NASCAR Race in Las Vegas Live Updates: Chase Elliott is out

February 19, 2023;  Daytona Beach, Florida, USA;  NASCAR Cup Series driver Justin Haley (31) and driver William Byron (24) drive side by side during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.  Mandatory credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

February 19, 2023; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Justin Haley (31) and driver William Byron (24) drive side by side during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Denuvo, USA Today Sports

Charlotte Observer NASCAR reporter Alex Zietlow will be tossing along live updates throughout Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the section below. Refresh for the latest news. Full results will be posted at the end of the race.

Live updates from race at Las Vegas

Stage 3

Lap 200: Kyle Larson passes Denny Hamlin on the outside, and now the 5 car has a 1.3-second lead over the rest of the field. Could that have been a race-defining move?

Lap 193: Denny Hamlin cycled out as the leader on pit road, and on the restart, he maintains the lead spot. The 11 team has one of the best pit crews in the sport — and that’s why he’s out in front. The Top 4 are racing each other hard: Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman, William Byron.

Lap 183: Caution is out! First caution for cause of the day. Joey Logano, who started on Sunday’s pole but has since fallen back to the middle of the pack, goes into a three-wide turn and appears to just run out of real estate. It ends in him knocking into Brad Keselowski — who doesn’t budge — and then hitting the wall and spinning out into the infield grass. No other cars were damaged in the spin. An update: Logano is now done for the day. He ran out of time on the damage vehicle policy clock.

Lap 174: And we’re green once more! If the race stays as clean and calm as it has today — which it almost certainly won’t — then this will be the last restart of the day.

Lap 170: All cars hit pit road, and the Top 4 remain in the lead. That’s William Byron, Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman and Martin Truex Jr. The Hendrick cars are going 1-2-3 — extending an already great day.

Stage 2

Lap 165: William Byron sweeps the stages in Las Vegas! Byron has been running with clean air all day. Will anyone challenge him in Stage 3? Still no cautions outside of stage breaks. Not much changed at the top of the field from Stage 1. Those earning stage points (in order): Byron, Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr., Christopher Bell, Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick. (Of note: Chastain was the leader in points heading into Sunday’s race, and he’s stealing points again today. The 1 car is having a phenomenal beginning to the season.)

Lap 127: A ton of clean racing, and we cycle through another handful of green-flag pit stops. William Byron still ahead by about two seconds over his teammate, Kyle Larson. Top 5: Byron, Larson, Ross Chastain, Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin. That’s two Hendrick Motorsports cars, two Joe Gibbs Racing cars, and one TrackHouse Racing car. An update on Ryan Blaney: He was able to manage staying on the lead lap and is now running 17th and rising. The pit stop at the end of Stage 1 and subsequent ones under green have been fruitful; the car was nearly “undriveable” previously, Blaney said.

Lap 84: We have 22 cars on the lead lap. Ryan Preece will get the free pass in the new stage, which will make 23. Cars cycling through pit road. Denny Hamlin jumps up two spots because of it. The biggest news, though: Ryan Blaney came over the radio and said his car had a “massive” vibration, making it difficult to drive. More updates on this to come.

Stage 1

Lap 80: A caution-free first stage ends up being won by William Byron. That’s his first stage win of the year. Others in the Top 10 winning stage points: Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain, Christopher Bell, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman, Bubba Wallace, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski.

Lap 32: Some minor trouble! Kyle Busch, last weekend’s winner, knocked into the wall. The body looks OK, but Busch told the crew chief that there’s an issue with the steering. Now drivers are cycling through pit road. Ryan Blaney enters first. All cars getting fuel and four tires. A lot of rubber will be used today! (Also of note: Noah Gragson earns two speeding on pit road penalties — once on his first green-flag pit stop, the other on his penalty trip down pit road. Tough break for the 43 team.)

Lap 15: Solid racing in the early going. Already a bunch of passing. Top 10 running now: William Byron, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ross Chastain, Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Bubba Wallace. Hendrick cars looking great in the early-going, much like they were at Fontana last weekend (another intermediate track). (That last statement, of course, is true outside of Larson, who saw a one-off mechanical issue ruin his day.)

Green flag! 3:53 p.m.: Here we go!

NASCAR Cup driver Chase Elliott, center, waits in the garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. to begin practice Friday, May 28, 2021. Elliott underwent successful surgery after a snowboarding accident prior to a NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Racing. Motorcycles on Sunday, March 5, 2023. Jeff Senner

3:49 p.m.: Las Vegas Motor Speedway is witnessing some 20 mile-per-hour winds that could wreak havoc today. The winds are steady, though, which is preferable to intermittent gusts. Green flag about to drop!

3:39 p.m.: Engines are fired (thanks to an enthusiastic Bryce Harper call), and drivers are now making laps. Race to start shortly!

2:48 p.m.: Some things to be on the lookout for: Harrison Burton will use a backup car after spinning and wrecking during practice on Saturday, and Tyler Reddick experienced engine issues on Saturday — so both of those drivers will start at the rear of the field. Also, Martin Truex Jr. will be without two crew members after losing his left-front wheel on the backstretch at Fontana last weekend.

2:42 p.m.: The biggest news from this weekend’s race at Las Vegas will involve someone who won’t be at the racetrack at all. Chase Elliott, NASCAR’s most popular driver, sustained an injury to his left leg and underwent successful surgery on Friday night after a snowboarding accident in Colorado. Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said Elliott is out indefinitely. That said, team officials still hope the No. 9 car is in playoff contention by this summer. Josh Berry will run in Elliott’s place today. It’s worth noting: Multiple drivers and officials have expressed empathy for Elliott, saying drivers “have lives outside the track” and sometimes accidents occur.

How to watch Pennzoil 400

  • Race: Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube
  • Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • Date: Sunday, March 5, 2023
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Purse: $8,960,174
  • TV: FOX, 3 p.m. ET
  • Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
  • Distance: 400 miles (267 laps around 1.5-mile track)
  • Stages: Stage 1 (Lap 80), Stage 2 (Lap 165), Stage 3 (Lap 267)

Starting lineup at NASCAR Cup race

Position Driver Car No.
1 Joey Logano 22
2 William Byron 24
3 Ryan Blaney 12
4 Ty Gibbs 54
5 Kyle Busch 8
6 Kyle Larson 5
7 Brad Keselowski 6
8 Ross Chastain 1
9 Austin Cindric 2
10 Christopher Bell 20
11 Alex Bowman 48
12 Denny Hamlin 11
13 Bubba Wallace 23
14 Kevin Harvick 4
15 Martin Truex Jr. 19
16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47
17 Michael McDowell 34
18 Chris Buescher 17
19 Corey LaJoie 7
20 Chase Briscoe 14
21 Aric Almirola 10
22 Erik Jones 43
23 AJ Allmendinger 16
24 Daniel Suarez 99
25 Noah Gragson 42
26 Austin Dillon 3
27 Justin Haley 31
28 Todd Gilliland 38
29 JJ Yeley 15
30 Cody Ware 51
31 Ryan Preece 41
32 Josh Berry 9
33 Ty Dillon 77
34 Tyler Reddick 45
35 Harrison Burton 21
36 BJ McLeod 78

This story was originally published March 5, 2023, 2:41 p.m.

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Alex Zietlow writes about sport and the ways it intersects life in the counties of York, Chester and Lancaster for The Herald, where he has been editor and reporter since August 2019. Zietlow has won nine SC Press Association awards in his career, including first place finishes for feature writing and writing Sports projects and educational performance reports. He also received two 2021 APSE Writing Contest Top 10 Awards and was nominated for a 2022 American Basketball Writers Association Rising Star Award for his coverage of the Winthrop men’s basketball team.

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