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Jennifer Jo Cobb set to become first woman in a NASCAR Cup race since Danica Patrick

Sports / Auto Racing /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After nearly two decades of NASCAR starts, Jennifer Jo Cobb is set to make her debut in the sport’s top series. Rick Ware Racing announced Tuesday that Cobb — a 47-year-old from Kansas City, Kan. — will race the No. 15 Chevrolet at Talladega on April 25.

She will become the first woman to race in the Cup Series since ...Read more

NASCAR power rankings this week: The best drivers heading to Richmond

Sports / Auto Racing /

NASCAR heads to Richmond Raceway this weekend for the Toyota Owners 400. The ninth race of the Cup season is Sunday, April 18 at 3 p.m. on Fox.

Below are The Charlotte Observer’s NASCAR power rankings for the week of April 12. This list will be updated each week.

HONORABLE MENTION:

Chase Elliott ran consistently at Martinsville, finishing ...Read more

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Martin Truex Jr.'s late-race pass of Denny Hamlin key in Martinsville win

Sports / Auto Racing /

RIDGEWAY, Va. — Rain postponed NASCAR’s original Saturday night racing plans, but the Cup Series wrapped at Martinsville under the lights anyway on Sunday.

Despite Denny Hamlin’s best efforts to fend off his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Martin Truex Jr. swiped the lead with 15 laps left to win his second race of the season, outdistancing ...Read more

NASCAR driver Taylor Gray hospitalized in North Carolina after car crash

Sports / Auto Racing /

NASCAR driver Taylor Gray was involved in a car crash Wednesday night, according to his David Gilliland Racing team.

The single-car accident took place in Statesville, N.C., and Gray was transported to a local hospital, where he remains in stable condition, DGR said in a statement issued Thursday morning. The extent of any injuries is not yet ...Read more

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NASCAR dirt race at Bristol postponed due to rainy weather, flash flooding

Sports / Auto Racing /

BRISTOL, Tenn. — NASCAR has postponed its Cup Series dirt race at Bristol until 4 p.m. Monday, citing overnight heavy rainfall and local flood warnings, safety concerns and a menacing Sunday forecast at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The historic Food City Dirt Race, an event that will mark the first time NASCAR’s Cup Series races on dirt in 51 ...Read more

Rain ruins NASCAR’s Bristol dirt plans. Here’s the latest race schedule.

Sports / Auto Racing /

BRISTOL, Tenn. — The trucks made one muddy lap before NASCAR put the first heat race at Bristol on hold. Shortly thereafter, more rain poured down and the sport’s grand plans for the weekend changed.

NASCAR canceled its Saturday heat races for the Cup and Truck Series, and rescheduled its Truck race — originally scheduled for 8 p.m. ...Read more

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NASCAR to continue iRacing events even though real races are back on track

Sports / Auto Racing /

Tim Clark began sending out texts before the meeting had even ended.

This was last spring, when like the rest of the sports world NASCAR was forced to suspend its season during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. As fellow series executives figured out how to halt live races, Clark, NASCAR's chief digital officer, was already ...Read more

Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com

Alex Andrejev: NASCAR has 6 winners in 6 races this year. There’s a reason for the parity.

Sports / Auto Racing /

HAMPTON, Ga. — Ryan Blaney became the sixth different winner in as many races this NASCAR season when he took the checkered flag at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday. When reminded of this fact, he cracked a smile.

“Happy I’m one of ‘em!” Blaney said. “We got to five and I was like, ‘Whew. We’re stacking ‘em up pretty quick. I ...Read more

Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

NASCAR final: Ryan Blaney wins at Atlanta with late-lap pass

Sports / Auto Racing /

HAMPTON, Ga. — Kyle Larson hardly raced his competition at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He just passed them. Larson led 269 laps of the 325-lap race in NASCAR’s Cup race in Hampton, Ga. and was on the precipice of winning his second race of the season.

Until Ryan Blaney took the lead.

BLANEY STEALS THE WIN

Ryan Blaney led just 25 laps Sunday ...Read more

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NASCAR is using coronavirus-sniffing dogs at Atlanta race. Here's why and how they work.

Sports / Auto Racing /

The next step in NASCAR's COVID-19 detection protocols comes with four paws and a tail.

Two highly trained dogs will greet roughly 1,000 crew members, officials, and essential racing personnel at Atlanta Motor Speedway ahead of this Sunday's Cup race to determine whether they have the virus prior to entering the track's garage area. It's a ...Read more

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Aric Almirola had a 'horrendous' start to NASCAR season. He needs to clean up mistakes.

Sports / Auto Racing /

Aric Almirola pulled no punches Tuesday when asked to evaluate the season so far for his No. 10 Ford team.

“Obviously, we got off to a horrendous start,” Almirola said. “Not getting the points and bad finishes. The best thing that’s happened to us all year is we won the Duel and got 10 points.”

Since winning the first Duel at Daytona...Read more

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Kevin Harvick has gone 11 straight NASCAR races without a win. No, he's not worried.

Sports / Auto Racing /

Lest you forget Kevin Harvick’s dominance in 2020, the NASCAR driver sat poised on Zoom on Tuesday between two of the nine trophies he won last year, a reminder that one bad finish at Las Vegas this week can’t take away his 58 career Cup wins.

Harvick spoke with reporters ahead of Sunday’s Cup race at Phoenix, where he’s led nearly 15% ...Read more

Kyle Larson wins NASCAR Cup race at Las Vegas

Sports / Auto Racing /

Kyle Larson didn’t compete in a NASCAR competition for almost a full year, but it took him just four short races in 2021 to return to Victory Lane.

Larson dominated Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his first win of the season and his first victory driving the No. 5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.

“I didn’t know...Read more

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Get used to the Cook Out Southern 500. Burgers and BBQ are sticking in NASCAR.

Sports / Auto Racing /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR's race names are typically a mouthful to spotlight sponsors. This year's Cup schedule includes the "Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard powered By Florida Georgia Line." The Xfinity Series raced the "Beef. It's What's For Dinner 300" at Daytona last month. The Truck Series had the "BrakeBest Brake Pads 159 At ...Read more

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William Byron wins NASCAR race at Homestead

Sports / Auto Racing /

Charlotte native William Byron claimed his second win in his Cup Series career Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He led a race-high 102 laps of the 267-lap race and won the second stage of NASCAR’s Dixie Vodka 400.

Tyler Reddick finished second, and Martin Truex Jr. finished third.

“Get used to winning, boys, get used to it,” Byron’s...Read more

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Greg Cote: Michael Jordan, Pitbull signal needed new era as NASCAR returns to Homestead this week

Sports / Auto Racing /

NASCAR feels different as it returns to Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend for the main-race Dixie Vodka 400 on Sunday after Saturday’s undercard Xfinity Series race.

It still feels different for the wrong reasons as the ongoing COVID-19 threat entering its second year continues to limit crowds and drivers’ time at the track.

It feels ...Read more

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Chase Elliott eyes Daytona road course win after tough week

Sports / Auto Racing /

Driver Chase Elliott has left Daytona International Speedway the past five Februaries plenty frustrated.

Elliott’s runner-up finish to longshot Michael McDowell during Sunday’s Daytona 500 was the toughest setback to date.

Instead of packing up and heading to the next stop on the schedule, Elliott gets one more chance to leave the iconic ...Read more

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For Jeff Gordon, broadcasting offers plenty of familiar NASCAR thrills

Sports / Auto Racing /

Jeff Gordon was ready for the final lap of the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

After a 25-year NASCAR career that included four NASCAR Cup Series championships, the Hall of Famer knew to expect a crash once the white flag came out for the race’s final lap.

“You know that leader, no matter who it is, is going to try to do their best to protect that ...Read more

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Hailie Deegan is learning in NASCAR's spotlight. She opens up about sensitivity, Daytona.

Sports / Auto Racing /

During the Daytona 500 rain delay that pushed NASCAR’s headline event from Sunday afternoon to early Monday morning, Hailie Deegan was talking to racing fans.

“I had to do the Daytona 500 Watch Party for Fox,” Deegan told The Charlotte Observer. “So I was answering questions from fans for about five, six hours.”

The world of fan ...Read more

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Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints star, to sponsor Xfinity car at Daytona

Sports / Auto Racing /

Alvin Kamara is spending the early part of his off-season at Daytona International Speedway.

Just days after the All-Pro running back for the New Orleans Saints was at the Daytona 500, he announced Wednesday that he's partnered with JD Motorsports to sponsor the No. 6 Chevy, driven by Ryan Vargas, in Saturday's Xfinity race on Daytona's Road ...Read more