Kurt Busch and Michael McDowell comment on their last lap contact, while others comment on a challenging day in Iowa.
Nick Duncan recaps the ToyotaCare 250 as Denny Hamlin starts on the pole, Brendan Gaughan's pit crew escapes a massive pit road fire and Hamlin leads all but two laps en route to victory.
JGR's No. 20, No. 18 speed to top times RELATED: Full qualifying results Drew Herring did more than keep the seat hot for Erik Jones during qualifying at Iowa Speedway Saturday night. Herring was fastest in Coors Light Qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series 3M 250 on Sunday (2 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1). Jones will get into the seat Sunday, but will have to start at the rear of the field. Herring, in the No. 20 Toyota, turned a lap of 134.391 mph around the 0.875-mile oval track in the final round. It was an all front row for Joe Gibbs Racing on Saturday night, as Daniel Suarez qualified second (134.351 mph) in the No. 18. Brian Scott (133.906), Chris Buescher (133.803) and Brandon Jones (133.752) qualified among the top five. Defending series champion Chase Elliott will start sixth. Ty Dillon , the series points leader (330) through nine races, qualified ninth. Scott led the final practice at Iowa Speedway with a time of 133.747 mph. Ryan Blaney , the 2014 pole winner for the May race at Iowa, will start 13th. Ben Rhodes , who will make his XFNITY Series debut Sunday driving the No. 88 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, qualified 14th. Follow the XFINITY Series 3M 250 on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET with TV coverage on FOX Sports 1. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Two on-track incidents see Poole get parked, called to hauler at Iowa NEWTON, Iowa -- One of the most famous quotes from the iconic baseball movie "The Sandlot" goes as follows: "Heroes get remembered, but legends never die." If NASCAR XFINITY Series rookie Brennan Poole had been in the film, perhaps it might've gone a little something like this: "Heroes get remembered … as the driver who you need to pay back once you get back out on the track." The HScott Motorsports with Chip Ganassi driver was black-flagged and parked in the garage for retaliation from an earlier incident with J.J. Yeley – who he later expressed his adoration for -- in the 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway. "(Yeley's) kind of a hero to me … Hate that it happened between me and JJ," Poole said in the garage area after he'd been taken off the track. "He's a guy I looked up to a lot when I was racing quarter-midgets. … Just tough racing. Just a little bummed it happened between me and him. Just unfortunate. I really felt like we had a shot at it; we'll never know now." A few minutes later, Poole expanded on his comments and appeared to indicate that the second incident on Lap 151 -- which put Yeley's No. 28 into the wall, crunching the hood and ending the veteran driver's day – was more than just rough racing. It was retaliation. "He just deliberately crashed me like five laps into the race when there's 245 laps left. There's no sense in that," Poole said before heading to the NASCAR hauler to speak with officials. "It costs us a lot of money to be out here. DC Solar is putting everything on the line to build a brand. I'm trying to make myself known in this sport so I can stay here and then one of my heroes just deliberately crashed me five laps into the race. Just doesn't make sense. "I feel like it's pretty common sense to know that you've got 245 to go, like, 'What are you doing?' So we fixed the car, I got back to him and we just got into it. Just part of racing. Hate it happened between me and JJ but it's just how it goes sometimes." In these situations, the drivers involved rarely see it in the same light, and Sunday was no different. Yeley was firm in saying that early on when the initial contact happened in the early stages of the race, his Toyota Camry just got loose off of Turn 2 and he "tried to tuck it behind him and just barely clipped him. Obviously nothing intentional. I'm not just going to wreck somebody on Lap 15. It's just a stupid thing to do. "Obviously he was upset and instead of just talking to us like a man after the race, he came back out there and took a good finish away from a guy with a small team," said Yeley, who finished 34th. "We don't have a lot of cars and obviously he's got no issue unloading another bullet for next week. Very furious. Hopefully NASCAR gets a hold of him before I do." A NASCAR spokesperson said after the race Sunday that there would be no penalty to Poole for his actions Sunday. In what was a very aggressive race overall, the Yeley/Poole incident still felt especially odd and out of place. The duo each said positive and negative things about each other. "I don't know (if that's just racing). I've raced him pretty clean throughout the year," Yeley added. "I even congratulated him at Texas because we raced all night long together and had no issues. I thought he did a fantastic job. It's racing, but sometimes you understand that stuff happens. And again, when it's Lap 15 and we're back in 20th, you have to understand that it's nothing intentional. It's very disappointing. I haven't been in that situation in a very long time where someone wants to come get you. "For a guy like that, as a rookie, to go out there and do that thing kind of … it sucks. "The shoe will be on the other foot before too long." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
XFINITY Series points leader discusses what he hopes the future holds NEWTON, Iowa – When Austin Dillon wrapped up his 2013 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship run, he'd run two full-time Camping World Truck seasons (winning a title in his second) another two at the XFINITY level and had a ride with the sport's most famous number – 3 – waiting for him in the Sprint Cup Series. Austin's brother, Ty, is well on his way to his own XFINITY Series championship – in his second campaign after two full-time seasons in the Truck Series, no less – as the points leader after the season's first nine races. Only difference is, with Richard Childress Racing 's three-car stable occupied by Austin, Ryan Newman and Paul Menard , there's no clear option for Ty to advance to. That doesn't mean Ty and his grandfather and RCR team owner, Richard Childress, aren't coming up with a plan. "We've definitely talked about (my Cup plans for 2016) and I think it's our goal," Ty said Saturday at Iowa Speedway , site of Sunday's 3M 250 (2 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). "It's my goal and my grandfather and I have talked about it a lot, (running) in Cup next year. "Still working on things, but that's next year. I think if we win the championship this year, it'll make plans easier to come by." Coming off a championship certainly helped Austin's case, as he had big shoes to fill and doubters to quiet, stepping into a car that adorns the number Dale Earnhardt made famous. The only problem with Ty's plans for next year is that there's no obvious car to step into, famous or not. It's conceivable that the No. 33 Circle Sport Chevrolet in which, RCR has an alliance with and the car that Ty has made his four Cup starts in over the past two years, could be transformed into a fourth Childress entry, but nothing has been said to indicate this. Expansion has been a trend the past two seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing going to four-car teams. JGR added a fourth team for the 2015 season to compete with other four-car stables in SHR and Hendrick Motorsports , but the organization has had some ups and downs in the early going since expanding to four cars. Either way, Ty is focusing on the task at hand. "We just have to focus on my job, and that's to win races," the 23-year-old driver said. "Hopefully sponsorship and everything will come together, but (running Cup in 2016) is our full intention." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
18-year-old didn't live typical teenage life NEWTON, Iowa -- No high school dances, no high school football games and no NASCAR XFINITY Series starts. While it might be too late to change those first two, Ben Rhodes is set to make his NXS debut Sunday at Iowa Speedway in the 3M 250 (2 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1), his first of 10 scheduled 2015 starts for JR Motorsports. As one of the sport’s hottest prospects, the NASCAR Next alum has spent a fair share of his high school years, well, away from high school. His efforts are paying off, as the 18-year-old won five of 16 races on his way to a 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title and finished in the top 10 in three of his four Camping World Truck Series races in the No. 32 last year -- both of which helped lead to his JRM shot. So the fact that Rhodes missed his Holy Cross High School (Louisville, Kentucky) graduation on Friday night and will get his diploma during driver intros on Sunday like Erik Jones at Texas last year -- albeit without the cap and gown -- doesn't faze him. "For me, it doesn't seem like that big of a deal, because I've already missed so much and when it comes to high school in the first place, I haven't been to a single dance, I haven't been to a single football game, none of that," Rhodes said Saturday. "I've already missed everything, so why not throw graduation in there, too? I know that's probably a bad way to look at it, but I'm being optimistic. This is what I love to do. This is what I want to make a career out of and this is my first opportunity out of hopefully a long career. I'm going to make the most of it. This is a wonderful opportunity JR Motorsports has given me. I've just got to do my best and work as hard as I can." That said, Rhodes did still have to finish his year out, Senioritis or not. Whoo! I'm free! #LastDayOfSchool #ClassOf15 pic.twitter.com/hUI5UuNz7b — Ben Rhodes (@benrhodes) May 7, 2015 "Senioritis kicked in as soon as senior year started. It was pretty bad for me," Rhodes said. "By the time I was there in high school and I was doing everything I was doing over the summer; living somewhere else, working on the cars in the shop every day, it was difficult for me to come back and completely change my lifestyle from being race-focused every single day to what is "To Kill A Mockingbird"? "Actually, we didn't read that, we read "The Possibility of Evil" and all this other junk. I shouldn't say junk. (English teacher Mrs. Cheryl) Feathers will get mad at me." Since the announcement that he'd be joining the organization on a part-time, developmental basis, Rhodes has been in constant contact with everyone at JR Motorsports -- the drivers, the crew chiefs, the shop men, the engine men. He's doing all he can to absorb and learn everything he can to ensure this opportunity doesn't go unfulfilled, starting with Iowa. One JRM employee, in particular, that has been extra helpful? Chase Elliott . "I called him coming down here and I said, 'Chase, I need some guidance. What happens? What goes on?' and we talked for about 30 minutes on the phone about just race runs, how the track changes, different quirks of this car and stuff that you have to work on," said Rhodes. "He helped me out a lot. I've talked to Regan (Smith) a little bit, too. Over the course of the season, going to different tracks with Kevin (Harvick) and Dale (Earnhardt Jr.), they've shed a lot of light on this subject as well. "It's been interesting. A huge learning curve. I will say these ( XFINITY ) cars are pretty edgy. There's a lot of stuff going on that I'm not used to; lot of stuff that I'm learning." Rhodes' first start coming at Iowa was likely by design, as the young driver has already accumulated four starts at the 0.875-mile track in the K&N Series, winning here last year as the first leg of a four-race win streak that propelled him to the title. So while he's never been behind the wheel of a NXS Chevrolet Camaro prior to Friday's practices (16th, fifth) and qualifying (14th) sessions, the bumps and feel of this short track are nothing new to him. "I think time on the track was pretty huge for me. At least it gives me the confidence coming into the race, but then also how the cars race on the track, it's not the exact same because you have to move around a lot more for the aero in these cars, but I feel like the grooves are similar. The grooves are the same; you can move up, you can move down. The overall experience on how the track changes throughout runs, I think is pretty comparable. "It gives me a lot of confidence knowing that I have a win here and I have a trophy that I wake up next to. It makes me feel good." Now that high school is behind him and his future is in focus, Rhodes can put 100 percent of his effort into competing on the race track, and not splitting time unraveling the mystery of Boo Radley or deciding who he would've asked to the senior prom. "I feel like racing is my life and it's what I want to do, but at the same time it would've been cool to experience some of the stuff that everybody else has, but I've been used to sacrificing that stuff in my life from the time I was 7," Rhodes said. "I never played any other sports. I came home and worked on go-karts every single day after school and did my homework and prepared for the next race. "It's what I know, but it would've been cool to experience that and maybe make a few more friends, but I wouldn't trade it for what I'm doing." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See where drivers will pit for Sunday's 3M 250 (2 p.m. ET, FS1)
Driver focused on current job, says 'the future will work itself out' NEWTON, Iowa -- Some way or another, it seems inevitable that Ryan Blaney , currently running part-time schedules in both the Sprint Cup Series (for Wood Brothers Racing ) and XFINITY Series (for Team Penske ) is bound for a full-time Cup ride in 2016. With Roger Penske only fielding two full-time Cup entries for Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano in 2015, he loaned his developmental talent to the fellow Ford organization for roughly 18 starts to get his feet wet while future plans for the son of long-time Cup driver Dave Blaney get sorted out. As of Sunday, there have been no conversations about adding a third Cup team for Penske next season. "There hasn't (been any talk about a third Penske team)," Blaney said after wheeling the No. 22 to a fifth-place finish in the 3M 250 XFINITY race at Iowa Speedway . "We're working hard at doing what we can for the future, and that's with whatever team, you know? Our main focus is trying to finish out this year strong with the Wood Brothers." Talks about Blaney's future have intensified after the 21-year-old started third and finished fourth at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this month. An Associated Press report was published on Saturday in which Penske also confirmed that his organization isn't currently interested in expanding to three cars, but that a full season with Blaney in the No. 21 Fusion is possible, provided that enough funding is secured. "I'd hope there can be an extension … we're going to run him in about 18 races, so if we can get sponsorship for him, that gives him a chance to take a look at extending that through a full season next year. That would be our goal," Penske told the AP. "This is a partnership really with Woods' people and ours … we've got the technology and the ability to build the right pieces for them. It's like a brother-in-law." In the meantime, Blaney knows he can only control what happens on the race track, and his focus is on making the most of his time behind the respective wheels of both the Nos. 21 and 22. "We're excited to go to the (Coca-Cola) 600 next week. We're really pumped about that," Blaney said. "After our good run at Talladega and we tested at Charlotte and I thought it went really well; just really excited to get back there and we're always working to get towards the future. We can definitely have wishful thinking. "We really just focus on here and now," said Blaney. "I always say 'You do your job here in the present and the stuff for the future will work itself out.'" FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Elliott leads 114 laps, couldn't hold off Buescher on old tires RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings NEWTON, Iowa — Chris Buescher and all but one driver battling at the front of the pack yearned for one last caution. The lone exception? Chase Elliott , who, fully fueled, had powered to a commanding lead and near-certain win in Sunday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway . Two laps remained. Elliott’s trip to Victory Lane loomed. Then, it happened. Jamie Dick , running mid-pack, hit the wall and spun, drawing a caution flag. Buescher — his No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford packed with fuel and four fresh tires — smiled, charging hard and low on the restart to cap a temper-tinged and thrill-filled race with a green-white-checkered triumph at the 7/8-mile short track. “When that happened, I knew we had an awesome shot at it,” said Buescher, who raced to the series standings lead by eight points over Ty Dillon , who finished 14th. Buescher had on-track help — namely from Roush Fenway teammate, Darrell Wallace Jr ., who provided a strong nudge as the race went green. Maybe more than a nudge. “(He) gave us a heck of a shot on the restart,” said Buescher, who relegated Elliott to second while notching his first win of the season and Roush Fenway’s fifth in 11 XFINITY Series races at Iowa. “It was a hard hit. That was almost a crash. It was exactly what we needed to get going and get to the inside and be able to pull this win off.” Elliott took the runner-up finish in stride. He led 114 laps. His car ran fast all day long. The late-race pit strategy — partly because of minor right-side damage, he pitted on lap 177 while other leaders stayed out — nearly paid off. “That’s racing some days,” said Elliott, who -- like Buescher -- enjoys a series-leading five top-five finishes this season. “You make a decision — and I think it was a good one. We had some right-side damage and it was good to come in and make sure that was OK rather than to face the opposite of that, cutting down a tire and have a day like we did in Talladega. So I think it was the right move.” Erik Jones climbed from 35th to take third. Brian Scott and Ryan Blaney completed the top five. Jones started near the rear of the field because Drew Herring qualified the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota on the pole while Jones remained in Charlotte. By the Lap 60 competition caution, Jones had raced into the top 10, but couldn’t find enough speed in the ensuing laps to advance past third. “We worked ourselves into a good position,” Jones said. “A long day coming from the back.” Buescher — who raced outside the top 10 in both XFINITY Series Iowa races last season — merely needed to come from the second row. He’d reluctantly accepted the waning laps would mostly entail driving in “points mode,” as Dillon had pitted late after running in the top eight most of the day. “I hate points racing,” Buescher said. “I despise it. When that caution came out — watched it happen right in front of me — it was like, ‘All right, this is it. This is what we need. We need to come in and get some tires and get back rolling here.’” That he did, right to the top, for now, at least. “This is big,” Buescher said. Black Flag: The race was marred by a temper-stoked wreck. Brennan Poole — who felt rival J.J. Yeley had struck him intentionally early in the race — spun Yeley out on lap 153. Yeley’s car sustained damage, but he was unharmed. Poole drew the black flag and told the Motorsports Racing Network, “it happens.” Yeley said the early-race encounter was unintentional and described his mood as “very furious.” “Hopefully NASCAR gets ahold of him before I do,” Yeley added. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Jamie Dick to backup car after damage from lead coming off another car FINAL PRACTICE RECAP " Full practice 2 results Brian Scott led the final NASCAR XFINITY Series practice at Iowa Speedway for Sunday's 3M 250 (2 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM) with a top speed of 133.747 mph during the 85-minute session. Brandon Jones , who topped the opening practice, was second at 133.435 mph, followed by Darrell Wallace Jr . (132.347 mph), John Wes Townley (132.314 mph) and Ben Rhodes (132.048 mph). Rhodes is making his XFINITY Series debut this weekend in the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. The 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion will be missing his high school graduation in Louisville, Kentucky. Defending series champion Chase Elliott was ninth in the final practice, while points leader Ty Dillon was 10th. There was a caution just past the halfway point of final practice for smoke coming from Jamie Dick 's backup car. Dick had a scary moment in the opening practice when lead came off of Ross Chastain 's car and hit the No. 55 Chevrolet, causing significant damage to the car while a piece of metal also struck his helmet. Coors Light Pole Qualifying is on tap for 5:45 p.m. ET. FIRST PRACTICE RECAP " RELATED: Full practice 1 results Brandon Jones topped the opening NASCAR XFINITY Series practice at Iowa Speedway . The 18-year-old paced the field with a fast lap of 135.676 mph during the 55-minute session. This will be Jones' first XFINITY Series start as he pilots the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. Jamie Dick had to go to a backup car after lead came off Ross Chastain 's car and hit the No. 55 Chevrolet, causing significant damage to the car while a piece of metal also struck his helmet. This will be Dick's first start since being diagnosed with new on-set diabetes in March. Chastain took to Twitter to apologize for what happened to Dick's car. pic.twitter.com/sVx3nnQ2ns — Ross Chastain (@RossChastain) May 16, 2015 Chris Buescher (135.606 mph) was second, while Daniel Suarez (135.211 mph), Ty Dillon (134.938 mph) and Chase Elliott (134.225 mph) completed the top five. It was a quick turnaround for Elliott, who competed in Friday night's Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Drew Herring shook down the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for Erik Jones , who will compete in Sunday's race. Herring was 11th in the session. The series' stop at the 0.875-mile track marks the first standalone event of the schedule. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule