Martin upset after run in with Teague
Hal Martin is taken out by Brad Teague soon after getting back on the lead lap.
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.
Stats advance: Analyzing the IRWIN Tools Night Race
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 17, 2015) – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee going into the IRWIN Tools Night Race on August 22 (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). BRISTOL-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Greg Biffle (No. 16 CHEEZ-It Ford) · Six top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 12.667, sixth-best · Average Running Position of 13.535, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 92.3, eighth-best · 334 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.708, ninth-fastest · 7246 Laps in the Top 15 (68.8), fourth-most · 588 Quality Passes, fifth-most Kyle Busch (No. 18 SKITTLES Toyota) · Five wins, eight top fives, 12 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 12.150, fourth-best · Average Running Position of 13.724, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 100.0, third-best · 610 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.791, fifth-fastest · 6344 Laps in the Top 15 (63.3), ninth-most · 498 Quality Passes, eighth-most Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · Five wins, eight top fives, 15 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 15.952, 10th-best · Average Running Position of 13.572, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 92.6, sixth-best · 408 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.765, sixth-fastest · 6859 Laps in the Top 15 (65.2), seventh-most · 633 Quality Passes, third-most Dale Earnhardt Jr (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet) · One win, seven top fives, 14 top 10s · Average finish of 12.095, third-best · Average Running Position of 14.977, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 87.2, 13th-best · 249 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.720, eighth-fastest · 6071 Laps in the Top 15 (57.7), 11th-most · 539 Quality Passes, sixth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 STANLEY Toyota) · Three wins, five top fives, nine top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 14.333, seventh-best · Average Running Position of 13.977, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 90.6, 10th-best · 443 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.690, 10th-fastest · 7012 Laps in the Top 15 (66.6), sixth-most · 489 Quality Passes, 10th-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 AXALTA Chevrolet) · Five wins, 17 top fives, 25 top 10s; five poles · Average finish of 12.333, fifth-best · Average Running Position of 9.954, second-best · Driver Rating of 100.3, second-best · 455 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.905, third-fastest · 8324 Laps in the Top 15 (79.1), second-most · 662 Quality Passes, second-most Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota) · One win, four top fives, eight top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 17.368, 12th-best · Average Running Position of 16.077, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 87.9, 12th-best · 399 Fastest Laps Run, second-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.675, 11th-fastest · 5373 Laps in the Top 15 (56.4), 13th-most · 461 Quality Passes, 11th-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet) · One win, nine top fives, 12 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 17.143, 11th-best · Average Running Position of 13.038, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 92.5, seventh-best · 460 Fastest Laps Run, third-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.874, fourth-fastest · 6742 Laps in the Top 15 (64.0), eighth-most · 527 Quality Passes, seventh-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Pro Services Chevrolet) · One win, nine top fives, 15 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 15.143, ninth-best · Average Running Position of 13.356, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 92.3, ninth-best · 549 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.634, 12th-fastest · 7069 Laps in the Top 15 (67.2), fifth-most · 496 Quality Passes, ninth-most Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet) · One win, five top fives, ten top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 17.476, 13th-best · Average Running Position of 16.578, 13th-best · Driver Rating of 88.1, 11th-best · 474 Fastest Laps Run, series-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.618, 13th-fastest · 5948 Laps in the Top 15 (56.5), 12th-most · 616 Quality Passes, fourth-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · Four wins, 13 top fives, 20 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 11.333, second-best · Average Running Position of 9.821, series-best · Driver Rating of 104.6, series-best · 582 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.981, second-fastest · 8699 Laps in the Top 15 (82.6), series-most · 678 Quality Passes, series-most Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford) · Two wins, four top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 15.091, eighth-best · Average Running Position of 14.249, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 93.3, fifth-best · 212 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 115.721, seventh-fastest · 3323 Laps in the Top 15 (60.3), 10th-most · 393 Quality Passes, 12th-most Kyle Larson (No. 42 Target Chevrolet) · Two top 10s · Average finish of 9.667, series-best · Average Running Position of 11.383, third-best · Driver Rating of 99.0, fourth-best · 77 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 116.278, series-fastest · 1169 Laps in the Top 15 (77.2), third-most · 144 Quality Passes, 13th-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 10 at Bristol Motor Speedway Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 21 1 1 5 6 3 17.1 92.5 2 Joey Logano 13 1 1 2 3 1 20.0 80.1 3 Dale Earnhardt Jr . 21 0 0 4 10 1 12.1 87.2 4 Martin Truex Jr . 19 0 0 2 2 2 20.7 80.0 5 Brad Keselowski 11 0 2 4 4 0 15.1 93.3 6 Jimmie Johnson 21 1 1 7 11 1 15.1 92.3 7 Matt Kenseth 21 2 4 9 14 2 11.3 104.6 8 Kurt Busch 21 1 1 4 9 1 16.0 92.6 9 Denny Hamlin 19 2 1 4 8 2 17.4 87.9 10 Jamie McMurray 21 0 0 2 7 1 19.1 79.5 * – Based on last 21 races at Bristol Motor Speedway (2005 – 2015). Bristol Motor Speedway Data Season Race #: 24 of 36 (08-22-15) Track Size : 0.533-miles Banking/Turns 1 & 2 : 24-28 degrees Banking/Turns 3 & 4 : 24-28 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 4-8 degrees Banking/Backstretch : 4-8 degrees Frontstretch Length : 650 feet Backstretch Length : 650 feet Race Length : 500 laps / 266.5 miles Top 10 Active Driver Ratings at Bristol Matt Kenseth ............................. 104.6 Jeff Gordon .............................. 100.3 Kyle Busch ............................... 100.0 Kyle Larson ................................ 99.0 Brad Keselowski ......................... 93.3 Kurt Busch .................................. 92.6 Kevin Harvick .............................. 92.5 Jimmie Johnson .......................... 92.3 Greg Biffle .................................. 92.3 Carl Edwards . ............................. 90.6 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (21 total) among active drivers at Bristol Motor Speedway Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Kevin Harvick , Chevrolet 131.362 mph, 14.607 secs. 08-22-14 2014 race winner : Joey Logano , Ford 92.965 mph, (2:52:00), 08-23-14 Track qualifying record: Kevin Harvick , Chevrolet 131.362 mph, 14.607 secs. 08-22-14 Track race record: Charlie Glotzbach, Chevrolet 101.074 mph, (2:38:12), 07-11-71 At Bristol Motor Speedway: History · Groundbreaking for Bristol International Speedway, as Bristol Motor Speedway was originally known, took place in 1960. The track was an exact half-mile. · First NASCAR Sprint Cup race was July 30, 1961; Jack Smith won the event (with relief from Johnny Allen ). · All of the NSCS races have been scheduled for 500 laps, except for both races in 1976 and the second in 1977, which were 400 laps. · In the fall of 1969, the track was reshaped and re-measured to .533-miles. · The name changed to Bristol International Raceway in 1978. · The first night race was held in the fall of 1978. · The surface was changed from asphalt to concrete in 1992. · The name changed to Bristol Motor Speedway in May 1996. · The track was resurfaced between races in 2007, and the turns were ground down in 2012 to eliminate part of the progressive banking. Starts · There have been 109 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway since the first race in 1961, two races each season. · 436 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol; 304 in more than one. · NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Bristol with 60. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 45 starts. · Jeff Gordon leads (active drivers) the series in average starting position at Bristol with a 7.667. · Ryan Newman leads the series (active drivers) with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Bristol without visiting Victory Lane at 27. · Paul Menard (16 starts) leads the series in starts with the fewest DNFs (0) at Bristol. · AJ Allmendinger made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup career start at Bristol (03/25/2007). Poles · Fred Lorenzen won the inaugural Coors Light pole with a speed of 79.225 mph in a Ford. · 48 different drivers have poles at Bristol, led by Mark Martin and Cale Yarborough with nine each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with five. · 10 different drivers have posted consecutive poles at Bristol Motor Speedway; Mark Martin is the only of the 10 to win four consecutive poles at Bristol: Fireball Roberts (swept 1962), Fred Lorenzen (swept 1963), Richard Petty (1967-’68), Bobby Allison (swept 1972), Cale Yarborough (swept 1973; swept 1977; swept 1980), Darrell Waltrip (swept 1981), Geoff Bodine (swept 1986), Mark Martin (swept 1995-1996– all four races; and swept 2009); Rusty Wallace (swept 1998), Jeff Gordon (swept 2002) and Denny Hamlin (fall 2013, spring 2014). · Youngest Bristol pole winner: Joey Logano (3/21/2010 – 19 years, 9 months, 25 days) – his first series career pole. · Oldest Bristol pole winner: Harry Gant (8/27/1994 – 54 years, 7 months, 17 days). · Seven different drivers have posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career pole at Bristol. Joey Logano is the only active driver to win his first NSCS career pole at Bristol (03/21/2010). Wins · 42 different drivers have won at Bristol, led by Darrell Waltrip (12). Kurt Busch , Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch each have five wins, the most among active drivers. · 12 drivers have won consecutive races at Bristol led by Darrell Waltrip with seven consecutive victories from 1981-1984. The other 11 are Fred Lorenzen (1963-1964 sweep), David Pearson (1968 sweep), Bobby Allison (1972 sweep), Cale Yarborough did it twice (1974 sweep and four straight from 1976-1977), Richard Petty (1975 sweep), Dale Earnhardt also did twice (1985 sweep and 1987 sweep), Alan Kulwicki (1992 sweep), Rusty Wallace (2000 sweep), Kurt Busch (2003 sweep and 2004 spring race), Kyle Busch (2009 sweep), and Brad Keselowski (2011 fall-2012 spring). · Youngest Bristol winner: Kyle Busch (03/25/2007 – 21 years, 10 months, 23 days). · Oldest Bristol winner: Dale Earnhardt (08/28/1999 – 48 years, 3 months, 30 days). · Five drivers have posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career win at Bristol Motor Speedway: Dale Earnhardt (04/01/1979), Rusty Wallace (04/06/1986), Ernie Irvan (03/25/1990), Elliott Sadler (03/25/2001) and Kurt Busch (03/24/2002). · Junior Johnson leads the series in car owner wins at Bristol with 16; Roger Penske and Jack Roush are tied among active car owners for the most wins at Bristol with 11 each. · The race winner has started from the pole 23 times (21.1%) - the most productive starting position. The last driver to win from the pole was Matt Kenseth earlier this season. · Five drivers have won from the pole position multiple times: Bobby Allison (1972 twice), Cale Yarborough (1973, 1977 twice, 1980), Darrell Waltrip (1981 twice, 1982), Rusty Wallace (1991, 1993, 1999, 2000) and Matt Kenseth (2005 and 2015). · 36 of the 109 (33%) races at Bristol have been won from the front row: Pole position (23 wins); second-place (13 wins). · 87 of the 109 (79.8%) races have been won from a top-10 starting position; including 54 from the first four spots. · Five of the 109 (4.5%) races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20; most recent was Dale Earnhardt Jr . in 2004 – he started 30th. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started is 38th, by Elliott Sadler in 2001. · Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Bristol; led by Chevrolet with 43 victories; followed by Ford (35), Dodge (8), Pontiac (8), Toyota (7), Buick (4), Plymouth (3) and Oldsmobile (1). · Four car numbers have produced eight or more Bristol NSCS wins: Car Number – (Number of Wins) – Most Recent Win o No. 11 - (19 wins) – Denny Hamlin , 2012 o No. 2 – (12 wins) – Brad Keselowski , 2012 o No. 17 – (eight wins) – Matt Kenseth , 2006 o No. 3 – (eight wins) – Dale Earnhardt, 1999 Additional Finishing Position Stats · Richard Petty leads the series in runner-up finishes at Bristol with 10; Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers with four. · Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty lead the series in top-five finishes at Bristol with 26 each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 17; followed by Matt Kenseth (13). · Richard Petty has leads the series in top-10 finishes at Bristol with 37. Jeff Gordon leads the series among active drivers in top-10 finishes with 25; followed by Matt Kenseth (20). · Ricky Stenhouse Jr . leads the series (active drivers) in average finishing position at Bristol with an 9.200. Track/Event Specific Stats · Nine of the last 11 races have ended with a Margi
High 5: Sign away, secret tacos & 'Greased Lightning'
Editor's note: High 5 analyzes what's trending in NASCAR and beyond every week Quote of the week “We met racing online. He was fast. I asked for his setup and then proceeded to beat his ass with it. Mostly true." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . via Twitter on how he met his spotter TJ Majors Follow @DaleJr Beyond left turns The story It's that time of the year again: College Football Signing Day. The day when high school recruits make their commitments to schools across the country -- and when crazed CFB fans (guilty ) start daydreaming of their bright future with new stars. Mr. No. 1 The No. 1 recruit in the nation, Rashan Gary was the player to watch. The defensive lineman ultimately narrowed down his choices to Clemson and Michigan, announcing today he would be taking his talents to the Wolverine State -- likely to the delight of Big Blue fan Brad Keselowski , who is up north hanging out with the new team. Checking out @umichfootball recruiting class and hanging out at the basketball game tonight. pic.twitter.com/TWV41G01BU — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) February 3, 2016 The spread As the recruits poured in, the Florida State Seminoles seemed poised to earn the top class. But the Alabama Crimson Tide used a late push to snatch back the the No. 1 spot for the sixth consecutive year, while the 'Noles came in at No. 2, followed by Michigan, Ole Miss and Texas. But let's be honest: No matter the results of the day, no recruit can top new Ole Miss recruit Deontay Anderson's announcement via skydiving. Just epic. 4-star safety Deontay Anderson skydives his way to a commitment #NationalSigningDay https://t.co/Nbl1XQDWuL — Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 3, 2016 RELATED: Hendrick hosts pit crew 'Signing Day' Everyone's talking about… Tony Stewart . The former Sprint Cup Series champion was hospitalized for a non-racing back injury, a team spokesperson said on Tuesday. Best wishes for a quick recovery, Smoke. The Super Bowl . The Carolina Panthers will square off against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET. Panthers are favored, but the dynamic quarterback match-up -- Carolina's Cam Newton versus Broncos' Peyton Manning -- is a talking point, and the Panthers' offensive line vs. Denver's front seven will make for an interesting game. Taco Bell. Speaking of the big game, Taco Bell is in on a big secret: The fast food chain offering a "secret menu item" -- think In-N-Out-style, but actually secret -- that consumers can buy...without knowing what it is. The secret item will be unveiled during the company's Super Bowl ad Sunday. May the odds be ever in your favor. "Grease: Live." The much-hyped live television remake of the 1971 musical "Grease," which later became a beloved 1978 film, made its debut Sunday night on FOX. Live musicals can be tricky but the star-studded cast seemed to impress most, as CNN called it "electrifying." Coming up in Turn 2
NASCAR community reacts to Tony Stewart's accident
RELATED: Stewart hospitalized with back injury #SmokeWILLrise @TonyStewart — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) February 2, 2016 Wishing @TonyStewart a speedy recovery. — Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) February 2, 2016 Get well soon @TonyStewart — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) February 2, 2016 Thoughts and prayers to @TonyStewart . No details are out but we need you at Daytona next week! Get well soon https://t.co/k9EXQli8Dh — Matthew DiBenedetto (@mattdracing) February 2, 2016 Man @TonyStewart has some bad luck. Remember what happened to @KyleBusch ? I see Tony coming back to win a championship! — Alex Bowman (@AlexBRacing) February 2, 2016 Keep Uncle Moke in your thoughts and prayers... https://t.co/C3XuAP8VYQ — DeLana Harvick (@DeLanaHarvick) February 2, 2016 Wishing @TonyStewart a speedy recovery. Get well soon...want to see that smile again! @StewartHaasRcng pic.twitter.com/JSctyZBCqX — Kurt Busch (@KurtBusch) February 2, 2016 Wishing fellow competitor @TonyStewart a speedy recovery. — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) February 2, 2016 Thinking of our friend @TonyStewart . Guy cannot catch a break. — Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) February 2, 2016 Sending thoughts and prayers out to my friend Smoke for a speedy recovery #family — Tony Gibson (@TonyOldman41) February 2, 2016 Man @TonyStewart can't catch a break hoping for a speedy recovery #getwell — Ty Dillon (@tydillon) February 2, 2016 I have the best boss man in racing.... #SmokeWillRise #badass @TonyStewart https://t.co/RzlBXtcl25 — Rodney Childers (@RodneyChilders4) February 2, 2016 Get well soon @TonyStewart ! — Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) February 2, 2016 Wishing all the best for @TonyStewart . We want you out on that track! — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) February 3, 2016 Man I feel absolutely horrible for @TonyStewart .....Guy works his tail off and deserves to have a great final season... Get well soon buddy! — Justin Allgaier (@J_Allgaier) February 3, 2016 #SmokeWillRise — Ingrid Vandebosch (@ivandebosch) February 3, 2016 You have to feel for @TonyStewart . I hope he can get healed, recovered and ready in time for his final season in @NASCAR — Michael McDowell (@Mc_Driver) February 3, 2016 pic.twitter.com/J2dm6nHYCN — Mike Bugarewicz (@BugaMike14) February 2, 2016
With performance in hand, '16 time to execute for Keselowski
Improving on 2015 begins at the restart for Brad Keselowski ’s No. 2 Team Penske squad. It’s not like 2015 was too far off of Keselowski’s 2012 championship form. The No. 2 driver made the Round of 8 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and finished the year in seventh place. But we know in NASCAR, off by just a fraction of an inch can make enormous differences. In terms of wins, Keselowski was off by that fraction: He had only one win in 2015 after compiling six in 2014. Last season it was the No. 22 Penske car and Joey Logano which racked up six wins -- though both drivers piled up the laps led with 1,431 for Logano and 1,185 for Keselowski. One key difference for the No. 2, crew chief Paul Wolfe said, was late-race restarts. "Ultimately, I feel like we ended last season much stronger than we were in '14 and you can't always judge a team by the amount of wins," Wolfe said during last week's Charlotte Media Tour. "I try to look at the bigger picture of the performance and where it was at. That being said, we need to be able to execute a little better. We didn't execute like we needed to. I think a lot of that comes down to communication between Brad and I and understanding what we can do to make our car better on the late-race restarts." Keselowski dominated a few races at the end of the 2015 season, with top-four finishes at Talladega, Texas and Homestead, showing the wins are just waiting to resurface. And the low-downforce rules package appears to play into his strengths: He had a sixth-place finish at Kentucky and a runner-up finish at Darlington, both of which featured a lower downforce package in 2015. "I like the new car; like the new direction in many ways. I like where we're headed as a manufacturer," Keselowski said during the media tour. Driver and crew chief are on the same page in terms of the rules package. "I'm optimistic about the rules change, the aero package and feeling like we've done a good job over the last couple of years being a team that can really adapt well," Wolfe said. "We're looking forward to the challenge, for sure." Both Keselowski and Logano are excited about their equipment and adapting quickly to the rules changes. "I think Team Penske's done a great job, obviously with working with the new rules and coming out of the gate strong," Logano said. "I think last year we saw how important that is. … You click off a couple of wins and lock yourself into the Chase early, and that really pays dividends once the Chase comes around." Logano believes Team Penske will stack up well against Toyota's powerhouse teams in 2016, particularly as fellow Ford team Roush Fenway Racing makes moves to improve. "I think we're going to be in good shape," Logano said. "You look at our new body, I think the new body is going to be good for us. … I feel comfortable with the way Roush Yates has improved our motors in the offseason. We're working internally as just the 22 team, but we have to work on a larger scale with the Penske team and even larger scale with the manufacturer." As for competition between inside the Penske team, Keselowski says he and Logano push each other to be better, battling for wins as they share information. "Certainly there's a little bit of brotherhood there, but all in a good way," Keselowski said. " We're great teammates. We work together really well." Chasing a championship is never easy, though. "There's always tension, right?" Keselowski asked. "We're here to win and anything less is unacceptable. I think there's a little bit of a blessing that we won a championship so early because that instills a lot of confidence that anything is possible."
Wood Bros. return to full time opens up new doors
RELATED: Complete driver roster for 2016 The folks at Wood Brothers Racing are busy getting ready for this month's Daytona 500 , the season-opening race for NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. That is not unusual. The legendary team has prepared for the series' biggest, most well known race ever since there was a Daytona 500 . This year is No. 58 for the event billed as the "Great American Race." Actually, the family-owned organization's Daytona history runs a bit deeper -- team founder and patriarch Glen Wood competed on the beach and road course before the 2.5-mile superspeedway rose up a few miles inland. What's unusual is what will follow. Because after Daytona will be Atlanta. And Las Vegas. And Phoenix and Auto Club. Martinsville and Texas and Bristol. And on and on and on. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule whips across the country, and this year, for the first time since 2008, the Wood Brothers and their familiar red-and-white No. 21 Ford will be there every step of the way. "I'm looking forward to going back to some of the tracks we haven't been to for a while like Atlanta, Martinsville -- I really love road courses and things like that, places that present an opportunity that's a little different, even like a Pocono," Len Wood, who along with brother Eddie oversee the operation of the team today. "Anything can happen at a Pocono or a road course, so that's what I'm looking for." The team has 98 victories, but only one since cutting back to a limited schedule. Granted, it was a big one -- the 2011 Daytona 500 with driver Trevor Bayne . Last year, Ryan Blaney made 16 starts for team, finishing with top 10s at Talladega in the spring (fourth) and Kansas in the fall (seventh). He scored a pair of XFINITY Series wins (Iowa-2, Kentucky-2) while driving for Team Penske and a Camping World Truck Series victory (at Bristol) for owner/driver Brad Keselowski . MORE: Blaney clarifies height conspiracy His Sprint Cup schedule may have been limited, but the knowledge gained was not. "It's good to get experience, it's good to work with the whole team on these Cup cars and be able to race around the competition," Blaney, 22, said. "Just racing around your other competitors is one of the biggest battles -- knowing how they race and just learning from them. "That's something I've been able to do in the Truck Series and the XFINITY Series. But the Cup side is way different. The cars are way different, they handle way different, there are different things you can do. "It was definitely a learning year, a good year to get us prepared for this full-time season." RELATED: Who is the favorite for Sunoco Rookie honors? Blaney, along with Chase Elliott (Hendrick Motorsports), Chris Buescher (Front Row Motorsports), Brian Scott (Richard Petty Motorsports) and Jeffrey Earnhardt (Go FAS Racing) make up this year's Sunoco Rookie of the Year class. All have multiple Sprint Cup Series starts, from Earnhardt's two to Blaney's 18. The Wood Brothers team will continue its technical alliance with Team Penske, likewise a Ford organization and one that fields Sprint Cup teams for Keselowski, the 2012 series champion, and teammate Joey Logano . Crew chief Jeremy Bullins is a former Penske crew chief, having helped lead all three drivers to Victory Lane in the XFINITY Series. Bullins also has ties to the Wood Brothers -- he began his career working with the group when the team shop was still based in tiny Stuart, Virginia. "For me personally, it's a big deal to be on this car, for this car to be successful," Bullins said. How successful the team can be as it transitions back to full-time status, Bullins said, "is up to us." "When you look at Ryan and his ability, the equipment that we have and the resources we have, really it's up to us and how far we take it," he said. "Obviously the goal, the reason we are here, is to try to win races and try to win championships eventually. "When you start your first year in the Cup series, you don't anticipate that but it's up to us how far we take it. The potential is there, for sure."
Harvick to return to FOX booth for XFINITY opener
FOX Sports announced Monday that former Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick would return as a guest analyst for its NASCAR XFINITY Series coverage in 2016, starting with the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway . Harvick broadcasted three events as a guest in the FOX booth last season, including the 2015 opener. He'll be alongside Adam Alexander and Michael Waltrip for this season's PowerShares QQQ 300 (3:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN/SiriusXM). Harvick earned largely positive reviews for his broadcast work last season. "I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, actually," Harvick said after his Daytona debut last February. "It was kind of a new challenge and for me, I felt like you kind of bring that perspective to the booth of right off the race track and being able to really relate to what's going on on the race track, with being elementary enough to relate to the race fans so that you can keep it simple and understand. It's something that I definitely enjoyed and had a lot of fun doing." FOX Sports used a handful of Sprint Cup drivers for its XFINITY broadcasts last season. Among those was Jeff Gordon , who joins the FOX booth full-time this year. Brad Keselowski , Clint Bowyer and Danica Patrick also took turns providing commentary for FOX Sports in 2015. Announcements on additional Sprint Cup drivers in the FOX NASCAR booth for 2016 XFINITY Series races are forthcoming, according to a network release.
Join NASCAR Goes West's live stream
RELATED: NASCAR Goes West Sweepstakes " WATCH: Live stream Join NASCAR Wednesday from 2-3:30 p.m. ET for West Coast Media Day with a live stream of all the events. Starting March 6 -- and going until March 20 -- the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway to begin the two-week stretch on the west coast aptly titled "NASCAR Goes West." The drivers who will be in attendance during the media day are Denny Hamlin , Brad Keselowski , Aric Almirola and Kurt Busch . Following LVMS, teams will race at Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway .
Hot Lap around Team Penske
Brad Keselowksi and Joey Logano both made the Chase last season and are looking forward to another successful year under Team Penske. Ryan Blaney is hoping to also generate success, as he becomes a full time cup driver.