Miss Coors Light, Amanda Mertz, catches up with Joey Logano, the pole winner for the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
From Michael McDowell hitting a safety truck under caution to Joey Logano upset after a restart, check out some of the best in-car audio from the Federated Auto Parts 400.
RELATED: Full race results FORT WORTH, Texas — Brad Keselowski 's love affair with the Lone Star State continued in full force on Saturday with a hard-fought NASCAR XFINITY Series victory in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway . Keselowski grabbed the lead from Coors Light Polesitter Austin Dillon on Lap 189 of 200 after a restart with 16 laps left in the race. The No. 22 Team Penske Ford finished 1.137 seconds ahead of the No. 88 JR Motorsports entry driven by Kevin Harvick , who passed Dillon for the runner-up spot with four laps left. The victory was Keselowski's second of the season, his second at the 1.5-mile speedway and the 34th of his career. The eighth win of the season for the No. 22 Ford (accomplished by Keselowski and teammates Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney ) clinched the third straight XFINITY Series owner's championship for Roger Penske. "To get our team owner, Roger Penske, No. 4 as far as XFINITY championships go, I'm really proud of that," said Keselowski, who also won a series title as a driver in 2010. "When I came to ( Team Penske ) in 2010, we didn't have any, and now we have four in five years, so I'm really proud of that accomplishment." In his last four starts at Texas, Keselowski has won twice and finished second twice. In his last 12 XFINITY Series starts at the Cowtown track, Keselowski has posted 11 finishes of seventh or better. Victory Lane, however, hardly seemed a likely destination for Keselowski in the early going. Harvick and Kyle Busch dominated the opening laps and came to pit road running 1-2, respectively, for pit stops under caution on Lap 79. But a broken shifter proved Busch's undoing, as his No. 54 Toyota was limited to fourth gear and fell out of the running for the victory. Under that same caution, the second of the race, Harvick returned to pit road twice because of a loose wheel and spent the bulk of a subsequent 34-lap green-flag run regaining the positions he lost. Kyle Larson also took a turn at the front of the field, leading 50 laps before a tire rub finally popped his left rear on Lap 176 and sent his No. 42 Chevrolet spinning through the tri-oval and out of the lead, handing the top spot to Harvick, who was in close pursuit. Harvick came to pit road with the lead but left in third place under caution on Lap 181, leaving Keselowski and Dillon to battle for the top position after a restart on Lap 185. "First off, Austin Dillon was really good and he was one of the toughest guys to beat," Keselowski said in Victory Lane. "He ran a heck of a race. Harvick looked really good, Kyle Busch looked really good and Kyle Larson I thought was going to run away with the race until he had that flat. "There was a lot of competition out there today, and that makes this win very special for the whole Discount Tire Ford team." Erik Jones ran fourth behind Keselowski, Harvick and Austin Dillon , with Ty Dillon taking the fifth spot. Chris Buescher came home 11th but moved closer to the series title. With two races left, he leads eighth-place finisher and reigning series champ Chase Elliott by 24 points. "It isn't comfortable yet," Buescher warned. "It is a cushion that we have, and I guess you average that out to 12 spots per race, so if we go out and finish top-10 the last two, we should be in good shape. "That would be cutting it too close for comfort, but we need to just have some solid runs the next two weeks." Kevin Harvick snagged the runner-up position, finishing just behind fellow Cup-regular Keselowski. Kevin Harvick snagged the runner-up position, finishing just behind fellow Cup-regular Keselowski.
RELATED: Full lineup NASCAR XFINITY Series qualifying was canceled on Saturday as Air Titans continued to dry a damp Texas Motor Speedway . After posting the fastest lap (184.363 mph) during Friday's practice session, Austin Dillon will bring the 40-car field to the green in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge (3:30 p.m. ET, NBC, PRN, SiriusXM). Joining Dillon's No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet on the front row will be Sprint Cup Series pole winner Brad Keselowski after posting the second-fastest lap during XFINITY Series practice. Erik Jones , Friday's winner in the Camping World Truck Series, will start third in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. The No. 7 Chevrolet of Regan Smith and the No. 18 Toyota of Daniel Suarez will start fourth and fifth, respectively. Series points leader Chris Buescher will line up 12th.
RELATED: Race results FORT WORTH, Texas -- Points racing is an aspect of motorsports that drivers typically don't cop to, even though it's often the safest and most logical way to secure a championship as a season nears its closing races. XFINITY Series standings leader Chris Buescher reluctantly admitted he spent Saturday's O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge hoping to keep his points lead secure ahead of the season's final two races, avoiding trouble when he could and driving defensively. The Texas native would've loved to pick up his first home state win, but knows there's a bigger task at hand. "We had to points race a little bit today," Buescher said on pit road after coming home 11th. "You get in situations where you come up on lapped traffic, which was extremely difficult today. Came up on situations where we were three-wide and you just have to ease up. Especially if somebody had caught us from any distance; just try and cut them some slack in order to preserve our championship hope. There was some points racing today, as much as I hate to admit it. It's going to be part of our next two weeks." Buescher's points lead now sits at a healthy 24 points over defending series champion Chase Elliott and 30 over Ty Dillon , both of whom are expected to move up to the Sprint Cup Series in 2016 while Buescher continues to sharpen his skills in the XFINITY Series for another season. Considering he was already doing the math just minutes after stepping out of his No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Mustang, don't expect the strategy to change for Phoenix or Homestead -- especially as the intensity mounts. "It isn’t comfortable yet. I'm not using that word," Buescher said. "It is a cushion that we have and I guess you average that out to 12 spots per race so if we go out and finish top-10 the last two, we should be in good shape. That would be cutting it too close for comfort but we need to just have some solid runs the next two weeks.” Even though Buescher isn't comfortable enough to shift into cruise control -- figuratively speaking, of course -- you'd think the pressure would be on those below him in the standings, whose best bet is to just capitalize on any mistakes he makes while needing to turn in their strongest performances of the year. But is it? "I know as the weeks go on, (Buescher's) going to feel more pressure to make sure he doesn't mess up and hopefully I'm there to capitalize," said Dillon, who made up some ground as the highest-finishing series regular, in fifth. "I was just trying to win the race. We did the best that we could do today and with him finishing 11th, it was a good day for us. It's going to take that mistake and he's doing the right thing now and we've just got to keep managing our own race and try to get in Victory Lane and gain max points. "… If I'm wasting my time focusing on what (Buescher's) doing," Dillon said. "I'm going to be in trouble."
RELATED: After the Lap Sweepstakes One of the year's hottest events, NASCAR After The Lap Sponsored by Ford and Sprint (streaming on NASCAR.com Dec. 3), will be hosted by motorsports TV personalities Courtney Hansen and Rutledge Wood. Hansen recently chatted with NASCAR.com's Pat DeCola to talk about the event, Jeff Gordon and her impressive car collection. Pat DeCola: So, you've got After the Lap coming up. It's always a good time -- you excited? Courtney Hansen: I've done some work with NASCAR and NASCAR.com in the past and of course I'm a huge fan and they know that and I'm good friends with Rutledge Wood. I think NASCAR felt it would be a great fit and I'm thrilled to be taking part in After the Lap -- the most unpredictable time of the year in motorsports. PD: Definitely. It wasn't that long ago that we saw Jeff Gordon break dance, so drivers really tend to be a little relaxed. CH: I love it, I love it. Apparently there's a little bit of alcohol involved so you never know what's going to happen. I think it's really fun for the drivers let loose in that way and get personal in a way that fans never get to see. PD: Exactly; for 36 races a year, things are so tense. Especially when you get to the Chase when things really tighten up. The past few weeks have been especially crazy. CH: They're so wound up and focused all year, they finally get a chance to let loose in Vegas and have fun with their fans. I think it's awesome. PD: You come from a pretty deep racing background. I hear your family even used to own a race track. CH: Yes, we used to own Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota so I grew up there a pit kid and my father (Jerry Hansen; three career Sprint Cup Series starts) raced Sports Car Club of America and won 27 national SCCA championships so my whole life was just going from one track from the next and spending a whole lot of time at BIR. I've been an enthusiast since I was born and (motorsports) is definitely in my blood. Because of hosting all these automotive shows and working with NASCAR and doing auto show appearances all over the country, I've had the chance to learn so much about cars and see the coolest cars on the planet and get to know a lot of the amazing people in the automotive world. The love just grows stronger and the passion runs deeper every day. It's an addiction for me. PD: Have you done any racing yourself? CH: You know, my parents forbid it. They're both very supportive people and they gave us a lot of love and support over the years but they just steered us away from motorsports. They would let us do anything besides race. Because that was always deterred, I never went that route but my brother did a little bit of racing and my sister was always wanting to race NASCAR. I'm a good driver, though. Whenever somebody sees me drive they say, "Oh, you're actually a woman who can drive and I'm like -- hey now!" But I've test driven cars. I test drove Lamborghinis at Homestead with magazine editors and other things like that. You know, I've driven cars around race tracks, but I've never done professional racing. PD: So you've probably got a killer daily driver then. CH: I've got a couple. I'm all about the American classics. Those are my favorite in the mix. I have a '57 (Ford) Thunderbird with numbers matching the original. I have a '70 (Chevrolet Camaro) Z-28 that is also numbers matching original. I have a '70 (Ford Mustang) Mach 1 that I got from DJ Funk Master Flex. I have yet to pick it up; I'm picking it up in New York on Thanksgiving weekend. I have an Aston Martin DB9 that's like my reliable daily driver when I want to get quickly around Los Angeles. And then I have a baby-friendly SUV ... Range Rover Sport that's super-charged. And then (automotive designer) Chip Foose tricked out a 2004 Thunderbird for me. Now I'm looking for a MOPAR; a MOPAR will round out the equation. PD: Those all sound really cool. I drive a Honda Accord. Did you have a favorite driver growing up? CH: My dad! No, I mean, of course I was young, but I loved Richard Petty. I've always loved Mario Andretti, who's a dear family friend. Dale Earnhardt Jr . ... I totally support him and would love to see him win a championship. My dad was always number one, though. I also loved Paul Newman, the actor. He's a very close family friend and my dad taught him how to race. He actually stayed at our cabin in Minnesota for like 20 years and raced Trans-Am Series with my dad ... I loved watching Paul Newman race and he was a very good racer. PD: Jeff Gordon has a final shot at a fifth championship this Sunday at Homestead. As a long time fan of the sport, what does Gordon mean to you? CH: Absolutely (I'm a fan). Jeff Gordon is a legend in the sport and he has such a huge fan base. It would be amazing to see him go out with a bang and win the championship. I don't think anybody would be disappointed by that. I think it'd be phenomenal to see him win one last championship and go out with a bang. I wish Dale was still in the Chase, of course. He was so close. It was disappointing. I think he's got a championship in his future and he's going to have a killer next season. I like all the drivers so it's hard for me to say I'd like to see one win over the other, but I definitely think the fans would love it and I would love to see Jeff clinch another title before he retires. I interviewed him years ago at Martinsville when I was doing some hosting with NASCAR and he said a quote -- and maybe it's been said before by various people -- but I just loved the way that Jeff said it. I said, "What does it feel like to go 200 mph?" and he said, "The rush isn't about the speed. The rush is when you're faster than everybody else." I loved that he said that. I loved that quote. PD: When you're on the stage hosting After the Lap, that's probably going to be one of the first times where Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth have been forced to interact since their run-in -- do you plan on playing into that at all? CH: I think if the drivers are cool with it -- I imagine they'll both have their opinions and their stance on the topic -- and the fans are definitely going to want to dive into that one ... I'll roll with it. I'll keep it light and fun. I think the job of Rutledge and I is to manage the crowd and interact with the drivers and facilitate the questions in a way that keeps everything lighthearted and fun. Ultimately, that's what it's about. If it starts to get negative or contentious or if there's an energy that's not welcomed in that arena, we'll steer it in a positive direction, but I think it'll definitely be brought up. It's one of the hottest topics of the season.
NASCAR.com’s Costner Merrifield recaps the O’Reilly Auto Parts at Texas Motor Speedway as Brad Keselowski battles Austin Dillon in the final laps and grabs the NASCAR XFINITY Series win.
Ty Dillon talks about his fifth place finish in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway and how this finish puts him ahead of Regan Smith in points for the NASCAR XFINITY Championship.
Brad Keselowski celebrates in Victory Lane and talks about the battle in the final laps between him and Austin Dillon in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway.
Kyle Larson loses the lead after his left rear tire goes down with 24 laps to go in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway.