No. 13 driver switched cars with Timmy Hill after crashing in Friday's practice DOVER, Del. -- During Friday's XFINITY Series practice at Dover International Speedway , Carl Long 's No.13 wrecked after a weight fell off Peyton Sellers ' No. 97 and Long ran over it. The piece of tungsten went through Long's radiator, into the steering and engine and caused the MBM Motorsports driver to slam hard into the wall. Having empathy for small team troubles, Selllers and the No. 97 team owner Victor Obaika quickly offered up any help they could. "We have spoken to Carl and we've offered him whatever we can," Obaika said in a statement on Friday. "(Our) backup car, our people, whatever he needs, you know because it's unfortunate, but we have to show some responsibility on our part and we've done that and we'll help however we can." "When you're on the bottom end, everybody kinda sticks together and tries to help each other," Long said on Saturday after the Coors Light Pole Qualifying session. "Some of the guys with a lot of money and a lot of focus and all, some help out, some don't. But all of us little guys usually stick together." While the Obaika Racing owner offered to let Long use the team's backup, the No. 13 driver feels his ride was the way to go. "(Sellers) offered me his backup car, but I had mine here," Long said. "This is the car we had at Iowa, we ran it Talladega, we ran it at Texas, we ran it everywhere. "I just felt like from changing the seats over and doing all the work, we would still be working on his car right now to get it ready for me. So, I think this is a better race car, and that's the ultimate thing is to be here to race, not to ride around." Shortly before the start of the Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket , it was announced that Long switched rides with the No. 40 of Timmy Hill due to the pain he was feeling after Friday's hit. "Yesterday when I got out of the car nothing hurt," Long said. "This morning my chest is hurting, my shoulder is hurting, that's a pretty hard lick, it just didn't seem like it then." " Carl took a pretty good hit yesterday and he's feeling rather sore," Hill said. "He's not sure if he can go the distance. Out of the two cars he's really trying to get the 13 better in the points. With that being said, he wants to assure that the No. 13 runs the whole race." "My chest is hurting quite a bit and I didn't realize that until I did my qualifying laps and I just got to thinking about it," Long said. "My main goal is to run good and have a good finish for our team. If I fall out of the seat, that ain't a good finish." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
RELATED: Kenseth suspended for two races by NASCAR " Drivers react Matt Kenseth was issued a two-race suspension from NASCAR for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano at Martinsville Speedway . Logano was leading the race at the time when Kenseth, who was several laps down, got into the 22 of Logano on Lap 454 and both cars went into the wall. Kenseth was also placed on probation for a six-month period. The friction between the drivers began two weeks earlier at Kansas Speedway when Kenseth was leading the second race of the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with five laps to go when Logano made contact with him that led to Kenseth spinning out. Logano went on to win the race in a green-white-checkered finish but Kenseth was none too pleased about the ending. "Based upon our extensive review, we have concluded that the No. 20 car driver, who is no longer in the Chase, intentionally wrecked the No. 22 car driver, a Chase-eligible competitor who was leading the race at the time," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. "The No. 20 car was nine laps down, and eliminated the No. 22 car's opportunity to continue to compete in the race. "Additionally, we factored aspects of safety into our decision, and also the fact that the new Chase elimination format puts a premium on each and every race. These actions have no place in NASCAR." A series of appeals were heard on Thursday and Kenseth's two-race suspension was upheld. His probation period was decreased from six months to through December 31, 2015. This is a rare penalty in the sport. In fact, the closest type of penalty seen like it came in 2011 when Kyle Busch was parked for XFINITY and Sprint Cup races at Texas in November of that year. Busch was parked for retaliating and wrecking title contender Ron Hornaday Jr . in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the 1.5-mile track. Busch was also fined $50,000 and placed on probation for the remainder of the season. Here is a look at several major penalties issued by NASCAR in recent years. Michael Waltrip Racing " Richmond International Raceway , September 2013 Violation: Section 12-4: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. MWR's three teams in the Sprint Cup Series (the No. 15, 55, 56) were penalized with the loss of 50 championship driver and 50 championship owner points, respectively. These point penalties were assessed following the season's 26th regular-season race and not after the seeding for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . That resulted in Martin Truex Jr . being eliminated from the second Wild Card spot in the playoff field. NASCAR also fined the MWR organization $300,000 and indefinitely suspended Ty Norris, MWR Executive Vice President/General Manager and spotter for the No. 55 car, for violating Section 12-4. The three crew chiefs -- Brian Pattie (No. 15), Scott Miller (No. 55) and Chad Johnston (No. 56) -- were all placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Penalty: Loss of 50 Cup Driver Points for each MWR team.* Denny Hamlin , No. 11 " Indianapolis Motor Speedway , July 2014 Violation: Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Section 20-2.1: Car body must be acceptable to NASCAR officials and Section 20-3.4.5: A rear firewall, including any removable panels or access doors, constructed using magnetic sheet steel a minimum of 22 gage (0.031 inch thick), must be located between the trunk area and the driver’s compartment and must be welded in place. Block-off plates/covers used in rear firewalls in place of blowers, oil coolers, etc., must be constructed of 22 gage (0.031 inch thick) magnetic sheet steel. Block-off plates/covers must be installed with positive fasteners and sealed to prevent air leakage. Carbon fiber or aluminum block-off plates/covers will not be permitted. Penalty: Loss of 75 Cup Driver Points* Carl Long , No. 146 " Lowe’s Motor Speedway, May 2009 Violation : Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Section 12-4-I: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR rules: Section 20-5.4A: Engine exceeded the maximum engine size of 358.000 cubic inch displacement. Penalty : Loss of 200 Cup Driver Points. Ryan Newman , No. 31 " Auto Club Speedway , March 2015 Violations: Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. 20.16: Wheels and Tires: A. Any device, modification, or procedure to the tire or wheel, including the valve stem hardware, that is used to release pressure, beyond normal pressure adjustments, from the tire and/or inner shield, will not be permitted. 20.16.2: Tires : F. Modifications to the tires, by treatment or any other means, will not be permitted. Section 184.108.40.206.1 lists P5 Penalty Violation examples that could include but are not limited to: A. Effecting, modifying and/or altering the standard tires in any way, other than through authorized means such as tire pressure adjustments within the recommended range, permitted tire cooling when mounted on the race vehicle; or heat-cycling on the race vehicle on the race track earlier in the event. Penalty: Loss of 50 Cup Driver Points* Matt Kenseth , No. 20 " Kansas Speedway, April 2013 Violation : Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Section 12-4J: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to the NASCAR Rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the Event. Section 20-5.5.3E.: Only solid magnetic steel connecting rods with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted. Connecting rod failed to meet the minimum connecting rod weight. Penalty: Loss of 50 Cup Driver Points.* Jeremy Mayfield, No. 12 " Talladega Superspeedway , April 2000 Violation: Section 12-4-A: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Section 8-8: Fuel used by a Competitor that does not meet NASCAR specifications. Section 12-4-AA: Use of altered fuel or fuel other than the official fuel at the Event. Penalty: Loss of 151 Cup Driver points. Johnny Sauter , No. 70 " Lowe's Motor Speedway, May 2008 Violation: Section 20-3.1.3A: Wing mounting locations were not as specified by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book. Penalty: Loss of 150 Cup Driver points. Appealed: NASCAR Penalty upheld. Scott Riggs , No. 66 " Lowe's Motor Speedway, May 2008 Violation: Section 20-3.1.3A: Wing mounting locations were not as specified by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book. Penalty: Loss of 150 Cup Owner points. Appealed: NASCAR Penalty upheld. Brian Vickers , No. 83 " Martinsville Speedway , October 2008 Violation: Section 12-4-Q: Section 20-2.1D: Exterior sheet metal body parts did not meet the specified minimum thickness. Penalty: Loss of 150 Cup Driver points. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 1 " Daytona International Speedway , July 2008 Violation: Section 12-4-Q: Section 20-3.8A: Roof of the car does not conform to the specifications of the NASCAR Rule Book. Penalty: Loss of 150 Cup Driver points. Travis Kvapil , No. 43 " Pocono Raceway , June 2010 Violation: Section 12-1: Section 12-4-J: Section 20-10.7J: Unapproved modification to valve stem hardware. Penalty: 150 Cup Driver Points Clint Bowyer , No. 15 " September 2010, New Hampshire Motor Speedway Violation: Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Section 12-4-J: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR Rules: Section 20-3: The car body location specifications in reference to the certified chassis, does not meet the NASCAR-approved specifications. Penalty: 150 Cup Driver Points *These penalties are ranked according to their severity in proportion to the points system used at that time. NASCAR moved to a one-point-per-position format in 2011.
RELATED: Standings going into final race HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Sunday's NASCAR finale has four drivers vying for the championship in what NASCAR officials like to refer to as a Game 7 moment. There have already been plenty of pivotal points during this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs, but what if Sunday's showdown is shortened into a Game 5 1/2 moment? The threat of a damp forecast at Homestead-Miami Speedway has raised plenty of questions about how a potentially rain-altered Ford EcoBoost 400 (3 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM) could play out, especially with so much on the line in the season-ending race. The National Weather Service rates the chances of precipitation on Sunday at 60 percent, with thunderstorms especially likely in the morning. The possibilities come on the heels of the championship field being settled in a rain-abbreviated race the previous weekend at Phoenix International Raceway . The stakes will be even higher Sunday, but the procedures for declaring a race official will remain the same. "It's not a new rule. It's not something different," said three-time series champion Tony Stewart . "Is it ideal, no. Is it OK, yes. I mean, we don't have a choice. We can't control the weather. It's not ideal by any means. I don't think anybody wants to have that scenario and have to race in that scenario, but as well, at the same time, we've all raced under those circumstances, and if it has to end that way, that's the way it'll end." NASCAR has maintained long -standing procedures that a race becomes officials once it passes the halfway point, but the sanctioning body has also historically made every effort to run its races on the scheduled date. Advancements in technology have helped competition officials make more informed decisions about the weather, but the considerations -- for fans, teams and broadcast partners -- make those decisions even more critical, especially when the outcome of the race or the season- long championship weighs in the balance. To help combat the effects of rain this weekend, NASCAR can employ 17 Air Titan track dryers, 12 conventional jet dryers, and four vacuum trucks -- an armada that NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France touted as a record number of resources. But France also mentioned in his State of the Sport address on Friday that watching the skies and planning for inclement weather was a necessary angle for teams to work around. "We're looking at everything," France said. "Our view now is that like a lot of things that aren't necessarily perfect, so to speak, that's part of the game. That's part of racing that it's part of the strategy. You saw that last week in Phoenix. That you have to anticipate weather as being a factor in deciding things, as unfortunate as that is. Hopefully it won't be a factor on Sunday." Carl Edwards was among the unfortunate ones last weekend, missing out on his Championship 4 bid by just five points when rain escalated with 93 laps remaining. Edwards told his crew "they can't let it end like this" over the team radio as the race went to red-flag conditions, but NASCAR officials did, leaving Kyle Busch , Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr . to join Jeff Gordon among the final quartet. Busch was among those on the plus side of the rain at Phoenix, a situation he wouldn't mind being in Sunday if circumstances cut things short. "I think it would be very unfortunate, you know, but it is what it is," Busch said. "I mean, the rules have been the way the rules are for a long , long time and everybody ridicules NASCAR for changing the rules whenever they want, and this time they're sticking to it. Like Jeff said earlier, I hope I'm the guy leading when it's raining, and if it's raining we're going to be doing a heck of a rain dance."
RELATED: Full coverage of Gordon's final week " Gordon through the years HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- NASCAR's annual gathering of championship contenders for media availabilities ahead of the season finale has often turned into another sort of red-carpet rollout -- for gamesmanship. Given the hard-edged nature of this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs, such tactics could almost be expected. But Thursday from sunny south Florida, the witty barbs, acid-tongued goading and mind games stayed inside the cabanas. Instead of sniping, a genuine sense of respect permeated the interactions of title contenders Kyle Busch , Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr ., with shared appreciation for their talents, their backstories and their road to Sunday's NASCAR Championship Round race. Though playing nice worked well for Thursday's preliminaries, all four indicated there might be limits to the diplomacy come crunch time in Sunday's season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 (3 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM) at Homestead-Miami Speedway . "I think there's a lot of respect for where everybody is at," said Harvick, the defending series champ, "and I think when you look at Martin and everything that those guys have done with what they've gotten in Colorado and here they are, and you look at Kyle breaking his leg and fighting back, and Jeff who's going to retire and run the last race, there's really no reason to create a story. There's no reason to create a moment." The varied backgrounds make for a compelling title fight, even though the gloves were nowhere near to coming off Thursday at The Diplomat Resort and Spa. Instead, all four greeted media questions as relaxed but confident contenders with season- long laurels on the line. Harvick's reign and role as a pre-race favorite, Gordon's swan song as one of the sport's most important figures, Busch's stunning return from severe leg injuries for his best title bid ever, and Truex's underdog run with a single-car team from the Rockies -- Thursday, they all blended together. The four share some common threads as stock-car racing veterans, but the experience levels with regards to competing for a crown in NASCAR's top division are like darts on a map. But former champs Gordon and Harvick didn't take the needle to championship newcomers Busch and Truex, much like Tony Stewart did to Carl Edwards in the days before the 2011 finale or in the way that champion-in-waiting Harvick did to Joey Logano ahead of last year's title march. Chalk it up to a certain reverence. "There is in here. I don't know if there will be on Sunday. Things certainly change when you put that helmet on," Truex said. "Honestly, I really think there is. All the stuff that we've done together so far for the Chase and going to do the late show with Jimmy Fallon, I think we do have a lot of mutual admiration. Certainly, how couldn't you? … I think we all have a lot of respect for each other's stories, how we got here, what we have on the line, and really, for the most part on the race track we respect each other as well. It's still going to be a hell of a battle." The respect level among the championship quartet may run high, but the risks and rewards in the high-stakes season finale also peg the gauges. A handful of incidents in the nine previous races in this year's Chase have raised scrutiny about on-track ethics and the unwritten rules of the code of honor -- or lack thereof -- among drivers. Stewart, in his 2011 media day salvo with Edwards, famously said he'd wreck his own mother to win a championship. No one ventured that far into the thicket of driver conduct Thursday, but each expressed hopes for how the scenario might play out in their favor. "I think you have to be in a competitive environment like we are. I think it also depends on your interaction with those drivers," Gordon said. "I mean, I don't think that any of us currently have any beefs among one another, and we have a lot of respect for one another, and you want to go out there -- the ultimate is that you're running second and you have to pass one of these guys on the final lap, and it's some bold and exciting move but a clean move, maybe just a little fender rub or something like that, that gets you the win. To me that's the ultimate. That's how everybody wishes and hopes that they could do it."
Race day info What: 17th annual Ford EcoBoost 400 . When: Sunday, Nov. 22 Where: Homestead-Miami Speedway , 1.5-mile oval in Homestead, Florida " Learn more about the track Green flag time: 3:15 p.m. ET (NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) Forecast: Cloudy, high of 82 degrees, 80 percent chance of rain and possible thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service National anthem: Zachary Levi, actor ("Chuck," "Heroes Reborn") Grand marshal: Hoda Kotb, co-host of NBC's "Today." Distance: 400.5 miles, 267 laps. Pit road speed: 45 mph. Caution car speed: 55 mph. Competition caution: At or around Lap 25 On the front row 1. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (176.655 mph) 2. Joey Logano , No. 22 Team Penske Ford (176.263 mph) RELATED: See the full lineup " See all 43 cars Fastest in practice First practice: Carl Edwards , No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (175.143 mph). " Results Second practice: Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet (176.010 mph). " Results Final practice: Joey Logano , No. 22 Team Penske Ford (175.404 mph). " Results Key story lines 1. Truex Jr. and Sherry Pollex already winners " Read more 2. Homestead could be 'fairy-tale' ending for Gordon " Read more 3. Harvick focused on title -- not verbal jabs " Read more 4. Kyle Busch signs contract extension with JGR " Read more Former winners in the field Greg Biffle (3), Tony Stewart (3), Carl Edwards (2), Denny Hamlin (2), Kurt Busch (1), Jeff Gordon (1), Kevin Harvick (1), Matt Kenseth (1). RELATED: How NASCAR crowns its champion " Title-clinching scenarios They said it: Championship 4 final practice edition Kyle Busch : "Really pleased with it -- it's definitely one of the best race cars I've had here for sure. It does the things that I think that it needs to do so hopefully I’m right and hopefully we’ve got a good race car for tomorrow." Jeff Gordon : "The very first run that final practice was great. I felt really good about it. We've got a few things on the longer run that I felt like we can work on. The second run was so-so. The track definitely lost some grip. I think we have a good indication what the track conditions are going to be like in the race, so that is all really valuable information that we can put into our database and make adjustments and hopefully good decisions for (Sunday)." Rodney Childers , crew chief for Kevin Harvick : "The car seems to have had pretty good speed. Definitely a lot better than what we were here last year. The guys did a good job. Kevin learned a lot running the top up against the wall. I feel like we got a lot of good information with those long runs. We will make a few adjustments for the race to try to keep the car tightened up and hopefully be good." Martin Truex Jr .: "We haven't made any gains on it. It's been a frustrating day. We have been struggling with the car and we really haven't hit on anything that helped it. So we are going to go in there and work on it right now and hopefully come up with something for (Sunday)."
RELATED: Kenseth's suspension upheld on final appeal FORT WORTH, Texas -- With so much conversation surrounding the Matt Kenseth / Joey Logano debacle this week, one term that continues to be thrown around is "driver code." Certainly a subjective concept, driver code is interpreted differently from driver to driver, a gray area not unlike baseball's "unwritten rules." The complexity hasn't cleared up much for Kenseth's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Carl Edwards . "Not really, no. I don't know what it all means," Edwards said Friday at Texas Motor Speedway , site of Sunday's AAA Texas 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC/Live Extra, PRN, SiriusXM) "… There's so many factors in this situation with so many different things happening, it's really difficult to line it all up and say, 'Okay, this is why this happened and this is how to proceed going forward.' It seems pretty complex. I'm just going to focus on my deal and we'll move on." RELATED: Hamlin says Kenseth upheld 'driver code' While driver code may still not be the clearest of pictures for Edwards -- or any one else on the track or around it, for that matter -- he did get his first lesson in it about a decade ago from a potential future NASCAR Hall of Famer. His hero -- Mark Martin . " Mark Martin , very early on … we were racing at Bristol in 2004 maybe or 2005, and Mark is a mentor of mine, he is one of my heroes and helped me a ton in my career and during that race he ran into the back of my car -- it was all I could do to not wreck," Edwards recalled. "At the time, I wondered what happened and didn't know what was going on. On Monday, I called him, 'Hey Mark.' He said, 'Hey Carl .' I said, 'Remember that race when you ran into the back of me and I didn't know if there was something that I needed to know there?' He said, 'No, for the last few races you've been racing me hard and I thought you were taking a little more and I just figured if that's how you want to race, that's how you want to race.' I was like, 'Whoa, no I don't want to race like that.' He said, 'Okay, fine then don't and we won't.' 'Okay, cool.' He said, 'See you next week.' That was it." Perhaps the conversation was only so cordial because, you know, they were teammates at Roush Fenway Racing at the time, but it was a significant lesson that Edwards holds true and lives by to this day, as a contender for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . "Car racing … everybody drives their car and you just have to do what you think is the best and what is the right thing to do at the time and all of us have done all sorts of things. Some of them were right, some of them definitely weren't right," said Edwards. "You just have to go out there and race everybody the way you want to be raced. In some ways you have to demand the same in return."
Carl Edwards went from interviewee to interviewer during FS1's "Race Day" pre-race show, turning the tables on a photobombing Tony Stewart . 'Smoke' approached Edwards in his golf cart during a live shot, startling the Joe Gibbs Racing driver … before granting him an interview. Looks like another classic Stewart move. Classic @TonyStewart ! Smoke #VideoBombs #CarlEdwards during his live interview with #NASCAR #RaceDay . https://t.co/QebiKKspMh — AtTheBuzzer (@TheBuzzerOnFOX) November 15, 2015
Ballast violation found in Iowa Speedway inspection
Crash that broke his leg and foot, journey back to racing SHOP: Busch gear Nov. 22: Busch wins first Sprint Cup Series championship In a season fit for the silver screen, Kyle Busch completes his emotional comeback from a devastating season-opening injury to capture his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title. " Read the full story " Final 2015 standings Nov. 22: Busch wins title with victory at Homestead-Miami Driver Kyle Busch caps an amazing comeback, winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 to hold off fellow Championship 4 contenders Kevin Harvick , Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr . " Read the full story " Complete race results Aug. 9: Busch breaks into top 30 in drivers points standings A runner-up finish at Watkins Glen pushed Kyle Busch into 30th place in the Sprint Cup points standings, a requirement of eligibility for him for the Chase. With four race wins under his belt, he must remain in the top 30 to make the Chase. " Read the full story " Full race results July 11: Kyle Busch wins Sprint Cup race at Kentucky A second win helps Kyle Busch 's chances of cracking the top 30 in points, the second condition he must meet to make the 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup . " Read the full story " Full race results June 28: Kyle Busch wins Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Needing victory to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup , Kyle Busch got the victory at Sonoma , a track that had been a concern as he continues to recover because the road course is so physically demanding. " Read the full story " Full race results June 13: Kyle Busch wins XFINITY race at Michigan Kyle Busch goes to Victory Lane in his first race back in the XFINITY Series after breaking his leg and left foot at Daytona. " Read the full story " Full race results May 24: Kyle Busch completes Coca-Cola 600 , finishes 11th Kyle Busch makes his Sprint Cup points race debut for the season in the Coca-Cola 600 , climbing to second place before fuel strategy led to an 11th-place finish. " Read the full story May 18: Kyle, Samantha Busch welcome first baby Driver Kyle Busch and his wife, Samantha, had their first child, a boy, at 9:45 p.m. May 18. Brexton Locke Busch is his name. " Read the full story May 16: Busch finishes sixth in All-Star race After a pleasing top-10 run in his first race back from leg and foot injuries, Kyle Busch looks forward to running in the Coca-Cola 600 " Read the full story May 13: Kyle Busch granted Chase waiver NASCAR has granted Kyle Busch a waiver for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Find out what he has to do to make the Chase. " Read the full story " Official NASCAR release " Cain: Making Chase will cap comeback May 12: Kyle Busch announces return After missing 11 events to open the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season following his injury at Daytona, Kyle Busch has set his return for the Sprint All-Star Race on May 16. " Read the full story " Drivers react to news of Busch's return " Herman Unplugged: Reaction to Busch's return " Busch's return a hot topic at Dover test May 9: Jones' promising run crashes at Kansas Making his first Sprint Cup start filling in for the injured Kyle Busch , Erik Jones was working on a great run at Kansas until he found the wall late in the race. " Read the full story April 16: Accident leads Busch to become unexpected safety advocate NASCAR.com's Holly Cain tells the story of how Kyle Busch 's wreck at Daytona has changed the Joe Gibbs Racing driver into a saftey advocate for the sport. Busch talks about how impressed he was of the breadth and depth of detailed information that has been gathered from his accident. " Read the full story April 16: Busch family bonds, finds strength in recovery With a baby on the way, the Busch family discuss how they've worked as a team to recover from Kyle's injury while prepping to expand their family. The parents-to-be explain that it hasn't been easy, but they're counting their blessings. " Read the full story April 15: Kyle Busch analyzes tape of his wreck Kyle Busch holds his first press conference after his crash at Daytona and uses video to break down his thought process as the wreck unfolded. His doctors are pleased with his progress, but he has no timeline for returning to driving. " Read the full story " Herman Unplugged: Busch should sit out 2015 April 15: Kyle Busch responds to Keselowski blog During his first press conference after his Daytona crash, Kyle Busch also addressed his long -running feud with fellow Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski . " Watch the video " More on Keselowski's blog April 15: Kyle Busch , wife discuss crash, impending parenthood In an interview with Charlotte NBC affiliate WCNC, Kyle Busch and his wife Samantha discussed the driver's accident at Daytona in February " Read the full story March 20: Kyle Busch takes next step in recovery Kyle Busch posts a video on Facebook of himself moving around a bit with the aid of a walker, along with encouragement from his wife, Samantha, and their dog. " Read the full story March 17: KBM drivers keep in touch Daniel Suarez says his team owner's advice is invaluable. And Justin Boston reports Busch is 'recovering quickly.' " Read the full story March 14: Kurt Busch hopes brother doesn't rush return Kurt Busch says, 'You can't rush the healing of bones and surgeries.' And teammate Denny Hamlin says Kyle Busch is staying engaged with the No. 18 team despite being sidelined. " Read the full story March 11: Kyle Busch , Samantha, visit KBM Kyle Busch and his wife, Samantha, take a field trip to Kyle Busch Motorsports and tell the team, 'Progress is going well.' " Read the full story March 10: Busch gets walking boots Kyle Busch gets soft casts removed from both legs and moves up to walking boots, which Samantha Busch dubs 'Terminator boots' in a Twitter photo. " Read the full story March 2: Subs announced for No. 54 XFINITY Toyota Denny Hamlin , Erik Jones and Boris Said are tapped as substitute drivers for Kyle Busch in the No. 54 NASCAR XFINITY Series Toyota. "Get Well Kyle" stickers adorn the No. 54. " Read the full story Feb. 27: Kyle Busch heads home after second surgery After a second surgery to treat his injuries, Kyle Busch was in a Charlotte hospital for observation for two days before being cleared to go home. The No. 18 racing team put a "Get well Kyle" on the rear bumper of the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for the Atlanta race. " Read the full story Feb. 25: Kyle Busch has successful surgery on left foot Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Kyle Busch underwent a successful surgery on his left foot at a Charlotte hospital. " Read the full story Feb. 24: Kyle Busch leaves Florida hospital Kyle Busch was released from Halifax Health Medical Center. He boarded a plane on a stretcher and was transferred to a North Carolina hospital for further treatment of multiple leg injuries. " Read the full story Feb. 24: David Ragan to sub for Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing announces that David Ragan will sub for the injured Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota for several weeks, starting at Atlanta Motor Speedway . " Read the full story Feb. 24: ISC working on 'significant plan' for safer barriers In the wake of Kyle Busch 's severe crash and resulting injuries during the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway , International Speedway Corporation announces a plan to expand its use of impact-diffusing barriers at its 12 tracks. " Read the full story Feb. 22: Joe Gibbs says Busch's surgery went well Team owner Joe Gibbs gives an update on Kyle Busch 's status after surgery and says he is 'resting comfortably.' Doctors reported that things went well with surgery on Busch's lower right leg. " Read the full story Feb. 22: Samantha Busch gives update from hospital Samantha Busch posts a selfie with Kyle Busch from his hospital bed on Twitter with a tweet saying, "Getting ready to watch the Daytona 500 ! Cheering on our 18 boys!" " Read the full story Feb. 21: Drivers wish Kyle Busch well after hard hit Kyle Busch is taken to the hospital by ambulance after a big wreck during the XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway . Fellow drivers sent well-wishes via Twitter. " Read the full story Feb. 21: Hard hit sidelines Kyle Busch for Daytona 500 A crash in the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race caused NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch to miss the Daytona 500 after suffering injuries to his right leg and left foot a day before the Great American Race at Daytona International Speedway . " Read the full story
The classic NASCAR film "Days of Thunder" was loosely based on the career of 13-time premier series victor Tim Richmond, who had earned the nickname "Hollywood." Given his comfort in the spotlight over the course of the past two decades, perhaps the nickname would also suit Jeff Gordon , who retired from full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition after falling just short in his bid for a historic fifth title on Sunday. Born a California boy, it was clear from the start of his career that Gordon was cut from a different cloth than the good ol' boys who had ruled NASCAR throughout its storied history. He was polished. He was refined. He was -- eventually, once mustache met razor -- well-groomed. And people took notice. Before long there were endorsements, seemingly more Gordon memorabilia lining the shelves than shelves themselves and, oh yeah, four titles in his first nine seasons, solidifying a Hall of Fame resume before he even hit age 30. And Gordon's influence on the actual racing part of the sport will be everlasting. Take a look at the final Sprint Cup standings . There are only two drivers in the top 25 who originally hail from North Carolina ( Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Austin Dillon ), NASCAR's original talent pool hot bed. Many factors led to this, but Gordon's All-American appeal, charm and charisma helped pave the way -- even while playing the foil to Dale Earnhardt -- opening up NASCAR to a mainstream audience, flooding stands and couches in front of non-flat-screened TV sets with an audience that stretched from coast to coast, border to border. An audience that tuned in to see Gordon become the first -- and to date, only -- race car driver host one of America's most notable television programs, NBC's "Saturday Night Live." Jeff Gordon 's monologue from a 2003 episode of NBC's "Saturday Night Live." "I asked (Gordon) recently, a while back, about what made you go on 'Saturday Night Live,' what made you want to do that," NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway . "Number 1, he said, 'Well, they asked me.' And I said, 'Well, OK.' But he said, 'Look, I felt comfortable doing a lot of things that were not mainstream for a NASCAR driver.' "And he was smart about it. He knew that that could separate him from other drivers and he was good at it." Gordon's SNL appearance on Jan. 11, 2003, was a tipping point of bringing NASCAR to the masses, an unquestionable testament to the Hendrick Motorsports driver's popularity and wide-ranging allure. Gordon got to "beat up" a fake Gary Busey while hosting "SNL." It's the crowning achievement in Gordon's on-screen roles, a list that includes 27 appearances on "Live!" (with Regis/Kathie Lee/Kelly/Michael), including 11 guest hosting gigs. He's also appeared in "Spin City", "Arli$$", "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire", "The Drew Carey Show", "Looney Tunes: Back in Action", "Taxi", "Herbie Fully Loaded", "Sesame Street", "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition", "Top Gear", "The Simpsons", "Jeopardy" and even "Cars 2" -- as the appropriately named character "Jeff Gorvette." That curriculum vitae alone -- which is pared down; check out his entire IMDb page -- shows Gordon's star power across generations of fans and television watchers. Gordon also got to play a fighter pilot. Ultimately, with Gordon walking away on such a high note from the sport he's gotten so much out of, NASCAR has reaped the benefits of his contributions. Millions of NASCAR fans can thank Jeff Gordon for opening their eyes to the sport. "He's one of those guys, I always look back at drivers that take out a lot less than they put in," France said. "He's one of those guys that has put in a lot to grow the sport. And other drivers should think about that a little bit. Because he's really a model in that respect. "I have a lot of respect for Jeff Gordon ."