NASCAR XFINITY Series champ will run five Sprint Cup races in 2015 Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: Elliott's 2015 preview " Gordon says final full-time season to be in 2015 CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Before Thursday afternoon's presentation from Hendrick Motorsports , five director's chairs stood empty on the stage, one earmarked for team owner Rick Hendrick and the rest for his four drivers. One chair rested to the side, awaiting its moment to join the group. In the same way, Chase Elliott has waited for his seat in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. And now his time is just around the corner. Hendrick Motorsports announced Thursday that Elliott, the defending NASCAR XFINITY Series champion, will join the sport's premier circuit full-time in 2016 after running a partial schedule of five races this season in the No. 25 Chevrolet. In making the step forward, Elliott, 19, will take over the Hendrick -owned No. 24 Chevrolet made famous by four-time champion Jeff Gordon , who announced last week that this will be his last full-time season in NASCAR's top division. Elliott said he was informed of his impending promotion to Sprint Cup by a phone call from Hendrick , shortly after Gordon made his intentions known to his team. As big a shock as news of Gordon's decision was, Elliott said the piece of the story involving him was an even bigger stunner. "That's a phone call I was not expecting that day. That is for sure," Elliott said during the final leg of the annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom. "I didn't know anything about Jeff's announcement until that morning and to have Mr. Hendrick tell me that he wanted me to be that person to go in and drive that car whenever Jeff got done was just an unbelievable phone call -- one that I was not expecting and something that I couldn't have dreamt happening." News of Elliott's plans comes one day before the induction of his father, Bill Elliott, into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The elder Elliott, the 1988 champion and a 44-time winner in NASCAR's premier series, and his wife, Cindy, have offered support for his son's racing efforts through the Late Model ranks, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and eventually the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series -- a crucial, thoughtful upbringing that weighed heavily into Hendrick's decision to sign the youngster to his team's developmental driver program in 2011. All the while, the younger Elliott's quick ascent to stock-car fame rejuvenated their small hometown community of Dawsonville, Georgia, which signaled each accomplishment with a shrill blare from siren mounted atop the Dawsonville Pool Room, an area institution and haven of Elliott racing memorabilia. Now the community -- including the father best known as "Awesome Bill" -- has two reasons to be proud on consecutive days. RELATED: Gordon says No. 24 team in good hands " See how the No. 24 torch was passed "No way," Bill Elliott told NASCAR.com when asked if he thought this moment would come this soon in his son's career. "I mean, you hoped it, you wished it, but for it to actually happen, it's like, 'Wake me up. Am I dreaming or what?' Chase has done a great job, and Mr. Hendrick has just … the man's done everything he said he would do, and I have never met anybody with the integrity that man has." While the younger Elliott has an appreciation for this father's accomplishments, he's been able to create a new chapter to the family's racing tradition. Now Elliott inherits another legacy, following a legend who has helped forge stock-car racing's identity and direction over the course of a decorated 22-year career in the sport's top series. Despite both of those rich connections to the racing history, Elliott insists he'll be his own man as he makes his way to the sport's top levels. It's a heady, fresh approach that has commanded Gordon's respect as he prepares to hand over the wheel of the No. 24. "He's light-years ahead of where I was at 19," Gordon said. "I think Bill, being as experienced as he has been in winning races and the championship, and then Cindy and Bill together, I just think they did an amazing job with this young man, the way he handles himself, the things that he thinks about and the things that he says as well as what he does on the track. He's the total package, and I didn't have that at 19, I didn't. I definitely had a lot of growing up to do, and the Cup Series will help you grow up in a hurry. That's why I'm so excited to watch what he does." RELATED: Gordon calls Elliott the 'total package' " Elliott's championship timeline To help Elliott get acclimated to his first taste of NASCAR's big leagues, the team announced a five-race schedule for 2014. The second-generation driver is slated to make his Sprint Cup debut March 29 at Martinsville Speedway , then compete April 25 at Richmond International Raceway , May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway , July 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway , and Sept. 6 at Darlington Raceway . Kenny Francis, who moved to the role of vehicle technical director for Hendrick in the offseason, will serve as crew chief for Elliott's five-race slate this season. In 2016, Elliott will work with longtime Hendrick crew chief Alan Gustafson, a 19-time winner in NASCAR's premier series who has been atop the pit box for Gordon for the last four seasons. While Gustafson has prepared himself for Gordon's last full-fledged shot at NASCAR's top prize, he's also embracing what the future holds with Elliott in 2016. "With his age and the maturity, you just see a tremendous amount of potential," Gustafson said. "That's the thing that I just think about is the opportunity to really do some amazing things." MORE: See the paint scheme for Elliott's 2015 Cup car For Ray Evernham, now a consultant for Hendrick Motorsports ' competition department, Elliott's move carries extra meaning on several levels. Gordon's growth into a championship-winning driver came with Evernham calling the shots as his first crew chief on the No. 24 team in NASCAR's top series. Evernham later left Hendrick to form his own team, leading the effort to bring Dodge back to NASCAR with Elliott -- driving his familiar No. 9 -- as his lead driver. To see all those bonds overlap, ultimately leading to Thursday's announcement, brought his involvement full circle. "For me, it's really a special thing because the two cars that have been special in my life are the 24 and the 9," Evernham told NASCAR.com, "and now rolling those together -- the Elliott family, the Gordon family and the Hendrick family -- it's just amazing when you think of the racing heritage there. … He's surrounded by a lot of people who believe in him that have years of racing experience." For 2015, Elliott's Sprint Cup entries will carry No. 25, with NAPA -- his XFINITY Series sponsor -- as the primary backer. The team said sponsorship for 2016 would be announced at a later date. When Gordon announced last Thursday that his days as a full-time driver were coming to an end, speculation on a replacement immediately centered on Elliott, who became the youngest champion in the NASCAR XFINITY Series during his rookie year in 2014. Elliott is entering his second season with JR Motorsports , a team co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr . with Hendrick affiliations. RELATED: Junior on Elliott's 2014 success Both Hendrick and Earnhardt said last season that the timing seemed right for Elliott to advance to the top rung in the NASCAR development ladder with a limited Sprint Cup campaign in 2015 before making the full-time jump. The arrangement announced Thursday allows Elliott to make that move while benefiting from another year of seasoning in the XFINITY Series for JRM. Despite Elliott's age, Hendrick said watching his poise and ability to lead his team gave him no hesitation about making that fateful phone call, just one week ago. "I am amazed at the maturity he has," Hendrick said. "I just can't believe some of the things that come out of his mouth. When you think he's going to answer it one way, and he just comes up with something totally personal that's from inside. He is so comfortable in his skin. He doesn't feel the pressure of being an Elliott, and he doesn't feel the pressure of being behind Gordon. He wants to be Chase Elliott , not Bill Elliott, not Jeff Gordon . You don't have to talk to him very long to figure that out." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Rick Hendrick thanks Jeff Gordon for the impact he has had on NASCAR, and Gordon talks about his mindset headed into his last full-time season in the Sprint Cup Series.
Kahne also picks up new primary sponsor for three races in 2015 RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today MORE: Rodden to step in as No. 5 crew chief Hendrick Motorsports announced Thursday morning that it has signed driver Kasey Kahne to a three-year contract extension, keeping him in the fold through 2018 . "I've found a home at Hendrick Motorsports ," said Kahne in a team release. "We have incredible people and partners supporting us, and I couldn’t be more excited about the direction we're headed as a team and a company. It's the right place for me, and I'm looking forward to being here for a long time." The news comes one day after a major shakeup with Hendrick's No. 5 Chevrolet team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, with Keith Rodden accepting a crew chief role and Kenny Francis, atop Kahne's pit box since the 2005 season finale, shifting to the position of vehicle technical director. Kahne, an 11-year veteran and 17-time winner in NASCAR's premier series, and Francis joined the Hendrick organization in 2012. "It's extremely gratifying to work with a driver like Kasey," said Rick Hendrick , owner of Hendrick Motorsports said in a team release. "I think the world of him both as a driver with championship-level talent and an overall terrific young man. Our whole organization has a great deal of respect for how hard he works, the professionalism he displays with our partners and the way he carries himself every day. We're committed to winning races and competing for titles with him for many years to come." In addition, Kahne will have LiftMaster on board as a primary sponsor for three races in the 2015 Sprint Cup season as well as an associate sponsor for the rest of the races. The agreement will be for the next three seasons (2015 to 2017). LiftMaster will be the primary sponsor for Kahne on May 24 (Charlotte), July 11 (Kentucky) and October 18 (Kansas). "It means a lot to have support from a great company like LiftMaster," Kahne said in a release. "The No. 5 team has high expectations for 2015, and they'll be with us as the primary sponsor at three tracks where we're traditionally very fast. All of us are looking forward to representing them throughout the season and developing a successful long-term relationship." We’re excited to join @KaseyKahne & @TeamHendrick starting in 2015! http://t.co/kZJdDPiroS pic.twitter.com/2aP8Oy7CJr — LiftMaster (@LiftMaster) November 20, 2014 The 34-year-old driver has won five times in Hendrick equipment and notched his best-ever finish in the season standings -- fourth -- in his first year with the team. Last season was a struggle, however, with Kahne posting just three top-five finishes and winding up 15th in the final standings. Kahne qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs with a Labor Day weekend victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the next-to-last race of the regular season. Kahne survived the first round of eliminations in the new-look Chase, but was ousted in the Contender Round, the second three-race leg of the postseason. Kahne agreed to join Hendrick in April 2010, replacing veteran driver Mark Martin . After signing the multiyear agreement, Kahne finished out most of the season in Richard Petty Motorsports' Fords, then spent the last five races of 2010 and all of 2011 driving Red Bull Racing's Toyotas before finally landing in the No. 5 Chevy. Re-signing Kahne, whose contract was set to expire after the 2015 season, helps solidify the Hendrick driver lineup. Team cornerstone Jeff Gordon , a four-time series champion, signed a lifetime contract with Hendrick in 1999. Six-time champion Jimmie Johnson is also under contract through 2015, and Dale Earnhardt Jr ., the sport's most popular driver, is signed through 2017. With Hendrick at the NASCAR-mandated maximum of four teams and the unlikelihood of Johnson departing after 2015, speculation will likely rise about the future of 18-year-old prodigy Chase Elliott , the reigning NASCAR Nationwide Series champion who is under contract to Hendrick and drives for the affiliated JR Motorsports team with co-owner Earnhardt. Team owner Rick Hendrick said Nov. 8 after Elliott became the series' youngest champion that the young driver's career arc will likely include a handful of Sprint Cup races next season, but that there is no accelerated timetable to place him in NASCAR's premier series on a full-time basis. Elliott will return next year to defend his title in what will be known as the NASCAR XFINITY Series, driving JRM equipment. "Another year of seasoning here will be good for him, and we're not in any hurry," Hendrick said. "He's 18 years old." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Insurance company will be the primary sponsor for 21 races in 2015 Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live MORE: See Dale Jr.'s new helmet for 2015 " Full 2015 Cup schedule Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet featured Nationwide Insurance as the primary sponsor for one race in 2014, the regular-season finale at Richmond International Raceway in September. That same weekend, the Nationwide announced plans to sponsor Earnhardt's car for 21 races in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The company is on board as a primary sponsor through 2017. Through the Twitter handle @nationwide88 , we have learned of a redesigned helmet for Earnhardt and gotten to go behind-the-scenes with the 12-time Sprint NMPA Most Popular Driver winner as he prepares for the 2015 season. On Friday, fans got another treat, as the company revealed through the @nationwide88 handle, the 21 races that Earnhardt will carry its primary sponsorship on his car, beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500 (Feb. 22, 1 p.m. ET, FOX). Here's the full list of races: --Feb. 22: Daytona International Speedway --March 8: Las Vegas Motor Speedway --March 15: Phoenix International Raceway --March 22: Auto Club Speedway --April 11: Texas Motor Speedway --April 25: Richmond International Raceway --May 3: Talladega Superspeedway --May 9: Kansas Speedway --May 24: Charlotte Motor Speedway --May 31: Dover International Speedway --June 7: Pocono Raceway --July 5: Daytona International Speedway --July 11: Kentucky Speedway --July 19: New Hampshire Motor Speedway --July 26: Indianapolis Motor Speedway --Aug. 9: Watkins Glen International --Aug. 22: Bristol Motor Speedway --Oct. 4: Dover International Speedway --Nov. 1: Martinsville Speedway --Nov. 15: Phoenix International Raceway --Nov. 22: Homestead-Miami Speedway FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
1988 champion gets inducted, says Chase's Cup news was the bigger deal Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live MORE: Five inducted into NASCAR Hall of Fame " Chase scores Cup ride CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Bill Elliott often outran the competition, but recently the former NASCAR premier series champion has been trying to outrun his emotions. It's been quite the past few days for Elliott, the 1988 champ, and his family. On Thursday it was announced that his son, 19-year-old Chase, would make his first start in the Sprint Cup Series later this year. On Friday, the elder Elliott was one of five drivers inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. His son landing the ride with Hendrick Motorsports , where he will take over a car perhaps even more famous than that of his father was the bigger deal, Bill Elliott said. "Let me tell you this little story," Elliott offered after he, along with Fred Lorenzen, Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly and Rex White were officially inducted into the Hall. "I called Chase – I think it was Wednesday night and I was talking to him and he said 'guess who called me?' "I said 'I don't know.'" Told it was someone named Jeff, the name didn’t register. "He said, ' Jeff Gordon called me.' He was so excited that Jeff Gordon had picked up the phone and called him," Elliott said. "… That meant so much to him (to talk about) what his next step and what his next role was going to be." Elliott made the No. 9 Ford Thunderbird one of the most recognizable cars on the track during his career. In addition to his championship, he won 44 times in premier series competition. He, along brothers Ernie and Dan, set qualifying records likely to remain unbroken as well. Gordon, scheduled to end his driving career at the end of '15, has won 92 times and four championships with Hendrick Motorsports . For fans that began following the sport in the early '90s or later, Gordon’s brightly painted No. 24 Chevrolet quickly became just as recognizable and even more successful. He's won on nearly ever track where the Sprint Cup Series competes, and several that are no longer on the schedule. And now Chase Elliott prepares to step into the ride once Gordon steps aside. MORE: Gordon calls Chase the 'total package' As much as the sport has changed since Bill Elliott arrived on the scene in the latter part of the '70s, one thing has remained constant – the cycle of drivers that show up, make their mark and eventually depart. Gordon is making plans to exit. Elliott's son Chase is preparing to arrive. Not much different than when he and his family first showed up, the elder Elliott said. "When I came in you had Cale (Yarborough), David Pearson, all those guys kind of winding down," Elliott said. "Then I watched Richard (Petty) retire and now it's turning … again." At that time such changes didn't catch his attention, he said, explaining that with a limited budget and much to learn, "all I cared about was just trying to go race. "There was so few of us, we really didn't worry about anything else," Elliott said. "It was kind of like you were driving down the road with blinders on, you were really oblivious to anything else going on." PHOTOS: Best moments from the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony His son understands what lies ahead, Elliott said on a night he was honored for what took place in the past. "He's an incredibly good race car driver, and I'm not saying it's because he's my kid," Elliott said. "… I've said all along he's better than I ever thought about being." Maybe so, but the father was no slouch. Among his 44 victories are four that came in the in the twilight of his career before he began to scale back his racing schedule. Driving for Ray Evernham, who had helped guide Gordon to three of his four titles, Elliott won at Homestead, Pocono, Indianapolis and Rockingham. "There aren't many names that transcend a sport," Evernham said. "If you're not even a baseball fan you know the names Ruth or Mantle; even the most casual football fan knows Lombardi and Unitas. "In our sport, in motorsports , they know Foyt and Andretti and Earnhardt and Petty and even casual fans know Bill Elliott because of the things he's done. "It's an honor to have him as a friend, and it's been a great ride." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Humble beginnings couldn't slow eventual rise from 'Awesome Bill' Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Editor's note: The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015 will be inducted Friday night at 8 p.m. ET. on NBC Sports Network. CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Bill Elliott arrived on the scene after the careers of his fellow 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame classmates had already come to an end. But the man who would become known as "Awesome Bill from Dawsonville" for his exploits on the track has much in common with Fred Lorenzen, Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly and Rex White. The five will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame tonight. A familiar thread connects those who reside in the Hall, one that often includes humble beginnings, hardships and eventually success. RELATED: Every class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Elliott, 59, and his family are an integral part of that thread. George, the patriarch, ran a small building supply business in Dawsonville, Georgia. "A hole-in-the-wall deal," Bill says today. The elder Elliott also built race cars, helped other local racers and fielded entries in NASCAR as early as the 1960s. "Daddy carried cars to Daytona in the early '60s, he would carry two cars down there and run a Sportsman or a Modified or some kind of race," Elliott said. Box vans used in the family business served as transporters for the race cars. "He'd back the trailer down there to the loading dock and he'd load them up in the van trailers and carry them down there, then try to find a place to unload them,” Elliott said. "It was like the Clampetts went to Daytona." It wasn't much but as Elliott noted, it was a common sight among those who chose the stock car racing path at that time. "Back then, such a different way of doing things. Anybody could come show up at Daytona with some kind of race car," he said. "I think those are the things that I look back on and were so much fun early on. You go to our little garage down there, you could just throw something together. I remember going to one of the shops of one of the guys Daddy was helping. They were putting a '63 Ford together. They had taken a car out of the junkyard, were taking the interior out and welding the roll bar in it, getting it ready to go. But I mean it was just a stock '63 Ford. Whatever it came with, that's what it had. And those days are gone." Elliott made his first start in what is now NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series in 1976, driving for his family-run team that included brothers Ernie and Dan Elliott. But it wasn't until ’82, when the team was purchased by businessman Harry Melling, that Elliott became an "overnight success." By the time his career had ended (he made his last official start in 2012), Elliott had won 44 races, one series championship and was voted the series' most popular driver 16 times. His wins came on stages big and small -- few bigger than the Daytona 500 , which he won twice, the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Southern 500 at rugged, old Darlington Raceway . RELATED: Read Bill Elliott's Hall of Fame capsule It was at Darlington that Elliott officially picked up another moniker, "Million Dollar Bill" when a Southern 500 win in 1985 earned him the Winston Million bonus. Elliott's move into stardom coincided with a rise in speed on the race track. Before the advent of restrictor plates at Daytona and Talladega, speed grabbed headlines. And no one went faster than Elliott, who ended his career with 55 pole positions. His qualifying mark of 212.809 mph at Talladega remains the fastest qualifying lap ever for a NASCAR event. But that feat wasn't the record that stands out in his mind, he said. "If I was outside looking in at my career, the biggest thing that impresses me was running 210 (mph) at Daytona in 1987," Elliott said. "I sat there and I watched Cale (Yarborough) try to run just 200 (in 1983) and turn over off Turn 4. We came back, ran 205 in '85 and we came back in '87 and stepped it up five more mph average. That was with no technology. That was just the luck of the draw and the things we did at that point in time; that's what really impressed me. "When I first went there I think I ran 171 or something and I thought, 'Man I'm out of control. How can you run any faster?' " Elliott's induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame comes just as his son, 19-year-old Chase, prepares to begin his own Sprint Cup career. It was announced earlier this week that Chase would run five Sprint Cup races for Hendrick Motorsports this season, then take over the organization's No. 24 Chevrolet when four-time champion Jeff Gordon steps down at year's end. RELATED: Gordon: Chase is the 'total package' The younger Elliott didn't witness a lot of his father’s exploits as they took place. But he's relived them through video replays. "There were a lot of races where he took it to 'em, man," Chase Elliott said. "He wore them out. That's cool to look back on and see. "I have a lot of respect for what he has done and for what they did. To do it with what they had (at the time) was very, very impressive. I think a lot of people let that slip by. "They were kind of on their own there in Georgia and a lot of people don’t realize that. They didn’t have a lot of help; they didn’t have a big team. It was just them. It’s very, very impressive to see what they were able to do."
Jimmie Johsnon comments on Hendrick Motorsports employee, Andrew Collier, a machinist in the Hendrick Motorsports engine department,as he tragically lost his brother, Officer Sean Collier, last night in Cambridge, Mass.
Kenny Francis expected to crew chief Nationwide champ's Cup starts in '15 RELATED: Elliott's path to a championship MORE: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today While the date of Chase Elliott 's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut has not yet been set, Hendrick Motorsports revealed his expected crew chief Thursday. Appearing on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Hendrick Motorsports General Manager Doug Duchardt said Kenny Francis is expected to be atop the pit box for those efforts. Francis was previously Kasey Kahne 's crew chief at Hendrick and is now in the newly created position of vehicle technical director. "I went to the NASCAR Nationwide banquet and was reminded that Chase is 18 years old," Duchardt said. "He's going to run Nationwide again next year and we've announced that we're going to run some Cup races with him in 2015. I would expect that Kenny (Francis) is going to crew chief those races for him. I think that's going to be a fun aspect of next year to see how Chase does in that. We'll see how things are going in '15 and see what the right steps are in the future. Right now, we're just going to take 2015 and take a look at how things are progressing. " ... It's like having this prospect in Triple-A that's batting .380 and when is he coming up to big club and run? We'll work on that, we'll see where that all heads." As far back as August, team owner Rick Hendrick was open about trying to get Elliott into a Cup car for a handful of races in 2015. "I think you'll probably see him run a few races next year," Hendrick told the SiriusXM NASCAR Radio in August. "Before he ever won a Nationwide race, I watched him test Jimmie's car and Jeff's car at Nashville, and Jimmie and Jeff both commented to me, 'This kid is super smooth and super fast. He takes care of his equipment, and he doesn't get in a jam.' "I said before he ever ran a race, I would put him in a 600-mile race at Charlotte and think he'd finish in the top 15, top 10, because he's so smart," Hendrick added. "He just understands the car and takes care of it. I think he's going to do a super job whenever the time comes. I think we'll surely, probably the second half of next year, we'll probably see him in some races." Dale Earnhardt Jr. , the co-owner of JR Motorsports and owner of the No. 9 car, has repeatedly said that Hendrick has "a great plan" for Elliott. Elliott broke out in 2014, winning three races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series en route to becoming the youngest NASCAR national series champion. He is set to drive the No. 9 car for a second straight season with JR Motorsports in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Elliott will have a new crew chief in Ernie Cope, with Greg Ives joining Earnhardt Jr. in the Sprint Cup Series ranks. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
There were temptations to leave, but Jeff Gordon always knew he'd stay
Robin Pemberton: 'It really is such a small, minute deal that it's fine' RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- The presence of Hendrick Motorsports representatives was requested at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hauler after Sunday's season finale for disobeying a NASCAR directive. Doug Duchardt, executive vice president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports , and Chad Knaus, crew chief for the team's No. 48 Chevrolet and six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson , were among those called to the hauler at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Though a summons to the NASCAR garage's version of the principal's office usually carries a certain amount of gloom and doom, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition and Racing Development Robin Pemberton said the discussion was no monumental dust-up. "We just had a discussion on pit road between our official and Chad and really it was just to discuss what they tried to do," Pemberton said. "That's it, really. It was really not a big deal. We were just trying to clarify what went on, that's all." FYI: CK put a wheel spacer on because of a loose wheel. That destroys the threads on the studs & won't let the wheel tighten up #ChillHaters — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 17, 2014 Duchardt said that the disagreement centered on whether Knaus' crew was allowed to place a wheel spacer on the No. 48 Chevy. "During one of the pit stops, we had a loose wheel and Chad wanted to put a wheel spacer on to help the threads on the back … you hurt the threads of the tire with a loose wheel," Duchardt said. "Chad wanted to put a wheel spacer on, they told him not to, he said he wanted to so we didn't have another loose wheel and that was the misunderstanding. Then we talked about it, and that was that." Duchardt said that adding a wheel spacer was "a common situation," but Pemberton would not say whether the maneuver was a violation of NASCAR rules. "I'm not going to get into the weeds on that, but sometimes if you thought you had an issue with a wheel stud or something mechanical like that, you may need to put a spacer on to get some clean threads for the lug nuts," Pemberton said. "I have no idea, and that's not our question. It really is such a small, minute deal that it's fine. Everything's good." Pemberton said there would be no penalties or further action taken by NASCAR officials, adding that had Knaus asked permission to place the wheel spacer, the disagreement would have blown over. "That would be a better way to do that, but in the heat of the battle, it's fine," Pemberton said. "Everything's fine. It's so far under that, it's ridiculous. We're good." Pemberton added that the race officials' decision to park the GoFAS Racing No. 32 entry driven by Blake Koch was for "disobeying a directive from the (race control) tower." Koch's car played a role in the final two caution periods in the Ford EcoBoost 400 , first in a two-car crash with J.J. Yeley and the second for dropping debris. Pemberton also said that a review of the rear suspension parts that officials confiscated from the Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 Ford driven would begin Monday at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. NASCAR officials found the issue on Ricky Stenhouse Jr .'s car during a Friday inspection ahead of Coors Light Pole Qualifying. 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