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Looking for the lobstah' in the Rearview
NASCAR.com's Costner Merrifield takes a look back at an exciting weekend for all three of NASCAR's top touring series that included a few lobsters in the 'Live Free or Die' state.
Fan mistakes crew chief Ives for his driver Bowman
With 40 drivers starting any given Sprint Cup Series race, 40 corresponsing crew chiefs and a sea of other crew members, there are a lot of faces for NASCAR fans to remember. Sometimes they mix them up. A fan learned the hard way on Monday morning that she did not meet 23-year-old Alex Bowman , fill-in driver of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway , site of the second Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Instead, it was Bowman's tall, lanky, 37-year-old crew chief, Greg Ives. Bowman, who was tagged in the since-deleted tweet, was quick to point out that it was actually Ives in the photos, not him. lol that's actually my crew chief @Ives_Greg https://t.co/Z3txMPFPVK — Alex Bowman (@AlexBRacing) September 26, 2016 And fellow driver Landon Cassill was quick to point out that Bowman wasn't typical Bowman-like behavior, anyway. @AlexBRacing @Ives_Greg @meganparrott10 yeah Alex would never do that — landon cassill (@landoncassill) September 26, 2016
'Monster Mile' makes for monster challenge
Dover International Speedway poses an interesting problem for drivers as the last race in the Round of 16 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup clinching scenarios for Round of 12 spots
The Citizen Soldier 400 (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Dover International Speedway marks the first elimination of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as the field shrinks from 16 drivers to 12. How can drivers advance to the Round of 12? Martin Truex Jr . and Kevin Harvick are already locked into the next round with victories at Chicagoland and New Hampshire, respectively. Here's a look at how drivers can clinch spots in the next round. Possible to Clinch: — Brad Keselowski (0 Wins, 2087 Points) - Would clinch on points with 12 Points (29th and no laps led, 30th and led at least one lap, 31st and led most laps) and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner, he would clinch on points with 7 Points (34th and no laps led, 35th and led at least one lap, 36th and led most laps). With a win, he would clinch a next round spot on wins. — Kyle Busch (0 Wins, 2085 Points) - Would clinch on points with 14 Points (27th and no laps led, 28th and led at least one lap, 29th and led most laps) and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner, he would clinch on points with 9 Points (32nd and no laps led, 33rd and led at least one lap, 34th and led most laps). With a win, he would clinch a next round spot on wins. — Matt Kenseth (0 Wins, 2078 Points) - Would clinch on points with 20 Points (21st and no laps led, 22nd and led at least one lap, 23rd and led most laps) and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner, he would clinch on points with 15 Points (26th and no laps led, 27th and led at least one lap, 28th and led most laps). With a win, he would clinch a next round spot on wins. — Joey Logano (0 Wins, 2073 Points) - Would clinch on points with 26 Points (15th and no laps led, 16th and led at least one lap, 17th and led most laps) and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner, he would clinch on points with 21 Points (20th and no laps led, 21st and led at least one lap, 22nd and led most laps). With a win, he would clinch a next round spot on wins. — Denny Hamlin (0 Wins, 2071 Points) - Would clinch on points with 28 Points (13th and no laps led, 14th and led at least one lap, 15th and led most laps) and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner, he would clinch on points with 23 Points (18th and no laps led, 19th and led at least one lap, 20th and led most laps). With a win, he would clinch a next round spot on wins. — Jimmie Johnson (0 Wins, 2070 Points) - Would clinch on points with 29 Points (12th and no laps led, 13th and led at least one lap, 14th and led most laps) and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner, he would clinch on points with 24 Points (17th and no laps led, 18th and led at least one lap, 19th and led most laps). With a win, he would clinch a next round spot on wins. — Chase Elliott (0 Wins, 2068 Points) - Would clinch on points with 31 Points (10th and no laps led, 11th and led at least one lap, 12th and led most laps) and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner, he would clinch on points with 26 Points (15th and no laps led, 16th and led at least one lap, 17th and led most laps). With a win, he would clinch a next round spot on wins. — Carl Edwards (0 Wins, 2068 Points) - Would clinch on points with 31 Points (10th and no laps led, 11th and led at least one lap, 12th and led most laps) and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner, he would clinch on points with 26 Points (15th and no laps led, 16th and led at least one lap, 17th and led most laps). With a win, he would clinch a next round spot on wins. — Kurt Busch (0 Wins, 2067 Points) - Would clinch on points with 32 Points (9th and no laps led, 10th and led at least one lap, 11th and led most laps) and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner, he would clinch on points with 27 Points (14th and no laps led, 15th and led at least one lap, 16th and led most laps). With a win, he would clinch a next round spot on wins. — Kyle Larson (0 Wins, 2057 Points) - If there is a repeat winner, he would clinch on points with 37 Points (4th and no laps led, 5th and led at least one lap, 6th and led most laps). With a win, he would clinch a next round spot on wins. Could clinch on points with a new winner and help. For the following, the only guaranteed clinch would be with a win. Each could clinch without a win, but would need varying levels of help, however: — Jamie McMurray (0 Wins, 2052 Points) — Austin Dillon (0 Wins, 2052 Points) — Tony Stewart (0 Wins, 2046 Points) — Chris Buescher (0 Wins, 2027 Points)
RCR reveals sneak peek of 2017 paint scheme for No. 3
Richard Childress Racing revealed Austin Dillon 's primary 2017 paint scheme for his No. 3 Chevrolet on Tuesday. A new look for 2017! Pre-order your @AustinDillon3 @DowRacing @Lionel_Racing diecast: https://t.co/WD6D9onMGg pic.twitter.com/xF8myIVpXi — RCR (@RCRracing) September 27, 2016 Sponsor Dow returns to the No. 3 Chevrolet SS for the fourth consecutive year. The sponsor has been on Dillon's car since he reintroduced the iconic No. 3 to the Sprint Cup Series in 2014. This season has marked Dillon's most successful to date, as the 26-year-old driver qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the first time in his career and also has a career-high 10 top-10 finishes with eight races remaining in the season.
Full schedule for Dover and Las Vegas
RELATED: Find NBCSN in your area " Watch live online at NBCSports.com The NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series will gather for a doubleheader showing at Dover International Speedway this weekend. The Camping World Truck Series will race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Check out the full schedule below. Note: All times are ET FRIDAY, SEPT. 30: ON TRACK: Dover -- 10-11:25 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series first practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) -- 11:30 a.m.-12:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series first practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) -- 1:30-2:55 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) -- 3:40 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) GARAGECAM ( Watch live ) -- 1 p.m. NASCAR XFINITY Series PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 8:30 a.m.: Chris Buescher -- 8:45 a.m.: Chase Elliott -- 9 a.m.: Jamie McMurray -- 9:15 a.m.: Jimmie Johnson -- 9:45 a.m.: Erik Jones -- 12:30 p.m.: Martin Truex Jr . -- 12:45 p.m.: Regan Smith -- 4:40 p.m. approx.: Post-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying SATURDAY, OCT. 1: ON TRACK: Dover -- 10:30-11:25 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series second practice, CNBC/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) -- 11:45 a.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, CNBC/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) -- 1:30-2:20 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) -- 3 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive Sober 200 ( 200 laps, 200 miles), NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) GARAGECAM ( Watch live ) -- 10 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 5 p.m. approx.: Post-NASCAR XFINITY Series race ON TRACK: Las Vegas -- 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series first practice ( Follow live ) -- 1-2 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice ( Follow live ) -- 6:10 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FS2 ( Follow live ) -- 8:30 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series DC Solar 350 (146 laps, 219 miles), FS1 ( Follow live ) SUNDAY, OCT. 2: ON TRACK: Dover -- 2 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Citizen Soldier 400 (400 laps, 400 miles), NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 5:30 p.m. approx.: Post-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race
Junior, fiancée Amy visit Children's Hospital
Before heading to the track for opening Sprint Cup Series practice at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and fiancée Amy Reimann made a pit stop at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. . @DaleJr has arrived at @NationwideKids . #NW88JR pic.twitter.com/YSsZnpa4jI — Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) July 7, 2016 The children -- as well as another furry friend -- were certainly ready for Junior, who took pictures, signed autographs and interacted with the patients. Beck, @nationwidekids therapy dog is ready for @DaleJr 's visit today! #NW88JR pic.twitter.com/cMYo54IGeV — Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) July 7, 2016 #NW88JR pic.twitter.com/JgddhF0Pmz — Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) July 7, 2016 . @DaleJr spends some time with our Patient Champion, Grant. #NW88JR pic.twitter.com/wR9atS0VOe — Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) July 7, 2016 The children even had a few gifts -- including a wagon of goodies unveiled by Beck the dog -- for Reimann and Earnhardt, who will carry Nationwide Children's Hospital on his No. 88 Chevrolet this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. RELATED: See Earnhardt's special scheme for Kentucky Carson is a sweetheart and gave @Amy_Reimann at @nationwidekids . #NW88JR pic.twitter.com/jbQTbXSFj4 — Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) July 7, 2016 . @nationwidekids patients & associates with a special good luck messages for 8️⃣8️⃣ team this weekend at @KySpeedway pic.twitter.com/fQPz4WdZUh — Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) July 7, 2016 Beck presents @DaleJr and @Amy_Reimann with a personalized wagon and gifts for the No. 8️⃣8️⃣ team. #NW88JR pic.twitter.com/dJRXT2gMi2 — Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) July 7, 2016 But Junior wasn't going to let the gift-giving go unrequited on his end: he presented the children with their very own Victory Bell, similar to the one Hendrick Motorsports employees ring after each Sprint Cup Series win. . @DaleJr presents @nationwidekids with a Victory Bell from @TeamHendrick . #NW88JR pic.twitter.com/d7UEaPx1KM — Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) July 7, 2016 . @DaleJr presented to @nationwidekids ! View the creation in 1️⃣3️⃣ photos. : https://t.co/m0jkranLIq pic.twitter.com/RGCONkZ5Gz — Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) July 7, 2016 The hospital also unveiled the special hood for Junior's No. 88 ride. Dr. Allen unveils @DaleJr 's @Nationwidekids hood for this weekend at @KySpeedway . #NW88JR pic.twitter.com/ywFneRcH5p — Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) July 7, 2016 Before Earnhardt departed, he was challenged to a Wii rematch by patient Maddie, who faced off against Junior during his visit last year. Video game rematch between @DaleJr and Maddie at @Nationwidekids . #NW88JR pic.twitter.com/6hSJly5cXz — Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) July 7, 2016 Now, Junior is off to the race track -- but he'll have plenty of cheerleaders Saturday night. Thank you for spending the day with us at @nationwidekids . Headed to @KySpeedway now! #NW88JR pic.twitter.com/TkkKwzgRFj — Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) July 7, 2016 . @Amy_Reimann and I had a fun and informative visit @nationwidekids today. Great things happening there. #NW88JR pic.twitter.com/RCYP3bH8AI — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) July 7, 2016
Late wreck hinders Chase position for Jones, Dillon
RELATED: Results " Chase Grid " Standings MORE: Watch the incident " Dillon talks about the wreck SPARTA, Ky. -- Erik Jones looked every bit the part of a pre-Chase favorite Saturday at Kentucky Speedway until a crash with barely more than 10 laps remaining took the Joe Gibbs Racing driver out of contention. Jones led exactly one-half of the 200 laps that made up the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 . But the field had barely gone back to green-flag racing on Lap 188 when the back end of Jones' No. 20 Toyota came around as he found himself three-wide in Turn 3 with Ty Dillon ( Richard Childress Racing ) on his outside and JGR teammate Daniel Suarez underneath. "I got sucked around," a disappointed Jones said after exiting the infield care center. "I slammed on the brakes trying to slow down but Ty had been holding me really tight there on the restart, slamming doors in (Turns) 1 and 2. He was on me pretty tight down there. "It was my fault, but it's tough when you're in that situation." The pole winner for the NASCAR XFINITY Series' inaugural opening Chase race, Jones came into the race as the No. 1 seed thanks to four wins during the regular season. The 28th-place finish dropped him from first to ninth in the standings with two races remaining in the opening Chase segment. "It definitely looks like we're going to have to run really well at Dover and Charlotte, if not get a win," jones said. "Getting knocked out there is not a good situation for us. I thought we could probably get a win tonight and get locked in (to the next round), but we'll have to do pretty good here the next two (races) to move on." The race, won by JR Motorsports driver Elliott Sadler , was slowed by a track-record 12 cautions for 64 laps. Aggressive maneuvers saw the field flare out three-and four-wide on numerous restarts. "I was definitely playing more defense on restarts than I ever have been in my career, just trying to guard and make sure I was in one piece," Jones said, "but there's only so much you can do before one of those times you run out of luck." Dillon, who led 47 laps around the 1.5-mile track, finished one positon ahead of Jones in 27th and fell eight spots, from fourth to 12th in points, with the setback. Only eight of the 12 Chase drivers will advance to the second round. "I had a pretty good restart there and had a good run on the 20," Dillon said of the incident with Jones. "I heard him get loose and he had to lift and there was nowhere I can go. "It just sucks to start off the Chase like that we're in a hole but we had speed tonight so we can win races. It just hurts and then you see the 1 (Sadler) win; we were better than him all night." "It's so fast around here but one groove and things like that are going to happen, especially when everybody is trying to get locked into that Chase." Jones and Dillon weren't the only Chase drivers to find themselves involved in on-track incidents -- toss Justin Allgaier (P9), Ryan Sieg (P16), runner-up Daniel Suarez (P2) into the mix as well. Most, if not all, were able to recover, however. "I think we can win anytime we come to the race track," Jones said, "but we beat ourselves a lot this year and we did it again tonight and that's unfortunate."
Sam Hornish Jr. wants a win for RCR
RELATED: Meet the XFINITY Chase field SPARTA, Ky. – Sam Hornish may not be a threat in the NASCAR XFINITY Series inaugural Chase, but that doesn't mean the Richard Childress Racing driver isn't a concern. Saturday night's VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) officially kicks off the series' seven-race Chase. Hornish is making just his fourth start of the season, therefore he was not eligible for the 12-team Chase field. That hasn't keep him out of the winner's circle, however as he wheeled the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing to the win at Iowa. And in two subsequent starts with the No. 2 team for RCR, Hornish has finished sixth and second. He's making start No. 3 in the No. 2 Chevrolet for RCR here at Kentucky. And the 37-year-old was once again fast here Friday, clocking the third-fastest lap in each of the day's two practice sessions. Qualifying is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. ET on Saturday. Joe Gibbs Racing driver Erik Jones was quickest in both practice sessions. "It was pretty good," Hornish said of the results at day's end. "The car started off a little bit free in the afternoon, but it was so hot. I felt like we got just a little bit behind there in the last practice but our car is good, it's got decent balance; we just need a little bit to be able to run with the JGR cars." Hornish has four top-10 finishes in five XFINITY Series starts at the 1.5-mile Kentucky track. His racing career, which includes three IndyCar championships, got a major boost here in 2000 when he finished ninth after running out of fuel late in the race. That effort opened eyes and doors, and soon his open-wheel career was off and running. His NASCAR career has included stints in Sprint Cup and the XFINITY Series; he also has one start in the Camping World Truck Series. "Right now this is the last (race) I have scheduled ... we've had a good run," he said of the RCR arrangement. "It's a good car, they've got some wins and they continue to build momentum. I'd like to go to Victory Lane for them for sure. "They're running for an owners' championship so we have to be smart about everything we do as well." JGR teammates Jones and Daniel Suarez are seeded first and third in the Chase, respectively, with veteran Elliott Sadler (JR Motorsports) wedged in between. Ty Dillon , teammate to Hornish, is seeded fourth while Justin Allgaier (JRM) is fifth. Darrell Wallace ( Roush Fenway Racing ), Brendan Gaughan (RCR), Brennan Poole ( Chip Ganassi Racing ), Ryan Sieg (RSS Racing), Ryan Reed (RFR), Brandon Jones (RCR) and Blake Koch (Kaulig Racing) round out the 12-team Chase field. "We were able to make some good gains mostly in race conditions," said Jones, who will be seeking his fifth win of the season on Saturday. "It wasn't so much that we needed the speed, we needed to find some drivability in it and I think we (did). ... "It's going to change a lot once it cools all the way down and we get into race conditions but I feel pretty good about it." Except for the number of races, the XFINITY Series Chase mirrors that of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, with three-race segments leading up to a one-race finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway .
Second-best thrills Logano as he readies for Chase long haul
LOUDON, N.H. -- As the engines cooled from last weekend's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup opener at Chicagoland Speedway , Joey Logano and his Team Penske No. 22 crew shared emphatic high-fives back at the team hauler. The celebration might have been unbefitting for a runner-up effort, but for Logano, the strength his over-the-wall outfit showed in a pressure-packed situation provided a window for added optimism. Logano's second-place finish last weekend kept him lodged in the top half of the Chase grid heading into Sunday's Bad Boy Off Road 300 (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . He sits fifth in the Sprint Cup standings, just seven points back of series leader Martin Truex Jr ., last weekend's winner. As last week's race headed to overtime, Logano's No. 22 Ford benefited from speedy service and emerged from pit road ahead of Denny Hamlin 's No. 11 Toyota -- which happens to be the Joe Gibbs Racing team with one of the best pit-stop crews in the business. The fast stop allowed Logano to restart on the outside line, following Truex's charge through to the front in the two-lap dash to the checkers. "If it wasn't for that pit stop, we wouldn't have been in position for a great finish like we had," Logano said Friday at the 1.058-mile track in the cradle of the Connecticut native's New England stomping grounds. "That pressure and the way you handle it is, to me, the definition of a true athlete. There are a lot of athletes that can practice really well and when it becomes game time and you put the pressure on them, it goes the wrong way. And then there's an athlete that you put the pressure on and they get better, and that's what I saw in the 22 team last weekend, and I couldn't be more proud to be a part of that." The finish provides some needed breathing room for Logano, who's claimed two of his 15 Sprint Cup victories at New Hampshire. The cushion he obtained last weekend is hardly a failsafe, but it hasn't altered his team's tack in the Chase's Round of 16, the opening three-race series in the postseason. "We talk about this round as being base hits and don't have to do anything crazy," Logano said, taking a cue from the "small-ball" tactics of baseball strategy. "We did that exactly last week, so we'll just come up here and do the same exact thing. If something happens, something happens and we'll approach Dover in a different way, but, right now, let's go out here and if we can win the race, let's win the race. If not, let's try to top-5 it and that will give us a good sense of security heading into Dover. It's one race at a time, one step at a time." The pressure of the opening round may not drastically sway the game plan for either Logano or teammate Brad Keselowski , but there's already some incentive coming from within the walls of Team Penske 's Mooresville, North Carolina, headquarters. Simon Pagenaud locked up the IndyCar championship last weekend for team owner Roger Penske, leading a 1-2-3 sweep of Penske-owned cars in the series' final standings. The IndyCar title and podium monopoly have given Team Penske one crowning highlight to its 50th anniversary season. Your move, Joey and Brad. "It makes the NASCAR guys want to go out here and continue this awesome year that Team Penske has had so far, and Brad and I have a great shot at it," Logano said. "What if we finished 1-2 at Homestead? How cool would that be? We have an amazing opportunity to do that. We've got a long ways to go to get there, but we can do it."