Daniel Suarez stars in first national television ad for Subway
BUY TICKETS: Celebrate Auto Club's 20th anniversary Daniel Suarez is debuting in his first national TV ad as a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver with sponsor Subway this weekend as the series wraps up its NASCAR Goes West swing at Auto Club Speedway. Suarez will drive the No. 19 Subway Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in Sunday's Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.) The accompanying television ad focuses on Suarez's drive and desire to reach the pinnacle of the sport, his path to get here and his competitive fire. "I came here to race," the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender says. "I came here to be better. Now, I stand here a challenger …" Get a sneak peek of the ad here: When Subway came on as a sponsor for Suarez earlier this year, the young star said, "I'm extremely grateful to Subway for their continuing sponsorship of our Joe Gibbs Racing team this year. I enjoy eating healthy, and Subway has always been my go-to choice to refuel my body when I'm on the road or at home. I'm looking forward to a great 2017 season in the Subway Toyota Camry." Subway is primary sponsor on Suarez's No. 19 ride for four Monster Energy Series races this season, including the May 28 Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte; the July 1 Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona; and the Oct. 15 Alabama 500 at Talladega.
NASCAR's young drivers : Phoenix analysis
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Auto Club Recap NASCAR's young drivers and how they fared at Phoenix
Young NASCAR drivers find their groove early in 2017
BUY TICKETS: See the races in Phoenix " Full schedule RELATED: Youth rising in Power Rankings " Young drivers show skill and fire Kyle Larson stood alone on the far end of pit road in the moments after the season-opening Daytona 500, feeling gutted that he had brought the field to the white flag in NASCAR's biggest race, only to run out of gas and sputter around the superspeedway on the final lap. He finished 12th instead of hoisting the big trophy. And still, for all the understandably immense disappointment of having come so close, Larson was also upbeat and optimistic after climbing out of his bright red Target Chevrolet. The performance proved to him and his Chip Ganassi Racing team -- and to all his competitors -- that the 24-year-old was ready to rumble. Now. And he's not alone. The 25-and-under club is high-achieving in the sport right now. Larson and 21-year old Chase Elliott are ranked second and third, respectively, in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings entering this weekend's race at Phoenix Raceway. Ryan Blaney, 23, is sixth in the standings. Joey Logano, 26, is fifth and Trevor Bayne, 26, is ranked 11th. RELATED: Series standings after Las Vegas Thanks to back-to-back runner-up showings after Daytona -- at Atlanta and Las Vegas -- Larson, driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing, is at a career high in the points standings, a single point behind leader Brad Keselowski with some good tracks for him coming up on the schedule. Larson finished third at this week's venue, Phoenix, the last time the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series raced there in November. And he finished runner-up in his 2014 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut at Auto Club Speedway, where the circuit heads next week. Elliott sits just behind Larson in the points standings, only three points out of the lead. After winning the pole position for the season-opening Daytona 500, Elliott posted the longest consecutive streak out front in the race -- 23 laps. However, like Larson, his No. 24 NAPA Chevy ran out of gas on the final lap and he ended up with a frustrating 14th-place finish. Elliott, son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, has not-too-surprisingly proven to be a quick study. He was fifth at Atlanta and third at Vegas over the weekend, further establishing himself not only as a race contender but also a viable championship player. He finished eighth in this Phoenix race last year (he has two top 10s in two starts there) and sixth the next week at Auto Club. "I'm really proud of the way we have performed," Elliott said. "Our pit stops have been great, our car has been good, we have been able to run solidly in the top five the past couple of weeks, which is great for me and our team. We've just got to keep that going and find that next little bit." Wood Brothers Racing's Blaney trails fellow Ford driver Keselowski by 26 points heading into the second stop of the three-race West Coast Swing. He was an impressive runner up in the season-opening Daytona 500 and 18th at Atlanta and seventh at Vegas. "Just need that little more," he tweeted after his Las Vegas top 10. He has top-10 finishes in both his previous Phoenix starts, including an eighth-place result last November. He was collected in an early-race crash in his only start at Fontana, Calif. last year. POLL: Which young driver will win first Both Monster Energy Series rookies Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez are working their way through a learning curve. However, Jones is surely looking forward to arriving in Phoenix. He won his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race ever at the 1-miler in 2013 and then won again there -- from the pole -- the next year. He was the polesitter for the 2015 truck race as well. In the XFINITY Series he has five top 10s -- two top threes -- in as many starts there. He won the pole and finished runner up there last March. Jones has started from the front row -- including the pole position in his Auto Club debut -- and finished third and 15th in the XFINITY Series at Fontana. Suarez considers Phoenix his "home track," considering its proximity to his native Mexico. And he likewise must be looking forward to his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut there thanks to a solid record at the oval. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver won the truck race there last November and has three top-five finishes in four XFINITY Series starts -- a best of third last spring. He won the pole and finished fourth at Auto Club last year. The good start for these drivers is just that. A start. "Super happy with how our season has gotten started," Larson said following his runner-up effort Sunday. "Way better than where I have ever started a season, so I'm really happy about that, proud of our team. I had fun. The stages were really exciting or the ends of them, because of the way the cautions fell and different pit strategies and stuff, people staying out made it exciting taking off. Really liking the format change and all that. Hopefully we can keep these top five's rolling and maybe get a win or two here shortly." RELATED: Stage lengths for Phoenix Not only does the legitimate boost in competition help those young drivers , it is good for the whole sport. It broadens the intrigue and frankly keeps those long-time "favorites" on their toes. Nothing is more motivating than trying to score your first -- your first win, your first playoff berth, your first championship. The future of this sport has arrived. Everyone's on notice. And everybody wins. &amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;
Drivers react to Kyle Busch, Joey Logano fight
Kyle Busch and Joey Logano mixed it up on pit road following the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Contact on the final lap led Busch to confront Logano after they exited their cars, and things escalted quickly. A handful of drivers and NASCAR Nation members took to Twitter to share their views after the fracas, including Logano, himself. We about crashed and I was trying to save it. Nothing intentional on my end. Had another fast Ford all day. Proud of this 22 team. — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) March 13, 2017 What's up? Heard there was a fight. — Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) March 13, 2017 I have never really beat the shit out of a guy, but me @TonyStewart and our crew chiefs had a fun brawl in the NASCAR hauler once. 1999 https://t.co/7wMD7p7Ia5 — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) March 13, 2017 Yep. When you are mad you do stuff like that. But no matter how justified/pissed you feel, maybe it's best to do it off camera. https://t.co/BVLga4AWBb — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) March 13, 2017 IMO-Fighting in Motorsport is dumb. It always turns into a pile and your own guys hit each other. At least in hockey they are good at it. https://t.co/BFThD7cN57 — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) March 13, 2017 This sport is built on determination and passion! — Jeff Burton (@JeffBurton) March 12, 2017 Well… What do you think @NASCAR should do about the post race scuffle??? — Steve Letarte (@SteveLetarte) March 12, 2017 WWE Las Vegas. — Jeb Burton (@JebBurtonRacing) March 12, 2017 Make all crews stay behind pit wall for 10 min post race before going to the cars or drivers . https://t.co/AkDbtslM8D — Regan Smith (@ReganSmith) March 12, 2017 What separates racing from other sports is the intensity for EVERY position. Remember Kyle & Joey were not racing for the win. Points matter — Jeff Burton (@JeffBurton) March 12, 2017 EVERY #nascar driver started at the local short track.. Fighting IS NOT a local short track deal.. It's PASSION.. We are all the same. pic.twitter.com/yoY6Uw75nZ — Kenny Wallace (@Kenny_Wallace) March 13, 2017 MORE: Busch, Logano tangle after Las Vegas race &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Stats advance: Analyzing the Coke Zero 400
A statistical look ahead to the 17th race of the Sprint Cup season DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 29, 2015) – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida going into the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola on July 5 (7:45 p.m. ET on NBC). DAYTONA-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Greg Biffle (No. 16 CHEEZ-IT Ford) · One win, three top fives, eight top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 19.2 · Average Running Position of 17.1, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 81.8, 12th-best · 85 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 4,132 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.161 mph, sixth-fastest · 1,978 Laps in the Top 15 (52.7%), ninth-most · 2,382 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), 12th-most Clint Bowyer (No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota) · Three top fives, nine top 10s · Average finish of 15.5 · Average Running Position of 17.5, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 84.0, 10th-best · 82 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 3,939 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.212 mph, second-fastest Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · 11 top fives, 14 top 10s · Average finish of 17.5 · Average Running Position of 15.8, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 90.5, third-best · 71 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most · 3,864 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most · 2,161 Laps in the Top 15 (60.9%), sixth-most · 2,724 Quality Passes, seventh-most Kyle Busch (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota) · One win, five top fives, six top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 19.1 · Series-best Average Running Position of 12.8 · Series-best Driver Rating of 96.2 · 85 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 4,023 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.207 mph, third-fastest · Series-high 2,488 Laps in the Top 15 (70.1%) · 2,869 Quality Passes, fourth-most Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet) · Three wins, 12 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 13.1 · Average Running Position of 14.1, second-best · Driver Rating of 91.9, second-best · 89 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · 4,353 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.086 mph, 10th-fastest · 2,475 Laps in the Top 15 (66.0%), second-most · 2,968 Quality Passes, second-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 AXALTA Chevrolet) · Six wins, 13 top fives, 20 top 10s; four poles · Average finish of 16.6 · Average Running Position of 14.3, third-best · Driver Rating of 88.0, fifth-best · 4,157 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most · 2,274 Laps in the Top 15 (60.6%), fifth-most · 2,709 Quality Passes, eighth-most Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota) · Four top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 18.7 · Average Running Position of 15.4, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 87.7, seventh-best · 82 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 4,018 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.154 mph, seventh-fastest · 1,901 Laps in the Top 15 (56.1%), 12th-most · 2,444 Quality Passes, 11th-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevrolet) · Three wins, 10 top fives, 13 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 17.5 · Average Running Position of 14.6, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 87.9, sixth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.067 mph, 12th-fastest · 2,378 Laps in the Top 15 (63.4%), third-most · 2,753 Quality Passes, sixth-most Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Great Clips-Shark Week Chevrolet) · Two top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 19.4 · Average Running Position of 16.6, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 83.3, 11th-best · 71 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most · 4,572 Green Flag Passes, second-most · 2,001 Laps in the Top 15 (53.3%), seventh-most · 2,825 Quality Passes, fifth-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 DeWalt Made In The USA Toyota) · Two wins, six top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 17.8 · Average Running Position of 15.3, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 89.9, fourth-best · 80 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most · 2,277 Laps in the Top 15 (60.7%), fourth-most · 2,556 Quality Passes, ninth-most Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford) · One win, three top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 18.3 · Average Running Position of 16.5, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 85.8, ninth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.144 mph, eighth-fastest Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) · Four wins, nine top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 18.5 · Driver Rating of 86.6, eighth-best · 76 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most · 1,958 Laps in the Top 15 (52.2%), 10th-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 10 at Daytona International Speedway Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 28 1 2 7 12 3 16.2 81.6 2 Martin Truex Jr. 20 1 0 0 2 4 22.5 76.7 3 Joey Logano 13 0 1 3 4 2 18.3 85.8 4 Jimmie Johnson 27 2 3 10 13 6 17.5 87.9 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 31 1 3 12 18 3 13.1 91.9 6 Brad Keselowski 12 0 0 2 3 4 21.8 75.5 7 Jamie McMurray 25 0 2 3 5 8 23.7 79.5 8 Kasey Kahne 23 0 0 2 8 5 19.4 83.3 9 Matt Kenseth 31 1 2 6 14 5 17.8 89.9 10 Kurt Busch 28 0 0 11 14 1 17.5 90.5 * – Based on last 21 races at Daytona International Speedway. Daytona International Speedway Data Season Race #: 17 of 36 (07-05-15) Track Size : 2.5-mile Banking/Turns 1 & 2 : 31 degrees Banking/Turns 3 & 4 : 31 degrees Banking/Straights : 3 degrees Banking/Tri-Oval : 18 degrees Frontstretch Length : 3,800 feet Backstretch Length : 3,000 feet Race Length : 160 laps / 400 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Daytona Kyle Busch ................................. 96.2 Dale Earnhardt Jr ........................ 91.9 Kurt Busch. ................................. 90.5 Matt Kenseth .............................. 89.9 Jeff Gordon ................................ 88.0 Jimmie Johnson .......................... 87.9 Denny Hamlin ............................. 87.7 Tony Stewart ............................... 86.6 Joey Logano .............................. 85.8 Clint Bowyer ............................... 84.0 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (21 total) among active drivers at Daytona International Speedway. Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : David Gilliland, Ford 199.322 mph, 45.153 secs 07-04-14 2014 race winner : Aric Almirola, Ford 130.014 mph, (02:09:13), 07-06-14 Track qualifying record (July race): Cale Yarborough, Ford 203.519 mph, 44.222 secs 07-02-86 Track race record (July race): Bobby Allison, Mercury 173.473 mph, (02:18:21), 07-04-80 AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: History · Groundbreaking for Daytona International Speedway was Nov. 25, 1957. The soil underneath the banked corners was dug from the infield of the track and the hole filled with water. It is now known as Lake Lloyd. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona was a 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 1959 – won by Bob Welborn . · The first summer race at Daytona International Speedway was held on July 4, 1959 – won by Fireball Roberts (140.581 mph). · NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty won his 200th career race on July 4, 1984 at Daytona. · Lights were installed in the spring of 1998. However, the July race was delayed until October that year due to thick smoke from wildfires. The second Daytona race has been held under the lights ever since. · The track underwent a repave in 2010. Starts · There have been 136 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona International Speedway since the track hosted its first race in 1959: 57 have been 500 miles, 52 were 400 miles and four 250 miles. There were also 23 qualifier races that were point races. · 445 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series July race at Daytona International Speedway; 277 in more than one. · Richard Petty leads the series in July race starts at Daytona with 32. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 22 starts – this weekend will be Gordon’s final start at Daytona. · Four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series active drivers have made their first career start at Daytona International Speedway, though none were during the July race: Tony Stewart (2/14/99), Casey Mears (2/16/03), Kasey Kahne (2/15/04), Brendan Gaughan (2/15/04) Danica Patrick (2/27/12), Alex Bowman (2/23/14), Michael Annett (2/23/14). Poles · Fireball Roberts won the inaugural Coors Light pole for the July race at Daytona in 1959 with a speed of 144.997 mph. · 38 drivers have Coors Light poles at Daytona for the July event, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough with eight. · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in Daytona July race poles, with two. Gordon started first in 2007 due to qualifying being cancelled as well. · Three drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles for the July race at Daytona: Cale Yarborough (1970-’71; 1980-’81, 1983-’84), Sterling Marlin (1991-’92) and Dale Earnhardt (1994-’95). · Youngest Daytona July race pole winner: Jeff Gordon (07/06/1996 - 24 years, 11 months, 2 days); all-time track record belongs to Austin Dillon (02/23/2014 – 23 years, 9 months, 27 days). · Oldest Daytona pole winner: Mark Martin (07/02/2011 – 52 years, 5 months, 23 days). · Six active drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Daytona International Speedway: Greg Biffle (2/15/04), Kevin Harvick (7/6/02), Jimmie Johnson (2/17/02), Paul Menard (7/5/08), Danica Patrick (2/24/13) and Austin Dillon (2/23/2014). Wins Drivers who have swept both races (Daytona 500 and the July race) at Daytona: Fireball Roberts – 1962 (Daytona 500, Firecracker 250) Cale Yarborough – 1968 (Daytona 500, Firecracker 400) LeeRoy Yarborough – 1969 (Daytona 500, Firecracker 400) Bobbie Allison – 1982 (Daytona 500, Firecracker 400) Jimmie Johnson – 2013 (Daytona 500, Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola) 35 different drivers have won the July race at Daytona International Speedway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson with five wins. Tony Stewart leads all active drivers with four; followed by Jeff Gordon with three. · Five drivers have posted consecutive wins in the July race at Daytona International Speedway, including three consecutive by David Pearson (1972 - 1974). · Tony Stewart (2005-’06) is the only active driver to win consecutive July races at Daytona. · Youngest Daytona July race winner: Kyle Busch (07/01/2008 – 23 years, 2 months, 3 days); all-time track record - Trevor Bayne (02/20/2011 – 20 years, 0 months, 1 day). · Oldest Daytona July race winner: Bobby Allison (07/04/1987 – 49 years, 7 months, 1 day); all-time track record - Bobby Allison (02/14/1988 – 50 years, 5 months, 23 days). · The Wood Brothers have the most wins at Daytona in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 15; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with 13. · Seven different manufacturers have won the July NSCS race at Daytona: Manufacturer Daytona July Race Wins Chevrolet 18 Ford 17 Mercury 7 Dodge 5 Pontiac 5 Buick 3 Toyota 1 Eight of the 56 (14.2%) July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Kevin Harvick in 2010. · The Coors Light pole is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (eight) than any other starting position in the July race at Daytona International Speedway. · 15 of the 56 (26.7%) July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona have been won from the front row: eight from the pole and seven from second-place. · 41 of the 56 (73.2%) July NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Daytona have been won from a top-10 starting position. · Four of the 56 (7.1%) July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Daytona is 42nd, by Tony Stewart in the 2012 July race. · Four active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted their first career win at Daytona International Speedway; two were during the July race: Trevor Bayne (2/20/11), Greg Biffle (7/5/03), David Ragan (7/2/11) and Michael Waltrip (2/18/01). · Greg Biffle won the July race at Daytona in his first appearance. · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Daytona with 710 laps led in 45 starts. · Tony Stewart leads the series among active drivers in laps led in the July race at Daytona with 369; followed by Jeff Gordon with 318 and Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 243. · Fewest laps led by a July race winner at Daytona are one lap led by Jimmy Spencer in 1994. The fewest laps led by an active July race winner at Daytona are three laps led by Jamie McMurray in 2007. Additional Finishing Position Stats · Buddy Baker leads the series in runner-up finishes in the July race at Daytona with five; followed by Richard Petty and Sterling Marlin with four. Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch lead all active drivers with two each. · NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in top-five finishes in the July race at Daytona with 13; followed by Richard Petty with 12. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven. Additional Finishing Position Stats · David Pearson leads the series in top-10 finishes in the July race at Daytona with 19; followed by Dale Earnhardt with 18. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 11. · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Daytona with a 9.926. · Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Daytona with a 13.065. · Kurt Busch leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Daytona without visiting Victory Lane at 28. Female Competitor Stats · Five female drivers have competed in the July event at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie, Christine Beckers, Lella Lombardi, Patty Moise and Shawna Robinson. Below they are ordered by best finish: Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date Danica Patrick 29 8 7/6/2014 Danica Patrick 11 14 7/6/2013 Shawna Robinson 27 40 7/6/2002 Patty Moise 35 39 7/1/1989 Patty Moise 33 26 7/2/1988 Janet Guthrie 36 11 7/4/1978 Christine Beckers 37 37 7/4/1977 Janet Guthrie 20 40 7/4/1977 Lella Lombardi 29 31 7/4/1977 Janet Guthrie 33 15 7/4/1976 Track Event Stats · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway for the July race was the July 7, 2007 race won by Jamie McMurray over
Kentucky: The missing track for Chevrolet drivers
Of the 23 tracks that currently host one or more NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, Kentucky Speedway remains the only venue that hasn't seen a Chevrolet driver celebrating in Victory Lane. The 1.5-mile track, which will host Saturday night's Quaker State 400 Presented (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) held its first Sprint Cup race in 2011. This weekend's race will be just the sixth premier series event at the facility, which is owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc. Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota) has a pair of victories there, as does Brad Keselowski (Team Penske No. 2 Ford). Matt Kenseth (JGR No. 20 Toyota) is also a former Kentucky winner. Keselowski, last week's Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola winner at Daytona International Speedway, won at Kentucky in a Dodge (in 2012) as well as a Ford (2014). The lack of success at the track isn't something Chevrolet officials and teams take lightly. "Our teams are very aware that we haven't won at this race track," said Alba Colon, program manager for Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. "It's a big deal." Chevrolet drivers have finished second twice, Kasey Kahne (Hendrick Motorsports) in 2012 and Jamie McMurray (Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates) the following year. But perhaps the automaker's most difficult loss to swallow was the '13 race, one that saw Jimmie Johnson dominate only to lose the lead, and the race, following a late caution. Johnson (HMS) led 182 of 267 laps before a fuel-only stop by Kenseth put the JGR driver out front on a restart; Johnson's chances faded when the No. 48 entry spun moments later. There are tracks where Chevrolet teams have been dominant. They have won six straight at Phoenix International Raceway, for example, and 12 of the past 13 events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Thus far, Kentucky has been a tougher nut to crack. “We have had only five races so far (at Kentucky)," Colon said, noting runnerup finishes by McMurray and Kahne. "We've won the pole three times. Top-five and top-10 finishes. We haven't been able to close it." That could change this weekend. For just the second, and final, time this season teams will be competing with a lower downforce aerodynamic package. The track has been repaved and Turns 1 and 2 have been reconfigured with the banking increased three degrees. "I really believe that with the new rules and everything being so equal right now … this is a great chance for us to do it," Colon said. Fourteen teams tested at Kentucky June 13-14. Fastest through the two days of practice was the Chevrolet entry of 2014 series champion Kevin Harvick and his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team. Harvick has yet to lead a lap at the track, but has finished 10th or higher in his last three starts there. It's one of only four tracks, along with Pocono, Sonoma and Texas, where he has yet to win. Ditto for Johnson, who counts Kentucky, Watkins Glen, Homestead and Chicagoland as tracks where he has yet to visit Victory Lane. And three-time champ Tony Stewart is winless at only two current tracks – Kentucky and Darlington. The three-times series champion will close the book on his Sprint Cup Series career at season's end. Going out with a win at each track, he said, would make his departure all the more memorable. Chevrolet teams have 758 wins in NASCAR through the years, most of any automaker. "But it's a goal," Colon said, "to have a win at every track. "We have been very successful. And we still have one more track to win."
Furniture Row No. 77 hauler damaged in accident
Two Furniture Row Racing hauler drivers were uninjured after the No. 77 team's transporter was involved in a hit-and-run highway crash early Thursday morning. The No. 77 hauler was damaged on Interstate 15 on the way to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, site of this weekend's NASCAR races for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and XFINITY Series. Driver Travis Watts and co-driver David Shano escaped injury. According to the Denver, Colorado-based team, a car pulled off to the road's shoulder then back onto the interstate directly in the hauler's path. There was no damage reported to the trailer, race cars and equipment, but the team has rented a replacement truck to complete the trip to the 2-mile California track. "We're all very relieved no one was injured in the incident," team president Joe Garone said in a release provided by the team. "There was substantial damage to the tractor but everything in the trailer was checked out thoroughly and is OK. We've rented a tractor and the No. 77 hauler is on schedule to arrive at Auto Club Speedway later today." The car and its two occupants left the scene of the accident, approximately 15 miles north of Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Both were later located and arrested by the Nevada Highway Patrol. Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Erik Jones is in his first year driving the No. 77 Toyota for Furniture Row. He sits 18th in the series standings ahead of Sunday's Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the fifth race of the season.
Auto Club Speedway by the numbers
BUY TICKETS: Celebrate Auto Club's 20th anniversary RELATED: Full weekend schedule Jimmie Johnson was driving a Superman car and wearing a cape the last time he saw Victory Lane at Auto Club Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series' stop there in 2016. It's appropriate since he almost owns the place. Johnson has six wins at Auto Club, spanning a decade and a half. He also has five runner-up finishes, an impressive average finishing place of 6.5 and has led 980 laps around the 2-mile circuit in Fontana, California. Roger Penske has a stake in the place as well, having been one of the architects, alongside Les "Coach" Richter. The track officially opened June 22, 1997, and it's celebrating its 20th anniversary as NASCAR returns to Fontana this weekend for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and XFINITY Series racing. Penske got his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win at the track on April 29, 2001 with Rusty Wallace piloting the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford. Brad Keselowski put Team Penske back in Victory Lane at Auto Club Speedway in 2015. Penske's open wheel drivers also have had success at the track. Penske built a fast race track, leading to some stout stats in the speedway's lore: -- A 188.511 mph qualifying speed record set by Denny Hamlin in 2016 -- A 155.012 mph race speed record set by Jeff Gordon in 1997 Digging into the numbers a bit more: -- Hendrick Motorsports has 10 wins, the most of any team -- Ford has 11 wins at the track, and Chevrolet has 13. Kyle Busch has taken home two Auto Club 400 trophies for Toyota in back-to-back races in 2013-14. -- Farthest back in the field a winning driver started: 31st, Matt Kenseth, spring of 2006 -- Pole-sitting winners: Only one, Johnson in 2008 -- The closest margin of victory was 0.144 seconds, as Kevin Harvick edged Johnson in 2011
Luza strikes it rich at Las Vegas
RELATED: See the complete iRacing schedule At the onset of the 2017 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series, many of the series’ tenured drivers looked to NASCAR Pro Series Champion, Ryan Luza, as the biggest threat to dethrone 3-time and reigning champion, Ray Alfalla. After a lackluster start at Daytona, some cast doubt on the abilities of the young gun; however, after his dominant win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Round Two of the season, series rookies and veterans alike should take notice. Matt Bussa, driver of the #34 WinView Games Toyota Camry, started the race at the helm. A regular in the NASCAR iRacing Series, Bussa looked to capitalize on his superb starting position. However, he would have to wait for a few laps to show his hand as the 167-lap event was slowed before the completion of its opening lap, as Mitchell Hunt spun at the exit of Turn 2, collecting Byron Daley, Michael Johnson, and Nicholas Johnston. Hunt and Daley immediately retired after sustaining irreparable damage, while Johnson and Johnston mustered on for the remainder of the evening. Bussa led the field back to green on lap six, with Alfalla, Luza, and Marcus Richardson in tow. The #34 machine led the opening twenty-eight laps, before succumbing to an insurmountable challenge by Luza’s eventual race winning #1 Racerboost Ford Fusion. Luza held station at the top spot for the remainder of the race, only losing the lead during several green flag pit stop cycles. With the race slowed by just one additional caution period, efficiency whilst entering/exit pit road was key. Over the course of the event, cars began searching for new grooves, as grip was at a premium. Competitors ran from the top of the racing surface to the track’s white line. Front runners mimicked each other’s lines, thus trading fast laps back and forth. As one competitor found a faster groove, the rest followed and vice versa. Amid the constant search for the fastest way around LVMS, former series champion Kenny Humpe found trouble off of Turn 2, slapping the outside retaining wall. He suffered damage that would ultimately take him out of contention for a top dozen finishing position. Facing issues at the opposite end of the track, Taylor Hurst made contact with series rookie Christian Challiner, which resulted in Hurst’s #78 Chevy side-swiping the SAFER barrier. The sim racers completed their final pit stop sequence with about 35 laps remaining. Luza cycled around with a two second lead, and built on that until the race’s completion. Michael Conti, who started 30th on the evening, made a charge to second-place following the last round of pit stops only to fall victim to a pit miscue that shorted him three laps of fuel. The 2014 series champion made a stop with three to go, which resulted in a 34th place finish by the #5 Chevrolet. On a happier note, Cody Byus, 2016 championship runner-up, PJ Stergios, Alfalla, and Logan Clampitt rounded out the top five behind Luza at night’s end. With two races in the books, it remains to be seen whether Luza showed his true form with his win in Vegas . . . or his tenth place finish at Daytona. Meanwhile, although he has so far been shut-out of victory lane, with two top five finishes to his credit Alfalla is itching to notch his first W of the season. So too are former champions Humpe and Conti and a host more. Who will rise to the top in Round Three? We’ll find out in two weeks’ time when the series rolls into its second stop of its version of the West Coast Swing -Auto Club Speedway. Tune into www.iracing.com/live at 8:45 p.m. eastern time on April 4 to catch the action live!
Johnson's passion for fitness inspires Hendrick teammates
BUY TICKETS: See the races in Las Vegas LAS VEGAS – If you were to break out the bicycle in the infield of any given race track on a Saturday morning or afternoon, you'd likely have some elite company. Matt Kenseth has embarked on both long and short cycling excursions. Kasey Kahne could show up, or Trevor Bayne. But perhaps one of the most familiar faces and leaders among the cycling groups at the track is reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson. A seasoned athlete in a variety of athletic pursuits from cycling to running to snowboarding in his new home of Aspen, Colorado, Johnson has accomplished some feats that only experienced athletes could achieve: He and Kenseth completed a 130-mile ride for charity in March 2016 from Asheville, North Carolina, to Charlotte, North Carolina. He celebrated his 40th birthday in 2015 with a 101.2-mile bike ride, and joined Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kahne for Johnson's first of many triathlons. That first one was in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2012, just one day after competing in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. The driver of the No. 48 Kobalt Chevrolet supplements his regular weekday training with these group cycling or individual running sessions during downtime at the track. "It's easy to sleep in in the motor home or sit on the couch between qualifying and practice and eat," Johnson told NASCAR.com on Friday morning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the site of Sunday's Kobalt 400. "There's a four-hour window there; you could be out on the bike, go for a run, burn some calories instead of ingesting them." But the group rides at the track accomplish more than just an elevated heart rate -- even with a group of competitive NASCAR drivers riding. "It seems that during the week we're serious about those disciplines, kind of putting in your gym time, your speed work -- the weekend rides are much more (easygoing)," Johnson said. "So, we'll sit side-by-side, chat, talk, talk about life. It's much more of a social thing than really a hardcore ride. "Granted, we do race in Pocono, we do race in upstate New York. There are some areas, what I'm getting at, where there's some serious climbing. And the competitive spirit kind of kicks in and guys kind of try to bury each other and race up mountains." It was the social aspect of physical fitness that became Johnson's main case for his Hendrick Motorsports teammates to commit to a company-mandated workout on a regular basis. "For me, the social component is what has made this last so long for me," Johnson said. "I think we all start a crash diet, we all say we're going to the gym and you're lucky to make three or four months because it's kind of monotonous and not a lot of fun. There's not a social element to it. "So, I pushed hard to set some minimum requirements for our Hendrick drivers and then trying to get us together. Weekend rides, there are some great social media apps that keep you connected with what your friends are doing. You can follow them, they can follow you. The one we like to use is Strava and it's amazing if you can just have a little spin on it and make it a social thing, your interest goes up tremendously. You have accountability and before you know it, you're putting in quite a few hours a week and you're pretty fit." Johnson's teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. discussed the new workout plan at length on his Dirty Mo Radio podcast Monday. The drivers have set hours for cardio and strength exercises each week that they must complete and log into the Strava app. The drivers also have access to Hendrick Motorsports' top-notch facilities, trainers and nutritionists used by the pit crews, as well as Johnson's own personal triathlon trainer Jamey Yon, to help aid their health journeys. RELATED: Junior talks about his first cycling trip Earnhardt took his first cycling trip with Johnson last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, pulling out the bike that "Seven-Time" gifted him about a year ago. The trip began with the humorous struggle of getting Earnhardt comfortable with the spandex cycling attire. "I told Jimmie, I said, 'Look, I'm going to meet you outside the track,' " Earnhardt said on the podcast. "Ain't no way in hell I'm going to let anybody see me ride through the infield wearing this bike gear, spandex stuff." Johnson smiled at the experience. "I couldn't believe my eyes, to be honest," Johnson said of his reaction to Junior agreeing to a cycling trip. "He was a little worried about the attire, but I promised him you really feel weird standing around other people in street clothes when you're in the attire. When you're in a group of guys, proper attire really makes a big difference. "So, he cleared that hurdle, which I wasn't sure we could get on Ride 1, and through the course of the ride, his comfort grew tremendously. The speed came up and his bike handling skills and stuff came right around. So, he's excited to ride this weekend and looking forward to getting him on a bike again." Hardest part of cycling? Being brave/crazy/stupid enough 2 wear spandex The hills R the 2nd hardest part. Me & our awesome pilot Jeff. pic.twitter.com/qzemyzgKlr — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) March 11, 2017 Johnson's passion for physical fitness is evident, his love for outdoor activities strong. He uses activities as a way to socialize, train and escape from the stresses of his high-speed career. "It's been really good for me physically, but more mentally on a lot of levels," Johnson said. "I can have an afternoon to clear my mind, I find that all I think about is the race car and I get my thoughts in order and really handle the race car situation to the best of my ability." But as Johnson's interests in the field vary and grow, his passion also has transcended as a way to help others: In 2016, Johnson lent his personal trainer Yon to No. 41 crew chief and longtime friend Tony Gibson and offered to help him get on track physically. RELATED: Crew chief's health boost from Johnson "He's like, 'Look, I've been thinking about you for the last three weeks,' and he said I want to get you healthy," Gibson said prior to the start of the 2016 season. "He said, 'We've known each other since I got into this and you've been a great friend to me.' He said, 'I'm worried about you. I'm worried about your health and I want to see you get healthy.' So I'm like, 'OK.' The next step was we got together and he's like, 'I'll take care of everything, I'll handle everything. We'll use my trainer. You just have to do it.' "So I said, 'You know, if he's willing to go to the length of that and put that much effort into it, then I'm a fool if I don't.' So I took him up on it and I've been losing weight ever since." But while Johnson enjoys helping others achieve their physical goals and has many fitness goals after he's done driving ("there's quite a few endurance races that I want to do from triathlons to mountain bike races," he says), he doesn't necessarily envision a career in personal training after he's hung up his fire suit. "I love helping people -- that's in my DNA," Johnson said. "Fitness has been a hobby of mine, a passion of mine for a while now and I've been able to influence many. But I just enjoy being there for others and tell my story -- maybe I can be there for them." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Showing results 1 - 10 of 11201 for: Coke Drivers
Load More Results