Kyle Larson leads Sprint Cup final practice; Kurt Busch going to backup car

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Will this be the weekend Kyle Larson out-hustles the Chasers and claims his first Sprint Cup win?

With finishes of third, second, and sixth in the Challenger Round, Larson’s been threatening to do that throughout the post-season so far. He’ll have some work to do on Sunday at Kansas Speedway with an 18th-place starting position, but he paced today’s final Cup practice session with a lap of 190.295 mph.

Four of those Chasers followed Larson to round out the Top 5 in the session: Sunday’s pole sitter Kevin Harvick in second (189.607), Kasey Kahne in third (189.215), Ryan Newman in fourth (189.102), and Kyle Busch in fifth (189.069).

Kansas native Clint Bowyer, A.J. Allmendinger, two more Chasers in Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano, and Martin Truex Jr. completed the Top 10.

The rest of the Chasers went like this: Carl Edwards in 11th, Denny Hamlin in 13th, Brad Keselowski in 16th, Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 19th, Jimmie Johnson in 21st, and Matt Kenseth in 25th.

Earnhardt may not have been up with the leaders on the time sheets, but still said the practice was good for him. He had the second-fastest 10-lap average behind Harvick’s.

“This is exactly the kind of practice we want, a lot closer to race conditions,” he told Fox Sports. “The practice this morning wasn’t anything like what the track’s gonna be like [Sunday]. I’m really happy with the car. We’ve got race speed. Didn’t hit a good, fast lap to put it up the board there, but the [10-lap] average is great.

“We ran a straight 10-lap run and I really, really like the way [the speed] held on. So, I’m pretty happy.”

About 10 minutes into the session, the red flag came out for Kurt Busch’s spin off Turn 4 into the wet infield grass.

Large chunks of grass were spotted in the wheel wells of the No. 41 Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet, and perhaps with the soft ground in mind, the safety crew opted to use ropes to pull the car out instead of sending a tow truck to do the job.

Fox Sports reported in the final moments of its practice broadcast that Kurt Busch would have to go to a backup car and abandon his 24th-place starting position for Sunday. SHR confirmed it later on.

A second red flag came out with less than two minutes to go for Alex Bowman tagging the Turn 4 wall, causing NASCAR to slightly extend the session.

Shortly after practice ended, BK Racing also said that Bowman would also go to a backup car; he had been slated to start 33rd.

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.