NASCAR

  • Brad Keselowski wins at Kentucky

    Brad Keselowski had his mojo working in Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.

    Saving just enough fuel to get to the finish line, Keselowski eked out a heart-thumping victory over Carl Edwards to win his second consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and his third at Kentucky Speedway.

    But this was not the same bumpy, abrasive Kentucky Speedway where Keselowski went to Victory Lane in 2012 and 2014. This was a repaved, reconfigured 1.5-mile intermediate track fraught with treachery, especially when combined with the lower-downforce aerodynamic package in use for the race.

    Keselowski got to the finish line .175 seconds ahead of Edwards, who made up a deficit of more than six seconds in the final 10 laps but couldn't quite get to Keselowski's rear bumper on the final lap.

    When Keselowski took the checkered flag, his fuel cell was dry. The driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford didn’t have enough gas to do a celebratory burnout, and he needed a push from a safety truck to get to Victory Lane.

    Keselowski took the lead from Kevin Harvick after a restart on Lap 200 and held it the rest of the way, except for Lap 261, when Matt Kenseth took the top spot and immediately came to pit road for fuel.

    By then, the die was cast for Keselowski, who was committed to finishing the race without another fuel stop.

    "We knew the fuel mileage," said Keselowski, who won for the fourth time this year, the 21st time in his career, and became the first driver to officially clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. "We went out and we set a really fast pace there on that restart and were just using fuel, and then it became obvious that you were going to have to save fuel at the end, but I already used so much.

    "It's a testament to our guys to have the fuel mileage that we did to be able to get back what I burnt early in the run and get the Miller Lite Ford in Victory Lane. Usually these repaves are kind of my Achilles heel, but to get a win here at Kentucky… I know it's been a good track for us in the past, but this isn't the same Kentucky, I can tell you that.

    "These cars were tough to drive today, but a good tough. This was a hard-fought battle, and I'm really proud of everybody on the 2 crew to get win number four and take that first place."

    When Keselowski slowed through Turn 4 on the next-to-last lap, Edwards thought he had the race won, but in retrospect, Edwards believed he had been beaten by a cunning opponent.

    "Yeah, I thought he was out of fuel coming off of (Turn) 4, but he actually did it very well," Edwards said of Keselowski, who indicated on his radio with more than a lap left that he was out of fuel. "If he didn't beat me, I'd be more impressed…

    "I guess I'm impressed that he did beat me, but I don't want to be. He waited. He basically shut the car off and went right off of 4 and matched it perfectly to where I couldn't get by him down the front straightaway, and then he ran like heck through 1 and 2, and then I thought maybe he'll run out down the back straight. Man, I dove it down in there trying to catch him into 3, and I couldn't even get to him."

    Keselowski, however, said he thought he was out of gas when his car sputtered off Turn 4.

    "I didn't think I was going to win the race," Keselowski said.

    Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. dominated the first two-thirds of the event, leading 128 and 46 laps, respectively.

    Truex had taken the lead off pit road on Lap 196, but NASCAR sent him to the rear of the field for passing Harvick, then the race leader, on the entry to pit road. For the last 68 laps, Truex drove like a madman, advancing from 23rd to as high as third before pitting for fuel and finishing 10th.

    "It wasn't my night on that deal," Truex said. "It's frustrating, we had the car to beat. We came out with the lead and they took it away from us. It's just the way it goes, I guess."

    Particularly perilous throughout the race were the flatter of the two corners —Turns 3 and 4 — with the entry to Turn 3 especially daunting. Ten laps into the race, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. pancaked the right side of his No. 17 Ford against the outside wall of the Turn 3 torture chamber.

    Nor were champions and frontrunners exempt from calamity. On Lap 32, Jimmie Johnson spun through Turn 4 and crumpled the left rear quarter of his No. 48 Chevrolet. On Lap 53, Joey slammed the Turn 3 wall after scraping it 10 laps earlier.

    On Lap 88, Ryan Blaney spun from the middle of a three-wide dilemma in Turn 3 and took the No. 24 Chevrolet of fellow Sunoco Rookie of the Year competitor Chase Elliott with him. On Lap 93, the cars of Brian Scott , Chris Buescher and AJ Allmendinger were mangled in an eight-car pileup.

    Lap 194 produced the 11th caution of the race, tying the record set last year, but from a restart on Lap 200 through the finish on Lap 267, the race ran green, and Keselowski was able to squeeze 68 laps out of his fuel cell.

    "We were totally out at the start/finish line," said Paul Wolfe, Keselowski's crew chief. "So it couldn't have timed out any better."

    Notes: Kurt Busch ran fourth, followed by Tony Stewart , who scored a top five in his 600th career start… Greg Biffle scored a season-best sixth-place finish… Harvick came home ninth and saw his series points lead shrink to four markers over Keselowski.

  • Busch capture the Pole at Pocono

    NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying can be fraught with twists, turns and unexpected bumps in the road.         
     
    Friday's qualifying session at Pocono Raceway, which saw Kurt Busch capture the Coors Light Pole for Sunday's Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 had them all.
     
    Throughout the day, Turn 2 -- the Tunnel Turn -- had been a major topic of concern.

    "There are grocery store parking lots around the country that are jealous of those three bumps that have developed there," said Busch, speculating that an offseason beautification project with water feature, enhancing the exterior tunnel entry, somehow created the lumpy racing surface.
     
    "To me, if they could just go ahead and take some bumps like that and put them over in the other corners too, it would be even better," said Carl Edwards. "It adds something. As long as it's not breaking parts, I believe it gives us an opportunity to setup passes."
     
    Ultimately, the issue with the bumpy track took a back seat when Denny Hamlin spun in Turn 1 in the final minute of qualifying, halting the session with 39 seconds remaining and preventing himself and four other drivers from posting a time in the final round.
     
    "It really is a bizarre set of circumstances," said Jimmie Johnson, a winner of four races this season but one of the drivers left in the qualifying cold. "It's just unfortunate (for) the guys that were on the track. But as long as NASCAR is consistent (with the rule) through all three series, then we will take our medicine and just deal with it. We (start) ninth. That is the best we've been in a while.
     
    Joey Logano, the last driver not from Hendrick Motorsports to win at Pocono, was not so forgiving. Logano said he already had a ‘headache' thanks to the bumps -- and that was before his lap in progress was negated by Hamlin's spin.
     
    "A car spins out and they throw a red flag for it and then you don't get an opportunity to go out and make a lap," Logano said. "I don't understand it. It makes me mad. I don't get it. We didn't even have a chance to try to put our car up front."
     
    Busch suggested that Pocono Raceway attempt to grind the bumps prior to Sunday's race. Earnhardt was encouraged that Pocono Raceway CEO Brandon Igdalsky was not only aware of the situation, but planning to take action before the Sprint Cup Series returns in late July.
     
    "I feel like they understand that while we can probably get through this weekend with what's back there right now, it's probably not in their best interest to leave it as-is," Earnhardt said. "It will continue to get worse and I don't think that we can get our race cars through there if it gets much worse than it is."
     
    Carl Edwards finished second in qualifying. "My plan with Denny (Joe Gibbs Racing teammate) almost worked out," Edwards joked. "But he didn't spin early enough to keep Kurt from catching me."
     
    Martin Truex Jr. qualified third in the Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet, unaware that the session had been cut short but well aware of the challenges in Turn 2.
     
    "It's wild," he said. "The first time through there, I thought either our car was way off or there's something wrong with the race track. The bumps are 10 times bigger than they were last year, which is crazy. You're going across bumps that are 8-10 inches tall and, literally, the tires are coming off the ground."
     
    Jeff Gordon qualified fourth and series leader Kevin Harvick, who posted the fastest lap in each of the first two qualifying sessions, was fifth. Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne were the other drivers who were burned by Hamlin's spin, having waited too long to attempt a lap in the five-minute session.
     
    Kurt Busch noted during practice that he was losing speed in Turns 1 and 3 and elected to focus on the vast majority of the course, not the troubles in Turn 2. His team also overcame a "wrong gear ratio in the transmission in third gear."
     
    "There was so much disconnect when we first got here," said Busch, whose third pole of the season was the 19th of his career. "We had to drop back, reboot with (crew chief) Tony Gibson, (engineer) Johnny Klausmeier, the whole gang. Today was a big group-bonding day and a strength-building day on what this No. 41 team can do together."
     
    With 43 race entries, all drivers qualified for Sunday's race.
     
    Tony Stewart, mired in 28th in the point standings, was forced to a backup car after a crash coming out of the Tunnel Turn in the 36th minute of Friday's practice session.  Stewart was 28th in the first round of qualifying and failed to advance. "Driver error," said Stewart, who has managed just one top-10 finish this season. "I was already past the bump. I got loose on the exit (of the turn) and couldn't catch it."

  • Charlotte All Stars race wrap footage now available

    With a deft move with three laps left in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Denny Hamlin delivered the first victory in the non-points showcase event to Joe Gibbs Racing and to Toyota.
     
    As he drove into Turn 1 to start Lap 97, with Kevin Harvick glued to his bumper and ready to make a run at the $1 million first prize, Hamlin moved up a lane in the corner and took Harvick's line away, causing Harvick’s No. 4 Chevrolet to lose momentum.

    Watch it at www.rubberdown.com.au

  • Chase Elliott wins Daytona 500 pole

    Chase Elliott's rookie campaign just got a jump-start.  Faced with the daunting prospect of succeeding Jeff Gordon in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, the 20-year-old Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate drove the same chassis to the same result Gordon accomplished last year—the pole position for the Feb. 21 Daytona 500 (on FOX at 1 p.m. ET).

    In the money round of qualifying for the Great American Race, Elliott toured 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway in 45.845 seconds (196.314 mph), edging Matt Kenseth (196.036 mph) by .065 seconds for the top starting spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series opener.

    Elliott and Kenseth are the only drivers whose positions for the Daytona 500 are now locked in. The balance of the field will be filled and ordered in Thursday night’s 150-mile Can-Am Duel qualifying races.

    "I've never qualified on the front row here before, so that certainly takes off some pressure for later in the week," Kenseth said.

    "This is a very, very cool day," Elliott said after Earnhardt, the last qualifier, failed to knock him off the pole. "I don't know that this opportunity has sunk in yet, much less sitting on the pole for the Daytona 500.

    "So this is very cool. I think the big thing is just the team and the Daytona 500 qualifying is about the team guys and the effort they put into these cars and it's nothing special I did. It's really what kind of work they did this offseason to make it happen.

    "Jeff (Gordon) knows all about that and I just wanted to give a big thanks to NAPA Auto Parts and all of our partners at HMS on this No. 24 car. This is very special and a great way to start the season."

    Elliott's first Sprint Cup pole was a milestone in many other respects. At 20 years, 2 months and 17 days, he is the youngest-ever winner of a Daytona 500 pole, supplanting Austin Dillon (23 years, 9 months 27 days in 2014).

    Should Elliott win the race next Sunday, he would displace Trevor Bayne as the youngest winner of the event often referred to as NASCAR's Super Bowl.

    This was the 10th Daytona 500 pole for Hendrick Motorsports and the third for the No. 24 Chevrolet, with Gordon winning the previous two in 1999 and 2015. Elliott completed the fourth father/son combination to win poles for the 500, joining Richard and Kyle Petty, Bobby and Davey Allison and Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

    In fact, Earnhardt Jr. was fastest in the first round of Sunday's qualifying session, posting a lap at 195.788 mph, but he slipped to third in the final round and will start on the outside of the front row in the first Can-Am Duel.

    Kyle Busch posted the fourth fastest lap in the final round and will start from the second spot in the second Duel. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Jimmie Johnson were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the final round.

    The qualifying times of the Nos. 4 and 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolets, driven by Kevin Harvick and Brian Vickers, were disallowed after NASCAR discovered track bar infractions during post-qualifying inspection. Those cars will start from the rear in their respective Duels.

    Ryan Blaney powered the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford to a seventh in Sunday's time trials. As the fastest "open" car (required to qualify on speed), he is locked into the Daytona 500. Matt DiBenedetto, the second fastest of the open cars (and 24th overall) also is locked into the field.

    The No. 78 Furniture Row Toyota of Martin Truex Jr. failed to post a time after NASCAR inspectors noticed that one of the roof flaps was out of compliance. The car was on the five-minute clock at the time and the problem could not be corrected in time to make a qualifying run. As a consequence, Truex will start from the rear of the field in the second Can-Am Duel.

  • Chris Buescher to fill in again in No. 34

    Front Row Motorsports announced Monday morning that Chris Buescher will drive the team's No. 34 Ford this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

    Buescher, a NASCAR XFINITY Series regular, is scheduled to make his third career Sprint Cup Series start for the Bob Jenkins-owned team in Saturday night's Duck Commander 500. He'll be pulling double-duty, driving the Roush Fenway Racing No. 60 Ford in Friday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 for XFINITY cars.
     
    Buescher is the fourth driver in six races for the No. 34 team. David Ragan began the year, but hopped in as the interim driver for the injured Kyle Busch in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota. That move set off a chain of driver swaps, putting Joe Nemechek behind the wheel at Atlanta in the season's second race.
     
    Michael Waltrip Racing development driver Brett Moffitt competed in the next two events (Las Vegas, Phoenix) for Front Row, but rejoined MWR in its No. 55 Toyota after Brian Vickers was ruled out indefinitely with a recurrence of blood clots. That move made Buescher an 11th-hour replacement at Auto Club Speedway and the interim driver at Martinsville Speedway.
     
    Ragan is expected to resume driver duties for the No. 34 team once Busch returns from injury.
     
    Buescher notched his only XFINITY Series victory last August at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He currently ranks second in the XFINITY standings, just five points behind series leader Ty Dillon after five of 33 races scheduled this season.

  • Denny Hamlin wins Sprint Unlimited in overtime finish

    Denny Hamlin was able to stay out of the late-race trouble that plagued his competitors and wheeled his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota into Victory Lane at the Sprint Unlimited for the third time in his career. This win also marks Joe Gibbs Racing's fourth victory out of the last five Sprint Unlimited races.

    Hamlin was in the lead when a caution came on the white-flag lap. Joey Logano finished in second with Paul Menard taking third.

    On Lap 73 (of a scheduled 75), a big wreck with Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola and Casey Mears created a green-white-checkered finish scenario and brought out the new "overtime line" rule NASCAR implemented days prior to the event. The race went 79 laps.

    Kyle Larson and Casey Mears took fourth and fifth, respectively.

    Brian Vickers brought out the "Big One" on Lap 23, which also involved Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch and AJ Allmendinger. Vickers who was filling in for the injured Tony Stewart officially exited the race by Lap 40 along with Bowyer and three-time Sprint Unlimited winner Harvick.


  • Erik Jones' dominating Kansas run goes dry

    No one had a faster truck than Erik Jones in Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway.

    But speed requires fuel, and with only a handful of laps remaining, the fuel cell in Jones' No. 4 Toyota ran dry. His lead, and a dominating performance, evaporated.

    "It just sucks," a disappointed Jones said afterward. "We had by far the best truck; we were up to an 11-second lead at one point.

    "It's just so terrible for these (Kyle Busch Motorsports) guys when we bring that fast of a truck."

    Jones, who finished 11th, wasn't alone in his misery. Almost as soon as second-place Tyler Reddick moved into the top spot, his No. 19 Ford (Brad Keselowski Racing) began to sputter. He led seven laps and had the lead from 162-164 of the 167-lap race, before he too was out of gas.

    Incredibly, Daniel Suarez suffered the same fate – when Reddick slowed, Suarez, also in a KBM Toyota, inherited the lead. One lap later, and just two laps from the finish, the orange No. 51 entry's tank ran dry.

    All of which left two-time defending series champion Matt Crafton out front, and two laps later, headed to the winner's circle.

    Jones, who started on the pole and will make his Sprint Cup Series debut in Saturday's SpongeBob SquarePants 400, led five times. Before his fuel problems, he lost the lead only on pit road.

    "No, I didn't know how short (on fuel) we were," he said. "I knew the fuel window. I knew we had to save. I couldn't give the lead up to the 19 (of Reddick) at that point, if a caution had come out (and knowing) how big track position is if we'd have lost the lead we'd never been able to get it back.

    "It's just a shame, I saved as much as I could there later on and it just wasn't enough."

    Reddick's charge to the front was almost as impressive as that of Jones. The winner at Daytona International Speedway in the series' opener, Reddick and teammate Austin Theriault both started Friday's race in backup entries after crashing during qualifying.

  • Hamlin takes Pole at Dover

    Denny Hamlin rolled to the Coors Light Pole Award in Friday afternoon's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Dover International Speedway.

    Hamlin drove the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota to a fast lap of 160.121 mph on the 1-mile concrete oval. He'll start first in Sunday's FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks

    The pole position was Hamlin's first of the season, third at the Monster Mile and 21st of his Sprint Cup career. The pole-winning lap was significantly slower than the track qualifying record of 164.444 mph set by Brad Keselowski in May.

    "It's great," said Hamlin, who also won the Dover pole in September 2012 and May 2013. "Obviously our car's shown speed all day long, which is something that we haven't had lately, so we're kind of building and getting a little bit better and starting to figure out our setups and whatnot. So we're getting better and obviously this kind of shows it."

    Martin Truex Jr., second in the Sprint Cup standings, will share Sunday's front row in the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Chevrolet after notching the second-fastest lap at 159.723 mph. Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano completed the top five.

    Defending Sprint Cup champion and current points leader Kevin Harvick qualified sixth-fastest in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet. Kyle Busch, making just his second start of the season in points-paying races since returning from serious leg injuries in a February crash at Daytona, earned the 10th starting spot in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota.

    Some big names were left out of later qualifying rounds at the two elimination stages in the three-round format. Jimmie Johnson, a nine-time Dover winner in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet, was among them. After leading opening Sprint Cup practice earlier in the day, he posted just the 14th-fastest lap in Round 2, failing to make the final cut to determine the top 12 starters.

    "I think, in a sense, we maybe didn't make the changes we need to or thought we needed to change, because the car had so much speed in that first practice session, but it's a totally different race track," Johnson said. "And we tried to plan ahead and made some small changes, but it wasn't enough."

    Kurt Busch was also in that unfortunate group, making just the 13th-best lap to miss the cut for the final, five-minute round.

    Keselowski was the final driver to make the cut after Round 1, edging Kasey Kahne by .005 seconds for the 24th spot. The Team Penske driver ended up qualifying 19th. Three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart also just missed the cut, posting the 26th-fastest lap.

    Jeff Green and Travis Kvapil failed to qualify for the 43-car field.

  • I fell into a pile of cow poo and came out smelling of Roses...

    Clint Bowyer began the season with a three-year contract to drive for Michael Waltrip. He got an even better deal - a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - before he even completed the first season of his new contract.

    Bowyer is the successor for three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart, who will retire at the end of 2016. Bowyer will get into the No. 14 Chevrolet in 2017.

    He became available when MWR decided to cease operations at the end of this season and released Bowyer from his contract.

    ''I don't think I got fired; it just went away, and somehow (I) landed in a way better situation,'' Bowyer said at Stewart-Haas Racing, where he was introduced Wednesday alongside Stewart. ''Do you ever hear that term, 'When you fall in a pile of cow manure and come out smelling like roses?' That's exactly what this is for me.''

    The day wasn't a complete success for Bowyer: His championship chances effectively ended when an appeals panel found NASCAR was correct in penalizing the No. 15 team for an illegally modified part two weeks ago at Chicagoland Speedway.

    The penalty cost Bowyer 25 points in the standings and dropped him to last in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field. Four drivers from the 16-driver field will be eliminated this weekend in Dover, Delaware. Barring a victory, Bowyer will not advance to the second round.

    He made no mention Wednesday of the penalty or his time at MWR. He was focused only on the opportunity ahead of him, and indicated he will announce soon where he will spend 2016 as he waits out Stewart's final year. Bowyer is likely headed to HScott Motorsports in a deal that will give him a seat and the team support from SHR.

    ''You have an opportunity to sit in one of the best rides ever in the history of the sport,'' Bowyer said. ''This is a champion's seat that I'm filling. This is an unbelievable opportunity. To think of that door opening, and holy cow, the timing couldn't have been any better for myself. Somebody was looking after me.

    ''When I heard that that seat was open, I was on board. They didn't have to call me.''

    www.rubberdown.com.au

  • Jimmie Johnson wins at Atlanta

    With wrecks erupting behind him, Jimmie Johnson took the checkered flag in overtime under caution in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway -- and then he remembered.
     
    Almost lost in the euphoria of Johnson's second straight victory at the 1.54-mile track was the realization that, with his 76th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory, he had tied the late Dale Earnhardt for seventh on the all-time wins list.
     
    But as the No. 48 Chevrolet rolled around the track on its Victory Lap, heading in a clockwise direction a la Alan Kulwicki, the six-time champion thrust his arm out the driver's side window with a three-finger salute to the crowd, acknowledging the bond he now shares with The Intimidator.

    "It's such an honor," Johnson said. "With the chaos at the end and the crash and wondering about overtime and how it worked these days, I kind of lost sight of that.
     
    "I remembered it on my Victory Lap coming down, and I had to come by and throw a '3' out the window to pay my respects to the man. There's a huge void in my career that I never had a chance to race with him, but at least I was able to tie his record."
     
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran second to his teammate, followed by Kyle Busch, who started 39th after his qualifying time was disallowed because the rear toe of his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota exceeded NASCAR's tolerances.
     
    Polesitter Kurt Busch was fourth, and Carl Edwards came home fifth.
     
    Johnson's fifth victory at Atlanta probably wouldn't have occurred had crew chief Chad Knaus not made a strategic call that wrested control of the race from Kevin Harvick, whose dominant No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet led a race-high 131 of the 330 laps.
     
    As soon as Johnson hit the fuel window that would get him to the end of the race, Knaus brought the No. 48 Chevy to pit road for four tires and gas on Lap 276, nine laps before Harvick pitted from the lead. With the nine-lap advantage on fresh tires -- not to mention issues with the left front tire that cost Harvick more than three seconds on pit road -- Johnson was 13.631 seconds ahead of Harvick's No. 4 when the green-flag pit stop cycle was completed on Lap 287.
     
    "Definitely a gutsy call," Johnson said. "It was just a great team effort. The No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) car was awfully tough and it was going to take some strategy to get by him. When he told me to whip it as hard as I could there (after the lap 276 pit stop), I just felt like I was going to take too much life out of the tires. But, it worked. And I got rolling around the top and got to where I got this Lowe's Chevy in Victory Lane."
     
    But it wasn't easy. Harvick cut into Johnson's advantage, reducing it to 5.1 seconds before the speeds of the top two cars leveled out. When Ryan Newman blew a left rear tire and spun at the end of the frontstretch with two laps left in the regulation distance of 325 laps, the eight lead-lap cars came to pit road for tires.
     
    Johnson held the lead, with Harvick second and Kyle Busch third. But on the overtime restart, Harvick had trouble in the outside lane and Johnson surged ahead, pursued by Kyle Busch and Earnhardt.
     
    A wild wreck on the backstretch caused the caution that ended the race under yellow five laps beyond its scheduled distance.
     
    "We had issues about the last three runs," said Harvick, who suffered late-race brake problems and finished sixth. "I had to start driving the car different. It just required a little bit different handling. And then we had a slow pit stop there.
     
    "We got way behind, and the No. 48 was way out front, and I had to drive the car really hard and got the right rear (tire) burned up. We just didn't execute today, but everybody on our Jimmy John's/Busch Chevrolet hung in there all day, and we'll keep at it."
     
    Notes: Rookie Chase Elliott finished eighth in his first race experience with NASCAR's 2016 lower-downforce rules package.... The race stayed green for the first 210 laps, a track record from the start of a Sprint Cup event. The caution that ended the race was the third of the afternoon.... After his second straight third-place finish, Kyle Busch leads the series standings by three points over Daytona 500 runner-up Martin Truex Jr. Harvick is third, four points behind Busch.

  • Jo Cobb in Hot Water

    Jennifer Jo Cobb said she was “mad as hell” at Tyler Reddick and forgot a NASCAR rule that prohibits drivers from walking on the track, which she did during Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway.

    “The fact that I forget is such a shame because the reason (the rule) is in place likely stems from a tragedy that none of us should forget,’’ Cobb said after meeting with NASCAR officials.

    NASCAR instituted the rule last August after Tony Stewart struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. in a sprint car race in New York. Ward walked down the track toward Stewart’s car after an incident and was struck.

    This the first time a driver in any of NASCAR’s three national series has violated the rule.

    “A huge error in judgment on my part,’’ Cobb said. “The fact that we had a very stern meeting will keep it top of my mind for sure.’’

    Elton Sawyer, director of the Camping World Truck Series, said of Cobb’s actions: “It’s a serious infraction. She understands what she did and there will be consequences.’’

    NASCAR likely will announce its action Tuesday.

  • Jo Cobb Slapped on the wrist BUT no real Penalty

    NASCAR issued penalties Wednesday to driver Jennifer Jo Cobb for her actions during Friday's Camping World Truck Series event at Dover International Speedway, where she walked onto the racing surface, counter to the direction of safety officials.

    Cobb, the owner/driver of the No. 10 Chevrolet, was fined $5,000 and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31.

    Cobb was sidelined after completing just 12 laps in the Lucas Oil 200 when her truck made heavy contact with the inside retaining wall on the mile-long track's frontstretch. The incident occurred shortly after eventual race winner Tyler Reddick closed quickly in an effort to put Cobb a lap down.

    After her truck came to rest, Cobb made several steps up from the apron of the track to express her unhappiness during the race's first caution period. When the field made another lap, Cobb again gestured toward Reddick's truck but was restrained by safety personnel.

    The rule regarding safety procedures after crashes is presented as a reminder during each pre-race drivers' meeting. The guidelines were formalized last August through a bulletin added to the NASCAR Rule Book shortly after a sprint car incident involving former NASCAR champion Tony Stewart and New York short track driver Kevin Ward Jr. Ward left his car to confront Stewart on foot during a caution period before he was fatally struck.

    The rule allows a driver to dismount before the arrival of safety crews in the event of extenuating circumstances, such as fire.

    Cobb's infraction came two days before a similar incident at Dover involving Sprint Cup Series driver Trevor Bayne, who emerged from his wrecked vehicle before the safety team's arrival and walked down the Turn 1 track surface after a three-car crash. Cobb and Bayne were each summoned to the NASCAR officials' hauler for consultation after the incidents.

    "Obviously, that's an infraction," Elton Sawyer, the Camping World Truck Series' managing director, said after Friday's 200-mile race. "We take safety very seriously and we discussed it with her, and we'll get back to the office in the R&D Center and see what the next steps are."

    Cobb placed last in the 32-truck field, recording her first failure to finish this season.

  • Kenseth Suspended

    NASCAR suspended Matt Kenseth for the next two Sprint Cup Series events Tuesday for his role in a crash with Joey Logano late in Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway.
     
    NASCAR officials issued no other penalties to the driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota, but did place Kenseth on probation for the next six months.

    Moments after the ruling was issued, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Kenseth would appeal the penalty. "The appeal will challenge the severity of the penalty which is believed to be inconsistent with previous penalties for similar on-track incidents," the JGR statement read. "There will be no further comments from JGR personnel during the appeal process."

    NASCAR announced it would expedite the appeals process.

    Kenseth and Logano wrecked on Lap 454 of the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500, with Kenseth's No. 20 entry making heavy contact with Logano's Team Penske No. 22 Ford. The collision carried both cars into the Turn 1 wall, severely damaging both.
     
    The run-in was the latest chapter in escalating tensions between the two rivals during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. Though Kenseth attempted to blame the crash on a deflated tire or mechanical issue, the altercation was widely perceived to be retaliation for hard racing between the two in recent weeks.

    Kenseth was multiple laps down at the time of the incident because of an earlier crash. Logano was out front and had led nearly half of the race to that point. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, said Sunday evening that those two factors weighed heavily in the minds of race officials, who parked Kenseth's No. 20 for the rest of the day shortly after the two cars came to rest.
     
    "In our minds, that's a little bit different than two drivers really going after it coming out of Turn 4 for a win versus what happened tonight," O'Donnell said.

    O'Donnell reiterated that stance in Tuesday's penalty report from the sanctioning body.
     
    "Based upon our extensive review, we have concluded that the No. 20 car driver, who is no longer in the Chase, intentionally wrecked the No. 22 car driver, a Chase-eligible competitor who was leading the race at the time," O'Donnell said in a statement. "The No. 20 car was nine laps down, and eliminated the No. 22 car's opportunity to continue to compete in the race.
     
    "Additionally, we factored aspects of safety into our decision, and also the fact that the new Chase elimination format puts a premium on each and every race. These actions have no place in NASCAR."
     
    Two weeks earlier at Kansas Speedway, Logano pressured and eventually spun Kenseth in a late-race battle for the lead. Logano, having already advanced to the next round in the Chase with a win the previous week at Charlotte, continued on to victory and was unapologetic for his aggressive racing in his post-race remarks.

    Kenseth's postseason hopes ended the following week at Talladega Superspeedway, where he said in pre-race interviews that Logano "should have stopped running his mouth, A, and No. 2, he's lying when he said he didn't do it on purpose."
     
    NASCAR instituted its unwritten "boys, have at it" code in 2010, allowing drivers to settle differences amongst themselves with minimal intervention from competition officials. But NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, in a Tuesday morning appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, said there were limits to how far self-policing should go.
     
    "What we want to prevent happening is drivers or anyone participating in NASCAR to take events into their own hands and control outcomes of races," France said. "That's a very serious thing to us, and we'll be dealing with that."

    This story will be updated.

  • Kenseth wins rain affected Food City 500

    Matt Kenseth has come through to score his first win of the season in a rain-marred Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

    The pole-sitter survived rain delays, a string of cautions and a green-white-chequered finish in a race that lasted over nine hours.

    Kenseth led just 47 laps of 500, but importantly missed a string of late race crashes to score his first win since September 2013.

    Even as the field came to the scheduled 500 laps the caution was out. Officials threw the red flag in an effort to finish under green. Once the track was dry, Kenseth won the shootout in a race that started 90 minutes late and endured a four-hour delay after the first 22 laps.

    Despite being involved in a number of incidents, Jimmie Johnson finished second, with Jeff Gordon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Newman completing the top five.

    Bristol took its toll on many drivers, most of whom got involved in other people’s accidents, including championship leader Kevin Harvick who slammed into David Ragan after he was caught-up in one of Johnson’s incidents.

    Another to fall foul of another driver’s crash was Joey Logano, who collided with Penske team-mate Brad Keselowski who tagged the wall just 22 laps into the race.

    In a race that had so many turns and twists, it also featured a mid-race driver substitution when Denny Hamlin suffered neck spasms during the first stint. During the first rain stoppage the team decided to put 18-year-old rookie Erik Jones into the car. He completed the race in 26th position and the points earned will go to Hamlin.

    RESULTS: Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up To Cancer 

     

    POS. CAR # DRIVER MAN STARTING POS. LAPS LAPS LED FINAL STATUS POINTS BONUS
    1 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 1 511 47 Running 47 4
    2 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 28 511 0 Running 42 0
    3 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 23 511 0 Running 41 0
    4 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford 25 511 0 Running 40 0
    5 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 18 511 0 Running 39 0
    6 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 21 511 0 Running 38 0
    7 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 14 511 90 Running 38 1
    8 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 15 511 0 Running 36 0
    9 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 26 511 0 Running 35 0
    10 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 12 511 0 Running 34 0
    11 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 9 511 0 Running 33 0
    12 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 37 511 0 Running 32 0
    13 43 Aric Almirola Ford 30 511 0 Running 31 0
    14 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 10 510 0 Running 30 0
    15 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 7 510 98 Running 30 1
    16 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 13 509 0 Running 28 0
    17 55 Brett Moffitt Toyota 24 509 0 Running 27 0
    18 38 David Gilliland Ford 32 508 0 Running 26 0
    19 9 Sam Hornish Jr Ford 39 508 0 Running 25 0
    20 7 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 40 508 0 Running 24 0
    21 83 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota 22 508 0 Running 23 0
    22 95 Michael McDowell Ford 19 507 0 Running 22 0
    23 46 Michael Annett Chevrolet 36 507 0 Running 21 0
    24 19 Carl Edwards Toyota 3 507 86 Running 21 1
    25 34 Chris Buescher Ford 38 505 0 Running 0 0
    26 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 5 505 0 Running 18 0
    27 35 Cole Whitt Ford 42 504 0 Running 17 0
    28 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 31 504 0 Running 16 0
    29 78 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet 16 504 0 Running 15 0
    30 16 Greg Biffle Ford 33 504 6 Running 15 1
    31 32 Mike Bliss Ford 41 502 0 Running 0 0
    32 23 J.J. Yeley Toyota 29 496 0 Running 0 0
    33 33 Alex Kennedy Chevrolet 43 490 0 Running 11 0
    34 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 20 489 0 Accident 10 0
    35 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 2 489 0 Running 9 0
    36 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet 27 487 0 Accident 8 0
    37 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 8 482 0 Accident 7 0
    38 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 4 468 184 Running 8 2
    39 98 Josh Wise Ford 35 466 0 Accident 5 0
    40 22 Joey Logano Ford 6 452 0 Running 4 0
    41 18 David Ragan Toyota 11 435 0 Running 3 0
    42 26 Jeb Burton Toyota 34 416 0 Accident 2 0
    43 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 17 288 0 Accident 0 0

     

     

     

    STANDINGS

     

    POS DRIVER POINTS BEHIND STARTS WINS TOP 5 TOP 10 DNF
    1 Kevin Harvick 314 Leader 8 2 6 7 0
    2 Joey Logano 284 -30 8 1 4 7 0
    3 Martin Truex Jr 281 -33 8 0 1 7 0
    4 Jimmie Johnson 258 -56 8 2 4 5 0
    5 Brad Keselowski 255 -59 8 1 3 6 1
    6 Dale Earnhardt Jr 241 -73 8 0 4 5 1
    7 Kasey Kahne 237 -77 8 0 1 3 1
    8 Matt Kenseth 236 -78 8 1 3 4 0
    9 Jeff Gordon 227 -87 8 0 1 5 1
    10 Aric Almirola 226 -88 8 0 0 0 0
    11 Denny Hamlin 223 -91 8 1 3 3 0
    12 Jamie McMurray 223 -91 8 0 1 3 1
    13 Danica Patrick 211 -103 8 0 0 2 0
    14 Paul Menard 210 -104 8 0 1 1 1
    15 Carl Edwards 203 -111 8 0 0 1 0
    16 Ryan Newman 201 -113 8 0 4 5 0
    17 Clint Bowyer 200 -114 8 0 0 1 0
    18 David Ragan 197 -117 8 0 1 1 0
    19 Casey Mears 186 -128 8 0 0 1 1
    20 Greg Biffle 180 -134 8 0 0 1 0
    21 Austin Dillon 177 -137 8 0 0 1 1
    22 Kurt Busch 174 -140 5 0 2 2 0
    23 Kyle Larson 173 -141 7 0 0 3 1
    24 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 172 -142 8 0 1 1 1
    25 AJ Allmendinger 171 -143 8 0 0 2 2
    26 David Gilliland 162 -152 8 0 0 0 0
    27 Trevor Bayne 154 -160 8 0 0 0 0
    28 Tony Stewart 145 -169 8 0 0 1 2
    29 Justin Allgaier 145 -169 8 0 0 1 2
    30 Brett Moffitt 136 -178 7 0 0 1 0
    31 Sam Hornish Jr 135 -179 8 0 0 0 0
    32 Cole Whitt 128 -186 8 0 0 0 1
    33 Alex Bowman 91 -223 7 0 0 0 1
    34 Michael Annett 90 -224 8 0 0 0 1
    35 Michael McDowell 79 -235 5 0 0 0 0
    36 Josh Wise 63 -251 7 0 0 0 1
    37 Matt DiBenedetto 57 -257 5 0 0 0 0
    38 Jeb Burton 45 -269 6 0 0 0 1
    39 Alex Kennedy 35 -279 4 0 0 0 0
    40 Brian Vickers 32 -282 2 0 0 0 0
    41 Bobby Labonte 20 -294 1 0 0 0 0
    42 Michael Waltrip 18 -296 1 0 0 0 0
    43 Reed Sorenson 12 -302 1 0 0 0 0
    44 Mike Wallace 8 -306 1 0 0 0 0
    45 Ron Hornaday Jr 2 -312 1 0 0 0 1
    46 Brian Scott 0 -314 2 0 0 0 0
    47 Regan Smith 0 -314 4 0 0 0 0
    48 Matt Crafton 0 -314 1 0 0 0 0
    49 Ryan Blaney 0 -314 3 0 0 0 2
    50 Johnny Sauter 0 -314 1 0 0 0 0
    51 Chris Buescher 0 -314 4 0 0 0 0
    52 Landon Cassill 0 -314 8 0 0 0 3
    53 J.J. Yeley 0 -314 8 0 0 0 1
    54 Brendan Gaughan 0 -314 4 0 0 0 0
    55 Ty Dillon 0 -314 1 0 0 0 0
    56 Mike Bliss 0 -314 6 0 0 0 0
    57 Joe Nemechek 0 -314 1 0 0 0 0
    58 Chase Elliott 0 -314 1 0 0 0 0
    59 Travis Kvapil 0 -314 0 0 0 0 0
    60 Tanner Berryhill 0 -314 0 0 0 0 0
    61 Justin Marks 0 -314 0 0 0 0 0
  • Kyle Busch dominates for XFINITY win at Atlanta

    Scratch another race track off Kyle Busch's checklist.

    In what evolved into a two-man battle against Kyle Larson on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion continued his mastery in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, beating Larson to the finish line to win the Heads Up Georgia 250.

    The victory was Busch's first at the 1.54-mile track and the 77th of his career, extending his own series record.

    But the outcome was far from a foregone conclusion when Busch led the field to green on the final restart with 29 laps left. Busch was strong in the short run, but Larson would start to close dramatically 20 laps into a green-flag run.

    That's exactly what played out over the final 29 laps, as Larson began cutting into a lead that had reached more than 1.5 seconds. Making up ground in the top lane through Turns 1 and 2, Larson's No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet was within eight car lengths of Busch's No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with two laps left when Larson's progress was impeded by the lapped car of Ryan Preece through the first corner.

    Larson lost ground, and Busch crossed the finish line with a lead of .466 seconds.

    "I actually thought that last run was going to be too long," Busch said. "(Crew chief Chris) Gayle did a good job of making some adjustments to our car, and it helped me. It helped me definitely on the front side of a run, for the first 20 (laps), and I don't think it hurt me from there on to the end of the race.

    "But Larson was just better than us. He could close and close and close. Lapped traffic, they were really nice to me. I think they screwed him up a couple of times. So I kind of appreciated those guys."

    Erik Jones, Busch's JGR teammate, rallied from an early penalty -- beating Busch, the pole winner, to the start/finish at the start of the race after Busch spun his tires -- to run third, followed by Paul Menard and series regular Ty Dillon, who earned a free pass to the lead lap under the final caution, took four tires and charged into the top five from 11th on the restart.

    Larson clearly had a problem with lapped traffic, but he wasn’t sure he could have passed Busch for the victory, even if he had pulled up to his rear bumper.

    "I definitely would have gotten closer to him, but it would have been still tough to pass him," Larson said. "He was saving his tires, I think, running the bottom, and I was running pretty hard at the top. He would definitely have moved up in front of me there in (Turns) 1 and 2, and it would have been tough to get underneath him."

    Elliott Sadler came home ninth and retained the series lead by three points over seventh-place finisher Daniel Suarez and five points over Dillon.

  • Kyle Busch wins XFINITY race at Michigan

    In his first NASCAR XFINITY Series race back from a broken right leg and left foot, Kyle Busch proved conclusively that he hasn't lost a step.
     
    Taking advantage of contact between the Chevrolet of Kevin Harvick and the Ford of polesitter Joey Logano—as those two drivers were battling for the lead—Busch passed Chase Elliott for the lead on Lap 122 of 125 and held on to win Saturday's Great Clips 250 at Michigan International Speedway.
     
    Busch's series-best 71st victory, his second at the two-mile track, came nearly two months after the driver of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was sidelined by a brutal Feb. 21 crash into a concrete wall in Turn 1 at Daytona International Speedway.

    Busch returned to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series action in the Sprint All-Star Race in May, but deferred his XFINITY Series comeback to Saturday's race at Michigan.
     
    "It feels good," Busch said after climbing from his car in Victory Lane. "This is only a preliminary for what we’ve got to do on Sundays (in the Sprint Cup Series), but it's a start. You've got to start somewhere, right?
     
    "I can't say enough about this team. (Crew chief) Chris Gayle did an awesome job today with this race car. We messed up a little bit today on a pit call, but we made up for it. Hard racing today, man. It was crazy, the side-by-side action we got here. The track's kind of widening out, lending itself to some cool action."
     
    After a restart on Lap 116, the race unraveled for Logano and Harvick. As the two drivers fought for the lead in Turn 3, with Logano to the outside, Harvick's Chevrolet got loose and washed up the track into Logano's Ford.
     
    The right rear of Logano's Ford brushed the outside wall, but both drivers were able to continue, albeit after losing several positions. Harvick finished sixth, and Logano, who led a race-high 54 laps came home seventh.
     
    Harvick took responsibility for the incident.
     
    "I just got loose underneath him," Harvick explained. "I had a huge run down the back straightaway. That late in the race, I figured I need to try to win the race, and I got in there, and he was on the outside of me, but it was too late to not have contact at that point.
     
    "So totally my fault. I just got loose under him going for the win."
     
    Harvick's mea culpa was little consolation for Logano, who had the race's dominant car for most of the day.

    "We were racing for a win here, and it just seems like he drove in there pretty hard trying to slide me," Logano said. "I drove up in there, too, and he got loose underneath me and got into my left rear and up we both went into the race track.
     
    "It's unfortunate. I had a fast Discount Tire Ford, obviously the winning car, leading a ton of laps and up there at the end of the race. I was racing hard, and he just drove over his head a little bit."
     
    Despite his runner-up finish, Elliott left Michigan disappointed he couldn't find a way to keep Busch behind him in the closing laps.
     
    "I'll be honest—second does not feel good, to me at least," Elliott said. "I thought we had a car good enough to compete today… We finally got ourselves in position there. We had two even-numbered restarts where we were six and fourth (in the preferred outside lane) that put us in position there to have an opportunity on that last restart.

    "Obviously, the 22 (Logano) would have been really hard to beat, and Kevin got into him by accident and moved him up the race track. Obviously, that opened up our opportunity to have a shot at the win… (Kyle) is really good at what he does, and I don’t really have an excuse for it. So, yeah, he outran me."
     
    Kyle Larson finished third, followed by Chris Buescher, who extended his series lead to 25 points over Ty Dillon, who came home 13th. Elliott is third in the standings, 35 points back.

  • Late pass gives Reddick victory at Dover

    Tyler Reddick had a score to settle with Dover International Speedway, and on Friday he did just that, winning the Lucas Oil 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in his second start at the Monster Mile.

    Reddick passed Erik Jones on Lap 193 of 200 and finished 1.255 seconds ahead of Daniel Suarez, who drove past third-place finisher Jones in the closing laps to take the runner-up spot.

    The victory was Reddick’s second of the season in the No. 19 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford, and in the driver’s view, it atoned for last year’s eighth-place finish, in which Reddick underestimated the physical toll high-speed racing at Dover can exact.

    Specifically, his leg fell asleep as the race progressed.

    "After what happened to myself last year, not knowing a lot about the g-forces in the corners here—I was kind of green when it came to asphalt racing," Reddick said. "We had a top-five truck last year, and to have something like that impede our progress in what would have been our first top five… to have something like that mess up what could have been potentially a breakout day for us are the things you can’t have happen in racing.

    "I really wanted to come back here and run really strong, just like I want to run strong every given race. But (last year) gave me a little bit of extra fuel for the fire, and I knew I had to run good here—and we did."

    Daniel Henrick posted a career-best fourth-place NCWTS finish in his first race at Dover. Series leader Matt Crafton ran fifth but saw his margin narrowed to 11 points by Reddick, who is second after six races.

    Ben Kennedy came home sixth, followed by Keystone Light Polesitter Ryan Blaney, Brandon Jones, Johnny Sauter and Tyler Young. Suarez, Jones, Kennedy and Blaney, who finished among the top seven, are all NASCAR Next alums.

    Though Jones, lost one position to Reddick in the series standings, he moved closer to Crafton, now trailing the two-time defending champion by 14 points. Sauter is fourth, 40 points behind Crafton, and could be considered the only other driver within realistic striking distance of the leader at this point in the season.

    Like Jones, Suarez used a two-tire call to gain track position in the late stages of the race but felt race traffic hindered him in the closing laps.

    "To be honest, I feel like we had a faster truck," said Suarez, a member of the 2014 NASCAR Drive for Diversity class, who posted his best finish to date in the series. "Traffic was everything. I was talking with my crew chief Jerry Baxter through the radio during the middle of the race. I told him, ‘I don’t care about tires, I need the track position.’

    "For sure the track position was very important. Erik Jones he changed just two tires in the last pit stop and he was able to almost get the win and he was driving away, but traffic was a big problem for him and for me and I feel like for everyone. Traffic was something that was a gamble, but overall I feel like we learned some good stuff for tomorrow (in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race)."

    A collision between winner Reddick and Jennifer Jo Cobb turned nasty as Cobb stormed onto a hot track to show her displeasure.  Something she will undoubtedly look back on and say that was very a very stupid thing to do.

    NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race - Lucas Oil 200
    Dover International Speedway
    Dover, Delaware
    Friday, May 29, 2015

    1. (4) Tyler Reddick, Ford, 200, $55620.
    2. (5) Daniel Suarez(i), Toyota, 200, $33106.
    3. (2) Erik Jones #, Toyota, 200, $32003.
    4. (19) Daniel Hemric #, Chevrolet, 200, $23957.
    5. (3) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 200, $23604.
    6. (18) Ben Kennedy, Toyota, 200, $21965.
    7. (1) Ryan Blaney(i), Ford, 200, $20663.
    8. (12) Brandon Jones #, Chevrolet, 200, $20060.
    9. (16) Johnny Sauter, Toyota, 200, $19612.
    10. (25) Tyler Young, Chevrolet, 199, $20313.
    11. (20) Ray Black Jr. #, Chevrolet, 199, $19115.
    12. (13) Spencer Gallagher #, Chevrolet, 199, $18810.
    13. (10) Cole Custer, Chevrolet, 198, $16450.
    14. (15) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 196, $16339.
    15. (22) Timmy Hill, Chevrolet, 195, $18878.
    16. (21) Austin Hill, Ford, 192, $16317.
    17. (27) Korbin Forrister #, Chevrolet, 190, $18258.
    18. (17) John Wes Townley, Chevrolet, 178, $18147.
    19. (24) Travis Kvapil, Chevrolet, 178, $15786.
    20. (14) Timothy Peters, Toyota, Accident, 136, $18426.
    21. (7) Cameron Hayley #, Toyota, 136, $17815.
    22. (6) John H. Nemechek #, Chevrolet, 136, $17704.
    23. (31) Tim Viens, Chevrolet, Rear End, 127, $17594.
    24. (28) Ryan Ellis, Chevrolet, Accident, 90, $17484.
    25. (8) Justin Boston #, Toyota, Accident, 65, $16273.
    26. (32) Norm Benning, Chevrolet, Suspension, 61, $16012.
    27. (23) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, Ignition, 56, $14902.
    28. (26) Justin Jennings, Chevrolet, Accident, 33, $14570.
    29. (11) Mason Mingus, Chevrolet, Accident, 32, $14432.
    30. (9) Jesse Little, Toyota, Accident, 32, $13932.
    31. (29) Tyler Tanner, Chevrolet, Vibration, 15, $12432.
    32. (30) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, Accident, 12, $11432.

  • NASCAR distances itself from Donald Trump after remarks

    NASCAR is the latest corporation to distance itself from Donald Trump.

    On the same day one of its top sponsors called on NASCAR to take a stance against Trump, the motorsports series said it will not hold its season-ending awards ceremony at the Trump National Doral Miami.

    "We looked at everything we saw coming down and what we heard from our sponsors and our partners and what we feel we should be doing, and that's what led us to the decision today," NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

    A message seeking comment from Trump left by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.

    Higdon was responding to a letter released by Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis, whose company is the title sponsor of NASCAR's Truck Series. Lemonis made it clear he would not attend or participate in the awards ceremony if it's held at a Trump property. The ceremony was held at Doral last year.

    "My company... has enjoyed a long running relationship with NASCAR as I believe the vision of our companies both embody family, respect, unity, comradery and diversity," Lemonis wrote in a letter to NASCAR chairman Brian France. "These sentiments are at the core of what our country stands for and will continue to embrace.... Due to recent and ongoing blatantly bigoted and racist comments from Donald Trump in regards to immigrants of the United States, I would like to inform you that I will not, nor will any representative of Camping World, participate or attend in the ceremonial event if it is held at any Trump property.

    "Our company will not stand to support any person or organization that associates with such beliefs and we feel strongly about distancing ourselves from any negative and discriminatory comments made against any gender, ethnicity, age group or so forth. I would hope that the entire NASCAR organization would agree with my sentiments."

    NASCAR and Camping World are the latest to distance themselves from Trump following his inflammatory statements regarding immigrants from Mexico.

    NBC, which is one of NASCAR's television broadcast partners, parted ways with Trump earlier this week.

    Higdon said NASCAR is looking for another place to hold its awards ceremony and plans to formally announce a location later this summer.

  • NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class Announced

    NASCAR have announced the inductees who will comprise the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The five-person group – the seventh in NASCAR Hall of Fame history – consists of Jerry Cook, Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, O. Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner. In addition, NASCAR announced that Harold Brasington won the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Next year’s Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, broadcast on NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, live from Charlotte, N.C.

    The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte to debate and vote upon the 20 nominees for the induction class of 2016 and the five nominees for the Landmark Award.

    NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton announced the class and Landmark Award winner, respectively, this evening in the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s “Great Hall.”

    The Class of 2016 was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, including representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders, a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com and, for the second year, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion (Kevin Harvick). In all, 57 votes were cast, with two additional Voting Panel members recused from voting as potential nominees for induction (Jerry Cook and Robert Yates). The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.

    Voting was as follows: O. Bruton Smith (68%), Terry Labonte (61%), Curtis Turner (60%), Jerry Cook (47%) and Bobby Isaac (44%).

    The next top vote-getters were Red Byron, Benny Parsons and Rick Hendrick.

    Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote, in alphabetical order, were Buddy Baker, Alan Kulwicki, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin and Benny Parsons.

    The five inductees came from a group of 20 nominees that included, in addition to the five inductees chosen: Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Ray Evernham, Ray Fox, Rick Hendrick, Harry Hyde, Alan Kulwicki, Mark Martin, Hershel McGriff, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Larry Phillips, Mike Stefanik and Robert Yates.

    Nominees for the Landmark Award included Brasington, H.Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier. It is awarded to competitors or those working in the sport who have acted as a NASCAR ambassador through a professional or non-professional role. Anne B. France won the inaugural award last year. 

    Class of 2016 Inductees:

    Jerry Cook
    Jerry Cook made his name in modifieds, winning six NASCAR Modified championships, including four consecutively from 1974-77. All the while, he was vying with another driver from his hometown of Rome, New York, nine-time champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans, for supremacy in NASCAR’s open-wheel realm. After retiring from racing in 1982, Cook stayed with the sport and helped shape the series known today as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Cook served as the series’ director when it began in 1985 and remains with NASCAR as competition administrator.

    Bobby Isaac
    Bobby Isaac’s uncanny skill at drawing speed from a race car puts him on a short list of NASCAR legends. His 49 career poles ranks 10th all time. Maybe more impressive: Isaac captured 19 poles in 1969, which still stands as the record for poles in a single season. Isaac began racing in NASCAR’s premier series in 1961. He finished runner-up in the series standings in 1968 behind NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson. In 1969, he finished sixth in the standings after posting 17 wins and those 19 poles. In 1970, Isaac won the championship posting 11 victories, 32 top fives and 38 top 10s in 47 starts. Isaac won 37 races in NASCAR's top series, ranking 19th on the all-time list.

    Terry Labonte
    Terry Labonte is a two-nickname NASCAR star. Early in his career he was known as the “Iceman” for his coolness under pressure. But his demeanor belied his determination.  Later in his career he became known as the sport’s “Iron Man” thanks to 665 consecutive starts in NASCAR’s premier series, a record which stood until 2002. Winning two premier series championships, in 1984 and ’96, is impressive; the 12-year gap distinguishes Labonte further. No other driver has won his first two championships that far apart and Labonte is one of only six drivers with championships in two decades. Labonte’s stellar career is tucked between perfect bookends – his two Southern 500 wins, in 1980 and 2003. His 361 top-10 finishes ranks 10th all time.

    O. Bruton Smith
    O. Bruton Smith, executive chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., promoted his first stock car race in Midland, North Carolina at the age of 18. Smith’s early endeavors included operating the National Stock Car Racing Association – seen as an early competitor to NASCAR – and building Charlotte Motor Speedway. CMS became the foundation of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which currently owns eight NASCAR tracks hosting 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and additional high-profile motorsports activities. Smith took SMI public in 1995, the first motorsports company to be traded at the New York Stock Exchange. He was inducted into the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame and National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame, both in 2006; and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007.

    Curtis Turner
    Called by some the “Babe Ruth of stock car racing,” Curtis Turner was among the fastest and most colorful competitors in the early years of NASCAR premier series racing. Turner competed in NASCAR’s first “Strictly Stock” race in 1949 in Charlotte and was the only driver to win a NASCAR premier series race in a Nash. He posted his first of 17 career victories in only his fourth start on Sept. 11, 1949, at Langhorne (Pennsylvania) Speedway. Although many of Turner’s victories came on short tracks and dirt ovals – much of his career pre-dated NASCAR’s superspeedway era – he won the 1956 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and the first American 500 at Rockingham Speedway in 1965. He remains the only series driver to win two consecutive races from the pole leading every lap. He also won 38 of 79 races in which he competed in the NASCAR Convertible Division.

    Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR:

    Harold Brasington
    Harold Brasington, a South Carolina businessman, believed in Bill France’s fledgling NASCAR business, created the sanctioning body’s first superspeedway – a one-of-a-kind egg-shaped oval, paved on an old cotton and peanut field. Expecting 10,000 fans to show up at Darlington Raceway’s first competition on Labor Day of 1950, 25,000 spectators showed up for the inaugural Southern 500 – NASCAR’s first 500-mile race.  Darlington's success inspired Brasington to extend his reach north -- to North Carolina. He employed his track building and promoting expertise, helping in the creation of Charlotte Motor Speedway and building North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina.

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Teams Penalized

    Three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams have been penalized following last week’s event at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

    The No. 1 team has been penalized for an infraction occurring during pre-qualifying inspection May 21. The right rear quarter panel wheel opening was modified after qualifying inspection.

    The infraction is a P2 level penalty and violates the following Sections in the 2015 NASCAR rule book:
    12.1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing.

    20.4.b: Body; All approved OEM-manufactured body components must be used as supplied except as required to stiffen, or to attach to other vehicle components. Tolerances from CAD surfaces and template tolerances are provided to allow for manufacturing, fabrication, and installation variability. Approved Parts: GM R: NSCS 0786. Part Name: Quarter Panel RS, Effective date Aug. 1, 2012.

    20.4.2: Surface Conformance (a). Coordinate measuring machines, scanning equipment, and templates, among other tools, will be used to inspect body surfaces for conformance to the approved OEM and NASCAR CAD files.
               
    As a result of this violation, crew chief Matt McCall has been placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31.

    Additionally, two teams – the No. 48 and No. 51 – have been assessed P1 level penalties for receiving written warnings in two consecutive events, both at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The No. 48 team received a warning from the May 16 event and also received one from pre-qualifying inspection from last week’s event. In addition to receiving a warning from the May 16 event, the No. 51 team also received one from pre-race inspection from last week’s event.

    Per Section 12.5.3.1 of the NASCAR rule book:

    Warnings and P1 penalty options: b. Multiple warnings issued to the same member or team will result in one or more P1 penalties; c. If the same team receives two warnings during the same event or two warnings during two consecutive events, whether the events are championship or non-championship, then this may result in one or more … P1 penalties at NASCAR’s discretion.

    As a result of these infractions the No. 48 and No. 51 teams will receive the last two choices in the pit selection process, respective to qualifying results, for this weekend’s event at Dover International Speedway.