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Kahne: 'If I haven't performed by 2018, I need to leave'
Kasey Kahne doesn't see Hendrick Motorsports ' hiring of William Byron to drive in the XFINITY Series as a threat to his current Sprint Cup ride in the No. 5 Chevrolet. But Kahne hasn't won since August 2014 at Atlanta Motor Speedway , and he does recognize that if he doesn't perform by 2018 -- the final year of his current contract -- a change is needed. "I didn't really think about the rest," Kahne told FOXSports.com . "If I haven't performed by 2018, I need to leave. It's pretty simple. That has nothing to do with William Byron or anyone else. "If I haven't performed by then, it's time to go do something different. That's just the way racing and life is." The 36-year-old driver also told FOXSports.com that he received a call from team owner Rick Hendrick prior to the Byron announcement giving him a heads-up on the hiring. Kahne joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, winning twice in his first year with the organization. He's won five Sprint Cup events all together under the Hendrick umbrella, but two winless seasons have caused him to miss the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for two straight years. He currently is ranked 17th in the driver standings heading into Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 (2 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, Sirius XM NASCAR radio).
ThorSport Racing shop rebuilt after being damaged by fire
After being damaged by fire earlier in the year the ThorSport Racing shop is back in operation. The team made sure to thank the first responders who kept it from being a total loss.
Sprint Cup race at Bristol hampered by rain
RELATED: Live radar for Bristol area " Starting lineup " Full race-day schedule Stormy weather delayed the start of Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race (NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Bristol Motor Speedway and then caused multiple red flags. An initial red flag on Lap 38 of a scheduled 500 lasted for 1 hour, 24 minutes. It was lifted and the cars returned to the track under caution, but it started storming again 10 laps later, bringing the cars back down pit road. The race is currently under red again. Lightning in the area forced a 50-minute delay to the green flag, and the race got underway just after 9 p.m. ET. Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch is the leader, with Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney behind him in spots two and three. Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth , Busch's JGR teammates, are fourth and fifth, respectively. Joey Logano , the two-time defending race winner, is ninth. Wet weather delayed the start of Wednesday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 , which was won by Ben Kennedy . Rain also washed out Thursday's final practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series and delayed Friday's qualifying session for the series. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
A personal mission becomes a cause for Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Finalist
In 2011, Andy Hoffman's young son Jack was diagnosed with a brain tumor. And so, in America's Heartland, the battle began for the life of one child. Soon, the situation led Hoffman's family to take on another battle of national scope, for the lives of many children. One year after the devastating diagnosis, Hoffman had T-shirts made to sell as a fundraiser for children's brain cancer research. Approximately 20,000 shirts were sold, more than $300,000 was raised. Inspiration morphed into dedication and a year later Hoffman and his wife, Brianna, formed "Team Jack Foundation" based in Atkinson, Nebraska. In the process, they confronted the fact that procedures to treat pediatric brain cancer – both in surgery and chemotherapy – were more than 30 years old. A further catalyst was the obvious need for funding, for further childhood cancer research. Team Jack Foundation raises money to fund impactful pediatric brain cancer research while working to create national awareness for the disease. The long-term goal of the non-profit organization is to fund research at the top research centers in the United States and internationally with a special emphasis on the state of Nebraska and the surrounding region, where research centers are limited. "Our goal is to raise as much money as we can, as fast as we can and get that money into the hands of the best researchers in the world to help find a cure for pediatric brain cancer," Hoffman said. It's happening. In 2013, Hoffman appealed to the Nebraska State Legislature for funding at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, resulting in the state matching Team Jack Foundation's commitment of $1.5 million. The foundation has raised nearly $3 million, with the funding going to five research programs across the country. In addition, Hoffman has run three marathons through which he personally raised more than $10,000. Hoffman, 37 – and a longtime Jeff Gordon fan – is one of four finalists for The NASCAR Foundation's 2016 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide. The award will be presented by France, The NASCAR Foundation's Chairwoman Emeritus and founder, on Sept. 27 during the inaugural Honors Gala at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. The foundation will donate $100,000 to the charity represented by the award winner and $25,000 to each of the other three finalists' charities. The award winner will be determined via an online vote now underway and running through Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. ET at NASCAR.com/Award Andy Hoffman and his son, Jack, at a chemotherapy session. Each year, approximately 4,300 children are diagnosed with life-threatening brain cancer. Young Jack Hoffman's battle continues, but for many other children, the battle is lost. "As a parent, when your child receives that first cancer diagnosis, it's a process," Hoffman said. "It's devastating. It's paralyzing. Then you go from being paralyzed to almost having a pity party, and you're praying, asking God, 'Why?' But then, the next step is, 'How are we going to beat this thing?' "I can't ask for a better group to advocate for, than these kids going through something like this. … There's so much more work that needs to be done. We've only scratched the surface. "For whatever reason, God chose us [to face this challenge] so we felt like it was our job, our obligation to other families … to use all of the blessings in our life, to do the most amount of good as possible." To learn more about this year's finalists for The NASCAR Foundation's Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide, and to cast your vote today, go to www.NASCAR.com/Award . Voting is open now until Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. ET.
DAV 200 entry list
See which drivers will look to compete at Phoenix RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Entry # Driver Owner Crew chief Manufacturer Sponsor 1 01 Landon Cassill Johnny Davis Dave Fuge 14 Chevrolet TeamJDMotorsports.com 2 2 Brian Scott Richard Childress Phil Gould 14 Chevrolet Whitetail 3 3 Ty Dillon Richard Childress Danny Stockman Jr 14 Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops 4 4 Jeffrey Earnhardt Gary Keller Gary Cogswell 14 Chevrolet teamjdmotorsports.com 5 5 Alex Bowman(i) Rick Hendrick Ernie Cope 14 Chevrolet LINE-X Protective Coatings 6 6 Trevor Bayne Jack Roush Chad Norris 14 Ford AdvoCare 7 7 Regan Smith Kelley Earnhardt-Miller Ryan Pemberton 14 Chevrolet Fire Alarm Services 8 9 Chase Elliott Dale Earnhardt Jr Greg Ives 14 Chevrolet NAPA AUTO PARTS 9 10 Jeff Green Mark Smith Todd Myers 14 Toyota SupportMilitary.org 10 11 Elliott Sadler J D Gibbs Chris Gayle 14 Toyota SportClips 11 14 Eric McClure Mark Smith Wes Ward 14 Toyota Hefty Ultimate / Reynolds Wrap 12 16 Ryan Reed Jack Roush Seth Barbour 14 Ford ADA Drive to Stop Diabetes presented by Lilly Diabetes 13 19 Mike Bliss Mark Smith Paul Clapprood 14 Toyota TriStar Motorsports 14 20 Erik Jones(i) Joe Gibbs Kevin Kidd 14 Toyota GameStop 15 22 Brad Keselowski(i) Roger Penske Jeremy Bullins 14 Ford Discount Tire 16 23 Robert Richardson Jr Robert Richardson Sr George Church 14 Chevrolet TBD 17 25 John Wes Townley(i) Tony Townley Mike Ford 14 Toyota No. 25 Zaxby's Toyota 18 28 J J Yeley James Whitener Steve Plattenberger 13 Dodge Texas 28 Spirits Stage 19 29 Kelly Admiraal Robby Benton Keith Hinkein 14 Toyota Swan Rentals, LTD 20 31 Dylan Kwasniewski Steve Turner Shannon Rursch 14 Chevrolet Rockstar / FOE.com 21 39 Ryan Sieg Rod Sieg Kevin Starland 14 Chevrolet RSS Racing 22 40 Matt Dibenedetto Curtis Key Sr Kyle Symington 14 Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 23 42 Kyle Larson(i) Harry Scott Jr Scott Zipadelli 14 Chevrolet Cartwheel by Target 24 43 Dakoda Armstrong Richard Petty Philippe Lopez 14 Ford WinField 25 44 Blake Koch Mark Smith Greg Conner 14 Toyota Ingersoll Rand 26 46 Ryan Ellis Curtis Key Sr Gary Showalter 14 Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 27 51 Jeremy Clements Tony Clements Ricky Pearson 14 Chevrolet All South Electric- Repairable Vehicles 28 52 Joey Gase Jimmy Means Tim Brown 14 Chevrolet TBA 29 54 Kyle Busch(i) J D Gibbs Adam Stevens 14 Toyota Monster Energy 30 55 Jamie Dick Jimmy Dick Mark Setzer 14 Chevrolet Viva Auto Group 31 60 Chris Buescher Jack Roush Scott Graves 14 Ford Roush Performance Parts 32 62 Brendan Gaughan Richard Childress Shane Wilson 14 Chevrolet South Point 33 70 Derrike Cope Mary Louise Miller Bobby Burrell 14 Chevrolet YOUTHEORY 34 74 Mike Harmon Mike Harmon Gary Ritter 12 Dodge TBA 35 177 Brennan Newberry(i) Jimmy Dick Jason Miller 14 Chevrolet Qore24 36 184 Chad Boat Billy Boat Dan Deeringhoff 14 Chevrolet Vektor Vodka Chevrolet 37 87 Carl Long Andrea Nemechek Steven Gray 14 Chevrolet Rick Ware Racing 38 93 Kevin Swindell Gregg Mixon Ken Evans 13 Dodge JGL Racing 39 99 James Buescher Robby Benton Matthew Lucas 14 Toyota Rheem MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
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.
NASCAR TV schedule: August 22-28
RELATED: NASCAR on TV channel finder " Find NBCSN in your area All times ET Monday, August 22 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 Tuesday, August 23 6 a.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 (re-air), FS1 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 5:30 p.m., NASCAR Scan All Special (re-air), NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR America, NBCSN Wednesday, August 24 3 p.m., NASCAR: The List - Dale Earnhardt Sr. Moments (re-air), NBCSN 3:30 p.m., NASCAR: The List - Memorable Moments (re-air), NBCSN 4 p.m., NASCAR: The List - Rookie Seasons (re-air), NBCSN 4:30 p.m., NASCAR: The List - Iconic Cars (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 5 p.m., NASCAR: The List - Texas Motor Speedway (re-air), NBCSN 5:30 p.m., NASCAR: The List - Daytona Memories (re-air), NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR America, NBCSN Thursday, August 25 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 6 p.m., NASCAR America, NBCSN 6:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: UNOH 200 (re-air), FS2 7 p.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race: Watkins Glen International (taped), NBCSN 8 p.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race: Evergreen Speedway (taped), NBCSN Friday, August 26 Noon, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBCSN 1:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice, FS2 4 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice, FS2 5 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN 6:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN 7:30 p.m., NASCAR Whelen Series: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (taped), NBCSN 8:30 p.m., NASCAR Whelen Series: Bristol Motor Speedway (taped), NBCSN 9 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice (re-air), FS1 10:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice (re-air), FS1 Midnight, NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race: Watkins Glen International (re-air), NBCSN Saturday, August 27 8:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, CNBC 9:30 a.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FS1 11:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, CNBC 12:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Setup, FS1 1 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 Presented by Cooper Standard and Brad Keselowski 's Checkered Flag Foundation, FS1 2:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Countdown to Green, NBCSN 3 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville, NBCSN 11:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 Presented by Cooper Standard and Brad Keselowski 's Checkered Flag Foundation (re-air), FS1 Sunday, August 28 1:30 a.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 Presented by Cooper Standard and Brad Keselowski 's Checkered Flag Foundation (re-air), FS2 11:30 a.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FS1 1 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Countdown to Green, NBCSN 1:30 p.m., WeatherTech SportsCar Championship: Virginia International Raceway, FS1 2 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 , NBCSN 5:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Post-Race Show, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN 10 p.m., NASCAR Whelen Series: Watkins Glen International (re-air), NBCSN 10:30 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1 &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;nbsp;
Full schedule for Michigan and Road America
RELATED: Find NBCSN in your area " Watch live online at NBCSports.com The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series will gather for a doubleheader showing at Michigan International Speedway this weekend while the XFINITY Series makes a stop at Road America . Check out the full schedule below. Note: All times are ET FRIDAY, AUG. 26: ON TRACK: MICHIGAN -- Noon-1:25 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series first practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) -- 1:30-2:25 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series first practice, FS2 ( Follow live ) -- 4-4:55 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice, FS2 ( Follow live ) -- 5:15 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) GARAGECAM ( Watch live ) -- 11:30 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series -- 1 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 11:30 a.m.: Tyler Reddick -- 11:45 a.m.: Cameron Hayley -- 2 p.m.: Austin Dillon -- 2:15 p.m.: Greg Biffle -- 3:45 p.m.: Alex Bowman -- 6:30 p.m. approx.: Post-NSCS Coors Light Pole Qualifying ON TRACK: ROAD AMERICA -- 10-10:55 a.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series first practice ( Follow live ) -- Noon-1:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice ( Follow live ) -- 6:35 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) SATURDAY, AUG. 27: ON TRACK: MICHIGAN -- 8:30-9:25 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, CNBC ( Follow live ) -- 9:45 a.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FS1 ( Follow live ) -- 11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, CNBC ( Follow live ) -- 1 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 Presented by Cooper Standard and Brad Keselowski 's Checkered Flag Foundation (100 laps, 200 miles), FS1 ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 3 p.m. approx.: Post-NCWTS race ON TRACK: ROAD AMERICA -- 3 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville (45 laps, 182.16 miles), NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) SUNDAY, AUG. 28: ON TRACK: MICHIGAN -- 2 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 ( 200 laps, 400 miles), NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 5:30 p.m. approx.: Post-NSCS race
Keselowski hits home with Careers for Veterans
RELATED: Reddick tops final practice at Michigan BROOKLYN, Mich. -- As the owner of a two-truck organization, Brad Keselowski has more than a passing interest in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. That interest increased exponentially this weekend as the series visits Michigan International Speedway . The 2-mile track hosts Saturday's Careers for Veterans 200 , a collaborative sponsorship effort between Cooper Standard and Keselowski's own Checkered Flag Foundation. Cooper Standard, which has been affiliated with Keselowski since 2011, is also the primary sponsor for the organization's No. 29 Ford driven by Tyler Reddick , one of two entries fielded by Brad Keselowski Racing. Teammate Daniel Hemric competes in the No. 19 Ford. The Careers for Veterans program, run by Cooper Standard, provides career opportunities for military veterans as well as those transitioning from active service. It's an endeavor embraced by Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation as well. "It started through my foundation, which has some similar efforts helping members of the community," Keselowski said of the sponsorship association. "Careers for Veterans is one of those examples. It kind of grew into this relationship -- 'Hey, we're both from Michigan, we both have the same goals and initiatives. What can we put together?' " Keselowski, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, hails from Rochester Hills, Michigan. Cooper Standard, based in Novi, Michigan, specializes in the production and marketing of various automotive components and systems. Keselowski competes for Team Penske and is used to dealing with a variety of sponsors and understands their various goals. The connection between Cooper Standard and his foundation, "is not your typical pact," he said. "Usually there are B-to-B (business-to-business) plays, marketing plays, but usually it's not foundation-related," he said. "The way Cooper Standard allows me to give back to the sport is two-fold. One, it's with the race team, the people that are on it that have a spot to work and hopefully grow and prosper whether it be for their families or their future career which is something I enjoy immensely. "But also I get the chance to connect the foundation to what I do which is very difficult. I think it's very important to show to others that we have a commitment to looking out to others who are less fortunate or have had some tough times. "I think that's an important part of the sport, the ability to realize and acknowledge how well off we have it and to try to ... be an example of that realization and efforts to do something with it." The race sponsorship at MIS has been in place since 2014. Keselowski said 3,000 guests of Cooper Standard will be on hand this weekend for the event. Reddick, 10th in points, said everyone in the organization understands the added importance of this weekend's race. "This is my first year of driving (with Cooper Standard sponsorship), but I've been a part of this team long enough to know how important it is to everybody," he said. "It goes unsaid. "Everyone understands and knows what this race means to Brad and Cooper Standard, all the veterans that will be here and all the ones watching at home. "We all understand what we have to do and hopefully we can go do just that."
Unfazed by struggles, Knaus confident 'everything is going to be just fine'
CONCORD, N.C. -- Chad Knaus acknowledges that his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team with driver Jimmie Johnson has endured "a tough, tough summer," but remains confident that the team can and will again be a contender when this year's NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup arrives. "It's been horrible; we could have just stayed home," the longtime crew chief said Wednesday at the organization's No. 48 shop. "We've had great performances … Indianapolis we were running really, really well, thought we had a great shot at it. Michigan … Dover we should have won, we had a transmission problem there and crashed. "We've had a lot of really weird things happen. Some by our own fault, and others by things that happened like last Sunday at Watkins Glen. … But the beauty of it is going into the Chase, those are tracks that we are really comfortable with. "Chicago? We're great there. Dover (where Johnson has 10 career victories); Loudon, we sat on the pole (in July). Name 'em. Martinsville? We love it. All those races kind of cater to us so we're excited about it." Johnson and Knaus have won six Sprint Cup championships since the team's debut in 2001, and Knaus called the shots for 75 of Johnson's 77 career victories. Two of those came earlier this year, at Atlanta and Auto Club Speedway , and Johnson sat third in points after the season's first 13 races. But in the nine races that have followed, there has been just one top 10 and an uncharacteristically-high four DNFs. While he secured one of the 16 spots in this year's Chase field with his third-place finish at Indy, Johnson has fallen seven spots in the points, and currently sits 10th overall. His two victories this season extended Johnson's streak of multiple-win seasons to 15. But early-season wins aren't unusual for the series' winningest active driver. Thirty-eight of his 77 career wins have come between the months of February and June. He's been just as successful late in the year, with 31 victories between September and November. July and August haven't been as kind with just eight career wins during the annual summer stretch. This year, Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski won back to back at Daytona and Kentucky to kick off July; Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Matt Kenseth , Kyle Busch and most recently Denny Hamlin swept three of the last four Sprint Cup Series events. JGR drivers have won 10 of 22 races this season. "You can't compare yourself to (JGR)," Knaus said. "We don't really look at their performance; we look at ours. That's what we have to do. If we try to focus our efforts outside of what it is we’re doing, we’re just taking away from what it is that we do. So we look internally and try to improve upon what we have and don't worry too much about what everybody else has." Resistance to change isn't the problem, he said, noting that, "We try things every weekend, everywhere. "That's just what you do," Knaus continued. "If you don't, you're never going to be competitive. … That's just the nature of our industry. "What else are you going to do? Are you going to change your driver? No. Are you going to change me? I hope not. We’re not going to change our pit crew, they're solid. "Our cars (are) always evolving. We're always changing and ever-changing." The winner of a NASCAR-record five consecutive championships (2006-10), Johnson added a sixth in 2013. However, he's finished 10th and 11th in the two previous seasons, years in which NASCAR officials re-tooled the Chase to include an elimination-style format. Four races remain before the start of this year's Chase, beginning with the Aug. 20 running of the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). From there, it's a return trip to Michigan, on to Darlington and finally Richmond before the green flag falls on this year’s 10-race Chase at Chicago. Recapturing that early-season momentum has almost become expected from the No. 48 team. That doesn't make it any less difficult. "You've got to get your feet," Knaus said. "Obviously right now it's pretty darn difficult. "But the good thing about this group is (while) we have some young players on the team, the core group of guys is pretty solid, have been here for a long time. So they understand what it is that we are going through. They understand the ups and the downs, the ebb and flow of racing. "So. once we get going it's not going to be that big of a deal I don't think. We throw in a couple of top 10s, then a top five and then I think everything is going to be just fine."