Jason Redman's Indy experience as Crown Royal's 'Your Hero's Name Here' Program winner
Jason Redman recaps his experience at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after being named Crown Royal's 'Your Hero's Name Here' Program winner.
Great Clips extends relationship with Hendrick, No. 5 team
CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 20, 2016) -- Great Clips Inc. will continue its sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports and the No. 5 Chevrolet SS team of driver Kasey Kahne in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with a contract extension through 2018. The two-year agreement covers the 2017 and 2018 seasons and secures primary sponsorship of the No. 5 Chevrolet SS for 10 events annually. Great Clips, which joined Hendrick Motorsports as a partner in 2012, also will be a major associate sponsor of the No. 5 team each year. The world's largest salon brand, Great Clips became a first-time Sprint Cup primary sponsor with three races in 2013. The program grew to 10 primary races annually in 2014. "We are very pleased to extend our relationship with Hendrick Motorsports and with Kasey through the 2018 NASCAR season," said Terri Miller, senior vice president of marketing and communications, Great Clips Inc. "Kasey has been a member of the Great Clips family for over 13 years and is a great ambassador of our brand. He embodies the same qualities and values that are synonymous with Great Clips -- loyalty, family, dedication and a passion to succeed. "We have built a successful partnership with Hendrick Motorsports over the last several years that has allowed us to activate and elevate our brand and partner programs to a new level, and we are excited to be able to continue that into the future." Since joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, Kahne, 36, has earned three Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup berths and five race wins with the No. 5 team. The Enumclaw, Washington, native has 17 career victories, 27 pole positions and 165 top-10 finishes in NASCAR's top division. "Great Clips has a very strong culture," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports . "The company cares deeply about relationships with their customers, franchisees, stylists, corporate staff and partners. We’ve enjoyed working together to build an effective program, and it's been terrific to see the Great Clips business grow over that time. We're committed to their success and look forward to the future." Minneapolis-based Great Clips, which has more than 4,000 locations and 1, 200 salon owners who employ 40,000 stylists throughout the United States and Canada, has a long history with Kahne. Since 2003, the company has supported his efforts as both a driver and car owner across multiple racing series. "Great Clips has believed in me throughout my career," Kahne said. "They're a big part of the No. 5 team, and we feel like members of their team, too. It's been an awesome partnership, and I'm grateful for their commitment and support. It means a lot to represent them on and off the track."
Starting lineup for Zippo 200 at The Glen
See the full lineup for the XFINITY Series Zippo 200 at The Glen -- Watkins Glen International.
Erik Jones holds off Larson to win at Chicagoland
RELATED: Complete race results " Series standings " Chase Grid JOLIET, Ill. – Kyle Busch opened the door, and that was all the invitation Erik Jones needed. When Busch, the polesitter for Saturday's Drive for Safety 300 at Chicagoland Speedway , spun with a tire down while leading on Lap 182 of 200 , Jones took full advantage of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate's misfortune. The driver of the No. 20 JGR Toyota restarted sixth on Lap 187 after Busch brought out the eighth caution of the afternoon and quickly closed the gap on Elliott Sadler , who restarted second and grabbed the lead from JR Motorsports teammate Clint Bowyer , who had stayed out on old tires like Sadler. Jones caught and passed Sadler on Lap 192. Race runner-up Kyle Larson followed four laps later but couldn't catch Jones before the finish. In the final four laps, Jones moved up the track to take Larson's preferred racing line and crossed the finish line .392 seconds ahead of Larson, who brushed the outside wall on the final lap while trying to close in on the race winner. "It was tough," said Jones, who won for the second time at the 1.5-mile track and the fourth time in his rookie year. "I knew we were in a good spot on tires, but we pretty far back – think we restarted sixth there. "I didn't know if my Hisense Camry was going to have enough time to get back up to the front, but we had a really good restart and got clear to third and then just had to go chase Elliott down. It was a matter of time before we got around him. What an awesome day!" With four victories this season, Jones enters the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase as the No. 1 seed heading to the Chase opener next Saturday at Kentucky Speedway . "It's a lot of momentum," Jones said. "I wish this was our first round right here. We'll go into Kentucky definitely with a full head of steam and are due for another win there. Our mile-and-a-half program is great – it's been great all year. "To finally get a first mile-and-a-half win of the year – just looking forward to getting to Kentucky next weekend and try to chase down another one." Saturday's event finalized the 12-driver Chase field, as Blake Koch and Ryan Sieg clinched the final two spots with finishes of 15th and 12th, respectively. The full Chase field, in order of seeding, consists of Erik Jones , Sadler, Daniel Suarez , Ty Dillon , Justin Allgaier , Darrell Wallace Jr ., Brendan Gaughan , Brennan Poole , Sieg, Ryan Reed , Brandon Jones and Koch. Sadler finished third on Saturday, followed by Suarez and Allgaier. Larson recovered from a pit road speeding penalty to record his eighth top-five finish in 12 starts this year. "I knew I could get the top (lane) going, but I knew when I got the top going, Erik would move up just when I got to him," Larson said. "He did, and I tried to carry a lot of throttle off of (Turn) 2 and maybe get a run on him, but I got into the wall." Busch led 154 laps and recovered from his spin to finish 13th. All told, 11 different drivers led at least one lap, including the top eight drivers in the finishing order. &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
Full schedule for New Hampshire and Kentucky
RELATED: Find NBCSN in your area " Find CNBC " Watch live online at NBCSports.com The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series will gather for a doubleheader showing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. The XFINITY Series will race at Kentucky Speedway . Check out the full schedule below. Note: All times are ET FRIDAY, SEPT. 23: ON TRACK: New Hampshire -- 11:30 a.m.-12:55 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series first practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Results ) -- 1:45-2:40 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series first practice, FS1 ( Results ) -- 3:30-4:25 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice, FS1 ( Results ) -- 4:45 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Results ) GARAGECAM: New Hampshire -- 11 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ( Watch live ) -- 1 p.m. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ( Watch live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) —10:15 a.m.: Joey Logano —10:30 a.m.: Matt Kenseth —11 a.m.: John Hunter Nemechek —11:15 a.m.: William Byron —1:05 p.m.: Carl Edwards —3 p.m.: Austin Dillon —5:30 p.m.(approximately): NASCAR Sprint Cup Series post qualifying press conference ON TRACK: Kentucky -- 3:30-4:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series first practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Results ) -- 6-7:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Results ) DAILY ROUNDUP -- Five to Watch: XFINITY Chase -- Dillon wrecks in Larson-led practice -- At-track photos: Friday, New Hampshire and Kentucky -- Second-best thrills Logano as he readies for Chase long haul -- Nemechek, Byron ready for anything in Truck Chase -- Truex, Harvick discuss on-track Chicago contact -- Rhodes, Crafton sweep Friday's practices -- Drivers rally from pre-qualifying hang-ups -- Drivers react to social unrest in Charlotte -- Edwards earns Coors Light Pole Award at New Hampshire -- See the full lineup for Sunday -- Full XFINITY practice results -- Snapshot: Sunday's event SATURDAY, SEPT. 24: ON TRACK: New Hampshire -- 9-9:55 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series second practice, CNBC/NBC Sports App ( Results ) -- 10:10 a.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FS1 ( Results ) -- 11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, CNBC/NBC Sports App ( Results ) -- 1 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175 (175 laps, 185.15 miles), FS1 ( Results ) PRESS CONFERENCE ( Watch live ) -- 3 p.m. (approximately): NASCAR Camping World Truck Series post race press conference ON TRACK: Kentucky -- 4:45 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Results ) -- 8 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com ( 200 laps, 300 miles), NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) DAILY ROUNDUP Larson sweeps Cup practices at New Hampshire Phone call changes Johnson's Chase outlook Byron wins Trucks Chase opener at New Hampshire Top 10 consecutive lap averages at New Hampshire SUNDAY, SEPT. 25: ON TRACK: New Hampshire --1:25 p.m.: NCSC Driver Introductions with NASCAR Special Awards --1:45 p.m.: Team Fastrax jumps wiht large flag --1:58 p.m.: Canadian National Anthem by Kirk Young --2:00 p.m.: Presentation of Colors by New Hampshire State Police Honor Guard and Combined Services Military Color Guard --2:00:20 p.m.: Invocation by Dustin Pari, actor on the show "Ghost Hunters" --2:01 p.m.: National Anthem by Daniel M. Clark, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and retired Massachusetts state trooper --2:02:30 p.m.: Fly-by, two F-15s from Massachusetts ANG 104 --2:07:30 p.m.: "Drivers, Start Your Engines" by Kevin Holleran, president of Textron Specialized Vehicles -- 2:15 p.m.: Start of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bad Boy Off Road 300 (300 laps, 317.4 miles), NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCE ( Watch live ) -- 5 p.m. (approximately): NASCAR Sprint Cup Series post race press conference
Jimmie Johnson calls out 'timid drivers' on The Late Late Show
RELATED: Johnson, Elliott, Chase drivers talk Chase across the nation Hendrick Motorsports driver and six-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson joined James Corden on "The Late Late Show" to talk cars, driving and the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup on Tuesday evening, and the Chase contender has a message to timid drivers -- you're the "root of the problem." "When you're in New York, and the madness on the streets, what happens when there's a timid driver on the road? ... It creates a problem (for) all those cabbies and everybody that's driving," Johnson said. Shockingly, a man that spends his Sundays topping 200 mph has a problem with drivers that are scared to top 20. That said, "Six-Time" certainly doesn't hate city driving. "It's fun to drive in the city, too, by the way. You just wheel it and (go) five-wide and you get the honking going on, too, and everybody's fine, because they're aggressive, but get a timid one in the mix and it's a problem." Luckily for Jimmie, he'll share the road with 39 other aggressive drivers on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup opener (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Watch the full clip below.
Sadler savors XFINITY victory at Darlington
RELATED: Race results " At-track gallery " Standings " Chase Grid SHOP: Sadler gear DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Elliott Sadler had a passenger for Saturday's VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway -- in spirit at least. After a breathtaking battle against Denny Hamlin over the closing laps, Sadler crossed the finish-line .454 seconds ahead of Hamlin to win for the first time at the Lady in Black -- and immediately dedicated the victory to JR Motorsports team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr ., who announced on Friday he would sit out the remainder of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season because of a concussion. RELATED: Junior announces he will miss rest of 2016 season "This win today is for my man, Dale Earnhardt Jr .," Sadler said. "I know he's going through a tough time. He's not being able to race his race car for the rest of the year. He was riding there with me today, and he's given me such a great opportunity to be a part of his race team." With two laps left in the 147-lap event, however, the outcome was in the balance. Sadler had a lead of .715 seconds when he crossed the stripe to complete Lap 145. But he started sliding toward the outside wall in Turn 2 and had to fight to keep his No. 1 Chevrolet under control. Hamlin pulled to the inside and the cars raced side-by-side down the backstretch, but as they entered Turn 3, Sadler regained momentum and pulled ahead in the top lane as the drivers approached the white flag. Hamlin got an excellent run through Turns 1 and 2 on the final lap but not enough to make a pass. "I messed up, man," Sadler said of the close call on the penultimate lap. "I could kind of see him coming, and I was trying to make up some time, and I started focusing on a lapped car in front of me, and I ran out of room and almost gave it to him. "But all in all, we were able to hold him off." The victory was Sadler's first at Darlington in 32 starts across all three of NASCAR's national series. He won for the second time in the XFINITY Series year and for the 12th time in 320 XFINITY starts. Making only his second start of the season in the series, Hamlin was frustrated in his attempt to win at Darlington for the fifth time. "We definitely had a good line going through (Turns) 1 and 2," Hamlin said, "But I didn't get a good restart (on Lap 112, after the last of three cautions), he got position on me, and track position meant so much. Once he ran the high line, my car was entirely too tight to run low. "It eliminated our passing opportunity unless we could slide-job him there in Turn 3 on that one lap he messed up, but it didn't happen." Daniel Suárez ran third after challenging Hamlin for second place -- until a brush with the wall ended his chances. But the driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota held third place ahead of Kyle Larson , who spun entering pit road from the lead on Lap 103 to cause the final caution and caused a major shakeup of positions within the top 10. Brennan Poole came home fifth and clinched a spot in the inaugural XFINITY Series Chase, as did Darrell Wallace Jr . (17th on Saturday) and Brandon Jones (ninth). That leaves three spots still open with two regular-season races left before the Chase field is set.
RECAP: Sadler wins one for the boss
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman recaps the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 as Elliott Sadler holds off Denny Hamlin to grab his first career win at Darlington Raceway and his second of the season for JR Motorsports.
Full schedule for Chicagoland
RELATED: Find NBCSN in your area " Watch live online at NBCSports.com The NASCAR Sprint Cup , XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series will gather for a tripleheader showing at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend. Check out the full schedule below. Note: All times are ET SUNDAY, SEPT. 18: 2:00 p.m.: NSCS Driver Introductions. 2:30 p.m.: Intro Presentation of Colors: 347 th Fighter Squadron Honor Guard. 2:30 p.m.: Invocation by: Michael McDowell , Driver of the No. 95 Thrivent Financial Chevrolet. 2:31 p.m.: National Anthem: Jim Cornelison. 2:37 p.m.: "Driver's, Start Your Engines" by: Greg Cipes, Voice of Michelangelo, TMNT and The Kids of NASCAR 2:46 p.m.: Start of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 (267 Laps, 400.5 Miles), NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 5:15 p.m.: Post-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race DAILY ROUND-UP -- Late pit stop propels Truex Jr. to victory -- Chase bubble after Chicagoland -- Truex, Johnson fail post-race inspection -- Speeding penalty plagues "Six-Time" -- Bridesmaid baton to Elliott at Chicago -- Unfortunate timing for Harvick at Chicago -- Smith, wife welcome baby girl -- Harvick, Larson to start race from the rear -- At-track photos: Sunday at Chicagoland -- Dillon to sub for Smith in No. 7 at Chicago THURSDAY, SEPT. 15: ON TRACK -- 4-4:55 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series first practice ( Results ) -- 6:30-7:25 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice ( Results ) LIVE EVENTS ( Watch live ) -- 3:05 p.m.: Live driver interviews at Ready. Set. Chase. launch events DAILY ROUNDUP -- What to watch for at Chicago -- Key fantasy advice for the Chase opener -- NASCAR updates rules for Chase -- Cain: Don't forget about Larson in the Chase -- Twitter handles to replace driver names on windshields in the Chase -- Harvick explains bull tweet during media day -- Stewart reveals he can't tie a tie -- Gordon texted apology to Elliott after incident -- Stewart on Newman's fiery comments: 'I don't blame him' -- Best quotes from Chase Media Day -- As sun sets on Stewart, Elliott's time to shine brightening -- Townley tops opening Trucks practice at Chicago -- Hemric holds the power in final practice FRIDAY, SEPT. 16: ON TRACK -- 12:30-1:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series first practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER -- 3:15-4:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, NBC Sports App ( Results ) -- 4:45 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FS1 ( Results ) -- 6:45 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN/NBC Sports App CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER ( Results ) -- 6:45-7:45 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBCSN ( Results ) -- 8:30 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol E15 225 (150 laps, 225 miles), FS1 ( Results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 11 a.m.: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles race team introduction -- 11:15 a.m.: Blake Koch , Ryan Sieg and Dakoda Armstrong -- 11:30 a.m.: Daniel Hemric , Timothy Peters and Cole Custer -- 11:45 a.m.: Justin Allgaier -- 12:30 p.m.: Matt Tifft -- 1:15 p.m.: Joliet Township announcement -- 10:15 p.m.: Post-NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race GARAGECAM ( Watch live ) -- Noon: XFINITY Series -- 1 p.m.: Sprint Cup Series DAILY ROUNDUP -- SHR names Custer as driver for 2017 XFINITY team -- Rain shortens on-track activity at Chicagoland -- Stewart, Newman meet with NASCAR at Chicagoland -- See photos from Friday at Chicago -- Busch on pole for Sunday's race -- Johnson leads opening practice at Chicagoland -- See lineup, team info. for Sunday's race -- 2016 Truck Series Chase field set -- 'Rowdy' wins at Truck race at Chicagoland -- Peters perserveres to make Chase, Hayley misses out -- Meet all eight of the Truck Series Chase drivers SATURDAY, SEPT. 17: -- 10:30-11:25 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series second practice, CNBC/NBC Sports App ( Results ) -- 11:45 a.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Results ) -- 1:30-2:20 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Results ) -- 3 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive for Safety 300 ( 200 laps, 300 miles), NBC/NBC Sports App ( Results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 5 p.m.: Post-NASCAR XFINITY Series race DAILY ROUNDUP -- NXS Chase field set at Chicagoland -- Meet the 2016 NXS Chase field -- Jones holds off Larson for NXS Chicagoland win -- NASCAR.com staff picks for Cup Chase -- Larson sweeps Cup Chicagoland Saturday practices -- Busch's winning Truck fails post-race inspection -- Busch on the pole for NXS race -- RCR names Hemric to full-time NXS ride -- At-track photos: Saturday at Chicagoland -- Bandaged hand won't keep Kennedy from Chase -- 2016 Cup Chase timeline &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;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;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Bruce: Toyota the Chase favorites? Absolutely
Editor's note: The views expressed in this column are solely those of the author. RICHMOND, Va. -- It began as a Toyota blowout and ended in pretty much the same fashion. Not that there weren't some bumps in the road -- or in this case, Richmond International Raceway -- along the way. But they were few and far between. Denny Hamlin , the winner when the season began back in February in Daytona, closed the door on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season with a victory in Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400 . It was Hamlin's third win of the season, the 11th for the Joe Gibbs Racing organization and the 13th for Toyota. No need to pencil the Joe Gibbs gang in as favorites in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup . Write it in ink. Joe Gibbs Racing . Chase favorites. Doesn't mean a JGR driver, or even a Toyota team -- let's not overlook Martin Truex Jr . and the Furniture Row Racing group -- will waltz away with the title a little more than two months from now. NASCAR races are often strange affairs filled with strange occurrences. Such was the case Saturday night. Toyota teams led 197 of the first 200 laps and 385 of the 407 that made up the extended 400-lap event. But along the way, particularly in the second half of the race when the air was filled with yellow flags, the start-and-stop nature of the race threatened to turn the event into something completely different. Excessive pit stops meant more tires, but the allotment for each race is finite. Eventually you run out. No one did, fortunately. The racing was physical and no one seemed spared. For those with Chase hopes, however slim, still hanging in the balance, there was no packing it in for the night. Instead it was, fix it fast and get back out there. But in the end, it was a race dominated by Toyotas and that's been the case quite a number of times this year. With only 10 races remaining, can anyone derail the automaker's efforts? "I would say I feel pretty confident in our cars," winning crew chief Mike Wheeler said afterward. "That's a good feeling to have." His own team, he said, has gone into the Chase with the feeling that the No. 11 team could win some races and be competitive. "But you always had this feeling of you can get beat," he said. "If you're not at 100 percent you can get beat. "I feel good now that if we hit 100 percent, we will win. That's something you strive for." JGR fields four teams for drivers Hamlin, defending series champion Kyle Busch , 2003 champ Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards . Toss in Truex and Furniture Row as well. "We share notes. We work together," Wheeler said. "We do the best we can for not only Joe Gibbs Racing but Toyota." But as JGR owner Joe Gibbs noted, Wheeler said, "All it takes is a flat tire or a crash and you're out." That's the new nature of the Chase, where elimination rounds trim the 16-team field by a quarter after every three races. One problem, and a season's over. Ten races from now, someone will be crowned 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. Someone who avoids the unavoidable and doesn't beat themselves. "I think the other cars that are out there, there's so many … well‑prepared cars, I think this is going to be a battle," Gibbs said. "I think … there's no way that you can I think pick a favorite right now because it's really three‑race playoffs (to get to Homestead and the championship round)." Hamlin has fallen by the wayside before, and so, too, has Busch. "You can't afford a bad race," Gibbs said. "Our playoff is one where you got to be consistent, but also you got to be on your game and racing extremely hard. I don't think there is a favorite right now. I think everybody that's in there is going to have a shot." Folks thought that going into Richmond, too. Until Hamlin and Gibbs and Toyota proved 'em all wrong.