Pay slumps for Speedway Motorsports bosses amid NASCAR's continued problems

Sports / Auto Racing /

Amid NASCAR's continued struggles with ratings and attendance, the salaries of executives at Concord, N.C.-based Speedway Motorsports declined again last year.

Marcus Smith, 44, made just under $2.4 million in 2017, down from $2.44 million the prior year, according to a securities filing this week. Smith's pay includes a base pay of $600,000, ...Read more

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s famous No. 8 returning to Charlotte track this year

Sports / Auto Racing /

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s famous No. 8 will return for two Cup series races this year.

Xfinity series driver Daniel Hemric will make his Cup series debut in the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Richmond Raceway on April 21. Hemric will drive the No. 8 again at the new Charlotte Motor Speedway road course on Sept. 30. Charlotte ...Read more

NASCAR: William Byron can't yet 'set the world on fire,' but that will help in long run

Sports / Auto Racing /

We should all be impressed by William Byron right now.

Why? Because Byron, a rookie in NASCAR's Cup Series, is displaying maturity well beyond his years.

Here's what you have to remember about Byron whenever you talk about his potential, or expectations thrust upon him, or anything of that sort: He's 20. He's just a kid.

In addition to being ...Read more

Truex Jr. rules at Auto Club 400

Sports / Auto Racing /

FONTANA, Calif. -- Martin Truex Jr. held his breath as the laps wound down at the Auto Club 400 on Sunday.

After all, late-race caution periods that bunch up the field have been commonplace at the Fontana race, and that was the last thing that Truex -- who was cruising toward victory -- needed to see out the window of his No. 78 Toyota.

He ...Read more

Despite early push, Johnson extends winless streak

Sports / Auto Racing /

FONTANA, Calif. -- There would be no seventh time for "Seven Time."

Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time champion in NASCAR's Monster Energy Cup Series, also hoped to become the first driver to win seven Cup races at Auto Club Speedway and, in doing so, snap a 27-race winless streak.

Johnson certainly tried, storming into the top10 early in the Auto...Read more

NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson loses primary sponsor Lowe's for 2019 and beyond

Sports / Auto Racing /

For all 18 of Jimmie Johnson's seasons in NASCAR's Cup Series, he's had one sponsor plastered on his car.

Now that sponsor is leaving.

Hendrick Motorsports announced Wednesday that Lowe's, Johnson's chief sponsor for all seven of his championships, will not be back with the team in 2019 or beyond. Johnson, 42, signed a contract extension last ...Read more

NASCAR at Phoenix: What you need to know

Sports / Auto Racing /

Here's a brief breakdown of what you need to know for Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series TicketGuardian 500.

Race: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series TicketGuardian 500.

Distance: 312 laps, or 312 miles.

Where: ISM Raceway, a 1-mile, asphalt, trioval in Avondale, Arizona.

When: 3:30 p.m. EST Sunday.


Last year's winner: Ryan Newman.

Also ...Read more

NASCAR names 2019 Hall of Fame nominees

Sports / Auto Racing /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- To date, 45 men have been inducted into NASCAR's Hall of Fame. Five more will be inducted in 2019 -- and on Tuesday, we learned the names of the 20 men vying for those spots.

Headlined by four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, the 2019 nominees also include team owner Joe Gibbs, Dale Earnhardt's former crew chief Kirk ...Read more

Jeff Gordon hints he may come out of retirement … at least for one race

Sports / Auto Racing /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- In his 25-year NASCAR career, Jeff Gordon accomplished just about everything there is to do in stock car racing.

He won 93 races and four championships. Then he parlayed that on-track success into a broadcasting job with FOX, where he has worked as an analyst since his 2015 retirement (although he did run eight races in 2016 ...Read more

Austin Dillon's lucky penny story gets another surprising chapter

Sports / Auto Racing /

WELCOME, N.C. -- Austin Dillon thought it was just another run-of-the-mill interview.

After all, the 27-year-old NASCAR driver has had plenty of those since Sunday night, when he won his first Daytona 500. But instead, as he answered questions Wednesday morning at Richard Childress Racing, he was interrupted by a tap on his shoulder and a young...Read more

Dale Earnhardt Jr. after NASCAR retirement: 'Everything … is so much more enjoyable'

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The day was eventually going to come when Dale Earnhardt Jr. watched the race cars ride by without him.

Now it's actually here.

Earnhardt, as he has every year since 2000, was at Daytona International Speedway for the first two weekends of the NASCAR season. He signed autographs, same as usual. He strolled through the ...Read more

Sherry Pollex news, the fastest cars and more ahead of Sunday's Daytona 500

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The wait is almost over.

Here are some final notes and things you need to know before Sunday's Daytona 500, the NASCAR Cup Series' first race of the season:

-- Martin Truex Jr., the reigning Cup Series champion, has said this week that his No. 78 car just doesn't have its absolute speed, and he will start 24th. Not the ...Read more

Chris Buescher hopes third Daytona 500 produces better results

Sports / Auto Racing /

Chris Buescher didn't sugarcoat it. Restrictor-plate racing is not his forte, so he doesn't have grand visions of winning the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

But the 25-year-old Prosper, Texas, native is hopeful to post a better showing than he has his first two. Buescher had a second-to-last place finish of 39th in 2016, and improved just slightly to ...Read more

For Jimmie Johnson, what happened in Vegas has followed him to Daytona

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- An end-of-the-year banquet, like the one NASCAR holds annually in Las Vegas, is a time for celebration, for reflecting on the accomplishments of the past year and immortalizing them.

Tell that to Jimmie Johnson.

The longtime driver and one of NASCAR's last active legends was, well, less than pleased watching all those ...Read more

Reason Richard Petty hired Bubba Wallace, NASCAR's only black driver

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The questions come intermittently, sprinkled into a large group interview at Daytona International Speedway. But the central idea, like hot air and the truth, always rises.

So Bubba, what's it like being a black NASCAR driver?

And Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. (his sister gave him his nickname the day he was born) sits ...Read more

Dale Jr.? Gone. Jeff Gordon, too … NASCAR needs stars, good thing it has William Byron

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- It's a testament to William Byron that it took all of this -- free-falling from 18,000 feet, holding his breath to not pass out, doing loop-de-loops in a fighter jet -- to unnerve him even a little bit.

And even then, he really wasn't unnerved.

After all, when Byron climbed out an F-16 plane on Tuesday afternoon at ...Read more

NASCAR drivers address upheaval in sport, young vs. old, steakhouses, Super Bowl champs

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The 60th Daytona 500 is Sunday, and at Daytona 500 Media Day on Wednesday, there were storylines abound. From Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the future of NASCAR, here were some of the day's more interesting points:

--Does the current era represent the most upheaval NASCAR has seen in decades? It's a fair question, and one that 17...Read more

Some big NASCAR names discuss, finally, their interest in being part of a Panthers bid

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Some of the biggest names in NASCAR say they're interested in joining a bid to buy the Carolina Panthers.

As they prepare for the Daytona 500 this weekend, drivers Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch told the Observer on Wednesday that they have had conversations with potential bidders for the NFL franchise, which owner Jerry ...Read more

Replacement for Dale Jr. waited his turn so let Alex Bowman make his own NASCAR name

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The day was always going to come.

Rick Hendrick knew that much. What he didn't know was how he'd react.

"When Dale Earnhardt calls me and says he's going to retire," Hendrick said at Daytona International Speedway, "you know it's going to come one day, but it's a shock when it happens."

And it was for more than just ...Read more

NASCAR team owner Roger Penske confirms new Ford body coming in 2019

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- In 2017, it was Toyota's turn for a remodel. This season, it's the new Chevrolet Camaro.

It appears 2019 will be Ford's turn to update its product.

Speaking after Brad Keselowski won Sunday's Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway in a Ford, NASCAR team owner Roger Penske said that manufacturer's ...Read more