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Habul donates $100,000 to Nationwide Children's Hospital
A father of a boy and two girls with another baby girl on the way, Kenny Habul balances being a successful business owner, race car driver and family man. While in Ohio last Thursday afternoon, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver and his family visited the Nationwide Children's Hospital (NCH) and made a $100,000 donation on behalf of everyone at his company, SunEnergy1. For more than half a century, Nationwide has partnered with NCH to provide life-saving care to children and their families. The third annual Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio was part of the company's effort to raise awareness and more than $4 million for NCH and its wide-ranging, world-class research efforts. RELATED: Drivers form lasting bond with Patient Champions In his 11th career XFINITY Series start and second of the season, Habul qualified 15th and finished 28th. Last month, Denny Hamlin drove Habul's SunEnergy1 No. 20 Toyota Camry to New Hampshire Motor Speedway's Victory Lane.
Habul gets spun when Barrett goes off course
Kenny Habul and Carlos Contreras collide after Stanton Barrett goes off the course in the Gardner Denver 200 at Road America.
Habul causes huge collision in Mid-Ohio
During the restart with 7 to go, Kenny Habul gets jammed up, makes contact with Boris Said causing him to spin out and collect multiple cars behind him.
Red flag brought out after hard hit for Habul
The red flag is brought out at Watkins Glen International after Kenny Habul was hit hard by Ryan Reed, causing major damage.
Habul collects a sign on restart
Kenny Habul hits a sign on a restart during the Johnsonville Sausage 200 Presented by Menards at Road America.
Chase Elliott gains SunEnergy1 as sponsor
As Chase Elliott climbs into the legendary No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet this year, the rookie gains sponsor SunEnergy1 for four races each of the next three years. "We at SunEnergy1 are more than thrilled to be joining Hendrick Motorsports for several years," said Kenny Habul , founder and CEO of SunEnergy1. "It is a privilege to be on the No. 24 Chevrolet and support a driver like Chase Elliott , one of NASCAR's rising stars. The Hendrick Motorsports family is a symbol of excellence and integrity. There is no better fit for SunEnergy1 in the sport." In 2016, SunEnergy1 will be featured as a primary sponsor July 2 at Daytona International Speedway , Aug. 7 at Watkins Glen International , Oct. 16 at Kansas Speedway and Nov. 13 at Phoenix International Raceway . The partnership also includes associate-level sponsorship. "SunEnergy1 is on the cutting edge of the renewable energy industry," said the 20-year-old Elliott, who was voted by fans as the NASCAR XFINITY Series' most popular driver in 2014 and 2015. "In the XFINITY Series, I raced against Kenny on the road courses. He's a great competitor, and it will be fun to build this relationship with him and SunEnergy1. I'm looking forward to having them as a partner, and our whole team is focused on making the program a success." SunEnergy1 joins primary partners NAPA auto parts (24 races), 3M (five races), Kelley Blue Book (two races) and Mountain Dew (two races) to complete Elliott's 37-race 2016 Sprint Cup schedule.
Chase Elliott's SunEnergy1 paint scheme revealed
Photo credit: Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott will have a sun-filled paint scheme later this year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The look for his SunEnergy1-sponsored No. 24 Chevrolet has been unveiled and it has quite the array of colors. The car will first take to the track at Daytona International Speedway ahead of the July 2 race at the revamped facility. SunEnergy1 will also be the primary sponsor for Elliott’s races at Watkins Glen International (Aug. 7), Kansas Speedway (Oct. 16) and Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 13). SunEnergy1 founder, CEO and part-time NASCAR driver Kenny Habul will pilot the No. 88 SunEnergy1 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR XFINITY Series on Aug. 6 at Watkins Glen International . The solar energy company is on board as a sponsor for four races in each of the next three years for the Hendrick Motorsports driver. Elliott’s rookie season in the sport’s top series is off to a strong start. In addition to nabbing the pole for the season-opening Daytona 500 , he has three top-10 finishes in the season’s first five races. The 20-year-old Georgia native and son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott is 16th in the point standings. RELATED: Which rookie will win first? " SHOP: Elliott fan gear
Recovering Hamlin expects to be ready at Daytona
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Denny Hamlin said Tuesday that he's roughly 50 percent recovered from offseason knee surgery, but that the relatively lengthy healing process should not hinder his readiness for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Hamlin, 35, underwent successful surgery Nov. 30 after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while playing basketball in early September. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver, who competed in the final 11 races of the season without an absence, said his recovery was still a "day by day" process. "I'm not where I want or should be right now, but I'm getting there, like every day," Hamlin said during the Joe Gibbs Racing portion of the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour. "I went on vacation and that kind of set me back a little bit and then now I'm starting to get back in the groove of things." Hamlin said the method of surgery differed from an ACL operation he underwent on his left knee during the 2010 season. He added that while the style of surgery may make him stronger in the long run, the short-term recovery process might be more drawn out. With little more than three weeks before cars hit the track at Daytona International Speedway ahead of the Feb. 21 Daytona 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), Hamlin said he wasn't worried about any sort of delay for the start of his season. "There's no concern about Daytona," Hamlin said. "I definitely could get in a car and do what I need to do right now. I think the challenge for me would probably be getting in the car, (that) would probably be the toughest part, but I was able to get in one at JGR last week, so I think everything will be fine. It's just once I get my range of motion back, it'll be fine. I'd say 50 percent's probably fair." Coach Joe Gibbs, Hamlin's car owner since his Sprint Cup debut in 2005, also struck a positive note. "I think it's been a lot slower coming back, but I think he feels good about it," Gibbs said. "We don't see any issues, so he should be ready to go at Daytona." The recuperation process did have an unintended side effect, halting an opportunity for Hamlin to compete in his first Rolex 24 at Daytona, the star-studded opening race for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Hamlin was in line to join part-time NASCAR competitors Boris Said and Kenny Habul in the Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS entry for the 24-hour sports car race Jan. 30-31. "I was closer than what Joe was willing to think I was," Hamlin said with a grin. "I think I was going to run it, I'd verbally told someone I was going to run it, but then Joe reminded me and he talked to my doctor and said that I just wasn't ready to do it. I agree with them. I needed some more time to get ready for the season, and when you have the Rolex 24 and driver changes and you've got to get in and out real fast, I just wasn't ready for that."
Clint Bowyer to drive for JRM at Chicagoland
JR Motorsports announced Thursday that Clint Bowyer will drive the team's No. 88 Chevrolet in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this September at Chicagoland Speedway . The scheduled appearance for car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr . in the Sept. 17 race will mark Bowyer's first XFINITY Series race since 2012. The Sprint Cup regular was the XFINITY series champion in 2008. Sponsorship for the 300-mile race will be provided by Morton Buildings, an Illinois-based business 120 miles from the 1.5-mile Joliet track. "When Dale Jr. offers to let you drive his car, there's only one answer and that's 'yes,' " said Bowyer. "JR Motorsports is certainly on a roll right now and I know those guys are working hard to make the boss happy by building fast cars. It's going to be a blast wheeling that No. 88 Morton Buildings Chevrolet around Chicagoland in the XFINITY race. It's going to be even better when we can celebrate with the boss in Victory Lane." Bowyer becomes the ninth driver tapped for JRM's No. 88 seat this season, joining Josh Berry , Alex Bowman , Cole Custer , Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Chase Elliott , Kenny Habul , Kevin Harvick and Regan Smith on the roster. The car is a two-time winner this year, with Elliott securing the season opener at Daytona and Earnhardt prevailing last month at Richmond.
Suarez moving closer to reaching Victory Lane
RELATED: Charlotte race results " Updated series standings CONCORD, N.C. -- At the end of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway , Daniel Suarez climbed out of his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota like a seasoned pro. With his feet planted on the concrete and his helmet off, he immediately found himself in the midst of a media frenzy, everyone wanting a quote or two from the Mexican-born driver. No, Suarez did not win the Charlotte race, but his fourth-place finish (best among XFINITY Series regulars) was in many ways, the equivalent of a trip to Victory Lane. Yet, Suarez remains hungry for that elusive victory. "We are getting closer," Suarez said, coated thickly in his signature accent. In his first full-time season in a NASCAR national series, Suarez has seen plenty of progress in himself. His 2015 stats are on the caliber of the veterans with a total of seven top fives, 14 top 10s and three poles. He is also leading Darrell Wallace Jr . in the race for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the series. The only thing missing from his resume is that coveted win. "I have great teammates with a lot of experience and they have been super helpful to me," Suarez explained. "I think that has been all the difference." In addition to Suarez, Kyle Busch , Denny Hamlin , Erik Jones , Matt Kenseth , Boris Said and Kenny Habul are among the notable drivers to spend significant seat time in JGR cars in the XFINITY Series. The 23-year-old not only credits JGR for the recipe for his success, but puts hard work into the equation as well. "I never had to work that hard to be running in the top 10, top five," Suarez said, referencing his past racing career in Mexico with great success in the NASCAR Mexico Series. "The competition is so much more difficult here. You have to work hard. A good car is not enough. You have to make the car as perfect as possible." And Suarez looks forward to take his almost "perfect" Toyota to Kansas for the second time this year for Saturday's Kansas Lottery 300 (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). Suarez raced at Kansas Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series back in May and earned a sixth-place result after starting 10th. "I am happy to go back to Kansas. I am happy to go back to these race tracks for the second time. (I'm) learning information, that is ... helpful. The second time is always better." The second time proved to be better at Charlotte where Suarez improved on a sixth-place result in the spring XFINITY race to last weekend's fourth-place finish. And that "better" at Kansas could possibly come in the form of a win for the rookie, who is now ranked seventh in the NASCAR XFINITY Series standings.