2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

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2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Previous: 2017 Next: 2019
Champions | Seasons
Kyle Busch, the current points leader

The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the 70th season of professional stock car racing in the United States, and the 47th 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 60th running of the Daytona 500. The regular season will end with the Brickyard 400 on September 9, 2018. The playoffs will end with the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2018. Martin Truex Jr. is the defending champion, having won his first in the series.

It is the fourth season of the current 10-year television contract with Fox Sports and NBC Sports and the third of a five-year race sanctioning agreement with all tracks.[1][2] It is slated to be the final season in which Ford fields the Fusion, replacing it with the Ford Mustang in 2019.

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
Germain Racing 13 Ty Dillon Matt Borland
Hendrick Motorsports 9 Chase Elliott Alan Gustafson
24 William Byron (R) Darian Grubb
48 Jimmie Johnson Chad Knaus
88 Alex Bowman Greg Ives
JTG Daugherty Racing 37 Chris Buescher Trent Owens
47 A. J. Allmendinger Tristan Smith
Leavine Family Racing 95 Kasey Kahne Travis Mack 15
Jon Leonard 21
Premium Motorsports 15 Danica Patrick 1 Tony Eury Jr. 1
Todd Parrott 1
Pat Tryson 34
Ross Chastain 33
Justin Marks 2
Richard Childress Racing 3 Austin Dillon Justin Alexander
31 Ryan Newman Luke Lambert
Richard Petty Motorsports 43 Darrell Wallace Jr. (R) Drew Blickensderfer
StarCom Racing 00 Jeffrey Earnhardt 5 Tony Furr 35
Jonas Bell 1
Landon Cassill 29
Joey Gase 1
Tomy Drissi 1
TriStar Motorsports 72 Corey LaJoie 25 Frankie Kerr
Cole Whitt 11
Ford Front Row Motorsports 34 Michael McDowell Derrick Finley
38 David Ragan Seth Barbour
Go Fas Racing 32 Matt DiBenedetto Gene Nead 2
Randy Cox 34
Roush Fenway Racing 6 Trevor Bayne 22 Matt Puccia
Matt Kenseth 14
17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Brian Pattie
Stewart-Haas Racing 4 Kevin Harvick Rodney Childers
10 Aric Almirola Johnny Klausmeier
14 Clint Bowyer Mike Bugarewicz
41 Kurt Busch Billy Scott
Team Penske 2 Brad Keselowski Paul Wolfe
12 Ryan Blaney Jeremy Bullins
22 Joey Logano Todd Gordon
Wood Brothers Racing 21 Paul Menard Greg Erwin
Toyota BK Racing 23 Gray Gaulding Rick Bourgeois
Furniture Row Racing 78 Martin Truex Jr. Cole Pearn
Joe Gibbs Racing 11 Denny Hamlin Mike Wheeler
18 Kyle Busch Adam Stevens
19 Daniel Suárez Scott Graves
20 Erik Jones Chris Gayle
Chevrolet 12
Ford 2
Toyota 2
Rick Ware Racing 51 Justin Marks 1 Pat Tryson 1
Ken Evans 15
Harrison Rhodes 5
Cole Custer 2
Timmy Hill 3
Cody Ware 1
B. J. McLeod 3
Chris Cook 1
Source:[3][4]

Limited schedule

Manufacturer Team No. Race driver Crew chief Round(s)
Chevrolet Beard Motorsports 62 Brendan Gaughan Darren Shaw 4
NY Racing Team 7 J. J. Yeley George Church 1
Premium Motorsports Todd Parrott 1
D. J. Kennington 1
Reed Sorenson 1
55 Joey Gase 1
Reed Sorenson 7
J. J. Yeley 1
Jeffrey Earnhardt 1
Richard Childress Racing 8 Daniel Hemric Brandon Thomas 2
StarCom Racing 99 Derrike Cope Domenick Turse 2
Garrett Smithley 1
Rick Ware Racing 52 Cody Ware George Church 1
Ford RBR Enterprises 92 David Gilliland Mike Hester 1
Timothy Peters 1
Toyota Gaunt Brothers Racing 96 D. J. Kennington Mark Hillman 6
Parker Kligerman 2
Ford 1
Toyota 4
MBM Motorsports 66 Mark Thompson Mike Hillman Sr. 1
Chad Finchum 1
Timmy Hill 3

Changes

Teams

Drivers

Crew chiefs

  • Jeremy Bullins will move over from the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing team to the new No. 12 Team Penske team to continue to be Ryan Blaney's crew chief.
  • Greg Erwin will move from the No. 22 Team Penske team in the NASCAR Xfinity Series to the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing team to be Paul Menard's crew chief.[15]
  • Travis Mack will move from being the car chief for the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team to the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing team to be Kasey Kahne's crew chief. After Michigan in June, Mack was removed and replaced by Jon Leonard in the short term.[16]
  • Championship winning crew chief Darian Grubb will be the crew chief for the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team and William Byron. In 2017, Grubb was the crew chief for Kasey Kahne in the final 9 races of the season after Keith Rodden left as the crew chief role.
  • Bootie Barker will leave the No. 13 team at the end of the 2017 season. On November 27, 2017, Germain Racing announced that Matt Borland will move over from the No. 27 Richard Childress Racing team to be the crew chief for Ty Dillon.
  • Jason Ratcliff will move over from the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team to the No. 20 JGR team in the NASCAR Xfinity Series to be the crew chief for Christopher Bell. Chris Gayle moves over from the now shut down No. 77 Furniture Row Racing team to continue to be Erik Jones' crew chief.
  • Eddie Pardue will move with The Motorsports Group and be the crew chief. Pardue was the crew chief for the No. 33 for Circle Sport-The Motorsports Group until the two teams split after the 2017 season.
  • On December 15, 2017, Tony Gibson announced his retirement. Johnny Klausmeier, who served as car chief on the No. 41 team, will be the crew chief for Aric Almirola, while Billy Scott moves from the No. 10 team to the No. 41 to be crew chief for Kurt Busch.
  • On February 27, 2018, Go Fas Racing announced Randy Cox would take over crew chief duties for the No. 32 team, replacing Gene Nead.

Manufacturers

Offseason changes

Rule changes

During its annual media tour in November 2017, NASCAR announced that constraints would be imposed on crew rosters in its three national series. Crew members are divided into "Organizational", "Road Crew", and "Pit Crew" roles; in the Cup Series, a single team may only have a roster of 3-4 organizational crew members (depending on the number of cars they field), 12 road crew members, and 5 pit crew members (reduced from 6, as implemented in 2011). Crew members must be assigned a jersey number and a letter corresponding to their position, which must be worn on their crew uniforms. Staff may be shared between a team's individual cars, even if they are not explicitly listed on their roster. NASCAR's executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O'Donnell stated that these changes were intended to improve safety, as well as improve its focus on teamwork.[20][21]

In February 2018, it was announced that the vehicle damage policy introduced in 2017 had been modified, following analysis of the rule's effects in 2017, and to account for the reduction in pit crew members. The length of the repair window has been extended to six minutes, and the penalty for having too many crew members repairing the car was reduced from disqualification to a two-lap penalty. Additionally, the length of the first session in qualifying on intermediate- and short-tracks has been reduced from 20 to 15 minutes.[22]

On May 16, 2018, NASCAR announced that teams no longer need to start the race on the tires used in qualifying, due to teams that fail to pass the inspection before qualifying getting an advantage.[23]

Schedule

The final schedule – 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 23, 2017.[24] Key changes from 2017 include:

No Race Title Track Date Time TV
Advance Auto Parts Clash Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida February 11 3:00 p.m. FS1
Can-Am Duel February 15 7:00 p.m. FS1
1 Daytona 500 February 18 2:30 p.m. Fox
2 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Georgia February 25 3:30 p.m. Fox
3 Pennzoil 400 Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nevada March 4 3:30 p.m. Fox
4 TicketGuardian 500 ISM Raceway, Avondale, Arizona March 11 3:30 p.m. Fox
5 Auto Club 400 Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, California March 18 3:30 p.m. Fox
6 STP 500 Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway, Virginia March 26[N 1] 2:00 p.m. FS1
7 O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas April 8 2:00 p.m. FS1
8 Food City 500 Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, Tennessee April 15–16[N 2] 1:15 p.m.
1:30 p.m.
Fox
9 Toyota Owners 400 Richmond Raceway, Richmond, Virginia April 21 6:30 p.m. Fox
10 GEICO 500 Talladega Superspeedway, Lincoln, Alabama April 29 2:00 p.m. Fox
11 AAA 400 Drive for Autism Dover International Speedway, Dover, Delaware May 6 1:45 p.m. FS1
12 KC Masterpiece 400 Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kansas May 12 8:00 p.m. FS1
Monster Energy Open Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina May 19 6:00 p.m. FS1
Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race May 19 8:00 p.m. FS1
13 Coca-Cola 600 May 27 6:00 p.m. Fox
14 Pocono 400 Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pennsylvania June 3 2:00 p.m. FS1
15 FireKeepers Casino 400 Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan June 10 4:30 p.m. Fox
16 Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, California June 24 3:00 p.m. FS1
17 Overton's 400[25] Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, Illinois July 1 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
18 Coke Zero Sugar 400 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida July 7 7:00 p.m. NBC
19 Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Kentucky July 14 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
20 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, New Hampshire July 22 2:00 p.m. NBCSN
21 Gander Outdoors 400[26] Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pennsylvania July 29 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
22 Go Bowling at The Glen[27] Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, New York August 5 2:30 p.m. NBC
23 Consumers Energy 400 Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan August 12 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
24 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, Tennessee August 18 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
25 Bojangles' Southern 500 Darlington Raceway, Darlington, South Carolina September 2 6:00 p.m. NBCSN
26 Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway, Indiana September 9 2:00 p.m. NBCSN
Cup Championship Playoffs
Round of 16
27 South Point 400 Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nevada September 16 3:00 p.m. NBCSN
28 Federated Auto Parts 400 Richmond Raceway, Richmond, Virginia September 22 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
29 Bank of America 500 Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina September 30 2:00 p.m. NBC
Round of 12
30 Dover 400 Dover International Speedway, Dover, Delaware October 7 2:00 p.m. NBCSN
31 1000Bulbs.com 500[28] Talladega Superspeedway, Lincoln, Alabama October 14 2:00 p.m. NBC
32 Hollywood Casino 400 Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kansas October 21 2:00 p.m. NBC
Round of 8
33 First Data 500 Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway, Virginia October 28 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
34 AAA Texas 500 Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas November 4 3:00 p.m. NBCSN
35 Can-Am 500 ISM Raceway, Avondale, Arizona November 11 2:30 p.m. NBC
Championship 4
36 Ford EcoBoost 400 Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Florida November 18 2:30 p.m. NBC

Crown Jewel races in bold

  1. ^ The spring Martinsville race was postponed from Sunday to Monday due to snow.
  2. ^ The spring Bristol race started Sunday and ended Monday due to rain.

Schedule changes

In 2015, NASCAR and 23 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series tracks agreed on a five-year contract that guarantees each track would continue to host races through 2020.[29] Despite the agreement, Speedway Motorsports decided to transfer one of its Cup Series races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to Las Vegas Motor Speedway to form a race weekend involving each of the three national series in the fall.[30] On July 27, 2016, Daytona International Speedway announced that the 60th running of the Daytona 500 would be moved one week earlier to be held on February 18, 2018.[31]

Several changes were announced with the release of the final schedule. The 25th Big Machine Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway moved to September to become the final race of the regular season, while the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway moved to the second race in the Round of 16. The new date that Las Vegas Motor Speedway acquired from New Hampshire Motor Speedway was moved to the first race of the playoffs to replace Chicagoland Speedway, which became race 17 of the regular season. Dover International Speedway's spring race, the AAA 400 Drive for Autism, was moved one month early to precede Kansas Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. The track's fall race, the Dover 400, was moved one week later to become the first race of the Round of 12. Also, Charlotte Motor Speedway's Bank of America 500 moved one week earlier and will utilize the track's road course layout instead of its quad-oval. With an additional off-week in the schedule for 2018, the Father's Day off-week that Fox added for the U. S. Open will be restored, with the third off-week being after the Bristol August race.[24][32]

Season summary

Race reports

Speedweeks 2018

Daytona Speedweeks started with the Advance Auto Parts Clash. Austin Dillon drew the pole as Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski led the majority of the race. Jamie McMurray crashed and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. received a penalty. Keselowski led the last half to win over Joey Logano as Jimmie Johnson crashed after contact with Kyle Larson with Chase Elliott, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. also getting involved.[33]

In Daytona 500 qualifying, Alex Bowman won the pole while Denny Hamlin qualified second. Bowman won the pole for his first race since taking over the #88 car from Dale Earnhardt Jr. full-time. This was the fourth consecutive Daytona 500 pole won by Hendrick Motorsports.[34]

In the Can-Am Duels on Thursday, Bowman was on pole for race one. In the early laps, Jimmie Johnson lost a tire and crashed along with Aric Almirola. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was moving around the entire race, but got into both William Byron and David Gilliland, taking them out. Joey Logano led the majority of laps, but was passed for the lead by Ryan Blaney as Brad Keselowski crashed with Jamie McMurray, sending the race into overtime. In overtime, Blaney held off Joey Logano and Darrell Wallace Jr. to win the first Duel. In the second Duel, Hamlin was on pole. Early in the race, Erik Jones spun and collected Kyle Larson and Matt DiBenedetto. Hamlin and Chase Elliott led most of the race. Eliott led the most laps to win his second straight Duel race over Kevin Harvick.[35]

Round 1: Daytona 500

Alex Bowman started on pole. Early on, Kyle Busch had a tire go down and had to pit. Later, Busch had another tire down and got into the wall and collected Jamie McMurray and D.J. Kennington. In the closing laps of stage one, Erik Jones spun and collected Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, Daniel Suarez, William Byron, and Ty Dillon as Kurt Busch won stage one. In stage two, Byron got into the wall after having a tire go down. Brad Keselowski got into Chase Elliott and collected others including David Ragan, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, and Danica Patrick, who finished 35th in her final NASCAR race. Ryan Blaney won stage two over Joey Logano. In the final stage, Blaney continued to lead. In the closing laps, Byron again had a tire go down and spun. With two laps to go, Kurt Busch got turned around and collected Blaney, Matt DiBenedetto, Brendan Gaughan, and others, sending the race to overtime. In overtime, Aric Almirola was leading at the white flag, and tried to block Austin Dillon, but the block was late and Almirola ended up in the wall. Austin Dillon held off Darrell Wallace Jr. for his second career win and winning the Daytona 500 in the #3 20 years after Dale Earnhardt won his only 500 in 1998.[36]

Round 2: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

Kyle Busch led the field to the green flag after an hour delay from rain. Ryan Newman jumped out to an early lead, but Busch was able to reclaim the lead. After the end-of-stage caution, Newman had a tire go down and hit the wall. Kevin Harvick led and won the first stage. In the second stage, Harvick, Kurt Busch, and Brad Keselowski all led as Keselowski won stage two after a spin by Jimmie Johnson. In the final stage, Harvick continued to dominate as Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano tried to win on a different strategy as the rest of the field. Late in the final stage, Trevor Bayne had an engine failure as Darrell Wallace Jr. plowed into Ricky Stenhouse Jr. trying to avoid the smoke. Harvick continued to lead and won over Keselowski for his first win at Atlanta since 2001.[37]

Round 3: Pennzoil 400

Ryan Blaney started on pole. Kevin Harvick took the lead at the beginning and dominated and won the first two caution free stages. In the final stage, Jamie McMurray got into the wall after a flat tire. Kurt Busch got loose and crashed along with Chase Elliott. Harvick led over 200 laps and held off a hard charging Kyle Busch for his second straight win and second at Las Vegas.[38]

Round 4: TicketGuardian 500

Martin Truex Jr. started on pole. Kyle Larson shot out to the lead early and led most of the first stage. Kyle Busch took the lead and won the first stage. Early in the second stage, Larson spun on the apron. Chris Buescher had a tire go down and got into the wall. Kurt Busch stayed out and won the second stage. Denny Hamlin took the lead as Paul Menard had a tire go down and got into the wall. Kyle Busch regained the lead until green flag pit stops. Brad Keselowski stayed out to stretch it out until the end, but had to pit. Kevin Harvick was able to pass Chase Elliott during the green flag cycle to take the lead from Ryan Newman and hold off Kyle Busch for his third consecutive win and ninth at Phoenix.[39]

Round 5: Auto Club 400

Martin Truex Jr. started on pole for the second straight week. Early, Kevin Harvick got into the wall and spun through the grass after contact with Kyle Larson, ending his chances for a fourth straight win. Truex was able to win the first stage and win the second stage after Trevor Bayne got into the wall. David Ragan brought out the final caution as Truex was able to beat out Kyle Busch on pit stops and pulled away from Larson to sweep all three stages to win.[40]

Round 6: STP 500

Martin Truex Jr. started on pole for the third straight week as qualifying was cancelled due to rain and snow. The race was postponed from Sunday to Monday due to snow. Denny Hamlin won the first stage after a Competition Caution and Ryan Blaney won the second stage. Jamie McMurray spun after contact with Austin Dillon. Clint Bowyer took the lead from Blaney and dominated the remainder of the race, leading 215 laps. McMurray, Trevor Bayne, and Harrison Rhodes all had tires go down, but there was no caution. Bowyer held off Kyle Busch for his first win since 2012 and the fourth out of six races for Stewart-Haas Racing.[41]

Round 7: O'Reilly Auto Parts 500

Kurt Busch started on pole after qualifying was cancelled just after the first round due to rain. As soon as the race began, Alex Bowman spun and collected Aric Almirola, Austin Dillon, and Paul Menard. At the end of the first stage, Martin Truex Jr. had a tire go down and got into the wall as Kevin Harvick scored the stage win as it ended under caution. In the second stage, Kyle Larson had a tire go down and he got into the wall. Kyle Busch was able to win the second stage. Early in the final stage, Denny Hamlin spun and collected David Ragan, Brad Keselowski, and Jimmie Johnson. Menard and Ryan Newman both got into the wall. Kyle Busch and Harvick, both with older tires, were able to stay out front and Busch was able to hold Harvick off for his first win of the year and third at Texas.[42]

Round 8: Food City 500

Kyle Busch started on pole. Michael McDowell spun on the third lap and collected others including Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. The race was stopped three different times due to rain and a wreck by Trevor Bayne. Ryan Blaney led most of the first half of the race, but was caught up in an accident while leading, ending his race. Brad Keselowski won the first stage. After another red flag due to rain, the remainder of the race was postponed to Monday. After a small delay due to rain, the race continued. Keselowski would win the second stage after taking back the lead. Kyle Larson took back the lead and continued leading until spun after making contact with Ryan Newman. Kyle Busch got the lead when the caution was displayed for rain, but it was a brief yellow. On the final restart, Larson got back in the lead, but Kyle Busch passed Larson for the lead with six laps to go and Busch pulled away to his second straight win and seventh at Bristol.[43]

Round 9: Toyota Owners 400

Kyle Busch leads late in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway in April, a race he wins

Martin Truex Jr. won the pole. Joey Logano dominated the early part of the race, winning both stages. Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer took turned swapping the lead. Truex regained the lead and lead a race high of 121 laps. Ryan Blaney and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got together and spun. Jamie McMurray got into the wall and made contact with Ryan Newman, who blew up. David Ragan had a tire go down and got into the wall. Stenhouse spun again to send the race into overtime. On the restart, Kyle Busch held off Chase Elliott for his third straight win and fifth at Richmond.[44]

Round 10: GEICO 500

Kevin Harvick started the race from the pole. Brad Keselowski won the first stage of the race. In the second stage, Erik Jones caused a multicar wreck that collected Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., and Trevor Bayne. Paul Menard won the second stage of the race. Numerous drivers experienced speeding penalties on pit road including Denny Hamlin, who was caught speeding on pit road multiple times. Late in the race, Jimmie Johnson got loose in front of teammate William Byron and caused a 14-car accident that also collected Keselowski, Menard, Clint Bowyer, Michael McDowell, Ryan Blaney, Darrell Wallace Jr., and A.J. Allmendinger. Joey Logano led in the closing laps of the race and went to score his first win of the season, ending a 36 race winless streak.[45]

Round 11: AAA 400 Drive for Autism

Kevin Harvick leads on the first lap of the AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover International Speedway in May, a race he wins

Kyle Larson started on pole. Michael McDowell spun and Derrike Cope crashed early as Kevin Harvick won both stages. Kyle Busch went to the garage after suffering a broken driveshaft. Clint Bowyer was leading when the race was halted by a red flag due to rain. After the delay, Kevin Harvick passed Bowyer for the lead and pulled away for his second win at Dover and his fourth win of the season.[46]

Round 12: KC Masterpiece 400

Kevin Harvick started on pole. Harvick led early, but Ryan Blaney took the lead and won the first stage. Kyle Larson came from the rear of the field to dominate the race, winning the second stage. Alex Bowman and Daniel Suarez got together and both got into the wall. Larson and Blaney got into each other, putting Blaney in the wall. On the restart, William Byron had a tire go down caused a wreck featuring Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Ty Dillon, Jamie McMurray, Chris Buescher, and Matt Kenseth, competing in his first race of the year, bringing out the red flag. On the restart, Martin Truex Jr. pulled away from the field, but Kevin Harvick was able run down Truex to take the lead for his second consecutive win and his fifth of the season.[47]

Exhibition: Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race

First, it was the Monster Energy Open. Aric Almirola started on pole due to qualifying being rained out. Almirola led early, but Alex Bowman took the lead and won the first stage to transfer. In the second stage, Paul Menard got into the wall. Chase Elliott had the lead, but Daniel Suárez took the lead and won the second stage to transfer. Darrell Wallace Jr. led in the final stage, but Elliott got back into the lead. Alimrola and Erik Jones got into each other as A.J. Allmendinger took the lead and held off Eliott to win his second Open to transfer.[48] Chase Eliott won the fan vote to transfer for the third straight year.[49]

Matt Kenseth won the pole for the race. Kurt Busch spun early as Kevin Harvick won the first stage and Kyle Busch won the second stage. In the third stage, Kasey Kahne got into the wall. Martin Truex Jr. got into Clint Bowyer and they crashed with Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, and Brad Keselowski. Harvick got by Daniel Suárez to win the third stage. In the final 10 laps, Harvick was out front as Kyle Larson spun after contact with Joey Logano. In a two lap shootout, Kevin Harvick held off Daniel Suárez for his second All-Star Race win and the $1 million.[50]

Round 13: Coca-Cola 600

Kyle Busch started on pole. Defending winner Austin Dillon got in the wall after having a tire go down early. Kevin Harvick got into the wall, taking him out of the race, as Busch won the first stage. William Byron had a tire go down and got into the wall. Jimmie Johnson spun after contact with Denny Hamlin and also sent Joey Logano spinning. Busch won the second stage. In the third stage, Gray Gaulding crashed and Chris Buescher spun. Kyle Larson spun and Ryan Blaney blew an engine and caught fire. Busch won the third stage. Kyle Busch continued to dominate and won his fourth race of the season and with the win, he became the first in history to win a race at every racetrack in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series that he competed at.[51]

Round 14: Pocono 400

Defending race winner Ryan Blaney started on pole. Blaney led early until he had a problem and had to pit. Martin Truex, Jr. got the lead and won the first stage. Kevin Harvick got to the lead and dominated to win a caution free stage two. In the final stage, Matt DiBenedetto had brake issues and it caused a tire to catch fire as Kasey Kahne and Darrell Wallace, Jr. both had transmission issues. Derrike Cope spun after contact with Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin spun and crashed into the wall after contact with Alex Bowman. On the restart, Erik Jones spun after contact with Joey Logano. On the restart, Martin Truex, Jr. pulled away from Larson, Harvick, and Kyle Busch to pick up his second win of the season and second at Pocono.[52]

Round 15: FireKeepers Casino 400

Kurt Busch started on pole. The race started over two hours late due to rain. Austin Dillon and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. spun after making contact with each other just as the competition caution came out. David Ragan got into the wall after contact with Darrell Wallace, Jr. Matt Kenseth spun at the end of the stage as Ryan Blaney, who had taken the lead from Kurt Busch, won the first stage. Daniel Suárez spun after contact with Paul Menard. Kyle Larson, who won the last three Michigan races, spun into the grass, ending his changes of a fourth straight win. Kevin Harvick won the second stage over his teammates. Clint Bowyer had taken the lead from Harvick as Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun as rain was reported around the track. The race was called giving Bowyer his second win of the season.[53]

Results and standings

Race results

No. Race Pole position Most laps led Winning driver Manufacturer Report
Advance Auto Parts Clash Dillon, AustinAustin Dillon Keselowski, BradBrad Keselowski Keselowski, BradBrad Keselowski Ford Report
Can-Am Duel 1 Bowman, AlexAlex Bowman Logano, JoeyJoey Logano Blaney, RyanRyan Blaney Ford Report
Can-Am Duel 2 Hamlin, DennyDenny Hamlin Elliott, ChaseChase Elliott Elliott, ChaseChase Elliott Chevrolet
1 Daytona 500 Bowman, AlexAlex Bowman Blaney, RyanRyan Blaney Dillon, AustinAustin Dillon Chevrolet Report
2 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Busch, KyleKyle Busch Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Ford Report
3 Pennzoil 400 Blaney, RyanRyan Blaney Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Ford Report
4 TicketGuardian 500 Truex Jr., MartinMartin Truex Jr. Busch, KyleKyle Busch Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Ford Report
5 Auto Club 400 Truex Jr., MartinMartin Truex Jr. Truex Jr., MartinMartin Truex Jr. Truex Jr., MartinMartin Truex Jr. Toyota Report
6 STP 500 Truex Jr., MartinMartin Truex Jr. Bowyer, ClintClint Bowyer Bowyer, ClintClint Bowyer Ford Report
7 O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Busch, KurtKurt Busch Busch, KyleKyle Busch Busch, KyleKyle Busch Toyota Report
8 Food City 500 Busch, KyleKyle Busch Larson, KyleKyle Larson Busch, KyleKyle Busch Toyota Report
9 Toyota Owners 400 Truex Jr., MartinMartin Truex Jr. Truex Jr., MartinMartin Truex Jr. Busch, KyleKyle Busch Toyota Report
10 GEICO 500 Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Logano, JoeyJoey Logano Logano, JoeyJoey Logano Ford Report
11 AAA 400 Drive for Autism Larson, KyleKyle Larson Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Ford Report
12 KC Masterpiece 400 Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Larson, KyleKyle Larson Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Ford Report
Monster Energy Open Almirola, AricAric Almirola Suárez, DanielDaniel Suárez Allmendinger, A. J.A. J. Allmendinger Chevrolet Report
Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race Kenseth, MattMatt Kenseth Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Ford
13 Coca-Cola 600 Busch, KyleKyle Busch Busch, KyleKyle Busch Busch, KyleKyle Busch Toyota Report
14 Pocono 400 Blaney, RyanRyan Blaney Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Truex Jr., MartinMartin Truex Jr. Toyota Report
15 FireKeepers Casino 400 Busch, KurtKurt Busch Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick Bowyer, ClintClint Bowyer Ford 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 DOV KAN CLT POC MCH SON CHI DAY KEN NHA POC GLN MCH BRI DAR IND LVS RCH CLT DOV TAL KAN MAR TEX PHO HOM Pts. Stage Bonus
1 Kyle Busch 25 7 2 2*1 3 2 1*2 1 1 13 35 10 1*123 3 4 664 197 25
2 Kevin Harvick 31 1*1 1*12 1 35 5 21 7 5 4 1*12 1 40 4*2 2*2 589 161 26
3 Joey Logano 4 6 7 19 5 6 6 9 412 1* 13 3 22 9 7 566 119 7
4 Brad Keselowski 32 22 6 15 4 10 33 2312 8 331 6 14 4 5 6 514 160 4
5 Clint Bowyer 15 3 18 6 11 1* 9 8 9 31 2 15 12 20 1 510 121 10
6 Martin Truex Jr. 18 5 4 5 1*12 4 37 30 14* 28 4 2 2 11 18 506 113 13
7 Kurt Busch 261 8 34 102 14 11 7 22 11 2 5 8 8 19 3 493 121 2
8 Denny Hamlin 3 4 17 4 6 121 34 14 3 14 7 5 3 35 12 468 84 1
9 Ryan Blaney 7*2 12 5 16 8 32 5 35 22 18 8 371 36 6 81 457 117 4
10 Kyle Larson 19 9 3 18 2 16 36 2* 7 40 10 4*2 7 2 28 443 106
11 Aric Almirola 11 13 10 7 12 14 32 6 17 7 11 9 13 7 11 433 58
12 Jimmie Johnson 38 27 12 14 9 15 35 3 6 12 9 19 5 8 20 377 52
13 Chase Elliott 33 10 34 3 16 9 11 29 2 3 12 12 11 10 9 362 46
14 Erik Jones 36 11 8 9 7 17 4 26 13 39 18 7 19 29 15 346 38
15 Alex Bowman 17 20 16 13 13 7 28 5 18 8 23 18 9 27 16 331 14
16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 29 16 14 23 18 37 25 4 23 5 15 11 10 14 29 327 37
17 Paul Menard 6 17 9 36 19 13 30 13 24 302 34 6 14 11 5 327 35 1
18 Austin Dillon 1 14 13 17 10 30 26 15 15 35 26 17 34 12 14 292 7 5
19 Jamie McMurray 16 19 36 26 17 26 3 19 19 26 16 31 6 15 10 283 13
20 William Byron (R) 23 18 27 12 15 20 10 18 12 29 14 33 39 18 13 277 20
21 Daniel Suárez 37 15 26 8 23 18 29 11 10 10 3 28 15 24 30 265 13
22 Ryan Newman 8 22 11 11 21 19 27 10 37 9 33 30 35 25 22 257 16
23 A. J. Allmendinger 10 29 30 21 22 8 24 17 27 34 21 16 23 22 17 249 14
24 Darrell Wallace Jr. (R) 2 32 21 28 20 34 8 16 25 16 25 23 16 38 19 247 5
25 David Ragan 30 23 23 22 25 25 23 12 33 6 27 13 25 16 38 225 5
26 Chris Buescher 5 25 15 29 30 23 15 36 26 11 20 34 29 17 24 217
27 Michael McDowell 9 24 37 32 26 21 14 38 31 32 22 20 18 21 25 205 17
28 Kasey Kahne 34 21 19 24 24 24 17 34 29 17 17 21 20 36 23 201 6
29 Ty Dillon 39 26 24 30 27 22 13 28 20 15 24 38 21 23 21 194 5
30 Matt DiBenedetto 27 31 22 25 31 32 16 21 16 19 29 22 37 37 36 156
31 Trevor Bayne 13 35 20 20 37 33 12 24 21 38 19 145 4
32 Gray Gaulding 20 36 33 34 32 36 20 31 35 24 30 29 31 33 31 100
33 Cole Whitt 28 28 28 27 19 30 21 30 85
34 Landon Cassill 38 21 20 34 31 25 28 31 32 75
35 D. J. Kennington 24 31 28 27 20 34 58
36 Matt Kenseth 36 17 13 33 49
37 Corey LaJoie 40 37 25 38 24 26 27 49
38 Jeffrey Earnhardt 21 34 31 35 36 30 35
39 Reed Sorenson 34 31 32 38 37 32 27 31
40 Brendan Gaughan 28 22 24
41 Harrison Rhodes 33 35 22 37 36 23
42 Mark Thompson 22 15
43 Derrike Cope 37 34 4
44 Danica Patrick 35 2
Ineligible for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup driver points
Pos. Driver DAY ATL LVS PHO CAL MAR TEX BRI RCH TAL DOV KAN CLT POC MCH SON CHI DAY KEN NHA POC GLN MCH BRI DAR IND LVS RCH CLT DOV TAL KAN MAR TEX PHO HOM Pts. Stage Bonus
Justin Marks 12
David Gilliland 14
Ross Chastain 30 29 27 29 29 18 39 28 25 28 26 24 28 26
Timothy Peters 23
Cole Custer 25 26
Joey Gase 32 27
Parker Kligerman 27
J. J. Yeley 31 38 32
Timmy Hill 33 33 36 32 32 35
Daniel Hemric 32
B. J. McLeod 35 33 37
Chad Finchum 33
Cody Ware 36
Garrett Smithley 39
Pos. Driver DAY ATL LVS PHO CAL MAR TEX BRI RCH TAL DOV KAN CLT POC MCH SON CHI DAY KEN NHA POC GLN MCH BRI DAR IND LVS RCH CLT DOV TAL KAN MAR TEX PHO HOM Pts. Stage Bonus
Notes
  1. ^ Stage 3 Winner only for Coca-Cola 600.

Manufacturers' championship

Pos Manufacturer Wins Points
1 Ford 8 545
2 Toyota 6 540
3 Chevrolet 1 479

Playoff grid

Pos Number Driver Wins
1 18 Kyle Busch 4
2 4 Kevin Harvick 4*
3 14 Clint Bowyer 2
4 78 Martin Truex Jr. 2
5 22 Joey Logano 1
6 3 Austin Dillon 1
7 2 Brad Keselowski 0
8 41 Kurt Busch 0
9 11 Denny Hamlin 0
10 12 Ryan Blaney 0
11 42 Kyle Larson 0
12 10 Aric Almirola 0
13 48 Jimmie Johnson 0
14 9 Chase Elliott 0
15 20 Erik Jones 0
16 88 Alex Bowman 0
  • * Kevin Harvick's Las Vegas win will not count towards his playoff standings.
  Locked into the Playoffs.

See also

References

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  2. ^ Cain, Holly (July 23, 2013). "NASCAR, NBC Sports Group reach landmark deal". NASCAR.com. Daytona Beach, Florida: NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
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  4. ^ https://www.motorsport.com/nascar-cup/news/roush-sets-matt-kenseth-s-schedule-for-remainder-of-2018-1035720/
  5. ^ Weaver, Matt (December 12, 2017). "Circle Sport Racing, The Motorsports Group end merger ahead of 2018 season". Autoweek. Crain Communications. Retrieved December 12, 2017. 
  6. ^ Bromberg, Nick (December 12, 2017). "Circle Sport split with TMG leaves Jeffrey Earnhardt without a ride in 2018". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved December 12, 2017. 
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  9. ^ "Gaunt Brothers Racing to field Daytona 500 entry for DJ Kennington". Autoweek. Retrieved January 22, 2018. 
  10. ^ "Yahoo! Sports". Austin Dillon: Richard Childress Racing looking to be 'leaner and meaner' with two-car team. Retrieved January 23, 2018. 
  11. ^ Valade, Jodie (April 25, 2017). "Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Retire From Racing". The New York Times. Charlotte, North Carolina: The New York Times Company. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Front Row tabs David Ragan, Michael McDowell for 2018". Official Site Of NASCAR. Retrieved December 14, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Ray Black Jr. Joining Rick Ware Racing Full-Time for 2018 Cup Series Schedule". www.frontstretch.com. Retrieved 2017-11-22. 
  14. ^ Wilhelm, Chase. "Hemric to Bring Back No. 8 in Monster Energy Series Debut.” Official Site Of NASCAR, NASCAR.com, 20 March 2018.
  15. ^ Bonkowski, Jerry (December 27, 2017). "Greg Erwin ready for new challenge as Cup crew chief with Wood Brothers and Paul Menard". NBCSports. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  16. ^ Bearden, Aaron (2018-06-16). "LFR implements off-weekend crew chief swap for Kahne". Kickin' The Tires. Retrieved 2018-06-18. 
  17. ^ Folsom, Brandon (August 10, 2017). "Chevy Camaro returning to NASCAR Cup Series in 2018: 'It's a monster'". Detroit Free Press. Gannett Company. Retrieved August 11, 2017. 
  18. ^ Burden, Melissa (August 10, 2017). "Camaro ZL1 will be Chevy's new NASCAR entry". The Detroit News. Digital First Media. Retrieved August 11, 2017. 
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  21. ^ "NASCAR to standardize at-track rosters beginning in 2018". NASCAR.com. Retrieved November 22, 2017. 
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  23. ^ http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=1-23523155
  24. ^ a b "Playoff makeover headlines 2018 NASCAR schedules" (Press release). Daytona Beach, Florida: NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. May 23, 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2017. 
  25. ^ "OVERTON'S TO SERVE AS ENTITLEMENT SPONSOR FOR CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY'S 2018 NASCAR NATIONAL SERIES RACES - Chicagoland Speedway". www.chicagolandspeedway.com. Retrieved 18 February 2018. 
  26. ^ "Gander Outdoors 400 and 150 Events Announced". 6 February 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2018. 
  27. ^ "Watkins Glen International, Go Bowling announce 'striking' partnership - Watkins Glen International". theglen.com. Retrieved 18 February 2018. 
  28. ^ https://www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/Articles/2018/03/1000Bulbs.aspx
  29. ^ Scott, David (October 26, 2015). "NASCAR signs 5-year deals with tracks". The Charlotte Observer. The McClatchy Company. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  30. ^ Long, Dustin (March 8, 2017). "Las Vegas gets second Cup date in 2018; New Hampshire loses a Cup date". NASCARTalk.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  31. ^ "59th Running Of The DAYTONA 500 In 2018 Returns To Traditional Date On Presidents Day Weekend" (Press release). Daytona International Speedway. July 26, 2016. Retrieved May 20, 2017. 
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  33. ^ Pistone, Pete (February 11, 2018). "Keselowski Captures Clash Win". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved February 11, 2018. 
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  35. ^ Pistone, Pete (February 15, 2018). "Blaney, Elliott Duel Winners". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved February 15, 2018. 
  36. ^ Pistone, Pete (February 18, 2018). "Austin Dillon Wins Daytona 500". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved February 18, 2018. 
  37. ^ Pistone, Pete (February 25, 2018). "Harvick Back in Victory Lane at Atlanta". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
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  39. ^ Pistone, Pete (March 11, 2018). "Three-Peat for Harvick". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved March 11, 2018. 
  40. ^ Pistone, Pete (March 18, 2018). "Truex Jr. Back in Victory Lane". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved March 18, 2018. 
  41. ^ Pistone, Pete (March 26, 2018). "Bowyer Back in Victory Lane". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved March 26, 2018. 
  42. ^ Pistone, Pete (April 8, 2018). "Kyle Busch Takes Texas Win". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved April 8, 2018. 
  43. ^ Pistone, Pete (April 16, 2018). "Back-to-Back Wins for Kyle Busch". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved April 16, 2018. 
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