'Tis the season for ... holiday musical remakes? Off-track buddies Ryan Blaney and Darrell Wallace Jr . certainly thought so. Since it's getting close to the holiday season, figured @BubbaWallace and I would give you a classic. https://t.co/oCIOdlrW11 — Ryan Blaney (@Blaney) November 24, 2015 While entertaining, here's a little advice, guys: Don't quit your day jobs.
Matthew Dillner and GarageCam run into a few colorful characters in the NASCAR XFINITY Series garage as they debate the color of Chuck Bush's shirt.
Problems in Turn 1 on the restart collect multiple trucks including Rico Abreu, Dalton Sargeant and Ben Kennedy.
Dale Jr. touches on several subjects in late-night session Always a favorite of his fans -- and us here at NASCAR.com -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . took to Twitter late Tuesday night to field questions. Junior touched on the impending retirement of longtime on-track competitor and off-track friend Tony Stewart , who will hang up the firesuit following 2016. One of the things I'll miss about @TonyStewart is his honesty. At least you knew where you stood at all times. https://t.co/BWvGOpwBeX — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 Speaking of retirement, a question that is on the minds of plenty of Dale’s fans is when he may retire. He doesn’t seem to have a set timeline, but he’s clearly thought about it plenty. I honestly don't know. On my terms. My health. That's kinda my deal. https://t.co/3ZLMCMfO83 — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 I'm having fun. Wanna stop on my terms. Healthy. Don't want to quit prematurely. https://t.co/PERSbQ4b67 — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 I Imagine my retirement to be sudden, my involvement to be lifelong. https://t.co/CkkHyrWzTe — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 But no matter when he retires, don’t expect Junior to hit the links anytime soon. No.im awful. https://t.co/tutZVIo4x7 — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 Earnhardt hasn't ruled out eventually moving JR Motorsports up to the Sprint Cup Series, but don't look for him to behind the wheel of any entry. I will never ever ever drive a car that I own in the Cup series. https://t.co/mqzk0dgFl2 — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 Nor will you ever see him behind the wheel of a No. 3 ride. Don't really want to. It was dads. He owned it. https://t.co/cPNoIA3zzw — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 Earnhardt does seem to think that we could see some retribution between drivers this weekend at Martinsville Speedway , a notoriously high-emotion short track. I think so. If not then, these next few weeks should be interesting. Lots of scores yet to be settled. https://t.co/qgbDJsqZfy — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 If something were to happen at a place like @MartinsvilleSwy you can easily chalk it up to short track racing. https://t.co/pjNSwyCtuM — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 Fists are a last resort. But sometimes you just can't sideline your dislike for another driver. https://t.co/HlF0Ecqwzn — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 And although some drivers may want to, don't expect anyone to mess with Kevin Harvick . I'd windmill dudes out. Worked in the movies. I hear @KevinHarvick knows how to leg sweep tho. I can't say for sure. https://t.co/2zagfNrlZt — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 The new Chase format has definitely drawn up the tension more than we’re used to seeing, and the changes Junior is proposing might kick it up a notch even more. More short tracks. Please God please. https://t.co/AYIwnTC7Ag — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 What the hell for? https://t.co/GH4OVVKcv9 — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 Let's have 10 @TalladegaSuperS races in the chase. https://t.co/qxBB4BO4E7 — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 With news that Justin Allgaier would be moving to JR Motorsports in 2016 to drive the No. 7 Chevrolet currently driven by title contender Regan Smith , Junior touched on his current employee and had kind words to say. Soon. @ReganSmith is a talent. MAJOR! He belongs in the Cup series. NOW. https://t.co/x1OPlpahf0 — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 Of course, no Q&A is complete without fielding some questions about his late father, Dale Earnhardt. Plate race. @TalladegaSuperS or @DISupdates . Heads up with 41 AI cars. https://t.co/5uRRBIRsMH — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 No, but I'd tell him I think I'm better than he was. Just to hear him complain. https://t.co/P4JIOlCz9F — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 And finally, Dale mentioned the three people he’d want to sit down and have a beer with – past or present. Bill Sr, Jr, and Brain. https://t.co/yXgfNLWNWe — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 28, 2015 Gee, I wonder what they’d talk about?
RELATED: CMS plans '24-day salute' for Gordon There will be a slightly different look to the frontstretch when NASCAR teams travel to Charlotte Motor Speedway in October for Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series events. Track engineers and turf specialists began the process this week of installing a 6-foot wide "transition barrier" between the pavement and the grass area that separates the racing surface from pit road. The border, which consists of a sand/soil mix with rye grass and will be the same level as the asphalt, is expected to decrease the likelihood of damage to a car should it travel off the racing surface and onto the infield grass. "The goal is to create something similar to a fairway to rough transition you might see on a golf course," Scott Cooper, Vice President of Communications for CMS, told NASCAR.com. "If a driver gets pinched down, he or she should have a good opportunity to get back on the track without suffering too much damage to the car." Current ride-height rules have Sprint Cup cars much lower than in previous years, and damage to splitters and other front-end pieces of the cars often occur after nothing more than a spin through the grass at some facilities. Crews will put down approximately 140 tons of the sand/soil mix to complete the project. Only the grass transition barrier will be lower – the infield grass beyond the 6-foot area where sponsor and track logos normally appear -- will be unchanged. "Hopefully, this will create another 'Pass in the Grass' opportunity," Cooper said, referencing Dale Earnhardt's brief run through the infield grass en route to winning the series' 1997 All-Star Race. Contact between Earnhardt and Bill Elliott as the two battled for the lead sent Earnhardt's blue-and-yellow No. 3 briefly off-track ; Earnhardt maintained control of his car and remained the leader as he shot back up onto the racing surface. CMS will host the Bank of America Sprint Cup Series race Saturday, Oct. 10. It is the first race of the Contender Round in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup . The Drive for the Cure 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 9.
RELATED: Harvick confronts, shoves Johnson after race LOUDON, N.H. --- Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth shook off reporters' questions. Both Logano and Kenseth downplayed the post-race confrontation between Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick . The incident took place after last week's opener for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland. "Didn't see it, don't know,'' Kenseth said, referring to a video clip that showed Harvick shoving Johnson in the garage. RELATED: Watch: Harvick shoves Johnson after the race Logano, who has previously had his own post-race confrontation with Harvick, was equally unwilling to offer an opinion. "I really don't have much of a reaction to be honest with you, I'm focused on my own thing,'' Logano said Friday morning before opening practice for Sunday's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . "It is what it is. That's what seems to happen in the Chase. Emotions seem to get fired up pretty quick and I don't really have a reaction. I'm not surprised. I'm not anything. It is what it is.'' Logano was actually in the catbird seat for the Johnson and Harvick on-track collision that precipitated the off-track situation. Johnson said his car was hit from behind by Logano on a re-start and that sent him down onto the track apron three-wide with Harvick. Johnson tried to get that bottom lane on-track back and that's when his and Harvick's Chevrolets touched just briefly, leaving Harvick with a smoking tire. A few laps later Harvick's car hit the wall, suffering significant damage and leaving him with a 42nd-place finish. Harvick took issue with what he thought was Johnson forcing his way back on track. Logano told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on pit road after the race that he did not touch Johnson and wasn't involved in any way. After the race, the six-time Cup champ Johnson, still dressed in his driver's suit, waited outside Harvick's motorcoach to speak with the reigning champ about the incident. A video replay shows Harvick push Johnson in the chest and then him being restrained as Johnson calmly walked away from the situation. Neither Logano nor Kenseth is willing to count Harvick out of the championship picture despite the fact his Chicagoland afternoon puts the champ on the outside looking in with two races left to determine the top 12 drivers who advance to the next Chase round (the Contender Round). Harvick is in 15th position in the standings -- 22 points behind Gordon in 12th place. He was ranked 16th until Clint Bowyer received a hefty 25-point penalty from NASCAR this week dropping him behind Harvick in points. RELATED: Bowyer drops to 16th in Chase standings after penalty The defending race winner Logano, meanwhile, is ranked sixth in the standings and was very confident in his Team Penske squad, keeping Kenseth's Joe Gibbs Racing team honest. Since Kyle Busch 's victory July 19 at the New Hampshire mile, every Cup race has been won by Gibbs' four-car Toyota organization or Penske's two-car Ford effort. But both Logano and Kenseth noted Harvick's speed at Chicago. "I wouldn't consider them out at this point by no means,'' Logano said of Harvick. "They're still a very strong team and they'll be up there racing hard and trying to get to the next round. "If you look at the big picture, obviously you want the fastest cars out because it gives you the best chance when you get to (the championship finale at) Homestead. But I'm not gonna change or do anything different out there. I've still got to get myself there. That's Priority 1, getting our team to Homestead.''
Photo credit: @CLTMotorSpdwy RELATED: Photos of the Better Half Dash participants CONCORD, N.C. -- It was the NASCAR wives' and girlfriends' time to shine on the track in Thursday's fifth annual Better Half Dash, organized by Motor Racing Outreach at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Shannon Koch, the wife of NASCAR XFINITY Series driver, Blake Koch , took the checkered flag. She overcame some early-race trouble when the back body panel of her No. 8 machine was blown off by the wind. "I really didn't know that I lost part of my car until I came back around and they were picking it up off the track," Shannon Koch said after the race. "My husband just said, 'keep going, they didn't black flag you yet.' " Congratulations Shannon Koch! @CLTMotorSpdwy : Shannon Koch wins #BetterHalfDash ! pic.twitter.com/utaZBrZH2u http://t.co/A8pZxzvjsB — NASCAR Off Track (@OffTrackNASCAR) October 8, 2015 When asked whether that gave her an aerodynamic advantage, Shannon Koch said, "I don't know, maybe it did. Did lap times pick up? I have no idea. It didn't feel any different to me." To which second-place finisher Katelyn Sweet, girlfriend of Kyle Larson , quickly said to a loud round of laughter, "Your motor got way more air." No word on whether the car passed post-race inspection. Shannon Koch wins the #BetterHalfDash at @CLTMotorSpdwy pic.twitter.com/dbjY7tmYkm — Pete McCole (@PeteMcCole) October 8, 2015 The race benefits MRO and Speedway Children's Charities as well as each participant's individual charity. Koch's $10,000 winnings went to MRO, which was the charity she was representing. The participants raised $75,000, according to MRO and track officials With the win comes a really big trophy for Koch. She described it as "definitely the biggest that we have. It will go right up there with the rest of them." And Koch is also going out on top, saying in the post-race press conference, "I'm retiring." NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars Larson and Denny Hamlin were among the spotters for their respective significant others, Sweet and Jordan Fish. NASCAR Sprint Cup regulars Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr . were among those to check out the action as well. Sweet led several laps in the event and overcame an early spin out to finish second. Tandra Greenfield, the wife of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Clay Greenfield , finished third. Greenfield is eager to come back next year. "It was fun to compete with them because they were so aggressive and competitive," she said. Wendy Venturini, a NASCAR reporter and wife of Jarrad Egert, director of track operations for Joe Gibbs Racing , was not able to pull off the MRO event sweep after taking the High Heel Dash in May. Over the past few weeks, there have been practice sessions leading up to the race, all while the competitors were busy raising money prior to the event. As in years past, the participant to raise the most money earned the opportunity to select their starting spot for the race. Koch earned the pole honor. The results: 1. Shannon Koch (wife of driver Blake Koch ) 2. Katelyn Sweet (girlfriend of driver Kyle Larson ) 3. Tandra Greenfield (wife of driver Clay Greenfield ) 4. Jordan Fish (girlfriend of driver Denny Hamlin ) 5. Kristen Yeley (wife of driver J.J. Yeley) 6. Tatiana Papis (wife of driver Max Papis ) 7. Ashley Deihl Stremme (wife of driver David Stremme ) 8. Melanie Self (Motor Racing Outreach Community Center Coordinator) 9. Jenna Robinson (wife of No. 19 tire changer Clay Robinson) 10. Whitney Kay Scott (wife of driver Brian Scott ) 11. Wendy Venturini (NASCAR reporter, wife of JGR director of track operations Jarrad Egert)
Debating restarts, Chase package and Denny's off-track activity RELATED: Subscribe to NASCAR Illustrated " Kenseth unapologetic about Richmond The Chase is here and Joe Gibbs Racing heads into the 10-race postseason with a head of steam -- much like this week's installment of "Herman Unplugged." Onward, we roll! NASCAR ILLUSTRATED: We had some more restart controversy coming out of Richmond. Any problem with what Matt Kenseth did there en route to the win? HERMAN: "Absolutely not. I'm consistent. And if I'm wrong, I'll tell you I'm wrong. Matt Kenseth did what he needed to do to win that race and that's the game we played. When I was racing short tracks, my crew chief Steve Bird told people, 'You better watch Kenny Wallace , he plays games on restarts.' This theory where everybody comes to the start-finish line beautifully and takes off, that would really be boring. We don't need that; we need games on restarts." NI: Why have restarts have been such an issue lately? HERMAN: "These drivers are over the top mad about this because with the high downforce package it's so hard to pass, so they feel like the restart is the only chance they have to pass. I get that but I think all of this will go away next year with the low downforce. I don't think you'll have to take these chances next year on the restarts. It will be a case of I'll just pass that guy around the next corner or so." NI: Speaking of the low downforce package, would you like to see it used in the Chase particularly with five 1.5-mile tracks left on the schedule -- or is NASCAR doing the right thing using the conventional package? HERMAN: "In reality, they are making the right decision because 98 percent of the year this championship is based on the high downforce package. So to change the rules in the middle of the game, I'd say they would be changing the game." NI: Given how well the package performed at Kentucky and Darlington, it provides a spark heading into next year but it'd be nice to start riding that wave into the Chase, too. HERMAN: "It was unprecedented what they did in changing the rules at Kentucky and Darlington. They got away with it because the racing was so extremely good and it gave the fans a glimpse into next year and gave everybody a lot of hope. I think there are a lot of fans excited about next year because of the preview we saw this year. Even though they are doing the right thing, I would love to see them go to the low downforce package now at the start of the Chase because everybody would be on the same playing field. But that's wishful thinking." NI: Denny Hamlin 's ACL injury playing basketball brought to mind Smoke's injury in the dirt car. Hamlin said he had no real contractual restrictions on extracurricular activities. Should drivers have the freedom to do anything they want outside the race car? HERMAN: "I look at it this way: Denny's a young man, he's not a kid anymore and I think that's important. He is of age and then you have a lot more responsibilities. In your 20s, you're just having a good old time and you are invincible. Denny has proven that he's very fragile. He could be walking with a cane in the future. He's blown both knees out, ACLs, and with this knowledge going forward there's 500 employees over there at Joe Gibbs Racing . He has a lot of responsibility now. I think the only thing he can do now is play H-O-R-S-E. It makes me nervous every time he plays golf or picks up a ball because he gets hurt all the time. What happens if the next one really takes him out?" SUBSCRIBE NOW!
Alan Cavanna keeps you Up to Speed from Martinsville, where Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth were near each other everywhere from the media center, to the garage and even on the scoring pylon Friday.
Second-year driver will start sixth in Sunday's Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 LONG POND, Pa. -- Halfway through the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season, Austin Dillon admits the results aren't where the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet team wants them in his second season in the sport's top series. "It'd be like a C-minus on our finishes," Dillon told NASCAR.com at Pocono Raceway , site of Sunday's Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). "As far as on speed compared to last year, we're better. We haven't had the finishes that we want. I think my driving style is fine. We just could be better on the last couple restarts. Our points aren't there because of motor issues and failures. Hopefully, we can get rid of some of those failures." Those issues Dillon speaks of are an electrical problem in March at Martinsville that led to a 41st-place finish and an engine failure in May at Talladega that resulted in a 35th-place finish. "I think we'd be in the top 14, 13 in points if you take away two engine failures, a blown tire in Atlanta. A couple of different things that didn't go our way that we could have back would really benefit where we should be." One of the hallmarks of his rookie campaign was Dillon's ability to log laps and stay on track. In 2014, he missed logging only 53 laps of the 10,541 circuits. Keeping his car clean and out of trouble had him 15th in points this time last year. This season, he has already been off track for 259 laps of the 4,321 laps run in large part due to engine woes he simply didn't have last year. Dillon comes into Sunday's race at Pocono 24th in the points standings with one top-10 finish (a 10th-place result at Bristol). With the exception of a 16th-place showing last month at Charlotte, Dillon has finished outside the top 20 in four of the past five races. On the plus side, Dillon's average starting spot is 17.2 (counting Pocono), an improvement from the 19.9 mark he averaged last season. That mark was further improved as Dillon backed up his fifth-fastest time in Friday's opening practice (176.561 mph), with a fast lap of 176.526 mph in the final round of qualifying. He will start Sunday's race sixth. This is his third straight start in the top 12 and his best starting spot in 2015. The two-time national series champion (2011 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and 2013 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series) has been spending some time in the XFINITY ranks, running the No. 33 Chevrolet for RCR. Dillon has scored two wins (at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March and Charlotte Motor Speedway in May) and seven top fives in 10 starts in that series. The 25-year-old sees great value in the prepaation the extra seat time allows him. "It's definitely been more beneficial having the laps (in XFINITY ) on Saturdays to be prepared for Sundays, the start of the race especially," Dillon said. "We take off a lot better knowing what the track is going to do. We have two wins in the XFINITY cars, so the confidence has been really high. It's been great to have the XFINITY car." Dillon's two Sprint Cup starts at Pocono produced an average finish of 16.0 and starting positions of 11th in both races. But the driver is ready for what the Tricky Triangle has to offer and has a Camping World Truck Series win (in 2014) at the 2.5-mile track to boot. "Last year, both (Cup) races were pretty solid for us. We had one stint where we were really fast in the race last year and we took a similar package here. "Track position's always big. And if we can keep that, that would be beneficial." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule