2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Owner Standings
MORE: Monster Energy Series owner standings " Camping World owner standings Pos. Owner Car No. Points Ldr Nxt Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Attempts 1 Roger Penske 22 320 0 0 0 3 3 7 2 Joe Gibbs 20 277 -43 -43 2 2 12 7 3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1 260 -60 -17 0 2 2 7 4 Chip Ganassi 42 252 -68 -8 1 1 6 7 5 Rick Hendrick 9 244 -76 -8 0 1 1 7 6 J D Gibbs 18 231 -89 -13 1 3 3 7 7 Richard Childress 2 205 -115 -26 0 0 0 7 8 Richard Childress 3 201 -119 -4 0 0 0 7 9 Kelley Earnhardt-Miller 7 200 -120 -1 1 0 5 7 10 Jack Roush 16 184 -136 -16 1 0 5 7 11 Richard Childress 21 180 -140 -4 0 1 1 7 12 Jack Roush 6 180 -140 0 0 0 0 7 13 Matt Kaulig 11 164 -156 -16 0 0 0 7 14 Chip Ganassi 48 163 -157 -1 0 0 0 7 15 Joe Gibbs 19 160 -160 -3 0 0 0 7 16 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5 157 -163 -3 0 0 0 7 17 James Whitener 28 139 -181 -18 0 0 0 7 18 Gene Haas 00 130 -190 -9 0 0 0 7 19 Richard Childress 33 128 -192 -2 0 0 0 7 20 Maria Gonzalez Hernandez 24 125 -195 -3 0 0 0 7 21 Mark Smith 14 111 -209 -14 0 0 0 7 22 Richard Childress 62 108 -212 -3 0 0 0 7 23 Rod Sieg 39 108 -212 0 0 0 0 7 24 Maurice Gallagher Jr. 23 103 -217 -5 0 0 0 7 25 Michelle Gosselin 90 88 -232 -15 0 0 0 7 26 Tony Stewart 41 86 -234 -2 0 1 1 2 27 Johnny Davis 01 86 -234 0 0 0 0 7 28 Tony Clements 51 83 -237 -3 0 0 0 7 29 Gary Cogswell 0 81 -239 -2 0 0 0 7 30 Gary Keller 4 81 -239 0 0 0 0 7 31 Fred Biagi 98 76 -244 -5 0 0 0 5 32 Jimmy Means 52 74 -246 -2 0 0 0 7 33 Roger Penske 12 64 -256 -10 1 0 0 2 34 Bobby Dotter 07 64 -256 0 0 0 0 7 35 Danielle Long 40 63 -257 -1 0 0 0 7 36 Rick Hendrick 88 49 -271 -14 0 0 0 1 37 Bj McLeod 78 48 -272 -1 0 0 0 7 38 Jessica Smith-Mcleod 99 47 -273 -1 0 0 0 7 39 Jessica Smith-Mcleod 8 41 -279 -6 0 0 0 7 40 Rick Gdovic 46 37 -283 -4 0 0 0 2 41 Danielle Long 13 20 -300 -17 0 0 0 7 42 Mike Harmon 74 16 -304 -4 0 0 0 7 43 Lynn Cockrum 25 12 -308 -4 0 0 0 2 44 Mark Smith 44 10 -310 -2 0 0 0 1 45 Pamela Sieg 93 6 -314 -4 0 0 0 6 46 Victor Obaika 97 4 -316 -2 0 0 0 6 47 Cindy Shepherd 89 2 -318 -2 0 0 0 5 48 Victor Obaika 177 0 -320 -2 0 0 0 1
2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Owner Standings
MORE: XFINITY owner standings " Camping World owner standings Pos. Owner Car No. Points Ldr Nxt Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Attempts 1 Chip Ganassi Racing 42 360 0 0 1 2 7 8 2 Hendrick Motorsports 24 333 -27 -27 0 2 2 8 3 Furniture Row Racing 78 323 -37 -10 1 5 10 8 4 Team Penske 22 291 -69 -32 0 1 1 8 5 Team Penske 2 277 -83 -14 2 0 10 8 6 Hendrick Motorsports 48 244 -116 -33 2 0 10 8 7 Chip Ganassi Racing 1 244 -116 0 0 0 0 8 8 Stewart-Haas Racing 14 239 -121 -5 0 0 0 8 9 Stewart-Haas Racing 4 239 -121 0 0 3 3 8 10 Wood Brothers Racing 21 228 -132 -11 0 2 2 8 11 Joe Gibbs Racing 18 214 -146 -14 0 1 1 8 12 Furniture Row Racing 77 192 -168 -22 0 0 0 8 13 Roush Fenway Racing 6 192 -168 0 0 0 0 8 14 Richard Childress Racing 31 186 -174 -6 1 0 5 8 15 Joe Gibbs Racing 11 184 -176 -2 0 0 0 8 16 Roush Fenway Racing 17 168 -192 -16 0 0 0 8 17 Hendrick Motorsports 5 164 -196 -4 0 0 0 8 18 Stewart-Haas Racing 41 163 -197 -1 1 0 5 8 19 Richard Petty Motorsports 43 161 -199 -2 0 0 0 8 20 Joe Gibbs Racing 20 159 -201 -2 0 0 0 8 21 Richard Childress Racing 3 154 -206 -5 0 0 0 8 22 Joe Gibbs Racing 19 144 -216 -10 0 0 0 8 23 Germain Racing 13 144 -216 0 0 0 0 8 24 Hendrick Motorsports 88 134 -226 -10 0 0 0 8 25 Richard Childress Racing 27 127 -233 -7 0 0 0 8 26 JTG Daugherty Racing 47 116 -244 -11 0 0 0 8 27 Leavine Family Racing 95 102 -258 -14 0 0 0 8 28 JTG Daugherty Racing 37 94 -266 -8 0 0 0 8 29 TriStar Motorsports 72 94 -266 0 0 0 0 8 30 Stewart-Haas Racing 10 91 -269 -3 0 0 0 8 31 GO FAS Racing 32 90 -270 -1 0 0 0 8 32 Front Row Motorsports 34 88 -272 -2 0 0 0 8 33 Front Row Motorsports 38 79 -281 -9 0 0 0 8 34 Premium Motorsports 15 68 -292 -11 0 0 0 8 35 BK Racing 83 52 -308 -16 0 0 0 8 36 BK Racing 23 39 -321 -13 0 0 0 8 37 Circle Sport / TMG 33 34 -326 -5 0 0 0 8 38 Tommy Baldwin Racing 7 27 -333 -7 0 0 0 2 39 Beard Motorsports 175 26 -334 -1 0 0 0 1 40 Premium Motorsports 55 15 -345 -11 0 0 0 7 41 Rick Ware Racing 51 15 -345 0 0 0 0 8 42 Gaunt Brothers Racing 96 1 -359 -14 0 0 0 1
Second place isn't first loser for points leader Larson
RELATED: Phoenix race results " Series standings MORE: Buy tickets for Auto Club AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Kyle Larson figured he was in the best possible position, sitting in fourth place with two fresh tires and facing a two-lap shootout on a hot, slick Phoenix Raceway track. Turns out that wasn't the case. Contact on the restart with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. allowed Ryan Newman to slip away and leave the Chip Ganassi Racing driver second for the third time in four races this season and the fourth time since last year's season-ending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. Sunday's Camping World 500 was the first of two stops at the 1-mile track this season for the series. "This one stings because I felt like I was in the best spot out of anybody there to line up fourth on two tires," Larson said afterward. "I just turned across Ricky's nose and got sideways, killed both of our runs off (Turn) 2 and allowed Newman to get out on us." Larson also finished second at Atlanta, where he led seven laps, and Las Vegas, where he led none. On a hot day in the Arizona desert, he led three laps but ran in the top five for practically the entire day. Ganassi teammate Jamie McMurray finished 15th but also ran higher for much of the day. A crash by Team Penske's Joey Logano on Lap 308 of the scheduled 312-lap race set the stage for the two-lap shootout and sent much of the field scurrying to pit road. Newman, Stenhouse and Martin Truex Jr. opted to remain on the track, gambling on old tires and two miles of asphalt. Larson, first off pit road, lined up on the outside behind Newman; Stenhouse was on the inside with Truex behind. But Newman was starting to pull away when Larson tried to squeeze his way low entering Turn 1, only to make contact with Stenhouse in the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Both drivers were able to hang on -- no harm, no foul -- although Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing) shot past Stenhouse on the final lap to grab third. RELATED: This Kyle Larson-Ryan Newman photo is best of all time The finish put Larson, 24, on top of the points standings -- he leads Brad Keselowski (Team Penske) 184-178 after four races. "It's really, really cool to be the points leader right now," Larson said. "That was a goal of mine going into today. So thanks to everybody at Chip Ganassi Racing for all your hard work. "We'll hopefully continue to have this speed in our race cars and maybe close some of these races out." Larson is the first driver since Carl Edwards in 2011 to finish second in three consecutive races. Edwards closed the season with runner-up finishes at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead. Larson won his first (and to date, only) Monster Energy Series race last year, at Michigan. Sunday's race at Phoenix was just his 115th career start in the series. Second place isn't winning, but he said he's yet to grow tired of the result. "We've never had that speed," Larson said. "It's a lot of fun right now. I'm sure if I ran second for the next eight weeks, yeah, it's probably going to grow old. "But, yeah, it's so cool to be one of the fastest cars every week. I feel like I've got a shot to win every week at a race track. "It's weird running all these seconds. It took me like three years to finish second in sprint cars. Now I finish second like every week, so (it's) a little weird but maybe we’ll turn them into wins soon." &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
No. 78 crew chief fined for lug nut issue post-Bristol
NASCAR issued penalties to two national series teams following the races at Bristol Motor Speedway: The No. 78 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team of Furniture Row Racing and the No. 22 NASCAR XFINITY Series team of Team Penske. Martin Truex Jr. drove the No. 78 Toyota to an eighth-place finish at Bristol, but NASCAR officials found one of the car's 20 lug nuts was improperly installed in a post-race check. Crew chief Cole Pearn was fined $10,000 for the violation. Pearn is in his third season atop the box at Furniture Row Racing, having guided Truex to six wins during that span and the third position in the 2017 driver standings . The penalty is the lightest for post-race lug-nut violations, under the updated deterrence system that NASCAR competition officials released Feb. 16. The penalty for two improperly fastened lug nuts rises to a $20,000 fine and one-race crew chief suspension. Three or more unsecured lug nuts results in a L1-grade penalty with a three-race ban for the crew chief, a $65,000 fine and the loss of 35 championship points in both the drivers' and team owners' standings . In the XFINITY Series, the No. 22 team of Team Penske was found to have failed post-race technical inspection for measuring too low in the left front. Ryan Blaney drove the No. 22 Ford to a second-place finish but that result is encumbered. Any potential playoff benefits relating to owner standings (since Blaney is eligible for XFINITY Series driver points ) from that position would essentially cease to exist as well. No. 22 crew chief Greg Erwin has been fined $10,000 and suspended from the next XFINITY Series points race. The team was also assessed with the loss of 10 XFINITY Series car owner points .
Zalenski survives Phoenix melee for first NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series win
RELATED: See the complete iRacing schedule Rookie NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series driver Bobby Zalenski scored his first victory at Phoenix International Raceway Tuesday night, holding off Ray Alfalla and Ryan Luza on two late-race restarts. Zalenski took the lead on a restart with ten laps to go when leader Andrew Fayash missed a shift. Logan Clampitt, who was restarting second, also moved alongside Fayash as the three raced door-to-door into Turn 1. Zalenski had such a sharp angle into the corner he could not keep his car on the bottom which led him to hit Clampitt, spinning the erstwhile series leader out of contention. Zalenski escaped with minimal damage and had the race lead, but he would need to execute on one more restart with the two strongest drivers in 2017 thus far right behind him. The green flew with five laps left but before Alfalla and Luza could challenge for the win, Michael Conti spun Fayash entering Turn One leading to a race-ending caution. Alfalla finished runner-up, right in front of Luza as both rebounded from their problems at Texas. Dylan Duval finished fourth and Zack Novak was fifth, the first time either driver has finished in the top five this season. Matt Bussa started on pole and led the race to the green flag, building a comfortable lead on Luza during the opening laps. Bussa led the entirety of the first run, only relinquishing the lead to pit for tires and fuel on Lap 53. However, Bussa would not return to the front after the stops as several sim racers short-pitted including Michael Conti, who assumed the lead. A caution on Lap 59 brought nearly all the lead lap cars back into the pits for tires with Conti leading the pack off pit road. Conti would restart third but only took one lap to pass Adam Gilliland and Marcus Richardson to retake the lead. Unlike the first run when Luza kept in touch with Bussa, nobody came close to matching Conti's speed on the long run as the No. 5 drove off and left the field. Like Bussa, Conti led until pitting for routine service on Lap 106 and just like the first round of stops, a caution interrupted the pit cycle before it was complete, costing Conti and other frontrunners some track position. The final 40 laps were quite the wreckfest as drivers tried to gain positions after restarts. Chris Overland held the lead briefly but Fayash got by shortly after the restart. Despite not showing speed early in the race, Fayash looked quite strong out front and led until his unfortunate missed shift and subsequent crash one restart later. Luza is back on top of the standings thanks to his third-place effort and Clampitt's troubles. He leads Zalenski by five points while Clampitt slips to third, seven points adrift. Alfalla sits fourth, but is within striking distance as he is only 13 points out of the lead. Darik Bourdeau rounds out the top five, 32 points back. Next up is a date with Richmond International Raceway, the second-consecutive short track on the schedule. Look for many of the same faces to be up front as Luza, Alfalla, Clampitt and Zalenski look to break away from the field. With 2017 looking like one of the most competitive NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series seasons ever, can anyone break away and become the favorite for the sim racing title? Find out in two weeks on iRacingLive!
Matt Kenseth, JGR welcome new sponsor in Circle K
RELATED: Kenseth's career stats CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Circle K, an international chain of convenience stores, will serve as the primary sponsor for six races this season with driver Matt Kenseth and the No. 20 Toyota fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The multi-year sponsorship was announced Wednesday by JGR and Circle K officials at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "It seems like today, in general and not just in racing, there's always more negative stories than positive so for me it's always exciting to get a new sponsor into the sport at whatever level it's at," Kenseth said. "… I always feel like that's a positive for whole industry. I'm glad they're on my car." The Circle K sponsorship will debut on the car at this month's race at Richmond, and will return for races at Talladega and Charlotte in May, Kentucky in July as well as Texas and Phoenix in November. According to officials, the company will have associate branding on the car for those races in which it is not the primary sponsor. Kenseth was sponsored by Dollar General through 2016 before that company left NASCAR. The No. 20 entry has featured branding from DeWalt (Daytona, Atlanta), BlueDEF (Las Vegas), Tide Pods (Phoenix, Martinsville), PEAK (Auto Club) and Toyota "Let's Go Places" (Texas) thus far this season. RELATED: Tide back on Kenseth's No. 20 car " PEAK to sponsor JGR duo "In a perfect world you'd have your car fully-funded at a high level (for) years in advance," Kenseth said. "That would be the best case for everybody. But in today's environment, there are very few cars that are actually like that." Circle K has stores in 41 states and is owned by Canadian-based parent company Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. While the company has had previous NASCAR affiliations, this year's sponsorship is a first in the role of a primary sponsor. "It's an exciting day for us, for all of our other sponsors as well," team owner Joe Gibbs said. "It's also a huge benefit for Circle K to be matched with these companies." JGR, which also fields teams for Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Daniel Suarez in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, still has open inventory on the No. 20 entry, but Kenseth said he's been more focused on competition issues of late. "I've been more worried about how we get our season turned around, running up front and hopefully winning some races," said the 2003 series champion. RELATED: Kenseth likens himself to Super Bowl-winning QB Since joining JGR in 2013, Kenseth has won 14 times. He won twice last year and finished fifth in the points standings . So far in '17, he's managed three top 10s, but three finishes of 36th or worse as well and sits 22nd in points as the series heads to Bristol this week for Sunday's Food City 500 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). When it was suggested his season has been hit or miss, Kenseth noted that he's "hit a lot of stuff. We haven't missed much." "I think looking at just the (No.) 20 that we’ve been off," he said. "… (Other than Atlanta), we just have not run very well really. … Some things are circumstances but I think if we can get running better, that solves a lot of your problems. "We're off a little bit for sure. It seems like the window is pretty small right now; it's easy to miss it." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Young drivers prepare to step up as Dale Jr. readies for goodbye
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Richmond RICHMOND, Va. -- The cyclical churn of talent in the NASCAR garage took another turn this week with Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s announcement that 2017 will be his final year in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. His impending departure follows those of household names Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards -- all in short order since the end of the 2015 season. In outlining his decision to leave the cockpit, Earnhardt was asked about NASCAR's ability to reload with a new generational thrust in driver star power. He named Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott among the sport's several young aces in waiting, offering assurance that the NASCAR roster remained vibrant and strong. As for those young stars? Asked upon their Friday arrival at Richmond International Raceway about their readiness to assume the mantle, the newest and brightest of those newer drivers might not be waiting much longer. "Although it's sad that we have all our veterans and heroes retiring, I think NASCAR is in a great position with all the young talent that they have in the (Monster Energy) Series currently, and really in every feeder series below them, there's a lot of young guys with great equipment and good backing," said 24-year-old Kyle Larson, the series' current points leader. "So, I think the competition will be good. And, there's a lot of personalities, too, with people getting themselves out there on social media and stuff like that, showing their personalities. So, I feel like we're in a good spot to have some new stars step up." Larson and Elliott -- both 20-somethings -- have already begun to make that push on the track, sitting 1-2 in the series standings . They've been joined by 23-year-old Ryan Blaney, plus rookies Erik Jones, 20, and Daniel Suarez, 25, as just some of the newest faces in the garage. The current transition of the sport's paradigm isn't a new phenomenon. If the genealogy of NASCAR stardom read like the Book of Chronicles, it would include a traditional biblical list of "begats." The career of Lee Petty begat Richard Petty's, Fireball Roberts' and Ned Jarrett's careers begat David Pearson's, which begat Cale Yarborough's, Bobby Allison's and Darrell Waltrip's. Then came Earnhardt and Elliott and Wallace, then Gordon, then Stewart and then Jimmie Johnson -- all with a host of other dynamic personalities in between. Mere mention as a part of that incoming next wave, with the potential to join a list of stars with Hall of Fame clout ranks as heady territory. Being singled out by the series' 14-time Most Popular Driver as one of those candidates is too, something that Blaney -- Earnhardt's neighbor and friend -- accepts with a degree of pride and reverence. "He has a very big impact of what people think, whether it is fans or in the garage area," Blaney said. "Him talking up younger drivers or the sport in general is going to get his fans excited about the future of going forward even though he won't be driving next year. What he says will be very important. I know he has always said great things about the sport and drivers in it and been very positive, which makes him a great person and great ambassador for the sport. It means a lot to hear him say those things. "Like I said, I know he says that about a lot of young drivers and try to set everything up for the future, but it is nice to be a part of that conversation when he speaks." Gracefully making the transition to stardom is a multi-pronged challenge, requiring both on-track performance and a proficiency in engaging with fans new and old. The former requires both raw talent and a full team effort. As for the latter, Suarez said there's no secret code to making that connection. "I think it's very simple -- it's just being yourself," said Suarez, in his first year of replacing Edwards at Joe Gibbs Racing. "I think every single driver out there in the garage has different personalities: Dale has his personality; Kyle has his personality; Jimmie Johnson has his personality; I have my personality; and everyone is different. When every single driver can go out there to be himself, I think that's very cool, and the fans like that. "You know, so far it's what I've been doing and I think it's the right thing to do. But like I said, overall, Dale has been more than a role model for the sport and it's great what he has done." </p>
Dale Jr. opens up at Richmond after retirement announcement
RELATED: Dale Jr. announces retirement " Reactions " Relive every Dale Jr. win RICHMOND, Va. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he had some concerns about how the bombshell news he dropped on the NASCAR world this week would be received, worried that it would be upsetting, met with a mix of emotions. He seemed relieved by the generally positive feedback and strong outpouring of support after making his decision to retire from full-time driving at season's end. With that part behind him, Earnhardt turns his attention to getting "back to my routine" this weekend at Richmond International Raceway, site of Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM Radio) for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. But his at-track habits might take on a more freewheeling approach, with little to lose in the 28 points -paying races left in his career. "The team, the guys, they all and myself we would love to win some races," Earnhardt said Friday after opening practice at the .75-mile track, where he is a three-time premier-series winner. "I'm going to say 'a race,' but 'some races' would be great going out in your last season to get some victories. We just want to go to Victory Lane one more time, just to get that experience one more time would be awesome for me and I think the guys would love it, for sure. "But, I certainly did feel a lot more relaxed now. I don't know whether it's because I finally got to tell everybody and let everybody know what we are doing, get that over with, but I certainly felt real relaxed today in the garage during practice. I felt like there was less pressure from somewhere and a large amount, a lot different." Earnhardt, 42, announced Tuesday that 2017 would be his final year driving the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. Sunday's race will mark the unofficial start of his farewell tour, which is sure to come with a heaping helping of tributes and parting gifts. Earnhardt sits 24th in the series standings with just one top-five finish in the eight races so far this year, leaving him in need of a victory or momentous rally in the points to assure a playoff berth. Reaching the postseason by either method might require some risk-taking, something Earnhardt said is a ripe possibility. Earnhardt related the tale of his former crew chief Steve Letarte, now an analyst with NBC Sports' broadcast team. Letarte had announced before the 2014 season that he would mount one final campaign with the No. 88 group before making the transition to the television booth the following year. With his plans in place and a firm sense of direction, Letarte and Earnhardt picked their spots for well-calculated gambles and combined for their most successful year together -- four victories, including the driver's second Daytona 500 win, his first grandfather clock trophy from Martinsville Speedway and a season sweep of both Pocono Raceway events. "He called that whole season completely different," Earnhardt said. "He was more aggressive and I think it was because he had the freedom to be that way. He was like, 'What if it doesn't work?' And a lot of times it ended up working out. We won both of those Pocono races on pit calls that he made. We didn't just outrun everybody. There are things he did in the middle of the race that we might not have done had he not had his mind made up what he was doing and 'Hey, this is my last hurrah, we are going to go for it' kind of attitude. "I noticed that whole year he was a much easier going, approachable. I mean he's pretty damn likable, but he was much more likable and easier to be around. Everything rolled off his back, we didn't get frustrated as easily and I am anticipating that being similar for me." Also in the no-pressure department: The search for Earnhardt's replacement in the No. 88 Chevrolet. Tuesday's announcement included a note that Hendrick Motorsports would reach that decision at a later date. XFINITY Series rookie William Byron, a top Hendrick prospect, demurred earlier Friday when asked about the organization's soon-approaching driver vacancy, saying only that he was eager to get his chance to race in NASCAR's top division. For Earnhardt, he remains an interested party invested in the team's success, now and after his departure. He said he wouldn't demand to be included in the discussions to find his successor, but said he'd value the opportunity to offer his input. "I can't read their minds, but I'm sure they all have a direction that they want to go and they have ideas," Earnhardt said of Hendrick Motorsports' management team. "There are just things about the company that I'm not quite as in touch with that they are that will help them make that decision. They probably have everybody in the world telling them what they ought to do and they don't need me, but if they ask for it I'm certainly wanting to be involved in that. "I want the team to have more success. I want it to be … I said this every offseason: Every offseason is a chance to be better than you were the year before. It's an opportunity to make those personnel changes and those hard decisions. It's a chance to do it, the things you can't do in the middle of the river, in the middle of the season."
Logano crew chief fined; two NXS teams lose points
Todd Gordon, crew chief for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano , has been fined $10,000 for a lug nut infraction following the completion of Sunday night's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway . The No. 22 Team Penske group was one of several Sprint Cup Series teams to receive either penalties or warnings, according to the NASCAR penalty report issued Wednesday. Meanwhile, NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Brendan Gaughan 's task of advancing to the title round of the series' inaugural Chase suffered another setback with the loss of 10 championship driver and owner points for a body height violation at Texas, which the penalty report referred to as an "encumbered finish." Gaughan enters this weekend's race at Phoenix International Raceway eighth in points among the eight Chase drivers still in title contention. The points loss leaves him now trailing fourth-place Blake Koch by 33 points . Only the top four advance to the Championship 4 to compete for the series title Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Shane Wilson, crew chief of the No. 62 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, was fined $10,000 for the violation. Gaughan's team wasn't the only one to lose 10 points for a violation at Texas. The No. 88 Chevrolet fielded by JR Motorsports, and driven at Texas by Sprint Cup Series regular Kevin Harvick , was also penalized 10 championship owner points and crew chief Dave Elenz was fined $10,000. The No. 88 team appealed its penalty today at the R&D Center, but was denied. The team can now appeal to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer. Because the finishing positions are considered "encumbered," they would not be factored into any potential tie-breaker scenarios. No driver points were deducted because Harvick does not earn points in any series other than Sprint Cup . The No. 88 teams remains seventh in the owner points standings . For Logano, his No. 22 Ford was found to have only 19 of 20 lug nuts secured following his runner-up finish to Carl Edwards ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) on Sunday. He is one of six drivers vying for a berth in the championship-determining Chase for the Sprint Cup . Edwards and six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson ( Hendrick Motorsports ) have already secured berths in the Nov. 20 finale. Gordon is the fourth crew chief to be fined $10,000 for a lug nut violation, joining Greg Ives ( Hendrick Motorsports No. 88), Drew Blickensderfer ( Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43) and Brian Pattie ( Roush Fenway Racing No. 16). Previous lug nut infractions carried a heftier fine and included suspension before NASCAR officials adjusted the penalty. In addition to the penalty on the No. 22 team, 14 other teams received written warnings for failing laser or template inspection. • Because their teams failed pre-qualifying template inspection three times, drivers Kevin Harvick , Tony Stewart , Edwards and Martin Truex Jr . will lose 15 minutes of practice time this week at Phoenix International Raceway . • The teams of Trevor Bayne , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch , Matt Kenseth , Kurt Busch and Matt DiBenedetto received written warnings for failing template inspection twice during the pre-qualifying inspection process. Bayne and Hamlin served penalties at Texas for having four written warnings. • Failing the laser inspection three times in pre-qualifying inspection will cost driver AJ Allmendinger 15 minutes of practice at Phoenix as well. • Written warnings, with no loss of practice time, were given to the teams of Austin Dillon (LIS, pre-race and pre-qualifying), Greg Biffle (LIS, pre-qualifying) and David Ragan (LIS, pre-race). • Additional XFINITY Series penalties from Texas were a $5,000 fine for crew chief Kevin Meendering (JR Motorsports) for a lug nut violation; and a 15-minute loss of practice time for the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing entry at Phoenix. Kyle Busch is scheduled to compete for the team this weekend. Four other teams received written warnings for inspection issues with no loss of practice time.
Logano upbeat about test and season but itching to win
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Bristol DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Joey Logano was his typical smiles and optimism at Daytona International Speedway on a sunny Wednesday afternoon, where five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams tested for both NASCAR and Goodyear before enjoying the first off weekend of the 2017 season. "Obviously, tests are hard to come by these days, there aren't many of them," Logano said. "Yesterday (Tuesday) was interesting with a lot of different packages coming from NASCAR and today a Goodyear test. We did four 25-lap runs in a five-car pack to give them some data this morning and help them make decisions on their tire selections. "Now this afternoon we get to play a little bit. The fun part's about to start for me." NASCAR had the drivers -- also including Alex Bowman (in Jimmie Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevy), Stewart-Haas Racing's Danica Patrick, Richard Childress Racing's Ryan Newman and Furniture Row Racing rookie Erik Jones -- try out various packages. Specifically on Tuesday they tried variations of a new NASCAR design to keep the race cars from going airborne easily or frequently. Wednesday morning the drivers worked on tire feedback for Goodyear and then the afternoon was dedicated to more individual team-centric goals. It's been an accomplished early portion of the season for the 2015 Daytona 500 winner Logano, who said he was glad the teams had this test on the 2.5-mile high banks. As good as his Team Penske group has performed this year, he hasn't won a race yet. Yet. "I just wanna win, that's me, I'm not happy unless I win and I'll be mad if I finish second," said Logano, who drives the Team Penske No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford. "That's just the 22 team. We have one goal, to win. And everything short of that isn't failure, but it's not achieving our goal. "That's our strategy, our approach. And we have better days than others. We know that." He's coming off a "better day" -- a season-best third-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday and has six top-six finishes through the first seven races of 2017. And yet for all that, Logano is ranked sixth in the standings , which are topped by several new faces of excellence. "We haven't put the whole race together in all honesty," Logano said. "When we've had fast race cars, we've had pit road penalties or weird things happen that we don't score the stage points and we don't put ourselves in position to win. We put ourselves in position to get a top-five again. "Last week we had a 10th-place car and put ourselves in position to win, but we weren't fast enough to win the race. "We have to take both of those things and put ourselves in Victory Lane, which I feel is just around the corner. Our cars aren't far off." RELATED: Upping the ante at the All-Star Race " FAQ Logano, the defending Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race winner, told reporters he was good with the changes announced Tuesday to the May 20 invitational. But he deferred to his veteran crew chief Todd Gordon about the new tire strategy -- including a softer, green-lettered "option" tire available to teams for the first time ever. "It's interesting," Logano said. "It will change it up for sure with a tire like that and change the strategy. You should probably talk to Todd. For me, it's pretty basic, pass the car in front of me." Speaking about the early season to date, Logano grinned in replying to questions about the "young guns" charging through the points standings . Kyle Larson, 24, currently leads 21-year-old Chase Elliott by 17 points atop the standings . Including Logano (ranked fifth, 72 points behind Larson) and 23-year-old Ryan Blaney, right behind in sixth place – four drivers 26 or younger leading the way. MORE: Monster Energy Series driver points standings Logano remains confident his first victory of 2017 is imminent. He's a two-time winner at tiny Bristol Motor Speedway, where the series visits April 23 after the off week, and he's also a winner at the following venue, Richmond International Raceway. And while Logano recognizes he's on the "upside" of the youth movement, the 17-time Cup winner was quick to remind that he has big boy trump cards in experience and confidence. And success. "I don't think I'm old. I'm 26, for crying out loud," he said smiling. "I do like that I have more experience than all of them. And that plays in my hand that I have nine years of experience, plus I'm 26 so I have plenty of youth, too. ... I'm in a very good spot. "Those first three or four years of sucking are paying off now, so that's good," he said with a laugh. </p>
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