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BK Racing shuffle: Ragan, DiBenedetto won't return
BK Racing will have a significant overhaul to its driver lineup for 2017 with announcements on consecutive days that primary drivers David Ragan and Matt DiBenedetto would not return to the team next season. DiBenedetto, touting the promise of an exciting announcement in the future, announced Thursday night on Twitter that he would not return to the Charlotte-based team. Ragan's departure was the next bit of news, with the Ron Devine-owned organization confirming that transition Friday afternoon. I've decided to go in a different direction next year. Exciting announcements coming soon. It's been a great ride @BKRacing_2383 Thank you! — Matthew DiBenedetto (@mattdracing) December 8, 2016 In two years with the organization, DiBenedetto logged 68 starts with one top-10 finish. That finish, in April 2016 at Bristol, was a sixth-place result -- he finished one spot ahead of 2014 champion Kevin Harvick -- and resulted in an emotional, memorable on-air interview. "I can only say so much at this time," DiBenedetto said Thursday night on SiriusXM Radio. "I've been in talks with BK, and no hard feelings. I'm appreciative of everything they've given me. … Just kind of evaluating the team situation for next year. From my end there's a little too much unknown, so I just had to make that decision. I'm excited about what the future has to hold here still, and obviously everyone will have to stay tuned." Devine confirmed DiBenedetto's parting through a statement released later Thursday evening. "Our 33rd- and 34th-place finishes this year did not produce the results we were hoping to achieve," Devine said. "I am, however, very proud of Matt DiBenedetto and his many accomplishments over the past two years. He is a wonderful driver and a special person. I am confident that Matt will go on to be a very successful NASCAR driver, and I believe it is the right time to release him so that he can pursue other opportunities. "Myself and everyone at BK Racing wishes Matt all the best in his future endeavors. I am looking forward to much success for both Matt and BK Racing ." Devine struck a similar tone in his statement on Ragan's release, hinting at measures to better its results next season. " BK Racing has agreed not to renew David Ragan 's contract for next year," Devine said. "Everyone wishes David the best of luck in his career. BK Racing will continue to restructure as an ongoing effort to improve our on-track performance ... and we will be announcing our 2017 driver lineup in the near future." DiBenedetto and Ragan were the primary drivers for BK Racing in 2016, but the organization also fielded Toyotas in spot duty for Jeffrey Earnhardt , Ryan Ellis , Dylan Lupton , Robert Richardson Jr., and Michael Waltrip. The team has been full time in NASCAR's premier series since 2012, when it debuted as a two-car outfit with drivers Landon Cassill and Travis Kvapil . Ragan, 31, has two victories in NASCAR's top division since he began full-time competition in 2007. He won at Daytona International Speedway driving for Roush Fenway Racing in July 2011 and handed Front Row Motorsports its first victory at Talladega Superspeedway in May 2013. Ragan finished 33rd in the final standings in his only season for BK Racing . His most recent top-10 finish was in March 2015 in a fill-in role for the injured Kyle Busch in Joe Gibbs Racing 's No. 18 Toyota. DiBenedetto missed one race in 2016, at Texas Motor Speedway in November, after not being medically cleared following a wreck in the NASCAR XFINITY Series the day prior. He was cleared from concussion protocol in time for the next race. DiBenedetto, 25, also has 68 career starts in the XFINITY Series. &amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;gt;
Betty Jane France named Myers Brothers Award Recipient
RELATED: Full schedule for Champion's Week DARLINGTON, S.C. (Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016) – Betty Jane France, whose philanthropic endeavors away from the race track rivaled those of the well-known family business of NASCAR, has been chosen as the 2016 recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association's prestigious Myers Brothers Award. France, who passed away Aug. 29, 2016, is the mother of NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy. She was the widow of former NASCAR Chairman and CEO William C. France. While auto racing has been the cornerstone of the family profession, Betty Jane France's reach far exceeded the boundaries of the track. Kind and compassionate, France was the guiding force behind the formation of the NASCAR Foundation, the charitable arm of the sanctioning body that seeks to improve the lives of children most in need. She served as chairwoman of the Foundation upon its inception more than a decade ago and was later named chairwoman emeritus. In 2011, the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, presented by Nationwide, was established in her honor. Each year, the award recognizes outstanding charitable and volunteer efforts of NASCAR fans. Active in her Daytona Beach community as well as abroad, France also helped establish the Speediatrics children's care unit at Halifax Health in Daytona Beach as well as Homestead Hospital in Homestead, Fla. The Myers Brothers Award is named in honor of former NASCAR competitors Billy and Bobby Myers. Determined by a vote of the NMPA membership, it recognizes individuals and/or groups who have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing. It has been presented annually since 1958. Myers Brothers Award Winners 2016, Betty Jane France; 2015, Darlington Raceway ; 2014, Dale Earnhardt Jr .; 2013, Tony Stewart ; 2012, Jeff Gordon ; 2011, Drs. Joseph & Rose Mattioli; 2010, Jim Hunter; 2009, Barney Hall; 2008, T. Taylor Warren; 2007, Bill France Jr.; 2006, Benny Parsons; 2005, Rusty Wallace; 2004, Kyle and Patti Petty; 2003, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 2002, Mike Helton; 2001, Dale Earnhardt; 2000, Kyle Petty; 1999, Junie Donlavey; 1998, T. Wayne Robertson; 1997, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1996, Rick Hendrick; 1995, TNN: The Nashville Network; 1994, Brickyard 400/ Indianapolis Motor Speedway ; 1993, Goody's Manufacturing Co.; 1992, Richard and Lynda Petty; 1991, Harry Gant; 1990. Dick Beaty; 1989, Bill France Jr.; 1988 Richmond International Raceway ; 1987, ESPN; 1986, Hayride 500; 1985, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1984, Charlotte Motor Speedway ; 1983, CBS-TV; 1982, MRN; 1981, Junior Johnson; 1980, STP & Champion Spark Plug Co.; 1979, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1978, Busch Beer; 1977, First National City Travelers Checks; 1976, Junior Johnson; 1975, Bill France Sr.; 1974, H. Clay Earles; 1973, Wood Brothers; 1972, Winston Cigarettes; 1971, Richard Petty; 1970, Richard Howard; 1969, David Pearson; 1968, Wood Brothers; 1967, Richard Petty; 1966, Norris Friel; 1965, Ned Jarrett; 1964, Richard Petty; 1963, Marvin Panch; 1962, Hank Schoolfield; 1961, Ned Jarrett; 1960, Russ Catlin; 1959, Lee Petty; 1958, Bob Colvin. Here is the complete list of Thursday’s award winners from the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon : · NMPA Myers Brothers Award: Betty Jane France · Buddy Shuman Award: Jack Roush · NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award: Comcast XFINITY · Chevrolet Cross Flags Award: Tony Stewart · American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award: Kevin Harvick · Coors Light Pole Award: Carl Edwards · Duralast Brakes "Brake in the Race" Award: Kyle Busch · Goodyear NASCAR Series Champion Award: Jimmie Johnson · Ingersoll Rand Power Move Award: Dave Rogers, Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Crew Chief · MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award: Scott Vester, Hendrick Engines No. 4 team · Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award: Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 team · Mobil 1 Driver of the Year Award: Kyle Busch · MOOG Steering & Suspension Problem Solver of the Year Award: Alan Gustafson, crew chief No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team · Sherwin-Williams Fastest Lap Award: Kyle Busch · Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Jimmie Johnson · Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award: Chase Elliott · Champion Sponsor Award: Lowe's · Champion Crew Chief Award: Chad Knaus · Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide: Andy Hoffman &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
David McGrath looks to make mark at New Hampshire
RELATED: Buy tickets for New Hampshire If you happen to be a track promoter or a race fan, there is a pretty good chance you believe there is no such thing as too much racing. At least that's the case for New Hampshire Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager David McGrath and the fan base that fills the grandstands two weekends a year at the 1-mile track located in Loudon, New Hampshire. "The crowds tell you no," McGrath told NASCAR.com. "Those stands don't empty. "They get it twice a year (at our facility) and they live for it. Like any other part of the country, the Northeast race fan is a rabid fan of our sport. They love it; they can't wait to get up to New Hampshire. They plan their summers and early fall around those races." McGrath, a native New Englander, understands the region's race fans, the bulk of whom arrive from in-state, with nearby Massachusetts and those making the trek from across the Canadian border making up a sizable chunk as well. Named to oversee the Speedway Motorsports Inc. track in October of '15, McGrath has quickly become acquainted with the intricacies and aspects of running such a facility. "Yeah, jack of all trades, master of none," he said. "You have to work at state level, local level, know your governor, senators, representatives and local selectmen. ... We care a great deal about our municipalities and our towns we work with, because we are all in the same boat together. We are the largest driver of economic revenue (in the state), but we don't do that with a swagger. "You are always trying to be understanding, tolerable and work together to figure out solutions. But make no mistake, the vision of the speedway is to be able to utilize that 1,100 acres with the team we've got and find new, cool events, create things for fans to come and experience." The typical race weekend at New Hampshire will see anywhere from three to four series competing during the course of three days. A Sprint Cup/XFINITY Series doubleheader in the summer and a Sprint Cup/Camping World Truck Series doubleheader in the fall headline programs that also include events from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Whelen Modified Tour and American Canadian Tour. It's rare to wander into the facility during a race weekend and not hear cars of one sort or another on the track, either practicing, qualifying or racing. Competing at New Hampshire is a big, big deal, especially for the grassroots circuits. "Certainly in the case of the Modifieds it is, no question," McGrath said. "They are a touring series that travels all over the Northeast and they look at New Hampshire as their big, big event. Their Daytona, if you will." The track has played host to the Whelen Modified Series since 1990, three years before Sprint Cup came calling, and the list of previous winners includes such standouts as Mike McLaughlin, Steve Park, Reggie Ruggiero, Mike Stefanik, Tony Hirschman and Ted Christopher. "Saturday on either race weekend at our track, whether it's July or September, I think is one of the best deals in all of motorsports as far as for the race fans," McGrath said. "Absolutely. You get three great races. In July you've got the K&N race to end the day, you've got XFINITY and then you've got Modifieds. And then in September, you've got Modifieds, Trucks, and the ACT. That's just a great day." In addition to hosting two Sprint Cup Series races, including one that falls in the Round of 16 of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the fall Truck Series race will serve as that series' opener for its inaugural seven-race Chase. Off the track, McGrath said his vision is to continue to develop those things that track ownership -- the facility is one of eight operated by Speedway Motorsports Inc. -- has already undertaken. "We work for the fans," he said. "One of my visions is to continually improve the facility to make it more fan friendly than it already is. Our company has invested a lot of money since we purchased the track back in 2007 going into 2008. We're going to continue to do those things as it makes sense. "We will continue to evaluate areas where we can improve the fan experience. We've built bath/shower houses, increased and improved site drainage ... and have new paving areas all over the campgrounds and the facility. "But the vision would really be to evolve and improve the track and think about new ways to increase the fan experience."
The Rundown: Miami driver grades
RELATED: Miami results " Final standings " Chase Grid SHOP: Johnson championship gear Breaking down the full field for the EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway : 1. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . You don't win seven titles without a little good fortune coming your way, but you have to put yourself in position to be there at the end, too. And that’s what Johnson and the 48 team did when Johnson drove his way from 40th on the grid after he had to start from the rear of the field because of unapproved body modifications. Congrats to Johnson for joining Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt as the Sprint Cup Series' only seven-time champions. Grade: A+ 2. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing . Larson put on a show and deserved to win the race. He dominated and was cruising to his second victory when the yellow flag was waved on Lap 253. The entire complexion of the race changed. Moments later, carnage ensued on the restart, and the complexion changed again. Then, another yellow, another restart, and this time another driver -- Jimmie Johnson -- got the best of him. Tough, tough way to not win a race. Grade: A++ 3. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Harvick dominated early, leading 79 laps (second to Kyle Larson 's 132). He raced among the leaders all day and finished the season with a series-high 27 top 10s. His top fives -- 17 -- tied Kyle Busch for most, and his four wins were one short of Jimmie Johnson 's series-leading five. Bottom line: Another truly remarkable season for Harvick. Grade: A+ 4. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . After losing a tense green-flag battle with Carl Edwards and seemingly resigned to finishing runner-up to Edwards for the championship, a caution on Lap 253 gave Logano new life. Mr. Restart nailed the Lap 258 restart, but when Edwards went down to block Logano, all hell broke loose. Fortunately for Logano, he was able to emerge with minimal damage … and instead of finishing runner-up to Edwards, he finished runner-up to Jimmie Johnson . One last Logano note: His finishes in the final six races of the season were: 3rd, 1st, 9th, 1st, 2nd, 4th. Impressive. Grade: A 5. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing . McMurray survived restart roulette to post his second top five of the season. Grade: A 6. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Not enough went Busch's way for him to win back-to-back championships, but that shouldn't take away from a stellar season in which he tied his career best in top fives (17) and set a personal high in top 10s (25). Grade: A 7. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . On the day Tony Stewart retired as a Sprint Cup Series driver, Kenseth grabbed his 309th career top 10 to pass Smoke for 17th all time in the series. Grade: A 8. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Allmendinger closed out the season with four top 10s in his final six starts. Grade: A 9. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Check out this line for Hamlin's second half of the season: 2 wins, 7 top fives, 15 top 10s and only one finish outside the top 15. Grade: A 10. Michael McDowell , No. 59 Chevrolet, Circle Sport-Leavine Family. McDowell finished off the best season of his Sprint Cup career with his second top-10 finish, which doubled his career total coming into 2016. Grade: A 11. Chase Elliott , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Elliott finished his terrific rookie season with 17 top 10s, which equaled the total of 2014 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson and is the third-highest total since 2000. Grade: B+ 12. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon took the same high line as Kyle Larson but unlike Larson, had brushes with the wall. Still, it was good to see him going for it. Grade: B 13. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Handling was an issue all day for the No. 41 team, which led Busch to say, "We were the slowest seventh-place car in points that I've ever seen." Grade: B 14. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard capped off one of the worst seasons of his Sprint Cup Series career with back-to-back top-15 finishes for only the second time this season. Grade: B 15. Brian Scott , No. 44 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Maybe Scott is calling it a career too soon. Sunday's finish was his third best this season and sixth best of his career. Grade: A- 16. Alex Bowman , No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Another solid day for Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s main understudy. Now the question is where Bowman lands in 2017. Grade: B 17. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . An electrical issue forced the No. 16 team to replace the car's battery multiple times, but Biffle still was able to carve out a respectable finish. Grade: B- 18. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears finished 18th for the second week in a row for his first back-to-back top-20 finishes since the first two races of the Chase ... last season. Grade: B 19. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Patrick's 14th top-20 finish this season tied a personal best set in 2014. Grade: B. Grade: B 20. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne avoided late-race mayhem to finish exactly where he started, 20th. Grade: C 21. Landon Cassill , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Cassill suffered through his second consecutive season without a top-10 finish, but he did set career highs for laps completed, laps led, average finish, running at finish and lead-lap finishes. Grade: A 22. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Stewart finished second among "retiring drivers." Seriously: What a run it has been. Next stop: NASCAR Hall of Fame. Grade: C 23. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Here's some irony: The driver who is replacing Tony Stewart in the No. 14 finished one spot below him in his new boss' final race. Grade: C 24. Chris Buescher , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . The rookie had five top-25 finishes in the first half of the season. Sunday's finish gave him 11 in the second half, including his landmark win and another top five. Grade: B- 25. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman was collected in the massive wreck touched off by Carl Edwards ' block of surging Joey Logano on a restart with 10 laps left in regulation. Newman's fate in the chain reaction mess was sealed when Brad Keselowski was knocked into the wall in the immediate path of Newman and Martin Truex Jr . Grade: B- 26. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing . Twice Blaney found the wall and brought out cautions. Only attrition from later wrecks kept him from finishing in the mid-30s. Grade: D 27. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 9 Toyota, BK Racing . DiBenedetto was another young driver who had a better second half of the season. DiBenedetto had seven top-30 finishes in the first 18 races; in the second half, in one less start, he had 11 top-30 finishes. Grade: C 28. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Annett posted his best finish at Homestead in his third start at the track. Grade: C 29. David Ragan , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . For the first time in his Sprint Cup career, Ragan failed to post at least one top-10 finish. He was one of four drivers -- Danica Patrick , Casey Mears and Landon Cassill were the others -- to start all 36 races and not post a top 10. Ragan's only top 10 at Homestead came in his first race there (2007). Grade: C 30. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse was vying for a top-10 finish -- he was ninth with four laps to go -- but he got the short end of a three-wide when his car broke loose and hit the inside wall to bring out the final caution of the race. Grade: C 31. Jeffrey Earnhardt , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . Earnhardt, who brought out the second caution when he spun trying to get onto pit road, finished seven laps back. Grade: D 32. Reed Sorenson , No. 55 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Sorenson finished nine laps back. Grade: D 33. Ty Dillon , No. 95 Chevrolet, Circle Sport-Leavine Family. The No. 95 received just enough damage in the big wreck to spoil a solid day. Grade: B- 34. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Cousin Carl was on his way to being King Carl until the fifth caution on Lap 253. His car was strong and he had blown by Joey Logano for second. Less than 15 green-flag laps separated Edwards from his first Sprint Cup Series title. Then came the caution and the restart to end all restarts. Not to mention Edwards' championship hopes. Grade: B- 35. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . After Joey Logano' s contact with Carl Edwards on the apron, the No. 22 came up the track right into Keselowski's No. 2, sending Keselowski up into the wall in front of Martin Truex Jr . and Ryan Newman . Keselowski's great season ended with his third DNF in his final six races. Grade: B 36. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Toyota, Furniture Row Racing . To say Truex was collected in the massive restart wreck is an understatement. The No. 78 burst into flames after smashing into Brad Keselowski 's car. To have such a great season end in that manner was just horrible. At least Truex wasn't hurt. Grade: B 37. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne was on his way to a decent finish when Carl Edwards ' car shot back up the track after hitting the inside wall and ended up in front of Kahne and Regan Smith . The impact tore apart Kahne's car. Grade: B 38. Regan Smith , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Smith was two laps down when he got caught up in the big restart mess and his car was destroyed. Tough way to end his first full-time season since 2012. Grade: C- 39. Dylan Lupton , No. 32 Ford, GO FAS Racing. Who knew a driver named Dylan Lupton would ultimately be the gateway to Jimmie Johnson' s record-tying seventh Sprint Cup Series championship? If not for Lupton's left rear tire going down, which brought out the fifth caution with less than 15 laps to go, history likely would not have been made. Grade: F 40. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Almirola's worst season in Sprint Cup came to a painful end, which included time in the garage for a breakdown in the rear housing. Grade: F
Steer Clear: Danica, Dale, David and Tony avoid Kentucky cautions
Watch as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick, David Ragan and Tony Stewart steer clear of some big cautions in Kentucky.
No. 21 Darlington throwback a tribute to David Pearson
The Wood Brothers unveil their throwback paint scheme for Ryan Blaney at Darlington Raceway, honoring David Pearson's 1976 season where he won the Daytona 500, World 600 and Southern 500 that season.
Tweets to the Winner: Jimmie Johnson makes history at Homestead
RELATED: Complete results " Chase Grid " Standings SHOP: Champion gear He finally did it. It took until the end of his 15th season at stock car racing’s highest level, but he achieved the unthinkable. Jimmie Johnson etched his name in the history books among NASCAR’s greats, doing what was once thought impossible. When car No. 48 crossed the finish line ahead of the field Sunday, he silenced the critics and stunned the sports world. Jimmie Johnson finally won a race at Homestead-Miami Speedway . On Twitter, Johnson’s fans were thrilled to share in celebration of the historic milestone (his first Homestead win, obviously). Congrats @JimmieJohnson for finally winning at Homestead — landon cassill (@landoncassill) November 21, 2016 @landoncassill @JimmieJohnson - They are making a huge deal of this. — ohitsmark.com (@markvidreiro) November 21, 2016 It's about time @JimmieJohnson won at Homestead. #nascar . #se7en — Rich Phillips (@rphillipsTMS) November 21, 2016 Jimmie Johnson won the champion and the homestead trophy,but more importantly he just won a boat for winning the race. #JimmieJohnson #se7en — Mateusz K. (@PolishDrunk) November 21, 2016 @JimmieJohnson - Congrats on your win at Homestead!! — Bobbi Fein (@FeinBobbi) November 21, 2016 There's only 3 tracks left (Kentucky, Watkins Glen, Chicago) that @JimmieJohnson hasn't won at. Tonight was his 1st at Homestead. #NASCAR — Christian Espinoza (@Christian_Racin) November 21, 2016 Congratulations @JimmieJohnson on finally winning at Homestead. Oh yeah that championship is pretty cool too. — T.J. Allen (@cartersdad15) November 21, 2016 JIMMIE LOSES HIS HOMESTEAD WIN VIRGINITY FINALLY!!! — Santa Daddy Moose (@DaddyMooose) November 21, 2016 @JimmieJohnson Way to go Jimmie! Thriller in Homestead! Really cool how you acknowledged everybody that helped you along the way. Class act! — David C. Black (@DavidCBlack_dcb) November 21, 2016 WTG JIMMIE JOHNSON!! Serious WIN at Homestead!! — watching NASCAR on NBC — tnred37845 (@tnred37845) November 21, 2016 Sure, it should probably be noted that in addition to his milestone victory at Homestead, Jimmie Johnson also won a seventh championship and placed himself among the likes of legends Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, but this is NASCAR -- a sport where firsts are celebrated, not sevenths (unless your only goal is a good points day).
Top consecutive 10-lap averages for Miami
Practice 1 Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 4 Kevin Harvick 1 10 168.283 2 13 Casey Mears 1 10 166.757 3 44 Brian Scott # 1 10 166.697 4 18 Kyle Busch (C) 12 21 163.957 Practice 2 Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 19 Carl Edwards (C) 1 10 169.062 2 11 Denny Hamlin 1 10 168.589 3 24 Chase Elliott # 1 10 168.260 4 31 Ryan Newman 1 10 168.054 5 88 Alex Bowman (i) 1 10 168.027 6 1 Jamie McMurray 1 10 167.422 7 27 Paul Menard 1 10 167.256 8 4 Kevin Harvick 16 25 167.096 9 3 Austin Dillon 1 10 166.922 10 18 Kyle Busch (C) 1 10 166.789 11 2 Brad Keselowski 1 10 166.721 12 42 Kyle Larson 11 20 166.276 13 20 Matt Kenseth 11 20 166.014 14 21 * Ryan Blaney # 19 28 166.005 15 23 David Ragan 1 10 165.377 16 59 Michael McDowell 1 10 165.203 17 14 Tony Stewart 23 32 164.652 18 43 Aric Almirola 14 23 164.576 19 49 * Matt DiBenedetto (i) 1 10 164.574 20 44 Brian Scott # 22 31 164.428 21 38 Landon Cassill 1 10 164.289 22 47 AJ Allmendinger 20 29 163.985 23 15 Clint Bowyer 8 17 162.795 24 55 * Reed Sorenson 1 10 161.831 25 13 Casey Mears 14 23 161.127 26 83 Jeffrey Earnhardt # 19 28 159.321 Practice 3 Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 4 Kevin Harvick 1 10 168.286 2 42 Kyle Larson 1 10 167.618 3 21 * Ryan Blaney # 1 10 167.097 4 3 Austin Dillon 3 12 165.807 5 19 Carl Edwards (C) 25 34 165.689 6 49 * Matt DiBenedetto (i) 2 11 165.410 7 2 Brad Keselowski 25 34 165.159 8 1 Jamie McMurray 8 17 165.088 9 48 Jimmie Johnson (C) 22 31 165.085 10 11 Denny Hamlin 22 31 164.997 11 31 Ryan Newman 22 31 164.811 12 78 Martin Truex Jr . 13 22 164.565 13 18 Kyle Busch (C) 27 36 164.504 14 41 Kurt Busch 20 29 164.445 15 27 Paul Menard 26 35 164.364 16 44 Brian Scott # 6 15 164.278 17 88 Alex Bowman (i) 20 29 164.034 18 14 Tony Stewart 30 39 163.693 19 24 Chase Elliott # 9 18 163.531 20 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr . 19 28 163.360 21 22 Joey Logano (C) 24 33 163.269 22 10 Danica Patrick 14 23 163.262 23 34 Chris Buescher # 9 18 163.146 24 6 Trevor Bayne 18 27 162.796 25 38 Landon Cassill 3 12 162.791 26 59 Michael McDowell 23 32 162.515 27 15 Clint Bowyer 19 28 162.510 28 47 AJ Allmendinger 12 21 161.538 29 83 Jeffrey Earnhardt # 3 12 161.349 30 23 David Ragan 13 22 161.195 31 32 Dylan Lupton (i) 21 30 156.302 * Car must run 10 consecutive laps on the track to be included in the above chart.
Schluter-Systems to Sponsor David Ragan at Talladega
HUNTERSVILLE, NC (April 25, 2016) - BK Racing announced that Schluter-Systems will be the primary sponsor of David Ragan 's No. 23 Toyota Camry at Talladega Superspeedway . In addition, Schluter-Systems also joins BK Racing as an associate sponsor for the remainder of the 2016 season. "I'm excited to have Schluter-Systems on board our No.23 car this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway ," Ragan said. "We've got a sharp looking car for a track that I really enjoy." "We're thrilled about this partnership with Schluter-Systems," BK Racing Chief Marketing Officer Doug Fritz said. "The Schluter team has been fantastic to work with and we look forward to connecting them with our loyal NASCAR fans." "This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us at Schluter-Systems," said Marco Ludwig, President and CEO of Schluter-Systems North America. "We've come to get to know David Ragan and the whole team at BK Racing , and our relationship evolved to where sponsorship was the next natural step for us. It began where many Schluter relationships begin-- talking tile-- and today, we are very proud to stand behind No. 23 at the Talladega race. We'll be cheering for David , and wishing him a safe race."
David Ragan, wife welcome baby girl
The off week could not have come at a better time for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan . The 30-year-old Georgia native and his wife, Jacquelyn, welcomed a baby girl into the world. Meredith Leigh Ragan was born on Tuesday morning, March 22, at 2:45 a.m. ET at seven pounds, three ounces and 19 inches long, according to a spokesperson for the driver. Their first daughter, Julia, was born in June of 2014. I am glad she waited till I got home from California! Blessed to have a healthy little girl and a strong Mama! pic.twitter.com/8K1BBQU1GV — David Ragan (@DavidRagan) March 22, 2016 A new addition to our #BKRacing family! Congratulations @DavidRagan , @JacquelynRagan and big sister Julia. https://t.co/6y7beFCZyY — BK Racing (@BKRacing_2383) March 22, 2016 A second child is not the only change for Ragan this year. He is in his first season with BK Racing , driving the No. 23 Toyota for the two-car team. Last weekend's race at Auto Club resulted in his best finish with the team in the season's first five races, a 22nd-place finish.