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Joey Logano wins first race of season at wild Richmond
RELATED: Race results " Standings " Stage results " Detailed breakdown SHOP: Winner gear! RICHMOND, Va. -- It took Joey Logano all afternoon to drive from the back of the field to the front in Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Logano started from the rear after a post-qualifying transmission change, but when the checkered flag waved after Lap 400, the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford was at the head of the field, having held off a banzai charge from teammate Brad Keselowski during a 19-lap green -flag run. Logano took the lead for the first time on Lap 384, after restarting behind six cars that had stayed out on old tires under caution for Ryan Blaney’s contact with the Turn 3 wall on Lap 377. On fresh rubber, Logano made short work of the cars in front of him and passed series leader Kyle Larson for the top spot with 16 circuits left. Keselowski had a faster car, having led 110 laps, but he also had more difficulty getting through traffic after the final restart. By the time Logano took the checkered flag, Keselowski had narrowed his teammate's straightaway lead to roughly three car-lengths before running out of time. The 26-year-old from Connecticut won his 18th race in his 300th start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It was his first victory of the season and his second at Richmond. Logano and Keselowski had stayed out under the penultimate caution on Lap 367 and appeared vulnerable to the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch until NASCAR called the final yellow five laps after the restart on Lap 377. Of the cars that came to pit road on Lap 378, Logano was first off and lined up behind the six cars that stayed out -- those of Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chris Buescher, Martin Truex Jr., David Ragan and Cole Whitt. Busch drew a penalty for a commitment line violation and went to the rear of the field, eliminating one of the contending cars. RELATED: Watch how Logano's pit road games got Kyle Busch "The caution came out," Logano said of the final yellow. "The boys had a great stop which gave us good track position to pass the cars that stayed out. We were able to have a good start, work our way past those cars and tried to take off the best I could. I knew the 2 (Keselowski) was so much faster than everybody, and I had to get out there as quick and as far as I could. "He was on his way to catch me. I think he was catching me a couple tenths a lap. That was all I had inside the car, and I burned them up early trying to go. I’m proud of the effort of the team. We executed under pressure today and brought a car home that was a fifth-to-10th-place car to Victory Lane." For his part, Keselowski was philosophical about the way the race unfolded. "I was just hoping for another restart or the race to get extended for another 10 laps," Keselowski said. "I think we had a ton of long-run speed today. That short run at the end ... half the field came, half the field didn’t. I just got stuck in a lane of cars that didn’t go. "By the time I did, he (Logano) had a whole straightaway on me. I got it down to a couple of car-lengths at the end. All and all, I’m happy for Team Penske with the 1-2 finish. We’ll take it and move on." RELATED: Drivers to win in his 300th start Virginia native Denny Hamlin ran third, but his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota couldn’t match the speed of the Team Penske Fords. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. recovered from a brush with the Turn 3 wall to come home fourth on older tires, holding off fifth-place Kevin Harvick over the final green -flag run. The first major incident of the day happened late when Hendrick Motorsports teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson got into each other, causing damage to Junior's No. 88. He finished 30th, while Johnson placed 11th. MORE: Johnson, Earnhardt Jr. come together at Richmond The Monster Energy Series hits the track again next weekend at NASCAR's biggest track for the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET, FOX). Keselowski is the defending winner. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Fifth annual NASCAR Race To Green celebrates industry-wide effort
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- To commemorate the holistic effort being made to help protect and preserve the environment, NASCAR® announced its fifth annual NASCAR Race to Green ™ initiative. Beginning today and culminating with Sunday's TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International Raceway, the initiative will build awareness around the programs NASCAR, the industry and multiple partners have developed to help reduce its carbon footprint. A key pillar of NASCAR Race to Green is a call-to-action for fans and the industry to donate trees that will be planted across the country as well as in areas recently devastated by natural disasters. Fans can visit NASCAR.com/ green to donate trees -- $1 per tree for a 2-3 foot sapling -- to be planted in those areas with the support of the Arbor Day Foundation. Fans are encouraged to share their own efforts around being green by using the hashtag #NASCARGreen. "The Race To Green initiative allows us to highlight the foundational partners that help reduce our impact on the environment all year long," said Brent Dewar, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer. "As an example of the wide range of initiatives taking place across the industry, American Ethanol has helped us eclipse 10 million miles on Sunoco Green E15, Safety-Kleen recycles all oil and lubricants at more than 200 race events a year, and collectively as an industry more than 400,000 trees have been planted to date. We are proud to continue those efforts under the Race to Green umbrella." As part of this year's initiative, NASCAR fans visiting NASCAR.com/ green will be treated to a newly designed digital destination, complete with easy-to-access information, news, an interactive carbon calculator and more. NASCAR Green will debut a new TV spot today as well, featuring a newly created NASCAR Green logo. NASCAR Race To Green will highlight the sustainability efforts of its teams, tracks and NASCAR Official Partners, who work closely with NASCAR, year-round. While NASCAR Green initiatives span the entire year, the following additional activities will take place throughout this week-long effort: • In partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, NASCAR Official Partners have committed to donate trees to Tennessee residents affected by the Chimney Tops 2 Fire in November 2016. NASCAR will match the donations made by its Official Partners. • As part of the 16th annual Comcast Cares Day, NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers will join Comcast volunteers for a Habitat for Humanity build in Johnson City, Tenn. NASCAR will donate trees for the newly built homes. • Pocono Raceway will release a Sustainability Report that details the initiatives it has in place to be environmentally responsible, including its recycling program, solar farm and more. • In partnership with Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Elliot Sadler will visit Oak Mountain Elementary School in Birmingham, Ala. to donate 750 tree saplings provided by NASCAR and the Arbor Day Foundation. • Today, Danica Patrick will help Mobil 1 spotlight its Mobil 1TM Annual Protection, allowing drivers to go one full year -- or 20,000 miles -- between oil changes, with a ceremonial pour at Bristol Motor Speedway. NASCAR Green was launched because it was the right thing to do for the country, climate and fans. Since 2008, NASCAR has taken a holistic approach across its wide-ranging effort to reduce our impact on the environment, including: • NASCAR and the industry have planted enough trees to completely offset carbon emissions for all three national series racing for the past six years, plus the next 40 years. • NASCAR eclipsed more than 10 million competition miles on Sunoco Green E15, demonstrating that the ethanol blended biofuel stands up to high performance racing while significantly reducing emissions. • Safety-Kleen delivers its oil recycling and re-refining services to the track each weekend, ensuring all cleaning solvents, oil, fluids and lubricants are recaptured and incorporated into useable products. • NASCAR also features many teams and tracks using solar power as a renewable energy source, including: Daytona International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Sonoma Raceway, Roush Fenway Racing and Kyle Busch Motorsports. For more information about NASCAR Race to Green , visit NASCAR.com/ Green . The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season will continue wit h the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 23 at 2 p.m. ET on FOX, P RN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
At NASCAR, we are switching to more green solutions and biofuel like Sunoco Green E15 so that we can off-set our carbon emissions. We are not going to stop making a difference and neither should you. Learn more at NASCAR.com/ Green . #NASCARGreen
David Ragan and Danica Patrick make contact
David Ragan and Danica Patrick make contact on the backstretch at Bristol Motor Speedway, leading to the 6th caution of the day.
XFINITY race returns to green after rain-related red flag
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Bristol MORE: Weekend schedule " Weather updates from Bristol The XFINITY Series Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 went back to green after a lengthy red flag induced by rain at Bristol Motor Speedway. The action was put to a halt on Lap 150 with a yellow flag, followed by a red flag on Lap 162. The time of the red flag officially lasted one hour, 38 minutes and 52 seconds. Prior to this, NASCAR briefly lifted the red flag only to return to red-flag conditions minutes later with more rain hitting the .5333-mile track. As the leaders pitted, Daniel Hemric, Blake Koch, Brandon Jones, Brendan Gaughan and Elliott Sadler stayed out to hold down the top five spots, and lead the field back to green on Lap 168. The event originally got underway at 1:03 p.m. ET with Larson and Austin Dillon starting on the front row after scoring the top-two fastest qualifying lap times Saturday morning. Larson topped Stage 1, which ended under yellow after Ryan Reed brought out the caution in its waning laps after clipping the wall and losing a tire. Reed briefly wheeled his No. 16 Ford to pit road, but ultimately brought it to the garage with heavy damage, done for the day. RELATED: Watch: Reed spins to bring out the yellow at Bristol The XFINITY Series Bristol race marks the second Dash 4 Cash event of 2017. JR Motorsports teammates Justin Allgaier and Cole Custer are eligible for the $100,000 bonus after scoring the top-two spots among XFINITY Series regulars at the end of Stage 1 as well as Hemric and Gaughan after finishing first and third (the two highest-placing XFINITY regulars), respectively, in Stage 2. Hemric earned a playoff bonus point with his Stage win, should he qualify for the 12-driver playoff field. Allgaier won the first Dash 4 Cash race at Phoenix Raceway. The final two legs will be at Richmond (April 29) and Dover (June 3). RELATED: Learn more about the Dash 4 Cash program Friday's on-track schedule, too, got a shake-up due to soggy weather with Monster Energy Series qualifying and the second XFINITY Series practice canceled. The weekend's main event, the Monster Energy Series' Food City 500, is slated for Sunday at 2 p.m. ET (FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Ray Black Jr. spins, collected by David Starr
Ray Black Jr. loses control of his No. 07 and then receives heavy damage following contact with David Starr's No. 99.
Allgaier earns $100K Dash 4 Cash consolation for oh-so-close Richmond finish
RELATED: Dash 4 Cash 101 RELATED: Results RICHMOND, Va. -- Being handed an oversized check that ticks the six-figure mark stands as a heck of a consolation prize, but there was still a bittersweet feeling Saturday afternoon for Justin Allgaier, who stood oh-so-close to Victory Lane. Allgaier finished second in Saturday's ToyotaCare 250 for the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Richmond International Raceway, snagging the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus offered by the series sponsor. His finish was tops among the three other eligible drivers -- pole-starter Daniel Hemric (third place), points leader Elliott Sadler (seventh) and rookie Kyle Benjamin (32nd in his series debut). But it was Allgaier who seemed to absorb the most disappointment, leading three times for 157 of the 254 laps but coming up just shy of his second victory of the season behind eventual winner Kyle Larson. MORE: 2017 NXS winners Allgaier led with Sadler closing in second for a lengthy green -flag run in the final stage, but when BJ McLeod's engine expired to unfurl the caution flag with 10 laps before the scheduled end, strategies and the running order were thrown into disarray. Allgaier's JR Motorsports No. 7 Chevrolet restarted second, but a pair of chaotic restarts that included leader Ty Dillon's jump (later penalized) shuffled both him and Sadler back behind Larson. "For what these guys did to bring a great race car, I mean we had a lights-out race car today," said Allgaier, who won the Dash 4 Cash prize for the second time this season. He also moved up one position to second place in the XFINITY standings. "In hindsight, maybe we would've been better off if it would've gone green to the end, but at the end of the day, this happens. We're dejected, but I can promise you that next week, we'll be ready to go -- fire in our bellies and ready to go win one that we should've gotten this weekend." Sadler held on for his seventh top-10 finish in eight races, leaving Richmond with a sizable 41-point edge in the standings. Hemric led the opening 26 laps after posting the first Coors Light Pole Award of his XFINITY career. Benjamin didn't get the result he aimed for in his series debut, but made a strong showing before a crucial miscue during the final round of pit stops. Benjamin, a 19-year-old product of the NASCAR Next youth initiative, started an impressive second, then logged stage finishes of fifth and sixth -- the last of which clinched his spot in the Dash 4 Cash field. But during the final pit-stop exchange, his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota rolled off the jack -- the result of what he said was a clutch not fully engaged -- and Benjamin exited his pit stall with loose lugs. The extra pit stop to remedy the issue mired him back in the pack, and he was sidelined by a six-car stack-up on the traffic-packed restart that forced the final caution period. Still, Benjamin said his first start in the series was productive, leaving him eager for his next XFINITY appearance, scheduled for June 10 at Pocono Raceway. "It was definitely educational," said Benjamin, the 2016 runner-up in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. "I learned a lot today. Just wish I hadn't made that mistake there at the end, but other than that, we had a really consistent day. A lot of positive things happened. Got to race around some really good guys and learned from them." &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. get together late at Richmond
RELATED: Results " Stage results RICHMOND, Va. -- A little contact is customary in short-track racing. But the heavy contact that led to the derailment of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s first race since setting his retirement plans in motion came from an unexpected source -- a teammate. Neither Earnhardt nor Jimmie Johnson -- his Hendrick Motorsports stablemate -- saw each other before Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet swept up the track to broadside Earnhardt's No. 88, compounding an already frustrating Sunday at Richmond International Raceway. Both continued on, with Johnson leading the four-car Hendrick charge in 11th place, but Earnhardt faded to a 30th-place finish in the Toyota Owners 400, two laps down. "I was running the top (groove) right against the fence and really wasn't watching the mirrors," Earnhardt said. "I didn't even know he was there or anybody was coming. T.J. (Majors, his spotter) was giving me pretty good warning about guys getting on my inside, but otherwise when you're running the top, you don't have to worry about it. Everybody kind of takes care of you, but Jimmie didn't know we were there. "It was an explosion, but the car held up pretty well. It knocked the sway bar arm off it, so we ran the last bit of the race without a sway bar hooked up, but wasn't a great day." Johnson, a winner in the previous two races, also remarked about the severity of the impact. After the checkered flag, Johnson sought out Earnhardt on pit road for a team debrief and to apologize for his part in the collision. "Trying to figure out if I didn't hear it being told to me or if it wasn't told to me," Johnson said. "Just feel terrible, obviously. Man, I'm surprised our cars even kept rolling after that because I just bodyslammed him in the wall, and I could've easily not heard the clear or something else happened, I don't know. But it's the last thing you want to have happen with a teammate." RELATED: Johnson takes on Twitter haters Earnhardt started 12th and dropped back in the order with an off-cycle stop for tires. He rallied, but a speeding penalty in the 67th of 400 laps knocked him to 27th when the field reorganized. Earnhardt was busted in Section 15, the next-to-last segment on the .75-mile track's pit road. "I was pretty conservative, but they said we sped," Earnhardt said, further explaining that the team adjusts its tachometer to allow for pit road's curvature near the exit. "We're real aggressive with our (tachometer) lights. We maybe need to be a little more conservative so that we can get through a couple of these races without issues like that. But all I can do is run the lights like the dash is programmed. I really don't have a speedometer in there to help you." With his car struggling to advance on set-up savvy alone, Earnhardt and crew chief Greg Ives opted to gamble with a late green -flag run. Ives kept his driver on the track as other front-runners came in for pit service under green ; that strategy moved Earnhardt as high as second in the running order, but on old tires with his team keeping its fingers crossed for a timely caution period. That yellow flag flew, but for his incident with Johnson. "Just luck this year is just awful," said Earnhardt, who also spun out 13 laps later after his car developed a tire rub. "I don't know what else we need to do. I mean, we're out there just taking care of ourselves and running along, and something seems to always bite us." RELATED: Junior frustrated in Richmond Earnhardt remained stuck back in 24th place in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points, recording his fifth finish of 30th or worse in the nine events so far this year. With 27 races remaining in his final full season, Earnhardt said his goals for the immediate future might be more modest. "Greg (Ives) told me last week we weren't looking at (points) anymore, we were just going to try to win a race," Earnhardt said. We're so far back. If you're sitting 15th, 16th, 17th, you probably can't help but look at points then. We're sitting so far back, we've just got to get this thing to where we can finish. I'm just going to concentrate on trying to get about five or six races put together in a row -- top 15s -- and see what the points look like after that." The same could be said for Hendrick Motorsports, which rode the high of back-to-back victories for Johnson in the previous two races -- Texas and Bristol -- into Richmond. Sunday, none of the four Hendrick drivers finished among the top 10 -- Kasey Kahne took 22nd with Chase Elliott 24th -- nor did they collect any stage points for running in the top 10 at the two intermissions. "It's a competitive sport," Earnhardt said. "You get written off one week and then you're back in the conversation the next. None of our cars were really that fast, so we'll probably come back here with a different idea, a different direction on all our set-ups and see if we can't figure something out. We've got the equipment and the resources to run in the top five, but it's shocks and springs and set-ups that just didn't pay off today." </p>
Young drivers prepare to step up as Dale Jr. readies for goodbye
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Richmond RICHMOND, Va. -- The cyclical churn of talent in the NASCAR garage took another turn this week with Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s announcement that 2017 will be his final year in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. His impending departure follows those of household names Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards -- all in short order since the end of the 2015 season. In outlining his decision to leave the cockpit, Earnhardt was asked about NASCAR's ability to reload with a new generational thrust in driver star power. He named Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott among the sport's several young aces in waiting, offering assurance that the NASCAR roster remained vibrant and strong. As for those young stars? Asked upon their Friday arrival at Richmond International Raceway about their readiness to assume the mantle, the newest and brightest of those newer drivers might not be waiting much longer. "Although it's sad that we have all our veterans and heroes retiring, I think NASCAR is in a great position with all the young talent that they have in the (Monster Energy) Series currently, and really in every feeder series below them, there's a lot of young guys with great equipment and good backing," said 24-year-old Kyle Larson, the series' current points leader. "So, I think the competition will be good. And, there's a lot of personalities, too, with people getting themselves out there on social media and stuff like that, showing their personalities. So, I feel like we're in a good spot to have some new stars step up." Larson and Elliott -- both 20-somethings -- have already begun to make that push on the track, sitting 1-2 in the series standings. They've been joined by 23-year-old Ryan Blaney, plus rookies Erik Jones, 20, and Daniel Suarez, 25, as just some of the newest faces in the garage. The current transition of the sport's paradigm isn't a new phenomenon. If the genealogy of NASCAR stardom read like the Book of Chronicles, it would include a traditional biblical list of "begats." The career of Lee Petty begat Richard Petty's, Fireball Roberts' and Ned Jarrett's careers begat David Pearson's, which begat Cale Yarborough's, Bobby Allison's and Darrell Waltrip's. Then came Earnhardt and Elliott and Wallace, then Gordon, then Stewart and then Jimmie Johnson -- all with a host of other dynamic personalities in between. Mere mention as a part of that incoming next wave, with the potential to join a list of stars with Hall of Fame clout ranks as heady territory. Being singled out by the series' 14-time Most Popular Driver as one of those candidates is too, something that Blaney -- Earnhardt's neighbor and friend -- accepts with a degree of pride and reverence. "He has a very big impact of what people think, whether it is fans or in the garage area," Blaney said. "Him talking up younger drivers or the sport in general is going to get his fans excited about the future of going forward even though he won't be driving next year. What he says will be very important. I know he has always said great things about the sport and drivers in it and been very positive, which makes him a great person and great ambassador for the sport. It means a lot to hear him say those things. "Like I said, I know he says that about a lot of young drivers and try to set everything up for the future, but it is nice to be a part of that conversation when he speaks." Gracefully making the transition to stardom is a multi-pronged challenge, requiring both on-track performance and a proficiency in engaging with fans new and old. The former requires both raw talent and a full team effort. As for the latter, Suarez said there's no secret code to making that connection. "I think it's very simple -- it's just being yourself," said Suarez, in his first year of replacing Edwards at Joe Gibbs Racing. "I think every single driver out there in the garage has different personalities: Dale has his personality; Kyle has his personality; Jimmie Johnson has his personality; I have my personality; and everyone is different. When every single driver can go out there to be himself, I think that's very cool, and the fans like that. "You know, so far it's what I've been doing and I think it's the right thing to do. But like I said, overall, Dale has been more than a role model for the sport and it's great what he has done." </p>
Cowabunga! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to sponsor Chicagoland race
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Chicagoland Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Donatello are back! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Nickelodeon return to Chicagoland Speedway this September as entitlement sponsor for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff opener. This marks Nickelodeon's second consecutive year wearing the sponsor hat at the Illinois track. The pair made the Nickelodeon Tales of the Turtles 400 announcement Friday, coming off a wildly successful 2016 partnership and campaign. The news coincided nicely with National Superhero Day. "We're thrilled that Nickelodeon is coming back with their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle franchise as the entitlement partner of our playoff kickoff on Sunday, Sept. 17," Chicagoland track president Scott Paddock told NASCAR.com. Nickelodeon also joined NASCAR in 2015's SpongeBob SquarePants 400, which saw Jimmie Johnson collect his third win at Kansas Speedway. Last year's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 -- which Furniture Row Racing's Martin Truex Jr. won -- sparked cross-generational pizazz thanks to Nickelodeon's revamp and ownership of the franchise. "Brands like Nickelodeon attract a younger audience," Paddock furthered. "We saw impact last year with about a 12 percent increase on kids that came to the race. And what's really fascinating about the 'Turtles' franchise is it's got cross-generational appeal so it was hot back in the '90s and (now) you've got this whole generation that grew up with it and now their kids are following Nickelodeon." It appears that this is a two-way relationship built on a foundation of deep admiration and appreciation. "This is Year 2 of our partnership with Chicagoland. We're thrilled to be coming back," Anthony Di Cosmo, senior vice president of sports marketing and content development for Nickelodeon, told NASCAR.com. "I think when we carried out this partnership it was really to kind of build a platform of something long term that we can really engage kids and family in the sport in a way that felt very authentic to Nickelodeon." Building off 2016's successful weekend, Nickelodeon plans to have its characters prominently displayed at the speedway as well as driver and team involvement with special paint schemes paying tribute to the network's cartoon. Last year, Monster Energy Series drivers such as Danica Patrick, Michael McDowell and David Ragan rocked Turtle-related schemes for the 400-miler. Although it is, as of yet, uncertain who will partake in the themed paint jobs this year, some of the characters -- as well as Nickelodeon stars -- are scheduled to be prominent during the September weekend with many activities for the entire family. Cowabunga, indeed. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;