Martin Truex Jr.

Regular-season finale to set NASCAR Chase field in Richmond

Geoffrey Miller's five things to watch at Richmond International Raceway
Each week, Geoffrey Miller’s “Five Things to Watch” will help you catch up on the biggest stories of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ upcoming race weekend. This week, Miller looks back on the season to date and what influence NASCAR’s new Chase format has had. Also, Tony Stewart’s second race back in the Cup Series and a tribute to the late Junie Donlavey highlight the stories of the weekend as the series lines up for its regular-season finale at Richmond International Raceway.

Each week, Geoffrey Miller’s “Five Things to Watch” will help you catch up on the biggest stories of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ upcoming race weekend. This week, Miller looks back on the season to date and what influence NASCAR’s new Chase format has had. Also, Tony Stewart’s second race back in the Cup Series and a tribute to the late Junie Donlavey highlight the stories of the weekend as the series lines up for its regular-season finale at Richmond International Raceway.

 

 

Atlanta: Kahne's Chase bid, Stewart's NASCAR return and Danica's career night

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Post-race reaction from the Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Kasey Kahne punched his ticket into NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup.

NASCAR’s new Chase format was designed to make the regular season finale a “can’t miss” on anyone’s calendar. With 16 postseason slots available, chances are at least one would be available at Richmond, and with any driver inside the top 30 Chase eligible under the rules, one upset victory is all it would take to shuffle up the final drivers in the field.

 

Kahne grabs NASCAR Chase bid in Atlanta; sets up Richmond showdown

Kasey Kahne wins NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Oral-B USA 500 in Atlanta
Kasey Kahne wins the Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and locks his Hendrick Motorsports team into NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick had the field covered on-track at the 1.54-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night; Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth had it covered on pit road. But at the end of a grueling 335-lap affair, it was Hendrick Motorsports’ Kasey Kahne that walked away with the hardware — and a coveted spot in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup.

 

Marcos Ambrose, Tony Stewart look for NASCAR Chase berth at Sonoma

Geoffrey Miller's five things to watch at Sonoma Raceway
Each week, Geoffrey Miller’s “Five Things to Watch” will help you catch up on the biggest stories of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ upcoming race weekend. This week, the nuances of road course racing on the Cup and Nationwide series and the Chase hopes of road aces Marcos Ambrose and Tony Stewart highlight the storylines leading up to the Toyota-Save Mart 350.

Each week, Geoffrey Miller’s “Five Things to Watch” will help you catch up on the biggest stories of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ upcoming race weekend. This week, the nuances of road course racing on the Cup and Nationwide series and the Chase hopes of road aces Marcos Ambrose and Tony Stewart highlight the storylines leading up to the Toyota-Save Mart 350.

 

 

Johnson, Knaus heating up, win second straight with authority in Dover

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Dover
Post-race reaction from Jimmie Johnson's win in NASCAR's FedEx 400 at Dover international Speedway.

Two and a half weeks ago, a NASCAR storyline was growing: Jimmie Johnson was doomed. The No. 48 was winless, crew chief Chad Knaus and his driver were fighting with one another and a Chase bid, let alone a bid for a seventh championship, could be in jeopardy.

Jimmie Johnson dominates in Charlotte, wins NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in the Coca-Cola 600
Post-race reaction from Jimmie Johnson's win in NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NASCAR has IndyCar’s number when it comes to television, revenue, pretty car colors … you name it, it’s simply a step above. We’ve been over this one time and again where even Indy qualifying lost out to stock car racing’s All-Star event in the latest Nielsen ratings. More than likely, this week it’s NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600, not the Indy 500, that will draw the larger audience overall.

Jamie McMurray wins NASCAR All-Star Race in Charlotte

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in the All-Star Race
Post-race reaction from Jamie McMurray's win in NASCAR's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Jamie McMurray has one of the strangest resumes you’ll find in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition. He’s a record 0-for-10 on Chase appearances — making the Missouri native the only driver who’s run full-time since 2004 to get shut out. Despite wheeling playoff-capable equipment with respected car owners Chip Ganassi and Jack Roush, he’s never finished better than 11th in series points, as inconsistency and mediocre performances have been his hallmark. Heck, McMurray has only posted wins in five of 13 career seasons while racing Cup.

Kansas winner Jeff Gordon still a NASCAR contender after 20 years

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Kansas
The four things we learned after Jeff Gordon's win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' 5-Hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Twenty years. That’s how long it’s been, on May 29, since Jeff Gordon won his first NASCAR Cup Series race at the ripe old age of 22. One of the first to do so well, so young, Gordon encapsulated the perfect mix of talent, speed, sponsorship and confidence cloaked in invincibility. Four titles in a seven-year span had many pegging him as the man to knock off Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt atop the Cup championship ladder.

NASCAR Speedweeks feature Dillon, Hamlin; more passing and more wrecking

Through the Gears: Four things we've learned during Speedweeeks
Austin Dillon on the Pole for the Daytona 500; Denny Hamlin wins the NASCR Sprint Unlimited. All the things you need to know from Daytona.

On Sunday, a black No. 3 car sat shining in the Daytona Beach sun, cameras focused on a number not seen in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition since the 2001 Daytona 500. It’s been 13 years since that tragic end, but closure has finally come — not in the form of an Earnhardt, but in 23-year-old Austin Dillon.  Austin Dillon

Dillon, No. 3 car on pole for Daytona 500

Austin Dillon edges out Martin Truex Jr. in qualifying; front row locked for Daytona 500
Austin Dillon in the No. 3 car wins the pole for NASCAR's Daytona 500.

The stylized No. 3, made famous by the late Dale Earnhardt, has made its way back to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. And it has done so in a big way.  Austin Dillon

Austin Dillon, grandson of team owner Richard Childress, who fielded Chevrolets for Earnhardt until his death in the 2001 Daytona 500, drove the No. 3 livery to the top of pylon in Sunday’s Daytona 500 pole qualifying.

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