Champion drivers among NASCAR drivers at Pocono Poker Tournament WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- "Shuffle up and deal." And with those words the fourth annual Pocono Poker Tournament, benefiting The NASCAR Foundation and the Jeff Gordon 's Children's Foundation kicked off on Thursday night at the Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Hundreds of fans came from all over to meet NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, Rusty Wallace, and four-time NASCAR premier series champion Jeff Gordon . Both drivers received big applause from the crowd before the tournament got underway. Gordon and Wallace weren't the only NASCAR drivers to take part in Texas Hold'em as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Michael Annett and Matt DiBenedetto were on hand as were NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers Jennifer Jo Cobb , Ryan Ellis , Daniel Hemric , Ben Kennedy and Garrett Smithley . The 22-year-old Smithley, who is looking to make just the second Truck Series start of his career at Pocono, was the last driver eliminated from the action. Two-time Camping World Truck Series champion and FOX Sports 1 analyst Todd Bodine played, as did Vice Chairman of NASCAR Mike Helton (who is also the Board Chairman for The NASCAR Foundation). In addition to the poker tournament, there was also a silent auction that took place with items such as a signed skateboard of Tony Hawk's, a pair of Annett's racing shoes and signed die-casts and other racing memorabilia available to bid on. "NASCAR Foundation events such as the Pocono Poker Tournament showcase how the synergy of NASCAR partners, celebrities and fans can make a huge impact in the lives of children," The NASCAR Foundation Executive Director Lorene King said in a release provided by the foundation and the track. "We appreciate the support of Pocono Raceway and Mohegan Sun Pocono and look forward to using funds raised to bring technology to local middle schools in 2016." Gordon had long wanted to be involved with this event as poker is one of his hobbies. "I've heard of this event for several years and I've always wanted to try and get a chance to play in it," Gordon said before the cards were dealt. "For tonight to be the first time, and to honor our foundation and support that as well as The NASCAR Foundation and this being my final Pocono race, it is a fantastic opportunity for me to not only play for a great event and a great cause but interact with the fans. I look forward to that too. I'm sure they are all going to want to beat me." The Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation was started in 1999 and supports children battling cancer by funding programs that improve patients' quality of life, treatment programs that increase survivorship and pediatric medical research dedicated to finding a cure. In addition to supporting the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital in Concord, North Carolina, the foundation also supports ongoing research at the Riley Hospital for Children in Indiana. Wallace, who was the 1989 premier series champion, admitted he was a much better golfer than poker player, but he did share an interesting teaching moment he received several years ago at a celebrity event in Las Vegas from 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event winner Chris Moneymaker. "He said 'what do you know about poker?' I said, 'nothing.' He said, 'OK. I'm going to sit in the front row and I'm going to watch you. You just look at me and whatever I tell you to do, you do.' I said, 'OK.'" Wallace said Moneymaker added, 'When I say go all-in, you go all-in.' So I'm sitting there and I'm playing along and I look at him and he goes 'do it.' And I went all-in and everybody else just folded. So I'm like, wow that's pretty cool. I ended up having the most money when it was all said and done because everyone else blew their money so quick." In total, $57,484 was raised, which was the highest total in the event's history and will be split evenly with the two charities. On Friday, Pocono Raceway President/CEO Brandon Igdalsky presented Gordon during his media availability session with a check for an additional $24,000. "We want to thank all the participants in last night's Pocono Poker Tournament," Igdalsky said in a release provided by the track and foundation. "We were blown away by the number of attendees, VIP players and by how much money was raised for both The NASCAR Foundation and the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation. Additionally, a big thanks to Mohegan Sun Pocono for hosting an amazing event and for all their support these last four years. I cannot wait to start planning next year’s event."
The GarageCam crew takes a stroll through the Camping World Truck Series garage at Pocono Raceway and asks several drivers which music they prefer pre-race.
Ryan Ellis shows his displeasure with Jake Crum after an incident at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200.
Regan Smith and Brendan Gaughan talk about chasing Ryan Blaney on the final two restarts of the race at Iowa Speedway.
Busch leads the most laps, wins from pole at Indianapolis RELATED: Complete race results INDIANAPOLIS -- With a relentless charge that forced Ryan Blaney into a mistake on the final lap, Kyle Busch grabbed the lead with a half-lap left at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and took the checkered flag in Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. Blaney missed his mark in Turn 2 as Busch closed in, and with his momentum broken, the driver of the No. 22 Ford couldn’t stave off Busch’s winning pass on the backstretch. The No. 54 pulled away to win by .421 seconds, as Busch continued his white-hot run with his second XFINITY victory of the season, his second at The Brickyard and the record 72nd of his career. Since returning to competition in May after an injury absence, Busch has won three times in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and twice on the XFINITY circuit. Blaney led by more than .6 seconds when he crossed the stripe to complete Lap 97 of 100. But the lapped car of Derrike Cope slowed his progress on the following circuit, and Busch cut the advantage in half. Busch had closed the gap to .279 seconds when he took the white flag, and constant pressure from the No. 54 Toyota finally forced Blaney into a mistake. "I just got close enough to make him mess up and made him get tight off (Turn) 2, and then I was able to capitalize underneath him with him losing his momentum off of 2 and being able to get under him," Busch said. "It was the class of the field. We should have won this thing going away, but I guess we had to make it exciting." With the XFINITY Series running a higher-drag package this weekend, Busch tried in vain -- until the final circuit-to get around Blaney in the closing laps. "I was trying to back up so I could get some clean air and keep my tires as fresh as possible, but I got too far back and got out of the draft and then I couldn’t make up any ground anymore, so I was kind of stuck back there about eight or 10 car lengths and not really going anywhere," he explained. "Fortunately, a couple of lapped cars messed up his momentum and didn’t mess up mine as much, and I was able to get through there. Once I got back close enough to him, I pushed him into a mistake and that was all that it took." A despondent Blaney took the blame for the loss. "It’s my fault, obviously," Blaney said. "You saw it. I screwed up. This team doesn’t deserve that. I dropped the ball for them today, and I take full responsibility. It’s all my fault…I got tight and I got too deep and didn’t get off the long corner. "It’s a pretty bad feeling to throw one away here at the Brickyard. There was no pressure for 24 laps, and the last one I just made a mistake." Blaney had taken the lead from Busch on a restart on Lap 76, after Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Erik Jones , hit the wall on lap 70, and NASCAR called a caution because of fluid on the track. Rookie Daniel Suarez ran third in his first visit to The Brickyard, collecting his third straight top-five of the season. Paul Menard finished fourth, followed by Elliott Sadler , Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson . Regan Smith came home eighth and claimed his second straight $100,000 bonus in the XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash program, keeping his hopes alive for a $1-million payday. If Smith is the highest-finishing eligible driver at Bristol (Aug. 21) and Darlington (Sept. 5), he’ll earn a total of $1 million. Blaney, Suarez, Sadler and Smith are the eligible Dash 4 Cash drivers at Bristol, having secured their spots as the top four finishing series regulars at Indianapolis. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Complete news and notes on all 43 cars in the Windows 10 400 RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid Breaking down how the full 43-car field fared at Pocono Raceway. 1. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Kenseth was 16 seconds behind leader Kyle Busch in the closing laps, but the driver of the No. 20 saved enough fuel to pass his teammate and coast to his first Pocono win. 2. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . "Sorry about that, guys. Everybody OK?" Keselowski asked his team after he locked up his brakes, slid through his pit box and hit two crew members during his Lap 58 green-flag stop. He rallied to score his fifth top five of the year. 3. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Gordon matched his best 2015 finish when his Pocono finale became a fuel-mileage race and he climbed from 16th. 4. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Earnhardt and his team battled through a variety of issues -- a pit road penalty and mid-race spin among them -- to be in the right place and climb from 17th to fourth in the final 10 laps as the leaders ran out of fuel. 5. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Biffle recorded his second top-five of the year thanks to -- you guessed it -- fuel mileage. He also led Laps 125-126 during green-flag stops and kept working with his team to find grip. 6. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Johnson was forced to pit for fuel with three laps to go and climbed through the field to earn his 14th top-10 as competitors faded. 7. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . A missed shift triggered a vibration for Allmendinger, who worked through the issue to score his third top-10 of the year. 8. Clint Bowyer , No. 15, Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Bowyer started saving fuel while running 11th with 18 laps to go. 9. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . It was a solid day for Stewart, who started fifth before recording just his second top-10 this season. 10. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Edwards was running ninth in the closing laps when he hit pit road for a quick splash of fuel. 11. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard spent the majority of Sunday’s race running inside the top 15 and saved one lap of fuel to make it to the end. 12. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing . Fuel mileage wasn’t on Larson’s side, but he was still pleased with the effort and later tweeted, "Best car we’ve had all year though and pit crew did an awesome job all day." 13. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . With crew chief Slugger Labbe at the helm, Dillon posted his best Pocono result. 14. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. Cassill ran as high as second en route to his best career Pocono showing. 15. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet. Chip Ganassi Racing . McMurray said Pocono was slicker this weekend than it was in June and he spent the race chasing the handling of his car. 16. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Patrick had a mid-race scare when a piece of trash adhered itself to her car’s grille and caused her temperatures to spike. 17. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Ragan improved to run 10th, but ran out of fuel in the final laps and coasted across the finish line. 18. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Almirola reported a throttle issue during the first half of Sunday’s race, but appeared to have the right amount of fuel to make it to the end. 19. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . Truex was running second in the final laps and had to hit pit road for a quick splash to finish the race. A pit road speeding penalty incurred during the stop damaged his forward progress. 20. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . Logano led a race-high 97 laps and was cruising toward his second win of the year when his car ran out of fuel with three laps to go. He then picked up a speeding penalty while refueling. 21. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . The pole sitter focused on fuel conservation and took over the race lead briefly before sputtering out himself with two laps to go. 22. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Hamlin focused on crisp shifts as he nursed a gearbox issue and maintained his position inside the top 10 until he also ran out of fuel. 23. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman was running 16th when he ran out of fuel in the closing laps. 24. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Allgaier was having a solid day, running inside the top 15, when he pitted just prior to the Lap 92 caution flag and lost track position. 25. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Bowman improved upon his best Pocono outing after a solid effort on Sunday. 26. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Annett’s car started tight and then snapped to loose as Sunday’s race unfolded. 27. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Whitt struggled to find consistency in his car and sustained damage while running in the pack. 28. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears restarted 13th after picking up eight spots on pit road during the final caution. Subsequently, he reported that his car was plowing through the corners. 29. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . DiBenedetto stayed out of trouble to post his best Pocono finish. 30. J.J. Yeley, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Yeley was awarded the Lucky Dog pass on the seventh caution period, but struggled to capture any momentum. 31. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . On Lap 27, Moffitt made contact with teammate David Gilliland and sustained a significant tire rub. 32. Travis Kvapil , No. 32 Ford, Go Fas Racing. Kvapil held steady to improve upon his most recent Pocono performance. 33. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . During late-race green-flag stops, Gilliland’s team tried to get the front end of the car down after earlier contact elevated his splitter. 34. Reed Sorenson , No. 98 Ford, Phil Parsons Racing. Sorenson was the Lucky Dog three times in a row, but struggled to find a rhythm and stay on the lead lap. 35. Jeb Burton , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . "They’re lucky no one was pitting that time," Burton radioed his team after Kahne’s early-race crash on pit road brought out the red flag. "They’ve gotten lucky twice. Something needs to change." Burton was in a similar incident during Saturday’s final practice session. 36. Timmy Hill , No. 62 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Hill recorded his best 2015 result in his third Cup event. 37. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Busch was inadvertently turned by Paul Menard in Turn 1 and then nailed by Sam Hornish Jr . 38. Alex Kennedy , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport . Kennedy spun on Lap 92 to bring out the eighth caution flag. 39. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Hornish missed a shift early in the race, which caused a world of hurt for him and others navigating the Tricky Triangle. 40. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne’s best Pocono start was stalled just past the midway point when a wayward tail pipe went through the radiator of his car. 41. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenouse braked hard but couldn’t avoid crashing into the back of a slowing Sam Hornish Jr . in Turn 1 on Lap 28. 42. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . The outside pole sitter opted to stay on track during the competition caution and blew up after leading the field to green on Lap 17. 43. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne got loose on Lap 5 coming off Turn 3 and slammed into the pit road wall, sending helmets flying and pit crew personnel scurrying. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Drama, spins, fireworks send Kenny Wallace out with a bang RELATED: Wallace gets emotional surprise ahead of final race NEWTON, Iowa -- Kenny Wallace received more than his fair share of adventure in his final XFINITY Series start, closing the book on a NASCAR career in his 905th national series event. A pair of spins, a small post-race talking-to and plenty of special pre-race moments dominated Wallace's warm night at Iowa Speedway, where he came home 15th in his last ride in NASCAR. "It was exciting," Wallace said. "Obviously, I'm not going to be upset over a hard-earned 15th-place finish. It was just a deal where everything was going good -- what were we, like ninth, 13th all night -- and looked like we were going to close in on a good finish but as normal with short-track racing, the horns came out at the very end." Late-race mayhem snagged the 51-year-old Wallace on two occasions, crinkling the front-end of his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota. But a mid-race gaffe provided another odd wrinkle when his left-side mirror came unattached, tapping his left leg as it fell to the floorboard. Wallace said the missing side mirror was no excuse for the late-race contact that followed, including a brush with Ryan Reed that sent him spiraling. While Wallace was not pleased with Reed's bump, he was more upset when the 21-year-old driver tried to shuffle past him to avoid a post-race sermon from Herman on pit road. "I just chewed Ryan Reed 's butt out," said Wallace, who finished his career with nine national series victories. "I said, 'Buddy, next time you spin somebody out like that, don't pass me up.' He was going to walk right past me on pit road. So tried to give those young kids a little bit of information. I said, 'When you spin somebody out, you stop.' Going out, trying to give advice. I'm not whining or crying about nothing -- Earnhardt taught me. The only bummer is I can't go back and get him next week." Wallace's remarks were punctuated by a trademark laugh, but what he may not have known was that Reed had just been involved in a separate confrontation, shoving Ross Chastain on pit lane after the race before trying to make a frustrated beeline to his team hauler. "Naturally, he wasn't happy and he thought I was just going to blow it off and walk away, which is not my intention," Reed told NASCAR.com. "With everything that had happened on pit road, I just wasn't thinking about it. Again, really sorry to Kenny. That was not my intention. I definitely didn't want to be the guy to spin him out in his last race, but it was 100 percent unintentional. I will end up saying, 'I'm sorry,' as many times as I have to. ... Hopefully, we can talk later on." As many subplots as Saturday night's 260-lap overtime thriller provided, it failed to take the glow off the many heart-warming moments before the event. More family members flew in Saturday for the race, posing for a pre-race photo after driver introductions. But Wallace was also honored during the pre-race drivers' meeting, sharing a few words and pulling out his phone to reference a tweet from longtime friend DeLana Harvick. Wallace thanked everyone in attendance and was feted with a standing ovation in appreciation for his time in the sport, a tenure that will continue in the broadcast booth and in recreational dirt-track racing. "That drivers' meeting was over the top," Wallace told NASCAR.com. "It started getting a little crazy there before the race, such superstars and drivers I admire were tweeting me. DeLana Harvick tweeted something I'll never forget and I shared that with everyone at the drivers' meeting. I think we all learned what DeLana said, 'Don't be sad that it's over, be happy that you did it.' "Hey, it's all over now. I'm excited. That's it. On to TV and on to dirt racing." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
@nascarcasm envisions Roush's phone blowing up RELATED: All content from @nascarcasm " Follow @nascarcasm It was a busy weekend for Roush Fenway Racing . Chris Buescher and Darrell Wallace Jr . had another on-track incident. Ryan Reed shoved Ross Chastain . Elliott Sadler was peeved after qualifying. Which, of course, led to @nascarcasm wondering what Jack Roush's cell phone might look like -- assuming the team owner texts. RELATED: Night of drama in Iowa " Watch Reed's push
Relive the spectacular crash between Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International.
Jeb Burton, Kasey Kahne both had hard hits over weekend A separate pair of incidents at Pocono Raceway has led to plans to alter the facility's pit road wall after two drivers wrecked into it over the weekend, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell told NASCAR.com on Monday. Jeb Burton (final practice) and Kasey Kahne (Sunday's race) both got loose off Turn 3 in separate incidents, lost control of their respective vehicles and wrecked into the inside wall on pit row. Kahne's incident on Sunday knocked him out of the race, and it was almost identical to Burton's wreck -- the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet essentially followed the same tire marks that Burton had put down. "First, it's important to look at what happened in Pocono," O'Donnell said. "Certainly it was unique with Jeb Burton , and then you saw Kasey Kahne really unbelievably follow him with same tire tracks during the event. Tom Gideon, our safety expert, was already up at Pocono drawing up some plans to look at extending the pit wall. "With that comes some challenges. We have to make sure the drivers coming out of Turn 3 during the race, that it's a safe situation by extending the wall. We'll work with the race track. We've got to explore the angles, look at all the data we have from the race cars as well and kind of combine all that. The initial plan is ... we'll plan to extend the wall at Pocono. And certainly from there, to take a look at each one of our venues." President and CEO of Pocono Raceway, Brandon Igdalsky, also commented on the safety procedures that came into question during the Windows 10 400 . “Our commitment to driver safety is paramount,” said Igdalsky. "We have made multiple upgrades and updates to our facility, with more safety improvements rolling out before the 2016 NASCAR season. We work hand-in-hand with NASCAR throughout the year to execute and implement these changes. "Once NASCAR collects the data, as it pertains to the unique incidents involving Jeb Burton and Kasey Kahne from this past weekend, we will communicate with one another and develop the safest solution.” O'Donnell also tackled the question of whether or not the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series would race at Iowa Speedway. Saturday night's NASCAR XFINITY Series event at the Rusty Wallace-designed .875-mile oval produced plenty of good racing, a thrilling conclusion ... and some drama, as well. "Well, I think when you look at our Cup schedule right now, there's no secret that it's full," O'Donnell said. "One of the things that's unique about Iowa that we like is the ability for the XFINITY Series to go there and be the showcase event. I believe that's why you're talking about it today, seeing Ryan Blaney hold off a number of hungry competitors on a couple of green-white-checkered (finishes), really doing his job to win that event. "We like the fact the XFINITY Series can be the showcase event. It deserves that. Iowa is a unique venue and it produces some great racing for us … and we like what we're seeing there."