JGR pit crews make swap in-race at Iowa
RELATED: Complete race results " Watch final laps NEWTON, Iowa -- Pit crew swaps mid-race are not common in NASCAR, but Joe Gibbs Racing made a change around the halfway point of Sunday's XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen at Iowa Speedway that ultimately benefitted race-winner Sam Hornish Jr . With teammate Daniel Suarez 's No. 19 crew routinely beating Hornish's No. 18 off pit road and Erik Jones 's No. 20 running several laps down due to a fuel pickup issue, an opportunity presented itself. The Nos. 18 and 20 pit crews swapped teams. "I kind of talked to Steve (deSouza, executive vice president of NASCAR XFINITY /Development for Joe Gibbs Racing )," Chris Gayle, crew chief of the No. 18 team said after the race. "Once we knew the 20 was down -- they weren't going to be a factor in the race ... We had just struggled. Iowa's always tough because we're spoiled with having our (Sprint) Cup pit crews on normal weekends. The non-companions, we don’t have any familiarity with the pit crews we really use for these. "The 19 had beaten us on a couple stops earlier and it had gotten down to where there is one stop left and if it's us and the 19 racing, I'm going to lose to them off pit road because they've beaten me in three previous stops. So to not do anything is going to be my fault." Serving as the liaison, deSouza went between the two teams as the swap was contemplated. "I went to talk to the 20 crew chief (Chris Gabehart) and say, 'Hey if we want to implement something like this are you good with it?' I went to him first," deSouza told NASCAR.com. "And he said, 'Listen, we are laps down. Whatever you think is the best thing to do, do it.' " The switch Sunday proved successful as Hornish went on to win his first NASCAR race since the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway . He led 183 of the 250 laps in the race, including the final 111 circuits. Suarez, last week's winner at Michigan, finished in fourth and left Iowa still holding the lead in points. Jones finished 27th, seven laps down. Gayle pulled the move out of a playbook even six-time champion crew chief Chad Knaus has used. One of the most well-known pit swaps came at Texas Motor Speedway in the fall 2010 race between the Hendrick Motorsports teams of Jeff Gordon (No. 24) and Jimmie Johnson (No. 48). The teams swapped pit crews mid-race after Gordon was involved in a crash in the race. Johnson went on to catch JGR's Denny Hamlin for the title in the final two races when the switch was made permanent. The race win was the ninth victory for JGR in 14 XFINITY Series races this season.
What rust? Hornish stomps field en route to Iowa win
RELATED: Complete race results NEWTON, Iowa -- Sam Hornish Jr ., who hadn’t been in a car in 210 days, gave himself the perfect Father’s Day present on Sunday -- a dominant victory in the sixth annual NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen at Iowa Speedway . Hornish, who last competed in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race last November at Homestead-Miami Speedway , received a call Monday from Joe Gibbs Racing to substitute for injured driver Matt Tifft . He made the most of the opportunity, picking up his fourth career XFINITY Series win and second at Iowa . Overall, it was JGR’s ninth triumph in 14 races this season. “I don’t know, it doesn’t get much better than that,” said an emotional Hornish in Victory Lane. “Just gotta thank Toyota, everyone from Joe Gibbs Racing for getting me out here and giving me this opportunity. Got my wife and kids here, it’s the first time the kids got to be here for one of dad’s wins. “I can’t tell you what this means to me. I worked so hard to try to get a win when I had my kids here. Gotta thank God. He makes things happen. I was so nervous on Friday getting into the car thinking I’m going to make a mistake, and man, to go out there and win the way that we did. Just can’t say anything more about it." Ty Dillon attempted to make a charge on Hornish on a Lap 224 restart, but settled for second, finishing ahead of Brad Keselowski . "I don't know, I guess we just needed to be a little bit better,” Dillon said. “The No. 18 (Hornish) was so dominant on the bottom (groove). I thought, obviously, we were the best car on the top (groove). "Just needed a little bit more speed. I'm proud of my guys. We were kind of a mid-pack car and did what we needed to do to put ourselves in position -- something we talked about all week -- and we did a great job." Hornish took the lead from last week’s XFINITY Series winner Daniel Suarez on Lap 24, setting the tone that the Joe Gibbs Racing cars were going to be hard to beat. The two drivers swapped the lead on pit road on two occasions before several competitors elected to use varying pit strategies following the event’s third caution on Lap 126. Hornish restarted sixth, but only took 13 laps to get back to the race lead, passing Suarez on Lap 139 and never relinquishing. Championship contender Erik Jones , who scored his fifth pole of 2016, had to drop to the rear before the race for an unapproved body modification. Jones, however, was never a factor as he battled fuel pressure issues, finishing 27th. The NASCAR XFINITY Series takes a week off before returning to Daytona International Speedway on July 1 for the running of the Subway Firecracker 250 .
How Matt Kenseth helped John Krasinski land role of 'Jim' on 'The Office'
It's nearly impossible to think an actor besides John Krasinski playing the role of 'Jim Halpert' on the American version of "The Office," but it may not have happened without the help of Matt Kenseth . Did that just blow your mind? It should have. Back in 2002 -- a full three years before the NBC premiere of inarguably the greatest comedy series of all time, in my opinion, at least -- a fresh-faced Krasinski appeared in a commercial with Kenseth that caught the eye of future "Office" executive producer, Greg Daniels. The back-and-forth dialogue between last fall's grand marshal at Texas Motor Speedway and Kenseth (more back than forth, knowing the stoic Joe Gibbs Racing driver) and wild antics by the now-36-year-old led to an audition and before long, "Jim" was born. Krasinski recently spoke about it on NPR's Fresh Air podcast with Dave Davies . "I haven't seen or heard that since the time I did it. That is a real send back to memory lane," Krasinski said. " … That was a huge performance and I remember we had a little bit of script and Matt Kenseth had said he doesn't want to have a line in the script. He was very shy and he didn't want ... he just wanted to walk through the commercial. "At the end of the day, they just asked 'Would you just improv and have fun? Let's see what we get' and we just kept going and I think they just watched the dog go off the leash, just improving all this stuff. By the end, Matt said 'Well, now I do want to say some stuff.' So he came in and we were joking around all day. It was probably one of the more fun times I've had, certainly before I got 'The Office . ' " The commercial worked wonders for both men, as Krasinski is now a household name and Kenseth won five races that year, following it up with his only premier series title the following season. Watch the full commercial below.
ThorSport Racing shop rebuilt after being damaged by fire
After being damaged by fire earlier in the year the ThorSport Racing shop is back in operation. The team made sure to thank the first responders who kept it from being a total loss.
Last-lap pass leads Moffitt to victory at Michigan
RELATED: Full race results " Standings BROOKLYN, Mich. -- In five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, Brett Moffitt had never led a lap. But in Saturday's Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway , Moffitt picked the perfect time to take the point for the first time. Powering around Red Horse Racing teammate Timothy Peters and five-time series winner William Byron off the second corner of the final lap at the two-mile track, Moffitt held off Peters by .098 seconds to win a NASCAR national series race for the first time. Moffitt's victory, however, left Shane Huffman, Peters' crew chief, slapping his seat on the pit box in frustration. Peters, who led a race-high 42 laps, could have locked himself into the inaugural Camping World Truck Series Chase with a victory. Running a limited schedule this season, Moffitt is ineligible for the championship this year. But Moffitt made no apologies for taking advantage of the opportunity that presented itself when Byron pushed Peters into Turn 3 on the white-flag lap, cut to the inside and slowed both trucks down. Moffitt cruised around the outside off Turn 2 on the final lap and kept Peters behind him. "I'm here to win," Moffitt said. "I said it earlier and I'll say it again. I'm not going to wreck him (Peters) for it. I'm going to race him clean because I know he needs to get in the Chase, but this team needs to win and these guys deserve to win. "That's what we come to do, and our partners at Toyota want to do the same, and we got it." Daniel Hemric passed Byron on the last lap to come home third, with Byron following in fourth and Cameron Hayley in fifth. The good news for both Peters and Hemric was the wide margin both drivers opened over their closest pursuers in the race to make the Chase. Though winless this year, Hemric and Peters lead Cameron Hayley by 55 and 47 points, respectively, in the battle for the last two Chase spots. If no new winner surfaces in the final two regular-season races, both Hemric and Peters are highly likely to qualify on points. "It's a good day for Red Horse Racing," Peters said. "Congrats to Brett Moffitt . One-two finish. I wish we were 'one,' but all in all, the company brings the trophy back. The 9 (Byron) locked onto our bumper there in Turn 2 and pushed us really hard down into Turn 3. "We had to do all we had to do to stay in front. ... Tough to swallow right there, but it felt good to run the way we did all day." Both Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick entered the race needing to win to make the Chase. Reddick's Ford bounced off the side of Johhny Sauter's Chevrolet on Lap 70 and sustained heavy damage during contact with the Turn 3 wall. Custer, however, had the lead for a restart on Lap 84, only to lose control and spin into the Turn 4 wall, grazing the left rear of Moffitt's No. 11 Toyota in the process. "We didn't have the raw speed of the guys up front, but it drove pretty well, and it was hard to keep those guys off of me," Custer said. "The 11 (Moffitt) stopped pushing me -- which it's his right to do that. "We were kind of losing the 17 (Peters) there. He (Moffitt) went to the outside and I started getting tight. Once he got on my door, I got loose and over-corrected it. I just hate it for my guys that brought a great truck." Like Hayley, Custer and Reddick will have two more chances to force their way into the Chase by winning one of the final two regular-season races.
Weather delays Michigan Camping World Truck race
RELATED: Race leaderboard " Live weather, radar updates The start of Saturday's Careers for Veterans 200 Presented by Cooper Standard and Brad Keselowski 's Checkered Flag Foundation has been delayed by inclement weather in the area of Michigan International Speedway . The 100-lap race was originally scheduled to get underway at 1:13 p.m. ET on FS1, but that was before rain and thunderstorms moved across the 2-mile track. After about a two-and-a-half hour delay, the green flag for the race came at 3:47 p.m. ET. John Wes Townley won the pole position in his No. 05 Jive Communications/Zaxby's Chevrolet. Alongside Townley on the front row is two-time Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton in the No. 88 Great Lakes Flooring/Menards Toyota for ThorSport Racing. Five-time Truck Series winner William Byron starts third in the No. 9 Liberty University Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Alongisde Byron in Row 2 is the No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota of Timothy Peters , who holds the eighth and final spot in the Chase Grid. The Michigan race is the 14th of the season and third-to-last before the Chase field is set after the Chicagoland race on Sept. 16
Runner-up finish leaves Dillon heartbroken at Iowa
RELATED: Results " Chase Grid " Standings NEWTON, Iowa -- Ty Dillon's face shone with sweat and slight disappointment as he climbed out of his No. 3 Chevrolet and exchanged a quick word with crew chief Nick Harrison on pit road following a runner-up finish to winner Erik Jones in Saturday night's U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway. His Richard Childress Racing ride was dominant, leading 83 of the 250 laps -- but it wasn't enough for the checkered flag, leaving Dillon a bridesmaid for the second time this season in the Hawkeye State. And for a driver who hasn't won since Indianapolis in 2014, that certainly stings. "It's heartbreaking, I really wanted to win ever since two years ago at Indy," Dillon said on pit road. "We've had so many ups and downs and so many second-place finishes. "To lead a lot of laps here is encouraging, but man, it just hurts." His No. 3 was aggressive all night, moving through the field with purpose since the drop of the green flag. By the time the first caution flag was waved at Lap 29, Dillon had already moved into the top 10 after starting 15th. As the race continued, the 24-year-old driver looked poised for Victory Lane when a strong pit stop won Dillon the race off pit road at Lap 152. He held onto the lead for 83 laps, but Jones' powerful No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota eventually overtook Dillon's No. 3 Chevy. "I was pushing so hard, I just started to get a little bit loose and a little bit looser and his car was just a little bit better at that point," Dillon said. "I could make it work for a couple laps there, but every once in a while I'd just get a little too free and he'd make a gain on me. There were other cars in front of me and I don't know if it just kind of took a little air off us or what, but I could not get to them, could not get past them and let Erik get a good run on us. "I knew he was going to try the top and he was just better than me, so he could run whatever line I wasn't. I tried to block him and he made a good move and got by me." The Joe Gibbs Racing fleet has flexed its muscle this season across all series, winning 13 of the 19 XFINITY Series events alone. Daniel Suarez won the Coors Light Pole for the organization and remained near the front of the field for the much of the race's first half until a run-in with Josh Berry's No. 88 left the No. 19 with too much damage to continue. "You've just got to be so perfect to outrun them and when you get the lead, you can't give them any inch cause they're there," Dillon said of the Gibbs cars. "I try to be perfect all night and just came up 10 laps short." Joe Gibbs Racing's continued success begs the question: What is everyone else missing? According to No. 3 crew chief Nick Harrison, not as much as it appears. "I don't think Gibbs has got anything else that we don't have -- I just think that they're a little bit better in a couple areas right now," Harrison said in the garage post-race. "It's not that we don't notice -- we've got everything they've got and we're making gains. I feel like come time to shine, we'll be right there for the sun to get on us." While the runner-up finish stings, the team's dominance and aggressiveness throughout the night also sings praises -- and provides encouragement as the Chase draws nearer. "We were in second tonight and showed we could compete with those guys," Dillon said. "We know we've got to get better, we know we can get better. If we execute like that we'll have a great shot going in the Chase." And Harrison can see his driver's motivation -- and appetite for victory -- growing. "These second-place finishes, they've not all been so bad because they probably make Ty that much more hungry, make my guys that much more hungry," Harrison said. "... And come time for it, we're going to be there to get our meal." MORE: Photos from the day
Erik Jones wins fuel-mileage duel at Iowa
RELATED: Results " Standings " Chase Grid NEWTON, Iowa -- For 83 laps, it looked like Ty Dillon's winless drought would finally end. That was until Erik Jones flashed the brilliance that has many predicting big things for the Joe Gibbs Racing prodigy. Jones led a race-high 154 laps in the No. 20 DeWalt Toyota en route to Victory Lane on Saturday night in the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway. Jones passed Dillon with 15 laps remaining to retake the lead for the final time of the night and beat Dillon's No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet to the checkered flag by 3.533 seconds. The NASCAR XFINITY Series victory was the third of the season for Jones and the fifth of his career in his 45th start. Having one of the most impressive Sunoco Rookie of the Year campaigns in recent memory, Jones has 11 top-five and 12 top-10 results in 19 starts this season. "It's a great day. We had a great car. One that definitely deserved to win the race," Jones said in victory lane. "The fastest car I feel like won tonight, which is always a good feeling. It was an awesome day for us. "I feel like we deserved to win when we came here earlier this year, we had a really fast car. It was nice to get some redemption for that one." Jones qualified second but passed his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Suarez on the first lap. While several teams flew in Sprint Cup pit crews from Pocono, the Joe Gibbs Racing teams did not. Despite dropping spots after pitting, Jones would quickly regain them when the field returned to green. When the caution flew at Lap 150 as Brandon McReynolds made hard contact with the Turn 1 wall, teams hit pit road for fresh tires and fuel. Dillon's pit crew had the quickest stop to give Dillon the lead for the first time of the night at Lap 152. When the field returned to green, Dillon was able to put some distance between his No. 3 Chevrolet and Jones. Dillon would lead the next 83 laps before Jones drove to the bottom and made the final pass on Dillon at Lap 235. "I want the win so bad," said Dillon, whose drought extended to 66 races. "That was all I had. They (Joe Gibbs Racing) are good right now. That was all I had. "I'm proud of my guys. They gave us a great opportunity tonight. My heart's been broken every race since Indy (site of Dillon's last win in 2014). I want to get in victory lane again. We're close; we just have to get a little better." Brad Keselowski, the only Sprint Cup regular to make the trip from Pocono Raceway, site of this Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race (1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN), finished eighth in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford. Daniel Suarez won the Coors Light Pole Award on Saturday afternoon and ran second to his teammate Jones for the first-half of the race. On the restart for McReynolds' accident, Suarez was running seventh and when Josh Berry's No. 88 didn’t go, Suarez's No. 19 ARRIS Toyota plowed into it, suffering heavy front-end damage. Suarez would remain on track for several laps before hitting pit road. Unable to continue, Suarez finished 30th and lost the lead in the championship standings to Elliott Sadler. By virtue of his third-place finish in the No. 1 OneMain Chevrolet, Sadler leads Suarez by 14 points. The NASCAR XFINITY Series returns to action next Saturday at Watkins Glen International for the running of the Zippo 200 at The Glen.
Full schedule for Pocono and Iowa
RELATED: Find NBCSN in your area " Watch live online at NBCSports.com The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will gather for a doubleheader weekend at Pocono Raceway while the NASCAR XFINITY Series is at Iowa Speedway this week. Check out the full weekend schedule below. Note: All times are ET MONDAY, AUG. 1: ON TRACK: POCONO -- 12:07:00 p.m. ET : NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400 (160 laps, 400 miles), NBCSN ( Results ) -- Called on Lap 138 due to weather PRE-RACE SCHEDULE --11:50:00 a.m.: Intro Presentation of Colors: 55th Armored Brigade Combat Team Color Guard PA National Guard --11:50:20 a.m.: Invocation by : Monty Self, MRO --11:51:00 a.m.: National Anthem by : Meghan Wotring (Signed by Amanda Pascoe representing the Western PA School for the Deaf & the Scranton School for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing) -- 11:57:30 a.m. "Drivers, Start Your Engines" by : Major General Roger Teague, Director, Space Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition --11:07:00 a.m.: Green Flag – Pennsylvania 400 (160 laps, 400 miles) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 3 p.m.: (approx.) Post-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race SUNDAY, JULY 31: ON TRACK: POCONO -- RACE POSTPONED UNTIL 11 a.m. MONDAY: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400 (160 laps, 400 miles), NBCSN ( Follow live ) FRIDAY, JULY 29: ON TRACK: POCONO -- 11 a.m.-12:25 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series first practice, NBCSN ( Results ) -- 12:30-1:55 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series first practice, FS1 ( Results ) -- 3-3:55 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice, FS1 ( Results ) -- 4:15 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN ( Results ) GARAGECAM ( Watch live ) -- 10:30 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series -- noon: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 9:45 a.m.: Brad Keselowski -- 10 a.m.: Matt Kenseth -- 10:15 a.m.: Daniel Hemric -- 1:30 p.m: Jeff Gordon -- 2 p.m.: Danny Stockman (Crew chief for the No. 27 Sprint Cup team) and Richard Childress Racing Competition Director Dr. Eric Warren -- 2:30 p.m.: Kyle Busch -- 2:45 p.m.: Joey Logano -- 3 p.m.: Kyle Larson -- 5 p.m.: (approx.) Post-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying ON TRACK: IOWA -- 5-5:50 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series first practice, NBCSN will start coverage at 5:30 p.m. on a delay ( Results ) -- 7-8:20 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, NBCSN ( Results ) DAILY ROUNDUP -- Keselowski talks safety after Watkins Glen wreck -- Newman plans to stick with RCR in 2017 -- Gordon set for longer sub stint if needed -- At-track photos from Pocono, Iowa -- Truex wins third pole of '16 at Pocono -- Starting lineup for Sunday's main event -- Byron, Nemechek top Friday's Truck Series practices -- Berry ready to make most of Iowa weekend -- Hornish Jr., Koch top XFINITY Series practices at Iowa -- Dillon: I plan 'on being in the Sprint Cup Series next year' SATURDAY, JULY 30: ON TRACK: POCONO -- 9:05 a.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, canceled due to rain ( Starting lineup ) -- 11 a.m.-12:20 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBCSN ( Results ) -- 1 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 (60 laps, 150 miles), FS1 ( Results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 10 a.m.: Aric Almirola -- 3 p.m.: (approx.) Post-NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race ON TRACK: IOWA -- 4:15 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN ( Results ) -- 8 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series US Cellular 250 ( 250 laps, 218.75 miles), NBCSN ( Results ) DAILY ROUNDUP -- Dale Jr. provides latest update on concussion-like symptoms -- Truex Jr. seeks more magic with dominant 600 car -- Top stories to watch for Sunday's Sprint Cup race -- See the scenes from a busy NASCAR Saturday -- Remembering Neil Bonnett -- Byron wins at Pocono for fifth win of 2016 -- Suarez scores pole for Iowa XFINITY race -- E. Jones takes Iowa race in fuel-mileage duel
Kahne: 'If I haven't performed by 2018, I need to leave'
Kasey Kahne doesn't see Hendrick Motorsports ' hiring of William Byron to drive in the XFINITY Series as a threat to his current Sprint Cup ride in the No. 5 Chevrolet. But Kahne hasn't won since August 2014 at Atlanta Motor Speedway , and he does recognize that if he doesn't perform by 2018 -- the final year of his current contract -- a change is needed. "I didn't really think about the rest," Kahne told FOXSports.com . "If I haven't performed by 2018, I need to leave. It's pretty simple. That has nothing to do with William Byron or anyone else. "If I haven't performed by then, it's time to go do something different. That's just the way racing and life is." The 36-year-old driver also told FOXSports.com that he received a call from team owner Rick Hendrick prior to the Byron announcement giving him a heads-up on the hiring. Kahne joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, winning twice in his first year with the organization. He's won five Sprint Cup events all together under the Hendrick umbrella, but two winless seasons have caused him to miss the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for two straight years. He currently is ranked 17th in the driver standings heading into Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 (2 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, Sirius XM NASCAR radio).