Final practice recap " RELATED: Full practice results Joey Logano (175.404 mph) topped the board in the final NASCAR Sprint Cup practice of the season before Sunday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway . The 50-minute session marked the last on-track time before Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 (3 p.m. ET, NBC/Live Extra, MRN, SiriusXM). The Team Penske driver scored a front row starting spot in qualifying for Sunday's race and has six wins on the season. He also secured the best five-lap average. Kasey Kahne came in second in the session (175.080 mph). Kahne is trying to avoid his first winless season since 2010. Dale Earnhardt Jr . (175.035 mph), Carl Edwards (174.571 mph) and Kurt Busch (174.560 mph) rounded out the top five. Jeff Gordon led the way for the Championship 4 drivers, finishing the session ninth (173.321 mph). The four-time champion held the best 10-lap average at 169.489 mph. Martin Truex Jr . was 10th (173.232 mph), Kyle Busch was 17th (171.418 mph) and Kevin Harvick was 26th (169.972 mph). Harvick, the defending champion and race winner, opened the session on scuff tires for his initial run and reported near the end of the session that he thought the right front tire may be going soft. The top finisher in Sunday's race among the Championship 4 drivers will be crowned the 2015 Sprint Cup champion. David Ragan suffered a flat left-rear tire 10 minutes into practice. Saturday's final practice was the lone practice to go the scheduled length as weather did not interrupt the team's on-track time. Practice 1 recap " RELATED: Full practice results Kyle Larson emerged with the fastest speed in the first of two Sprint Cup Series practices on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway after the session started late and ended early because of rain. The Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver's best speed of 176.010 mph edged defending series champion and one of four remaining Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers in Kevin Harvick , who pulled in second at 175.194 mph clip. Carl Edwards (174.374 mph), Greg Biffle (174.126 mph) and Joey Logano (174.081 mph) rounded out the top five. Kyle Busch was the only other Chase driver in the top 10, placing ninth overall with a speed of 173.399 mph. Jeff Gordon was 15 th at 172.337 mph and Martin Truex Jr . was 19 th at 171.816 mph. Casey Mears and AJ Allmendinger both ran into issues in the session, each spinning with Allmendinger's No. 47 Chevrolet taking heavy right-side damage.
RELATED: Watch video of the Martinsville incident HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Rivals Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano met with NASCAR officials Friday morning before opening Sprint Cup Series practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Kenseth, returning from a two-race suspension for NASCAR's season-ending weekend, told a small group of reporters that the two drivers met in the hopes of moving past their escalated feud during this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. NASCAR.com independently confirmed that such a meeting took place. "Everything will be fine there," Kenseth told reporters, making his first remarks since two penalties appeals were denied Nov. 5. "I wish none of it would have happened obviously. There's probably certain things we'll never totally agree on, but I think long term it probably will be fine, and I think we will work it all out." Logano , who landed the second starting spot for the season finale in Friday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying, was brief in his comments about the meeting, joking, "We haven't had enough of this yet?" "It was good," Logano added. "NASCAR had us sit down and talk it out a little bit and I thought that was good for us to do." Friday's practice session marked the first time that Kenseth and Logano shared the same race track since their Nov. 1 altercation at Martinsville Speedway . During that event, a laps-down Kenseth intentionally wrecked race leader Logano in the late stages, a run-in that ended his three-race win streak and dealt a serious blow to Logano's bid for his first premier-series championship. Logano was eliminated from title contention two weeks later at Phoenix International Raceway . Kenseth was unapologetic for his actions during a phone interview with the Associated Press last weekend, saying he couldn't recall a heightened rivalry in the sport where NASCAR officials did not intervene before it reached a tipping point. NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France touched on the topic during Friday's State of the Sport address, just four days after meeting with Kenseth and car owner Joe Gibbs at the team's Huntersville, North Carolina, race shop. "What we were coming down here to a championship weekend, and I wanted to make sure that that matter was behind us with Matt, with Joe Gibbs and so on," France said. "I'm assured that it is. We had a good conversation about what had happened and what the thinking was or whatever you want to call Matt's actions, and we talked about that. And it was a good conversation." Gibbs, speaking Thursday during media availabilities ahead of Sunday's season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 (3 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM), said that he also found the conversations productive. "I think going forward, we had good meetings," Gibbs said. "I think we're all in a good place right now. I think Matt is, too, and I appreciated getting a chance to meet with Brian, and I think Matt did, too, and I think we're going to put all that behind us, and we're going to go racing."
RELATED: Full race results " Update series standings FORT WORTH, Texas -- In order to advance to his second straight Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway , Joey Logano all but needed to win one of the two remaining races of the Eliminator Round of NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup . The Team Penske driver's chances were cut in half a mere 10 laps into Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway -- by a cut tire. Running fourth on Lap 10, Logano had a left-rear tire go down in Turn 2, spinning to the bottom of the track and suffering major damage to the left-rear quarter panel of his No. 22 Ford Fusion. The wreck "shredded everything inside the car," according to Logano , and although he was able to get back out on track, he was saddled with a 40th-place finish. With one race remaining in the Eliminator Round and 63 points separating him from the cutoff line, Sunday's Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM) at Phoenix International Raceway is a must-win situation. "(Today's race is) not what we needed, we need to win. But we're not out of it -- this team's not quitting," Logano said. "... It was just part of it. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. We will be ready for Phoenix. This team is strong. We didn't take any wind out of our sails today, and we showed how fast this thing was even after we crashed." The 25-year-old driver has yet to add a trophy from Phoenix to his quickly-growing collection, but if anyone on the circuit can unseat Kevin Harvick as the "Desert King" it's a motivated Logano . The Team Penske driver swept the Contender Round races of the Chase, has six wins on the season and has a consecutive run of four straight top-10 finishes at Phoenix -- all of which were Harvick wins. So how does he feel going into next week, knowing his entire season -- which started in February with his first Daytona 500 win -- is riding on it? "Same as this week, right? This was a must-win situation as well," Logano said. "If we finished second today we would be in the same boat going into Phoenix. I feel great about our chances at Phoenix. It has been a great race track for us in the past. I felt like this track was a great one for us as well. It is unfortunate that we finished how we did."
Editor's note: During each week of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , The Joey Logano Foundation will provide grants to a non-profit in each of the race markets in a program called "Chasing Second Chances." Each week, Logano will detail those plans for NASCAR.com. Hey everyone! I appreciate the words of encouragement a lot of you have been sending. Our #22 team is looking ahead and focused on what we need to do in order to secure our place in the championship. We will keep fighting. This Week’s Cause: Cancer Awareness The month of November has a variety of awareness causes focusing on cancer. It includes lung, pancreatic and stomach cancer to name a few. With all the different cancer awareness causes in the same month, we decided that Chasing Second Chances would focus on a couple organizations helping individuals fighting all types of cancer. For this blog post, I wanted to talk about something that is really important, especially as I look at the organizations Chasing Second Chances is helping this month and the issues they are addressing. I want to talk about perspective. By nature, I am a positive guy. I smile and laugh a lot. It doesn't mean that I don't get frustrated or down at times, but I'm usually able to find positive out of most situations thanks to my amazing wife, loyal fans, and a team that believes in me. I hear a lot of stories of people battling cancer, finding themselves unable to pay their mortgages or at risk of losing a job because they are too sick to work. Sometimes the simple tasks of daily life that you and I take for granted become to tiring to accomplish. I won't take for granted all that I have been blessed with. It is not fair to those fighters who battle for their lives daily; who battle for the strength to care for their children or go for a simple walk outside to not keep things in perspective. I hope my foundation's support this month will offer encouragement and assistance needed to get these individuals and their families through the challenges they face. This Week's Joey Logano Foundation Chasing Second Chances Partner This week, Chasing Second Chances is supporting Cancer Care Services out of Fort Worth, Texas. Their mission is to provide help and hope to cancer patients, survivors, their families and caregivers through direct financial, emotional, spiritual and social programs, services and activities. You can learn more about them through this video: http://bit.ly/1M7jKqR Cancer Care Services provides support to anyone impacted by cancer living in Tarrant, Parker or Hood counties. The services they provide include: · Financial assistance for qualifying cancer patients: Cancer prescriptions, food supplements, medical equipment, supplies, transportation reimbursements, COBRA insurance payments, dental assistance and emergency funds; · Emotional support for everyone: Free one-on-one family or group counseling, general or specialized support groups; · Social support for everyone: Free yoga, massage therapy, children's day camp, art therapy, music therapy, children's play expression, educational seminars and other seasonal social activities; · Spiritual support for everyone: Free, one-on-one counseling and support groups. Through our gift of support, the Joey Logano Foundation hopes individuals and families seeking assistance will find comfort in a scary and many times overwhelming situation. We are proud to support this organization and the work they do to make the community a better place.
Editor's note: During each week of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , The Joey Logano Foundation will provide grants to a non-profit in each of the race markets in a program called "Chasing Second Chances." Each week, Logano will detail those plans for NASCAR.com. Hey everyone! The tire issue hurt us early in the race at Texas. We've got one more shot at Phoenix to keep the #22 in the Chase! This Week's Cause: Cancer Awareness Our Chasing Second Chances program will again focus this week on an organization helping families get through the life altering diagnosis of cancer. For the last blog post, I talked about perspective and the battle with cancer. For this post, I wanted to discuss some of the things we as the community can do to help families and individuals as they are facing this challenge. "There's nothing more lonely in this world then getting that diagnosis." - Singleton Moms Recipient I have seen this before with family and friends battling cancer. There is a fight to carry on with everyday life as they struggle with the diagnosis. Even with friends and family around, they can still feel isolated; like they are dealing with cancer on their own. There are ways that we as a community can help these individuals and families to let them know they are not alone. It can sometimes be hard to know exactly what a person or family may need, but it shouldn't stop us from trying to help. For many cancer patients, the acts of cooking, cleaning a house, getting kids to practice, or going to work can become overwhelming. Just offering to go grocery shopping or bringing a hot meal to the person or family can make a world of difference. If by helping you can make one evening more enjoyable or less painful, it is well worth it. I encourage you to look into organizations providing services to cancer patients. Many times you can find non-profits in the community that offer volunteer opportunities. Many churches offer volunteer programs too or maybe you just start a meal chain for a neighbor you know has been diagnosed. Whatever way you choose to find an opportunity, you may change a person’s life through one simple act of kindness. This Week's Joey Logano Foundation Chasing Second Chances Partner Singleton Moms is a small, Arizona-based non-profit with a mighty vision. They are dedicated to nurturing single parents battling cancer and their minor children. They do this by meeting the practical day-to-day needs of the entire family, while providing hope for tomorrow. The organization uses donor support and volunteers to reach their clients. The following details who they support: · In 2009, 17,000 single parents were living with a cancer diagnosis in Arizona (source) · Singleton Families have an average of 2.7 children living in the home · 70% of the parents they serve have been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer · The average age of the parent they support is 36 years old · The annual cost to support a family of four is $10,200 · In 2013, Singleton Moms provided over 2,160 meals or 8,640 portions to Singleton Families. This means that on any day of the year at least 23 people are enjoying a nutritious family meal provided by Singleton Moms. We were really excited to find out the organization's founder, Jody Farley-Berens, has been nominated as a finalist for the annual CNN Heroes award. This award honors remarkable individuals and their non-profits helping communities all over the world. Congratulations to Jody and her team!
Joey Logano fought his way toward the front of the field and within reach of the victory he needed to advance to the Championship 4, but rain took away another restart and ended his Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
RELATED: Junior leaves Newman stranded at the airport Joey Logano and crew had some logistical issues getting out to Phoenix International Raceway -- namely, they didn't have a ride. Logano wound up hitching up with Dale Earnhardt Jr . , known for taking other drivers on his plane to the race weekend, who was on his way out west with fiancée Amy Reimann and Logano's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup competitor Martin Truex Jr . and his girlfriend, Sherry Pollex. In other words, the Team Penske driver was the fifth wheel. "We just rode up there. Truex was on there and their girlfriends and fiancées were there, so I was hanging out, just fifth-wheeling it," Logano said Friday at PIR. But hey, there were some friendly pooches on board, so at least he had some company. What could go wrong? "The dogs were on (the plane), the dogs were cool," Logano said. "One of the dogs got sick, that wasn't so cool. It was a little stinky but it was OK." Our money's on Gus. RELATED: Junior’s new puppy poops in Truex’s bus Hilariously, Logano and his wife wound up watching the classic travel miscue film, 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' starring John Candy and Steve Martin. "We were watching 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' which is ironic because team plane broke," Logano said.
RELATED: See photos of the wreck, from the garage " Full race results MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- The simmering issues between NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano reached a boiling point Sunday at Martinsville Speedway . And the result found Kenseth's No. 20 Toyota parked by NASCAR officials while Logano , winner of the last three races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , suddenly was last in points among the eight Chase contenders. "It was just a complete coward move, especially for a championship race car driver and race team," Logano said after exiting the infield care center. "Just a complete coward. I don't have anything else to say." Kenseth, eliminated from Chase contention a week after contact with Logano at Kansas Speedway as the two battled for the lead, was already laps down and nursing a banged-up race car in Sunday's Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 when he got into Logano on Lap 454 of the 500-lap race, leaving both cars crashed against the wall. RELATED: Logano bumps Kenseth " Kenseth, Logano at Kansas Logano , looking poised for a fourth straight win, was leading at the time of the incident. "It's a chicken-you-know-what move to completely take out the leader when your race is over," Logano said. "We'll move on. We're going to work hard and we're going to get our car back out there hopefully. We've just got to go win." Kenseth said Sunday's incident was "definitely my fault. "I got into him," the Joe Gibbs Racing driver said. "The right front was dragging down there ... and man (I) couldn't get it to turn and collected him. "I know it's got to be disappointing for him. It's a tough sport; some days you're the bat and some days you're the ball. I was the ball a few weeks ago and I was the ball again today, so that part of it is never fun." Kenseth had suffered damage to his car before the incident on a previous restart when Logano's Team Penske teammate, Brad Keselowski , slid up and into the JGR entry. Kenseth's car turned hard to the left as a result, clipping fellow Chase driver Kurt Busch ( Stewart-Haas Racing ). NASCAR officials met with members of the No. 20 team, including crew chief Jason Ratcliff and team owner Joe Gibbs, at the conclusion of the race. WATCH: NASCAR VP discusses boundaries of 'Boys have at it' Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, wouldn't speculate on impending punishment for Kenseth's actions on the track. "We were certainly disappointed with what took place tonight on the race track," he said. "... Like we always do, there's still a lot to digest from what happened tonight. We'll do that. We'll have some additional conversations and probably come out with something, if there is anything to discuss, on Tuesday." That disappointment, he said, stemmed from the fact that the incident involved a driver not in contention for the win, one that "in fact, was many laps down," he said. "In our minds, that's a little bit different than two drivers really going after it coming out of Turn 4 for a win versus what happened tonight," O'Donnell said. Todd Gordon, Logano's crew chief, said his team would "go to Texas (the next stop on the schedule) and win. "We've done it before," he said. "We'll do it again." Asked if Kenseth crossed the line, Gordon simply said, "I've got an awesome driver in Joey Logano and an awesome team. ... They dug and we got back out, didn't take a DNF. "We did everything and continued to dig all day. We'll do that; we'll continue to dig along. We've got two more races to make this happen." POLL: What's your opinion on Kenseth vs. Logano ? The crash was not the first incident of the day involving the two drivers. Earlier in the race, Kenseth tapped Logano from behind shortly after a restart on Lap 242 to move into second. Kenseth, parked by NASCAR officials following the latter crash, was credited with a 38th-place finish. Logano , who returned to the race following repairs to his No. 22 Ford, finished 37th. Keselowski said his contact with Kenseth on the restart wasn't intentional and was a result of getting hit from behind, which "pushed me into the 20." "My right-front wheel hit Kenseth's left rear and it just broke the right-front suspension off the car," he said. "The car wouldn't turn and just kept going straight until I couldn't do anything and I wrecked everybody. I just didn't have any steering wheel left." WATCH: Kenseth, Kes make contact at Martinsville Race winner Jeff Gordon , the first driver to earn a berth in the championship finale later this month at Homestead-Miami Speedway , said he saw the Kenseth/ Logano accident unfold but admitted "I wasn't ready for it." "I couldn't quite see what the 22's role ( Logano ) played in it," he said. "As soon as I went by I thought, 'Wow, did I just see that?' "I also put myself in Matt's shoes. I could relate. I could relate to frustration getting the best of you. ... You might have some regrets later, but I understand why you make that choice at the moment." Kenseth, a five-time winner this season, won the series title in 2003, the final season before the current Chase format was brought into play. Logano has a series' leading six victories this season. "You never like to be in these situations," Kenseth said. "They really stink to be honest with you, but sometimes you get put in these spots and you've got to try to keep respect in the garage area. You can't get yourself ran over. ... "Like I said, I hated the way it ended." Logano , no doubt, did as well. There were no conversations between the two drivers following the incident. "They won't let me get to him," Logano said. MORE: Miss the race? Catch up on the Martinsville madness
RELATED: Dale Jr. 'Twitter burns' Logano CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Joey Logano laughs it off, and that's easy to do when you've just swept an entire round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Logano , driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, hasn't lost a Sprint Cup Series race since last month when he finished 10th at Dover International Speedway . He followed that with a win at Charlotte. He won the following week at Kansas. And not only did he win at Talladega, but he also beat favored son Dale Earnhardt Jr . in the process. Fans of the No. 88 were not pleased. "I've gotten hate mail," Logano said Tuesday during media-day activities at the NASCAR Hall of Fame for the eight drivers advancing to the Eliminator Round. "Believe me, I got that part. "I don't know why. It's OK. I somewhat enjoy it and I somewhat take it as a compliment because if you look at it, when I was getting beer cans thrown at me (after the Talladega win) ... I was sitting there driving and thinking about it. I was like, ‘Man, this is actually really cool.' " "I get a kick out of it. If I post a picture on Instagram and then all the comments come up on my phone after I post something, the same thing on Twitter, but when the comments come up and it's like, 'You're a jerk.' And there are a lot of things I can't say right now, but I smile every time because I think it's kind of funny because some of them are pretty creative. I'm like, 'You put a lot of thought into that one. That's a new one.' I like the new ones. Those are good." A quick scan of Logano's Instagram account confirms as much. "I hate u." "You got lucky dale would of had it." "Is that before or after my beer can hit your car?" "Too bad he didn't earn it if you actually watch it then jr was ahead at the time when they pulled the caution but go ahead and celebrate a (expletive) win because jr will always be a better racer than you will ever be" "You suck @joeylogano . First you spinout kenseth when you already had a win and now you got lucky beating Jr. You got nothing from these wins. You should've just let Jr win." Logano might spend time perusing the comments, but he said he doesn't worry about why people like him or why they don't. Four-time series champion Jeff Gordon had his share of detractors when he began beating NASCAR's established stars. Go back another generation and Darrell Waltrip did as well. It's common throughout the history of the sport as new stars begin to rise and icons begin to falter. And Logano is clearly on the rise. Sunday's victory at Talladega was his sixth of the season, tops for the series with four races remaining. "I know there are a lot of 22 T-shirts out there and I really enjoy seeing that and I really appreciate the support that the 22 team gets, and if you don't like me, I don't care," he said. "What I do like about our sport is our fans are passionate about their driver. They pick their team. They pick their driver and they say, 'This is my guy and he's right no matter what and everyone else is wrong no matter what,' and that's cool." Logano will be going after a fourth consecutive win this weekend when the Eliminator Round gets underway Sunday with the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway (1:15 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). There's been no time, he said, to enjoy what his team has already accomplished in this year's Chase. "You win these races and you want to enjoy it and take it all in and have a great time, but you can't help but still look out the windshield and say, 'This is just a stepping stone to winning the championship,' " he said. "That's all that race is -- just another step to getting to the final goal and maybe at the end of the season we can take a step back and say, 'Man, winning the amount of races we did, the amount of top-fives, and the speed we had, that's something to be proud of.' "But right now at this point, we can't stop. We've got to keep looking forward because we have not reached our goal yet."
Editor's note: During each week of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , The Joey Logano Foundation will provide grants to a non-profit in each of the race markets in a program called "Chasing Second Chances." Each week, Logano will detail those plans for NASCAR.com. Hey, everyone! Another win for the No. 22! I couldn't be happier with this team and the way we are running. Our Shell-Pennzoil Ford was great this weekend. It's definitely nice going into Talladega knowing we advance to the next round. This Week's Cause: Domestic Violence My blog post from last week discussed the ideas behind preventing domestic violence -- mainly through education. For this post, I want to highlight some of the effects domestic violence can have, especially on children. As adults, we can tend to overlook the effects our actions have on children who are watching us. Each time I am asked a question in an interview or am in public at an event, I try to stay aware of the young eyes that may be watching me. Don't get me wrong, it's not always easy. It can be a little frustrating on track at times. For a family living in an abusive situation, the children who watch a parent being abused or watch a parent committing acts of abuse take in what they see and it can lead to many issues well into adulthood. Domestic violence poses a threat to children's psychological and physical well-being. In the report Behind Closed Doors: The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children (UNICEF 2006) it states… Children who are exposed to violence in the home may have difficulty learning and limited social skills, exhibit violent, risky or delinquent behavior, or suffer from depression or severe anxiety . Children can also experience short term effects such as sleeplessness, anxiety, nightmares, high activity levels and intense worry about their safety or the safety of their parent. Long term the effects can produce physical health problems, depression, PTSD, alcoholism and substance abuse. I found this video that shares, from the perspective of a child, what domestic violence looks like. If you have two minutes, check it out here . This Week's Joey Logano Foundation Chasing Second Chances Partner This week's charity partner is 2nd Chance, Inc. Founded in 1988, 2nd Chance, Inc. is a non-profit 501 c 3 organization that provides safe shelter and supportive services to victims of domestic and sexual violence and offers educational outreach to the communities served to create awareness of and strengthen the movement to end this violence. 2nd Chance serves Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Etowah, Randolph and Talladega Counties in Northeast Alabama providing emergency shelter, transitional housing, assistance with permanent housing, court and legal advocacy, counseling, lethality assessment, community referrals, thrift store vouchers, training and presentations on the dynamics of domestic and sexual violence, dating violence and abuse in later life. The Joey Logano Foundation is providing a donation to complete a backyard play area makeover. The yard will receive some needed attention along with updates to the 15-year-old play equipment. We wanted to focus on something that would provide children staying there a safe place to play where they can focus on being a kid while mom heals from the abuse she has experienced. We are proud to support 2nd Chance, Inc. and the support services they provide. This non-profit saves lives and makes their community a better place to live. What's more important than that?