Martin Truex Jr . talks about his solid run at Atlanta Motor Speedway and starting 2015 with back-to-back top ten finishes.
Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth talk about trying to keep up with a changing racetrack at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Earnhardt seeks improvement after runner-up finish in last year's race
Sprint Cup regular nips Dale Jr . atop Las Vegas leaderboard
Company has been longtime associate partner to JR Motorsports Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Regan Smith will run a paint scheme in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200. (Saturday, March 14, 4 p.m. ET, FOX) featuring Axalta Coating Systems, JR Motorsports announced on Thursday. Axalta has been a longtime associate partner and the team's official paint supplier. "Axalta has been a valued part of our championship organization almost from the very beginning, and we are pleased to have Regan and the rest of the No. 7 team in Cromax colors at Phoenix," JR Motorsports co-owner and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller said in a team release. The 2015 XFINITY Series season is Smith's third with JRM. He is currently 14th in the point standings through two races this season with a top-10 finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend. Smith has also been pulling double duty, subbing for the suspended Kurt Busch in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet. 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
Patrick suffers minor damage from contact Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge MORE: Complete Sprint Unlimited results Danica Patrick's car was dinged from some three-wide racing with Ricky Stenhouse Jr . and Austin Dillon in the Sprint Unlimited, but Stenhouse and Dillon took the brunt of the damage. RELATED: See the best photos from Saturday's race The incident on Lap 62 brought Patrick to pit road quickly, and she would lose a lap. She had spent some of the race running in the top five but had to make multiple pit stops to repair the damage. Stenhouse Jr . smacked the wall, while Dillon went for a spin after the two made contact. Both Stenhouse Jr . and Dillon's car suffered enough damage to put them several laps down. Patrick would go on to finish the race in 10th place, while Stenhouse Jr . and Dillon would finish 16th and 17th, respectively, 14 laps down. 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
Danica Patrick rallies late to make Daytona 500 field Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Buy Daytona 500 gear RELATED: Daytona Duel #1 results " Daytona Duel #2 results " Daytona 500 starting lineup DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—Hendrick Motorsports swept the front-row starting positions for Sunday's Daytona 500. Apparently enjoying the feeling, HMS then swept Thursday's Budweiser Duel at Daytona twin 150-mile qualifying races. Dale Earnhardt Jr . came from his last-place starting position to win Thursday night's first Budweiser Duel at Daytona 150-mile qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway, as unsung heroes behind him diced their way into the 57th running of the Great American Race (1 p.m. ET on FOX). Jimmie Johnson, on the pole for the second Duel and already locked into the outside of the front row for the Daytona 500, completed the Hendrick sweep with a .125-second victory over Kyle Busch, leading 40 laps in the process. MORE: Driver Reports previews the Daytona 500 In a drama-filled second Duel, both Danica Patrick and David Ragan recovered from wrecks to race their way into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' most prestigious race, Patrick with a strong push from Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch. For the second time during Speedweeks, Patrick was involved in a crash with Denny Hamlin, and the two drivers had an extended animated conversation as soon as the cars parked on pit road. Earnhardt started 25th in the first Duel because his qualifying time was disallowed after inspectors discovered a ride-height violation on his No. 88 Chevrolet after Sunday's time trials. Undeterred, Earnhardt worked his way methodically to the front, grabbing the lead for the first time on Lap 35. All told, Earnhardt led 21 laps and crossed the finish line .165 seconds ahead of Hendrick Motorsports teammate and Daytona 500 polesitter Jeff Gordon. As the winner of the first Duel, Earnhardt will line up behind Gordon in the third spot on the grid for Sunday's race. MORE: Danica rallies to make Daytona 500 " Mears makes Daytona 500 field In the non-points qualifier, Earnhardt won for the first time with new crew chief Greg Ives, who took over this season for Steve Letarte, hired by NBC Sports as a television analyst. "We have had a great car all week," Earnhardt said. "I'm so glad to be able to get through the Duel in one piece, because I know how good this race car is. We have a couple more practices to go through and try to stay out of trouble during those and put this thing on the grid. We're going to have a fun day on Sunday. "We had to do a lot of blocking there at the end, but those guys were mounting some pretty hard charges. We made a lot of good moves tonight because the car is so good. TJ Majors (spotter) deserves a ton of credit for helping us win that race tonight. He called a great spotting job up on top of the hill there. He gave me all the information I needed to make the moves I needed to kind of keep them guys behind me." Joey Logano came home third, followed by Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer, whose fifth-place finish in a backup car represented a stroke of good fortune during an otherwise star-crossed week at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. The real drama in the first Duel, however, took place behind the frontrunners, as Landon Cassill (ninth), Cole Whitt (10th), Michael McDowell (12th), JJ Yeley (13th), Michael Annett (14th) and Ty Dillon (16th) all earned starting spots in the 500. McDowell made the most dramatic move, forcing his way up the middle and racing from the tail end of the field to 12th place on the final lap. "When I crossed that white flag (to start the last lap) I was thinking, 'I have to do this. I don't know what we're gonna do, I don't know how we're gonna do it, but we've just got to do it,'" McDowell said. "You can't make these cars go faster. I had a run that was building and there wasn't a gap and I made a gap. "I tore up both sides of the race car in the process of doing it and had to block some people, and probably upset a few people along the way, but this race is so important for us to make…" WATCH: Bayne involved in late wreck For Johnson, the win in the second Duel was a continuation of a week that couldn’t have gone better. "It's a special night," Johnson said. "What a race car. I'm stoked for my teammate (Dale Earnhardt Jr .) to win the first Duel. We won the second, and Jeff (Gordon) and I have the front row locked down. It's been an awesome week for all our Hendrick Motorsports cars. "I'm just happy to start out the week like we have." On Lap 57 of the second Duel, Patrick spun in Turn 3 after Hamlin made a move to her inside in very close quarters. "I mean, we're superspeedway racing," Hamlin said, after he and Patrick went their separate ways. "I treat her as equal as anyone on the race track. She deserves her spot here, but you have to be able to run close to somebody on a superspeedway. You have to have your car stable enough to handle those situations and, to me, it's not much different than what it was with the 22 (Joey Logano) and the 4 (Kevin Harvick) last week (in the Sprint Unlimited) - only I wasn't pushing her. "I was just close to her and her car got loose and she spun. Thank goodness she got her way in the 500. I didn't want to be responsible for that. I treat her as an equal on the race track. I'm not going to say, 'It's Danica, so I've got to make sure I just leave some extra room.' If you're out here in the Cup Series, you have to be able to handle those situations." MORE: See all the Paint Schemes for the Daytona 500 Patrick wasn't buying it. "I'm confident other cars get very close, and things like that don't happen," said Patrick, who finished 10th after Busch propelled her through the field. "Done thousands of miles of this speedway racing now, and I haven't found that to be a problem. So I just think that he's wrong. "I think that he's too close. I think that he's taking the air and getting it off the spoiler, and he's not squared up either. That's also part of the problem. I don't know. Maybe he likes my left rear." Notes: Ty Dillon qualified for his first Daytona 500, as did Ryan Blaney, who will pilot the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford. … Six drivers failed to qualify: Ron Hornaday Jr ., Josh Wise, Jeb Burton, Justin Marks, Alex Bowman and Brian Scott. 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
Both cars fail post-qualifying inspection at Daytona Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge MORE: Lineup for the Daytona Duels DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Denny Hamlin had their qualifying times for next week's Daytona 500 (Feb. 22, FOX, 1 pm ET) disallowed Sunday when their respective entries failed post-qualifying technical inspection at Daytona International Speedway. According to NASCAR officials, Earnhardt Jr .'s Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet failed to meet the minimum height, measuring too low on the left front. As a result, he will start 25th in the first of two qualifying races scheduled for Thursday. Before the infraction, Earnhardt was scheduled to start fifth in the second race. With no on-track activity scheduled until Wednesday, Earnhardt was one of several drivers to return home following qualifying. But upon hearing of the measurement issue, he took to social media to note "That's a shame. The boys will figure out why. Makes the duels a lot more interesting." Ride height minimums for the Sprint Cup Series are only required when teams are competing at Daytona and Talladega where restrictor plates are required. Greg Ives, making his first official appearance as Earnhardt's crew chief, said that NASCAR officials "did their due diligence of allowing us to go through their processes of how they deal with it. "In the end we still ended up low. It's unfortunate. ... We were definitely not trying to do anything intentional here. "I don't feel it was an advantage that got us to our 10th-place position, but it is definitely something that can be frowned upon and not looked at as being compliant to the rules." Hamlin's transgression was an issue with the split on his Toyota's track bar, which exceeded the maximum 3.0 inches allowed by three-quarters of an inch. As a result, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, who was scheduled to start second in the first of Thursday's two qualifying races, will start 24th in the second race instead. Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were first and second Sunday to lock in the front row for the 500. Thursday's Budweiser Duel qualifying races (60 laps each) will determine positions 3-32 with the remainder of the field decided via qualifying times and owner points. RELATED: Who's in for the Daytona 500? Thursday's opening qualifying race is scheduled for a 7 p.m. ET start (FOX Sports 1). 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
Dale Earnhardt Jr . talks about his confidence for back-to-back Daytona 500 wins.
Darrell Wallace Jr . talks about making the jump to the NASCAR XFINITY Series and racing for Roush Fenway Racing.