Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports

Turn 4: No JJ, no problem?

Is Jimmie Johnson's early Chase exit bad news for NASCAR? Which remaining Chase drivers need to step up? Who should drive the No. 9 car next season? The ESPN gang mulled this week's burning questions.

Nigel Kinrade/NKP/AP
1dBob Pockrass

Pockrass: New Chase round, same favorite

After delivering in a must-win situation at Dover, Kevin Harvick enters the Contender Round with a head of steam. Can the JGR drivers -- or anyone else -- steal the defending champ's thunder?

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Kenseth completes qualifying sweep at Charlotte

Matt Kenseth won the pole Thursday night for the Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, turning a lap at 194.532 mph to edge fellow Chase contender and teammate Kyle Busch.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images
2dBob Pockrass

Pockrass: If you ain't cheatin' ... ?

Was Kevin Harvick trying to hide something -- cheating to be precise -- when he damaged his car Sunday doing victory burnouts? Some of his competitors are wondering, writes Bob Pockrass.

Matt Sullivan/NASCAR/Getty Images
3dMatthew Willis

Willis: Start with Harvick at Charlotte

With the Chase points for the top 12 drivers reset heading into this weekend's race at Charlotte, how should you craft a DFS lineup? Matt Willis breaks it down.

Sean Gardner/NASCAR/Getty Images

Power Rankings: Matty Nice on the rise

There's a lot of noise and confusion after three races in the race to the Sprint Cup championship. Ryan McGee says forget all that in this week's Power Rankings, Matt Kenseth is the driver to beat.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Rundown: Junior's achievement

Dale Earnhardt Jr. managed to squeak into the next round of the Chase by the narrowest of margins. He may be primed to make a real run now, writes Bob Pockrass.

Jeff Curry/Getty Images
5dJohn Oreovicz

Oreovicz: Harvick as good as he needs to be

Kevin Harvick and his team have consistently been the best in the Sprint Cup Series all season, and they had to be Sunday to advance to the next round of the Chase. Mission accomplished.

Can Jimmie Johnson ever get back to title contending? (1:28)
With the pressure on, Harvick wins and advances (2:08)
Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports
2dBob Pockrass

Waltrip still plans to run Daytona 500 in 2016

Michael Waltrip, who announced that his race team would shut down after this season, still plans to run the 2016 Daytona 500. He just needs to figure out how he'll do it.

AP/Bob Brodbeck
3dBob Pockrass

Earnhardt Jr. not looking to swap pit crews

Even though a loose wheel nearly kept Dale Earnhardt Jr. from advancing to the second round of the Chase, he doesn't want to see a swap of pit crews in the Hendrick Motorsports stable.

Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR/Getty Images
2dBob Pockrass

Truex Jr.'s crew chief Pearn placed on probation

NASCAR has put the crew chief of Chase driver Martin Truex Jr. on probation through the end of the season after the team was discovered to have a noncompliant body panel at Dover.

Jerry Markland/Getty Images
3dBob Pockrass

Vegas wall-upgrade plans in place before crash

Las Vegas Motor Speedway already had plans to put an energy-absorbing barrier on the outside wall that Austin Theriault smashed into head-on during the Camping World Truck Series race Saturday.

Todd Warshaw/NASCAR/Getty Images
3dBob Pockrass

RPM, Ford extend deal for 'foreseeable future'

Richard Petty Motorsports will remain with Ford for the "foreseeable future" as they announced a multiyear extension of their relationship that was rekindled in 2010.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images
3dBob Pockrass

Axalta to sponsor Dale Jr. for 13 races in 2016

Axalta will move from sponsoring the soon-to-be-retired Jeff Gordon to Dale Earnhardt Jr. starting in 2016, when they will be the primary sponsor of the No. 88 car for 13 races.

Harvick dominates Dover, advances to next round (2:11)
Drew Hallowell/NASCAR/Getty Images
4dBob Pockrass

New Hampshire Speedway's McGrath named GM

Speedway Motorsports Inc. has elevated New Hampshire Motor Speedway vice president of corporate sales David McGrath to general manager of the facility.

Robert Laberge/NASCAR/Getty Images

Townley wins Trucks race marred by Theriault crash

John Wes Townley won the NASCAR Camping World Truck race Saturday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, an event marred by Austin Theriault's head-on crash into a wall.


Turn 4: What's the deal?

The ESPN gang mulled this week's burning questions, which included Brad Keselowski's restart penalty and Tony Stewart's retirement. What did they all think? Catch Turn 4.

Defending champ Harvick in trouble (1:34)
Stewart: Decision to retire was '100 percent mine' (1:58)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images
10dMatthew Willis

Willis: Target Harvick at Dover

Kevin Harvick faces elimination at Dover. Matt Willis thinks he'll come through this weekend's race in a big way.

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Rundown: Restart madness

The eye in the sky nabbed Brad Keselowski for jumping a restart on an eventful weekend throughout NASCAR, writes John Oreovicz.

Tim Bradbury/Getty Images North America

Kenseth wins after Harvick gamble on fuel fails

Matt Kenseth pushed Kevin Harvick down the stretch and took the lead for good when the defending series champion ran out of gas Sunday at New Hampshire in the second race of the Chase.

Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports

Turn 4: Harvick too hot?

The ESPN gang mulled this week's burning questions, which included Kevin Harvick's actions and predicament. What did they all think? Catch Turn 4.

Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR/Getty Images
12dBob Pockrass

Keselowski rallies after penalty for jumping restart

NASCAR drivers have said they wanted NASCAR to take a firm stance on restarts, and Brad Keselowski found out Sunday just how closely NASCAR will rule on restarts in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Todd Warshaw/NASCAR/Getty Images

Gordon sets record with 789th straight start

Jeff Gordon has set a NASCAR record with his 789th consecutive start, passing Ricky Rudd. Rudd set the mark in 2002 when he broke Terry Labonte's streak of 655 straight starts.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Blaney pulls past Dillon, captures Xfinity race

Ryan Blaney completed a Team Penske season sweep of the NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Kentucky Speedway, beating Ty Dillon in a green-white-checkered finish Saturday night.

Todd Warshaw/NASCAR/Getty Images
12dBob Pockrass

Furniture Row extends Truex, joins Toyota

Furniture Row has signed driver Martin Truex Jr. to a new one-year contract for next season and announced another decision Sunday that it hopes leads to long-term success.

Jerry Markland/Getty Images

Edwards claims pole for second Chase race

Carl Edwards continued Joe Gibbs Racing's dominance with a lap of 137.980 mph to win the Sprint Cup pole Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
14dBob Pockrass

Ku. Busch crew chief on job after appendectomy

Kurt Busch crew chief Tony Gibson, who had an appendectomy Tuesday, arrived at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday in time for the opening laps of practice.


Bob Pockrass @bobpockrass

Natl Weather Service says 70s during day, high-60s tonight at CMS. 31%chc rain 8pm, 49% 10 pm. ... Saturday: 61% 3pm; 32% 7pm. #nascar