Matthew Dillner takes to the NASCAR XFINITY Series garage to see who is ready for short-track racing at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Jeff Gordon battles Rusty Wallace and Terry Labonte for the win in the 1997 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
JJ Yeley's strong run comes to an end after contact off Turn 2, which sent the No. 28 into the outside wall.
No. 4 dominant again but finishes eighth
Alan Cavanna and Matthew Dillner talk about needing to race in the high groove at Bristol Motor Speedway and make their picks for who will win the Irwin Tools Night Race.
Sprint Cup rookie will run tripleheader at Homestead RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Ryan Newman said he did what he had to do to pass Kyle Larson in the fourth turn on the final lap at Phoenix International Raceway to advance to the Championship Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. And, according to Larson, there appears to be no hard feelings. Through a team spokesperson Larson said, " Coming to the finish, there was a lot of cars racing really hard. I knew the 31 was right around me, and knew he needed to gain some spots to keep from getting eliminated from the Chase. It's a little upsetting he pushed me up to the wall, but I completely understand the situation he was in, and can't fault him for being aggressive there. I think a lot of drivers out here would have done something similar if they were in that position." Newman's 11th-place finish was enough to get him to the Championship Round of four drivers, while Larson finished 13th. The Richard Childress Racing driver said afterward of the final-lap move, "I kept it as clean, to me, as I possibly could." Newman needed one position to advance and was trailing Larson and Marcos Ambrose . In the final turn, Newman dived inside Larson and contact sent the rookie out of the racing groove , up the track and into the wall. "He did the same thing to me in a truck race for about $9,000 to win," Newman said. "To me, there's a Sprint Cup championship on the line. I kept it as clean as I could." As an interesting sidenote, in January of 2013 Larson shared this Throwback Thursday picture of himself and Newman. #ThrowbackThursday with @RyanNewman39 pic.twitter.com/owBdk4Nl — Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) January 25, 2013 Larson will keep busy this weekend, as he will participate in the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series season finales in addition to the Sprint Cup finale. Turner Scott Motorsports announced that Larson will drive the No. 42 truck at Homestead with sponsorship from ParkerStore. The company will also be on board as a primary and associate sponsor for Larson in several 2015 XFINITY Series races. ParkerStore was a partner of Larson's when he was racing midget cars in California. "I am really excited to be reuniting with ParkerStore," Larson said. "To be able to team up again with a sponsor from back in my midget racing days is really cool. I think we'll make a great team. I'm really looking forward to working with them on and off of the race track. I feel like I have some unfinished business at Homestead in the Truck Series, so I can't wait to get there and see what we can do." Proud to have my first partner @ParkerStore back with me. Too bad this old firesuit doesn't still fit. pic.twitter.com/234rmsGVn5 — Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) November 10, 2014 Here is the @ParkerStore truck I will be racing Friday night @HomesteadMiami . Let's get back to work! pic.twitter.com/Tt4qpKySUi — Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) November 10, 2014 MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Denny Hamlin paced the field in Saturday's opening practice Vote: Who will win at Martinsville? " Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: Practice results After qualifying 15th on Friday, Denny Hamlin powered his No. 11 Toyota to the top of the leaderboard during Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup practice for Sunday's STP 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) at Martinsville Speedway . The Joe Gibbs Racing driver posted a speed of 97.113 mph and has won four times at the paperclip oval, ranking third among active drivers in NASCAR's premier series. Just behind Hamlin was Jimmie Johnson , who wheeled his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet at 96.988 mph around the short track after overcoming an electrical issue midway through practice. Rounding out the top five were Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne , followed by Joe Gibbs Racing 's Carl Edwards . Coors Light Pole Award winner Joey Logano didn't show quite as much speed in today's practice session, ranking 15th on the leaderboard. Since qualifying 17th yesterday, reigning Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick seemed to have found his groove around the short track today, posting the 10th-fastest speed in the field. A little further back was Chase Elliott , who is making his Sprint Cup debut with Hendrick Motorsports in Sunday's STP 500 . The 19-year-old posted the 20th-fastest speed. Final Practice " Results Defending STP 500 winner Kurt Busch finally showed his speed during the final practice at Martinsville Speedway , powering his No. 41 Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet at 97.098 mph around the 0.526-mile track. Jimmie Johnson 's momentum from the earlier practice continued, as the No. 48 driver once again posted the runner-up speed on the leaderboard of 96.810 mph. Following Johnson was Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon , along with Joe Gibbs Racing 's Denny Hamlin , who topped the leaderboard in practice earlier in the day. Richard Childress Racing 's Ryan Newman , who posted the fastest speed during Friday's Sprint Cup practice session, rounded out the top five. Coors Light Pole Award winner Joey Logano seemed to find his power again in this practice, putting up the seventh-fastest speed on the leaderboard. Right behind Logano was 2014 Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick , who posted the eighth-fastest speed in his No. 4 Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., the last driver to celebrate a Sprint Cup win at Martinsville, continued to run in the middle of the pack, putting up the 18th-fastest speed. Chase Elliott , who will be making his first start in a Sprint Cup car with Hendrick Motorsports , slowed a bit in the final practice, ranking 27th on the leaderboard. The 19-year-old will make his Sprint Cup debut from the 27th position in Sunday's STP 500 . MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Harvick dominates in Phoenix, others overcome obstacles RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota AVONDALE, Ariz. -- For three of the four, there was nothing easy about advancing to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. For the fourth, it was a real Sunday drive. Kevin Harvick dominated Sunday's Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway , earning one of four berths in next week's championship-determining race. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver led three times for 264 laps, earning a perfect driver rating of 150.0 in scoring his fourth win of the season. He is the only driver advancing into the final based on winning one of the three races in the Eliminator Round. For three others -- Ryan Newman , Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin -- it was a stress-filled day that saw each battle back from adversity, their chances at advancing to Homestead-Miami Speedway as a Chase finalist changing on nearly every lap. With Harvick dominating, points positions determined their fate. Only a last-lap pass of Kyle Larson in the fourth turn gave Newman ( Richard Childress Racing ) the spot necessary to edge Jeff Gordon for the final spot in next week's championship. Denny Hamlin ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) had to battle back from a flat tire caused when a lug nut knocked the valve stem out of a tire early in this year's 35th Sprint Cup Series race. Joey Logano also was forced to make his way back through the field after going a lap down, his misfortune striking when a gas can became stuck during a pit stop. "I'm whipped," Newman said as he sat down on the pit-road wall after finishing 11th. "I haven't been that tired after 312 laps around here in a long time. … I didn't want to do what I did at the end, but I did what I had to do. I kept it as clean, to me, as I possibly could." Newman, needing one position to advance, was trailing Larson and Marcos Ambrose with two laps remaining. In the final turn on the final lap, he dove inside Larson’s Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, and contact sent Larson out of the racing groove , up the track and into the wall. "He did the same thing to me in a truck race for about $9,000 to win," Newman said. "To me, there's a Sprint Cup championship on the line. I kept it as clean as I could." Chris Heroy, Larson's crew chief, expressed no ill will toward Newman afterward. "He's got to do what he's got to do," Heroy said. "It's just racing. … We're here to try to win races. We'd gotten on a different strategy to try to win and it didn't work out. It's just part of racing." "That's just what you do," said Newman's team owner, Richard Childress. "I didn't know (how it would play out)." Hamlin, the pole winner, was the first to feel the sting of trouble. After leading the first 24 laps, he fell from third to 37th when a flat tire while pitting under caution sent him back to pit road. By Lap 75 he was a lap down before a subsequent caution for debris allowed him to get back on the lead lap. Unable to advance through the field, he fell a lap off the pace again just shy of the halfway point of the race, and then gained it back during a caution at Lap 207. "We definitely didn't have that strong of a car today but we had a strong car on restarts, and that kind of allowed us to be aggressive and pick up a handful of spots; then a caution would come out, we'd pit, get a little bit better tires, then the guys that stayed out would make up a few more spots," Hamlin said of his fifth-place finish. "And next thing you know we ended up finishing in the top five somehow, some way." "I need a new stomach lining after all that," said crew chief Darian Grubb, who won the 2011 title as crew chief for Tony Stewart . "It's tough -- being in, being out, having just a fluke flat tire when a lug nut got caught in the wheel. I've got the valve stem in my pocket. … Just stuff like that we fought all day long to get back." Logano, sixth on the day, was penalized during a round of pit stops at Lap 124 when he pulled out of his pit stall with the fuel can still attached to the No. 22 Ford. He also found it difficult to navigate his way back to the front after restarting the race in 27th. But, similar to Hamlin, the miscue occurred early enough to provide a window of opportunity. "I don't really know what got us behind but the same deal as last week, you get back there and you're in the danger zone," he said. "The 18 (of Kyle Busch ) spun out, (we) went down a lap, got our lap back. We're in (the championship) though, one to go for all the money." In the meantime, Harvick wheeled his way to his second consecutive win at Phoenix and career win No. 27 in the series. While it might have been dominant, it was also necessary. Eighth in points entering Sunday's race, Harvick would have not been one of the four drivers advancing to next week's championship without the victory. "I guess that is what it feel like to hit a walk-off (home run) in extra innings there," he said. "This (car) here has just been bad to the bone. I could tell we were probably going to have to win because everybody was running up front of the pack that we were racing against. … "I think we have been through a lot this year. They put our backs against the wall; we put it in Victory Lane and get to go on." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Drivers give their takes on California dustup Vote: Who will win at Martinsville? " Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Jeff Gordon said he felt he had run out of options. David Ragan said he thought he could hold Gordon off. The result was a spin by Ragan during last weekend's Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway that brought out the day's first caution less than 25 laps into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Ragan, filling in for the fourth consecutive week for the injured Kyle Busch in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota, said Friday at Martinsville Speedway that "at the end of the day, I certainly got the bad end of the deal." "I was in the preferred line but Jeff was a little faster than me at the time," Ragan said before heading out to take part in the day’s lone practice at the 0.526-mile track. "Looking back at it, I probably would have just let him by knowing that I was going to be the one that was coming off Turn 4 backwards." The two were battling for seventh place when Gordon's Chevrolet drew close enough to the left-rear of Ragan's car to send it into a spin. The move came after Gordon had shot underneath, only to see the JGR driver flash back by on the high side of the 2-mile track. "We were moving forward at that time – both me and (teammate) Jimmie (Johnson)," the four-time Sprint Cup champion said. "We caught David. He was definitely struggling and trying to hang on until the pit stop where they could make some adjustments. He was letting off real early in the corner." Johnson cleared Ragan and had driven away when Gordon made his initial move to the inside . While he could have moved up the track and in front of Ragan, Gordon said he thought "I'm not going to do a slide job on the guy this early in the race. We'll see if he wants to race me hard or not.” And that, Gordon said, is what transpired. "He raced me hard on the outside," the Hendrick Motorsports driver said. "A couple laps later I got inside him again, and this time I crowded him a little bit more. He got all over my door; got me loose and so I basically said at that point that I was going to have to do it the hard way. "I know on the radio I said I may have to use the bumper, and I would have if I could have gotten to him and tapped him a little. But I didn't have to. I just got up to him and he was already pretty loose. I just took the air off of him to just get him to lift, but he didn't lift. He stayed in the gas and spun out." Ragan said he didn't give Gordon the spot because he felt "maybe once I got my track bar adjusted a little bit and kind of got my rhythm I felt like I might could pull away from him. "I did feel like once I could get my car going in the top lane that I could be a little better. Jeff was a little impatient. He didn't do anything wrong, he just didn't give me a break. And I didn't give him a break either. "What I can learn from that is it was early in the race, that one spot didn't matter. I could have had a little bit of give and take and the 24 could have had a little bit of give and take. It's one of those things that at the end of the day I got the bad end of the deal and that's sucked. I learned from it and moved on." The two spoke briefly after the race, the fifth of 36 that make up the 2015 Sprint Cup Series schedule and the final stop of a three-race West Coast swing that began in Las Vegas and moved to Phoenix before wrapping up at Auto Club "I don't expect somebody to just let me go by them, but when you're that much faster than somebody else, you have to make a choice: 'How do I want to race at this point and this stage in the race? Is it worth it to me?'" Gordon said Friday. "In my opinion and on a track that was that difficult to pass on, I was going to get up behind him. I never touched him, but I definitely took the air off of him." "Jeff's obviously a champion and a smart racer and you've got to give him some respect," Ragan said. "I raced him like I would anybody else. But at the beginning of a race we both have to have some give and take; he's lucky that he didn't get collected somehow. If I would have spun a little earlier in the corner and he couldn't turn down, he very well could have been collected too and it would have been a bad deal for both of us." Gordon eventually finished 10th while Ragan was 18th. He finished 17th in the season-opening Daytona 500 while driving for Front Row Motorsports , and has finished 18th, 22nd, 21st and 18th since taking over for Busch. "I feel like the last couple of weeks have been good," Ragan said. "I'm disappointed that we haven't gotten a good finish to show for (it), I think we've had some pretty good cars. "I think we've had a top-10 car every week besides Phoenix, and that's disappointing when you don't finish where you think you should – for several reasons, from mistakes on my behalf to just poor racing luck to situations like we had last week. "We could win one of these things, break off with two or three top-fives in a row and it wouldn't surprise me. But we've just got to put a whole weekend together." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
GarageCam takes you inside the Sprint Cup Series garage at Martinsville Speedway.