Final Laps: Bashas' Supermarkets 200
Brad Keselowski fails to catch up to Elliott Sadler as he cruises to his first victory in the Nationwide Series since 1998.
Post-Race Reactions: Bashas' Supermarkets 200
Edwards, Harvick, Newman, Sorenson and Danica Patrick comment on their finishes in Phoenix.
Humpe back on track at Richmond
Defending NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series champion Kenny Humpe ( The TEAM ) found the winner's circle for the first time in 2016, taking the checkered flag at Richmond International Raceway after leading a race-high 88 of 200 laps. Humpe comfortably held-off Allen Boes ( Deadzone ) by 2.8 seconds, while Boes narrowly beat Ray Alfalla ( Slip Angle Motorsports ) for second. Corey Vincent followed the pair in fourth, 4.4 seconds behind the winner, with Matt Bussa rounding-out the top five. Humpe started from the outside of the front row and took the lead from pole sitter Nick Ottinger on Lap 26, shortly after the second caution flag of the race. He continued to lead until Lap 83 when the field headed to pit road for service under caution. Alfalla and Cody Byus had better pit stops than Humpe, relegating him to third on the restart. After the race went back to green Humpe struggled to close on Alfalla and Byus and, instead, settled into third spot. However, as the run wore on Humpe began gaining on Byus and finally passed him on Lap 138. Alfalla had begun to slow by this point and Humpe made his move for the lead on Lap 145 and nearly had a race-ending moment. As the two raced side-by-side through Turn Three, Humpe suddenly decided to pit for tires but overshot pit entry and narrowly avoided the safety barrels protecting the end of pit wall. Although the mistake cost him time, Humpe kept his car in one piece and safely made it to pit road next time around while Alfalla waited another lap before making his final stop. That extra lap proved costly to Alfalla, as he re-entered the track behind Humpe in spite of the defending champion's botched pit entry a couple laps prior. Although Bussa and Boes were ahead of Humpe and Alfalla, Humpe had no trouble dispatching them. The pass on Bussa only put Humpe in eighth, but the seven cars in front of him had yet to make their final stops and were no match for Humpe on fresh tires. He took the lead for the final time on Lap 168 and never looked back. Unsurprisingly, track position was of the highest importance at Richmond as none of the top five finishers started lower than twelfth and none of the top ten worse than fifteenth. Several sim racers in the running for the championship encountered trouble at Richmond, including both of the Stergios siblings. Jake Stergios ( ineX Racing ) was caught up in a crash and finished thirty-eighth while brother PJ sustained damage of his own but was able to continue and salvage a fourteenth place result. Chris Overland also went laps down early but took wave-arounds to get back into contention, finishing a respectable tenth. PJ Stergios' issues enabled Alfalla to leave Richmond with a nine-point cushion at the top of the standings with Boes an additional ten points back. Jake Stergios slipped to fourth, 54 points back after his troubles. Humpe's victory vaulted him to fifth in a dead heat with Overland but, trailing Alfalla by 62 points, he will need more runs like his Richmond win to get himself back into contention. Week Seven takes the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series to Las Vegas Motor Speedway , the first of four consecutive 1.5 mile tracks on the sim racing schedule. Vegas should play-out similarly to the Week Five race at Texas, so look for the Stergios brothers and Alfalla to be at the front. Can Humpe go back-to-back or will Slip Angle and ineX continue their dominance at the downforce tracks? Find out in two weeks on iRacingLive .
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Owner Standings
After Race 9 of the 2016 season at Richmond International Raceway Pos Owner Car # Points Ldr Nxt PPos G/L Attempts 1 Joe Gibbs Racing 19 331 0 -- 2 1 9 2 Stewart-Haas Racing 4 324 -7 -7 1 -1 9 3 Hendrick Motorsports 48 310 -21 -14 3 0 9 4 Joe Gibbs Racing 18 302 -29 -8 5 1 9 5 Team Penske 22 299 -32 -3 4 -1 9 6 Stewart-Haas Racing 41 279 -52 -20 7 1 9 7 Hendrick Motorsports 88 278 -53 -1 6 -1 9 8 Joe Gibbs Racing 11 258 -73 -20 9 1 9 9 Team Penske 2 255 -76 -3 8 -1 9 10 Furniture Row Racing 78 246 -85 -9 10 0 9 11 Hendrick Motorsports 24 234 -97 -12 12 1 9 12 Richard Childress Racing 3 234 -97 0 11 -1 9 13 Chip Ganassi Racing 1 224 -107 -10 13 0 9 14 Hendrick Motorsports 5 222 -109 -2 15 1 9 15 Joe Gibbs Racing 20 212 -119 -10 18 3 9 16 Richard Childress Racing 31 205 -126 -7 16 0 9 17 JTG Daugherty Racing 47 204 -127 -1 14 -3 9 18 Roush Fenway Racing 6 196 -135 -8 20 2 9 19 Roush Fenway Racing 17 193 -138 -3 17 -2 9 20 Wood Brothers Racing 21 187 -144 -6 19 -1 9 21 Richard Childress Racing 27 186 -145 -1 21 0 9 22 Chip Ganassi Racing 42 184 -147 -2 22 0 9 23 Stewart-Haas Racing 14 174 -157 -10 23 0 9 24 Roush Fenway Racing 16 167 -164 -7 25 1 9 25 Richard Petty Motorsports 43 165 -166 -2 24 -1 9 26 Stewart-Haas Racing 10 148 -183 -17 26 0 9 27 Germain Racing 13 141 -190 -7 27 0 9 28 Front Row Motorsports 38 140 -191 -1 28 0 9 29 BK Racing 83 134 -197 -6 30 1 9 30 Richard Petty Motorsports 44 131 - 200 -3 29 -1 9 31 HScott Motorsports 15 126 -205 -5 31 0 9 32 Tommy Baldwin Racing 7 118 -213 -8 32 0 9 33 BK Racing 23 116 -215 -2 34 1 9 34 Circle Sport-Leavine Family 95 111 -220 -5 33 -1 9 35 Front Row Motorsports 34 97 -234 -14 35 0 9 36 HScott Motorsports 46 87 -244 -10 36 0 9 37 Premium Motorsports 98 62 -269 -25 37 0 9 38 GO FAS Racing 32 61 -270 -1 38 0 9 39 The Motorsports Group 30 34 -297 -27 39 0 9 40 Circle Sport - Leavine Family 59 26 -305 -8 40 0 1 41 Premium Motorsports 55 11 -320 -15 41 0 4 42 BK Racing 93 5 -326 -6 43 1 2 43 BK Racing 26 3 -328 -2 42 -1 1 44 Front Row Motorsports 35 0 -331 -3 44 0 1 45 Hillman Racing 40 0 -331 0 45 0 1
This is Talladega: A history unlike any other
Talladega Superspeedway was the creation of Bill France Sr., but even he couldn't have imagined how the 2.66-mile track would impact NASCAR. It is a place where anyone can win and anything can happen.
Dash 4 Cash returns for second week at Richmond
RELATED: Heat races lineup " Full schedule RICHMOND, Va. -- The first brush with qualifying heats and a feature in a revamped Dash 4 Cash race format brought a new wrinkle to the NASCAR XFINITY Series last weekend. With the newfangled system ready for Round 2, many in the garage are bracing for the encore. Dual heats make their return in Saturday's ToyotaCare 250 (12:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the second of four races this season for the Dash 4 Cash incentive program. One of four eligible drivers -- determined through the two heats -- will make their bid for a $100,000 bonus at Richmond International Raceway . Last weekend's Dash 4 Cash opener at Bristol Motor Speedway was marked by a pair of wire-to-wire winners in the heats, but some frantic lead-swapping in the shorter 200 -lap main. This weekend, the total distance of the feature event (106.6 miles at Bristol vs. a scheduled 105 at Richmond) is comparable, but the difference in lap count (Bristol's 200 vs. Richmond's 140) is far wider. "That's a pretty narrow window to make yourself better if you're not where you want to be," said Erik Jones , last week's winner of both the Bristol race and the Dash 4 Cash prize. "I think it's cool. I think it's a neat thing to do. I think the shorter races is something we as drivers enjoy. I think fans enjoy it as well. And just that dash to the finish running as hard as you can is pretty neat. "Bristol was a part of that -- tire wear at Bristol isn't that great so you can run pretty hard for the majority of the race and not have to worry about fall-off and really dash like that for the whole race. But, I think you'll see a lot of the same here at Richmond with an only 140-lap main as well." Roush Fenway Racing 's Ryan Reed said Friday that the shorter format placed a premium on executing a mistake-free race, for both driver and crew. But the 22-year-old also said that the sanctioning body could discover enhancements as the Dash 4 Cash system continues to evolve. "With 140 laps at Richmond, you're going to have no time to mess around," Reed said. "I think it's good. Everyone's talked about shortening races up, and I think this is a great way to do it without taking away from total laps. You're still running the same amount of miles in the weekend, but you're breaking it up. I'm a pretty big fan of it. I think that they'll continue to improve on it and learn from this year and then be able to apply more things to it." Last weekend's event at Bristol helped fuel discussion about potentially reducing the number of scheduled laps in the hopes of creating more intense racing -- not just on the XFINITY circuit but in all three NASCAR national series. JR Motorsports' Justin Allgaier , who was one of four eligible Dash 4 Cash drivers last weekend, said he saw some validity to that theory, but that he expected more to be learned as the four-race series unfolds. "Obviously as racers, we're competitive, we want to win races and we'll run as many laps as the sanctioning body or the fans will allow us to run. If you told us it was 1,000 laps, we'd go run it. But at the same time to keep our fans engaged and to keep us moving forward as a sport, is this the right philosophy? Did we do a good job? I think that as we get through these four races, we're going to see a lot clearer picture of it. But I definitely give kudos to NASCAR, to Comcast XFINITY , everybody here. There was a lot of give and take to make sure these came off well, and I think so far we've done a good job of that."
Petty family prepares for Ride Across America
LEVEL CROSS, N.C. (April 21, 2016) -- For the first time in its history, Kyle Petty will be joined by his three sisters and legendary father during the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America, one of the most successful and popular charity rides in the country, for its 22nd annual motorcycle trek. Petty will ride alongside his sisters, Sharon, Lisa, Rebecca and father, "The King" Richard during the ride presented by Manheim. The ride engages celebrities, motorcycle enthusiasts, fans, and local communities to raise funds and awareness for Victory Junction, a camp for kids with serious health care needs. Petty will lead his wife, father, sisters and his extended "charity ride family" of approximately 200 riders on a route starting in Palm Springs, California on April 30 and ending in Biloxi, Mississippi on May 6. "We've been doing this for over 20 years and I've never had all my sisters and father with me on the ride," said Petty. "So, that makes this ride even more special for our family. We've all been busy doing different things, but this year we were all able to get this on everyone's calendar. Family, friends, having a good time together and making memories is what this ride is all about and having all my sisters and father with us will make the experience that much better. I'm really looking forward to it." The ride will be supported through social media channels by Richard Petty Motorsports , Richard Petty Museum, Petty Family Foundation and Petty's Garage. Fans can visit these respective Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sites for photos of the ride along its route. Twenty two years ago, Petty combined his passion for helping others with his love of motorcycles to create the Ride. Since 1995, more than 7,750 riders have logged 11.4 million cumulative motorcycle miles and raised $16.5 million for Victory Junction and other children's charities. "The Ride continues to be an overwhelming success thanks to the passion and commitment of our riders and sponsors, a majority of which join in the Ride and support the cause year over year," said Petty. "Thanks to their continued support, the Ride has been able to send more than 7,880 children to Victory Junction at no cost their families." Since its inception by Petty and his family in 2004, in honor of his son Adam Petty, Victory Junction has served as the Ride's primary beneficiary. Located on 84 acres in Randleman, North Carolina, Victory Junction exists to enrich the lives of children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses by creating camping experiences that are memorable, fun, empowering, physically safe and medically sound. Fans and spectators along the Ride's route may contribute to the "Small Change. Big Impact." program, which accepts donations at local stops. To keep up with Petty and the riders live, follow the Ride and Petty on social media: Facebook: www.facebook.com/kpcharityride and www.facebook.com/kylepetty45 Instagram: www.instagram.com/kpcharityride and www.instagram.com/kylepetty Twitter: www.twitter.com/kpcharityride and www.twitter.com/kylepetty For more information about the 22nd Anniversary Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America or to make a contribution, please visit www.kylepettycharityride.com .
The Rundown: Bristol driver grades
RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings " Chase Grid MORE: Peyton's day at the track " Before and after of damaged cars Breaking down the full field for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway : 1. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Edwards was the class of the field Sunday at Bristol and the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver not to have an issue. Starting from the pole Edwards dominated the race and made it pay off, earning his first victory of the season and all but punching his ticket to the Chase. Grade: A+ 2. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Earnhardt's day got off to a terrible start when his car did not have power at the drop of the green flag and he fell two laps down just as the race got under way. Never giving up, he got his lap back by taking the wave around on the third caution of the day and fought hard to climb his way to the front. On the final restart of the day he powered to second and held off Kurt Busch and teammate Chase Elliott . Grade: A+ 3. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . The Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet came to life late in the race and took the lead for the first time with 145 laps to go. Despite a left rear tire rub in the closing stages Busch fought hard and ended the day inside the top five. Grade: A 4. Chase Elliott , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Running inside the top 10 on Lap 179, the rookie contender had to hit pit road with a loose wheel and fell back. With less than 100 laps to go he was inside the top five and charging forward. With 32 laps to go Elliott got a huge restart and jumped to second and put pressure on Carl Edwards for the lead. He slipped to fourth in the end, but recorded the best finish of his young career. Grade: A 5. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Could Roush Fenway Racing be on the upswing? Bayne started 10th and had another strong run until he had a pit road commitment line violation on the fourth caution of the day. He rallied back, beat and banged his way to the front and finished fifth. Grade: A 6. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . DiBenedetto had a solid, quiet day going at Bristol, racing his way into the top 10 with less than 20 laps to go. The BK Racing driver was far from content, though. He knocked on the door of the top five in the closing laps and earned a career-best finish. It was the feel good story of the weekend for sure. Grade: A+ 7. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . As the race approached the halfway mark, Harvick's car came to life and charged to the front of the field. Harvick hit the wall with 16 laps to go while chasing Chase Elliott for second, but the contact caused little damage to the No. 4 Chevy. He kept restarting on the bottom lane and was unable to challenge for the win. Grade : A 8. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Off to one of the worst starts of his career, Bowyer and the HScott Motorsports team came to life Sunday at Bristol. Starting 36th, Bowyer stayed out of trouble and gained 28 spots to earn his first top 10 of the season. Grade: A+ 9. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Crew chief Luke Lambert called for two tires on the first stop of the day, putting the No. 31 into the top 10. A pit road speeding penalty under the eighth caution sent Newman to the rear of the field with less than 165 laps to go. Newman fought hard after the setback and climbed back to ninth when the checkered flag flew. Grade: B+ 10. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . One of the fastest cars early in the race, Logano had to pit with a vibration under green and was then hit with a tire violation. The No. 22 fell two laps down, but fought back. With 32 laps to go Logano was fifth, but lost power and dropped like a rock on the late-race restart. Grade: B 11. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing . The rookie contender worked his way into the top five throughout Sunday's race, but the No. 21 Ford slipped just outside the top 10 at the end of the day. Grade: B 12. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Biffle was penalized for speeding on pit road under the sixth caution of the day and sent to the rear of the longest line for the restart. Despite the setback, Biffle quietly worked his way back to the top 10. When the checkered flag flew, Biffle had dropped to 12th. Grade: B 13. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. McMurray started 13th and finished 13th. He avoided trouble and tied his season-best finish. Grade: B 14. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Toyota, Furniture Row Racing . The No. 78 was fast once again, but issues on pit road continued to slow the team throughout the day. Running second with roughly 75 laps to go Truex reported a loose wheel and was forced to pit road under green. The team just could not find a rhythm. Grade: C 15. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard took two tires on the third caution of the day and restarted second. The No. 27 fell back when the green flag flew, but the move looked to pay off in the long run. Later in the going he had to pit a second time to check for loose lug nuts, suffered damage on the car, but climbed back to 15th at the end of the day. Grade: B- 16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse got loose in the corner and spun off Turn 2 to bring out the second caution of the day. The RFR driver fought his way into the top 10 with 25 laps to go, but fell just outside the top 15 in the closing laps. Grade: B 17. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . The driver of the No. 5 raced his way into the top five with 150 laps to go and shows signs of strength. Unable to maintain that spot, he dropped to 17th when the checkered flag flew. Grade: B- 18. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . Keselowski worked his way into the top five after 55 laps, but was hit with a pit road speeding penalty under the first caution. Racing his way through the field took its toll on the No. 2, which was beaten up all around. Running fourth with 115 laps to go Keselowski broke a valve stem after contact and had to pit under green. He could only climb his way back to 18th. Grade: B 19. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Allmendinger had another great run going, as he started in the top 10 and was racing at the front of the field in the opening stages of the day. However, just before the halfway mark Allmendinger hit pit road with a loose wheel under green. While he got his lap back, he was never able to rally back. Grade: B- 20. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . After getting into Danica Patrick in practice, Hamlin got into Brian Scott on pit road during the fifth caution of the day. The contact caused significant damage to to the right front of the No. 11 Toyota. Hamlin then hit the wall while running 15th with 92 laps to go to bring out the 11th caution of the day. Grade: C- 21. Chris Buescher , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . The rookie contender started 21st, sent Kyle Busch spinning on Lap 115 when the field stacked up, finished 21st and earned his best finish of the 2016 season. Grade: C 22. Landon Cassill , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . After running mid-pack for much of the day, Cassill stayed out on the seventh caution of the day to take the lead. Cassill held onto the lead for 20 laps and was able to stay in the top five when the eighth caution of the day flew. Cassill was forced to pit road with 38 laps to go after contact with Ty Dillon late in the race. Grade: A- 23. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . A pit road speeding penalty under the first caution of the day sent Johnson to the rear of the field, but by the 200 -lap mark Johnson was inside the top five. Johnson was forced to pit with a vibration while running third at the 300-lap mark, falling back to 31st, two laps down. The former champ fought back to 23rd, but was the first car one lap down. Grade: C 24. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . The No. 13 Chevy was hit by AJ Allmendinger on a restart with less than 165 laps to go and Mears made a great save avoiding any damage to the car. While he broke into the top 15 just past the halfway mark, he fell through the field in the closing part of the race. Grade: C 25. Ty Dillon , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . After having issues in qualifying, the younger Dillon brother used strategy to make his way to the front of the field and was able to maintain a solid top-10 position. Earnhardt Jr. used up the No. 14 with less than 50 laps to go, causing a significant left rear tire rub. The problems weren’t over, as Landon Cassill did the same thing just a handful of laps later. Grade: C+ 26. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon used up the right side of the No. 3 Chevrolet after getting into the wall multiple times. He was also hit with a pit road speeding penalty under the sixth caution of the day. The older Dillon brother definitely had a rough outing at the Last Great Colosseum. Grade: C- 27. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Running mid-pack, Patrick stayed out on the seventh caution of the day and jumped into the top five. Once the race went back to green, the No. 10 Chevy faded and Patrick slipped back in the pack. The team was hit with two separate pit road penalties with less than 90 laps to go. Grade: C- 28. Cole Whitt , No. 98 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Whitt had a quiet run at the half-mile short track, but gained 11 spots on the day. Grade: C+ 29. Michael McDowell , No. 95 Chevrolet, Circle Sport- Leavine Family Racing . McDowell raced his way as high as 17th just past the halfway mark, but dropped to 29th at the end of the day. After starting 31st, it was still a gain. Grade: C 30. Brian Scott , No. 44 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Scott made contact with Denny Hamlin on pit road, causing damage to both cars. He was running the top 30 when he got loose in the corner and spun to bring out the 10th caution of the day. Grade: C- 31. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Starting last, Annett spent much of the day racing around 35th, but he was sent spinning late in the race after contact with front-runner Kevin Harvick . Grade: C 32. Jeffrey Earnhardt , No. 32 Ford, Go Fas Racing . The fourth-generation driver started 37th, stayed out of trouble and finished the day 32nd. Not too bad for his first Bristol start. Grade: C 33. Josh Wise , No. 30 Chevrolet, The Motorsports Group . Wise's No. 30 Chevrolet had a tire issue and hit the outside wall to bring out the eighth caution of the day. Grade: C- 34. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Stuck behind Dale Jr. to start the day, Almirola suffered damage to the nose of the car just as the green flag flew. He was running 19th when he was hit by Martin Truex Jr . and sent spinning into the outside wall, causing significant damage to the No. 43 Ford. He didn’t want to get out of the car, but NASCAR said he had to and a post-race meeting in the hauler was the end result. Grade: C- 35. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. After giving a win away on Saturday in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Larson charged from his 25th starting spot and was in the top 10 before the 90-lap mark. Running third, a trackbar issue forced Larson and team to take the car behind the wall. Grade: D 36. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Dominating the race in the early stages, Kenseth blew a right front tire and hit the wall to bring out the fifth caution of the day while leading on Lap 186. After racing back in the top 10, Kenseth had another tire issue late in the race and was forced to pit road. With no caution thrown, the No. 20 team’s chances at victory were gone and the car went behind the wall. Grade: D 37. Regan Smith , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Smith was a non-factor throughout the day until he was hit by Danica Patrick and made hard contact with the wall with just nine laps to go. Grade: D 38. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Running third on Lap 52, Busch lost a right front tire and hit the outside wall to bring out the first caution of the day. Busch made his way into the top 20, but was spun on Lap 115 after contact with Chris Buescher . After working into the top five, he was hit with a speeding penalty on the fifth caution of the day. While racing back to the front again, Busch made heavy contact with the wall on Lap 258 and took the car behind the wall. Grade: D 39. David Ragan , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Ragan was stuck behind Dale Jr. when he had his issue on the initial start of the day, and things did not get much better. With smoke billowing out of the exhaust, Ragan took the car behind the wall with an engine issue on Lap 217. Grade: F 40. Reed Sorenson , No. 55 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Sorenson started 38th, but pulled the car behind the wall after completing just 169 of the 500 laps. Grade: F
Kenseth sent into wall, Bristol repeat bid derailed
Defending race-winner Matt Kenseth didn't repeat after going behind the wall to fix damage incurred on Lap 327 of Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway . The Joe Gibbs Racing driver had rebounded from an early race brush with the wall after a right front tire went down to get back into the top three, but a similar issue cropped up with a little less than 200 laps to go to send the No. 20 car hard into the outside wall, where it sustained significant damage. "We just keep blowing right front tires, I don't know why," Kenseth told FOX after the second incident. "The first one was a little confusing, I knew I blew a right front, but I thought they were telling me it wasn't flat so I was a little confused. This one just blew a lot earlier and the angle was a lot worse hitting the wall. We really weren't very tight, our Dollar General Camry was pretty fast today. I was encouraged again today even though we don't have the result." Goodyear will be taking the tires that had issues from the JGR teams of Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin for further analysis. All three drivers had tires go down on them during the race. Despite his teammates' struggles, Carl Edwards led 276 laps and won the race at Bristol. Kenseth returned to the track at Lap 363. He was scored in 35th position and was 36 laps down at time, despite having led 142 laps on the day. The 2003 champion finished in 36th place.
Bruce: JGR on top now, but advantages can disappear
RELATED: See all the 2016 winners BRISTOL, Tenn. -- The reign of Kyle Busch may have momentarily subsided now that the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion went 0-for-2 this past weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway , but Joe Gibbs Racing teams still wound up in Victory Lane twice. Carl Edwards , Busch's Sprint Cup teammate, scored the win for JGR in Sunday's Food City 500 . Erik Jones earned the victory a day earlier for the organization, capturing the XFINITY Series race. So JGR teams haven't been beaten in a few weeks now, mid-March actually. And the organization doesn't appear to be headed for any sort of letdown. All four Sprint Cup teams ran well at Bristol -- with drivers Busch and teammate Matt Kenseth rallying on separate occasions after tire issues occured. Denny Hamlin ran in the top five, or nearly so, for the first 200 laps before a similar incident struck the No. 11 team. But Bristol, about as unique of a track as one will find on the NASCAR schedule, won't come around again for another four months. The "in-between" is littered with Dover and Charlotte, Pocono and Indy, Daytona and Loudon and many more ... as well as this weekend's stop at Richmond International Raceway . RELATED: Recap all of Busch's Cup wins " See all of Edwards' Cup wins It's a track where all four JGR drivers have excelled. Busch is a four-time winner on the .75-mile layout and Kenseth beat 'em all the last time the series visited RIR last fall. But advantages come and go quickly in NASCAR, and nowhere do they disappear as quickly as at the Sprint Cup level. Before Busch went on his mini-tear, folks were talking about Jimmie Johnson and how the six-time series champion already had two wins this season and boy it sure looked like this new lower downforce package played right into his hands. Things change. Advantages come and go. Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski don't drive for JGR and yet they’ve managed to win this season. And chances are they'll win again. No one will be caught off guard if Joey Logano , Kurt Busch or Martin Truex winds up in the winners' circle. It would be more surprising, in fact, if that doesn't happen. RELATED: See the Chase Grid picture The bigger question isn't can anyone beat Joe Gibbs Racing today. Instead, it's how much does having a win change what a team does between victory and the start of the Chase? For some, it probably does change things somewhat. That win-and-you're-in mentality gives crew chiefs and engineers and even drivers the freedom to make changes and take chances without the concern of how it could affect them in the points standings. It does not mean that after a win, teams will virtually disappear until the Chase. But it opens up the playbook considerably. The need to win might not be as urgent, but the desire to doesn't change.