Round-by-Round and Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Grid explanations
Take a look back at how the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup began.
As the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup turns 10, get the history, format and more
The field is set and the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins in Chicago.
Expanded Chase Across North America spans three countries
Lady Antebellum, Aloe Blacc and 'Nashville's' Stella Sisters to perform DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 24, 2014) -- The slogan is as recognizable as any: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But NASCAR will make an exception on Dec. 5 when it gives audiences a front row seat as Jay Mohr, Lady Antebellum, Aloe Blacc and Lennon and Maisy take the stage at the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards™ show from the Wynn Las Vegas® live on FOX Sports 1. This year, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards will honor 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick, as well as celebrate the other Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ™ Challengers. FOX Sports 1 will provide coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will begin coverage at 8 p.m. ET. Mohr will serve as the host for the second consecutive year. The actor, comedian, radio host and best-selling author has one of the most expansive backgrounds in show business. After landing his dream job at "Saturday Night Live" and launching his career in film alongside Tom Cruise in "Jerry Maguire," Mohr appeared in approximately 200 network television episodes and more than 25 feature films. Additionally, his national radio show, "Jay Mohr Sports," is syndicated in more than 155 markets across the U.S. With a career in entertainment that spans over three decades, Mohr has become an artist who knows no limits, making him the perfect person to help celebrate NASCAR ’s most prominent drivers. "This is my fifth time hosting the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards and I'm honored to share the stage once again with some of the most talented athletes in the world," said Mohr. "This has been an incredibly exciting year for NASCAR and it's not every day that you get to be a part of a defining moment in the history of a sport." Keeping his NASCAR performance streak rolling following his act at NASCAR's season-opening, crown jewel event the 2014 DAYTONA 500® at Daytona International Speedway®, Blacc will kick off the musical entertainment for the night with the soulful selection that has "woken up" audiences around the world. The singer / songwriter collaborated as vocalist and co-writer on well-known DJ/producer Avicci’s 2013 track "Wake Me Up," which topped the charts in more than 100 countries across the globe, before releasing his third album "Lift Your Spirit" in March 2014. The rapper-turned-singer uses his surging popularity to affect social change and to deliver messages of positivity and passion. Later in the evening, the seven-time GRAMMY™ Award winning trio Lady Antebellum will keep the audience rocking with a new song from their fifth album entitled "747." The 11-song disc has already spawned the PLATINUM certified multi-week chart-topping smash hit "Bartender," and its new single "Freestyle" is quickly climbing the charts. The new album follows over 11 million albums sold worldwide, nine trips to No. 1 on the country radio charts, six Platinum singles and "Vocal Group of the Year" honors from both the CMA and ACMs three years in a row. Lady Antebellum just wrapped their headlining "TAKE ME DOWNTOWN TOUR," which hit 80 cities in Canada and the U.S. over the course of the year, and delighted both fans and critics with the "Dallas Morning News" declaring, "Lady Antebellum shows off its warranted leap to superstardom." For more information visit: www.ladyantebellum.com . Additionally, 15-year-old Lennon Stella and her 10-year-old sister Maisy Stella from ABC’s hit drama "Nashville" will perform. The daughters of the recording duo Brad and MaryLynne Stella, Lennon and Maisy's musical roots run deep. In 2013, the sisters had a show-stopping performance of "Ho Hey" by The Lumineers on "Nashville," which quickly entered the top 40 of Billboard's "Hot Country Songs" list. Later that same year, Lennon and Maisy performed at the CMA Awards™ and presented Taylor Swift with her Pinnacle award. They also performed at The White House this year and sang alongside cast members from "Degrassi," Magic Johnson, Martin Sheen, The Band Perry, and J.R. Martinez at "We Day Minnesota" last month. This year's talent will join the esteemed list of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards show artists from previous years, which include chart-topping singers, such as John Mellencamp, Phillip Phillips, Sara Bareilles, Dierks Bentley and Kid Rock. " The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards present the opportunity to spotlight the biggest names in NASCAR , and we are thrilled to augment that star power with some of the most popular personalities in the entertainment industry," said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing and content development. "This year's line-up is sure to add to what has been one of NASCAR's most climactic racing seasons ever."
Stewart-Haas Racing driver still on indefinite probation NASCAR announced today that, effectively immediately, the indefinite suspension of Kurt Busch has been lifted. He is eligible to return to NASCAR racing under indefinite probation subject to additional mandatory requirements that include but are not limited to participation in a treatment program and full compliance with any judicial requirements placed upon him. On Feb. 20, Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 car, was found to be in violation of: • Section 12.1.a: Actions detrimental to stock car racing • Section 12.8: Behavioral Penalty The decision to lift the suspension was made by NASCAR after Kurt Busch: • Complied with all requirements in its reinstatement program; • Completed the mandatory behavioral assessment sessions; and • The behavioral health care expert who conducted the sessions recommended to NASCAR that Kurt Busch be allowed to return to competition. Kurt Busch now will undergo additional steps to address the behavior for which he was penalized. The requirement that a driver must compete in all Championship Events of the current season to be eligible for The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has been waived for the period of Kurt Busch's suspension. Assuming he returns to NASCAR Sprint Cup competition, Kurt Busch would have zero Championship points to date after missing the Daytona 500 and the two most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "As we stated last week, the elimination of the possibility of criminal charges removed a significant impediment to Kurt Busch's return to full status as a NASCAR member," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer. "We therefore have decided to move him to indefinite probation and waive the Chase requirement. He has fully complied with our reinstatement program during his suspension and the health care expert who conducted his evaluation recommended his immediate return. "We have made it very clear to Kurt Busch our expectations for him moving forward, which includes participation in a treatment program and full compliance with all judicial requirements as a result of his off-track behavior." 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
XFINITY Series champ will start 27th on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) Vote: Who will win at Martinsville? " Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: Full starting lineup MARTINSVILLE, Va. – The weather issues might have been a concern, but nothing could dampen the spirits of Chase Elliott Friday at Martinsville Speedway . The 19-year-old will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut here in Sunday's 66th annual STP 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1), thanks to a qualifying effort that will see his Hendrick Motorsports No. 25 Chevrolet start 27th in the 43-car lineup. Joey Logano ( Team Penske ) will start on the pole. "I don't know how I feel about being excited about being 27th, but at the same time it's really exciting to making our first Cup race," Elliott said. "It's just crazy how different a world this is on this side of things, being timed so close. Just a couple of hundredths (of a second) would have had us in the top 24, and a tenth would have had you, heck, up in the teens. "I was doing my best to get in and that was our goal today. Certainly a lot of pressure off to not have to worry about that tomorrow and we can focus on our race car for Sunday afternoon." Because the No. 25 team was making its first appearance and had no owner points, Elliott needed to qualify inside the top 36, ahead of at least nine others, to guarantee himself a spot in the field. Forty-five teams made at least one qualifying attempt. Elliott will move into the Sprint Cup Series full-time next season, taking over the No. 24 ride of four-time champion Jeff Gordon . For 2015, he'll make five attempts on the Sprint Cup side, with Richmond (April 25), Charlotte (May 24), Indianapolis (July 26) and Darlington (Sept. 6) completing his schedule. The defending NASCAR XFINITY Series champion and driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet in that series, Elliott rolled out onto the Martinsville half-mile with a little over half the 20-minute opening session remaining. He was 22nd after the first lap and improved to 17th with a second trip around. A third lap produced the seventh fastest time at that time while a fourth lap failed to improve upon that effort. After pulling back into the garage, Elliott and his team watched as other drivers began posting faster laps. He had fallen to 27th when Ron Hornaday Jr . crashed to briefly bring the first round to a halt. Elliott went back out for a second shot at improving his position, briefly climbed back into the top 24, but then just as quickly was bumped back out. " The challenge was obviously the weather, and just the lack of laps," crew chief Kenny Francis said. "Now all that's behind us and he's got a chance to get some laps tomorrow and we can work on our car, think about it without near the stress. And we can lean on our teammates some." While the No. 25 group is part of the Hendrick organization, Friday's weather delay meant the four full-time teams of Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne were busy trying to map out their own strategies for practice and qualifying. Because of the rain, the start of Sprint Cup practice was delayed by more than two hours, and the planned session of an hour-and 25 minutes was squeezed into about 45 minutes. "That was another challenge; yeah, we're part of Hendrick but I mean we're on our own down here (on the far end of the garage)," Francis said. "With the weather and the lack of time, those guys are on their own agenda … so there's not much to collaborate on. "That was a bit challenging. It was fortunate we had a good baseline from the 24 car (of Gordon)." The STP 500 is the sixth of 36 races on this year's Sprint Cup Series schedule. 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
Disparity between Logano, Newman stats could lead to interesting strategies RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota FORT WORTH, Texas -- Guess which one of these drivers is in the thick of the championship race as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series comes to Texas Motor Speedway : Driver A has five wins, 16 top-fives, 21 top-10s and has led 976 laps this season. Driver B has zero wins, four top-fives, 15 top-10s and has led 41 laps this season. Driver A looks like the clear choice, but the answer is both. Joey Logano (Driver A) and Ryan Newman (Driver B) have taken different paths to get here, but both have a golden opportunity in front of them in Sunday's AAA Texas 500 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN). Logano is third in the Chase standings, four points behind leader Jeff Gordon , while Newman is in second place, three points back. Another strong performance will put either one of them one step closer to getting into the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway . While winning is still the most direct route to advance, non- Chase driver Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s victory last weekend at Martinsville assures that at least two drivers will go to the championship race based on points. And with two of the fastest cars -- Brad Keselowski 's No. 2 Ford and Kevin Harvick 's No. 4 Chevrolet -- buried in the Eliminator Round standings, avoiding the big mistake has become almost as important as getting a win. But could a driver lose his edge if he decides to go into prevent-defense mode this late in the game? Logano says he's not going to take that chance, as he refuses to back down from what could be a run to his first championship. "What we have done all year, even before the Chase started -- we have raced the same way and that is aggressive," Logano said. "We put ourselves in the offensive mode no matter what the situation was, and we saw that again last weekend when we took four tires there with a green-white-checker and we started 13th and got up to fifth with the aggressive mode. "That is the mode we should stay in because that is what has been working. It is not the time to reinvent the wheel, just time to polish it a little bit and make sure we stay out there doing what we have been doing, just doing a little better job at it." It's tough to argue with that approach as Logano has finished in the top five in six of the past seven races. And lest we forget, Logano won at Texas in the spring in a season that he admits has already been dream-like. While Logano knows he can get to Victory Lane if needs to, Newman has not proven it yet this season. So for Newman, one might think the pressure is building for him to get a win and serve notice that he's a legitimate contender, but he doesn't seem too concerned with proving a point. Instead, he's having fun in the new format and in his first year with Richard Childress Racing and is willing to win a title with dogged consistency if that's what he needs to do. Using this approach, Newman has compiled a career-best average finish of 13.5. "Yeah, there's intensity out there but that's different from pressure to me," Newman said. "Pressure is what explodes things, and there's no reason to put unneeded or unwanted pressure on anything that you want to perform well." But to use a golf analogy, will Newman go for the green and the birdie opportunity in this week's race? Or will he lay up and take his par? "Bottom line is you only have to be aggressive as you need to be," Newman said. "If you have a dominant race car, then being aggressive is the worst thing you can be. But if you're in a position where you’re fighting for seventh or eighth all day and you think you have a top-five car, then you better be aggressive and make something happen." What will happen on Sunday at Texas? That's what we're waiting to find out as the new Chase format continues to provide intensity and intrigue at every turn. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Lesley Robins recaps Chase Across North America and Chase Grid Live as teams gear up for the first round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in Chicago.