The top finishers talk about their races and comment on the difficult it was to pass trucks during the race.
JR Motorsports will make its Truck debut this weekend at Martinsville Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Kelley Earnhardt Miller appeared on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Wednesday. Among other topics, she discussed JR Motorsports' first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race this weekend at Martinsville Speedway . Earnhardt Miller, co-owner of JR Motorsports, said earlier this year that there were no plans at that time to field the organization’s Camping World Truck Series team for any races beyond the 10 currently in place with driver Cole Custer . On Wednesday she said that was still the case, but also said Sprint Cup Series Dale Earnhardt Jr . had broached the subject of driving the truck. "He's definitely mentioned that that's something he might be interested in," Earnhardt Miller said. "I think he would want to see how the program is going to do, and make sure we have the resources and the capability to do that. Let Cole the team get off the ground first and see how that goes." The organization will make its CWTS debut this weekend at Martinsville Speedway , fielding the No. 00 Chevrolet for Custer in Saturday’s Kroger 250 (FOX Sports 1, 2:30 p.m. ET). The entry will carry sponsorship from Haas Automation and will be under the direction of crew chief Joe Shear Jr. Earnhardt Miller, Earnhardt Jr. and Sprint Cup Series team owner Rick Hendrick share ownership of JRM. One of the organization’s three full-time XFINITY Series teams features multiple Sprint Cup drivers, Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne , behind the wheel for select events. Two other full-time teams feature drivers Chase Elliott and Regan Smith , who finished 1-2 in points, respectively, last season. "He (Earnhardt Jr.) and some others have expressed interest in running the truck," Earnhardt Miller said. “We’ve actually gotten calls from other people saying ‘do you want to fill out the balance of your schedule and run it full time?' "We really don't want to do that. We want to focus on Cole. If the opportunity exists to put a couple of the Cup drivers in there to make our program stronger, (that's) really why would we want to do that… "I won’t say it’s not going to happen but there aren’t any concrete plans for it to happen right now." Even though the XFINITY Series is taking a one-week break after five consecutive races to open the 2015 season, it is shaping up to be a big weekend for JRM. Custer, 17, made his NCWTS debut last season with Haas Racing Development and became the youngest winner in a NASCAR national series event when he won the UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . In only nine starts, he scored six top-10s and two poles. Elliott, the defending XFINITY Series champion, will attempt to make his Sprint Cup Series debut in Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville. The 19-year-old is scheduled to step into the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet in 2016, replacing four-time series champion Jeff Gordon . HMS will field a No. 25 entry for Elliott this weekend, with veteran crew chief Kenny Francis heading up the team. With Elliott already tabbed for the move to Sprint Cup next season, Custer could be auditioning for a full-time XFINITY Series ride with the organization. "Hopefully, that (truck effort) will roll into an XFINITY Series ride for Cole, depending on how he performs," Earnhardt Miller said. It will be the first start of the season for Custer, who is limited to competing on road courses and tracks 1.1 miles or less in length due to his age. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
The Truck Series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway Entry # Driver Owner Crew chief Manufacturer Sponsor 1 00 Cole Custer Gene Haas Joe Shear 14 Chevrolet Haas Automation 2 0 Caleb Roark Kenneth Grimes Michael Stewart 12 RAM Driven2Honor.org 3 02 Tyler Young Randy Young Bryan Berry 14 Chevrolet Randco/Young's Building Systems 4 05 John Wes Townley Tony Townley Mike Beam 14 Toyota Zaxby's 5 6 Norm Benning Norm Benning Kevin Dargie 14 Chevrolet TBA 6 07 B J McLeod Ken Smith Rusty Ebersole 14 Chevrolet TBA 7 08 Ray Black Jr Bobby Dotter Jason Miller 14 Chevrolet ScubaLife 8 8 John Hunter Nemechek Sidney Mauldin Jerry Babb 14 Toyota Smoke-N-Sear/SWM 9 9 Brennan Newberry Joe Denette Ryan McKinney 14 Chevrolet Qore-24 10 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Jennifer Jo Cobb Steve Kuykendall 13 Chevrolet Oohrah! Hydration Drink 11 13 Jeb Burton Duke Thorson Jeriod Prince 14 Toyota Estes-Carolina Nut Company 12 17 Timothy Peters Tom Deloach Marcus Richmond II 14 Toyota Red Horse Racing 13 19 Tyler Reddick Brad Keselowski Doug Randolph 14 Ford DrawTite 14 20 Gray Gaulding Bob Newberry Christopher Rice 14 Chevrolet Silverado 15 21 Joey Coulter Maurice Gallagher Jr Jeff Stankiewicz 14 Chevrolet Allegiant Travel 16 29 Ryan Blaney Brad Keselowski Chad Kendrick 14 Ford Cooper Standard 17 31 Ben Kennedy Steve Turner Doug George 14 Chevrolet Heater.com 18 32 Cameron Hayley Harry Scott Jr Mike Hillman Jr 14 Chevrolet Cabinets by Hayley 19 35 Mason Mingus Kevin Cywinski Dennis Connor 14 Toyota Call 811 20 136 Justin Jennings Beverly Mittler Michael Mittler 14 Chevrolet Mitler Bros Machine & Tool/Ski Soda 21 50 T J Bell Mark Beaver Ken Evans 13 Chevrolet Dedicated to Electrical Linemen 22 51 Erik Jones Kyle Busch Eric Phillips 14 Toyota ToyotaCare/Project Pink 23 54 Darrell Wallace Jr Kyle Busch Jerry Baxter 14 Toyota ToyotaCare 24 63 Jr Heffner Michael Mittler Michael Mittler 14 Chevrolet TBA 25 74 TBA Mike Harmon Gary Ritter 14 Chevrolet TBA 26 77 German Quiroga Tom Deloach Butch Hylton 14 Toyota NET10 Wireless 27 186 Brandon Brown Jerry Brown Adam Brenner 13 Chevrolet Dominion Recycling 28 88 Matt Crafton Rhonda Thorson Carl Joiner 14 Toyota Slim Jim/Menards 29 98 Johnny Sauter Mike Curb Jeff Hensley 14 Toyota Nextant/Curb Records 30 99 Bryan Silas Chris Baluch Cal Boprey 14 Chevrolet TBA MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Will start alongside Brian Scott in Drive4Clots.com 300 (4 p.m. ET, FS1) RESULTS: Full lineup Joe Gibbs Racing driver Erik Jones picked up his first career XFINITY Series pole, topping all three rounds of qualifying Saturday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Jones’ best speed of 178.288 mph in the final round was enough to top the field of 12 drivers who advanced past the first two rounds. Brian Scott was the next fastest at 177.686 mph and will start alongside Jones' No. 20 Toyota on front row. Denny Hamlin , driving the No. 54 JGR Toyota for the injured Kyle Busch , will start third alongside Team Penske 's Brad Keselowski in the second row. Kyle Larson , the defending race-winner, will start 11th after running at a clip of 175 .050 mph. Defending series champion Chase Elliott did not advance to the final round of qualifying and will start 13th alongside Chris Buescher . For the second day in a row, on-track activity was halted due to a driver's car leaking oil on the track. After Mike Bliss dropped fluid during yesterday's second practice session, promptly spinning out both Ryan Reed and Kyle Larson , it was Derrike Cope whose No. 70 engine blew up during qualifying. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Tune in: Ford EcoBoost 400, 3 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Sprint Cup Series Practice 2 " Results Kevin Harvick continued to produce faster times around Homestead-Miami Speedway than the other three NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship contenders on Saturday. In fact, Harvick was faster than everyone else, too, in the day's first session at the 1.5-mile track. In the No. 4 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing, Harvick posted a best speed of 175 .069 mph in the first of two scheduled 50-minute sessions. That was better than Denny Hamlin (fifth, 173.969 mph), Joey Logano (sixth, 173.589 mph) and Ryan Newman (12th, 172.712 mph). Newman had trouble that extended beyond being the slowest of the group, too. He came to his pit stall so his crew could look at his No. 31 after radioing in that "something broke." FOX Sports 1's Wendy Venturini reported that the team fixed the busted bead blower on his right front tire, but damage to the splitter would require the crew to replace it between practice sessions. Following Harvick, and rounding out the top-five fastest of the session, were Jeff Gordon in second ( 175 .029 mph), followed by Brad Keselowski (174.498 mph), Jimmie Johnson (174.222 mph) and Hamlin. Gordon won the Coors Light Pole Award on Friday night. Earlier this weekend, Harvick led the other three title contenders in Friday's opening practice, then qualified best among the group Friday night. His No. 4 Chevrolet will line up fifth in Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN). Hamlin will start the race eighth, with Logano in ninth. Newman qualified 21st. Saturday's opening practice session -- the second of the weekend -- was delayed early on when the No. 33 of Brian Scott dropped fluid on the track. Sprint Cup Series Practice 3 " Get results Jimmie Johnson led the final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice of the season Saturday, a 50-minute session at Homestead-Miami Speedway in which the four drivers in contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship all finished inside the top 15. Johnson's speed of 175 .200 mph in his No. 48 Chevrolet paced all cars, and "Six-Time" was the only driver to top the 175 -mph mark. He led teammate Kasey Kahne , who logged a spot of 174.820 mph. Kurt Busch, AJ Allmendinger and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five. Joey Logano finished seventh (173.127 mph), just ahead of fellow championship hopeful Kevin Harvick (173.099 mph). It was the only time all weekend there was on-track activity in which Harvick was not the fastest of the Chase cars. He topped the other three drivers (and finished second overall) in Friday's opening practice, qualified fifth for Sunday's race and set the pace in Saturday's first practice. Ryan Newman, whose team planned to swap his splitter in between practice sessions, finished 12th -- matching his placement from the day's first practice -- at 172.806 mph. Denny Hamlin was 13th at 172.756 mph. There was a brief caution period when Kyle Larson spun in Turn 4 coming to pit road. The Ford EcoBoost 400 is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN. 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
Three-time NASCAR champion will become sole owner of organization CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart has entered into an agreement to purchase the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series. The announcement, made Wednesday, stated that Stewart has agreed to terms with series owner Guy Webb to become the sole owner of the organization. "My passion for sprint car racing is well known," Stewart said in a release, "and the All Star Circuit of Champions ... series has been a pillar of the sport for a long time. "Racing is my business and I look forward to building the series' already impressive legacy by taking it to a new level of success and sustainability." Stewart, co-owner of the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organization, has continued to compete in sprint cars throughout his NASCAR career. Incidents in the past two seasons, however, have left many wondering if his extracurricular racing activities should be either curtailed or stopped entirely. In 2013, Stewart suffered a broken right leg in an accident while competing at a sprint car race in Iowa. The injury forced Stewart to miss the final 15 races of the '13 NASCAR season. Last August, Stewart was again competing in a sprint car race when his entry struck and killed a fellow driver, Kevin Ward Jr. Stewart sat out three NASCAR races while dealing with the emotional and legal turmoil. Although he was cleared of any wrongdoing in the incident, Stewart said the fatality was something that would stay with him "forever." Dirt track racing makes up a large part of Stewart's business endeavors, and includes ownership of Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio as well as Tony Stewart Racing, a successful World of Outlaws race team. Webb said he had put his "heart and soul" into the All Star Circuit, "and it gives me great peace of mind to hand over the reins ... to Tony Stewart . "Tony is dirt track racing's biggest advocate, and he's always working in the best interest of sprint car racing." The series, which is not tied to one specific sanctioning organization, has a 50-race schedule in store for the 2015 season. The first event of the new year is scheduled for Feb. 5-7 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida.
RCR driver looks to nab elusive win in XFINITY Series MORE: Full schedule of season previews Team: Richard Childress Racing No. 2 Chevrolet Rank in final 2014 standings: Fourth Wins: 0 Strides: His fifth full season in the series resulted in a number of high-water marks for the 26-year-old native of Boise, Idaho. In his second year with RCR, Scott scored career bests in top-fives (6), top-10s (23) and final points position (fourth). His average starting position (6.5) and finishing position (9.3) were also career bests. With the help of crew chief Phil Gould and the No. 2 crew, Scott was never lower than 10th in points after the season's first race, and was fifth or higher for much of the second half of the season, thanks to 10 consecutive top-10 runs to end the year. "I feel like I grow every race," Scott said. "Now that we sit here and look at a year and if we have to encapsulate all that into a timeframe, I've grown tremendously. But I grow tremendously every single race. I feel like I get better in traffic, I feel like I get better on restarts, I feel like I get to be a better leader, I communicate better to my team. Those are things that I feel like are always improving race by race by race." It's no surprise, then, that Scott says he is looking forward to the 2015 season. "I'm looking forward to Daytona, the first race, and then the next race," he said. "I look forward to going race by race next year and continuing to improve and hopefully by the end of the year I've done a good enough job and I've improved enough through the course of the season to be sitting there at the championship table." Setbacks: In spite of his continued improvement, Scott has yet to land in the winner's circle after 175 career starts in the series. At least one area he said he hopes to improve upon is restarts, which often provide the best chance for improving one's position on the track. "You're never perfect on restarts … every driver will tell you that," he said. "If a driver tells you 'I'm perfect on every restart' then I envy them because they've got it figured out and I don't. "There are so many things that can happen on a restart; it's the best opportunity that you have throughout the course of a race to gain positions or to lose positions. I feel like more often than not, I either maintain or I lose a position or two. And I want to get to be the type of driver where every restart, no matter how my car is handling, I'm able to be aggressive and push the envelope and try to gain positions." Quoteworthy: "We have to work at this thing 33 weeks a year and communication … is a big part of that. Obviously you need to have speed and you need to have talent. I think we have those pieces. I always can be a better driver and I need to be a better driver for my team going forward." What's next: Mike Hillman Jr. replaces Gould as crew chief for the No. 2 team as Gould departed to reunite with Elliott Sadler at Roush Fenway Racing . Hillman is no newcomer, having won two championships and 20 career wins in the Camping World Truck Series. Scott hopes to once again compete in several Sprint Cup events in '15 (he made six starts in '14), a bit of extracurricular activity that he said he believes to be very beneficial. "When you get in (an XFINITY Series) car after you've just got out of a Cup car where you’ve been going 200 (mph) at the end of the straightaways and … you're going 180, it feels like everything slows down," he said. "It really feels like you’re able to utilize your talents … more effectively. "For me, that's the greatest benefit I get." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Final four drivers offer their Saturday plans, what they think of their cars RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- The final preparations for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship race are complete with Saturday afternoon's two 50-minute practice sessions featuring a pair of near-misses but no major incident for the four title-contending drivers. The next time the quartet hits the track at Homestead-Miami Speedway , it will be for the chance to hoist the Sprint Cup trophy for the first time in their careers. Their pre-race track time complete, the only thing left for Kevin Harvick , Denny Hamlin , Joey Logano and Ryan Newman before their Sunday showdown is to relax, rest and get in the right frame of mind for the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN). All four were among the top 15 in Saturday's two practice sessions, hinting that they'll settle their final championship battle near the front of the pack. A glance at how NASCAR's final four fared on the eve of the season finale, in order of Sunday's starting position: Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet Starting position: 5th. Saturday's practice: 1st in second practice; 8th in final practice. Saturday recap: Harvick was consistent in the amount of laps he ran, completing 30 in Saturday's first session and running 29 in the final practice. His speed, though, dipped from a high-water mark of 175 .200 mph early to 173.099 mph late. "We never got the balance right to run it really far enough into the run, to run 20 or 25 laps," Harvick said. Down time: Harvick was concise in predicting his evening activities, offering a one-word answer: "Eat!" Sunday's outlook: Harvick starts nearest to the front of any championship hopeful, but said there's still work to be done to get the handling just right on his No. 4 entry. "Yeah, we struggled getting the balance right, and I don't think we've really hit it exactly where we need it to be yet," Harvick said. "So, we'll go back through the stuff that everybody did on our cars and definitely try to improve for tomorrow." Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota Starting position: 8th. Saturday's practice: 5th in second practice; 13th in final practice. Saturday recap: Hamlin avoided trouble at the end of the final practice session when he dipped his tires onto the grass as he overshot the access road below the track apron. Though he said that the car's ensuing slide was "pretty exciting for a little while," he was pleased with the car's capabilities, especially if lengthy green-flag stretches develop Sunday. "The car was good. It's definitely gaining on some things," Hamlin said. "Feel pretty good about it. It's definitely a long run car -- feels really good on the long run." Down time: Hamlin turns 34 years old on Tuesday and there would be no better birthday present than a first championship at NASCAR's top level. Before his actual birthdate, the Virginia native planned on an early celebration before Sunday's big day. "Pretty much have birthday dinner and relax," Hamlin said. "Come in here in the morning ready to go." Sunday's outlook: Hamlin projected a care-free approach in events leading up to Sunday's finale, but it's also translated into his determination to erase the heartbreak of past defeats. "As high as it should be," Hamlin said of his confidence level. "We've got a car that we can compete with and that's the main thing. You worry when you come down here if it's going to be like it was or how it was previous years and how it was in the test, but it's pretty good." Joey Logano, Team Penske No. 22 Ford Starting position: 9th. Saturday's practice: 6th in second practice; 7th in final practice. Saturday recap: Logano was right on the edges of the top five in both 50-minute practices Saturday, with his best lap in the final session less than a tenth of a second slower than his early speed. Logano said his Team Penske crew will lean heavily on the information it gathered in a two-day test session here at the end of October, but that the team learned plenty in this weekend's practice about running different grooves on the Homestead track. "I still think the top is preferred for everybody," Logano said, "but you have to be able to move around a little bit and I feel like our car can do that." Down time: Logano offered a detailed description of what the hours ahead would hold, including the likelihood of a pineapple chicken dish prepared by his fiancé, Brittany. "I will do the same thing I do any other time except hopefully we are celebrating a (team owner) championship on the Nationwide side," Logano said. "That would be a good thing. From here I will go debrief with (crew chief) Todd (Gordon) and get a read on what our car did. We will go to our team meeting and make some good adjustments for tomorrow and then watch the Nationwide race. I suppose later I will watch some TV and then go to sleep. The Nationwide celebration should go fairly late and we will enjoy that. That is a lot of hard work so hopefully we are able to do that. Then we will go home -- I say home, but to the motor home -- and we will have some dinner. Brittany and I will talk. We have been watching 'Boy Meets World' like nobody's business so we will probably watch an episode of that and go to sleep." Sunday's outlook: Despite the pressure-packed intensity of the season finale, Logano insists his team won't deviate from the game plan that's worked for 35 races so far this season. "I think we treat it like any other Sunday. Why change what we have been doing? We will approach it the same. Obviously there will probably be a couple extra thoughts that we don't typically have, a couple of moments of reflection. We have had those moments and raced the last few weeks with those thoughts in our minds of what we need to do to get through the Chase. We will just keep it how we have been doing things." Ryan Newman, Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet Starting position: 21st. Saturday's practice: 12th in second practice; 12th in final practice. Saturday recap: Newman escaped one of the close calls from the first practice session. Shortly after Brian Scott pulled his car off the track with engine failure, Newman reported to his RCR crew that he'd run over a piece of debris. The team replaced a rattling bead blower fan and changed out the scratched-up splitter in a fairly minor repair job. Overall, though, he hoped for improvement on Sunday after posting the slowest average over the two Saturday practices of any of the Championship 4. "It could have gone better, but we got a lot of good information," Newman said. "Still just working on the balance of the race car a little bit and making it so it's fast. It seems like I can put it anywhere, just got to get a little bit more speed out of the car doing that." Down time: Newman's night before the championship doesn't look much different than a Saturday evening for many of the tailgating fans camping out on the Homestead-Miami grounds. Newman said he planned on a small cookout near his motorcoach, spending time with friends and family. "I don't ever have a high-pressure night," Newman said. "Just try to keep an even keel, I guess." Sunday's outlook: Despite starting midpack in Sunday's 400, Newman hasn't let his position on the grid pose a concern. Though he's heard the label of underdog applied to him in the days leading up to the season finale, Newman starts Sunday on even footing in terms of the points standings. "Oh, confidence isn't an issue," Newman said. "We are having fun. Our starting spot is not where we want to be, but our finishing spot hopefully is a lot better." 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
Catch up quickly before Sunday's season finale (3 p.m. ET, ESPN) RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota What: 16th annual Ford EcoBoost 400 Where: Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Florida When: Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014 TV/Radio: ESPN, Motor Racing Network Time: 3 p.m. ET Distance: 267 laps (400.5 miles) Pit road speed: 45 mph Caution car speed: 55 mph On the front row " Full lineup Jeff Gordon , Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet (180.747 mph) Kurt Busch , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet (180.632 mph) Failed To Qualify None. Fastest in practice First practice: Brad Keselowski, Team Penske No. 2 Ford (179.004 mph) " Full practice times Second practice: Kevin Harvick , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet ( 175 .069 mph) " Full practice times Final practice: Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet ( 175 .200 mph) " Full practice times Where they'll start Starting position for the four Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contenders: Kevin Harvick: 5th Denny Hamlin: 8th Joey Logano: 9th Ryan Newman: 21st They said it I "I didn't know Cinderella was a race car driver." -- Ryan Newman on his status as an underdog. They said it II "We have struggled a little bit with speed, but we've faced elimination each and every round and we've overcome it every single round. We face elimination once again on Sunday, and now we have to overcome it." -- Denny Hamlin They said it III "You know your guys have had their backs put against the wall and done a great job under pressure, so you just want to just keep doing the things that you've been doing and knowing that if you do those things right, your car is going to run fast enough to win the race, which is what you need to do. That's really what it comes down to." -- Kevin Harvick They Said It IV "I told the guys that no matter what happens (Sunday), that we deserve to be here and have shown that all year and they have done a great job. Now we go race our guts out and have some fun." -- Joey Logano They said it V "I got into Ty Dillon here a couple of years ago and he was going for a Truck championship and I felt horrible after that. I don't want to go through that again." -- Sprint Cup Series rookie Kyle Larson on racing around the four Chase finalists. They said it VI "It hit me hard when I crossed the line at Phoenix. I think I was just really in disbelief for a good 24 hours that we did everything so right and didn't make it. That disappointment was definitely there throughout the week. … I think even if we win this race on Sunday, that's only going to make it hurt a little bit more in some ways because we could have won the championship if we were here." -- Jeff Gordon Defending Ford EcoBoost 400 Champion Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota Driver rating Best driver rating average at Homestead-Miami Speedway based on past nine years: 1. Carl Edwards , Roush Fenway Racing No. 99 Ford (115.5) 2. Martin Truex Jr ., Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Chevrolet (110.0) 3. Matt Kenseth , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota (109.8) Streak at an end? Tony Stewart's streak of 15 years with at least one NASCAR premier series win is in jeopardy as the three-time champion is winless in 2014 entering Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 . But Stewart’s not the only driver with a win streak on the line. Ryan Newman has won at least one race for the past four years; Matt Kenseth has gone three seasons with one or more victories and Greg Biffle is riding a two-year run of winning at least one race. Former Homestead-Miami Speedway winners in field Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart (3); Denny Hamlin , Carl Edwards (2); Jeff Gordon , Kurt Busch , Matt Kenseth 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
Team Penske drivers lead both Cup, Nationwide Series Friday practices RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Sprint Cup Series practice 1 " Full results Brad Keselowski opened up the final weekend of the 2014 season by leading Friday's first practice for Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN) at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Keselowski turned a fast lap of 179.004 mph on his seventh lap around the 1.5-mile track. Second-fastest to Keselowski was Kevin Harvick at 178.950 mph. Harvick was the only driver still eligible to win the 2014 championship that finished in the top five. Ryan Newman was the second-fastest Chase driver in the field at 177.620 mph (ninth), with Denny Hamlin behind him in 11th place (177.497 mph) and Joey Logano finishing 22nd ( 175 .838 mph) in the 90-minute session. Danica Patrick (178.767 mph), Matt Kenseth (178.453 mph) and Kyle Larson (177.948 mph) rounded out the top-five fastest on the leaderboard. Kurt Busch (sixth), Jeff Gordon (seventh), Jimmie Johnson (eighth), Newman and Kyle Busch (10th) rounded out the top 10. The Sprint Cup Series will return to the track this evening for Coors Light Pole Qualifying at 6:15 p.m. ET with TV coverage on ESPN2. Nationwide Series practice 2 " Full results Continuing his high speeds from the first practice, Ryan Blaney soared to the top of the leaderboard on his 39th lap as he rounded Homestead-Miami Speedway at a speed of 168.240 mph, the fastest lap of the final practice on Friday. Blaney also led the opening session at the South Florida track. Nationwide Series rookie Ty Dillon was second-fastest at 168.072 mph. Kyle Busch (167.105 mph), Elliott Sadler (166.883 mph) and Kyle Larson (166.847 mph) round out the top-five fastest on the leaderboard. Defending race winner Brad Keselowski recorded a speed of 166.512 mph on his first lap, making him ninth-fastest of the run. Chase Elliott, who already clinched the Nationwide Series championship title last week at Phoenix, was 14th-fastest (165.970 mph) in the opening session. Elliott is the youngest national series winner in NASCAR history. The Nationwide Series returns to the track Saturday at 1:15 p.m. ET for Coors Light Pole Qualifying with TV coverage on FOX Sports 1. Switch over to ESPN2 at 4:30 p.m. ET tomorrow for the Ford EcoBoost 300 . Nationwide Series practice 1 " Full results Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 12 Discount Tire Ford for Team Penske, led opening practice in the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Blaney, who is making his 14th Nationwide Series start of the 2014 season, turned a lap of 167.942 mph on the 1.5-mile track. Finishing in second place, 0.183 seconds behind Blaney, was Elliott Sadler , who is making his final Nationwide Series start for Joe Gibbs Racing before moving over to Roush Fenway Racing next year. Fellow JGR driver Matt Kenseth was third at 166.662 mph, followed by series champion and Sunoco Rookie Chase Elliott at 166.318 mph and his JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith at 166.231 mph. Smith, who made slight contact with the wall during practice, had damage to his right-rear panel but it likely wasn't enough to bring out a backup car. Forty-two of the 43 cars entered in the Ford EcoBoost 300 (Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) made laps in Friday's opening practice, with Carlos Contreras , who is sporting a Pit Bull (the artist)-themed paint scheme , being the lone non-participant. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView