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Short-track swing could turn tide on track, in standings
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Martinsville " MORE: Full schedule RELATED: Pre-Martinsville standings " Stage lengths The first short-track swing of the 2017 schedule begins this week at the venerable Martinsville Speedway and even before leaving California’s two-miler last weekend, NASCAR’s best conceded they were eagerly awaiting this portion of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. Gone are the days of NASCAR road course aces, superspeedway specialists or short track experts. Not only has the sport demanded high expectations at every stop, drivers have to perform everywhere at an even greater level with the current points system. April's short track swing features Martinsville's .526-mile oval on Sunday (2 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), Bristol's .53-miler in three weeks followed by Richmond's three-quarter mile oval to close out the month. And while this portion of the schedule brings a smile to most drivers faces and a sentimental nod to their early careers, it also means a big competitive kick in their anticipation. "I love the short tracks and short-track racing," said Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has wins at all three upcoming short tracks. "We don't get to do a lot of it, so that makes you love it more. Being able to come to these tracks and knowing you are only going to get to run here a few times, it makes you really appreciate it and work hard. You have to really try to take care of the car to run all the laps and get everything out of it you can." RELATED: Full results for every Martinsville race " Driver stats at Martinsville Earnhardt's Hendrick Motorsports teammate and reigning seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson may be the happiest guy on the grid when he takes Sunday's green flag. He's at an unfamiliar 17th place in the Monster Energy Series standings with only one top 10 in five races this season so far. However, Martinsville has been his playground, his mecca, his "I got this." Johnson's nine wins there are most among active drivers and he has 24 top-10 finishes in 30 starts. He's led 2,838 laps there -- an amazing 1,475 laps more than any other driver on Sunday's grid. And he's won at Bristol (once) and Richmond (three times) too. "We certainly are not where we want to be right now," Johnson said. "Last weekend at California was so frustrating. Nothing went our way. As a competitor you have to put that stuff behind you and focus forward, so I'm looking forward to getting to Martinsville. " The last race at Martinsville was an amazing finish , a very emotional one for me -- so meaningful -- and it obviously paved the way to our seventh championship. It's a special place for us, it suits my driving style and I wish we raced at Martinsville more than twice a year." Toyota driver Denny Hamlin is another who has shown a real knack for the series' short-track portion of the schedule. He has a career best five victories at Martinsville -- including a remarkable three consecutive from 2009-2010 -- with 17 top-10 finishes in 22 Martinsville starts in all. He also has wins at Bristol (one) and his home track of Richmond (three). RELATED: Hamlin explains why 'feel' is more important than lap times His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch is the defending winner of the spring Martinsville race and has 10 wins total at the three upcoming venues including five at Bristol. And while drivers such as Johnson, Hamlin and Busch seem to have had immediate and bountiful success on the high action short tracks, Martin Truex Jr. could say his good feelings have been an acquired taste there. In his first 18 starts at Martinsville, for example, he had an average start of 18.1 and an average finish of 23.1. In his last four races -- with Furniture Row Racing -- he's had an average start of 5.5 and an average finish of 9.3. "From my standpoint Martinsville has gone from a puzzle to a place where I continue to feel more comfortable," said Truex. "We've had some good runs there recently and this weekend will be a good test to see where we stand with our short-track program. "We know we can get it done at the intermediate and superspeedway tracks." It's been a familiar refrain in the garage. In the past, a driver might show a real flair for a certain type of competitive surface. But in modern NASCAR every week, ever track is an opportunity that can’t be overlooked. There's no denying the "back home" good feeling of this upcoming short track portion of the schedule, however. It's the ultimate in challenge and gratification, a showcase for short tempers and a source of deep pride. "To me, the toughest part of Martinsville is you just never have a moment to breathe," said Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Dillon. "You have to be on your game nonstop for 500 laps because somebody's on you, or you are on top of somebody the whole time, and there's just no room for error." And that's exactly what fans are counting on. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Richard Childress Racing debuts newly designed website
RELATED: See the new website WELCOME, N.C. -- In honor of Richard Childress' upcoming induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Richard Childress Racing (RCR) has rolled out a digital video series highlighting milestones throughout his illustrious career. Entitled 'Richard Childress : A Career of Firsts,' the series features Richard Childress himself recounting significant 'firsts' from his long career in motorsports, from the first race car he purchased to the first time he took grandsons Austin and Ty Dillon to drive at a racetrack. RCR has partnered with Chevrolet for the video series. "I was thrilled to work on a project like this with such a longstanding partner as Chevrolet," said Childress . "This video series has been a unique trip down memory lane. I really hope NASCAR fans and RCR employees enjoy the stories as much as I have enjoyed the adventure over the last 48 years." The retrospective video series is featured on RCR's newly relaunched website, for which they partnered with NASCAR Digital Media (NDM) in the second half of 2016 to develop. The new website will support RCR's focus on producing and distributing original content and give visitors an improved overall digital experience. "Our digital efforts and original content have become a major focus for RCR and many of our partners over the past few years," said Ben Schlosser, Chief Marketing Officer of RCR. "How better to celebrate Richard ’s induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame and launch our new website than to have Richard tell the stories about his 'firsts' over his amazing career? The website designed and built by NDM allows RCR to fully showcase this type of engaging content."
Dale Earnhardt-Wrangler deal risky, but paid off big for Richard Childress
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Richard Childress went all in. He wagered everything -- his yesterday, his today and his tomorrow. He bet it on a late-season deal with a driver who was a maverick, and he bet it on nothing more than a sliver of a sponsorship. And at the end of that 1981 season, less than a dozen races after the relationships began, the driver and the sponsor departed. The story could have ended there. Driver gone, sponsor gone and Childress , who had tried to scratch out a living as a racer before going the ownership route, hopelessly broke and perhaps finished with NASCAR. But it didn't. Two years later, both Dale Earnhardt and Wrangler reunited with Childress . The union produced a pair of championships and a slew of wins, and set Childress and Earnhardt on a path of success rarely seen in NASCAR. "I borrowed everything I could on my home; I sold everything I had that I thought I could sell just to run Dale those 10 races," Childress said Wednesday during a celebration at Wrangler's headquarters here in Greensboro. "At the end of it, I was just in debt. I had borrowed money from some folks and everything just to run those 10 races." It's fitting that the celebration of the region's textile community, dubbed Jeansboro Day, took place this week, just as NASCAR's premier series prepares to return to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. Because it was at Talladega in the summer of '81 that all the pieces first came together that would unite Childress , Earnhardt and Wrangler. "I had already talked to Dale at the track earlier that day," Childress said, "and put our deal together." Later, at the long-gone Anniston Inn just east of the track, he met with Phil Holmer of Goodyear, Wrangler officials and Joe Whitlock, who handled Earnhardt's public relations at the time. Earnhardt had won the 1980 title while driving for team owner Rod Osterlund, but when the team was sold mid-season to J.D. Stacy in '81, the driver wanted out. A deal to run the final 11 races of the season was struck, with Childress and Wrangler. By year's end, Earnhardt had managed six top-10 finishes, but the strong runs were offset by mechanical issues and parts breakage. "We ran good, but I knew we didn't have what it took to run him for a championship," Childress said. Dale Earnhardt talks with Richard Childress after the two reunited in 1984. Dale Earnhardt Jr . remembers that season, in particular his father's second start with Childress . "I remember the race at Bristol where you had the accident on pit road that second race that dad drove for you in 1981," Earnhardt Jr. said Wednesday. "I was there. I know that because one of my most favorite photos of me and my father, they basically had these two tires stacked on top of each other and I'm standing in the wheel to get a better perspective to watch the race. I must have been 7 years old. "But Dad is standing with me and we're both watching the rest of the race; the car is in the background too damaged to continue. But my favorite photo of me and my father actually happened that day at Bristol." At the suggestion of Childress , Earnhardt left at the end of the year, taking the Wrangler funding with him to sign with veteran team owner Bud Moore. Childress hired driver Ricky Rudd, and a late deal put Piedmont Airlines on the car and helped stabilize the organization. Wrangler officials, knowing his dire financial situation, had kicked in an extra $50,000 at year's end to help Childress keep his operation upright. "That really helped me going into the following year," Childress said. What would have he done without it? "It's hard to say," he said. "I never look back. I just look ahead and that was one of those deals that helped me look ahead. I don't know where we would have been without it." Before the '84 season began, Childress said Wrangler officials wanted to reunite, with Earnhardt once again driving the No. 3 Chevrolet. The Earnhardt/Moore union had produced just three wins over the course of two years. Childress was more than willing to agree. "I'll never forget Bud told me at Riverside, 'Boy, that boy will break you,'" Childress recalled Moore telling him of Earnhardt. Instead, the pair flourished. A Legacy Continues In 2010, Earnhardt brought the brand back to the race track for a one-off race, winning the XFINITY Series event that summer at Daytona International Speedway . The car, prepared by his own JR Motorsports group, sported the No. 3 and a paint scheme similar to his father's. He continues to serve as a spokesperson for the company, and says it is "amazing" that the relationship has endured for so long. "My father first had Wrangler on the side of his car at the end of the 1980 season; he won the championship with Wrangler on the quarter panel of his car racing at Ontario in 1980 for the final race of the season," Earnhardt Jr. said. "Then he went into 1981 with Wrangler as a full-time sponsor. And we're still working together today. "I'm very proud of that relationship, very proud that it spanned so many years. Typically, relationships just don't last that long. So it says a lot about Wrangler and what they get out of the sport itself; their connection to race fans and the legacy of the Earnhardt family and Richard , everything that Richard and Dad did together."
Newman, Richard Childress Racing announce extension
Ryan Newman and Richard Childress Racing announced Monday that they had agreed on a multi-year contract extension to keep the veteran in the No. 31 Chevrolet. Newman is wrapping up his third full-time season with Childress , and he's notched 12 top-five finishes -- including a fourth-place effort Sunday at Charlotte -- and 40 top-10s during that time span. "Ryan's consistency on the track has been a benefit to our organization and this extension solidifies the future of our racing program," said Richard Childress , Chairman and CEO of RCR. "Ryan proved the first year he was here that we could contend for championships and with this continuation, I believe we can fulfill our commitment to winning races and a championship. Ryan has worked hard to represent many of our partners, especially the primary sponsors Caterpillar, Grainger and WIX Filters, helping them to get the most out of their respective racing programs." While Newman and Childress have not won together, the driver advanced to the Championship 4 in 2014 and raced Kevin Harvick for the win -- and championship -- in the closing laps before finishing second. "I am pleased to continue driving for Richard Childress Racing ," said Newman. "Our goal to win a championship all but turned into a reality during our first year together. I feel like since then, we have some unfinished business to complete. I'm fortunate to have forged a great relationship with my crew chief Luke Lambert, and I very much want to not only help him reach our goal of winning a Cup championship but also getting him his first Cup victory." RCR's three-team lineup also includes Austin Dillon in the No. 3 and Paul Menard in the No. 27. Newman's return likely means Ty Dillon will not drive full time for the Richard Childress Racing contingent in 2017. Previously, Ty Dillon said he planned on being in the Sprint Cup Series full time in 2017. "We've got a lot of options on the table," Dillon said in July at Iowa Speedway . " … I had talks with other teams in the past couple years and had opportunities, but it's always been my dream to drive for RCR and be teammates with my brother."
Prolonged excellence has Childress Hall of Fame bound
RELATED: Learn more about the Class of 2017 MORE: Photos from voting day, of class Journeyman stock car racer Richard Childress caught lightning in a bottle, not once but twice. NASCAR's only driver strike, on the eve of the 1969 inaugural race at Talladega Superspeedway , gave Childress the opportunity to earn enough money to build his first race shop and lay the foundation for Richard Childress Racing , the powerhouse Chevrolet organization which to date has claimed 11 owner titles across NASCAR’s three national series. Nearly a decade later, the Winston-Salem, North Carolina native met Dale Earnhardt. Together, the pair won six NASCAR premier series championships along with 67 races between 1984 and 2000. Earnhardt entered the NASCAR Hall of Fame as a member of its 2010 inaugural class. Childress will be enshrined in the hall on Jan. 20 in Charlotte, N.C. (8 p.m. ET on NBCSN), along with Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin, Raymond Parks and Benny Parsons. Childress , 71, grew up selling peanuts and popcorn at Winston-Salem's legendary Bowman Gray Stadium. Soon after, he bought a 1947 Plymouth for $20. "That's where it started," he said in a Grainger.com interview. "It's the best investment I ever made." Top drivers – those with factory contracts – made a decent living while independents like Childress barely scraped by. He went to Talladega in the fall of 1969 to compete in a preliminary event but was asked by NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. to enter the Talladega 500 when Professional Driver Association members withdrew, citing high speeds and tire failures. "I had made three or four thousand dollars on Saturday," Childress told The Birmingham News in 2009. "The money that (France) paid us to run – we called it deal money in those days – plus my winnings, I came back with seven, eight, 10 thousand dollars. In those days it was big money. "It was my big break. Life’s all about the breaks and when you take advantage of them. That was the difference between making it and not making it." Childress never won a race as a driver but was able to secure enough sponsorship to keep going. His equipment generally was immaculate and pleased supporters, who ultimately would provide much greater – and crucial – financial backing. Earnhardt, who'd won his first championship in 1980, chose not to accompany Rod Osterlund's team upon its sale to J.D. Stacy. He joined Childress for 11 races, replacing the owner in the driver's seat. "I didn't want to get out of the car but I knew the opportunity was there – and I didn't want to pass it up," Childress told Foxnews.com last year. "I knew Dale was a championship driver. That was one of the biggest breaks in the history of RCR and Richard Childress . "I was maxxed out. I did everything I could do on my home. I sold everything I thought I had that I could sell just to run Dale in those (11) races." Earnhardt left to race for Bud Moore, and Childress – thanks to a bail-out from primary sponsor Wrangler Jeans – was able to continue. With Ricky Rudd, RCR scored its first victory in June 1983 at Riverside International Raceway. Earnhardt returned to RCR the following season, capturing the team’s first premier series title in 1986. Additional championships followed in 1987, 1990-91 and 1993-94. Longtime racing executive and Charlotte Motor Speedway promoter H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler credited Childress for molding Earnhardt into one of NASCAR's greatest drivers. "In his own, quiet Southern way, Richard instilled in Dale all he knew," Wheeler wrote in "Growing Up NASCAR." " Richard knew what to say and when to say it and he knew how to get the best out of his driver. Richard was a brilliant, brilliant coach, something most drivers never get." Earnhardt and Childress finally won the long-elusive Daytona 500 in 1998, three years before the driver's death on the final lap of the "Great American Race." Childress considered leaving the sport – "Probably all the way up until Tuesday. Sunday night, definitely," he said – but recalled a hunting incident after which he and Earnhardt agreed each would go on if something happened to the other. RCR promoted its NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Kevin Harvick to drive its Chevrolets – retiring the iconic No. 3 in deference to the late Intimidator. Childress returned the number to its cars several years ago when his grandson, Austin Dillon , moved to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series after winning NASCAR Camping World Truck and XFINITY titles. To date, RCR has won 105 NASCAR premier series races. The organization counts four XFINITY owner titles and the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner championship in 1995 with Mike Skinner. RCR also captured the XFINITY Series driver championship in 2013 and the Camping World Truck Series driver title in 2011, both with Austin Dillon . Childress , recipient of the 1986 Bill France Award of Excellence, is a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, International Motorsports Hall of Fame and North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
With long history in sport, Childress ready for Friday's Hall of Fame induction
RELATED: Mark Martin on what drove him to success Richard Childress will go into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Friday night with perhaps a bit more of an appreciation than most, having spent the better part of his life tied snugly to the sport of stock car racing. It's been his livelihood and his lifeblood. From selling snacks as a youngster in the grandstands at a local track to overseeing a racing organization today that boasts more than 500 employees, Childress is one of the few still around that has seen and done it all. Childress , 71, will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Friday along with fellow team owners Rick Hendrick and Raymond Parks and former drivers Mark Martin and Benny Parsons (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN). Incredible stories shadow each of this year's inductees. The story of Childress' rise from dropout to multi-millionaire is no less so. Today, his Richard Childress Racing organization fields three full-time teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and three in the NASCAR XFINITY Series . His teams have won 12 championships and 214 races across NASCAR's three national series (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck). Six of his championships came with driver Dale Earnhardt, an inaugural member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and regarded by many as one of the sport's most talented and influential drivers. "I'm sure every one of the inductees are very proud," Childress said last week during a round of media availabilities for this year's Hall of Fame Class. "My feeling is, I started out selling peanuts and popcorn at Bowman-Gray Stadium watching my heroes, Billy and Bobby Myers, Curtis Turner and Glen Wood, these guys race and that's all I ever wanted to do was become a race driver." He worked full time to live his dream part-time until the pull of the racing won out and for the longest time it looked like a fool's errand. Money didn't flow and bills piled up but like everyone else chasing a dream, Childress was undeterred. At 24, he got his first big break, competing at Talladega Superspeedway after many of NASCAR's top stars, citing tire concerns, boycotted the race. He returned home to purchase a small parcel of land with the money he earned from that weekend's races, and started his own auto repair business. "I left there with more money than I'd ever seen at one time," he said. Being his own boss also kept his NASCAR dream alive. He jumped in full time in 1976 as an owner/driver at a time when only a handful of teams had the support and the finances to contend for wins on a consistent basis. "I can remember the days when we had to syphon the fuel out of the race car to get home, put it in the tow car," Childress said. "A lot of people don't understand how it was back in the early '70s … what not just me but everyone was going through. You had the Pettys, Junior Johnson, Bud Moore, there were about four big teams … those were the guys you were racing against." His second big break came in the early '80s when he made the decision to focus on ownership and leave the driving to someone else. Earnhardt came and went, driving a handful of races at the end of the '81 season. A two-year stint with Ricky Rudd helped the team turn the corner and build the consistency necessary to compete for wins on a regular basis. By '84, Earnhardt had returned and RCR had improved its product tremendously. "Ricky was a young, up and coming driver and I think we both helped each other a lot," Childress said. "He helped me as a car owner and I think we helped him as a driver, with the past driving experience I had and as an owner being able to work with a driver was totally different. I think it was a learning experience for all of us. "When Dale came back in '84 I was much more comfortable as an owner at that point." It's been three years since a driver for RCR won in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series although all three of its current drivers -- Austin Dillon , Paul Menard and Ryan Newman -- have qualified for the Chase on one or more occasions. Childress , winless as a driver in 285 career starts, remains positive and focused. No different than when he was just starting out with little more than a dream and a desire. "You had to have a passion," he said. "Even when I was driving and wasn't winning … I never started a race that I didn't think this was going to be the day that the big boys had a problem and I was going to be able to come in there and win. "Just the sheer drive of wanting to succeed, that's what kept me going." And it's led him right into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
'Hero' moment for Ty Dillon as Richard Childress makes NASCAR Hall
CONCORD, N.C. -- Richard Childress has many titles to Ty Dillon : Team owner, hunting buddy, grandfather. And now NASCAR Hall of Famer, thanks to a moment that Dillon and his family -- including brother and fellow driver Austin -- weren't expecting Wednesday. "I was actually standing with my mom when I got a text message, 'Congratulations to your grandfather,'" Dillon said on Thursday during a media availability at Charlotte Motor Speedway . "We were like, 'No way!' We weren't even expecting this year. I'm so happy for him." Childress is part of the five-person 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame class that was unveiled Wednesday. Joining Childress in the Hall will be Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin , Raymond Parks and Benny Parsons. H. Clay Earles was named the recipient of the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. "I think at first, I called him probably five minutes after I found out -- I'm sure he was getting all kinds of calls -- it seemed like it hadn't set in for him yet," Dillon said of his first communication with his grandfather after learning Childress had made the Hall of Fame. "He's a hard worker so he's always thinking about what's going on next. "I saw him this morning (at an appearance at Bass Pro Shops). First thing I did was just give him a big hug because I was proud of him. He's very happy today and excited, and it's well-deserved." Childress , 70, began his career as a driver, making his first NASCAR start in 1969, and he went on to score six top-five finishes and 76 top-10 finishes over 12 years and 285 starts. He formed Richard Childress Racing in 1969 and eventually teamed with NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt for six championships. In his storied history as an owner, Childress is the first to have owner championships in all three NASCAR national series, and his 11 driver championships are second all-time. RCR has 212 NASCAR national series victories: 105 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 76 wins in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and 31 wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The bond Dillon and Childress share is much more than that of your typical grandfather and grandson. "He's my hero and glad that I get to spend time with him not only in our sport but every day at the shop and away from it, when we're hunting and hanging out with family," Dillon said. RCR currently fields Chevrolets for three full-time teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ( Austin Dillon in the No. 3, Paul Menard in the No. 27 and Ryan Newman in the No. 31) and four full-time teams in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (Menard/Dillon primarily in the No. 2, Ty Dillon in the No. 3, Brandon Jones in the No. 33 and Brendan Gaughan in the No. 62). "He's such a focused individual about making this race team great again." Ty Dillon said. "I think this is a moment that is going to be big for him for feeling like he's finally made it. He's the first one at the shop every single day and the last one to leave. Working hard like he did way back when he had a $20 race car. I think it's finally a moment for him to sit back and realize what he's accomplished and hopefully it continues to set in for the rest of the week."
2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Owner Standings
MORE: XFINITY owner standings " Camping World owner standings Position Owner Car # Points Ldr Nxt Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff pts Attempts 1 Chip Ganassi Racing 42 243 0 0 1 1 6 5 2 Hendrick Motorsports 24 214 -29 -29 0 1 1 5 3 Furniture Row Racing 78 205 -38 -9 1 3 8 5 4 Team Penske 2 179 -64 -26 1 0 5 5 5 Team Penske 22 174 -69 -5 0 1 1 5 6 Chip Ganassi Racing 1 162 -81 -12 0 0 0 5 7 Wood Brothers Racing 21 157 -86 -5 0 0 0 5 8 Stewart-Haas Racing 14 143 -100 -14 0 0 0 5 9 Stewart-Haas Racing 4 137 -106 -6 0 3 3 5 10 Joe Gibbs Racing 18 136 -107 -1 0 1 1 5 11 Richard Childress Racing 31 123 -120 -13 1 0 5 5 12 Joe Gibbs Racing 11 123 -120 0 0 0 0 5 13 Hendrick Motorsports 5 122 -121 -1 0 0 0 5 14 Stewart-Haas Racing 41 118 -125 -4 1 0 5 5 15 Furniture Row Racing 77 116 -127 -2 0 0 0 5 16 Roush Fenway Racing 6 114 -129 -2 0 0 0 5 17 Hendrick Motorsports 48 109 -134 -5 0 0 0 5 18 Richard Petty Motorsports 43 108 -135 -1 0 0 0 5 19 Joe Gibbs Racing 19 102 -141 -6 0 0 0 5 20 Richard Childress Racing 3 92 -151 -10 0 0 0 5 21 Hendrick Motorsports 88 91 -152 -1 0 0 0 5 22 Richard Childress Racing 27 87 -156 -4 0 0 0 5 23 Germain Racing 13 87 -156 0 0 0 0 5 24 Roush Fenway Racing 17 86 -157 -1 0 0 0 5 25 Joe Gibbs Racing 20 73 -170 -13 0 0 0 5 26 Leavine Family Racing 95 66 -177 -7 0 0 0 5 27 Front Row Motorsports 34 65 -178 -1 0 0 0 5 28 GO FAS Racing 32 64 -179 -1 0 0 0 5 29 Stewart-Haas Racing 10 63 -180 -1 0 0 0 5 30 JTG Daugherty Racing 47 59 -184 -4 0 0 0 5 31 TriStar Motorsports 72 55 -188 -4 0 0 0 5 32 Premium Motorsports 15 51 -192 -4 0 0 0 5 33 JTG Daugherty Racing 37 51 -192 0 0 0 0 5 34 Front Row Motorsports 38 43 -200 -8 0 0 0 5 35 Beard Motorsports 175 26 -217 -17 0 0 0 1 36 BK Racing 83 25 -218 -1 0 0 0 5 37 Circle Sport / TMG 33 22 -221 -3 0 0 0 5 38 BK Racing 23 20 -223 -2 0 0 0 5 39 Tommy Baldwin Racing 7 17 -226 -3 0 0 0 1 40 Rick Ware Racing 51 9 -234 -8 0 0 0 5 41 Premium Motorsports 55 8 -235 -1 0 0 0 5 42 Gaunt Brothers Racing 96 1 -242 -7 0 0 0 1
2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Owner Standings
MORE: Monster Energy Series owner standings " Camping World owner standings Position Owner Car # Points Ldr Nxt Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff pts Attempts 1 Roger Penske 22 233 0 0 0 3 3 5 2 Chip Ganassi 42 200 -33 -33 1 0 5 5 3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1 189 -44 -11 0 2 2 5 4 Joe Gibbs 20 174 -59 -15 0 1 1 5 5 Rick Hendrick 9 172 -61 -2 0 0 0 5 6 J D Gibbs 18 154 -79 -18 1 3 3 5 7 Kelley Earnhardt-Miller 7 143 -90 -11 1 0 5 5 8 Jack Roush 16 143 -90 0 1 0 5 5 9 Jack Roush 6 140 -93 -3 0 0 0 5 10 Richard Childress 2 138 -95 -2 0 0 0 5 11 Richard Childress 3 134 -99 -4 0 0 0 5 12 Chip Ganassi 48 133 -100 -1 0 0 0 5 13 Richard Childress 21 131 -102 -2 0 0 0 5 14 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5 113 -120 -18 0 0 0 5 15 Joe Gibbs 19 111 -122 -2 0 0 0 5 16 Maria Gonzalez Hernandez 24 106 -127 -5 0 0 0 5 17 Matt Kaulig 11 106 -127 0 0 0 0 5 18 James Whitener 28 101 -132 -5 0 0 0 5 19 Gene Haas 00 86 -147 -15 0 0 0 5 20 Richard Childress 33 80 -153 -6 0 0 0 5 21 Richard Childress 62 78 -155 -2 0 0 0 5 22 Fred Biagi 98 75 -158 -3 0 0 0 4 23 Gary Cogswell 0 71 -162 -4 0 0 0 5 24 Johnny Davis 01 70 -163 -1 0 0 0 5 25 Mark Smith 14 70 -163 0 0 0 0 5 26 Rod Sieg 39 69 -164 -1 0 0 0 5 27 Michelle Gosselin 90 64 -169 -5 0 0 0 5 28 Gary Keller 4 61 -172 -3 0 0 0 5 29 Maurice Gallagher Jr. 23 61 -172 0 0 0 0 5 30 Jimmy Means 52 54 -179 -7 0 0 0 5 31 Roger Penske 12 53 -180 -1 1 0 0 1 32 Tony Stewart 41 51 -182 -2 0 1 0 1 33 Bobby Dotter 07 51 -182 0 0 0 0 5 34 Rick Hendrick 88 49 -184 -2 0 0 0 1 35 Tony Clements 51 47 -186 -2 0 0 0 5 36 Danielle Long 40 44 -189 -3 0 0 0 5 37 Jessica Smith-Mcleod 99 33 -200 -11 0 0 0 5 38 B J McLeod 78 30 -203 -3 0 0 0 5 39 Jessica Smith-Mcleod 8 28 -205 -2 0 0 0 5 40 Rick Gdovic 146 15 -218 -13 0 0 0 1 41 Lynn Cockrum 25 12 -221 -3 0 0 0 2 42 Mark Smith 44 10 -223 -2 0 0 0 1 43 Danielle Long 13 9 -224 -1 0 0 0 5 44 Mike Harmon 74 9 -224 0 0 0 0 5 45 Victor Obaika 97 4 -229 -5 0 0 0 5 46 Pamela Sieg 93 4 -229 0 0 0 0 4 47 Cindy Shepherd 89 1 -232 -3 0 0 0 4 48 Victor Obaika 177 0 -233 -1 0 0 0 1
Elliott tops final practice, scrapes wall at Auto Club
BUY TICKETS: Celebrate Auto Club's 20th anniversary RELATED: Final practice results " Practice 2 results " Best 10-lap averages Chase Elliott posted the fastest lap in Saturday's final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, but a scrape with the outside retaining wall early in the session left his Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet team with work to do. Elliott posted his best speed at 187.480 mph before making contact with the wall just 10 minutes into the final session. He cited a parts failure on the left-front corner of the car that his crew was investigating ahead of Sunday's Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). "We don't really know why it did," Elliott told FS1. "It was nothing fancy or anything we were doing, it's just something that needs to be together to go. We'll look into why. I don't know if it's just the roughness of the race track that bounced it loose or something like that, but I hate it. I was really happy with the NAPA Chevy throughout that run. I thought we were close, maybe needed a tick more initially in a run. "I thought it was decent, so I was pleased with that. Unfortunately, this now puts us behind and we'll have to go to work and hopefully try to get it tuned back up. It's hurt pretty good." The 21-year-old driver indicated that his crew was working to hopefully avoid going to a reserve car. Elliott is scheduled to start 13th in Sunday's 400-miler. "We're going to try to fix this one," Elliott told FS1. "I mean, we'd love to keep our primary. ... We would love to keep this car. I don't know if we can or not, but like I said, it definitely puts us in a hole. I know they'll work hard and try to get it tuned up as best we can for tomorrow." Martin Truex Jr. posted the second-fastest lap (187.378 mph) in the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota. Ryan Blaney was third-fastest in the Wood Brothers' No. 21 Ford, with Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Erik Jones -- Truex's Furniture Row teammate -- fourth-best in the No. 77 Toyota. Coors Light Pole Award winner Kyle Larson was fifth-fastest in the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet. He drove away from a slight brush with the wall shortly after Elliott's incident. WATCH: Busch's smoky slide in practice Kyle Busch, a three-time Auto Club winner, was involved in a solo spin at the 34-minute mark of the 50-minute session, avoiding contact with the wall or other cars. He limped his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota back to the garage. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 Ford and Kurt Busch's Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Ford were also among several cars to brush the wall during Saturday's final tune-up. "No, I think I was above the seam by the time the car got loose," Busch told FS1. "It over-rotated on me. I tried getting in the throttle and getting it to rotate a little bit and it just kept going too far. Spun it out on exit there, and unfortunately just didn't keep all the air in the tires in order to be able to drive it back and not damage the car a little bit more than we already did. Not too bad. "We're just missing it a little bit. There's just something that we can't get right on (corner) entry this weekend and we've been trying to work on that, and it's kind of messing up the rest of the corner for us." WATCH: Harvick hits the wall in practice Kevin Harvick, who made contact with the wall in Saturday's earlier practice, returned for the final session and posted the eighth-best lap (185.706 mph) in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Ford. Erik Jones fast in Saturday's early session Erik Jones topped Saturday's opening practice session at Auto Club Speedway ahead of Sunday's Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the fifth race of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. Jones posted a lap of 187.251 mph in the Furniture Row Racing No. 77 Toyota to pace the 55-minute session. He was also fastest in the category of consecutive 10-lap averages. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate will start 14th in Sunday's 400-miler, the last of three races in the NASCAR Goes West swing. RELATED: Consecutive 10-lap average speeds Chase Elliott registered the second-fastest lap, ringing up 186.843 mph on the speed chart in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet. Ryan Newman, last week's winner at Phoenix Raceway, was third-fastest in the Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet. Jimmie Johnson, who damaged his primary car in Friday's opening practice, turned his first laps with his reserve Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet on Saturday morning. He was fourth-fastest at 186.384 mph. Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five in the first practice of the day. RELATED: Johnson passes on qualifying after practice wreck Pole sitter Kyle Larson, who also topped Friday's lone practice, placed 22nd on the board in the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet. The practice was marked by two incidents late in the session. Kevin Harvick scraped the right side of his Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Ford on the Turn 4 wall with just over 10 minutes left in the session. Harvick managed the sixth-fastest speed in the 14 laps he turned before the incident. A more significant impact for David Ragan's No. 38 Ford into the outside retaining wall brought the session to a close with less than two minutes of practice remaining. His Front Row Motorsports team will opt for a reserve car for the balance of the race weekend. WATCH: Ragan hits wall, will go to backup "We just cut a left-rear tire going down the back straightaway and I tried to start slowing it down as quick as I could, and just couldn't slow it down fast enough," Ragan said. "By the time I got to Turn 3, I was wrecking before I even got to the corner. It's certainly unfortunate. I felt like our Camping World Ford was pretty decent. We made a few adjustments and hadn't put new tires on yet, and I felt like our speeds hadn't fallen off a lot, so it's unfortunate. Hopefully, we can get our backup out in time to make a few laps in the second practice." Five teams were held out of the opening 15 minutes of practice because of technical violations Friday. Trevor Bayne's team was docked for failing on two passes through the Laser Inspection Station (LIS). The cars of Joey Logano, Gray Gaulding and Matt DiBenedetto failed LIS on their second pass through. The No 38 Ford of David Ragan was penalized for an improper seal for transmission or gears. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;