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Brad Keselowski Wins at Auto Club Speedway

Brad Keselowski Wins at Auto Club Speedway

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(FONTANA, Calif.) -- Brad Keselowski only led one lap on Sunday, but that was good enough to take home the victory after he passed Kurt Busch on the green-white checkered finish at Auto Club Speedway.

Keselowski's crew chief Paul Wolfe decided to go with four new tires on the final pit stop during the caution and the move paid off.

"An up and down day for sure," Keselowski said.  "Kept fighting and at the end we caught some breaks and made the most of the breaks we caught."

Keselowski wasn't sure about changing all for tires, but followed Wolfe's instructions.

"When he said that I said this could go really good or really bad," Keselowski admitted.  "On the restart we were just able to find our way through the lanes and get to the front there and somehow end up in Victory Lane leading the last lap, that's kind of a race car drivers dream."

Kevin Harvick finished in second place and Busch took home third during the final restart.

"I hate that [Busch] wasn't able to hold on for the win there,'' Harvick said.  "I would have loved to see those guys get their first win."

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Kurt Busch Wins Pole for Auto Club Speedway

Kurt Busch Wins Pole for Auto Club Speedway

Chris Graythen/Getty Imgages for NASCAR(FONTANA, Calif.) -- Kurt Busch will start up front in his second race of the season after winning the pole on Friday at Fontana.

Busch, who raced in his first race last weekend since being suspended, finished ahead of Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth.

"They are such a strong group and have been together for many, many years and we just need to bridge from where we were last year in those final three races into 2015," Busch said. "We didn't get the start that we wanted, and here we are now, so let's just stay the course and run our pace."

Busch finished in fifth place last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.

"Thank you [co-owner Gene Haas] for believing in me," Busch said. "This is my job: Come to the track, drive the car and put it up on the pole and go for wins.

"That is what Gene has told me to do from the get go and I'm glad I have this chance to go back out there and live up to why he hired me," Busch continued.

Harvick, also a member of the Stewart-Haas Racing team, has won the last two races.

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Kevin Harvick Wins Pole for Phoenix

Kevin Harvick Wins Pole for Phoenix

BananaStock(AVONDALE, Ariz.) -- Kevin Harvick took home the pole for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Speedway.

This was Harvick's first career pole at Phoenix.  Joey Logano finished with the second fastest qualifying time.

"There are just so many circumstances that you can't control," Harvick said. "There are so many things that can go wrong. There are so many mistakes that you can make and we can make some bad decisions as we go through practice and miss the balance to start the race."

Kurt Busch finished with the eighth fastest time and will race for the first time this season after his suspension was uplifted this week.

"Overwhelming support from the team and garage area," Busch said.  "I'm thankful to be back and have this competitive car."

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Kurt Busch: Ready to Race Again

Kurt Busch: Ready to Race Again

Chris Graythen/Getty Imgages for NASCAR(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Kurt Busch was reinstated into NASCAR on Wednesday after being suspended after news broke of his domestic abuse case with his ex-girlfriend.

Busch said he's looking forward to being back in a car this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.

"It means the world to me to be back in the car," Busch said during a teleconference Wednesday afternoon. "It's been a tough situation the last few months, and I've gone through this with confidence knowing that I know the truth and that I never did any of the things that I was accused of.

Busch was cleared of any charges by the Delaware attorney general's office last week.

"It was a complete fabrication," Busch continued of the domestic abuse allegations. "It was unfortunate that my personal life crossed over and affected my business life. I can't wait to get to the track to see my team, to shake their hands and say, 'Thanks for the support.'"

"I understand why NASCAR needed to take the action that it did," Busch said of his suspension. "This is a very serious issue. The way that NASCAR reacted, it was different than what we had been told all along. They were more focused on the criminal side, as were we."

Busch is still eligible in the chase for the championship if he wins a race this season.

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Jeff Gordon Wins Pole at Las Vegas

Jeff Gordon Wins Pole at Las Vegas

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- Jeff Gordon took home his 79th career pole on Friday for the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday. 

This is Gordon's first career pole at Las Vegas in what will his last stop at this track as he's set to retire from full-time racing at the end of the season.

"After last week and that whole mess, it was great to get out there and qualify," Gordon said on Friday.  "This feels amazing to me, I can't believe this is my first pole here in Las Vegas and it happens in my final race, so that is pretty cool."

Joey Logano had the second fastest qualifying speed and knows his team can take some risks having won at the Daytona 500 already.

"Our sports all about risks versus reward," Logano said.  "The risk has gone down because we're pretty much in the Chase.  We can take those gambles."

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Kurt Busch Agrees to NASCAR Reinstatement Terms

Kurt Busch Agrees to NASCAR Reinstatement Terms

(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- After an extremely heated court battle with an ex-girlfriend, Kurt Busch was suspended indefinitely from the NASCAR circuit.

NASCAR has put forth a set of terms that Busch must complete in order to compete for the chase once again. According to NASCAR spokesman David Higdon, Busch has agreed to the stipulations.

Busch was suspended on Feb. 20 after a Delaware Judge ruled that Busch must cease all contact with his former paramour, Patricia Driscoll and undergo psychiatric counseling. 

Stewart Haas Racing, Busch's employer, released the following statement:

"We understand Kurt Busch has begun the process for reinstatement as a NASCAR member. NASCAR has laid out its expectations for Kurt, and while there is no timetable to meet those expectations, Kurt's willingness to embrace the conditions set forth by NASCAR is a positive step that we support." 

The timetable for Busch's return is currently unknown.

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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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Police Find Kvapil’s Car

Police Find Kvapil’s Car

BananaStock(LOGANVILLE, Ga.) -- Police have discovered Travis Kvapil's No. 44 car one day after it was stolen from a Georgia Hotel parking lot.

The car was discovered near the woods off of Lenora Road, according to Team Xtreme Racing owner John Cohen.

According to police, a man was seen entering the team's trailer that was hauling the car and drove away with it early Friday morning.

The theft of Kvapil's car forced the team to withdraw from Sunday's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The car appeared undamaged, according to Cohen, however police were unable to find a spare engine and racing equipment that, all totaled, is valued at $175,000.

The team plans to race next weekend at Las Vegas.

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Smith Will Drive the No. 41 Car Again in Atlanta

Smith Will Drive the No. 41 Car Again in Atlanta

Todd Warshaw/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- For the second consecutive week Regan Smith will drive the No. 41 Sprint Cup car in place of the suspended Kurt Busch.Stewart-Haas Racing named Smith the driver of the No. 41 in Sunday's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway after he finished 16th in the car at last weekend's Daytona 500.Smith is a former Sprint Cup driver who now drives full-time in the Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports.Despite selecting Smith to replace Busch for two straight weekends, SHR hasn't named a driver for any race past Atlanta.NASCAR suspended Busch indefinitely after a Kent County (Delaware) Family Court commissioner ruled Busch committed an act of domestic violence on his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll. Busch has since tried to appeal twice but lost both times. 

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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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Kyle Busch Involved in Multi-Car Wreck at Daytona, Injures Right Leg

Kyle Busch Involved in Multi-Car Wreck at Daytona, Injures Right Leg

Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) -- Kyle Busch was involved in a multi-car wreck on Saturday in the Xfinity Series at Daytona International Speedway and injured his right leg.

Busch got out of his car on his own power, but was taken away on a stretcher after crashing into the inside wall during the final laps of the race.

Busch was placed in a air cast before being taken away and was scheduled to start fourth in Sunday's Daytona 500, but Joe Gibbs Racing announced that he will not following the crash.

The crash comes on the same day that his oldest brother Kurt Busch lost his appeal of his indefinite suspension for his domestic abuse case with his ex-girlfriend.

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Kurt Busch Ordered to Stay Away from Ex

Kurt Busch Ordered to Stay Away from Ex

Getty Images

(WILMINGTON, De.) -- The arduous hearing between Kurt Busch and ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll has reached its conclusion.

Delaware Family Court Commissioner David Jones ruled Monday that Busch must remain 100 yards away from Driscoll and maintain a "practicable" distance away from her at NASCAR events. He is also ordered not contact her for any reason.

Additionally, Jones ordered that Busch undergo psychiatric counseling "for mental health problems related to anger control and impulse control."

Driscoll tweeted Monday afternoon: "From my lawyer: GOT IT!!! Order for finding of Abuse entered today Opinion with supplemental findings to be available on Friday #ThankYouGod."

The tweet was later deleted. 

NASCAR released a statement after the ruling: "NASCAR has been closely following the civil proceedings in Kent County (Del.) Family Court regarding driver Kurt Busch and therefore is aware of the court order issued today. We now await the full findings of the Commissioner and any actions by the Attorney General of Delaware related to the allegations against Busch."

"As we stated earlier, NASCAR fully recognizes the serious nature of this specific situation and the broader issue of domestic violence. We will continue to gather information and monitor this situation very closely, and we expect our members to conduct themselves properly," the statement concluded.

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Earnhardt, Hamlin Fail Post-Daytona Qualifying Inspections

Earnhardt, Hamlin Fail Post-Daytona Qualifying Inspections

BananaStock(DAYTONA, Fl.) -- After qualifying time trials at Daytona International Speedway Sunday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin will have to start at the back of the pack.

Both racers failed post-run inspections and will have to begin their qualifying races in the rear of the field this Thursday.

Earnhardt, Jr. tweeted after he was informed of the results: "Failed post tech after qualifying. 1/8 low left front. That's a shame. The boys will figure out why. Makes the duels a lot more interesting."

Last year’s Daytona 500 winner had qualified 10th, before height rulings negated his finish.

As for Hamlin, he is already guaranteed a spot in the Daytona 500.  Six drivers are given an automatic berth into the Daytona 500 based on last season's owners point standings; Hamlin finished third.

 

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Jeff Gordon Wins Daytona 500 Pole

Jeff Gordon Wins Daytona 500 Pole

Todd Warshaw/Getty Images(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) -- In his last season as a full-time driver, Jeff Gordon will start up front at the Daytona 500 next Sunday.

The fourt-time Sprint Cup champion had the fastest qualifying time with a speed of 201.293 miles an hour on Sunday.

Gordon announced last month that this will be his final full-time season, and Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500 will most likely be the final one of his career.

In Sunday's qualifying session, Gordon and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson locked down the front row, and it's the first time that's been done in the knockout round in 57 years. 

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Kurt Busch’s Ex Accused of Perjury in Closing Arguments

Kurt Busch’s Ex Accused of Perjury in Closing Arguments

Getty Images

(WILDMINGTON, De.) -- To say that the breakup between Kurt Busch and his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll is ugly would be an insult to ugly breakups.

In their closing arguments, Busch's attorney Rusty Hardin accused Driscoll of fabricating stories to ruin the reputation of the NASCAR driver. 

"We respectfully request that the Court not reward her perjury and scorched-earth approach of destruction by granting her a protective order," his attorney Rusty Hardin wrote in his closing arguments. "There is only one person in this duo that needs protection, and it is not Patricia Driscoll -- it is Kurt Busch."

Driscoll, who owns her own defense company and runs the Armed Forces Foundation, accused Busch of slamming her head into the wall of their trailer after a qualifying run in Dover last September.

Busch recently claimed in court that Driscoll was a trained assassin who worked as a mercenary, killing people in foreign countries. 

In an emailed statement to the media, Driscoll responded calling the allegations ludicrous and an attempt to ruin her credibility.

"If I was this assassin Kurt has claimed me to be, and he feared me the way he claims, then why did he per his testimony physically come across me multiple times and put his hands on me while naked," Driscoll said in an e-mailed statement. "If I was the 'badass' he claims me to be why didn't I beat him up after he strangled me and slammed my head into the wall multiple times?"

Kent County (Del.) Family Court Commissioner David Jones is expected to make a ruling on the matter in a few days. 

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Jeff Gordon Set to Retire from Full-Time Racing After 2015

Jeff Gordon Set to Retire from Full-Time Racing After 2015

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Jeff Gordon will retire as a full-time driver following the 2015 season, he announced on Thursday.

Gordon has raced in the Sprint Cup series for 22 years and made the announcement at the No. 24 team at Hendrick Motorsports' headquarters.

"As a race car driver, much of what I've done throughout my life has been based on following my instincts and trying to make good decisions," Gordon said in a release. "I thought long and hard about my future this past year and during the offseason, and I've decided 2015 will be the last time I compete for a championship.

"I won't use the 'R-word' because I plan to stay extremely busy in the years ahead, and there's always the possibility I'll compete in selected events, although I currently have no plans to do that," he added

"I don't foresee a day when I'll ever step away from racing. I'm a fan of all forms of motor sports, but particularly NASCAR. We have a tremendous product, and I'm passionate about the business and its future success," Gordon continued. "As an equity owner in Hendrick Motorsports, I'm a partner with Rick [Hendrick] and will remain heavily involved with the company for many years to come."

Gordon has four Sprint Cup titles and 92 wins during his career. He sits in third in all-time victories behind Hall of Famer Richard Petty (200) and David Pearson (105).

Hendrick, the team's owner, reacted to the news in a statement: "There's simply no way to quantify Jeff's impact. He's one of the biggest sports stars of a generation, and his contributions to the success and growth of NASCAR are unsurpassed."

NASCAR's Sprint Cup season kicks off on Sunday Feb. 22 at the Daytona 500.

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Kurt Busch Characterizes Ex-Girlfriend as ‘Trained Assassin’

Kurt Busch Characterizes Ex-Girlfriend as ‘Trained Assassin’

Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR(NEW YORK) -- The dispute between NASCAR driver Kurt Busch and his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll is going full throttle.

In a court hearing Tuesday in which Busch took the stand regarding a no-contact order Driscoll filed against him, he testified that his former girlfriend was a trained assassin.

Driscoll filed the order against Busch after she alleges that he slammed her head into the wall of a motor home after a qualifying run in Dover, Delaware on September 26 of last year.

Busch claims in his testimony that Driscoll told him many times that she was a "trained assassin" and that her work took her on missions in Central and South America as well as Africa.

His testimony continued detailing a rather graphic description in which Driscoll, "left in camouflage gear only to return later wearing a trench coat over an evening gown covered with blood."

He stated that a day earlier she told him that she earned a living as a mercenary killing people even showing him pictures of dead bodies. 

Driscoll called the allegations "ludicrous" and said Busch got this idea from a screenplay she had been working on for about eight years.

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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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Matt Crafton Wins Second Camping World Truck Series Title

Matt Crafton Wins Second Camping World Truck Series Title

BananaStock(HOMESTEAD, Fla.) -- Matt Crafton finished in ninth place at Friday's final Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead, but that was enough to take home his second title in a row.

Crafton had to finish 21st or better to pull it off and Darrell Wallace Jr. won the race.

"To say I made history is definitely very, very cool, but it's all about the guys that are behind me," Crafton said. "Without them, I'm just an average race car driver at best."

The 38-year-old veteran played it safe on his way to the second title.

"I wanted to race so much harder tonight," Crafton said. "I kept asking, I was just waiting for them to say that there were like 20 trucks running at that point and then I could go. When it was five [laps] to go and I had asked again how many trucks were still in, and there were 22 on the lead lap, I said I couldn't take any chances. I know I could have went further forward, but I said it is what it is."

No other driver has won back-to-back titles in the history of the Truck Series.

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