Championship contenders Kligerman, Coulter, Dillon, and Peters comment on their Kentucky runs along with Brian Scott.
Newman to start alongside Logano on the front row RELATED: See the full 43-car field " Full race starting lineup MARTINSVILLE, Va.—For last year's spring race at Martinsville Speedway , Joey Logano set a track record during qualifying but didn't win the pole. On Friday at the paper-clip-shaped track, Logano reversed the outcome. Though he failed to match his record of 100. 201 mph, he saved his best lap for the final round of knockout qualifying in claiming the top starting spot for Sunday's STP 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race (1 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1). Trailing Logano in the 27th starting position will be Chase Elliott , the heir apparent to Jeff Gordon 's No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, who qualified for his first Cup race, one of five starts he plans to make this year. Logano covered the .526-mile distance in 19.232 seconds (98.461 mph) to win the 10th Coors Light Pole Award of his career, his second of the season and his first at Martinsville. Logano's Team Penske Ford edged the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Ryan Newman (98.328 mph) for the right to lead the field to the green flag in the sixth Sprint Cup race of the year. Martin Truex Jr ., who has a string of five straight top 10s to start the season, qualified third at 98.048 mph, followed by Gordon (97.613 mph) and Jimmie Johnson (97.583 mph). Logano went out late in the second round and put just two laps on his tires in posting the eighth fastest time and advancing to the final round. Keeping laps off his tires was the factor Logano thought was decisive in winning the pole. "I'm pretty sure we ran less laps than anybody going into the third round," said Logano, who ran five laps combined in the first two rounds, a number matched by Gordon. "That was the advantage that we had going for us, that we were able to see how many cars had run and know what we had to run to get into the next round. "So in the second round, all we had to make was two laps, and we felt pretty confident about where we were. Keeping those laps off the tires was good." As well as Logano has run in Martinsville time trials in the past, he was elated to add a pole to his list of accomplishments. "It feels great to finally get the pole here. We've been close so many times," he said. "Throughout my career, I feel like we've always qualified well here but I've never been able to get a pole. I caught pretty much of a hard time about getting the track record here but not getting the pole here, so to have a pole to back it up feels great." If Logano was delighted, Elliott was relieved that he had made the field—and that rain that had been forecast for the area failed to materialize in the afternoon. "That was goal number one, to get in," Elliott said. "So it's definitely a big relief for us. We're excited. It's weird being excited about qualifying, wherever we qualified, 27th, but we're in the show, our first Sprint Cup Series race with (sponsor) NAPA on board. We're excited for Sunday." Brendan Gaughan and Ron Hornaday Jr . failed to make the 43-car field. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today
Buescher thanks his team and sponsors after celebrating his Kentucky 201 win.
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
Veteran driver sits sixth in the XFINITY Series point standings Related: Full series standings FONTANA, Calif. -- NASCAR XFINITY Series veteran Brendan Gaughan earned his career-best Auto Club Speedway finish of second-place in the Drive4Clots.com 300 on Saturday after starting eighth in the field. The Las Vegas native must have been feeling his roots because Gaughan scored three straight top-10 finishes on NASCAR's West Coast swing (Las Vegas, Phoenix, Auto Club). "I'm glad I'm pissed off about being second," Gaughan said at Auto Club Speedway after coming up short to 2014 Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick . The NASCAR veteran attributes his success to his commitment to run double-duty this season, splitting his time between the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series No. 62 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet and the XFINITY Series No. 62 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. And with double-duty comes a shortage of breaks that drivers who are just running one series get. As the XFINITY Series takes a break until April 10 at Texas Motor Speedway , the Sprint Cup Series keeps roaring on to the shortest track on the Cup Series schedule, Martinsville Speedway . "I'm racing my Premium Motorsports Chevrolet at Martinsville," Gaughan said. "So I'll be going to Martinsville and I'll be having what I consider to be an easy weekend all of a sudden because I only have to do one race car. I don't know where I decided that I was going to turn 40 years old this year and do double-duty all season." Although racing in both the Cup and XFINITY Series can be draining, Gaughan explains that he's learning a lot and looking at things differently than he ever has before. "It's helping me in a lot of ways," Gaughan said. "The main thing is is that I'm getting on the race track first in a Cup car. "It's helping me with the points racing. I'm trying to learn how to race that race car and look at points in a completely different way so we can keep making races. I've never looked a racing that way. I've never been in a situation like that. So it's helping me on the big picture side, but I'm racing different now than I ever have and looking at points differently than I ever have and I think it's going to make me better at the end of the year." Aside from Saturday's runner-up showing, Gaughan's best finish at the Fontana track came in 2009 when he finished seventh. In 122 XFINITY Series starts, the Richard Childress Racing driver has two wins, 12 top-fives and 32 top-10 finishes under his belt. The No. 62 driver's first win came just last season at Road America . He added a win at Kentucky Speedway in September. 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
Get caught up for the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNEWS) RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today What: Third annual VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 Where: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky When: Saturday, Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. ET TV/Radio: ESPNEWS/PRN Distance: 200 laps, 300 miles Defending race winner: Ryan Blaney Fastest in practice " Full results First session: Chris Buescher , No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford (174.701 mph) Second session: Cale Conley , No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet (175.404 mph) Best consecutive 10-lap average: First session: Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford (170.478 mph) Second session: Chase Elliott , No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet (173.298 mph) Former winners in the field: None. Driver debut: "I really feel up to the challenge. There are definitely some big shoes to fill in driving the No. 20 Toyota, but I'll have some great teammates to lean on for these two weeks." -- Justin Boston on making his Nationwide Series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing Bumpy road: " Kentucky has a lot of unique characteristics to it. Whether it's the bump on the front stretch or the multi-grooved corners, it's definitely a fun place to race on." -- Trevor Bayne Recycled knowledge: "Statistically, Kentucky is one of my best tracks, and I hope to continue the trend and have another great race Saturday afternoon. Last time we were here, we battled with an extremely loose car and we weren't able to correct the problem until the closing 50 laps. The plan is to use those adjustments and collectively put together a fast race car that can compete for a victory on Saturday." -- Elliott Sadler Chart toppers: "I would say there is probably four or five of us that still have a shot at (the title). Realistically, maybe a couple of those guys need some bad luck from cars ahead of them. If somebody rolls off three or four wins in a row, those bonus points are huge and you're going to jump right back up into it pretty quickly." -- Regan Smith on the current points standings Closing chance: "This opportunity has been a great learning experience for me, and I'm very grateful for the chance to work with such a talented organization. I hope I can get these guys a great finish and end this three-race-deal on a positive note." -- Chase Pistone on his last scheduled race with Turner Scott Motorsports MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Edwards and legendary jockey Steve Cauthen share Kentucky memories
Joe Gibbs Racing driver won first Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway in 2011
Brown's tire gamble paid-off in with a win over Humpe in the Bluegrass State . Joey Brown came up clutch in the pits and on the track at Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday night en route to his first victory this season in the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series Powered by iRacing.com. Brown, who had hung around the front all night, made a gutsy two-tire call during the final round of pit stops with 16 laps remaining which put him in front of Ray Alfalla, Chad Laughton, and Nick Ottinger, all of whom appeared to have stronger cars. While Brown's strategy got him out in front of the fastest cars, Jake Stergios had his own plan to potentially steal the win. Stergios chose to forgo pit road entirely, hoping his old tires would get more caution periods to cool down. When the race restarted on Lap 154, Stergios' strategy appeared to immediately pay off as a crash in Turn One involving Ottinger, Michael Conti and Brandon Hauff brought the yellow and the pace car back out. The crash spelled the end of the night for Conti, who entered the evening as the series points leader and exited the virtual Bluegrass State with a thirty-second place finish. The race restarted with nine laps remaining and this time the field got through the first corner cleanly, allowing Brown to make his move on Stergios. Brown's fresh right side tires completely overmatched Stergios, who relinquished the lead entering Turn 3. It was not clear sailing for Brown though as Alfalla got around Stergios as well and was in hot pursuit of the lead with four fresh tires. Just when it looked like Brown was done, Alfalla came under attack from Justin Bolton and Kenny Humpe. This enabled Brown to edge away before another caution bunched the field back together and set up a decisive one lap shootout. Brown knew he needed a perfect restart due to his tire disadvantage and he delivered, gapping Humpe by a car length by the time the drivers crossed the start-finish line to take the green and white flags. Humpe gave it everything he had but fell just short of picking up his second win of the season. Bolton finished third ahead of Alfalla and Adam Gilliland rounded-out the top five. On a night where most of the field struggled with handling problems on Kentucky's bumpy surface, Alfalla and Laughton showed extremely impressive pace only to be bitten by strategy at the end. Still, both could hold their heads high at the end of the night, especially Alfalla who has struggled with his pace thus far in 2014 and is still looking to find victory lane. Conti's poor finish, combined with Laughton's eighth place run made for a major swing in the series standings. Laughton now leads the championship by six points over Conti, with Ottinger a further six points behind after limping home twenty-eighth last night. Alfalla, despite his struggles by his lofty standards, is fourth and Stergios is still in the mix in fifth after his Hail-Mary strategy netted a solid ninth place result. With Conti looking to stop the bleeding with just seven races remaining in the season, the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series shifts to what may well be his best track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In fact, anything less than a win would be a disappointment for Conti after winning there in dominating fashion the past two seasons. Can Conti make it three in a row at the Magic Mile, or will Laughton continue his torrid stretch and snatch it away? One thing is for sure: there will probably be some bent fenders along the way. Be sure to catch the intense short track sim racing action on iRacing Live in two weeks' time!
Late pass sends driver to second win of 2014 RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings SPARTA, Ky. -- Brendan Gaughan capitalized on the opportunity to utilize the high line on the final restart of Saturday night's VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway to win his second NASCAR Nationwide Series race of the season. Gaughan, with a three-wide pass, powered around leaders Chase Elliott and Ty Dillon in the closing laps and cleared his competition in Turn 1, allowing him to cruise to an eight-tenths of a second lead over Richard Childress Racing teammate Brian Scott . "I love my restarts," Gaughan said in Victory Lane. "It was an awesome restart. Shane (Wilson, crew chief) kept telling me that lap times were great when everyone did two and we did four (tires), so it took us a while to get back (toward the lead) there, but four Goodyear tires in the end were the difference." On the final restart of the night, Dillon and Elliott battled but forgot about the guy behind them. Gaughan, with a head of steam, used momentum to clear his competition with six laps to go and cruised to his second career series win, and first on an oval. He also won June's road-course race at Road America . Richard Childress Racing swept the top-three finishing positions with Scott second and Dillon finishing third after a dominating performance. Gaughan, 39, credited his Earnhardt Childress Racing engine and transmission for assisting him in his triumph over the much younger Elliott (18) and Dillon (22). "There are great race teams and great young race car drivers, but the old dog still has something left," said Gaughan. Scott was on the verge of netting his first career Nationwide victory, but settled for his best performance of the season after restarting sixth. "I thought it was the right call to take four tires at the end," Scott said. "I restarted sixth and got a good restart and got up to fourth and I thought we were going to win this race. But, unfortunately, we didn't get any long runs and our Shore Lodge Camaro was a little too tight." Dillon, who led 155 laps, said, "I'm sick for my guys. Our Bass Pros Chevy was top-notch. It's a good thing for confidence to lead all those laps, but this hurts for sure." Dillon's dominance would be challenged on Lap 171 when Cody Ware lost an engine. The fifth caution flag of the night proved to be a significant break for the leaders, as they avoided green flag pit stops. On pit road, Dillon exercised a two-tire stop with fuel with Chase Elliott , Michael McDowell and Elliott Sadler also on the same strategy. Racing resumed with Chase Elliott making a valiant effort to overtake the lead from Dillon. He was able to nip ahead of Dillon's No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, when Eric McClure crashed in Turn 4. With 19 laps to go, Elliott fended off a challenge from Dillon on the initial restart, but his opportunity to stretch his lead would be short-lived, after Regan Smith made contact with Sam Hornish Jr . on Lap 184, sending him hard into the Turn 1 wall. A flawless restart from Elliott allowed the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet to escape the hungry pack behind him. Again, Elliott's gap would be diminished by yet another caution for debris on Lap 190 -- which would prove the difference in the race. Leaving Kentucky , fourth place finisher Elliott holds a 20-point cushion over JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith in the championship standings with six races remaining. Next up for the NASCAR Nationwide Series is a trip to Dover International Speedway on Sept. 27. Joey Logano is the defending champion. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule