NASCAR National Series News & Notes - Off Weekend

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: Bojangles' Southern 500
The Place: Darlington Raceway
The Date: Sunday, Sept. 3
The Time: 6 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, 5:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 501.3 miles (367 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on lap 100),
Stage 2 (Ends on lap 200), Final Stage (Ends on lap 367)

Kyle Busch Pulls Off Bristol Sweep

Kyle Busch led 156 laps on his way to Victory Lane in Saturday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway to complete the sweep of all three national series races at the high-banked short track.

Busch won all but one stage in the three races at Bristol last week. He now leads active drivers with six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins at the Tennessee track.

The #18 Toyota driver ranks second in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings - 101 markers behind leader Martin Truex Jr. His 20 playoff points are second most in the series to Truex's 35.

On the season, Busch claims two wins, nine top fives, 14 top 10s and 10 stage wins in 24 starts. He'll ride a four-race top-10 streak to the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway

You Gotta Race Car Jones? Erik Jones Posts Career-Best Runner-Up Finish

Erik Jones led a race-high 260 laps on his way to a career-best runner-up finish in Saturday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series contest at Bristol Motor Speedway. The performance followed a third-place showing at Michigan the week prior. Jones heads next to Darlington Raceway riding a four-race top-10 streak.

The #77 Toyota driver leads Daniel Suarez by four points in a tight Sunoco Rookie of the Year race. On the season, he has three top fives, nine top 10s and a 16.8 average finish.
With only two races remaining in the regular season, Jones must win at either Darlington or Richmond to make the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

2 To Go: Pressure Mounting For Winless Drivers To Make Playoffs

Only two races remain for winless drivers to clinch berths in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

Of the winless drivers, only Matt Kenseth (2013) has won at Darlington. Kenseth (2015), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2000, 2004, 2006) and Clint Bowyer (2008, 2012) have all visited Victory Lane at Richmond. Joey Logano, who is currently out of the playoffs because his April Richmond win was encumbered, also took the checkered flag there in 2014.

Here's how the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Grid shakes out now: Martin Truex Jr. (four wins, 35 playoff points), Kyle Busch (2, 20), Kyle Larson (3, 18), Jimmie Johnson (3, 16), Brad Keselowski (2, 14), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2, 10), Kevin Harvick (1, 8), Ryan Blaney (1, 8), Denny Hamlin (1, 7), Kurt Busch (1, 5), Ryan Newman (1, 5), Kasey Kahne (1, 5), Austin Dillon (1, 5), Chase Elliott (69 points ahead of Clint Bowyer on the cutoff line, 2 playoff points), Matt Kenseth (+61, 3), Jamie McMurray (+58, 0).

Truex Close To Clinching Regular Season Title

Martin Truex Jr. already has a whopping 35 playoff points - 15 more than the next-best driver, Kyle Busch, who has 20.

The #78 Furniture Row Racing driver can grab another 15 playoff points next weekend at Darlington Raceway by clinching the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season title.

All Truex must do is finish the race 61 points ahead of second-place. He currently leads second-place Kyle Busch by 101 points in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings.

Truex has been as close to dominant as a driver can be this season. He boasts a series-leading four wins along with 15 stage wins, ranks tied for second with 10 top fives and paces the circuit with 16 top 10s.

Truex also leads the series in an assortment of loop data categories: average running position (8.2), driver rating (113.5), fastest laps run (846, 15.7%) and laps led (1,372, 20.7%).

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series etc.

Darlington Raceway To Hold "Free Can Friday" With Monster Energy: Darlington Raceway and Monster Energy are partnering to offer fans the opportunity to enjoy on-track activities on Friday, Sept. 1, for free by recycling any size Monster Energy can. The Friday on-track action includes four practice sessions for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series. Fans may bring an empty Monster Energy can and recycle it at the frontstretch ticket office behind the main grandstands to receive free admission to practice day. Gates will open at noon.

Monster Energy and NASCAR experienced tremendous success when it held the program at Pocono Raceway in June. Under the NASCAR Green umbrella, a comprehensive recycling effort has accounted for millions of bottles and cans being recycled annually thanks to designated bins in the grandstands, concourse, suites, garage, and campgrounds at almost every track NASCAR visits. For more information visit NASCAR.com/Green.

--- NASCAR ---