Post-Race Reactions: Nashville 300
A discontented Kyle Busch and others comment on their finishes at Nashville .
Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award finalists named
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. -- Finalists for The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide were announced on Wednesday night on NASCAR America on NBC Sports Network. The award will be showcased on Sept. 27 at the Foundation's inaugural Honors Gala at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. The award honors volunteers – who are also NASCAR fans – who dedicate themselves to children's causes in their communities throughout the United States. The award winner will be determined via an on-line vote now underway and running through Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. (ET) at www.NASCAR.com/Award . This year's award presentation will be part of the "10 Years of Giving" celebration for The NASCAR Foundation, which has donated $25 million to more than one million children since its inception in 2006. Betty Jane France, founder and chairwoman emeritus of The NASCAR Foundation, will present the award. The NASCAR Foundation will donate a total of $175,000 to the charities represented by the finalists – with the winner's charity receiving a $100,000 donation. This year's finalists include Jim Giaccone of Bayville, New York, representing Tuesday's Children; Andy Hoffman of Atkinson, Nebraska, founder of the Team Jack Foundation; Logan Houptley of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a founding member of Mikayla's Voice; and Parker White of Greensboro, North Carolina, founder of BackPack Beginnings. "The body of work by this year's four finalists reflects an impressive level of commitment to improving the lives of children," France said. "Their accomplishments likewise reflect The NASCAR Foundation's fundamental ideals and what the Foundation strives to achieve on a daily basis. All four finalists are wonderful representatives of our award process and of the NASCAR community." Following is additional information about the 2016 finalists: Jim Giaccone, Tuesday's Children: Giaccone lost his older brother, Joseph, in the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Giaccone determined quickly that the best way to honor his brother was by assisting others -- especially children -- who also were affected by the tragedy. That led to Giaccone's involvement with Tuesday's Children, an organization founded in 2001 and dedicated to providing long-term support to those directly impacted by the events of 9/11 and other communities impacted by terrorism and traumatic loss. Jim is involved with many aspects of Tuesday’s Children including raising funds, serving on the Mentoring Advisory Board, serving on the Family Advisory Board and his most significant contribution: serving as a mentor. Andy Hoffman, Team Jack Foundation: In 2011, Hoffman's world was turned upside down when his son, Jack, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Hoffman soon learned that procedures to treat pediatric brain cancer -- surgery and chemotherapy -- were more than 30 years old. He also learned that less than four percent of federal funding is dedicated to childhood cancer research each year. One year after the diagnosis, Hoffman made T-shirts as a fundraiser for children's brain cancer research; through his efforts he was able to sell 20,000 shirts and raise more than $ 300 ,000. Inspired by that success, Hoffman and his wife formed Team Jack Foundation in January 2013. The foundation raises money to fund pediatric brain cancer research and works to create national awareness for the disease. Logan Houptley, Mikayla's Voice: Houptley met a young lady named Mikayla Resh in his third-grade classroom after moving to a new school district in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Mikayla had profound multiple disabilities that included brain damage, cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, along with facing the challenges of being blind and deaf. At only 10 years old, Houptley was incredibly understanding and accepting, treating Mikayla with love, kindness, and inclusion. Ten years after they met, Houptley has continued his friendship with Mikayla, in the process helping create Mikayla's Voice. Founded in 2010, the organization is dedicated to inspiring children and young adults to embrace individuals of all abilities. The organization promotes cultural change by teaching communities about the importance of inclusion and acceptance. Parker White, BackPack Beginnings: White founded BackPack Beginnings in 2010, driven by a compassion for families struggling to provide for their children on a daily basis. With two young children of her own, Parker understood a mother's desire to see her child be happy and successful. But she also knew that not every family has the means to put enough food on the table or provide basic necessities for their children. That led White to establish BackPack Beginnings, which strives to provide children in the Greensboro and High Point, North Carolina areas with nutritious food, clothing, and other basic necessities. BackPack Beginnings works with local schools to open food and clothing pantries, donate backpacks filled with blankets and school supplies, and provide comfort and hygiene items to children in need. To learn more about The NASCAR Foundation's Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide and each of the national finalists, please visit: www.NASCAR.com/Award .
Biffle, No. 16 team to go 'Nashville Hot' for Daytona 500
CONCORD, N.C. (Jan. 20, 2016) – Roush Fenway Racing has announced a multi-race partnership with KFC as a primary partner for Greg Biffle and his No. 16 Sprint Cup Series team during the 2016 season. The partnership will kick off at Daytona Speedweeks and include primary placement in the famed Daytona 500 and Sprint Unlimited All-Star events at Daytona International Speedway . The partnership in Daytona will feature KFC’s recently launched line of smoky and crispy ‘ Nashville Hot’ chicken, which comes just in time for the launch of the 2016 NASCAR season. Nashville Hot is available on KFC’s first ever tailgate platter; perfect for tailgating at events, watching sports and hosting group parties. "It’s definitely exciting to have KFC on the car," said two-time NASCAR Champion Biffle. "I don’t think there is a more iconic brand out there; who didn’t grow up loving KFC? Their new spicy, smoky and crispy Nashville Hot Chicken is now available nationwide – which I am very excited about – and I can’t wait to get to Daytona, enjoy a couple of tailgate platters with the team and hopefully put the Colonel in victory lane at our biggest race of the season." A perennial NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase contender, Biffle has scored 55 NASCAR wins and two championships during his celebrated career. He captured the pole for the 2004 Daytona 500 after winning the 2003 summer event at the 2.5-mile track known as the ‘World Center of Racing.’ "We are very happy to be teaming with Greg Biffle and Roush Fenway Racing and especially to partner with them for the Daytona 500 ,"said Kevin Hochman, KFC U.S. CMO. "Greg and Roush Fenway have a strong tradition of winning at Daytona, and we can’t think of a better way to launch our new Nashville Hot Chicken than at NASCAR’s biggest race of the season where we will be promoting the biggest thing in spicy chicken since Buffalo wings." In addition to looking for his second trip to victory lane at Daytona, Biffle will aim for Roush Fenway’s seventh win at Daytona in the Sprint Cup Series and its third Daytona 500 victory. "We are proud to welcome KFC to the Roush Fenway Racing family with Greg and the No. 16 team," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "We know they will be a great partner going forward in 2016 and look forward to a strong partnership launch as the season kicks off in Daytona." The Daytona 500 is set for Sunday, Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. ET and will be televised live on FOX. The Sprint Unlimited will kick off the 2016 season on Saturday, Feb. 13 with the Daytona 500 qualifying duel races scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 18. Roush Fenway Racing is the winningest team in NASCAR history, fielding multiple teams in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series competition with drivers Greg Biffle , Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., Trevor Bayne , Ryan Reed , Chris Buescher and Bubba Wallace. Now in its 29th season, Roush Fenway is a leader in driver development, having launched the careers for many of the top drivers in the sport. Off-track, Roush Fenway is a leader in NASCAR marketing solutions, pioneering motorsport’s first team-focused TV show and producing multiple award-winning digital and experiential marketing campaigns. Roush Fenway is co-owned by Jack Roush, the winningest team owner in NASCAR history and Fenway Sports Group, parent company of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox and English Premier League’s Liverpool F.C. Visit RoushFenway.com, circle on Google+, become a fan on Facebook and Instagram and follow on Twitter at @roushfenway.
Rain jumbles Friday's schedule at Kentucky
RELATED: Get live weather updates Inclement weather altered Friday's on-track schedule at Kentucky Speedway. Nearly 30 minutes into the day's first of two scheduled NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practices, a severe thunderstorm warning had officials sending Sprint Cup Series cars into the garage. Denny Hamlin had posted the fastest speed at the time, with Jimmie Johnson -- who later smacked the wall solidly -- sitting in second. Heavy rains followed, and the practice officially ended at 12:25 p.m. ET. Four other on-track events were planned, but altered. Here's what's new: The second Sprint Cup Series practice began at 3:45 when the track was dry and was scheduled to run until 4:25 p.m. ET. NASCAR XFINITY Series qualifying will follow at 4:45 p.m. ET, with Sprint Cup Series final practice running from 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying is canceled and will be set per the rule book (owner points) -- that puts Kevin Harvick on the pole position with Brad Keselowski also on the front row. MORE " See the full lineup The NASCAR XFINITY Series Alsco 300 (8:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, Live Extra, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will wrap up the day's events. RELATED: See the full weekend schedule Wet weather also altered Wednesday's original schedule, which had three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practices on the books. That schedule was adjusted to have two practices, including an extended 175-minute session. The extra time had added importance as Kentucky underwent a repave and the 1.5-mile track has a fresh racing surface. Sprint Cup teams tested at the track last month over two days following the Michigan weekend and practiced here yesterday. XFINITY Series teams had four practices on Thursday. This story will be updated. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Allgaier eager to forget Daytona disappointment, find Victory Lane
SPARTA, Ky. -- Standing in his hauler post-practice in an attempt to cool off at a humid Kentucky Speedway, Justin Allgaier reflected on the disappointment of one weekend earlier -- but is ready to put the misfortune in his rearview mirror. "Friday night obviously was one of the hardest, hardest times," Allgaier told NASCAR.com about the XFINITY Series thriller. Daytona's Subway Firecracker 250 saw the JR Motorsports wheelman vying for the win -- during an overtime finish -- with Sprint Cup Series regular Aric Almirola . When an eight-car crash erupted behind the dueling pair, NASCAR parked the field to determine the finishing order, eventually ruling Almirola the victor. "It's disappointing but when you finish second at Daytona and you're that close … you know you've done everything that you can do and you can't really be too disappointed," Allgaier said. In his first full-time season with JR Motorsports, the Illinois native and his No. 7 team have, despite last week's disappointment, thrived together with six top fives and 12 top-10 results. And he carries mometum to Kentucky's 1.5-mile track as four of his top 10s -- Atlanta, Las Vegas, Texas and Charlotte -- come at intermediate tracks. One thing, however, is missing on this season's list of triumphs is that coveted trip to Victory Lane. "We've had some races where things have not gone our way and not gone the way we thought they were going to go," he said. "With all of that being said, if we keep putting races together and doing them the way we are going now, we're in Victory Lane on quite a few of these races." And Allagier believes that one of "these races" could, indeed, be Friday's Alsco 300 (8:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). "We definitely have a car not only competing out front, but competing for a win."
Erik Jones left frustrated by late mistake at Kentucky
RELATED: Results " Standings SPARTA, Ky. -- Erik Jones had the best view from his office Friday night at Kentucky Speedway, leading in the closing stages, with only the pace car in front of him during a late caution period and with another NASCAR XFINITY Series win in sight. But the equivalent of knocking over a pencil holder or a box of paper clips spoiled both the office feng shui inside his car and his shot at a victory in the Alsco 300 . While making adjustments inside the cockpit during the fourth of the race's five yellow flags, Jones accidentally hit the ignition kill switch, causing his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota to stall. NASCAR competition officials ruled that Jones failed to keep pace during his flight fade, forcing him to line up third on the next-to-last restart on Lap 180 of 201 laps. "I don't know. I fell back 20 feet from the pace car, no different than if you're saving fuel and they put me to third place, so I guess I gave it away," Jones said after finishing fourth in the 40-car field. "It's unfortunate. Good Reser's Camry and nothing to show for it." Jones, who led three laps, explained that his late-race gaffe wasn't a matter of purposely turning the car off and on to save fuel. "There's a lot of things obviously these drivers do in these car that the general fan doesn't realize," said Chris Gabehart, crew chief for Jones' JGR No. 20. "They're just as busy or busier under caution trying to manage a lot of things, and that's what Erik was doing. Moving from one switch to the other, he just accidentally hit the ignition switch and turned it off, and it only takes a few seconds before you can't maintain speed and that's all." Jones' frustration as he emerged from the car was evident late Friday night, but Gabehart said the miscue wasn't solely the responsibility of the driver, who is still in his first full season of XFINITY Series competition. "No one puts more pressure on him than he does on himself, like any great athlete or performer would," Gabehart said. "It's no different with him. But he's just 20. He's still making mistakes every day for the first time like we all are, but when you're younger, you make a lot more of them in a day and you've got to learn from them. "Just a simple mistake, but we made the mistake. That's what I want to stress is, it's not Erik we're talking about. Just like it wasn't my team we were talking about last week at Daytona or at Iowa, it's us as a race team no matter what, and that's the biggest lesson I want him to take from this. And he will. He's a smart kid." Jones said he was able to salvage some consolation from his ninth top-five effort of the year, the most of any full-time XFINITY Series driver so far this season. The Michigan native sits fourth in the standings heading to the series' next race, scheduled next weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "I mean, we had some good moments, we had a good race car, and it was a good team-building day for us," Jones said. "A lot of good changes, a lot of good gains and it's a pretty good run for a repave. Just unfortunate it didn't work out. I felt like we did have the fastest car here once we got out front, but it's just hard to get back up there once you get back in traffic, so not our night."
Kyle Busch wins at Kentucky in overtime finish
RELATED: Results " Standings SPARTA, Ky. – It was a race Kyle Busch won with a dramatic run around the outside lane at Kentucky Speedway. It was a race Erik Jones lost when he hit the wrong switch on his dashboard, killed the engine and slowed under caution late in the race. But, interestingly, it was a race where Jones showed Busch, the pole winner, the key to victory, demonstrating to his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate that the outside line was viable when racing side-by-side with an opponent. Clearing Austin Dillon off Turn 4 in the first lap in overtime in Friday night’s Alsco 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race, after caution slowed the race for the fifth time, Busch pulled away to beat the Richard Childress Racing scion to the finish line by .455 seconds. Daniel Suarez finished third after chasing Busch to the final yellow flag, then losing the runner-up spot to Dillon on the last restart. Jones came home a disappointing fourth after outdueling Busch for the lead on Lap 175, only to give it up when his car wouldn’t refire under caution and failed to keep up with the pace car, costing Jones two positions. Busch led 185 of the 201 laps in winning for the fifth time in nine starts this season, the second time at Kentucky and the 81st time in his career, extending his own series record. But it was the run around the outside lane, after Dillon pulled even on the backstretch on lap 200, that proved decisive. And that’s exactly how Jones had passed Busch for the lead on Lap 175. “I didn’t think he’d be able to hold it through (Turns) 3 and 4 like that,” said Dillon, who thought he had the preferred position on the inside. “But he did a great job of holding me down. I wish we could have got it done for (sponsor) Rheem, but it was a really close race.” Busch was roughly a half-second ahead of Suarez and appeared to have the race in hand when caution flew on Lap 195 with smoke billowing from Mike Harmon ’s car. “We always get the Kyle Busch cautions,” Busch said. “Apparently this time it was true. There was some problems with another car smoking. You always have to make your money’s worth, I guess. Always have to give the show to the fans and their money’s worth. “Certainly means a lot to us to win here and bring our Camry home to Victory Lane again at Kentucky Speedway.” Jones said he hit the wrong button when he was rolling under caution and fell behind the pace car, allowing Busch to pass him. NASCAR rules require a driver to maintain pace car speed in order to keep his or her running position. “I think we had the fastest car here once we got out front,” Jones lamented. “It’s just hard to get back up to the front when you get back in traffic.” But before he fell back, Jones had already given Busch the road map to victory. “When Erik drove into Turn 3 with me, I started to roll out just a little bit, because I knew I needed to in order to run the bottom,” Busch said. “And he drove right on past me, and I was like, ‘Well, all righty then.’ “I was waiting for him to slip and to not be able to control his car in the black, in the rubber. And it stuck for him and he made it work. I definitely learned that there was a little bit of speed up there, at least for one lap, for one corner.” And that one corner made all the difference on Friday night.
New-look Kentucky should still result in same-old success for Logano
MORE: NASCAR tweaks rules package for Kentucky As a teenager thrown into NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series with the options of sink or swim, Joey Logano had few places of refuge. Taking over the No. 20 Toyota of then two-time series champion Tony Stewart at Joe Gibbs Racing in 2009, Logano struggled under the weight of high expectations and a new series against much tougher competition. But while his Sprint Cup education got off to a somewhat rocky start, it was success in NASCAR’s XFINITY Series that helped keep his confidence up and his progression steadily moving ahead. And nowhere was that progression more evident than Kentucky Speedway , site of this weekend's NASCAR triple-header featuring the Camping World Truck , XFINITY and Sprint Cup Series. Logano, who currently has 25 career victories in the XFINITY Series, earned consecutive wins in 2008, '09 and '10 at the 1.5-mile track located in Sparta, Kentucky. His victory in the Meijer 300 in '08, was his first in a NASCAR national series event. "I tested here so much growing up," said Logano, now 26 and competing fulltime for Team Penske in the Sprint Cup and on a partial schedule in the XFINITY Series. "At Gibbs, this is where we came and tested six or seven times a year; it was a lot. So when I came here in an XFINITY Series car, it was like BOOM! I know this race track. I know what it takes to go fast and we won." NASCAR eliminated private team testing prior to the start of the 2015 season. Today, the only on-track time allowed other than race weekends are Goodyear tire tests and a handful of organizational tests. The additional track time provided a wealth of benefits for Logano. No less important, though, was the overall competitiveness of the Joe Gibbs Racing XFINITY Series program at that time. JGR entries won 49 of 105 XFINITY Series races during the three-year span of ’08-10. "The cars over there then, like they are now, were dominant," Logano said. "They were so fast. You just jump in them and win. "So as a rookie, we would go to race tracks and know exactly what I needed at this track to be able to go out there and win." Logano made the move to Team Penske in 2013 and immediately earned his first top-10 championship points finish in the Sprint Cup Series. He has three top-10 results in three outings at Kentucky with Penske, including a runner-up finish last season. Fourth in points, Logano has finished fifth or higher in his last four Sprint Cup Series starts, including a fourth-place result in Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway . Teams will be attempting to solve the riddle of not only an entirely new racing surface at Kentucky when Saturday’s Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) gets underway, but a new track configuration as well. In addition to the repave, workers also re-configured Turns 1 and 2 of the track, increasing the banking from 14 to 17 degrees during an extensive off-season upgrade. The pit exit lane has also been widened from 14 feet to 30 feet and the width of the racing surface in Turns 1 and 2 has shrunk from 74 feet to 56 feet. RELATED: Teams come to new-look Kentucky for test Fourteen Sprint Cup teams tested on the new configuration June 13-14. Logano’s No. 22 Ford team, headed up by crew chief Todd Gordon, was among those logging laps and gathering data. "It’s a different place now," Logano noted. "But it's still Kentucky; it still has the same trends."
Ty Dillon hits the wall during NXS quals
Ty Dillon gets loose and hits the wall during XFINITY Series qualifying for the Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway.
Brandon Jones slips up early in NXS practice
Brandon Jones makes contact with the wall at Kentucky Speedway during practice for the ALSCO 300 , forcing him to a backup car for the race.