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Gordon Wins Final Race of “Challenger Round”

Gordon Wins Final Race of “Challenger Round”

Geoff Burke/Getty Images(DOVER, Del.) — Jeff Gordon led the final 71 laps of the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway, cementing his spot in the next round of the NASCAR’s 10-race “Chase for the Sprint Cup”. It was Gordon’s fifth win at The Monster Mile, and his first since winning his last series crown in 2001.

“I think it makes a statement of what type of team we are,” Gordon said. “I think that it makes a statement that we’re a team to beat for this championship.”

Although he didn’t need the win to advance, Gordon joined Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano as winners through the first round of NASCAR’s new playoff format which eliminates four drivers after every third race. At the conclusion of the race at Dover, Kurt Busch, AJ Allmendinger, Greg Biffle, and Aric Amirola were knocked from championship contention.

Kevin Harvick led 223 laps but poor tire management left him with a 13th place finish. Keselowski took second while Jimmie Johnson, Logano and Matt Kenseth finished out the top five. The points will now reset for the “Contender Round” which features races at Kansas, Charlotte, and Talladega.

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NASCAR’s Chase Continues at the Monster Mile

NASCAR’s Chase Continues at the Monster Mile

BananaStock(DOVER, Del.) — NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup championship continues this Sunday afternoon with the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. It’s the third race in the 10-race Chase.

Joey Logano won last week’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He will join his Team Penske teammate, Brad Keselowski, who won the opener at Chicagoland Speedway, with automatic bids into the second round.

Aric Almirola is currently 16th in the 16-driver Chase field. “Our goal is to transfer to that next round, but we can’t really worry about what everybody else is doing,” Almirola said during a teleconference. “All we can do is worry about ourselves.”

After the race, the field will be whittled down to 12 drivers.

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Logano Wins at Loudon

Logano Wins at Loudon

BannanStock(LOUDON, N.H.) — Joey Logano etched his spot in the next round of NASCAR’s “Chase for the Cup” by winning the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

It was the fourth win of the season for Logano, and happened at the track he considers to be home.

“To me this is almost like Daytona,” said the Connecticut native. “I watched my first Cup race here when I was five, and started my first one, and won my first one…to top it off with a win was really neat.”

Logano was the second member of Team Penske to win a Chase race, following Brad Keselowski’s victory last week. Keselowski finished seventh and led 78 laps, but hit the wall in the second half of the race. 

The race was marred by a season-high 15 cautions, the last of which came in overtime and saw Logano pull away for the win. Kyle Larson took second followed by Kevin Harvick, who led 27 laps.

Next week’s race at Dover International Speedway marks the first “elimination” race in NASCAR’s new playoff format where four drivers will be bounced from contention every three weeks. Currently, Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, and Aric Amirola are in the bottom four spots.

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Brad Keselowski Wins Pole at New Hampshire

Brad Keselowski Wins Pole at New Hampshire

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(LOUDON, N.H.) — Brad Keselowski took home the pole on Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and will start up front after winning last weekend at Chicagoland.

Keselowski set a track-record lap of 140.598 mph and is hoping to win the second race in the first round, even though he’s already advanced.

“This kind of track is kind of right in my wheelhouse, right in our team’s wheelhouse,” Keselowski said. “We had this race circled before the Chase started and we felt decent about Chicago, but really felt like this was a race of emphasis for us to get a win and get out of the first bracket.”

Keselowski swept the Cup and Nationwide races at Loudon in July.

“It’s positive momentum,” he said, “but when it resets it resets and nothing that you’ve done in the past really matters as long as you’re eligible for the bracket. I’m a long, long ways from using the word favorite or feeling overly confident.”

Jamie McMurray, who is a non-chase driver finished second and was followed by Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Jimmie Johnson.

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Keselowski Wins Chase Opener at Chicagoland

Keselowski Wins Chase Opener at Chicagoland

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(JOLIET, Ill.) — Brad Keselowski passed between both Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson to seize the lead with 19 laps to go, winning the MyAFIBStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday. The win kept Keselowski atop the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings after the first race and guarantees his advancement into the next round.

“Man, the next two weeks are going to be a lot of fun, knowing we don’t have to worry too much and we are going to move up,” said Keselowski. 

A late crash forced one more restart, but the 2012 Sprint Cup Champion easily pulled away from the field with six laps remaining. It was Keselowski’s second-straight trip to victory lane, and his series-leading fifth win of the season.

Jeff Gordon finished second while Kyle Larson took third. The new playoff format in NASCAR will eliminate four drivers every three races during the 10-race Chase. Drivers are able to earn a pass into the next round with a win in the individual event.

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Keselowski Wins Chase Opener at Chicagoland

Keselowski Wins Chase Opener at Chicagoland

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(JOLIET, Ill.) — Brad Keselowski passed between both Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson to seize the lead with 19 laps to go, winning the MyAFIBStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday. The win kept Keselowski atop the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings after the first race and guarantees his advancement into the next round.

“Man, the next two weeks are going to be a lot of fun, knowing we don’t have to worry too much and we are going to move up,” said Keselowski. 

A late crash forced one more restart, but the 2012 Sprint Cup Champion easily pulled away from the field with six laps remaining. It was Keselowski’s second-straight trip to victory lane, and his series-leading fifth win of the season.

Jeff Gordon finished second while Kyle Larson took third. The new playoff format in NASCAR will eliminate four drivers every three races during the 10-race Chase. Drivers are able to earn a pass into the next round with a win in the individual event.

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Logano Earns First Ever Win at Bristol

Logano Earns First Ever Win at Bristol

Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR(BRISTOL, Tenn.) — Joey Logano had never won more than one race in a single Sprint Cup season. On Saturday he took his third checkered flag of 2014, holding off Brad Keselowski to win the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“I feel like the Bristol night race is maybe the third- or fourth-biggest race of the year,” Logano said after his first-ever win at the track. “Just the atmosphere before the race, if it doesn’t pump you up, nothing does. It’s just the baddest mamma jamma race track ever built.”

The 24-year-old passed Matt Kenseth with 44 laps remaining but had to hold off a late charge by Keselowski to earn the victory. Logano became the fifth driver this season to win three different races, joining Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Kenseth ended up finishing third and is still looking for the win that will clinch a spot in the “Race to the Chase.” There are just two races remaining before NASCAR’s playoff begins and Kenseth sits fifth in points standings, tops among non-winners looking to qualify.

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Kevin Harvick Wins Pole for Brickyard 400

Kevin Harvick Wins Pole for Brickyard 400

Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR(INDIANAPOLIS) — Kevin Harvick won the pole for Sunday’s Brickyard 400 on Saturday.

Harvick was followed by Jeff Gordon, and Brad Keselowski for the top three spots.

“I think that we certainly look at all the Hendrick cars and the Stewart-Haas cars … and Penske, to me, is the team to beat outside of what we have,” Gordon said. “I’m pretty sure all those groups have their best stuff here.”

Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson have three wins this season.

“When you think you really understand what’s going on, you never know what somebody else has in their hand — much like if you were playing a game of poker,” Keselowski said. “We think that we have the two strongest hands with Penske and Hendrick, and certainly that’s been the case to this date in the season, but you just don’t know what’s out there.”

Gordon is the points leader and has one win this season.

“To be on the front row, 20 years after my first win, I get excited about that,” Gordon said.

Indiana native Ryan Newman won last year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 7/13/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 7/13/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — World Cup Final: Germany 1 – Argentina 0 – F/OT

MLB: Cleveland Indians 3 (47-47) – Chicago White Sox 2 (45-51)

Tampa Bay Rays 3 (44-53) – Toronto Blue Jays 0 (49-47)

New York Mets 9 (45-50) – Miami Marlins 1 (44-50)

Washington Nationals 10 (51-42) – Philadelphia Phillies 3 (42-53)

Kansas City Royals 5 (48-46) – Detroit Tigers 2 (53-38)

Boston Red Sox 11 (43-52) – Houston Astros 0 (40-56)

Atlanta Braves 10 (52-43) – Chicago Cubs 7 (40-54) 

Milwaukee Brewers 11 (53-43) – St. Louis Cardinals 2 (52-44) 

Cincinnati Reds 6 (51-44) – Pittsburgh Pirates 3 (49-46)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 10 (57-37) – Texas Rangers 7 (38-57)

Oakland Athletics 4 (59-36) – Seattle Mariners 1 (51-44)

San Francisco Giants 8 (52-43) – Arizona Diamondbacks 4 (40-56)

Los Angeles Dodgers 1 (54-43) – San Diego Padres 0 (41-54)

Minnesota Twins 13 (44-50) – Colorado Rockies 5 (40-55)

Baltimore Orioles 3 (52-42) – New York Yankees 1 (47-47) F/5 Innings

NASCAR: Brad Keselowski won the Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire.

Golf: Brian Harman won the John Deere Classic.

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Brad Keselowski Wins at New Hampshire

Brad Keselowski Wins at New Hampshire

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(LOUDON, N.H.) — Brad Keselowski took home his third Sprint Cup victory of the year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday.

Keselowski, who won the Nationwide race on Saturday, was never tested all day long.

“It is every driver’s dream,” Keselowski said. “Every once in a while, you get these cars and thankful and try like hell to not screw them up.”

Kyle Busch won the poll headed into the race and took home second.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished in 10th, but clinched a spot in the Chase.

NASCAR will head back to New Hampshire in September during the Chase for the championship.

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Keselowski Wins At Kentucky Again

Keselowski Wins At Kentucky Again

Sean Gardner/Getty Images(SPARTA, Ky.) — For the second time this year, Brad Keselowski found himself in victory lane after winning the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. Keselowski becomes the first ever repeat winner at the track as he cemented his spot in the Chase for the Cup.

Keselowski started on the pole and led 199 of the 267 laps to get the win. He had to weave his way through traffic, sitting in sixth place after a restart. On lap 248, Keselowski was able to make his move and get past Kyle Busch for the lead. Busch went on to finish second in the race.

“I knew it was going to be a dogfight to get back to Kyle and then race him,” Keselowski said. “We got there with a really fast car and I hit the perfect run on him with traffic. Next thing I knew, we were there. It feels really good to get that second win.”

Ryan Newman placed third while Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. rounded out the top five. The 2012 Cup champion posted his ninth top-10 finish of the season and moved up one spot in to fourth place in the standings.

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Brad Keselowski Looking Forward to Michigan

Brad Keselowski Looking Forward to Michigan

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(NEW YORK) — Brad Keselowki is hoping to pick up his second checkered flag of the season at the Michigan 400 on Sunday.

Another win for Keselowski would inevitably lock up a spot in the chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

“It’s a great opportunity to come home to Michigan, which is my home state, certainly my home racetrack, with cars that have been just blistering fast this year,” Keselowski said on Tuesday.

“I’m really, really happy where we’re at as a team and how things are progressing and kind of feel like we’re turning a corner to getting back into championship form here as we hit the month of June,” Keselowski continued.  “It kind of gives me some goosebumps knowing that we have an opportunity to, I guess, one, run for another championship in my eyes as it stands right now, and two, win a big Cup race at my home track, and both of them are very realistic at this time.  A lot of things good going on, and I’m just really excited.”

Keselowski’s first win of the season came at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9. He has won two poles in the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford for Team Penske this season.

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Earnhardt Jr. Earns First Win at Pocono

Earnhardt Jr. Earns First Win at Pocono

Jamie Squire/Getty Images(LONG POND, Pa.) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned his second win of the season, his first at Pocono Raceway, Sunday when he won the Pocono 400.

Earnhardt passed Brad Keselowski with five laps remaining to secure his first multiple win season since 2004.

Keselowski led the race for 95 laps but had a piece of debris in his grille that caused his engine to run hot. Keselowski tried to clean the debris off the grille with five laps remaining but it allowed Earnhardt to pass him. Keselowksi was never able to regain the lead as he finishes second for a second straight race.

“Running really, really hot and the motor was going to blow up,” Keselowski told The Motor Racing Network. “So I had to do something. I tried to follow the 10 there in the corner and clear the debris off. Just checked up too much. I thought I had a little more room than I did. The team did a heck of a job. I just messed up a little bit there. I had a really good car.”

Kurt Busch finished third followed by Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.

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Earnhardt Jr. Earns First Win at Pocono

Earnhardt Jr. Earns First Win at Pocono

Jamie Squire/Getty Images(LONG POND, Pa.) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned his second win of the season, his first at Pocono Raceway, Sunday when he won the Pocono 400.

Earnhardt passed Brad Keselowski with five laps remaining to secure his first multiple win season since 2004.

Keselowski led the race for 95 laps but had a piece of debris in his grille that caused his engine to run hot. Keselowski tried to clean the debris off the grille with five laps remaining but it allowed Earnhardt to pass him. Keselowksi was never able to regain the lead as he finishes second for a second straight race.

“Running really, really hot and the motor was going to blow up,” Keselowski told The Motor Racing Network. “So I had to do something. I tried to follow the 10 there in the corner and clear the debris off. Just checked up too much. I thought I had a little more room than I did. The team did a heck of a job. I just messed up a little bit there. I had a really good car.”

Kurt Busch finished third followed by Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.

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Jimmie Johnson Wins Second Consecutive Sprint Cup Race

Jimmie Johnson Wins Second Consecutive Sprint Cup Race

Jerry Markland/Getty Images(DOVER, Del.) — Jimmie Johnson is at it again.  The six-time Sprint Cup champion took home the checkered flag for the second consecutive weekend after a win at Dover International Speedway on Sunday.

Johnson won last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600.

Brad Keselowski won the pole and made a late rally, but fell short and finished in second.

“It’s amazing that we can stay on top of things here with the different generation car, different rules, different tires,” Johnson said. “This place just fits my style and (crew chief) Chad Knaus’ style.”

Kyle Busch’s bid at a sweep this weekend took a turn for the worst after the No. 18 Toyota slammed into the wall 124 laps into the 400-lap race and was forced into the garage. Busch won the Nationwide Series race earlier in the weekend.

Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.

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Keselowski Takes Pole at Phoenix

Keselowski Takes Pole at Phoenix

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(AVONDALE, Ariz.) — Brad Keselowksi set a track-record top speed of 139.384 mph at Phoenix International Raceway Friday to win the pole for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup race on Sunday.
This was the first Sprint Cup pole th…

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wins the Daytona 500

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wins the Daytona 500

Tom Pennington/Getty Images Sport (DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) —  It was a long day in Daytona, but when it was all said and done, NASCAR’s most popular driver stood alone: Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500 on Sunday for the second time i…

Carl Edwards Wins Pole at Texas

Carl Edwards Wins Pole at Texas

Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR(FORT WORTH, Texas) — Carl Edwards took home the pole on Friday for Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Edwards has a qualifying lap of 196.114 mph to secure the pole.  Sprint Cup points leader Jimmie John…

Brad Keselowski Wins at Charlotte

Brad Keselowski Wins at Charlotte

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(CONCORD, N.C.) — Last year’s Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski snapped a 37-race winless streak on Saturday night with a win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Keselowski, who failed to qualify for the Chase thi…

Brad Keselowski Wins N’wide at Richmond

Brad Keselowski Wins N’wide at Richmond

Patrick Smith/Getty Images(RICHMOND, Va.) — Brad Keselowski raced to his fifth victory in the Nationwide Series on Friday night after he passed Brian Scott with 11 laps to go on a restart.
After a tough Sprint Cup season, Keselowski has been able to h…

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