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Wreck in Daytona 500 spoils Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s return to NASCAR

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s highly anticipated return to racing ended early in Sunday's Daytona 500.

Earnhardt, who missed the second half of the 2016 season with a concussion, was caught up in a wreck on Lap 106. The damage was too severe for his No. 88 Chevy to return to race.

The wreck happened when Kyle Busch -- who won the...Read more

Kurt Busch wins wreck-marred Daytona 500

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Kurt Busch, taking advantage of fuel issues by his closest competitors, won Sunday's NASCAR season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

Pole-winner and race-leader Chase Elliott appeared to have the race under control until he ran out of gas on Lap 197 of the 200-lap race. Kyle Larson then took over the ...Read more

NASCAR: 5 bold Daytona 500 predictions

Sports / Auto Racing /

Here's what to expect in Sunday's Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway:

--Expect some confusion about some of the rules changes NASCAR has instituted for 2017. Hey, why are all those cars coming in after 60 laps (the first stage of three stages)? Why aren't they letting that car come back on the track from the garage (can't do that now...Read more

Jimmie Johnson not feeling pressure to win record eight championships

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Jimmie Johnson doesn't feel any pressure to do something in NASCAR that's never been done before -- win eight championships.

Instead, Johnson views it as a great opportunity. Rightfully so, as he's already established himself as this generation's greatest driver.

"I honestly -- I have nothing to be ashamed of in my ...Read more

Is NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson nearing Tom Brady, Tiger Woods status?

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Jimmie Johnson captured his record-tying seventh NASCAR Cup championship last season. A storyline for 2017 is obvious: the pressure to win an eighth -- thus separating him from icons Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty -- is ramping up on Johnson as the season gets underway with Sunday's Daytona 500 at Daytona International ...Read more

Will Chase Elliott follow in Jeff Gordon's footsteps?

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Chase Elliott will forever be linked to Jeff Gordon.

Elliott replaced Gordon in the famed No. 24 Chevrolet last season, and there's a chance for an even more unique link between the two Sunday.

If Elliott wins the Daytona 500, a real possibility considering he's starting from the pole position, it would mark his first ...Read more

William Byron moves home, graduates to next level in NASCAR education

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Attending college while trying to establish your racing career isn't necessarily a good match.

That, at least, is what Charlotte's William Byron discovered last fall.

Byron, in the midst of a record-setting rookie season on the NASCAR Truck series, was also beginning his freshman year at Liberty University in Lynchburg, ...Read more

New-look NASCAR: Will recent changes improve the sport? Time to find out

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR has made a series of changes for the 2017 season ranging from a new top-series sponsor to how the cars are set up to race.

It's a continuing effort to reverse a trend that has seen the sport's profile dip in recent years, with television ratings and attendance in a steady decline.

With the season set to begin in ...Read more

NASCAR Truck Series preview: Can Johnny Sauter repeat?

Sports / Auto Racing /

Johnny Sauter returns to defend his 2016 title when NASCAR's Truck Series opens its season Friday with the Nextera Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

Here are five storylines to watch in this season's Truck series:

Can Sauter do it again?

Sauter was opportunistic last season, taking advantage when rookie sensation William...Read more

Amid TV ratings and attendance drop, NASCAR tries to stay relevant

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- At least a dozen NASCAR-related billboards are seen on the hour drive up Interstate 4 from Orlando, Fla., to Daytona International Speedway.

Thousands of campers have already flooded the infield of the historic track and there's a noticeable buzz about NASCAR's signature event, the Daytona 500, being days away.

The ...Read more

Jimmie's quest for eight, Junior's return highlight NASCAR storylines

Sports / Auto Racing /

It has been three months since Jimmie Johnson put himself in NASCAR's most exclusive club with his seventh championship, joining Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. for most all-time.

Johnson's quest for a record eighth is the obvious storyline going into a 2017 season that will showcase plenty of changes to racing's top circuit.

NASCAR has ...Read more

Why can't Danica Patrick win? She doesn't capitalize at clutch moments, teammate says

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Danica Patrick is still looking for her first NASCAR victory, and Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch thinks he knows why: She isn't aggressive enough when it counts.

And Busch blames her open-wheel background.

"It's very difficult when you've grown up in the open-wheel world, where there's not a lot of contact, door...Read more

NASCAR predictions: Daytona 500 winner, Cup champion, Danica's best finish

Sports / Auto Racing /

With the Daytona 500 just days away, it's time to make some predictions about what's to come in the 2017 NASCAR Cup season.

Daytona 500 winner: The season-opening race takes so much offseason preparation for teams that it's not often a very good predictor of how the season will play out. It has also been won by drivers from seemingly out of ...Read more

Jamie McMurray focuses on victory lane, title chase as 2017 season dawns

Sports / Auto Racing /

During the last two seasons, Jamie McMurray raced his way into the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup field for the first times in his career.

He's also been eliminated during the first round both seasons, so the goal for 2017 is simple -- stay in the hunt until the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

That, of course, is every driver's ...Read more

Joey Logano avoids final-lap crash to capture NASCAR's Clash

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Joey Logano took full advantage of a wreck involving leaders Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski and won the Advanced Auto Parts Clash exhibition race Sunday at Daytona International Raceway.

After Hamlin and Keselowski spun on the final lap, Logano edged to the front and beat Kyle Busch, Alex Bowman and Danica Patrick to ...Read more

NASCAR's Greg Biffle says he won't race this season

Sports / Auto Racing /

Greg Biffle is swapping a spot in his NASCAR driver's cockpit for the television studio.

Biffle, 47, announced on Twitter on Friday that he won't race in the Cup series this season, which begins Feb. 26 with the Daytona 500. He said he has accepted a position as a guest analyst on NBC Sports' NASCAR America. His first segment will air March 1 ...Read more

Young, charismatic and Spanish speaking: Auto racing's newest star is NASCAR's dream driver

Sports / Auto Racing /

The Daytona 500 is next weekend. When you tune in, watch for the No. 19 car, a bright orange 2018 Toyota Camry.

Behind the wheel will be a 25-year-old driver who's knocking down barriers for Hispanic racers, one lap at a time.

His name is Daniel Suarez, and avid NASCAR fans have known about him for some time.

Suarez was the Xfinity Series ...Read more

NASCAR Xfinity Series: New champ, new teams, big change for 2017

Sports / Auto Racing /

The NASCAR Xfinity Series season gets underway soon, with the Powershares QQQ 300 set for Feb. 25 at Daytona International Speedway.

Here's what you need to know about this season's Xfinity series:

A new champion

Daniel Suarez, who won the 2016 title, has moved up to the Cup series, taking the seat of the No. 19 Toyota left vacant by Carl ...Read more

NASCAR announces it won't wait to punish pre-race rule breakers

Sports / Auto Racing /

NASCAR has decided it will no longer wait to discipline pre-race rules violators.

Instead, some rules violations caught during pre-qualifying and pre-race inspections, punishment will be handed out that weekend, rather than being announced the following week. The changes are effective immediately.

The penalties will be determined by what ...Read more

NASCAR driver Mike Wallace drops charges in post-concert beating

Sports / Auto Racing /

Charges have been dismissed against three men accused of beating NASCAR driver Michael Wallace and his daughter, Lindsey, after a Rascal Flatts concert at PNC Amphitheater in June.

The charges were dismissed at the request of Wallace and his daughter, according to dismissal forms filed by a prosecutor on Friday in Mecklenburg (N.C.) County ...Read more