Kevin Harvick

Harvick Gets Lucky in Loudon
Make that two tickets punched to the Round of 12. Kevin Harvick joins Martin Truex Jr. as a lock to advance to the next round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup with his win in New Hampshire Sunday. Harvick overtook race leader Matt Kenseth - who was gunning for his third straight Loudon win - off the final restart with five laps to go and held on for his third victory of the season. “For me, it was just a smooth restart,” Harvick said. “I just didn’t want to spin the tires. I feel like the performance of the car and the things that we’re doing are good enough to be competitive, and we just need to not make mistakes and go from there.” It was Harvick’s 34th career Sprint Cup Series win and second at NHMS, with his last coming in 2006.

Elliott Sadler

An emotional Elliott Sadler celebrated history over the weekend, becoming the first driver to win a race under the new XFINITY Series Chase format."We fought through a lot tonight," Sadler said in Victory Lane. "I'm going to get a little emotional on you, I've been in the hospital all week with my mom in ICU watching her fight and fight through a lot of pain and suffering. (She) made her way back home tonight to watch the race. Mom, I love you. She leads so much by example." The Emporia, VA native expertly navigated his way through a caution-filled battle for the 13th win of his XFINITY career.

Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart

The season's not over yet, but there's already been news of some big changes coming in 2017 with Stewart-Haas Racing front racing. Clint Bowyer will be behind the wheel of the 14 once the "Smoke" clears, and it'll be running on a Roush Yates Ford. NASCAR takes a look at these and a few other changes coming down the pipeline this winter.

Jamie Mcmurray, Austin Dillon, Tony Stewart and Chris Buescher

The field will get a little tighter after this weekend's race in Dover as four drivers will be eliminated from Chase contention. With two first-timers and a future Hall of Famer on the cusp of elimination, we could see some monster action at the "Monster Mile." Less than 20 points separate 7th-place Denny Hamlin from 13th-place Jamie McMurray, so don't be surprised to see some serious shake-ups before the Round of 12 is officially underway.

Martin Truex Jr

Keep calling them underdogs, they'll just keep biting back. Martin Truex Jr. and the single car team of Furniture Row Racing punched their tickets into the "Round of 12" with a win in Sunday's Chase opener at Chicagoland. “What can I say? There are so many people who are responsible for this and I’m glad I get to drive this 78 with everybody on this team," said Truex Jr. "This is how we want to start off. This feels awesome.” With nine races to go in 2016, Truex Jr.'s three wins this season matches his career total through 2015.

Chase Elliott

Before Truex Jr. maneuvered his way to the checkered flag, it looked like rookie Chase Elliott was in line to secure the first win of his young career. While the No. 78 beat the 24 off pit road during a late caution and again the ensuing restart, Elliott still finished third in his first taste of Chase action and seems poised to build on that success."Expect it, nothing is yours until it’s over," said Elliott. "We see more cautions come out at the end of these races than we do not. That is just part of it, you’ve got to expect it and be able to embrace it and move forward. I feel like we did a good job controlling the things that we could control today."

Less is More

"There were other opportunities that were out there," said Truex in Victory Lane on Sunday. Celebrating his fourth win with Furniture Row Racing, Truex Jr. remembered contract talks with team officials last September. However, Truex was committed to Barney Visser and company and ultimately took less and returned to the Denver-based race team on a one year extension.  "I believe this is the best team I’ve ever had. This is my best opportunity to win races, and we’ve proven that. It’s my best opportunity...so I made the commitment to Barney we were going to do it.” Fast forward a few months, and Truex has been renewed through 2018...AND they're expanding. Car number two? None othat than Erik Jones, the winner of Saturday's Drive for Safety 300 XFINITY Series race. The future is looking bright - and filled with burnouts - in Colorado.

Matt Kenseth

Matt Kenseth has owned New Hampshire Motor Speedway, sweeping the last two races in Loudon including the 2015 Chase race. Kevin Harvick has a win at all remaining Chase tracks except Texas, and bossman Tony Stewart boasts the same. Carl Edwards has as many Chase wins as former champions Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski combined. With just one race down, things are far from decided. Fox Sports' Tim Durr takes a look at how drivers have fared at the nine remaining tracks on the schedule.
The action was fast and furious during Fan Appreciation Weekend at Richmond International Raceway. The energy from the track to the crowd was electric as sparks flew, tempers flared and 40 of the world’s most talented athletes roared around America’s Premier Short Track in one of the more memorable NASCAR regular season finales.

From the dramatic four-wide salute to furious four-wide racing, it was some of the best racing of the NASCAR season. The consensus from fans, drivers, and media was the action is truly back at “The Action Track!”




The Action Track is Back


http://www.foxsports.com/nascar/story/richmond-provides-endless-chase-storylines-091316

http://nascar.nbcsports.com/2016/09/11/what-drivers-said-after-richmond-race/
www.dailypress.com/sports/dp-spt-rir-follow-0912-20160911-story.html

http://nascar.nbcsports.com/2016/09/11/what-drivers-said-after-richmond-race/
http://www.richmond.com/sports/auto-racing/nascar/article_42db6390-6ba8-5c24-a4fc-7fc3103d0b70.html

http://nascar.nbcsports.com/2016/09/11/what-drivers-said-after-richmond-race/
http://www.foxsports.com/nascar/story/tony-stewart-ryan-newman-chase-show-why-ugly-new-beautiful-chicagoland-richmond-sprint-cup-091216








Credit: SiriusXM NASCAR Radio





In just his third season in the Sprint Cup Series, Austin Dillon and the famed No. 3 are in championship contention. Driving for his Pop Pop Richard Childress, Austin hopes to bring another championship back to his family-owned race team in what will be his first Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Austin Dillon

Dillon has enjoyed a breakout campaign in his 2016 season, setting new career highs in both Top-10 and Top-5 finishes. Regardless, the No. 3 driver was feeling pressure of defending his Chase position heading into the regular season finale at Richmond, but delivered with a 13th place finish and his first Chase berth.

With an RCR team that has run well on both short tracks and super speedways this season, Dillon is poised to make some postseason noise in his first trip to the Chase. Regardless, NASCAR fans across the country are sure glad to see the No. 3 back in the playoff mix.

There’s been a lot of talk around Chase Elliott’s rookie season. First off, he is the son of NASCAR legend and Hall Famer, Bill Elliott. Second, he is replacing a legend in the No. 24, Jeff Gordon. Even with all the talk, Chase has managed to make a name for himself. Just one of two rookies making the Chase this year, the new driver of the ‘ole 2-4 is hoping to get the siren fired up at the Dawsonville Pool Room during his postseason run.

Chase Elliott

The popular preseason "Rookie of the Year" pick, Elliott didn't disappoint in his first full season behind the wheel of a Cup car. On a team loaded with the likes of Dale Earnhardt Junior, six-time champion Jimmie Johnson and six-time Chase competitor Kasey Kahne - it was Elliott who led all Hendrick drivers in Top-10 finishes (including a streak of six straight over the Spring).

Despite some late Summer blues, Elliott seems to be regaining his form at the right time. Heading into Richmond he'd posted Top-10 finishes in three consecutive races, and managed to come back from needing some early repairs to defend his Chase position at Richmond. 
No one thought Chris Buescher would be the first Rookie of the Year candidate to secure a win, or that he would make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Chris, driver of the No. 34 machine for Front Row Motorsports, has beat the odds. Now, he is onto the Chase where the expectations are higher and the road is a little tougher.


Buescher shocked the NASCAR world with his victory in a weather-impacted Pocono race back in August, and has since raced his way into a Chase berth. Coming into the season finale at Richmond, Buescher did well to avoid "the big one" on lap 364, and his 24th-place finish secured his spot in the Top-30 and there in the Chase.

While it's been an up and down season for the No. 34 driver, he has the championship pedigree that bodes well for the Chase pressure. The reigning XFINITY Series champion also has an ARCA Racing Series crown on his resume.
Denny Hamlin

 He started from the pole and was competitive all night long. After a couple hiccups mid-season, Denny Hamlin is cruising into his latest Chase appearance by rattling off eight straight Top-10 finishes punctuated by a victory in the regular season finale at his hometown track in Richmond. “That's what's so special about it...you get to do it at home, and there's just all the extra Denny Hamlin shirts and hats and everything, and [it] fires me up every time I get here," said Hamlin. "And man, this is a great car. Hopefully we can use it in the Chase.”

Kyle Larson

If Hamlin is one of the hottest drivers heading into the Chase, Kyle Larson isn't too far behind. Larson was able to recover from an early loose wheel to secure his best finish (2nd) ever at Richmond. The Chip Ganassi driver weaved his way through the field off the final restart, and had a car capable of running down Hamlin with a few more laps. “It felt like a video game on rookie mode, having fresh tires like that,” Larson told NBCSN. “It was a fun last restart and to get all the way to second. I felt I could get to fourth, but I got to second, so that was great.”

Junior on Twitter

Junior Chimes In
Since he couldn't actually be on the track at Richmond, Dale Earnhardt Jr. chose to spend his Saturday night live-tweeting the Federated Auto Parts 400 action. From jealousy pangs to color commentary to driver insights and more - Junior's Twitter game was on point. 
26 races down. 10 to go. 16 drivers in the hunt. After a spectacular regular season finale at Richmond, the field is down to Ready. Set. Chase. beginning this weekend in Chicagoland. We've got the entire Joe Gibbs Racing machine gunning for a repeat title, four newcomers, a couple of future Hall of Famers and several former Champions in the field. Who's your pick to win the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup? Let us know in the comments below!