Get caught up before Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET, FOX) MORE: NASCAR.com's picks for Charlotte " See all 43 cars for Charlotte What: 56th Annual Coca-Cola 600 Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway , Concord, N.C. When: Sunday, May 23, 2015 TV/Radio: FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR) Distance: 400 laps (600 miles) Green Flag: 6:18.30 p.m. ET Pit Road Speed: 45 mph Caution Car Speed: 55 mph Competition Caution : Lap 25 On The Front Row " Complete lineup for Sunday's race 1. Matt Kenseth , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota (194.252 mph) 2. Joey Logano , Team Penske No. 22 Ford (192.836 mph) Failed to Qualify Jeb Burton , BK Racing No. 26 Toyota; Mike Bliss , Go FAS Racing No. 32 Ford; Travis Kvapil , Hillman SmithMotorsports No. 39 Chevrolet; Jeff Green , TMG No. 30 Chevrolet; Brendan Gaughan , Premium Motorsports No. 62 Chevrolet Fastest In Practice First Practice: Carl Edwards , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota (192.273 mph) " Full practice results Second Practice: Kurt Busch , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet (192.644 mph) " Full practice results Third Practice: Kurt Busch , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet (188.653 mph) " Full practice results Four Score? Matt Kenseth will start from the pole for the 15th time in his career when the Coca-Cola 600 gets under way. On three occasions, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver has managed to also win the race – at Bristol in 2005 and '15 as well as Kansas in '13. "Back when I started, we worked hard on qualifying but we worked way harder on the race (setup) because even if we started 20th, we knew if we had a really good car we could drive up to the front and after a couple of pit stops we'd be in the top few," Kenseth said. "That's not necessarily the case today. You can start in the middle and you can be stuck in the middle all day sometimes. It's hard to make up ground." SHOP: Kenseth gear No. 450 for Biffle, McMurray Roush Fenway Racing 's Greg Biffle and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver Jamie McMurray will be making their 450th career starts in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series in the Coca-Cola 600 . Biffle's first start came April 28, 2002 at Auto Club Speedway . He finished 13th. McMurray's first start came later that same year, on October 6 at Talladega Superspeedway . Driving in a relief role for the injured Sterling Marlin, McMurray finished 26th. Front Row Joe(y) Team Penske driver Joey Logano qualified second for the Coca-Cola 600 , his seventh front-row start in 12 races this year. Since the 2014 season and the move to group qualifying, Logano has earned 15 top-two starts. SHOP: Logano gear Shorten the 600? "If they take that away or shorten it, it doesn't have the same challenge because that extra 100 miles is really hard. It puts extra wear and tear on your parts, your pieces, and your driver. It makes you change your strategy. And … it's something unique to our sport. … I like the challenge of that extra 100 miles once a year. I wouldn't want to do it twice a year." – former championship winning crew chief Ray Evernham Third Cup Start for Elliott Defending XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott will be making his third Sprint Cup Series start this weekend, qualifying the Hendrick Motorsports No. 25 Chevrolet 28th in the 43-car field. Elliott, the son of 1988 Sprint Cup champ and NASCAR Hall of Fame member Bill Elliott , finished 38th in his Sprint Cup debut earlier this year at Martinsville and 16th at Richmond. Driver Rating Best driver rating average at Charlotte based on past 20 races: Jimmie Johnson , Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet (111.6) Kyle Busch , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota (106.7) Kasey Kahne , Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet (100.8) GALLERY: Check out the Memorial Day weekend patriotic paint schemes Chevy Stumble? For the first time this season, no Chevrolet drivers qualified in the top five. Points leader Kevin Harvick , in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet, led the GM charge and will start eighth. Lap Leaders Jim Paschal holds the record for most laps led by the winner in the Coca-Cola 600 , leading 335 of 400 en route to his victory at Charlotte in 1967 (it was then called the World 600). Race winner Jimmie Johnson led 334 of 400 in '04. The driver leading the most laps in the 600 and NOT winning the race is Junior Johnson, who led 289 in the '63 event but finished second to Fred Lorenzen after suffering a flat tire with fewer than five laps remaining. Defending Coca-Cola 600 Champion Jimmie Johnson , Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet Former Charlotte Winners In Field Jimmie Johnson (7); Jeff Gordon (5); Kasey Kahne (4); Kevin Harvick (3); Matt Kenseth , Jamie McMurray (2); Casey Mears , Tony Stewart , Brad Keselowski , Clint Bowyer , Kurt Busch (1). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
10-week summer program begins at NASCAR Sprint All-Star Weekend DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 15, 2015) -- Twenty of the best and brightest college students from across the country will descend on Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend as the sport introduces the 2015 NASCAR Diversity Internship Program (NDIP) class at NASCAR Sprint All-Star Weekend. The interns come to NASCAR from as far north as the University of Minnesota and as far south as the University of Puerto Rico, and will take part in the 10-week, paid program, created to expose multicultural college students to employment opportunities within America's No. 1 motorsport. As the NDIP grows in popularity, so has the number of internship roles at NASCAR and other companies within the industry, in the areas of engineering, finance, marketing, licensing and public relations. Hendrick Motorsports , Rev Racing, Pocono Raceway and Switch, a marketing agency, are among the companies participating in 2015. "Since 2000, the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program has grown to become one of the premier internships in sports," said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. "For NASCAR, the program is an important part of our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace." Nearly 300 interns have participated in the NDIP since its inception, and many secured full-time jobs in motorsports following their internships. Recent graduates have found roles at NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation, Octagon and Toyota, among other companies tied to the industry. "The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program has proven to be an effective pipeline for hiring top talent across the industry," said Paula Miller, NASCAR senior vice president and chief human resources officer. "We have several former interns who now have key roles in helping to grow our sport." Pedro Mojica, a graduate of The University of Texas at San Antonio, completed his NDIP internship in 2014 and now works full-time as an engineer for Toyota Racing Development. "As an intern, I had the opportunity to become immersed in the world of NASCAR -- a sport I was passionate about," said Mojica, who also participated in the NASCAR Mentorship Program. "The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program provided me with a platform to launch my career in motorsports." Several former interns are now employed at NASCAR within multiple business units, including: Brandon Thompson, director, racing operations; Marvin Aylor Jr., manager, marketing; Lauren Houston, senior account executive, multicultural development; Kathryn Lee, senior coordinator, events; Jusan Hamilton, account executive, industry services; Ade Herbert, coordinator, communications; Jason Simmons, licensing assistant; and Cameron McCarty, pit road technician. This weekend, the 2015 class will experience NASCAR 101 and receive guided tours of the NASCAR Research & Development Center, NASCAR Hall of Fame and Charlotte Motor Speedway before taking in Saturday's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, which will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 at 7 p.m. ET. The class includes the following students from colleges and universities across the country: Intern Internship Assignment College or University Hometown Kent Booze NASCAR Brand and Consumer Marketing Dartmouth College Spiro, Okla. Karl Bostick Octagon Marketing Elon University Englewood, N.J. Adrienne Bright NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications Central Michigan University Flint, Mich. Nichole Dominguez NASCAR Weekly and Touring University of Central Florida Daytona Beach, Fla. Sydnei Fryson Rev Racing PR/Marketing Hampton University Charleston, W.V. James Harris Hendrick Marketing/Business Development University of North Carolina at Charlotte Apex, N.C. Zubin Jhambani NASCAR Marketing Research Syracuse University Udaipur (Rajasthan), India Giridhar Kathiresan NASCAR Digital Media University of North Carolina at Charlotte Chennai (Tami Nadu), India Victoria Kim Pocono Raceway Marketing Penn State University Horsham, Pa. Jordan Leatherman Switch Marketing Oklahoma State University Muskogee, Okla. Yuyi Li NASCAR Industry Services Duke University Chapel Hill, N.C. Bice Lizza NASCAR Human Resources Penn State University Montville, N.J. Jade McCrary NASCAR Member Services Florida A&M University Daytona Beach, Fla. Cole McGinnis NASCAR Licensing University of Iowa Davenport, Ia. Jasmine Neely NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Charlotte, N.C. Hakeem Onafowokan NASCAR Legal University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn. Alexandre Pendegrass NASCAR Multicultural Development Howard University Dallas, Texas Keyzza Plaza NASCAR Production Engineering University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez Toa Alta, Puerto Rico Tonya Vanderpool NASCAR Finance University of Central Florida Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands Ashleigh Young NASCAR Productions Oklahoma State University Santa Ana, Calif.
A stats-based look ahead to the 11th race of the Sprint Cup season MORE: See the Chase Grid entering Kansas DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 4, 2015) – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas going into the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 on May 9 (7:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1). KANSAS-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Greg Biffle (No. 16 Cheez-It/SpongeBob SquarePants Ford) · Two wins, seven top fives, nine top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 10.9 · Average Running Position of 10.0, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 102.8, fourth-best · 207 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most · 900 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.679 mph, sixth-fastest · 2,868 Laps in the Top 15 (77.8%), third-most · 526 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), fourth-most Dale Earnhardt Jr . (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet) · Two top fives, eight top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 16.6 · Driver Rating of 91.3, 10th-best · 133 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most · 887 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.349 mph, 11th-fastest · 2,103 Laps in the Top 15 (61.5%), 10th-most · 442 Quality Passes, eighth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 STANLEY Toyota) · Six top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 10.1 · Average Running Position of 12.2, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 96.8, seventh-best · 132 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most · 956 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.562 mph, seventh-fastest · 2,552 Laps in the Top 15 (69.2%), sixth-most · 538 Quality Passes, third-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 American Red Cross Chevrolet) · Three wins, 10 top fives, 12 top 10s · Average finish of 10.3 · Average Running Position of 9.9, third-best · Driver Rating of 100.5, fifth-best · 157 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 866 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.910 mph, third-fastest · Series-high 3,064 Laps in the Top 15 (83.1%) · 571 Quality Passes, second-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet) · One win, three top fives, eight top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 11.5 · Average Running Position of 11.3, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 100.4, sixth-best · 226 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · Series-high 1,000 Green Flag Passes · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.769 mph, fourth-fastest · 2,667 Laps in the Top 15 (72.4%), fifth-most · 487 Quality Passes, fifth-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) · Two wins, six top fives, 14 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 9.5 · Average Running Position of 9.4, second-best · Series-best Driver Rating of 112.1 · Series-high 478 Fastest Laps Run · 969 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.998 mph, second-fastest · 3,045 Laps in the Top 15 (82.6%), second-most · Series-high 619 Quality Passes Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet) · Four top fives, seven top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 13.8 · Average Running Position of 13.2, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 92.7, ninth-best · 155 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most · 989 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.483 mph, eighth-fastest · 2,434 Laps in the Top 15 (66.0%), seventh-most · 473 Quality Passes, sixth-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · Two wins, six top fives, 10 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 14.2 · Average Running Position of 10.7, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 105.6, second-best · 240 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.723 mph, fifth-fastest · 2,775 Laps in the Top 15 (75.3%), fourth-most · 453 Quality Passes, seventh-most Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Avaya Ford) · One win, two top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 13.1 · Average Running Position of 14.3, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 88.1, 12th-best Kyle Larson (No. 42 Target Chevrolet) · One top five, one top 10 · Average finish of 7.0 · Series-best Average Running Position of 9.3 · Driver Rating of 103.9, third-best · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 168.679 mph Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet) · Two wins, six top fives, nine top 10s · Average finish of 13.1 · Average Running Position of 11.6, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 95.3, eighth-best · 142 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.416 mph, 10th-fastest · 2,213 Laps in the Top 15 (64.7%), eighth-most · 439 Quality Passes, 11th-most Martin Truex Jr . (No. 78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet) · Four top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 18.2 · Average Running Position of 14.1, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 90.4, 11th-best · 134 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.442 mph, ninth-fastest · 2,060 Laps in the Top 15 (60.3%), 11th-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Kansas Speedway Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 18 3 1 3 8 1 11.5 100.4 2 Martin Truex Jr . 13 0 0 4 4 1 18.2 90.4 3 Jimmie Johnson 17 3 2 6 14 1 9.5 112.1 4 Joey Logano 11 0 1 3 3 1 19.8 79.7 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr . 17 1 0 2 8 2 16.6 91.3 6 Brad Keselowski 10 0 1 2 4 0 13.1 88.1 7 Jamie McMurray 16 0 0 0 3 2 20.3 73.4 8 Matt Kenseth 18 2 2 6 10 2 14.2 105.6 9 Kasey Kahne 15 3 0 4 7 1 13.8 92.7 10 Denny Hamlin 13 0 1 3 4 0 14.5 87.9 11 Paul Menard 12 0 0 1 5 0 15.6 80.3 12 Aric Almirola 6 0 0 0 3 1 18.2 84.4 13 Jeff Gordon 18 0 3 10 12 2 10.3 100.5 14 Ryan Newman 18 0 1 3 5 3 18.0 71.9 15 Kurt Busch 18 1 0 1 4 2 19.0 83.7 16 Danica Patrick 5 0 0 0 1 2 24.6 59.0 * – Based on last 14 races at Kansas Speedway . Kansas Speedway Data Season Race #: 11 of 36 (05-10-15) Track Size : 1.5-miles Banking/Turn 1 & 2 : 17 to 20 degrees Banking/Turn 3 & 4 : 17 to 20 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 10 degrees Banking/Backstretch : 5 degrees Frontstretch Length : 2,685 feet Backstretch Length : 2,207 feet Race Length : 267 laps / 400 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Kansas Jimmie Johnson ........................ 112.1 Matt Kenseth ............................. 105.6 Kyle Larson ............................... 103.9 Greg Biffle ................................ 102.8 Jeff Gordon .............................. 100.5 Kevin Harvick ............................ 100.4 Carl Edwards .............................. 96.8 Tony Stewart ............................... 95.3 Kasey Kahne .............................. 92.7 Dale Earnhardt Jr . ....................... 91.3 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (14 total) among active drivers at Kansas Speedway . Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Kevin Harvick , Chevrolet 194.252 mph, 27.799 secs. 05-08-14 2014 race winner : Jeff Gordon , Chevrolet 128.149 mph, (03:07:31), 05-10-14 Track qualifying record: Kevin Harvick , Chevrolet 197.773 mph, 27.304 secs. 10-3-14 Track race record: Denny Hamlin , Toyota 144.122 mph, (02:59:51), 04-22-12 Kansas Speedway : History · Groundbreaking was held on May 25, 1999. · The official opening of Kansas Speedway was in 2001, with the first events being an ARCA race and a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race on the same day – June 2. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was on Sept. 30, 2001 – won by Jeff Gordon . · During the 2012 season, between the April and October events the 1.5-mile track underwent a repave adding variable banking in the corners. Notebook · There have been 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway , one NSCS event from 2001 - 2010 and two races per year since 2011. · 117 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas; 89 in more than one. · Five drivers have started all 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway – Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch , Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman . · Jason Leffler won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Kansas Speedway in 2001 with a speed of 176.499 mph. · 11 drivers have Coors Light poles at Kansas, led by Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne with three each. · Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick are the only two drivers to win consecutive Coors Light poles at Kansas Speedway (Johnson – 2007, 2008 and Harvick – fall 2013, spring 2014 and fall 2014). · Youngest Kansas pole winner: Jason Leffler (09/30/2001 – 26 years, 0 months, 14 days). · Oldest Kansas pole winner: Mark Martin (10/04/2009 – 50 years, 8 months, 25 days). · 12 different drivers have won at Kansas Speedway , led by Jeff Gordon with three. · Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Kansas with five: Jeff Gordon (three) and Jimmie Johnson (two). · Four manufacturers have won at Kansas Speedway in the NSCS; led by Chevrolet with nine victories, Ford with four, Toyota and Dodge each have two. · Four of the 18 (22.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; Joe Nemechek (2004), Jimmie Johnson (2008), Matt Kenseth (spring 2013) and Kevin Harvick (fall 2013). · Five of the 18 (27.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway have been won from the front row: four from the pole and one from second-place. · 11 of the 18 (61.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kansas Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position. · Two of the 18 (11.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Kansas Speedway was 25th, by Brad Keselowski in the spring of 2011. · Youngest Kansas winner: Joey Logano (10/05/2014 – 24 years, 4 months, 11 days). · Oldest Kansas winner: Mark Martin (10/09/2005 – 46 years, 9 months, 0 days). · Martin Truex Jr ., Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman are tied for the series most runner-up finishes at Kansas Speedway with two each. · Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-five finishes at Kansas Speedway with 10; followed by Greg Biffle with seven. · Jimmie Johnson leads the series in top-10 finishes at Kansas Speedway with 14; followed by Jeff Gordon (12) and Carl Edwards (11). · Joey Logano leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Kansas Speedway with an 10.818. · Kyle Larson (7.000) leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Kansas Speedway – Jimmie Johnson (9.529) is the only other driver with an average finish inside the top 10. · There has been one NSCS race resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Kansas Speedway : fall of 2011 (267/272). · Only one of the 18 races at Kansas Speedway has been shortened due to weather conditions: fall of 2007. · Qualifying has never been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kansas Speedway . · Denny Hamlin has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway without posting a DNF (13). · 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion and 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Austin Dillon (10/09/2011), Ryan Blaney (5/10/2014) and Denny Hamlin (10/09/2005) made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Kansas Speedway . · Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth are the only two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers that have posted consecutive wins at Kansas Speedway : Gordon (2001 and 2002 – the first two NSCS events at Kansas) and Kenseth (fall of 2012, spring of 2013). · Nine of the 10 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Kansas Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Jeff Gordon won at Kansas in his first appearance. · Kevin Harvick competed at Kansas Speedway 15 times before winning last fall; the longest span of any the 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Kansas. · Kevin Harvick (15) and Matt Kenseth (13) have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Kansas Speedway . · Kurt Busch leads the series with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Kansas Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 18. · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kansas Speedway was the (10/10/2004) race won by Joe Nemechek with a MOV of 0.081 second. · Jimmie Johnson leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Kansas Speedway with 586 laps led in 17 starts. · Danica Patrick is the only female driver that has competed at Kansas Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date Danica Patrick 29 16 10/5/2014 Danica Patrick 9 7 5/10/2014 Danica Patrick 29 43 10/6/2013 Danica Patrick 25 25 4/21/2013 Danica Patrick 40 32 10/21/2012 NASCAR in Kansas · There have been 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Kansas. Track Name City NSCS Kansas Speedway Kansas City 18 · 17 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Kansas. · Two drivers from Kansas have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series; both have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Driver NSCS NNS NCWTS Clint Bowyer 8 8 3 Jim Roper 1 0 0 MILESTONES - KANSAS DRIVER HAS NEEDS MILESTONE Kyle Larson 49 1 50th NSCS Start - Larson is tied with Boris Said and Justin Allgaier for 272nd on the all-time NSCS starts list with 49 starts. Justin Allgaier 49 1 50th NSCS Start - Allgaier is tied with Boris Said and Kyle Larson for 272nd on the all-time NSCS starts list with 49 starts. Tony Stewart 48 2 50th NSCS Win - Stewart is 12th on the all-time NSCS wins list. Matt Kenseth 32 1 33rd NSCS Win - Kenseth is tied with Dale Jarrett for 22nd on the all-time NSCS wins li
The GarageCam crew takes a stroll through the Sprint Cup Series garage and views the patriotic paint schemes for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Father of Johnny Sauter made 76 career starts in premier series Jim Sauter, a racer and father of four drivers including NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Johnny Sauter , died on Friday night shortly before the conclusion of the Truck event at Texas Motor Speedway , according to ThorSport Racing. He was 71. Sauter competed in 82 NASCAR national series races from 1980 to 2004, including 76 premier series starts. The native of Necedah, Wisconsin, made his final NASCAR Nationwide Series start at the Milwaukee Mile in 2002, racing against his sons Jay, Johnny and Tim. Jim Jr. followed in his father's footsteps as well. In addition to these four sons, Sauter is survived by his wife, Debbie, eight additional children, 51 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and two sisters. A two-time champion in the ARTGO Racing Series in the Midwest, Sauter tested International Race of Champions cars with fellow Wisconsin racers Dave Marcis and Dick Trickle. His son, Johnny, learned of his father's passing following Friday's Winstar World Casino & Resort 350. His lone win of 2014 came at Michigan International Speedway , and he acknowledged it was a special victory in his post-race comments that recalled his dad's recollections of the track. "I'm just going to relish in this win because this has been a tough, tough race track for me throughout my career," Johnny said. "My Dad always said, 'That place is easy.' But, I never felt that way. Until today, I mean when you have a truck like this -- it was just awesome." NASCAR issued the following statement on Jim Sauter's passing: "NASCAR offers its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jim Sauter. A true racer, Jim passed on his passion and competitive spirit to his children and grandchildren. A driver himself with roots in the Midwest, his reach and impact extend across the entire sport." The racing community expressed condolences on social media with a sample included below from Sauter's former competitor Mark Martin ; fellow Wisconsin racer Roy Kenseth, father of Matt; crew chief and former IROC chassis specialist Ray Evernham and NASCAR Senior Vice President, Racing Operations Jim Cassidy. Sorry to hear Jim Sauter died. He was a really good man and a great racer. — Mark Martin (@markmartin) November 1, 2014 Thoughts and prayers go out to the Jim Sauter family today. pic.twitter.com/ydHNAQcXQT — Roy Kenseth (@roykenseth) November 1, 2014 Really sorry to hear about passing of Jim Sauter. Worked with him for many years at IROC. Crew chiefed for him at Pocono 1990 #RIP — ray evernham (@RayEvernham) November 1, 2014 Thinking about the Sauter family. Jim Sauter's contribution to stock car racing and NASCAR will be felt for many generations. Good man. — Jim Cassidy (@jfcassidy) November 1, 2014 MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Chris Buescher celebrates in Victory Lane at Iowa Speedway after winning the 3M 250.
Furniture Row Racing driver goes through the fire with girlfriend Sherry Pollex
Nick Duncan and special guest Chris Rice tour the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage to chat with drivers about racing and which SpongeBob SquarePants character they would be.
ISC CEO to be featured on 'CBS Sunday Morning,' May 10, 9 a.m. ET
Driver has begun process to be reinstated by NASCAR Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live The Delaware attorney general's office said Thursday that it will not bring criminal charges against NASCAR driver Kurt Busch , citing insufficient evidence. RELATED: NASCAR statement on Kurt Busch The decision concludes the criminal case concerning the alleged incident of domestic violence against former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll last September at Dover International Speedway . The Delaware Department of Justice confirmed the decision Thursday morning in an emailed statement. "After a thorough consideration of all of the available information about the case, it is determined that the admissible evidence and available witnesses would likely be insufficient to meet the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Busch committed a crime during the September 26th incident," the statement read. "Likelihood of meeting that high burden of proof is the standard for prosecutors in bringing a case. For this reason, the Department of Justice will not pursue criminal charges in this case." NASCAR indefinitely suspended Busch on Feb. 20, the day a Delaware family court released its report granting Driscoll's no-contact order. The 36-year-old Busch has missed the first two events in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, with interim driver Regan Smith -- a regular in the NASCAR XFINITY Series -- filling in for the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet team. NASCAR released a statement late Thursday afternoon to say that Busch remains suspended, but that the Delaware attorney general's decision removes a hurdle to Busch's possible reinstatement. "NASCAR is aware of the Delaware Department of Justice announcement today regarding driver Kurt Busch ," the statement read. "As we disclosed Monday, he has accepted the terms and conditions of a reinstatement program and is actively participating in the program. Kurt Busch 's eligibility for reinstatement will continue to be governed by that program and the NASCAR Rule Book, though the elimination of the possibility of criminal charges certainly removes a significant impediment to his reinstatement." RELATED: Busch starts reinstatement process Busch -- who testified that he repeatedly told Driscoll to leave his motorcoach Sept. 26 and disputed her accusations of physical abuse -- released a statement Thursday afternoon, showing his appreciation and welcoming the decision. "I am grateful that the prosecutors in Delaware listened, carefully considered the evidence, and after a thorough investigation decided to not file criminal charges against me," Busch's statement read. "I wish to thank my family, friends, fans, and race team who stood by me throughout this nightmare with their unwavering support. Thanks also goes to my legal team for making sure that the truth got out and was fully provided to the prosecutors. As I have said from the beginning, I did not commit domestic abuse. I look forward to being back in racing as soon as possible and moving on with my life." Less than an hour later, Driscoll and members of her legal team also issued statements regarding the decision. "While I respect the process, I am disappointed that full justice was not served here," Driscoll's statement read. "My family and I take a measure of solace in the Order of Protection From Abuse granted by commissioner Jones, who ruled my account of the facts was the most credible. At great risk to my personal and professional reputation, I have spoken candidly, at length, and on the record, to a variety of outlets in an effort to correct the distortions and sensationalism that have unfortunately marked the coverage of this painful time in my family’s life. I would urge anyone covering this case to stick to the well-established facts. Giving further air to baseless and discredited accusations about me does a disservice to the public and reduces a serious matter for law enforcement into tabloid gossip. "In all future developments in this case, I will continue to stand up for my integrity and for justice. But for now, I am focused on my family, my friends, and my important and gratifying work with the Armed Forces Foundation." Jim Ligouri, a Delaware-based attorney who represented Busch, deferred comment on Thursday's decision to Rusty Hardin, the lead attorney for Busch's legal team. A call placed to Hardin's Houston, Texas office was not immediately returned. Driscoll filed a complaint Nov. 5 with the Dover Police Department, which completed its investigation of the alleged altercation on Jan. 6, handing the case over to the Delaware attorney general's office. The criminal case was separate from Driscoll's request for a no-contact order, which was granted Feb. 16 by a Delaware family court. Busch's attorneys pledged to appeal the yearlong protective order, which mandates that Busch must not contact Driscoll and must stay away from her except "at NASCAR races and related events where closer proximity is required." NASCAR handed down an indefinite suspension four days later, after Kent County (Delaware) family court commissioner David Jones released his findings in a civil disposition, saying that a "preponderance of the evidence" indicated that Busch "committed an act of domestic violence" during Driscoll's visit to the driver's motorcoach at Dover. The commissioner's ruling also stated that Busch's "version of the events is implausible, does not make sense and is unlikely to be true given the totality of the other evidence admitted at trial." Mark Dycio, a Fairfax, Virginia-based attorney representing Driscoll, said Thursday in a prepared statement that Driscoll's legal team took heart in Jones' earlier report in light of Thursday's decision. "The decision from the Delaware Attorney General does not deny that the assault occurred, and indicates only that the state's attorneys lack confidence in their ability to get a criminal conviction," Dycio said. "It changes nothing about the established facts of the case. Mr. Busch testified in open court that he squeezed Patricia's face, and admitted to police that he slammed her head against the wall in the process. Given that these admissions establish an assault took place, and that police recommended Mr. Busch be prosecuted, it seems impossible that the attorney general's office made this decision on burden of proof grounds. "It would be unfortunate, and a terrible precedent for victims of abuse, if the prospect of inviting a media circus fueled by Mr. Busch’s wealth, notoriety, and hostile PR team in any way swayed this decision. We are comforted at least in the knowledge that the judge who did hear the evidence found clear reason to believe Busch committed the assault, and granted the protective order to Patricia and her family." Busch's suspension fell under two headings in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book -- Actions detrimental to stock car racing; and 12.8: Behavioral penalty. Busch filed two expedited appeals Feb. 21 on the eve of the season-opening Daytona 500 , but NASCAR's ruling was upheld in both hearings -- the first heard by the three-member National Motorsports Appeals Panel and the final heard by National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss. Stewart-Haas Racing officials said Monday that Smith again would serve as a substitute driver in this Sunday's Kobalt 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, just outside Busch's hometown. SHR released a statement from Joe Custer, SHR's executive vice president on Thursday evening that read: "We appreciate the thoroughness of the Dover Police Department's investigation into the allegations made against Kurt Busch and respect the time the Attorney General put into his decision. They are experts in these matters and the decision not to pursue charges is an important one. We're currently working with NASCAR to understand how this impacts Kurt's reinstatement process." Thursday's developments did not change Chevrolet's stance on Busch. "Our relationship with Kurt Busch remains unchanged," Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, said in a statement. "He remains suspended, and we will continue to monitor all aspects of this situation." Busch applied for reinstatement of his competition license last Friday, agreeing to the terms and conditions set forth by NASCAR. Monday, NASCAR spokesperson David Higdon said there was no timetable to Busch's potential path to reinstatement, and that the requirements were developed as an individually tailored plan, created in consultation with an outside expert. Higdon confirmed that NASCAR's reinstatement procedure was separate from the requirements issued by Commissioner Jones, who required that Busch "be evaluated by a licensed mental health professional" and complete any treatment plan that person would prescribe. Busch has recorded 25 victories since beginning his career in NASCAR's premier series in 2000. He won his only series championship in 2004, the first season for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. Busch's absence marks the third time in his Sprint Cup career that he has missed races because of disciplinary reasons. Roush Fenway Racing cut its ties to the driver with two events left in the 2005 season after Busch was cited for reckless driving and belligerent behavior during a traffic stop, according to Maricopa County (Arizona) sheriff's deputies. NASCAR also gave Busch a one-race suspension for verbal abuse of a media member in June 2012. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule