California Fires Caused Air to Be 60 Times Dirtier Than the World Health Standard

As wildfires in California continue to rage, air quality in the surrounding areas have been accordingly abysmal. From a Bloomberg report, particulate levels hit 1,500 micrograms per cubic meter last week—60 times the World Health Organization's standard threshold of 25. It has since come down but readings taken Monday still reportedly exceeded the normal benchmark.

Speaking to Bloomberg, National Center for Atmospheric Research project scientist Rebecca Buchholz said, "It is just insane. It is quite amazing how high these fine-particulate levels are."

Monday in Sacramento, particulate readings apparently reached 135.4 micrograms per cubic meter. San Francisco has indicated 55 while San Jose and Stockton hit 76.1 and 152, respectively.

As of Monday morning, Butte County's Camp Fire has killed 77 people, burned up 150,000 acres, and is 65 percent contained. Full containment is projected for Nov. 30. Currently, 993 people are missing. Further south, Woolsey Fire has so far claimed three lives, 96,949 acres, is 91 percent contained, and is expected to be fully contained by the end of the week.

Fire-caused, airborne particulates can negatively affect the eyes, lungs, and nose, making breathing difficult especially for the elderly, children, and those with existing respiratory conditions. Many Californians have donned face masks to combat the dirty air.

While heavy rain is forecast for this Wednesday, Nov. 21, the pollution is expected to linger after the fires have been extinguished. The rain may also increase the risk of mudslides.

Self-Driving Cars, Tires, and the Great National Stupidity

Do you like being alive? I do. And I try to do as many things as possible to add years to my life. In quantity and quality. When I see a red-hot bbq grill, for example, I don't lean over and press my face against it. First degree burns might not be immediately fatal, but you don't need to be Nostradamus to know the pain and scarring would be suboptimal.

An optimal life requires common sense. For example, when a friend recently asked me if he should abandon his wife and children, relocate to Las Vegas, rent a Lamborghini, get some coke and a suite full of hookers, I said No, that would be a suboptimal set of decisions. Nothing could stop him, however. So I gave him the best advice I could.

"You will regret leaving your wife and kids," I said. "And you will eventually go back to them. That would be an optimal outcome for a suboptimal decision. Let me share the advice my mother gave me when I hit rock bottom. Instead of buying cocaine, you should buy the finest scotch you can afford, and savor it. If you must sleep with escorts, never use a condom twice. Most importantly, if you must drive a sports car—especially a rental car—make sure it has the best possible tires, and always check the treadwear."

My mother is very wise. I know what you're thinking, how dare she condone such behavior, and how dare I pass on her twisted wisdom? It's simple. If there were more mothers like mine, there would be fewer broken homes and drug overdoses, fewer STDs brought into relationships, and fewer car crashes due to stupidity.

Yes, stupidity. Let's face it. When people say, Oh, I had a car accident, they're lying—or worse, they're just stupid. There are no car accidents. There are car crashes. An accident is an unforeseen event. The overwhelming majority of car crashes are single car events, which means they were the culmination of the driver's poor choices. Poor choices lead to suboptimal outcomes.

In my world, the translation is simple: Idiots get what they deserve.

For example, I just witnessed this winter's first snow hit New York City. Did I open the secret drawer in my closet, put on a tiger-striped T-shirt and chaps, and go cruising in my Morgan 3-Wheeler? No, I saved that outfit for another time. Also, no one makes snow tires for the Morgan. Even if someone did, I still wouldn't trust them. Morgan ownership means your family can save money on your casket: A steel chassis wrapped in a wooden frame? Make one mistake and they can just bury you in it. What makes Morgans unique is that they don't even pretend to be safe. The 3-wheeler lacks any safety options, which is why I'm so cautious in it. Safety features are the reason people who have one car accident eventually have two. Or three. Safety features are what ignorant people use to avoid learning how to drive safely.

Am I being harsh? That snowstorm brought NYC traffic to a standstill. Not me. I put on my winter boots and took the subway. When I got home I got on Twitter and marveled at the stupidity of people. I just bought a Tesla Model 3 with all-wheel drive, tweeted one idiot, and I got stuck in the snow. That tweet should shatter any notion of a correlation between wealth and intelligence. Teslas are expensive cars, but that one can afford a Tesla doesn't mean one understands physics, the harshest of all mistresses.

In what universe are all-season tires sufficient for all seasons? The one where people trust words over common sense. All-season ? good in all seasons. All-season is a catch-all. A compromise. If all-seasons were great in snow, snow tires wouldn't exist. If all-seasons were great summer tires, summer tires wouldn't exist. All-seasons are the sneakers of tires. You wouldn't wear sneakers instead of skis, or snowshoes to the beach. And yet people persist in the folly of using all-seasons through harsh winters. Then they crash. Sometimes they die.

These are not accidents, but inevitabilities. These are the consequences of ignoring common sense, the advice of experts, and trusting in mere words.

Take contraceptive jelly. I once had a girlfriend whose father was a doctor. After many months, I greeted him with Hello, Mr. Werner. He didn't like that. I didn't go to medical school, he said, so some boy trying to sleep with my daughter could call me anything other than doctor. He then launched into a tale of why those with actual knowledge deserve respect. Advanced degrees, he explained, are awarded to those who know the meaning of words laypeople use without understanding. That very morning he'd had a patient with an unexpected pregnancy. Why? Because rather than follow his instructions for the use of contraceptive jelly, she had smeared it on her morning toast and eaten it. Why did you eat it? he asked. Because, she said, it seemed easier than using it the other way.

The folly of trusting one's life to words over the advice of experts is a characteristic of children and fools. Children have an excuse. Adults do not.

Which brings us to self-driving cars. Poor choices are the moral raison d'etre of self-driving cars. Every other justification pales in comparison. I have faith that technology can solve problems, and one of those problems is road safety. Someday, maybe, self-driving cars will work in most places, in most conditions. Between now and then, they will only work in some places, sometimes. The irony is that for self-driving cars to work in more places, say, places where it snows, they will need much better software....and snow tires. If, like our deluded friend in the Tesla, you don't have snow tires, all-wheel drive isn't going to help, and nor will self-driving technology. It's almost inconceivable Tesla could ever enable "Full Self-Driving" in snowy conditions unless snow tires were installed, which would require a tire/car interface I'm pretty sure doesn't exist on current Teslas.

Tesla's aren't magic. They're cars like any other, and subject to the rules of Mother Physics, like every other.

If you want to drive in winter, buy snow tires. If you want to be driven in winter, whether by a human or self-driving technology that doesn't exist yet, you will need snow tires. If you're unwilling to buy them, your self-driving car won't move in the winter. It won't be able to, because the self-driving engineers are smarter than people who don't believe in snow tires and won't allow their self-driving tech to take the kind of risks idiots do every winter.

Which brings us back to square one. Safety isn't merely an option one can buy. It's a state of mind that starts with educating yourself as to the world as it is, not as we wish it to be. Education always leads to better outcomes, ignorance to the suboptimal. It's the choice between winter driving a Morgan 3-wheeler in chaps or taking the subway, trusting Business Insider over Barrons, a trip to Vegas over family therapy, listening to marketing people over race car drivers, and eating contraceptive jelly instead of...well, you get the idea.

Don't be an idiot. Death is suboptimal.

Editor-at-Large Alex Roy is also founder of Geotegic Consulting and the Human Driving Association, as well as host of The Autonocast. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and buy his book, The Driver.

New FIA-Approved Racing Suit Created by Sparco and McLaren Only Weighs 1.3 Pounds

It's often said that it's best to travel light—and it appears that McLaren Automotive and racewear manufacturer Sparco have taken that saying quite seriously. A partnership between the two racing powerhouses recently rendered a brand-new attire for professional racers who are looking for every possible advantage on the track: an FIA-approved racing suit that only weighs 1.3 pounds.

The Sparco McLaren SP16+ is a fire-retardant racing suit designed to weigh at least 10 percent less than the lightest suit currently available in the market. And at just 1.3 pounds (590 grams) for a size 42, it is claimed to be the lightest race suit to be approved by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). According to the British automaker, this lithe sporting attire is the suit worn by McLaren-Renault F1 racing drivers since 2016 and is now available for order by McLaren Automotive customers.

Helping the SP16+ achieve this ultra-lightweight characteristic is an ultra-slim zip, seamless Nomex wrists and ankles, smaller neck and shoulder pads, and ultra-thin thread for the stitching. A special two-layer construction of fireproof material reduces weight even more while retaining the much-needed breathability and comfort.

As is the tradition with Formula 1 racing suits, the Sparco McLaren SP16+ is completely hand-made in Italy and each suit takes more than 12 hours to complete. Just like McLaren’s road cars, the suit can be personalized to order with a variety of bespoke colors and options including side pockets, phone pocket, and belt. The customer also gets to match his or her suit to their race team livery or any other design of choice.

The Sparco McLaren SP16+ starts from £2,344; that's roughly $3,008 plus change. For bespoke options, add another $321 to the that. And of course, the ensemble doesn’t end there. You can also get a matching McLaren Bell HP7 Helmet for $3,295, McLaren RB-8 racing shoes for $298, a pair of McLaren RG-7 Racing Gloves for $288 and then there is also that thermal underwear—the type the keeps you cool. The Bespoke McLaren Shield RW-9 Underwear costs another $199.

Suit up, folks.

Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn and American Exec Ousted Over ‘Significant Acts of Misconduct’

Nissan is readying to set in place actions which would remove its long-time chairman Carlos Ghosn, the automaker confirmed Monday morning. Nissan claims it has uncovered what they are deeming to be "significant acts of misconduct" by Ghosn and Representative Director, American Greg Kelly.

The chairman was arrested in Tokyo on Monday by Japanese prosecutors for violating Japan's Financial Instruments and Exchange Act by under-reporting his compensation. Nissan goes on to say that Ghosn has been found to be suspect of "numerous" acts of other misconducts, including utilizing company funds and assets for personal use. The automaker also reports that it has been cooperating fully with Japanese investigators throughout the investigation.

According to a statement released by the automaker, Nissan is also setting out to remove Kelly, Nissan's Representative Director, who is said to have "deep involvement" with the scheme. The pair had been under investigation by Nissan for several months after receiving a whistleblower report which claimed Ghosn's misconduct had spanned over the course of several years. It is unknown if the two were collaborators or if the two incidents occurred unbeknownst to each other.

Japanese media stand outside the prosecutor's office after Ghosn's arrest Nov. 19, 2018.

"The investigation showed that over many years both Ghosn and Kelly have been reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn's compensation," Nissan wrote in a statement regarding the investigation, "Also, in regards to Ghosn, numerous other significant acts of misconduct have been uncovered, such as personal use of company assets, and Kelly's deep involvement has also been confirmed."

Financial statements show Ghosn's salary dipping from $9.7 million (1.09 billion Japanese Yen) in 2016 to $6.5 million (730 million JPY) in 2017, a reduction of nearly 33 percent. Reports indicate that 2017 was the first time in four years that the chairman's salary had been under $8.9 million (1 billion JPY).

Ghosn's unusually high pay rate had often made him the target of criticism in the Japanese business world, though it had often been excused due to the chairman's role in saving Nissan from bankruptcy after becoming the automaker's president in 2000. While running Nissan, Ghosn became CEO of Renault in 2005 and AvtoVaz in 2012, serving all three companies in the Nissan-Renault chain simultaneously.

In 2017, Ghosn revealed that he would be stepping down as president of Nissan and focusing on the company's alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi. Specifically, the chairman would be looking to revive the once-bountiful Mitsubishi by pushing his notoriously heavy cost-cutting measures onto the company. Earlier this year, Mitsubishi posted substantially increased profits since Ghosn's influence began, moving from a $1.87 billion net loss in its 2016 fiscal year to a $924.5 million profit for its 2017. It is unknown of the effects that the dismissal of Ghosn will have on the Nissan-Renault partnership, nor if it will impact Mitsubishi's future.

At the time of writing, Ghosn is still employed with Nissan, though the automaker's CEO, Hiroto Saikawa, is reportedly preparing a proposal to Nissan's Board of Directors to remove both Ghosn and Kelly from their respective positions within the company. Renault shares have fallen 14 percent in Paris

Joey Logano Wins First NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway

The 21st NASCAR Cup Series win of Joey Logano’s racing career was his biggest. The 28-year-old Team Penske driver triumphed at the Ford EcoBoost 400 season finale race on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and with that win came the title of 2018 Series champion.

“We did it! We won the championship! I can’t believe it! I don't know what to say,” Logano said. “This team, Roger Penske, Todd Gordon, the pit crew. Oh my God, they gave me the car I needed at the end to do my job. Put me in position to do my job. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Joey Logano celebrates a race win and NASCAR championship simultaneously at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 18, 2018.

The championship is Logano’s first in NASCAR’s premier series, the first for Ford since 2004, and the second ever for Team Penske.

“Just a lot of screaming. I think I pulled a muscle,” Logano said. “Man, I worked my whole life to get here to win a championship. We have been so close. It has been 10 seasons of fighting for this. I wasn’t sure we were going to get it but Todd [Gordon, crew chief] made a good adjustment at the end and we had that no-quit attitude.”

Logano's win also sealed the manufacturers' championship for Ford, the first for the company since 1999.

“It means a lot to me personally to have both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championship," Edsel B. Ford II said. "It has been since 1999, and I was there with Robert Yates and Dale Jarrett. Doing it again, 19 years later, it is absolutely indescribable to me.”

The four championship contenders were the top-four in the race finishing order, with reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr. taking runner-up honors in the final race for his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team. Kevin Harvick was third and Kyle Busch finished fourth.

The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 2018 Championship Four Drivers [L to R] Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Kevin Harvick answer press questions in Miami on Nov. 15, 2018.

Logano took his race-winning lead from Truex Jr. on Lap 255 of the 267-lap race. Truex Jr. had taken the lead on the final restart with 15 laps to go, and he and Logano battled closely for the remaining trips 'round Homestead.

“I just needed time. That’s all I needed," Truex Jr. said. "They were faster than us for 15 or 20 laps all day long. It was like a reverse scenario from last year. Last year we took advantage of the short run car at the end – the 18 [Busch] car should’ve won the race, and tonight, we should’ve won the race and they [Logano] took advantage of the short-run car. I don’t know what else we could’ve done. Honestly, we worked our guts out all weekend and just to get here. I told you earlier we shut a lot of people up and made them eat crow, and that felt good. To come here and almost upset the field and almost win it back-to-back was really awesome. I just wish that last caution hadn’t come out. Other than that, I don’t know what we could’ve done.”

The four title candidates ran inside the top-10 throughout the race. Harvick was the winner of each of the 80-lap stages in the first half of the race. He won the opening stage after taking the lead from polesitter Denny Hamlin on Lap 43. Kyle Larson led most of the second stage before losing the lead to Harvick on Lap 148.

Larson wound up hitting the wall later in the race, bringing out a caution on Lap 193.

Logano began the final 107-lap stage up front. He and Truex Jr. both led before a Busch pit strategy of staying out during a green-flag cycle of stops began on Lap 229, hoping for a caution. Busch got the yellow flag he was hoping for when Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Suarez suffered a flat tire on Lap 248.

Busch’s No. 18 JGR team struggled on pit road to that point, with Busch losing multiple positions during a handful of stops. On its final stop, though, the No. 18 team retained Busch’s lead. Busch lost that lead to Truex Jr. on the final restart with Logano decisively commandeering the position to gain his inaugural Cup Series trophy.

This 360 Video Of Soldiers Flying Through The Air While Tethered To A Black Hawk Is Nuts

Based in Hawaii, the Army's 25th Combat Aviation Brigade truly flies birds of paradise and sometimes soldiers hitch a ride on one of them without even climbing aboard. Known as Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction (SPIE), the long-proven method allows for soldiers to be quickly inserted into or extracted from enemy territory even in rough or obstructed terrain where a helicopter can't safely land. Beyond its critical tactical applications, it is the ultimate e-ticket ride, sending commandos slung below a charging helicopter flying through the air as a team. Even though you may have seen this technique before, I guarantee you have never seen it like how it is showcased in the 360 video below.

Here is a direct link to the Facebook video in case it doesn't propagate automatically below on your mobile device:

SPIE comes in two flavors, standard and 'wet,' the latter being for quickly plucking operators from the water as seen in the video above. SPIE and its closely related cousin, the Stabilized Body (STABO) method of aerial troop transfer, were developed by the U.S. military nearly 50 years ago and have since spread to many other militaries around the globe. It is especially popular among special operations communities.

U.S. Soldiers with the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) are lifted off the ground by a CH-47 Chinook helicopter during Special Purpose Insertion Extraction (SPIE) training event at Eglin Base Air Force Base.

Generally speaking, it works like this:

A helicopter drops a specially designed and weighted SPIE rope down to soldiers awaiting hookup below. The soldiers then attach their harnesses to the rope with carabiners via d-rings on the rope. Then the helicopter gently lifts them into the air and over any obstacles vertically before accelerating forward to a pre-set speed as crew chiefs monitor the action of the line below to make sure it stays within certain parameters.

U.S. Navy divers with the U.S. Navy SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1, Naval Special Warfare Group 3, dangle from the Special Patrol Insertion and Extraction (SPIE) rope attached to an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter assigned to 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, during SPIE training at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, June 18, 2013.

Once at the landing zone, the group of commandos is gently lowered back down to the ground and each member clears the area for the next to touch down safely while also keeping the line taught. It's a remarkably simple but highly effective way to make otherwise impossible or too risky rapid helicopter infiltrations and extractions a reality. In theory, it also allows the troops themselves to shoulder their weapons and return fire if need be as they approach or depart their pickup zone, although it seems the use of this tactic depends on the specific doctrine of the military and/or unit.

All the services, including the U.S. Coast Guard, use SPIE for various mission applications. Here a Navy EOD team practices SPIE extractions over the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in the 360 video belongs to 2nd Batallion, 25th Aviation Regiment based at Wheeler Army Airfield in central Oahu. Being based in Hawaii, the unit gets some awesome training opportunities between the diverse set of U.S. military units based locally and that rotate through the region as well as the international exercises that occur regularly around the islands.

Wheeler Army Airfield

So if you ever wanted to fly through the air with your buddies while strung beneath a helicopter—possibly while wet, at night, and while being shot at—I suggest you pay a visit to your local recruiting office, they can hook you up...literally!

Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com

William Byron Claims 2018 NASCAR Rookie of the Year Honors

William Bryon is the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year, NASCAR announced Thursday. He clinched the honor with a ninth-place finish in the Can-Am 500 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix on Nov. 4.

“We are proud of William Byron and the No. 24 Camaro ZL1 team for winning the 2018 Cup Series Rookie of the Year title,” Chevrolet U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Jim Campbell said in a press release from Chevrolet. “It’s great to have William on Team Chevy and we look forward to more great things from him in the future.”

Team owner Rick Hendrick moved Byron up to NASCAR’s Cup Series to drive the No. 24 Chevrolet after the driver won the 2017 Xfinity Series championship as a driver for JR Motorsports, co-owned by Hendrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Byron had four top-10 finishes in 36 races, including a best finish of sixth at Pocono Raceway.

William Byron drives the iconic No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet at Auto Cup Speedway on March 17, 2018.

“I would say I’m most proud of how we've grown or how I've grown,” Byron said. “There's been a lot of things to learn, so just how I've improved those things or how people have helped me improve those things, and looking forward to next year, what we have there.”

Byron is one of two rookies who competed full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series, the other being Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford. Byron led Wallace in rookie points, 574 to 455, heading into Sunday’s season finale, the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Wallace has one fewer top-10 finish than Byron, but he has one top-five, a career-best runner-up finish in the season-opening Daytona 500 in February.

F3 Driver Suffers Spinal Injuries in Tremendous Macau Grand Prix Crash

Drivers Sophia Florsch and Sho Tsuboi were involved in an intense crash during Lap 4 of the Formula 3 Grand Prix at Macau, taking place on Nov. 18. A spectator video of the incident shows the collision and aftermath, resulting in the injury of both drivers, two photographers, and an F3 official.

Florsch's car appears to lose control before entering the camera's frame, sliding through the bend, bumping into Tsuboi, and taking air before landing behind a course guardrail. As Florsch came to an abrupt stop, her car made contact with the three event workers. Sho Tsuboi then collided head-on with the guardrail. According to Motorsport.com, Florsch was clocking a speed of 171 miles per hour on the straightaway that preceded the crash, and lost control due to front-end damage sustained by contact with driver Jehan Daruvala.

An alternate angle posted to Twitter shows just how much momentum Florsch's car was carrying as it flew out of control through the air.

The BBC reports that the three track workers are stable, and currently being held in the hospital. Photographer Minami Hiroyuki is suffering from a concussion, and marshal Chan Cha In has a broken jaw and facial lacerations. The second photographer, Chan Weng Wang, has a laceration to the liver.

An update from Florsch's team, Van Amersfoort Racing, confirms that the 17-year-old German driver has suffered from a spinal fracture, but is otherwise responsive. She was able to make a social media post just four hours after the incident stating, "Just wanted to let everybody know that I am fine but will be going into Surgery tomorow morning."

Tsuboi was also admitted to the hospital complaining of lower back pain. The extent of his injuries are currently unknown.

Tyler Reddick Wins 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship at Homestead

Tyler Reddick was a winner three-times over at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday. With his win of the Ford EcoBoost 300 season-finale, Reddick also claimed the Xfinity Series championship and Rookie of the Year honors.

Tyler Reddick hoists the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion's trophy after winning the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 17, 2018.

“The year wasn’t the smoothest for us, but I knew coming in here, if we just made it to Homestead, this is a great track for me; it rewards my aggression,” Reddick said. “Tonight, we hit the wall a lot, but the car kept in one piece long enough for me to get to the end. These guys worked so hard all year on the BurgerFi Chevrolet. We had to overcome a lot. This year was all about learning. It was an up and down year, and with everything we had to do, we had to do it in the playoffs, and it rewarded us with a championship. We can hang our hat on that. I know people will say we weren’t consistent, but we got it done when it counted most.”

Reddick bookended the season with wins when he added his Homestead victory to his one other 2018 triumph in the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway in February.

Another championship competitor, Cole Custer, finished second after leading a race-high 95 of the 200 laps that made up the contest. With that finish, Custer claimed the 2018 Xfinity Series owners’ championship for his No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford team.

“First off, congrats to Tyler. I’m happy for him,” Custer said. “He could run the wall better than I could at the end there, and we were so far back from our pit stop with their strategy, that once I got to him, it seemed like our tires kind of equaled out, and then, he started running the top and I couldn’t keep up with him. It is what it is. It was a solid day. We had a fast car; we just didn’t have it play out right at the end. I’ve just got to thank everybody at Haas Automation, Gene Haas, Tony Stewart – everybody that’s been behind us all year. We were really close; it’s just sucks to be second.”

The No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing team collects hardware for the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series owners' championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 17, 2018.

Custer’s dominance came in the race’s first half. After starting on the pole, he led the first 93 laps, including stage wins at Lap 45 and Lap 90. He lost the lead during the caution after the second stage completed when John Hunter Nemechek was the first driver off pit road.

Reddick and a third title contender, Christopher Bell, combined to lead the remaining laps after a cycle of green-flag pit stops completed around Lap 150. Reddick took the lead for good on Lap 164. Bell fell off the pace and made an unscheduled stop for a flat tire with 10 laps remaining. He wound up 11th at the checkered flag.

“Not the night we wanted for the Gamestop Camry, that’s for sure,” Bell said. “But, overall, the season was excellent. We had a really fast Camrys week in and week out. Unfortunately tonight, I wasn’t good enough. Hats off to everyone on this team 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing and everyone at the shop. Thank you for building fast race cars. Congratulations to Tyler Reddick. He did a great job and went out to attack all night. It paid off for him.”

Bell was the only championship candidate outside the top-five at the finish. The remaining title contender, Daniel Hemric, was fourth.

2019 Porsche Macan: Finishing Touches Perfect Porsche’s People Pleaser

Year, Make, Model: 2019 Porsche Macan

Topline: Porsche's sporty crossover doesn't reinvent itself, but adds features with an emphasis on style and driver comfort.

What's New: The 2019 model gets a variety of small upgrades, such as new LED head and taillights, revised interior lighting, an optional sport wheel handed down from the 911, and a larger 10.9-inch touch screen console with improved navigation and a customizable user interface. New paint color options include Mamba Green Metallic, Dolomite Silver Metallic, Miami Blue, and Chalk.

The Macan also gains a feature that Porsche calls Traffic Jam Assist. When this assist is activated, the vehicle will have automated acceleration, braking, and lane-keeping at speeds up to 40 miles per hour. Additionally, the Macan's chassis has been re-tuned for a smoother ride.

Quotable: "The vehicle dynamics of the Macan remain its core feature. The updated chassis increases comfort and makes the Macan even more enjoyable to drive. As is typical for a sports car, the Macan comes with staggered sized tires, underscoring the benefits of rear-biased Porsche Traction Management all-wheel drive," reads Porsche's official release.

What You Need to Know: The Macan comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. This engine sends power to a seven-speed PDK gearbox and all-wheel-drive system, allowing the vehicle to accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 6.1 seconds with launch control equipped.

After getting an early start on international markets, the 2019 Macan will be making its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, running from Nov. 30 to Dece. 9. After the show, the revised crossover will make its way to U.S. dealers by the summer of 2019, sporting a base price of $49,900.