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The Rundown: Charlotte driver grades
RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings Breaking down the full field for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway : 1. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Toyota, Furniture Row Racing . A historic win. Truex set so many records, we can’t list them all. So we’ll settle for this one: He led a Sprint Cup -record 588 miles. Oh, and his 392 laps led … taken alone, they would rank 121st all time in series history. Grade: AAA+ (and that might be a tad low) 2. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Another second-place finish for Harvick (47th of his career). One more and he ties Lee Petty for 10th all time. Grade: A 3. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Johnson sniffed the lead after the final restart, but Superman said no. Instead, Johnson will be the answer to the trivia question: Who led the second-most laps (five) of the 2016 Coca-Cola 600 ? Sort of like: Who was the second-leading scorer the night Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a game? And, no, I don’t know. Grade: A 4. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Hamlin picked up 5 seconds on leader Martin Truex Jr . on the night’s second pit stop … and still lost by 6.4 seconds. That’ll happen in a 600-mile race. Grade: A 5. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . Keselowski and Kevin Harvick raced so close to each other for the first half of the race, you’d have thought a big ol’ magnet in one of the cars was keeping them side by side. Grade: A 6. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Busch increased his series-leading top-10 finishes to 11 and also moved up a spot to second in the standings behind Kevin Harvick . Grade: A 7. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Disaster came knocking on a green -flag pit stop late in the first half of the race when Austin Dillon fired out of his pit stall and went way wide into Kenseth. Fortunately the impact was minimal. Grade: A 8. Chase Elliott , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Elliott was running eighth when he was hit with a speeding penalty on the first pit stop; 373 laps later he finished eighth. Nice job. Grade: A 9. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . Not that Logano would have been able to run down Martin Truex Jr ., but any chance at the win went away during green -flag pit stops around Lap 254 when a crew member was over the wall too soon. After serving the penalty, Logano was 21st, one lap down, which effectively ended his night. The team battled back, but that’s a mistake that can’t be made, especially with your driver running so well in such a big race. Grade: D 10. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman was penalized for speeding on pit road during the third caution but battled back to post his fourth top 10 of the season and move up a spot to 16th in the standings. Grade: B 11. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Biffle posted his best finish of the season but couldn’t end his drought of top-10 finishes. His previous top 10 was last September at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when he finished fourth. Grade: B 12. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon started 28th and needed all 400 laps to claw his way up. Grade: B 13. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Larson made a lot of noise early and was running fourth at the halfway point before fading. Grade: B 14. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Junior was on pit road when the final yellow flag came out, and he took the wave-around to return to the lead lap … albeit a little deeper in the field for the final restart with 56 laps to go. He was never vying for a win, but that cost him a higher finish. Grade: B 15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse was the lucky dog on the final caution, enabling him to score his sixth finish in the teens (13th through 16th) in the past seven races. Grade: B 16. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Allmendinger’s 19.3 average running position was highest among drivers finishing in the top 20 and his 10 laps in the top 15 were the lowest. Grade: C 17. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard’s 11th-place-finish at Dover coupled with his 17th Sunday gave him his second-best back-to-back finishes of the season, behind his 15th-8th at Auto Club and Martinsville. Grade: C 18. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Edwards was a fixture in the top 10 and running third when he was hit with two green -flag pit-road speeding penalties. The first came when he was too fast entering the pits on Lap 298. The second came when he was too fast entering pit road to do his pass-through penalty, which required him to do a stop-and-go on the next lap. That put a fork in any chance for a decent finish: Grade: D 19. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. McMurray’s average running position was 19.1, and that’s exactly where he finished. Grade: C 20. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing . Not a bad finish considering Blaney was hit with his first pit-road speeding penalty of the season on the competition caution, had to return to pit road because of a loose wheel during the third caution and had his right rear tire go down with three laps to go. Grade: C 21. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Danica’s consistent: Sunday’s finish was her eighth in the 20s this season. Grade: C 22. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne’s right front tire went down early putting him two laps back, and he spent the rest of the night slowly making up ground. Grade: C 23. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Bowyer was never a factor and saw his string of top-20 finishes end at three. Grade: C 24. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Stewart qualified 21st but rolled off the grid 39th when NASCAR caught a crew member making an unauthorized change to the car on pit road before the race. A pit-road penalty for speeding during the third caution didn’t help things, either. Grade: D 25. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Since getting his first top 10 of the season at Bristol, Bayne has had a top-10 finish every other race. If the pattern holds, he’ll get his first top 10 at Pocono next week. Grade: C 26. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Almirola finished outside the top 10 for the 14th consecutive race, the fourth-longest such streak of his Cup career. Grade: C 27. Landon Cassill , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Of the season’s 13 races, Cassill has finished 25th, 26th, 27th or 28th six times. Grade: C 28. Regan Smith , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Smith posted his second-best finish in his past eight races. Grade: C 29. Brian Scott , No. 44 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Scott finished in the top 30 for the fourth race in a row. Grade: C- 30. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears’ finish is his worst in the 600 since a 33rd-place finish in the rain-shortened 2009 race while driving for Richard Childress Racing . Grade: D 31. David Ragan , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Ragan finished seven laps back but was running at the finish; he had DNFs in both Charlotte races last year. Grade: D 32. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . Although he finished 32nd, DiBenedetto was running at the finish, unlike in two of the previous three races. Grade: D 33. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Busch was running 10th and flirting with a top-10 finish when he cut a tire with seven laps to go and smacked the outside wall hard. Instead, he finished with his second straight DNF. Grade: B- 34. Michael McDowell , No. 95 Chevrolet, Circle Sport- Leavine Family Racing . McDowell posted his worst finish of the season. Grade: D 35. Cole Whitt , No. 98 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Whitt was running at the finish, nine laps back. Grade: D 36. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Annett finished 10 laps back. Grade: F 37. Chris Buescher , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Buescher could not build on his career-best 18th-place finish at Dover. Grade: F 38. Josh Wise , No. 30 Chevrolet, The Motorsports Group. Wise finished 13 laps back but was running at the finish for the fourth time in the past five races. Grade: F 39. Jeffrey Earnhardt , No. 32 Ford, Go Fas Racing . Earnhardt’s finish was a season low. Grade: F 40. Reed Sorenson , No. 55 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Sorenson completed 200 laps before clutch issues ended his night. Grade: F
Pit-road penalty bites Logano during green -flag stops
Joey Logano gets penalized on pit road after crew members cross over the pit wall too soon at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Kenseth penalized after failing to pit under green
RELATED: Full race results The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team of Matt Kenseth was penalized when it failed to pit under green by the end of Segment 1 in Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway . According to the event's rules, every team was required to perform at least a two-tire pit stop under green -flag conditions within the first 50 laps. However, Kenseth's team stayed out throughout the segment with the intent to pit under green at the last possible moment. That gamble did not pay off when a Lap 46 caution flag came out after Jamie McMurray 's No. 1 Chevrolet spun in Turn 2. "We were coming that time, which would have been coming to Lap 47 and then try to get two tires and keep your track position," Kenseth said. "That was his (crew chief Jason Ratcliff's) plan and we just caught the caution on the wrong lap." With the caution flag out, Kenseth was unable to pit under green prior to Lap 50. Kenseth was held on pit road and scored one lap down at the start of Segment 2. The sequence led to a pointed discussion between Kenseth and crew chief Jason Ratcliff over the scanner. On Lap 73, Kenseth was involved in a multi-car wreck that saw his night come to an early end with an 18th-place finish. RELATED: Stewart, Kenseth involved in wreck
Failure to make green -flag pit stop penalizes Kenseth
Jamie McMurray spins and brings out the caution before Matt Kenseth could make his mandatory green -flag pit stop prior to the end of segment 1, resulting in penalty.
Tony Stewart Chase Watch
RELATED: Coverage of Stewart's accident, comeback " Updated Chase Grid Tony Stewart returned from a back injury in April and the three-time champion is in pursuit of one of the 16 spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in his final season. Here's a look at where the driver of the No. 14 Chevrolet stands in his pursuit after the season's 13th of 26 regular-season races. WHAT JUST HAPPENED Stewart faced adversity early in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway , as he was forced to start the 600-mile event from the rear due to unapproved body adjustments to the No. 14 Chevrolet. Undeterred, "Smoke" made his way from the back to mid-pack, making a three-wide move for 21st place at Lap 36. But a pit road penalty halfway through the race and lightning fast frontrunners didn't bode well for the No. 14 Chevrolet and he ultimately finished 24th, four laps down. Nonetheless, the result did allow Stewart to jump two spots in the driver standings to 35th. WHAT HE NEEDS Stewart received a waiver from NASCAR for Chase eligibility. The surest way into the Chase is by winning before the end of regular season (at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 10) and climb into the top 30 in the points standings. En route to his 2015 championship, Kyle Busch faced a similar path after missing the first 11 races with a leg injury. Currently, Stewart is 35th in the standings, 60 points behind David Ragan for 30th place. WHAT'S NEXT "Smoke" heads to Pocono Raceway on June 5 (1 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio). Stewart is a two-time winner at "The Tricky Triangle," his last trip to Victory Lane coming in 2009. In his 34 starts, he also has 12 top fives and 23 top-10 results. RELATED: See all of Stewart's wins " "Smoke" granted Chase waiver
Pit road miscues cost Logano, Edwards
RELATED: Results " Standings " At-track gallery CONCORD, N.C. -- Joey Logano 's crew was in a rush to service the Team Penske No. 22 Ford. Carl Edwards was in a rush to get onto pit road in his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Separate incidents. Similar outcomes. Both were flagged for infractions during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Both were costly penalties. Logano was running third when he hit pit road during a round of green -flag pit stops that began on Lap 252 of the 400-lap, 600-mile race. But a crewman was across pit wall and inside the pit box too quickly, and during a green -flag stop that meant another trip down pit road for the driver. He was 21st after returning to the race, battled his way back onto the lead lap and eventually finished ninth. A week earlier he had won the series' Sprint All-Star Race, a non-points event that included a $1 million winner's purse. "You're trying to have these really fast pit stops and you've got to push everything," Logano said of the miscue. " Green flag penalties are tough to overcome. We were down a lap (but) we raced to get our lap back, which was pretty cool. We didn't have to get a (free pass) or anything like that, we just raced up in front of the leader, so that was cool." It was Logano's seventh top 10 of the season, but he's still searching for his first points win of the year. "Once you get on these restarts, after about 4-5 laps … it was just hard to pass," he said. "A lot harder than in the All-Star Race." Edwards' gaffe came a bit later, but likewise occurred during a round of green -flag stops. A pit road speeding penalty on Lap 297 brought his No. 19 Toyota back to pit road; a second speeding penalty while serving the first compounded the problem. The defending winner of the series’ longest race, Edwards wound up 18th in the final rundown. "I just got greedy," a sheepish Edwards said afterward on pit road. "I was doing really well getting onto pit road and I thought, 'All right, I'm going to get a little more,' and that didn't work. Then I let it snowball. I made a rookie mistake of trying to make my pass-through as fast as I could and I sped by, I think, a half a mile an hour. If I'd known I was going to speed I would have gone a little faster and gotten my money's worth." Edwards won consecutive races earlier this year. In the three races since his last victory, he's yet to finish inside the top 10. "I screwed it up," he said. "I think we had a solid top-four car, maybe a top-three car so it's really tough to swallow that one. It's a mistake; I better learn from it. … "We didn't quit; I'm proud of my guys for sticking behind me. ... That's just tough." Logano lost one position in the points standings, falling from eighth to ninth. Edwards fell a spot as well, from fourth to fifth, but with two wins is assured a slot in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup .
As sun sets at Charlotte, so does Junior's speed
RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings CONCORD, N.C. -- In a race punctuated by long, green -flag runs, Dale Earnhardt Jr . went from 25th to 10th in the opening 60 laps of Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway . While most of those in the top 10 were holding their own, Earnhardt and Kyle Larson ( Chip Ganassi Racing ) were on the move. Larson had started 24th and cracked the top 10 after only 40 laps on the 1.5-mile track. Earnhardt’s No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet climbed as high as seventh early. But as daylight turned to darkness and the track temperature cooled, Earnhardt’s fortunes also waned. "We made a ton of changes all night trying to help the car," Earnhardt, 14th at the finish, said. "We were stuck there around 11th and couldn’t move forward. "The way it took off at the start of the race I thought it showed a lot of promise. There were times in the race when we ran top-five laps but track position hurt us, the track cooled off and everybody was running the bottom. It was just hard to pass." Restart opportunities were few -- the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' longest race at 600 miles was slowed only four times by caution flags. The final yellow, for debris on the backstretch, fell with only 60 laps remaining and Earnhardt already on pit road. By taking the wave-around, he was able to remain on the lead lap, but not allowed to pit under the yellow. "When they don’t throw the debris cautions, we’re going to have a lot of green flag (stops)," he said. "We got caught on pit road when one of those debris cautions came out late in the race and it bit us. "There wasn’t any debris out on the track (for much of the race) so there wasn’t any use in throwing the yellow; they didn’t and we ran green ." With three second-place finishes in the first eight races, Earnhardt had been as high as sixth in points. But recent weeks haven’t been as kind to the team. Sunday’s result was his seventh outside the top 10 and he’s winless through the season’s first 13 stops. He’ll head to Pocono Raceway next weekend 13th in points. "We were doing OK, running about 10th , 11th all night," he said. "When the race started, the car was great and we moved all the way up to seventh. "I was really happy with the car, but when it got cool the top (groove) went away. The track cooled off, the bottom gripped up and that’s where everybody ran."
NASCAR TV schedule: May 30-June 5
RELATED: Find FS1 in your area All times ET Monday, May 30 6 a.m., Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship (re-air), FS1 6:30 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 4K TV 300 (re-air), FS1 8:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 (re-air), FS1 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBCSN Tuesday, May 31 6 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 (re-air), FS1 9 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 4K TV 300 (re-air), FS1 11:30 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 4K TV 300 (re-air), FS1 2 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 (re-air), FS1 5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBCSN 5:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 6 p.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN Wednesday, June 1 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 8 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 2:30 a.m., NASCAR The List: Rookie Seasons (re-air), NBCSN Thursday, June 2 5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 6 p.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race: Dominion Raceway (taped), NBCSN Friday, June 3 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 8 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 11 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FS1 12:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, FS1 3 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, FS1 4 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FS1 Saturday, June 4 9 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FS1 11 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1 11:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, FS1 12:30 p.m., WeatherTech Sportscar Championship: Belle Isle Park, FS1 12:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series FOX Pre-Race Show, FOX 1 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Pocono Green 250, FOX Sunday, June 5 8:30 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Pocono Green 250 (re-air), FS1 11:30 a.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FS1 1 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400, FS1 &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;nbsp;
Truex jokes about Johnson's brief pass for the lead
Martin Truex Jr. jokes about letting Jimmie Johnson pass him for the lead for "being a good sport" in the Coca-Cola 600. It was the only time during the race that Martin Truex Jr. was passed under the green flag.
Bruce: Honor the unfamiliar names on Sprint Cup windshields
RELATED: Learn about the troops being honored this weekend CONCORD, N.C. -- For the second consecutive year, the names displayed across the windshields of the cars that will take the green flag in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET, FOX) will be unfamiliar to most race fans. Gone are the names of Earnhardt Jr., Keselowski and Kenseth emblazoned across the tops of the vehicles. There is no Stewart, Busch or Logano. They have been replaced on this Memorial Day weekend with the names of Lynch, Taylor, Massarelli and Miranda. Carter, Jablonsky, Ramseyer and Gonzales. It's a long list. It's too long of a list. Including grand marshal vehicles and two pace cars, 44 of the vehicles here at Charlotte Motor Speedway will carry the names of fallen members of the United States military. Army. Navy. Marines. Air Force. Pilot. Gunner. Seal. Ranger. Their ranks varied. Their job did not. They were soldiers. They made the ultimate sacrifice. It's 600 Miles of Remembrance in the eyes of the NASCAR community. It's a lifetime of memories to those who knew them. RELATED: Every car in the field, plus fallen military member's name NASCAR officials worked with the Honor and Remember organization to pair fallen servicemen and women and their families with teams where no direct affiliations existed. But most of those we honor today at CMS had ties to NASCAR, through relationships with drivers or crewmen, sponsors or owners. Graham Molatch, the jack man for Chip Ganassi Racing 's No. 42 Chevrolet with driver Kyle Larson , is a former Navy Seal. Larson's car carries the name of fellow Seal Denis Miranda. The two were roommates serving in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2010 when Miranda died in a helicopter crash. "Denis was just a great person and I'm really, really honored to have a chance to have (him) on our car," Molatch said Saturday at CMS. "It means a lot to me. I think it means a lot to the guys on the team that we get to support Denis' name and his family. … "They should be acknowledged more than just once a year but it is great … to display their names. It's an honor for me personally, and a great honor for his family." Jimmy Woolard was a childhood friend of team co-owner Jack Roush. Woolard, whose name is carried on the No. 17 Ford of driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr . this weekend, was killed in action during the Vietnam War. Master Sergeant Paul Karpowich was a family friend of Mike Bugarewicz, crew chief of the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 Chevrolet for driver Tony Stewart . PFC John Borbonus was a classmate of driver Brian Scott ( Richard Petty Motorsports ) in Boise, Idaho. There are others. Too many others. Their photos are strikingly similar, most showing vibrant, smiling faces, full of life. Some were on their first mission; many had been a part of multiple deployments. There are those who left behind wives and young children. For others, family life would have come later. Later never arrived. There are those who left behind mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters. We honor them today every bit as much as we do those who are no longer with us. You may not recognize their names. But you should know why those names are there. It's the very least we can do.