RELATED: Full race results " Final standings HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- To go fast, all Kyle Busch had to do was mash the gas pedal. To go faster, all he had to do was slow down. Had to slow down. No choice there. Busch "got in a fight" with an unprotected, concrete wall at Daytona before the season's first Sprint Cup Series race. He lost. Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway , he won. The road to the Sprint Cup title is a curious one. They say the 30-year-old Busch is a "changed" man -- actually, the word often used is "matured" -- and I hope that's only partly true. It's the competitive fire in Busch that pushes him to dance with a race car on the very edge. Occasionally, the results are disastrous; often, though, they are a thing of beauty. Busch didn't compete in all 36 points races this season, but for reasons out of his control. A broken right leg and a left foot that gave new meaning to the word "fractured" took care of that. For nearly 12 weeks, Busch idled. Idle is not a speed to which the Joe Gibbs Racing driver is accustomed. One doesn't win 154 races across three series by idling. A bed-ridden Busch had to sit and watch as three other drivers climbed into his No. 18 Toyota. It's been said that nothing hurts a racer more than seeing someone else in his car. Rehab was painful; sitting on the sidelines was agonizing. Potential wins were slipping by him on the television screen. When he finally did make it back to the track, no one knew what to expect, least of all Busch. Sure, he was confident. His crew chief, Adam Stevens, and car owner, Joe Gibbs, were confident. But no one was certain. No one knew if a broken leg and fractured foot were the only real injuries Busch suffered in Daytona several months earlier. Maybe the "want to" was still there, but the question was, could he? Could he still feel every nuance of the car as it rocketed around a race track? Could he push it to the very edge, find the sliver of an opening that existed only briefly, and charge his way through the field? Not only could Busch still do those things, but in some ways he did them better. Only six weeks after his return, Busch was back in the winner's circle, victorious at, of all places, Sonoma Raceway. In little more than a month's time, he won three consecutive races and four of five. Nearly as telling was his performance in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . The format, tweaked from time to time, has always dealt hefty penalties for miscues with little or no time to recover, and Busch has had his share. This time, he navigated the minefield that stretched from Chicago to Homestead with minimal damage. If Busch has changed, so has his approach, something he called a "just let everything be" tactic. It's a short phrase that speaks volumes about his confidence in himself and his team. Changed? Maybe. Maybe hitting a concrete wall and starting a family and sitting on the sidelines had an effect on him after all. Slowing down wasn't a part of the plan. But in the end, that's what it took. And Busch, the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, is just fine with that.
Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup kickoff weekend fueled by sponsor BUY: Chicagoland race tickets Chicagoland Speedway announced Tuesday that its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Sept. 18 will be known as the American Ethanol E15 225 (Sept. 18, 8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). With support from Growth Energy, an official NASCAR Green partner, and the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, American Ethanol will serve as the sponsor for the race leading into the first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup event as the 10-race playoff for NASCAR's premier series opens at the Joliet, Illinois facility for the fifth consecutive year. "As we kick off our Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend, we are thrilled to welcome a partner as involved in the sport as American Ethanol ," Scott Paddock, president of Chicagoland Speedway, said in a track release. "Their commitment to reducing emissions through the cleaner burning ethanol fuel has been a vital part of NASCAR's Green Clean Air initiative. American Ethanol has proven to be a tremendous partner not only for Chicagoland Speedway, but for NASCAR's teams, fans and the industry as a whole." The event will be the 16th of the 23-race Camping World Truck Series schedule, and it will be the third event sponsored by American Ethanol , which served as a presenting sponsor for the June 13 American Ethanol Presents the Drivin' for Linemen 200 Brought to You by Ameren at Gateway Motorsports Park and as the title sponsor of the American Ethanol 200 on June 19 at Iowa Speedway. "Growth Energy is thrilled to sponsor the American Ethanol 225 and work in conjunction with Chicagoland Speedway and Illinois family corn growers to promote a homegrown, American fuel," Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, said in the track release. "The drivers at Chicagoland Speedway and across the nation rely on E15 for superior horsepower and performance, and as they will tell you, it delivers." Kyle Busch won last year's event for his fourth career Camping World Truck Series victory at Chicagoland. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See where your favorite driver will pit on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1
Officials say issue will be evaluated further at NASCAR's R&D Center next week
RELATED: Learn more about Champion's Week DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 24, 2015) – The celebration will continue after the trophy is lifted at Homestead-Miami Speedway as NASCAR ® presents the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards™ hosted by actor and comedian Drew Carey. Live from Wynn Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 4, fans can tune-in to coverage of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards™ beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. NBCSN will also begin coverage at 8 p.m. ET from the red carpet, followed by the awards broadcast at 9 p.m. ET. This year's show will also feature a lineup of performances from award-winning musical artists Andy Grammer, Sam Hunt, Rachel Platten, and Sabrina Carpenter. As the current host of The Price is Right and former host of Who's Line is it Anyway? , Drew Carey will bring a seasoned air of entertainment and comedy to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards stage. Best known for his self-portrayal on The Drew Carey Show , which garnered seven Emmy nominations, Carey has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including three People’s Choice Awards, an Editor’s Choice TV Guide Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "This has been a tremendous year for NASCAR, and I'm honored to host this headlining event as fans all across the country tune-in to pay homage to the accomplishments of the 2015 champion," said Carey. "I look forward to rounding out the 2015 NASCAR ® racing season with a night of epic proportions alongside some of the greatest names in sports and entertainment." Triple-platinum selling recording artist Andy Grammer will perform at the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. The pop singer best known for hits such as “Keep Your Head Up” and “Back Home” took America by storm in 2015 with his smash single, "Honey, I'm Good" turning it into one of the year’s catchiest songs. A deluxe edition of his sophomore album, Magazines Or Novels was released on Nov. 20 featuring Andy's brand new single, "Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah.)" The evening's musical lineup will also feature country star Sam Hunt, who took home the honor of New Artist of the Year at Sunday night's American Music Awards. His critically-acclaimed debut album Montevallo has so far produced three consecutive No. 1 platinum-selling singles with "Leave the Night On," "House Party" and the double-platinum "Take Your Time," plus his current platinum-selling Top 15, "Break Up In A Small Town." Rachel Platten, one of this year's breakout artists with her double platinum No. 1 hit single, "Fight Song", will also grace the awards stage. Her current chart-climbing single, "Stand By You" will be released on her highly-anticipated forthcoming album, Wildfire. Rounding out the night's performances will be multi-talented singer / songwriter Sabrina Carpenter, who currently stars on the Disney Channel original series Girl Meets World . Carpenter released her debut album, Eyes Wide Open earlier this year, which features "We'll be the Stars" and its namesake single, "Eyes Wide Open." "The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards marks the pinnacle of our season as we have the opportunity to commend the drivers and teams for all of their hard work and dedication throughout the year," said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing and content development. "With Drew Carey at the wheel and a lineup of performances from some of the most celebrated entertainers in the music industry, it will certainly be a finale to remember for everyone joining us in Las Vegas and the NASCAR fans watching at home." This year's artists will join a star-studded group of actors and musicians who have previously performed at NASCAR’s championship celebration, including Lady Antebellum, Sara Bareilles, Dierks Bentley, and Kid Rock. Part of the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week™ in Las Vegas, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards is the headlining experience in a series of events that also includes the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Fanfest, NASCAR After The Lap™ and NASCAR Victory Lap™, where fans get a front row seat as the 16 Challengers™ roar down Las Vegas Boulevard. Visit www.NASCAR.com/ChampionsWeek to view the full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week schedule.
10-time ARCA champion will make second Truck Series start of 2013
Lorene King, executive director of the NASCAR Foundation, has done a Q&A with each of the four finalists for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. They will appear on NASCAR.com this week. RELATED: Cast your vote today As another year comes swiftly to a close, we should all take time for reflection. As a charitable organization, we are thankful for those of you whose volunteer service impacts the lives of others and our communities. Volunteerism remains strong with one in four adults volunteering in our country. The NASCAR Foundation has established the encouragement and support of volunteerism as one of our major efforts. Through the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award that honors our founder, Betty Jane France, we annually receive and review hundreds of nominees from which four finalists are selected. The stories of these four outstanding, everyday champions and the charities they serve are told through special appearances at NASCAR races, our marketing efforts and those of our supporters and sponsors. We are blessed this year that Nationwide has joined us as Presenting Sponsor of the Award and is helping us spread the word about each of our finalists and their work for children. This week, we are giving you a more in-depth look at each of this year's finalists. These outstanding volunteers will touch your heart, so please stay tuned as each of these champions for children share their passion. And you can help -- vote for your favorite every day, share these stories through social media, and tune in to the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas at 9 p.m. ET on Dec. 4 (NBCSN), to see the winner of this year's award. Q: What does it mean to you to be among the finalists for The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide this year? A: It means the world. Not only is my whole family NASCAR fans, this award will truly help put us on the map and be a game changer for the Stephanie Decker Foundation. The cost of running a camp for amputee kids can be quite high, between scholarships, travel/food for kids, programming, supplies and staffing. Q: How will being selected as a finalist further your cause? A: This award provides a large platform to bring awareness to children with missing limbs to an audience that we wouldn’t have reached before. Not only is it an opportunity to obtain sponsorships and form partnerships with other like-minded foundations, but it truly helps to bring awareness to the parents of limb different children, letting them know our organization exists to help. Q: Why did you choose to work with this organization and/or cause? A: When I lost my legs and began to get media attention about my survival, I realized that I was given a true opportunity to help make a difference. After experiencing our first camp and seeing the impact on the children we were helping, I knew this was what my family and I were meant to do. We haven’t looked back since. Our foundation helps provide sport opportunities, and sports are huge in our family. Being able to provide kids with confidence, skill, and teach metaphors for life experiences is priceless. Q: What inspires you and your personal commitment to your cause? A: When the kids first come into camp they are shy, but then they just blossom and come out of their shell. The truth is, those kids personally give us so much more in return than we can give them. It's about the kids. They are our "why." Q: What has been the most rewarding moment during your work with your charity so far? A: There was an amazing girl named Ella who never played sports (didn't think she could) and was so quiet. Through her experiences at camp, she has gained so much confidence. Now she does jujitsu and loves to talk -- and her mother said our camp changed her life. Instead of being a victim in other people’s eyes, she is now an advocate for herself and is taking on the world. It is priceless. Q: Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you, your charity and your work? A: We are so honored to even be considered. It's important that people know we are an organization that needs some awareness -- by voting for our foundation, it's a true opportunity to make a difference in children's lives.
Practice leader Erik Jones will start on the pole in tonight's race RELATED: Full starting lineup " Practice speeds from Gateway Keystone Light Pole Qualifying got underway at Gateway Motorsports Park, but four minutes into the 20-minute opening round, a downpour put a hold on the session at the 1.25-mile track before ultimately washing out the three rounds of knockout qualifying. Since qualifying did not resume, NASCAR set the starting grid based on practice speeds, per the rule book. That puts Erik Jones on the pole position since he topped the lone practice session with a fast lap of 136.766 mph. Jones was also the fastest among the 16 drivers that made a lap during the opening round qualifying before the rain moved in, clocking a lap of 136.087 mph. Second-fastest in practice was JR Motorsports' Cole Custer (136.591 mph), who will start on the front row with Jones. Rounding out the top five from their top speeds in practice are ThorSport Racing's Matt Crafton (136.579 mph) and Johnny Sauter (136.285 mph), and GMS Racing's Brandon Jones (136.240 mph), respectively. Custer won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award for this race last year, an event that was ultimately won by Darrell Wallace Jr . There is no Air Titan at the track but there are jet dryers at work to dry the Illinois facility. The American Ethanol Presents the Drivin' for Linemen 200 brought to you by Ameren is the eighth race on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule for 2015. The 160-lap, 200 mile event is set for 8:30 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX Sports 1 as well as MRN and SiriusXM. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Hear from all the top finishers from Saturday's American Ethanol 200 from Iowa Speedway.
Lorene King, executive director of the NASCAR Foundation, has done a Q&A with each of the four finalists for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. They will appear on NASCAR.com this week. RELATED: Cast your vote today As another year comes swiftly to a close, we should all take time for reflection. As a charitable organization, we are thankful for those of you whose volunteer service impacts the lives of others and our communities. Volunteerism remains strong with one in four adults volunteering in our country. The NASCAR Foundation has established the encouragement and support of volunteerism as one of our major efforts. Through the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award that honors our founder, Betty Jane France, we annually receive and review hundreds of nominees from which four finalists are selected. The stories of these four outstanding, everyday champions and the charities they serve are told through special appearances at NASCAR races, our marketing efforts and those of our supporters and sponsors. We are blessed this year that Nationwide has joined us as Presenting Sponsor of the Award and is helping us spread the word about each of our finalists and their work for children. This week, we are giving you a more in-depth look at each of this year's finalists. These outstanding volunteers will touch your heart, so please stay tuned as each of these champions for children share their passion. And you can help -- vote for your favorite every day, share these stories through social media, and tune in to the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas at 9 p.m. ET on Dec. 4 (NBCSN), to see the winner of this year's award. Q: What does it mean to you to be among the finalists for the NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award sponsored by Nationwide? A: To be chosen as a finalist and to be recognized for all I have done and given; to do something, helps me emotionally. Though this nomination will not bring my daughter Erin back, it comforts me greatly to be recognized for doing something, so more survive sepsis! Q: How will being selected as a finalist further your cause? A: Just being chosen as a finalist and competing for this year’s award requires educating people about sepsis. Less than 50 percent of Americans have heard the word, "sepsi," yet it is the No. 3 cause of death in the United States and the No. 1 cause of death in most hospitals. Another factor furthering our cause is the exposure from The NASCAR Foundation; by highlighting this as one finalist's cause, millions will be introduced to the word, "sepsis," thus creating needed public awareness. Sepsis kills more children than childhood cancer. No one even knows the total number of people, including children who survive, but who lose limbs or have disabilities sometimes for the rest of their lives. Q: Why did you choose to work with this organization or for this cause? A: I did not choose to work for this cause, it chose me! When we lost Erin to sepsis -- something I had never heard of -- I looked around for answers and support. There were none. There were no advocacy groups, no institutions dealing with this and even most nurses and other healthcare providers did not have any education on sepsis. SO, I did not choose this organization. I started it. Q: What inspires you and your personal commitment to this cause? A: What inspires me has changed since I became involved. We lost Erin in April of 2002 from sepsis. I am now inspired by my Erin, plus all the unnecessary deaths and disabilities in the U.S. and worldwide. I am actually on a task force of the Global Sepsis Alliance that is working with the World Health Organization. Much to do, many to save! Q: What is the most rewarding moment during your work with your charity so far? A: The most rewarding moment is when I get confirmation and appreciation that I did something. Also, when I help someone survive physically or when I can help survivors heal is very rewarding. It is very rewarding and gratifying to know you are helping change the world regarding what may be the No. 1 cause of death on this planet!