Chase by the Numbers: Dover
Here's all the info you need to know for the first cutoff race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, including some surprising statistics for two of the first-time Chase competitors.
Hoffman wins Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award
NEW YORK -- Andy Hoffman, founder of the Nebraska-based Team Jack Foundation dedicated to funding pediatric brain cancer research, was the recipient of The NASCAR Foundation's sixth annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide on Tuesday night, during The Foundation's inaugural Honors Gala at the Marriott Marquis. This year's award presentation is the highlight of the "10 Years of Giving" celebration for The NASCAR Foundation, which has donated approximately $25 million to impact the lives of children since its inception in 2006. The Honors Gala raised more than $1.6 million to benefit hospitalized children across the country through the recently established Speediatrics Children's Fund. The award is presented to a NASCAR fan who has done outstanding work on behalf of children in need in their community. The award honors the philanthropic ideals of the late Betty Jane France, who started The NASCAR Foundation in 2006. The NASCAR Foundation will donate $100,000 to "Team Jack," which was founded by Hoffman and his wife Brianna in 2013, two years after their son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Team Jack works to raise research funds and create national awareness of pediatric brain cancer. Hoffman, from Atkinson, Nebraska, was chosen via an online fan vote on NASCAR.com. "I am humbled to have won the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award," Hoffman said. "Receiving this award is truly a reflection of all of those amazing people that helped support the Team Jack Foundation since day one. Winning this award, literally, could be the difference between life or death for a child someday. Our hope is that the $100,000 donation will provide the seed money for us to help fund yet another clinical trial." There were three other finalists for the award; each will receive $25,000 from The NASCAR Foundation for the charity they represent. Those finalists: Jim Giaccone of Bayville, New York, representing the New York-based Tuesday's Children organization; Logan Houptley of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a founding member of the Mikayla's Voice organization in Nazareth, Pennsylvania; and Parker White of Greensboro, North Carolina, founder of BackPack Beginnings. &amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;
What it's like to be a NASCAR interior specialist
In the third instalment of the Mobil 1 "Our Normal Drives" video series on NASCAR.com, the Official Motor Oil of NASCAR gives fans a look at a "normal" day for two Stewart-Haas Racing interior specialists. Check out how Kyle Anderson and Justin Peiffer work behind the scenes with drivers. Watch today's video, which is part of NASCAR Inside Track presented by Mobil 1 , then come back throughout the season for more in-depth looks at NASCAR from Mobil 1.
Full schedule for Chicagoland
RELATED: Find NBCSN in your area " Watch live online at NBCSports.com The NASCAR Sprint Cup , XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series will gather for a tripleheader showing at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend. Check out the full schedule below. Note: All times are ET SUNDAY, SEPT. 18: 2:00 p.m.: NSCS Driver Introductions. 2:30 p.m.: Intro Presentation of Colors: 347 th Fighter Squadron Honor Guard. 2:30 p.m.: Invocation by : Michael McDowell , Driver of the No. 95 Thrivent Financial Chevrolet. 2:31 p.m.: National Anthem: Jim Cornelison. 2:37 p.m.: "Driver's, Start Your Engines" by : Greg Cipes, Voice of Michelangelo, TMNT and The Kids of NASCAR 2:46 p.m.: Start of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 (267 Laps, 400.5 Miles), NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 5:15 p.m.: Post-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race DAILY ROUND-UP -- Late pit stop propels Truex Jr. to victory -- Chase bubble after Chicagoland -- Truex, Johnson fail post-race inspection -- Speeding penalty plagues "Six-Time" -- Bridesmaid baton to Elliott at Chicago -- Unfortunate timing for Harvick at Chicago -- Smith, wife welcome baby girl -- Harvick, Larson to start race from the rear -- At-track photos: Sunday at Chicagoland -- Dillon to sub for Smith in No. 7 at Chicago THURSDAY, SEPT. 15: ON TRACK -- 4-4:55 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series first practice ( Results ) -- 6:30-7:25 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice ( Results ) LIVE EVENTS ( Watch live ) -- 3:05 p.m.: Live driver interviews at Ready. Set. Chase. launch events DAILY ROUNDUP -- What to watch for at Chicago -- Key fantasy advice for the Chase opener -- NASCAR updates rules for Chase -- Cain: Don't forget about Larson in the Chase -- Twitter handles to replace driver names on windshields in the Chase -- Harvick explains bull tweet during media day -- Stewart reveals he can't tie a tie -- Gordon texted apology to Elliott after incident -- Stewart on Newman's fiery comments: 'I don't blame him' -- Best quotes from Chase Media Day -- As sun sets on Stewart, Elliott's time to shine brightening -- Townley tops opening Trucks practice at Chicago -- Hemric holds the power in final practice FRIDAY, SEPT. 16: ON TRACK -- 12:30-1:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series first practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER -- 3:15-4:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, NBC Sports App ( Results ) -- 4:45 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FS1 ( Results ) -- 6:45 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN/NBC Sports App CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER ( Results ) -- 6:45-7:45 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBCSN ( Results ) -- 8:30 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol E15 225 (150 laps, 225 miles), FS1 ( Results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 11 a.m.: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles race team introduction -- 11:15 a.m.: Blake Koch , Ryan Sieg and Dakoda Armstrong -- 11:30 a.m.: Daniel Hemric , Timothy Peters and Cole Custer -- 11:45 a.m.: Justin Allgaier -- 12:30 p.m.: Matt Tifft -- 1:15 p.m.: Joliet Township announcement -- 10:15 p.m.: Post-NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race GARAGECAM ( Watch live ) -- Noon: XFINITY Series -- 1 p.m.: Sprint Cup Series DAILY ROUNDUP -- SHR names Custer as driver for 2017 XFINITY team -- Rain shortens on-track activity at Chicagoland -- Stewart, Newman meet with NASCAR at Chicagoland -- See photos from Friday at Chicago -- Busch on pole for Sunday's race -- Johnson leads opening practice at Chicagoland -- See lineup, team info. for Sunday's race -- 2016 Truck Series Chase field set -- 'Rowdy' wins at Truck race at Chicagoland -- Peters perserveres to make Chase, Hayley misses out -- Meet all eight of the Truck Series Chase drivers SATURDAY, SEPT. 17: -- 10:30-11:25 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series second practice, CNBC/NBC Sports App ( Results ) -- 11:45 a.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Results ) -- 1:30-2:20 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Results ) -- 3 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive for Safety 300 ( 200 laps, 300 miles), NBC/NBC Sports App ( Results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 5 p.m.: Post-NASCAR XFINITY Series race DAILY ROUNDUP -- NXS Chase field set at Chicagoland -- Meet the 2016 NXS Chase field -- Jones holds off Larson for NXS Chicagoland win -- NASCAR.com staff picks for Cup Chase -- Larson sweeps Cup Chicagoland Saturday practices -- Busch's winning Truck fails post-race inspection -- Busch on the pole for NXS race -- RCR names Hemric to full-time NXS ride -- At-track photos: Saturday at Chicagoland -- Bandaged hand won't keep Kennedy from Chase -- 2016 Cup Chase timeline &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Vickers fondly remembers time with 'great guy' Palmer
RELATED: Arnold Palmer's day at the track Brian Vickers was in Beijing, China on business when the phone messages started piling up with condolences and the news that his friend, golfing legend Arnold Palmer, 87, had died Sunday. Vickers, a former XFINITY Series champion and a three-time Sprint Cup Series race winner, appeared in multiple television commercials with Palmer to promote a medicine to help with blood clots -- a condition they both suffered from. But it was the time off-camera with Palmer that Vickers said he would remember most fondly. "He was so easy to work with, such a nice guy," Vickers told NASCAR.com late Monday from China. "The thing I enjoyed most was sitting around when we weren't shooting (the commercial) -- at lunch, dinner or on the golf course just listening to some of his stories. "I wish only that I had more time to spend with him. I've gotten to know him over the past five years and he was so nice, just fantastic. He is great to work with. We had a lot of fun throughout the entire campaign and off of it as well. He even helped me fix my grip for golf." Vickers got the chance to interact with Palmer during their playful but educational television commercials for the Janssen Pharmaceuticals drug Xarelto. And he was still amazed at the four-time Masters champion's skill on the golf course even though he was well into his 80s. "When we shot that commercial -- the last one with Janssen just a couple years ago -- he was still smoking every single guy out there in putting," Vickers recalled. "He wasn't out-driving anybody anymore, but on the green he was literally draining putts one after another, 30-foot putts no one else could hit. "It was unbelievable, just amazing to see this guy just dropping putt after putt, 30-footers on oscillating greens. I can tell you, that's the way I want to go out." For Vickers, the opportunity to work with Palmer was a life-impacting turn of events. And he was extremely proud to carry the champion's "Arnie's Army" charitable foundation on his race cars at both Martinsville and Auto Club Speedway earlier this season while filling in for an injured Tony Stewart . "I'm obviously going to miss him, he was a great guy," Vickers said. "It's a sad day, but I look at the end of life as more of a celebration of what you accomplish in life. And he accomplished a lot. "I would say people should celebrate his life. He did a lot for the American people and the American dream throughout his career, he was an inspiration and in that regard he should be celebrated." And he will be.
Bruce: XFINITY Chase intensity ratchets up aggression
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid SPARTA, Ky. -- Was Saturday night's opening Chase race for NASCAR’s XFINITY Series an example of good, hard racing or a case of folks driving over their heads? That depends on who one asked afterward. Race winner Elliott Sadler wasn’t pointing fingers, and race winners have rarely been heard to utter a discouraging word. But the JR Motorsports driver said he did notice an uptick in intensity during the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway . "About halfway through the race, it was 'note to self; you can tell it's the Chase because it was caution after caution after caution," Sadler said afterward. "People were tense, eager, frustrated, nervous. A lot of different things going on with drivers right now ... trying to make it to the second (round). "I think people are giving each other less room. Restarts are crazy in the back." They were crazy up front, too. The race, which kicked off a seven-race, two-round elimination playoff for the series, saw the caution flag fly a track record 12 times. More than one-fourth of the race (64 laps) was run under the yellow. Yes, there was even a brief (5 min., 34 sec.) red-flag period. Erik Jones , the top seed and regular-season leader in race wins, got crossed up while racing with Ty Dillon and both the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota and the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet ended up in the wall. RELATED: See the wreck the caught two title contenders Each is now outside eighth place in points with two races to try and improve their standing; only the top eight (with the exception of a Chase race winner that might be 9th-12th ) advance to the second round. Not surprisingly, Jones wasn't particularly pleased with the early ending to his night and said later that the aggressive driving does cause one to approach the race differently. "Yeah, it makes me try to stay out of trouble," he said. "I didn't want to have something like that happen. ... You try to play defense some. I was for sure." Of course, there was the matter of a reconfigured track that sports new asphalt and distinctly different turns. That, too, played a role in the difficulties for some. And that was to be expected, said Brendan Gaughan , driver of the No. 62 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing . "It didn't seem like it was any more aggressive than normal," Gaughan said after finishing sixth. "It's a very narrow race track here right now. That Turn 3 is treacherous, man. There's no grip on the entry, there's no width on the entry. It's a treacherous, treacherous place at the moment. ... "It's still Kentucky. I love it." The fight to advance into the next round began early, but it's not the only battle going on and Saturday night's race brought some of that to light. In addition to the driver's championship, there's an owners title at stake and a couple of teams didn’t forget about that. At the end of the regular season, the No. 2 team of RCR was atop the owners' standings, followed by the No. 18 of Joe Gibbs Racing , the No. 1 of JRM with Sadler behind the wheel, and the No. 22 of Team Penske . Chevy, Toyota, Chevy and Ford. You think those folks aren't paying close attention? RCR brought in Sam Hornish Jr . to keep the No. 2 team in the hunt; Penske handed the reins to Sprint Cup driver Ryan Blaney . Sadler got the win, but a solid fifth-place run by Matt Tifft put the JGR No. 18 atop the owners' standings. JRM (No. 1) now sits second thanks to the victory while Hornish, who finished fourth, kept the RCR entry in the mix -- it's now third. Blaney did not fare badly but the way it all shook out left him third on the track and the team now fifth in the owners' battle. Dover, a fast, unforgiving mile of concrete, is up next. Some folks will be looking to rebound, some looking to continue to ride a hot start. If Kentucky was any indication, they better hope they can just hang on.
Stewart not interested in playing numbers game
RELATED: Updated Chase Grid CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Crunch the numbers. Do the math. But don't bother telling Tony Stewart the potential scenarios required for him to advance to the Round of 12 in this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . You'd be wasting your time and his time, too. The only scenario Stewart, 45 and three times a Sprint Cup Series champion, cares about is the one that ends with him and his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team celebrating in Victory Lane this weekend at Dover International Speedway . "All we can do is go out and do the best we can this weekend," Stewart said Wednesday during a daylong media stop in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. "It still amazes me how people can take something that's so simple and make it so complicated. 'Will we be watching where everybody else is?' "Well yeah, I can waste my time and do that but … I've got to focus on winning the race. Because if I win the race I don't have to worry about where they're at. But if I go and do everything I can to try and win the race and I finish second, then wherever they are is wherever they are. I can't control those guys on the race track so why focus your attention on it? It's a waste of time." The 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is the final one for Stewart. He'll remain involved in the series as co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing , which fields four Sprint Cup teams and one that will debut a NASCAR XFINITY Series entry next year. He's a track owner, team owner and competitor in other series -- some NASCAR-affiliated, some not -- as well. But his quest for a fourth title rests solely on the outcome of Sunday's Citizen Soldier 400 at Dover (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). A 16-driver field that began the Chase two weeks ago will be trimmed to 12 after Dover, and Stewart will arrive Friday 15th on the Chase Grid. His approach to what could be his final race as a title contender will be no different than any other weekend. "There is no mindset to it," he said. "The most realistic mindset to go into it with is the same approach you go into it with every weekend of the year and that's to go try to win the race. If you don't, get the best finish you can get out of it. That's not glamorous and that's not what you want to hear … but it's literally that simple. Go try to win the race. Do everything you can to win the race. If you can't win the race, try to finish second. If you can't finish second, try to finish third. It is as simple as it can possibly get." That Stewart is in this predicament is something of a surprise, given the strong summer run that saw him collect six top-10 finishes, including a win at Sonoma , in eight races. The No. 14 team, headed up by crew chief Mike Bugarewicz, seemed primed for a possible run at yet another title. But the results of the most recent six races weren't nearly as impressive, with no finish higher than 16th. "These things are such science projects," Stewart said of today's cars, "and pretty much the whole (SHR) organization fights the same thing. It's whichever one can find the solution first." Teammate Kevin Harvick has guaranteed himself a spot in the Round of 12 with a win this past weekend at New Hampshire and Kurt Busch can advance either by points, depending on his finish, or with a victory. Teammate Danica Patrick is the only SHR entry not in the Chase field. "We're going to have to rely on Kevin and Rodney (Childers, crew chief), Kurt and (Tony) Gibson (crew chief) for sure and do the best we can," Stewart said. "We weren't totally terrible at the spring race but definitely have to be better than we were to get done what we need to get done." Scenarios? Talk to Stewart at Homestead, if he happens to be one of the final four. That's when he'll be more aware of such things. "When you get to the last race of the year and you're racing for a championship and you've got enough of a lead that no matter what, if you finish from here on up, then yeah, you think about that," he said. "But that’s not the scenario we're in." &lt;/p&gt;
Heads Up: Chicagoland weekend
Here are the hot topics, trending news and key story lines to get you ready for this weekend's races -- and Sprint Cup Series Chase opener -- at Chicagoland Speedway . WEATHER The weekend forecast for Joliet, Illinois, looks relatively clear. Friday night -- when the Camping World Truck Series will take the track -- there is a 90 percent chance of rain and expected evening thunderstorms. For the XFINITY race, Saturday looks promising for the afternoon XFINITY race, with partly cloudy skies, a high near 78 degrees and a 20 percent chance of rain. Sunday looks to be ideal race day weather, with sunny skies and a high of 75 degrees. KEY TIMES Sprint Cup Series: The Sprint Cup Series holds its first practice Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET (NBC Sports App) followed by Coors Light Pole qualifying at 6:45 p.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App). XFINITY Series: The XFINITY Series qualifies Saturday morning at 11:45 ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App), turning around to race that day at 3 p.m. ET (NBC/NBC Sports App). Camping World Truck Series: The Camping World Truck Series is scheduled for a Keystone Light Pole qualifying session at 4:45 p.m. ET on FS1 Friday followed by the American Ethanol E15 225 race at 8:30 p.m. ET (FS1). CATCH DRIVERS LIVE We'll stream every driver press conference in the Chicagoland media center at NASCAR.com/presspass . Click here for a full XFINITY Series/ Camping World Truck Series press schedule. With this weekend being the first race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , NASCAR.com will also live stream a Ready. Set. Chase. launch event, which includes interviews with all 16 competitors, on Thursday at 3:05 p.m. ET. Click here to tune into the live stream . LAST TIME Denny Hamlin notched his second win of the 2015 season at Chicagoland, beating Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Carl Edwards across the finish line by .962 seconds to advance to the next round of the Chase. YOU SHOULD KNOW • Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman 's conflict on track last weekend at Richmond could be far from over. Stewart made the 16-car Chase field, while Newman missed out and was noticeably frustrated with "Smoke" post-race, saying it was "just disappointing that you have somebody old like that that should be retired the way he drives." Will that spill over into the opening Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race? We'll find out Sunday. • Alex Bowman will be wheeling the No. 88 Chevrolet for sidelined Dale Earnhardt Jr . this weekend at Chicagoland. Bowman has made two starts in the Hendrick Motorsports ride and will make seven more starts for the team this season, splitting seat time with veteran driver Jeff Gordon . Click here for the 2016 No. 88 driver schedule . • Given Chicagoland's relatively young age, there have only been nine Sprint Cup winners at the Illinois track. "Smoke" leads the pack with three trips to Victory Lane, with Brad Keselowski on his heels with two wins. Six of the nine winners are current Chase competitors. • A win at Chicagoland would guarantee a Chase competitor entrance into the next round of the Chase, beginning on Oct. 8 at Charlotte Motor Speedway . One thing to watch though, NASCAR announced rules updates for the Chase regarding post-race laser inspection and lug nuts and the penalties associated with those. Read more on those updates here .
Dale Jr. posts unedited* video of his "talking" dogs
Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s "talking" dogs, Gus and Junebug, enjoy a level of celebrity that few other dogs have ever reached. Unfortunately, it doesn't really look like the two get along as well as he would probably like. Perhaps because the "dog days" of summer are over? Junior posted this video on Instagram Wednesday of his dogs. We promise this video has in no way been altered from the original. * By unedited, we mean that @nascarcasm actually may have tweaked the video a little bit.
Matt Tifft: I'm '100 percent ready to go' at Chicagoland
MORE: Tifft tweets upbeat video post-surgery " Tifft joins Red Horse Racing JOLIET, Ill. -- Matt Tifft climbs back on the horse tonight here at Chicagoland Speedway , a Red Horse in fact, as the 20-year-old returns to competition following surgery for a brain tumor just 11 weeks ago. Tifft will be competing in the No. 11 Toyota Tundra for Red Horse Racing in Friday night's American Ethanol E15 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). It will be his first NASCAR start since May 21 when he finished fifth in a Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway . He recently tested in a Late Model entry at Hickory (N.C.) Speedway and said he has driven go-karts as well to prepare for his return. "I did not feel anything at all that was different and I would not be here this weekend if I did not feel like I was 100 percent and ready to go," Tifft said Friday. In late June, Joe Gibbs Racing officials, for whom Tifft competes part-time in NASCAR's XFINITY Series, announced that doctors had discovered a "low-grade glioma" during Tifft's evaluation and treatment for a back condition. He underwent surgery on July 1. Thursday Tifft was back behind the wheel of the Red Horse entry, taking part in practice on the 1.5-mile track. "I radioed in after the first practice how much I had missed it," said Tifft, who was sixth and 19th, respectively, in Thursday's two Truck Series practices. ... "Going the high speeds and going into the banking of a track like Chicagoland in a Truck Series event, it's totally different than what you can prepare for on a short track. A lot of fun but also I had to be on my game just like any other driver has to be. It takes a lap or two for you to get used to it and I think by the second run out there we were running competitive times again. "But, definitely, was soaking it in going around the first couple of laps." Teammate Timothy Peters said the "feedback and … positives that (Tifft) brings to the race team is just second to none. "A good person to boot," Peters said. "It's hard to beat that. "He was fast in the first practice (on Thursday) and would've been right up there will all of us (in the second)," Peters noted, adding that Tifft's team did not make a mock qualifying run. "Chicagoland is one of my favorites tracks," said Tifft. "I had a lot of fun (Thursday). It was really great to be back in the truck, so I'm looking forward to tonight and getting back in my first race."