See where your favorite driver will pit on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) Vote: Who will win at Martinsville? " Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live The pit stall assignments are out for Sunday's STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) and Coors Light Pole Award winner Joey Logano will have the first pit stall. Logano, who won his second Coors Light Pole Award of the season on Friday, will have no one in front of him on pit road. Ryan Newman (starting second) and Tony Stewart (starting sixth) will also have an opening in front of them on pit road. Denny Hamlin (starting 15th) chose the pit stall closest to the pit road entrance (stall No. 43). In his first Sprint Cup Series start, Chase Elliott will be pitting from pit stall No. 5. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Chase Elliott runs into trouble at Martinsville during his Sprint Cup Series debut as he has to go to the garage with a power steering failure.
XFINITY Series champ will start 27th on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) Vote: Who will win at Martinsville? " Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: Full starting lineup MARTINSVILLE, Va. – The weather issues might have been a concern, but nothing could dampen the spirits of Chase Elliott Friday at Martinsville Speedway . The 19-year-old will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut here in Sunday's 66th annual STP 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1), thanks to a qualifying effort that will see his Hendrick Motorsports No. 25 Chevrolet start 27th in the 43-car lineup. Joey Logano ( Team Penske ) will start on the pole. "I don't know how I feel about being excited about being 27th, but at the same time it's really exciting to making our first Cup race," Elliott said. "It's just crazy how different a world this is on this side of things, being timed so close. Just a couple of hundredths (of a second) would have had us in the top 24, and a tenth would have had you, heck, up in the teens. "I was doing my best to get in and that was our goal today. Certainly a lot of pressure off to not have to worry about that tomorrow and we can focus on our race car for Sunday afternoon." Because the No. 25 team was making its first appearance and had no owner points, Elliott needed to qualify inside the top 36, ahead of at least nine others, to guarantee himself a spot in the field. Forty-five teams made at least one qualifying attempt. Elliott will move into the Sprint Cup Series full-time next season, taking over the No. 24 ride of four-time champion Jeff Gordon . For 2015, he'll make five attempts on the Sprint Cup side, with Richmond (April 25), Charlotte (May 24), Indianapolis (July 26) and Darlington (Sept. 6) completing his schedule. The defending NASCAR XFINITY Series champion and driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet in that series , Elliott rolled out onto the Martinsville half-mile with a little over half the 20-minute opening session remaining. He was 22nd after the first lap and improved to 17th with a second trip around. A third lap produced the seventh fastest time at that time while a fourth lap failed to improve upon that effort. After pulling back into the garage, Elliott and his team watched as other drivers began posting faster laps. He had fallen to 27th when Ron Hornaday Jr . crashed to briefly bring the first round to a halt. Elliott went back out for a second shot at improving his position, briefly climbed back into the top 24, but then just as quickly was bumped back out. "The challenge was obviously the weather, and just the lack of laps," crew chief Kenny Francis said. "Now all that's behind us and he's got a chance to get some laps tomorrow and we can work on our car, think about it without near the stress. And we can lean on our teammates some." While the No. 25 group is part of the Hendrick organization, Friday's weather delay meant the four full-time teams of Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne were busy trying to map out their own strategies for practice and qualifying. Because of the rain, the start of Sprint Cup practice was delayed by more than two hours, and the planned session of an hour-and 25 minutes was squeezed into about 45 minutes. "That was another challenge; yeah, we're part of Hendrick but I mean we're on our own down here (on the far end of the garage)," Francis said. "With the weather and the lack of time, those guys are on their own agenda … so there's not much to collaborate on. "That was a bit challenging. It was fortunate we had a good baseline from the 24 car (of Gordon)." The STP 500 is the sixth of 36 races on this year's Sprint Cup Series schedule. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
XFINITY Series regular to drive No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Chris Buescher will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut this weekend in Sunday's Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX). The NASCAR XFINITY Series regular for Roush Fenway Racing will pilot the No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports at Auto Club Speedway . The team announced the news on its Twitter account. . @Chris_Buescher will make his first Sprint Cup start for Front Row Motorsports in the No 34 this weekend. pic.twitter.com/l5iQXQsa4K — FrontRow Motorsports (@FrontRowNASCAR) March 20, 2015 Buescher will replace Brett Moffitt , who shifted over to the No. 55 Toyota for Brian Vickers . Moffitt, a Michael Waltrip Racing development driver, had made starts in the past two races in the No. 34 Ford. Vickers is out for the Auto Club 400 due to a recurrence of blood clots. "We have no Cup starts so this will be the first," Buescher said in a Ford release. "I've run a lot of Cup test sessions and throughout the years I've done a lot at Roush Fenway on the Cup side, but this will be the first race. The circumstances that bring it about are not ideal. We wish Brian Vickers the best and want to try to do the best we can for Front Row Motorsports now at this point." Getting Buescher in the No. 34 Ford all came together very quickly. "I was actually getting breakfast over by the hotel and Robbie Reiser called me," Buescher said. "It's kind of similar to the way my first XFINITY race went down. I was getting ready for an ARCA race and got the call and was rushed to Richmond, so it's been wild. I'm happy to help out Front Row and help out another Ford team. We're trying to all work the best we can to make this happen as smoothly as possible. It's going to be a wild weekend between the two schedules. I's excited to get the opportunity, so I appreciate that very much, but we're gonna have to be on our toes this weekend." Buescher is currently second in the XFINITY Series point standings and has two top-five finishes in four races. The 22-year-old Texas native won at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last summer for his first NASCAR national series win. "We still have to put our focus on the XFINITY side," Buescher said. "We're in contention to win a championship and we need to make sure that our effort is on that area, but, at the same time, we're more than happy to help out on the Cup side and try to help these guys have a good, solid run and stay up there in points." David Ragan , who has driven the No. 34 Ford for the past three seasons, currently is filling in for Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing . Ragan delivered Front Row Motorsports its first win in 2013 at Talladega Superspeedway . In addition to the No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports fields two other Sprint Cup entries, the No. 35 driven by Cole Whitt and the No. 38 driven by David Gilliland . MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Coors Light Pole Award winner also topped Friday's lone practice Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: Practice 2 results Kurt Busch continued his reign as the fastest at Fontana, topping Saturday's opening practice session for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with a fast lap of 187.115 mph. Busch will be making just his second start since NASCAR reinstated him from a suspension that caused him to miss the opening three races of the 2015 season. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver has shown plenty of speed out of the gate this weekend as he topped Friday's lone practice session and also scored the Coors Light Pole Award for Sunday's Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX). Jimmie Johnson (184.247 mph), David Ragan (184.237 mph), Ryan Newman (183.969 mph) and Brian Scott (183.960 mph) rounded out the top five from the 55-minute practice session. Martin Truex Jr . (183.814 mph), Brad Keselowski (183.594 mph), AJ Allmendinger (183.510 mph), Kevin Harvick (183.416 mph) and Casey Mears (183.351 mph) placed sixth through 10th in the session. Harvick, who qualified for a spot on the front row next to his SHR teammate Busch, is looking to sweep the three-race West Coast swing with a win at Fontana. FINAL PRACTICE " Results Another Auto Club Speedway practice produced the same result we have seen at the top all weekend with Kurt Busch once again leading the way with a fast lap of 184.971 mph. The 36-year-old driver topped all three practice sessions at the 2-mile track leading into Sunday's Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX). The veteran driver scored a third-place finish at the California track last year, but has just one win at the venue, which came in 2003. Paul Menard (183.885 mph), Kevin Harvick (183.220 mph), Casey Mears (183.146 mph) and Jimmie Johnson (182.992 mph) placed second through fifth in the 55-minute final practice session. The Chevrolet dominance of the practice leaderboard extended to spots six and seven, with Martin Truex Jr . (182.783 mph) and Ryan Newman (182.699 mph) occupying those slots. Team Penske teammates Joey Logano (182.348 mph) and Brad Keselowski (182.292 mph) were the top Fords on the board, placing eighth and ninth for the session, respectively. Dale Earnhardt Jr . rounded out the top 10 with a lap of 182.099 mph. David Ragan , who qualified fourth and is making his fourth start filling in for the injured Kyle Busch , was the highest-placing Toyota in the final practice, coming in 12th. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See where your favorite driver will pit in Sunday's Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX) Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Pit stall assignments are out for Sunday's Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX) and Coors Light Pole Award winner Kurt Busch has chosen the first stall off pit road. Kevin Harvick (starting second) and David Ragan (starting fourth) chose stalls with an open space in front of them for an easy exit. Matt Kenseth (starting third) chose the first stall coming onto pit road. The Auto Club 400 begins Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET with TV coverage on FOX. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
JR Motorsports will make its Truck debut this weekend at Martinsville Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Kelley Earnhardt Miller appeared on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Wednesday. Among other topics, she discussed JR Motorsports' first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race this weekend at Martinsville Speedway . Earnhardt Miller, co-owner of JR Motorsports, said earlier this year that there were no plans at that time to field the organization’s Camping World Truck Series team for any races beyond the 10 currently in place with driver Cole Custer . On Wednesday she said that was still the case, but also said Sprint Cup Series Dale Earnhardt Jr . had broached the subject of driving the truck. "He's definitely mentioned that that's something he might be interested in," Earnhardt Miller said. "I think he would want to see how the program is going to do, and make sure we have the resources and the capability to do that. Let Cole the team get off the ground first and see how that goes." The organization will make its CWTS debut this weekend at Martinsville Speedway , fielding the No. 00 Chevrolet for Custer in Saturday’s Kroger 250 (FOX Sports 1, 2:30 p.m. ET). The entry will carry sponsorship from Haas Automation and will be under the direction of crew chief Joe Shear Jr. Earnhardt Miller, Earnhardt Jr. and Sprint Cup Series team owner Rick Hendrick share ownership of JRM. One of the organization’s three full-time XFINITY Series teams features multiple Sprint Cup drivers, Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne , behind the wheel for select events. Two other full-time teams feature drivers Chase Elliott and Regan Smith , who finished 1-2 in points, respectively, last season. "He (Earnhardt Jr.) and some others have expressed interest in running the truck," Earnhardt Miller said. “We’ve actually gotten calls from other people saying ‘do you want to fill out the balance of your schedule and run it full time?' "We really don't want to do that. We want to focus on Cole. If the opportunity exists to put a couple of the Cup drivers in there to make our program stronger, (that's) really why would we want to do that… "I won’t say it’s not going to happen but there aren’t any concrete plans for it to happen right now." Even though the XFINITY Series is taking a one-week break after five consecutive races to open the 2015 season, it is shaping up to be a big weekend for JRM. Custer, 17, made his NCWTS debut last season with Haas Racing Development and became the youngest winner in a NASCAR national series event when he won the UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . In only nine starts, he scored six top-10s and two poles. Elliott, the defending XFINITY Series champion, will attempt to make his Sprint Cup Series debut in Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville. The 19-year-old is scheduled to step into the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet in 2016, replacing four-time series champion Jeff Gordon . HMS will field a No. 25 entry for Elliott this weekend, with veteran crew chief Kenny Francis heading up the team. With Elliott already tabbed for the move to Sprint Cup next season, Custer could be auditioning for a full-time XFINITY Series ride with the organization. "Hopefully, that (truck effort) will roll into an XFINITY Series ride for Cole, depending on how he performs," Earnhardt Miller said. It will be the first start of the season for Custer, who is limited to competing on road courses and tracks 1.1 miles or less in length due to his age. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
After Race 6 of the 2015 season at Martinsville Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Managing Director Richard Buck breaks down the modifications to the qualifying format for all three national series at superspeedways.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Managing Director Richard Buck talks about the serious penalties that could be handed down if engines, tires or fuel are tampered with by teams.