Wheldon's memory hangs over Las Vegas 11 years after death
The memory of Dan Wheldon hung over Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, the 11th anniversary of his fatal crash, as NASCAR opened the third round of its playoffs at the track. It marked the first time a major race has been held at Las Vegas on the anniversary of Wheldon's 2011 death. The 33-year-old British driver died when his head hit a post after his car went airborne and sailed about 325 feet into the catchfence as part of a 15-car accident in the IndyCar season finale.news.yahoo.com
William Byron wins NASCAR appeal and regains playoff points
An appeals panel on Thursday reinstated the 25 points William Byron had been docked by NASCAR for deliberately spinning championship rival Denny Hamlin, a critical decision that helps his playoff hopes. The three-person panel found that Byron did break a NASCAR rule for spinning Hamlin under caution.news.yahoo.com
Daytona champ Cindric takes pole in wild session at Fontana
Austin Cindric followed up his Daytona 500 victory by earning his first career pole in the NASCAR Cup series Saturday at Auto Club Speedway during a tumultuous debut for the new practice and qualifying format at intermediate tracks. Cindric posted the fastest average lap speed in his Team Penske Ford at 174.647 mph, holding off Erik Jones (174.157 mph) and capping an eventful morning for NASCAR’s first practice and qualifying session on a 2-mile oval with its Next Gen cars. “There’s so much learning going on, and obviously it’s all happening really fast,” said the 23-year-old Cindric, who earned his first career Cup victory at Daytona.news.yahoo.com
Roger Penske bullish on large crowd for Indianapolis 500
FILE - Roger Penske looks over the track from the grandstand at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, in this Thursday, July 2, 2020, file photo. There will be fans at this year's Indianapolis 500, Penske said Monday, March 22, 2021, but how many remains a moving target based on pandemic restrictions. (AP Photo/Jenna Fryer, File)A fully vaccinated Roger Penske is hard at work at Indianapolis Motor Speedway preparing for a full season of racing that will include spectators at his showcase event. There will be fans at this year's Indianapolis 500, Penske said Monday, but how many remains a moving target based on COVID-19 restrictions. Penske noted Monday that the positivity rate for COVID-19 for Marion County, where Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located, was 3.1%.
Ty Gibbs stuns grandfather, wins in first career NASCAR race
It was the very first NASCAR national series race for Ty Gibbs, who jumped two steps from ARCA to Xfinity for his debut. Ty Gibbs is the second-youngest winner in Xfinity Series history. But as his grandson crossed the finish line, his glasses fogged and he hugged a Joe Gibbs Racing team member. JGR has yet to announce a full 2021 schedule for Ty Gibbs, but his grandfather said the details are decided by Coy Gibbs. They picked the Daytona road course for his debut because Ty Gibbs finished second here in last year’s ARCA race.
Logano wants peace at Penske following Daytona 500 crash
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A truce has yet to be called in the Team Penske camp amid friction following the last lap Daytona 500 crash between teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. To me, the biggest heartbreak of this whole thing is that there are 400 people at Team Penske asking where their Daytona 500 bonus is and it’s up in a ball of flames up in turn three.”Three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin bristled at Logano's deflection. The Daytona crash belied Roger Penske's edict that his drivers are permitted to race one another hard so long as they don't wreck. That’s a great problem to have.”It remains to be seen how Keselowski chooses to work with Logano going forward. Logano, also a Cup champion and the 2015 Daytona 500 winner, doesn't have the same job security concerns.
Cindric starts new season with big Xfinity win at Daytona
Austin Cindric celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Austin Cindric launched his bid for a second consecutive Xfinity Series title with a victory in Saturday night's season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Cindric makes his Cup Series debut Sunday in the Daytona 500. “What a way to start the season,” Cindric said. Cindric won the Xfinity Series debut on Daytona’s road course last August as well as a rallycross event early in his career. The 22-year-old has this final season in Xfinity before moving next year to Cup to drive for Penske-supported Wood Brothers Racing.
Hiccup for Hendrick Motorsports ahead of Daytona 500
Alex Bowman and William Byron were slated to lead the Daytona 500 field to green but that's in danger following Thursday night's qualifying races. Byron was collected in a crash in the second Duel and it ruined his Chevrolet. AdAustin Cindric and Kaz Grala both earned their first berths into the Daytona 500 by claiming the two available transfer positions in the Duels. He was the leader on the final lap of the second Duel until Dillon crossed to Wallace’s inside and inched ahead. “We’ve got an incredible race car and I can’t wait for the Daytona 500.”
NASCAR champion Busch tries to stave off elimination
Busch doesn't need to win on the “Roval” to advance, but there's only five races remaining for him to improve his season. The Sunday forecast calls for an 80% chance for rain and the road course portion of the Roval permits NASCAR to race in wet conditions. The Cup drivers have never before used rain tires in competition. NASCAR stopped the Xfinity Series race for about 40 minutes Saturday so its track dryers could push water off the racing surface. "What is the drainage like at that racetrack through the infield road course?
DiBenedetto keeps ride as Cindric promotion to Cup delayed
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)Team Penske found a one-year solution for Matt DiBenedetto while building a long-term plan to move Austin Cindric to the Cup Series. Cindric, currently competing in the Xfinity Series for Penske, will take over the seat in 2022. Cindric will compete in both Xfinity Series next season as well as select Cup races. Cindric, meanwhile, was the Xfinity Series regular season champion and is currently racing for the championship. "Another season of experience in the Xfinity Series will be beneficial and I’m looking forward to competing in some Cup Series races in 2021 to prepare for a full season in 2022.”
Chastain snags Ganassi Cup ride in busy NASCAR free agency
"Racing in the Cup Series with a serious contender has always been my goal, and I’m looking forward to joining what is a very strong team. Chase Briscoe began the year chasing eight victories, the number he believes will earn him a Cup ride, and he won his seventh race last weekend. Carpoff in November 2018 named Chastain the driver of a full Xfinity Series ride at Ganassi that would be sponsored by DC Solar. The sponsorship money evaporated, Ganassi shuttered the Xfinity Series team and Chastain was out of a job about six weeks before the 2019 season opener. He ran 35 Cup races, made 19 starts in the Xfinity Series and raced for the Truck Series championship for Niece Motorsports.
Ryan Blaney hopes to avoid playoff elimination at Bristol
With a bit of disbelief over his fast fall in the NASCAR standings, Ryan Blaney is determined to avoid elimination from the playoffs. William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto and Blaney are the four drivers below the cutline headed into the knockout race. “This whole group, this team, we are not a 16th-place-in-points team,” Blaney said. 12 team was also off last week at Richmond, where Blaney finished 19th to fall to the edge of elimination. Cole Custer trails Bowyer by eight points, while DiBendetto is 25 points behind and Blaney is 27 points out.
Newgarden gives Penske sweep of Iowa doubleheader
Josef Newgarden leads Will Power, of Australia, right, during the IndyCar Series auto race, Saturday, July 18, 2020, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)NEWTON, Iowa Josef Newgarden led nearly wire-to-wire Saturday night to win the IndyCar race at Iowa Speedway, giving team owner Roger Penske a sweep of the doubleheader and his fourth victory across three series this weekend. Team Penske has 13 drivers completing in five series across two continents this weekend. The two Penske entries in the IMSA race at Sebring struggled earlier Saturday. The veteran driver did the same thing in Race 1, leaving black marks on the wall about 30 yards apart.