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Jimmie Johnson vs. Regan Smith : A Rivalry Is Born?
While I normally try to make every effort to watch every lap of every race (I knew I should have taken Kevin Harvick’s advice from that 2003 commercial ), I seem to have missed a crucial element to one narrative -- Jimmie Johnson 's apparent rivalry with Regan Smith , driver of the No. 7 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet. Despite Johnson successfully snapping a 24-race winless streak at Charlotte last week, fans of the six-time champ are calling for the 7's head on Twitter. Congrads to @JimmieJohnson Go get the #7 — Hunter Memphis (@N3GoodWrench) October 9, 2016 It's coming 7 !! @JimmieJohnson well done today boys awesome job @LowesRacing https://t.co/JMdVP703nr — david bayliss (@davidbayliss10) October 9, 2016 @JimmieJohnson @CLTMotorSpdwy congratulations Jimmie. Go get number 7 — Dennis Whitworth (@WhittyPics) October 9, 2016 So pumped for @JimmieJohnson ! You deserve this one, champ! Go get #7! — Hunter Smith (@HSR30) October 9, 2016 Go get that 7. @JimmieJohnson — Matt Inman® (@yellaboy2013) October 9, 2016 @JimmieJohnson Congratulations JJ on winning and advancing. Time to get #7 — TheVoiceOfReason (@TBLFANnFL) October 9, 2016 While Johnson hasn’t yet taken any action or retaliation toward Smith , fans seem to consider it a matter of when -- not if -- Jimmie gets No. 7. Their question is simple: What's holding him back? Is it the pit crew? A grand conspiracy? @JimmieJohnson Jimmie - you can get number 7 - there is no doubt in your talent and abilities _ your crew just needs to avoid mistakes — Frances (@Jakesmom2809) October 2, 2016 @JimmieJohnson Man they just don't want you to get 7. Smdh. Conspiracy. — Chris Day (@02Z51vette) October 2, 2016 It's unclear what sparked the rivalry with Smith , whose No. 7 Chevrolet isn't battling Johnson in this year’s Chase, but Johnson's fans make it clear that something is coming -- perhaps even this year. @LowesRacing @JimmieJohnson @NHM we hunting 7 now in 2016 — James (@James89174965) September 22, 2016
The Rundown: Charlotte driver grades
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid Breaking down the full field for the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway : 1. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Huge win for Johnson ... even when it's the 78th of your Sprint Cup career and you have six championships. Johnson led a race-high 155 laps and moved into the Round of 8 of the Chase for the first time under the current format. Grade: A+ 2. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Kenseth started in the rear of the field because of prerace adjustments to his car ... was penalized for too many men over the wall ... and still finished in the top five. On a day when five Chasers were body slammed by big issues, Kenseth's second place was almost as big as Johnson's win. Grade: A 3. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne posted his best finish since his last win -- in August 2014 at Atlanta. Grade: A 4. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Great run for Newman, who snagged his second top-five finish of the season. Grade: A 5. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Larson's eighth top-five finish ties his career best, set in his rookie season two years ago. Grade: A 6. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Despite an early tire issue that put him a lap down and damage sustained in the big wreck on Lap 259, Busch came away with a big top 10. Grade: A 7. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . The No. 2 was one of many teams penalized for having its crew over the wall too soon, but Keselowski prevailed in the end, grabbing his 105th top 10 since the start of the 2012 season, tying Kevin Harvick for the most top 10s over the past five years. Grade: A 8. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . When Busch was told which Chase cars were caught up in the big wreck on Lap 259, he said, "Charlotte has turned into Talladega." Nice line. Even better was his finish on a day he didn't have one of his stronger cars. Grade: A 9. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . As you'll see, attrition was the friend to many drivers Sunday, including Stewart, who was tagged for speeding during a green-flag pit stop on Lap 114. His 17.6 averaging running position was easily the highest among the top-10 finishers. Grade: A 10. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Solid day for McMurray, who sustained left front damage in the big wreck on Lap 259. His 325 laps in the top 15 were behind only Jimmie Johnson (332) and Carl Edwards (327). Grade: A 11. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Patrick's finish is her best since her last top 10, a ninth-place finish at Bristol in April 2015. Grade: B+ 12. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Although Edwards never challenged for the lead, his 8.4 average running position was third-best, trailing only Jimmie Johnson (3.4) and JGR teammate Denny Hamlin (6.4). Grade: B+ 13. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Toyota, Furniture Row Racing . Truex touched off the big wreck on the restart on Lap 259 when he got into the back of Austin Dillon -- who restarted second -- and sent him spinning and crashing hard into the inside wall. Truex said he was "trying to give him a shove and I just turned him completely around like a damn idiot." Truex was contrite after the race, as well, but the damage was done. On the flip side ... during a yellow-flag pit stop on Lap 311, karma made an appearance in the No. 78 pits when Truex's clutch failed and he had trouble leaving his stall. He had been running third; he restarted 16th. Grade: D 14. Michael McDowell , No. 95 Chevrolet, Circle Sport- Leavine Family Racing . Hats off to McDowell, who posted the fifth-best finish of his Sprint Cup career (207 starts). Grade: A 15. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Almirola just missed getting tagged by Austin Dillon as Dillon's car spun back onto the track after smashing nose-first into the inside wall on Lap 259. Almirola, who is still looking for his first top 10 of the season, posted his sixth top-15 finish of 2016. Grade: B 16. Chris Buescher , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . In his 36th career start, Buescher registered his fourth-best finish. Grade: B+ 17. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Bowyer took home his best finish since his most-recent top 10, three months ago at Daytona. Grade: B 18. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Despite his top-20 finish, Bayne wasn’t exactly competitive Sunday: Of the drivers who finished in the top 20, he ran the fewest laps in the top 15 -- one. Grade B- 19. Landon Cassill , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Six of Cassill's 24 career top-20 finishes have come this season, one fewer than his career-best seven in 2012. Grade: A 20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse has made more starts at Charlotte, 10, than at any other Sprint Cup track but is still looking for his first top-10 finish. He about nailed his average finish of 20.8, though. Grade: C 21. Regan Smith , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Speaking of average finishes at Charlotte, Smith ran to form, as 20.7 is Smith ’s number. Grade: B 22. Brian Scott , No. 44 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Scott posted his best finish at Charlotte in four starts. Grade: B 23. David Ragan , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Ragan registered his best finish at Charlotte since he finished 11th five years ago in his final Charlotte start for Jack Roush. Grade: B 24. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Making his 100th career Sprint Cup start, Annett posted his second-best finish of the season. Grade: B 25. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . DiBenedetto's finish was his fourth best of the season. Grade: B 26. Jeffrey Earnhardt , No. 32 Ford, Go Fas Racing . Earnhardt posted the best finish of his career (19 starts). Grade: A- 27. Cole Whitt , No. 98 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Whitt posted one of his best finishes of the season to help Premium Motorsports put both of its cars in the top 30 for the first time since Kentucky in July. Grade: B- 28. Reed Sorenson , No. 55 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Ditto. See Whitt. Grade: B- 29. Josh Wise , No. 30 Chevrolet, The Motorsports Group. Our attrition theme that began with Tony Stewart ends here with Wise, who has posted only three better finishes all season. Grade: C 30. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Hamlin was running second with fewer than 30 laps to go when his engine blew up with "no warning" (Hamlin's words). It also was a massive break for the four Chase drivers -- Austin Dillon , Chase Elliott , Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick -- who finished below Hamlin. If Hamlin had finished in the top five -- or simply ahead of Martin Truex Jr . -- the four would have been 19 to 24 points behind Truex (assuming Truex still finished 13th) for the final spot to advance to the next round. Instead, the four range from three to eight points behind Hamlin for the eighth spot. That's a huge difference. Grade: D 31. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing . Blaney had been competitive most of the afternoon before he was collected in the Lap 259 mess when he ran into Chase Elliott who had spun and was facing the wrong direction against the outside wall. Grade: C 32. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . The No. 3 team's decision to take two tires – when the rest of the top cars took four -- might have factored into the multi-car wreck that ensued after Dillon picked up nine spots to restart second on Lap 259. But it's not as if he spun his tires, had a poor restart and stacked up the field. This mess belonged to Martin Truex Jr . The team's troubles on his first two pit stops that played into his inferior track position, however, did not. Grade: C- 33. Chase Elliott , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Say all you want about Elliott's decision to slow as he reached the end of pit road, which ultimately lined him up on the inside of the third row behind Austin Dillon and Martin Truex Jr . and resulted in him being collected in the ensuing Lap 259 melee. But it doesn't change two facts: Elliott had led a race-high 103 laps to that point, and Truex, not Elliott, ignited the wreck. Elliott was among the drivers who deserved better. Grade: B 34. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard was one of two drivers who ran into Chase Elliott 's turned-around car in the Lap 259 carnage. Unfortunately for Menard, his car didn't survive the impact. Grade: C- 35. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Tire issues, a pit-road speeding penalty and contact with the wall all preceded the No. 16's demise in the big wreck. Grade: F 36. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . Tire troubles sent the No. 22 into the wall on two separate occasions (bringing out the third and fourth cautions). He was running 16th when it happened the second time, and the damage forced a trip to the garage. Logano was 78 laps back when he returned to the track, and he was able to improve his finish by one spot. We'll know if that one point is a difference-maker after Talladega. Grade: F 37. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . The No. 47 was racy with the new Richard Childress Racing chassis, but he hit the wall hard on Lap 254, and that ended his day. Grade: D 38. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Harvick was running fourth on Lap 154 when the No. 4 abruptly lost power. An oil pump bearing was the culprit. Harvick never returned. He has finished 37th and 38th the past two races, the first time he has posted back-to-back finishes in the 30s in more than two years. Grade: F 39. Alex Bowman , No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Bowman was running third on Lap 62 when the No. 88 cut a tire, ran up the race track, hit the wall and collected Casey Mears . The DNF marked Bowman's worst finish in his fifth race in relief of Dale Earnhardt Jr . Grade: F 40. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when Alex Bowman ran up the track after cutting a tire. Grade: U (for Unfortunate)
Roush Fenway Racing to keep Ryan Reed for '17, beyond
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Roush Fenway Racing has signed a multi-year renewal agreement for driver Ryan Reed to continue to pilot the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Reed, who five years ago was told he would never race again after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, qualified for the 2016 inaugural XFINITY Series Chase and scored his first victory in the series last season at Daytona. "We are very excited to continue our program with Lilly Diabetes," said Reed, who will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway . "Not only to continue to drive the No. 16, but more importantly, the opportunity to encourage and educate people who are living with diabetes and those who care for them. We will continue to share the message about diabetes awareness, specifically the importance of talking to doctors as well as proper nutrition and daily exercise." Reed will look to make history this weekend as the only driver actively managing his diabetes to race at the Sprint Cup level. The Bakersfield, California native manages his diabetes through a strict diet and exercise program, the use of a wireless glucose monitoring device to provide in-race, real-time data, and consistent communication with his medical team in California. "Through sharing his diabetes story with NASCAR fans throughout the country over the past three years, Ryan has inspired thousands of people affected by diabetes to live healthier lives and take an active role in managing their health. Lilly Diabetes is proud to renew our sponsorship so together we can continue to make a difference in people’s lives," said Mike Mason, vice president, U.S., Lilly Diabetes. "Like NASCAR, Lilly has been an American institution for generations. We introduced the world’s first commercialized insulin in 1923, and our innovative medicines and education programs have helped people with diabetes ever since. This sponsorship is another step forward in our drive to help more people who have the disease or care for someone who does." Reed posted career highs in Chase races at Kentucky and Dover to advance to the ‘Round of 8’ in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase at Charlotte. He is currently only two points outside of the top four, with two races remaining before the series champion is decided in the season finale at Homestead. Roush Fenway Racing is the winningest team in NASCAR history, fielding multiple teams in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series competition with drivers Greg Biffle , Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., Trevor Bayne , Ryan Reed , Chris Buescher and Bubba Wallace. Now in its 29th season, Roush Fenway is a leader in driver development, having launched the careers for many of the top drivers in the sport. Off-track, Roush Fenway is a leader in NASCAR marketing solutions, pioneering motorsport’s first team-focused TV show and producing multiple award-winning digital and experiential marketing campaigns. Roush Fenway is co-owned by Jack Roush, the winningest team owner in NASCAR history and Fenway Sports Group, parent company of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox and English Premier League’s Liverpool F.C. Visit RoushFenway.com, circle on Google+, become a fan on Facebook and Instagram and follow on Twitter at @roushfenway.
No. 88 crew chief Greg Ives fined, others receive warnings post-Kansas
NASCAR officials handed down a P2 penalty to the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team for not having lug nuts properly installed during Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway . The infraction also brought a fine of $10,000 to Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 88 Chevrolet. The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team received a written warning and a loss of 15 minutes practice time for failing pre-race LIS three times. The cars of Carl Edwards , Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr . failed pre-race LIS twice and received written warnings. The cars of Austin Dillon and Regan Smith failed pre-race template inspection twice and received written warnings. Cole Whitt 's No. 55 Chevrolet failed pre-qualifying LIS twice and received a written warning. The cars of Jamie McMurray and Martin Truex Jr . failed pre-qualifying template inspection twice and received written warnings. Other warnings issued after last weekend's events at Kansas Speedway : The XFINITY Series cars of Cole Custer and Brandon Brown failed pre-race LIS twice and received written warnings. Also, the cars of Brennan Poole and Derrike Cope failed pre-race template inspection three times and received written warnings.
Talladega Sprint Cup qualifying order
RELATED: How qualifying works at Talladega # Car Driver Team 1 32 Bobby Labonte VisoneRV.com Ford 2 93 * Matt DiBenedetto Dustless Blasting Toyota 3 7 Regan Smith Golden Corral Chevrolet 4 46 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J Chevrolet 5 55 * Reed Sorenson Toyota 6 35 * David Gilliland Dockside Logistics Ford 7 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevrolet 8 83 Jeffrey Earnhardt # Starter Toyota 9 23 David Ragan sweetFrog Toyota 10 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Chevrolet 11 41 Kurt Busch (C) Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet 12 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar Chevrolet 13 3 Austin Dillon (C) American Ethanol Chevrolet 14 22 Joey Logano (C) Shell Pennzoil Ford 15 21 * Ryan Blaney # Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 16 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 17 2 Brad Keselowski (C) Miller Lite Ford 18 14 Tony Stewart Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 19 10 Danica Patrick Nature's Bakery Chevrolet 20 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet 21 11 Denny Hamlin (C) FedEx Ground Toyota 22 42 Kyle Larson Energizer Chevrolet 23 78 Martin Truex Jr (C) Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota 24 18 Kyle Busch (C) Snickers Halloween Toyota 25 99 * Ryan Reed (i) Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association Ford 26 27 Paul Menard SYLVANIA/Menards Chevrolet 27 88 Alex Bowman (i) Mountain Dew Chevrolet 28 5 Kasey Kahne UniFirst Chevrolet 29 19 Carl Edwards (C) Subway Toyota 30 24 Chase Elliott # (C) NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 31 20 Matt Kenseth (C) DeWalt Flexvolt Toyota 32 48 Jimmie Johnson (C) Lowe's Pro Services Chevrolet 33 4 Kevin Harvick (C) Jimmy John's Chevrolet 34 38 Landon Cassill FR8 Auctions Ford 35 44 Brian Scott # Goody's Ford 36 95 Michael McDowell KLOVE Radio Chevrolet 37 6 Trevor Bayne AdvoCare Ford 38 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Zest Ford 39 34 Chris Buescher # Love's Travel Stops Ford 40 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger/Scott Products Chevrolet 41 16 Greg Biffle Cheez-it Ford *Driver is required to qualify on time, (i) ineligible for driver points in this series
Voting for 2016 NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver Award Opens Sept. 4
RELATED: Cast your vote DARLINGTON, S.C. (Sept. 3, 2016) -- Voting for the National Motorsports Press Association Sprint Most Popular Driver Award will officially open Sunday, Sept. 4. The award, sponsored by Sprint and administered by the NMPA, is the only major NASCAR award determined solely by fan vote. It has been presented annually since 1953. The 2016 voting period will open at 12 a.m. ET Sunday and close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 20. To vote for this year's award, fans can visit www.mostpopulardriver.com through either desktop or the NASCAR MOBILE app. Voting is limited to one vote per person per email address per day. Fans are encouraged to share their votes through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Eligible drivers for this year's award are those who have declared for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. NASCAR Hall of Fame member and 1988 series champion Bill Elliott holds the record for most MPD awards with 16; Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr . has won the award for the past 13 seasons. Nineteen drivers have earned MPD honors on one or more occasions since its inception. "The launch of the NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver Award is one of the most anticipated events of the season for many fans," Kenny Bruce, president of the NMPA, said. "NASCAR fans are the most passionate you'll find in any sport and the NMPA considers it an honor to allow them to determine the sport's most popular driver. "We are pleased to present this year's program once again with series sponsor Sprint, whose help and guidance have been invaluable in bringing the Most Popular Driver program to fans." Sprint has been the presenting sponsor of the MPD Award since 2014. The winner of this year's award will be announced during the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards program on Friday, Dec. 2 in Las Vegas. NBCSN will air the post-season program beginning at 9 p.m. ET. MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR will carry the awards show live. A $10,000 donation will be made to the NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver's charity of choice on behalf of the NMPA. NMPA MOST POPULAR DRIVER AWARD Year – Recipient 2015 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2014 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2013 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2012 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2011 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2010 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2009 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2008 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2007 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2006 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2005 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2004 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2003 - Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2002 - Bill Elliott 2001 - Dale Earnhardt 2000 - Bill Elliott 1999 - Bill Elliott 1998 - Bill Elliott 1997 - Bill Elliott 1996 - Bill Elliott 1995 - Bill Elliott 1994 - Bill Elliott 1993 - Bill Elliott 1992 - Bill Elliott 1991 - Bill Elliott 1990 - Darrell Waltrip 1989 - Darrell Waltrip 1988 - Bill Elliott 1987 - Bill Elliott 1986 - Bill Elliott 1985 - Bill Elliott 1984 - Bill Elliott 1983 - Bobby Allison 1982 - Bobby Allison 1981 - Bobby Allison 1980 - David Pearson 1979 - David Pearson 1978 - Richard Petty 1977 - Richard Petty 1976 - Richard Petty 1975 - Richard Petty 1974 - Richard Petty 1973 - Bobby Allison 1972 - Bobby Allison 1971 - Bobby Allison 1970 - Richard Petty 1969 - Bobby Isaac 1968 - Richard Petty 1967 - Cale Yarborough 1966 - Darel Dieringer 1965 - Fred Lorenzen 1964 - Richard Petty 1963 - Fred Lorenzen 1962 - Richard Petty 1961 - Joe Weatherly 1960 - Rex White 1959 - Jack Smith 1958 - Glen Wood 1957 - Fireball Roberts 1956 - Curtis Turner 1955 - Tim Flock 1954 - Lee Petty 1953 - Lee Petty
Sprint Most Popular Driver voting update
RELATED: Cast your vote today Less than one week remains before voting ends in the annual NMPA Most Popular Driver award, which means it's crucial for NASCAR fans to vote. And they've answered the call recently. Last week saw a 14.9 percent increase in total number of votes cast from the previous week. That number speaks to how deep the passion runs for NASCAR fans -- and also how passionate fans remain digitally savvy. Voting has never been easier, either at www.mostpopulardriver.com or the NASCAR Mobile App. Are you doing your part for your favorite driver? Remember, the NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver award is the only major NASCAR award determined solely by fan vote. Voting ends Nov. 22 at 11:59 p.m. ET, so make sure your voice is heard. Voting is limited to one vote per person per email address per day. The winner of this year's award will be announced during the NBCSN broadcast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards on Dec. 4 in Las Vegas. A $10,000 donation will be made to the winning driver's charity of choice. And just in case you need any extra motivation … Sprint has revealed the top 10 vote-getters thus far. Where is your favorite driver? The list below is in alphabetical order. Kyle Busch Dale Earnhardt Jr . Carl Edwards Jeff Gordon Kevin Harvick Jimmie Johnson Kasey Kahne Matt Kenseth Danica Patrick Tony Stewart Previous winners of the NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver Award: Year – Recipient 2014 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2013 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2012 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2011 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2010 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2009 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2008 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2007 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2006 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2005 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2004 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2003 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 2002 – Bill Elliott 2001 – Dale Earnhardt 2000 – Bill Elliott 1999 – Bill Elliott 1998 – Bill Elliott 1997 – Bill Elliott 1996 – Bill Elliott 1995 – Bill Elliott 1994 – Bill Elliott 1993 – Bill Elliott 1992 – Bill Elliott 1991 – Bill Elliott 1990 – Darrell Waltrip 1989 – Darrell Waltrip 1988 – Bill Elliott 1987 – Bill Elliott 1986 – Bill Elliott 1985 – Bill Elliott 1984 – Bill Elliott 1983 – Bobby Allison 1982 – Bobby Allison 1981 – Bobby Allison 1980 – David Pearson 1979 – David Pearson 1978 – Richard Petty 1977 – Richard Petty 1976 – Richard Petty 1975 – Richard Petty 1974 – Richard Petty 1973 – Bobby Allison 1972 – Bobby Allison 1971 – Bobby Allison 1970 – Richard Petty 1969 – Bobby Isaac 1968 – Richard Petty 1967 – Cale Yarborough 1966 – Darel Dieringer 1965 – Fred Lorenzen 1964 – Richard Petty 1963 – Fred Lorenzen 1962 – Richard Petty 1961 – Joe Weatherly 1960 – Rex White 1959 – Jack Smith 1958 – Glen Wood 1957 – Fireball Roberts 1956 – Curtis Turner 1955 – Tim Flock 1954 – Lee Petty 1953 – Lee Petty
Stats advance: Analyzing the IRWIN Tools Night Race
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 17, 2015) – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee going into the IRWIN Tools Night Race on August 22 (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). BRISTOL-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Greg Biffle (No. 16 CHEEZ-It Ford) · Six top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 12.667, sixth-best · Average Running Position of 13.535, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 92.3, eighth-best · 334 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.708, ninth-fastest · 7246 Laps in the Top 15 (68.8), fourth-most · 588 Quality Passes, fifth-most Kyle Busch (No. 18 SKITTLES Toyota) · Five wins, eight top fives, 12 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 12.150, fourth-best · Average Running Position of 13.724, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 100.0, third-best · 610 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.791, fifth-fastest · 6344 Laps in the Top 15 (63.3), ninth-most · 498 Quality Passes, eighth-most Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · Five wins, eight top fives, 15 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 15.952, 10th-best · Average Running Position of 13.572, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 92.6, sixth-best · 408 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.765, sixth-fastest · 6859 Laps in the Top 15 (65.2), seventh-most · 633 Quality Passes, third-most Dale Earnhardt Jr (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet) · One win, seven top fives, 14 top 10s · Average finish of 12.095, third-best · Average Running Position of 14.977, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 87.2, 13th-best · 249 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.720, eighth-fastest · 6071 Laps in the Top 15 (57.7), 11th-most · 539 Quality Passes, sixth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 STANLEY Toyota) · Three wins, five top fives, nine top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 14.333, seventh-best · Average Running Position of 13.977, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 90.6, 10th-best · 443 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.690, 10th-fastest · 7012 Laps in the Top 15 (66.6), sixth-most · 489 Quality Passes, 10th-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 AXALTA Chevrolet) · Five wins, 17 top fives, 25 top 10s; five poles · Average finish of 12.333, fifth-best · Average Running Position of 9.954, second-best · Driver Rating of 100.3, second-best · 455 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.905, third-fastest · 8324 Laps in the Top 15 (79.1), second-most · 662 Quality Passes, second-most Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota) · One win, four top fives, eight top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 17.368, 12th-best · Average Running Position of 16.077, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 87.9, 12th-best · 399 Fastest Laps Run, second-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.675, 11th-fastest · 5373 Laps in the Top 15 (56.4), 13th-most · 461 Quality Passes, 11th-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet) · One win, nine top fives, 12 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 17.143, 11th-best · Average Running Position of 13.038, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 92.5, seventh-best · 460 Fastest Laps Run, third-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.874, fourth-fastest · 6742 Laps in the Top 15 (64.0), eighth-most · 527 Quality Passes, seventh-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Pro Services Chevrolet) · One win, nine top fives, 15 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 15.143, ninth-best · Average Running Position of 13.356, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 92.3, ninth-best · 549 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.634, 12th-fastest · 7069 Laps in the Top 15 (67.2), fifth-most · 496 Quality Passes, ninth-most Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet) · One win, five top fives, ten top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 17.476, 13th-best · Average Running Position of 16.578, 13th-best · Driver Rating of 88.1, 11th-best · 474 Fastest Laps Run, series-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.618, 13th-fastest · 5948 Laps in the Top 15 (56.5), 12th-most · 616 Quality Passes, fourth-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · Four wins, 13 top fives, 20 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 11.333, second-best · Average Running Position of 9.821, series-best · Driver Rating of 104.6, series-best · 582 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.981, second-fastest · 8699 Laps in the Top 15 (82.6), series-most · 678 Quality Passes, series-most Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford) · Two wins, four top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 15.091, eighth-best · Average Running Position of 14.249, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 93.3, fifth-best · 212 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.721, seventh-fastest · 3323 Laps in the Top 15 (60.3), 10th-most · 393 Quality Passes, 12th-most Kyle Larson (No. 42 Target Chevrolet) · Two top 10s · Average finish of 9.667, series-best · Average Running Position of 11.383, third-best · Driver Rating of 99.0, fourth-best · 77 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 116.278, series-fastest · 1169 Laps in the Top 15 (77.2), third-most · 144 Quality Passes, 13th-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 10 at Bristol Motor Speedway Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 21 1 1 5 6 3 17.1 92.5 2 Joey Logano 13 1 1 2 3 1 20.0 80.1 3 Dale Earnhardt Jr . 21 0 0 4 10 1 12.1 87.2 4 Martin Truex Jr . 19 0 0 2 2 2 20.7 80.0 5 Brad Keselowski 11 0 2 4 4 0 15.1 93.3 6 Jimmie Johnson 21 1 1 7 11 1 15.1 92.3 7 Matt Kenseth 21 2 4 9 14 2 11.3 104.6 8 Kurt Busch 21 1 1 4 9 1 16.0 92.6 9 Denny Hamlin 19 2 1 4 8 2 17.4 87.9 10 Jamie McMurray 21 0 0 2 7 1 19.1 79.5 * – Based on last 21 races at Bristol Motor Speedway (2005 – 2015). Bristol Motor Speedway Data Season Race #: 24 of 36 (08-22-15) Track Size : 0.533-miles Banking/Turns 1 & 2 : 24-28 degrees Banking/Turns 3 & 4 : 24-28 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 4-8 degrees Banking/Backstretch : 4-8 degrees Frontstretch Length : 650 feet Backstretch Length : 650 feet Race Length : 500 laps / 266.5 miles Top 10 Active Driver Ratings at Bristol Matt Kenseth ............................. 104.6 Jeff Gordon .............................. 100.3 Kyle Busch ............................... 100.0 Kyle Larson ................................ 99.0 Brad Keselowski ......................... 93.3 Kurt Busch .................................. 92.6 Kevin Harvick .............................. 92.5 Jimmie Johnson .......................... 92.3 Greg Biffle .................................. 92.3 Carl Edwards . ............................. 90.6 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (21 total) among active drivers at Bristol Motor Speedway Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Kevin Harvick , Chevrolet 131.362 mph, 14.607 secs. 08-22-14 2014 race winner : Joey Logano , Ford 92.965 mph, (2:52:00), 08-23-14 Track qualifying record: Kevin Harvick , Chevrolet 131.362 mph, 14.607 secs. 08-22-14 Track race record: Charlie Glotzbach, Chevrolet 101.074 mph, (2:38:12), 07-11-71 At Bristol Motor Speedway: History · Groundbreaking for Bristol International Speedway, as Bristol Motor Speedway was originally known, took place in 1960. The track was an exact half-mile. · First NASCAR Sprint Cup race was July 30, 1961; Jack Smith won the event (with relief from Johnny Allen ). · All of the NSCS races have been scheduled for 500 laps, except for both races in 1976 and the second in 1977, which were 400 laps. · In the fall of 1969, the track was reshaped and re-measured to .533-miles. · The name changed to Bristol International Raceway in 1978. · The first night race was held in the fall of 1978. · The surface was changed from asphalt to concrete in 1992. · The name changed to Bristol Motor Speedway in May 1996. · The track was resurfaced between races in 2007, and the turns were ground down in 2012 to eliminate part of the progressive banking. Starts · There have been 109 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway since the first race in 1961, two races each season. · 436 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol; 304 in more than one. · NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Bristol with 60. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 45 starts. · Jeff Gordon leads (active drivers) the series in average starting position at Bristol with a 7.667. · Ryan Newman leads the series (active drivers) with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Bristol without visiting Victory Lane at 27. · Paul Menard (16 starts) leads the series in starts with the fewest DNFs (0) at Bristol. · AJ Allmendinger made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup career start at Bristol (03/25/2007). Poles · Fred Lorenzen won the inaugural Coors Light pole with a speed of 79.225 mph in a Ford. · 48 different drivers have poles at Bristol, led by Mark Martin and Cale Yarborough with nine each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with five. · 10 different drivers have posted consecutive poles at Bristol Motor Speedway; Mark Martin is the only of the 10 to win four consecutive poles at Bristol: Fireball Roberts (swept 1962), Fred Lorenzen (swept 1963), Richard Petty (1967-’68), Bobby Allison (swept 1972), Cale Yarborough (swept 1973; swept 1977; swept 1980), Darrell Waltrip (swept 1981), Geoff Bodine (swept 1986), Mark Martin (swept 1995-1996– all four races; and swept 2009); Rusty Wallace (swept 1998), Jeff Gordon (swept 2002) and Denny Hamlin (fall 2013, spring 2014). · Youngest Bristol pole winner: Joey Logano (3/21/2010 – 19 years, 9 months, 25 days) – his first series career pole. · Oldest Bristol pole winner: Harry Gant (8/27/1994 – 54 years, 7 months, 17 days). · Seven different drivers have posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career pole at Bristol. Joey Logano is the only active driver to win his first NSCS career pole at Bristol (03/21/2010). Wins · 42 different drivers have won at Bristol, led by Darrell Waltrip (12). Kurt Busch , Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch each have five wins, the most among active drivers. · 12 drivers have won consecutive races at Bristol led by Darrell Waltrip with seven consecutive victories from 1981-1984. The other 11 are Fred Lorenzen (1963-1964 sweep), David Pearson (1968 sweep), Bobby Allison (1972 sweep), Cale Yarborough did it twice (1974 sweep and four straight from 1976-1977), Richard Petty (1975 sweep), Dale Earnhardt also did twice (1985 sweep and 1987 sweep), Alan Kulwicki (1992 sweep), Rusty Wallace (2000 sweep), Kurt Busch (2003 sweep and 2004 spring race), Kyle Busch (2009 sweep), and Brad Keselowski (2011 fall-2012 spring). · Youngest Bristol winner: Kyle Busch (03/25/2007 – 21 years, 10 months, 23 days). · Oldest Bristol winner: Dale Earnhardt (08/28/1999 – 48 years, 3 months, 30 days). · Five drivers have posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career win at Bristol Motor Speedway: Dale Earnhardt (04/01/1979), Rusty Wallace (04/06/1986), Ernie Irvan (03/25/1990), Elliott Sadler (03/25/2001) and Kurt Busch (03/24/2002). · Junior Johnson leads the series in car owner wins at Bristol with 16; Roger Penske and Jack Roush are tied among active car owners for the most wins at Bristol with 11 each. · The race winner has started from the pole 23 times (21.1%) - the most productive starting position. The last driver to win from the pole was Matt Kenseth earlier this season. · Five drivers have won from the pole position multiple times: Bobby Allison (1972 twice), Cale Yarborough (1973, 1977 twice, 1980), Darrell Waltrip (1981 twice, 1982), Rusty Wallace (1991, 1993, 1999, 2000) and Matt Kenseth (2005 and 2015). · 36 of the 109 (33%) races at Bristol have been won from the front row: Pole position (23 wins); second-place (13 wins). · 87 of the 109 (79.8%) races have been won from a top-10 starting position; including 54 from the first four spots. · Five of the 109 (4.5%) races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20; most recent was Dale Earnhardt Jr . in 2004 – he started 30th. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started is 38th, by Elliott Sadler in 2001. · Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Bristol; led by Chevrolet with 43 victories; followed by Ford (35), Dodge (8), Pontiac (8), Toyota (7), Buick (4), Plymouth (3) and Oldsmobile (1). · Four car numbers have produced eight or more Bristol NSCS wins: Car Number – (Number of Wins) – Most Recent Win o No. 11 - (19 wins) – Denny Hamlin , 2012 o No. 2 – (12 wins) – Brad Keselowski , 2012 o No. 17 – (eight wins) – Matt Kenseth , 2006 o No. 3 – (eight wins) – Dale Earnhardt, 1999 Additional Finishing Position Stats · Richard Petty leads the series in runner-up finishes at Bristol with 10; Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers with four. · Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty lead the series in top-five finishes at Bristol with 26 each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 17; followed by Matt Kenseth (13). · Richard Petty has leads the series in top-10 finishes at Bristol with 37. Jeff Gordon leads the series among active drivers in top-10 finishes with 25; followed by Matt Kenseth (20). · Ricky Stenhouse Jr . leads the series (active drivers) in average finishing position at Bristol with an 9.200. Track/Event Specific Stats · Nine of the last 11 races have ended with a Margi
What: 55th annual Irwin Tools Night Race . Where: Bristol Motor Speedway, .533-mile oval in Bristol, Tenn. When: Saturday, Aug. 22, 7:30 p.m. ET. TV/Radio: NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Distance: 500 laps, 266.5 miles. Pit road speed: 30 mph. Caution car speed: 35 mph. Fuel window: 150 laps. On the front row: " Full lineup Denny Hamlin , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota (131.407 mph) Kyle Busch , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota (131.263 mph) Did not qualify Travis Kvapil , The Motorsports Group No. 30 Chevrolet; Jeb Burton , BK Racing No. 26 Toyota; Reed Sorensen, Premium No. 62 Motorsports Chevrolet Fastest in practice First practice: Kyle Larson , Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No. 42 Chevrolet (129.833 mph) " Results Final practice: Kyle Busch , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota (131.146 mph). " Results Driver rating (Best driver rating average at Bristol based on past 21 races): Matt Kenseth (104.6) Jeff Gordon (100.3) Last year's winner Joey Logano , Team Penske No. 22 Ford. Milestones in the mountains Two drivers in the field will click off landmark starts in NASCAR's premier series Saturday night. Ryan Newman is scheduled to make his 500th Sprint Cup appearance in Bristol's annual night race, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr . will be making his 100th start in the series. For one of the two, the occasion came as a surprise. "I honestly had no idea until someone informed me of it this week," Newman said. "500 is definitely a career milestone but for me, the biggest career start was my very first one. You got to have people who believe in you enough to just give you a chance and for that I am truly grateful." Gordon's landmark The return of the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevy's rainbow paint scheme may be a 'one weekend only' occurrence, but Bristol Motor Speedway gave Jeff Gordon a sustaining gift Friday that will last ages. A swath of seats in the mammoth grandstands will be known as the Jeff Gordon Terrace, joining sections named for stock-car racing legends -- Earnhardt, Allison, Petty, Pearson, Waltrip, Johnson, Wallace, Yarborough and Kulwicki. History lesson Then named Bristol International Speedway, the .533-mile track debuted with the Volunteer 500 on July 30, 1961. Jack Smith was credited with the inaugural victory, but he was behind the wheel for only the first 290 laps, giving way to relief driver Johnny Allen for the final 210 circuits in the searing summer heat. They said it "One in 43." -- Matt Kenseth on weighing his chances of securing a second consecutive Sprint Cup victory, and a Bristol season sweep, this weekend. Former Bristol winners in field Kurt Busch , Kyle Busch , Jeff Gordon (5); Matt Kenseth (4); Carl Edwards (3); Brad Keselowski (2); Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Denny Hamlin , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , Joey Logano , Tony Stewart (1)
Kansas, the land of NSCS GarageCam
Matthew Dillner follows the yellow brick road to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage and takes the fans on a tour to see their favorite drivers and cars at Kansas Speedway.