NASCAR weekly: Richard Petty mourns the loss of his younger brother

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Denny Hamlin grabbed his fifth win of the season in Kansas – Richard Petty mourns the loss of his younger brother Maurice – The two lower national NASCAR championships provide thrilling racing

NASCAR Cup Series (by: André Wiegold)

Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing) has clinched his fifth win of the season at the Kansas Speedway. The 39-year-old successfully defended the attacks of Brad Keselowski (Team Penske) and crossed the finish line in first place. Martin Truex Jr (Joe Gibbs Racing) finished third ahead of Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing) and Erik Jones (Joe Gibbs Racing).

Credtis: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing) won the first stage ahead of Hamlin, securing important bonus points for the first time in the 2020 season. The current champion still has to wait for a victory in 2020. The second stage, however, went to Keselowski, who finished ahead of his Penske teammate Ryan Blaney.

Richard “The King” Petty is in mourning for his younger brother Maurice Petty, who died at the age of 81. As an engine builder Maurice Petty played an important role at Petty Enterprises and was also a key in the success of his older brother. From 1960 to 1964 Maurice Petty even competed in 26 NASCAR races himself, of which he finished 16 in the top 10.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, no spectators will be allowed at the double header at the Dover International Speedway (August 22 and 23). This measure is intended to help prevent the spread of the virus in the state of Delaware.

The co-owner of JTG Daugherty Racing, Brad Daugherty, will be part of the NBC Sports broadcasting team and join NASCAR broadcasts. The former basketball player and ESPN analyst runs the NASCAR team together with Tad and Jodi Geschickter.

NASCAR Xfinity Series (by: Alessandro Righi)

Credits: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Joe Gibbs driver Brandon Jones beat stage-sweeper Austin Cindric (Team Penske) in the second overtime attempt. After his win in Phoenix, Arizona, it is Jones second visit in Victory Lane in 2020. Ryan Sieg (RSS Racing) missed out on a sensation: He did not come down to pit road to change tires. The old tires were a disadvantage and so he finished only in fourth place. Kaz Grala (Richard Childress Racing) returned after a year abstinence and ended the 250-mile race in 13th position.

It was no other than dominator Austin Cindric who swept both stages and led 132 laps. Starting from fourth position, he quickly made his way to the top, before being beaten by the 23-year old Gibbs driver. Even though he missed out his fourth win in a row, he kept his words during post-race interview clean and congratulated Brandon Jones for his win at the Kansas Lottery 250.

Surely, Cindric will be upset about the fact that he was denied a record breaking fourth win in a row. Done by Sam Ard in 1983, when the two-time Xfinity-Champion was driving for Thomas Brothers Racing, the Penske driver can at least be proud of his back-to-back wins in Kentucky and the win in Texas. Further, the man from Ohio is the new points leader by a margin of fourth points over Chase Briscoe (Stewart-Haas Racing), who crashed on the final lap.

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

Credits: Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

What do the NASCAR Cup Series and the Gander RV & Outdoors Series have in common? Before the race in Kansas, both reigning champions had zero victories on their account. In the third national NASCAR championship, this has now changed over the weekend, with Matt Crafton (ThorSport Racing) ending his series without a race win in the second race at the Kentucky Speedway. Kyle Busch still has to wait for his first Cup win this season.

However, the three-time truck champion had to defend himself against Christian Eckes (Kyle Busch Motorsports), who has been waiting for a victory in the lowest national NASCAR championship for three years now. “He made me really nervous,” Crafton said after the race. Meanwhile, the stage wins were secured by Zane Smith (GMS Racing).

In the first race Crafton already secured fourth place. At the top Austin Hill (Hattori Racing Enterprises), who also secured his first victory of the season, was unbeatable. His lead over Bratt Moffitt (GMS Racing) in second place was almost three seconds.

Pastrana’s comeback in NASCAR

But the race in Kentucky came up with another surprise: the comeback of Travis Pastrana (Niece Motorsports). The 37-year-old stunt driver competed in the Truck Series for the fourth time in his career and finished 22nd.

It was Pastrana’s first start in the lowest national NASCAR championship since 2017, but the 37-year-old was able to get a taste of the NASCAR air in the Xfinity Series in 2011 and 2012 in particular, where he competed in 42 races. In addition to four top 10 results, the stunt driver also managed to take one pole position.

Like most of the races this year, Pastrana’s comeback went without fans. But this will change once again at the race at the World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway on August 30th.

At the double header event with the IndyCar Series some fans will be admitted. The track has already called on fans to take a look at the new seating plan for the race weekend. Further information to prevent the the spread of COVID-19 can be found on the plan, too.

Alessandro Righi