Edwards, Sorenson and Sadler comment on an exciting and challenging race in Iowa .
Get the latest John Wes Townley news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR
Get the latest John Wes Townley news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
Watch the latest Preview Show videos delivered by Fed Ex Racing
BK Racing co-owner believes move still likely to happen A representative for Front Row Motorsports denied rumors that Cole Whitt would join the team in 2015, saying that social media and reports about a potential move were untrue. But a team co-owner with close ties to Whitt said the transition is all but certain. A Tuesday night tweet from Anthony Marlowe, co-owner of BK Racing, seemed to indicate that Whitt had left his team to join Front Row. Via Twitter, Marlowe congratulated Whitt on securing a ride in the No. 34 Ford, which has been driven the past three seasons by David Ragan . @colewhitt congrats on landing the #34 ride @frontrownascar !! Happy Thanksgiving! See you at the track :) — Anthony Marlowe (@AnthonyMarlowe) November 26, 2014 Wednesday morning, Front Row Motorsports reps said that reports that Whitt was shifting to the Statesville, North Carolina,-based team were "not true." Reached Wednesday afternoon, Marlowe said such a move might still become reality. "I think Cole is a very talented driver. I don't think Front Row Motorsports has much of a choice but to say what they've said or respond the way they've responded pursuant to certain agreements. Cole is still under contract with BK Racing," Marlowe said from his Iowa home. "Am I 100 percent certain he's going there? No. If you would've asked me a few months ago if I would be surprised, I would say absolutely yes. If you'd have asked me a few weeks ago if I was surprised, I'd say no, probably not." Marlowe confirmed that Whitt had informed the BK team that he didn't intend to exercise a contract renewal for next season. "Maybe I've made a mistake in (that) he's going to the 34," Marlowe said of Whitt, "but I'm like 98 percent certain he's going to Front Row Motorsports, and if not, the bellwether on garage rumors and Gmail is [that] my pulse is off on that. I think 99 out of 100 times, those rumors tend to be true and an overwhelming amount of people, including your colleague team owners, are kind of unofficially confirming it." Whitt, 23, recently completed his first full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finishing 31st in the overall standings as a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate. He began the year with Swan Racing, which was sold and merged with the BK Racing team in the spring. BK fielded entries for Whitt's No. 26, plus full-time entries for the No. 23 and 83 cars. Ragan, 28, brought Front Row and car owner Bob Jenkins their only victory in NASCAR's premier series at Talladega Superspeedway in May 2013. Ragan struggled last season, though, winding up tied for 32nd in the final standings, a single point behind Whitt. He recorded his lone top-10 finish of the season at Martinsville Speedway in the fall with a paint scheme honoring 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Wendell Scott. Jenkins also fields the full-time No. 38 entry driven by David Gilliland . MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
The Nationwide Series returns to Iowa for a night race
Cain: Three-time premier series champ battered, but not defeated Tony Stewart had just returned to his motor coach after debriefing with crew chief Chad Johnston following opening practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway . The upside of practice was that three of the four Stewart-Haas Racin g team cars were among the top 10 fastest on the speed chart. The downside: Stewart was not one of them. So the face of the team, a beloved three-time champion of the sport, ran his hands through his noticeably longer, noticeably grayer hair and sighed -- managing just a slight corner-of-the-mouth smile. "I didn't have this gray hair two years ago,'' he said, shaking his head and allowing just a trace of his trademark dry wit to appear. During this rare late season interview Stewart's voice was soft and subdued. His body language spoke more loudly, his emotions still tangible and heavy. Stewart has spent much of the last two seasons broken in body and in heart, his strong spirit battered. In August 2013 Stewart suffered a broken right leg in a sprint car accident, the fractures to his tibia and fibula forcing him out of his No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for the remaining 15 races of NASCAR's Sprint Cup season. Still recovering from that injury and walking with a noticeable limp, Stewart started out 2014 assuring everyone that he was ready to race, insisting that his leg hurt more out of the race car than in it. The Stewart-like results weren't immediate, but he reminded people that there was a new rules package for which he had to adjust and a new crew chief with whom to get in sync. He preached patience, not panic. This summer, by the one-year anniversary of his leg injury, Stewart had already begun entering sprint car races again sporadically, in a low-key manner. It was an important personal milestone -- both physically and emotionally. Racing sprint cars is where Stewart is happiest. No pressure, just fun. It's his golf game, his family, his joy. When he shows up -- mostly unannounced -- for one of the Friday or Saturday night shows at some random, small-town dirt track, he is the first to offer financial assistance to the struggling young racer in the pits next to him. Stewart well remembers what it was like to need that one break. Just as often, it's a piece of advice or a supporting pat on the back from Stewart that will make that racer's night and provide a rocking chair moment in 50 years. That passion is what makes the Aug. 9, 2014, incident so hard to endure -- then and now. While competing on a Saturday night in upstate New York during the Sprint Cup race weekend at Watkins Glen, New York, Stewart was involved in a bizarre and tragic accident. Another driver upset after crashing out of the race, 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr., got out of his sprint car and walked down the track toward the racing line to confront Stewart as he drove by . Stewart's car struck Ward, who died of his injuries. Stewart took most of the next month off from NASCAR out of respect to the Ward family, and to collect himself and grieve after an unimaginable turn in life while doing the one thing that had always been his steady source of happiness. Almost immediately after the accident television pundits joined sudden racing experts -- many of whom had never covered a race before, and many more who had never even met Stewart -- to offer loud and often misinformed opinions in the aftermath. A grand jury heard all the evidence and thoroughly contemplated the hard facts (witness accounts and video footage) and decided there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and on Sept. 24 formally cleared Stewart. The experience has obviously altered Stewart's perspective and changed his life. In unanticipated ways, too. The outpouring of support he received from fans, his corporate partners and fellow drivers in all forms of motorsports was humbling and strengthening. Stewart found out that so often, it's in the darkest and harshest times that you realize true friendship and the importance of the big picture. It was evident that weekend in Homestead, where despite the difficulties and turmoil of the season, Stewart intently focused on what he had to be thankful for, even as he still grappled with the tragic circumstances of the previous months and disappointments on-track. Here was Stewart about to have his first winless Cup season in his Hall of Fame 16-year career. "If that streak doesn't continue, it's not going to make my year any worse, by any means. It might have been something to help salvage it,'' Stewart said after a long, thoughtful pause. As it turned out, there was another thing that at least made the season more bearable. And on the last NASCAR race weekend of the year -- at a track where in 2011 Stewart put double exclamation points on one of the single most impressive NASCAR championship runs in the sport's history -- his good friend and teammate Kevin Harvick was less than 48 hours away from delivering the team its second title in four years, in similar style. "I think winning this championship with Kevin, it would be more gratifying to me from the standpoint, we've won it as an owner/driver, but to win it with a guy that's a good friend of yours, to win this year with all the adversity that I went through, I think it solidifies what Stewart-Haas Racing is all about and shows the depth in our organization,'' Stewart said. "That's what it will prove if we can win this championship, how solid our program is to have done it with two different drivers and have so many people make the Chase each year. This is what will really put us on the map." In what could be a microcosm of Stewart's year, he finished 43rd at Homestead after being collected in an early-race accident -- but he was still able to enjoy watching Harvick win the race and hoist the Sprint Cup trophy. The hugs, handshakes, high-fives and pure emotions of it all during the victory celebration had to be a great release for Stewart, who considers the friendship part of the relationship equally as important as the business success. "You know, there's a lot of things I would love to change about the last 18 months of my life, but tonight is not one of them,'' Stewart said after the race. "I'm going to enjoy this moment, and I'm going to enjoy it with this group and this young man. "We're going to go celebrate and enjoy this because this group of people here have deserved it, and this is a great family and this is a great group of people to lean on." It echoed what Stewart said two days earlier in his motor coach, the great solace friendships have given him in times of despair -- a comforting asset he takes as he tries to move forward. Stewart will spend what little downtime he has after the season with friends like SHR crew chief Tony Gibson and World of Outlaws legend Steve Kinser. He'll attend the Chili Bowl as a spectator, cheering on those he would normally compete against. Just being in that atmosphere, surrounded by friends and supporters, will have to be enough for now. "That's one thing that hasn't changed no matter what's gone on,'' Stewart said, his voice perking up to make the point. "It's the one consistency in my life. And I'm so grateful." 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