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H. Clay Earles receives 2017 Landmark Award
H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway, is announced as the recipient of the 2017 Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.
Teams get set for latest Richmond test
Goodyear tire test set for Tuesday, open test slated for Wednesday BROOKLYN, Mich. -- A week after testing at Darlington Raceway , it's off to Richmond International Raceway for Goodyear officials and a handful of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. The official tire supplier for NASCAR will test with four teams Tuesday at the 0.75-mile track in preparation for this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup cutoff race, the Federated Auto Parts 400 scheduled for Sept. 12. Kyle Larson ( Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), Trevor Bayne ( Roush Fenway Racing ) and David Ragan ( Michael Waltrip Racing ) are scheduled to take part in the Goodyear tire test. NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Brian Scott ( Richard Childress Racing ) will also take part, stepping into the No. 27 for driver Paul Menard . The four will join several others on Wednesday for an open team test. According to officials, those scheduled to be on hand are Jeff Gordon ( Hendrick Motorsports ), Carl Edwards ( Joe Gibbs Racing ), Joey Logano ( Team Penske ), Sam Hornish Jr . ( Richard Petty Motorsports ), Jeff Green (The Motorsports Group) and Clay Rogers (Beard Motorsports). "We had a good race there (in the spring); we had a good tire that lasted a gas stop, which is not that easy at Richmond," Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager for global race tires, said Sunday at Michigan International Speedway . "We're wondering if we can do a better job to make the racing a little bit better, so we're seeing what we can do from a tire standpoint to go back and improve that setup." Some teams were not satisfied with the multi-zone tread used at RIR for the spring race. The tire featured a smaller, more durable inside compound that enhances durability combined with a wider, softer outside designed for grip. Similar multi-zone tires have been used at several Sprint Cup events since debuting in 2013. Grant said several options would be considered. "We've got a pretty good baseline at Richmond," he said. "I don't want to move too far off of that. We're not going to test a whole lot of different things. We ran a (multi-) zone tread at Richmond; we'll try a couple of zone treads, we'll try a couple of non-zone treads to see what happens … we don't have a real big program (scheduled) so we can get that done in a day." Wednesday's test will be open to fans, with access to the grandstands through Gate 70 only. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
H. Clay Earles
Class of 2017 Landmark Award winner
Complete Analysis: Martinsville
See where each driver finished the Eliminator Round opener and why RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Editor's note: Drivers in italics are in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup 1. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports Well, as always, timing is everything. Dale Earnhardt Jr . won at Martinsville for the first time in his career, a win that would've propelled him to the Championship Round at Homestead had he not been eliminated last week at Talladega. Still, he was plenty excited. "I definitely polished off the jerky too early," he said over the radio. "Cold beer, a whole (expletive) keg would be awesome. I could do a keg stand right now." Get more driver audio with RaceView 2. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports Jeff Gordon incurred a speeding penalty ("I knew it. Big mistake on my part. My bad guys.") when he was caught going too fast on pit road on Lap 192. Considering he had to overcome this severe disadvantage and beefs with Carl Edwards (who checked up in front of him, damaging the nose of the No. 24) and Ryan Newman ("What's up with that 31 getting into me?"), it's incredible that he finished runner-up to his teammate. Get more driver audio with RaceView 3. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing Speaking of incredible, Ryan Newman also had to overcome a speeding penalty at the same time as Gordon, rebounding for a third-place finish. Newman's consistent charge through this Chase has been remarkable. He keeps inching closer to that elusive first win of 2014 and it just feels like at some point he'll break through. 4. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing Martinsville proved successful for "Smoke" once again, as the driver was in contention for the win late for the first time since his return from a three-race absence. More importantly, he built momentum to carry into the end of the season and beyond, leading multiple laps in consecutive races for the first time this season. 5. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske It wasn't the round-opening race that Joey Logano enjoyed for the start of the Contender Round -- i.e. his win at Kansas -- but his fifth-place finish was enough to keep his head above water and in good standing for advancement to the Championship Round. As we've been seeing more and more lately, the No. 22 was out front for 60 laps and it wouldn't be a shock to see him win next week at 1.5-mile Texas, the type of track Team Penske has dominated this year. 6. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing While his mix-up with fellow Chase driver Kevin Harvick left his competitor's No. 4 Chevrolet with heavy damage, Matt Kenseth was able to recover from the incident well enough to nearly muster a top-five finish. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver even absorbed an intentional hit from the SHR driver: "(Harvick) tried to knock our radiator off. Check the nose for any damage." Get more driver audio with RaceView 7. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing Ladies and gentlemen, we have a Clint Bowyer sighting. Having led just one -- one! -- lap since he led all of three at Indianapolis in July, Bowyer looked like his old self on Sunday, leading 33 laps on his way to a seventh-place finish. Get more driver data with RaceView. 8. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing At times, it looked like Denny Hamlin and the No. 11 car were the combo to beat -- he led 68 laps -- and that the Joe Gibbs Racing driver was back to honing his Martinsville prowess. An eighth-place finish is still good, especially considering an early pit stop flub where the car was too close to pit wall and the temporary jack man couldn't get the handle down all the way nearly derailed him, but Hamlin still sits on the wrong side of the Chase bubble. 9. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing A solid top-10 finish for AJ Allmendinger and crew, which should go a long way toward solidifying another of the JTG Daugherty Racing driver's strong suits as they turn their focus toward 2015. He may be out of the Chase, but this team won't forget that they made it via the Watkins Glen win. If Dinger has road courses and short tracks nailed down, look out. 10. David Ragan , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports If you were told that in two races at Talladega and Martinsville, David Ragan would've finished 30th and 10th, there's no way you'd think the top-10 came at the short track. Alas, that's the case, as the Front Row Motorsports driver recovered from a spin on Lap 207 for his best finish of the season. 11. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing Early in the race, Kyle Busch struggled with some steering issues into the turns, telling his team, 'Won’t turn. Won’t leave," later asking crew chief Dave Rogers to free up the car. Whatever changes the No. 18 team made must've worked, as Busch worked his way through the field for a near top-10 finish. Get more driver audio with RaceView 12. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing Austin Dillon was caught speeding on pit road on Lap 391, a penalty that normally would've derailed the rookie and saddled him with a poor finish. The RCR driver rallied, however, to improve upon his spring Martinsville finish of 15th. 13. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing Not much is expected of Greg Biffle when the veteran driver hits the Virginia short track -- after all, he's never finished in the top five and has just five top-10s in 24 starts. That said, he's been much better at Martinsville lately, averaging a finish of 12.0 since the start of 2012, so his 13th-place finish is right in line with his recent results. 14. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing Paul Menard has finished inside the top 10 at Martinsville once in his career, placing exactly 10th this spring. In that race, he moved up 11 positions from where he started. In Sunday's contest, he started 14th and finished there, too. 15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was involved in a late-race mix-up, but recovered enough for a 15th-place finish. Considering he missed last week's race at Talladega completely, a mid-teens finish has to be considered a success for the second-year driver. 16. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing For a good portion of the race, it sure looked like Jamie McMurray was going to play the part of Chase spoiler -- a role that instead was filled by Dale Jr. -- as he led 84 laps from the pole. In this year's postseason, McMurray has shown serious speed and a competitive nature that wasn't seen much in the regular season, so he could be a guy to watch as a 2015 Chase sleeper. 17. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 HScott Motorsports Chevrolet Much like Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., Justin Allgaier missed the Talladega race because of a qualifying gaffe, so his 17th-place finish is a solid return to the track for the No. 51 driver. Plus, he improved upon his starting and finishing position from the spring race. 18. Cole Whitt , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing Partly due to the overwhelming success of Kyle Larson and the hype around Austin Dillon , Cole Whitt hasn't gotten the attention he deserves in 2014. The rookie has shown marked improvement over the course of the season and finished inside the top 20 for consecutive races for the first time this season via his 18th-place Martinsville result. 19. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Racing While it's unlikely another one of his fans will get a tattoo to commemorate his 19th-place Martinsville finish like one did after his top-five at Talladega, Landon Cassill matched his career-best "Paperclip" finish in nine races. 20. Carl Edwards , No. 99 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing Given how many of the remaining Chase drivers finished inside the top 10, Carl Edwards ' 20th-place finish could've been a lot worse had Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick not imploded and scored 31st and 33rd-place finishes, respectively. The Roush Fenway Racing driver battled grip and water temperature issues all day and ended up being involved in Keselowski's wreck on Lap 436, but remains in the Chase hunt because of his slight recovery. 21. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports Proof that the new Chase format is doing its job: Aric Almirola , who made the Chase via his July Daytona win and was knocked out almost immediately when he blew an engine in the opener at Chicago, has averaged a finish of 26.9 in the seven postseason races thus far. This team made plenty of improvements this year, but it's clear they aren't ready for the big stage yet. 22. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports With no top-10s under his belt in 2014 and only eight to his name in his career, it'd be irresponsible to expect one to come at Martinsville for the veteran driver, given that his career average finish is 29.6. Still, a 22nd-place result is better than he's been, and he improved on his spring finish by four spots. 23. Marcos Ambrose , No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports Marcos Ambrose had a quiet race until he and Kyle Larson got into each other with 11 laps to go, sending both drivers sideways into the wall. It's possible that Larson was protecting his teammate, Jamie McMurray , as the No. 9 and No. 1 were beating and banging mere seconds before this happened, but it isn't the kind of race a driver bowing out of the sport in three weeks was looking to have. 24. Michael Annett , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing There was a five-race stretch in the middle of the season in which Michael Annett seemed to be closer to "getting it", when he averaged a finish of 22.0. It was respectable for a rookie, but he hasn't shown much since then. Perhaps his 24th-place showing at Martinsville will kick off a strong finish to his 2014 campaign. 25. Josh Wise , No. 98 Chevrolet, Phil Parsons Racing Josh Wise has run more laps at Martinsville -- 2,103 -- than any other track on the circuit, and it shows. The 2014 All-Star has steadily improved his finishing position at the short track since his 2012 debut there, culminating in Sunday's top-25. 26. Mike Wallace , No. 49 Toyota, Jay Robinson Racing Mike Wallace ran back-to-back races for just the second time this season and it resulted in his best race of the year. After starting dead last, Wallace marched through the field for his best cup finish since 2007. 27. Brian Vickers , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing Brian Vickers had an entertaining race. He traded shots back and forth with Kasey Kahne , at times blaming his car ("The car just went straight when I got down to (Turn) 1. Be sure and check that splitter. Something has to be wrong.) but then later wanting to take part in the melee, saying "Alright, we owe him another. We can do this all day long." Get more driver audio with RaceView 28. Kyle Fowler , No. 32 GO FAS Racing Ford For a driver making his Sprint Cup Series debut, Martinsville is no easy task. It showed on Lap 75, when the 22-year-old spun and drew a caution. Still, he battled hard all day to recover for a respectable 28th-place showing. 29. Alex Bowman , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing Alex Bowman had a really difficult race from the get-go. He spun on Lap 5, making contact with Aric Almirola and later crunched his hood on Lap 207 when traffic in front of him stopped abruptly. To make matters worse, he couldn't even unwind the way he wanted to, tweeting, "So to top today off they're holding the driver owner lot for an hour. Which means missing the walking dead tonight." 30. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing It's clear that Kyle Larson will need to make one of his priorities over the offseason focusing on short track racing, because Martinsville always seems to eat up the otherwise super-talented rookie. He was involved in a bad wreck with 11 to go after he tangled with Marcos Ambrose and has yet to finish better than 27th in three races. 31. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske Brad Keselowksi must like racing as the Chase underdog, because he didn't do himself any favors at Martinsville. His No. 2 started running hot on Lap 95, then he was caught speeding on Lap 163, and finally lost an axel on Lap 436, causing the biggest wreck of the day. At one point, team owner Roger Penske chimed in, "Lot of time. You'll be fine." He wasn't. 32. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports It's a good thing for the No. 48 team that they were eliminated last week at Talladega, because otherwise they'd be in a serious hole right now. Johnson's race was bad the whole way through, saying in the early going, "Weird vibration in the front. Feels like maybe some rubber on the tire that won't come off. … Might be a loose left-front. Getting worse." He later ran into Casey Mears , prompting a testy crew chief Chad Knaus to say "Try not to run into anything else.” The HMS ride was later leaking oil and limped to the garage for a poor finish. Get more driver audio with RaceView 33. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing Luckily for Kevin Harvick , he's magnificent at Phoenix and should contend for the win there. For now, Martinsville presented a nightmare race for the SHR driver, getting into a mess with Matt Kenseth that sent him to the garage with damage and a faulty oil cooler and radiator. He came back out around Lap 268, but it was too late. 34. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing At times, Danica Patrick looked to be putting together a second-consecutive competitive race, but later traded shots with a feisty Martin Truex Jr . that resulted in her No. 10 Chevy wrecked beyond repair. Her thoughts? "That 78 (expletive) took me out. If he thinks there's a problem, he better look at what he did first." Get more driver audio with RaceView 35. Reed Sorenson , No. 36 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing Reed Sorenson was another guy who was happy to see the checkered flag, since it signaled that his horrible day was over. The TBR driver spun in Turn 2 on Lap 188 with a blown tire and later spun again and smashed the wall on Lap 386. 36. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing In his final race with crew chief Daniel Knost, Kurt Busch certainly had a fast car, but his engine caught on fire late in the race while in seventh place. It ended a day in which they already had to overcome a tire issue, "The right rear is already kicking out on us." 37. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing Casey Mears was the unlucky meat of a Brad Keselowski and Kasey Kahne sandwich, getting squashed between the two on the Lap 436 wreck. After he was released from the infield care center, he lamented the fact that he couldn't be back on the track, because he was having a good time. 38. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing It's tough to say exactly why Martin Truex Jr . and Danica Patrick were so mad at each other; if it all stemmed from this race (which it might've) or if there's history there. Either way, the pair traded shots until the No. 78 was eventually wrecked for good in Keselowski's big wreck on Lap 436. 39. J.J. Yeley, No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing Yeley has only run 15 Sprint Cup Series races in 2014 and none of them has been particularly good, including Martinsville. He's yet to finish higher than 29th this season, with only three races to go. 40. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports Of course, he was involved in the late wreck on Lap 436 like plenty others, but it was his drama with Brian Vickers that was the most entertaining part of Kahne's race. Both drivers knew what was going on, with Kahne's crew chief Kenny Francis saying "I'd say the ball is in his court now," after Kahne knocked the No. 55. 41. Travis Kvapil , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport Racing Travis Kvapil struggled on Sunday, getting into the wall on Lap 16 after contact from Josh Wise . He later said on Twitter, "Tough day for the @Circle_Sport 33. Got turned around early, then it went downhill from there. Car wasn't 2 bad. Engine broke to end our day." 42. Timmy Hill , No. 44, Team XTREME Racing Cheverolet Timmy Hill had one of the shortest races of any driver, going over the wall on Lap 37 with smoke billowing from his engine. His take: "Out early today. Had a small fire under the hood. Track staff did a good job putting the fire out. Will take the car back & diagnose at shop." 43. Clay Rogers , No. 93 BK Racing Toyota And finally, Clay Rogers made just his second career Sprint Cup Series start, finishing 43rd again after he did so at Loudon a few weeks back. 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
Complete analysis: New Hampshire
Driver-by-driver news and notes from the second race of the Chase MORE: Full race results " Updated series standings " Best Loudon photos " Gallery of winners RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Editor's note: Drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will appear in italics. 1. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske. Logano called this his "worst track," yet picked up his second career victory here. He's guaranteed a spot in the Contender Round along with Team Penske stablemate Brad Keselowski after a late four-tire strategy call paid off. To watch Logano's highlights from Sunday, click here. 2. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing. Consecutive top-three finishes is a great way to start the postseason for Larson -- it's just too bad he's not actually in the 16-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field. Still, doesn't it seem inevitable that the rookie will win at least once in 2014? To watch Larson's highlights from Sunday, click here. 3. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. Harvick soothed crew chief Rodney Childers over the radio, saying it's as much about "advancing as it is winning" when Childers second-guessed a strategy call. Still, the desire to win was as strong as ever, which was evidenced by Harvick's talk on the radio about his displeasure with Joey Logano 's restarts. For access to radio scanners during the race, sign up for RaceView today. 4. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing. Chip Ganassi's two cars both finished in the top 10 for the second consecutive week, and both finished in the top-five for the first time this year. McMurray recovered from contact with Matt Kenseth on Lap 188 for his third fourth-place finish of 2014, and second in the past three races. 5. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Johnson didn't spend much time running inside the top five, but that's where he finished. Perhaps the best part of his day, though, was avoiding a calamitous five-car wreck on Lap 188 that involved four other Chase drivers. 6. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports. Almirola's odds of advancing to the Contender Round still aren't exceptional, but the No. 43 team again brought a really good car to the track. He's 16th out of 16 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, but just 10 points behind 12th-place Ryan Newman . 7. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske. Keselowski led early, then ceded the lead by taking four tires on the first pit stop. He led late, but didn't quite have the car capable of keeping up with the leaders by the end. Oh, and he took a spin into the wall on Lap 194 to bring out the caution. Just another day at the office for the series points leader. Watch Keselowski's race highlights here. 8. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Following a Lap 188 wreck, Busch said his car was "absolutely wrecked." He wasn't wrong, but his No. 18 crew taped it up enough to stay out of the garage. And he made up ground as the race went on, finishing with a race-leading pass differential of 25, for a stunning top-10 finish. See Busch's race highlights here. 9. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Following a caution for debris on Lap 105, Junior noted on the restart that he thought there was a loose wheel. He pitted again. "Great decision," crew chief Steve Letarte said, after confirming the problem. The No. 88 eventually got back on the lead lap and avoided the late trouble that plagued so many others. See Junior's race highlights here. 10. Brian Vickers , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing. Vickers stood alone in at least one aspect Sunday -- he was the only driver in the field to run all 303 laps in the top 15. And he also led 15 circuits, the first time he's been out front for multiple laps in a race since Talladega in May. 11. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. Finishing 11th was the best showing for Dillon since July, and there was a fascinating moment during the race when the No. 3 and No. 88 made contact. Past meets present. 12. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing. "I worked all day for ya," Truex said as the race concluded, and it was evident. He was two laps down after a Lap 181 wreck, but rallied for his best showing since the first race at Loudon -- also a 12th-place finish. 13. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing. Allmendinger was one of the only Chase drivers not involved in some sort of trouble Sunday. Despite running 25th or so most of the race, he climbed into the top 15. Due to that and others' misfortune, he's 10th in the standings with one race remaining in the Challenger Round. 14. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing. Always one of the best radios in which to tune, Bowyer uttered a "we aren't worth a (expletive)" early on, and then noted that Kyle Larson was "taking this (expletive) too seriously." For uncensored audio during the race, click here. 15. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. Menard led all drivers with 64 green-flag passes. His day seemed destined to end with a top-10, but wrecking with Matt Kenseth on Lap 270 while battling for fifth ended those thoughts. 16. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. "What a (expletive) (expletive) show," Biffle uttered after the race. As his radio would indicate, he was fortunate to even finish 16th and benefited from a spate of late cautions. The top 12 drivers advance out of the Challenger Round, and Biffle is 14th with one race to go. To subscribe to RaceView, click here. 17. Carl Edwards , No. 99 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. Edwards' car seemed to get worse as the race went on, and he's now finished outside the top 15 for three consecutive races. 18. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. Newman qualified for the postseason by virtue of his consistency, something that's been lacking during the Chase. He's currently the bubble driver, sitting 12th in the standings. 19. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. Patrick ran in the top 10 and was in fifth with the race more than 80 percent of the way finished. The spate of late cautions (five in the final 50 laps) didn't help, and in fact sent her No. 10 Chevy sliding down the speed chart. 20. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports. Allgaier has improved as the season's gone on, and this result bears that out. His finish was 17 places better than his first trip to Loudon, and it gives Allgaier his fourth top-20 in the past eight events. 21. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Kenseth may have had a more eventful day than any other driver. He was involved in one five-car wreck, then another that sent Brad Keselowski into the wall. "Gosh man, I gave him three lanes," Kenseth quipped. The worst incident came late, when a surefire top-five turned into a finish outside the top 20 after contact with Paul Menard . See his highlights here. 22. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, German Racing. A 22nd-place finish matches Mears' best effort since the Bristol race a month ago, and it betters his finish in the summer Loudon race by 16 positions. 23. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Kahne's car handled OK, and it wasn't mashed like Kyle Busch 's following a five-car wreck in which Kahne was involved. The problem? As Kahne succinctly said over the radio: "It would be really good if it would just go faster." 24. Marcos Ambrose , No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports. Ambrose has been remarkably consistent lately, following a 27th at Richmond and 25th at Chicago with a 24th-place effort at Loudon. He has eight races remaining before heading back to Australia. 25. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Racing. Cassill improved nine spots on his previous performance at Loudon and improved five places from his starting position on Sunday. 26. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. The thought of a smooth, no-frills top-10 in which Gordon's pit strategy paid off went up in smoke when the veteran blew a right front tire on Lap 292. Thanks to his finish last week and his nine bonus points from the regular season, he doesn't appear to be in any real danger of missing out on the next round, though. 27. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports. Gilliland had his best finish in four races and improved seven spots from his starting position, but he was slightly worse than his previous outing at Loudon (24th). 28. Alex Bowman , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing. The 20-year-old had his best finish in five races and improved seven spots from his starting position. 29. Michael Annett , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing. This was a nice finish for Annett after two weeks of struggles in finishing 37th and 40th, and two weeks of DNFs in two of the three races before that. 30. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. Stewart struggled and was on his way to a ho-hum finish when his spin on Lap 298 necessitated a green-white-checkered finish, shaking up the field in the process. See Stewart's highlights. 31. Reed Sorenson , No. 36 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing. Sorenson ended a run of seven straight top-30 finishes as he completed 300 of 303 laps on Sunday. 32. Travis Kvapil , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing. Kvapil was supposed to drive the No. 93 for BK Racing, but got this seat when the team announced Ryan Truex would not compete. This was Kvapil's first race for BKR this year, and it produced his second-best 2014 finish in 18 starts. 33. Josh Wise , No. 98 Chevrolet, Phil Parsons Racing. Wise completed 297 of 303 laps as he finished 33rd for the third time in the past four races. 34. Mike Wallace , No. 66 Toyota, Jay Robinson Racing. In his only Sprint Cup Series race of the season, the veteran Wallace improved on his starting position by eight spots. 35. Timmy Hill , No. 32 Ford, GO Fas Racing. The 21-year-old improved eight spots from his starting position and six spots from his previous performance at Loudon this season. 36. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. The 'Outlaw' put himself in perfect position to get back on the lead lap on Lap 170 following a debris caution. But a cut tire sent Busch slamming into the wall on Lap 222. He was 15th at the time and, with one race remaining in the Challenger Round, is 15th in the standings. "I am not (expletive) coming in until there is another yellow," was one of his radio comments. Click here for his highlights . 37. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin had a good car and great stops on pit road early, but he also had a mechanical problem. His machine wouldn't take on fuel, leading to a lengthy pit stop to fix it and a testy exchange with crew chief Darian Grubb. "Keep your mouth shut until we get it fixed," Grubb said after Hamlin's colorful expression of dismay. He came out four laps down and was caught up in a later wreck. Click here to subscribe to RaceView and listen to in-race dialogues as they happen. 38. Cole Whitt , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing. Typically BK Racing's most consistent driver and often its top finisher, Whitt's 38th-place effort was his worst showing since Watkins Glen. He had previously finished 30th for four consecutive races. 39. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. At times, Stenhouse ran consistently in the top 15 -- and even top 10 -- with the Chase drivers. His finish does not reflect that. Contact with teammate Carl Edwards sent Stenhouse slamming into the wall late, creating a tire rub which eventually resulted in a blown tire that ended his day on Lap 264. 40. David Stremme , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport Racing. Stremme's ninth start of the season produced his worst finish of the year. 41. Corey Lajoie , No. 77 Ford, Randy Humphrey Racing. Fellow drivers first started reporting a possible oil leak from the No. 77 after 45 laps, and Lajoie finally had to go to the garage after 88 laps to change a rear gear. He would return to the track and log 201 total laps, even tweeting while his car was being worked on, in his first career Sprint Cup Series start. 42. David Ragan , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports. Caught up in a wreck on Lap 180, Ragan's day was done for good. His finish was the worst of the season and the only time he's been outside the top 40. 43. Clay Rogers , No. 93 Toyota, BK Racing. Sunday was the first career Cup start for the 33-year-old, who found out Friday he'd have a seat when Travis Kvapil slid over to the No. 83 Toyota. Rogers went to the garage after completing 45 laps. 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
Hamlin snags Coors Light Pole for Phoenix
JGR driver will lead field to green in Sunday's Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN) MORE: Full race lineup AVONDALE, Ariz.— Needing an 11th-place finish or better in Sunday's Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 to secure one of four positions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' title race, Denny Hamlin took a giant step toward that goal with a pole-winning effort on Friday at Phoenix International Raceway . Hamlin covered the one-mile distance in 25.332 seconds (142.113 mph) to win his third Coors Light pole award of the season, his second at Phoenix and the 20th of his career. The driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota edged fellow Chase driver Brad Keselowski (142.079 mph) by .006 seconds for the top starting spot in the final race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup's Eliminator Round (on ESPN at 3 p.m. ET). With Kevin Harvick third at 141.995 mph, Joey Logano fourth and Matt Kenseth fifth (both at 141.794 mph) and Jeff Gordon sixth at 141.665 mph, Chase drivers claimed six of the top seven spots on the grid. The only interloper was Kyle Busch , who will start sixth after posting a lap at 141.771 mph. With one of the best pit crews in the Sprint Cup garage, Hamlin will choose pit stall No. 1, closest to the exit from pit road and a considerable advantage at Phoenix. But even with the top starting spot and the best pit box, Hamlin doesn't think he'll be able to coast to the final race. "I think the competition is just too close and tight to think that you're just going to coast to an 11th-place finish," Hamlin said. "Nowadays, the difference between 11th and third and 20th is not that much, so you've got to go all-out on every single lap and fight for every position on restarts. "So, really, from my standpoint, there is no backing into this thing and coasting our way to Homestead. We have to go out there and perform at a high level, or else we're not going to make it. There are too many cars that are too good for us to think that we're just going to ride around and take our spot." Harvick, who was fastest in Friday's opening practice, said he didn't "connect the dots" in either round of knockout qualifying. Nevertheless, the consensus in the garage is that Harvick, who has won three of the last four Phoenix races, has the fastest car in race trim. "I just didn't hit everything on both laps," Harvick said. "I got up the race track a little bit the first lap in Turn 1, and on the second lap, I got up the track at Turns 3 and 4. So I just missed it by a little bit, but our Budweiser Chevrolet is really good in race trim and (I'm) really looking forward to the race. "We have to keep tweaking on it tomorrow and know we qualified 13th here the first time and drove to the lead. We have to keep doing what we're doing, and we'll be fine." Keselowski and Harvick, who are seventh and eighth in the Chase standings know that a victory at Phoenix is their surest path to the season finale. Keselowski, who had to win at Talladega to advance to the Eliminator Round, spelled it out. "Technically, I don't have to win this race, but the probabilities are that I do," he explained. "I think it will be very hard to pass three cars in points. I think I'm within five on all three, but that means if you didn't win, you'd have to beat at least three cars by five spots on the track—and these are good guys. These are good drivers and good teams. "There's a reason why they're this far in the Chase, and to beat all three of those by five spots, that's a tough task for anyone to really feel good about. But you know if you win, you're in, and that's the great thing about this system and we have a great shot at it, for sure." Chase driver Carl Edwards was 25th fastest in opening practice but improved to 13th in time trials. "I hate to admit it, but I'm very happy with 13th," Edwards said. "We were about a 25th-place car in practice, and I was nervous about this and it went well, so that's good. I'm telling you, we're within striking distance. "We're better than we qualified in the spring, and now we work on race trim. We're always better in the race here than we are in qualifying, so we'll just go focus on it and keep digging." Ryan Newman, who needs a ninth-place finish to advance to Homestead with title eligibility, qualified 20th, deepest in the field of the Chase drivers. Clay Rogers failed to make the 43-car field. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Mobil 1 Technology Question of the Week
Each week a tech question is answered on GarageCam presented by Mobil 1 RELATED: Mobil 1 Technology Center Each week the host of NASCAR.com's GarageCam presented by Mobil 1 will take an automotive technology question and get it answered by the experts in a NASCAR garage. This week, Clay Rogers explains the technology of the dashboard gauges in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. Be sure to tune in to GarageCam presented by Mobil 1 next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway and see another question answered. Sprint Cup Series GarageCam, presented by Mobil 1: noon ET, Friday, Nov. 14. ( Watch here ) Nationwide Series GarageCam, presented by Mobil 1: 11 a.m. ET, Friday, Nov. 14. ( Watch here ) MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 lineup
Hamlin, Keselowski will be on front row for Eliminator Round finale RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Pos Car Driver Team 1 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Ground Toyota 2 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 3 4 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet 4 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 5 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota 6 18 Kyle Busch Banfield Pet Hospital Toyota 7 24 Jeff Gordon Axalta Chevrolet 8 42 Kyle Larson # Target Chevrolet 9 55 Brian Vickers Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota 10 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation Chevrolet 11 27 Paul Menard Richmond/Menards Chevrolet 12 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet 13 99 Carl Edwards Fastenal Ford 14 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Chevrolet 15 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Patriotic Chevrolet 16 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet 17 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Toyota 18 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Cargill/Fry's Ford 19 1 Jamie McMurray Liftmaster Chevrolet 20 31 Ryan Newman CAT Mining Chevrolet 21 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford 22 5 Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevrolet 23 43 Aric Almirola Farmland/Folds of Honor Ford 24 47 AJ Allmendinger GLAD Trash Bags Chevrolet 25 3 Austin Dillon # Cheerios Chevrolet 26 33 Ty Dillon(i) Charter Communications Chevrolet 27 51 Justin Allgaier # BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet 28 16 Greg Biffle Sherwin Williams Ford 29 14 Tony Stewart Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet 30 7 Michael Annett # Accell Construction Chevrolet 31 95 Michael McDowell KLOVE Radio Ford 32 10 Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet 33 36 Reed Sorenson Flasr.com Chevrolet 34 38 David Gilliland Long John Silvers Ford 35 34 David Ragan Taco Bell Ford 36 98 Josh Wise PPR98 Chevrolet 37 23 Alex Bowman # Dumb & Dumber To Toyota 38 40 Landon Cassill(i) Newtown Building Supplies Chevrolet 39 37 Mike Bliss(i) Chevrolet 40 26 Cole Whitt # 16T fuelxx/Tapout Muscle Recovery Toyota 41 83 JJ Yeley(i) Dumb & Dumber To Toyota 42 32 Joey Gase(i) Zimmer.com Ford 43 66 Mike Wallace(i) Toyota Did Not Qualify: # 75 Clay Rogers . MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Bruce, Cain reveal NASCAR Hall of Fame ballots
RELATED: Photos of Voting Day, inductees NASCAR.com was privileged to have two ballots cast as part of NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Day on Wednesday. Senior writers Kenny Bruce and Holly Cain each submitted their five nominations for induction in the Class of 2017 and a vote for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. A spirited discussion and voting process created one of the most intriguing classes in the stock-car shrine's history with Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin, Raymond Parks and Benny Parsons selected as Hall of Fame members. Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles received the Landmark Award. Here are Holly's and Kenny's ballots cast Wednesday with their choices for induction: Kenny Bruce Ron Hornaday Jr. No one dominated NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series like Hornaday, the only four-time series champ. He remains the leader in career wins, top-five and top-10 finishes in Truck Series history. Mark Martin. The working man's racer; Martin finished second in the premier series points battle five times and earned 40 wins in 882 career starts. His XFINITY Series record wasn't too shabby, either. Benny Parsons. Folks who knew Benny the Broadcaster might not know just how talented Parsons was behind the wheel of a race car. The 1973 premier series champion, Parsons won 21 times, including victories in the Daytona 500 (1975) and World 600 ('80). Raymond Parks. The Atlanta-based businessman not only provided much-needed financial assistance as the newly formed NASCAR governing body got up and running, but Parks was a successful car owner as well. His career as an owner peaked in 1949 when driver Red Byron won NASCAR's first Strictly Stock crown. A year earlier, Byron had won the group's first Modified title in a Parks-backed entry. Robert Yates. As an engine builder, Yates helped power Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough to 77 victories. As a car owner, his drivers won three Daytona 500 titles, 57 races and 48 poles. Landmark Award H. Clay Earles. His Martinsville Speedway was there from the beginning (actually before NASCAR was formed) and it remains a popular stop today as one of three short tracks on the premier series schedule. Keeping up with the changing landscape of the sport wasn't easy, and no one did it better than Mr. Earles. Holly Cain These are the Hall of Fame votes I considered the most worthy and timely, considering a ballot of 20 of the sport's most deserving people. I tried to decide on a well-balanced group of drivers, owners and technical people and considered time on the ballot, too. Some I did not vote for this year I feel like will be definite choices in the upcoming Hall of Fame votes. Red Byron. NASCAR's first champion should be in its Hall of Fame for historic reasons. He won NASCAR's very first race on Daytona Beach in 1948, won NASCAR's first "season" championship and then its first Strictly Stock title, which is the modern era Sprint Cup crown. Raymond Parks . He owned the first championship car driven by Red Byron and for many of the same reasons Bryon needs to be in the Hall, so does Parks. Even after the two early titles he fielded cars for greats such as Bob and Fonty Flock. He is the sport's heritage, its beginning. Benny Parsons . Many current NASCAR fans know Benny from his ease and skill behind the television microphone and camera once he retired from driving a race car, but he was an amazing competitor, too, winning NASCAR's two biggest trophies -- the 1973 Cup championship and the 1975 Daytona 500 . Perhaps most amazingly, he finished among the top 10 in 54 percent of the races he ran. Waddell Wilson. It is impressive Wilson was so successful both as an engine builder and a crew chief. He built the motors that David Pearson and Benny Parsons drove to titles and as a crew chief led Buddy Baker and Cale Yarborough (twice) to Daytona 500 wins. He built the first engine that broke 200 mph -- driven by Parsons in qualifying for the 1982 Winston 500. Robert Yates. This is another example of the ultimate in successful multi-tasking. Similar to Wilson, he built championship-quality engines (1983 with Bobby Allison) and then Yates owned a championship team, fielding the car with which Dale Jarrett won a title in 1999. He owns three Daytona 500 wins as part of a 57-win legacy as a team owner and won 77 races as an engine builder. Landmark Award Ralph Seagraves. This was a tough category. My selection was based on his contribution really being a turning point for the entire sport. Under Seagraves' leadership, RJ Reynolds provided top-dollar, high-promotion sponsorship of the sport that lasted for more than 30 years. It thrust NASCAR into another stratosphere as far as the American sports landscape was concerned and absolutely created a foundation that is still enjoyed today.
Hall's call: 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame class revealed
RELATED: More on the Hall of Fame " See all of the nominees CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two phenomenally successful contemporary car owners, a champion driver-turned-beloved-broadcaster, a driver with a prolific winning history and the man described as NASCAR racing's "original car owner" are the newly elected members of the 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame class. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France introduced the new inductees on Wednesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, calling this group of five perhaps "the greatest class yet." The new members, selected from a group of 20 nominees, include 1973 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and 1975 Daytona 500 winner Benny Parsons, who later became one of the most revered television broadcasters in the sport's history; team owner Rick Hendrick, who has notched a record 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series titles; driver Mark Martin, whose 96 career victories across NASCAR's three national touring series are sixth all-time; car owner Raymond Parks, whose cars won the first NASCAR modified title in 1948 and NASCAR's first premier series title a year later; and car owner Richard Childress, whose pairing with Hall of Fame driver Dale Earnhardt produced six championships and 67 victories in NASCAR's top division. Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles is this year's recipient of the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. MORE: Hall of Fame reaction pours in Parsons, who succumbed to lung cancer on Jan. 16, 2007, was named on 85 percent of ballots cast by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Committee. Parsons had been on the ballot for eight years. "This is the biggest honor of Benny's life," said Terri Parsons, his widow. "It summarizes everything he has ever worked toward. Every job he has ever had, be it as a race car driver in all divisions, host of NASCAR radio shows, NASCAR color commentator for TV networks each were just as important to him as the next. "He lived his life for NASCAR fans and helping to make the sport of auto racing a better sport for them to enjoy. I know he is smiling his big smile tonight saying, 'Unbelievable!' " In a career that spanned 25 years, Parsons won 21 Sprint Cup races in 526 starts, but he was a top-10 machine, recording 283 for a staggering percentage of 53.8. Hendrick, who received 62 percent of the vote, has won car owner titles in the Sprint Cup Series with three different drivers -- six with Jimmie Johnson , four with Jeff Gordon and one with fellow Hall of Famer Terry Labonte . Hendrick's 242 owner wins in the premier series rank second all-time. "I'm extremely proud to go in with Benny Parsons and Mark Martin , who drove for me, and then Richard Childress, who's one of my closest friends in the sport," Hendrick said. "Parks… I watched the video on him, and he kind of helped the sport get started. "So I'm really humbled to be in the position I'm in. I've been doing it now for 33 years, and I hope that we've got some more things to accomplish, but I'm very, very appreciative of the fact that I got voted in while I’m still racing." Martin, who garnered 57 percent of the vote, boasts the highest Sprint Cup victory total (40) of any eligible driver not already inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. In addition, Martin has 49 NASCAR XFINITY Series wins to his credit (second all-time), along with seven wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. His 56 Sprint Cup poles rank seventh on the all-time list. PHOTOS: Martin, other inductees through the years Martin, who was runner-up in the final Sprint Cup standings on five occasions, most recently in 2009 at age 50, described his selection to the Hall of Fame as the "crown jewel of my career." "I didn't expect it," Martin said. "And I'm so grateful to the people who helped me get there… I have so many great memories of the sport. The class that I'm being inducted in, I’m humbled to no end." Parks, named on 53 percent of the ballots, funded his racing operations through his successful real estate ventures in Atlanta. With mechanic Red Vogt tuning his cars, Parks dominated stock car racing in the 1940s and 1950s, teaming with Red Byron to win the inaugural modified title in 1948 and the first premier series championship in 1949. Also included on Parks' roster of drivers over the years were Bob Flock, Roy Hall, Fonty Flock and NASCAR Hall of Famer Curtis Turner. Park, who has been on the Hall of Fame ballot for eight years, passed away in 2010 at age 96. Childress, who was included on 43 percent of voting panel ballots, started his career as a driver but found considerably more success in the sport as an owner. In addition to the races and titles he won with Earnhardt, Childress holds 11 owner's championship trophies in NASCAR's top three series, second only to Hendrick's 14. Childress performed the posthumous induction of close friend and driver Dale Earnhardt into the first NASCAR Hall of Fame Class. "I was really, really honored and proud that day," Childress said. "I didn't really expect to get in because I was told that the only way you were going to get in was to retire or be deceased -- and I sure liked the first one better, and I haven't got plans to retire yet either." Landmark Award winner Earles had a simple business philosophy that made Martinsville Speedway one of the most pre-eminent short tracks in the country. "The secret to success in our business is giving the customer what he wants," Earles said before his death in 1999. "When a man plunks down his money, he deserves the best. You try to make him comfortable, give him a great show and make sure he gets his money's worth. And we've always tried to do just that. "Your customers are your greatest assets, and that will never change. You actually sell the customer a memory as much as a race. If their memories are good, they’ll keep coming back." Note: Hendrick and Childress will field a combined seven cars in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (6 p.m. ET on FOX).