Virginia-native Denny Hamlin holds his lead on a late-race restart to get his 11th win in the Nationwide Series.
RELATED: Austin Dillon on 'Rosewood' NASCAR XFINITY Series stars Darrell " Bubba " Wallace Jr. and Elliott Sadler are returning to Las Vegas this week, but not for a race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The drivers are joining such luminaries as Jake Owen, Kellie Pickler, Darius Rucker and Miss America Savvy Shields as presenters at the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on April 2. Wallace and Sadler will take the stage to announce the Video of the Year Award presented by XFINITY. Co-hosted by country music superstars Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, the awards show will be broadcast live (8-11 p.m. ET, delayed 8-11 PT) on CBS. Musicians slated to perform include Reba McIntire, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and the Backstreet Boys. Sadler helpfully provided NASCAR.com with his current country music playlist. Be sure to tune in Sunday, April 2, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. Elliott Sadler's playlist • The Baby, Blake Shelton • Troubadour, George Strait • Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler), Alabama • Wagon Wheel, Darius Rucker • Cowboys and Angels, Dustin Lynch • Stay, Florida Georgia Line • Drink a Beer, Luke Bryan • You Should Be Here, Cole Swindell
Darrell Wallace Jr . didn't spend his XFINITY Series off-weekend lounging on a Caribbean beach or roaming a new city away from the race track. Instead, the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing driver was behind the wheel. Of a go-kart, that is. "Actually got right into (racing) but not with my (No. 6) guys," Wallace said Wednesday at one of NASCAR's offices in Charlotte, North Carolina. "I went go-kart racing, just try to get back into that and have some fun. Locals whooped me, but still had a lot of fun being able to do that. So, I was still racing, but nothing on the major scale. "(I was) able to learn all the hard (stuff) that went along with go-kart racing. God, it was so tough. I forgot everything that I remember from 13 years ago. Just putting that all together was actually a lot of fun – we had some speed, just the driver forgot how to drive a go-kart," he joked. Lucky for Bubba , this weekend's stage at Daytona International Speedway will be slightly bigger, faster and with a lot more drafting. And while it's not one of Wallace's favorite tracks, it appears he hasn't forgotten how to wheel a superspeedway car: the sophomore driver kicked off the 2016 season with a solid sixth-place result at the Florida track and led multiple laps in the '15 season-opener. Combined with his most recent pair of consecutive top-10 finishes and a runner-up at Dover in May, this weekend's forecast looks more sunny than stormy for the No. 6 driver. "We're just trying to look in-depth at what we're doing for our program and see how we can be better," Wallace said. "We know we're a top-10 race team each and every weekend. We've had some bad luck and some of it's been on us, that we've jeopardized those races and we've ended up outside of that. "But (to have) these last two, now it's starting to get the second half of the season, after that the Chase is starting. So we have to start coming up with a good game plan that we need to bring to each and every track and each and every weekend, so we can unload with a lot of speed and what we need to be competitive. We've been doing that (recently)." They've had additional support off-track as well: Loudmouth Exhaust Systems made its debut on the No. 6 car at Dover International Speedway , where Bubba recorded a career-best second-place result. Since then, the company has graced the car as a primary sponsor for three races and will adorn the No. 6 this weekend at Daytona International Speedway . In a world where sponsorship puts cars on track and lack of it takes names off entry lists, the new partnership has been huge for the 22-year-old racer, who has been transparent about his team's struggles to find primary partners. "Sponsorship is the name of the game," Wallace said. "We're still working hard to find that full-time primary sponsor, but Loudmouth has been a great partner of ours for a number of races now … They've been a huge help to our program to keep us going to the race track each and every weekend. (I'm) trying to do everything I can, as possible, to land that big-time sponsor." Wallace's sponsor schedule has come with some uncertainty -- he said he doesn't even know who is sponsoring his next XFINITY Series race at Kentucky Speedway on July 8. With the goal of landing a full-time sponsor, he's taken a more involved approach than many drivers do, whether it's grabbing lunch with potential partners or meeting with those ready to sign on the dotted line. "I try to be more hands-on, just so I can get a better understanding of what we've got and how I can be better at representing myself for my brand and my team," Wallace said. "I think one thing that's powerful is the drivers gain this personal relationship with the sponsor," he added. “And that's when you see the Lowe's that's with Jimmie Johnson , you see those M&M's with Kyle (Busch) -- they have this great relationship with the driver. There's no middle man and I think that's important." He'll have another chance to impress Loudmouth -- as well as other potential partners that Wallace says are in the works -- this weekend at Daytona International Speedway with Friday's Subway Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Another top 10 would be great, but a win would be even better for the young driver. "(I'm) excited to have them back on the car at Daytona," Wallace said. "Hopefully we can bring the same amount of luck with them and get a win."
Bubba Wallace makes contact with Brendan Gaughan, sending him into the wall at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Ryan Blaney celebrates Wood Brothers Racing's 99th victory with a crowd pass-by instead of a burnout. Meanwhile, Bubba Wallace gives his friend a special nod for the win.
NASCAR.com gives you an all-access tour as the XFINITY Series regular season winds down.
A queen and a boss battled, Ric Flair made an appearance and plenty of fists were being thrown. Safe to say, Ryan Blaney and Darrell Wallace Jr . weren't at the race track. NASCAR's dynamic duo took a trip to WWE's Monday Night Raw, where they got front-row seats to the big show in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event saw Sasha Banks -- "The Legit Boss" -- defeat the hometown wrestler Charlotte -- "The Queen" and Ric Flair's daughter -- to become Raw Women's champion for the third time. Blaney and Bubba not only got a close view of all the action-packed drama, they also went behind the scenes before the show. Take a look at their night: @NASCAR Drivers @Blaney @BubbaWallace race into Monday Night #Raw and snap a photo with @TitusONeilWWE ! pic.twitter.com/PH4iSwcVu7 — WWE (@WWE) November 29, 2016 See us on Monday night raw, coming up soon!!!! @WWE pic.twitter.com/cWY5rsDoJr — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) November 29, 2016 Look close. You'll recognize some #NASCAR people pic.twitter.com/L34PKrOvej — Alan Cavanna (@CopaCavanna) November 29, 2016 My eyes are up... @Blaney is questionable. #bachelor https://t.co/2A09Vqqz6Y — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) November 29, 2016
If Darrell Wallace Jr . had one chance to press the rewind button in 2016, he knows exactly where and when he'd go back. "Phoenix really showed in that fall race that we were one of the fastest cars," Wallace recalled last month during the NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway , referring to the Nov. 12, 2016 XFINITY Series event that closed out the Round of 8 in the series' playoffs. "The race is probably the highlight one that I want to take back and do over again, but no different mindset." Wallace qualified his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford fifth for the 200-mile playoff cut-off race. His grandmother had passed a few days prior, so he carried "Granny Jan" above the door. Filled with raw emotion before the race and motivated to win for her, Bubba saw one of the best runs he had all year -- until contact from Blake Koch ’s No. 11 ride sent him into the wall, removing him from the 2016 playoffs. RELATED: See how Wallace's playoff run came to an end
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Saturday is designated as World Cancer Day, and the impact of fighting this disease is not lost on young NASCAR star driver Bubba Wallace, who is an Ambassador for the international Movember Foundation. Wallace is among a long list of celebrities and sports stars who have made it a priority to recognize the annual effort to bring attention to fighting this disease. And to making a difference. "The truth is, I'm able to go right now to a mountain bike park with my dad, able to enjoy life on an off-day, just having fun and not having any limits or barriers," said the driver of Roush Fenway Racing 's No. 6 Leidos Ford Mustang in the XFINITY Series. "We're trying to find a cure for all kinds of cancer and it's something I think everyone is on board with. Nobody wants to see time shortened up with such a strong disease. It's just something I always wanted to step up to the plate, support and do what I need to do." Wallace is joining a high-profile list of current and former Movember ambassadors such as Cindy Crawford, Emmy Rossum, Christoph Waltz, Eric Decker and James Wolk. They have all lent their names in an effort to bring attention and hope to patients around the world suffering from cancer. RELATED: Wallace carries emotional Phoenix lessons into 2017 The Movember organization is well known for its work encouraging men to grow mustaches each November as a way to get the general conversation started on ways to raise awareness and funds. In addition to his work with Movember and its emphasis on men's health issues, Wallace was also among a group of NASCAR drivers who helped paint the Charlotte Motor Speedway walls pink last October in recognition of the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. "It's been a lot of fun going to the track and painting the walls for breast cancer," Wallace said. "Knowing close friends that have been involved and affected by it, it's something I keep close to heart for sure. It's a struggle and I don't want to see anybody have to go through that struggle. "I want everybody to have a good life and do what they want to do." Saturday's campaign -- coordinated by the Union for International Cancer Control -- is promoting the Twitter hashtag #WeCanICan and reminding people on a global scale of the work still to be done. The campaign reminds, "Just as cancer affects everyone in different ways, everyone has the power to take action to reduce the impact that cancer has. World Cancer Day is a chance to reflect on what you can do, make a pledge and take action."
SHOP: Elliott gear RELATED: Race results " Standings " Detailed breakdown MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Polesitter Chase Elliott held off defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter after a restart with 12 laps left and pulled away to win Saturday’s Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway by 1.865 seconds. Elliott grabbed the lead from third-place finisher Christopher Bell on Lap 234, when Bell’s Toyota tangled with Austin Cindric's Ford through Turns 1 and 2. Bell lost the top spot, and Sauter charged past into the second position before NASCAR threw the 10th and final caution of the race. MORE: Bell: It's miserable to lead all day and not win " Bell, Cindric collect The decisive move, however, came after the final restart on Lap 239, when Elliott blocked Sauter's crossover move in Turn 3 and kept the lead. "It was fun today," Elliott said. "I had some help there with Christopher's misfortune. I was trying all I could to get by him. He was doing a really good job of maintaining my bumper, a good job with me hitting him … His bumper was getting progressively more blue (the color of Elliott's car) as the day went. "It was a hard-fought battle, for sure." And then came the battle with Sauter, who said he would have made the same blocking move on the final restart, had the roles been reversed. "Chase did what he needed to do with the old block," Sauter said. "I saw him coming in the mirror with a big run, and I knew I had to block him," Elliott said. "Fortunately, it worked out." Bell led a race-high 96 laps, 90 in the final 110-lap stage. Before that, GMS Racing teammates Elliott and Sauter dominated the action. Elliott, a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular getting extra track time in preparation for Sunday's STP 500 (2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), won the first stage. SEE: Every Camping World Truck Series winner of '17 Sauter took the second stage but had to come through the field from 13th following the restart for the third stage after pitting for tires in a contrarian strategy to that of Elliott, who got fresh rubber before the end of Stage 2. Elliott (92 laps), Sauter (62 laps) and Bell were the only drivers to lead the 250 -lap event at the .526-mile track, but the action behind them was ferocious, producing 10 cautions for 63 laps. Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Noah Gragson recovered from a spin off Chase Briscoe's bumper to finish fourth, one spot behind his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate. Ty Dillon and Brett Moffitt ran fifth and sixth, respectively. WATCH: Gragon reflects on day " Briscoe spins Note: Sauter took over the series lead by four points over Bell, who won the previous NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta … Elliott and Sauter reversed their positions from the fall race at Martinsville, which Sauter won on the way to his first championship. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;