2017 NASCAR Panasonic Cup Series (Johnsonverse)
The 2017 NASCAR Panasonic Cup Series was the 69th season of professional stock car racing in the United States, and the 46th modern-era Cup series season. The season began at Road America with the Harley-Davidson 250, followed by a two-week stop at Daytona International Speedway with the Busch Clash, the Can-Am Duels qualifying races and the 59th running of the Daytona 500. The season ended with the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway. Tony Stewart entered the season as the defending champion. Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports won the championship, his first in the series. Chevrolet won the Manufacturers' Championship with 29 wins; Dodge eked out 5 wins, Ford redeemed its dismal 2016 with three wins, Toyota only had one points win, as did BMW, and Honda, Nissan, Buick, and Cadillac all went winless.
This was the third season of the current 10-year television contract with Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and WBC Sports, and the second of a five-year race sanctioning agreement with all tracks.
Panasonic became the entitlement sponsor for the series in 2017 after Johnson-owned Sprint Corporation decided not to remain as the sponsor. Sprint had been the title sponsor since 2004 when their partner Nextel replaced Winston after the 2003 season, but Sprint became the official sponsor for the 2008 season after buying out Nextel in late 2005. Panasonic is the third title sponsor for NASCAR's top series since it first established such a sponsorship in 1971. This was the last full-time season for several drivers; two-time Daytona 500 winner, 2015 Champion and two-time PrimeStar Series champion Dale Earnhardt Jr., who announced his intention to retire at season's end and hand the #8 car off to his nephew Jeffrey Earnhardt, 2003 champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth, who announced he would be taking a break from the sport, Danica Patrick, who announced her intention to return to IndyCar, and Landon Cassill. Kenseth would later return the following season to drive for Roush Fenway Racing, while Cassill also got a ride with StarCom Racing. It also marked the last season for road-course ringer Boris Said and two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip. Finally, General Motors announced it would field a fourth model in the series, this being the Cadillac CTS-V, marking the first time a Cadillac raced in NASCAR since 1955, and Ford replaced the underperforming Fusion with the sixth-generation Taurus, marking its first full-time season since 2005.
Teams and drivers
- Hendrick Motorsports (Camaro)
- 5 Kasey Kahne
- 24 Chase Elliott
- 48 Jimmie Johnson
- 88 Alex Bowman
- JTG Daugherty Racing (Impala)
- 37 Chris Buescher
- 47 AJ Allmendinger
- Richard Childress Racing (Impala)
- 3 Austin Dillon
- 27 Paul Menard
- 31 Ryan Newman
- Stewart-Haas Racing (Camaro)
- 4 Kevin Harvick
- 10 Danica Patrick
- 14 Tony Stewart
- 41 Kurt Busch
- Dale Earnhardt Inc. (Camaro)
- 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- 15 Macy Waltrip, Michael Waltrip
- Circle Sport - The Motorsports Group (Impala)
- 30 Randall Parker (R)
- 33 Jeffrey Earnhardt, Boris Said
- Front Row Motorsports (Mustang)
- 34 Landon Cassill
- 38 David Ragan
- Go Fas Racing (Taurus)
- 32 Matt DiBenedetto
- Roush Fenway Racing (Roush Mustang)
- 6 Trevor Bayne
- 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- 99 Carl Edwards
- Wood Brothers Racing (Shelby GT500)
- 21 Ryan Blaney
Toyota (Only Fields Camry)
- BK Racing (Camry)
- 23 Joey Gase, Gray Gaulding (R), Ryan Sieg, Alon Day, Corey LaJoie (R)
- 83 Amber Lucky
- Joe Gibbs Racing
- 11 Denny Hamlin
- 18 Kyle Busch
- 19 Daniel Suarez
- 20 Matt Kenseth
- 81 Erik Jones (R)
- Team Penske (Charger)
- 2 Brad Keselowski
- 22 Joey Logano
- Richard Petty Motorsports (Challenger)
- 43 Aric Almirola, Regan Smith, Darrell Wallace Jr., Billy Johnson
- Evernham Motorsports (Charger)
- 9 Ryan Reed
- Chip Ganassi Racing (Challenger)
- 1 Jamie McMurray
- 42 Kyle Larson
- Orange County Racing (Accord)
- 86 Jed Thomas
- 90 Luke George
- Doug Yates Racing (Civic Type R)
- 28 Elliott Sadler
- Leavine Family Racing (Accord)
- 95 Michael McDowell
BMW (Only Fields M3)
- Furniture Row Racing
- 78 Martin Truex Jr.
- Team Ohio
- 64 Kelly Walker
- 65 Rodney Clay
- Germain Racing
- 13 Ty Dillon
Nissan (Only Fields Sentra)
- MAG Incorporated
- 58 Lyle White (R)
- 68 Bill Fuller (R)
- Stash Motorsports
- 91 Bo Abraham (R)
- 92 Beau Philips (R)
Buick (Only Fields Regal)
- Bobby Allison Racing
- 112 Dakoda Armstrong (R)
- 152 Clint Bowyer
- Rossi Racing
- 50 BJ Fisher (R)
- 53 Tyson Golston (R)
Cadillac (RETURNING; Only Fields CTS-V)
- Red Tiger Motorsports
- 170 Tracy Johnson
- Tri-Star Motorsports
- 72 Cole Whitt
- Premium Motorsports
- 16 Macy Waltrip, Reed Sorenson, Joey Gase, Ross Chastain, Kevin O' Connell, DJ Kennington, Gray Gaulding (R), Gary Klutt, Derrike Cope, Mark Thompson
- Beard Motorsports (Impala)
- 75 Brendan Gaughan
- StarCom Racing (Gen-6 Chevrolet SS)
- 00 Derrike Cope
- Team Hiromi (Impala)
- 63 Kyle Clayton
- BK Racing
- 83 Corey LaJoie (R), Ryan Sieg, Stephen Leicht, Brett Moffitt, Gray Gaulding (R), Joey Gase (R)
- Gaunt Brothers Racing (Taurus)
- 96 DJ Kennington
- MBM Motorsports (Challenger)
- 66 Carl Long, Timmy Hill, David Starr
- Tommy Baldwin Racing (Civic Type-R)
- 7 Jimmy Means, JJ Yeley
- DRK Racing
- 182 Tyler Ferris (R)
- MAG Incorporated
- 56 Woody Irving (R)
- Team Marmalade
- 176 Jake Mitchell (R)
- Premium Motorsports
- 7 Justin Marks, Hermie Sadler, Joey Gase
- Rick Ware Racing
- 51 Timmy Hill, Cody Ware, Josh Bilicki, BJ McCleod, Ray Black Jr., Kyle Weatherman
- Erik Jones, who was with Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 20 in the PrimeStar Series in 2016, will replace Daniel Suarez in the No. 81. Sponsorship will come from 5-Hour Energy.
- Circle Sport - Leavine Family Racing split following the 2016 season.
- JTG Daugherty Racing will expand to a two-car operation.
- Roush Fenway Racing will renumber its No. 16 team to No. 99, last used by the team in 2014.
- HScott Motorsports will not run in 2017. The team's equipment was sold to Orange County Racing
- Circle Sport and The Motorsports Group will merge in 2017 after splitting with Leavine Family Racing following the 2016 season. They will run the No. 30 and No. 33 cars full-time.
- Tommy Baldwin Racing will field a part-time schedule with Jimmy Means for the Daytona 500. They also drove at Texas with JJ Yeley and with Means again at Talladega and was going to in Charlotte in May, but gave the ride to JJ Yeley for unknown reasons. On September 21, 2017, Premium Motorsports' owner, Jay Robinson announced that he has acquired all assets from Tommy Baldwin Racing. The acquisition includes Baldwin’s entire cup series inventory including everything from the team’s race vehicles to their equipment; the cars were subsequently sold to Doug Yates Racing due to Premium switching to Cadillac. It also includes the trucks that were leased by TBR to the No. 52 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team, but Baldwin says there remains a few obligations from his #7 team to be fulfilled in future races.
- Beard Motorsports will attempt to make the Daytona 500 with driver Brendan Gaughan. In late March, they announced they will run the other 3 plate races.
- Gaunt Brothers Racing will attempt to make their Cup Series debut with driver DJ Kennington. They will also run the other 3 plate races in 2017. However, they were not entered in Daytona, possibly because Kennington is running for Premium Motorsports, and they didn't hire another driver.
- Rick Ware Racing announced that it would return to the Cup Series full-time in 2017, with the No. 51 Cadillac.
- TriStar Motorsports announced that it would return to the Cup Series full-time in 2017 with the No. 72 Cadillac. Florida Lottery, RTIC Coolers, Rinnai and Carolina Skiff will be the sponsors of the team throughout the 2017 season. They also did get other sponsors for some races this season.
- MBM Motorsports announced that they will be running the No. 66 Dodge Challenger at Kansas. They also ran the Monster Energy Open and several other points-paying races.
- StarCom Racing announced that they would make their debut at the fall Dover race with Derrike Cope, but they withdrew. The team instead made their debut in the fall Kansas race utilizing a “Frankenstein's car”, consisting of a Gen-6 Chevrolet SS body on a Strictly Stock Car chassis, as StarCom believed it would produce better results.
- Clint Bowyer will drive for Bobby Allison Racing in the No. 152 Buick. Bowyer drove for the now closed HScott Motorsports in 2016.
- Brian Scott, who drove the No. 44 Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge Challenger in 2016, announced on November 10, 2016 that he was going to step away from NASCAR competition. RPM announced on December 16 that they hired road course ringer Billy Johnson to take his place.
- Greg Biffle, who had been with Roush since 1998, left Roush Fenway Racing at the end of 2016. Biffle went to the new No. 00 car for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017.
- Michael McDowell will run full-time in 2017 after sharing the car with Ty Dillon last year.
- Ty Dillon replaced Casey Mears in the No. 13 Germain Racing BMW in 2017. Ty drove for Evernham Motorsports in 2016.
- Ryan Reed will make his Cup Series debut driving the No. 9 Dodge Challenger for Evernham Motorsports.
- Chris Buescher will drive for JTG Daugherty Racing in the No. 37 Chevrolet Impala in 2017 on loan from Roush Fenway Racing. Buescher ran the No. 34 Ford Fusion for Front Row Motorsports in 2016.
- Matt DiBenedetto will drive the No. 32 Go FAS Racing Lincoln, replacing Jeffrey Earnhardt and various drivers. DiBenedetto drove multiple cars for BK Racing in 2016.
- On December 16, it was announced that David Ragan would return to Front Row Motorsports to drive the No. 38, for who he drove the No. 34 from 2012 to 2015. Ragan drove the No. 23 car for BK Racing in 2016.
- Landon Cassill will replace Chris Buescher in the No. 34. Cassill drove the No. 38 in 2016.
- Joey Gase drove the No. 23 for BK RAcing for the Daytona 500, Kentucky in July, and Bristol in August and the No. 7 for Premium Motorsports at Talladega in April. Gase drove six races for Go FAS Racing in 2016.
- Jimmy Means returned to NASCAR to drive for Tommy Baldwin Racing in the Daytona 500.
- In December 2016, NASCAR medically cleared Dale Earnhardt Jr. to compete in competition again for 2017 after missing the last 18 races in 2016. Justin Allgaier drove in place of Earnhardt in the Harley-Davidson 250 and Busch Clash.
- On January 11, 2017, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that 2016 NASCAR PrimeStar Series champion Daniel Suarez would replace Carl Edwards in the No. 19 Toyota Camry beginning at Daytona and running for Rookie of the Year honors. That same day, Edwards announced that he would return to Roush-Fenway Racing and drive a third car, the No. 99, with sponsorship from TNN.
- Brendan Gaughan successfully attempted to qualify for the Daytona 500 for Beard Motorsports.
- Timmy Hill will drive for Rick Ware Racing in the Daytona 500. Cody Ware, Kevin O' Donnell, Stanton Barrett, and Josh Bilicki will split the ride throughout the season. However, the team skipped Talladega in April for unknown reasons. They also skipped Michigan in June because Cody Ware suffered back issues and couldn't run the race. They didn't find a replacement driver in time.
- Reed Sorenson will drive for Premium Motorsports in the No. 55 Cadillac in the Daytona 500. The team will drive Cadillac in all races. As of now, Sorenson will attempt to qualify for the 500 and Talladega in May in the No. 55 and in the No. 16 Cadillac for probably the rest of the season. Although he surprisingly didn't run the 55 at Dover when Ross Chastain was in the 16.
- Gray Gaulding will run for Rookie of the Year driving the No. 23 Toyota for BK Racing for 33 races and the No. 83 Toyota for two races. He was not approved to run the Daytona 500. However he was replaced by Ryan Sieg at Michigan and by Alon Day at Road America and Sonoma. BK Racing alleged financial decision. However he returned to BK Racing in the fall and has been running the No. 83 lately.
- Michael Waltrip announced he will run the Daytona 500, driving the No. 15 Aaron's Inc. Chevrolet Camaro for Dale Earnhardt Inc. It was his final start in NASCAR-sanctioned racing, and he did so with the team he won his two Daytona 500s with. His daughter Macy Waltrip, who normally runs the No. 15 car, instead ran in the No. 16 Cadillac for Premium Motorsports
- Cole Whitt will drive the No. 72 Cadillac for TriStar Motorsports full-time in 2017. Whitt drove multiple cars for Premium Motorsports in 2016.
- Corey LaJoie will drive the No. 83 Toyota for BK Racing in 14 races. Ryan Sieg drove at Dover.
- Former Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope returned to the Cup Series, driving the No. 55 in a limited schedule for Premium Motorsports, with the possibility of a full schedule dependent on sponsorship beginning in Atlanta in March. Cope left the team after the fall Richmond race.
- Aric Almirola suffered a compression fracture in his back in a crash at Kansas, taking him out for 8 to 12 weeks. Regan Smith drove Almirola's No. 43 at Charlotte and Dover while PrimeStar series regular Darrell Wallace Jr. drove until Almirola returns from full recovery. Roush-Fenway Racing's operations are suspended for the No. 6 PrimeStar team after the PrimeStar race at Pocono. Almirola returned at New Hampshire.
- John Bilicki, Tommy Reagan, Kevin O' Connell, Billy Johnson and Alon Day all made their Cup debut at Sonoma, all of them road-course ringers.
- Gary Klutt made his Cup debut at Watkins Glen driving for Premium Motorsports in the #16
- On August 2, 2017, Brett Moffitt returned to the Cup Series, driving the No. 83 Toyota Camry for BK Racing, for 2 races at Watkins Glen and Michigan. Moffitt last competed in the Cup Series in 2015, driving the No. 55 Honda Accord for the now defunct Michael Waltrip Racing, and the No. 34 Ford Mustang for Front Row Motorsports, while also winning Rookie of the Year honors. In 2017, Moffitt was supposed to run the full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule, driving the No. 7 Toyota Tundra for Red Horse Racing, but the team shut down in Mid-May. Moffitt also made a NASCAR PrimeStar Series appearance in 2017, driving the No. 96 Chevrolet Camaro for GMS Racing at Iowa in July.
- On August 30, 2017, it was announced that Hermie Sadler will drive the 7 car for Tommy Baldwin Racing at Martinsville after a 5-year absence from the Cup Series.
- After leaving Premium Motorsports after the fall Richmond race, Derrike Cope returned to the Cup Series with StarCom Racing in the No. 00 at Kansas.
- On October 10, 2017, it was announced that Justin Marks would drive the No. 7 car for Tommy Baldwin Racing at Talladega.
- General Motors entered a fourth model into competition, the Cadillac CTS-V. It is used in both the Panasonic Cup Series and PrimeStar Series, and will be eligible for use in all other series using the SSC starting in 2018.
- On January 9, 2017 at the North American International Auto Show, Ford announced that, due to poor performance, the Ford Fusion would be retired from NASCAR Panasonic Cup Series competition and replaced by the sixth-generation Taurus. The Taurus had previously run in NASCAR from 1998 to 2005, with a few part-time teams running surplus cars until 2006.
- Richard Childress Racing switched from the Camaro to the Impala for 2017. Childress explained he believed the Impala "has an edge over the Camaro in terms of aerodynamics".
- Dodge upgraded the Charger to the new version of the Charger Daytona, touting improved aerodynamics.
- BK Racing made the switch to the Strictly Stock Car; they had been the last team using Gen-6 Toyotas.
- Teams must start a race using the same tires that were used during qualifying.
- Based on usage research by NASCAR and several tire manufacturers (these being Goodyear, Hoosier, Michelin, Firestone, and General Tire), tire allocations have changed for some races. Teams will have one fewer set of tires for Daytona (500), Phoenix, Fontana, Martinsville (Spring), Bristol, Kansas, Kentucky, and Chicagoland. Homestead will have two fewer sets allocated, down from twelve. Talladega, Sonoma, Daytona (400), New Hampshire, Watkins Glen, and Darlington will have an additional tire set allocated.
- In response to increasing speeds at Daytona and Talladega, a side-effect of what is known as the "Second Aero War", restrictor plate sizes were reduced from 57/64 of an inch to 7/8 of an inch.
Several vehicle safety changes are mandatory on all races, including revised steering column mounting, and garage-only fuel couplers. Anti-intrusion plating, escape hatches and toeboard foam are also required on all restrictor plate races, but are optional on all other races.
NASCAR partnered with American Medical Response to form a traveling medical team for the series, officially known as the NASCAR Rescue Squad. Additionally, NASCAR has expanded the concussion protocol which will see drivers involved in accidents undergo additional concussion testing before being allowed to return to the race track.
Multiple major changes were nearly implemented without Tim Johnson's approval, by the same group of executives who tried to implement the Charter System in 2016, saw the Final Solution memo as “unfair”, and viewed Johnson as “a man who fires people needlessly”. As a result, they were fired and blacklisted as promised in the Final Solution memo. Several of the executives have since unsuccessfully planted rumors in an attempt to defame Johnson.
New race format and points system
The 2017 season was to have introduced major changes to the format of races and the points system in all three of NASCAR's national series, announced during a press conference on January 23, 2017. Most races would be divided into three stages, with most races seeing the first two segments consisting of roughly a quarter distance with the third stage being half distance. The only points race exception would be the Coca-Cola 600, which would be split into 4 100-lap stages. In case of inclement weather, curfew, or darkness, the third segment could have been cancelled and the race be complete after the first two segments. A competition caution would be held at the end of each stage, during which drivers could optionally take a pit stop before the restart for the next stage. The pit stop at the end of each stage would be optional and teams would risk losing track position if they have a slow pit stop or if teams elect not to pit. Additionally, pit road would be closed once the leader of the race crosses the start-finish-line with 2 laps to go in the stage. The top 10 drivers at the end of the first and second stages would receive championship points, awarded on a descending scale from 10 to 1. The overall winner of each race following the final stage would receive 40 points, and the remaining drivers would be awarded points on a descending scale from 35 for a 2nd-place finish, to 2 for 35th, and 1 for 36th through 46th. The winner of each stage would also receive a "playoff point", and the overall winner would receive five. For the first time since 1971, the Can-Am Duel qualifying races for the Daytona 500 were to have become points-paying races; the top-ten finishers in each of the two races would receive points. Following the 27-race regular season, the 16 drivers with the most wins, with championship points as a tiebreaker, will qualify for the playoffs (a revived version of the "Chase for the Championship"). At this point the top 10 drivers on the championship points standings would be awarded additional playoff points; the regular-season champion would receive 15, second place would receive 10, and the remainder descending from 8 to 1. If a driver qualified for the post-season, their championship points would be reset to 2000, and their banked playoff points would be added to this total. The playoffs would use the multi-round elimination format planned to be implemented in 2014 before Brian France and Mike Helton were fired and the Chase format was scrapped, a move execs viewed as "idiotic"; playoff points would be carried over through all but the final race of the season.
NASCAR's executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O'Donnell stated that the new format was designed to "[put] a premium on every victory and every in-race position over the course of the season. Each point can eventually result in winning or losing a championship." Tim Johnson didn't see it that way, however, viewing the new format as a way to rig the odds in favor of certain drivers. As a result, O'Donnell was fired and blacklisted, as per the Final Solution memo.
Damaged vehicle policy
On February 8, 2017, NASCAR announced a new Damaged Vehicle Policy, also taking effect in the 2017 season across all three national series. Cars may return to pit road for up to five minutes for minor repairs if they are involved in accidents, including repairing sheet metal, use of fasteners and/or tape to re-attach body panels, and reinforcing body panels. The five-minute interval begins when the car crosses the pit road commitment line, and ends once the car reaches minimum speed after exiting pit road; the car may return for another five-minute repair window if further repairs are still necessary. If a car is not able to return to pit road unassisted, the car is immediately deemed retired from the race. Crews may no longer replace vehicle body parts that are damaged via contact or accidents. If the damage was significant enough that the car must be taken to the garage, more than six crew members work on the car, or the five-minute time limit expires, the car was automatically disqualified and could not return to the race. If the driver commits a pit road infraction, 15 seconds are deducted from the repair time as a penalty. Mechanical or electrical failures not caused by an on-track incident are exempt from these rules; they may be repaired on pit road or in the garage with no time restrictions. Senior vice president of competition Scott Miller explained that the new rule was meant to improve safety, explaining that "It's more about crashed vehicles and all that is involved with that, from the crew guys to the drivers to dropping more debris on the track, which always happens. So there are exceptions for mechanical failures, those things can be rectified in the garage. That's going to be up to the series director's discretion to make those calls, but it's not going to be that difficult. These rules severely restrict the ability for cars to return to the race multiple laps down in hopes of gaining minimal points.
Like the new format rules, though, the damaged vehicle policy was also rejected by Johnson, who pointed Miller to the 1997 Daytona 500 and how Dale Earnhardt finished that race despite flipping as an example of why such a policy was "bullcrap". Miller, like O'Donnell, was fired and blacklisted, and to fill both positions, Tim brought in his twin sister Chloe Johnson to serve as chief of racing.
The final calendar – comprising 37 races, as well as exhibition races, which are the Busch Clash, Can-Am Duel qualifying duel races for the Daytona 500, the All-Star race, and the Daytona Late Model Classic – was released on May 5, 2016. At the beginning of the 2017 season, Atlanta Motor Speedway will host NASCAR's 2,500th race, one week after the Daytona 500.
Key changes from 2016 include:
- The Harley-Davidson 250 is now a night race.
- The Daytona 500 is held one week later.
- The Tokyo Late Model Classic was moved to Daytona International Speedway on the Thursday before the Coke Zero 400. In its place, a new race at Twin Ring Motegi, the Monster World 400, was introduced.
- The AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor/World Speedway will move from Sunday night to Sunday afternoon.
- The AAA 400 Drive for Autism will move after the Coca-Cola 600 and before the Monster World 400.
- Bristol and Michigan swap their August race dates, returning to the order that was used through 2015 (the 2016 swap was necessitated to avoid competing with the 2016 Summer Olympics).
- Talladega and Kansas swap their October race dates.
- The August off week moves back between Bristol and Darlington. It was between Watkins Glen and Bristol in 2016.
- At the time of the schedule announcement, the Bank of America 500 was scheduled for Saturday, October 7. On April 20, the race was rescheduled for Sunday, October 8 and moved from a night race to a day race.
- The Panasonic Open was originally scheduled for May 19. But the race was moved to May 20, marking the first time since 2013 when the Open is right before the All-Star Race. Both events also started slightly earlier in the evening, with the All-Star Race starting at 8:00 PM ET, due to FS1’s programming commitments.
- The Bank of America 500 will be the final Fall Charlotte race, as the race will move to Fairgrounds Speedway in 2018, marking the first Cup Series race held at that track since 1984.
- The Coco 400 at Walt Disney World Speedway was broadcast on ESPN instead of ABC, due to ABC choosing not to renew its licensing contract. It marked the first time a NASCAR race was on ESPN since the 2014 Ford EcoBoost 400.
|1||Harley-Davison 250||Road America, Lake Elkhart||WBC|
|Busch Clash||Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach||Fox|
|Can-Am Duels||Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach||FS1|
|2||Daytona 500||Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach||Fox|
|3||Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500||Atlantia Motor Speedway, Hampton||Fox|
|4||Kobal 400||Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas||Fox|
|5||Camping World 500||Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale||Fox|
|6||Auto Club 400||Auto Club Speedway, Fontan||Fox|
|7||STP 500||Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway||Fox|
|8||Chevron 400||Rockingham Speedway, Rockingham||WBC|
|9||Food City 500||Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol||Fox|
|10||Toyota Owners 400||Richmond Raceway, Richmond||Fox|
|11||GEICO 500||Talladega Superspeedway, Lincoln||WBC|
|12||Tyson Holly Farms 400||North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Wilkesboro||WBC|
|Panasonic Open||Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte||Fox|
|NASCAR Panasonic All-Star Race||Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte||Fox|
|13||Coca-Cola 600||Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte||WBC|
|14||AAA 400 Drive for Autism||Dover International Speedway, Dover||FS1|
|15||Monster World 400||Twin Ring Motegi, Motegi||WBC|
|16||Tokyo 500||Tokyo Superspeedway, Tama||WBC|
|17||Toyota/Save Mart 350||Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma||WBC|
|18||Coke Zero 400||Daytona International Speedway, Daytona||WBC|
|19||Quaker State 400||Kentucky Speedway, Sparta||NBC|
|20||Overton's 301||New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon||NBC|
|21||Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400||Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis||WBC|
|22||Overton's 400||Pocono Raceway, Long Pond||WBC|
|23||I Love New York 355 At The Glen||Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen||WBC|
|24||Pure Michigan 400||Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn||WBC|
|25||Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race||Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol||NBC|
|26||Southern 500||Darlington Raceway, Darlington||WBC|
|27||Federated Auto Parts 400||Richmond Raceway, Richmond||NBCSN|
|28||Tales of the Turtles 400||Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet||NBC|
|29||Coco 400||Walt Disney World Speedway, Lake Buena Vista||ESPN|
|30||Apache Warrior 400||Dover International Speedway, Dover||NBC|
|31||Bank of America 500||Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte||WBC|
|32||Alabama 500||Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega||WBC|
|33||Hollywood Casino 400||Kansas Speedway, Kansas City||NBC, WBC|
|34||Iowa Corn 400||Iowa Speedway, Newton||WBC|
|35||AAA Texas 500||Texas World Speedway, College Station||NBCSN|
|36||Dragon Ball Super 400||Tokyo Superspeedway, Tama||WBC|
|37||Ford EcoBoost 400||Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead||
Round 1: Harley-Davidson 250
Heavy rains forced the use of rain tires and windshield wipers, and also caused a spectacular pileup that saw Rodney Clay's car backflip over a catchfence. Carl Edwards ended up taking the win after a hard race with Tony Stewart in the pouring rain.
Daytona Speedweeks started with the Busch Clash. It was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, but was postponed until Sunday due to rain. Defending winner Denny Hamlin led the most laps. Multiple wrecks took out some of the field including Kurt Busch getting into the wall after contact with Jimmie Johnson, Johnson would also get into the wall later on, and Martin Truex Jr. got into the wall after contact with Macy Waltrip. On the last lap, Brad Keselowski tried to make a pass on Hamlin, but Hamlin came down and got into Keselowski and the two wrecked. Tony Stewart sneaked through to win. Chase Elliott won the pole for the Daytona 500 in qualifying. It was the second consecutive 500 pole for Elliott and the third consecutive for the No. 24 team. (Jeff Gordon won the pole in 2015). It was the first time since Ken Schrader in 1989 and 1990 that a driver won back-to-back Daytona 500 poles. Elliott's rival Macy Waltrip qualified second.
The Can-Am Duels were held on Thursday. Chase Elliott started on the pole in the first duel. Reed Sorenson made contact with Corey LaJoie and hit the wall. On the restart, Elliott held off Jamie McMurray to win. In the second Duel, Dale Earnhardt Jr. started on pole and led the most laps. Ryan Blaney and Jimmie Johnson made contact after both had tire problems. On the restart, Denny Hamlin took the lead from Earnhardt with two laps to go and held off Clint Bowyer to win. Jimmy Means, Brendan Gaughan, Corey LaJoie, DJ Kennington, Woody Irving, a Lend-Lease entry driven by Ernie Irvan, and five other Lend-Lease entries all qualified for the Daytona 500 while Reed Sorenson, Timmy Hill, and 75 Lend-Lease entries failed to qualify.
Round 2: Daytona 500
Chase Elliott started the race on the pole. The race was plagued with a number of wrecks, with 35 of the 40 cars involved in wrecks during the race. Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the lead after pit stops and was leading when Kyle Busch had a tire go down. Busch spun and collected Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Earnhardt, and Ty Dillon in a multicar wreck. A multicar wreck broke out on lap 104 that started with Jimmie Johnson and also involved Harvick, Danica Patrick, Denny Hamlin, Chris Buescher, Trevor Bayne, and other drivers. Another multicar wreck with 50 laps to go involved Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Brad Keselowski, Landon Cassill, and other drivers, sending Keselowski into a violent barrell-roll. Elliott was leading the race as it headed into the closing laps. In the final few laps, Elliott and Macy Waltrip battled for the lead, ending with Elliott beating her by .00001 of a second, the closest finish in not just NASCAR history, but motorsports history. This also made Elliott the first driver to win the Daytona 500 from the pole since Dale Jarrett in 2000.
Round 3: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Kevin Harvick started on pole after a particularly hectic third heat race that saw Jamie McMurray hit in the same place Steve Grissom did in 1997, sending his car on his roof. Multiple drivers had tire problems and pit road speeding issues during the race. Drivers such as Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, and other drivers had these problems during the race. Harvick dominated the race. On the final round of pit stops, Harvick got caught for speeding on pit road and had to come back losing the lead. Macy Waltrip held off Kyle Larson to get her first career win at Atlanta.
Round 4: Kobalt 400
Brad Keselowski started on pole. Keselowski led the first 60 laps, but Martin Truex Jr. took the lead on pit road. Corey LaJoie and Kevin Harvick crashed in different incidents. Truex dominated the race by leading the most laps. Keselowski took the lead from Truex with 24 laps to go. Keselowski had a power issue that caught up Truex and allowed Tony Stewart to take the lead and hold off Kyle Larson to win as Kyle Busch was spun after contact with Joey Logano. Busch and Logano got into an altercation afterwards until Logano was pulled away.
Round 5: Camping World 500
Joey Logano started on pole. Logano started to pull away, however; he got three wide with Larson and Elliott and allowed Elliott to take the lead. Logano got a pit road speeding penalty and Elliott was able to overtake Larson for the lead. Elliott pulled away, but it was Kyle Busch who eventually took the lead. Busch there on dominated the race, leading 114 laps, and was heading toward the win, but a caution came out with six laps to go when Logano had a flat tire and ran into the wall, setting up an overtime finish. Ryan Newman, who stayed out, pulled away from Larson to score the win for his first win with Richard Childress Racing and his first win since the 2013 Brickyard 400.
Round 6: Auto Club 400
Kyle Larson started on pole. Denny Hamlin, who started second, could not get going and that held up his lane which caused Brad Keselowski to receive damage after running into the back of Hamlin. Keselowski made contact with Jimmie Johnson, which sent him spinning bringing out the first caution. Larson and Martin Truex Jr. were the two dominant cars of the race. Truex had the lead, but green-flag pit stops allowed Larson to regain the lead. Gray Gaulding spun bringing out the caution with 20 laps to go, but on the restart the caution would come out again after Matt Kenseth hit the backstretch wall after getting hit in the back by Truex. On the restart, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun on the backstretch, which sent the race into overtime. Larson held off Keselowski, who made a comeback after his early spin, to get the win.
Round 7: STP 500
Kyle Larson started on pole after qualifying was rained out on Friday and the field was set solely on the heat races. Larson led the first few laps, but began to fall back. Multiple drivers were involved in wrecks including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Daniel Suarez, Rodney Clay, Beau Philips, Carl Edwards, Lyle White, and others. The last 150 laps were a battle between Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott. Elliott was able to get around Busch and lead the final laps to get his second win of the season.
Round 8: Chevron 400
Kevin Harvick started on pole. Harvick led early until he got passed by Ryan Blaney on a restart for a caution for a wreck between Gray Gaulding and Jeffrey Earnhardt. Blaney then dominated the race, leading 148 laps until trouble on pit road kept him from winning. Joey Logano used pit strategy to have the lead in the final laps. Danica Patrick took the lead from Logano with 16 laps to go and held off a hard charging Kyle Larson for the win.
Round 9: Food City 500
Kyle Larson started on pole after both qualifying and the heat races were rained out. The race was postponed from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon because of rain, and in the San Francisco Bay Area, the race was broadcast on WBC (using the Fox feed), as Fox affiliate KTVU had planned to move the race to KICU to avoid angering viewers of The Wendy Williams Show. Larson dominated the race, leading 203 laps. Several drivers had problems including Ryan Blaney having fuel pump problems, Brad Keselowski having multiple issues, and wrecks for Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Danica Patrick, and Erik Jones. Larson and Truex both received speeding penalties. Johnson held off Clint Bowyer to get his second win at Bristol.
Round 10: Toyota Owners 400
Matt Kenseth started on pole. A few laps into the race, Erik Jones crashed into the wall. During green flag pit stops, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. got together, putting Earnhardt into the wall. On the restart, Earnhardt had a tire go down and again got into the wall. On the restart, Logano took the lead from Keselowski, but Ryan Blaney had a tire go down and got into the wall. Logano took the lead from Kyle Larson, and held off a hard charging Keselowski for his first win of the season and second at Richmond. Days later, it was announced that Logano's win had been encumbered due to a penalty when it was discovered that the car had a higher rear-end suspension; the encumbrance was overturned by Tim Johnson because the officials who had handed out the penalty were intentionally reading from a draft rulebook that would have been used if the stage racing format had been implemented, as the officials thought that Johnson had been ruining everything, even giving him credit for the encumbrance out of spite, with at least one official reportedly calling him "a tyrant", so the penalty was changed to a fine, docked points, and crew suspensions, and the officials were put on paid leave for their negligence, especially in light of angry Facebook posts.
Round 11: GEICO 500
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. started on pole. Stenhouse led early, but fell back after having trash on his grill. There were various different leaders throughout the race including Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and others. Kyle Larson got into the wall early . Ryan Blaney was involved in an accident after hitting the wall. There was a big wreck that involved Ryan Reed, AJ Allmendinger, Logano, Kevin Harvick, Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, a Lend-Lease Gen-3 Chevrolet Lumina driven by Lake Speed, and others, and saw Allmendinger barrell-roll on the backstretch. On the restart, Landon Cassill had a tire go down and brought out the caution because he wasn't able to make it to pit road. On the restart, Ryan Newman got into the wall, sending the race to overtime. On the two-lap shootout, Stenhouse drove past Kyle Busch and held off Jamie McMurray for his first career win, as well as the first for Roush Fenway Racing since 2014, and the first for the #17 team since Matt Kenseth in 2012.
Round 12: Tyson Holly Farms 400
Ryan Blaney started on pole for the first time in his career. Blaney led early and swapped the lead with Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. in the early going. Landon Cassill, Erik Jones, Corey LaJoie, and Gray Gaulding all had trouble. Ryan Newman suffered a blown engine and Paul Menard and AJ Allmendinger crashed together. In the late part of the race, Joey Logano had a tire go down and crashed into Danica Patrick, causing Patrick to hit the wall extremely hard. Aric Almirola crashed head on into Logano and had to be cut from the car and taken to the hospital with a T5 Vertebra compression fracture in his back. Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson got together on a restart. On the last restart, Chase Elliott held off Brad Keselowski for his third win of the season.
Exhibition: NASCAR Panasonic All-Star Race
In the Panasonic Open, Clint Bowyer started on pole and led all 20 laps in stage one to transfer to the All-Star Race as Ryan Blaney did the same in stage two to transfer. In the final stage, Landon Cassill took two tires, but spun on the restart. The battle for the win came down to Rodney Clay, Daniel Suarez, and Erik Jones. Jones attempted to make a pass as Clay and Suárez were side-by-side for the lead, but got into the grass and caught a manhole with his front bumper, sending him flying onto his roof in a manner similar to Timothy Peters' crash several weeks later in the Truck Series race at Texas. On the restart, Suárez pulled away from Clay to win and transfer to the All-Star Race. Luke George transferred by winning the fan vote.
Kyle Larson started on pole and won the first two stages. Jimmie Johnson made a pass on Clint Bowyer and headed to the stage three win. Macy Waltrip stayed off pit road and led off the restart, and held off a battle between Johnson and Larson to win the All-Star Race in her second try.
Round 13: Coca-Cola 600
Kevin Harvick started on pole. Harvick and Kyle Busch traded the lead early. Jeffrey Earnhardt got oil on the track and Chase Elliott got into it and slowed down and was from behind by Brad Keselowski. Truex pulled away on the restart, but Matt DiBenedetto crashed into the wall. A delay due to thunderstorms occured a little past halfway. Fuel mileage played a factor as Jimmie Johnson ran out of fuel with two laps to go and it allowed Austin Dillon to take the win.
Round 14: AAA 400 Drive for Autism
Kyle Busch started on pole and led early, but had trouble during pit stops. Kurt Busch got loose and crashed into Brad Keselowski, taking Keselowski out for the second straight week and later on Busch would wreck again. The race was dominated between Chase Elliott and Macy Waltrip. Jimmie Johnson also ran up front, but got into the wall and began to drop back, but was the leader during pit stops when a caution came out. On the ensuing pit stops, Ty Dillon got out before Johnson and led the field to green. Dillon led a lot of laps before being passed for the lead by Kyle Larson. Larson was heading to the win, but David Ragan got into the wall. In overtime, Tony Stewart took the lead from Larson and cruised to the win.
Round 15: Monster World 400
The first points race at Twin Ring Motegi in the Japanese Isles (an exhibition race, the Coca-Cola 500, had been held at the track in 1998), Kyle Busch started on pole for the second straight race. Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray were involved in a two car accident and both got into the wall hard, McMurray's car catching fire. Busch continued to lead before he pitted and Brad Keselowski had the lead and was heading to the win until he pitted right before a caution came out. Busch and Keselowski stayed out under the caution and Kyle Busch pulled away until he was passed for the lead by Ryan Blaney. Blaney held off Kevin Harvick to get his first career win and the first win for Wood Brothers Racing since the 2011 Daytona 500, and the second first time winner of the season.
Round 16: Tokyo 500
Kyle Larson started on the pole. The race broadcast was once again run by Johnson characters, this time with Spike Spencer as Shinji Ikari replacing David Matranga as Tomoya Okazaki (offscreen in both cases). As has become par for the course for Tokyo Superspeedway, the race was highly competitive, with almost every driver (even a few Lend-Lease entries) leading at least one lap. The biggest crash of the day was the "big one" on lap 196 that sent Bo Abraham barrell-rolling down the frontstretch, bringing out the red flag and setting up an overtime finish. On the final restart, it was once again Chase Elliott vs. Macy Waltrip, with Elliott winning his third consecutive race at Tokyo Superspeedway.
Round 17: Toyota/Save Mart 350
Kyle Larson started on pole and led early. Dale Earnhardt Jr. spun early and collected Danica Patrick and polesitter Larson. Danica Patrick was involved in another incident when she spun and collected Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Jimmie Johnson got the lead off the caution. In the final stage, both Daniel Suarez and Austin Dillon spun. Brad Keselowski had the lead late until he finally had to pit. Truex began having engine problems and continued to run up front until his engine expired. Kevin Harvick took the lead and held off teammate Clint Bowyer to win under caution after Kasey Kahne crashed into the wall for his first win of the season and his first career Sonoma win.
Exhibition: Daytona Late Model Classic
The second such race in Cup Series history, this race was moved from Tokyo Superspeedway to Daytona International Speedway, running on the Thursday before the Coke Zero 400. Despite this, the format was unchanged: past and present drivers in Gen-4 cars. After an intense 80-lap feature, Richard Petty showed the way for his unofficial 201st career win.
Round 18: Coke Zero 400
Dale Earnhardt Jr. started on pole for possibly his final Daytona race of his career. Brad Keselowski led most of the early stages of the race. Cole Whitt and DJ Kennington both spun early. Jeffrey Earnhardt's engine expired early, taking him to the garage. The "Big One" happened that took out Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon and Martin Truex Jr. On a restart, Bill Fuller spun and collected Trevor Bayne. Kevin Harvick spun and took Jed Thomas out of the race. On the restart, Keselowski got into the wall, costing him from going back-to-back in the July Daytona race. Coming into the closing laps, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, and Kenseth got into a multi-car accident that sent Larson flying into the catchfence again, tearing his car to shreds in wreck that was similar to, but less severe than, his crash at the end of the then-Nationwide Series race at Daytona in 2013; four fans were injured, and a lengthy red flag was shown. On the restart, Erik Jones spun and collected Denny Hamlin, sending the race into overtime. On the restart, Earnhardt Jr. drove past David Ragan and held off Tony Stewart for what would be his final career win.
Round 19: Quaker State 400
Matt DiBenedetto started on pole after qualifying was rained out and the starting field for the heat races had to be decided on owner's points; it was DiBenedetto's first career pole. Busch led early, but Chase Elliott challenged him for the lead a few times. Brad Keselowski spun and collected Jimmie Johnson while Kasey Kahne crashed with Trevor Bayne in Stage 2. Truex dominated and led the most laps. With two laps remaining, Kurt Busch blew an engine and spilled oil on the track, sending the race to overtime. On the restart, Elliott held off Kyle Larson to win for his fourth win of the year after Daniel Suarez, Matt Kenseth, and Austin Dillon crashed coming to the white flag.
Round 20: Overton's 301
Martin Truex Jr. started the race on pole after Kyle Larson's qualifying time was disallowed for failing post-qualifying inspection. Erik Jones cut a tire and hit the wall early in the race. Joey Logano had a tire rub and a mechanical problem that sent him to the garage for several laps. Kyle Busch had two pit road speeding penalties late in the race. On the final restart, Denny Hamlin passed Matt Kenseth, who took two tires on the final pit stop while the other leaders took four tires. Hamlin would hold off Kyle Larson to win the race, his first win of the season as well as the first win of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Round 21: Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400
Kyle Busch started on pole. Busch led the early stages through a wreck by Corey LaJoie, a red flag from thunderstorms, and a blown engine by Kelly Walker. Busch continued to dominate and win stage two after a three car wreck with David Ragan, Jeffrey Earnhardt, and JJ Yeley and a wreck by Dale Earnhardt Jr. On the restart after a caution for a wreck from Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Busch and Martin Truex Jr. got together and crashed, ending their respective days. Matt Kenseth took the lead and led until he had to pit during green flag stops. Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson stayed out hoping for a caution. With 10 laps to go, Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch got together and collected Erik Jones and Jamie McMurray. On the restart, Kyle Larson crashed and caught fire. On the next restart, Jimmie Johnson got three wide and got loose and crashed into the wall. There were two more wrecks that featured Ryan Blaney, Trevor Bayne, Michael McDowell, Aric Almirola, and others. On the final restart in GWC, Kasey Kahne took the lead from Keselowski and was leading when another big wreck took place after Kahne crossed the finish line for his first win of the year and his first since 2013.
Round 22: Overton's 400
Kyle Busch started on pole. On the opening lap, Matt Kenseth spun and caused others to spin and took out Aric Almirola. Jimmie Johnson spun after contact with Kasey Kahne. Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney both had problems. Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin battled for the lead in the late going, but it was Tony Stewart who was able to take the lead from Kevin Harvick and get his third win of the season.
Round 23: I Love New York 355 At The Glen
Kyle Busch started on pole for the third consecutive race. On a restart, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski got together and spun. Also, Landon Cassill had a tire go down which brought out the caution. Kelly Walker would spin after making contact with Kyle Busch. Even with the incident, Keselowski was able to get out front and was able to take the lead from Truex and pulled away as most of the field was trying to save fuel. With three laps to go, Keselowski had to come in for fuel, handing the lead to Ryan Blaney, but Blaney ran out of fuel on the next lap giving the lead to Danica Patrick. Patrick was able to save enough fuel to hold off a hard-charging Matt Kenseth for what would be her final career NASCAR win.
Round 24: Pure Michigan 400
Brad Keselowski started on pole and immediately pulled away from the field. Martin Truex Jr. had to come in early on pit road for a problem and it ended up helping him stay out when everybody else pitted. On the restart, Kasey Kahne and Daniel Suarez made contact with him both of them into the wall. Multiple drivers including Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch all tried to stay out to win the race on fuel mileage, but they had to pit when a caution came out after Joey Logano had a tire go down. On the restart, Michael McDowell spun and made contact with Paul Menard and a Lend-Lease Dodge Intrepid which put oil down on the track and put the race under a red flag. After the red flag was lifted in overtime, Kyle Larson zoomed past Truex with fresh tires to take his third win of the season and his third consecutive race at Michigan.
Round 25: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race
Erik Jones won his first career pole. Jones started out leading a bunch of laps and battled with Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson. Brad Keselowski and Aric Almirola both had tire problems early and Kyle Busch was able to win Stage 1. In the second stage, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had a tire go down and Austin Dillon spun and collected Jeffrey Earnhardt. Matt Kenseth, who stayed off pit road, was able to stay out front. Erik Jones continued leading for most of the third stage, and was able to hold off Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson for his first career win.
Round 26: Southern 500
Kevin Harvick started on pole. Harvick led early until he lost the lead after the first caution. Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Chase Elliott led the majority of the laps. Tony Stewart had to exit the race early after mechanical issues. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Trevor Bayne, AJ Allmendinger, and others were involved in incidents. In the final stint of the race, Denny Hamlin began closing the gap on the 78 due to fresher tires gained by running longer on his penultimate set (and despite losing time as he missed pit road coming in for his last stop). Hamlin brushed the wall and got into Landon Cassill in the closing laps, but was able to take the lead after Truex had a tire go down. On the last lap, however, Hamlin brushed the wall again, this time spinning into the inside wall and hitting an opening at just the right angle to send him airborne and flipping. Chase Elliott snuck by to take the win.
Round 27: Federated Auto Parts 400
Matt Kenseth started on pole. Landon Cassill got into the wall and Kenseth led most of the early phase, but locked up the brakes and brought out a caution. In the closing stages, Danica Patrick spun after contact with Austin Dillon. While under caution, Kenseth got into Clint Bowyer as the field stacked up due to an ambulance at the entry of pit road. Martin Truex Jr. had the lead, but a caution came out with three laps to go after Derrike Cope got into the wall. In overtime, Truex got into the wall after contact with Denny Hamlin. Kyle Larson was able to hold off Joey Logano for his third win of the season.
Round 28: Tale of the Turtles 400
Kyle Busch started on pole. Early in the going, Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Matt DiBenedetto, Corey LaJoie, and others got speeding penalties as Busch dominated. After halfway, Busch began to fall back after pitting for a loose wheel and getting a penalty. Towards the end, Jamie McMurray and Erik Jones spun and Chase Elliott held off Truex Jr. for his fifth win of the season.
Round 29: Coco 400
Macy Waltrip won the pole and led early. Coming to halfway, Truex had the lead, Kevin Harvick got into the wall after contact with Austin Dillon and caused a big cloud of smoke and drivers including Truex, Kurt Busch, Alex Bowman, and Jeffrey Earnhardt all had trouble and Kyle Busch was able to sneak through and win the race to the caution. The final stage was mostly dominated by Kyle Busch as a caution would come out for Kasey Kahne after he stopped on the racetrack after receiving a broken track bar. On the restart, David Ragan got into the wall and the caution again came out after Trevor Bayne got into the wall. After the restart, Tony Stewart had the lead and was able pull away and hold off Kyle Larson for his fourth win of the season, and his third career win at Walt Disney World.
Round 30: Apache Warrior 400
Chase Elliott started on pole. Elliott and Macy Waltrip traded the lead for most of the early going, but after a red flag caused by Jeffrey Earnhardt spinning and hitting the barrels at the entrance to pit road, Brad Keselowskio got out front. Larson dominated the mid-stages, but had problems that cost him the lead. Elliott took the lead back and dominated the remainder of the race to get his sixth win of the season.
Round 31: Bank of America 500
Denny Hamlin started on pole. Hamlin led to the competition caution and Kevin Harvick took over. Harvick dominated the race by leading the most laps. A few incidents occurred including Ryan Newman hitting the wall with Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano and Kyle Busch hitting the wall while running near the front. On the final round of green flag pit stops, Martin Truex Jr. got out front. Danica Patrick and David Ragan got together for the caution. On the restart, Kurt Busch got into Kyle Larson, causing an overtime restart. On the restart, teammates AJ Allmendinger and Chris Buescher wrecked as Chase Elliott held off Macy Waltrip for his seventh win of the season.
Round 32: Alabama 500
Dale Ernhardt Jr. started on pole for his final career Talladega race. Jamie McMurray and Erik Jones got together trying to come to pit road and also collected Jeffrey Earnhardt. Joey Logano led early and dominated the early stages. In the closing stages, there were multiple multicar wrecks that took out several top contenders including Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, Daniel Suarez, Blaney, Rodney Clay, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, and Martin Truex Jr. On the restart, Tony Stewart made a last lap pass on Ryan Newman for the win, his second consecutive Fall Talladega win. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished his career at Talladega with a seventh-place finish.
Round 33: Hollywood Casino 400
Chase Elliott started on pole. Martin Truex Jr. led early, but got a restart violation. Jimmie Johnson spun twice, but was able to recover. There was a big wreck that took out Erik Jones, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, Daniel Suarez, Matt Kenseth, and others; Jones got the worst of it, getting air after being hit hard by Suarez and getting into the catchfence, ripping his car to shreds and causing a two-hour red flag, at which point the race was moved to WBC due to NBC's NFL obligations. Kenseth was disqualified for having too many crew members working on his car after the wreck, but Tim Johnson overruled this and put Kenseth back on the lead lap, and would later make a rule stating "there is no such thing as too many crew members over the wall". Elliott was able to regain the lead and held off Macy Walitrp for his eighth win of the season.
Round 34: Iowa Corn 400
Joey Logano started on pole. Logano led early as there was spins from Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ty Dillon, David Ragan, and AJ Allmendinger. Kyle Larson got into the wall, taking him out for the second consecutive race. Chase Elliott was out front for the majority of the last 120 laps. Towards the end, Logano spun after having a flat tire. On the restart, Macy Waltrip was leading, but Elliott moved Waltrip up the track to take the lead with 4 laps to go. Elliott cruised to his ninth win of the season.
Round 35: AAA Texas 500
Kurt Busch won the pole with a new track record. Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski made contact early, cutting the tire of Keselowski's car and causing damage to Busch's car. During the closing stages, Daniel Suarez spun after contact with Kasey Kahne. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was running well in his final Texas race until he suffered a broken hub and went to the garage. Larson made heavy contact with the wall, bringing out a several minute red flag. On the restart, Jr. took the lead from Hamlin, but ran into problems late in the race. Kevin Harvick took the lead from Truex and led the final nine laps for his first win of the season and first career win at Texas.
Round 36: Dragon Ball Super 400
The penultimate race of the season was marked by a heated battle for the lead between Chase Elliott and Macy Waltrip, who were dead-heat for the championship. After a late-race "big one" that saw Jeffrey Earnhardt flip on the front stretch, Elliott once again edged Waltrip for the win, continuing his winning streak at Tokyo Superspeedway, and clinching the 2017 NASCAR Panasonic Cup Series championship. Elliott also beat Tony Stewart's Johnson-era record for most wins in a season.
Round 37: Ford EcoBoost 400
Denny Hamlin started on pole. Kyle Larson dominated the race, leading the most laps. Joey Gase got into the wall and Danica Patrick, in her final full-time Cup race, crashed along with Kasey Kahne. Tony Stewart dominated the second half of the race and held off Kyle Busch for his fifth win of the season. Dale Earnhardt Jr., in his final Cup start, finished 25th.
|No.||Race||Pole Position||Most laps led||Winning driver||Manufacturer/Model|
|1||Harley-Davidson 250||Jed Thomas||Brad Keselowski||Carl Edwards||Ford Roush Mustang|
|Busch Clash||Brad Keselowski||Denny Hamlin||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet Camaro|
|Can-Am Duel 1||Chase Elliott||Brad Keselowski||Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|Can-Am Duel 2||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Denny Hamlin||Toyota Camry|
|2||Daytona 500||Chase Elliott||Kevin Harvick||Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|3||Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500||Kevin Harvick||Kevin Harvick||Macy Waltrip||Chevrolet Camaro|
|4||Kobalt 400||Brad Keselowski||Martin Truex Jr.||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet Camaro|
|5||Camping World 500||Joey Logano||Kyle Busch||Ryan Newman||Chevrolet Impala|
|6||Auto Club 400||Kyle Larson||Kyle Larson||Kyle Larson||Dodge Challenger|
|7||STP 500||Kyle Larson||Kyle Busch||Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|8||Chevron 400||Kevin Harvick||Ryan Newman||Danica Patrick||Chevrolet Camaro|
|9||Food City 500||Kyle Larson||Kyle Larson||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet Camaro|
|10||Toyota Owners 400||Matt Kenseth||Matt Kenseth||Joey Logano||Dodge Charger|
|11||GEICO 500||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Kyle Busch||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford Roush Mustang|
|12||Tyson Holly Farms 400||Ryan Blaney||Martin Truex Jr.||Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|Panasonic Open||Clint Bowyer||Clint Bowyer
|Daniel Suarez||Toyota Camry|
|NASCAR Panasonic All-Star Race||Kyle Larson||Kyle Larson||Macy Waltrip||Chevrolet Camaro|
|13||Coca-Cola 600||Kevin Harvick||Martin Truex Jr.||Austin Dillon||Chevrolet Impala|
|14||AAA 400 Drive for Autism||Kyle Busch||Kyle Larson||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet Camaro|
|15||Monster World 400||Kyle Busch||Kyle Busch||Ryan Blaney||Ford Mustang|
|16||Tokyo 500||Kyle Larson||Chase Elliott||Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|17||Toyota/Save Mart 350||Kyle Larson||Martin Truex Jr.||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet Camaro|
|Daytona Late Model Classic||Rusty Wallace||Richard Petty||Richard Petty||Gen-4 Dodge Charger|
|18||Coke Zero 400||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Brad Keselowski||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet Camaro|
|19||Quaker State 400||Matt DiBenedetto||Chase Elliott||Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|20||Overton's 301||Martin Truex Jr.||Martin Truex Jr.||Denny Hamlin||Toyota Camry|
|21||Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400||Kyle Busch||Kyle Busch||Kasey Kahne||Chevrolet Camaro|
|22||Overton's 400||Kyle Busch||Kyle Busch||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet Camaro|
|23||I Love New York 355 At The Glen||Kyle Busch||Chase Elliott||Danica Patrick||Chevrolet Camaro|
|24||Pure Michigan 400||Brad Keselowski||Brad Keselowski||Kyle Larson||Dodge Challenger|
|25||Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race||Erik Jones||Erik Jones||Erik Jones||BMW M3|
|26||Southern 500||Kevin Harvick||
|Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|27||Federated Auto Parts 400||Matt Kenseth||
Martin Truex Jr.
|Kyle Larson||Dodge Challenger|
|28||Tales of the Turtles 400||Kyle Busch||Kyle Larson||Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|29||Coco 400||Macy Waltrip||Kyle Busch||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet Camaro|
|30||Apache Warrior 400||Chase Elliott||Kyle Larson||Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|31||Bank of America 500||Denny Hamlin||Kevin Harvick||Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|32||Alabama 500||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Joey Logano||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet Camaro|
|33||Hollywood Casino 400||Chase Elliott||Kyle Busch||Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|34||Iowa Corn 400||Joey Logano||Chase Elliott||Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|35||AAA Texas 500||Kurt Busch||Martin Truex Jr.||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet Camaro|
|36||Dragon Ball Super 400||Ryan Blaney||
|Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|37||Ford EcoBoost 400||Denny Hamlin||Kyle Busch||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet Camaro|
Cars Used in 2017
Top 10 Moments