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Tweaking the Chase
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images
Kevin Harvick poses for a photo with his Sprint Cup trophy at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Harvick's back-to-back wins in the final two races of 2014 ensured him this year's title.


Jeff Gordon, who missed the Championship Round by one point, said that he likes the Chase system the way it is after the fall Phoenix race.


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End of an era for ESPN
Photo by Rusty Jarrett/NASCAR via Getty Images
The ESPN team poses for a picture in October 2006 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 


“It’s been an absolute pleasure, thank you for allowing us in your homes for so many weeks throughout the NASCAR season,” said Nicole Briscoe, the host of NASCAR Countdown, ESPN’s pre-race show.

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Championship preview:
Kevin Harvick

Photo by Franklin Romero/TheRacingExperts.com
Kevin Harvick turns laps at Phoenix International Raceway. Harvick will start fifth Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in his quest for his first championship.


With four victories in 2014, including a must-win performance last week in Phoenix, Kevin Harvick enters the Championship Round of the Chase as the oldest driver eligible for the title.


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Q and A with Mike Senica

Courtesy Image

"2015 is going to be a very productive year for me. I have signed on 2 new sponsors and we welcome back Bell Plantation, Damn Good Jerky and XS Energy Drink."



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Gordon wins pole, set to hit milestones Sunday

Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images
Jeff Gordon poses with the Coors Light Pole Award at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The pole was Gordon's third of 2014.


“I think today's pole just proves and shows why [Hendrick Motorsports has] 200 poles; it's a great organization, we just never quit,” Gordon said. 


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Championship preview:
Denny Hamlin


Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images
Denny Hamlin turns laps at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hamlin will start eighth Sunday.

Because of Hamlin’s 30.109 lap time in qualifying, he will make his third top-ten start in the last four races at Homestead-Miami. The driver talked post-qualifying about the confidence he has in his car this weekend. 

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Championship preview:
Joey Logano


Photo by Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images
Joey Logano talks with the media at Championship 4 Media Day.


“Overall we were able to rebound off a car that didn't seem to be too fast in qualifying trim, and we qualified halfway decent there in ninth, and we'll be able to race up from there,” Logano said. 



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Championship preview:
Ryan Newman

Photo by Franklin Romero/TheRacingExperts.com
Ryan Newman (31) turns laps at Phoenix International Raceway.


“We've gone into every race with the intention of winning it and leading the most laps and winning the pole and everything else that goes along with it,” Newman said Wednesday during the Championship 4 media day. 


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Harvick wins, leads 2,000 laps

Photo by Franklin Romero/TheRacingExperts.com
Kevin Harvick (4) races Joey Logano at Phoenix International Raceway. Harvick won his fourth race at PIR in the last five events at the track.


The win was Harvick’s fourth of 2014, locking in the first year Stewart-Haas Racing driver a spot to challenge for the 2014 Sprint Cup title next week.


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Heartbreak for Jeff Gordon

Photo by Franklin Romero/TheRacingExperts.com
Jeff Gordon leads Matt Kenseth at Phoenix International Raceway.


“I'm really proud of the effort, not just today but throughout this whole season and the Chase,” he said. “I couldn't be more proud of this team and the effort that they put out...


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Keselowski victorious at Phoenix

Photo by Franklin Romero/TheRacingExperts.com
Brad Keselowski turns laps at Phoenix International Raceway.

“It was a long day, Kyle was really really good,” he said post-race. “If you would have told me we were going to pass him on the last restart, I would have not thought that would be the case.”


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Hamlin to start on pole,
Keselowski qualifies second


Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Denny Hamlin poses for photos after winning the pole position Friday at Phoenix International Raceway.


Phoenix International Raceway News Hub 

Photo by Franklin Romero/TheRacingExperts.com
Kevin Harvick talks with the media Friday at Phoenix International Raceway.


"In the end, I like controversy," Harvick said.


STAY TUNED


Sadler comments on Texas driver swap

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images
Elliott Sadler. Sadler started the race at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday but was relieved by Clint Bowyer during the first caution period.


“Hard to fill in for people but had fun working with Elliott Sadler crew,” Bowyer said on Twitter. “What a  situation! .....now get well soon.”

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Q and A with David Starr
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR
David Starr sits in his Sprint Cup Series car in 2011. Starr has run a limited schedule in the Nationwide Series this season.


“When I’m back in Dallas, Texas, and not at the races, I have a hard time even watching it on television, because I want to be here racing.”



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Gordon leads laps,
leaves Martinsville as points leader


Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images
Jeff Gordon stands in the garage area at Martinsville Speedway. Gordon left Martinsville as the points leader.


“I know how many fans were really excited to see Dale Jr. win, and himself, too. They did a great job. So did our team. It's a great way to come out of here.”


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Stewart scores third top-five of season

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images
Tony Stewart (left) talks with teammate Kurt Busch. Stewart led 18 laps Sunday en route to a top-five finish.



“I just can’t thank Johnny Morris [of Bass Pro Shops] and Rusty Rush and everybody at Mobil 1 and Eric [Bagdikian] from Code 3 Associates and his staff; and most of all, our fans,” he said.


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Fans turned off by new Chase format
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images
The remaining eight drivers address the 2014 Eliminator Round Media Day.

This new format was touted to put more of an emphasis on winning. But really, has it done that? Dale Earnhardt, Jr, and Jimmie Johnson each had 3 wins in 2014, and are not going to be contenders for the championship. 


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NASCAR’s Chase format and the underdog

Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images
Aric Almirola (43) collects damage in a multi-car wreck at Talladega Superspeedway. He and A.J. Allmendinger are the two drivers who scored their first Chase berth in 2014. 


While consistency is being penalized, winning is being rewarded. With the decision to switch to this format came, as always, both resentment and heavy support.


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Career bests for Circle Sport Racing drivers
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images
Landon Cassill (40) runs side-by-side with Clint Bowyer on the final lap at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday. Cassill finished fourth.


“"We wanted to win this race,” Cassill said post-race. “We came here to win it. My team deserves it...



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Frank Stoddard to appear on
New Mexico Motorsports Report


Photo by NASCAR via Getty Images
Terry Labonte practices for the Daytona 500. Labonte's owner, Frank Stoddard, will talk Talladega, ownership and 2015 on the show.


“He’s just a unique individual,” Stoddard said of Labonte. “Honestly, probably the most fortunate thing about starting this race team that I’ve gotten out of all this in the last four years is getting to have a great relationship with him and Ken Schrader...


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The athleticism of stock car drivers

Photo by NASCAR via Getty Images
Robert Richardson Jr. (23) leads cars during a practice session at Talladega Superspeedway. Richardson Jr. goes into detail of the athleticism and determination of stock car drivers.


You’re constantly breathing in toxic fumes from the exhaust of other vehicles; you sweat out every drop of moisture within your body, and all the while maintaining the focus of a hawk, pushing yourself to the limits. 


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Edwards talks Talladega, championship
Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images
Carl Edwards stands by his hauler. Edwards sits fifth in points heading into Talladega.


“If we're out front, we definitely want to stay there,” he said. “If we're in the middle, I don't know how aggressive I would want to be early on...


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Paint schemes bringing awareness

Photo by Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images
Cars pit under the first caution at Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday night. Various paint schemes in the Cup field featured pink in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


“The whole NASCAR community is really good with breast cancer awareness and bringing awareness to everybody,” ...


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Jeff Gordon scores 20th top-ten of season, increases points cushion on Chase cutoff
Photo by Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images
Jeff Gordon talks with teammate Kasey Kahne Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Both drivers are the only Hendrick Motorsports drivers above the Chase cutoff entering Talladega next Sunday.



Gordon’s second place run Saturday night is his third in the last six races and sixth on the season, but with a slender advantage over ninth place, the unpredictability of Talladega Superspeedway looms over the No. 24 team.


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Qualifying Stats: Bank of America 500
Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images
Kyle Busch poses for photos at Charlotte Motor Speedway after scoring his third pole of 2014.


Thursday’s qualifying session at Charlotte Motor Speedway featured Kyle Busch earning his third pole of 2014 and second at CMS. Below is a breakdown of other numbers and stats to come out of qualifying.


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Does NASCAR need to
consider a floating schedule?


Photo by Sherryl Creekmore/NASCAR Media
Jeff Gordon (24) races side-by-side with Jeremy Mayfield at the final Rockingham Speedway Cup race to date. NASCAR's premiere series hasn't had the speedway on its schedule since 2004.


. Imagine going back to Rockingham, North Carolina. The fan base in North Carolina is NASCAR’s strength. Nine out of NASCAR’s last 11 races were rated highest in the Carolina area.


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Kyle Busch: “It’s early, anything can happen”

Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images
Cars pit at Kansas Speedway Sunday. Kyle Busch overcame a speeding penalty to finish third.


Busch led one lap in Sunday’s race, running a majority of the race inside the top-ten. Busch enters next Saturday night’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway second in points with a 19 point advantage on the cutoff.


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Can Johnson rebound from Kansas race?

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images
Jimmie Johnson stands by his car at Atlanta Motor Speedway in August. Johnson finished 40th, 87 laps down.


Johnson collected damage on lap 84 when he and Greg Biffle spun, sending his toward the inside wall. He was checked out and released from the infield care center while his team worked on the car in the garage. 


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Kyle Busch victorious at Kansas
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images
Kyle Busch burns out at Kansas Speedway Saturday.


Busch his second consecutive win in the series and second at the track.

“This 54 Monster Energy Camry was awesome today, the guys did a great job,” Busch said post-race from the media center. 


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Harvick scores eighth pole,
sixth track record of 2014

Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images
Kevin Harvick turns laps at Kansas Speedway Friday. Harvick scored his eighth pole of 2014 and 14th of his career.


“I feel like we are doing everything we need to do to be in contention and that’s all you can ask for,” Harvick said. “It’s just a matter of having it all come together for our Budweiser team.”


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Finalists announced in fourth annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award

Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images
Rookie Alex Bowman addresses the media Friday morning. Bowman was one of five individuals who spoke Friday morning about the 
Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award.


2013 award winner David Post was on hand at the press conference.  Post, an ALS patient, brought tears to people in the room with the mention of his story and charitable work.  


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