Monster Energy Cup

By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service To say 2016 will be a year of enormous change in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing is to understate the issue. NASCAR is rolling out a new competition package in its foremost division, one that features lower downforce. The aim is to make the Sprint Cup cars more difficult to drive, which in turn will put more control in the hands of the drivers. You’ll see dramatic changes on the track. Chase Elliott, a 20-year-old rookie, succeeds icon Jeff Gordon behind the wheel ofRead More
By Owen A. Kearns, NASCAR Wire Service DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Some label Terry Labonte the NASCAR premier series’ least flamboyant champion. Perhaps it just seemed that way, when measuring Labonte alongside such colorful contemporaries as NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip. His calm, quiet demeanor at least partially explains why Labonte became known as “The Iceman.” The Corpus Christi, Texas driver may not have personified flash, but Labonte got the job done. Labonte won his first of two championships in 1984 and figuratively fell off theRead More
By Owen A. Kearns, NASCAR Wire Service DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Curtis Turner lived life and stock car racing in the same manner – at full throttle. A bootlegger at age nine, the Virginia native was a self-proclaimed millionaire at 20 and made and lost several fortunes while becoming one of the greatest drivers – and most colorful characters – of NASCAR’s pioneer era. He won a lot but also wrecked just as often. His parties were legendary and lengthy, as were Turner’s on and off-track antics in rental carsRead More
By Owen A. Kearns, NASCAR Wire Service In a different era, in which stock cars driven to and past their limits didn’t break with frequency, there’s no telling how many races or championships Bobby Isaac might have won. Isaac, the 1970 NASCAR premier series champion, won 37 of his 309 starts. But he was a DNF – did not finish – 129 times. His 49 poles rank 10th all-time, with 19 – a still-standing, single-season mark – coming in 1969. Only 38 drivers have won 19 or more poles inRead More
By Owen A. Kearns, NASCAR Wire Service There’s a possibility, albeit remote, that O. Bruton Smith could be entering the NASCAR Hall of Fame as a race car driver instead of a race promoter extraordinaire. Smith, at age 17, bought a race car and decided to be a professional driver. “One time, I actually beat (NASCAR Hall of Famers) Buck Baker and Joe Weatherly,” Smith said in a May 7, 2005 interview with Motorsport.com. “So I knew when I beat them I could be a contender, right?” Smith’s mother, however,Read More
By Seth Livingstone, NASCAR Wire Service HOMESTEAD, Fla.—At age 30, Kyle Busch completed the transformation from rowdy rebel to deserving champion on Sunday, securing the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in a campaign which defied all odds. The season, which began disastrously with a crash at Daytona in February, ended in victory lane at Homestead-Miami Speedway with his wife, newborn son, and a cascade of M&Ms, courtesy of his primary sponsor. “It’s pretty unbelievable—a dream of a lifetime, a dream come true,” Busch said. “I just can’t believe it withRead More
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service HOMESTEAD, Fla. – I first saw Jeff Gordon race in November of 1992, but I barely noticed him. My eyes were glued to the television for the final race of the season, but my interest had nothing to do with Gordon’s debut in NASCAR’s premier series. No, the primary focus was the three-way battle for the championship between Bill Elliott, Davey Allison and privateer Alan Kulwicki. And, oh, yes, there was the small matter of King Richard Petty taking the green flag in aRead More
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service HOMESTEAD, Fla.—Finishing off one of the most remarkable comebacks in NASCAR history—indeed, in the annals of sport—Kyle Busch won Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and, with it, his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Absent from the first 11 races of the season because of a broken right leg and left foot sustained in the NASCAR XFINITY Series opener at Daytona in February, Busch pulled away from fellow Championship Round driver Kevin Harvick after a restart with seven laps left and crossedRead More
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service HOMESTEAD, Fla.—Denny Hamlin stole the thunder from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ four Championship Round drivers, winning the pole for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBC). Outrunning Joey Logano and championship-eligible teammate Kyle Busch for the top starting spot, Hamlin toured the 1.5-mile speedway in 30.568 seconds (176.655 mph) in the third and final round of Friday’s knockout time trials. Logano (176.263 mph) will start beside Hamlin in the season finale, followed by Busch, the highest qualifier amongRead More