Austin Dillon and Elliott Sadler comment on a long day or racing, which saw them earn top-five finishes.
Money raised through innovative partnership benefits paralyzed veterans BROOKLYN, Mich. (May 29, 2015) -- Michigan International Speedway is proud to announce a partnership with Great Clips and Paralyzed Veterans of America to sponsor the June 13 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at the track, the Great Clips 250 Benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America. This innovative partnership continues beyond race weekend. From July 1 through August 8, Great Clips patrons throughout Michigan, Northern Ohio and Northern Indiana will receive a $2 coupon toward a haircut with every $4 donated to Paralyzed Veterans of America. Patrons receive $1 voucher for a haircut with every $2 donation to Paralyzed Veterans of America. While Great Clips has had a presence in NASCAR for years, this marks the first time the organization has sponsored a race at NASCAR's fastest track. As title sponsor, Great Clips will market its brand through television, radio, print and social mediums on a nationwide scale, all while benefiting paralyzed veterans. "It's special to work with two organizations who tirelessly support our nation's precious veterans," speedway President Roger Curtis said. "We're thrilled to help promote Great Clips and the work Paralyzed Veterans of America does by welcoming them by introducing them to the most brand loyal and giving fans in all of sports." Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For nearly 70 years, Paralyzed veterans of America has ensured veterans receive the benefits earned through their service to our nation, monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis. As a partner for life, Paralyzed Veterans also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation, and advocates for veterans and all people with disabilities. With more than 70 offices and 34 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans serves veterans, their families, and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. "We are excited to expand our involvement in motorsports as the beneficiary of the Great Clips 250 ," Paralyzed Veterans National President Al Kovach, Jr. said. "Paralyzed Veterans has a rich history in Motorsports and partnering with Great Clips allows us to continue sharing our mission with so many loyal race fans, donors and veterans. We offer a special thanks to Great Clips Racing and Michigan International Speedway for supporting our ongoing fight for disabled veterans and their families." "Great Clips is proud to contribute our time, talents and resources to a variety of great causes including this partnership with Michigan International Speedway for the Great Clips 250 benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America ," Great Clips Senior Manager of Marketing Strategy and Analysis Dave Randall. "We look forward to an exciting weekend of racing. It's gonna be great!" Great Clips, Inc. was established in 1982 in Minneapolis. Today, Great Clips has more than 3,700 salons throughout the United States and Canada, making it the world's largest salon brand. Great Clips salons employ nearly 35,000 stylists who receive ongoing training to learn the Great Clips system and advanced technical skills. Make Great Clips your choice for value-priced, high-quality haircare for men, women and children. No appointments are needed, and salons are open nights and weekends. And it's more convenient than ever with Great Clips' Online Check-In and Clip Notes®. To check in online, visit GreatClips.com or download the app for Android and iPhone. For more information about Great Clips, Inc. or to find a location near you, visit GreatClips.com . Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It's the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike. Tickets are on sale at http://www.MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Austin Dillon's success continues to hold true to form
Nick Duncan recaps the ToyotaCare 250 as Denny Hamlin starts on the pole, Brendan Gaughan's pit crew escapes a massive pit road fire and Hamlin leads all but two laps en route to victory.
Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter and Erik Jones offer up their thoughts following the Kroger 250 .
Roush teammates move past Monster Mile incident, look towards Michigan BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Chris Buescher and Darrell Wallace Jr ., teammates-turned-rivals two weeks ago, said Friday they've put their Dover differences behind them, turning their focus toward an all-important track for their Roush Fenway Racing organization. Buescher enters Saturday's Great Clips 250 Benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America (1:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) at Michigan International Speedway as the NASCAR XFINITY Series points leader. Wallace, in his first year driving for Roush Fenway, ranks 49 points behind his teammate in fifth place. Their proximity in the standings aside, the two teammates were not exactly chummy after clanging fenders in the latter stages of the series' most recent race at Dover International Speedway . Buescher drove away to his second victory of the season while Wallace faded with a flat tire. The run-in made the Roush Fenway camp's Monday morning meeting after Dover an awkward one, but two weeks later, the waters appear to have smoothed. "It was hard racing is what it comes down to," Buescher told NASCAR.com before Friday's rain-delayed XFINITY practice on the 2-mile track. "We've had a talk about it and obviously it was not an ideal situation and we don't ever want to be in the same situation again. We've talked and we're going to put it behind us. We're going to go into Michigan and treat it as another race where we need to go be teammates again and go perform at our highest level. And we'll be OK. We've talked about it a little bit, and it's just a racing deal, you know? You'll go through that sometimes." Wallace's easy-going Friday demeanor was in direct contrast to his dismay after the checkered flag at Dover. After joking about how "interesting" the Monday meeting was, Wallace said the team was ready to move forward. "Dover's definitely behind us," Wallace said. "We didn't see eye-to-eye in that meeting. We still know we've got to be smart, but I told them they've got a lot more to lose than me." Both Roush Fenway drivers may be feeling more burden to perform this weekend at Michigan, a longtime stronghold for team owner Jack Roush. The premium on running well in the showcase event for manufacturers Ford and Chevrolet is a tall order, a team edict that places a little more pressure on Saturday's 250 -miler. "Every time we talk about Michigan, this exact subject comes up," Buescher said. "It's Jack's home track, it's Ford's home track -- we're expected to come here and perform at our highest level. This is one that, it's a tough race to win. It's a lot of momentum, it's a lot of drafting, which has been difficult for me to get a hold of at a place like this. We try really hard to make sure we bring the best stuff possible here and get the win. "There is pressure here. We keep it circled. We know that we need to come and win this race, not only for Jack but for Ford and for our race team." Wallace said he participated in a private fantasy league among family members growing up, making sure to stock his lineup with heavily favored Roush drivers for each Michigan race. While Roush Fenway's XFINITY efforts -- with three drivers in the top eight in standings -- may be outpacing their Sprint Cup Series brethren (no drivers better than 18th), Wallace suggests that side of the operation may be ready to turn the corner. "We've actually found speed fairly quick," Wallace said of his XFINITY No. 6 team. "It's been cool to see (Greg) Biffle finish second in the 600 there, and he was strong during the All-Star Race. They continue to show speed. It's starting to improve, so it's cool to see that for the future. Hopefully we can continue to find more speed as a team overall." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See where your favorite driver will pit in Great Clips 250 Joey Logano starts on the pole for Saturday's XFINITY Series Great Clips 250 Benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America, and will pit his No. 22 Team Penske Ford in the No. 2 pit stall, the first one entering Turn 1 at Michigan International Speedway . Brian Scott qualified second Saturday after Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch failed to get back to the start-finish line in time for their final qualifying laps to count. Scott will get the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet serviced in the first pit stall with a rear opening heading into Turn 2. Darrell Wallace Jr . will pit the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in the first stall behind the break at the start-finish line. Brendan Gaughan chose the first pit stall coming off Turn 4 for the No. 62 Richard Childress Racing team. Regan Smith , who starts eighth in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, selected the pit stall with a rear entry after the break at the start-finish line. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Race marked Busch's first start in XFINITY competition since Daytona injury RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings BROOKLYN, Mich. – In his first NASCAR XFINITY Series race back from a broken right leg and left foot, Kyle Busch proved conclusively that he hasn't lost a step. Taking advantage of contact between the Chevrolet of Kevin Harvick and the Ford of polesitter Joey Logano —as those two drivers were battling for the lead—Busch passed Chase Elliott for the lead on Lap 122 of 125 and held on to win Saturday's Great Clips 250 at Michigan International Speedway . Busch's series-best 71st victory, his second at the two-mile track, came nearly two months after the driver of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was sidelined by a brutal Feb. 21 crash into a concrete wall in Turn 1 at Daytona International Speedway . Busch returned to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series action in the Sprint All-Star Race in May, but deferred his XFINITY Series comeback to Saturday's race at Michigan. "It feels good," Busch said after climbing from his car in Victory Lane. "This is only a preliminary for what we’ve got to do on Sundays (in the Sprint Cup Series), but it's a start. You've got to start somewhere, right? "I can't say enough about this team. (Crew chief) Chris Gayle did an awesome job today with this race car. We messed up a little bit today on a pit call, but we made up for it. Hard racing today, man. It was crazy, the side-by-side action we got here. The track's kind of widening out, lending itself to some cool action." After a restart on Lap 116, the race unraveled for Logano and Harvick. As the two drivers fought for the lead in Turn 3, with Logano to the outside, Harvick's Chevrolet got loose and washed up the track into Logano's Ford. WATCH: Harvick, Logano discuss late contact at Michigan The right rear of Logano's Ford brushed the outside wall, but both drivers were able to continue, albeit after losing several positions. Harvick finished sixth, and Logano, who led a race-high 54 laps came home seventh. Harvick took responsibility for the incident. "I just got loose underneath him," Harvick explained. "I had a huge run down the back straightaway. That late in the race, I figured I need to try to win the race, and I got in there, and he was on the outside of me, but it was too late to not have contact at that point. "So totally my fault. I just got loose under him going for the win." Harvick's mea culpa was little consolation for Logano, who had the race's dominant car for most of the day. "We were racing for a win here, and it just seems like he drove in there pretty hard trying to slide me," Logano said. "I drove up in there, too, and he got loose underneath me and got into my left rear and up we both went into the race track. "It's unfortunate. I had a fast Discount Tire Ford, obviously the winning car, leading a ton of laps and up there at the end of the race. I was racing hard, and he just drove over his head a little bit." Despite his runner-up finish, Elliott left Michigan disappointed he couldn't find a way to keep Busch behind him in the closing laps. "I'll be honest—second does not feel good, to me at least," Elliott said. "I thought we had a car good enough to compete today… We finally got ourselves in position there. We had two even-numbered restarts where we were six and fourth (in the preferred outside lane) that put us in position there to have an opportunity on that last restart. "Obviously, the 22 (Logano) would have been really hard to beat, and Kevin got into him by accident and moved him up the race track. Obviously, that opened up our opportunity to have a shot at the win… (Kyle) is really good at what he does, and I don’t really have an excuse for it. So, yeah, he outran me." Kyle Larson finished third, followed by Chris Buescher , who extended his series lead to 25 points over Ty Dillon , who came home 13th. Elliott is third in the standings, 35 points back. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Anthony O'Brien back to Brendan Gaughan's pits after Richmond incident RELATED: Adapting, reacting to new pit road safety measures Anthony O'Brien, rear tire changer for the No. 62 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Brendan Gaughan in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, is back to work today at Michigan after recovering from injuries sustained in a pit road fire at Rhichmond International Raceway. O'Brien, RCR gasman Josh Wittman and Clifford "Doc" Turner, the gas runner for Eric McClure 's No. 24 team, were all transported to the hospital after flames flashed across two pit stalls during the ToyotaCare 250 on April 24. The fire was caused by a malfunction on the head of the gas can, which prevented the nozzle from sealing flush with the No. 62 car. O'Brien was changing the left rear tire right under the fuel nozzle when the fire erupted. He was hospitalized until the Monday following the race, April 27. The fire prompted NASCAR to institute new rules requiring over-the-wall pit crew members to wear gear that affords more protection in the event of a fire. Teams began instituting the new head socks and other gear at Pocono and Texas last weekend. Gaughan tweeted the good news Saturday about O'Brien's return to pit road. RT @RCR62BGaughan UPDATE: Rear tire changer Anthony O'Brien will return to action today @MISpeedway . #NASCAR — Brendan Gaughan (@Brendan62) June 13, 2015 FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Late pass by Busch leaves Elliott with runner-up finish at Michigan RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings BROOKLYN, Mich. -- There wasn't so much of a silver lining Saturday afternoon for Chase Elliott , not after a surprise spring into the late-race lead and slight fade to second place, matching his best finish of the NASCAR XFINITY Series season. "I'll be honest," Elliott said. "Second does not feel good -- to me, at least." A win remains an elusive thing for the defending series champion, 13 races into the XFINITY season. Elliott led four laps -- his first since another runner-up finish at Iowa Speedway last month -- but was unable to hold off eventual Great Clips 250 winner Kyle Busch , who drove past him with four laps remaining to make his return to the series a victorious one. Though Busch was coming in with some XFINITY Series rust, idle since February as he recuperated from severe leg injuries in the season-opening race at Daytona, Elliott said he was by no means green in his second XFINITY start of the year. "He's obviously really good at what he does," Elliott said of Busch. "I really don't have an excuse for you. Yeah, he outran me." Elliott opened at a slight deficit after a miscalculation during qualifying kept him from making a lap in the last round, leaving him with the 12th and final starting spot among the final group. From there, the 19-year-old JR Motorsports driver pushed his No. 9 Chevrolet to the fringes of the top five in the first 20 laps. With the good fortune of an even-numbered running position during a handful of late-race caution periods, Elliott found himself in the more advantageous outside lane to make up even more ground on restarts during the race's second half. Elliott was lined up in the second row for the final restart with 10 laps left. When front-runners Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick tangled and sailed up out of the groove in a battle for the lead during the 117th of 125 laps, the teenager -- with a front-row seat for the fracas -- took advantage to grasp the lead for the first time all race. "It can happen at any given point. We see that every week," Elliott said of the contact in front of him. "When you have a car on your outside, the car on the inside is at a large disadvantage, especially depending on how much he crowds you so that can happen. I didn't really foresee it happening, not with those two, but you're racing hard for a win and people make mistakes. They made a mistake, but they didn't wreck and that's the difference there." After the parting of the Logano-Harvick seas, Elliott had clear sailing in front but a fast-closing Busch making headway toward the front. Once the Sprint Cup regular placed the youngster in his mirrors, Elliott radioed crew chief Ernie Cope to say he was wide-open on the throttle but powerless to keep Busch at bay. With the benefit of hindsight, Cope said post-race on pit road that he second-guessed the amount of downforce he had in the JRM No. 9, saying he needed a slightly smoother race trim to keep pace. "We just need a little bit," Cope said. "We've kind of changed our philosophy with how we've been running the car, and this is a step in the right direction. We just need to keep going that direction." That direction heads next weekend to Chicagoland Speedway , site of an XFINITY stand-alone event. Since next weekend's 300-miler won't be held in conjunction with the Sprint Cup Series, the amount of top-level double-dippers traveling to the Illinois track will likely be greatly reduced, potentially providing more opportunity for an XFINITY Series regular to visit Victory Lane. Rather than seeing Chicagoland as a ripe race to pick, Elliott said he would rather welcome the competition from Sprint Cup moonlighters. "I would much rather outrun people who are here at a companion event, to be honest with you, just so I don't have to listen to questions like that after a race up there," Elliott said. "That's just me. I enjoy racing companion weekends. I think it's good for everybody and definitely makes you feel better if you are able to outrun all the guys at those races." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule