Team Penske driver: 'All drivers responsibility to take safety seriously' Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Safety has been a hot topic in the opening weeks of the NASCAR national series season with Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon both involved in wrecks in back-to-back weeks at spots on tracks without a SAFER barrier. Busch's wreck in the NASCAR XFINITY Series opener at Daytona International Speedway left him sidelined indefinitely with a compound fracture of the right lower leg and a left mid-foot fracture, while Gordon was just done for the day at the Atlanta Motor Speedway . With all that going on, Brad Keselowski , the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, took to Twitter to offer some of his thoughts on the subject of safety. Racing safety has it complacency until someone significant dies in our era @nateryan @alo_oficial — Brad Keselowski (@ keselowski ) March 3, 2015 Safety in racing is a tough subject. Racing is dangerous and always will be. I accept my own risk every week. But that doesn't mean being — Brad Keselowski (@ keselowski ) March 3, 2015 As a professional in an entertainment sport, it is all drivers responsibility to take safety seriously as our decisions transcend our level. — Brad Keselowski (@ keselowski ) March 3, 2015 Simple safety measures like the HANS device have saved lives at the lower levels and they are made possible by the works of those at the top — Brad Keselowski (@ keselowski ) March 3, 2015 So much to say about safety vs risk in racing and too few characters to use. — Brad Keselowski (@ keselowski ) March 3, 2015 Tracks have been taking extra precaution and making safety enhancements in recent weeks, with Daytona announcing it would ring the entire track with SAFER barrier. Atlanta also made some safety enhancements before last week's race. NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell said in a video interview with NASCAR.com on Monday ( that you can watch here ) that there is "no greater priority" for the sanctioning body and its affiliated tracks than the expanded use of impact-absorbing protective barriers. "I think from our perspective, no different than Daytona," O'Donnell said. "We said that there's no greater priority for NASCAR in working with the tracks to have SAFER everywhere. In terms of where it makes sense, obviously there's some challenges with different gates where you've got to look at some other technologies, but for us, the process is in place for short-term plans where we've worked with Atlanta and the upcoming West Coast tracks, and longer-term, implementing the SAFER barriers as quickly as we can." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today
Jones, Hayley also post top speeds Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: See full practice results HAMPTON, Ga. -- After propelling his No. 29 Toyota at 178.695 mph around Atlanta Motor Speedway, BK Racing team owner Brad Keselowski soared to the top of the leaderboard during Friday's final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice for the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 (Saturday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. ET, FS1). Kyle Busch Motorsports' Erik Jones came in second, circling the Georgia track at 178.677 mph in his No. 4 Toyota. ThorSport Racing's Cameron Hayley made a late run during the session, ultimately propelling his No. 13 ride to third-fastest on the board with a top speed of 178.482 mph. Kyle Busch Motorsports' Daniel Suarez and Athenian Motorsports' John Wes Townley rounded out the top five, recording high speeds of 178.040 mph and 177.903 mph, respectively. Halfway through the session, Ray Black Jr. scraped the wall in Turn 2 in his No. 07 Team Scuba Chevrolet. Cody Ware followed up the incident with a loss of power in his No. 50 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet, which brought out the caution flag for the second time during the two-hour session. The yellow flag was displayed earlier in practice for debris. Black and Ware ended up with 21st and 25th-place rankings on the leaderboard, respectively. The Camping World Truck Series is back on the track on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 10:40 a.m. for Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, with coverage on FOX Sports 1. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
A stats-based look ahead to the third race of the Sprint Cup season Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. –Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada going into the KOBALT 400 on March 8. LAS VEGAS-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Greg Biffle (No. 16 Cheez-It Ford) · Two top fives, six top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 14.5 · Average Running Position of 12.3, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 97.9, fifth-best · 150 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most · 568 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.725 mph, fifth-fastest · 1,759 Laps in the Top 15 (65.4%), eighth-most · 281 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), 11th-most Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet) · Three top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 14.7 · Average Running Position of 14.0, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 91.5, ninth-best · 108 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most · 584 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.610 mph, sixth-fastest · 1,857 Laps in the Top 15 (69.0%), sixth-most · 336 Quality Passes, fifth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 Comcast Toyota) · Two wins, five top fives, six top 10s · Average finish of 9.2 · Average Running Position of 12.0, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 97.8, sixth-best · 159 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 636 Green Flag Passes, second-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.568 mph, seventh-fastest · 1,879 Laps in the Top 15 (69.8%), fourth-most · 390 Quality Passes, second-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 3M Chevrolet) · One win, six top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 15.0 · Average Running Position of 9.7, second-best · Driver Rating of 103.7, second-best · 181 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most · 548 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.927 mph, third-fastest · Series-high 2,130 Laps in the Top 15 (79.2%) · 385 Quality Passes, third-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Jimmy John's/Budweiser Chevrolet) · Three top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 14.7 · Average Running Position of 11.6, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 94.5, eighth-best · 89 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most · 571 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.564 mph, eighth-fastest · 1,870 Laps in the Top 15 (69.5%), fifth-most · 316 Quality Passes, sixth-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 KOBALT Tools Chevrolet) · Four wins, five top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 9.2 · Series-best Average Running Position of 8.9 · Series-best Driver Rating of 113.6 · Series-high 346 Fastest Laps Run · 553 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 171.233 mph · 2,090 Laps in the Top 15 (77.7%), third-most · 365 Quality Passes, fourth-most Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet) · Three top fives, six top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 13.5 · Average Running Position of 14.3, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 88.1, 10th-best · 94 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most · 609 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.170 mph, 11th-fastest · 1,735 Laps in the Top 15 (64.5%), ninth-most · 290 Quality Passes, 10th-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 D E WALT Toyota) · Three wins, six top fives, eight top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 11.5 · Average Running Position of 14.0, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 98.1, fourth-best · 197 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.972 mph, second-fastest · 1,774 Laps in the Top 15 (65.9%), seventh-most · 295 Quality Passes, ninth-most Joey Logano (No. 22 Pennzoil Ford) · One top five, two top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 12.3 · Average Running Position of 13.8, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 87.5, 11th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.111 mph, 12th-fastest Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) · Three top fives, seven top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 17.3 · Driver Rating of 81.9, 12th-best · 37 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most · 1,667 Laps in the Top 15 (61.9%), 11th-most · 298 Quality Passes, seventh-most Tony Stewart (No. 14 Mobil 1/ Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) · One win, six top fives, nine top 10s · Average finish of 14.0 · Average Running Position of 14.0, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 97.1, seventh-best · 188 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 538 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.498 mph, ninth-fastest · 1,733 Laps in the Top 15 (64.4%), 10th-most · 298 Quality Passes, seventh-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Joey Logano 6 1 0 1 2 0 12.3 87.5 2 Jimmie Johnson 13 0 4 5 8 0 9.2 113.6 3 Kevin Harvick 14 0 0 3 5 0 14.7 94.5 4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 15 0 0 3 8 2 14.7 91.5 5 Martin Truex Jr. 9 0 0 0 2 0 16.0 81.9 6 Casey Mears 11 0 0 0 3 0 20.9 57.3 7 Kasey Kahne 11 3 0 3 6 2 13.5 88.1 8 AJ Allmendinger 5 0 0 0 0 0 26.4 60.7 9 Aric Almirola 6 0 0 0 0 3 31.3 51.2 10 Clint Bowyer 9 0 0 1 3 0 17.8 74.2 11 David Gilliland 8 0 0 0 0 1 27.0 49.5 12 Sam Hornish Jr. 3 0 0 0 0 0 28.3 62.3 13 Greg Biffle 11 1 0 2 6 1 14.5 97.9 14 Carl Edwards 10 0 2 5 6 0 9.2 97.8 15 David Ragan 8 0 0 0 1 1 26.9 52.3 16 Danica Patrick 2 0 0 0 0 0 27.0 49.3 * – Based on last 10 races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (2005 – 2014). Las Vegas Motor Speedway Data Season Race #: 3 of 36 (3-8-15) Track Size : 1.5-miles Banking/Turns 1 & 2 : 20 degrees Banking/Turns 3 & 4 : 20 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 9 degrees Banking/Backstretch : 9 degrees Frontstretch Length : 2,275 feet Backstretch Length : 1,572 feet Race Length : 267 laps / 400.5 Kilometers Top 10 Driver Ratings at Las Vegas Jimmie Johnson ........................ 113.6 Jeff Gordon .............................. 103.7 Kyle Busch ............................... 103.4 Matt Kenseth .............................. 98.1 Greg Biffle .................................. 97.9 Carl Edwards .............................. 97.8 Tony Stewart ............................... 97.1 Kevin Harvick .............................. 94.5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. ....................... 91.5 Kasey Kahne .............................. 88.1 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (10 total) among active drivers at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Joey Logano, Ford 193.278 mph, 27.939 secs. 03-07-14 2014 race winner : Brad Keselowski , Ford 154.633 mph, (2:35:24), 03-09-14 Track qualifying record: Joey Logano, Ford 193.278 mph, 27.939 secs. 03-07-14 Track race record: Brad Keselowski , Ford 154.633 mph, (2:35:24), 03-09-14 At Las Vegas Motor Speedway: History · The construction to build the superspeedway known today as Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) began in 1995. Speedway Motorsports Inc. acquired the property in 1998. · The first NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race won by Ken Schrader on Nov. 2, 1996. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was held on March 1, 1998, won by Mark Martin . · In 2006, the track was reconfigured to include progressive banking. Notebook · There have been 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. · 135 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas; 100 in more than one. · Two drivers have participated in all 17 races: Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon . · Dale Jarrett won the inaugural pole with a speed of 168.224 mph (32.773 secs.). · 11 drivers have poles at LVMS, led by Kasey Kahne with three (2004, 2007 and 2012). · Kyle Busch is the only driver to win consecutive poles at LVMS from (2008-‘09). · Youngest LVMS pole winner: Kyle Busch (3/2/2008 – 22 years, 10 months, 0 days). · Oldest LVMS pole winner: Dale Jarrett (3/4/2001 – 44 years, 3 months, 6 days). · 10 different drivers have won at LVMS, led by Jimmie Johnson (four). Three other drivers have multiple wins at Las Vegas: Matt Kenseth (three), Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards (each have two). · Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Las Vegas with seven, followed by Hendrick Motorsports with five. · Las Vegas-native Kyle Busch became the first and only driver to win from the pole, in 2009. · Only three LVMS races (17.6%) have been won from the front row: Kyle Busch, 2009 (pole); Carl Edwards, 2008 (second-place); Brad Keselowski , 2014 (second-place). · Four of the 17 races (23.5%) have been won from a top-five starting position at Las Vegas. · Eight of the 17 (47%) races have been won from a top-10 starting position at Las Vegas. · Four of the 17 races (23.5%) at Las Vegas have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 25th, by Matt Kenseth in 2004. · Youngest LVMS winner: Kyle Busch (03/01/2009 – 23 years, 9 months, 27 days). · Oldest LVMS winner: Sterling Marlin (03/03/2002 – 44 years, 7 months, 32 days). · Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series in runner-up finishes at Las Vegas with three; followed by Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart with two each. · Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart lead the series in top-five finishes at Las Vegas with six each. · Mark Martin has 10 top-10 finishes, more than any other driver. Tony Stewart leads all active drivers with nine top-10 finishes. · Carl Edwards leads the series in average finish at LVMS with a 9.200; Jimmie Johnson (9.231) is the only other active driver with an average finish in the top 10. · There has been one green-white-checkered finish at Las Vegas: 2006 (270/267). · Kyle Busch made his first start and Kasey Kahne won his first pole at Las Vegas, in the same event (2004). · Aric Almirola made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2007. · Three drivers have won consecutive races at Las Vegas: Jeff Burton (1999, 2000); Matt Kenseth (2003, 2004) and Jimmie Johnson is the only one of the three to win three consecutive races (2005, 2006 and 2007). · Eight of the 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Las Vegas participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Mark Martin (1998; inaugural event) is the only driver to win at Las Vegas in his first appearance. · Tony Stewart competed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway 13 times before winning (2012); the longest span of any the nine winners. Stewart is the only driver to have made 10 or more attempts before his first win at LVMS. · Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series (active drivers) with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Las Vegas without visiting Victory Lane with 15. · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Las Vegas was the (3/12/2006) race won by Jimmie Johnson with a MOV of 0.045 second. · No driver has won the first three races of the season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The five drivers that have won the first two events of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season are: Matt Kenseth (2009), Jeff Gordon (1997), David Pearson (1976), Bob Welborn (1959) and Marvin Panch (1957). · Three reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions have gone on to win at Las Vegas the following season: Matt Kenseth (2004), Jimmie Johnson is the only one to do it multiple times (2007, 2010) and Tony Stewart (2012). · Three drivers have won at Las Vegas and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same season: Jeff Gordon (2001), Matt Kenseth (2003) and Jimmie Johnson (2006, 2007 and 2010). · Danica Patrick and Shawna Robinson are the only two female drivers to compete at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date Danica Patrick 22 21 3/9/2014 Danica Patrick 37 33 3/10/2013 Shawna Robinson 36 42 3/3/2002 · Only two car numbers have produced three or more Las Vegas NSCS wins: Car Number – Drivers – (Years) o No. 48 - Jimmie Johnson (2005-2007 and 2010) o No. 99 – Jeff Burton (1999, 2000) Carl Edwards (2008, 2011) MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView tod FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Brad Keselowski falls two laps down to the leaders after getting a pit-road penalty for driving through too many boxes on exit.
2012 Sprint Cup champion saw his day go up in a trail of smoke Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: Get full race results " Series standings DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Brad Keselowski's hopes for a Daytona 500 crown went south with a loud pop and a trail of smoke Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. Keselowski wheeled his steaming Team Penske No. 2 Ford into the Daytona garage to the attention of crew chief Paul Wolfe. After the white Deuce simmered for a while, Roger Penske crackled over the team's two-way radio with the grim diagnosis: "We're done, Paul." Last season's most polarizing driver ended his day on Lap 161 in the prestigious NASCAR Sprint Cup Series opener. For Keselowski , who's shown a special agility at restrictor-plate tracks with three victories at similar Talladega Superspeedway, the early exit left him 0-for-12 at Daytona. "It is what it is," Keselowski said. "We had a good car. We were in position in the top five, top 10 and was just kind of counting down some laps and getting ready for a crazy finish, and just wanted to be there for it, but, unfortunately, that's not gonna happen." Keselowski didn't lead a lap during his stint in the race, but he put himself in position for a chance at victory in the lead pack. One moment he was running competitive laps in close formation with teammate and eventual Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano; the next moment, his powerplant erupted with gusto. "It scares the crap out of you, to be honest," Keselowski said. "It's a big explosion and you're sitting right next to it, so it's not fun. Once you get recovered from that, then all you can think about is you had a shot to win the race, and that's pretty cool." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Brad Keselowski loses his engine. Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman make contact while trying to navigate the smoke from the No. 2 car.
Who does the 2012 champ consider to be the best driver in the sport? Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- What started life as an innocent answer later morphed into a revealing insight from Brad Keselowski about how he rated his peers. But it also illustrated that if there were such a thing as a talent podium of NASCAR drivers, Keselowski has himself on it, but behind reigning Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick and his No. 1 pick, Carl Edwards. Keselowski , celebrating his 31st birthday Thursday at NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway, said his progress in NASCAR's big leagues led him to the self-assessment that he considered himself a top-three driver in the sport. Pressed to name the other two, the always candid Keselowski complied, putting Edwards atop his list with Harvick a close second. "I personally think just from watching, and I'm not afraid to say it, that Carl Edwards right now is the best driver in the Sprint Cup," Keselowski said. "That's my personal opinion; it doesn't make it law or fact. To go with that, you could probably place an argument for Kevin (Harvick) as the second best." Edwards' efforts in his final season at Roush Fenway Racing were maddeningly inconsistent, and though the veteran struggled with performance at times in 2014, he was able to scratch out two victories -- at Bristol Motor Speedway and Sonoma Raceway -- and advance to the Eliminator 8 in the new-look Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. "I've seen what Carl's done in cars that didn't have the speed," Keselowski said. "He has a very diverse skill set. He's been able to win at tracks like Sonoma and has won at every type of track, I should say, and I feel like he does the best job of any driver I've seen out there taking a car that is not fast and finding speed out of it. I think when the times have come that he's had dominant cars, he's had dominant performances. He's shown to me the skill set at every level to be a top driver." His uncanny ability to do less with more made an impression on Keselowski , who said that he considers Edwards a favorite for the 2015 championship in his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing. Harvick and new team Stewart-Haas Racing struck similar gold in their first year together last season. "It would not surprise me if they were the team to beat this year," Keselowski said of JGR's No. 19 Toyota, Edwards' new team. "There's something about those new teams -- magic comes together." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
2012 Sprint Cup champion optimistic about remaining Speedweeks slate Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge MORE: Full Sprint Unlimited results DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Brad Keselowski didn't get much chance to test out his Team Penske No. 2 Ford in race trim in Saturday night's season-opening Sprint Unlimited exhibition. After just 23 laps, Keselowski's car skidded to a halt in a mangled heap, leaving him with a last-place finish in the invitational 25-car field at Daytona International Speedway. RELATED: See the best photos from Saturday's race According to the former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champ, there wasn't much to see. "The wall," Keselowski said, regarding his line of sight. "I don't know. I really need to see a replay to give an honest answer. The car is tore up so we are out but it was fast, so that was good." The first melee of the 75-lapper was sparked by a collision between Kyle Larson's No. 42 Chevrolet and Keselowski's No. 2 in the short chute before the start-finish line. Though Larson, last year's Sunoco Rookie of the Year, was able to continue, Keselowski's car shuffled down into the trioval grass before making hard contact with the outside wall. "Sorry, man. Larson came up on me," Keselowski radioed to his crew, before making the mandatory trip to the infield care center. Keselowski was uninjured, evaluated and released. Though his stint in the race was a short one, Keselowski gave a thumbs-up to how his car felt in race conditions. "Well, there wasn't much different about this package," he said. "It is more the intermediate and short track stuff but I thought it was good. It was pretty racey out there." Lead some laps and then wrecked; that's how plate racin goes... Happy and proud of my guys for the fast car. Time to focus on #DAYTONA500 — Brad Keselowski (@ keselowski ) February 15, 2015 Keselowski hit the showers early for a 25th-place finish, well before the non-points race drew to a close. But though he was resigned to his Saturday night fate, he said he's optimistic for the balance of the schedule, which culminates in the Feb. 22 Daytona 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX). "It's part of racing at Daytona," said Keselowski , who led two laps after starting fourth. "Really happy with the speed of the Miller Lite Ford. We've got a lot of racing left in Speedweeks, this is just a preliminary and we'll be ready to go when it counts in the 500." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kyle Larson gets loose into Brad Keselowski , sending Keselowski into the wall and bringing out a caution on Lap 22.
Brad Keselowski talks about the Daytona 500 and his upcoming 2015 season.