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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 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.
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.
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 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 collects a sign on restart
Kenny Habul hits a sign on a restart during the Johnsonville Sausage 200 Presented by Menards at Road America.
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."
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.
Friday practice recaps from Michigan, Mid-Ohio
Get the latest results from on-track action for all three series RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today SPRINT CUP SERIES PRACTICE " RESULTS There was plenty of speed to be had in Friday's Sprint Cup Series practice session from Michigan International Speedway , as the defending race winner Joey Logano topped the speed charts in the opening 80-minute session. Logano laid down a lap of 204.545 mph in his 18th and final lap of the session. Overall, 26 drivers topped the 200-mph mark. Carl Edwards was second with a speed of 204.111 mph, followed by Brian Vickers (203.920 mph), Kurt Busch (203.897 mph) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (203.229 mph). All three Roush Fenway Racing cars were in the top 10. In addition to Edwards and Stenhouse, Greg Biffle was eighth in the session. Dale Earnhardt Jr. , a two-time winner at Michigan, was sixth in the session. Jimmie Johnson , who won in June at Michigan, reported a vibration issue on his car early in the 80-minute session and brought his car in for adjustments. After returning to the track several times, Johnson continued to feel a vibration and brought the car back into the garage. The six-time series champion finished 39th in the opening practice. Jeff Burton , who is filling in for Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Chevrolet, had some problems early on. A part failure within the rear end gear moments into practice sent Burton into the garage for repairs. He did return to practice with just less than a hour to go. About a half-hour into the session, practice had a brief caution for debris on the track, but cars returned to the track in short order. Ryan Blaney filled in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford for Trevor Bayne , who is at Mid-Ohio for the Nationwide Series. Blaney will be driving that car next season for the Wood Brothers. Matt Crafton filled in for Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet as Truex Jr. is with his longtime girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, who is undergoing surgery on Friday after recently being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Both Bayne and Truex Jr. are expected to be in Michigan for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 (1 p.m. ET, ESPN). There will be two practice sessions for the Sprint Cup Series on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. ET and 11 a.m. ET. Both sessions will be televised on ESPN2. CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES PRACTICE 1 " RESULTS Kyle Busch led Friday's opening practice at Michigan International Speedway for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Career for Veterans 200. Busch topped the charts with a speed of 186.485 mph. The Sprint Cup veteran has won every Truck Series race he has entered this season with his most recent win coming at Kentucky Speedway in the UNOH 225. Sprint Cup rookie Austin Dillon was second-fastest as he rounded the track at 186.466 mph. Dillon saw Victory Lane in the most recent Truck Series race at Pocono Raceway . Darrell Wallace Jr. (186.384 mph), Johnny Sauter (185.893 mph) and Timothy Peters (185.869 mph) rounded out the top-five fastest. Truck Series points leader Ryan Blaney finished practice seventh-fastest with a top speed of 185.581 mph. It was announced this week that Blaney will pilot the No. 21 Ford part time for Wood Brothers Racing in the Sprint Cup Series next year. Blaney is currently seven points ahead of Sauter in the Truck Series standings. No. 08 Jimmy Weller brought out the first and only caution of the practice when his truck started smoking. Weller finished 20th-fastest with a speed of 179.332 mph. NATIONWIDE SERIES PRACTICE 1 " RESULTS Sam Hornish Jr. kept the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota in a familiar place at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course , topping the opening Nationwide Series practice with a speed of 95.245 mph. Saturday's Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 will mark Hornish's seventh start of the season for JGR. He finished third in last year's race at Mid-Ohio for Team Penske . The rest of the leaderboard was unable to break the 95 mph mark. Regan Smith was closest, with a best speed of 94.609 mph, followed by Chris Buescher . Alex Tagliani , driving the No. 22 Penske Ford, finished the hour-long session in fourth place. Brian Scott rounded out the top five. Current points leader Chase Elliott took 23 laps around the track, the most of any driver in the field, clocking a best lap at 93.602 mph for an 11th-place finish in the session. The No. 20 of Kenny Habul brought out a full-course caution after coming to a stop between Turns 8 and 9. Eleven cars had logged a lap at the time, with Brian Scott holding the fastest speed of 93.171 mph at that time. The caution lasted under five minutes. CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES PRACTICE 2 " RESULTS Kyle Busch topped Friday's final Truck Series practice for the Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway . Busch, who led opening practice, came in with the fastest with a speed of 186.989 mph. Joey Coulter came in as second-fastest at the Irish Hills track posting a speed of 186.587 mph. Darrell Wallace Jr. (186.509 mph), Johnny Sauter (186.080 mph) and former Michigan winner Travis Kvapil (186.032 mph) rounded out the top-five fastest of the final practice session. Tyler Young ran the most laps at 38, posting a top speed of 179.924 mph. Young came in as 21st-fastest. Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying will take place Saturday, August 16 at 9:40 a.m. ET with TV coverage on FOX Sports 1. NATIONWIDE SERIES PRACTICE 2 " RESULTS Justin Marks made a surprise appearance at the top of the final practice leaderboard, running a lap of 95.187 mph in the closing minutes of the session. Marks was tenth-fastest in the opening session. Chris Buescher followed his early speed with a lap just shy of Marks', his lap of 95.182 mph holding him in the top spot until Marks' late pace-setting lap. Sam Hornish Jr. , fastest in the earlier session, fell to the third position on the leaderboard after moving into the top spot on his first lap. His earlier speed of 95.245 mph still was the highest of both sessions. Hornish clocked a best lap of 94.798 mph in the second session. Regan Smith , who trailed Hornish earlier in the day, ran 21 laps for a fastest lap of 94.670 mph. Brendan Gaughan rounded out the top five. Points leader Chase Elliott was ninth-fastest, again clocking the most laps in the session with 35. The caution flag came out nearly an hour into practice when the No. 77 of Roger Reuse got off the course in Turns 12 and 13. A second yellow was displayed when Elliott Sadler spun, but lasted just under five minutes. The No. 11 team later reported that the engine blew, and would need to be replaced. His speed of 94.049 mph on his fourth practice lap was the 11th-best on the chart. Qualifying for the Nationwide Series Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 will take place at 9:40 a.m. on Saturday, and will be aired on ESPN2. The race is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, on ESPN. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Joey Logano wins XFINITY race at Watkins Glen
RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Penalty? So what? Polesitter Joey Logano shook off a pit road infraction that sent him to the back of the field early in Saturday’s Zippo 200 at The Glen. But by the end of the NASCAR XFINITY Series race, Logano’s No. 12 Team Penske Ford was comfortably at the front of the field. The only other car that was close was the No. 22 of teammate Brad Keselowski , who recovered from a pit road speeding penalty to finish second. "Everything went as planned," said Logano, who was penalized for dragging a fuel can from his pit stall after a green-flag stop on Lap 20 of 82. "It was fun to have a car that was that fast, out there racing these guys and racing your teammate there for the win. It shows a lot about our organization." Logano was 22nd when he restarted on Lap 27 after NASCAR threw the second caution of the race to retrieve the errant fuel can. With the help of two quick cautions, he drove quickly to the front, and on Lap 49, Logano passed Keselowski for the lead, drag-racing his teammate from the exit of Turn 7 to the start/finish line and clearing him through Turn 1. "I knew my car was fast enough to get there," Logano said of the quick run to the front. "I didn’t know if I was going to run them all down in that one run like that. I didn’t think that would happen, but it showed a lot of strength in our race car." It was the first road course victory for Logano in any of NASCAR’s top series. "I’ve been so close to winning with the 22 team on the (Sprint) Cup side and this XFINITY team has been close to winning here lately, so it’s nice to get Team Penske back in Victory Lane," said Logano, who had Sprint Cup crew chief Todd Gordon calling the race and his Sprint Cup crew servicing the car on pit road to gain experience for Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at The Glen (2 p.m. ET on NBCSN), the 22nd race on the Cup schedule. If Logano and Keselowski dominated at the front of the field, leading 39 and 40 laps, respectively, behind them was chaos. XFINITY Series title contender Regan Smith suffered the brunt of the damage, getting the short end of run-ins with both Ty Dillon and Brendan Gaughan . Smith came home 20th and lost 18 points to XFINITY Series leader Chris Buescher , who finished third. After stopping by Gaughan’s car for a few words post-race, Smith headed for Dillon. The argument started to get physical, before NASCAR officials and crew members separated the drivers. Dillon admitted making two mistakes during the race, the first of which spun Smith’s JR Motorsports Chevrolet after a restart on Lap 40. What Dillon didn’t countenance was a threat from Smith. "He said he was going to wreck me -- we’ll see," Dillon said. "I took the blame for it, but he came down here picking a fight. That’s a different game." After the altercation, Smith repeated the promise to reporters. "I got dumped in Turn 1," Smith said. "It was pretty plain and simple. I don’t think I’m the only one he dumped today … I guarantee you, I might have lost the championship today, but he did, too. There’s no chance that 3 car wins the championship, and I’m going to make sure of it." Substituting for Kyle Busch , who opted not to run the race in favor of staying fresh for Sunday’s Cup race, road course ace Boris Said finished fourth, followed by Dillon and Brian Scott . Buescher extended his series lead to 24 points over Dillon and seventh-place finisher Chase Elliott . Smith is fourth in the standings, now 57 points behind Buescher. Information provided by NASCAR Wire Service