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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

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s replacement takes Daytona 500 pole

Sports / Auto Racing /

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. isn't behind the wheel of the No. 88 car anymore, but his replacement is already carrying on the car's storied legacy.

Alex Bowman, Earnhardt's replacement at Hendrick Motorsports, won the pole Sunday for next weekend's Daytona 500, the first race of the NASCAR Cup Series season. It is Bowman's second ...Read more

'The Clash' at Daytona International Speedway preview

Sports / Auto Racing /

Everything you need to know about Sunday's NASCAR "The Clash" at Daytona International Speedway.

Race: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Advance Auto Parts Clash.

Distance: 75 laps, or 187.5 miles.

Where: Daytona International Speedway, a 2.5-mile, asphalt tri-oval in Daytona Beach, Fla.

When: 3 p.m. Sunday.

TV: FS1.

Last year's winner: ...Read more

If Ford's NASCAR teams retire the Fusion, perhaps there's a bolder name than Mustang

Sports / Auto Racing /

If the Ford Fusion gets retired from the automaker's passenger-car lineup, what nameplate should replace it in the NASCAR Cup Series?

There's an obvious candidate, but if Ford Performance asked me -- it won't -- I'd offer another suggestion.

1. Why will the Ford Fusion be replaced?

There are two Fusions at question here, the midsize passenger...Read more

2018 NASCAR predictions: Most improved, playoff favorites, Cup champion and more

Sports / Auto Racing /

From a journalistic standpoint, there's a clear downside to making any sort of predictions: What if you're wrong?

The NASCAR season takes almost the entire calendar year -- trying to foretell the final outcome at the very beginning is challenging, to put it mildly. And given the internet's permanency, these predictions aren't going anywhere.

...Read more

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plans to race at least one more time, and at his lucky track

Sports / Auto Racing /

After retiring in November from NASCAR's Cup Series, Dale Earnhardt Jr. pulled a stunner over the weekend and announced plans to drive in an Xfinity series race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway in the fall.

"Right now I just have the fall 1/8at3/8RichmondRaceway race on my schedule," Earnhardt tweeted. "Want to do more. Offering sponsorship packages ...Read more

Martin Truex Jr.'s Hall of Fame chances, and other notes from media day

Sports / Auto Racing /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NASCAR media day is a bit of a misnomer -- it's really three days, a full-out event geared to prepare NASCAR fans and media members for the start of the season.

On Monday, the event kicked off with Charlotte Motor Speedway's announcement of an updated Roval course, which was met with mixed opinions. The festivities continued ...Read more

NASCAR drivers on Panthers ownership rumors, plus other things we learned at media day

Sports / Auto Racing /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With the Daytona 500 less than a month away, NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway are hosting a media gathering through Wednesday. Here are 10 things we learned on Tuesday, in the first real interaction with drivers of the 2018 season:

-- The Observer recently reported that a local group preparing an ownership bid to purchase ...Read more

Danica Patrick lands ride for her NASCAR farewell race … the Daytona 500

Sports / Auto Racing /

It appears Danica Patrick will get her shot at the Danica Double (or at least half of it), after all.

Patrick, a longtime NASCAR driver, announced her retirement from the sport in November at the Homestead, Fla., championship race. But her emotional announcement came with a caveat -- she would still try to run February's Daytona 500 in February...Read more

Danica Patrick gets funds for 'Danica Double' but a critical element still missing

Sports / Auto Racing /

When Danica Patrick tearfully announced her retirement from NASCAR in November, it came with a caveat: that she would run two final races -- the Daytona 500 in February and the Indianapolis 500 in May -- as a send-off to her fans.

While that idea sounded nice, there were some logistical issues, such as: Who would sponsor Patrick? Which team ...Read more

Ford came up just short for the 2017 NASCAR title. Will 2018 bring another letdown?

Sports / Auto Racing /

Two out of four slots ain't bad odds, especially when there's a championship on the line.

And that's the situation Ford found itself in in November at the NASCAR Cup Series title race. With both Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick among the final four at Homestead (with the other drivers, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch, belonging to Toyota), ...Read more

Dale Earnhardt Jr. responds to rumors about his involvement in Panthers ownership bid

Sports / Auto Racing /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Felix Sabates, a Charlotte businessman who is part of a local group preparing a bid to purchase the Carolina Panthers, told the Charlotte Observer last week that two NASCAR drivers are affiliated with the group.

And although Sabates declined to name the drivers, that didn't keep rumors from spreading about who they might be. ...Read more