Post-Race Reactions: Good Sam Club 200
Clint Bowyer, Blake Feese, Kyle Busch, James Buescher and Ryan Newman comment on their Atlanta finishes.
Final Laps: Hornaday holds on in Atlanta
Ron Hornaday uses pit strategy to hold off a hard-charging Clint Bowyer and win the Good Sam Club 200 .
Victory Lane: Ron Hornaday
Ron Hornaday celebrates his 49th career NCWTS victory after the Good Sam Club 200 .
Actor Morris Chestnut on Austin Dillon, how NASCAR, Hollywood relate
Actor and star of FOX's police crime drama "Rosewood" Morris Chestnut noticed that the cast seemed nervous while filming a portion of the Season 2 finale in March. For good reason, too. "There was a huge explosion and the explosion was so big that everyone on the set was nervous because it was on the second level of this parking structure," Chestnut recalled Monday to NASCAR.com via telephone. "And it was such a big explosion that everyone thought the second level was going to drop down to the first." But one guest star -- Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Austin Dillon -- seemed quite unnerved by the exploding car behind him, Chestnut noticed. It seemed his day job lent a hand to dealing with crashes, fires and loud noises on the set of a television show. "He was actually in the scene when this happened," Chestnut said of Dillon. "And to see his reaction -- he was just like a pro, didn't flinch. It was great, he did a great job." In the "Rosewood" season finale, Dillon portrays Wayne Cirito, a character that is associated with a crime gang that the show's protagonist Dr. Beaumont Rosewood (played by Chestnut) is trying to interrogate. As for Dillon's acting skills? Chestnut was impressed by the 27-year-old driver's versatility on-screen. "That's one thing that's great about Austin," Chestnut said. "It was a very tough scene because he goes from this hard, tough-as-nails guy, to relating to (character Captain Ira) Hornstock and talking about things he may not have been comfortable (talking about)." But as Chestnut learned after talking with Dillon off-screen, race car drivers have to be tough in a variety of facets in their own jobs -- as well as focused, sharp and able-bodied. It's a familiar area for the 48-year-old actor, as he just released a health and fitness book this month entitled "The Cut: Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 10 Days and Sculpt Your Best Body." "It was great to talk to him about some of the insight toward NASCAR," Chestnut said. "I didn't know some of the things that he goes through as (a driver), that they go through in the cars and everything, so it was great to talk to him about that. "…One thing when I was talking to Austin is the endurance factor. Not only do you have to have a healthy body, but you have to have a healthy and sharp mind because a one-second lapse can not only cost you the race, but you can get into some very bad, brutal accidents. So, health and fitness is a huge part of being sharp and being ready when you're on the track. "These guys are athletes, these drivers are athletes," Chestnut continued. "I didn't realize that. They're not just sitting in the car Sunday driving like I do on the freeway. (They're hitting) 200 mph, going around these tracks and turns … you have to be in tip-top shape and (have) a razor-sharp mind." His conversations with Dillon on set gave Chestnut, who has never attended a NASCAR race, a greater appreciation for the sport of racing. "To be honest, I didn't get (NASCAR)," said Chestnut, who also plans to attend Dillon's 3-on-3 charity basketball tournament this year. "I didn't really get it. But he was breaking everything down to me about the whole entire experience. It's not just about the race -- it's even before the race, everyone coming, meeting the drivers, being right on the track. He was breaking so many little intricate things down to me just about the sport in general to where it really, really piqued my interest. So I'm looking forward to getting out to (a race) … (There were) so many interesting things that he was talking to me about, I was like, 'Man, I have to see one of these.' " The connections between NASCAR and Hollywood have grown deeper in recent years, as more drivers have briefly traded their fire suits and race cars for Hollywood scripts and bright lights for cameo appearances in movies and television shows. Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney and Carl Edwards notably nabbed cameo roles in the upcoming Steven Soderbergh-directed, racing-themed film "Logan Lucky;" which stars Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig and Riley Keough among others. Likewise, several movie and television stars have flocked to the often-unfamiliar race tracks, particularly the Southern California-based Auto Club Speedway and Wine Country's Sonoma Raceway. RELATED: NASCAR meets Hollywood in 'Logan Lucky' movie While he is just starting to learn more about NASCAR, Chestnut already sees parallels between NASCAR and Hollywood, primarily the storytelling aspect of both. "I think they're both very entertaining," Chestnut said. "Like I said, I didn't understand the sport … but once he told me the intricacies of the storylines that are involved and how intimate the fans can be with the drivers, it's a whole other level of entertainment. Even the story within the story, the story within the races with some of the drivers and what happens before they even come to the race. "There's just so many interesting things, I think it's just a natural relationship the two can have. Hollywood has stories -- we tell stories with our show every week. The more you know about our show, the more interested you may be. The more I know about NASCAR drivers, the more interested I am in the sport. It's very similar. They're both very strong forms of entertainment." Catch Dillon and Chestnut on the season finale of "Rosewood" on Friday, April 28 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
15 years later: Jimmie Johnson's first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win
Relive the 2002 NAPA Auto Parts 500 at Auto Club Speedway that saw Jimmie Johnson win his first ever Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.
At a Glance What: Toyota Owners 400 Where: Richmond International Raceway, .75-mile oval in Richmond, Virginia When: Sunday, April 30 Green flag: 2:14 p.m. ET TV/Radio: FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Forecast: Mostly sunny with a high near 89, according to the National Weather Service. Southwest winds at 8 to 11 mph. National anthem: Sophia Nadder, 14-year-old singer from Midlothian, Virginia Grand Marshal: Major Eric Phillips, Toyota owner with Priority Toyota of Richmond Race distance: 400 laps, 300 miles Pit road speed: 40 mph Caution car speed: 45 mph Stage lengths: Stage 1 ends on Lap 100. Stage 2 ends on Lap 200 . Final stage is scheduled to end on Lap 400. Key story lines • In a bit of breaking news Sunday morning, Joey Logano was sent to the rear of the field " Read more • Yes, Dale Jr. is retiring after 2017. Plenty of young drivers are ready to step up , though " Read more • Jimmie Johnson is closing in on NASCAR legends on the all-time wins list ... and is going for three wins in a row " Read more &amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;gt;
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>
France: Young drivers give NASCAR deep talent pool
RELATED: France family makes special hospital visit RICHMOND, Va. -- NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said Sunday that NASCAR is in a state of transition within its deep, talented driver pool, drumming up support for incoming young talent in NASCAR's national ranks. France's remarks came during an impromptu media session at Richmond International Raceway about an hour before Sunday's Toyota Owners 400. France acknowledged the new wave of drivers' growing connection to the sport's fans will not be an overnight process, but that being steadfast when it comes to on-track performance should help their names resonate. "The good news is, and you guys have seen it in the talent pool that's coming, and it is deep, so we're excited about that," France said, mentioning the moments enjoyed already by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points leader Kyle Larson, age 24. "I think the big thing is -- and I always tell them this -- they've got to compete at a high level. They can't be humble about that. They can't be humble as they race out there with veteran stars who they looked up to. They can't be humble to say 'I'm happy to be here.' They're here for a reason. They're very, very good ." France's Q&A came five days after Dale Earnhardt Jr., the sport's Most Popular Driver, announced that the 2017 season would be his last in the Monster Energy Series . France paid tribute to Earnhardt in his opening remarks, saluting both his driving career and his efforts to improve the sport with his collaborative spirit. PHOTOS: Dale Jr. through the years "He's meant a lot to this sport in many ways, on and off the track -- not just his popularity, but carrying on the Earnhardt name in such a good way," France said. "He was always competitive on the track, always raced at a high level, and always worked with NASCAR to make the sport better, just like his father did." France also discussed the impact of Monster Energy as the premier series' entitlement sponsor, a partnership announced five months ago. Since the two sides joined forces, France said Monster Energy has played a key role in trying to introduce the sport to a new, younger demographic. "I'd say in one word -- great," France said. "I think that they are bringing what we hoped they would bring, that sort of youthful, kind of edgy … they do it in entertainment, if you were out in California, with a massive crowd interacting with our fan base. And then digitally, socially, they're one of the leading companies in the country in how to manage that new frontier."
France family makes special visit, honored at gala
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and his wife Amy were front and center at Hassenfeld Children's Hospital at NYU Langone on April 26, visiting with patients and taking in a race of a different kind -- the pinewood derby variety. Yes, racing runs deep in the France family roots. So does charity. Wednesday's visit illustrates a deep relationship with helping children. Last year, The NASCAR Foundation announced plans to donate $1 million to Hassenfeld Children's Hospital at NYU Langone as part of a multi-year partnership to enhance the delivery of medical care to children. Since that time, The NASCAR Foundation has supported the Child Life Program to minimize the emotional stress on children when enduring illness, injury and medical treatments. "When you come to this kind of treatment center and hospital and see the good work they're doing, it moves you. It just does," Brian France said. "We met this entire group of people last fall at a (NASCAR) Foundation event. We committed at that time to be a part of their treatment center for children going forward, and here we are getting the tour and meeting the kids. We're happy to be here." It's The NASCAR Foundation's first multi-year partnership with NYU Langone Medical Center and marks its commitment to reach more kids nationally. NASCAR's charitable arm has donated more than $30 million and impacted more than one million children since its inception in 2006. " Learn more about The NASCAR Foundation's Speediatrics Children's Fund Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Tifft joined the Frances, rolling up his sleeves and pitching in on building an entry into the pinewood derby -- No. 19, of course, to match his entry for Joe Gibbs Racing. The event perhaps had special meaning for the 20-year-old Tifft, a member of the 2016-17 NASCAR Next class. Last year Tifft put his racing career -- and life -- on hold after doctors discovered a tumor on his brain. Successful surgery on July 1 removed the brain tumor, which was benign, as Tifft learned first-hand the importance of world-class care. The Frances and The NASCAR Foundation also were honored at the KiDS of NYU Langone Springfling Gala on April 27 for their tireless commitment in improving the lives of children. Brian France and Amy France represented The NASCAR Foundation at the gala. Together, they are continuing the legacy of Betty Jane France, Brian's mother, who created the vision for the Speediatrics Children's Fund, a program of The NASCAR Foundation to enhance the delivery of high-quality medical care to needy children across the country. Further carrying on the tradition of the France family's legacy of giving back, Brian and Amy France spend much of their personal time driving progress on issues that threaten the health and wellness of children. The Frances personally partner with dozens of world-class charitable organization, have been honored for their contributions to pediatric cancer and work tirelessly to combat a wide-range of issues related to disease, poverty, abuse and education. "You feel a stronger pull toward helping these children and doing something small to put some cheer into their life by supporting a world-class facility such as NYU Langone," said Amy France during the visit. &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;gt;
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;
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