The first race of the second round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs is scheduled for Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.
Twelve riders compete for eight places in the next round. Chase Elliott leads the standings by 15 more Joey Logano participating in Sunday’s 500 mile race, the only cup points race in TMS this year. Ryan Blaney, who is in the playoff group, won the all-star race at the track in May.
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The playoffs will continue at Talladega Superspeedway (October 2) and Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (October 9).
Sunday Cup race details at Texas Motor Speedway:
START: The command to start the engines will be given by Top Gun: Maverick actors Jay Ellis and Lewis Pullman at 3:38 pm ET… The green flag should go up at 3:49 pm.
PRERACE: Cup Garage opens at 12:30 pm… Meet the Drivers at 3:00 pm… The call will be delivered by Bret Shisler of Texas Alliance Raceway Ministry at 3:30 pm… The 1st Cavalry Division band will play the anthem at 3:31 pm.
DISTANCE: The race is 334 laps (501 miles) on a 1.5 mile race track.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends on lap 105. Stage 2 ends on lap 210.
STARTING LINE-UP: Texas Cup starting lineup
TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 15:30. The countdown to green starts at 2:30 p.m. on the US network. The post-race show will air on the USA Network. … Performance Racing Network coverage starts at 14:30 and will also be broadcast on goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will broadcast PRN.
FORECAST: Weather Metro – Partly cloudy. Maximum 96 with a 5% chance of rain.
LAST TIME: Kyle Larson won by 0.459 seconds. William Byron in October last year. Larson led 256 of the 334 laps of the race.
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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…