Round-by-Round and Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Grid explanations
Take a look back at how the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup began.
As the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup turns 10, get the history, format and more
The field is set and the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins in Chicago.
Expanded Chase Across North America spans three countries
Lady Antebellum, Aloe Blacc and 'Nashville's' Stella Sisters to perform DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 24, 2014) -- The slogan is as recognizable as any: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But NASCAR will make an exception on Dec. 5 when it gives audiences a front row seat as Jay Mohr, Lady Antebellum, Aloe Blacc and Lennon and Maisy take the stage at the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards™ show from the Wynn Las Vegas® live on FOX Sports 1. This year, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards will honor 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick, as well as celebrate the other Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ™ Challengers. FOX Sports 1 will provide coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will begin coverage at 8 p.m. ET. Mohr will serve as the host for the second consecutive year. The actor, comedian, radio host and best-selling author has one of the most expansive backgrounds in show business. After landing his dream job at "Saturday Night Live" and launching his career in film alongside Tom Cruise in "Jerry Maguire," Mohr appeared in approximately 200 network television episodes and more than 25 feature films. Additionally, his national radio show, "Jay Mohr Sports," is syndicated in more than 155 markets across the U.S. With a career in entertainment that spans over three decades, Mohr has become an artist who knows no limits, making him the perfect person to help celebrate NASCAR ’s most prominent drivers. "This is my fifth time hosting the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards and I'm honored to share the stage once again with some of the most talented athletes in the world," said Mohr. "This has been an incredibly exciting year for NASCAR and it's not every day that you get to be a part of a defining moment in the history of a sport." Keeping his NASCAR performance streak rolling following his act at NASCAR's season-opening, crown jewel event the 2014 DAYTONA 500® at Daytona International Speedway®, Blacc will kick off the musical entertainment for the night with the soulful selection that has "woken up" audiences around the world. The singer / songwriter collaborated as vocalist and co-writer on well-known DJ/producer Avicci’s 2013 track "Wake Me Up," which topped the charts in more than 100 countries across the globe, before releasing his third album "Lift Your Spirit" in March 2014. The rapper-turned-singer uses his surging popularity to affect social change and to deliver messages of positivity and passion. Later in the evening, the seven-time GRAMMY™ Award winning trio Lady Antebellum will keep the audience rocking with a new song from their fifth album entitled "747." The 11-song disc has already spawned the PLATINUM certified multi-week chart-topping smash hit "Bartender," and its new single "Freestyle" is quickly climbing the charts. The new album follows over 11 million albums sold worldwide, nine trips to No. 1 on the country radio charts, six Platinum singles and "Vocal Group of the Year" honors from both the CMA and ACMs three years in a row. Lady Antebellum just wrapped their headlining "TAKE ME DOWNTOWN TOUR," which hit 80 cities in Canada and the U.S. over the course of the year, and delighted both fans and critics with the "Dallas Morning News" declaring, "Lady Antebellum shows off its warranted leap to superstardom." For more information visit: www.ladyantebellum.com . Additionally, 15-year-old Lennon Stella and her 10-year-old sister Maisy Stella from ABC’s hit drama "Nashville" will perform. The daughters of the recording duo Brad and MaryLynne Stella, Lennon and Maisy's musical roots run deep. In 2013, the sisters had a show-stopping performance of "Ho Hey" by The Lumineers on "Nashville," which quickly entered the top 40 of Billboard's "Hot Country Songs" list. Later that same year, Lennon and Maisy performed at the CMA Awards™ and presented Taylor Swift with her Pinnacle award. They also performed at The White House this year and sang alongside cast members from "Degrassi," Magic Johnson, Martin Sheen, The Band Perry, and J.R. Martinez at "We Day Minnesota" last month. This year's talent will join the esteemed list of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards show artists from previous years, which include chart-topping singers, such as John Mellencamp, Phillip Phillips, Sara Bareilles, Dierks Bentley and Kid Rock. " The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards present the opportunity to spotlight the biggest names in NASCAR , and we are thrilled to augment that star power with some of the most popular personalities in the entertainment industry," said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing and content development. "This year's line-up is sure to add to what has been one of NASCAR's most climactic racing seasons ever."
Disparity between Logano, Newman stats could lead to interesting strategies RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota FORT WORTH, Texas -- Guess which one of these drivers is in the thick of the championship race as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series comes to Texas Motor Speedway : Driver A has five wins, 16 top-fives, 21 top-10s and has led 976 laps this season. Driver B has zero wins, four top-fives, 15 top-10s and has led 41 laps this season. Driver A looks like the clear choice, but the answer is both. Joey Logano (Driver A) and Ryan Newman (Driver B) have taken different paths to get here, but both have a golden opportunity in front of them in Sunday's AAA Texas 500 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN). Logano is third in the Chase standings, four points behind leader Jeff Gordon , while Newman is in second place, three points back. Another strong performance will put either one of them one step closer to getting into the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway . While winning is still the most direct route to advance, non- Chase driver Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s victory last weekend at Martinsville assures that at least two drivers will go to the championship race based on points. And with two of the fastest cars -- Brad Keselowski 's No. 2 Ford and Kevin Harvick 's No. 4 Chevrolet -- buried in the Eliminator Round standings, avoiding the big mistake has become almost as important as getting a win. But could a driver lose his edge if he decides to go into prevent-defense mode this late in the game? Logano says he's not going to take that chance, as he refuses to back down from what could be a run to his first championship. "What we have done all year, even before the Chase started -- we have raced the same way and that is aggressive," Logano said. "We put ourselves in the offensive mode no matter what the situation was, and we saw that again last weekend when we took four tires there with a green-white-checker and we started 13th and got up to fifth with the aggressive mode. "That is the mode we should stay in because that is what has been working. It is not the time to reinvent the wheel, just time to polish it a little bit and make sure we stay out there doing what we have been doing, just doing a little better job at it." It's tough to argue with that approach as Logano has finished in the top five in six of the past seven races. And lest we forget, Logano won at Texas in the spring in a season that he admits has already been dream-like. While Logano knows he can get to Victory Lane if needs to, Newman has not proven it yet this season. So for Newman, one might think the pressure is building for him to get a win and serve notice that he's a legitimate contender, but he doesn't seem too concerned with proving a point. Instead, he's having fun in the new format and in his first year with Richard Childress Racing and is willing to win a title with dogged consistency if that's what he needs to do. Using this approach, Newman has compiled a career-best average finish of 13.5. "Yeah, there's intensity out there but that's different from pressure to me," Newman said. "Pressure is what explodes things, and there's no reason to put unneeded or unwanted pressure on anything that you want to perform well." But to use a golf analogy, will Newman go for the green and the birdie opportunity in this week's race? Or will he lay up and take his par? "Bottom line is you only have to be aggressive as you need to be," Newman said. "If you have a dominant race car, then being aggressive is the worst thing you can be. But if you're in a position where you’re fighting for seventh or eighth all day and you think you have a top-five car, then you better be aggressive and make something happen." What will happen on Sunday at Texas? That's what we're waiting to find out as the new Chase format continues to provide intensity and intrigue at every turn. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Lesley Robins recaps Chase Across North America and Chase Grid Live as teams gear up for the first round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in Chicago.
Breaking down how the full 43-car field fared at Phoenix International Raceway Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings 1. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet , Stewart-Haas Racing . The desert domination continued for Harvick and the No. 4 bunch, which led 224 of 312 laps in the team's fourth straight Phoenix victory. Harvick's second straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win increased his streak of top-two finishes to seven, the first driver to accomplish it since Richard Petty in 1975. "That gives me chills," said the defending Sprint Cup champ. 2. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet , Chip Ganassi Racing . Though he voiced concerns about a tire going down to crew chief Matt McCall in the final 50 laps, McMurray persevered for his best Sprint Cup finish since winning at Talladega Superspeedway in October 2013. McCall's decision to keep the No. 1 on the track over the final fuel run gave McMurray a chance to battle hard with Harvick in the late stages. 3. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet , Richard Childress Racing . Newman went all the way into late June last year before he notched his first top-five finish of the season. Four races into the 2015 campaign, Newman already has two top-fives -- his 99th and 100th of his career -- thanks to his second straight third-place finish. 4. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet , Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne saved his best finish of the season for his 400th start in NASCAR's premier series, moving up two spots to fourth place in the Sprint Cup standings in the process. "I hope I get 400 more," said the 34-year-old driver. 5. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet , Stewart-Haas Racing . The driver formerly known as " The Outlaw" ran second to his SHR teammate Harvick for much of the waning stages, but lost ground when he pitted for fresh tires with 22 laps left. In his first race of the season since NASCAR lifted his suspension, Busch was all business, telling his crew on the radio on the cool-down lap that he thought he had "enough good will saved up, but top five is exactly where we need to be." " Sign up for Scanner today to hear in-car audio 6. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford , Team Penske . The 2012 Sprint Cup champ led the second-most laps (52) and landed his best finish of the season, but remains on the hunt for his first top-five. "We just didn't quite have enough speed," said Keselowski, who drove the top-finishing Ford. "I thought we were about a third- or fourth-place car and got shuffled to finish where we did." 7. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet , Furniture Row Racing . The scrappy Colorado-based team continued its upswing, moving to third in the early Sprint Cup standings. Truex rose to as high as second place Sunday, gaining two spots on a 126th-lap restart and leading his spotter to exclaim, "All clear, you are the man!" Truex joins points leader Kevin Harvick and Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano as the only three drivers with top-10 finishes in all four races thus far. " Sign up for RaceView to see in-car video on race days 8. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford , Team Penske . Logano led twice ( the only driver other than Harvick to lead more than once) for 35 laps, benefitting from some fleet-footed pit work from his No. 22 crew. He rallied back after a pit stop during the next-to-last caution period, saying afterward, "getting a top-10 is great but we want to win some more." 9. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet , Hendrick Motorsports . The first top-10 finish of Gordon's final full season in NASCAR's top division couldn't come soon enough, helping him jump five spots to 25th in the Sprint Cup standings. He gave up third place by pitting during the ninth of 10 yellow flags, but threaded his way back for his fourth top-10 in his last five Phoenix races. 10. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet , Chip Ganassi Racing . Larson survived a dicey moment shortly after a restart in the 126th lap when Kevin Harvick pushed on his back bumper, getting the No. 42 askew off Turn 4. Larson kept headed in the right direction, securing his second straight top-10 finish. 11. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet , Hendrick Motorsports . Johnson's adventures came early and late in the 312-lapper at Phoenix: He collided with Brian Vickers at the end of the first lap, leading Johnson to tell crew chief Chad Knaus on the radio, "It's so weird, he left me a lane and came over on the straight." Johnson pressed on after more contact with Carl Edwards on pit road during the race's seventh caution. 12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford , Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse was at the head of the Roush Fenway class Sunday, marking his best Sprint Cup finish since a sixth-place effort at Bristol Motor Speedway last August. The effort wasn't without some drama, an 81st-lap nudge from Tony Stewart that sent him out of the groove and cost him a handful of spots early on. 13. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota , Joe Gibbs Racing . Over his radio in the final stages, Edwards -- who withstood a collision with Jimmie Johnson 's No. 48 on pit road -- radioed his crew that the No. 19 was "shaking like hell," but he was assured that a flapping piece of sheet metal at the rear was upsetting the car's balance. His JGR entry was the highest-finishing Toyota in the 43-car field. " Sign up for Scanner today to hear in-car audio 14. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet , Richard Childress Racing . Menard's third straight finish on the outskirts of the top 10 didn't come without some excitement as he just missed Tony Stewart 's spinning car in the 238th lap. "I may have just kissed it, but nothing major," he told his RCR crew. 15. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet , Richard Childress Racing . Another RCR driver having a more definitive brush with Tony Stewart was Dillon, who sustained a 143rd-lap bump off the fourth turn. Displeased team owner Richard Childress, Dillon's grandfather, gave him some stern instruction for dealing with Stewart over the team radio: "You know what to do when you get back there." 16. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota , Joe Gibbs Racing . Kenseth spent his fair share of the day mixing it up among the top 10, but an 188th-lap penalty for speeding exiting the pits cost the No. 20 group precious track position. 17. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet , JTG-Daugherty Racing. The 'Dinger overcame a pair of Phoenix setbacks -- starting at the rear of the field because of a Saturday engine change, then seeing his jack man sidelined by injury on an early pit stop. The solid finish kept Allmendinger firmly in the provisional Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoff grid, fifth in the series standings. 18. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet , HScott Motorsports . Allgaier sewed up his best finish of the season, but also drew some initial criticism from Tony Stewart after their 238th-lap battle sent Smoke spinning. "I don't think I crowded him, but you know how it is," Allgaier told his crew, noting the difficulties in judging his line through the third and fourth turns. " Sign up for Scanner today to hear in-car audio 19. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford , Richard Petty Motorsports . Almirola lamented his car's struggles with handling, especially in traffic, but was hopeful for a rebound next Sunday at Auto Club Speedway , site of the third and final leg of NASCAR's West Coast Swing. "Our intermediate program has been good this year, so we'll look to getting up front next week in California," Almirola said. 20. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet , Germain Racing . Handling woes kept the No. 13 from making progress during the 500-kilometer race, but Mears tweeted hours after the checkered flag that the team found a problem in the right-rear that was the culprit. Despite the midpack finish, he still held a tenuous grip on the 12th of 16 spots in the provisional Chase grid. 21. David Ragan , No. 18 Toyota , Joe Gibbs Racing . Ragan's stint as a substitute for the injured Kyle Busch has yet to produce a finish better than his interim car number. Sunday, it produced an irate Danica Patrick after their late-race run-in. Ragan's JGR team celebrated as last year's winner at Auto Club Speedway , where Busch scored his only Sprint Cup victory of the season. 22. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet , Hillman Smith Motorsports. The Iowa native posted his best finish of the Sprint Cup season by a wide margin, finishing on the lead lap for the first time in 2015. He was the recipient of the free pass back onto the lead lap three times in the early going. 23. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Finishing last among the JGR contingent didn't sit well with Hamlin, who hopes to bounce back into form at Auto Club Speedway , a track that has been a house of horrors, injury-wise, for him the last two years. "We have to go to California and offset this," he told his No. 11 team on the cool-down lap. " Sign up for Scanner today to hear in-car audio 24. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota , Michael Waltrip Racing . An unscheduled pit stop for a loose wheel in the 143rd lap left Bowyer shouting a stream of profanities over his team radio near the race's midpoint. He received the free pass back onto the lead lap during the sixth of 10 caution periods. 25. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford , Front Row Motorsports . Whitt matched his best performance in five career Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix International Raceway , but also held the distinction Sunday as the race's biggest gainer, finishing 14 spots up from his starting position. 26. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet , Stewart-Haas Racing . Patrick found herself at the tail of the field after drawing a 201st-lap penalty for her crew's failure to control a tire on pit road, then spun through turns 3 and 4 after a significant nudge from David Ragan 's No. 18. "Nice try, Mr. Nice Guy Ragan," she told her crew under caution. " Sign up for Scanner today to hear in-car audio 27. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford , Roush Fenway Racing . A loose wheel with roughly 75 laps to go cost Biffle dearly when he was forced to make an unscheduled green-flag pit stop. He was the beneficiary of the race's next caution flag, but wound up as the final driver on the lead lap in his worst finish of the season. 28. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford , Roush Fenway Racing . After going a lap down to leader Kevin Harvick in the race's first half, Bayne said, "I about flipped over trying to keep up with him. Loose in, about to wreck every lap. Just terrible." Bayne matched both his result from the previous week and the number of laps down at the finish (3). 29. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford , Front Row Motorsports . Gilliland illustrated the tooth-and-nail nature of racing back in the pack when he traded paint with Mike Bliss down the backstretch early on, trying to avoid going a lap down. He eventually did, winding up three laps back at the checkered flag in his worst result so far in 2015. 30. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet , Tommy Baldwin Racing . The second-year driver made the most of an ill-handling car, telling his TBR crew over the radio about feeling "brake shake" as the race entered its second half. It marked a modest improvement over Bowman's last-place finish the previous weekend in Las Vegas. 31. J.J. Yeley , No. 23 Toyota , BK Racing . High hopes for a solid day in his Arizona hometown went for naught with his worst finish at the 1-mile track since spring 2011. The performance left him 0- for -13 in the top-10 column over his Sprint Cup career at Phoenix. 32. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford , Front Row Motorsports . In two starts thus far as David Ragan 's sub in the No. 34, Moffitt has been unable to replicate the magic from his eighth-place outing earlier in the season as Brian Vickers ' fill-in at MWR. He'll get another shot this Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in the last of his three scheduled drives for the Front Row team. 33. Mike Bliss , No. 32 Ford , GoFAS Racing. After Bliss failed to qualify the previous weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway , the No. 32 was back on track Sunday at Phoenix. The veteran won a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Phoenix in 1998, but has been no better than 20th in the desert in his Sprint Cup career. 34. Jeb Burton , No. 26 Toyota , BK Racing . The rocky start to Burton's Sprint Cup tenure continued Sunday at Phoenix, but the 22-year-old can take some solace in wrapping up a career-best finish. "We made big gains this weekend had a better car then (sic) where we finished," Burton tweeted after the race. "Proud of the effort all weekend." 35. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota , BK Racing . After failing to qualify the previous two weeks at Atlanta and Las Vegas, DiBenedetto's Sprint Cup debut finally came. He drove home in the same position that he started -- 35th. 36. Josh Wise , No. 98 Ford , Phil Parsons Racing. Wise lagged to his lowest finish of the season, continuing a trend of finishing 35th or worse in all six of his Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix International Raceway . 37. Brendan Gaughan , No. 62 Chevrolet , Premium Motorsports. Gaughan sits sixth in the standings in his regular circuit, the NASCAR XFINITY Series, but the results haven't been there on the Sprint Cup side. His third start of the season in the Jay Robinson-owned ride marked his 45th career start in NASCAR's top series. 38. Alex Kennedy , No. 33 Chevrolet , Circle Sport Racing. Kennedy started last in the Joe Falk-owned Chevy and recovered from a Turn 3 spin during the 16th lap. He wound up eight laps down in making his first Sprint Cup start of the year. 39. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet , Stewart-Haas Racing . Smoke used brute force to complete two passes earlier in the race, but found close-quarters racing with Justin Allgaier to be his undoing in the 238th lap. Stewart scraped the wall again 52 laps later, ending his day. The three-time series champ has just 32 points, lowest among drivers who have run all four Sprint Cup events this year. 40. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford , Richard Petty Motorsports . Involvement in the fourth yellow flag ( for a solo spin) and the ninth caution period ( for catching a piece of Tony Stewart 's second crash of the day) doomed any chances at Phoenix, the site of his first NASCAR XFINITY Series victory. The Petty No. 9 spent plenty of time behind the wall for repairs, finishing 35 laps down at the end. 41. Brian Vickers , No. 55 Toyota , Michael Waltrip Racing . Vickers' second start of the year went awry as he crossed the stripe to complete Lap 1, when he collided with Jimmie Johnson 's car on the frontstretch. "What happened to all clear?" Vickers exclaimed, raising the possibility of miscommunication with his MWR spotter. 42. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet , HScott Motorsports . Annett's car sputtered down on the apron in the 63rd lap, leading him to radio his crew: "Something rattling around in the drivetrain. … It's in gear and nothing gets power to it." Once in the garage, crew chief Jay Guy issued a warning to the No. 46 crew: " The gear is burned up. Do not expose it to air, it will catch on fire." Annett eventually returned to the track, finishing 110 laps down. " Sign up for Scanner today to hear in-car audio 43. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet , Hendrick Motorsports . A blown right-rear tire sent Earnhardt's car careening into the Turn 2 wall, severely damaging the rear end and snapping his streak of three top-five finishes to start the season. Earnhardt was uninjured and was at least able to joke about the situation, which happened suddenly in the 182nd lap. "They never tell you they are going to blow out, never," he said with a laugh. "You don't ever have a warning." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
All 16 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers to be featured