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Suarez, Sadler clinch spots in XFINITY Series Chase
RELATED: Full race results " Standings " Chase Grid Daniel Suarez and Elliott Sadler have both clinched spots in the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase coming out of the Lilly Diabates 250 on Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Suarez (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) and Sadler (No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet) already had spots locked up in the top 30 in points, but needed a new Chase-eligible driver not to win at Indianapolis. That was achieved with Kyle Busch's third straight win and seventh victory of the season in the series . Suarez and Sadler join Erik Jones (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) as the only drivers to officially clinch spots in the 12-driver, elimination-style playoff that will be used in the series this fall. The drivers must start the remaining eight races of the regular season. Jones has two wins (Bristol and Dover), while Suarez and Sadler have one each (Suarez won at Michigan, Sadler at Talladega). The seven-race XFINITY Series Chase opens on Sept. 24 at Kentucky Speedway. MORE: All of 2016's XFINITY winners
Kyle Busch holds off Harvick for third straight XFINITY win
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Every winner in 2016 SHOP: Busch gear SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- About the only thing Kyle Busch didn't win on Saturday was the one prize he wasn't eligible for. But the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota won everything else, capping a phenomenal day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a victory in the Lilly Diabetes 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race -- and he did so with tires that were 23 laps older than those of his pursuers. Busch led 62 of 63 laps but had to hold off Kevin Harvick on a two lap dash in overtime to win for the third time at the Brickyard, the seventh time in 11 starts this season and the 83rd time in his career, extending his series record. The XFINITY race was actually the fourth competition Busch won on Saturday. First, he won the top starting spot for the Lilly Diabetes 250, the 54th pole of his career. Next, he won the pole position for Sunday's Crown Royal 400 (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN), one of the marquee NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events of the season. After that Busch led all 20 laps and took the checkered flag in the first heat race under the XFINITY Series' final Dash 4 Cash event of the season. Busch didn't win the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus, a prize available only to series regulars. That check went to Justin Allgaier , who rolled home in fifth place, the highest finisher among the four drivers who earned eligibility in the heat races. Busch, however, has one more mountain to climb. On Sunday, he'll attempt to complete his second straight weekend sweep at the vaunted Brickyard. Busch held off Harvick, third-place finisher Paul Menard and fourth-place Kyle Larson even though Busch had stayed out on old rubber while those behind him pitted for new tires under the first caution on Lap 50. "The new tires for those guys were good for them but not so good for us," Busch said. "I just dug in deep and gave it everything I had. I knew I had to get really good restarts. On the second-to-last one (on Lap 54), I got a really good one, and then the last one (on lap 62 in overtime), it was OK. "I got an OK one, and I saw Harvick pull out… but he never got alongside of me. I never felt him close enough that he was going to pull alongside. ... It's a pretty awesome feeling to be able to go back to Victory Lane here this year. We're sitting on the pole tomorrow, and hopefully we can have another sweep here." Busch had a lead of more than eight seconds on Lap 48 of a scheduled 60 when JGR teammate Erik Jones , the wire-to-wire winner of the second heat race, blew a right rear tire entering Turn 1 and spun, causing the afternoon's first caution. While Busch and series leader Daniel Suarez stayed out on old tires, the remaining eight lead-lap cars came to pit road. Busch survived the restart on lap 54, but a lap later, ay Black Jr. and Harrison Rhodes wrecked off Turn 2 to bring put the second yellow and force the overtime. On the Lap 62 restart, Harvick pushed Larson, then ducked to the inside but was reluctant to take a bad angle into the first corner. As Harvick and Larson battled briefly for second, Busch pulled away and ultimately crossed the finish line .411 seconds ahead of Harvick's No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. "I really thought I could beat him down the backstretch if I got off of (Turn) 2 well and could clear the 42 (Larson)," Harvick said. "I got to the inside and kind of hit the chip and decided to hold the line up a little bit and try to get a run, and the 42 got stuck on the outside and that ruined my plan. "But our goal was to overachieve today, and we did that and capitalized on some situations and had a couple of good restarts and wound up second. All in all, it wasn't a bad day." Just nowhere near as good as the one Busch had.
Justin Allgaier earns Dash 4 Cash bonus check at Indy
RELATED: Full race results " Standings " Chase Grid SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- Justin Allgaier won the season's fourth and final Dash 4 Cash paycheck Saturday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Allgaier finished fifth in the XFINTY Series' Lilly Diabetes 250, which was won by Sprint Cup Series regular Kyle Busch. But the effort was one position ahead of Allgaier's JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler , and that was enough to earn the special $100,000 incentive. The race for the bonus money got intense in the final laps with Allgaier passing Elliott in Turn 4 on the last restart with two laps remaining to take the position and take the incentive money. "Under that last caution, I was thinking, 'Hey I'm racing a teammate' and that changes the game," Allgaier said. "Just knowing he was a teammate and had the same stuff I did, how do you force the pass? I was fortunate. We got behind him coming off Turn 4. ... It was the only time today I went through Turn 4 perfectly and was able to get next to him and then pass him. "Everything had to come down to that perfect moment. Just very fortunate to get up here with this check." Only full-time XFINITY Series championship competitors are eligible to collect in the four-race Dash 4 Cash incentive. Four drivers are set through two 20-lap heat races before a 60-lap main event. Allgaier, Elliott, Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones qualified to be participants at Indy. Series rookie Jones won the Dash 4 Cash money twice (at Bristol and Dover) this season while Ty Dillon (Richmond) won once. Jones' two victories would have been enough to put him in the XFINITY Series' inaugural Chase for the championship this year, but he earned a position anyway as the race winner in the Bristol race. Allgaier, who drives the No. 7 BRANDT Chevrolet, joked after the race that he absolutely planned to keep the oversized check recognizing the Dash winner. It was the first time he'd won the award. "Been trying to get up here and hold one of these checks up here and finally got to today," Allgaier said. "This one goes home with me and will go on the wall for sure. Really proud to be able to hold one of these checks up." The race result for Allgaier was also significant in the big picture, moving him up two positions in the XFINITY Series standings to fourth place, only 16 points behind third place Ty Dillon . Suarez still leads the championship by 14 points over Sadler entering the next race -- an XFINITY stand-alone event next Saturday at Iowa Speedway.
Busch picks up Coors Light Pole Award in search of Brickyard defense
RELATED: Full starting lineup " See the full field SPEEDWAY, Ind. – A sweep at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is nothing new to Kyle Busch. But this year, he started early. With a lap at 184.634 mph (48.745 seconds) in the final round of Saturday's knockout qualifying, Busch claimed the pole position for Sunday’s Crown Royal 400 (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Earlier in the day, the driver who swept both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series races at Indy last year earned the pole award ahead of the heat races prior to Saturday afternoon’s Lilly Diabetes 250 XFINITY race. But the Sprint Cup pole that completed the Saturday sweep was special, because it was the first for Busch at the vaunted Brickyard. "I haven't been great at qualifying here, but the guys gave me a great piece this time around, and I'm real pumped about that," said Busch, who claimed his second Coors Light Pole Award of the season and the 19th of his career. "We're starting first in both of these (races), and hopefully we can end that way. "It means a lot (to win the pole). It's definitely pretty special to be running the way that we're running and to have the success that we've had here the last couple of years at Indy, and I’d love nothing more than to try to win here again." Busch’s No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was .023 seconds faster than the No. 19 of teammate Carl Edwards (184.547 mph). "I was happy with my lap," Edwards said. "I was surprised Kyle got me. That was a good lap for him – I mean, that was a good lap that he ran because I felt like my lap was pretty good – but, yeah, it's frustrating right now to be second because it's so close, and the pole position is obviously huge here. "But by tomorrow, the race gets started and I think I'll be pretty happy with that starting spot, so just good job by all my guys." Making his last appearance at Indy as a Sprint Cup Series driver, Tony Stewart earned the third starting spot with a lap at 184.328 mph and knew exactly where he had lost critical speed. "I just wish I could do lap three (final round) one more time and not clip the apron in (Turn) 4," Stewart said. "I think we could have been on the pole." RELATED: Stewart discusses his qualifying effort Denny Hamlin qualified fourth, giving JGR three of the top four spots. Brad Keselowski in fifth has the top Ford. Ryan Newman , Kevin Harvick , Martin Truex Jr. , Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson will start from positions six through 10, respectively. The time trials were a disappointment for the Hendrick Motorsports drivers, who failed to place a car in the top 12. Jimmie Johnson ran the fastest lap of the day in the first of three rounds, touring the 2.5-mile speedway in 48.435 seconds (185.816 mph). But the six-time series champion failed to advance beyond the second round, losing the 12th and final position to Kurt Busch by .008 seconds. Johnson will start 13th, Chase Elliott 15th and Jeff Gordon , subbing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. , who is out with concussion-like symptoms, claimed the 21st spot on the grid. "I felt really comfortable right there," said Gordon, who was 15th fastest in the first round. "I feel like today I’m much calmer than I was yesterday (in practice). Usually, my heart is beating more for qualifying than it is for practice, but that wasn't the case. "So, today I feel more relaxed and comfortable in the car. I hope to feel the same way tomorrow. Tomorrow's challenge is going to be being around traffic, and also trying to get the balance of the car right and do that when you're by yourself as well as when you're around other cars." Josh Wise failed to make the 40-car field. </p>
Luke Wilson named Sonoma Sprint Cup Series pace car driver
Perhaps inspired by Darlington Raceway 's successful throwback program, Sonoma Raceway is going to be bringing a little bit of old school to its race weekend later this month. Actor Luke Wilson -- predominantly of "Old School" fame -- will drive a 2016 Toyota Camry pace car to kick off the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 26. Wilson is also known for his comedic roles in films including "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," "Legally Blonde," "Idiocracy," "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums." The Texas native currently stars in Showtime’s new series "Roadies," which also premieres on June 26. The show follows the lives of a tight-knit group of rock-n roll-roadies working on the tour for a famous rock band. The show marks the first television series created by renowned film director Cameron Crowe ("Almost Famous") and his partnership with J.J. Abrams ("Lost", "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" ) , who is executive producer. "I feel incredibly honored to be asked to lead the field of cars to the green," said Wilson in a track release. "I have never done anything like this before and I'm really excited to start off the race at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 ." This will mark the first time Wilson has served as an Official Pace Car Driver at a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. He will also be recognized during pre-race ceremonies and greet each NASCAR driver on stage during driver introductions. With Wilson on board, Sonoma is shaping up to be a nice little Sunday. Maybe after the race you can go to Lowe's. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath & Beyond. I don't know. I don't know if you'll have enough time.
Kyle Busch dominates New Hampshire to snag sixth win of 2016
RELATED: Results " Standings LOUDON, N.H. -- Another NASCAR XFINITY Series race, another set of milestones for Kyle Busch. Leading 190 of 200 laps in Saturday's AutoLotto 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Busch held off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones in the closing laps to claim his 82nd career victory, extending his own series record. In the process, Busch raised his total of XFINITY laps led to 17,064, once again extending his own record. Busch won for the fifth time in 11 races at the Magic Mile and the sixth time in 10 starts this season. "I guess they're big numbers," said Busch, who ran the entire race on one set of left-side tires and arrived at the finish line 1.499 seconds ahead of Jones, who had taken four tires on his final pit stop under caution on Lap 178. "I really don't know what big numbers are, and records are made to be broken. "There may be somebody like me that comes along down the road that does the same thing that I've been fortunate enough to do … Running in this series is something fun for me to do, cool for me to do, and it also helps me out and gets me a little more experience." Brad Keselowski ran third but didn't have an answer for the top two JGR cars. Daniel Suarez came home fourth, followed by Austin Dillon . "We had a decent day," Keselowski said. "A little better than where we have been, which was something to be proud of, but of course we want to get to Victory Lane with the (No. 22 Team Penske) Ford. We aren't quite there, but we'll keep pushing. "That was a step in the right direction overall for sure." Busch may have been dominant up front, but there were compelling subplots behind him, the most noteworthy between Ty Dillon and Alex Bowman . Bowman, who will sub for ailing Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, turned left into Dillon's No. 3 Chevrolet off Turn 2 on Lap 76, sending Dillon's car into the outside wall. Dillon was convinced Bowman wrecked him on purpose. Bowman asserted his car was forced wide, and the contact was unintentional. Dillon returned to action 55 laps down after repairs in the garage and twice tried to impede Bowman's progress on the track. "He tried to wreck me about four times after (the accident)," Bowman said after the race. "I don't blame him for being upset. He has every right to be upset… "He drove me way up the race track (right before the contact). He obviously got tight underneath me. I had a ton of wheel in it, and it finally caught. I barely came off the wall. You come off the wall six inches and you tag somebody in the right rear. I hate that for the 3 car, but I definitely didn't do it intentionally. He can think what he wants." Bowman was able to continue despite damage to the left front of his No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet and posted an eighth-place finish. Dillon, on the other hand, was scored 33rd and held third place in the XFINITY standings but fell to 48 points behind Suarez, who also expanded his series lead to 15 points over second-place Elliott Sadler , who ran 10th on Saturday.
Tony Stewart Chase Watch
RELATED: Full New Hampshire results " Standings " Chase Grid SHOP: Stewart gear Tony Stewart returned from a back injury in April and the three-time Sprint Cup Series champion is in pursuit of one of the 16 spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in his final season. Here's a look at where the driver of the No. 14 Chevrolet stands in his hunt after Sunday's runner-up finish in the New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the season's 19th of 26 regular-season races. WHAT JUST HAPPENED The three-time champion followed a top-five finish at Kentucky with a runner-up in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet at New Hampshire, Stewart's second-best showing of the season. That moved Stewart into 28th place in the drivers point standings. With a win locked up at Sonoma, inside the top 30 is where Stewart needs to be in order to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. As it stands now, he's in the provisional Chase Grid. He leads 29th-place Landon Cassill by three points and 31st-place driver Brian Scott by 67 points. WHAT HE NEEDS Stewart received a waiver from NASCAR for Chase eligibility. The surest way into the Chase is by winning before the end of regular season (at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 10) -- which Stewart did at Sonoma -- and remain in the top 30 in the points standings. En route to his 2015 championship, Kyle Busch faced a similar path after missing the first 11 races with a leg injury. With the win in the bank, Stewart can focus on remaining in the top 30. He sits 28th in the standings with 287 points. He is six points beind Casey Mears , who sits at 27th place in the standings. WHAT'S NEXT "Smoke" heads to his hometrack of Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 24 at 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, IMS Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), where he has two victories. In his 17 starts there, Stewart has seven top fives and 11 top 10s. &amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;gt;
Dale Earnhardt Jr. injury timeline
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway after experiencing concussion-like symptoms that forced him to sit out at New Hampshire. Follow the driver's wrecks, injuries and recovery through the timeline of events below.
Team Penske: Back-to-back babies to go along with wins
RELATED: Where does 2 crew stack up midseason? Team Penske's No. 2 crew members had double the reason to celebrate Brad Keselowski 's back-to-back victories at Daytona and Kentucky in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series . That's because jackman Braxton Brannon and gasman Nick Hensley both added to their families during the joyous past two weeks. Anyone who has ever been involved in the waiting process understands the stress of having a baby. The due dates were only three days apart and both guys had been on wait for the past two weeks. But the babies arrived safely on opposite ends of the Kentucky weekend and the crew members didn't miss a beat. For the Brannon family it was their first child. They welcomed a baby girl on July 7. For the Hensley family, they welcomed their second boy on July 11. "It was a tough decision to go to that race while they were still in the hospital," Brannon said. "Caroline told me to go and I think it was the right decision. Caroline is doing great now and the baby." Hensley echoed his feeling of relief. "I knew the next two races (after Sonoma) were Saturday night races, and close enough to home that Team Penske would do everything they could to get me home in a hurry if something happened," Hensley said. "I was more nervous for Braxton, this was my second child and I had stayed home from the Talladega race in 2014 for the birth of my first child, and I didn't want him to miss that special moment with his family." So three weeks ago the No. 2 crew had two wins on the season and a total of one kid between the six over-the-wall guys. Now, two weeks later, the team has two more wins and two more family members. For more pit crew news, visit PitTalks.com .
Nationwide Series pit stall assignments
See where drivers will pit for the Ford EcoBoost 300 (4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today The NASCAR Nationwide Series pit stall assignments are out for Saturday's Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Coors Light Pole Award winner Brad Keselowski chose the first pit stall off pit road with an empty space in front of him for an easy departure. Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney , Kyle Busch and Brendan Gaughan also have open stalls in front of them. Chase Elliott, who clinched the 2014 series title last week, chose the first pit stall onto pit road for an easy entrance. The Nationwide Series will take the track at 4:30 p.m. ET with TV coverage on ESPN2. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule