DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch was in the right place at the right time in Tuesday night’s NASCAR Cup Series Busch Clash at Daytona International Speedway.
Busch was trailing leader Ryan Blaney and second place Chase Elliott as the pair entered the final chicane on the speedway’s road course. Blaney took a wide arc entering and Elliott took advantage of the extra room to get beside Blaney. Elliott couldn’t make the turn however and slammed into the door of Blaney’s No. 12 Ford Mustang, sending him into a slow spin into the outside wall.
Elliott however was trapped behind Blaney’s spinning car and Busch was able to pass both of them and beat Elliott to the checkered flag.
Yeah we're still thinking about that finish pic.twitter.com/s5hylL5mlQ.
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 10, 2021
“I kind of felt like there was an interesting opportunity there that was presenting itself,” said Busch. “I think they were pushing each other a little bit, kind of messing each other up more so than being able to run clean laps. I wasn’t sure if Chase was going to push the issue and push back on Blaney and knock him through the turn and make him miss the exit or what was going to happen. The both of them had to make the turtles, if you will. They just got together and started crashing. When that started happening, I was hoping they were going to wreck long enough that I could get up in there and get by them, we could win the thing.”
Blaney was obviously disappointed.
“Personally, he wasn’t going to make the corner,” said Blaney of Elliott, who is one of his best friends. “It was going to be very hard for him to do it. Just a shame that we ended up getting turned around. Am I going to make the same move if we’re in the same position two weeks from now? Hell, yeah. I mean, why not? But I told him if you’re going to make a move like that, make sure you at least win the race. Don’t hand it to the third-place guy.”
Elliott explained his move after the race.
“Obviously coming into a tight corner there, I drove in so hard, you know, and I was to the right, my angle was really bad,” said Elliott, the defending Cup Series Champion. “I just had to stop really to try to make the corner. At that point we were side-by-side trying to stay off the curb. We both know that the curb, you don’t want to hit any more of it than you have to. Yeah, I hate it. I certainly don’t want to wreck him out of anybody. And more than anything, hate neither one of us won. Hate to hand it to somebody else like that.”
Wednesday at Daytona the Cup Series will have an afternoon practice session followed by Daytona 500 qualifying under the lights at 7:30 p.m.
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.