See how celebrity NASCAR fans are stacking up in their fantasy league
Get the full lineup of NASCAR programming for the week RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota All times ET Monday, September 22 4:30 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 6:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Tuesday, September 23 5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 6:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 7:30 p.m., Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Wednesday, September 24 Noon, NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Kern (re-air), FOX Sports 1 3 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Race at New Hampshire (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 6:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 7:30 p.m., The 10 NASCAR ’s Most Bizarre Moments (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Thursday, September 25 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network Friday, September 26 10 a.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Practice, FOX Sports 1 11 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice, FOX Sports 1 2 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Practice, ESPN2 3:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, ESPN2 5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network 4 a.m. (Sat.), The 10 Greatest Families in NASCAR History (re-air), FOX Sports 1 4:30 a.m. (Sat.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 1 Saturday, September 27 10 a.m., NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Race at New Hampshire, FOX Sports 1 11 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice, FOX Sports 1 Noon, NASCAR Nationwide Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 2 1:30 p.m., Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship (re-air), FOX Sports 2 2 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, FOX Sports 2 3:30 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Dover , ESPN2 10 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Las Vegas, FOX Sports 1 Sunday, September 28 9 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 1 Noon, NASCAR RaceDay, FOX Sports 1 1 p.m., NSCS Countdown, ESPN 2 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Dover , ESPN 5 p.m., Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Race at Austin, FOX Sports 1 7 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1 1 a.m. (Mon.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Dover (re-air), ESPN2 3 a.m. (Mon.), NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Dover (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5 a.m. (Mon.), NASCAR Victory Lane (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5:30 a.m. (Mon.), The 10 NASCAR ’s Greatest Races, FOX Sports 1 MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Driver talks past, future in interview RELATED: Subscribe to NASCAR Illustrated AJ Allmendinger has seen his share of adversity during nearly a decade in NASCAR . Two years ago, he hit the lowest point in his career after a failed drug test led him out of Team Penske and into NASCAR's Road to Recovery program. Chastened, the 32-year-old driver kick-started the second chapter of his career by winning two Nationwide races last year for Roger Penske. Allmendinger is now back in the Cup Series trying to push JTG Daugherty's program and his career to the next level. We caught up with Allmendinger a day after the No. 47 was swept up in an early wreck at Daytona. Just two weeks earlier, he'd led a race-high 34 laps at Sonoma before contact with Dale Earnhardt Jr . derailed his shot at for a first Cup victory and the Chase berth that would've come with it. NI: You're known as a strong road racer but what are your thoughts on plate racing? Allmendinger: Out of all the racing we do, it's my least favorite. There's just so much that goes into it. A lot of it's luck, being in the right place at the right time and missing the "big one." The racing can be exciting at times for sure. As a driver, you definitely have to be at full concentration the whole time you're out there when you're in the pack just because one 2-inch mistake can be a big, big crash. Especially if you're the one making that mistake, you feel bad because you wrecked yourself and you've got a lot of competitors that you feel bad about because they're probably pissed off at you. NI: You had a car that could have won at Sonoma before you were taken out. Does it take long to get over that? Allmendinger: I don't know if you ever fully get over it. To a certain degree, in this sport, you gotta be ready to go the next weekend. You can't let a bad weekend carry over into the next weekend. It's tough because I thought we had a shot to win. We were up front, top two cars every practice session and qualifying, led the most laps, played the strategy to what ours was and we just got into an incident. It is what it is. You can't fix it. NI: If you can get that first win, you're all but in the Chase. No added pressure there? Allmendinger: Honestly, I look at it two different ways. The Chase would be great for the fact that our sponsors and this race team being such a small team, to be able to promote that we won a race and are in the Chase, that would be fantastic. But when it comes to, "Do we have to make the Chase for it to be a successful season?" No. We're not a championship-winning team right now. There's no doubt about it. We're a small team, we're trying to grow to that at some point and it's going to be a long process to get there and a lot of hard work. I think with the right effort we can actually get there. NI: It might sound like a strange question but are you almost glad things played out the way they did back in 2012? Allmendinger: Except for the mere fact of having to put Roger Penske through that. Other than that, I'm way happier now than I have ever been when it comes to a lot of things. I still put a lot of pressure on myself racing, so I still have those ups and downs, but it's a different kind of pressure now. The ownership just makes this team such a family. I want to take this team to a new level. That's the pressure I put on myself, to put this team on my back and take it to another level. I feel like they deserve it down from ownership and the team because they work so hard. NI: How has your perspective changed in the past couple of years? Allmendinger: It's a different perspective now. It's not the only thing in the world, you know? There are other things that are important and in the grand scheme probably a lot more important than racing. But obviously when you make your life and you put your heart and soul into it, it feels like the most important thing. I wouldn't change anything that I've had to go through for anything except for disappointing Roger Penske. Hopefully, last year, winning the Nationwide races and having a shot to win Indy made up for it. NI: It's our tailgate issue, so I have to ask about your abilities on the grill. Can we call you a grilling master? Allmendinger: No (laughs). We can lie to everybody and tell them I can grill anything up. Only problem is hopefully I won't get called out on it. I really enjoy grilling because it is so healthy to be able to do that and I'm real health conscious when it comes to what I eat. The sponsors we have on our team are great when it comes to all that. So it makes it a lot easier because we’re stocked with a lot of great things to eat. I live in an apartment right now so it's hard to grill in the corner without a balcony. My girlfriend is really good at grilling so she's shown me some stuff. Hopefully, in the near future, I can have a house and practice up but right now it'd be a stretch to say grilling master. I'd like to be. Let's put it that way. NI: It's hard to believe you've been in NASCAR for almost a decade now. What's been your personal highlight so far? Allmendinger: The Nationwide wins were something I'll never forget, especially with what led to those. I remember making my first race at Bristol -- it took me four tries to finally make a race -- back in 2007 when there were 50 or 60 cars trying to qualify each weekend. Making our first Daytona 500 in 2009 and almost winning the thing. (Allmendinger finished third in the No. 44 Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge.) But I think the highlight is still being here really. This sport is tough. It will bring some guys in, especially with the open-wheel side of it, and spit them back out pretty quick. So to have the commitment level and just the do-or-die work ethic trying to stay in when things were bad and things got better and things got bad again, and keep coming back, I feel very fortunate that people believe in me. Whether it's the "King" or the "Captain" or Tad (Geschickter) to give me another shot to jump in this race car and feel like I can get the job done now. More than anything, just being able to still be a part of it through thick and thin is something that's probably the most special. SUBSCRIBE NOW!
First Canadian driver to win a race in NASCAR's premier series DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – " NASCAR extends its condolences to the family and friends of Earl Ross, a true racer whose considerable on-track success helped grow the sport internationally. "Ross was the first Canadian driver to win a race in what is today known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and he did it at one of NASCAR ’s most historic tracks for one of NASCAR's most historic owners. His 1974 win at Martinsville for Junior Johnson helped lay the foundation for the sport's tremendous growth in Canada, and beyond." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Keep tabs on all the action this weekend at Loudon and Kentucky This weekend brings the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to New Hampshire Motor Speedway . While the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Kentucky Speedway . The Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 is on Sunday, Sept. 21, at 2 p.m. ET with coverage on ESPN. The Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 is on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 7:30 p.m. ET with coverage on ESPNEWS. The Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175 is Saturday, Sept. 20, at 1 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX Sports 1. For more information on track times, press conferences and GarageCam, you can check out this weekend's schedule . For TV times, see this week's TV schedule . We know you may not have the time to watch the race action without any interruptions, so if you're on the go, here's how to keep up at New Hampshire and Kentucky. NASCAR .com's live Sprint Cup Series leaderboard , Nationwide Series leaderboard and Camping World Truck Series leaderboard update in real-time and offer constant text updates of lead changes, cautions, strategies, strong runs and everything in between. On the go? Download the NASCAR Mobile app to follow the leaderboards live from your device. Lap-by-Lap will keep you caught up even if you can take a peek here and there. Check in now and then to read back through all the laps you've missed, or keep an eye on the feed for real-time race updates. We'll also send race updates via Twitter through the official @ NASCAR and @NASCARStats handles. Haven't tried RaceView yet? If you sign up, you'll get virtual video of cars on the track from various angles and hear what your favorite team is saying over the radio. Use it as a second screen or as your only screen. Just want to scan the radios? You can have that too with RaceView Audio . On a mobile device? Get RaceView Mobile here . If you want to be more involved in the on-track action, you can manage your fantasy team on NASCAR .com and follow your team's performance in NASCAR Fantasy Live . Mobile users can also download NASCAR Connect , a game from OneUp Sports that allows users to play other fans with race predictions, for some off-track competition while drivers battle it out on the track. Live Press Pass video streams will keep the NASCAR action rolling even after the winner goes in and out of Victory Lane. Catch interviews with the top finishers immediately following the checkered flag for the Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series, and stay tuned to NASCAR .com throughout the week for the latest news. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
After thought, driver concluded 'timing was right' to make move RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Marcos Ambrose readily concedes it was an offer too good to pass up: The enviable opportunity to return his young family home to Australia combined with the chance to drive for Roger Penske. Explaining that he had made the decision this summer to return home -- in large part to raise his 8- and 6-year-old children -- Ambrose, 38, acknowledged this week that the stars aligned from both a personal and professional perspective. Team Penske announced this week the former two-time Australian V8 Supercar champ Ambrose will return to the series in 2015 with a Penske-led Dick Johnson Racing Team Penske entry. After a winning nine-year NASCAR career in the states Ambrose was ready for a change in scenery. And the timing has proven impeccable. In a teleconference with the international media this week, Ambrose again stressed that his motive has primarily been family-based. He will base the family in his native Tasmania -- near immediate family close to the very neighborhoods he and his wife were raised. "I had come to that conclusion leading into the summer that the timing was right for me personally to return to Australia at the end of this season for personal reasons,'' Ambrose said. "My kids are 6 and 8. I want them to enjoy and experience Australian life as well, so when they grow up they can make their own choices in life where they want to be. "I have one American that was born here and I have an Australian, Tabitha, who's 8 who has an Australian passport. I think the timing for me personally was right." And having earned a pair of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories along with five NASCAR Nationwide Series wins, Ambrose conceded it felt like his tenure in NASCAR had reached its natural conclusion. "My career in NASCAR has flattened off, and I always said that when I felt like I wasn't going to be able to either keep progressing or wasn't going to be able to achieve what I came here to do, which was to win a championship, then I needed to look at my options, and that's exactly what I've done," Ambrose said. "I've achieved a lot in NASCAR . Getting an opportunity to drive in the Sprint Cup Series for Richard Petty is incredible, but I felt like my opportunities were getting narrower, and certainly my results had flattened off. I mean, it's just a fact of life. "I felt like it's a good time for me to return the family to Australia. I've certainly scratched the itch of NASCAR , and I'm really proud of what I've achieved, but I'm happy to return to Australia and go to the next chapter in my racing career." Ambrose will work with at least two other team leaders with NASCAR experience. Jeff Swartwout, who worked with Penske's Nationwide Series program, will serve as team manager and Nick Hughes, who served as technical director on Michael Waltrip Racing teams, will work in the technical department. And with Penske's broad reach in motorsports, there was immediate talk about crossover between the series. Asked if one of his other drivers might do a one-off V8 Supercar race, Penske joked, "I told Marcos maybe we'd get (Juan Pablo) Montoya who said he likes to run on road courses to come down and join him, but that was only a joke. Please don't print that. That's just a joke." Penske Racing President Tim Cindric added with a laugh, "We'll have a long line out the door with Helio (Castroneves) and Will Power and the rest of them asking why they didn't get to go. There's a long list." In converse, Penske didn't close the door on whether Ambrose might make a return to NASCAR either. "I think that if there were reasons that we wanted to run Marcos, whether it's an oval or a NASCAR road race, we would have to look at the schedule and to be sure we had the proper funding to do it,'' Penske said. "I think as far as he's concerned, he's made the decision to come with us in Australia, and I think those opportunities he'd have to really look at one at a time." In the meantime, Ambrose said he is committed to seeking another title in the V8 Supercar championship. "It will be a challenge for me personally, there's no doubt about that. It's been nearly 10 years since I've driven a V8 Supercar. I don't take that challenge lightly,'' Ambrose said. "I know it's going to take some time to get integrated back into the series with the way they like to race, with the rules they have in place, and also the technical aspect of these cars, but I know what I've done in the past, and I know what I'm capable of, and it's not like I've been sitting around a beach. "I've been racing 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup races every season. I've had plenty of racing miles under my belt. I'm looking forward to the change. I'm looking forward to bringing my family back to Australia, and just can't wait to get started." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Get to know the newest Miss Sprint Cup RELATED: Subscribe to NASCAR Illustrated Hometown: "I'm from a small town in southern New Jersey called Haddon Township. It's so small, we don't even have our own post office. Steven Spielberg spent his childhood there and it's 15 minutes from Philadelphia, so everyone knows what movies we love and the sports teams we cheer for." Pets: "I grew up with an enormous black and white cat named Theo. He first came home during a Philadelphia 76ers game when Theo Ratliff played for them, so that's where his name came from." Favorite app: "I love Spotify. Reading a book while listening to different classic rock playlists on the Spotify app is one of my favorite pastimes." Must-see TV: "My current TV addiction is "Law & Order: SVU," but I also never miss an episode of "Game of Thrones" or "Homeland." " Music that moves me: "Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band always brings me back to my childhood visiting the Jersey Shore (no, the one I go to is not like the MTV show)." Movies not to be missed: "My favorite movies usually star Audrey Hepburn. My number one has to be "Funny Face" with her and Fred Astaire. The fashion, the songs, the dancing -- I love it all." Favorite websites: "Every morning I check out the Associated Press website to catch all the latest worldwide news, and I also regularly visit QVC online (I used to work there) to see the special values and new beauty products." Travel: "I love getting to travel all over the country as Miss Sprint Cup -- that's one of my favorite parts of the job. I also love visiting Italy. I took Latin for seven years, so the history there is fascinating for me." Habit I'd like to kick: "Spending money online. Maybe I should stop visiting the QVC website so much." Best vacation getaway: "Ocean City, New Jersey. I know it's not tropical, but my parents have a house there and it's one of my favorite places to relax." First race: " Dover International Speedway in 2011 when Matt Kenseth won." Biggest influence in my life: "My parents. They always encouraged me to go after my dreams and goals even when they were a little different. I am incredibly lucky to have such a supportive, strong family with my parents, my sister and my extended (38 first cousins) family." SUBSCRIBE NOW!
Courtney Hansen takes an inside look at the logistics behind the NASCAR television compound in this installment of the NASCAR Automotive Technology Series.
Learn more about the improvements to NASCAR's Air Titan track drying system.
NASCAR would like to welcome you to the company.