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2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Previous: 2017 Next: 2019
Champions | Seasons
Joey Logano, the 2018 champion
Martin Truex Jr., finished 5 points behind Joey Logano in second place
Kevin Harvick, finished 6 points behind Joey Logano in third place
Kyle Busch, finished 7 points behind Joey Logano in fourth place

The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series was the 70th season of NASCAR 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 ended with the Brickyard 400 on September 9, 2018. The playoffs ended with the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2018. Martin Truex Jr. was the defending champion, having won his first in the series.

The 2018 season was the fourth 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 the first season to feature the Regular Season Championship trophy, which is awarded at the final race before the playoffs.[3] Kyle Busch clinched the MENCS Regular Season Championship trophy at the end of Stage 2 of the 2018 Brickyard 400.[4]

The season marked the debut of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, which replaced the outgoing Chevrolet SS and became the first coupe-based Chevrolet stock car since the Monte Carlo SS was discontinued in 2007. This was also the last season for Kasey Kahne, who announced his intention to retire from racing at the end of the season and was forced to step away in early October 2018 after not being medically cleared to continue,[5] as well as BK Racing who sold its equipment to Front Row Motorsports,[6] and Furniture Row Racing, which will cease operations after 2018.[7] It is also slated to be the final season in which Ford fields the Fusion, replacing it with the Ford Mustang in 2019.[8]

Joey Logano, driving for Team Penske in a Ford won the championship, after defeating Martin Truex Jr, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch in a 1-2-3-4 finish for the "Championship 4" at the final round at Homestead. Logano won three races during the course of the season, having also won the spring race at Talladega and the fall race at Martinsville. Austin Dillon was the Daytona 500 winner. Kyle Busch and Harvick won the most races with eight each; with Denny Hamlin and 7-time series champion Jimmie Johnson concluding their first winless seasons in full-time Cup competition.

Contents

Teams and driversEdit

Chartered teamsEdit

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 25 Travis Mack 15
Jon Leonard 21
Regan Smith 11
Premium Motorsports 15 Danica Patrick 1 Tony Eury Jr. 1
Ross Chastain 33 Todd Parrott 1
Pat Tryson 34
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 16
Jonas Bell 1
Rick Bourgeois 19
Landon Cassill 25
Joey Gase 5
Tomy Drissi 1
TriStar Motorsports 72 Corey LaJoie 23 Frankie Kerr
Cole Whitt 13
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 21 Matt Puccia
Matt Kenseth 15
17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Brian Pattie
Stewart-Haas Racing 4 Kevin Harvick Rodney Childers 34
Tony Gibson 2
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 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 30
Dave Rogers 6
20 Erik Jones Chris Gayle
Toyota 34
Ford 2
BK Racing 23 Gray Gaulding 17 Rick Bourgeois 17
Tony Furr 19
J. J. Yeley 13
Blake Jones 3
Spencer Gallagher 1
Joey Gase 1
Alon Day 1
Chevrolet 23
Ford 11
Toyota 2
Rick Ware Racing 51 Justin Marks 1 Pat Tryson 1
Ken Evans 34
George Church 1
Harrison Rhodes 5
Cole Custer 3
Timmy Hill 3
Cody Ware 3
B. J. McLeod 13
Chris Cook 1
Ray Black Jr. 1
Josh Bilicki 1
Reed Sorenson 1
David Starr 1
Stanton Barrett 1
Jeb Burton 1
Joey Gase 1
Source:[9][10]

Limited scheduleEdit

[citation needed]

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 15
Peter Sospenzo 11
2
D. J. Kennington 3
Reed Sorenson 6
Jeffrey Earnhardt 1
Jesse Little 1
Garrett Smithley 1
Ross Chastain 1
Hermie Sadler 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 3
Jonas Bell 2
Derrike Cope 1
Wayne Carroll Jr. 12
3
Garrett Smithley 2
Kyle Weatherman 7
Landon Cassill 4
Gray Gaulding 2
Ford RBR Enterprises 92 David Gilliland Mike Hester 1
Timothy Peters 2
Toyota Gaunt Brothers Racing 96 D. J. Kennington Mark Hillman 7
Parker Kligerman 4
Jeffrey Earnhardt 10
Jesse Little 1
Obaika Racing 97 David Starr Dan Stillman 2
Tanner Berryhill 2
Ford 1
Toyota 19
Chevrolet 1
MBM Motorsports 66 Mark Thompson Mike Hillman Sr. 4
Robert Scott 12
Gary Showalter 1
Michael Groves 4
1
Chad Finchum 1
Timmy Hill 19
Chevrolet 3
Ford 3
Rick Ware Racing 52 Cody Ware George Church 5
Ken Evans 1
1
B. J. McLeod 2
J. J. Yeley 1
Gray Gaulding 1
Harrison Rhodes 1

ChangesEdit

TeamsEdit

  • Team Penske will expand to a three-car team with the addition of Ryan Blaney in the No. 12, previously with Wood Brothers Racing in the No. 21 in 2017.[11]
  • On August 29, 2017, Hendrick Motorsports announced that the current No. 24 team driven by Chase Elliott would be changing to the No. 9 team, while the No. 5 would become the new No. 24 team to be driven by rookie William Byron. Alan Gustafson is expected to remain as Elliott's crew chief while Darian Grubb will work with William Byron.[12]
  • Furniture Row Racing will downsize from a two car team to a one car team, shutting down the No. 77 team as sponsor 5-hour Energy moves to the No. 78 team.[13]
  • On September 25, 2017, it was announced that a new Chevrolet team, StarCom Racing, would open and run the No. 00 car full-time, with driver Derrike Cope, moving from Premium Motorsports. Cope was planning to drive the majority of the 2018 schedule with other drivers possibly running races, however, Jeffrey Earnhardt was later announced as the driver for the season. The No. 00 is also guaranteed to run every race as they have leased a charter from the part-time Richard Childress Racing No. 8 team. Cope will instead run a second car later in the season, the No. 99 Camaro. After Fontana, Earnhardt and StarCom mutually agreed to part ways. After starting the season without a ride, Landon Cassill would take over the 00 for Martinsville, Texas, Bristol, Richmond and possibly the rest of the season. Joey Gase was later announced as the driver for Talladega and road course ringer Tomy Drissi was announced as the driver for Sonoma. The No. 99 would debut with Cope at the first Dover race of the season.[14]
  • On November 14, 2017, JTG Daugherty Racing announced that they will switch their technical alliance from Richard Childress Racing to Hendrick Motorsports in the 2018 season.[15]
  • On November 22, 2017, Rick Ware Racing announced an expansion from a 30-race open team to one full-time team for Ray Black Jr. and one part-time team for Cody Ware, Kyle Weatherman, B. J. McLeod and John Graham. However, before the season began, the deal with Black fell through, but Black will still drive the No. 51 at Daytona in July. RWR has fielded the No. 51 for Black, Justin Marks, Cole Custer, Harrison Rhodes, Timmy Hill, Cody Ware, B.J. McLeod, and Chris Cook. The No. 52 would make its debut at Sonoma with Cody Ware.[16]
  • On December 7, 2017, after it was announced that Richard Petty Motorsports would be switching manufacturers from Ford to Chevrolet, RPM also announced that in 2018 they would have a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing.[17]
  • On December 12, 2017, it was announced that Circle Sport Racing and The Motorsports Group, who became one team in 2017, parted ways.[18] Both teams will field a car for 2018. Circle Sport will continue with the No. 33, but Jeffrey Earnhardt was released even though he was going to be the No. 33 driver in 2018.[19] Both teams will have different drivers and sponsors.[citation needed]
  • On January 3, 2018, it was announced that Team Penske had purchased a charter from Roush Fenway Racing in order to field the No. 12 car for Ryan Blaney full-time in 2018. The charter had been leased to JTG Daugherty Racing to field the No. 37 for Chris Buescher in 2017, and had previously been used for the No. 16 of Greg Biffle in 2016.[20]
  • On January 17, 2018, it was announced that RBR Enterprises will join the Cup series and will field the No. 92 Ford to attempt the Daytona 500 with David Gilliland behind the wheel. The team spent the past eight seasons competing 79 races in the Truck series.[21]
  • On January 22, 2018, it was announced that Gaunt Brothers Racing will return to the Daytona 500 with D. J. Kennington driving the No. 96 Toyota.[22] The team entered the spring ISM Raceway race, which would be their first appearance on a non restrictor track.[citation needed]
  • On January 23, 2018, Richard Childress Racing announced that it will downsize to two full-time teams and one part-time team for 2018, the No. 27 team will be renumbered as the No. 8 and it will run two races with Daniel Hemric.[23]
  • On April 25, 2018, Roush Fenway Racing announced that Matt Kenseth will reunite with RFR and will share the #6 car with Trevor Bayne for the 2018 season.[24]
  • On August 5, 2018, Leavine Family Racing announced that its technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing will end after the 2018 season.[25]
  • On August 23, 2018, Front Row Motorsports purchased majority of the assets of the bankrupt BK Racing for $2.08 million, outbidding GMS Racing offer of $1.8 million. In addition, the trustee of BK Racing sold some secondary assets to Obaika Racing for $265,000 and a tractor to Rick Ware Racing to $35,000.[6]
  • On September 4, 2018, it was announced that Furniture Row Racing would cease operations after the 2018 season, making defending champion Martin Truex Jr. a free agent for 2019.[7]
  • On September 12, 2018, NASCAR collaborated with the Race Team Alliance and Twitter to unveil customized hashtags and emojis for the top 16 drivers entering the playoffs. Each driver will have their hashtag and emoji displayed on the sides of their cars until they are eliminated from contention. Non-playoff drivers can have their hashtags and the Twitter logo displayed on their cars.[26] This was in effect until the 2018 Hollywood Casino 400. From the 2018 First Data 500 to the 2018 Can-Am 500, all hashtag and emoji labels were replaced with the NBC logo. On November 12, 2018, NASCAR partnered with Snapchat to have all cars sport Snapcodes at the season-ending 2018 Ford EcoBoost 400.[27]
  • On October 5, 2018, Obaika Racing announced that they would attempt their first ever MENCS race at Talladega Superspeedway, fielding the No. 97 Space Grill Toyota Camry for the 2018 1000Bulbs.com 500 with David Starr.[28][29][30] The team ultimately failed to qualify in the race, but made the field with Starr in their second attempt at the fall Texas race.[citation needed]

DriversEdit

Crew chiefsEdit

  • 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.[49]
  • 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.[50]
  • 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.[51]
  • 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.[49]
  • 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.[49]
  • 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.[49]
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • 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.[49]
  • On February 27, 2018, Go Fas Racing announced Randy Cox would take over crew chief duties for the No. 32 team, replacing Gene Nead.[49]
  • On October 9, 2018, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Dave Rogers will replace Scott Graves as the crew chief of the No. 19 team.[52]
  • On November 7, 2018, NASCAR suspended Rodney Childers of the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 team for the last two races of the season after a post-race inspection following the team's win at Texas discovered an unapproved spoiler. He was replaced by Tony Gibson for the remainder of the season.[53]

ManufacturersEdit

Offseason changesEdit

Rule changesEdit

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.[62][63]

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.[64]

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.[65]

ScheduleEdit

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.[66] Key changes from 2017 include:

No Race Title Track Date Time (ET) 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[67] 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 4:15 p.m. NBCSN
21 Gander Outdoors 400[68] Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pennsylvania July 29 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
22 Go Bowling at The Glen[69] 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 6:30 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 10 [N 3] 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 Roval 400 Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina, (Roval) September 30 2:00 p.m. NBC
Round of 12
30 Gander Outdoors 400 Dover International Speedway, Dover, Delaware October 7 2:00 p.m. NBCSN
31 1000Bulbs.com 500[70] 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 3:30 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.
  3. ^ The Brickyard 400 was postponed from Sunday to Monday due to rain.

Schedule changesEdit

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.[71] 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.[72] 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.[73]

Several changes were announced with the release of the final schedule. The Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard 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 Gander Outdoors 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 moves one week earlier and will utilize the track's road course layout instead of its quad-oval; with the scheduled distance changing from 500 miles to 400 kilometers, the race will now be known as the Bank of America Roval 400. With an additional off-week in the schedule for 2018, the Father's Day off-week that Fox added for the U.S. Open and the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be restored, with the third off-week being after the Bristol August race.[66][74]

Season summaryEdit

Race reportsEdit

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.[75]

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.[76]

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. Elliott led the most laps to win his second straight Duel race over Kevin Harvick.[77]

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.[78]

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.[79]

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.[80]

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.[81]

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.[82]

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.[83]

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.[84]

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.[85]

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.[86]

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.[87]

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.[88]

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.[89]

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.[90] Chase Eliott won the fan vote to transfer for the third straight year.[91]

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.[92]

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 MENCS that he competed at.[93]

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.[94]

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.[95]

Round 16: Toyota/Save Mart 350

Kyle Larson started on pole. Erik Jones had problems early as Martin Truex, Jr. led most of the first stage, but pitted allowing A.J. Allmendinger to win the stage. On the restart, Allmendinger blew an engine while Jamie McMurray went to the garage with low oil pressure. Denny Hamlin won the second stage by staying out while others pitted. Ryan Blaney had to make several stops to fix damage. Kevin Harvick had the lead late until he decided to pit in case of a late caution. Truex stayed out during green flag pit stops and won his third win of the season and second at Sonoma with a ten second lead over Harvick.[96]

Round 17: Overton's 400

Paul Menard started the race on pole. Clint Bowyer led early in the race before getting two speeding penalties on pit road. Aric Almirola won Stage 1 and led the most laps the race, but had to pit under green for a loose wheel. Kevin Harvick won Stage 2 of the race. Harvick would continue to lead until losing it to Kyle Busch during a round of pit stops under caution. Kyle Busch continued to lead in the closing laps as Kyle Larson was catching him. Larson caught up to Kyle Busch on the final lap and the two made contact twice, with Kyle Busch holding on to win the race with Larson finishing second.[97]

Round 18: Coke Zero Sugar 400

 
Clint Bowyer leads during the final stage of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway in July

Chase Elliott started on pole. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. dominated by winning both stages. In the second stage, Paul Menard got turned and into the grass. Brad Keselowski got turned around and collected Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Elliott, and others. Kyle Busch got turned into William Byron and also involved Jamie McMurray. In the final stage, Kyle Larson got turned into Stenhouse. Jimmie Johnson was leading until he received a penalty on pit road. Stenhouse had a tire go down and spun, ending his chance of back-to-back wins. On the restart, Aric Almirola lost a wheel and crashed along with Michael McDowell and Johnson. In overtime, Kevin Harvick took the lead from Kasey Kahne, but Clint Bowyer spun and collected Harvick, Brendan Gaughan, and others. On the second restart of overtime, Erik Jones drove past Martin Truex Jr. to score his first career win and became the seventh different winner of the season.[98]

Round 19: Quaker State 400

Martin Truex Jr. started on pole. Truex dominated by leading the most laps and winning both stages. Alex Bowman had a tire go down and got into the wall and J.J. Yeley lost an engine. Teammates Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson suffered mechanical problems. Truex pulled away from a charging Ryan Blaney for his fourth win of the season and second straight at Kentucky.[99]

Round 20: Foxwoods Resort Casino 301

Kurt Busch started on pole. The start of the race was delayed due to rain. Busch dominated the majority of the race. A.J. Allmendinger got into the wall, ending his day. Martin Truex, Jr. took the lead after the Competition Caution and won the first stage. Chase Elliott took the lead from Truex to win the second stage. Clint Bowyer got into the wall and went to the garage. Kyle Busch had the lead late, but Kevin Harvick moved Busch to take the lead and get his sixth win of the season and third at New Hampshire.[100]

Round 21: Gander Outdoors 400

Kevin Harvick originally won the pole. Thirteen cars including Harvick failed post-qualifying inspection, disallowing their times and forcing them to start in the back, thus Daniel Suarez won the pole. Chase Elliott won the first stage while Harvick won the second stage. A few had tire problems including Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, and Brad Keselowski. Keselowski got into the wall, sending him to the garage. Darrell Wallace, Jr. lost his brakes and hit the wall hard at a high rate of speed, resulting in a red flag. On the restart, Aric Almirola spun after contact with Matt DiBenedetto, sending the race to overtime. Kyle Busch pulled away to hold off Daniel Suarez for his sixth win of the season and second at Pocono.[101]

Round 22: Go Bowling at The Glen

Denny Hamlin started on pole. Aric Almirola got into the wall early and Joey Logano spun and went to the garage. Martin Truex Jr. won the first stage. Chase Elliott dominated the second half of the race and won the second stage. Ryan Newman spun and Jimmie Johnson spun after contact with A.J. Allmendinger. Martin Truex Jr. caught Elliott, but ran out of fuel, which allowed Chase Elliott to get his first career win and the 250th win for Hendrick Motorsports.[102]

Round 23: Consumers Energy 400

Denny Hamlin started on pole for the second straight week. Erik Jones spun early and William Byron spun and got into the wall along with Martin Truex Jr. Kevin Harvick dominated and won both stages. Jones spun again and Ty Dillon ran over a battery and got into the wall and caught fire. Harvick took the lead from Jamie McMurray and held off Brad Keselowski for his seventh win of the season.[103]

Round 24: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race

Kyle Larson started on pole. Kyle Busch spun and caused a pile up on the frontstretch including Bubba Wallace. Paul Menard got into the wall while running up front as Ryan Blaney edged Kevin Harvick to win the first stage. Blaney, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer, and others led up front. Logano won the second stage. Aric Almirola had mechanical prolems that sent him to the garage. Martin Truex Jr. spun and crashed along with J.J. Yeley after getting into Kyle Busch. Busch and Brad Keselowski had tires go down and both spun. Kurt Busch was able to take the lead from Clint Bowyer and held off Kyle Larson for his first win of the season and sixth at Bristol.[104]

Round 25: Bojangles' Southern 500

Denny Hamlin started on pole. Jimmie Johnson had fuel pump problems, sending him to the garage. Kyle Larson dominated and won both stages and led the most laps. Clint Bowyer got into the back of Ryan Newman, who slowed down to go to pit road. William Byron had the engine blew, sending him to the garage. Brad Keselowski beat out Kyle Larson on pit road and pulled away from teammate Joey Logano for his first win of the season.[105]

Round 26: Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard

Kyle Busch started on pole after qualifying was cancelled due to rain. The race was postponed from Sunday to Monday due to rain. The race had two competition cautions at the beginning due to the rain. Martin Truex Jr. was sent to the garage early after a rotor exploded causing front end damage to the car. Clint Bowyer was able to win the first stage. Bubba Wallace spun and collided with David Starr. AJ Allmendinger and Alex Bowman both wrecked off turn two. Matt Kenseth was able to win the second stage. In the final stage Clint Bowyer dominated and Denny Hamlin was able to grab the lead after the final round of green-flag pit stop cycled through and was heading to the win until Landon Cassill wrecked along with Jeffrey Earnhardt. On the restart, Brad Keselowski, who had fresher tires, was able to take the lead from Hamlin and hold off Erik Jones for his second straight win and the first Brickyard 400 victory for Roger Penske and the first Brickyard win for Ford since 1999. Kyle Busch went on to capture the Regular-Season Championship over Kevin Harvick and the final two playoff spots went to Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman.[106]

Round 27: South Point 400

Erik Jones started on pole. Kyle Larson had to make an unscheduled pit stop early for a flat right front tire. Martin Truex, Jr. would grab the first stage. In the second stage, Kevin Harvick blew a tire and slammed the wall in turn 1 collecting polesitter Jones in the process. Brad Keselowski would win the second stage. The final stage had a number of wrecks that puts some playoff drivers in jeopardy, with Jamie McMurray wrecked in turn three hard collecting Chase Elliott as well. Kyle Busch later spun in turn four as well as Denny Hamlin later on in the same spot, but would suffer splitter damage ending his day. A late race restart caused Jimmie Johnson, Alex Bowman, and Kurt Busch to suffer tire rubs after contact in the back-straightaway. Joey Logano hit the wall late in turn two to bring out a caution with just a few laps remaining for an overtime restart. Keselowski would have great restart, but a multi-car wreck in turn four involving Michael McDowell, Kurt Busch, Matt DiBenedetto, and David Ragan, forcing another attempt. On the second attempt, Keselowski would go on to win the race over Larson to advance to the second round for his third win in a row as well as Team Penske's 500th win overall.[107]

Round 28: Federated Auto Parts 400

Kevin Harvick started on pole. Denny Hamlin was spun by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., but was able to save it. Martin Truex Jr. dominated and won both stages, but a uncontrolled tire sent him to the back of the field. Matt Kenseth and Jeffrey Earnhardt go into each other, which sent Earnhardt in the wall. Kyle Busch was able to take the lead from Brad Keselowski and held off Harvick to advance to the next round of the playoffs for his seventh win of the season and his 50th career win overall.[108]

Round 29: Bank of America Roval 400

 
Kyle Larson leads during the second stage of the Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in September

Kurt Busch started on pole. Kyle Larson won stage one while Ryan Blaney won the second stage. Austin Dillon slammed the wall twice and got sent to the garage to end his playoff hopes. Aric Almirola and Chris Buescher spun and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. slammed the wall. At the end, leader Brad Keselowski lost control of his car on a restart and crashed into the wall along with Larson, Paul Menard, Kyle Busch, Daniel Hemric, Bubba Wallace, and others. Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson were racing for the win until Johnson spun in the chicane and collected Truex. Ryan Blaney snuck through to win over Jamie McMurray for his second career win and advance in the playoffs. Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, and Johnson were eliminated.[109]

Round 30: Gander Outdoors 400

Kyle Busch started on pole after qualifying was rained out. Jimmie Johnson had to go to the garage before the race and eventually returned to the race several laps down. Kevin Harvick took the lead and dominated, leading 286 laps and winning both stages. Harvick had trouble on pit road and fell back. Aric Almirola was heading to the win, but Clint Bowyer got into the wall. Almirola wrecked on the restart along with Brad Keselowski, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, and Martin Truex Jr. In overtime, Chase Elliott held off Denny Hamlin to advance to the next round with his second win of the year and the second of his career.[110]

Round 31: 1000Bulbs.com 500

Kurt Busch started on pole with all Stewart-Haas Racing drivers starting first through fourth. SHR dominated the race with Busch leading the most laps and winning stage one. Jimmie Johnson spun and hit the wall and Kyle Larson had a tire go down and spun. Kevin Harvick won the second stage. Jamie McMurray spun and got stuck in the grass. Late in the race, Alex Bowman got into the wall and collected J.J. Yeley and William Byron, which sent the race to overtime. Harvick, Ryan Blaney, and Brad Keselowski ran out of fuel before the restart. Matt DiBenedetto spun and collected several cars, but the race remained green. Kurt Busch ran out of fuel and it allowed teammate Aric Almirola to take the lead and hold off teammate Clint Bowyer to advance in the Round of 8 for his second career win and becoming the last SHR driver to win during the season.[111]

Round 32: Hollywood Casino 400

Joey Logano started on pole. Daniel Suárez got into the wall as Bubba Wallace had a tire go down and William Byron suffered a blown engine with Logano winning the first stage. Kevin Harvick won the second stage and was leading when he got a speeding penalty on pit road. Chase Elliott was able to hold off Kyle Busch for his third win and his second in the "Round of 12". Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, and Alex Bowman were eliminated from the Playoffs.[112]

Round 33: First Data 500

Kyle Busch started on pole. Jimmie Johnson spun after contact with Erik Jones as Denny Hamlin won the first stage. Joey Logano dominated the race and won the second stage. William Byron was spun on pit road after contact with Clint Bowyer. Kyle Larson had the engine blow and Timmy Hill had an electrical fire. Clint Bowyer made contact with Johnson and spun. Martin Truex Jr. took the lead from Logano, but Logano was able to pull the bump-and-run on Truex and held off Hamlin for his second win of the season and clinched a spot in the "Championship 4."[113]

Round 34: AAA Texas 500

Ryan Blaney started on pole. William Byron spun after contact with teammate Jimmie Johnson. Kevin Harvick dominated by leading the most laps and winning both stages. Matt DiBenedetto made contact with Martin Truex Jr. and got into the wall. Joey Gase spun and collected Daniel Suarez, sending the race into overtime. Harvick held off Blaney to lock into the "Championship 4" for his eighth win of the season and second Playoff race at Texas.[114] Due to an altered spoiler discovered post-race, Harvick had his win encumbered, was penalized 40 points, and was no longer locked into the Championship 4.

Round 35: Can-Am 500

Kevin Harvick started on pole. Harvick led all of the first stage until he had a flat tire and had to pit allowing Chase Elliott to win the first stage. Joey Logano had a tire go down and sent him to the garage. Clint Bowyer had a tire go down and got into the wall, ending his championship hopes. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hit the wall and caught fire. Denny Hamlin got loose and collected Kurt Busch, Elliott, and others. Alex Bowman got into the wall and caught fire. Kyle Busch, who won the second stage, dominated the race and held off Brad Keselowski for his eighth win of the season and locking into the "Championship 4" along with Logano, Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr. while Elliott, Aric Almirola, Bowyer, and Kurt Busch were eliminated.[115]

Round 36: Ford EcoBoost 400

Denny Hamlin started on pole. The Championship 4 dominated the race with Kevin Harvick winning the first stage. Kyle Larson won the second stage after passing Harvick at the line. Larson got into the wall after having a tire go down. Erik Jones and Chris Buescher both had flat tires, but got to pit road before a caution. Daniel Suarez got into the wall after contact with Brad Keselowski. Joey Logano, who led the most laps, took the lead from Martin Truex Jr. and pulled away from his third win of the season and winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship.[116]

Results and standingsEdit

Race resultsEdit

[117]

No. Race Pole position Most laps led Winning driver Manufacturer Report
Advance Auto Parts Clash Austin Dillon Brad Keselowski Brad Keselowski Ford Report
Can-Am Duel 1 Alex Bowman Joey Logano Ryan Blaney Ford Report
Can-Am Duel 2 Denny Hamlin Chase Elliott Chase Elliott Chevrolet
1 Daytona 500 Alex Bowman Ryan Blaney Austin Dillon Chevrolet Report
2 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Kyle Busch Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick Ford Report
3 Pennzoil 400 Ryan Blaney Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick Ford Report
4 TicketGuardian 500 Martin Truex Jr. Kyle Busch Kevin Harvick Ford Report
5 Auto Club 400 Martin Truex Jr. Martin Truex Jr. Martin Truex Jr. Toyota Report
6 STP 500 Martin Truex Jr. Clint Bowyer Clint Bowyer Ford Report
7 O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Kurt Busch Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Toyota Report
8 Food City 500 Kyle Busch Kyle Larson Kyle Busch Toyota Report
9 Toyota Owners 400 Martin Truex Jr. Martin Truex Jr. Kyle Busch Toyota Report
10 GEICO 500 Kevin Harvick Joey Logano Joey Logano Ford Report
11 AAA 400 Drive for Autism Kyle Larson Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick Ford Report
12 KC Masterpiece 400 Kevin Harvick Kyle Larson Kevin Harvick Ford Report
Monster Energy Open Aric Almirola Daniel Suárez A. J. Allmendinger Chevrolet Report
Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race Matt Kenseth Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick Ford
13 Coca-Cola 600 Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Toyota Report
14 Pocono 400 Ryan Blaney Kevin Harvick Martin Truex Jr. Toyota Report
15 FireKeepers Casino 400 Kurt Busch Kevin Harvick Clint Bowyer Ford Report
16 Toyota/Save Mart 350 Kyle Larson Martin Truex Jr. Martin Truex Jr. Toyota Report
17 Overton's 400 Paul Menard Aric Almirola Kyle Busch Toyota Report
18 Coke Zero Sugar 400 Chase Elliott Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Erik Jones Toyota Report
19 Quaker State 400 Martin Truex Jr. Martin Truex Jr. Martin Truex Jr. Toyota Report
20 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Kurt Busch Kurt Busch Kevin Harvick Ford Report
21 Gander Outdoors 400 Daniel Suárez Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Toyota Report
22 Go Bowling at The Glen Denny Hamlin Chase Elliott Chase Elliott Chevrolet Report
23 Consumers Energy 400 Denny Hamlin Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick Ford Report
24 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Kyle Larson Ryan Blaney Kurt Busch Ford Report
25 Bojangles' Southern 500 Denny Hamlin Kyle Larson Brad Keselowski Ford Report
26 Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Kyle Busch Clint Bowyer
Denny Hamlin
Brad Keselowski Ford Report
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs
Round of 16
27 South Point 400 Erik Jones Martin Truex Jr. Brad Keselowski Ford Report
28 Federated Auto Parts 400 Kevin Harvick Martin Truex Jr. Kyle Busch Toyota Report
29 Bank of America Roval 400 Kurt Busch Kyle Larson Ryan Blaney Ford Report
Round of 12
30 Gander Outdoors 400 Kyle Busch Kevin Harvick Chase Elliott Chevrolet Report
31 1000Bulbs.com 500 Kurt Busch Kurt Busch Aric Almirola Ford Report
32 Hollywood Casino 400 Joey Logano Joey Logano Chase Elliott Chevrolet Report
Round of 8
33 First Data 500 Kyle Busch Joey Logano Joey Logano Ford Report
34 AAA Texas 500 Ryan Blaney Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick Ford Report
35 Can-Am 500 Kevin Harvick Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Toyota Report
Championship 4
36 Ford EcoBoost 400 Denny Hamlin Joey Logano Joey Logano Ford Report

Driver standingsEdit

(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] 1–10 - Regular season top 10 finishers.
. – Eliminated after Round of 16 . – Eliminated after Round of 12 . – Eliminated after Round of 8

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 Joey Logano 4 6 7 19 5 6 6 9 412 1* 13 3 22 9 7 19 8 39 10 9 26 37 10 42 2 13 4 14 10 3 5 8*1 1*2 3 37 1* 5040 155
2 Martin Truex Jr. 18 5 4 5 1*12 4 37 30 14* 28 4 2 2 11 18 1* 4 2 1*12 41 15 21 14 30 11 40 3*1 3*12 14 15 23 5 3 9 14 2 5035 383
3 Kevin Harvick 31 1*1 1*12 1 35 5 21 7 5 4 1*12 1 40 4*2 2*2 2 32 19 5 1 42 10 1*12 10 4 4 39 2 9 6*12 282 122 10 1*12 5 31 5034 542
4 Kyle Busch 25 7 2 2*1 3 2 1*2 1 1 13 35 10 1*123 3 4 5 1 33 4 2 1* 3 3 20 7 8 7 1 32 8 26 2 4 17 1*2 4 5033 551
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Playoffs cut-off
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
5 Aric Almirola 11 13 10 7 12 14 32 6 17 7 11 9 13 7 11 8 25*1 27 8 3 25 22 7 31 14 23 6 5 19 13 1 10 11 8 4 9 2354 60 6
6 Chase Elliott 33 10 34 3 16 9 11 29 2 3 12 12 11 10 9 4 19 34 13 52 71 1*2 9 3 5 15 36 4 6 1 31 1 7 6 231 7 2350 74 18
7 Kurt Busch 261 8 35 102 14 11 7 22 11 2 5 8 8 19 3 6 17 37 6 8* 9 9 6 1 6 6 21 18 5 5 14*1 18 6 7 32 10 2350 101 154
8 Brad Keselowski 32 22 6 15 4 10 33 2312 8 331 6 14 4 5 6 13 9 36 3 32 38 17 2 16 1 1 12 9 31 14 27 6 5 12 2 5 2343 56 256
9 Kyle Larson 19 9 3 18 2 16 36 2* 7 40 10 4*2 7 2 28 14 2 29 9 12 23 6 17 2 3*12 14 2 7 25*1 12 11 3 37 5 3 132 2299 50 68
10 Ryan Blaney 7*2 12 5 16 8 32 5 35 22 18 8 371 36 6 81 34 18 40 2 7 12 12 5 7*1 15 11 5 19 12 11 29 7 20 2 34 17 2298 76 139
11 Denny Hamlin 3 4 17 4 6 121 34 14 3 14 7 5 3 35 12 102 7 38 16 13 10 13 8 14 10 3* 32 16 12 2 4 14 21 30 13 12 2285 49 310
12 Clint Bowyer 15 3 18 6 11 1* 9 8 9 31 2 15 12 20 1 3 5 22 12 35 11 11 12 6 36 5*1 23 10 3 35 2 13 21 26 35 8 2272 63 157
13 Austin Dillon 1 14 13 17 10 30 26 15 15 35 26 17 34 12 14 16 37 9 22 21 13 27 4 13 16 22 11 6 39 7 17 11 30 10 8 11 2245 17 5
14 Jimmie Johnson 38 27 12 14 9 15 35 3 6 12 9 19 5 8 20 11 14 23 14 10 17 30 28 9 39 16 22 8 8 36 7 22 12 15 15 14 2242 26
15 Erik Jones 36 11 8 9 7 17 4 26 13 39 18 7 19 29 15 7 6 1 7 16 5 5 13 5 8 2 40 11 30 4 8 4 26 4 17 27 2220 32 5
16 Alex Bowman 17 20 16 13 13 7 28 5 18 8 23 18 9 27 16 9 10 10 39 11 3 14 19 8 23 33 19 12 4 28 33 9 17 14 30 29 2204 27
17 Ryan Newman 8 22 11 11 21 19 27 10 37 9 33 30 35 25 22 24 15 8 21 6 8 19 15 12 19 10 9 15 11 17 25 15 8 18 11 15 769 52
18 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 29 16 14 23 18 37 25 4 23 5 15 11 10 14 29 18 16 17*12 26 30 22 16 18 24 12 35 30 13 37 9 3 20 19 11 33 16 701 57 2
19 Paul Menard 6 17 9 36 19 13 30 13 24 302 34 6 14 11 5 26 13 28 11 17 21 28 16 36 17 9 10 22 33 16 9 32 22 13 29 25 692 80 1
20 Jamie McMurray 16 19 36 26 17 26 3 19 19 26 16 31 6 15 10 37 12 30 17 18 20 7 21 29 9 7 35 21 2 18 35 17 16 19 6 18 683 29
21 Daniel Suárez 37 15 26 8 23 18 29 11 10 10 3 28 15 24 30 15 11 35 15 22 2 4 11 18 29 18 8 17 21 10 16 24 9 28 36 30 674 34
22 A. J. Allmendinger 10 29 30 21 22 8 24 17 27 34 21 16 23 22 17 381 24 3 30 36 14 15 22 39 22 37 14 29 7 22 6 21 14 20 12 19 603 26 1
23 William Byron (R) 23 18 27 12 15 20 10 18 12 29 14 33 39 18 13 25 20 32 20 14 6 8 36 23 35 19 37 20 34 19 20 38 39 16 9 24 587 41
24 Chris Buescher 5 25 15 29 30 23 15 36 26 11 20 34 29 17 24 12 22 5 23 20 37 20 20 19 13 25 15 30 17 25 21 16 13 23 18 23 585 7
25 David Ragan 30 23 23 22 25 25 23 12 33 6 27 13 25 16 38 22 38 15 18 29 19 26 27 17 18 24 27 23 16 24 39 19 18 24 20 20 524 5
26 Michael McDowell 9 24 37 32 26 21 14 38 31 32 22 20 18 21 25 21 21 26 24 26 16 18 25 37 20 17 29 24 18 26 40 27 25 29 16 28 493 36
27 Ty Dillon 39 26 24 30 27 22 13 28 20 15 24 38 21 23 21 33 28 6 29 23 24 23 38 21 21 21 34 28 22 29 15 25 15 22 19 22 482 12
28 Darrell Wallace Jr. (R) 2 32 21 28 20 34 8 16 25 16 25 23 16 38 19 29 23 14 27 24 33 25 23 38 26 38 38 27 36 23 19 26 34 25 10 21 471 5
29 Matt DiBenedetto 27 31 22 25 31 32 16 21 16 19 29 22 37 37 36 17 29 7 37 28 27 33 24 22 38 36 24 34 13 27 30 23 36 38 21 26 368
30 Kasey Kahne 34 21 19 24 24 24 17 34 29 17 17 21 20 36 23 20 27 4 25 19 30 21 26 15 24 358 14
31 Trevor Bayne 13 35 20 20 37 33 12 24 21 38 19 27 26 20 34 11 13 35 13 30 21 287 6
32 Matt Kenseth 36 17 13 33 19 15 18 29 25 122 25 20 23 7 6 268 11 1
33 Regan Smith 20 12 31 15 21 10 28 28 27 22 39 157
34 Corey LaJoie 40 37 25 38 24 26 27 34 31 31 27 39 40 34 27 27 16 32 30 32 34 40 34 144
35 Cole Whitt 28 28 28 27 19 30 21 30 35 34 20 24 25 132
36 Gray Gaulding 20 36 33 34 32 36 20 31 35 24 30 29 31 33 31 30 31 QL 33 40 40 119
37 Jeffrey Earnhardt 21 34 31 35 36 30 11 29 39 34 32 25 37 26 31 37 37 110
38 Kyle Weatherman 33 31 31 26 35 34 36 33
39 Harrison Rhodes 33 35 22 37 36 38 24
40 Blake Jones 33 30 27 21
41 Mark Thompson 22 15
42 Cody Ware 36 36 38 28 11
43 Derrike Cope 37 34 33 8
44 Tanner Berryhill 31 38 7
45 Chris Cook 31 6
46 Tomy Drissi 32 5
47 Danica Patrick 35 2
48 Alon Day 38 1
49 Stanton Barrett 40 1
50 Hermie Sadler 40 1
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
Brendan Gaughan 28 22 12 12
Justin Marks 12 28 27
D. J. Kennington 24 31 28 27 20 34 13 34 27 27
David Gilliland 14
Ray Black Jr. 16
J. J. Yeley 31 38 32 18 38 28 32 31 29 17 28 32 36 31 31 36 38 32
Ross Chastain 30 29 27 29 29 18 39 28 25 28 26 24 28 26 30 21 28 25 35 32 35 26 28 26 20 33 24 37 24 39 29 32 24 33
Landon Cassill 38 21 20 34 31 25 28 31 32 36 24 33 37 34 31 29 25 30 31 18 36 29 33 22 29 32 35 26 31
Joey Gase 32 27 25 40 35 18 35 37
Parker Kligerman 27 23 24 31
Daniel Hemric 32 23
Timothy Peters 23 DNQ
Cole Custer 25 26 26
Reed Sorenson 34 31 32 38 37 32 27 32 32 QL 33 28 31 36 33
B. J. McLeod 35 33 37 35 32 34 40 31 DNQ 32 30 28 34 33 35
Timmy Hill 33 33 36 32 32 35 39 34 36 37 28 37 35 33 39 38 39 40 38 DNQ 39 37
Garrett Smithley 39 36 32
Chad Finchum 33
Jeb Burton 33
Jesse Little 35 35
Spencer Gallagher 35
Josh Bilicki 36
David Starr 39 DNQ 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
Cody Ware started receiving points at Sonoma.
Notes
  1. ^ Stage 3 Winner only for Coca-Cola 600.

Manufacturers' championshipEdit

Pos Manufacturer Wins Points
1 Ford 19 1310
2 Toyota 13 1286
3 Chevrolet 4 1187

Contingency AwardsEdit

Award Recipient
3M Hard Charger Award
American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award
Busch Pole Award Kurt Busch
Ingersoll Rand Power Move Award
MAHLE Engine Builder Award
Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew
MOOG Go the Extra Mile Award
Sherwin-Williams Fastest Lap Award
NASCAR Rookie of the Year William Byron
Most Popular Driver Chase Elliott
Mobil 1 Driver of the Year

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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