Smith, Sadler, Blaney and Suarez advance to Dash 4 Cash at Bristol SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- Regan Smith 's eighth place finish in Saturday's Lilly Diabetes 250 XFINITY Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway wasn't the victory he'd hoped for, but Smith and his JR Motorsports team was still able to celebrate having gotten one step closer to winning a million dollars in the series' Dash 4 Cash incentive program. While race winner Kyle Busch was hoisting trophies nearby in victory lane, Smith accepted a check for $100,000 as the second round winner of the Dash4Cash program. He also collected $100,000 on May 30, after winning the first round at Dover, Delaware. Any driver who wins the first three Dash 4 Cash awards then wins the final round race outright -- Sept. 5 at Darlington -- would total $1 million for the effort. Smith bettered championship leader Chris Buescher , Chase Elliott and Brendan Gaughan to claim Saturday's portion of the winnings. Smith, along with Indianapolis' runner-up Ryan Blaney , third place finisher Daniel Suarez and fifth place finisher Elliott Sadler now advance and are eligible for the third round of competition Aug. 21 at Bristol Motor Speedway. "We had three battles we were fighting today,'' Smith said standing alongside his No. 7 AmericasPower.org Chevy covered in pretend dollar bills. "First and foremost we wanted to win the race and we weren't capable of doing that today. We knew that so then we wanted to win the money and gain points on the 60-car and we did both of those things today and that's what we've got to keep doing every week. "I know as a company we're working hard to get going further forward. "I thought we could have been anywhere from 6th to 10th . We'll take that and we're going to bust our ass the rest of the year." Smith, last year's championship runner-up sits fourth in the rankings entering next week's XFINITY Series race at Iowa Speedway. He trails Buescher by 51 points. In the meantime, Smith joked that he already had an idea how to spend at least a portion of his now $ 200 ,000 Dash 4 Cash effort. "I'd like to buy a cool box, I'm really hot right now," he joked with a big smile. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
A statistical look ahead to the 21st race of the Sprint Cup season DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Pocono Raceway in Pocono, Pennsylvania going into the WINDOWS 10 400 on August 2 (1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). POCONO-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · Two wins, 12 top fives, 16 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 12.421, eighth-best · Average Running Position of 10.246, second-best · Driver Rating of 105.9, third-best · 332 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.733, second-fastest · 2659 Laps in the Top 15 (77.0), second-most · 774 Quality Passes, seventh-most Dale Earnhardt Jr (No. 88 MICROSOFT Chevrolet) · Two wins, nine top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 15.900, 11th-best · Average Running Position of 14.002, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 92.6, ninth-best · 102 Fastest Laps Run, third-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.237, eighth-fastest · 2286 Laps in the Top 15 (63.3), eighth-most · 727 Quality Passes, eighth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 STANLEY Toyota) · Two wins, five top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 15.500, 10th-best · Average Running Position of 14.826, 13th-best · Driver Rating of 94.2, eighth-best · 176 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.224, ninth-fastest · 2262 Laps in the Top 15 (62.6), 10th-most · 712 Quality Passes, ninth-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet) · Six wins, 19 top fives, 31 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 9.650, second-best · Average Running Position of 9.916, series-best · Driver Rating of 103.5, fourth-best · 169 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.625, fifth-fastest · 2777 Laps in the Top 15 (76.9), third-most · 885 Quality Passes, series-most Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota) · Four wins, nine top fives, 13 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 11.889, seventh-best · Average Running Position of 10.844, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 108.3, series-best · 437 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.806, series-fastest · 2543 Laps in the Top 15 (79.3), series-most · 685 Quality Passes, 10th-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Jimmy John's/Budweiser Chevrolet) · Seven top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 10.600, fifth-best · Average Running Position of 13.743, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 91.9, 11th-best · 63 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.159, 10th-fastest · 2277 Laps in the Top 15 (63.0), ninth-most · 789 Quality Passes, sixth-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet) · Three wins, 11 top fives, 18 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 10.500, third-best · Average Running Position of 10.487, third-best · Driver Rating of 106.9, second-best · 273 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.708, third-fastest · 2774 Laps in the Top 15 (76.8), fourth-most · 861 Quality Passes, fourth-most Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Aquafina Chevrolet) · Two wins, five top fives, eight top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 18.750, 13th-best · Average Running Position of 14.622, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 92.1, 10th-best · 306 Fastest Laps Run, series-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.436, sixth-fastest · 2199 Laps in the Top 15 (60.9), 11th-most · 804 Quality Passes, fifth-most Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford) · One win, three top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 13.400, ninth-best · Average Running Position of 14.786, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 90.8, 12th-best · 96 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.894, 13th-fastest · 852 Laps in the Top 15 (50.1), 13th-most · 306 Quality Passes, 12th-most Kyle Larson (No. 42 Suave Men Chevrolet) · One top five, two top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 8.000, series-best · Average Running Position of 12.672, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 95.7, sixth-best · 2 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.690, fourth-fastest · 230 Laps in the Top 15 (71.9), seventh-most · 87 Quality Passes, 13th-most Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford) · One win, three top fives, five top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 16.583, 12th-best · Average Running Position of 13.811, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 88.9, 13th-best · 61 Fastest Laps Run, second-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.097, 12th-fastest · 1190 Laps in the Top 15 (56.6), 12th-most · 456 Quality Passes, 11th-most Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) · One win, nine top fives, 14 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 10.500, fourth-best · Average Running Position of 11.426, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 95.3, seventh-best · 36 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.135, 11th-fastest · 2689 Laps in the Top 15 (74.4), fifth-most · 883 Quality Passes, second-most Tony Stewart (No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet) · Two wins, 12 top fives, 22 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 10.600, sixth-best · Average Running Position of 12.223, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 97.6, fifth-best · 99 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.319, seventh-fastest · 2619 Laps in the Top 15 (72.5), sixth-most · 880 Quality Passes, third-most Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 29 0 0 7 11 2 13.2 91.9 2 Joey Logano 13 2 1 3 5 1 15.6 88.9 3 Dale Earnhardt Jr 31 1 2 9 13 1 15.2 92.6 4 Jimmie Johnson 27 3 3 11 18 1 9.6 106.9 5 Martin Truex Jr 19 0 1 3 7 0 15.1 80.4 6 Brad Keselowski 11 0 1 3 4 0 13.7 90.8 7 Matt Kenseth 31 0 0 3 11 1 15.7 86.7 8 Kurt Busch 28 2 2 12 16 5 14.4 105.9 9 Jamie McMurray 25 1 0 0 7 3 19.3 73.1 10 Denny Hamlin 19 3 4 9 13 2 11.8 108.3 11 Jeff Gordon 45 2 6 19 31 5 10 103.5 12 Ryan Newman 27 2 1 9 14 3 12.4 95.3 13 Paul Menard 17 0 0 0 2 1 23.6 64.6 14 Kasey Kahne 23 2 2 5 8 3 17.6 92.1 15 Clint Bowyer 19 0 0 2 8 0 14.6 82.8 16 Carl Edwards 21 0 2 5 8 1 15.5 94.2 * – Based on last 21 races at Pocono Raceway (2005 – 2015). Kyle Busch ’s Chase Eligibility 30th Justin Allgaier 317 Rank Driver Wins Points Points From 30th 31 Cole Whitt 0 314 -3 32 Kyle Busch 4 294 -23 33 Brett Moffitt # 0 266 -51 34 Alex Bowman 0 245 -72 35 Michael Annett 0 230 -87 36 Matt DiBenedetto # 0 205 -112 37 Josh Wise 0 186 -131 38 Michael McDowell 0 124 -193 39 Jeb Burton 0 111 -206 40 Alex Kennedy 0 71 -246 * To be eligible for the Chase, the driver must be in the top 30 of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings following race number 26. Pocono Raceway Data Season Race #: 21 of 36 (08-02-15) Track Size : 2.5-miles Banking/Turn 1 : 14 degrees Banking/Turn 2 : 8 degrees Banking/Turn 3 : 6 degrees Frontstretch Length : 3,740 feet Backstretch Length : 3,055 feet Shortstretch Length : 1,780 feet Race Length : 160 laps / 400 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Pocono Denny Hamlin ............................ 108.3 Jimmie Johnson ........................ 106.9 Kurt Busch ................................ 105.9 Jeff Gordon .............................. 103.5 Tony Stewart ............................... 97.6 Kyle Larson ................................ 95.7 Ryan Newman ............................. 95.3 Carl Edwards .............................. 94.2 Dale Earnhardt Jr ........................ 92.6 Kasey Kahne .............................. 92.1 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (21 total) among active drivers at Pocono Raceway. Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Kyle Larson , Chevrolet 183.438 mph, 49.063 secs, 08-01-14 2014 race winner : Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Chevrolet 127.411 mph, (03:08:22), 08-03-14 Track qualifying record: Kyle Larson , Chevrolet 183.438 mph, 49.610 secs, 08-03-14 Track race record: Jeff Gordon , Chevrolet 145.384 mph, (03:26:21), 06-12-11 At Pocono Raceway: History · Opened in 1968 as a three-quarter-mile track, Pocono Raceway held the first race on the 2.5-mile track in 1971. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was in 1974 – won by Richard Petty , Dodge, 115.593 mph, 08/04/1974. · The 2.5-mile track was repaved during the fall of 2011. · 2012 marked the first season the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono were scheduled for 400 miles. Prior to 2012 all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races were 500 miles at Pocono Raceway. Starts · There have been 75 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono Raceway, one race from 1974 through 1981, and two per year since. · 327 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway; 229 in more than one. · Ricky Rudd leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in starts at Pocono with 55. · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 45 starts (eighth most all-time) at Pocono; followed by Tony Stewart with 33 starts. · Denny Hamlin (19 starts) leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Pocono with a 6.632. Poles · 40 drivers have posted Coors Light poles at Pocono, led by Bill Elliott and Ken Schrader with five each; Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin lead all active drivers with three each. · Buddy Baker won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Pocono in 1974 with a speed of 144.122 mph. · Five drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Pocono. Bill Elliott holds the record for most consecutive poles at Pocono with three; fall 1984 and both races in 1985. · Two active drivers have posted consecutive Coors Light poles at Pocono: Denny Hamlin (2006 sweep) and Joey Logano (fall 2011 and spring 2012). · Youngest Pocono pole winner: Joey Logano (08/07/2011 – 21 years, 2 months, 14 days). · Oldest Pocono pole winner: David Pearson (06/10/1984 – 49 years, 5 months, 19 days). · Kyle Larson (8/03/2014) and Casey Mears (8/1/2004) posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Pocono Raceway. Wins · 33 different drivers have won at Pocono Raceway, led by Jeff Gordon with six wins. · Seven active drivers have multiple wins at Pocono: Jeff Gordon (6), Denny Hamlin (4), Jimmie Johnson (3), Carl Edwards , Kasey Kahne , Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart (each have 2). · Seven drivers have posted consecutive wins at Pocono Raceway all-time, including three consecutive by Bobby Allison (1982 sweep and spring 1983) and Tim Richmond (1986 sweep and spring 1987). · Three of the seven drivers to win consecutive races at Pocono are active: Jimmie Johnson (2004 sweep); Denny Hamlin (2006 sweep and 2009 fall and 2010 spring races) and Dale Earnhardt Jr . (2014 sweep). · Youngest Pocono winner: Joey Logano (06/10/2012 – 22 years, 0 months, 17 days). · Oldest Pocono winner: Harry Gant (06/17/1990 – 50 years, 5 months, 7 days). · Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Pocono in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 17: Jeff Gordon (six), Tim Richmond (three), Jimmie Johnson (three), Dale Earnhardt Jr . (two), Kasey Kahne (one), Geoff Bodine (one) and Terry Labonte (one). · Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Pocono; led by Chevrolet with 31 victories; followed by Ford with 21 and Toyota has three. · 13 of the 75 (17.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Joey Logano (June, 2012). · 15 of the 74 (20%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono have been won from the first starting position; the most recent was Jimmie Johnson (June, 2013). · The first starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (15) than any other starting position at Pocono Raceway. · 24 of the 75 (32%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono have been won from the front row: 15 from the first starting position and nine from second-place. · 53 of the 75 (70.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono have been won from a top-10 starting position. · Five of the 75 (6.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Pocono is 29th, by Carl Edwards in the spring of 2005. · One active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has posted his first career win at Pocono Raceway: Denny Hamlin (06/11/06). · Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards are the only two active drivers to win at Pocono in their first appearances. · Matt Kenseth leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Pocono without visiting Victory Lane at 31; followed by Kevin Harvick with 29. Additional Finishing Position Stats · Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Pocono with seven; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six; followed by Kurt Busch with five. · Mark Martin leads the series in top-five finishes at Pocono with 20; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 19; followed by Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart with 12 each. · Mark Martin leads the series in top-10 finishes at Pocono with 34; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 31; followed by Tony Stewart with 22. · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Pocono with a 9.630. Track Specific Stats · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in
Roush Fenway Racing driver visited Boys & Girls Club on Thursday LOUDON, N.H. -- When Ryan Reed was but a little tyke tagging along while his father, Mark, competed in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West off and on throughout the early 2000s, the XFINITY Series driver had the privilege of meeting his hero -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . "I was able to meet a few of the drivers (growing up) and I was at the race track a lot and he was racing … so I was at (Auto Club) Speedway and I was a huge Dale Jr. fan and I got his autograph and I was pretty starstruck," Reed said Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway before finishing 13th in the Lakes Region 200 . "That’s probably my biggest 'Oh my God I can’t believe I met him' story. "That was back when he was in the No. 8 Budweiser Chevy so there were tons of red jackets at the race track and I was a proud Dale Jr. fan." Knowing how cool it was to meet and greet a race car driver at such a young age, Reed visited the Boys & Girls Club of Concord, New Hampshire with Comcast XFINITY representatives on Thursday to meet with children interested in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) and tour the facilities. Reed, still just 21-years-old, may have let his inner child show a little. "It’s my first time ever going to a Boys & Girls Club and I had an amazing time," said the second-year XFINITY driver. "I didn’t realize how amazing the facilities are and the kids were having a blast and I got to go play some games with them and play dodgeball and capture the flag and got to hang out on the monkey bars and all that. It was just a really cool experience and they’re amazing kids and had awesome questions. A lot of them had some really cool racing questions, it surprised me how much they knew about the sport. It was a lot of fun and definitely a cool experience." While they surprised him with racing questions, Reed surprised the kids with a set of race tickets to Saturday's Lakes Region 200 XFINITY Series event, inviting the group to the "Magic Mile" as his special guests. Prior to the race, the Roush Fenway Racing driver answered some more of their questions and showed them the ins and outs of his No. 16 Ford Mustang in the garage. Thursday, he visited their playground. Saturday they got to see his. "We kind of switched roles today and I thought it was really neat they could come out and I could show them around the race track a little bit; show them around the car," Reed said. "It was cool, they seemed to be pretty interested and the look on their faces was pretty fun." Reed also introduced the kids to his lead race engineer in Gilford, New Hampshire native Katelyn Bernasconi. Where STEM was such an integral part of why these particular children were interested in meeting Reed in the first place -- apart from him being a NASCAR driver, of course -- it made sense to meet with Bernasconi, but Reed, too, knows the impact the program has on our nation’s young minds. "I think (STEM) is great. It’s a great program and it’s definitely really important," Reed said. "Racing is a great example of a sport that’s kind of being taken over by technology and is really just a technology-based sport. There’s nothing we do that doesn’t involve a computer anymore. "I think that this is a prime example of how important that program is and getting kids involved and ultimately, hopefully, end up in NASCAR." In 2014, Comcast NBCUniversal entered into a five-year partnership with BGCA to support the launch of My.Future, a new technology initiative designed to teach Club members about our digital world and ignite their passion for technology. The five-year, national partnership is valued at tens of millions of dollars in cash and in-kind support. My.Future is a next-generation technology initiative that personalizes the program for each member through engaging project-based, digital activities. My.Future will provide Club members with the ability to safely build, explore and communicate in their own digital worlds and ignite their passion for technology. It will also give Club members the skills they need to pursue promising careers. Comcast NBCUniversal has supported local Boys & Girls Clubs for more than 15 years. In 2010, Comcast took their support to the national level as a sponsor of BGCA’s digital literacy initiative dedicated to providing youth with computer skills needed for success in the 21st century. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Hamlin's bump of Austin Dillon for the lead leads to differing views RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings LOUDON, N.H. – To Denny Hamlin , it was just hard short-track racing for the win. To runner-up Austin Dillon , it was unnecessarily aggressive driving that led to Hamlin’s victory in the Lakes Region 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. On Lap 179 of 200 at the Magic Mile, Hamlin drove his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to the inside of Dillon's No. 33 Chevrolet. Hamlin slid up the track into Dillon, broke the No. 33's momentum and took the lead. WATCH: Could payback be coming for Hamlin? " Bad blood continues for Dillon, Hamlin Eventual third- and fourth-place finishers Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch also passed Dillon, who later regained the positions he lost to Keselowski and Busch but ran out of time in his pursuit of Hamlin. Earlier in the race Hamlin had two similar incidents with Busch, his teammate. And though Busch didn't appear particularly annoyed with Hamlin's tactics, Dillon was incensed. "He got to me, and I figured he was going to race, but he never even wanted to," Dillon said. "He wrecked his teammate and then proceeded to try and wreck me, and if I had gotten back to him, it would have happened to him." Hamlin wrote off the contact to all-out racing at a one-mile flat track. "The bottom line is, if you don't have any air on the outside of you, you just can't hold it," Hamlin said. "There was an example of that about three times today ... I want to thank 'Wheels' (crew chief Mike Wheeler) for giving me the dominant car. We had the best car, and just, wow, what a day." In Hamlin’s view, Dillon wasn't blameless either. "Well, he jumped the restart, for one," Hamlin said. "I'm the control car, but that's fine. Eventually I was going to get back around him anyway. Same thing—I was a fender ahead, and he drove in there knowing that he was going to have to hold me low to hold the position, and I just washed up into him. "But that's two guys on a short track racing for the win." Dillon clearly had a different opinion. "What is racing, if you can't race side-by-side for more than a corner?" Dillon asked rhetorically. "He never even went through a corner with me, the whole race. He didn't want to. He just moved me. Missed the corner. Wrecked me. "I'm fine with racing rough. I promise you, I can do it to anybody. But if we're going to race like that, I need to know before you get to the first corner. Give me a corner at least." Dillon indicated there might be some payback in the offing but wouldn't reveal how or when. "I'm not going to talk about it," Dillon said. "He won't be ready." Hamlin's reply? "We’ve both got race cars." Dillon got the lead on Lap 175 moments after a restart following the sixth and final caution for Brian Scott 's blown engine. Both Hamlin and Dillon had stayed out on old tires under the previous yellow, but Keselowski came to pit road for fresh rubber on Lap 142. As it turned out, the new tires made little difference. "It was the right call and probably got us to third, instead of fourth or fifth," Keselowski said. "We just weren't as fast as the 33 and 20 were. ... We just weren't fast enough this weekend." Rookie Daniel Suarez ran fifth, followed by Ty Dillon , Regan Smith , Darrell Wallace Jr ., Chase Elliott and Brennan Poole . Series leader Chris Buescher finished 14th, one lap down, and saw his lead in the standings shrink to 31 points over second-place Elliott. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See where your favorite driver will pit on Saturday (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN) The pit stall assignments are out for Saturday's Lakes Region 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (4 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, PRN, SiriusXM) with pole sitter Denny Hamlin getting his pick of the spots on pit road. Hamlin chose the pit stall closest to the exit of pit road heading into Turn 1. The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the XFINITY Series will have an opening in front of him leaving pit road. He is not the only driver with that advantage. Kyle Busch (starting second), Daniel Suarez (starting third), Brian Scott (starting fifth), Regan Smith (starting eighth) and Brennan Poole (starting 13th) all have openings in front of them. Ben Rhodes has the pit stall right in front of the start-finish line at the Magic Mile. Smith chose the pit stall closest to the entrance of pit road, which gives him a clear path to his pit box once on pit road. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Dillon hints he would have wrecked Hamlin if given the chance Saturday LOUDON, N.H. – Denny Hamlin got the best of Austin Dillon in Saturday’s XFINITY Series Lakes Region 200 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, moving him out of the way in the corner with less than 30 laps to go to pick up his second win of the season. Don’t expect Dillon to forget about it. WATCH: Bad blood continues between Hamlin, Dillon “I missed one corner; I’ll take the blame for that. I got a little tight. … He got to me; figured he was going to race, but he never even wanted to,” said Dillon, who finished runner-up to Hamlin. “He wrecked his teammate ( Kyle Busch ) and then proceeded to try and wreck me. And if I would’ve gotten back to him, it would’ve happened to him. “What is racing if you can’t race side-by-side for more than a corner? He never even went through a corner with me. The whole race. Didn’t want to. He just moved me. Missed the corner; wrecked me. I’m fine with racing rough. I promise you I can do it to anybody. But if we’re going to race like that, I need to know before you get into the first corner, you know? Give me a corner, at least.” While the video shows Hamlin dive into the corner in an effort to gain position on Dillon’s No. 33 Chevrolet and then drift back up and make contact, it was contact that Hamlin explained in full detail in his post-race press conference as being Dillon’s fault. That said, it was also contact that Hamlin likely won’t lose sleep over, since he felt Dillon jumped the restart when his No. 20 Toyota was the control car. “I did feel like he left early. I was the control car and I was going to wait,” Hamlin said. “I typically start early in the box most restarts. I was going to wait until late in the box but he took off right in the middle of the box and short of just stacking the field up and not going, I didn’t want to wreck everybody behind me, so I just took off and continued that he was just going to jump the start and really nothing was going to be done about it.” Hamlin paused, before continuing to further explain why he shouldn’t take the blame. “There’s a misconception, I think, at this track on what responsibility the outside car has. The bottom lane at this track is the middle; it’s not the yellow line. Nobody runs on the apron at this race track. When you’re the outside car and you choose to run the middle and somebody is underneath you, you run a risk of that car more than likely washing up into you. Everyone’s done it. Austin’s done it. Kyle’s done it sometimes. We’ve all done it. “When that outside car chooses to hold you down and pinch you down, typically they get the bad end of the deal. I got the worst end of the deal in the first one with Kyle. When a car is on the bottom, I typically move up to the third lane to give the person an opportunity to stay underneath me. I did it with Kyle earlier in the race. I think he passed me twice and I kind of threw my hands up, moved up high and let him have the spot. With him and Austin, they both kind of ran the middle, trying to protect their position like they’re supposed to but it gives me just no opportunity to save my car. “I’m already committed to the bottom at that point. Once you let off the throttle and you turn down in, you’re hoping they give you the true bottom line, which is the middle, but when they don’t it’s a ‘you pinch, you pay’ type problem.” The extra wrinkle to all of this: Hamlin and Dillon are both full-time Sprint Cup Series drivers who still have to race on Sunday in the 5-hour ENERGY 301 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network). And if Dillon’s post-race temperament was any indication, he certainly wouldn’t shy away from any contact. Only thing is, Dillon, winless and mired in 21st in the standings, is the one that can’t afford to wreck his race car seeking retaliation. Hamlin has his Chase for the Sprint Cup all but wrapped up via a Martinsville win earlier this year. Still, is he worried? “Not really. I have a win. I have nothing to lose, basically,” Hamlin said. “It’s just heat of the moment. Obviously, as upset as he was that I moved him out of the way, I was just as upset that he jumped the restart. We’re both racing for a win and I’ve been on the other side of somebody moving me out of the way for a race win inside 20 to go and especially on a short track. It happens. It’s part of short-track racing. The two instances when I got into both Kyle and Austin, I didn’t wreck anyone. Definitely didn’t spin anyone out.” This isn’t the first time the pair have had their issues. Hamlin and Dillon got into it at Texas Motor Speedway two years ago and exchanged heated words post-race. Those words stuck with Dillon, the grandson of team owner Richard Childress. “I’ve reworked a relationship with Denny,” Dillon said. “He called me a spoiled rich kid in Texas two years ago and I hate it, you know what I mean? He said just the last name and I said, ‘My last name is Dillon, not Childress, but he is my grandfather.’ I always act with class. Everybody in the media knows that. And I’ve worked my way here just like anybody else. But Denny, acting like that, what does he want me to call him, you know? I don’t do that. I know how to act.” When asked in his press conference what Dillon should call him, Hamlin had one simple, two-word response. “A winner.” FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup kickoff weekend fueled by sponsor BUY: Chicagoland race tickets Chicagoland Speedway announced Tuesday that its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Sept. 18 will be known as the American Ethanol E15 225 (Sept. 18, 8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). With support from Growth Energy, an official NASCAR Green partner, and the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, American Ethanol will serve as the sponsor for the race leading into the first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup event as the 10-race playoff for NASCAR's premier series opens at the Joliet, Illinois facility for the fifth consecutive year. "As we kick off our Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend, we are thrilled to welcome a partner as involved in the sport as American Ethanol," Scott Paddock, president of Chicagoland Speedway, said in a track release. "Their commitment to reducing emissions through the cleaner burning ethanol fuel has been a vital part of NASCAR's Green Clean Air initiative. American Ethanol has proven to be a tremendous partner not only for Chicagoland Speedway, but for NASCAR's teams, fans and the industry as a whole." The event will be the 16th of the 23-race Camping World Truck Series schedule, and it will be the third event sponsored by American Ethanol, which served as a presenting sponsor for the June 13 American Ethanol Presents the Drivin' for Linemen 200 Brought to You by Ameren at Gateway Motorsports Park and as the title sponsor of the American Ethanol 200 on June 19 at Iowa Speedway. "Growth Energy is thrilled to sponsor the American Ethanol 225 and work in conjunction with Chicagoland Speedway and Illinois family corn growers to promote a homegrown, American fuel," Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, said in the track release. "The drivers at Chicagoland Speedway and across the nation rely on E15 for superior horsepower and performance, and as they will tell you, it delivers." Kyle Busch won last year's event for his fourth career Camping World Truck Series victory at Chicagoland. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
NASCAR.com's Costner Merrifield recaps the Lakes Region 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as Denny Hamlin grabs his second XFINITY Series win of 2015 and is the cause of some frustration for Austin Dillon and teammate Kyle Busch.
Still time to win prizes in NASCAR.com fantasy game Play: Streak to the Finish We're past the halfway point in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series seasons -- and nearing the mark in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series -- but this weekend's on-track activity represents a new "first" in NASCAR.com's Streak to the Finish game. Streak to the Finish ( sign up here to play ) gives users the chance to select a driver in any of the three national series to finish in the top 10 of their respective race. If your driver finishes in the top 10, it counts as one point toward your streak. Once you pick that driver in a series, though, you can't pick him or her again until your streak is broken. If you've never played, there's still incentive to do so despite the season being well underway. Streak to the Finish is broken up into five segments, with each segment producing one winner that wins a promotional code worth $ 200 from the NASCAR.com Superstore. Segment 4 begins Wednesday at Eldora Speedway, essentially wiping the slate clean -- except for personal milestone numbers -- for all players. So if you haven't played yet this year, you're still eligible for prizes in Segment 4 ... and then again in Segment 5.
Austin Dillon and Denny Hamlin don't see eye to eye on the contact made on Lap 179 as Hamlin moved Dillon to take the lead, which lead him to win the Lakes Region 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.