Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, KS — July 27, 2020
NASCAR’s Kansas weekend ran a bit outside of the normal schedule. The Cup Series event was held on Thursday night with the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series and Xfinity Series races being held over the weekend. Still, there was no shortage of news from the track.
Thursday’s Cup Race
The Super Start Batteries 400 went to Denny Hamlin as he outruns Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Erik Jones.
Kyle Busch won his first Stage of the year in the opening segment. Not what the defending Cup Champion expected out of his 2020 campaign.
A huge mistake by his pit crew sends early leader Joey Logano to the rear of the field. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s car catches fire under the dash ending his day. Two big wrecks mangle the field and the playoff standings.
Jimmie Johson dropped off the bubble after wrecking and finishing 32nd. William Byron’s 10th place run moved him into the top 16, onto the bubble. The battle for the 16th spot, the final playoff position, is hot. Tyler Reddick is only 10 points out, Erik Jones is 12 back, and Jimmie Johnson is 18 points behind.
|7||Martin Truex Jr.||602||1||In-Win|
|Playoff Cut Line|
*Ford Mustang Drivers
No Qualifying for the Remainder of the 2020 Season
Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President, Competition mad the following announcement. “Following discussions with our race teams and the broader industry, NASCAR will continue to conduct its race weekends without practice and qualifying for the remainder of the 2020 season in all three national series. The current format has worked well in addressing several challenges during our return to racing. Most importantly, we have seen competitive racing week-to-week. NASCAR will adjust the starting lineup draw procedure for the Playoff races, and will announce the new process at a later date.”
The current draw process in use is as follows.
- Positions 1-12 determined by a random draw from charter teams in those positions in team owner points
- Positions 13-24: Random draw among charter teams in those positions in owner points
- Positions 25-36: Random draw among charter teams in those positions in owner points
- Positions 37-40: will be filled out by open, non-chartered teams in order of owner points
Maurice Petty Passes Away
Richard Petty’s younger brother, Maurice passed away. A statement from the family noted: “The Petty family announces with great sadness the loss of Maurice Petty, who died peacefully on Saturday, July 25, 2020. Maurice, a stock-car racing pioneer whose career supplied the horsepower that propelled Petty Enterprises to victories, passed away surrounded by family earlier this morning. He was 81 years old.”
Two-years younger than his brother Richard, Maurice was the first engine-builder inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, joining Richard Petty, Father Lee Petty, and cousin Dale Inman in 2014. His 212 NASCAR Cup Series wins included 198 for brother Richard Petty and 14 wins among 5 other drivers, father Lee Petty, Buddy Baker, Pete Hamilton, and Jim Paschal.
In addition, Maurice was Pete Hamilton’s crew chief when he won the 1970 Daytona 500 and at Talladega Superspeedway later in the same year.
NASCAR’s Silly Season
Yes, it’s begun already. That time of year in NASCAR called the “Silly Season” when contract negotiations start rumors about who will end up where for the 2021 Season. Of course, much of what actually happens hinges on who will occupy the #48 seat when Jimmie Johnson officially retires at the end of this year. Once that domino falls, look for the flood gates to open.
Here are our three top candidates to slip behind the wheel of the Ally Car.
Brad Keselowski – While it would take a load of cash to pry the 2012 Cup Champion away from Team Penske, Rick Hendrick is not short on mountains of the green stuff. The veteran driver, with 32 Cup wins, would make a smart addition to the team of Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Alex Bowan. For an organization that craves success, Keselowski would add his resume to the talent of young guns and bring a stable influence to the shop and garage.
Erik Jones – Any Cup team would jump at the opportunity to sign this 24-year old future superstar, who has won at every level including 2 Cup wins, to their roster. The problem at Joe Gibbs Racing seems to be, too much talent. You have to show young talent a path to the Cup Series and with Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Martin Truex Jr. all in the prime of their career, there might not be a spot for Jones.
If Rick Hendrick wants him, he is ripe for the pickings. Bringing a complete youth movement to Team Hendrick. If Jones makes the playoffs and can make a run past the first round, his stock is going to rise.
Tyler Reddick – While Reddick seems content at Richard Childress Racing and he’s thankful for the opportunity, he understands the Dillon boys are family. The grandsons of the team owner are always going to leave Reddick as the 3rd man on the roster. Reddick would jump at the chance to join a top-ranked team. Leading NASCAR’s Rookie of the Year standings is more on talent than his car’s capability. Look what Cole Custer accomplished in his rookie year with Stewart-Haas Racing.
Cup Seris racing returns next Sunday from New Hampshire Motor Speedway with the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301.
Results of the Super Start Batteries 400 from Texas Motor Speedway
|3||19||Martin Truex Jr.||267||0.756|
|19||38||John Hunter Nemechek||266||1 Lap|
|20||12||Ryan Blaney||266||1 Lap|
|21||32||Corey LaJoie||266||1 Lap|
|22||27||J.J. Yeley||265||2 Laps|
|23||95||Christopher Bell||264||3 Laps|
|24||0||Quin Houff||260||7 Laps|
|25||53||Josh Bilicki||260||7 Laps|
|26||77||Garrett Smithley||260||7 Laps|
|27||3||Austin Dillon||251||16 Laps|
|28||6||Ryan Newman||251||16 Laps|
|29||51||Joey Gase||251||16 Laps|
|30||15||Brennan Poole||219||48 Laps|
|31||7||Reed Sorenson||216||51 Laps|
|32||48||Jimmie Johnson||200||67 Laps|
|33||17||Chris Buescher||182||85 Laps|
|34||37||Ryan Preece||181||86 Laps|
|35||22||Joey Logano||176||91 Laps|
|36||21||Matt DiBenedetto||175||92 Laps|
|37||43||Bubba Wallace||170||97 Laps|
|38||66||Timmy Hill||116||151 Laps|
|39||78||B.J. McLeod||66||201 Laps|
|40||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||58||209 Laps|