The Latest from NASCAR’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway (all times local):
Ryan Blaney has won the opening stage of the NASCAR Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Blaney held off a hard-charging Kevin Harvick by less than a car length.
Harvick and all three of his Stewart-Haas Racing teammates were in the top seven at the end of the first stage. Harvick’s win at Michigan last week was his Cup Series-leading seventh of the season.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has one of the fastest cars in the field but has been set back by a speeding penalty and a flat tire. Stenhouse is in the 16th and final position for the playoffs.
Blaney led for a stage-high 113 laps.
Kyle Busch started a 15-car wreck on the second lap, seriously damaging his chances of winning a Cup race at Bristol for the eighth time.
Paul Menard’s playoff hopes have taken a hit because of a crash at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Menard appeared to break his wheel, causing his Ford to hit the wall 29 laps into the race. Menard entered the night 17th in the standings, one point behind Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Sixteen drivers make the playoffs. Bristol is one of three races remaining in the regular season.
Kyle Busch has wrecked just two laps into the NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Busch, seeking to win a Cup Series race at Bristol for the eighth time, drifted up the Bristol banking and bounced off Ryan Blaney. Busch’s Toyota spun in front of much of the field, causing an accordion effect that impacted several other drivers.
The wreck involved about a dozen cars, and Bubba Wallace and AJ Allmendinger were knocked out of the race. Both were trying to lock up playoff berths. Martin Truex Jr. also suffered damage in the wreck, as did Busch’s teammate Denny Hamlin.
Busch has six Cup victories this year and has a narrow edge over Kevin Harvick and Truex in the points standings.
This wreck capped a tough weekend for Busch, who was knocked out of the Xfinity Series race after leading for the first 70 laps when he crashed due to a flat tire.
Kyle Busch received a thunderous boo from the crowd during his driver introduction at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Busch walked down the red carpet to the song “All I Do Is Win” by D.J. Khaled and the crowd roared with disapproval. Busch laughed, briefly danced, and embraced the hostility.
Busch is seeking his eighth Cup victory at Bristol and starts third Saturday night.
Chase Elliott starts second and said the only way to beat Busch at Bristol is to be perfect. Busch wasn’t on Friday night when he led the first 70 laps of the Xfinity Series race but crashed out because of a flat tire.
Busch has swept Bristol twice.
Bristol has a quirky driver introduction ceremony in which the partisans choose a song to play as they enter the bullring. The drivers then introduce themselves.
None got a reaction nearly as vociferous as the one for Busch, who has six Cup victories this season and leads the championship standings.
The “other” Kyle is trying to sweep Bristol Motor Speedway.
Kyle Larson is starting from the pole Saturday night in the Cup race at Bristol in his bid to cap his first successful weekend on NASCAR’s .0533-mile concrete oval. He’s on a roll after winning the Xfinity Series race a night earlier.
That was Larson’s first career victory on the bullring after four runner-up finishes, and he lost to Busch in each of those races.
Busch starts third and is seeking his eighth career Cup victory at Bristol. He’s twice before swept the weekend events, but he was knocked out of the Xfinity event after hitting the wall because of a flat tire. That opened the opportunity for Larson’s Xfinity race.
The car of Austin Dillon failed pre-race inspection and had to forfeit his 18th-place starting position.
Rain in Tennessee led NASCAR to move the start time up one hour.
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