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Post-Race Reactions: Top Gear 300
Roush teammates Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse and others comment on a hot and long day in Charlotte.
Keselowski grinds out top five on 'so-so day'
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid SHOP: Keselowski gear " Chase gear LOUDON, N.H. -- As one of the resident wizards of the "Magic Mile" over the past five years, it was a little curious to see Brad Keselowski -- who sports a 6.27 average finish at the track since the fall race of 2011 – come out a little flat in Sunday's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. For his latest trick, the Team Penske driver entered the top 10 for good at Lap 270 of 300 and continued to rise from there, sticking the landing with a fourth-place finish that was nearly a third, save for a late pass from Kyle Busch. "We caught a couple breaks on the restarts that helped out. Pleasantly surprised (at how this race turned out)," Keselowski said on pit road following the race. " … It was just a good call there towards the end to put tires on and then just being smooth and keeping it in one piece driving through traffic. … Sometimes you catch some good breaks in this sport. … It was just a really great finish to kind of just a so-so day." While the recovery portends well for Keselowski's hopes of advancing into the Round of 12, the speed that his car lacked at New Hampshire should be of some concern for the 2 team as the Chase continues. The 2012 champ pins it on this week's rules update for post-race inspection that eliminated P2 and P3-level penalties for infractions resulting from the laser inspection system. "I think that rules change at the last minute was certainly not very favorable to our team," said Keselowski, in search of his first win since early July at Kentucky. "We've got to work to find a little more speed for sure." The No. 2 crew chief, Paul Wolfe, pins the lack of performance on a swing-and-a-miss setup after they couldn't quite nail down what they were looking for in Saturday's practice sessions. "The car never drove like what we've had here in the past. We were kind of on the fence about where we wanted to be today as far as set-up wise. There were a couple things we went through in practice yesterday and we picked a direction that obviously wasn't good," Wolfe told NASCAR.com. "So we just really struggled to get any speed out of the car all day. Just tried to stay calm, get what we could and not get in trouble. Brad was doing a good job of that. There at the end, the position we were in I felt it was worth putting tires on it and it was really the new tires and a couple of good restarts that got us to the front. "Definitely not the performance or the speed in the car that we were hoping for today, but we were able to get a good finish out of it and at this point of the Chase, that's obviously the important part." Keselowski now heads to the Dover International Speedway with a little more of a cushion -- he's the overall points leader, though second and sixth-place (in the point standings) drivers Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick, respectively, have clinched their Round of 12 berths -- than it looked like he'd have for most of the race, and should be a lock to advance save for a major, catastrophic mishap. "It feels good to go to Dover and be able to sleep easy knowing that if you have a part failure or get caught up in a wreck or any of those silly things that can happen that aren't you fault, you don’t have to worry about them so that's good," he said. "But we still have some work to do to get a little faster.”
Kevin Harvick dishes on the use of PJ1 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Kevin Harvick breaks down how New Hampshire applied PJ1 last weekend during his 'Happy Hours' show and says he likes how the sport is trying different things
Sauter, several trucks collected in early wreck at Eldora
Johnny Sauter, Harrison Burton and others get collected in a multi-truck wreck after Sheldon Creed goes around following contact from the No. 27 of Ben Rhodes.
Monster Energy Series drivers gear up and hit the booth for the Pocono Green 250
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers gear up and prepare to take over the booth and pit-road as they have the call for the Pocono Green 250.
Dale Jr. picks his top 10 drivers to root for in 2018
In this clip from Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Dirty Mo Radio podcast, Dale picks the top 10 drivers his fans should root for when he retires after the 2017 season.
Furniture Row's Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones top Richmond practice
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Richmond RELATED: Practice 1 results " Top 10-lap times Furniture Row Racing came to play at Richmond International Raceway, as Martin Truex Jr.'s No. 78 Toyota topped the leaderboard at 124.178 mph in Friday's opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice. He was followed by teammate and rookie Erik Jones, whose No. 77 Toyota notched a top speed of 123.035 mph. Wood Brothers Racing's Ryan Blaney was third-fastest, his No. 21 Ford clocking in at 122.772 mph. Roush Fenway Racing's Trevor Bayne (122.084 mph) and Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin (121.726 mph) rounded out the top five, respectively. Hamlin won the most recent race at Richmond (September 2016) in his No. 11 Toyota. Despite notching the second-fastest speed, Jones spun with 74 minutes left in the opening session, his No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota making slight contact with the wall. With rain impacting on-track activity last weekend at Bristol, NASCAR deferred several holds and penalties coming out of Texas Motor Speedway to this weekend. The following teams sat out the first 15 minutes of practice, as they failed race inspection at Texas: No. 11 of Hamlin, No. 17 of Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 37 of Chris Buescher, No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson and No. 88 of Dale Earnhardt Jr. There were several holds and penalties out of Bristol as well that were enforced in this session: Ty Dillon's No. 13 team, AJ Allmendinger's No. 47 team and Austin Dillon's No. 3 team also abided by 15 minute-holds for failing LIS race inspection, as well as Aric Almirola's No. 43 group (failing race inspection, templates x 2, T1-T2 and T1). Dillon also will start Sunday's race from the rear. Joey Logano (No. 22 team) and Matt Kenseth (No. 20 team) were held for 30 minutes for swerving at Bristol. The Nos. 6 and 23 XFINITY Series teams of Darrell Wallace Jr. and Spencer Gallagher, respectively, will also have 15 minute holds. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is back on track at 4:45 p.m. ET for Coors Light Pole Qualifying (FS1). &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
Hooters rewards fans when Chase Elliott scores a top 5
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Talladega Hooters returns to NASCAR this week with Chase Elliott driving the No. 24 Hooters Chevrolet SS May 7 at Talladega Superspeedway. To celebrate the event, Hooters invites fans to cheer Elliott and his No. 24 team to victory and register at Hooters24.com for chances to win when Elliott wins or places in the top 5 all season long. To receive exclusive "When Chase Wins, You Win" offers, join the Hooters No. 24 Crew at Hooters24.com . If Elliott wins a NASCAR Cup Series race during the remaining 2017 season, registered fans nationwide win a select Hooters appetizer of fried pickles, tater tots or cheese sticks with purchase. If Elliott places in the top five of a NASCAR Cup Series race this season, Hooters fans win a free Mountain Dew® with purchase. Members of the Hooters No. 24 Crew are also entered to win bonus prizes. One lucky winner snags a grand prize trip for two to Las Vegas, including a stay at Hooters Casino and a meet-and-greet with Elliott. Hooters has served as a primary sponsor in more than 150 Cup-level races, notably as the full-season sponsor of 1992 premier series champion Alan Kulwicki. That year, Kulwicki won two races and narrowly edged Elliott's father, 1988 Cup champion Bill Elliott, by 10 points to win the title. Hooters is a three-race primary sponsor and full-season associate sponsor of the No. 24 team in both 2017 and 2018. The Hooters Chevrolet SS will appear again on Nov. 5 at Texas Motor Speedway and Nov. 12 at Phoenix International Speedway. Fans are encouraged to use the #Hooters24 hashtag throughout the year to share their excitement and engage via social media. To receive "When Chase Wins, You Win" coupons via email, register for the Hooters No. 24 Crew in advance of race day at Hooters24.com . Each coupon is redeemable two weeks after the qualifying race at Hooters locations nationwide, dine-in only. Select appetizers qualify for the deal. No purchase necessary for grand prize trip to Las Vegas and purchases do not increase chances of winning. Must be 18 years or older and a legal resident of the (48) contiguous United States or Washington, D.C., to qualify. Registration ends Oct. 23, 2017. To find your nearest Hooters location, visit Hooters.com .
Dale Jr. reacts to top -10 finish at Charlotte
Dale Earnhardt Jr. thanks Jimmie Johnson for helping the No. 88 earn a top -10 finish in the Coca-Cola 600 and reacts to Richard Childress getting back to Victory Lane.
Jimmie Johnson rallies, corrals Texas victory
RELATED: Texas race results " Detailed race breakdown SHOP: Johnson gear FORT WORTH, Tex. -- Jimmie Johnson proved on Sunday that you can't keep a good driver, a good car and a good team down for long -- even if you change the playing field at one of his favorite race tracks. The seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion passed Joey Logano for the lead on Lap 318 of 334 and pulled away for his first victory of the season in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at newly repaved and reconfigured Texas Motor Speedway. The win was Johnson's seventh at the 1.5-mile track and the 81st of his career, and it came despite an inauspicious start to the weekend. Johnson spun in the first round of Friday's knockout qualifying and flat-spotted his tires. Because his team changed tires on the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet before the race -- contravening NASCAR's mandate that drivers start the race on their qualifying tires -- Johnson dropped to the rear for the initial green. By the time NASCAR called the fifth caution of the race on Lap 121 for debris on the frontstretch, Johnson had cracked the top -10, and he was fourth out of the pits for the subsequent restart on Lap 127. At the end of Stage 2, which concluded on Lap 170, the No. 48 Chevy was second behind Ryan Blaney, who swept the first and second stages but finished 12th overall after sliding through his pit box on the final stop on Lap 300 and losing track position. RELATED: Blaney wins Stages 1, 2 Blaney led 148 laps. Johnson led 18, but he led the one that counted most. The victory was Johnson's sixth in the last 10 races at Texas. "I guess I remembered how to drive, and I guess this team remembered how to do it!" said Johnson, who has been the victim of some inevitable second-guessing after scratching out a lone top -10 (ninth at Phoenix) in the first six races of the season. "I'm just real proud of this team. "What a tough track and tough conditions. We were really in our wheelhouse and we were just able to execute all day." The only thing that bothered Johnson was a lack of hydration in the car, thanks to a malfunction in the fluid delivery system, but with a break in the schedule for Easter, he'll have nearly a fortnight to recover before the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series goes to Bristol Motor Speedway. "Oh, it was hot in there," Johnson acknowledged. "I got cooked in the car today. I didn't have any fluids, so I'm not feeling the best, but we got into Victory Lane. I'm so proud of the fight in this race team. I can't wait to celebrate during this off-weekend with my family and friends and really enjoy this." Johnson paid a visit to the infield care center after climbing from his car, before coming to the media center for his post-race press conference. RELATED: Johnson treated in care center Kyle Larson finished second for the fourth time this season. A winner at Fontana, California, in late March, Larson also started 32nd because his car didn't pass pre-qualifying inspection in time to make an attempt during time trials. After working his way toward the front, Larson was sent to the rear again for driving through too many pit boxes under a competition caution on Lap 33. But he again found his way to the front. It simply took him too long to get past Logano during the final 30-lap green-flag run. "Wish I would have got him by a little sooner, but all in all a great day for our Credit One Bank Chevy team," Larson said. "I made a mistake there on the first pit stop and clipped too many boxes. I turned in way early. "I was disappointed in myself then, because I feel like our car was really, really good the beginning part of the race and probably could have drove up to the lead and maybe controlled the race from then on. So you never know. "But I just got to focus a little bit harder and not make mistakes, and we can control some races, lead some laps. All in all, still a really good finish for us and we extend the point lead a little bit (to 17 points over ninth-place finisher Chase Elliott), so a solid day." RELATED: Larson: 'Had a little brain fart' The racing groove on the repaved surface began to widen out as the race progressed, thanks in part to the track's effort to drag tires and lay down rubber throughout the weekend. "Yeah, the track was a little bit better than I think I expected it to be," Larson said. "I thought it would be a little bit harder pass. Maybe it was, but our car was really good, so it could operate on the bottom of (Turns) 1 and 2 really good, and that was about the only place you could pass was the exit of 2, so our car was thankfully working good over there." On a contrarian pit strategy that dictated he stay out in the lead for the final restart, Logano held third. Polesitter Kevin Harvick came home fourth after leading 77 laps. Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran fifth, far and away his best result of the season, after starting 37th because of the same pre-qualifying inspection issue that buffaloed Larson. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;