DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Denny Hamlin almost couldn't help himself at the start of his Daytona 500 qualifying race, when his anxiously tried to charge to the front and shake out all the cobwebs and frustration from his injury-plagued season a year ago.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The King was holding court, trying to explain why the words of a driver who has been retired since 1992 carry as much weight today as they did back in the day when Winston was the name of the Cup game.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Richard Childress pumped his fist above his head, emphatically celebrating his grandson's latest accomplishment.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The countdown clock for Tony Stewart's return to racing is no longer at months, weeks or even days.
CHARLOTTE - NASCAR overhauled its championship format Thursday, creating an elimination, winner-take-all system designed to reward "the most battle-tested" driver at the end of the season.
CONCORD, N.C. - The late Dale Earnhardt's famed No. 3 will be back on track in the elite Sprint Cup Series next season with Austin Dillon using the number.
MaIt took Jimmie Johnson just 13 races into his rookie season with Hendrick Motorsports to prove to his team he was a rare talent.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Soaked in sweat, champagne and success, Jimmie Johnson celebrated yet another NASCAR championship by sipping a beer.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Matt Kenseth and his Joe Gibbs Racing team took a huge step away from their bad performance last week by winning the pole Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the championship-deciding race.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. - There was no trash talking, no attempts at mind games. If there was tension or nerves, nobody could tell.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Determined to learn exactly what caused his mystery illness in 2011, Trevor Bayne made repeated visits to the Mayo Clinic over the last two years, asking questions about his health and medical history.
Matt Kenseth did his best to put on a brave face following his worst performance of the season, which just happened to come at the worst possible time in his championship battle with Jimmie Johnson.
AVONDALE, Ariz. - Brad Keselowski rolled into Phoenix International Raceway a year ago locked into a tight championship battle with Jimmie Johnson, and left the track poised to claim his first Sprint Cup title.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Just like last season, Jimmie Johnson enters the next-to-last race with a seven-point lead in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. He came up empty in his bid for a sixth title last year, but is more confident about his chances following Sunday's dominating victory at Texas.
FORT WORTH, Texas - Jimmie Johnson is the leader again in the Chase for the Sprint Cup title after a dominating victory Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. imagined his Nationwide Series trophy was a chalice, tipped it back and acted like he was taking a big swig of champagne or beer - the beverages of choice for NASCAR winners and champions.
It was some six hours after Kevin Harvick had won his first Sprint Cup championship when he was finally able to peel off his beer-soaked firesuit, take a shower and begin celebrating the biggest moment of his career.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. - There was pushing, punching, one ambush in a darkened garage and a bloody brawl. There were thousands of hours spent analyzing the path to the Sprint Cup title as teams tried to adapt to NASCAR's new championship format.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Ryan Newman is the underdog - minus the darling - of NASCAR's final four, making a mockery of the revamped playoff format that was supposed to put a premium on winning.
MIAMI - There's no Jeff, Jimmie or Junior. Bad Brad missed the cut and Smoke never contended.
NASCAR's new championship format, lauded for creating nail-biting intensity, wild emotional swings and tension on and off of the track, has also been full of heartbreak.
AVONDALE, Ariz. - Denny Hamlin had a championship within his sights before, four years ago when the Sprint Cup title was his to lose.
DOVER, Del. - NASCAR driver Kurt Busch has been accused of domestic assault by his ex-girlfriend, and police in Delaware said Friday they are investigating.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Denny Hamlin thinks most drivers don't respect Brad Keselowski, and the contempt stems from the 2012 NASCAR champion's refusal to show any remorse for his aggressive driving.
In the closing laps at Martinsville Speedway, Jeff Gordon could see Dale Earnhardt Jr. ahead of him with enough time to formulate a plan on how to handle his teammate if Gordon could catch him.
FORT WORTH, Texas - Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth look a bit out of place this late in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship with those zeroes under the column for wins.
When NASCAR chairman Brian France revealed the changes to the championship format, he vowed that winning would be the most important element and would ultimately reward "the most worthy, battle-tested" driver with the Sprint Cup title.
MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Kevin Harvick has picked his way through traffic before at Martinsville Speedway, never when the stakes were so high.
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