Elliott Sadler, Johnny Sauter and others comment on a wild night in Thunder Valley.
Smith, Sadler, Blaney and Suarez advance to Dash 4 Cash at Bristol SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- Regan Smith 's eighth place finish in Saturday's Lilly Diabetes 250 XFINITY Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway wasn't the victory he'd hoped for, but Smith and his JR Motorsports team was still able to celebrate having gotten one step closer to winning a million dollars in the series' Dash 4 Cash incentive program. While race winner Kyle Busch was hoisting trophies nearby in victory lane, Smith accepted a check for $100,000 as the second round winner of the Dash4Cash program. He also collected $100,000 on May 30, after winning the first round at Dover, Delaware. Any driver who wins the first three Dash 4 Cash awards then wins the final round race outright -- Sept. 5 at Darlington -- would total $1 million for the effort. Smith bettered championship leader Chris Buescher , Chase Elliott and Brendan Gaughan to claim Saturday's portion of the winnings. Smith, along with Indianapolis' runner-up Ryan Blaney , third place finisher Daniel Suarez and fifth place finisher Elliott Sadler now advance and are eligible for the third round of competition Aug. 21 at Bristol Motor Speedway. "We had three battles we were fighting today,'' Smith said standing alongside his No. 7 AmericasPower.org Chevy covered in pretend dollar bills. "First and foremost we wanted to win the race and we weren't capable of doing that today. We knew that so then we wanted to win the money and gain points on the 60-car and we did both of those things today and that's what we've got to keep doing every week. "I know as a company we're working hard to get going further forward. "I thought we could have been anywhere from 6th to 10th . We'll take that and we're going to bust our ass the rest of the year." Smith, last year's championship runner-up sits fourth in the rankings entering next week's XFINITY Series race at Iowa Speedway. He trails Buescher by 51 points. In the meantime, Smith joked that he already had an idea how to spend at least a portion of his now $ 200 ,000 Dash 4 Cash effort. "I'd like to buy a cool box, I'm really hot right now," he joked with a big smile. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
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
See where drivers finished in the race at Gateway Motorsports Park NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race - American Ethanol presents the Drivin' for Linemen 200 brought to you by Ameren Gateway Motorsports Park Madison, Illinois Saturday, June 13, 2015 1. (2) Cole Custer , Chevrolet, 160 2. (14) Spencer Gallagher #, Chevrolet, 160 3. (4) Johnny Sauter , Toyota, 160 4. (12) John H. Nemechek #, Chevrolet, 160 5. (9) Cameron Hayley #, Toyota, 160 6. (13) Timothy Peters , Toyota, 160 7. (15) Ben Kennedy , Toyota, 160 8. (6) Tyler Reddick , Ford, 160 9. (7) Daniel Hemric #, Chevrolet, 160 10. (10) Austin Theriault #, Ford, 160 11. (11) John Wes Townley , Chevrolet, 160 12. (5) Brandon Jones #, Chevrolet, 160 13. (18) Ray Black Jr . #, Chevrolet, 160 14. (20) Travis Kvapil , Chevrolet, 160 15. (17) Tyler Young , Chevrolet, 160 16. (21) Tyler Tanner , Chevrolet, 159 17. (28) Ryan Ellis , Chevrolet, 157 18. (23) Timmy Hill , Chevrolet, 157 19. (27) Jordan Anderson , Chevrolet, 156 20. (25) Jennifer Jo Cobb , Chevrolet, 156 21. (3) Matt Crafton , Toyota, Accident, 151 22. (24) Korbin Forrister #, Chevrolet, 148 23. (1) Erik Jones #, Toyota, Electrical, 145 24. (26) Tommy Regan , Chevrolet, Electrical, 108 25. (8) Matt Tifft , Toyota, Accident, 92 26. (29) Norm Benning , Chevrolet, Brakes, 56 27. (19) Justin Boston #, Toyota, Accident, 51 28. (16) Mason Mingus , Chevrolet, Accident, 51 29. (22) Justin Jennings , Chevrolet, Brakes, 26 30. (31) Michael Affarano (i), Chevrolet, Brakes, 13 31. (30) Adam Edwards , Chevrolet, Brakes, 6 32. (32) Joey Gattina, Chevrolet, Engine, 0 Average Speed of Race Winner: 96.97 mph. Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 03 Mins, 45 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.871 Seconds. Caution Flags: 6 for 35 laps. Lead Changes: 9 among 5 drivers. Lap Leaders: E. Jones # 1-55; M. Crafton 56-62; E. Jones # 63-82; M. Crafton 83-93; J. Sauter 94-97; C. Custer 98-110; E. Jones # 111-119; M. Crafton 120-150; T. Reddick 151-154; C. Custer 155-160. Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): E. Jones # 3 times for 84 laps; M. Crafton 3 times for 49 laps; C. Custer 2 times for 19 laps; T. Reddick 1 time for 4 laps; J. Sauter 1 time for 4 laps. Top 10 in Points: M. Crafton - 329; T. Reddick - 317; J. Sauter - 299; E. Jones # - 296; J. Townley - 260; C. Hayley # - 254; S. Gallagher # - 251; D. Hemric # - 246; T. Peters - 245; B. Kennedy - 238.
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
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)
Roush Fenway Racing driver visited Boys & Girls Club on Thursday LOUDON, N.H. -- When Ryan Reed was but a little tyke tagging along while his father, Mark, competed in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West off and on throughout the early 2000s, the XFINITY Series driver had the privilege of meeting his hero -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . "I was able to meet a few of the drivers (growing up) and I was at the race track a lot and he was racing … so I was at (Auto Club) Speedway and I was a huge Dale Jr. fan and I got his autograph and I was pretty starstruck," Reed said Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway before finishing 13th in the Lakes Region 200 . "That’s probably my biggest 'Oh my God I can’t believe I met him' story. "That was back when he was in the No. 8 Budweiser Chevy so there were tons of red jackets at the race track and I was a proud Dale Jr. fan." Knowing how cool it was to meet and greet a race car driver at such a young age, Reed visited the Boys & Girls Club of Concord, New Hampshire with Comcast XFINITY representatives on Thursday to meet with children interested in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) and tour the facilities. Reed, still just 21-years-old, may have let his inner child show a little. "It’s my first time ever going to a Boys & Girls Club and I had an amazing time," said the second-year XFINITY driver. "I didn’t realize how amazing the facilities are and the kids were having a blast and I got to go play some games with them and play dodgeball and capture the flag and got to hang out on the monkey bars and all that. It was just a really cool experience and they’re amazing kids and had awesome questions. A lot of them had some really cool racing questions, it surprised me how much they knew about the sport. It was a lot of fun and definitely a cool experience." While they surprised him with racing questions, Reed surprised the kids with a set of race tickets to Saturday's Lakes Region 200 XFINITY Series event, inviting the group to the "Magic Mile" as his special guests. Prior to the race, the Roush Fenway Racing driver answered some more of their questions and showed them the ins and outs of his No. 16 Ford Mustang in the garage. Thursday, he visited their playground. Saturday they got to see his. "We kind of switched roles today and I thought it was really neat they could come out and I could show them around the race track a little bit; show them around the car," Reed said. "It was cool, they seemed to be pretty interested and the look on their faces was pretty fun." Reed also introduced the kids to his lead race engineer in Gilford, New Hampshire native Katelyn Bernasconi. Where STEM was such an integral part of why these particular children were interested in meeting Reed in the first place -- apart from him being a NASCAR driver, of course -- it made sense to meet with Bernasconi, but Reed, too, knows the impact the program has on our nation’s young minds. "I think (STEM) is great. It’s a great program and it’s definitely really important," Reed said. "Racing is a great example of a sport that’s kind of being taken over by technology and is really just a technology-based sport. There’s nothing we do that doesn’t involve a computer anymore. "I think that this is a prime example of how important that program is and getting kids involved and ultimately, hopefully, end up in NASCAR." In 2014, Comcast NBCUniversal entered into a five-year partnership with BGCA to support the launch of My.Future, a new technology initiative designed to teach Club members about our digital world and ignite their passion for technology. The five-year, national partnership is valued at tens of millions of dollars in cash and in-kind support. My.Future is a next-generation technology initiative that personalizes the program for each member through engaging project-based, digital activities. My.Future will provide Club members with the ability to safely build, explore and communicate in their own digital worlds and ignite their passion for technology. It will also give Club members the skills they need to pursue promising careers. Comcast NBCUniversal has supported local Boys & Girls Clubs for more than 15 years. In 2010, Comcast took their support to the national level as a sponsor of BGCA’s digital literacy initiative dedicated to providing youth with computer skills needed for success in the 21st century. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Early scrape doesn't slow No. 33 Chevy, which leads 1-2-3 RCR sweep RELATED: Practice 1 results " Final practice results Austin Dillon recovered from a brush from the wall in opening NASCAR XFINITY Series practice to top the final practice leaderboard Friday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Dillon drove his freshly repaired Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Chevrolet to a best lap of 130.707 mph on the 1.058-mile track. He'll be aiming for his fourth XFINITY victory of the season in Saturday's Lakes Region 200 (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM). Childress Chevrolets swept the top three in the 85-minute session. Brendan Gaughan landed the second-fastest lap at 129.498 mph in the No. 62 Chevy, and teammate Brian Scott was third-fastest (129.459 mph) in the No. 2 Camaro. Sprint Cup regulars Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski -- who collectively have won the last six XFINITY races at New Hampshire -- both secured spots in the top 10 on the leaderboard. Busch -- an XFINITY winner at the Loudon, N.H., track from 2009-11 and 2013 -- was fifth-fastest in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota. Keselowski, the 2012 and defending race winner, was seventh-best in the Team Penske No. 22 Ford. Daniel Suarez landed the fourth-best spot with a late mock qualifying run in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota. J.J. Yeley, who started first last weekend after a qualifying rainout at Kentucky Speedway, was sixth-fastest in the JGL Racing No. 28 Toyota. Defending series champion Chase Elliott piloted the JR Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet to the 11th-fastest lap. Series points leader Chris Buescher was 12th-fastest in the Roush Fenway Racing No. 60 Ford. Saturday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying is set for an 11:15 a.m. ET start, to be televised on NBC Sports Network. Keselowski tops early New Hampshire practice Brad Keselowski roared to the fastest lap in Friday's first practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Keselowski, last week's XFINITY winner at Kentucky, posted a lap of 130.122 mph in the No. 22 Ford in preparation for Saturday's Lakes Region 200 (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM), the 17th of 33 races this season. His top time was a solid .273-seconds better than second-fastest Denny Hamlin , who ran 128.920 mph in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota. Keselowski has prevailed in two of the last three XFINITY Series races on the 1.058-mile track. Kyle Busch , seventh-fastest in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota, has won four of the series' last six New Hampshire events. Ryan Sieg was third-fastest in the RSS Racing No. 39 Chevrolet. NASCAR Next products Ben Rhodes and Daniel Suarez were fourth and fifth respectively in the 55-minute session. Austin Dillon , a three-time winner in the XFINITY Series this year, posted the eighth-fastest lap but damaged the right side of his Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Chevrolet after he scraped the outside wall at the exit of Turn 4. His brother, Ty Dillon , third in the XFINITY Series standings, also made contact later in the session but with less damage to his No. 3 Chevy. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Hamlin's bump of Austin Dillon for the lead leads to differing views RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings LOUDON, N.H. – To Denny Hamlin , it was just hard short-track racing for the win. To runner-up Austin Dillon , it was unnecessarily aggressive driving that led to Hamlin’s victory in the Lakes Region 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. On Lap 179 of 200 at the Magic Mile, Hamlin drove his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to the inside of Dillon's No. 33 Chevrolet. Hamlin slid up the track into Dillon, broke the No. 33's momentum and took the lead. WATCH: Could payback be coming for Hamlin? " Bad blood continues for Dillon, Hamlin Eventual third- and fourth-place finishers Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch also passed Dillon, who later regained the positions he lost to Keselowski and Busch but ran out of time in his pursuit of Hamlin. Earlier in the race Hamlin had two similar incidents with Busch, his teammate. And though Busch didn't appear particularly annoyed with Hamlin's tactics, Dillon was incensed. "He got to me, and I figured he was going to race, but he never even wanted to," Dillon said. "He wrecked his teammate and then proceeded to try and wreck me, and if I had gotten back to him, it would have happened to him." Hamlin wrote off the contact to all-out racing at a one-mile flat track. "The bottom line is, if you don't have any air on the outside of you, you just can't hold it," Hamlin said. "There was an example of that about three times today ... I want to thank 'Wheels' (crew chief Mike Wheeler) for giving me the dominant car. We had the best car, and just, wow, what a day." In Hamlin’s view, Dillon wasn't blameless either. "Well, he jumped the restart, for one," Hamlin said. "I'm the control car, but that's fine. Eventually I was going to get back around him anyway. Same thing—I was a fender ahead, and he drove in there knowing that he was going to have to hold me low to hold the position, and I just washed up into him. "But that's two guys on a short track racing for the win." Dillon clearly had a different opinion. "What is racing, if you can't race side-by-side for more than a corner?" Dillon asked rhetorically. "He never even went through a corner with me, the whole race. He didn't want to. He just moved me. Missed the corner. Wrecked me. "I'm fine with racing rough. I promise you, I can do it to anybody. But if we're going to race like that, I need to know before you get to the first corner. Give me a corner at least." Dillon indicated there might be some payback in the offing but wouldn't reveal how or when. "I'm not going to talk about it," Dillon said. "He won't be ready." Hamlin's reply? "We’ve both got race cars." Dillon got the lead on Lap 175 moments after a restart following the sixth and final caution for Brian Scott 's blown engine. Both Hamlin and Dillon had stayed out on old tires under the previous yellow, but Keselowski came to pit road for fresh rubber on Lap 142. As it turned out, the new tires made little difference. "It was the right call and probably got us to third, instead of fourth or fifth," Keselowski said. "We just weren't as fast as the 33 and 20 were. ... We just weren't fast enough this weekend." Rookie Daniel Suarez ran fifth, followed by Ty Dillon , Regan Smith , Darrell Wallace Jr ., Chase Elliott and Brennan Poole . Series leader Chris Buescher finished 14th, one lap down, and saw his lead in the standings shrink to 31 points over second-place Elliott. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule