Pocono truck trivia stumps drivers on GarageCam
GarageCam host Matthew Dillner takes you through the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series garage at Pocono Raceway , where he test drivers knowledge with some tricky Pocono trivia.
John Wes Townley cleared to compete at Pocono Raceway
Concord, N.C. (July 26, 2016) – John Wes Townley received medical clearance earlier today to resume racing in NASCAR and ARCA. He will compete in this weekend's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA events at Pocono Raceway . Townley had been sidelined for the past four weeks while being treated for mild concussion-like symptoms. "I'd like to thank Parker Kligerman, Cole Custer and Brady Boswell for filling in for me," Townley said. "I feel great and I’m looking forward to racing at Pocono this week."
From The Vault: Tony takes Richmond International Raceway
Relive the 2002 Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway where Tony Stewart ran away with the win. The win at RIR was Tony's third in only seven starts at the Virginia short track.
Double Numbers: Is the 11 or 22 the team to beat at Richmond International Raceway ?
Marty Snider and Chris Rice give you their NASCAR Fantasy Live picks for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway .
Berry ready to make most of opportunity at Iowa
NEWTON, Iowa -- In the sport of NASCAR, one race can impact a driver's entire career. One wrong move or one gutsy pass that results in a win can change the path of a racing hopeful. Josh Berry learned that last year. Driving the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, Berry's seventh-place finish at Richmond International Raceway in September shifted the spotlight quickly upon the young racer's shoulders, drawing praise from team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and attention from the media. It wasn't Victory Lane -- but for a young short track racer from Tennessee with three sporadic XFINITY starts to his name, it was pretty close. "That race at Richmond last year, I still can't believe how well it went," Berry recalled on Friday at Iowa Speedway to NASCAR.com. "I can't believe how well the race went, I can't believe how much attention I got, I can't believe how everything went. "… I think all the time how if a couple things would have went a little bit better, how that would have changed the path of my career from right that moment. We had a legitimate shot to win that race. I think if we had won that race, I might be in the series full-time." RELATED: Berry makes strong impression at Richmond Currently a successful Late Model racer for JR Motorsports with two 2016 wins, Berry will be making his first XFINITY Series start of the season this weekend driving the No. 88 JRM Chevrolet at Iowa Speedway in Saturday night's US Cellular 250 (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Just like last year at Richmond, the 250-mile race will serve as an audition stage for the 25-year-old racer, who is still looking for a more expansive part-time ride or full-time deal in the XFINITY Series. "My whole career has been kind of race-to-race, you know?" Berry said. "I've never really had a lot of security. So for me, every race is like your last one. For me it's a huge opportunity to get in a very competitive car and show that I can do the job … I know that people are paying attention to how well I run and I don't want to let them down." He certainly won over bossman Dale Jr., who said after Richmond last year that with his talent, Berry was "one sponsorship away from being able to make a living as a race car driver." Many speculated Berry would drive for JR Motorsports full-time in 2016. Junior himself even campaigned for a sponsor for the talented Berry. But in a world where sponsorship calls the shots, talent doesn't always pave the path to your name above the car door every weekend. "It's tough when you see somebody as huge as Dale Jr. is, to stick his neck out there and say, 'hey, this is my guy, let's find something for him,' " Berry said. "And it didn't materialize. Obviously I didn't really get my hopes up, but I really thought that … somebody would sit there and say, 'that means something,' We worked hard -- everyone at JR Motorsports worked hard, I worked hard to try to find something, but we just couldn't get (it). "… It's just tough to get the opportunities -- you never know in this sport. There's so many people that have gotten opportunities come about real quickly," Berry said with a slight chuckle. "So, I don't know. Every time I think I'm getting closer, sometimes you get pushed back down the stairs a little bit. But we just got to keep working at it, keep running well, especially in that Late Model … and then when I get these opportunities, (try) to make the most of them." While his XFINITY career in 2016 hasn't been as extensive as he hoped, Berry is set to make another start in September for JRM at Kentucky Speedway . The time away from the series also gave Berry ample time to prepare for this weekend. "(I've been able to) watch film and really study the track," Berry said. "Went and did pit stop practice -- had time to do that over the past couple weeks, which that's something that I'm still learning. "…But it takes laps, a couple laps to get going, that's the thing. The car brakes differently, it accelerates differently from what I'm used to. So, really it just takes laps to get back in the feel of how the tires feel and obviously going faster at a different track and everything." The audition stage will be tough and pressure-filled for Berry on Saturday night in the Hawkeye State. But Berry is confident behind the wheel -- and will look to impress under the bright lights, no matter who is watching. "To see how that race (at Richmond) went and to see the publicity we got … it makes it possible knowing we could go do that here -- it's no doubt," Berry said. "There's a couple things that I realized I needed to improve on and there were some things that were kind of out of my control … so for me, I just try to take what I knew I did wrong and try to make myself better for these few races this year." "Hopefully if everything else can go the same and I do a better job, we'll be that much closer to getting a win."
Keselowski talks safety, details Watkins Glen wreck
LONG POND, Pa. -- Brad Keselowski's bone-jarring crash at Watkins Glen International earlier this week was the result of an improperly installed brake line on his No. 2 Penske Racing Ford. "There was an installation error with the brakes," Keselowski said Friday at Pocono Raceway , site of Sunday's Pocono 400 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). "The brake line wasn't installed in the proper way and it broke." Keselowski's accident occurred July 26 during the first day of a two-day organizational test for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams at WGI. The series is scheduled to compete there Aug. 5-7. Moments after completing a session-leading lap of 124.572 mph on the 2.45-mile road course, Keselowski's Ford went off track and nose-first into the tire barrier located at the end of the frontstretch. He was not injured in the high-speed impact, and was back on track the following day in a backup entry. "I understand the whole tire barrier concept," Keselowski, said. "In general, I'm not comfortable with tracks that have runoffs that lead to very harsh angles, and that's certainly the situation that (WGI) has, and always has had it. "Road courses remain the most dangerous tracks in motorsports for a good reason because of that, but we know that going in. Some place has to be the safest and some place has to be the most dangerous." Safety advances made by NASCAR as well as many of the teams competing today have lessened the likelihood of serious injury, but the threat remains. In 2011, Keselowski won at Pocono less than a week after chipping a bone in his ankle during a hard crash during testing at Road Atlanta. That incident led to a complete evaluation by the organization of its safety protocols. The result was a redesign of the pedals, floorboard and seat, he said, and the evolution of steering wheels and other interior pieces have lessened the threat of serious injury as well. "From what I can tell at this moment, all of the pieces that we were able to redesign performed very well," Keselowski said of the WGI incident. "The one piece that we weren't able to redesign was the steering column. That's probably the weakest link in those type of impacts at the moment." What else needs to be done? Keselowski admitted he doesn't have the answer. "The answers I do have," he said, "is that there's only so many of those hits you are going to take before someone gets killed. It's just the way it is. "It's not something I'm comfortable with, but I think as a sport there are a lot of different ways to look at it. At the end of the day I'm still standing here. "That's something that the smart guys that work on that stuff are going to have to figure out some time."
Burton nets sponsor, seat for Brickyard, Richmond
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 12, 2016) -- Biagi-DenBeste Racing announced a partnership with Jeb Burton and Estes Express Lines, a full-service freight transportation provider, for two NASCAR XFINITY Series races in the 2016 season. Burton will pilot the No. 98 Estes Ford at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 23 and Richmond International Raceway September 9. This partnership will mark the second time Burton has driven the No. 98 Ford. He piloted the No. 98 Ford to a 15th-place finish at Charlotte in 2014. Most recently, Burton competed in 11 NASCAR XFINITY Series races with Richard Petty Motorsports where he scored one Top-10 and four Top-15 finishes. Burton will make his track debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and compete for the fourth time at Richmond International Raceway . "I'm really excited to get back on the track in the XFINITY Series with Biagi-DenBeste Racing," said Burton. "They've shown they have fast cars and just scored a big win at Daytona," said Burton. "I'm thrilled to again partner with Estes. They are a great company and have been big supporters of my career." Estes Express Lines is a full-service freight transportation provider, headquartered in Burton's home state of Virginia . The Richmond-based company has previously partnered with Burton in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series. Estes President and CEO Rob Estes weighed in on the sponsorship. "We're proud of our association with this Virginia native who has gone on to gain national recognition. It's exciting to once again support him as he takes to the track in the No. 98 Estes Ford in Indianapolis and Richmond. We want to thank our vendors who helped make sponsoring these two races a reality. The Estes team is very excited to be part of the 2016 season, and our 16,000 employees nationwide will definitely be rooting for him." Burton will hit the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Lilly Diabetes 250 July 23 live on NBCSN.
Jeff Gordon set for longer sub stint in No. 88, if needed
RELATED: Weekend schedule for Pocono, Iowa LONG POND, Pa. -- Jeff Gordon maintains that he is looking at his stint in the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports "as a very temporary thing," but adds he's willing to remain in the role "as long as they need me." "I say that very loosely," Gordon quickly added Friday at Pocono Raceway , site of Sunday's Pennsylvania 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, where he will line up 24th on the grid (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is said to be making progress in his recovery from concussion-like symptoms that sidelined him following the July 9 race at Kentucky Speedway. Alex Bowman drove for the team the following weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway before Gordon took over last weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "It was great last Friday to see him say 'hey I feel good today and made some progress,'" Gordon said of Earnhardt. "We want to just keep going with how he is feeling. The doctors are evaluating. I'm not speculating anything at this time. "I wouldn't be here in Pocono if I wasn't committed to be there for Hendrick Motorsports and this team in any way that they need me. I think there is a balance between trying to make this transition. First of all you want Dale to have the comfort of knowing that somebody is there for him. He doesn't have to worry about that aspect of it through this process. "… Then there is the side of who is the best person to be in the car to get the most points. And then there is the sponsorship side of it as well. So far from what Rick (Hendrick, team owner) is telling me that seems to be me. That is why I was at Indy and that is why I'm here." The series travels to Watkins Glen International next weekend, with an off-weekend before heading to Bristol, Tennessee. HMS officials have not indicated who would be in the car if Earnhardt Jr. is unable to return for next week’s event. Gordon, a four-time series champion who moved from the driver’s seat to the television booth after the 2015 season, finished 13th at Indy; Bowman was 26th at New Hampshire. There have been "a couple" of conversations between Gordon and Earnhardt Jr., Gordon said, noting that his former teammate "likes to FaceTime." "It seems like he is always on the treadmill every time I see him or talk to him," Gordon said. "He is just real interested in what we are up to and how it's going and things we are working on. I think also a lot of it is … evaluating where they are at as a team and some of the set-ups and whether I'm going to be making the same comments as he was making when he was in the car. "So far, I feel like it's been very similar. Definitely, any amount of information that I can get to help me prepare for every time I'm on the track is great information. I'm asking everybody questions just trying to get up to speed everywhere we go including Dale." RELATED: Latest updates on Dale Jr. Prior to competing at Indy, Gordon was able to reacquaint himself with the track through simulation programs; he also pulled information from teammate Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team, which tested at the 2.5-mile track the previous week. That hasn't been the case this week. "Get fitted in the car, debrief with the team from Indianapolis and then preparation for Pocono," he said. "Didn't have test video from some of our teammates for here like we did last week at Indianapolis and I didn't have time to get in the driving simulator either. "The first few laps today were definitely again a steep learning curve. This is a very challenging race track so it's going to be a tough, challenging weekend, but I do like this track and (there is) a little bit to learn with this new package." Earnhardt's absence has resulted in a fall from 13th to 17th in the points standings. He will need to either a race win or be 15th or higher (based on the current list of winners and their respectively point standing) in points to potentially earn a position in this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. He would also need a waiver from NASCAR, something that would not be determined until he has officially been cleared to return to competition. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Almirola reflects on career, heritage as he makes 200th start
Aric Almirola insists he was absolutely prepared to climb into his No. 43 Smithfield Ford this Sunday for the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway completely focused on nothing other than scoring a victory and working toward earning a position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. But his public relations team brought up an important milestone that even he conceded was definitely worth noting, if not celebrating. This Sunday's race marks the 32-year old Almirola's 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start -- a significant measure of his staying power and a testament to how far he's come. Literally. He is the son of a Cuban immigrant on his dad's side of the family and the grandson of one of Florida's most celebrated and accomplished racers -- Sam Rodriguez -- on his mom's side. That has created a unique background dynamic that gives Almirola motivation and pride. And makes this weekend a heartfelt measure of success. "I think here I am and my dad came over from Cuba and 50 years later I'm making my 200th start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Richard Petty," Almirola said. "It's so crazy to me, what living in this country affords you and allows you to be able to do, and my grandparents made that decision to come over here and take this chance." The sheer number of starts represents a mark of opportunity for Almirola. Making it into NASCAR's big league was always the harder path, the road less travelled. But he has made it. And that's only the beginning. "I don't think anybody dreams about running two hundred races, they dream about 'a' race," Almirola said. "So as a kid I dreamed about driving 'a' Cup car, running 'a' race. So, now the fact I've had the opportunity to do it two hundred times, when you realize that, and the marketing department brings to your attention that, 'Hey, Pocono is going to be your 200th start,' it really makes you kind of reflect on everything that's led up to this. "From being a kid racing go-karts all the way up to all the opportunities I've had. I realize by reflecting on all that stuff how fortunate and blessed I am." The thing is, Almirola could have just as easily been a star baseball player as a winning NASCAR driver. His native city of Tampa, Florida is a ballplayer's town. It produced Wade Boggs and Lou Piniella. Both Dwight Gooden and Gary Sheffield graduated from Almirola's Hillsborough High School. A calendar year in this part of the country has traditionally been delineated by baseball and football seasons. That just makes Almirola's success climbing the NASCAR ranks even more impressive. "I was in somewhat of a hot bed there for athletes," Almirola said smiling. "But I had a really strong passion for racing and I know that made me somewhat of an outsider at school growing up. When friends would ask, 'Hey what are you doing this weekend?' I'd say, I was going racing. "That kind of separated me from a lot of kids at school -- not in a bad way, I wasn't an outcast in a negative way, but I didn't have as close a relationship with kids at school because I didn't go parties at their house Friday night after football games. I was always working on my race cars or go-karts and racing on the weekends. "I wasn't looking for something to do on the weekend. I already had it." "I was always going to be a NASCAR guy. My grandfather raced sprint cars, so obviously the open wheel path was there, too. He'd race at East Bay every Saturday night and occasionally travel around the country going to races. But every Sunday it was normal, to get up, eat breakfast, hang around the house and then watch the Cup race. That was routine around my parents and my grandparents. We love NASCAR." The result for Almirola has been a starring role driving his sport's most iconic car -- the No. 43 -- for the sport's biggest legend, Petty. NASCAR's crown jewel, Daytona International Speedway, is also Almirola's "home track" and fittingly the venue he won his first Sprint Cup Series race in 2014, the Coke Zero 400 -- exactly 30 years after his boss Petty scored his historic 200th victory at the track. Consider this: Petty's win total would be equivalent to Almirola winning every start he's made. RELATED: Almirola's Darlington scheme honors Petty " Darlington schemes Though that remains the only Cup victory so far for Almirola, it was enough to propel him into the 2014 Chase and make him only more eager to return. His team's best finish this year is a 12th-place in the season-opening Daytona 500. He's had four top-15 showings -- three in the season's opening four races. He ranks 25th in points entering Pocono, hopeful to score a win in one of the remaining six races to set the 16-driver Chase field. "I think the reality is we have struggled this season and you can tell by watching the race and looking at our results," Almirola said. "This year has been a struggle and we can't really put our finger on what's wrong. People often ask what's wrong and it sounds like a smart-aleck answer, but if I knew, we'd fix it. "There are a couple places looking ahead that have been strong for us. Bristol comes to top of mind. We had a chance to win there a couple years ago battling with Carl Edwards. And then there's (regular season finale) Richmond. Last year we went there kinda do or die to make the Chase and finished fourth, but had a really strong car and a legitimate chance to win that race, too. Those are kind of top of mind to me where we might go in and get a win." Listening to Almirola reflect on his first 200 races, there is both a fond memory of what it took to get to this point and a distinct urgency in his voice to succeed in a way worthy of the hard work already put in. "Making my 200th start really forces me to reflect and when I do that and think about doing it for Richard Petty, who is very much an American icon. And I can't help but reflect on my family, which has done so much and sacrificed so much to get me where I'm at," Almirola said. "It really is amazing."
NASCAR TV schedule: Aug. 31-Sept. 6
RELATED: See the full weekend schedule " NBC Sports Live Extra All times ET Monday, August 31 3 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 2 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Tuesday, Sept. 1 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 2:30 p.m., Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Title (re-air), FOX Sports 1 3 p.m., A Perfect Storm: The 1979 Daytona 500 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 4 p.m., Being: Stewart-Haas Racing (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 Wednesday, Sept. 2 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 Thursday, Sept. 3 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 4:30 p.m., NASCAR America: The States of NASCAR (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 7 p.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series East: Virginia International Raceway (tape), NBCSN 12:30 a.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series East: Virginia International Raceway (re-air), NBCSN Friday, Sept. 4 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 11 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBCSN 1 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, NBCSN 2 p.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series East: Virginia International Raceway (re-air), NBCSN 3 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, NBCSN 4:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBCSN 6:30 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 9:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice (re-air), NBCSN Saturday, Sept. 5 10 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice (re-air), NBCSN 11:30 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN 1 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 1:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN 3 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Countdown to Green, NBC 3:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200, NBC 11:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), NBCSN Sunday, Sept. 6 11 a.m., Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge: Virginia International Raceway (tape), FOX Sports 1 1 p.m., 1979 Daytona 500 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 1:30 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR America Sunday, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Countdown to Green, NBCSN 7 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 , NBC 11 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN Midnight, NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1 2:30 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane (re-air), FOX Sports 1 &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;