Hornaday will roll off first for Keystone Light Pole Qualifying (Sat., 9:40 a.m. ET, FS1)
Matt Crafton talks about how strong Thor Sport Racing is in 2014, Hornaday compliments his team on a solid run and Ryan Blaney comments on losing the points lead in Michigan.
See which drivers will be in the field at Michigan
Driver actively involved with military causes; will adorn truck at Charlotte Brad Keselowski couldn't have imagined a trip in 2008 to Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, California, would still be affecting his life today. But then again, the young driver couldn't have predicted what he would hear, see or experience in that hospital either. "I went through there in the hospital and it damn near made me cry walking past all these other guys," Keselowski recalled. "At the time, I was 23. There were guys that looked like they weren't going to make it and they were my age. "I think that rattles you pretty hard, at least it did me." Less than a year later, another experience with a close friend left Keselowski shaken once more, but a bit more certain of his eventual calling. "I had a friend, a close friend, who I remember spending New Year's with in 2009," Keselowski said. "He got deployed two weeks later, was in the Middle East … and he got blown up within the first month or two. He came back and when I saw him, that's when I knew. "All these things, it felt like kind of karma or the universe was pushing me this direction. I'd say that's what got me to where I am. Once I started the events and spent time with these people, I could relate to them so well." With a nudge from the universe, Keselowski launched the Checkered Flag Foundation in 2010 -- a 501(c)(3) organization that helps support military personnel and hosts various events to raise funds and awareness. • • • His foundation was the reason Keselowski was standing in the middle of the upscale David Yurman jewelry store at SouthPark Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday night. Proceeds from the store's sales that evening benefited Charlotte Bridge Home, a local foundation that supports veterans and helps former military personnel ease the transition between service and their return home. "Tonight's event is about, one, having fun; two, raising attention; and three, helping to raise funds in the process for Charlotte Bridge foundation, which is a foundation that's dedicated in a very similar fashion (to the Checkered Flag Foundation) to help servicemen, servicewomen here locally in Charlotte … trying to find a home, trying to get back on their feet," Keselowski said, addressing the group on Tuesday night. "It's a cause that we're near and dear to as well, and we're glad and proud to help support them." The night's guests included foundation members, friends, NASCAR personnel and several veterans . One of the attendees was Charlotte Bridge Home's Veteran Outreach Specialist Tommy Rieman, a Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient who Keselowski refers to as a "general badass." "The way (Keselowski) sets himself up above the other drivers by coming out and doing things like this, showing that he cares for veterans , he leads by example," said Rieman, whose military service was recognized by President George W. Bush during the 2007 State of the Union Address. "So every veteran appreciates him … You've just got to love a guy who puts on a NASCAR event at a fine jewelry store." Rieman met Keselowski during one of the ride-alongs that the driver often gave to military personnel in the Checkered Flag Foundation's infancy. Surrounded by spotless glass cases filled with sparkling gems, the pair engaged in a lengthy conversation on Tuesday as the night was winding down. Staying past the event's scheduled hours while working the room, Keselowski seemed to know a little about each of the foundation's members. "He's a veteran who was in the Vietnam Era," Keselowski said, pointing out the organization's founder Thomas Norman with whom he had just exchanged goodbyes. "He was (U.S. Army) Special Forces and for some reason, he got ranked up so quickly they wouldn't send him over because he was too important ... Feels like to me that there's some kind of feeling that maybe he needs to do something back. So he's done all kinds of different things. He started this (foundation) here I would say four years ago -- a lot of growth, right?" With the fame, fortune and stature that arrives with being a professional athlete, Keselowski shares a similar feeling of wanting to give back. "Sports in general is very decadent, it always has been," Keselowski said. "There's something to be said for that, as an escape. But those that live in the escape, I always feel like, maybe have a greater responsibility to do something outside of it. "I sit back and look at the Tom Brady situation from this weekend and how much noise that makes in the media landscape. Then you think of so many other significant things going on the world right now that get zero recognition. So in that sense, I feel like those of us that are fortunate enough to get that recognition -- for good or bad -- always have to spread it to other areas." This weekend, Keselowski's No. 29 Ford in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series featured Careers for Veterans on the hood in Friday night's NC Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway , in which he finished fifth. For Keselowski, it's another way to raise awareness for the cause that speaks to him. "I read this really great quote -- I think it's from Kevin Spacey, the actor -- about how fortunate he was to ride the elevator up to where he is and how important it is to send the elevator back down," Keselowski said. "And I thought that was really inspiring. "I'm not curing cancer. I make a very good living doing something that's decadent. I couldn't look myself in the mirror every morning, especially as I get older, knowing that I rode the elevator to the top and didn't send it back down with something so decadent as driving a car. "I'm very fortunate to have rode the elevator up." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
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Get the latest results from on-track action for all three series RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today SPRINT CUP SERIES PRACTICE " RESULTS There was plenty of speed to be had in Friday's Sprint Cup Series practice session from Michigan International Speedway , as the defending race winner Joey Logano topped the speed charts in the opening 80-minute session. Logano laid down a lap of 204.545 mph in his 18th and final lap of the session. Overall, 26 drivers topped the 200 -mph mark. Carl Edwards was second with a speed of 204.111 mph, followed by Brian Vickers (203.920 mph), Kurt Busch (203.897 mph) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (203.229 mph). All three Roush Fenway Racing cars were in the top 10. In addition to Edwards and Stenhouse, Greg Biffle was eighth in the session. Dale Earnhardt Jr. , a two-time winner at Michigan, was sixth in the session. Jimmie Johnson , who won in June at Michigan, reported a vibration issue on his car early in the 80-minute session and brought his car in for adjustments. After returning to the track several times, Johnson continued to feel a vibration and brought the car back into the garage. The six-time series champion finished 39th in the opening practice. Jeff Burton , who is filling in for Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Chevrolet, had some problems early on. A part failure within the rear end gear moments into practice sent Burton into the garage for repairs. He did return to practice with just less than a hour to go. About a half-hour into the session, practice had a brief caution for debris on the track, but cars returned to the track in short order. Ryan Blaney filled in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford for Trevor Bayne , who is at Mid-Ohio for the Nationwide Series. Blaney will be driving that car next season for the Wood Brothers. Matt Crafton filled in for Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet as Truex Jr. is with his longtime girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, who is undergoing surgery on Friday after recently being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Both Bayne and Truex Jr. are expected to be in Michigan for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 (1 p.m. ET, ESPN). There will be two practice sessions for the Sprint Cup Series on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. ET and 11 a.m. ET. Both sessions will be televised on ESPN2. CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES PRACTICE 1 " RESULTS Kyle Busch led Friday's opening practice at Michigan International Speedway for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Career for Veterans 200 . Busch topped the charts with a speed of 186.485 mph. The Sprint Cup veteran has won every Truck Series race he has entered this season with his most recent win coming at Kentucky Speedway in the UNOH 225. Sprint Cup rookie Austin Dillon was second-fastest as he rounded the track at 186.466 mph. Dillon saw Victory Lane in the most recent Truck Series race at Pocono Raceway . Darrell Wallace Jr. (186.384 mph), Johnny Sauter (185.893 mph) and Timothy Peters (185.869 mph) rounded out the top-five fastest. Truck Series points leader Ryan Blaney finished practice seventh-fastest with a top speed of 185.581 mph. It was announced this week that Blaney will pilot the No. 21 Ford part time for Wood Brothers Racing in the Sprint Cup Series next year. Blaney is currently seven points ahead of Sauter in the Truck Series standings. No. 08 Jimmy Weller brought out the first and only caution of the practice when his truck started smoking. Weller finished 20th-fastest with a speed of 179.332 mph. NATIONWIDE SERIES PRACTICE 1 " RESULTS Sam Hornish Jr. kept the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota in a familiar place at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course , topping the opening Nationwide Series practice with a speed of 95.245 mph. Saturday's Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 will mark Hornish's seventh start of the season for JGR. He finished third in last year's race at Mid-Ohio for Team Penske . The rest of the leaderboard was unable to break the 95 mph mark. Regan Smith was closest, with a best speed of 94.609 mph, followed by Chris Buescher . Alex Tagliani , driving the No. 22 Penske Ford, finished the hour-long session in fourth place. Brian Scott rounded out the top five. Current points leader Chase Elliott took 23 laps around the track, the most of any driver in the field, clocking a best lap at 93.602 mph for an 11th-place finish in the session. The No. 20 of Kenny Habul brought out a full-course caution after coming to a stop between Turns 8 and 9. Eleven cars had logged a lap at the time, with Brian Scott holding the fastest speed of 93.171 mph at that time. The caution lasted under five minutes. CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES PRACTICE 2 " RESULTS Kyle Busch topped Friday's final Truck Series practice for the Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway . Busch, who led opening practice, came in with the fastest with a speed of 186.989 mph. Joey Coulter came in as second-fastest at the Irish Hills track posting a speed of 186.587 mph. Darrell Wallace Jr. (186.509 mph), Johnny Sauter (186.080 mph) and former Michigan winner Travis Kvapil (186.032 mph) rounded out the top-five fastest of the final practice session. Tyler Young ran the most laps at 38, posting a top speed of 179.924 mph. Young came in as 21st-fastest. Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying will take place Saturday, August 16 at 9:40 a.m. ET with TV coverage on FOX Sports 1. NATIONWIDE SERIES PRACTICE 2 " RESULTS Justin Marks made a surprise appearance at the top of the final practice leaderboard, running a lap of 95.187 mph in the closing minutes of the session. Marks was tenth-fastest in the opening session. Chris Buescher followed his early speed with a lap just shy of Marks', his lap of 95.182 mph holding him in the top spot until Marks' late pace-setting lap. Sam Hornish Jr. , fastest in the earlier session, fell to the third position on the leaderboard after moving into the top spot on his first lap. His earlier speed of 95.245 mph still was the highest of both sessions. Hornish clocked a best lap of 94.798 mph in the second session. Regan Smith , who trailed Hornish earlier in the day, ran 21 laps for a fastest lap of 94.670 mph. Brendan Gaughan rounded out the top five. Points leader Chase Elliott was ninth-fastest, again clocking the most laps in the session with 35. The caution flag came out nearly an hour into practice when the No. 77 of Roger Reuse got off the course in Turns 12 and 13. A second yellow was displayed when Elliott Sadler spun, but lasted just under five minutes. The No. 11 team later reported that the engine blew, and would need to be replaced. His speed of 94.049 mph on his fourth practice lap was the 11th-best on the chart. Qualifying for the Nationwide Series Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 will take place at 9:40 a.m. on Saturday, and will be aired on ESPN2. The race is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, on ESPN. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Johnny Sauter has to fend off a late effort by teammate Matt Crafton to win the Careers For Veterans 200 in Michigan.