Logano leaps to Coors Light Pole Award at Michigan
RELATED: Qualifying results " See every car, team rosters BROOKLYN, Mich. – If Joey Logano was looking for a good omen for Sunday, he found it on Friday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway . Touring the two-mile track in 35.697 seconds (201.698 mph) during the final round of knockout qualifying for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 (2 p.m. ET on NBCSN), Logano edged Jimmie Johnson (201.523 mph) for the top starting spot by .031 seconds. The Coors Light Pole Award was Logano's third at MIS. On the previous two occasions the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford started first on the grid—in August 2013 and June 2016—he won the subsequent NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Should Logano win form the pole on Sunday, he would be the third driver to win three or more Michigan races from the top starting spot, joining NASCAR Hall of Famers David Pearson and Bill Elliott . "Any time you put your name with a Hall of Famer of any sort, it would be really special for me," said Logano, who has collected three poles this season and 16 in his career. "That's crazy—that's a really, really neat stat. "We've got to do it though. But, obviously, starting up front here is an advantage, for sure. We talk about track position. We talk about safety on restart, being how crazy it is with the low-downforce package. And the first pit stall—probably the most important thing of all is keeping the track position through the race." And, of course, when Logano is fast in qualifying trim at MIS, he usually races well, too. "I'm excited about it," he said. "I thought our car was really fast in race trim earlier (in practice). ... I didn't think we were going to make it happen today (in qualifying), but (crew chief) Todd (Gordon) made some good adjustments, and he gave me a little pep talk, and I was ready to go. I was going to drive the heck out of that thing." Denny Hamlin (201.406 mph) qualified third, followed by Kevin Harvick (201.382 mph) and Chase Elliott (201.303 mph). Johnson's second-place start led a resurgence by Hendrick Motorsports , which placed all four cars in the top 12 during qualifying for only the second time this season, the first coming in May at Talladega, a restrictor-plate track. "It was just an awesome day for this Lowe's race car and this Lowe's race team," Johnson said. "We keep stacking pennies and making this car better and better. "My hat's off to everyone at Hendrick Motorsports and all the hard work they're putting into things. Great practice and great qualifying. We need some more practice sessions (Saturday) and roll them into a good race." Johnson participated in a NASCAR organization test (one car per team) on Tuesday at Chicagoland Speedway and found the session helpful in finding speed. Indeed, the Hendrick cars more than held their own against the four entries from Joe Gibbs Racing , which have been the dominant force in Cup qualifying this season. Hamlin and Carl Edwards (ninth), were the only two JGR drivers to make the top 12, with Matt Kenseth qualifying 13th and Kyle Busch 16th. &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
Alex Tagliani wins XFINITY pole at Road America
RELATED: Starting lineup Alex Tagliani won the Coors Light Pole Award at Road America on Friday in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Tagliani wheeled his No. 22 Team Penske Ford around the 4.05-mile road course at a top speed of 109.866 mph. That was better than Michael McDowell l, who finished second in his No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet at 109.561 mph. For Tagliani, it was his fourth pole win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and his second at Road America . Justin Marks (No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet), Owen Kelly (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) and Daniel Suarez (No. 19 JGR Toyota) rounded out the top five qualifiers. Alon Day, who hails from Israel, is a NASCAR Next driver and is driving the MBM Motorsports No. 13 Dodge, found trouble in Round 1 of qualifying when he went into the sand trap off Turn 12 (of 14) with just over 16 minutes remaining in the opening session. The incident brought out a red flag. Another red flag came out during Round 1 when Josh Bilicki, who was driving the No. 77 Obaika Racing Chevrolet, spun coming off Turn 1, slid through the sand trap and impacted the tire barrier. The Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville gets underway at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and marks the third road-course race in four events for the series.
Hamlin tops chart, spins in final Michigan practice
RELATED: Full practice results " Top 10 consecutive lap averages Denny Hamlin set the pace in final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice Saturday at Michigan International Speedway , but damaged his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota in a spin midway through the session. Hamlin, who qualified third in Friday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying, clocked a lap of 197.878 mph in Saturday's final practice. The session, originally scheduled for 50 minutes, was halted with approximately 27 minutes left because of lightning in the area of the 2-mile track. Hamlin told NBCSN that the car got loose "out of the blue" as he navigated Turn 4. He avoided contact with the wall, but did slight damage when the nose of his car dug into the grass bordering the frontstretch. Hamlin indicated the team did not expect to deploy the reserve car. RELATED: All the cars at Michigan as they'll line up Rookie Chase Elliott was second-fastest at 197.786 mph in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet. He was followed by two Hendrick teammates on the leaderboard -- third-fastest Jimmie Johnson (197.694 mph) and fourth-best Kasey Kahne (197.455 mph). Michigan native Brad Keselowski completed the top five in the final prep for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). Team Penske teammate Joey Logano , who secured the Coors Light Pole Award in Friday qualifying, was seventh-fastest. Alex Bowman , subbing for Dale Earnhardt Jr . in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet, was 10th-fastest at 196.969 mph. Stewart atop Saturday's early practice Tony Stewart topped the speed chart in Saturday's morning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session at Michigan International Speedway ahead of Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Stewart circled the 2-mile track in his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet with a fast time of 202.122 mph to pace the 55-minute practice session. "Smoke" has one win in the Irish Hills in 33 starts there. Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford, 201.427 mph) and Chase Elliott (No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, 201.196 mph) came in second and third, respectively. Both drivers are in search of their first win in the sport's top series. Kurt Busch (No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, 201.089 mph) and Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Chevrolet, 200.932 mph) completed the top five. Alex Bowman , who will pilot the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for the sidelined Dale Earnhardt Jr . this weekend, placed eighth in practice. All told, 12 drivers crossed the 200 mph mark on their laps Saturday morning. Polesitter Joey Logano placed 16th in the session. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Owner Standings
After Race 24 of the 2016 season at Michigan International Speedway Pos Owner Car # Points Ldr Nxt PPos G/L Wins Attempts 1 Stewart-Haas Racing 4 799 0 0 1 0 2 24 2 Team Penske 2 774 -25 -25 2 0 4 24 3 Joe Gibbs Racing 19 724 -75 -50 4 1 2 24 4 Stewart-Haas Racing 41 721 -78 -3 3 -1 1 24 5 Team Penske 22 716 -83 -5 5 0 1 24 6 Joe Gibbs Racing 18 696 -103 -20 6 0 4 24 7 Joe Gibbs Racing 11 691 -108 -5 7 0 2 24 8 Furniture Row Racing 78 652 -147 -39 8 0 1 24 9 Hendrick Motorsports 48 648 -151 -4 9 0 2 24 10 Joe Gibbs Racing 20 633 -166 -15 10 0 2 24 11 Hendrick Motorsports 24 628 -171 -5 12 1 0 24 12 Richard Childress Racing 3 622 -177 -6 11 -1 0 24 13 Chip Ganassi Racing 1 616 -183 -6 13 0 0 24 14 Richard Childress Racing 31 601 -198 -15 14 0 0 24 15 Hendrick Motorsports 88 586 -213 -15 15 0 0 24 16 Chip Ganassi Racing 42 582 -217 -4 18 2 1 24 17 Stewart-Haas Racing 14 572 -227 -10 16 -1 1 24 18 Hendrick Motorsports 5 564 -235 -8 19 1 0 24 19 Roush Fenway Racing 6 558 -241 -6 17 -2 0 24 20 Wood Brothers Racing 21 545 -254 -13 22 2 0 24 21 JTG Daugherty Racing 47 544 -255 -1 20 -1 0 24 22 Roush Fenway Racing 17 528 -271 -16 21 -1 0 24 23 Roush Fenway Racing 16 472 -327 -56 23 0 0 24 24 Richard Childress Racing 27 454 -345 -18 25 1 0 24 25 Stewart-Haas Racing 10 450 -349 -4 24 -1 0 24 26 Richard Petty Motorsports 43 422 -377 -28 27 1 0 24 27 HScott Motorsports 15 408 -391 -14 26 -1 0 24 28 Germain Racing 13 394 -405 -14 28 0 0 24 29 Front Row Motorsports 38 357 -442 -37 29 0 0 24 30 Circle Sport-Leavine Family 95 354 -445 -3 30 0 0 24 31 Front Row Motorsports 34 334 -465 -20 31 0 1 24 32 BK Racing 23 327 -472 -7 32 0 0 24 33 Tommy Baldwin Racing 7 309 -490 -18 33 0 0 24 34 Richard Petty Motorsports 44 304 -495 -5 34 0 0 24 35 BK Racing 83 254 -545 -50 35 0 0 24 36 Premium Motorsports 98 241 -558 -13 36 0 0 24 37 HScott Motorsports 46 211 -588 -30 37 0 0 24 38 GO FAS Racing 32 199 -600 -12 38 0 0 24 39 Premium Motorsports 55 150 -649 -49 39 0 0 19 40 The Motorsports Group 30 123 -676 -27 40 0 0 24 41 Front Row Motorsports 35 46 -753 -77 41 0 0 3 42 Circle Sport - Leavine Family 59 26 -773 -20 42 0 0 1 43 BK Racing 93 11 -788 -15 43 0 0 4 44 BK Racing 26 3 -796 -8 44 0 0 1 45 Hillman Racing 40 0 -799 -3 45 0 0 1
Brad Keselowski's No. 2 fails post-race inspection
RELATED: Full race results " Updated standings Team Penske 's No. 2 Ford driven by Brad Keselowski to a third-place finish Sunday failed post-race inspection at Michigan International Speedway . Keselowski's entry failed during its trip through the Laser Inspection System (LIS) platform after the Pure Michigan 400 . Any potential penalties for the No. 2 would be announced this week. Previous LIS violations have produced P3-grade penalties and a 15-point deduction in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings. The rest of the cars inspected post-race were cleared by NASCAR officials. NASCAR's competition department said it planned to take the following cars back to its Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina, for further inspection: -- The Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet of race winner Kyle Larson -- The Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet of race runner-up Chase Elliott -- The Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota of seventh-place finisher Carl Edwards
Joe Gibbs Racing changes pit crew coach
Joe Gibbs Racing changed its pit crew coach Wednesday, transitioning longtime coach Mike Lepp to the role of senior athletic adviser and placing Matt Osborn in charge of pit crew operations. Lepp joined JGR at the beginning of 2007, and over the past few years, the JGR pit crews have been the ones to beat. Lepp has amassed more than 113 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series, combined, as well as other awards. He was part of a Sprint Cup championship with the No. 18 team of Kyle Busch last year and was involved in winning multiple XFINITY Series titles. Lepp has played a major role in bringing the JGR teams to the forefront of the pitting world and has two pit crew championships to his credit, with back-to-back wins in 2010 and 2011 with the No. 11 crew of Denny Hamlin . Over the last nine years, the Nos. 11 and 18 crews have been dominant. One of Lepp's most recent accomplishments was assembling the No. 19 crew of Carl Edwards . That pit crew has been a top-three unit since it started with JGR. With his new job, Lepp will assume an increased role in marketing and public relations duties, including public speaking events and actively searching for sponsorship opportunities. "This is the right time for me to make a change and I'm excited about my new role in the organization," Lepp said in a team release. "I'm proud of what we've accomplished on pit road and I know Matt will continue to do a great job going forward." For more pit crew news, visit PitTalks.com .
Teams beat the weather to test at Chicagoland
Weather concerns forced NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams to cram two days of testing into a single day Tuesday at Chicagoland Speedway as they prepare for the upcoming Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup 's opening race next month. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 18 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The organizational test, which permits one team per organization to participate, was originally scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kevin Harvick , the 2014 series champion, recorded the top lap time during Tuesday's day-long test with the No. 4 Chevrolet circling the 1.5-mile track in 29.147 seconds (185 mph). Defending series champion Kyle Busch had the second best lap in No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at 29.24 seconds (184.6 mph) while Ryan Blaney ( Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford) and Ryan Newman ( Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet) had the third and fourth quickest times, respectively. Fourteen teams took part in the test. Harvick completed 222 laps, most among those taking part in the test, while Busch logged 214 according to NASCAR timing and scoring data. "We haven't won here in a few years but I think the performance has been fine over the past two or three years," Harvick, winner of the first two Sprint Cup races hosted by the track," said Tuesday. "I'm looking forward to coming back; it's a fun race track just for the fact that you can move around and run all around the race track. That's really the hardest part about today, it's hard to gather a lot of … confirmed information (because) you have to get enough rubber from the bottom to the top of the track to see where everything actually is." Joey Logano finished sixth in last year's Chase opener at Chicago. It's a race that sets the tone for the 10-race playoff, the driver of the Team Penske No. 22 Ford said. "A lot on the line here and you always want to start off the Chase on a good note and have a lot of momentum leaving Chicago," Logano said. "So far so good. … "This is a great track; to me it almost acts like a small Fontana for us. You can run anywhere you want on the race track, its got a lot of speed and it's bumpy. Its got a ton of character." One more organizational test remains for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams, scheduled for Oct. 18-19 at Homestead Miami Speedway. While Sprint Cup teams were testing at Chicagoland, several Camping World Truck Series teams were busy at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Monday and Tuesday. Kyle Busch Motorsports teammates William Byron, Christopher Bell and Cody Coughlin , along with Kaz Grala (GMS Racing) and Stewart Friesen (Halmar Racing) were on hand to test in preparation for the Truck Series' opening Chase race, the UNOH 175 (Sept. 24, 1 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). "This is one of my favorite race tracks," Byron, the series' points leader and winner of five races this season, said. "I won here in the K&N Series last year so think I have a lot of confidence here. "It's good to come back with a truck; it handles totally different but it's the same race track. I'm trying to use some of the things I learned last year and hopefully make that apply for when we come back in the Chase." The inaugural Chase in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series begins at New Hampshire and will feature a field of eight drivers competing for the 2016 championship.
NASCAR penalty report post-Bristol: Warnings issued to several teams
Five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams received written warnings Wednesday for pre-race inspection violations last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway . The Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota team for defending series champ Kyle Busch will make its pit stall selection last for this weekend's event at Michigan International Speedway . The team sustained its fourth current warning for failing the laser inspection station (LIS) process twice in last Saturday's pre-race checks. Other teams failing twice in the pre-race LIS platform: -- Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota (driver Denny Hamlin ) -- Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet ( Ryan Newman ) -- Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota ( Martin Truex Jr .) The No. 22 Team Penske Ford for driver Joey Logano was issued a written warning for failing LIS twice in pre-qualifying inspections. In other penalty news Wednesday: -- NASCAR issued an indefinite suspension to crew member Ryan Southall for a violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy. -- Two NASCAR XFINITY Series teams sustained written warnings for failing LIS twice in pre-race inspections at Bristol: The No. 3 Chevrolet driven by Ty Dillon and the No. 93 Chevrolet driven by David Starr .
Carl Edwards nabs Coors Light Pole Award at Bristol
RELATED: Complete lineup for Bristol " See every car in the field BRISTOL, Tenn. – Denny Hamlin owns a new track record, but Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Carl Edwards won the round that counted in Friday’s knockout qualifying session at Bristol Motor Speedway . Edwards sped around the .533-mile high-banked concrete short track in 14.602 seconds (131.407 mph) to claim the top starting spot for Saturday's Bass Pro Shops NRA night Race (8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), edging Hamlin (131.200 mph) by .023 seconds. Remarkably, Edwards earned his fifth Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his fourth at Bristol and the 21st of his career without making a mock qualifying run during either of Friday's two practice sessions. Instead, the driver of the No. 19 Toyota relied on setup information from his teammates – including Hamlin. "It's nice to have fast teammates," said Edwards, who will try to duplicate his pole-winning, race-winning performance from April. "We wouldn't have had a shot at (the pole) if it wasn’t for them. We thought it was going to rain, so we didn't practice qualifying or anything. My guys made great adjustments based on that information. "I just hope we can finish it off the way we did in the spring." All four JGR drivers qualified in the top five for the 23rd NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season. Kyle Busch (130.931 mph) will start third and Matt Kenseth (130.619 mph) fifth. The only interloper was Ford driver Ryan Blaney (130.637 mph), who grabbed the fourth spot on the grid in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Fusion. With a blistering run in 14.573 seconds (131.668 mph) in the first round, Hamlin broke the track record he set for this event last year, eclipsing his own mark of 14.602 seconds (131.407 mph). But Hamlin was the last of 12 drivers out for the final round and fell just short of Edwards' winning time. "We had really good speed, so I'm pretty optimistic about that," said Hamlin, who will start within the top six for the 15th time this season. "I can't believe we've qualified as good as we have this year and not gotten a pole. "It's unbelievable – still a great effort by our whole team. I hope we can have a great race up here on (Saturday) night and get in Victory Lane." Chris Buescher , fighting to crack the top 30 in the standings and qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup (based on his victory at Pocono), qualified 12th, one position behind Jeff Gordon , who made the final round for the first time in his fourth start in place of Dale Earnhardt Jr . Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott had the fastest Chevrolet, qualifying sixth. &amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;
Austin Dillon wins in overtime finish at Bristol
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid BRISTOL, Tenn. -- A remarkable chain of circumstances gave Austin Dillon the chance to win Friday night's Food City 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway . Dillon took full advantage, completing two harrowing overtime laps to edge surprise runner-up Justin Allgaier in a race that went eight laps beyond the scheduled distance at the ultra-fast .533-mile concrete short track. Dillon didn't take the top spot until Lap 305 of 308, when Brad Keselowski 's No. 22 Ford ran out of fuel while leading under the eighth and final caution of the evening. Driving a No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet that slipped noticeably in Turn 3 on the white-flag lap -- just after crossing the overtime line at the entrance to the corner -- Dillon nevertheless held off Allgaier, third-place finisher Kyle Larson and fourth-place Elliott Sadler , who swapped positions behind the winner on the two overtime laps. Dillon crossed the finish line .227 seconds ahead of Allgaier, who won a drag race against Larson off the final corner. And in Victory Lane, Dillon stayed busy counting his blessings, not the least of which was a shout-out to fiancée Whitney Ward, who recently accepted Dillon's marriage proposal. "It was just a war of attrition," said Dillon, whose new crew chief, Justin Alexander, got his first victory. "We had a pretty good car -- maybe not the fastest car -- but the car that won. I made a mistake in (Turn) 3 coming to the white, but, luckily, everybody else got loose… "It was just a war of attrition, and we did what we had to do to win." Keselowski's empty fuel tank was simply the last domino in a sequence of events that put Dillon in position to win for the first time at Bristol -- or on any short track for that matter -- the second time this season and the eighth time in his career. On Lap 243, pole winner Erik Jones spun Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Suarez in Turn 3, triggering a six-car wreck that sent both Jones and Suarez to the garage. "I just made a mistake," Jones said ruefully. "I basically turned the 19 (Suarez). It's unfortunate. I feel bad for Daniel and I feel bad for this team and my guys. The (car) was really good, and it deserved a good finish and was probably good enough to win. "I just threw it away on that restart and tried to make too much happen too quick. Just trying to get back in line behind them before the others got there, and I wasn't clear. Just mad at myself." The pivotal wreck that followed was even more dramatic. Keselowski and Kyle Busch were fighting for the lead on Lap 296 when Busch tried a pass in the lower lane and slid his No. 18 Toyota up the track in front of Keselowski's Mustang. Unwilling to surrender the position, Keselowski maintained his momentum off the corner, clipped the right rear of Busch's Camry and sent both cars into the outside wall. Keselowski was able to continue, but Busch blew a tire and shot up into the outside wall in Turns 3 and 4, collecting Ty Dillon , younger brother of the race winner, who was running behind -- and who had led briefly after a restart on Lap 287. "Kyle is, of course, real good at this track, and he was quite a bit faster," Keselowski said. "I was just trying to hold him off anyway I could. He got a good run on the bottom, and the bottom groove was just a little bit faster in (Turns) 1 and 2 than it was in 3 and 4. He knew that and made a really smart move and got up next to me, but I had a big run on exit and he wasn't quite clear. "I knew he needed to come up because 3 and 4, like I said, the bottom groove wasn't as good. He knew he needed to come up and there just wasn't enough room. I was already there and it clipped him in the right rear. I don't really know what happened from there, but it was tough. We were battling really hard and definitely didn't want to see it end that way." When the race went past its posted distance and Keselowski had issues picking up fuel under the yellow, that left Dillon to hold off Larson, who had led 200 laps at that point. With advice from his grandfather and team owner, Richard Childress, Dillon picked the outside lane for the final restart and pulled out a victory that would have seemed an unlikely outcome just 50 laps earlier. </p>