Pistone will make season debut at Martinsville
Lofton -- filling in for Gaulding -- scored the fastest speed in the second session
Get the latest Chase Miller news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
Get caught up for the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNEWS) RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today What: Third annual VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 Where: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky When: Saturday, Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. ET TV/Radio: ESPNEWS/PRN Distance: 200 laps, 300 miles Defending race winner: Ryan Blaney Fastest in practice " Full results First session: Chris Buescher , No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford (174.701 mph) Second session: Cale Conley , No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet (175.404 mph) Best consecutive 10-lap average: First session: Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford (170.478 mph) Second session: Chase Elliott , No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet (173.298 mph) Former winners in the field: None. Driver debut: "I really feel up to the challenge. There are definitely some big shoes to fill in driving the No. 20 Toyota, but I'll have some great teammates to lean on for these two weeks." -- Justin Boston on making his Nationwide Series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing Bumpy road: "Kentucky has a lot of unique characteristics to it. Whether it's the bump on the front stretch or the multi-grooved corners, it's definitely a fun place to race on." -- Trevor Bayne Recycled knowledge: "Statistically, Kentucky is one of my best tracks, and I hope to continue the trend and have another great race Saturday afternoon. Last time we were here, we battled with an extremely loose car and we weren't able to correct the problem until the closing 50 laps. The plan is to use those adjustments and collectively put together a fast race car that can compete for a victory on Saturday." -- Elliott Sadler Chart toppers: "I would say there is probably four or five of us that still have a shot at (the title). Realistically, maybe a couple of those guys need some bad luck from cars ahead of them. If somebody rolls off three or four wins in a row, those bonus points are huge and you're going to jump right back up into it pretty quickly." -- Regan Smith on the current points standings Closing chance: "This opportunity has been a great learning experience for me, and I'm very grateful for the chance to work with such a talented organization. I hope I can get these guys a great finish and end this three-race-deal on a positive note." -- Chase Pistone on his last scheduled race with Turner Scott Motorsports MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Nationwide Series champion, team to spend Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Chase Elliott and members of the No. 9 JR Motorsports team will be on the road Tuesday as they travel to Columbus, Ohio, home of the series sponsor, to be honored for their 2014 efforts. The day-long schedule will include a visit to the Nationwide Children's Hospital, a Marketing University panel discussion, autograph session, broom ball at Nationwide Arena, team dinner and taking in the Columbus Blue Jackets-Philadelphia Flyers NHL contest. Elliott, who turned 19 on Nov. 28, became the youngest driver to win the series title this season. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year winner, Elliott scored his first series win at Texas Motor Speedway , and came back a week later to win his second race, at Darlington Raceway . He added a third victory later in the season at Chicagoland Speedway . With crew chief Greg Ives leading the team, Elliott ended the year with 16 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes. He and teammate Regan Smith placed 1-2 in the series’ points standings. JRM, which fields three teams in the series, is co-owned by Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr ., sister Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Sprint Cup team owner Rick Hendrick. Elliott wrapped up the title with one race remaining, thanks to a fifth-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway . "It's just been a very, very fun road," Elliott said. "I feel very fortunate to have not just this year with Greg and with Dale and Kelley and Mr. Hendrick, and just honestly, the best group of people that you could possibly have surrounding you in racing in the past five years that I've been short track racing and whatnot. "I feel like I've had the absolute best possible people there, too, and I feel like all these people along the way have made me look a heck of a lot better than I really am. It's been an honor to work with these guys, and not just this year, but all along the way." Nationwide Insurance, which has served as series sponsor since 2008, will be replaced by XFINITY beginning in 2015. However, the company will remain involved in the sport through team sponsorship with Earnhardt Jr. as well as sponsor of the series’ race at Mid-Ohio. "What they've done with this series … (it’s) in a whole lot better place than it was when they started," Earnhardt Jr. said of Nationwide’' involvement. "They've done a wonderful job being a part of our sport and representing our sport. They really love this series, and this series fit them very well." Ives, who will move over to become crew chief for Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88 Sprint Cup team, and Earnhardt Jr. will be unable to join the team on the trip to Columbus due to their participation in a Goodyear tire test at Charlotte Motor Speedway scheduled for the same day. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Nationwide honors No. 9 JR Motorsports team on Champ's Day COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Nationwide Insurance officials rolled out the red carpet -- OK, make that the blue carpet -- Tuesday as the departing series sponsor welcomed 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Chase Elliott and the No. 9 JR Motorsports team to its headquarters. Elliott, 18, became the youngest series champion while also earning Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors this past season. He and members of his team spent the day in Columbus visiting the Nationwide Children's Hospital, participating in a Nationwide Insurance "Marketing U" panel discussion and signing autographs, with tours of Nationwide Arena (home of the Columbus Blue Jackets NHL franchise) and Woody Hayes Athletic Complex (at The Ohio State University) taking place as well. The team capped off the day with a return trip to the arena to take in the Blue Jackets' game against the Philadelphia Flyers -- which the Blue Jackets won in a shootout. That the celebration honored his entire team, Elliott said, was important. "I really think, at least as far as my guys -- I don't know about anybody else's -- I know my guys have made me look a lot better than I really am this season," he said. "Take it or leave it, that's the truth. I respect them and all that they do. "I know how much work and effort goes into these cars in trying to improve and make them better each week. All that … plays a role, every little bit counts and those guys know that. Especially the guys that travel on the road and work during the week. They don't get a day off from February through November. People don't realize that. I have all the respect in the world for them." Nationwide Insurance has supported the Children's Hospital for more than 50 years. According to officials, it is the third largest ("and second busiest," Elliott is told) pediatric hospital in the country. The hospital treats approximately 1.1 million patients annually, and its patients come from all 50 states as well as 33 countries. This past season, the NASCAR Nationwide Series returned to Mid-Ohio for the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200. Proceeds from the event benefited the hospital, and 10 "Patient Champions" were featured on various cars in the event. Tuesday, those Patient Champions were treated to a visit from Elliott and the team, posed for photographs and were presented gifts, which included sheet metal from the cars representing each child. The panel discussion at Nationwide Insurance's corporate headquarters, which took place inside the Jeffers Auditorium, touched on a number of subjects, from Elliott's success at such a young age to the value of teamwork. Jim McCoy, director of strategic sponsorships for Nationwide Insurance, noted the company's impending departure, but also stressed that it would remain involved in the NASCAR realm -- as a primary sponsor for Dale Earnhardt Jr . in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as well as title sponsor of the Mid-Ohio event. "We've made a lot of incredible relationships," McCoy told the group. "First and foremost with JR Motorsports, we've worked with them the last six years and they've been such a big part of the Nationwide Series. "To have them finish with the championship was a great way to cap that relationship. It was … important for us to finish strong, go out with class and style the way that we approached all seven years (of our association). "We couldn't be happier with the way things turned out, not only with Mid-Ohio, but having a young champion represent our last year." During the Blue Jackets' game, Elliott was interviewed between periods by the team's radio host while co-owner Kelley Earnhardt Miller and husband L.W. Miller (director of motorsports at JRM) participated in a game of "Name That Tune" shown on the arena's video screens. And team members were on the ice during a break to help with an ice go-kart challenge race. Elliott, who will return to defend his series title with the team in 2015, said afterward that being able to spend time with his team and take part in the Nationwide visit was special. "I've had fun with it," he said. "You know I spent a lot of time watching these races on TV, sitting home on the couch, more than I have being a part of them. From watching it on TV to being a part of it firsthand, I can really tell you how much Nationwide puts into this. I hate to see them go. I think the sponsor that follows definitely has big shoes to fill. "Just to see their involvement and how much they care this season and the effort they put into everything is far more than I've ever seen before from a sponsor for a series. It's been very cool to see." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Jay Mohr takes to the towns of NASCAR and spreads the word about the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Chase drivers take turns roasting NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards banquet host Jay Mohr.