Driver focused on current job, says 'the future will work itself out' NEWTON, Iowa -- Some way or another, it seems inevitable that Ryan Blaney , currently running part-time schedules in both the Sprint Cup Series (for Wood Brothers Racing ) and XFINITY Series (for Team Penske ) is bound for a full-time Cup ride in 2016. With Roger Penske only fielding two full-time Cup entries for Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano in 2015, he loaned his developmental talent to the fellow Ford organization for roughly 18 starts to get his feet wet while future plans for the son of long-time Cup driver Dave Blaney get sorted out. As of Sunday, there have been no conversations about adding a third Cup team for Penske next season. "There hasn't (been any talk about a third Penske team)," Blaney said after wheeling the No. 22 to a fifth-place finish in the 3M 250 XFINITY race at Iowa Speedway . "We're working hard at doing what we can for the future, and that's with whatever team, you know? Our main focus is trying to finish out this year strong with the Wood Brothers." Talks about Blaney's future have intensified after the 21-year-old started third and finished fourth at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this month. An Associated Press report was published on Saturday in which Penske also confirmed that his organization isn't currently interested in expanding to three cars, but that a full season with Blaney in the No. 21 Fusion is possible, provided that enough funding is secured. "I'd hope there can be an extension … we're going to run him in about 18 races, so if we can get sponsorship for him, that gives him a chance to take a look at extending that through a full season next year. That would be our goal," Penske told the AP. "This is a partnership really with Woods' people and ours … we've got the technology and the ability to build the right pieces for them. It's like a brother-in-law." In the meantime, Blaney knows he can only control what happens on the race track, and his focus is on making the most of his time behind the respective wheels of both the Nos. 21 and 22. "We're excited to go to the (Coca-Cola) 600 next week. We're really pumped about that," Blaney said. "After our good run at Talladega and we tested at Charlotte and I thought it went really well; just really excited to get back there and we're always working to get towards the future. We can definitely have wishful thinking. "We really just focus on here and now," said Blaney. "I always say 'You do your job here in the present and the stuff for the future will work itself out.'" FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Sprint Cup stars take to social media to offer congratulations Juan Pablo Montoya 's second career Indianapolis 500 win elicited plenty of social media reaction from his former competitors and friends in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Tony Stewart and Joey Logano were among those to offer their congratulations. The victory came as he drove for Roger Penske, giving Penske wins in two of racing's marquee events this season: The Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. Penske joins Chip Ganassi as the only other team owner to win both events in the same year. Fifteen years ago, Montoya won his first Indianapolis 500 driving for Ganassi. Since then, Montoya spent time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, winning two races and competing full-time in the series from 2007 to 2013. He made two Sprint Cup starts last season for Penske. Check out the sampling of reaction below. During his time in @NASCAR , @jpmontoya was always really cool to me. I looked up to him as a true wheelman. So good to see him win today. — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) May 24, 2015 Congratulations to @jpmontoya that was a hell of a drive. — Mark Martin (@markmartin) May 24, 2015 Ole @jpmontoya was on it there at the end definitely was wheeling that thing more than any of them #Indianapolis500 — Ricky Stenhouse Jr . (@StenhouseJr) May 24, 2015 Big congrats to @jpmontoya on the #Indy500 win!!!! — Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) May 24, 2015 Hell yeah @jpmontoya . Awesome. Indy 500 & Daytona 500 to RP. That was awesome. Congrats @12WillPower in the runner up too. — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) May 24, 2015 Congrats @jpmontoya , massive effort!!! #Indianapolis500 — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) May 24, 2015 HELL YEAH! Great job my friend. Proud of my buddy Juan Pablo Montoya today at the #Indy500 — Tony Stewart (@TonyStewart) May 24, 2015
Sport to honor fallen service members with windshield tribute at Coca-Cola 600 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 18, 2015) — When NASCAR® drivers start their engines for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway , fans will see familiar names like "Harvick," "Kenseth" and "Almirola" replaced on car windshields with "SGT Mracek," "HM3 Layton" and "CPT Argel" -- United States Armed Forces members who have fallen in service to their country. All 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will participate in "600 Miles of Remembrance" on Memorial Day Weekend to honor military service members and their families, and commemorate the launch of NASCAR: An American Salute ™, the industry's collective expression of reverence, respect and gratitude for those who have served and continue to defend our nation today. Fans can follow stories around the seven-week platform and share their personal expressions of thanks to the military using #NASCARSalutes on social media. "The NASCAR community rallying to honor the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present, has long been part of our sport's heritage," said Brent Dewar, Chief Operating Officer, NASCAR. "As part of NASCAR: An American Salute , 600 Miles of Remembrance represents a special moment in time as we pay tribute to service members who have sacrificed dearly for our freedom." Many of the service members whose names will be displayed on the race cars were chosen by the teams, and some have unique connections to the fallen. Private Dean Van Dyke, who was killed in the Vietnam War, was a relative of No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle . Army First Lieutenant Daniel Hyde, killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, served alongside Chris Clayton, tire changer on the No. 83 BK Racing team. Many of the families of the service members being recognized will be in attendance on Sunday, and will be introduced alongside the drivers during driver introductions. In addition, Charlotte Motor Speedway will host more than 6,000 active military members at the Coca-Cola 600 in honor of Memorial Day. NASCAR: An American Salute will feature various on- and off-track activities from tracks, teams and partners that show appreciation and support for the troops, and will culminate Independence Day Weekend with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway . This weekend, NASCAR together with Honor and Remember, Inc., will display specially prepared Honor and Remember flags representing those who have died in service to our country from each of the 50 United States throughout the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Throughout the campaign, NASCAR will host military families at each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race as part of NASCAR Troops to the Track™ Presented by Bank of America. Toyota will also honor the names of fallen service members on its pace cars for the Coca-Cola 600 as part of 600 Miles of Remembrance. Later in the program, both Chevrolet and Ford will feature patriotic branding on the pace cars for races at Pocono and Michigan, respectively. Many NASCAR Official Partners have mobilized to support NASCAR: An American Salute with military-themed activations, including: • For the sixth straight year, Goodyear is rallying NASCAR fans to support members of the U.S. Armed Forces through its "Goodyear Gives Back" charitable program benefiting the Support Our Troops® organization. To kick off the program, Goodyear will once again transform its NASCAR race tires by replacing the "Eagle" sidewall design with "Support Our Troops" messaging on all tires used during Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway . This effort coincides with the May 21 launch of Goodyear's charity auction at www.Goodyear.com/GivesBack , which features autographed NASCAR memorabilia, VIP race experiences and rides on the Goodyear Blimp. • Bank of America is the presenting partner of NASCAR Troops to the Track -- a season-long program that honors members of the military and their families for their services, and treats them to a NASCAR race experience. This program is an extension of Bank of America's long-standing commitment to the military, focused on helping veterans and service members’ transition to civilian life. • NASCAR, Coca-Cola, Mars Chocolate North America, and 3M have collaborated to engage shoppers in over 180 military commissaries. On Tuesday, May 19, there will be all-day activation at Fort Bragg Commissary South featuring an appearance by Coca-Cola Racing Family Member Joey Logano , who will be giving away tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 . From May 18 to July 8, commissary shoppers can enter the 2015 Champion's Week Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week by texting "NASCARSALUTE" to 313131 or by visiting www.championsweek2015.com . • M&M's will introduce a national letter-writing campaign, in partnership with Operation Gratitude, encouraging fans to send messages of thanks and appreciation to military members. The notes will be included in more than 100,000 Operation Gratitude Care Packages which will be assembled and shipped to Troops deployed in harm’s way and to New Recruits upon their graduation from Boot Camp. • During Daytona International Speedway ’s Coke Zero 400 , all active duty military, veterans and their families can enjoy the Troops Welcome Center Presented by M&M’s. The center, which will be located in the midway, will be fully equipped with food and beverages, allowing service members to take a break and meet NASCAR drivers throughout the weekend. • In honor of the military, Miss Sprint Cup will wear NASCAR: An American Salute fire suits at the Coca-Cola 600 and Coke Zero 400 . This Sunday, NASCAR drivers will discuss 600 Miles of Remembrance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) during a special military tribute show airing at 1 p.m. ET. The Dialed In Salute to the Troops special, hosted by Claire B. Lang, will feature interviews with several drivers as well as service men and service women from different branches of the military. During the Coca Cola 600 pre-race broadcast (5:30 p.m. ET, FOX), FOX Sports will recognize all service members who have lost their lives in the past year by displaying their names and branch of service on a graphic scroll. This will be FOX’s fifth year in a row dedicating the pre-race show to service members that have fallen in the line of duty. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Coca-Cola 600 will be broadcast live from Charlotte Motor Speedway at 6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM Radio. Additional live coverage can be found on NASCAR.com. To learn more about NASCAR: An American Salute , visit www.NASCAR.com/Salute .
Carolina Panthers linebacker named honorary pace car driver for Coke 600 CONCORD, N.C. -- Making friends with a member of the NFL's Carolina Panthers on Tuesday wasn't all that easy for Dale Earnhardt Jr ., a diehard fan of the Washington Redskins. The driver's outward allegiance to a rival team wasn't lost on Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, who rode along with Earnhardt at rapid speed at Charlotte Motor Speedway , shortly after gaining his certification to be the honorary pace car driver for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM). "It's OK. I mean, we take care of the Redskins, like I said earlier," Davis said, fully aware of his team's three straight victories against Washington. "I'm pretty sure he knows." Davis' crossover into the world of NASCAR was a seamless one, as the 10th-year pro was unfazed as a passenger for Earnhardt's five-lap thrill ride. Part of Davis' nonchalance perhaps stemmed from the similar intensity of his day job, delivering hard hits as part of the Panthers defense. "I ran that thing as hard as it'd go," said Earnhardt, who estimated he approached speeds of nearly 175-180 mph in a Richard Petty Driving Experience machine with his No. 88 colors. "I was watching him over there. He wasn't impressed. He was filming the whole thing with his phone, like he was riding down the interstate." The connection between Earnhardt and Davis reaches further than their common ground as participants in adrenaline-fueled sports. Davis' humanitarian efforts earned him recognition as the 2014 recipient of the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, an accolade sponsored by Nationwide -- an Earnhardt sponsor. Those bonds, as well as their mutual affiliation with the Charlotte community, have helped Earnhardt separate his fandom from his personal interactions with Panthers players. "Actually, it's gotten easier," Earnhardt said. "I've got a lot of friends -- real, real close friends -- that are Panthers fans and they make it real hard to pull for the Panthers the way they act and cheer for their team is just … I don't know. Some of my close buddies, they just don't have any class when it comes to the Panthers, especially when they beat the Redskins. I have to hear about it years and years later, and they beat 'em two years ago and I still hear about that. "But I got to get to know (Panthers tight end Greg) Olsen really good, working together with him on some stuff for our charities and he restored my faith in the football team. I really appreciate what they do for the Charlotte community and the area. Obviously, being a business owner in downtown Charlotte with Whisky River, they have a huge influence on our business and our company and the decisions we make, and they're something that we're very proud of. I'll always pull for the Redskins, number one, but I'm definitely warming up to the Panthers after meeting some of the players. They've got some genuine, quality people on their team, and Thomas is one of them." The two athletes exchanged helmets as gifts before their ride-along, but Earnhardt said he hadn't given much thought to making a sports crossover of his own. The 40-year-old driver said he's attended Redskins training camps in the past, but seemed content to limit his football participation to made-for-TV backyard games in Wrangler commercials. "I'm really nervous and shy, so I don't know if I'd want to put myself out there like that," Earnhardt said, noting that he was always too small to suit up in high school. "But just because I'm a fan of a particular sport doesn't mean I think I'm very talented in it at participating. I enjoy the occasional softball game with my buddies or basketball in the gym with my friends. And I love going to the training camp to see the 'Skins and just get an idea of how the team feels and how their morale is and their energy on the field is when they're training, but I don't need to be out there trying to play." Davis' own training exercise Tuesday was slightly less rigorous, but he still earned a thumbs-up from NASCAR official Wayne Auton to lead the 43-car field to the green flag in Sunday's 600-miler, stock-car racing's longest event. In some ways, Davis said, his pace-car duties are nothing new, drawing yet another parallel to Earnhardt's day job. "I'm always ready to perform on Sunday," Davis said. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Hear what the drivers had to say about the multi-car crash and the possibility of rain in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.
Feeling strong after 600 miles bodes well for No. 18 driver SHOP: 'Rowdy Returns' shirt, more Busch gear CONCORD, N.C. -- As NASCAR's greatest endurance test, Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 also provided a good litmus test for Kyle Busch in his first points race since suffering leg and foot injuries in the XFINITY Series opener at Daytona International Speedway . And with the exception of some left foot soreness, Busch said he came through with flying colors in the annual Memorial Day weekend contest. However, he joked that he needed about 10 more laps to improve on his 11th-place finish. Fuel-mileage strategy came into play late in the race, and despite Busch having a strong No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, he wasn't able to finish higher because the drivers in front of him who gambled didn't run out of gas. Still, the fact he completed all 400 laps and didn't need to go to backup driver Erik Jones was a step in the right direction. "I'm a little surprised that I feel as good as I do, you know," Busch said afterward. "I was expecting to be a little bit more beat up and tired, but honestly, I'm not. ... There could be two sides to that. If you go week-to-week-to-week you could grind yourself out and you get tired, whereas I just took a three‑month vacation. My body feels pretty good, and it's only been beat up in the gym." But all those leg lifts, squats and presses were controlled movements, whereas a 600-mile Sprint Cup Series race is anything but that. So for Busch not only to survive the rigors of the race but also show he could race well was a good sign for his Chase for the Sprint Cup chances. Busch needs to finish in the top 30 in the point standings and get a win to compete in the playoffs come the fall. MORE: Timeline of Kyle Busch 's injury and recovery There were some highlights from Sunday that indicated if Busch does get to the playoffs, he'll be a tough out. First, it didn't take him long (116 laps) to move from a starting spot of 17th all the way up to sixth. Then, after 300 laps, Busch was in second place behind Martin Truex Jr . "All in all, I felt like that was a great race for us," Busch said. "We ran really strong. We ran up front, and we showed we had some speed. You know, it certainly is frustrating to finish where we did. That's disappointing. But sometimes you do win these things by fuel‑mileage races, so congratulations to our teammates, Carl (Edwards) and Matt (Kenseth)." Now that Busch passed his first big test it's on to Dover International Speedway and the rest of the season, where Busch will need to prove he can perform like this repeatedly. Despite being 200 miles shorter, Dover won't be easy, said Busch. "This race here is quite relative to Dover next week," Busch said. "This week is an endurance race for as long as it is, and I think it sets you up for that Dover race. The Dover race is more taxing on your body I feel like; it beats you up a little more." In order to prepare, Busch will take Monday off to rest and get some fluids back into his system. He said he has a doctor appointment on Tuesday along with meetings at JGR. Then on Wednesday, he'll do balancing exercises before hitting it hard in a workout on Thursday before heading to Dover. That's the recipe that helped him come back relatively quickly from the serious injuries, and he's sticking to it. Whether he's able to continue to confound the skeptics remains to be seen. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Driver will be on call in case 'Rowdy' can't go full distance at Charlotte Making his first start in a points-paying NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in the sport's longest event, Kyle Busch will have a backup plan for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM). Erik Jones will be on standby for Busch at Charlotte Motor Speedway should the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota not be able to go the full 600 miles. Erik will be on standby duty this weekend for @KyleBusch . As a precaution Erik will finish out happy hour on the 18 cup car. — Erik Jones (@erik_jones) May 23, 2015 Jones even went out and logged some laps during final practice on Saturday but Busch's intent is to run the full race just three months after suffering a compound fracture of the right leg and a broken left foot in a crash during the NASCAR XFINITY Series opener at Daytona International Speedway in February. The fact that Jones will serve as a standby driver for Busch comes as little surprise. In his conference call with reporters last week to discuss his return to action ahead of a sixth-place showing in the Sprint All-Star Race, Busch said the 18-year-old would be on standby to fill in as necessary. Three drivers took turns filling in for Busch in the 11 races he missed. Jones made one start at Kansas, while two-time defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton climbed in the No. 18 Toyota at Daytona and David Ragan made nine starts. Jones got some seat time as well at Bristol, filling in for Denny Hamlin , who suffered neck spasms and decided as a precaution not to return to the race after a lengthy rain delay. Sunday's 600 mile race is the longest of the season and the 12th race on the Sprint Cup Series schedule. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Four-time champion will start 18th in Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET, FOX) RELATED: Starting lineup in Charlotte With 92 NASCAR Sprint Cup victories and four championships, Jeff Gordon has said that NASCAR was "meant to be" for him. But Sunday afternoon, the former open-wheel prodigy also got to drive the path not taken, and lead the Indianapolis 500 field to the green flag as the official pace car driver. After a tutoring session from IndyCar great Johnny Rutherford, Gordon got the Chevy Corvette Z06 up to speed, took three laps in front of the field and then pulled off to watch the race's opening laps unfold before climbing on an airplane to fly back to Charlotte where he will start 18th in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway this evening (6 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM) -- NASCAR's nightcap to racing's famed Memorial Day weekend slate. The NASCAR champion was introduced to the crowd at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway just prior to the driver lineup Sunday morning. Carrying his son Leo and walking alongside his daughter Ella and wife Ingrid, Gordon stopped briefly to shake hands and speak with the legendary Mario Andretti before waving to the crowd which offered the NASCAR great a standing and rousing ovation. Moments later, Indy 500 starter and fellow California native Townsend Bell emerged wearing Jeff's neon-colored 24 on his driver's suit. His car will also carry that number as a tribute to Gordon. It was yet another recognition of Gordon's great contributions to racing and his special place in Indiana racing lore. Under green at #Indy500 , but @townsendbell gave @JeffGordonWeb a prerace tour of the No. 24 @TeamChevy . #IMSAatINDY pic.twitter.com/INrl7E0w0B — TUDOR Championship (@UnitedSportsCar) May 24, 2015 Calling it an honor and speaking often about the "energy" of Indy 500 race day, Gordon described Sunday's experience as "an opportunity of a lifetime." "To come down that front straightaway the first time and hear that crowd cheering for the cars, the drivers , and this amazing event …to be able to hear that from inside the pace car with the windows down is just amazing," Gordon said after getting out of the car. "Not to mention that the pace car has to get after it pretty good out here because that last lap is 100 mph and through the corners, maintaining that is something. So that was definitely cool. A huge thrill and a huge honor. "This whole year has just been incredible from the fan interaction, racetracks, this phone call (from stepfather John Bickford that Chevrolet offered Gordon the opportunity to drive the pace car), this moment. This is a very, very special year. Very cool experience being the pace car driver for #Indy500 . Thanks @TeamChevy & @IMS pic.twitter.com/PnQ5WvuMDx — Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) May 24, 2015 "I mean, there's no doubt in my mind that one thing that maybe I feel like I've accomplished more than I ever expected or hoped to in racing, but the one thing that did kind of did allude me and we pursued -- I say 'we', my dad, my mom and myself -- when we were trying to go to the next level, was getting a chance to race here in the Indianapolis 500. "I've said this many times, I still believe it. Winning the inaugural Brickyard 400, to me, fulfilled that dream. Now I've had a chance to win it four more times. This is a special place for me. I love getting a chance to race here." Gordon's five Brickyard 400 wins is the most for a driver at the speedway, tying him with the legendary Michael Schumacher, who has five Formula One grand prix victories. He'll have a chance to hold the record on his own in this July's running of the Brickyard 400 (July 26, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM). But for those hoping that the 43-year old Gordon may one day make a start in the Indianapolis 500, he dashed those thoughts Sunday morning telling reporters that would not be happening. "I'll be in the FOX booth next year," Gordon said. "I'm so glad that deal worked out because I wouldn't have a better excuse for you." And further, Gordon revealed that although he had previously left open the door to compete in random NASCAR races that now seems less and less likely. "The way I set that up is because I've known too many drivers that I respect and have raced with that, you know, said, 'OK, I'm retiring, stepping away, then they come back,'' Gordon said. "I'm not quite ready, want to run a few more races. "That's why I didn't say this is my final year of ever competing at a single event. But it really, truly is. It really is. As I get further into the year, as things come together, I don't see myself doing any races. If I do a race, maybe a Martinsville or a short track." In the meantime, Gordon was intent to live in the moment Sunday. "To me, if every time I could attend something like the Indianapolis 500 and then go to my own race -- it would definitely be motivating," Gordon said. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Driver suffered from a migraine and nausea during Coca-Cola 600 CONCORD, N.C. -- Denny Hamlin made a brief appearance in the media center long after the conclusion of Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Eighth-place finishers don’t normally do that. Neither do drivers who go straight from pit road to the infield medical center. Hamlin dropped by only long enough to offer congratulations to race-winner Carl Edwards , crew chief Darian Grubb (his former pit caller) and team owner Joe Gibbs. He was, however, on his feet, and that was a bonus considering his physical state when he first climbed from his car. Suffering from a migraine headache, Hamlin sat down next to his car on pit road with head in his hands. He eventually got up and took a few uncertain steps before team personnel stepped in to assist. He was transported to the infield care center moments later. “My off day was 36 holes of golf and a full tennis match,” Hamlin said afterward. “Probably overdid it a little bit this weekend. I think the dehydration led to a migraine and I just felt nauseous the last 100 laps or so. Thank goodness that didn’t cost us the win. “Just the bad end of that strategy … but still proud of our team for really giving me a car that could contend for a win." Although he led twice for 53 laps in Sunday’s 400-lap race, and was out front with less than 40 laps remaining, a vibration sent the No. 11 Toyota to pit road under green. From there, separate pit-stop strategies kept the 34-year-old playing catch-up. Prior to the stop, he and Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ) appeared to have the cars to beat. “That part of it stunk a little bit, but the 78 (Truex) came back and passed us anyway. When he came back out, he had fresher air … I came out kind of middle of the pack and just couldn’t run the lap times I needed to.” This year’s winner at Martinsville, Hamlin said he felt better after the trip to the care center. “You just try to power through it and of course when you run well, you always feel a little bit better,” he said, “but when the race is over and everything comes to a stop, you realize how bad you feel.” FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Drives 562.5 miles of Coca-Cola 600, runs 14 more to NASCAR Hall of Fame CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Landon Cassill wiped the sweat from his brow at the end of a 14-mile run to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, twisted the cap to his beverage and readied to take a swig of … Coors Light? That may have been the only hydration mistake the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver made in his Herculean day (and night) Sunday (and Monday), and even then it was hard to fault the Hillman Smith Motorsports driver. He'd earned it. Cassill completed a double of his own on racing's busiest day, driving the No. 40 Chevrolet in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, then turning around and jogging through the night to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. That journey of 13.92 miles took 1 hour, 41 minutes and 49 seconds -- a pace of 7 minutes, 19 seconds per mile -- and ended at 12:58 a.m. on Memorial Day. Cassill accepted a hug and kiss from his wife, Kaitlan, rubbed his dog, Indie, and thanked those who came out to watch the end of his run -- a group that included some of his crew members, as well as team owner Mike Hillman. "It was definitely a mental challenge," Cassill said outside the Hall of Fame, which was lit up in red and neatly contrasted the blaring blue lights from the police vehicles that served as his escorts. "I had to talk to myself a little bit more the last two miles, because it was all uphill. It wasn't a matter of making it to the end, it was continuing to hold the pace I was holding. You don't want to let yourself slow down. "It was a great night." All told, it was a 576.42-mile evening for the 25-year-old driver, who completed 375 laps (out of 400) at Charlotte, then stretched in the garage before starting his run. @landoncassill stretching out before his 14 mile run from @CLTMotorSpdwy to #NASCARHall #Landon614 #SnapNation pic.twitter.com/TCi1kWSnOI — NASCAR Hall of Fame (@NASCARHall) May 25, 2015 It wasn't difficult for Cassill to keep the two distinct events separate: He focused on the race while in the car, then on his pace while running. The event was live-streamed on Periscope by Cassill's sponsor Snap Fitness, and those tracking his progress were treated to a running dialogue, along with occasional cheers from folks watching Cassill jog by. The event raised money for the Folds of Honor Foundation, through a partnership with Snap Fitness. For every 30-day trial pass purchased between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Snap Fitness will donate $1 to the foundation that provides scholarships to families of service members killed or disabled in active duty. Cassill is one of the most active drivers in the garage and routinely logs 30-plus miles of running every week. He also competes in triathlons and says his commitment to fitness is what spurred this idea. "In terms of my profession, it helps me so much in a race car," Cassill said. "It gives me the confidence I need to know I'm the best race car driver I can be. It shows my team I'm giving it all. I'm fresher at the end of a race because of my fitness. And also, people need to know how good it feels to be fit and to be healthy." Cassill certainly looked that part after the run, bantering easily with his friends and family while cooling down. In fact, he looked like he could run another 14 miles. Maybe he'll do another such event in the future? "I don't know," Cassill said with a smile. "Maybe." Here are all my mile splits from the run pic.twitter.com/IDDWyToAFO — landon cassill (@landoncassill) May 25, 2015 FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule