Bobby Santos looks back on the long road to his first NWMT victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Bobby Santos hits the inside wall hard after something broke in the front end of his car.
RELATED: Race results " Final standings HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- It wasn't the sort of record that Kevin Harvick wanted to break, another runner-up finish in a season full of them with a repeat NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship on the line. Harvick entered Sunday's season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 as a pre-race favorite and the defending race winner. He was left with his 13th second-place effort of the year, his Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet a scant 1.552 seconds behind eventual winner and first-time champion Kyle Busch . The baker's dozen of runner-up performances surpassed the modern-era record formerly held by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison in the 1972 season. Those oh-so-close finishes -- balanced against three wins in 2015 -- helped him forge into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs with rock-solid consistency, but it wasn't quite enough on Busch's night. "It's been a great couple years, and I know we're disappointed about finishing second tonight, but it's kind of the theme of the year, finishing second," Harvick said. "Unfortunately it's just one short, but all in all, it's been a great couple years, and couldn't be prouder of our bunch of guys." Harvick led once in the race's early stages for 46 of the 267 laps, but struggled to find the handling balance on the 1.5-mile track. "No rear grip. Won't turn," he called out to crew chief Rodney Childers during the sixth of seven caution periods, hoping adjustments could help him regain his previous edge. Childers said he wasn't able to tell if alterations the team made overnight helped the No. 4 car or not, since track conditions were so much different from Saturday practices to Sunday's main event. But he said he's historically fought the same issue -- "tight getting in and too loose off" -- in past visits to the South Florida speedway. "We haven't been able to get a hold of it," Childers said. "It's probably one of our worst race tracks really, but we won last year and finished second this year at a place we feel like we just can't get a hold of. We need to make some changes with our cars and try to do a better job coming down here next year. "All in all, we had a great car and a great season. You look at the wins and the top-fives and the top-twos, and it's pretty incredible what we've been able to do and just really proud of Kevin and everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing ." The race's final caution flag with 11 laps left seemed to give Harvick new hope, and he jumped from fourth to second place shortly after the restart. But by then, Busch had swept around late-race leader Brad Keselowski to take command. Post-race, after thanking his team and accepting congratulations from Stewart-Haas teammate Kurt Busch , a trademark smile formed on Harvick's face as he watched the 30-year-old Busch celebrate on the main stage -- seeing a little bit of his 2014 self in the No. 18 team's jubilation. It's a scenario that played out for Harvick last season, but was just one elusive position away. "I think when you race your whole life and you accomplish what you've raced for your whole life, it's exciting," Harvick said of Busch's first Sprint Cup championship. "I've been fortunate to experience that last year and know that feeling and know how gratifying that is. You know, it's fun to see that excitement. "He broke his leg at Daytona, and to come back from everything that he came back from, it's like I told you guys three or four days ago, I mean, there's four phenomenal stories that were sitting up on the stage, probably three that were much more exciting than mine, but that's a great comeback story from where he was after Daytona." WATCH: 'Dream come true' for Ky. Busch
MORE: Sunday's full lineup RELATED: Gordon's top 24 NASCAR moments " Full Gordon coverage HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Busy week, surrounded by a lot of friends and family, a legendary figure making the final start of his career with a shot at going out as a five-time champion. Racer. Philanthropist. Father. What's there to say about Jeff Gordon that hasn't been said? What's there to write that hasn't been written? Do a Google search for " Jeff Gordon " and the search engine generates approximately 79 million results. Tom Brady? 83.1 million. Kobe Bryant? 34.6 million. Derek Jeter? 14 million. Gordon, 44, is one of those rare athletes who have transcended their individual sport. A champion on the track? Without question. Off the track? Certainly. Television and tabloids flock to him. He purchased a second residence in New York City in part to escape the spotlight and to navigate life in between races unimpeded by the fame that followed him elsewhere. Maybe he would not carry the same clout or create the same buzz had he chosen another profession. Then again, perhaps his impact would have been even greater elsewhere. A precocious, driven youngster whose family packed up moved east from California in order to continue his development as a racer. A NASCAR premier series champion at 24. And 26. And 27. And 30. Now, at 44, is there one more title in the tank? What's there to say that hasn't been said, write that hasn't been written? WATCH: Gordon's first Homestead win The Alpha and Omega NASCAR didn't begin with Gordon, and it certainly won't end when the Hendrick Motorsports driver climbs from his No. 24 Chevrolet for the final time on Sunday evening. "Everybody's career comes to an end," Richard Petty said. "He's going out strong. I admire him for that part of it. "I wouldn't mind seeing him win the championship because he's meant so much to NASCAR over the years. They're going to miss him a whole lot from that standpoint." There is no one in the sport more qualified to speak on such matters than the man known simply as "The King." Now 78, Petty set the standard for champions on the track as well as how to conduct oneself outside the car. Icon, inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame member, winner of 200 races and seven championships, Petty is NASCAR. The Petty family is NASCAR. Petty's father, Lee, won three titles, 54 races and was in the very first sanctioned race. He, too, is a member of the Hall of Fame. The careers of Richard Petty and Gordon are inextricably linked by a single date – Nov. 15, 1992. Petty made his 1,184th and final start in NASCAR's premier series. Gordon made his very first in the same event. Petty met privately with Gordon this weekend at Homestead to present him with one of his signature Charlie 1 Horse cowboy hats. It was a gesture of appreciation and acknowledgement of everything Gordon has accomplished. But Petty understands better than most that the sport will move forward, just as it did when he stepped out of the car that sunny day in Atlanta. "No matter who you are, you're not strong enough to carry the whole load," Petty said. "He's been a strong leader all these years, but over a period of time, the next crowd comes along and kind of fades them all out. Over a period of time, you go away whether you want to or not." RELATED: Best No. 24 paint schemes Auspicious beginning Gordon won the series' Rookie of the Year title in 1993, competing for the honor against Bobby Labonte , Kenny Wallace and P.J. Jones. Two years later, he won his first championship. It was the era of Dale Earnhardt, the six-time champion chasing Petty's mark of seven titles while blazing new trails. He was "The Intimidator." He was NASCAR. Petty, Earnhardt and then there was Gordon. No one else was as dominant -- between 1995 and '99, Gordon won 47 races. He won Daytona. He won Indy. He won the Winston Million. Had he not come along? "Someone else would have taken that spot," Mike Helton, NASCAR Vice Chairman, said. "I don't know that anybody could have filled it, though. "There's a difference. It's like if the Atlantic Ocean went dry, somebody could figure out how to get water in it, but could they fill that whole ocean? "I think we were very fortunate for Jeff to appear when he did and do what he did along the way to keep our momentum going. It certainly added to the momentum that we had going in that era. We needed a Jeff Gordon and he arose. He came into the sport ... he could have chosen open-wheel racing ... and he would have been massively successful." Why was it Gordon? Why not someone else who stepped up and helped carry the sport forward, who resonated with fans and sponsors? Helton doesn't know. "I know growing up there was a reason I became a big fan of John Wayne. And there were a lot of cowboys on television," he said. "I just think that speaks to Jeff's inclusiveness, and his capabilities extended beyond just being a very successful athlete as a race car driver." There have been issues from time to time, but nothing major, according to Helton, who added, "Of course we've had conversations in which he'd had to write checks afterward." Earnhardt's death in 2001, in the season-opening Daytona 500 , turned the sport upside down. Gordon was one of the few who could help stabilize it in an uncertain time. "I think the whole industry looked at Jeff to take Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s place when we lost Dale," said Helton. "The garage area needed a voice like we've had historically, whether it was Richard Petty or Darrell Waltrip, Dale Sr. ... He got pressure from the industry inside the garage to be that voice. "When that came, along with the championships that preceded that, he understood the need for a league or sanctioning body in order for the athlete to be successful. But he also had a good soapbox to stand on saying 'Look, we need our voice to be heard too.' And I think the respect worked both ways." RELATED: NASCAR Nation honors Gordon with #24ever 'Iron Man' of NASCAR Consecutive starts: 796. It's one more impressive record in Jeff Gordon 's body of work. He's never missed a start, and passed Ricky Rudd for the consecutive starts record earlier this year. Now, only one remains, one final attempt, one final opportunity. Because of the format for NASCAR's championship-determining Chase, Gordon doesn't have to win Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 . He has to finish ahead of only three challengers -- Kevin Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Kyle Busch ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) and Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ) to capture the title. He'll go out a winner regardless of where he finishes. Whether or not he goes out a champion has yet to be determined. Capturing the inaugural Brickyard 400 in '94 has always stood out as his most memorable moment. Until a recent Martinsville victory put him in the Championship 4 here at Homestead-Miami Speedway . The '98 season when he won 13 races, the fourth title in '01 with crew chief Robby Loomis after the departure of mentor Ray Evernham and the '95 crown that was won when he "was going against Earnhardt; that was huge," Gordon said earlier this week. The finality of the moment, though, carries much weight. "My final year, my final race, (wife) Ingrid and the kids," Gordon said. "Kids motivate you in a whole new way, and no matter what we're going to go out and be happy and celebrate. "But to do it as a champion, oh, my gosh, I just can't imagine anything that would be more emotional and more exciting and more gratifying than to look at my wife in the eyes and see that reaction from her when that race is over if we win it." MORE: Drivers offer favorite Gordon memories
MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Bobby Pierce has made countless dirt-track starts in his career, thanks to the barnstorming nature of Late Model racing. But when asked how many appearances he's made on paved speedways, the answer is also countless, but in a quizzical way. "About four to five races," Pierce says with a half-grin, recalling his handful of trips to asphalt tracks. Pierce, best remembered among the NASCAR crowd for his dirt-slinging performance this summer at Eldora Speedway , will attempt to change his answer to "about five or six" with his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start on asphalt in Saturday's Kroger 200 (1:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). He got his first taste of racing trucks on pavement in Friday's two practices, placing 30th and 29th on the afternoon leaderboards. "It's completely different, especially for a dirt driver," Pierce said after Friday's first practice session. "There's just a lot of things that you're kind of molded into that you've got to throw out the window. I'm just trying to take all those experiences that I've had in other asphalt cars and apply it to this." Pierce first wowed NASCAR fans on Eldora's dirt half-mile, taking his tattered No. 63 truck to a hard-fought, second-place finish in his series debut behind eventual winner Christopher Bell . He led 39 of 154 laps for underdog MB Motorsports, handing team owner Mike Mittler his best finish in his two decades in the series. The 18-year-old Pierce -- a native of Oakwood, Illinois -- said he still has the race saved on his DVR for the sake of posterity. Though he didn't hoist the golden shovel in Victory Lane, his feverish battle with Bell down the stretch raised the profile for both himself and the team. "I don't know, though -- finishing second in a Truck race whether it's dirt or asphalt, it's still a NASCAR truck race and when I was a little kid, you dreamed of doing stuff like this," Pierce said. "I don't think it'll really ever sink in to the full potential that it can, but I'll try." For Mittler, it was only natural that he would turn again to the driver who nearly snared the MB organization's first victory. "That's exactly what the feeling is with us that a guy that can drive, he can drive and it doesn't matter if it's dirt or asphalt," Mittler said. "Did we have the home-track advantage at Eldora? Sure we did. He's got tons of dirt experience, been driving dirt since he could almost walk, so we knew. We had no delusions that we were going to come here and run top-five right off the bat. By the end of the race, he'll be good. I know he will be. Experience is all it is." The spotlight has shown brightly on Eldora in its three-year affiliation with NASCAR, but at Martinsville, Pierce has a chance to grab more time in the public eye on a shared stage with the Sprint Cup Series. It's the next step toward potentially extending his relationship with MB Motorsports in 2016, a partnership Mittler hopes can continue. "There's nothing firm yet, but we're absolutely looking at what the options are and we really like Bobby , his family, Bob and Angie," Mittler said. "Just a great, great group of people who come from a parallel background in the Midwest with us -- a hard-working family race team, so there's just a lot of synergy between us. If we can figure out how to make it work, we're going to do it."
RELATED: Full race results " Race recap SHOP: Champion gear In a season fit for the silver screen, Kyle Busch completed his emotional comeback from a devastating season-opening injury to capture his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title. Busch took home the 2015 championship by being the top finisher among the Championship 4 drivers, which also included Kevin Harvick , Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr ., in the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Busch led 41 laps on the day and the last seven of the 267-lap event for his first career postseason win as a member of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field. "Rowdy" spent much of the race running in the top two and took the lead from Brad Keselowski for good shortly after the Lap 261 restart. Busch then distanced himself from Harvick, the series' 2014 champion, who finished as the runner-up in the race and final standings. Gordon finished sixth in his final race, while Truex finished 12th. "This is just so unbelievable, so amazing and means so much right here, right now and probably will for a long, long time to come," Busch said on the championship stage at Homestead-Miami Speedway . "The opportunity that the amount of people that have poured their life and soul into everything that Kyle Busch does and is about -- from M&M's to Toyota to Snickers and Twix and Skittles, Joe Gibbs (team owner) and his family and all of Joe Gibbs Racing , everyone that gave me such a fast race car here tonight to drive. It was so much fun. "This is just a dream come true and my family, my wife, my son -- to have him this year and to have everything we've gone through this year to be in this moment -- I don't know what else to say, but this is so special." The title makes the Busch brothers -- Kurt won the 2004 championship -- the second pair of brothers in NASCAR to win premier series championships. The Labonte brothers also have accomplished that with Terry winning titles in 1984 and 1996 and Bobby winning in 2000. RELATED: See all the premier series champions The 2015 season started off in a frightening fashion for Busch. A crash in the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway left him with a broken right leg and a broken left foot. Busch missed the first 11 points races of the season before returning in the middle of May for the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Matt Crafton , David Ragan and Erik Jones each took turns behind the wheel of the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing . NASCAR granted Busch a waiver to make the Chase provided he was able to win a race and crack the top 30 in points before the end of the 26-race regular season at Richmond International Raceway . It took Busch just over a month to find Victory Lane and he did so at Sonoma Raceway, holding off his brother. That sparked a stretch of four wins in five races for the 30-year-old, including three straight wins at Kentucky Speedway , New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway . He nearly pulled off a fourth straight win at Pocono Raceway but ran out of gas on the final lap. RELATED: See all the 2015 winners For the second half of the waiver requirement, Busch cracked the top 30 in points after the race at Watkins Glen International in August and secured his spot in the Chase after the Darlington race, which was the second-to-last race of the regular season. The Chase provided an early test for Busch as a wreck at New Hampshire and a 37th-place finish left him on the outside looking in of advancing to the Contender Round heading to Dover International Speedway . However, he was able to rally to advance with a runner-up finish at the "Monster Mile." Contact with Kyle Larson near the entrance of pit road at Charlotte in the Contender Round opener derailed a promising day for Busch and left him needing strong performances at Kansas Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway to make the Eliminator Round. Busch delivered at both, gaining the spots he needed late at Talladega, which was where he was involved in a wreck the previous year that took him out of the Chase. Busch was a model of consistency in the Eliminator Round with three top-five finishes to advance on points to the Championship 4. The title season was also a big one off the track for Busch as he and wife Samantha welcomed son Brexton in May, just days after Busch's return to competition. During Championship 4 Media Day, Busch and Joe Gibbs revealed that Busch had inked a contract extension days after the news of Mars extension as sponsor on the No. 18 Toyota was announced. The Sprint Cup championship is the first for crew chief Adam Stevens, who was in his first year as a pit boss in the Sprint Cup Series, and the fourth (and first since 2005) for Gibbs. It was also the first Sprint Cup championship for manufacturer Toyota. "We are extremely proud of Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing on winning the Sprint Cup Series driver's championship," said Ed Laukes, vice president of marketing, performance and guest experience for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. "It's an incredible accomplishment for Kyle, to overcome the adversity he faced this year and come back with the focus and determination he has had to win races, qualify for the Chase and then earn the ultimate prize, his first Sprint Cup Series championship. "Winning this NASCAR championship has been a huge aspiration for Toyota since joining NASCAR in 2004. We are honored to finally be on this stage and join Kyle and Joe Gibbs for our first Sprint Cup Series title." Championship weekend was a banner one for the 30-year-old Busch. In addition to his Sprint Cup championship, Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Erik Jones won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship on Friday night and KBM won the owner's championship in that series.
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Just two days after Joe Gibbs Racing filled its candy dish with M&Ms for the foreseeable future, the Coach and owner of the four-car organization announced that Kyle Busch has signed a multiyear contract extension as the driver of one of the sport's most colorful and successful cars. Coach Gibbs and Busch himself confirmed the agreement for the future of the No. 18 Toyota during Thursday's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship 4 Media Day, just three days before the 30-year-old driver competes for his first premier-series title. Gibbs first mentioned the news during a NASCAR.com live chat with Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin. "Well, we got an extension from M&Ms, which is awesome and great. Then we did an extension with Kyle," Gibbs said. "It's great going forward in the future to have a great company behind Kyle and behind us." Busch confirmed that the deal was a multiyear agreement, extending one of the longest-running driver/team/sponsor combinations in the sport. Busch, who has driven the No. 18 for JGR full time since 2008, left open the possibility that he could finish out his career with the Gibbs-owned organization. "You know, I definitely feel like that. But a lot of things have happened in this sport where you never really know," Busch said. "But I'm pleased with where I'm at. I feel like Joe Gibbs and Joe Gibbs Racing has really been a true home for me, and being with Toyota and them and having the respect and rapport that I do with them has been really awesome, as well, too. "You know, it's so exciting to have the opportunity to continue on down the road for multiple years with M&M's and to continue on in the relationship with them, for as much fun as we've had over the years, it's certainly cool that we can continue to have that, and to keep that colorful brand out there on the racetrack as hopefully with much more success following." Busch has scored 29 of his 33 wins in NASCAR's top division driving for Gibbs. The driver also known as "Rowdy" missed the first 11 races this after suffering severe leg injuries in the XFINITY Series opener, but recovered to punch his ticket to the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship (Sunday, 3 p.m., NBC, MRN, Sirius XM) at Homestead-Miami Speedway . The timing of the ink drying on the contracts in the week leading up to Busch's possible coronation wasn't lost on Gibbs, who has thrice tasted championships in NASCAR's top series -- in 2000 with Bobby Labonte and in 2002 and '05 with Tony Stewart . "For us to get an extension on our contract with them, and then to get Kyle wrapped up in that, I mean, it's a huge deal for us," Gibbs said. "It made me reflect on really what this weekend means for us. You've got Toyota's chance for the first time ever. You've got M&M's, first time ever. You've got Norm Miller at Interstate Batteries. This would be his second if we could do that, and that means a lot. And then you've got Kyle. "So our deal, I think everybody is nervous. Everybody has realized what's at stake."
RELATED: Cast your vote today Less than one week remains before voting ends in the annual NMPA Most Popular Driver award, which means it's crucial for NASCAR fans to vote. And they've answered the call recently. Last week saw a 14.9 percent increase in total number of votes cast from the previous week. That number speaks to how deep the passion runs for NASCAR fans -- and also how passionate fans remain digitally savvy. Voting has never been easier, either at www.mostpopulardriver.com or the NASCAR Mobile App. Are you doing your part for your favorite driver? Remember, the NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver award is the only major NASCAR award determined solely by fan vote. Voting ends Nov. 22 at 11:59 p.m. ET, so make sure your voice is heard. Voting is limited to one vote per person per email address per day. The winner of this year's award will be announced during the NBCSN broadcast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards on Dec. 4 in Las Vegas. A $10,000 donation will be made to the winning driver's charity of choice. And just in case you need any extra motivation … Sprint has revealed the top 10 vote-getters thus far. Where is your favorite driver? The list below is in alphabetical order. Kyle Busch Dale Earnhardt Jr . Carl Edwards Jeff Gordon Kevin Harvick Jimmie Johnson Kasey Kahne Matt Kenseth Danica Patrick Tony Stewart Previous winners of the NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver Award: Year – Recipient 2014 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2013 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2012 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2011 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2010 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2009 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2008 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2007 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2006 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2005 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2004 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2003 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 2002 – Bill Elliott 2001 – Dale Earnhardt 2000 – Bill Elliott 1999 – Bill Elliott 1998 – Bill Elliott 1997 – Bill Elliott 1996 – Bill Elliott 1995 – Bill Elliott 1994 – Bill Elliott 1993 – Bill Elliott 1992 – Bill Elliott 1991 – Bill Elliott 1990 – Darrell Waltrip 1989 – Darrell Waltrip 1988 – Bill Elliott 1987 – Bill Elliott 1986 – Bill Elliott 1985 – Bill Elliott 1984 – Bill Elliott 1983 – Bobby Allison 1982 – Bobby Allison 1981 – Bobby Allison 1980 – David Pearson 1979 – David Pearson 1978 – Richard Petty 1977 – Richard Petty 1976 – Richard Petty 1975 – Richard Petty 1974 – Richard Petty 1973 – Bobby Allison 1972 – Bobby Allison 1971 – Bobby Allison 1970 – Richard Petty 1969 – Bobby Isaac 1968 – Richard Petty 1967 – Cale Yarborough 1966 – Darel Dieringer 1965 – Fred Lorenzen 1964 – Richard Petty 1963 – Fred Lorenzen 1962 – Richard Petty 1961 – Joe Weatherly 1960 – Rex White 1959 – Jack Smith 1958 – Glen Wood 1957 – Fireball Roberts 1956 – Curtis Turner 1955 – Tim Flock 1954 – Lee Petty 1953 – Lee Petty
Which driver drops best line from "Talladega Nights," "Days of Thunder"? Who's got the best Ricky Bobby or Cole Trickle impression? We're putting #TheChase drivers to the test today. pic.twitter.com/87PFu14lX3 — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 17, 2015 "Shake and bake!" - @ClintBowyer #TheChase pic.twitter.com/KA766mrLjk — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 17, 2015 "Rubbin', son, is racin'!" - @KyleBusch #TheChase pic.twitter.com/a3JUMvZPWU — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 17, 2015 "I'm droppin' the hammer!" - @JeffGordonWeb #TheChase pic.twitter.com/Apnqq4qINi — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 17, 2015 "I'm not sure what to do with my hands." - Paul Menard #TheChase pic.twitter.com/PZWqXtYFG1 — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 17, 2015 "If you ain't first, you're last." - @dennyhamlin #TheChase pic.twitter.com/yC3niwZsc5 — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 17, 2015 . @MartinTruex_Jr a.k.a. Harry Hogge. #TheChase pic.twitter.com/06sbQ5ohIa — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 17, 2015 "You know, I'm just a big, hairy American winning machine!" - @KurtBusch #TheChase pic.twitter.com/ETswRyzTl4 — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 17, 2015 Bet you didn't know that @keselowski was in Talladega Nights... #TheChase pic.twitter.com/zCrefeZvwK — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 17, 2015 #CarlEdwards channels his inner Ricky Bobby ... and nails it. #TheChase pic.twitter.com/idOSggCcKa — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 17, 2015 . @DaleJr 's not sure what to do with his hands... #TheChase pic.twitter.com/VdSL5HfaBJ — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 17, 2015 . @JimmieJohnson or Cole Trickle? #TheChase pic.twitter.com/LrgZLoPxd6 — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 17, 2015 . @3doorsdown does a little shake... AND bake before their #ChaseFest concert. #TheChase pic.twitter.com/4qxe5bFew6 — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 17, 2015 . @joeylogano stars in Days of Thunder... #TheChase pic.twitter.com/P5yDjIe3xk — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 17, 2015 . @jamiemcmurray calls it like it is.. #TheChase pic.twitter.com/H4OvvYo3hR — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 17, 2015
RELATED: Race lineup Matt Crafton posted the fastest lap (167.551 mph) in the No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota, earning the two-time champion his 11th Keystone Ligth Pole award of his career -- and fourth of the season. Joining Crafton on the front row will be the No. 8 of John Hunter Nemechek after posting a fastest lap of 167.002 mph. Rounding out the top three was the No. 11 of Ben Kennedy , who propelled his Ford around the 1.5-mile track at 166.919 mph. The No. 11 of Tyler Reddick (166.888 mph) and the No. 54 of Erik Jones (166.857 mph) were fourth and fifth, respectively. Norm Benning , Ross Kenseth , Bobby Pierce and Todd Peck failed to qualify for the Ford EcoBoost 200 (8 p.m. ET, FS1).