Elliott Sadler, Johnny Sauter and others comment on a wild night in Thunder Valley.
Get all the on-track times for the weekend's NASCAR action RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota All times ET COMPLETE TV LISTINGS / BUY TICKETS FOR TEXAS / WEEKEND TRACK EVENTS This week, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series head to Texas Motor Speedway SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2: PRE-RACE SCHEDULE -- 1:00:00 p.m.: NSCS Driver/Crew Chief Meeting -- 2:30:00 p.m.: NSCS Drivers Introductions -- 3:01:00 p.m.: Intro and Pledge of Allegiance by Boy Scouts -- 3:02:00 p.m.: Intro Presentation of Colors: Sheppard Air Force Base 82nd Training Wing Honor Guard -- 3:02:20 p.m.: Invocation by: Texas Alliance Raceway Ministries; Dr. Roger Marsh -- 3:02:45 p.m.: Intro National Anthem -- 3:03:00 p.m.: National Anthem: Air National Guard - Band of the Southwest -- 3:09:30 p.m.: "Drivers, Start Your Engines" by: Harlem Globetrotters -- 3:18:00 p.m.: Start of the AAA Texas 500 (334 Laps / 501 Miles on ESPN) ON TRACK -- 3 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 (334 laps, 501 miles), ESPN ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 1:45 p.m.: Harlem Globetrotters (grand marshals) and Texas Rangers pitcher Derek Holland (honorary pace car driver) -- 6:45 p.m.: NSCS Post Race Press Conference THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30: ON TRACK -- 2-3 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice ( Get results ) -- 3:30-5 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice ( Get results ) FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31: ON TRACK -- noon-12:50 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 1-2:30 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 3:15 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 4:30-6 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series final practice, ESPN2 ( Get results ) -- 6:45 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, ESPN2 ( Get results ) -- 8:30 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino and Resort 350 (147 laps, 220.5 miles), FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) GARAGECAM PRESENTED BY MOBIL 1 ( Watch live ) -- 11:30 a.m.: Nationwide Series -- 12:30 p.m.: Sprint Cup Series PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 11 a.m.: Joey Logano -- 11:30 a.m.: Elliott Sadler -- noon: Ryan Newman -- 12:15 p.m.: Jimmie Johnson -- 2:45 p.m.: Chase Elliott -- 3 p.m.: Denny Hamlin -- 7:45 p.m.: NSCS Post Qualifying Press Conference -- 10:45 p.m.: NCWTS Post Race Press Conference SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1: ON TRACK -- 11-11:50 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 12:15 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 2 ( Get results ) -- 2-2:50 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice FOX Sports 2 ( Get results ) -- 3:30 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge ( 200 laps, 300 miles), ESPN ( Get results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 10:30 a.m.: James Buescher -- 5:45 p.m.: NNS Post Race Press Conference MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Fortune 500 company leverages partnership to continue driving business Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Daytona Beach, Fla. (March 23, 2015) — NASCAR® and Sherwin-Williams, the nation’s largest specialty retailer of paint and paint supplies, announced a three-year extension to their Official Partnership. The newly signed extension will designate Sherwin-Williams as the "Official Paint of NASCAR" through 2017. Sherwin-Williams, a FORTUNE 500 company, will continue to leverage its designation for architectural paint and the power of NASCAR’s intellectual property at its more than 4,000 stores nationwide and ignite the passion of its customers – many of whom are fiercely brand-loyal fans of the sport. "Our continued partnership with Sherwin-Williams is another example of FORTUNE 500 brands successfully using NASCAR as an integral part of their marketing mix," said Norris Scott, NASCAR vice president, Partnership Marketing. "Sherwin-Williams' integrated approach using our intellectual property, both at track and at retail has proven highly effective. We look forward to expanding the Sherwin-Williams relationship across its multiple business divisions." By continuing as an Official NASCAR Partner, Sherwin-Williams will also retain its designation in the 'Official Automotive Paint of NASCAR" and the "Official Transportation Finishes of NASCAR" categories. Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes division will further expand its visibility as one of the leading product innovators and servicers to the collision repair and original equipment industries. Sherwin-Williams is the only direct distribution automotive refinish manufacturer and provides service to its collision repair and OEM customers through nearly 200 company stores in the U.S. and Canada. "We're extremely excited and honored to continue and expand our role as the 'Official Automotive Paint of NASCAR,' " said Adam Chafe, vice president of Marketing for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. "Since 2000, some of the biggest names in motorsports have trusted their vehicles’ finish to Sherwin-Williams. We aim to help teams cross the finish line and ensure that their cars and sponsors always look their best on the track; that also holds true with every repair and repaint our collision repair center customers provide for their end customers." The designation as the "Official Transportation Finishes of NASCAR" will also help Sherwin-Williams further expand its visibility as one of the leading product innovators and servicers to the fleet refinishing, heavy truck and bus, aerospace and commercial manufacturing industries. "Today, more than a dozen NASCAR teams currently use Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes," said Bobby Moody, Director of Motorsports for Sherwin-Williams. "The 30-plus drivers who now use Sherwin-Williams have more than 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories between them and make up a virtual 'who's who' of NASCAR’s finest finishers." Through its renewal, Sherwin-Williams maintains its role as a Contingency Sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ and NASCAR Touring & Weekly Series. The NASCAR Contingency Program fosters strong relationships between competitors and the high quality, performance-driven brands that are leaders in their respective categories, and awards money to teams for each race and at the end of each racing season. As part of the Contingency Program, Sherwin-Williams will be title sponsor of the Fastest Lap Award in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In addition, Sherwin-Williams continues as a Proud Partner of the International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®), extending a partnership that began in 2013. For more information about Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes, or the brand’s motorsports program, visit www.sherwin-automotive.com or call 1-800-798-5872. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today
Storied paperclip oval was one of original tracks on NASCAR circuit Vote: Who will win at Martinsville? " Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series heads to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway this weekend, one of two annual treks to the legendary half-mile that have taken place for more than 65 years. Before Charlotte, Bristol, Texas or Talladega. Before Daytona or Darlington even, there was Martinsville. They were racing at Martinsville before NASCAR grew from an idea into reality. “Stock car racing makes its debut at the new Martinsville Speedway next Sunday afternoon when more than 35 of the nation’s leading drivers risk their necks and cars for over $2,000 in prize money. … The new track boasts the largest grandstand of any speedway in the South, a huge affair which will seat 10,000 spectators. The total capacity of the speedway is 20,000 people. Built at a cost of $85,000, the Martinsville Speedway is regarded as one of the finest half-mile dirt tracks in the United States.” The item appeared in one of the region’s daily newspapers. The date was Monday, Sept. 1, 1947. NASCAR was officially incorporated in February 1948. Built by local businessman H. Clay Earles, Martinsville hosted one of the eight original stops on the NASCAR Strictly Stock schedule in 1949. Before that, drivers who would become some of stock car racing’s earliest stars could be found hustling their way around the paperclip-shaped track. Red Byron, winner of the inaugural ’49 race, won the track’s first official event two years earlier, a 50-lap affair for Modified stock cars. Fonty Flock won there in ’48 just as NASCAR was getting started. One by one, the other tracks on the schedule that first season eventually fell by the wayside – Charlotte Speedway, Daytona’s beach and road course, Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsboro, North Carolina, Langhorne and Heidelberg (Pennsylvania), Hamburg (N.Y.) Speedway. Even North Wilkesboro, a staple from the start, eventually faded into the background when NASCAR departed after the ‘96 season. Martinsville, however, remains. “It means we, and by that I mean going back to when the place was built by my grandfather all the way through until now, are doing something right,” said Clay Campbell, grandson of the track’s founder and president of the facility since 1988. “A lot of guys that started close to the same time, obviously they aren’t around now. I think my grandfather had the vision to keep investing in the facility and doing things that were necessary not only from a fan standpoint but from a competitor’s standpoint and everything that he did, I think we’re pretty much following the same philosophy.” • • • “It was dirt to begin with,” Richard Petty said, easing back in the recliner inside his motorhome. “I never ran on it when it was dirt. My daddy did and he won some races.” Outside, cars are circling Phoenix International Raceway , site of the recently completed CampingWorld.com 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. PIR is roughly 2,000 miles from Martinsville, and Petty, now 77, is nearly as removed from his days as a championship driver. One of the five inaugural members of NASCAR’s Hall of Fame, Petty is the sport’s all-time leader in premier series wins with 200 and is one of only two drivers to win seven championships. He’s also a valuable link to NASCAR’s past. And Martinsville, much like the Petty family, is an unbroken piece of ribbon that has run through the sport from its earliest days. Petty’s father, Lee, was NASCAR’s first three-time champion. A Hall of Fame member as well, Lee Petty won 54 times. Three of those victories came at Martinsville – two when it was dirt and a third after the track was paved. “When they asphalted it (in ’55), it was completely different,” Richard Petty said. “When they re-did the track, they cleaned up the infield. When (NASCAR) ran there and it was dirt, there were bushes in the infield, a little creek running down through there. All that was there was the track. “Once they asphalted it, they didn’t just do the track, they cleaned up everything else. It was like a brand new track. It was shaped the same, but everything else was different.” The creek is still there today, running underneath the track and working its way from one end of the speedway to the other. Petty won 15 times at Martinsville, a record matched only by his success at North Wilkesboro. It’s no surprise that Martinsville remains a staple on the schedule after all these years. “Not really,” he said. “It’s just so different from any other track we run.” At 0.526 mile, it’s the shortest of the short tracks and unlike other venues, there’s only the slightest banking in the turns. Turn 43 cars loose all at one and it isn’t just close-quarters racing -- it’s the closest-quarters racing fans are likely to see all season long. “Back when we had drum brakes, the deal was being able to run 500 laps and have brakes when the race was over,” Petty said. “Probably wasn’t but two or three cars that had brakes that could stop the thing when it was over with. “It was just a good track for the way I drove and the way (crew chief) Dale Inman set up cars; we just had a good combination for that race track. We understood the track.” From 1967-73, Petty won 10 times at Martinsville, including five straight starts between ’68-71. “We spent more time working on the brakes that week than we did on getting (the car) to handle or run fast,” Petty said. “From our strategy standpoint … a lot of times we didn’t race that hard. We saved our brakes, stayed in the race. But as far as going out and trying to lead all the laps and everything, that wasn’t our deal. It was more of a survival track. Over a period of time they got the brakes better and it got to where you had to race all the time.” • • • The lone block concession stand in the infield is one of the few reminders of Martinsville’s past. “The last piece of history,” Campbell said. “It goes back as far as the ‘60s, probably longer than that.” Other structures have been upgraded or replaced through the years. The sport has changed, and those that follow it have as well. Keeping up with the fast-paced sport, and everything it entails “is difficult,” Campbell said, “but therein lies the fun part of the business and the challenge of it. “It’s no different than the competitors – they have to keep changing to newer things and keep up with the pace; and the same thing for the facilities. Fortunately now with us being a part of ISC and a bigger global picture we’re more in touch with things that we need from a social media standpoint, Wi-Fi and on and on and on. Things we now have and things we’re exploring for the future.” International Speedway Corp. owns 12 of the 23 tracks hosting NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in 2015. The company purchased the speedway in 2004. Nearly 170 tracks have hosted one or more NASCAR premier series races since that inaugural 1949 season, from Airborne to Wine Creek, Auto Club to Watkins Glen. Most are now gone. Martinsville, one of the very first, is still there. “We’re very fortunate that we had the things we needed and on are par with most of the others so we can keep on moving right along,” Campbell said. “Things like the garage, access roads coming in, the (Turn 4) tunnel, the suites, and things of that nature. “Luckily, as time went on with my grandfather, he didn’t sit still and that was a good thing. Because had he done that we’d be playing catch-up, and now’s not the time to be playing catch-up.” MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, and Kevin Harvick talk about the finishing laps of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.
• 2014 Season In Review Also Features Year In Photos, Video Highlights Package FORT WORTH, Texas (December 16, 2014) - The year at Texas Motor Speedway opened with pyrotechnics celebrating the unveiling of the world's largest, high-definition LED video board in March and culminated in November with additional fireworks courtesy of the post-race melee involving combatants Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 Eliminator 8 Chase race. There also was plenty of action and excitement in between as Texas Motor Speedway played host to its annual Duck Commander 500 NASCAR doubleheader in April, Firestone 600 INDYCAR/NASCAR twin bill in June and played host to its inaugural Red Bull Air Race World Championship event in September. The Texas Motor Speedway 2014 Season In Review recaps those major event weekends, in addition to the momentous "Big Hoss TV" unveiling, while the accompanying Texas Motor Speedway Year in Photos captures all those key moments in addition to other noteworthy speedway-related events throughout the year. The Texas Motor Speedway Year in Photos features 90 images - primarily from the speedway's official photo agency Getty Images - that were chosen for their significance and/or artistic value and are presented in chronological order. A three-minute video recap of the top on-track moments, including the AAA Texas 500 post-race skirmish, also is available in HD by clicking here. All photos and video are free for media outlets to utilize, especially for their year-end, wrap-ups and can be previewed by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com or downloaded by visiting www.image.net/tmsinreview2014 . Let's take a look back: "Big Hoss TV" Unveiling / Wednesday, March 19 The Skinny: The world's largest, high-definition LED video board is unveiled amid fanfare and will be one of the most impactful fan enhancements in the history of Texas Motor Speedway and the world of motorsports. The Recap: Texas Motor Speedway unveiled the world's largest, high-definition LED video board in grand fashion as the evening featured fireworks, motorsports stars, reality television celebrities, dignitaries and the showing of an episode from A&E's hit reality show "Duck Dynasty" for more than 8,000 fans situated in the infield of the world-class sports facility. The official debut of the Panasonic-built "Big Hoss TV" was part of a star-studded evening that included appearances by Duck Commander CEO and "Duck Dynasty" star Willie Robertson and his wife, Korie, along with the heralded racing duo of NASCAR's Kyle Busch and INDYCAR's Helio Castroneves. Also in attendance were dignitaries such as NASCAR President Mike Helton, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles, Panasonic Eco Solutions North America Vice President Richard Ballard, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith, SMI President and COO Marcus Smith and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. Positioned in the middle of the backstretch and stretching 218 feet wide by 94.6 feet tall, "Big Hoss TV" features 20,633.64 square feet of HD LED imagery that contains 281 trillion colors. The video board, constructed in just four months, surpassed fellow Speedway Motorsports, Inc. facility Charlotte Motor Speedway (16,000 square feet) as the Guinness World Record holder for the world's largest HD LED video board. The size of "Big Hoss TV" is staggering as it is 79 percent larger than the video board at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, which is 11,520 square feet. "It is the ultimate fan amenity," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "To have the biggest one in the world, that's just one of those 'Everything is Bigger in Texas' stories that we are really proud to be a part of." NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 / Monday, April 7 The Skinny: Rain forces a Monday matinee for only the third time in speedway history and Joey Logano wins the Duck Commander 500 for an automatic berth in the reformatted Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . The Recap: With Duck Commander on board as the title sponsor and the "Duck Dynasty" stars on hand en masse, the weather was more conducive for duck hunting that NASCAR racing. The Duck Commander 500 , moved from its Saturday night slot to Sunday afternoon to avoid a conflict with the NCAA Final Four men's college basketball tourney being in Arlington, was washed out due to continual rain showers and rescheduled for a Monday matinee. It was just the third time in Texas Motor Speedway 's 18-year history that a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was run on Monday due to inclement weather, the most recent coming in 2010 when both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races were run on the same day. Penske Racing's Joey Logano punched his ticket for a berth in the restructured Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format after surviving a green/white-checkered finish to win the Duck Commander 500 . Logano was cruising to victory with a two-second lead over teammate Brad Keselowski with just over one lap remaining in the scheduled 334-lap event, but a caution for debris forced a two-lap overtime shootout. Logano restarted third after pitting for four tires while Jeff Gordon and Brian Vickers opted for two tires and restarted first and second, respectively. Gordon held off Logano on the first lap, but Logano got a strong run inside on the frontstretch and was able to overtake him in Turn 1 and pull away to a 0.476 of a second margin of victory in the race that was extended to 340 laps. The victory was Logano's first since August of 2013 at Michigan and the fourth of his career. It also was his first Sprint Cup win at Texas Motor Speedway , which was highlighted by him becoming the youngest Cup winner in TMS history at 23 years, 10 months and 14 days. NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 / Friday, April 4 The Skinny: Rookie Chase Elliott , the 18-year-old son of NASCAR great Bill Elliott , lands his first career Nationwide Series victory in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 to become the second-youngest winner in series history. The Recap: Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 provided a historic milestone for a second-generation NASCAR driver and a glimpse into the talent that would flourish and lead to a series championship. Rookie Chase Elliott , the 18-year-old high school senior and son of NASCAR great Bill Elliott , needed just six starts in the Nationwide Series for his first career win that came in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 . Elliott made a bold move on the high side of Kevin Harvick in the elbow of the frontstretch to take the lead on Lap 185 and then held on for a 2.251-second victory over Kyle Busch in the 200 -lap event. Elliott became the second-youngest winner in series history at 18 years, 4 months and 8 days. Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 / Saturday, June 7 The Skinny: Will Power's late pit lane penalty opens the door for Ed Carpenter to capture the Firestone 600 and become the first American winner at TMS since Sam Hornish Jr . in 2007. The Recap: The annual INDYCAR/NASCAR summer doubleheader yielded two first-time Texas Motor Speedway winners as Matt Crafton won the Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350 and Ed Carpenter was victorious in the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600. Carpenter took advantage of a strong second-half race performance and a critical late pit lane penalty by Will Power to record his first series victory since 2012 in the Firestone 600. The victory was the third of Carpenter's career and his first since winning the 2012 season finale at Fontana. In his previous 12 starts at Texas Motor Speedway , he had just one top-five finish and led one lap (2009) before breaking through to become the first American to win at Texas since Sam Hornish Jr . in 2007. Carpenter led 66 of the final 67 laps of the 248-lap event and avoided a potential shootout for the win with Power, who was running second when he was caught speeding in pit lane on his final green-flag pit stop. With 36 to go, Carpenter and Power pitted together and came out 1-2, but Power received a drive-thru penalty for speeding and fell a lap down. Carpenter suddenly had a nine-plus second cushion over second-place Tony Kanaan and was coasting to victory with an 18.5-second lead before a final caution came out with seven laps remaining. The race became a two-lap shootout and Carpenter was able to stave off Juan Pablo Montoya and the hard-charging Power, who moved from sixth to second and finished 0.52 of a second behind Carpenter. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 / Friday, June 6 The Skinny: Defending Camping World Truck Series champ Matt Crafton snaps a 26-race winless streak at TMS with a dominant victory in the WinStar World Casino & Resort 400. The Recap: Defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton had it easy compared to Verizon IndyCar Series driver Ed Carpenter in earning his first career win at Texas Motor Speedway . He led a career-best 118 laps en route to the victory in the WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 that snapped a 26-race winless streak at the speedway. Crafton led 118 of the 167 laps - the most he led in a single race in his 14-year career - and cruised to a 13.302-second victory over runner-up Justin Lofton . It was the fifth win of Crafton's career and second of the season, marking the first time in his career that he had recorded multiple wins in a season. His dominant performance established a track record for largest margin of victory in that series, eclipsing the previous mark of 11.817 seconds set by Dennis Setzer in this event in 2004. Red Bull Air Race World Championship / Saturday, Sept. 6, & Sunday, Sept. 7 The Skinny: Texas Motor Speedway plays host to the first race in the United States since 2010 for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, which returned to competition after a three-year hiatus. The Recap: The Red Bull Air Race World Championship made its return to the United States for the first time since 2010 as Texas Motor Speedway played host to the sixth stage of the eight-event international plane racing series. Before a crowd of more than 20,000 for the first of two U.S. stops, Frenchman Nicolas Ivanoff captured his first victory of the season in the elite Master Class on the challenging, seven air gate, 3.7-mile course that was built in the infield of the motorsports venue. Ivanoff posted an individual two-lap run of 54.118 seconds to defeat Great Britain's Nigel Lamb, Canada's Pete McLeod and Germany's Matthias Dolderer in the Final 4 showdown on Sunday. Ivanoff gave his country a sweep of the weekend competition as fellow Frenchman Mikael Brageot won the Challenger Cup race the day prior. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 / Sunday, Nov. 2 The Skinny: A post-race confrontation between Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski and ensuing melee steals national headlines from six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson winning the AAA Texas 500 for a third year in a row. The Recap : With the remaining eight Chase for NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers looking to win the AAA Texas 500 and automatically advance to the championship round, six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson played the role of spoiler as he won the Eliminator 8 race in a dramatic second green/white-checkered overtime finish. Johnson, eliminated from championship contention in the previous round, won the AAA Texas 500 for a record third consecutive year, but it was the post-race scuffle that made national headlines the following day. While Johnson was celebrating his track-record fourth Cup win with burnouts on the frontstretch, chaos ensued on pit lane after an angry Jeff Gordon confronted Brad Keselowski and a fray quickly developed between the Chase contenders. Fellow Chase competitor Kevin Harvick pushed Keselowski while Gordon was jawing with him and the situation quickly escalated as the crews got involved and transformed into a melee. The disagreement stemmed from the first GWC finish, where Gordon took the restart with the lead and Johnson beside him on the front row. Johnson grabbed the lead when a bold move by Keselowski resulted in contact with Gordon, which ultimately led to a flat tire, contact with the wall and a 29th-place finish that would derail his title aspirations. The caution flew for Gordon that set up the second GWC finish, where Keselowski found himself lining up front against the leader Johnson on the restart. Johnson, on the inside, maintained the lead on the restart while Keselowski found himself also trying to fend off a charging Harvick. Harvick got past Keselowski on that lap but didn't have enough time to chase down Johnson, who won by 0.513 of a second for his fourth victory of the season and 70th of his career. Johnson led nine times for 191 laps, but a record 13 cautions continually bunched the field as well as changed race strategies to give a number of drivers a shot at the victory.Johnson, Harvick and Keselowski took the top three positions, respectively, while Kyle Busch , who was looking to sweep all three NASCAR races after truck and Nationwide wins earlier, finished fourth. NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge / Saturday, Nov. 1 The Skinny: Kyle Busch gives Joe Gibbs Racing its 100th career Nationwide Series win and sets his sights on rare NASCAR tripleheader weekend sweep after winning the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge . The Recap: Kyle Busch added to the weekend drama and intrigue when he secured the second leg of a rare NASCAR tripleheader weekend sweep with a win in the Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge . Busch completed the Nationwide Series/ Camping World Truck Series sweep for the second time in his career at Texas Motor Speedway , with the first coming in the fall of 2009. That only left Sunday's AAA Texas 500 as the missing prize for the triple, which had only been accomplished by Busch (Bristol 2010) in the history of NASCAR. Busch extended his record for career Nationwide Series victories at Texas Motor Speedway by adding his seventh with a 1.562-second win over Joey Logano . Busch, who led six times for a race-high 116 laps, and Logano, who led five times for 59 laps, exchanged the lead six times over the final 85 laps in the 200 -lap event before Busch took control late. It also was his seventh NNS victory of the season, 70th in his career and a milestone 100th for Joe Gibbs Racing . NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 / Friday, Oct. 31 The Skinny: Kyle Busch wins the WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 as Kyle Busch Motorsports ties the Camping World Truck Series record for most victories in a season. The Recap: Kyle Busch , competing in all three NASCAR races during the weekend and chasing a rare sweep, endured a green/white-checkered overtime finish to secure the first leg with a victory in the WinStar World Casino & Resort 350. Busch, who led a race-high 80 of 152 laps, was cruising to victory when two late cautions put a scare into his bid to secure his seventh win in just nine NCWTS starts this season. Following the final caution that led to the two-lap shootout, Busch got a strong restart on the outside of leader German Quiroga and took command of the lead coming out of Turn 2. He was pulling away with one lap to go when Quiroga hit the wall in Turn 2 to force the conclusion of the final lap to finish under caution. Busch's series-leading seventh win was his third truck victory at Texas Motor Speedway that pushed his career total in the series to 42. It also was the 12th victory overall for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 20 starts this season, tying the series record for season victories set by Ultra Motorsports in 2001. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Post-Race Reactions by Austin Dillon, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Brian Vickers, Sam Hornish Jr and Justin Allgaier after the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.
First decade in NASCAR includes five driver titles, nearly 300 wins RELATED: Enter Chase Grid Live Sweepstakes " Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today The words came loud and fast over the public address system. "Who wants to see Chevy win today?" the announcer screamed, drawing plenty of cheers from the crowd assembled at Michigan International Speedway . "Who wants to see Ford win?" More cheers. The fans, it seemed, were split. And then came something new, as the crowd was asked how many were hoping for a Toyota victory at the 2-mile track. "You heard a lot of noise. Yeah, we were not the most popular manufacturer at Michigan," recalled Dave Wilson, president and general manager for Toyota Racing Development, USA. "But to win there was really special." The year was 2004, and it was the debut season for Toyota, the newest automaker in one of NASCAR's top three national series. Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford teams competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series suddenly found a newcomer in their midst. They soon found a newcomer in Victory Lane as well, as Travis Kvapil , competing for Bang Racing, won the Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliners 200 that July day at MIS. It was the first victory for Toyota in one of NASCAR's three national series. By season's end, the manufacturer had been to Victory Lane three more times. The following year, Toyota teams scored nine more victories, and in 2006, Todd Bodine claimed the series' championship with Germain Racing. Toyota also clinched its first manufacturer's title. But long before the championships, and likely even before Kvapil's win, the question was already being raised. "The icing on the cake, once we started racing in the Truck Series," Wilson said, "was when we started hearing from our own (TRD) team members and from the folks at the plant, from dealers -- and what they were saying was 'this is awesome; when are we going to go Cup racing? When are we going to go to the Show?' " It wasn't a "foregone conclusion" that Toyota would eventually begin supporting teams at the Sprint Cup level, he said. "We thought we would. We aspired to. We had to sell it into our management group that this was the right place for us." Ten years after its debut, it's a question that's no longer asked. Bang Racing's Travis Kvapil and members of Toyota Racing Development celebrate the manufacturer's first NASCAR national series at Michigan International Speedway in 2004 following a win with his Toyota Tundra in the Camping World Truck Series Courtesy of Toyota Racing • • • Two concerns hung over Toyota as it prepared to launch its NASCAR program. The first, coming from outside the company, was that the hugely successful group would simply come into the sport with an open wallet and purchase the best teams, drivers and crews. However, Toyota officials took just the opposite approach, in most cases reaching out to those who were interested in starting brand-new teams and building from the ground up. According to reports at the time, as many as 84 potential and existing teams either were courted by Toyota officials, or approached Toyota themselves as the automaker prepared to enter the Truck Series. Eventually, only four organizations were chosen -- Bang Racing, Darrell Waltrip Motorsports, Innovative Motorsports and Bill Davis Racing. That might have quelled some concerns, but it also meant the newest player would face tremendous growing pains. Two of the first four organizations, Bang Racing and Innovative Motorsports, would last only through that inaugural season. "They didn't want to buy their way into the sport; they wanted to have new owners," said Michael Waltrip , younger brother of Darrell and one of the first Sprint Cup team owners with Toyota backing. "They wanted to help grow the sport, and I think their presence here has grown the sport immensely. Not only new car owners like myself, but new fans, a different demographic of people who maybe drove Toyotas started watching NASCAR and maybe folks that were NASCAR fans decided that they thought it would be OK to drive a Toyota since Toyota was here." The second concern came from within -- building acceptance in what is still considered a uniquely American sport. Toyota officials knew there would be some backlash from some fans. "We did a lot of research," Wilson said. "We talked to a lot of fans before we ever turned a wheel in this sport. Our management was very sensitive to how we overcome this potential resistance that the fan base may have to a 'foreign' company. "We had a certain reputation, whether it was perception or real, that we would come into the sport and spend too much money, that we would ruin the sport." Coming in through the Truck Series, he said, gave the company a chance "to just start building those relationships. Not just within the NASCAR community but within the NASCAR fan community." Tom DeLoach, owner of Red Horse Racing, said the brand was "kind of semi-loved and kind of semi-unloved" when it arrived on the scene. DeLoach, who had been a co-owner of a Sprint Cup team before making the move into the Truck Series, had years of experience in working with global companies during his tenure with Mobil. "I worked internationally so I appreciate the international piece. When Mobil went into Formula One racing, we married up with Mercedes. So for me, an international manufacturer, I'm fine with it, because I see that we're in the international economy. So let's don't get all bent out of shape because of American vs. non-American. "You look at where the jobs are, where they build the cars, where you create the jobs. And if you go back and look at what Toyota's done, it was a lot of noise, but when you cut through the noise, it's 'Hey, the jobs are in the United States.' They build a lot of cars in the United States. That creates a lot of jobs in the United States. That always frustrated me when I saw that." In 2013, Matt Crafton (ThorSport Racing) became the third Toyota driver to win the Truck Series title. It was his first title and the manufacturer also won its sixth championship. Crafton, whose teams fielded Chevrolet entries until making the switch in 2012, said he saw first-hand what the addition of Toyota brought to the series, and to NASCAR. "I was on the other side of the fence at that point," Crafton said. "One of the things ... I had seen was in the previous seasons before Toyota came in, the other manufacturers had pulled back so much. We didn't get hardly anything. They did help us a little, but not much. As soon as Toyota came in, (the other manufacturers) stepped it up. Because they didn't want to have the new kid on the block come in and beat them up. I saw that. It was huge. "Even when I wasn't driving for Toyota, I said it was great because it made everyone else step up their support." Jason Leffler drives his Braun Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry to victory in 2007 at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis for the manufacturer's first Nationwide win. Courtesy of Toyota Racing • • • The 2007 racing season was one of change for NASCAR. Not only was the Sprint Cup Series debuting a new car, labeled the Car of Tomorrow, for the first time, but Toyota was joining the ranks of Nationwide and Sprint Cup teams as well. The company's approach hadn't changed -- find new owners and build from the ground up. For Sprint Cup, that meant aligning with Michael Waltrip Racing and Red Bull Racing. A third team, Bill Davis Racing, was the lone group already in the sport, and made the switch from Dodge to Toyota. "They paid a price for that (approach)," said MWR driver Brian Vickers . "It took a while for teams like Red Bull and MWR to really get going. But ... I think they earned a lot of respect for doing that, and if they didn't, they should have. Anyone that didn't respect that just probably wasn't ... you weren't going to get them anyway. Their mind was already made up." While Toyota teams had 13 victories and won 17 poles in the Truck Series in '07, as well as a pair of wins and four poles in Nationwide, the Sprint Cup efforts produced only a pair of top-five finishes. But from a timing standpoint, the move into Nationwide and Cup was on target, according to Wilson. "This was us working in concert with NASCAR," he said. "We had a timeline. We came into Nationwide and Cup in the same year. I remember having the conversation with NASCAR; there may have been a consideration to push our entry back one year because ... the COT came on board (that year). "It would have been cleaner, and less expensive for us, to come in in 2008. But NASCAR wanted us there in '07. We wanted to be there in '07. But it really came together pretty much as we hoped it would." Then, in 2008, Toyota added another team to its roster -- Joe Gibbs Racing . Four races into the new season, JGR driver Kyle Busch scored the first Sprint Cup victory for Toyota, winning the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway . "That was special," Wilson said. "It was first Cup win, that's a given, but really behind that, what makes it special is that Joe Gibbs, his family, his organization, they took a leap of faith. This is an organization that had already won three national championships with Chevy, had been with Chevy for 14 years. Certainly through 2007, we hadn't established ourselves; we were learning, learning about what it was going to take to win. "To have that validation, to put those guys in the winner's circle, I think Kyle won eight races that year, there was a tremendous sense of validation with that." For Gibbs, the switch from Chevrolet to Toyota wasn't made in haste. The team owner is fiercely loyal to the organization's sponsors, and aligning with Toyota was a huge move. "I think what made it difficult was we had 15 years with GM," said Gibbs. "You go through so many things when you're in a racing program -- there are extreme highs, extreme lows, you win championships. So you develop all those relationships and partnerships, so it's hard when you've got to make a decision like that. "But we felt like after analyzing it, if you really look at the lineup inside GM, Rick Hendrick ( Hendrick Motorsports ) was in there and had won championships, Childress ( Richard Childress Racing ) had won many championships, and had been there longer than we had. We felt like moving to Toyota -- this is a very competitive world -- it gave us a better chance to distinguish ourselves and maybe be an elite team for a manufacturer that racing means a lot to. "Certainly I think this partnership for us has been great. It was the right decision; we all feel that, way, a hard one but the right one." Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch celebrates Toyota's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in 2008 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Courtesy of Getty Images • • • Today, Toyota supports seven organizations fielding 18 teams in one or more of NASCAR's top series -- Sprint Cup, Nationwide and the Camping World Truck Series. In 10 years, those teams have combined for 281 victories, five driver championships and nine manufacturer titles. Although they've yet to walk away with the biggest prize, a Sprint Cup championship, Toyota drivers have finished second in the standings three times in the last four years. "This isn't something we try on for size," Wilson said. "NASCAR isn't going away. For us, where I knew that we did our job in getting that understanding is 2004, our first in the Truck Series, ... at the time our president Mr. (Yukitoshi) Funo coined the phrase that we will be in NASCAR for 100 years. "It's a figurative statement. ... It's an understanding of the sport and it's an understanding of the cultural relevance that the sport has in this country. It has nothing to do with whether we stay or go but as long as NASCAR is around, we're going to be around. That's very much the mentality." Oh you know just hanging out @toyotaracing pitpass waiting for @BubbaWallace #ItsBristolBaby pic.twitter.com/0w2RqFPME1 — Megan (@mnreed6) August 20, 2014 • First season of competition: 2007 • First pole: July 1, 2007, Dave Blaney, Bill Davis Racing, New Hampshire Motor Speedway • First win: March 9, 2008, Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Atlanta Motor Speedway • Driver championships: 0 • Manufacturer championships: 0 • Wins in series: 65 (through Sept. 3, 2014) • First season of competition: 2007 • First pole: Feb. 24, 2007, Dave Blaney, Braun Racing, Auto Club Speedway • First win: July 28, 2007, Jason Leffler, Braun Racing, O'Reilly Raceway Park (Indianapolis) • Driver championships: 1 (Kyle Busch, 2009) • Manufacturer championships: 3 (2008, '09, '10) • Wins in series: 93 (through Sept. 3, 2014) • First season of competition: 2004 • First pole: March 13, 2004, David Reutimann, Darrell Waltrip Motorsports, Atlanta Motor Speedway • First win: July 31, 2004, Travis Kvapil, Bang Racing, Michigan International Speedway • Driver championships: 4 (Todd Bodine, 2006, '10; Johnny Benson, '08; Matt Crafton, '13) • Manufacturer championships: 6 ('06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '13) • Wins in series: 123 (through Sept. 3, 2014)
Kevin Harvick finishes second for eighth straight top-two finish RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings FONTANA, Calif. -- After Sunday's Auto Club 400 , there may be a warrant issued for Brad Keselowski . After all, the driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford committed his own version of "Grand Theft Auto" at Auto Club Speedway -- he stole an entire race. Benefitting from a four-tire call on the last lap of regulation and two opportune cautions that extended the event nine laps beyond its scheduled distance, Keselowski passed polesitter Kurt Busch on the final lap (209) and pulled away to win his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season. Trying to make one last desperation run at Keselowski, Busch scraped the wall in the final corner at the two-mile track, allowing Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick to pass him for the runner-up spot. Keselowski arrived at the finish line .711 seconds ahead of Harvick, simultaneously taking the checkered flag and leading his first lap of the day. The 2012 champion, who led the series with six victories last year, recorded his first victory at Fontana -- and his first finish higher than 18th -- and the 17th of his career. "At the end, we caught some breaks, made the most of the breaks we caught," Keselowski said. "That was kind of the story of our race. It looked like we were probably going to finish sixth or seventh. That yellow came out (on Lap 185 for debris). We came in and pitted and drove up a little bit, then caught another yellow. Now what do we do? "So (crew chief) Paul (Wolfe) made the call to come down pit road and put four tires on. When he said that, I said, 'This can either go really good or really bad.' Didn't know which one it was going to be. Some guys stayed out, some guys took two tires, all different types of strategies on the restart. "We were able to find our way through the lanes and get to the front there, somehow end up in Victory Lane leading the last lap. Kind of a race car driver's dream. This is one we're going to sit back and go 'Wow!' for a while." Keselowski can call it a break, but it was theft, pure and simple. Aside from a stretch before the halfway point where Denny Hamlin got out front in clean air and led 56 laps, the cars of Busch and Harvick dominated the race, leading 65 and 34 laps, respectively. But Keselowski’s Wolfe made what turned out to be the winning call on Lap 200 , after NASCAR called the sixth caution of the race because of debris in Turn 4. Opting for four new tires, where the vast majority of the field took right sides only for track position, Keselowski restarted 18th on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered-flag finish on Lap 203. The No. 2 Fusion quickly moved forward. When Kyle Larson lost his bumper cover during a melee on the restart, NASCAR threw caution No. 7, and by then, Keselowski was already up to seventh place. Using the new tires to full advantage, Keselowski shot into second place like a lightning bolt after a green-white-checkered restart on Lap 208. As Greg Biffle crashed on the frontstretch on the white-flag lap, Keselowski rocketed past Busch off Turn 2 and pulled away for the win. Busch came home third, followed by Richard Childress Racing teammates Paul Menard and Ryan Newman . Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Joey Logano , Martin Truex Jr ., Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon completed the top 10. Having won at Las Vegas and Phoenix in the previous two races, Harvick fell one position shy of completing a sweep of NASCAR's three-race West Coast swing, but he could commiserate with Busch, who was trying to win for the first time this season after serving a three-race suspension. "I hate that the 41 (Busch) wasn't able to hold on for the win there," said Harvick, who posted his eighth straight top-two finish, dating to last year, and extended his series lead over Logano to 28 points. "I would have loved to see those guys get their first win. "But you never know how the strategy is going to play out here. There's so many cars on the lead lap, you didn't want to get buried in there (by taking four tires). One little bad move for Brad, he would have been stuck in the middle of that traffic. But it all worked out for him. The second restart, he was in prime position up on the outside with fresh tires." Busch was disappointed but philosophical about the result. "It was a solid day," Busch said. "I don't know what we could have done different. We just got pinned in by the yellows and the sequence at the end on which tires we needed to have to optimize how many laps were left. "We had two tires; Keselowski had four. We didn't need that extra yellow at the end. That last restart, I just didn't get the job done, and I just got out muscled by Keselowski." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today All-time consecutive top-two finishes Streak Driver Year 11 Richard Petty 1975 10 Richard Petty 1971 10 Richard Petty 1967 9 Richard Petty 1964 8 Kevin Harvick 2014-15 8 David Pearson 1968
Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth: 99 laps led, two finishes outside top 25 RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings FONTANA, Calif. -- Denny Hamlin went into Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway looking for redemption. But what he found was ill-timed misfortune. After leading 56 laps, the second-highest total of the race, Hamlin suffered a pit road penalty on Lap 186 when an uncontrolled tire left his pit box, dropping the Joe Gibbs Racing driver from third to 30th. "We worked our way up to the top five and then the top three and then had a penalty," Hamlin said on pit road following his 28th-place finish. "You just can't come back from that. There ain't nobody in the field with a fast enough car to come back from that. We had (a penalty) at an inopportune time and it just led to a bad finish and we blew up at the end, so that topped everything off." Last week at Phoenix International Raceway , Hamlin received a pit road penalty on Lap 68 for a crewmember being over the wall too soon, and after the Virginia native received the penalty this week he came over his radio to express his displeasure. "This better not be two weeks in a row, I'm telling you," Hamlin radioed to his team. "We can't catch a (expletive) break." Hamlin had high hopes of shaking his California calamities after fracturing his L1 vertebra in 2013 on a last-lap wreck when battling Joey Logano -- an injury that sidelined him for the four races that followed. And last year, Hamlin qualified 13th at Fontana, but had to be replaced in his No. 11 Toyota when he experienced vision issues that was later found to be caused from a piece of metal lodged into his eye. Hamlin wasn't the only JGR driver who experienced pit road mishaps, either. Both the No. 20 of Matt Kenseth and the No. 19 of Carl Edwards also saw setbacks. After leading 43 laps, Kenseth went to pit road as the leader on Lap 185 and left with four tires and a damaged axle when the jack dropped, resulting in a mechanical failure and a 31st-place finish. He had logged two pit stops of fewer than 11 seconds before that incident. "I let the clutch out to go and the axle broke," Kenseth explained. "I don't know why. I didn't do anything different than we ever do, so it just broke. "I don't think that's (bad) luck. An axle breaking is either a faulty part or not the right part or not the gear ratio or -- there's usually a reason. We busted one last year -- somebody did, one of our cars -- and I don't know that we ever figured out why and then we just broke another one, so it's certainly something you've got to get a handle on. You can't break parts. Nobody breaks parts anymore, so you can't afford to do it obviously." Edwards was penalized on Lap 200 (the race was extended to 209 laps due to two attempts at a green-white-checkered finish) for being too fast on pit road, but he was able to work his way back up from the rear to finish 13th. "That was a hard-fought race," Edwards said. "I got a speeding penalty toward the end and put us back in the back and made it back up to 13th. A great group effort by my guys with the backup car. Even though we couldn't get a win, to put that effort forth was huge." Coincidentally, the only JGR driver who didn't have trouble on pit road spun out on the track. David Ragan , who is still filling in for an injured Kyle Busch in the No. 18, brought out the first caution of the day when Jeff Gordon took the air off Ragan's Toyota. Ragan ultimately finished 18th. Through five races none of the JGR drivers are in the top 10 in points. Kenseth is currently the highest-running driver in the team sitting 13th in the driver standings with Hamlin and David Ragan following in 14th and 15th, respectively. JGR newcomer Edwards is close in 17th. Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Martinsville Speedway , where Hamlin has earned four wins, nine top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 18 career Cup starts. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule