Crafton claims first win at Homestead-Miami
RELATED: Race results " Series standings HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- As strong as he was in winning Friday night's Ford EcoBoost 200 , Matt Crafton was already looking ahead to 2016. Crafton, whose hopes for a third consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship were dashed by a crash at Phoenix last week, won his sixth race of the season, holding off John Hunter Nemechek and Tyler Reddick in the season finale. Although Crafton's No. 88 Toyota Tundra finished 2.9 seconds ahead of Nemechek and more than six seconds ahead of Reddick, the 39-year-old veteran still wound up third in the point standings, 15 behind 19-year-old Erik Jones . "I was having so much fun there at the end of this race," said Crafton after his first career victory at HMS. "Six wins with as many laps as we’ve led -- it's been awesome this season. We just made too many mistakes. I made too many mistakes. … I promise one thing: It's going to make us stronger in 2016." Crafton said he was happy to be able to "take the gloves off" and go all out for a win at HMS. "That was lot of fun," he said. "It's amazing what Junior (crew chief Joiner) can do with these trucks. On that last run, we hit a home run there." Ultimately, Kyle Busch 's eye for youthful talent paid off as Jones did what he needed to in becoming the youngest driver ever to claim a NCWTS title (19 years, 5 months, 21 days) and first NASCAR Next alum. He also became the first to win a driver's title for Kyle Busch Motorsports. "He put it to me when he beat me in a Super Late Model race," recalled Busch, who will race for the Sprint Cup title on Sunday. "I tend to pick up on the talent of younger kids. Actually, the first time he raced against me, he blew my doors off, then blew up 40 laps later. I said, 'Good. I don’t have to race (against) this one.' " There was no blowing up Friday night. Jones entered the race 19 points ahead of Reddick, his nearest competitor, and 32 points ahead of Crafton, the Keystone Light Pole-sitter. Making his first HMS start, Jones needed only to avoid trouble and finish 15th or higher to claim the series crown. Jones, who notched three wins this season and has seven career NCWTS victories, finished sixth in the race behind Ben Kennedy and Timothy Peters . He qualified fifth and was content to race safely and efficiently, remaining in the top 10 for most of the race and avoiding any calamity on the track. "I can't think of a better way to repay these guys. I can't think of a better ending than that," said Jones, who expects to drive full-time in the XFINITY Series for Joe Gibbs Racing next year after parts of three seasons with Kyle Busch Motorsports. "Eric's done a lot of growing up in a short period of time," Busch said. "I'm glad he stuck with me and our plan. I think he has a lot of bigger and greater things ahead on his plate." NASCAR Drive for Diversity and NASCAR Next alum Daniel Suarez appeared to have the strongest truck early in Friday's race, charging from sixth to the lead. But Suarez slid up the track into the truck of Dexter Stacey on Lap 61, falling back to 15th, then found the wall again on Lap 83. That left Crafton in position to dominate the race. He led 93 of the 134 laps, leaving NASCAR Next driver Nemechek (Chevrolet) and Reddick (Ford) in his wake to battle for second. Reddick, driving for Brad Keselowski Racing, started fourth and advanced to second behind Crafton with 40 laps to go. But by then, Jones, who briefly slid back to 14th after a caution flag shuffle, had rallied to seventh, keeping Reddick, also a 19-year-old driver, at bay in the chase for the title. "We were very consistent this year. I'm proud about that," Reddick said. "We just have to move on to next year. I know what second place feels like and I really don't like it too much. If I didn't have enough reasons to win a championship, I've got one more."
Member of the Month: August
Name: Holly Current City: Taylorsville, Utah Member since: 2009 Getting to know Holly Q. Why did you join the Official NASCAR Fan Council? " I joined the Official NASCAR Fan Council because I was impressed that a professional sports organization would actually take interest in what their fans' impressions were of their sport in which they were investing so much time in watching, reading, attending, and participating in." Q. How did you first become interested in NASCAR? "I first became interested in NASCAR from watching a television series on FX called NASCAR 360. I was aware of the sport prior to that television series but had the usual reaction when questioned about it which was that it was 'just a bunch cars going around in circles.' However, the television series showed the nuts and bolts of the sport which piqued my interest because I am a 'numbers’ girl.'" Q. What makes NASCAR special for you? "NASCAR is special for me because my family became interested in the sport with me. We celebrate with each other when our individual drivers win a race or championship or advance in the Chase. However, we also give each other some friendly ribbing when our drivers are not doing so well, such as when one of our drivers is "wrecked" by another family driver or they are not doing so well overall." Q: Do you have any favorite NASCAR memories or traditions? "My first true NASCAR memory is when my brother and his wife (at the time) gave me tickets to my first race at Las Vegas Speedway on row 4 in the straightaway just past the start/finish line for the March 2006 race as a Christmas present. I drove up from Mission Viejo, CA; they drove down from Erda, Utah; and we met in Mesquite, Nevada. His wife and I drove back and forth from Mesquite to the speedway for both races and it SNOWED that weekend in Las Vegas. Of course, I had no winter gear with me since I was coming from southern California so I had to purchase the last sweatshirt my driver's hauler had, which I still wear proudly today. After that experience, Stacey and I attended the Auto Club Speedway race two weeks later (and continued to do so until 2011). In 2008, the family decided that they were going to start attending the Las Vegas Speedway races with us because they saw how much fun we were having thus ending our girls only race weekends in Vegas and the family tradition continued until this year." Q: Do you have a favorite in any of the following categories? Driver: "Jamie McMurray." Track: "Las Vegas Motor Speedway." Memorabilia: " I have purchased several Jamie McMurray t-shirts, hoodies, hats, cars, key chains, cardboard cutout, a couple of pieces of one of Jamie McMurray's Crown Royal cars that were cut up, and the list goes on. My friends and family also keep an eye out for Jamie McMurray memorabilia wherever they go (because I am a diehard fan) so I have a car still in a box, a furry animal of some sort sporting Jamie McMurray gear that when you press its hand you hear the roar of an engine, a Jamie McMurray Barbie-like doll, etc. I am exceptionally proud of my Jamie McMurray key chain and hat when he won the Daytona 500 in 2010 and my Jamie McMurray shirt and hat when he made the Chase in 2015." Q: If you could go to any NASCAR race/track, where would you go? "Daytona International Speedway." Q: What do you like to do in your free time? "I like to watch NASCAR (I text the family updates throughout the race when they are unable to watch them), go on vacations with the family, spend quality time with my nephews and niece because they grow up so fast, visit my friends that I have made throughout the country, watch movies, dog sit for family and friends, go to the beaches in Southern California, and read my Kindle." Q: Tell us about your family. Do you have children and/or pets? "My family includes my mother (who supports all of our drivers); a sister and her husband; a brother (a Ryan Newman fan); my brother's ex-wife and her family (she's a Jimmie Johnson fan); my brother's ex-wife's sister and her husband (she's a Carl Edwards fan); and eight nephews and one niece (Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick fans)." Q: What’s your dream car? "A silver 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible." FROM ALL OF US AT NASCAR, WE THANK HOLLY FOR HER CONTINUED SUPPORT AND LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM HER IN 2016.
Thrivent is primary sponsor for Michael McDowell
RELATED: Track all the moves in Cup Series MINNEAPOLIS (January 21, 2016) -- Thrivent Financial is proud to announce its continuing sponsorship of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team Circle Sport- Leavine Family Racing and driver Michael McDowell in the 2016 race season. Thrivent, a not-for-profit financial services organization that serves Christians, will be the primary sponsor for fifteen (15) races during the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with McDowell behind the wheel. The organization will also serve as a secondary sponsor on 15 additional races. Thrivent started its relationship with Leavine Family Racing and McDowell in August of 2014. The mutually beneficial relationship expanded in 2015 for a 20-race sponsorship that included 10 primary races. This year, Leavine Family Racing has partnered with Circle Sport to field the No. 95 in the full 36-race schedule and entered into a new technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing , making the manufacturer switch to Chevrolet. "We're thrilled to extend our sponsorship with Michael McDowell and Circle Sport - Leavine Family Racing in 2016," said Craig Stacey , Director of Marketing at Thrivent. "We had a tremendous response and reception from NASCAR fans in our first full season as a sponsor. In 2016, we're planning to provide more unique opportunities and content for fans through our social media channels and website. We like to think of our fans as part of our team and it's fun to give them a behind-the-scenes view of Thrivent Racing!" For Thrivent, the off-the-track integration with McDowell and the race team was just as important as the race weekend competition. In 2015, McDowell and the race team raced go-karts with Wounded Warriors, packed shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and volunteered alongside Thrivent members to repair homes of those in need through the organization's Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity program. Additionally, by creating a custom, fan-driven online game, Thrivent Financial donated $95,000 to Habitat for Humanity on behalf of NASCAR fans at the end of the 2015 season. "I love working with Thrivent! Their mission to help Christians be wise with money and live generously is really a good fit with my personal values," said McDowell, who became a member of Thrivent in 2014. "We were able to team up and do some great things last year with race fans and Thrivent volunteers -- especially at the Habitat events and speaking with Thrivent members nationwide. This is a perfect partnership and I'm excited to have Thrivent back as a sponsor in 2016." This season, Thrivent will be featured as the primary sponsor at major NASCAR events and tracks including the Daytona 500 , Talladega Superspeedway , Charlotte Motor Speedway , Bristol Motor Speedway , Indianapolis Motor Speedway , Darlington Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway . The 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season kicks off on Sunday, February 21, 2016, with the Daytona 500 . Fans can keep up with all the action on Twitter by following at @ThriventRacing, via the organization's Thrivent Racing Facebook page, on Instagram at @ThriventRacing and via the web at www.ThriventRacing.com.
King Autosport fielding two XFINITY cars at Daytona
Team plans to field No. 90 Chevrolet full time in 2015 Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge Mario Gosselin will fill in for Martin Roy in the No. 90 Chevrolet for King Autosport in this week's NASCAR XFINITY Series slate at Daytona International Speedway. Gosselin is the crew chief for the No. 90 team, but with Roy out because of a shoulder injury, he will get behind the wheel. The No. 90 Chevrolet is slated to be a full-time car for the Florida- and Montreal-based team. The team is also running a second car, the No. 92 Chevrolet, at select events in the XFINITY Series this season. Dexter Bean will pilot that car at Daytona. Roy, who made five starts in the XFINITY Series last season, acknowledges it is a bit of a complex plan. "We have set ourselves a highly demanding task, both physically and financially," Roy said in a team release. "Mario and I are passionate about this sport, but we are also businessmen. We are convinced that our plan is realistic and vital to our credibility and success in the arena where we want to be: NASCAR." Gosselin is no stranger to NASCAR competition. He has run two Sprint Cup Series events, three XFINITY Series events and 47 Camping World Truck Series events in his career. Bean has made five career NASCAR national series starts, with three coming in the Camping World Truck Series and one each in the Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series. The Alert Today Florida 300 takes place Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 starting lineup
See where every driver will start Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN Pos Car Driver Team Time 1 18 Daniel Suarez # ARRIS Toyota 49.929 2 2 Brian Scott Shore Lodge Chevrolet 50.048 3 20 David Ragan (i) Interstate Batteries Toyota 50.140 4 22 Joey Logano (i) Discount Tire Ford 50.164 5 54 Erik Jones (i) Monster Energy Toyota 50.193 6 3 Ty Dillon Yuengling America's Oldest Brewery Chevrolet 50.242 7 33 Austin Dillon (i) Rheem Chevrolet 50.243 8 16 Ryan Reed Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford 50.351 9 62 Brendan Gaughan South Point Chevrolet 50.381 10 1 Elliott Sadler OneMain Financial Ford 50.398 11 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 50.446 12 15 Scott Lagasse Jr. Florida DOT Chevrolet 50.454 13 60 Chris Buescher Bit-O-Honey Ford 50.286 14 6 Darrell Wallace Jr . # Cheez-It Ford 50.302 15 7 Regan Smith Fire Alarm Services Chevrolet 50.306 16 42 Brennan Poole DC Solar Chevrolet 50.395 17 43 Dakoda Armstrong WinField Ford 50.412 18 26 Timmy Hill (i) JGL Racing Toyota 50.497 19 98 Aric Almirola (i) Fresh from Florida Ford 50.541 20 66 Benny Gordon SomersetRegionalWaterResources Chevrolet 50.599 21 88 Kasey Kahne (i) Ragu Chevrolet 50.692 22 8 Blake Koch Celsius Healthy Energy Cola Toyota 50.692 23 25 John Wes Townley (i) Zaxby's Chevrolet 50.699 24 01 Landon Cassill Flex Seal Chevrolet 50.712 25 44 David Starr Zachry Toyota 50.767 26 85 Bobby Gerhart Lucas Oil Chevrolet 50.799 27 92 Dexter Bean CrashClaimsR.us Chevrolet 50.878 28 28 JJ Yeley Texas 28 Spirits Stage Toyota 50.888 29 89 Morgan Shepherd Courtney Construction Chevrolet 51.007 30 90 Martin Roy Gamache Truck Center Chevrolet 51.038 31 74 Mike Harmon FatBobsGarage.com Dodge 51.056 32 39 Ryan Sieg Uncle Bob's Self Storage Chevrolet 51.135 33 70 Derrike Cope EvergreenFabrication&IndustrialServices Chev 51.148 34 4 Ross Chastain # Flex Shot Chevrolet Owner Points 35 0 Harrison Rhodes # Flex Seal Colors Chevrolet Owner Points 36 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com/BRTExtrusions Chev Owner Points 37 14 Cale Conley # IAVA Toyota Owner Points 38 52 Joey Gase FaithofourFathers/SupportMilitary.org Chev Owner Points 39 24 Eric McClure Hefty Easy Grip Cups Toyota Owner Points 40 97 Peyton Sellers # Vroom Brands Chevrolet Owner Points
Ty Dillon, Bubba collected in late race crash
Ty Dillon and Darrell Wallace Jr. spin in a late race crash, but drive away.
GarageCam goes west
Matthew Dillner and Chuck Bush take you through the Las Vegas NXS garage as NASCAR makes its first stop on the west coast swing. #NASCARGoesWest
XFINITY gets thumbs up on GarageCam
The cars and stars of the NASCAR XFINITY Series come out to welcome XFINITY to GarageCam and give host Matthew Dillner grief about his green jacket.
Best Of Garage Cam: Nationwide Las Vegas
Highlights from a rainy Nationwide Series practice Garage Cam.
Post-Race Reactions: All-Star Race
Kyle Busch and David Reutimann comment on coming up just shy of one million dollars.