Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (17846)

What started on Feb. 10, 2019 with the Advance Auto Parts Clash non-points race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway will now end with Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 

A wise person once said, “It’s over, already?”

 

Indeed it is ending after 10 months, 36 points-paying Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races – and don’t forget the two exhibition races – with the season finale in South Florida. And Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is once again in the Championship 4 and has a shot at his second title.

 

It’s Harvick against the world – or Joe Gibbs Racing, at least – as the other three contestants in Sunday’s winner-take-all championship race are Gibbs teammates Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Denny Hamlin. Truex has seven wins in 2019, Busch has four and Hamlin six. So, it’s Gibbs 17 victories versus Harvick’s four.

 

Fortunately, previous victories don’t count and whoever among the four finishes the highest will win the championship. And, let’s be honest, getting there is half the battle because, as said by Jim Carrey’s character Lloyd Christmas in the smash hit Dumb and Dumber, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance …”

 

Harvick has been in the Championship 4 five times in the last six years, more than any other driver except Busch, who is in his fifth consecutive Championship 4. Harvick won the title in 2014, his first year with SHR, and finished second in 2015 and third in 2017 and 2018. Should he win the title, he would become just the 16th driver to win two or more championships.

 

Some drivers get nervous or anxious during these championship runs. Harvick lives for them. The more pressure the better because he’s been involved in the top three tiers of NASCAR racing since 1995 and has won 110 races, including 49 it the Cup Series.

 

Harvick has one win, one pole, 10 top-five finishes, 16 top-10s and has led a total of 373 laps in his 18 career Cup Series starts at Homestead. His average start there is 12.3, his average finish is 6.6, and he has a lap-completion rate of 99.9 percent – 4,811 of 4,812 laps available. His last finish outside the top-10 was a 19th in November 2007, one of his only two finishes outside the top-10.

 

He won the November 2006 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Homestead, as well as the Xfinity race pole in November 2004. He has five top-10s in eight career Xfinity starts.And in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series,Harvick has raced at Homestead six times and won the November 2009 race among his four top-five finishes in six Truck races there.

 

So here we go. It’s why drivers race for 10 months out of the year throughout 36 points-paying events – to win championships. And Harvick has that chance.

TSC PR

NASCAR’s Championship Weekend set-up included clutch performances in all three national series this past weekend at Phoenix’s ISM Raceway.

Canadian Stewart Friesen won the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at the Phoenix one-miler – his second career series victory and first ever opportunity to race for a series championship.

NASCAR Xfinity Series veteran Justin Allgaier turned in his best effort of the season when it counted most – rallying to a victory on Saturday at Phoenix and earning his third title opportunity in the past four years.

Easily the weekend’s high drama moment came Sunday when Denny Hamlin earned his sixth win of the year – rallying from fifth place in the Playoff standings to earn the last Championship 4 automatic bid displacing reigning series champion Joey Logano as a title contender.

Martin Truex Jr., who won at Martinsville Speedway, Kevin Harvick, who won at Texas Motor Speedway, join Hamlin and regular season champion Kyle Busch to settle the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship this Sunday in the Ford EcoBoost 400 (2 p.m. CT on NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Intense competition filled the 2019 Playoffs and there’s every reason to believe there will be strong storylines at Miami as well.

Hamlin is the only member of the four Cup championship eligible drivers seeking his first title hardware. And he’ll be competing against two fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammates – 2017 series champion Martin Truex Jr. and 2015 champ Kyle Busch - for the big prize.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick won the 2014 series championship – pulling off a Phoenix “walk-off” win similar to Hamlin's this week. Harvick was ranked eighth in the standings heading into that Penultimate Playoff race and won it to earn his shot at the title. And he answered the effort with an emotional trophy hoist a week later at Homestead-Miami, Fla.

“I knew at the end of the race last week we were going to have a fighting chance," Hamlin said. “I had all the parts and pieces I needed to go to Phoenix and win the race. But it’s all the unknowns that you don’t know about.

“I just made sure I did my job. [Crew chief] Chris [Gabehart] worked really hard and did his job. Great to have a result like that."

Should anyone other than Hamlin win the title at Miami, the sport would be crowning only the second multi-time champion currently active in the series – joining seven-time Cup champ Jimmie Johnson.

Certainly all the Playoff eligible drivers drove at Phoenix like they were teeing up for this week’s title race in South Florida. Busch finished runner-up to Hamlin. Truex was fourth and Harvick was fifth.

This year’s title battle will mark only the second time since the Playoff eliminations started in the 2014 season that a team has had multiple drivers among the Championship 4. In 2016, both Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch advanced to the Championship 4 – a race and championship ultimately won by Hendrick Motorsport's Jimmie Johnson.

This weekend three JGR Toyotas fill the championship grid.

“We’ve raced against the 18 [Busch] there a few times, and kind of quasi-teammates, but never under the same roof, so to speak," Truex said, referring to the Furniture Row Racing Toyota team he was part of for the 2017 championship.

“I’m not sure [what to think]. It’s going to be interesting for sure. I feel like we’re here for a reason and that’s because we all work together so well and hopefully we’ll do that the same this week and throughout the weekend next weekend. And then Sunday, let the best team win."

When it comes to competing on the Homestead-Miami 1.5-miler, Harvick holds the mark for laps led (373) over Busch (343), Hamlin (254) and Truex (209). 

As for average finishes, Harvick’s 6.6 is easily best among this group of final four drivers and he boasts the most top-fives (10) and top-10s (16) as well.

Hamlin has a 10.6 average finish at Homestead and is the only driver among the group that has never suffered a DNF there. Truex averages a 10.8 finish and has a pair of runner-up finishes. Busch is averaging a 17.4 average finish at Homestead, but has scored six of his career seven top-10s in the last seven races.

Harvick (2014), Truex (2017) and Busch (2015) all won the race en route to their title.

Hamlin is the only multi-time winner among the foursome – earning trophies in 2009 and 2013 pre-dating the current Playoff elimination format.

“There’s still work to be done," Hamlin told the television audience Sunday. “[The win] doesn’t guarantee a championship. Gives us a chance. Live to fight another day.

“That’s all you can ask for."

The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Championship will be decided at the Ford EcoBoost 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., this Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC. Pre-race coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC. In addition, for the fifth consecutive year NBC Sports will present NASCAR Hot Pass – a simulcast of Sunday’s race on NBCSN that will offer hyper-focused coverage of the Championship Four drivers as they compete for the title.

Denny Hamlin secured the final spot Championship Four in Homestead with his victory at ISM Raceway just outside Phoenix on Sunday. Hamlin joins Martin Truex Jr., who clinched his spot with his win Martinsville, Kevin Harvick ,who clinched his spot in Texas, and Kyle Busch, who secured his spot in the Championship Four based on points. The highest finisher among the four drivers will win the 2019 Championship. Hamlin is the only driver of the four who has yet to win a Cup Series title.

2019 MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES PLAYOFF DRIVERS & STANDINGS: 

Car Driver Season Wins
18 Kyle Busch 4
11 Denny Hamlin 6
4 Kevin Harvick 4
19 Martin Truex Jr. 7

NASCAR CUP SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP FINALE FROM HOMESTEAD – SUNDAY AT 3 P.M. ET ON NBC 

NBC Sports kicks off its NASCAR Championship coverage from Homestead, this Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET with coverage of the first practice followed by the final practice at 6:30 p.m. on NBCSN. Cup qualifying will air Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Sunday’s race-day coverage from Homestead-Miami Speedway begins at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC with the NASCAR America Pre-Race show and an hour-long Countdown to Green at 2 p.m. ET from the Peacock Pit Box on pit road. Live coverage of the Ford EcoBoost 400 follows at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.

NBC Sports race announcer Rick Allen will call the action alongside Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte. 21-time Cup Series winner Jeff Burton and two-time Daytona 500 Champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. will provide commentary from a second booth.

NBC Sports’ NASCAR pre-race host Krista Voda, auto racing icon Kyle Petty, and Hall of Fame driver and 1999 NASCAR Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett will host NASCAR America Pre-Race and Countdown to Green, as well as post-race coverage. Kelli Stavast, Dave Burns, Marty Snider, Parker Kligerman, and Rutledge Wood will provide commentary and interviews from pit-road and grandstands.

Coverage will continue with the post-race show at 6:30 p.m. ET and will shift to NBCSN for extended post-race coverage at 7 p.m. ET.


NBC SPORTS’ NASCAR HOT PASS PRESENTS HYPER-FOCUSED SIMULCAST COVERAGE OF 2019 CHAMPIONSHIP FOUR CONTENDERS ON NBCSN

From the green flag to the checkered, NBCSN’s multi-window telecast will provide viewers with an isolated in-depth look at Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. as they battle for the 2019 Monster Energy Cup Series title.

NBC Sports veteran motorsports announcer Leigh Diffey will call NASCAR Hot Pass coverage on NBCSN alongside Dale Jarrett.

Here are highlights of NBC Sports’ NASCAR Hot Pass simulcast on NBCSN:

  • Isolated cameras dedicated to each of the Championship Four drivers
  • Continuous team radio communication from each of the Championship Four drivers
  • On-air graphics highlighting point differentials and field changes between the drivers, as well an independent pane of race facts and figures to give viewers up to the minute statistics about the race.
  • The return of the Dale Jr. Spy Cam, which made its debut at Martinsville, which will provide a behind-the-scenes look into the broadcast booth with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton.


NBC SPORTS 2019 NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIP MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TODAY AT 2 P.M. ET

NBC Sports NASCAR analysts Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett, Kyle Petty and Steve Letarte, as well as NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood, will preview the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship on a media conference call this today –  November 12, at 2 p.m. ET.

Media interested in attending should call 334-777-6978; meeting ID 7676519.

  • WHAT: 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Media Conference Call
  • WHO: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett, Kyle Petty, Steve Letarte and Sam Flood
  • WHEN: Tuesday, November 12 at 2 p.m. ET
  • NUMBER: 334-777-6978
  • MEETING ID: 7676519


XFINITY SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP RACING FROM HOMESTEAD – SATURDAY AT 3 P.M. ET ON NBC

NBC Sports’ Xfinity Series Championship racing from Homestead begins Friday with coverage of the first practice at 2:30 p.m. ET followed by final practice at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Race day coverage begins Saturday with qualifying at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN followed by NASCAR America at 1:30 p.m. ET. Coverage continues on NBCSN with Countdown to Green at 3 p.m. ET followed by the race at 3:30 p.m. ET.

The four drivers competing for Xfinity Series Championship are Christopher Bell (8 wins), Justin Allgaier (1 win), Tyler Reddick (5 wins), and Cole Custer (7 wins). Allgaier won his way into the Xfinity Championship 4 at ISM Raceway, marking his first victory since Indianapolis in 2018.


DALE JR. DOWNLOAD AIRS TODAY AT 5 P.M ET WITH KENNY WALLACE  

Tuesday’s episode of The Dale Jr. Download at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN will feature an interview with former NASCAR driver and motorsports commentator Kenny Wallace. Wallace will discuss the upcoming Championship in Miami and the future of motorsports.

Produced on-site at Dirty Mo Media Studios in Mooresville, N.C., The Dale Jr. Download on NBCSN takes viewers couch-side for the taping of the motorsports icon’s weekly podcast, featuring unparalleled perspective, candid commentary, and insight that fans have come to expect from Dale Jr.


NASCAR AMERICA MOTORMOUTHS – WEDNESDAY AT 5 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

Dale Jarrett will be this week’s special guest on NASCAR America MotorMouths on Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Jarrett will join Rutledge Wood and Kyle Petty to discuss the latest stories in NASCAR and take questions from fans and viewers as they call into the show.


A RECORD 32 WINNERS IN THE ‘PICK ‘EM’ JACKPOT IN PHOENIX; POT SETS TO $10,000 FOR FINAL RACE

More than 100,000 fans – the most to-date – competed in the NASCAR Pick ‘Em game on the NBC Sports Predictor app for Sunday’s race at Phoenix, and a record 32 fans recorded a perfect score to split the $30,000 jackpot. Fans will have one more chance play the NASCAR Pick ‘Em free-to-play game on the NBC Sports Predictor app this weekend as the jackpot resets to $10,000 at Homestead.

  • For each race stage, pick the driver that will have the best finish from a group of four drivers.
  • Then, out of the entire field, pick which drivers will finish the race in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place – in exact order.

Following is this week’s NASCAR programming across NBC Sports:

 DATE COVERAGE TIME (ET) NETWORK
Tue., November 12 The Dale Jr. Download w/ Kenny Wallace 5 p.m. NBCSN
Wed., November. 13 NASCAR America Motormouths w/ Dale Jarrett 5 p.m. NBCSN
Thur., November 14 NASCAR America Championship Media Day 5 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., November 15 NASCAR Xfinity Series First Practice –Homestead 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
  NASCAR Cup Series First Practice – Homestead 3:30 p.m. NBCSN
  NASCAR Xfinity Series Final Practice – Homestead 5:30 p.m. NBCSN
  NASCAR Cup Series Final Practice– Homestead 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., November 16 NASCAR Xfinity Series Qualifying – Homestead 12:30 p.m. NBCSN
  NASCAR America 1:30 p.m. NBCSN
  NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying – Homestead 2 p.m. NBCSN
  NASCAR Xfinity Series Countdown to Green 3 p.m. NBCSN
  NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship – Homestead 3:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., November 17 NASCAR America Pre-Race 1:30 p.m. NBC
  NASCAR Cup Series Countdown to Green 2 p.m. NBC
  NASCAR Cup Series Championship – Homestead 3 p.m. NBC
  NASCAR Cup Series Post-Race Show 6:30 p.m. NBC
  NASCAR Cup Series Extended Post-Race Show 7 p.m. NBCSN

 

NBC SPORTS’ NASCAR COVERAGE

The official home of the NASCAR Playoffs, NBC Sports will present the final 20 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR Xfinity Series races, and select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events in 2019. NBC Sports’ NASCAR programming also includes NBCSN’s daily motorsports show NASCAR America, coverage of NASCAR’s Awards Ceremonies, the annual NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony, as well as original programming specials.

NBC Sports PR

After a successful on-track debut at Texas Motor Speedway, Speedy Cash, an omni-channel financial services provider specializing in personal loans, returns to partner with Nemechek at the NASCAR championship race at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway this weekend.
Speedy Cash made national headlines during Nemechek's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut earlier this month.  The No. 36 Speedy Cash Ford Mustang team finished 21st in their debut with Nemechek.  In addition, Speedy Cash engaged fans with media, at-track signage and multiple appearances by Nemechek.
 
"We were very impressed with John Hunter during his NASCAR Cup Series debut, but even more impressed with his positive attitude towards the fans and our customers," commented Don Gayhardt, CEO, CURO Financial Technologies.  "We believe that John Hunter is a future star in the sport, and as a hard worker, our customers and teammates can relate with him.  We are proud to once again support him this weekend at Homestead."
 
Founded in Riverside, Calif., Speedy Cash offers a variety of convenient, easily accessible financial services, including installment loans, lines of credit, title loans and check cashing. The lender is also the exclusive provider of Opt+ prepaid debit cards. For over 20 years, Speedy Cash has provided the latest and most innovative lending methods to its customers with services available in branches, online, over the phone and via mobile app.
 
Speedy Cash will again be visible with television commercials airing nationally with John Hunter Nemechek this weekend.
 
"I really want to thank Speedy Cash for their support as I make my first starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series," stated Nemechek.  "For me, Speedy Cash is pretty cool.  If you need cash, there are so many easy ways you can get it using their services.  It can be at their stores, online or using their app.  We're always connected online, so getting the app and getting a quick loan is pretty simple.  I've enjoyed getting to know them and I want to have a great run on Sunday for them."
 
The No. 36 Speedy Cash Ford Mustang will race this Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship will air on NBC at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC and MRN.
 
For more information about Speedy Cash, visit SpeedyCash.com.
FRM PR

The current elimination format of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs is down to the final weekend of its sixth season, and one thing has been clear during the format’s first five seasons of finales – to the victor go the spoils.

 

While the rules state that simply the highest-finisher among the four championship-eligible drivers Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway will win this year’s title, it’s been proven thus far it’s about more than being the highest finisher, it’s a must-win situation. Joey Logano was the latest to win the finale at Homestead last season to clinch his first career championship. The winner-take-all scenario rang true as right behind the victorious Logano was fellow Championship 4 contender Martin Truex Jr. in the runner-up spot.

 

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is a five-time race winner in 2019 and once again among this weekend’s Championship 4, accomplished the same feat in 2015 when he won the 400-mile season finale at Homestead to bring home his first Cup Series championship.

 

Busch knows the task of winning at Homestead is a big one as he’ll compete primarily against JGR equipment with teammates Truex and Denny Hamlin also vying for the title Sunday. Kevin Harvick, the 2014 series champion, will be the lone driver from outside the JGR fold who will vie for the title in the one-race shootout for the Cup Series championship trophy Sunday afternoon in South Florida. Through this season’s first 35 races, Truex has finished best among the four title contenders 12 times, Busch 10 times, Hamlin seven times and Harvick six times.

 

With three top-five finishes through this year’s nine playoff races, Busch knows he’ll likely need to find one more victory in order to become the 2019 Cup Series champion and bring home his second title. There have been 15 NASCAR Cup Series drivers who have won two or more championships since the sport was founded in 1959. Not only is Busch hoping to become the 16th on Sunday, so is Truex and Harvick.

 

While Busch’s average finish of 17.4 at Homestead may not be his best, he has become strong and consistent on the 1.5-mile oval the past four seasons, bringing home three top-fives and four top-10s. His most impressive race at Homestead, of course, was his 2015 championship-winning effort, when he led six times for a total of 41 laps in the 400-mile race.

 

So, as Busch heads to South Florida with everything on the line Sunday, the M&M’S driver and his team will most certainly be in must-win mode as it’s proven to be the only way to guarantee their second Cup Series championship and their membership in the multi-series championship club.

TSC PR

Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing ends a banner year this weekend as both its NHRA and NASCAR teams wrap up competition.

Records were set and new programs launched on the track and off. On the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series side, driver Paul Menard and longtime Motorcraft-sponsored Wood Brothers Racing finished in the top 10 five times, with a season-high sixth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Ford EcoBoost 400 will be the last race with the team for Menard, as he will step away at the end of the season to spend more time with his family.

“I am looking forward to getting down to Homestead and competing for the 100th win for the Wood Brothers,” Menard said. “While I don’t view this as my last race ever, I am happy to be ending my full-time NASCAR career with Wood Brothers Racing. It has been an honor to run the iconic No. 21 and join the list of legends that have driven for the oldest team in the sport. There are things I am going to miss, especially all the folks I’ve worked with and come to know through the years, but I am most looking forward to some family time.”

On the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series side, Bob Tasca III reset both ends of his career bests this year in a brand-new Ford Mustang Funny Car designed by Ford Performance. His personal records for time and speed on the 1,000-foot track now sit at 3.855 seconds (St. Louis) and 335.32 mph (Reading, Pa).

Tasca also broke the sound barrier during a ride along in an F-15 at Nellis Air Force Base in October just days after bringing standout crew chief Mike Neff in house fulltime. He shares tuning duties with Jon Schaffer, whom he’d worked with before.

Tasca and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team have two wins, two runners-up and four semifinal finishes so far this season in the NHRA Mello Yello Series. They are currently fifth in the playoff standings.

“When we look back, this is going to be a breakout year for us,” Tasca said. “The Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang is running on rails. I have all the confidence in the world in (Neff and Schaffer). Ford Performance did such a great job on this new Ford Mustang Funny Car body and we’re consistently going rounds on race day. I’m already looking forward to next year. I’ve never been so excited to be part of it.”

Off the track, Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD) launched one new initiative and expanded another. Heavy involvement in the NHRA Youth and Education Services (YES) program helped get the word out that Ford and Lincoln Dealerships have jobs to fill. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the automotive service technician industry will face a shortage of 45,000 technicians per year now through 2026.

More than 31,000 students have registered to attend YES events during the 2019 racing season, with one event yet to come this week in Pomona, Calif.

“The NHRA YES partnership is doing exactly what we hoped it would do,” said Jasmine Pendleton, Marketing Manager for FCSD. “It’s amazing to see all of the school busses roll in and know that every person on those busses could have a future with us. Bob is the perfect spokesperson for these initiatives. You can see he really connects with the students and believes in the message we’re bringing.”

Bringing in new technicians is one goal for Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing. FCSD addressed the other, retaining talent already there, by partnering with Ford Service Engineering Operations (Ford SEO) to host the “Motor City Homecoming” for Ford and Lincoln Automotive Service Technicians who had maintained Senior Master status for 20 years. Guests attended the August NASCAR race at Michigan International Speedway, where they got to see their names of the sides of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang.

To become a Senior Master Tech, technicians complete 15 classroom courses, 57 online classes and must have five years of service at a Ford or Lincoln dealership. To maintain their Senior Master status, the technicians invited to the race had taken all new required training and two electives per year, for the last 20 years.

“Our goal with the 20-Year Senior Master event was to show how much we appreciate all of the hours these technicians have spent to reach the top of their field,” Pendleton said. “Bringing in new technicians is important, but having mentors already in place is just as important and we want to make sure we do what we can to help.”

The Auto Club NHRA Finals kicks off this Friday at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif. TV coverage begins with Friday Night Nitro Live from 5:30-7:30 p.m. ET Friday, Nov. 15 and continues on race day from 3-7 p.m. ET Sunday, also on FS1.

Coverage from the FordEcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17 on NBC, MRN and on the NBC Sports app.

Ford Performance PR

With just two races remaining on the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule, Ty Dillon and the GEICO Military team aimed to continue their run of strong finishes. Momentum has favored Germain Racing and it would not depart them during their visit to Phoenix, AZ, over the weekend. Having completed 99.7% of the laps raced at ISM Raceway, the 27-year old Dillon eagerly anticipated the weekend ahead.  
 
In honor of Veterans Day, Dillon would carry the Geckoflauge-themed GEICO Military livery in salute to America's veterans and their families. This tribute would also include the names of 87 Germain Racing family members, along with five current team members, who have served in the United States military, appearing on the decklid of the racecar.
 
An inspired Dillon arrived in the garage at ISM Raceway looking to honor those who have served our country. While the group faced challenges in practice, and later in qualifying, the GEICO Military team entered race day with a strategy to move through the field at a track where passing is nearly non-existent. To do so would require the sharpened pencil of crew chief, Matt Borland, efficient pit stops during the race and a fiercely driven, Ty Dillon. This trio would come together as race day got underway on Sunday.
When the green flag set the field underway for 312-laps of racing, Dillon and his No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 began their journey from the 29th position. While much was made of the lack of passing at ISM Raceway, Dillon paid little attention and rather focused on hurriedly making his way around the one-mile oval. His efforts were rewarded when he garnered an attention-grabbing six positions in the opening ten-laps and found himself in 23rd place.
 
Dillon and his No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 broke into the top-20 on lap 73 and took up residence there for the balance of the day. Borland and the Germain Racing pit crew were resolute in their efforts on pit road, while Dillon reciprocated on the racing surface. The coordinated attack netted a 20th place finish and the GEICO Military team's 16th top-20 result of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season. While it was well-documented that passing was at a premium on Sunday, Dillon instead netted a nine-position improvement by the conclusion of the Bluegreen Vacations 500.
 
"After our qualifying effort, we knew we needed to gain as many positions as we could, as quickly as we could. Not putting ourselves out of contention in the first stage was key and we were able to do that," Dillon said after climbing from his car. "With the lack of cautions and the passing being so difficult at this track though, it presented a challenge at times. My GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 was just too loose for parts of the race, but every chance that Matt (Borland, crew chief) had to make adjustments, we took steps in the right direction. This Germain Racing team continues to work hard each week to get the best finish possible. I'm looking forward to getting to Homestead and finishing out the season strong."
 
With regard to Veterans Day, Dillon lit up at the opportunity to discuss the holiday and its meaning to him and the Germain Racing organization.
 
"It was an honor to carry the GEICO Military paint scheme and have the names of 87 veterans on our car today. To have the veteran family members of our Germain Racing team members listed, including five of our current employees, is such a cool tribute to the sacrifices they, and all veterans, have made in their lives. We wouldn't be able to race each week if our servicemen and women weren't protecting our freedom. Those men and women are the true heroes and I was proud to have them riding on our decklid." 
 
The season finale now awaits Germain Racing in Homestead, FL. Race number 36 will cap off a successful season that has seen the GEICO team remain competitive and strong throughout the entire year.  
 
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 will hit the track at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, November 15th, at 3:35 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow on Saturday at 2:05 PM (ET).
                                                     
The Ford EcoBoost 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Sunday, November 17th, and it will be televised live on NBC beginning at 3 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
PMI PR

For the fifth consecutive year, NBC Sports will deliver multi-network coverage of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship, this Sunday, November 17 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. As a complement to NBC’s primary broadcast of the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race from Homestead-Miami Speedway, Sunday’s NASCAR Hot Pass telecast on NBCSN will offer simultaneous live coverage hyper-focused on each of the Championship Four drivers.

From the green flag to the checkered, NBCSN’s multi-window telecast will provide viewers with an isolated in-depth look at Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. as they battle for the 2019 Monster Energy Cup Series title.

NBC Sports veteran motorsports announcer Leigh Diffey will call NASCAR Hot Pass coverage on NBCSN alongside analyst and Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett, who won the 1999 NASCAR Cup Series title at Homestead-Miami 20 years ago.

Here are highlights of NBC Sports’ NASCAR Hot Pass simulcast on NBCSN:

  • Isolated cameras dedicated to each of the Championship Four drivers
  • Continuous team radio communication from each of the Championship Four drivers
  • On-air graphics highlighting point differentials and field changes between the drivers, as well an independent pane of race facts and figures to give viewers up to the minute statistics about the race.
  • The return of the Dale Jr. Spy Cam, which made its debut at Martinsville, which will provide a behind-the-scenes look into the broadcast booth with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton.

In addition to live television coverage, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will provide live streaming coverage of NBC’s race broadcast and NBCSN’s Hot Pass presentation.

NBC Sports PR

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is competing for his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 

A NASCAR Cup Series title would be the second for Harvick and the third for SHR since its inception in 2009. SHR won the 2011 Cup Series championship with driver-owner Tony Stewart and Harvick won the team’s second title in 2014.

 

The following are some anecdotes regarding the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title contender.

 

TITLE TALLIES:

●  Harvick has eight driving titles in his 38 years of racing. They are as follows:

  • 2014 NASCAR Cup Series championship
  • 2006 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship
  • 2002 IROC Series championship
  • 2001 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship
  • 1998 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship
  • 1993 Late Model Track championship at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, California
  • 1987 International Kart Federation National championship
  • 1985 International Kart Federation National championship

●  No. 4 team crew chief Rodney Childers scored his lone championship as a NASCAR Cup Series crew chief in 2014 with Harvick.

 

●  SHR co-owners Tony Stewart and Gene Haas have three NASCAR championships since joining forces in 2009.

  • 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series owners’ championship with the No. 00 team of Cole Custer
  • 2014 NASCAR Cup Series championship with the No. 4 team of Harvick
  • 2011 NASCAR Cup Series championship with the No. 14 team of Stewart

●  Tony Stewart has 29 overall championships as a car owner.

  • 2 NASCAR Cup Series championships as co-owner of SHR:
    • 2014 with Harvick
    • 2011 as a driver/owner
  • 1 NASCAR Xfinity Series owners’ championship as co-owner of SHR:
    • 2018 with No. 00 team
  • 9 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series championships as the owner of Tony Stewart Racing:
    • 2018 with Donny Schatz
    • 2017 with Schatz
    • 2016 with Schatz
    • 2015 with Schatz
    • 2014 with Schatz
    • 2012 with Schatz
    • 2009 with Schatz
    • 2008 with Schatz
    • 2001 with Danny Lasoski
  • 14 USAC championships as the owner of Tony Stewart Racing:
    • 2013 USAC Sprint Car championship with Bryan Clauson
    • 2013 USAC Silver Crown championship with Bobby East
    • 2011 USAC Sprint Car championship with Levi Jones
    • 2011 USAC Silver Crown championship with Jones
    • 2010 USAC Sprint Car championship with Jones
    • 2010 USAC Silver Crown championship with Jones
    • 2008 USAC Sprint Car championship with Jones
    • 2007 USAC Sprint Car championship with Jones
    • 2006 USAC Sprint Car championship with Josh Wise
    • 2005 USAC Silver Crown championship with J.J. Yeley (Stewart co-owned team with Bob East)
    • 2004 USAC Silver Crown championship with Yeley (Stewart co-owned team with Bob East)
    • 2003 USAC Sprint Car championship with Yeley
    • 2003 USAC Silver Crown championship with Yeley (Stewart co-owned team with Bob East)
    • 2002 USAC Silver Crown championship with Yeley (Stewart co-owned team with Bob East)
  • 3 UMRA King of the TQ Midget Racing Series championships
    • 2017 with Ron Combs
    • 2015 with Combs
    • 2005 with Combs

CHAMPIONSHIP ANECDOTES:

 

●  If Harvick wins the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series championship, he would become the 16th NASCAR Cup Series driver to win two or more championships since the sport was founded in 1948.

 

●  If Harvick wins the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series championship, he would become the first driver since SHR co-owner Tony Stewart to win a NASCAR Cup Series title with two different manufacturers. Nine drivers have accomplished the feat.

  • Tim Flock (1952 Hudson; 1955 Chrysler)
  • Lee Petty (1954 Chrysler; 1958 Oldsmobile; 1959 Plymouth)
  • Buck Baker (1956 Chrysler; 1957 Chevrolet)
  • Ned Jarrett (1961 Chevrolet; 1965 Ford)
  • Richard Petty (1964, 1967, 1971-1972 Plymouth; 1974-75 Dodge; 1979 Chevrolet)
  • David Pearson (1966 Dodge; 1968-69 Ford)
  • Cale Yarborough (1976-77 Chevrolet; 1978 Oldsmobile)
  • Darrell Waltrip (1981-82 Buick; 1985 Chevrolet)
  • Tony Stewart (2002 Pontiac; 2005 and 2011 Chevrolet)

●  If Harvick wins the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series championship, he would deliver the 10th driver title to Ford in the NASCAR Cup Series, and its second straight.

  • Ned Jarrett (1965)
  • David Pearson (1968, 1969)
  • Bill Elliott (1988)
  • Alan Kulwicki (1992)
  • Dale Jarrett (1999)
  • Matt Kenseth (2003)
  • Kurt Busch (2004)
  • Joey Logano (2018)

●  If Harvick wins the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series championship, he would become the first driver in NASCAR history to win multiple NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series titles. Harvick won the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series championship and is a two-time Xfinity Series champion (2001 and 2006).

 

●  Harvick, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Bobby Labonte and Brad Keselowski are the only drivers to earn both a NASCAR Cup Series championship and a NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.

 

●  Harvick and Kyle Busch are the only drivers to make the Championship 4 at Homestead five times in the six years since the inception of the winner-take-all format in 2014.

 

SEASON ANECDOTES:

 

●  Since joining forces in 2014, Harvick and crew chief Childers have combined to produce 26 victories, 25 poles, 105 top-five finishes and 152 top-10s; led 9,567 laps; and made the Championship 4 five times in the last six years. (They won the 2014 Cup Series title and have finished runner-up twice, to 2015 champion Kyle Busch and to 2018 champion Joey Logano.) Their worst points finish is eighth in 2016.)

 

●  In 2019 alone, Harvick has claimed four victories, a series-leading six poles, 14 top-fives, 25 top-10s and led 912 laps.

 

●  Harvick has led laps in 17 of the 35 NASCAR Cup Series races run thus far in 2019. He has led the most laps in six races:

  • Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March (88)
  • Kansas Speedway in May (104)
  • Chicagoland Speedway in June (132)
  • Pocono Raceway in July (62)
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway in September (118)
  • Texas Motor Speedway in November (119)

●  Harvick is only 88 laps away from tallying 1,000 laps led in 2019. If he leads 88 or more laps at Homestead, it will be the fifth time in his career that Harvick has led 1,000 or more laps in a season – all of which will have come with SHR.

 

●  Harvick is only seven laps shy of reaching 14,000 career laps led. Should he lead seven or more laps at Homestead, he will become just the 11th driver in Cup Series history – and only the third active driver – to surpass 14,000 laps led in his career.

 

●  Harvick has scored nine playoff wins since coming to SHR in 2014. He is tied with fellow Championship 4 competitor Martin Truex Jr. for the most playoff wins since the inception of the winner-take-all format in 2014. Harvick’s playoff wins are as follows:

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway (2014)
  • ISM Raceway near Phoenix (2014)
  • Homestead-Miami Speedway (2014)
  • Dover International Speedway (2015)
  • New Hampshire Motor Speedway (2016)
  • Kansas Speedway (2016)
  • Texas Motor Speedway (2017)
  • Texas Motor Speedway (2018)
  • Texas Motor Speedway (2019)

HOMESTEAD ANECDOTES:

 

●  In 18 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead, Harvick has a pole (2016), a win (2014), 10 top-fives, 16 top-10s and 373 laps led. His average start at the 1.5-mile oval is 12.3, his average finish is 6.6 and he has completed all but one of the 4,812 laps available.

 

●  Harvick’s 10 top-fives at Homestead are the most among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers. Next best is Jimmie Johnson with five top-fives.

 

●  Harvick’s 16 top-10s at Homestead are the most among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers. Next best is Jimmie Johnson with 11 top-10s.

 

●  Harvick’s 373 laps led at Homestead are the most among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers. Next best is Kyle Busch with 343 laps led.

 

●  Harvick leads the following loop-data categories at Homestead:

  • Best Average Running Position: 5.6 average finish and an 8.162 average position.
    • Next best is Martin Truex Jr. with a 9.2 average finish and an 8.712 average position.
  • Best Closer: 3.2 average spots gained and a collective gain of 45 positions.
    • Next best is Aric Almirola with 3.8 average spots gained and a collective gain of 34 positions.
  • Best Average Speed Late in a Run: 145.837 mph.
    • Next best is Martin Truex Jr. at 145.581 mph.
  • Laps in Top-15: 3,136
    • Next best is Martin Truex Jr. with 2,959 laps.

TSC PR

NASCAR’s Championship Weekend set-up included clutch performances in all three national series this past weekend at Phoenix’s ISM Raceway.

Canadian Stewart Friesen won the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at the Phoenix one-miler – his second career series victory and first ever opportunity to race for a series championship.

NASCAR Xfinity Series veteran Justin Allgaier turned in his best effort of the season when it counted most – rallying to a victory on Saturday at Phoenix and earning his third title opportunity in the past four years.

Easily the weekend’s high drama moment came Sunday when Denny Hamlin earned his sixth win of the year – rallying from fifth place in the Playoff standings to earn the last Championship 4 automatic bid displacing reigning series champion Joey Logano as a title contender.

Martin Truex Jr., who won at Martinsville Speedway, Kevin Harvick, who won at Texas Motor Speedway, join Hamlin and regular season champion Kyle Busch to settle the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship this Sunday in the Ford EcoBoost 400 (3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Intense competition filled the 2019 Playoffs and there’s every reason to believe there will be strong storylines at Miami as well.

Hamlin is the only member of the four Cup championship eligible drivers seeking his first title hardware. And he’ll be competing against two fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammates – 2017 series champion Martin Truex Jr. and 2015 champ Kyle Busch - for the big prize.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick won the 2014 series championship – pulling off a Phoenix “walk-off” win similar to Hamlin's this week. Harvick was ranked eighth in the standings heading into that Penultimate Playoff race and won it to earn his shot at the title. And he answered the effort with an emotional trophy hoist a week later at Homestead-Miami, Fla.

“I knew at the end of the race last week we were going to have a fighting chance," Hamlin said. “I had all the parts and pieces I needed to go to Phoenix and win the race. But it’s all the unknowns that you don’t know about.

“I just made sure I did my job. [Crew chief] Chris [Gabehart] worked really hard and did his job. Great to have a result like that."

Should anyone other than Hamlin win the title at Miami, the sport would be crowning only the second multi-time champion currently active in the series – joining seven-time Cup champ Jimmie Johnson.

Certainly all the Playoff eligible drivers drove at Phoenix like they were teeing up for this week’s title race in South Florida. Busch finished runner-up to Hamlin. Truex was fourth and Harvick was fifth.

This year’s title battle will mark only the second time since the Playoff eliminations started in the 2014 season that a team has had multiple drivers among the Championship 4. In 2016, both Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch advanced to the Championship 4 – a race and championship ultimately won by Hendrick Motorsport's Jimmie Johnson.

This weekend three JGR Toyotas fill the championship grid.

“We’ve raced against the 18 [Busch] there a few times, and kind of quasi-teammates, but never under the same roof, so to speak," Truex said, referring to the Furniture Row Racing Toyota team he was part of for the 2017 championship.

“I’m not sure [what to think]. It’s going to be interesting for sure. I feel like we’re here for a reason and that’s because we all work together so well and hopefully we’ll do that the same this week and throughout the weekend next weekend. And then Sunday, let the best team win."

When it comes to competing on the Homestead-Miami 1.5-miler, Harvick holds the mark for laps led (373) over Busch (343), Hamlin (254) and Truex (209).

As for average finishes, Harvick’s 6.6 is easily best among this group of final four drivers and he boasts the most top-fives (10) and top-10s (16) as well.

Hamlin has a 10.6 average finish at Homestead and is the only driver among the group that has never suffered a DNF there. Truex averages a 10.8 finish and has a pair of runner-up finishes. Busch is averaging a 17.4 average finish at Homestead, but has scored six of his career seven top-10s in the last seven races.

Harvick (2014), Truex (2017) and Busch (2015) all won the race en route to their title.

Hamlin is the only multi-time winner among the foursome – earning trophies in 2009 and 2013 pre-dating the current Playoff elimination format.

“There’s still work to be done," Hamlin told the television audience Sunday. “[The win] doesn’t guarantee a championship. Gives us a chance. Live to fight another day.

“That’s all you can ask for."

Club Wyndham®, the nation’s largest vacation club, wants you to hit the road next summer and has teamed up with Richard Petty to provide the ultimate road trip ride — the Club Wyndham 2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS, custom built by Petty’s Garage.  Travelers can enter Richard Petty’s Roadtrip Sweepstakes,in Partnership with Club Wyndham now through May 5, 2020, for a chance to win the custom Camaro, vacation stays at Club Wyndham resorts and more.

Six sweepstakes finalists will enjoy the trip of a lifetime to Charlotte, North Carolina where they will meet Richard Petty and NASCAR driver Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. Each of the finalists will receive a key to the Club Wyndham Camaro, but only one lucky driver will be able to unlock the custom car and speed off with the grand prize.

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Club Wyndham PR

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