NASCAR at Las Vegas live updates: Denny Hamlin wins the Cup Series race; Elliott second

·15 min read

Live updates have concluded for this race. Please find full results and analysis here.

The NASCAR Cup Series race is tonight at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The South Point 400 is at 7 p.m. on NBCSN.

The race is 400.5 miles (267 laps) with stages ending on laps 80, 160 and 267. All times are Eastern.

Follow NASCAR reporter Alex Andrejev on Twitter at @AndrejevAlex.

Preliminary race results

Pos.

Car

Driver

Time behind

Best time

Best speed

1

11

Denny Hamlin (P)

--

30.414

177.55

2

9

Chase Elliott (P)

0.442

30.586

176.551

3

18

Kyle Busch (P)

12.548

30.535

176.846

4

19

Martin Truex Jr. (P)

13.989

30.722

175.77

5

12

Ryan Blaney (P)

14.651

30.576

176.609

6

8

Tyler Reddick

15.791

30.386

177.713

7

2

Brad Keselowski (P)

20.621

30.586

176.551

8

1

Kurt Busch

21.323

30.676

176.033

9

4

Kevin Harvick (P)

21.974

30.612

176.401

10

5

Kyle Larson (P)

24.119

30.471

177.218

11

22

Joey Logano (P)

28.649

30.514

176.968

12

21

Matt DiBenedetto

31.041

30.704

175.873

13

3

Austin Dillon

-1

30.803

175.308

14

14

Chase Briscoe #

-1

30.701

175.89

15

99

Daniel Suarez

-1

30.696

175.919

16

23

Bubba Wallace

-1

30.76

175.553

17

47

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

-1

30.939

174.537

18

24

William Byron (P)

-1

30.585

176.557

19

10

Aric Almirola

-1

31.018

174.092

20

6

Ryan Newman

-1

31.021

174.076

21

34

Michael McDowell

-1

30.979

174.312

22

48

Alex Bowman (P)

-2

30.616

176.378

23

42

Ross Chastain

-2

30.785

175.41

24

20

Christopher Bell (P)

-2

30.919

174.65

25

17

Chris Buescher

-2

30.973

174.345

26

43

Erik Jones

-2

30.722

175.77

27

38

Anthony Alfredo #

-2

31.027

174.042

28

37

* Ryan Preece

-2

31.021

174.076

29

41

Cole Custer

-2

30.94

174.531

30

7

Corey LaJoie

-3

30.875

174.899

31

51

Cody Ware(i)

-7

31.539

171.217

32

77

Justin Haley(i)

-7

31.378

172.095

33

78

BJ McLeod(i)

-10

31.201

173.071

34

0

Quin Houff

-12

31.901

169.274

35

53

Garrett Smithley(i)

-13

31.863

169.476

36

52

Josh Bilicki

-15

32.008

168.708

37

15

Joey Gase(i)

-183

32.267

167.354

38

66

* JJ Yeley(i)

-191

32.589

165.7

P - Playoff driver; # - Rookie; i - Ineligible for points

Stage 3

10:07 p.m., Lap 267: Race over, and Denny Hamlin has his second win of the season — just barely holding off a hard-charging Chase Elliott, who closed off a full second in the final three laps to get to Hamlin’s bumper. But Hamlin had just enough.

One of the most consistent drivers all year, Hamlin and his team have even said, despite far fewer wins, that he’s looked better this year than last year with a ton of top five and top 10 finishes, and a lot of laps led. Good time for him to start finding some wins, with Talladega looming and all of the trouble that can cause. A win means he’s automatically in to the Round of 8.

10:04 p.m., Lap 262: Well then... Chase Elliott has cut the deficit between his No. 9 car and Hamlin’s No. 11 to just 0.9 seconds, but if things hold as they are, barring yellow or mechanical issues, he’s likely to run out of laps to catch him.

10:03 p.m., Lap 260: Down to the final seven laps. In the woulda-coulda-shoulda realm, both Tyler Reddick and Kurt Busch having great runs today, both running in the top 10, one week after being eliminated from the playoff picture. Meanwhile, William Byron and Kevin Harvick are just outside the Top 8 in points right now, with Keselowski and Logano the last two in. Bowman and Bell will have their work cut out for them at Talladega and then the Roval at Charlotte.

9:59 p.m., Lap 253: Fewer than 15 to go now. Elliott is closing just slightly each lap on Hamlin. This long green-flag run has favored the leaders, of course. No one will catch them without a yellow. More fun to watch has been the 3-4 battle between Kyle Busch and Martin Truex. They are also within a couple seconds of one another.

9:53 p.m., Lap 240: We’re under 30 to go at Las Vegas, and Hamlin and Elliott are way out in front. There’s only a seconds between them, though. On the points bubble right now (way to early, we know), Harvick would be the first of four cars out of the Top 8.

9:48 p.m., Lap 230: And there goes Dillon to pit road. Let the games begin between Hamlin and Elliott. Truex, Kyle Busch and Tyler Reddick round out the Top 5. Pretty sure Reddick would have much preferred this great run last weekend before getting bounced from the playoffs.

9:46 p.m., Lap 228: Keselowski finally pits, and Denny Hamlin is once again sitting up front, with Austin Dillon. But Dillon last pitted on Lap 162. Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex and company are all on fresh tires. Interesting to see how the tires wear here.

9:41 p.m., Lap 221: The pit stops have cycled ALMOST all the way through, but Brad Keselowski hasn’t gone in yet, and hangs onto the race lead for now. Dillon and Hamlin ate listed 2-3.

9:31 p.m., Lap 200: Kyle Larson has moved up, but barely. He’s in 14th while Denny Hamlin still sits in the lead 1.7 seconds ahead of Tyler Reddick in second. Martin Truex Jr. is in third. Green flag pit stops start a few laps later, but the leaders haven’t pitted yet.

9:24 p.m., Lap 189: Denny Hamlin still leads the field, while Kyle Larson sits stuck in 15th. “My tires are f***ed.” Tyler Reddick, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, William Byron, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano follow in that order.

UPDATE ON GASE: FOX Sports reports that Gase walked to the ambulance by his own power. He was shown moving in his car on the television broadcast.

9:20 p.m. Lap 175: Kevin Harvick says Tyler Reddick knocked into him, sending him bumping into Kyle Busch. Harvick says both (fenders) are damaged. He’s in ninth.

9:14 p.m., Lap 170: Denny Hamlin holds the lead in the opening laps of the final stage. Hamlin had led more than 50 laps of this race. Kyle Larson has led the most laps so far (96).

Per NASCAR, Joey Gase is being transported to a local medical facility for further evaluation after the earlier hard hit to bring out the caution in Stage 2.

Stage 2

9:04 p.m., Lap 160: Denny Hamlin wins Stage 2. Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Austin Dillon and Bubba Wallace run in the top 10. Chase Elliott finishes in P14. William Byron is P18 and in free pass position. Kyle Larson is P19. Ryan Blaney is P21. Alex Bowman and Christopher Bell are P24-25.

8:58 p.m., Lap 151: William Byron is told that he needs to pass Ross Chastian to get in free pass position, and he’s able to clear him a few laps before the stage ends. Kyle Larson continues to lead Denny Hamlin wins Stage 2. Ky Busch, Reddick, Truex, Logano, Keselowski, Ku Busch, Harvick, Dillon, Wallace in top 10.Elliott in P14. Byron is P18 to close the stage and in free pass position.Larson P19. Blaney P21. Bowman, Bell P24-25.

8:49 p.m., Lap 132: Chase Elliott and William Byron pit under green for fuel and tires, but trouble for Byron! His team is only able to get two tires on during the stop due to an issue on the right side. Elliott takes all four and fuel, and Byron runs a lap down.

8:41 p.m., Lap 118: Joe Gibbs Racing cars have creeped into the top five, with Kyle Busch moving up to third and Denny Hamlin in fourth. Kyle Larson and William Byron are the top two runners and Chase Elliott is in fifth as Alex Bowman has dropped to eighth.

8:35 p.m., Lap 106: All four Hendrick playoff drivers run in the top-four after Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott jockey for the lead, but Larson gets the spot, then William Byron runs up to second place, passing Elliott. Alex Bowman loses a spot to Penske’s Ryan Blaney a few laps later.

8:27 p.m., Lap 100: William Byron will start up front, followed by Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott. Off the restart, Larson gets a push from Elliott and the field in the middle of the pack runs four-wide. Kevin Harvick drops to 15th.

8:22 p.m, Lap 94: The caution comes out for a huge hit for Joey Gase spinning into the outside wall, then inside wall around Turn 2 after a tire comes off. Teams pit to change tires, including Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin. Busch was talking about a vibration, so he catches a break with the caution.

8:14 p.m., Lap 84: Denny Hamlin beats Kyle Larson off pit road, and chooses the inside lane. Christopher Bell will start a lap down.

Stage 1

8:08 p.m., Lap 80: Kyle Larson wins Stage 1 at Las Vegas. Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick, Kevin Harvick, Matt DiBenedetto, Martin Truex Jr. follow in the top 10 for points. Other playoff drivers Alex Bowman and Brad Keselowski finish in P11-12. Joey Logano is in 15th while Christopher Bell is in 22.

8:03 p.m., Lap 70: Kevin Harvick reports that the earlier fender damage is still having an impact on how he’s running.

7:58 p.m., Lap 64: The running order is Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick. Martin Truex Jr. has worked into the top 10 in tenth.

7:47 p.m., Lap 45: Kyle Larson races up to second, then to first, passing Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin. Busch then clears Hamlin, while Hamlin tells his team that he needs more grip.

7:43 p.m., Lap 34: Denny Hamlin leads after passing Kyle Busch after the restart. Kevin Harvick in fifth asks his team to check his right front fender after apparent contact with Matt DiBenedetto, whose team is also assessing damage to his left rear.

7:40 p.m., Lap 28: Christopher Bell says his brakes locked up as he was pitting and got into the back of Kurt Busch’s car. Both drivers make a long stop for repairs. Bell is still in the playoffs, and sits nine points below the cutoff, while Busch was eliminated from this round after last weekend’s race.

7:32 p.m., Lap 25: William Byron is in ninth at the competition caution and reports feedback to his crew chief, but feels like his car is good overall. Kyle Busch wins the race off pit road, and Daniel Suárez was penalized for speeding under the caution.

7:30 p.m., Lap 18: Kyle Larson has moved to third by Kyle Busch while leaders Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney separate themselves from the pack. William Byron is already up to ninth after starting from the back of the field, passing Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski.

7:27 p.m., Lap 8: Denny Hamlin gets a run on Ryan Blaney and surges to the lead as Blaney drops to second with Kyle Busch in third.

7:25 p.m., Lap 6: Ryan Blaney continues to run in first, as Denny Hamlin settles into second followed by Kyle Busch in third, but Kyle Larson clears Busch for the third place spot as Hamlin works to Blaney.

7:20 p.m., Lap 2: Kyle Larson starts on the pole today, takes the outside lane for the start with Denny Hamlin on his bumper. Kevin Harvick gives Ryan Blaney a big push on the inside lane, then wiggles and falls to sixth. Blaney moves to first early.

Pre-race

7:05 p.m.: Pre-race ceremonies are complete. Motor Racing Outreach chaplain Billy Mauldin delivered the invocation. Country music singer Matt Stell performed the national anthem live at the track at Las Vegas, Nev. The flyover is complete. UFC president Dana White is the grand marshal. He gives the command to fire engines.

Who’s dropping to the back? Who has the best odds?

Pre-race inspection is complete with two playoff drivers dropping to the rear for multiple inspection failures. William Byron and Martin Truex Jr. will drop to the back of the field for the race start for their cars twice failing pre-race technical inspection. Byron was slated to start third and Truex was slated to start fourth.

Aric Almirola and JJ Yeley will also drop to the rear from 17th and 38th, respectively, due to multiple inspection failures. Yeley’s car (starting last) failed inspection three times, so he will owe a pass through and his team’s car chief has been ejected for the race.

Kyle Larson is starting on the pole with Ryan Blaney in the front row. Larson is the favorite to win, according to the sportsbooks. Check out more pre-race predictions here.

Unfinished business between Harvick, Elliott?

The focus of last weekend’s race finish at Bristol wasn’t on the winner. Instead, playoff drivers Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott exchanged shoves on pit road after the checkered flag waved in response to an earlier on-track incident between the drivers. Based on their latest comments Sunday, it appears the matter remains unresolved.

“It was like I was talking to Keelan,” Harvick told reporters at Las Vegas ahead of the race, referring to his son. “ ... They get hung up on one thing and you can’t speak to them about the broader picture of how the whole thing works. It was like speaking to a nine-year-old.”

Harvick said that his response to Elliott door-slamming him while racing for the lead last weekend was probably “the maddest” he’s ever been. He swung his helmet on top of his No. 4 Ford after exiting his vehicle, narrowly missing shattering his driving glasses sitting on the car roof. Harvick said that the glasses survived, and reiterated that his anger stemmed from Elliott pulling what he called “a chickensh-- move” on the track.

“I’d rather be wiped out than have some bull---- like that happen,” Harvick said. “It was a nine-year-old temper tantrum over a situation that was put into place from the other vehicle that wiped you out, took your chances from winning the race. So like I say, you can’t have it both ways.”

“...I don’t care if you’re the most popular driver or not, you can’t race everybody, side-drafting, bouncing off their doors and then slam into them,” Harvick continued. “That stuff all comes full circle in this deal.”

Elliott, in response, said he didn’t have much to say. The drivers fumed at each other on pit road, then spoke at length between haulers before eventually moving into Elliott’s hauler after drawing a crowd following last weekend’s race.

“Everybody’s got their opinion,” Elliott said Sunday. “And he’s entitled to his just like I am me and mine.”

Harvick is slated to start fifth. Elliott is slated to start 11th tonight.

Busch brothers reach milestone marker at hometown track

Las Vegas natives Kurt and Kyle Busch will each make a historic career start tonight at their hometown track. Kurt Busch, the defending South Point 400 winner, will make his 750th Cup Series start. He has the most starts of any active Cup driver and sits 12th on the all-time Cup starts list, led by Richard Petty (1,184). Kyle Busch will make the 600th start of his career. So far, Petty is the only driver to win his 600th start.

How to watch NASCAR Cup race at Las Vegas

  • Race: South Point 400

  • When: Sunday, September 26

  • Time: 7 p.m. EDT

  • TV: NBCSN

  • Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

  • Distance: 400.5 miles (267 Laps) with stages ending on laps 80, 160 and 267

NASCAR Cup race at Las Vegas starting order

Order

Driver

Car No.

1

Kyle Larson

5

2

Ryan Blaney

12

3

William Byron

24

4

Martin Truex Jr.

19

5

Kevin Harvick

4

6

Denny Hamlin

11

7

Alex Bowman

48

8

Brad Keselowski

2

9

Joey Logano

22

10

Kyle Busch

18

11

Chase Elliott

9

12

Christopher Bell

20

13

Tyler Reddick

8

14

Matt DiBenedetto

21

15

Austin Dillon

3

16

Erik Jones

43

17

Aric Almirola

10

18

Ross Chastain

42

19

Chase Briscoe

14

20

Kurt Busch

1

21

Bubba Wallace

23

22

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

47

23

Michael McDowell

34

24

Ryan Preece

37

25

Chris Buescher

17

26

Daniel Suárez

99

27

Corey LaJoie

7

28

Cole Custer

41

29

Ryan Newman

6

30

Garrett Smithley

53

31

Josh Bilicki

52

32

Anthony Alfredo

38

33

Justin Haley

77

34

BJ McLeod

78

35

Cody Ware

51

36

Quin Houff

0

37

Joey Gase

15

38

JJ Yeley

66

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