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Alan Cavanna sits down with the Champ
NASCAR.com's Alan Cavanna sat down on Monday with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Kevin Harvick to recap his championship run, his bond with crew chief Rodney Childers and celebrating a title with his family.
Cavanna updates testing and MWR changes
Alan Cavanna brings you up to speed with the latest from the Charlotte testing session and the changes at Michael Waltrip Racing.
Labonte, Cavanna break down Richmond
Bobby Labonte and Alan Cavanna teardown the top stories, including the fight, from Richmond and look ahead to the weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.
Alan Cavanna headlines FOX all-star lineup
Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski also aboard
Bubba, Blaney had front-row seat at WWE's Monday Night Raw
A queen and a boss battled, Ric Flair made an appearance and plenty of fists were being thrown. Safe to say, Ryan Blaney and Darrell Wallace Jr . weren't at the race track. NASCAR's dynamic duo took a trip to WWE's Monday Night Raw, where they got front-row seats to the big show in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event saw Sasha Banks -- "The Legit Boss" -- defeat the hometown wrestler Charlotte -- "The Queen" and Ric Flair's daughter -- to become Raw Women's champion for the third time. Blaney and Bubba not only got a close view of all the action-packed drama, they also went behind the scenes before the show. Take a look at their night: @NASCAR Drivers @Blaney @BubbaWallace race into Monday Night #Raw and snap a photo with @TitusONeilWWE ! pic.twitter.com/PH4iSwcVu7 — WWE (@WWE) November 29, 2016 See us on Monday night raw, coming up soon!!!! @WWE pic.twitter.com/cWY5rsDoJr — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) November 29, 2016 Look close. You'll recognize some #NASCAR people pic.twitter.com/L34PKrOvej — Alan Cavanna (@CopaCavanna) November 29, 2016 My eyes are up... @Blaney is questionable. #bachelor https://t.co/2A09Vqqz6Y — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) November 29, 2016
Despite falling short, Elliott runs masterful race
RELATED: Race results " Elliott joins elite list with back-to-back poles MORE: Elliott through the years DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Chase Elliott led the Daytona 500 field to the green flag Sunday, a repeat pole-starter in NASCAR's crown-jewel race. Similarly to last year, the 2016 Sunoco Rookie of the Year victor was unable to lead the field to the checkered flag. This time, however, an empty fuel cell was the culprit. Elliott led five times for 39 laps, a total second only to early leader Kevin Harvick . But his powerful Speedweeks -- with a Coors Light Pole Award, a Can-Am Duel victory and tons of momentum -- fizzled when he sputtered off the pace just two and half laps from the finish. "Out of gas," Elliott signaled over the radio as his blue-and-yellow Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet slowed toward the inside lane on the backstretch. Elliott was able to salvage a lead-lap finish in 14th, but it was far from the ultimate prize -- a breakthrough Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory on the sport's grandest stage. Elliott emerged from his car and left the track quickly, hopping into a waiting vehicle with his father -- NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott -- driving. But he struck a regretful but pragmatic tone in a post-race tweet, saying, "Lessons learned the hard way today, let's get to Atlanta!" Before his fuel tank ran dry, Elliott had led 23 consecutive laps -- the longest sustained span up front of the entire race. But the race-long dicing had given way to a settled, single-file pack with his crew chief, Alan Gustafson, concerned about his car's mileage. Leading the way and burning up precious fuel with zero aerodynamic tow wasn't helping. "We knew we were short, but what do you do?," Gustafson told NASCAR.com. "It's hard to say hey, let's give up the Daytona 500 or follow in third or fourth. The way the shuffle ended up, Kurt was probably in the best spot because he could save a little fuel, whereas us and the 78 ( Martin Truex Jr .) and the 42 ( Kyle Larson , also in the top five) were having to run wide-open. "I think we did all we could in the circumstances. We knew we were going to be really close, just ended up short." Also working against Elliott was the 47-lap green flag stretch -- the race's longest -- that preceded the dramatic end. "We were hoping for a few cautions and I think if we were in third or fourth, we could've saved it, but I wasn't about to give up the lead of the Daytona 500 and say 'hey, we've got to fall back and save gas,' " Gustafson said. "Little bit of wishful thinking and hoping the circumstances would play our way." Elliott otherwise ran a masterful race, exhibiting patience on a day when it was in short supply for several in the field. Elliott has taken defeat hard in the past, but Gustafson said he had no concerns about Sunday's defeat rattling his 21-year-old driver. "There's nothing he can do. I'd rather lose like that than I would be sitting in the garage or running 12th or 13th or 10 or lucking into a fifth, right? I don't think that's a bad thing. You go to the race track and you fight your guts out, and you win the pole, you win a Duel and lead the Daytona 500 with two laps to go. I don't know that you should be sad about that."
Junebug gets feisty with Junior, more tweets
Editor's note: Every Friday, "Tweets You Might Have Missed" will present eight of the best NASCAR-related tweets from the week. 1. Chillin to some @Alanis with Junebug. It was all good till last beer. pic.twitter.com/WWCC0Rr6Jy — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) May 24, 2016 2. How about that #CoorsLightPole , @MartinTruex_Jr ?! #CocaCola600 #FurnitureRow pic.twitter.com/eY7LTyiQwF — Furniture Row Racing (@FR78Racing) May 27, 2016 3. Even Jack go into the fun at #RFRFanDay pic.twitter.com/QRyT23LAe0 — Roush Fenway Racing (@roushfenway) May 26, 2016 4. How do you celebrate getting into the @NASCARHall ? Take a cruise in your sweet convertible. Congrats, Mr. H pic.twitter.com/ST1czuSrFZ — Alan Cavanna (@CopaCavanna) May 26, 2016 5. Had the privilege to take Mr. Edsel Ford on a drive this morning in my 1924 Model T to kick off #CocaCola600 weekend pic.twitter.com/Htc5jrDvDm — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) May 27, 2016 6. Good time at @TeamJJF this morning for the 5k great to see so many people and everyone taking the wellness challenge pic.twitter.com/udSpSZ3spr — Ben Kennedy (@BenKennedy33) May 22, 2016 7. Taking some lessons today thanks to @mcboatcompany @cltskiboats & @ArodCltski This going to be a sweet summer! pic.twitter.com/aRBpVSSX3a — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) May 24, 2016 8. . @RedNoseDayUS is tomorrow? Hope you have your #RedNose ! Tanner has his! pic.twitter.com/5qLmobv3yJ — KaseyKahneFoundation (@KaseyKahneFndn) May 25, 2016
Gordon headlines FOX's NASCAR roster for 2016
RELATED: Gordon to join FOX's NASCAR coverage in 2016 With just one race remaining until the season's end, FOX Sports has announced its broadcaster lineup for 2016, which is highlighted by the previous addition of Jeff Gordon as an analyst for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Gordon, who is competing for his fifth Sprint Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend before ending his career as a full-time driver, will join play-by-play announcer Mike Joy and analyst Darrell Waltrip. Joy and Waltrip have been in the booth together for 15 years. Former crew chief Larry McReynolds will remain part of the network's coverage providing in-race analysis. Reporters Jamie Little, Chris Neville, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum will handle pit road duty for the FOX Sports' 16 Sprint Cup telecasts. FOX will televise 10 races, while FS1 will televise six. Welch will also serve as the new full-time play-by-play announcer for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series after being a part of a rotation for this role in 2015. Welch has been a FOX pit reporter for the Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series races in 2015, and has served in a similar capacity for ABC Sports and ESPN. Analysts Michael Waltrip and Phil Parsons will flank Welch in the booth. Hermie Sadler , Kaitlyn Vincie and Yocum will handle pit road reporting in that series. FS1 is broadcasting 22 of the 23 Truck races and FOX has the October race at Talladega. The network also announced Adam Alexander and Michael Waltrip will continue to team together for the FOX Sports' portion of the XFINITY Series schedule, along with a rotation of drivers from the Sprint Cup Series. Neville, Sadler, Little, Welch and Yocum will alternate to cover pit road for this series. NASCAR RaceDay, FS1's prerace show for Sprint Cup races, will return with Chris Myers, Danielle Trotta and John Roberts sharing the hosting duties. Analysts Kenny Wallace , Jeff Hammond and Wally Dallenbach as well as reporters Alan Cavanna , Andrew Doud and Vincie. Trotta will host NASCAR RaceDay- XFINITY with McReynolds and Wallace as analysts while Roberts will host NCWTS SetUp with two-time series champion Todd Bodine providing insight and features reports from Ray Dunlap. NASCAR Race Hub will air live at 6 p.m. ET every Monday through Thursday on FS1 with Alexander, Trotta and Roberts co-hosting the hour-long program. McReynolds, Hammond and Dallenbach will serve as analysts as will a rotation of active drivers and crew chiefs. Cavanna , Doud and Vincie will have daily reports from around the circuit, while Dunlap will have Truck Series feature reports and analysis. There will be a weekend edition of the program on Friday and Saturday with at-track updates as well as NASCAR Victory Lane to recap each Sprint Cup Series race.
Live blog: Charlotte Media Tour
RELATED: Full Charlotte Media Tour schedule " Fast facts: All changes coming in 2016 The 2016 NASCAR season is upon us. Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour is here, kicking off with Toyota Tuesday. Be sure to follow along by tuning into today's press conferences . NASCAR.com will also be keeping a live blog covering all the Media Tour news. So, check back right here for periodic updates throughout the day. 5 p.m. ET FOX Sports NASCAR announcers on stage. We see you, "Four-time". Here are your @NASCARONFOX announcers. pic.twitter.com/yS0kqImlKg — Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) January 19, 2016 4:15 p.m. ET Next up at Charlotte Media Day is FOX Sports at 5 p.m. ET. " Watch here 3:35 p.m. ET Take a look at Martin Truex Jr .'s 2016 ride. New look for @MartinTruex_Jr in 2016 @BassProShops @FR78Racing pic.twitter.com/nq0tcdNIZd — Alan Cavanna (@CopaCavanna) January 19, 2016 3:22 p.m. ET Furniture Row Racing announces its deal with Bass Pro Shops for 2016 " READ: Furniture Row lands Bass Pro sponsorship "It's good to have Bass Pro in my car again." - @MartinTruex_Jr #CMSmediatour #NASCAR #Bass … https://t.co/BRPSMjyMky pic.twitter.com/6MfQ6VyDDf — Furniture Row Racing (@FR78Racing) January 19, 2016 3:16 p.m. ET Furniture Row Racing takes the stage. Now it's @FR78Racing 's turn to take the stage at #MediaTour pic.twitter.com/3PNCjmuIOB — Kaitlyn Vincie (@kaitlynvincie) January 19, 2016 1:59 p.m. ET Check out a Periscope stream of Joe Gibbs Racing 's break-out sessions here . Next up is Furniture Row Racing at 3:15 p.m. ET. " Watch here 1:50 p.m. ET Joe Gibbs Racing shares a cool photo of its drivers from 25 years ago, when the racing team orginiated. Pretty cool, @JoeGibbsRacing . #NASCAR #CMSMediaTour pic.twitter.com/9P6VoPGCQx — Pat DeCola (@Pat_DeCola) January 19, 2016 1:31 p.m. ET First up on #ToyotaTuesday ? @JoeGibbsRacing ! LIVE: https://t.co/txKyAV9iLL pic.twitter.com/0zhQnCYU1e — NASCAR (@NASCAR) January 19, 2016 12:28 p.m. ET Stay tuned -- Joe Gibbs Racing coming up at 1:30 p.m. ET. " Watch here 12:01 p.m. ET Renovations coming for two of NASCAR's most unique tracks. Less France Kennedy says they are looking next at @RIRInsider & @PhoenixRaceway for renovations in the future. — Kaitlyn Vincie (@kaitlynvincie) January 19, 2016 11:55 a.m ET Full details on the new Caution Clock here. 11:52 a.m. ET Now, this ... this is exciting. More big #NASCAR news for @NASCAR_Trucks #CountdownClock pic.twitter.com/HcBKbyYM91 — Ray M. Smith (@RayMSmith) January 19, 2016 11:40 a.m. ET Cut to The Chase. Hey, that's pretty good. #NASCAR layout of the Chase format for all three series for 2016 - can't wait! pic.twitter.com/u4F9qY4uoz — Mike Zizzo (@Ziz007) January 19, 2016 11:25 a.m. ET Safety first. France says SAFER barriers will ever "wherever they need to be". No clear timetable given, but France says it's the tracks working on it — Alan Cavanna (@CopaCavanna) January 19, 2016 11:22 a.m. ET Major news. XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series shifting to Chase elimination format for 2016. Full details here " Watch: NXS, NCWTC get Chase format 11:15 a.m. ET Can't. Wait. NASCAR expanding Chase format into Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series! — Holly Cain (@_HollyCain) January 19, 2016 11:10 a.m. ET And all signs point to 2016 being even more exciting. "Without question 2015 was one of our most exciting seasons ever...We had a lot of great things happen in the Chase." - Brian France — Kaitlyn Vincie (@kaitlynvincie) January 19, 2016 11:05 a.m. ET First look at your 2016 XFINITY Series championship winning team? The season has officially started! pic.twitter.com/nuUpg7jTTC — Daniel Suárez (@dnlsuarez) January 19, 2016 11:02 a.m. ET Green flag on Charlotte Media Tour. It's time for the #NASCAR press conference to kick off the Charlotte Media Tour! Watch it: https://t.co/txKyAVqTDj pic.twitter.com/59VgWNc2wZ — NASCAR (@NASCAR) January 19, 2016 10:58 a.m. ET Gotta stay fresh. Making sure @mattkenseth 's @DGRacing firesuit looks great for his 2016 portrait! #ToyotaTuesday #CMSMediaTour pic.twitter.com/uN5TqqsYGC — Toyota Racing (@ToyotaRacing) January 19, 2016 10:50 a.m. ET Who's ready? We're ready. Let's do this thing. #CMSMediaTour https://t.co/3UcZ1AMDCw — NASCAR (@NASCAR) January 19, 2016 10:41 a.m. ET Gotta be one of the coolest paint scheme promotions we've seen in the past few years. #HeroFaceOff Glad to know I have the Caped Crusader in my corner for the #HeroFaceOff pic.twitter.com/1ZnfBoDAmj — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) January 19, 2016 Looking forward to running a Batman car for #HeroFaceOff . That worked out well for us last time. — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) January 19, 2016 10:30 a.m. ET It's not even lunchtime yet. Get it together, 'casm. #NASCAR #MediaTour pic.twitter.com/IDbPl7snP7 — nascarcasm (@nascarcasm) January 19, 2016 10:23 a.m. ET Ah, picture day. Hope Mom remembered to pack a comb in everybody's backpacks. #CarlEdwards is in the house! @ARRIS Racing getting ready for the season. #NASCAR (Even more on joegibbsracing) pic.twitter.com/jJTo4Klnl4 — Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) January 19, 2016 10:17 a.m. ET Hendrick Motorsports announced some pretty cool paint schemes for Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Jimmie Johnson before the festivities even got underway. Check 'em out. Coming March 20, 2016. #HeroFaceOff @TeamHendrick @JimmieJohnson @DaleJr @LowesRacing #AutoClub400 pic.twitter.com/BTVenzSPLg — Auto Club Speedway (@ACSupdates) January 19, 2016 Exclusive: @DaleJr and @JimmieJohnson pick sides in @BatmanvSuperman duel: https://t.co/uIRTOCaLEJ #HEROFACEOFF pic.twitter.com/vGqpyTdDLs — Entertainment Weekly (@EW) January 19, 2016 Well I sure hope it's faster than a speeding bullet #HeroFaceOff @LowesRacing @TeamHendrick pic.twitter.com/17LeodUQB6 — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) January 19, 2016 10:15 a.m. ET Kicking us off with a few links courtesy of @NASCAR to get you in the Charlotte Media Tour mood. Stay tuned for more. Tomorrow marks the start of Charlotte Media Tour. Let's take a look back: https://t.co/5cO8LZGySD pic.twitter.com/WEyWi0CSPa — NASCAR (@NASCAR) January 18, 2016 Don't miss a thing from the Charlotte Media Tour. We've got the full schedule: https://t.co/krIeGiOMNY pic.twitter.com/QV8bIMMqdt — NASCAR (@NASCAR) January 19, 2016 It's #ToyotaTuesday ! Plus, we have our own presser today. Catch 'em all: https://t.co/krIeGj6nFw pic.twitter.com/UlQ6kyRZIm — NASCAR (@NASCAR) January 19, 2016
Roundtable: Who enters the Chase as the favorite?
Panel of experts debate that and more as the roundtable returns RELATED: Play Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota 1. OK folks, the field of 16 for this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has been determined. Looking at this year's roster, is there a favorite in the field? Alan Cavanna : I filled out my Chase Grid (like I hope you have, print a blank one out here) -- and started with my champion, Jeff Gordon . Huge year, fast speed, and the sense that the driver from the late '90s is back. Brad Norman: I'm not so sure there is a "favorite," but there's definitely a group of "favorites." That would be the Team Penske duo and the three heavyweights at Hendrick Motorsports – sorry, Kasey Kahne . Throw in Kevin Harvick , if he gets the pit-road problems cleaned up with a new over-the-wall crew. I can't imagine a scenario in which the final four drivers at Homestead don't come from that group. Kenny Bruce: For the first time in, well, a long time, I don't think you can assume that Jimmie Johnson is a clear-cut favorite. The No. 48 team started the season slower than many expected, caught fire at mid-season but has been "average" (for them) recently. Cavanna : OK fellas, I'm the only one going out on a limb with a solid pick. C'mon now. Norman: True, Alan . If forced to pick one, I'd go with top-seeded Brad Keselowski . He's back to form, he's got a great strategist in Paul Wolfe calling the shots and the Team Penske cars have been phenomenal on those intermediate-type ovals. Of which there are five in the postseason. Bruce: I'll lean toward Alan on the Gordon pick, but I've got to give props to 2012 champ Keselowski as well. The No. 2 team has been pretty stout of late, and that momentum's got to be worth something. Cavanna : I understand though. The four drivers in the Championship Round aren't necessarily the four "best." They're the three winners, and the most consistent. A great driver will be left out of the championship race at Homestead. Norman: One thing that's most interesting about Keselowski is that Joey Logano is one of his biggest challengers. They share a garage, share info. After Logano won at Bristol and Keselowski finished second, Bad Brad was asked about how those two will continue to share info during the Chase -- and it was a topic the 2012 champion was reluctant to discuss. Bruce: I think it's interesting that Gordon and Keselowski probably feel as if they have something to prove. Keselowski for not making the Chase last year and Gordon for not winning a title in the Chase-era. And I'm not sure how much you can compare 2013 to this season, but Mr. Kenseth reeled off back-to-back wins to open the Chase a year ago, I believe. Cavanna : You beat me to it, Kenny. Ten weeks from now we'll all look like fools when Matt Kenseth is hoisting the Sprint Cup trophy. Bruce: My biggest concern with the entire JGR group is their win total this year. Three teams, two combined wins. That probably won't cut it in the Chase. Norman: For Gordon, I imagine what he's feeling is just like what a veteran may feel at any job. You see these upstarts come in and win races, you don't perform as well and perhaps you wonder if you can still hang. That's a wonderful motivator. Mr. Gordon (hey, respect your elders) can most certainly still hang. 2. Speaking of JGR, Kenseth is one of three drivers in the Chase without a win this year and two drivers, Aric Almirola and AJ Allmendinger , are making their first appearance in the "playoff." How do we expect these guys on the bottom half of the board to fare? Norman: Certainly, you expect more from Kenseth than you do Almirola or Allmendinger because of his pedigree, his team, his equipment ... all that stuff. I'm not sure Kenseth can get to Homestead still in contention for the championship, but there's no reason he shouldn't be in the Eliminator Round. Of all the guys on the bottom of the board, I think he's clearly got the best chance. Cavanna : I'm not totally worried about the winless drivers just yet. The consistency we've seen from drivers like Kenseth and Ryan Newman should carry them forward for a round or two, even without wins. Bruce: You're spot on Brad. Given Kenseth's consistency, I expect him to advance beyond the first round, probably the second. Gets tougher after that, though. Newman has been consistent all year, Greg Biffle more so of late. I think Aric and AJ test the waters and see what it's like. But advancing would be a surprise. A nice one, but a surprise just the same. Cavanna : I hate to say I have little faith in the 47 team (Allmendinger) moving on. But, Aric Almirola is riding into the Chase with two straight top-10 finishes. If he gets three more, that will put him in the next round. Norman: I do think we're going to see a "surprise" driver advance, though. I'd pick Allmendinger, if forced to give a name. He's gotten better at intermediates. More than that, though, I can foresee a scenario in which a guy more favored to advance wrecks at Chicago, and then has a couple of gambles fail as he tries to get back in it over the next two weeks. Cavanna : Brad, I like your thinking for a roundtable rookie. I think the sport and fans are in for a big surprise. It's easy to think of the better drivers and assume they all advance. But one glance at any NCAA Tournament tells you that never happens. There's always an upset or three. Bruce: The thing about it is if a driver advances beyond the first round (Chicago, New Hampshire and Dover), Talladega looms as the cutoff race for the Contender Round and as we know, anything can happen there. How cool would it be, Alan , to see the 43 battling for a title? OK, battling for a spot in the next round? A lot of history there. Cavanna : It's a long shot, but the 43 will certainly be a chic pick for advancing to the top-12. Norman: I am the Kyle Larson of the roundtable, Alan . Cavanna : You're a dry wiper? 3. Now that we've determined who will win, who will advance and who can go ahead and start taking the yellow ID markings off their cars ... which teams on the outside are most likely to pick up a win during the final 10 races? Norman: It was rare to see that happen with frequency when there were 12 (or 13) drivers in the postseason. Now with 16? I think it'll be even more rare. The biggest contender to me, the roundtable rookie, is ... Kyle Larson. Maybe at Charlotte. Heck, he could win any of them. Bruce: I don't think it was that rare ... but the folks that won were often guys you thought would have been in the Chase to begin with most of the time. Tony Stewart , Jamie McMurray , Biffle, Denny Hamlin , Gordon. But you make a good point about the numbers decreasing the likelihood. Cavanna : Prior to the start of the season I picked Austin Dillon to win a race, with Talladega in mind. I'll stick with that. Clint Bowyer showed some promise at Richmond Saturday night, but I worry that may be the team's best performance of the season. Norman: To be fair, it happened three times last year. And if you look at who won those races, two of those guys are in the Chase field this year – Keselowski and Hamlin. And McMurray was the other, winning at Talladega which is a wild card. So if anyone outside the Chase field wins, I think it could portend a big 2015 season. Larson, Bowyer, Dillon ... what about Stewart? Cavanna : I think a lot of people are overlooking what a win by a non-Chaser does to the championship run. Every time that bell rings, it's one less automatic spot for a guy going after a championship. Bruce: Bowyer is tough at New Hampshire, so maybe it's better late than never for him and the MWR team, Alan . But I wouldn't be surprised if one of the rookies, Dillon or Larson, gets a win now that there's no Chase pressure. Norman: Alan , you make a good point about the championship run. Can you imagine in any round, if somehow a non-Chaser wins two in a row? Bruce: Your comments reminded me of something, guys. If a non-Chase driver wins a race in the Chase, does he get one of those yellow "winner" stickers to go above his window? For that matter, does anyone? Cavanna : Everyone likes rewards, Kenny. I hope the stickers remain. Norman: Everyone's a winner here, Kenny. Cavanna : Even Brad Norman's Chase beard. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: NASCAR Chase Grid games WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation