Crash that broke his leg and foot, journey back to racing SHOP: Busch gear Nov. 22: Busch wins first Sprint Cup Series championship In a season fit for the silver screen, Kyle Busch completes his emotional comeback from a devastating season-opening injury to capture his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title. " Read the full story " Final 2015 standings Nov. 22: Busch wins title with victory at Homestead-Miami Driver Kyle Busch caps an amazing comeback, winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 to hold off fellow Championship 4 contenders Kevin Harvick , Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr . " Read the full story " Complete race results Aug. 9: Busch breaks into top 30 in drivers points standings A runner-up finish at Watkins Glen pushed Kyle Busch into 30th place in the Sprint Cup points standings, a requirement of eligibility for him for the Chase. With four race wins under his belt, he must remain in the top 30 to make the Chase. " Read the full story " Full race results July 11: Kyle Busch wins Sprint Cup race at Kentucky A second win helps Kyle Busch 's chances of cracking the top 30 in points, the second condition he must meet to make the 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup . " Read the full story " Full race results June 28: Kyle Busch wins Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Needing victory to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup , Kyle Busch got the victory at Sonoma , a track that had been a concern as he continues to recover because the road course is so physically demanding. " Read the full story " Full race results June 13: Kyle Busch wins XFINITY race at Michigan Kyle Busch goes to Victory Lane in his first race back in the XFINITY Series after breaking his leg and left foot at Daytona. " Read the full story " Full race results May 24: Kyle Busch completes Coca-Cola 600 , finishes 11th Kyle Busch makes his Sprint Cup points race debut for the season in the Coca-Cola 600 , climbing to second place before fuel strategy led to an 11th-place finish. " Read the full story May 18: Kyle, Samantha Busch welcome first baby Driver Kyle Busch and his wife, Samantha, had their first child, a boy, at 9:45 p.m. May 18. Brexton Locke Busch is his name. " Read the full story May 16: Busch finishes sixth in All-Star race After a pleasing top-10 run in his first race back from leg and foot injuries, Kyle Busch looks forward to running in the Coca-Cola 600 " Read the full story May 13: Kyle Busch granted Chase waiver NASCAR has granted Kyle Busch a waiver for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Find out what he has to do to make the Chase. " Read the full story " Official NASCAR release " Cain: Making Chase will cap comeback May 12: Kyle Busch announces return After missing 11 events to open the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season following his injury at Daytona, Kyle Busch has set his return for the Sprint All-Star Race on May 16. " Read the full story " Drivers react to news of Busch's return " Herman Unplugged: Reaction to Busch's return " Busch's return a hot topic at Dover test May 9: Jones' promising run crashes at Kansas Making his first Sprint Cup start filling in for the injured Kyle Busch , Erik Jones was working on a great run at Kansas until he found the wall late in the race. " Read the full story April 16: Accident leads Busch to become unexpected safety advocate NASCAR.com's Holly Cain tells the story of how Kyle Busch 's wreck at Daytona has changed the Joe Gibbs Racing driver into a saftey advocate for the sport. Busch talks about how impressed he was of the breadth and depth of detailed information that has been gathered from his accident. " Read the full story April 16: Busch family bonds, finds strength in recovery With a baby on the way, the Busch family discuss how they've worked as a team to recover from Kyle's injury while prepping to expand their family. The parents-to-be explain that it hasn't been easy, but they're counting their blessings. " Read the full story April 15: Kyle Busch analyzes tape of his wreck Kyle Busch holds his first press conference after his crash at Daytona and uses video to break down his thought process as the wreck unfolded. His doctors are pleased with his progress, but he has no timeline for returning to driving. " Read the full story " Herman Unplugged: Busch should sit out 2015 April 15: Kyle Busch responds to Keselowski blog During his first press conference after his Daytona crash, Kyle Busch also addressed his long-running feud with fellow Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski . " Watch the video " More on Keselowski's blog April 15: Kyle Busch , wife discuss crash, impending parenthood In an interview with Charlotte NBC affiliate WCNC, Kyle Busch and his wife Samantha discussed the driver's accident at Daytona in February " Read the full story March 20: Kyle Busch takes next step in recovery Kyle Busch posts a video on Facebook of himself moving around a bit with the aid of a walker, along with encouragement from his wife, Samantha, and their dog. " Read the full story March 17: KBM drivers keep in touch Daniel Suarez says his team owner's advice is invaluable. And Justin Boston reports Busch is 'recovering quickly.' " Read the full story March 14: Kurt Busch hopes brother doesn't rush return Kurt Busch says, 'You can't rush the healing of bones and surgeries.' And teammate Denny Hamlin says Kyle Busch is staying engaged with the No. 18 team despite being sidelined. " Read the full story March 11: Kyle Busch , Samantha, visit KBM Kyle Busch and his wife, Samantha, take a field trip to Kyle Busch Motorsports and tell the team, 'Progress is going well.' " Read the full story March 10: Busch gets walking boots Kyle Busch gets soft casts removed from both legs and moves up to walking boots, which Samantha Busch dubs 'Terminator boots' in a Twitter photo. " Read the full story March 2: Subs announced for No. 54 XFINITY Toyota Denny Hamlin , Erik Jones and Boris Said are tapped as substitute drivers for Kyle Busch in the No. 54 NASCAR XFINITY Series Toyota. "Get Well Kyle" stickers adorn the No. 54. " Read the full story Feb. 27: Kyle Busch heads home after second surgery After a second surgery to treat his injuries, Kyle Busch was in a Charlotte hospital for observation for two days before being cleared to go home. The No. 18 racing team put a "Get well Kyle" on the rear bumper of the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for the Atlanta race. " Read the full story Feb. 25: Kyle Busch has successful surgery on left foot Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Kyle Busch underwent a successful surgery on his left foot at a Charlotte hospital. " Read the full story Feb. 24: Kyle Busch leaves Florida hospital Kyle Busch was released from Halifax Health Medical Center. He boarded a plane on a stretcher and was transferred to a North Carolina hospital for further treatment of multiple leg injuries. " Read the full story Feb. 24: David Ragan to sub for Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing announces that David Ragan will sub for the injured Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota for several weeks, starting at Atlanta Motor Speedway . " Read the full story Feb. 24: ISC working on 'significant plan' for safer barriers In the wake of Kyle Busch 's severe crash and resulting injuries during the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway , International Speedway Corporation announces a plan to expand its use of impact-diffusing barriers at its 12 tracks. " Read the full story Feb. 22: Joe Gibbs says Busch's surgery went well Team owner Joe Gibbs gives an update on Kyle Busch 's status after surgery and says he is 'resting comfortably.' Doctors reported that things went well with surgery on Busch's lower right leg. " Read the full story Feb. 22: Samantha Busch gives update from hospital Samantha Busch posts a selfie with Kyle Busch from his hospital bed on Twitter with a tweet saying, "Getting ready to watch the Daytona 500 ! Cheering on our 18 boys!" " Read the full story Feb. 21: Drivers wish Kyle Busch well after hard hit Kyle Busch is taken to the hospital by ambulance after a big wreck during the XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway . Fellow drivers sent well-wishes via Twitter. " Read the full story Feb. 21: Hard hit sidelines Kyle Busch for Daytona 500 A crash in the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race caused NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch to miss the Daytona 500 after suffering injuries to his right leg and left foot a day before the Great American Race at Daytona International Speedway . " Read the full story
RELATED: Race results " 2015 final standings HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Team owner Joe Gibbs sees Daniel Suárez as a big part of the future -- not only for NASCAR but for his team. Part of the equation is about the 23-year-old’s talents as the driver who just earned Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Suárez moved up to fifth in the final series standings with his sixth-place effort in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway . But a lot of it is about how Suárez got to that point, advancing through NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program to become a factor in both the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series this year. "It's exciting for our sport," Gibbs said. "I don't think I've been in any business meeting the last five years where (somebody) didn't say 'We've got to reach the Hispanic market.' It's a big deal for us to have Daniel on board. "It helps me from the standpoint that I want to be a good partner in every part of NASCAR. We've been heavily involved in the (Drive for) Diversity program with a number of different guys. We think it's good for our sport. I know it is. I think our sport belongs in every part of the market in America and I think this is a big step." Suárez is the first Mexican driver and second Drive for Diversity product to win Sunoco Rookie of the Year in one of NASCAR's national series. Although he didn't win an XFINITY race, he won three Coors Light Pole Awards, recorded 18 top-10 finishes and placed second to Joey Logano at Bristol Motor Speedway . "It's been a long journey so far, but a very fun one," Suárez says. "We had a goal early in the year to get the Rookie of the Year, be strong and try to contend for some wins. We didn't win, but we were close several times. We ran in the front. I don't think it was a surprise to see the ARRIS No. 18 in the front, which for me was something really good." Suárez, has been fast ever since arriving on the scene from Monterrey, Mexico, where he was accustomed to open-wheel racing and road courses, not ovals. He was Rookie of the Year in NASCAR’s Mexico Series in 2010. Advancing to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East for Rev Racing, he placed third in the 2013 standings with nine top-10 finishes. But he's also had a lot to learn [[ from mastering the English language to mastering how to handle NASCAR's race cars and tracks. "These cars are different," he says. "They are so aero-dependent and to move around the race track, '’m not used to that. When I was racing in Mexico, you used to start in one line and I was used to staying in that lane. So, all this is new to me." Saturday's race was a tribute to how far Suárez has come. After qualifying on the front row, he dropped all the way to 16th, a lap down, after his team was penalized for a loose tire in the pits. Clawing his way back into contention, he was one of only 10 finishers on the lead lap. His sixth-place finish enabled him to bump veteran Elliott Sadler (13th) from the fifth and final seat at Monday night's XFINITY championship banquet. Still, Suárez, who gained additional experience by driving 13 races for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series, knows he has a long way to go. "There is a huge difference between racing fast, racing in the front and winning a race," he says. "And this is one of the steps I have to make for next year. This was one of my goals for this year. I didn’t get that one. So in the offseason I am looking forward to working as hard as possible with my team to take that next step and win races." As for a chance to drive in the Sprint Cup Series, Suárez believes that will come in due time. "I feel if I'm in the right place and with the right people to make that step at the right time," he said, "But for now we need to focus on what we're doing right now." His owner will be watching closely. "We are really proud of Daniel," Gibbs said. "He has done a fantastic job both on and off the track and I know ARRIS and Toyota are extremely excited to have him earn this honor. "He has been consistent throughout the year but also showed improvement each week and that really showed up as he returned to tracks for a second time. He has put a lot into this and I'm just thrilled for him and his family, the team, and everyone that supports him, both here and back in Mexico.
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RELATED: Standings going into final race HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Sunday's NASCAR finale has four drivers vying for the championship in what NASCAR officials like to refer to as a Game 7 moment. There have already been plenty of pivotal points during this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs, but what if Sunday's showdown is shortened into a Game 5 1/2 moment? The threat of a damp forecast at Homestead-Miami Speedway has raised plenty of questions about how a potentially rain-altered Ford EcoBoost 400 (3 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM) could play out, especially with so much on the line in the season-ending race. The National Weather Service rates the chances of precipitation on Sunday at 60 percent, with thunderstorms especially likely in the morning. The possibilities come on the heels of the championship field being settled in a rain-abbreviated race the previous weekend at Phoenix International Raceway . The stakes will be even higher Sunday, but the procedures for declaring a race official will remain the same. "It's not a new rule. It's not something different," said three-time series champion Tony Stewart . "Is it ideal, no. Is it OK, yes. I mean, we don't have a choice. We can't control the weather. It's not ideal by any means. I don't think anybody wants to have that scenario and have to race in that scenario, but as well, at the same time, we've all raced under those circumstances, and if it has to end that way, that's the way it'll end." NASCAR has maintained long-standing procedures that a race becomes officials once it passes the halfway point, but the sanctioning body has also historically made every effort to run its races on the scheduled date. Advancements in technology have helped competition officials make more informed decisions about the weather, but the considerations -- for fans, teams and broadcast partners -- make those decisions even more critical, especially when the outcome of the race or the season-long championship weighs in the balance. To help combat the effects of rain this weekend, NASCAR can employ 17 Air Titan track dryers, 12 conventional jet dryers, and four vacuum trucks -- an armada that NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France touted as a record number of resources. But France also mentioned in his State of the Sport address on Friday that watching the skies and planning for inclement weather was a necessary angle for teams to work around. "We're looking at everything," France said. "Our view now is that like a lot of things that aren't necessarily perfect, so to speak, that's part of the game. That's part of racing that it's part of the strategy. You saw that last week in Phoenix. That you have to anticipate weather as being a factor in deciding things, as unfortunate as that is. Hopefully it won't be a factor on Sunday." Carl Edwards was among the unfortunate ones last weekend, missing out on his Championship 4 bid by just five points when rain escalated with 93 laps remaining. Edwards told his crew "they can't let it end like this" over the team radio as the race went to red-flag conditions, but NASCAR officials did, leaving Kyle Busch , Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr . to join Jeff Gordon among the final quartet. Busch was among those on the plus side of the rain at Phoenix, a situation he wouldn't mind being in Sunday if circumstances cut things short. "I think it would be very unfortunate, you know, but it is what it is," Busch said. "I mean, the rules have been the way the rules are for a long, long time and everybody ridicules NASCAR for changing the rules whenever they want, and this time they're sticking to it. Like Jeff said earlier, I hope I'm the guy leading when it's raining, and if it's raining we're going to be doing a heck of a rain dance."
RELATED: Full coverage of Gordon's last ride Below is a numbers breakdown of Jeff Gordon 's stats in his four championship seasons, plus 2015.
Jeff Gordon is at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the chance to do something remarkable; win his fifth Cup title in his final full-time season. In the days leading up to the coveted finale, get caught up on everything No. 24 here -- and check back every day, as NASCAR.com will continue to add content regularly about the four-time champion's last ride. -- Gordon: 'We're still going to celebrate' -- Gordon finishes sixth in final race -- Gordon on McMurray: 'I'm punting his ass' -- Gordon takes the lead on restart -- Crew members salute Gordon as he leaves pit road -- Fans salute Gordon with card trick -- Gordon honored in eventful final 2015 drivers' meeting -- Watch: Final introduction of Gordon -- Watch: Gordon walks to car for one last time -- Watch: Gordon greets family and friends at car -- Chronicling Gordon's final race -- Gordon's iconic career coming to a glorious close -- Photo gallery: Gordon through the years -- Tale of the Tape: 1995 Gordon vs. 2015 Gordon -- Gordon's top-24 moments during his NASCAR career -- Gordon's best paint schemes of all-time -- Gordon honored at drivers' meeting -- Cain: My dinner with Gordon -- Capsule look at Gordon's four championships -- Homestead could be 'fairy-tale ending for Gordon -- Teammates pay tribute with paint schemes -- Drivers offer favorite Gordon memories -- Gustafson remains focused for Gordon's final race -- Inside Access with MSC: Crew chiefs on Gordon's farewell -- Gordon flips the script, gives gift -- 'Dirty Air' crew talks Gordon's drive for five -- Comparing Gordon, other NASCAR greats in final year -- Hendrick: Tried to keep Jeff a few more years -- Kraft's Korner: Going out on top rare but ideal -- Send your personal message to Gordon -- Title would be 'poetic justice' for Gordon -- NASCAR nation honors Gordon with #24Ever -- Larson's touching tribute to Gordon -- Evernham expects Gordon to capture title
The classic NASCAR film "Days of Thunder" was loosely based on the career of 13-time premier series victor Tim Richmond, who had earned the nickname "Hollywood." Given his comfort in the spotlight over the course of the past two decades, perhaps the nickname would also suit Jeff Gordon , who retired from full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition after falling just short in his bid for a historic fifth title on Sunday. Born a California boy, it was clear from the start of his career that Gordon was cut from a different cloth than the good ol' boys who had ruled NASCAR throughout its storied history. He was polished. He was refined. He was -- eventually, once mustache met razor -- well-groomed. And people took notice. Before long there were endorsements, seemingly more Gordon memorabilia lining the shelves than shelves themselves and, oh yeah, four titles in his first nine seasons, solidifying a Hall of Fame resume before he even hit age 30. And Gordon's influence on the actual racing part of the sport will be everlasting. Take a look at the final Sprint Cup standings . There are only two drivers in the top 25 who originally hail from North Carolina ( Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Austin Dillon ), NASCAR's original talent pool hot bed. Many factors led to this, but Gordon's All-American appeal, charm and charisma helped pave the way -- even while playing the foil to Dale Earnhardt -- opening up NASCAR to a mainstream audience, flooding stands and couches in front of non-flat-screened TV sets with an audience that stretched from coast to coast, border to border. An audience that tuned in to see Gordon become the first -- and to date, only -- race car driver host one of America's most notable television programs, NBC's "Saturday Night Live." Jeff Gordon 's monologue from a 2003 episode of NBC's "Saturday Night Live." "I asked (Gordon) recently, a while back, about what made you go on 'Saturday Night Live,' what made you want to do that," NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway . "Number 1, he said, 'Well, they asked me.' And I said, 'Well, OK.' But he said, 'Look, I felt comfortable doing a lot of things that were not mainstream for a NASCAR driver.' "And he was smart about it. He knew that that could separate him from other drivers and he was good at it." Gordon's SNL appearance on Jan. 11, 2003, was a tipping point of bringing NASCAR to the masses, an unquestionable testament to the Hendrick Motorsports driver's popularity and wide-ranging allure. Gordon got to "beat up" a fake Gary Busey while hosting "SNL." It's the crowning achievement in Gordon's on-screen roles, a list that includes 27 appearances on "Live!" (with Regis/Kathie Lee/Kelly/Michael), including 11 guest hosting gigs. He's also appeared in "Spin City", "Arli$$", "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire", "The Drew Carey Show", "Looney Tunes: Back in Action", "Taxi", "Herbie Fully Loaded", "Sesame Street", "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition", "Top Gear", "The Simpsons", "Jeopardy" and even "Cars 2" -- as the appropriately named character "Jeff Gorvette." That curriculum vitae alone -- which is pared down; check out his entire IMDb page -- shows Gordon's star power across generations of fans and television watchers. Gordon also got to play a fighter pilot. Ultimately, with Gordon walking away on such a high note from the sport he's gotten so much out of , NASCAR has reaped the benefits of his contributions. Millions of NASCAR fans can thank Jeff Gordon for opening their eyes to the sport. "He's one of those guys, I always look back at drivers that take out a lot less than they put in," France said. "He's one of those guys that has put in a lot to grow the sport. And other drivers should think about that a little bit. Because he's really a model in that respect. "I have a lot of respect for Jeff Gordon ."
RELATED: Series standings " Chase Grid " Clinching scenarios for Phoenix AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Shared setups, shared strategies and ultimately shared goals. There are benefits to teamwork, especially when your name is Kurt Busch , your teammate is Kevin Harvick , and the venue is Phoenix International Raceway , a track where Harvick holds a four-race lock on Victory Lane. But how far do the graces of teamwork extend, especially when every position on the track is critical in the next-to-last race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs? The Stewart-Haas Racing teammates aim to find out, and a dream sequence for placing both of the organization's cars into the title-eligible final four has already captured Busch's fancy. "For Kevin, he has his agenda and for us, we have our agenda," Busch said Friday before opening Sprint Cup practice at the 1-mile oval. "The perfect day for Stewart-Haas Racing would be for the 41 car to win and for Kevin Harvick to finish second. That would allow both of us to advance to the Championship Round at Homestead. We hope we are in that position." Three teams have the opportunity for the "perfect day" scenario of a two-pronged championship effort after Sunday's Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix, (which is being renamed Jeff Gordon Raceway for the day, 2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM) -- the SHR duo of Harvick and Busch, the Team Penske twosome of Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski , and the remaining Joe Gibbs Racing contingent of Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards . With Jeff Gordon -- Hendrick Motorsports ' lone remaining title hopeful -- already reserving a berth among the championship four, only one team (if any) will be able to move both its drivers forward, with only so much water that can fit into the funnel as the title field thins from eight to four. While overarching team goals play a factor, Harvick said Friday that his focus was singular for now. "I haven't really thought about any of that stuff to be honest with you," Harvick said, dismissing the various clinching scenarios. "The only thing I've thought about this week was winning this race." No driver has as much winning history to lean on within his team's framework as Busch. Harvick's run of four straight victories is part of a portfolio of seven career wins at the flat track in the Arizona desert. RELATED: Can anyone break Harvick's hold on Phoenix? Busch lauded Harvick's "keen sense" of navigating Phoenix's oblong layout and his ability to find advantages in running certain lines through the slightly banked corners. But some of the success can be chalked up to handling characteristics, which Busch's No. 41 outfit hopes to mimic by running a similar setup to Harvick's No. 4. "There are always little numbers that get lost in translation, but for us we have been very good at sharing information and having things equal across the board," Busch said. "I'm looking forward to the race this weekend and trying to go against a teammate that is the fastest car at this track for a shot at the championship. There couldn't be a better feeling." Busch was nearly the caboose of a 1-2 SHR day here in March before a late-race pit call left him to settle for a fifth-place result. Returning to Phoenix this weekend with the stakes much higher, Busch knows a top-five finish likely won't be enough to punch his ticket for the championship Nov. 22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Busch's seventh-place effort last weekend at Texas helped soothe some of the damage from a crash-related 34th at Martinsville. But facing a 28-point deficit below the Chase cut line makes winning even more crucial in the second year of the postseason's elimination format. Leaning on Harvick may help Busch's cause, but it may also have to come at the expense of his teammate's Phoenix dominance. "In years past before this format, consistency was still key," Busch said. "Consistency is key now, but the problem is that you have to get top fives. You have to win. I mean Brad Keselowski did everything right last week except win. That is what we have to do this week, we have to win. A top-five isn't going to be good enough. Where a lot of people think we did good last week by finishing seventh, and I was like 'thank you, but what did it do for us?' Absolutely nothing. And so you have to go and win. That is what this format demands you do this time of year."
The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of a P4 level penalty issued on Oct. 28 to Shane Huffman (crew chief), Brandon Jones (driver) and Maurice Gallagher Jr. (owner) relative to the No. 33 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team at Talladega Superspeedway . The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book: Sections 220.127.116.11; 20.20.a; 20.4.f; P4, 18.104.22.168. b&d, Penalty Options; P4, 22.214.171.124.1 d&f, Penalty Examples. The original penalty assessed included: Huffman was fined $10,000, suspended for the next three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship events, plus any non-championship races or special events which might occur during that period, and placed on NASCAR probation for a six-month period following the issuance of the penalty. Jones and Gallagher Jr. were also assessed with the loss of 25 championship driver and 25 championship owner points, respectively. Upon hearing the testimony, the decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel are: 1. The Appellants violated the Rule or Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice 2. The Panel finds that the suspension portion of the Penalty for the crew chief should not last beyond the current season in this special case because of the delay in the originally scheduled hearing. All other portions of the original Penalty as levied by NASCAR (e.g.; owner points; driver points; fine; probation) are affirmed and upheld. The panel consisted of the following three individuals: -Mr. David Hall -Mr. Hunter Nickell -Mr. Kevin Whitaker The Appellants have the right to appeal the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer in accordance with Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book.
AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Rico Abreu's avid pursuit of extracurricular racing in all forms of motor sports has become his calling card. Should a more steady gig in NASCAR become a reality, Abreu said he'd jump at the chance, knowing that another opportunity might not present itself. The 23-year-old driver makes another step toward a NASCAR future with his Camping World Truck Series debut Friday at Phoenix International Raceway . He'll drive the No. 31 Chevrolet from the NTS Motorsports camp, aiming to return for the season finale next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Arriving Friday morning at Phoenix in preparation for his truck coming-out party, Abreu said he has no firm plans for 2016, but hopes that NASCAR figures in. "I'd love to. This is something I enjoy, these stock cars," Abreu said. "I think my whole career from when I started, I've never been really stable in a series. I think this could be it. I just want to be given the right opportunity and make sure you have your shot, because I think you only have one shot at this deal and to be good at it and get in the right equipment. I would love to run whatever next year. Right now we don't have any plans and I basically just fill my sprint car races in when I'm not racing stock cars." The winding down of the 2015 racing season might be a foreign concept to Abreu, who has rides in various racing disciplines planned for the winter months. On the NASCAR Next driver's busy offseason docket: the Turkey Night Grand Prix in Southern California on Thanksgiving night, the Snowball Derby in Pensacola, Florida, on Dec. 7; and a defense of his prestigious Chili Bowl sprint car title in Tulsa in January. The immediate task at Phoenix and Homestead is learning the nuances of driving trucks, building on his successful first season of competition in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Both stock-car series have given him a taste of driving heavier vehicles than sprint cars, but the transition to trucks also means longer races and the need for pit stops, a new experience for the short-track ace. Simulating pit stops was part of Abreu's Thursday prep work as he turned the second-most laps in the series' lone practice, working on finding reference points on the 1-mile track and getting better acquainted with the Bob Newberry-owned team. "If I can just take my time getting through there and just have a solid weekend, it'd be fun," Abreu said. "It's going to be fun." Should a full schedule materialize as a result of the two-race audition with NTS, Abreu said he'd maximize his focus for an all-in effort, hinting that only select drivers are afforded second chances to make a splash in the sport. "I just think there's another one coming behind you, a competitor, and they're all filling seats," Abreu said. "I feel like you have one shot at this and if you miss your opportunity, you're going to be sitting in the dust because there's so many young, talented kids coming up through the ranks that are hungry for their opportunity. "It's something that I've really got to think about over the last few years, just because I see a lot of kids get left out that are very talented and don't get that opportunity, so just makes me really thankful for this situation I'm in, and you've just got to take advantage of it."