March 21, 2018

NASCAR playoffs: Standings, bubble drivers entering final regular-season race

04 September 2017, 01:51 | Kristopher Drake

Denny Hamlin’s No.11 machine going through the turns on Sunday night at Darlington

Denny Hamlin’s No.11 machine going through the turns on Sunday night at Darlington

Truex Jr. will line up his No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats 40 Anniversary Toyota on the outside of Row 1 after a pole-round lap of 27.771 seconds at 177.077 miles per hour on the 1.333-mile egg-shaped oval.

Truex grazed the wall on Lap 365, then cut a tire and bounced off the wall again as Hamlin rushed past.

A belated congratulations to Jeremy Clements, who won last weekend's XFINITY Series race at Road America.

Hamlin beat JGR teammate Kyle Busch to the finish line by 2.599 seconds as Truex faded to eighth after clinching the regular-season championship by winning the first two stages of the race.

Kurt Busch finished third, Austin Dillon was fourth, and Erik Jones rounded out the top five.

With about 50 laps to go in Sunday's Bojangles Southern 500, Denny Hamlin screwed up. He managed to work his way back into the race, ultimately overtaking Martin Truex Jr.

Truex’s car steaming after the conclusion of Sunday night’s race
Truex’s car steaming after the conclusion of Sunday night’s race

Truex said the double-file restarts make racing different at every track, not just Darlington. "Tonight wasn't our night".

Darlington Raceway is something everyone should at least try to experience it one time, Sprenger added. In the last seven runnings of the event, Hamlin has finished in the top six on six occasions.

Bowyer saw his slim chances of racing in on points alone go up in smoke Sunday after blowing an engine under caution early in the race. With a myriad of additional playoff points up for grabs before the postseason starts September 17 at Chicagoland Speedway, Saturday's race should provide fans with an incredible spectacle.

INDYCAR: Pole-sitter Alexander Rossi won the Grand Prix at the Glen, holding off Scott Dixon over the closing laps at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) worldwide. Martin won 40 Cup races but never won the title. And today, that gives him the lead pit area that he hopes will keep him out front in tight situations. Both stayed out and became the only two cars on the lead lap. He leaves the 1.366-mile track with a 107-point cushion, an insurmountable advantage with one race remaining before the 16-driver playoff field is set. "You can have a pretty hefty swing". "But catching somebody and passing him is a whole different deal here, and I was really holding my own pretty well if I could get some clean air, and every time I'd catch a lap auto they'd just drive off in the corner, slide up in front of me and then I was just so loose on those old tires around other cars that there wasn't much I could do to keep my pace, my momentum". Noah Gragson was second, and Grala recovered to finish third.

I have yet to meet a fan who says no to that, no matter how much they may despise the current state of NASCAR. "You have to win to make a playoff position". The mistake cost him about eight seconds, sending him back from the lead to 14th place. Jones has a streak of ten races where he has finished in the top ten.

"I knew there was a lot of work that had gone into everything with the switchover", Harvick said. I mean, as far as I'm concerned, this is a throwback to my history - this is for Ray Hendrick, Bugs Hairfield, Wayne Patterson, Eddie Johnson, the short track guys that I grew up watching. We've still got a good race track coming up for us.

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