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Mike Bliss to drive for Go FAS Racing in 2015
Veteran driver will be one of several drivers to pilot No. 32 Ford Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Moment Mike Bliss will be part of the Go FAS Racing lineup for the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season, the team announced on Tuesday. Bliss will join Bobby Labonte and Boris Said as drivers of the No. 32 Ford Fusion for select races in 2015. His first start for the team will come in the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1 (1 p.m. ET, FOX) "With the top tier teams expanding, we believe our best strategy is to fill the seat with veterans who have performed well in the past," said team owner Archie St. Hilarie in a release provided by the team. "This helps ensure we maintain a healthy standing in the points as the season progresses. Mike Bliss has proven time and time again that he can be competitive in the Sprint Cup Series, while bringing the car home in one piece, which is crucial for a small organization like us." The 2002 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion made eight Sprint Cup Series starts last season for both BK Racing in the No. 93 Toyota and Tommy Baldwin Racing in the No. 37 Chevrolet. His best finish was a 35th-place finish at Richmond International Raceway in September. "I'm really excited to be driving for Archie St. Hilarie and Go FAS Racing in the Sprint Cup Series," Bliss said in a team release. "I'm really thankful for the opportunity to drive the No. 32 and achieving some good finishes that will help solidify the teams position in the point standings for the 2015 season." The 49-year-old Bliss has made 169 premier series starts with his lone top-five coming in 2004 in the Richmond fall race. For the past seven seasons, he has run a full-time XFINITY Series schedule and will do so again in 2015 for TriStar Motorsports. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Bliss to return to TriStar Motorsports
Organization also named Eddie Pardue as crew chief for Cale Conley Mike Bliss will be back behind the wheel for TriStar Motorsports in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2015, the team announced on Friday. The 2015 campaign will mark Bliss' fifth season in the XFINITY Series together. Paul Clapprood will return to serve as the crew chief for Bliss . In the past four seasons with TriStar, Bliss has recorded five top-10 finishes. TriStar also announced that Eddie Pardue will serve as the crew chief for Cale Conley and the No. 14 Toyota Camry team. Last season, Pardue served as the competition director for TriStar Motorsports. Pardue has served as a crew chief in the XFINITY Series before, working with Greg Biffle , Matt Kenseth , Jason Leffler and several other drivers. In 280 XFINITY Series races, Pardue has been atop the pit box for three wins. He also has crew chief experience in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (one race) and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (22 races). In other announcements, TriStar also said Bruce Cook will serve as the crew chief for Blake Koch in the No. 8 car. Last year, Cook served as the crew chief for nine races with the No. 80 team in the XFINITY Series. In those races, he served as the crew chief for Alex Bowman (one race), Ross Chastain (five races) and Johnny Sauter (three races) in 2014. Before that, Cook served as the crew chief for Ron Hornaday Jr . in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the 2013 season. He has one victory in his career in XFINITY competition, overseeing Tony Stewart 's win in the 2011 season opener at Daytona International Speedway in what was then called the Nationwide Series. Greg Connor will be back as the crew chief for the No. 44 team. Connor has been with the organization since 2013. A driver and sponsor announcement will be made in the upcoming weeks, according to a team release. Wes Ward will now serve as the shop foreman at TriStar as he hangs up his crew chief hat. Ward had over 15 years of crew chief experience with his lone NASCAR national series win coming with Kasey Kahne in the 2003 season finale at Homestead in what is now the XFINITY Series. Rick Viers has come on board as the team's new general manager, while Keith Barnwell will serve as the new executive vice president. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Bliss gets loose, hits wall
Mike Bliss gets loose early in the race, suffers a hard hit off of turn 2 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Bliss narrowly avoids spinning Sweet
Mike Bliss has to jump on the brakes and avoid a spinning Brad Sweet in Turn 2.
Good run for Bliss spoiled by spin
Mike Bliss gets out of the groove and spins, bringing out the third caution at Bristol Motor Speedway.
'Humbled' Sadler puts team, sponsor limbo behind him
RELATED: OneMain extends pact with JRM, Sadler ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- In the span of less than two months, NASCAR XFINITY Series points leader Elliott Sadler had a secure ride and sponsor, lost a secure ride and sponsor then gained a secure ride and sponsor, all with the same team … and sponsor. Dizzy? Don't blame you. OneMain Financial had sponsored the NASCAR veteran for several years, following him from team to team, but informed Sadler and JR Motorsports earlier this summer that after an executive shakeup following a merger with Springleaf Holdings that they would be exiting the sport at the conclusion of the 2016 season. The news was shocking, given their status as the longest-running XFINITY Series primary sponsor and Sadler being on pace for his most successful campaign since he started racing in the series full-time in 2011. It was equally as stunning when JRM General Manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller announced a multiyear extension with OneMain and Sadler on Wednesday, a complete 180 from where things were headed. "We were ecstatic when we found out that they had come back and had started talking to Kelley and Dale (Earnhardt Jr., JRM owner) to maybe further this relationship," Sadler told NASCAR.com Friday at Road America , site of Saturday's Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App). " … This all came together really quick and really late, like just here in the past couple days. It's neat how it's all come together pretty fast. " … I was proud when I found out that they were deciding to come back and they really wanted me to be their spokesperson and their head guy for racing. Man, I'm humbled by that. OneMain's a great sponsor. I've been with them over a decade. All that put together, I'm humbled that they still want me to be a part of their brand and still be a part of their company. I think definitely it's a no-brainer to be a part of JR Motorsports in this particular division." While Wednesday's announcement was a welcome sight for the industry -- nobody likes to see a sponsor leave the sport, let alone one with such a long-standing, visible relationship with a single driver -- it was certainly an unprecedented head-scratcher. What, exactly, had happened in the past month-plus to have OneMain change their minds? "One thing I've learned, and the most important thing I've learned, is in a merger, there's a lot going on, man," Sadler said. "There's only so many hours in a day and there's only so many things that you can look at; charts and stats and information. I think once they got all the merger stuff straight and they could really take a good, deep look into the racing program, into NASCAR, into the demographics between their customers and NASCAR, I think they really started to kind of see that 'Hey, this is maybe … this looks pretty good.' "NASCAR is a pretty wide sport. I think they learned they had customers in California that were race fans, they had customers in Michigan and Pennsylvania and Texas and Florida and everywhere in between and it's going to be, 'Wow, maybe this is a direct correlation between the two. We might need to look at this.' " Being the points leader, a favorite in the first-ever XFINITY Series Chase and an employee of NASCAR's most popular driver definitely wasn't a hindrance, either. RELATED: Series Chase Grid "I think it doesn't hurt the way we're running. I think that's a big part of it. It 100 percent doesn't hurt to be associated with JR Motorsports and Junior Nation. Kelley and Dale and (JRM Brand Director & Communications) Mike Davis and their staff; what they do in digital consumption and stuff off the track … there's no other team even close in the garage. I think once you throw all that together and seeing the response and the people you're reaching is why the reconsideration was done and why they decided to stay here for a couple more years." Had this all not come together, however, Sadler indicated that in terms of a backup plan, he "never really messed with (looking at) other options." In fact, retirement was starting to creep into the 41-year-old's thoughts, ever so slightly. "I just kind of was looking at … 'This might be it.' I didn't know, but I didn't want to take away from what we were doing here. It's the best chance I've had in a long time to make a great run to Homestead. We're leading in the points and we're running good and we've got a good string of finishes going and we've been fast every week. I didn't want to … you can only control what you can control. I've been a part of the sport long enough that I didn't want to go off and start fishing and doing other things and taking away from what my job is, and that's showing up prepared every week. I'm not going to tell you that it hasn't been hard. The last month and a half, I haven't slept much, I'll be honest with you. It's been tough and priorities have been shifted some and wondering what's going to happen.” Sleep should come a bit easier now for the veteran, at least until the Chase starts at Kentucky later this year. Gratitude does, as well. " … For all of that to come together and be able to be the lucky one to stand here and talk to you about it … " said Sadler, " … it's pretty humbling and I'm pretty thankful to have that opportunity."
'Loop Dawg' picks Penske performance in the Irish Hills
NASCAR's Mike Forde, the 'Loop Dawg,' joins SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to share some NASCAR Fantasy Live picks for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
The Rundown: Darlington
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid standings Below is a breakdown of how the full 43-car field fared at Darlington Raceway 1. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing : Edwards battled back from an early pit road miscue, flat tire and track position two laps down to take the checkered in the longest race of the season thus far. His No. 19 pit crew was his saving grace, as the team performed a dynamic 12-second pit stop that won Edwards the race off pit road for the night's final restart. " RELATED: Edwards discusses winning the Southern 500 2. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske : Pole-sitter Keselowski was blisteringly fast through the night, leading a race-high 196 laps around the storied raceway, wheeling the race's fastest lap of 176.587 mph and contending for the win. But his crew didn't match his speed, as Keselowski came up .902 seconds behind Edwards in the final race off pit road. " RELATED: Keselowski breaks down his night 3. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing : The trend of strong pit crews for Joe Gibbs Racing held strong with Hamlin, as he consistently gained multiple spots on pit road throughout the night, helping him pace the field for 57 laps. 4. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske : Pacing the field twice for 29 laps, Logano earned his first top-five result at the "Track Too Tough to Tame" in his seven starts. 5. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing : Pacing the field for 44 laps, Harvick was a heavy contender for the win throughout the night, fighting Edwards and Keselowski for the checked in the final laps. 6. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing : Busch overcame a setback at Lap 307, when Martin Truex Jr . accidently hit his No. 41 Chevrolet from behind, sending it spinning across the track. 7. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing : Persevering through a late-race collision with Greg Biffle , Busch's seventh-place finish allowed him to officially clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . " RELATED: Busch makes the Chase 8. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports : Junior's post-race description of Sunday's race as "challenging" but "very rewarding" was fitting, as the No. 88 team took a while to find their groove throughout the weekend, eventually finishing 18 spots ahead of their 26th-place starting position. 9. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing : Truex Jr. earned his 17th top-10 finish of the season at Darlington, setting a record with his Furniture Row Racing team for its most top-10s in a season. 10. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates: Wheeling the fan-favorite Kyle Petty throwback car, Larson ran with NASCAR's elite throughout the evening, earning a second-straight top 10 in his sophomore year at the "Lady in Black." " RELATED: See all the throwback paint schemes 11. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports : Sitting precariously on one of the Chase bubble positions, Almirola's steady 11th-place result shaved off six points in the standings from Clint Bowyer -- the last driver in the Chase Grid as of today. " RELATED: Who is on the Chase bubble? 12. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports : Crew chief Keith Rodden rolled the dice early with a speedy two-tire stop that allowed Kahne to gain 13 positions and pace the field for two laps before getting passed by cars with four fresh Goodyears. 13. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing After going completely sideways early in the race, Newman's No. 31 had minimal damage, which allowed him to finish in the top 15 for the fourth consecutive race. 14. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates: The No. 1 crew fought radio communication troubles through the night, forcing the team to communicate in three-word spurts with McMurray. 15. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing : "Smoke" stayed on the track during a cycle of yellow-flag pit stops to lead 10 laps on older tires after beating Larson on the restart at Lap 212. 16. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports : Equipped with a car that was better handling in the shorter runs, the frequent cautions allowed Gordon to run in the top 10 for much of the night. 17. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing : Spotter Brett Griffin advised Bowyer during the race to "just race the track and stay out of that (expletive) wall" -- which he accomplished, but still earned his worst result at Darlington since 2011. 18. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing : A flat right-front tire and collision with Kyle Busch provided plenty of typical Darlington obstacles for Biffle, whose 18th-place finish was somewhat disappointing after his impressive practice speeds. 19. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports : Called out by teammate Gordon over the radio, Johnson was issued a warning after accelerating too quickly prior to entering pit road at Lap 128 – but the "Lady in Black" awarded the No. 48 a penalty of her own less than five laps later when Johnson spun out after making contact with Logano. " RELATED: Gordon calls out Johnson 20. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports: Wheeling the "Proud to be an American" scheme driven by Sterling Martin, Cassill earned his best finish since Pocono in August. 21. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing : The "Lady in Black" proved she shows mercy to no one, even an established driver like Kenseth, who smacked the wall at Lap 20 and damaged his No. 20 ride. 22. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing : His throwback Chevy sporting a Darlington stripe that was earned in opening practice, Dillon was the first driver to pilot the No. 3 ride on Labor Day weekend at Darlington since Dale Earnhardt did in 2000. 23. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing : From a collision with Justin Allgaier early in the race to a penalty for jumping the restart at Lap 124, Allmendinger's 23rd-place finish on Sunday didn't come easy. 24. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing : Bowman overcame an early brush with the wall, flat left rear and right rear tires and a collision with T.J. Bell for a career-best finish at Darlington. 25. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing : Making his first Sprint Cup Series start at the "Lady in Black," DiBenedetto’s 25th-place result earned him the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award. 26. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing : Aggressive driving caused Menard to hit the back of David Ragan at Lap 279, sending the No. 55 spinning and leaving Menard still without a career top-10 finish at Darlington. " RELATED: See the contact 27. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports : Gilliland took the wave around to lead Lap 303, managing to end the race on the lead lap. 28. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports : Turning laps in a Mark Martin -themed throwback car, Hornish Jr. spun at Lap 299, but saved it and continued racing. 29. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing : His car sporting a pink decal honoring team owner Bob Germain’s late wife, Gracie, and her battle with breast cancer, Mears faced string of issues -- vibration, no second or third gear and low volts -- at the "Track Too Tough to Tame." 30. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing : In his first Sprint Cup Series start at Darlington, Blaney earned his initiation-style stripes at Lap 95 when he hit the wall while running 16th. 31. Jeb Burton , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing : Burton brought out the record-setting 18th caution in Sunday night's Southern 500, when his No. 23 Toyota spun out between Turns 1 and 2. 32. Mike Bliss , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport: After bringing out the fifth caution at Lap 120 following a brush with the wall, a collision between Bliss' No. 33 and J.J. Yeley's No. 26 signaled another caution just five laps later. 33. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports : Shortly after a radio conversation with his team where Allgaier said, "The 47 is all over us," he and AJ Allmendinger collided, sending the No. 51 limping down pit road with heavy right-side damage. 34. J.J. Yeley, No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing : A wreck at Lap 125 with Bliss and Michael Annett sent the No. 26 to the garage for repairs. 35. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing : Bayne went for a spin at Lap 166 only to spin out again at Lap 247, sending him to the garage for repairs. 36. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports : The No. 34 incurred early damage and made an early trip the garage, when it was caught up in a wreck with Chase Elliott and Cole Whitt at Lap 7. 37. T.J. Bell, No. 98 Ford, Premium Motorsports: As the caution flag flew for Ricky Stenhouse Jr .'s spin at Lap 198, Bell and Bowman made contact, leaving both vehicles with plenty of damage. 38. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing : While racing hard with Bowyer, Stenhouse Jr. hit the fronstretch wall hard at Lap 198, forcing his No. 17 to the garage momentarily for repairs. 39. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports : The No. 46 incurred heavy left-side damage that required garage-time, after getting caught up in a wreck between Yeley and Bliss at Lap 125. 40. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing : A pair of back-to-back cautions brought out by the No. 55 car marred Ragan’s day, as his Michael Waltrip Racing ride ultimately went up in flames -- and to the garage. " RELATED: Contact leads to hard hit for Ragan 41. Chase Elliott , No. 25 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports : Making his fifth and final Sprint Cup Series start of 2015, Elliott battled from an early-race incident with Cole Whitt to race inside the top 20. Unfortunately, the Hendrick Motorsports part-time rookie went for a hard spin at Lap 228, his No. 25 ride suffering day-ending damage. " RELATED: Early damage for Elliott 42. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing : "Sorry, I just got loose," Patrick speculated via her team radio following heavy contact with the wall at Lap 189 that sent her No. 10 down pit road for extensive repairs. She returned to the track later in the race, but left soon after with a smoking car. " RELATED: Tough night for Danica 43. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports : Whitt's third Sprint Cup Series start at Darlington came to a close early in the race, when his No. 35 ride was collected in Brett Moffitt 's brush with the wall and did not return to the track.
The Rundown: Michigan
Complete news and notes for each driver in the Quicken Loans 400 fBelow is a breakdown of how the full 43-car field fared at Michigan International Speedway . 1. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Busch inherited the lead after a fuel-starved Kyle Larson pitted on Lap 133. Busch was pacing the field when the final, race-ending red flag was displayed five laps later. " RELATED: See what Busch said in Victory Lane 2. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Despite a loose-handling condition, Earnhardt climbed his way through the top 10 in the final 48 laps before NASCAR called the race. " WATCH: Find out what Junior is focused on 3. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . After Sunday’s third-place result, Truex became the first driver to score 14 top-10s in the first 15 races since Richard Petty did it in 1969. " WATCH: Truex reflects on run 4. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Kenseth snugged up to Carl Edwards on Lap 75 to get trash off his grille and continued his climb through the field once his temperatures returned to normal. 5. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . "Coming to you. Out of fuel,” Logano radioed his team after leading Laps 88-94. He rallied and earned his eighth top-five of the season. " To hear more in-car audio, sign up for Scanner today 6. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . Pitting after the fourth caution flag wasn’t a popular choice, but it didn’t hurt the Michigan native, who quickly climbed his way back into the top 10. 7. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. McMurray dealt with a loose-handling condition; he was one of several who opted not to pit during the fourth caution period with rain clouds looming overhead. 8. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard was running fourth when the caution flag was waved on Lap 125, but couldn't delay his pit stop much longer. 9. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne rallied from one lap down, thanks to skipping a pit stop during the last caution flag, and claimed his best Michigan finish. 10. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Bowyer's team opted not to pit after the fourth caution flag; he dealt with a tight-handling condition en route to his fourth top-10 this year. 11. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Spotter Chris Lambert radioed Hamlin, "These are your best laps," as Hamlin ran second on Lap 90. " For lap times and more race data, sign up for RaceView today 12. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Edwards lined up fourth and led all but one of the first 41 laps — including Lap 30, which was the fastest of the race at 196.457 mph. 13. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears was one of the few who pitted during the Lap 125 debris caution and restarted 14th after taking four tires, fueling and making adjustments. 14. Ty Dillon , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport. "Boy I hope the rain goes away," Dillon, a Michigan newcomer, tweeted during what would be the final red flag for rain. "We might have a shot." " To hear more in-car audio, sign up for Scanner today 15. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne led one lap after starting from the pole position, his first of the year. 16. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Patrick inherited the lead on Lap 95 and paced the field two circuits before hitting pit road for all kinds of adjustments, including wedge and packer. 17. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Larson stayed out during the late-race debris caution and unsuccessfully tried to stretch his fuel window as rain loomed nearby. " RELATED: No regrets over failed gamble for Larson 18. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman and his team figured out the handling on the No. 31 Chevy, but pit sequence and a rain-shortened race impacted their finish. 19. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . "All right, we gotta haul it, man," crew chief Chad Knaus radioed Jimmie Johnson shortly after the second red flag was lifted. "I'm trying to haul it man. I promise you," replied Johnson, who was mired in traffic after contact from Logano during an early restart. " To hear more in-car audio, sign up for Scanner today 20. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Early on, Dillon ran as high as eighth and was trying to adjust his track bar and front fans to improve the handling of his car. 21. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Gordon had to return to pit road after his Lap 90 green-flag stop because the left-front tire wasn’t tightened all the way down. 22. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Almirola spent the final 23 laps holding down the broken track bar button to try to get the most out of his car. 23. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . A loose-handling condition led Allmendinger to pancake the right side of his ride. 24. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing . Blaney qualified fifth and was running inside the top 12 during the opening 70 laps of his first Michigan outing when his engine temperatures started to rise. 25. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse was among those who took advantage of poor track position to pack in an additional fuel stop early on. He used that to improve his track position later on and ran as high as 23rd. 26. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Hornish had a little better luck than his teammate with his track bar adjuster, but still struggled to find the right balance. 27. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . During the first real green-flag stretch, Allgaier radioed that he needed more grip to get around Michigan's two-mile oval. 28. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Stewart made an unscheduled stop on Lap 75 while running inside the top 20 so his team could repair his damaged splitter. 29. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Harvick paced a race-high 63 laps on Sunday, eclipsing the 1,200-laps led mark for the year. He is the first driver since Jeff Gordon in 2001 to achieve that within the first 15 races of the year. A cut right-front tire put a damper on the day. " RELATED: Harvick snakebitten at Michigan 30. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Annett spent the rain delays hanging out with his team under nearby cover, while teammate Justin Allgaier hitched a ride on the roller as crew members tried to dry his pit stall. 31. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. Cassill took an extra splash of fuel, despite a closed pit road, prior to the Lap 60 restart and picked up 10 spots after the field went green. 32. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Whitt rolled off the grid 40th after spending his morning hanging out with current business partner Nate Burleson, a former Detroit Lions wide receiver. 33. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Moffitt ran as high as 12th en route to his best Michigan result. 34. Josh Wise , No. 98 Ford, Phil Parsons Racing. Wise stayed out to lead Lap 42 when the rest of the field hit pit road for the competition caution. 35. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Ragan's team helped him find more side bite, and he picked up 10 spots to run 14th after the Lap 52 restart. 36. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Rear grip was a struggle for Biffle, who radioed "Thank God it’s raining" when a right-rear tire issue presented itself within the first 15 laps. " To hear more in-car audio, sign up for Scanner today 37. Jeb Burton , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . The rookie earned his best Cup result at a two-mile track for the 2015 season. 38. J.J. Yeley, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Yeley quietly improved his position after starting 41st on Sunday. 39. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . DiBenedetto lined up 43rd in his first Michigan appearance and picked up several spots during the first 45 laps. 40. Mike Bliss , No. 32 Ford, Go FAS Racing . Bliss sustained some damage to his car after making contact with David Gilliland early on Sunday. 41. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Bowman made an unscheduled stop during the first six laps after slapping the Turn 2 wall. 42. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Gilliland hit the wall hard around Lap 65 after receiving contact from Mike Bliss . 43. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Shortly after the Lap 52 restart, Busch got loose and slammed hard into the Turn 4 wall. Fortunately that area was reinforced with SAFER barrier, but unfortunately, several drivers cited heavy rainfall in that area at the time. " RELATED: How does Busch's Chase chances look? FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Complete analysis: Dover
Driver-by-driver news and notes from the final race of the Challenger Round MORE: Full race results " Updated series standings " Best Dover photos " Gallery of winners RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize Editor's note: Drivers in italics are in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup 1. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Gordon dominated the last quarter of the race, leading 94 of the final 96 laps for his fourth win of the season. Gordon was in good shape to advance heading into the final race of the Challenger Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but the victory was an exclamation point after a disappointing finish at Loudon. Gordon shared the celebration with his team over the radio, exclaiming, "Woo hoo we won at Dover boys!" See how Gordon won at Dover . 2. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske. Keselowski looks like a man on a mission in the Chase. He led 78 laps in the AAA 400 and his second-place finish gives him an average finish of 3.3 through the first three races of the Chase. As has been the case this season, speed was not an issue for the No. 2 team as Keselowski was the fastest on restarts (151.888 mph) and the fastest early in a run (151.662 mph). See Keselowski's race highlights here . 3. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. A steady but not spectacular run for the nine-time winner at Dover. For the first time since the spring race in 2007, Johnson did not lead a lap in a Dover race. If the No. 48 team wasn't so dominant at the Monster Mile that wouldn't be alarming. Still, the team did what it had to and more to advance. If the sleeping giant wakes up, look out. See Johnson's race highlights here. 4. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske. Last weekend's winner at Loudon already had his Contender Round ticket punched and he spent close to half the race outside the top 10. But "Sliced Bread" turned it on late, scoring his third straight top-five finish and his sixth straight top-10 at Dover. Despite not leading a lap, Logano seemed pleased with the effort, telling his team on the radio, "Good job battling all day." For more in-car audio, subscribe to RaceView today. 5. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Kenseth scored his 11th top-five finish of the season. In his seven-win season last year, he had 12 top-five finishes. Last year's championship runner-up spent the entire race in the top 15, something that only Johnson and Keselowski did otherwise, and spent the second-lowest amount of time on pit road. Get pit road times and more with RaceView. 6. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing. Larson has been on fire since the Chase began -- if only he were one of the 16 drivers in the field. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender had 37 quality passes, the second-most, according to loop data. In the three Chase races, Larson has an average finish of 3.7. Is there any doubt that his first Sprint Cup win is coming very soon? 7. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing. At what is practically the New Jersey-born driver's home track, Truex posted his best finish in 16 races, which was coincidently a sixth-place finish in the spring race at Dover. Truex had the most green-flag passes in the race with 62, according to loop data. 8. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. Newman's steady hand helped him advance to the Contender Round of the Chase. He had the fourth-most green-flag passes (58), according to loop data. The eighth-place result was Newman's second such result at Dover in his past three races there. 9. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing. Bowyer earned his first top-10 finish since Richmond and extended his streak of top-10 finishes at the Monster Mile to eight straight races. 10. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Remember when everyone was worried that "Rowdy" wouldn't even make it out of the Challenger Round? Three top-10 finishes in the opening round of the Chase have proven that fear to be false. Busch was the third-fastest car early in a run and has looked solid in the Chase. 11. Carl Edwards , No. 99 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. For a brief time, it looked like "Concrete Carl" may not make it out of the Challenger Round as he was running as far back as 23rd on Lap 80. But the veteran stayed after it and worked his way up thanks to making 33 quality passes, the sixth-most in the race, according to loop data. 12. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin entered the race on the outside looking in of advancing to the Contender Round. But a strong starting spot, the least amount of time on pit road and a solid run at Dover moved him through. But one driver had some concerns about Hamlin's car as Gordon radioed to his team, "11 has his skirt flared out so much he's going to cut someone's tire." There were no post-race inspection issues with the No. 11 team. To hear more in-car audio, subscribe to RaceView today. 13. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. The polesitter led a race-high 223 laps and looked downright dominant. There were concerns about a broken left front shock, but it was a left front tire issue that derailed the No. 4 team's day. "Something had to cut that tire don't you think?" Harvick asked over the radio. Turned out to be a left front valve stem was knocked out. The team recovered well for a 13th-place finish, but this was the third time in five races that Harvick led triple-digit laps and had no win to show for it. See what happened to Harvick at Dover. 14. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. At a track where he has three career wins, "Smoke" scored his best finish since a seventh-place result at Loudon more than two months ago. He spent all but eight laps in the top 15. Perhaps this is the start of a strong 2014 finish to set up a solid 2015 campaign. 15. Brian Vickers , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing. Vickers was eighth in the standings when engine trouble derailed his strong start to the season at Dover in the spring. He ran well here Sunday, scoring his fourth top-15 finish in the past five races. 16. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. Menard has struggled to regain the form that saw him roll off four top-10 finishes in five races this spring into summer. The finish may look respectable but Menard ran just four laps in the top 15. 17. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. For the fifth time in six races, Junior finished outside the top 10. In fact, Dale Jr. spent only 40 laps in the top 10 and was never much of a threat to win. While the team moves on to the Contender Round, the results need to improve for a championship run. 18. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. "The Outlaw's" 500th career Sprint Cup Series start was supposed to be a joyous occasion but it was not as he did not advance to the Contender Round. Busch was battling a tight car most of the race and that affected his position as he went from 12th on Lap 300 to 18th at the finish. Busch took the blame, telling his team over the radio after the race, "It's all my fault. Put that all on the driver. It's all my fault." Hear what Busch had to say after the race. 19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. This was a markedly better result for the second-year driver than the spring race when a crash ended his day early. Stenhouse recorded the second-most green-flag passes (59), according to loop data. 20. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Kahne battled his butt off to advance to the Contender Round. An unscheduled pit stop for a loose left rear tire on Lap 162 put Kahne two laps down. A green-flag stop on Lap 241 put him four laps down. Yet, at the end of the day, Kahne managed to be just one lap down and advanced in the Chase. Perhaps it was the team's ability to navigate traffic as Kahne was the seventh-fastest car in traffic (145.619 mph). Watch as Kahne talks about making the next round. 21. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. Biffle and the No. 16 team's performance at Dover was eerily similar to the team's performance in the first two Chase races. The team struggled to find speed, had a bad starting spot and battled to stay on the lead lap. Those trends can lead to early exit in the Chase, like they did for Biffle this year. 22. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing. McMurray carried plenty of momentum into the race with four top-10 finishes in his previous five starts. However, the veteran driver struggled, logging the least amount of laps in the top 15 (87) for a driver that started in the top 10. 23. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing. Allmendinger saw his Chase come to an end at a track that was considered to be one of his best in the Chase. The Watkins Glen winner was frustrated with his car all day long, telling his team over the radio on Lap 236, "if we're going to be competitive dude, you have to find me some grip. I'm getting sick in the car this thing is shaking so bad." He later added on Lap 352, "Evil man! I'm tired of driving evil cars!" He ultimately finished two points behind Kahne for the final Contender Round spot. For more in-car audio with drivers unplugged, subscribe to RaceView today . 24. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. Dillon qualified well and started 10th, but couldn't transfer that success over to the race. Just like in the spring race, the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet finished two laps down. 25. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. Patrick's four-race streak of top-20 finishes came to an end Sunday. Her finish was right at her career average finish of 25.8 at the Monster Mile. 26. Marcos Ambrose , No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports. The finish may not have been what he wanted, but Ambrose got a shoutout from Dover International Speedway president Denis McGlynn in the driver's meeting. The RPM driver recorded the fifth-most green flag passes (57), according to loop data. 27. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing. For the third straight race, Mears gradually improved on his starting position. During that stretch, he has an average finish of 25th. 28. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports. Almirola's first Chase run came to an end with a disappointing run at Dover. The No. 43 team struggled to find a rhythm at this 1-mile track and the result was Almirola's worst career finish at Dover in six starts. Hear what Almirola said after the race. 29. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports. The rookie seems to be having an up-and-down second half of 2014. After earning three top-20 results in four races toward the end of the summer, he has since scored one top-20 finish in the five races since. 30. Cole Whitt , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing. The rookie sure loves the 30th position. This was his fifth such result in six races. 31. David Ragan , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports. For the second time in three weeks, Ragan finished in 31st. This finish came a week after a 42nd-place result at Loudon. 32. Reed Sorenson , No. 36 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing. Sorenson had his worse finish in nine races in the AAA 400 . He ran better in the spring race at Dover, finishing 24th. 33. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports. For the second time in three races, Gilliland finished outside the top 30. This comes on the heels of a stretch where he finished inside the top 30 in the six previous races. 34. Alex Bowman , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing. Bowman may have finished 34th, but the rookie showed improvement the second time around at the Monster Mile. He finished 40th at Dover in the spring. 35. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Racing. On the bright side, Cassill improve on his starting position to the finish for the seventh time in eight races. The downside: this was his worst finish in that stretch. 36. Mike Bliss , No. 37 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing. Bliss' finish at Dover was the second-best finish he has had in six Sprint Cup starts this season and marked the second time this season he was running at the finish. 37. David Stremme , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport Racing. Stremme's 37th-place finish at Dover was right on par with his average finish for the season, 36.5. 38. Travis Kvapil , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing. Kvapil was hit a speeding penalty entering pit road on Lap 65. His 38th-place finish was his second finish in that spot in three races. 39. J.J. Yeley , No. 32 Ford, GO Fas Racing. Yeley started exactly where he finished at Dover, 39th. He was 13 laps down at the finish. 40. Mike Wallace , No. 66 Toyota, Jay Robinson Racing. Making a Sprint Cup Series start for the second straight week, Wallace finished 16 laps down for the No. 66 team's eighth finish of 40th or worse this season. 41. Michael Annett , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing. For the fifth time in seven races, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender finished 37th or worse. An accident left Annett 39 laps down. 42. Josh Wise , No. 98 Chevrolet, Phil Parsons Racing. Wise finished 203 laps down due to an issue with his suspension for his worst finish since the Las Vegas race in March. 43. Timmy Hill , No. 44 Chevrolet, Xxxtreme Motorsport. Making his seventh Sprint Cup start of the season, Hill retired from the race just 11 laps in with a vibration issue. 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