RELATED: Dale Jr. proud of JRM teams Josh Berry will make his first NASCAR XFINITY Series start of 2015 for JR Motorsports on Sept. 11 at Richmond International Raceway . Berry will pilot the No. 88 Chevrolet in the Virginia529 College Savings 250 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The No. 88 car will carry sponsorship from Speedco for the race. "We're happy to be able to put Josh in our XFINITY car again at a track he has some laps on to allow him to show what he can do," JRM co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr . said in a release provided by the team. "I felt like he performed well last year in the two races he was able to run. He's really elevated himself as a driver this year, winning at multiple tracks in the late model to earn this opportunity and I expect him to make the most of it." Berry made two XFINITY Series starts last season for JRM at Iowa (in August) and the season finale at Homestead. His best finish was a 12th-place result at Iowa. "I'm just really excited to have another opportunity to move up," Berry said in a team release. "We've had a really good season so far in the late model car, and I'm really excited to get to do another XFINITY race, especially at a race track I've been to before. I ran in the XFINITY Series twice last year and wasn't sure I would have the opportunity to do it again, but luckily Speedco came on board for this race. I'm really thankful for their support and for the opportunity Dale, Kelley, L.W. (Miller) and everyone at JRM are giving me." Berry runs a late model for JRM and has totaled nine wins this season. The No. 88 car is currently 10th in the owner standings in the XFINITY Series. Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick , Kasey Kahne and Ben Rhodes all have piloted the No. 88 car this season. Harvick has driven the team to its two wins and will be behind the wheel this weekend at Darlington in the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Two Earnhardts will be competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the first time in over a decade as Jeffrey Earnhardt will pilot the No. 32 Ford for Go Green Racing at Richmond International Raceway for the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Sept. 12 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The start at Richmond will be the 26-year-old's first in the sport's premier series. He has made 66 starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (including six starts this season) as well as 10 career starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The announcement was first made on NBCSN's "NASCAR America." "I'm really excited to get this opportunity and thrilled that CorvetteParts.net is sponsoring my debut in Sprint Cup ," Earnhardt said in a team release. "The Keens have been very good to me and having their company be part of an important day in my career is pretty cool. I appreciate everyone at Go Green Racing for making this happen and look forward to doing my best to make it a good debut." Jeffrey and his uncle Dale Earnhardt Jr . have never raced against one another in the Sprint Cup Series. They have, however, raced against each other a handful of times in the XFINITY Series. Jeffrey made one start for the Dale Jr.-owned JR Motorsports in 2013 in the XFINITY Series at Richmond . Jeffrey's father, Kerry Earnhardt, has seven career Sprint Cup starts and drove one full XFINITY Series season in 2002 for owner Armando Fitz in the No. 12 Chevrolet. He had 72 XFINITY Series starts over 10 years. Kerry Earnhardt also drove full time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2006, finishing the season 22nd in the standings.
At least 10 teams expected at track Wednesday RELATED: Buy tickets for Darlington At least 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are expected to participate in a one-day open team test Wednesday at Darlington Raceway . The historic 1.366-mile track, the first paved speedway to feature NASCAR competition, will host the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, Sept. 6. Drivers scheduled to take part in this week's test are: Aric Almirola ( Richard Petty Motorsports ), Greg Biffle ( Roush Fenway Racing ), Clint Bowyer ( Michael Waltrip Racing ), Kurt Busch ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Kyle Busch ( Joe Gibbs Racing ), Jimmie Johnson ( Hendrick Motorsports ), Joey Logano ( Team Penske ), Jamie McMurray ( Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), Ryan Newman ( Richard Childress Racing ) and Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ). The test is scheduled to run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET. ( UPDATE: End time pushed up to 4:45 p.m. ET because of expected showers.) Biffle, Bowyer, McMurray and Newman will also be on hand Tuesday for a single-day Goodyear tire test. "This is a great, free opportunity for fans to watch NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams race around our famed oval for the first time in nearly 14 months," track president Chip Wile said. "This will be the only time the teams and drivers will be able to see Darlington before the series returns on Labor Day weekend." The Sprint Cup Series hasn't visited Darlington since April of 2014. An offseason schedule change moved the event back to the holiday weekend, a spot it held on the schedule for more than 50 years. The open test will be the seventh of the season. Future single-day tests are scheduled for Richmond International Raceway , Chicagoland Speedway , Bristol Motor Speedway , Homestead-Miami Speedway , Kansas Speedway , Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway . Nearly all of the tests follow one- or two-day Goodyear tire tests at the individual tracks. The Richmond team test, scheduled for June 17, is a recent addition. Meanwhile, a two-day Goodyear tire test at Bristol was changed to a single-day open team test (July 30). NASCAR banned private team testing for 2015, developing the National Series Master Unified Test Schedule instead to provide teams an opportunity to work with this season's new rules package. Only one team from each Sprint Cup organization is allowed to participate in the open team tests. The four teams taking part in the Goodyear portion are the only ones from their organizations allowed to participate in the open test, if they choose. "With the Bojangles' Southern 500 being the second-to-last race before the Chase cutoff, I'm sure the teams will be looking for a little something extra to get to … Victory Lane and potentially secure a Chase berth before times runs out," Wile said. Two sections of the Colvin Grandstands, located on the backstretch, will be open to fans. Kevin Harvick , 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, is the defending winner of the Bojangles' Southern 500 . In addition to the Sprint Cup race, Darlington Raceway will also host the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race Saturday, Sept. 5. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
( Photo courtesy of: Hendrick Motorsports ) RELATED: Darlington's throwback paint schemes Hendrick Motorsports and driver Kasey Kahne will pay tribute to the organization's inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season this weekend with a special throwback paint scheme similar to the one run by former driver Geoff Bodine. The majority of Sprint Cup Series teams will feature retro paint schemes on their cars this weekend as part of the return of the annual Bojangles' Southern 500 to Labor Day weekend at Darlington Raceway . Known at the time as All-Star Racing, team owner Rick Hendrick fielded the No. 5 Chevrolet for Bodine with veteran crew chief Harry Hyde calling the shots during the 1984 season. If not for a victory by Bodine, his first in the series, at Martinsville Speedway , the successful Hendrick Motorsports organization of today might never have existed. "We finished 35th in our first Darlington race back in '84 and nearly closed the doors," team owner Rick Hendrick said. "Martinsville was next on the schedule, and Harry Hyde did a great sales job and talked me into running one more race. "He was convinced Geoff could win (at Martinsville) and, thankfully, he was right. We were able to get a sponsor (Northwestern Security Life), which allowed us to finish the season and set the table for everything that's happened since." Today, HMS is a four-team Sprint Cup organization fielding entries for Kahne, Jimmie Johnson , Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr . HMS drivers have won 11 Sprint Cup titles (Johnson 6, Gordon 4, Terry Labonte 1) and 237 races. "There's so much history at Hendrick Motorsports with the wins and championships, so to go back to when it started with All-Star Racing, Geoff Bodine and that paint scheme is great," Kahne, who will run the retro look at Darlington as well as Richmond International Raceway , said. "It would mean a lot to win the Southern 500. It's always been one of the races that I've wanted to win … To do it in this car that time of the year right before the Chase, it would be a perfect time." RELATED: Kahne knows he needs win to earn Chase berth As part of a two-race partnership between Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrick Automotive Group, fans can register to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Charlotte, N.C. for a ride-along with Kahne as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of HMS. Click here for more information. "We've had a lot of success when our two companies have worked together on programs," Hendrick said "When Darlington announced the throwback concept, we thought it would be a great opportunity to bring back the All-Star Racing car and build a sweepstakes for fans and customers. "Seeing the paint scheme on the track at Darlington and Richmond will bring back a lot of memories."
Biagi-DenBeste Racing announced Wednesday that Ryan Truex will drive the team's No. 98 Ford in three NASCAR XFINITY Series races this season. Truex, 23, will compete in the No. 98 starting Sept. 11 at Richmond International Raceway . He is also scheduled to drive at 1.5-mile tracks, Kentucky Speedway (Sept. 26) and Charlotte Motor Speedway (Oct. 9). The three-race deal was facilitated through Biagi-DenBeste's partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports . Truex last competed in the XFINITY Series in 2012, driving for three different car owners. His most recent NASCAR national series action was last season, participating in 23 races for BK Racing . "I've had some time away from racing, and it's given me a chance to refocus on my career," Truex said in a release provided by Richard Petty Motorsports . "I feel more driven than ever to perform well and prove that I can race with the best in the sport. I'd like to thank the fans as well. They've been really supportive of me on social media, asking when I'll be back racing again. I'm looking forward to putting on a great show for them." Biagi-DenBeste has competed in 11 XFINITY races this season, with RPM teammates Aric Almirola and Sam Hornish Jr . -- both Sprint Cup regulars -- splitting driving duties. The team's best finish in 2015 was Almirola's seventh-place effort in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway . "We're excited to join RPM in giving Ryan (Truex) this opportunity to get back to racing in the XFINITY Series," said Fred Biagi, team co-owner. "We've had fast cars this season and good results with both Aric and Sam; so hopefully, we can do the same with Ryan behind the wheel at Richmond ."
Take a virtual hot lap around Richmond International Raceway with David Reutimann as he prepares for the final race before the Chase.
Gamers and NASCAR fans are coming together with the latest venture with EA's Real Racing 3 franchise. EA is teaming up with NASCAR, and the partnership will incorporate an experience surrounding the upcoming Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 12 . Players will be able to choose a team and race alongside some of the NASCAR greats ( Jeff Gordon , Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Kyle Busch ), in the hopes of becoming a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion. Cars that players will get to choose from will include real world sponsors and paint schemes from Hendrick Motorsports , Joe Gibbs Racing , Richard Childress Racing , Roush Fenway Racing , Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske . Those who play the latest update of the game -- even street racers and pros -- will get to learn about actual racing skills such as drafting, slingshot passing and navigating around a pack of cars (in a 43-car field, to be exact). Real Racing 3 can be downloaded for free at the App Store , Google Play and Amazon apps .
Goodyear tire test set for Tuesday, open test slated for Wednesday BROOKLYN, Mich. -- A week after testing at Darlington Raceway , it's off to Richmond International Raceway for Goodyear officials and a handful of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. The official tire supplier for NASCAR will test with four teams Tuesday at the 0.75-mile track in preparation for this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup cutoff race, the Federated Auto Parts 400 scheduled for Sept. 12. Kyle Larson ( Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), Trevor Bayne ( Roush Fenway Racing ) and David Ragan ( Michael Waltrip Racing ) are scheduled to take part in the Goodyear tire test. NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Brian Scott ( Richard Childress Racing ) will also take part, stepping into the No. 27 for driver Paul Menard . The four will join several others on Wednesday for an open team test. According to officials, those scheduled to be on hand are Jeff Gordon ( Hendrick Motorsports ), Carl Edwards ( Joe Gibbs Racing ), Joey Logano ( Team Penske ), Sam Hornish Jr . ( Richard Petty Motorsports ), Jeff Green (The Motorsports Group) and Clay Rogers (Beard Motorsports). "We had a good race there (in the spring); we had a good tire that lasted a gas stop, which is not that easy at Richmond ," Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager for global race tires, said Sunday at Michigan International Speedway . "We're wondering if we can do a better job to make the racing a little bit better, so we're seeing what we can do from a tire standpoint to go back and improve that setup." Some teams were not satisfied with the multi-zone tread used at RIR for the spring race. The tire featured a smaller, more durable inside compound that enhances durability combined with a wider, softer outside designed for grip. Similar multi-zone tires have been used at several Sprint Cup events since debuting in 2013. Grant said several options would be considered. "We've got a pretty good baseline at Richmond ," he said. "I don't want to move too far off of that. We're not going to test a whole lot of different things. We ran a (multi-) zone tread at Richmond ; we'll try a couple of zone treads, we'll try a couple of non-zone treads to see what happens … we don't have a real big program (scheduled) so we can get that done in a day." Wednesday's test will be open to fans, with access to the grandstands through Gate 70 only. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Juan Pablo Montoya, Marcos Ambrose, Aric Almirola and Jamie McMurray talk about testing at Richmond International Raceway
RELATED: Chase Grid " Chase bubble watch " Chase Fest details A year ago, it was Kasey Kahne . Only two races remained before the start of the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , and the Hendrick Motorsports driver was 13th in points. Unfortunately, he was outside the top 16 in the Chase standings. Kyle Busch , Denny Hamlin , AJ Allmendinger , Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola trailed Kahne in points. But they were among those that had wins. They had invitations to the dance. At the time, Kahne had managed only two top-five finishes. His average finishing position was 16.8. He hadn't been to the victory lane since midway through the previous season. So he and his team went out and won at Atlanta Motor Speedway . It earned Kahne one of the final Chase spots and the No. 5 team a second chance. It wasn't quite as easy as it sounds. Kevin Harvick , as was often the case, was dominant at AMS. Kahne fell a lap down early. The team battled back. He didn't take the lead for the first time until Lap 303 of the scheduled 325-lap race. Suddenly, he seemed to be on his way to the win. Then cautions appeared, forcing two late restarts. Green, white, checkered late. Kahne's lead was lost on pit road. Yet somehow he muscled his way past Matt Kenseth coming to the white flag, holding on for the win and a spot in the Chase. It's a similar position for the 35-year-old this year. Two races remain -- stops at Darlington Raceway and Richmond International Raceway -- before the field is finalized for this year's 10-race run to determine the Sprint Cup champion. Kahne is once again winless. He is not alone. Teammate Jeff Gordon has finished inside the top five only three times this year. The four-time champion is ahead of Clint Bowyer in the playoff picture, with a wider margin back to folks such as Aric Almirola and Greg Biffle . A year ago Gordon had three wins and a vise-like grip on first place in the points. Bowyer's got a pair of top-fives, but much of the attention around the No. 15 team of Michael Waltrip Racing centers on where Bowyer will call home next season. Paul Menard has a razor-thin lead on Gordon in points, but taking nothing for granted. Can anyone? Matt Kenseth 's blown engine at Bristol last week, leaving the Joe Gibbs driver 42nd in the final rundown, didn't go unnoticed. Things not only can happen, they often do. With 10 drivers already secure -- 11 if you go ahead and give Kyle Busch one of the spots although he's close enough to the fault line that a misstep could make things interesting -- and two races remaining, at least three of this year's Chase spots will be filled based on the points standings after Richmond . It could be five, if no new winner emerges in the next two weeks. Few on the fringes, though, have shown signs of contending for wins. Almirola? One top five and only three laps led this season. Biffle? It's shaping up to be the wrong type of career year for the Roush Fenway Racing driver, with just two top-fives and an average finish of 20th. Austin Dillon ? Kyle Larson ? Both have shown potential. Both are winless. Kahne? Well, who knows? The question isn't can it be done. Kahne's already proven that it's possible. The question is who among those can pull it off?