Martin upset after run in with Teague
Hal Martin is taken out by Brad Teague soon after getting back on the lead lap.
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
Auto Club Speedway by the numbers
BUY TICKETS: Celebrate Auto Club's 20th anniversary RELATED: Full weekend schedule Jimmie Johnson was driving a Superman car and wearing a cape the last time he saw Victory Lane at Auto Club Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series' stop there in 2016. It's appropriate since he almost owns the place. Johnson has six wins at Auto Club, spanning a decade and a half. He also has five runner-up finishes, an impressive average finishing place of 6.5 and has led 980 laps around the 2-mile circuit in Fontana, California. Roger Penske has a stake in the place as well, having been one of the architects, alongside Les "Coach" Richter. The track officially opened June 22, 1997, and it's celebrating its 20th anniversary as NASCAR returns to Fontana this weekend for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and XFINITY Series racing. Penske got his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win at the track on April 29, 2001 with Rusty Wallace piloting the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford. Brad Keselowski put Team Penske back in Victory Lane at Auto Club Speedway in 2015. Penske's open wheel drivers also have had success at the track. Penske built a fast race track, leading to some stout stats in the speedway's lore: -- A 188.511 mph qualifying speed record set by Denny Hamlin in 2016 -- A 155.012 mph race speed record set by Jeff Gordon in 1997 Digging into the numbers a bit more: -- Hendrick Motorsports has 10 wins, the most of any team -- Ford has 11 wins at the track, and Chevrolet has 13. Kyle Busch has taken home two Auto Club 400 trophies for Toyota in back-to-back races in 2013-14. -- Farthest back in the field a winning driver started: 31st, Matt Kenseth, spring of 2006 -- Pole-sitting winners: Only one, Johnson in 2008 -- The closest margin of victory was 0.144 seconds, as Kevin Harvick edged Johnson in 2011
Nos. 2, 4 teams penalized after violations at Phoenix
RELATED: Details on NASCAR's deterrence system NASCAR levied L1-level penalties against the No. 2 car of Team Penske and the No. 4 car of Stewart-Haas Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Wednesday following Sunday's race at Phoenix Raceway. The violation for the No. 2 car is detailed in sections 184.108.40.206.2 of the NASCAR Rule Book (post-race general inspection measurements), and driver Brad Keselowski's fifth-place finish in the Camping World 500 is encumbered, per section 12.10 of the NASCAR Rule Book. Meanwhile, the violation for the No. 4 car is detailed in sections 220.127.116.11 I-4 of the NASCAR Rule Book (track bar mount and supports) and driver Kevin Harvick's sixth-place finish at Phoenix is encumbered. As a result of the violation, No. 2 crew chief Paul Wolfe was fined $65,000 and suspended from the next three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points races. The team was assessed with the loss of 35 driver points and 35 owner points. Brian Wilson will serve as the No. 2 team's crew chief this weekend at Auto Club Speedway while the team "evaluates our approach relative to today's penalties," Team Penske said in a statement. Appearing on a Wednesday night edition of FS1's "NASCAR Race Hub," Keselowski discussed the impact of not having Wolfe atop the pit box and his history with Wilson. "Well, first off, my crew chief, Paul Wolfe, is an elite crew chief, and I feel really lucky to have him, " Keselowski told the program. "...To lose a guy like that, it definitely hurts. He's a great asset to our team, but this is one of those setbacks that I think every team faces and we're just going to have to get through it. It looks like it’s going to be a handful of races and we’ll do the best we can during that time. "The good thing about Brian Wilson is he comes from the XFINITY side as a crew chief who just won with Joey Logano at Las Vegas. But even before that, he was on the 2 team as the lead engineer, so a lot of knowledge and experience, and we look forward to working together with him." The No. 4 crew chief Rodney Childers was fined $25,000 and suspended from the next Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points race. The team was assessed with the loss of 10 driver and 10 team owner points. On Thursday morning, Stewart-Haas Racing officials said that the organization "has officially requested an appeal hearing regarding the penalties ... and have also requested a deferral of the penalties until the appeal process is complete." The appeal request means that Childers will be allowed to participate in this weekend's race activities at Auto Club. Team Penske also has the option to file an appeal to the National Motorsports Appeals Panel. As of Thursday morning, the team was still evaluating its options. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;g
RECAP: 'Bad' Brad battles back
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman recaps the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 where a late surge from Brad Keselowski gave him the win after Kevin Harvick led most of the laps at Atlanta.
Kyle Busch capitalizes on G-W-C finish to win at Bristol
RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings BRISTOL, Tenn. -- When Chris Buescher 's Ford faltered on a green-white-checkered restart on Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch took full advantage, as is his custom. In a Food City 300 that went to two laps of overtime at the .533-mile short track, Busch finished .427 seconds ahead of Kyle Larson , as Buescher faded to 11th after his car failed to pick up fuel off Turn 2 of the next-to-last lap. The victory was Busch's third of the season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, his eighth at Bristol and the 73rd of his career, extending his own series record. "This is home -- this is where I'm supposed to be," Busch said, standing outside the car in Victory Lane. "I wish I was here Wednesday night (after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race), so we could continue the sweep lookout for (Saturday), but that was a second place. Oh, well." Polesitter Denny Hamlin ran third, followed by Ty Dillon and Daniel Suarez , who got a bonus for his top-five run. As the highest finishing eligible driver in the XFINITY Dash 4 Cash program, Suarez picked up an extra $100,000. Pit strategy put Buescher at the front of the field under the fourth caution of the race, caused by Cale Conley 's spin in Turn 4. Staying out on older tires while most of the lead-lap cars came to pit road for fresh rubber and fuel, Buescher nevertheless pulled away from Busch during a succession of restarts, as Busch saved his equipment for what he thought would be the inevitable late-race caution. "I let the 60 (Buescher) go," Busch said. "He ran out there to about a straightaway on us, and I was just trying to save and do what I could to keep my tires underneath me. I knew we were going to get some cautions at the end to bunch us back up, and fortunately we did. "I wasn't sure they were going to make it on fuel (having pitted on lap 131 of 302), and obviously they cut it close -- a little too close." Busch got the yellow he needed, just in time. Brad Teague 's wreck on the frontstretch with five laps left set up the green-white-checkered and gave Busch the chance he needed. Buescher, who saw his series lead shrink to 19 points over Ty Dillon , knew he could have made it to the end on fuel, had the race not gone to overtime.
Second place isn't first loser for points leader Larson
RELATED: Phoenix race results " Series standings MORE: Buy tickets for Auto Club AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Kyle Larson figured he was in the best possible position, sitting in fourth place with two fresh tires and facing a two-lap shootout on a hot, slick Phoenix Raceway track. Turns out that wasn't the case. Contact on the restart with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. allowed Ryan Newman to slip away and leave the Chip Ganassi Racing driver second for the third time in four races this season and the fourth time since last year's season-ending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. Sunday's Camping World 500 was the first of two stops at the 1-mile track this season for the series. "This one stings because I felt like I was in the best spot out of anybody there to line up fourth on two tires," Larson said afterward. "I just turned across Ricky's nose and got sideways, killed both of our runs off (Turn) 2 and allowed Newman to get out on us." Larson also finished second at Atlanta, where he led seven laps, and Las Vegas, where he led none. On a hot day in the Arizona desert, he led three laps but ran in the top five for practically the entire day. Ganassi teammate Jamie McMurray finished 15th but also ran higher for much of the day. A crash by Team Penske's Joey Logano on Lap 308 of the scheduled 312-lap race set the stage for the two-lap shootout and sent much of the field scurrying to pit road. Newman, Stenhouse and Martin Truex Jr. opted to remain on the track, gambling on old tires and two miles of asphalt. Larson, first off pit road, lined up on the outside behind Newman; Stenhouse was on the inside with Truex behind. But Newman was starting to pull away when Larson tried to squeeze his way low entering Turn 1, only to make contact with Stenhouse in the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Both drivers were able to hang on -- no harm, no foul -- although Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing) shot past Stenhouse on the final lap to grab third. RELATED: This Kyle Larson-Ryan Newman photo is best of all time The finish put Larson, 24, on top of the points standings -- he leads Brad Keselowski (Team Penske) 184-178 after four races. "It's really, really cool to be the points leader right now," Larson said. "That was a goal of mine going into today. So thanks to everybody at Chip Ganassi Racing for all your hard work. "We'll hopefully continue to have this speed in our race cars and maybe close some of these races out." Larson is the first driver since Carl Edwards in 2011 to finish second in three consecutive races. Edwards closed the season with runner-up finishes at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead. Larson won his first (and to date, only) Monster Energy Series race last year, at Michigan. Sunday's race at Phoenix was just his 115th career start in the series. Second place isn't winning, but he said he's yet to grow tired of the result. "We've never had that speed," Larson said. "It's a lot of fun right now. I'm sure if I ran second for the next eight weeks, yeah, it's probably going to grow old. "But, yeah, it's so cool to be one of the fastest cars every week. I feel like I've got a shot to win every week at a race track. "It's weird running all these seconds. It took me like three years to finish second in sprint cars. Now I finish second like every week, so (it's) a little weird but maybe we’ll turn them into wins soon." &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
Keselowski's No. 2 Ford fails post-race inspection at Phoenix Raceway
RELATED: Full race results " Updated standings " Detailed breakdown Brad Keselowski's No. 2 Team Penske Ford team could face penalties this week after his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ride failed post-race inspection at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday night. The No. 2 failed weights and measures after Keselowski piloted it to a fifth-place finish. No other cars failed post-race tech inspection. Ryan Newman's No. 31 race-winning Chevrolet, Kyle Larson's runner-up No. 42 entry and Kevin Harvick's No. 4 Ford will all head back to NASCAR's R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina, for further routine inspection.
Pole winner Logano leads final Phoenix practice
BUY TICKETS: See the races in Phoenix RELATED: Final practice results " Best 10-lap averages Coors Light Pole winner Joey Logano continued to show speed at Phoenix International Raceway as he led Saturday's final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, turning a lap at the 1-mile track at 134.736 mph in his No. 22 Team Penske Ford. Matt Kenseth was second in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at 134.519 mph. Rounding out the top five were Kyle Busch in the No. 18 JGR Toyota at 134.399 mph, Brad Keselowski in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford at 134.384 and Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet at 134.368 mph, respectively. Daniel Suarez's car spun early in the final practice session, and the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota skidded toward the inside wall before stopping short of it. He returned to practice with about nine minutes remaining in the session. RELATED: Suarez spins in final practice SECOND PRACTICE " Results Earlier in the day, Chase Elliott led the opening practice Saturday, traveling around the 1-mile track in his Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet at 135.977 mph. This came on the heels of Elliott topping Friday's only practice in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at 137.101 mph. Logano was second at 135.446 mph in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford. Kyle Larson (Chevrolet), Martin Truex Jr. (Toyota) and Keselowski (Ford) rounded out the top five. RELATED: Stenhouse hits the wall in practice Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hit the wall early in practice, bringing out the red flag and doing minimal damage to the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Stenhouse indicated it was a brake problem that caused him to lose control of the car. He came back out on track with the same vehicle (i.e. not a backup car). Three teams served 15-minute penalties at the start of practice for issues during pre-qualifying inspection: The No. 3 of Austin Dillon, the No. 13 of Ty Dillon and the No. 38 of David Ragan. Monster Energy Cup Series returns to the track Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET for the Camping World 500 (FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). &lt;/p&gt;
Newman gamble pays off with Phoenix victory
RELATED: Full race results " Updated standings " Detailed breakdown MORE: Buy Ryan Newman gear AVONDALE, Ariz. -- When the winner of Sunday's Camping World 500 was announced, officials might have thought for a moment that they got the wrong envelope, a la Warren Beatty at the Oscars. But, no, there was no mistake. Ryan Newman was the unexpected winner of the fourth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season after a late caution gave his No. 31 Richard Childress Racing team the chance to break a drought dating to 2013. Staying out on old tires for a two-lap overtime run at Phoenix Raceway, Newman pulled away when eventual fourth-place finisher Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (who stayed out during the final caution) and runner-up Kyle Larson (who pitted for two tires) got together in the first corner after the final restart on Lap 313. Newman's 18th career victory was his second at Phoenix but his first since he won the Brickyard 400 on July 28, 2013, driving for Stewart-Haas Racing. The win was RCR's first since Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag on Nov. 10, 2013 at Phoenix before departing for Stewart-Haas the following year. RELATED: See all of Newman's wins "I've lost count -- that's how long it's been," Newman said of a winless streak that had reached 127 races. "What a gutsy call by (crew chief) Luke (Lambert). I called for two tires, and he called for none. "I've won more races with no tires than I have with four. I'm just proud of these guys. We had a good car all day. We kept it out of trouble and collected in the end." Lambert entered the media center for his post-race interview with the words, "I'm a relieved individual," a sentiment Newman clearly shared. "It's sweet for so many reasons,” Newman said. "This is the longest drought I've ever had. A hard-fought battle, a hard-fought race, a hard-fought four years." Newman led a trio who stayed on the track after polesitter Joey Logano's blown right front tire sent his No. 22 Ford into the Turn 1 wall to cause the eighth and final restart of the afternoon. Stenhouse and Martin Truex Jr. restarted on old tires in second and third, respectively, with Larson in fourth place in the outside lane with fresh rubber on the right side of his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Larson liked his position -- until he and Stenhouse collided in Turn 1. "I knew we were in the best spot," said Larson, who finished second for the third straight race and for the fourth time in five events, dating back to last year's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "Just, yeah, turned across Ricky's nose and got sideways, killed both of our runs off of (Turn) 2, and allowed Newman to get out on us. ... "Hindsight is always 20/20, but I should have went a lane up in (Turns) 1 and 2. I should have known to just stay close to Newman. That's what I wish I would have done." RELATED: Larson holds points lead post-Phoenix Larson, who took over the series lead, crossed the finish line .312 seconds behind Newman. Kyle Busch ran third, followed by Stenhouse, Brad Keselowski, and Harvick. Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones came home seventh and eighth, respectively, each scoring a career-first top 10 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The caution for Logano's blown tire, the result of a melted bead, stopped Busch's march to Victory Lane. The driver of the No. 18 Toyota had a lead of nearly three seconds over Larson when Logano hit the wall. "Right on time," Busch said sarcastically, after the yellow flag was displayed with five laps left. Told it was for Logano -- with whom Busch came to blows last week after a last-lap wreck at Las Vegas -- Busch said, "Trust me -- I know." RELATED: Busch scores first top-five finish of 2017 Busch restarted fifth (from the inside lane) for the final two-lap run and got bottled up behind Larson and Stenhouse. "We really needed the outside like Larson had," Busch said after the race. "Overall, we should be proud of our run today and we will move on."
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