Monday, November 30, 2015

Thank You Kenny! - Kenny Wallace to make final start Saturday in Iowa (THROWBACK ARTICLE)

Kenny Wallace always has a smile on his face!
Kenny Makes his Final Start Saturday in Iowa!
Kenny Wallace will make his final NASCAR Start on Saturday in the number 20 US Cellular Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. Michael McDowell has drove the number 20 in both races last year at Iowa , almost putting it in victory lane last August. Kenny Wallace has made 13 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 546 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and 344 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. That’s a total of 903 starts in NASCARs’ major series! I’ve seen Kenny race in many races over the past 10 years. Kenny has always been in NASCAR as long as I can remember and I’ve been alive for 18 years. I remember meeting Kenny at a couple of the NASCAR Race Day, NASCAR Trackside tapings! He’s always been one of the nicest guys around the NASCAR community, which I can’t recall any of the Wallaces’ being mean guys. Were really going to miss you behind the wheel Kenny and hopefully NASCAR will give you and Jimmy Spencer your own talk show or pre-race show I’d definitely watch it!

                                      Thank You Kenny Wallace!

Owner Points - Driver Review and Rating Final Editon

1    Kyle Busch           Joe Gibbs                 #18
2    Kevin Harvick      Tony Stewart           #4
3    Jeff Gordon           Rick Hendrick        #24  
4    Martin Truex Jr.    Barney Visser         #78
5    Carl Edwards        JD Gibbs                 #19
6    Joey Logano         Walter Czarnecki    #22
7    Brad Keselowski   Roger Penske         #2
8    Kurt Busch            Gene Haas              #41
9    Denny Hamlin       JD Gibbs                #11
10  Jimmie Johnson     Jeff Gordon            #48
11  Ryan Newman       Richard Childress  #31
12  Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Rick Hendrick       #88
13  Jamie McMurray    Felix Sabates         #1
14  Matt Kenseth          Joe Gibbs               #20
15  Paul Menard           Richard Childress   #27
16  Clint Bowyer          Rob Kauffman       #15
17  Aric Almirola          Richard Petty         #43
18  Kasey Kahne           Linda Hendrick      #5
19  Kyle Larson            Chip Ganassi          #42
20  Greg Biffle              Jack Roush            #16
21  Austin Dillon           Richard Childress  #3
22  AJ Allmendinger     Tad Geschickter    #47
23  Casey Mears            Bob Germain        #13
24  Danica Patrick         Tony Stewart        #10
25  Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  John Henry          #17
26  Sam Hornish Jr.       Richard Petty        #9
27  Tony Stewart           Margaret Haas      #14
28  David Ragan            Michael Waltrip   #55
29  Trevor Bayne           John Henry          #6
30  Justin Allgaier          Harry Scott Jr.     #51
31  Cole Whitt                Bob Jenkins         #35
32  David Gilliland         Brad Jenkins       #38
33  Landon Cassill          Michael Hillman #40
34  Brett Moffitt              Jerry Freeze        #34
35                                     Joe Falk              #33
36  Alex Bowman           Tommy Baldwin #7
37  Matt DiBenedetto      Ron Devine         #83
38  Michael Annett          Harry Scott Jr.    #46
39                                     Mike Curb          #98
40  Jeb Burton                  Ron Devine        #23
41  Ryan Blaney               Glen Wood        #21
42                                     Archie St Hilaire #32
43  JJ Yeley                     Anthony Marlowe #26
44  Michael McDowell   Bob Leavine          #95
45                                    Jay Robinson         #62

Notes for 2016

  • Both Michael Waltrip Racing Points will be for Sale for others who need it. Ryan Blaney, Michael McDowell, and Richard Childress Racing are possibilities.
  • Chase Elliott will take over Jeff Gordon's ride starting 2016
  • Front Row Motorsports could have 1 car owner points for sale
  • The #9 is without a driver as of now for 2016
  • 32 will become a full time car in 2016 with Bobby Labonte and Jeffery Earnhardt
  • As far as we know Jeff Gordon will remain owner of Jimmie Johnson's #48 Chevrolet

The Final 8 - 3rd Edition

Alex Bowman

In his first season with Tommy Baldwin Racing after leaving BK Racing Alex Bowman had an up and down season in which at times got really heated. Alex led a career record breaking 3 laps this season which if you view my next blog post about teams like these you will understand why thats something worth celebrating. Another impressive feat by Bowman The Showman was making 35 of the 36 races in 2015 missing the Daytona 500 when he was involved in a crash in the Duels. Alex had his best finish at Talladega in May where he finished 16th.

Season Rating - D+

Brett Moffitt

The 2015 Sunnoco Rookie Of The Year finally found his home at Front Row Motorsports when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series came to Kansas. Brett shared the ride with drivers like Josh Wise and 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion Chris Buescher. Brett also drove for Michael Waltrip Racing filling in for Brian Vickers. In that ride Brett got his best finish at Atlanta where he finished 8th. We are unaware as to if Brett Moffitt will be returning to FRM or not but I would think its a strong possibility.

Season Rating - C

Matt DiBenedetto

Matt DiBenedetto made his debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Phoenix and became the full time driver of the #83 Toyota Camry for BK Racing. After Johnny Sauter put on a show at Daytona Matt came to the #83 with high expectations and to many those high expectations were met. Matt finished 21st at Bristol, 18th at Talladega, and he stayed in the Top 25 at Darlington which is impressive for a rookie. Matt only had one DNF which was at Kentucky but had 3 DNQ's. Despite finishing 35th in points the points really did not show how well Matt did in 2015 and He will certainly look to continue his momentum going into 2016 in which he is speculated to return to the #83 at BK Racing! 

Season Rating -  C+

Michael Annett

The Des Moines, IA Native had a successful first season for HScott Racing despite the many hurdles this team was put through this season this team continued to push on. Not even completing one lap at Bristol in August, Missing Talladega, and to top the cake having their Hauler go up in Flames en route to Texas Motor Speedway. Despite the bad things there were positives to 2015 for Michael. A 13th place finish at Daytona in the Daytona 500, Haviing Circle Sport let Michael borrow a car to Race at Atlanta were just the few things that happened in 2015 for Michael. Michael will return to HScott with a new teammate in Clint Bowyer.

Season Rating - C-

Josh Wise

Josh Wise began the 2015 Season behind the wheel of the #98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford Fusion at Daytona. During the Duels Josh had technological issues which ended up making them miss the Daytona 500. Josh continued with PPR when it was sold to Jay Robinson and Premium Motorsports. At Talladega Josh finished his best of 2015 in 10th. After Kentucky Josh would venture away from Premium Motorsports and would drive the #32 for Go Green Racing at Indianapolis. At New Hampshire Josh raced the #23 for BK Racing and at Talladega in October he would return to his former team Front Row Motorsports for one race. Josh ended the season at Go Green Racing but at the moment his plans are foggy for 2016. Not many seats are available so we will have to see where he ends up.

Season Rating - D-

Jeb Burton

Jeb Burton made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in 2015 for BK Racing. An interesting season for Jeb missing 9 races including the Daytona 500. Jeb averaged a 38th place start and finished an average 36th. The season really was a disappointment for a hyped up driver and I really don't understand why? Jeb had the same equipment that his teammates had and they did moderate in 2015 compared to what Jeb did. It is unaware on if Jeb will return to BK Racing in 2016 

Season Rating - F

Michael McDowell

The plan was to run a minimum of 20 races for the Leavine Family Racing driver. Rain made sure that didn't happen, Along with Ryan Blaney Michael missed many races because of the rain or cloud cover in Daytona. Michael McDowell, who raced one race for Team Penske in the 2014 season, failed to compete in one Xfinity Series race in 2015 which left many of his fans dissapointed. Michael made the Daytona 500 which was really the highlight of the year for the team. 2016 is looking really foggy at the moment for Leavine as they look to run a full season in 2016 like Ford Teammate Ryan Blaney. Hopefully we will get to see Michael in that #22 in the Xfinity Series for Team Penske more in 2016 also. 

Season Rating - C

Alex Kennedy 

Like me you are probably still wondering who Alex Kennedy was. He was running for Rookie of The Year with Circle Sport Racing which is the #33 Car. Alex ran only 13 races in 2015 with a best finish of 25th at Sonoma! We are unaware of 2016 plans for Alex Kennedy but sure hope he finds a place so that we can hear more about Alex Kennedy! 

Season Rating - E+

Sunday, November 29, 2015

ARCA Racing Series releases 2016 schedule

(TOLEDO, Ohio – November 25, 2015) – The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will race 20 times in 2016, including eight races on superspeedways, nine on short tracks, two on dirt and one on a road course. The full schedule has been announced over the last few weeks.

The season will mark the third consecutive season with a 20-race schedule. ARCA raced 21 races in 2013 and 19 in 2011 and 2012.

“We are pleased to announce our full and complete schedule,” ARCA President Ron Drager said. “We feel we have once again put together a schedule that highlights the diversity of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. We are excited for the start of the new season.”

The series will kick off the 2016 campaign – as it has for more than 50 years – by racing at Daytona
International Speedway. The race will be right before the NASCAR Sprint Unlimited and will help christen the newly-renovated Daytona Rising project.

The only different track on the schedule from 2015 is the return of the ARCA Racing Series to Madison, Wisconsin for Father’s Day Weekend. There are other changes to the schedule, however.

For example, ARCA’s Chicagoland date shifts to Thursday night, September 15 in primetime as part of a huge weekend of racing, which includes the kick-off for the Sprint Cup Chase Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. The weekend also includes the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series.

The road course race at New Jersey will be on Saturday, May 28, instead of the Sunday afternoon race it has been the last few years. And, the race on the mile-dirt at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds is going to be a night race.

In addition, the ARCA Racing Series will celebrate milestone races with the 75th series event at
Toledo Speedway and 99th and 100th races at Salem Speedway in southern Indiana.

The series will have companion races with all three of NASCAR’s top touring series at one time or another in 2016, starting with the Daytona race in February, plus share Iowa Speedway with the Verizon Indy Car Series in July.

The race at Winchester Speedway will once again coincide with the King of the Wing sprint cars.

The return to Madison International Speedway in Wisconsin is good for the series’ presenting
sponsor, Drager said.

“It was important for us to schedule a race in the Menards market,” Drager said. “Last year, we did not have a race in either Minnesota or Wisconsin and this year, we decided to go back. We are definitely looking forward to racing again at Madison and the upper Midwest.”

The 2016 season will be part of ARCA’s 64th consecutive season of competition since 1953.

Before moving ahead with the 2016 schedule, series officials will celebrate the 2015 season one final time with the annual banquet in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 12.(ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Next 16 - Driver Review and Rating Runner Up Editon

Aric Almirola

Aric just barely missed the Chase this season and even almost won at Richmond in September. Aric was the leading charge at Richard Petty Motorsports and when you think about it Aric is really the only driver who has been with Richard Petty for a long period of time other than Marcos Ambrose. Aric could land RPM in the chase and who knows who will Join Aric at RPM after Sam Hornish Jr. and RPM announced they would be going seperate ways. Regan Smith and David Ragan are the leading names.

Season Rating - B

Kasey Kahne

The Other Hendrick Motorsports driver had a very uneventful 2015 on the Track. He was the only Hendrick driver to not record a win in 2015 and he only made it in the Top 5 3 times in 2015 which is a moderate number but considering what his teammates did in 2015 it was not a good year. If I was Kasey at the end of my contract at Hendrick Motorsports I would be exploring my options. 

Season Rating - C-

Kyle Larson

Another sucessful season for Kyle Larson. The 2014 Sunnoco Rookie Of The Year had an impressive season almost winning numerous times including at the Season ending Race at Homestead. Kyle began 2015 by winning the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona with Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan from Indy Car and NASCAR Teammate Jamie McMurray. 

Season Rating - B

Greg Biffle

Roush Fenway Racing had a roller coaster year in 2015 with Team Veteran Greg Biffle led the way but that was not good enough. It was the first year since the Chase Format was brought in in 2004 that a Roush Fenway Racing Driver did not make the chase. Greg had good cars and almost won at Charlotte and New Hampshire. At New Hampshire an error on both drivers end put Brad Keselowski out of contention for the win. Greg will look for a stellar 2016 but bugs may infest him as Ortho announced that after one year they would depart from Greg Biffle. 

Season Rating - C

Austin Dillon

Yes that car flying through the air is the #3 driven by Austin Dillon. Many thought Austin was badly injured or even worse but luckily Austin got out of the car and waved to the fans. That was the bad highlight of the 2015 season but Austin had many good things to over look this bad crash at Daytona in July. 1 top 5 and 5 top 10's up from 2014. Austin was seen a ton on TV this season and that was for good reasons and bad. Look for the #3 Car to return to Victory Lane next season with Austin behind the wheel!

Season Rating - B-

AJ Allmendinger

AJ announced earlier this season that he would be returning to JTG Daugherty Racing for many years to come and do you blame him? AJ's biggest issue this season was putting to much pressure on himself and many electrical problems. AJ is a great driver and maybe with more and more support from his fans and sponsors he will get better! I mean who really wants to turn down joining Dinger Nation?

Season Rating - C+

Casey Mears

With support from Geico how can this man do anything wrong? I mean his back up is a Gecko as a Back Up driver who wants to mess with Casey Mears? Casey has had a good season and evidently it was good enough for Casey to have a new long term contract with Geico and Germain Racing. This is one of those teams that continues to impress year in and out with great finishes and an even greater driver.

Season Rating - C

Danica Patrick

The next NASCAR's Most Popular Driver? It's a high possibility and with that she could gain more fans and more sponsors eyes which in our sport would be a very good thing. Danica has had a successful season despite all of the hate she gets from certain fans she has more people who like her than people who don't. Danica had a couple great finishes even being in contention for a win at Kansas. I feel her first win is just around the horizon!

Season Rating - B-

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr must enjoy the cold weather because at majority of the tracks he was good at it was cold. Like a 4th at a cold and wet Bristol, 8th at a cold and wet Dover among others. Stenhouse really only had a winning performance at Bristol and Kentucky. Ricky like Girlfriend Danica Patrick have had a very good year but has room for improvement.

Season Rating - C+

Sam Hornish Jr.

In his first and only season at Richard Petty Motorsports something was lacking. Never having a full time primary with different colors each week it got hard for people to find Sam Hornish Jr in the field. A noteable moment for Sam was at Auto Club when his spotter said that he was clear and he went up and clipped a car and hit the wall. Sam's sponsor at the time took full responsabillity.

Season Rating - D-

David Ragan

The Filler. David Ragan drove for 3 different teams in 2015. Front Row Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, and Michael Waltrip Racing. David did very well in 2015 despite not having a solid ride until after Talladega. David is one of the drivers whose 2016 plans are very uncertain. Many talks of him heading to Richard Petty Motorsports in either the Xfinity Series or Cup Series. I predict Ryan Truex will get the newly open #43 in the Xfinity Series so look for it to be either Regan Smith or David Ragan in the #9 next season.

Season Rating - B+

Trevor Bayne

In his first full season in a cup ride for Roush Fenway Racing Trevor did the best he could with what he was in. Trevor had many wrecks and will certainly look for 2016 to be better. Roush Fenway Racing as a whole will look to get better next season and will hopefully land one of their cars in the chase if not all 3! Chris Buescher could come up to the cup series in 2016 but I see him staying in the Xfinity Series for another year or two.

Season Rating - D+

Tony Stewart

Tony completed his first full time season since 2012 this season but not on good terms. Having bad finishes after bad finishes Smoke had seemed to lose his fire and well I think that is why Tony Stewart will be retiring at the end of 2016. It's sad to see but everyone retires sooner or later. Look for smoke's retirement year to be just as special as the previous 17 if not more special. One win is elusive for Smoke and that is the Daytona 500. Will Smoke be the first to lock his spot in the chase come 2016?

Season Rating - E+

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier's season was a good one for this underfunded team. This ended up being Justin's final year at HScott Motorsports  as he will be heading to JR Motorsports to compete full time in the Xfinity Series with backing from Brandt. JR Motorsports also previously announced Elliott Sadler would drive a second full-time entry for the team in 2016. Chase Elliott currently drives the No. 9 that Sadler will fill once Elliott moves to the Cup season next year.

Season Rating - C-

Cole Whitt

In his first full season with Front Row Motorsports Cole Whitt became just really another Field Filler. Most races had FRM just make it on owner points which showed something was wrong with Front Row Motorsports this season and I dont know if it was a technical issue or what but talks are having Front Row move to Chevrolet, that is strictly a rumor. We do know that FRM will down grade from 3 to 2 cars in 2016 but the question sits of who will be on the chopping block? 

Season Rating - E-

David Gilliland

Another disappointing season for David Gilliland that saw his best start be thrown away by an early crash at Daytona. I honestly don't think Gilliland will be cut though if he does he will have Loves Truck Stops with him. Front Row is lacking something and it's certainly not a veteran. Expect Gilliland to stay in the #38 at Front Row Motorsports in 2016.

Season Rating - E-

2016 plans uncertain for Leavine Family Racing

Leavine Family Racing set out to compete in 20 races this season. They raced in 16 events with an average starting position of 29.3 and an average finish of 30.6 across the season; the average finish of the team an improvement from 2014. The uncertainty of the future of the NASCAR ownership model has been a struggle for Leavine Family Racing as they work to attract personnel and partners leading into the 2016 season. While bigger, established teams have started
preparing for Daytona, Leavine Family Racing is in a standstill - awaiting decisions by NASCAR in order to move forward. "Thanksgiving is still going to be pretty thought provoking because we have about eight different scenarios that our team could go in next year," said team owner Bob Leavine. "It's going to be a challenging off-season, we've talked about maybe getting contract labor to work later at night and have another shift at the shop to get the cars done. Committing to your first season as a full-time team is a big deal. You don't go from 20 to 36 races without some planning."
Michael McDowell and the team are looking forward to continuing the growth in 2016 and beyond. "This year has had its challenges - we've had set backs with fires and things like that - but overall I feel that we've persevered," said McDowell. "You know we are a small team, and we've accomplished some of the goals that we wanted to accomplish and we have to accomplish more still yet. It's been a slow process, but we knew it was going to be that
way. We are all really looking forward to next year and continuing that growing process."(Leavine Family Racing, 2015)

We here at The NASCAR News Source hope to see Michael and Leavine Family Racing back in 2016! Hopefully with even more support from Team Penske! Good Luck Guys!!

The Top 16 - Driver Review and Rating 1st Edition

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch completed the ultimate comeback by winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship last weekend in Homestead. Kyle had missed the first 11 races due to an injury that happened when Kyle's #54 Toyota Camry went in at a fast pace at the inside wall that was unprotected from safer barriers. Kyle had a goal set in front of him after being granted eligible for the chase as long as he made it into the Top 30 points. He won 4 races and that landed him into the chase. Kyle then proceeded to have consistent finishes throughout the whole chase to land him in the Championship Four. Kyle Busch worked very hard for this championship and looking to 2016 with the new rule package he could back up that with his second championship in a row

Season Rating - B+
Chase Rating - A

Kevin Harvick

After a championship win in 2014 Kevin Harvick never missed a beat in 2015. Kevin did everything he did in 2014 with the exception of winning a championship. Kevin had 23 Top 5's, which was up from 2014, 28 Top 10's, and 3 wins which was down from 2014. In the chase Kevin very well dodged bullet after bullet with winning at Dover and Starting a wreck that ended up taking out the field at Talladega en route to the second to final round in the chase. At Homestead Kevin did what he needed to do and If it had not been because of Kyle Busch Kevin would be the champion!

Season Rating - A
Chase Rating - B-

Jeff Gordon

In his final season of his NASCAR career Jeff had moderate showing after moderate showing. He didn't win races and would be involved in last lap wrecks in others. Jeff just got in the chase by points but when it got to chase time that #24 team had it rolling. They would almost win a few races and once they got to Martinsville they did what they had to to make it to Homestead. After Matt Kenseth wrecked Joey Logano, Jeff would be next in line to win the race and that was what happened. Though Jeff would not ride off into the sunset with the championship he was happy. 

Season Rating - C+
Chase Rating - A

Martin Truex Jr.

The little team that could was just what Martin Truex Jr and his team was. This year one of the teams goals were to lead more than one lap. They led a total of 567. Truex also delivered the team their first win since Darlington in 2011 with Regan Smith. Martin had a very consistent year starting at Daytona and ending At Homestead. Martin continued to impress drivers one by one and expect to see him impress next season in a new Toyota Camry. With that new rule package I can see Toyota vs. Ford.

Season Rating - A
Chase Rating - B+

Carl Edwards

Carl moved from Roush Yates Racing to join former Teammate Matt Kenseth and well that move was a good win. Winning 2 races in his first year at Joe Gibbs Racing. Carl just missed the Final Four because of Mother Nature. Carl had a very successful year he really impressed many and I think he helped make many drivers decision to move on to another team a little easier. Look for Carl to continue his great runs. Carl was one of the few drivers who won in the package they raced at Darlington which is also the 2016 package.

Season Rating - B+
Chase Rating - B

Joey Logano

This was the one guy many were happy to see eliminated and personally I don't blame them. If Joey had won Martinsville then no one could have touched him at Homestead I mean look how he did at Homestead with being out of the Chase. Many viewed Joey as the Most Hated Driver of 2015 and that was really all because he defeated a certain popular driver at Talladega. Joey had a very successful season with 6 wins and will look to continue 2 years of momentum into a championship in 2016!

Season Rating - A+
Chase Rating - A

Brad Keselowski

Other than winning a race at Auto Club Speedway, His girlfriend having a baby, and some very neat retro paint schemes Brad didn't have an as eventful year as in 2014. Brad only won one race at Auto Club but other than that all of the wins went to teammate Joey Logano. Brad ran some very neat paint schemes which included the Famous Midnight Miller Genuine Draft Paint scheme made famous by Rusty Wallace. Brad's Girlfriend Also had a Baby Girl named Scarlett which was a real eye opener for Brad and probably had him have a new out look on life.

Season Rating - B
Chase Rating - B

Kurt Busch

After a season opening suspension Kurt still managed to salvage a great season with 2 wins, one at Richmond and the other in a rain shortened race at Michigan. How ironic is that one rain shortened race Kurt won and in another that was what eliminated him from the chase. Kurt continued to show consistency week in and week out along with a much needed clean rest of the season. Kurt also got married this season which had to be a positive for him and kept his morale up! Kurt could certainly have another successful season in 2016 and as it is looking at the moment Kurt will get to race in the Daytona 500 next season with a new associate sponsor Monster Energy Drinks.

Season Rating - B
Chase Rating - C+

Denny Hamlin

The driver who began the chase with a victory had his chase hopes come undone at Talladega. After having roof flap problems at Talladega Denny did not advance onto the Eliminator Round. Denny had many quotable quotes in 2015 that will certainly continue to be talked about going into the 2016 season. Denny is another one of those Toyota's that I feel will do very well come next season with the new rule package. 

Season Rating - B+
Chase Rating - B

Jimmie Johnson

In the past 2 years now Jimmie Johnson has had something go wrong that would eliminate him from the chase. Come Dover in the chase this year that same thing happened. A 5$ part failed and that ultimately caused Jimmie to be eliminated. Jimmie proceeded to show some heat on competing chasers including teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr and Jeff Gordon. He put the fire on Brad Keselowski at Texas where Jimmie won once again! Hendrick Motorsports are in question with many on how they will do with the new rules package.

Season Rating - B
Chase Rating - B-

Ryan Newman

No second year Cinderella here just Ryan Newman. After finishing 2nd in the points in 2014 Ryan Newman would look to do it again. That would not happen come after Talladega. Ryan would have some more consistent finishes but It would not land him in victory lane for the 2nd straight year. With the Possible addition of Ty Dillon in 2016 look for RCR to be a new power house in the future. Let the cream rise to the top.

Season Rating - C+
Chase Rating - C

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Despite winning 3 Races in 2015 Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed moving on after Talladega. The question begins to be asked will Dale Earnhardt Jr ever win a Championship? Well that's a very good question with a kind of foggy answer. Lets just say in this new format Dale Earnhardt Jr will need to get better at tracks like Chicago, Kansas, and even Homestead because winning just restrictor plate tracks is not going to win a championship and honestly in my own opinion, I would like to see him win a Championship but I don't see it happening. Honestly Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a Average Driver in a Good Car which can be improved with work. 

Season Rating - B-
Chase Rating - B

Jamie McMurray

In his first chase appearance of his career Jamie did not disappoint. Though he was in only one round he surely gave Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans a reason to be nervous. Jamie is one of those dark horse type drivers who always seems to be in contention at the end of the season. Along with his Teammate Kyle Larson next season should be a very interesting season for the Chip Ganassi Racing team. 

Season Rating - C+
Chase Rating - C-

Paul Menard

Along with Jamie McMurray Paul Menard made his first appearance in the chase in his career. Paul had a very consistent 2015 in both series he raced in. Paul won at Road America in the Xfinity Series which has to help his morale in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. I mean look at how many times Kyle Busch win's in the Xfinity Series and hes the champion! Maybe if Paul won more he would smile occasionally.

Season Rating - C
Chase Rating - D+

Matt Kenseth

A dominating thrown in the trash at Martinsville. Matt was having a very good season until Charlotte came. Tire issues landed Matt in a hole that would be dug deeper the following weekend at Kansas when Matt and Joey were racing and Joey spun Matt for the win. Not many people remember Charlotte was what landed Matt in that hole and not Kansas. At Martinsville he took out Joey Logano and that landed Matt an early 2 week vacation. 

Season Rating - B-
Chase Rating - D-

Clint Bowyer

The Story that was left unwrote is what Clint Bowyer's season can be called.  Clint worked his tail off the final weeks of the regular season and he managed to make the chase but penalties would land the team in a must win situation come the first week of the chase. Clint would not be able to overcome the hump of those points lost and would finish last in the Chase. Clint has a light at the end of the Tunnel though with the HScott Motorsports deal next season and with Clint's return to Chevrolet 16' could look very positive. 

Season Rating - C+
Chase Rating - D-