Sights and Sounds from The NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Four-time champion will start 18th in Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET, FOX) RELATED: Starting lineup in Charlotte With 92 NASCAR Sprint Cup victories and four championships, Jeff Gordon has said that NASCAR was "meant to be" for him. But Sunday afternoon, the former open-wheel prodigy also got to drive the path not taken, and lead the Indianapolis 500 field to the green flag as the official pace car driver. After a tutoring session from IndyCar great Johnny Rutherford, Gordon got the Chevy Corvette Z06 up to speed, took three laps in front of the field and then pulled off to watch the race's opening laps unfold before climbing on an airplane to fly back to Charlotte where he will start 18th in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway this evening (6 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM) -- NASCAR's nightcap to racing's famed Memorial Day weekend slate. The NASCAR champion was introduced to the crowd at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway just prior to the driver lineup Sunday morning. Carrying his son Leo and walking alongside his daughter Ella and wife Ingrid, Gordon stopped briefly to shake hands and speak with the legendary Mario Andretti before waving to the crowd which offered the NASCAR great a standing and rousing ovation. Moments later, Indy 500 starter and fellow California native Townsend Bell emerged wearing Jeff's neon-colored 24 on his driver's suit. His car will also carry that number as a tribute to Gordon. It was yet another recognition of Gordon's great contributions to racing and his special place in Indiana racing lore. Under green at #Indy500 , but @townsendbell gave @JeffGordonWeb a prerace tour of the No. 24 @TeamChevy . #IMSAatINDY pic.twitter.com/INrl7E0w0B — TUDOR Championship (@UnitedSportsCar) May 24, 2015 Calling it an honor and speaking often about the "energy" of Indy 500 race day, Gordon described Sunday's experience as "an opportunity of a lifetime." "To come down that front straightaway the first time and hear that crowd cheering for the cars, the drivers, and this amazing event …to be able to hear that from inside the pace car with the windows down is just amazing," Gordon said after getting out of the car. "Not to mention that the pace car has to get after it pretty good out here because that last lap is 100 mph and through the corners, maintaining that is something. So that was definitely cool. A huge thrill and a huge honor. "This whole year has just been incredible from the fan interaction, racetracks, this phone call (from stepfather John Bickford that Chevrolet offered Gordon the opportunity to drive the pace car), this moment. This is a very, very special year. Very cool experience being the pace car driver for #Indy500 . Thanks @TeamChevy & @IMS pic.twitter.com/PnQ5WvuMDx — Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) May 24, 2015 "I mean, there's no doubt in my mind that one thing that maybe I feel like I've accomplished more than I ever expected or hoped to in racing, but the one thing that did kind of did allude me and we pursued -- I say 'we', my dad, my mom and myself -- when we were trying to go to the next level, was getting a chance to race here in the Indianapolis 500 . "I've said this many times, I still believe it. Winning the inaugural Brickyard 400, to me, fulfilled that dream. Now I've had a chance to win it four more times. This is a special place for me. I love getting a chance to race here." Gordon's five Brickyard 400 wins is the most for a driver at the speedway, tying him with the legendary Michael Schumacher, who has five Formula One grand prix victories. He'll have a chance to hold the record on his own in this July's running of the Brickyard 400 (July 26, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM). But for those hoping that the 43-year old Gordon may one day make a start in the Indianapolis 500 , he dashed those thoughts Sunday morning telling reporters that would not be happening. "I'll be in the FOX booth next year," Gordon said. "I'm so glad that deal worked out because I wouldn't have a better excuse for you." And further, Gordon revealed that although he had previously left open the door to compete in random NASCAR races that now seems less and less likely. "The way I set that up is because I've known too many drivers that I respect and have raced with that, you know, said, 'OK, I'm retiring, stepping away, then they come back,'' Gordon said. "I'm not quite ready, want to run a few more races. "That's why I didn't say this is my final year of ever competing at a single event. But it really, truly is. It really is. As I get further into the year, as things come together, I don't see myself doing any races. If I do a race, maybe a Martinsville or a short track." In the meantime, Gordon was intent to live in the moment Sunday. "To me, if every time I could attend something like the Indianapolis 500 and then go to my own race -- it would definitely be motivating," Gordon said. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Sprint Cup stars take to social media to offer congratulations Juan Pablo Montoya 's second career Indianapolis 500 win elicited plenty of social media reaction from his former competitors and friends in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Tony Stewart and Joey Logano were among those to offer their congratulations. The victory came as he drove for Roger Penske, giving Penske wins in two of racing's marquee events this season: The Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 . Penske joins Chip Ganassi as the only other team owner to win both events in the same year. Fifteen years ago, Montoya won his first Indianapolis 500 driving for Ganassi. Since then, Montoya spent time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, winning two races and competing full-time in the series from 2007 to 2013. He made two Sprint Cup starts last season for Penske. Check out the sampling of reaction below. During his time in @NASCAR , @jpmontoya was always really cool to me. I looked up to him as a true wheelman. So good to see him win today. — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) May 24, 2015 Congratulations to @jpmontoya that was a hell of a drive. — Mark Martin (@markmartin) May 24, 2015 Ole @jpmontoya was on it there at the end definitely was wheeling that thing more than any of them #Indianapolis500 — Ricky Stenhouse Jr . (@StenhouseJr) May 24, 2015 Big congrats to @jpmontoya on the #Indy500 win!!!! — Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) May 24, 2015 Hell yeah @jpmontoya . Awesome. Indy 500 & Daytona 500 to RP. That was awesome. Congrats @12WillPower in the runner up too. — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) May 24, 2015 Congrats @jpmontoya , massive effort!!! #Indianapolis500 — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) May 24, 2015 HELL YEAH! Great job my friend. Proud of my buddy Juan Pablo Montoya today at the #Indy500 — Tony Stewart (@TonyStewart) May 24, 2015
Watch as Kyle Busch and Martin Truex battle each other and the field for the victory deep in the heart of Texas.
Martin Truex Jr. and others comment on a tough race on and off the track in Texas.
'Smoke' will run classic No. 14 scheme at Bojangles' Southern 500 BUY: Stewart throwback paint scheme and more " GO: Buy tickets to the event REVEAL: Retweet if you love @TonyStewart 's #14 @BassProShops Classic/ @Mobil1 Chevy for @TooToughToTame in Sept. pic.twitter.com/3oY2nWCWjn — Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) May 26, 2015 So, what do you think, race fans? With Darlington Raceway throwing itself back to the old days with a traditional Labor Day Bojangles’ Southern 500 (Sept. 6, 7 p.m. ET, NBC), Tony Stewart will run the retro paint scheme – one of many we're likely to see. His Stewart-Haas Racing teammate and the defending Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick unveiled his throwback scheme for Darlington earlier this month. The only question that remains now -- with that race being the penultimate chance for a driver to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , will we will see a Throwback Tony Stewart (currently winless) come through in the clutch to race in the postseason? FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See how the rookie meeting has evolved over the years RELATED: Labonte's crash still impacts rookies " Youngest, oldest rookie winners One by one, before the first engine has fired and the first car has hit the track, they gather in the NASCAR hauler parked inside the garage. It's a scene repeated every weekend when NASCAR rolls into town. Their levels of experience often differ quite a bit. There are champions and those with numerous starts in lower series seated alongside those with limited experience and much less success. Yet here everyone is treated the same. And everyone carries the same label -- rookie. • • • "A lot of stuff happens fast here," Richard Buck, NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series managing director, tells the group that's gathered on a cool, damp Friday morning at Martinsville Speedway . Each driver has been given several sheets of paper showing diagrams that include the placement of timing and commitment lines, pit entrance and exit and the proper route to enter and exit pit road from the garage area. It's information that is track-specific. While the basic processes that take place during any given race weekend are relatively the same, there are certain details at each venue that those with limited experience need to know. Proper procedures are explained and advice is doled out. "Use your hand signals so you don't start to slow down and get all jammed up and have somebody's radiator in your backseat," Buck tells the drivers. Each week, a veteran driver will also attend the meetings to offer pointers and answer any questions a rookie driver might have. At Martinsville, 2004 premier series champion Kurt Busch was on hand. "Those of you that have made laps around here before, you know how quick it is," Busch said of the series' shortest venue. "It's an awkward track. There's no other place that really compares to this. So the thing you have to do is to get comfortable with the surroundings." Busch said he would often walk around tracks "even if I've been here before" to reinforce the information given during the meeting. "Have your spotters communicate to you where the holes are when you pull out ... your tires will be ice cold here ... they won't help you do much turning when you get into (Turns) 3 and 4 ... but if you're consciously making an effort to warm up your tires, somebody's going to be right on your bumper and it's going to be chaos," he said. Busch also urged them to take note of the commitment and blend lines at Martinsville. "It's the same Turn 2 line that's painted at Bristol," he said later. "But at Bristol, you have two pit roads (one on the frontstretch and one on the backstretch). It's the same line in the same place and it means two different things." Drivers' left-side tires must touch the blend line near Turn 2 at Martinsville before pulling up onto the track. A similar line at Bristol signifies the pit entrance on the backstretch -- touching any portion of it without proceeding onto pit road will result in a commitment line violation. "Now they'll go to Bristol (in two weeks)," Busch said, "and they need to remember." • • • So what constitutes a rookie in the eyes of NASCAR? In most cases, it's up to the discretion of the series director and is based on the individual's prior experience. Matt DiBenedetto , 23, made his first Sprint Cup Series start this year after running the bulk of the races (29 of 33) in the XFINITY Series last season. Brett Moffitt , 22, made seven Sprint Cup Series starts in 2014. Between 2009 and 2013 he made just one XFINITY Series start and two in the Camping World Truck Series. Both are among those competing for this year's Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in Sprint Cup , along with Jeb Burton , Tanner Berryhill and Alex Kennedy . To be eligible for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, a driver must attempt to qualify in at least eight of the first 20 points races. A 10-1 point system, separate from the NASCAR championship driver points format, is used for scoring rookies in each race. The highest finishing rookie receives 10 points, second highest receives nine, etc. Only the top 17 finishes by each driver count toward his or her points total at the end of the year. Bonus points are also awarded for attempts, finishing inside the top 10 and upon the completion of the final race of the season. A panel then grades each rookie on conduct with officials, conduct and awareness on the track, personal appearance and relationship with the media. Points awarded by the panel are then averaged and added to each driver's total, and the driver with the most points is the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award recipient. Jeb Burton is one of five rookies this year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. • • • Of course, it wasn't always that way. In 1959, Darlington Raceway , in conjunction with sponsor Pure Oil (later to become Union 76), debuted the Darlington Record Club. Members were those that had qualified highest for each auto manufacturer during time trials for the annual Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway . Special recognition went to those that established track records there as well. While NASCAR had been selecting a rookie of the year for nearly a decade -- Rocky Mount, North Carolina's Blackie Pitt was the first recipient in 1954 –- the Union 76/Darlington Record Club was eventually tasked with monitoring the progress of rookie drivers on the uniquely shaped, treacherous 1.366-mile track. What began as an effort between driver Glenn "Fireball" Roberts and NASCAR official John Bruner Sr., to observe new drivers eventually evolved into a panel of Record Club members whose job was to either pass or fail those drivers attempt to make their Southern 500 debuts. (It's worth noting that the club also played a crucial role in requiring all drivers to complete a physical examination before being allowed to compete at Darlington. Today, a physical examination is mandatory for all three national series prior to the start of each season.) Before the Record Club came into existence, "you just went down there and run," said NASCAR Hall of Fame member Richard Petty, a seven-time NASCAR premier series champion and winner of the 1967 Southern 500 . "(The Record Club) was good public relations. It gave those (rookies) something they had to do. Indianapolis (home of the Indianapolis 500 ) always had a rookie test you had to pass before you could go out and run. Well, we said if they can do it, we can do it, too. "Back then, (Darlington) was a one-groove track through (Turns) 3 and 4, which is now 1-2. We'd explain what you had to do to pass people or let people pass you. Then you just said, 'OK, now go out and run.' " To pass the test, drivers new to the series were required to run within a percentage of a pre-determined speed. "If we were running 130 mph," Petty said, "they would have to run 125 or something like that. Then they'd go out and run six or eight laps on the track by themselves." "It was a little easier to show up at Daytona with a car even though you may not have that much experience and get in the race," three-time series champion and NASCAR Hall of Fame member Darrell Waltrip said. "But they really observed you. If you were somebody new that they didn't know and you showed up at the track, they'd have some drivers that would kind of see how you did, see if you could handle the track and the speed and all that. There was always somebody watching you, but Darlington was the only official test we took." The panel would make its recommendations to NASCAR, but it was up to Bruner, a former flagman who eventually became Chief Steward for the sanctioning body, to make the final call. Richard Petty, who won the Southern 500 in 1967, used to show rookies the ropes at the iconic track. • • • In 1976, the Record Club's competition panel began overseeing the rookie program. Nearly a decade later, one of racing's greatest figures found himself labeled a rookie, and was required to go through the orientation process. Far from being a rookie, Anthony Joseph Foyt, better known simply as A.J., already had seven NASCAR premier series wins to his credit including a victory in the 1972 Daytona 500 . But Foyt, a four-time winner of the Indy 500 as well, had never raced at Darlington. "I am going to Darlington as a bonafide rookie. I don't want anything waived," Foyt told the press prior to his debut. "Why should I be different than anybody else? I know a lot of guys would have too much pride and ego to take the rookie test, but I'm not that type of person." NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd was the president of the Record Club at that time. Among the members of the competition panel were fellow drivers Waltrip and Buddy Baker. "Buddy and I and I forget who else, we observed A.J. Foyt and we flunked him his first day," Waltrip said. "Well, we told him we flunked him. "I told Buddy, I said 'Go down there and tell A.J. that we're going to have to have a meeting about his test because I'm not sure he passed.' Buddy looked at me and said 'Do you think I'm crazy? You go down there and tell him.' " Foyt passed the test, eventually finishing 25th in his only Southern 500 start. • • • Ken Schrader , a four-time race winner in NASCAR's premier series, was in that same rookie class with Foyt in 1985. Schrader posted three top-10 finishes that year en route to winning the Rookie of the Year title, beating out Eddie Bierschwale and Don Hume. Twice he served as president of the Record Club. "Yeah, I got elected president one time, then got elected president another time because at the banquet in Darlington I sat in the back and drank with the wrong group," the fun-loving Schrader said. "I was sitting with, I think, Phil Holmer and T. Wayne (Robertson) and some Unocal folks." Holmer was a Goodyear representative while Robertson headed up series sponsor R.J. Reynolds sports marketing arm. "They threw my ass right in," Schrader said of his election. "My acceptance speed, I stood up and said 'This is (expletive)!' "But the rookie meetings were neat. We'd just go in there, talk about the do's and don'ts for the tracks. Some of it was repetitious obviously but then there was so much about each individual track and it was the first time that some of those guys went to those tracks. Because back then not everybody then came through the Truck or ( XFINITY ) Series. "Now, hell, you're a rookie at a race, you've been to how many places (already)? You've probably raced there in some other series. "So it's a little different now." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kenny Wallace discusses if NASCAR needs a traveling safety team and more Dirt racing is a labor of love for Kenny Wallace , but you wonder if he makes any money doing it. So you ask him. "That is probably the number one question people ask me," Wallace said. "I make money but the way I make money is the exact same way Rick Hendrick makes money: sponsors. The only money you can make running the race car is maybe enough to break even. Maybe enough to pay the gas on the way to the track (laughs). I'm fortunate that I have great sponsors like Toyota and JEGS and UNOH." That's the great thing about Herman: Ask him a question and he gives you a straight answer. Now, onward we roll into this week's installment of Herman Unplugged. NASCAR ILLUSTRATED: Did you get a chance to watch any of the other races on Memorial Day? What makes for a great race in your mind and which did you enjoy the most? HERMAN: "By far, the Indy 500 . That's a great conversation. Me and my friends were talking about that. The Indy 500 was created in 1911 and NASCAR is relatively new. It didn't start until the '50s, so to me, even though I'm a hardcore NASCAR guy, the greatest race in the history of the United States is the Indy 500 . I'm just being real. I got goosebumps on Sunday when that Indy 500 was on. Those stands were almost near capacity; you had to look hard to find some empty seats. And the race was just fantastic, it couldn't be any better." NI: The debate about a traveling safety team for NASCAR was reinvigorated this week after the events leading into the Indy 500 . Where do you stand on that? HERMAN: "At FOX TV, we are lucky. We have a really nice sit-down meeting with everybody at NASCAR each weekend. Mike Helton, Robin Pemberton, everybody. It's a meeting of the minds. I wish the fans could see what we do. Jamie Little brought that up and flat asked Mike Helton in our meeting. When we were done, I was really happy with what I heard. Nobody thinks about this: IndyCar only runs about 16 races a year. NASCAR has the Cup, Xfinity and Truck series and their point is very well validated. Do we treat the Cup drivers better because they're more famous? You'll have the Xfinity Series in Mid-Ohio and the Cup Series somewhere else. It's not as easy as it sounds because NASCAR is way more successful and we run way more races." NI: Did you have any direct experience in working with NASCAR's medical staff over the years? HERMAN: "I love NASCAR's medical liaison. When my heart started getting out of rhythm four or five years ago at Talladega, it scared me and they put me in an ambulance at about 4 in the morning. I'm being ushered down to Birmingham and come to find out I was drinking too much Mountain Dew, Coke and sweet tea. But here's what was neat: NASCAR's medical liaison was there when I got there at 5 in the morning. They were notified, jumped out of bed from their hotel rooms and were there for me. So when people say NASCAR doesn't have a traveling safety team, that's not exactly correct." NI: Kyle Busch spent a good amount of time running up front before finishing 11th in NASCAR’s most grueling race. Is it fair to say you were wrong about Rowdy coming back too soon? HERMAN: "110 percent wrong. You seen that on Twitter. I admitted I was wrong and said it loud on TV. I think what caught me off guard was medical rehab nowadays. Nobody jumped on me or was mean to me; it was basically the opposite. Everybody else was shocked, too. There were a lot of nice lady nurses that told me on Twitter that medical rehab has advanced so much. I had no idea somebody could have a compound fracture and then 10 weeks be walking around and driving a racecar at 200 mph. Once people got over the glory of telling me I was wrong, I think they themselves were in shock, too." NI: Jeff Gordon will be joining you as a colleague next year at FOX. What’s the biggest challenge he'll face in transitioning from competitor to TV? HERMAN: "I know exactly what it's going to be and he don't even know it yet: He's not gonna like being told what to do. When you go into the TV industry, you're just another employee. Darrell Waltrip has to call in Tuesday morning for conference calls. He has to be involved in these meetings at 7 o’clock in the morning. Jeff will think 'I can do what I want' but that's not the way it ends up. In the TV industry, they take those conference calls and production meetings more serious than when it's live and you're covering the race. The other thing is getting over that he's not racing anymore. That's brutally hard. The third thing is he is going to have to be really conscious of not showing any excitement for any Hendrick team. Actually, he's going to have to go the other way. He's going to have to be critical of the Hendrick teams to gain respect." SUBSCRIBE NOW!
Take a look back as Jeff Gordon leads 400 of 500 laps, including the final 198, on his way to an easy victory in the 1995 MBNA 500 at Dover International Speedway.
A stats-based preview for Sunday's race (1 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM) DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 26, 2015) -- Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware going into the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks on May 31 (1 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1). Greg Biffle (No. 16 Safety-Kleen Ford) · Two wins, six top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 13.7 · Average Running Position of 12.1, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 97.4, fifth-best · 435 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most · 833 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 144.050 mph, fifth-fastest · 5,555 Laps in the Top 15 (69.4%), sixth-most · 517 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), fourth-most Clint Bowyer (No. AAA Insurance Toyota) · Two top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 11.9 · Average Running Position of 12.2, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 92.5, eighth-best · 203 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most · 762 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 143.979 mph, eighth-fastest · 5,335 Laps in the Top 15 (74.1%), seventh-most · 434 Quality Passes, seventh-most Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · One win, six top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 18.2 · Average Running Position of 13.4, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 91.0, 10th-best · 297 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most · 861 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 143.859 mph, 10th-fastest · 4,712 Laps in the Top 15 (58.9%), 10th-most · 437 Quality Passes, sixth-most Kyle Busch (No. 18 Skittles Toyota) · Two wins, nine top fives, 13 top 10s · Average finish of 14.2 · Average Running Position of 11.5, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 105.5, third-best · 424 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 144.300 mph, third-fastest · 6,096 Laps in the Top 15 (76.2%), fourth-most · 507 Quality Passes, fifth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 Stanley Toyota) · One win, eight top fives, 12 top 10s · Average finish of 10.2 · Average Running Position of 11.0, third-best · Driver Rating of 99.2, fourth-best · 499 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · 838 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 144.043 mph, sixth-fastest · 5,574 Laps in the Top 15 (69.6%), fifth-most · 552 Quality Passes, second-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 3M Chevrolet) · Five wins, 18 top fives, 25 top 10s; four poles · Average finish of 11.4 · Average Running Position of 11.6, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 96.5, sixth-best · 362 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most · 818 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 144.169 mph, fourth-fastest · 6,214 Laps in the Top 15 (77.6%), third-most · Series-high 555 Quality Passes Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Pro Services Chevrolet) · Nine wins, 14 top fives, 19 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 8.2 · Series-best Average Running Position of 6.5 · Series-best Driver Rating of 122.3 · Series-high 1,106 Fastest Laps Run · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 144.673 mph · Series-high 7,061 Laps in the Top 15 (88.2%) · 420 Quality Passes, eighth-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · Two wins, 15 top fives, 21 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 12.8 · Average Running Position of 8.7, second-best · Driver Rating of 108.3, second-best · 471 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 762 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 144.394 mph, second-fastest · 6,624 Laps in the Top 15 (82.8%), second-most · 541 Quality Passes, third-most Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford) · One win, four top fives, four top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 13.2 · Average Running Position of 12.6, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 92.1, ninth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 143.870 mph, ninth-fastest Kyle Larson (No. 42 Target Chevrolet) · One top 10 · Average finish of 8.5 · Average Running Position of 11.3, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 93.0, seventh-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 144.030 mph, seventh-fastest Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) · Three wins, six top fives, 13 top 10s; four poles · Average finish of 13.4 · Average Running Position of 12.8, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 88.2, 12th-best · 770 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most · 5,202 Laps in the Top 15 (65.0%), eighth-most · 400 Quality Passes, 11th-most Martin Truex Jr . (No. 78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet) · One win, one top five, eight top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 15.8 · Average Running Position of 15.0, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 89.1, 11th-best · 252 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 143.752 mph, 11th-fastest · 4,388 Laps in the Top 15 (60.9%), 11th-most · 411 Quality Passes, 10th-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Dover International Speedway Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 28 1 0 3 12 1 15.2 86.5 2 Martin Truex Jr . 18 2 1 1 8 2 15.8 89.1 3 Joey Logano 12 0 0 3 8 1 13.8 82.6 4 Dale Earnhardt Jr . 30 1 1 6 11 1 16.2 81.9 5 Jimmie Johnson 26 3 9 14 19 2 8.2 122.3 6 Brad Keselowski 10 1 1 4 4 0 13.2 92.1 7 Matt Kenseth 32 1 2 15 21 5 12.8 108.3 8 Jamie McMurray 24 0 0 1 5 0 18.3 78.0 9 Jeff Gordon 44 4 5 18 25 5 11.4 96.5 10 Kasey Kahne 22 0 0 1 5 6 20.9 80.9 11 Ryan Newman 26 4 3 6 13 2 13.4 88.2 12 Aric Almirola 6 0 0 0 1 0 17.5 73.7 13 Paul Menard 15 0 0 0 2 0 19.1 67.0 14 Kurt Busch 29 0 1 6 8 6 18.2 91.0 15 Denny Hamlin 18 2 0 3 6 3 19.2 84.2 16 Carl Edwards 21 0 1 8 12 0 10.2 99.2 * – Based on last 20 races at Dover International Speedway . Dover International Speedway Data Season Race #: 13 of 36 (05-31-15) Track Size : 1-mile Banking/Turn 1 & 2 : 24 degrees Banking/Turn 3 & 4 : 24 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 9 degree Banking/Backstretch : 9 degree Frontstretch Length : 1,076 feet Backstretch Length : 1,076 feet Race Length : 400 laps / 400 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Dover Jimmie Johnson ........................ 122.3 Matt Kenseth ............................. 108.3 Kyle Busch ............................... 105.5 Carl Edwards .............................. 99.2 Greg Biffle . ................................. 97.4 Jeff Gordon ................................ 96.5 Kyle Larson ................................ 93.0 Clint Bowyer ............................... 92.5 Brad Keselowski ......................... 92.1 Kurt Busch . ................................. 91.0 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (20 total) among active drivers at Dover Motor Speedway. Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Brad Keselowski , Ford 164.444 mph, 21.892 secs. 05-30-14 2014 race winner : Jimmie Johnson , Chevrolet 117.724 mph, (03:23:52), 06-01-14 Track qualifying record: Brad Keselowski , Ford 164.444 mph, 21.892 secs. 05-30-14 Track race record: Mark Martin , Ford 132.719 mph, (03:00:50), 09-21-97 Dover International Speedway : History · The official opening of Dover International Speedway , then called Dover Downs International Speedway, was in 1969. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on July 6, 1969 – won by Richard Petty. · The first two races at Dover were 300 miles. The race length was changed to 500 miles in 1971. · The track surface was changed to concrete in 1995. · The race length was changed to 400 miles beginning with the second race in 1997. · The track name was changed to Dover International Speedway in 2002. Notebook · There have been 90 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover International Speedway , one race in 1969 and 1970, two races per year since 1971. · 381 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway ; 278 in more than one. · Ricky Rudd leads the series in starts at Dover with 56. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 44 starts; followed by Matt Kenseth with 32. · David Pearson won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Dover in 1969 with a speed of 130.430 mph. · 39 drivers have Coors Light poles at Dover, led by David Pearson with six. Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman lead all active drivers in poles with four each. · Nine drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Dover. David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Dover with three; from 1973 to the spring race of 1974. · Two active drivers have posted consecutive Coors Light poles at Dover: Ryan Newman (fall 2005 and spring 2006), and Denny Hamlin (fall 2012 and spring 2013). · Youngest Dover pole winner: Jeff Gordon (06/04/1995 – 23 years, 10 months, 0 days). · Oldest Dover pole winner: Mark Martin (06/01/2012 – 53 years, 4 months, 23 days). · 34 different drivers have won at Dover International Speedway , led by Jimmie Johnson with nine wins (2002 sweep, fall 2005, 2009 sweep, 2010 fall, spring 2012, fall 2013 and spring 2014). · 12 drivers have posted consecutive wins at Dover International Speedway , including three consecutive by David Pearson (fall 1972 and 1973 sweep), Rusty Wallace (fall 1993 and 1994 sweep) and Jeff Gordon (fall 1995 and 1996 sweep). · Youngest Dover winner: Kyle Busch (06/01/2008 – 23 years, 0 months, 30 days). · Oldest Dover winner: Harry Gant (05/31/1992 – 52 years, 4 months, 21 days). · Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Dover in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 17: Jimmie Johnson (nine), Jeff Gordon (five), Geoff Bodine (one), Ken Schrader (one) and Ricky Rudd (one). · Nine different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Dover; led by Chevrolet with 36 victories; followed by Ford with 25. · 13 of the 90 (14.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover have been won from the Coors Light pole; the two most recent were Jimmie Johnson in 2009 and 2010. · The second-place starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (15) than any other starting position at Dover International Speedway . · 28 of the 90 (31.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover have been won from the front row: 13 from the pole and 15 from second-place. · 71 of the 90 (78.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Dover have been won from a top-10 starting position. · Five of the 90 (5.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover have been won from a starting position outside the top 20 – most recently: Tony Stewart , spring 2013 (22nd-place starting position) · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Dover was 37th, by Kyle Petty in the spring of 1995. · Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Dover with eight; followed by Dale Earnhardt with five. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with four. · Mark Martin leads the series in top-five finishes at Dover with 24; followed by Dale Earnhardt with 19. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 18. · Mark Martin leads the series in top-10 finishes at Dover with 33; followed by Richard Petty and Ricky Rudd with 26 each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 25. · Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Dover with a 9.654. · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Dover with an 8.154. · 11 of the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Dover International Speedway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Jimmie Johnson won at Dover in his first two appearances. · Among the 12 active NSCS Dover winners Kurt Busch (22) and Matt Kenseth (14) made 10 or more attempts before their first win. · Kevin Harvick leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Dover without visiting Victory Lane at 28. · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Dover International Speedway was the September 25, 2005 race won by Jimmie Johnson over Kyle Busch with a MOV of 0.08 second. · There has been one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Dover International Speedway (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): fall of 2005 (400/404). · Not one of the 90 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover International Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions. · Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Dover International Speedway five times: fall of 1984, spring of 2001, fall of 2003, spring of 2005 and spring of 2011. · Three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series active drivers have made their first career start at Dover International Speedway : Matt Kenseth (9/20/98), Kurt Busch (9/24/00) and David Ragan (9/24/06). · Two active drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Dover International Speedway : Matt Kenseth (06/02/02) and Michael Waltrip (06/03/1991). · One active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has posted his first career win at Dover International Speedway : Martin Truex Jr . (06/04/07). · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Dover with 2,976 laps led in 26 starts. · If Jimmie Johnson leads 24 laps or more this weekend he will surpass the 3,000 laps led mark at Dover International