Jason White, Parker Kligerman and Dakoda Armstrong discuss their top-five finishes at Michigan.
Get on-track times for everything at Kentucky The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race at Kentucky Speedway this week. Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series practices, qualifying sessions and races can be watched on NBC Sports Live Extra.The Camping World Truck Series events will be on FOX Sports 1. Check out the full schedule below. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;br type=&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;_moz&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt; &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;nbsp; All tim es are ET WEDNESDAY, JULY 8: ON TRACK -- 3-5 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice ( Follow live ) -- 6-8 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice ( Fol low live ) GARAGECAM ( Watch live ) -- 5:30 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint C up Series THURSDAY, JULY 9: ON TRACK -- 8 a.m.-noon: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice, FOX Sports 1 coverage starts at 10 a.m. ( Follow live ) -- 2-3:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, NBC Sports Network ( Follow live ) -- 4-4:55 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, NBC Sports Network ( Follow live ) -- 5:15 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 2 ( Follow live ) -- 7:30 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 225 (150 laps, 225 miles), FOX Sports 1 ( Fo llow live) GARAGECAM ( Watch live ) -- 11:30 a.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series -- 1:30 p.m.: NASCAR X F INITY Series PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- Post-NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race press conferences FRIDAY, JULY 10: ON TRACK -- 10:30-11:55 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBC Sports Network ( Follow live ) -- 1-2:25 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBC Sports Network ( Follow live ) -- 3:45 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualiyfing, NBC Sports Network ( Follow live ) -- 5:45 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBC Sports Network ( Follow live ) -- 7:30 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Kentucky race ( 200 laps, 300 miles), NBC Sports Network ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- Post-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying press conferences -- Post-NASCAR XFINITY Series race press conferences SATURDAY, JULY 11: ON TRACK -- 7:30 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts (267 laps, 400.5 miles), NBC Sports Network ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- Post-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race press conferences
News and notes from around the garage NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr . said that there a lot will be learned from this weekend’s race at Kentucky Speedway, but the Hendrick Motorsports driver doesn’t expect the different aero package to "reveal a lot of obvious answers on the way we need to go." The Kentucky package will feature a shorter spoiler as well as changes to the splitter and splitter extension panel (radiator pan), moves that will lessen the amount of downforce on the cars by approximately 1,000 pounds, and, it is hoped, create an improved product on the track. Earnhardt, speaking Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, said not having a tire to match up with the low downforce package is the issue. Sprint Cup Series teams will compete in the Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts on Saturday night (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). "The tire is a bit better, but not quite enough," he said. "I think that is understood amongst NASCAR, ourselves and Goodyear. The Kentucky weekend won't be a weekend we take a ton of stock in as far as what this package is really going to be able to lend us and if it would work somewhere else." Goodyear officials already had produced the 2, 200 tires needed for Kentucky before the decision to use the low downforce package was finalized. The tire that will be used does have more grip but was not used specifically with this package when teams tested there in April. Steve O’Donnell, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer for NASCAR, told SiriusXM NASCAR that officials believe the change will be effective for the 1.5-mile track. "We're going to look at the measurements we look at every day: were there more passes, who was able to compete, how did the field look throughout the race, obviously fan measurements post-race," he said. Goodyear Prepped for Darlington Goodyear officials returned to Darlington Raceway on June 30 for a one-day tire test featuring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars running a low downforce package related to that which is being used this weekend at Kentucky. Three drivers -- Tony Stewart ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Brad Keselowski ( Team Penske ) and Matt Kenseth ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) -- took part in the test at the 1.366-mile track. "The goal was to evaluate the low downforce package, similar to what is going to be run at Kentucky, and see if we couldn't match a tire to that package," Greg Stucker, Director of Race Tire Sales for Goodyear, said Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. "When I say match, I mean replace aero grip with mechanical grip. Try to basically do it one for one and we feel like we did that. It was between three quarters of a second and a second slower just with aero downforce reduction and we feel like we gave about three-fourths to a second back. That was our goal, to do it one for one." No official determination has been made concerning use of the rules package beyond the Kentucky race, although Stucker said Goodyear officials would need to know "for sure within the next couple of weeks" to begin the production process. The tire tested at Darlington features a softer compound as well as a construction change. Stucker said it was similar to the Kentucky right-side tire and the left-side tire used at Indianapolis. "I think the drivers felt like they had plenty of grip," Stucker said. "We got them together about noon and made sure that it seemed like we were moving in the right direction … we left there feeling pretty good about our part of it. I think wear might be up a little bit with a softer package … but you would expect that." Infractions Aplenty at Daytona There were a season-high 65 penalties doled out during Sunday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, with the majority (35) for pitting before pit road was open. That infraction isn’t unusual when multi-car crashes leave plenty of cars with damaged sheet metal, which definitely was the case at Daytona. The overall total eclipsed the previous high mark of 43 set earlier this year at Martinsville Speedway. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
A statistical look ahead to the 18th race of the Sprint Cup season DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (July 6, 2015) – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky going into the Quaker State 400 on July 11 on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. ET. KENTUCKY-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M's Crispy Toyota) · One win, three top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 4.500, series-best · Average Running Position of 5.270, series-best · Driver Rating of 124.3, series-best · 139 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 172.614, series-best · 1003 Laps in the Top 15 (93.9), series-most · 99 Quality Passes, 11th-most Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · Two top 10s · Average finish of 11.500, eighth-best · Average Running Position of 13.430, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 89.4, 11th-best · 21 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.179, 13th-fastest · 603 Laps in the Top 15 (56.5), 12th-most · 112 Quality Passes, seventh-most Dale Earnhardt Jr (No. 88 NATIONWIDE Chevrolet) · Two top fives, two top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 12.750, 10th-best · Average Running Position of 12.607, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 90.7, ninth-best · 32 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.518, 10th-fastest · 633 Laps in the Top 15 (59.3), 11th-most · 106 Quality Passes, ninth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 COMCAST MINIONS Toyota) · One top five, one top 10 · Average finish of 15.750, 12th-best · Average Running Position of 12.755, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 87.2, 12th-best · 20 Fastest Laps Run, second-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.201, 12th-fastest · 662 Laps in the Top 15 (62.0), 10th-most · 107 Quality Passes, eighth-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet) · One top five, four top 10s · Average finish of 7.250, fourth-best · Average Running Position of 12.069, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 95.4, sixth-best · 41 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.777, seventh-fastest · 736 Laps in the Top 15 (68.9), seventh-most · 140 Quality Passes, fourth-most Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota) · One top five, one top 10 · Average finish of 22.750, 13th-best · Average Running Position of 18.688, 13th-best · Driver Rating of 85.2, 13th-best · 34 Fastest Laps Run, series-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 172.252, third-fastest · 558 Laps in the Top 15 (52.2), 13th-most · 87 Quality Passes, 13th-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John's Chevrolet) · Two top 10s · Average finish of 11.000, seventh-best · Average Running Position of 10.600, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 95.2, seventh-best · 17 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.767, eighth-fastest · 884 Laps in the Top 15 (82.8), fourth-most · 133 Quality Passes, fifth-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Pro Services Chevrolet) · One top five, four top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 7.000, third-best · Average Running Position of 6.292, second-best · Driver Rating of 116.6, second-best · 127 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 172.573, second-fastest · 963 Laps in the Top 15 (90.2), third-most · 142 Quality Passes, third-most Kasey Kahne (No. 5 LIFTMASTER Chevrolet) · One top five, two top 10s · Average finish of 8.500, fifth-best · Average Running Position of 12.879, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 98.9, fifth-best · 64 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 172.039, fifth-fastest · 709 Laps in the Top 15 (66.4), eighth-most · 145 Quality Passes, second-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · One win, two top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 4.500, second-best · Average Running Position of 9.208, third-best · Driver Rating of 107.2, fourth-best · 79 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 172.189, fourth-fastest · 972 Laps in the Top 15 (91.0), second-most · 181 Quality Passes, series-most Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford) · Two wins, two top fives, three top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 10.500, sixth-best · Average Running Position of 10.234, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 116.1, third-best · 171 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.863, sixth-fastest · 840 Laps in the Top 15 (78.7), fifth-most · 88 Quality Passes, 12th-most Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil/AutoTrader Ford) · One top five, two top 10s · Average finish of 12.250, ninth-best · Average Running Position of 11.292, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 94.7, eighth-best · 25 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.579, ninth-fastest · 669 Laps in the Top 15 (62.6), ninth-most · 101 Quality Passes, 10th-most Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) · Two top fives, two top 10s · Average finish of 13.750, 11th-best · Average Running Position of 12.857, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 90.2, 10th-best · 14 Fastest Laps Run, third-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.476, 11th-fastest · 776 Laps in the Top 15 (72.7), sixth-most · 113 Quality Passes, sixth-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Kentucky Speedway Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 4 0 0 0 2 0 11 95.2 2 Dale Earnhardt Jr 4 1 0 2 2 0 12.8 90.7 3 Jimmie Johnson 4 1 0 1 4 0 7 116.6 4 Joey Logano 4 0 0 1 2 0 12.2 94.7 5 Martin Truex Jr 4 0 0 0 2 0 13 84.0 6 Jamie McMurray 4 0 0 1 1 1 22.5 76.5 7 Brad Keselowski 4 1 2 2 3 0 10.5 116.1 8 Kurt Busch 4 0 0 0 2 0 11.5 89.4 9 Matt Kenseth 4 0 1 2 4 0 4.5 107.2 10 Jeff Gordon 4 0 0 1 4 0 7.2 95.4 11 Kasey Kahne 4 0 0 1 2 0 8.5 98.9 12 Denny Hamlin 4 0 0 1 1 2 22.8 85.2 13 Paul Menard 4 0 0 0 0 0 20.2 74.5 14 Ryan Newman 4 0 0 2 2 1 13.8 90.2 15 Clint Bowyer 4 0 0 1 1 1 19.2 83.3 16 Aric Almirola 3 0 0 0 0 1 26.7 67.4 * – Based on last four races at Kentucky Speedway. Kentucky Speedway Data Season Race #: 18 of 36 (07-11-15) Track Size : 1.5-miles Banking/Turn 1 & 2 : 14 degrees Banking/Turn 3 & 4 : 14 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 8 degrees Banking/Backstretch : 8 degrees Frontstretch Length : 1,662 feet Backstretch Length : 1,600 feet Race Length : 200 laps / 300 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Kentucky Kyle Busch ............................... 124.3 Jimmie Johnson ........................ 116.6 Brad Keselowski ....................... 116.1 Matt Kenseth ............................. 107.2 Kasey Kahne .............................. 98.9 Jeff Gordon ................................ 95.4 Kevin Harvick .............................. 95.2 Joey Logano .............................. 94.7 Dale Earnhardt Jr . ....................... 90.7 Ryan Newman ............................. 90.2 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (four total) among active drivers at Kentucky Speedway. Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Brad Keselowski , Ford 188.791 mph, 28.603 secs. 06-28-14 2014 race winner : Brad Keselowski , Ford 139.723 mph, (02:51:59), 06-29-14 Track qualifying record: Brad Keselowski , Ford 188.791 mph, 28.603 secs. 06-28-14 Track race record: Brad Keselowski ., Dodge 145.607 mph, (02:45:02), 06-30-12 At Kentucky Speedway: History · In 1998, the track broke ground in Sparta, Kentucky, and opened as a 1.5-mile speedway in 2000. · The original owners, Jerry Carroll and four other investors owned the track until 2008, when current owners, Speedway Motorsports Inc. purchased the facility. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was held in 2011 – won by Kyle Busch . Starts · There have been four NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kentucky Speedway since the first race in 2011 – one race per season. · 60 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway; 45 in more than one. · 28 different drivers have made all four series starts at Kentucky Speedway. · Brad Keselowski leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Average Starting Position at Kentucky with a 5.75; followed by Kyle Busch with a 6.25. Poles · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying at Kentucky was cancelled due to weather. The starting line-up was set per the Rule Book – Kyle Busch started from first. · Brad Keselowski (2014), Dale Earnhardt Jr . (2013) and Jimmie Johnson (2012) are the three drivers that have won Coors Light poles at Kentucky. · Youngest Kentucky pole winner: Brad Keselowski (06/28/2014 – 30 years, 4 months, 16 days). · Oldest Kentucky pole winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr . (06/30/2013 – 38 years, 8 months, 20 days). Wins · Three different NSCS drivers have won at Kentucky Speedway: Kyle Busch (07/09/2011), Brad Keselowski (06/30/2012 and 6/28/2014) and Matt Kenseth (6/30/2013). · Brad Keselowski leads the series in wins at Kentucky with two. · Youngest Kentucky winner: Kyle Busch (07/09/2011 – 26 years, 2 months, 7 days). · Oldest Kentucky winner: Matt Kenseth (06/30/2013 – 41 years, 3 months, 20 days). · Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske are tied for the series lead in wins at Kentucky with two each: Joe Gibbs Racing (2011, 2013); Team Penske (2012, 2014). · Three different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Kentucky: Toyota (2011, 2013), Dodge (2012) and Ford (2014). · Brad Keselowski is the only driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky from the Coors Light poles (2014). · Kyle Busch won the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky from the first starting position. Due to the qualifying session being cancelled for the 2011 race, it was not from the Coors Light pole. · Two of the four (50.0%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky have been won from the front row – both from the first starting position (2011, 2014). · Three of the four (75%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kentucky have been won from a top-10 starting position. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Kentucky is 16th, by Matt Kenseth in 2013. · The fewest laps led in a single race by an eventual NSCS winner at Kentucky is 38 laps by Matt Kenseth in 2013. · The most laps led in a single race by an eventual NSCS winner at Kentucky is 199 laps by Brad Keselowski in 2014. Additional Finishing Position Stats · Four different drivers have posted NSCS runner-up finishes at Kentucky: David Reutimann (2011), Kasey Kahne (2012), Jamie McMurray (2013) and Kyle Busch (2014). · 14 different drivers have posted top-five finishes at Kentucky led by Kyle Busch with three; followed by Brad Keselowski , Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Matt Kenseth , and Ryan Newman with two each. · 19 different drivers have posted top-10 finishes at Kentucky led by Kyle Busch , Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth with four each. · Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch are tied for the series among active drivers in Average Finishing Position at Kentucky with a 4.5 each. Jimmie Johnson (7.0), Jeff Gordon (7.2), and Kasey Kahne (8.5) are the other active drivers with an average finish in the top 10. Track Event Stats · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway was the July 9, 2011 race won by Kyle Busch over David Reutimann with a MOV of 0.179 second. · None of the four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky Speedway have resulted with a green-white-checkered finish. · None of the four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions. · Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway once; the 2011 race. · The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky produced the most lead changes (20) at the 1.5-mile track. The fewest lead changes were in the 2013 race at Kentucky (11). · The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky produced the most different leaders (12) at the 1.5-mile speedway. The fewest leaders in a NSCS event at Kentucky were last season’s race with three. · Brad Keselowski leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Kentucky with 346 laps led in four starts. Female Competitor Stats · Danica Patrick is the only female driver to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway . Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date Danica Patrick 29 23 6/30/2013 Danica Patrick 10 21 6/28/2014 Averages 19.5 22.0 NASCAR in Kentucky · There have been five NASCAR Sprint Cup races among two tracks in Kentucky. Track Name City NSCS Kentucky Speedway Sparta 4 Corbin Speedway Corbin 1 · 42 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Kentucky; three have posted wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Driver NSCS NNS NCWTS Jeremy Mayfield 5 0 0 Michael Waltrip 4 11 1 Tommy Thompson 1 0 0 Jeff Green 0 16 0 David Green 0 9 0 Milestones – Kentucky Speedway HAS NEEDS MILESTONE DESCRIPTION DRIVER Michael McDowell 174 1 175th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Career Start McDowell is 145th on the all-time NSCS career starts list, two starts behind Walter Ballard and Regan Smith (176 each) in 143rd. Danica Patrick 99 1 100th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Career Start Patrick is 191st on the all-time NSCS career starts list, one start behind Bruce Hill (100) in 190th. Jimmie Johnson 74 2 76th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win Jimmie Johnson is eighth on the all-time NSCS wins list, two wins behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt in seventh (76 wins). Tony Stewart 48 2 50th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win Stewart is 13th on the all-time NSCS wins l
The Nationwide Series makes its seventh stop of the season at Darlington
See the complete starting lineup for the Darlington Nationwide Series race
At least 10 teams expected at track Wednesday RELATED: Buy tickets for Darlington At least 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are expected to participate in a one-day open team test Wednesday at Darlington Raceway . The historic 1.366-mile track, the first paved speedway to feature NASCAR competition, will host the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, Sept. 6. Drivers scheduled to take part in this week's test are: Aric Almirola ( Richard Petty Motorsports ), Greg Biffle ( Roush Fenway Racing ), Clint Bowyer ( Michael Waltrip Racing ), Kurt Busch ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Kyle Busch ( Joe Gibbs Racing ), Jimmie Johnson ( Hendrick Motorsports ), Joey Logano ( Team Penske ), Jamie McMurray ( Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), Ryan Newman ( Richard Childress Racing ) and Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ). The test is scheduled to run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET. ( UPDATE: End time pushed up to 4:45 p.m. ET because of expected showers.) Biffle, Bowyer, McMurray and Newman will also be on hand Tuesday for a single-day Goodyear tire test. "This is a great, free opportunity for fans to watch NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams race around our famed oval for the first time in nearly 14 months," track president Chip Wile said. "This will be the only time the teams and drivers will be able to see Darlington before the series returns on Labor Day weekend." The Sprint Cup Series hasn't visited Darlington since April of 2014. An offseason schedule change moved the event back to the holiday weekend, a spot it held on the schedule for more than 50 years. The open test will be the seventh of the season. Future single-day tests are scheduled for Richmond International Raceway , Chicagoland Speedway , Bristol Motor Speedway , Homestead-Miami Speedway , Kansas Speedway , Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway . Nearly all of the tests follow one- or two-day Goodyear tire tests at the individual tracks. The Richmond team test, scheduled for June 17, is a recent addition. Meanwhile, a two-day Goodyear tire test at Bristol was changed to a single-day open team test (July 30). NASCAR banned private team testing for 2015, developing the National Series Master Unified Test Schedule instead to provide teams an opportunity to work with this season's new rules package. Only one team from each Sprint Cup organization is allowed to participate in the open team tests. The four teams taking part in the Goodyear portion are the only ones from their organizations allowed to participate in the open test, if they choose. "With the Bojangles' Southern 500 being the second-to-last race before the Chase cutoff, I'm sure the teams will be looking for a little something extra to get to … Victory Lane and potentially secure a Chase berth before times runs out," Wile said. Two sections of the Colvin Grandstands, located on the backstretch, will be open to fans. Kevin Harvick , 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, is the defending winner of the Bojangles' Southern 500 . In addition to the Sprint Cup race, Darlington Raceway will also host the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race Saturday, Sept. 5. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kevin Harvick celebrates his second consecutive win in the Camping World Truck Series after emerging victorious in the VFW 200 .
Plan to add approximately 54,000 linear feet of SAFER barriers at its facilities RELATED: Learn the latest on Daytona's safety enhancements International Speedway Corporation announced Saturday that plans to add 54,000 linear feet of energy-absorbing SAFER barriers at its tracks are moving forward. The decision comes of the heels of facility reviews of the 12 tracks that ISC owns and operates, and after Kyle Busch suffered severe leg injuries when he crashed into an unprotected concrete retaining wall during the NASCAR XFINITY Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway in February. "Following February and the completion of Speedweeks in Daytona, International Speedway Corporation, in conjunction with NASCAR, initiated a thorough review and audit of impact-absorbing technologies at our properties," said John Saunders, International Speedway Corporation president. "Based on those findings, ISC will install approximately 54,000 linear feet of additional SAFER Barrier at its facilities. From now through the end of 2016, ISC will work with Cheaha Construction, Smith Fence Company, and North Industrial Machine, all certified organizations with the University of Nebraska, on this installation. "As safety remains at the forefront, ISC will continue to work with NASCAR to evaluate specific locations inside the turns for future safety enhancements." After Busch's crash Feb. 21, speedway president Joie Chitwood III vowed to encircle the 2.5-mile Daytona track with the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) system, a project on target for completion before next February's Daytona 500 . Daytona's safety advancements ahead of this weekend's events were highlighted Friday in an update about ongoing construction for the Daytona RISING frontstretch seating project. Chitwood said that the track had added more than 200 ,000 of pavement in run-off areas near the pit-road exit toward Turn 1 and from the exit of Turn 4 toward pit-road entry. The asphalt was placed to help drivers scrub off speed or regain control in a skid. Chitwood also said that SAFER barriers were added along the entire outside retaining wall on the backstretch and beyond pit-road exit and pit-road entrance. The inside wall where Busch hit on the short chute before Turn 1 was also realigned. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Chevrolets show early strength; pileup mars first session RELATED: Full practice results DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Danica Patrick 's car number atop the scoring pylon is not an unfamiliar site at Daytona International Speedway and the 2013 Daytona 500 pole-winner set the fast pace again Friday in the final Sprint Cup Series practice for Sunday's Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola (7:45 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM). Patrick's No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet posted a lap of 198.133 mph to lead a Stewart-Haas Racing sweep of the late afternoon session, pacing teammates Kurt Busch , Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart . Patrick has two top-10 finishes in six Cup starts on the Daytona high banks, including an eighth-place showing in the 2013 Daytona 500 -- the best ever finish for a woman in NASCAR's premier event. Patrick's speed was still slower than Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s 202.284 mph effort in the opening practice when teams did more drafting. Her speed came during mostly single car runs and she was upbeat and encouraged about the weekend. "You've got what you got when you show up at a superspeedway,'' Patrick said. "I'm glad we got a couple single car runs in. While guys like Tony (Stewart) have no problem going from last to first, I find it challenging so I'd like to have a good qualifying session.'' Hendrick Motorsports drivers, Kasey Kahne , Jeff Gordon , Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson were just behind the SHR contingent in the final practice. "I've had the luxury of being with a really good team and Hendrick builds a really fast engine,'' Patrick said, humbly explaining her success on NASCAR's most famous track. "It sounds cheesy, but really, it's great team and great engines." A win Sunday for Patrick would gain her a provisional entry into the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. After early season gains that kept her in the top-16 in the points standings, she is now ranked 19 th entering the Coke Zero 400 . “I always like going there,'' Patrick said of Daytona. "It’s where my first stock-car start was in 2010 and I actually have a lot of experience there. "At the end of the day, you just need to be in the right place at the right time. A lot of it is out of your control. But I think we’ll be good and hopefully have a car that can compete and win.” Aside from a handful of moderate-sized packs that formed early in the 55-minute session, teams largely focused on making single-car runs ahead of Saturday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying (4:35 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network). Teams especially shied away from drafting in large groups after an 11-car crash in the early stages of opening practice forced several teams to utilize backup cars. Dale Jr. avoids large wreck, paces first practice Dale Earnhardt Jr . rose to the top of the speed charts Friday afternoon in opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, a session interrupted early by an 11-car pileup at Daytona International Speedway. Earnhardt, a three-time winner at the 2.5-mile track, landed atop the 55-minute practice with a fast lap of 202.284 mph in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet. He was among 14 drivers to clock laps above the 200 -mph barrier. Austin Dillon , a former Daytona 500 pole-starter driving the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet, was second-fastest at 202.066 mph. Clint Bowyer , Paul Menard and Trevor Bayne completed the top five. Defending Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick , the current series points leader, was 35th-fastest in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet. Defending race winner Aric Almirola , in the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Ford, was 37th-best of the 44 drivers to turn laps. Approximately 10 minutes after the track opened for practice, the cars of Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch tangled, sending Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota sliding up the Turn 2 high banks. Other drivers piled in, forcing several teams to unload their backup cars. RELATED: Early 'big one' hits at Daytona Martin Truex Jr ., Greg Biffle , Ryan Newman , Denny Hamlin , Sam Hornish Jr ., Jamie McMurray , Trevor Bayne , Carl Edwards and Michael Annett were the other drivers involved. Editor's note: Zack Albert contributed to this report FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule