NASCAR.com’s Costner Merrifield recaps the O’Reilly Auto Parts at Texas Motor Speedway as Brad Keselowski battles Austin Dillon in the final laps and grabs the NASCAR XFINITY Series win.
Crash that broke his leg and foot, journey back to racing SHOP: Busch gear Nov. 22: Busch wins first Sprint Cup Series championship In a season fit for the silver screen, Kyle Busch completes his emotional comeback from a devastating season-opening injury to capture his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title. " Read the full story " Final 2015 standings Nov. 22: Busch wins title with victory at Homestead-Miami Driver Kyle Busch caps an amazing comeback, winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 to hold off fellow Championship 4 contenders Kevin Harvick , Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr . " Read the full story " Complete race results Aug. 9: Busch breaks into top 30 in drivers points standings A runner-up finish at Watkins Glen pushed Kyle Busch into 30th place in the Sprint Cup points standings, a requirement of eligibility for him for the Chase. With four race wins under his belt, he must remain in the top 30 to make the Chase. " Read the full story " Full race results July 11: Kyle Busch wins Sprint Cup race at Kentucky A second win helps Kyle Busch 's chances of cracking the top 30 in points, the second condition he must meet to make the 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup . " Read the full story " Full race results June 28: Kyle Busch wins Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Needing victory to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup , Kyle Busch got the victory at Sonoma , a track that had been a concern as he continues to recover because the road course is so physically demanding. " Read the full story " Full race results 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
Daniel Hemric is moving to Brad Keselowski Racing for the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the team announced in its 2016 driver lineup. Hemric will pilot the No. 19 Ford F-150 with support from partners California Clean Power and Cequent, while Tyler Reddick will shift over to the No. 29 Ford F-150 with support from Cooper Standard. "Our main goal is to build off our momentum from 2015 and pursue a championship with two great full-time drivers," team owner Brad Keselowski said in a team release. "Both Tyler and Daniel have shown a lot of success on the race track and have more than earned this opportunity. We have two of the best drivers in the Series running on a full-time basis and I'm really happy about that and very optimistic about our future and chance for success in 2016." Keselowski will look to field a third team with a variety of drivers behind the wheel, according to the release. In 2015, the organization fielded two full-time teams with Reddick piloting the No. 19 Truck and a variety of drivers including Keselowski, Joey Logano , Ryan Blaney and Austin Theriault among those behind the wheel of the No. 29 Truck. Hemric, 24, is in his first full-time season in the series and competing for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors with NTS Motorsports. He is seventh in the standings with four top fives and 12 top 10s. Reddick, 19, is third in the point standings this year for BKR and has two wins on the season. "When the opportunity was available with Brad Keselowski Racing and all of our great partners, it seemed like a good deal for everyone concerned," Hemric said in a team release. "It's an honor to team up with Brad and to have common goals when you go to the race track: win races and put yourself in contention for a championship. To be able to insert yourself on a championship contending team and a team that has a solid baseline on what they need every weekend."
MORE: See all 43 cars for Sunday's race " Complete lineup for Sunday FORT WORTH, Texas—As a driver who likely must win one of the next two races to keep his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title prospects alive, Brad Keselowski took a giant step in the right direction during Friday's knockout qualifying session at Texas Motor Speedway . The 2012 series champion covered the 1.5-mile distance at a speed of 196.929 mph in the money round to win the pole for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 (2 p.m. ET on NBC/Live Extra, PRN, SiriusXM), the second of three races in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . The Coors Light Pole Award was Keselowski's first at Texas, his third of the season and the 11th of his career. It was also the third pole in the last four races for Team Penske . The driver of the No. 2 Ford posted the fastest time in each of the three knockout rounds. Kevin Harvick (195.993 mph) qualified second, followed by Kyle Busch (195.716 mph) and Joey Logano (195.419 mph), as Chase drivers claimed the top four spots on the grid. However, Keselowski and Logano, embroiled in catastrophe and controversy last week at Martinsville Speedway , are on decidedly different agendas from those of Busch and Harvick, who are tied for second and fourth, respectively, in the Chase standings. "This is a good start, but our ultimate goal is to be the fastest at the end of the race on Sunday," Keselowski said. "It's a good start, and it gets us up front with a great pit stall, and hopefully we can make the most of it. "I'm pumped about this race. Track position is important everywhere, and here isn't as much as maybe a few others, because the track wears out, and you see some comers and goers with the way the track wears out—but we will still take it." Keselowski and Penske teammate Logano are sixth and eighth, respectively, among the eight drivers still eligible for the championship. "I think, if you're not in the top five right now, you're in a must-win situation," Keselowski said. "Thankfully, we started out in the right situation with being fast. We feel like we’ll be really strong next week at Phoenix as well. "So all signs point to us having a very strong opportunity to win one of the next two." Non-chase drivers took the fifth and sixth starting spots, with Kyle Larson qualifying on the inside of the third row and Erik Jones , subbing for suspended Matt Kenseth , grabbing the sixth position on the grid. Kenseth must sit out the next two races for wrecking Logano last Sunday at Martinsville. "Sixth is a really good effort for us," Jones said. "We made the final round at Kansas as well (in relief of injured Kyle Busch in May), so it's cool to make the final round in both our starts. "We'll see where it goes from here. Obviously we've got a long ways to go yet for Sunday—500 miles. This definitely helps everybody's confidence a little bit for that." Kurt Busch , who also needs a win to stay in the Sprint Cup title hunt, will start seventh. Chase driver Carl Edwards qualified 13th, missing the cutoff for the final round by .004 seconds. Jeff Gordon , who secured a spot in the Nov. 22 Championship Round race at Homestead-Miami Speedway by winning at Martinsville, will start 18th. Martin Truex Jr . will take the green flag from the deepest position in the field among Chase drivers—23rd. Danica Patrick posted a season-best 11th-place qualifying effort.
Late model driver Brad Foy will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut Saturday at Martinsville Speedway , driving the No. 0 Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing Chevrolet. "I really want to thank Jennifer and the team for helping make this happen. I'm doing this not only for my love and passion for racing, but for my dad," said Foy, whose father, Brian, was killed in his home in May. "He was taken from us 6 months ago … far too soon. I just want to make him proud and race in his memory. It would bring me more joy than I could explain right now. It's been the worst 6 months of my life since he has been gone." The No. 0 truck is owned by Kenneth Grimes and has made 10 attempts in 2015, qualifying for seven races with driver Caleb Roark behind the wheel. Roark's best finish this season was 28th at Michigan. Cobb received an email from Foy -- a Moneta, Virginia native -- and pledged to help him as much as possible to make this race happen. Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing is self-funded, as are Foy's late model efforts. "As a small team we can only offer Brad so much, but I assured him if he could cover some minor expenses to make this effort, we would do everything we could to fulfill his dream to make this attempt," said Cobb. "Our team will do our best to make this an experience Brad will never forget and hopefully we can gain him some support for future racing efforts with JJCR." Foy will have to make the Martinsville field on qualifying speed, and he hopes to gain momentum for his racing hopes in 2016. "It's going to be tough but I'm excited to give it my all," Foy said. "I know my dad would be proud to see me keep trying.” Foy's father was 66 when he was killed in a home invasion. The home was one of several burglarized in Franklin County, Virginia, the Roanoke Times reported in May. Daniel Percy Arnot, Brian Foy's 30-year-old former son-in-law, was charged with first-degree murder in the case. Arnot was indicted Sept. 16, The Franklin News-Post reported. Three others also face charges in the murder and related thefts.
Editor's note: Every Friday, "Tweets You Might Have Missed" will present eight of the best NASCAR-related tweets from the week. 1. I like a lil #sneakattack #vacation #friendsgiving pic.twitter.com/41HQcmqrgT — Amy Reimann (@Amy_Reimann) November 24, 2015 2. After the race little dude says "I believed that we would win... And I believe we'll get a baby sister annnnnd a brother too!!!" — DeLana Harvick (@DeLanaHarvick) November 23, 2015 3. Happy Thanksgiving! Have a great day with family and friends. Tanner and I checking out the property #thankful pic.twitter.com/NNxIm1ub5j — Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) November 26, 2015 4. Note to self: You're not 21, please use better judgement in the future. — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 23, 2015 5. #Cannonball pic.twitter.com/mHn78ZgAiX — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) November 23, 2015 6. Two amazing blessings right here, both we had to fight hard for but when the time was right God gave them to us pic.twitter.com/lIZTywim0e — Samantha Busch (@SamanthaBusch) November 23, 2015 7. Hey @JimmieJohnson I hear ya #24ever pic.twitter.com/3591OlIqBm — Ricky Stenhouse Jr . (@StenhouseJr) November 23, 2015 8. An amazing experience seeing @JeffGordonWeb 's final @NASCAR race. Congratulations to you, Jeff, on an amazing career pic.twitter.com/NPuNavzRRX — Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) November 23, 2015 FAN TWEET OF THE WEEK: Mom didn't want me to know about the @NASCAR tickets ahead of time, but she wanted me to pick out my own seats at @CLTMotorSpdwy — Kelli Scoggins (@kelliscoggins) November 27, 2015
RELATED: Complete results from Homestead " Updated standings SHOP: Champion's gear " Gordon gear HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch capped a most improbable comeback Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway , capturing the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship while winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 . Busch, 30, passed race leader Brad Keselowski on a final restart with seven laps remaining, then pulled away from fellow Chase for the Sprint Cup contender Kevin Harvick to score his fifth win of the season and secure his first premier series title. It was also the first Sprint Cup Series championship for automaker Toyota, which entered the series in 2007. "A dream of a lifetime, a dream come true," Busch said. "I just can't believe with everything that happened this year and all the turmoil, all the things that I went through, that my wife (Samantha) went through and the people that are around me went through. This championship is all for these guys, my wife, my family, everyone who has had to sacrifice so much to get me here to this place today, whether it was on my team right now, or on my teams in the past." "Adam Stevens (crew chief) prepared such a great race car. Adam Stevens is my hero. I love that guy." Busch ( Joe Gibbs Racing ), Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Jeff Gordon ( Hendrick Motorsports ) and Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ) advanced through this year's 16-team, 10-race Chase format to qualify for a shot at the title. RELATED: Busch wins first Cup Series championship Busch said he never doubted that he and his team could orchestrate such a stunning comeback. "Oh yeah, no doubt," he said. "The rehab ... getting ready and focused, all that was the hardest part and the hardest thing I have ever gone through. To put it all together and be here tonight, this wasn't that hard." Sidelined for the season's first 11 points races after suffering a broken right leg and fractures to his left foot in an XFINITY Series crash at Daytona International Speedway , Busch returned to win five times. Sunday's victory was the 34th of his career. Busch can thank debris on the race track for the race win. It was driver and team that won the championship, however. Seemingly on his way to a second-place finish that would have still secured the title, Busch shot past Keselowski ( Team Penske ) on a Lap 261 restart for the 18th and final lead change of the night. "I knew it was time to go," Busch said. "I don't know why Brad chose the bottom, but he gave me the top and I thought, 'This is interesting.'" The restart order put Harvick directly behind Busch, who said, "I knew I just had to protect whatever Harvick tried to do if he was going to shoot the middle or shoot the gap or whatever it was going to be." "I don't know if Brad spun his tires or what. We got to Turns 1 and 2 and we were pretty even; I just looked into (Turn) 4 and gave it everything I had those last seven or eight laps." Officially, it was Busch, Harvick and Keselowski finishing first through third, with Joey Logano and Kyle Larson rounding out the top five. "I don't really know if there was a right one or wrong one, to be honest," Keselowski, who led a race-high 86 laps, said of the lane choice call. "We just weren't fast enough and I don't think it would have mattered either way." Gordon ended his illustrious driving career with a sixth-place finish while Truex wound up 12th. ALL ACCESS: Gordon parks car for final time "His talent is so strong, and that team really found some things this year," Gordon, a four-time champion making his final start, said of Busch, adding that he's seen "a changed Kyle." "When he came back, not only was he driven and just inspired by it, but you can tell he was racing smarter, with more patience, just being more deliberate. ... I think he showed it right away when he came back that there was a pretty good chance he was destined to win this championship." It wasn't a down-to-the wire battle for the championship or for the race until the final caution. With 67 laps remaining, Keselowski was easily out front while Busch enjoyed a lead of more than one second over Harvick for second place. Gordon, who had led earlier, ran ninth and Truex was just outside the top 10, running 12th. A fire on pit road and an ill-handling car stymied the efforts of Truex and his team for the first half of the race; a two-tire gamble during pit stop on Lap 168 put him out front. WATCH: Truex Jr. has 'a lot to build on for the future' But the lead was short-lived; Truex soon found himself free-falling through the field, eventually settling in just outside the top 10. Gordon made his way to the front for the first time following a Lap 36 restart, shooting past the soon-to-be champ for the lead and bringing the crowd in the grandstands to their feet. Harvick took charge moments later with a power move on a Lap 45 restart. A multi-car accident involving Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Clint Bowyer and others erupted almost as soon as Harvick took control, bringing the yellow flag for the fourth time. RELATED: Harvick sets bittersweet NASCAR record The defending series champion was able to build as much as a 1.5-second lead over Busch and led 46 laps before a cycle of green-flag pit stops allowed Joey Logano to move to the top spot. Afterward, Harvick could only smile as he watched Busch celebrate on stage. "He broke his leg at Daytona, and to come back from everything that he came back from ... that's a great comeback story from where he was after Daytona," said Harvick. The race began 1 hour, 35 minutes late due to rain but ran uninterrupted by weather conditions following its 4:50 p.m. ET start.
RELATED: Practice results Daniel Hemric (No. 14 NTS Motorsports Chevrolet) topped the lone NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice session at Homestead-Miami Speedway . The rookie paced the 145-minute session with a fast lap of 168.908 mph. Tyler Reddick (No. 19 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford) came in second with a speed of 168.824 mph. Reddick enters the final race of the season 19 points back of Erik Jones (No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota) for the championship lead. Jones placed fifth in the session (167.447 mph). Spencer Gallagher (No. 23 GMS Racing Chevrolet) was third (168.418 mph) and Crafton (167.452 mph) came in fourth. Jones had the fastest 10-lap average speed among seven drivers at 161.716 mph from Laps 11-20; Crafton was second at 160.629 mph, followed by Christopher Bell (159.862 mph), Hemric (159.644 mph) and Daniel Suarez (158.886 mph). Jones will lock up the title with a finish of 15th or better in Friday night's Ford EcoBoost 200 (8 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM); 16th with at least one lap led; or 17th with the most laps led. Jones or Reddick would become the youngest driver to win the Camping World Truck Series championship, while also dethroning two-time defending champion Matt Crafton (No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota) in the process. Austin Theriault (No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford), who is set to make his first start since a major crash last month at Las Vegas Motor Speedway , finished the session 11th. Earlier in the week, Theriault was medically cleared to return to racing after suffering a 10 percent compression fracture of the lower back on Oct. 3 during the Rhino Linings 350 . Keystone Light Pole Qualifying is set for 4:10 p.m. ET (FS1).
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- It's Ford Championship Weekend and the automotive manufacturer has its name on all three NASCAR races this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway . A champion in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be crowned Friday, where Brad Keselowski Racing driver Tyler Reddick trails Erik Jones by 19 points. On the XFINITY Series side, Roush Fenway Racing 's Chris Buescher has his Ford out front by 18 points over Chase Elliott (JR Motorsports). Sunday, the Sprint Cup championship will be decided among four teams that have survived a nine-race, elimination-style playoff to get here. None of the entries among those four title-contending teams preparing for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 carry the Ford nameplate. "It's tough. I'm not going to mince words," Edsel Ford II said Friday. "We're very disappointed that we don't have a car in the Chase, especially (for) Ford Championship Weekend." Two Ford drivers, Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano , qualified for the 16-team Chase for the Sprint Cup . Roush Fenway Racing , the last Ford team to win the Sprint Cup title (with Kurt Busch in '04) failed to place one of its drivers in the Chase for the first time since the format debuted that same season. But Keselowski, who won the championship in 2012 with Penske and Dodge, failed to advance out of the final eight this season to earn a berth in this weekend's Championship Round. Logano, meanwhile, swept one of the three-race rounds and appeared to be one of the title favorites before a run-in with Matt Kenseth escalated, eventually ending when Kenseth wrecked the No. 22 earlier this month at Martinsville. Thus, this weekend's four Chase contenders represent two of the three automotive manufacturers competing in NASCAR -- defending series champion Kevin Harvick (Chevrolet), Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet), Martin Truex Jr . (Chevrolet) and Kyle Busch (Toyota). "We would have loved to have had a car in the Chase, frankly. But it is what it is. That's racing I guess," said Ford, a member of the Ford Motor Company Board of Directors. This was a chance we could win a Ford Championship -- we've got good trucks, we've got good XFINITY cars, we've got very good (Sprint) Cup cars so who knows?"
The No. 18 Toyota of Kyle Busch had been good all day, but with 10 laps to go in Sunday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway a caution came out and the hopes for a championship rested in the arms of the pit crew. It was written in our earlier assessment of the final four pit crews that the No. 18 team had been the best in the clutch in the last five years -- and they proved it again. The No. 18 came in the pits in third place and left in second. Why is that such a big deal? Because it put him on the front row racing Brad Keselowski for the lead and in clean air as opposed to being in the second row with fellow Championship 4 driver Kevin Harvick right behind him. When you get in traffic, anything can happen and Harvick could have used that traffic to try and maneuver past Busch. But by gaining the one spot on the last stop it helped Busch get on the front row and win his first championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. For the record, we timed that stop at 11.21 seconds. Congrats to all the No. 18 car personnel and especially the pit crew: Pit Coaches: Mike Lepp and Paul Alepa Front Changer: Josh Lesley Front Carrier: Brad Donaghy Jack Man: Jeff Fender Rear Changer: Jake Seminara Rear Carrier: Kenny Barber Gas Man: Tom Lampe For more pit crew news, visit PitTalks.com .