Michael Waltrip throws punches after taking issue with the driving of Lake Speed after the 1995 Miller Genuine Draft 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Get the latest Scott Speed news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
Get the latest Scott Speed news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
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
Six-time champion knows there are no guarantees in postseason RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota LOUDON, N.H. -- Jimmie Johnson knows the capabilities of his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team. And he knows its current status. The two are not the same. Often the yardstick by which others measure their own progress, Johnson and his team are currently showing more signs of vulnerability than dominance as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup moves into week No. 2 of 10 here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . No one's writing the team off, but neither is anyone conceding wins to the six-time Sprint Cup champion. "Truthfully, we're not the dominant car right now," Johnson said Friday at NHMS. "We're a good car. We still have nine weeks to get our act together; especially the way the Chase lays out, if we continue to get the most our of our good car and have a dominant car at Homestead, if we're in that position, then we can get seven (championships). "If" isn't typical for the team, which has normally been in more of a "when" mode by now. With the opening race out of the way (Johnson finished a pedestrian, for him, 12th at Chicagoland Speedway ), he enters this weekend's race eighth in points. Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus haven't lost their way, but it's clear that others have improved. "This is a tough industry," said Johnson, who turned 39 earlier this week. “And we're working as hard as we can and I'm happy to see my teammates with speed . "And then there are a couple of guys out there that aren't in our camp that we're chasing and just trying to out-race them. But they're amazing race teams and drivers as well." Among them -- 2012 champion Brad Keselowski , winner of the last two Sprint Cup races. His Team Penske teammate, Joey Logano , has been no slouch, finishing fourth and sixth. Keselowski won here in July, and Johnson expects the No. 2 team to be no less of a threat this time around. Keselowski went on to finish first in the opening practice, while Johnson finished 29th. "I would expect him to be in a similar position for two reasons," said Johnson. "One, he had so much more pace than the rest of the field here in the spring race that it's hard to believe that everybody could cover that gap and get back to him. And then when we went to Richmond, which wasn't too long ago … and they had that form there, too. So I'd definitely say those guys are tough to handle." By themselves, Johnson's 24 Chase victories alone would rank in the top 10 among active drivers' total wins. And there are tracks ahead where Johnson will be expected to excel. Next week's stop at Dover ? He's won nine times there. Martinsville? Eight victories. Charlotte ? Seven career wins, including this year's Coca-Cola 600 . But he's taking nothing for granted. "It's awesome to have tracks that you love and tracks that you've had success at in the Chase," he said. "I feel like seven or eight of them have been historically awesome tracks for us. That part is great. "Stats are nice to look at, but you've got to live in the present. So just because we've been good at those tracks before doesn't guarantee us anything going back." A winner of three races in a four-race span earlier this season, Johnson hopes the team can rediscover the magic. "We've had one hot spot in the middle of the year … and we've kind of been lukewarm on the other sides," he said. "I'm hoping we heat up. I'm hoping we get to that hot spot again." 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
Courtney Hansen explains how track banking can increase drivers speed .
A stats-based look ahead to the second race of the Chase RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 15, 2014) –Below is a look at the 16 Challengers at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire going into the SYLVANIA 300 on Sept. 21. ESPN’s coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET and the race is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET. 2014 Chase Grid Pos. Drivers Season Wins Chase Points 1 Brad Keselowski 5 2,059 2 Jeff Gordon 3 2,052 3 Joey Logano 3 2,049 4 Kevin Harvick 2 2,047 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3 2,042 6 Denny Hamlin 1 2,041 7 Kyle Busch 1 2,041 8 Jimmie Johnson 3 2,041 9 Kurt Busch 1 2,039 10 Matt Kenseth 0 2,034 11 Kasey Kahne 1 2,034 12 Carl Edwards 2 2,030 13 Ryan Newman 0 2,029 14 AJ Allmendinger 1 2,025 15 Greg Biffle 0 2,021 16 Aric Almirola 1 2,007 Green = In position to move to the next round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Orange = In position to possibly be eliminated from the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Challenger Round Red = Eliminated from the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup NEW HAMPSHIRE-SPECIFIC STATISTICS 1 - Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.8 2014 Rundown · Five wins, 12 top fives, 14 top 10s; four poles · Average finish of 13.0 · Led 21 races for 1,340 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · One win, four top fives, six top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 11.4 in 10 races · Average Running Position of 13.6, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 93.8, ninth-best 2 - Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.9 2014 Rundown · Three wins, 10 top fives, 18 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 9.7 · Led 19 races for 571 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · Three wins, 16 top fives, 22 top 10s; four poles · Average finish of 11.0 in 39 races · Series-best Average Running Position of 7.7 · Driver Rating of 107.7, second-best · Series-high 437 Fastest Laps Run · 944 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 125.153 mph · Series-high 4,989 Laps in the Top 15 (87.9%) · Series-high 638 Quality Passes 3 - Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 105.9 2014 Rundown · Three wins, 11 top fives, 16 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 12.9 · Led 18 races for 721 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · One win, two top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 19.3 in 12 races · Average Running Position of 21.1, 22nd-best · Driver Rating of 72.8, 21st-best 4 - Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 107.5 2014 Rundown · Two wins, nine top fives, 14 top 10s; six poles · Average finish of 14.4 · Led 19 races for 1,265 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · One win, five top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 14.3 in 27 races · Average Running Position of 12.8, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 91.0, 13th-best · 178 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most · 970 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 124.716 mph, ninth-fastest · 3,700 Laps in the Top 15 (65.2%), ninth-most 5 - Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 98.3 2014 Rundown · Three wins, 11 top fives, 16 top 10s · Average finish of 10.9 · Led 12 races for 220 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · Seven top fives, 13 top 10s · Average finish of 15.5 in 30 races · Average Running Position of 11.6, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 97.3, sixth-best · 1,061 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 124.987 mph, fifth-fastest · 4,255 Laps in the Top 15 (75.0%), fourth-most · 596 Quality Passes, third-most 6 - Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.2 2014 Rundown · One win, six top fives, 12 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 14.8 · Led 11 races for 163 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · Two wins, seven top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 8.9 in 17 races · Average Running Position of 10.5, third-best · Driver Rating of 103.6, third-best · 302 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 124.973 mph, sixth-fastest · 3,843 Laps in the Top 15 (75.7%), sixth-most · 569 Quality Passes, fourth-most 7 - Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M's Toyota) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 89.8 2014 Rundown · One win, six top fives, 10 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 17.7 · Led 13 races for 411 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · One win, seven top fives, nine top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 14.4 in 19 races · Average Running Position of 13.5, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 94.7, eighth-best · 232 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 124.693 mph, 10th-fastest · 3,768 Laps in the Top 15 (66.4%), seventh-most · 504 Quality Passes, eighth-most 8 - Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100.0 2014 Rundown · Three wins, eight top fives, 16 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 14.1 · Led 15 races for 1,035 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · Three wins, nine top fives, 17 top 10s · Average finish of 10.5 in 25 races · Average Running Position of 11.3, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 102.1, fourth-best · 431 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 125.077 mph, second-fastest · 4,459 Laps in the Top 15 (78.6%), second-most · 602 Quality Passes, second-most 9 - Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 87.7 2014 Rundown · One win, six top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 18.7 · Led 11 races for 181 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · Three wins, seven top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 15.4 in 27 races · Average Running Position of 13.9, 14th-best · Driver Rating of 89.5, 14th-best · 187 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most · 1,002 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 124.664 mph, 12th-fastest · 3,448 Laps in the Top 15 (60.8%), 12th-most · 531 Quality Passes, sixth-most 10 - Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 89.4 2014 Rundown · One win, three top fives, 10 top 10s · Average finish of 16.1 · Led 10 races for 204 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · One win, three top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 16.7 in 21 races · Average Running Position of 13.9, 15th-best · Driver Rating of 92.6, 10th-best · 340 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most · 1,000 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 124.828 mph, eighth-fastest · 3,709 Laps in the Top 15 (65.4%), eighth-most · 528 Quality Passes, seventh-most 11 - Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.1 2014 Rundown · 10 top fives, 17 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 13.9 · Led 16 races for 465 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · One win, seven top fives, 15 top 10s · Average finish of 13.0 in 29 races · Average Running Position of 15.5, 18th-best · Driver Rating of 85.5, 18th-best · Series-high 1,140 Green Flag Passes · 471 Quality Passes, 12th-most 12 - Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 82.4 2014 Rundown · Two wins, six top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 14.9 · Led 9 races for 133 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · Two top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 13.8 in 20 races · Average Running Position of 14.5, 16th-best · Driver Rating of 86.1, 17th-best · 972 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most 13 - Ryan Newman (No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 84.9 2014 Rundown · Two top fives, 10 top 10s · Average finish of 14.1 · Led 4 races for 24 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · Three wins, seven top fives, 16 top 10s; seven poles · Average finish of 13.6 in 25 races · Average Running Position of 13.1, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 92.3, 11th-best · 4,131 Laps in the Top 15 (72.8%), fifth-most · 490 Quality Passes, ninth-most 14 - AJ Allmendinger (No. 47 Bush’s Beans Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 70.4 2014 Rundown · One win, two top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 20.9 · Led 5 races for 68 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · One top 10 · Average finish of 24.2 in 11 races · Average Running Position of 23.6, 28th-best · Driver Rating of 63.8, 28th-best 15 - Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ortho Ford) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 80.5 2014 Rundown · Three top fives, 10 top 10s · Average finish of 15.6 · Led 6 races for 109 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · One win, six top fives, nine top 10s · Average finish of 15.7 in 24 races · Average Running Position of 14.9, 17th-best · Driver Rating of 86.6, 16th-best · 1,109 Green Flag Passes, second-most · 480 Quality Passes, 10th-most 16 - Aric Almirola (No. 43 Smithfield Ford) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 73.6 2014 Rundown · One win, two top fives, six top 10s · Average finish of 20.9 · Led 5 races for 23 laps New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook: · One top five, one top 10 · Average finish of 21.3 in eight races · Average Running Position of 24.3, 32nd-best · Driver Rating of 61.9, 31st-best New Hampshire Motor Speedway Data Season Race #: 28 of 36 (09-21-14) Track Size : 1.058-mile Banking/Turn 1 & 2 : 2 to 7 degrees Banking/Turn 3 & 4 : 2 to 7 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 1 degree Banking/Backstretch : 1 degree Frontstretch Length : 1,500 feet Backstretch Length : 1,500 feet Race Length : 300 laps / 317.4 miles Top 10 Driver Rating at New Hampshire Tony Stewart............................. 110.0 Jeff Gordon.............................. 107.7 Denny Hamlin............................ 103.6 Jimmie Johnson........................ 102.1 Kyle Larson................................ 99.1 Dale Earnhardt Jr........................ 97.3 Clint Bowyer............................... 95.9 Kyle Busch................................. 94.7 Brad Keselowski......................... 93.8 Kasey Kahne.............................. 92.6 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (19 total) among active drivers at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Qualifying/Race Data 2013 Coors Light Pole winner : Ryan Newman, Chevrolet 136.497 mph, 27.904 secs. 09-20-13 2013 race winner : Matt Kenseth, Toyota 107.573 mph, (02:57:02), 09-22-13 Track qualifying record: Kyle Busch, Toyota 138.130 mph, 27.574 secs. 07-13-14 Track race record: Jeff Burton, Ford 117.134 mph, (02:42:35), 07-13-97 New Hampshire Motor Speedway: History · Groundbreaking for New Hampshire International Speedway, as New Hampshire Motor Speedway was originally named, was Aug. 13, 1989. · The 1.058-mile oval is located on approximately 1,200 acres; the multi-use complex is the largest sports facility in New England. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was on July 11, 1993 – won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace . · Speedway Motorsports, Inc. agreed to purchase New Hampshire International Speedway from Bob and Gary Bahre on January 11, 2008 and then renamed the track New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Notebook · There have been 39 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway; one per year from 1993 through 1996 and two per year since. · 158 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway; 123 in more than one. · Two drivers have competed in all 39 races at New Hampshire: Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon. · Mark Martin won the inaugural Coors Light pole at New Hampshire in 1993 with a speed of 126.871 mph. · 18 drivers have Coors Light poles at New Hampshire, led by Ryan Newman with seven. · Five drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at New Hampshire: Ken Schrader (1997 sweep); Jeff Gordon (1998-1999); Rusty Wallace (1999-2000); Ryan Newman (twice – 2003-2004 and 2011 sweep); Juan Pablo Montoya (2009-2010). · Youngest
Driver-by-driver news and notes from the opening race of the Chase MORE: Full race results " Updated series standings " Chicagoland photos " Gallery of winners RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Editor's Note: Drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will appear in italics. 1. Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Ford, Team Penske. The 2012 champion started 25th and had the lead by Lap 46. Keselowski had to come back to pit road for a loose wheel on Lap 186 that took him from second at the time to restarting in 16th. Crew chief Paul Wolfe told him, "I don't want to take a chance." It was a good thing they didn't. Keselowski worked his way back up through the field and went between Larson and Harvick to take the lead for good on Lap 252. The win automatically punches Keselowski's ticket into the Contender Round of 12 drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Watch how Keselowski got the lead 2. Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. For the second straight week, Gordon finished as the runner-up to Keselowski. He led 26 laps on the afternoon and really never left the top 10. Gordon was the fastest car during green flags (176.271 mph) and fastest on restarts (176.701 mph). The four-time champion said afterwards "the whole team was extremely solid and that's a great way to get started." See Gordon's race highlights 3. Kyle Larson, No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The rookie nearly played spoiler in the opening race of the Chase. He led 20 laps, the most he has led in a race in his Sprint Cup career. He had plenty of speed , with 17.2 percent of the fastest laps run (tied for the most), the third-fastest car on restarts at 175.847 mph and he did it all in a backup car after wrecking his main car in Saturday's practice session. After the race, the rookie lamented how close his was to earning his first Sprint Cup victory, telling ESPN, "Man, I was so close." See Larson's race highlights 4. Joey Logano, No. 22 Ford, Team Penske. Logano had his worst starting position since the July Daytona race, starting 28th, but he made up plenty of ground. He recorded 103 green flag passes (the fourth-highest total in the race) and was the best "closer" of the race. He picked up nine spots in the final 27 laps of the race for his fifth top-five finish in eight races, in which he has had an average finish of 5.3. Watch Logano's post-race interview 5. Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. Harvick had to pit again after a Lap 68 stop for a wheel going down. He originally pitted in fifth and restarted in 21st. By Lap 151, he had the lead and held it for 79 laps, the most of anyone in the race. He had speed , but had a tough time holding off a hard charging Larson and then Keselowski. He had 16.7 percent of the fastest laps run in the race and earned his sixth top-10 finish in eight races. See Harvick's race highlights 6. Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin expressed some early fears that he was having engine trouble, but that turned out to not be the case. In Darian Grubb's return to the pit box, Hamlin continued to carry the good mojo from his strong run with interim crew chief Michael Wheeler. Hamlin had 109 green flag passes (tied for the most in the race) and spent the third-least amount of time on pit road. For in-race pit road data, subscribe to RaceView today 7. Kyle Busch, No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. "Rowdy" led 46 circuits and never left the top 15 all race long. He showed some speed , laying down the fastest lap of the race on Lap 2 at 185.096 mph. For a team that had struggled in a big way entering the Chase, this top 10 finish -- their first in seven races -- was a huge step for the No. 18 team. See Kyle Busch's race highlights 8. Kurt Busch, No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. Talk about an up-and-down day. "The Outlaw" spun entering pit road on Lap 46 and had to serve a pass-thru penalty for a commitment line violation, putting him in 30th place on Lap 60. How did he make up the ground? He tied for most green flag passes in the race with 109 and he closed strong, picking up seven spots in the final 27 laps of the race, despite some minor contact with his brother with 30 laps to go. See Kurt Busch's race highlights 9. Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. McMurray continued his late season surge by leading 32 laps on the day and spending all but one lap in the top 15. He spent the least amount of time on pit road and earned his third top-10 finish in four races. For in-race pit road data, subscribe to RaceView today 10. Matt Kenseth, No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Kenseth recovered well after spinning out on his way onto pit road on Lap 148. Part of that recovery can be attributed to his pit crew, with Kenseth's team earning the fastest average time on pit road (from pulling in to leaving) at 35.267 seconds. 11. Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Dale Jr. struggled in final practice but made some early gains in the race and spent significant time in the top five. Earnhardt had 50 quality passes on the afternoon, which was the fifth-most for the race. But just missing out on a top-10 finish left Junior a little disappointed, as he said over the radio, "I should have done a better job." See Dale Jr.'s race highlights 12. Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. As he began his pursuit for title No. 7, Johnson spent much of the afternoon in the top 10 but dropped out late. He was the second-fastest car early in a run at 177.930 mph, according to loop data. However, he was just the 11th-fastest car late in a run. Perhaps that explains part of the dropoff. It was Johnson's first finish outside of the top 10 since Watkins Glen. 13. Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Talk about being opportunistic. Kahne spent only 15.4 percent of the race running in the top 15, but those laps happened to fall in the latter part of the race. The result places him 11th in the standings. 14. Martin Truex Jr., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing. Truex earned his best finish since Watkins Glen, a stretch of five races. He did that in part by being one of the better "closers" in the race. According to loop data, Truex moved four spots in the final 27 laps of the race. 15. Ryan Newman, No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. Newman had two separate issues with tires during the races. The second of which -- a tire rub issue on Lap 155 -- led to Newman sternly saying over the radio, "find out why that tire started rubbing and make sure it doesn't happen again, please!" He was two laps down at one point and rallied for a top-15 finish. He is just outside the transfer spot to the Contender Round but can improve over the next two races to advance. For more in-car audio, subscribe to RaceView today 16. Austin Dillon, No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. In his best result since Watkins Glen, Dillon registered the fourth-most quality passes of the afternoon with 51. He also spent 59.9 percent of the laps in the top 15 -- not bad for a rookie who looks to get better in the latter half of the season. 17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. The second-year Sprint Cup driver was credited with the most quality passes in the MyAFibStory.com 400 with 63. He had a little run-in with his girlfriend on the track, but managed to earn his sixth top-20 result in the past seven races. He had just seven top-20 finishes in the 20 races before that. 18. Tony Stewart, No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. It was a quiet day for "Smoke," who has put together back-to-back top-20 finishes. He ran well at Loudon in the summer and that one-mile track could be where Stewart gets his first win of 2014. He has three victories there in his Sprint Cup career. 19. Danica Patrick, No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. Danica has now scored three straight top-20 finishes for the first time in her Sprint Cup Series career. However, there was a little dust up late when Stenhouse Jr., her boyfriend, made contact with her, bringing out a caution. See the contact between Danica and Ricky 20. Carl Edwards, No. 99 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. Edwards showed plenty of speed in practices and looked to be one of the cars to contend with here. After starting third, he was out of the top 10 by Lap 60 and spent only 39.7 percent of the laps in the top 15. Edwards holds the final transfer spot in the standings, but his hold on that spot is anything but secure with two more races in the Challenger Round. 21. Paul Menard, No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. With his first top 10 starting spot since the August Michigan race, this was not the result Menard was hoping for. It was also the sixth straight race at Chicagoland where Menard finished in a worse position than where he started. 22. AJ Allmendinger, No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing. Allmendinger's first career Chase race did not go badly, but it could have gone better. The result leaves him in 14th place in the standings and in need of better results at Loudon and Dover, which are not exactly two of his strongest tracks. 23. Greg Biffle, No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. It was a tough day for "The Biff," who never mounted a charge out of a mid-20s position. Over the radio, the Chase driver sounded frustrated, telling his crew on Lap 257 "that this thing goes from hauling (expletive) to junk." Biffle will need two solid finishes at Loudon and Dover to advance to the Contender Round of the Chase. For more colorful in-car audio, subscribe to RaceView 24. Brian Vickers, No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing. Vickers has fared well at Chicagoland in the past with three top-finishes in his first five starts at the track, but this year's race continued a trend in the opposite direction. In the past two races at the venue, he has finished 38th and 24th, well below his average finish of 14.9 at the 1.5-mile track. 25. Marcos Ambrose, No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports. Ambrose is leaving NASCAR after this season, but the Tasmania native is hoping to go out strong. This was his best finish since the August race at Michigan and he completed 67 green flag passes on the day. 26. Casey Mears, No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing. Mears scored his sixth top-30 finish in seven races, while also earning his best Chicagoland finish since 2009. 27. Justin Allgaier, No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports. After making some gains in the late summer, Allgaier has dropped off a bit of late. He has finished no better than 26th in his last three races, after finishing inside the top 20 in three of the previous four races. 28. Landon Cassill, No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Racing. This was Cassill's first top-30 finish in three races and his best finish in a Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland. 29. Reed Sorenson, No. 36 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing. For the ninth straight week, Sorenson finished in a better spot than where he started. In the past four weeks, Sorenson has bounced between finishing 24th, then 29th, then 24th and 29th. So should we expect a 24th-place finish at Loudon? 30. Cole Whitt, No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing. It seemed like the rookie was heading for a really bad day with reports of engine trouble but Whitt was able to stay on the track to carry the flag for BK Racing for his fourth straight 30th-place finish. 31. David Ragan, No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports. Ragan has had a knack over the past two months for finishing in a better spot than where he started. That continued this weekend as he started 39th, earning the ninth straight race of finishing in a better spot than where he started. 32. Michael McDowell, No. 95 Ford, Leavine Family Racing. The part-time driver finished exactly where he started but it was his best result in five starts at Chicagoland. 33. Josh Wise, No. 98 Chevrolet, Phil Parsons Racing. The past three races have seen Wise average a finish of 32.7. This finish at Chicagoland was the best of his career at the 1.5-mile track. 34. David Gilliland, No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports. After six straight weeks of top-30 finishes, the veteran regressed with his result at Chicagoland. 35. Alex Bowman, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing. For the 12th straight race, the rookie was running at the finish, although he was six laps down. He did, however, have 71 green flag passes on the afternoon. 36. Joe Nemechek, No. 66 Toyota, Jay Robinson Racing. Nemechek improved his position from start to finish for the second straight week. This result was his best since a 35th-place showing at Michigan nearly a month ago. 37. Joey Gase, No. 32 Ford, FAS Lane Racing. The Nationwide Series regular was making his Sprint Cup debut. The 37th-place showing was right around where this car has been all year. 38. Travis Kvapil, No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport. Kvapil finished 11 laps down for his worst finish at Chicagoland finish since 2008. 39. Clint Bowyer, No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing. After the disappointment of not making the Chase following a strong run at Richmond, Bowyer found the wall a few times on the way to his second finish of 38th-or-worse in the past three races. Over the radio after the second time of hitting the wall, Bowyer's frustration was evident, "damn it, hit the (expletive) wall again." Another smack of the wall led to some significant right side damage and a trip to the garage. For more in-car audio, subscribe to RaceView 40. Michael Annett, No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing. The rookie is trending the wrong way in recent weeks, as this was his fourth finish of 37th-of-worse in the past five races. 41. Aric Almirola, No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports. A promising run for the Chase underdog was cut short by engine woes. He spent much of the day in the top 10 and led two laps before the disappointing end on Lap 231, at which he radioed in, "we blew up guys, push it back. Wasn't a tire, push it back." He has no margin for error now in the final two Challenger Round races. See how Almirola's day ended 42. Ryan Truex, No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing. An oil leak and a broken wheel bearing are never a good combination and the rookie paid the price for both. Truex finished in 42nd place for the second straight week, and it was his eighth DNF of the season. 43. Mike Bliss, No. 37 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing. Making his fifth start of the season, Bliss finished 254 laps down due to a vibration for his third last-place finish this season. 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