playoff driver Brandon Jones won pole position Saturday morning in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Saturday afternoon race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Jones hit 185.637 mph. He has won three of Xfinity’s last four poles.
MORE: Texas Xfinity Qualifying Results
MORE: Texas Xfinity starting lineup
Scheduled for 3:30 pm ET Saturday on the USA Network, the race is the opening of the Xfinity playoffs.
MORE: Post-race celebration? Try the waffle house
The race is 200 laps (300 miles) on a 1.5 mile track. Drivers will struggle with the heat in the mid-high 90s.
Crew members from other teams were nearby when Gibbs hit Dillon’s car, causing it to swerve. None of the crew members and officials were injured.
NASCAR has made it a priority that drivers should not make contact that could result in injury to crew members or pit road officials. NASCAR also penalized the Gibbs 25 Cup drivers and deducted 25 car owners’ points from 23XI Racing for car No. 23 Cup run by Gibbs.
— Ty Gibbs (@TyGibbs) September 27, 2022
Byron drops from third in the playoff standings to the cutoff line ahead of Sunday’s Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway (2pm ET on NBC).
Hendrick Motorsports also lost 25 owner points.
Hendrick Motorsports said it would appeal the fine.
The warning was lifted on lap 269 Martin Truex Jr.accident. As Hamlin slowed down, Byron moved in and hit him from behind.
Byron admitted after the race that the contact was deliberate, although he didn’t want to beat Hamlin. Byron was upset by how Hamlin overtook him on lap 262. Byron felt Hamlin push him into the wall as they exited turn two side by side. Byron expressed his displeasure during the warning.
“I felt like he kicked me off the race track at (turn) 2 and hit the wall really hard,” Byron said. “It felt like the finger link was definitely bent, fortunately not completely broken. We were able to continue.
“A lot of times that kind of damage will ruin your race, especially one this strong. I totally understand how to get close to someone and make a little contact, but it was pretty big.”
Of the retaliation, Byron said, “I didn’t mean to piss him off. This is definitely not what I intended to do. I wanted to hit him a little and show my displeasure, and unfortunately I did. Obviously when he got out, I was like, ‘I didn’t mean to do this,’ but I was definitely upset.”
— Dustin Long (@dustinlong) September 26, 2022
Hamlin and crew chief Chris Geibhart argued and questioned NASCAR for not putting Hamlin back in second place, where he was before Byron hit him, and also questioned that Byron had not been penalized.
“I think we can just smash each other as a precaution,” Hamlin said after the race.
Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition, told reporters after the race that series officials did not penalize Byron because they did not see the incident.
“When we were in the tower, we paid more attention to the actual cause of the warning up there and shipped our equipment,” Miller said. “The case of William Byron and Danny Hamlin, which we did not look at. We saw Danny walking on the grass.
“By the time we got a replay that showed the incident well enough to do something about it, we were back to green.”
We are appealing the fine issued by NASCAR today. https://t.co/qKlVI8qPHA
— Hendrick Motorsport (@TeamHendrick) September 27, 2022
CONCORD, North Carolina – Kurt Bush said on Tuesday that he remains “hopeful” that he will recover from his concussion in time to race again before the end of the NASCAR Cup season.
The 2004 Cup champion did not compete after crashing during qualifying at Pocono Raceway on July 23. He has missed 10 races so far – both. Ty Gibbs as well as Bubba Wallace has been driving the No. 45 Toyota for 23XI Racing since Busch was injured and withdrew his playoff eligibility.
“I’m doing well. Each week is progressing better and I’m feeling good and I don’t know when I’ll be back, but time was a problem. Father Time is responsible for that,” Bush said.
There are six races left this season and co-owner of 23XI Denny Hamlin said the team has contingency plans to reinstate Bush and they are not pressuring the 44-year-old to get back in the car. Bush has a contract from 23XI until next season with an option for 2024.
Hamlin said last weekend in Texas that Bush is scheduled to see a doctor in early October, which could reveal more about whether Bush could return this season.
Bush attended many events to encourage his recovery and spent an evening at the rodeo over the weekend. But his visit to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Tuesday for the 10th annual celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month was Bush’s first official appearance as a NASCAR driver since his injury.
He competed for the second year in a row as part of his “Window of Hope” program, which will see all window nets on Cup cars pink in next week’s race at Roval in Charlotte. Bush credited the Toyota Performance Center at TRD’s North Carolina headquarters for helping him recover and inviting him to compete again.
“I feel hope. I know I have more doctor visits and distance ahead of me, and I continue to work every week,” Bush said. “And TPC, the Toyota Performance Center, was a group of angels with workouts and vestibular training, and different nutrition, different supplements and things to help everything re-balance with my vision, my hearing. Just my overall balance as a whole.”
He said that his vision in one eye is almost 20/20, but his other eye is lagging behind in recovery. Bush also said…