RELATED: Race results " Updated standings A pair of pit- road fake-outs went horribly wrong for Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson during the eighth caution period of Sunday's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway , spoiling the day for two drivers firmly running in the top five. Busch, a Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs contender, feinted toward pit road after the yellow flag emerged for Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s third wall scrape of the day. When Busch tried to return to the race track to keep his third position, he bumped into second-place Larson, who was making his own lean toward pit road . The contact sent both Larson's No. 42 Chevrolet spinning at the pit entrance, with Busch's No. 18 Toyota skidding and clipping into the commitment cone. "What the (expletive) is he thinking?" Busch told his Joe Gibbs Racing crew over the radio. "He's never going to make the (expletive) commitment cone anyway." Larson later told his Chip Ganassi Racing crew over the radio: "I'm sure it doesn't matter, but please apologize as much as you can." After making multiple stops for repairs, Busch resumed the race in 23rd place with Larson 24th as the last two cars on the lead lap. Busch fared only slightly better after the contact, finishing 20th to Larson's 21st -- both a lap down. "I don’t know. Just can’t say enough about my guys -- all the work that they put into these things," Busch said. "They don't deserve to be put in these situations year in, year out, but we are for some reason. But it's tough and we're going to have to battle through with what we've got right now. I can’t say enough about what they did on pit road getting us back salvageable." Busch might've demurred when asked about the contact with Larson, but Adam Stevens, his crew chief, was more demonstrative, saying his plan all along was to keep his driver on the race track. "(Busch) knew the call the whole time, he was just doing what he normally does," Stevens said. "The big question is what was the 42 (Larson) doing. There was no way, whether we were there or not, he turned down so late that he was going to hit the cone -- he was going to completely miss the cone on the right or maybe touch it with his left side somewhere, there was no way he was going to get under the cone. I don't know what he was doing, but you'll have that sometimes. I'm sure it wasn't intentional." Larson reiterated his apology post-race. "They told me to do what everybody around me was doing and the No. 22 (leader and eventual race winner Joey Logano ) was staying out, so I was committed to staying out," Larson said, "and as soon as I turned right to stay out they said pit, pit, pit. I hung a left and Kyle was there. I feel really terrible to ruin their day and hopefully it didn't hurt their chances of transferring through this round. I know they deserve a top-three finish for sure. I felt awful immediately and still do. I hate it."
RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings Joey Logano surged to a dominant victory Sunday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway , landing an automatic berth in the next round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. Logano, driving the Team Penske No. 22 Ford, led 227 of 334 laps in the Bank of America 500 , which was postponed by heavy Saturday night rain. He held off defending Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick to record his fourth win of the season, his first at the 1.5-mile track and 12th of his Sprint Cup Series career. The victory gives Logano immunity from elimination in the three-race Contender Round, making him one of the final eight title-eligible drivers in the Eliminator Round. His road to last year's championship round took a similar path; Logano also won 2014's Contender Round opener, which was hosted last year at Kansas Speedway . "This makes Talladega way easier," Logano said, pointing toward the always dicey Contender Round finale at the 2.66-mile Alabama track. "I know that's on everyone's mind when this round starts and last year we won Kansas when it was the first race of this round and now we were able to get it this time at Charlotte. We'll get lots of sleep here the next couple of weeks." Logano notched his victory a week after Harvick triumphed at Dover to claw his way back into the Chase. "I think everyone saw how fast he was last week and it probably made a lot of people nervous, but our team kept their heads up and stayed confident," Logano said. "We know we can beat them. We know we've got what we need over here, and our team is as tight-knit as they get. "I'm proud of them. I couldn't be more proud of them. We had a lot of money stops today to keep us out front. The pit stops were great and I couldn't be more proud of what they’re doing right now." Harvick's Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet finished .704 seconds behind Logano at the end of his 11th runner-up finish this year. Martin Truex Jr ., Denny Hamlin , Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards completed the top six as Chase drivers swept the first half-dozen positions. Seventh-finishing Austin Dillon was the top non-Chase driver. Early trouble made for a difficult day for Chase drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch , all of whom failed to finish on the lead lap. Earnhardt spent much of the race's middle section one lap down after brushing the wall twice, on Lap 69 and 74. He continued after repairs, then scraped the wall again after hitting oil on the track on a Lap 190 restart. Kenseth, the Coors Light Pole Award winner in Thursday qualifying, led 72 laps early before running into his own pitfalls. A pair of errors on pit stops pushed him back in the running order, then things got worse when he made contact with fellow Chaser Ryan Newman on Lap 176, sending his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 entry into the outside wall. After numerous stops for repairs, Kenseth scraped the wall again on Lap 204 and then hammered it on Lap 241, sending him behind the wall. "These are never the kind of days you want to have for sure, but it's just one of those days," Kenseth said. "We're real fast up front and we're real tight in traffic. We got behind on that first pit deal and then didn't catch the cautions right and it went green, overshot my pit and put us in the back so it’s just like one thing led to another and led to another. "We shouldn't have ever been back there to start with. My mistakes and they cost us today so we'll just move on from this and get ready for Kansas." Busch, Kenseth's JGR teammate, suffered damage and lost headway when he collided with Kyle Larson in a quirky collision at the pit- road entrance. Both drivers made moves to fake and entry onto pit road , but when Busch tried to return to the track in third place, he made sizable contact with second-place Larson. Busch wound up with a 20th-place finish, Earnhardt 28th and Kenseth 42nd, leaving all three with plenty of ground to make up in the next two Contender Round races -- next weekend at Kansas Speedway and the following week at Talladega Superspeedway . RELATED: Where Chase bubble drivers stand after Charlotte The race was originally scheduled for Saturday night, but rain forced its postponement to a sunny Sunday. "Well, we definitely had to make some bigger swings at the handling of the car than what we were prepared for last night," said Harvick. "I like racing in the day, and especially here at Charlotte, because it seems like the cars move around more and it's harder to get a hold of your car. "But we never were able to get the balance right on our car all weekend and just never really got comfortable in the car -- but kept grinding away, and it got better throughout the day today, and that's a good thing on race day." Contributing: NASCAR Wire Service
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid Below is a breakdown of how the full 43-car field fared at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the rain-delayed Bank of America 500 : 1. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . Logano led a career-high 227 laps on Sunday en route to his first Charlotte victory. He advances to the next round of the Chase. " 1-on-1: Logano discusses victory, locking in Eliminator Round spot 2. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Harvick was quiet on the radio with 22 laps to go Sunday as he continually tried to chip away at Logano's lead. 3. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . Truex held on to notch his best Charlotte result despite brushing the wall and developing a front-end handling issue with 52 laps to go. " RELATED: Truex discusses Charlotte run 4. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Hamlin flipped to his backup battery with about 100 laps left in Sunday's race and outran concern that even his backup battery was experiencing issues. 5. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Kurt Busch spent most of Sunday quietly running inside the top 10 and keeping himself in contention for the next round of the Chase. 6. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Edwards started eighth and was a steady presence in the top 10 en route to his 12th top-10 of the season. 7. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon won Friday's XFINITY race at Charlotte and then on Sunday posted his best Cup performance at the 1.5-mile track. 8. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Gordon held steady in his final race at Charlotte, site of his first career Cup victory in 1994. 9. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . Keselowski held ninth during the last 19 laps despite a loose wheel. 10. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Almirola used his best Charlotte finish to score his fifth top-10 of the year. 11. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Bowyer stayed out during green-flag stops to lead Lap 234 before settling back into the top 15. 12. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Under caution on Lap 195, McMurray told his team that his car was pretty good until it got into oil and he lost position on a track where passing was difficult. 13. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse earned the beneficiary pass during the final caution period and rolled on to match his second-best finish at Charlotte. 14. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford. Wood Brothers Racing . A native of nearby High Point, North Carolina, Blaney scored his best Charlotte result and third top-15 of the year. 15. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Just prior to the sixth caution flag, Newman sustained right-side damage after Matt Kenseth cut across his nose on his way into the wall. " RELATED: Is Newman in bubble trouble? 16. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Allmendinger overcame early damage sustained when he made contact with another car on Lap 193 and knocked in his right-side fenders. 17. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Hornish stretched his pit window in the closing 100 laps when he stayed out during green-flag stops to lead twice for 22 laps around Charlotte. 18. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears held on after a tight-handling condition developed late in Sunday’s race and sent him into the fence. 19. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Patrick worked with her team on the handling of her car and benefited from long green-flag runs en route to her best Charlotte finish. 20. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . "He was never going to make the commitment cone anyway," Busch said said after making contact with Kyle Larson near the entrance of pit road . Busch, then running in the top five, made a late decision to skip pit road , while Larson did just the opposite. " RELATED: Busch disappointed after rough day at Charlotte 21. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. "Please apologize as much as you can," Larson radioed his crew after making a late decision to hit pit road during the eighth caution period and collecting Chase contender Kyle Busch in the process. " For more in-car audio, sign up for RaceView and/or Scanner today 22. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne made an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 71 just prior to the fourth caution flag for a right-front wheel vibration. 23. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. Cassill held out during green-flag stops and ran as high as third on Lap 131 before finally making his green-flag stop. 24. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Biffle struggled to recover track position after making an unscheduled stop on Lap 90 for a loose wheel. 25. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . In his fourth Charlotte outing, Annett picked up his best finish at the 1.5-mile speedway. 26. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Stewart grazed the wall on Lap 115 and had to pit 12 laps later with a flat tire. 27. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Carrying the #SCStrong on his decklid in support of the recent flooding in South Carolina, Gilliland did his best to avoid trouble on Sunday. 28. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Earnhardt lost his right-front tire and faded through the field before hitting the wall to bring out the fourth caution period. " RELATED: Junior says 'it ain't over' for the 88 team 29. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . It was a promising day for DiBenedetto who turned in his best Charlotte result. 30. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Moffitt recorded his best Charlotte finish after lining up 37th Sunday. 31. Michael McDowell , No. 95 Ford, Leavine Family Racing . McDowell bounced off the wall in the closing third of Sunday’s race, but survived without picking up a tire rub. 32. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . A puncture in the left-rear tire prompted Bowman to make an unscheduled stop during the first 115 laps, but a subsequent tire rub put the No. 7 Chevy back on pit road for repairs. 33. J.J. Yeley, No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . Yeley was black-flagged on Lap 35 after one of his crew members kneed-in his right-rear quarter panel. 34. Alex Kennedy , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport Racing. Kennedy survived a messy start to Sunday’s race, but very quickly found himself fighting for the beneficiary pass. 35. Reed Sorenson , No. 98 Ford, Premium Motorsports. Sorenson earned the beneficiary pass during the competition caution, but struggled to stay on the lead lap. 36. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard brushed the wall on Lap 133 but held on to keep the caution flag from coming out and made his scheduled stop three laps later. 37. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . On Lap 291, Ragan told his team the engine was out of water and he brought his car to pit road . 38. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Stacked up on the first green flag, Whitt received contact from behind and had to spend an extended amount of time on pit road during the first caution flag to patch his bumper. 39. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Johnson's strong day was stalled by an engine issue (oil pump) that sent him to the garage with 77 laps to go on Sunday. " RELATED: Silver lining to early exit 40. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Allgaier radioed that he just "killed the radiator" after he made contact with Michael McDowell on the Lap 182 restart. " For more in-car audio, sign up for RaceView and/or Scanner today 41. Jeb Burton , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . As he took the green flag at the start, Burton ran into the back of slowing competitors, incurring significant left-front damage and bringing out the caution flag on Lap 1. 42. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Kenseth's day "snowballed" after a couple pit road mistakes combined with tire rub and then on-track contact with Ryan Newman . Kenseth ultimately broke something on the right-front of his car and retreated to the garage. " RELATED: Multiple incidents ruin Kenseth's day 43. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne cut a tire twice inside the first 61 laps on Sunday; the second one sent him hard into the wall and brought out the third caution flag.
NASCAR RETURNS TO AMS FEB. 26-28; SPEEDWAY INTRODUCES ‘PERFECT RACE WEATHER GUARANTEE’ Buy Tickets for 2016 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 . HAMPTON, Ga. (Oct. 13, 2015) – NASCAR racing will make its thunderous return to Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2016 with the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Weekend Feb. 26-28. The Speedway today announced several great new benefits for fans attending the weekend event. The 2016 NASCAR Weekend has become more affordable and fan-friendly than ever. The majority of grandstand seat prices have been reduced, and no ticket to the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 is priced at more than $99, with seats starting as low as $39. The new ticket prices represent an overall average reduction of 15 percent from previous levels. Along with reduced ticket prices, Atlanta Motor Speedway has introduced a “Perfect Race Weather Guarantee.” The all-new policy offers fans options in the event that inclement weather prevents them from attending the race. If the daytime high temperature in Hampton, Georgia on Saturday or Sunday of race weekend fails to reach at least 50 degrees as observed by the National Weather Service , or if weather issues postpone the day’s activities to a different day and fans are unable to attend on the rescheduled date, fans who do not enter the admission gates on the day the event is held will receive an account credit for the full price of their tickets. Credits can be applied to any future AMS event or events in 2016 or the 2017 NASCAR Weekend. Also new in 2016, Atlanta Motor Speedway is rolling out the ultra-affordable “ Good ,” “Better” and “Best” ticket packages that offer unbeatable weekend deals. •The “ Good ” ticket package, priced at $79, includes upper Petty Grandstand seating for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 , plus general admission seating to Friday’s Sprint Cup Series qualifying day and Saturday’s doubleheader, a savings of $40 off the regular prices. •The “Better” ticket package is priced at $139 and offers seating in the Winners, Earnhardt or Petty Grandstand for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 , general admission seating to Friday’s Sprint Cup Series qualifying day and Saturday’s doubleheader, a weekend FanVision rental and a Sunday pre-race pit pass, for a total savings of $ 125 off regular prices •The “Best” package, which offers the best value of all three deals, is priced at $179 and boasts an ultimate NASCAR weekend combination, including a seat in the Upper Champions Grandstand or the Upper Winners Grandstand chairback seats for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 , general admission seating to Friday’s Sprint Cup Series qualifying day and Saturday’s doubleheader, a weekend FanVision scanner rental, a weekend pre-race pit pass, and $25 off a purchase of $50 or more in the AMS souvenir shop. In total, the “Best” package shaves a whopping $165 off normal pricing. The Good , Better and Best packages are available for purchase now in addition to other traditional, price-friendly ticket packages. Those include the Two-for-$99 deal, the $159 Start/Finish Line Package, which includes both Saturday and Sunday tickets plus a Sunday pre-race pit pass, and the Jimmie Johnson package, which grants access to a pre-race Q&A session with the defending Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 winner for just $48 and half the price for kids. Another fan-favorite experience available now is the Champions Suite, which offers an indoor, climate-controlled atmosphere, a pre-race pit pass, individual reserved seating, TVs, dedicated restrooms, a delicious food and beverage buffet and much more. For the second consecutive year, AMS will host all three NASCAR national series on the same weekend. Saturday, Feb. 27 features a Camping World Truck Series and XFINITY Series same-day doubleheader unique to Atlanta, for a combined 450 miles of racing, while the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race headlines the weekend on Sunday, Feb. 28. Sprint Cup Series qualifying will open the weekend’s events on Friday, Feb. 26. Fans are encouraged to secure their tickets early and take advantage of these 2016 NASCAR Weekend specials, as many are available for a limited time and only while supplies last. For event information and to purchase tickets today , fans are encouraged to contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com . -AMS- Buy Tickets for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Now!
RELATED: Junior turns 41; see images through the years MORE: Race results " Updated standings CONCORD, N.C. -- History repeated itself for Dale Earnhardt Jr . in the Contender Round opener of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . The opening race of this round may have been at a different track this year, ( Charlotte Motor Speedway as opposed to 2014's Kansas Speedway ) but the end result, a 28th-place finish in the Bank of America 500 , left Earnhardt looking up at 10 drivers in the standings when the afternoon was complete -- the same standings position he was in after a 39th-place finish at Kansas last year in the opening race of this round in 2014. The driver of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet summed up his day pretty succinctly. "Yeah, I lost count of how many time we hit it (the wall) today," Earnhardt said on pit road after the race. Earnhardt's trouble began on Lap 69 when he made contact with the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Carl Edwards . At the time, Junior was running ninth. "Carl got a great run on us and drove down into 1 and got into the back of us a little bit. I don't know if I cut him off or not. He drove in there pretty hard and ran over the left-rear quarter panel of the car and (I) got in the fence." Edwards, who went on to score a sixth-place finish, explained his end of things. "It stinks he ended up hitting the wall," Edwards said. "I felt like he blocked me real hard the first time and so the second time I got up there when he came down I just held my ground and we got together. He did an amazing job saving it and I have a ton of respect for him so it stinks that it ruined his day. I have to hold my ground when I've got my nose in there. Like I said, it stinks that it ruined their day." Earnhardt, a two-time winner this year, eventually got into the wall again a few laps later on Lap 75 to bring out the fourth caution of the race. His team went to work on the right side of his car and the crush panel. From there, Earnhardt worked hard to get in position for the free pass and had managed to climb to one lap down. However, just after the Lap 190 restart, he found the wall once again due to what Earnhardt said was oil on the track -- something several other drivers echoed during the race. RELATED: Find out who else questioned the clean-up efforts "There was oil down there. It wasn't speedy dry. I've raced this (expletive) for 20 years, I know what oil and speedy dry is. We hit fluid, flew into the freaking wall hard. That's not speedy dry. There was oil up there." He later added, "I hit the (expletive) wall. I know I hit oil. I hit it. I promise." Now, Earnhardt turns his attention to making up ground at Kansas and Talladega Superspeedway , the final two races of the Chase's Contender Round, the same three-race series that eliminated Earnhardt last year. Both of Earnhardt's 2015 wins have come at restrictor-plate tracks, including a May win at Talladega. "It ain't over. Don't worry about that," Earnhardt said. "I mean, we don't have to go to Talladega and be nervous like those guys that are going to have to play it safe. We can just go hard. So, we've got a great car that can win that race. We can go to Kansas and run great. I like that track and don't see why we can't run great there and maybe win the race there. It ain't over." Earnhardt raced his way into this round thanks to a third-place result at Dover International Speedway in the Challenger Round finale, holding off Jamie McMurray for the final transfer spot. So he is familiar with the ground he has to cover. "We were in this situation in the first round. We can be aggressive, go to Kansas, run hard. When we're in the top 10, just inside the bubble, you might not run the high side so hard, so aggressive. You might not drive the whole race as aggressive. "At Kansas, you can run the top and I like running the top there. I think we can be fast up there and I ain't got to worry about skinning the side of it, knocking us out of the Chase. We're out of it. It's our turn to fall back in and we'll try." And while other drivers earlier in the week indicated they were not looking forward to a Talladega race with their Chase position on the line, the six-time winner at the 2.66-mile Alabama track said he feels the exact opposite. "I'm looking forward to Talladega even more now."
RELATED: Get the full race results " Chase Bubble Watch LOUDON, N.H. -- Jimmie Johnson is no stranger to tire issues at New Hampshire Motor Speedway , running just 11 laps last summer in the July race at the "Magic Mile" before exiting early for two blown Goodyears. The cut tire he endured two-thirds of the way through Sunday's Sylvania 300 could've put the six-time Sprint Cup Series champion in a dire situation heading into the final race of the opening round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup -- but it didn't. The Hendrick Motorsports driver battled back from 23rd after the flat to regain his position on the lead lap -- despite three cars being ahead of him for the beneficiary position -- to muster an impressive sixth-place finish. "Yeah, it was really weird ... I went into Turn 3 and got on the brakes and the car traveled and slowed down," Johnson said on pit road after the race. "It felt like something broke in the left-front, but they said there was a lug nut inside the wheel. I guess when I hit the brakes to slow down, a lug nut hit the valve stem and took the tire out. "Fortunately some cautions fell in quick order to let us get back on the lead lap. We had a solid car and got up there to ninth or something and some guys ran out of fuel and got us to sixth. ... We had to deal with a lot of adversity today and overcame and got a great finish." Johnson now sits in fifth place among Chase drivers -- third among those who haven't clinched a berth to the Contender Round via a victory -- as the series heads to his best track, Dover International Speedway . Winner of four of the past seven races and a record 10 overall at the "Monster Mile," Johnson should have little problem advancing to the next round as long as he can stay out of trouble. That said, with defending champion Kevin Harvick in 15th place and likely in need of a victory to move on, it would behoove "Six-Time" to keep his foot to the floor and do what he does best at Dover -- win. "You can't put your guard down. You've got to go in and race," Johnson said. "Dover is a great track for us. A victory could be a huge shot in the arm for our team and really get some good momentum going for us. "We'll go there and give 100 percent and hopefully it's a trophy; if not, hopefully it's an advancement to the next round."
Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne added "proud father" to his list of accomplishments Tuesday as longtime girlfriend Sam Sheets gave birth to the couple's first child at 1:11 a.m., a son named Tanner Lee Kahne. Kahne, 35, of Enumclaw, Washington, announced his big news via social media Tuesday morning. I officially became a dad at 1:11 AM to Tanner Lee Kahne. Mom and tanner are doing great. On no sleep but we can't put this little guy down — Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) October 13, 2015 The 2004 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year revealed that Sheets was expecting back in June, and described being a father as a "lifelong dream" of his. In one of his first interviews since acknowledging Sheets' pregnancy, Kahne told ESPN.com, "It's something that's been on my mind for a long time. I'm really excited to have this type of life-changing experience, and I can't wait to be the best dad I can possibly be." Kahne is the latest driver to contribute to a NASCAR version of the "baby boom." In just over the last year, drivers Kyle Busch , Landon Cassill , Kyle Larson , Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer have had their first children. Trevor Bayne 's wife is expecting their first child later this year.
RELATED: See the full weekend schedule " NBC Sports Live Extra All times ET Sunday, Oct. 11 11:30 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN Monday, Oct. 12 6 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN 8 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN 2 p.m., NASCAR 120, NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6:30 p.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (tape), NBCSN 10:30 p.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBCSN Tuesday, Oct. 13 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 4:30 p.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS12 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 2:30 a.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBCSN Wednesday, Oct. 14 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 4:30 p.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 2 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 Thursday, Oct. 15 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 7 p.m., NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour: Charlotte Motor Speedway (tape), NBCSN 11 p.m., NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour: Charlotte Motor Speedway (re-air), NBCSN 2 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 Friday, Oct. 16 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN Noon, NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 1 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBCSN 2:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, NBCSN 3:30 p.m., NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour: Charlotte Motor Speedway (re-air), NBCSN 4:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN 7:30 p.m., Being: Stewart-Haas Racing (re-air), FS1 Saturday, Oct. 17 11:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, CNBC 12:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN 2 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 2:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBCSN 3:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Countdown to Green, NBCSN 4 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Kansas Lottery 300 , NBCSN Sunday, Oct. 18 11 a.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FS1 12:30 p.m., Continental SportsCar Challenge: Road Atlanta (tape), FS1 1 p.m., NASCAR America Sunday, NBCSN 1:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Countdown to Green, NBCSN 2:15 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 , NBC 6 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Post-Race, NBCSN 6:30 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN 8 p.m., Continental SportsCar Challenge: Road Atlanta (re-air), FS2 11:30 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN Midnight, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1 3:30 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane (re-air), FS1 &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;nbsp;
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Just a few days prior to Kasey Kahne 's annual 5K, organized by the Kasey Kahne Foundation, the Hendrick Motorsports driver announced that for every person that beat him in the 3.1-mile road race, he would then donate an additional $105 to the Novant Health Hemby Children's Hospital. As an avid runner and slightly -- OK, very -- competitive individual, I gladly accepted the challenge to beat Kasey Kahne , all in the name of charity, of course. The "Five Kahne" 5K felt like the perfect assignment, an intersection of my line of work -- NASCAR -- and a passion of mine -- running. The perfect assignment it was. At first it was unclear whether or not Kahne would end up racing after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway was postponed, thanks to rain, from Saturday, Oct. 10th to Sunday, Oct. 11th. This happened to be the same day as the 5K in which only two-and-a-half hours separated the pair of events. But the driver of the No. 5 promised, via Twitter, that he would be in attendance. Though it still was unclear if he would merely just be there to witness the festivities or if he would actually lace up his sneakers for some cardio. It was confirmed to me in the most incredible way that he would, indeed, fulfill his promise and actually race. Kahne lined up around 9:55 a.m., right outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame, about five rows back from the starting line and directly in front of me. So my question was easily answered. It left me with roughly five minutes till the race's start to strategize a plan to beat him, but I managed. Keeping it short, I beat the NASCAR driver by roughly 54 seconds (but who's counting?) and I was more than happy that he could give an additional $105 check to the Charlotte-based children's hospital. I'm going to be honest, it felt pretty great to beat a professional athlete, feeding the competitive beast that, admittedly, lies within me. A total of 39 runners outran Kahne's time of 22:39, making the total donation an additional $4,095. Kahne also had a special guest, Braylon Beam, join him for the morning's events. Click here to learn more about the incredible Beam. Braylon Beam was @kaseykahne 's very special guest for today's race festivities #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/F2cY6EFAmn — Maggie MacKenzie (@Maggie_MKenzie) October 11, 2015 To find our more about the Kasey Kahne Foundation check out the website .
RELATED: Updated Chase Grid CONCORD, N.C. -- After a tough run of races over the summer heading into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , Martin Truex Jr . came into the postseason a bit under the radar. Most don't see us. We're still here. #ambush #truexnation — Martin Truex Jr . (@MartinTruex_Jr) October 13, 2015 The Furniture Row Racing driver's stealth run toward a possible championship continued at Charlotte Motor Speedway on a day that saw Joey Logano dominate his way to victory and several title contenders find trouble. Truex scored a third-place finish in the Bank of America 500 that puts him third in the standings and 12 points above the cutline to be one of eight drivers to advance to the Eliminator Round. RELATED: See how the entire 43-car field fared at Charlotte "Third is great and all, but it's no guarantee," Truex said after the race. "I felt like this round would be good for us. Charlotte and Kansas, we ran so good here in the first race this year, and then after practice I was like, 'oh my God, we're struggling.' This was honestly the worst weekend we've had all season long as far as how I felt about the race car. "So I was like, ok, kind of damage control. Let's just hopefully get a top 10 out of this thing, and to do ‑‑ to get third out of it was a huge step for us." Truex qualified 15th for the Bank of America 500 and finished 16th, 4th and 15th in the three practice sessions. "From the time practice was over on Friday until this morning, we were texting about the set-up and what we were going to do and what we had to do and what to focus on," Truex said of his single-car team's efforts to improve the No. 78 Chevrolet this weekend. " I'm just proud of those guys for what they did. It was a true team effort and a testament to this team and their fight." The run was Truex's best result since a third-place finish at Michigan in August and was his best career finish at Charlotte. The finish also gave Truex a career-high in top-fives for a single season (eight) and matched his career-high in top 10s (19). And now the 35-year-old turns his attention to the next race of the Contender Round at Kansas. Truex led a race-high 95 laps in the spring race at Kansas, the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 , en route to a ninth-place finish. Prior to that, he had four top-four finishes in his past six starts at the 1.5-mile track. "Honestly, I think going to Kansas, a win is huge," Truex said. "It would be so huge. It's so critical to try to get that win out of the way. Logano is the only one that's going to sleep for the next two weeks. You know what I mean? "Kansas has been one of my best race tracks, and certainly one of my best since I went to Furniture Row. Honestly, we're going there as hard as we can go with everything we have to try to win just because we know Talladega is that wild card." Add in his 6.7 average finish in the seven intermediate track races that have used the 2015 rules package and its easy to see why Truex feels confident heading into Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 (2:15 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM). "Talladega still looms. It still makes us nervous," Truex said. "But next week could be a really good race for us and we're looking forward to getting that win that’s been eluding me at Kansas for a couple of years."