Team owner Roger Penske's NASCAR XFINITY Series operation last won the driver's championship in 2010 with Brad Keselowski , but the organization's No. 22 team has gone undefeated for three consecutive years when it comes to the owner's title. Ryan Blaney , Sprint Cup Series drivers Keselowski and Joey Logano and road racer Alex Tagliani each piloted the No. 22 Ford this season, collecting seven of the organization's eight wins in the series. "I think it's an investment," Penske said of the XFINITY Series program. "It's an investment on pit road for building guys over the wall, point number one, and point number two, to take a young driver like Blaney and get him in a car. "The top driver is just not available when you need him, so you've got to build him. You've seen what (Jeff) Gordon and (Jimmie) Johnson and all the great drivers (have done)." The No. 22 team ended the season with 1,308 points, 117 ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing 's No. 54 Toyota entry and 118 ahead of the No. 60 Ford of Roush Fenway Racing . Roush Fenway Racing driver Chris Buescher clinched the 2015 driver's title. JGR finished second to Penske in '13-14 in the battle for the owner's title as well. Blaney has split his time between the XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season, competing in Sprint Cup with Wood Brothers Racing . The No. 21 team will run the full 36-race schedule next season. Team Penske and the Wood Brothers outfit have a technical alliance. "From the standpoint of sponsorship, Discount Tire has been with us almost from the beginning," Penske said. "They like the XFINITY Series. They think it gives them exactly what they want. To me we've got a good sponsor. "We only run one car, occasionally we run two maybe at Watkins Glen, but to me I think it's an important part of our organization. Running two Cup cars and having the ability to work with the (Wood Brothers) I think helps us build that team , and we can move people back and forth, and then of course with the XFINITY , it's really the early stages of young guys that are coming into the sport and people that can make a difference. "You know, there's just no question that the people have moved up (to Sprint Cup ). Everybody that's at the top level today in our Cup cars have won and worked in the XFINITY Series, so I think that that's amazing when you think about it."
Roger Penske wins the NASCAR XFINITY Car Owner Championship for third consecutive year.
From Joey Logano's early issues to Brad Keselowski getting passed late by Jimmie Johnson, take an inside look at the team communication from Team Penske at Texas Motor Speedway.
RELATED: Logano spins Kenseth for win " Kenseth 'no longer a fan' of Logano Joey Logano 's late-race move to get past the leading No. 20 car of Matt Kenseth in Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway remains a topic of hot debate, and the Team Penske driver addressed the controversial maneuver Monday morning on "The Dan Patrick Show," simulcasted on NBCSN. While the five-time 2015 Sprint Cup Series winner expressed his disappointment that Kenseth's Toyota was spun out, he certainly isn't apologizing for racing hard despite already advancing to the Eliminator Round. "I think all of us are racers; we all just want to race hard and race for wins," Logano said. "He was doing what he needed to do and I was doing what I had to do and it's unfortunate we collided there and ended up getting tangled up. "It's unfortunate, but it's just hard racing. We were both racing for a win. It's Chase time right now and everyone has picked up their intensity level and sometimes things happen." Things happen, but was the move intentional? Logano appeared to have the faster car and theoretically could've passed Kenseth during the final laps – but a spin? The lower Kenseth finishes in the running order, the less likely it is that the 2003 champ moves on to the Eliminator, an obvious benefit for Logano. A little bump to the 20 could certainly be looked at as a strategy. RELATED: Was Logano's move on Kenseth clean or dirty? "I wouldn't say it was a tactic. Our tactic was to go out there and win the race. That's what we tried to do," Logano replied after Patrick asked if the bump was part of the plan. "We don't try to go out there and wreck someone, by no means, but we go out there and try to race hard. He was racing hard, as well. That's just what happens sometimes. "I think the way NASCAR has applied this new Chase format with the elimination process, it really puts a lot of people in do-or-die situations and when that happens, crazy things seem to happen on the race track. NASCAR has put us in a position where we have to race hard. I think it puts a great product on the race track and it's a lot of fun for the fans to watch." There's no denying the new format of the Chase has increased the drama for the season's 10-race playoff system – we saw that start last year – which has just added to an already exhilarating way to end the season. Because of this, Patrick asked Logano if he viewed himself as an entertainer. "I'm here to race; I'm not here to entertain," said Logano. "In the meantime, if we entertain some people, that's great. But my job … Roger Penske hired me to win races. "That's my job and I need to produce that."
The following are team press releases previewing the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes at Phoenix International Raceway (2:30 p.m. ET, Sunday, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM). Joe Gibbs Racing : Kyle Busch " Team preview Carl Edwards " Team preview Stewart-Haas Racing : Kevin Harvick " Team preview Kurt Busch " Team preview Hendrick Motorsports : Jeff Gordon " Team preview Team Penske : Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano " Team preview Furniture Row Racing : Martin Truex Jr . " Team preview
The following are team press releases previewing the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (2 p.m. ET, Sunday, NBC, PRN, SiriusXM). Joe Gibbs Racing : Kyle Busch " Team preview Carl Edwards " Team preview Stewart-Haas Racing : Kevin Harvick " Team preview Kurt Busch " Team preview Hendrick Motorsports : Jeff Gordon " Team preview Team Penske : Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano " Team preview Furniture Row Racing : Martin Truex Jr . " Team preview
RELATED: Complete results from Homestead " Updated standings SHOP: Champion's gear " Gordon gear HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch capped a most improbable comeback Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway , capturing the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship while winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 . Busch, 30, passed race leader Brad Keselowski on a final restart with seven laps remaining, then pulled away from fellow Chase for the Sprint Cup contender Kevin Harvick to score his fifth win of the season and secure his first premier series title. It was also the first Sprint Cup Series championship for automaker Toyota, which entered the series in 2007. "A dream of a lifetime, a dream come true," Busch said. "I just can't believe with everything that happened this year and all the turmoil, all the things that I went through, that my wife (Samantha) went through and the people that are around me went through. This championship is all for these guys, my wife, my family, everyone who has had to sacrifice so much to get me here to this place today, whether it was on my team right now, or on my teams in the past." "Adam Stevens (crew chief) prepared such a great race car. Adam Stevens is my hero. I love that guy." Busch ( Joe Gibbs Racing ), Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Jeff Gordon ( Hendrick Motorsports ) and Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ) advanced through this year's 16- team , 10-race Chase format to qualify for a shot at the title. RELATED: Busch wins first Cup Series championship Busch said he never doubted that he and his team could orchestrate such a stunning comeback. "Oh yeah, no doubt," he said. "The rehab ... getting ready and focused, all that was the hardest part and the hardest thing I have ever gone through. To put it all together and be here tonight, this wasn't that hard." Sidelined for the season's first 11 points races after suffering a broken right leg and fractures to his left foot in an XFINITY Series crash at Daytona International Speedway , Busch returned to win five times. Sunday's victory was the 34th of his career. Busch can thank debris on the race track for the race win. It was driver and team that won the championship, however. Seemingly on his way to a second-place finish that would have still secured the title, Busch shot past Keselowski ( Team Penske ) on a Lap 261 restart for the 18th and final lead change of the night. "I knew it was time to go," Busch said. "I don't know why Brad chose the bottom, but he gave me the top and I thought, 'This is interesting.'" The restart order put Harvick directly behind Busch, who said, "I knew I just had to protect whatever Harvick tried to do if he was going to shoot the middle or shoot the gap or whatever it was going to be." "I don't know if Brad spun his tires or what. We got to Turns 1 and 2 and we were pretty even; I just looked into (Turn) 4 and gave it everything I had those last seven or eight laps." Officially, it was Busch, Harvick and Keselowski finishing first through third, with Joey Logano and Kyle Larson rounding out the top five. "I don't really know if there was a right one or wrong one, to be honest," Keselowski, who led a race-high 86 laps, said of the lane choice call. "We just weren't fast enough and I don't think it would have mattered either way." Gordon ended his illustrious driving career with a sixth-place finish while Truex wound up 12th. ALL ACCESS: Gordon parks car for final time "His talent is so strong, and that team really found some things this year," Gordon, a four-time champion making his final start, said of Busch, adding that he's seen "a changed Kyle." "When he came back, not only was he driven and just inspired by it, but you can tell he was racing smarter, with more patience, just being more deliberate. ... I think he showed it right away when he came back that there was a pretty good chance he was destined to win this championship." It wasn't a down-to-the wire battle for the championship or for the race until the final caution. With 67 laps remaining, Keselowski was easily out front while Busch enjoyed a lead of more than one second over Harvick for second place. Gordon, who had led earlier, ran ninth and Truex was just outside the top 10, running 12th. A fire on pit road and an ill-handling car stymied the efforts of Truex and his team for the first half of the race; a two-tire gamble during pit stop on Lap 168 put him out front. WATCH: Truex Jr. has 'a lot to build on for the future' But the lead was short-lived; Truex soon found himself free-falling through the field, eventually settling in just outside the top 10. Gordon made his way to the front for the first time following a Lap 36 restart, shooting past the soon-to-be champ for the lead and bringing the crowd in the grandstands to their feet. Harvick took charge moments later with a power move on a Lap 45 restart. A multi-car accident involving Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Clint Bowyer and others erupted almost as soon as Harvick took control, bringing the yellow flag for the fourth time. RELATED: Harvick sets bittersweet NASCAR record The defending series champion was able to build as much as a 1.5-second lead over Busch and led 46 laps before a cycle of green-flag pit stops allowed Joey Logano to move to the top spot. Afterward, Harvick could only smile as he watched Busch celebrate on stage. "He broke his leg at Daytona, and to come back from everything that he came back from ... that's a great comeback story from where he was after Daytona," said Harvick. The race began 1 hour, 35 minutes late due to rain but ran uninterrupted by weather conditions following its 4:50 p.m. ET start.
RELATED: Kenseth wins at Michigan " Chase Grid standings BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Team Penske drivers Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski had to repeat pre-race inspection after their splitters didn't pass the first time through before Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. NASCAR announced it asked the teams to switch splitters and that the original splitters would be taken back to the NASCAR Research & Development Center for inspection early next week. NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell discussed that decision on Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive." "On the 2 (of Keselowski) and the 22 (of Logano), in that case, they're so close on all the splitters and we thought the issue that we looked at was really close to the spec that we have so in that case we elected to take both of those, bring them back to the R&D Center and just take a closer look. "I don't think we'll find anything in this case. It was just one of those areas of a car that, like we do from time to time, we take a look at. See what we may be able to learn if there's anything there, and then have dialogue with the team and the industry if we do see anything. But more of a procedural thing on our end this weekend when it comes to the 2 and 22." Neither driver lost their qualifying spot due to the change in splitters. Logano qualified 10th while Keselowski was 14th. Logano finished seventh, while Keselowski finished ninth in the Pure Michigan 400 . "We do everything to our race cars," Todd Gordon, crew chief of the No. 22, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Sunday before the race. "We clean everything up. We don't bring nasty, dirty race cars through inspection. We clean everything we can and make it as close to what we left the shop with. We cleaned it up, and we replaced it." Logano won last week's Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International, his second victory of the season, and he is now fifth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings with four races to go until the postseason. Keselowski, who has never won at his home track in Michigan, has one victory this season and is ninth in the Chase standings.
Winningnest owner at IMS yet to have driver win Brickyard 400 SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- There are very few racing achievements still left on Roger Penske's to-do list. But Sunday's Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard represents a rare opportunity for Penske to accomplish one of the greatest feats in auto racing. A victory by one of his drivers Brad Keselowski or Joey Logano would give the legendary team owner the motorsports "triple crown" -- also counting wins in the Daytona 500 (Logano) and Indianapolis 500 ( Juan Pablo Montoya ) earlier this year. Of course a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway would be special, triple crown or not. Penske is the winningest Indianapolis Motor Speedway team owner (16 Indy 500 victories) in history but has amazingly been 0-fer at the track when it comes to NASCAR's Brickyard 400. Three times Penske was a runner-up with Hall of Fame driver Rusty Wallace (1995, 2000 and 2002), but the closest he's been lately is Logano's fifth place last season. "Anytime we hear Indy coming up we start getting the calls from Roger," Logano said Friday between practice sessions at Indy. "We really want to win this race. This is the one on his bucket list that he hasn’t gotten yet and we talk about it a lot. It would be very special to give him a Brickyard 400, along with the Indy 500 he won earlier this year up here and the Daytona 500 we won earlier, too. So this could be quite the trifecta if we could make it happen." Keselowski actually delivered Penske his first NASCAR win on the famed Indy 2.5-miler -- a 1-2 finish with then teammate Sam Hornish Jr . -- in the inaugural XFINITY Series race in 2012. Ironically, Penske was travelling and unable to attend the event -- something Keselowski vowed to tease him about at the time. The significance of Keselowski's day was not lost on him. "The Brickyard means so much to all of us as race car drivers and to the sport in general, and it transcends three different forms of auto racing, whether it's IndyCar in the United States, F1 and their history here, and then obviously with stock cars and their initial time here to the current date, from '94 on, it transcends into a special victory or a special place to race I should probably say," Keselowski said during his winner's press conference. Racing's "triple crown" has only been achieved one time -- in 2010 by Chip Ganassi, Penske's longtime and well-respected rival in both NASCAR and IndyCar series. And it's obviously very seldom even a possibility with the difficulty of winning both the Daytona and Indy 500-mile races. Keselowski's No. 2 Miller Lite Ford was second fastest in Friday's second practice -- the most promising of the two cars. Logano's No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford finished 14th in the final practice, preparing for Saturday's pole qualifying. Both drivers were optimistic about their chances on Sunday. Motivation won't be a problem. "I don't think you need any more incentive besides giving Roger Penske another win at Indy," Logano said. "You want to add your name to the list of guys that have won here for him. Every time I walk into the shop the first thing you see is all these Indy 500 trophies and the helmets that they wore when they won that race and the picture. "We all want to come up here and give our best effort and try to execute the race the best we know how to and build the fastest cars we know how to before we get there, but we do that every week. We do that for every single race track, but there's just a little bit added for this one. It's like going down to Daytona. You really wan to win the Daytona 500 because it's one of the biggest races of the year. This is the same story, but it's even a little bit more special I think for Team Penske than it is for everyone else." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Wood Brothers Racing , one of the longest tenured teams competing in NASCAR's premier series, will return to full-time competition beginning in 2016. Officials with the team and Ford Motor Co. made the announcement Friday afternoon at Homestead-Miami Speedway , site of this weekend's Ford EcoBoost 400 (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM) season-ending event. Ryan Blaney will handle the driving duties, embarking upon his first full season after making 15 starts for the team this year heading into Sunday's race. Weather issues kept the team from attempting to qualify at Daytona, Kentucky and Chicago earlier this year. "These are the guys that made it happen, Ford Motor Company," co- team owner Eddie Wood said. "It is just a lot of people that have been working on this for a long time and we are really proud of our association and heritage with Ford Motor Company. We have been racing Ford Motor Company products for 65 years and we are really looking forward to next year and getting started with that." The team will continue to have a technical alliance with Team Penske , which fields Sprint Cup entries for drivers Joey Logano and 2012 champion Brad Keselowski . "It is what you dream of as a kid," Blaney, 21, said. "I have been fortunate enough to get great opportunities and meet great people being with Team Penske in 2012 which led to the Wood Brothers this year and then beyond for next year. "Obviously it is a little overwhelming right now … knowing what is going to come but I am excited for it. I don't get excited about a lot of things and maybe I don't show it but I am really excited about this program for next year and having the opportunity." It will be the first time since 2008 that the Wood Brothers organization, founded by team owner Glen Wood in 1953, has attempted to run the entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. That season, three drivers -- Bill Elliott , Marcos Ambrose and Jon Wood -- split the driving duties, although Johnny Sauter made one attempt, failing to qualify at Las Vegas. The last full season with a single-driver for the team came in 2006 with veteran Ken Schrader . "We were in Pocono … testing for the Pocono race on May 28, 2008," Wood said. "At about noon that day Mr. Ford called me looking for a phone number. I hadn't talked to him in a while and he said, 'I haven't heard from you in a while, why haven't you called?' I told him we had been running so poorly that I had really just been ashamed. He says, 'So, you are saying this 21 is broken?' and I said, ‘Yeah, it is broken right now.' "So he said we were going to see about that, that we would fix that. From that day until now, it has been just like this. He put some things in motion that started to help like increased engineering and just more of everything. There were some Ford Motor Company people that … moved in with us and helped get us straightened out and three years later we win the Daytona 500 (with driver Trevor Bayne ). You can never give up." Wood Brothers entries have visited Victory Lane 98 times, sixth most among active teams and seventh overall. The list of drivers who have won for the team includes NASCAR Hall of Fame members Wood, Curtis Turner (a 2016 inductee), Cale Yarborough, David Pearson and Dale Jarrett. Leonard Wood, younger brother of Glen and crew chief for the majority of the team's victories, is also in the Hall of Fame. Despite often running a limited schedule, the organization has finished in the top 10 in points 13 times and won the series' premier event, the Daytona 500 , five times. "I think the timing was perfect for this to all come together," Edsel Ford II said. "I think with Team Penske 's help, that kind of motivated us to sort of talk to the Wood Brothers internally … and find out if this was possible. It just all came together this year and fit. It fit perfectly. So why not do it." NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series schedule consists of 36 points races and two non-points event and runs from February through mid-November. Entering this weekend's event, 35 teams have competed in all points races contested thus far this season.