Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (15932)

Brad Keselowski topped Monster Energy Cup Series final practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway. However, Keselowski's day would take a turn for the worse. Late in final practice, Keselowski lost control of his No. 2 Team Penske Ford and damage would force the team to start at the rear of the field for tomorrow's Bank of America Roval 400.

Keselowski put down a speed of 105.596 mph. After the incident, Keselowski told NBC Sports that he "lost it" while trying to avoid the turtles in Turn 17.

The Michigan native locked himself into the next round of the playoffs by virtue of his win at Las Vegas two weeks ago.

Rounding out the top five in final practice were William Byron (105.072 mph), Kyle Larson (104.995 mph), Paul Menard (104.982 mph) and Martin Truex Jr. (104.876 mph).

Matt DiBendetto who will be leaving his current team (Go Fas Racing) completed the most laps with 21.

Ryan Newman had issues in final practice to his left front fender from the rumble strips at the exit of the chicane on the backstretch. Driver No. 31 also had a power issue during final practice.

Kurt Busch who will start on the Pole tomorrow afternoon had an electrical issue in the morning practice session. Busch was sixth fastest in final practice with a speed of 104.786 mph.

Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion are set to start 22nd on Sunday in the first-ever race on the Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
 Menard and his fellow Monster Energy Cup Series drivers spent most of Friday’s practice session and qualifying time with the same mindset they had during earlier test sessions on the 2.28-mile, 17-turn course.
“Everybody was just trying to stay on the race track,” Menard said of the three pre-race test sessions.

 In Friday’s opening practice, Menard ran 10 laps and posted his best speed of 104.442 miles per hour on his final lap.
Then in qualifying, he ran three laps in the opening round and posted his best speed of 105.095 mph on his first try.
The Roval, while challenging to drivers throughout the field, does offer Menard a chance to capitalize on his road-racing skills. He raced sports cars early in his career and won an Xfinity Series race at Road American in 2015.
Menard and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team have one more practice session on Saturday before the green flag drops for the 109-lap Bank of America 400 on Sunday at 2 p.m. TV coverage of the race will be provided by NBC.


Kurt Busch has quickly developed a good rapport with the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL™. Busch dedicated the new ROVAL™ infield fan bridge on Wednesday and took Bojangles’ Qualifying by storm on Friday – earning the pole for Sunday’s inaugural running of the Bank of America ROVAL™ 400, the first playoff road-course race in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history.

Busch – one of 16 playoff drivers – roared around the 17-turn, 2.28-mile ROVAL™ in one minute, 16.805 seconds at an average speed of 106.868 miles per hour. A.J. Allmendinger will roll off second after the accomplished road racer missed the pole by just .041 seconds. Playoff drivers Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson completed the top five.

Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Blaney and Chris Buescher rounded out the top 10. Defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. will start 13th.

KURT BUSCH, No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford (Pole Winner): “This is really special to win any inaugural race or pole. And to have this little trophy next to me means a lot. When you go into a new event, you have to execute with fundamentals and an open mind. And the way our No. 41 team approached this weekend was to cover all of the fundamentals and have our bases covered.

“Behind the scenes, I spent over two days over at Ford on the simulator making sure my shift points were proper and braking zones. When you have such good technology available, it’s a matter of utilizing it. When we made a qualifying run in practice we were on the heavy loose side. We made some adjustments and that put us right on the bubble in the first round. I was hoping it would play out and our set up would be optimum for Round Two. Those are fundamental things that you do.”

A.J. ALLMENDINGER, No. 47 Kroger ClickList Chevrolet (Qualified 2nd): "It's a crazy race track, for sure. It's like my Champ Car days. It's a street course in the infield there. The walls are on both sides and if you make a small mistake, you're going to pay the price for it. To me, it makes for a lot of fun because you've got to be on point. You've got to be aggressive but you can't be over-aggressive. I could nit-pick both my laps and say there's a lot more out there, but you could easily try to get that and find yourself in the wall. … My strategy (for Sunday) is to go out there and try to win. I've got no job, it doesn’t matter. I'm going there trying to win."

To purchase Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 tickets – which include access to Saturday night’s Sammy Hagar and The Circle concert – fans can call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at Kids’ tickets cost just $10.

Fans can connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway and get the latest news by following on Twitter and Instagram, becoming a Facebook fan or downloading the Charlotte Motor Speedway mobile app.


Kurt Busch will start from the Pole in Sunday's Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Friday marked Busch's fourth pole of the season and the 26th of his career.

Busch will enter into Sunday eighth in the points standings and fifteen points ahead of Clint Bower who sits at 13th in the point standings.

Busch outlasted AJ Allmendinger to win the pole.

"All around the racetrack you can get yourself into trouble," Allmendinger said when asked on which part of the track is the most challenging.

Rounding out the top five were: Alex Bowman in third, Chase Elliott in fourth and Kyle Larson in fifth.

Twelve of the sixteen drivers competing in the playoffs did not make the final round of qualifying.

Multiple drivers made contact with the wall in practice and qualifying. Denny Hamlin had issues with his No.11 Toyota Camry as he had issues in practice as well as qualifying. Hamlin hit the curb at a high rate of speed in practice and then in qualifying he made contact with the chicane. Hamlin would qualify 27th but will go to the rear of the field on Sunday becuase his team will go to a backup car.


1. Kurt Busch

2. AJ Allmendinger

3. Alex Bowman

4. Chase Elliott

5. Kyle Larson

6. Jimmie Johnson

7. Clint Bowyer

8. Jamie McMurray

9. Ryan Blaney

10. Chris Buescher

11. Daniel Hemric

12. Erik Jones

13. Martin Truex Jr.

14. Kyle Busch

15. Joey Logano

16. Trevor Bayne

17. Daniel Suarez

18. Michael McDowell

19. Kevin Harvick

20. Aric Almirola

21. William Byron

22. Paul Menard

23. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

24. Austin Dillion

25. Brad Keselowski

26. Ty Dillion

27. Denny Hamlin

28. Matt DiBenedetto

29. Ryan Newman

30. David Ragan

31. Justin Marks

32. Regan Smith

33. Cole Whitt

34. Bubba Wallace

35. Ross Chastain

36. JJ Yeley

37. Jeffery Earnhardt

38. Landon Cassill

39. Stanton Barrett

40. Timmy Hill

Richard Childress Racing announced today that Daniel Hemric will replace Ryan Newman in 2019. The team said to the media that Hemric will drive the No. 31.

Hemric has drove for Richard Childress Racing the past two years in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. In 2017, Hemric finished fourth in the points and thus far in 2018, Hemric is currently second in the point standings.

"Knowing this is where i wanted to be all along. I'm proud it worked out the way it did," Daniel Hemric on his decision to remain with Richard Childress Racing.

Hemric made his Monster Energy Cup Series debut earlier this season at Richmond in the spring and finished 32nd. The North Carolina native was driving the No.8 car at the spring Richmond race and will do so again on Sunday at the Roval.

The No.31 opened because Ryan Newman is moving to Roush Fenway Racing. Newman signed a multi-year deal earlier this the month to drive the No. 6 beginning in 2019.

In 60 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts with RCR,Hemric has compiled 20 top-five finishes. Hemric will become the third driver to drive the No.31 since the 2005 season, joining Ryan Newman and Jeff Burton.

No. 96 Driver Jeffrey Earnhardt isn't just racing for the checkered flag this season. Over the next several Races, beginning with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400, starting at 2 p.m. this Sunday, September 30, Earnhardt will also be joining Susan G. Komen®’s fight to save lives from breast cancer.

The “Fueled By Hope” No. 96 Toyota will definitely stand out in the field with its pink paint scheme, pink wheels, and clear challenge for everyone to text KOMEN to 50555 to help raise funds to support the world’s leader in breast cancer research and patient support.

For Xtreme Concepts and iK9 CEO Landon Ash, it’s personal, as he lost both parents to cancer. The car is a tribute to his late mother Suzanne Bashinsky, who passed from breast cancer in June 2010.  The car also provides an opportunity to help the millions of people currently affected by the disease and to help fund research to end breast cancer for future generations.

Driver Jeffrey Earnhardt is passionate about this initiative. “It’s an honor running a Susan G Komen car to support their fight against breast cancer, which affects so many people,” says Earnhardt. “It’s awesome to help them in the fight for the cure. As a team, we want to show the same grit, hard work, and drive we have on the track in the important fight against breast cancer. We want to do all we can to make a difference in this battle, and I can’t wait to run this unique design in the No. 96 this weekend."

More than 250,000 women in the U.S. are estimated to be initially diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone. While rare, breast cancer can occur in men, as well, with an estimated 2,550 new cases this year.

The entire Gaunt Brothers Racing Team, Xtreme Concepts and iK9 crews will be supporting Komen and the people and families it supports throughout the weekend, including appearances, fan engagement, Facebook Live events, and other promotions.

Jeffrey Earnhardt PR

Richard Childress Racing has promoted Daniel Hemric to drive the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series beginning in 2019. Hemric, 27, boasts back-to-back NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff berths at RCR, including a Championship 4 appearance at Homestead-Miami Speedway during his rookie season.
While some kids get their start riding bikes with training wheels, Hemric was championing go-karts at the age of five and within the next six years, his driving accolades included 11 wins and a Concord (North Carolina) Speedway track championship. Bandoleros, Legend Cars and Late Models followed with the same success, with 60 victories, back-to-back Legend Car Pro championships (2008 and 2009), the National Legend Car Pro championship and two Summer Shootout Series titles (2009 and 2013). He would also go on to win the Champion Racing Association JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour championship (2012) and the Southern Super Series championship (2013).
In 2010, Hemric took home the largest paycheck in Legend Car history when he won the inaugural Legends Millions race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the largest one-of-a-kind grassroots event featuring more than 300 entries. The titles kept coming with Summer Shootout Series and Champion Racing Association JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour championships in 2012 and in 2013 and the Southern Super Series championship.
Before joining RCR, Hemric drove two full seasons in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In 50 starts, the Kannapolis native scored 15 top-five and 30 top-10 results along with two top-10 finishes in the driver championship point standings.
"We've had our eye on Daniel since he raced with Austin (Dillon) and Ty (Dillon) in Bandolero cars and then into Legends racing," said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of RCR. "We hired him to drive our No. 21 Xfinity entry in 2017 and our plan was to develop Daniel and move him up to the Cup Series when the time was right. We believe that time is now. Daniel has won championships in just about everything he's raced, and I hope we can add an Xfinity Series title before season's end. He battled for the championship right to the end last year. He's had another strong year in 2018 and will represent RCR well in the Cup Series along with iconic brands including Caterpillar and Chevrolet."
Hemric, who grew up in Kannapolis, North Carolina, the same hometown as the late Dale Earnhardt Sr., is ready to join NASCAR's premier series driving the No. 31 alongside longtime friend and veteran teammate Austin Dillon. Hemric joins several other Cup Series regulars who have successfully risen through RCR's acclaimed Xfinity Series program.
"Ever since I was a kid growing up in Kannapolis, I followed and rooted for RCR," said Hemric. "I enjoyed competing against Austin and Ty years ago and we became close friends along the way. My dream has always been to race for championships in the NASCAR Cup Series. I have worked hard to get here and those who know me and have supported me, know I take nothing for granted. The time has come to take that next step, and I want to thank Richard for believing in me and providing such an amazing opportunity. I also look forward to working together closely with Austin and the No. 3 team during the 2019 season."
In 60 NXS starts for RCR, Hemric has earned three pole awards, 20 top-five and 33 top-10 finishes. He boasts an average start of 8.3 and an average finish of 11.6. Hemric also qualified for the Xfinity Series Playoffs in 2017 and 2018, and currently sits second in the championship points standings.
Further announcements on sponsors and other details will be made at a later date.  

JTG Daugherty Racing announced today a new driver to their two-car lineup, signing 27-year-old Ryan Preece in a multi-year contract. Preece will join JTG Daugherty Racing for his first full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season starting in the 2019 DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway driving the No. 47 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
“Tommy Lasorda says, ‘The difference between impossible and possible lies in a man’s determination,’ and I feel that JTG Daugherty Racing has just that,” Preece said. “It’s been many years of fighting for opportunities to compete and win races at NASCAR’s highest level, and it is nice to officially say that JTG Daugherty Racing is my new home for 2019. I look forward to not only racing, but working with the team as well to build speed and create a name for myself here. I can’t thank Tad and Jodi Geschickter, Brad Daugherty and Gordon Smith enough for the opportunity.”
Preece joins JTG Daugherty Racing from a recent stint with Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, where to date he ran nine races with one win, four top five finishes and six top-10 finishes in 2018. Out of a total of 49 NXS races, he has two wins (Iowa Speedway, 2017 and Bristol Motor Speedway, 2018), eight top-five finishes, 11 top-10 finishes and one pole award. Preece also ran five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2015 in the No. 98 car for Mike Curb.
Aside from his accomplishments in one of NASCAR’s premier series, the Berlin, Connecticut native is most well known in the Northeast, racing in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour since 2007. In 155 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts, he has 22 wins, 76 top-five finishes and 102 top-10 finishes, winning the championship in 2013. Preece was also named to NASCAR’s elite “NASCAR NEXT” Class in 2013 and 2014.
“We’re really looking forward to having Ryan join our team for the 2019 season,” team owner Tad Geschickter said. “Ryan has an impressive list of accomplishments in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series and is now being given a great opportunity to compete at NASCAR’s highest level full-time. We really believe in him and think he’s a great addition to the team.”
Preece is set to finish out the season with Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2018, becoming a permanent fixture of JTG Daugherty Racing in 2019. He will start the season with the 2019 DAYTONA 500 on February 17, 2019.

JTG Racing PR

The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series heads into the Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. 

Since the beginning of the season, drivers, crews and fans have all raved about all the uncertainty that this weekend brings. Not only is the track itself challenging, the pressure of making the Round of 12 will loom among all  drivers on Sunday adding to the pressure of drivers and teams. 

Kyle Busch who won last Saturday night heads into the Roval with lots momentum. 2018 has been good to the Las Vegas native as he has won a total of seven wins tied with Kevin Harvick. Busch also has eighteen top five place finishes and 23 top tens along with an average finish of 7.3.

Points leader Martin Truex Jr. locked himself into the Round of 12 last weekend in Richmond by points along with Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski.

Brad Keselowski who made a statement in Las Vegas two weeks ago has assured himself a spot in the Round of 12 beginning next weekend in Dover.

Thus far in 2018, Keselowski has three wins, nine top fives and sixteen top tens.

Drivers who head into Sunday with pressure of playoff standings include Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones and Denny Hamlin who currently sit behind the 12th place cutoff spot. 

The Bank of America Roval 400 coverage is scheduled to begin on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Eastern on NBC.   


Friday Schedule: 

MENCS Practice: 12:05 p.m. Eastern - 12:55 p.m. Eastern

MENCS Qualifying: 4:45 p.m. Eastern


Saturday Schedule:

MENCS Practice: 11:00 a.m. Eastern - 11:50 a.m. Eastern

MENCS Final Practice: 1:30 p.m. Eastern - 2:20 p.m. Eastern 


Sunday Schedule:

Bank of America Roval 400: 2:00 p.m. Eastern (109 laps, 248. 52 miles) 



An off weekend for the NASCAR XFINITY Series? Not for Gase. He announced earlier today that he will be pulling double duty at Talladega Superspeedway teaming up with StarCom Racing for 500 in the #00 and Copp Motorsports in the #83 truck for the Fred's 250 powered by Coca-Cola. It will be Gase's fourth race with StarCom Racing this season and second time with the team at Talladega. However, it will be Gase's first ever start in the Truck Series. Gase is bringing along his NXS primary sponsor and Alabama native company, Sparks Energy Inc., on his #00 Chevrolet Camaro and #83 Chevrolet Silverado.

A Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ride and Camping World Truck Series at the famed Talladega for Gase is always something special; but what he and Sparks Energy Inc are doing makes these rides even more special than most. Sparks Energy will be donating their sponsorship to the Prayers For Kayleigh Foundation for pediatric cancer research at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The PFK Foundation was founded by the McClendon Family to help raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer research after their daughter, Kayleigh, lost her battle to terminal brain cancer, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPG) at the tender age of 7.

Sparks Energy is reaching out to the community to help find associate sponsors to come aboard the PFK Foundation #00 and the #83. However, 100% of the sponsorship proceeds will be donated to the PFK Foundation for DIPG research.

If you would like to come on board to support this great cause, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"We are thrilled to partner with Sparks Energy again at Talladega Superspeedway," said Bill Woehlemann, StarCom Racing CFO. "We are excited to have Joey behind the wheel once again and looking forward to what we can do in the Sparks #00 Chevy."

Joey Gase PR