Gordon ready to drive No. 88 as long as needed
Jeff Gordon states he will be willing to drive for Hendrick Motorsports in the No. 88 car as long as they need him while speaking with the media at Pocono Raceway.
Truex tames Pocono for Coors Light Pole Award
RELATED: Qualifying results " See every car in the field LONG POND, Pa. – Martin Truex Jr. found a lot more than light at the end of the Tunnel on Friday afternoon at Pocono Raceway. Gaining time on the rest of the field through Turn 2—the Tunnel Turn—at the 2.5-mile triangular race track, Truex put his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota on the pole for Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400 (on NBCSN at 1:30 p.m. ET; MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), knocking fellow Toyota Camry driver Carl Edwards out of the top starting spot. It's not that Truex and his team made a special point of emphasis on that particularly tricky corner. It just worked out that way, earning Truex his third Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his first at Pocono and the 10th of his career. "For whatever reason, today—all day long —I felt comfortable there, more so than past times here," said Truex, who ran his fastest lap of the day (179.244 mph) in the third and final round of knockout qualifying for the 21st NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season. "The first race here (in June) we really struggled in the Tunnel Turn. "We kind of focused on it a little bit coming back, as far as just making sure it was closer to Turn 1 and Turn 3 and not something that would really handcuff us so bad. So maybe that had something to do with it—I'm not sure—but it just kind of worked out that way, for whatever reason. "Each round I felt a little bit more comfortable and was able to gain a little more time there, and the third round I was able to just kind of sail off in there and get a little bit lucky and hit it right. It's one of those corners that, if you take a risk going in, nine out of 10 times it doesn’t pay off coming out of the corner. This time it did, and we were able to take advantage of it." On the strength of his run through the Tunnel Turn, Truex covered the distance in 50.211 seconds, .104 seconds faster than Edwards (178.873 mph), who thought he had the pole won when he completed his lap in the final round. "As I crossed the line, I felt like, 'That’s it'," said Edwards, who was a close second to Kyle Busch in pole qualifying last week at Indianapolis. "But after seeing what (Truex) ran, I thought 'Well, maybe I could go back and change this or that,' but that was a really good lap for me. It just was. "You can always go back and pick your lap apart, but the last two weeks, Indy and here, I was pretty proud of my lap, and they just got us." Paul Menard (178.671 mph) qualified third, the fastest of three Richard Childress Racing drivers in the top 12, with Ryan Newman placing fifth and Austin Dillon placing 12th. That's the first time all three RCR Chevrolets have cracked the top 12 for the same race since August of 2014 at Michigan. Denny Hamlin claimed the fourth spot on the grid. Tony Stewart, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano will start from positions six through 10, respectively. Subbing for ailing Dale Earnhardt Jr., six-time Pocono winner Jeff Gordon advanced to the second round but went no farther, qualifying 24th. Gordon made two runs in the first round to ensure he would make the second, and that eventually cost him. "The first time out, the car was pretty close, a little bit tight, but we should have been better that first time out, and then we wouldn't of had to gone out the second time," Gordon said. "But overall just too tight over the Tunnel (Turn). "The car is really good down in (Turn) 1. I picked up speed every time we went out. I think having to do that last run our third time on tires didn’t really give us a good chance to advance and get the lap that we wanted. It's still a work in progress." NASCAR competition officials delayed the start of qualifying by 20 minutes to allow teams extra time to make their way through the Laser Inspection Station (LIS). Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said that a glitch early Friday forced the wait time in the inspection process. "I'm not exactly sure of the exact technical thing that happened (with the LIS), but it got back online really quick," Miller said. "One thing I want to make clear is, the reason we're moving this back is because we had a little bit of ownership in it with our equipment. On a regular weekend, if everything … if we had our time block and our equipment worked fine and this was a team issue getting through templates and they didn't get out there, we would be inclined not to extend qualifying and if they miss qualifying it's on them." Despite the delay, all teams made it through inspection in time for the first 20-minute round of qualifying. The last of those was the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota team for driver Kyle Busch, who cut it close but made his first qualifying pass with roughly five minutes left in the opening session. No. 18 crew chief Adam Stevens told NBCSN that the car was initially out of tolerance with the rear-axle toe. Busch will start 16th after missing out on the 12-driver cut after qualifying's Round 2. His brother Kurt, who won the Sprint Cup tour's most recent race at Pocono, was 15th-fastest and will start alongside him in the eighth row. Contributing: Staff reports &amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;
Can Carl Long go the distance?
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
Kyle Busch dominates for back-to-back Indianapolis sweep
RELATED: Results " Standings " Chase Grid SHOP: Busch gear SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- Mission accomplished, a record set, and a torch passed to the next generation. Kyle Busch set a Brickyard record for laps led and became the first driver to sweep both a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series race from the pole in the same weekend, but the real symbolism of Sunday's Crown Royal 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway didn't come until the event was over. As Busch spun his No. 18 Toyota in a celebratory burnout and took his customary bows near the yard of bricks, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon slowly circled the track, driving side by side, waving to fans acknowledging their career accomplishments after what is expected to be their respective last appearances at the Brickyard. In heat that reached 130 degrees on the asphalt, Stewart recovered from a pit road speeding penalty to finish 11th in his retirement year, and Gordon ran 13th in what was an unanticipated substitute role for ailing Dale Earnhardt Jr. But Busch received his share of the applause, too, as fans have begun to acknowledge his ascent, at age 31, to the small group of elite drivers in NASCAR's history. To say he accomplished his second straight weekend sweep of the Indy races emphatically is to understate the case. In a race that went 25 miles beyond its scheduled distance, thanks to a rash of late cautions, Busch led 149 of 170 laps, a record for the event. In the two-lap overtime shootout that decided the issue, Busch crossed the finish line an astounding 2.126 seconds ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth , who ran second. "This Toyota was awesome today," said Busch, who won his second Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis, his fourth of the season and the 38th of his career. "It was just so fast and able to get out front and stay out front. Not even some of my teammates could challenge. This was hooked up and on rails. "Adam Stevens (crew chief) and these guys are a phenomenal group, and I'm proud to be with them. It's fun to come out here and have such a dominant piece at Indy. They don't come along often, so I was just hoping I didn't screw it up." Busch is acutely aware of the history of the sport, and completing a weekend sweep by winning both races from the pole was high on his bucket list. "It's so cool because it hasn't been done before," said the defending Sprint Cup champion, who is the second driver to win back-to-back races at the Brickyard -- the other being Jimmie Johnson in 2008 and 2009. "I've tried and been successful at being able to do a lot of things that others haven't been able to do before. I guess I give myself more chances than others because I run more of those (XFINITY) races. "It helps you, and when it helps you win on Sunday, that's what makes everything so worthwhile on those Saturday races. The guys on Saturday do a good job, too, helping prepare me and being able to do this stuff on Sunday." Busch was on cruise control, heading toward an easy victory, when NASCAR called a debris caution on Lap 150 to remove a piece of sheet metal near the exit from Turn 2. One of six drivers who stayed out on older tires, Busch led the field to green on Lap 154. Moments later, the No. 19 Toyota of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Carl Edwards tightened up in the inside lane, twitched out of control and ignited a five-car wreck that necessitated a stoppage that lasted 7 minutes, 25 seconds. "It felt like I just got tight down there," Edwards said. "I had a little trouble there on the starts, and I got down there, we were fighting really hard for the bottom, and it felt like I got tight with whoever was on the outside of me. "If indeed that is what happened, I apologize. That's pretty frustrating. ... It felt like I got in there and just scrubbed that right front." The following two restarts also brought cautions, the eighth and final one coming when Jamie McMurray made an ill-advised lane change in front of Stewart near the end of pit road and spun sideways off the front bumper of Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet, also collecting Ryan Newman and Brian Scott . When the race restarted on Lap 169, Busch cleared Joey Logano and Kenseth off Turn 1 and pulled away relentlessly until the finish. Johnson overcame a pass-through penalty for speeding on pit road to run third, followed by Denny Hamlin , another speeding penalty victim and the third JGR driver in the top four. Kyle Larson came home fifth, posting his fourth top five of the season. But the story of the day was the long good-bye from Stewart and Gordon, juxtaposed against the backdrop of Busch's emphatic hello to greatness at the flag stand. </p>
Garagecam truly behind the scenes in Pocono
GarageCam host Matthew Dillner walks through the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Pocono Raceway where drivers and teams prepare their cars to tame the Tricky Triangle.
Stewart: I 'definitely want to win here' at Indy
RELATED: Stewart receives gift from Indy " WATCH: 'Smoke's' first Brickyard win SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- Fresh off a runner-up finish a week ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and with a win already in his pocket, it was a confident Tony Stewart that arrived at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Friday. Twenty-eighth in points, Stewart's recent results in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series have propelled the three-time series champion closer to locking down one of the 16 spots in this year's championship-determining Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Those finishes have also improved his outlook for Sunday's Crown Royal Presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). It will be his final scheduled start at the legendary 2.5-mile facility where he is a two-time winner and hometown favorite. Co-owner of the four-team Stewart-Haas Racing organization, Stewart is scheduled to retire from Sprint Cup competition at season's end. Two of his previous three seasons were abbreviated due to off-track incidents. And the '16 season began in the same fashion, with Stewart missing the first eight races due to an off-season back injury. But with a victory at Sonoma Raceway, and top-five finishes in his last two outings, Stewart said he arrived at IMS less stressed and more focused than ever. "It's been awhile, it's been a long while," Stewart said of the confidence. "I mean it's a good feeling I can tell you that. "Anytime you get hurt like we did with our leg injury and everything that happened after that there is all speculation of why you are not running good. You guys had asked the same question -- 'has that been a factor in it?' "It's been nice to kind of get it all put behind us and show everybody that is not what this is all about and that was not the factor. It just was getting cars to feel right. I think that was the biggest thing just trying to get through the speculation of 'can he do this anymore?' and 'why is he not competitive?' "When you finally get going and you start running up front with guys that you are used to running with again then you are getting text messages after the race saying 'hey it was glad to see you up there with us again.' That is the stuff that makes you feel like 'hey we are back where we belong now.'" Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet was eighth fastest in Friday's opening practice and 24th in the day's final session. MORE: Views from opening day at Indy Stewart's Brickyard victories came in 2005 and '07 while still competing for Joe Gibbs Racing. His best finish since joining SHR came in '09 when he placed third. Qualifying for Sunday's race is scheduled for Saturday at 1:45 p.m. ET. JGR driver Carl Edwards won the pole here a year ago while eventual series champion Kyle Busch won the race. "Everybody wants to win here," Stewart said. "Definitely want to win here myself. It would be pretty cool." MORE: Stewart claims second Brickyard crown
Carl Edwards: Fences mended with Kyle Busch
RELATED: Watch the last lap at Richmond KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch have put that bump-and-run finish at Richmond International Raceway firmly in their rearview mirrors, a Twitter photo earlier this week and Edwards' comments Friday at Kansas Speedway indicate. On Wednesday, Busch retweeted a photo of himself and Edwards holding a card congratulating Edwards on the April 24 Richmond win from Kyle's sponsor, M&M's/Mars. Edwards explained Friday how the photo came about, letting fans know there were no hard feelings after Edwards nosed Busch out of the way for his second consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory this season. "Mars sends a really nice box of chocolates to the winner of each race, and they sent me that congratulatory box of chocolates," Edwards explained at Kansas Speedway . "Kyle and I had talked that morning and I saw him in the shop, so I went over there and asked him if he'd sign the box, and he laughed and did and we took the picture. I thought that was pretty neat." At the time of the Richmond finish, Busch was looking for his third win in four Sprint Cup events. On Friday, Edwards was effusive about his teammate's skill and perseverance. "Obviously, Kyle and I still race really hard. I think that's obvious. But for a long time, racing against him and not being a teammate, I didn't really understand how good Kyle is," Edwards said between Sprint Cup practices for Saturday's GoBowling 400 (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). "But seeing it firsthand and watching him come back last year after that injury, which for anyone would be devastating … from then all the way up to the championship, I think he exhibited a lot of toughness. It was very impressive." When asked about Busch's record of winning at all but three current Sprint Cup tracks (Kansas, Charlotte and Pocono), Edwards succinctly summed up his teammate's talent. "Nobody will argue that Kyle Busch is one of the greatest drivers in the sport."
Menard charges atop opening Pocono practice
RELATED: Practice 1 results Paul Menard, potentially benefiting in his first race weekend with a new crew chief, topped the opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice Friday at Pocono Raceway. Menard, driving the Richard Childress Racing No. 27 Chevrolet, clocked a best lap of 177.438 mph on the 2.5-mile track. It's the first weekend that Menard will be paired with crew chief Danny Stockman, who replaced Justin Alexander midweek. Denny Hamlin, a four-time Pocono winner, was second-fastest at 177.406 mph in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota. He was just ahead of defending Sprint Cup champ Kyle Busch, his teammate and last weekend's winner at Indianapolis, in the JGR No. 18 Toyota. Carl Edwards was fourth, keeping the line of Coach Joe Gibbs' entries going. He was fourth-best at 176.977 mph in the No. 19 Toyota. Kevin Harvick, still seeking to end an 0-for-31 drought at the Tricky Triangle with his first Pocono win, completed the top five at 176.620 mph in preparation for Sunday's Pennsylvania 400 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Danica Patrick had the best 10 consecutive lap average (171.094) with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. behind her at 167.161 mph. The two were the only drivers to run 10 consecutive practice laps. Jeff Gordon turned the 22nd-fastest lap in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet, making his second straight appearance this weekend as an interim fill-in for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms. The session, originally scheduled for 85 minutes, was abbreviated to 63 minutes by water seeping up through seams in the 2.5-mile track's surface. Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Sprint Cup Series is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. ET (NBCSN).
Carl Edwards paces final Kentucky practice
Final practice recap " Final practice speeds " See the full starting lineup For the second time on Friday, Carl Edwards ' No. 19 Toyota soared to the top of the leaderboard with a fast lap of 187.448 mph in the final practice at Kentucky Speedway. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver also paced the field in the previous practice and will roll off the grid fifth in Saturday's Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Martin Truex Jr. ranked second on the speed charts, his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota clocking in at 186.528 mph. Kyle Larson wheeled his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Chevrolet at 186.387 mph to earn the third spot on the leaderboard, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. piloted his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet fourth-fastest at 186.091 mph. Reigning race winner Kyle Busch rounded out the top five in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, notching a fast lap of 185.989 mph. Denny Hamlin , who topped Friday's opening session, experienced a rough start to the final session when his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota brushed the wall coming out of Turns 3 and 4. Kurt Busch's No. 41 Chevrolet spun and made contact with the wall toward the end of practice, bringing out the caution flag and forcing Busch to a backup -- and to the rear -- for Saturday's 400-miler. The Sprint Cup Series is back on track Saturday for the Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM Radio). Practice 3 recap " Practice 3 results Carl Edwards led Friday's second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice after rain shortened the earlier scheduled run. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver set the pace for the field with a speed of 188.633 mph. The second session ran for approximately 40 minutes and followed a heavy downpour. Martin Truex Jr. was second-fastest to Edwards at 187.774 mph in his No. 78 Toyota. Kyle Larson was third-fastest (187.487 mph) in the second session after coming in as fifth-fastest in Friday's opening run. Kyle Busch, who was fourth on the speed chart (187.123 mph), had a close call after getting loose coming around a turn and nearly hit the wall, but the defending Sprint Cup Series champion saved his No. 18 Toyota from any damage. Austin Dillon was fifth on the leaderboard at 187.097 mph. Jimmie Johnson , who went to a backup No. 48 Chevrolet after damaging his first car in Friday's opening practice, finished eighth in the day's second session driving his alternate car (186.561 mph). Johnson was second-fastest in Friday's first practice. Practice 2 recap " Practice 2 results Propelled by a fast lap of 188.285 mph in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Denny Hamlin topped Friday's first of two scheduled NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practices at Kentucky Speedway in a session that was cut short due to inclement weather. The session was scheduled from 11 a.m.-12:25 p.m. ET, but cars were called to the garage just before 11:30 a.m. ET with severe thunderstorms in the area. Twenty minutes later it began to rain. MORE: Stay updated on the weather Next on the leaderboard was Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson , who posted the early fast speed of 188.121 mph before being overtaken by Hamlin. Johnson also hit the wall solidly during a later run, which led to crew chief Chad Knaus urging the crew to bring out the backup car. "I just got wide," Johnson said of the wreck. "I didn't have anything go wrong, I just got wide and the car just started going straight and it wouldn't turn. I was in the marbles. I couldn't see the line where the track was clean and dirty and it just kept going straight and straight and straight and hit the wall." Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick was third on the speed charts with a fast lap of 188.088 mph in his No. 4 Chevrolet. Ty Dillon was fourth with a speed of 188.042 mph in the No. 95 Chevrolet while Kyle Larson rounded out the top five with a top speed of 187.963 mph in his No. 42 Chevrolet. One day after Toyotas posted the four fastest speeds in opening practice, Chevrolets held seven of the top eight fastest times Friday. Carl Edwards , who led Thursday's session, was ninth Friday (187.461 mph) in the No. 19 Toyota. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. posted the 10th-fastest time (187.007 mph) and was the top Ford on the board.
Carl Edwards' Darlington paint scheme revealed
RELATED: Buy Darlington tickets " '16 throwback schemes SHOP: Edwards gear Joe Gibbs Racing revealed the throwback paint scheme for Carl Edwards ' No. 19 Toyota on Thursday, paying tribute to three-time champion Tony Stewart at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' annual nostalgic celebration at Darlington Raceway . Edwards, the defending race winner of the Sept. 4 Bojangles' Southern 500 at the South Carolina track, will pilot an ARRIS-sponsored Camry in the company's familiar orange and white colors. The arrangement and typefaces, however, will resemble the paint scheme from Stewart's rookie season in 1999, which Home Depot was a primary sponsor. Joe Gibbs Racing , celebrating its 25th anniversary season in NASCAR, unveiled the paint scheme during a Facebook Live broadcast. For Dave Rogers, Edwards' crew chief, the look rekindled plenty of remembrances from his earliest years with the Gibbs organization. "That's bad to the bone," Rogers said during the team's broadcast reveal. "That brings back a lot of good memories. Tony Stewart 's rookie year, starting with Greg Zipadelli as a crew chief, I was an engineer on the team. That goes back to my early days at Joe Gibbs Racing . I started in '98; that's 1999. That car looks beautiful. It's gotta be fast if it looks that good." Stewart scored 33 of his 49 career victories in NASCAR's premier series while with the Gibbs organization. Before leaving JGR in 2009 to form Stewart-Haas Racing , Stewart also notched two of his three championships, carrying the Gibbs banner for his titles in 2002 and 2005. Edwards notched his first Darlington Raceway victory last season. Stewart will seek his first in his last trip to the historic 1.366-mile track. </p>