that after leveraging the series entitlement position to support the launch of the Gander RV & Outdoors brand, Camping World will transition back to the series partner beginning in 2021.

 

The series will once again be called the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

 

Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis broke the news and released the new series logo on social media.

 

NASCAR PR

McDowell on Bristol:
 
"Bristol is a great race track and we've had some pretty good finishes the last few times that we've been there. Obviously, Richmond didn't go as well as we had hoped, but I'm really looking forward to seeing fans back in the stands on Saturday night and hopefully the energy of the crowd will help drive us to a strong finish. We've had a really good season, but with only 8 races left, we need to finish it out strong; and I think we can get some really good momentum back this weekend and have a solid run for our Love's Travel Stops team.
 
"We also have Delo rejoining our No. 34 program as an associate partner this weekend. They've been an associate partner of our Love's program for a few years now, so it's great to have them back on board as well.
 
“I'll wrap up with my weekly reminder that throughout the entire month of September, Love’s is running a variety of really cool initiatives that have been specifically created to show appreciation for all that professional truck drivers have done and are continuing to do to help keep America moving. If you're a professional truck driver, I encourage you to visit Loves.com to learn more about the different programs that you can be a part of."
 
FRM PR

Larry King Law's Langley Speedway announced today, in association with U.S.Drift and Sumospeed, it will be hosting the first ever Battle On The Bay, October 23-25. This three day show will feature pro drivers from across the eastern United States and beyond battling it out in drifting and tandem competitions with the finals taking place on Saturday night. Sunday will feature many pro drivers sharing the track with local drivers looking go gain seat and track time on their new home for drifting in Hampton Roads. A car show will also take place on Saturday and Sunday. More details about the Battle On The Bay can be found here. Tickets will go on sale this Friday at 11AM through the track's website.

In order to accommodate this event, some changes were made to the NASCAR racing schedule throughout the month of October with final races for many divisions now taking place away from their original dates. 

Langley Speedway PR

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