NASCAR Announces Multi-Year Partnership with Monster Energy
for Premier Series Entitlement
Brand Becomes Official Energy Drink of NASCAR, NASCAR All-Star Race Title Sponsor
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (December 1, 2016) — NASCAR and Monster Energy announced today a multi-year agreement for the premier series entitlement as well as the prestigious annual NASCAR All-Star Race. Monster Energy, which will begin its tenure as naming rights partner on Jan. 1, 2017, will become only the third company to serve as the entitlement sponsor in NASCAR premier series history, following RJ Reynolds and Sprint/Nextel.
As part of the agreement, the brand also becomes the Official Energy Drink of NASCAR.
“Monster Energy is a brand built on excitement and enthusiasm, qualities that align with NASCAR,” said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO. “This sponsorship position is the most unique in all of sports and entertainment, and we are thrilled to have a partner that will help us further elevate the series. Today’s announcement is the culmination of a thorough search, one that resulted in the right partner at this important time in our sport’s history.”
NASCAR premier series races long have been a bucket-list destination for sports fans throughout the country, and starting next season, Monster Energy will elevate the event experience to an even higher level. As part of the agreement, Monster Energy will engage with fans in creative, innovative ways at all race tracks where the premier series will race.
“Monster Energy has an established and versatile history in motorsports, and we’re thrilled to take this historic next step,” said Rodney Sacks, Monster Beverage Chairman and CEO. “We feel strongly that our brand is a perfect fit for this sport and its star athletes. We look forward to interacting with the millions of passionate NASCAR fans week-in, week out.”
Jimmie Johnson wins at Homestead to claim record-tying seventh title
November 20, 2016
By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
Homestead, Fla. – Call him Seven-Time.
Jimmie Johnson joined NASCAR’s most exclusive club on Sunday, winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway to claim his seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, putting the driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet on par with icons Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.
“You’re a good man, you’re a great champion, and now you’re a seven-time champion,” crew chief Chad Knaus radioed to Johnson, who grabbed the lead from Kyle Larson through Turns 1 and 2 during the first and only attempt at a two-lap overtime.
Johnson pulled away to win by .466 seconds. Polesitter Kevin Harvick ran third, followed by Championship 4 contender Joey Logano, who finished second in the final standings on the strength of his fourth-place run.
“Oh, my gosh, there is no, no way on earth,” said Johnson, who picked up his first victory at Homestead, his fifth of the season and the 80th of his career. “Just beyond words. Just didn’t think the race was unfolding for us like we needed to be the champs, but we just kept our heads in the game. Chad called a great strategy, made some great adjustments for the short runs.
“Luck came our way and we were able to win the race and win the championship. So grateful for the opportunity, and so thankful and blessed. I am at a loss for words.”
Until the closing laps, Johnson seemed the least likely of the four finalists to win the championship. Carl Edwards was leading on Lap 252 of a scheduled 267 when Dylan Lupton’s contact with the Turn 2 wall caused the fifth caution of the race.
On the subsequent restart, Edwards tried to block Logano into Turn 1, and the resulting nine-car wreck left Edwards’ No. 19 Toyota crippled against the outside wall. The wreck knocked Edwards out of the race and left him fourth in the final standings.
Kyle Busch restarted next to Johnson on the inside of the second row on Lap 263—after the accident that ended Edwards’ night—but Logano, who had pitted for fresh tires on Lap 260, surged forward as Busch slipped back.
Larson, who led a race-high 132 laps, held the top spot with Johnson in second and Logano closing in third when Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s Ford nosed hard into the inside wall off Turn 2 to cause the seventh and final caution on Lap 263.
On the ensuing overtime restart, Johnson started second to the inside of Larson, and cleared the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet through the first corner. Logano slipped to fourth and out of the championship picture.
“That last restart, I was hoping to get Jimmie there and trying to get either to the inside or outside of him,” Logano said. “I just timed it a little bit wrong to get underneath him. I bumped him at the start/finish line, and I just didn’t have enough time to get under him.
“We lost some time there, and unfortunately we finish second. The championship means so much and everyone forgets about second place. That’s what stinks. But overall I’m proud of this team. This will be motivation for next year. This hurts.”
Busch restarted 13th in the overtime after pitting for fresh tires, charged up to sixth over the final two laps and finished third in the championship standings.
“All in all, we fought hard tonight,” said Busch, the defending series champion. “We gave it everything we had. We didn’t come in here with the greatest race car today, but we knew that we had enough of a one that we could run with those guys, and we showed that when the lights came on.
Johnson, who didn’t lead a lap until he beat Larson to the stripe on the final restart, had to overcome more than his share of adversity to reach his holy grail. In the first place, he surrendered his 14th-place starting position and took the green flag from the rear of the field after NASCAR discovered unapproved modifications to the “A” posts of the No. 48 Chevy during pre-race inspection.
By the time the first caution flag waved on Lap 27, however, Johnson had driven up to 17th place. But less-than-stellar pit stops kept him mired in traffic behind the other three championship contenders for the majority of the race—until an adjustment under caution on Lap 172 brought his car to life.
Notes: Tony Stewart finished 22nd, two laps down in his final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race… Toyota won its first manufacturers championship in the series, in the car maker’s 10th season in NASCAR’s top division.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Ford EcoBoost 400
Sunday, November 20, 2016
- (14) Jimmie Johnson (C), Chevrolet, 268.
- (24) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 268.
- (1) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 268.
- (13) Joey Logano (C), Ford, 268.
- (15) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 268.
- (9) Kyle Busch (C), Toyota, 268.
- (7) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 268.
- (12) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 268.
- (4) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 268.
- (26) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 268.
- (5) Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet, 268.
- (17) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 268.
- (16) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 268.
- (28) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 268.
- (22) Brian Scott #, Ford, 268.
- (19) Alex Bowman(i), Chevrolet, 268.
- (21) Greg Biffle, Ford, 267.
- (23) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 267.
- (30) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 266.
- (20) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 266.
- (32) Landon Cassill, Ford, 266.
- (11) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 266.
- (33) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 266.
- (27) Chris Buescher #, Ford, 266.
- (3) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, Accident, 264.
- (8) * Ryan Blaney #, Ford, 264.
- (31) * Matt DiBenedetto(i), Toyota, 264.
- (40) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 264.
- (36) David Ragan, Toyota, 264.
- (18) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, Accident, 262.
- (38) Jeffrey Earnhardt #, Toyota, 261.
- (37) * Reed Sorenson, Toyota, 259.
- (34) Ty Dillon(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 258.
- (10) Carl Edwards (C), Toyota, Accident, 257.
- (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, Accident, 257.
- (6) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, Accident, 257.
- (29) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, Accident, 257.
- (35) * Regan Smith, Chevrolet, Accident, 255.
- (39) Dylan Lupton(i), Ford, 250.
- (25) Aric Almirola, Ford, 213.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 128.869 mph.
Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 07 Mins, 10 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.466 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 7 for 33 laps.
Lead Changes: 20 among 6 drivers.
Lap Leaders: K. Harvick 1-31; C. Edwards (C) 32-34; K. Harvick 35-67; C. Edwards (C) 68-70; K. Harvick 71-85; J. Logano (C) 86-91; C. Edwards (C) 92-117; K. Larson 118-121; C. Edwards (C) 122-125; K. Larson 126-135; C. Edwards (C) 136-143; K. Larson 144-154; C. Edwards (C) 155; K. Larson 156-172; C. Edwards (C) 173; K. Larson 174-208; C. Edwards (C) 209; K. Larson 210-253; K. Busch (C) 254; K. Larson 255-265; J. Johnson (C) 266-268.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): K. Larson 7 times for 132 laps; K. Harvick 3 times for 79 laps; C. Edwards (C) 8 times for 47 laps; J. Logano (C) 1 time for 6 laps; J. Johnson (C) 1 time for 3 laps; K. Busch (C) 1 time for 1 lap.
Top 16 in Points: J. Johnson (C) – 5,040; J. Logano (C) – 5,037; K. Busch (C) – 5,035; C. Edwards (C) – 5,007; M. Kenseth – 2,330; D. Hamlin – 2,320; K. Busch – 2,296; K. Harvick – 2,289; K. Larson – 2,288; C. Elliott # – 2,285; M. Truex Jr. – 2,271; B. Keselowski – 2,267; J. McMurray – 2,231; A. Dillon – 2,223; T. Stewart – 2,211; C. Buescher # – 2,169.
Jimmie Johnson Makes History,
Wins Record-Tying Seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship
Ties Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for Most Premier Series Championships
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 20, 2016) – History has been made.
Jimmie Johnson captured his record-tying seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with a stirring victory Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, tying NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt atop the all-time list.
Sunday’s win was Johnson’s 80th career victory.
To win the 2016 championship, the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet outdueled the other Championship 4 drivers Joey Logano (fourth), Kyle Busch (sixth) and Carl Edwards (34th) at Homestead.
It was a year of sevens for Johnson, who took over sole possession of seventh place on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series all-time wins list after his win at Auto Club Speedway earlier this season. His wins at Atlanta and Auto Club catapulted him into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Johnson breezed through the first round of the Chase, logging his two highest laps led totals of the season to that point at Chicagoland and Dover. When the Round of 12 rolled around, he added his all-time track-record eighth win at Charlotte, leading a race-high 155 laps on the way to a Round of 8 berth. Johnson was the first to lock up a spot in the Championship 4, winning at Martinsville Speedway for the ninth time.
At the age of 41, Johnson becomes the youngest seven-time champion. Petty was 42 when he captured his seventh title in 1979; Earnhardt was 43 in 1994.
All seven of Johnson’s championships were won under team owner Rick Hendrick and with crew chief Chad Knaus.
Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, captured his record-extending 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Along with Johnson’s seven titles, Hendrick has won championships with Jeff Gordon (four) and Terry Labonte (one).
Knaus cemented his legacy as one of the top crew chiefs in NASCAR history with his seventh title, one shy of the all-time record held by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Inman.
Also on Sunday, Chase Elliott was named Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.
Mexico’s Daniel Suarez wins NASCAR XFINITY Series championship with victory at Homestead
November 19, 2016
By Red Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Daniel Suarez streaked away from Elliott Sadler after the final restart in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and three laps later, NASCAR had its first foreign-born national touring series champion.
Ultimately, the 24-year-old driver from Monterrey, Mexico beat Ty Dillon to the finish line by .968 seconds. Sadler, who had taken two tires and gained the second position on a Lap 193 pit stop, came home third and finished second in the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase.
“It’s very hard to put into words,” said Suarez, who led 133 of 200 laps on the way to his third victory of the season and his 19th top five in 33 starts this year. “I’m speechless right now. I’m just very proud of everyone and thankful to have the family that I have – my mom, my dad. They gave me all the tools to be here right now.
“They put me in a car even when we didn’t have the support or the racing background. They supported me, and right now we are just living a dream.”
Suarez was leading fellow Championship 4 contender and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones by less than three car-lengths when Ray Black Jr. spun off Turn 4 to bring out the seventh and final caution on Lap 190.
Under the yellow on Lap 193, lead-lap cars came to pit road for tires, but the No. 14 Toyota of Cole Whitt stayed on the track on old tires and inherited the lead, while Sadler’s two-tire stop put the No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet on the inside of the front row.
Coming to the green on Lap 198, Whitt stalled out in the top lane, pinning Jones behind him and costing him any shot at the championship. Suarez rocketed past Sadler into Turn 1 and pulled away for the victory and the championship.
“I should have made a better block on Daniel,” Sadler said ruefully. “We didn’t know that 14 would stay out and jumble up that restart like that. I wish I’d done a better job on that restart. I guess I’ll be ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda’ for a while…
“I knew Daniel had a better car on four tires, but I wish I could have put up a better fight.”
Sadler came to Homestead with Mike Bumgarner on his pit box after full-time crew chief Kevin Meendering was suspended for a lug nut violation last weekend in Phoenix.
Justin Allgaier came home sixth and claimed third place in the final series standings. Jones ran ninth, finished fourth in the XFINITY standings and remained mystified at Whitt’s decision to stay out on old tires for the final restart.
“I’d love to hear an explanation from him, from the crew chief,” Jones said. “It just didn’t make any sense. He was staying out there on old tires with four guys, literally almost the top four was the four championship guys racing for it.
“Yeah, I’d definitely love to hear exactly what their thoughts were or what happened, why he didn’t go in the restart box. Yeah, there’s a lot of questions that I have that I would love to have answered.”
Note: Suarez also delivered the owner championship to Joe Gibbs Racing via his No. 19 Toyota, and his JGR teammate, Erik Jones, won the 2016 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.
NASCAR XFINITY Series Race – Ford EcoBoost 300
Saturday, November 19, 2016
- (1) Daniel Suarez (C), Toyota, 200.
- (11) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 200.
- (2) Elliott Sadler (C), Chevrolet, 200.
- (4) Ryan Blaney(i), Ford, 200.
- (5) Austin Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 200.
- (6) Justin Allgaier (C), Chevrolet, 200.
- (7) Kyle Larson(i), Chevrolet, 200.
- (14) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 200.
- (3) Erik Jones (C) #, Toyota, 200.
- (15) Aric Almirola(i), Ford, 200.
- (9) Darrell Wallace Jr, Ford, 200.
- (23) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 200.
- (19) JJ Yeley, Toyota, 200.
- (8) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 200.
- (10) Brandon Jones #, Chevrolet, 200.
- (13) Ryan Reed, Ford, 200.
- (18) Cole Custer(i), Chevrolet, 200.
- (16) Cole Whitt(i), Toyota, 200.
- (25) Dakoda Armstrong, Toyota, 199.
- (12) Blake Koch, Chevrolet, 199.
- (26) Ryan Preece #, Chevrolet, 199.
- (20) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 199.
- (31) Brandon Brown(i), Chevrolet, 198.
- (27) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 198.
- (39) Matt Tifft(i), Toyota, 197.
- (35) Travis Kvapil(i), Ford, 196.
- (17) Brennan Poole #, Chevrolet, 196.
- (30) Ray Black Jr #, Chevrolet, 195.
- (28) Garrett Smithley #, Chevrolet, 195.
- (34) Brandon Hightower, Dodge, 195.
- (29) BJ McLeod #, Ford, 195.
- (40) Jeff Green, Ford, 194.
- (38) Josh Reaume, Chevrolet, 193.
- (37) Josh Bilicki, Chevrolet, 189.
- (21) Corey LaJoie, Toyota, Oil Leak, 167.
- (22) Jordan Anderson(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 134.
- (33) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, Ignition, 87.
- (36) Mario Gosselin, Chevrolet, Overheating, 49.
- (32) Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, Brakes, 43.
- (24) Matt DiBenedetto(i), Toyota, Vibration, 2.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 116.455 mph.
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 34 Mins, 34 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.968 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 7 for 39 laps.
Lead Changes: 21 among 11 drivers.
Lap Leaders: D. Suarez (C) 1-22; K. Larson(i) 23-26; T. Kvapil(i) 27; T. Hill(i) 28-30; K. Larson(i) 31-35; D. Suarez (C) 36-79; J. Allgaier (C) 80; R. Sieg 81; K. Larson(i) 82-95; T. Dillon 96-99; D. Suarez (C) 100-113; T. Dillon 114-126; D. Suarez (C) 127-137; A. Almirola(i) 138-142; D. Suarez (C) 143-151; J. Allgaier (C) 152-156; E. Jones (C) # 157-159; A. Almirola(i) 160-163; D. Suarez (C) 164-193; C. Whitt(i) 194-196; E. Sadler (C) 197; D. Suarez (C) 198-200.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): D. Suarez (C) 7 times for 133 laps; K. Larson(i) 3 times for 23 laps; T. Dillon 2 times for 17 laps; A. Almirola(i) 2 times for 9 laps; J. Allgaier (C) 2 times for 6 laps; T. Hill(i) 1 time for 3 laps; E. Jones (C) # 1 time for 3 laps; C. Whitt(i) 1 time for 3 laps; T. Kvapil(i) 1 time for 1 lap; E. Sadler (C) 1 time for 1 lap; R. Sieg 1 time for 1 lap.
Top 10 in Points: D. Suarez (C) – 4,040; E. Sadler (C) – 4,038; J. Allgaier (C) – 4,035; E. Jones (C) # – 4,032; T. Dillon – 2,214; R. Reed – 2,205; B. Koch – 2,200; B. Poole # – 2,192; R. Sieg – 2,171; B. Jones # – 2,168.
Championship 4 drivers are tightly bunched at Homestead; Harvick wins pole
November 18, 2016
By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Jimmie Johnson’s rueful rhetorical question told the story of Friday’s knockout qualifying session at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“What’s a championship race without a little drama?” Johnson asked after earning the 14th starting position during a session fraught with difficulty for the No. 48 team.
Kevin Harvick, who was eliminated from the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup last Sunday at Phoenix, won the pole for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 Championship 4 race (on NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET), touring the 1.5-mile track in 30.399 seconds (177.637 mph) during the money round.
The four drivers who will race for the championship, on the other hand, will start in close proximity. Kyle Busch qualified ninth, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Carl Edwards. Joey Logano and Johnson will start side-by-side in 13th and 14th, after Logano was bumped out of the final round by Tony Stewart, who will retire from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing after Sunday’s event.
“Yeah, I told Jimmie, ‘Man, we all suck,’” Logano quipped. “I don’t know what happened. It’s interesting that we’re all starting so close to each other and not towards the front. It’s not what you would expect coming here.
“I’m sure none of us are going to stay back there very long. When this race starts, we’ll all have to move up forward and possibly have to win this race. It has come down to that the last few years and I would expect the same once again.”
It took a heroic effort on Johnson’s part to advance past the first round. The No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet went out early in the opening round and came away with a disappointing lap. When Johnson tried to improve from 29th fastest near the end of the 20-minute round, Landon Cassill spun in front of Johnson, and the attempt was halted by caution.
On his third attempt, which began with roughly 20 seconds left in the round, Johnson made the second round in 22nd position. Considering the trouble in round one, qualifying 14th was almost a victory for the six-time champion, who will attempt to claim a record-tying seventh title on Sunday.
“Unfortunately, that first outing we just didn’t get a good lap,” Johnson said. “Then I was on a great lap and the caution came out, so we ended up with an additional lap on our tires. We had a nice pickup there for five or six laps on our tires, whatever it was and ended up 14th.
“A bit unlucky, and we kind of hurt ourselves that opening run, and I think to end up 14th on the age of those tires is respectable. Qualifying isn’t my strong suit. I’m much better at racing, so let’s line them up and go racing.”
Busch was philosophical about his starting spot.
“Yeah, it wasn’t certainly the run that we were looking for,” he said. “We were wanting to see a little bit better than that, but we were just too free during qualifying. We just kind of missed the balance a little bit and didn’t quite have the confidence that I needed within the car to get more out of it.
“But it was a decent qualifying effort, I guess, if you consider the big picture of where we’re all at. We’re all pretty tight. Throw a blanket over each other–we’re all right there. At least one camera can probably catch us all when we turn off into Turn 1.
With his second Coors Light Pole Award of the season and the 17th of his career, Harvick wouldn’t mind upstaging the drivers competing for the series title.
“Well, I think for us it’s really the same as it has been,” Harvick said. “You know, you prepare and do all the same things. We’ve done everything the same. Obviously, there’s not as much pressure coming into the weekend as there normally would be, and a lot less to do, so that’s a good thing.
“So yeah, it would be nice to win a race and close the season out. Just a lot of reasons–Tony’s last race, last race with Chevrolet (before Stewart-Haas switches to Ford next year). So, yeah, came here to try to win, same as everybody else. No participation trophies.”
Brad Keselowski qualified second to Harvick at 177.538 mph. Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin will start third and fourth, respectively.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying – Ford EcoBoost 400
Friday, November 18, 2016
- (4) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 177.637 mph.
- (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 177.538 mph.
- (31) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 177.387 mph.
- (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 177.194 mph.
- (24) Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet, 177.096 mph.
- (78) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 176.974 mph.
- (20) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 176.505 mph.
- (21) Ryan Blaney #, Ford, 176.413 mph.
- (18) Kyle Busch (C), Toyota, 175.959 mph.
- (19) Carl Edwards (C), Toyota, 175.615 mph.
- (14) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 174.978 mph.
- (47) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 174.831 mph.
- (22) Joey Logano (C), Ford, 176.638 mph.
- (48) Jimmie Johnson (C), Chevrolet, 176.269 mph.
- (1) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 176.263 mph.
- (41) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 176.246 mph.
- (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 176.120 mph.
- (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 175.965 mph.
- (88) Alex Bowman(i), Chevrolet, 175.655 mph.
- (6) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 175.536 mph.
- (16) Greg Biffle, Ford, 175.018 mph.
- (44) Brian Scott #, Ford, 174.984 mph.
- (13) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 174.972 mph.
- (42) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 173.756 mph.
- (43) Aric Almirola, Ford, 175.092 mph.
- (59) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 174.972 mph.
- (34) Chris Buescher #, Ford, 174.967 mph.
- (27) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 174.893 mph.
- (5) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 174.695 mph.
- (10) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 174.667 mph.
- (49) Matt DiBenedetto(i), Toyota, 174.306 mph.
- (38) Landon Cassill, Ford, 174.025 mph.
- (15) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 173.952 mph.
- (95) Ty Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 173.796 mph.
- (7) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 173.706 mph.
- (23) David Ragan, Toyota, 172.529 mph.
- (55) Reed Sorenson, Toyota, 170.578 mph.
- (83) Jeffrey Earnhardt #, Toyota, 168.687 mph.
- (32) Dylan Lupton(i), Ford, 166.036 mph.
- (46) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 165.853 mph.
1 drivers failed to qualify.
- (30) Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, 168.935 mph.
JOhnny Sauter claims NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title; William Byron gets record seventh win
November 18, 2016
By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Johnny Sauter won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship with a third-place finish in Friday night’s Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, leaving race winner William Byron to consider what might have been.
As Byron and Tyler Reddick battled for the lead, Sauter passed Championship 4 contender Matt Crafton for third-place on Lap 119 of 134 at the 1.5-mile track. Sauter then pulled away to claim the championship as Crafton faded to seventh in the closing laps.
Byron, the polesitter, claimed his rookie-record seventh victory of the season to salve the wound of last week at Phoenix, where a blown engine late in the final Round of 6 race knocked him out of the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase.
Byron, 18, won the series owner championship for Kyle Busch Motorsports, the organization’s fourth straight and fifth overall owner championship in the series.
But the night belonged to the 38-year-old Sauter, who won his first NASCAR championship 15 years after making his first national touring series start in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
“It’s not just me,” said Sauter, who started 19th in the No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet after a lackluster qualifying effort. “It’s the whole team—everybody at GMS Racing. “We qualified bad today, and really, I was kind of worried about it. But it felt pretty good in race trim…
“Just proud of these guys. Flawless execution on pit road tonight. (Crew chief) Joe (Shear Jr.) made great adjustments to where I could just kind of hang on. I’m not a high line guy, so I just elected to keep doing my deal and found some pretty good grip around the bottom of the race track.
“To be a champion… five years ago my old man was down here when I won the race. This is for him and for Joe Shear’s dad—great Midwest racers. My family’s here, my kids are here, my wife’s here. It’s just an awesome night. Proud to be champion, and we’ll do everything within our power to represent NASCAR and Camping World as best we can.”
The handling of Crafton’s truck eroded after the last restart, making Sauter’s championship pass all but inevitable.
“I kind of figured it was a matter of time,” acknowledged Crafton, who fell short in his quest for a third series title. “We were just really bad on that last run for whatever reason. We just went the wrong way for whatever reason.
“It just got really tight on that last run. The run before that was just a little bit free, and on that last run it just got really tight on entry (into the corners).”
Behind Crafton, Christopher Bell and Timothy Peters came home eighth and ninth to claim third and fourth, respectively, in the final series standings.
Byron charged from sixth to the front after a restart on Lap 115, finally taking the lead from Reddick 10 laps later.
“It feels awesome,” said Byron, who was also named Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the series, as expected. “It’s just – it’s incredible. I mean this team has worked so hard all year. We just had an unfortunate situation last week that we couldn’t control, but, man, they brought a good truck. Qualified on the pole.
“These guys just are awesome. God, I hate leaving this – I just hate this team not being together next year. It’s just insane how good they are and so many talented people on this race team. Can’t thank KBM enough, Toyota, Kyle and Samantha (Busch, Kyle Busch’s wife), everyone at KBM, (sponsor) Liberty University – it’s just amazing.”
Byron will drive a Chevrolet in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for JR Motorsports next season, and Bell, 21, will return to KBM with an eye on the championship that eluded him this year.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race – Ford EcoBoost 200
Friday, November 18, 2016
- (1) William Byron #, Toyota, 134.
- (7) Tyler Reddick, Ford, 134.
- (19) Johnny Sauter (C), Chevrolet, 134.
- (3) Kyle Larson(i), Chevrolet, 134.
- (18) Daniel Hemric, Ford, 134.
- (17) Daniel Suarez(i), Toyota, 134.
- (4) Matt Crafton (C), Toyota, 134.
- (8) Christopher Bell (C) #, Toyota, 134.
- (13) Timothy Peters (C), Toyota, 134.
- (2) Cole Custer #, Chevrolet, 134.
- (6) John H Nemechek, Chevrolet, 134.
- (22) Matt Tifft #, Toyota, 134.
- (20) Rico Abreu #, Toyota, 134.
- (14) Ben Kennedy, Chevrolet, 134.
- (10) Noah Gragson, Toyota, 134.
- (16) Cameron Hayley, Toyota, 134.
- (24) Austin Hill, Ford, 134.
- (12) Jesse Little, Toyota, 134.
- (9) Brady Boswell, Chevrolet, 134.
- (11) Ben Rhodes #, Toyota, 134.
- (5) Spencer Gallagher, Chevrolet, 134.
- (21) Scott Lagasse Jr(i), Chevrolet, 134.
- (23) Grant Enfinger #, Ford, 134.
- (30) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 134.
- (27) Austin Wayne Self #, Toyota, 133.
- (29) Alon Day, Chevrolet, 131.
- (32) Travis Kvapil, Chevrolet, 131.
- (28) Reed Sorenson(i), Chevrolet, 130.
- (25) Stewart Friesen, Chevrolet, 128.
- (31) Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 128.
- (26) Patrick Staropoli, Chevrolet, 125.
- (15) Ryan Truex, Toyota, Engine, 49.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 129.747 mph.
Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 32 Mins, 57 Secs. Margin of Victory: 2.175 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 4 for 18 laps.
Lead Changes: 15 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: W. Byron # 1-16; R. Sorenson(i) 17; W. Byron # 18-19; M. Crafton (C) 20-22; K. Larson(i) 23-43; W. Byron # 44; T. Reddick 45-47; M. Crafton (C) 48-53; K. Larson(i) 54-83; W. Byron # 84; K. Larson(i) 85-87; M. Crafton (C) 88; K. Larson(i) 89-110; W. Byron # 111; T. Reddick 112-124; W. Byron # 125-134.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): K. Larson(i) 4 times for 76 laps; W. Byron # 6 times for 31 laps; T. Reddick 2 times for 16 laps; M. Crafton (C) 3 times for 10 laps; R. Sorenson(i) 1 time for 1 lap.
Top 10 in Points: J. Sauter (C) – 4,030; M. Crafton (C) – 4,026; C. Bell (C) # – 4,025; T. Peters (C) – 4,024; W. Byron # – 2,199; D. Hemric – 2,163; B. Kennedy – 2,162; J. Nemechek – 2,133; T. Reddick – 511; C. Custer # – 502.
|Homestead-Miami Speedway Data
Season Race #: 36 of 36 (11-22-15)
Chase Race #: 10
Track Size: 1.5-mile
Banking/Turn 1 & 2: 18-20 degrees
Banking/Turn 3 & 4: 18-20 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 4 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 4 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 1,760 feet
Backstretch Length: 1,760 feet
Race Length: 267 laps / 400.5 miles
Top 10 Driver Ratings at Homestead
Carl Edwards………………………. 109.4
Matt Kenseth………………………. 108.4
Martin Truex Jr…………………….. 105.0
Kevin Harvick………………………. 104.3
Jeff Gordon…………………………. 100.6
Jimmie Johnson…………………….. 96.8
Denny Hamlin……………………….. 96.3
Kyle Busch…………………………… 95.5
Kyle Larson………………………….. 92.8
Brad Keselowski……………………. 88.8
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (11 total) among active drivers at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
2015 pole winner:
Denny Hamlin, Toyota
176.655 mph, 30.568 secs. 11-20-15
2015 race winner:
Kyle Busch, Toyota
131.755 mph, (03:02:23), 11-22-15
Track qualifying record:
Brad Keselowski, Ford
181.238 mph, 29.795 secs. 11-14-14
Set in Round 1 of 3
Track race record:
Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet
142.245 mph, (2:48:56), 11-18-12
Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup: Homestead-Miami Speedway
- Homestead-Miami Speedway has been a part of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup since the playoff’s inception in 2004. This season the track will host its 13th Chase event.
- The winner of the Homestead-Miami Chase race has gone on to win the championship during the Chase era three time: Tony Stewart (2011), Kevin Harvick (2014) and Kyle Busch (2015).
- Greg Biffle leads the series in Chase race wins at Homestead-Miami with three (2004 – 2006); followed by Carl Edwards (2008, 2010) and Denny Hamlin (2009, 2013) with two each.
- The worst finish in a Chase race by the eventual series champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway is 15th (three times), Tony Stewart in 2005, Jimmie Johnson in 2008 and Brad Keselowski in 2012.
- Chase Contenders have won nine of the 12 (75%) previous Chase races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Two non-Chase contenders have won the Homestead-Miami Chase race: Greg Biffle (2004 and 2006) and Denny Hamlin (2013).
- In six of the 12 (50%) previous Chase races (2004-2015) at Homestead the eventual series champion has finished in the top five.
- Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in Chase race wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway with six, including five consecutive: Greg Biffle (2004 – 2006), Matt Kenseth (2007) and Carl Edwards (2008).
- Ford leads the series in Chase wins at Homestead with six; followed by Chevrolet with three.
- The most dominant performance by a Chase race winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway is Carl Edward’s victory in 2010. He posted a Perfect Driver Rating of 150.0 and led 190 of the 267 laps (71.1% of his laps completed) – most by a Chase race winner at Homestead.
- The 2014 Championship 4 finished – First (Kevin Harvick, 2014 Champion); Second (Ryan Newman), Seventh (Denny Hamlin) and 16th (Joey Logano).
- The 2015 Championship 4 finished – First (Kyle Busch, 2015 Champion); Second (Kevin Harvick), Sixth (Jeff Gordon) and 12th (Martin Truex Jr.).