International

NASCAR weekly: No practice and qualifying in 2020, Dillon wins

Credits: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

NASCAR has announced that the series will not allow any more qualifying and practice sessions in the 2020 season – Austin Dillon wins the race at Texas Motor Speedway

NASCAR Cup Series (by: André Wiegold)

Due to the strict COVID 19 protocol, there will be no qualifying and no practice sessions in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR has announced. Currently, the starting grid will be determined by drawing lots. For the playoffs there will be adjustments by putting the playoff participants into the same lottery pot.

This restriction also means that there will be no practice opportunities at the NASCAR debut on the Daytona road course. This has already been criticised by some drivers such as Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Clint Bowyer (Stewart-Haas Racing), as the drivers have never driven a NASCAR car on the Daytona 24h IMSA Series layout.

Keselowski wants stricter rules for young drivers

After the Texas race, Brad Keselowski started a debate about young, inexperienced drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series. The Penske driver would like to see a system of promotion and demotion in NASCAR racing, so that only drivers with the necessary skills start in the NASCAR upper house.

The reason for this discussion is an accident at the Texas Motor Speedway: Rookie Quin Houff (StarCom Racing) had overlooked two driver colleagues when turning into the pit lane and thus caused an accident. Also involved were Matt DiBenedetto (Wood Brothers) and Christopher Bell (Leavine Family), who were in promising positions.

The race was won by Austin Dillon (Richard Childress Racing) ahead of his team mate Tyler Reddick. It was Richard Childress’ first one-two win in nine years – in 2011 Clint Bowyer won ahead of Jeff Burton. The stage wins went both to Ryan Blaney (Penske). The next race will take place in then night from Thursday to Friday German time at the Kansas Speedway.

Credits: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Chad Knaus misses the Kansas race

William Byron (Hendrick) will miss his experienced crew chief Chad Knaus in Kansas City. The Hendrick leader’s wife is expecting birth of their child and will therefore he will stay with her. The Knaus family already look forward to their second child.

A replacement has already been found: Keith Rodden will lead the Hendrick youngster’s team at Kansas Speedway. Rodden has worked for Kasey Kahne in the past and knows the crew chief’s job like the back of his hand.

NASCAR Xfinity Series (by: Alessandro Righi)

Credits: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Three out of three! Austin Cindric (Team Penske) won the race at Texas Motor Speedway after the disqualification of Kyle Busch after the race. The two-time NASCAR Cup champion won Saturday’s Texas race but failed to meet the ride-height regulations. After being cleared by the technical inspection on his car, the Penske youngster Cindric was declared as the winner of the 300-mile race. Like Christopher Bell in 2018, he also managed to win three races in a row.

The pole position was won by Michael Annett, driver of the #1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. The stages although were decided by his teammate Justin Allgaier, who dominated the first half of the race. Premier series driver Kyle Busch drove from 28th up to 4th position in Stage 1, before taking the lead in the overtime towards the end of the 200 laps. But the Gibbs driver failed technical inspection and lost his 98th Xfinity win.

Austin Cindric advanced getting the win counted to his name. His third oval win of his career makes him, alongside Chase Briscoe, one of the favorites in the 2020 playoffs. The top 5 were rounded out by Briscoe (Stewart-Haas Racing), Allgaier (JR Motorsports), Harrison Burton (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Annett (JR Motorsports).

NASCAR Gander & RV Outdoors Truck Series (by: Simon Mones)

Credits: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

He did it again! In his fifth start in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Kyle Busch claimed his third victory on Saturday. The two-time Cup champion had to defend himself against his team mate Christian Eckes on the last meters. “He really challenged us at the end but I wanted to make sure we went out on a win. We’ll see if we can’t go for another one tomorrow,” Busch told after the race.

Unlike his victory in the Xfinity Series, Busch passed the post-race inspection to grab the win. In addition, the 35-year-old secured the first stage victory of the day. In the second race segment it was Brett Moffitt who crossed the finish line first.

The Triple Truck Challenge is back

Since 2009, the drivers of the Xfinity Series have been fighting for bonus prize money every year in the “Dash 4 Cash”. Last season, NASCAR introduced such an opportunity in the third league with the “Triple Truck Challenge”.

The first edition was held in Texas, Iowa and at the World Wide Water Technology Raceway in Gateway. This year the venues are Daytona, Dover and Gateway. However, the prize money in the “Triple Truck Challenge” differs from the “Dash 4 Cash” because it is linked to the number of victories. 

If a pilot wins one race, he gets an extra 50,000 dollars. With two wins, the prize money triples to 150,000 dollars. If the same driver wins all three races, there’s an extra 300,000 dollar prize. That brings the total prize money up to 500,000 dollars.

Alessandro Righi
Editor