KANSAS CITY, KS (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Denny Hamlin passed Stewart Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick wit 13-laps to go to win the Super Start Batteries 400 at Kansas Speedway Thursday night. The win was the 5th of the year for Hamlin and 42nd of his Cup Series Career.
“I thought that we were in trouble,” said Hamlin, who drives for Joe Gibbs Racing. “Our car didn’t have the all-out speed that a couple cars did. Certainly it looked like his (Harvick) had a ton of speed. But to kind of out-duel him at the end, it’s gratifying. But it only lasts this week. It doesn’t give me any false confidence going forward.”
Harvick was passed for second place by Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski with nine laps to go before fading to a fourth place finish.
“All in all a good night,” said Keselowski. “Really came down to the last few restarts, who got the clean air, who pushed who. Just couldn’t quite get in front of Denny. I was a little bit faster than he was once we were up to speed, but not anywhere as fast as he was getting up to speed.”
“When we restarted fifth right there with 20 some to go, I really didn’t like our chances that much,” said Hamlin. “I just was trying to execute every restart perfectly. We were able to get to third. Another restart, execute that one nicely, we were able to battle it out. This is a well-executed race. We won today with probably not the best car.”
Hamlin’s JGR teammate Martin Truex Jr finished third and said track position was key.
“We were really strong all day,” said Truex. “It seemed like as it started getting into the nighttime, it took us a little longer to get going on runs. If guys could beat us out of the pits on two tires or whatever, it would take us a long time to pass them. That was the biggest thing I noticed, was just being off a little bit on the short run later on just because guys were getting us on track position.”
The NASCAR Cup Series takes the weekend off, their first since returning from the COVID-19 break. The next Cup Series race is August 2, 2020 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Racing Notebook: Power Wins Grand Prix Of St. Pete Pole; Burton Wins At Texas; Robb Wins Indy Pro 2000
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Will Power wins the pole position for the INDYCAR race at St. Petersburg plus Harrison Burton wins the NASCAR Xfinity Series Race at Texas Motor Speedway; Road To Indy Winners and Carvana partners with Jimmie Johnson and Chip Ganassi Racing for their 2021 INDYCAR effort.
Will Power Wins INDYCAR Pole At St. Pete:
- Team Penske’s Will Power is on the pole position for Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Power’s fast lap of 1-minute, 1.0369-seconds (106.165 mph) was 0.14-seconds faster than Andretti Autosports Alexander Rossi (01:01:1730/105.929 mph) in the third and final round of knockout-style qualifying. Championship contenders Josef Newgarden will start eighth and Scott Dixon will start eleventh after failing to advance past the second round. The green flag drops at 2:30 p.m. on NBC. St. Pete Starting Lineup
Harrison Burton Wins NASCAR Xfinity Series Race At Texas:
- Joe Gibbs Racing’s Harrison Burton took home the victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday. The victory was Burton’s third this season. JR Motorsports Noah Gragson finished second followed by Richard Childress Racing’s Anthony Alfredo. Team Penske’s Austin Cindric finished fourth. Points leader Chase Briscoe finished 24th. Xfinity Texas Results Xfinity Drivers Points
Sting Ray Robb Wins At St. Pete:
- Juncos Racing’s Sting Ray Robb wired the field in Saturday’s Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by Cooper Tires. Robb, who started on the pole position, quickly pulled out to a 1.2-second lead and never looked back. “That was a hard race, even though I was leading the whole way. The team set a goal for me to hold a certain lap time and I did, until I saw Danial starting to catch me. I started pushing harder and set the quick race lap time, bettering my own race record from last year. Two lap records in one day here, that’s pretty special!” Danial Frost finished second followed by Robb’s teammate Artem Petrov. Robb will also start on the pole in Sunday’s season finale. Colin Kaminsky, the goalie for the University of Pittsburgh hockey team, finished ninth. indypro2000-race-results-r1
Porto Grabs USF 2000 Victory At St. Pete:
- Kiko Porto claimed a well-deserved maiden Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship victory Saturday afternoon in the USF2000 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Andersen RacePark. Eduardo Barrichello finished in second place for Pabst Racing with Reece Gold taking third for Cape Motorsports.
Carvana Partners With Jimmie Johnson & Chip Ganassi Racing:
- Carvana, the nations leading online auto retailer, is partnering with Jimmie Johnson and Chip Ganassi Racing for Johnson’s 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES campaign. Johnson will run the No. 48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda on the road and street course. Ganassi told Pittsburgh Racing Now he plans to enter the car in all of the races but the driver has yet to be determined.
NASCAR Reinstates Kyle Larson
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – NASCAR is reinstating driver Kyle Larson after suspending him for violating rules this past spring. He will be eligible to compete in NASCAR sanctioned events beginning January 1, 2021.
Larson was suspended indefinitely on April 13 for violating Sections 12.1 (General Procedures) and 12.8 (NASCAR Member Conduct Guidelines) of the NASCAR Rule Book.
During an online iRacing event on April 12, Larson used a racial slur while attempting to take with his spotter on a private channel. It turned out that Larson was speaking on a public channel and everyone heard him, including the online audience.
Chip Ganassi Racing fired Larson on April 14 from his duties as driver of the No. 42 Credit One Bank/McDonald’s Chevrolet. Matt Kenseth was hired to complete the 2020 season. Ross Chastain will drive the car in 2021.
NASCAR ordered Larson to attend sensitivity training as a condition of reinstatement and is going to require him to fulfill additional requirements in order to keep his NASCAR membership current.
“NASCAR continues to prioritize diversity and inclusion across our sport,” NASCAR said in a statement. “Kyle Larson has fulfilled the requirements set by NASCAR, and has taken several voluntary measures, to better educate himself so that he can use his platform to help bridge the divide in our country. Larson’s indefinite suspension has been lifted. Under the terms of his reinstatement, he will be cleared to return to all NASCAR racing activities effective January 1, 2021.”
Last week Larson sat down with CBS Sports James Brown for his first televised interview and detailed some of the work he has been doing behind the scenes to educate himself following his remarks this spring.
Larson has six victories in 223 NASCAR Cup Series starts. He joined the circuit full-time in 2014 with Ganassi’s operation.
Joey Logano Earns Berth In NASCAR Championship With Win At Kansas
KANSAS CITY, KS (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Joey Logano held off Stewart Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick to win Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
The victory guarantees Logano a spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Championship November 8, 2020 at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona.
“So proud of this Shell-Pennzoil team,” said Logano. “They never quit today. It was a tough one to start. We kind of fell back I think a couple stage points the first stage, then no stage points the second. Paul had some strategy. Two tires. Hung in there, kept our track position. Crazy good pit stops kept us in position.”
Logano did the rest, getting to the lead and then blocking several attempts by Harvick to get the lead of the race away from the No. 22 Ford.
“A couple decent restarts got us to the lead,” said Logano. “From there it’s just driving out of that mirror almost the whole time there the last 40 laps. It was a long 40 laps, however long that run was.”
Harvick didn’t think Logano had a better car, just better track position when it mattered most.
“Joey did just a good job of putting his car right in front of ours,” said Harvick. “With this package, every time you put your car in front of the car behind you, it takes the nose away. We just had a little bit of trouble trying to get the nose to turn when he would take our lane. Our car was plenty fast to win the race today and just came up one short.”
Alex Bowman finished third in the No. 88 Chevrolet followed by Logano’s teammate Brad Keselowski in fourth and Kyle Busch rounded out the top 5.
Two playoff drivers had issues in Kansas. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin hit the wall on lap 180. Hamlin was forced to pit road due to the damage. Hamlin however rallied for a fifteenth place finish.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch was not as fortunate. Busch’s motor blew up on lap 197 ending the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet’s day. Busch is now in a must-win situation in the next two events (Texas and Martinsville) if he hopes to compete for his second Cup Series Championship.
Logano’s win means there are only 3-spots remaining in the Championship finale at Phoenix. Currently that leaves Keselowski and Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott fighting it out for the final spot. Keselowski sits in third place, eight points ahead of Elliott for the current points cut-off.