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NASCAR reveals start times for 2017 races
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR, along with FOX Sports and NBC Sports, today announced 2017 race start times and network coverage for the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series -- based on the previously released schedule dates . Through collaborative efforts with its broadcast partners, race teams and tracks, NASCAR was able to finalize full 2017 start times for all three national series almost six months earlier than in recent seasons. Seventeen national series events will start closer to primetime, helping to bring NASCAR's photo finishes and close, side-by-side racing to larger audiences. Seventeen NASCAR Cup Series points races will air on broadcast television next year, including the DAYTONA 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on FOX; and the Brickyard 400 and the NASCAR Cup Series championship race, the Ford EcoBoost 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway, on NBC. "It's our responsibility, collectively as an industry, to ensure the sport is healthy, strong and growing by delivering great racing in a way that best meets the needs of our fans," said Steve Herbst, senior vice president, broadcasting and production at NASCAR. "Earlier insight on start times benefits not only fans, but also our teams and tracks, as it provides more opportunities to plan travel and to purchase race tickets." Since the initial release of the 2017 schedule, NASCAR and its partners have shifted two dates for the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Road America will move to Sunday, August 27, on NBC. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park will now take place on Sunday, September 3, airing on FS1 prior to the NASCAR Cup Series event at Darlington Raceway on NBCSN. Looking ahead to the 2018 season, the DAYTONA 500 will move to Sunday, February 18, during Presidents Day weekend. NASCAR and its partners are working collaboratively on the remainder of the 2018 schedule, which will be finalized and released at a later date. In addition to watching the live broadcast, fans can catch all the on-track action by visiting NASCAR.com, downloading the NASCAR Mobile app or live streaming on FOX Sports Go and the NBC Sports app. Fans can also listen to Motor Racing Network (MRN), Performance Racing Network (PRN), IMS Radio Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90, throughout the season. 2017 NASCAR Cup Series Schedule Date Location Network Race Start Radio 2/18 The Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway FS1 8 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 2/19 DAYTONA 500 Qualifying at Daytona International Speedway FOX 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 2/23 Can-Am Duel at Daytona International Speedway FS1 7 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 2/26 DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway FOX 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 3/5 Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX 2:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 3/12 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX 3:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 3/19 Phoenix International Raceway FOX 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 3/26 Auto Club Speedway FOX 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 4/2 Martinsville Speedway FS1 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 4/9 Texas Motor Speedway FOX 1:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 4/23 Bristol Motor Speedway FOX 2 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 4/30 Richmond International Raceway FOX 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 5/7 Talladega Superspeedway FOX 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 5/13 Kansas Speedway FS1 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 5/20 NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway FS1 6 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 5/28 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway FOX 6 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 6/4 Dover International Speedway FS1 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 6/11 Pocono Raceway FS1 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 6/18 Michigan International Speedway FS1 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 6/25 Sonoma Raceway FS1 3 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 7/1 Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway NBC 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 7/8 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 7/16 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 7/23 Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBC 3 p.m. IMS / SiriusXM 7/30 Pocono Raceway NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 8/6 Watkins Glen International NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 8/13 Michigan International Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 8/19 Bristol Motor Speedway NBC 7:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 9/3 Darlington Raceway NBCSN 6 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 9/9 Richmond International Raceway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 9/17 Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 9/24 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN 2 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 10/1 Dover International Speedway NBCSN 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 10/7 Charlotte Motor Speedway NBCSN 7 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 10/15 Talladega Superspeedway NBC 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 10/22 Kansas Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 10/29 Martinsville Speedway NBCSN 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 11/5 Texas Motor Speedway NBC 2 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 11/12 Phoenix International Raceway NBC 2:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 11/19 Homestead-Miami Speedway NBC 2:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Schedule Date Location Network Race Start Radio 2/25 Daytona International Speedway FS1 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 3/4 Atlanta Motor Speedway FS1 1:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 3/11 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FS1 4 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 3/18 Phoenix International Raceway FOX 4 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 3/25 Auto Club Speedway FS1 4 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 4/8 Texas Motor Speedway FOX 1:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 4/22 Bristol Motor Speedway FS1 12:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 4/29 Richmond International Raceway FS1 12:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 5/6 Talladega Superspeedway FOX 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 5/27 Charlotte Motor Speedway FS1 1 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 6/3 Dover International Speedway FS1 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 6/10 Pocono Raceway FOX 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 6/17 Michigan International Speedway FS1 1:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 6/24 Iowa Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 6/30 Daytona International Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 7/7 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN 8 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 7/15 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN 4 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 7/22 Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBCSN 3:30 p.m. IMS / SiriusXM 7/29 Iowa Speedway NBC 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 8/5 Watkins Glen International NBCSN 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 8/12 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course NBCSN 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 8/18 Bristol Motor Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 8/27 Road America NBC 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 9/2 Darlington Raceway NBCSN 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 9/8 Richmond International Raceway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 9/16 Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 9/23 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN 8 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 9/30 Dover International Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 10/6 Charlotte Motor Speedway NBCSN 8 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 10/21 Kansas Speedway NBC 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 11/4 Texas Motor Speedway NBCSN 8:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM 11/11 Phoenix International Raceway NBC 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 11/18 Homestead-Miami Speedway NBCSN 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Schedule Date Location Network Race Start Radio 2/24 Daytona International Speedway FS1 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 3/4 Atlanta Motor Speedway FS1 4:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 4/1 Martinsville Speedway FS1 2:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 5/12 Kansas Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 5/19 Charlotte Motor Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 6/2 Dover International Speedway FS1 5:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 6/9 Texas Motor Speedway FS1 8 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 6/17 Gateway Motorsports Park FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 6/23 Iowa Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 7/6 Kentucky Speedway FS1 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 7/19 Eldora Speedway FS1 9 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 7/29 Pocono Raceway FS1 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 8/12 Michigan International Speedway FS1 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 8/16 Bristol Motor Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 9/3 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park FS1 2:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 9/15 Chicagoland Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 9/23 New Hampshire Motor Speedway FS1 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 9/30 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 10/14 Talladega Superspeedway FOX 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 10/28 Martinsville Speedway FS1 1:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 11/3 Texas Motor Speedway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 11/10 Phoenix International Raceway FS1 8:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM 11/17 Homestead-Miami Speedway FS1 8 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM All times eastern. Subject to change.
Almirola reflects on career, heritage as he makes 200th start
Aric Almirola insists he was absolutely prepared to climb into his No. 43 Smithfield Ford this Sunday for the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway completely focused on nothing other than scoring a victory and working toward earning a position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. But his public relations team brought up an important milestone that even he conceded was definitely worth noting, if not celebrating. This Sunday's race marks the 32-year old Almirola's 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start -- a significant measure of his staying power and a testament to how far he's come. Literally. He is the son of a Cuban immigrant on his dad's side of the family and the grandson of one of Florida's most celebrated and accomplished racers -- Sam Rodriguez -- on his mom's side. That has created a unique background dynamic that gives Almirola motivation and pride. And makes this weekend a heartfelt measure of success. "I think here I am and my dad came over from Cuba and 50 years later I'm making my 200th start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Richard Petty," Almirola said. "It's so crazy to me, what living in this country affords you and allows you to be able to do, and my grandparents made that decision to come over here and take this chance." The sheer number of starts represents a mark of opportunity for Almirola. Making it into NASCAR's big league was always the harder path, the road less travelled. But he has made it. And that's only the beginning. "I don't think anybody dreams about running two hundred races, they dream about 'a' race," Almirola said. "So as a kid I dreamed about driving 'a' Cup car, running 'a' race. So, now the fact I've had the opportunity to do it two hundred times, when you realize that, and the marketing department brings to your attention that, 'Hey, Pocono is going to be your 200th start,' it really makes you kind of reflect on everything that's led up to this. "From being a kid racing go-karts all the way up to all the opportunities I've had. I realize by reflecting on all that stuff how fortunate and blessed I am." The thing is, Almirola could have just as easily been a star baseball player as a winning NASCAR driver. His native city of Tampa, Florida is a ballplayer's town. It produced Wade Boggs and Lou Piniella. Both Dwight Gooden and Gary Sheffield graduated from Almirola's Hillsborough High School. A calendar year in this part of the country has traditionally been delineated by baseball and football seasons. That just makes Almirola's success climbing the NASCAR ranks even more impressive. "I was in somewhat of a hot bed there for athletes," Almirola said smiling. "But I had a really strong passion for racing and I know that made me somewhat of an outsider at school growing up. When friends would ask, 'Hey what are you doing this weekend?' I'd say, I was going racing. "That kind of separated me from a lot of kids at school -- not in a bad way, I wasn't an outcast in a negative way, but I didn't have as close a relationship with kids at school because I didn't go parties at their house Friday night after football games. I was always working on my race cars or go-karts and racing on the weekends. "I wasn't looking for something to do on the weekend. I already had it." "I was always going to be a NASCAR guy. My grandfather raced sprint cars, so obviously the open wheel path was there, too. He'd race at East Bay every Saturday night and occasionally travel around the country going to races. But every Sunday it was normal, to get up, eat breakfast, hang around the house and then watch the Cup race. That was routine around my parents and my grandparents. We love NASCAR." The result for Almirola has been a starring role driving his sport's most iconic car -- the No. 43 -- for the sport's biggest legend, Petty. NASCAR's crown jewel, Daytona International Speedway, is also Almirola's "home track" and fittingly the venue he won his first Sprint Cup Series race in 2014, the Coke Zero 400 -- exactly 30 years after his boss Petty scored his historic 200th victory at the track. Consider this: Petty's win total would be equivalent to Almirola winning every start he's made. RELATED: Almirola's Darlington scheme honors Petty " Darlington schemes Though that remains the only Cup victory so far for Almirola, it was enough to propel him into the 2014 Chase and make him only more eager to return. His team's best finish this year is a 12th-place in the season-opening Daytona 500. He's had four top-15 showings -- three in the season's opening four races. He ranks 25th in points entering Pocono, hopeful to score a win in one of the remaining six races to set the 16-driver Chase field. "I think the reality is we have struggled this season and you can tell by watching the race and looking at our results," Almirola said. "This year has been a struggle and we can't really put our finger on what's wrong. People often ask what's wrong and it sounds like a smart-aleck answer, but if I knew, we'd fix it. "There are a couple places looking ahead that have been strong for us. Bristol comes to top of mind. We had a chance to win there a couple years ago battling with Carl Edwards. And then there's (regular season finale) Richmond. Last year we went there kinda do or die to make the Chase and finished fourth, but had a really strong car and a legitimate chance to win that race, too. Those are kind of top of mind to me where we might go in and get a win." Listening to Almirola reflect on his first 200 races, there is both a fond memory of what it took to get to this point and a distinct urgency in his voice to succeed in a way worthy of the hard work already put in. "Making my 200th start really forces me to reflect and when I do that and think about doing it for Richard Petty, who is very much an American icon. And I can't help but reflect on my family, which has done so much and sacrificed so much to get me where I'm at," Almirola said. "It really is amazing."
Keselowski talks safety, details Watkins Glen wreck
LONG POND, Pa. -- Brad Keselowski's bone-jarring crash at Watkins Glen International earlier this week was the result of an improperly installed brake line on his No. 2 Penske Racing Ford . "There was an installation error with the brakes," Keselowski said Friday at Pocono Raceway, site of Sunday's Pocono 400 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). "The brake line wasn't installed in the proper way and it broke." Keselowski's accident occurred July 26 during the first day of a two-day organizational test for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams at WGI. The series is scheduled to compete there Aug. 5-7. Moments after completing a session-leading lap of 124.572 mph on the 2.45-mile road course, Keselowski's Ford went off track and nose-first into the tire barrier located at the end of the frontstretch. He was not injured in the high-speed impact, and was back on track the following day in a backup entry. "I understand the whole tire barrier concept," Keselowski, said. "In general, I'm not comfortable with tracks that have runoffs that lead to very harsh angles, and that's certainly the situation that (WGI) has, and always has had it. "Road courses remain the most dangerous tracks in motorsports for a good reason because of that, but we know that going in. Some place has to be the safest and some place has to be the most dangerous." Safety advances made by NASCAR as well as many of the teams competing today have lessened the likelihood of serious injury, but the threat remains. In 2011, Keselowski won at Pocono less than a week after chipping a bone in his ankle during a hard crash during testing at Road Atlanta. That incident led to a complete evaluation by the organization of its safety protocols. The result was a redesign of the pedals, floorboard and seat, he said, and the evolution of steering wheels and other interior pieces have lessened the threat of serious injury as well. "From what I can tell at this moment, all of the pieces that we were able to redesign performed very well," Keselowski said of the WGI incident. "The one piece that we weren't able to redesign was the steering column. That's probably the weakest link in those type of impacts at the moment." What else needs to be done? Keselowski admitted he doesn't have the answer. "The answers I do have," he said, "is that there's only so many of those hits you are going to take before someone gets killed. It's just the way it is. "It's not something I'm comfortable with, but I think as a sport there are a lot of different ways to look at it. At the end of the day I'm still standing here. "That's something that the smart guys that work on that stuff are going to have to figure out some time."
Edsel Ford II: 'It's tough' with no Ford in Championship 4
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- It's Ford Championship Weekend and the automotive manufacturer has its name on all three NASCAR races this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway . A champion in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be crowned Friday, where Brad Keselowski Racing driver Tyler Reddick trails Erik Jones by 19 points. On the XFINITY Series side, Roush Fenway Racing 's Chris Buescher has his Ford out front by 18 points over Chase Elliott (JR Motorsports). Sunday, the Sprint Cup championship will be decided among four teams that have survived a nine-race, elimination-style playoff to get here. None of the entries among those four title-contending teams preparing for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 carry the Ford nameplate. "It's tough. I'm not going to mince words," Edsel Ford II said Friday. "We're very disappointed that we don't have a car in the Chase, especially (for) Ford Championship Weekend." Two Ford drivers, Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano , qualified for the 16-team Chase for the Sprint Cup . Roush Fenway Racing , the last Ford team to win the Sprint Cup title (with Kurt Busch in '04) failed to place one of its drivers in the Chase for the first time since the format debuted that same season. But Keselowski, who won the championship in 2012 with Penske and Dodge, failed to advance out of the final eight this season to earn a berth in this weekend's Championship Round. Logano, meanwhile, swept one of the three-race rounds and appeared to be one of the title favorites before a run-in with Matt Kenseth escalated, eventually ending when Kenseth wrecked the No. 22 earlier this month at Martinsville. Thus, this weekend's four Chase contenders represent two of the three automotive manufacturers competing in NASCAR -- defending series champion Kevin Harvick (Chevrolet), Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet), Martin Truex Jr . (Chevrolet) and Kyle Busch (Toyota). "We would have loved to have had a car in the Chase, frankly. But it is what it is. That's racing I guess," said Ford , a member of the Ford Motor Company Board of Directors. This was a chance we could win a Ford Championship -- we've got good trucks, we've got good XFINITY cars, we've got very good (Sprint) Cup cars so who knows?"
Stats advance: Analyzing the Ford EcoBoost 400
A statistical look ahead to the season finale at Homestead RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 10, 2014) – Below is a look at the Championship 4 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and beyond at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida going into the Ford EcoBoost 400 on November 16. ESPN’s coverage begins at 2 p.m. (ET) and the race is scheduled for 3 p.m. (ET). HOMESTEAD-MIAMI-SPECIFIC STATISTICS 1 - Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.7 2014 Rundown · One win, seven top fives, 17 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 14.5 · Led 17 races for 313 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · Two wins, four top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 11.2 in nine races · Average Running Position of 14.0, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 93.4, eighth-best · 88 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most · Series-high 826 Green Flag Passes · 1,406 Laps in the Top 15 (58.5%), 11th-most 2 - Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford ) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 106.7 2014 Rundown · Five wins, 16 top fives, 22 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 11.2 · Led 22 races for 993 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top 10; one pole · Average finish of 20.8 in five races · Average Running Position of 19.5, 19th-best · Driver Rating of 71.2, 22nd-best 3 - Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 86.1 2014 Rundown · Four top fives, 15 top 10s · Average finish of 13.0 · Led 7 races for 41 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, four top 10s · Average finish of 17.0 in 12 races · Average Running Position of 13.8, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 84.8, 13th-best · 696 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most · 1,520 Laps in the Top 15 (63.2%), ninth-most · 426 Quality Passes, third-most 4 - Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.9 2014 Rundown · Four wins, 13 top fives, 19 top 10s; eight poles · Average finish of 13.3 · Led 26 races for 2,083 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · Five top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 8.1 in 13 races · Average Running Position of 10.9, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 99.1, fourth-best · 83 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most · 681 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.857 mph, fifth-fastest · 1,805 Laps in the Top 15 (75.1%), fourth-most · 398 Quality Passes, sixth-most 5 - Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford ) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.6 2014 Rundown · Six wins, 16 top fives, 19 top 10s; five poles · Average finish of 12.9 · Led 27 races for 1,540 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top 10 · Average finish of 17.0 in six races · Average Running Position of 16.8, 14th-best · Driver Rating of 80.3, 16th-best 6 - Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.4 2014 Rundown · Four wins, 14 top fives, 22 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 10.4 · Led 25 races for 922 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One win, seven top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 10.6 in 15 races · Average Running Position of 12.5, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 96.5, sixth-best · 91 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most · 678 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.852 mph, sixth-fastest · 1,734 Laps in the Top 15 (72.1%), sixth-most · 442 Quality Passes, second-most 7 - Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.8 2014 Rundown · 13 top fives, 21 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 13.4 · Led 20 races for 529 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One win, four top fives, six top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 16.5 in 14 races · Average Running Position of 8.6, third-best · Driver Rating of 109.8, third-best · 123 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.160 mph, third-fastest · 1,984 Laps in the Top 15 (82.5%), second-most · 364 Quality Passes, 10th-most 8 - Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 89.7 2014 Rundown · One win, nine top fives, 15 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 17.0 · Led 15 races for 453 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, three top 10s · Average finish of 21.3 in nine races · Average Running Position of 14.8, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 93.4, seventh-best · 122 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 1,579 Laps in the Top 15 (65.7%), seventh-most · 396 Quality Passes, seventh-most 9 - Carl Edwards (No. 99 Fastenal Ford ) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.4 2014 Rundown · Two wins, seven top fives, 14 top 10s · Average finish of 14.5 · Led 11 races for 135 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · Two wins, five top fives, seven top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 6.6 in 10 races · Series-best Average Running Position of 8.0 · Series-best Driver Rating of 115.5 · Series-high 266 Fastest Laps Run · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 162.432 mph · Series-high 2,057 Laps in the Top 15 (85.6%) · 382 Quality Passes, eighth-most 10 - Dale Earnhardt Jr . (No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.7 2014 Rundown · Four wins, 12 top fives, 20 top 10s · Average finish of 12.1 · Led 17 races for 383 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, two top 10s · Average finish of 20.7 in 14 races · Average Running Position of 19.1, 18th-best · Driver Rating of 76.9, 19th-best · 134 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 815 Green Flag Passes, second-most 11 - AJ Allmendinger (No. 47 Hungry Jack Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 71.1 2014 Rundown · One win, two top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 19.6 · Led 5 races for 68 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, two top 10s · Average finish of 15.4 in five races · Average Running Position of 20.0, 21st-best · Driver Rating of 77.6, 17th-best 12 - Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford ) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 78.5 2014 Rundown · Three top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 15.7 · Led 7 races for 110 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · Three wins, four top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 15.2 in 12 races · Average Running Position of 15.6, 13th-best · Driver Rating of 88.7, 12th-best · 103 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most · 798 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.629 mph, 11th-fastest · 1,280 Laps in the Top 15 (53.2%), 12th-most · 302 Quality Passes, 12th-most 13 - Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.0 2014 Rundown · Four wins, 11 top fives, 19 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 15.5 · Led 17 races for 1,310 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · Four top fives, eight top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 14.8 in 13 races · Average Running Position of 13.0, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 96.6, fifth-best · 84 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.978 mph, fourth-fastest · 1,775 Laps in the Top 15 (73.8%), fifth-most · 402 Quality Passes, fifth-most 14 - Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 87.8 2014 Rundown · One win, six top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 19.2 · Led 14 races for 219 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One win, four top fives, five top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 19.8 in 13 races · Average Running Position of 22.9, 25th-best · Driver Rating of 72.0, 21st-best 15 - Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 87.3 2014 Rundown · One win, three top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 17.8 · Led 12 races for 218 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, four top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 15.2 in 10 races · Average Running Position of 12.9, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 90.0, 10th-best · 106 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most · 763 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.658 mph, 10th-fastest · 1,470 Laps in the Top 15 (61.1%), 10th-most · 370 Quality Passes, ninth-most 16 - Aric Almirola (No. 43 Smithfield Foods Ford ) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 72.1 2014 Rundown · One win, two top fives, seven top 10s · Average finish of 21.5 · Led 5 races for 23 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, two top 10s · Average finish of 15.5 in four races · Average Running Position of 18.0, 15th-best · Driver Rating of 80.5, 15th-best The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2014 Championship Four at Homestead-Miami Speedway Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Denny Hamlin 9 0 2 4 5 0 11.2 93.4 2 Joey Logano 5 1 0 0 1 1 20.8 71.2 3 Ryan Newman 12 0 0 1 4 2 17.0 84.8 4 Kevin Harvick 13 0 0 5 11 0 8.1 99.1 * – Based on last nine races at Homestead-Miami Speedway (2005 – 2013). Homestead-Miami Speedway: History · Groundbreaking for Homestead-Miami Dade Motorsports Complex – as the track was originally named – began Aug. 24, 1993. · The first race held at Homestead-Miami Speedway was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on Nov. 5, 1995 – won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett . · The original configuration was a four-turn, rectangular oval based on Indianapolis Motor Speedway 's layout. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead was held on Nov. 14, 1999 – won by Tony Stewart . · 2002 was the first season of the Championship Weekend at Homestead, with all three of NASCAR’s national series holding their season finale at the same track. Notebook · Since the inception of the position-based points system in 1975, only four drivers have made up a points deficit in the season finale: Richard Petty in 1979 (made up two points on Darrell Waltrip ), Alan Kulwicki in 1992 (made up 30 points on Davey Allison ), Jimmie Johnson in 2010 (made up 15 points on Denny Hamlin ) and Tony Stewart in 2012 (made up three points on Carl Edwards ). · There have been 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway , one per season since 1999. · 113 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead; 89 in more than one. · Two drivers have made all 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Homestead: Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon . · David Green won the first Coors Light pole at Homestead in 1999 at a speed of 155.759 mph (34.669 sec.). · There have been 11 different Coors Light pole winners, led by Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards , Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne with two each. · Youngest Homestead-Miami pole winner: Joey Logano (11/18/2012 – 22 years, 5 months, 25 days). · Oldest Homestead-Miami pole winner: Bill Elliott (11/11/2001 – 46 years, 1 month, 3 days). · Jamie McMurray (November, 2003) and David Reutimann (November, 2008) won their first career Coors Light poles at Homestead-Miami Speedway . · There have been nine different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners at Homestead-Miami; three have won more than once, led by Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart with three each. Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin (two each) are the only other drivers with multiple wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway . · Of the three drivers with multiple wins at Homestead, Tony Stewart is the only driver to win in two different manufacturers: Pontiac (1999, 2000) and Chevrolet (2011). · Two of the 15 (13.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole: Bill Elliott (2001) and Kurt Busch (2002). · Five of the 15 (33.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from the front row: two from the pole and three from second-place. · 10 of the 15 (66.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from a starting position inside the top 10. · 5 of the 15 (33.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from a starting position outside the top 10 – most recently - Jeff Gordon (15 th -place starting position; 2012). · Denny Hamlin won the 2009 race from the 38th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started at HMS. · Two drivers have won consecutive races at Homestead-Miami: Tony Stewart (1999 - 2000) and Greg Biffle (2004 – 2006, three straight). · Carl Edwards leads the series in average finish at Homestead with a 6.600; only two other drivers have an average finish inside the top 10: Kevin Harvick (8.078) and Martin Truex Jr. (9.222). · Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Homestead with seven, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing with five. · Youngest Homestead winner: Kurt Busch (11/17/2002 – 24 years, 3 months, 13 days). · Oldest Homestead winner: Bill Elliott (11/11/2001 – 46 years, 1 month, 3 days). · Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick lead the series in runner-up finishes at Homestead with two each. · Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-five finishes at Homestead with seven; followed by Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick with five each. · Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick lead the series in top-10 finishes at Homestead with 11 each; followed by Jimmie Johnson with eight. · Eight of the nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Homestead-Miami participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Tony Stewart (1999) is the only driver to win at Homestead in his first appearance. · Dale Earnhardt Jr. lead the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 14. · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Homestead was the (4/10/2010) race won by Greg Biffle with a MOV of 0.017 seconds. · Danica Patrick became the first female driver to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway last season; starting 24 th and finishing 20 th . NASCAR in Florida · There have been 176 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races among eight tracks in Florida. Track Name City NSCS Daytona International Speedway Daytona Beach 135 Homestead-Miami Speedway Homestead 15 Palm Beach Speedway W. Palm Beach 7 Speedway Park Jacksonville 6 Five Flags Speedway Pensacola 1 Golden Gate Speedway Tampa 1 Titusville-Cocoa Speedway Titusville 1 · 173 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Florida. · There have been 10 race winners from Florida in NASCAR’s three national series. Driver NSCS NNS NCWTS Fireball Roberts 33 0 0 LeeRoy Yarbrough 14 0 0 Marshall Teague 7 0 0 Joe Nemechek 4 16 0 Bobby Johns 2 0 0 David Reutimann 2 1 1 Aric Almirola 1 1 2 Shorty Rollins 1 0 0 Rick Wilson 0 2 0 Joey Coulter 0 0 1 Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup: Homestead-Miami Speedway · Homestead-Miami Speedway has been a part of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup since the playoff’s inception in 2004. This season the track will host its 11th Chase event. · The winner of the Homestead-Miami Chase race has gone on to win the championship during the Chase era once: Tony Stewart (2011). · Greg Biffle leads the series in Chase race wins at Homestead-Miami with three (2004 – 2006); followed by Carl Edwards with two (2008, 2010). · The worst finish in a Chase race by the eventual series champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway is 15th (three times), Tony Stewart in 2005, Jimmie Johnson in 2008 and Brad Keselowski in 2012. · Chase Contenders have won seven of the 10 previous Chase races at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Two non-Chase contenders have won a Homestead-Miami Chase race: Greg Biffle (2004 and 2006) and Denny Hamlin (2013). · Four of the 10 previous Chase races at Homestead the eventual series champion has finished in the top five. · Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in Chase race wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway with six, including five consecutive: Greg Biffle (2004 – 2006), Matt Kenseth (2007) and Carl Edwards (2008). · Ford leads the series in Chase wins at Homestead with six; followed by Chevrolet with two. · The most dominant performance by a Chase race winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway is Carl Edwards victory in 2010. He posted a Perfect Driver Rating of 150.0 and led 190 of the 267 laps (71.1% of his laps completed) - most by a Chase race winner at 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
Ford EcoBoost 400 entry list
See who will compete in the Sprint Cup Series season finale RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Entry # Driver Owner Crew chief Manufacturer Sponsor 1 1 Jamie McMurray Felix Sabates Keith Rodden 14 Chevrolet Cessna 2 2 Brad Keselowski Roger Penske Paul Wolfe 14 Ford Miller Lite 3 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Gil Martin 14 Chevrolet Dow 4 4 Kevin Harvick Tony Stewart Rodney Childers 14 Chevrolet Budweiser 5 5 Kasey Kahne Linda Hendrick Kenny Francis 14 Chevrolet Great Clips 6 7 Michael Annett Tommy Baldwin Kevin Manion 14 Chevrolet Pilot Flying J 7 9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Drew Blickensderfer 14 Ford STANLEY 8 10 Danica Patrick Tony Stewart Daniel Knost 14 Chevrolet Florida Lottery / GoDaddy 9 11 Denny Hamlin J D Gibbs Darian Grubb 14 Toyota FedEx Express 10 13 Casey Mears Bob Germain Bootie Barker III 14 Chevrolet No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS 11 14 Tony Stewart Margaret Haas Chad Johnston 14 Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 12 15 Clint Bowyer Rob Kauffman Brian Pattie 14 Toyota 5-Hour Energy 13 16 Greg Biffle Jack Roush Matt Puccia 14 Ford 3M 14 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr John Henry Michael Kelley 14 Ford Fastenal 15 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Dave Rogers 14 Toyota M&M's 16 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Jason Ratcliff 14 Toyota Dollar General 17 21 Trevor Bayne(i) Glen Wood Donnie Wingo 14 Ford Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center 18 22 Joey Logano Walter Czarnecki Todd Gordon 14 Ford Shell Pennzoil 19 23 Alex Bowman Ron Devine Dave Winston 14 Toyota Dip Your Car 20 24 Jeff Gordon Rick Hendrick Alan Gustafson 14 Chevrolet Drive To End Hunger 21 26 Cole Whitt Anthony Marlowe Randy Cox 14 Toyota Speed Stick Gear 22 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Justin Alexander 14 Chevrolet Richmond / Menards 23 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Luke Lambert 14 Chevrolet Caterpillar 24 32 Blake Koch(i) Frank Stoddard Jr Clinton Cram 14 Ford LeafFilter.com 25 33 Brian Scott(i) Joe Falk Mike Hillman Jr 14 Chevrolet TBA 26 34 David Ragan Bob Jenkins Derrick Finley 14 Ford The Pete Store 27 36 Reed Sorenson Allan Heinke Todd Parrott 14 Chevrolet TBA 28 38 David Gilliland Brad Jenkins Jay Guy 14 Ford MDS TRANSPORT 29 40 Landon Cassill(i) Michael Hillman Mark Hillman 14 Chevrolet Harvey Gulf 30 41 Kurt Busch Gene Haas Tony Gibson 14 Chevrolet Haas Automation 31 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Chris Heroy 14 Chevrolet Target 32 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Trent Owens 14 Ford Smithfield Foods 33 47 A J Allmendinger Tad Geschickter Brian Burns 14 Chevrolet Hungry Jack 34 48 Jimmie Johnson Jeff Gordon Chad Knaus 14 Chevrolet Lowe's 35 51 Justin Allgaier Harry Scott Jr Steve Addington 14 Chevrolet BRANDT 36 55 Brian Vickers Michael Waltrip Billy Scott 14 Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 37 66 Brett Moffitt Jay Robinson Scott Eggleston 14 Toyota TBA 38 78 Martin Truex Jr Barney Visser Todd Berrier 14 Chevrolet Furniture Row 39 83 TBA Ron Devine Joe Williams 14 Toyota Dip Your Car 40 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Rick Hendrick Steve Letarte 14 Chevrolet National Guard 41 95 Michael McDowell Bob Leavine Wally Rogers 14 Ford KLOVE Radio/Thrivent Financial 42 98 Josh Wise Mike Curb Gene Nead 14 Chevrolet Phil Parsons Racing 43 99 Carl Edwards Jack Roush James Fennig 14 Ford Fastenal MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Lineup for Ford EcoBoost 400
See the order that the field will take the green flag on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, ESPN) RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Pos Car Driver Team 1 24 Jeff Gordon Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet 2 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation Chevrolet 3 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota 4 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 5 4 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet 6 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Toyota 7 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota 8 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 9 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 10 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Chevrolet 11 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard Chevrolet 12 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet 13 55 Brian Vickers Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota 14 51 Justin Allgaier # BRANDT Chevrolet 15 99 Carl Edwards Fastenal Ford 16 27 Paul Menard Richmond/Menards Chevrolet 17 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford 18 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield Foods Ford 19 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevrolet 20 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford 21 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar Chevrolet 22 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fastenal Ford 23 5 Kasey Kahne Great Clips Chevrolet 24 3 Austin Dillon # Dow Chevrolet 25 47 AJ Allmendinger Hungry Jack Chevrolet 26 21 Trevor Bayne(i) Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 27 42 Kyle Larson # Target Chevrolet 28 14 Tony Stewart Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 29 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet 30 33 Brian Scott(i) Shore Lodge Chevrolet 31 34 David Ragan The Pete Store Ford 32 10 Danica Patrick Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevrolet 33 40 Landon Cassill(i) Harvey Gulf Chevrolet 34 83 JJ Yeley(i) Dip Your Car Toyota 35 38 David Gilliland MDS Transport Ford 36 36 Reed Sorenson Feed The Children/Dei Fratelli Chevrolet 37 98 Josh Wise PPR98.com Chevrolet 38 95 Michael McDowell KLOVE Radio/Thrivent Financial Ford 39 7 Michael Annett # Pilot/Flying J Chevrolet 40 32 Blake Koch(i) LeafFilter.com Ford 41 23 Alex Bowman # Dip Your Car Toyota 42 26 Cole Whitt # Speed Stick Gear Toyota 43 66 Brett Moffitt X8 Energy Gum Toyota MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Chevy, Ford , Toyota dote on final four Chase contenders
Reps for vehicle manufacturers break down Hamlin, Harvick, Logano and Newman RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- One is said to exude quiet confidence. The other's a leader from the cockpit. Another's laser-focused while the fourth is charging. That's how officials from their respective automakers described this year’s four championship contenders Saturday here at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Denny Hamlin , Kevin Harvick , Joey Logano and Ryan Newman each will head into Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 seeking a first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. The four are all that remain of the original 16 in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup field, advancing through three rounds to reach one final stop. The highest-finishing driver leaves with the title, meaning a win isn't necessary. But none of the four wants to go out with anything less than a checkered flag. And the championship trophy. Hamlin's been here before, under somewhat different circumstances. In 2010, he led Jimmie Johnson by 15 points heading into Homestead but by most accounts let the pressure of the title get in his way. Johnson won handily, and Hamlin hasn't forgotten. Dave Wilson, president and GM for Toyota Racing Development USA, said that experience should prove valuable to the 34-year-old Hamlin, as well as other recent near misses for the Toyota camp. "Denny thinks a lot, and he's been here before, and I think that really helps him," Wilson said. "We've, as a manufacturer, been the bridesmaid three out of the past four years; Denny has had a second‑place finish, Clint Bowyer has had a second‑place finish, then of course last year Matt Kenseth . But Denny is comfortable. He's confident, quietly confident I would say." Wilson also noted that Hamlin has enjoyed success on the 1.5-mile track, winning twice in the past five years, including last season. "I think it gives him just what he needs to do the job Sunday," he said. Hamlin ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) won once this year, at Talladega Superspeedway in April. His best Chase finish came last week at Phoenix where he was fifth. He has led multiple laps in five of the nine Chase races. Chevrolet, with Harvick and Newman, is the only manufacturer with multiple representatives going for the title. To some, they represent the most likely and the least likely to emerge with the championship. Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ) has four wins this season while Newman ( Richard Childress Racing ) is winless. Raw speed has been the calling card for Harvick's No. 4 team while Newman has relied on consistency and an ability to avoid the disastrous finish. "Ryan just keeps coming; he keeps getting stronger race after race, and that team has just gotten in a great rhythm ... every single race," said Chevrolet's Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, performance vehicles and motorsports. "Now, they haven't won a race yet, but they are charging." Harvick, he said, is more representative of his boss, fellow driver and three-time Sprint Cup champion, Tony Stewart . "He's focused, he's mentally tough and he's a leader from the cockpit of the car," Campbell said. "When I think about the last time Stewart-Haas won the championship ... in '11, Tony had a lot of those same attributes. "And so we'll see where these two guys net out. The competition is tough. Anything can happen, and we expect there's going to be some curveballs and surprises in how the teams react. Same focus, calm, and the guys leading from the cockpit with the team is going to have the best chance to win." Logano is in his second season with Team Penske after a four full seasons at Joe Gibbs Racing that produced just two wins and no Chase appearances. He's yet to not make the Chase since joining the Penske organization. Two of his five wins this year have come in Chase races. "Joey Logano, when he came into the sport was billed as a phenom, and indeed he is a phenom," Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing, said. "He's got the talent, and with the team around him, I think he's very poised to succeed. He is driven and the goal is in sight, and we expect him to succeed. "This is a sport of teams. You've got to put that in context. It's Joey, it's Todd (Gordon, crew chief), it's Penske, it's Ford . When you put that ensemble together, this season has been an absolute standout season." While there is much on the line, none of the three automakers has ramped up its assistance to the individual teams. Instead, most have continued to provide the technical and engineering support that's been the framework of the relationship from the beginning. "There are tendencies in the sport during the race that can be gleaned from mining data that could give a crew chief an opportunity to make a decision based on data rather than just simply on gut feel," said Allison. "The field of analytics is wide open. So really when you're coming down to the final race from a hardware (standpoint), it's largely in the hands of the teams. But in terms of enabling decision making on in‑race situation, that's one scenario." With 19 wins among all Chevrolet teams, and a 38th manufacturer's title in the wings, Campbell said he saw no reason to increase input. "Stick to the fundamentals in terms of providing the right parts, the right engineering people and the right engineering tools and then follow through," he said. Wilson agreed. And while Hamlin likely learned a lesson from his 2010 shortcoming, so too did the manufacturer. "I think we collectively overthought the gravity of it and played from a defensive position," Wilson said. "I think what everyone has seen this year is a different feel. Denny is loose. It's business as usual. The performance that we've collectively brought to the table is what has gotten Denny to this position, and we're just going to execute as a team and see what that brings tomorrow afternoon." 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
Fantasy Fastlane: Pennsylvania 400
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Starting lineup for Pennsylvania 400
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