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Chase Pistone lands ride with NTS Motorsports
Pistone will make season debut at Martinsville
Best in-car audio throughout the Chase
Take a listen to the best in-car audio from your favorite drivers throughout the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Lofton, Pistone top Friday's Truck practices
Lofton -- filling in for Gaulding -- scored the fastest speed in the second session
Kyle Larson, Target give back in many ways
The NASCAR racing season ended last month but someone forgot to tell Kyle Larson . The Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver will be on the road for the holidays, traveling with his family to Sydney, Australia to race sprint cars for a week or so. Once he returns stateside, he'll be heading to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the annual Chili Bowl Nationals Jan. 9-14. There are times when the 24-year-old NASCAR driver isn't behind the wheel. Wednesday was one of those rare occasions. Larson, along with members of his No. 42 team, spent the afternoon at the Milton Boys and Girls Club in Charlotte, handing out early Christmas gifts provided by sponsor Target. "Target (does) a lot for different communities and charities," Larson said. "It was cool to come here and give these kids gifts. … They had a good time; they were all smiling, dancing on (one of the games) over there." A wide variety of board games, electronic games and even a virtual reality unit were among the items delivered. "It feels good to do a small part of giving back," said Larson, who will begin his fourth season as a full-time competitor in NASCAR's premier series in 2017. "Target is the one donating all the gifts, I'm just donating my time and having a good time with it. I've gotten to do a lot of stuff with them this year, donating books to different schools, a lot of toys. … It's been a lot of fun. It's the first year I've really gotten to do this stuff more often and I'm hoping to do a lot more next year." According to team officials, Larson and Target joined together in '16 to provide toys to children affected by flooding in West Virginia; delivered 50 backpacks and back-to-school supplies to a disadvantaged elementary school in Darlington, South Carolina; and visited two elementary schools in Dallas, Texas, to donate gift cards and books in support of Texas Motor Speedway 's Speeding to Read program. Additionally, Larson and Target representatives visited Target House at St. Jude Children's Hospital and also donated library supplies to a school in the Phoenix area. Wednesday's gathering helped Larson, who hails from Elk Grove, California, get in the Christmas spirit. He and his family, girlfriend Katelyn Sweet and son Owen, will move up their holiday visits with other family members due to their upcoming trip to Australia. "My favorite time of the holiday season is just getting to spend time with a lot of the family I don't really get to see throughout the year," he said. "We travel so often that I don't ever really get to go home to California and see them. … So we'll go to California next week and get to hang out with all of them." Larson won his first premier series event in 2016, at Michigan International Speedway , and qualified for NASCAR’s championship-determining Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Although he was one of four drivers eliminated after the Round of 16, he finished a career-best ninth in the final points standings.
69 things to love about Greg Biffle
Since announcing his departure from longtime team Roush Fenway Racing following the 2016 racing season, Greg Biffle has tackled the offseason with a seemingly new outlook on life -- at least evidenced by his tweets following the announcement. In celebration, it's only appropriate to share a list of 69 things to love about Greg Biffle -- in both his storied racing career and off-track pursuits. Racing, in general 1. First driver to win both an XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series championship. 2. Has a dozen poles or more and multiple wins in all three national series. 3. Committed to Roush Fenway Racing for 19 years -- something nearly unheard of by today's standards. 4. Made his first NASCAR-sanctioned start in 1989 (in the NASCAR Northwest Series) -- before Kyle Larson , Chase Elliott , Austin Dillon , Trevor Bayne , Ryan Blaney , Chris Buescher , Landon Cassill , and Joey Logano were born. 5. Finished second in the #NASCARHoleshot Challenge... 6. ... but didn't faceplant into the wall like winner Clint Bowyer . 7. Won Roush Fenway Racing 's first NASCAR championship In 2000, @gbiffle won the first championship in #RFRDriven history pic.twitter.com/0XbByzfvab — Roush Fenway Racing (@roushfenway) November 21, 2016 8. Made a start in the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race. 9. Raced in IROC in 2003. 10. Reached 218 mph in a test at Texas in 2009 -- a record speed in a stock car at the track. 11. Was discovered and recommended to Jack Roush by late racing legend Benny Parsons. 12. He's not afraid to drag race. Camping World Truck Series 13. Won the 2000 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship. 14. Earned the title of 1998 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year 15. Won approximately one-third of the races in the 1999 Truck Series season (nine out of 25). 16. Drove one of the best Truck Series paint schemes ever. On this day in 1999, @gbiffle scored his 9th career @NASCAR_Trucks win at @LVMotorSpeedway #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/ULRTsHLksO — OreiusCentaur (@OreiusCentaur) September 24, 2016 17. Led more 2,000 laps in the Truck Series, despite making only 81 starts. 18. Helped broadcast a Truck race for MRN. In the @MRNRadio booth for the Truck race @kansasspeedway pic.twitter.com/6BwLzus12z — Greg Biffle (@gbiffle) May 7, 2016 XFINITY SERIES 19. Won the 2002 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship. 20. 2001 NASCAR XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year. 21. 2002 NASCAR XFINITY Series Most Popular Driver. 22. Holds the record for fastest XFINITY Series qualifying lap at Bristol Motor Speedway . 23. Has led more than 4,000 laps in the XFINITY Series. PREMIER SERIES 24. Got called a bug-eyed dummy by Sterling Marlin. 25. He knows what he’s good at: All his wins have come at tracks between 1 mile and 2.5 miles in length. 26. His 2005 season was like Mark Martin’s 1998 -- a solid season by all accounts, but not quite enough to win the championship. 27. Held the title of the oldest full-time Sprint Cup driver in 2016. 28. Got in a fight with Tom Logano at Auto Club Speedway in 2009.
2016 Season Review: Austin Dillon
Austin Dillon made the Chase for the first time in 2016 -- recap his season here
Next up for Hendrick, Junior: Contract discussion
RELATED: Junior: 'Stronger than before' " Earnhardt medically cleared Rick Hendrick considers it a wonderful early Christmas present. Having Dale Earnhardt Jr . medically cleared to resume driving Hendrick's No. 88 Chevrolet has been six months in the making. And the whole storied, championship organization couldn't be happier with Thursday's official word that NASCAR's reigning Most Popular Driver will be behind the wheel for the 2017 season after missing the final 18 races of the 2016 season recovering from a concussion. "We're as big a fan of Dale's as the rest of the community and when you have the most popular driver in the sport and then lose him. ... He's a big spark plug to this place," Hendrick said. "Having him out of the car kinda deflates the place and you know, when that test finished and he came through with such flying colors, the text I got and conversation I had, you could feel it in the place even today with the rest of the teams. "It elevated the whole place." So much so that Hendrick and Earnhardt are already prepared to resume contract extension talks, Earnhardt revealed Friday in his first teleconference with the national media since getting the go-ahead to return to competition. "We're probably going to revisit that before the season starts," said Earnhardt, 42, whose current contract runs through 2017. "Before I got sick, Rick and I sat down and talked about my future and the extensions. That stuff was starting to come together and we'll revisit that shortly." It should only be a matter of ironing out details because these two NASCAR A-listers shared that they both feel re-energized by Earnhardt's recovery and return to competition. Hendrick said he was very optimistic about Earnhardt re-joining the team and resuming racing, but conceded that he realized early on in the process, that might take an extended amount of time. And he was OK with that. "You might worry about that but I think after talking to [Earnhardt's doctor] Dr. Collins, he didn't see any reason he couldn't come back if we did it the right way," Hendrick said. "A lot of credit goes to Dale for just working hard outside of the car to get himself better, stronger. "You could just see him getting stronger every week and participating here with the team and other drivers. "I just kind of refused to accept he wasn't going to be in the car." It was a good method of coping. "First of all, we care about him as a friend and a person," Hendrick said. "That's first -- and just seeing him healthy and himself, rather than trying to rush him back into the car ... "His health is priority one. We don't want him back in the car until he's OK. And we're OK. Everyone was OK with him sitting out. Once we realized he wasn't going to be in the Chase we were OK, we wanted him for the long term. "It's a tough decision to pull the plug on the year. You didn't know that maybe he would be healed up enough to come back with a few races left. But we were very fortunate with our sponsors. They put his health first. That was never a question." Now Earnhardt is OK. Listening to him speak Friday morning, he is more than OK. The two-time Daytona 500 winner is excited about his New Year's Eve wedding, the honeymoon and the promise of more competition that awaits him in February. Junior's back. "I think with Dale back in the car and Jimmie's championship, it's going to be a nice Christmas for all of us," Hendrick said. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Showdown between JRM, JGR evident in XFINITY Chase finale
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- The first-ever Chase playoff format for the NASCAR XFINITY Series created an intriguing foursome competing for the championship in Saturday's season finale. The dualities ran deep. Two pairs of title-eligible teammates from two organizations created a showdown between Joe Gibbs Racing and JR Motorsports, Toyota and Chevrolet, and -- because of the wide range of experience among the four -- a contrast between veteran savvy and youthful exuberance. Those contrasts played out with the XFINITY Series crown on the line in Saturday's Ford EcoBoost 300 with Gibbs up-and-comers Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez squaring off with JRM's veteran compatriots in Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier at Homestead-Miami Speedway . The final 50 laps saw all four drivers battling fiercly for the lead, but ultimately it was JGR's Suarez who won the race, outlasting JRM's Sadler, who gambled late with a two-tire pit stop and finished third. Sadler's teammate, Allgaier, finished seventh and JGR's Jones was ninth as they got trapped behind race leader Cole Whitt on the final restart. The four drivers were in an anticipatory mood during Thursday's Media Day at the Loews Miami Beach, trumpeting the virtues of having teammates to lean on through the weekend and conjuring up images of a virtual 2-on-2 matchup. But with a winner-take-all structure in place for Saturday's curtain-closer, the allegiances may only go so far. "We know already that we are going to help each other as much as we can before the race, and once we get into the race, everyone is on his own, and we know that, and we understand that," said Suarez, in his second full season of XFINITY competition. "There is just one trophy, and there are two drivers, two friends here. We have to take care by ourselves and move forward." Suarez has a stellar teammate in Jones, who is earmarked for a full-time ride in NASCAR's premier series next year with Furniture Row Racing . The two worked well this season under the JGR umbrella, combining for six XFINITY victories. But Jones agreed that the notion of teamwork has its limits at Homestead. "I think throughout the weekend, you don't change your process at all. We still share information, still lean on each other, help each other when we can," Jones said. "Obviously in the early and mid-part of the race, we're not going to do anything to hurt each other's races. "Once it gets down to that last hundred, last 50 laps, I think you have to go for it. At some point you're going to have to race for it. We're racing for a championship. We don't want to take each other out of that chance, but at the same time we have to be in it to try to win our team a championship and make it happen. I think that's the point of this Chase and the point of this format." Among the four championship contenders, team alliances created a split, but so has the difference in age. JRM's Sadler is the eldest of the group at 41 with his teammate Allgaier having just crossed the bridge into his 30s this summer. JGR's Suarez is 24 years old with Jones the youngest at 20. Experience can certainly help, but so does pure skill -- something the final quartet has in bunches. While variances in their racing backgrounds exist, all four can claim newbie status in regards to the new Chase format. "I don't know that the years have really given us any more experience," Allgaier said. "Who's to say with the resources and things they've gone through that they could potentially have more experience than what I do? I think we got four really talented race car drivers that made the final round. I think you've got four great teams in this final round."
My Chase - Homestead
Get an inside look at the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase with the final video in the XFINITY My Chase video series for 2016, coming to you from Homestead-Miami Speedway.
France pleased with Chase formats, 'wouldn't change a thing'
NASCAR Chairman and CEO, Brian France, says he is pleased with the newly implemented Chase formats in both the NASCAR XFINITY and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.