TALLADEGA, AL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney picked up his first win of the season beating Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by a bumper at the rain-delayed Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Blaney and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones made contact on the front stretch, sending Jones into the outside wall as Blaney headed towards the checkered flag.
Inside of Blaney however was JTG Daugherty’s Stenhouse, who was leading hard charge of cars on the inside lane. The pair crossed the Start/Finish line with Blaney prevailing by 0.007-seconds in a photo-finish.
“I just kind of blocked, just trying to block the best we could,” said Blaney. “The 20 got to my outside and I tried to go up there to slow him down, I hate that I hit him, but just kind of trying to beat and bang to the line and things like that. We just edged it out, but I am really proud of this whole Menards/Sylvania Ford Mustang team.”
Stenhouse finished second and said he did all he could to get to the front.
“The 20 had a good run,” said Stenhouse. “Then they started banging fenders, slowing each other down. I just kept on the throttle, was able to get close to the nose of the 12 there coming across the line. All in all it was a solid day for us.”
Stewart Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola finished third with his rear bumper crossing the Start/Finish line first as he was caught up in the Jones accident.
Denny Hamlin finished fourth followed by Jones who after hitting the wall crossed the line in fifth.
Prior to the race drivers and crew members surrounded Bubba Wallace’s No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet and pushed it to the front of the starting grid in a show of support after a noose was found in the RPM garage area on Sunday.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps said the FBI is investigating and that whoever is responsible for the action will be suspended for life from NASCAR.
Kevin Harvick and William Byron On NASCAR Cup Series Front Row At Vegas
LAS VEGAS, NV (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Stewart Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick will start first and Hendrick Motorsports will start along side in second for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The starting lineup was set by NASCAR’s ‘performance matrix’.
Kyle Larson has another Hendrick Chevy up front as he’ll start in the third position with the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Martin Truex Jr in fourth.
A pair of Daytona 500 winners will make up the third row with Michael McDowell and Denny Hamlin fifth and sixth respectively.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch will start seventh with defending Cup Series Champion Chase Elliott alongside in the eighth starting spot.
Busch’s CGR teammate Ross Chastain will start 21st in the No. 42 Clover Chevrolet and Latrobe PA favorite-son Garrett Smithley will start 31st.
Editor’s Note – Don’t forget to take part in Pittsburgh Racing Now’s Weekly ‘Who’s Going To Win The Race?’ Twitter Poll:
— Pittsburgh Racing Now (@PghRacingNow) March 7, 2021
AJ Allmendinger Beats Daniel Hemric To Win NASCAR Xfinity Alsco Uniforms 300
LAS VEGAS, NV (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – AJ Allmendinger held off Joe Gibbs Racing’s Daniel Hemric to win Saturday’s Alsco Uniforms 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series Race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Hemric was the leader on the final restart with 13-laps remaining. Hemric chose the outside with Allmendinger on the inside. Brandon Jones lined up in third behind his JGR teammate. JR Motorsports Noah Gragson was on the inside on row two.
Allmendinger cleared Hemric coming off of turn two and led the field into turn three and four. Allmendinger ran low in turn one on the next lap coming off on the high side as he pulled out to a .37-second lead and slowly pulled away from the field.
“The victory is very important but I take more pride with how we’ve run as an organization,” said Allmendinger of his Kauling Racing team. “I’d rather run like this and get win than kind of run mediocre and maybe steal one somehow, that does us no good in the long run.”
The victory was the sixth career Xfinity Series victory for Allmendinger and locks him into the NASCAR Playoffs later in the year. Allmendinger led three times for 44-laps including the final 12-circuits to win the race. Allmendinger traded in a partial schedule to run full-time for Kaulig Racing and was fired up after the race to pick up with win.
“When I launched I actually got too far out,” lamented Hemric, who chose the top lane on the final restart. “The bottom lane got linked up and had so much momentum when I turned down to side-draft I was on the splitter.”
Brandon Jones finished third followed by Austin Cindric in fourth and Noah Gragson in fifth.
John Hunter Nemechek Wins NASCAR Truck Series Bucked Up 400 At Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, NV (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – John Hunter Nemechek held off a hard-charging Kyle Busch to win Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Bucked Up 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The victory was the first truck series win in four seasons for Nemechek, who returned to the series to compete full-time for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
“It’s great to be back in victory lane,” said Nemechek. “Everyone at KBM, they gave us one heck of truck tonight. Kyle’s truck was really fast as well. Luckily we were able to execute on that restart at the end and put ourselves in position to be leading and win this thing.”
“It’s perfect, it’s all you can ask for, it’s everything,” said Busch of his team after the race. “It’s cool to see the four-truck in Victory Lane and see John Hunter have a shot and get back in Victory Lane.”
Austin Hill finished third followed by Stewart Friesen in fourth and Matt Crafton in fifth.
Zane Smith, Grant Enfinger, Parker Kligerman, Christian Eckes and Ben Rhodes – a two-time winner already this season – rounded out the top 10.
The series next race is the Fr8Auctions 200 on March 20 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.