Charitable foundations of NASCAR drivers
NASCAR drivers make a big difference off the track and in communities across the country. Here's a look at drivers' charitable foundations, as well as the causes and initiatives supported by those organizations. Clint Bowyer : The 79 Fund The 79 Fund was established by NASCAR driver and Emporia, Kansas, native Clint Bowyer to benefit the children of Emporia. Clint's desire to use the Emporia Community Foundation for his charity came from knowing the funds could be used in a variety of ways to help the children of Emporia. " Learn more here. Kyle Busch : The Kyle Busch Foundation The Kyle Busch Foundation is committed to empowering children, families and communities to overcome hardship by providing essential tools (financial, material and experiential) to allow them to live their best lives possible, while fostering a stable and inspiring environment to live, learn and challenge themselves, as well as ensuring their day-to-day needs are met. " Learn more here . Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon : Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma's mission is to discover and share the best ways to prevent and treat severe injuries in children. Events such as the Dillon brothers' annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament help benefit the Childress Institute. " Learn more here . Dale Earnhardt Jr .: The Dale Jr. Foundation The Dale Jr. Foundation is a charity dedicated to giving underprivileged individuals with a focus on youth, the resources to improve their confidence and education, and the opportunity to achieve extraordinary goals. " Learn more here . Denny Hamlin : The Denny Hamlin Foundation The Denny Hamlin Foundation is committed to raising awareness and funds for the specific needs of children with cystic fibrosis. They partner with organizations that focus on cystic fibrosis research, treatment advances and overall quality of life care. The Foundation also supports children with other chronic diseases. " Learn more here . Kevin Harvick : The Kevin Harvick Foundation The mission of the Kevin Harvick Foundation is to support programs that positively enrich the lives of children throughout the United States. " Learn more here . Jimmie Johnson : The Jimmie Johnson Foundation The Jimmie Johnson Foundation currently focuses on funding K-12 public education, primarily through the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Champions Grant program, which have been awarded to school projects located in California, Oklahoma and North Carolina, where the Johnsons grew up and currently reside. In addition, each year the Foundation selects five charities that support K-12 public education to be featured on Johnson's Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope. Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope charities receive a cash grant and national exposure on the helmet worn for a select Cup race. Finally, the Team Up For Technology program encourages individuals to nominate a K-12 public or charter school in the United States with the winning school selected to receive a $48,000 cash grant for a technology makeover. " Learn more here . Kasey Kahne : The Kasey Kahne Foundation The Kasey Kahne Foundation is committed to raising awareness and funds for charities supporting chronically ill children and their families. The Kasey Kahne Foundation strives to empower youth and inspire their future through education by donating to programs dedicated to fulfilling children's needs for success. " Learn more here . Brad Keselowski : Brad Keselowski 's Checkered Flag Foundation Brad Keselowski 's Checkered Flag Foundation strives to support those who have sacrificed for our country, to include military members, veterans, first-responders among others. Since its inception, CFF has hosted or participated in events with the Wounded Warrior Project, the Armed Forces Foundation, The Paralyzed Veterans of America, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Detroit F.I.R.E. benefit team. " Learn more here . Joey Logano : The Joey Logano Foundation The mission of the Joey Logano Foundation is to inspire and assemble the NASCAR community to assist those across the nation who are in need of a second chance due to natural or human disaster. The Joey Logano Foundation partners with other organizations to provide comfort and relief to those in need after such unforeseen circumstances. " Learn more here . Ryan Newman : Rescue Ranch Formed in 2012 on 87 acres in Statesville, North Carolina, Rescue Ranch promotes humane education by focusing on rescuing on a fundamental level through hands-on learning and care for animals. Rescue Ranch promotes, through its education, respect for all animals, as well as, agricultural, environmental, and wildlife conservation, and facilitates rehabilitation, rescue and responsible pet ownership in order to enhance the human-animal bond. " Learn more here . Elliott Sadler : The Hermie & Elliott Sadler Foundation The Hermie and Elliott Sadler Charitable Foundation is dedicated to raising autism awareness and promoting research for a cure while also supporting initiatives that improve educational opportunities for children and their families. The Foundation provides support to projects that share the ideals and concerns of the Sadler family. " Learn more here . Martin Truex Jr .: The Martin Truex Jr . Foundation The Martin Truex Jr . Foundation raises awareness and funding for childhood and ovarian cancer initiatives. " Learn more here .
Hermie Sadler to run in two Nationwide events
First NASCAR national series event for FOX Sports 1 analyst since 2012
Elliott Sadler , TBR team up for Daytona 500
RELATED: Buy tickets for Daytona HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (January 12, 2017) -- Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) announced today that the team will compete in the 59th running of the Daytona 500 with Elliott Sadler behind the wheel of the No. 7 Golden Corral Chevrolet. Sadler , a 16-year veteran of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series , will be running double-duty during NASCAR's opening weekend competing in both the Cup and XFINITY Series. The Emporia, Virginia native and Baldwin have a relationship dating back to their days at Robert Yates Racing when Baldwin served as crew chief for Sadler . "This is a great opportunity for me and everyone affiliated with Tommy Baldwin Racing ," said Sadler . "I love the Daytona 500 and to have Tommy and Golden Corral offer me this opportunity is awesome. Tommy and I have known each other a long time. We actually won a qualifying race for the Daytona 500 together back in 2006. We're gonna rekindle some of that magic and work our tails off to get our car in the race. I know Tommy is putting a lot of effort into this and we're gonna go out and get the best result we possibly can for him and TBR's partners." Golden Corral returns for their seventh season together and will bring back their popular 'Top 10 Kids Eat Free' promotion. If Elliott Sadler finishes in the top-10 at Daytona, kids 10 and under will eat free at Golden Corral restaurants nationwide on Monday, February 27th. "We are excited to be working with Tommy Baldwin Racing for the seventh season," said Shelley Wolford, Vice President of National Marketing and Media at Golden Corral. "We will be cheering Elliott on to qualify at Daytona and then race for a Top 10 Kids Eat Free finish." "We look forward to having Elliott join TBR and Golden Corral for the upcoming Daytona 500 ," said team owner Tommy Baldwin. "Elliott has always been a strong restrictor plate racer which makes this a great opportunity for everyone involved. We know our fans look forward to the 'Top10 Kids Eat Free' promotion every year so we want to capitalize on that and finish the Daytona 500 strong."
WATCH LIVE: Tune into 2017 NASCAR Media Tour, Jan. 24-25 The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season kicks off with the 35th annual NASCAR Media Tour in Charlotte, North Carolina. The two-day tour, beginning on Jan. 24, is hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway and features full-time drivers from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series as well as XFINITY Series, Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Next drivers. NASCAR.com will live stream the press conferences via Press Pass . See the live streaming schedule below. All times are listed in Eastern Standard. Tuesday, Jan. 24 DRIVER STAGE Jimmie Johnson 10:22-10:32 a.m. Chase Elliott 10:33-10-43 a.m. Erik Jones 10:44-10:54 a.m. Martin Truex Jr . 10:55-11:05 a.m. Brennan Poole 11:38-11:48 a.m. Landon Cassill 11:48-11:59 a.m. Matt Kenseth 12:00-12:10 p.m. Cole Custer 12:11-12:21 p.m. AJ Allmendinger 12:55-1:05 p.m. William Byron 1:06-1:16 p.m. Kurt Busch 1:17-1:27 p.m. Danica Patrick 1:28-1:38 p.m. Ty Dillon 2:10-2:20 p.m. Jamie McMurray 2:21-2:31 p.m. Matt DiBenedetto 2:32-2:42 p.m. Aric Almirola 2:43-2:53 p.m. Eddie Gossage 2:55-3:10 p.m. Chris Buescher 3:27-3:37 p.m. Ryan Newman 3:38-3:48 p.m. Trevor Bayne 3:49-3:59 p.m. Ricky Stenhouse Jr . 4:00-4:10 p.m. Michael McDowell 4:44-4:54 p.m. Kyle Busch 4:55-5:05 p.m. Clint Bowyer 5:06-5:16 p.m. Kevin Harvick 5:17-5:27 p.m. Untitled Document Wednesday, Jan. 25 DRIVER STAGE BK Racing FT 10:22-10:32 a.m. Julia Landauer 10:33-10-43 a.m. Dale Earnhardt Jr . 10:44-10:54 a.m. Kasey Kahne 10:55-11:05 a.m. Christopher Bell 11:38-11:48 a.m. Matt Tifft 11:49-11:59 a.m. Darrell Wallace Jr . 12:00-12:10 p.m. Ryan Reed 12:11-12:21 p.m. Alon Day 12:55-1:05 p.m. Paul Menard 1:06-1:16 p.m. Daniel Suarez 1:17-1:27 p.m. Denny Hamlin 1:28-1:38 p.m. Reed Sorenson 2:10-2:20 p.m. Cole Whitt 2:21-2:31 p.m. Matt Crafton 2:32-2:42 p.m. Timothy Peters 2:43-2:53 p.m. GMS Racing 2:55-3:05 p.m. Ryan Blaney 3:27-3:37 p.m. David Ragan 3:38-3:48 p.m. Austin Dillon 3:49-3:59 p.m. Elliott Sadler 4:00-4:10 p.m. BK Racing PT 4:10-4:20 p.m. Kyle Larson 4:44-4:54 p.m. Justin Allgaier 4:55-5:05 p.m. Joey Logano 5:06-5:16 p.m. Brad Keselowski 5:17-5:27 p.m. Untitled Document
Gordon headlines FOX's NASCAR roster for 2016
RELATED: Gordon to join FOX's NASCAR coverage in 2016 With just one race remaining until the season's end, FOX Sports has announced its broadcaster lineup for 2016, which is highlighted by the previous addition of Jeff Gordon as an analyst for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Gordon, who is competing for his fifth Sprint Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend before ending his career as a full-time driver, will join play-by-play announcer Mike Joy and analyst Darrell Waltrip. Joy and Waltrip have been in the booth together for 15 years. Former crew chief Larry McReynolds will remain part of the network's coverage providing in-race analysis. Reporters Jamie Little, Chris Neville, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum will handle pit road duty for the FOX Sports' 16 Sprint Cup telecasts. FOX will televise 10 races, while FS1 will televise six. Welch will also serve as the new full-time play-by-play announcer for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series after being a part of a rotation for this role in 2015. Welch has been a FOX pit reporter for the Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series races in 2015, and has served in a similar capacity for ABC Sports and ESPN. Analysts Michael Waltrip and Phil Parsons will flank Welch in the booth. Hermie Sadler , Kaitlyn Vincie and Yocum will handle pit road reporting in that series. FS1 is broadcasting 22 of the 23 Truck races and FOX has the October race at Talladega. The network also announced Adam Alexander and Michael Waltrip will continue to team together for the FOX Sports' portion of the XFINITY Series schedule, along with a rotation of drivers from the Sprint Cup Series. Neville, Sadler , Little, Welch and Yocum will alternate to cover pit road for this series. NASCAR RaceDay, FS1's prerace show for Sprint Cup races, will return with Chris Myers, Danielle Trotta and John Roberts sharing the hosting duties. Analysts Kenny Wallace , Jeff Hammond and Wally Dallenbach as well as reporters Alan Cavanna, Andrew Doud and Vincie. Trotta will host NASCAR RaceDay- XFINITY with McReynolds and Wallace as analysts while Roberts will host NCWTS SetUp with two-time series champion Todd Bodine providing insight and features reports from Ray Dunlap. NASCAR Race Hub will air live at 6 p.m. ET every Monday through Thursday on FS1 with Alexander, Trotta and Roberts co-hosting the hour-long program. McReynolds, Hammond and Dallenbach will serve as analysts as will a rotation of active drivers and crew chiefs. Cavanna, Doud and Vincie will have daily reports from around the circuit, while Dunlap will have Truck Series feature reports and analysis. There will be a weekend edition of the program on Friday and Saturday with at-track updates as well as NASCAR Victory Lane to recap each Sprint Cup Series race.
Jay Guy named new crew chief for Annett
No. 46 team for HScott Motorsports has new look Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live HScott Motorsports announced on Friday that Jay Guy is the new crew chief for Michael Annett, driver of the No. 46 Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. "I'm looking forward to working with Michael," Guy said in a release provided by the team. "I see a lot of potential in him as a young Sprint Cup driver and I think our personalities will jell really well. With the resources Harry has provided for us here at HScott Motorsports, I expect our team to have solid finishes this season." Most recently Guy was a crew chief for Front Row Motorsports in 2014, where he was on the box for 30 races for David Ragan and six races for David Gilliland. He was with Ragan in 2013 when he brought the organization its first and only Sprint Cup Series win in the 2013 Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Guy has been a crew chief for 252 Sprint Cup races over a nine-year span and has compiled one win, three top-fives, seven top-10s and two Coors Light Pole Awards. Besides Ragan and Gilliland, Guy has been a crew chief for 10 other drivers, most notably for Brad Keselowski during his first full-time Cup season in 2010. During six seasons (spanning 1998-2006) in what is now known as the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Guy compiled eight top-fives and 24 top-10s in 123 races as a crew chief. Among his eight drivers were Hermie Sadler (four races in 1998) and Jon Wood (2005-06, 56 races). HScott Motorsports added Michael Annett's Sprint Cup Series team after fielding its first full-time Cup entry with Justin Allgaier last season. "Jay did a great job helping build a foundation at his previous team," Annett said in a team release. "We're building a new team here at HScott Motorsports and his experience in the process should be a huge help. I look forward to getting on the track at Daytona and forging a relationship with him." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 48 appeal avoids repeat of 2006 pit pick
Nine years ago, team selected 42nd at Dover, had to share stall RELATED: Nos. 48, 51 and 1 penalized for Charlotte infractions MORE: Hendrick appeals P1 penalty " Johnson stands by appeal The importance of a team's pit stall location isn't lost on Jimmie Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 team. Especially when it comes to Dover International Speedway , a fast 1-mile concrete track that has been the site of nine of Johnson's 73 wins in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. The six-time series champion has earned 19 top-10s at Dover, 15 of which came from a starting spot inside the top 10. Overall, drivers starting on the front row there have won 28 of 90 Sprint Cup races and 71 winners have come from inside the top-10 on the starting grid. A better qualifying result, and pit stall location, doesn't guarantee success, but it is one less problem for a team to deal with on race day. The order for the selection of pit stalls is based on qualifying results, with the Coors Light Pole Award winner getting first choice, and the remainder (pos. 2-43) choosing in order of their position in the starting lineup. Unless you're hit with a NASCAR penalty, which was the case this week for Johnson and the HScott Motorsports team with driver Justin Allgaier . The two teams were penalized Wednesday for receiving consecutive warnings from NASCAR for minor infractions at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 weekends. The P1-level penalty was the loss of choice in pit selection, meaning the two teams would be left with whatever pit stall locations remained after the other 41 teams had made their selections. HMS notified NASCAR officials of its intent to file an appeal on Thursday, and as a result the penalty has been deferred. No date for the appeal hearing has been announced. Now, instead of having to choose one of the last available pit stalls for Sunday's FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM), the No. 48 team's pit selection will be determined by Johnson's qualifying position in the 43-car field. Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled for Friday at the 1-mile track. Had they not appealed, it would not have been the first time Johnson and his team found themselves with a less-than-prime pit position at Dover. Before 2009, the track featured only 42 pit boxes along pit road, leaving two teams to share one pit stall. And when Johnson spun during qualifying for the spring race of 2006, his team was forced to share a pit stall with fellow driver Scott Wimmer and the Morgan-McClure Motorsports No. 4 team. Actually, they shared more than just the pit stall. Under an agreement between the two teams, Johnson's pit crew initially pitted both cars. And crew chiefs Chad Knaus (Johnson) and Chris Carrier (Wimmer) sat atop the same pit box. When pitting, whoever was higher in the running order at the time, Johnson or Wimmer, would pit first. Then the second driver would hit pit road to be serviced by the same crew. The moved ended up costing Wimmer track position when his car ran out of gas under the second caution of the race while waiting to pit. It wasn't until Hermie Sadler retired from the race after 136 laps that a pit stall opened up, allowing Wimmer and the Morgan-McClure team to move to the vacant pit box. In spite of starting at the back of the field, and going two laps down at one point in the race, Johnson was able to rebound and score a sixth-place finish. Wimmer finished 34th, four laps down. Dover added a 43rd pit stall in 2009, part of an upgrade to the facility that included widening pit road and increasing the length of each pit box by four feet. The concrete pit wall from Turn 4 to Turn 1, previously boilerplate, was also torn down and a new wall, 432 feet longer and protected by SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier, was installed in its place. No date has been set for the No. 48 team's appeal of the penalty for consecutive written warnings. Warnings, which are not appealable, are typically issued for minor, first-time infractions and the reason for the warnings isn't made public. Multiple warnings elevate the severity of the penalty to a P1 level and may result in one or more consequences besides the loss of choice in pit selection. Track time deduction in practice or qualifying, a delay in the order of inspection and selection for post-race inspection are among the other options NASCAR may impose. Johnson is a nine-time winner at the track and is the defending race winner. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Jones, Sadler , Allgaier react to disappointing title loss
RELATED: Results " Chase Grid " End-of-season standings HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- The three championship-eligible drivers who didn't hoist the XFINITY Series trophy Saturday evening stood on Homestead-Miami Speedway 's pit road looking both perplexed and disappointed. A restart with three laps remaining bogged down the field and allowed Daniel Suarez to emerge from the front-running pack of contenders and race off to the win and his first NASCAR championship -- a first for a Latin American driver. RELATED: The road to a title " Community reacts to Suarez's win For that final restart Cole Whitt , who had run mid-pack all night, stayed off pit road to inherit the lead once the race returned to green. However, he spun his tires and was unable to accelerate, affecting Suarez's competition as they were lined up behind Whitt's struggling No. 14. "I'd love to hear an explanation from him and the crew chief," said Joe Gibbs Racing driver Erik Jones , who finished ninth after getting caught up behind Whitt. "It just didn't make any sense. Staying out there on old tires with the four championship guys right behind. I'd love to hear why he didn't go in the restart. There's a lot of questions I'd like to have answered." The other XFINITY Series championship-eligible drivers, Elliott Sadler (who finished third) and Justin Allgaier (who finished sixth), were similarly frustrated with the situation. For his part, Whitt told reporters in the XFINITY Series garage his team didn't have any more tires left to change and that he tried to move out of the way of the title contenders on the restart. "It's as simple as the fact that we just didn't have any tires," said Whitt, who finished 18th. "We didn't expect everybody to come in like that, and I was like, I knew this was going to be a handful. "I thought if I was on the outside I would have the most room for them to go underneath me if anything happened and I couldn't get going. With him ( Sadler ) hitting me, I couldn't get going and it was just making me spin the tires worse. Obviously if you could redo it, you would change the way you did it. It's not like we were out there to screw anybody over." RELATED: Sadler : 'It's heartbreaking' It was of little consolation to the three championship runners-up, who all were among the top six on the final restart. Suarez was behind Sadler on the older tires and able to get around quickly to take off for the flag. Both Jones and Allgaier were caught up behind Whitt's slower car. "The dejection of knowing the race came down to three laps. …" Allgaier said, after taking a few private moments to digest the outcome. WATCH: Allgaier upbeat despite loss "That call (by Whitt's team) may work at Daytona and Talladega or somewhere and put you in a good spot but tonight, with what was at stake with all four of us going to restart in the top-five … the battle for the championship was going to be epic. It's a shame. "Tonight doesn't define our season, though. These guys at JR Motorsports have done an amazing job all year long. To come down to this moment is so disappointing. We all held our heads really high that we were able to make the final four and to come into here with the great opportunity to fight for the championship." MORE: Whitt explains his side of things After having a few minutes to digest the situation, Sadler explained that the toughest part of the night was finishing as XFINITY Series championship runner-up for the third time in his career (2011 and 2012) after being ranked either first or second in the standings for all but one week this season. But he insisted he will leave South Florida more encouraged. "From (his team owners) Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) and Kelley (Earnhardt Miller) all the way down through everybody in the shop, they work their butts off to make sure we had a legitimate shot at holding up that trophy tonight, and that's what hurts the most is you don't know until the checkered flag if you're going to hold the trophy or not," Sadler said. "It's just part of this format, but it's great for the fans. I think it's great for our sport. It shows a lot of emotion and I think tonight's race played out the way it should be. But all four of us really raced hard with each other up front and Daniel just got the better of us tonight." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
No. 1 of Sadler has lug nut infraction; crew chief out for Miami
RELATED: Updated Chase Grid " Phoenix race results Elliott Sadler 's No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet had 18 of 20 lug nuts safe and secure following Saturday night's NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Phoenix International Raceway , a development that will have implications for next week's championship race. Because it is the team's second lug nut infraction, crew chief Kevin Meendering will be suspended for the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway , NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller told NBCSN after the race. "We bring all the cars down pit road, do our inspection of our wheels and lug nuts and we observed that the No. 1 car had two lug nuts not secure to the wheel," XFINITY Series Managing Director Wayne Auton said in explaining the infraction. " … We advised the (No. 1) team they're probably going to be looking for a crew chief next week and a monetary fine of $10,000." Last week at Texas, Sadler's No. 1 checked out with 19 of 20 lug nuts safe and secure following the event. Meendering was fined $5,000 as it was the team's first-time offense. Sadler finished 13th on Saturday at Phoenix, his result good enough to advance to the Championship 4 next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Daniel Suarez , Erik Jones and Justin Allgaier complete the remainder of the four-driver championship field. "We're going to have to pull together as a team," Sadler told NBCSN after learning of the decision. "It's not a secret. Kevin Meendering has made me a hero this year. We have a lot of depth at JR Motorsports. Those guys will probably rally around us, I'm sure." Later in a post-race interview, Sadler confirmed his Homestead car has been built and is ready to roll. That talk came after an agonizing wait while NASCAR officials discussed the fate of Sadler and his team. The veteran driver joked that team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr . could be his replacement crew chief, then added it would probably be Meendering's decision. Ryan Pemberton, the team's competition director, is a likely candidate. As for an appeal? That will be JR Motorsports officials' call, but Sadler does not expect that to happen given that NASCAR officials showed the team proof in photos and in person. "I'm probably speaking out of turn here, but I doubt we will appeal it," Sadler said. "They showed Kevin the wheels and the pictures. I don't think there's any kind of appeal. Look, I'm not a lawyer and I don't understand how all that works, so I don't want to speak out of turn." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Sadler's substitute crew chief motivated, not worried
RELATED: Phoenix penalties announced " Miami schedule Mike Bumgarner sounded cool and collected Wednesday afternoon answering questions about his crew chief debut this season -- which happens to come in Saturday's XFINITY Series season finale championship race. The JR Motorsports race operations manager will lead driver Elliott Sadler in the championship finale, filling in for Sadler's regular crew chief, Kevin Meendering, who is suspended for one race after a lug nut violation at Phoenix International Raceway last week. Officials ruled two lug nuts on Elliott's No. 1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet were not sufficiently fastened, so Meendering will be sidelined while the veteran Sadler races for his first NASCAR championship. Meendering also was fined $10,000 for the P3-level penalty. Despite the change in plans, Bumgarner anticipated it will be business as usual for the weekend. He expected to rely on Sadler's experience and the team's confidence in taking on his role this weekend. "I don't see much of a challenge from my side," Bumgarner said. "Kevin has a good group of guys, and these guys know what their role is to play. It's more or less letting these guys do their jobs, and this will all play out. "It's just more or less for me, just to guide these guys along and answer any questions and try to do my best at calling a good race and getting Elliott in and off pit road. I think that's probably the biggest task. "We'll see where it all falls, but I feel pretty confident and not really too worried about it. It's an awesome group of guys, and I think these guys will prevail." Bumgarner chuckled a little about team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr . joking he would crew chief this one race, saying, "It would have definitely made it easier on me. I would have much rather just went down there and sat back and watched." This is not to say that Sadler isn't intensely motivated to win this title after twice (2011 and 2012) finishing championship runner-up. The 41-year old is a tried-and-true veteran – having won races in all three of NASCAR's marquee series. And even the complication in this week's situation is unlikely to sidetrack him or this team. "And it's not just Elliott but spotter Brett Griffin, as well," Bumgarner said about relying on the team's veteran leadership. "Those guys have been together for a long time, and that's what I spoke about earlier -- about the importance of getting in and off pit road during the race. He and Brett, they have a good combination as far as speaking and talking together, and I think that is going to make it easy, as well. "Elliott knows what he needs to do with the race car. These guys, they've shown on paper or speed charts as the week goes on every week, they progressively get better as the week goes." While some may see this situation as a championship curveball, this veteran team and its driver have taken everything in stride. In fact, it may have inspired this group even more. "One thing we talked about Monday morning is this is definitely motivation," Bumgarner said. "Any time a team gets down, it just shows you how strong a group of guys we have here, not only with the No. 1 OneMain team but as JR Motorsports as a whole. We all stick behind each other and try to help each other out and make each other stronger." &amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;