Charlotte: First Elimination Race for Xfinity Series

It’s elimination day for the Xfinity Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the Drive for The Cure 300.

2004-UAW-GM-500-pitroad  By Edgester at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12761299

By the end of the race, the four drivers with the lowest number of point will be eliminated from the playoffs. Before the race begins Brendan Gaughan, Michael Annett, Blake Koch, and Jeremy Clements are the four drivers in the bottom.

Rain has canceled out qualifying; as a result, the field will be set by car owner points with Daniel Suarez and Ryan Blaney starting on the front row.

NASCAR is working to dry the track in hopes of getting the race run on schedule.

The starting lineup for the Drive for The Cure 300:
Daniel Suarez
Ryan Blaney
Erik Jones
Alex Bowman
Justin Allgaier
William Byron
Elliott Sadler
Daniel Hemric
Brennan Poole
Ty Dillon
Ryan Reed
Austin Dillon
Cole Custer
Matt Tifft
Blake Koch
Brendan Gaughan
Michael Annett
Corey LaJoie
J.J. Yeley
Ross Chastain
Ryan Sieg
Brandon Jones
Jeremy Clements
Spencer Gallagher
Ray Black Jr
Joey Gase
Garrett Smithley
BJ McLeod
David Starr
Harrison Rhodes
Sam Hornish Jr
Jeff Green
Mario Gosselin
Chad Finchum
Angela Ruch
Mike Harmon
Timmy Hill
Gray Gaulding
Morgan Shepherd
Reed Sorenson

Stages one and two of the race are 45 laps each with stage three lasting 110 laps for a total of 20 laps around the mile and a half track.

Originally scheduled to start at 3pm the race was postponed due to rain and did not start until 8pm.

Daniel Suarez brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and takes the lead.

Lap six Daniel Suarez is in the lead, followed by Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney. Jeff Green and Gray Gaulding are off the track with 38 cars on the lead lap.

Lap eleven Daniel Suarez has a lead of only a tenth of a second on Erik Jones.

Lap 16 Daniel Suarez continues to lead the race with 34 cars on the lead lap.

Blake Koch reports that his power steering is out.

Lap 27 Daniel Suarez holds on to his narrow lead on Erik Jones with 28 cars on the lead lap.

The first caution flag of the race comes out on lap 29 when Angela Ruch gets loose and bumps the wall.

Blake Koch brings his car down pit road before pit road opens to work on his power steering issue. He will have to restart at the back of the field for coming down pit road before it has opened.

Only a few drivers bring their cars down pit road for service. Most of those who stooped made only adjustments with no tire changes.

Daniel Suarez brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 35 and edges out Erik Jones for the lead.

Lap 37 Daniel Suarez has pulled out to a half second lead on Erik Jones.

Lap 40 Erik Jones challenges Daniel Suarez for the lead and passes Suarez to take over the top spot.

Angela Ruch brings out the second caution flag on lap 40 when she hits the wall again.

Erik Jones wins stage one under the caution flag.

Erik_Jones_Talking_Slinger_2016By Royalbroil – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50278942

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service. Daniel Suarez wins the race off of pit road. Erik Jones loses three places.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Erik Jones
Daniel Suarez
Ryan Blaney
Justin Allgaier
Daniel Hemric
William Byron
AlexBowman
Austin Dillon
Cole Custer
Sam Hornish Jr.

Justin Allgaier has some significant damage to his car after hitting debris from Angela Ruch’s car.

Elliott Sadler had to bring his car down pit road twice to make repairs to damage done when he made contact withBrennan Poole.

Daniel Suarez beings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 51 with Suarez getting out in front to retake the lead.

Lap 57 the top three are Daniel Suarez, Ryan Blaney, and Erik Jones.

Lap 60 there are 28 cars on the lead lap.

The caution flag comes out on lap 62 when Spencer Gallagher appears that cut a tire. Gallagher takes his car to the garage.

Justin Allgaier is on pit road with engine temperature issues.

Daniel Suarez brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 67 and jumps out in front for the lead.

Lap 71 Daniel Suarez has a lead of over half a second on Erik Jones.

Lap 81Daniel Suarez is still in the lead but Erik Jones challenges for the lead. Suarez holds on to the lead after Erik Jones went on the high line and got loose.

As the drivers approach the end of stage two; Brendan Gaughan, Michael Annett, Blake Koch, and Jeremy Clements are all in danger of being eliminated from the playoffs.

Daniel Suarez wins stage two for his first stage win.

Daniel_Suarez_2016_Road_AmericaBy Royalbroil – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51212641

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Daniel Suarez
Erik Jones
Sam Hornish Jr
Ryan Blaney
Alex Bowman
Daniel Hemric
William Byron
Cole Custer
Elliott Sadler
Austin Dillon

Daniel Suarez wins the race off of pit road. Erik Jones again lost three spots and Ryan Reed ran over the foot of one of his crew members.

William Byron was caught speeding on pit road, this is his first speeding penalty of the season.

Daniel Suarez brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 97 with Daniel Suarez holding on to his lead.

Halfway – lap 100 – Daniel Suarez leads the race with 25 cars on the lead lap and seven cars out of the race.

The caution flag comes out when a tire gets loose on pit road – Matt Tifft brought his car down pit road for a vibration and was charged with having an uncontrolled tire on pit road. After the tire change, Tifft reports tat the still has a bad vibration.

Daniel Suarez brings the field down for the green flg restart on lap 108 and Daniel Suarez holds on to the lead.

Alex Bowman gets way loose but saves the car and the track stays green.

Brendan Gaughan reports that he is stuck at the bottom of the track and can’t move up to pass cars.

Justin Allgaier reports that his car blew up and is out of the race.

Garrett Smithley got very loose but saved the car and the track stays green.

Lap 117 Daniel Suarez continues to lead the race.

Erik Jones gets loose and hits the wall bringing out the sixth caution flag of the race. Matt Tifft is the “lucky” dog.

Really an Blaney wins the race off of pit road with Daniel Suarez coming out in second.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 127 with Ryan Blaney, Daniel Suarez, and sam Hornish Jr battling for the lead. Ryan Blaney is the leader.

Lap 133, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over half a second lead over Daniel Suarez.

During the television commercial break the caution flag came out with 57 laps remaining in the race for debris on the track when a display board fell on to the track.

Some drivers came down pit road but took fuel only.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 148. Blaney gets a bug jump on Daniel Suarez to take the lead.

Ryan Reed is reporting a very loose condition. During the caution flag, Reed took only fuel and no tires.

The eighth caution flag of the race comes out for fluid on the track with 40 laps remaining in the race.

Daniel Suarez’ pit crew didn’t get all of his lug nuts tight and had to go back and tighten them. As a result, he will be restarting the race at the back of the field.

William Byron is in the lead and will bring the field to the green.

William Byron brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 166 and edges out Elliott Sadler for the lead. Michael Annett gets sideways with smoke all around him but the track stays green.

The top three are William Byron, Elliott Sadler, and Alex Bowman.

Alex Bowman passes William Byron for the lead of the race.

Erik Jones makes an unscheduled pit stop for a possible tire issue and an electrical issue.

With 28 laps remaining in the race Alex Bowman has a quarter second lead on Ryan Blaney.

With only 18 laps remaining in the race, Alex Bowman continues to lead the race with Ryan Blaney in second. There are 22 cars on the lead lap.

Fourteen to go and Alex Bowman has a lead of over two seconds on Ryan Blaney.

Twelve to go and Alex Bowman has pulled out to a lead of nearly three and a half seconds.

Ten to go and Alex Bowman has a lead of nearly three seconds on Sam Hornish Jr.

With only seven laps to go William Byron is reporting a possible tire rub.

Five to go and Alex Bowman holds on to his lead of nearly three seconds.

Alex Bowman takes the white flag.

After not having been in a race car since February, Alex Bowman wins his first race. Next season Alex Bowman will take over the wheel behind the 88 car.

772px-TSM_Alex_Bowman_-_2015_-_StierchBy Sarah Stierch – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41292596

Continuing what may be a new NASCAR tradition, Alex Bowman signed the checkered flag and handed it to a young fan.

Ryan Reed hangs on to fill the final spot in the round of eight but Brendan Gaughan, Blake Koch, Michael Annett, and Jeremy Clements have been eliminated from the playoffs.

The unofficial results of the the Drive for The Cure 300:
Alex Bowman
Sam Hornish Jr
Ryan Blaney
Austin Dillon
Brennan Poole
Cole Custer
Daniel Hemric
Daniel Suarez
Matt Tifft
Elliott Sadler
Brendan Gaughan
Ryan Reed
Brandon Jones
Ross Chastain
Ty Dillon
William Byron
Corey LaJoie
Ryan Sieg
J.J. Yeley
Jeremy Clements
Ray Black Jr
Harrison Rhodes
Garett Smithley
Mario Goselin
Blake Koch
David Starr
Michael Annett
BJ McLeod
Chad Finchum
Erik Jones
Joey Gase
Mike Harmon
Justin Allgaier
Spencer Gallagher
Timmy Hill
Angela Ruch
Reed Sorenson
Morgan Shepherd
Gray Gaulding
Jeff Green


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