Dale, Jr. wins at Martinsville, Gordon has points lead

A week after being eliminated in the Sprint Cup chase, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. held off Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon to win the Goody's 500 at Martinsville. The one-two Hendrick finish came on the tenth anniversary of the death of ten Hendrick team members, including Rick Hendrick's son and brother, as their plane crashed as it neared the Martinsville track. In yesterday's race, Gordon took the points lead among the eight remaining Chase candidates. Ryan Newman, who finished third yesterday, is second. Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth came in fifth and sixth, and are third and fourth in the standings. The field will be cut to four after two more races. Denny Hamlin, who finished eighth at Martinsville, is in fifth place, just seven points back of Gordon. Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick have some catching-up to do. Edwards was 20th, Keselowski 31st and Harvick 33rd in yesterday's race. Unadilla's David Ragan had his first top ten finish of the season.

Keselowski wins at Talladega as field is cut to eight

Brad Keselowski saved his season, at least for three more races, by winning Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega. Too far back to make the top eight in points, along with Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Keselowski held off Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman to move on to the Elimination round over the next three races at Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix. The eight drivers who will enter Sunday's race at Martinsville tied at 4000 points include Keselowski, Joey Logano, Harvick, Newman, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Jeff Gordon. Four of those drivers will be eliminated after the Phoenix race, with the remaining four going head-to-head at Homestead for the Sprint Cup championship.

David Ragan to appear at dealership in Perry for fan day on Thursday


Harvick wins GEICO 500 at Charlotte

Two NASCAR drivers are assured a spot in Sprint Cup's Elimination round after Kevin Harvick won Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Contender round. Joey Logano, last week's winner, is also in the Elimination round. The field of 12 drivers will be cut to eight after Sunday's GEICO 500 at Talladega. The bottom four with a race to go are Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jimmie Johnson, who are both 26 points back of number eight Kasey Kahne, a Hendrick MotorSports teammate. Matt Kenseth is ninth, just a point behind Kahne and Brad Keselowski is in tenth, 19 points out of the top eight. When the field is cut to eight on Sunday night, those eight compete over the next three races, called the Elimination round, which will decide which four drivers compete November 16th at Homestead in the Championship round.

Logano wins at Kansas, wins spot in next round

Joey Logano became the first Sprint Cup driver assured of a spot in NASCAR's eliminator round. Logano won the first of the 3-race Contender round yesterday by holding off rookie Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch to win the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Race winners in each of the Contender round races automatically advance to the next round, called the Eliminator round. Four drivers will be eliminated after the October 19th race at Talladega. Next week, drivers converge on Charlotte Motor Speeedway for the GEICO 500. Five of yesterday's top ten finishers are not contenders for the Sprint Cup title, Larson, Martin Truex, Jr (4th), Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Brian Vickers, who finished 8-9-10 yesterday. It was not a good day for Hendrick Motorsports. Jeff Gordon finished 14th and dropped to eighth in points. Kasey Kahne dropped to ninth after finishing 22nd, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jimmie Johnson dropped under the cut line at eleven and 12. Junior came in 39th yesterday, Johnson was 40th. Unadilla's David Ragan had a top thirty finish, at number 27, while Danica Patrick was 16th.

Four Cup drivers eliminated, twelve advance in NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase

The first round of the NASCAR playoffs is history, and four of the 16 original Cup candidates have been eliminated. Jeff Gordon won the AAA 400 at Dover yesterday, and is among twelve drivers who will compete in the next elimination phase of three races. Again, points have been re-set, with all twelve drivers beginning Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway with 3000 points each. No bonus points are awarded, as they were for the first round based on season wins. The four drivers who were eliminated yesterday were AJ Allmendinger, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Aric Almirola. Kasey Kahne, who finished 20th yesterday, barely beat out Allmendinger and Busch for the final spot in the next round.

Grand jury says no charges against Stewart

Charges will not be filed against NASCAR veteran Tony Stewart after a grand jury listened to testimony that included reconstruction experts and drivers, plus a long look at video from the incident that claimed the life of dirt track driver Kevin Ward, Jr. The 20-year old Ward had left his car after an accident and was struck by Stewart's car as he walked on the tract amid traffic that had slowed for the caution. The Ward family still has the option of seeking civil damages.

Logano wins at New Hampshire, Keselowski holds slim points lead

In a boring, caution-filled afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Joey Logano held off Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick to win the Sylvania 300 and close in on points leader Brad Keselowski after two Chase races. Logano's win came after the 15th caution brought about a green-white-checkered finish to the wreck marred race. After next week's race, the field will be cut to the top twelve in points. After two races, the bottom four are Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Denny Hamlin. Keselowsli, who finished seventh yesterday, leads Logano by just one point. Unadilla's David Ragan, who completed just 177 of the 300 laps, finished 42nd. Danica Patrick was 19th, finishing ahead of five of the Chase drivers.

Keselowski wins at Chicagoland, keeps points lead

Brad Keselowski made a bold move after the final re-start yesterday at Chicagoland Speedway, driving between Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick to take the lead with 12 laps to go. The driver of the number 2 Ford won the first of the ten Chase races by holding off a charging Jeff Gordon and Larson. It's the fifth win of the season for Keselowski. Joey Logano finished fourth, just ahead of Harvick. Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top ten. With the win, Keselowski extends his Sprint Cup points lead to seven over Gordon and ten over Joey Logano and twelve over Harvick. Four drivers will be eliminated after race number three. After race one, the bottom four are Aric Almirola, Greg Biffle, AJ Almendinger and Ryan Newman. Race two is Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where Matt Kenseth is defending champion.

Sprint Cup Chase starts Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway

It's now called the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase Grid. It's the latest format change for racing's top series. With the field expanded from 12 to 16 teams, and race winners guaranteed a spot in the chase, NASCAR has also invoked an elimination process. 16 drivers are eligible for the Chase championship, which begins Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway. But after the first three races, the field will be cut to 12, and will be cut by three drives at three race intervals until there are four drivers remaining after Chase race number nine. Those four will battle for the Sprint Cup Championship on November 16th at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Jimmie Johnson is defending champion.