Recall all the twists and turns that accompanied a thrilling finish at Watkins Glen .
Grand Marshal, singer/songwriter Austin Mahone gives the command to start engines at Chicagoland Speedway.
Win puts 2012 champion into Contender Round MORE: Full race results " Updated series standings RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota JOLIET, Ill. -- For Brad Keselowski , this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup started the same way it did in 2012 -- with a victory at Chicagoland Speedway . Clearly, Keselowski would love to see the Chase end the same way it did two years ago -- with a series championship. Needing an extra pit stop to tighten a loose wheel under caution on Lap 183 of 267 in Sunday’s MyAFibStory.com 400 at the 1.5-mile track, Keselowski restarted 16th on Lap 187, mired in traffic behind a gaggle of lapped cars. But with a determined charge through the field and a couple of opportune cautions in the final 35 laps, Keselowski regained lost track position and put himself in position to make a dramatic race-winning move after a restart on Lap 250. With third-place finisher Kyle Larson battling Kevin Harvick for the lead on Lap 252, Keselowski powered between the two cars off Turn 2 and grabbed the lead. "I just saw a hole, and I went for it," Keselowski said. He held the top spot for a restart on Lap 262, after an accident involving the cars of Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. , and pulled away to win his fifth race of the year and the 15th of his career by 1.759 seconds over Jeff Gordon , who passed Larson for the second spot in the closing laps. Joey Logano ran fourth and Harvick fifth, as Chase drivers took eight of the top 10 finishing positions. With his second victory at Chicagoland, Keselowski ensured he would advance to the next round of the Chase under a new format that features a trio of three-race elimination rounds and a final race at Homestead to settle the championship between the last four eligible drivers. With the starting order set according to speeds in opening Sprint Cup practice because of a qualifying rainout, Keselowski started 25th and worked his way to the front, only to fall back again when he brought the No. 2 Team Penske Ford to pit road to have the loose wheel tightened. "I'm not really sure what to say," said Keselowski, who can race for the next two weeks without fear of falling out of the Chase. "I don't really know what happened. I just know we got to the lead. There was traffic and I was just digging and in the zone. The recorder was turned off, so I don't remember what happened. "I had my head down doing all I could do. We had a great Miller Lite Ford Fusion that I knew from the start would be good, but, man, it was really awesome the last few runs. We really dialed it in and the 2 crew did an excellent job. What a day! Man, I am still pumped!" Larson, driving a backup car after a brush with the outside wall in Saturday morning practice, appeared headed for the first victory of his Cup career, before Carl Edwards ' cut tire brought out the fourth caution on Lap 231. That yellow, which interrupted a cycle of green-flag pit stops, leap-frogged Keselowski to the fourth spot for a restart on Lap 238. Seven laps later, caution for Clint Bowyer ’s contact with the Turn 1 wall set up Keselowski's opportunity to make the winning move. "Man, I was so close," a rueful Larson said of his lost opportunity. "I didn't need that caution there. I was just cruising out front, and then we got that yellow, and I had to battle Harvick really hard then. That allowed Brad to get by both of us. It really ended our shot at a win there. We had one more shot there at the last restart, but just didn't have enough for Brad. "He was really good around the bottom. He was about the only car that I thought could get around the bottom all race long. I had a lot of fun gripping the wall. I ran inches off of it the whole race and finally got into it there battling Jeff. Man, for a back-up car, that was amazing… I just hate it that we came up short." If Larson had speed, Chase drivers Edwards, AJ Allmendinger and Greg Biffle did not. None of the three drivers was quick enough to stay on the lead lap, and with respective finishes of 20th, 22nd and 23rd, all are in jeopardy of elimination after the third race of the Chase at Dover. The real casualty of Sunday’s race, however, was Aric Almirola , who was running sixth just before the engine in his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford failed as he was coming to pit road for a green-flag stop on Lap 231. Almirola finished 41st and is in grave danger of missing the cut two races hence. Up next for the Sprint Cup Series is the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway next Sunday (2 p.m. ET on ESPN). It is the second of three races in the Challenger Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. 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
Four-time champion has three career wins at 1-mile track Jeff Gordon has led the most laps of any driver to compete in the Sprint Cup Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . In 39 races, the four-time series champion has led 1,371 laps, while winning three races at the 1-mile track. Despite the high laps led count, Gordon has not won at the Loudon, New Hampshire track since 1998.
Kyle Busch dominated early, but cautions changed the course of the race RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today JOLIET, Ill. -- In a race that Kyle Busch had dominated, his 141 laps led coming in the first 154 laps of Saturday's Jimmy John's FreakyFast 300, a late-race caution added some spice to the NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Six laps later, the real shakeup occurred. Consecutive yellow flags on Lap 153 and Lap 166 turned a rather A-B-C type of event into a free-for-all, with Kevin Harvick pulling away for the win as the field continually jumbled itself behind him. The caution on Lap 153, the fifth of the day, saw every possible scenario unfold. Three cars ( Brian Scott , Chris Buescher and Aric Almirola ) stayed out, some cars pitted for fuel only (including Ty Dillon and Brendan Gaughan ), some took two tires (including Harvick) and some took four (Busch, Trevor Bayne ). The yellow that fell on Lap 166 scrambled those strategies even further, as those who saved tires had to pit frenetically to put them on, and those that considered a long green-flag run were left disappointed. "We thought it was better to save a set and try to do something with them later," said Regan Smith , who pitted for four tires and came out 16th. He finished eighth. " The problem is that next caution came too early and didn't really allow us to utilize them." Still, it was a somewhat satisfying ending for Smith, whose No. 7 Chevrolet only ran in the top-10 after gaining significant ground on pit road. What made the finish even more palatable is seeing JR Motorsports teammate and series points leader Chase Elliott finishing two spots behind him in 10th. Elliott's day was the exact opposite of Smith's. His car ran up front all day and led two laps, but misfired on pit road late. There was a miscommunication on the Lap 153 pit stop, and the No. 9 team put on four tires when the call was for two. "We struggled all day. We'd have a good run, bad run, good run, bad run," Smith said. "(Crew chief) Ryan (Pemberton) made the right call and bailed us out today. I messed up at the end (by losing a spot), and I cost us points. Kind of frustrated about that, but we fought hard and what looked like was going to be a big points loss turned into us gaining a few." Bayne made four tires work well, but he was one of the few to do so. Harvick won the race after taking two tires, and Bayne lost ground early and nearly couldn't catch back up after the final caution lasted eight laps while crews cleaned the track. In fact, the driver of the No. 6 didn't climb into the top five until the final few laps to finish fifth, his best effort since a third-place showing on Aug. 2 at Iowa Speedway . "I was glad to be on four tires," Bayne said. "We did lose a lot of track position, so I was hoping it would pay off. The hardest part was watching all those laps go by as they put the SpeedyDry down, and you're watching valuable laps click away that you need to get that position." Not everyone who took four tires was as pleased as Bayne, though. Busch went from running in the lead to restarting 16th on Lap 159. The following short green-flag run slowed his run, and although he would finish third, it wasn't a happy top-five effort. "We knew we needed to come down and get tires, and obviously four was the wrong call," Busch said. "It put us behind and I fought my butt out there and could only get to third. … I don't know." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: NASCAR Chase Grid games WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
22-year-old has made just four NASCAR national series starts MORE: Sylvania 300 entry list RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Corey LaJoie is scheduled to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . LaJoie, a 22-year-old development driver for Richard Petty Motorsports , plans to drive for Randy Humphrey Racing in Sunday's Sylvania 300 (2 p.m. ET, ESPN), the second battle in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup postseason. Dave Blaney (four races), Joe Nemechek and Nelson Piquet Jr. (one race each) have taken turns driving the Humphrey No. 77 Ford this season. LaJoie has made four NASCAR national series starts -- two each in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series . The product of the NASCAR Next program was also a five-time winner and runner-up in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East standings in 2012. LaJoie's father, Randy, is a two-time champion of what is now the NASCAR Nationwide Series. 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
Kyle Busch passes Austin Dillon in the closing laps at Chicagoland Speedway to get the win.