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How NASCAR is working to put a spark back into races

Sports / Auto Racing /

NASCAR is in trouble.

The sport's attendance and TV viewership numbers have been in a free fall for almost a decade. The lengthy list of reasons includes the Great Recession, the rise of cord-cutting, the comforts of home-viewing, confusing rule changes and the supposed political correctness of the drivers.

And even though Sunday's AAA Texas ...Read more

When crash killed a mechanic for Earnhardt-owned team, more than speed was a factor

Sports / Auto Racing /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A NASCAR mechanic on one of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Mooresville-based JR Motorsports teams had a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit for driving when he died in a wreck in August, a toxicology report shows.

Adam Wright died when he veered off curvy Flower House Loop in Troutman and his car went airborne ...Read more

Michael Waltrip Racing, pit crew member resolve legal dispute

Sports / Auto Racing /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Michael Waltrip Racing and a pit crew member who filed a wrongful-firing lawsuit against the now-defunct team have "amicably resolved their disputes," both sides said in a statement Wednesday. Terms were not disclosed.

Tire changer Brandon Hopkins sued the defunct Cornelius-based motorsports team in 2015. He claimed he was ...Read more

Danica Patrick prepares for career transition as potential NASCAR retirement looms

Sports / Auto Racing /

Danica Patrick has always known she wouldn't race cars forever.

Now, that reality may be less than a month away as she prepares for Sunday's Texas AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Patrick is leaving Stewart-Haas Racing after Nature's Bakery ended its sponsorship agreement with the team in January with two years remaining on the contract. ...Read more

Kyle Busch survived wrecks, fighting and all the drama, now he has his golden ticket

Sports / Auto Racing /

RIDGEWAY, Va. -- Kyle Busch is leaving Martinsville Speedway with a grandfather clock, a golden ticket and for once, a clean record.

A few explanations. First: the clock, an ornate wooden masterpiece, is a tradition in NASCAR, given annually to the winner at Martinsville, which Busch was by the end of the afternoon Sunday. So he stood with his ...Read more

Insane Martinsville race ends with Kyle Busch win and massive last-lap wreck

Sports / Auto Racing /

RIDGEWAY, Va. -- Mangled cars were strewn across the track, drivers were shouting at each other from inches apart, and there was Kyle Busch, squeezing through all the chaos and across the finish line.

The easy takeaway to be gleaned from the insanity at Martinsville is that Busch has punched his ticket to Homestead, where he'll race for a ...Read more

NASCAR at Martinsville: The skinny on Sunday's race at the Cup Series' shortest track

Sports / Auto Racing /

Here's a quick look at Sunday's race:

Race: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series First Data 500

Distance: 500 laps, or 263 miles.

Where: Martinsville Speedway, a .526-mile, asphalt and concrete oval in Ridgeway, Va.

When: 3 p.m. EDT, Sunday.

TV: NBCSN.

Last year's winner: Jimmie Johnson.

Who's Hot/ Who's Not

HOT

-- Martin Truex Jr.: Truex ...Read more

Darrell Wallace Jr. to be NASCAR Cup Series' first full-time black driver since 1971

Sports / Auto Racing /

On Wednesday, Richard Petty Motorsports announced that Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. will drive the No. 43 car full time in the Cup Series during the 2018 NASCAR season. He becomes the first African-American to drive full time in the Cup Series since Wendell Scott back in 1971.

"That's big," Wallace said on Wednesday when asked about the societal...Read more

Martin Truex Jr.'s crew member died late Saturday, then he was honored with a win

Sports / Auto Racing /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The news came a little after 11 p.m. on Saturday, as out of the-blue as it was disheartening.

"Cole (Pearn) texted me at like 11:15 or something and said, 'I'm at the hospital,' " Martin Truex Jr. said of the message from his crew chief. Then the rest of the text.

" 'Jim just had a heart attack, and they lost him.' "

The ...Read more

Martin Truex Jr. survives as playoff elimination race brings high drama to Kansas

Sports / Auto Racing /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- NASCAR's multitude of stakeholders decided to swap weekends for the playoff races at Talladega Superspeedway and Kansas Speedway during the offseason.

Drivers hated that the crapshoot on the most dangerous -- or exciting, depending on your perspective -- track in auto racing served as the final word with respect to yearly ...Read more

Martin Truex Jr. wins crazy race at Kansas Speedway, playoff standings shaken up

Sports / Auto Racing /

It's probably easy to save the following line than to type it again this season, since it's almost certain we'll see it again:

Martin Truex Jr. won another NASCAR race on Sunday, and he's still the favorite to win the championship in November at Homestead.

The only difference between this race, Truex's league-leading seventh win this season, ...Read more

Kyle Larson was supposed to compete for a title, now his season is unexpectedly over

Sports / Auto Racing /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It was only a little past 3 p.m. local time on Sunday, but here came Kyle Larson, slowly driving his No. 42 car into the garage.

Or rather, the shell of his car. That's probably more accurate, what with its blown engine and all. Now it's just a hulking metal skeleton, a hearse of sorts for Larson's season. His championship ...Read more

Aric Almirola unfazed about returning to Kansas, where he broke his back during the spring race

Sports / Auto Racing /

There was nothing particularly unusual Thursday as Aric Almirola packed up to leave his North Carolina home and travel halfway across the country for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

At least, nothing was different until he told his 5-year-old son, Alex, where he was going for Sunday's race.

"No, dad, you can't go to Kansas," a ...Read more

Which drivers will survive Kansas after havoc at Talladega jumbled the standings?

Sports / Auto Racing /

It's NASCAR elimination time again, only this time, there's no telling who'll be in and who'll be out.

That's because Talladega lived up to its reputation as cursed, or mysterious, or just nearly impossible to finish. By the time Brad Keselowski took the checkered flag, more than half the field was already in the garage for the day, relegated ...Read more

Talladega takes its toll, but Earnhardt rides to the finish

Sports / Auto Racing /

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- It was Dale Earnhardt Jr. Day everywhere in Alabama except for the 2.66-mile circuit of slanted asphalt where it mattered most.

No, at Talladega, the day belonged to mayhem, which seems to win here more often than even the Earnhardt family.

And, almost parenthetically, Brad Keselowski grabbed a piece of Sunday for himself by...Read more

Talladega presents daunting, mysterious challenge for most drivers

Sports / Auto Racing /

Some NASCAR drivers laughed, others cringed, but they all had something to say about Talladega.

Sunday's Alabama 500 is at the famous (or infamous, depending on whom you ask) track, and even at Charlotte it dominated conversation among drivers. Kyle Larson said he hates Talladega. Martin Truex Jr., who ended up winning Sunday's Bank of America ...Read more

Truex Jr. surges late to win in overtime at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Sports / Auto Racing /

CONCORD, N.C. -- Martin Truex Jr. is originally from New Jersey, but he's making Charlotte Motor Speedway something of a second home.

He won the Coca-Cola 600 last season at the track and came third at this year's iteration, building something of a reputation here. That he won Sunday's Bank of America 500, his sixth win this year, only adds to ...Read more

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s last race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is end of an era

Sports / Auto Racing /

CONCORD, N.C. -- After the fans have emptied out of Charlotte Motor Speedway, after the engines have fallen silent and the stock cars have been packed up in their haulers, then Dale Earnhardt Jr. will finally have to leave.

Maybe he'll walk down pit road here one last time as a driver, peer into Victory Lane, where he once celebrated all those ...Read more

NASCAR championship favorites took different paths, but both had to learn how to win

Sports / Auto Racing /

CONCORD, N.C. -- It hasn't been easy for Martin Truex Jr. to get to this point. It hasn't been easy for Kyle Larson, either. But despite their different histories, the different routes they've taken to reach Sunday's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, they're both here this weekend as viable threats to win.

And not just this race ...Read more

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. barely advanced in NASCAR playoffs, but now he could make a run

Sports / Auto Racing /

It's a Thursday night in Mooresville, N.C., and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is racing cars like usual.

Well, sort of. He's actually racing go-karts, not stock cars, and instead of being under the bright lights of Charlotte Motor Speedway or any other NASCAR track, Stenhouse and his guests for a SunnyD event are cooped up inside a converted warehouse. ...Read more