Dale Earnhardt Jr. talks on SIRIUS XM about what to expect from NASCAR’s new rules package that will be implemented at Kentucky Speedway .
NASCAR Executive Vice President & Chief Racing Development Officer, Steve O’Donnell, announces a new rules package for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway in July.
Austin Dillon outlasts the competition in a wreck-filled Firecracker 250 and earns his first Daytona International Speedway victory.
NASCAR executive reveals Air Titans will be at Chicagoland, Iowa RELATED: Potential rules package changes coming soon? The garage was buzzing last weekend with talk that the 2016 rules package could be put into play next month for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway , a notion that intrigued drivers. NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell reacted to that talk in a Monday interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive." "As we've said nothing is off the table, so we're continuing to talk to the race teams, the drivers, the owners and the tracks, particularly not just about '16, but what if anything could be done about '15," O'Donnell said. "A lot of those discussions are still ongoing, and if we're going to do something, obviously we've got to do it sooner than later because we never want to implement anything in the Chase. We'll continue to have dialogue and get to a decision either way. It all goes back to, how do we put the best racing on each and every weekend?" O'Donnell also indicated that the 2016 rules package may not be a one size fits all concept. "It's kind of a misnomer when you look at it, because at each track you are going to have a different tire, essentially a different gear, a lot of different things that go into it," O'Donnell said. "As we look ahead, I think we want to look more toward what specific track packages could we have. Not necessarily having 36 different ones, but are there some configurations that do change up for particular tracks? That's been a really interesting angle as we've talked to the teams and gotten some great feedback." Tech Talk: Could more qualifying changes be coming? The NASCAR executive also addressed the challenges faced in this past weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway . Wet weather led to multiple red flags and a race that was eventually called after 138 laps, 62 short of the scheduled 200. "The fans braved a lot of different circumstances at Michigan, again proving that we've got the most passionate fans in all of sports," O'Donnell said. "Gave it our best shot to continue to dry, but in the last one we had to evacuate the stands. There were still some pop-up showers in the area and working with the track, we made what we thought was the safest decision for the fans that were in attendance. Certainly would have liked to see it be a full race completed but again, really appreciate the fans sticking with us." O'Donnell also shed some light on what goes into deciding to call a race, and who is involved in the final decision. "We'll talk to obviously the weather experts in the area, but ultimately it's up to the track," O'Donnell said. "In this case, Roger Curtis (president of Michigan International Speedway ) and NASCAR work together. We judge it on how much time do we have left, daylight. You don't have lights in Michigan and more importantly, what does the weather look like? "It takes longer to dry a track as you get later in the afternoon with the weather circumstances. Once we had to evacuate the grandstands via the track, that put us in a really challenging situation. The fans had stuck it out for a long time and then when you looked at the radar and the possibility of continued lightning and rain, we thought it was the most prudent decision to make at that time to call it a day." Other notes from O'Donnell: • After a rain delay of more than two hours for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Gateway Motorsports Park, Air Titans will be at the stand-alone events at Chicagoland Speedway (for the NASCAR XFINITY Series) and Iowa Speedway (for the Truck Series) this weekend. Air Titans were not at Gateway this past weekend. "Ultimately we make them available, and it's a track call whether or not they want to have them in place," he said. "We learned some lessons at Gateway. I think you will see them both at Iowa and Chicago this weekend regardless. Going forward, I think you will see that change. The good news is we were able to get the race in, saw Cole Custer win. I think you'll see that change and we'll have them available regardless for the tracks. • The Sprint Cup Series is off this weekend, but O'Donnell is looking forward to both stand-alone races. "It's really important for us," he said. "I think it gives some drivers an opportunity to come into a race and really showcase their skills. You look at Chicago, I'm excited personally to see Ross Kenseth get out there, had a great weekend at Michigan with the ARCA race. I know Matt (Kenseth) is going to be a proud father watching him race. "Talking to Richard Childress this weekend, he thought we've got the most talent we've had in a long, long time coming up through the system. When you look at the XFINITY race in Chicago and the Truck race at Iowa, it puts both series on the big stage this weekend." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Get the on-track times for all the NASCAR action RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota All times ET TV LISTINGS / BUY TICKETS FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE / BUY TICKETS FOR KENTUCKY / WEEKEND TRACK EVENTS This week, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway , while the NASCAR Nationwide Series returns to Kentucky Speedway . SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21: RACE-DAY RUNDOWN -- 1:16 p.m.: Official Welcome by Jerry Gappens, executive vice president & general manager of NHMS -- 1:19 p.m.: Intro Honorary Pace Car Driver: Brad Park, retired ice hockey defenseman of the Boston Bruins -- 1:22:30 p.m.: Intro Honorary Starter: Chris Hagestad, VP, Advance Auto Parts -- 1:23 p.m.: Intro Grand Marshal: Jes Hansen, President & CEO, OSRAM Sylvania -- 1:23:30 p.m.: Intro Miss Sprint Cup: Madison Martin -- 1:24 p.m.: Intro Miss zMax: Christina Davidson -- 1:24:30 p.m.: Intro: Milo the Moose -- 1:25 p.m.: NSCS Driver Introductions with NASCAR Special Awards -- 1:45 p.m.: Team Fastrax jumps with large flag -- 1:54:45 p.m.: Intro Canadian National Anthem -- 1:55 p.m.: Canadian National Anthem by: Kirk Young, Music Teacher from Tilton, NH -- 1:57 p.m.: Presentation of Colors by: Combined Services Color Guard -- 1:57:20 p.m.: Invocation by: Graham Siemon, Worship Pastor from Crossway Christian Church -- 1:57:45 p.m.: Intro National Anthem -- 1:58 p.m.: National Anthem by Whitney Doucet, Speedway Star Contest Winner -- 1:59:30 p.m.: Fly-by TOT: B-17 provided by the Collings Foundation -- 2:04:30 p.m.: "Drivers, Start Your Engines" by: Jes Hansen, President & CEO, OSRAM Sylvania -- 2:12 p.m.: Start of the Sylvania 300 (300 laps, 317.4 miles) ON TRACK -- 2 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 (300 laps, 317.4 miles), ESPN ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Follow live ) -- Approx. 5:15 p.m.: Post-NSCS race -------------- FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19: ON TRACK -- 9:30-10:50 a.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice ( Get results ) -- Noon-1:20 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 1:30-2:30 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 3-4:25 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice, FOX Sports 2/FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 3:30-4:30 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series practice ( Get results ) -- 4:40 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 6:30-7:30 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series final practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) GARAGECAM ( Watch live ) -- 11:30 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GarageCam -- 2:30 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series GarageCam PRESS CONFERENCES ( Follow live ) -- 10:30 a.m.: Kyle Larson -- 10:45 a.m.: Jimmie Johnson -- 11 a.m.: Aric Almirola -- 11:15 a.m.: Brad Keselowski -- 2 p.m.: Ryan Newman -- 2:15 p.m.: Jeff Gordon -- 2:30 p.m.: Denny Hamlin -- Approx. 6 p.m.: Post-NSCS qualifying SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20: ON TRACK -- 9-9:50 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 10:10 a.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 11:30 a.m-12:20 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 1 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175 (175 laps, 185.15 miles), FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 4:10 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying ( Get results ) -- 7:30 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (200 laps, 300 miles), ESPNEWS ( Get results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Follow live ) -- Approx. 4:15 p.m.: Post-Truck Series race MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: NASCAR Chase Grid games WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
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
Truex Jr., Gordon, Kahne and Edwards speak out on possible changes BROOKLYN, Mich. – The on-again, off-again 2016 rules package for NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series appears to be on again. Only this time, teams might put the package on the track before 2016 arrives. Talk in the garage Friday at Michigan International Speedway indicated that the package could be put into play next month when the series visits Kentucky Speedway on July 11. And it would be only for that event. "We'll have to see how that goes," Martin Truex Jr . said Friday at Michigan, site of Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). "I don't know. I have as many questions about it as everybody else. What's it going to be like? Is it going to do what they think and what some of the drivers think it's going to do?" NASCAR officials initially considered implementing the changes, which are expected to further reduce downforce, for this year's Sprint All-Star Race, a non-points-paying event hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway last month. That idea was eventually tabled. "You always want to be able to go and test it and understand it," four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon said. "I'm fine with what I'm hearing about a reduction in downforce if they can bring a softer tire. To me that is the whole key in kind of where we are at today. "We knew the power was being reduced. A lot of the drivers were really asking for less downforce if the power was going to be reduced, but the key component to that was being able to get Goodyear to match the tire up for that to have a little bit more grip at the beginning of a run and maybe have some fall off. That has been one of the biggest challenges this year is that we are actually running harder tires." NASCAR officials would not confirm that a change would be forthcoming during the 2015 season but acknowledged that the sanctioning body has been actively involved in dialog with teams with the goal of making racing as exciting as possible. As such, they are looking at various scenarios to accomplish that goal. RELATED: Steve O'Donnell addresses the state of the 2016 rules package Steve O'Donnell, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer for NASCAR, said earlier this year that rising corner speeds, an unintended consequence of the current rules package, was a concern and the '16 package would be fashioned to "affect the aero … and match that up with the tire." While straightaway speeds have fallen this season, drivers can drive deeper into the corners and don't have to stay off-throttle as long, resulting in the higher corner speeds. Speaking with "Downforce Radio" recently, O'Donnell broached the possibility of track-specific rules package for the series. "Not to have it be 36 individual packages, but potentially look at some lower downforce at some (tracks) … kind of cater it to certain tracks," he said. The '16 aero package was tested briefly earlier this year at Charlotte. Kasey Kahne , the pole winner for Sunday's race, was one of those participating. "I really liked it," the Hendrick Motorsports driver said. "I ran by myself and felt like it was the first time I could really drive the car, control the car, lift and things to make the car work rather than just run super hard like we're doing. …When I came into the sport, that's how it was, you drove more with both feet. You found speed in different spots in the corner and you weren't wide open." While drivers might see the move as beneficial, on-track testing with the setup was halted earlier this year, so the risk of the unknown has some in the garage not as eager to see the rules package modified during the middle of the season. No extensive wind tunnel testing has been done, and there is some concern that the changes could benefit one of the three automakers in the series, Chevrolet, Ford or Toyota, more than others. It's also been noted that implementing changes for a points-paying race could adversely impact one or more team's chances at qualifying for this year's 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Joe Gibbs Racing driver Carl Edwards , already all but locked into the 16-team Chase field with a victory at Charlotte, said he has no such concerns. "I really feel that the way racing works, as long as the teams are able to implement the changes logistically and financially without a huge burden, change anything you want anytime you want," he said. "As long as it's the same for everyone, who cares? "As far as I'm concerned, you could make up rules or have changes five minutes before the race starts." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Keselowski tops Cup practice; Crafton, Jones, Custer top Truck sessions RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Sprint Cup Series Practice 1 " RESULTS Already in the hunt for his second straight win and a sweep of New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the season, Brad Keselowski topped opening Sprint Cup Series practice on Friday morning in Loudon, New Hampshire. The Team Penske driver ran just 12 laps, but found enough speed in his No. 2 Ford on his final run around the Magic Mile to best the field with a speed of 138.421 mph. The top 10 was chock-full of Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, save for Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Jamie McMurray (137.890 mph) and Kyle Larson (137.631 mph), who both ran well at Chicagoland last week and placed second and fifth, respectively, in Friday's opening session. After McMurray, 12 of the next 14 drivers on the chart were all postseason contenders, with the top five rounded out by Dale Earnhardt Jr . (3rd, 137.825 mph) and Kasey Kahne (4th, 137.661 mph). Reigning champion Jimmie Johnson was the slowest Chase driver, pulling in 29th with a speed of 135.699 mph. Just over 50 minutes into the session, practice was halted for debris on the track. Nationwide Series final practice " RESULTS A Richard Childress Racing driver led final NASCAR Nationwide Series practice at Kentucky Speedway , just not the one most would have expected. Rookie Cale Conley , on a part-time schedule this season, circled the 1.5-mile speedway at a clip of 175.404 mph to take top honors in the final 60-minute session. He also led the field with most laps run at 53. RCR's Brian Scott (175.075 mph), who drives the No. 2 Chevrolet, finished third in the standings after coming in second in the opening session. Scott is fifth in the standings, 56 points behind leader Chase Elliott . A late push from Trevor Bayne put his No. 6 Ford into second on the speed chart (175.239 mph). Sam Hornish Jr . (174.944 mph) and Chris Buescher (174.419) rounded out the top five, with RCR's Ty Dillon (174.323 mph) coming in sixth. Elliott finished eighth (174.087 mph) with his JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith in 16th. Smith trails Elliott in the standings by 18 points. Next up is Coors Light Pole Qualifying, scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET. The VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 follows at 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPNEWS). Nationwide Series practice 1 " RESULTS Richard Childress Racing opened up the weekend strong, placing all three of its cars in the top four placers in opening Nationwide Series practice for the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNEWS) at Kentucky Speedway in Lexington, Kentucky . Brian Scott was at the helm, leading the charge with a best speed of 173.980 mph to finish second fiddle to practice topper Chris Buescher (174.701). Brendan Gaughan (173.210) and RCR rookie Ty Dillon (173.205) were right behind Scott. Sam Hornish Jr. , filling in for Kyle Busch in the No. 54 this weekend, placed fifth on the charts at 173.082. Nationwide Series points leader Chase Elliott was eighth overall at 172.629, while Michael McDowell , driving the defending race-winning No. 22 Ford, was 11th overall at 172.348. Camping World Truck Series Practice 1 " RESULTS Rookie driver Erik Jones paced the first of three Camping World Truck Series practices at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday morning in Loudon, New Hampshire. The Kyle Busch Motorsports driver posted a best speed of 131.925 mph on his 35th of 36 laps around the Magic Mile. Jones ousted reigning champion Matt Crafton from the top of the leaderboard in the closing seconds of practice, besting the ThorSport driver's speed of 131.035 mph. Sixteen-year-old Cole Custer , set to make just his seventh NASCAR National Series start in Saturday's UNOH 175 (1 p.m. ET, FS1), was third on the leaderboard with a speed of 131.031 mph -- 0.001 seconds off Crafton's pace. Joey Coulter (130.999 mph) and Ryan Blaney (130.864 mph) rounded out the top five. Positions six through nine were occupied by Toyota drivers in Darrell Wallace Jr . (130.846 mph), Johnny Sauter (130.260 mph) and Red Horse Racing teammates Timothy Peters (129.754 mph) and German Quiroga (129.648 mph). Camping World Truck Series practice 2 " RESULTS In the second of three scheduled Camping World Truck Series practices, reigning champion Matt Crafton topped the leaderboard on Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Crafton's late-session best speed of 132.347 mph shot him past Cameron Hayley , who placed second with a best speed of 131.433. Gray Gaulding (131.180 mph), Joey Coulter (131.044 mph) and Timothy Peters (130.815 mph) rounded out the top five. First session leader Erik Jones was ninth at 130.385 mph. Camping World Truck Series final practice " RESULTS LOUDON, N.H. -- NASCAR Next driver Cole Custer cruised to the top of the speed charts in final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice Friday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . Custer, 16, turned a lap of 133.226 mph in the Haas Racing Development No. 00 Chevrolet in preparation for Saturday's UNOH 175 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). Custer, who is scheduled to make just the seventh Truck Series start of his career here, also won the pole position in June at Gateway Motorsports Park, a track of similar length with similar short-track characteristics. Ryan Blaney, 20 years old and third in the series standings, was second-fastest in the Brad Keselowski Racing No. 29 Ford at 133.007 mph. Erik Jones , another NASCAR Next class member at age 18, ran the most laps (63) and was third-best at 132.924 mph, just ahead of Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Darrell Wallace Jr ., a two-time winner this season. Tyler Reddick completed the top five in another Keselowski-owned truck. Points leader Matt Crafton , the defending series champion, was ninth-fastest of the 26 drivers who participated in the 85-minute finalsession. Saturday's Keystone Light Pole Qualifying is scheduled for a 10:10 a.m. ET start, broadcast on FOX Sports 1. The race is the 17th Truck Series event hosted by New Hampshire, but the first for the 1.058-mile track since 2011. -- Zack Albert 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
Take a virtual lap around Kentucky Speedway .
Chuck Bush gives you a behind the scenes look at what goes on in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Kentucky Speedway .