See where your favorite driver will pit on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, FOX) Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live The pit stall assignments are out for Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX). Joey Logano, who won the Coors Light Pole Award for the race, had his pick of all the pit stalls on pit road. The Daytona 500 winner chose the pit stall closest to the exit of pit road. That will give Logano a quick exit off pit road in Sunday's race. Kevin Harvick (starting second) will also have an opening in front of him on pit road, which will allow him not to be blocked in by other cars pitting. Ryan Newman (starting seventh) and Denny Hamlin (starting fourth) also have the same advantage. Jamie McMurray (starting third) chose the pit stall closest to the pit road entrance. He will be able to pull in quick for service before having to travel all the way down pit road to exit. The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 is the second race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. 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
Ryan Newman talks about trying to repeat his success from 2014 and what he needs to do to finish one spot better.
Hamlin's slip-up collects four-time champ, McMurray, Newman Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live HAMPTON, Ga. -- Jeff Gordon's first career Sprint Cup Series race came at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1992. The then-21-year-old rookie finished 31st after a loose No. 24 Chevrolet eventually found its way into the wall, taking on too much damage to complete more than 164 laps. That race was still better than how the veteran Hendrick Motorsports driver fared in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, his final race at the 1.54-mile speedway. A spin from Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin on Lap 257 triggered a wreck that collected another three cars, with Gordon's Chevy SS taking the brunt of the damage after it was sent careening into the outside wall and then a non-SAFER barrier-protected segment of the inside wall. “I saw the No. 11 (of Hamlin) going sideways. I had him cleared. I stood on the gas and went by him; but I guess he might have clipped the No. 1 (of Jamie McMurray) and it turned the No. 1 back into me," said Gordon, who wound up 41st. "After that I was just along for the ride. It looks like maybe the No. 31 (of Ryan Newman ) came down in trying to avoid the No. 11 and got into the No. 1 and then he clipped me in the left rear and sent me down the back straightaway." Of the four that took damage, only Newman's car was salvageable. The RCR driver managed to use a separate late-race wreck to get back into the fold and squeeze his way toward the front for a 10th-place finish. Hamlin and McMurray weren't as lucky, as the pair finished 38th and 40th, respectively. McMurray had a front row seat for what sparked the wreck but wasn't quite sure what happened at first. After seeing video of the event, it seemed pretty clear to him. “So, the No. 11 just got loose," McMurray said. "It’s pretty hard to pass and you run wide-open so long that you take what you can get when you can get it. And the restarts are the best place to pass on the track; especially if you’re on the bottom. That’s a pretty big advantage here. You’re just racing as hard as you can and unfortunately we just had an accident there." The Chip Ganassi Racing driver finished 27th at Daytona and currently stands 32nd in points after two races. While McMurray appears to think Hamlin got loose by taking a gamble, it's possible that the new technical package had a significant hand in it. The rear spoiler has been lowered from eight to six inches, decreasing the rear downforce of the car. This wreck could have just been a matter of Hamlin not having enough handle in the back of his No. 11, along with a slick race track. "I apologize to all those cars involved," Hamlin said. "It's tough. We had a good FedEx Ground Toyota for most of the day, we just lost the handle there … kind of put us in a spot we hadn’t restarted all day and just got a little loose." Out of all the cars involved, though, it affects Gordon the most. Not only is it not the finish he wanted at a track that holds such an important piece of his career, the unfortunate showing puts him in a 72-point hole to start his final season after a 33rd-place finish in the Daytona 500. "I hate it for this team. We were struggling," Gordon said. "We didn’t have the 3M Chevrolet that I thought we were going to have, but we weren’t giving up on it. We were going to make gains and we finally got ourselves in the top 10 and I think we had a shot of getting into the top five. But obviously it's not the way we want to start our season. "We just have to dig ourselves out of this hole." 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
Denny Hamlin spins after a restart and collects Jeff Gordon, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman and others.
Will last season's runner-up find Victory Lane in 2015? RELATED: Full schedule of driver previews Team: Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet Rank in final 2014 standings: Second Wins: 0 Year in photos: Recap Newman's 2014 season Strides: Ryan Newman didn't win a race for the first time in five years but his runner-up finish in the Sprint Cup Series championship was a career highlight. In fact, Newman had fewer top-fives [five] and top-10s  than the previous season yet his consistency and perseverance landed him a shot at the big trophy. He had six top-10s in the 10 Chase races, counting an 18th-place result as his worst finish in that span. A dramatic runner-up finish to Kevin Harvick in the Homestead season finale meant he fell a mere 1-point shy from claiming his first Sprint Cup championship. Setbacks: Newman was NASCAR's poster child for the power of consistency in a season when wins were everything. Still, Newman realizes the necessity for a trip to Victory Lane. His runner-up finish at Homestead was as close as he came to winning in his first year with RCR and the team will need to raise the bar in 2015. Considering what they accomplished without hoisting any hardware, a victory could be the championship difference for the 13-year veteran. Quoteworthy: "It's like caramel corn, I guess. It's a little bit salty and a little bit sweet," -- Newman said of championship runner-up effort in 2014. What's Next: Arguably, Newman went about his championship bid the hard way – relying on consistency and good points days instead of advancing via victory. A numbers guy and with an engineering degree from Purdue University, Newman was able to earn his shot at a title the old-fashioned way -- math. But let's not forget Newman knows how to win and is a former Daytona 500 (2008) and Brickyard 400 (2013) winner; however his lowly 41 laps led in 2014 could be improved upon and the security of an notching an early-season win would go a long way toward easing another championship run. "We all want to win and winning means a lot in a number of facets. … but in the end, the math was there [for us]," Newman said after the season. "I'm happy with what we achieved. I'm disappointed by how close we were but if we were one point, two points or 20 points it wouldn't have mattered. You want to finish first. But we have the ability and the opportunity to try again next year." Certainly good chemistry between Newman and crew chief Luke Lambert contributed to the immediate success in his first year with the team and that bodes well for the future too. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Richard Childress Racing driver finished second in 2014's final standings Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- His team "stepped up" in 2014 and Ryan Newman said Thursday that he sees no reason the Richard Childress Racing No. 31 team can't continue to not only improve, but challenge for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. "There was a point right around May when we got caught looking in the wrong direction and just were behind," Newman said during the fourth and final day of this year's Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom. "They did an awesome job of continually stepping up, bringing better and more competitive pieces to the race track. Everyone at RCR stepped up. … It was an awesome thing to be a part of." While he did not win a race in '14, thus ending a four-year run of making the trip to Victory Lane once each season, consistency throughout the bulk of the year helped Newman qualify for the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and he was one of only four drivers to advance into the final, championship-determining round at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Although he came up just short of the title, eventually finishing second to Stewart-Haas Racing ’s Kevin Harvick , the effort further convinced the 37-year-old that the move to RCR prior to the '14 season had been the right one. And the team, led by crew chief Luke Lambert, should only get better. "No reason for it not to," said Newman . "Even though there were no (wins) in the win column, we achieved some amazing things for a first-year organization … no reason we can’t keep that incline going." The potential for success, he said, was there from the beginning, "but I didn't think it would explode the way it did. "I think we all saw gunpowder laying on the floor, but we didn't know who was going to light it, when it was going to light and how much of it was going to go off. I think every bit of it went off, and then some." Changes to the rules package for 2015, the use of new technology to officiate pit road and a lack of testing have raised questions about how the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season will play out. That being the case, Lambert said RCR, as well as teams across the board, will be relying heavily on the in-house tools and technology at their disposal to get a base for the new year. "From what we're seeing, the speeds aren't going to be dramatically different," he said. "We're expecting to see really good racing, but that's what we'll have to wait until Atlanta (where the rules package will first come into play) to see." Having less horsepower and downforce won't exactly be new, Newman said, but instead will be "a return to where we were a few years ago." The difference now, he said, will come from the static ride height rule that was put into play in '14. "Now I think the cars will be more competitive in dirty air whereas they weren't then," Newman said. "They had less downforce but they had (higher) static heights so whenever you got them in dirty air, they wanted to come up and disconnect themselves from the race track. Every comment was 'the car is out of the race track, all four tires aren’t working for me.' I think as we get back to that level of downforce with the static ride height and the amount of underbody downforce, the racing will be … better. "Goodyear still has to provide the ultimate tire for every situation. And that's not easy because those situations can change. …That is a huge task for them, but that's the ultimate answer. "I've always said the tires are the only thing that touches the race track from my car, so it has to be the connecting device to make the racing as great as it can possibly be." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Richard Childress and Ryan Newman talk about how the 2015 rule changes will impact the car engines.
Driver of the No. 31 glad NASCAR did its 'due diligence' RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ryan Newman admitted to being worried about a possible penalty when his car was ruled too low in the rear on both sides in post-race inspection following Sunday's GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway . "I was worried because you never know what could happen," Newman said during the Eliminator Round Media Day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "I was happy with the fact that NASCAR took the time to take the car back to the Tech Center, do everything and analyze everything." On Tuesday, NASCAR ruled that Newman had cleared post-race inspection after deeming that race damage caused the No. 31 car to be too low in the rear. UPDATE: The No. 31 car has cleared post-race inspection from Talladega; there are no issues. Race damage caused the rear to be low. #NASCAR — NASCAR Stats (@NASCARStats) October 21, 2014 "There's so many different perspectives there because they give us the rear springs, they give us the shocks," Newman said. "It's not our stuff that we have at every other racetrack. In the end, they saw that the damage from being hit from behind was enough to knock the back of the car down enough to take it out of its window. "I didn't know if there was going to be a penalty. I didn't know what that penalty was going to be. I was confident it wasn't going to be more than 27 points because that would be the biggest penalty for that type of penalty ever that I can imagine or have heard of. But in the end, you never know. I was happy that they did their due diligence in conjunction with working with our team that they understood everything." Newman thought the damage came from being slammed from behind on the last restart. "I think it was the 20 that actually drilled me really hard and it actually wrinkled the quarter panel, which shows that the body's moving," Newman said. "I never looked at the car after the race. I didn't expect there to be any issues, so I didn't analyze exactly what happened. In talking to Luke (Lambert, Newman's crew chief) he said the quarter panels were wrinkled on it, which shows that the clip had moved a little a bit and the body moved a little bit as well." Newman comes into the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in third place in the points standings and with four straight top-10 finishes. And the fact that he is quietly lurking hasn't gone unnoticed by his fellow drivers. " Ryan Newman is kind of quiet and has the ability to really sneak up unnoticed and gobble this thing up," 2012 Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski said when asked to handicap the Eliminator Round field. Looking forward, Newman has a win at each of the three Eliminator Round tracks: Martinsville Speedway , Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway. Yet, Newman doesn't see one track that he is better at than the others. In the first go-round at these tracks this year, Newman finished seventh at Phoenix , 16th at Texas and 20th at Martinsville. He sees the return trip as the best chance for his No. 31 team, which is in its first year together with Richard Childress Racing , to show its stuff. "We're coming back to some of these racetracks for the second time together. Having new rules this year and a new team, we couldn't go back and say, 'This is what we did last year, let's try to make the car drive like this.' We're starting from ground zero so to speak and this is our first opportunity to work on the second floor as we go on around to these second races. "We'll just keep digging. Don't really care what other people think of if we should be here, if we shouldn't be. The fact is we are here and we have the ability to go out and have some fun and make the best of it." 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
No. 31 Chevrolet fails post-race inspection at Talladega RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize Ryan Newman 's car was found to be too low in the rear on both sides during Sunday's post-race inspection and will head back to the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina, for further review. Newman advanced to the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup thanks to a fifth-place finish in the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway . Newman , driving the No. 31 Chevrolet in his first season with Richard Childress Racing , was credited with leading 10 laps as he scored his fourth straight top-10 finish in the Chase. Any potential penalty would likely not be announced until Tuesday. With the points reset for the next round, Newman is ranked third in the standings. Every driver in the Eliminator Round has 4,000 points. 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
Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup second-place finisher, Ryan Newman , gives a speech at the Sprint Cup Series Awards in Las Vegas.