Jeff Gordon battles Rusty Wallace and Terry Labonte for the win in the 1997 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Darrell Wallace Jr. talks about Roush Fenway Racing's short-track program at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Matthew Dillner takes to the NASCAR XFINITY Series garage to see who is ready for short-track racing at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon help Matthew Dillner show some GarageCam support for FOX Sports' Steve Byrnes at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Qualifying, race set for Saturday at Daytona Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live XFINITY PRACTICE 1 " Full results After finishing second in Thursday night's Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel #2, Kyle Busch soared to the top of the leaderboard at Daytona International Speedway during Friday's opening NASCAR XFINITY Series practice for the Alert Today Florida 300 (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). The Joe Gibbs Racing driver propelled his No. 54 Toyota at 191.681 mph around the "World Center of Racing." RAB Racing's Justin Marks also showed plenty of momentum in his No. 29 Toyota, posting the second-fastest speed of 190.496 mph. JGL Racing's Mike Wallace (190.018 mph), Roush Fenway Racing's Darrell Wallace Jr. (189.661 mph) and Richard Childress Racing's Ty Dillon (189.550 mph) rounded out the top five. 2014 champion Chase Elliott powered his No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet around the Florida oval at 187.966 mph, ranking 24th among the group. FINAL XFINITY PRACTICE " Full results Circling Daytona International Speedway at 187.009 mph, Mike Wallace led the NASCAR XFINITY Series field during Friday's final practice for the Alert Today Florida 300 (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). Wallace also posted the third-fastest speed in the series' opening practice and was the only top-five driver from the first session to make another run in the final practice. Close behind Wallace was Richard Childress Racing's Brian Scott, who propelled his No. 2 Chevrolet around the Florida track second-fastest at 186.997 mph. A trio of Chevys rounded out the top five: Billy Boat Motorsports' Chad Boat (186.931 mph), Jeremy Clements Racing's Jeremy Clements (186.305 mph) and JD Motorsports' Ross Chastain (185.743 mph), respectively. Several drivers neglected to make a run in final practice, including 2014 champion Chase Elliott, who posted the 24th-fastest time in the first practice. Opening practice leader Kyle Busch also stayed off the track in the final session. The XFINITY Series returns is the track on Saturday at 12:15 p.m. ET for Coors Light Pole qualifying with coverage on FOX Sports 1. 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
Darrell Wallace Jr. talks about making the jump to the NASCAR XFINITY Series and racing for Roush Fenway Racing.
NASCAR Hall of Famers think new format has been great, added excitement RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace each won championships at NASCAR's highest level under a season-long cumulative points system, years before the advent of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. This year's format is a drastic change from the system of their heyday, with eliminations, rewards for winning and consistency all part of the equation. Even though the current complexion of the Chase represents a dramatic shift, both retired drivers said they'd have welcomed a shot at the title under this year's revised rules. "I would've loved to have been a part of it," Jarrett said. "I think all your champions will tell you the reason they're champions is because of how they thrive and handle pressure-packed situations, and I think we're seeing exactly that. I get ramped up doing the telecasts so I can't imagine what it would've been like driving." The two NASCAR Hall of Famers swapped stories and offered their thoughts about the state of the sport in a rollicking half-hour news conference Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway , site of the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN). Both former drivers will share in calling the championship finale in their roles as TV analysts. Wallace and Jarrett each won one title in NASCAR's premier series a decade apart, with Wallace reigning in 1989 and Jarrett's crowning moment coming in 1999. For selfish reasons, Wallace said he would have preferred if the idea had been hatched for the new-look Chase during his racing career. "For me, they told me if we'd had this format while I was driving, I'd have won three championships with the amount of wins I've had," Wallace said. "So yeah, I like this a lot. I think it's an exciting series with what they're doing now." Wallace said several fellow members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame would have adapted well to the new format, reeling off the names of Bill Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Sr. as drivers who relied on a healthy mix of winning plus consistency. Jarrett added the name of NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Terry Labonte to the list, but went back even further to marvel at what Hall of Famers Fireball Roberts or Junior Johnson could have accomplished under Chase rules. "I think that it would've fit all different eras if we had this type of format in those times," Jarrett said. Both agreed that the new format has increased the intensity of the racing this season, some of which has spilled over to post-race confrontations. Jarrett said that some of those same issues cropped up during his driving days, but that the spotlight's glare wasn't as wide as today's, with social media and traditional media expanding the number of eyes focused on the sport. Wallace pointed to Ryan Newman brushing aside rookie Kyle Larson last weekend as an instance of the hard-edged racing that the new Chase format has created. While some of the extracurriculars go over the line and result in punishment, Wallace said there's still a balance in what qualifies as acceptable and what isn't. "It has changed a little bit, but I think the drivers being able to get out there and have a lot of contact and not being penalized for it is a good thing nowadays," Wallace said. "The fighting, the beating each other up -- I'm not a big fan of that. I do like controversy and I do like excitement, and I think that was OK to tolerate. Everybody's going to have a different approach." 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
Both drivers racing No. 34 special paint schemes this weekend at Martinsville RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Darrell Wallace Jr . and David Ragan unveiled special paint schemes several weeks back, giving a sneak peek at their tribute to future NASCAR Hall of Famer Wendell Scott in this weekend's races. Friday at Martinsville Speedway , their matching powder-blue No. 34 designs first took to the track with an appropriate throwback touch. On the back of each vehicle was a nod to the do-it-yourself spirit that made Scott a racing pioneer -- plain script that said, "Mechanic: Me!" While both Ragan and Wallace have shown plenty of versatility in their driving careers, could the weekend feature a hands-on tribute to Scott's practice of changing his own tires in a pit stop? Wallace , for one, seemed willing to give it a shot. "I think our first pit stop today is just going to be me," Wallace said before the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' Kroger 200 . "They're just going to sit on the wall and eat ice cream -- I'm going to get out and change our tires for that stop. 'Mechanic, Me,' that's pretty cool to see that. I saw him (Scott) on TV pointing to it and I did the same thing so it's kind of cool to see that and see what they used to do back in the day and see how the sport has changed as a whole." Ragan, who has a mechanical bent as part of his racing background, agreed. "It's cool to embrace that," he said. "Obviously, we've got a lot of good employees that are going to be wrenching on our Front Row Motorsports car this weekend, so they probably won't let me touch it, but I grew up racing and working on my own race car, so I have an appreciation for what goes into building one of these cars and to know what Wendell was able to do with limited resources and probably a small crew back in the day, it makes you appreciate the accomplishments even more." Wallace landed his first Truck Series triumph at Martinsville last fall, becoming the first African-American winner in a NASCAR national division since Scott's lone premier series victory on Dec. 1, 1963 in Jacksonville, Florida. Saturday, he was joined by Scott's descendants, who made the trip to lend their continued support from the driver's nearby hometown of Danville, Virginia. "As many times as they've texted me my phone bills have gone up," Wallace said of his communication and with the Scott family. "It's been really cool to have that relationship with the Scott family. I was doing appearances with them last week and really getting to know them just outside of racing and in school hearing all the stories about (Wendell) Senior and that's something cool. ... It's cool he keeps it interesting and he's always on me about being the best person I can and doing the right thing. It's always some help for sure." Wallace shifted from his customary No. 54 to honor this weekend's occasion and Scott's approaching induction to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. For Ragan, the tribute didn't involve changing a car number. When Ragan scored a thrilling triumph at Talladega Superspeedway in the spring of 2013, it marked the first time since Scott's landmark win that the No. 34 had visited Victory Lane in NASCAR's top series, the scrappy Front Row team's win also resonating with Scott's underdog spirit. "As a driver you always pay attention to the car numbers that you have and you're always interested to go back and look at the history of those numbers," said Ragan, who joined the Bob Jenkins-owned team in 2012. "Throughout a career you don't often see one driver stay with one car number their entire career through the different divisions, so when I got in the number 34 you definitely look back and see who raced it and who won. That was one of the first things that crossed my mind when we were able to get that victory last season, the significance of it, and it was quite a big deal so it's definitely coming full circle here driving a tribute car for them here at Martinsville this weekend." 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
KBM driver makes first front-row start after turning 21 RELATED: Full qualifying results Darrell Wallace Jr. earned his first pole award since turning 21 last week, making the feat his first Keystone Light Pole Award. Wallace ran a lap in 19.679 seconds in a No. 34 Toyota Tundra, painted to honor future Hall-of-Famer Wendell Scott. Wallace was followed by two other Toyotas on the leaderboard, with Timothy Peters and Truck Series points leader Matt Crafton qualifying second and third, respectively. Ryan Blaney, Gray Gaulding , Johnny Sauter , German Quiroga, Jeb Burton and Tyler Reddick will make up the first ten starters. In an attempt to get a better starting position, Quiroga made a lap with 30 seconds left in the final qualifying session, but got loose leaving Turn 4 and had to head down pit road. He prevented the No. 77 from hitting the wall, doing only tire damage. Ben Kennedy, John Hunter Nemechek and Erik Jones were the first drivers who did not advance to the second round of qualifying. Kennedy's time of 19.856 seconds was just shy of the Alex Guenette 's 19.802 seconds, which earned him the 12th and final position to advance to the second round. Peyton Sellers spun out coming out of Turn 4, doing some damage to his splitter. The red flag flew several times, the once with just under 20 minutes left in the first round when Charles Buchanan Jr. spun out in Turn 3 in his Truck Series qualifying debut. The No. 80 of Jody Knowles and No. 93 of Dustin Hapka both got turned during the first round as well. The Kroger 200 (200 laps, 105.2 miles) is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. 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
Emotions run high for Darrell Wallace Jr. after winning the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.