Elliott Sadler and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. react after a thrilling conclusion in Phoenix.
Company has been longtime associate partner to JR Motorsports Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Regan Smith will run a paint scheme in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 . (Saturday, March 14, 4 p.m. ET, FOX) featuring Axalta Coating Systems, JR Motorsports announced on Thursday. Axalta has been a longtime associate partner and the team's official paint supplier. "Axalta has been a valued part of our championship organization almost from the very beginning, and we are pleased to have Regan and the rest of the No. 7 team in Cromax colors at Phoenix," JR Motorsports co-owner and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller said in a team release. The 2015 XFINITY Series season is Smith's third with JRM. He is currently 14th in the point standings through two races this season with a top-10 finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend. Smith has also been pulling double duty, subbing for the suspended Kurt Busch in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Bruce: From starting spot to pit selection, qualifying run sets up race day Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Never underestimate the importance of qualifying. While it carries with it no guarantee of a solid finish on race day, the position earned in qualifying impacts a great deal more than where a driver will start the race. This comes to mind in light of qualifying for the first two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season. At Daytona, teams were irate after a multi-car crash collected several cars during the first of three rounds of group qualifying on the 2.5-mile track. Last week problems off the track created a furor – delays in the inspection line resulted in 13 cars failing to make it to the grid in time to post an official qualifying lap. No big deal, right? Jimmie Johnson , one of the 13, wound up winning the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in spite of his 37th-place starting position. Matt Kenseth , positioned 36th in the lineup, also failed to make it to pit road before the first round of qualifying ended. He finished fifth. It was a big deal to those that did manage to make it through the inspection process in time, and it was likely a bigger deal to those that didn't. Why not do away with it? Why not determine the lineup based on a blind draw or some other means that favors no one? Because qualifying still matters. Regardless of issues that surfaced at Daytona and Atlanta, qualifying continues to play an important role in what takes place on race day. The advantages of winning a pole or qualifying well don't end when qualifying has been completed. Actually, they've just begun. For starters, the order for pit selection is determined done based on qualifying results, with the fastest teams getting first choice of available pit stalls. That's why the pole winning team usually claims the No. 1 stall, located closest to the exit off pit road. With no cars pitting in front, it's a quick easy drive out of the box and onto the track. Others near the front of the lineup quickly fill in those stalls located closest to openings in the pit wall (and provide access to and from the garage). Those stalls provide a clear entry or exit, depending on location, and are also highly sought after. The positioning of timing lines on pit road, used to determine speed, are also a factor when it comes to picking a pit stall. Pit road speeds are based on the amount of time that elapses as a car travels past two timing lines, or segments. A driver with a pit stall located just before one of the lines will typically speed up after passing the first line in the segment in which the team's pit stall is located. Because he or she is pitting before crossing the next line, the overall time is not in excess of that which is allowed. How, then, was Johnson and the team able to overcome his poor pit stall location in Atlanta? Early in the race, Johnson often lost positions on pit road even though his No. 48 team had no problems when servicing the car. It wasn't until the second half of the race that where the team was pitted became less of an issue. Chad Knaus, Johnson's crew chief, said the early problems were "a direct result of us not being able to qualify." "Believe it or not, there are only a handful of pit boxes (available) … we had to shoehorn in where we could," he said. Johnson was pitted near the center of pit road; Carl Edwards had the spot behind him while Joe Nemechek was pitted in the box directly in front. With 43 cars in the field, Johnson wasn't the only one hemmed in, but it was one more thing the team had to deal with as its driver sought to make up ground throughout the course of the race. "The 19 (of Edwards) … qualified well, ran well; we always had to come in behind them," Knaus said. "The 34 (of Nemechek) … for the first half of the race was doing a good job of maintaining on the lead lap. We were shoehorned in the middle (during our stops)." That slowed Johnson's entry into his pit box as well as his exit once the stop had been completed. Knaus said his driver often lost "six to eight spots" when on pit road in the first half of the race. It wasn't until Johnson was running ahead of Edwards on the track that he was assured of a clean entry into his pit stall. At about the same time Nemechek went a lap down, meaning he was no longer allowed to pit with lead-lap cars. "Once that all happened," Knaus said, "the guys were able to knock out some super pit stops." While issues such as an engine change or a missed drivers' meeting will result in a driver having to drop to the rear of the field before the race starts, pit selection has already occurred and isn't affected. Drivers starting inside the top five won 15 of last year's 36 points races, and 26 were won from a top-10 starting spot. Fast in qualifying doesn't always mean fast over the long run, but combined with other factors, it certainly doesn't hurt. A better pit stall is a plus. It's not a guarantee. And it all starts with qualifying. "It's a direct result of what happens on Friday," Knaus said. "That's why I've said time and time again, your race starts on Friday. "How you qualify sets you up for the event, for your pit selection, (and) sets you up mentally. It does the whole thing." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Driver has begun process to be reinstated by NASCAR Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live The Delaware attorney general's office said Thursday that it will not bring criminal charges against NASCAR driver Kurt Busch , citing insufficient evidence. RELATED: NASCAR statement on Kurt Busch The decision concludes the criminal case concerning the alleged incident of domestic violence against former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll last September at Dover International Speedway . The Delaware Department of Justice confirmed the decision Thursday morning in an emailed statement. "After a thorough consideration of all of the available information about the case, it is determined that the admissible evidence and available witnesses would likely be insufficient to meet the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Busch committed a crime during the September 26th incident," the statement read. "Likelihood of meeting that high burden of proof is the standard for prosecutors in bringing a case. For this reason, the Department of Justice will not pursue criminal charges in this case." NASCAR indefinitely suspended Busch on Feb. 20, the day a Delaware family court released its report granting Driscoll's no-contact order. The 36-year-old Busch has missed the first two events in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, with interim driver Regan Smith -- a regular in the NASCAR XFINITY Series -- filling in for the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet team. NASCAR released a statement late Thursday afternoon to say that Busch remains suspended, but that the Delaware attorney general's decision removes a hurdle to Busch's possible reinstatement. "NASCAR is aware of the Delaware Department of Justice announcement today regarding driver Kurt Busch ," the statement read. "As we disclosed Monday, he has accepted the terms and conditions of a reinstatement program and is actively participating in the program. Kurt Busch 's eligibility for reinstatement will continue to be governed by that program and the NASCAR Rule Book, though the elimination of the possibility of criminal charges certainly removes a significant impediment to his reinstatement." RELATED: Busch starts reinstatement process Busch -- who testified that he repeatedly told Driscoll to leave his motorcoach Sept. 26 and disputed her accusations of physical abuse -- released a statement Thursday afternoon, showing his appreciation and welcoming the decision. "I am grateful that the prosecutors in Delaware listened, carefully considered the evidence, and after a thorough investigation decided to not file criminal charges against me," Busch's statement read. "I wish to thank my family, friends, fans, and race team who stood by me throughout this nightmare with their unwavering support. Thanks also goes to my legal team for making sure that the truth got out and was fully provided to the prosecutors. As I have said from the beginning, I did not commit domestic abuse. I look forward to being back in racing as soon as possible and moving on with my life." Less than an hour later, Driscoll and members of her legal team also issued statements regarding the decision. "While I respect the process, I am disappointed that full justice was not served here," Driscoll's statement read. "My family and I take a measure of solace in the Order of Protection From Abuse granted by commissioner Jones, who ruled my account of the facts was the most credible. At great risk to my personal and professional reputation, I have spoken candidly, at length, and on the record, to a variety of outlets in an effort to correct the distortions and sensationalism that have unfortunately marked the coverage of this painful time in my family’s life. I would urge anyone covering this case to stick to the well-established facts. Giving further air to baseless and discredited accusations about me does a disservice to the public and reduces a serious matter for law enforcement into tabloid gossip. "In all future developments in this case, I will continue to stand up for my integrity and for justice. But for now, I am focused on my family, my friends, and my important and gratifying work with the Armed Forces Foundation." Jim Ligouri, a Delaware-based attorney who represented Busch, deferred comment on Thursday's decision to Rusty Hardin, the lead attorney for Busch's legal team. A call placed to Hardin's Houston, Texas office was not immediately returned. Driscoll filed a complaint Nov. 5 with the Dover Police Department, which completed its investigation of the alleged altercation on Jan. 6, handing the case over to the Delaware attorney general's office. The criminal case was separate from Driscoll's request for a no-contact order, which was granted Feb. 16 by a Delaware family court. Busch's attorneys pledged to appeal the yearlong protective order, which mandates that Busch must not contact Driscoll and must stay away from her except "at NASCAR races and related events where closer proximity is required." NASCAR handed down an indefinite suspension four days later, after Kent County (Delaware) family court commissioner David Jones released his findings in a civil disposition, saying that a "preponderance of the evidence" indicated that Busch "committed an act of domestic violence" during Driscoll's visit to the driver's motorcoach at Dover. The commissioner's ruling also stated that Busch's "version of the events is implausible, does not make sense and is unlikely to be true given the totality of the other evidence admitted at trial." Mark Dycio, a Fairfax, Virginia-based attorney representing Driscoll, said Thursday in a prepared statement that Driscoll's legal team took heart in Jones' earlier report in light of Thursday's decision. "The decision from the Delaware Attorney General does not deny that the assault occurred, and indicates only that the state's attorneys lack confidence in their ability to get a criminal conviction," Dycio said. "It changes nothing about the established facts of the case. Mr. Busch testified in open court that he squeezed Patricia's face, and admitted to police that he slammed her head against the wall in the process. Given that these admissions establish an assault took place, and that police recommended Mr. Busch be prosecuted, it seems impossible that the attorney general's office made this decision on burden of proof grounds. "It would be unfortunate, and a terrible precedent for victims of abuse, if the prospect of inviting a media circus fueled by Mr. Busch’s wealth, notoriety, and hostile PR team in any way swayed this decision. We are comforted at least in the knowledge that the judge who did hear the evidence found clear reason to believe Busch committed the assault, and granted the protective order to Patricia and her family." Busch's suspension fell under two headings in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book -- Actions detrimental to stock car racing; and 12.8: Behavioral penalty. Busch filed two expedited appeals Feb. 21 on the eve of the season-opening Daytona 500 , but NASCAR's ruling was upheld in both hearings -- the first heard by the three-member National Motorsports Appeals Panel and the final heard by National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss. Stewart-Haas Racing officials said Monday that Smith again would serve as a substitute driver in this Sunday's Kobalt 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, just outside Busch's hometown. SHR released a statement from Joe Custer, SHR's executive vice president on Thursday evening that read: "We appreciate the thoroughness of the Dover Police Department's investigation into the allegations made against Kurt Busch and respect the time the Attorney General put into his decision. They are experts in these matters and the decision not to pursue charges is an important one. We're currently working with NASCAR to understand how this impacts Kurt's reinstatement process." Thursday's developments did not change Chevrolet's stance on Busch. "Our relationship with Kurt Busch remains unchanged," Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, said in a statement. "He remains suspended, and we will continue to monitor all aspects of this situation." Busch applied for reinstatement of his competition license last Friday, agreeing to the terms and conditions set forth by NASCAR. Monday, NASCAR spokesperson David Higdon said there was no timetable to Busch's potential path to reinstatement, and that the requirements were developed as an individually tailored plan, created in consultation with an outside expert. Higdon confirmed that NASCAR's reinstatement procedure was separate from the requirements issued by Commissioner Jones, who required that Busch "be evaluated by a licensed mental health professional" and complete any treatment plan that person would prescribe. Busch has recorded 25 victories since beginning his career in NASCAR's premier series in 2000. He won his only series championship in 2004, the first season for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. Busch's absence marks the third time in his Sprint Cup career that he has missed races because of disciplinary reasons. Roush Fenway Racing cut its ties to the driver with two events left in the 2005 season after Busch was cited for reckless driving and belligerent behavior during a traffic stop, according to Maricopa County (Arizona) sheriff's deputies. NASCAR also gave Busch a one-race suspension for verbal abuse of a media member in June 2012. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
With two laps remaining in the Great Clips 200 , points co-leader Elliott Sadler, Cole Whitt and Brendan Gaughan collide.
Dillon nabbed second, third-place finishes in adjacent Truck, XFINITY races Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live HAMPTON, Ga. -- Double-duty. From Joe Gibbs Racing 's Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth to Team Penske 's Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano , plenty of NASCAR's biggest names have routinely raced in multiple national series events for many of the season's weekends for years. Richard Childress Racing XFINITY Series driver Ty Dillon has gotten a taste of that each of the first two weeks of the season thus far, running all three races at Daytona -- including his first Daytona 500 start -- followed by the XFINITY / Camping World Truck Series Hisense 250 /Hyundai Construction Parts 200 double-header at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday. Dillon wasn't alone in doing so, as he was joined by Erik Jones , Daniel Suarez, John Wes Townley , Ryan Sieg and Morgan Shepherd in the 450-mile, two-race conquest. Where his feats did stand out, however, were at the front of the pack. The 23-year-old finished third in the XFINITY race -- behind race-winning Sprint Cup Series champ Kevin Harvick and Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano -- and second in the Truck Series race -- behind two-time defending series champ Matt Crafton . Not too shabby. "When you can come out of a race track like Atlanta, that's so tough to drive, with two top-three finishes in two of the top-three series, it's awesome," Dillon said following the Truck Series race. "I'm very happy with the way the day went. "It was nice running two of everything and making it to the media center twice. I thought I'd sit in Joey (Logano)'s chair this time; he's had some good luck so I'm sitting where he sat during the last (post-race press conference following the XFINITY race) … I've always dreamed of being a driver who runs multiple series in a weekend; hopefully in the Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY and Trucks." Dillon will be competing for the driver's championship in the XFINITY Series, but will have a shot at plenty of trophies and Victory Lane celebrations between his occasional Cup and Truck starts remaining this season. The most valuable thing he'll take away from these additional races, however, is the experience. Saturday's races gave him a front row seat to what that looks like. "Obviously, we were racing against a guy who just won the Daytona 500 and two guys who were just battling for the ( Sprint Cup Series) championship, so they obviously know what they're doing," Dillon said of Logano and Harvick, respectively, who have 80 combined XFINITY and Truck Series victories between them. "You see them in front of you, you get hungry. You want to get up there and battle with those guys, but hopefully down the road when I gain more experience, I'll be able to compete a little bit better in that situation, but I was proud of our run. "All in all, the circumstances, maybe a couple more restarts and we might've been able to race with them a little bit harder, but it is what it is. They're pretty dang good here. I think Harvick's won just about every time he's raced here, so I'm proud of our effort and hopefully next year we come back and we'll be able to race with them." Dillon will get another shot at doubling down this weekend in Sin City, when the RCR driver gets behind the wheel of his No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro in Saturday's Boyd Gaming 300 (4 p.m. ET, FS1) and the No. 33 Chevrolet SS in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . "It's a great feeling to start the season off on back-to-back third place finishes," Dillon said. "It gives us a lot of confidence and I wouldn't be surprised if we go compete for a win next week in Las Vegas." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Get full lineup of NASCAR programming for the week RELATED: See the full weekend schedule All times ET Monday, March 2 5:30 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane (re-air), FOX Sports 1 10 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Fields of Honor QuikTrip 500 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 2 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Fields of Honor QuikTrip 500 (re-air), FOX Sports 2 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBC Sports Network 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 8 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Tuesday, March 3 10:30 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 2:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5:30 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBC Sports Network 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Wednesday, March 4 3 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 1 4 a.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5:30 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBC Sports Network 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Thursday, March 5 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBC Sports Network 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 6:30 p.m., NASCAR America: Celebrate the States 3 (re-air), NBC Sports Network Friday, March 6 2 p.m., A Perfect Storm: The 1979 DAYTONA 500, FOX Sports 1 3 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1 4:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, FOX Sports 1 5:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition, FOX Sports 1 6 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, FOX Sports 1 7:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1 Saturday, March 7 2 a.m., NASCAR America: Celebrate the States 3 (re-air), NBC Sports Network 2:30 a.m., NASCAR America: Celebrate the States 3 (re-air), NBC Sports Network 3 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice (re-air), FOX Sports 1 4:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 1 10 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 1 11:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 2 12:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 2 2 p.m., The 10: NASCAR's Greatest Races (re-air), FOX Sports 1 2:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, FOX Sports 1 3:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Day: XFINITY Series, FOX Sports 1 4 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300, FOX Sports 1 Sunday, March 8 3 a.m., 1979 DAYTONA 500, FOX Sports 1 3:30 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series: Boyd Gaming 300, FOX Sports 1 2 p.m., NASCAR Race Day, FOX Sports 1 3 p.m., NASCAR Race Day: Las Vegas, FOX 3:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400, FOX 3:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400, FOX Deportes 1 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1 MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today
Get the on-track times for everything at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a doubleheader of NASCAR action, while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series takes the week off. Check out the full schedule below. All times are ET THURSDAY, MARCH 5: LIVE EVENT -- 9 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hauler parade on Las Vegas Blvd. ( Watch live ) FRIDAY, MARCH 6: ON TRACK -- 3-4:15 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Follow live ) -- 4:30-5:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Follow live ) -- 6-7:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Follow live ) -- 7:50 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1 ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 1:45 p.m.: Brett Moffitt -- 2 p.m.: Brian Vickers -- 2:30 p.m.: Brennan Poole -- 4:35 p.m.: Comcast announcement with Carl Edwards -- 5 p.m.: SMI announcement -- 5:30 p.m.: Jeff Gordon -- Post-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying GARAGECAM ( Watch live ) -- 2:30 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series -- 4 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series SATURDAY, MARCH 7: ON TRACK -- 11:30 a.m.-12:25 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 2 ( Follow live ) -- 12:45 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 2 ( Follow live ) -- 2:30-3:25 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Follow live ) -- 4 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300 , FOX Sports 1 ( 200 laps, 300 miles) ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 11 a.m.: Brendan Gaughan -- Post-NASCAR XFINITY Series race SUNDAY, MARCH 8: ON TRACK --3:30 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 , FOX (267 laps, 400.5 miles) ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- noon: Announcement with Joey Logano -- 12:30 p.m.: Sprint/ Charlotte Motor Speedway announcement -- 1 p.m.: Jimmie Johnson -- Post-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today
A stats-based look ahead to the third race of the Sprint Cup season Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. –Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada going into the KOBALT 400 on March 8. LAS VEGAS-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Greg Biffle (No. 16 Cheez-It Ford) · Two top fives, six top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 14.5 · Average Running Position of 12.3, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 97.9, fifth-best · 150 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most · 568 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.725 mph, fifth-fastest · 1,759 Laps in the Top 15 (65.4%), eighth-most · 281 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), 11th-most Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet) · Three top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 14.7 · Average Running Position of 14.0, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 91.5, ninth-best · 108 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most · 584 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.610 mph, sixth-fastest · 1,857 Laps in the Top 15 (69.0%), sixth-most · 336 Quality Passes, fifth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 Comcast Toyota) · Two wins, five top fives, six top 10s · Average finish of 9.2 · Average Running Position of 12.0, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 97.8, sixth-best · 159 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 636 Green Flag Passes, second-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.568 mph, seventh-fastest · 1,879 Laps in the Top 15 (69.8%), fourth-most · 390 Quality Passes, second-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 3M Chevrolet) · One win, six top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 15.0 · Average Running Position of 9.7, second-best · Driver Rating of 103.7, second-best · 181 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most · 548 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.927 mph, third-fastest · Series-high 2,130 Laps in the Top 15 (79.2%) · 385 Quality Passes, third-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Jimmy John's/Budweiser Chevrolet) · Three top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 14.7 · Average Running Position of 11.6, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 94.5, eighth-best · 89 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most · 571 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.564 mph, eighth-fastest · 1,870 Laps in the Top 15 (69.5%), fifth-most · 316 Quality Passes, sixth-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 KOBALT Tools Chevrolet) · Four wins, five top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 9.2 · Series-best Average Running Position of 8.9 · Series-best Driver Rating of 113.6 · Series-high 346 Fastest Laps Run · 553 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 171.233 mph · 2,090 Laps in the Top 15 (77.7%), third-most · 365 Quality Passes, fourth-most Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet) · Three top fives, six top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 13.5 · Average Running Position of 14.3, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 88.1, 10th-best · 94 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most · 609 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.170 mph, 11th-fastest · 1,735 Laps in the Top 15 (64.5%), ninth-most · 290 Quality Passes, 10th-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 D E WALT Toyota) · Three wins, six top fives, eight top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 11.5 · Average Running Position of 14.0, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 98.1, fourth-best · 197 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.972 mph, second-fastest · 1,774 Laps in the Top 15 (65.9%), seventh-most · 295 Quality Passes, ninth-most Joey Logano (No. 22 Pennzoil Ford) · One top five, two top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 12.3 · Average Running Position of 13.8, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 87.5, 11th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.111 mph, 12th-fastest Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) · Three top fives, seven top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 17.3 · Driver Rating of 81.9, 12th-best · 37 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most · 1,667 Laps in the Top 15 (61.9%), 11th-most · 298 Quality Passes, seventh-most Tony Stewart (No. 14 Mobil 1/ Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) · One win, six top fives, nine top 10s · Average finish of 14.0 · Average Running Position of 14.0, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 97.1, seventh-best · 188 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 538 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.498 mph, ninth-fastest · 1,733 Laps in the Top 15 (64.4%), 10th-most · 298 Quality Passes, seventh-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Joey Logano 6 1 0 1 2 0 12.3 87.5 2 Jimmie Johnson 13 0 4 5 8 0 9.2 113.6 3 Kevin Harvick 14 0 0 3 5 0 14.7 94.5 4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 15 0 0 3 8 2 14.7 91.5 5 Martin Truex Jr. 9 0 0 0 2 0 16.0 81.9 6 Casey Mears 11 0 0 0 3 0 20.9 57.3 7 Kasey Kahne 11 3 0 3 6 2 13.5 88.1 8 AJ Allmendinger 5 0 0 0 0 0 26.4 60.7 9 Aric Almirola 6 0 0 0 0 3 31.3 51.2 10 Clint Bowyer 9 0 0 1 3 0 17.8 74.2 11 David Gilliland 8 0 0 0 0 1 27.0 49.5 12 Sam Hornish Jr. 3 0 0 0 0 0 28.3 62.3 13 Greg Biffle 11 1 0 2 6 1 14.5 97.9 14 Carl Edwards 10 0 2 5 6 0 9.2 97.8 15 David Ragan 8 0 0 0 1 1 26.9 52.3 16 Danica Patrick 2 0 0 0 0 0 27.0 49.3 * – Based on last 10 races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (2005 – 2014). Las Vegas Motor Speedway Data Season Race #: 3 of 36 (3-8-15) Track Size : 1.5-miles Banking/Turns 1 & 2 : 20 degrees Banking/Turns 3 & 4 : 20 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 9 degrees Banking/Backstretch : 9 degrees Frontstretch Length : 2,275 feet Backstretch Length : 1,572 feet Race Length : 267 laps / 400.5 Kilometers Top 10 Driver Ratings at Las Vegas Jimmie Johnson ........................ 113.6 Jeff Gordon .............................. 103.7 Kyle Busch ............................... 103.4 Matt Kenseth .............................. 98.1 Greg Biffle .................................. 97.9 Carl Edwards .............................. 97.8 Tony Stewart ............................... 97.1 Kevin Harvick .............................. 94.5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. ....................... 91.5 Kasey Kahne .............................. 88.1 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (10 total) among active drivers at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Joey Logano, Ford 193.278 mph, 27.939 secs. 03-07-14 2014 race winner : Brad Keselowski, Ford 154.633 mph, (2:35:24), 03-09-14 Track qualifying record: Joey Logano, Ford 193.278 mph, 27.939 secs. 03-07-14 Track race record: Brad Keselowski, Ford 154.633 mph, (2:35:24), 03-09-14 At Las Vegas Motor Speedway: History · The construction to build the superspeedway known today as Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) began in 1995. Speedway Motorsports Inc. acquired the property in 1998. · The first NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race won by Ken Schrader on Nov. 2, 1996. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was held on March 1, 1998, won by Mark Martin . · In 2006, the track was reconfigured to include progressive banking. Notebook · There have been 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. · 135 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas; 100 in more than one. · Two drivers have participated in all 17 races: Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon . · Dale Jarrett won the inaugural pole with a speed of 168.224 mph (32.773 secs.). · 11 drivers have poles at LVMS, led by Kasey Kahne with three (2004, 2007 and 2012). · Kyle Busch is the only driver to win consecutive poles at LVMS from (2008-‘09). · Youngest LVMS pole winner: Kyle Busch (3/2/2008 – 22 years, 10 months, 0 days). · Oldest LVMS pole winner: Dale Jarrett (3/4/2001 – 44 years, 3 months, 6 days). · 10 different drivers have won at LVMS, led by Jimmie Johnson (four). Three other drivers have multiple wins at Las Vegas: Matt Kenseth (three), Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards (each have two). · Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Las Vegas with seven, followed by Hendrick Motorsports with five. · Las Vegas-native Kyle Busch became the first and only driver to win from the pole, in 2009. · Only three LVMS races (17.6%) have been won from the front row: Kyle Busch, 2009 (pole); Carl Edwards, 2008 (second-place); Brad Keselowski , 2014 (second-place). · Four of the 17 races (23.5%) have been won from a top-five starting position at Las Vegas. · Eight of the 17 (47%) races have been won from a top-10 starting position at Las Vegas. · Four of the 17 races (23.5%) at Las Vegas have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 25th, by Matt Kenseth in 2004. · Youngest LVMS winner: Kyle Busch (03/01/2009 – 23 years, 9 months, 27 days). · Oldest LVMS winner: Sterling Marlin (03/03/2002 – 44 years, 7 months, 32 days). · Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series in runner-up finishes at Las Vegas with three; followed by Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart with two each. · Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart lead the series in top-five finishes at Las Vegas with six each. · Mark Martin has 10 top-10 finishes, more than any other driver. Tony Stewart leads all active drivers with nine top-10 finishes. · Carl Edwards leads the series in average finish at LVMS with a 9. 200 ; Jimmie Johnson (9.231) is the only other active driver with an average finish in the top 10. · There has been one green-white-checkered finish at Las Vegas: 2006 (270/267). · Kyle Busch made his first start and Kasey Kahne won his first pole at Las Vegas, in the same event (2004). · Aric Almirola made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2007. · Three drivers have won consecutive races at Las Vegas: Jeff Burton (1999, 2000); Matt Kenseth (2003, 2004) and Jimmie Johnson is the only one of the three to win three consecutive races (2005, 2006 and 2007). · Eight of the 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Las Vegas participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Mark Martin (1998; inaugural event) is the only driver to win at Las Vegas in his first appearance. · Tony Stewart competed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway 13 times before winning (2012); the longest span of any the nine winners. Stewart is the only driver to have made 10 or more attempts before his first win at LVMS. · Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series (active drivers) with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Las Vegas without visiting Victory Lane with 15. · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Las Vegas was the (3/12/2006) race won by Jimmie Johnson with a MOV of 0.045 second. · No driver has won the first three races of the season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The five drivers that have won the first two events of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season are: Matt Kenseth (2009), Jeff Gordon (1997), David Pearson (1976), Bob Welborn (1959) and Marvin Panch (1957). · Three reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions have gone on to win at Las Vegas the following season: Matt Kenseth (2004), Jimmie Johnson is the only one to do it multiple times (2007, 2010) and Tony Stewart (2012). · Three drivers have won at Las Vegas and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same season: Jeff Gordon (2001), Matt Kenseth (2003) and Jimmie Johnson (2006, 2007 and 2010). · Danica Patrick and Shawna Robinson are the only two female drivers to compete at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date Danica Patrick 22 21 3/9/2014 Danica Patrick 37 33 3/10/2013 Shawna Robinson 36 42 3/3/2002 · Only two car numbers have produced three or more Las Vegas NSCS wins: Car Number – Drivers – (Years) o No. 48 - Jimmie Johnson (2005-2007 and 2010) o No. 99 – Jeff Burton (1999, 2000) Carl Edwards (2008, 2011) MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView tod FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Nickelodeon signs on for title sponsorship of Sprint Cup race in May Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Nickelodeon announced Monday that it has joined forced with Kansas Speedway for a unique entitlement sponsorship for its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race May 9, now called the SpongeBob SquarePants 400. The deal with the children's TV network and the long-running animated series, which began in 1999, expands NASCAR's reach to a younger demographic. Plans are already afoot for costumed character appearances and a SpongeBob SquarePants photo station in the Kansas Speedway Fan Zone. "The SpongeBob SquarePants 400 gives Nickelodeon the opportunity to expand its relationship with NASCAR, while working with a best-in-class track to give fans a unique, engaging and high-quality race experience that the whole family can enjoy," said Pam Kaufman, Chief Marketing Officer and President of Consumer Products for Nickelodeon Group. "Nickelodeon has embarked on some great initiatives with NASCAR over the last 10 years, sponsoring and participating in marquee racing events that have resonated with motorsports fans across the country." Nickelodeon already has a tradition of partnership with NASCAR, dating back to 2004's sponsorship of the Lowe's Presents the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in what is now known as the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch participated in SpongeBob SquarePants-themed cars, finishing third and fifth respectively behind race winner Mike Bliss. The network also brought the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Atlanta Motor Speedway last September. Conversely, NASCAR stars have taken part in plenty of Nickelodeon programming in recent years, including the Kids' Choice Awards (Danica Patrick, 2012 and 2013), Kids' Choice Sports Awards (Danica Patrick, 2014), Team Umizoomi (Jeff Gordon, 2012), Hammer Down (2014). Johnson is slated to appear in an episode of the Nick Jr. show Bubble Guppies this year. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule