Sunday, March 26, 2017

RACE RECAPS- AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY



MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES

Auto Club 400
Auto Club Speedway – Fontana, California
Sunday, March 26, 2017
 
Race Winner: Kyle Larson
Age: 24
Team: No. 42 – Target Chevrolet
Owner: Chip Ganassi Racing
Crew Chief: Chad Johnston
 
IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER"Our Target Chevy was amazing all day.  We were able to lead a lot of laps today.  (Martin) Truex was better than us that second stage by quite a bit.  We were able to get the jump on him the following restart and led pretty much the rest of the distance.  I had to fight them off there after the green flag stops and that was a lot of fun.  This is just amazing.  We have been so good all year long; three seconds in a row.  I’ve been watching all the TV like, ‘he doesn’t know how to win’, but we knew how to win today, so that was good.” 
 
--  Kyle Larson
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·         Kyle Larson won the 21st annual Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway Sunday afternoon. For Larson, it is his second victory in 116 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
 
·         It is Larson’s first victory and fourth top-10 finish in 2017. It is Larson’s fourth straight race where he has finished in the top-2.  Dating back to last year, he has now had a top-3 finish in six of his last seven races, including a second-place showing in the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
 
·         It is Larson’s first victory and second top-10 finish in four races at Auto Club Speedway. Larson also became just the second driver ever to win a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway from the pole, joining Jimmie Johnson (2008).
 
·         With today’s win by Larson, there have been five different winners in the first five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races of 2017.  It is the first time since 2014 that this happened.
 
·         Brad Keselowski (second) posted his third top-10 finish in nine races at Auto Club Speedway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2017.
 
·         Clint Bowyer (third) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 17 races at Auto Club Speedway.  It is Bowyer’s highest finish since also having a third-place showing at Sonoma on June 28, 2015.
 
·         For the second straight week, Daniel Suarez (7th) was the highest finishing rookie.

·         For 2017, NASCAR has introduced a new stage format in all three national series where each race is segmented into three stages. In addition to the points awarded at the end of a race (Final Stage), points are also awarded to the top-10 finishers of the first two stages (Stage 1 & Stage 2).

·         Larson won Stage 1 of the Auto Club 400, while Martin Truex Jr. took the green-checkered flag in Stage 2.
 
·         Larson (243) leads the point standings by 29 points over Chase Elliott (214) and 38 points over Martin Truex Jr. (205).

·         With the win, Larson becomes the fifth driver to qualify for the 16-driver field of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, joining Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Newman, winners of the first four races of the season. The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship finale on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
 
·         In four career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Larson has posted two top-5 finishes. His best finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway occurred in the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 400 when he finished second.
 
 
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES

·         Kyle Larson won the sixth annual Service King 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday afternoon in Fontana, Calif. It is Larson’s sixth victory in 94 career NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
 
·         It is his second victory and fifth top-10 finish in as many XFINITY Series races at Auto Club Speedway.
 
·         Joey Logano (second) posted his ninth top-10 finish in as many XFINITY Series races at Auto Club Speedway.

·         Kyle Busch (third) posted his 15th top-10 finish in 18 XFINITY Series races at Auto Club Speedway.  Busch won both Stage 1 and 2 of Saturday’s race.

·         William Byron (fifth) was the highest finishing rookie and the highest finishing XFINITY Series regular.
 
·         With one win apiece this year, Justin Allgaier and Ryan Reed have clinched spots in the 12-driver playoff field in the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs.  The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 300 XFINITY Series championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, November 18.

·         Elliott Sadler (189) leads the XFINITY Series points standings by 17 points over rookie William Byron (172), winner of the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. They are followed by Ryan Reed (143), Justin Allgaier (143) and Bubba Wallace (140).


NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

·         The Camping World Truck Series was off this weekend.  They will resume action on Saturday, April 1 with the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

RACE RECAPS- PHOENIX RACEWAY


MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES

Camping World 500

Phoenix Raceway – Avondale, Arizona
Sunday, March 19, 2017

Race Winner: Ryan Newman

Age: 39
Team: No. 31 – Grainger Chevrolet
Owner: Richard Childress
Crew Chief: Luke Lambert

IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER – “I’ve lost count; that’s how long it’s been. I’ve got to thank Grainger, Caterpillar, Coca-Cola, Monster Energy, for supporting our series, and Chevrolet. The list goes on and on.  What a gutsy call by (crew chief) Luke (Lambert). I called for two tires and he called for none. I’ve won more races no tires than I have with four. I’m just proud of these guys. We had a good car all day. We kept it out of trouble and collected in the end.”

Ryan Newman

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·         Ryan Newman won the 13th annual Camping World 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway Sunday afternoon. For Newman, it is his 18th victory in 552 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.  It is his first win since July 28, 2013 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Since that time he had gone 127 straight races without a victory.

·         This is Newman’s second victory and 12th top-10 finish in 30 Cup starts at Phoenix Raceway.  His previous victory at Phoenix Raceway occurred on April 10, 2010.

·         With the victory, Richard Childress Racing ends a 112-race winless drought.  Its last win prior to today came at Phoenix on November 10, 2013 when Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag.

·         With today’s win by Newman, there have been four different winners in the first four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races of 2017.  It is the second straight year and sixth time in the last seven years dating back to 2011 that this has happened.

·         Kyle Larson (second) posted his third top-10 finish in seven Cup starts at Phoenix Raceway.  It was his third straight second-place finish and his fourth in his last five races dating back to last year, including the season finale Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

·         Kyle Busch (third) had his 16th top-10 showing in 24 Cup starts at Phoenix Raceway.

·         Daniel Suarez (7th) was the highest finishing rookie.

·         For 2017, NASCAR has introduced a new stage format in all three national series where each race is segmented into three stages. In addition to the points awarded at the end of a race (Final Stage), points are also awarded to the top-10 finishers of the first two stages (Stage 1 & Stage 2).

·         Joey Logano won Stage of 1 of today’s Camping World 500, while Chase Elliott took the green-checkered flag in Stage 2.

·         Kyle Larson (184) leads the point standings by six points over Brad Keselowski (178) and 13 points over Chase Elliott (171).

·         With the win, Ryan Newman becomes the fourth driver to qualify for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, joining Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr., winners of the first three races of the season. The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship finale on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

·         In 15 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Ryan Newman has posted five top-10 finishes, including two top 5s. His best finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway occurred in the 2014 Ford EcoBoost 400 when he finished second, as he was part of the inaugural Championship 4, finishing just behind champion Kyle Busch.

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES


·         Justin Allgaier won the 11th annual DC Solar 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Phoenix Raceway on Saturday afternoon. It is Allagaier’s fourth victory in 211 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.

·         It is his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 14 XFINITY Series races at Phoenix Raceway.
·         Ryan Blaney (second) posted his second top-10 finish in as many XFINITY Series races at Phoenix Raceway.  He also won Stage 2 of the race.

·         Erik Jones (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in as many XFINITY Series races at Phoenix Raceway.  He also won Stage 1 of the race.

·         William Byron (fourth) was the highest finishing rookie.

·         With the win, Allgaier joins Ryan Reed in having clinched a spot in the 12-driver playoff 
field in the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series playoffs.  The playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 300 XFINITY Series championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, November 18.

·         Elliott Sadler (144) leads the XFINITY Series points standings by 11 points over rookie William Byron (133), winner of the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. They are followed by Ryan Reed (121) and Justin Allgaier (115).


NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES


·         The Camping World Truck Series was off this weekend.  They will resume action on Saturday, April 1 with the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

RACE RECAPS- LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY


MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES


Kobalt 400

Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Las Vegas, Nevada
Sunday, March 12, 2017

Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.

Age: 36
Team: No. 78 – Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER BOATS Toyota
Owner: Furniture Row Racing
Crew Chief: Cole Pearn

IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER –  “I was out of control and Brad (Keselowski) was really good on the long run. I hate that he had problems, he was strong and we weren’t going to do anything with him, but then he lost the brakes or something. A little bit of a gift, but we have given some away, so it feels good to come out on the good end for once.” – Martin Truex Jr.

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·         Martin Truex Jr. won the 20th annual Kobalt 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon. For Truex, it is his 8th victory in 408 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.  It is his 5th win in the last 27 races dating back to last year.
·         It’s the earliest win in any of Truex’s 12 full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series seasons (2006-17).
·         For 2017, NASCAR has introduced a new stage format in all three national series where each race is segmented into three stages. In addition to the points awarded at the end of a race (Final Stage), points are also awarded to the top-10 finishers of the first two stages (Stage 1 & Stage 2).
·         In addition to taking the checkered flag today, Truex also won both Stage 1 and Stage 2, as he amassed 60 points towards the season standings today (10 for each Stage win, 40 for the race win).
·         It is Truex’s first victory and fourth top-10 finish in 12 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 
·         Truex is the 12th different winner in 20 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
·         Kyle Larson (second) posted his second top-10 finish in four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It is the second straight race in which he has finished 2nd, having also done it last week in Atlanta.
·         Chase Elliott (third) posted his first top-10 finish in two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
·         Erik Jones (15th) was the highest finishing rookie.
·         Brad Keselowski (132) leads the point standings by one point over Kyle Larson (131).  They are followed by Chase Elliott (129) and Martin Truex Jr. (127).



·         With the win, Martin Truex Jr. becomes the third driver to qualify for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, joining Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski, winners of the first two races of the season. The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship finale on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
·         In 12 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. has posted seven top-10 finishes, including three top 5s. He posted a career-best finish of second in 2006.  He also was part of the Championship 4 in the 2015 Ford EcoBoost 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship race, where he finished 12th.

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES



·         Joey Logano won the 21st annual Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon. It is Logano’s 28th victory in 160 NASCAR XFINITY Series races. It moved him into 8th spot on the XFINITY Series all-time wins list.



·         Kyle Larson (second) posted his second top-10 finish in three XFINITY Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He now has finished in the top three in each of the first two XFINITY Series races of 2017.



·         Daniel Suarez (third) posted his third top-10 finish in as many XFINITY Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.



·         Justin Allagaier (fourth) was the highest finisher among full-time XFINITY Series drivers, while Cole Custer (11th) was the highest finishing rookie.



·         Kyle Busch won Stage 1 and Brad Keselowski won Stage 2 of the Boyd Gaming 300.  



·         Elliott Sadler (99) leads the XFINITY Series points standings by four points over Ryan Reed (95).  They are followed by rookie William Byron (90), the winner of the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.



NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES


·         The Camping World Truck Series was off this weekend.  They will resume action on Saturday, April 1 with the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway.

Monday, March 6, 2017

RACE RECAPS- ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY



MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES


Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

Atlanta Motor Speedway – Hampton, Georgia
Sunday, March 5, 2017

Race Winner: Brad Keselowski

Age: 33
Team: No. 2 – Autotrader Ford
Owner: Team Penske
Crew Chief: Paul Wolfe

IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER – “We had a lot of adversity today there’s no doubt about that. These races aren’t easy. They’re 500 miles and a lot can happen and when you think you’ve got it they slip away. I know how it goes. This one kind of fell in our lap at the end and my team put it all together when it counted. They gave me a great Autotrader Ford Fusion and we were able to get by Kyle (Larson) there at the end. I knew that he wasn’t going to be easy to pass. His car was great and I was able to make the right moves to get by him.”

-       Brad Keselowski

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·         Brad Keselowski won the 58th annual Folds of Honor QuiktTrip 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon. For Keselowski, it is his 22nd victory in 271 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
·         It is Keselowski’s first victory and fifth top-10 finish in nine career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway.  It was also Keselowski’s first win in the last 20 races overall.  Prior to today, his most recent victory occurred on July 9 of last year at Kentucky.
·         A Ford now has won each of the first two Monster Energy Series races of the year, as Kurt Busch (Stewart-Haas) took the checkered flag in the season-opening Daytona 500 last week.
·         For Team Penske, it is their 104th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory and their fourth at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
·         Kyle Larson (second) posted his second top-10 finish in four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
·         Matt Kenseth (third) posted his 17th top-10 finish in 29 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
·         Erik Jones (14th) was the highest finishing rookie.
·         For 2017, NASCAR has introduced a new stage format in all three national series where each race is segmented into three stages. In addition to the points awarded at the end of a race (Final Stage), points are also awarded to the top-10 finishers of the first two stages (Stage 1 & Stage 2).



·         Kevin Harvick, who led a race-high 292 laps today, won both Stage 1 and 2 of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
·         Kevin Harvick (90) leads the point standings by four points over Kurt Busch (86).  They are followed by Brad Keselowski (84), Chase Elliott (82) and Joey Logano (80).


·         With the win, Brad Keselowski becomes the second driver to qualify for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, joining Kurt Busch, who won the Daytona 500 last week. The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship finale on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
·         In nine career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Brad Keselowski has posted three top-10 finishes and two top 5s. He finished third in the 2014 and 2015 Ford EcoBoost 400, his career-best finishes at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Keselowski celebrated his 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.


NASCAR XFINITY SERIES


·         Kyle Busch won the 26th annual Rinnai 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon. It is Busch’s 87th victory in 329 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.



·         It is Busch’s second victory and 10th top-10 finish in 13 XFINITY Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.



·         Brad Keselowski (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in eight XFINITY Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.



·         Kyle Larson (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in as many XFINITY Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.



·         Elliott Sadler (fifth) was the highest finisher among full-time XFINITY Series drivers, while William Byron (seventh) was the highest finishing rookie



·         Brad Keselowski won Stage 1 and Kevin Harvick won Stage 2 of the Rinnai 250.  



·         Sadler (70) leads the XFINITY Series points standings by three points over William Byron (67).  They are followed by Ryan Reed (66) and Brendan Gaughan (62).



NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES


·         Christopher Bell won the 9th running of the Active Pest Control 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday afternoon. It is his third victory in 32 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.



·         It is Bell’s first victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway.



·         With the win, Bell becomes the second driver to qualify for the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs, joining Kaz Grala, who won at Daytona last week. The Camping World Truck Series playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 200 championship finale on November 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.



·         Bell also captured each of the first two Stages of the race.



·         Matt Crafton (second) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 16 Camping World Truck Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

·         Johnny Sauter (third) posted his third top-10 finish in seven career Camping World Truck Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.



·         Grant Enfinger (eighth) was the highest finishing rookie.



·         Bell (93) leads the point standings by seven points over Johnny Sauter (86) and Ben Rhodes (86).

Sunday, February 26, 2017

RACE RECAPS- DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY


MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES

Daytona 500
Daytona International Speedway – Daytona, Florida
Sunday, February 26, 2017

Race Winner: Kurt Busch
Age: 38
Team: No. 41 – Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford
Owner: Stewart-Haas Racing
Crew Chief: Tony Gibson

IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER – “It just got crazy and wild and I am so proud of all the drivers at the end. We put on a show for a full fuel run and nobody took each other out and it was one of the smartest chess games I have seen out there. All the hard work that Ford and SHR put into this -- this Ford Fusion is in Daytona’s victory lane.” 
-       Kurt Busch
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·         Kurt Busch won the 59th Annual Daytona 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway Sunday afternoon. For Busch, it is his 29th victory in 577 Monster Energy Cup Series races.

·         It is Busch’s first victory and 17th top-10 finish in 32 races at Daytona International Speedway.

·         Ryan Blaney (second) posted his first top-10 finish in four races at Daytona International Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2017.

·         A.J. Allmendinger (third) posted his third top-10 finish in 16 races at Daytona International Speedway.

·         This year, NASCAR introduced a new stage format in all three national series where each race is segmented into three stages. In addition to the points awarded at the end of a race (Final Stage), points are also awarded to the top-10 finishers of the first two stages (Stage 1 & Stage 2).

·         Kyle Busch won Stage 1 of the Daytona 500.

·         Kevin Harvick won Stage 2 of the Daytona 500.

·         Kurt Busch leads the point standings by 12 points over Ryan Blaney.

·         With the win, Kurt Busch becomes the first driver to qualify for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship finale on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

·         In 16 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kurt Busch has posted six top-10 finishes and four top 5s, including a victory in the 2002 Ford EcoBoost 400. Busch also celebrated his 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES

·         Ryan Reed won the 36th Annual Powershares QQQ 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday afternoon. It is Reed’s second victory in 106 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.

·         It is Reed’s second victory and fourth top-10 finish in seven races at Daytona International Speedway.

·         Kasey Kahne (second) posted his 12th top-10 finish in seven races at Daytona International Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2017.

·         Austin Dillon (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in nine races at Daytona International Speedway.

·         Elliott Sadler won Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Powershares QQQ 300.  

·         Reed leads the point standings by 9 points over Brendan Gaughan.

·         With the win, Ryan Reed becomes the first driver to qualify for the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs. The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 300 championship finale on November 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.


NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

·         Kaz Grala won the 18th Annual NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night. It is his first victory in ten NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.

·         It is Grala’s first victory and first top10 finish at Daytona International Speedway.

·         Austin Wayne Self (second) posted his first top-10 finish in two races at Daytona International Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2017.
;
·         Chase Briscoe (third) posted his first top-10 finish at Daytona International Speedway in his first start.

·         Johnny Sauter won Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the NextEra Energy Resources 250.

·         Grala leads the point standings by 14 points over Johnny Sauter.

·         With the win, Kaz Grala becomes the first driver to qualify for the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs. The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 200 championship finale on November 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Jimmie Johnson Makes History at Homestead-Miami Speedway with Seventh Championship


Welcome to the club! Jimmie Johnson joins NASCAR’s most elite group by winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 and his seventh career Sprint Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday.

Johnson joins legends Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Petty as the only three drivers to win seven career Sprint Cup Series championships- the most all time.

It's big. It has a different meaning,said Johnson. The No. 7 has a very special place in my heart with Ricky Hendrick. As a lot of people know.  For some reason I just felt good and calm today and things just kind of unfolded at the end for us. I know it was help from above.  In my heart I wanted to believe it would happen. It has and I just can't believe it.

Johnson started the race in the rear of the field due to an unapproved body modification, but was still able to methodically move his way up the leaderboard earning his first career victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“Oh my gosh, there is no, no way on earth,” said Johnson. Just beyond words. Just didn't think the race was unfolding for us like we needed to do to be the champs, but we just kept our heads in the game. Chad called a great strategy, made some great adjustments for the short runs. 
Luck came our way and we were able to win the race and win the championship.”

Johnson held off championship four contenders Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and defending champion Kyle Busch to capture the checkered flag. Logan finished the race in fourth position, while Busch placed sixth. Edwards finished the race 34th after he was involved in a late-race accident, which brought out the Red Flag on lap 259.

Johnson’s seventh title comes ten years after he earned his first Sprint Cup Series championship (2006). This victory brings Hendrick Motorsports another owner championship, adding two more trophies to their collection on the night.


Looking ahead to the 2017 season, it will be interesting to see if Johnson can become the first driver to win eight Sprint Cup Series championships.  

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Latin American Driver Daniel Suarez Makes History and Wins First XFINITY Series Championship



HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Consistency, focus, and an incredible start were just some factors that helped Daniel Suarez claim the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 19. 

Leading the race at the beginning for 22 laps straight, Suarez stayed consistent with his driving, and continued leading with a grand total of 133 laps and ultimately winning the Ford EcoBoost 300 Xfinity series.

“To win here in Homestead and have a lot of fans, people all over Latin America, is something really good,” Suarez said. “I am very proud of my team and it’s still hard to believe this.”

Suarez was able to beat Justin Allgaier who stayed in a close second for the first half of the race, as well as winning over Elliott Sadler, a seasoned veteran of the sport, and last year’s Rookie of the Year, Erik Jones.

Daniel Suarez is the first ever international champion in NASCAR racing. The 24 year old from Monterrey, Mexico made history today when he won the title, especially in the last five laps. Winning this championship was all the more meaningful with Suarez’s family by his side.

“I’m speechless right now. I’m just very proud of everyone and thankful to have the family that I have – my mom, my dad.” Suarez said, “They gave me all the tools to be here right now. They put me in a car even when we didn’t have the support or the racing background. They supported me and right now we are just living a dream.”

Suarez is part of the Joe Gibbs Racing team, and he has started a total of 67 races in the past three years, with third wins, 26 top-5, and 46 top-10 showings. Coach Gibbs also emphasized how important this win is for NASCAR.

“We had a meeting two years ago with ARRIS and we sat down and talked about this young guy. And for us to be in two years where we are tonight, it’s a thrill for all of us. This is going to be a big deal for our sport.”

The Ford EcoBoost 300 Xfinity Series race was the continuation of an exciting weekend of races that will all culminate into Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at 2:30 PM.