TALLADEGA, AL - OCTOBER 23:  Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hellmann's 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 23, 2016 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Drivers, crews with most pit road penalties in 2016

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Here is a look at who ranked among the leaders in various pit road penalties this season in the Sprint Cup Series.

SPEEDING ON PIT ROAD

10 — Denny Hamlin

7 — Austin Dillon

7 — Kyle Larson

7 — Paul Menard

7 — Ryan Newman

7 — David Ragan

7 — Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

6 — Greg Biffle

6 — Jimmie Johnson

6 — Michael McDowell

6 — Jamie McMurray

6 — Brian Scott

6 — Regan Smith

5 — AJ Allmendinger

5 — Chase Elliott

5 — Casey Mears

5 — Tony Stewart

4 — Michael Annett

4 — Carl Edwards

4 — Kevin Harvick

4 — Kasey Kahne

4 — Brad Keselowski

4 — Martin Truex Jr.

PIT CREW OVER THE WALL TOO SOON

5 — Reed Sorenson

4 — AJ Allmendinger

3 — Aric Almirola

3 — Michael Annett

3 — Greg Biffle

3 — Michael McDowell

3 — Paul Menard

UNCONTROLLED TIRE

5 — Aric Almirola

4 — Denny Hamlin

3 — Josh Wise

2 — AJ Allmendinger

2 — Clint Bowyer

2 — Chris Buescher

2 — Matt Kenseth

2 — Joey Logano

2 — Ryan Newman

2 — Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Sprint Cup starting lineup at Phoenix

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 11: Crew members push the car of Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 11, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images
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Alex Bowman piloted the No. 88 of Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the pole for Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Bowman earned the pole with a lap of 140.521 mph Friday. Kyle Larson will join him on the front row after a lap of 140.263 mph.

Chase Elliott (140.236 mph) starts third and Chase contender Joey Logano (140.138 mph) is fourth. Chase contender Denny Hamlin (140.072) will start fifth.

Here is where the eight Chase drivers will start:

Joey Logano, fourth

Denny Hamlin, fifth

Kevin Harvick, sixth

Matt Kenseth, 10th

Carl Edwards, 11th

Kurt Busch, 12th

Jimmie Johnson, 17th

Kyle Busch, 19th

Click here for Sprint Cup starting lineup

Joey Logano on attending child’s funeral: ‘It tore my heart out’

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Richard Petty Motorsports
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AVONDALE, Ariz. — Joey Logano was humbled this week after attending the funeral for a 5-year-old NASCAR fan who died from juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia.

Jake Leatherman died Nov. 1.

Logano, Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Ellis and crew members from the teams of Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman, Logano and others were there at the request of Leatherman’s mother, Crystal.

She asked a TV anchor in Charlotte, North Carolina, who previously had featured Leatherman if the anchor knew of anyone in NASCAR who could attend the service in uniform and carry her son’s casket.

“I want to give my son the sendoff he deserves,” Crystal Leatherman wrote. “He recently got into NASCAR and absolutely loves Richard Petty. He loved calling him ‘The King’. But Jake loves a lot of the other cars as well. The Lowe’s car. The M&M’s U.S.A. car. Lots of cars. He loved them all. I was wondering if you knew anyone who would be willing to come in uniform and help carry my baby?”

Logano heard about the request from his wife last weekend while at Texas Motor Speedway.

“I walked into the bus after qualifying on Friday night, and she was inside crying,’’ Logano said of wife Brittany. “She had just watched the video and told me about him and how he was a big race fan and I thought it would be cool if we could do something for his funeral.’’

Logano, who wore his firesuit to the service, and his wife brought a race suit with Leatherman’s name on it. Because the child was a fan of Richard Petty, they put a No. 43 on the uniform.

“The whole racing community got into this,’’ Logano said Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. “It wasn’t just Brittany and myself. It was one of the most real moments, one of the proudest moments I have been a part of in this NASCAR community. To come together as one team and be NASCAR as a whole for a child who looked at us as superheroes. That is how his family members described what he thought of NASCAR.

“We all came together and were all there for him, but we didn’t get to meet him and give him his race suit and how cool he would have thought that was. To see all his heroes and pit crew members there that day would have been very special.

“I have never been to a funeral for a child before. That is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. It was definitely eye-opening and it puts life into perspective. I don’t have a kid yet but I can’t even imagine – watching his mom and dad and sister and grandparents all there it tore my heart out.”

Watch is a video report from the Charlotte TV station on the service.

Answers about new NASCAR rule limiting Cup drivers in other series

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NASCAR announced Wednesday that it will limit how many Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series races Sprint Cup drivers can run beginning in 2017.

Here is a breakdown of the rule and what it means.

WHAT IS THE RULE?

NASCAR states that any Sprint Cup driver with more than five years full-time experience can compete in a maximum of 10 Xfinity and seven Camping World Truck Series races in 2017.

NASCAR announced that any Sprint Cup driver with more than five years full-time experience will be prohibited from competing in the final eight Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series races next year. That’s the regular-season finale for both and the seven-race Chase for each series.

NASCAR also stated that any Sprint Cup driver with more than five years full-time experience will not be allowed to compete in the Xfinity Dash for Cash races next year.

Drivers earning Cup points in 2017 also are not eligible to compete in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series title races in 2017 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

HOW IS FULL-TIME CUP EXPERIENCE DEFINED?

A driver who has attempted to qualify for every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in a given season is considered to be a full-time driver in that series.

Thus, former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, who has made 126 career Cup starts, is not impacted by this rule because this is only his second full-time season in Cup.

Also, Landon Cassill would not face these restrictions. Cassill, who has 219 Cup starts, ran full seasons in 2014 (failed to qualify for two races), 2015 and is set run the full season this year. He ran 33 of 36 races in 2013 but was not entered in the other three events, thus did not make a qualifying attempt. He ran 32 of 36 events in 2011 but was not entered in the other four races and did not make a qualifying attempt.

WAIT A MINUTE. WHAT ABOUT A DRIVER LIKE Elliott Sadler, WHO HAS RUN MORE THAN FIVE YEARS IN CUP? DOES THIS IMPACT HIM?

No, it won’t because he will declare to run for the points in the Xfinity Series next year with JR Motorsports. The rule about more than five full-time Cup seasons impacts those drivers declaring points for the Cup Series.

HOW MANY XFINITY DASH FOR CASH RACES WILL THERE BE IN 2017?

NASCAR has yet to say. There were four such races this year — Bristol in April, Richmond in April, Dover in May and Indianapolis in July.

SO WHAT RACES WILL SPRINT CUP DRIVERS WITH MORE THAN FIVE YEARS OF FULL-TIME EXPERIENCE BE BARRED FROM IN 2017?

The final eight Xfinity races. That’s the regular-season finale and the seven Chase races.

Those races will be Chicagoland (Sept. 16), Kentucky (Sept. 23), Dover (Sept. 30), Charlotte (Oct. 6), Kansas (Oct. 21), Texas (Nov. 4), Phoenix (Nov. 11) and Homestead (Nov. 11).

In the Truck Series, those eight races will be Chicagoland (Sept. 15), New Hampshire (Sept. 23), Las Vegas (Sept. 30), Talladega (Oct. 14), Martinsville (Oct. 28), Texas (Nov. 3), Phoenix (Nov. 10) and Homestead (Nov. 17).

WHO ARE THE CUP DRIVERS COMPETING IN 2016 WHO WILL NOT HAVE MORE THAN FIVE YEARS FULL-TIME EXPERIENCE IN 2017 AND NOT FACE THESE RESTRICTIONS NEXT  YEAR (EXCEPT THE RESTRICTION OF NOT COMPETING IN THE XFINITY AND TRUCK FINALES IF THEY SCORE CUP POINTS)?

Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chris Buescher, Trevor Bayne, Landon Cassill, Brian Scott, Michael McDowell, Michael Annett, Matt DiBenedetto, Alex Bowman, Josh Wise, Cole Whitt, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Reed Sorenson and Ty Dillon. Erik Jones, who will be a rookie next season, will not face these restrictions in 2017.

HOW MANY XFINITY RACES HAVE BEEN WON BY CUP DRIVERS THIS YEAR?

Cup drivers have won 19 of 30 Xfinity races this year — 63.3 percent. Three races remain in the Xfinity season.

The breakdown: Kyle Busch (9 wins), Austin Dillon (2), Joey Logano (2), Chase Elliott (1), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1), Denny Hamlin (1), Kyle Larson (1), Aric Almirola (1) and Michael McDowell (1).

Based on the new rule, only Dillon, Elliott, Larson and McDowell of the group above will be eligible to compete in Xfinity next year without restrictions.

HOW MANY XFINITY RACES HAVE BEEN WON BY CUP REGULARS SINCE 2011?

Since 2011, Cup regulars have won 138 of 196 Xfinity races (70.4 percent)

— In 2016, Cup regulars won 19 of 30 Xfinity races (63.3 percent)

— In 2015, Cup regulars won 23 of 33 Xfinity races (69.7 percent)

— In 2014, Cup regulars won 22 of 33 Xfintiy races (66.7 percent)

— In 2013, Cup regulars won 28 of 33 Xfinity races (84.8 percent)

— In 2012, Cup regulars won 18 of 33 Xfinity races (54.5 percent)

— In 2011, Cup regulars won 28 of 34 Xfinity races (82.4 percent)

HOW MANY CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES RACES HAVE BEEN WON BY CUP DRIVERS THIS YEAR?

Cup drivers have won three of 19 races this year. Four races remain this year.

The breakdown: Kyle Busch (2 wins) and Kyle Larson (1).

NASCAR executive hints at rule to limit Sprint Cup drivers in Xfinity, Camping World Truck Series

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For fans who don’t like Sprint Cup drivers competing in Xfinity and Camping World Truck races, a NASCAR executive says “stay tuned’’ for an announcement “fairly soon’’ on the issue.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, uttered those words Monday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio when asked about limiting Cup drivers in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.

“It certainly is on our radar,’’ O’Donnell said. “We’ve heard the fans. It’s interesting, it’s been a balance throughout the years. We’ve always had Sprint Cup drivers come into the Xfinity Series and sometimes dominate, back in the Mark Martin days.

“As the sport has evolved one of the great things is we’ve got more of a fan following in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series. They like seeing those drivers come up through the ranks and it’s our job to make sure that Xfinity is where names are made. We’ve got to do on that on the racetrack.

“That is something we’re taking a really hard look at for next year, I’d say stay tuned. We’re going to look at and probably have something to announce fairly soon.’’

NASCAR prohibits any Cup driver who was in last year’s Chase from competing in this year’s season finale for the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

One possibility could be for NASCAR to extend such a ban for all future Chase races in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.

This issue was raised after Kyle Busch won Saturday’s Xfinity race at Kansas Speedway for his ninth victory of the season.

Since 2011, Cup regulars have won 138 of the 196 Xfinity races (70.4 percent).

Nineteen of the 30 Xfintiy races this season have been won by a driver who competes regularly in the Sprint Cup Series. While that is nearly two-thirds of the races won by a Cup regular, the total is down from recent years.

Last year, Cup regulars won 23 of 33 Xfinity races (69.7 percent)

In 2014, Cup regulars won 22 of 33 Xfintiy races (66.7 percent)

In 2013, Cup regulars won 28 of 33 Xfinity races (84.8 percent)

In 2012, Cup regulars won 18 of 33 Xfinity races (54.5 percent)

In 2011, Cup regulars won 28 of 34 Xfinity races (82.4 percent)

Here’s a look at the most wins by a Cup regular in the Xfinity Series since 2011

42 – Kyle Busch

22 – Brad Keselowski

19 – Joey Logano

9 – Carl Edwards

9 – Kevin Harvick