Kevin Harvick, Nelson Piquet Jr., Parker Kligerman and James Buescher comment on their solid runs at Chicagoland Speedway.
Driver currently sits second in points despite no trips to Victory Lane in 2014 RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Of the eight drivers who advanced to the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, three -- Jeff Gordon , Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth -- have won at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Among the five remaining drivers, two have multiple wins this year in Joey Logano ( five ) and Kevin Harvick (three). Out of the final three drivers, two have finished second in the final series standings before in Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin . That leaves Ryan Newman . The 36-year-old may be the least flashy of the remaining competitors still in contention for this year's championship, but yet another timely performance last weekend at Martinsville Speedway has him second in the standings with two races remaining before the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Newman finished third at the 0.526-mile track, tied for his best result of the year, behind the Hendrick Motorsports duo of Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Gordon. He's three points back of Gordon, the series points leader, and has five consecutive finishes of eighth place or better. "(The new format) has played to our advantage mathematically, no doubt," Newman said. "We were the 16th seed coming in without a win. We've not won yet. We were tied for the lead in the points with four races to go. So mathematically it has played to my advantage, as it has others, but probably mine mostly." Even a rare mistake can't ruin the momentum the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing team has generated. Following a caution on Lap 188, Newman was busted for speeding on pit road -- coincidentally, so was the No. 24 of Gordon. That sent the No. 31 back to 31st in the lineup, setting the stage for a rally that was more grit than glamour. Newman's progress through the field after that penalty Sunday was slow. He was 25th on a Lap 277 caution, 13th after a Lap 386 caution and finally back into the top 10 by Lap 400. On the final pit stop following a red flag on Lap 488, Newman's team gambled on two tires. He restarted eighth, and had never cracked the top five in the race until the final lap. "The strategy of two tires there at the end worked out good for us," he said. "It was the right number of laps with the guys that stayed out, and we kept the guys behind us that had four tires. It was a great team effort. I put our team in a hole when I sped on pit lane, which doesn't happen very often. It cost us a lot of track position." Perhaps equally as important as Newman's outstanding day was that Earnhardt won the race. Junior is no longer in the Chase, and those in the Eliminator Round automatically qualify for the four-driver championship round at Homestead with a victory this round. That means at least two of those four heralded spots will be determined by points. For a driver that hasn't won this year, but whose average finish (13.0) ranks fourth in all of the Sprint Cup Series, it's setting up to be an ideal scenario heading to Texas Motor Speedway . "I mean, it's played to our advantage the entire time as far as not having a win, not having bonus points," Newman said. "But that doesn't mean it's going to be from the drop of the green in Texas or from the drop of the green in Homestead." 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 eyes Daytona 500 as possible start date RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today The Motorsports Group is planning on entering the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2015, starting with the Daytona 500 . The team has not yet announced a driver but will use Chevrolet as its manufacturer. The organization has no prior history in the sport's premier series. TMG has fielded NASCAR Nationwide Series cars for the past seven seasons, including two this season: The No. 40 and the No. 46 Chevrolets. The organization also ran a limited schedule in the series from 1993 to 1998. The team also had involvement in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series from 2004 to 2009. With 521 national series starts, TMG has one top- five finish and 12 top-10 finishes. The top- five finish came in the organization's first season with Tommy Ellis at Hickory Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series (now the Nationwide Series). Curtis Key is the owner of the team. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Sprint Cup rookie to drive Nationwide No. 5 entry at Phoenix RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today JR Motorsports announced Wednesday that Alex Bowman will return to the seat of its No. 5 Chevrolet for the NASCAR Nationwide Series ' Nov. 8 race at Phoenix International Raceway. Bowman, who claims nearby Tucson as his hometown, made his debut with the Dale Earnhardt Jr .-owned team on Oct. 10, starting seventh and finishing 12th at Charlotte Motor Speedway . LINE-X, a producer of spray-on truck bedliners, will serve as primary sponsor. "We were really impressed with how well Alex ran at Charlotte," said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, JRM's general manager. "For LINE-X to also see that potential and come on board for Phoenix is exciting for our team. We feel like Alex is going to be a star in the sport and this is a great chance for him to show his talent in one of our cars." The 21-year-old currently drives for BK Racing as a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series . In Nationwide Series competition, he has two career pole positions -- both coming at Texas Motor Speedway in 2013 -- and two top- five finishes in 38 career starts. The JR Motorsports No. 5 team has five victories this year -- four with Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title contender Kevin Harvick and one with Sprint Cup regular Kasey Kahne . Josh Berry and Austin Theriault have also driven the No. 5 Chevrolet this season, and Earnhardt Jr. piloted the car, re-numbered to No. 88. Next season, the No. 5 car will be re-numbered for the entire season as the No. 88. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Milestone start comes this weekend in the AAA Texas 500 RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Kevin Harvick 's 500th career Sprint Cup Series start is set for this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway in the AAA Texas 500 (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN) and Stewart-Haas Racing has shared the special paint scheme he will run. REVEAL: The No. 4 @Budweiser Chevy that @KevinHarvick will race at Texas to commemorate his 500th start. pic.twitter.com/KNV2lYcn73 — Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) October 29, 2014 As you can see above, there is a special "500" marker on the hood as well as on each side near his car number on his No. 4 Chevrolet. Harvick is in his first season with Stewart-Haas after a 13-year tenure with Richard Childress Racing . Harvick enters the Texas race eighth in the point standings after a 33rd-place showing at Martinsville Speedway in the opening race of the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. A win at either Texas or Phoenix would lock Harvick into the Championship Round at Homestead-Miami Speedway . On the season, Harvick has three wins, 11 top- five finishes, 17 top-10 finishes and eight Coors Light Pole Awards and remains one of the eight drivers vying for the Sprint Cup championship. Coming into his 500th career Sprint Cup race, Harvick has 26 career Cup wins. His first career Sprint Cup win came in just his third career start when he scored a victory at Atlanta in 2001. Harvick moved up into the sport's premier series that season after the season-opening Daytona 500 following the passing of NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt. 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
Austin Dillon takes two tires, with 22 laps to go, to get out in front of Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick to win the Fast Five 225 .
Sport's most popular driver hasn't won at Alabama track since 2004 Dale Earnhardt Jr. has five career Sprint Cup Series wins at Talladega Superspeedway in his career. Earnhardt Jr. won four straight races at the 2.66-mile track from the fall race of 2001 to the spring race of 2003. He also had a seven-race stretch from the fall race of 2001 to the fall race of 2004 where he won five times and finished second in the other two races. His 15.0 average finish (in 29 races) is the best among drivers to make at least five starts there. However, he has just four top-10 finishes in his last 13 races at the Alabama track.