NASCAR AMERICA: Biggest surprises of the 2014 Chase (VIDEO)

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With the implementation of the new, elimination-style Chase for the Sprint Cup format, we knew that it could lead to some surprises.

But NASCAR Nation may have gotten more than it bargained for.

Hendrick Motorsports put all four of their drivers – Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, and then-reigning Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson – into the Chase. But none of them made it to the Championship Round at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

And neither did Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski, even though he captured a series-high six victories in 2014.

On the other side of the coin, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman – who tallied a combined one win between them – managed to use consistent front-running finishes through the first nine races of the Chase to put themselves into the Championship 4. And Newman ended up just one spot shy of winning it all at Homestead.

As part of today’s NASCAR AMERICA Chase Spectacular, Rick Allen, Nate Ryan, and Parker Kligerman touched on how these surprises impacted the battle for the title. Check out their thoughts in the clip above.

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”