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Hemric looks to overcome early Chase setback
RELATED: Truck Chase Grid Daniel Hemric clinched his spot in the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase playoffs with remarkable consistency and a sizable nest egg of points. Now facing a significant deficit after a perilous postseason opener, stockpiling points may not be enough to keep his championship hopes intact. Hemric enters Saturday night's DC Solar 350 (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a much firmer focus on scoring his first victory of the season. "At the end of the day, this deal rewards winning," Hemric said last weekend after finishing a season-worst 28th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . "Yeah, we did it the other way to get here, but I don't know if with the day we had here, we'll be able to salvage it on just points. We've got to go win." The 25-year-old driver for Brad Keselowski Racing spun early in last Saturday's Chase opener, saying he believed he ran over a piece of debris that punctured his left-rear tire. The spent rubber became entangled in the brake assembly, triggering a small flash fire on pit road and eventually forcing his No. 19 Ford behind the wall for extended repairs. The deficit Hemric faces is even more daunting based on the fact that his fellow Chase competitors enjoyed relatively trouble-free days at New Hampshire. Aside from Hemric, the remaining seven Chasers all finished in the top 11. Two races -- this weekend at Vegas and Oct. 22 at Talladega Superspeedway -- remain before two of the eight drivers are eliminated from the playoff picture. Just 27 points separate New Hampshire winner and points leader William Byron and seventh-place Ben Kennedy , but Hemric sits another 20 points behind Kennedy and 21 points behind sixth-place Johnny Sauter . Hemric's regular-season run of reliability -- with top-fives in half of the 16 races -- had earned him a share of the top spot with Byron in the series standings before the points were reset for the postseason. The task of escaping the Chase's bottom two on the basis of points isn't mathematically impossible, but Hemric would rather convert an automatic transfer with a win. "I believe we can," said Hemric, who has come close with seven finishes in the top three this season. "Especially our mile and a half program's been really solid and we've shown that time and time again. That's it. We know what we have to do." While Hemric knows he has two opportunities to regain lost ground, there may extra urgency to find momentum at Las Vegas this weekend rather than roll the dice in the opening round's elimination race at Talladega, where large crashes and wild-card winners are much more probable. "That's the thought," Hemric said. "Nobody wants to go to Talladega knowing they've got to win when everybody has that mentality. The past has shown what happens. Now with the new format, we feel a lot more confident we can just go do our jobs at Vegas and not have to worry about it."
First-time winner Clampitt takes New Hampshire
Logan Clampitt (High Performance Motorsports) visited Victory Lane for the first time in the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series, holding off championship contenders Ray Alfalla (Slip Angle Motorsports) and PJ Stergios (ineX Racing) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . Brad Davies came home behind Alfalla and Stergios, with Ryan Lowe rounding out the top five. Clampitt used pit strategy to take the lead after a round of green-flag pit stops late in the race and never looked back. He showed impressive poise for a rookie on a pair of late-race restarts, maintaining the lead as chaos erupted behind him. Stergios started on pole but outside polesitter Nick Ottinger had the fastest car on the first run and moved into the lead on Lap 12. Ottinger began building a gap that grew to nearly 1.5 seconds before the first caution flag flew on Lap 23, drawing the leaders to pit road. The leaders all took four fresh tires and Ottinger won the race off pit road, barely beating Stergios who restarted in second. On the next run, Alfalla moved to second and kept pace with Ottinger as Stergios fell to fourth behind Josh Berry . The four would run in this order until the third caution flew on Lap 52 for Chris Overland's spin. Ottinger once again kept the lead on pit road and looked to run away from the field when the green flag flew. This time, however, Ottinger had company at the front as Alfalla showed he could keep pace as the run wore on. On Lap 92 Alfalla made his move on the bottom and drew alongside Ottinger through Turns 3 and 4 but could not complete the pass as he lost drive off the corner on the flatter bottom groove. For the next nine laps Alfalla hounded the race leader, diving to the inside on multiple occasions without success. Finally, on Lap 101, Alfalla got a strong run off Turn 2 and completed the pass entering Turn 3. The lead awarded Alfalla with an important bonus point, but green flag pit stops loomed. Clampitt pitted a couple laps before the race leaders and the strategy paid off as he inherited the lead with 30 laps to go once the pit cycle completed. Alfalla was closing with his fresher tires, but Timmy Hill 's spin with 18 to go brought the leaders to pit road and set up the dash to the finish. Alfalla maintains the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze championship lead into the series finale thanks to his runner-up finish. He gained one point on Stergios and holds a slim five-point lead. Disaster nearly struck Stergios with 10 laps to go when Mitchell Hunt crashed off Turn 2, slamming into Stergios' door in the process. Somehow, Stergios continued on despite the damage and kept pace well enough to score a strong finish. Jake Stergios appears relatively safe in third place, 104 points back of Alfalla and 22 points ahead of fourth-place driver Overland. Overland is in the middle of a points battle of his own as Dylan Duval (The TEAM) is now only two points behind after Overland's troubles left him in 31st. The battle for the back end of the top five will likely be decided between the two as Kenny Humpe is 27 points back of Duval after experiencing Internet troubles. With only one race remaining, all eyes will be on Alfalla and Stergios as the twosome head to Homestead-Miami Speedway in search of a NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series title title. Stergios is looking for his first championship while Alfalla is hoping to win his third after finishing runner-up the past three seasons. A five-point margin gives Alfalla the advantage, but if Stergios can get out to an early lead the pressure will be squarely on Alfalla. Who will take home the crown? Be sure to tune into iRacing Live in two weeks to see the conclusion of the 2016 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series from Homestead!
Brad Keselowski captures first Daytona victory
RELATED: Full race results " Standings SHOP: Winner gear DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Brad Keselowski had an excellent solution for the massive wrecks that scrambled the finishing order of Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway . He stayed ahead of all of them. Leading 115 of 161 laps in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford, Keselowski sped away from his pursuers after a restart in overtime and posted his third victory of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season in thoroughly convincing fashion. The victory was Keselowski's first at Daytona and the 20th of his career, and it reinforced his mastery of restrictor-plate racing -- Keselowski already had four wins at sister track Talladega. When the race restarted in overtime, after a caution for a four-car wreck on Lap 155, eventual runner-up Kyle Busch simply couldn't keep up with Keselowski, once he lost his push from third-place finisher Trevor Bayne . Keselowski's teammate, fourth-place finisher Joey Logano , shoved the No. 2 car to the front on the Lap 160 restart, and then it was over. " Joey Logano was a huge part of this today," Keselowski said. "We had two great cars here with Team Penske and worked together really well. Joey has won here and he's really a pro, especially on that restart. "He gave me that push I needed to get to the front, and here we are at Daytona in Victory Lane. I don't care if it's not the 500. It's Daytona. This is huge. I love this place, and here we are in Victory Lane with the Detroit Ford." That there were 27 lead changes between 13 drivers belied Keselowski's dominance. While in the lead, the 2012 series champion was able to block both the inside and outside lanes, moving back and forth at will to impede the progress of whichever line developed momentum. With a daring move to the inside of race runner-up Kyle Busch on Lap 145, Keselowski took the lead for good and held it through two subsequent cautions for multi-car wrecks. The first wiped out Sonoma winner Tony Stewart , who was running in the top 10 at the time. The second was the coup de grace for Carl Edwards , who had qualified second but finished 25th. Busch, who tried in vain to regain the top spot, could only admire the handling of Keselowski's Ford. "He definitely just had way more maneuverability it seemed like than anybody, but especially than I did," Busch said. "I don't know how he got the kind of run that he got (to make the decisive pass), but when he got that run down the front stretch getting into Turn 1 and was able to turn to the bottom, my car would be kind of loose doing that. "It would just over rotate on me a little bit, and I just never really had that opportunity from behind me besides Trevor, and I never was in the right position when I had that big of a run in order to get the lead back. "Really, it took a lot of guys ganging up and getting together in order to make a move on him. He was pretty smart about where he positioned his car on the race track, and I could see that, and I tried to do some of those same things, but, man, it just never really worked for me as good as he could handle it." The race ran without major incident for the first 89 laps, with a competition caution on Lap 21 and a black flag to Danica Patrick for driving through too many pit boxes on a Lap 67 green-flag pit stop first providing the bulk of the excitement. But that was the calm before a violent storm. As the field roared into Turn 1 on Lap 90, Jamie McMurray 's Chevrolet got loose, made side-to-side contact with Ganassi Racing teammate Kyle Larson , got out of shape and veered sharply into the outside wall after contact from Jimmie Johnson 's Chevrolet. That was the spark that ignited a wreck that collected 22 of the 40 cars in the field and eliminated McMurray, Johnson, Paul Menard and series leader Kevin Harvick , while heavily damaging the cars of Sunoco Rookie of the Year leader Chase Elliott , Martin Truex Jr ., Matt Kenseth and Patrick, among others. Harvick said he was expecting the powder keg that is restrictor-plate racing to explode at any minute -- and on Lap 90 it did. "You really think it's going to happen from Lap 1," said Harvick, who now leads the Cup series by 14 points over Keselowski. "It's hard to make ground, so you have to be pretty aggressive when you start making ground. "Just kind of riding there, just maintaining until that next pit stop so we could get my car off the ground and then really start being aggressive. I really couldn't be aggressive, and unfortunately, I was in the back of that front pack and ended up getting in the wreck." But Keselowski was ahead of the wreck, as he was throughout the night, and in staying at the front he earned owner Roger Penske his 100th victory in the series.
Harvick charges to New Hampshire win with late-race surge
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Updated Chase Grid SHOP: Harvick gear " Chase gear LOUDON, N.H. -- Remember last week, when Kevin Harvick was trapped a lap down at Chicagoland Speedway , finished 20th and fell out of the top 12 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings? Remember last year, when Harvick crashed at Chicagoland and ran out of fuel while leading at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and had to win at Dover to advance in the Chase? That's all moot, now that Harvick redeemed himself with a victory in Sunday's Bad Boy Off Road 300 at New Hampshire, the second race in the Chase. Surging ahead of Matt Kenseth after a restart with six laps left in the 300-lap event at the 1.058-mile track, Harvick pulled away to win by .442 seconds and joined Chicagoland winner Martin Truex Jr . in the Chase's Round of 12. "One of our main goals this year was to not stress ourselves out so bad," said Harvick, who won last year's Dover race to escape the Round of 16 in his last opportunity. "I feel like the performance of the car and the things that we're doing are good enough to be competitive, and we just need to not make mistakes and go from there." Harvick got his opportunity to win the race when Ricky Stenhouse Jr . and Reed Sorenson collided on the backstretch on Lap 291 to bring out the sixth and final caution of the race. Starting on the inside lane and timing the restart perfectly, Harvick stayed side-by-side with Kenseth entering the first corner and cleared Kenseth's No. 20 Toyota through Turn 2. Kenseth was unable to get back to the rear bumper of Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet over the final six laps. "Man, that worked out really good," said Harvick, who won for the second time at the Magic Mile, the third time this season and the 34th time in his career. "The car was pretty good on the restarts. Once we got clean air there at the end, it wound up being really good up front. I'm just really proud of our team. They did a great job." NASCAR admonished Kenseth before the final restart not to slow down in the restart zone, as the sanctioning body believed he had done on the previous restart, when Kenseth held off Truex for the lead. "They made it sound like I slowed down the last time," Kenseth said. "But in my opinion, the leader is always supposed to have the advantage. He's the leader. He earned that advantage. They said I slowed down a little bit last time, which I've got to re-watch it. "I don't really think I did, but if I did at all, it's because the inside car (Truex) was laying back a little bit, and you want to make sure he gets up to your nose so it's a fair restart. If he's back at your door and anticipates a little bit, it's not a fair restart. He's going to be equal to you or a little bit better." Then Kenseth second-guessed the way he handled the final restart with Harvick beside him. "I saw Kevin at my door, and I should have known better," Kenseth said. "I should have went deep in the box and waited, and the acceleration was probably better down there anyway, but I didn't. I went right at the first line, and he anticipated a little bit of that and got rolling good through the gears, and then I got through the gears bad. I spun the tires in second (gear), I spun the tires in third, so I had a really bad restart besides all that." Kyle Busch finished third behind Harvick and Kenseth after pitting for fresh tires under caution on Lap 265 and charging through the field. Brad Keselowski ran fourth and took over the Chase points lead by one point over Truex, who led a race-high 141 laps in a seventh-place run but wore out his tires trying to pass Kenseth after a restart on Lap 269. Kurt Busch came home fifth, followed by polesitter Carl Edwards , Truex, Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson . Harvick escaped the bottom four in the standings, and that left Jamie McMurray , Austin Dillon , Tony Stewart and Chris Buescher all needing to improve their positions to avoid elimination next Sunday at Dover International Speedway . McMurray and Dillon (19th and 16th, respectively, at New Hampshire) are five points behind Larson in 12th place. Stewart is 11 points back of Larson after a 23rd-place run on Sunday, and Buescher trails by 30 points, needing a Dover miracle. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Larson sweeps all three Sprint Cup practices at New Hampshire
RELATED: Full results for final practice " Fastest 10-lap averages Kyle Larson made it a perfect sweep of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practices, as his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Chevrolet flew to the top of the leaderboard at 132.577 mph in Saturday's final practice session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . Larson paced the field in Friday's lone session and tied Martin Truex Jr . for the fastest speed/time in Saturday's morning practice. Joe Gibbs Racing 's Denny Hamlin made a late surge to nab the second spot on the speed charts, wheeling his No. 11 Toyota at 132.549 mph. Hendrick Motorsports ' Kasey Kahne laid down the third-fastest speed, his No. 5 Chevrolet peaking at 132.489 mph. Kahne and teammate Alex Bowman (10th), who is driving the No. 88 Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Jr . this weekend, were the only non-Chase drivers to record top-15 speeds in the final session. Pole sitter Carl Edwards came up fourth in his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (132.420 mph), while Hendrick Motorsports ' Jimmie Johnson completed the top five with a fast speed of 132.255 mph from his No. 48 Chevrolet. Points leader Truex Jr. -- who tied Larson for the fastest speed in practice earlier today -- ranked sixth in the field this session, propelling his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota at 132.250 mph. Reigning race winner Matt Kenseth was seventh-fastest, his No. 20 JGR Toyota topping out at 132.222 mph. Jamie McMurray (18th), Austin Dillon (22nd) and Chris Buescher (28th) were the only Chase drivers to record practice speeds outside the top 15. The Sprint Cup Series returns to the track Sunday for the Bad Boy Off Road 300 (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). RELATED: Full results for Practice 2 Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr . both reached 132.186 mph early in the second Sprint Cup Series practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday morning. The Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver also paced the field during Friday's lone Sprint Cup practice session in his No. 42 Chevrolet. Last weekend's Chicagoland winner, Truex Jr. in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota laid down the exact same speed (132.186 mph) and lap time (28.814 seconds) as Larson in the 55-minute session. Reigning race winner Matt Kenseth was third-fastest, his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota reaching a top speed of 132.085 mph, while his JGR teammate Denny Hamlin came up fourth in the field (132.030 mph). Hendrick Motorsports ' Chase Elliott rounded out the top five with a top speed of 131.980 mph in his No. 24 Chevrolet. Coors Light Pole winner Carl Edwards was sixth-fastest in his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. The top-nine performers in the second session were all Chase drivers and Chasers made up 11 of the top-15; Brad Keselowski (18th), Tony Stewart (19th), Austin Dillon (23rd) and Chris Buescher (33rd) were the outlying Chase competitors.
2015 NSCS Season Preview
Join Alan Cavanna as he sits down with NASCAR analysts Chris Rice, Brad Parrott , Bobby Labonte and Marty Snider to preview the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Top 10 consecutive lap averages at New Hampshire
RESULTS: Practice 1 Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 5 Kasey Kahne 5 14 131.273 2 10 Danica Patrick 1 10 126.870 RESULTS: Practice 2 Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 78 Martin Truex Jr 2 11 131.139 2 20 Matt Kenseth 15 24 131.033 3 18 Kyle Busch 23 32 130.757 4 11 Denny Hamlin 24 33 130.754 5 24 Chase Elliott # 3 12 130.576 6 42 Kyle Larson 24 33 130.559 7 27 Paul Menard 2 11 130.472 8 31 Ryan Newman 2 11 130.462 9 88 Alex Bowman (i) 32 41 130.366 10 48 Jimmie Johnson 3 12 130.334 11 19 Carl Edwards 8 17 130.316 12 1 Jamie McMurray 6 15 129.924 13 41 Kurt Busch 20 29 129.825 14 23 David Ragan 1 10 129.795 15 3 Austin Dillon 17 26 129.785 16 2 Brad Keselowski 20 29 129.499 17 43 Aric Almirola 13 22 129.476 18 44 Brian Scott # 27 36 128.899 19 95 Michael McDowell 6 15 128.823 20 21 * Ryan Blaney # 1 10 128.743 21 15 Clint Bowyer 9 18 128.458 22 34 Chris Buescher # 26 35 127.980 RESULTS: Practice 3 Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 19 Carl Edwards 13 22 131.663 2 4 Kevin Harvick 28 37 131.401 3 42 Kyle Larson 24 33 131.342 4 18 Kyle Busch 35 44 131.337 5 48 Jimmie Johnson 1 10 131.279 6 11 Denny Hamlin 2 11 131.167 7 24 Chase Elliott # 34 43 131.113 8 5 Kasey Kahne 1 10 131.069 9 20 Matt Kenseth 2 11 130.927 10 88 Alex Bowman (i) 1 10 130.902 11 41 Kurt Busch 23 32 130.869 12 78 Martin Truex Jr 2 11 130.842 13 2 Brad Keselowski 34 43 130.761 14 22 Joey Logano 23 32 130.705 15 14 Tony Stewart 1 10 130.675 16 27 Paul Menard 3 12 130.561 17 31 Ryan Newman 1 10 130.411 18 1 Jamie McMurray 1 10 130.216 19 3 Austin Dillon 18 27 129.938 20 43 Aric Almirola 1 10 129.656 21 47 AJ Allmendinger 1 10 129.645 22 6 Trevor Bayne 19 28 129.635 23 10 Danica Patrick 27 36 129.247 24 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 16 25 129.231 25 21 * Ryan Blaney # 22 31 129.058 26 44 Brian Scott # 20 29 128.788 27 7 Regan Smith 1 10 128.720 28 95 Michael McDowell 1 10 128.572 29 16 Greg Biffle 7 16 128.554 30 13 Casey Mears 16 25 128.542 31 34 Chris Buescher # 24 33 128.528 32 15 Clint Bowyer 22 31 128.318 33 23 David Ragan 1 10 128.176 34 38 Landon Cassill 30 39 127.961 *Car must run 10 consecutive laps on the track to be included in the above chart. # denotes rookie (i) denotes ineligible for points
All 16 Chase cars clear post-race inspection
WATCH LIVE: Inspection from the R&D Center at 8 a.m. ET RELATED: Full race results LOUDON, N.H. -- Only Kevin Harvick emerged victorious Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway , but his other 15 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoff foes salvaged some shred of consolation alongside him. All 16 championship-eligible cars won the race after the race Sunday, clearing without issue through the Laser Inspection Station (LIS) platform after the Bad Boy Off Road 300. Those cleared included the winning Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet driven by Harvick, who damaged his car's left-rear fender with a smoky, tire-ripping burnout after his third victory of the season. Only the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota of third-place finisher Kyle Busch went through the inspection bay a second time, and that was due to the car failing to meet the weight limit by a nominal amount. After topping off fluids as permitted in the rules, the No. 18 also was cleared. Scrutiny for the post-race inspection process rose after last weekend's Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway , leading to midweek rules updates from NASCAR's competition department. Last weekend, the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 of race winner Martin Truex Jr . and the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 for Jimmie Johnson both were flagged for being outside of the allowable measurements at the LIS station. NASCAR officials responded by scratching penalties for minor infractions. But they also required the full Chase field to make its way through the LIS inspection bay, a process that added a sidelight to the usual busy atmosphere in the post-race garage area. Following stern warnings in the pre-race drivers' and crew chiefs' meeting against circumventing the LIS platform, the new post-race check was largely a breeze. All 16 cars received a thumbs up from competition officials in a tidy span of roughly 45 minutes. As is customary, race officials announced that they would take a handful of cars back to the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina, for further inspection. Those are: -- Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet driven by race winner Kevin Harvick -- Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota driven by runner-up Matt Kenseth -- Team Penske No. 2 Ford driven by fourth-place finisher Brad Keselowski That process will be live streamed on NASCAR.com on Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET. RELATED: Watch live inspection here
Loudon top 5 leaves No. 2 team feeling better headed to Dover
Brad Keselowski's No. 2 team finished fourth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, allowing Keselowski to 'sleep easy' headed into the Round of 16 elimination race at Dover International Speedway.
Preview Show: Chicago
Alan Cavanna, Marty Snider, Brad Parrott , Chris Rice and Bobby Labonte preview this week's action at Chicagoland Speedway for a special edition of the FedEx Preview Show.