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Two teams penalized for Vegas infractions
NASCAR hands down penalities to Nos. 2 and 51 Sprint Cup teams Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live MORE: Official NASCAR release NASCAR issued penalties Tuesday to two teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the Team Penske No. 2 Ford operation for driver Brad Keselowski and the HScott Motorsports No. 51 Chevrolet organization with driver Justin Allgaier , for technical violations found last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Steve Addington, HScott Motorsports crew chief of the No. 51 was fined $25,000 after the car was found to be too light in a technical inspection after Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 , the third race of the Sprint Cup season. The infraction was ruled as a P3 violation, according to the NASCAR deterrence system, which was implemented ahead of the 2014 season. Officials determined that ballast had fallen from the car during the course of the event, a violation of Section 20.3.5 in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book. That improperly mounted ballast resulted in the car failing to meet the minimum weight requirement, a violation of Section 188.8.131.52. In a statement released by the team, Harry Scott Jr., president and CEO of HScott Motorsports , said the organization would not appeal the penalty. "The No. 51 experienced a malfunction during the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that resulted in a P3 infraction being assessed to the team by NASCAR," Scott said. "The issue was unintentional and we regret its occurrence. Going forward, we have implemented additional procedures to ensure that we do not have a repeat incident. We accept NASCAR's penalty and fully support its efforts to keep the sport as safe as possible for competitors, officials and fans." The Penske No. 2 was pulled from its place on pit road minutes before the start of Friday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying after NASCAR officials determined that the crew had altered the fenders, flaring out the sheet metal around the rear wheel wells. Officials required the car to undergo another inspection, causing Keselowski to miss the first several minutes of the first qualifying segment. Manipulation of the side skirt sheet metal -- designed to improve aerodynamics over the rear of the car -- ran rampant over the course of last season, causing NASCAR to ban the practice before the 2015 season began. Team Penske 's violation was determined to be a P2 infraction under NASCAR's deterrence system. As a result, Team Penske No. 2 crew chief Paul Wolfe was placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31. Keselowski qualified 11th and finished seventh Sunday, marking the 200th start of his Sprint Cup career. Allgaier started 26th and finished 31st in the 43-car field. 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
'Gnarly' wind could play role in Kobalt 400
RELATED: Live weather updates " Saturday's practice reports " Starting lineup LAS VEGAS -- The expectation of high winds for the NASCAR race weekend in Las Vegas has been, at the very least, a talking point if not a concern for drivers. Local weather forecasters are predicting winds as high as 20-30 mph in the area Sunday with gusts even higher. There is actually a High Wind Advisory in the Las Vegas area lasting through the duration of the scheduled race time. "We have talked about it some," Team Penske driver Joey Logano said after winning the outside pole position Friday evening for Sunday's Kobalt 400 . "What we do hope is that it is a constant wind," Logano said. "The gusts of wind are what crashes cars. ... If it is constant it is OK. If you get big gusts, the car jumps out of the race track and leads you into the wall or spins you right out. It is going to be dangerous, treacherous for sure." Logano's teammate Brad Keselowski said he hadn't been too worried about the winds, but offered an explanation for the effect that form of weather could have. "I try not to worry about the things that affect everyone equally," said Keselowski, who will roll off fourth on the starting grid. "Wind is one of those things. I haven't thought about it." Pressed to explain his take on the forecast, however, Keselowski said: "The wind moves the car around dramatically, much like every aero force and the cars rely on three key aero forces: drag, downforce or side force. "All three of those are three dimensional. ... The wind, depending on where it strikes, where it blows you in what direction, can affect all three of those. Of course a headwind down the straightaway can add a lot of drag and make the motor feel a lot weaker. "A crosswind in a corner can add or take away from the side force on the car, and a headwind into the corner can give you a lot of added downforce or vice versa, a tailwind can take it away." Pole-winner Kurt Busch , a Las Vegas native, conceded he was fully anticipating the wind being an extra factor in the race. It hadn't picked up to the level anticipated for the weekend and showed no ill effects on speed Friday with four cars bettering the previous track record. Busch set the new track record of 196.378 mph in the first round of qualifying. "I'm looking at the forecast," Busch said. "It looks pretty gnarly for the wind. That's a West Coast term, gnarly, but the speed of the wind will push us big time, from what I'm gathering, from a southwest direction into Turn 3. When you have a tailwind multiplied by 30 mph that is a headwind of 30 mph down the front straightaway. That is a swing of 60 mph. "That is a significant difference that these cars are going to feel. We have tested Nashville a few times way back in the day where there was a crosswind of 40 mph. The downforce increase and decrease is staggering. We are all going to be out there struggling, fighting and trying to gain that grip with the tailwind." The wind had already picked up some during final Saturday morning Cup practices with drivers left to anticipate the situation come race day. "It is going to be just crazy to think about what that wind is going to do," Logano said. "It is not like we know what direction it is going to be blowing on the race track. I don't know at least. Maybe some weather guy can tell me. "I just think it is definitely going to be moving cars around and I am sure cars will crash for that reason if it is that windy and you get a gust at the wrong time when you are under somebody. It could be big."
NASCAR TV schedule: Week of March 2-March 8
Get full lineup of NASCAR programming for the week RELATED: See the full weekend schedule All times ET Monday, March 2 5:30 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane (re-air), FOX Sports 1 10 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Fields of Honor QuikTrip 500 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 2 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Fields of Honor QuikTrip 500 (re-air), FOX Sports 2 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBC Sports Network 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 8 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Tuesday, March 3 10:30 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 2:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5:30 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBC Sports Network 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Wednesday, March 4 3 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 1 4 a.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5:30 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBC Sports Network 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Thursday, March 5 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBC Sports Network 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 6:30 p.m., NASCAR America: Celebrate the States 3 (re-air), NBC Sports Network Friday, March 6 2 p.m., A Perfect Storm: The 1979 DAYTONA 500, FOX Sports 1 3 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1 4:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, FOX Sports 1 5:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition, FOX Sports 1 6 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, FOX Sports 1 7:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1 Saturday, March 7 2 a.m., NASCAR America: Celebrate the States 3 (re-air), NBC Sports Network 2:30 a.m., NASCAR America: Celebrate the States 3 (re-air), NBC Sports Network 3 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice (re-air), FOX Sports 1 4:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 1 10 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 1 11:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 2 12:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 2 2 p.m., The 10: NASCAR's Greatest Races (re-air), FOX Sports 1 2:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, FOX Sports 1 3:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Day: XFINITY Series, FOX Sports 1 4 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300, FOX Sports 1 Sunday, March 8 3 a.m., 1979 DAYTONA 500, FOX Sports 1 3:30 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series: Boyd Gaming 300, FOX Sports 1 2 p.m., NASCAR Race Day, FOX Sports 1 3 p.m., NASCAR Race Day: Las Vegas, FOX 3:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 , FOX 3:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 , FOX Deportes 1 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1 MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today
Gordon earns Coors Light Pole Award at Las Vegas
No. 24 driver sets track record, has earned three of the last four poles RELATED: Starting lineup for race " See every car in the field LAS VEGAS — Scratch one small item off Jeff Gordon 's swan song bucket list. With a track-record lap at 194.679 mph, Jeff Gordon won the pole for Sunday's Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway , one of three active Cup tracks where the four-time champion had not won a Coors Light Pole Award—before Friday afternoon's time trials. Covering the 1.5-mile distance in 27.738 seconds, Gordon shaved .201 seconds off the track record Joey Logano set last year. Logano (194.315 mph) was second to Gordon in Friday's qualifying during a third and final round that saw nine drivers break the track record. "Oh, boys, this is good!" Gordon said after setting the record. "That was a damn good lap." The pole was Gordon's second of the season and the 79th of his career. The top qualifier for the season-opening Daytona 500 , Gordon did not make a qualifying run in last week's Sprint Cup race at Atlanta because his No. 24 Chevrolet didn't clear inspection in time. Friday's time trials represented a welcome turnaround. After running a conservative 193.653 mph in the second round of knockout qualifying, Gordon knew he had a shot at the pole. "Well, I didn't come off the throttle much, if any—I know I had to blip it just the tiniest, tiniest bit," Gordon said of his pole-winning lap. "The lap before, in the second session, I was a little conservative and the car just stuck so good, I thought when I heard some of the lap times that were up there (in the third round), I knew (I had to) be fully committed and just go for it. "So I drove it down into (Turn) 1. I may have come off of it just a tiny bit, but it wasn't much at all. And it stuck so good, I was like, 'Okay, do I run wide open through (Turns) 3 and 4?' I don't know. It was real close. There was a lot of wide-open throttle there. It was fun. What a turnaround from last week. I'm just so proud of this team and keeping their heads up. Last week was a tough one, and this is a great, great way to start out weekend here in Las Vegas… "I can't believe I won my first pole in Las Vegas in my final race here." Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammates, Kasey Kahne (194.287 mph) and Dale Earnhardt Jr . (194.091 mph), qualified third and fourth, respectively. Kyle Larson (193.959 mph) grabbed the fifth spot on the grid. Reigning series champion Kevin Harvick will start 18th, having failed to make the final 12 at a 1.5-mile intermediate speedway for the first time since last year's Las Vegas race. NASCAR officials pulled the No. 2 Ford of last year's Las Vegas race winner, Brad Keselowski , after noticing the team had flared out both rear fenders on the car. Before the start of the season, NASCAR informed teams that manipulating the car bodies would not be permitted. Accordingly, Keselowski's car had to clear inspection an additional time before being allowed to qualify. Nevertheless, Keselowski made the final 12 and earned the 11th starting spot for Sunday's race. Note: The only two remaining tracks where Gordon has not won a pole are Kentucky and Kansas. The only active track where he has not won a Sprint Cup race is Kentucky. READ MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule All-time Sprint Cup poles Rank Driver Poles 1. Richard Petty 123 2. David Pearson 113 3. Jeff Gordon* 79 4. Cale Yarborough 69 5. Darrell Waltrip 59 6. Bobby Allison 58 7. Mark Martin 56 8. Bill Elliott 55 9. Ryan Newman* 51 10. Bobby Isaac 49 *Active driver
SHR tabs Regan Smith for No. 41 at Las Vegas
XFINITY Series regular has served as sub for first two Sprint Cup races of '15 Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Regan Smith will remain interim driver of Stewart-Haas Racing's No. 41 Chevrolet this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in place of suspended driver Kurt Busch. Sunday's Kobalt 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX) will mark the third straight race that Smith has filled in for Busch, who was suspended indefinitely Feb. 20 -- two days ahead of the season-opening Daytona 500. Smith finished 16th (Daytona) and 17th (Atlanta) in his two previous NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts for Stewart-Haas this season. According to the release provided by SHR, the team has not decided on an interim driver for the following weekend's race, March 15 at Phoenix International Speedway, or beyond. Busch was suspended after a Delaware family court ruled that a "preponderance of the evidence" indicated that Busch "committed an act of domestic violence" last September. Busch agreed last Friday to NASCAR's terms and conditions to pursue reinstatement. Smith has four career victories in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, where he competes for championship points for JR Motorsports. The 31-year-old driver also has one Sprint Cup victory, bringing Furniture Row Racing its only win in 2011 at Darlington Raceway. 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
Denny Hamlin to start on the Pole in Federated Auto Parts 400
Denny Hamlin takes the Coors Light Pole Award at Richmond International Raceway at his home track for the Federated Auto Parts 400 .
Kahne, Edwards clash in Kobalt 400
Drivers' cars come together late in Las Vegas race Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Related: Full Kobalt 400 results LAS VEGAS -- Carl Edwards apologized publicly and then again in a more intimate setting to Kasey Kahne , but the Hendrick Motorsports driver was still smarting after a shot into the wall ruined both his fast car and his good day at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Kahne's No. 5 Chevrolet was a constant force in the top five Sunday in the Kobalt 400 , and that's where it was on Lap 195 attempting to make a pass on the outside when Edwards drove him into the wall. As Kahne bounced off the barrier, he maintained his line, caught back up to Edwards and sent the No. 19 spinning -- and eventually into the garage -- with a subtle, meticulous shot. "It's completely my fault," Edwards said from inside his car, in the garage, while his crew repaired damage. "Kasey did a good job. I just got sucked up into him there. That's definitely my fault and I feel bad for Kasey." Edwards followed those remarks with a post-race discussion on pit road, strolling over to the No. 5 car as Kahne and crew chief Keith Rodden debriefed. The conversation was short and direct, with Edwards again apologizing to a curt Kahne, who was fast all weekend but settled for 17th on Sunday. "Carl just came down and apologized," Kahne said after Edwards went on his way. "He said he hadn't done that before to anyone. We basically needed just about a full car length more there in order to make it, and he just never lifted and put us right into the wall. It ruined his day as well." Edwards was all too aware of the implications to his own car -- and finish -- as well. That much was clear when his No. 19 Toyota Camry, which had run in the top 10 all day prior to the wreck, was scored 42nd when the checkered flag dropped. "It's not just frustrating -- it's pretty stupid," Edwards said. "I just should have been a little calmer, but it's kind of fun racing up front like that and it got me going. … I was being too aggressive on that restart. I started to slide up and I should have backed out of it way earlier." For Kahne, it was a missed opportunity. His cars have been swift in all three races this year, but his third-place starting spot Sunday gave him the ability to chase leaders Kevin Harvick , Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson all day prior to the damage. "We had a second-place car the first 30 laps of a run and a winning car the last 15-20 laps of a run," Kahne said. "The way it went down, I feel like we would have been able to race (winner Kevin) Harvick. He was unreal throughout the entire race, but I think our car was unreal, too." 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
Stats advance: Analyzing the AAA 400
A statistical look ahead to the third race of the Chase RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota 2014 Chase Grid Pos. Drivers Season Wins Chase Points 1 Brad Keselowski 5 2,097 2 Joey Logano 4 2,096 3 Kevin Harvick 3 2,090 5 Jimmie Johnson 3 2,080 5 Kyle Busch 1 2,077 6 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3 2,077 7 Jeff Gordon 3 2,070 8 Matt Kenseth 0 2,057 9 Carl Edwards 2 2,057 10 AJ Allmendinger 1 2,056 11 Kasey Kahne 1 2,055 12 Ryan Newman 0 2,055 13 Denny Hamlin 1 2,049 14 Greg Biffle 0 2,049 15 Kurt Busch 1 2,047 16 Aric Almirola 1 2,045 Green = In position to move to the next round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Orange = In position to possibly be eliminated from the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Challenger Round Red = Eliminated from the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. –Below is a look at the 16 Challengers at Dover International Speedway in Dover , Delaware going into the AAA 400 on Sept. 28. ESPN’s coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET and the race is scheduled for 2 p.m. 1 - Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Wurth Ford) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 104.1 2014 Rundown • Five wins, 12 top fives, 15 top 10s; five poles • Average finish of 12.8 • Led 22 races for 1,418 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • One win, three top fives, three top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 14.4 in nine races • Average Running Position of 13.8, 10th-best • Driver Rating of 87.9, 11th-best • Average Green Flag Speed of 143.620 mph, 11th-fastest 2 - Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 106.8 2014 Rundown • Four wins, 12 top fives, 17 top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 12.5 • Led 19 races for 794 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • Two top fives, seven top 10s • Average finish of 14.7 in 11 races • Average Running Position of 17.0, 17th-best • Driver Rating of 81.3, 17th-best 3 - Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 108.4 2014 Rundown • Two wins, 10 top fives, 15 top 10s; six poles • Average finish of 14.0 • Led 20 races for 1,369 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • Three top fives, 12 top 10s • Average finish of 15.3 in 27 races • Average Running Position of 15.8, 14th-best • Driver Rating of 84.8, 14th-best • 831 Green Flag Passes, second-most • 4,556 Laps in the Top 15 (59.9%), ninth-most • 393 Quality Passes, eighth-most 4 - Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's/ KOBALT Tools Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100.1 2014 Rundown • Three wins, nine top fives, 17 top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 13.8 • Led 15 races for 1,035 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • Nine wins, 13 top fives, 18 top 10s; three poles • Average finish of 8.4 in 25 races • Series-best Average Running Position of 6.6 • Series-best Driver Rating of 122.5 • Series-high 1,069 Fastest Laps Run • Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 144.536 mph • Series-high 6,661 Laps in the Top 15 (87.6%) • 387 Quality Passes, 11th-most 5 - Kyle Busch (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.0 2014 Rundown • One win, six top fives, 11 top 10s; two poles • Average finish of 17.4 • Led 13 races for 411 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • Two wins, nine top fives, 12 top 10s • Average finish of 14.4 in 19 races • Average Running Position of 11.8, fifth-best • Driver Rating of 105.3, third-best • 413 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 144.166 mph, third-fastest 6 - Dale Earnhardt Jr . (No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 98.2 2014 Rundown • Three wins, 11 top fives, 17 top 10s • Average finish of 10.8 • Led 12 races for 220 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • One win, six top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 16.2 in 29 races • Average Running Position of 17.4, 18th-best • Driver Rating of 82.5, 16th-best • 232 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most • 748 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 143.547 mph, 12th-fastest 7 - Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.5 2014 Rundown • Three wins, 10 top fives, 18 top 10s; two poles • Average finish of 10.3 • Led 19 races for 571 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • Four wins, 17 top fives, 24 top 10s; four poles • Average finish of 11.7 in 43 races • Average Running Position of 12.1, sixth-best • Driver Rating of 94.5, sixth-best • 289 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most • 783 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 143.994 mph, fourth-fastest • 5,815 Laps in the Top 15 (76.5%), third-most • Series-high 521 Quality Passes 8 - Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Home Depot Husky Toyota) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.0 2014 Rundown • 10 top fives, 17 top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 14.1 • Led 16 races for 465 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • Two wins, 14 top fives, 20 top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 13.0 in 31 races • Average Running Position of 8.8, second-best • Driver Rating of 108.3, second-best • 461 Fastest Laps Run, third-most • 726 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 144.261 mph, second-fastest • 6,224 Laps in the Top 15 (81.9%), second-most 9 - Carl Edwards (No. 99 Fastenal Ford) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 82.4 2014 Rundown • Two wins, six top fives, 11 top 10s • Average finish of 15.0 • Led 9 races for 133 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • One win, eight top fives, 12 top 10s • Average finish of 10.2 in 20 races • Average Running Position of 10.8, third-best • Driver Rating of 100.0, fourth-best • 491 Fastest Laps Run, second-most • 786 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 143.927 mph, sixth-fastest • 5,374 Laps in the Top 15 (70.7%), sixth-most • 519 Quality Passes, second-most 10 - AJ Allmendinger (No. 47 Hungry Jack / ACME Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 70.4 2014 Rundown • One win, two top fives, four top 10s • Average finish of 20.6 • Led 5 races for 68 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • Three top 10s • Average finish of 22.8 in 13 races • Average Running Position of 21.7, 27th-best • Driver Rating of 75.4, 21st-best 11 - Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.6 2014 Rundown • One win, three top fives, 10 top 10s • Average finish of 16.4 • Led 10 races for 204 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • One top five, five top 10s • Average finish of 21.0 in 21 races • Average Running Position of 16.5, 16th-best • Driver Rating of 80.4, 18th-best • 311 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most • 792 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most • 4,101 Laps in the Top 15 (53.9%), 12th-most 12 - Ryan Newman (No. 31 Quicken Loans “Design A Scheme” Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 84.9 2014 Rundown • Two top fives, 10 top 10s • Average finish of 14.3 • Led 4 races for 24 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • Three wins, six top fives, 12 top 10s; four poles • Average finish of 13.6 in 25 races • Average Running Position of 12.8, eighth-best • Driver Rating of 88.1, 10th-best • 4,978 Laps in the Top 15 (65.5%), seventh-most • 375 Quality Passes, 12th-most 13 - Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.4 2014 Rundown • One win, six top fives, 12 top 10s; two poles • Average finish of 15.7 • Led 12 races for 195 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • Three top fives, six top 10s; two poles • Average finish of 19.6 in 17 races • Average Running Position of 15.8, 15th-best • Driver Rating of 83.3, 15th-best 14 - Greg Biffle (No. 16 Post-It Ford) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 79.8 2014 Rundown • Three top fives, 10 top 10s • Average finish of 15.6 • Led 6 races for 109 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • Two wins, six top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 13.4 in 24 races • Average Running Position of 11.8, fourth-best • Driver Rating of 98.9, fifth-best • 434 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most • 786 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 143.959 mph, fifth-fastest • 5,497 Laps in the Top 15 (72.3%), fifth-most • 505 Quality Passes, third-most 15 - Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 86.7 2014 Rundown • One win, six top fives, eight top 10s • Average finish of 19.4 • Led 11 races for 181 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • One win, six top fives, eight top 10s • Average finish of 18.2 in 28 races • Average Running Position of 13.4, ninth-best • Driver Rating of 91.6, eighth-best • 292 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most • 816 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 143.741 mph, ninth-fastest • 4,415 Laps in the Top 15 (58.1%), 10th-most • 415 Quality Passes, sixth-most 16 - Aric Almirola (No. 43 Nathan’s Famous Ford) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 74.1 2014 Rundown • One win, two top fives, seven top 10s • Average finish of 20.4 • Led 5 races for 23 laps Dover International Speedway Outlook: • One top 10 • Average finish of 15.4 in five races • Average Running Position of 17.7, 20th-best • Driver Rating of 77.2, 20th-best The 16 Challengers at Dover International Speedway Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Brad Keselowski 9 1 1 3 3 0 14.4 87.9 2 Joey Logano 11 0 0 2 7 1 14.7 81.3 3 Kevin Harvick 27 0 0 3 12 1 15.3 84.8 4 Jimmie Johnson 25 3 9 13 18 2 8.4 122.5 5 Kyle Busch 19 0 2 9 12 4 14.4 105.3 6 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 29 1 1 6 11 1 16.2 82.5 7 Jeff Gordon 43 4 4 17 24 5 11.7 94.5 8 Matt Kenseth 31 1 2 14 20 5 13.0 108.3 9 Carl Edwards 20 0 1 8 12 0 10.2 100.0 10 AJ Allmendinger 13 0 0 0 3 2 22.8 75.4 11 Kasey Kahne 21 0 0 1 5 6 21.0 80.4 12 Ryan Newman 25 4 3 6 12 2 13.6 88.1 13 Denny Hamlin 17 2 0 3 6 3 19.6 83.3 14 Greg Biffle 24 1 2 6 11 1 13.4 98.9 15 Kurt Busch 28 0 1 6 8 6 18.2 91.6 16 Aric Almirola 5 0 0 0 1 0 15.4 77.2 * – Based on last 19 races at Dover International Speedway. Dover International Speedway: History • The official opening of Dover International Speedway, then called Dover Downs International Speedway, was in 1969. • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on July 6, 1969 – won by Richard Petty. • The first two races at Dover were 300 miles. The race length was changed to 500 miles in 1971. • The track surface was changed to concrete in 1995. • The race length was changed to 400 miles beginning with the second race in 1997. • The track name was changed to Dover International Speedway in 2002. Notebook • There have been 89 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover International Speedway, one race in 1969 and 1970, two races per year since 1971. • 381 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway; 274 in more than one. • Ricky Rudd leads the series in starts at Dover with 56. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 43 starts; followed by Joe Nemechek with 39. • David Pearson won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Dover in 1969 with a speed of 130.430 mph. • 38 drivers have Coors Light poles at Dover , led by David Pearson with six. Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman lead all active drivers in poles with four each. • Nine drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Dover . David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Dover with three; from 1973 to the spring race of 1974. • Two active drivers have posted consecutive Coors Light poles at Dover : Ryan Newman (fall 2005 and spring 2006), and Denny Hamlin (fall 2012 and spring 2013). • Youngest Dover pole winner: Jeff Gordon (06/04/1995 – 23 years, 10 months, 0 days). • Oldest Dover pole winner: Mark Martin (06/01/2012 – 53 years, 4 months, 23 days). • 34 different drivers have won at Dover International Speedway, led by Jimmie Johnson with nine wins (2002 sweep, fall 2005, 2009 sweep, 2010 fall, spring 2012, fall 2013 and spring 2014). • 12 drivers have posted consecutive wins at Dover International Speedway, including three consecutive by David Pearson (fall 1972 and 1973 sweep), Rusty Wallace (fall 1993 and 1994 sweep) and Jeff Gordon (fall 1995 and 1996 sweep). • Youngest Dover winner: Kyle Busch (06/01/2008 – 23 years, 0 months, 30 days). • Oldest Dover winner: Harry Gant (05/31/1992 – 52 years, 4 months, 21 days). • Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Dover in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 16: Jimmie Johnson (nine), Jeff Gordon (four), Geoff Bodine (one), Ken Schrader (one) and Ricky Rudd (one). • Nine different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Dover ; led by Chevrolet with 35 victories; followed by Ford with 25. • 13 of the 89 (14.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover have been won from the Coors Light pole; the two most recent were Jimmie Johnson in 2009 and 2010. • The second-place starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (15) than any other starting position at Dover International Speedway. • 28 of the 89 (31.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover have been won from the front row: 13 from the pole and 15 from second-place. • 70 of the 89 (78.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Dover have been won from a top-10 starting position. • Five of the 89 (5.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover have been won from a starting position outside the top 20 – most recently: Tony Stewart , spring 2013 (22nd-place starting position) • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Dover was 37th, by Kyle Petty in the spring of 1995. • Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Dover with eight; followed by Dale Earnhardt with five. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with four. • Mark Martin leads the series in top-five finishes at Dover with 24; followed by Dale Earnhardt with 19. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 17. • Mark Martin leads the series in top-10 finishes at Dover with 33; followed by Richard Petty and Ricky Rudd with 26 each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 24. • Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Dover with a 9.240. • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Dover with an 8.360. • 11 of the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Dover International Speedway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Jimmie Johnson won at Dover in his first two appearances. • Among the 12 active NSCS Dover winners Kurt Busch (22) and Matt Kenseth (14) made 10 or more attempts before their first win. • Joe Nemechek leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Dover without visiting Victory Lane at 39; followed by Kevin Harvick with 27. • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Dover International Speedway was the September 25, 2005 race won by Jimmie Johnson over Kyle Busch with a MOV of 0.08 second. • There has been one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Dover International Speedway (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): fall of 2005 ( 400 /404). • Not one of the 89 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover International Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions. • Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Dover International Speedway five times: fall of 1984, spring of 2001, fall of 2003, spring of 2005 and spring of 2011. • Three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series active drivers have made their first career start at Dover International Speedway: Matt Kenseth (9/20/98), Kurt Busch (9/24/00) and David Ragan (9/24/06). • Two active drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Dover International Speedway: Matt Kenseth (06/02/02) and Michael Waltrip (06/03/1991). • One active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has posted his first career win at Dover International Speedway: Martin Truex Jr . (06/04/07). • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Dover with 2,976 laps led in 25 starts. • If Jimmie Johnson leads 24 laps or more this weekend he will surpass the 3,000 laps led mark at Dover International Speedway, becoming the seventh driver in series history to lead 3,000 or more laps at a single track. Jeff Gordon is the only other active driver to accomplish the feat (Martinsville – 3,593 laps led). • Two female drivers have competed at Dover International Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie and Danica Patrick . Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date Janet Guthrie 11 33 9/19/1976 Janet Guthrie 15 11 9/18/1977 Danica Patrick 38 28 9/30/2012 Danica Patrick 39 24 6/2/2013 Danica Patrick 31 29 9/29/2013 Danica Patrick 28 23 6/1/2014 NASCAR in Delaware · There have been 89 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Delaware all at Dover International Speedway. Track Name City NSCS Dover International Speedway Dover 89 · Eight drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Delaware; none of the eight have recorded a victory in NASCAR national series competition. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Heads up: Dover and Las Vegas weekend
Here are the hot topics, trending news and key story lines to get you ready for this weekend's races at Dover International Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway . WEATHER The weekend forecast for Dover, Delaware, looks like there's a chance for rain. Friday for Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole qualifying there is a 60 percent chance for precipitation. For the XFINITY Series race on Saturday, there is an 50 percent chance for precipitation with a high of 76 degrees. And for the Sprint Cup race on Sunday, there's a 30 percent chance for precipitation and a high of 76 degrees. For Las Vegas, site of this weekend's Camping World Truck Series events, it will be clear and 70 degrees for the start of Saturday's practices. And on Saturday it will be clear and 90 degrees for the start of the race. KEY TIMES Sprint Cup Series: The Sprint Cup Series holds its first practice Friday at 10 a.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App) followed by Coors Light Pole qualifying at 3:40 p.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App). The Citizen Soldier 400 is at 2 p.m. ET Sunday (NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). XFINITY Series: The XFINITY Series opens practice on Friday at 11:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App) and qualifies Saturday at 11:45 a.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App). The Drive Sober 300 is on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Camping World Truck Series: The Camping World Truck Series is scheduled for a Keystone Light Pole qualifying session Saturday at 6:10 p.m. ET on FS2, followed by the DC Solar 350 race at 8:30 p.m. ET (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). CATCH DRIVERS LIVE We'll stream every driver press conference in the Dover media center at NASCAR.com/presspass. Click here for a full schedule. Click here to tune into the live stream . LAST TIME In September of 2015, Kevin Harvick punched his ticket to advance to the next round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by leading 355 of 400 laps at Dover International Speedway , a career-best at any track. Harvick beat out eventual 2015 Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch by 2.639 seconds for the victory. YOU SHOULD KNOW • Chris Buescher (-30 from 12th place), Tony Stewart (-11), Austin Dillon (-5) and Jamie McMurray (-5) are all on the outside looking in as far as the Chase Grid standings are concerned. Of those drivers, Stewart is the only one who has won at the "Monster Mile" -- three times to be exact. Stewart's most recent win came in 2013. • With 10 wins, six-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has been to Dover's Victory Lane more times than any NASCAR driver. Johnson is looking to punch his ticket to the next Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup round and a win at his best track could be in the cards. • Winning the opening XFINITY Series Chase race at Kentucky, Elliott Sadler continues his momentum to Dover where he has earned three top five and 10 top-10 finishes, two of which came in the last two XFINITY Series races at the 1-mile track. Sadler's experience in 17 starts at Dover could shine through on Saturday compared to the young guns he's competing against for the championship. • Of the Camping World Truck Series Chase drivers, only Johnny Sauter and Timothy Peters have wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Canadian Tire Motorsport Park winner John Hunter Nemechek has the best average finish of 4.0 out of the Truck Series Chase drivers. Behind Nemechek is Ben Kennedy with 5.0. Nemechek has run just one Truck Series race at Dover, while Kennedy has experienced two. In 15 starts, two-time Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton has an average finish of 11.9, but is still seeking a win.
Stewart not interested in playing numbers game
RELATED: Updated Chase Grid " Who's on the bubble? " Series standings CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Crunch the numbers. Do the math. But don't bother telling Tony Stewart the potential scenarios required for him to advance to the Round of 12 in this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . You'd be wasting your time and his time, too. The only scenario Stewart, 45 and three times a Sprint Cup Series champion, cares about is the one that ends with him and his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team celebrating in Victory Lane this weekend at Dover International Speedway . "All we can do is go out and do the best we can this weekend," Stewart said Wednesday during a daylong media stop in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. "It still amazes me how people can take something that's so simple and make it so complicated. 'Will we be watching where everybody else is?' "Well yeah, I can waste my time and do that but … I've got to focus on winning the race. Because if I win the race I don't have to worry about where they're at. But if I go and do everything I can to try and win the race and I finish second, then wherever they are is wherever they are. I can't control those guys on the race track so why focus your attention on it? It's a waste of time." The 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is the final one for Stewart. He'll remain involved in the series as co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing , which fields four Sprint Cup teams and one that will debut a NASCAR XFINITY Series entry next year. He's a track owner, team owner and competitor in other series -- some NASCAR-affiliated, some not -- as well. But his quest for a fourth title rests solely on the outcome of Sunday's Citizen Soldier 400 at Dover (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). A 16-driver field that began the Chase two weeks ago will be trimmed to 12 after Dover, and Stewart will arrive Friday 15th on the Chase Grid. His approach to what could be his final race as a title contender will be no different than any other weekend. "There is no mindset to it," he said. "The most realistic mindset to go into it with is the same approach you go into it with every weekend of the year and that's to go try to win the race. If you don't, get the best finish you can get out of it. That's not glamorous and that's not what you want to hear … but it's literally that simple. Go try to win the race. Do everything you can to win the race. If you can't win the race, try to finish second. If you can't finish second, try to finish third. It is as simple as it can possibly get." That Stewart is in this predicament is something of a surprise, given the strong summer run that saw him collect six top-10 finishes, including a win at Sonoma , in eight races. The No. 14 team, headed up by crew chief Mike Bugarewicz, seemed primed for a possible run at yet another title. RELATED: See all of Stewart's victories But the results of the most recent six races weren't nearly as impressive, with no finish higher than 16th. "These things are such science projects," Stewart said of today's cars, "and pretty much the whole (SHR) organization fights the same thing. It's whichever one can find the solution first." Teammate Kevin Harvick has guaranteed himself a spot in the Round of 12 with a win this past weekend at New Hampshire and Kurt Busch can advance either by points, depending on his finish, or with a victory. Teammate Danica Patrick is the only SHR entry not in the Chase field. RELATED: Harvick surges late for Loudon win "We're going to have to rely on Kevin and Rodney (Childers, crew chief), Kurt and (Tony) Gibson (crew chief) for sure and do the best we can," Stewart said. "We weren't totally terrible at the spring race but definitely have to be better than we were to get done what we need to get done." Scenarios? Talk to Stewart at Homestead, if he happens to be one of the championship four. That's when he'll be more aware of such things. "When you get to the last race of the year and you're racing for a championship and you've got enough of a lead that no matter what, if you finish from here on up, then yeah, you think about that," he said. "But that’s not the scenario we're in." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;