Takes checkered flag one week after last-lap loss at Indy RELATED: Race results " Series standings NEWTON, Iowa - As the cautions — and wreckage — piled up, Ryan Blaney didn’t blink. Trouble reigned for most in the late tension-filled stages of the U.S. Cellular 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Iowa Speedway, but the driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford remained calm and poised. Seemed so, anyway. “It’s not ideal,” Blaney said of four cautions in the final 20 scheduled laps that interrupted his stirring Saturday night run to Victory Lane. “At all. You have a great car and those late cautions are just chances to give it away.” Not Saturday. Blaney’s turn at the wheel put the Team Penske No. 22 in Victory Lane at Iowa for the third straight August. Brad Keselowski drove it to wins each of the past two seasons. Blaney led an astounding 252 laps of 260, churning out the most dominant performance in his young career and first series win of the season after three runner-up finishes. “It’s crazy that you lead more laps than the race is actually scheduled for,” Blaney’s crew chief, Greg Erwin, said. Crazy indeed, but fitting for Blaney, who felt he had “given away” last weekend’s Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to Kyle Busch , who made a last-lap pass. “It really speaks a lot to this team,” Blaney said. “(They gave me) a great race car.” Regan Smith finished a season-best second and Brian Scott took third. Ty Dillon and Brendan Gaughan — who took a late shot at Blaney that slightly damaged both cars — completed the top five. Blaney simply shined from the start. He swiftly passed Coors Light polesitter Daniel Suarez after the green flag flew and led the first 146 laps — or 50 more than his previous best total he amassed while notching his first series win at Kentucky in 2013. The first hiccup: Trailing Smith for four laps after easing off pit road on Lap 147 slightly behind him. The next green flag erased that issue. On Lap 151 Blaney surged to the front again and set a blistering pace in clean air, virtually unchallenged. But one more pit stop was required and Chase Elliott — who powered to second during the late stages— beat Blaney off pit road. A change in the evening’s balance of power? Hardly. Blaney quickly swept past Elliott and never looked back — except to survey the misfortunes of others. Eight cautions marred the event, with six coming after Lap 205. WATCH: Post-race scuffles on pit road Elliott drew one after contact with Brandon Jones sent him spinning into the wall on Lap 231. He recovered to finish ninth and sits 20 points behind standings leader Chris Buescher , who was collected in the multi-car wreck that came on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. Buescher settled for 13th. Kenny Wallace , who made his record 547th and final appearance with the series, spun twice. He ended up 15th. Blaney’s No. 22 sustained some damage on the first green-white-checkered attempt as Brendan Gaughan tried to make a run to his low side, but didn’t clear his left rear. No hard feelings, Blaney said. Just good, hard racing. “Wouldn’t want it any other way,” Blaney said. Still, the twisted metal gave Smith hope — until he missed his mark on the final restart. “He went a lot earlier than I anticipated,” said Smith, who notched his best finish this season. “It was my fault for not being ready.” No one could mount much for Blaney all night. Blaney led every green flag lap. He led 160 more laps than he’s ever led in an XFINITY Series race. And his first win of 2015 came at a track where he snared his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in 2012. “Just a fun place,” said Blaney, whose 252 laps led, unsurprisingly, proved to be a track record. “We’ve always had good runs here.” FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Tyler Reddick emerges as new Truck Series points leader RELATED: Full race results " Series standings LONG POND, Pa. -- As Kyle Busch sat sidelined with a broken right leg and left foot from February until May, the prevailing question was "When will he win again?" Now it's "Will he ever lose?" In a race that began with major drama and ended with three overtime periods, Busch took the checkered flag in Saturday's Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway, winning in his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start since returning from the Feb. 21 accident at Daytona that kept him out of action. It was the fourth straight NASCAR national series victory for the driver of his own No. 51 Toyota. Busch won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on July 19 at New Hampshire and swept last weekend's XFINITY and Sprint Cup events at Indianapolis. On Sunday he will try for his fourth straight Cup victory in the Windows 10 400 at Pocono (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). With his fuel cell running low, Busch had to survive three straight attempts at green-white-checkered-flag finishes, with accidents interrupting the first two. Finally, on Lap 69 -- 22.5 miles beyond the scheduled distance of 150 miles -- Busch crossed the finish line 1.225 seconds ahead of runner-up Kevin Harvick . The victory was Busch's first at Pocono in any series, and it marked the 10th straight year he has one at least one race in each of NASCAR's top three touring series. "It's great to win and put Toyota in Victory Lane," Busch said. "It's my first Pocono win as well, so that was cool." Busch was happy he got to watch the last few restarts in his rear view mirror, rather than through his windshield. "They weren't too bad from my seat, but it looked like, beyond me, it was crazy back there," Busch said. "I'm glad we were in a really good position." Behind Harvick, Tyler Reddick ran third and snatched the series lead from two-time defending champion Matt Crafton , who was embroiled in the early drama. Crafton and Brad Keselowski , Reddick's teammate and truck owner, were racing in close quarters on Lap 5 when Harvick took them three-wide to the inside. In what appeared to be a no-fault accident, the left-front of Keselowski's Ford snagged the right rear quarter of Crafton's Toyota. Both trucks smacked the outside wall. After repairs, Crafton finished 28th, 56 laps in arrears. While his crew was working on the Tundra, Crafton fumed, blaming Keselowski for the wreck to the point of accusing the 2012 Sprint Cup champion of deliberately trying to help Reddick win the Truck Series title. "I guess maybe he wants to win a championship with that 19 truck (Reddick)," Crafton said, vowing to prevent a Reddick championship from happening. "That's your Cup champion? That's pretty much an idiot." Keselowski dismissed Crafton's comments, asserting he wouldn’t want to win a title by wrecking an opponent. "I don’t know if I came down (the track) or he came up," Keselowski said. "It’s unfortunate ...These trucks are expensive, and they cost a lot to fix. I feel badly for Matt and his team, but I don't really know what (I could have done) differently." RELATED: Keselowski, Crafton lock horns Reddick leaves Pocono with an 11-point lead over Crafton. Polesitter Erik Jones , who battled Busch, his team owner, for most of the afternoon but was the victim of late contact that caused the fourth of five cautions, rallied to finish 10th and is third in the standings, 16 points behind Reddick. Cameron Hayley posted a career-best fourth-place finish, one spot ahead of last year's Pocono winner, Austin Dillon . Johnny Sauter , Timothy Peters , Matt Tifft , Daniel Hemric and Jones completed the top 10. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
NASCAR CMO Phelps: 'Technology is incredibly important for us' RELATED: NASCAR news release Technology, in the form of Fortune 500 investment, is reinforcing the notion that NASCAR makes good business sense. For the third consecutive year, the number of Fortune 500 companies utilizing NASCAR as part of their marketing mix has increased. In fact, nearly half of America’s Fortune 100 companies invest with NASCAR to help drive their business and more than one in four Fortune 500 companies are on board. The new analysis, conducted and released by NASCAR on Wednesday, indicated a 7 percent increase in Fortune 500 corporate involvement since the 2014 study. The 130 Fortune 500 companies now involved in the sport reflect a 20 percent increase since 2008. Now, investment is back in a big way, led by high tech involvement in the sport. "Technology is incredibly important for us," says Steve Phelps, NASCAR chief marketing officer. "It’s not only about helping us grow, financially, but how technology helps change people’s perception of NASCAR . Technology helps us on the race track with things like safety initiatives and brings fans closer to the sport they love in many ways." Phelps said the sport began to notice tech’s impact with Hewlett-Packard’s involvement three years ago. Now, NASCAR ’s partnership with Microsoft has other tech companies taking note. Tech corporation involvement is up 66 percent since 2013. "No question, this is great news for us," Phelps says. "We want our fan base to become younger and more diverse. Technology brings those fans. It’s important for us to be there, working with these companies." Phelps sees Microsoft’s collaboration with NASCAR as a true win-win that other tech firms might seek to emulate. "Microsoft, which signed deals with NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports , has used NASCAR as a validator of their technology," Phelps said. "One existing piece is an app they developed that helps us with the inspection process prior to the race. We’re doing things in half the time we used to, using a mobile inspection app as opposed to collecting information manually. This helps with data collection and storage." Phelps is quick to point out that investment in NASCAR ’s sanctioning body, its tracks and its teams extends far beyond the Fortune 500 list. " NASCAR continues to be a great place for all companies to get their marketing message across," Phelps said. "When you look at NASCAR ’s recovery over the past three years, I think it speaks volumes about how NASCAR continues to do very well in attracting businesses of all sizes. "It’s a way for business to reach the most loyal fans in all of sport who vote with their wallets. This continues to be the case in every research report we’ve done: NASCAR fans support brands that support their favorite sport. We think this is a major point of differentiation for us." Brand exposure in NASCAR is especially valuable given the loyalty of its fans. Repucom’s SponsorLink tracker shows seven out of 10 NASCAR fans are loyal to a brand when it sponsors their sport, higher than all other major sports properties. NASCAR CEO Brent Dewar echoed Phelps’ assessment in analyzing the most recent study. "We are gratified that NASCAR continues to be a place where best-in-class corporations choose our sport to drive brand awareness, preference and purchase behavior," Dewar said. "Our fans are fiercely loyal to our sport and the Fortune 500 brands that are an integral part of the NASCAR eco-system. We collaborate with partners across the industry each and every day to grow the sport and help advance sponsors’ objectives." It hasn’t hurt that NASCAR has taken a proactive approach in attracting and discussing its business environment with its investors. An example is NASCAR ’s Fuel for Business Council, which meets quarterly, and gets business leaders talking about opportunities in NASCAR , including branding and business-to-business opportunities. This month’s meeting in San Francisco featured presentations by Microsoft and by Fanatics, which is in the process of revolutionizing the sport’s at-track merchandising operations. "It’s an opportunity for companies to talk to each other, and that’s really important," Phelps said. "Microsoft’s presentation answered the question: 'Why are we in NASCAR ?’ In the end, we do business-to-business better than any sport on the planet – an important point of differentiation for investors." Phelps points out that investment extends far beyond the scope of Fortune 500 corporations and does not include dozens of companies advertising with NASCAR ’s media partners or the hundreds of small- and mid-sized businesses with direct ties to the sport. To be eligible for the Fortune 500, a company must be based in the U.S. and be publicly traded. Though many more Fortune 500 companies advertise on NASCAR -related television programming, only those that are partners or licensees with the sanctioning body, teams and / or tracks were counted in the analysis. Although being a Fortune 500 company is the "gold standard" of success for publicly-traded companies in the U.S., several global corporations currently involved in NASCAR were not included in the analysis because they do not meet Fortune 500 criteria. Those include Ingersoll Rand, MillerCoors, Mars, McLaren and Toyota. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
JGR driver claims back-to-back poles at Loudon, Indy RELATED: Full Indy lineup INDIANAPOLIS -- If Toyota and Ford are to break the Chevrolet stranglehold on Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the two manufacturers took a positive step in that direction during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series time trials on Saturday. Underscoring the recent resurgence of Joe Gibbs Racing , Carl Edwards toured the 2.5-mile track in 49.056 seconds (183.464 mph) to put his No. 19 Toyota on the pole for Sunday's Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at The Brickyard (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM), edging Joey Logano 's Team Penske Ford (183.139 mph) by .087 seconds. David Ragan (182.886 mph) qualified third in the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. Fourth-place qualifier Tony Stewart (182.823 mph) had the fastest Chevrolet in the final round. Chevrolets have won the last 12 Sprint Cup races at Indianapolis. Stewart, though, had the fastest lap of the afternoon (185.547 mph) in the first round of time trials, which trimmed the number of drivers eligible for the pole from 46 to 12. The Coors Light Pole Award was Edwards' first at the Brickyard, his second of the season, his second in a row and the 15th of his career. "After yesterday, this is amazing," Edwards said. "We started so slow yesterday and we struggled. I think at one point (crew chief) Darian (Grubb) and I were looking at each other going, 'What are we going to do here?' "It was a struggle, and everybody buckled down, worked hard -- I'm so proud of my guys. TRD and Toyota have been putting so much effort into this whole program. Stanley has been behind us 100 percent -- not just me, but Matt Kenseth and our whole team. This is big. It will be neat to start up front." Kyle Busch , Edwards' JGR teammate, will start ninth on Sunday in search of his third consecutive victory in the Sprint Cup Series. Sidelined for the first 11 events of the season by injuries sustained in an accident at Daytona in February, Busch has won three of the last four races and has seven races left in which to regain eligibility for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by finishing the regular season in the top 30 in the series standings. Entering Sunday's race, Busch is 33rd in points, 58 behind David Gilliland in 30th place. Behind Stewart, Kyle Larson , Kevin Harvick , Clint Bowyer and Dale Earnhardt Jr . will line up fifth through eighth on the grid. After qualifying, Logano and Ragan were quick to point out an unusual coincidence. Edwards, Logano and Ragan started 1-2-3, in that order, a week before at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a one-mile flat track. The Sprint Cup cars are running a completely different high-drag aerodynamic package this week, with a nine-inch-tall rear spoiler and a one-inch wicker. Last week at Loudon, the cars featured the regular 2015 rules package with a six-inch spoiler. "David and I were just laughing up here that these are the same three race cars that started up front at Loudon," Logano said. "A completely different race track, different package and the same cars are fast. It's good for us. We're close. Second always hurts, but it's nice to be up toward the front, especially here." Jeff Gordon 's final run at Indianapolis as a full-time driver didn't start the way the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet would have hoped. "I really think our 3M Chevrolet is really good," said Gordon, who qualified 19th. "It's been good all weekend. I feel like I underestimated the grip. I had a little wiggle out of three coming to the green and that concerned me slightly. The grip was there in Turn 4, and I was aggressive into Turn 1, but not aggressive enough. "That's what's disappointing; it wasn't a balance issue or a speed issue. I didn't get enough speed through (Turn) 1. It adds up with this new package. Yeah, I'm pretty disappointed to start back there." Notes: Josh Wise , Jeb Burton and Reed Sorenson failed to make the 43-car field. ... Ryan Newman ’s time was disallowed because he ran his lap without the mandatory right-side window in his car. Newman will start 43rd on Sunday on a provisional.
Kenny Wallace gets a surprise from his daughter before racing his final NASCAR series race.
Check out the lineup of NASCAR programming for the week
Check out the lineup of NASCAR programming for the week
See the lineup of NASCAR programming for the week
Four drivers and track mogul Bruton Smith make list for seventh class
PARADE magazine bestows honor upon the 'uniquely American' sport