MORE: Official NASCAR release " Bowyer drops to 16th after penalty NASCAR announced P2 penalties for race-winner Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Suarez on Wednesday for infractions during Saturday night's XFINITY Series' Furious 7 300 at Chicagoland Speedway . RELATED: Race-winner Busch's No. 54 fails post-race inspection After earning his series-leading 74th XFINITY victory, Busch's winning No. 54 Toyota failed post-race inspection. NASCAR officials found the car to be too low, failing to meet minimum height requirements on all four corners ( Sections 12.1 , 184.108.40.206.1. b & c, 220.127.116.11.2.b & c, 18.104.22.168.1.f, 22.214.171.124.2.a.b & d of the NASCAR rule book). In response, crew chief Chris Gayle was fined $12,500 and placed on probation through Dec. 31 2015. Car owner J.D. Gibbs was docked 10 series championship owner points. The No. 18 team, whose car is wheeled by Suarez , was penalized for modifications to the right side vertical extension panel (side skirt) following pre-race inspection ( Sections 12.1 and 20.4b and 20.4.2a of the NASCAR rule book). As a result, No. 18 crew chief Eric P. Phillips and crew member John Egbert Jr. have been placed on probation through Dec. 31, 2015. While the sanctioning body annulled governing ride-height heights for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series prior to the 2014 season, the regulations remain intact for the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. The Sprint Cup Series teams of Danica Patrick and Chase Contender Clint Bowyer were also penalized following Sunday's Cup event at Chicagoland. The No. 15 team was given a P4 penalty, while the No. 10 team was handed a P2.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, NASCAR shines a spotlight on the talented Latino Drivers successfully competing at all levels of the sport.
RELATED: Full qualifying results Daniel Suarez topped the leaderboard during Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series qualifying at Kentucky Speedway and earned his third Coors Light pole of the season. Suarez covered the 1.5-mile track with a fast lap of 179.856 mph. Joining Suarez on the front row for the Saturday night race will be the No. 2 Chevrolet of Brian Scott who posted a fast lap of 178.855 mph. Scott has been strong all weekend as he was the fastest amongst his competition during both of Friday's practice sessions. Rounding out the top three on the qualifying leaderboard was Regan Smith , who wheeled his No. 7 Chevrolet around the track with a third-fastest lap of 178.719 mph. The No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Ty Dillon (178.353 mpn) and the No. 22 Team Penske Ford of Ryan Blaney (177.895) were fourth and fifth, respectively. The defending race winner, Brendan Gaughan , was sixth-fastest at 177.760 mph in his No. 62 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. On-track action picks back up at Kentucky for the NASCAR XFINITY Series' VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (200 laps, 300 miles) at 8 p.m. on NBCSN/Live Extra.
RELATED: Full practice results Joe Gibbs Racing rookie Daniel Suarez topped the lone NASCAR XFINITY Series practice at Chicagoland Speedway . Suarez's fast lap of 177.713 mph topped the charts of the 145-minute session. In fact, three JGR cars made up the top four with another Toyota (J.J. Yeley) making it a clean sweep of the top four spots in practice. Yeley was second in the session (176.725 mph), followed by the JGR duo of Kyle Busch (176.079 mph) and Matt Kenseth (175.833 mph). Richard Childress Racing took four of the top 10 spots with Paul Menard (5th, 175.154 mph), Ty Dillon (6th, 174.859 mph), Brendan Gaughan (7th, 174.672 mph) and Brian Scott (10th, 174.014 mph). Entering this weekend, Chris Buescher holds a 21-point lead over defending series champion Chase Elliott in the championship battle, with Dillon 27 points back and Regan Smith 49 points behind. Buescher finished 16th in practice, while Elliott (who won last week at Richmond) finished 19th and Smith, his JR Motorsports teammate, finished 14th. Friday's practice was the only on-track time of the day for the XFINITY Series drivers. Saturday will be a busy day for the series with Coors Light Pole Qualifying taking place at 2:45 p.m. ET (NBCSN/Live Extra) and the Furious 7 300 at 6 p.m. ET (NBCSN/Live Extra, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
RELATED: More on Dash 4 Cash DARLINGTON, S.C. – Winning the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus wasn't on the mind of Daniel Suarez during the closing laps of Saturday's VFW Sports Clips 200 at Darlington Raceway . That's because the Joe Gibbs Racing driver was concerned about something a bit more important – his first NASCAR XFINITY Series win. "No it’s not," Suarez said following his third-place finish. "But the victory is." Late green-flag pit stops by the leaders cycled the No. 18 Toyota of Suarez into the lead, and with his team instructing him to save fuel, the 23-year-old nursed his advantage for as long and as far as he could –until the rocket-fast entry of teammate Denny Hamlin came roaring past with just three laps remaining on its way to the checkered flag. Fellow teammate Kyle Busch shot around Suarez to claim second as JGR drivers swept the top three spots in the series' 24th stop. Third wasn't first, but it was tops among the four eligible drivers competing for the final $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus. Others vying for the award were Brian Scott (12th), Ty Dillon (15th) and Chase Elliott (24th). "After I hit the wall, for some reason … I messed something up and I wasn't able to hear 100 percent my spotter and my people," Suarez said. "I was able to understand them but when we were under the green flag it was tough. "When we had maybe 20 laps to go, when we took the lead, they were telling me to save fuel … I was saving; I wanted to save but I didn’t want to lose the lead, either. It's always hard to be in the position when you need to save fuel and you are leading the race because I wanted to go; I wanted to lead more. "But the problem is if I go, and for some reason we run out of fuel, that's my fault." Suarez qualified for the fourth segment in this year's Dash 4 Cash program by finishing fifth last month at Bristol, earning his first $100,000 bonus. Regan Smith (JR Motorsports) had won the season's first two segments, at Dover and Indianapolis. In a NASCAR.com fan pole asked to pick the Darlington Dash 4 Cash winner, Suarez received only eight percent of the vote. Scott received 40 percent of the vote, Elliott 37 percent and Dillon 15 percent. "We were alright; it's just once everyone started pitting as early as they did, I got a little bit scared and I knew we had a buffer," Eric Phillips, crew chief for Suarez , said. "And in my mind, we were racing the 3 (Dillon), the 2 (Scott) and the 9 (Elliott) for that XFINITY $100,000. "The fuel situation was probably close. But … probably not as close because we saved a lot of gas there at the end – probably too much gas." Hamlin pitted with 27 laps remaining in the 147-lap race, a move necessitated due to problems filling the car with fuel on a previous stop. But the flip side of the earlier-than-anticipated trip to pit road eventually played into the driver's favor – the fresh tires enabled him to shoot through the field as others stopped to eventually reel in his teammate. "He did a great job," Phillips said of his driver, who made contact with the wall during practice on Friday and again on the second lap of Saturday's race. "The hardest thing with him is to get him to understand that's part of this place. It's going to happen. The best of them have done it all the time. You've got to go keep dealing with it, and you're going to do it. You're pushing as hard as we pushed, and we probably didn't have the best car but we got a good finish and did what we needed to do today." It was the first trip to Darlington's difficult 1.366-mile track for Suarez . A third-place finish and second consecutive $100,000 bonus didn't make up for the lost opportunity, but it made it easier to digest. "I felt like we were a top-10 car," said Suarez . "We were running seventh, sixth maybe, not much better than that. And we finished third. So we'll take it."
Daniel Suarez finishes third at Darlington Raceway earning himself and fan, Kurt Kolstad, $100,000 each.
Suarez able to hold off first practice leader Kyle Busch SECOND PRACTICE: Full results Daniel Suarez topped the XFINITY Series final practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon with a fastest lap of 176.810 mph in 50.902 seconds. Suarez was sixth fastest in the first practice Friday morning, improving his fastest lap time by more than one second in the second round. Kyle Busch , who posted the top speed in Friday’s first session, was second this time, clocking in at 175.466 mph (51.292 seconds). Kyle Larson drove the HScott Motorsports No. 42 Chevrolet posting a fastest lap of 174.907 mph and Erik Jones ’ Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota was fourth on the leaderboard with a lap of 174.842 mph. Rounding out the top five for practice No. 2 was Brian Scott in the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet (174.432 mph). Kevin Harvick , who is pulling double duty in the Sprint Cup and XFINITY races this weekend, had some troubles with his No. 88 Chevrolet and finished 18th during the second session. The reigning Indy champ, Ty Dillon , had more success during the second session than the first, clocking in a seventh-fastest lap of 174.125 mph. Dillon said his No. 3 Richard Childress Chevrolet car was, however, too tight the entire practice and needed to be worked on before the qualifying round. The XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying is set to start Saturday at 11:35 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Network. OPENING PRACTICE: FULL RESULTS Last year's Lilly Diabetes 250 runner-up, Kyle Busch , topped the leaderboard in Friday's first practice for NASCAR XFINITY Series with a fastest lap of 178.717 mph (50.359 seconds). Busch, who missed the first three months of the season with severe leg and foot injuries in a crash in the XFINITY opener, has had an impressive summer of racing with back-to-back wins on the Sprint Cup Series side and a victory in the XFINITY Series in June. With a new aerodynamic package set for this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, drivers were able to put into practice the much-talked-about changes for the first time. Paul Menard was second-fastest, clocking in at 177.845 mph. In all of Menard's three NASCAR XFINITY Series' starts at Indy he has finished in the top-10. On the Sprint Cup side, he has his only premier-series win at the rectangular track. Erik Jones rounded out the top three with a fastest lap of 176.139 mph. This weekend marks the first time the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver will race at Indy. Kyle Larson (175.967 mph), Ryan Blaney (175.654 mph) and rookie Daniel Suarez (175.394 mph) rounded out the top six in the first practice round. The new rules package is designed to promote more side-by-side racing at Indy, a track notorious for difficult passing. The biggest aerodynamic change was to the rear spoiler, which was raised to a 9-inch height. GALLERY: What the new spoiler looks like at Indy Although the new high-drag rules package has gotten mixed reviews, veteran XFINITY Series driver, Brendan Gaughan , said he didn’t see a huge difference. Gaughan's No. 62 Chevrolet was eighth-fastest in the first practice with a fastest speed of 175.104 mph. Last year's winner, Ty Dillon , was 16th-fastest after dealing with some engine issues early in the session. On-track action for XFINITY Series continues at 2:30 p.m. ET for the final practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Dillon, Suarez both looking for first Iowa win RELATED: Practice 2 results After running fourth in Friday's first practice, Ty Dillon topped the leaderboard in the second practice with an impressive fastest lap of 133.012 mph in 23.682 seconds. The No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet completed a total of 67 laps for the session. NASCAR XFINITY Series veteran Brendan Gaughan was second on the leaderboard for Friday's final practice session with his No. 62 Chevrolet coming in hot with a fastest lap of 132.704 mph in 23.737 seconds. T.J. Bell rounded out the top three with a lap of 131.871 mph (23.887 seconds). This weekend will mark the first time Bell has lined up for a NASCAR XFINITY Series race since 2012's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. Next on the leaderboard was Drew Herring in his No. 6 Ford. Herring had a fastest lap of 131.519 mph (23.951). This will be his first NASCAR XFINITY appearance since 2013's Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. And completing the top five for this session was Brian Scott in his No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet with a lap of 131.403 mph. Daniel Suarez , who topped the first practice, finished ninth in the Friday night's practice (131.026 mph). The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing driver will be on the lookout for his fourth consecutive top-five finish this weekend at Iowa Speedway. Kenny Wallace , who will be competing in his last race in the series this weekend at Iowa, finished 15th. Wallace is looking for his 10th career win at Saturday's U.S. Cellular Presented by New Holland (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SiriusXM). NXS action continues Saturday with the Coors Light Pole Qualifying at 4:45 p.m. ET. RELATED: Practice 1 results Daniel Suarez topped the leaderboard in the NASCAR XFINITY Series opening practice on Friday at Iowa Speedway. The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota posted a fastest lap of 133.367 mph. Next was fellow rookie Brandon Jones in his No. 33 Chevrolet with a fastest lap of 131.965 mph. Saturday's U.S. Cellular 250 Presented by New Holland marks Jones' second start in the XFINITY Series. His first race was at Iowa’s May race, the 3M 250 , where he finished eighth. Rounding out the first session's top three was Ben Rhodes . Rhodes had a fastest lap of 131.744 mph. Ty Dillon (131.546 mph) and Darrell Wallace Jr . (131.486 mph) came in fourth and fifth, respectively. XFINITY Series points leader, Chris Buescher finished practice in the seventh spot, posting a fastest lap of 130.332 mph. Johanna Long , finished 30th in the first session. This is Long's first 2015 appearance as she hasn't raced since 2013's Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. On-track action continues at 7 p.m. ET with the NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice on NBCSN. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
XFINITY Series rookie visits Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Joliet Photo credit: Don McClelland As a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Daniel Suarez says he's been doing his homework as best he can, oftentimes having to learn new and unfamiliar race tracks on the fly. Monday morning, on the heels of a strong race but disappointing finish the previous day at Iowa Speedway , Suarez did his own schooling one state over, visiting Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Joliet, Illinois, to talk about the importance of technology and mathematics. The assembly also came with a surprise perk -- 1,000 race tickets, enough to send the whole school's enrollment plus family members to the series' race June 20 at nearby Chicagoland Speedway (9:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). "It was pretty fun and makes me think a lot because the last group of kids we had, it was from 10 to 11 years old and it made me think that when I was that age, I was about to start in racing," said Suarez , who ranks 10th in the XFINITY standings. "It was really cool. All those kids were super-excited about all of us. Now they have tickets to go, without a question. I'm excited about that and looking forward to seeing all these kids again next month." Suarez's own role as a student has meant plenty of adjustment in his first full XFINITY season driving the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota, visiting new circuits and adapting to the pace of longer races than the NASCAR K&N Pro Series that sparked his development. Yet when he returns to the Land of Lincoln, it will mark the 23-year-old driver's second race on the 1.5-mile track, a facility he lauded for its multiple grooves and high-speed layout. Suarez finished 15th last fall in a one-off event for RAB Racing at Chicagoland in just his second career XFINITY start, but it's an experience he hopes to build upon when the series returns for Father's Day weekend. "For sure, it's different because at least you know what to expect," said Suarez , who is also running a part-time schedule for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this season. "In those races where I've never been before in the past, you're learning about everything -- about the racing line, everything. I know that when I do my homework to watch video and get information about the race, everything is still difficult. "It's still a process. But for all these races where I've been in the past, I feel like my confidence and my knowledge about the race track is a little better." His learning process thus far has been on an accelerated upturn, especially on the series' short tracks, where he's logged his best finishes of the season -- second at Bristol and sixth at Richmond. That streak ended Sunday at Iowa Speedway , where he led a career-high 48 laps early on before sliding back somewhat in the late going. His chances for a top-five finish, though, slipped away when his car sputtered out of fuel with just two laps left in regulation. "It was just a difficult day in many ways," Suarez said. "Looks like we had a pretty strong car in the beginning of the race, but the race track changed a lot and the line changed a lot as well. We improved the car some, never quite like at the beginning, and then we ran out of luck and ran out fuel. That pretty much ended our day, but at the end of the day, I felt like we had a top-five car. I feel like we ran most of the day in the top 10, top five, and that's a good thing, but definitely we have to keep working, keep learning about our mistakes and be better for next week." Next week comes quick for Suarez and the rest of the XFINITY regulars with Saturday's Hisense 300 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM) at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the backyard of NASCAR's business hub. His studies for this weekend haven't started just yet, but it's by no means due to procrastination. "Not yet, actually. We are here today in Chicago and just finished yesterday in Iowa, so my homework is going to start tomorrow," Suarez said. "But I feel good about Charlotte. I've never been on the race track in a race, but I had a test in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the beginning of the year, so I know a little bit about the track. It's straightforward, it's fast, it's very narrow, but I feel like we're going to have a pretty good car one more time and we're going to try to be competitive." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Driver of No. 51 encouraged by career-best finish in series In just six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, Drive 4 Diversity graduate Daniel Suarez is getting the hang of it, and it shows after the Mexican-born driver finished second -- Suarez's best finish in the series -- in the Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway on Friday. From wheeling winning cars in the K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR Toyota Series, Suarez has balanced driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in the XFINITY Series and piloting the No. 19 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota in the Camping World Truck Series with grace. "The whole 2015 so far has been a big difference from my 2014 -- what I was racing in in Mexico and some K&N races -- definitely a big step, a big, big difference," Suarez said after his second-place finish at Dover. "Racing with Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch Motorsports it's just a great opportunity and I'm very lucky because to have fast race cars every weekend is just great. I feel like we have a shot every single weekend, I feel like I'm learning a lot every single weekend ... Kyle has been on our side a lot helping us as well. Everyone in Joe Gibbs Racing . I just feel like we're getting closer and closer (to a win)." But with Dover being such a physically demanding track and the KBM driver having never raced there before in a truck, Suarez was able to lean on team owner Kyle Busch -- a 42-time Truck Series winner -- for track knowledge and advice. "Most of the race tracks that we've been to this year, I've never been to before," Suarez said. "... It's just a little bit difficult to get onto the race track when you have no idea what's going on, what to expect with a new race car, with a new race track ... Kyle (Busch) has been very helpful to me, to give me advice, what to expect, how I need to be to be strong in the race, not just in practice." While Busch's guidance has been helpful, Suarez discusses how his confidence has grown in just the first few months of the 2015 season. "I've been very surprised how competitive we've been in the last couple months in both series. To be honest, I feel different from February to right now. I feel much different. I have more confidence. I know a little bit more. ... And on both sides we are competitive. Hopefully, we can get a little more luck soon and maybe finish in Victory Lane." In six Truck starts, Suarez has only finished outside the top 10 once (15th at Talladega). The No. 51 Toyota driver will take the track next on Saturday, Aug. 1 for the Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway . FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule