Driver to pilot No. 32 Go Green Racing at Indianapolis RELATED: Wise leaves Premium Motorsports Josh Wise will drive the No. 32 Go Green Racing Ford next weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, returning to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series after leaving the No. 98 Premium Motorsports ride last Monday. Wise announced the news of his new ride on Twitter, just as he had revealed he would be leaving his former team after 17 races in 2015 and 35 races a year ago. In those 52 starts for Phil Parsons Racing and Premium Motorsports, Wise earned a career-best 10th-place finish at Talladega in May. Timmy Hill replaced Wise in the No. 98 ride this week. I am happy to be wheeling this hot rod for @GoGreenRacing at @IMS next week pic.twitter.com/GELmbjNoWe — Josh Wise (@Josh_Wise) July 17, 2015 In 16 starts this season, Go Green Racing's No. 32 has been raced by six drivers with a seventh, Massachusetts native Eddie MacDonald , attempting to make Sunday's 5-hour Energy 301 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Former NASCAR premier series champion Bobby Labonte turned in the team's best result of 2015 with a 24th-place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500 . Mike Bliss , Joey Gase , Will Kimmel, Travis Kvapil and Boris Said have also piloted the Ford Fusion this year. At Indianapolis, Wise has three starts, improving each season over the past three years. In 2012, he failed to make the finish with a 40th-place result. In 2013, he finished 38th, and last year, he earned a 29th-place finish.
Boris Said doesn't mince words about Greg Biffle after they had on-track incidents and a skirmish in the garage area.
Full field analysis of all 43 cars in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 MORE: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid 1. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Busch, running on fresh tires, chased down Jimmie Johnson in the final five laps to earn his first victory of the 2015 season and become Chase eligible, assuming he finishes the regular season in the top 30 in points. " WATCH: Pit strategy critical to win 2. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . The outside pole sitter followed his little brother across the finish line for the first time in a Cup race. " MORE: Brotherly 1-2 finish a 'special moment' 3. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Bowyer, the fastest driver in the first practice session, hit pit road under caution with 11 laps to go to get fresh tires for the final restart. 4. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Harvick bounced back from an early pit miscue to earn his fourth top-five at Sonoma. 5. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . Logano slipped by a slowing competitor to hit pit road at just the right time on Lap 66 and held on for his ninth top-five this season. 6. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Johnson led a race-high 45 laps and initially paced the field on the final restart before being overwhelmed by competitors who took fresh tires during the previous stop. " MORE: No second-guessing for Johnson 7. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Earnhardt rallied from his 20th starting spot to crack the top 10 by Lap 20 and earned his 10th top-10 of the year. 8. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne overcame an early vibration and picked up four spots on pit road with 10 laps to go. 9. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman claimed his seventh top-10 at Sonoma after avoiding a wreck on Lap 78. 10. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Hornish’s team addressed an early brake issue and he went on to earn his second top-10 of the season. 11. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet. Chip Ganassi Racing . McMurray was running 16th within the first five laps when he reported a serious vibration, the result of a delaminated left-rear. 12. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . “I’m loose because I’m getting hit,” radioed Stewart, who struggled to make up ground after the final restart. 13. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard started from the rear after an engine change and worked with his team all race long to find grip. 14. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . The late-race decision to stop for tires didn’t hurt Almirola, who earned his first top-15 at a road course. 15. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing . The Elk Grove, California, native lost one spot after pitting for fresh tires during the final caution period of the race. 16. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . It was a disappointing day for the sport’s winningest road course driver and nearby Vallejo native who made a late-race setup change to match his teammates Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr . " MORE: Gordon reflects on final race at Sonoma 17. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon slipped by a wrecking David Gilliland on Lap 22 and continued to climb through the field as his team helped him get more forward drive and side bite. 18. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . A loose right-rear wheel prompted Hamlin to make an unscheduled pit stop while running in the top 20 on Lap 17. 19. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . Keselowski started 10th for the first time at Sonoma, but couldn’t rally after getting loose and slipping in Turn 7 on Lap 43. 20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse lined up fourth for the final restart after staying out, but couldn’t hold off the teams on fresher tires. 21. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Kenseth was running 17th when he shredded his left-rear tire on Lap 45 and limped his way to pit road. 22. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Whitt followed up his best Sonoma start with his best Sonoma finish. 23. T revor Bayne, No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne, a Sonoma newcomer, returned to the lead lap after getting the Lucky Dog pass on the final caution period. 24. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Patrick spun with seven laps to go and slipped from 22nd. 25. Alex Kennedy , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport . In his third Sonoma start, Kennedy stayed out of trouble on the way to his best finish at the California road course. 26. Boris Said , No. 32 Ford, Go FAS Racing. The road course ringer bounced around the middle of the field all day for the No. 32 team. 27. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Biffle lined up 17th for the final restart but had to return to pit road for right-side tires after contact flattened his right-front. 28. Josh Wise , No. 98 Ford, Phil Parsons Racing. In his fourth Sonoma start, Wise claimed his best finish at the road course. 29. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . The Sonoma newbie was trying to get into his pit stall during the final caution period when he was weirdly turned around by one of the track sweepers. " MORE: Learn more about the incident 30. Justin Marks , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . The Rocklin, California, native earned his best Sonoma start in just his second career Cup outing. 31. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . A tight-handling condition turned into a tire concern for Bowman, who made an unscheduled green-flag stop at Lap 18. 32. Jeb Burton , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . It was an educational day for the rookie, who improved his position after rolling off the grid 43rd. 33. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Annett started from the rear of the field after making an engine change and worked on the handling of his car en route to his best Sonoma finish. 34. Michael McDowell , No. 95 Ford, Leavine Family Racing . McDowell spun off-course in Turn 7 during the final three laps, but saved his car to keep the caution flag from coming out. 35. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Allgaier’s best career Sonoma start was dampened around Lap 65 when he ran out of fuel. 36. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. Cassill was awarded the Lucky Dog pass during the second caution period, but struggled to keep pace around Sonoma’s tight turns. 37. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . The pole winner was running eighth on Lap 52 when he radioed his team about an engine issue. "Don’t worry about (lap) times. We ain’t going to make it much longer. … I have no speed." " For more in-car audio, sign up for Scanner today 38. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears was sidelined by a broken rear axle housing while running 15th on Lap 99. " WATCH: See what happened to Mears 39. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Ragan was trying to keep Carl Edwards from winning seventh when Edwards lost control and hit Ragan, wrecking both competitors. " WATCH: Tough day for Ragan 40. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Edwards was battling for seventh place when he hopped over the bumps and into the side of David Ragan , sending both competitors into the Turn 8 tire barrier. " MORE: Edwards tears up car in wreck with Ragan 41. J.J. Yeley, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Yeley, in his seventh Sonoma start, spun exiting Turn 10 to bring out the caution flag on Lap 74. 42. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . Truex’s string of top-10s came to a halt after contact from David Ragan sent him spinning into the Turn 8 tire barrier on Lap 29. " MORE: Truex not happy with Ragan 43. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . After lining up 28th, Gilliland sustained a flat left-front tire and spun in Turn 10 on Lap 22. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Driver will be in the No. 54 seat this weekend at Michigan RELATED: Entry List for Saturday's Michigan race Kyle Busch will return to the XFINITY Series this weekend at Michigan International Speedway , his second start of the season in the series and his first since severe injuries sustained in a crash forced the Joe Gibbs Racing driver to the sidelines. Busch, 30, suffered a broken right leg and left foot when he crashed during the season-opening Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway . Busch’s No. 54 Toyota slid across the track near the entrance to Turn 1 and struck a wall not covered by SAFER barrier head on. The injuries kept Busch out of action for the better part of three months. He returned to his Sprint Cup Series duties last month at Charlotte Motor Speedway , competing in the annual Sprint All-Star Race, a short, non-points event, and has since returned to full-time competition in the series. In a release previewing the team’s MIS effort, Busch said his return was "a continuation of my recovery ... and we hope to continue to add to my schedule going forward through the rest of the year." NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers will be competing in the Great Clips 250 benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America at MIS (FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM, 1:30 p.m. ET). It will be just the second race together for Busch and crew chief Chris Gayle. "My goal in February was and still now is that you have to get to the point where not only do I understand what Kyle is asking for," Gayle said , "but I also show Kyle what I can give him. Then the trust develops and continues to build. ... We are obviously grateful and excited that we have that chance again." In Busch's absence, drivers Denny Hamlin , Erik Jones and Boris Said shared the driving duties in the No. 54 JGR entry. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Crash that broke his leg and foot, journey back to racing SHOP: Busch gear " GALLERY: What the Busches have been up to June 13: Kyle Busch wins XFINITY race at Michigan Kyle Busch goes to Victory Lane in his first race back in the XFINITY Series after breaking his leg and left foot at Daytona. " Read the full story " Full race results May 24: Kyle Busch completes Coca-Cola 600 , finishes 11th Kyle Busch makes his Sprint Cup points race debut for the season in the Coca-Cola 600 , climbing to second place before fuel strategy led to an 11th-place finish. " Read the full story May 18: Kyle, Samantha Busch welcome first baby Driver Kyle Busch and his wife, Samantha, had their first child, a boy, at 9:45 p.m. May 18. Brexton Locke Busch is his name. " Read the full story May 16: Busch finishes sixth in All-Star race After a pleasing top-10 run in his first race back from leg and foot injuries, Kyle Busch looks forward to running in the Coca-Cola 600 " Read the full story May 13: Kyle Busch granted Chase waiver NASCAR has granted Kyle Busch a waiver for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Find out what he has to do to make the Chase. " Read the full story " Official NASCAR release " Cain: Making Chase will cap comeback May 12: Kyle Busch announces return After missing 11 events to open the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season following his injury at Daytona, Kyle Busch has set his return for the Sprint All-Star Race on May 16. " Read the full story " Drivers react to news of Busch's return " Herman Unplugged: Reaction to Busch's return " Busch's return a hot topic at Dover test May 9: Jones' promising run crashes at Kansas Making his first Sprint Cup start filling in for the injured Kyle Busch , Erik Jones was working on a great run at Kansas until he found the wall late in the race. " Read the full story April 16: Accident leads Busch to become unexpected safety advocate NASCAR.com's Holly Cain tells the story of how Kyle Busch 's wreck at Daytona has changed the Joe Gibbs Racing driver into a saftey advocate for the sport. Busch talks about how impressed he was of the breadth and depth of detailed information that has been gathered from his accident. " Read the full story April 16: Busch family bonds, finds strength in recovery With a baby on the way, the Busch family discuss how they've worked as a team to recover from Kyle's injury while prepping to expand their family. The parents-to-be explain that it hasn't been easy, but they're counting their blessings. " Read the full story April 15: Kyle Busch analyzes tape of his wreck Kyle Busch holds his first press conference after his crash at Daytona and uses video to break down his thought process as the wreck unfolded. His doctors are pleased with his progress, but he has no timeline for returning to driving. " Read the full story " Herman Unplugged: Busch should sit out 2015 April 15: Kyle Busch responds to Keselowski blog During his first press conference after his Daytona crash, Kyle Busch also addressed his long-running feud with fellow Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski . " Watch the video " More on Keselowski's blog April 15: Kyle Busch , wife discuss crash, impending parenthood In an interview with Charlotte NBC affiliate WCNC, Kyle Busch and his wife Samantha discussed the driver's accident at Daytona in February " Read the full story March 20: Kyle Busch takes next step in recovery Kyle Busch posts a video on Facebook of himself moving around a bit with the aid of a walker, along with encouragement from his wife, Samantha, and their dog. " Read the full story March 17: KBM drivers keep in touch Daniel Suarez says his team owner's advice is invaluable. And Justin Boston reports Busch is 'recovering quickly.' " Read the full story March 14: Kurt Busch hopes brother doesn't rush return Kurt Busch says, 'You can't rush the healing of bones and surgeries.' And teammate Denny Hamlin says Kyle Busch is staying engaged with the No. 18 team despite being sidelined. " Read the full story March 11: Kyle Busch , Samantha, visit KBM Kyle Busch and his wife, Samantha, take a field trip to Kyle Busch Motorsports and tell the team, 'Progress is going well.' " Read the full story March 10: Busch gets walking boots Kyle Busch gets soft casts removed from both legs and moves up to walking boots, which Samantha Busch dubs 'Terminator boots' in a Twitter photo. " Read the full story March 2: Subs announced for No. 54 XFINITY Toyota Denny Hamlin , Erik Jones and Boris Said are tapped as substitute drivers for Kyle Busch in the No. 54 NASCAR XFINITY Series Toyota. "Get Well Kyle" stickers adorn the No. 54. " Read the full story Feb. 27: Kyle Busch heads home after second surgery After a second surgery to treat his injuries, Kyle Busch was in a Charlotte hospital for observation for two days before being cleared to go home. The No. 18 racing team put a "Get well Kyle" on the rear bumper of the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for the Atlanta race. " Read the full story Feb. 25: Kyle Busch has successful surgery on left foot Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Kyle Busch underwent a successful surgery on his left foot at a Charlotte hospital. " Read the full story Feb. 24: Kyle Busch leaves Florida hospital Kyle Busch was released from Halifax Health Medical Center. He boarded a plane on a stretcher and was transferred to a North Carolina hospital for further treatment of multiple leg injuries. " Read the full story Feb. 24: David Ragan to sub for Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing announces that David Ragan will sub for the injured Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota for several weeks, starting at Atlanta Motor Speedway . " Read the full story Feb. 24: ISC working on 'significant plan' for safer barriers In the wake of Kyle Busch 's severe crash and resulting injuries during the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway , International Speedway Corporation announces a plan to expand its use of impact-diffusing barriers at its 12 tracks. " Read the full story Feb. 22: Joe Gibbs says Busch's surgery went well Team owner Joe Gibbs gives an update on Kyle Busch 's status after surgery and says he is 'resting comfortably.' Doctors reported that things went well with surgery on Busch's lower right leg. " Read the full story Feb. 22: Samantha Busch gives update from hospital Samantha Busch posts a selfie with Kyle Busch from his hospital bed on Twitter with a tweet saying, "Getting ready to watch the Daytona 500 ! Cheering on our 18 boys!" " Read the full story Feb. 21: Drivers wish Kyle Busch well after hard hit Kyle Busch is taken to the hospital by ambulance after a big wreck during the XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway . Fellow drivers sent well-wishes via Twitter. " Read the full story Feb. 21: Hard hit sidelines Kyle Busch for Daytona 500 A crash in the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race caused NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch to miss the Daytona 500 after suffering injuries to his right leg and left foot a day before the Great American Race at Daytona International Speedway . " Read the full story
Boris Said Q&A: 'If I win (Talladega), I'll let you shave my head!'
Hamlin, Jones and Said to sub for the injured Kyle Busch Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones and Boris Said will sub for Kyle Busch in the No. 54 NASCAR XFINITY Series Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Monday. Busch returned to his Charlotte, North Carolina, home as he recovers from a compound fracture of the right lower leg and left mid-foot fracture, suffered in the XFINITY Series opener at Daytona International Speedway last month. There is no specific timetable for Busch to get back behind the wheel. "We hate this for Kyle obviously and I think everyone is focused on getting him back healthy," Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing said in a release provided by the team. "We can't thank Monster Energy and all of our partners enough for working with us while Kyle is recovering and certainly it is nice to have Denny and Erik ready to fill in. We're also excited that Boris will have the opportunity to drive the car for seven races in 2015." Hamlin will pilot the car this weekend at Las Vegas for the Boyd Gaming 300 (Saturday, Mar. 7, 4 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) and in four other events. Those events are at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, Texas Motor Speedway (April 10), Bristol Motor Speedway (April 18) and Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 23). Hamlin had been previously scheduled for six NASCAR XFINITY Series events, but these additions bring that total up to 11. Hamlin currently runs full-time for JGR in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, piloting the No. 11 Toyota. Jones, who drove the No. 54 Toyota at Atlanta last weekend, will be back behind the wheel of the car at Phoenix International Raceway (March 14) and again at Richmond International Raceway (April 24). Jones finished 13th at Atlanta last weekend. The 18-year-old is running a full season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports and is also running a partial schedule for JGR in the No. 20 NASCAR XFINITY Series Toyota. Jones will now be running an estimated 19 NASCAR XFINITY Series events, according to a release provided by the team. Said will be behind the wheel for mostly the non-companion events on the NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule. His first start is set for Talladega Superspeedway on May 2. He will also run events at Iowa Speedway on May 17 and August 1, Chicagoland Speedway on June 20, Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course on August 15, Road America on August 29 and Kentucky Speedway on September 26. Said is primarily known for his road course abilities with both of his NASCAR premier series starts in 2014 coming on road courses. Last week, JGR announced that David Ragan would be subbing for Busch in the No. 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota for the next several weeks. 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
Teenager edges Roush pair of Wallace, Reed on leaderboard RELATED: Practice results Erik Jones topped the speed charts Friday in the lone NASCAR XFINITY Series practice at Talladega Superspeedway . Jones, driving the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota, rose to the top of the leaderboard with a lap of 188.861 mph around the 2.66-mile track. The 18-year-old driver, who will make his Sprint Cup Series debut next weekend at Kansas Speedway , will be making just his 12th XFINITY start in Saturday's Winn-Dixie 300 (3 p.m. ET, FOX). Teammates Darrell Wallace Jr . and Ryan Reed tied for the second spot at 188.727 mph in a pair of Roush Fenway Racing Fords. Regan Smith , a former Talladega winner in the JR Motorsports No. 7 Chevrolet, was fourth-best at 188.086 mph with rookie Daniel Suarez fifth at 187.621 mph in another Gibbs Toyota. Series points leader Ty Dillon clocked the 26th-fastest lap in the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet. Defending race winner Elliott Sadler was 13th-best at 186.180 mph in the Roush Fenway No. 1 Ford. Chase Elliott , the defending series champion, was 15th-fastest at 185.924 mph in the JR Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet. Boris Said was 17th-fastest driving the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota in place of the injured Kyle Busch . Said , an occasional NASCAR competitor primarily at road-course events, will make his first start in the XFINITY Series since 2011. The fastest laps were established early in the 2-hour, 20-minute session, when drivers grouped together in aerodynamic packs. Most of the latter stages were spent in single-car mock qualifying runs. Several teams were docked 15 minutes of practice time because of inspection infractions the week before at Richmond International Raceway . Among them were the teams for Said , Sadler, Joey Logano , Brendan Gaughan and Brian Scott . Coors Light Pole Qualifying is scheduled Saturday at 11 a.m. ET (FOX Sports 1). It will mark the first session with revised rules disbanding group qualifying at tracks where restrictor plates limit engine output. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
The unmistakable roar from the crowd was loud enough to easily hear over the 700-horsepower engine as the car blasted down the front stretch and across the start/finish line. The cheers were the familiar head-turning jolt of loud adoration Dale Earnhardt Jr . is accustomed to receiving at Talladega every single time he moves to the lead in a race. But this thunderous applause was in Indianapolis. And this was Tony Stewart in the car. NASCAR's "champion of the people" had arguably just reeled off his best single lap of the 2015 season, putting his No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet at the very top of Indy's famous scoring pylon for the first round of qualifying for the Brickyard 400 two weeks ago. And as Indiana's favorite native-born son climbed out of his car, he couldn't help but be touched by the overwhelming reception. A grin spread across his face and he waved to the grandstands acknowledging the love and loyalty. "That is huge,"' Stewart said of the crowd reaction. "Like I say, when you come home that is what you want. They play as big of a part in this as anything when it comes to keeping your morale up." "I have said all year that (performance on track) could change in a week and it doesn't even mean that after this weekend it's not going to go back to where it has been," Stewart, 44, added jokingly. "It could go and be a natural disaster tomorrow. It could all be for nothing." And indeed, while Stewart's final round qualifying session ultimately put him fourth on the grid -- his best start of the year -- the two-time Indy winner finished 28th at Indy. Last week at Pocono, he was better able to take advantage of a top-10 qualifying effort (sixth) and finished ninth, but it was only his second top-10 effort in 21 races this season. Stewart heads into Watkins Glen this week as the road course's all-time winningest NASCAR driver (five victories) but still needing a win in the next five races to qualify for his first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs since 2012. It's been a rough and emotional past two years for the three-time Cup champ, who has endured and persevered through serious injury, heartache and substandard results. Stewart was involved in an on-track fatality when fellow competitor Kevin Ward Jr. exited his car, approached Stewart's car during caution laps, was struck and died later from his injuries. Stewart missed three races but was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing. Since then, his performance on the track has included three top-10 finishes in 33 Sprint Cup races. However, the immense and intense faith of Stewart's fans has never faltered. "It seems like more people are rallying behind him than ever before actually," said 33-year-old James Groff, who showed up at a Bass Pro Shops grand opening outside Tampa, Florida, last week in hopes of getting Stewart's autograph, shaking his hand and most importantly, to remind his racing hero that a whole lot of people support him. "He's going through some rough times, but he'll get back to being the Tony he was. A broken leg, then that other sprint car accident, I'm sure it takes a toll. But he's a great driver and that's what it comes down to." Thousands of people showed up at the Bass Pro Shops store that Stewart was set to help christen for his longtime sponsor. And there were countless dressed in Stewart's racing T-shirts and hats. Grown men acted giddy taking a photo in front of one of Stewart's show cars. Women giggled at the thought of a hug and photo from Stewart and young kids carried die-cast replica cars for him to sign. "You gotta root for him, everyone has a bad year or so, but a true fan is a true fan," said Jason Mock, 32, of Wesley Chapel, Florida, who brought his 10- and 12-year-old daughters and 6-year-old son to meet their favorite driver. Asked why she was willing to come out on a rainy weekday night and brave the crowd to meet Stewart, 13-year-old Haylee Gulino explained with a smile. "I'm a Tony fan. My dad is too so I was raised that way.'' Unfortunately, Stewart wasn't able to attend the event because he was suffering from a severe migraine. But while he was home nursing a headache, had he been in Florida, his heart would have surely been healing. Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is among Stewart's loyal legions. His company has been a longtime sponsor of Stewart and his Stewart-Haas Racing team. Beyond that, Morris has developed a close friendship with the driver. And while things have been challenging for Stewart over the last couple years, Morris' support and confidence has never wavered. "Without any question," Morris said . "What are friends for? A friend in need is a friend indeed, as they say. I have a lot of admiration for Tony, his passion to give back to the sport he loves. Tony has been a steadfast friend of ours, too. People see part of a high-profile celebrity -- whether it be Tony racing or an entertainer -- and I feel privileged to have gotten to know Tony behind-the-scenes and seen what a compassionate, down-to-earth person he is." Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage has also witnessed first-hand the "Stewart Effect." Each December for most of the past decade, Gossage gets a telephone call "out of the blue" from the champ, not a SHR team representative or one of Stewart's assistants, but Stewart himself ready to schedule the next year's version of his "Smoke Show" fundraiser at the track. "Who does that?" said Gossage, explaining that Stewart's two-day event -- which will be held this week -- has raised more than $1 million for Speedway Children's Charities. "No other driver calls to just say, 'How can I help you? What's going on? What can I do?' " "The most precious thing any driver has to offer is time. They can give you money, memorabilia to auction off, any number of things, but the thing they have the least of is time because of their schedules, professional and personal life. "This is nine years now we've done the Smoke Show and it all came about from a casual conversation we were having and he said , 'I'll do that.' " And he has in the only way Stewart knows how. He's all in, a trait that has made him one of the most successful race car drivers of his generation and endeared him to one of the largest fan bases of any professional athlete. Gossage describes The Smoke Show as a "bucket list thing to do" for some of the super fans, willing and able to donate big bucks for a day-and-a-half to get up close and personal with Stewart. They have dinner with the champion and then the following day take a driving school type course getting tips from Stewart throughout. He gives the participants thrill rides -- at speed -- with him around the 1.5-mile speedway and celebrates with them in a mock Victory Lane complete with the cowboy hat, six-shooters and confetti used during the Texas Motor Speedway's two Sprint Cup Series race weekends. Even fan applause is piped in. "The cool thing is Tony gets to know every one of them and assigns them a nickname and he'll bust their chops all day long, and they love him,'' Gossage said . "He sits in that hot race car all day with sweat running off his nose and never unstraps from that race car until he's done. He's in it for hours and hours giving rides. He honestly is out there sweating his butt off for charity. I don't know anyone else that will do that. "What makes him different is the fire that burns inside him. That's what makes champions out of some athletes where others just have skills. He's got both. It's what's inside them. People may not fully understand he's the most sensitive tough guy I've ever met in my life. And I'm certain what's happened has had a lifelong impact on him. "What fans love about him is they think, 'He's just like me, a hard-working blue-collar regular guy except he got a break and got into one of those race cars.' "He's the 'every man' out on the race track."
Joe Gibbs Racing driver steals victory after leaders run out of fuel RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings " MORE: Shop Kenseth gear LONG POND, Pa. -- Matt Kenseth , the unexpected winner of Sunday's Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway, had to do a double take. So did second and third-place finishers Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon . Kenseth got a gift on the final lap of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race when Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch ran out of fuel halfway through the final circuit at the 2.5-mile triangular track. Seeking his fourth straight victory in the series, Busch didn't save quite enough fuel on the last green-flag run to complete the 160-lap event, but he still gained 10 points toward his goal of reaching the top 30 in the series standings. Busch, who finished 21st after getting a push toward the start/finish line from Reed Sorenson , is now 13 points behind 30th-place David Gilliland . Busch has five races to crack the top 30 to become eligible for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Because Busch was pushed by another car, he did not get credit for completing the final lap, but that did not affect his finishing position. Collectively, the top three finishers led seven laps. Joey Logano , who handed the lead to Busch when the No. 22 Team Penske Ford ran out of fuel with fewer than three laps left, led 97. But Kenseth wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth, especially after the driver of the No. 20 JGR Toyota did what others failed to do -- save enough gas to get to the finish. Kenseth's second victory of the season locked him into the Chase. "There's nothing like wins," said Kenseth, who collected his first victory at Pocono and the 33rd of his career. "We had a lot of wins in 2013 and were pretty spoiled and last year we had a big dry spell, and this year we were able to win Bristol. "We've been up front a lot, so just really, really thankful to be with these guys and to get the win. I never thought I'd ever win at Pocono, and I never ever thought I'd win a fuel mileage race, so we did both today." Despite coming tantalizingly close to a fourth straight win, Busch was philosophical about the near miss. "Man, that's a bummer," said Busch, who ran out of fuel on the Long Pond straightaway approaching the Tunnel Turn, less than a mile-and-a-half from the start/finish line. "I wish I would've saved a little more there that last run. "I wish I would've known that the 22 (Logano) was that far away from making it. He was way far away from making it. Man, that was just a shame that we weren't able to get it done there." Busch took a moment to reflect on what might have been. The empty fuel tank also cost him entry into the top 30. "We would be celebrating a win and a Chase berth," he said ruefully. "We got greedy. I don't know how greedy, but that's the position we're in. If it came down to other things that we haven't had the success that we've had here lately, we would've had to have pitted and just made the opportunity of it and made the best finish that we could. But, we went for broke today and come up a little bit short, so can't fault the team." Keselowski, who ran out of fuel as he approached the line, recovered from an early penalty for sliding through his pit, knocking his jack man off his feet and knocking a tire out of his front carrier’s hands. The No. 2 Ford lost a lap, regained it and came home second, 9.012 seconds behind Kenseth, as lack of fuel took its toll on the front-runners. The outcome left Keselowski with mixed feelings. "Unfortunately, just another race where I kind of feel like it didn't all come together for us, and this one certainly on my end with having problems on pit road and kind of sliding through the box," said the 2012 series champion. "That dug a hole, got us a lap down with the penalty and so forth. "I think the last restart with, had to be somewhere around 60 or 70 to go (actually 63), we restarted 12th and we were able to drive up to sixth and looked like we were going to be able to get to fifth, and then the fuel play came in there at the end. We were able to take care of it to bring home second, which is a very respectable day. Certainly probably not where we were going to finish without the fuel, but I guess that's sometimes how it works." Dale Earnhardt Jr . ran fourth and Greg Biffle fifth, as none of the top five finishers were threats to finish that high before the varying fuel strategies scrambled the final order. "There at the end we were one of the last ones to pit which allowed us to run hard all the way to the finish not having to conserve or save fuel," said Gordon, smiling at the stroke of good fortune. "I thought we were trying to get maybe 10th or 12th and all of a sudden they said you're third, and I think I was probably the most shocked person out there on the race track when I found that out. "I knew cars were peeling off, but I just didn't realize that many were either running out or coming to pit road." Note: Both Martin Truex Jr . and Logano, who along with Busch had the strongest cars all afternoon, were cited for speeding on pit road after running out of fuel and were dropped to 19th and 20th, respectively, in the finishing order, the last two cars on the lead lap. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule