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Great Clips extends relationship with Hendrick, No. 5 team
CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 20, 2016) -- Great Clips Inc. will continue its sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports and the No. 5 Chevrolet SS team of driver Kasey Kahne in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with a contract extension through 2018. The two-year agreement covers the 2017 and 2018 seasons and secures primary sponsorship of the No. 5 Chevrolet SS for 10 events annually. Great Clips , which joined Hendrick Motorsports as a partner in 2012, also will be a major associate sponsor of the No. 5 team each year. The world's largest salon brand, Great Clips became a first-time Sprint Cup primary sponsor with three races in 2013. The program grew to 10 primary races annually in 2014. "We are very pleased to extend our relationship with Hendrick Motorsports and with Kasey through the 2018 NASCAR season," said Terri Miller, senior vice president of marketing and communications, Great Clips Inc. "Kasey has been a member of the Great Clips family for over 13 years and is a great ambassador of our brand. He embodies the same qualities and values that are synonymous with Great Clips -- loyalty, family, dedication and a passion to succeed. "We have built a successful partnership with Hendrick Motorsports over the last several years that has allowed us to activate and elevate our brand and partner programs to a new level, and we are excited to be able to continue that into the future." Since joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, Kahne, 36, has earned three Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup berths and five race wins with the No. 5 team. The Enumclaw, Washington, native has 17 career victories, 27 pole positions and 165 top-10 finishes in NASCAR's top division. " Great Clips has a very strong culture," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports . "The company cares deeply about relationships with their customers, franchisees, stylists, corporate staff and partners. We’ve enjoyed working together to build an effective program, and it's been terrific to see the Great Clips business grow over that time. We're committed to their success and look forward to the future." Minneapolis-based Great Clips , which has more than 4,000 locations and 1, 200 salon owners who employ 40,000 stylists throughout the United States and Canada, has a long history with Kahne. Since 2003, the company has supported his efforts as both a driver and car owner across multiple racing series. " Great Clips has believed in me throughout my career," Kahne said. "They're a big part of the No. 5 team, and we feel like members of their team, too. It's been an awesome partnership, and I'm grateful for their commitment and support. It means a lot to represent them on and off the track."
20 great moments from Auto Club's 20 years
BUY TICKETS: Celebrate Auto Club's 20th anniversary Look through 20 great moment's from Auto Club's 20 years in this gallery .
Post-Race Reactions: Great Clips 200
Elliott Sadler and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. react after a thrilling conclusion in Phoenix.
Crafton wins Keystone Light Pole Award at Atlanta
RELATED: Full lineup Matt Crafton won the Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Award on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway and will lead the field to green to kick off the Great Clips 200 (4:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Driving the No. 88 Toyota, the ThorSport Racing driver soared to the top of the leaderboard with a speed of 179.790 mph. The two-time Camping World Truck Series champion is also the defending race winner and the only previous winner in Saturday's field. John Wes Townley will start second to Crafton in his No. 05 Athenian Motorsports Chevrolet. Christopher Bell , Grant Enfinger and Cameron Hayley complete the top five in the starting lineup. Enfinger led two of the three Truck Series practices on Friday. Norm Benning , Timothy Viens , Ryan Ellis , Korbin Forrister and Jordan Anderson failed to qualify.
Caution Clock expires for first time in Truck Series history
RELATED: Smith talks Caution Clock HAMPTON, Ga. -- Time became a new factor in NASCAR for the first time on Saturday, with the Caution Clock coming into play twice in the Camping World Truck Series Great Clips 200 . The first competition yellow on Lap 38 caused issues for Christopher Bell in terms of tire strategy. The second competition caution as the 20-minute clock expired also was tied to issues for Bell, but under the surface, was playing into every team's pit and tire strategy at Atlanta Motor Speedway . NASCAR introduced the caution clock in 2016, starting at Daytona International Speedway . A 20-minute timer begins counting down at the beginning of each green-flag run. If no natural caution occurs before the clock runs out, a caution will come out, giving teams the opportunity to pit, change tires and make adjustments. The Caution Clock yellow on Lap 38 came at exactly the wrong time for Bell, who was running second when a flat right front forced him to pit road on Lap 27. The team got off tire strategy as the rest of the field capitalized on four fresh tires on the race's first restart. The No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota team got back on sequence with the field when William Byron's engine blew on Lap 60, bringing out the second caution of the race. He quickly moved back into the top five and was battling Matt Crafton for the lead by Lap 92. The second Caution Clock yellow proved costly for Bell as well, but much more so for Matt Crafton and Daniel Suarez . Bell overshot his pit stall with the setting sun in his eyes and had to be backed up, losing valuable time and falling to fifth place for the restart on Lap 111. That put Bell behind Crafton and Daniel Suarez for the restart, and as Bell aggressively pushed to regain the lead, he made contact with his teammate's No. 51 Tundra. That sparked a hard wreck that took out Crafton and Suarez, but Bell snuck through. "We just had a tough day," Suarez said after being released from the infield care center. "We had the fastest truck." MORE: Crafton, Suarez involved in big wreck at Atlanta Bell's luck ran out a few laps later as his right front tire went down, sending his Toyota hard into the outside wall. Cameron Hayley was one of the drivers who got through that late wreck unscathed, and despite his own right front tire issues finished second. Hayley said after the race that the Caution Clock affected all the teams Saturday, as it played heavily into tire strategy. "It was definitely difficult. The tire was giving up really bad in the right front for a lot of us," Haley explained, saying the No. 13 ThorSport Racing Toyota didn't have a tire go down, but did have two right fronts wear all the way down to the cords. "The thing with that Caution Clock was everyone was trying to make it to that Caution Clock, and today the tire just almost didn't make it to those 20 minutes," Hayley said. "So the challenge was we had to get there when we wanted to pit sooner."
Christopher Bell recounts harrowing Daytona wreck
HAMPTON, Ga. -- Time away from the driver's seat is not a friend, not after a barrel roll down Daytona International Speedway 's frontstretch. One week removed from his frightening tumble, Christopher Bell is eager to get on the track again and put his dramatic wreck in the season opener behind him. Bell, who is in his first full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, has flipped sprint cars a time or two, but his crash in the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota was a first in stock-car racing. It was different in several ways, including having more time to think about the wreck afterward. "In the open-wheel program, you race 100 races a year so you flip on Saturday and you're back racing on Sunday," the 21-year-old driver said before Friday's NCWTS practice at Atlanta Motor Speedway . "Luckily, we didn't have a huge break where you sit there and ponder it. So I'm looking forward to today and tomorrow to get Daytona behind us and I hope to start fresh." The physics of wrecking in NASCAR are different as well. "The biggest thing about the stock car is it might not hurt as bad because you've got more material around you, but the G forces are say more. I think the biggest thing is you're sitting to the left compared to an open-wheel car, you're sitting in the center of the car so everything is flipping around you. In the stock cars, you're off to the side of the truck, so whenever you start barrel rolling, you know, it's trying to throw you out of the car." Bell did start fresh and fast on Friday, posting the second-fastest speed of 178.816 mph in the Truck Series' first practice for Saturday's Great Clips 200 (4:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). He's competing in the truck that Erik Jones drove to the series championship in 2015. And he feels fine. "When I stopped, you got a lot of adrenaline, so I felt really good. … But walking to the ambulance I was pretty dizzy and by the time I got there, I was really dizzy. As far as injuries, other than a little bit of bruising, I mean my face was a little bruised afterwards, but other than that I was fine. The next morning I felt 100 percent until I got out of bed, and once I got out of bed, I realized I couldn't move quite as fast. But after a couple days that was all gone, and I was good to go." Bell is hopeful to keep pushing strong speed into Saturday's race with some solid testing at Atlanta under the team's belt. He got his first win while running seven races for KBM in 2015, taking the checkered flag at Eldora Speedway and is eager for another trip to Victory Lane. But first, Bell is grateful to get back to racing and past the wreck. He said the accident could have been worse if the truck had taken a hard hit to the nose or been hit by another truck rather than dissipating energy as it rolled down the track. "Looking back at it, I saw Larson's crash then Austin Dillon last year," Bell said. "You think, 'That's never going to happen to me. That'll never happen to me.' Then suddenly it is happening to you. Watching it was an eye opener. Even after I went through the crash it didn't sink in, but whenever I got to watching myself flipping, it's like 'Wow, that did happen to me.' It puts it in perspective."
Grant Enfinger tops final practice at Atlanta
Practice 3 " Full results For the second time Friday, Grant Enfinger topped the Camping World Truck Series practice leaderboard at Atlanta Motor Speedway , wheeling his No. 33 Chevrolet at a 178.775 mph clip in the final session. Enfinger, who will make just his second Truck Series start since 2012 this weekend at Atlanta, also paced the field in the opening session this morning. Veteran wheelman Matt Crafton was second-fastest, propelling his No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota at 178.00 mph around the 1.54-mile track. Christopher Bell rounded out the top three with a fast lap of 177.938 mph behind the wheel of his No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports ride. GMS Racing's Spencer Gallagher (177.681 mph) and JR Motorsports' Cole Custer (177.635 mph) were fourth and fifth on the speed charts, respectively. A blown tire from Garrett Smithley 's No. 63 truck brought out the red flag briefly. The final leg of the third practice was marked by mock qualifying runs, as the series will qualify Saturday, Feb. 27 at 10 a.m. ET (FS1) for the Great Clips 200 (4:30 p.m. ET, FS1). Practice 2 " Full results Clocking in at 178.224 mph in his No. 05 Chevrolet, John Wes Townley made a late surge to the top of the leaderboard in the second of Friday's Truck Series practice trio at Atlanta Motor Speedway . Townley was fifth-fastest in opening practice. Daniel Hemric came up second, wheeling his No. 19 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford at 177.795 mph around the Georgia track. K&N Pro Series East champion William Byron was third on the charts, his No. 9 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota reaching a top speed of 177.368 mph. Reigning race winner and 2014 Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton was fourth-fastest, his No. 88 ThorSport Racing truck rounding the track at 176.882 mph. Red Horse Racing's Ben Kennedy rounded out the top five with a fast lap of 176.701 mph in his No. 11 ride. Grant Enfinger, who led the opening Truck Series practice, came up 10th on the speed charts, his No. 33 Chevrolet reaching 175.833 mph. Korbin Forrister brought out the caution less than 10 minutes into practice, as his No. 59 truck spun across the track leaving pit road. No contact was made with any other trucks. Practice 1 " Full results Grant Enfinger led the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' opening practice at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday with a high speed of 179.574 mph. The No. 33 driver's fastest speed came on Lap 2 of 20 laps. Last week, Enfinger won the Keystone Light Pole Award for the season-opening race at Daytona. Christopher Bell was second-fastest to Enfinger at 178.816 mph. Bell was involved in a scary last-lap wreck in last week's NextEra Energy Resources 250 that had his No. 4 Toyota lifted off the track and sent barrel-rolling down the frontstretch. Defending race winner Matt Crafton was third-fastest at 178.310 mph. Daniel Hemric (177.858 mph) and John Wes Towny (177.858 mph) tied for fourth-fastest. William Byron was just behind them at 177.493 mph.
2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Owner Standings
MORE: Monster Energy Series owner standings " Camping World owner standings Position Owner Car # Points Ldr Nxt Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff pts Attempts 1 Roger Penske 22 233 0 0 0 3 3 5 2 Chip Ganassi 42 200 -33 -33 1 0 5 5 3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1 189 -44 -11 0 2 2 5 4 Joe Gibbs 20 174 -59 -15 0 1 1 5 5 Rick Hendrick 9 172 -61 -2 0 0 0 5 6 J D Gibbs 18 154 -79 -18 1 3 3 5 7 Kelley Earnhardt-Miller 7 143 -90 -11 1 0 5 5 8 Jack Roush 16 143 -90 0 1 0 5 5 9 Jack Roush 6 140 -93 -3 0 0 0 5 10 Richard Childress 2 138 -95 -2 0 0 0 5 11 Richard Childress 3 134 -99 -4 0 0 0 5 12 Chip Ganassi 48 133 -100 -1 0 0 0 5 13 Richard Childress 21 131 -102 -2 0 0 0 5 14 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5 113 -120 -18 0 0 0 5 15 Joe Gibbs 19 111 -122 -2 0 0 0 5 16 Maria Gonzalez Hernandez 24 106 -127 -5 0 0 0 5 17 Matt Kaulig 11 106 -127 0 0 0 0 5 18 James Whitener 28 101 -132 -5 0 0 0 5 19 Gene Haas 00 86 -147 -15 0 0 0 5 20 Richard Childress 33 80 -153 -6 0 0 0 5 21 Richard Childress 62 78 -155 -2 0 0 0 5 22 Fred Biagi 98 75 -158 -3 0 0 0 4 23 Gary Cogswell 0 71 -162 -4 0 0 0 5 24 Johnny Davis 01 70 -163 -1 0 0 0 5 25 Mark Smith 14 70 -163 0 0 0 0 5 26 Rod Sieg 39 69 -164 -1 0 0 0 5 27 Michelle Gosselin 90 64 -169 -5 0 0 0 5 28 Gary Keller 4 61 -172 -3 0 0 0 5 29 Maurice Gallagher Jr. 23 61 -172 0 0 0 0 5 30 Jimmy Means 52 54 -179 -7 0 0 0 5 31 Roger Penske 12 53 -180 -1 1 0 0 1 32 Tony Stewart 41 51 -182 -2 0 1 0 1 33 Bobby Dotter 07 51 -182 0 0 0 0 5 34 Rick Hendrick 88 49 -184 -2 0 0 0 1 35 Tony Clements 51 47 -186 -2 0 0 0 5 36 Danielle Long 40 44 -189 -3 0 0 0 5 37 Jessica Smith-Mcleod 99 33 - 200 -11 0 0 0 5 38 B J McLeod 78 30 -203 -3 0 0 0 5 39 Jessica Smith-Mcleod 8 28 -205 -2 0 0 0 5 40 Rick Gdovic 146 15 -218 -13 0 0 0 1 41 Lynn Cockrum 25 12 -221 -3 0 0 0 2 42 Mark Smith 44 10 -223 -2 0 0 0 1 43 Danielle Long 13 9 -224 -1 0 0 0 5 44 Mike Harmon 74 9 -224 0 0 0 0 5 45 Victor Obaika 97 4 -229 -5 0 0 0 5 46 Pamela Sieg 93 4 -229 0 0 0 0 4 47 Cindy Shepherd 89 1 -232 -3 0 0 0 4 48 Victor Obaika 177 0 -233 -1 0 0 0 1
Rookie William Byron impresses with second straight top-five day
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Auto Club RELATED: Full race results FONTANA, Calif. – Kyle Larson won the race, but William Byron bested the field of XFINITY Series regulars in one of the most competitive, hard-fought XFINITY Series events of the year at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday. It wasn't a win, but it was a well-timed boost of confidence for the rookie. Byron finished fifth in the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet, the top finishing XFINITY Series regular, just ahead of Roush Fenway Racing's Darrell Wallace Jr. and JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler. It was his second consecutive top-five finish and places the rookie second in the series standings, 17 points behind his veteran teammate Sadler. A week ago Byron won the pole position at Phoenix and scored a career-best fourth place in the race – the showing buoying him for his debut on California's two-mile oval. "Been good lately to get some top-fives," said the 19-year old Byron, allowing a smile. "We were able to make some good adjustments during the race today. I felt like we kinda struggled some in traffic getting the car to handle right. Ultimately, we got it to handle right, the guys did a great job on pit road, led a lap and got a good finish." Byron started the race from the sixth position and ran among the lead cars early on. Battling a rough handling car midway through the race, he praised his team for good pit stops and timely adjustments and was able to join in the dramatic final laps of tight racing. "It was really fun," Byron said. "It was a blast out there. I'd never been here before. You have a lot of options, so many places to run your car. It makes the hard work pay off." </p>
Junior reflects on first race, more ahead of milestone 600th start
BUY TICKETS: Celebrate Auto Club's 20th anniversary MORE: See where Junior's lining up for 600th start FONTANA, Calif. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make his 600th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start Sunday at Auto Club Speedway. And for all the glory, trophies and adoration, his two-time Daytona 500 winning career hasn't necessarily been as NASCAR's most popular driver imagined it to be. Earnhardt's initial motives were simpler and his goals modest. But he's enjoying the long ride and the achievement and respect he's accumulated in 18 full-time seasons on NASCAR's main stage. "I just wanted to drive," Earnhardt said of the milestone. "I wanted to race cars for a living. I wanted to do it well enough to be able to afford to make a living doing it. "I didn't have vision or assume that I was going to make all of the money and success that we have made, but all I really wanted to do was to do it long enough so I didn’t have to get a real job. I mean that as sincere as I can. I'm real thrilled that I've had the opportunity to stay around and drive for some really great teams. Some really awesome owners. Worked with a lot of amazing crew chiefs and crew members." Earnhardt, who missed the second half of the 2016 season recovering from concussion symptoms, returned to competition this year more grateful for the opportunity and with perhaps a different perspective. MORE: Dale Jr.: 'I feel really good' He acknowledged Friday in California that he has had preliminary talks with team owner Rick Hendrick about extending his contract with the championship organization. Earnhardt has maintained that he wanted to see how he felt behind the wheel again before committing to a contract process. "We have had some discussions about planning to get together," Earnhardt said. "It's not something I put on the shelf for sure. We are getting closer and closer. "I have done some things that I really think have (given) me a lot of confidence in the car and in my ability to continue to race and so … yeah, I'm not in any hurry to sit down and have those discussions, but we have been chit-chatting a little bit about what we need to go ahead and start heading in that direction." As for the weekend's important milestone, only Matt Kenseth has more (618) starts among active drivers. And despite the large number, Earnhardt concedes there are typically a few he hears about most -- and he gets it. "They talk about wins," Earnhardt said of his fans. " 'I was at Daytona when you won in '04, I was at Daytona when you won in '14, I was at the All-Star race when you won or I've watched every race you've ran.' You know you hear … really, they remember the moments on the track more than anything. And I do the same thing. "I think back about the wins and maybe not even the wins, some races are really fun and satisfactory, but you are the only one that will remember them because you ran third or fifth or something like that and they are kind of obscure in most people's minds. "I think about winning the All-Star race as a rookie, just how fortunate we were to do that. Winning the Daytona 500 twice. I didn't know that I would even win it once and everything that has happened. The list goes on and on." Despite the success -- the Daytona 500 wins, the dramatic Daytona summer race win in 2001 following his father's death in that year's Daytona 500, the All-Star race win, the streak of four consecutive Talladega trophies -- Earnhardt humbly and vividly remembers the first of his 599 starts. "My first Cup race? I was really nervous," Earnhardt said. "I remember sitting on the starting grid or sitting in qualifying for the race and telling (then crew chief) Tony (Eury) Jr. that I would switch with him for a million dollars so he could do this instead of me because I was scared to death. "Just they had made such a big deal about that whole thing." And to think, that was only the beginning of the making of a superstar, the most popular driver -- a talent that earned his place in the record books. And in hearts. &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;