Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (15976)

Race Winner:     Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner:  Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner:  Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-25):

● Aric Almirola started 20th and finished Stage 1 in 34th.

● Almirola remained in the top-20 for the majority of Stage 1 until he made a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 21 for fuel, four tires and adjustments.

● Due to the late-stage scheduled stop, Almirola didn’t pit during the Stage 1 break.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 26-50):

● Almirola started Stage 2 in 18th and concluded it in 36th.

● After cycling through to the ninth position, Almirola had to visit pit road after he made contact with the wall on lap 46. While visiting pit road, Almirola received a pass-through penalty for an uncontrolled tire.

● Even though the Smithfield driver served the penalty under green, he was able to remain on the lead lap.

● During the Stage 2 break, Almirola came down pit road to allow the pit crew to take their time and repair any damage from the previous incident.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 51-109):

● Almirola started the final stage from the 36th spot and ended it 19th.

● Almirola stayed out during the lap-65 caution and restarted 17th.

● After contact from another competitor on lap 69, Almirola went sliding through the grass. Fortunately, the No. 10 machine did not receive any additional body damage, and the Tampa native brought his Ford Fusion down pit road for service.

● Almirola restarted toward the rear of the field and worked his way forward.

● By lap 83 he was back up to the 17th position, and on lap 91 he reached 15th.

● The race remained green until lap 102. During the caution Almirola came down pit road from 18th for fuel and four tires.

● Just after the restart on lap 103, the 34-year-old came to a stop on the track after an accident occurred in front of him. Unfortunately, another competitor rear-ended the No. 10 machine causing more damage.

● The damage was severe enough that Almirola had to come down pit road for repairs. He once again had to restart deep in the field.

● After a nail-biting final three laps, Almirola finished in a three-way tie for a spot in the Round of 12 playoffs.

● Almirola’s previous Round of 16 playoff finishes at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Richmond (Va.) Raceway broke the tie, allowing the Tampa native to advance to the Round of 12.

 

Notes:

● While this is Almirola’s second playoffs appearance, this is the first time he has advanced to the Round of 12.

● This was Almirola’s 22nd top-20 of 2018.

● Ryan Blaney won the inaugural Bank of America Roval 400 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first of 2018. His margin of victory over second-place Jamie McMurray was .792 of a second.

● Blaney’s triumph delivered the 104th points-paying victory for Ford’s Fusion in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It was also Ford’s 673rd all-time win in the NASCAR Cup Series.

● There were eight caution periods for a total of 16 laps.

● Twenty-six of the 40 drivers in the Bank of America Roval 400 finished on the lead lap.

 

Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion:

“I was just trying to get every spot. That was the thing. Everywhere on the racetrack at the end there I was trying to get every single spot I could. Man, it worked out. It’s amazing, so I’m really proud and really blessed to be in this position. We’ve got a great opportunity here with Stewart-Haas Racing and moving on to the Round of 12. It doesn’t matter how pretty it was, we’re moving on to the Round of 12, and we’re going to go give it all we have at Dover.”

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Gander Outdoors 400 on Sunday, Oct. 7 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. It is the fourth race of the 10-race playoffs and the first race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN beginning at 1:30 p.m.

 

TSC PR

Paul Menard took the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion for quite a ride in Sunday’s inaugural Monster Energy Cup Series race on the Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, leading the race at one point before a multi-car crash left him 33rd at the finish.
 
After starting 22nd, Menard used some skilled driving and smart pit strategy from crew chief Greg Erwin to race his way forward.
 
He was up to ninth place at one point early on and then on to fourth place as the top spots cycled back and forth with drivers on differing pit strategies.
 
Employing a strategy of pitting before most of his competitors, Menard pitted from eighth place near the end of the second stage, but lined up seventh for the start of the third and final segment of the race.
 
He moved up to fifth place on the restart and for most of the remainder of the race was among the top five, and often in the top two. He led laps 73 and 74 and was second or third for numerous laps after that, dropping back a few spots in order to save fuel.
 
But his day was undone on a restart with six laps remaining. Menard lined up sixth, but was among six drivers who were collected in a crash as the leaders entered turn one.
 
Unable to drive away from the crash, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion was towed to the garage and relegated to a 33rd-place finish.
 
Menard and other drivers involved in the crash said the track was especially slick in that area, and most expressed surprise that a group of leaders would simply drive into the wall at the same time.
 
Eddie Wood said he was impressed with his team’s performance and with Menard’s driving in particular.

 “He drove his heart out,” Wood said.
 
Although the Wood Brothers and Menard saw their race end in disappointment, there was consolation in the fact that their previous driver Ryan Blaney and his No. 12 Menard crew at Team Penske, which shares an alliance with the Wood Brothers, wound up in Victory Lane.
 
“That’s four wins in the past five races for Team Penske,” Wood said. “You have to be impressed with what Team Penske the has done.”
 
“It never pays to count them out.” 

 Menard and the Wood Brothers will return to the track next week at Dover International Speedway for Sunday’s Gander Outdoors 400.

WBR PR

Holding the lead going into the final turns Martin Truex Jr. saw victory snatched from him due to an aggressive move by Jimmie Johnson, who took out Truex near the finish line at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval.

Running second to Truex entering the final turn of the road race, Johnson made a desperate move to take the lead. As he approached Truex’s car he spun out, and while his car was spinning, it knocked Truex’s car sideways.

While the unnecessary hit cost Truex a victory and five playoff bonus points, it was even more costly for Johnson. The incident caused Johnson to lose just enough points in track position to keep from advancing to the next playoff round.

Truex was able to straighten out his spinning No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota and cross the finish line with a 14th place finish.

Truex took the lead just before the race was red flagged for a multicar wreck on Lap 104 of 109. When the race resumed, the Furniture Row Racing driver bolted to the lead on the restart and held the position until the incident with Johnson.

“Last corner desperation behind us, that’s what you get,” said a frustrated Truex. “He just over-drove it and was never going to make it and used me as brakes and turned us both around. It sucks, we could have raced side-by-side off the last corner for a win and that would have been cool. The fans would have been digging it, but instead we finished 14th and he’s locked out of the playoffs. I guess that’s what he gets.”

Truex added, “He (Johnson) wasn’t ever going to make it through that corner whether I was there or not. Just desperation on his part and pretty stupid really if you think about it because he was locked into the next round and now he’s out. I guess if there’s a silver lining, that’s it. Want to thank Auto-Owners Insurance and all their associates with what they did with this race car being teal for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and it was a big day for us. It would have been really fun to take it to victory lane, but at the end of the day it wasn’t meant to be and we’ll move on to the next one.”

The chaotic race on Charlotte’s Roval lived up to its prerace hype with a number of incidents on the 17-turn, 2.28-mile circuit.

“It was crazy,” Truex said. “We at one point got spun by the 2 (Brad Keselowski) in the same corner and had to go to the rear – thought we were done. Restarted 27th and drove our way up through the field. You never knew what was going to happen today. Just trying to survive and we were in the right spot and did everything right and we got spun out twice and there’s nothing you can do about guys running you over.”

With the driver points being reset, Truex enters the next playoff round in third place with 3038 points (all 12 drivers start with 3000 points plus playoff bonus points earned throughout the season). See Round of 12 point standings below.

The Bank of America Roval 400 race winner was Ryan Blaney. Rounding out the top 10 were: Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, AJ Allmendinger, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano.

The race had 10 lead changes among nine drivers and there were eight cautions for 16 laps plus one red flag for nearly 15 minutes.

The Round of 12 playoff races will be contested at Dover International Speedway (Oct. 7), Talladega Superspeedway (Oct. 14) and Kansas Speedway (Oct. 21).  The top eight drivers will advance to the next round.

FRR PR

Race Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Gannasi Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-25):

Kurt Busch started on the pole and finished second, earning nine bonus points.

● The No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion driver lead the first seven laps before being passed by Kyle Larson.

● Said the car was a bit tight early on, but the handling was OK.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 26-50):

Busch started 23rd and finished third, earning eight bonus points.

● The No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion driver pitted on lap 27 for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment. Said the car was lacking forward bite.

Said the car now was lacking left-rear grip.

 

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 51-109):

Busch started 21st, finished fifth.

Busch pitted on lap 52 for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.

On lap 70, Busch pitted for four tires and fuel. He was in ninth place.

Busch pitted on lap 102 for four tires and fuel.

He was 10th with five laps to go, but he advanced three spots and then gained two more spots to finish fifth after Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr., who were first and second, wrecked in the last turn.

 

Notes:

●  This was Busch’s fifth top-five and 18th top-10 of 2018.

●  Busch earned his 11th top-five and 20th top-10 in 37 career road-course starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series across Sonoma, Watkins Glen and the Charlotte Roval.

●  Busch captured his eighth top-five and 14th top-10 in 37 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Charlotte (oval and road course).

●  Busch finished second in Stage 1 to earn nine bonus points and third in Stage 2 to earn an additional eight bonus points.

●  Busch led twice for seven laps to increase his laps-led total at Charlotte to 631 (oval and road course) and to 270 on road courses.

●  Ryan Blaney won the inaugural Bank of America Roval 400 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first of 2018. His margin of victory over second-place Jamie McMurray was .792 of a second.

●  Blaney’s triumph delivered the 104th points-paying victory for Ford’s Fusion in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It was also Ford’s 673rd all-time win in the NASCAR Cup Series.

●  There were eight caution periods for a total of 16 laps.

●  Twenty-six of the 40 drivers in the Bank of America Roval 400 finished on the lead lap.

 

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“I thought we did as good a job at communicating as a team and working together through all the different obstacles all weekend. The only thing that went against us is I had a bad restart on the outside lane once and I lost four or five spots, and that’s when we were hanging out with the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) and the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) most of the day, so that means Billy Scott (crew chief) chose the right strategy. I just lost three or four spots on that one restart, and then we gained some back on the next one, but too far. You’ve got to be like top-four or top-six if you want a shot at it, and we were just a little bit too far behind at the end. All in all, maybe we got the most points out of today, because we were second in the first stage, third in the second stage, so a lot of points today. We had to race that way, but the race almost came to us at the end. I’m more confident in Dover and Talladega and Kansas. We tested Kansas this week. It’s been a long week. It’s been busy, but that’s what it’s all about when it’s playoff time. Thanks to everybody on this team from Haas and Monster, Ford. A Ford won today. That’s excellent. A Ford won yesterday. That’s pretty special when you come to a brand new track.”

 

Playoff Standing (at the conclusion of the Round of 16):

1.       Kyle Busch (3,055 points)

2.       Kevin Harvick (3,050 points, -5)

3.       Martin Truex Jr. (3,038 points, -17)

4.       Brad Keselowski (3,025 points, -30)

5.       Clint Bowyer (3,015 points, -40)

6.       Joey Logano (3,014 points, -41)

7.       Kurt Busch (3,014 points, -41)

8.       Ryan Blaney (3,013 points, -42)

9.       Chase Elliott (3,008 points, -47)

10.    Kyle Larson (3,006 points, -49)

11.    Aric Almirola (3,001 points, -54)

12.    Alex Bowman (3,000 points, -55)

 

Failed to Advance to Round of 12:

13.    Jimmie Johnson (2,097 points)

14.    Austin Dillon (2,066 points)

15.    Denny Hamlin (2,053 points)

16.    Erik Jones (2,041 points)

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Gander Outdoors 400 on Sunday, Oct. 7 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN.

 

TSC PR

After leading the field on a late restart, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. went for a spin in turn one, making contact with the wall, forcing him to settle with a 37th- place finish in Sunday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I just struggled here all week, really,” Stenhouse said. “I didn’t feel comfortable at the test and then the infield section I feel like I was really good, and really from the time I got on the big track through the chicanes I was really struggling. We got some damage there on that restart when we were leading and our car was really loose after that and hard to drive.”

Stenhouse took the green flag for Charlotte’s inaugural Roval race in the 23rd position. The No. 17 SunnyD Ford team chose to pit with the race’s first caution at lap 13 for four tires and fuel and returned to the track to restart 23rd. The Olive Branch, Miss. native worked his way up, gaining five positions to finish stage one in the 18th position.

The No. 17 team elected to stay out during the stage ending caution and restarted stage two 11th. As the stage progressed, Stenhouse reported that he lacked drive off of turn eight. Even with these reports, the Roush Fenway Racing driver was able to maintain track position enough to work his way inside the top-five. When the team pitted at lap 47, Stenhouse took four tires and fuel before heading back on track. He took the green-checkered flag 29th and stayed out during the final stage break. Crew chief Brian Pattie elected to stay out after the caution flag waved on lap 69 allowing the SunnyD Ford to take over the lead. On the restart,  a competitor car got into the back of the No. 17 machine, causing damage to the left rear.

As a result, Stenhouse was shuffled back to ninth with 33 laps left at the Roval  before pitting for a scheduled green flag pit stop. As he was battling for position, Stenhouse made contact with the wall entering turn one ultimately ending his day forcing him to settle with a 37th-place finish. Stenhouse and the No. 17 team head to Dover International Speedway next weekend. Race coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.

 RFR PR

Start/Finish: 7th/3rd (Running, completed 109 of 109 laps)

Point Standing: 3,015 points, seven points ahead of ninth

Race Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner:  Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 2 Winner:  Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 25):

● Bowyer started seventh and finished third to earn eight bonus points.

● Told crew he liked the car except it was a little loose in the backstretch chicane.

● Posted the third-quickest lap on lap three.

● Moved to sixth by lap six, then drove from fifth to third on the lap-16 restart.

● Several cars pitted before the end of the stage then stayed out during the break for a better starting spot in Stage 2.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 50):

Bowyer started 24th and finished fifth to earn six bonus points.

● Raced three-wide in traffic and on several restarts.

● Returned to the top-10 on lap 41.

● Told crew his car was starting to get loose in the final laps of the stage.

● Again, several cars pitted before the end of the stage then stayed out during the break for a better starting spot in the final stage.

 

Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 109):

Bowyer started 24th and finished third.

Slowly worked his way up through the field, suffering brushes with the wall and contact with other cars.

Survived three- and four-wide restarts after full-course cautions on laps 58, 66 and 68.

Moved to 15th by lap 80 and 13th by lap 89.

Narrowly avoided a multicar wreck in turn one and moved to sixth in the aftermath.

Race resumed with three laps left, and Bowyer moved to third after the two leaders crashed in the final corner.

Bowyer was kept abreast, in the final laps, of his playoff status and knew he was safe to advance to the Round of 12.

 

Notes:

● This was Bowyer’s eighth top-five and 14th top-10 finish of 2018.

● Bowyer earned his 11th top-five and 16th top-10 in 27 career road-course starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series across Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval.

● Bowyer captured his third top-five and sixth top-10 in 26 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Charlotte (oval and road course).

● All four SHR drivers advanced to the Round of 12.

●  Ryan Blaney won the inaugural Bank of America Roval 400 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first of 2018. His margin of victory over second-place Jamie McMurray was .792 of a second.

●  Blaney’s triumph delivered the 104th points-paying victory for Ford’s Fusion in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It was also Ford’s 673rd all-time win in the NASCAR Cup Series.

●  There were eight caution periods for a total of 16 laps.

●  Twenty-six of the 40 drivers in the Bank of America Roval 400 finished on the lead lap.

 

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Advance Auto Parts Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“We had a good Mobil 1/Advance Auto Parts Ford this weekend, and we practiced well, qualified well and raced well today. We did everything we had to do. That’s a testimony to this team, Stewart-Haas Racing and all of the people who support us. There have been some sleepless nights this week, but today we were in the game. It was pretty scary out there running three and four abreast on the restarts, but it was a heck of a show for the fans. I was worried about the Round of 16 because of the tracks, but in the next round we have some of our better tracks. I’m confident about the next three races.”

 

Playoff Standing (at the conclusion of the Round of 16):

1.       Kyle Busch (3,055 points)

2.       Kevin Harvick (3,050 points, -5)

3.       Martin Truex Jr. (3,038 points, -17)

4.       Brad Keselowski (3,025 points, -30)

5.       Clint Bowyer (3,015 points, -40)

6.       Joey Logano (3,014 points, -41)

7.       Kurt Busch (3,014 points, -41)

8.       Ryan Blaney (3,013 points, -42)

9.       Chase Elliott (3,008 points, -47)

10.      Kyle Larson (3,006 points, -49)

11.      Aric Almirola (3,001 points, -54)

12.      Alex Bowman (3,000 points, -55)

 

Failed to Advance to Round of 12:

13.     Jimmie Johnson (2,097 points)

14.     Austin Dillon (2,066 points)

15.     Denny Hamlin (2,053 points)

16.     Erik Jones (2,041 points)

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Gander Outdoors 400 on Sunday, Oct. 7 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. It is the fourth race of the 10-race playoffs and the first race for the Round of 12. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN beginning at 1:30 p.m.

 

TSC PR

Austin Dillon and The Dow Chevrolet Team Sidelined From NASCAR Playoffs after Mid-Race Incident at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval
 

39th
 
 
 24th
 
 14th
"This was a crazy race. I was having a good run in the Dow Chevrolet and the No. 37 car wiggled in the middle of turns 3 and 4. I don't know if he had damage or what, but he got loose and when he did I was on the outside of him and I lost it after I tried to miss him. We fixed it and I came back up through there and jumped the curb and I think that's what cut my tire down going into Turns 3 and 4.  I should have just been more patient and waited for more attrition to go out. But, I actually felt pretty comfortable and we were running good. It's just hard to hold back in a treacherous race and I guess I didn't do what we needed to do. I've got to thank everybody at Dow, American Ethanol, AAA, Chevrolet and RCR/ECR for this year. We're out of the NASCAR Playoffs and I'm disappointed but we still have a few more chances to win this year." 
-Austin Dillon 
Daniel Hemric and the Smokey Mountain Snuff Chevrolet Team Finish 23rd at Charlotte Roval After Late-Race Incident Spoils Fuel Strategy
 

23rd
 
 
 11th
 
 N/A
"I thought it was pretty tame there until the end when the Roval finally lived up to the hype. It was fun to be out there mixing it up and to have shots on restarts racing side-by-side with some of the best in the business, especially knowing this is where I'm going to be next year. It was good to get some experience out here with these guys. Man, what a race car my crew chief Brandon Thomas and everyone on this Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevrolet team brought this week. I'm very appreciative of and very thankful for everyone that took the time away from their families to put the effort in to give me a shot in a fast race car. It was fun battling those guys and at least having a shot to contend for a top-15, top-10 and maybe even more if things went our way. Untimely cautions and a little bit of carnage there at the end resulted in where we finished, but I'm proud of the effort all weekend."
 
-Daniel Hemric 
Ryan Newman and The Grainger Racing Team Make It Out of the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval with an 11th-Place Finish
 

 11th
 
 
 29th
 
 17th
"From the get-go we battled the same thing that we experienced at the Roval test session - loose and tight conditions through certain corners. We ended up with damage to the Grainger/American Red Cross Camaro ZL1 a few laps into the first practice and didn't get to run many laps, so qualifying was tough. We lined up 28th. Our goal was to steer clear of trouble once the race started. If I tried to get more out of the Grainger/American Red Cross Camaro ZL1, it wouldn't respond. It actually slowed down. It also felt like I had no left spring to get through the chicane. Despite the challenges, we kept our nose clean and raced as high as 11th before we got spun out on lap 74. Needless to say I'm not happy with what happened. We had to switch gears and conserve fuel in hopes of regaining some of the track position we lost in case guys could not make it to the end on fuel. Then with six laps to go, it was chaos and we somehow made it out. We finished 11th and that's respectable for us. I'm happy for all the guys on this No. 31 team. We didn't give up."
-Ryan Newman 

RCR PR

Auto racing is full of uncertainty during any weekend, but especially as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series visited the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course, which has been coined the 'Roval'. Practice saw a dozen cars crash, but Ty Dillon managed to keep his No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 clean during each session. He improved his position in each practice and appeared with a veteran's calm while much of the Cup Series exhibited concern.  
 
Qualifying saw Dillon wheel his No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 around the 2.28-mile, 17-turn road course in just 78.455-seconds, at a speed of 104.620-miles per hour, landing him 26th on Sunday's starting grid.
 
When the green flag sent the NASCAR Cup Series 'Rovaling' on Sunday, Dillon focused on staying out of trouble amid heavy concern that calamity could strike the field in the opening laps. Dillon survived and quickly moved his GEICO Camaro ZL1 into the top-25. Strategy was at play during the 109-lap event and crew chief, Matt Borland, kept his pencil sharpened atop the GEICO pit wagon.
 
Dillon pitted late during each of the first two stages, using a strategy that would put
him in contention as the race neared an end. He had the No. 13 GEICO machine in the top-10 by lap 72 and looked strong as he hustled up to eighth place. As the NASCAR Cup Series drivers pedaled around the Roval with the final laps winding down, a series of cautions would slow the field, the most critical of which was the second to last caution of the day, which came with eight laps to go.
 
Just six laps remained on the restart when a large incident ensued and Dillon sustained heavy right-side damage when he was collected by crashing racecars. After NASCAR announced that the race would return to green with only three laps to go, Dillon and crew chief, Matt Borland, opted to stay out rather than pit for repairs and surrender valuable real estate. At that point, a pit stop would have surely sent the No. 13 entry to the rear of the field.
 
Dillon and his GEICO Camaro ZL1 restarted from the 20th position when the final green flag of the day gave way to a wild final three laps. Despite piloting a badly damaged car, Dillon managed to hold his ground and score a strong 22nd place finish when the checkered flag waved as cars crashed just below the flag stand.
 
"I'm proud of this Germain Racing team. We were competitive all day and that's proof that we are headed in the right direction," Dillon said after exiting his No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1. "The Roval was interesting and definitely a challenge. While we got some damage during the race, we never had a huge accident like a lot of other guys. We will take today, continue to make our GEICO Camaro ZL1 faster, and head to Dover where we've run well in the past."
 
Germain Racing now heads to Delaware to do battle with the Monster Mile for race number 30 of the 2018 season.
 
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 will hit the track at Dover International Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, October 5th, at 11 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 3:40 PM (ET).
                                                     
The Gander Outdoors 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Sunday, October 7th, and it will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 2 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
 
PMI PR

Trevor Bayne was poised for a solid finish in the first-ever race at the Roval, but late chaos collected his No. 6 AdvoCare Rehydrate Ford Fusion, ending his day early in 35th.

“I’m really frustrated with that result,” Bayne said. “I felt like I put together a really good weekend and had speed. I never made any mistakes in practice, qualifying or the race for that matter until I got caught up on that last lap. I said it was going to happen and I told my spotter, ‘They’re going to crash in turn one, just get me through it,’ and they did. They all crashed. I made it through the first part of the wreck and I guess it was the 18 that bounced off the front of the 8 and I couldn’t check up and hit him. I thought we were done wrecking and got the second one.”

Bayne, who ran inside the top-10 at one point throughout the day, lined up 17th with six to go. After the leaders barreled into the turn one, Bayne got caught up in the aftermath, suffering severe front-end damage.

The Knoxville, Tennessee, native rolled off the grid 16th after just missing the final round of qualifying on Friday. Early on in the opening 25-lap stage Bayne reported he needed rear grip, before he radioed to the team a right front vibration. Crew chief Matt Puccia called him to pit road to assess the issue, which set he and the team back for the short run.

Bayne would make two more stops in the opening stage for tires and adjustments, before finishing the segment 37th. After staying out during the break, he would restart 21st to begin stage two. Following a long green flag run, Puccia called him to pit road once again, short-pitting prior to the second stage break, where he’d finish 22nd.

The strategy played in Bayne’s favor as he would restart the final 55 laps in ninth and would advance as high as eighth. After a couple of cautions played out some 10 laps later, Bayne pitted at lap 69 and restarted 21st, before pitting again 11 laps later. The race would go green up until lap 100, when the yellow was once again displayed with Bayne running 24th.

With a lot of varying fuel mileage strategies playing out, Bayne was able to stay out on track, gaining seven spots for the restart at lap 103, that collected the No. 6 ending the day.

The No. 6 returns to the track next weekend at Dover with Matt Kenseth behind the wheel. Race coverage begins on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN and MRN.

RFR PR

Race Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-25):

Kevin Harvick started 19th and finished 12th.

● The Jimmy John’s 9-Grain Wheat Sub driver raced into the top-15 by lap four.

● The No. 4 Ford came to pit road under caution on lap 14 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Many of the leaders stayed out, causing the No. 4 Ford to drop back to 20th.

● Harvick raced from 20th up to 12th by the end of the stage, and the team chose to stay out in favor of track position.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 26-50):

Started fifth and finished 14th.

● Harvick advanced from the sixth position up to third on lap 36 as three of the leaders came to pit road under green-flag conditions.

● The Jimmy John’s Ford moved up to the second position on lap 39 as another of the leaders came to pit road under green.

● Harvick surrendered the second position on lap 45 to pit under green-flag conditions for four tires and fuel.

● The No. 4 Ford advanced from 20th following the green-flag stop up to 14th by the end of the stage.

● Crew chief Rodney Childers chose to keep the No. 4 Ford off pit road at the end of the stage.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 51-109):

Started fourth and finished ninth.

● Harvick stayed out under caution on lap 60 and again on lap 65 to maintain the fourth position.

● The Jimmy John’s Ford came to pit road under caution from the fourth position on lap 70 for four tires and fuel.

● Harvick restarted 13th on lap 71 and raced back into the top-10 by lap 72 and up to seventh by lap 78.

● He began saving fuel and dropped from the seventh position back to 11th by lap 100.

● The team called Harvick to pit road under caution on lap 102 for four tires and fuel, causing him to restart 17th on lap 103.

● Harvick avoided calamity on the restart and advanced from 17th to ninth.

● The No. 4 Ford restarted ninth with three laps to go and held his position until the checkered flag.

 

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“Today actually went way better than I hoped it would. I think as you look at the way that we ran all day and where we ran all day, we were in the top-10 and up in the top-five and back and forth, and just way better than we were yesterday. It’s tough starting behind your teammate who is trying to make it in there at the end. You’ve got to be careful with what you do and not drive in there too far and do something dumb. I lost a couple spots, but in the end it was a good day for us.”

 

Notes:

● This was Harvick’s series leading 24rh top-10 finish of 2018.

● Harvick earned his 18th top-10 in 37 career road-course starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series across Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval.

● Harvick earned his 17th top-10 in 36 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Charlotte (oval and road course).

● Ryan Blaney won the inaugural Bank of America Roval 400 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first of 2018. His margin of victory over second-place Jamie McMurray was .792 of a second.

● Blaney’s triumph delivered the 104th points-paying victory for Ford’s Fusion in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It was also Ford’s 673rd all-time win in the NASCAR Cup Series.

● There were eight caution periods for a total of 16 laps.

● Twenty-six of the 40 drivers in the Bank of America Roval 400 finished on the lead lap.

 

Playoff Standing (at the conclusion of the Round of 16):

1.       Kyle Busch (3,055 points)

2.       Kevin Harvick (3,050 points, -5)

3.       Martin Truex Jr. (3,038 points, -17)

4.       Brad Keselowski (3,025 points, -30)

5.       Clint Bowyer (3,015 points, -40)

6.       Joey Logano (3,014 points, -41)

7.       Kurt Busch (3,014 points, -41)

8.       Ryan Blaney (3,013 points, -42)

9.       Chase Elliott (3,008 points, -47)

10.    Kyle Larson (3,006 points, -49)

11.    Aric Almirola (3,001 points, -54)

12.    Alex Bowman (3,000 points, -55)

 

Failed to Advance to Round of 12:

13.    Jimmie Johnson (2,097 points)

14.    Austin Dillon (2,066 points)

15.    Denny Hamlin (2,053 points)

16.    Erik Jones (2,041 points)

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Gander Outdoors 400 on Sunday, Oct. 7 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. It is the fourth race of the 10-race playoffs and the first race for the Round of 12. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN beginning at 1:30 p.m.

 

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Race Winner:  Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner:  Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-25):

Kyle Buschstarted 14th and finished seventh.

● The M&M’S Toyota driver was in 10th by the time the first caution was displayed on lap 11. A handful of teams stopped, which placed Busch in ninth place for the restart on lap 16.

● Busch picked up two positions on the restart to take over seventh place. He maintained the position to the conclusion of Stage 1, earning four bonus points.

● Once again, the team elected to stay out during the caution while a number of teams elected to pit. The decision placed the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota in third place for the restart.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 26-50):

Busch started third and finished 12th.

Racing resumed with Busch in third place. He surrendered one position before he made his first trip to pit road for a scheduled pit stop on lap 35 for four tires and fuel. He returned to the track in 29th place on lap 38.

Crew chief Adam Stevens encouraged Busch to make smooth laps and conserve his tires as Stage 2 drew to a close.

As Stage 2 continued, a series a number of drivers were forced to make trips to pit road for service or were involved in minor incidents. This allowed Busch to make up a great deal of track position during the final 10 laps of the stage, placing him in 12th for the conclusion of Stage 2.

As part of their race strategy, the No. 18 M&M’S team did not make a trip to pit road for service during the caution. This placed Busch in third for the start of Stage 3.

 

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 51-109):

Busch started third and finished 32nd.

The 2015 NASCAR Cup Series champ was able to move up to the second position at the restart. He then settled into a comfortable pace, trying to chase down race leader Kyle Larson.

Busch was in second place when caution was displayed on lap 65. He reported that the car had started handling on the tight side – particularly in turns 13 and 14. He said the front just wouldn’t turn.

The team took advantage of the next caution period on lap 68 to bring the No. 18 to pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Busch was in ninth place for the restart on lap 71.

The Las Vegas native methodically logged laps and was in fifth place by lap 75 when he went into fuel conservation mode. All teams were projected to be short on fuel, and during the next several laps he made an effort to conserve without losing touch with the race leaders.

Busch was in third place on lap 85 when he made a more aggressive effort to save fuel through different tactics.

A caution on lap 102 set up a late restart on lap 103. Busch was in fourth place and in position to race to the end without fear of running out of fuel. Race leader Brad Keselowski had trouble going into the first turn, triggering a multicar accident that collected the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota. The damage was beyond repair, and Busch was forced to retire from the race in 32nd place.

Despite the tough finish, Busch’s position in the second round of the playoffs was secured one week ago with his win at Richmond International Raceway.

 

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

I guess (the accident) just comes down to us all being on old tires and not really knowing what to expect or how much grip these tires would actually have. That’s about all that happened – we all over-drove the corner, and that’s all there is to it. I mean, you hate tearing up racecars and what not, but I guess they’re road course cars anyway, so you don’t necessarily need them anytime soon. Overall it just wasn’t a good day for our M&M’S Toyota Camry. It was going to be a fine day if we could’ve made it through that corner and had those other two guys out of our way, and then it was a race between the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) and us, but it doesn’t matter anyway.”

 

Next Up: The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Gander Outdoors 400 on Sunday, Oct. 7 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN.

 

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