Watch Denny Hamlin's No. 11 FedEx Cares Toyota be wrapped for Dover International Speedway.
Denny Hamlin will run a retro scheme inspired by Cale Yarborough at Darlington Raceway.
RELATED: Complete starting lineup BRISTOL, Tenn. -- If it's pole day in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Joe Gibbs Racing must be celebrating. Denny Hamlin powered his No. 11 Toyota around .533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway in 14.602 seconds (131.407 mph) on Friday to win the pole for Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race (on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. ET). In breaking Kevin Harvick 's August 2014 track qualifying record by .005 seconds, Hamlin won his second Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his third at Bristol and the 22nd of his career. JGR swept the top three spots in qualifying for the second straight week, having accomplished the feat last Saturday on the two-mile track at Michigan International Speedway. The pole was JGR's fifth straight on an oval track ( AJ Allmendinger , in a JTG Daugherty Chevrolet, claimed the top starting spot for the Aug. 9 race on the road course at Watkins Glen). Hamlin edged teammate Kyle Busch (131.263 mph) by .016 seconds. Carl Edwards (130.655 mph) took the third starting spot, followed by David Ragan in a Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota (130.460 mph) and Joey Logano in a Team Penske Ford (130.344 mph). Hamlin also won the pole for Friday night's NASCAR XFINITY Series race. "To have that two nights in a row here is hopefully going to pay dividends," Hamlin said. "We're excited. Bristol's been a great track for me in the past, and we've got nothing to lose this weekend, just gearing up for the Chase, so I think our FedEx team's ready." Hamlin has a victory at Bristol in addition to his two poles, and with a Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup position guaranteed by virtue of his victory at Martinsville in April, he can go all-out for a win on Saturday night without fear of consequences. Busch fought handling issues in the final two rounds of knockout qualifying and went for broke on his final attempt in the last round. "We were just a little too free there the second segment and the first run of the third segment," Busch said. "It's a little edgy up there, so you try not to push too hard, but still make a good lap and come back safely. "Then there at the end we tried a ‘Hail Mary' and it worked. It picked us up speed, but it didn't pick us up that spot." Brad Keselowski , Kevin Harvick , Ricky Stenhouse Jr . Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson grabbed the sixth through 10th spots on the grid, respectively. The qualifying effort was Stenhouse's best of the year. Jeff Gordon will start 24th in his last race at Bristol as a full-time Sprint Cup driver. Travis Kvapil , Jeb Burton and Reed Sorenson failed to make the 43-car field.
RELATED: Full starting lineup Denny Hamlin was the car to beat in Friday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying at Bristol Motor Speedway, leading all three rounds en route to his first career XFINITY pole at the Tennessee short track. Hamlin rounded the 0.533-mile oval at 126.896 mph in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Hamlin's JGR teammate Kyle Busch will also start on the front row in tonight's Food City 300 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Busch used a fast lap of 126.312 mph to snag the runner-up spot in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Kevin Harvick , piloting the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet this weekend, will roll off the grid third (126.021 mph), while Richard Childress Racing 's Brian Scott will start fourth (125.996 mph). Points leader Chris Buescher rounded out the top five in his No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford with a fast lap of 125.699 mph. Practice leader Brendan Gaughan advanced to the second round, but wasn't able to make the final round and will start 15th in tonight's event. Reigning series champion Chase Elliott advanced to the the final round and will roll off the grid 10th tonight.
Hamlin's bump of Austin Dillon for the lead leads to differing views RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings LOUDON, N.H. – To Denny Hamlin , it was just hard short-track racing for the win. To runner-up Austin Dillon , it was unnecessarily aggressive driving that led to Hamlin ’s victory in the Lakes Region 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. On Lap 179 of 200 at the Magic Mile, Hamlin drove his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to the inside of Dillon's No. 33 Chevrolet. Hamlin slid up the track into Dillon, broke the No. 33's momentum and took the lead. WATCH: Could payback be coming for Hamlin ? " Bad blood continues for Dillon, Hamlin Eventual third- and fourth-place finishers Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch also passed Dillon, who later regained the positions he lost to Keselowski and Busch but ran out of time in his pursuit of Hamlin . Earlier in the race Hamlin had two similar incidents with Busch, his teammate. And though Busch didn't appear particularly annoyed with Hamlin's tactics, Dillon was incensed. "He got to me, and I figured he was going to race, but he never even wanted to," Dillon said. "He wrecked his teammate and then proceeded to try and wreck me, and if I had gotten back to him, it would have happened to him." Hamlin wrote off the contact to all-out racing at a one-mile flat track. "The bottom line is, if you don't have any air on the outside of you, you just can't hold it," Hamlin said. "There was an example of that about three times today ... I want to thank 'Wheels' (crew chief Mike Wheeler) for giving me the dominant car. We had the best car, and just, wow, what a day." In Hamlin ’s view, Dillon wasn't blameless either. "Well, he jumped the restart, for one," Hamlin said. "I'm the control car, but that's fine. Eventually I was going to get back around him anyway. Same thing—I was a fender ahead, and he drove in there knowing that he was going to have to hold me low to hold the position, and I just washed up into him. "But that's two guys on a short track racing for the win." Dillon clearly had a different opinion. "What is racing, if you can't race side-by-side for more than a corner?" Dillon asked rhetorically. "He never even went through a corner with me, the whole race. He didn't want to. He just moved me. Missed the corner. Wrecked me. "I'm fine with racing rough. I promise you, I can do it to anybody. But if we're going to race like that, I need to know before you get to the first corner. Give me a corner at least." Dillon indicated there might be some payback in the offing but wouldn't reveal how or when. "I'm not going to talk about it," Dillon said. "He won't be ready." Hamlin's reply? "We’ve both got race cars." Dillon got the lead on Lap 175 moments after a restart following the sixth and final caution for Brian Scott 's blown engine. Both Hamlin and Dillon had stayed out on old tires under the previous yellow, but Keselowski came to pit road for fresh rubber on Lap 142. As it turned out, the new tires made little difference. "It was the right call and probably got us to third, instead of fourth or fifth," Keselowski said. "We just weren't as fast as the 33 and 20 were. ... We just weren't fast enough this weekend." Rookie Daniel Suarez ran fifth, followed by Ty Dillon , Regan Smith , Darrell Wallace Jr ., Chase Elliott and Brennan Poole . Series leader Chris Buescher finished 14th, one lap down, and saw his lead in the standings shrink to 31 points over second-place Elliott. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 31, 2015) – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina going into the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on September 6 (7 p.m. ET on NBC). DARLINGTON-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ortho Ford) · Two wins, three top fives, six top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 12.800, eighth-best · Average Running Position of 10.597, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 105.7, fifth-best · 296 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 160.175, fifth-fastest · 2642 Laps in the Top 15 (71.7), seventh-most · 326 Quality Passes, second-most Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota) · One win, two top fives, six top 10s · Average finish of 13.600, 11th-best · Average Running Position of 8.995, third-best · Driver Rating of 106.1, fourth-best · 236 Fastest Laps Run, third-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 160.348, third-fastest · 3134 Laps in the Top 15 (85.1), third-most · 374 Quality Passes, series-most Dale Earnhardt Jr (No. 88 Valvoline Chevrolet) · Four top fives, nine top 10s · Average finish of 11.200, sixth-best · Average Running Position of 11.404, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 94.3, eighth-best · 110 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 159.954, ninth-fastest · 2650 Laps in the Top 15 (71.9), sixth-most · 312 Quality Passes, fourth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 ARRIS Toyota) · Three top fives, seven top 10s · Average finish of 13.100, ninth-best · Average Running Position of 13.732, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 91.0, 12th-best · 151 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 159.807, 12th-fastest · 2262 Laps in the Top 15 (61.4), 12th-most · 287 Quality Passes, eighth-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 3M Chevrolet) · Seven wins, 19 top fives, 23 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 7.400, second-best · Average Running Position of 7.629, series-best · Driver Rating of 112.7, series-best · 262 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 160.593, series-fastest · 3356 Laps in the Top 15 (91.1), series-most · 314 Quality Passes, third-most Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota) · One win, four top fives, seven top 10s · Average finish of 6.889, series-best · Average Running Position of 8.644, second-best · Driver Rating of 107.1, second-best · 186 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 160.315, fourth-fastest · 2849 Laps in the Top 15 (86.0), second-most · 303 Quality Passes, sixth-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Jimmy John's/ Budweiser Chevrolet) · One win, four top fives, seven top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 16.300, 12th-best · Average Running Position of 14.772, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 93.1, 10th-best · 167 Fastest Laps Run, second-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 159.885, 10th-fastest · 2531 Laps in the Top 15 (68.7), ninth-most · 267 Quality Passes, 10th-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) · Three wins, nine top fives, 12 top 10s · Average finish of 8.800, third-best · Average Running Position of 9.992, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 106.8, third-best · 256 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 160.443, second-fastest · 2789 Laps in the Top 15 (75.7), fourth-most · 291 Quality Passes, seventh-most Kasey Kahne (No. 5 HendrickRideAlong.com Chevrolet) · Three top fives, four top 10s; four poles · Average finish of 17.500, 13th-best · Average Running Position of 10.665, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 97.9, sixth-best · 230 Fastest Laps Run, series-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 160.069, seventh-fastest · 2597 Laps in the Top 15 (70.5), eighth-most · 233 Quality Passes, 13th-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · One win, three top fives, ten top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 10.100, fourth-best · Average Running Position of 13.487, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 93.2, ninth-best · 123 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 159.814, 11th-fastest · 2382 Laps in the Top 15 (64.7), 11th-most · 264 Quality Passes, 11th-most Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) · Seven top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 11.300, seventh-best · Average Running Position of 11.409, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 95.8, seventh-best · 64 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 160.086, sixth-fastest · 2778 Laps in the Top 15 (75.4), fifth-most · 259 Quality Passes, 12th-most Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet) · Four top fives, 12 top 10s · Average finish of 10.900, fifth-best · Average Running Position of 14.805, 13th-best · Driver Rating of 88.1, 13th-best · 105 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 159.791, 13th-fastest · 2153 Laps in the Top 15 (58.4), 13th-most · 311 Quality Passes, fifth-most Martin Truex Jr (No. 78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet) · One top five, three top 10s · Average finish of 13.111, 10th-best · Average Running Position of 13.116, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 92.1, 11th-best · 127 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 159.992, eighth-fastest · 2153 Laps in the Top 15 (65.0), 10th-most · 278 Quality Passes, ninth-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 10 at D arlington Raceway Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 18 1 1 4 7 1 17 93.1 2 Joey Logano 6 0 0 0 2 1 23 77.9 3 Dale Earnhardt Jr 20 0 0 4 9 1 14.3 94.3 4 Brad Keselowski 6 0 0 1 2 0 14.3 84.7 5 Jimmie Johnson 16 0 3 9 12 1 8.4 106.8 6 Martin Truex Jr 9 0 0 1 3 0 13.1 92.1 7 Matt Kenseth 21 1 1 3 10 1 16 93.2 8 Kurt Busch 18 2 0 2 5 1 17.9 81.6 9 Denny Hamlin 9 0 1 4 7 0 6.9 107.1 10 Jamie McMurray 14 1 0 3 5 1 16.1 82.6 * – Based on last 10 races at Darlington Raceway (2005 – 2014). Darlington Three Year Average Finishes Of Drivers Currently 17th – 30th In The Standings Points Pos. Driver 3 Yr. Average Finish (2012 - 2014) 17 Aric Almirola 21.0 18 Kasey Kahne 20.7 19 Greg Biffle 10.0 20 Austin Dillon 11.0 21 Kyle Larson 8.0 22 Danica Patrick 27.0 23 Casey Mears 25.7 24 AJ Allmendinger 24.0 25 David Ragan 33.0 26 Sam Hornish Jr . * 0.0 27 Tony Stewart 9.0 28 Trevor Bayne * 0.0 29 Ricky Stenhouse Jr . 19.0 30 Justin Allgaier 23.0 * Sam Hornish Jr . and Trevor Bayne have not made starts in the last three seasons at Darlington in the NSCS. Statistical Advance At Darlington Raceway : History · Darlington Raceway was built as a 1.25-mile paved superspeedway in 1949-1950. · Darlington Raceway hosted the first 500-mile race in NASCAR history and the first on asphalt on Sept. 4, 1950 – 75 cars competed in the event - Curtis Turner won the pole at 82.034 mph, and the race was won by Johnny Mantz (Plymouth, 75.250 mph, 6:38:40) . · The track was re-measured to 1.375 miles in 1953. · The track was re-configured to 1.366 miles following the spring race in 1970. · The track was repaved in 1995. · The 2005 race was the first Saturday night race at Darlington. · The track was repaved again prior to the 2008 season. Starts · There have been 111 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway . The 1.366-mile track has hosted the fifth most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points paying races. · 709 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway ; 428 in more than one. · NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Darlington with 65. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 34 starts; followed by Tony Stewart with 22. · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Darlington with a 6.824. · Jeff Gordon (6.8), Ryan Newman (8.6) and Kasey Kahne (9.1) are the only active three drivers with an average starting position in the top 10. · 125 different drivers have made NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career debut at Darlington Raceway . Poles · Curtis Turner won the inaugural Coors Light Pole Award at Darlington in 1950 in an Oldsmobile with a speed of 82.034 mph. · 48 drivers have Coors Light poles at Darlington, led by David Pearson with 12. Kasey Kahne leads all active drivers with four. · Nine drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Darlington. Kasey Kahne is the only active driver with consecutive Coors Light poles (2005-2006). · David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Darlington with five (1975 - 1977). · Youngest Darlington pole winner: Kurt Busch (09/02/2001 – 23 years, 0 months, 29 days). · Oldest Darlington pole winner: David Pearson (09/06/1982 – 47 years, 8 months, 15 days). · Eight drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup pole at Darlington Raceway : Cotton Owens (1957), Fred Lorenzen (1961), Bill Elliott (1981), Ken Schrader (1987), John Andretti (1995), Kurt Busch (2001), Elliott Sadler (2003) and Clint Bowyer (2007). Wins · 47 different drivers have won at Darlington Raceway , led by David Pearson with 10. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven wins; followed by his HMS teammate Jimmie Johnson with three. · Six drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Darlington Raceway : Johnny Mantz (1950), Nelson Stacy (1961), Larry Frank (1962), Terry Labonte (1980), Lake Speed (1988) and Regan Smith (2011). · Youngest Darlington winner: Kyle Busch (05/10/2008 – 23 years, 0 months, 8 days). · Oldest Darlington winner: Harry Gant (09/01/1991 – 51 years, 7 months, 22 days). · Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Darlington in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 14. Manufacturer Wins Chevrolet 41 Ford 28 Mercury 10 Oldsmobile 6 Dodge 5 Pontiac 5 Buick 4 Plymouth 4 Hudson 3 Toyota 3 American Motors Company 2 · 11 different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Darlington; led by Chevrolet with 41 victories; followed by Ford with 28 and Toyota has three. · 20 of the 111 (18.02%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Kevin Harvick in last season’s event. · NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson has won from the pole four times at Darlington – the series’ most. · The Coors Light pole starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting position at Darlington. The outside front row (second-place) has produced the second-most wins (17). Wins · 37 of the 111 (33.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the front row: 20 from first-place and 17 from second-place. · 96 of the 111 (86.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Darlington have been won from a top-10 starting position. · Six of the 111 (5.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Darlington is 43rd by Johnny Mantz in 1950 – the inaugural NSCS event. · 13 drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Darlington; Dale Earnhardt (1989-1990) and Jeff Gordon (1995-1996) are tied for the series-most in consecutive wins at Darlington with three each. · All seven active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Darlington Raceway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Among active drivers, Kyle Busch won at Darlington in the fewest previous appearances (three). · Matt Kenseth competed at Darlington Raceway 19 times before winning last season; the longest span of any the six active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners. · Tony Stewart leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington without visiting Victory Lane at 22. Additional Finishing Position Stats · Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty are tied for the series most runner-up finishes at Darlington with eight each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in second-place finishes at Darlington with four. · Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Darlington with 25. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 19; followed by Jimmie Johnson with nine. · Bill Elliott leads the series in top-10 finishes at Darlington with 35. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 23; followed by Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart with 12 each. · Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington with a 6.889. · Three active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have an average finish in the top 10 at Darlington: Denny Hamlin (6.8), Kyle Larson (8.0) and Jimmie Johnson (8.4). Track/Event Specific Stats · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Darlington Raceway is the (03/16/2003) race won by Ricky Craven with a MOV of 0.002 second over Kurt Busch . The MOV is tied with the 2011 Talladega race as the closest finish in the NSCS since the inception using electronic timing and scoring. · There have been four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting in a green-white-checkered finish at Darlington Raceway : 2005 (367/370), 2011 (367/370), 2012 (367/368) and 2014 (367/374). Additional Finishing Position Stats · Eight of the 111 races at Darlington Raceway have been shortened du
RELATED: See all the paint schemes for Darlington Darlington Raceway will host the Bojangles' Southern 500 this weekend. Numerous teams are participating in the throwback theme at the South Carolina track and paying homage to some of NASCAR's most famous cars -- and drivers. Here's how some of the cars looked originally, with footage of the vehicles driving around Darlington. Brad Keselowski Brad Keselowski 's scheme is paying homage to Bobby Allison's car in the 1983 Southern 500. " Watch old footage of Allison's car in action Austin Dillon Austin Dillon is keeping it in the family and honoring grandfather Richard Childress. The paint scheme of the No. 3 Chevrolet is a tribute to Childress' car during the 1979 Southern 500. " Watch old footage of Childress' car in action Denny Hamlin Denny Hamlin 's No. 11 JGR Toyota mirrors the car of NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough's look from 1973. " Watch old footage of Yarborough's car in action Ricky Stenhouse Jr . Ricky Stenhouse Jr . is honoring three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson and paying tribute to his car from the 1968 Southern 500. " Watch old footage of Pearson's car in action Chase Elliott The No. 25 of Chase Elliott is one of the many cars getting a vintage makeover. Elliott's Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet resembles the paint scheme of his father Bill Elliott 's car from 1974. " Watch old footage Elliott's car in action Kyle Larson Kyle Larson 's No. 42 Chevrolet is going to replicate Kyle Petty's Mello Yello look. " Watch old footage of Petty's car in action Clint Bowyer As Clint Bowyer looks for a strong performance at Darlington in hopes to maintain his spot on the Chase Grid, his car will be rocking a pretty awesome paint scheme honoring the late Buddy Baker. Bowyer's Toyota is similar to Baker's No. 15 Ford from the 1974 Southern 500. " Watch old footage of Baker's car in action
Pocono has become a strong spot for No. 11 driver Denny Hamlin got his first pole in just his sixth career Cup race, but the second pole was even better, as it came packaged with a trip to Victory Lane. In 2006, the eventual Sunoco Rookie of the Year started out as an all-or-nothing qualifier, with eight top-10 starting positions but three 30th-or-worse qualifying efforts through the first 13 races of his rookie season. At Pocono, the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Chevrolet found plenty of qualifying speed, putting Hamlin on the pole for the Pocono 500 on June 11. And that’s where Hamlin finished, too. But it wasn’t one of those green-to-checkered dominating performances. Hamlin took off at the start, maybe even faster in race trim than qualifying trim, putting a 6-second lead on the field and leading 49 of the the 50 laps. But he had a tire go down and spun. Hamlin saved the spin, but the deflated tire did some damage to the rear fender. However, the Virginia native rebounded in a big way. Hamlin wound up leading 83 of the race’s 200 laps and made his first trip to Cup Series Victory Lane at the Long Pond, Pennsylvania track where he would repeat as pole and race winner six races later. That second trip to Pocono was a little less exciting for Hamlin as it was one of those pure domination events. He cruised to the win, leading 151 or 200 laps. In that outing it was teammate Tony Stewart who made headlines when he gave Clint Bowyer ’s No. 07 more than a little bump, causing it to careen into Carl Edwards ’ No. 99. Hamlin enters the Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 race with four wins, nine top fives and 12 top 10s in 18 starts. He looks good to make a run at his fifth victory there after a weekend at Dover that saw him take the pole and top the speed charts in the final two practices before a wreck-marred 21st-place finish. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Racing community sounds off on Sunday night's awards show MTV's Video Music Awards show on Sunday night was a spectacle, to say the least. While there were a few shining moments -- we're looking at you, Tori Kelly -- the majority of the night was simply full of outrageousness. From host Miley Cyrus' outlandish outfits to singer Kayne West's long-winded speech and declaration of 2020 presidential candidacy, the awards show left eyes wide and mouths agape, with an occasional nervous chortle slipping through the shock. And the NASCAR community was not immune -- especially Ricky Stenhouse Jr . This @MTVVideoAward pre show is making me want to scratch my eyes out and put some ear plugs in... ( @DanicaPatrick ) — Ricky Stenhouse Jr . (@StenhouseJr) August 31, 2015 Got back from dinner with tv on the VMA's. #ChangedtoFootball — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) August 31, 2015 I remember when "Achy Breaky Heart" came out and we thought THAT was the worst thing Billy Ray Cyrus would ever create. #vmas — nascarcasm (@nascarcasm) August 31, 2015 Good thing I've got something way better to watch than this garbage show thanks @SpeedShiftTV pic.twitter.com/El1wFVqT7W — Ricky Stenhouse Jr . (@StenhouseJr) August 31, 2015 Well I just don't get it #MTVVMAs — Ty Dillon (@tydillon) August 31, 2015 And for the record... I had a boy. WTH is with these girls and their outfits???? Leave a lil something to the imagination! #classitup — DeLana Harvick (@DeLanaHarvick) August 31, 2015 Thought I was done... Such a weirdo .."bro listen to the kids".. Making zero sense. I've always believed in myself not sure about him #VMAs — Ricky Stenhouse Jr . (@StenhouseJr) August 31, 2015 Don't do drugs kids. #kanyewest — Brian Scott (@bscottracing) August 31, 2015 Poor Billy Ray #MTVVMAs — Ty Dillon (@tydillon) August 31, 2015 See what @Chris_Buescher has to say about last night's #VMAs ! pic.twitter.com/sbf2f5rMVp — Roush Fenway Racing (@roushfenway) August 31, 2015 Despite all the Miley and Kanye-bashing, there was some love for America's sweetheart -- and Denny Hamlin 's favorite -- Taylor Swift. @DeLanaHarvick All I have to say is Thank God for Taylor Swift, and that she is more popular with all the girls than the others! — Nikki Krone (@NKrone) August 31, 2015 I have to agree with you... She seems to have it together. #positiverolemodel http://t.co/1K3Jn43HEW — DeLana Harvick (@DeLanaHarvick) August 31, 2015 And then there's Kenny Wallace , who dared to be different in the Twitterverse. LOL I am pretty sure the only way you all know about @MileyCyrus is you "Tuned into" the #VMAs2015 and that was your choice. — Kenny Wallace (@Kenny_Wallace) August 31, 2015 Seriously? Have any of you watched @MileyCyrus "Sit Down" interviews? She is a carbon copy of @Madonna and some "I guess" have forgot? — Kenny Wallace (@Kenny_Wallace) August 31, 2015 Pretty sure Ryan Reed got it right, though -- never thought we'd say it, but thank goodness for Monday. I'm really excited for when my timeline isn't filled with vma tweets. — Ryan Reed (@driverRyanReed) August 31, 2015
Dillon hints he would have wrecked Hamlin if given the chance Saturday LOUDON, N.H. – Denny Hamlin got the best of Austin Dillon in Saturday’s XFINITY Series Lakes Region 200 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, moving him out of the way in the corner with less than 30 laps to go to pick up his second win of the season. Don’t expect Dillon to forget about it. WATCH: Bad blood continues between Hamlin , Dillon “I missed one corner; I’ll take the blame for that. I got a little tight. … He got to me; figured he was going to race, but he never even wanted to,” said Dillon, who finished runner-up to Hamlin . “He wrecked his teammate ( Kyle Busch ) and then proceeded to try and wreck me. And if I would’ve gotten back to him, it would’ve happened to him. “What is racing if you can’t race side-by-side for more than a corner? He never even went through a corner with me. The whole race. Didn’t want to. He just moved me. Missed the corner; wrecked me. I’m fine with racing rough. I promise you I can do it to anybody. But if we’re going to race like that, I need to know before you get into the first corner, you know? Give me a corner, at least.” While the video shows Hamlin dive into the corner in an effort to gain position on Dillon’s No. 33 Chevrolet and then drift back up and make contact, it was contact that Hamlin explained in full detail in his post-race press conference as being Dillon’s fault. That said, it was also contact that Hamlin likely won’t lose sleep over, since he felt Dillon jumped the restart when his No. 20 Toyota was the control car. “I did feel like he left early. I was the control car and I was going to wait,” Hamlin said. “I typically start early in the box most restarts. I was going to wait until late in the box but he took off right in the middle of the box and short of just stacking the field up and not going, I didn’t want to wreck everybody behind me, so I just took off and continued that he was just going to jump the start and really nothing was going to be done about it.” Hamlin paused, before continuing to further explain why he shouldn’t take the blame. “There’s a misconception, I think, at this track on what responsibility the outside car has. The bottom lane at this track is the middle; it’s not the yellow line. Nobody runs on the apron at this race track. When you’re the outside car and you choose to run the middle and somebody is underneath you, you run a risk of that car more than likely washing up into you. Everyone’s done it. Austin’s done it. Kyle’s done it sometimes. We’ve all done it. “When that outside car chooses to hold you down and pinch you down, typically they get the bad end of the deal. I got the worst end of the deal in the first one with Kyle. When a car is on the bottom, I typically move up to the third lane to give the person an opportunity to stay underneath me. I did it with Kyle earlier in the race. I think he passed me twice and I kind of threw my hands up, moved up high and let him have the spot. With him and Austin, they both kind of ran the middle, trying to protect their position like they’re supposed to but it gives me just no opportunity to save my car. “I’m already committed to the bottom at that point. Once you let off the throttle and you turn down in, you’re hoping they give you the true bottom line, which is the middle, but when they don’t it’s a ‘you pinch, you pay’ type problem.” The extra wrinkle to all of this: Hamlin and Dillon are both full-time Sprint Cup Series drivers who still have to race on Sunday in the 5-hour ENERGY 301 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network). And if Dillon’s post-race temperament was any indication, he certainly wouldn’t shy away from any contact. Only thing is, Dillon, winless and mired in 21st in the standings, is the one that can’t afford to wreck his race car seeking retaliation. Hamlin has his Chase for the Sprint Cup all but wrapped up via a Martinsville win earlier this year. Still, is he worried? “Not really. I have a win. I have nothing to lose, basically,” Hamlin said. “It’s just heat of the moment. Obviously, as upset as he was that I moved him out of the way, I was just as upset that he jumped the restart. We’re both racing for a win and I’ve been on the other side of somebody moving me out of the way for a race win inside 20 to go and especially on a short track. It happens. It’s part of short-track racing. The two instances when I got into both Kyle and Austin, I didn’t wreck anyone. Definitely didn’t spin anyone out.” This isn’t the first time the pair have had their issues. Hamlin and Dillon got into it at Texas Motor Speedway two years ago and exchanged heated words post-race. Those words stuck with Dillon, the grandson of team owner Richard Childress. “I’ve reworked a relationship with Denny ,” Dillon said. “He called me a spoiled rich kid in Texas two years ago and I hate it, you know what I mean? He said just the last name and I said, ‘My last name is Dillon, not Childress, but he is my grandfather.’ I always act with class. Everybody in the media knows that. And I’ve worked my way here just like anybody else. But Denny , acting like that, what does he want me to call him, you know? I don’t do that. I know how to act.” When asked in his press conference what Dillon should call him, Hamlin had one simple, two-word response. “A winner.” FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule