Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (14369)

Martin Truex Jr. won the pole and his Furniture Row Racing teammate Erik Jones qualified 10th for Sunday’s Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Truex drove the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota on Friday to a final-round lap of 22.407 seconds at 160.664 mph on the high-banked 1-mile concrete oval. He was 17th in the first round and seventh in the second round.

It was the second pole and 24th top-10 start of the season for Truex, the playoff point leader. It’s also his 14th career pole and third at Dover.

“It’s awesome to get the pole,” said Truex. “We kept on working on the car all day and put it together when it counted. My timing was off the first two rounds, but came close to having a flawless run in the final round. It wasn’t perfect, but it got us the pole and No. 1 pit stall for Sunday. We’ll work on our race trim package tomorrow and get the Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota dialed in for the race. This is my home track and I love racing here."

Jones’ pole-round lap in the No. 77 SiriusXM Toyota was 22.622 at 159.137. He was ninth in the first round and 11th in the second. He will line up on the outside of Row 5 for Sunday’s 400-lap, 400-mile race.

“We struggled the first two rounds getting a decent balance and then, when we got it off the splitter, it was a little bit different than what we had in the first two,” said Jones. “We just struggled all day in qualifying trim. We couldn’t find the balance we needed. We’ll work hard on race trim tomorrow but it was still a top-10 starting spot so it’s somewhere good to work from.”

The balance of the top 12 qualifiers were: Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth, Daniel Suarez, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick, Jones, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott.

The Apache Warrior 400 will air live Sunday beginning at noon MT (2 p.m. ET) on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and MRN.


Martin Truex Jr. will start on the pole at Dover International Speedway on Sunday in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota. Truex posted a 22.407, 160.664 mph. to score his second pole of the season. The New Jersey native sat 17th in round one and seventh in round two.

Truex, who drives for a two-car Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team based out of Colorado, has been on a tear in 2017.The veteran racer comes into Dover International Speedway with five victories, 12 top five and 19 top 10 finishes through 28 races.

Kyle Busch will start in the runner-up spot. Busch, a driver from Las Vegas, led the first and second rounds of knockout qualifying on Friday. The driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota posted a 22.445, 160.392 mph. in the final round.

Kyle Larson in the No. 42 Chevrolet will round out the top three starters on Sunday. Larson posted a 22.502, 159.986 mph. when the final round of qualifying concluded. The California native will go for his sixth career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory.

Matt Kenseth and Daniel Suarez will round out the top five starters.

Playoff Drivers Starting Spots:






Martin Truex Jr.



Kyle Busch



Kyle Larson



Matt Kenseth



Denny Hamlin



Ryan Newman



Kevin Harvick



Ryan Newman



Chase Elliott



Kurt Busch



Ricky Stenhouse Jr.



Brad Keselowski



Jimmie Johnson



Kasey Kahne



Austin Dillon



Jamie McMurray

A total of 40 drivers appeared on the Apache Warrior 400 entry list. That means there were no DNQ’s.

Danica Patrick is driving the No. 10 Ford Warriors in Pink Fusion race car this weekend in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway. The debut of the special Warriors in Pink livery for Sunday’s race comes just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness month, and marks Ford’s decades-long commitment to raising awareness and funds in the fight against the disease. Patrick will take to the track again with the Warriors in Pink Fusion Oct. 8 for the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Patrick’s No. 10 race car displays the warrior symbol to honor the powerful, courageous women and men engaged in the fight against breast cancer. Symbols are a key part of the inspirational message Ford Warriors in Pink represents serving to uplift those who exhibit strength and courage in the face of their greatest battle.

“The Ford Warriors in Pink race car really looks great,” said Patrick, one of the most successful women in the history of motorsports now driving for Stewart-Haas Racing. “Cancer impacts all of us. I bet there are very few people out there who don’t know someone impacted by breast cancer. My friend had a double mastectomy as a preemptive strike because she actually tested positive for the breast cancer gene. She went through everything and hopefully avoided it, but it hit close to home.

If we all work together, we can help make a difference,” Patrick added. Whether it’s starting a conversation or inspiring donations, every little bit helps. That’s why I’m proud to drive the Warriors in Pink Fusion to help raise awareness for the cause.”

Driving More Good Days

As a preview to marking Breast Cancer Awareness month, Patrick helped kick things off with Ford Warriors in Pink by surprising patients with racing lessons at Chicagoland Speedway Sept. 20. These special events being held across the country are designed to help tap into a newfound fearlessness patients and survivors tend to experience by giving them free access to engage in new thrills and challenges.

To empower people to take action and support their loved ones, Ford Warriors in Pink launched its More Good Days initiative in 2015. Since then, the program has delivered more than 80,000 More Good Days experiences across the country ranging from rides to treatment centers to special patient surprises including racing lessons and more.

“Each year, we ask ourselves what more we can do,” said Tracy Magee, Ford Warriors in Pink brand manager. “Through strategic collaborations and engaging experiences, we hope to continue to raise awareness and encourage friends, families and loved ones to help in simple but meaningful ways.”

Ford Warriors in Pink has been unrelenting for 23 years working to help breast cancer patients and their families. To date, Ford has dedicated more than $133 million to research, education and patient resources.

To join Danica Patrick and Ford Warriors in Pink in the fight against breast cancer, please visit to access free tips, tools and resources that make it easy to give breast cancer patients More Good Days.

Ford Performance PR

Hikvision USA, Inc., a North American leader in award-winning video surveillance products and solutions, and leading integrator Vector Security, will be the primary sponsors for Brett Moffit’s No. 83 Camry this weekend for the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway. 
“Hikvision USA is pleased to partner with Vector Security for this event and to have a front row seat for one of the most popular pastimes in America,” said Alex Asnovich, head of marketing, Hikvision North America.  
“Hikvision and Vector Security are big names in the business security industry,” said Brett Moffitt “so to have them on the car this weekend in Dover is huge! Hopefully we can put together a good run at the Monster Mile for them.”
“We are excited to have Hikvision and Vector Security aboard for the Dover race weekend,” said Doug Fritz, BK Racing CMO. “Hikvision provides state-of-the-art technology for business security, and, in our opinion, is the best in the industry.”
BK Racing PR

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. heads into the Dover this weekend currently sitting in the final transfer spot as four playoff drivers will be eliminated on Sunday and the top-12 will advance to the next round of the NASCAR Playoffs.

“Even though we haven’t had the best two races to start the playoffs,” Stenhouse said. “Our two wins and the 10 bonus points have kept us in it. Coming out of Loudon, we made our car better and were able to execute during the race, which allowed us to hang our hat on something and put some pep in our step heading into Dover. Earlier this year, our car was really fast at Dover. We blew a right front tire while running third so hopefully our Ford has the same speed this weekend.”

With 14 years of experience as crew chief and numerous past playoffs, Brian Pattie knows what it takes to advance as he leads Stenhouse in his first Playoff appearance. In 2012, Pattie led Clint Bowyer to a second-place finish in the standings.

“It’s great to have Brian Pattie as my crew chief because he helps calm me and the team down.” Stenhouse added. “Pattie has been through the playoffs before so it’s good to have someone with that experience in your corner.”

The Apache Warrior 400 will be televised on October 1, 2017 on NBCSN at 2 p.m. ET. Race coverage can also be heard on Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SIRIUS Channel 90.


Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing (LFR) are looking to build on their best finish at Dover International Speedway for the Apache Warrior 400.

During the team’s last trip to Dover, McDowell captured his best finish at the “Monster Mile” and had one of their best ever races at the one-mile oval track.

Not only is the team looking to build on their best finish at Dover, but also improve on their qualifying efforts. The team has struggled in qualifying trim during the past few weeks, but is optimistic that Dover will bring good results.

“Dover was really good to us the last time we were there,” said McDowell. “We ended up with a Top-20 finish, but we were actually running very well. We ended up having a loose wheel, which messed us up. It was one of those days where we were hoping a caution would fall, but it didn’t fall and we had to pit. I feel good about our overall package going back this week. We have something to build on, and it’s a lot easier when you ran well there last time.”

LFR is excited to have the FDNY Foundation back on board the No. 95 Chevrolet SS for the fourth time this season. The team first partnered with the FDNY Foundation in Pocono and is honored to have the opportunity to race with the New York City Fire Department’s (FDNY) colors on board once again.

LFR and Lionel Racing are currently taking pre-orders to purchase the No. 95 FDNY Foundation diecast, which is set to go into production in the fall. All purchases of the diecast will result in a portion of sales going back to the foundation. Race fans can pre-order the diecast on LFR’s online store, as well as Lionel Racing.

The Apache Warrior 400 will take place on Sunday, October 1 at 2PM ET. Race coverage will be on NBCSN, and team updates will be posted to @LFR95 on Twitter.


Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is heading to Dover (Del.) International Speedway for this Sunday’s Apache Warrior 400 looking to survive the Round of 16 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.


Harvick entered the 2017 playoffs as the sixth seed, but a solid third-place performance at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, which featured runner-up finishes in the first and second stages for an additional 18 points, moved the No. 4 team up to third in the standings, 41 points above the cutoff position of 13th with two races remaining in the Round of 16.


However, a 36th-place finish last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon dropped the No. 4 team to 10th in the standings with only a 25-point buffer to the final transfer position into the Round of 12.


Harvick has been in a challenging position at this point in the season before and came out on top.


In October 2015, Harvick arrived at Dover ranked 15th in points and trailing Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 23 points for the final transfer position into the Round of 12. A solid finish at the Monster Mile wouldn’t do – he needed a win to advance. With everything on the line, he delivered the most dominant race of his NASCAR Cup Series career. He started 15th after rain cancelled qualifying Friday afternoon, but he quickly raced his way to the front and led 355 of 400 laps to beat runner-up Kyle Busch to the finish line by 2.639 seconds.


According to NASCAR Stats and Information, he registered a 149.7 driver rating out of a possible 150.0, narrowly missing his fourth perfect driver rating in a Cup Series race. He previously registered perfect 150.0 driver ratings at Phoenix International Raceway on three occasions – November 2006 and 2014, and March 2015.


The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion has been fast at Dover since joining SHR at the beginning of 2014, scoring one win, one pole and two top-five finishes. What is more impressive is that he has led 810 of 2,811 laps in seven races there – 28.8 percent of the total laps raced since the beginning of 2014.


However, luck has not always been on the side of the No. 4 team at Dover.


In June 2014, Harvick started eighth, led 24 laps, but finished 17th as the first car one lap down after he had a valve stem issue during a pit stop that caused a tire to go down on the following restart.


He won the pole at Dover in September 2014, when he turned a lap of 22.095 seconds at162.933 mph in the second round of qualifying. On race day, he stayed at the front of the field for 223 laps but had to settle for a 13th-place finish after another valve stem issue led to a flat tire following a pit stop and caused him to fall a lap down to the leaders.


Harvick started from the pole after qualifying was rained out in May 2016. He led 117 laps early in the race before he was caught in an 18-car accident and finished one lap down in 15th.


In October 2016, the No. 4 team started sixth before an issue with the trackbar resulted in the team spending 43 laps making repairs, and a 37th-place result was all he could muster.


While Harvick is not in a must-win situation at Dover, he will race aggressively and try to score stage wins and a trip to victory lane to shift momentum in a positive direction heading into the Round of 12.



Dover International Speedway is one of Aric Almirola's favorite tracks. A back injury forced Almirola to watch the race at Dover earlier this year from afar. Almirola will lean on his team for notes from substitute driver Regan Smith. Almirola and the team posted two Top-Five finishes in 2015 and a 16th place finish in 2016, so they hope to finish strong on Sunday.
Almirola has 10 Monster Energy Series starts at Dover and tallied two Top-Five and three Top-10 finishes. He also has four XFINITY Series starts with a best finish of ninth. Almirola knows his way to Victory Lane at the "Monster Mile" as he scored a win in the Camping World Truck Series in 2010.
Born in Florida after his family fled Castro's Cuba, Almirola has risen to the top ranks of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit. El Corredor follows Almirola as he makes his first-ever trip to discover his ancestor's homeland, the booming car culture in Havana and the roots of his family tree.
When: Wednesday, September 27, 6:00 p.m.
Where: FS1 NASCAR Race Hub
"I really like racing at Dover. The sensation of speed there is like no other track we go to. We've had some good runs in Dover. We finished fifth in both races in 2015. We were involved in a crash and finished 16th last year, so hopefully we can back that up and get a good finish this weekend. The car looked pretty good earlier this year with Regan (Smith) driving it. We'll work off the team's notes and focus on having a good run."


Self-described life-long NASCAR “fanatic” Patty Chemberlin of Imlay City, Mich., service director at the Lasco Ford dealership in Trenton, is the big winner of the T1D, Motorcraft & Me “Customize for a Cause” t-shirt design contest to benefit JDRF.

Chemberlin’s winning design features the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion NASCAR racer appearing to drive off the wearer’s chest over the words: “Helping Break Through to Cure Type 1 Diabetes.”

She and three family members will be the guests of Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing during Ford Championship Weekend for the final race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nov. 17-19.

Her design also will be featured as a decal the side panels of the iconic Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 during that weekend’s Ford EcoBoost 400, which will decide the 2017 series champion.

Defeating diabetes is a cause close to Chemberlin’s heart, as her father, who introduced her to racing when she was young, died from diabetic complications six years ago.

“This kind of really struck home for me,” Chemberlin said. “This is a great charity.”

She brought the idea of offering t-shirts to customers to dealership principal Jay Lasco who not only approved the plan but helped make the design a reality on his computer.

“We came up with the ‘breakthrough’ idea and I love how he made the car look like it’s driving off the shirt,” Chemberlin said.

Team Lasco raised $1,270 with its t-shirt sales, approximately 10 percent of the total $12,000 raised by the campaign.

“I tied our Owners Advantage rewards program to the charity,” Chemberlin explained. “If customers bought a T-shirt, we put 10 points in their Owners Advantage account. Plus, a lot of employees bought T-shirts. It really turned out nice.”

Chemberlin is a second-generation automotive service manager. She has more than three decades of experience working in Ford dealership service departments. All the while, she and her husband have been ardent NASCAR fans.

“You don’t even know how excited I am,” she exclaimed. “My husband and I go to NASCAR races all over. Our goal in life is to get to every single track. I’m so excited. For me it’s a trip of a lifetime.

“I grew up around a race track and I am a super-big NASCAR fan,” she continued. “And I love (Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing driver) Ryan Blaney. He’s my guy right now.”

Ford Performance PR

Erik Jones logged time this week in both the driver’s seat and the barber chair in preparation for this week’s Apache Warrior 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

The majority of the preparation for the driver of Furniture Row Racing’s No. 77 SiriusXM Toyota came by way of his participation in a Goodyear tire test Tuesday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

“You know I think Dover is just a bigger Bristol in a way,” said Jones. “So there’s similar handling characteristics, similar things you fight. Hopefully, we can take some things we learned up there (to Dover). We didn’t really get to try a lot setup wise. Maybe there were some things that we learned along the way that will apply over to it.”

At Dover in June, Jones lined up the No. 77 Toyota in sixth place for the overtime restart but was collected in a multicar crash on the final lap. The team settled for a 15th-place finish.

“We learned a lot from the Dover race in June about what we need to do to be a little bit better this weekend,” said Jones. “We had probably a top-7 car but got caught up in a wreck there at the end. Dover is a track I really like and am comfortable at so we just need to keep the momentum rolling.

“We’ve had a lot of good weeks the past couple of months so hopefully we can run in the top five all day and keep that trend doing. Eventually, one of these races is going to work into our hands.”

Jones is 19th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings after 28 races. He trails Joey Logano for 17th place by 16 points. Jones continues to lead the 2017 Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings with 253 points, 16 ahead of Daniel Suarez (237) and 72 ahead of Ty Dillon (181).

Jones also took time this week to get his hair cut, ending the era of his mullet hairdo which had taken on a popularity of its own since getting it cut it into the style on his 21st birthday in May.

“It was hot, got really long and I just honestly got tired of it every day when I was getting up in the morning,” said Jones. “I was just ready to go back. I was done with it. I had my fun but it was over.”

The 400-lap, 400-mile Apache Warrior 400 will consist of three stages of 120/120/160 laps (120/240/400). Sunday’s race will air live beginning at noon MT (2 p.m. ET) on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and MRN. Qualifying (multi-car, three rounds) is scheduled for Friday at 1:40 p.m. MT (3:40 p.m. ET) on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and MRN.