A look ahead to the Memorial Day weekend race at Charlotte DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 18, 2014) – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina going into the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24 (6 p.m. ET on FOX). CHARLOTTE-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ortho Ford) · Five top fives, eight top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 17.3 · Average Running Position of 15.3, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 88.7, eighth-best · 303 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 176.378 mph, ninth-fastest · 3,918 Laps in the Top 15 (54.6%), ninth-most · 700 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), ninth-most Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · One win, six top fives, seven top 10s · Average finish of 19.4 · Driver Rating of 84.4, 12th-best · 216 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most · 3,833 Laps in the Top 15 (53.4%), 10th-most Kyle Busch (No. 18 Skittles Toyota) · 10 top fives, 14 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 15.1 · Average Running Position of 9.8, second-best · Driver Rating of 106.7, second-best · 478 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 177.219 mph, second-fastest · 5,624 Laps in the Top 15 (78.4%), second-most · 1,007 Quality Passes, second-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 Subway Toyota) · Six top fives, 13 top 10s · Average finish of 11.3 · Average Running Position of 14.6, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 89.6, seventh-best · 1,671 Green Flag Passes, second-most · 4,450 Laps in the Top 15 (62.0%), seventh-most · 848 Quality Passes, fifth-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet) · Five wins, 17 top fives, 24 top 10s; nine poles · Average finish of 15.5 · Average Running Position of 14.2, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 91.6, sixth-best · 280 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 176.644 mph, third-fastest · 4,562 Laps in the Top 15 (63.6%), sixth-most · 826 Quality Passes, sixth-most Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota) · Four top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 13.5 · Average Running Position of 12.6, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 92.8, fifth-best · 239 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 176.433 mph, sixth-fastest · 4,837 Laps in the Top 15 (71.4%), third-most · 791 Quality Passes, seventh-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser / Jimmy John’s Chevrolet) · Three wins, five top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 15.8 · Average Running Position of 16.4, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 84.7, 11th-best · 214 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most · 1,609 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most · 4,254 Laps in the Top 15 (59.3%), eighth-most · 743 Quality Passes, eighth-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevrolet) · Seven wins, 13 top fives, 17 top 10s; four poles · Average finish of 11.4 · Series-best Average Running Position of 7.6 · Series-best Driver Rating of 111.6 · Series-high 688 Fastest Laps Run · 1,444 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 177.298 mph · Series-high 6,277 Laps in the Top 15 (87.5%) · Series-high 1,031 Quality Passes Kasey Kahne (No. 5 LIFTMASTER Chevrolet) · Four wins, nine top fives, 13 top 10s · Average finish of 11.5 · Average Running Position of 11.8, third-best · Driver Rating of 100.8, third-best · 667 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · 1,642 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 176.601 mph, fourth-fastest · 4,725 Laps in the Top 15 (65.9%), fourth-most · 874 Quality Passes, third-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 D E WALT Toyota) · Two wins, nine top fives, 16 top 10s · Average finish of 13.6 · Average Running Position of 13.8, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 95.5, fourth-best · 379 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most · 1,531 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 176.531 mph, fifth-fastest · 4,680 Laps in the Top 15 (65.2%), fifth-most · 854 Quality Passes, fourth-most Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford) · One win, two top fives, three top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 15.7 · Average Running Position of 14.6, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 86.5, 10th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 176.408 mph, eighth-fastest Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford) · Four top fives, seven top 10s · Average finish of 10.0 · Average Running Position of 14.0, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 88.4, ninth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 176.344 mph, 11th-fastest The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 28 0 3 5 11 1 15.8 84.7 2 Martin Truex Jr . 19 0 0 0 4 0 18.5 77.0 3 Jimmie Johnson 27 4 7 13 17 4 11.4 111.6 4 Joey Logano 12 0 0 4 7 0 10.0 88.4 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr . 30 1 0 5 11 4 19.4 81.1 6 Brad Keselowski 11 1 1 2 3 1 15.7 86.5 7 Matt Kenseth 31 0 2 9 16 5 13.6 95.5 8 Jamie McMurray 25 0 2 7 10 3 16.6 80.0 9 Jeff Gordon 44 9 5 17 24 10 15.5 91.6 10 Kasey Kahne 22 0 4 9 13 1 11.5 100.8 11 Aric Almirola 6 1 0 0 0 1 19.5 74.3 12 Paul Menard 16 0 0 0 2 2 22.9 66.1 13 Ryan Newman 28 9 0 4 11 5 18.5 79.0 14 Kurt Busch 29 0 1 6 7 4 19.4 84.4 15 Denny Hamlin 19 1 0 4 11 1 13.5 92.8 16 Clint Bowyer 18 0 1 2 5 1 17.1 82.0 * – Based on last 19 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Charlotte Motor Speedway Data Season Race #: 12 of 36 (05-24-15) Track Size : 1.5-miles Banking/Turns 1 & 2 : 24 degrees Banking/Turns 3 & 4 : 24 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 5 degrees Banking/Backstretch : 5 degrees Frontstretch Length : 1,980 feet Backstretch Length : 1,500 feet Race Length : 400 laps / 600 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Charlotte Jimmie Johnson ........................ 111.6 Kyle Busch ............................... 106.7 Kasey Kahne ............................. 100.8 Matt Kenseth .............................. 95.5 Denny Hamlin ............................. 92.8 Jeff Gordon ................................ 91.6 Carl Edwards .............................. 89.6 Greg Biffle .................................. 88.7 Joey Logano .............................. 88.4 Brad Keselowski ......................... 86.5 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (19 total) among active drivers at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Jimmie Johnson , Chevrolet 194.911 mph, 27.705 secs. 05-22-14 2014 race winner : Jimmie Johnson , Chevrolet 145.484 mph, (04:07:27), 05-25-14 Track qualifying record: Kurt Busch , Chevrolet 198.771 mph, 27.167 secs. 10-09-14 Track race (600 miles) record: Kasey Kahne , Chevrolet 155.687 mph, (03:51:14), 05-27-12 At Charlotte Motor Speedway : History · Construction began on Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) in 1959. · The track’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 19, 1960 – won by Joe Lee Johnson . · The track was repaved midseason in 1994. · The track name changed from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 1999. It changed back to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 2010 season. · The track was re-paved again before the 2006 season. Notebook · There have been 112 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races at Charlotte Motor Speedway , two races per year since the track opened in 1960. In 1961, there were two 100-mile qualifying points races held the week before the May race. The first six fall races at Charlotte were 400-mile events (1960-65). · 527 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points paying race at Charlotte Motor Speedway ; 378 in more than one. 441 drivers have competed in the Coca-Cola 600 ; 287 in more than one. · NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Charlotte with 64. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 44 starts; followed by Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart with 31. Richard Petty and Bill Elliott have made the most Coca-Cola 600 starts with 31 each; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in 600 starts with 22. · Fireball Roberts won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway (World 600) in 1960 with a speed of 133.904 mph. · 42 drivers have Coors Light poles at Charlotte, led by David Pearson with 14. Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon lead all active drivers in poles at CMS with nine. · David Pearson and Ryan Newman are tied for the series most Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Coors Light poles with six each; followed by Jeff Gordon with five. · 12 drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Charlotte. David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Charlotte with 11; from the fall of 1973 through 1978. · Jeff Gordon won five straight Coca-Cola 600 poles at Charlotte between 1994 and 1998. · Youngest Charlotte pole winner: Jeff Gordon (10/10/1993 – 22 years, 2 months, 6 days). · Oldest Charlotte pole winner: Bobby Allison (10/11/1987 – 49 years, 10 months, 8 days). · 45 different drivers have won at Charlotte Motor Speedway , led by Jimmie Johnson with seven wins including four Coca-Cola 600 wins - 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2014. · 30 different drivers have won the Coca-Cola 600 , led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip with five; Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with four; followed by teammates Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne with three each. · Nine drivers have posted consecutive wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway , including three consecutive by NASCAR Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen (fall 1964 and both 1965) and four straight by Jimmie Johnson (2004 and 2005 sweeps). · A season sweep at Charlotte has occurred eight times, including each season from 2004-2007. · Seven times from seven different drivers has the winner of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race gone on to win the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway : Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kasey Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010). · Youngest Charlotte winner: Jeff Gordon (05/29/1994 – 22 years, 9 months, 25 days). · Oldest Charlotte winner: Cale Yarborough (10/06/1985 – 46 years, 6 months, 9 days). · Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Charlotte in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 18: Jimmie Johnson (seven), Jeff Gordon (five), Darrell Waltrip (two), Ken Schrader (one), Terry Labonte (one), Casey Mears (one) and Kasey Kahne (one). · Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Charlotte; led by Chevrolet with 43 victories; followed by Ford with 29. Chevrolet also has the most Coca-Cola 600 wins at 23. · 15 of the 112 (13.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Jimmie Johnson in 2014 ( Coca-Cola 600 ). · The second-place starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (17) than any other starting position at Charlotte Motor Speedway . · 32 of the 112 (28.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte have been won from the front row: 15 from the pole and 17 from second-place. · 85 of the 112 (75.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Charlotte have been won from a top-10 starting position. · Nine of the 112 (8.0%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Charlotte is 37th, by Jimmie Johnson in the Coca-Cola 600 of 2003. · Richard Petty leads the series in runner-up finishes at Charlotte with nine. Jeff Gordon , Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers with three. · Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers in runner-up finishes in the Coca-Cola 600 with two. · NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Bobby Allison are tied for the series most top-five finishes at Charlotte with 23. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 17. Richard Petty leads the series in top fives in the Coca-Cola 600 with 12; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven. · Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Charlotte with 31. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 24. Darrell Waltrip, Ricky Rudd and David Pearson lead the series in top 10s in the Coca-Cola 600 with 15 each; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 12. · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Charlotte with a 7.630. · Joey Logano leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Charlotte with a 10.000. Carl Edwards leads all active drivers in average finish in the Coca-Cola 600 with a 9.000. · Dale Earnhardt Jr . leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Charlotte without visiting Victory Lane at 30; followed by Ryan Newman with 28. · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the May 29, 2005 race won by Jimmie Johnson over Bobby Labonte with a MOV of 0.027 second. · There have been three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway , but only once for the Coca-Cola 600 (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): fall of 2005 (334/336), fall of 2007 (334/337) and the 2011 Coca-Cola 600 (400/402). · Five of the 112 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the 2009 Coca-Cola 600 won by David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip Racing . Four of the five races shortened were the 600-mile events (1968, 1997, 2003 and 2009). · Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway twice; the fall race of 200
RELATED: Complete Darlington schedule " Darlington's throwback schemes Officials with Darlington Raceway and International Speedway Corp., which owns the South Carolina facility, should be congratulated for their efforts leading into this weekend's Bojangles' Southern 500 .The retro-themed weekend has been the talk of NASCAR in recent months, garnering more attention than any event outside of the season-opening Daytona 500 back in February. Copious amounts of content -- print, Internet and broadcast -- have been devoted to this weekend's race. And rightfully so. The fact that the program coincides with the return of the historic event to the Labor Day weekend is icing on the cake. When the seed for the throwback plan was planted, there was no indication that this year's race would be return to its long-held September date -- the 2015 schedule wasn't officially announced until August of '14, and track officials weren't privy to potential changes much earlier than that. After a one-year dalliance with a November stop in 2004, the 500 had a nine-year run on Mother's Day weekend in May where it did well. Last year's race was held in April in yet another schedule shuffle. But the Southern 500 in April or May is not the Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend. "Having the extra time from last April until Labor Day this year has been really helpful because truly it's just a small group of people that have put this together," Chip Wile, President of Darlington Raceway , said recently. "And it's been a learning process but it's been really fun." The platform is the kickoff of what Wile describes as a five-year plan to revitalize the track’s lone NASCAR race weekend, which includes Saturday's XFINITY Series race as well as Sunday's Sprint Cup event. For decades, the Southern 500 was considered one of the most difficult races on the series' circuit. The track's unusual shape -- a 1.336-mile layout with distinct differences between Turns 1-2 and 3-4 -- favors no particular driving style. Winners are often determined by a combination of skill and good fortune. The oppressive heat and humidity that hung over the track nearly every September race weekend took its toll as well -- the list of drivers that required relief at some point is a lengthy one. That difficulty, combined with the fact that the track is the oldest paved speedway to host NASCAR events (it opened in 1950), earned Darlington a lofty position in NASCAR's early years. The race is still considered one of NASCAR's crown jewel events -- along with the Daytona 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 . But the praise for this weekend's program shouldn't stop with track officials. Teams have bought into the idea wholeheartedly, developing amazing throwback paint schemes, many of which honor some of the sport's legendary drivers and organizations. Sponsors and various stakeholders, such as Goodyear, have gotten on board. Broadcast teams will incorporate the throwback platform into their programming. It's been a win-win situation for everyone involved. It also couldn't have come at a better time. Wile and his group wanted to make his track's lone Sprint Cup race stand out above the crowd, and it certainly seems as if that has been accomplished. Darlington isn't the only track that's been able to develop an idea that resonates with those in the sport as well as those in the stands. Not as large in scope but certainly just as entertaining, the annual night race at Bristol Motor Speedway in August generates interest not only for the competition on the track, but its pre-race show is perhaps the most popular on the schedule. Anchoring the program are drivers entering the track to music they have chosen and the Motor Racing Outreach effort that has children of drivers and other personnel singing the National Anthem (an idea generated by former track president Jeff Byrd). The product on the track remains of primary importance, and fortunately that's been a constant at Darlington -- the racing there rarely fails to excite and entertain. And if there's a bit of a history lesson included, so much the better. "I really love the history and the heritage of the sport," former championship-winning crew chief Ray Evernham said. "I think it's really important if we're going to bring new fans, younger fans, that demographic, they've got to understand why. When you start telling some of the history and the tradition, and showing that, I think it gets people really interested. "Now they understand why people are so passionate about it or why somebody will come sit in the same seat for 50 years or why we work so hard on these cars. I think it's really important that we go back and show the steps that it took to get here in order to engage new fans." And there's no better place or time than Darlington Raceway . On Labor Day weekend.
For every hashtag, Coca-Cola , NASCAR donate $1 to the USO, up to $50,000 Now through the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 5, NASCAR fans have the opportunity to not only share messages of gratitude to service members and veterans, but also support fundraising efforts for the United Services Organization (USO). This week, Coca-Cola partnered with NASCAR and the USO to launch the #ShareASalute campaign to honor troops, military families and veterans. As part of the campaign, fans are invited to share personal expressions of gratitude to troops via Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #ShareASalute. For each message posted throughout the campaign with the #ShareASalute hashtag, Coca-Cola and NASCAR will donate $1 to the USO, up to a combined total of $50,000. Messages posted will also be shared with NASCAR fans via www.NASCAR.com/Salute . This initiative was launched as part of NASCAR: An American Salute, the industry's collective expression of reverence, respect and gratitude for those who have shared and continue to defend our nation today. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Pick your winner for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1)
Matt Kenseth gets his second Coors Light Pole Award of the 2015 season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series prior to the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Stay updated with everything happening at the track 'Too Tough to Tame' RELATED: Check out NASCAR.com's new Social Drive Hey fans, there's plenty going on at Darlington Raceway this weekend and while many of you likely have Monday off for Labor Day observance -- there's a good chance you're stuck behind a desk this Friday morning and afternoon. Don't worry, NASCAR.com has you covered with our running blog of everything happening at the "Lady in Black", so keep this tab open on your browser and keep that refresh button handy. Just remember to minimize your browser when your boss walks by -- unless, of course, he or she is a NASCAR fan, too. 5:53 p.m. ET: Thanks for following along today. Here's Zack Albert with tonight's tune-in alert via his trusty typewriter. Tune-in alert @TooToughToTame . #NASCAR #NASCARthrowback #TraditionReturns pic.twitter.com/QDxhy3xuPn — Zack Albert (@zack_albert) September 4, 2015 5:35 p.m. ET: Tough break for 'Rowdy'. Backup car coming out of the hauler for @KyleBusch after tagging the wall w primary car in final practice #AskMRN pic.twitter.com/pLt1O5ydMx — Kyle Rickey (@KyleRRickey) September 4, 2015 5:03 p.m ET: Not getting enough attention for how good his paint scheme looks? 'Smoke'. . @TonyStewart brings his car in for adjustments during final practice @TooToughToTame . #AskMRN pic.twitter.com/TAcvf5o0gW — Motor Racing Network (@MRNRadio) September 4, 2015 4:54 p.m. ET: Swag? Check. Throwback scheme ✔️ Throwback firesuit ✔️ Throwback shoes ✔️ @DaleJr does Cale Yarborough right. #AskMRN pic.twitter.com/PbL1NVxsEZ — Motor Racing Network (@MRNRadio) September 4, 2015 4:45 p.m. ET: There's always time for the fans. . @KyleBusch of @JoeGibbsRacing signs for fans before @TooToughToTame final practice. #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/KvGT5GAVyF — Zack Albert (@zack_albert) September 4, 2015 4:44 p.m. ET: Problems for the 88 and 55. Driveshaft change for @dalejr , who complained earlier of a bad vibration. @DavidRagan had a wall-banger. @TooToughToTame — tom jensen (@tomjensen100) September 4, 2015 4:35 p.m: ET: We're rolling for final practice. Get over to NBCSN. L8tr, dudes. #BojanglesSo500 pic.twitter.com/3oyv4ZP68Q — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 4, 2015 4:16 p.m. ET: Swoon, indeed. One word: Swoon. #NASCARthrowback pic.twitter.com/xdaM7sTpov — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 4, 2015 4:12 p.m. ET: Every aspect of #NASCARthrowback has been strong so far. Seriously. The #NASCARthrowback hat game is strong so far. #TraditionReturns pic.twitter.com/TiPePcH6pH — Darlington Raceway (@TooToughToTame) September 4, 2015 4:07 p.m. ET: There were tons of awesome throwback images from Darlington on Friday. Here are some of the greatest. 3:58 p.m. ET: Sam Bass is one of the best. #NASCARthrowback @TooToughToTame http://t.co/TueDdY0Nj9 pic.twitter.com/wxaiSFYF22 — Sam Bass (@sambassartist) September 4, 2015 3:43 p.m. ET: What he said. We miss you, Buddy Baker. Nice tribute by @MWRteam and @ClintBowyer @TooToughToTame pic.twitter.com/7zcgnI7dVN — tom jensen (@tomjensen100) September 4, 2015 3:23 p.m. ET: Got questions about the new digital dashboard? Of course you do. Here are some answers. 3:17 p.m. ET: Yes, yes they are. Are you following @NASCAR on @instagram ??? Because they're crushing it with #NASCARthrowback pic.twitter.com/yoL1fc6rsM — Jason Christley (@jay_christley) September 4, 2015 2:55 p.m. ET: And you thought Zack Albert was kidding. Now this is old school. @zack_albert #NASCARthrowback pic.twitter.com/PgQCaZWkGr — Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) September 4, 2015 2:38 p.m. ET: Congrats, Bill Elliott . Awesome. Million Dollar. Tonight @BillElliott9 gets another name: NMPA Hall of Famer. #TraditionReturns pic.twitter.com/uikM8ndx2H — Darlington Raceway (@TooToughToTame) September 4, 2015 2:34 p.m. ET: Raise your hand if you think it'd be hilarious if Owen had a mustache, too. Had a visitor come by in his @Target hat pic.twitter.com/oCTQXQOf0v — Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) September 4, 2015 2:27 p.m. ET: Speaking of which -- Bill Elliott is about to address the media at 2:30 p.m. ET. Head on over to Press Pass to watch. But then come right back here. 2:26 p.m ET: Awesome. One Hall of Famer and one future one... @JeffGordonWeb and @billelliott9 catch up @TooToughToTame #AskMRN pic.twitter.com/P5yBtlehlo — Motor Racing Network (@MRNRadio) September 4, 2015 2:21 p.m. ET: Brad isn't typically known for siding with the popular opinion, but he isn't alone here. Just look at it. I like @KyleLarsonRacin scheme the best. Gave me chills seeing it today as it was my favorite car growing up. https://t.co/6QV8czboOO — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) September 4, 2015 2:19 p.m. ET: Color me jealous. Before @joeylogano took off for @TooToughToTame he passed out some throwback gear to #RaceHub crew. #Hublove pic.twitter.com/OpQzgGEXRT — Danielle Trotta (@DanielleTrotta) September 4, 2015 2:12 p.m. ET: Kyle Busch 's double-duty gets off to a good start. His No. 54 Toyota topped XFINITY Series practice. Read more and get full practice results here. 2:10 p.m. ET: Keselowski has a habit of putting top-five cars in Victory Lane. Keep an eye on him this weekend. Showing decent speed so far @TooToughToTame Anxious to see how it all plays out with one more practice session to find more. top-5 car — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) September 4, 2015 2:04 p.m. ET: Sunday will mark Jeff Gordon 's last dance with the "Lady in Black". Darlington gives Jeff Gordon a painting of all his record 7 wins here. #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/F27Jqjseeh — Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) September 4, 2015 2:02 p.m. ET: Well put, Kyle. Well put. It's hot as today!! Cup car is a handful. Not sure what's going on in that. Xfinity car is extremely loose. Been workin hard today. — Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) September 4, 2015 1:50 p.m. ET: Greg Biffle ruled opening Cup practice. Get full practice speeds and more in this recap. 1:33 p.m. ET: Ray Evernham knows a little something about Darlington, so he gave Dale Earnhardt Jr . some tips. Read more here. 12:41 p.m. ET: Okay, I take it back. Sorry, Aric Almirola . Zack Albert wins #NASCARThrowback. Taking the media center old-school @TooToughToTame . #NASCAR #NASCARthrowback pic.twitter.com/xHUtyMzm3V — Zack Albert (@zack_albert) September 4, 2015 12:28 p.m. ET: Keelan Harvick: Beer Pong aficianado. Read more in this week's Eight Tweets You Might Have Missed . 11:53 p.m. ET: Here's a look at that Austin Dillon wreck . Dillon tags the wall early at Darlington 11:48 p.m. ET: Something to keep in mind for any of you crew chiefs reading this blog. There's 3 kinds of grip, mechanical, aero, and tires, if you change the tires to compliment the aero package, they off set each other! — Darrell Waltrip (@AllWaltrip) September 4, 2015 11:41 a.m. ET: This is about as #NASCARThrowback as it gets. Oh my pic.twitter.com/pESuLoMDx4 — Nick Bromberg (@NickBromberg) September 4, 2015 11:40 a.m. ET: Oh yes. Oh my pic.twitter.com/pESuLoMDx4 — Nick Bromberg (@NickBromberg) September 4, 2015 11:27 p.m. ET: Wait a second, Kurt Busch ... is that a bell-bottomed firesuit? . @KurtBusch takes a break during first practice. #AskMRN pic.twitter.com/DQ3voQXrdh — Motor Racing Network (@MRNRadio) September 4, 2015 Darlington Stripe ✔️ pic.twitter.com/5u8RRu3avM — RCR (@RCRracing) September 4, 2015 And the first Darlington Stripe goes to... @austindillon3 . #NASCARthrowback pic.twitter.com/WOQy0dxLNX — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 4, 2015 11:05 a.m. ET: Aric Almirola wins throwback weekend. . @aric_almirola sporting a fu manchu mustache at @TooToughToTame ala "The King" Richard Petty. @RPMotorsports #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/oXQK5DVgdx — Jay W. Pennell (@jaywpennell) September 4, 2015 10:40 a.m. ET: A little bit of the past, a little bit of the future on display at Darlington. Darlington is honoring the past, but technology is #NASCAR 's future. Welcome the digital dash: http://t.co/SuP7Vrtavu pic.twitter.com/gPgKAV07nK — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 4, 2015 10:35 a.m. ET: Some news for you this morning. Leavine Family Racing announced they have parted ways with crew chief Wally Rogers. Read more here . 10:27 a.m. ET: Drivers are really getting into this whole throwback thing. Cool hat, Kes. . @keselowski has one of those old-school hats to go with his paint scheme. #NASCARthrowback pic.twitter.com/51Xe6NhGf6 — Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) September 4, 2015 10:15 a.m. ET: Yup. This is awesome. Welcome to the '70s, sports fans. #NASCARthrowback pic.twitter.com/TVvZb5Q9tS — NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 4, 2015 10:11 a.m. ET: Darlington is certainly known for its close finishes, but we might need more than a Polaroid. Photo finish technology to be implemented this weekend. https://t.co/V5RR1RwyDw — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) September 4, 2015 10:07 a.m. ET: Throwback schemes might look cool, but don't be fooled -- they certainly aren't on the inside. 4 hours of practice today. Mid 90 degree temps. Cockpit temps nearing 130 degrees. We gonna earn it today boys and girls. @TooToughToTame — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) September 4, 2015
Victory is first for Edwards with Joe Gibbs Racing SHOP: Edwards gear " RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings CONCORD, N.C. – Will the mystery winner of Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 enter and sign in please? Hint: It's the guy who does back flips every time he takes the checkered flag. But for the first 370 of 400 laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway , no one would have picked Carl Edwards or his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota as the likely winner of the season's 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Martin Truex Jr ., Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin had spent the lion's share of time at the head of the field, but none of that mattered when Edwards got 62 laps out of his last tank of fuel and took the checkered flag 4.785 seconds ahead of Greg Biffle , who also was on a fuel-saving strategy. In fact, the top four finishers all stretched their gas mileage after pit stops under caution on Lap 337. Dale Earnhardt Jr . ran third, followed by polesitter Matt Kenseth and Truex, who led a race-high 131 laps. Ryan Newman , Brad Keselowski , Hamlin (53 laps led), Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch (118 laps led) completed the top 10. Kyle Busch came home 11th in his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points race of the season, after missing the first 11 races of the season because of injuries sustained Feb. 21 at Daytona. The victory was Edwards first of the season, his first for Joe Gibbs Racing , his first at Charlotte and the 24th of his career. "It's so cool to get this win—we've had such bad luck," said Edwards, who joined Joe Gibbs Racing as the organization's fourth Sprint Cup driver after the 2014 season. "And we were the slowest of the (JGR cars) tonight, but we had (crew chief) Darian (Grubb) on the box. He made the right call, he put us in a position to win, and it worked. ... "This is truly a gift. I took advantage of it to win, and we'll get better." In all likelihood, the victory will propel Edwards into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . It was also Toyota’s 300th national series victory in the manufacturer's 300th Sprint Cup start. But after the very early stages of the race, Edwards wasn't a factor until fuel strategy came into play in the closing laps. Soon after Jimmie Johnson spun off Turn 4 on Lap 90 to cause the second caution of the afternoon, the race evolved into a two-car contest between the Chevrolets of Kurt Busch and Truex. Within two laps of a restart on Lap 95, Busch drove from ninth to the lead, passing Joey Logano for the top spot on Lap 97. From that point, Busch and Truex swapped stints at the head of the field, and by the time Johnson spun off Turn 4 and smacked the inside wall on Lap 273 to bring out the caution flag for the fifth time, Busch had racked up 118 laps led and Truex 59. But another quick yellow flag on Lap 282 for Ryan Blaney 's blown engine created the opportunity for divergent strategies and scrambled the running order. Truex was one of nine drivers who stayed out under the caution, but both Harvick and Kurt Busch came to pit road for fresh rubber and restarted 10th and 11th, respectively, on Lap 292. Gradually, methodically, Harvick and Kurt Busch drove back toward the front, but the contrarian strategies introduced another major player into the mix. Denny Hamlin surged to the front of the field and led 53 laps before pitting with a loose wheel on Lap 363 and giving up the lead. That put Truex back in front, with Harvick chasing, and both drivers needing one more pit stop to get to the end of the race. Edwards, Biffle, Earnhardt and Kenseth, on the other hand, stopped with 62 laps left, and the decision to come to pit road and gamble on fuel proved decisive—and stole a victory from Truex's dominant car. Biffle put pressure on Edwards in the closing laps, until he momentarily lost fuel pressure with two circuits left. "Running where we were running, it gave us the opportunity to try and stretch the fuel window and make it," Biffle said. "I was putting a lot of pressure on Carl there. I started going with about 10 laps to go. The crew chief (Matt Puccia) told me 'Save all you can, just stay in front of the 88 (Earnhardt),' and I made a decision that I was going to try and beat Carl. I got pretty close to him there, and then with two to go, the fuel light came on that the fuel pressure was low, and so I came around and had to start pushing the clutch in and shutting it off and coasting and try and preserve what fuel I had to make it back. "So excited to see the checkered flag. I wasn't sure I was going to stretch two laps of gas out of it. But it was probably on the straightaway it sucked some air and started flashing the fuel pressure. I was able to run it around the corners and didn't have any more issues, but stayed in front of the 88, finished second, big boost for the team, but probably a bigger boost for the team was how we ran tonight on the race track.” If Biffle had mixed feelings about finishing second, Truex was disconsolate. "Hell, I didn't even know guys could make it on gas," Truex said. I didn't know what was going on. Just can't catch a break there. I'm proud of the guys for an awesome race car. All my guys in Denver (where Furniture Row Racing is based) are putting a great car together. I don't know what to do about that. "We had a great car. Had a chance at it and it stinks to come up short like that on fuel mileage. I've never once in my whole career gained positions on a fuel mileage deal. I don't know what I have to do to catch a break on them deals. It is what it is. Just proud of my guys for what they brought--we will get one." Note: Late in the race, Hamlin reported feeling ill in his car and complained of a severe headache. He was taken to the infield care center after the race, and team owner Joe Gibbs said his driver was dehydrated, was given an IV and was feeling better after the treatment. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
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Check out the full replay of the Coca-Cola Racing Family Chat from Las Vegas with Joey Logano, Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman.
Practice 2 recap " Results Joey Logano led the final XFINITY Series practice at Darlington Raceway on Friday, posting a top speed of 166.676 mph on Lap 2 of 28. The Team Penske driver was fourth-fastest in the series' opening practice earlier in the day. Kyle Busch , who was fastest in the first XFINITY Series practice at Darlington, came in second-fastest behind Logano (166.642 mph). Ty Dillon (165.643 mph), Kyle Larson (164.556 mph) and Daniel Suarez (164.457 mph) rounded out the top-five fastest on the practice leaderboard. Saturday's VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/Live Extra, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is the final race in the XFINITY Dash 4 Cash program and Suarez, Dillon, Brian Scott and Chase Elliott will compete for the final $100,000 cash prize. Elliott was ninth-fastest while Scott was 11th-fastest in Friday's final practice. Practice 1 recap " Results Kyle Busch led opening practice for Saturday's XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway . The Joe Gibbs Racing driver completed his fastest time on Lap 2 of 19 at a speed of 167.379 mph. Closing in on Busch was JGR teammate Denny Hamlin who came in as second-fastest (167.015 mph). Paul Menard (166.304 mph), Joey Logano (166.034 mph) and Ty Dillon (165.788 mph) round out the top-five fastest drivers at the "Too Tough to Tame" track. Piloting the No. 9 Chevrolet, defending race winner and XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott was 11th-fastest in the first session (165.009 mph). The XFINITY Series returns to the track at 3 p.m. ET for the final practice before Saturday's race at 3:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN/Live Extra, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).