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Great Clips 300 to benefit Feed The Children entry list
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Post-Race Reactions: Great Clips - Grit Chips 300
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Sport Clips continues partnership with JGR, adds Furniture Row
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! GEORGETOWN, Texas, -- Sport Clips Haircuts announced today its continued partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing and driver Denny Hamlin for the 2017 season, and the addition of Furniture Row Racing and driver Erik Jones . Sport Clips will increase its sponsorship in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to include two races with Hamlin and four races with Jones. In addition, Sport Clips will continue to have a presence in the XFINITY Series with one race with Hamlin. Veteran Denny Hamlin will pilot the No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry for two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races during the 2017 season beginning at Auto Club Speedway on March 26 and at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 3. In addition, the 2016 Daytona 500 winner will return to the XFINITY Series behind the wheel of the No. 18 Sport Clips Toyota Camry for the Sport Clips -sponsored Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 2. No stranger to the Sport Clips Toyota Camry, Hamlin visited victory lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2012 in the Cup Series and twice in the XFINITY Series at Richmond International Raceway in 2011 and most recently at Darlington Raceway in 2015. New to the Sport Clips program for the 2017 season will be Furniture Row Racing with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Erik Jones . Entering his first season with Furniture Row Racing , Jones will pilot the No. 77 Sport Clips Toyota Camry for four races beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 23 followed by Daytona International Speedway on July 1, Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 23 and ending with Sport Clips' home track, Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 5. Jones has previously represented Sport Clips for two races in the No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series , earning one pole and a best finish of second, both coming in 2016 at Pocono Raceway . "When Denny began driving for Sport Clips , we had a few more than 700 locations open at the time, and we now have more than 1,600 locations in the U.S. and Canada – a milestone we were proud to reach in 2016. We are pleased to have Denny, and now Erik, along for the ride in 2017!" said Gordon Logan, founder and CEO of Sport Clips . " Joe Gibbs Racing and its drivers have been excellent ambassadors for our brand over the years, and we're thrilled to add another partner in Furniture Row Racing . We look forward to an exciting and successful race season!" The 2017 season will mark the ninth season that Sport Clips has been involved with the Joe Gibbs Racing family of partners and the first season as a partner of Furniture Row Racing . 2017 NASCAR SCHEDULE Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series March 26: Auto Club Speedway – Denny Hamlin – No. 11 Sport Clips Camry April 23: Bristol Motor Speedway – Erik Jones – No. 77 Sport Clips Camry July 1: Daytona International Speedway – Erik Jones – No. 77 Sport Clips Camry July 23: Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Erik Jones – No. 77 Sport Clips Camry Sept. 3: Darlington Raceway – Denny Hamlin – No. 11 Sport Clips Camry Nov. 5: Texas Motor Speedway – Erik Jones – No. 77 Sport Clips Camry XFINITY Series Sept. 2: Darlington Raceway – Denny Hamlin – No. 18 Sport Clips Camry
Arris renews multi-year partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! RELATED: Suarez's rise to NASCAR stardom SUWANEE, Ga. -- ARRIS International today announced that it has renewed its multi-year sponsorship agreement with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). Under the agreement, ARRIS will extend its primary sponsorship of Daniel Suárez to 22 races (up from 17 last year) in this season's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, following Carl Edwards ' decision to step away from racing in January. Following his momentous win as the first foreign-born driver to win a NASCAR championship, Suárez will move up as the driver of the No. 19 ARRIS Toyota Camry to compete in NASCAR's highest series. From the start, ARRIS Racing has shared a passion for developing young talent in racing, alongside Carlos "Slim" Domit and Escudería. Today, ARRIS also announced that it is continuing its support of young Latin American drivers -- renewing its sponsorship of Abraham Calderón, who last season won the Freightliner Truck Series in Mexico, and sponsoring 21-year-old Mexican driver Fabián Welter, who is currently Driver 1 in the Telmex Driver Development Program. "ARRIS is a strategic and dedicated partner on and off the track," said Joe Gibbs, founder and owner of JGR. "Their commitment to advancing the sport -- from a sponsorship and technology perspective -- makes them a genuine leader that our fans have recognized and embraced. We look forward to years of rewarding collaboration and to many more trips to Victory Lane." "Our partnership with JGR and our involvement with NASCAR has been instrumental in introducing the ARRIS brand to millions of NASCAR fans. We had a great run with the legendary Carl Edwards , and now we're proud to continue our work with JGR by extending our race-day sponsorship to 22 events in support of Daniel Suárez's history-making trajectory," said Ron Coppock, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing and Customer Operations at ARRIS. "Daniel represents the future of racing, and we're looking forward to joining him on the podium in his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. "ARRIS Racing is also proud to play an important role in the development of young Latin American racing talent," continued Coppock. "Fabián and Abraham are two drivers who, like a young Daniel Suárez, show great potential on the Mexican racing scene. We are excited to contribute to their growth as drivers and as the next generation of this sport." "It's a dream to be competing for the first time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series," said Daniel Suárez, JGR driver. "With the full support of ARRIS and JGR, I know the whole team will be able to make the most of this coming season and give us every chance of success." ARRIS joined the NASCAR family in 2014 with its primary sponsorship of JGR drivers Carl Edwards and Daniel Suárez. In 2016, the company installed the most comprehensive Wi-Fi deployment in NASCAR history at Daytona International Speedway , which serves tens of thousands of fans on race days. The company also powers the communications between NASCAR drivers and their teams through its SURFboard SB6183 modem, E6000 CER, and integration and support from its Global Services team.
Elliott starting to feel comfortable with No. 24 legacy
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Chase Elliott can't make fans forget the legacy of the No. 24 car, but by all indications, he's ready to make his own distinctive mark in that vaunted ride. The history of the No. 24 car is monumental, and Elliott inherited that ride last year from the driver who made it famous. The No. 24 has won 93 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races in 1,414 starts since the number debuted in 1950. All 93 victories belong to Jeff Gordon , who retired from full-time racing at NASCAR's highest level at the end of the 2015 season. When Gordon made his first premier series start in the 1992 season finale, he took over the number from Butch Gilliland, who had driven a family-owned No. 24 Pontiac at Phoenix two weeks earlier. The No. 24 made only two appearances in 1992, with Gilliland behind the wheel, before Gordon ran the number at Atlanta Motor Speedway . As he made his debut in the Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, Gordon did so with no weight of history on his shoulders. The same can't be said of Elliott, who followed a four-time champion who is third on the all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory list. But Elliott has adjusted. By all measures, he exceeded expectations in a 2016 season that saw him claim Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. Elliott was a couple of blown restarts away from becoming the only driver other than Gordon to win in the No. 24 car, and he's ready to build on his strong performance this season. Sophomore jinx? Forget it. "You hope you can continue forward and not look at it as 'Year 2' or look at it from that perspective," Elliott said. "You have to go about it as a new season, as boring an answer as that is. You have to see the challenges as they come. One thing I'm excited about, which I haven't had in the last few years, is having the same crew chief two years in a row. I haven't had that. "I really enjoyed working with Alan (Gustafson) last year. I think he's one of the best. Everyone says that about their crew chiefs, but I'm pretty confident saying that. He does a great job and is underrated in what he does and how hard he works in trying to make a race team go. For us, it's about starting another year, improving in areas that we wanted to get better in and also improving some of the areas we succeeded in and try to keep it as simple as that." It also helps that Elliott has a different primary sponsor (NAPA) from the ones that dominated the hood of Gordon's car. Elliott's souvenir sales have been robust, and his fans are easily identifiable. "I want to be me and try to keep things as straightforward as I can," Elliott said. "I try not to be a very complicated person and try to keep things as simple as possible. I certainly appreciate the support we've had. It was incredible to see some of that last year. "Darlington stands out in my mind. We went there and saw a bunch of new 24 gear, which goes a long way. It doesn't go unnoticed and it means a lot. I certainly appreciate that support, but you want people to support you for who you are and no other reason. I hope that's the way it is for me. I'm trying to be myself." The transition from Gordon to Elliott, in the fan base as well as in the car, is emblematic of the youth movement that's evolved in the past few years from a groundswell into a full-fledged tsunami. The 2017 season brings three full-time newcomers to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in Erik Jones , Daniel Suarez and Ty Dillon . They follow by a year the talented trio of Elliott, Ryan Blaney and Chris Buescher . Before that, Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson joined the series. Elliott recalled once again his experience at Darlington, where, as he sat in his car waiting to leave the track, he noticed a large group of fans wearing No. 24 NAPA gear. "I happened to see a big group of people," Elliott explained. "That's why it stood out in my mind. As the year went on, I guess you did see a little more of the newer 24 stuff, which I thought was cool. "But I'm perfectly cool with seeing Jeff Gordon gear, too. Jeff's been good to me and has a great fan base who still enjoy going to the races. New or old 24 gear, I'm happy with it." Just as Elliott's growing cadre of fans will continue to coexist with the long-time backers of Gordon, so will their two legacies. And as the 2017 season begins to unfold, Elliott appears ready to add considerable substance to his. &amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;
Greg Biffle headed to TV in guest analyst role
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Greg Biffle took to Twitter on Friday to reveal that he has no plans to race full-time in NASCAR in 2017. After a great deal of consideration from all the offers I've received, I've decided not to participate full time in #NASCAR this season.... — Greg Biffle (@gbiffle) February 17, 2017 If the right opportunity arises I may return to the driver’s seat... — Greg Biffle (@gbiffle) February 17, 2017 Instead, Biffle will be working as a reccurring analyst on NBC Sports Network's "NASCAR America," and he will serve as a guest analyst for Motor Racing Network's radio broadcast of the NASCAR XFINITY Series opener on Feb. 25 at Daytona International Speedway . I’ve accepted a great opportunity @NBCSports as a reoccurring guest analyst on their show #NASCARAmerica , my first appearance is March 1 — Greg Biffle (@gbiffle) February 17, 2017 A 19-time winner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series , Biffle parted ways with Roush Fenway Racing right after the 2016 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway following a 19-year run together in NASCAR. With Roush, Biffle won the 2002 NASCAR XFINITY Series title and the 2000 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Logano looks strong, Dale Jr. returns at Daytona
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! RELATED: Junior returns at Daytona " Practice results Dale Earnhardt Jr . returned to competition for the first time in seven months, but it was Joey Logano in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford who led qualifying practice for the Daytona 500 on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway . Logano's fastest lap of 193.116 mph held firm at the top of the leaderboard after the nearly four-hour practice session and gave him a boost heading into Coors Light Pole Qualifying on Sunday (3:10 p.m. ET, FOX). However, lots of eyes were on Junior, who missed the final 18 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races in 2016 because of a concussion. Thirty minutes into practice, Junior climbed into the car, then after a debris caution 20 minutes later the No. 88 Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports took the track. Earnhardt Jr.'s first lap was 17th-fastest at 190.504 mph. Junior finished the session in 11th place at 192.670 mph. "It felt good to just get out there and get to work a little bit and be with the guys and see all the familiar faces in the garage, other drivers and team members and so forth," Earnhardt Jr. said. "Yeah, just trying to put as many laps as I can behind me and get further and further into this deal to where the events from last year become more of a distant memory and don't define me as who I am so much anymore." Behind Logano in second and third place, respectively, were Aric Almirola and Brad Keselowski , both in Fords. Rounding out the top five at the 2.5-mile superspeedway were Kyle Larson in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and another Ford driven by Wood Brothers Racing 's Ryan Blaney . This was the only practice scheduled before Sunday's single-car, two-round qualifying that will set the front row for the 59th running of The Great American Race. MORE: How the field is set for the Daytona 500 &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Bowman thankful for opportunity in 'The Clash'
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! RELATED: How 'The Clash' works DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Alex Bowman made his case for a spot in the season-opening exhibition for 2016 pole winners, claiming his first Coors Light Pole at his home track at Phoenix as part of his substitute stint in Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s place. But even though he'd earned eligibility, so had Earnhardt as a former winner. With only 10 starts as an interim driver in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet, Bowman didn't exactly feel like he could pipe up and volunteer. "I just kind of let it go quiet," Bowman said Friday at Daytona International Speedway . "I didn't want step on any toes, or ask anybody and have it seem like I was begging for something. I wasn't really asking." It didn't stop him from joking about a possible one-off effort with his crew chief under the banner of Greg Ives Racing so that both he and Earnhardt could be in the field. But the word came from Hendrick Motorsports general manager Doug Duchardt on the chilly December day at Darlington Raceway while Earnhardt completed the compulsory on-track preparations to gain medical clearance in his return from concussion. Earnhardt will defer his comeback one week, joining the FOX Sports team to call the action in Saturday night's Advance Auto Parts Clash (8 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) from the TV booth. But his influence will still resonate in his vote of confidence for Bowman's ability. RELATED: Dale Jr. to be in the broadcast booth for 'The Clash' "I am very thankful for the opportunity," Bowman said. "Dale's been so great to me. I wouldn't be here without him. He is the one that pointed me out when he wasn't feeling good. I feel like I owe a lot to him, and I am very thankful for him to put me in the car for this race." Bowman will start eighth in Saturday night's invitational, the only race currently on his 2017 schedule. The 23-year-old driver, who drove part-time in the XFINITY Series last year, participates in simulation tests for Hendrick Motorsports and some testing duty for Chevrolet. His 10-race stint during Earnhardt's recuperation was impressive enough to attract the eyes of a handful of prospective car owners with full-time positions in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series . But none were enough to make Bowman jump. "There was just really wasn't anything that was going to make me leave Hendrick Motorsports ," Bowman said. "I feel like I want to be part of a winning organization whether I am driving, just working for the team, doing testing or doing the simulation stuff. Whatever I'm doing, I want to be part of a winning team. Nothing was going to drag me away from here." With this event shaping up as a "one night only" performance, Bowman says he isn't treating the race as another audition. And the fickle nature of restrictor-plate racing has him prepared for all possible outcomes. The only additional pressure, he says, comes from having a superspeedway expert in Earnhardt observing his efforts with a vested interest from the TV booth. But much like last year, Bowman says he'll savor the moment. "It's another race," Bowman said. "It's another opportunity to have a lot of fun with Hendrick Motorsports . That is something I kind of tried to do all last season was just to have fun and that is what we are going to try to do on Saturday night and hopefully bring home a trophy."
Earnhardt Jr. returns to action in Daytona practice
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! RELATED: Junior reacts to first laps of '17 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Great patience surpassed high anticipation surrounding Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s return to the race track Saturday morning at Daytona International Speedway . Earnhardt's Hendrick Motorsports crew was still working feverishly on his No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet in the garage area as his competitors rolled out for Daytona 500 opening practice. Earnhardt, meanwhile, stood back still wearing a ball cap, his arms crossed as he alternated between glancing at the scoring screen and watching his team prep the car -- computers on the roof, hood up. About 30-40 fans lined up four- and five-deep in the fan area behind the garage while a dozen photographers waited just outside his stall. The two-time Daytona 500 winner put his helmet on 30 minutes into the session and climbed into the car for his first official practice laps since July of 2016. (He missed the final 18 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races of 2016 because of a concussion.) And then just as it looked like he would join competition for the first time in seven months, a caution flag came out for debris. Earnhardt was the 36th car to roll onto the track, nearly 50 minutes into the almost four-hour session. His first lap was 17th-fastest at 190.504 mph. He finished the session in 11th place at 192.67 mph. Joey Logano led the practice, which was in preparation for Sunday's single-car, two-round qualifying (3:10 p.m. ET, FOX). Earnhardt ended the session with the 11th-fastest lap and some invaluable confidence being back in the driver seat again. "It felt good to just get out there and get to work a little bit and be with the guys and see all the familiar faces in the garage, other drivers and team members and so forth," Earnhardt said following Saturday's nearly four-hour practice. "Just trying to put as many laps as I can behind me and get further and further into this deal to where the events from last year become more of a distant memory and don't define me as who I am so much anymore. It will be good to get in the car and get some good wins and good finishes under our belt this season. That is our plan." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Dale Jr. waiting on 'confidence in my health' before signing new contract
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . said he intends to race "for more years," but NASCAR's most popular driver also said he won't sit down to discuss his contract with team owner Rick Hendrick until he's confident his health isn't an issue. Earnhardt, 42, missed the final 18 races of the 2016 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season while recovering from a concussion suffered at mid-season. He is in the final year of his contract as driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports . "I told Rick (Hendrick) that I would like to get a couple of races, a couple of months under my belt to get confidence in my health," Earnhardt said Saturday at Daytona International Speedway , site of next week's season-opening Daytona 500 . "This is the only reason I feel that way. There's no underlying crap about it. When I got hurt last year, what I saw it put the company through, how I saw it frustrate certain aspects of the company -- maybe not frustrate but it put a strain on our relationships. Our partners were worried about my future, Rick and everybody was worried. I don't want to do that again. "I want to get some races under my belt and get confidence in my health before I can commit to him. I don't want to make him a promise that I can't deliver on. "Once I feel like, 'You know what? I think I'm good. I think I can withstand the wear and tear of driving these cars to do a couple more years,' I’m ready to do it. Because I want to race; I want to be here and I want to race." Earnhardt joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2008 after eight seasons with Dale Earnhardt Inc., the company founded by his father, the seven-time series champion and inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee. Nine of his 26 career victories have come since the move to HMS. In addition to competing for HMS, Earnhardt also co-owns JR Motorsports, a race organization that fields four teams in NASCAR's XFINITY Series. He will make his first start since his injury next week here at DIS. He's a two-time winner of the Daytona 500 and considered one of the sport's best on the big superspeedways, where NASCAR mandates the use of restrictor plates to limit speeds. Retirement has been on his mind, Earnhardt admitted, even before last season's setback. But he said the injury made him realize that it might now be best to put off such thoughts until he knows his health isn't a concern. Earnhardt said in December that he hoped to sit down and discuss a contract extension before the '17 season got underway. "I've been trying over the last year or two to put a number on it, say, 'This is when I'm going to retire,'" he said. "'This will be the year or the day or the age.' But I've decided that maybe it's best that I don't. Considering my health, I can't even think about putting a date on it because I don't know what's going to happen to me going forward. "I want to get a couple of races under my belt, a couple of months, and then we'll sit down and say, 'You know, if everything is going great and we haven't had any issues, I'm confident to continue to race.'" Earnhardt has twice signed five-year contracts with HMS – the first from 2008 through '12 and the most recent, an extension which ran from 2013-17. Hendrick Motorsports also fields Monster Energy Series teams for seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott . &lt;/p&gt;