Previous week's race Edit
With 28 laps to go, Ryan Newman lost the lead to Joey Logano and he held off a hard-charging Kyle Larson to score his fifth win of the season. “It was a crazy race, and I had such a fast Pennzoil Ford," said Logano. It is awesome to be back in victory lane. When the top opened up, the car just took off. Me and the No. 42 (Kyle Larson) were the only ones that seemed to be able to run up there. We had a cat and mouse (with Larson) during portions of the late run. I just had to be able to work the traffic and keep my momentum up. We just have to keep capitalizing going forward.
Charlotte Motor Speedway is a motorsports complex located in Concord, North Carolina, United States 13 miles from Charlotte, North Carolina. The complex features a 1.5 miles (2.4 km) quad oval track that hosts NASCAR racing including the prestigious Coca-Cola 600on Memorial Day weekend and the Sprint All-Star Race, as well as the Bank of America 500. The speedway was built in 1959 by Bruton Smith and is considered the home track for NASCAR with many race teams located in the Charlotte area. The track is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports (SMI) with Marcus G. Smith (son of Bruton Smith) as track president.
Practice and qualifying Edit
Kevin Harvick was the fastest in the first practice session with a time of 27.542 and a speed of 196.192 mph (315.740 km/h). Kyle Busch won the pole with a time of 27.357 and a speed of 197.390 mph (317.668 km/h). “With the way the eliminations are, I would believe we are edging our way to the top,’’ Busch said. “But anything can happen. You just got to pick through it all.’’ "Oh my gosh, it's so fast, so much grip, so much commitment," Jeff Gordon said after qualifying second. "… That's a great place to start this race."Jimmie Johnson, who enters the race twelfth in points, qualified 21st. “Just didn’t have the speed on that final run, I got pretty tight off of (Turn) 4,’’ Johnson said. “I thought we had some hope after the first round. Our second outing we ran a very good lap and just didn’t have any more there on that lap through Turns 3 and 4, got wide and had to let off (the accelerator) a little bit so I didn’t get into the outside wall. Disappointing. No way around it.’’ Trevor Bayne failed to qualify for the race. .Kurt Busch was the fastest in the second practice session with a time of 28.249 and a speed of 191.157 mph (307.637 km/h). Joey Logano was the fastest in the final practice session with a time of 28.332 and a speed of 190.597 mph (306.736 km/h). Jimmie Johnson tagged the wall in the closing minutes of the session. The damage wasn't enough to warrant rolling out the backup car. “The car’s really fast,” Johnson said. “We were feeling really good about things. The good news is that it’s just a big scratch. Just a little drama.”
Prior to the start of the race, Matt Kenseth had to drop to the rear of the field for unapproved adjustments.
The race was scheduled to begin at 7:46 PM Eastern time but started at 7:54 p.m. Kyle Busch lead early in the race, though Jeff Gordon took the lead on lap 14. The first of eight cautions in the race flew on lap 26. It was a planned competition caution. Following the caution, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the race off pit road to assume the lead. Earnhardt, Jr. led the restart on lap 30, and promptly lost the lead to Kyle Busch. Gordon retook the lead from Busch on lap 38, relinquishing it again to Busch on lap 75 as he made a pit stop.
Busch ducked onto pit road on lap 76, and handed the lead back to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Earnhardt, Jr. pitted on lap 77, giving the lead to Brad Keselowski. Keselowski in turn pitted on lap 79, and the lead cycled back to Jeff Gordon.
The second caution of the race flew on lap 95 when Clint Bowyer blew an engine exiting turn 4. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. took just two tires, and exited as the leader. The race restarted on lap 101. Following the restart, Jamie McMurray took the lead on lap 102. Kevin Harvick then took the lead on lap 106.
Paul Menard brought out the third caution on lap 135 after blowing an engine on the backstretch. Describing the incident, Menard said, “Something with the motor. I had a really good car. It’s too bad, awesome car; we had a pit stop problem and went to the back, but drove our way back up into the top 15 or so.”
Earnhardt Jr. pitted while the pits were closed to fix a broken shifter. This was similar to what happened to his teammate Jimmie Johnson at Michigan two months prior. Harvick and Gordon traded the lead on the pit road, with Harvick winning the race off.
The race restarted on lap 144. Kevin Harvick ducked onto pit road on lap 188 and gave the lead to Jeff Gordon. Gordon made a stop on lap 189, handing the lead to Brad Keselowski. Keselowski stopped on lap 191 and the lead cycled back to Harvick.
The fourth caution of the race flew on lap 221 after Josh Wise blew an engine. The race restarted on lap 227. The fifth caution of the race flew with 97 laps to go after Brian Vickersgot loose and spun in turn 4. Austin Dillon stayed out when the leaders pitted and took over the lead. The race restarted with 92 laps to go, and Kyle Busch retook the lead with 91 laps to go.
The sixth caution of the race flew with 89 laps to go after Joey Logano tapped the left-rear corner panel of Danica Patrick, who connected with the wall. Ryan Newman spun to avoid hitting her. The race restarted with 82 laps to go, and Kyle Larson took the lead with 70 laps to go.
The seventh caution flew with 69 laps to go when Michael Annett was slowing with a flat left-rear tire. Brad Keselowski stayed out when the leaders pitted and assumed the lead. The race restarted with 63 laps to go, and Denny Hamlin promptly took the lead with 62 laps to go. Kevin Harvick retook the lead with 40 laps to go.
In the final 25 laps of the race, a number of lead changes occurred. Kevin Harvick made his final stop with 24 laps to go and handed the lead to Jeff Gordon. Gordon made his final stop with 23 laps to go and handed the lead to Kurt Busch, who in turn made his final stop with 22 laps to go, handing the lead to Austin Dillon. Dillon made his final stop with 21 laps to go, with Ryan Newman assuming the lead. Newman made his final stop with 20 laps to go and Carl Edwards took the lead. Edwards made his final stop with 19 laps to go and handed the lead to Justin Allgaier. Allgaier made his final stop with 18 laps to go and the lead cycled back to Kevin Harvick.
The eighth caution of the race flew with seven laps to go, after Brian Vickers blew an engine. The race restarted with two laps to go and Harvick shot ahead of Jeff Gordon to win the race. “Oh, we came here and tested thinking that this was going to be the hardest round to get through because of Talladega,” Harvick said. “There’s so much that you can’t control there. We wanted to try to control the things that we could control. We felt like Kansas and here (Charlotte) were playing to our strengths; and just see where it fell after that once we get to the next round. So I’m really proud of everybody at SHR. I’m really proud of all my guys on this team. I just can’t thank everybody enough.” "I'm really proud of that finish, really proud of that effort," Gordon said. " ... Kevin was tough. I knew he was going to be tough once he got out there."
Post-race incident Edit
Keselowski and Hamlin were angry with one another on the cool-down lap. Keselowski made contact with Matt Kenseth on pit road, while Matt had his seatbeat unbuckled and inadvertently rear-ended Tony Stewart, who then backed into the 2 car. In the garage area, Hamlin continued to confront Keselowski by throwing a towel at him before Nascar officials and crew members escorted Hamlin to the team trailer. While Keselowski was walking to his hauler, he was attacked from behind by Kenseth. “When the last yellow came out, he got the wave around and when he came by, he swung by my car and tore the whole right front off of it,’’ Keselowski said of Kenseth. We restarted fifth with no right front on it and fell back to 16th and ruined our day. For some reason after the race (Hamlin) stopped in front of me and tried to pick a fight. I don’t know what that was about. He swung and hit at my car. I figure if we’re going to play car wars under the yellow and after the race, I’m going to play, too. Those guys can dish it out and they can’t take it. I gave it back to them and they want to fight. (Brad Keselowski) was doing something with Denny (Hamlin), I don't know," Kenseth said. "The race had ended and he's running into cars on the cool down lap. I mean, the race is over and he comes down pit road and drives into the side of me -- that's inexcusable. He's a champion and he's supposed to know better." "When you see Matt Kenseth mad enough to fight, you know that this is intense because that's way out of character for him," Harvick said. "Every moment matters in this Chase, and Matt Kenseth knew that that one particular moment could have been the end of his Chase."
Post-race penalties Edit
On Tuesday, October 14, NASCAR handed down penalties regarding the events following the race. Brad Keselowski was fined $50,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for the next four Sprint Cup Series championship events through November 12 for violating:
• Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
• Section 12-4.9: Behavioral penalty—involved in post-race incidents
Tony Stewart was fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for the next four Cup Series races through November 12 for violating:
• Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
• Section 12-4.9: Behavioral penalty—involved in a post-race incident
"These penalties are about maintaining a safe environment following the race," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR senior vice president, competition and racing development. "We knew that the new Chase format was likely going to raise the intensity level and we want our drivers to continue to be themselves. However, the safety of our drivers, crew members, officials, and workers is paramount and we will react when that safety could be compromised."
Race statistics Edit
- 32 lead changes among different drivers
- 8 cautions for 39 laps
- Time of race: 3 hours, 26 minutes and 49 seconds
- Average speed: 145.346 miles per hour (233.912 km/h)
- Kevin Harvick took home $301,468 in winnings.
|1||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||27.395||27.335||27.357|
|2||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||27.471||27.283||27.381|
|3||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||27.542||27.441||27.399|
|4||14||Tony Stewart||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||27.532||27.361||27.489|
|5||31||Ryan Newman||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||27.421||27.481||27.489|
|6||27||Paul Menard||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||27.610||27.387||27.537|
|7||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||27.286||27.282||27.574|
|8||55||Brian Vickers||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||27.499||27.480||27.587|
|9||88||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||27.531||27.435||27.699|
|10||99||Carl Edwards||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||27.347||27.426||27.712|
|11||41||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||27.545||27.167||27.788|
|12||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||27.616||27.390||28.184|
|13||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||27.374||27.483||—|
|14||22||Danica Patrick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||27.558||27.486||—|
|15||10||Aric Almirola||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||27.505||27.489||—|
|16||51||Justin Allgaier (R)||HScott Motorsports||Chevrolet||27.587||27.493||—|
|17||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||27.417||27.512||—|
|18||1||Jamie McMurray||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||27.454||27.512||—|
|19||5||Kasey Kahne||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||27.276||27.513||—|
|20||3||Austin Dillon (R)||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||27.487||27.522||—|
|21||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||27.488||27.527||—|
|22||20||Matt Kenseth[N 1]||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||27.648||27.535||—|
|23||78||Martin Truex, Jr.||Furniture Row Racing||Chevrolet||27.530||27.589||—|
|24||42||Kyle Larson (R)||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||27.585||27.597||—|
|25||15||Clint Bowyer||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||27.651||—||—|
|26||47||A. J. Allmendinger||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||27.653||—||—|
|27||9||Marcos Ambrose||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||27.740||—||—|
|28||17||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||27.796||—||—|
|29||13||Casey Mears||Germain Racing||Chevrolet||27.819||—||—|
|30||36||Reed Sorenson||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||27.873||—||—|
|31||95||Michael McDowell||Leavine Family Racing||Ford||27.912||—||—|
|32||40||Landon Cassill||Hillman-Circle Sport LLC||Chevrolet||27.926||—||—|
|33||23||Alex Bowman (R)||BK Racing||Toyota||27.947||—||—|
|34||34||David Ragan||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||27.954||—||—|
|35||7||Michael Annett (R)||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||27.968||—||—|
|36||26||Cole Whitt (R)||BK Racing||Toyota||27.983||—||—|
|37||38||David Gilliland||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||28.010||—||—|
|38||98||Josh Wise||Phil Parsons Racing||Chevrolet||28.113||—||—|
|39||66||Brett Moffitt||Identity Ventures Racing||Ford||28.158||—||—|
|40||33||Timmy Hill||Circle Sport||Chevrolet||28.276||—||—|
|41||83||J. J. Yeley||BK Racing||Toyota||28.386||—||—|
|42||77||Corey LaJoie||Randy Humphrey Racing||Ford||28.386||—||—|
|43||32||Blake Koch||Go FAS Racing||Ford||28.816||—||—|
Did Not Qualify
|6||Trevor Bayne||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||28.061||—||—|
Race results Edit
|1||7||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||334||48|
|2||2||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||334||43|
|3||18||1||Jamie McMurray||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||334||42|
|4||13||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||334||40|
|5||1||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||334||40|
|6||5||42||Kyle Larson (R)||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||334||39|
|7||5||31||Ryan Newman||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||334||38|
|8||10||99||Carl Edwards||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||334||37|
|9||3||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||334||36|
|10||19||5||Kasey Kahne||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||334||34|
|11||11||41||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||334||34|
|12||26||47||A. J. Allmendinger||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||334||32|
|13||20||3||Austin Dillon (R)||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||334||32|
|14||23||78||Martin Truex, Jr.||Furniture Row Racing||Chevrolet||334||30|
|15||16||51||Justin Allgaier (R)||HScott Motorsports||Chevrolet||334||30|
|16||17||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||334||29|
|17||21||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||334||27|
|18||12||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||334||26|
|19||22||20||Matt Kenseth||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||334||25|
|20||9||88||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||333||25|
|21||4||14||Tony Stewart||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||333||23|
|22||15||43||Aric Almirola||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||332||22|
|23||32||40||Landon Cassill||Hillman-Circle Sport LLC||Chevrolet||331||0|
|24||28||17||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||331||20|
|25||27||9||Marcos Ambrose||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||331||19|
|26||14||10||Danica Patrick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||331||18|
|27||30||36||Reed Sorenson||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||330||17|
|28||36||26||Cole Whitt (R)||BK Racing||Toyota||330||16|
|29||31||95||Michael McDowell||Leavine Family Racing||Ford||330||15|
|30||33||23||Alex Bowman (R)||BK Racing||Toyota||330||14|
|31||29||13||Casey Mears||Germain Racing||Chevrolet||329||13|
|32||37||38||David Gilliland||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||329||12|
|33||35||7||Michael Annett (R)||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||328||12|
|34||34||34||David Ragan||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||328||10|
|35||42||77||Corey Lajoie||Randy Humphrey Racing||Ford||326||0|
|36||40||33||Timmy Hill||Hillman-Circle Sport LLC||Chevrolet||326||8|
|37||8||55||Brian Vickers||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||325||7|
|38||41||83||J. J. Yeley||BK Racing||Toyota||325||0|
|39||43||32||Blake Koch||Go FAS Racing||Ford||322||0|
|40||39||66||Brett Moffitt||Identity Ventures Racing||Toyota||320||4|
|41||38||98||Josh Wise||Phil Parsons Racing||Chevrolet||178||3|
|42||6||27||Paul Menard||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||134||2|
Standings after race Edit