Catch up quickly before Sunday's STP 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) Vote: Who will win at Martinsville? " Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live What: 66th annual STP 500 Where: Martinsville Speedway , Martinsville, Virginia When: Sunday, March 29, 2015 TV/Radio: FOX Sports 1, Motor Racing Network Time: 1:13 p.m. ET Distance: 500 laps (263 miles) Pit Road Speed: 30 mph Caution Car Speed: 35 mph Estimated Pit Window: 125 -135 laps, based on fuel mileage On The Front Row " Full starting lineup " See all 43 cars 1. Joey Logano , Team Penske No. 22 Ford (98.461 mph) 2. Ryan Newman , Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet (98.328 mph) To The Rear Casey Mears , Germain Racing No. 13 Chevrolet (transmission); Regan Smith , Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet (driver change, subbing for Kyle Larson ); Justin Allgaier , HScott Motorsports No. 51 Chevrolet (backup) Failed To Qualify Brendan Gaughan , Premium Motorsports No. 62 Chevrolet; Ron Hornaday Jr ., TMG No. 30 Chevrolet. Fastest In Practice First practice: Ryan Newman , Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet (97.835 mph) " Full results Second practice: Denny Hamlin , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota (97.113 mph) " Full results Final Practice: Kurt Busch , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet (97.098 mph) " Full results It's Not Where You Start After qualifying first or second in two of the last three races, defending Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick will roll off from the No. 17 position at Martinsville. He's qualified worse this season, starting 18th at Las Vegas. For the record, he won Las Vegas. Remember When? A Ford team has not finished first or second at Martinsville since 2002, going 0-for 24 since Kurt Busch won the fall race here while driving for Roush Fenway Racing . Chevrolet teams have won the last eight races at the 0.526-mile track. Hey Buddy, Move It "There is a lot of blocking that goes on (at Martinsville) and nobody wants go give up the inside, but the guy behind can control that a little bit. You can just get to their bumper and move them. … The guy that chops your nose off a lot going into say, Turn 3, you are just going to move him. … It is frustrating at times, but you definitely want to be on the offensive here rather than the defensive." – Paul Menard , RCR No. 27 Chevrolet He Can See The Front Tony Stewart will start sixth at Martinsville, his best starting spot since the fall race at Texas last year. He's also coming off his best finish of the season, a 14th-place result last week at Auto Club Speedway . The three-time Martinsville winner says earning a good starting spot "is half the battle" on the tiny track. "If you can just get a good pit spot and … a decent starting spot to where you do not have to beat the thing to death trying to get to the front, that's half the battle," he said. Pole or Bust Pole winners have won two of the last five Martinsville races, which might be good news for No. 1 qualifier Joey Logano . But drivers starting outside the top-20 have won the last two – Kurt Busch won from 22nd last spring while Dale Earnhardt Jr . won from 23rd in the fall race. Winless and counting Yes, it's been quite a while since a Toyota team won a Sprint Cup Series points races, 31 races in fact, and while Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin says a victory at Martinsville would be a big boost, it wouldn't be a cure-all. "It's been tough and it's been a hard year for the organization and the manufacturer," he said. "Not that a win here would just satisfy all those needs -- we still know that realistically we've got a lot of work to do, but it definitely would take a lot of pressure off because right now we're all in that hornets' nest of the bubble spot if this thing comes down to points." An Off-Weekend? Let's Go Racing Chase Elliott , the defending XFINITY Series champion and the son of NASCAR Hall of Fame member Bill Elliott , is making his Sprint Cup Series debut today. Elliott will start 27th in the No. 25 Chevrolet fielded by Hendrick Motorsports . "You just want to put together 500 solid laps on Sunday and try to run all the laps and hope we can have a good day," Elliott, 19, said. The XFINITY Series has the weekend off, returning to action Friday, April 10 at Texas Motor Speedway . Defending STP 500 Champion Kurt Busch , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet Driver Rating Best driver rating average at Martinsville Speedway based on past 10 years: Jimmie Johnson , Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet (122.5) Jeff Gordon , Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet (119.8) Denny Hamlin , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota (110.1) Former Martinsville Speedway Winners In Field Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson 8; Denny Hamlin 4; Tony Stewart 3; Kurt Busch 2; Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Kevin Harvick , Ryan Newman 1 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
Humpe led 97 of 125 laps in a convincing win at Auto Club Speedway.
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
NASCAR reminds teams of severe penalties Vote: Who will win at Martinsville? " Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Related: Crew chief Childers loves chatter about tires MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- NASCAR gave teams a reminder Friday morning about the severity of tampering with tires, a hot-button issue after the sanctioning body sent the Goodyears from select teams for an independent audit the last two weeks. Hendrick Motorsports crew chiefs Alan Gustafson and Chad Knaus, making an early Friday media appearance at Martinsville Speedway , addressed the issue, saying their frantic schedules on race weekends prevented them from witnessing any prohibited behavior first-hand. Still, NASCAR's confiscations and the rumblings at the track made the issue hard to ignore. "It's hard to speculate because that's all I can do, but in my experience there's a lot of smoke around that, right?" said Gustafson, who oversees preparation for Jeff Gordon 's No. 24 Chevrolet. "There's a lot of talk, there's a lot of dialogue, there's a lot of rumors in the garage. So yeah, I think some people think something is going on. And is NASCAR reacting to that or do they feel uncomfortable with what's going on? I don't know that answer. "I do think that it is something that's on the forefront of a lot of people's minds and obviously NASCAR is trying to make sure that we're all on a level playing field and if anyone is violating that that they'll pay the price, which they've reminded us this morning is very, very stiff. That's all I know, but anything beyond that speculation beside the fact is that it's a hot topic obviously." NASCAR took the tires from two teams -- those of points leader Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano -- after the season's fourth Sprint Cup Series race, at Phoenix International Raceway . Harvick's tires were taken again for independent study after last weekend's race at Auto Club Speedway , joining those from the cars driven by fellow Chevrolet drivers Kurt Busch , Paul Menard and Ryan Newman . Officials issued no penalties or expanded details from their findings, and NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell said in a recent appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that the "audits" were routine. WATCH: Drivers sound off on tire tampering talk Any infraction involving manipulating tires falls under the heading of a P5 penalty -- the second-highest severity in the NASCAR deterrence system, which was introduced before the 2014 season. The NASCAR Rule Book provides examples of P5 penalties, including a specific passage about tires in Section 18.104.22.168.1.a, which states, "Effecting, modifying and/or altering the standard tires in any way, other than through authorized means such as tire pressure adjustments within the recommended range, permitted tire cooling when mounted on the race vehicle; or heat-cycling on the race vehicle on the race track earlier in the Event." The punishment for a P5 violation includes the loss of 50 points in the driver and team owner standings, a fine ranging from $75,000 to $ 125 ,000, a six-race suspension for the crew chief, probation until the end of the calendar year for all suspended crewmembers, and any other applicable penalties. The practice of teams potentially "needling" tires with miniscule holes, Gustafson said, would "be a very difficult thing to police." The tactic is intended to provide a slow release of air, which would allow tire pressures to remain more consistent -- while improving grip and durability -- over the course of a green-flag run. Ordinarily, pressures rise as the tires heat up, changing the handling characteristics of the car. Gordon said that he has been a longtime advocate for NASCAR adopting bleeder valves on its tires to better regulate pressure. "I came from sprint cars where they're just built into the wheel," Gordon said. "You set them. Those might not be advanced enough for what we need in a Cup car and a Cup tire, but it just makes sense. It's crazy what we do with air pressures and these big, heavy cars build the air pressures up so much that we're always trying to start them real low, which always causes issues for Goodyear and the teams. They just increase, increase, increase. "So it makes sense to me that we have bleeder valves, but because we don't, it's pushing the teams to do things. … I've heard about a lot of things with valve caps and poking holes in tires for years, but I've never seen it done, have never had proof that it was done, so it's very interesting to me that NASCAR is investigating this further and I look forward to seeing what comes out of it. "If they find a way to stop that, if it's really going on, I get excited about our chances because I know that we're not doing it, so it will close the gap for us to whoever may be doing it. WATCH: Chris Rice explains the issue Gordon was at the center of another TireGate in September 1998, when rival team owner Jack Roush accused his Hendrick team of using illegal, chemically treated tires to gain an advantage. He said Friday that if Ray Evernham, his crew chief, was doing something illegal back then, he wasn't aware of it. No team has been outed as a rule-breaker yet, but the murmurs of unusual happenings in the garage persist. Gordon said when the rumor mill churns as loudly as its current tenor, there's something to it -- just how it's being done is the question. "I don't know if there's anything or not," said Knaus, crew chief for Hendrick's No. 48 Chevy driven by Jimmie Johnson -- like Gordon, an eight-time Martinsville winner. "I'm busy on Sunday and I don't have a lot of friends in the garage. I don't talk to anybody else, either, so it's OK. My friends are outside of racing. So I don't know what's going on. I know I sent ( Sprint Cup managing director) Richard Buck a text and I said, 'Hey man, can we poke holes in our tires? Is that OK?' and he sent me a text back that said, 'Absolutely not.' So that's all I know." Denny Hamlin said that NASCAR told all crew chiefs at Phoenix International Raceway last fall to discontinue the tactic, but since it deals with one of the three so-called sacred areas -- engine, tires and fuel -- the penalties should be fittingly severe. "If it's out there and they know about it, you should be gone forever," said Hamlin, a four-time Martinsville winner. "I mean, that's a major, major, major thing. This isn't like the old rodeo days of being able to go out there and run a big motor or soak the tires. This is a professional sport and when people alter tires that's a big, big deal. Definitely no room for it in the sport, that's for sure. Hope they clamp down on that if they do find it, and if they find it multiple times with somebody, they should have a permanent vacation somewhere." That said, Hamlin acknowledged that trying to make the distinction between a natural tire leak and a man-made one is difficult. "They'll figure out a way, and whether it will be with someone else taking a look at the tires to try to figure it out, they'll find it," Hamlin said of NASCAR officials. "And when they do, that person when they feel NASCAR getting hot on them, they're going to stop doing it and that's maybe when you'll see some performance differences. You never know." 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
Listen to what all the top finishers ahd to say about today's Pocono Mountains 125 .
A stats-based look ahead to the fourth race of the 2015 Sprint Cup season Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live DAYTONA BEACH, Fla – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona going into the CampingWorld.com 500 on March 15. Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ortho Ford) · Five top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 13.8 · Driver Rating of 90.1, 10th-best · 288 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 873 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 125 .818 mph, 12th-fastest · 3,508 Laps in the Top 15 (55.5%), 11th-most · 432 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), 10th-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 Stanley Toyota) · Two wins, seven top fives, 12 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 12.2 · Average Running Position of 12.7, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 99.2, fourth-best · 368 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 126.048 mph, sixth-fastest · 4,325 Laps in the Top 15 (68.5%), seventh-most · 462 Quality Passes, seventh-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet) · Two wins, 12 top fives, 22 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 11.0 · Average Running Position of 10.1, third-best · Driver Rating of 100.5, third-best · 250 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most · 786 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 126.021 mph, seventh-fastest · 5,173 Laps in the Top 15 (81.9%), second-most · 476 Quality Passes, fourth-most Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota) · One win, nine top fives, 10 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 11.0 · Average Running Position of 12.0, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 96.6, sixth-best · 241 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 125 .959 mph, ninth-fastest · 4,261 Laps in the Top 15 (70.9%), eighth-most · 419 Quality Passes, 11th-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Jimmy John's/Budweiser Chevrolet) · Six wins, nine top fives, 13 top 10s · Average finish of 11.4 · Average Running Position of 9.8, second-best · Driver Rating of 106.2, second-best · 523 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 126.232 mph, third-fastest · 4,958 Laps in the Top 15 (78.5%), fourth-most · 452 Quality Passes, eighth-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet) · Four wins, 14 top fives, 18 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 7.7 · Series-best Average Running Position of 7.4 · Series-best Driver Rating of 114.0 · Series-high 609 Fastest Laps Run · 796 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 126.428 mph · Series-high 5,403 Laps in the Top 15 (85.5%) · 541 Quality Passes, third-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · One win, six top fives, 10 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 16.6 · Driver Rating of 87.9, 12th-best · 178 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most · 857 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 125 .837 mph, 11th-fastest · 3,924 Laps in the Top 15 (62.1%), 10th-most · 471 Quality Passes, fifth-most Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford) · Four top fives, five top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 14.6 · Average Running Position of 14.0, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 91.5, ninth-best · 169 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 126.089 mph, fourth-fastest Ryan Newman (No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet) · One win, eight top fives, 10 top 10s; four poles · Average finish of 17.9 · Average Running Position of 15.0, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 87.9, 11th-best · 870 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most · 4,258 Laps in the Top 15 (67.4%), ninth-most · 569 Quality Passes, second-most Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet) · One win, eight top fives, 12 top 10s · Average finish of 12.4 · Average Running Position of 11.1, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 96.4, eighth-best · 220 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most · 818 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 126.052 mph, fifth-fastest · 4,359 Laps in the Top 15 (72.6%), sixth-most · 465 Quality Passes, sixth-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Phoenix International Raceway Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 24 0 6 9 13 0 11.4 106.2 2 Dale Earnhardt Jr . 25 0 2 7 12 3 16.1 86.5 3 Joey Logano 12 0 0 2 6 2 15.1 85.5 4 Martin Truex Jr . 18 1 0 1 6 2 17.7 83.7 5 AJ Allmendinger 11 1 0 0 2 0 16.6 80.4 6 Kasey Kahne 21 0 1 4 7 1 18.0 79.6 7 Jimmie Johnson 23 2 4 14 18 1 7.7 114.0 8 Denny Hamlin 19 2 1 9 10 0 11.0 96.6 9 Casey Mears 21 0 0 0 0 4 26.0 61.7 10 Matt Kenseth 25 1 1 6 10 3 16.6 87.9 11 Greg Biffle 22 0 0 5 8 1 13.8 90.1 12 Ryan Newman 25 4 1 8 10 4 17.9 87.9 13 Paul Menard 16 0 0 0 2 0 22.0 66.2 14 Clint Bowyer 19 0 0 2 6 3 18.1 80.2 15 Aric Almirola 8 0 0 0 0 0 18.5 73.7 16 Brad Keselowski 11 1 0 4 5 1 14.6 91.5 * – Based on last 20 races at Phoenix International Raceway (2005 – 2014). Phoenix International Raceway Data Season Race #: 4 of 36 (03-15-15) Track Size : 1-mile Banking/Turn 1 & 2 : 10-11 degrees Banking/Turn 3 & 4 : 8-9 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 3 degrees Banking/Backstretch : 8-9 degrees Frontstretch Length : 1,179 feet Backstretch Length : 1,551 feet Race Length : 312 laps / 500 Kilometers Top 10 Driver Ratings at Phoenix Jimmie Johnson ........................ 114.0 Kevin Harvick ............................ 106.2 Jeff Gordon .............................. 100.5 Carl Edwards .............................. 99.2 Denny Hamlin ............................. 96.6 Tony Stewart ............................... 96.4 Brad Keselowski ......................... 91.5 Greg Biffle .................................. 90.1 Ryan Newman ............................. 87.9 Matt Kenseth .............................. 87.9 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (20 total) among active drivers at Phoenix International Raceway . Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Brad Keselowski , Ford 139.384 mph, 25.828 secs. 02-28-14 2014 race winner : Kevin Harvick , Chevrolet 109.229 mph, (02:51:23), 03-02-14 Track qualifying record: Denny Hamlin , Toyota 142.113 mph, 25.332 secs. 11-07-14 Track race record: Tony Stewart , Pontiac 118.132 mph, (2:38:28), 11-07-99 Phoenix International Raceway : History · Construction was completed in January 1964. The facility consisted of a one-mile oval and a 2.5-mile road course. · Alan Kulwicki won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix on Nov. 6, 1988. · The first spring race was held on April 23, 2005 and also the first night race, which was won by Kurt Busch . · The track underwent its first repave in 2011. The construction began in March and concluded in September of that year. · The following changes were made during the construction period (March – Sept., 2011): o Widened the frontstretch from 52 to 62 feet o Reconfigured pit road with the installation of concrete pit stalls o Pushed the dog-leg curve between Turn 2 and Turn 3 out 95 feet o Tightened the turn radius of the dog-leg from 800 to 500 feet o Implemented variable banking to ensure the immediate use of two racing grooves, including 10-11 degree banking between Turn 1 and Turn 2; 10-11 degree banking in the apex of the dog-leg; and 8-9 degree banking in Turn 4 Notebook · There have been 37 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix International Raceway , one per season from 1988-2004 and two each season since. · 196 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix; 143 in more than one. · Mark Martin leads series in starts at Phoenix with 34; Jeff Gordon (second all-time) leads all active drivers with 32. · Geoffrey Bodine won the first pole in 1988 at a speed of 123.203 mph (29.220 sec.). · There have been 20 different Coors Light pole winners, led by Ryan Newman with four. · Youngest Phoenix pole winner: Kyle Busch (4/22/06 – 20 years, 11 months, 20 days). · Oldest Phoenix pole winner: Mark Martin (03/03/13 – 54 years, 1 month, 22 days). · Ryan Newman , Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards are the only drivers to win consecutive poles. Newman won three straight (2002-04), Gordon won the fall of 2006 and the spring of 2007. Edwards won the fall of 2010 and spring of 2011. · Denny Hamlin (November, 2005) and AJ Allmendinger (April, 2010) won their first career Coors Light poles at Phoenix International Raceway . · There have been 23 different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners at Phoenix, eight have won more than once, led by Kevin Harvick , with six – (’06 spring race and Chase race, ’12 Chase race, ‘13 Chase race, ’14 spring race and Chase race). · The eight drivers have won more than once at Phoenix: Kevin Harvick leads the series in wins with six followed by Jimmie Johnson (four), Davey Allison (two), Jeff Burton (two), Dale Earnhardt Jr . (two), Jeff Gordon (two) Carl Edwards (two) and Mark Martin (two). · Of the eight drivers with multiple wins at Phoenix International Raceway , Mark Martin is the only driver to win in two different manufacturers: Ford (1993) and Chevrolet (2009). · Five drivers have won consecutive races at Phoenix: Davey Allison (1991,1992); Jeff Burton (2000, 2001); Dale Earnhardt Jr . (2003, 2004); Kevin Harvick (swept 2006) and (2013 Chase race and swept 2014); Jimmie Johnson is the only one of the five to win three consecutive races (fall 2007, swept 2008). · Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Phoenix with nine, followed by Roush Fenway Racing with seven. · Four of the 37 (10.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from the Coors Light pole: Jeff Gordon (spring 2007), Jimmie Johnson (fall 2008), Mark Martin (spring 2009) and Carl Edwards (fall 2010). · Seven of the 37 (18.9%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from the front row: four from the pole and three from second-place. · 18 of the 37 (48.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from a starting position inside the top 10. · 19 of the 37 (51.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from a starting position outside the top 10. · 3 of the 37 (8.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · Jimmie Johnson leads the series in average finish at Phoenix with a 7.696; he is the only active driver with an average finish inside the top 10. · Ricky Rudd won the 1995 race from the 29th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started. · Matt Kenseth won the 2002 race from the 28th-place starting position, the furthest back an active race winner has started. · Three perfect Driver Ratings of 150.0 have been recorded at Phoenix, Kurt Busch in April of 2005 and Kevin Harvick in November of 2006 and November 2014. · Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Phoenix International Raceway winner: Kyle Busch (11/13/2005 – 20 years, 6 months, 11 days). · Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Phoenix International Raceway winner: Mark Martin (04/18/2009 – 50 years, 3 months, 9 days). · Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Phoenix with five; followed by Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart with three each. · Jimmie Johnson leads the series in top-five finishes at Phoenix with 14; followed by Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon with 12 each. · Alan Kulwicki (11/6/1988) and Bobby Hamilton (10/27/1996) are the only two drivers to post their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career win at Phoenix International Raceway . · 21 of the 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Phoenix participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Alan Kulwicki (11/6/1988) and Tony Stewart (11/7/1999) are the only two drivers to win at Phoenix in their first appearance. · Jeff Gordon competed at Phoenix International Raceway 16 times before winning (4/21/2007); the longest span of any the 23 winners. · Six drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Phoenix: Jeff Gordon (16), Ryan Newman (15), Kasey Kahne (14), Denny Hamlin (13), Carl Edwards (12) and Rusty Wallace (11). · Jamie McMurray leads the series (active drivers) with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix without visiting Victory Lane with 23. · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Phoenix was the (4/10/2010) race won by Ryan Newman with a MOV of 0.13 seconds. · Two drivers have won at Phoenix and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same season: Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2008 sweep and 2009); Dale Earnhardt (1990). · Danica Patrick is the only female driver that has made a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Phoenix International Raceway . Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date Danica Patrick 32 22 11/9/2014 Danica Patrick 33 36 3/2/2014 Danica Patrick 32 33 11/10/2013 Danica Patrick 40 39 3/3/2013 Danica Patrick 37 17 11/11/2012 · Car numbers that have produced three or more Phoenix wins: Car Number – Drivers – (Years) o No. 48 – Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2008 sweep and 2009) o No. 99 – Carl Edwards (2010 and 2013) and Jeff Burton (2000, 2001) o No. 29 – Kevin Harvick (2006 sweep, 2012 and 2013) o No. 5 – Mark Martin (2009), Kyle Busch (2005) and Terry Labonte (1994) o No. 4 – Kevin Harvick (2014 sweep) and Kasey Kahne (2011) NASCAR in Arizona · There have been 42 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races among three tracks in Arizona. Track Name City NSCS Phoenix International Raceway Avondale 37 Arizona State Fairgrounds Phoenix 4 Tucson Rodeo Grounds Tucson 1 · 32 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Arizona. · None of the drivers from Arizona have won a race in NASCAR’s three national series. 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
Clint Bowyer and Johnny Sauter talk about their solid runs in the Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway, a track Sauter describes as one he isn't particularly fond of.
NASCAR penalizes team for infractions at Auto Club Speedway
Host Matthew Dillner and the GarageCam crew takes you around the XFINITY Series garage at Auto Club Speedway but not before coming across three huge beehives.
A stats-based look ahead as the series comes back East to Martinsville Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.-- Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia going into the STP 500 on March 29 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). MARTINSVILLE-SPECIFIC STATS Clint Bowyer (No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota) · Four top fives, 12 top 10s · Average finish of 12.1 · Average Running Position of 12.1, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 95.0, seventh-best · 296 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 91.276 mph, sixth-fastest · 6,586 Laps in the Top 15 (72.9%), seventh-most · 613 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), sixth-most Dale Earnhardt Jr . (No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet) · One win, 12 top fives, 17 top 10s · Average finish of 12.4 · Average Running Position of 10.6, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 101.2, fourth-best · 523 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most · Series-high 1,181 Green Flag Passes · Average Green Flag Speed of 91.386 mph, fourth-fastest · 7,860 Laps in the Top 15 (78.3%), third-most · 719 Quality Passes, second-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet) · Eight wins, 28 top fives, 35 top 10s; seven poles · Average finish of 6.8 · Series-best Average Running Position of 6.6 · Driver Rating of 119.8, second-best · Series-high 1,105 Fastest Laps Run · 1,000 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 91.689 mph, second-fastest · 8,848 Laps in the Top 15 (88.2%), second-most · Series-high 754 Quality Passes Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota) · Four wins, nine top fives, 14 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 8.7 · Average Running Position of 8.8, third-best · Driver Rating of 110.1, third-best · 612 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 91.473 mph, third-fastest · 7,503 Laps in the Top 15 (83.1%), fourth-most · 659 Quality Passes, fifth-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser / Jimmy John's Chevrolet) · One win, three top fives, 12 top 10s · Average finish of 16.4 · Average Running Position of 14.4, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 91.8, eighth-best · 255 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most · 1,016 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 91.130 mph, eighth-fastest · 6,475 Laps in the Top 15 (64.5%), eighth-most · 593 Quality Passes, seventh-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) · Eight wins, 18 top fives, 22 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 6.2 · Average Running Position of 6.8, second-best · Series-best Driver Rating of 122.5 · 1,041 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 91.700 mph · Series-high 8,932 Laps in the Top 15 (89.0%) · 689 Quality Passes, third-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · Four top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 14.7 · Average Running Position of 15.7, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 84.9, 12th-best · 178 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most · 1,097 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 91.043 mph, 11th-fastest · 5,235 Laps in the Top 15 (52.2%), 12th-most Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford) · Three top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 14.0 · Average Running Position of 15.1, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 85.1, 10th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 91.036 mph, 12th-fastest Jamie McMurray (No. 1 CESSNA Chevrolet) · One top five, 12 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 17.3 · Driver Rating of 85.1, 11th-best · 195 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 91.060 mph, 10th-fastest · 5,471 Laps in the Top 15 (54.5%), 10th-most · 452 Quality Passes, 12th-most Ryan Newman (No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet) · One win, eight top fives, 12 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 15.0 · Average Running Position of 15.0, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 87.4, ninth-best · 1,071 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most · 5,843 Laps in the Top 15 (58.2%), ninth-most · 568 Quality Passes, ninth-most Tony Stewart (No. 14 Code 3 Associates / Mobil 1 Chevrolet) · Three wins, 10 top fives, 16 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 13.6 · Average Running Position of 11.2, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 97.6, fifth-best · 397 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 91.253 mph, seventh-fastest · 6,711 Laps in the Top 15 (70.4%), sixth-most · 471 Quality Passes, 10th-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Martinsville Speedway Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 27 0 1 3 12 1 16.4 91.8 2 Joey Logano 12 0 0 3 4 0 14.0 85.1 3 Martin Truex Jr . 18 0 0 2 4 2 23.1 68.7 4 Dale Earnhardt Jr . 30 0 1 12 17 2 12.4 101.2 5 Brad Keselowski 10 0 0 1 5 0 15.2 83.4 6 Ryan Newman 26 3 1 8 12 2 15.0 87.4 7 Jimmie Johnson 26 3 8 18 22 1 6.2 122.5 8 Kasey Kahne 22 1 0 3 4 5 21.1 76.4 9 Paul Menard 15 0 0 0 1 1 20.5 63.4 10 Aric Almirola 12 0 0 1 3 3 23.8 66.0 11 AJ Allmendinger 13 0 0 1 3 1 19.7 72.2 12 Casey Mears 23 0 0 0 3 2 23.5 64.0 13 Matt Kenseth 30 0 0 4 11 2 14.7 84.9 14 Denny Hamlin 18 3 4 9 14 1 8.7 110.1 15 David Ragan 17 0 0 0 2 1 22.0 64.5 16 Jamie McMurray 24 2 0 1 12 2 17.3 85.1 * – Based on last 20 races at Martinsville Speedway (2005 – 2014). Martinsville Speedway Data Season Race #: 6 of 36 (03-29-15) Track Size : 0.526-mile Banking/Turn 1 & 2 : 12 degrees Banking/Turn 3 & 4 : 12 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 0 degrees Banking/Backstretch : 0 degrees Frontstretch Length : 800 feet Backstretch Length : 800 feet Race Length : 500 laps / 263 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Martinsville Jimmie Johnson ........................ 122.5 Jeff Gordon .............................. 119.8 Denny Hamlin ............................ 110.1 Dale Earnhardt Jr . ..................... 101.2 Tony Stewart ............................... 97.6 Kyle Busch ................................. 96.2 Clint Bowyer ............................... 95.0 Kevin Harvick .............................. 91.8 Ryan Newman ............................. 87.4 Joey Logano .............................. 85.1 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (20 total) among active drivers at Martinsville Speedway . Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Kyle Busch , Toyota 99.674 mph, 18.998 secs. 03-28-14 2014 race winner : Kurt Busch , Chevrolet 72.176 mph, (03:38:38), 03-30-14 Track qualifying record: Jamie McMurray , Chevrolet 99.905 mph, 18.954 secs. 10-24-14 Track race record: Jeff Gordon , Chevrolet 82.223 mph, (3:11:55), 09-22-96 Martinsville Speedway : History · Opened in September 1947 by H. Clay Earles , Martinsville, originally a dirt track, is one of the oldest continuously-operating race tracks in the United States. · The first NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville was on July 4, 1948. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was Sept. 25, 1949. · The track was paved in 1955. · The first 500-lap event at Martinsville was in 1956. · Concrete corners were added atop asphalt in 1976. Notebook · There have been 132 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway , one in the inaugural year and two races per year since 1950. · 602 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville; 380 in more than one. · NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty has the all-time most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Martinsville with 67; Jeff Gordon has the most starts among active drivers with 44. · Curtis Turner won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Martinsville Speedway in 1949. · 58 drivers have Coors Light poles at Martinsville, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip with eight; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven. · 12 drivers have won two or more consecutive Coors Light poles at Martinsville Speedway . Four of the 12 have won three consecutive poles at Martinsville: Glen Wood (Fall of 1959 and 1960 sweep); Darrell Waltrip (1979 sweep and spring 1980); Mark Martin (fall of 1990 and 1991 sweep); Jeff Gordon (2003 sweep and spring 2004). · Youngest Martinsville pole winner: Ricky Rudd (4/26/1981 – 24 years, 7 months, 14 days). · Oldest Martinsville pole winner: Morgan Shepherd (4/26/1987 – 45 years, 6 months, 14 days). · 48 different drivers have won at Martinsville Speedway , led by Richard Petty with 15; Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon lead the series among active drivers with eight wins each. · 24 drivers have multiple wins at Martinsville Speedway only five active drivers have multiple wins: Jimmie Johnson (eight), Jeff Gordon (eight), Denny Hamlin (four), Tony Stewart (three) and Kurt Busch (two). · Hendrick Motorsports leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 22. · 21 of 132 races (15.9%) at Martinsville Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; seven of those 21 wins came from active drivers: Tony Stewart (2000), Jeff Gordon (2003 twice), Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2012, spring 2013) and Denny Hamlin (2010). · The Coors Light pole is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Martinsville producing more wins (21) than any other starting position. · 36 of the 132 (27.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from the front row: 21 from the pole and 15 from second-place. · 95 of the 132 (71.9%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position. · Seven of the 132 (5.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20 – including both races last season. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 36th, by Kurt Busch in the fall of 2002. · Youngest Martinsville winner: Richard Petty (04/10/1960 – 22 years, 9 months, 8 days). · Oldest Martinsville winner: Harry Gant (09/22/1991 – 51 years, 8 months, 12 days). · NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in runner-up finishes at Martinsville Speedway with seven; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with five, followed by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson with four. · Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Martinsville Speedway with 30; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 28, followed by Jimmie Johnson with 18. · Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Martinsville Speedway with 37; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 35, followed by Jimmie Johnson with 22. · Jeff Gordon leads active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Martinsville Speedway with a 7.318. Denny Hamlin (9.500) and Ryan Newman (9.654) are the only other active drivers with an average starting position at Martinsville inside the top 10. · Three active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top 10 at Martinsville: Jimmie Johnson (6.231), Jeff Gordon (6.841) and Denny Hamlin (8.722). · There have been five NSCS green-white-checkered finishes at Martinsville Speedway : fall 2007 (500/506), fall 2008 (500/504), fall 2009 (500/501), spring 2010 (500/508), and spring 2012 (500/515). · Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions eight times in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway ; the most recent was the fall race of 2011. · Jeff Gordon has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway without a DNF (44). · Tony Stewart (4/18/1999) and Scott Riggs (4/10/2005) won their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Martinsville Speedway . · Mike Bliss (09/27/1998), Travis Kvapil (10/24/2004) and Michael McDowell (3/30/2008) are active drivers that made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Martinsville Speedway . · 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted consecutive wins at Martinsville Speedway . Fred Lorenzen won four NSCS races straight (the most) from the fall of 1963 through the spring of 1965. Jimmie Johnson is the most recent driver to win consecutive races (Fall of 2012 / Spring of 2013) at Martinsville. · All eight active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Martinsville Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Tony Stewart won at Martinsville (2000) with the fewest previous appearances (three). · Ryan Newman competed at Martinsville Speedway 20 times before winning in the spring of 2012; the longest span of any the eight active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners. · Two active drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Martinsville Speedway : Kevin Harvick (19) and Ryan Newman (20). · Chevrolet leads series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 54 victories – including the last eight consecutive races. · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway is the April 1, 2007 race won by Jimmie Johnson with a MOV of 0.065 second. · Danica Patrick is the only female driver to compete at Martinsville Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Below are Patrick’s stats at Martinsville. Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Driver Rating Date Danica Patrick 32 12 72.6 4/7/2013 Danica Patrick 41 17 64.7 10/27/2013 Danica Patrick 10 32 52.4 3/30/2014 Danica Patrick 30 34 61.3 10/26/2014 · Seven car numbers have produced five or more Martinsville Speedway NSCS wins: Car Number – Drivers – (Years) o No. 43 – Richard Petty (1960, ’62, ’63, ’67 sweep, ’68, ’69 sweep, ’70, ’71, ’72 sweep, ’73, ’75 and ’79); John Andretti (1999) o No. 11 – Cale Yarborough (1974, ’76, ’77 sweep, ‘78); Darrell Waltrip (1981, ’82, ’83, ’84); Geoff Bodine (1990 sweep); Denny Hamlin (2008, ’09, ’10 sweep) o No . 28 – Fred Lorenzen (1961, ’63, ’64 sweep, ‘65 and ‘66); Buddy Baker (1979); Ernie Irvan (1993). o No . 2 – Dale Earnhardt (1980); Rusty Wallace (1993, ‘94 sweep, ’95, ’96 an