- Did you mean:
Texas And Rockingham Penalties Announced
Alan Cavanna gives you the latest information on the penalties handed down from NASCAR following the races at Texas Motor Speedway and Rockingham Speedway .
NASCAR Rockingham Speedway | Tracks : NASCAR Drivers, Race Standings & News | NASCAR.com
Rockingham Speedway schedule, news, media, tickets, and info for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series track only on the official site of NASCAR.
Kyle Larson gets first Sprint Cup win at Michigan
RELATED: Results " Standings " Chase Grid SHOP: Larson gear BROOKLYN, Mich. -- In the last few laps of Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway , tears began to well up in Kyle Larson 's eyes. When Larson subsequently took the checkered flag to win the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of his career, the emotion was all but overwhelming -- and for good reason. The victory came in Larson's 99th start in the series, long after most observers expected Larson to record his first win. It also broke a 99-race drought for Chip Ganassi Racing , dating to Jamie McMurray 's victory at Talladega in October 2013. With the triumph, Larson earned a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the first time in his career, moving winless Ryan Newman 15 points out of the last Chase-eligible position with two races left in the regular season. With Brett Moffitt winning in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Michigan and Michael McDowell prevailing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. -- both on Saturday -- Larson's triumph capped the first weekend in NASCAR history that produced first-time winners in all three national series. It also marked the first time a graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity and NASCAR Next programs has reached Victory Lane in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The emotions of the moment, however, were magnified by the recent death at age 27 of Bryan Clauson, who was fatally injured in a midget car accident on Aug. 6 in Belleville, Kan. Larson came to NASCAR from open-wheel racing, and he and Clauson were close friends. "Parked it!" yelled Larson after he took the checkered flag, echoing Clauson's signature victory cry. The driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet followed with a celebratory burnout that left a trail of rubber across Victory Lane. Larson then exited his car, took the checkered flag from the flag man and leapt into the arms of his fueler, who had run out into the infield to congratulate his driver. "I was teared-up that whole last few laps, because I could just feel it," Larson said. "It was finally going to be it. This one is for the Clauson family. We really miss Bryan. We're going to miss him. We parked it for him, so that's really cool. "We had a lot of work to do for that first third of the race, and got it done. Thanks to (sponsor) Target. Thanks to everyone on this team. (Crew chief) Chad (Johnston) and the pit crew and everybody. We messed up that last stop but we made it back." In fact, Larson lost the lead to race runner-up Chase Elliott when both drivers made their final pit stops under green on Lap 156 of 200. Elliott beat Larson out of the pits by a half car-length and began to pull away. But a caution on Lap 187 because of Michael Annett 's blown right front tire gave Larson the chance he needed. With a hard push from third-place finisher Brad Keselowski , Larson took the lead on the final restart on Lap 192, as Elliott spun his tires and lost momentum in the outside lane. Larson crossed the finish line with a 1.478-second advantage over Elliott, who passed Keselowski for the second spot on Lap 193. Still seeking his first victory in his rookie season, Elliott had an opportunity to win at Michigan in June but likewise fell victim to a late restart. "Bummer again here," said Elliott, making no attempt to hide his disappointment. "I hate to let my guys down is the biggest thing. For the second time, this has happened. I made a mistake early on in the race. I asked my guys to bail me out (on the final pit stop), and they did. Unfortunately, I didn't do my part again. "That's a couple races in a row in just a few short months here at this place we had a really good car, had an opportunity. That's one thing I try really hard to do is make the most of opportunities when they're presented. Obviously I didn't do a very good job of that here both trips. Need to do my restarts a little better. That's obviously not a strong point, at least here at Michigan." The second-place finish, however, solidified Elliott's position relative to the Chase. He's currently 11th in the standings, highest among drivers without a victory and 27 points ahead of Newman, who finished 17th on Sunday. Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Ryan Blaney finished fourth, holding off fifth-place Kevin Harvick and sixth-place Jimmie Johnson over the final nine-lap run.
Edwards explains costly final restart at Kansas Speedway
Carl Edwards explains the final restart at Kansas Speedway where he lost the lead to race winner Kevin Harvick.
Martinsville Speedway announces addition of LED lights
RELATED: See the race that led to Martinsville changes MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Martinsville Speedway track president Clay Campbell remembers the tipping point well. Watching from outside Turn 4 as Jeff Gordon led the final laps of last November's rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series playoff race practically by candlelight, Campbell knew big changes were needed. "It looked like a rock concert with people taking pictures with their phones and the (auxiliary) lights in the grandstand," Campbell said. "I knew then that being in the Chase, such a critical point in the season, and thinking what would've happened if we hadn't finished that race? We don't want to be in that position, so there's our reason." With that eventful race as a fulcrum, Martinsville Speedway announced Wednesday that it will have an LED lighting system in place for its NASCAR weekends next year. Campbell made the announcement Wednesday as part of an early kickoff to the historic short track's 70th anniversary season in 2017. Campbell said that the track did not currently have plans in place for nighttime races, with its premier series dates in 2017 already locked in to start at 2 p.m. ET (in April) and 1 p.m. ET (October). But Campbell indicated that the $5 million initiative -- which he described an "insurance policy" against late-afternoon finishes in diminished sunlight -- should provide flexibility in case of inclement weather. "It's a race that all the drivers really want to win because of the uniqueness of the track and the history of the trophy as well, so adding lights can only add to its legacy and the special-ness that this place has held for so long," said Dale Earnhardt Jr ., part of the delegation helping to make the announcement at the .526-mile track. "I'm really happy for the track. Believe that it'll, like I say, open up a lot of possibilities for the future. "The fans can come knowing that if we are pushed back early in the day, there's still a great opportunity if we get good weather throughout the remainder of the day, we've got time to get the race in and can run late and you won't have an issue. … I think it's awesome and a long time coming." The announcement means that 16 of the 23 tracks that host NASCAR premier series events in 2017 will have lights in place. Campbell said that the choice of LED lights over conventional halogen lighting is an example of "doing so much more with less," providing better illumination with less power. The track indicated that the project will use an estimated 750 lights mounted from both inside and outside the track. With a project of this magnitude, Campbell said, one of the largest challenges has been keeping the details under wraps for so long. "It's been hard because we've been working on it for months," Campbell said. "As we got closer and closer, it's tough because it's a huge deal with a lot of people involved in making this happen. "
Martinsville Speedway to receive lights in 2017
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman brings you up to speed on Martinsville Speedway's newly announced lighting project that will be completed in 2017.
Heads up: Martinsville weekend
Here are the hot topics, trending news and key story lines to get you ready for this weekend's races at Martinsville Speedway . WEATHER Another beautiful race weekend is forecasted for Martinsville. The National Weather Service says Friday will be sunny with a high near 70, and Saturday will be even warmer with a high of 77 and sunshine. Sunday is downgraded to only "mostly sunny," with a high of 74. Overall, it should be a perfect fall weekend. KEY TIMES Sprint Cup Series: The first practice will be Friday at 11 a.m. ET, with another pair of practices coming Saturday at 9 a.m. ET (CNBC) and noon ET. Coors Light Pole Qualifying is at 4:40 p.m. ET Friday. Aside from the Saturday morning practice, all race coverage will be broadcast on NBCSN and NBC SportsApp this weekend. Camping World Truck Series: The Camping World Truck Series has a pair of Friday practices, at 12:30 p.m. ET and 2:30 p.m. ET, both on FS1. The race is Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1 with Keystone Light Pole Qualifying just before at 10:15 a.m. ET (FS1). CATCH DRIVERS LIVE We'll stream every driver press conference in the Martinsville media center at NASCAR.com/presspass . Notably, Jimmie Johnson speaks at 10:15 a.m. ET Friday, followed by Denny Hamlin is at 1 p.m. ET and Jeff Gordon at 1:30 p.m. ET. Click here for a full schedule. LAST TIME Jeff Gordon punched his ticket to Homestead-Miami Speedway in style, outracing Jamie McMurray in the final two laps as darkness fell at Martinsville Speedway . "We're going to Homestead!" Gordon bellowed after the win gave him a chance at the Sprint Cup title in his final season of full-time driving. It was Gordon's only victory of 2015. The storyline that grabbed all the headlines, however, was Matt Kenseth nudging then-race leader Joey Logano into the wall on Lap 454 of 500. At the time, Kenseth was 10 laps down. The move was widely viewed as retaliation for Logano bumping Kenseth out of the lead at Kansas two weeks earlier, which effectively eliminated Kenseth from advancing in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Kenseth was suspended for two races, and Logano did not advance to the championship round. YOU SHOULD KNOW • Jeff Gordon returns to his best track on the circuit as he gets behind the wheel of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet as a substitute driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr ., who continues to recover from a concussion. Gordon won here a year ago, and has some of the best statistics among any driver at Martinsville: nine wins, highest average finish (6.8) and most laps led (3,779). Can the 45-year-old recreate that magic at his eighth subsitute race of this season? This is Gordon's final scheduled race of the season in place of Earnhardt Jr. • This is the first of three races in the Round of 8, before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field is cut to the Championship 4 for the Homestead-Miami Speedway finale. • Somehow, this is the first time since the current format of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup began in 2014 that Jimmie Johnson has advanced to the Round of 8. He started the Round of 12 with a victory at Charlotte; can Six-Time repeat that feat with an opening-round win to punch his ticket to Homestead-Miami? He's an eight-time winner at Martinsville, so it's no stretch to imagine. • The addition of extra timing lines in the pits has added another layer to monitoring drivers for speeding penalties. In Martinsville's tight pits, if figures to have a big impact.
New participation guidelines put limits in place for 2017
RELATED: Who is most affected? " Driver reaction, analysis of rule change CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NASCAR announced new participation guidelines for its three national series Wednesday, limiting the amount of NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races that full-time drivers in its premier series will be allowed to compete in, starting in 2017. Beginning next year, the rules parameters will limit Cup Series drivers with more than five years' full-time experience to a maximum of 10 races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and seven events in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The new guidelines will also prohibit premier series drivers at that experience level from participating in those two series' final eight events of the year -- a span that includes the regular-season finale and the seven-race Chase playoffs for both circuits. In the case of the XFINITY Series, full-time Cup Series competitors will also be restricted from the four races in the Dash 4 Cash program. The guidelines don't apply to drivers with fewer than five years of full-time premier series experience, which includes, among others, Kyle Larson , Austin Dillon and Chase Elliott . There are 33 XFINITY Series races next year. Not participating in the regular-season finale, the seven-race playoff or any of the four yet-to-be-announced Dash 4 Cash races means those impacted can race in 10 of the remaining 21 events, four of which are stand-alone races. In the Camping World Truck Series, 23 races are scheduled for next year. Not competing in the seven Chase races gives impacted drivers 16 races in which they can compete, five of them being stand-alones. Rumblings about the concept were stoked last week by NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell, who acknowledged that the sanctioning body was considering the rules updates in an Oct. 17 appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. RELATED: Hear O'Donnell's initial comments Jim Cassidy -- NASCAR's Senior Vice President of Racing Operations -- told NASCAR.com that the potential for a rules update affecting driver participation was "certainly not a new discussion." Cassidy points out that the three national series already have a certain level of differentiation in the type of vehicles used; now, he says, the opportunity exists to make the identity of each series and its competitors more distinct. "You see the number of drivers coming up through and the desire and the calling of the fan base to say, 'we're interested in who's coming up through the system, we want to hear the stories, we want to understand who these drivers are,' so that they can begin to formulate and build their future roster of drivers that they root for," Cassidy said. "All three of the national series provide really an unprecedented level of competition; it's on us to make sure that we find the right balance, as the league, to say that there is some level of participation by Cup drivers in Truck and XFINITY and what that balance is." Both series will end with a four-driver shootout for the title next month at Homestead-Miami Speedway , where full-time Cup-level drivers who qualified for the 2015 Chase -- regardless of experience level -- will be barred from the championship finales this year. CHASE GRIDS: Sprint Cup " XFINITY " Camping World It's not the first such limitation on premier series drivers moonlighting in the other national tours' competition. Before the 2011 season, NASCAR mandated that drivers select one of the three series in which to collect championship points. That rules change concluded a five-year reign of Cup Series drivers clinching the title as full-time double-dippers in what is now the XFINITY Series. But the 2017 guidelines also make allowances for drivers with more than five years' experience at the Cup level who elect to compete for championship points in the XFINITY or Camping World Truck Series. Based on this year's competition roster, drivers who meet those exceptions are Elliott Sadler , J.J. Yeley, Jeff Green , Morgan Shepherd and Derrike Cope in XFINITY , and Travis Kvapil in trucks. Wednesday's move -- the culmination of what Cassidy termed "a whole mountain of conversation with the industry" -- still allows for extracurricular participation from top-division drivers, but is designed to provide a wider spotlight for the other two national series' budding stars. The restrictions for five-year veterans will apply to every XFINITY and Truck Series Chase event -- and the cut-off regular-season finale -- next year, potentially widening the door for those series' regulars to visit Victory Lane under the rigors of postseason pressure. "Those events are events that we felt would be obvious to say we want to make sure that we have a better chance of focusing on those drivers running for the championship," Cassidy said. "The ability to win and advance is a significant story line and an opportunity."
Round of 6 track history proves encouraging for Kennedy
Ben Kennedy climbed out of his No. 33 Jacob Companies Chevy truck on Talladega Superspeedway 's pit road looking enthused and confident following a hard-earned fifth-place-finish in last Saturday’s Fred's 250 -- a race won by his GMS Racing teammate Grant Enfinger. The good vibe Kennedy gave out after the checkered flag, came with good reason. He led eight laps and his showing at NASCAR's biggest and most unpredictable track was his ninth top 10 and fourth top five of 2016. It also marks the first time in Kennedy's young career that he’s reeled off back-to-back top-five finishes. "Hats off to the GMS guys for giving us a great truck," Kennedy said. "It’s so good to be in contention, though, and it feels almost like a win to finish at Talladega, to be honest." The timing couldn’t be better. Kennedy, 24, heads into the final four races of the season ranked fifth in the standings -- having qualified for the Round of Six thanks to finishes of 11th, fourth and fifth place work in his last three races. The standings now show a virtual tie as the points are reset and equalized as the remaining six drivers will now have three races to determine which four of them will settle the Camping World Truck Series championship at the Homestead-Miami season finale. No matter what, this will be a career year for Kennedy whose previous best in the final standings has been ninth place -- in both 2014 and 2015. "This is huge," Kennedy allowed. "It’s one step further to Homestead. That’s our goal to make it to Homestead and run for a championship. And I really think we can do it." Kennedy has a pair of top-five finishes at this weekend's stop at Martinsville Speedway , with efforts of fourth place (2013) and third place (2014) at the half-miler. He posted an 11th-place showing there earlier this season before moving to his current GMS Racing team just prior to the fourth race of the year. He has a similarly encouraging record at Texas Motor Speedway , which hosts the second race of this elimination round. Kennedy has finished in the top-10 in his last three consecutive visits to the Fort Worth 1.5-mile speedway -- including a personal-best fourth-place showing there in April. Kennedy only has a pair of starts at Phoenix -- the final race of this elimination round -- with finishes of 11th and 24th. But should he be among the final four drivers settling the title at Homestead, Kennedy is coming off a fourth-place showing there last year.
Daytona International Speedway's statement on Hurricane Matthew
" Daytona International Speedway experienced moderate damage from Hurricane Matthew with impacts to lights, speakers, signage, fences, gates, awnings and palm trees. Daytona International Speedway Ticket Office and Tours and the Richard Petty Driving Experience will be closed on Saturday and Sunday for facility cleanup. We will provide more updates through the weekend." "Pictures of a past weather event at Daytona International Speedway have been circulating on social media during the storm. Those pictures are from a weather event in 2009. There was no flood damage to the facility from Hurricane Matthew." "We are working with local, regional and state officials on recovery efforts following Hurricane Matthew. Daytona International Speedway is once again serving as a staging site for Florida Power & Light crews. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been impacted by this weather system."