17-year-old Gray Gaulding set to run in three NCWTS races Kyle Busch Motorsports announced on Thursday that 17-year-old Gray Gaulding will drive the No. 54 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Toyota Tundra for three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races this season. Gaulding, who ia a NASCAR Next alumni, will gear up for his first race on August 30 for the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Ontario. "I'm very excited to be a part of KBM," said Gaulding. "It's a dream as a driver because I remember growing up watching Kyle and how much I wanted to drive for him when he started his own team. I know his mentality is to go out every weekend and win races. It's a championship organization with great people and I know I'll be able to go to the race track and have an opportunity to win at each race. "I can't thank Krispy Kreme and the over 40,000 world-wide team members enough for believing in me and taking a chance on a 17-year-old kid. Driving a KBM Toyota Tundra is my dream opportunity." The Virginia native will also participate in the upcoming NCWTS races in Loudon Sept. 26 and Martinsville Oct. 31. Gaulding has made 10 starts in the series since 2014 with his best place finish being at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, where he finished fourth. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 24 Hendrick driver races at Pocono one last time; talks Chase chances RELATED: Complete lineup for Sunday's race " See all 43 paint schemes Sunday's Windows 10 400 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM) will be Jeff Gordon 's final start at Pocono Raceway. While he appreciates the support Pennsylvania fans have given him over the years, he won't be sentimental about his last trip to the Tricky Triangle because he's still a win away from making the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . "I'm so focused on the competition and trying to compete at a high level, trying to get ourselves in a position to win the race, win the pole, be in the Chase, I just can't and haven't been able to allow it to sink in," Gordon said. "It might not happen until the race is over at Homestead. I have no idea when that's going to impact or sink in." The reality of his current points position hit hard when he finished 42nd last week at Indianapolis and his margin over Clint Bowyer , the last driver currently in the Chase on points, narrowed to 37 points. Just a week earlier, he enjoyed a 71-point cushion over the final provisional Chase position. RELATED: See updated series standings In his final full-time season, Gordon wants to do more than just make the Chase; he wants to compete for his fifth championship. "Obviously having a bad finish like that, it can shake things up in a hurry," Gordon said. "I think our team is very capable of getting ourselves in the Chase, but we want more than that. We want to be battling for wins, and we're fighting extremely hard to do that. We know what a win can do in securing that spot, but we're also a strong team that has overcome adversity in the past. We're going to fight all the way through Richmond to make sure no matter what, whether it's by points or with a win, that we get ourselves in there." The six-time winner at Pocono stands atop the all-time leaderboard at the track, and Hendrick Motorsports ' 17 victories are nearly twice as many as the next closest teams on the list. Joe Gibbs Racing and Roger Penske have nine apiece. Gordon also enjoys racing on the unique three-sided surface. "I love the challenge that this race track presents on track," Gordon said. "I've been driving for a team that has great performance on tracks like this as well. We've been known to get down the straightaways pretty good. This place has a lot of straightaway, but I also like the shifting and the unique corners that are here as well." Gordon acknowledged how the negative side of the fast straightaways figured into the single moment that stands out from his 23 years of racing at the facility. "I wrecked really bad in Turn 1, that stands out," Gordon said, referring to a 2006 crash. "It's funny those types of incidents stand out to you as much as some of the good moments that you have. You never forget moments like that. Let's put it that way. "I can remember coming here early, early on and maybe even watching a race here or an IndyCar race here on TV prior to me ever racing here and just in awe of how long the front straightaway was, how fast the cars are going into Turn 1. And I always said, 'You don't ever want to have a brake problem going into Turn 1 at Pocono,' and I had one and experienced it so that stands out to me." But the people of Pocono Raceway have left a lasting impression as well. On Friday, track president Brandon Igdalsky presented Gordon with a $24,000 check for the Jeff Gordon Foundation to go with nearly $58,000 raised Thursday night for Gordon's foundation and The NASCAR Foundation at a charity poker tournament. In addition to the funds, Igdalsky's team painted "Gordon" on the track, which didn't go unnoticed by the driver of the No. 24 car. RELATED: Gordon, Wallace cash in chips for a good cause "This track has been really special to me over the years," Gordon said. "I thought it was enough that you put my name at the start/finish line but what we did last night at the event and this (check) is above and beyond." The fans of the area welcomed Gordon as a young racer, even before he joined NASCAR's premier series, and he's continued to benefit from their support throughout his racing career. "I go back to when I raced dirt around Pennsylvania and Ohio and Indiana in sprint car racing and how big racing is in this state," Gordon said. "And I think that was very evident to me immediately when I got in the Cup Series and started flying into the airports here, and it was always the biggest crowds of fans that we had, anywhere we went, standing there waiting for the teams and the drivers to arrive, wanting to get a glimpse, a picture, an autograph. "That's been maintained throughout all the years, and when I put a fan club together, our largest number of members were from Pennsylvania, if you took it by state. This is a big racing part of the country, and I think that's why the track has continued to do so well through the years because they have people that love racing, that love NASCAR racing." The four-time champion's love for Pocono would grow with a win this weekend that would keep alive his drive for five titles. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
New at-track shopping experience begins at Pocono RELATED: See photos of the new merchandise experience LONG POND, Pa. -- A new era in NASCAR shopping has officially launched with the new "Trackside Superstore." A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday at Pocono Raceway officially ushered in the new retail model as the sport moves away from merchandise haulers and into an at-track shopping experience that is faster and features more selections for fans. Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick , Pocono June race winner Martin Truex Jr ., Ross Tannenbaum, president of Fanatics Authentic, Brandon Igdalsky, president of Pocono Raceway, and Blake Davidson, vice president of Licensing and Consumer Products for NASCAR, spoke before fans rushed in to experience the store. Vice Chairman of NASCAR Mike Helton also checked out the "Trackside Superstore." The "Trackside Superstore," which is run by Fanatics, totals 60,000 square feet, has specific sections for most drivers and carries $2.5 million in retail inventory, while also carrying a 50 percent increase in product assortment for most of the drivers. There also are dedicated specialty shops for ladies, kids, collectibles and tailgate. There are still some select haulers, most notably for Team Penske and Brad Keselowski merchandise. "This NASCAR superstore is like nothing I've ever seen," Igdalsky told the crowd. "I'm so excited that we were able to launch this year at Pocono. NASCAR has done a great job of enhancing the fan experience, and this is just the next level." The ease of the shopper experience at the "Trackside Superstore" was something that immediately struck Truex. "I'm super excited about this," Truex said. "I can't tell you how many questions I've had this year on Twitter just about, 'Hey, where do I get that hat? Where do I get that shirt?' This makes it easy. Everybody goes in there, finds their favorite driver, finds what they're looking for very easily." He later jokingly added that, "I feel like it's welcome to 2015 everybody." Harvick echoed Truex's thoughts, while also adding his own perspective from when Kevin Harvick Incorporated handled his merchandise. "You come in and walk through your section and you realize how simple the process is to go about finding your driver and checkout," Harvick said. "The thing I noticed the most was just how easily you can see everything and how there might have been a whole bunch of products before that you didn't know where on the trailers. It's definitely like Martin said, it's welcome to 2015. ... It's a huge step for everybody. "Having the experience that we had running our own merchandise stuff for several years at KHI and now seeing this, it's really something that's really neat. You understand the undertaking it takes to get to this point." Davidson indicated this has been a year-long project, from seeking proposals to revealing Fanatics as the selection to running the business in January to today's opening. "We've been working on this a long time," Davidson said. "And we walked in and saw what they put together. Fanatics has done a tremendous job. It's really blown us away, the breadth of product. The ability of the fans to touch and feel the product, which we knew they would be able to do. There's so much here, there's so much new product here that we've never had a track before. I think people are really going to be excited when they get here." Cayce and Mark Votek have been coming to Pocono for the past 10 years. Cayce, a fan of Denny Hamlin , liked that even with the new setup there was still a feel of familiarity. "I was a little skeptical at first," Cayce said. "I do like that I can touch the stuff first. That's actually really cool, probably dangerous for me because now I just grab it all. I know all of the people from Denny's hauler because I go there all the time and I actually ran into one, so I like that they're still here. There's still some familiarity. So far, so good." In addition to being able to touch and feel the products, Tannenbaum touted the reduced wait times fans will have to buy merchandise. The Fanatics executive estimated that in peak times the wait at a hauler was between 45 minutes and an hour. However, he acknowledged that this new model wasn't without his challenges when compared to running merchandise at other events like the NHL Winter Classic or the SEC Championship Game. "From a process, this is absolutely the most challenging one we've had and I think will ever have," Tannenbaum said. "When you think about it, go set up the Super Bowl and then break it down 38 times and set up again the next week. That's what makes it the most challenging. At Fanatics, it was an exciting challenge. It was 'go for a solution to this and make this work.' And what we presented to NASCAR and where we ended up today is very different because we learned so much." Tannenbaum added that Fanatics has three different tent structures, two different sets of fixtures to hold merchandise and one set of inventory for the trackside superstore. Next weekend's race at Watkins Glen will have a slightly different setup and a team is already up there to set it up. A team from Pocono will drive to Watkins Glen when the Tricky Triangle race weekend ends to build the setup out with the inventory. "What you are seeing here is going to be the standard superstore for all tracks," Tannenbaum said. "What is going to happen is there will be more locations and satellite locations at tracks that do either more revenue or less revenue, wider tracks. I use Richmond as the example. This store at Richmond, everybody walks into that front, it's pretty straightforward. At Daytona or the really big tracks, you are going to have to have multiple locations to meet the consumers' demand. We are going to look at what revenues are at the track, what the flow of traffic is and make sure that we can manage all of that. But this will be the central point for all of the stores." And while the new setup may take some time for fans to get used to, Truex said this was a good change for the long run. "I know a lot of NASCAR fans are worried about things changing, but I assure them this is a change for the better and I think it looks great." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Reigning Sprint Cup champ won 2011 event at the Tricky Triangle BUY TICKETS: Pocono Kevin Harvick will return to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the first time in two years when he pilots the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the Pocono Mountains 150 on August 1. In his only previous Pocono Raceway start in the series, Harvick won the 2011 edition of this race after leading 44 of 53 laps in a Kevin Harvick Inc. vehicle. His last start in the series came in 2013 at Martinsville. "I'm excited to be back in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with JRM at Pocono Raceway," Harvick said in a team release. "A lot has changed at Pocono with the repave, but I was fortunate enough to find Victory Lane in my last Truck Series start there and I hope we can do the same thing this time around with the Haas Automation Chevrolet." JRM made its series debut this season, fielding a Silverado for 17-year-old Cole Custer , who earned his first win with JRM and second career victory last month at Gateway Motorsports Park. Drivers must be 18 years of age or older to run national series tracks greater than a mile in length so Custer must wait until next season to run full time after his 18th birthday on Jan. 23. He will return to the No. 00 next month at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kasey Kahne earned the first victory for JRM's Truck program in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he beat Erik Jones by .005 seconds for the second-closest finish in series history. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
The GarageCam crew takes a stroll through the Camping World Truck Series garage at Pocono Raceway and asks several drivers which music they prefer pre-race.
Host Matthew Dillner takes a stroll through the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Pocono Raceway as teams prepare for the WIndows 10 400 on Sunday.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. recaps his day at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as he finished in fifth place.
Official Technology Partner of NASCAR to sponsor Aug. 2 race BUY: Pocono tickets RELATED: NASCAR, Hendrick team with Microsoft to drive innovation Pocono Raceway and Microsoft, an Official Technology Partner of NASCAR, announced Tuesday that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled for Aug. 2 will be named the Windows 10 400. The event will be held two days after the launch of Windows 10 when the new operating system will be offered as a free upgrade to customers with qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8 devices. "Today is an exciting day for us," Pocono Raceway President/CEO Brandon Igdalsky said in a track release. "Microsoft has been on the cutting edge of technology and innovation since its founding in 1975. The launch of their Windows 10 platform is something Pocono Raceway is extremely proud to promote during our final NASCAR race weekend of 2015. We look forward to celebrating with everyone from Microsoft, NASCAR and, most importantly, the race fans on Sunday, August 2nd." The sponsorship deal is the second new title-sponsor partnership for Pocono Raceway this year. In January, the track announced a deal with Axalta Coating Systems as title sponsor of its Sprint Cup race in June. Martin Truex Jr . prevailed in the 2.5-mile triangular track's first Sprint Cup event of the year. The Furniture Row Racing driver will be aiming to replicate Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s 2014 season sweep in next month's 400-miler. Earnhardt Jr., the defending winner of the event, will drive the No. 88 Microsoft Chevrolet SS. He debuted a Microsoft paint scheme last month at Sonoma Raceway, finishing seventh at the California road course. BUY: Earnhardt Jr.'s paint scheme "We're thrilled to build on our relationships with NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports by engaging race fans in unique ways," GM of Windows Product Marketing at Microsoft Jeremy Korst said in the track release. "We're upgrading their experiences not only at the Pocono Windows 10 400 race, but also off the track with Windows 10. It's the best Windows ever. In fact, we built it in collaboration with our fans -- over 5.5 million Windows Insiders. And we're excited to offer a free upgrade, so that people all over the world can use Windows 10 to do great things." Pocono's Fan Fair and paddock areas will have displays and interactive experiences for fans and members of the NASCAR industry to relax and enjoy Windows 10 devices while interacting on social media with the hashtag #Windows10_400. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Imagining what might happen if NASCAR had a trade deadline Major League Baseball's trade deadline is fast approaching on July 31 with many left wondering who will sport a new uniform when the dust settles. Will the Philadelphia Phillies kick their rebuilding effort into high gear by dealing Cole Hamels? Will the Cincinnati Reds move Johnny Cueto? Which contender will make the biggest splash and what trade will come out of nowhere to stun the baseball world? In NASCAR, we have what is called a "silly season," which is typically the time after the season where some drivers and crew chiefs move to new teams. Those moves usually happen right up until Speedweeks in Daytona. Some of the bigger moves get announced in the second half of the previous season as well. Or in the case of Chase Elliott driving the No. 24 for 2016, it gets announced a full season in advance. What if we lived in a world where NASCAR teams made trades around the middle of the season? Would teams and organizations in Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contention make moves to try and win in the here and now or would they stay the course and be patient? And what organizations would be "sellers" in that they would be building for the future? Another factor to consider, would the Chase format of "win and in" lead to inactivity? And would expiring contracts play a role in any potential deals to help clear room for someone on the rise? Imagining those scenarios, we've dreamed up three trade scenarios involving drivers. These are purely fantasy trades for this exercise since there is no trading in NASCAR. Trade No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing gets: Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports gets: Kyle Larson Why it works: McMurray's and Kahne's respective crew chiefs, Matt McCall and Keith Rodden, go back quite a bit, so their teams may work together more than we've ever seen in the past in the sport. With McMurray in the hunt for a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , Kahne provides CGR with someone also in position for a playoff spot and someone who may have something extra to prove to get out from under the shadow of the spotlight of the popular Hendrick stable. Larson has had by in large a sophomore slump this season, but the talent is absolutely there. The four-car team can certainly be a little more patient than a two-car setup. Remember, it took Joey Logano some time to reach his full potential, which was aided by his move from Joe Gibbs Racing to Team Penske . This deal would set Hendrick up for years to come with Jimmie Johnson - Dale Earnhardt Jr . as the drivers of the present and the Chase Elliott - Kyle Larson combo set up to drive the organization to its future glory. Trade No. 2 Stewart-Haas Racing gets: Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing gets: Danica Patrick Why it works: With Tony Stewart struggling to regain his championship form, Stewart-Haas Racing is looking at another season where two drivers make the Chase and two drivers miss the Chase. Trading a team co-owner seems highly unlikely, but in Patrick, the organization has an asset who is marketable on and off the track and who could be dealt to bring in another driver currently in position to make the Chase. Bringing Newman back would be a reunion of sorts for SHR, since he drove there for five years (2009-2013), notching four wins. The veteran driver is currently in the Chase Grid not to mention he was the runner-up to Harvick in last year's Chase. Patrick would add some spunk and star power to RCR as well as shake up their lineup a bit. And if the trade didn't work out, since Patrick's contract is expiring, it would be an easy way to slide Ty Dillon into a RCR car the following season. Trade No. 3 Michael Waltrip Racing gets: Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing gets: David Ragan Why it works: MWR's first priority in righting its ship needs to be finding a stable teammate for Clint Bowyer , who has struggled to find his form since the Richmond scandal that shook up the Chase and the organization in 2013. Since then, downsizing to two full-time cars and health issues for Brian Vickers have left Bowyer with a revolving door of teammates. Bringing over Biffle would provide that stability in the form of a veteran presence who has been through plenty. Yes, Biffle's results have tailed off in recent years, but is that an indictment of him or of the Roush program dramatically slipping? Ragan has bounced around quite a bit this year so another move would perhaps be a bit much. But his shared history at Roush (driving for them full-time from 2007-2011) and what is essentially an expiring deal would make this trade attractive to them. He could showcase his skills for the remainder of the season, while Roush clears a path to get XFINITY Series points leader Chris Buescher behind the wheel of one of its Cup cars before someone else lures him away. In his five Cup starts for Front Row Motorsports this year, Buescher out-finished the Roush teams eight out of 15 times.
No. 4 SHR driver led a race-high 75 laps, finishes third RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- Kevin Harvick led a race-high 75 laps but not the final one in Sunday's Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard and if there is a silver lining to the disappointment, he still remains first in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series points standings, a hefty 69 points ahead of the guy ( Joey Logano ) he finished behind in the race and second in the Chase grid behind Jimmie Johnson thanks to his two wins and points accumulation. Harvick's No. 4 Chevrolet paced the field four times and for much of the day looked well on its way to handing the reigning Sprint Cup champ his second Brickyard 400 trophy. But late race restarts proved his undoing and he finished third behind race winner Kyle Busch and Logano. Ironically a 1-2 finish for Toyota and Ford after 12 consecutive wins by Chevrolet. Obviously disappointed by the final outcome, Harvick was still philosophical and upbeat after the race. "We had a great day," he said. "I think everybody did a great job, just in that second or third-to-last restart where the 22 (Logano) and 18 (Busch) were able to get hooked up and kind of drive by us and I lost control of the race there and didn't really have what I wanted on the restarts. Fellow Chevrolet driver and fourth place finisher Martin Truex Jr . took responsibility for part of Harvick's woes. "Just feel a little bad for Kevin (Harvick) there," Truex said. "I kind of screwed him. I was trying to push him, just mistimed it. It's hard to see the lines down there when you are behind a guy. "I just totally forgot to ask my spotter for help and a heads up when we were getting 5-10 feet from that line. I feel bad I messed him up a bit there. I kind of messed Kyle (Busch) up on the last one too and he still won." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule