2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

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2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
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Champions | Seasons
Kyle Larson, the current points leader

The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the 69th season of professional stock car racing in the United States, and the 46th modern-era Cup series season. The season began at Daytona International Speedway with the Advance Auto Parts Clash, the Can-Am Duel qualifying races and the 59th running of the Daytona 500. The season will end with the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Jimmie Johnson enters as the defending champion, having won his record-tying seventh Cup championship that he shares with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.

This is the third season of the current 10-year television contract with Fox Sports and NBC Sports and the second of a five-year race sanctioning agreement with all tracks.

Monster Energy is the entitlement sponsor for the series in 2017 after Sprint Corporation decided not to remain as the sponsor. Sprint had been the title sponsor since 2004 when their partner Nextel replaced Winston after the 2003 season, but Sprint became the official sponsor for the 2008 season after buying out Nextel in late 2005. Monster Energy is the third title sponsor for NASCAR's top series since it first established such a sponsorship in 1971.[1]

This is the last full-time season of two-time Daytona 500 winner and two-time Xfinity Series champion Dale Earnhardt Jr., who announced his intention to retire at season's end.[2]

Teams and drivers

Chartered teams

Manufacturer Team No. Race driver Crew chief
Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing 1 Jamie McMurray Matt McCall
42 Kyle Larson Chad Johnston
Circle Sport – The Motorsports Group 33 Jeffrey Earnhardt 34 Pat Tryson
Boris Said 2
Germain Racing 13 Ty Dillon (R) Bootie Barker
Hendrick Motorsports 5 Kasey Kahne Keith Rodden
24 Chase Elliott Alan Gustafson
48 Jimmie Johnson Chad Knaus
88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Greg Ives
JTG Daugherty Racing 37 Chris Buescher Trent Owens
47 A. J. Allmendinger Randall Burnett 8
Ernie Cope 28
Leavine Family Racing 95 Michael McDowell Todd Parrott
Richard Childress Racing 3 Austin Dillon Slugger Labbe 10
Sammy Johns 1
Justin Alexander 25
27 Paul Menard Matt Borland
31 Ryan Newman Luke Lambert
Ford Front Row Motorsports 34 Landon Cassill Donnie Wingo
38 David Ragan Derrick Finley
Go Fas Racing 32 Matt DiBenedetto Gene Nead
Richard Petty Motorsports 43 Aric Almirola 29 Drew Blickensderfer 33
Scott McDougall 3
Regan Smith 2
Darrell Wallace Jr. 4
Billy Johnson 1
Roush Fenway Racing 6 Trevor Bayne Matt Puccia
17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Brian Pattie
Stewart-Haas Racing 4 Kevin Harvick Rodney Childers 35
Daniel Knost 1
10 Danica Patrick Billy Scott
14 Clint Bowyer Mike Bugarewicz
41 Kurt Busch Tony Gibson
Team Penske 2 Brad Keselowski Paul Wolfe 32
Brian Wilson 4
22 Joey Logano Todd Gordon 33
Miles Stanley 3
Wood Brothers Racing 21 Ryan Blaney Jeremy Bullins
Toyota BK Racing 23 Joey Gase 3 Patrick Donahue 14
Randy Cox 22
Gray Gaulding (R) 31
Ryan Sieg 1
Alon Day 1
Furniture Row Racing 77 Erik Jones (R) Chris Gayle
78 Martin Truex Jr.[3] Cole Pearn
Joe Gibbs Racing 11 Denny Hamlin Mike Wheeler
18 Kyle Busch Adam Stevens 32
Ben Beshore 4
19 Daniel Suárez (R) Dave Rogers 5
Scott Graves 31
20 Matt Kenseth Jason Ratcliff
Chevrolet 35
Ford 1
TriStar Motorsports 72 Cole Whitt Frank Kerr
Chevrolet 11
Toyota 5
Premium Motorsports 15 Michael Waltrip 1 Mark Hillman
Reed Sorenson 12
Joey Gase 1
Ross Chastain 1
Kevin O'Connell 1
D. J. Kennington 1
Source:[4]

Non-chartered teams

Complete schedule

No non-chartered teams ran full schedule in 2017. Originally, BK Racing's No. 83 Toyota, Rick Ware Racing's No. 51 Chevrolet, and Premium Motorsports' No. 55 Chevrolet/Toyota planned to run full schedule. However, they skipped occasional races.

Limited schedule

Manufacturer Team No. Race driver Crew chief Round(s)
Chevrolet Beard Motorsports 75 Brendan Gaughan Darren Shaw 3
MBM Motorsports 66 Carl Long George Church 1
Timmy Hill 1
Rick Ware Racing 51 Carlos Contreras 1
Joe Lax 8
Jeff Spraker 1
Tony Furr 3
10
Cody Ware 3
Josh Bilicki[5] 2
Tommy Baldwin Racing 7 Elliott Sadler Kenneth Davis 2
J. J. Yeley 2
Toyota BK Racing 83 Corey LaJoie (R) Doug Richert 3
Ryan Dubois 3
Randy Cox 8
Doug George 1
15
Ryan Sieg 1
Gray Gaulding (R) 2
Gaunt Brothers Racing 96 D. J. Kennington Keith Hinkein 1
Mike Ford 1
2
Chevrolet 6
Toyota 6
Premium Motorsports 55 Reed Sorenson Wayne Carroll 2
Derrike Cope 9
Tommy Regan 1

Changes

Teams

Drivers

Crew chiefs

  • Chris Gayle will be the crew chief of the No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota for Erik Jones in 2017. Gayle previously crew chiefed the No. 18 team in the Xfinity Series in 2016.[34]
  • Matt Borland will take over crew chief duties of the No. 27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet with Paul Menard, replacing Danny Stockman. Borland was the vice president of technology for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2016.[35]
  • Brian Pattie will move over from the No. 16 team to the No. 17 team to crew chief.[8]
  • Wayne Carroll will become crew chief for the No. 55 team. Pat Tryson, who was the crew chief for the team in 2016, will move to crew chief the No. 33 team.[29]
  • On March 29, 2017, it was announced that Dave Rogers, the crew chief of the No. 19 team, would take an indefinite personal leave of absence, with Scott Graves replacing him.[36]
  • On May 22, 2017, it was announced that Slugger Labbe, the crew chief of the No. 3 team, would be leaving Richard Childress Racing to pursue other opportunities. Justin Alexander, who is the crew chief of RCR's No. 2 NASCAR Xfinity Series team will replace Labbe.
  • On June 10, 2017, it was announced that Patrick Donahue, the crew chief of the No. 23 team, would be leaving BK Racing to pursue other opportunities. Randy Cox will replace Donahue at Michigan.

Manufacturers

Offseason changes

New race format and points system

The 2017 season introduced major changes to the format of races and the points system in all three of NASCAR's national series, announced during a press conference on January 23, 2017. All races are divided into three stages, comprising a quarter distance for the first two segments, with the third stage being half distance, thereby in case of inclement weather, curfew, or darkness, the third segment may be cancelled and the race be complete after two segments. A competition caution is held at the end of each stage, during which drivers may optionally take a pit stop before the restart for the next stage. The top 10 drivers at the end of the first and second stages receive championship points, awarded on a descending scale from 10 to 1.[39] The overall winner of each race following the final stage receives 40 points, and the remaining drivers are awarded points on a descending scale from 35 for a 2nd-place finish, to 2 for 35th, and 1 for 36th through 40th. The winner of each stage also receives a "playoff point", and the overall winner receives five.[39] For the first time since 1971, the Can-Am Duel qualifying races for the Daytona 500 became points-paying races; the top-ten finishers in each of the two races received points.[39]

Following the 26-race regular season, the 16 drivers with the most wins, with championship points as a tiebreaker, will qualify for the playoffs (re-branded from the "Chase for the Championship"). At this point the top 10 drivers on the championship points standings will be awarded additional playoff points; the regular-season champion will receive 15, second place will receive 10, and the remainder descending from 8 to 1. If a driver qualifies for the post-season, their championship points will be reset to 2000, and their banked playoff points will be added to this total. The playoffs will continue to use the existing multi-round elimination format; playoff points will be carried over through all but the final race of the season.[39]

NASCAR's executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O'Donnell stated that the new format was designed to "[put] a premium on every victory and every in-race position over the course of the season. Each point can eventually result in winning or losing a championship."[40][41]

Damaged vehicle policy

On February 8, 2017, NASCAR announced a new Damaged Vehicle Policy, also taking effect in the 2017 season across all three national series. Cars may return to pit road for up to five minutes for minor repairs if they are involved in accidents, including repairing sheet metal, use of fasteners and/or tape to re-attach body panels, and reinforcing body panels. The five-minute interval begins when the car crosses the pit road commitment line, and ends once the car reaches minimum speed after exiting pit road; the car may return for another five-minute repair window if further repairs are still necessary.[42][43][44]

Crews may no longer replace vehicle body parts that are damaged via contact or accidents. If the damage is significant enough that the car must be taken to the garage, more than six crew members work on the car, or the five-minute time limit expires, the car will be removed from the race and may not return. If the driver commits a pit road infraction, 15 seconds are deducted from the repair time as a penalty. Mechanical or electrical failures not caused by an on-track incident are exempt from these rules; they may be repaired on pit road or in the garage with no time restrictions.[43][45]

Senior vice president of competition Scott Miller explained that the new rule was meant to improve safety, explaining that "It's more about crashed vehicles and all that is involved with that, from the crew guys to the drivers to dropping more debris on the track, which always happens. So there are exceptions for mechanical failures, those things can be rectified in the garage. That's going to be up to the series director's discretion to make those calls, but it's not going to be that difficult.[43] These rules severely restrict the ability for cars to return to the race multiple laps down in hopes of gaining minimal points.[46]

Technical changes

Besides the new points system and stage structure, other rule changes were announced over the off-season;[47]

  • Teams must start a race using the same tires that were used during qualifying.[48]
  • Based on usage research by Goodyear and NASCAR, tire allocations have changed for some races. Teams will have one fewer set of tires for Daytona (500), Phoenix, Fontana, Martinsville (Spring), Bristol, Kansas, Kentucky, and Chicagoland. Homestead will have two fewer sets allocated, down from twelve. Talladega, Sonoma, Daytona (400), New Hampshire, Watkins Glen, and Darlington will have an additional tire set allocated.[48]
  • In response to increasing speeds at Daytona and Talladega, restrictor plate sizes were reduced from 57/64 of an inch to 7/8 of an inch.[47]
  • For non-restrictor plate races, the rear spoiler dimensions were reduced from 3 1/2 x 61 inches to 2 3/8 inches x 61 inches. Restrictor plate races (Daytona and Talladega) will continue to use the previous size (3 1/2 x 53 inches). However, in Kentucky and Michigan, the rear spoiler dimensions were 2 1/2 x 53 inches.[47]

Safety

Several vehicle safety changes are mandatory on all races, including revised steering column mounting, and garage-only fuel couplers.[47] Anti-intrusion plating, escape hatches and toeboard foam are also required on all restrictor plate races, but are optional on all other races.[47]

NASCAR partnered with American Medical Response to form a traveling medical team for the series.[49] Additionally, NASCAR has expanded the concussion protocol which will see drivers involved in accidents undergo additional concussion testing before being allowed to return to the race track.[50]

Schedule

The final calendar – comprising 36 races, as well as exhibition races, which are the Advance Auto Parts Clash, Can-Am Duel qualifying duel races for the Daytona 500 and the All-Star Race – was released on May 5, 2016. At the beginning of the 2017 season, Atlanta Motor Speedway will host NASCAR's 2,500th race, one week after the Daytona 500.[51]

Key changes from 2016 include:

  • The Daytona 500 is held one week later.
  • The O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway will move from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon.
  • The AAA 400 Drive for Autism will move after the Coca-Cola 600 and before the Axalta presents the Pocono 400.
  • Bristol and Michigan swap their August race dates, returning to the order that was used through 2015 (the 2016 swap was necessitated by NBC's coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics).
  • Talladega and Kansas swap their October race dates.
  • The August off week moves back between Bristol and Darlington. It was between Watkins Glen and Bristol in 2016.
  • In broadcasting changes, the races at Indianapolis, Bristol (summer), and Talladega (fall) will move from NBCSN to NBC, while the races at Darlington, Kansas (fall), and Texas (fall) will move from NBC to NBCSN. With the move, all four restrictor-plate races will be broadcast over-the-air for the first time since 2006. Watkins Glen will return to NBCSN after the 2016 running aired on USA due to NBC's coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics.[52]
  • The New England 300 will be the final Playoff race for New Hampshire Motor Speedway as a second race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will take its place.
  • At the time of the schedule announcement, the Bank of America 500 was scheduled for Saturday, October 7. On April 20, the race was rescheduled for Sunday, October 8 and moved from a night race to a day race. The race broadcast was also moved to NBC, while the AAA Texas 500 was moved to NBCSN.
  • The Monster Energy Open was originally scheduled for May 19. But the race was moved to May 20, marking the first time since 2013 when the Open is right before the All Star Race.
No Race Title Track Date Time TV
Advance Auto Parts Clash Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida February 191 11:35 a.m. FS1
Can-Am Duel February 23 7:00 p.m. FS1
1 Daytona 500 February 26 2:00 p.m. Fox
2 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Georgia March 5 2:30 p.m. Fox
3 Kobalt 400 Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nevada March 12 3:30 p.m. Fox
4 Camping World 500 Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Arizona March 19 3:30 p.m. Fox
5 Auto Club 400 Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, California March 26 3:30 p.m. Fox
6 STP 500 Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway, Virginia April 2 2:00 p.m. FS1
7 O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas April 9 1:30 p.m. Fox
8 Food City 500 Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, Tennessee April 242 1:00 p.m. Fox
9 Toyota Owners 400 Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, Virginia April 30 2:00 p.m. Fox
10 GEICO 500 Talladega Superspeedway, Lincoln, Alabama May 7 2:00 p.m. Fox
11 Go Bowling 400 Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kansas May 13 7:30 p.m. FS1
Monster Energy Open Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina May 20 6:00 p.m. FS1
Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race May 20 8:00 p.m. FS1
12 Coca-Cola 600 May 28 6:00 p.m. Fox
13 AAA 400 Drive for Autism Dover International Speedway, Dover, Delaware June 4 1:00 p.m. FS1
14 Axalta presents the Pocono 400 Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pennsylvania June 11 3:00 p.m. FS1
15 FireKeepers Casino 400 Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan June 18 3:00 p.m. FS1
16 Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, California June 25 3:00 p.m. FS1
17 Coke Zero 400 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida July 1 7:30 p.m. NBC
18 Quaker State 400 Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Kentucky July 8 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
19 Overton's 301 New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, New Hampshire July 16 3:00 p.m. NBCSN
20 Brickyard 400 Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway, Indiana July 23 3:00 p.m. NBC
21 Pennsylvania 400 Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pennsylvania July 30 3:00 p.m. NBCSN
22 Watkins Glen 355 Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, New York August 6 3:00 p.m. NBCSN
23 Pure Michigan 400 Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan August 13 3:00 p.m. NBCSN
24 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, Tennessee August 19 7:30 p.m. NBC
25 Bojangles' Southern 500 Darlington Raceway, Darlington, South Carolina September 3 6:00 p.m. NBCSN
26 Federated Auto Parts 400 Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, Virginia September 9 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Cup Championship Playoffs
Round of 16
27 Tales of the Turtles 400 Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, Illinois September 17 3:00 p.m. NBCSN
28 New England 300 New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, New Hampshire September 24 2:00 p.m. NBCSN
29 Dover 400 Dover International Speedway, Dover, Delaware October 1 2:00 p.m. NBCSN
Round of 12
30 Bank of America 500 Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina October 8 2:00 p.m. NBC
31 Alabama 500 Talladega Superspeedway, Lincoln, Alabama October 15 2:00 p.m. NBC
32 Hollywood Casino 400 Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kansas October 22 3:00 p.m. NBCSN
Round of 8
33 Old Dominion 500 Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway, Virginia October 29 3:00 p.m. NBCSN
34 AAA Texas 500 Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas November 5 2:00 p.m. NBCSN
35 Can-Am 500 Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Arizona November 12 2:30 p.m. NBC
Championship 4
36 Ford EcoBoost 400 Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Florida November 19 2:30 p.m. NBC

Season summary

Race reports

Speedweeks 2017

Daytona Speedweeks started with the Advance Auto Parts Clash. It was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, but was postponed until Sunday due to rain. Defending winner Denny Hamlin led the most laps. Multiple wrecks took out some of the field including Kurt Busch getting into the wall after contact with Jimmie Johnson, Johnson would also get into the wall later on, and Martin Truex Jr. got into the wall after contact with Kyle Larson. On the last lap, Brad Keselowski tried to make a pass on Hamlin, but Hamlin came down and got into Keselowski and the two wrecked. Joey Logano snuck through to win.[53]

Chase Elliott won the pole for the Daytona 500 in qualifying. It was the second consecutive 500 pole for Elliott and the third consecutive for the No. 24 team. (Jeff Gordon won the pole in 2015). It first time since Ken Schrader in 1989 and 1990 that a driver won back-to-back Daytona 500 poles. Elliott's teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified second.[54]

The Can-Am Duels were held on Thursday. Chase Elliott started on the pole in the first duel. Reed Sorenson made contact with Corey LaJoie and hit the wall. On the restart, Elliott held off Jamie McMurray to win. In the second Duel, Dale Earnhardt Jr. started on pole and led the most laps. Ryan Blaney and Jimmie Johnson made contact after both had tire problems. On the restart, Denny Hamlin took the lead from Earnhardt with two laps to go and held off Clint Bowyer to win. Elliott Sadler, Brendan Gaughan, Corey LaJoie, and D. J. Kennington all qualified for the Daytona 500 while Reed Sorenson and Timmy Hill failed to qualify.[55]

Round 1: Daytona 500

Chase Elliott started the race on the pole. The race was plagued with a number of wrecks, with 35 of the 40 cars involved in wrecks during the race. The race also featured the debut of stage racing. Kyle Busch won Stage 1 of the race. Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the lead in stage two after pit stops and was leading when Kyle Busch had a tire go down. Busch spun and collected Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Earnhardt, and Ty Dillon in a multicar wreck. Kevin Harvick won Stage 2 of the race. Toward the beginning of the third stage, a multicar wreck that started with Jimmie Johnson that also involved Harvick, Danica Patrick, Denny Hamlin, Chris Buescher, Trevor Bayne, and other drivers. Another multicar wreck with 50 laps to go involved Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Brad Keselowski, Landon Cassill, and other drivers. Elliott was leading the race as it headed into the closing laps. In the final few laps, the lead would shuffle, with Kyle Larson taking the lead after passing Martin Truex Jr. On the final lap, Kurt Busch passed Larson for the lead and won the race, his first Daytona 500 win and the first Daytona 500 win for Stewart-Haas Racing.[56]

Round 2: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

Kevin Harvick started on pole. Multiple drivers had tire problems and pit road speeding issues during the race. Drivers such as Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, and other drivers had these problems during the race. Harvick dominated the race and won both Stage 1 and Stage 2. On the final round of pit stops, Harvick got caught for speeding on pit road and had to come back losing the lead. Brad Keselowski held off Kyle Larson to get his first career win at Atlanta.[57]

Round 3: Kobalt 400

Brad Keselowski started on pole. Keselowski led the first 60 laps, but Martin Truex Jr. took the lead on pit road. Corey LaJoie and Kevin Harvick crashed in different incidents in the first stage. Truex dominated the race by leading the most laps and winning Stage 1 and Stage 2. Keselowski took the lead from Truex with 24 laps to go. Keselowski had a power issue and it allowed Truex to regain the lead and hold off Kyle Larson to win as Kyle Busch was spun after contact with Joey Logano. Busch and Logano got into an altercation afterwards until Logano was pulled away.[58]

Round 4: Camping World 500

Joey Logano started on pole. In the first stage, Logano led most of the laps and had some opponents for the lead within the final laps of Stage 1. Logano, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Jamie McMurray, and Kyle Busch were all in a pack racing for the win, but Logano was able to hold on to win the stage. For the second stage, Logano started to pull away, however; he got three wide with Larson and Elliott and allowed Elliot to take the lead. Logano got a pit road speeding penalty and Elliott was able to hold off Larson to win the second stage. In the third and final stage, Elliott pulled away, but it was Kyle Busch eventually took the lead. Busch there on dominated the race, leading 114 laps, and was heading toward the win, but a caution came out with six laps to go when Logano had a flat tire and ran into the wall, setting up an overtime finish. On the restart, Ryan Newman, who stayed out, pulled away from Larson to score the win for his first win with Richard Childress Racing and his first win since 2013.[59]

Round 5: Auto Club 400

Kyle Larson started on pole. Denny Hamlin, who started second, could not get going and that held up his lane which caused Brad Keselowski to receive damage after running into the back of Hamlin. Keselowski made contact with Jimmie Johnson, which sent him spinning bringing out the first caution. Larson and Martin Truex Jr. were the two dominant cars of the race with Larson winning Stage 1 and Truex winning Stage 2. Truex had the lead, but green-flag pit stops allowed Larson to regain the lead. Gray Gaulding spun bringing out the caution with 20 laps to go, but on the restart the caution would come out again after Matt Kenseth hit the backstretch wall after getting hit in the back by Truex. On the restart, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun on the backstretch, which sent the race into overtime. Larson held off Keselowski, who made a comeback after his early spin, to get his second career win and also sweeping the weekend.[60]

Round 6: STP 500

Kyle Larson started on pole after qualifying was rained out on Friday. Larson led the first few laps, but began to fall back. Stage 1 was won by Martin Truex Jr. In the second stage, Kyle Busch led most of the laps, but a run-in with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. allowed Chase Elliott to pass Busch on the final lap. In the final stage, multiple drivers were involved in wrecks including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Daniel Suárez, and others. The last 150 laps were a battle between Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski. Keselowski was able to get around Busch and lead the final laps to get his second win of the season.[61]

Round 7: O'Reilly Auto Parts 500

Kevin Harvick started on pole. Harvick led early until he got passed by Ryan Blaney on a restart for a caution for a wreck between Gray Gaulding and Jeffrey Earnhardt. Blaney then dominated the race, leading 148 laps and winning Stage 1 and Stage 2 however, trouble on pit road kept him from winning. Joey Logano used pit strategy to have the lead in the final laps. Jimmie Johnson took the lead from Logano with 16 laps to go and held off a hard charging Kyle Larson for his seventh career win at Texas.[62]

Round 8: Food City 500

Kyle Larson started on pole after qualifying was rained out. The race was postponed from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon because of rain. Larson dominated the race, leading 203 laps and winning Stage 1. Martin Truex Jr. won Stage 2. Several drivers had problems including Ryan Blaney having fuel pump problems, Brad Keselowski having multiple issues, and wrecks for Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Danica Patrick, and Erik Jones. Larson and Truex both received speeding penalties. Johnson held off Clint Bowyer to get his second straight win and second at Bristol.[63]

Round 9: Toyota Owners 400

Matt Kenseth started on pole. A few laps into the race, Erik Jones crashed into the wall. Kenseth led every lap to win Stage 1. Kenseth led half way into the second stage, but was passed by Brad Keselowski. Keselowski pulled away to win the second stage. In the final stage during green flag pit stops, teammates Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. got together, putting Earnhardt into the wall. On the restart, Earnhardt had a tire go down and again got into the wall. On the restart, Logano took the lead from Keselowski, but Ryan Blaney had a tire go down and got into the wall. Logano took the lead from Kyle Larson, and held off a hard charging Keselowski for his first win of the season and second at Richmond. Days later, it was announced that Logano's win had been encumbered due to a penalty when it was discovered that the car had a higher rear-end suspension. [64]

Round 10: GEICO 500

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. started on pole. Stenhouse led early, but fell back after having trash on his grill. There were various different leaders throughout the race including Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and others. Kyle Larson got into the wall early as Keselowski won stage one and Hamlin won stage two after leading most of the stage. Ryan Blaney was involved in an accident after hitting the wall. There was a big wreck that involved Chase Elliott, AJ Allmendinger, Logano, Kevin Harvick, Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, and others. On the restart, Landon Cassill had a tire go down and brought out the caution because he wasn't able to make it to pit road. On the restart, Ryan Newman got into the wall, sending the race to overtime. On the two-lap shootout, Stenhouse drove past Kyle Busch and held off Jamie McMurray for his first career win and the first for Roush Fenway Racing since 2014 and the first for the 17 team since Matt Kenseth in 2012.[65]

Round 11: Go Bowling 400

Ryan Blaney started on pole for the first time in his career. Blaney led early and swapped the lead with Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. in the early stages. Busch won the first stage and Blaney won the second. Landon Cassill, Erik Jones, Corey Lajoie, and Gray Gaulding all had trouble. Ryan Newman suffered a blown engine and Paul Menard and AJ Allmendinger crashed together. In the late part of the race, Joey Logano had a tire go down and crashed into Danica Patrick, causing Patrick to hit the wall extremely hard. Aric Almirola crashed head on into Logano and had to be cut from the car and taken to the hospital with a T5 Vertebra compression fracture in his back. Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson got together on a restart. On the last restart, Truex held off Brad Keselowski for his second win of the season.[66]

Exhibition: Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race

In the Monster Energy Open, Clint Bowyer started on pole and led all 20 laps in stage one to transfer to the All-Star Race as Ryan Blaney did the same in stage two to transfer. In the final stage, Landon Cassill took two tires, but spun on the restart. The battle for the win came down to Chase Elliott, Daniel Suárez, and Erik Jones. Jones attempted to make a pass as Elliott and Suárez were side-by-side for the lead, but got into the grass and destroyed the front end of his car. On the restart, Suárez pulled away from Elliott to win and transfer to the All-Star Race. Elliott also transferred by winning the fan vote.[67]

Kyle Larson started on pole and won the first two stages. Jimmie Johnson made a pass on Clint Bowyer and headed to the stage three win. Johnson, Larson, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch, and Chase Elliott were the ten drivers that advanced to the final ten lap stage. Keselowski stayed off pit road and led off the restart, but was passed by Kyle Busch and Busch held off a battle between Johnson and Larson to win the All-Star Race in his twelfth try.[68]

Round 12: Coca-Cola 600

Kevin Harvick started on pole. Harvick and Kyle Busch traded the lead early. Jeffrey Earnhardt got oil on the track and Chase Elliott got into it and slowed down and was from behind by Brad Keselowski. Kyle Busch led most of stage one and passed Martin Truex Jr. to claim the stage win. Truex pulled away on the restart, but Matt DiBenedetto crashed into the wall. After a delay due to thunderstorms, Truex won the second stage. Denny Hamlin got the lead off pit road and won the third stage. Fuel mileage played a factor as Jimmie Johnson ran out of fuel with two laps to go and it allowed Austin Dillon to get his first career win and the first for the #3 since Dale Earnhardt at Talladega in 2000.[69]

Round 13: AAA 400 Drive for Autism

Polesitter Kyle Busch leads early in the AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover International Speedway in June

Kyle Busch started on pole and led early, but had trouble during pit stops. Kurt Busch got loose and crashed into Brad Keselowski, taking Keselowski out for the second straight week and later on Busch would wreck again. The race was dominated between Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. as Truex won both stages and Larson led the most laps. Jimmie Johnson also ran up front, but got into the wall and began to drop back, but was the leader during pit stops when a caution came out. On the ensuing pit stops, Ty Dillon got out before Johnson and led the field to green. Dillon led a lot of laps before being passed for the lead by Larson. Larson was heading to the win, but David Ragan got into the wall. In overtime, Johnson took the lead from Larson and was in front when a caution came out. Johnson got his third win of the year and his 11th career win at Dover. He also tied Cale Yarborough in stock car's most all-time winning list with 83 career wins.[70]

Round 14: Axalta presents the Pocono 400

Kyle Busch started on pole for the second straight race. Busch and Erik Jones swapped the lead with Busch winning stage 1. Busch continued to lead, but Kyle Larson had the lead as he won stage 2. Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray were involved in a two car accident near the end of stage 2 and both got into the wall hard and McMurray's car caught fire. Busch continued to lead before he pitted and Brad Keselowski had the lead and was heading to the win until he pitted right before a caution came out. Busch and Keselowski stayed out under the caution and Kyle Busch pulled away until he was passed for the lead by Ryan Blaney. Blaney held off Kevin Harvick to get his first career win and the first win for Wood Brothers Racing since 2011, and the 3rd first time winner of the season.[71]

Round 15: FireKeepers Casino 400

Kyle Larson started on pole. Larson led early until Martin Truex Jr. got to the lead and won stage one. Larson got back in the lead, but Truex got the lead after pit stops and won stage two. In the final stage, Clint Bowyer got into the wall after having a tire go down. Ryan Blaney had a tire go down and caused a stack up which saw Darrell Wallace Jr. get into Daniel Suárez, who crashed into Danica Patrick. On the restart, Larson drove away from Chase Elliott for his second win of the season.[72]

Results and standings

Race results

No. Race Pole position Most laps led Winning driver Manufacturer Report
Advance Auto Parts Clash Keselowski, BradBrad Keselowski Hamlin, DennyDenny Hamlin Logano, JoeyJoey Logano Ford Report
Can-Am Duel 1 Elliott, ChaseChase Elliott Keselowski, BradBrad Keselowski Elliott, ChaseChase Elliott Chevrolet Report
Can-Am Duel 2 Earnhardt Jr., DaleDale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt Jr., DaleDale Earnhardt Jr. Hamlin, DennyDenny Hamlin Toyota
1 Daytona 500 Elliott, ChaseChase Elliott Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Busch, KurtKurt Busch Ford Report
2 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Keselowski, BradBrad Keselowski Ford Report
3 Kobalt 400 Keselowski, BradBrad Keselowski Truex Jr., MartinMartin Truex Jr. Truex Jr., MartinMartin Truex Jr. Toyota Report
4 Camping World 500 Logano, JoeyJoey Logano Busch, KyleKyle Busch Newman, RyanRyan Newman Chevrolet Report
5 Auto Club 400 Larson, KyleKyle Larson Larson, KyleKyle Larson Larson, KyleKyle Larson Chevrolet Report
6 STP 500 Larson, KyleKyle Larson Busch, KyleKyle Busch Keselowski, BradBrad Keselowski Ford Report
7 O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Blaney, RyanRyan Blaney Johnson, JimmieJimmie Johnson Chevrolet Report
8 Food City 500 Larson, KyleKyle Larson Larson, KyleKyle Larson Johnson, JimmieJimmie Johnson Chevrolet Report
9 Toyota Owners 400 Kenseth, MattMatt Kenseth Kenseth, MattMatt Kenseth Logano, JoeyJoey Logano Ford Report
10 GEICO 500 Stenhouse Jr., RickyRicky Stenhouse Jr. Busch, KyleKyle Busch Stenhouse Jr., RickyRicky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Report
11 Go Bowling 400 Blaney, RyanRyan Blaney Truex Jr., MartinMartin Truex Jr. Truex Jr., MartinMartin Truex Jr. Toyota Report
Monster Energy Open Bowyer, ClintClint Bowyer Bowyer, ClintClint Bowyer
Blaney, RyanRyan Blaney
Suárez, DanielDaniel Suárez Toyota Report
Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race Larson, KyleKyle Larson Larson, KyleKyle Larson Busch, KyleKyle Busch Toyota
12 Coca-Cola 600 Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Truex Jr., MartinMartin Truex Jr. Dillon, AustinAustin Dillon Chevrolet Report
13 AAA 400 Drive for Autism Busch, KyleKyle Busch Larson, KyleKyle Larson Johnson, JimmieJimmie Johnson Chevrolet Report
14 Axalta presents the Pocono 400 Busch, KyleKyle Busch Busch, KyleKyle Busch Blaney, RyanRyan Blaney Ford Report
15 FireKeepers Casino 400 Larson, KyleKyle Larson Larson, KyleKyle Larson Larson, KyleKyle Larson Chevrolet Report
16 Toyota/Save Mart 350 Report

Driver standings

(keyBold – Pole position awarded by time. Italics – Pole position set by final practice results or owner's points. * – Most laps led. 1 – Stage 1 winner. 2 – Stage 2 winner. 3 – Stage 3 winner.[N 1]

Pos. Driver DAY ATL LVS PHO CAL MAR TEX BRI RCH TAL KAN CLT DOV POC MCH SON DAY KEN NHA IND POC GLN MCH BRI DAR RCH CHI NHA DOV CLT TAL KAN MAR TEX PHO HOM Pts. Stage Bonus
D1 D2 500
1 Kyle Larson 9 12 2 2 2 1*1 17 2 6*1 14 12 6 33 2* 72 1* 640 193 13
2 Martin Truex Jr. 7 13 8 1*12 11 42 161 8 82 10 35 1* 3*2 312 6 612 635 205 20
3 Kyle Busch 12 381 16 22 3* 8 2* 15 35 16 3* 51 21 16 9*1 7 510 150 4
4 Kevin Harvick 3 22*2 9*12 38 6 13 20 4 3 5 23 3 8 9 2 14 508 132 3
5 Chase Elliott 1 14 5 3 122 10 32 9 7 24 30 29 38 5 8 2 478 110 2
6 Brad Keselowski 4* 27 1 5 5 2 1 6 34 22 71 2 39 38 5 16 476 126 12
7 Jamie McMurray 2 28 10 8 15 6 38 7 12 6 2 8 12 7 37 5 450 84
8 Jimmie Johnson 13 34 19 11 9 21 15 1 1 11 8 24 17 1 36 10 449 100 15
9 Denny Hamlin 1 17 38 6 10 14 30 25 10 3 112 23 53 8 12 4 430 79 2
10 Joey Logano 9 6 6 4 311 5 4 3 5 1 32 37 21 25 23 3 398 66 1
11 Matt Kenseth 5 40 3 9 37 36 9 16 4 23*1 24 12 4 12 10 11 398 82 1
12 Clint Bowyer 2 32 11 10 13 3 7 11 2 15 14 9 14 31 17 26 391 42
13 Ryan Blaney 20 2 18 7 23 9 25 12*12 33 36 39 42 24 32 1 25 376 104 8
14 Kurt Busch 3 1 7 30 25 24 37 10 25 8 6 19 6 37 4 12 359 41 5
15 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 13 31 13 33 4 22 10 14 9 4 1 11 15 39 11 8 354 17 5
16 Erik Jones (R) 19 39 14 15 8 12 12 22 17 38 33 22 7 15 3 13 346 56
17 Ryan Newman 8 21 35 17 1 15 8 26 14 7 25 40 9 4 14 15 344 28 5
18 Trevor Bayne 6 10 12 13 19 23 13 13 11 13 37 10 16 21 21 17 323 11
19 Daniel Suárez (R) 11 29 21 20 7 7 32 19 18 12 19 7 11 6 15 24 313 4
20 Austin Dillon 5 19 32 25 18 11 5 33 13 20 36 16 1 13 13 27 297 13 5
21 Kasey Kahne 14 7 4 12 20 20 14 38 20 22 5 15 35 17 35 21 290 18
22 Ty Dillon (R) 10 30 15 21 16 18 22 17 15 26 13 14 36 14 18 20 264 2
23 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 6* 37 30 16 14 16 34 5 38 30 22 20 10 11 38 9 257 21
24 Paul Menard 20 5 25 19 21 29 19 36 16 25 9 35 13 33 20 22 233 4
25 Chris Buescher 16 35 24 23 27 25 11 21 39 17 15 18 20 23 19 36 205
26 A. J. Allmendinger 4 3 26 24 26 17 6 20 30 37 31 30 18 18 22 18 202 7
27 Michael McDowell 12 15 29 18 24 33 26 23 26 29 34 13 19 19 24 23 200
28 Aric Almirola 8 4 27 14 17 19 18 18 22 9 4 38 188
29 David Ragan 11 25 23 29 35 31 24 28 23 19 10 17 23 30 25 29 185
30 Danica Patrick 7 33 17 36 22 26 23 24 36 18 38 36 25 10 16 37 176 10
31 Cole Whitt 10 18 20 28 34 32 21 30 21 27 16 26 34 22 30 31 167
32 Landon Cassill 15 16 22 27 28 27 27 29 32 21 29 21 28 36 27 32 153
33 Matt DiBenedetto 14 9 28 26 29 29 35 31 19 28 18 32 37 29 32 28 146
34 Corey LaJoie (R) 18 24 34 39 38 30 28 32 24 32 27 27 32 28 30 98
35 Gray Gaulding (R) 37 34 36 37 29 34 29 31 20 34 27 24 29 82
36 Reed Sorenson 21 DNQ 31 31 30 34 31 35 28 33 40 25 30 31 34 72
37 Jeffrey Earnhardt 18 26 33 32 39 39 36 40 27 35 28 33 40 27 34 35 65
38 Michael Waltrip 17 8 29
39 Derrike Cope 36 35 33 38 37 31 39 31 33 26
40 Cody Ware 39 35 39 4
41 D. J. Kennington 15 36 DNQ 1
Ineligible for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup driver points
Pos. Driver DAY ATL LVS PHO CAL MAR TEX BRI RCH TAL KAN CLT DOV POC MCH SON DAY KEN NHA IND POC GLN MCH BRI DAR RCH CHI NHA DOV CLT TAL KAN MAR TEX PHO HOM Pts. Stage Bonus
D1 D2 500
Brendan Gaughan 19 11 26
Elliott Sadler 16 20 17
Darrell Wallace Jr. 26 19
Ross Chastain 20
Joey Gase 17 23 21
Regan Smith 22 34
J. J. Yeley 27 26
Ryan Sieg 26 33
Timmy Hill 21 DNQ 37 32 35 33 39 37 34 28 29 28
Carl Long 31
- Allmendinger and Truex lost their Duel points for failing post-race inspection.
Notes
  1. ^ Stage 3 Winner only for Coca-Cola 600.

Manufacturers' Championship

Pos Manufacturer Wins Points
1 Chevrolet 7 545
2 Ford 6 533
3 Toyota 2 511

See also

Notes

  • ^1 The Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona was postponed from February 18 to February 19 because of inclement weather.[73]
  • ^2 The Food City 500 was postponed from April 23 to April 24 because of inclement weather.[74]

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