NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying & Xfinity Racing from Bristol

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Bristol, TN, Friday, August 17, 2018 

Live coverage by The Lasco Press continues today with Cup practice and qualifying at Bristol. The NASCAR Xfinity cars take to the track to qualify for the Food City 300, set to run this evening. Most importantly, with the possibility of rain tomorrow, NASCAR has moved the entire schedule up 1 hour.

The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race will now start Saturday night at 6:30 pm instead of 7:30.

In the Media Center

Several drivers visited Bristol’s Media Center to speak with the press. Including Kasey Kahne, talking about his retirement from NASCAR. Citing the same refrain we have heard from other retiring drivers. Kasey wants to spend more time with his family.

The “Big Three” made appearances, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr. All three confirmed they have no plans to join this year’s retirement party.

Kyle Busch / Lasco press Photo

 

Kevin Harvick / Lasco Press Photo
Martin Truex Jr. / Lasco Press Photo

First Cup Practice

Chase Elliott led the first practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars with a speed of 126.645 mph. Six cars exceeded the 126 mph speed, with Kyle Larson 2nd and Alex Bowman 3rd.

Lasco Press Photo

Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney, and Joey Logano also topped the 126 mph mark. Martin Truex Jr. ran the fastest consecutive 10-lap average with a speed of 122.290.

Lasco Press Photo

Final Cup Practice

The cream always rises to the top. When the final practice for the Cup cars ended, Kyle Busch sat at the top of the speed chart at 126.729 mph. Second, Martin Truex Jr. at 126.312 mph. Kevin Harvick placed 5th, with Aric Almirola and Rickey Stenhouse Jr. in 3rd and 4th.

Lasco Press Photo

Kyle Larson posted the 16th fastest lap at 124.387 mph. However, he had the best consecutive 10-lap average at 123.684.

Lasco Press Photo

NASCAR Xfinity Series Qualifying

Kyle Busch(18) is doing the double this weekend. Driving in the Xfinity Series and the Cup Night Race. His record of sweeping races at Bristol Motor Speedway is impressive. He’s off to a good start tonight. Kyle won the pole for the Food City 300 with a speed of 124.686 mph.

Lasco Press Photo

A number of Cup drivers are competing in the Xfinity Race. Kyle Larson(42) starts 3rd, Joey Logano(22) 4th, and Ty Dillon(3) 8th. Chase Elliott(23) takes the green flag from the 15th starting position. Michael Annett spun during the 2nd round of qualifying. Fortunately, he kept the car off the wall.

Lasco Press Photo

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying

Round 1 of qualifying did not hold any surprises. AJ Allmendinger just missed the top 24 and will start 25th tomorrow in the night race. Round 2 left Martin Truex Jr. sitting in 17th position. Starting in the middle of the pack, it’s easy to get caught up in someone else’s problem.

Erik Jones, who was running fast laps all day in practice, starts 14th. Just in front of Jones, Jimmie Johnson starts in 13th. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. just edged out Johnson. But, could not improve his position and starts 12th. Stenhouse Jr. needs a win to make the playoff. His team feels Bristol is just the place to capture that first victory of the season.

Lasco Press Photo

Larson Wins the Pole

Kyle Larson won the pole for The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race with a speed of 127.792. That lap was 15/1,000’s faster than runner-up Chase Elliott. Even more remarkable the difference between 2nd place Elliott, 3rd place Kyle Busch, and 4th place Paul Menard was 7/1,000’s of a second.

Lasco Press Photo

The NASCAR Xfinity Series Food City 300

Kyle Busch started from the pole and threatened to bury the rest of the field. Just 65 laps into the race Busch had lapped 30 cars. Running the high lane, he had built a 5 second lead on second place, Kyle Larson(42). Laps at Bristol take approximately 15 seconds to complete. Busch was more than dominate.

Lasco Press Photo

Then, 65 laps into the 85-lap first Stage, Busch got too high exiting Turn 4. He picked up some loose rubber on his tries and coming out of turn 2 bounced off the wall. Two laps later he was in the wall hard bringing out the caution. A broken A-Frame on the right front sent him to the garage and out of the race. Larson held on to win Stage 1

Domination from Larson in Stage 2

Larson assumed the lead and built a small buffer on 2nd place as cars behind him jockeyed for position. He slowly pulled away to take the win in Stage 2. Varying pit strategies relegated Larson to 10th place for the start of the Final Stage.

Lasco Press Photo

Working through traffic Larson returned to the lead. The only car able to run with the 42 was Christopher Bell(20). Chad Finchum’s(40) encounter with the wall on lap 258 brought out the caution. On the restart, with 34 laps to go, Larson pulled put to a comfortable lead.

The Finish

By Lap 300 Larson had stretched the lead to over 3 seconds. Then on lap 299 Daniel Hemric(21) spun on the backstretch. Larson would have to face a green-white-checkered overtime restart to seal the win.

Larson lined up next to Justin Allgier(7). Joey Logano(22) and Bell sit in the 2nd row. Allgier raced Larson hard but trailed at the white flag. He overdrove his car through turns 1-2 and got loose down the backstretch. Allowing Larson to pull away for the win. Bell passed Allgier for 2nd. Justin held on for 3rd.

Lasco Press Photo

Tomorrow the Cup cars hope to go 500 laps in America’s Night Race. Mother Nature may determine that as rain is in the forecast.

 

 

Results of the Food City 300 Xfinity Series Race at Bristol Motor Speedway

Position Car Driver Behind Laps
1 42 Kyle Larson 310
2 20 Christopher Bell 0.434 310
3 7 Justin Allgaier 0.795 310
4 0 Cole Custer 0.824 310
5 22 Joey Logano 0.929 310
6 1 Elliott Sadler 0.97 310
7 5 Michael Annett 1.287 310
8 23 Chase Elliott 1.379 310
9 9 Tyler Reddick 1.66 310
10 2 Matt Tifft 1.663 310
11 39 Ryan Sieg 1.886 310
12 4 Ross Chastain -1 309
13 51 Jeremy Clements -2 308
14 12 Austin Cindric -2 308
15 3 Ty Dillon -3 307
16 0 Garrett Smithley -5 305
17 16 Ryan Reed -6 304
18 35 Joey Gase -6 304
19 15 BJ McLeod -6 304
20 78 JA Junior Avila -6 304
21 52 David Starr -7 303
22 11 Ryan Truex -8 302
23 36 Alex Labbe -9 301
24 21 Daniel Hemric -10 300
25 76 Spencer Boyd -11 299
26 38 Jeff Green -12 298
27 55 Bayley Currey -22 288
28 90 Josh Williams -32 278
29 19 Brandon Jones -50 260
30 40 Chad Finchum -115 195
31 74 Stephen Leicht -118 192
32 1 Vinnie Miller -131 179
33 66 Carl Long -136 174
34 60 Chase Briscoe -168 142
35 45 Josh Bilicki -208 102
36 18 Kyle Busch -236 74
37 8 Ray Black II -274 36
38 13 Timmy Hill -288 22
39 89 Morgan Shepherd -298 12
40 93 JJ Yeley -301 9
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Steve Sweitzer
Steve is the Sports Editor for the Lasco Press and highlights our coverage of NASCAR and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Steve is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association and a nationally published author of automotive related articles for industry trade magazines. He is also a freelance technical writer and accomplished photographer. A 25-year resident of Southeast Michigan, Steve’s passion for reporting on our community, it’s residents, and our automotive connections allow us to use his skills to cover a number of events. Steve’s ability to seek out the unique behind the scenes accounts that tell the often-overlooked aspect of a story makes for entertaining reading. Follow Steve at thelascopress.com with weekly NASCAR updates and featured articles.