Sunday, Dec 04
Matthew Jackson

Matthew Jackson

Jimmie Johnson announced on Wednesday that he would no longer be racing full-time in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series following the 2020 season. On Thursday, Johnson addressed the media along with his team owner Rick Hendrick regarding the decision.

Johnson stated in Thursday’s press conference that his retirement wouldn’t be from racing all together.

“This is not a retirement from driving race cars,” Johnson said during Thursday’s press conference at Hendrick Motorsports. “This is slowing down from 38 weekends a year and you certainly know the stress and pressure. That grind that it takes and 19 years in Cup and 2 years in the Xfinity Series. Plus everything before that, like you know one of the more balances is really where that sits but it’s been a bit of a run and we’re gonna keep going.”

Rick Hendrick said during Thursday’s press conference that he was “shocked” to learn about Johnson’s retirement following next season.

“Shocked. Every time one of these drivers calls me and they want to come to my house, I know that’s not a good situation,” Rick Hendrick said.

The 7-time champion also stated that all options are open when it comes to racing except for IndyCar and fast ovals. Johnson also said that he would come back and drive Cup cars for Rick Hendrick if the opportunity came about.

Post 2020 and beyond, Johnson has not had any discussions yet for what that may entail.

“No, I haven’t talked to anybody. Haven’t even thought about it.”

At the end of Thursday’s press conference, Johnson would hold back tears when he was talking about Rick Hendrick and all of the people in the NASCAR industry.

“When I look back on the years I’ve had so far at NASCAR, I fall back to the experiences of the people. Those are the things that come to mind. Not holding the trophy in Victory Lane or on the stage at Las Vegas as we did so many times. It’s the people,” Johnson said.

As for the 2020 season, Johnson said that his ultimate goal is to make it to the Championship 4 next year in Phoenix.

“The outlook for next year is absolutely to win races and be in the final four. That is absolutely the goal for next year,” Johnson said.

Denny Hamlin won Sunday’s NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series final playoff elimination race at ISM Raceway, clinching a spot in the championship race next Sunday in Miami.

“I can’t believe it,” Denny Hamlin told NBC post-race. “This race team worked so hard this whole year. They deserve it. I put them in a bad hole last week. I told them today I’m going to give them everything I’ve got to make up for the mistake I made last week. That’s all I got.”

Hamlin started the Sunday’s playoff elimination race as the first driver outside the top 4 advancing into Homestead by 20 points. Driver No. 11 led 143 of 312 laps in route to sixth win of the 2019 season.

“One of the best cars of my career, I can tell you that,” Denny Hamlin told NBC posy-race. “I pushed for all I had. I mean that’s all I got. Once we got the big lead there a little over 10 seconds, I just kind of sat there. I got to thinking about if the caution does come out I want to lap as many as I can.”

Joining Denny Hamlin in the championship race next Sunday in Miami will be Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.

Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott were eliminated from the playoffs following Sunday’s cutoff race.

“I went from a car that could lead and win a stage and run really well and from what they told me, it was an air pressure adjustment made it go from a winning car to can’t stay on the lead lap,” Joey Logano told NBC post-race. “One of the tightest things I’ve ever driven. I don’t really understand it. It doesn’t make any sense.

Rounding out the top five were Kyle Busch in second, Ryan Blaney in third, Kyle Larson in fourth and Kevin Harvick in fifth.

The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series will head to Homestead-Miami Speedway in the championship deciding race. Coverage begins at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Nov. 17 on NBC.


Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin

Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano

Race Winner: Denny Hamlin

Christopher Bell won Saturday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway and has now locked him a spot into the Xfinity championship race at Homestead in two weeks.

Bell won every stage in the race and would go onto claim his eighth victory of the year which leads the Xfinity Series for the most victories this season.

This is the fourth time thus far this Eason the Bell has swept every stage of the race and won too. He’s also the only driver to ever do it.

Driver No. 20 led 101 of the 200 lap event.

“That was pretty special to win here at Texas,” Bell told NBCSN post-race. “I got a lot of family over there in the background. This is for my nephew. I promised him years ago that if I ever won I’d give him the flag at Texas. I knew we were competitive. Us and Tyler Reddick were really similar early on. Then I started having brake problems. Whenever I got those brake problems I just wasn’t as good. I couldn't keep the car underneath me. I got really loose. Had to work a little bit harder.”

Rounding out the top five were Ross Chastain in second, Austin Cindric in third, Brandon Jones in fourth and John Hunter Nemecheck in fifth.

Playoff driver Noah Gragson’s day didn’t go as planed after making contact with Harrison Burton with 50 laps to go sent Gragson through the grass and made damage. Gragson would finish in 30th.

Tyler Reddick also had an unfortunate night after he wrecked on the backstretch while racing Chase Briscoe and Brandon Jones. Reddick would finish 29th. Chase Briscoe would finish in 22nd after he had a pit stop late in the race due to a right-front tire problem.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head into ISM Raceway in the final race on the Round of 8. Live coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC.

Stage 1 Winner: Christopher Bell

Stage 2 Winner: Christopher Bell

Race Winner: Christopher Bell

Chase Elliott won Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Driver No. 9 overcame a missed turn in the final stage, which sent him into the turn 1 wall and made his way back through the pack and would find the lead with six laps remaining and would go on to win at the Charlotte Roval.

“Holy moly, did y’all like that?” Chase Elliott asked the fans after the race. “What a mistake. Holy moly. You talk about messing something up. Right here. Don’t fo that. What a day. Such a fast NAPA Camaro and that was the only reason we were able to get back in it.

Elliott made sure to do his victory celebration right where he hit earlier in the race.

Driver No. 9 led the most laps of any other driver on Sunday afternoon with 35 laps.

Rounding out the top five were Alex Bowman in second, Kevin Harvick in third, Clint Bowyer in fourth and Brad Keselowski in fifth.

Rounding out the top ten were William Byron in sixth, Martin Truex Jr. in seventh, Ryan Blaney in eighth, Jimmie Johnson in ninth and Joey Logano in tenth.

Drivers who missed the playoff cutoff were Aric Almirola, Erik Jones, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch.

The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series will head into Dover International Speedway next Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN.

Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson

Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott

Race Winner: Chase Elliott

AJ Allmendinger won today’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield Drive for the Cure 250 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Allmendinger out ran Tyler Reddick and Austin Cindric with a restart with 3 laps to go. For Allmendinger, this marks his third career NASCAR Xfinity Series win and his first win since 2013.

“The last few years were rough,” Allmendinger told NBCSN post-race on his firing at the end of 2018 from JTG-Daugherty Racing.

Driver No. 10 took the race lead with 20 laps to go. Allmendinger moved Christopher Bell out of the race lead in Turn 8 and would take control of the lead.

Allmedinger led 20 of the 67 laps in his Chevrolet. His car still has to pass post-race inspection, something Kaulig Racing has failed to do in 2 of Allmendinger’s last 4 races with the team.

Rounding out the top five were Tyler Reddick in second, Austin Cindric in third, Justin Allgaier in fourth and Noah Gragson in fifth.

Tyler Reddick, who finished second posted his second top-10 finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. It's also his 24th top-10 finish in 2019 which is the series most. 

Noah Gragson, who finished fifth was the highest finishing rookie of the race. 

Rounding out the top ten were Alex Labbe in sixth, John Hunter Nemecheck in seventh, Cole Custer in eighth, Chase Briscoe in ninth and Ryan Truex in tenth.

Below is where the remaining playoff drivers finished:

Christopher Bell - P12

Michael Annett - P15

Brandon Jones - P16

Ryan Sieg - P30

Justin Haley - P31

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head into Dover International Speedway next Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN.

Stage 1 Winner: Chase Briscoe

Stage 2 Winner: Cole Custer

Race Winner: AJ Allmendinger

Chase Elliott was fastest in NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series final practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Elliott posted a top speed of 102.101 mph around the Roval.

Rounding out the top five in final practice were Martin Truex Jr. in second (playoffs) with a speed of 102.101 mph, Brad Keselowski in third (playoffs) with a speed of 101.891 mph, Clint Bowyer in fourth (playoffs) with a speed of 101.775 mph and Michael McDowell in fifth with a speed of 101.756 mph.

Drivers has their fare share of troubles in final practice.

Martin Truex Jr. brought out the red flag early in final practice when a mechanical issue caused him to stall on the backstretch.

Jimmie Johnson spun and backed into the tire barrier in Turn 5 later in final practice.

Austin Dillion spun Turn 5 with under 5 minutes left in final practice.

Alex Bowman, who qualified in the second position, wrecked with 35 seconds left in final practice.

The team just announced that Bowman will have to go to a backup car, which means driver No. 88 will have to start from the rear of the field.

Below is where the remainder of the playoffs drivers placed in final practice. 

Ryan Blaney - P6

William Byron - P7

Kyle Larson - P8

Kurt Busch - P9

Alex Bowman (backup) - P10

Denny Hamlin - P11

Joey Logano - P12

Kevin Harvick - P14

Kyle Busch - P18

Aric Almirola - P19

Erik Jones - P20

Ryan Newman - P24

Live coverage of the Bank of America Roval 400 begins tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC and PRN/Sirius XM Channel 90

William Byron won the Pole for Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Byron claimed the top spot with a speed of 103.198 mph. For Byron, this is his fifth Pole of his career.

Joining Byron on the outside of row 1 will be his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman. Byron also leads Bowman by just two points for the final cutoff spot to advance into the second round of the playoffs.

“I knew I was a little weak under the brakes the first couple of runs in trim today,” Byron told NBCSN after qualifying. “Tried to fix it maybe fixed it a little too good.” Really takes every corner around this race track to get a pole. I knew we could qualify top five but I was really wanting the pole.”

Rounding out the top five in qualifying were Alex Bowman (playoffs) in second, Joey Logano (playoffs) in third, Jimmie Johnson in fourth and Clint Bowyer (playoffs) in fifth.

Rounding out the top ten were Kevin Harvick (playoffs) in sixth, Kyle Larson (playoffs) in seventh, Martin Truex Jr. (playoffs) in eighth, Ryan Blaney (playoffs) in ninth and Paul Menard in tenth.

Denny Hamlin posted the 28th fastest lap but will have to start from the rear due to a wreck in practice.

Below is where the remaining playoff drivers qualified:

Brad Keselwoski - P11

Erik Jones - P15

Aric Almirola - P16

Kyle Busch - P17

Chase Elliott - P19

Kurt Busch - P23

Ryan Newman - P24

Denny Hamlin - P28

The Bank of America Roval 400 gets underway on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC.

Jimmie Johnson was fastest in NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series opening practice from Charlotte Motor Speedway. Johnson turned a lap of 80.968 and with a speed of 103.152 mph.

The top five was completed by Kyle Larson (103.088 mph), William Byron (102.453 mph), Clint Bowyer (102.409 mph) and Matt DiBenedetto (102.401 mph).

Michael McDowell, who was scheduled to turn laps in his No. 34 Ford, was transported to a local hospital this morning due to abdominal pain. Austin Cindric filled in for McDowell in opening Cup practice and was 24th quickest. McDowell has been cleared by doctors to return for qualifying later this afternoon.

The first Cup practice session seen several wrecks throughout the session.

Parker Kligerman hit the wall in Turn 1 early on in the session and will go to a backup as a result.

Kyle Busch locked up the tires and missed the frontstretch chicane. Later on in the session, Busch would miss the backstretch chicane in order to miss the No. 66 of Timmy Hill.

Denny Hamlin spun and made contact with the tire barrier in Turn 5 with just under 30 minutes left in the session and would have to go to a backup, which means that driver No. 11 will start from the rear of the field on Sunday.

Joe Nemecheck brought out the red flag when he stalled in the backstretch chicane.

Bubba Wallace spun in Turn 5 late in the practice session.

Qualifying for Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 begins at 4:40 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN.

Martin Truex Jr. won Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway. For Truex, this marks his second win in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series playoffs.

Truex, who spun after Ricky Stenhouse Jr. made contact while leading and would restart third.

Driver No. 19 would pass Joe Gibbs Racing teammate with 26 laps to go and would maintain the race lead for the remainder of the race.

The New Jersey native now has 22 Cup career wins to his name and 6 thus far this year.

“I feel like Danny Sullivan or something right now,” Truex told NBCSN post-race. “I’m speechless. Unbelievable job, all my guys. Had a heck of a race with Kyle and Denny all night long really. We just kept plugging away at it, plugging away at it. That’s what we always do, just keep digging and we never quit. “Next thing you know I’m catching for the lead. I’m like, Cool, here we go.”

Truex led a Joe Gibbs Racing sweep of the first three spots. Kyle Busch finished second and Denny Hamlin finished third. Erik Jones, who originally finished fourth, was disqualified after his No. 20 failed post-race inspection, giving him a last-place finish.

Rounding out the top five were pole-sitter Brad Keselowski in fourth and Ryan Newman in fifth.

Rounding out the top ten were Kyle Larson in sixth, Kevin Harvick in seventh, Clint Bowyer in eighth, Daniel Suarez in ninth and Jimmie Johnson in tenth.

The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series will head into Charlotte Motor Speedway in the running of the Bank of America Roval 400 on Sept. 29 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC.

Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr.

Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch

Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.


Playoff Standings:

1. Martin Truex Jr. (W)

2. Kevin Harvick +69 points above cutoff

3. Kyle Busch + 66

4. Brad Keselowski + 55

5. Denny Hamlin + 54

6. Joey Logano + 50

7. Chase Elliott + 37

8. Kyle Larson + 25

9. Ryan Newman + 14

10. Ryan Blaney + 8

11. Aric Almirola + 3

12. William Byron + 2

13. Alex Bowman - 2 points below cutoff

14. Clint Bowyer - 4

15. Kurt Busch - 14

16. Erik Jones - 45

Christopher Bell won Friday nights NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff opener at Richmond Raceway.

Bell led 238 of the 250 lap race and swept each stage, earning his seventh victory of the 2019 season.

“That one was pretty special,” Bell told NBCSN post-race. “Going 92 laps straight there is really difficult man. We were sliding all around. I felt like if I could get to traffic I was going to be in good shape. Because my car could really move around good. I could run up, I could run down. Cole Custer was keeping pressure on us pretty good, but this Rheem Supra was too good.”

Rounding out the top five were Austin Cindric in second, Cole Custer in third, Justin Allgaier in fourth and Chase Briscoe in fifth.

Harrison Burton was the highest finishing non-playoff driver in sixth.

With his win on Friday, Christopher Bell secures an automatic spot into the Round of 12. Bell leads the playoff standings by 18 points over Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick.

Below is where the remaining playoff drivers finished:

Noah Gragson - P7

Michael Annett - P9

Tyler Reddick - P10

Brandon Jones - P11

Ryan Sieg - P12

John Hunter Nemecheck - P15

Justin Haley - P17 

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head into Charlotte Motor Speedway in the running of the Drive for the Cure 200 on the Charlotte Roval at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Sept. 28 on NBCSN. Stage 1 Winner: Christopher Bell Stage 2 Winner: Christopher Bell


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