RELATED: Full race results " Race recap SHOP: Champion gear In a season fit for the silver screen, Kyle Busch completed his emotional comeback from a devastating season-opening injury to capture his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title. Busch took home the 2015 championship by being the top finisher among the Championship 4 drivers, which also included Kevin Harvick , Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr ., in the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Busch led 41 laps on the day and the last seven of the 267-lap event for his first career postseason win as a member of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field. "Rowdy" spent much of the race running in the top two and took the lead from Brad Keselowski for good shortly after the Lap 261 restart. Busch then distanced himself from Harvick, the series' 2014 champion, who finished as the runner-up in the race and final standings. Gordon finished sixth in his final race, while Truex finished 12th. "This is just so unbelievable, so amazing and means so much right here, right now and probably will for a long, long time to come," Busch said on the championship stage at Homestead-Miami Speedway . "The opportunity that the amount of people that have poured their life and soul into everything that Kyle Busch does and is about -- from M&M's to Toyota to Snickers and Twix and Skittles, Joe Gibbs (team owner) and his family and all of Joe Gibbs Racing , everyone that gave me such a fast race car here tonight to drive. It was so much fun. "This is just a dream come true and my family, my wife, my son -- to have him this year and to have everything we've gone through this year to be in this moment -- I don't know what else to say, but this is so special." The title makes the Busch brothers -- Kurt won the 2004 championship -- the second pair of brothers in NASCAR to win premier series championships. The Labonte brothers also have accomplished that with Terry winning titles in 1984 and 1996 and Bobby winning in 2000. RELATED: See all the premier series champions The 2015 season started off in a frightening fashion for Busch. A crash in the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway left him with a broken right leg and a broken left foot. Busch missed the first 11 points races of the season before returning in the middle of May for the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Matt Crafton , David Ragan and Erik Jones each took turns behind the wheel of the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing . NASCAR granted Busch a waiver to make the Chase provided he was able to win a race and crack the top 30 in points before the end of the 26-race regular season at Richmond International Raceway . It took Busch just over a month to find Victory Lane and he did so at Sonoma Raceway, holding off his brother. That sparked a stretch of four wins in five races for the 30-year-old, including three straight wins at Kentucky Speedway , New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway . He nearly pulled off a fourth straight win at Pocono Raceway but ran out of gas on the final lap. RELATED: See all the 2015 winners For the second half of the waiver requirement, Busch cracked the top 30 in points after the race at Watkins Glen International in August and secured his spot in the Chase after the Darlington race, which was the second-to-last race of the regular season. The Chase provided an early test for Busch as a wreck at New Hampshire and a 37th-place finish left him on the outside looking in of advancing to the Contender Round heading to Dover International Speedway . However, he was able to rally to advance with a runner-up finish at the "Monster Mile." Contact with Kyle Larson near the entrance of pit road at Charlotte in the Contender Round opener derailed a promising day for Busch and left him needing strong performances at Kansas Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway to make the Eliminator Round. Busch delivered at both, gaining the spots he needed late at Talladega, which was where he was involved in a wreck the previous year that took him out of the Chase. Busch was a model of consistency in the Eliminator Round with three top-five finishes to advance on points to the Championship 4. The title season was also a big one off the track for Busch as he and wife Samantha welcomed son Brexton in May, just days after Busch's return to competition. During Championship 4 Media Day, Busch and Joe Gibbs revealed that Busch had inked a contract extension days after the news of Mars extension as sponsor on the No. 18 Toyota was announced. The Sprint Cup championship is the first for crew chief Adam Stevens, who was in his first year as a pit boss in the Sprint Cup Series, and the fourth (and first since 2005) for Gibbs. It was also the first Sprint Cup championship for manufacturer Toyota. "We are extremely proud of Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing on winning the Sprint Cup Series driver's championship," said Ed Laukes, vice president of marketing, performance and guest experience for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. "It's an incredible accomplishment for Kyle, to overcome the adversity he faced this year and come back with the focus and determination he has had to win races, qualify for the Chase and then earn the ultimate prize, his first Sprint Cup Series championship. "Winning this NASCAR championship has been a huge aspiration for Toyota since joining NASCAR in 2004. We are honored to finally be on this stage and join Kyle and Joe Gibbs for our first Sprint Cup Series title." Championship weekend was a banner one for the 30-year-old Busch. In addition to his Sprint Cup championship, Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Erik Jones won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship on Friday night and KBM won the owner's championship in that series.
Eligibility expanded, race increased 20 laps from 2014 RELATED: More facts about Saturday night's race This year's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will feature four 25-lap segments, then a 10-lap shootout to the checkered flag that will crown the $1 million winner. All laps will be counted during Segments 1, 2 and 3, and teams have the option to pit during breaks. All laps will also be counted during Segment 4. If there's a tie among drivers when calculating the average finish of all four segments, the finish in the fourth segment serves as tiebreaker. A driver's average finish following the first four segments will determine the order onto pit road for a mandatory four-tire pit stop before the final 10-lap run. In the 10-lap shootout, only green flag laps will count. WHO HAS QUALIFIED FOR THE ALL-STAR RACE? Drivers who won points races in either 2014 or 2015, as well as previous NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winners and former Sprint Cup Series champions who had a full-time ride in 2014. SO THOSE LOCKED INTO THE ALL-STAR RACE ARE ... ? Driver Eligibility AJ Allmendinger Win at Watkins Glen (2014) Aric Almirola Win at Daytona (2014) Greg Biffle Win in Sprint Showdown (2015) Clint Bowyer Win in Sprint Showdown (2015) Kurt Busch 2 wins since 2014 Kyle Busch Win at Auto Club (2014) Dale Earnhardt Jr . 5 wins since 2014 Carl Edwards 2 wins since 2014 Jeff Gordon 4 wins since 2014 Denny Hamlin 2 wins since 2014 Kevin Harvick 7 wins since 2014 Jimmie Johnson 7 wins since 2014 Kasey Kahne Win at Atlanta (2014) Matt Kenseth Win at Bristol (2015) Brad Keselowski 7 wins since 2014 Joey Logano 6 wins since 2014 Jamie McMurray Win in NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (2014) Ryan Newman Win in NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (2002) Tony Stewart Win in NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (2009) IS THERE ANOTHER WAY TO MAKE SATURDAY'S RACE? The Sprint Showdown (Friday, 7 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio) precedes the All-Star Race, and is for drivers who did not meet the All-Star Race criteria. The Sprint Showdown consists of two 20-lap segments. The winner of each segment transfers over into Saturday's main event. UPDATE: Biffle, Bowyer transfer to Sprint All-Star Race WILL ANYONE ELSE MAKE THE ALL-STAR RACE? Yes. The winner of the Sprint Fan Vote, which will be announced after the Sprint Showdown. That gives us a field of 20. UPDATE: Patrick wins fan vote for second time in three years
Get caught up for Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race (9 p.m. ET, FS1) What: 31st-annual NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway , Concord, N.C. When: Saturday, May 16, 2015 TV/Radio: FOX Sports 1, MRN, Sirius XM Distance: 110 laps (165 miles) Time: 9 p.m. ET Format Change The format for this year’s Sprint All-Star Race will consist of four 25-lap segments, followed by a mandatory four-tire pit stop and ending with a 10-lap shootout. Teams will pit at the conclusion of the fourth segment in the order of their average finishing position through the four segments. The re-start order for the final segment will be determined based on the position of the cars as they exit pit road. On the Front Row 1. Denny Hamlin , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota (145.648 mph) 2. Greg Biffle , Roush Fenway Racing No. 16 Ford (144.643 mph) Fastest in practice: Kyle Busch , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota (188.884 mph) Jamie McMurray , Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No. 1 Chevrolet (188.396 mph) Transfers from the Sprint Showdown First Segment Winner: Greg Biffle , Roush Fenway Racing No. 16 Ford Second Segment Winner: Clint Bowyer , Michael Waltrip Racing No. 15 Toyota Sprint Fan Vote Winner Danica Patrick , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 10 Chevrolet Four-For-Three AJ Allmendinger is making his fourth start in the All-Star Race this weekend. The JTG Daugherty Racing driver’s three previous starts came with three different teams – Red Bull Racing (2008), Team Penske (2012) and JTG Daugherty (2014). Driver Rating Best driver rating average for the Sprint All-Star Race based on past 10 races: Kyle Busch , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota (108.1) Jimmie Johnson , Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet (104.2) Matt Kenseth , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota (88.3) Big Vote for Big D For the second time in three years, SHR driver Danica Patrick advanced into the All-Star race field by virtue of the Sprint Fan Vote. Patrick, who finished ninth in the second of the two 20-lap segments, also qualified via the Fan Vote process in 2013. Race, Pit, Race The unusual qualifying format for the race will feature single-car runs by drivers, and consist of two laps at speed with a pit stop for four tires in between. There will be no pit road speed limit enforced. The aggregate total time (on track and on/off pit road) will determine the starting lineup. Carl Edwards (JGR) has started on the pole for the last two All-Star events. Former Sprint All-Star Race Winners in the Field Jimmie Johnson (4), Jeff Gordon (3), Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Kurt Busch , Tony Stewart , Kasey Kahne , Kevin Harvick , Matt Kenseth , Ryan Newman , Dale Earnhardt Jr . (1). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Marty Snider and Chris Rice preview the All-Star weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and make their picks for the Sprint Showdown and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
A statistical lookahead to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 1, 2015) -- The sport fittingly crowned a first-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Kyle Busch , in what was a transformational season that saw the championship format produce a series of records, milestones and firsts on and off the track. The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship Race on NBC and NBCSN was the most-watched finale since 2005 – peaking with nearly 12.4 million average viewers. This concluded a successful first season of the largest and most lucrative television partnerships in NASCAR history with FOX and NBC . A record number of fans consumed NASCAR through digital and social media in 2015. NASCAR amassed 4.1 billion social media impressions, 1.1 billion page views – up more than 20 percent from 2014 – and a 34 percent year-over-year increase in its mobile audience. In addition, driver merchandise sales at tracks increased more than 20 percent since the Fanatics Trackside Superstore launched in July. NASCAR Next, a program that identifies and nurtures young drivers, produced the Sunoco Rookie of the Year winner in all three national series: Brett Moffitt in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; Daniel Suárez, a NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate, in the NASCAR XFINITY Series; and Erik Jones in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. “We had unprecedented collaboration with stakeholders this season and saw many positive results in our effort to innovate, better serve our fans and grow the sport,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “We will continue to work tirelessly this offseason to further improve the fan experience at every turn and look forward to kicking off next season at the Daytona 500 where fans will experience the unveiling of the world’s first motorsports stadium.” NASCAR today also announced the top five selling drivers for the 2015 season at the Fanatics Trackside Superstore. Dale Earnhardt Jr . topped the list at No. 1, followed by Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson and newly crowned champion Kyle Busch rounded out the list at No. 5. Other milestones, records and firsts achieved during the 2015 season include: Competition: · Jeff Gordon broke Ricky Rudd’s Iron Man record with his 789 th consecutive start on September 27. He joined the likes of legends Cal Ripken and Brett Favre who hold records for most consecutive games played in baseball and football, respectively. · For the first time since 1993, two different drivers, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch , won three consecutive races in a single season. Sponsorships: · New or renewed NASCAR Official Partnerships with nearly a dozen brands this season, including: 3M, Fanatics, Ingersoll Rand, Microsoft, Sherwin Williams, Sun Edison, Universal Technical Institute, and K&N Filters as the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series™. · In 2015, nearly 1 in 2 Fortune 100 companies relied on NASCAR to build their brands. · Partnerships with Fortune 500 technology companies grew by 66% over last two years. Merchandise: · In partnership with Fanatics, NASCAR created a centralized location for merchandise at each track, which led to the average transaction growing by 75 percent. · The three tracks that saw the most significant sales growth were Homestead-Miami Speedway (+100%), Phoenix International Raceway (+66%) and Talladega Superspeedway (+62%). Diversity and Youth: · In addition to the aforementioned diversity breakthroughs on the track, NASCAR partnered with RISE, a recently formed non-profit to promote diversity and equality through sports. NASCAR Chairman Brian France was named to the Board of Directors and will help steer the initiative alongside the commissioners of the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB, and other top sports executives. · Roush Fenway Racing pit crew member Mike Russell became the first African American Drive for Diversity graduate to win a national series championship. Technology: · For the first time, cars featured a digital dashboard instead of analog gauges. The new technology will be mandatory for all NASCAR Sprint Cup vehicles in 2016. · Air Titan 2.0 track-drying technology helped save numerous races and improved the race experience for fans, teams and partners. · State-of-the-art pit road technology was seamlessly implemented this season to increase the accuracy and safety of pit road officiating. · NASCAR Sprint Cup Series post-race inspections from the NASCAR R&D Center were streamed live to fans across the world. Entertainment Marketing: · Nearly 230 million viewers watched NASCAR drivers appear in 77 primetime shows, including American Idol on FOX , The Soup on E!, Real Housewives on Bravo and Penn Zero on Disney XD . · More than 120 celebrities appeared at races this season, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kid Rock, Vince Vaughn, David Spade and Adam Sandler. · Originally produced TV and digital projects, with more than 150 appearances by NASCAR drivers, tracks and partners, generated 50 million viewers. Tracks: · NASCAR announced multi-year sanctioning agreements with tracks for the first time. The landmark five-year agreements will provide fans more time to plan and tracks more time to promote, sell sponsorships and build the fan experience. · Throwback weekend at Darlington celebrated the storied history of NASCAR with unprecedented industry support including 32 retro paint schemes, by honoring 14 NASCAR Hall of Famers and through a variety of 1970’s-themed food and entertainment. About NASCAR The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. ( NASCAR ) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series TM , NASCAR XFINITY Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA ® ) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit http://www. NASCAR .com and http://www.IMSA.com , and follow NASCAR at www.Facebook.com/ NASCAR and Twitter: @ NASCAR .
RELATED: NBC Sports Live Extra All times ET Monday, Nov. 30 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Best of the Year, FS1 2 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Best of the Year (re-air), FS2 Tuesday, Dec. 1 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Best of the Year, FS1 Wednesday, Dec. 2 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 9 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Best of the Year (re-air), FS1 10 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Best of the Year (re-air), FS1 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Best of the Year, FS1 Thursday, Dec. 3 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Best of the Year, FS1 Friday, Dec. 4 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 8 p.m., NASCAR Red Carpet Special, NBCSN 9 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Show, NBCSN Midnight, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Show (re-air), NBCSN &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;
See where drivers will pit for Saturday's Sprint All-Star Race (9 p.m. ET, FS1)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 1, 2015) -- NASCAR announced today that Senior Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton will leave the organization at the end of 2015. With a racing career that has spanned five decades, Pemberton joined the sanctioning body in August of 2004. Since that time, he has overseen all areas of NASCAR competition and been credited as a key component in bridging the gap between the sanctioning body and the racing community. "Robin has left an indelible mark on the sport while at NASCAR ," said NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton. "He joined us at a critical time and very quickly gave our highly visible competition group the credibility and confidence it needed to be successful with the industry. He traded a successful career as a competitor to help lead the sport for 12 seasons. We’re extremely grateful for his many contributions." During Pemberton's tenure, NASCAR has seen a great number of technical and safety advancements. Against the backdrop of the massive NASCAR Research & Development Center, Pemberton’s Competition teams overhauled the inspection and rules process and procedures for all vehicles racing in the national series. He oversaw the transitions of NASCAR to Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) and to race fuels with blended Sunoco E15. Among the largest undertakings under his purview was the launch of the acclaimed Generation 6 style car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2013. That style just completed its third season of on-track racing. "I'm proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish during my time at NASCAR ," Pemberton said. "This sport has been my entire professional career and working with all the competitors and the auto manufacturers for the last 12 seasons has been a thrill. I feel good knowing that the work this team has done has had a positive impact on the sport. "I look forward to the next challenge." Pemberton will help in the transition to a new competition lead for the balance of the year.
Learn more about the formats of the Sprint Showdown and Sprint All-Star Race