The Joe Gibbs Racing teams of Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth , which combined to win six of the last nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, will each lose 15 minutes of practice time next weekend when the series heads to Darlington Raceway . The two were among 11 teams issued warnings arising from pre-qualifying and pre-race inspection issues at Bristol Motor Speedway , site of the Aug. 22 Irwin Tools Night Race . Busch's No. 18 team failed pre-race inspection four times on Saturday. Busch finished eighth in the race. Kenseth's No. 20 team was penalized for failing pre-race inspection on its first two attempts, as well as failing to get to inspection at the allotted time. Kenseth finished 42nd after when an engine issue sidelined the 2003 Sprint Cup champion after 110 laps of the 500-lap race. NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series is not competing this weekend. The Bojangles' Southern 500 is scheduled for Sept. 6 at Darlington (7 p.m., NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The 15-minute penalties will be enforced when opening practice gets underway on Friday, Sept. 4 at 11 a.m. Kenseth is currently fourth in the Chase Grid and has a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoff locked up. Busch, who missed the first 11 races of the season due to injuries sustained in a crash at Daytona International Speedway in February, is currently second in the Chase Grid, but needs to clinch a top 30 position in the point standings over the final two regular-season races before he officially locks his spot in the Chase up. Warnings may be issued to teams for a variety of minor infractions. For every fourth warning issued to a team, whether during a championship (points) or non-championship (non-points) event, the loss of pit stall selection will be enforced. Others teams receiving warnings at Bristol for failing pre-qualifying inspection twice were: No. 22 ( Joey Logano / Team Penske ), No. 24 ( Jeff Gordon / Hendrick Motorsports ), No. 7 ( Alex Bowman / Tommy Baldwin Racing ), No. 30 ( Travis Kvapil /TMG) and the No. 98 ( Timmy Hill /Premium Motorsports ) Also penalized for being late to inspection were the following teams: No. 40 ( Landon Cassill /Hillman Racing), No. 83 ( Matt DiBenedetto / BK Racing , No. 15 ( Clint Bowyer / Michael Waltrip Racing ) and the No. 11 ( Denny Hamlin / Joe Gibbs Racing ).
Photo credit -- Chase Elliott 's Instagram @chaseelliott9 RELATED: Series standings At only 19 years old, Chase Elliott already has a NASCAR XFINITY Series championship, is currently contending for a second one and has a pretty sweet job lined up next year taking over the iconic No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for retiring four-time Sprint Cup Series champ Jeff Gordon . Not only has Elliott's racing career taken off, he has too -- literally -- having just earned his private pilot license on July 23. And the view from above is something he's wanted his whole life. It seems Elliott got more than the racing gene from his father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott , as he has inherited the flying bug from his dad, an accomplished and avid aviator. "He's been flying a long time so I've always been around it since I was little," Elliott said of his father. "I've watched him fly for years and years and been fortunate enough to have access to his planes and sit up front and watch him fly them so I've always definitely interested in it. "It's one of those things where the more you do it, the more you become interested in it. And the more you get into it, the more intriguing it becomes. I learn something new every time I fly. "It's definitely tough to (master all the necessary lessons). A lot of things come along with it. But flying is a privilege and something you can't take lightly ever." A lot of the same traits -- discipline, smarts and dedication -- Elliott put into his burgeoning racing career he used to earn the pilot license. He actually started taking lessons while still in high school but it was such a busy time between school, racing and flying lessons that Elliott put off finishing his license until a few months ago with the support of his dad. "It's something you work hard for to achieve," Bill Elliott said. "I see so many people who have gone through a lot of the flying part and the learning curve but never went on and got their pilot licenses and they always regretted it. I told Chase, 'You need to go on and get this done.' "I'm glad he did. That's something he'll carry with him regardless of where racing takes him." The Elliotts join an impressive list of NASCAR drivers who have secured private pilot licenses including Carl Edwards , Greg Biffle , Matt Kenseth and retired drivers Mark Martin , Rusty Wallace, Cale Yarborough and Ricky Rudd. Ryan Newman 's wife Krissie flies helicopters. Similarly, Elliott figures having the ability to pilot an airplane can be as much a practicality as it is a luxury. His father helped secure him a Cessna 182 single-engine, four-seater to use and Elliott is eager to start flying to races closer than home. Last week, he flew to Bristol. He has also posted a photo of himself practicing grass landings on Instagram. "Absolutely, it's a major convenience if you need to go somewhere, you can turn a four-hour drive into an hour-and-a-half flight," Elliott said. "Time is valuable for anybody and any chance to make up time like that is great." Elliott wasn't sure if he would fly himself to this weekend's XFINITY Series race at Road America , but he is looking forward to the stand-alone road race regardless. It's the third road course race in the last four weeks for the series and Elliott is one of the series regulars who embraces the opportunity to turn right. He is on a six-race run of top-10 finishes in his No. 9 NAPA Chevy and currently trails championship leader Chris Buescher by 23 points in the standings. He has finishes of seventh (Watkins Glen) and fifth (Mid-Ohio) in the two road races this year and finished fourth at Road America last season. "I thought last year was a good learning experience," Elliott said. "I was really pleased with Watkins Glen. I'm still learning on my end, but thought we had good cars this year and that's a big step in right direction." For Elliott, that direction is up.
RELATED: Chase Grid " Chase bubble watch " Chase Fest details A year ago, it was Kasey Kahne . Only two races remained before the start of the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , and the Hendrick Motorsports driver was 13th in points. Unfortunately, he was outside the top 16 in the Chase standings. Kyle Busch , Denny Hamlin , AJ Allmendinger , Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola trailed Kahne in points. But they were among those that had wins. They had invitations to the dance. At the time, Kahne had managed only two top-five finishes. His average finishing position was 16.8. He hadn't been to the victory lane since midway through the previous season. So he and his team went out and won at Atlanta Motor Speedway . It earned Kahne one of the final Chase spots and the No. 5 team a second chance. It wasn't quite as easy as it sounds. Kevin Harvick , as was often the case, was dominant at AMS. Kahne fell a lap down early. The team battled back. He didn't take the lead for the first time until Lap 303 of the scheduled 325-lap race. Suddenly, he seemed to be on his way to the win. Then cautions appeared, forcing two late restarts. Green, white, checkered late. Kahne's lead was lost on pit road. Yet somehow he muscled his way past Matt Kenseth coming to the white flag, holding on for the win and a spot in the Chase. It's a similar position for the 35-year-old this year. Two races remain -- stops at Darlington Raceway and Richmond International Raceway -- before the field is finalized for this year's 10-race run to determine the Sprint Cup champion. Kahne is once again winless. He is not alone. Teammate Jeff Gordon has finished inside the top five only three times this year. The four-time champion is ahead of Clint Bowyer in the playoff picture, with a wider margin back to folks such as Aric Almirola and Greg Biffle . A year ago Gordon had three wins and a vise-like grip on first place in the points. Bowyer's got a pair of top-fives, but much of the attention around the No. 15 team of Michael Waltrip Racing centers on where Bowyer will call home next season. Paul Menard has a razor-thin lead on Gordon in points, but taking nothing for granted. Can anyone? Matt Kenseth 's blown engine at Bristol last week, leaving the Joe Gibbs driver 42nd in the final rundown, didn't go unnoticed. Things not only can happen, they often do. With 10 drivers already secure -- 11 if you go ahead and give Kyle Busch one of the spots although he's close enough to the fault line that a misstep could make things interesting -- and two races remaining, at least three of this year's Chase spots will be filled based on the points standings after Richmond. It could be five, if no new winner emerges in the next two weeks. Few on the fringes, though, have shown signs of contending for wins. Almirola? One top five and only three laps led this season. Biffle? It's shaping up to be the wrong type of career year for the Roush Fenway Racing driver, with just two top-fives and an average finish of 20th. Austin Dillon ? Kyle Larson ? Both have shown potential. Both are winless. Kahne? Well, who knows? The question isn't can it be done. Kahne's already proven that it's possible. The question is who among those can pull it off?
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
RELATED: NXS results from Iowa " Truck results from Pocono Dale Earnhardt Jr . says the No. 88 team was lucky to drive away with a fourth-place finish at Pocono but had high praise for his JR Motorsports teams' performances last weekend. Saying it was a great weekend overall for the organization, Junior was excited about second places for Regan Smith in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and Kevin Harvick in the NASCAR Camping World Truck s Series. Earnhardt said Smith "did a good job" and said Harvick "didn't have a winning truck but got a lot out of it," adding that his Sprint Cup driving peer always does a good job when he jumps in a JRM truck. Smith's XFINITY crew chief, Jason Burdett, also got kudos from the boss during the radio show. "Jason Burdett, the crew chief in that car (No. 7 Chevrolet) has been awesome this year," Junior said. "If you know that guy's story, you can appreciate how hard it's been a climb for him." Burdett has been a part of two championship Sprint Cup teams, with Jeff Gordon in 2001 and and Dale Jarrett and Robert Yates Racing in 1999. He was car chief on the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team from 2008-10 before moving to Earnhardt's No. 88 team from 2011-14. Junior saved his most effusive praise for Cole Custer 's ARCA win at Pocono and Josh Berry 's Late Model victory at Orange County. "Cole (Custer) has a bright future and I'm excited about working with that kid next year and providing an opportunity for him to showcase his talents," Earnhardt said on the Dale Jr. Download on Dirty Mo Radio after returning from Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Pocono. "Hopefully, we can do a good job giving him that opportunity." Custer is a 17-year-old member of the NASCAR Next Class of 2015. The Ladera Ranch, California, native holds the records for youngest pole award and race winner in both the Truck Series and NASCAR's touring series. This season he has a win in the Truck Series at Gateway Motorsports Park. Custer has started five NCWTS races for JR Motorsports in the No. 00 Chevrolet this season after making nine starts in the series last year with Stewart-Haas Racing 's developmental team. RELATED: See the NASCAR Next Class of 2015 Berry is 24 and won the Summer Sizzler 75 lap Late Model race Saturday night at Orange County Speedway near Rougemont, North Carolina. "He's been winning left and right," Earnhardt said of Berry. "I've never won at Orange County before. He's sure representing us very well at all the local tracks that we love to race at." Junior added that he's very proud of the JR Motorsports late model program, and "not just for the obvious reasons" of winning and representing sponsors well. He takes pride in "racing at these local venues that have meant so much to so many people in our sport over the years. It's a good feeling. Just keeping up with the Langleys and the Orange Counties of the world."
Appeal of a P1 penalty issued on May 27, 2015 to Hendrick Motorsports RELATED: Hendrick's No. 48 team wins appeal The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of a P1 penalty issued on May 27, 2015 to Hendrick Motorsports relative to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicle #48 at Charlotte Motor Speedway . The penalty concerns the following section in the 2015 NASCAR rule book: 184.108.40.206 – Warnings and P1 penalty options: .b: Multiple warnings issued to the same team member or team will result in one or more P1 penalties. .c: If the same team receives two warnings during the same event, or two warnings during two consecutive events, whether the events are championship or non-championship, then this may result in one or more ... P1 penalties at NASCAR’s discretion. The original penalty assessed was the last choice in the pit selection process for the next event. Upon hearing the testimony, the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel is: • Warnings are not appealable. NASCAR acted correctly in issuing a P1 penalty after the second warning. • But, the panel must also decide if there has been a violation of the rules (Section 14.15.1.b). • In the hearing, there was a preponderance of evidence presented that the side skirt violation which led to a warning did occur. There was conflicting evidence about the inspection violation which led to the second warning instead of preponderance. • Since only one of the two violations were shown by a preponderance of the evidence, the panel rescinds the P1 penalty. The panel consisted of the following three individuals: Richard Gore David Hall Jay Signore FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 48 team waits for situation to play out before Michigan RELATED: Johnson stands behind decision to appeal Hendrick Motorsports ' appeal of a P1 level penalty will be heard by the National Motorsports Appeals Panel Tuesday at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. The Sprint Cup Series organization's No. 48 team, with driver Jimmie Johnson , was penalized May 27 for receiving written warnings in two consecutive events during last month's All-Star and Coca-Cola 600 events at Charlotte Motor Speedway . As a result of the multiple warnings, the team was scheduled to receive one of the final two choices in the pit selection process for the May 31 FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway . However, the penalty was deferred due to the notice to appeal by the organization. Should the Appeals Panel uphold NASCAR's penalty, the team would have the last choice in pit selection for this weekend's Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway (FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR, 1 p.m. ET). Before the Dover race, Johnson, a six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, said his team didn't agree with the penalty. "I look forward to the appeal process running its course, and respect it and certainly hope for a different outcome once everything has run its course," he said. Written warnings are typically issued for minor infractions and do not result in penalties. However, when multiple warnings are issued, the infraction is considered a P1 level penalty under NASCAR's Deterrence System. The HScott Motorsports team, with driver Justin Allgaier , was also penalized for receiving consecutive warnings at Charlotte. More recently, the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 team with defending series champion Kevin Harvick was penalized for multiple warnings during the Dover race weekend. Both HScott and SHR teams chose to not appeal. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Comparing Earnhardt Jr.'s eight years with each organization Vote: Who will win at Pocono? Stats advance: Dale Jr. attempts to join Allison, Richmond with three in a row at Pocono Editor's note: Last week, Mike Davis, brand director for Dale Earnhardt Jr ., tweeted that the driver was in his eighth year at Hendrick Motorsports after spending eight years at Dale Earnhardt Inc. Hard to believe, but this season marks @DaleJr 's eighth at Hendrick Motorsports , equaling the number of full-time Cup seasons he had at DEI. — Mike Davis (@MikeDavis88) May 26, 2015 Here's a look at how the eight years with the No. 8 and No. 88 compare through the first 13 races of 2007 and 2015.
Driver mostly concerned with those caught up in final lap wreck DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Jimmie Johnson didn’t get any help, and the only way to beat Dale Earnhardt Jr . in Sunday night’s Coke Zero 400 was to have help. Lots and lots of help. Johnson, three times a winner at Daytona International Speedway, including once in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ summer stop here, led five times for 35 laps. He lined up for a final, green-white-checkered finish second, on the outside of his Hendrick Motorsports teammate. The opportunity, he said, was there on more than one occasion in the 161-lap race. “Yeah, restart‑wise, I was excited to have a front‑row opportunity and just hopeful that the scenario behind me would play out right,” Johnson said. The excitement was short-lived. “I don’t know what went on,” he said. “I had two or three shots at it and we just couldn't get our lane to go.” And as was the case most of the night in a race that started more than 3 1/2 hours past its scheduled start time of approximately 8 p.m. ET due to inclement weather, Earnhardt was able to deftly switch lanes, picking up the push of the faster line of cars that kept his No. 88 Chevrolet safely out front. Johnson’s final opportunity came on a green-white-checkered restart that extended the race one lap beyond its scheduled distance. “The last restart I think the 6 car (of Trevor Bayne ) was more focused on setting up a run down the back straightaway and was backing up to the car behind him and I got a great start with Junior and was door to door with him, but didn't have any help getting through (Turns) 1 and 2,” Johnson sad. “I lost control of my lane, and Junior was so strong all night; you give him control of the race, he's not going to give that up.” Earnhardt led seven times for 96 laps. The race was slowed eight times for accidents on the track, and ended under a hail of smoke and debris after Austin Dillon ’s Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet was launched into the fencing on the frontstretch. “Happy to be 1-2,” Johnson said of his runner-up finish to his HMS teammate, “but clearly thinking about the accident that happened and the people in the stands. “It sounds like things are well out there, which is shocking. I'm shocked that Austin Dillon is even alive, what he went through. Just a frightening moment. I saw it in the mirror, and man, I expected the worst when I came back around.” Johnson swept both Daytona races in 2013, and scored his first Daytona 500 victory in 2006. He’s seen his share of crashes here, and he’s been involved in his share as well. “I assumed that the 3 (Dillon) was backwards and it lifted off from that, but it was actually the 11 (of Denny Hamlin ) was backwards and the 3 bumped him and got some air under the nose of the car and then it just peeled the car up off the ground,” he said. “I don't know how you help the cars in that scenario. Slow us down, certainly. Slow us down, we get further below the lift‑off point, and that could be something to look at. But what I thought happened didn't happen. I was shocked to see the car get off the ground as it did from that type of contact.” FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
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.