Stock car's most elite will battle it out Sunday in the sports longest race; the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Kevin Harvick will be searching for his third win in a row for the second time this season on Sunday. Also, Harvick will look to become the eighth winner to win both the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600.
If driver NO. 4 was to win on Sunday, he would be the eighth to win the All-Star and Coca-Cola 600 after Darrell Waltrip, Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch.
Kyle Busch will look to give Kevin Harvick some competition on Sunday as Busch has won three races this season and remains a contender at the 1.5 mile tracks.
Daniel Suarez is coming off of a impressive run last Saturday night, finishing second to Harvick.
The 400 lapper at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be a test for the sports bests. Staying on top of the track changes will be a key to all as the sun sets the track will become much cooler, giving more grip to the drivers. But when the green flag drops under the sun, the track will be hot, slick and a test for many.
2:35 p.m. ET - 3:25 p.m. ET: Monster Energy Cup Series Practice, FS1
4:05 p.m. ET - 4:55 p.m. ET: NASCAR Xfinity Series Practice, FS1
6:00 p.m. ET - 6:50 p.m. ET: NASCAR Xfinity Series Final Practice, FS1
7:15 p.m. ET: Monster Energy Cup Series Qualifying, FS1
9:05 a.m. ET - 9:55 a.m. ET: Monster Energy Cup Series Practice, FS1
10:10 a.m. ET: NASCAR Xfinity Series Qualifying, FS1
11:05 a.m. ET - 11:55 a.m. ET: Monster Energy Cup Series Final Practice, FS1.
1:00 p.m. ET: NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco 300 (200 laps, 300 miles), FOX
6:00 p.m. ET: Monster Energy Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 (400 laps, 600 miles) FOX
Kevin Harvick becomes one million dollars richer with his victory Saturday night.
Harvick held off the hard charging Daniel Suarez in overtime of the final stage to win Saturday nights Monster Energy All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
While this win may not count points wise, it sure adds to the magnificent season of team NO. 4.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you" Harvick yelled over his radio after crossing the finish line. Harvick's crew would then join the celebration by climbing the frontstretch fence.
Saturday's race was the first run a NASCAR's new aero package that feature front air ducks, restrictor plates, larger rear spoiler and splitter.
"We got a little behind on the first pit stop and traffic wasn't our friend," Harvick said in Victory Lane. "I mean these guys built a really, really fast Ford. I have to say thank you to the aero department and the fab shop and all the guys in engineering.
"And special thanks to the Roush-Yates engine department. They put a lot of effort in, they love restrictor-plate racing - and we won!"
Joey Logano finished third, Denny Hamlin finished fourth and Chase Elliott rounded out the top five.
When the final stage went underway, Harvick would lead the field, just behind him was Daniel Suarez in second, Kyle Larson in third, Ryan Blaney in fourth and Joey Logano rounding out the top five.
Ryan Blaney would take third position away from Daniel Suarez after the race restarted.
Denny Hamlin would move into third behind Harvick and Suarez with six laps remaining.
Joey Logano's and Kyle Larson's night wouldn't get much better as with two laps remaining the two drivers would make contact. The two drivers would make contact on Turn 4, ultimately sending sending Logano into the wall and Kyle Larson through the infield grass. As result, the All-Star Race would then go into overtime with Harvick in control of the top spot and Suarez in second, Hamlin in third, Logano in fourth and Jimmie Johnson rounding out the top five.
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick
Stage 2 Winner Kyle Busch
Stage 3 Winner/Race Winner: Kevin Harvick
Next Race: Coca-Cola 600 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, May 27th on Fox.
NASCAR made the decision to let teams have a one hour practice session that would begin at 11:30 a.m. Eastern. The session would be combined with drivers from tonight's All-Star Open and All-Star Race.
Kyle Larson would lead the combined All-Star final practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Driver NO. 42 ran a lap time of 31.159 with a speed of 173.255 mph. The Elk Grove, California native will start from the sixteenth position Saturday night.
Rounding out the top five were Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez.
Daniel Suarez would lead the field of All-Star Open drivers with a lap of 31.276 and a speed of 172.656 mph.
Pole sitter Matt Kenseth was 20th fastest.
Tonight's All-Star Open coverage is slated to begin at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on Fox Sports 1. Four drivers from the All-Star Open will transfer into the All-Star Race; Stage 1 winner, Stage 2 winner, Stage 3 winner and fan vote.
All-Star Race coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on Fox Sports 1.
Final Practice Results:
1. Kyle Larson
2. Clint Bowyer
3. Aric Almirola
5. Daniel Suarez
6. Darrell Wallace Jr.
7. Kurt Busch
8. Alex Bowman
9. Ryan Blaney
10. Chase Elliott
11. Jimmie Johnson
12. Kyle Busch
13. Brad Keselowski
14. Ryan Newman
15. Austin Dillion
16. Joey Logano
17. Denny Hamlin
18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
19. Martin Truex Jr.
20. Matt Kenseth
21. Kasey Kahne
22. Chris Buescher
23. Michael McDowell
24. Erik Jones
25. Paul Menard
26. Ty Dillion
27. William Byron
28. David Ragan
29. Jamie McMurray
30. AJ Allmendinger
31. Matt DiBenedetto
32. Corey LaJoie
33. Gray Gaulding
34. Landon Cassill
35. Reed Sorenson
36. BJ McLeod
37. Ross Chastain
38. Timmy Hill
Johnny Sauter won a ten lap shootout on Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway to score his 20th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career victory.
Friday nights win was Sauter's third win of the 2018 season and first at Charlotte Motor Speedway in his 10th start.
“We won at Charlotte!” Sauter told his team after picking up the win. “This is the biggest of my life.”
“This is a tough place. Everyone wants to win here,” Sauter told Fox Sports 1 in Victory Lane.
While Kyle Busch was racing Brandon Jones hard for the second position, it would help Sauter cruise to victory Friday night.
Kyle Busch passed Brandon Jones for the second position. Jones would finish in the third position, Brett Moffitt fourth and Ben Rhodes rounding out the top five.
Kyle Busch battled back to finish second after pit road penalties would hurt his chances of winning on Friday night. Brandon Jones third place finish is his eighth career top five finish. Brett Moffitt picked up his fourth top five place finish of the year.
“It was a great day for us,” Jones said. “It was a blast to come run this race and I think we learned some things when we come back next weekend to run the Xfinity race.”
Grant Enfinger finished in the outside of the top ten after he lost a tire with 10 laps remaining in the first stage. Matt Crafton would finish seventh despite contact with Todd Gilliland on a restart with 17 laps remaining. Gilliland rammed into the back of Crafton's NO. 88 which would cause smoke and force Crafton to pit for some repairs.
Stage 1 Winner: Brett Moffitt
Stage 2 Winner: John Hunter Nemechek
Next Race: Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on June, 8th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on Fox Sports 1.
Matt Kenseth hopes Friday's Monster Energy All-Star pole is a sign of good things to come from team N0. 6.
Kenseth will run a partial schedule this year with his former team Roush Fenway Racing at select races. Driver NO. 6 will start alongside teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on Saturday night.
”I’m just getting started, so I am still in the catch-up mode,” Kenseth said. ”I’m trying to get caught up to Ricky and just get running.”
Kenseth started his rookie season with Roush in 2000 before leaving at the end of 2012 to go to Joe Gibbs Racing.
Kenseth; however, would be without a ride after Homestead of 2017.
The Wisconsin native agreed in April of 2018 to return to Roush Fenway Racing, which he will share the NO. 6 with 2012 Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne. Kenseth's first race of 2018 was at Kansas last Saturday. However, he would wreck with fifteen laps remaining,
Ford would claim six out of the top ten spots in qualifying.
Kevin Harvick, who heads into Saturday night on a hot streak with five Monster Energy Cup Series wins, most recent at Kansas Speedway last weekend.
Saturday's 80 lap shootout will feature Restrictor Plates; just like the ones NASCAR uses at Daytona and Talladega.
Restrictor Plates aren't the only rule change heading into Saturday night. Also, the cars will carry a six inch spoiler on the rear deck lid, hoping to create more passing opportunities. NASCAR most recently used this package at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year, which had a record number of lead changes.
2017 All-Star Race winner; Kyle Busch, will start seventh.
”Way, way slower,” Busch said of his car this year. ”Everything all around. I think obviously the cars are just slower to begin with, but I think I was just a little tentative to it, which is what you’d expect, I guess, with no practice. I think it’s gonna be a crapshoot on how this race goes and how it plays out.”
2018 All-Star Race Format: 30 laps, 20 laps and 20 laps with a 10 lap shootout.
Coverage of the 2018 Monster Energy All-Star Race is slated to begin at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on Fox Sports 1.
Blue Cross And Blue Shield Of North Carolina Extends With Hendrick Motorsports And NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson
CONCORD, N.C. (May 18, 2018) – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), which has served the people of North Carolina with high-quality health insurance for nearly 85 years, has extended its sponsorship of 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports and star driver Jimmie Johnson through 2018.
Blue Cross NC will continue as the Official Health Insurance Provider of Hendrick Motorsports with logo placement on the uniforms of Johnson and his No. 48 team. In addition, Blue Cross NC will be featured on the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 as an associate sponsor during the May and September Cup Series events at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It will mark the first on-car branding for Blue Cross NC since joining Hendrick Motorsports as an official corporate partner in September 2013.
“North Carolina has a longstanding history with NASCAR, and we’re proud to support Jimmie Johnson throughout the season,” said Reagan Greene Pruitt, vice president of integrated marketing and community engagement for Blue Cross NC. “As an athlete, Jimmie understands the importance of a healthy lifestyle and is an advocate and a friend of Blue Cross NC. We’re excited to continue this partnership and work together to improve the health and well-being of our customers and communities.”
A winner of 83 career races and a record-tying seven championships in NASCAR’s top series, Johnson is known for being health conscious and a passionate advocate for healthy living. His physical training and nutrition regimens have been documented by media outlets such as Bicycling, LAVA Magazine, Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Triathlete, ESPN and USA Today. For nearly five years, he has served as a Live Fearless Ambassador for Blue Cross NC and has been featured in campaigns promoting its health coverage and the value of an active and healthy lifestyle.
“My passion for living a healthy and active lifestyle continues to be an integral part of my life and who I am as a person,” said Johnson, 42, who lives in Charlotte. “It’s awesome to have a partner like Blue Cross NC that is just as committed to encouraging others to live better and feel better. For me, it’s a natural fit and very rewarding to work together.”
Johnson has been a Blue Cross NC member since 2002 and trusts the company with his family’s health insurance coverage. Additionally, Hendrick Motorsports and the No. 48 team have relied on Blue Cross NC as their corporate healthcare provider since 2004.
“People are our number-one asset,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “For nearly 15 years, we’ve trusted Blue Cross NC to take care of our team members and their families. The partnership has been a wonderful fit for our company and for Jimmie, and it’s exciting to see it grow even more in 2018. We are proud to continue working with Blue Cross NC and look forward to a long relationship ahead.”
ABOUT BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities through innovative health care products, insurance, services and information to more than 3.8 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at bluecrossnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
ABOUT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS:
Founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has earned 249 points-paying race victories and a record 12 car owner championships in the premier NASCAR Cup Series. The organization fields four full-time Chevrolet teams on the Cup circuit with drivers Chase Elliott, William Byron, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman. Headquartered in Concord, North Carolina, Hendrick Motorsports employs more than 600 people. For more information, please visit HendrickMotorsports.com or interact on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Saturday nights Monster Energy All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway will showcase the sports best drivers in a 80 lap exibition race under the lights.
For the first time in the tracks history, NASCAR will run restrictor plates; the ones similar at Talladega and Daytona. The field will include all 2017 and 2018 race winners, plus former series champions and All-Star race winners that are still competing full-time in the series. The three stage winners from the Open will also qualify for the event.
No stage will end under yellow flag conditions and only green flag laps count in the fourth and final stage.
Defending All-Star race winner Kyle Busch will look to repeat his success from last year. Driver NO. 18 is on a hot streak at the moment, scoring three wins in his first 12 races of the 2018 season.
"For us, being an all-star and being in the All-Star Race is one of the most fun things we get to do each year,’’ Busch said. "I’d say the Clash is another one of those and, with the All-Star Race, they are certainly two fun races where we get a chance to go after just a win and bring home the checkers or end up on the wrecker.
"It’s an exciting night and there’s a lot of energy there. It gives you the opportunity to run that many qualifying laps in a row. That’s all you’re doing – you’re giving it all you’ve got every single lap." - Kyle Busch said
Jimmie Johnson, the all-time winningest driver at the Monster Energy All-Star Race with four victories will look to turn his 2018 season around with a million dollar check in hand.
In 16 All-Star Race starts, Johnson has four trophies and nine top-five finishes – including a runner-up finish in 2007 and a third-place showing last May in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. And in a race known for its hard-charging, win-at-all-costs style, Johnson has only one DNF in all those starts.
2017 Monster Energy Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. set a presiden at last years Coca-Cola 600 leading 392 of 400 laps to win the sports longest race. Driver NO. 78 is the most recent All-Star Race winner leading 91 laps to win the Bank of America 500 last October at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Truex will look for his first All-Star win on Saturday night. He has two wins in the open (2007 and 2010) with a race best runner-up in 2010.
The Open: The qualifying race for the All-Star Race; The Open will be a field made up of non-winners looking to race their way in to Saturday's main event. Notable drivers include: Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, William Byron, Aric Almirola, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones and this years Daytona 500 runner-up Darrell Wallace Jr., will be among the field looking to race their way in.
The 2018 Monster Energy All-Star Race is Saturday May 19, 2018 with coverage beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern on Fox Sports 1.
Kyle Larson was handed a stiff L1 penalty on Tuesday following Saturday's KC Masterpiece 400 at Kansas Speedway.
NASCAR announced Tuesday afternoon that during teardown they found the N0. 42 rear window was not flush with the rear deck lid and the rear window support braces were not keeping the glass of the rear window rigid in all directions.
Larson was fined 20 points, crew chief Chad Johnston has also been fined $50,000 and car chief David Bryant has been suspended for two races.
Larson said following Saturday's race that the windshield looked the way that it did because of contact with Ryan Blaney on lap 248.
Ganassi has not yet announced a replacement car chief and will not appeal Tuesday's penalties.
“Although all parties agree that the infraction was unintentional and the result of contact, we will not appeal the penalty so that we can focus our energy on the All-Star race and the Coca-Cola 600," Chip Ganassi Racing said in a statement.
Tuesday's penalty that was handed down to team NO. 42 wasn't the first rear-window issue NASCAR has had to face with teams this season. In March, Kevin Harvick was handed the L1 penalty for two violations within the rear-window area.
Chase Elliott and Clint Bowyer have also been handed down penalties from NASCAR this season for a lack of rigidity in the rear-window area.
No. 95 Tommy Williams Drywall Camaro ZL1 Notes:
Come One, Come All: Leavine Family Racing (LFR) will hold the team's inaugural Fan Fest on Friday, May 25th, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET at the team's facility in Concord, NC. Kasey Kahne and crew chief Travis Mack are both scheduled to sign autographs from 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. that afternoon for 100 lucky fans in attendance. Wristbands for the session will be handed out starting at 1:00 p.m. that afternoon at the event. For more info, visit www.LFR95.com
Kahne By The Numbers: In 21 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career starts at Kansas, Kasey Kahne has an average start of 15.0 and an average finish of 13.5. He's completed 5,502 of 5,557 (99.0 percent) career laps and has led for a total of 102 laps. Kahne has earned five top-five finishes, nine top-10 finishes, and three pole awards at the 1.5-mile track.
Race Info: The KC Masterpiece 400 at Kansas Speedway (1.5-mile) begins at 8:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 12th. The race will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio.
Kahne's Career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Stats at Kansas:
Races - 21
Wins - 0
Top 5s - 5
Top 10s - 9
Poles - 3
Kahne's 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Season Stats:
Starts - 11
Wins - 0
Top-5's - 0
Top-10's - 0
Poles - 0
Laps Led - 0
Avg. Start - 24.8
Avg. Finish - 23.6
Kahne's Career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Stats:
Starts - 515
Wins - 18
Top-5's - 92
Top-10's - 175
Poles - 27
Laps Led - 4,650
Avg. Start - 14.2
Avg. Finish - 17.6
From the Driver's Seat:
Kasey Kahne: "I think to be successful at Kansas you have to be good in both corners of the track. Turn 4 is really tight on the exit compared to Turn 2 where it opens up a little bit more. Having your car work well through both of those spots and turn really well, while also being able to run the top lane as well, is important for Kansas. A lot of times there on the long run you do a lot of laps up along the wall and can carry just a lot of momentum and speed. The exit to Turn 2 is a long exit, so if you can get your car turning really well, that can really help you with your day. It's very easy to be lose in that corner where you can't put the throttle down like you need to in order to go fast. Turn 2 is just such a different corner than Turns 3 and 4. Turn 4 is open getting into it, but then it just gets really tight off the corner. The varied corners make Kansas a fun and tough track to really get right. I've just always enjoyed racing at Kansas before the repave and after the repave because you've always been able to move around on that track and the bottom is usually the preferred spot. Kansas throws a lot at you between the two different corners and the way the backstretch is that I've always liked the challenge of it."
From the Pit Box:
Travis Mack: "I feel really good about going into Kansas this weekend. We ran this same car at Atlanta earlier this season and had a decent qualifying effort of starting from 14th. From the time it got back from Atlanta, we have completely gone through this car making sure we are taking our best piece to date. We also were actually were able to get this car into the wind tunnel last week which is a first for us this year being able to take a car to the tunnel and seeing how we stack up. Since the beginning of the year I feel like we have found something each week to help make our cars better for Kasey (Kahne) to drive. We will take everything we have learned so far up to this point of the season and come up with the best race set-up for Kasey. I'm looking forward to a good weekend in Kansas."
No. 95 Tommy Williams Drywall Camaro ZL1 Team:
Driver: Kasey Kahne
Crew Chief: Travis Mack
Car Chief: Ben Leslie
Spotter: Doug Campbell
Engineer: Jonathan Leonard
Engineer: Ben Lynch
Shock Specialist: Tim Lambert
Mechanic: Ryan Southall
Mechanic: Matt Kimball
Mechanic: Ryan Dextraze
Tire Specialist: Tony Ramierz
Jackman: Richie Williams
Fueler: Ryan Dextraze
Rear Changer: Cory Baldwin
Front Changer: Weston Lovejoy
Front Carrier: Justin Kirby
Hauler Driver: Damon Lopez
About Tommy Williams Drywall: F.T. "Tommy" Williams, Jr. entered the construction industry in 1954 – it was at that time that he founded a plaster company doing projects throughout the state of Texas. As the commercial building industry evolved more heavily from plaster to drywall, it was at that time that Tommy Williams Drywall Co., Inc. was formed. Since the early 1960's we have been providing a full line of commercial drywall services to clients across the state of Texas. In 1995 the business was sold to Tom Williams, who currently serves as President of the company. For more information about the company, visit www.tommywilliamsdrywall.com.
Leavine Family Racing Press Release
Kevin Harvick made an up-charge with under 80 laps remaining on Sunday afternoon at Dover International Speedway.
Harvick's time came with 63 laps remaining when he passed Clint Bowyer for the top spot. Harvick maintained his presence up front to pick up his fourth win of the 2018 season. The Bakersfield, California native has never won more than five races in a single season. Sunday was his fourth.
"Well, the first thing I need to do is thank everybody on my team, everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing, Roush Yates Engines, everybody from Ford - everyone who continues to put the effort that they do in these cars," Harvick said. "Three cars in the top-five says a lot about where we are as a company.
Sunday's victory for Harick was the first for Ford since Matt Kenseth's victory seven years ago.
Daniel Suarez ended up third, Martin Truex Jr. was fourth and Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five.
Rounding out the top-ten consisted of Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Larson.
On lap 270, Kyle Busch fell off of the pace and Busch had to nurse the NO. 18 Toyota Camry for several laps until a caution came on lap 272.
With 115 laps remaining, Clint Bowyer made the pass for the second position and chased down race leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Bowyer got around driver NO. 17 with 104 laps remaining and would maintain the lead until rain would delay Sunday's AAA 400 for 41 minutes.
Clint Bowyer was the first off pit road when Sunday's race resumed. Rounding out the top-five were Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Suarez and Ryan Blaney. The race would go back to green with 75 laps remaining.
On lap 338, Kevin Harvick got around Clint Bowyer for the race lead. This would mark Harvick's sixth different time he's lead at a portion of the race.
With 50 laps remaining, Harvick had a three second lead over Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez.
With 10 laps to go, Harvick had a 5 plus second lead over Clint Bowyer and when the checkered flag waved, his margin of victory would come out to 7.450 seconds.
Sunday's victory was Kevin Harvick's 41st of his career and his second at Dover International Speedway.
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick
Next Race: KC Masterpiece 400 at Kansas Speedway at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on May 12 on Fox Sports 1.