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Kyle Fowler set to make Sprint Cup debut at Martinsville
22-year-old has made 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts MORE: Full entry list for Martinsville RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Kyle Fowler will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut this weekend in the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway . Fowler will drive the No. 32 Ford for owner Frank Stoddard Jr. and GO FAS Racing. Eight other drivers have taken turns behind the wheel of the No. 32 car: Travis Kvapil (16 races), Terry Labonte (four races), Blake Koch (three races), J.J. Yeley (three races), Boris Said (two races), Joey Gase (two races), Timmy Hill (one race) and Eddie MacDonald (one race). Labonte's 11th-place finish in the rain-shortened Coke Zero 400 at Daytona in July has been the team's best finish so far this season. The 22-year-old Georgia native has 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts in his career, including one this year in the spring at Charlotte Motor Speedway . He finished 32nd in the History 300 . The Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 is set for Sunday, Oct. 26 at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. 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
Lifelong high school friends get surprise of life from Kyle Busch
Photo credit: WTVM RELATED: Busch gets awesome fan reaction on the road Kyle Busch will have VIP guests on hand this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway , fresh from a Homecoming Dance where the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champ played a role in making it an unforgettable moment. Auburn (Alabama) High School students Holman Head and Taylor Johnson celebrated this weekend at homecoming after Johnson asked her longtime friend to the dance earlier this month with a NASCAR-themed proposal. Johnson decorated her car with Busch's No. 18 and a makeshift M&M's paint scheme, asking Head, "Will you race to homecoming with me?" Busch apparently got wind of their special date and Head's status as a dedicated fan in a story first broadcast by WTVM in Columbus, Georgia . The Joe Gibbs Racing driver arranged for a chauffeured ride to homecoming in an Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, and surprised the couple in a personal video message. With both students already overjoyed, Busch sweetened the gift. "I also think that since we are racing Talladega in a couple of weeks, you two should come out and join us for the race weekend," Busch said, making plans to meet the two this weekend before the sixth of 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. "When I saw the video I cried," Taylor's mom told WTVM. "I just want to say thank you to Kyle Busch for making their dream come true." Busch tweeted Monday morning about the two: Can't wait to meet these 2 this weekend in Dega! Hope u all had a great time at the dance. https://t.co/KtrHCRyeQ5 — Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) October 17, 2016
Fowler makes hard contact
Kyle Fowler makes hard contact the wall during the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway
Kyle Busch paces opening practice at Kansas
RELATED: Practice 1 results " Best 10-lap averages " Chase Grid Defending champion Kyle Busch landed atop the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series leaderboard Friday afternoon in opening practice at Kansas Speedway . Busch ripped off a lap of 194.595 mph around the 1.5-mile track in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota. His speed slightly slower than the track qualifying record of 197.612 mph, set by Kevin Harvick in October 2014. His brother, Kurt Busch , was second-fastest in the 70-minute session with a best lap of 194.119 mph in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet. Carl Edwards was third-fastest at 194.098 mph in the Gibbs No. 19 Toyota in opening prep for Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 (2:15 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the fifth of 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. Alex Bowman , scheduled for his sixth Sprint Cup start of the season in place of Dale Earnhardt Jr ., was fourth-fastest in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet. Teammate Chase Elliott , a top Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate, completed the top five in his No. 24 Chevy (194.056 mph). The cars of Kyle Busch , a first-time Kansas winner in May, and Kyle Larson were both held in the garage for 30 minutes as a penalty for post-race actions in last weekend's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway . NASCAR competition officials had warned teams three weeks ago in the drivers' and crew chiefs' meeting at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to avoid taking measures on the cool-down lap that might circumvent the post-race Laser Inspection Station (LIS) platform. "We told them then that we would look at our resources after the races and we've been doing that," said Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition. "They swerved. That's about all there is to it." The cars of Tony Stewart , Regan Smith , Paul Menard and Kasey Kahne were also held 15 minutes on pit road for an accumulation of written warnings and minor infractions. The practice session began 20 minutes after its scheduled 1 p.m. ET start time because of persistent damp conditions after a morning rain. To allow teams more practice time, the end of the session was extended five minutes to 2:30 p.m. ET. Martin Truex Jr ., set to make his 400th premier-series start Sunday, was seventh-fastest in the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota (193.882 mph). Jimmie Johnson , last weekend's winner in Charlotte, was eighth-best on the early leaderboard in his No. 48 HMS Chevy (193.653 mph). &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Kyle Busch wins at Kansas; XFINITY Chase gets shake-up
RELATED: Race results " Standings " Chase Grid " Photos from the day SHOP: Busch gear KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Kyle Busch 's domination of Saturday's Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway was about the only predictable thing that happened in the first race of the Round of 8 in the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase. In winning his fourth XFINITY race at the 1.5-mile track, his ninth of the season and the 85th of his career -- extending his own series record -- Busch led 150 of 200 laps, passing Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Suarez after a restart with 13 circuits remaining. "It was a hard-fought battle," said Busch, who had surged to a lead of 7.961 seconds before the first caution slowed the field on Lap 57. "Seemed like it was going to be easy for us. We had a super-fast car, and when we were out front, I could take it easy on those long runs and we could drive away. "The car would turn so well. A lot of things were trying to work against us at the end of the race. We were able to persevere and do the right things and have lucky restarts and be in the right grooves and not get caught up in the melee that was happening." Suarez had reason to be elated with his eventual third-place finish. An unexplained "popping" sound in his No. 19 Toyota accompanied a loss of horsepower, and Suarez settled for a hard-won result after Elliott Sadler passed him in the closing laps for the runner-up spot. Because Suarez led laps and Sadler didn't, he and Sadler leave Kansas tied for the Chase lead, but Sadler owns the tie-breaker due to higher finishes. "I'm proud of my race team," Sadler said. "We just kept working on the car and getting it better and better. I've got to do a better job trying to outrun that 18 car (Busch). He's really good, and he knows how to manipulate the air. But I've got to keep trying." Blake Koch finished ninth -- third among Chase drivers -- despite a late flat tire, the adverse effect of which was diminished by a timely caution, one of 10 during the afternoon. Koch is seven points behind the two Chase leaders. Chaos gobbled up the remaining five Chase contenders. A tap from Brandon Jones turned Chaser Justin Allgaier sideways and ignited a six-car wreck that also eliminated Darrell Wallace Jr ., who crashed out in 33rd-place. In a severely damaged car, Allgaier soldiered to a 14th-place result and left Kansas tied with Erik Jones for the final transfer spot into the Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Jones ran up front through the vast majority of the race, but his No. 20 Toyota was turned into the Chevrolet of Ty Dillon when NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Kyle Larson made an aggressive move after a restart on Lap 183. Jones pitted with a cut tire and finished one position behind Allgaier, one lap down. "He (Larson) said it was his fault," Jones said after talking to Larson on pit road. "He owned up to it, got me ran over. It is what it is… He just said he got a good start and there was no hole there, nowhere to go with the run he had just got into my left rear and turned us. It's a shame, we both had fast cars." Ryan Reed salvaged a 16th-place finish despite a loose plug wire that kept him down on power until his team could troubleshoot the problem on pit road. After contact in heavy traffic on Lap 176, Brendan Gaughan took a wild spin through the infield grass and came home 31st, 18 laps down. Both Wallace and Gaughan will have yeoman work to do when the Chase resumes at Texas Motor Speedway after a two-week break for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge (Nov. 5, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Kyle Busch, Larson forced to miss practice time at Kansas
Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson had to both sit in the garage for 30 minutes of the first practice at Kansas Speedway after NASCAR penalized the No. 18 and No. 42 for post-race swerving at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
No. 88 crew chief Greg Ives fined, others receive warnings post-Kansas
NASCAR officials handed down a P2 penalty to the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team for not having lug nuts properly installed during Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway . The infraction also brought a fine of $10,000 to Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 88 Chevrolet. The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team received a written warning and a loss of 15 minutes practice time for failing pre-race LIS three times. The cars of Carl Edwards , Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr . failed pre-race LIS twice and received written warnings. The cars of Austin Dillon and Regan Smith failed pre-race template inspection twice and received written warnings. Cole Whitt 's No. 55 Chevrolet failed pre-qualifying LIS twice and received a written warning. The cars of Jamie McMurray and Martin Truex Jr . failed pre-qualifying template inspection twice and received written warnings. Other warnings issued after last weekend's events at Kansas Speedway : The XFINITY Series cars of Cole Custer and Brandon Brown failed pre-race LIS twice and received written warnings. Also, the cars of Brennan Poole and Derrike Cope failed pre-race template inspection three times and received written warnings.
Meet Eddie D'Hondt, Chase Elliott's spotter
Editor's note: This is the first in a series of interviews with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series spotters. Eddie D'Hondt, Spotter for Chase Elliott , No. 24, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet HOW DID YOU GET STARTED SPOTTING? "I was the GM at Evernham Motorsports when Bill Elliott was driving. I actually started spotting for Bill -- I guess about 16 years ago. I had been managing teams up until that point. I just sort of fell into it. I used to drive Modifieds. It just worked. I've been doing it ever since." WHAT OTHER DUTIES DO YOU HAVE WITH THE TEAM? "We have a team meeting on Tuesdays, the driver, the crew chief and all the engineers. I have two reports I'm responsible for putting together for that meeting. That takes up most of my Monday, it's a lot of video work and some other technical work, but that's the other part of my job." DO YOU SPOT IN OTHER SERIES? "I spot in every series every weekend. I do 105 races a year; Rolex, Modifieds, Truck, XFINITY , Cup. In depends on the series as far as who I'm spotting for each weekend. I did all of Chase's XFINITY races, Cole Custer 's XFINITY races; I do Ryan Preece when I'm not doing the 88 XFINITY car. I do Cole's Truck races. The Ferrari team in Rolex." HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH CHASE? "Just this year. For four or five years I was with Jeff (Gordon); three years with Kyle (Busch) before that." WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST RACE AS A SPOTTER? "It was with Bill. I guess the (2001) Daytona 500 , the race that Dale (Earnhardt) passed away." WHAT'S THE MOST BIZARRE THING YOU'VE SEEN WHILE SPOTTING? "Oh my gosh. I've lived up here all weekend for 16 years so I've seen a lot of stuff. There have been so many things. It's a great vantage point. Every single weekend we get to see a lot of what no one else gets to see." WHAT'S BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE AS A SPOTTER? "Homestead with Jeff last year and (the win at) Martinsville. I'd have to say those two. Jeff was just special. He is a special guy. He got in the trenches with you, he became your friend. You wanted to fight with him. I was working with Kyle Busch when Alan Gustafson (Gordon's crew chief at the time) came and got me, sat down and struck a deal and five years later, here I am." WHAT'S THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR JOB? "Probably the travel. I’ve been on this circuit since 1996, prior to that I raced on my own. Being away from your family is difficult. Both my boys are working in the garage, so if I want to see them I have to go find them in the garage somewhere. The rest of my family is always home, so that's the hard part." WHAT CURRENT DRIVER WOULD MAKE A GOOD SPOTTER? "That's a good question. Maybe Carl Edwards . He likes to talk." WHICH TRACK IS YOUR FAVORITE? "Bristol and Martinsville. Probably those two. I grew up on the short tracks. The thrill of the short track, anything can happen at any moment. The flow you get into in those races, I enjoy that." WHAT IS ONE THING ABOUT WHAT YOUR JOB ENTAILS THAT THE AVERAGE FAN MIGHT NOT KNOW? "Today, it's become way more intricate than what people realize. We're providing information that we never did before. You have all engineers now on top of all these pit boxes, not guys that grew up short-track racing. These guys are all engineers now. So they talk to the drivers less and it's fallen into our laps now to provide more and more information on things like rubber buildup, lanes that are working, braking, backing up corners. We're talking more about driving than safety. Most of the guys up here, just go down the line, used to drive. They have some kind of wisdom about what it feels line so you're able to talk about it. And the guys that didn't drive have educated themselves. Those guys on the pit boxes, they're looking at data."
Talladega history shows second in points far from secure
RELATED: Series standings " Chase Grid " All you need to know for Talladega The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup elimination-style format is in its third year and the 2016 postseason marks the last time that Talladega Superspeedway will serve as a cutoff race for the Round of 12 as the playoff field drops to eight drivers. The Talladega and Kansas Chase races will flip-flop their spots on the schedule in 2017, making Kansas the Round of 12 cutoff race. In previous years, "The Big One" has wreaked havoc on the postseason picture, leaving drivers who looked like near-locks to advance on the outside looking in as the championship battle continued. Bad luck at Talladega always seems to find at least one Chase driver. In the past two years, the driver second in points (and the first driver not locked in by a win) entering Talladega has failed to advance. Both times that has been a Joe Gibbs Racing driver; Kyle Busch in 2014, Denny Hamlin in 2015. This year, Matt Kenseth , a JGR driver, enters Sunday's Hellmann's 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) in that same position. Will bad luck strike JGR three years in a row? NASCAR.com examines how the Chase eliminations played out at Talladega the past two years. (*) on chart indicates that driver won a Round of 12 race to lock up a spot in the Round of 8.
Top consecutive 10-lap averages for Talladega
Final practice: Results Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 18 Kyle Busch (C) 11 20 195.398 2 20 Matt Kenseth (C) 11 20 195.348 3 78 Martin Truex Jr . (C) 3 12 195.314 4 11 Denny Hamlin (C) 3 12 195.314 5 5 Kasey Kahne 2 11 193.453 6 99 * Ryan Reed (i) 2 11 193.394 7 88 Alex Bowman (i) 2 11 193.376 8 48 Jimmie Johnson (C) 2 11 193.348 9 24 Chase Elliott # (C) 2 11 193.133 Practice 1: Results Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 16 Greg Biffle 2 11 195.657 2 44 Brian Scott 4 13 194.855 3 95 Michael McDowell 2 11 194.531 4 4 Kevin Harvick # (C) 4 13 194.201 5 43 Aric Almirola 3 12 194.173 6 88 Alex Bowman (i) 8 17 193.979 7 22 Joey Logano (C) 5 14 193.941 8 24 Chase Elliott # (C) 7 16 193.927 9 10 Danica Patrick 3 12 193.909 10 48 Jimmie Johnson (C) 3 12 193.895 11 21 * Ryan Blaney # 3 12 193.886 12 47 AJ Allmendinger 6 15 193.883 13 5 Kasey Kahne 7 16 193.849 14 42 Kyle Larson 7 16 191.233 15 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr . 2 11 191.115 16 6 Trevor Bayne 2 11 191.073 17 3 Austin Dillon (C) 6 15 189.066 18 2 Brad Keselowski (C) 1 10 188.422 19 1 Jamie McMurray 24 33 187.786 20 34 Chris Buescher 1 10 185.131 -- Car must run 10 consecutive laps on the track to be included in the above charts. (C) indicates driver is in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . (#) indicates Sunoco Rookie of the Year Candidate. (*) indicates driver required to qualify on time. (i) indicates ineligible for Sprint Cup championship points.