A statistical look ahead to the second race of the Contender Round RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Below is a look at the 12 Contenders and beyond, at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina going into the Bank of America 500 on Saturday night October 11. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on ABC, with the race start scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. CHARLOTTE-SPECIFIC STATISTICS 1 - Joey Logano (No. 22 Pennzoil Platinum Ford) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 107.7 2014 Rundown • Five wins, 14 top fives, 19 top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 11.8 • Led 20 races for 916 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • Three top fives, six top 10s • Average finish of 10.5 in 11 races • Average Running Position of 14.1, sixth- best • Driver Rating of 88.0, ninth-best 2 - Kyle Busch (No. 18 Doublemint Toyota) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 91.1 2014 Rundown • One win, seven top fives, 13 top 10s; two poles • Average finish of 16.7 • Led 14 races for 412 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • Nine top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 15.6 in 21 races • Average Running Position of 10.0, second- best • Driver Rating of 106.3, second-best • 460 Fastest Laps Run, third-most • 5,291 Laps in the Top 15 (77.4%), second- most • Series-high 973 Quality Passes 3 - Carl Edwards (No. 99 Fastenal Ford) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 82.8 2014 Rundown • Two wins, seven top fives, 12 top 10s • Average finish of 14.5 • Led 10 races for 134 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • Six top fives, 12 top 10s • Average finish of 11.4 in 19 races • Average Running Position of 14.6, seventh-best • Driver Rating of 89.8, seventh-best • 1,592 Green Flag Passes, second-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 176.106 mph, 11th-fastest • 4,280 Laps in the Top 15 (62.6%), sixth-most • 806 Quality Passes, fifth-most 4 - Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 85.6 2014 Rundown • Two top fives, 12 top 10s • Average finish of 13.8 • Led 5 races for 30 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • Four top fives, 10 top 10s; nine poles • Average finish of 19.0 in 27 races • Average Running Position of 17.5, 18th-best • Driver Rating of 78.1, 19th-best • 1,379 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most 5 - Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.7 2014 Rundown • One win, six top fives, 13 top 10s; two poles • Average finish of 15.2 • Led 12 races for 195 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • Four top fives, 10 top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 13.7 in 18 races • Average Running Position of 12.7, fourth-best • Driver Rating of 92.6, fifth-best • 235 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 176.222 mph, seventh-fastest • 4,586 Laps in the Top 15 (71.2%), fourth-most • 749 Quality Passes, seventh-most 6 - Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.0 2014 Rundown • Two wins, 10 top fives, 15 top 10s; eight poles • Average finish of 13.9 • Led 22 races for 1,653 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • Two wins, four top fives, 10 top 10s • Average finish of 16.3 in 27 races • Average Running Position of 17.2, 16th-best • Driver Rating of 81.5, 15th-best • 1,534 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most • 3,923 Laps in the Top 15 (57.4%), eighth-most • 699 Quality Passes, eighth-most 7 - Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.1 2014 Rundown • 11 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 13.8 • Led 17 races for 467 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • Two wins, nine top fives, 16 top 10s • Average finish of 13.5 in 30 races • Average Running Position of 13.5, fifth-best • Driver Rating of 97.1, fourth-best • 376 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most • 1,448 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 176.413 mph, fourth-fastest • 4,649 Laps in the Top 15 (68.0%), third-most • 842 Quality Passes, third-most 8 - Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.7 2014 Rundown • Four wins, 11 top fives, 19 top 10s; two poles • Average finish of 10.1 • Led 21 races for 666 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • Five wins, 16 top fives, 23 top 10s; nine poles • Average finish of 15.8 in 43 races • Average Running Position of 14.7, eighth-best • Driver Rating of 89.7, eighth-best • 243 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most • 4,228 Laps in the Top 15 (61.8%), seventh-most • 777 Quality Passes, sixth-most 9 - Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Pepsi Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.7 2014 Rundown • One win, three top fives, 10 top 10s • Average finish of 16.7 • Led 11 races for 206 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • Four wins, nine top fives, 12 top 10s • Average finish of 11.5 in 21 races • Average Running Position of 11.6, third-best • Driver Rating of 101.7, third-best • 665 Fastest Laps Run, second-most • 1,549 Green Flag Passes, third-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 176.430 mph, third-fastest • 4,564 Laps in the Top 15 (66.7%), fifth-most • 833 Quality Passes, fourth-most 10 - Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 104.1 2014 Rundown • Five wins, 13 top fives, 16 top 10s; five poles • Average finish of 13.2 • Led 24 races for 1,498 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • One win, two top fives, three top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 15.7 in 10 races • Average Running Position of 15.2, 10th-best • Driver Rating of 85.4, 10th-best • Average Green Flag Speed of 176.125 mph, 10th-fastest 11 - Dale Earnhardt Jr . (No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 96.9 2014 Rundown • Three wins, 11 top fives, 17 top 10s • Average finish of 12.0 • Led 13 races for 265 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • Five top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 19.4 in 29 races • Average Running Position of 19.0, 22nd-best • Driver Rating of 80.9, 16th-best • 183 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most • 1,435 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most • 623 Quality Passes, 11th-most 12 - Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 98.8 2014 Rundown • Three wins, 10 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 14.3 • Led 15 races for 1,035 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • Seven wins, 13 top fives, 17 top 10s; four poles • Average finish of 11.2 in 26 races • Series-best Average Running Position of 7.5 • Series-best Driver Rating of 112.7 • Series-high 683 Fastest Laps Run • Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 177.132 mph • Series-high 5,988 Laps in the Top 15 (87.5%) • 968 Quality Passes, second-most 13 - AJ Allmendinger (No. 47 Scott Products Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 70.5 2014 Rundown • One win, two top fives, four top 10s • Average finish of 20.4 • Led 5 races for 68 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • One top five, two top 10s • Average finish of 22.7 in 13 races • Average Running Position of 23.2, 31st-best • Driver Rating of 65.8, 31st-best 14 - Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Bondo Ford) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 79.4 2014 Rundown • Three top fives, 10 top 10s • Average finish of 15.8 • Led 6 races for 109 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • Five top fives, eight top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 17.2 in 23 races • Average Running Position of 15.0, ninth-best • Driver Rating of 89.9, sixth-best • 303 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most • 1,393 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 176.250 mph, sixth-fastest • 3,891 Laps in the Top 15 (56.9%), ninth-most • 690 Quality Passes, ninth-most 15 - Kurt Busch (No. 41 State Water Heaters Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 84.8 2014 Rundown • One win, six top fives, eight top 10s • Average finish of 20.1 • Led 11 races for 181 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • One win, six top fives, seven top 10s • Average finish of 19.7 in 28 races • Average Running Position of 17.4, 17th-best • Driver Rating of 83.0, 13th-best • 204 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most • 3,502 Laps in the Top 15 (51.2%), 10th-most 16 - Aric Almirola (No. 43 Smithfield / Waffle House Ford) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 73.3 2014 Rundown • One win, two top fives, seven top 10s • Average finish of 21.0 • Led 5 races for 23 laps Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook: • One pole • Average finish of 19.0 in five races • Average Running Position of 16.6, 14th-best • Driver Rating of 76.5, 21st-best The 12 Contenders at Charlotte Motor Speedway Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Joey Logano 11 0 0 3 6 0 10.5 88.0 2 Kyle Busch 21 1 0 9 13 5 15.6 106.3 3 Carl Edwards 19 0 0 6 12 1 11.4 89.8 4 Ryan Newman 27 9 0 4 10 5 19.0 78.1 5 Denny Hamlin 18 1 0 4 10 1 13.7 92.6 6 Kevin Harvick 27 0 2 4 10 1 16.3 81.5 7 Matt Kenseth 30 0 2 9 16 5 13.5 97.1 8 Jeff Gordon 43 9 5 16 23 10 15.8 89.7 9 Kasey Kahne 21 0 4 9 12 1 11.5 101.7 10 Brad Keselowski 10 1 1 2 3 1 15.7 85.4 11 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 29 1 0 5 11 4 19.4 80.9 12 Jimmie Johnson 26 4 7 13 17 4 11.2 112.7 History • Construction began on Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) in 1959. • The track’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 19, 1960 – won by Joe Lee Johnson. • The track was repaved midseason in 1994. • The track name changed from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 1999. It changed back to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 2010 season. • The track was re-paved again before the 2006 season. Notebook • There have been 111 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races at Charlotte Motor Speedway , two races per year since the track opened in 1960. In 1961, there were two 100-mile qualifying points races held the week before the May race. The first six fall races at Charlotte were 400-mile events (1960-65). • 525 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points paying race at Charlotte Motor Speedway ; 374 in more than one. • NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Charlotte with 64. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 43 starts; followed by Joe Nemechek with 36. • Fireball Roberts won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway (World 600) in 1960 with a speed of 133.904 mph. • 42 drivers have Coors Light poles at Charlotte, led by David Pearson with 14. Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon lead all active drivers in poles at CMS with nine. • 12 drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Charlotte. David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Charlotte with 11; from the fall of 1973 through 1978. • Youngest Charlotte pole winner: Jeff Gordon (10/10/1993 – 22 years, 2 months, 6 days). • Oldest Charlotte pole winner: Bobby Allison (10/11/1987 – 49 years, 10 months, 8 days). Charlotte Motor Speedway Data Season Race #: 31 of 36 (10-11-14) Track Size: 1.5-miles Banking/Turns 1 & 2: 24 degrees Banking/Turns 3 & 4: 24 degrees Banking/Frontstretch: 5 degrees Banking/Backstretch: 5 degrees Frontstretch Length: 1,980 feet Backstretch Length: 1,500 feet Race Length: 334 laps / 500 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Charlotte Jimmie Johnson ..........................112.7 Kyle Busch ..................................106.3 Kasey Kahne ...............................101.7 Matt Kenseth .................................97.1 Denny Hamlin................................92.6 Greg Biffle .....................................89.9 Carl Edwards.................................89.8 Jeff Gordon ...................................89.7 Joey Logano..................................88.0 Brad Keselowski............................85.4 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (19 total) among active drivers at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Qualifying/Race Data 2013 pole winner: Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet 194.308 mph, 27.791 secs. 10-10-13 2013 race winner: Brad Keselowski , Ford 158.308 mph, (03:09:53), 10-12-13 Track qualifying record: Denny Hamlin , Toyota 195.624 mph, 27.604 secs. 05-24-13 Track race (500 miles) record: Jeff Gordon , Chevrolet 160.306 mph, (03:07:31), 10-11-99 STATISTICAL ADVANCE • 46 different drivers have won at Charlotte Motor Speedway , led by Jimmie Johnson with seven wins. • Nine drivers have posted consecutive wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway , including three consecutive by Fred Lorenzen (fall 1964 and both 1965) and four straight by Jimmie Johnson (both in 2004 and 2005). • A season sweep at Charlotte has occurred eight times, including each season from 2004-2007. • Youngest Charlotte winner: Jeff Gordon (05/29/1994 – 22 years, 9 months, 25 days). • Oldest Charlotte winner: Cale Yarborough (10/06/1985 – 46 years, 6 months, 9 days). • Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Charlotte in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 18: Jimmie Johnson (seven), Jeff Gordon (five), Darrell Waltrip (two), Ken Schrader (one), Terry Labonte (one), Casey Mears (one) and Kasey Kahne (one). • Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Charlotte; led by Chevrolet with 42 victories; followed by Ford with 29. Toyota has two wins at CMS. • 15 of the 111 (13.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte have been won from the Coors Light pole; the three most recent were Jimmie Johnson in 2014 (Coca-Cola 600), 2009 (Chase race event) and 2004 (Coca-Cola 600). • The second-place starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (17) than any other starting position at Charlotte Motor Speedway (15.3% winning percentage). • 32 of the 111 (28.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte have been won from the front row: 15 from the pole and 17 from second-place. • 84 of the 111 (75.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Charlotte have been won from a top-10 starting position. • Nine of the 111 (8.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Charlotte is 37th, by Jimmie Johnson in the Coca-Cola 600 of 2003. • Richard Petty leads the series in runner-up finishes at Charlotte with nine. Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers with three. • NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Bobby Allison are tied for the series most top-five finishes at Charlotte with 23. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 16. • Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Charlotte with 31. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 23. • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Charlotte with a 7.115. • Joey Logano leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Charlotte with a 10.545. • Joe Nemechek leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Charlotte without visiting Victory Lane at 36; followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr . with 29. • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the May 29, 2005 race won by Jimmie Johnson over Bobby Labonte with a MOV of 0.027 second. • There have been three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting with a Green-White-Checkered finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway , but only once for the Coca-Cola 600 (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): Chase race of 2005 (334/336), Chase race of 2007 (334/337) and the 2011 Coca-Cola 600 (400/402). • Five of the 111 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the 2009 Coca-Cola 600 won by David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip Racing. Four of the five races shortened were the 600-mile events (1968, 1997, 2003 and 2009). • Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway twice; the fall race of 2002 and the fall race of 2008. • Five active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have made their first career start at Charlotte Motor Speedway : Dale Earnhardt Jr . (5/30/99), Jimmie Johnson (10/7/01), Brian Vickers (10/11/03), Ricky Stenhouse Jr . (5/29/11) and Kyle Larson (10/12/2013). • Four active drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway : Jeff Gordon (10/10/93), Dale Earnhardt Jr . (5/28/00), Ryan Newman (5/27/01) and Aric Almirola (5/27/12). • Four active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted their first career win at Charlotte Motor Speedway : Jeff Gordon (5/29/94), Matt Kenseth (5/28/00), Jamie McMurray (10/13/02) and Casey Mears (5/27/07). • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Charlotte with 1,733 laps led in 26 starts. • Two female drivers have competed at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie and Danica Patrick . Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date of race Danica Patrick 4 39 5/25/2014 Danica Patrick 35 20 10/12/2013 Danica Patrick 24 29 5/26/2013 Danica Patrick 40 30 5/27/2012 Janet Guthrie 31 35 10/8/1978 Janet Guthrie 27 9 10/9/1977 Janet Guthrie 26 22 10/10/1976 Janet Guthrie 27 15 5/30/1976 NASCAR in North Carolina • There have been 519 NASCAR Sprint Cup races among 28 tracks in North Carolina. Track Name/City/NSCS Charlotte Motor Speedway/Concord/111 North Wilkesboro Speedway/North/93 Rockingham Speedway/Rockingham/78 Hickory Speedway/Hickory/35 Asheville-Weaverville Speedway/Weaverville/34 Occoneechee Speedway/Hillsboro/32 Bowman-Gray Stadium/Winston-Salem/29 Southern States Fairgrounds/Charlotte/17 Charlotte Speedway/Charlotte/12 Concord Speedway/Concord/12 Wilson Speedway/Wilson/12 New Asheville Speedway/Asheville/8 Dog Track Speedway/Moyock/7 Raleigh Speedway/Raleigh/7 Cleveland County Fairgrounds/Shelby/6 Champion Speedway/Fayetteville/4 Greensboro Agriculture Fairgrounds/Greensboro/3 North Carolina State Fairgrounds/Raleigh/3 Tar Heel Speedway/Randleman/3 Forsyth County Fairgrounds/Winston-Salem/2 Harris Speedway/Harris/2 Jacksonville Speedway/Jacksonville/2 Tri-City Speedway/High Point/2 Gastonia Fairgrounds/Gastonia/1 Harnett Speedway/Spring Lake/1 McCormick Field/Asheville/1 Salisbury Super Speedway/Salisbury/1 Star Lite Speedway/Monroe/1 NASCAR in North Carolina • 433 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as North Carolina. • 46 drivers from North Carolina have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series; 29 have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Driver NSCS NNS NCWTS Richard Petty 200 0 0 Dale Earnhardt 76 21 0 Lee Petty 54 0 0 Ned Jarrett 50 0 0 Junior Johnson 50 0 0 Herb Thomas 48 0 0 Buck Baker 46 0 0 Bobby Isaac 37 0 0 Dale Jarrett 32 11 0 Rex White 28 0 0 Jim Paschal 25 0 0 Dale Earnhardt Jr 22 23 0 Benny Parsons 21 0 0 Speedy Thompson 20 0 0 Buddy Baker 19 0 0 Harry Gant 18 21 0 Bob Welborn 9 0 0 Kyle Petty 8 0 0 Morgan Shepherd 4 15 0 Bill Blair 3 0 0 Gwyn Staley 3 0 0 Brian Vickers 3 3 0 Billy Myers 2 0 0 Jimmy Pardue 2 0 0 Richard Brickhouse 1 0 0 Phil Parsons 1 2 0 Leon Sales 1 0 0 Buddy Shuman 1 0 0 Donald Thomas 1 0 0 Jack Ingram 0 31 0 Tommy Houston 0 24 0 Sam Ard 0 22 0 Robert Pressley 0 10 2 Scott Riggs 0 4 5 Ryan Blaney 0 2 3 Austin Dillon 0 2 6 Hank Parker Jr 0 2 0 Johnny Rumley 0 2 0 Dennis Setzer 0 2 18 Ed Berrier 0 1 0 Ty Dillon 0 1 3 Justin Labonte 0 1 0 Stephen Leicht 0 1 0 Timothy Peters 0 0 7 Andy Houston 0 0 3 Ricky Hendrick 0 0 1 Shane Hmiel 0 0 1 MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Kyle Busch comments on tying another Sam Ard record and discusses his facial hair.
RELATED: Learn more about Champion's Week DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 24, 2015) – The celebration will continue after the trophy is lifted at Homestead-Miami Speedway as NASCAR ® presents the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards™ hosted by actor and comedian Drew Carey. Live from Wynn Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 4, fans can tune-in to coverage of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards™ beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. NBCSN will also begin coverage at 8 p.m. ET from the red carpet, followed by the awards broadcast at 9 p.m. ET. This year's show will also feature a lineup of performances from award-winning musical artists Andy Grammer, Sam Hunt, Rachel Platten, and Sabrina Carpenter. As the current host of The Price is Right and former host of Who's Line is it Anyway? , Drew Carey will bring a seasoned air of entertainment and comedy to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards stage. Best known for his self-portrayal on The Drew Carey Show , which garnered seven Emmy nominations, Carey has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including three People’s Choice Awards, an Editor’s Choice TV Guide Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "This has been a tremendous year for NASCAR, and I'm honored to host this headlining event as fans all across the country tune-in to pay homage to the accomplishments of the 2015 champion," said Carey. "I look forward to rounding out the 2015 NASCAR ® racing season with a night of epic proportions alongside some of the greatest names in sports and entertainment." Triple-platinum selling recording artist Andy Grammer will perform at the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. The pop singer best known for hits such as “Keep Your Head Up” and “Back Home” took America by storm in 2015 with his smash single, "Honey, I'm Good" turning it into one of the year’s catchiest songs. A deluxe edition of his sophomore album, Magazines Or Novels was released on Nov. 20 featuring Andy's brand new single, "Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah.)" The evening's musical lineup will also feature country star Sam Hunt, who took home the honor of New Artist of the Year at Sunday night's American Music Awards. His critically-acclaimed debut album Montevallo has so far produced three consecutive No. 1 platinum-selling singles with "Leave the Night On," "House Party" and the double-platinum "Take Your Time," plus his current platinum-selling Top 15, "Break Up In A Small Town." Rachel Platten, one of this year's breakout artists with her double platinum No. 1 hit single, "Fight Song", will also grace the awards stage. Her current chart-climbing single, "Stand By You" will be released on her highly-anticipated forthcoming album, Wildfire. Rounding out the night's performances will be multi-talented singer / songwriter Sabrina Carpenter, who currently stars on the Disney Channel original series Girl Meets World . Carpenter released her debut album, Eyes Wide Open earlier this year, which features "We'll be the Stars" and its namesake single, "Eyes Wide Open." "The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards marks the pinnacle of our season as we have the opportunity to commend the drivers and teams for all of their hard work and dedication throughout the year," said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing and content development. "With Drew Carey at the wheel and a lineup of performances from some of the most celebrated entertainers in the music industry, it will certainly be a finale to remember for everyone joining us in Las Vegas and the NASCAR fans watching at home." This year's artists will join a star-studded group of actors and musicians who have previously performed at NASCAR’s championship celebration, including Lady Antebellum, Sara Bareilles, Dierks Bentley, and Kid Rock. Part of the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week™ in Las Vegas, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards is the headlining experience in a series of events that also includes the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Fanfest, NASCAR After The Lap™ and NASCAR Victory Lap™, where fans get a front row seat as the 16 Challengers™ roar down Las Vegas Boulevard. Visit www.NASCAR.com/ChampionsWeek to view the full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week schedule.
Take a look at Sam Hornish Jr's retro scheme that he will run at Darlington Raceway this weekend, inspired by Mark Martin.
Sam Bass has been drawing racecars since the age of seven. Since then he has realized a childhood dream creating racing art for some of the biggest names in NASCAR.
Sam Bass has built a career capturing racing history in his art. A large part of his artwork was the career of driver and friend Dale Earnhardt Sr.
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid Below is a breakdown of how the full 43-car field fared at Texas Motor Speedway : 1. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Johnson ran the bottom line to make up time and catch then-leader Brad Keselowski en route to his third straight Texas win (sixth overall). " RELATED: NASCAR.com goes 1-on-1 with Johnson in Victory Lane 2. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . The pole sitter led 312 laps and was just four circuits shy of punching his ticket to the Championship 4. " RELATED: Keselowski dominates but can't seal the deal 3. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Desperate to defend his 2014 championship title, Harvick rebounded from a couple cut tires and even spent some of Sunday's race driving with one hand on the wheel and one hand on the shifter because his car kept popping out of gear. " RELATED: Harvick overcomes adversity for top-three finish 4. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . NASCAR took the splitters from Kyle Busch and two of his Joe Gibbs teammates, but that didn't seem to deter Busch, who led a lap and kept his name in the hat for the Championship 4. " RELATED: NASCAR confiscates splitters for three JGR teams 5. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Edwards recorded his seventh top-five Texas finish after spending most of the race in the top 10. 6. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Earnhardt held onto a car that was "wrecking loose" and was the beneficiary twice en route to his 16th top-10 at Texas. 7. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Kurt Busch raced his way back into the top 10 on Lap 174 after dropping back to 22nd when his pit crew missed a few lugnuts during an early stop. " RELATED: Chase bubble watch post-Texas 8. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . Truex, one of the biggest movers early, had to hold on tight in the closing laps due to a lack of power steering. " RELATED: Truex keeps title hopes alive with tough Texas run 9. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . While most teams were sweating the lack of practice due to Saturday's rain, Gordon and the No. 24 team could breathe easy thanks to their Martinsville win last weekend. 10. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. McMurray picked up his third straight Texas top-10 after stopping for two tires only during the final caution period. 11. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . After a lengthy chassis adjustment to help over the bumps, Dillon cracked the top 10 with 50 laps left in Sunday's race and went on to record his best Texas finish. 12. Erik Jones , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Subbing in for a suspended Matt Kenseth , Jones qualified sixth -- his best Cup start -- and managed his best Cup result. 13. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard went from being on the splitter during the first part of Sunday's race to needing help over the bumps en route to his eighth top-15 at Texas. 14. Brian Scott , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport . Scott turned in a solid run in his first Cup appearance at Texas. 15. Clint Bowyer , No. 15, Michael Waltrip Racing . "Stay after it," spotter Brett Griffin encouraged Bowyer as he was running 15th and chasing down the competition ahead of him. " RELATED: Hear driver audio on RACEVIEW . 16. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . After making her best Texas start (11th ), Patrick spent the race fighting a loose-handling condition. 17. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Allmendinger restarted 20th on the final caution and picked up a few spots running the high line. 18. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Better on long runs, Almirola climbed through the field after an early penalty on pit road. 19. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . A hole in the cowl cover from the flat tire under green-flag conditions impacted Biffle late in Sunday's race. 20. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . " I think something is broken," Kahne reported as he faded from 12th in the final 25 laps. " RELATED: Hear driver audio on RACEVIEW . 21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . " The front is shot," Stenhouse reported to his team as he made his green-flag stop for four tires and fuel with 81 laps left in Sunday's race. 22. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman was running ninth when he had a left-rear tire go down on Lap 145, and he made an unscheduled pit stop. 23. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Ragan dropped through the field after he had to make an extra stop early in Sunday's race for damage sustained when leaving pit road on Lap 26. 24. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . A vibration with 100 laps to go prompted Hornish to give up the battle for the beneficiary pass and hit pit road. 25. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. Looking for rear grip, Cassill was running 26th and racing for the beneficiary pass on Lap 201. 26. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . With Sunday's finish, Mears keeps his streak alive and has completed all 23 events he's attempted at Texas. 27. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Whitt's biggest challenge mirrored that of the competition -- endure the ever-changing handling thanks to tire wear. 28. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Allgaier picked up six spots within the first eight laps but consistently dealt with a tight handling condition in the center of the turns. 29. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . The longer green-flag run helped the handling of Gilliland's car. 30. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Handling was a persistent issue for Moffitt, who radioed his team early in the race, "The rear feels like it's on ice, especially on throttle." " RELATED: Hear driver audio on RACEVIEW . 31. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Annett improved upon his April appearance at the intermediate Texas track. 32. Jeb Burton , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . A 2013 victor at Texas in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Burton made his first Cup appearance at the 1.5-mile Fort Worth oval on Sunday. 33. J.J. Yeley, No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . Yeley led Lap 55 during the fourth caution period before reporting to pit road for service. 34. Michael McDowell , No. 95 Ford, Leavine Family Racing . McDowell ran as high as 13th on Sunday, but was trapped on pit road when the eighth caution flag waved. 35. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . DiBenedetto fared better during long green-flag runs and was in striking distance of his best Texas result. 36. Ryan Preece , No. 98 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. The Texas newcomer started from the rear of the field after an engine change. 37. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Larson's best Texas start opened strong, but was stalled when he experienced a left-rear tire issue on Lap 101 to bring out the caution flag. 38. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . A mechanical issue (fuel pump) sent Hamlin to the garage early in Sunday's contest. 39. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne lost his right-rear tire and cut his brake line after getting into the wall on Lap 197 to bring out the eighth caution flag. 40. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . Logano, now in a must-win situation going into Phoenix, was briefly sidelined when his left-rear tire exploded on Lap 10. " RELATED: Logano goes for a spin early 41. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Bowman made his way into the top 25 before encountering a motor issue. 42. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Stewart's day was done after he got loose and spun through the grass on Lap 52. 43. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing . Blaney dropped from the top 10 and headed for the garage after hitting the Turn 2 wall on Lap 25.
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid Below is a breakdown of how the full 43-car field fared at Phoenix International Raceway : 1. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Junior fans that waited out the rain delay were rewarded with the HMS driver's third win of the season. 2. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Phoenix ace Harvick led a race-high 143 laps despite battling a "loose in" race car and a spotty radio. On to Homestead to defend his title. 3. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . Logano failed to make the Championship 4 for the second year in a row, despite his solid finish. He needed to win, but failed to lead a lap. 4. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Busch also battled radio issues and got too close to the wall on a pit stall that resulted in his team not being able to jack his car up, but the JGR driver came away with a top five and Championship 4 spot, nonetheless. 5. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Johnson was hit with a pit road speeding penalty while leading the race early on, but recovered for his 14th top-five finish of the season. 6. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Gordon waded through handling issues in one area of the track but found himself in a favorable spot when the race was called on Lap 219. 7. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Busch had one of the fastest cars but was black-flagged after jumping the start of the race. He never got back to the lead and was eliminated from the Chase. 8. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Hamlin will ride a top-10 finish into Homestead, where he won't get a shot at a title for the second straight year, but has a chance at his third win of the season. 9. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . Keselowski needed to win to advance but fell short despite leading four laps. 10. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Almirola has been consistently above average in the Chase and picked up his sixth top 10 of the season at Phoenix. 11. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman clinched his Championship 4 berth with a thrilling move at Phoenix last year, but not much stood out about his 2015 fall race. 12. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Edwards received the free pass on Lap 196 to get back on the lead lap, but didn't have enough time to get to the front, where he needed to be if he wanted to advance. 13. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard spent a good amount of time in the top 10 and was on pace to top his best career finish (ninth) at the 1-mile track before fading a bit. 14. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . Truex got caught a lap down when the caution came out on Lap 196, but his finish was enough to help him advance to the Championship 4. 15. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. McMurray finished in the top 15 for the third consecutive race and will look to make it four in a row to close the season at Homestead. 16. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Solid finish for Patrick, who overcame a penalty for having crew members over the wall too soon. 17. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . For the third time this season, Allgaier finished in the top 20 in two of three races. 18. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Ragan finished in the top 20 and got a bonus point for leading a lap -- not too shabby. 19. Erik Jones , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Jones closes out his substitute driver run for Matt Kenseth with his second consecutive top-20 finish. 20. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon has finished in the top 20 for four consecutive races, his longest such streak of the season. 21. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Larson came away disappointed with his finish after sporting a top-five car all weekend. 22. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears' brakes weren't flowing well, but crew chief Bootie Barker said they looked fine when he brought the car in for a pit stop. 23. Clint Bowyer , No. 15, Michael Waltrip Racing . Since his infamous run-in with Jeff Gordon at Phoenix in 2012, Bowyer has just one top-10 at the track. 24. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Allmendinger reported that his car had no forward drive on Lap 162 in P24, and he stayed right there. 25. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Biffle is still searching for his second top 10 since August and only has one race left to accomplish it. 26. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . A disappointing season for Kahne continued at Phoenix, where he failed to lead a lap and picked up his worst finish since 2012. 27. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Hard to believe, but Stewart has just three top-10s in 2015 -- and he didn’t come close to sniffing one at Phoenix. 28. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . DiBenedetto got hit by Kasey Kahne on pit road but still managed his best finish since Darlington. 29. J.J. Yeley, No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . Yeley had a great save early in the race and likely salvaged a better finish than he would've if he hadn't. 30. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Gilliland had a vibration in his brakes that plagued him to a finish just inside the top 30. 31. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Hornish had to make an unscheduled pit stop with slight damage on his left rear and came home 31st. 32. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Annett's 32nd-place finish is his second best at the 1-mile track in his career. 33. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Whitt's finish broke a string of three consecutive finishes inside the top 30. 34. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne was penalized for being too fast on pit road and never recovered. 35. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. Cassill's finish was his worst showing in the Phoenix fall race since 2010. 36. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Moffitt struggled with his No. 34 Ford, which had "no front grip in the tires." 37. Ryan Preece , No. 98 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Preece improved on his starting position by four places, which is a positive sign for a driver in just his fourth career Cup race. 38. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Bowman struggled with the electric system of his ride, telling his team, "Got power voltage, but it does not crank at all." 39. Jeb Burton , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Burton’s Phoenix showing was his worst finish since Charlotte. 40. Ryan Ellis , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport. Ryan Ellis finished 40th in his Sprint Cup Series debut, but finished two spots higher than where he started. 41. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse went to the garage after a brake issue caused a wreck with Joey Gase on Lap 196. 42. Joey Gase , No. 32 Ford, GoFAS Racing. Gase took significant damage to his No. 32 Ford after a wreck with Ricky Stenhouse Jr . on Lap 196 . 43. Timmy Hill , No. 62 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Hill dropped a valve and eventually had his ride let the motor go.
AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Team co-owner Richard Petty says his Richard Petty Motorsports organization is "still working on what we're going to do with the 9 car," and that he doesn't believe current driver Sam Hornish Jr . will return to the two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team for 2016. "Things are looking up (on the sponsorship front)," Petty said Saturday morning in the garage at Phoenix International Raceway "We've got some stuff coming down the pike, but we don't have it corralled yet." RPM currently fields two Sprint Cup Series entries, the No. 43 Ford driven by Aric Almirola as well as the No. 9 Ford of Hornish. A Chase for the Sprint Cup participant last season, Almirola failed to make this year's 16-team field. He is 17th in points heading into Sunday's Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). Hornish, a three-time IndyCar champion and winner of the 2006 Indianapolis 500, has been unable to find success in NASCAR's premier series, managing only three top-five finishes in 165 career starts. He is currently 25th in points. He does have three career victories in NASCAR's XFINITY Series. Asked if Hornish would be back, Petty said, "No, I don't think so." Petty, a seven-time series champion as a driver and winner of a series record 200 races, said funding would be a determining factor in driver selection for the No. 9 entry for '16, but that cutting back to only one team was not a consideration for the organization. "No. We're a two-car team," he said. "We have to look at sponsorship as much as anything. It's a combination deal. We can't just go with a driver and not have the money and we can't go with just the money and not have a driver. It’s going to be interesting." Almirola's team carries primary sponsorship from Smithfield Foods with additional funding for select events from Fresh from Florida, the U.S. Air Force and STP. Medallion Bank and Twisted Tea are the primary partners of the No. 9 of Hornish, while several other groups have sponsorship roles for a smaller number of races.
RELATED: NASCAR mourns passing of Elijah Aschbrenner Even at just 10 years old, Elijah Aschbrenner knew how to command a room. The cancer patient knew how to create smiles, win hearts, and most importantly of all, out-live and out-best the finest doctor estimates. Too fittingly it feels, I found out he passed away late Tuesday night while I was looking at my texts Wednesday morning as I walked out of my own oncologist's office. Elijah is the son of one of the most wonderful women I know, Becky Hughes, whom I first met nearly 20 years ago while she was handling Kasey Kahne 's NASCAR XFINITY Series public relations. Becky always has a smile and a kind word, is always so optimistic. So was Elijah throughout his often brutal battle. So was his little brother Sam , who has been a fantastic source of strength for them all. They exuded all the love and optimism you could possibly will upon a group given the toughest existence imaginable. Very unfortunately, we knew this outcome for Elijah. Yet Becky and her large and loyal crew outside Charlotte, North Carolina, continued to pray for a miracle while simultaneously wishing for peace and comfort for her sweet son -- an exemplary example of living in the moment. WWE wrestling superstar Titus O'Neil changed an airline flight to visit Elijah this summer, and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton surprised him at a very early block party to celebrate the 10-year-old's favorite holiday, Halloween. He was feted at the October NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Charlotte and counts drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Kasey Kahne , Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon as his friends. Martin Truex Jr . and his girlfriend, Sherry Pollex -- who is undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer -- have lent Elijah and his family planes for doctor appointments and shoulders to lean on in between. He joked back in October that all the good will from so many made selecting a favorite driver "a minor problem because they are all so good to me." On Wednesday, Pollex tweeted "Go outside today and bask in the sunlight w/a loved one, help others by doing a kind deed, tell someone you love them. ... do it for Elijah." I spoke with Elijah a month ago for a column I wrote about him for NASCAR.com. I knew his story would inspire and encourage. I also wanted him to have a chance to read it, knowing what an inspiration he had become to so many. To me. But you don't have to have cancer to appreciate Elijah's large attitude and bigger spirit. I even received notes from others who had interaction with the same rare and fatal version of childhood cancer, Epithelioid Sarcoma that Elijah so bravely battled. Just having the name printed apparently helps that cause, and I know Elijah would want that at the very least. When I spoke with Elijah a little over a month ago, his voice was much softer than I remembered from our first meeting in May at the Martin Truex Jr . Foundation's "Catwalk for a Cause" pediatric cancer fundraiser in Mooresville, North Carolina. At that event Elijah was the rock star and everyone else merely his very-willing cheerleaders. He carried that unmistakable vibe -- and brightly dyed hair -- throughout his cancer battle and even into the deep, dark days of recent weeks when his mom was buoyed because he was still reactive to his favorite show, "Wheel of Fortune." Despite all Elijah was going through he made it hard for you to be sad because he was so joyful despite all the pain and fear of the unknown. When I interviewed him for that October story, I made a point of not crying while speaking with him -- even though as a mom and cancer patient myself it often proved difficult. When we last spoke weeks ago, he was still upbeat and still inspiring. He offered all sorts of wisdom, sounding much older than his 10 years. I asked him what advice he had for me and others: "Keep fighting and ... breathe.'' His mom shared that Elijah also had advice for her -- in addition to allowing a maximum of only three minutes of crying. "There have been many days when my faith is down and I'm scared and worried and he'll look at me and say, 'Mama, we're going to get through this,' " Hughes recalled. "Never once has his faith been in question. A few months ago, he coined the phrase, 'Faith and believing are your cure.' "And he really means it." We all owe Elijah gratitude for his inspiration, his strength, his grace and a smile and happiness that should be remembered and cherished. We will keep fighting for you, Elijah.