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By David Morgan, Associate Editor 26 races down. 10 to go. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend to kick off the 2019 edition of the Playoffs. 16 drivers enter this final stretch of the season, but only one will emerge as champion. Every race from here on out is crucial on the path toward the title, even Sunday’s South Point 400. A misstep here could put the championship contenders in an early hole or if they find success, propel them on aRead More
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service SPEEDWAY, Ind. – From the start of Sunday’s Big Machine Vodka 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Ryan Newman’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff chances were in jeopardy. He entered the final Monster Energy Series regular-season race tied with Daniel Suarez for the final berth in the postseason, and qualifying didn’t go as well as Newman had hoped. He was 22nd fastest in time trials, giving up two spots to Suarez at the outset. But with astute pit calls by crew chief Scott GravesRead More
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service SPEEDWAY, Ind. – It was a dominating victory for Kevin Harvick and a statement of superiority for his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford team as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads toward its 10-race Playoff. It was an ignominious end to Jimmie Johnson’s unique and unprecedented streak of qualifying for every Cup Series postseason. And it was heartbreak for Daniel Suarez, as he chased Ryan Newman over the final nine laps of the Big Machine Vodka 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with theRead More
By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent Moments after the black and red flags waved to signal the end of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series final practice, Denny Hamlin had a tremendous accident in turn four. A flat right front tire sent the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry straight into the outside wall in turn four at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Joe Gibbs Racing machine burst into flames and it continued unabated down the frontstretch. Hamlin’s car slowed to a stop at the entrance of pit road. Fellow Cup Series drivers BradRead More
By David Morgan, Associate Editor The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season comes down to this. One final race to set the field for the Playoffs. By the end of Sunday’s Big Machine Vodka 400 at The Brickyard, the 16 drivers competing for the championship will be locked in and ready to battle it out over the final 10 weeks of the season. First joining the circuit in 1994, Indianapolis Motor Speedway has provided some classic moments and some that the powers that be would rather forget. The track’sRead More
By David Morgan, Associate Editor After a weekend off to recharge the batteries before making the final 12 race push to finish off the season, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to one of the crown jewels on the circuit, Darlington Raceway, for this weekend’s running of the Bojangles’ Southern 500. Darlington Raceway has been a staple of the Cup Series since opening in 1950 for its annual Labor Day weekend event with the Southern 500 being held on that date until a controversial decision was made to moveRead More
By David Morgan, Associate Editor BRISTOL, Tenn. – Matt DiBenedetto was 12 laps away from a lifelong dream being realized as he held the lead in Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Unfortunately for the driver of the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Toyota, that dream would not come true as Denny Hamlin passed him on lap 489, leaving DiBenedetto to watch Hamlin’s car pull away through his windshield en route to the victory. A dejected DiBenedetto fought back tears on pit road afterRead More
By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent BRISTOL, Tenn. – The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway changed the landscape of the playoff bubble. Continued woes for both Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson saw the duo slip further down the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings with just two races remaining in the regular season. Meanwhile Ryan Newman and Daniel Suarez capitalized on the misfortunes of their competitors. Johnson’s troubles started 80 laps into the 500-lap race. A cut tire for Austin Dillon left the No. 48Read More
By David Morgan, Associate Editor BRISTOL, Tenn. – Under bright blue skies in East Tennessee, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series got its first look at Bristol Motor Speedway ahead of Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. After what was a mostly one groove race in Thursday night’s Truck Series race at the track, it was much of the same in first practice on Friday. Erik Jones, who led both Xfinity Series practices on Thursday, was once again at the top of the board in the first ofRead More
By Luis Torres, Staff Writer Two drivers misfortunes became one man’s tremendous gain. That man was Daniel Suarez, who finished fifth in Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. After facing near disaster during Saturday’s final practice when a tire went down, Suarez’s quiet race day led to his third top-five this season and the first since the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ last visit at Michigan in June, where he scored a fourth. More importantly, Suarez cut down his deficit from 23 down to six markers with just threeRead More