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Ryan Newman's speech inspired his team before Daytona 500

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- During an all-hands meeting at Roush Fenway Racing in January, No. 17 driver Chris Buescher hung toward the back of the room while his teammate, Ryan Newman, took center stage. Newman wanted to give an inspiring speech to rally his teammates before the 2020 season kicked off.

"I literally ended (the meeting) and he said, ...Read more

Breaking down how Ryan Newman's crash at the Daytona 500 happened

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- As Denny Hamlin made his way to victory lane Monday night, Ryan Newman made his way to the hospital. In the final minutes of one of NASCAR's most iconic races, the Daytona 500, Hamlin narrowly missed Newman's spinning car, which was tapped by Ryan Blaney.

Blaney crossed the finish line in second place.

"I don't know," ...Read more

This NASCAR driver will win Daytona 500 unless one of these darkhorses gets there first

Sports / Auto Racing /

Predicting a Daytona 500 winner is never going to be an easy exercise.

It's difficult to go by recent performances in NASCAR's season-opening race, which is set for a 2:30 p.m. start Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, because there haven't been back-to-back winners since 1994 and '95, when Sterling Marlin pulled it off.

And finding a ...Read more

Daytona 500 for dummies: A NASCAR newcomer's guide to the Great American Race

Sports / Auto Racing /

NASCAR's season-opening Daytona 500 is Sunday.

No other race will attract as much buzz throughout the season or be seen by as many fans on television. So if you're new to the sport or just curious about what all the fuss is about, here are few things to know about the Great American Race:

The 500 is often referred to as NASCAR's Super Bowl. ...Read more

Can Team Penske dethrone Joe Gibbs Racing? Three NASCAR storylines to follow in 2020.

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA, Fla. -- With the NASCAR season kicking off at Sunday's Daytona 500, the Charlotte Observer breaks down what to look for in the sport's top series in 2020. Here's what we're following:

-- Jimmie Johnson enters his final (and chilliest) year

It's Jimmie Johnson's final full-time season of Cup racing and he's "not chasing anything," ...Read more

The secret to beating Joe Gibbs Racing at the Daytona 500? Good luck figuring it out.

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Denny Hamlin sat in the middle of a swarm of microphones and a tangle of reporters' arms at NASCAR's Media Day on Wednesday. Everyone wanted to hear what the reigning Daytona 500 champion had to say five days before this year's season opener.

"We've been a factor to win every Daytona 500 it seems like for the last decade,...Read more

Daytona 500: Jimmie Johnson embraces marathon day; Daniel Suarez scrambles

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson was off racing on Sunday while most of his fellow drivers were having their first cup of coffee.

Donning his famous No. 48 on his race bib and with his competitive fire burning, Johnson left the starting line a little after 7 a.m. during the Daytona Beach Half Marathon.

Recounting the events ...Read more

Kevin Harvick wants short track wins after rule changes

Sports / Auto Racing /

For Stewart-Haas Racing and the team's No. 4 driver, Kevin Harvick, reverting back to old rules is a welcome change.

"I feel like we're in a way different spot than we were last year," Harvick said. "I don't think any of us were very excited about the rules package and the way 2018 ended for us because we felt like we were in a good position to...Read more

NASCAR is changing stage lengths of 16 races in 2020

Sports / Auto Racing /

NASCAR announced Tuesday changes to the stage lengths at 16 Cup Series races for the 2020 season.

The adjustments primarily involve reducing the number of laps in the third stage to ensure enough fuel at the finish, adding more strategy at certain races and eliminating green-flag pit stops at others.

"Last year, we went to a 550 horsepower ...Read more

NASCAR Cup champion Kyle Busch proved he has speed and stamina at the Rolex 24

Sports / Auto Racing /

Reigning NASCAR Cup champion Kyle Busch made his debut at IMSA and the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend, where he notched 4 1/2 strong hours driving the No. 14 GTD entry for AIM Vasser Sullivan.

Although his team finished 26th overall and ninth in the GTD class, which included 18 teams, Busch proved he's got the chops for endurance racing at ...Read more

NASCAR Cup rookie Christopher Bell is ready to roll the dice at the Daytona 500

Sports / Auto Racing /

Christopher Bell is coming off a successful run in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he won 15 races over the last two seasons. This year, Bell is making the jump to the big leagues with a shot at being a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate.

He will race in the NASCAR Cup Series in the No. 95 Toyota for Leavine Family Racing.

Bell sat down with...Read more

Three big changes and what they mean for the future of NASCAR

Sports / Auto Racing /

Lots of news has broken in NASCAR over the past few weeks. Let's put some if into context:

NEW SPONSORSHIP MODEL

The news: NASCAR announced earlier this month it will move away from a single-entity title sponsorship model to have four separate premium sponsors. The four sponsors -- Busch Beer, Coca-Cola, Geico and Xfinity -- take over from ...Read more

Junior Johnson, a racing icon who ran moonshine before NASCAR fame, dies at age 88

Sports / Auto Racing /

NASCAR icon Junior Johnson, whose rich history as a driver, mechanic and team owner began as a moonshiner outrunning the law in the NC mountains, has died, NASCAR said Friday. He was 88.

Johnson's death was confirmed by the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., according to NASCAR. Johnson's health had declined and he entered hospice care ...Read more

Chevrolet faces year of transition in 2020 with Jimmie Johnson retiring

Sports / Auto Racing /

The 2020 NASCAR Cup season figures to be a transitional one for Chevrolet -- especially for the brand's flagship team, Hendrick Motorsports.

Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson will retire after the season, meaning Hendrick will be on the lookout for a fourth driver to partner with young up-and-comers William Byron, Chase Elliott and Alex ...Read more

After a magical 2019 NASCAR season, Toyota looks for more in 2020

Sports / Auto Racing /

A NASCAR Cup championship. Another manufacturer's title.

The 2019 NASCAR season was memorable for Toyota. Driving the No. 18 Toyota, Kyle Busch became the 16th multiple champion in Cup history. Thanks primarily to Joe Gibbs Racing's depth (three drivers in the championship four), Toyota also claimed its third manufacturer's title in the past ...Read more

2020 NASCAR Ford preview: Expect Team Penske, Stewart-Haas drivers to contend again

Sports / Auto Racing /

When you have just one driver advance to the NASCAR Cup championship four and then he's not there at the end -- a season can be described as a disappointment.

At least that's the case at Ford, a manufacturer that's used to winning championships at the Cup level but didn't achieve that this season.

Although Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick ...Read more

New schedule, new faces (new sponsor?): Changes coming to NASCAR in 2020

Sports / Auto Racing /

Kyle Busch has been crowned champion for a second time and the NASCAR Cup season has been put to bed.

What's to come for the upcoming 2020 season? Let's put this way: Although the season will begin as it usually does, with February's Daytona 500, changes are coming next season that have the potential to significantly alter the sport.

Here are ...Read more