No. 4 SHR driver led a race-high 75 laps, finishes third RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- Kevin Harvick led a race-high 75 laps but not the final one in Sunday's Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard and if there is a silver lining to the disappointment, he still remains first in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series points standings, a hefty 69 points ahead of the guy ( Joey Logano ) he finished behind in the race and second in the Chase grid behind Jimmie Johnson thanks to his two wins and points accumulation. Harvick's No. 4 Chevrolet paced the field four times and for much of the day looked well on its way to handing the reigning Sprint Cup champ his second Brickyard 400 trophy. But late race restarts proved his undoing and he finished third behind race winner Kyle Busch and Logano. Ironically a 1-2 finish for Toyota and Ford after 12 consecutive wins by Chevrolet. Obviously disappointed by the final outcome, Harvick was still philosophical and upbeat after the race. "We had a great day," he said. "I think everybody did a great job, just in that second or third-to-last restart where the 22 (Logano) and 18 (Busch) were able to get hooked up and kind of drive by us and I lost control of the race there and didn't really have what I wanted on the restarts. Fellow Chevrolet driver and fourth place finisher Martin Truex Jr . took responsibility for part of Harvick's woes. "Just feel a little bad for Kevin ( Harvick ) there," Truex said. "I kind of screwed him. I was trying to push him, just mistimed it. It's hard to see the lines down there when you are behind a guy. "I just totally forgot to ask my spotter for help and a heads up when we were getting 5-10 feet from that line. I feel bad I messed him up a bit there. I kind of messed Kyle (Busch) up on the last one too and he still won." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Reigning Sprint Cup champ won 2011 event at the Tricky Triangle BUY TICKETS: Pocono Kevin Harvick will return to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the first time in two years when he pilots the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the Pocono Mountains 150 on August 1. In his only previous Pocono Raceway start in the series, Harvick won the 2011 edition of this race after leading 44 of 53 laps in a Kevin Harvick Inc. vehicle. His last start in the series came in 2013 at Martinsville. "I'm excited to be back in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with JRM at Pocono Raceway," Harvick said in a team release. "A lot has changed at Pocono with the repave, but I was fortunate enough to find Victory Lane in my last Truck Series start there and I hope we can do the same thing this time around with the Haas Automation Chevrolet." JRM made its series debut this season, fielding a Silverado for 17-year-old Cole Custer , who earned his first win with JRM and second career victory last month at Gateway Motorsports Park. Drivers must be 18 years of age or older to run national series tracks greater than a mile in length so Custer must wait until next season to run full time after his 18th birthday on Jan. 23. He will return to the No. 00 next month at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kasey Kahne earned the first victory for JRM's Truck program in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he beat Erik Jones by .005 seconds for the second-closest finish in series history. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
NASCAR Sprint Cup champ continues racing dominance at L.A. awards show RELATED: SHR teammate Patrick attends ESPYS DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 16, 2015) – Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick 's dominating year on the race track earned him the ESPY for 'Best Driver' last night at the 23rd annual ESPYS presented by ESPN. Harvick triumphed over 2015 Indianapolis 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya , 2014 IndyCar champion Will Power, 2014 Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton and 2014 NHRA champion Erica Enders-Stevens for the win. Last season, Harvick posted five victories, six runner-up finishes and 14 top-five finishes en route to his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title, clinched in walk-off fashion in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Harvick also set six track qualifying records and earned a series-best eight poles. This year, Harvick will return to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup having won a pair of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, in Las Vegas and Phoenix. He is currently leading in the series points standings. Harvick's career includes 90 wins across NASCAR's top three series -- the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Now in his 13th year, Harvick joins a list of stock car drivers who have won the title of 'Best Driver' since the awards began in 1993. Tony Stewart , Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson , Bobby Labonte and Dale Jarett have also taken home the ESPY in previous years. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
A statistical look ahead to the 21st race of the Sprint Cup season DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Pocono Raceway in Pocono, Pennsylvania going into the WINDOWS 10 400 on August 2 (1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). POCONO-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · Two wins, 12 top fives, 16 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 12.421, eighth-best · Average Running Position of 10.246, second-best · Driver Rating of 105.9, third-best · 332 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.733, second-fastest · 2659 Laps in the Top 15 (77.0), second-most · 774 Quality Passes, seventh-most Dale Earnhardt Jr (No. 88 MICROSOFT Chevrolet) · Two wins, nine top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 15.900, 11th-best · Average Running Position of 14.002, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 92.6, ninth-best · 102 Fastest Laps Run, third-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.237, eighth-fastest · 2286 Laps in the Top 15 (63.3), eighth-most · 727 Quality Passes, eighth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 STANLEY Toyota) · Two wins, five top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 15.500, 10th-best · Average Running Position of 14.826, 13th-best · Driver Rating of 94.2, eighth-best · 176 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.224, ninth-fastest · 2262 Laps in the Top 15 (62.6), 10th-most · 712 Quality Passes, ninth-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet) · Six wins, 19 top fives, 31 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 9.650, second-best · Average Running Position of 9.916, series-best · Driver Rating of 103.5, fourth-best · 169 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.625, fifth-fastest · 2777 Laps in the Top 15 (76.9), third-most · 885 Quality Passes, series-most Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota) · Four wins, nine top fives, 13 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 11.889, seventh-best · Average Running Position of 10.844, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 108.3, series-best · 437 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.806, series-fastest · 2543 Laps in the Top 15 (79.3), series-most · 685 Quality Passes, 10th-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Jimmy John's/Budweiser Chevrolet) · Seven top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 10.600, fifth-best · Average Running Position of 13.743, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 91.9, 11th-best · 63 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.159, 10th-fastest · 2277 Laps in the Top 15 (63.0), ninth-most · 789 Quality Passes, sixth-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet) · Three wins, 11 top fives, 18 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 10.500, third-best · Average Running Position of 10.487, third-best · Driver Rating of 106.9, second-best · 273 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.708, third-fastest · 2774 Laps in the Top 15 (76.8), fourth-most · 861 Quality Passes, fourth-most Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Aquafina Chevrolet) · Two wins, five top fives, eight top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 18.750, 13th-best · Average Running Position of 14.622, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 92.1, 10th-best · 306 Fastest Laps Run, series-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.436, sixth-fastest · 2199 Laps in the Top 15 (60.9), 11th-most · 804 Quality Passes, fifth-most Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford) · One win, three top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 13.400, ninth-best · Average Running Position of 14.786, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 90.8, 12th-best · 96 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.894, 13th-fastest · 852 Laps in the Top 15 (50.1), 13th-most · 306 Quality Passes, 12th-most Kyle Larson (No. 42 Suave Men Chevrolet) · One top five, two top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 8.000, series-best · Average Running Position of 12.672, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 95.7, sixth-best · 2 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.690, fourth-fastest · 230 Laps in the Top 15 (71.9), seventh-most · 87 Quality Passes, 13th-most Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford) · One win, three top fives, five top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 16.583, 12th-best · Average Running Position of 13.811, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 88.9, 13th-best · 61 Fastest Laps Run, second-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.097, 12th-fastest · 1190 Laps in the Top 15 (56.6), 12th-most · 456 Quality Passes, 11th-most Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) · One win, nine top fives, 14 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 10.500, fourth-best · Average Running Position of 11.426, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 95.3, seventh-best · 36 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.135, 11th-fastest · 2689 Laps in the Top 15 (74.4), fifth-most · 883 Quality Passes, second-most Tony Stewart (No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet) · Two wins, 12 top fives, 22 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 10.600, sixth-best · Average Running Position of 12.223, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 97.6, fifth-best · 99 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.319, seventh-fastest · 2619 Laps in the Top 15 (72.5), sixth-most · 880 Quality Passes, third-most Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 29 0 0 7 11 2 13.2 91.9 2 Joey Logano 13 2 1 3 5 1 15.6 88.9 3 Dale Earnhardt Jr 31 1 2 9 13 1 15.2 92.6 4 Jimmie Johnson 27 3 3 11 18 1 9.6 106.9 5 Martin Truex Jr 19 0 1 3 7 0 15.1 80.4 6 Brad Keselowski 11 0 1 3 4 0 13.7 90.8 7 Matt Kenseth 31 0 0 3 11 1 15.7 86.7 8 Kurt Busch 28 2 2 12 16 5 14.4 105.9 9 Jamie McMurray 25 1 0 0 7 3 19.3 73.1 10 Denny Hamlin 19 3 4 9 13 2 11.8 108.3 11 Jeff Gordon 45 2 6 19 31 5 10 103.5 12 Ryan Newman 27 2 1 9 14 3 12.4 95.3 13 Paul Menard 17 0 0 0 2 1 23.6 64.6 14 Kasey Kahne 23 2 2 5 8 3 17.6 92.1 15 Clint Bowyer 19 0 0 2 8 0 14.6 82.8 16 Carl Edwards 21 0 2 5 8 1 15.5 94.2 * – Based on last 21 races at Pocono Raceway (2005 – 2015). Kyle Busch ’s Chase Eligibility 30th Justin Allgaier 317 Rank Driver Wins Points Points From 30th 31 Cole Whitt 0 314 -3 32 Kyle Busch 4 294 -23 33 Brett Moffitt # 0 266 -51 34 Alex Bowman 0 245 -72 35 Michael Annett 0 230 -87 36 Matt DiBenedetto # 0 205 -112 37 Josh Wise 0 186 -131 38 Michael McDowell 0 124 -193 39 Jeb Burton 0 111 -206 40 Alex Kennedy 0 71 -246 * To be eligible for the Chase, the driver must be in the top 30 of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings following race number 26. Pocono Raceway Data Season Race #: 21 of 36 (08-02-15) Track Size : 2.5-miles Banking/Turn 1 : 14 degrees Banking/Turn 2 : 8 degrees Banking/Turn 3 : 6 degrees Frontstretch Length : 3,740 feet Backstretch Length : 3,055 feet Shortstretch Length : 1,780 feet Race Length : 160 laps / 400 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Pocono Denny Hamlin ............................ 108.3 Jimmie Johnson ........................ 106.9 Kurt Busch ................................ 105.9 Jeff Gordon .............................. 103.5 Tony Stewart ............................... 97.6 Kyle Larson ................................ 95.7 Ryan Newman ............................. 95.3 Carl Edwards .............................. 94.2 Dale Earnhardt Jr ........................ 92.6 Kasey Kahne .............................. 92.1 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (21 total) among active drivers at Pocono Raceway. Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Kyle Larson , Chevrolet 183.438 mph, 49.063 secs, 08-01-14 2014 race winner : Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Chevrolet 127.411 mph, (03:08:22), 08-03-14 Track qualifying record: Kyle Larson , Chevrolet 183.438 mph, 49.610 secs, 08-03-14 Track race record: Jeff Gordon , Chevrolet 145.384 mph, (03:26:21), 06-12-11 At Pocono Raceway: History · Opened in 1968 as a three-quarter-mile track, Pocono Raceway held the first race on the 2.5-mile track in 1971. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was in 1974 – won by Richard Petty , Dodge, 115.593 mph, 08/04/1974. · The 2.5-mile track was repaved during the fall of 2011. · 2012 marked the first season the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono were scheduled for 400 miles. Prior to 2012 all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races were 500 miles at Pocono Raceway. Starts · There have been 75 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono Raceway, one race from 1974 through 1981, and two per year since. · 327 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway; 229 in more than one. · Ricky Rudd leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in starts at Pocono with 55. · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 45 starts (eighth most all-time) at Pocono; followed by Tony Stewart with 33 starts. · Denny Hamlin (19 starts) leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Pocono with a 6.632. Poles · 40 drivers have posted Coors Light poles at Pocono, led by Bill Elliott and Ken Schrader with five each; Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin lead all active drivers with three each. · Buddy Baker won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Pocono in 1974 with a speed of 144.122 mph. · Five drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Pocono. Bill Elliott holds the record for most consecutive poles at Pocono with three; fall 1984 and both races in 1985. · Two active drivers have posted consecutive Coors Light poles at Pocono: Denny Hamlin (2006 sweep) and Joey Logano (fall 2011 and spring 2012). · Youngest Pocono pole winner: Joey Logano (08/07/2011 – 21 years, 2 months, 14 days). · Oldest Pocono pole winner: David Pearson (06/10/1984 – 49 years, 5 months, 19 days). · Kyle Larson (8/03/2014) and Casey Mears (8/1/2004) posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Pocono Raceway. Wins · 33 different drivers have won at Pocono Raceway, led by Jeff Gordon with six wins. · Seven active drivers have multiple wins at Pocono: Jeff Gordon (6), Denny Hamlin (4), Jimmie Johnson (3), Carl Edwards , Kasey Kahne , Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart (each have 2). · Seven drivers have posted consecutive wins at Pocono Raceway all-time, including three consecutive by Bobby Allison (1982 sweep and spring 1983) and Tim Richmond (1986 sweep and spring 1987). · Three of the seven drivers to win consecutive races at Pocono are active: Jimmie Johnson (2004 sweep); Denny Hamlin (2006 sweep and 2009 fall and 2010 spring races) and Dale Earnhardt Jr . (2014 sweep). · Youngest Pocono winner: Joey Logano (06/10/2012 – 22 years, 0 months, 17 days). · Oldest Pocono winner: Harry Gant (06/17/1990 – 50 years, 5 months, 7 days). · Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Pocono in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 17: Jeff Gordon (six), Tim Richmond (three), Jimmie Johnson (three), Dale Earnhardt Jr . (two), Kasey Kahne (one), Geoff Bodine (one) and Terry Labonte (one). · Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Pocono; led by Chevrolet with 31 victories; followed by Ford with 21 and Toyota has three. · 13 of the 75 (17.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Joey Logano (June, 2012). · 15 of the 74 (20%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono have been won from the first starting position; the most recent was Jimmie Johnson (June, 2013). · The first starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (15) than any other starting position at Pocono Raceway. · 24 of the 75 (32%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono have been won from the front row: 15 from the first starting position and nine from second-place. · 53 of the 75 (70.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono have been won from a top-10 starting position. · Five of the 75 (6.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Pocono is 29th, by Carl Edwards in the spring of 2005. · One active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has posted his first career win at Pocono Raceway: Denny Hamlin (06/11/06). · Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards are the only two active drivers to win at Pocono in their first appearances. · Matt Kenseth leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Pocono without visiting Victory Lane at 31; followed by Kevin Harvick with 29. Additional Finishing Position Stats · Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Pocono with seven; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six; followed by Kurt Busch with five. · Mark Martin leads the series in top-five finishes at Pocono with 20; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 19; followed by Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart with 12 each. · Mark Martin leads the series in top-10 finishes at Pocono with 34; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 31; followed by Tony Stewart with 22. · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Pocono with a 9.630. Track Specific Stats · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in
Logano has finished second to Kyle Busch twice this season MORE : Full race results " Updated series standings SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- There's no satisfaction to finishing second for Joey Logano . The disappointment weighs a little heavier for the Team Penske driver this time around. Logano, attempting to become only the second driver to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same season, came up short. "You come to Indy, it's all about the win, either win or finish last," Logano said Sunday evening after finishing second to Kyle Busch in the Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard. "At least that's the way I race when I come to a racetrack like this." The 25-year-old had his chances as cautions regrouped the field three times within the final 10 laps. Logano was third, trailing eventual race winner Kyle Busch ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) and Kevin Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ) on a Lap-153 restart. He was still third when the field was reset after a caution for debris set up the first of two attempts at a green, white, checkered finish. And he was second, with a final opportunity, after a third yellow on Lap 159. Although Logano was officially scored out front when the final restart got underway, Busch managed to pull ahead shortly after crossing the line. Logano briefly closed the gap, but Busch held the position. "The worst part," Logano said, "is the same guy beat me the last two times I finished second. I'm glad he's back and all but geez … you don't have to come back like that. "We've been working our guts out all year and he comes right back and (is) doing it. … It's impressive what those guys have been doing, too. That's amazing, the run they're on." Busch, who missed the first 11 Sprint Cup races of the season after breaking his right leg and suffering multiple fractures to his left foot in an XFINITY Series crash at Daytona International Speedway, has won four of the last five Sprint Cup races, including the last three. Crew chief Todd Gordon said there was no gameplan for the final restarts, but he felt comfortable with where his driver was positioned. "We don't get to dictate the plan," Gordon said. "I thought the 4 (of Harvick ) was a good car to have behind us (on the restart); we worked with him earlier in the day. Just need to find a little more speed. Our restarts were pretty good. We're getting closer, we can definitely see it, but we need to find a little more speed." Team owner Roger Penske has won a NASCAR championship, and his record in the Indianapolis 500 is sterling. But just like Logano, the wait for a Brickyard win resumes. "Obviously with the guy I drive for, he really wants to win these races and you don't want to let him down," Logano said. "I'm sure it stings for him just as much as it stings for me. "He's been coming here a long time and deserves to get a win here, and I wanted to be the guy and be the team to give it to him." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
NASCAR.com's Kathy Sheldon and Jessica Ruffin debate the idea RELATED: Chase 101: What you need to know Coming out of Sonoma, Sprint Cup Series points leader Kevin Harvick shows no signs of letting up, but Jimmie Johnson sits atop the Chase Grid standings with four wins, nine top fives and 11 top 10s. At NASCAR.com we started kicking around the question of which of these two formidable chasers will have what it takes to win the Sprint Cup Championship this year: The defending champ or the six-time title winner? Check out what Jessica Ruffin and Kathy Sheldon have to say on the issue then tell us who you're picking in the comments section. Sheldon: This reminds me of two-stepping, Jessica. Kevin Harvick has finished either first or second in 10 of this season's 16 races. And he and Jimmie Johnson are either 1 or 2 on almost everyone’s list of championship picks. (Aside from Kyle Busch fans, who have a lot to cheer for after his victory at Sonoma on Sunday.) But Harvick ’s going to be the one still dancing at the end of the party this season. He’s simply more consistent. With 14 top 10s, he can battle hard in the Chase Grid format. He could make the Contender Round and Eliminator round by doing exactly what he’s been doing. And we know he and crew chief Rodney Childers can put a hot rod on the track and get the most out of it. Chad Knaus finally has a worthy opponent, too. Ruffin: A worthy opponent for Chad Knaus, indeed. As the reigning Sprint Cup Series champion, Kevin Harvick ’s strong season has shown he hasn’t lost his title touch this year. But I’m going to have to disagree with your pick for the champion, setting my sights on Jimmie Johnson . You're right; Harvick does boast three more top-10s than Johnson. But to me, wins trump top-10s, and with four trips to Victory Lane this year, Johnson already owns twice the amount of 2015 wins as Harvick . The playoff-style Chase format has placed an even greater emphasis on winning both in the races leading up to the Chase and during the championship run. You can talk about consistency all day long, but at the end of the day, it’s about W's -- and Johnson has proved he can do that four times this season. Sheldon: They're both proven winners. And I do think it comes down to Homestead. Let's assume both can get through the Contender 12 round. I just can't see either not making it to the Eliminator 8. That round could be interesting, though, with races at Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix. Harvick won at Phoenix March 15. Johnson won at Texas on April 11. Neither had a stellar day at Martinsville on March 29, but Harvick finished eighth and Johnson had a terrible day, fighting a loose car and finishing 35th. He finished 32nd there last fall. I think this section is the No. 48 team’s Achilles’ Heel. Johnson is extremely good at Texas, but this could be where his luck runs out. Ruffin: The Eliminator 8 is an interesting round, with a true short track and two intermediate tracks, Phoenix having a more short-track-like feel. And while the wildcard nature of the Chase could theoretically make any track a team's Achilles' Heel, I think you’ll have to look elsewhere for Johnson’s downfall. With eight trips to Victory Lane, the Hendrick Motorsports driver is tied with teammate Jeff Gordon for the most wins at Martinsville among active drivers, having finished first and fifth there in 2013 -- the last time he won the title. The all-time winner at Texas with five wins, the Fort Worth track has served as a playground for Johnson in recent years, as he's won four of the last six events there -- including the race in the Eliminator 8 round last season. Harvick does have Johnson beat at Phoenix with seven victories, but the No. 48 team still boasts four wins at the Arizona track. The No. 48 team just seems to have rediscovered its groove this season after struggling with adjustments to the rules package last year. And he’s getting better as the season progresses -- Johnson has recorded an average finish of 8.7 in the past 10 races of 2015, while Harvick ’s past 10 races bring up a score of 9.8. Sheldon: A-plus. Just seeing if you'd done your homework. Though I do think the most recent history leans Harvick ’s way. He has that No. 4 car right where he wants it. That said, it’s pretty hard to pick against either of these great competitors, really. Possibly the best part of the 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup will be finding out who Harvick and Johnson will have to beat in NASCAR’s version of the Final Four. Ruffin: Recent history may lean Harvick's way -- after all, he is the reigning Sprint Cup Series champion. Nevertheless, I think history as a whole leans toward Johnson, the six-time champion and 74-time series winner. The Johnson-Knaus duo knows how to win races, as well as championships. That being said, I also look forward to watching Harvick and Johnson battle each other and the rest of the field on the race track this season. If last year's Chase is any indication of this season's championship run, it's guaranteed to produce some awesome racing. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Tire issue derails champ's chances at win No. 3 of 2015 BROOKLYN, Mich. -- The road to the championship wasn’t exactly a smooth one for Kevin Harvick and his Stewart-Haas Racing team in 2014. Early-season issues often stymied the team. Fast cars were sidelined by funky occurrences, broken parts, flat tires. But Harvick and the team persevered. When the issues didn’t surface, there was no one better, no car faster. The end result was the 2014 Sprint Cup Series championship, Harvick ’s first and the second for SHR. The momentum from last year’s title run hasn’t subsided. Heading into Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway , Harvick already had two wins (at Las Vegas and Phoenix) and an incredible eight runner-up finishes. No one else has been so close so often to the checkered flag, yet so far. But on Sunday, the gremlins returned. Although he led a race-high 63 laps in a race shortened by rain to only 138 of its scheduled 200, a flat tire caused by an errant lug nut buried the No. 4 Chevrolet deep in the field. Smashed them all day damn proud of my boys. Lug nut knocked the valve stem off and the tire went flat. #dumbluck — Kevin Harvick (@KevinHarvick) June 14, 2015 Bummer day for the 4 team.... A big, big shoutout to all the fans who weathered the storms. Y’all are the most loyal fans ever!! — DeLana Harvick (@DeLanaHarvick) June 14, 2015 Teammate Kurt Busch was out front when the skies opened up again, and took home the trophy. Who knows? Had the race run its scheduled distance, with a couple of well-timed cautions it’s possible the team could have found itself back in the hunt. But it didn’t, the team didn’t and at the soggy end of a long day, the scoreboard in the infield showed the No. 4 29th in the final rundown. Harvick ’s fared worse this year -- he finished 38th at Bristol in April after being collected in a chain-reaction accident shortly after a restart. He led a race-best 184 laps at Bristol before the incident. It rained in that race as well. “Once we were in front we were basically just cruising the entire day,” Childers said of Sunday’s effort. “We had a good car and the guys at the shop did a really good job. Really didn’t have any issues all weekend. “It’s aggravating to give them away like that. I felt like we had the best car. When we pitted, there were some guys that stayed out … maybe it would have worked out for us but it’s hard to say.” Harvick , who had qualified No. 2 on Friday, was out front at Lap 119 when he hit pit road under a round of green-flag pit stops. But after returning to the track, a flat right front tire caused when a lug nut knocked the valve stem off the wheel sent him back to the pits. Childers said the team found the cause of the problem after going back and looking at video of the initial pit stop. “One of the lug nuts that had come off the first wheel bounced off the changer’s leg and right when the other wheel was going in, (the lug nut) was in mid-air and he caught it (with the wheel),” he said. “We’ve changed all kinds of stuff to keep it from happening and haven’t had it happen since Dover (last year). … I don’t even know how to fix it. Definitely got to do something though.” After a week off, the Sprint Cup Series rolls back into action at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway for the season’s first road-course stop on June 28. Childers said his driver and team are more than up to the task. “We’re just going there to win,” he said. “We had the best car there last year … so I feel good about it. We’ll do the best job we can and hopefully it’s good enough. “ Kevin and all the guys are on it. If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll be alright.” FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 18 driver gives Toyota its first victory at the Brickyard RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings " SHOP: Busch gear "I guess Kyle's back," a disappointed Logano said after the race, uttering perhaps the biggest understatement in the modern era of stock car racing. Harvick finished third, followed by Martin Truex Jr . and Denny Hamlin . Clint Bowyer , Matt Kenseth , Kurt Busch , Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski completed the top 10. To the suggestion that the accident may have provided additional impetus to his comeback, Kyle Busch replied, "I just think that maybe I've found my happy place. "Happy Gilmore (a movie character) – he found his happy place and he just dominated at the end, so maybe I've found that, too. Nothing better than being in Victory Lane. Nothing better than being in Victory Lane for one of the biggest wins of my career. "I just want to celebrate with my team, my wife and my family." A quick inventory of Busch's accomplishments shows that the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota: -- He is the first to sweep both the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series races at Indianapolis. Busch won the Lilly Diabetes 250 XFINITY race on Saturday with a last-lap pass of Ryan Blaney . -- He gave Toyota its first victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, breaking a string of 12 straight wins by Chevrolet at the 2.5-mile track. -- He won the 33rd NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of his career. -- He continued his relentless advance toward the top 30 in the standings and consequent eligibility for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. In what now seems a foregone conclusion, Busch has six races to overcome a 23-point deficit to 30th-place Justin Allgaier . "We're a championship contending team," Busch asserted. "We just have to be championship eligible. Thank the good Lord for bringing me back when he did. Obviously, thanking him for all the success I've had in my life, where I'm at and all my blessings. "To get me back as quick as he did, to persevere through that and that deficit. We're still continuing on. We can't have bad days. I don't know that any of that matters—we're going to bask in this moment here." Perhaps most astounding is Busch's ability to win three straight races at three different race tracks using three different competition packages: low-downforce at Kentucky with a 3.5-inch spoiler; standard 2015 rules at New Hampshire with a six-inch spoiler; and high-drag at Indianapolis with a nine-inch spoiler and one-inch wicker. Logano fell just short of giving team owner Roger Penske, a 16-time Indianapolis 500 winner, his first Sprint Cup victory at The Brickyard. RELATED: Logano says, 'I'm glad he's back, but geez' "You come to Indy, and it's all about the win," said Logano, who took the checkered flag in the season-opening Daytona 500 this year. "You either win or finish last. It doesn't really matter anywhere in-between. At least that's the way I race when I come to a track like this. I feel like, at Daytona and Indy, it's all about getting trophies and rings and making out with bricks. "Overall, it was a good day, but second hurts. It always does." Jeff Gordon 's last race at The Brickyard as a full-time Cup driver—and his hopes for an unprecedented sixth victory at the 2.5-mile track—suffered an irreparable blow on Lap 50. Racing to the inside of Harvick , Bowyer's Toyota got loose and spun. Gordon checked up, trying to avoid Bowyer's car, but the No. 24 Chevrolet swerved out of control into the outside wall in Turn 3. The resulting damage ended any hope of another Brickyard trophy for the four-time Sprint Cup champion. "I was underneath Kasey Kahne and we were just racing for position," Gordon said as his crew worked feverishly in the garage to repair the car. "I saw Bowyer get sideways. I don't know what caused it. Me and Kasey were trying to check up to avoid it. I don't know if he got loose or we just both got loose together. Then I just lost control and got in the wall." Gordon finished 42nd and lost one spot to 11th in the series standings. Without a win this season, Gordon is in jeopardy of missing the Chase and can ill-afford another day like Sunday. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano breakdown how the new Indy rules package played a role in today's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Kevin Harvick accidently reveals son Keelan’s birthday gift while doing an interview during a rain delay at Daytona.