by Pete McCole As the saying goes - "All good things must end", and as we put another successful NASCAR season into the record books, AutoRacing1.com revisits some of the highlights, the lowlights, the best races, the best drivers and some big changes that made up the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season. From Jimmie Johnson's historic championship run to Tony Stewart's final ride into the sunset, here s a look back at the stories that made our list.
NASCAR Unveils New Cup Series Name and Logo for 2017
by Pete McCole NASCAR announced the new brand identity and logo for their premiere series under their new title sponsor Monster Energy for the 2017 season, unveiling an updated NASCAR logo that still retains the famous "Cup" name that has been a staple of the series since 1971.
Third in a series The winning bidder for the Petty's Garage 2017 Ford Mustang GT will receive not only a one-of-a-kind customized, high-powered vehicle, he or she will own a labor of love from Richard "King of NASCAR" Petty himself. It's the third time Petty's Garage is providing the Paralyzed Veterans of America with a high-powered car to auction off. The 2017 Mustang will be auctioned off on Jan. 14, 2017, at Mecum Auto Auction in Kissimmee, Florida. Petty will be there to support the event and ensure bidders of the Mustang's uniqueness, and that 100 percent of the sales proceeds will go to the Paralyzed Veterans.
Feeling healthy and ready to talk contract extension DALE EARNHARDT, JR. DRIVER OF THE NO. 88 CHEVROLET SS AND RICK HENDRICK, OWNER OF HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS, spoke with members of the media via teleconference today to discuss Dale's return to the seat of the No. 88 Chevrolet SS for on-track competition in 2017. Dale Jr. tested Darlington On Wednesday, which was the final step before being medically cleared for competition. How did it feel to be back behind the wheel of a racecar and how did the test go overall from his perspective? Read to find out.
NASCAR Jimmie Johnson was unfailingly humble, even on a night when the NASCAR community came together to honor his monumental accomplishment. With a victory on Nov. 20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Johnson claimed his record-tying seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Nevertheless, the driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was reluctant to claim the same stature as the two seven-time champions who preceded him – Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.
FOX NASCAR Reporter and Las Vegas Native This extended Q&A marks the next in a series with FOX Sports motor sports personalities to be highlighted over the next several months. FOX NASCAR reporter Jamie Little, who also covers Supercross for FS1, hails from Las Vegas, site of this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony and NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion's Week. As part of the 2016 celebration, Little will host Thursday's NASCAR Victory Lap on the Strip.
NASCAR Joey Logano and Kyle Busch raced toward the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship late into the evening Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and both saw their shots disappear in the closing laps. Logano watched Johnson pull away on the final restart and into the history books while Busch charged from the back of the field only to come up short of defending his 2015 Sprint Cup title.
Jimmie Johnson Scores Historic 7th Sprint Cup Title
by Pete McCole History was made Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway as Jimmie Johnson came from the back of the pack to win the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 to become just the third driver in NASCAR history to win seven Sprint Cup championships - joining Hall of Fame drivers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. Johnson passed race leader Kyle Larson on an overtime restart and beat out Kyle Busch and Joey Logano for the title.
Starts 11th In Final Sprint Cup Race Sunday Tony Stewart will make is final Sprint Cup start in Sunday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and even though he's not going ride into the sunset with another championship, he's still going to go out his way.
Daniel Suarez Makes NASCAR History With Xfinity Title
by Pete McCole Daniel Suarez made history on Saturday night, becoming the first Latin American to win a NASCAR title after scoring a victory in the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway to clinch the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship. Suarez passed follow championship contender Elliott Sadler on a restart with three laps to go and then drove away from the field to score his third victory of the season.
3 that are competing for Sunday's Sprint Cup championship OEM Reps: Jim Campbell (Chevrolet, U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports) Ed Laukes (Toyota, Vice President of Integrated Marketing Operations for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A.) Dave Pericak (Ford Performance, Global Director)
Johnny Sauter Wins First Truck Series Championship
by Pete McCole It's been a long time coming for Johnny Sauter. On Friday night, the second-generation NASCAR driver claimed his first NASCAR championship after more than 15 years in the sport, winning the Camping World Truck Series title in the season-finale Ford Ecoboost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
by Pete McCole The 2016 Sprint Cup Championship will be decided in Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway by four drivers who have a lot to live up to.Among the contenders in the Championship 4 is one looking to make history and another looking to repeat history, a driver looking to shake the demons of the past and another looking to finally make his mark as a Sprint Cup Champion.
Kevin Harvick Spoils Chase Party With Homestead Pole
by Pete McCole Kevin Harvick may be out of the Chase, but that doesn't mean his season is over, and it certainly doesn't mean he doesn't like playing the role of the spoiler on the Championship 4 party. Harvick rocketed to his second pole position of the season on Friday evening, taking the top spot in qualifying for Sunday's season-finale Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway – the final race in the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup.
See video at end of all 4 finalists JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Championship Media Day at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel and discussed a variety of topics. Johnson is one of the final four drivers competing this weekend to win the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup title. If he wins he will tie Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. with a record 7 titles. Full Transcript:
Joey Logano Wins at Phoenix to Advance in the Chase
by Pete McCole Joey Logano took advantage of a late overtime restart to score the victory in Sunday's Can Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway and earn himself a spot in the Championship 4 and a shot at his first ever Sprint Cup title in next weekend's race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Logano held off Kyle Busch for his third win of the season and his second in this years Chase for the Sprint Cup. Kyle Busch held on for second to take the final spot in the Chase battle. Kyle Larson was third, followed by Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch
Sadler, Suarez, Jones, Allgaier advance in Chase It was just another routine Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway for Kyle Busch. But nothing else in the Ticket Galaxy 200 was at all ordinary. Busch led 190 of 200 laps on the way to his 10th NASCAR XFINITY Series victory of the season - his 10th at the one-mile track and the 86th of his career - beating runner-up Austin Dillon to the finish line by 6.115 seconds. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ran third in his first XFINITY Series start since 2013.
Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix Int'l Raceway William Byron’s bitter disappointment proved a boon for two of his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammates in Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. When the engine in Byron’s No. 9 Toyota expired on Lap 141 of 150 - ending the championship run for the series’ most prolific winner this year - Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Daniel Suarez took over the race lead and went on to score the first NCWTS victory of his career.
by Pete McCole Alex Bowman stormed to his first Coors Light Pole Award in Friday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Phoenix International Raceway. Bowman, prepping for his eighth start in place of the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr., guided the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet to a best lap of 140.521 mph around the 1-mile track. The Arizona native's first pole position comes in the 80th start of his Sprint Cup career. Kyle Larson posted the second-fastest lap, turning a 140.263 mph qualifying pass in the final round in the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet.
Punches His Ticket to the Championship 4 Carl Edwards came into Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway needing a win and a lot of luck to keep his championship hopes alive, and he ended up getting both to take the checkered flag in the rain-shortened AAA Texas 500 and earn a spot as on of the final four drivers to race for the Sprint Cup title in two weeks at Homestead. Edwards took the lead thanks to a quick pit stop on lap 254 and was out in front when the skies opened up with 45 laps to go.
Larson Holds Off Keselowski for Texas Xfinity Series Win
O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Kyle Larson held off Brad Keselowski to win Saturday's O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway, collecting his second Xfinity Series victory of the season. In a race that saw Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez open some breathing room in the inaugural Xfinity Series Chase with respective fourth- and fifth-place finishes, Larson got a push from sixth-place finisher Elliott Sadler on the decisive restart and kept Keselowski behind him for the final 30 laps.
Beats Crofton's Toyota A late surge propelled Johnny Sauter by Matt Crafton for the win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Striping Technology 350 at Texas Motor Speedway. Sauter, who locked himself into the Championship 4 last weekend with a win at Martinsville, got past Crafton with three to go and held the lead for the remainder of the race. The win kept the two-time series champion Crafton from joining Sauter with a secured spot in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
by Pete McCole Although he's rarely seen without a black cowboy hat on top of his head, Austin Dillon would love nothing more than to get another at Texas Motor Speedway, where the race winner gets to celebrate in victory lane with a cowboy hat and pair of six-shooters. Dillon bested a pair of Chase contenders in Friday's qualifying session to score his second pole of the season and just the third of his career as he looks to notch his first career Sprint Cup victory in Sunday's AAA Texas 500.
by Pete McCole Jimmie Johnson moved one step closer to an historic seventh Sprint Cup Championship after taking the checkered flag in Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway to punch his ticket into the Championship 4 season finale at Homestead in just three weeks. Denny Hamlin was third, followed by Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch.
Truck Series With a finish that was the diametric opposite of his last run at Martinsville Speedway, Johnny Sauter punched his ticket to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship race with a victory in Saturday's Texas Roadhouse 200 at the 0.526-mile short track. After a restart with 18 laps left, Sauter, who finished last at Martinsville in April, held off pole winner Chase Elliott, beating the No. 71 Chevrolet driver to the finish line by 0.316 seconds.
by Pete McCole Even though he's no longer contending for the Sprint Cup championship, Martin Truex, Jr. is not about to give up on having a winning season. Truex, Jr. shook off last weekend's disappointing elimination from the Chase for the Sprint Cup and raced his way to the pole for Sunday's Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, marking his second straight pole position in the last two weeks.
Joey Logano Wins at Talladega to Advance in The Chase
by Pete McCole Joey Logano rallied from an early pit road gaffe to power his way to the front of the field and beat out Brian Scott on a final green-white-checkered over time finish to punch his ticket to the next round in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, while two of the strongest favorites fell victim to engine failures in the final race of the Round of 12. Brian Scott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch rounded out the top five.
Hellman's 500 at Talladega Superspeedway Just 13 points to the good entering Sunday's Round of 12 cutoff race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Martin Truex Jr. gave himself as much of a cushion as possible, winning the pole for the Hellman's 500 at Talladega Superspeedway during Saturday's knockout qualifying session. Seventh in the Chase standings, and 13 points ahead of Joey Logano and Austin Dillon, Truex covered the 2.66-mile distance in 49.508 seconds (193.423 mph) to claim the Coors Light Pole Award for Sunday's race that will trim the Chase field from 12 drivers to eight.
Grant Enfinger Wins First-Career Truck Series Race
Fred's 250 at Talladega Superspeedway In the race that decided the lineup for the Round of 6 in the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase, Alabama native Grant Enfinger stole the thunder from the playoff drivers in Saturday's Fred's 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. With a strong push from GMS Racing teammate and Chase driver Ben Kennedy after a restart on Lap 93 of 94, Enfinger surged to the front and stayed there in the face of a last-lap challenger from another teammate, Spencer Gallagher, who came home second, .108 seconds behind the winner.
Kevin Harvick Wins At Kansas To Advance in The Chase
by Pete McCole Whenever Kevin Harvick needs to, he always seems to be able to pull a rabbit out of his hat. Or in this case, a much needed victory to pull himself out of the hole and into the next round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Harvick powered past Carl Edwards on a restart with 30 laps to go and led the rest of the way to win Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway for his fourth win of the season and score an automatic bid into the Round of 8. Edwards rallied in the finals laps to claim second away from Kyle Busch. Jimmie Johnson finished third, followed by Joey Logano while Busch came home fifth.
Kansas Lottery 300 Kyle Busch's domination of Saturday's Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway was about the only predictable thing that happened in the first race of the Round of 8 in the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase. In winning his fourth XFINITY race at the 1.5-mile track, his ninth of the season and the 85th of his career-extending his own series record-Busch led 150 of 200 laps, passing Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Suarez after a restart with 13 circuits remaining.
JGR Toyotas 1-2-3 To learn how to master the track that continued to jinx him, Kyle Busch paid close attention to the way Matt Kenseth drove Kansas Speedway. Though Kenseth was helpful, he apparently kept a thousandth of a second in his pocket. That was the margin by which Kenseth edged Busch in Friday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series knockout qualifying session at the 1.5-mile track. Touring Kansas in 28.112 seconds (192.089 mph) to Busch's 28.113 seconds (192.082 mph), Kenseth earned the top starting spot for Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400
Tony Stewart's Love-Hate Relationship with Talladega
Set for Dramatic End Oct. 23 When Tony Stewart makes his way to Talladega Superspeedway for the Alabama 500, Oct. 23, it will mark the end of an era. It will be the final race around the 33-degree high banks for the driver retiring at season's end who has definitely had a "love-hate" relationship with the mammoth venue. From the first time he competed at NASCAR's Most Competitive track, Stewart served notice that he would be a threat to win each time he climbed behind the wheel.
Joey Logano Steals Victory In Charlotte Xfinity Race
by Pete McCole Joey Logano might not have finished all 800 miles of Saturday's doubleheader at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but he led the ones that counted to steal a victory in the evening Drive for the Cure NASCAR Xfinity Series event - the final event in the opening round of the Xfinity Series Chase. Logano got around Kyle Larson and Justin Allgaier in a three-wide battle for the lead with 11 laps to go and beat out Elliott Sadler to score his second Xfinity Series win of the season and 27th of his career. Daniel Suarez finished third, followed by Larson and Erik Jones.
Jimmie Johnson Wins At Charlotte To Clinch Chase Spot
by Pete McCole Jimmie Johnson powered to victory in Sunday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to win the opening race of Round 2 of the Chase the NASCAR Sprint Cup and punch his ticket the third round for the first time in his career. Johnson passed Matt Kenseth following a restart with 18 laps to go and pulled away from the field to win for the third time this season in an all-important race that had serious repercussions for at least half of the 12 Chase contenders.
by Pete McCole Looking to rebound from a disappointing finish in last weekend's final race of the opening round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Kevin Harvick got things off to a good start on Thursday by taking the pole for Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the opening race of Round 2 of the Chase. Harvick took to the track in the third and final round of knockout qualifying and bested Alex Bowman with a lap of 27.547 seconds (196.029 mph) in the No. 4 Busch Beer Chevrolet to claim his first pole of the season and his first ever at Charlotte.
by Pete McCole Tony Stewart's final season in the Sprint Cup Series won't end with him riding off into the sunset with another title after the three-time series champion was eliminated from the Chase for the Sprint Cup following a 13th-place finish in Sunday's race at Dover. Stewart was among four drivers who failed to advance to the second round, including first-time Chase contender Chris Buescher, and Ganassi Racing teammates Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray.
Leads 187 of 400 laps Martin Truex, Jr. led 187 laps - including 106 of the final 114 circuits - to win the Citizen Soldier 400 at Dover International Speedway to claim his fourth victory of the season and his second in two weeks, solidifying his position as the driver to beat in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Kyle Busch was second, followed by rookie Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth
NASCAR With a dominant car that opened leads of more than six seconds after the final restart on Lap 152 of 200, Daniel Suarez won Sunday's rain-delayed Drive Sober 200 at Dover International Speedway and earned a spot in the Round of 8 in the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase. The Mexican-born driver grabbed the top spot from eventual third-place finisher Justin Allgaier on Lap 155 and quickly pulled away. Ty Dillon passed Allgaier for the runner-up spot in the closing laps but finished 5.625 seconds behind Suarez, who won for the first time at Dover and the second time this season.
Keslowski team runs 1-2 Tyler Reddick out-dueled Brad Keselowski Racing teammate Daniel Hemric to win Saturday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series DC Solar 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The victory was Reddick's first of the 2016 season and marked the first time the Brad Keselowski Racing team had fashioned a one-two finish in the series.
Late restart gives Harvick the edge Kevin Harvick got his best restart in a long time after a late yellow and his Chevy pulled away to a 4/10ths sec. win over the Toyota of Matt Kenseth with Kyle Bush, Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch rounding out the top-5. With the win, Harvick advances to round 12 of the Chase in Homestead, something he has done every year since the Chase was started. 22 cars finished on the lead lap of the paper clip shaped flat 1-mile oval.
Sadler Takes Opening Round Of Xfinity Series Chase
Beats Daniel Suarez after late restart A huge push from Daniel Suárez on a restart with four laps to go in Saturday night's eventful VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 sent Elliott Sadler ahead of Ryan Blaney to win the opening race of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase at Kentucky Speedway, stamping his way into Round 2 of the Chase
Truck Series William Byron stole a page from his mentor and team owner, Kyle Busch. Leading 161 of 175 laps in Saturday’s UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – the first race in the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase – Byron cruised to victory, the way Busch has done so many times before, and punched his ticket into the Chase's Round of 6.
Edwards leads all-Toyota Front Row in New Hampshire
Truex Jr to start 2nd Carl Edwards earned the Coors Light Pole Award for the Bad Boy Off Road 300 Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) by recording a third-round lap of 135.453 mph in his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. This is Edwards' third pole in the last four races at New Hampshire and his sixth of 2016. Martin Truex Jr., the Sprint Cup Series points leader, will start second in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Late pit stop propels Truex Jr. to Chicagoland win
Advances to next round of Chase Martin Truex Jr. won the race off pit road on the final green-flag pit stop of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400, sparking him to the win at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday. The speedy stop propelled Truex past rookie Chase Elliott, who had led 75 laps until the caution came out on Lap 262 of the 270-lap overtime race. The race was the first of 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Helps to prop up 3rd tier series In a race punctuated by a record 10 cautions, Kyle Busch streaked away from Chase hopeful Cameron Hayley in overtime and won Friday night's American Ethanol e15 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. With Busch's victory over runner-up Daniel Hemric, who passed Hayley after the final restart on Lap 150, Hemric and Timothy Peters locked up the final two of eight spots in the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase, which starts Sept. 24 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Field Is Set For The 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup
by Pete McCole The field for the 2016 edition of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup was finally set after Saturday night's chaotic Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway, and whole several drivers were celebrating their first-time runs for the title, others were left scratching their head at what could have been. This year's Chase field will feature seven former champions, four first timers, and - for the first time since 2006 - two rookies, who will all battle it out over the next ten races to decide the 2016 Sprint Cup Champion.
by Brandon Reed In a race that saw a little of everything, Saturday night’s cutoff race for the Chase to the Sprint Cup ended with an Overtime finish. When Martin Truex, Jr. spun his tires on that final restart, Denny Hamlin sprinted away from the pack, and drove to the victory in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. After his crew got him off pit road first after a lap 321 caution, Hamlin would hold off challenges from Truex, Jr., Kurt Busch and Kyle Larson en route to his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory of the season.
Leads 197 of 250 laps With one ferociously fast pit stop, Kyle Busch erased a lackluster qualifying effort and cruised to victory in Friday night’s Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Busch beat the leaders off pit road during a critical stop on lap 48 and led all but two laps the rest of the way for his sixth NASCAR XFINITY Series victory at Richmond, his eighth in 14 starts this season and the 84th of his career, extending his own gargantuan series record.
Federated Auto Parts 400 Denny Hamlin finally grabbed that elusive first pole that he's been chasing all season. After racking up 12 top-five starts - including an outside pole three weeks ago at Bristol - Hamlin broke through to take the top spot at his hometown track, topping the final round of qualifying with a lap of 22.069 seconds (122.344 mph) to win the pole for Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway - the final race in the Sprint Cup regular season before the Chase For the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins.
by Reed Spencer As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Richmond for the final event in the 26-race regular season, there are 19 drivers competing for the final four berths in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. That’s right, 19 drivers who could qualifying for NASCAR’s 10-race playoff if circumstances happen to fall the right way. Among the 19, however, there’s a vast disparity in the odds of success.
Martin Truex, Jr. Scores First-Career Darlington Victory
by Pete McCole Martin Truex, Jr. finally shook off his bad luck and broke through to score his second win of the season in Sunday night's Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway for his first-career Darlington victory. Truex, Jr. held off Kevin Harvick after a final restart with 12 laps to go and pulled away to collect his fifth-career Sprint Cup win. Harvick was second, followed by Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Talks About Long Road To Recovery
by Pete McCole Dale Earnhardt, Jr. quashed any talk of retirement on Sunday and promised to return to compete full time in the Sprint Cup Series in 2017. Addressing the media Sunday afternoon at Darlington Raceway for the first time since Hendrick Motorsports announced Friday that he would miss the rest of the 2016 Sprint Cup season, Earnhardt, Jr. said he was pleased with his progress and looks forward to being back in the car for Speedweeks at Daytona in February of next year.
John Hunter Nemechek Wins Wild Truck Race in Canada
Sparks Post-Race Brawl In what has quickly become tradition for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series when it races north of the border, the Chevrolet Silverado 250 produced yet another wild and memorable finish. This time around at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, John Hunter Nemechek and Cole Custer made contact on the last corner of the last lap and crossed the start-finish line in the grass in a virtual tie. Following a few moments of deliberations, NASCAR officials determined Nemechek won the race by 0.034 seconds.
by Pete McCole Elliott Sadler scored his first-career Darlington victory with a win Saturday’s VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race. But it didn’t come easy, and he nearly gave it away. Sadler passed Denny Hamlin on a restart with 36 laps to go and led the rest of the way, but had to hold off one final challenge from Hamlin with two laps to go to preserve the victory for his second win of the season.
by Pete McCole Hendrick Motorsports announced Friday morning that driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will miss the rest of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season due to lingering effects from a concussion suffered in a crash at Michigan International Speedway on June 12. Earnhardt, Jr. had initially only been expected to miss a few weeks, however he continued to suffer symptoms and doctors have now said he cannot be medically cleared to return to the racetrack this season.
No Darlington Conversation Is Complete Without......
Without Mentioning David Pearson This weekend at Darlington Raceway, in keeping with the track's wildly popular throwback theme, the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion will carry a paint scheme honoring David Pearson's 1976 season, which saw him win 10 major races including the Southern 500. Even without the throwback theme, Pearson's name comes to mind most every time a conversation turns to Sprint Cup racing at Darlington Raceway.
Kyle Larson First Time Sprint Cup Winner at Michigan
by Pete McCole The next generation of NASCAR's superstar drivers was on full display Sunday at Michigan International Speedway as twenty-four year old Kyle Larson beat out 20-year-old rookie Chase Elliott to score his first-career NASCAR Sprint Cup victory in the Pure Michigan 400. Larson snatched the lead away from Elliott on a restart with nine laps to go and hit his marks over the final laps to beat Elliott by nearly 1.5 seconds for his first win in 99-career series starts and secure himself a spot in the field for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Michael McDowell Scores First Xfinity Series Victory
Leads 24 of Final 25 Laps at Road America Michael McDowell led 24 of the final 25 laps of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville for his first victory in 94 series races. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular finished .534 seconds ahead of his Richard Childress Racing teammate Brendan Gaughan after two late restarts, including a green-while-checkered overtime finish.
First Career NASCAR Truck Series Victory In five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, Brett Moffitt had never led a lap. But in Saturday’s Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway, Moffitt picked the perfect time to take the point for the first time. Powering around Red Horse Racing teammate Timothy Peters and five-time series winner William Byron off the second corner of the final lap at the two-mile track, Moffitt held off Peters by .098 seconds to win a NASCAR national series race for the first time.
Logano captures the pole for the Pure Michigan 400
NASCAR Michigan International Speedway is one of Joey Logano’s favorite tracks and on Friday it was no different. He captured the pole award and will lead the Pure Michigan 400 to the green flag. Logano steadily improved his car the first two rounds of qualifying and then showed his dominance in the final round. He posted the top speed of 201.698 mph in the third round to win the award.
Kevin Harvick Wins Rain-Delayed Bristol Night Race
by Pete McCole
In a race that seemed like it would never end, Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag in Sunday’s rain-delayed Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Harvick passed race leader Denny Hamlin with 71 laps to go and hung on through one final red-flag for rain with 49 laps to go to beat out Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. by nearly two seconds for his second win of the season and second-career Bristol victory.
Austin Dillon Steals Victory In Bristol Xfinity Race
by Pete McCole Austin Dillon stole the victory at Friday night's Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, taking advantage of Brad Keselowski's bad luck and holding off Kyle Larson on a final overtime restart to score his second Xfinity Series victory of the season. Dillon led just four laps - the final four laps - and wasn't even in a position to win until all hell broke loose among the front four drivers in the final 20 laps.
by Pete McCole Carl Edwards spoiled the day for teammate Denny Hamlin but carried the day for Joe Gibbs Racing, winning the pole for Saturday night's Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Edwards topped the third and final round of Friday's qualifying session with a lap of 14.602 seconds (131.407 mph) to give him his second straight Bristol pole and give JGR a sweep of the top three qualifying spots.
Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers should fear Carl Edwards this weekend. The No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing wheelman claims he's more prepared to tackle Bristol Motor Speedway in Saturday's Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race than he was when he led a race-high 276 laps on his way to victory at the Tennessee track in April.
by Pete McCole Twenty-four-year-old Ben Kennedy scored his first truck series victory in the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday night, passing race leader William Byron for the top soot with 17 laps to go and then held off a furious bid for the lead from Brett Moffitt in the final lap to score the victory - his first win in 63 starts in the Truck Series.
by Pete McCole Thirty-five-year-old Justin Marks mastered the elements to earn his first-career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory on Sunday in a sloppy, rain-soaked Mid-Ohio Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Marks led the final 10 laps including a white-knuckle three lap dash to the finish in a torrential downpour to beat out pole-sitter Sam Hornish, Jr. for the victory in his 12th start of the season driving the no. 42 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Sam Hornish, Jr. Scores Record-Breaking Xfinity Pole
by Pete McCole Ohio-native Sam Hornish, Jr. scored his eighth-career NASCAR Xfinity Series Coors Light Pole Award in record fashion on Friday, capturing the top spot in the afternoon qualifying session for Saturday’s Mid-Ohio Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Hornish, from nearby Defiance, Ohio, covered the 2.258-mile,13-turn road course at a speed of 96.755 mph (84.014 seconds) in the opening session, eclipsing the previous track record of 96.256mph set by Michael McDowell in 2013.
by Pete McCole In 10 career Sprint Cup Series starts at Watkins Glen, Denny Hamlin had never led a single lap, but on Sunday, Hamlin benefited from some hard racing up front between Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch in the closing laps that left an opening for Hamlin to take the lead with ten laps to go and then held on through a final four-lap shootout for his second win of the season. Joey Logano finished second after Keselowski ran over Martin Truex, Jr. in the final turn trying to make a move on Hamlin for the lead. Keselowski recovered take third, followed by A.J. Allmendinger and Tony Stewart.
Won't Race At Watkins Glen Or Bristol Dale Earnhardt Jr. made it clear on Friday. He doesn't want to talk about the "R" word, as in retirement. Earnhardt's recent struggle with concussion-like symptoms, a malady that will cause him to miss at least five NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season, has fueled speculation that concern over health issues might persuade him to exit the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet permanently.
Second In A Row At Watkins Glen Joey Logano gave Team Penske their first Xfinity Series victory of the season on Saturday, breaking the long stranglehold of Joe Gibbs Racing who have won six of the last seven series events. Logano started on the pole and led 67 of 82 laps including the final 42 circuits to beat out fellow Sprint Cup regular Paul Menard for his 26th-career Xfinity Series win.
2nd road course pole in row Carl Edwards earned the Coors Light Pole Award at Watkins Glen Saturday afternoon, making it two-for-two in road course qualifying sessions for the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing wheelman as he was also the polesitter for June's Sonoma event. Chip Ganassi Racing's Kyle Larson sat atop the board for the majority of the final round in the two-round session, but walked away with the runner-up spot. Tony Stewart, in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, in the No. 20 JGR Toyota, and Kyle Busch, in the No. 18 JGR Toyota, rounded out the top five.
Penske Fords 1-2 Defending race winner Joey Logano won the XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Award on Friday and will lead Saturday's Zippo 200 at The Glen (2 p.m. ET, CNBC) field to green. This is the No. 12 driver's second pole win at the New York road course, his first coming last season prior to his XFINITY Series win at the track. Logano's Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski will line up next to him on Saturday's front row in his No. 22 Ford.
by Brian Carroccio Two weeks ago after Toronto, I mentioned how we were entering the stretch run of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. And to me, the three players to keep an eye on were championship leader Simon Pagenaud, the suddenly hot Will Power, and reigning series champion Scott Dixon. Dixon, of course, endured a frustrating race in Toronto. Having dominated from pole, the Kiwi was 'caught out' on a yellow flag and forced to pit. Power cycled to the front, while Dixon came home 8th. Although the championship gap between Dixon and Pagenaud was sizable, I wrote that you couldn't discount the Kiwi.
Chris Buescher wins fog and rain shortened Pocono race
In right place when heavy fog rolled in The postponed Pennsylvania 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race was run on Monday at Pocono Raceway under threatening skies. The race was halted with 22 laps to run because of fog on the backstretch totally obscured the spotters ability to see all of the 2.5-mile track. The caution came out and drivers waited for the clouds to lift but it never happened before more rain moved in and Front Row Motorsports rookie Chris Buescher, who had not pitted and had taken the lead on the track shortly before the caution came out for the fog, was declared the winner of his first ever Sprint Cup race.
by Pete McCole NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie Erik Jones added another milestone to his remarkable season on Saturday night, winning the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway third victory of the year. Jones ran down race leader Ty Dillon with 15 laps to go and then stretched his fuel for the final laps to secure his fifth-career Xfinity Series victory and spoil Dillon's chance to end his nearly two-year winless streak. Elliott Sadler finished in third place, followed by Brennan Poole and Dakoda Armstrong.
Jeff Gordon Happy In His Role As Substitute Driver
NASCAR Since Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s immediate future is in the hands of doctors, it's appropriate that his substitute driver, Jeff Gordon, has also been brought in for a second opinion. Not a medical opinion, mind you. But Gordon is invaluable in his role as a consultant for Hendrick Motorsports, and now that he's behind the wheel of Earnhardt's No. 88 Chevrolet, his opinions of the organization's performance are all the more informed.
Breaks Record Set In 2000 Rookie William Byron collected his record-breaking fifth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory of the season in the Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday afternoon, beating a mark set by Kurt Busch that has stood since 2000. Byron led 44 of 60 laps at the "Tricky Triangle" and stretched out his final tank of fuel for 35 laps to take the checkered flag over Cameron Hayley.
Local favorite from NJ Martin Truex Jr. stormed to the Coors Light Pole Award in Friday's qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway. Truex logged a fast lap of 179.244 mph in the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota on the 2.5-mile triangular track. He'll start first in Sunday's Pennsylvania 400, the 21st of 36 points-paying races for the circuit this year. The Coors Light Pole Award is Truex's third of the season, his first at Pocono and the 10th of his Sprint Cup career.
by Pete McCole Kyle Busch ran away for the field in Sunday's Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to complete the weekend sweep and collect his second straight Brickyard victory and his third race win of the weekend. Busch beat out Joey Logano on a final green-white-checkered sprint to the finish and crossed the line nearly half a straightaway over his Joe Gibb Racing teammate Matt Kenseth.
Leads 62 of 63 Laps For Seventh Xfinity Victory Kyle Busch capped a phenomenal day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a victory in the Lilly Diabetes 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race, beating out Kevin Harvick in a two-lap shootout to record his seventh victory of the season. It was a clean sweep for Busch, who won the Xfinity Series pole, the opening 20-lap Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash heat race as well as the pole for Sunday's Crown Royal 400 Sprint Cup Series race.
All-Toyota front row Defending race-winner Kyle Busch topped the leaderboard in Saturday's Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Award qualifying at Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 184.634 mph in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Right behind him was Carl Edwards in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at 184.547 mph. Rounding out the top five were Tony Stewart (No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet), Denny Hamlin (No. 11 JGR Toyota) and Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Ford.)
With team owner Rick Hendrick Jeff Gordon, Interim Driver Of The No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS, And Rick Hendrick, Owner Of Hendrick Motorsports, met with members of the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to discuss Jeff climbing behind the wheel of the No. 88 Chevrolet SS for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. as he continues to heal from concussion like symptoms.
NASCAR Trucks Get Dirty in the Dirt at Eldora Kyle Larson rallied from a lap down to beat out Christopher Bell on a restart with 16 laps to go to win his second-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in Wednesday night’s fourth annual Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby 150 at Eldora Speedway.
In a race that saw many of the usual suspects go into hiding in the closing laps, Matt Kenseth battled to the front of the field from the 18th starting position and pulled away after a late restart to win Sunday's New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Winning for the second time this season and for the third time at the Magic Mile, Kenseth crossed the finish line 1.982 seconds ahead of Tony Stewart, who solidified his position in the top 30 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings – and therefore in the Chase – with the runner-up finish.
Only in NASCAR do the top racers steal money from the youngsters Another NASCAR XFINITY Series race, another set of milestones for Kyle Busch. Leading 190 of 200 laps in Saturday's AutoLotto 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Busch held off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones in the closing laps to claim his 82nd career victory, extending his own series record.
With Pole winner Jimmie Johnson Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson captured the 50th pole position for the Chevrolet SS race car at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) with a quick lap of 28.430 seconds/133.971 mph in his No. 48 Lowe's Chevy SS. It marked Johnson's 35th career pole in 526 races and his first of the 2016 season thus far.
Breaks out of severe slump Jimmie Johnson took home the Coors Light Pole Award for Sunday's New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Johnson got around the 1.058-mile track at 133.971 mph in the final of three qualifying rounds for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The pole was the first of the 2016 season for the driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, the 35th of his career and the first of his career at New Hampshire. Joining Johnson on the front row will be defending race winner Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, 133.830 mph).
by Pete McCole Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is expected to miss at least one week of competition with concussion-like symptoms following several hard crashes in the last few weeks, leading to the possibility that four-time Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon could come out of retirement to fill in as driver of the no. 88 Chevrolet at the July 24th race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Has Just Enough Fuel To Beat Carl Edwards 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.
Dillon comes 2nd, Saurez 3rd It was a race Kyle Busch won with a dramatic run around the outside lane at Kentucky Speedway. It was a race Erik Jones lost when he hit the wrong switch on his dashboard, killed the engine and slowed under caution late in the race. It was the 10th win for Toyota this year in the Xfinity Series. Austin Dillon was 2nd with Daniel Suarez rounding out the top-3. Jones was 4th.
Keselowski Looks To Make It Two In A Row at Kentucky
NASCAR Even with the significant unknowns facing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers at Kentucky Speedway, including new pavement, a new aero package and a new tire compound from Goodyear, Team Penske figures to have an edge - and Penske driver Brad Keselowski hopes it all pays off with a second straight victory.
Earns Fourth Camping World Truck Series Win Of 2016 William Byron didn't have the fastest truck at the end of Thursday night's Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway. But Byron had the most important ingredient in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the newly repaved and reconfigured 1.5-mile track. Byron held the top spot for all 42 laps after the final restart of the event on lap 108 of 150. It was no cakewalk. Byron had to stave off assaults from both runner-up John Hunter Nemechek and third-place finisher Daniel Hemric , who dogged the race winner -- and each other -- for the entire closing green-flag run.
by Brian Carroccio Having reached midpoint of the 2016 calendar year, we’ve also reached the heart of the season for many major racing series. Formula One, for example, will conclude a four race-five weekend stretch with the British Grand Prix Sunday. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will conduct its 18 of 36 races Saturday evening in Kentucky, while the Verizon IndyCar Series will run its 10th of 16 races Sunday afternoon in Iowa. With many racing series at or at least around their midpoint, AutoRacing1 will take a look back on the best and worst of the 2016 season in our Midseason Racing Review. Enjoy.
by Pete McCole Brad Keselowski added another milestone to his Sprint Cup career with a win in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 to mark his first ever Daytona International Speedway victory. Keselowski led a race-high 115 laps including all three laps of a final, green-white-checkered finish to beat out Kyle Busch and Trevor Bayne for this third win of the season. Joey Logano and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. rounded out the top five.
by Pete McCole Another restrictor-plate race, another controversial finish. And another bizarre Xfinity Series victory for Aric Almirola. Almirola collected his second-career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory after being declared the winner in Friday night’s Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway after a wild, three-lap overtime finish that ended under caution with Almirola scored just ahead of Justin Allgaier after a video review by NASCAR.
Beats Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing's Greg Biffle covered the 2.5-mile famed oval of Daytona International Speedway in 46.643 seconds (192.955 mph) to capture the pole for tomorrow night's Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race. The pole is Biffle's second at Daytona (2004 Daytona 500) and the 13th of his career. It marks the 88th Cup pole for Roush Fenway racing and its fifth at Daytona. "It is a huge confidence builder," said Biffle. "Winning the pole is all smiles on those team guys pushing the car up there and getting the pictures. They are pumped right now. We will be ready to go tomorrow night.
Roger Penske receives Cameron R. Argetsinger Award
IMRRC event A capacity crowd at the Corning Museum of Glass was treated to a celebratory evening of tributes, shout-outs, slide shows and interviews on Thursday as the International Motor Racing Research Center presented the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award to racing icon Roger Penske. The presenting sponsors of the evening and award were NASCAR, IMSA, International Speedway Corp. and Watkins Glen International. The sell-out event was supported by Sahlen's.
Tony Stewart Beats Hamlin For First Win Since 2013
by Pete McCole Just five months after suffering a back injury that nearly derailed his entire season, Tony Stewart broke through with a must-have victory in a thrilling last-lap duel with Denny Hamlin to win Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway to break an 84-race winless streak and bolster his chances for a championship bid in his final Sprint Cup season.
Christopher Bell Wins Wild Truck Series Race at Gateway
Toyota 1-2 A gutsy decision to use the bottom lane for a restart with two laps to go paid off for Christopher Bell, who earned his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in Saturday night's third annual Drivin' for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park. Bell, driver of the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra, survived a chaotic and intense second half to edge Ben Rhodes to the checkered flag, giving KBM its 50th victory in the series, tying Roush Fenway Racing for the all-time series wins lead.
From Sonoma CHIP GANASSI, TEAM OWNER, CHIP GANASSI RACING, met with members of the media at Sonoma Raceway to discuss the state of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, how important pit crews are in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and many other topics.
by Pete McCole If there's a favorite among the drivers entered in this weekend's road course race at Sonoma Raceway, A.J. Allmendinger can certainly be counted among them. For a proven winner with an extensive road-racing background, Sunday's race might be just what Allmendinger needs to get his team out of a slump and back into the Chase for the Sprint Cup field.
Back when Ford was going for the overall win Glen Wood, like other members of the Ford Performance family, will have a keen interest in this weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans, as Ford will make its return to sports car racing's premier event on the 50th anniversary of its breakthrough Le Mans victory. Wood, whose family-owned team fields the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion driven by Ryan Blaney on NASCAR's Sprint Cup circuit, was at Le Mans back in 1966 for that historic victory, which saw the Ford GT Mark II not only win the race, but sweep the top three finishing positions.
by Pete McCole After two weeks of falling short, Joey Logano finally broke through to collect his first victory of the season with a record-setting win in Sunday's Firekeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Logano led 138 of the scheduled 200-lap distance and beat out rookie contender Chase Elliott for his 15th-career Sprint Cup victory. Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five.
NASCAR Daniel Suarez surged to his first NASCAR XFINITY Series victory Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, taking the lead from Kyle Busch with two laps left. Suarez, the series' points leader, recovered from an early race speeding penalty and rallied in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota. He led twice for four laps and became the first Mexican-born driver to win in any of NASCAR's three national series. He also became the XFINITY tour's sixth foreign-born winner in his 48th career start.
William Byron Scores Second-Career Truck Series Win
by Pete McCole 18-year-old NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie William Byron collected his second-career win on Friday night after taking down two-time champ Matt Crafton and then holding off fellow rookie Rico Abreu to take the checkered flag in the Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.
NASCAR Coors Light Pole Joey Logano zoomed to the Coors Light Pole Award in Friday qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway. Logano drove the Team Penske No. 22 Ford to a best lap of 199.557 mph in the third and final session. The pole is Logano's second of the season, second at the 2-mile track and 16th of his Sprint Cup career. He won from the pole at Michigan in August of 2013. Martin Truex Jr., the Coca-Cola 600 winner, will start second in Sunday's FireKeepers Casino 400 in the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota. Three-time series champion Tony Stewart was third, marking his best qualifying effort in seven races so far this season after returning in April from an offseason back injury. Denny Hamlin (198.774 mph) and rookie Ryan Blaney (198.588 mph) rounded out the top five in qualifying.
For rain delayed race Stewart-Haas Racing's Kurt Bush nabbed his first win of 2016 in his Chevy by holding off the Hendrick Chevy of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the Penske Ford of Brad Keselowski. Busch led 32 of 160 laps on his way to victory. Rookie Chase Elliott and Joey Logano rounded out the top-5.
Fords 1-2 at Pocono Going out late in a light rain in the final round of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series knockout qualifying at Pocono Raceway, Brad Keselowski edged Team Penske teammate Joey Logano for the top starting spot in Sunday's Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 (1 p.m. ET on FS1). For the second straight week, Logano paced each of the first two rounds but came up just short on his money lap. Keselowski toured the 2.5-mile triangular speedway in 49.525 seconds (181.726 mph) to edge Logano (181.400 mph) by .089 seconds. Keselowski won his first Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his first at Pocono and the 12th of his career.
Martin Truex, Jr. Looks To Make It Two In A Row at Pocono
NASCAR Just one week after his dominating performance in the Coca Cola 600, Martin Truex, Jr. will look to make it two in a row with a victory in Sunday's Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 at Pocono Raceway - a contest he won last year to jumpstart his run to the Championship 4 Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Hard Luck Finally Turns Around For Martin Truex, Jr.
by Pete McCole Martin Truex, Jr.’s record-breaking win in Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 was more than just a dominating victory – it was a turning point for a hard-luck team that has been so close to victory only to see it slip away time and time again that Truex had earned the nickname "The Heartbreak Kid". Finally, on Sunday night, their luck finally changed, and that might be the final piece to the puzzle that gets Truex and his Furniture Row Racing team back on top of their game.
Martin Truex, Jr. Scores Dominant Coca Cola 600 Win
by Pete McCole Following race after race of coming so close and falling short time and time again, Martin Truex, Jr. finally got the monkey off his back and broke through for his first victory of the season - and he did it with a dominating race for the record books.Truex, Jr. led 392 of 400 laps to win Sunday night's Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, setting the record for the most laps led in the 57-year history of the event.Kevin Harvick was second, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski.
Denny Hamlin Rallies To Score Charlotte Xfinity Victory
by Pete McCole Denny Hamlin proved that new tires will always trump old tires at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hamlin rallied from a pit road penalty and took advantage of a late caution flag to come back and pass Joey Logano and Kyle Larson on the second-to-last lap in a three-lap overtime finish for the victory in Saturday’s Hisense 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race. Austin Dillon finished second, followed by Logano, Cole Custer and Justin Allgaier
by Pete McCole Martin Truex, Jr. spoiled the party for the Ford teams after powering his way to the pole for Sunday's Coca Cola 600 in Thursday night's qualifying session at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Truex, Jr. posted a winning lap of 192.328 mph to bump last weeks All Star Race winner Joey Logano and earn his second pole of the season and his first ever at Charlotte. Logano held on for second, while Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. qualified third. Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five.
by Pete McCole NASCAR announced new changes to the aerodynamic rules package for upcoming races at Kentucky Speedway and Michigan International Speedway. The new modifications are in addition to the new package that was introduced for this season, and is likely a preview the rules package that NASCAR is working on for the 2017 season, intended to reduce downforce and increase competition on the track.
NASCAR Two phenomenally successful contemporary car owners, a champion driver-turned-beloved-broadcaster, a driver with a prolific winning history and the man described as NASCAR racing's "original car owner" are the newly elected members of the 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame class. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France introduced the new inductees on Wednesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, calling this group of five perhaps "the greatest class yet."
by Pete McCole If there was a theme to Saturday night's All Star Race, it was "I don't know what's going on", as confusion and questions regarding the new format left drivers and fans alike wondering exactly what happened to turn the race from what was a simple three-segment race into a bona fide mess.
Full Moon Fever was in full effect in Saturday night's 32nd running of the NASCAR Sprint All Star Race, as Joey Logano came out on top in a race that was both thrilling and confusion and left a lot of people scratching their heads. Logano got past Kyle Larson with two laps to go to score his first-career All Star Race victory, bringing home a $1million-dollar payday and denying Larson the chance to become the fourth driver to win the all-star event after racing their way into the field.
NASCAR Truck Series at Charlotte Matt Crafton had a lot to overcome on Saturday - a 17th-place starting position and a difficult pit stall that cost him dearly in the early stages of Saturday's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. But after 134 laps, Crafton was 5.748 seconds ahead of second-place Kyle Busch, winning the race and extending his series lead to 12 points over seventh-place finisher Timothy Peters. In fact, the two-time champion won consecutive races for the first time in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career, going back-to-back in successive weeks at Dover and Charlotte.
by Pete McCole The NASCAR Sprint All Star race has produced many memorable moments in its 31-year history, from sheet-metal grinding crashes to bench-clearing pit crew brawls to miracle finishes that have all served to make the All Star Race one of the most storied events in all of NASCAR. For the 17th-running of the event, Mother Nature helped set the stage for one of the most unlikely victories in NASCAR history.
Bayne, Biffle, Larson Win To Advance To All Star Race
by Pete McCole Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle and Kyle Larson advanced to the 32nd running of the NASCAR Sprint All Star race after winning segments in the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday. Bayne won the opening segment while Biffle took the checkered flag in the second segment. Larson won the final 10-lap dash in a thrilling finish over Chase Elliott, who also advanced after winning the Sprint Fan Vote along with Danica Patrick.
by Pete McCole By its very nature as a non-points event, the NASCAR All Star Race allows teams a golden opportunity to test out new ideas without putting their whole season on the line. With nothing to lose, teams sometimes roll into the all-star race with a new chassis setup, or a new engine package, sometimes even a new driver. And for that reason, some teams will occasionally go for the Hail Mary play - bringing something to the table that, if it works, could change everything.
NASCAR Denny Hamlin currently holds the title of 'reigning champion' for two of NASCAR's most prestigious races: the Daytona 500 and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Come Saturday night, he will look to continue the strangle hold on one of them, attempting to capture a second consecutive win in Saturday's NASCAR Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway
by Pete McCole For the better part of 30 years, the NASCAR Sprint All Star Race has been a showcase of the best NASCAR has to offer - the best drivers, the best out crews, the best teams - battling it out for the privilege of being the best of the best. Making into the field for the race meant you were a star in the sport - among the best 20 stock car drivers in the country, but winning the All Star Race made you a legend. And for drivers who never thought they'd even have a shot at making the All Star Race, winning the all-star event changed their careers forever.
No doubt about it. Kevin Harvick made absolutely the right decision in opting to sign a long-term deal to stay with Stewart-Haas Racing. Yes, a drive with Hendrick Motorsports - Harvick was rumored to be in line to replace the under performing Kasey Kahne in the No. 5 Chevrolet – had to be tempting. Furthermore, with SHR ditching Hendrick Chevrolets for Ford in 2017, Harvick would have been able to keep driving the Hendrick-powered Chevys that have been so much a part of his success in recent years.
by Pete McCole Since its inception in 1987, the NASCAR All Star Race had established itself as a proving ground for some of the world's best stock car drivers to test their mettle against the best of the best. More than the racing itself, the entire event has been used a test bed for new ideas and innovations, a chance to try out something new in real-world race conditions before bringing it to the mainstream. Ideas and innovations that would end up revolutionizing auto racing forever.
by Pete McCole More than any other race besides the Daytona 500, perhaps no other event in NASCAR carries as much prestige to the winner as the NASCAR All Star Race. The chance to prove yourself again the best of the best, and beat them, has been the one of the spoils that comes along with winning the event. For that reason, drivers seem more intent on doing anything, and everything to win - even if that means knocking the hell out of someone who is standing in your way.
by Pete McCole NASCAR's All Star Race has been a fixture of the sport for the better part of 30 years, a no-holds-barred, winner-take-all, put all your cards on the table race featuring the top drivers in the sport. Now, mix in a couple of drivers with big egos, even bigger chips on their shoulders, and a lot of pride on the line. Such a volatile combination is bound to lead to one hell of a race.
Matt Kenseth Snaps Winless Streak With Dover Victory
by Pete McCole Sunday's final laps in the AAA 400 at Dover International Raceway were a battle between the veteran and the young guns, and in the end, it was the wily veteran Matt Kenseth holding on to put himself back in Victory Lane. Kenseth led the final 47 laps of the 400-lap event and held off a furious late-race charge from Kyle Larson and rookie Chase Elliott to secure his first victory of the season and snap a 19-race winless streak. Kasey Kahne came home fourth, followed by Kurt Busch.
NASCAR XFinity Erik Jones started the day by winning the pole -- and that's exactly where he finished in Saturday's XFINITY Series Ollie's Bargain Outlet 200 at Dover International Speedway. Jones shot ahead of the field in the final restart with five laps to go, holding off a charging Darrell Wallace Jr. in a backup car. Jones' No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota took the checkered flag, while Wallace held on for a season-best runner-up result in his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. The win also awarded Jones the Dash 4 Cash prize.
Matt Crafton crossed another milestone off of his "to do" list on Friday, scoring his first Dover victory as well as his first win of the season in a command performance in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Dover 200 at Dover International Raceway. Crafton got out in front on lap 123 and never looked back, leading the final 78 laps including a final 27-lap green flag run to hold off Daniel Suarez for his 12th-career truck Series victory.
NASCAR Martin Truex Jr. has had some of the worst luck in NASCAR this year. First, he held the lead on the final lap of the Daytona 500 but was edged by Denny Hamlin in a photo finish. Next, a costly caution at Texas, then a bad pit stop at Kansas. Coming into Dover this weekend, Truex, Jr. hopes to finally turn his luck around.
This weekend's AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover International Speedway will be the 12th of 36 races in the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. To breakdown all the happenings of the season thus far, AR1 NASCAR Correspondent Pete McCole and Senior Columnist Brian Carroccio square off in the latest installment of AR1 Burning Questions. Enjoy.
Wood recalls a Dover race lost because of a Lugnut
by Eddie Wood The Motorcraft/Quick Lane team, with rookie driver Ryan Blaney now at the wheel, will be back on the track at Dover International Speedway this weekend for the first time since 2008, when the team cut back to a partial Sprint Cup schedule. For the Wood Brothers, it’s a return to one of the tracks where they had great success in years past. The Woods won seven times at Dover over the years, beginning with their first trip there in the fall of 1972.
by Pete McCole It took Kyle Busch 17 tries, but on Saturday night, he finally has a Kansas Speedway winner's trophy in his hands. 17 tries. 14 seasons. Over 150 laps led. One of only three tracks he hadn't won at. Now, that number is down to two. Kyle Busch led the final 37 laps to beat out Kevin Harvick to win the Go Bowling 400 and score his third win of the season and finally get the monkey off his back at Kansas Speedway.
William Byron Scores First Career Truck Series Win
by Pete McCole 18-year old William Byron scored his first-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in just his fifth start in Friday night's Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway, locking up a spot in the Truck Series championship chase.
by Pete McCole Martin Truex, Jr. won the pole in Friday's knockout qualifying session for Saturday nights Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway, ending a four-year drought without a top qualifying spot. Truex, Jr. turned in a single lap of 190.921 mph in the third and final round of qualifying to collect his eighth-career pole, beating out fellow Toyota drivers Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin.
Charlotte Speedway Announces New All Star Race Format
by Pete McCole Charlotte Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith announced a new format for this year's NASCAR Sprint All Stat Race to be held at the track on May 21, adding a new twist to the final dash to the finish and a shot at the $1millon dollar purse. This year's format will feature a random draw for mandatory pit stops before the final segment that will put cars with older tires at the head of the field behind as many as 11 cars behind charging through the field on fresh rubber.
by Pete McCole NASCAR released the 2017 season scheduled for all three of its major touring series today, highlighting some changes to the lineup of dates for the championship chase in the Cup Series. In an unprecedented move, NASCAR unveiled the schedule far earlier than it has in previous years – a result of the five-year sanctioning agreement NASCAR signed with track owners last year.
NASCAR Winning seems almost routine for Kyle Busch. Only 31 years old, the No. 18 Toyota driver boasts 36 career victories and has taken the checkered flag at all but three of the 23 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tracks - Kansas, Charlotte and Pocono. Busch now has the opportunity to pick up wins at all three of the tracks within the next month-and-a-half, beginning this weekend at Kansas Speedway.
Austin Dillon Helps Kick Off Month Of Racing At Charlotte
by Pete McCole NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Austin Dillon helped Charlotte Motor Speedway "kick off" the "10 Days of Thunder" with a little field-goal kicking contest with defending NFC Champion Carolina Panthers placekicker Graham Gano. With an assist from Charlotte Motor Speedway mascot Lugnut, Dillon and Gano traded kicks on a specially constructed 45-yard kicking green set up on pit road, while later Dillon took Gano on ride-along around the 1.5-mile track.
Talladega 'Plate Racing Produces Another Wreck-Fest
by Pete McCole When the smoke finally cleared on Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Brad Keselowski emerged as the winner, grabbed an American flag from one of his crew, and did a post-celebratory burnout among the scattered debris of what was left of a tangled mess of eight cars that all piled in during the final chaotic run the checkered flag. Keselowski hadn't so much won Talladega as much as he survived it.
by Pete McCole Brad Keselowski survived the battle of attrition to collect his second win the season in Sunday's wreck-filled GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Keselowski led the field through a final green-white-checkered overtime and held off Kyle Busch as many of the front-runner crashed coming through the frontstretch to the checkered flag. Austin Dillon finished third, followed by Chase Elliott and Jamie McMurray.
Elliott Sadler won today's NASCAR XFINITY Series Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. The driver of the No. 1 OneMain Chevrolet trailed leader Joey Logano as the field came through the tri-oval on the final lap. When the JR Motorsports driver moved to the outside to pass, Logano moved to block. The resulting contact between the two launched Logano into the SAFER barrier nose first, bringing out the caution.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Touring the 2.66-mile race track in 49.704 seconds (192.661 mph) during Saturday's time trials, Chase Elliott put the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet on the pole, making the 20-year-old rookie driver two-for-two at restrictor-plate superspeedways. In his first qualifying run as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, Elliott won the pole for the season-opening Daytona 500. The pole was the sixth at Talladega for the No. 24, the first five having been recorded by Jeff Gordon, who retired after the 2015 season and turned the car over to Elliott.
Talladega's A Special Place For Ford And The Woods
Many big wins for the Wood Brothers Ford Motor Company in general, and the Wood Brothers in particular, have had some glorious Sunday afternoons at Talladega Superspeedway through the years. In the early years of the track that opened in 1969, the Wood Brothers won five races from the spring of 1971, when Donnie Allison drove the iconic No. 21 to victory at his home track, until the fall of 1979, when another Alabama driver, the late Neil Bonnett, scored the victory. In between were three consecutive wins in the spring race by David Pearson, from 1972-1974.
by Brian Carroccio Let’s be fair. Most any race car driver would have done exactly what Carl Edwards did on the final lap of Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. In second-place entering the final turn, the driver of the No. 19 XFINITY Toyota Camry gave the leader and teammate Kyle Busch a tap in the rear bumper. It was a polite tap mind you, but enough to get Busch lose and allow Edwards to take his 27th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. Busch finished second.
Pushes teammate Busch aside to win Carl Edwards made an aggressive last lap bump and run move on teammate Kyle Busch to take victory in today's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. It was the second consecutive victory for the driver of the No. 19 XFINITY Toyota Camry, and 27th of his career. Jimmie Johnson was third with Kasey Kahne and Kevin Harvick rounding out the top-five.
Sprint Cup race Drivers 1st Carl Edwards, Owner Joe Gibbs and Crew Chief Dave Rogers (No. 19 Comcast Business Toyota) 2nd Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet) 4th Chase Elliott (No. 24 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet)
by Brian Carroccio In a typical battle of attrition at historic Bristol Motor Speedway, Carl Edwards drove the No. 19 COMCAST BUSINESS Toyota Camry to victory in today's Food City 500. It was the 26th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win for Edwards, fourth at Bristol, and first of 2016. Dale Earnhardt Jr. rallied from a bad start to finish second with Kurt Busch third.
Toyota 1-2, stays hot When Carl Edwards wins the pole at Bristol, good things happen -- for Edwards. So forgive the driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing if he feels optimistic about Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, the eighth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season. With the only sub-15-second lap in the money round of Friday's knockout qualifying at the 0.533-mile short track, Edwards won his second Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his third at Bristol and the 18th of his career.
When it comes to iconic teams in NASCAR, few have as much history as the Wood Brothers from Stuart, Va., and the Pettys from Level Cross, N.C. Although the members of the respective families have been friends for decades, they also have been rivals on the track, and that continues through today. Over the years, the two teams and their drivers have played starring roles in some of the all-time historic finishes in NASCAR history. The two teams’ legendary drivers David Pearson and Richard Petty hold the all-time NASCAR record for 1-2 finishes with 63, with Pearson winning 33 races to Petty’s 30.
Corrals Texas win Kyle Busch turned a late-race surge into victory in Saturday night's rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch led 34 of 334 laps in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota and held on for a 3.904-second margin of victory in the Duck Commander 500. Busch's second Sprint Cup win of the season was his second in a row, his second at the 1.5-mile track and the 36th of his Sprint Cup career.
Wins 80th XFINITY race Kyle Busch broke his NASCAR XFINITY Series "losing streak" on Friday night and in the process moved into rarefied air in the Lone Star State. With a dominating victory from the pole in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, Busch won for the fourth time in five XFINITY starts this year. His only loss in that stretch was a second-place run after a late blown tire robbed him of victory in his last outing at Auto Club Speedway. But on Friday night, Busch was back to his winning ways, leading a race-high 150 of 200 laps at the 1.5-mile track, notching his record eighth victory at Texas and extending his own series record to 80 triumphs.
Three-time Texas winner Carl Edwards claimed his first Coors Light Pole Award of the season on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, posting a final-round speed of 194.609 mph. Edwards is the sixth different pole winner in seven races this season. Edwards has won at Texas Motor Speedway three times, though his last trip to Victory Lane in the Sprint Cup Series came in 2008. Joining Edwards on the front row is Joey Logano, who completed his final lap at 193.306 mph.
Take Me Out to the Track This extended Q&A marks the sixth in a series with FOX Sports motor sports personalities to be highlighted over the next several months. As a FOX Sports host and FOX’s first three-sport star, Chris Myers is accustomed to wearing a variety of hats. After calling FOX NFL games during football season, Myers currently hosts FOX NASCAR coverage (next is Saturday, April 9 at 7:30 PM ET on FOX from Texas Motor Speedway) and is on deck for the 2016 Major League Baseball season.
Kyle Busch finally broke into the win column for the first time this season with a command performance in Sunday's STP 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway to score the weekend sweep and notch his first-career victory at the famed half-mile short track. Busch led 352 of the 500 scheduled laps, taking the victory after beating out his teammate Matt Kenseth on a late-race restart and then holding off A.J. Allmendinger over the final 11 laps to record his 35th-career victory.
NASCAR Leading a race-high 123 of 255 laps, Kyle Busch pulled off an overtime victory in Saturday's Alpha Energy Solutions 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway and filled a major hole in his resume by securing the coveted grandfather clock that goes to the victor. "I've got a couple owners' ones, but never one of my own," said Busch, who got an excellent launch on the final restart and won the two-lap dash to the finish by 0.425 seconds over John Hunter Nemechek, who took over the series points lead with the runner-up finish.
Penske Ford fastest Using a fast lap of 97.043 mph, Joey Logano propelled his No. 22 Team Penske Ford to the top of the leaderboard in the final round of Coors Light Pole Qualifying at Martinsville Speedway on Friday, earning his 15th career Coors Light Pole Award and third straight pole at "The Paperclip." Starting alongside Logano in Sunday's STP 500 (1 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is Kasey Kahne, whose No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet clocked in at 97.033 mph in the final session.
by Brian Carroccio With Easter this past weekend, it was a rare weekend without any major racing series on track. However, this coming weekend a full slate awaits motor racing fans as NASCAR, Formula One, IndyCar, Formula E, the NHRA and a host of others will return to action. And for me there is no question which series has the biggest weekend ahead of it: the Verizon IndyCar Series. Yes, this weekend’s much-anticipated return to Phoenix International Raceway, is in my opinion is the series’ most important non-Indy 500 race in years.
Jimmie Johnson collected his 77th NASCAR Sprint Cup career victory at Auto Club Speedway, which was also his sixth win at the 2-mile track located not too far from his hometown of El Cajon. It was yet another career milestone for the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS as this 77th win surpassed the legendary Dale Earnhardt Sr.; placing Johnson in seventh on the all-time NASCAR win list. The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion was able to overtake fellow Team Chevy driver, Kevin Harvick, in a three-lap overtime shootout to give Chevrolet a 1-2 finish.
For a Chevy 1-2 Driving the Superman car, Jimmie Johnson used a sensational move to take an overtime win over Kevin Harvick in the Auto Club 400 for his sixth victory at Auto Club Speedway and the 77th of his career. Denny Hamlin brought his Toyota home third. Joey Logano and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounded out the top-5.
At Fontana Austin Dillon saved just enough fuel and was in the right place at the right time to steal the victory away from a dominant Kyle Busch after the winner of the last three Xfinity Series races blew a tire on the white flag lap and managed to sneak by Busch's battered Toyota in the final turn to win the TreatMyClot.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway for his first Xfinity Series win of the season.
From Fontana Austin Dillon captured his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career pole position with a lap of 38.200 seconds, 188.482 mph in his No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS at Auto Club Speedway for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The feat was Dillon’s first pole at the 2-mile D-shaped track, which also gave Chevrolet its 12th pole at the Southern California track.
Johnson makes it an all-Chevy front row Austin Dillon won the Coors Light Pole Award on Friday at Auto Club Speedway and will lead the field to Sunday's Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). This is the Richard Childress Racing driver's first pole win this season and his second of his Sprint Cup Series career.
Harvick, Haas and Childers Race winner is Kevin Harvick, and he drives the No. 4 Jimmy John's Chevrolet for Stewart‑Haas Racing. Kevin, eight wins here at Phoenix International Raceway. You're the all‑time leader in the Sprint Cup Series at this racetrack, 32 career wins. Won five out of six here at Phoenix, and that margin of victory, 0.010 is the closest in the history of this racetrack, tied for seventh closest in the history of the Sprint Cup Series since the advent of electronic storing.
NASCAR Kevin Harvick asserted his desert dominance in thrilling fashion, grabbing a victory by just 0.010 of a second over Carl Edwards in the 312-lap, 312-mile Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday. It was Harvick's sixth victory in the last eight races in Phoenix, and his fifth in the last six races. Harvick, who qualified 18th, led for a total of 139 laps.
JGR 1-2-3 Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award on Friday and will lead the field to green for Sunday's Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). This is the Joe Gibbs Racing driver's first pole win of the season and his third at the Arizona track. JGR locked up the top three starting spots when teammate Carl Edwards qualified second and will start next to the No. 18 Toyota on the front row on Sunday. Denny Hamlin qualified third.
by Brian Carroccio Let's give credit where credit is due. As was the case for last season's midsummer race at Kentucky Motor Speedway, the new 'low downforce' aero package for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seemed to result in solid shows the last two weekends at Atlanta and Las Vegas. In both races, drivers could be seen struggling with the wheel and moving around the track to find the ideal line. While tires would wear over long runs, they still provided enough durability to let drivers race.
Penske Fords 1-2 in Sin City Brad Keselowski passed Kyle Busch with five laps remaining to grab the Kobalt 400 victory Sunday, his second win in the last three years at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was the first Keselowski’s first Sprint Cup Series win since a triumph at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, last year. Joey Logano led 75 laps and finished second, giving team owner Roger Penske a 1-2 finish. Jimmie Johnson, who led 76 laps, finished third.
Toyota 1-2-3 sweep in Boyd Gaming 300 Kyle Busch scorched his way to a dominant victory Saturday afternoon in the NASCAR XFINITY Series' Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Busch, the Coors Light Pole Award winner, led all but one of the race's 200 laps in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota to post his second win of the season, padding his XFINITY Series record to 78 career wins. The victory was the Las Vegas native's first in the series at his home track. Daniel Suarez finished second to take over the XFINITY
2nd pole of season Hometown favorite Kurt Busch roared to the Coors Light Pole Award in Friday qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Busch pushed the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet to a fast lap of 196.328 mph, snagging the first starting spot for Sunday's Kobalt 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The pole position was Busch's second of the season, second at the 1.5-mile Sin City track and 21st of his Sprint Cup career.
Jimmie Johnson Earns 76th Win With Atlanta Victory
by Pete McCole
Jimmie Johnson and his team gambled on pit strategy and won, taking the checkered flag in Sunday's Folds Of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway to earn his 76th-career victory - tying him with the late Dale Earnhardt - and secure a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Johnson and his crew chief Chad Knaus gambled with a short-pit strategy with 49 laps to go to take over the lead and held on through a final green-white-checkered shootout for his second consecutive Atlanta victory and his fifth overall at the 1.5-mile track. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., nipped Kyle Busch at the finish for second. Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards finished out the top five.
by Pete McCole NASCAR’s new low-downforce aero rules package will get its first shakedown of the year in this weekend’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and everyone from the drivers to the fans to the media are hoping the new package can deliver everything NASCAR has promised.
by Pete McCole Eighteen-year old John Hunter Nemechek became the youngest winner in the history of Atlanta Motor Speedway with a thrilling victory in Saturday night’s Great Clips 200 to score his second-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win and earn a spot in the truck series chase for the championship. Nemechek took advantage of a late race crash that took out race leader Christopher Bell, then beat out John Wes Townley and Cameron Hayley on the final restart with two laps to go to secure the victory.
There are not a lot of tracks on the NASCAR Xfinity Series that Kyle Busch has not won at. Going into Saturday, Atlanta Motor Speedway was one of them - but not anymore. After starting from the pole, Busch held off a hard charge over the closing laps from Kyle Larson to score the win in the Heads Up Georgia 250, nabbing Busch his 77th career Xfinity Series win, and his first at the Hampton, Georgia raceway.
Kurt Busch Wins Pole After Kyle Busch Disqualified
by Pete McCole
Kurt Busch scored his first-career Atlanta Motor Speedway pole in Friday’s qualifying for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, moving to the top of the leaderboard after brother Kyle Busch has his pole-winning lap disallowed after failing post-qualifying inspection. Jamie McMurray qualified second, followed by Trevor Bayne, Ryan Newman and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
Denny Hamlin scored the closest finish in the history of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, beating out Martin Truex, Jr, by inches at the line for his first-career win the season-opening event for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Hamlin got underneath his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth coming out of turn four on the final lap and then barely edged Truex, Jr. by 0.010 seconds to take the checkered flag and give Toyota their first Daytona 500 victory. Kyle Busch was third, followed by Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards.
by Pete McCole Daytona 500 pole winner Chase Elliott added another milestone to his career after scoring his first career Daytona victory in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series season-opening Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Elliott passed race lead Joey Logano with 14 laps to go and held the lead to the finish, fending off a last chance challenge from Logano in the final 500 feet to take the checkered flag.Kasey Kahne finished third, followed by Elliott Sadler and Austin Dillon.
Johnny Sauter survived a wild night in Friday's season-opening NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway to earn his second-career Daytona victory and lock himself up a spot in the championship battle in the Truck Series Chase. Sauter got just enough of a bump on the restart for the final three-lap shootout to edge ahead of Ryan Truex and was scored as the leader when the field started wrecking behind him on the final lap.The race ended under yellow with Sauter taking the checkered flag and Truex scored second. Parker Kligerman, Brandon Brown and Travis Kvapil finished out the top five.
by Pete McCole Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kyle Busch won Thursday night’s running of the second Can-Am Duel qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway, showing that the Toyota’s of Joe Gibbs Racing could be the team to beat in Sunday’s Daytona 500. Busch and his teammate Matt Kenseth combined to lead all 60 laps of the race, with Busch cruising to the checkered flag over Jamie McMurray to win his third Can-Am Duel. Kurt Busch finished third, followed by Carl Edwards and Ty Dillon.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr won the opening Can-Am Duel qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday night to set the field for Sunday’s 58th running of the Daytona 500. Earnhardt powered past Denny Hamlin on the inside with five laps to go fought off a late charge from Joey Logano to take the checkered flag and earn a second-row start in the Daytona 500.
NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie Chase Elliott won the pole for next Sunday's 58th running of the Daytona 500, becoming the youngest driver ever to score the top qualifying spot for "The Great American Race". The 20-year-old Elliott, driving the famous no. 24 Chevrolet in place of the now-retired Jeff Gordon, turned in a lap of 196.314 mph to knock Kyle Busch from atop the leaderboard and claim is first career Sprint Cup pole.
Hamlin stays out of trouble to win Sprint Unlimited
by Pete McCole
Denny Hamlin avoided trouble just enough and had fuel just enough to win Saturday night's wild Sprint Unlimited race at Daytona International Speedway to give Joe Gibbs Racing their third consecutive win in the annual pre-season event. Hamlin rallied from an earlier crash and managed to fight off Joey Logano in an overtime three-lap shootout to pick up his third Sprint Unlimited win.
by Pete McCole NASCAR announced new qualifying procedures for the Daytona 500 and new rule changes regarding points structure and green-white-checkered finishes for all three of its major tour series leading up to the season-opening events next week. The new rules laid out on Thursday comes on the heels of Tuesday’s landmark announcement of a new charter system.
On 40th anniversary of dramatic finish NASCAR is unique in the sports world for a lot of reasons, chief among them is that it holds its own Super Bowl of sorts, the Daytona 500, at the start of the season rather than at the end. Over the years, it's worked out well, with dramatic races on the iconic Daytona International Speedway setting a positive tone for the entire season. But few Daytona 500s have ended as spectacularly as the one 40 years ago this month.
by Pete McCole NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France announced the establishment of a new franchise charter system for owners competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning in this season. The new system will be offered initially to the top 36 teams competing in Sprint Cup, which will guarantee entry into every Sprint Cup race starting with the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 21
NASCAR Hall of Fame Exhibit Will Launch Exciting Year in January Team Penske unveiled its plans today for the year-long celebration of its 50th Anniversary in motorsports during 2016. The team will wave the green flag on the commemorative activities by displaying an exhibit at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC in January. “Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Team Penske” will be a multi-faceted program that will reach into retail and merchandise, media and fan engagement, sponsor partnerships and special events
by Pete McCole The NASCAR Hall of Fame inducted their seventh class of honorees on Friday, adding five more iconic racing figures to the already illustrious names already enshrined in NASCAR's glittering museum in downtown Charlotte, NC. Joining the Hall of Fame in the Class of 2016 includes two-time NASCAR champion Terry Labonte, 1970 NASCAR champion Bobby Isaac, six-time NASCAR modified champion Jerry Cook, as well as driver Curtis Turner and track owner Bruton Smith, who both helped build Charlotte Motor Speedway.
by Pete McCole The 34th annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom concluded on Thursday, drawing to a close the three-day media event featuring the top teams and drivers in NASCAR as they gear up for the upcoming 2016 season-opener at Daytona just one month away. Day Three of the tour was Chevy Thursday, with Chip Ganassi Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Hendrick Motorsports representing the 39-time NASCAR Manufacturer’s champion at in the final day of media events at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in downtown Charlotte, NC.
France, Siegel, O'Donnell and France-Kennedy Brian France, Max Siegel, Steve O'Donnell, and Lesa France Kennedy gave a State of The Sport address on opening day of the annual NASCAR media tour. You know, this is our first chance to talk a little bit about what happened last year with our season, look ahead to 2016, and I'll start by saying, without question, this was one of our most exciting seasons ever. Now, I usually say that because I usually mean it, but the statistics really back that up. When you see the attendance came -- most of our tracks saw nice and sometimes sizable increases, and the attention that was coming to the sport, you saw some of the best racing......
by Pete McCole The 34th annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom continued on Wednesday with the second of three days of media events and appearances by NASCAR’s top drivers as they prepare for the upcoming 2016 race season. Day Two of the media tour was Ford Wednesday, with all of NASCAR’s top Ford teams meeting with the media at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in downtown Charlotte, NC.
by Pete McCole Hundreds of members of the motorsports media gathered today for the start of the 34th annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in downtown Charlotte, NC, as teams and drivers from the all three of NASCAR's premiere racing series met with the media to discuss the upcoming 2016 NASCAR season.
NASCAR to bring The Chase to Xfinity and Truck Series
by Pete McCole
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France unveiled a new "Chase"-style elimination format that will be used to decide the series champion in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2016. The announcements highlighted France’s annual "State of the Sport" event held as the opening press conference of the 34th annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom being held this week at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC.
by Mark J. Cipolloni I don't know when it's going to happen. It could be within the next 10 years. Maybe 15 years. For certain within 20 years. All the experts say that the future of automobiles is all-electric and self-driving. So what becomes of auto racing when cars are silent and driving is no longer a thing people do? Will there be any fans left to sustain the sport? Will people pay to sit in the grandstands watching a race in silence? Will people pay to watch silent race cars running around a track with no drivers in them?
Dead at 89 Of all the drivers who have taken the wheel of the Wood Brothers' Fords over the years, none were as close to the Wood family as Marvin Panch. Panch, who died Dec. 31 at the age of 89 at his home in Port Orange, Fla., drove the No. 21 from 1962 to 1966, winning eight races, including a sweep of the superspeedway races at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1965. When Panch drove the Wood’s Ford, now driven by Ryan Blaney, he was more like a member of the family than an employee of the team.
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