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Jimmie Johnson Wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Jimmie Johnson Wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Jerry Markland/Getty Images(HAMPTON, Ga.) -- The pressure is off Jimmie Johnson early this season after he took home the checkered flag at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday at the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.

Johnson held off Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the second Sprint Cup race of the year.

"I'm just so excited that the guys — we have new guys — could understand what I was complaining about and the things I didn't like about my race car," said Johnson, who started 38th. 

"This thing was just bad fast. I had a blast racing with the 4. He was awfully strong today. I think track position there at the end set things in place," Johnson continued.  "We had the restart we needed to, cleared the 88 and off we went."

Johnson increased his chances of making the Chase this year with the win as well.

"Takes pressure off in some ways," Johnson said.  "We don't have the questions of are you going to win this year.  It's nice to dodge that."

Last weekend's Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano finished in fourth and was followed by Matt Kenseth.

“We raced hard," Logano said. "We raced up toward the front all day, just those Hendrick cars are fast."

"I did everything I could to maintain on restarts and being aggressive," Logano continued.  "Overall we're still having a good start to the season."

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Kevin Harvick Wins XFINITY Race at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Kevin Harvick Wins XFINITY Race at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Todd Warshaw/Getty Images(HAMPTON, Ga.) -- Kevin Harvick took the lead with 26 laps to go on Saturday and took home the checkered flag in the XFINITY Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Harvick held off Joey Logano to win at Atlanta for the third straight time.

"The first thing I want to do is thank all those fans today," Harvick said. "To see that crowd out there, I'm really happy for Atlanta Motor Speedway."

"That pit stop is what won this race," Harvick continued.  "Joey probably had a little bit better car the second half of the run, but it really played out there for us as we were able to have that short run and take off."

Logano won the pole for Sunday's Sprint Cup race and was happy to have a great run.

"This is the closest anyone's been to beating Kevin here in a long time," Logano said. "We got beat off pit road. We had a decent restart, but the outside lane is so tough. At that point, I was trying to move around to different lanes. Trying to find something for some speed."

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Joey Logano Wins Daytona 500

Joey Logano Wins Daytona 500

Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR(DAYTONA, Fla.) -- Joey Logano won the Daytona 500 on Sunday in a green-white checkered finish as the caution flag waived to take home the huge victory for 

Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson finished in the top five.

The 24-year-old is the second youngest driver to win the Daytona 500 for the Penske team.

In perhaps his final Daytona 500, Jeff Gordon finished 33rd.

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Harvick Wins Race and Chase

Harvick Wins Race and Chase

Jamie Squire/Getty Images(HOMESTEAD, Fla.) -- Kevin Harvick won NASCAR's last race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway Sunday to win his first Sprint Cup Title.Harvick grabbed the lead with seven laps to go and then out-raced Ryan Newman after one final caution to win the championship.Harvick takes the first title of his career, beating out Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano to win in the first year of NASCAR's new championship format. Newman finished second, Hamlin finished seventh, and Logano came in 16th.Harvick gets the win for Stewart-Haas Racing, the team he left Richard Childress Racing for this season.

"Been trying for 13 years," Harvick said. "This week ate me up. If it wasn't for Jimmie Johnson (friend) and Tony Stewart (co-owner of Stewart Haas Racing), I would have been in bad trouble this week. Those guys really helped me get through the week. After every practice, Jimmie was in there, and in our team debriefs Tony was constantly telling me just to go race and that it's just another race."

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NASCAR’s Championship Race Set

NASCAR’s Championship Race Set

BananaStock(MIAMI) -- Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick will battle it out for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup championship this Sunday afternoon in the running of the Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. None of the four drivers have previously capture the Cup.

On the season, Logano has five wins, 16 top-five finishes and 22 top-ten finishes. Meanwhile, Harvick has four wins, 13 top-five finishes and 19 top-ten finishes.

“We need to stay on course and try to treat this just like we have every other race this year and try not to really put any extra pressure on go down there and do the same things we've been doing.

Hamlin has won one race this year, at Talladega back in May, while Newman is still in search of his first checkered flag.

Sunday’s green flag is set to drop at 3:15 p.m. Eastern.

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Harvick Wins at Phoenix, Qualifies for Miami

Harvick Wins at Phoenix, Qualifies for Miami

Jamie Squire/Getty Images(AVONDALE, Ariz.) -- Kevin Harvick dominated the field on Sunday afternoon, winning the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix Motor Speedway and clinching a spot in NASCAR's final round of the new Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.

"Coming over here and racing this year has given me new life," Harvick said. "It's like a dream. You lay it all out on paper and you say, 'This is what we want to do, and we want to race for wins and championships,' and all of a sudden you're a week away from everything that you talk about and dream about."

Harvick was one of eight drivers still "alive" in the new playoff format entering the race. None of those eight had won a race in the Eliminator Round and earned the automatic berth into the Championship finale. The 38-year-old led 264 of 312 laps and will now have a chance to win his first title after 13 years in NASCAR's premier circuit.

Joining Harvick in the final race of the year at Homestead-Miami International Speedway next week are Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Ryan Newman. All four drivers will be seeking their first points championship. The winner of the Sprint Cup Championship will be decided by finishing order next week.

Eliminated from title contention was Jeff Gordon, who finished second, Matt Kenseth, who took third, Brad Keselowski, the fourth-place finisher, and Carl Edwards.

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Keselowski: Everyone Has a Shot

Keselowski: Everyone Has a Shot

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(NEW YORK) -- The chase for the Sprint Cup title is down to eight drivers headed into Martinsville Speedway on Sunday.

Brad Keselowski had to win last weekend to get into the Eliminator round and found a way to win in the final laps at Talladega. Still, he feels it's anyones game right now.

"Everyone has a strength," Keselowski said of the final drivers remaining. "It really is pretty open to me."

Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards will join Keselowski.

Hamlin is hoping to continue his run of success at Martinsville. "It's been a great track for us," Hamin said on Tuesday. "No one saw us winning last year, we were running like 15th every week and all of a sudden we went to Homestead, it's hard to pinpoint the favorites and underdogs at this point."

Gordon and his team have had success at every single track in this round, so he's betting on Martinsville.

"This to me is where we're going to shine," Gordon said. "There's such a realistic chance for us to not only win one or a couple of these races coming up, but seriously get ourselves to Homestead with a shot at winning this thing."

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Kevin Harvick Wins at Charlotte – Post Race Fight Ensues

Kevin Harvick Wins at Charlotte – Post Race Fight Ensues

Jamie Squire/ Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, NC) -- Kevin Harvick won the second race in the Sprint Cup Contender round at Charlotte Motor Speedway, guaranteeing himself a spot in the Eliminator round.

While Harvick was the winner, former champion Brad Keselowski's championship hopes took a huge blow.  Keselowski traded paint with Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin under a late yellow flag and the dust up spilled into the pits. 

After the race, Hamlin threw a towel at Keselowski.  Kenseth, however took things to a personal level.  In between the racer's trailers Kenseth charged after Keselowski and put him in a headlock.  The two racers traded fists until officials and crew members could restrain the two. 

"The race is over -- come back to pit road," Kenseth said of Keselowski "If you want to talk about it like a man, go do that. But if you want to wreck somebody on the racetrack with people standing around, that's just inexcusable."

Hamlin shared a similar sentiment, calling Keselowski desperate to save his title hopes and claiming "He's just out of control."

Keselowski saw things differently, stating that the other two were the instigators.

"I figured, if we're going to play car wars under yellow and after the race, I'll join, too," Keselowski said. "Those guys can dish it out, but they can't take it. I gave it back to them, and now they want to fight."

The final race of the Contender round wraps up next week at Talledega. 

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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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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Completes Pocono Sweep

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Completes Pocono Sweep

Jamie Squire/Getty Images(LONG POND, Pa.) -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. survived a multi-car crash on lap 117 and then went ahead on the final restart to take home the checkered flag at Pocono Raceway on Sunday.

Earnhardt Jr. completed the Pocono season sweep with the victory and was followed by a late charging Kevin Harvick.

Earnhardt credited the hard work by his team and crew chief Steve Letarte during the last restart.

"We had a fast car all day," Earnhardt said. "Steve's strategy was perfect at the end. I don't know if anyone knew what was going on there, but it was pretty awesome."

Earnhardt won his third race of the season, which is the most since he won six times back in 2004.

Denny Hamlin last completed the Pocono sweep back in 2006.

Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, and Greg Biffle rounded out the top five.

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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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Kevin Harvick Wins Pole for Michigan 400

Kevin Harvick Wins Pole for Michigan 400

Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images(BROOKLYN, Mich.) -- Kevin Harvick took home the pole for Sunday's Sprint Cup series race at Michigan.

Harvick's pole-winning speed of 204.557 mph was the fastest qualifying speed since Bill Elliot in 1987.

"This is one of those racetracks where you're running fast, but you really can't put it all in perspective, I guess, until you hit something," Harvick said. "It's so wide, it's so fast and so smooth, but you don't really get that huge sensation of speed."

Sprint Cup points leader Jeff Gordon was the second fastest on Friday and was followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"This format has obviously been good for me to kind of, I guess, creep up on it as you go through the sessions," Harvick said. "A fast car really solves a lot of problems."

Harvick enjoys racing at Michigan.

"Michigan's been fast for a long time. How fast is too fast?" Harvick said. "The cars will slow down a tremendous amount when we get them in race trim and you get them in a pack, and it's going to be quite a bit hotter on Sunday. They'll slow down. Qualifying speeds are high. It's just a matter of whose opinion is taken on whether it's too fast or not."

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Kevin Harvick Wins Pole at Darlington

Kevin Harvick Wins Pole at DarlingtonJared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images(DARLINGTON, S.C.) -- Kevin Harvick took home his first career pole at Darlington Raceway on Friday. Harvick won in the knockout round for Saturday night's Southern 500 and was followed by Joey Logano, who was las...

Kyle Larson Earns First Career Nationwide Victory

Kyle Larson Earns First Career Nationwide VictoryJerry Markland/Getty Images Sport (FONTANA, Calif.) --  21-year-old Kyle Larson won his first Nationwide race Saturday, holding off Veterans Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch in an exciting finish at Fontana. With the victory, Larson became the first C...

Harvick Wins Second Straight at Phoenix

Harvick Wins Second Straight at PhoenixJeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images(AVONDALE, Ariz.) -- Kevin Harvick led 224 of the 312 laps at Phoenix International Raceway Sunday en route to winning The Profit on CNBC 500. Harvick has now won five Sprint Cup races at Phoenix, including the l...

Jimmie Johnson Wins Sixth Sprint Cup Title

Jimmie Johnson Wins Sixth Sprint Cup TitleChris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images(HOMESTEAD, Fla.) -- Jimmie Johnson took home his sixth Sprint Cup championship on Sunday after finishing in ninth at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Johnson came into Sunday 28 points up on Matt Kenseth and held a 34 po...

Jimmie Johnson Talks Taking on Phoenix

Jimmie Johnson Talks Taking on PhoenixJohn Harrelson/NASCAR via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Jimmie Johnson holds a seven point lead over Matt Kenseth with two races remaining in the Sprint Cup season. Johnson was victorious on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway and padded his lead a little after...

Brad Keselowski Wins at Charlotte

Brad Keselowski Wins at CharlotteStreeter 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...

Kevin Harvick Wins at Kansas

Kevin Harvick Wins at KansasJared C. Tilton/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) -- Kevin Harvick won the pole and then won the race on Sunday at Kansas Motor Speedway to put himself third in the Chase championship. Kurt Busch finished in second, followed by his teammate Jeff Gordon, ...
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