Harvick reveals 'worst part of (his) job,' more tweets
Editor's note: Every Friday during the season, "Tweets You Might Have Missed" presents eight of the best NASCAR-related tweets from the week. Follow @NASCAR 1. Had a stand off this morning trying to leave. Keelan planted himself in the back of my car... #worstpartofmyjob pic.twitter.com/Mez98xo139 — Kevin Harvick (@KevinHarvick) April 21, 2017 2. The guys at @donut_media asked me if I could make a lap doing a burnout.... pic.twitter.com/qzkavFIdVj — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) April 20, 2017 3. Solid back to back dinner outfits. #Lydia pic.twitter.com/FynBEdz7Hv — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) April 17, 2017 4. When you know the code to @BubbaWallace house.... pic.twitter.com/MdYtzL8cE7 — Ryan Blaney (@Blaney) April 20, 2017 5. Why not start the day out with a @NASCARHall vote! Not telling you who to vote for, but would you like a latte? https://t.co/iDLobpMZj3 pic.twitter.com/X3WXlNNbfp — Roush Fenway Racing (@roushfenway) April 21, 2017 6. #6 is getting a little weird. It was @hoopgroupclt night tonight. Started season wearing #6. Played our 6th game tonight and were 6-0 now pic.twitter.com/oq6TycGcfC — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) April 20, 2017 7. A happy Easter to all! Hope you're having a great day and if not, here's a funny video from a friend to get you started... Nice work John https://t.co/8QsBQlQtvP — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) April 16, 2017 Pastors prepping for Easter like... pic.twitter.com/OrPIkZa3j0 — John Crist (@johnbcrist) April 15, 2017 8. When people ask me "what's the difference between NASCAR and F1?" https://t.co/okfJEo72nw — landon cassill (@landoncassill) April 16, 2017 PENALTY - Lewis Hamilton hit with a five-second penalty for driving unnecessarily slow in the pit lane, holding Ricciardo up. #BahrainGP #F1 — Nick DeGroot (@ndegroot89) April 16, 2017
Crew Call: Inside Victory Lane with Brad Keselowski's crew
Members of Brad Keselowski's No. 2 crew react to winning their first Martinsville clock as a team in Sunday's STP 500.
Blaney, Wood Brothers growing in sophomore season together
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Bristol MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- It used to be a thing. When NASCAR rookies in bygone days graduated to their sophomore seasons, you came to expect the canned photos: A smiling driver at the rear of the car, clearing the bumper of the yellow tape that's required of first-year talent. Ryan Blaney -- as best as we can tell -- took no such staged photo, cheesing for the camera in mid-tape peel. Still, there's been a noticeable change in the 23-year-old driver this season, his second in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and it's helped stir the early indications of a rejuvenation for Wood Brothers Racing, one of the sport's most storied teams. "I think when he pulled that rookie stripe off the car," said team co-owner Len Wood, "it's like last year he was, 'I'm going to mind my P's and Q's, I'm going to pay attention and I'm going to be respectful of everybody, try to gain respect.' This year, I think he's stepped up his aggressiveness a little bit. I think that's the main difference. So far, I haven't seen recklessness with it, just aggressiveness." Blaney's 2017 pivot may not have been the result of an overtly communicated directive from team to driver as much as a natural reflex for a relative newcomer growing more comfortable in his surroundings in stock-car racing's major leagues. Whatever the reason for the figurative loosening of the reins, the new vibe has clicked. Blaney sits sixth in the drivers' standings, fresh from a standout performance at Texas Motor Speedway two weekends ago. Blaney faded to a 12th-place finish but charged hard to lead 148 laps in the early going, marking the iconic No. 21 team's first race with triple digits in the laps led column since the fall of 1982. "I feel like that was a main goal, not only for myself but for our whole team, to be more aggressive this year whether it's racing or pit calls," Blaney says. "I think it's definitely easier to make those decisions when you're not a rookie and you try to gain respect that whole first year so that you can run them a little harder. That side had definitely amplified a lot and it's benefited us so far." Stages of support For an organization rich with tradition, owing to a family pedigree of 67 years of involvement with auto racing, the Wood Brothers have demonstrated a knack at adapting to modern-day NASCAR's rules of the road. In particular, Len Wood says, the No. 21 Ford team has found opportunity in the incentive-based three-stage race format introduced this season. In seven races so far this year, there have been 14 intermissions. The Wood Brothers have accumulated points in 11 of those, earning bonuses for running in the top 10. That stretch has included finishing in the points in nine of the last 10 stage breaks, and two convincing stage wins during Blaney's rapid-paced run at Texas. Many factors powered the Lone Star stage sweep, not the least of which was strategy. A late-breaking caution flag during the second stage put No. 21 crew chief Jeremy Bullins on the spot. Bullins ultimately made the call for Blaney to stay on the track to maintain position in the running order, bettering his chance for more stage points. After collecting the green-checkered flag for Stage 2, Blaney fell back after a scheduled pit stop during the intermission, a jammed-up restart and a late pit-road gaffe that thwarted his comeback efforts. It would have been too easy to blame the late-stage decision for the team's fade, but Len Wood pointed out that a similar strategy panned out for Jimmie Johnson, who eventually stormed to his first victory of the season. If Bullins caught any undue scrutiny for the call, he didn't carry any regrets into last weekend's holiday break. "Obviously you're trying to win races, but through the first part of the season here, everybody's seen what a big deal the stage points are," Bullins said. "We felt like we could win that stage, and how do you give up 10 points? At the end of the day, we got a lot of points out of it, and did we get the win? No, but it was a good confidence boost for the team and certainly a decision we would make again in a heartbeat. I don't second-guess it at all, and I think it was the right thing to do. "I think the fact that we were able to win those stages shows how much our team has grown, and Ryan's confidence in where our team is at this year." Team transition The Wood Brothers made the jump back to full-time competition in NASCAR's premier series last season, a transition aided by a strong technical affiliation with Team Penske, one of Ford's flagship teams with drivers Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. That relationship has grown since Aug. 14, 2014, when the Wood Brothers announced both the advent of the alliance and the addition of Blaney as the team's driver, fresh from the Penske development system. And though it's hard to say that Ford's commitment to the Wood Brothers -- a fiercely loyal relationship spanning seven decades -- has grown even stronger this year, the manufacturer has bolstered its efforts in both performance and sheer numbers by bringing Stewart-Haas Racing to the blue-oval side in 2017. "I think it shows the support that they're wanting to put into the sport in general, which is great," Bullins said. "I think when you add a quality team like that, there's more resources coming from both sides, right? I think it helps everybody." A prime asset helping to revitalize the Wood Brothers this season is a more measured Blaney. His patience in a wreck-filled season opener led to a runner-up finish in the Daytona 500; driving slightly less defensively in the races that followed helped to continue the upward trend. But Blaney also adds off-track intangibles that have helped keep the shop's mood light. It's a team with plenty of tradition and old-school cred, but with a young driver known for his avid Star Wars fandom and his Snapchat antics -- late-night death metal crooning anyone? -- with partner-in-crime Bubba Wallace. "He's kind of a different kid," Len Wood says. "He's a kid off the track. Him and Bubba when they went last year and filmed each other acting like different drivers, that stuff was pretty funny. But I think when he puts the helmet on and sits down in that race car, I think the kid part's gone and he's turning into a very good driver." One without those pesky rookie stripes. &lt;/p&gt;
Best consecutive 10-lap averages at Bristol
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Bristol PRACTICE 1: RESULTS Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 11 Denny Hamlin 14 23 125.657 2 18 Kyle Busch 48 57 125.429 3 42 Kyle Larson 1 10 125.176 4 5 Kasey Kahne 23 32 125.124 5 20 Matt Kenseth 35 44 124.665 6 1 Jamie McMurray 14 23 124.654 7 77 Erik Jones # 45 54 124.404 8 48 Jimmie Johnson 51 60 124.302 9 24 Chase Elliott 23 32 124.214 10 43 Aric Almirola 33 42 124.097 11 13 Ty Dillon # 44 53 123.905 12 41 Kurt Busch 31 40 123.609 13 27 Paul Menard 50 59 123.296 14 21 Ryan Blaney 32 41 123.296 15 47 AJ Allmendinger 39 48 123.112 16 95 Michael McDowell 12 21 123.081 17 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 40 49 122.789 18 2 Brad Keselowski 48 57 122.780 19 19 Daniel Suarez # 49 58 122.162 20 34 Landon Cassill 1 10 122.077 21 3 Austin Dillon 3 12 121.914 22 38 David Ragan 56 65 121.680 23 32 Matt DiBenedetto 4 13 121.450 24 6 Trevor Bayne 1 10 121.416 25 37 Chris Buescher 25 34 121.238 26 72 Cole Whitt 1 10 119.029 27 83 * Corey LaJoie # 2 11 117.957 28 23 Gray Gaulding # 1 10 117.823 PRACTICE 2: RESULTS Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 77 Erik Jones # 24 33 127.178 2 5 Kasey Kahne 48 57 126.863 3 24 Chase Elliott 51 60 126.442 4 27 Paul Menard 5 14 126.388 5 3 Austin Dillon 35 44 126.383 6 19 Daniel Suarez # 2 11 126.356 7 41 Kurt Busch 1 10 126.267 8 47 AJ Allmendinger 1 10 126.152 9 4 Kevin Harvick 15 24 126.085 10 1 Jamie McMurray 2 11 125.815 11 14 Clint Bowyer 39 48 125.793 12 78 Martin Truex Jr. 3 12 125.762 13 48 Jimmie Johnson 44 53 125.577 14 31 Ryan Newman 29 38 125.550 15 20 Matt Kenseth 15 24 125.482 16 11 Denny Hamlin 25 34 125.203 17 43 Aric Almirola 11 20 125.174 18 21 Ryan Blaney 34 43 124.992 19 34 Landon Cassill 42 51 124.484 20 13 Ty Dillon # 21 30 124.419 21 6 Trevor Bayne 25 34 124.364 22 32 Matt DiBenedetto 10 19 124.234 23 72 Cole Whitt 2 11 124.003 24 18 Kyle Busch 35 44 123.805 25 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 7 16 123.387 26 37 Chris Buescher 1 10 122.818 27 38 David Ragan 33 42 122.585 28 95 Michael McDowell 37 46 122.137 29 42 Kyle Larson 35 44 121.907 30 15 Reed Sorenson 1 10 121.835 31 83 * Corey LaJoie # 4 13 120.834 32 23 Gray Gaulding # 43 52 120.569 33 33 Jeffrey Earnhardt 2 11 120.387 34 10 Danica Patrick 35 44 118.414 PRACTICE 3: RESULTS Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 5 Kasey Kahne 4 13 127.482 2 14 Clint Bowyer 3 12 127.264 3 22 Joey Logano 3 12 127.253 4 18 Kyle Busch 9 18 127.156 5 77 Erik Jones # 2 11 127.142 6 19 Daniel Suarez # 3 12 126.856 7 48 Jimmie Johnson 2 11 126.847 8 21 Ryan Blaney 4 13 126.654 9 27 Paul Menard 9 18 126.638 10 24 Chase Elliott 39 48 126.538 11 31 Ryan Newman 1 10 126.457 12 78 Martin Truex Jr. 32 41 126.434 13 41 Kurt Busch 8 17 126.167 14 3 Austin Dillon 2 11 126.109 15 20 Matt Kenseth 9 18 126.100 16 42 Kyle Larson 1 10 126.061 17 2 Brad Keselowski 6 15 126.050 18 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 8 17 125.904 19 47 AJ Allmendinger 38 47 125.730 20 13 Ty Dillon # 4 13 125.557 21 6 Trevor Bayne 8 17 125.444 22 1 Jamie McMurray 1 10 125.307 23 11 Denny Hamlin 33 42 125.126 24 4 Kevin Harvick 18 27 124.939 25 10 Danica Patrick 38 47 124.743 26 38 David Ragan 41 50 124.571 27 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 43 52 124.294 28 43 Aric Almirola 43 52 123.724 29 32 Matt DiBenedetto 39 48 123.505 30 83 * Corey LaJoie # 20 29 121.299 31 34 Landon Cassill 50 59 119.830 * Car must run 10 consecutive laps on the track to be included in the above chart. # Indicates that the driver is a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rookie.
Brad Keselowski celebrates with the people
Watch as STP 500 race winner Brad Keselowski celebrates short-track style and heads into the stands after his big Martinsville win.
Kansas Speedway pits drivers against each other in unique '#Virtual400' race
RELATED: Read more Inside Groove BUY TICKETS: See the races at Kansas Speedway Drivers, start your ... virtual engines? Kansas Speedway announced one of the more unique social strategy campaigns of the season this week with its #Virtual400, set to kick off Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET. Sixteen of NASCAR's top drivers will be powered by tweets and posts in a 'race' on Twitter and Facebook. Fans advance their drivers forward by posting on their social media accounts with unique hashtags, #KSS(driver number). For example, #KSS88 for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Each original post counts toward distance on the virtual Kansas Speedway -- click here to check it out . Participating drivers are: Earnhardt, Kyle Larson, Kansas native Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray, Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Trevor Bayne. The first driver to complete 400 miles is the winner. The best part? Fans who tweet with one of the driver hashtags and register on the website have a chance to win two tickets and two pre-race passes to the Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 13. The winner will be announced on Thursday. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Team Penske appeal hearing set for April 12
Team Penske's appeal of a rules violation and subsequent penalties against driver Brad Keselowski, crew chief Paul Wolfe and the No. 2 team will be heard April 12 by three members of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel, according to a NASCAR official. The No. 2 team failed post-race inspection following last month's Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Wolfe was fined $65,000 and suspended for three races. Keselowski was assessed with the loss of 35 driver points and Penske lost 35 car owner points. The organization, which fields entries in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for Keselowski and teammate Joey Logano, delayed its request for an appeal until it had the opportunity to inspect the Phoenix entry at its Mooresville, North Carolina, headquarters. Wolfe was replaced by interim crew chief Brian Wilson at Auto Club Speedway for the Auto Club 400 the following week, where Keselowski finished second. It subsequently filed notice of an appeal and requested the penalties be deferred until the results of the appeal were determined. That deferral was granted, and Wolfe returned to the pit box for last week's STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway, where Keselowski scored his second win of the season. MORE: Penske appeal allows Wolfe to lead Kes to victory " No. 2 team penalized The team was penalized under Sections 220.127.116.11.1 of the NASCAR rule book for failing post-race rear steer on the Laser Inspection Station (LIS). The L1 level penalty calls for the finish to be encumbered, meaning any bonus points earned would not be eligible toward use in the playoffs. Keselowski finished fifth in the Phoenix race last month. Team owner Roger Penske addressed the decision to file an appeal following Keselowski's Martinsville victory. "Look, I need him on that box every weekend," Penske said of Wolfe. "I told him I'd pay him to be on that box every weekend not to be sitting in his motor home looking at a bunch of monitors. "But … really the strategy was that we'd take a race off last week (at ACS) and then make the appeal and I guess we'll be coming back here (to Martinsville) so it was good to get the experience here on this track, obviously, because it'll be in the (playoffs)."
Brad Keselowski Racing reveals '17 Truck Series lineup
CONCORD, N.C. -- Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) announced its team lineup details for the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season at the National Motorsports Press Association annual convention in Concord, North Carolina. Austin Cindric will pilot the No. 19 Draw-Tite Ford F-150 and Chase Briscoe, who was recently named as the first driver in the Ford Performance development program, joins the organization as the driver of the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150. Cindric and Briscoe will both compete on a full-time basis as they pursue the NCWTS championship for BKR. Doug Randolph, who has been atop the pit box at BKR since 2012, will serve as crew chief for Cindric, while two-time NCWTS championship-winning crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. will lead the effort for Briscoe. "We're very fortunate to have partners like Cooper Standard and Horizon Global, with brands like Draw-Tite, Reese and Bulldog, that make it possible to give two young drivers an opportunity. And that's something I'm very proud of," team owner Brad Keselowski said. "Austin Cindric has already had success in various forms of racing, and has shown a lot of potential in our Ford F-150 race trucks. I certainly believe that Chase is ready to take the next step in his career, and we're excited to have him join the BKR family. He won the ARCA championship in his first full-time season, and he's proven to have the ability to learn quickly and win races. We're pleased to give both Austin and Chase the opportunity to compete full-time at a high level in NASCAR." Cindric, 18, has six NCWTS series starts dating back to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in October 2015 -- all with BKR. He made four starts with BKR in 2016, qualifying a career-best second at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Bowmanville, Ontario). Cindric scored victories in the ARCA Racing Series event at Kentucky Speedway and in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and Virginia (Danville, Va.) International Raceway. "This is a massive opportunity from Brad and everyone at BKR who trusts me and believes in my abilities as a driver to move on to the next level for a full season," said Cindric. "2017 gets more and more exciting for me with every day that goes by. I've only done a handful of one-off races in my brief stock car career, so I'm really looking forward to having the same guys by my side week in and week out. I've spent a lot of time at the shop the last few weeks and I know everyone is really excited to get back racing." The past two seasons for Briscoe read like a Hollywood screenplay. The 22-year-old Mitchell, Indiana, native joined Cunningham Motorsports in 2015 as a volunteer in the team's shop, and just one year later, the rookie driver was celebrating the ARCA Racing Series Championship. Briscoe led the series in wins (six, including four consecutive victories) and poles (six). He finished with 14 top fives and 18 top-10 finishes in 20 races. "It's is an absolutely huge opportunity and such an honor to drive for Brad ," said Briscoe. "The competition level in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is so high, but I'm going to be in the best equipment out there. It's really cool to once again be working with the Keselowski family. When I moved to North Carolina three years ago, I was helping Brian and Bob in their shop, so things have come full circle. I'm truly blessed with this opportunity, and I hope to make the most of it. At the end of the day, it's all about winning races and championships, and that's what I plan to do."
Brad Keselowski surges late for Atlanta victory
RELATED: Race results " Standings " Detailed breakdown SHOP: Keselowski gear HAMPTON, Ga. – Thanks to the unintentional generosity of the dominant driver in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, opportunistic Brad Keselowski won the second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season. Kevin Harvick led 292 of the 325 laps at the 1.54-mile track, but a pit road speeding penalty under caution on Lap 311 sent him to the back of the field for the final restart. That gave Keselowski the chance he needed, and on Lap 319 he surged past Kyle Larson for the top spot and pulled away to win by .564 seconds. Larson came home second, followed by two drivers—Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne—who lost laps early but recovered to run third and fourth, respectively. Chase Elliott overcame a pit road speeding penalty incurred on a green-flag stop on Lap 212 to finish fifth. Keselowski overcame his own issues to put his No. 2 Team Penske Ford in position to win the race. Keselowski beat Harvick off pit road after stops under caution on Lap 264, but the lug nuts on his left rear wheel weren't tight, and Keselowski had to return to pit road and give up the No. 1 position for a restart on Lap 270. But Keselowski persevered, and by the time the final caution flag waved on Lap 309, he had worked his way up to third in the running order. When Harvick drew the penalty on Lap 311, Keselowski restarted third after pitting for tires, got past Kenseth in the first corner and tracked down Larson five laps later. "We had a lot of adversity today. There's no doubt about that," said Keselowski, who won for the first time at Atlanta and for the 22nd time in his career. "These races aren't easy. They're 500 miles, and a lot can happen, and when you think you've got it, they slip away. I know how it goes. "This one kind of fell in our lap at the end, and my team put it all together when it counted. They gave me a great Autotrader Ford Fusion, and we were able to get by Kyle there at the end. I knew that he wasn't going to be easy to pass. His car was great, and I was able to make the right moves to get by him." RELATED: See every one of Keselowski's wins
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