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Driver to join TriStar Motorsports for full XFINITY Series slate TriStar Motorsports announced Thursday morning that Cale Conley will make the jump to a full-time ride in the NASCAR XFINITY Series next season. Conley, 22, competed in 11 races last season in the Nationwide Series -- which is transferring title sponsorship to Comcast's XFINITY brand in 2015. His best finish in Richard Childress Racing 's No. 33 Chevrolet was sixth at Kentucky Speedway in September. "I am looking forward to working with people that are excited to work with me and help me mature as a driver and competitor in this series," Conley said. "I am grateful to Mark Smith and TriStar Motorsports for being willing to take a chance with me and let me race weekend after weekend after weekend, so I can get one step closer to my ultimate dream of being a NASCAR Sprint Cup champion." TriStar, owned by Mark Smith, fielded 13 drivers in its four-car operation last season, with Mike Bliss , Eric McClure , Blake Koch and Jeff Green making the majority of the starts in the team's Toyotas. Mooresville, North Carolina-based team's best finish was a ninth-place from David Starr at Talladega Superspeedway in the spring. A spokesperson for TriStar said that more announcements regarding the team's driver lineup for 2015 were coming in the next two weeks. Conley brought his rich sprint-car background to NASCAR competition in 2011, gaining experience in the K&N Pro Series before venturing into Nationwide races. The West Virginia native notched his first victory on the K&N circuit at Columbus Motor Speedway in 2012. In addition to his growth on the track last season, Conley made waves off the track when he settled a bet with Emma Blaney by wearing a dress . The campaign to add to Conley's Twitter following and the ensuing pictures prompted the social media hashtag #DriverInADress. Conley is scheduled to appear as a guest on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90) on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. ET. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Victory clinches NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship RELATED: Complete race results " Final driver standings " Photos from Homestead HOMESTEAD, Fla.—The fastest driver doesn't always win a race—or a championship—but on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway , Kevin Harvick did both. Driving a No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet that has been the class of the field for most of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Harvick won Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 at the 1.5-mile intermediate track and claimed his first premier series championship after a three-lap drag race against underdog title contender Ryan Newman . Harvick was so wrapped up in the championship battle that the victory in the race didn't register right away. "I forgot we won the race—how about that?" Harvick chuckled. "I think this Chase is about the best thing that has happened to this sport over the last decade. This is probably going to shorten the drivers' careers, because it's been so stressful, but I want to thank every single fan for sticking with this sport, and to the industry for working to get it right." After the 13th caution slowed the field on Lap 263, the result of debris dripping from the No. 32 Ford of Blake Koch , Harvick led the field to green on Lap 265 of 267 with Newman beside him. Newman stayed to the inside of Harvick's car through the first corner, but Harvick, on four fresh tires to Newman's two, cleared the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet and pulled away to a half-second victory. Under NASCAR's new elimination format for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the driver who won five times, including Sunday, and led 2,137 laps throughout the season beat the driver who was winless with 41 laps led by a single point. In his first season with SHR, Harvick won for the first time at Homestead and for the 28th time in his career. With the highest finisher among the Championship 4 contenders assured of the title, Denny Hamlin came home seventh, and Joey Logano ran 16th after a disastrous late-race pit stop. Harvick's crew chief, Rodney Childers, made a critical call to bring Harvick to pit road for four tires under caution on Lap 249. With three cars staying on the track and eight others taking right-side tires only, Harvick restarted 12th, but two quick cautions fell his way. Harvick made up six positions almost immediately and restarted sixth after the 12th caution for an accident involving Koch and J.J. Yeley on Lap 255. "I knew I needed to get a bunch of (positions)," Harvick said. "I was fortunate to start on the outside. The seas kind of parted there as I came off of Turn 2 and was about to get four or five of them; I don't really know, but it was time to go for broke at that particular point. "When the next caution came out, we were fortunate enough again to line up on the outside (for the restart on Lap 259). That was pretty much what we needed—to get the run on the outside down the backstretch." On the final restart against Harvick, Newman said he contemplated the sort of all-or-nothing move he had used a week earlier against Kyle Larson to edge Jeff Gordon by one point for the final position in the Championship 4 Round. But Newman quickly thought better of the idea. "In the end, I just got down underneath him and he was close enough to me, took some of the air away from me," Newman said. "I could have kept it wide open and washed up into him, and it wasn't the right move. It wasn't what I would have wanted him to do to me. "If we were close enough on the last lap, it might have been a different game, but I wasn't. I slipped off of Turn 4 coming to the white, and at that point it was pretty much over. I really was hoping he would slip a tire, blow a motor, something like that. That was our only hope. All those things go through your mind, but I had a pretty good run and cut down to the bottom and just ran out of racetrack, ran out of room, and he had the air—he had the line." Hamlin, who forewent a pit stop on Lap 249 when most of the other lead-lap cars came to pit road, restarted in the lead on Lap 259, with Newman second and Harvick sixth, but Hamlin's No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota quickly fell victim to cars on superior tires. By the time NASCAR called the 13th caution on Lap 262, Hamlin had dropped to third behind Harvick and Newman, and he fell back to seventh in the final three-lap run. "For me, there's not one thing I would have done different," Hamlin said. "I mean, we brought a car that was capable of winning. I just don't know how to express it enough. Sometimes breaks go your way; sometimes they don't. They just didn't go our way. "There's not much else we could have done with the strategy that we played with the cautions that came out. I wouldn't do a thing different. I think we overachieved greatly by being here, and we haven't had the speed to compete for race wins all year, and we did today, on the race that really mattered. Just came up short." Logano's first flirtation with a title came to an inglorious end when the No. 22 Team Penske Ford fell off the jack as the crew was changing left-side tires under caution on Lap 249. Last out of the pits, Logano restarted 29th on Lap 253 and could recover only to 16th by the checkered flag. "It's hard to be proud right now after coming home wherever we finished in this race," said Logano, who gets credit for fourth in the championship standings despite winning five races. "I don't even know what that is. I don't even care. "You don't get shots at championships often. Hopefully we get another next year. This car had a lot of wins and a lot of top fives, and it doesn't mean a thing." Gordon, the Coors Light Polesitter, led 161 laps, but came to pit road for tires on Lap 256 and wasn't a factor the rest of the way, finishing 10th. Notes: Kyle Larson finished 13th and was the runaway winner of the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award after an outstanding freshman season… Marcos Ambrose finished 27th in his final race for Richard Petty Motorsports before returning to his native Australia to race V8 Supercars for owner Roger Penske… The victim of an early accident, Carl Edwards ran 34th in his final trip in the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford before moving to Joe Gibbs Racing next season. It was also the last race as a crew chief for Edwards' veteran pit boss, Jimmy Fennig… Chevrolet won its 12th straight manufacturers’ championship and 38th overall. 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Robin Pemberton: 'It really is such a small, minute deal that it's fine' RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- The presence of Hendrick Motorsports representatives was requested at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hauler after Sunday's season finale for disobeying a NASCAR directive. Doug Duchardt, executive vice president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports, and Chad Knaus, crew chief for the team's No. 48 Chevrolet and six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson , were among those called to the hauler at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Though a summons to the NASCAR garage's version of the principal's office usually carries a certain amount of gloom and doom, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition and Racing Development Robin Pemberton said the discussion was no monumental dust-up. "We just had a discussion on pit road between our official and Chad and really it was just to discuss what they tried to do," Pemberton said. "That's it, really. It was really not a big deal. We were just trying to clarify what went on, that's all." FYI: CK put a wheel spacer on because of a loose wheel. That destroys the threads on the studs & won't let the wheel tighten up #ChillHaters — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 17, 2014 Duchardt said that the disagreement centered on whether Knaus' crew was allowed to place a wheel spacer on the No. 48 Chevy. "During one of the pit stops, we had a loose wheel and Chad wanted to put a wheel spacer on to help the threads on the back … you hurt the threads of the tire with a loose wheel," Duchardt said. "Chad wanted to put a wheel spacer on, they told him not to, he said he wanted to so we didn't have another loose wheel and that was the misunderstanding. Then we talked about it, and that was that." Duchardt said that adding a wheel spacer was "a common situation," but Pemberton would not say whether the maneuver was a violation of NASCAR rules. "I'm not going to get into the weeds on that, but sometimes if you thought you had an issue with a wheel stud or something mechanical like that, you may need to put a spacer on to get some clean threads for the lug nuts," Pemberton said. "I have no idea, and that's not our question. It really is such a small, minute deal that it's fine. Everything's good." Pemberton said there would be no penalties or further action taken by NASCAR officials, adding that had Knaus asked permission to place the wheel spacer, the disagreement would have blown over. "That would be a better way to do that, but in the heat of the battle, it's fine," Pemberton said. "Everything's fine. It's so far under that, it's ridiculous. We're good." Pemberton added that the race officials' decision to park the GoFAS Racing No. 32 entry driven by Blake Koch was for "disobeying a directive from the (race control) tower." Koch's car played a role in the final two caution periods in the Ford EcoBoost 400 , first in a two-car crash with J.J. Yeley and the second for dropping debris. Pemberton also said that a review of the rear suspension parts that officials confiscated from the Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 Ford driven would begin Monday at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. NASCAR officials found the issue on Ricky Stenhouse Jr .'s car during a Friday inspection ahead of Coors Light Pole Qualifying. 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
Cole Whitt to lead pack in Coors Light Pole Qualifying (6:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2) # Car Driver Team 1 26 Cole Whitt # Speed Stick Gear Toyota 2 27 Paul Menard Richmond/Menards Chevrolet 3 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Toyota 4 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford 5 99 Carl Edwards Fastenal Ford 6 42 Kyle Larson # Target Chevrolet 7 7 Michael Annett # Pilot/Flying J Chevrolet 8 14 Tony Stewart Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 9 55 Brian Vickers Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota 10 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 11 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation Chevrolet 12 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Chevrolet 13 38 David Gilliland MDS Transport Ford 14 83 JJ Yeley(i) Dip Your Car Toyota 15 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevrolet 16 66 Brett Moffitt X8 Energy Gum Toyota 17 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 18 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar Chevrolet 19 3 Austin Dillon # Dow Chevrolet 20 98 Josh Wise PPR98.com Chevrolet 21 36 Reed Sorenson Feed The Children/Dei Fratelli Chevrolet 22 10 Danica Patrick Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevrolet 23 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard Chevrolet 24 95 Michael McDowell KLOVE Radio/Thrivent Financial Ford 25 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford 26 40 Landon Cassill(i) Harvey Gulf Chevrolet 27 5 Kasey Kahne Great Clips Chevrolet 28 33 Brian Scott(i) Shore Lodge Chevrolet 29 34 David Ragan The Pete Store Ford 30 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota 31 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota 32 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fastenal Ford 33 21 Trevor Bayne(i) Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 34 23 Alex Bowman # Dip Your Car Toyota 35 32 Blake Koch (i) LeafFilter.com Ford 36 24 Jeff Gordon Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet 37 51 Justin Allgaier # BRANDT Chevrolet 38 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 39 4 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet 40 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield Foods Ford 41 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet 42 47 AJ Allmendinger Hungry Jack Chevrolet 43 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
See the full field for Coors Light Pole Qualifying (Saturday, 1:15 p.m. ET, FS 1) RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Order Car Driver Team 1 12 * Ryan Blaney (i) Discount Tire Ford 2 98 * Corey LaJoie(i) Medallion Financial/Smithfield Ford 3 31 Dylan Kwasniewski # Rockstar/AccuDoc Solutions Chevrolet 4 87 Milka Duno CanTV Toyota 5 46 * Ryan Ellis Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet 6 01 Landon Cassill Flex Seal Chevrolet 7 52 Joey Gase FindDieselEngines.com Chevrolet 8 17 * Tanner Berryhill # New Gulf Resources Toyota 9 36 * Ryan Preece Accell Construction/East West Marine Chevrolet 10 70 * Derrike Cope Charlie's Soap Chevrolet 11 39 Ryan Sieg # Huntinator Chevrolet 12 7 Regan Smith TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet 13 91 * Jeff Green SupportMilitary.org Toyota 14 72 * John Jackson Crash Claims R Us Chevrolet 15 40 Matt DiBenedetto Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet 16 26 * Jake Crum (i) MyFreedomSmokes.com Chevrolet 17 6 Trevor Bayne AdvoCare Ford 18 42 Kyle Larson(i) Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet 19 9 Chase Elliott # NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 20 14 Eric McClure Hefty Ultimate/Reynolds Wrap Toyota 21 43 Dakoda Armstrong # WinField Ford 22 22 Brad Keselowski(i) Hertz Ford 23 16 Ryan Reed # ADA Drive to Stop Diabetes/Lilly Diabetes Ford 24 23 Carlos Contreras Circle K Chevrolet 25 10 * Ross Chastain (i) watermelon.org Toyota 26 60 Chris Buescher # Humalog Ford 27 99 James Buescher Rheem Toyota 28 62 Brendan Gaughan South Point Chevrolet 29 20 Matt Kenseth(i) GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota 30 28 JJ Yeley Texas 28 Spirits Stage Dodge 31 55 David Starr Niece Equipment Chevrolet 32 2 Brian Scott Shore Lodge Chevrolet 33 5 * Josh Berry Ragu Chevrolet 34 25 * John Wes Townley (i) Zaxby's Toyota 35 54 Kyle Busch(i) Monster Energy Toyota 36 93 TJ Bell(i) Dedicated to Electrical Linemen Dodge 37 51 Jeremy Clements All South Electric/Repairable Vehicles Chevrolet 38 90 * Martin Roy Gamache Truck Center Chevrolet 39 74 * Kevin Lepage MHR Dodge 40 4 Jeffrey Earnhardt GCL/Polyglass Chevrolet 41 3 Ty Dillon # WESCO Chevrolet 42 33 * Scott Lagasse Jr . Alert Today Florida/Boy Scouts of America Chevrolet 43 11 Elliott Sadler OneMain Financial Toyota 44 44 Blake Koch Celsius Flo Fusion Toyota 45 19 Mike Bliss Tweaker Energy Shot Toyota MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
See the order that the field will take the green flag on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, ESPN) RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Pos Car Driver Team 1 24 Jeff Gordon Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet 2 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation Chevrolet 3 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota 4 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 5 4 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet 6 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Toyota 7 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota 8 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 9 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 10 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Chevrolet 11 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard Chevrolet 12 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet 13 55 Brian Vickers Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota 14 51 Justin Allgaier # BRANDT Chevrolet 15 99 Carl Edwards Fastenal Ford 16 27 Paul Menard Richmond/Menards Chevrolet 17 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford 18 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield Foods Ford 19 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevrolet 20 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford 21 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar Chevrolet 22 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fastenal Ford 23 5 Kasey Kahne Great Clips Chevrolet 24 3 Austin Dillon # Dow Chevrolet 25 47 AJ Allmendinger Hungry Jack Chevrolet 26 21 Trevor Bayne(i) Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 27 42 Kyle Larson # Target Chevrolet 28 14 Tony Stewart Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 29 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet 30 33 Brian Scott(i) Shore Lodge Chevrolet 31 34 David Ragan The Pete Store Ford 32 10 Danica Patrick Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevrolet 33 40 Landon Cassill(i) Harvey Gulf Chevrolet 34 83 JJ Yeley(i) Dip Your Car Toyota 35 38 David Gilliland MDS Transport Ford 36 36 Reed Sorenson Feed The Children/Dei Fratelli Chevrolet 37 98 Josh Wise PPR98.com Chevrolet 38 95 Michael McDowell KLOVE Radio/Thrivent Financial Ford 39 7 Michael Annett # Pilot/Flying J Chevrolet 40 32 Blake Koch (i) LeafFilter.com Ford 41 23 Alex Bowman # Dip Your Car Toyota 42 26 Cole Whitt # Speed Stick Gear Toyota 43 66 Brett Moffitt X8 Energy Gum Toyota MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView