RCR driver scores fourth career XFINITY Series win RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings " Learn more about Dash 4 Cash CONCORD, N.C. – For the second straight Saturday, Denny Hamlin had the chance to hold off a race's strongest car for the victory. Unlike last Saturday's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, however, there were too many laps left after the final restart in Saturday's Hisense 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series, and polesitter Austin Dillon powered past Hamlin on Lap 186 of 200 to finish the race where he belonged—at the front of the field. By the time he crossed the finish line, Dillon was 2.692 seconds ahead of Hamlin, who had taken the lead during a restart on Lap 167 that saw Dillon fall back to fourth from the inside lane by the time the leaders exited Turn 2. One by one, Dillon picked off Regan Smith , Kahne and Hamlin on the way to his second XFINITY Series victory of the season, his first at Charlotte and the fourth of his career. Kahne ran third behind Dillon and Hamlin, followed by Smith and rookies Darrell Wallace Jr . and Daniel Suarez . Ty Dillon came home seventh and trimmed the series lead of 11th-place finisher Chris Buescher to four points. Dillon led 163 laps and held an advantage of more than six seconds during a 54-lap green-flag run that preceded the second caution of the race on Lap 110. How good was Dillon's No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet? "I didn't want to get out of this thing," Dillon said in Victory Lane. "This thing drove so good. It was a heck of a race there with Denny at the end and Kasey (Kahne). I had to go right there in lapped traffic (to make the winning pass). "I knew if I didn't hurry up and get in front of him right there, the tires might equalize (in terms of grip)." But when Dillon picked the inside lane for what proved to be the final restart—after a caution for Kyle Fowler 's wreck in Turn 1—Hamlin seized what he considered a fortuitous opportunity and surged into the lead. "I thought when the 33 gave us the outside, that was a big advantage for us if we could stay with him through Turns 1 and 2," said Hamlin, who last Saturday held off Kevin Harvick in the final 10-lap shootout to win the Sprint All-Star Race. "We (did), and it allowed us to get position on him and even get him shuffled a few spots. "That was all good, but his car was just so fast he just overcame that track position." Hamlin lost the lead when the lapped car of Peyton Sellers stayed low and forced Hamlin's No. 54 Toyota to pass on the outside. "I needed to stay on the bottom," Hamlin said. "My car was best on the bottom. His car was pinned to the bottom as well. So I needed all of the lapped cars to move up high, and all of them did, except for the 97 (Sellers). He gave us the high line. That just killed us and killed our chances from that point, once the 33 got to our inside." Dillon chose the inside line because his car had worked well on the bottom for the entire race to that point. "My spotter (Andy Houston) made the fact that we should have probably taken the top , and I had been on the bottom all day, so I chose the bottom again," Dillon said. "I just didn't want to let these guys down (his crew). The Rheem car was so fast... "I thought about it, and I probably should have used the top , just because I would have had the run down the backstretch. It seems that, as the race goes on, that the outside can stop spinning the tires, and the rubber lays down... "Andy made the point, and it all worked out, but I'll definitely learn from that, for sure." Smith, Wallace, Suarez and Ty Dillon qualified for next week's XFINITY Dash 4 Cash competition at Dover as the top four finishers among series regulars. Those drivers will compete for $100,000 in next Saturday's race at Dover, with the top finisher among them claiming the prize. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Feeling strong after 600 miles bodes well for No. 18 driver SHOP: 'Rowdy Returns' shirt, more Busch gear CONCORD, N.C. -- As NASCAR's greatest endurance test, Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 also provided a good litmus test for Kyle Busch in his first points race since suffering leg and foot injuries in the XFINITY Series opener at Daytona International Speedway . And with the exception of some left foot soreness, Busch said he came through with flying colors in the annual Memorial Day weekend contest. However, he joked that he needed about 10 more laps to improve on his 11th-place finish. Fuel-mileage strategy came into play late in the race, and despite Busch having a strong No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, he wasn't able to finish higher because the drivers in front of him who gambled didn't run out of gas. Still, the fact he completed all 400 laps and didn't need to go to backup driver Erik Jones was a step in the right direction. "I'm a little surprised that I feel as good as I do, you know," Busch said afterward. "I was expecting to be a little bit more beat up and tired, but honestly, I'm not. ... There could be two sides to that. If you go week-to-week-to-week you could grind yourself out and you get tired, whereas I just took a three‑month vacation. My body feels pretty good, and it's only been beat up in the gym." But all those leg lifts, squats and presses were controlled movements, whereas a 600-mile Sprint Cup Series race is anything but that. So for Busch not only to survive the rigors of the race but also show he could race well was a good sign for his Chase for the Sprint Cup chances. Busch needs to finish in the top 30 in the point standings and get a win to compete in the playoffs come the fall. MORE: Timeline of Kyle Busch 's injury and recovery There were some highlights from Sunday that indicated if Busch does get to the playoffs, he'll be a tough out. First, it didn't take him long (116 laps) to move from a starting spot of 17th all the way up to sixth. Then, after 300 laps, Busch was in second place behind Martin Truex Jr . "All in all, I felt like that was a great race for us," Busch said. "We ran really strong. We ran up front, and we showed we had some speed. You know, it certainly is frustrating to finish where we did. That's disappointing. But sometimes you do win these things by fuel‑mileage races, so congratulations to our teammates, Carl (Edwards) and Matt (Kenseth)." Now that Busch passed his first big test it's on to Dover International Speedway and the rest of the season, where Busch will need to prove he can perform like this repeatedly. Despite being 200 miles shorter, Dover won't be easy, said Busch. "This race here is quite relative to Dover next week," Busch said. "This week is an endurance race for as long as it is, and I think it sets you up for that Dover race. The Dover race is more taxing on your body I feel like; it beats you up a little more." In order to prepare, Busch will take Monday off to rest and get some fluids back into his system. He said he has a doctor appointment on Tuesday along with meetings at JGR. Then on Wednesday, he'll do balancing exercises before hitting it hard in a workout on Thursday before heading to Dover. That's the recipe that helped him come back relatively quickly from the serious injuries, and he's sticking to it. Whether he's able to continue to confound the skeptics remains to be seen. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne talk about their finishes in the Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hamlin came in second while Kahne finished third.
See the top five moments from the Coca-Cola 600 weekend as NASCAR salutes the military and Austin Dillon and Carl Edwards bring home big wins.
Roush teammates Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse and others comment on a hot and long day in Charlotte.
Hendrick Motorsports teammates Johnson, Kahne rounded out top three Related: Practice 1 results Carl Edwards soared to the top of the leaderboard late in Thursday's opening practice for the Coca-Cola 600 (Sunday, 6 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM) at Charlotte Motor Speedway , propelling his No. Joe Gibbs Racing 19 ride at 192.273 mph to snag the premier spot. Reigning Coca-Cola 600 champion Jimmie Johnson -- one of the first to head onto the track for practice -- sat on top of the leaderboard for most the the afternoon, with a high speed of 191.673 mph. He settled into the second-place slot after Edwards' late run knocked him off the top position. Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne came up third-fastest in the field with a high speed of 191.639 mph. Kahne was also one of the first drivers to wheel his No. 5 ride onto the track for practice. Rounding out the top five were 2014 Sprint Cup champion and Stewart-Haas Racing 's Kevin Harvick (191.442 mph) and Michael Waltrip Rac ing 's David Ragan (191.435 mph). Following his 11-race absense from Sprint Cup racing, Kyle Busch returned to the race track last weekend for the Sprint All-Star Race and will be making his first Cup start in a points race this season at Charlotte. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver posted the 21st-fastest speed (190.081 mph) in his No. 18 Toyota during opening practice. Making his third Sprint Cup start this weekend, part-time Hendrick Motorsports rookie Chase Elliott posted the 27th-fastest time in the field, wheeling his No. 25 car at 189.142 mph. The current XFINITY champion will compete in the series' Hisense 300 on Saturday (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM) at Charlotte. The Sprint Cup Series is back on track at 7:15 p.m. ET for Coors Light Pole Qualifying with coverage on FOX Sports 1. SHOP: Carl Edwards gear FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
A stats-based preview for Sunday's race (1 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM) DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 26, 2015) -- Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware going into the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks on May 31 (1 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1). Greg Biffle (No. 16 Safety-Kleen Ford) · Two wins, six top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 13.7 · Average Running Position of 12.1, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 97.4, fifth-best · 435 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most · 833 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 144.050 mph, fifth-fastest · 5,555 Laps in the Top 15 (69.4%), sixth-most · 517 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), fourth-most Clint Bowyer (No. AAA Insurance Toyota) · Two top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 11.9 · Average Running Position of 12.2, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 92.5, eighth-best · 203 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most · 762 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 143.979 mph, eighth-fastest · 5,335 Laps in the Top 15 (74.1%), seventh-most · 434 Quality Passes, seventh-most Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · One win, six top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 18.2 · Average Running Position of 13.4, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 91.0, 10th-best · 297 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most · 861 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 143.859 mph, 10th-fastest · 4,712 Laps in the Top 15 (58.9%), 10th-most · 437 Quality Passes, sixth-most Kyle Busch (No. 18 Skittles Toyota) · Two wins, nine top fives, 13 top 10s · Average finish of 14.2 · Average Running Position of 11.5, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 105.5, third-best · 424 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 144. 300 mph, third-fastest · 6,096 Laps in the Top 15 (76.2%), fourth-most · 507 Quality Passes, fifth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 Stanley Toyota) · One win, eight top fives, 12 top 10s · Average finish of 10.2 · Average Running Position of 11.0, third-best · Driver Rating of 99.2, fourth-best · 499 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · 838 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 144.043 mph, sixth-fastest · 5,574 Laps in the Top 15 (69.6%), fifth-most · 552 Quality Passes, second-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 3M Chevrolet) · Five wins, 18 top fives, 25 top 10s; four poles · Average finish of 11.4 · Average Running Position of 11.6, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 96.5, sixth-best · 362 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most · 818 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 144.169 mph, fourth-fastest · 6,214 Laps in the Top 15 (77.6%), third-most · Series-high 555 Quality Passes Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Pro Services Chevrolet) · Nine wins, 14 top fives, 19 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 8.2 · Series-best Average Running Position of 6.5 · Series-best Driver Rating of 122.3 · Series-high 1,106 Fastest Laps Run · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 144.673 mph · Series-high 7,061 Laps in the Top 15 (88.2%) · 420 Quality Passes, eighth-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · Two wins, 15 top fives, 21 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 12.8 · Average Running Position of 8.7, second-best · Driver Rating of 108.3, second-best · 471 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 762 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 144.394 mph, second-fastest · 6,624 Laps in the Top 15 (82.8%), second-most · 541 Quality Passes, third-most Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford) · One win, four top fives, four top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 13.2 · Average Running Position of 12.6, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 92.1, ninth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 143.870 mph, ninth-fastest Kyle Larson (No. 42 Target Chevrolet) · One top 10 · Average finish of 8.5 · Average Running Position of 11.3, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 93.0, seventh-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 144.030 mph, seventh-fastest Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) · Three wins, six top fives, 13 top 10s; four poles · Average finish of 13.4 · Average Running Position of 12.8, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 88.2, 12th-best · 770 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most · 5,202 Laps in the Top 15 (65.0%), eighth-most · 400 Quality Passes, 11th-most Martin Truex Jr . (No. 78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet) · One win, one top five, eight top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 15.8 · Average Running Position of 15.0, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 89.1, 11th-best · 252 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 143.752 mph, 11th-fastest · 4,388 Laps in the Top 15 (60.9%), 11th-most · 411 Quality Passes, 10th-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Dover International Speedway Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 28 1 0 3 12 1 15.2 86.5 2 Martin Truex Jr . 18 2 1 1 8 2 15.8 89.1 3 Joey Logano 12 0 0 3 8 1 13.8 82.6 4 Dale Earnhardt Jr . 30 1 1 6 11 1 16.2 81.9 5 Jimmie Johnson 26 3 9 14 19 2 8.2 122.3 6 Brad Keselowski 10 1 1 4 4 0 13.2 92.1 7 Matt Kenseth 32 1 2 15 21 5 12.8 108.3 8 Jamie McMurray 24 0 0 1 5 0 18.3 78.0 9 Jeff Gordon 44 4 5 18 25 5 11.4 96.5 10 Kasey Kahne 22 0 0 1 5 6 20.9 80.9 11 Ryan Newman 26 4 3 6 13 2 13.4 88.2 12 Aric Almirola 6 0 0 0 1 0 17.5 73.7 13 Paul Menard 15 0 0 0 2 0 19.1 67.0 14 Kurt Busch 29 0 1 6 8 6 18.2 91.0 15 Denny Hamlin 18 2 0 3 6 3 19.2 84.2 16 Carl Edwards 21 0 1 8 12 0 10.2 99.2 * – Based on last 20 races at Dover International Speedway . Dover International Speedway Data Season Race #: 13 of 36 (05-31-15) Track Size : 1-mile Banking/Turn 1 & 2 : 24 degrees Banking/Turn 3 & 4 : 24 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 9 degree Banking/Backstretch : 9 degree Frontstretch Length : 1,076 feet Backstretch Length : 1,076 feet Race Length : 400 laps / 400 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Dover Jimmie Johnson ........................ 122.3 Matt Kenseth ............................. 108.3 Kyle Busch ............................... 105.5 Carl Edwards .............................. 99.2 Greg Biffle . ................................. 97.4 Jeff Gordon ................................ 96.5 Kyle Larson ................................ 93.0 Clint Bowyer ............................... 92.5 Brad Keselowski ......................... 92.1 Kurt Busch . ................................. 91.0 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (20 total) among active drivers at Dover Motor Speedway. Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Brad Keselowski , Ford 164.444 mph, 21.892 secs. 05-30-14 2014 race winner : Jimmie Johnson , Chevrolet 117.724 mph, (03:23:52), 06-01-14 Track qualifying record: Brad Keselowski , Ford 164.444 mph, 21.892 secs. 05-30-14 Track race record: Mark Martin , Ford 132.719 mph, (03:00:50), 09-21-97 Dover International Speedway : History · The official opening of Dover International Speedway , then called Dover Downs International Speedway, was in 1969. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on July 6, 1969 – won by Richard Petty. · The first two races at Dover were 300 miles. The race length was changed to 500 miles in 1971. · The track surface was changed to concrete in 1995. · The race length was changed to 400 miles beginning with the second race in 1997. · The track name was changed to Dover International Speedway in 2002. Notebook · There have been 90 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover International Speedway , one race in 1969 and 1970, two races per year since 1971. · 381 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway ; 278 in more than one. · Ricky Rudd leads the series in starts at Dover with 56. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 44 starts; followed by Matt Kenseth with 32. · David Pearson won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Dover in 1969 with a speed of 130.430 mph. · 39 drivers have Coors Light poles at Dover, led by David Pearson with six. Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman lead all active drivers in poles with four each. · Nine drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Dover. David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Dover with three; from 1973 to the spring race of 1974. · Two active drivers have posted consecutive Coors Light poles at Dover: Ryan Newman (fall 2005 and spring 2006), and Denny Hamlin (fall 2012 and spring 2013). · Youngest Dover pole winner: Jeff Gordon (06/04/1995 – 23 years, 10 months, 0 days). · Oldest Dover pole winner: Mark Martin (06/01/2012 – 53 years, 4 months, 23 days). · 34 different drivers have won at Dover International Speedway , led by Jimmie Johnson with nine wins (2002 sweep, fall 2005, 2009 sweep, 2010 fall, spring 2012, fall 2013 and spring 2014). · 12 drivers have posted consecutive wins at Dover International Speedway , including three consecutive by David Pearson (fall 1972 and 1973 sweep), Rusty Wallace (fall 1993 and 1994 sweep) and Jeff Gordon (fall 1995 and 1996 sweep). · Youngest Dover winner: Kyle Busch (06/01/2008 – 23 years, 0 months, 30 days). · Oldest Dover winner: Harry Gant (05/31/1992 – 52 years, 4 months, 21 days). · Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Dover in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 17: Jimmie Johnson (nine), Jeff Gordon (five), Geoff Bodine (one), Ken Schrader (one) and Ricky Rudd (one). · Nine different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Dover; led by Chevrolet with 36 victories; followed by Ford with 25. · 13 of the 90 (14.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover have been won from the Coors Light pole; the two most recent were Jimmie Johnson in 2009 and 2010. · The second-place starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (15) than any other starting position at Dover International Speedway . · 28 of the 90 (31.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover have been won from the front row: 13 from the pole and 15 from second-place. · 71 of the 90 (78.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Dover have been won from a top -10 starting position. · Five of the 90 (5.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover have been won from a starting position outside the top 20 – most recently: Tony Stewart , spring 2013 (22nd-place starting position) · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Dover was 37th, by Kyle Petty in the spring of 1995. · Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Dover with eight; followed by Dale Earnhardt with five. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with four. · Mark Martin leads the series in top -five finishes at Dover with 24; followed by Dale Earnhardt with 19. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 18. · Mark Martin leads the series in top -10 finishes at Dover with 33; followed by Richard Petty and Ricky Rudd with 26 each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 25. · Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Dover with a 9.654. · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Dover with an 8.154. · 11 of the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Dover International Speedway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Jimmie Johnson won at Dover in his first two appearances. · Among the 12 active NSCS Dover winners Kurt Busch (22) and Matt Kenseth (14) made 10 or more attempts before their first win. · Kevin Harvick leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Dover without visiting Victory Lane at 28. · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Dover International Speedway was the September 25, 2005 race won by Jimmie Johnson over Kyle Busch with a MOV of 0.08 second. · There has been one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Dover International Speedway (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): fall of 2005 (400/404). · Not one of the 90 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover International Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions. · Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Dover International Speedway five times: fall of 1984, spring of 2001, fall of 2003, spring of 2005 and spring of 2011. · Three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series active drivers have made their first career start at Dover International Speedway : Matt Kenseth (9/20/98), Kurt Busch (9/24/00) and David Ragan (9/24/06). · Two active drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Dover International Speedway : Matt Kenseth (06/02/02) and Michael Waltrip (06/03/1991). · One active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has posted his first career win at Dover International Speedway : Martin Truex Jr . (06/04/07). · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Dover with 2,976 laps led in 26 starts. · If Jimmie Johnson leads 24 laps or more this weekend he will surpass the 3,000 laps led mark at Dover International
Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender seeks $100,000 in opener RELATED: Enter Dash 4 Cash sweepstakes Last weekend didn't start off too well for Daniel Suarez . He qualified 19th for the Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway , his lowest starting position since February when he began the Atlanta race 21st. It ended pretty well though. Suarez finished sixth, clinching a spot in the NASCAR XFINITY Series' Dash 4 Cash by placing in the top four among drivers registered for XFINITY Series points. As a Dash 4 Cash participant, Suarez can win an extra $100,000 in Saturday's Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket at Dover International Speedway (2:30 p.m. on FOX). All he has to do is place ahead of the other three contestants: Ty Dillon , Regan Smith and Darrell Wallace Jr . "It's great, last year I did not get this opportunity," Suarez said after qualifying for Dash 4 Cash at Charlotte. "Thank you to everyone in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for putting this all together. I'm looking forward to next week." Suarez has only started at Dover twice, both times in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He placed sixth in 2013 and finished 22nd last year following a wreck with 17 laps left. This weekend, he will get seat time in Friday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 200 (5:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1), which will help him prepare for the XFINITY Series event. "I always feel a bit more confident in tracks where I've competed at before in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East," Suarez said about Dover. "I know it's a very fast track, interesting and a lot of fun. It will also be fun to run two races in the same weekend again. I love being behind the wheel, so anytime I can do more of that is great for me." Suarez has the opportunity to win $1 million through the Dash 4 Cash program. He can win $100,000 in each race at Dover, Indianapolis, Bristol and Darlington by being the highest finisher among Dash 4 Cash participants. If Suarez wins the first three Dash 4 Cash awards and then wins outright at Darlington, XFINITY will award him an additional $600,000 bonus, bringing the total payout to $1 million. "We had a good run at Charlotte and qualified for the 'Dash 4 Cash' program," Suarez said. "It's a fun incentive, but it won't change the way we prepare or approach the race this weekend." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Strategy play to stay on older tires late pays off for six-time Cup champ RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings " SHOP: Winner's gear KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Thanks to a brief but wild Kansas spring storm and the long delay it produced, Jimmie Johnson on Sunday became the first Sprint Cup driver to win a race on Mother's Day since 2007. Johnson, who is pursuing a record-tying seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship this season, held off Kevin Harvick over the final six laps to win Sunday morning's SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas Speedway . Johnson's victory -- which was recorded just after midnight local time because of a delay of 2 hours and 16 minutes -- was his third of the season and his third at the 1.5-mile Kansas oval. "It was a long, hard night," Johnson, who led just 10 laps and who spun out unassisted early in the race, said in Victory Lane. "Once we got up front, we were able to hang on." Reminded about what day it was when he finally took the checkered flag, Johnson said, "I just want to wish Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. My mother and especially my wife Chani (Johnson, wife), hopefully she is still awake. I wish she was here. I wish my girls were here too, but I will be home tonight and we will have some fun tomorrow." Harvick, who led 53 laps, finished second in his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. Third was Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr . Fourth was another Hendrick driver, Jeff Gordon , while pole-sitter Joey Logano was fifth in a Team Penske Ford. The victory was the 73rd of the six-time champion's career. It came thanks to some late-race strategizing by teams who had cars and drivers at the front of the field. Harvick appeared to be headed toward his third victory of the season as the laps wound down after he took the lead on a restart lap with 55 laps to go. The defending series champion had a lead of over 1 second with 14 laps to go and nobody appeared fast enough to close that gap let alone get around him. But with 12 laps to go, Ricky Stenhouse Jr .'s Roush Fenway Racing Ford clipped the outside wall to bring out the final caution. Harvick and all but four others -- Johnson, Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon -- pitted as they were iffy on fuel. Harvick also opted to take two right-side tires. After the restart with six to go, the race became a three-driver affair as Johnson, Earnhardt and Harvick, who restarted sixth, edged away from the field. The decision by Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus turned out to be a winner – even though they had less rubber than did Harvick. Harvick never got close enough to Johnson to take a final shot at a pass. Johnson said the decision to not pit was a split-second, gut-feeling kind of thing and it was mostly his. "I could tell he (crew chief Chad Knaus) was having a hard time making the decision," Johnson said. "I'm kind of running through the events in my mind. We have two wins, we are locked in the Chase, and we are here to win a race, let's gamble. Let's go for it. Sure enough it paid off. A few more laps I think the No. 4 (Harvick) would have had me. He was awfully strong. Obviously being on right side tires would have been an advantage for him. We had just enough time to get this Lowe's Chevrolet to Victory Lane. Just very proud of the team and the effort that has gone into it. We have great race cars. I wish we would qualify a little better on Friday's that would make life a lot easier for us." Harvick said he wasn't mad about his team's decision to pit. "I've been on the other side of this deal where the cars aren't running good and you don't have a chance to win," he said. "We won a championship on pit calls and tires and everything fell our way. We've had a lot of things go our way and we've had a lot of things work." Harvick did insist, however, he had the faster car regardless of the outcome. "He wasn't that strong," Harvick said of Johnson. "He was just trying to run right in front of our car so for those first few laps when you're pushing like that it really takes the air off the front of the car and it gets the chatter in the front end and it snaps around. But that was the strategy they took and it worked out for them." Perhaps the most bummed driver as a result of the finish was Furniture Row Racing 's Martin Truex Jr . His No. 78 Chevrolet was clearly the fastest on the track for the vast majority of the race. It led a race-best 95 laps. But his team felt it needed to pit for fuel during the final caution. On the restart, it became obvious they had made the wrong call. Truex finished ninth. "We should have either stayed out or took new tires," Truex said. "We probably did the worst thing you could have done there with just staying out and getting gas only because we ended up being the last guy with no tires. Everybody else behind us had two and they ate us up on the restart." MORE: Video recap " Dale discusses Hamlin incident FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule All-time premier series wins Rank Driver Wins 1. Richard Petty 200 2. David Pearson 105 3. Jeff Gordon 92 4t. Bobby Allison 84 4t. Darrell Waltrip 84 6. Cale Yarborough 83 7. Dale Earnhardt 76 8. Jimmie Johnson* 73 9. Rusty Wallace 55 10. Lee Petty 54 *200 top -5 finishes is 12th all time * 300 top -10 finishes is 17th all time
Relive the top five moments at the past weekend's races as Kasey Kahne has a photo-finish win in the NCWTS, Denny Hamlin wins a cool million in the Sprint All-Star Race, and Chris Buescher grabs his first XFINITY Series win of 2015 at Iowa Speedway.