The GarageCam gang tries to tackle a place that has been called 'The Track Too Tough to Tame .'
Hornaday, Bodine, Crafton and Buescher comment on their top-five finishes at Darlington.
Driver of the No. 31 glad NASCAR did its 'due diligence' RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ryan Newman admitted to being worried about a possible penalty when his car was ruled too low in the rear on both sides in post-race inspection following Sunday's GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway . "I was worried because you never know what could happen," Newman said during the Eliminator Round Media Day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "I was happy with the fact that NASCAR took the time to take the car back to the Tech Center, do everything and analyze everything." On Tuesday, NASCAR ruled that Newman had cleared post-race inspection after deeming that race damage caused the No. 31 car to be too low in the rear. UPDATE: The No. 31 car has cleared post-race inspection from Talladega; there are no issues. Race damage caused the rear to be low. #NASCAR — NASCAR Stats (@NASCARStats) October 21, 2014 "There's so many different perspectives there because they give us the rear springs, they give us the shocks," Newman said. "It's not our stuff that we have at every other racetrack. In the end, they saw that the damage from being hit from behind was enough to knock the back of the car down enough to take it out of its window. "I didn't know if there was going to be a penalty. I didn't know what that penalty was going to be. I was confident it wasn't going to be more than 27 points because that would be the biggest penalty for that type of penalty ever that I can imagine or have heard of. But in the end, you never know. I was happy that they did their due diligence in conjunction with working with our team that they understood everything." Newman thought the damage came from being slammed from behind on the last restart. "I think it was the 20 that actually drilled me really hard and it actually wrinkled the quarter panel, which shows that the body's moving," Newman said. "I never looked at the car after the race. I didn't expect there to be any issues, so I didn't analyze exactly what happened. In talking to Luke (Lambert, Newman's crew chief) he said the quarter panels were wrinkled on it, which shows that the clip had moved a little a bit and the body moved a little bit as well." Newman comes into the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in third place in the points standings and with four straight top-10 finishes. And the fact that he is quietly lurking hasn't gone unnoticed by his fellow drivers. " Ryan Newman is kind of quiet and has the ability to really sneak up unnoticed and gobble this thing up," 2012 Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski said when asked to handicap the Eliminator Round field. Looking forward, Newman has a win at each of the three Eliminator Round tracks: Martinsville Speedway , Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway. Yet, Newman doesn't see one track that he is better at than the others. In the first go-round at these tracks this year, Newman finished seventh at Phoenix , 16th at Texas and 20th at Martinsville. He sees the return trip as the best chance for his No. 31 team, which is in its first year together with Richard Childress Racing , to show its stuff. "We're coming back to some of these racetracks for the second time together. Having new rules this year and a new team, we couldn't go back and say, 'This is what we did last year, let's try to make the car drive like this.' We're starting from ground zero so to speak and this is our first opportunity to work on the second floor as we go on around to these second races. "We'll just keep digging. Don't really care what other people think of if we should be here, if we shouldn't be. The fact is we are here and we have the ability to go out and have some fun and make the best of it." 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
Wallace Jr. tries to repeat on weekend honoring Wendell Scott TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Darrell Wallace Jr. bounds into the media center, shaking hands and saying hellos as though he wanted to be there. He recently turned 21, and is excited to finally have the chance to win a Keystone Light Pole Award. A year ago, when he won his first NASCAR national series race at Martinsville Speedway in the Camping World Truck Series , he couldn’t enjoy a champagne celebration in Victory Lane. The Kyle Busch Motorsports driver has seen a lot in that year. In the 21 races following his first win, he's scored two more trips to Victory Lane and seven top-five finishes. He still taunts good friend Ryan Blaney on Twitter, showing that he really is just 21, but has developed into a more level-headed driver in the year after his first win. "The maturity level has gone up, I'd say, inside the race car," Wallace said of the past year. "... I think just learning everything -- learning the tracks, understanding how things work, letting little stuff go, and focusing on the end of the race, instead of getting flustered at the beginning when I lose six or seven spots, and get upset and end up wrecking." That scenario plagued Wallace twice last year, once at Charlotte Motor Speedway and again at Kentucky Speedway. A poor restart at Charlotte and slow pit stop at Kentucky both lost positions for the then 20-year-old rookie, and both situations ended in a wreck for the No. 54 team. He's kept himself out of trouble more often this year, resulting in a much-improved season. " ... Now we just go out and have (a) fun, smooth race -- still not happy if we don't win, but it's still a good points day to finish in sixth vs. 26th, so i think that has changed a lot," Wallace said. "I've relaxed and learn to take in more and listen more and go out there and utilize that -- what I've learned, -- it's definitely shown." Also impressed with his season is boss and Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch , who knows how emotion can impact the performance of his full-time driver. "Our trucks have been really good this year; it has been great to see other talent run well in our stuff with Bubba -- and Erik Jones as well," Busch said after his win at Chicagoland Speedway , finishing five spots ahead of Wallace. "I look forward to watching the rest of the year and see if Bubba can't make a challenge for the championship ... he needs to keep his head up and just keep fighting." Wallace has also been a big part of NASCAR history. Beyond earning a personal milestone at Martinsville Speedway with his first Trucks win, Wallace also became the first African-American driver to win a national series race since Wendell Scott in 1963, as well as the first to win in the Camping World Truck Series. The Scott family was on hand at Martinsville to witness and celebrate the history of the occasion. "When the checkered flag dropped, I heard a big boom from heaven, and my daddy said 'Hell, yeah!'" Franklin Scott, son of the soon- to -be Hall of Famer, said after the race. Wallace, on the other hand, seemed a bit overwhelmed by the magnitude of the occasion. "It's been great seeing all the outlets that I'm on, doing all this stuff, it's for the better, and it's trying to change the sport, and I'm all-in for that," he said. "Just carrying the torch that Wendell Scott laid down for us, and taking it farther. That's the biggest thing I'm trying to do." When he returns to the track this weekend, known as Scott's home track, Wallace will drive with Scott's number and paint scheme adorning his KBM truck as he continue to battle toward the Camping World Truck Series title, which would put the young driver in NASCAR history books once again. "The colors look good, the blue-and-white Toyota Tundra No. 34 is going to be different for sure, but I'm excited to carry on the Wendell Scott banner and represent their family and his legacy for that weekend," Wallace said. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Both series to incorporate new qualifying rule next season MORE: Enhancements next for NASCAR XFINITY, Camping World Truck Series DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR today announced three key enhancements in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the 2015 season. The updates include: • Beginning next season, the qualifying rule for the NASCAR XFINITY Series (currently the NASCAR Nationwide Series ) and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will resemble that of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , and will emphasize speed. • The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series maximum starting field will be set at 32 trucks. • The drivers' last name will be featured on the back window of each series' cars and trucks, helping fans to better identify the drivers. "Our mission of providing the best on-track product possible is always among our top objectives," said Robin Pemberton, senior vice president of competition and racing development. "We're confident in the direction these changes will take these series." 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Qualifying Procedure Next season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, cars starting in positions 1-33 will be determined by their fastest single lap during qualifying in descending order with the fastest qualifier starting first. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will follow the same procedure for positions 1-27. In the XFINITY Series, the next six positions will first be assigned to the highest ranking cars in owner points that have attempted all of the races, have not already earned a starting position through qualifying and have entered the event by the posted entry deadline. The final starting position will be awarded to the most recent eligible past champion driver. If there is no eligible past champion driver, then a seventh car will make the field based upon owner points In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the next four positions will first be assigned to the highest ranking trucks in owner points that have attempted all of the races, have not already earned a starting position through qualifying and have entered the event by the posted entry deadline. The final starting position will be awarded to the most recent eligible past champion driver. If there is no eligible past champion driver, then a fifth truck will make the field based upon owner points. Prior to this enhancement, the top 30 cars and top 25 trucks in owner points in each series, respectively, were guaranteed a starting spot in each of those series’ events. Starting next year, a maximum of seven cars and five trucks will be locked into a given NASCAR XFINITY Series or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. If a qualifying session is cancelled because of inclement weather, each series' field will be set per the rule book with starting lineups determined by practice speeds. Maximum Field Set At 32 Trucks For NASCAR Camping World Truck Series As NASCAR continues to encourage and reward hard racing, help solidify and build the ownership base, add even more drama and intrigue to the race weekend and most importantly, provide fans the best competition possible, the maximum starting field for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be set at 32 trucks starting in 2015, as opposed to the 36-truck field in previous years. A maximum NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting field continues to stand at 43 cars while the NASCAR XFINITY Series will remain at 40. Drivers' Last Names On Rear Window This new design element is part of the implementation of NASCAR’s Industry Action Plan, specifically in the area of Driver Star Power. This enhancement will feature the drivers' last name displayed on the upper rear window of cars and trucks, helping fans more easily identify the drivers. The window treatment won't affect the on-track competition and placing it on the back window allows for both series sponsors – XFINITY (starting in 2015) and Camping World – to continue to maintain placement on the front windshield. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Based on average-finish stats, here's who will move on to Homestead
Alan Cavanna brings you Up To Speed following Eliminator Media Day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Incident sent 'Rowdy' to garage early and he couldn't recover TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Kyle Busch was enjoying one of his best efforts ever in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, with five consecutive top-10 finishes and a second-place position in the points standings. Then came Talladega, and the wreck, and the mad scramble to repair a car that looked beyond repair. Busch was able to return to Sunday's GEICO 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, but the 40th place finish proved too damaging to overcome. Seemingly headed for the Eliminator Round of the Chase, Busch instead now joins six-time champion Jimmie Johnson , Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Kasey Kahne as those who are no longer in contention for the series title. "We were riding around back, Kyle was just playing it conservative … they wrecked in front of us, we got slowed up and the guys in back didn't," said crew chief Dave Rogers. "It's part of speedway racing; you know someone is going to wreck out, you just hope it's not you." Busch, whose car was nicked only slightly in a six-car incident on Lap 60 when Jamie McMurray appeared to have a tire go down, wasn't nearly as fortunate on Lap 103. Contact between Aric Almirola and J.J. Yeley on the backstretch started a chain reaction incident that swept up Tony Stewart , Casey Mears , AJ Allmendinger , Busch, Terry Labonte , Alex Bowman , Clint Bowyer , Austin Dillon and Brian Vickers . Busch and Almirola were the only two to spend an extensive amount of time in the garage, but both eventually made it back on the track. While Busch did gain three spots after his car was repaired -- he finished ahead of Michael McDowell , Yeley and Bowman -- he was four points behind Kahne and seven behind Jeff Gordon , who was eighth in the standings before the Eliminator Round reset. "It was a tough day for the crew but we'll gather ourselves back up tomorrow and we’ll race them hard at Martinsville," Rogers said. "We'll try to advance in points and get to fifth, do the best we can the rest of the year." Busch, 29, was making his seventh Chase appearance. He finished a career-best fourth in the championship battle a year ago. He qualified for the Chase thanks to a win earlier this season at Auto Club Speedway , and advanced out of the first three-race round with finishes of seventh, eighth and 10th at Chicagoland, Loudon and Dover, respectively. A third-place finish at Kansas and fifth-place run at Charlotte in the Contender round left him second in points heading into Sunday's race. Busch did not comment publicly after the race. "I can't praise him enough," Rogers said of his driver. "He's really stepped up to be a great leader of this race team in the Chase. "We've had a couple of things go against us -- getting the nose knocked off at Loudon (and) today, and Kyle's done a really good job of biting his lip and just backing the race team to let us do our job. "I can't say enough good about him. I'm really proud of him. It's been a lot of fun working with him and we're not done yet." 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
See what tough drivers make the list and what they did to get them there
No. 31 Chevrolet fails post-race inspection at Talladega RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize Ryan Newman 's car was found to be too low in the rear on both sides during Sunday's post-race inspection and will head back to the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina, for further review. Newman advanced to the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup thanks to a fifth-place finish in the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway . Newman, driving the No. 31 Chevrolet in his first season with Richard Childress Racing , was credited with leading 10 laps as he scored his fourth straight top-10 finish in the Chase. Any potential penalty would likely not be announced until Tuesday. With the points reset for the next round, Newman is ranked third in the standings. Every driver in the Eliminator Round has 4,000 points. 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