RELATED: Full practice results Carl Edwards rose to the top of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series leaderboard in Friday's opening practice at Michigan International Speedway. Edwards drove the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota to a fast lap of 196.046 mph on the 2-mile track. He set the time with a mock qualifying run in the last half-hour of practice. Defending Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick was second-fastest with a 194.858 mph lap in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet. Austin Dillon , Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin completed the top five in preparation for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). The 2-hour, 25-minute practice session marked the Michigan debut for the high-drag aerodynamic package, which was used last month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The rules package, which features an extended rear spoiler among other aerodynamic tweaks, did not receive much of a trial run for race conditions as teams focused on single-car laps. Aric Almirola sat out the bulk of Friday's opening practice, battling what his Richard Petty Motorsports team hoped was a 24-hour virus. Two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton filled in for the early portions of the practice in the RPM No. 43 Ford. The car wound up 29th-fastest on the leaderboard. RELATED: Sick Almirola will miss portions of practice Defending race winner Jeff Gordon , scheduled to make his last Michigan start Sunday, was 15th-fastest in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet. Kurt Busch , the most recent Michigan winner in June, was 12th-fastest in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet. Busch also had the best 10-lap average, running 188.212 mph on his 21st to 30th laps in the session. Joey Logano , last week's winner at Watkins Glen International, was 11th-fastest in the Team Penske No. 22, the fastest Ford on the leaderboard. The 44 cars that hit the track in the opening session participated with commemorative decals to honor NASCAR legend Buddy Baker, who died Monday at 74.
Photo credit -- Chase Elliott 's Instagram @chaseelliott9 RELATED: Series standings At only 19 years old, Chase Elliott already has a NASCAR XFINITY Series championship, is currently contending for a second one and has a pretty sweet job lined up next year taking over the iconic No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for retiring four-time Sprint Cup Series champ Jeff Gordon . Not only has Elliott's racing career taken off, he has too -- literally -- having just earned his private pilot license on July 23. And the view from above is something he's wanted his whole life. It seems Elliott got more than the racing gene from his father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott , as he has inherited the flying bug from his dad, an accomplished and avid aviator. "He's been flying a long time so I've always been around it since I was little," Elliott said of his father. "I've watched him fly for years and years and been fortunate enough to have access to his planes and sit up front and watch him fly them so I've always definitely interested in it. "It's one of those things where the more you do it, the more you become interested in it. And the more you get into it, the more intriguing it becomes. I learn something new every time I fly. "It's definitely tough to (master all the necessary lessons). A lot of things come along with it. But flying is a privilege and something you can't take lightly ever." A lot of the same traits -- discipline, smarts and dedication -- Elliott put into his burgeoning racing career he used to earn the pilot license. He actually started taking lessons while still in high school but it was such a busy time between school, racing and flying lessons that Elliott put off finishing his license until a few months ago with the support of his dad. "It's something you work hard for to achieve," Bill Elliott said. "I see so many people who have gone through a lot of the flying part and the learning curve but never went on and got their pilot licenses and they always regretted it. I told Chase, 'You need to go on and get this done.' "I'm glad he did. That's something he'll carry with him regardless of where racing takes him." The Elliotts join an impressive list of NASCAR drivers who have secured private pilot licenses including Carl Edwards , Greg Biffle , Matt Kenseth and retired drivers Mark Martin , Rusty Wallace, Cale Yarborough and Ricky Rudd. Ryan Newman 's wife Krissie flies helicopters. Similarly, Elliott figures having the ability to pilot an airplane can be as much a practicality as it is a luxury. His father helped secure him a Cessna 182 single-engine, four-seater to use and Elliott is eager to start flying to races closer than home. Last week, he flew to Bristol. He has also posted a photo of himself practicing grass landings on Instagram. "Absolutely, it's a major convenience if you need to go somewhere, you can turn a four-hour drive into an hour-and-a-half flight," Elliott said. "Time is valuable for anybody and any chance to make up time like that is great." Elliott wasn't sure if he would fly himself to this weekend's XFINITY Series race at Road America , but he is looking forward to the stand-alone road race regardless. It's the third road course race in the last four weeks for the series and Elliott is one of the series regulars who embraces the opportunity to turn right. He is on a six-race run of top-10 finishes in his No. 9 NAPA Chevy and currently trails championship leader Chris Buescher by 23 points in the standings. He has finishes of seventh (Watkins Glen) and fifth (Mid-Ohio) in the two road races this year and finished fourth at Road America last season. "I thought last year was a good learning experience," Elliott said. "I was really pleased with Watkins Glen. I'm still learning on my end, but thought we had good cars this year and that's a big step in right direction." For Elliott, that direction is up.
Joe Gibbs Racing driver scores first pole since 2013 RELATED: Full starting lineup for New Hampshire " See how every car looks LOUDON, N.H. -- As Carl Edwards put it, "things just feel right." That was Edwards' take on the state of affairs at Joe Gibbs Racing , after he put his No. 19 Toyota on the pole for Sunday's 5-hour ENERGY 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). "Right now it just feels right," said Edwards , who toured the Magic Mile in 28.179 seconds (135.164 mph) in Friday's qualifying session to earn his first Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his first at New Hampshire and the 14th of his career. "It's just cool, man. My expectation is to do the best we can (on Sunday). My hope is that we win this thing. ... We've been working very hard to bring this team together to be the best that we can be. It just feels right. This is cool. It's a lot of fun." With JGR teammate Kyle Busch winning last Saturday’s event at Kentucky, the organization placed all its drivers in the top five, with Denny Hamlin , Edwards and Matt Kenseth trailing second-place Joey Logano of Team Penske . Coincidentally, Logano (135.021 mph) qualified second to Edwards on Friday, with Michael Waltrip Racing 's David Ragan third (also at 135.021 mph) and Busch (134.025 mph) and Hamlin (134.601 mph) fourth and fifth, respectively. Edwards , who improved dramatically on his previous average starting position of 14.9 at New Hampshire, didn’t believe initially that he had won the pole until he got reassurance from crew chief Darian Grubb. On the other hand, Logano wasn't particularly thrilled to run second to a Gibbs driver for the second time in six days. "Second -- it seems like the story of our week, coming off Kentucky with a strong second-place run and then qualifying second here as well," Logano said. "Not that I'm complaining about it, but it's not much fun finishing second, being so close to getting trophies and pole flags and all the fun stuff. "There's not really much fun that happens when you finish second, but we're close. We've got speed in our race car once again." Danica Patrick advanced to the second round of knockout qualifying and will start 20th, one spot behind Dale Earnhardt Jr . Jeff Gordon , still seeking his first victory in his last season of full-time Sprint Cup racing, will start 23rd. "Yeah, it's not been a good day for us with the No. 24 car," Gordon acknowledged. "We've been struggling getting the car to do what we need it to do. Just real tight through the center, need to get it to rotate, need some front grip, so we will go to work on it (Saturday in practice). "It's disappointing that we didn't qualify better. We typically qualify well here and perform well here. We'll put this day behind us and go work on it tomorrow and get it ready for Sunday." Reed Sorenson , this week's driver in the Premium Motorsports No. 62 Chevrolet, failed to qualify for the 43-car field for the fifth time this season. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Coors Light Pole winner pours it on; trouble for Newman, Gordon, Bowyer RELATED: Practice 2 results " Final practice results Carl Edwards backed up his show of speed in Friday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying, logging the fastest lap Saturday afternoon as final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice was cut short by rain at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Edwards drove the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota to a best lap of 133.110 mph in overcast conditions on the 1.058-mile track. Edwards will start first in Sunday's 5-hour ENERGY 301 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM) after claiming his first pole since 2013 in Friday's qualifying. Defending Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick , fastest in Saturday's early practice, was second-best in the late session, turning a lap of 132.397 mph in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet. Ryan Blaney was third-fastest at 132.213 mph in the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford, which is making its first start since Michigan in June after qualifying rainouts sidelined the team the last two weekends. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas driven by Kyle Busch (fourth-fastest) and Denny Hamlin (fifth) completed the top five in the session, shortened from 55 to 43 minutes because of rain. The Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet of four-time series champ Jeff Gordon returned to the track with right-rear fender damage repaired from a collision in the garage with the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 15 of Clint Bowyer during Saturday morning's second practice. Gordon ran 35 laps in final practice, notching the 22nd-fastest lap. Bowyer was sixth-best on the speed chart. Harvick soars in Saturday's early practice Defending series champion Kevin Harvick landed atop the leaderboard in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series second practice Saturday morning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Harvick, driving the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet, clocked a best lap of 132.094 mph on the 1.058-mile track. Harvick, a two-time winner this year and the current standings leader, scored his only New Hampshire victory from the pole position in the fall of 2006. Jimmie Johnson was second-fastest in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet at 131.975 mph in preparation for Sunday's 5-hour ENERGY 301 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM). Carl Edwards , who won the Coors Light Pole Award in Friday's qualifying, was third-fastest, just ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch , last week's winner at Kentucky Speedway. Kurt Busch , a teammate to Harvick at Stewart-Haas, completed the top five. The practice session, originally scheduled for 55 minutes, was extended to one hour because of the stalled No. 31 Chevrolet of Ryan Newman , who stopped his Richard Childress Racing entry on the backstretch with a flat left-rear tire. With the session halted, Newman's crew came to his aid and changed the tire on the track apron to avoid further damage. A near-identical situation occurred Friday involving the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Chevrolet and driver Martin Truex Jr . The session was also marked by a collision in the garage between former New Hampshire winners Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer , who was unable to avoid the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet as it backed out of its pit stall. Bowyer was able to return to practice with minor front-end scrape to his Michael Waltrip Racing No. 15 Toyota, but Gordon's crew was faced with more significant damage on the right-rear fender. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
JGR driver claims back-to-back poles at Loudon, Indy RELATED: Full Indy lineup INDIANAPOLIS -- If Toyota and Ford are to break the Chevrolet stranglehold on Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the two manufacturers took a positive step in that direction during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series time trials on Saturday. Underscoring the recent resurgence of Joe Gibbs Racing , Carl Edwards toured the 2.5-mile track in 49.056 seconds (183.464 mph) to put his No. 19 Toyota on the pole for Sunday's Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at The Brickyard (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM), edging Joey Logano 's Team Penske Ford (183.139 mph) by .087 seconds. David Ragan (182.886 mph) qualified third in the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. Fourth-place qualifier Tony Stewart (182.823 mph) had the fastest Chevrolet in the final round. Chevrolets have won the last 12 Sprint Cup races at Indianapolis. Stewart, though, had the fastest lap of the afternoon (185.547 mph) in the first round of time trials, which trimmed the number of drivers eligible for the pole from 46 to 12. The Coors Light Pole Award was Edwards' first at the Brickyard, his second of the season, his second in a row and the 15th of his career. "After yesterday, this is amazing," Edwards said. "We started so slow yesterday and we struggled. I think at one point (crew chief) Darian (Grubb) and I were looking at each other going, 'What are we going to do here?' "It was a struggle, and everybody buckled down, worked hard -- I'm so proud of my guys. TRD and Toyota have been putting so much effort into this whole program. Stanley has been behind us 100 percent -- not just me, but Matt Kenseth and our whole team. This is big. It will be neat to start up front." Kyle Busch , Edwards' JGR teammate, will start ninth on Sunday in search of his third consecutive victory in the Sprint Cup Series. Sidelined for the first 11 events of the season by injuries sustained in an accident at Daytona in February, Busch has won three of the last four races and has seven races left in which to regain eligibility for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by finishing the regular season in the top 30 in the series standings. Entering Sunday's race, Busch is 33rd in points, 58 behind David Gilliland in 30th place. Behind Stewart, Kyle Larson , Kevin Harvick , Clint Bowyer and Dale Earnhardt Jr . will line up fifth through eighth on the grid. After qualifying, Logano and Ragan were quick to point out an unusual coincidence. Edwards , Logano and Ragan started 1-2-3, in that order, a week before at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a one-mile flat track. The Sprint Cup cars are running a completely different high-drag aerodynamic package this week, with a nine-inch-tall rear spoiler and a one-inch wicker. Last week at Loudon, the cars featured the regular 2015 rules package with a six-inch spoiler. "David and I were just laughing up here that these are the same three race cars that started up front at Loudon," Logano said. "A completely different race track, different package and the same cars are fast. It's good for us. We're close. Second always hurts, but it's nice to be up toward the front, especially here." Jeff Gordon 's final run at Indianapolis as a full-time driver didn't start the way the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet would have hoped. "I really think our 3M Chevrolet is really good," said Gordon, who qualified 19th. "It's been good all weekend. I feel like I underestimated the grip. I had a little wiggle out of three coming to the green and that concerned me slightly. The grip was there in Turn 4, and I was aggressive into Turn 1, but not aggressive enough. "That's what's disappointing; it wasn't a balance issue or a speed issue. I didn't get enough speed through (Turn) 1. It adds up with this new package. Yeah, I'm pretty disappointed to start back there." Notes: Josh Wise , Jeb Burton and Reed Sorenson failed to make the 43-car field. ... Ryan Newman ’s time was disallowed because he ran his lap without the mandatory right-side window in his car. Newman will start 43rd on Sunday on a provisional.
Victory is first for Edwards with Joe Gibbs Racing SHOP: Edwards gear " RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings CONCORD, N.C. – Will the mystery winner of Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 enter and sign in please? Hint: It's the guy who does back flips every time he takes the checkered flag. But for the first 370 of 400 laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway , no one would have picked Carl Edwards or his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota as the likely winner of the season's 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Martin Truex Jr ., Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin had spent the lion's share of time at the head of the field, but none of that mattered when Edwards got 62 laps out of his last tank of fuel and took the checkered flag 4.785 seconds ahead of Greg Biffle , who also was on a fuel-saving strategy. In fact, the top four finishers all stretched their gas mileage after pit stops under caution on Lap 337. Dale Earnhardt Jr . ran third, followed by polesitter Matt Kenseth and Truex, who led a race-high 131 laps. Ryan Newman , Brad Keselowski , Hamlin (53 laps led), Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch (118 laps led) completed the top 10. Kyle Busch came home 11th in his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points race of the season, after missing the first 11 races of the season because of injuries sustained Feb. 21 at Daytona. The victory was Edwards first of the season, his first for Joe Gibbs Racing , his first at Charlotte and the 24th of his career. "It's so cool to get this win—we've had such bad luck," said Edwards , who joined Joe Gibbs Racing as the organization's fourth Sprint Cup driver after the 2014 season. "And we were the slowest of the (JGR cars) tonight, but we had (crew chief) Darian (Grubb) on the box. He made the right call, he put us in a position to win, and it worked. ... "This is truly a gift. I took advantage of it to win, and we'll get better." In all likelihood, the victory will propel Edwards into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . It was also Toyota’s 300th national series victory in the manufacturer's 300th Sprint Cup start. But after the very early stages of the race, Edwards wasn't a factor until fuel strategy came into play in the closing laps. Soon after Jimmie Johnson spun off Turn 4 on Lap 90 to cause the second caution of the afternoon, the race evolved into a two-car contest between the Chevrolets of Kurt Busch and Truex. Within two laps of a restart on Lap 95, Busch drove from ninth to the lead, passing Joey Logano for the top spot on Lap 97. From that point, Busch and Truex swapped stints at the head of the field, and by the time Johnson spun off Turn 4 and smacked the inside wall on Lap 273 to bring out the caution flag for the fifth time, Busch had racked up 118 laps led and Truex 59. But another quick yellow flag on Lap 282 for Ryan Blaney 's blown engine created the opportunity for divergent strategies and scrambled the running order. Truex was one of nine drivers who stayed out under the caution, but both Harvick and Kurt Busch came to pit road for fresh rubber and restarted 10th and 11th, respectively, on Lap 292. Gradually, methodically, Harvick and Kurt Busch drove back toward the front, but the contrarian strategies introduced another major player into the mix. Denny Hamlin surged to the front of the field and led 53 laps before pitting with a loose wheel on Lap 363 and giving up the lead. That put Truex back in front, with Harvick chasing, and both drivers needing one more pit stop to get to the end of the race. Edwards , Biffle, Earnhardt and Kenseth, on the other hand, stopped with 62 laps left, and the decision to come to pit road and gamble on fuel proved decisive—and stole a victory from Truex's dominant car. Biffle put pressure on Edwards in the closing laps, until he momentarily lost fuel pressure with two circuits left. "Running where we were running, it gave us the opportunity to try and stretch the fuel window and make it," Biffle said. "I was putting a lot of pressure on Carl there. I started going with about 10 laps to go. The crew chief (Matt Puccia) told me 'Save all you can, just stay in front of the 88 (Earnhardt),' and I made a decision that I was going to try and beat Carl . I got pretty close to him there, and then with two to go, the fuel light came on that the fuel pressure was low, and so I came around and had to start pushing the clutch in and shutting it off and coasting and try and preserve what fuel I had to make it back. "So excited to see the checkered flag. I wasn't sure I was going to stretch two laps of gas out of it. But it was probably on the straightaway it sucked some air and started flashing the fuel pressure. I was able to run it around the corners and didn't have any more issues, but stayed in front of the 88, finished second, big boost for the team, but probably a bigger boost for the team was how we ran tonight on the race track.” If Biffle had mixed feelings about finishing second, Truex was disconsolate. "Hell, I didn't even know guys could make it on gas," Truex said. I didn't know what was going on. Just can't catch a break there. I'm proud of the guys for an awesome race car. All my guys in Denver (where Furniture Row Racing is based) are putting a great car together. I don't know what to do about that. "We had a great car. Had a chance at it and it stinks to come up short like that on fuel mileage. I've never once in my whole career gained positions on a fuel mileage deal. I don't know what I have to do to catch a break on them deals. It is what it is. Just proud of my guys for what they brought--we will get one." Note: Late in the race, Hamlin reported feeling ill in his car and complained of a severe headache. He was taken to the infield care center after the race, and team owner Joe Gibbs said his driver was dehydrated, was given an IV and was feeling better after the treatment. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
JGR driver: 'It's always been a tough place to pass' SPEEDWAY, Ind. – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers don’t run wide-open around Indianapolis Motor Speedway , but there’s very little "off-throttle" time, according to Carl Edwards . That makes passing difficult. The 2015 rules package (lower horsepower, less downforce) thus far hasn't helped. Edwards was one of 12 drivers taking part in an open test at the legendary 2.5-mile speedway Wednesday. The series returns to Indianapolis July 24-26 for the annual Crown Royal Presents the 'Your Hero's Name Here' 400 at the Brickyard. "We haven't figured out exactly where we’re going to set up the car so that we can pass," the Joe Gibbs Racing driver said during a break at IMS. "There is a lot of on-throttle time. We're very fast through the middle of the corner; we're coming off the corner at 190 mph earlier today … now it’s 183-184. "When you're literally coming on to the straightaway at 185 or 190 mph, there's just not a lot of change between your high speed and your low speed, there's not a lot of off-throttle time. So it becomes very important to find the places on the track where you can gain an advantage and it gets really tough." NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series teams have been racing at Indy since 1994, and drivers have always had a tough time finding passing opportunities on the fast, flat track. The annual Brickyard 400 has seen as many as 26 lead changes (due to tire problems in 2008) and as few as nine (on three occasions). There's yet to be a last-lap pass in the 400, although five times the race winner has taken the lead with 10 or fewer laps remaining. "Because of the speeds here and the way the track's laid out, it's always been a tough place to pass," Edwards said. "I think that's one of the challenges … you have to come here and you have to deal with it. "But really, the short chutes (between Turns 1-2 and 3-4) are really interesting. The way you drive into those corners, the way you set your car up into (Turn) 1 and into 3 so that you can run to that short chute and set up your exit onto the long straightaways, if you can beat a guy there and get to him and force the issue, that's where I've done the little bit of passing that I've done; that's where the guys that have passed me have passed me." Edwards has 10 career starts at Indy, with a best finish of second in 2008. "Once you get on these long straightaways (and) you're wide open, it becomes a dyno race, whose got the most power," he said. "If you can handle well through that sharp, quick corner, and you can carry and extra mile an hour or two onto the straightaway, that's golden. … "The mid-corner speed, middle of the race when it’s hot, having that car handle well I think is the most important thing. And it's the only thing that can change during the event so that's what we focus on." Four teams, those for drivers Jeff Gordon ( Hendrick Motorsports ), Sam Hornish Jr . ( Richard Petty Motorsports ), J.J. Yeley ( BK Racing ) and Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ) took part in a Goodyear tire test at IMS Monday and Tuesday. The Furniture Row team departed after Tuesday's session. In addition to Edwards , joining Gordon, Hornish and Yeley for Wednesday's test were the teams of Brad Keselowski ( Team Penske ), Casey Mears ( Germain Racing ), Kyle Larson ( Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), defending Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Ryan Blaney ( Wood Brothers Racing ), Ricky Stenhouse Jr . ( Roush Fenway Racing ), Paul Menard ( Richard Childress Racing ) and Clint Bowyer ( Michael Waltrip Racing ). NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series travels to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for Sunday's GEICO 500 (FOX, 1 p.m. ET). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Four-race partnership begins this week in Las Vegas Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Carl Edwards and Joe Gibbs Racing have added Comcast to their sponsorship lineup for the 2015 season. Comcast will serve as the primary sponsor for four races on the No. 19 Toyota Camry. The partnership begins this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Kobalt 400 (March 8, 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX) with Comcast Business as the primary paint scheme for Edwards . This marks the first major sponsorship deal i n NASCAR for the company's business services unit that provides data, Internet, TV and other communication services to businesses of all sizes. Comcast Business will also adorn the No. 19 Toyota at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 500 (April 19, 1 p.m. ET, FOX). XFINITY, Comcast's residential brand for Internet, TV and other bundled communication, will have the primary paint scheme for Edwards in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Sept. 27, 2 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network) and the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway (Nov. 1, 1:15 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network). XFINITY also serves as the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR XFINITY Series. "We're excited about this partnership with Comcast as they continue to grow in the sport, and I've had a great time so far working with them in preparation for Las Vegas," Edwards said in a release. "I'm excited to continue to build the relationship with them this year and hopefully we can put them into Victory Lane." In addition to Comcast, ARRIS and Stanley serve as primary sponsors this season on the No. 19 Toyota. Through two races in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Edwards is 14th in the point standings. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
RELATED: Complete lineup for Bristol night race " Drivers' intro songs BRISTOL, Tenn. -- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Managing Director Richard Buck made a point to reiterate restart rules in Saturday's pre-race drivers' meeting at Bristol Motor Speedway, leading to a spirited discussion among drivers and car owners alike. The comments came just hours ahead of the annual Irwin Tools Night Race (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM), and three days after Ryan Blaney was black-flagged for jumping a restart during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at the .533-mile track. "Starts and restarts: We need everybody's help tonight to tighten up the starts and restarts," Buck told the group. "That means nose-to-tail, door-to-door. It's a small restart zone, we all know that, so we need everybody's help. The leader is the control car and it's his responsibility or her responsibility to bring the field down at the caution car speed and restart at the restart zone." The reminders sparked a question from team owner Chip Ganassi about whether brake-checking and other forms of gamesmanship would be ruled a penalty. Buck replied that the leader (or "control car," in race officials' parlance) would have the ultimate responsibility for restarting the race in the designated zone. That led to three follow-up questions from Carl Edwards , who referenced Austin Dillon pulling away from him on a restart during last weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway. Buck said that while he applauded Edwards' enthusiasm, race officials have the ultimate say. "We also have multiple resources and multiple people that watch that, OK?" Buck said in response to Edwards' question whether race officials could determine if the leader had pressed the accelerator. "As Chip's question alluded to, there's a lot of gamesmanship going on, but we need you guys to do to be nose-to-tail, door-to-door, be in line when you come to the start. The control car's responsibility is to restart in the restart zone or we will restart it. If there's a judgment call that has to be made, we will make that." Denny Hamlin , Edwards' teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing then asked whether NASCAR officials could revert to the previous rule for double-file restarts, when second-place cars were not allowed to beat the control car to the start-finish line. "That's a longer discussion that we can have," Buck said. "OK, we appreciate the input, but it is the way it is today." Clint Bowyer added the final voice from the assembled crowd, questioning why -- in his opinion -- restart penalties were only called in the Camping World Truck Series. Buck's response: "Trust me, we'll reinforce the rule and I hope you are not it."