Truex Jr., Almirola among several drivers wiped out after wreck RELATED: Nine-car wreck on Lap 3 MORE: Full race results " Updated series standings Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne made contact and crashed, bringing out the race's sixth caution on Lap 104 of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Other cars involved in the melee were David Ragan , Jamie McMurray , Kyle Larson , Aric Almirola , Brad Keselowski , Sam Hornish Jr ., Martin Truex Jr ., Trevor Bayne and Danica Patrick , who cut a tire as she ran over a piece of debris from the incident. Almirola is the defending race winner. "I was following Jeff Gordon up through there and he got shuffled out and I kind of committed to him and we started moving back up there pretty good," Almirola said. "I was happy about the momentum we had and next thing I know some cars got together on the inside, and I heard the noise and heard them start to spin. ... It is a game of inches here sometimes, and I think a couple feet more forward and we wouldn't be in this. It stinks. I am certainly disappointed." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Complete news and notes on all 43 drivers in the Coke Zero 400 RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid Breaking down how the full 43-car field fared at Daytona International Speedway 1. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . It was initially a muted celebration for Earnhardt's second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory of the year as he watched Austin Dillon 's horrifying crash from his rear-view mirror after the checkered flag at Daytona International Speedway. His No. 88 ride dominated, leading six times for 96 laps in the 161-lap main event. " WATCH: Dale Jr. on big week, scary crash 2. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Earnhardt's stablemate was one of few drivers within striking distance at the finish. Johnson paced 35 laps, the only other driver with more than 10 laps led in the Coke Zero 400 . " MORE: Johnson pleased with 1-2 Hendrick finish 3. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . The JGR driver landed his first top-five finish since winning at Martinsville Speedway in March, but came across the finish line sideways at the checkered flag after contact with Kevin Harvick ignited the final massive crash of the night. " WATCH: Hamlin reacts to wild wreck 4. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Harvick took the checkered flag at the leading edge of the race-ending melee, making the cool-down lap with heavy front-end damage. He remained the Sprint Cup Series points leader with his fourth top-five finish in the last five races. " MORE: See the updated Chase Grid 5. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Busch held on to avoid the brunt of the damage erupting around him on the final-lap crash to secure his fourth straight top-five finish, moving him to eighth in Sprint Cup Series points despite missing three races to start the season. 6. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Gordon wound up sliding out of control after taking the checkered flag for the final time at the 2.5-mile track, but clinched his ninth top-10 finish of the year. Barring an unexpected return to competition, Gordon's career will end with six Daytona wins on his resume. 7. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon, the NASCAR XFINITY Series winner the night before, emerged largely unscathed after his No. 3 entry went tumbling into the catch fencing not far from the start-finish line. He walked away from the crash and offered a wave to the crowd with a nod to former professional bull rider Lane Frost. " MORE: Dillon shaken, but OK after massive wreck 8. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman caught part of the massive crash at the finish. His RCR entry led its first lap since Martinsville in March as Newman posted his second straight top-10 effort. 9. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne went skidding as part of the pileup at the checkered flag, but recorded his second top-10 finish of the year in the No. 6. 10. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . The MWR driver eked out his third consecutive top-10 finish in spite of early contact in the first crash of the day and being caught in the midst of the race-ending tangle, with Dillon's airborne car sailing over his No. 15. Bowyer was among seven drivers credited with leading just one lap. " WATCH: See the contact Bowyer had 11. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears' team recovered from an early pit-road penalty and repairs of a faulty sensor that caused the No. 13 to lose power. He just missed his second top-10 of the season; the first came in the Daytona 500 . 12. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Ragan brought out the next-to-last caution period with a long slide on the backstretch and was collected in the major crash as the curtain fell on the Coke Zero 400 , but still managed to register his best finish thus far in his seven-race stint with the Michael Waltrip -owned team. 13. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. Cassill ran with the powerhouse teams in the third restrictor-plate race of the season, emerging with damage but also with his best Sprint Cup finish of 2015. 14. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Stewart had a prime but unfortunate seat for the race-ending crash, watching Austin Dillon 's car sail into the catch fencing. Smoke matched his car number in the results column for his fourth top-15 performance of the season. 15. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing . McMurray was among the drivers wrapped up in the final multicar crash of the day. Though four of his seven Sprint Cup wins have come at either Daytona or Talladega, he's yet to record a top-10 finish in three races on restrictor-plate tracks this year. 16. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard's fourth-place starting spot was his best of the season, awarded based on first practice speeds after Coors Light Pole Qualifying was rained out. He dipped from his position in eighth place on the final restart to miss out on a top-10. 17. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Busch's first race back at Daytona was a rocky one. He scraped the wall in the 17th lap and twice received the free pass during caution periods to rally, but his No. 18 suffered further damage in the race-ending wreck. " MORE: How is Busch positioned to make the Chase 18. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Allgaier went spinning after the checkered flag, but his best restrictor-plate finish of the year helped him gain two spots in the standings to 29th place. 19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse surfaced from the carnage to notch his best Sprint Cup finish since a fourth place at Bristol Motor Speedway in April. 20. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Biffle was involved in the first yellow flag of the race, then was sent scraping past the finish line at the checkered flag to end an eventful day in the No. 16. 21. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . The recent dry spell extended to 14 races without a top-10 finish for the JTG Daugherty crew, which had its No. 47 returned to the Daytona garage by a wrecker after the race-ending crash. 22. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . The reigning Daytona 500 champion's chances at a Daytona season sweep fizzled early with involvement in the first large crash of the day and a black flag for racing with a flapping rear fender. Logano rallied with help of the free pass on the next-to-last caution, turning the rough day into a lead-lap finish. 23. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Kenseth was at the center of an 11-car stack-up just past the midway point, spinning in tight racing with Kasey Kahne off Turn 4. " WATCH: See Kenseth and Kahne make contact to trigger wreck 24. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Bowman, who failed to qualify for the season-opening Daytona 500 , converted a lead-lap finish despite his No. 7 ride sustaining damage as he took the checkered flag. 25. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Whitt described his car's handling as "darty" in radio communications but held on to end the race as the Front Row team's top finisher. 26. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . The former NASCAR Next driver secured his first lead-lap finish since placing a season-best 18th at Talladega Superspeedway in May. 27. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Though it's a distant result from his season-best of eighth place, Moffitt's early morning finish was his best in eight races driving for team owner Bob Jenkins. 28. Brendan Gaughan , No. 62 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. The NASCAR XFINITY Series regular, who has failed to qualify for eight Sprint Cup races this season, secured his first lead-lap finish of the season as the last driver to complete all 161 laps. 29. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . A day that started with radio communications trouble ended with Keselowski's out-of control No. 2 sliding through fluid and wreckage into the mangled No. 3 of Austin Dillon after the race. Keselowski was also involved in the race's fifth caution period, just past the halfway point. 30. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Hornish's sour luck continued with his involvement in three Daytona crashes, the final of which finally broke the No. 9 with heavy damage after a wild ride through the backstretch grass. 31. Josh Wise , No. 98 Ford, Phil Parsons Racing. Wise finished seven laps off the leader's pace after a battery cable came unfastened, requiring a tow back to the garage. 32. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne ran among the top five with his Hendrick teammates in early portions of the race, but was caught up in Matt Kenseth 's spin that touched off a sizable wreck in Turn 4 on Lap 105. " WATCH: Kahne and Kenseth involved in big wreck 33. J.J. Yeley, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Yeley returned from repairs after a Lap 87 pileup collected his No. 23 and six other cars, but finish 22 laps down to the front-runners. 34. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . A crash in the wake of Matt Kenseth 's spin in heavy traffic dashed Almirola's hopes for a Coke Zero 400 repeat, sending the Petty-owned No. 43 to the garage. He was listed as running at the finish after extensive repairs. 35. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Patrick was caught by the race's first crash, just four laps in, but any dwindling hopes of contending were thwarted by another hit with the outside retaining wall in the 129th lap, sidelining her for the balance of the event. " WATCH: Trouble at Daytona for Danica 36. Jeb Burton , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . The Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate lost plenty of ground after the first big wreck of the event, finishing 40 laps off the pace. 37. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . A part in the first multicar crash of the day doomed Annett's effort almost from the outset, relegating the second-year driver to his sixth consecutive finish of 30th or worse. 38. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . "The weekend didn't start off well for us and it ended worse," was the sentiment of Truex after a crash in practice and another multicar wreck in the 105th lap. After reeling off top-10 finishes in 14 of the first 15 races of the season, Truex now has back-to-back DNFs related to crashes. " RELATED: Truex among big names taken out in 'Big One' 39. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing . The 105th-lap crash that snared 11 cars hit Larson's No. 42 hard with heavy nose-first contact against the Turn 4 inside retaining wall. The second-year driver has three DNFs this season, all at restrictor-plate tracks. 40. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Gilliland was a focal point of the first large crash of the race, spinning in front of a large pack after contact with the car of Clint Bowyer . He returned to the race, enduring a solo spin just before halfway and taking the checkered flag 65 laps down. " WATCH: Gilliland brings out first caution 41. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Two crashes curbed Edwards' efforts, the first causing rear-end damage in the 53rd lap and the latter lifting his No. 19 Camry up onto the hood and windshield of Brian Scott 's No. 33. " WATCH: Hard hit for Edwards 42. Brian Scott , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport. Scott's fifth Sprint Cup race of his part-time season ended with a too-close-for-comfort view of Carl Edwards ' car on top of his. Scott has DNFs in his last three races in NASCAR's top division. 43. Bobby Labonte , No. 32 Ford, Go FAS Racing. The former series champion's third race of the season ended early as the Archie St. Hilaire-owned No. 32 completed just two laps before tangling in Sunday's first multicar shunt. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Catch up quickly for the Coke Zero 400 (Sunday, NBC) RELATED: Full lineup for Sunday's race " See all 43 cars that will be on track What: Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola Where: Daytona International Speedway, 2.5-mile oval in Daytona Beach, Florida When: Sunday, July 5, 11 p.m. ET TV/Radio: NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Distance: 160 laps, 400 miles Pit road speed: 55 mph Caution car speed: 70 mph Fuel window: 36 laps Competition caution: Lap 25 On the front row: Two-time Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr . will start from the pole at Daytona for only the second time in his career (he won the pole for the 2011 Daytona 500 ) after bad weather cancelled qualifying Saturday night and the field was set by first practice speeds, per the NASCAR rule book. Austin Dillon , who won the 2014 Daytona 500 pole position, will start alongside Earnhardt. RELATED: Dale Jr. wins Coors Light Pole at Daytona Fastest in practice: Earnhardt's pace-setting 202.284-mph lap in Friday's opening practice was good enough to put his No. 88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet on the pole. Dillon, Clint Bowyer , Paul Menard and Trevor Bayne rounded out the top five. Danica Patrick was fastest in the second practice, but will start 28th -- her best effort in the first practice. Last year's winner: Aric Almirola gave team owner Richard Petty's famous No. 43 its first win on the Daytona high banks since 1984 after rain forced the event to be called 48 laps short of its 160-lap scheduled finish. On the line: With only 10 races remaining to set the 16-car Chase field, several top-shelf drivers are still trying to earn their first win of the season and automatic entry into the Chase playoff. Preseason favorites such as Clint Bowyer , three-time Cup champ Tony Stewart , Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Jamie McMuray and Kyle Larson and Hendrick drivers Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne are among the A-list names still looking for a victory. RELATED: Which winless driver has best Daytona stats? Farewell: This will be the last Sprint Cup Series start at Daytona for three-time Daytona 500 winner Gordon, who is retiring at the end of the season from his famed No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Daytona International Speedway is home to Gordon's very first NASCAR victory -- a win in the 1993 Daytona 500 qualifying race in his first start. Gordon's track record here is among the all-time bests with three wins in the summer Coke Zero 400 to go with his three Daytona 500 wins, five Budweiser Duel victories, two wins in the Sprint Unlimited and a victory in the 1998 IROC race. He will start his No. 24 Axalta Chevy 23rd in his final start. Overdue: Stewart may be enduring the toughest season start of his storied career, but Daytona has been a good place for Stewart with the exception of the Daytona 500 . He has 19 career wins here -- multiple victories in every race he's entered outside the 500. He leads all active drivers with four wins in the Coke Zero 400 and is the only active driver to score back-to-back wins in the race (2005-06). And he has led more laps (369) in this race than any other active driver. Although he will start the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops Chevy from the 31st position, he was fourth-fastest in the second practice session Friday. He won this race in 2012 after starting 42nd. Stewart is ranked 26th in the championship standings with only one top-10 finish on the season. RELATED: Stewart has a shot at Daytona Nuts and Bolts: A whopping 73 percent of all Daytona summer races have been won from a top-10 starting position. ... If pole sitter Earnhardt Jr. stays in front of the field for 46 laps Sunday he will have led 8,000 laps in his Sprint Cup career. ... Kurt Busch has the longest Daytona winless streak on the starting grid with an 0-for-28 record here. He said it: "I come into restrictor plate races feeling like we have very fast race cars and that we have a chance to come out of here with a great finish, if not a win, as much or more so as the field. And at the same time, that thought and confidence is followed right up with, 'When was the last time I finished one of these races?'" -- Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet) MORE: Gordon, Earnhardt Jr. on the drivers' council FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Aric Almirola joins the #NASCARGoesWest crew at the Camping World RV to grill and chill in Phoenix. Visit CampingWorld.com to find everything you need for your RV!
A statistical look ahead to the 18th race of the Sprint Cup season DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (July 6, 2015) – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky going into the Quaker State 400 on July 11 on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. ET. KENTUCKY-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M's Crispy Toyota) · One win, three top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 4.500, series-best · Average Running Position of 5.270, series-best · Driver Rating of 124.3, series-best · 139 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 172.614, series-best · 1003 Laps in the Top 15 (93.9), series-most · 99 Quality Passes, 11th-most Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · Two top 10s · Average finish of 11.500, eighth-best · Average Running Position of 13.430, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 89.4, 11th-best · 21 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.179, 13th-fastest · 603 Laps in the Top 15 (56.5), 12th-most · 112 Quality Passes, seventh-most Dale Earnhardt Jr (No. 88 NATIONWIDE Chevrolet) · Two top fives, two top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 12.750, 10th-best · Average Running Position of 12.607, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 90.7, ninth-best · 32 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.518, 10th-fastest · 633 Laps in the Top 15 (59.3), 11th-most · 106 Quality Passes, ninth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 COMCAST MINIONS Toyota) · One top five, one top 10 · Average finish of 15.750, 12th-best · Average Running Position of 12.755, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 87.2, 12th-best · 20 Fastest Laps Run, second-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.201, 12th-fastest · 662 Laps in the Top 15 (62.0), 10th-most · 107 Quality Passes, eighth-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet) · One top five, four top 10s · Average finish of 7.250, fourth-best · Average Running Position of 12.069, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 95.4, sixth-best · 41 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.777, seventh-fastest · 736 Laps in the Top 15 (68.9), seventh-most · 140 Quality Passes, fourth-most Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota) · One top five, one top 10 · Average finish of 22.750, 13th-best · Average Running Position of 18.688, 13th-best · Driver Rating of 85.2, 13th-best · 34 Fastest Laps Run, series-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 172.252, third-fastest · 558 Laps in the Top 15 (52.2), 13th-most · 87 Quality Passes, 13th-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John's Chevrolet) · Two top 10s · Average finish of 11.000, seventh-best · Average Running Position of 10.600, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 95.2, seventh-best · 17 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.767, eighth-fastest · 884 Laps in the Top 15 (82.8), fourth-most · 133 Quality Passes, fifth-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Pro Services Chevrolet) · One top five, four top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 7.000, third-best · Average Running Position of 6.292, second-best · Driver Rating of 116.6, second-best · 127 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 172.573, second-fastest · 963 Laps in the Top 15 (90.2), third-most · 142 Quality Passes, third-most Kasey Kahne (No. 5 LIFTMASTER Chevrolet) · One top five, two top 10s · Average finish of 8.500, fifth-best · Average Running Position of 12.879, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 98.9, fifth-best · 64 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 172.039, fifth-fastest · 709 Laps in the Top 15 (66.4), eighth-most · 145 Quality Passes, second-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · One win, two top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 4.500, second-best · Average Running Position of 9.208, third-best · Driver Rating of 107.2, fourth-best · 79 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 172.189, fourth-fastest · 972 Laps in the Top 15 (91.0), second-most · 181 Quality Passes, series-most Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford) · Two wins, two top fives, three top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 10.500, sixth-best · Average Running Position of 10.234, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 116.1, third-best · 171 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.863, sixth-fastest · 840 Laps in the Top 15 (78.7), fifth-most · 88 Quality Passes, 12th-most Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil/AutoTrader Ford) · One top five, two top 10s · Average finish of 12.250, ninth-best · Average Running Position of 11.292, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 94.7, eighth-best · 25 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.579, ninth-fastest · 669 Laps in the Top 15 (62.6), ninth-most · 101 Quality Passes, 10th-most Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) · Two top fives, two top 10s · Average finish of 13.750, 11th-best · Average Running Position of 12.857, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 90.2, 10th-best · 14 Fastest Laps Run, third-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.476, 11th-fastest · 776 Laps in the Top 15 (72.7), sixth-most · 113 Quality Passes, sixth-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Kentucky Speedway Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 4 0 0 0 2 0 11 95.2 2 Dale Earnhardt Jr 4 1 0 2 2 0 12.8 90.7 3 Jimmie Johnson 4 1 0 1 4 0 7 116.6 4 Joey Logano 4 0 0 1 2 0 12.2 94.7 5 Martin Truex Jr 4 0 0 0 2 0 13 84.0 6 Jamie McMurray 4 0 0 1 1 1 22.5 76.5 7 Brad Keselowski 4 1 2 2 3 0 10.5 116.1 8 Kurt Busch 4 0 0 0 2 0 11.5 89.4 9 Matt Kenseth 4 0 1 2 4 0 4.5 107.2 10 Jeff Gordon 4 0 0 1 4 0 7.2 95.4 11 Kasey Kahne 4 0 0 1 2 0 8.5 98.9 12 Denny Hamlin 4 0 0 1 1 2 22.8 85.2 13 Paul Menard 4 0 0 0 0 0 20.2 74.5 14 Ryan Newman 4 0 0 2 2 1 13.8 90.2 15 Clint Bowyer 4 0 0 1 1 1 19.2 83.3 16 Aric Almirola 3 0 0 0 0 1 26.7 67.4 * – Based on last four races at Kentucky Speedway. Kentucky Speedway Data Season Race #: 18 of 36 (07-11-15) Track Size : 1.5-miles Banking/Turn 1 & 2 : 14 degrees Banking/Turn 3 & 4 : 14 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 8 degrees Banking/Backstretch : 8 degrees Frontstretch Length : 1,662 feet Backstretch Length : 1,600 feet Race Length : 200 laps / 300 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Kentucky Kyle Busch ............................... 124.3 Jimmie Johnson ........................ 116.6 Brad Keselowski ....................... 116.1 Matt Kenseth ............................. 107.2 Kasey Kahne .............................. 98.9 Jeff Gordon ................................ 95.4 Kevin Harvick .............................. 95.2 Joey Logano .............................. 94.7 Dale Earnhardt Jr . ....................... 90.7 Ryan Newman ............................. 90.2 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (four total) among active drivers at Kentucky Speedway. Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Brad Keselowski , Ford 188.791 mph, 28.603 secs. 06-28-14 2014 race winner : Brad Keselowski , Ford 139.723 mph, (02:51:59), 06-29-14 Track qualifying record: Brad Keselowski , Ford 188.791 mph, 28.603 secs. 06-28-14 Track race record: Brad Keselowski ., Dodge 145.607 mph, (02:45:02), 06-30-12 At Kentucky Speedway: History · In 1998, the track broke ground in Sparta, Kentucky, and opened as a 1.5-mile speedway in 2000. · The original owners, Jerry Carroll and four other investors owned the track until 2008, when current owners, Speedway Motorsports Inc. purchased the facility. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was held in 2011 – won by Kyle Busch . Starts · There have been four NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kentucky Speedway since the first race in 2011 – one race per season. · 60 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway; 45 in more than one. · 28 different drivers have made all four series starts at Kentucky Speedway. · Brad Keselowski leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Average Starting Position at Kentucky with a 5.75; followed by Kyle Busch with a 6.25. Poles · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying at Kentucky was cancelled due to weather. The starting line-up was set per the Rule Book – Kyle Busch started from first. · Brad Keselowski (2014), Dale Earnhardt Jr . (2013) and Jimmie Johnson (2012) are the three drivers that have won Coors Light poles at Kentucky. · Youngest Kentucky pole winner: Brad Keselowski (06/28/2014 – 30 years, 4 months, 16 days). · Oldest Kentucky pole winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr . (06/30/2013 – 38 years, 8 months, 20 days). Wins · Three different NSCS drivers have won at Kentucky Speedway: Kyle Busch (07/09/2011), Brad Keselowski (06/30/2012 and 6/28/2014) and Matt Kenseth (6/30/2013). · Brad Keselowski leads the series in wins at Kentucky with two. · Youngest Kentucky winner: Kyle Busch (07/09/2011 – 26 years, 2 months, 7 days). · Oldest Kentucky winner: Matt Kenseth (06/30/2013 – 41 years, 3 months, 20 days). · Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske are tied for the series lead in wins at Kentucky with two each: Joe Gibbs Racing (2011, 2013); Team Penske (2012, 2014). · Three different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Kentucky: Toyota (2011, 2013), Dodge (2012) and Ford (2014). · Brad Keselowski is the only driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky from the Coors Light poles (2014). · Kyle Busch won the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky from the first starting position. Due to the qualifying session being cancelled for the 2011 race, it was not from the Coors Light pole. · Two of the four (50.0%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky have been won from the front row – both from the first starting position (2011, 2014). · Three of the four (75%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kentucky have been won from a top-10 starting position. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Kentucky is 16th, by Matt Kenseth in 2013. · The fewest laps led in a single race by an eventual NSCS winner at Kentucky is 38 laps by Matt Kenseth in 2013. · The most laps led in a single race by an eventual NSCS winner at Kentucky is 199 laps by Brad Keselowski in 2014. Additional Finishing Position Stats · Four different drivers have posted NSCS runner-up finishes at Kentucky: David Reutimann (2011), Kasey Kahne (2012), Jamie McMurray (2013) and Kyle Busch (2014). · 14 different drivers have posted top-five finishes at Kentucky led by Kyle Busch with three; followed by Brad Keselowski , Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Matt Kenseth , and Ryan Newman with two each. · 19 different drivers have posted top-10 finishes at Kentucky led by Kyle Busch , Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth with four each. · Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch are tied for the series among active drivers in Average Finishing Position at Kentucky with a 4.5 each. Jimmie Johnson (7.0), Jeff Gordon (7.2), and Kasey Kahne (8.5) are the other active drivers with an average finish in the top 10. Track Event Stats · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway was the July 9, 2011 race won by Kyle Busch over David Reutimann with a MOV of 0.179 second. · None of the four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky Speedway have resulted with a green-white-checkered finish. · None of the four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions. · Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway once; the 2011 race. · The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky produced the most lead changes (20) at the 1.5-mile track. The fewest lead changes were in the 2013 race at Kentucky (11). · The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky produced the most different leaders (12) at the 1.5-mile speedway. The fewest leaders in a NSCS event at Kentucky were last season’s race with three. · Brad Keselowski leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Kentucky with 346 laps led in four starts. Female Competitor Stats · Danica Patrick is the only female driver to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway . Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date Danica Patrick 29 23 6/30/2013 Danica Patrick 10 21 6/28/2014 Averages 19.5 22.0 NASCAR in Kentucky · There have been five NASCAR Sprint Cup races among two tracks in Kentucky. Track Name City NSCS Kentucky Speedway Sparta 4 Corbin Speedway Corbin 1 · 42 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Kentucky; three have posted wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Driver NSCS NNS NCWTS Jeremy Mayfield 5 0 0 Michael Waltrip 4 11 1 Tommy Thompson 1 0 0 Jeff Green 0 16 0 David Green 0 9 0 Milestones – Kentucky Speedway HAS NEEDS MILESTONE DESCRIPTION DRIVER Michael McDowell 174 1 175th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Career Start McDowell is 145th on the all-time NSCS career starts list, two starts behind Walter Ballard and Regan Smith (176 each) in 143rd. Danica Patrick 99 1 100th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Career Start Patrick is 191st on the all-time NSCS career starts list, one start behind Bruce Hill (100) in 190th. Jimmie Johnson 74 2 76th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win Jimmie Johnson is eighth on the all-time NSCS wins list, two wins behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt in seventh (76 wins). Tony Stewart 48 2 50th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win Stewart is 13th on the all-time NSCS wins l
Aric Almirola talks about being 8th in the NSCS points standings and what has atrrivuted to their success this season.
NNS driver Aric Almirola thanks his team and sponsors for their help in winning fourth place in the 2011 Nationwide Series.
NNS driver Aric Almirola thanks his team and sponsors for their help in winning fourth place in the 2011 Nationwide Series.
Edwards, Kenseth and more experience Chase woes RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota JOLIET, Ill. -- His broken No. 43 Ford parked in front of the team hauler, Aric Almirola climbed out of the window net with his afternoon finished 37 laps before he wanted it to. Team owner Richard Petty was there to great his driver, and 'The King' wore a smile. Almirola did not. At least not at first. After Petty put his arm around the driver's shoulders and pulled him in for a brief hug, Almirola was able to flash some whites. Meanwhile, his No. 43 team popped the hood and tried to diagnose a busted engine that had previously shown no problematic signs, and was in fact healthy enough for Almirola to be in sixth place when it suddenly let go following a pit stop. It all contributed to an aura that was equal parts desolation and optimism, with one of the biggest underdogs in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup balancing the feeling of knowing he was one of the best cars on the track with the reality that was his 41st-place finish. "Heartbroken I think is the easiest way to describe it," Almirola said, before saying in the next breath the team had "nothing to hang our heads about. We drove from 23rd up to the top 10, running sixth with just over 30 to go and it just wasn't meant to be. We will regroup and go to Loudon and Dover and try to be spectacular." The team will have to be. Following his four-point day, Almirola is last on the 16-driver Chase Grid with 2,007 points. He is 23 points behind 12th-place Carl Edwards . New Hampshire and Dover are the final two races of the Challenger Round, before the Chase field gets trimmed to 12 for the Contender Round. "We know we are capable of running in the top-10," Almirola said. "Everyone else might not think so, the rest of the world thinks we are underdogs and we will gladly accept that tag, but what we've shown today and these last two weeks is exactly what we are capable of. "We have to win. That is it. There is no other option. We have to go and figure out how we can win one of the next two races." Almirola and crew aren't the only ones looking for a win -- or the very least, to be in contention for a win -- following Sunday's postseason opener at Chicagoland Speedway . Here's who else ran into trouble, and what it meant for them: • Ryan Newman . Two laps down late in the race, Newman somehow rallied for a lead-lap finish and crossed the start/finish line in 15th place. A blown tire on Lap 99 necessitated two stops down pit road and put Newman 23rd as the final car on the lead lap. A tire rub on Lap 155 brought him down pit road again and put the No. 31 two laps down. "Find out why that tire started rubbing again and make sure it doesn't happen again, please," Newman said tersely over the radio. Three cautions in the final 35 laps were enough to get Newman back on the lead lap by virtue of being the beneficiary. He restarted 19th on Lap 259 and finished 15th. He is 13th in the standings, one point behind Edwards. • Carl Edwards. Edwards started third but finished 20th, thanks in part to a shredded tire that brought out the yellow flag on Lap 232. Even before that incident, though, Edwards simply had a slow No. 99 Ford. He consistently fell throughout the race and finished 20th, one lap down. "We had a flat tire and got fortunate that didn't hurt us," Edwards said. "Our day was not good. We've got to be a little faster and we have to continue to have good luck. For us to advance we are going to have to rely on other people making some mistakes." • Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch . Both of these drivers had the exact same error, and both recovered. On Lap 46, Busch spun entering pit road and lost lots of position. He also knocked over the commitment cone and had to serve a pass-through penalty, but later got back on the lead lap and finished eighth. Kenseth, too, took a solo spin when coming fast into pit road. His snafu was on Lap 148, but he rallied to finish 10th. "I'll never fault you for being aggressive," crew chief Jason Ratcliff said over the radio. Busch is ninth in the standings (2,039 points) and Kenseth is 10th (2,034 points). • Greg Biffle , AJ Allmendinger . Like Kenseth and Busch, these two had related issues. Unlike Kenseth and Busch, neither driver recovered. The problem? Being slow. Allmendinger continually used the word "hate" to describe his No. 47 Chevrolet over the radio, and Biffle's No. 16 Ford underscored that Roush Fenway Racing is still off on speed. Allmendinger finished 22nd and Biffle was 23rd, both two laps down. Allmendinger is 14th in the standings (2,025 points) and Biffle is 15th, four points behind him. No. Chase driver Issue 41 Kurt Busch Lap 46: Spun entering pit road 5 Kasey Kahne Two pit-road speeding penalties 4 Kevin Harvick Lap 70: Loose left rear tire 31 Ryan Newman Lap 99: Blown left rear tire 20 Matt Kenseth Lap 148: Spun entering pit road 2 Brad Keselowski Lap 183: Right front loose tire 99 Carl Edwards Lap 231: Blown left rear tire 43 Aric Almirola Lap 231: Blown engine MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
RPM driver shows gratitude to Ambrose for contributions to organization RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota LOUDON, N.H. -- Aric Almirola has plenty of pressure to perform the next two weekends to keep his Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup postseason hopes alive. One thing he's scratched off the list of things to worry about -- the livelihood of his Richard Petty Motorsports team. Despite his last-place position in the 16-driver playoff, Almirola was almost all smiles Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway , two days after his team reaffirmed its commitment to remain a two-car operation in 2015. It's the sort of long-term vote of confidence in the wake of teammate Marcos Ambrose 's impending departure that can at least soothe some of the opening-round heartbreak that visited The King's famed No. 43 last weekend at Chicagoland. "It's really important," Almirola said. "You see most or all of the top teams in this sport are multi-car teams and that's important to have that resource of teammates and more information. I think any time you do things with just one person it becomes really easy to get stuck in your ways and not be able to see outside the box, but as soon as you get more information, more teammates, more heads thinking on the same thing, it opens your eyes to a lot of different opportunities as far as setups and people and ways to go about setting your cars up and processes in the shop. "So I think anytime something like this is going down, it's important for the guys and first and foremost for the guys at the race team to know that, 'Hey, you're OK, you're safe. We’re not shutting the car down. We're gonna have two cars and we're gonna go racing.' So that's first and foremost of the importance to let those guys know that they're OK, but on top of that for everything that we've built over the last four or five years to this point and being a winning race team and a Chase-contending race team, to let everybody know that's still our goal and we’re not backing down from that." Carrying over the status quo isn't necessarily the worst thing that could happen to a team that's seen its share of ownership changes over the years. Mergers and partnerships with principals such as Ray Evernham, Robert Yates and George Gillett made the team a cauldron of uncertainty throughout the previous decade as it shrank from a four-car conglomerate to a two-car stable, but the past three years have marked a period of relative stability in both the ownership and driver lineup. The smooth seas at RPM took on more than a ripple last weekend with Ambrose's announcement that he'd return to his native Australia, leaving Petty's No. 9 Ford with a prominent vacancy for 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage. While Almirola , who signed a three-year contract extension with RPM back in January, awaits the team's next chapter, he expressed his gratitude for Ambrose's legacy and lasting contributions. "He was there a year before me, so he was there at probably its darkest hour with the Gillett split and bankruptcy and Richard putting a lot of his own money to keep the team alive, and going from four cars down to two," Almirola said. "Marcos has seen a lot of that company and helped build it to where it is today, and I'm extremely appreciative of that because I get to reap the benefits of that. I feel like I was a big part of that, but I came in a year later. He's probably been one of the best teammates that I've ever worked with. He's such a fun guy and a lot of fun to be around, and he's an extremely good race car driver." For the shorter term, Almirola and Co. need to regroup -- and fast -- to make their imprint in the Contender Round, the next three-race cut in the new-look Chase. Reaching that goal means turning it on in this Sunday's Sylvania 300 (2 p.m. ET, ESPN) and following up strong the next weekend's race at Dover International Speedway. While Almirola said he didn't think he'd need a win-or-else approach over the next two races to advance, he also knows a repeat of the 41st-place finish outside the Windy City last weekend would be devastating. The Chicago setback hasn't stopped the 30-year-old from crunching the numbers to see how he'll avoid being one of the four eliminated drivers after Dover . "All the guys on my team and myself included know that we've got to go out and for our best shot -- without winning, for our best shot to transfer we have to run top-five the next two weeks," Almirola said. "There's no doubt about it and we've got to hope that the guys that are already down in points run 20th-25th. I think right now we're 23 points out of 12th, so if we run fifth and Carl (Edwards) runs 20th, that's 15 points and that puts us within seven going to Dover . That makes it a reality getting to Dover , but we've got to take a big chunk out here." While it's small consolation now, Almirola said that engine builder Doug Yates pinpointed the broken exhaust valve that caused his No. 43 car to go up in smoke just 37 laps from the finish last weekend, saying that similar trouble befell fellow Ford drivers Joey Logano at Kentucky and Ambrose at Atlanta earlier in the year. Almirola was heartened by the fact that it was just his first engine-related failure to finish in his three years with the Petty group, but that the timing of the misfortune could not have been worse. "Of all weekends for it to happen the first race of the Chase," Almirola said, "Why could it have not happened at Atlanta or Richmond or wherever else, but it is what it is. It just wasn't meant to be. The stars didn't line up right for us at Chicago, but we’ll rebound." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation