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O'Reilly Auto Parts to sponsor Texas spring Sprint Cup race
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 16, 2016) - O'Reilly Auto Parts and Texas Motor Speedway have signed a multi-year agreement for the national automotive aftermarket retailing leader to serve as the race entitlement sponsor for the annual April NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the world-renowned motorsports facility beginning in 2017. O'Reilly Auto Parts will be linking its brand to the state's best-attended, single-day sporting event and the Sprint Cup Series' third-highest paying race in the newly named O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 that will be held Sunday, April 9, 2017. The O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 will be the signature race entitlement of the deal, but the company also will continue its title sponsorship of the annual November XFINITY Series race at Texas Motor Speedway to ensure a year-round presence in a top-five metropolitan market. The current O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge XFINITY Series race that is part of a NASCAR tripleheader in November will be rebranded the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 beginning in 2017. The O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 XFINITY Series race is scheduled for Nov. 4, 2017. In addition to the traditional branding assets in race entitlement agreements, O'Reilly Auto Parts will continue as the "Official Auto Parts Supplier of Texas Motor Speedway " and own exclusive status in the auto parts store category. No financial terms or specific length of the contract were disclosed. "Expanding our partnership with Texas Motor Speedway helps us deepen our connection with loyal NASCAR fans and build the O'Reilly brand on a national stage," O'Reilly Auto Parts Vice President of Marketing Doug Ruble said. "The O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 sponsorship gives us new ways to promote our stores, engage our customers and reinforce our commitment to motorsports." The agreement is O'Reilly Auto Parts' initial race sponsorship venture on the Sprint Cup Series level at Texas Motor Speedway , but the publicly traded Fortune 500 company boasts an expansive NASCAR race entitlement portfolio at this venue. Beginning with the O'Reilly 300 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in the fall of 1999, O'Reilly Auto Parts has been the title sponsor of six truck series races (1999-2004) and 27 XFINITY Series races (2002 through '16 season) at Texas Motor Speedway . That total includes sponsoring both the spring and fall XFINITY Series races annually since 2005 when Texas Motor Speedway added an annual fall NASCAR national series weekend. Under the new agreement, O'Reilly Auto Parts will relinquish its entitlement of the spring XFINITY Series race. The multi-year deal includes an expansive, multi-pronged promotional plan for the Sprint Cup Series race in O'Reilly Auto Parts' largest metropolitan market. The Springfield, Missouri-based company has more than 150 stores in the Dallas/Fort Worth Designated Market Area among its 4,600 in 44 states. O'Reilly Auto Parts and Texas Motor Speedway will be working in close cooperation to build this NASCAR race on a local, regional and national basis, engage race fans, increase attendance and attract race fans to its stores for all of their automotive needs. "We had a great meeting with the O'Reilly management team in Missouri a few months ago, and the thing that excites me the most about the partnership is this is going to be the promotion they are going to hang their hat on companywide all year long," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "That's exciting because it helps spread the word about the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500, Texas Motor Speedway and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to all of their customers across the country. It helps build this event up and makes it bigger. This is a perfect fit for each other and I don't know how we could have done any better."
O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge entry list
The Nationwide Series returns to action at Texas RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Entry # Driver Owner Crew chief Manufacturer Sponsor 1 01 Landon Cassill Johnny Davis Dave Fuge 14 Chevrolet TeamJDMotorsports.com 2 2 Brian Scott Richard Childress Phil Gould 14 Chevrolet Country Bob's Sauce 3 3 Ty Dillon Richard Childress Danny Stockman Jr 14 Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops 4 4 Jeffrey Earnhardt Gary Keller Gary Cogswell 14 Chevrolet teamjdmotorsports.com 5 5 Kevin Harvick(i) Rick Hendrick Ernie Cope 14 Chevrolet Hunt Brothers Pizza 6 6 Trevor Bayne Jack Roush Chad Norris 14 Ford AdvoCare 7 7 Regan Smith Kelley Earnhardt-Miller Ryan Pemberton 14 Chevrolet TaxSlayer.com 8 9 Chase Elliott Dale Earnhardt Jr Greg Ives 14 Chevrolet NAPA AUTO PARTS 9 10 Blake Koch Mark Smith Todd Myers 14 Toyota SupportMilitary.org 10 11 Elliott Sadler J D Gibbs Chris Gayle 14 Toyota OneMain Financial 11 12 Ryan Blaney(i) Roger Penske Greg Erwin 14 Ford Snap-On 12 14 Eric McClure Mark Smith Wes Ward 14 Toyota Hefty Ultimate / Reynolds Wrap 13 16 Ryan Reed Jack Roush Seth Barbour 14 Ford ADA Drive to Stop Diabetes presented by Lilly Diabetes 14 19 Mike Bliss Mark Smith Paul Clapprood 14 Toyota Tweaker Energy Shot 15 20 Matt Kenseth(i) Joe Gibbs Kevin Kidd 14 Toyota GameStop 16 22 Joey Logano(i) Roger Penske Jeremy Bullins 14 Ford Discount Tire 17 23 Robert Richardson Jr Robert Richardson Sr George Church 14 Chevrolet Willbros 18 25 John Wes Townley(i) Tony Townley Mike Ford 14 Toyota Zaxby's 19 28 J J Yeley James Whitener Steve Plattenberger 13 Dodge Texas 28 Spirits Stage 20 31 Dylan Kwasniewski Steve Turner Shannon Rursch 14 Chevrolet AccuDoc / Rockstar 21 33 Austin Dillon(i) Richard Childress Nick Harrison 14 Chevrolet TBD 22 39 Ryan Sieg Rod Sieg Kevin Starland 14 Chevrolet RSS Racing 23 40 Matt Dibenedetto Curtis Key Sr Kyle Symington 14 Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 24 42 Kyle Larson(i) Harry Scott Jr Scott Zipadelli 14 Chevrolet Phillips Norelco 25 43 Dakoda Armstrong Richard Petty Philippe Lopez 14 Ford WinField 26 44 David Starr Mark Smith Greg Conner 14 Toyota Whataburger 27 46 Ryan Ellis Curtis Key Sr Gary Showalter 14 Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 28 51 Jeremy Clements Tony Clements Ricky Pearson 14 Chevrolet Crescent Companies 29 52 Joey Gase Jimmy Means Tim Brown 14 Chevrolet TBA 30 54 Kyle Busch(i) J D Gibbs Adam Stevens 14 Toyota Monster Energy 31 55 Jamie Dick Jimmy Dick Mark Setzer 14 Chevrolet Viva Auto Group 32 60 Chris Buescher Jack Roush Scott Graves 14 Ford Bit O Honey Mustang 33 62 Brendan Gaughan Richard Childress Shane Wilson 14 Chevrolet Smokey Mountain Snuff 34 70 Derrike Cope Mary Louise Miller Bobby Burrell 14 Chevrolet YOUTHEORY 35 74 Mike Harmon Mike Harmon Gary Ritter 12 Dodge John II Concrete Const. 36 184 Chad Boat Billy Boat Dan Deeringhoff 14 Chevrolet Corvetteparts.net 37 87 Carlos Contreras Andrea Nemechek Steven Gray 14 Chevrolet RACETRAC Convenience Stores 38 89 Morgan Shepherd Morgan Shepherd Kevyn Rebolledo 14 Chevrolet Courtney Construction 39 190 Martin Roy Michelle Gosselin Mario Gosselin 14 Chevrolet TBA 40 93 Kevin Swindell Gregg Mixon Ken Evans 13 Dodge JGL Racing 41 98 Corey LaJoie(i) Fred Biagi Jon Hanson 14 Ford Medallion Financial/Smithfield 42 99 James Buescher Robby Benton Matthew Lucas 14 Toyota Rheem MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Post-Race Reactions: O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. reacts to a strong finish in Texas and claiming the lead in the Nationwide points standings.
Larson wins XFINITY Chase race at Texas Motor Speedway
RELATED: Full race results " Updated Chase Grid FORT WORTH, Tex. -- Grabbing the lead after a restart on Lap 171 of 200, Kyle Larson moved to the top of the track just in time to hold off polesitter Brad Keselowski for the victory in Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway . In a race that saw Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez open some breathing room in the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase with respective fourth- and fifth-place finishes, Larson got a push from sixth-place finisher Elliott Sadler on the decisive restart and kept Keselowski behind him for the final 30 laps. Despite brushing the outside wall in Turn 1 with eight laps left, Larson’s No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet got to the finish line .385 seconds ahead of Keselowski’s No. 22 Team Penske Ford, as the winner worked traffic over the closing five laps. "I love seeing Elliott Sadler behind me on the restarts," said Larson, who won for the first time at Texas, the second time this season and the fifth time in his career. "He’s really good at taking off and pushing. He helped me win Pocono earlier this year, and he helped me win this one. "I was just really tight on the short runs in traffic there, but once I got to clean air, I was like, 'Oh, man, I'm loose,' and I got nervous and got to the top just in time to get rolling. I actually got loose over the bumps and hit the wall in (Turn) 1. But I had a big enough gap when I hit the wall that he wasn’t able to get to me." In fact, the brush with the wall helped to tighten the handling condition of Larson's car and made it easier to drive. Seeking his first XFINITY Series victory of the season, Keselowski led 145 laps and was delighted with the speed in his car. But that emotion was tempered by the disappointment of losing a race with perhaps the fastest car. "Whatever car got out in front, with the way the aerodynamics are, was going to control the pace," Keselowski said. "It’s so hard to pass because the aero is so important and the cars are so equal that way. "I thought maybe we were just a touch faster, but without the track position, you lose too much grip behind the guy to do anything." NASCAR Sprint Cup regular Kevin Harvick finished third, more than five seconds behind the two frontrunners. Suarez took over the Chase lead by one point over Sadler and 17 clear of fifth-place Justin Allgaier , with a cut to the top four drivers looming next Saturday at Phoenix. Jones gained two positions to third place, seven points ahead of Allgaier. One point separates fourth-place Blake Koch (14th Saturday) from Allgaier, who came home 10th at the 1.5-mile track. "It was one of the first good points days we've had in this Chase," Jones said. "It was a good, solid day -- what we needed to do. We want to go, obviously, and try to win these races, but we just didn’t have the car to do it today." Ryan Reed , Darrell Wallace Jr ., and Brendan Gaughan are sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively, in the Chase standings. Reed trails Koch by five points entering the Phoenix race, with Wallace behind by 20 and Gaughan 23 back of the current cut line. </p>
Inspection nets violations for three XFINITY teams
RELATED: XFINITY Chase Grid " Race results NASCAR officials discovered a trio of issues in post-race inspection after Saturday's XFINITY Series event at Texas Motor Speedway . The JR Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet of third-place finisher Kevin Harvick and the Richard Childress Racing No. 62 Chevy of 15th-place Brendan Gaughan measured too low in the rear after Saturday's O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge . While the Sprint Cup Series scrapped rules on ride heights ahead of the 2014 season, those requirements remain in place for the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. For XFINITY teams, the penalty has been a 10-point deduction in the past. The JR Motorsports No. 1 Chevrolet of sixth-place finisher Elliott Sadler was also flagged for having 19 of its 20 lug nuts properly attached. Since those regulations were instituted this year, teams have typically been fined for those violations. NASCAR officials said that three cars would return to the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina, for further inspection. They are: -- The Team Penske No. 22 Ford of race runner-up Brad Keselowski -- The Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota of fourth-place Erik Jones -- The Richard Childress Racing No. 2 Chevrolet of seventh-place Austin Dillon
Byron, Annett join JRM's four-car XFINITY lineup
JR Motorsports announced a four-car, full-season lineup for the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2017, with newcomers Michael Annett and William Byron joining incumbents Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier . The team also announced that it would field a fifth car in select races with Sprint Cup regulars Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr ., the team's owner, behind the wheel. Annett's name is the newest added to the JRM roster. The 30-year-old Iowan's No. 5 Chevrolet entries will carry sponsorship from Pilot/Flying J travel centers. With intentions of competing full-time on the XFINITY tour, Annett will depart the HScott Motorsports No. 46 Chevrolet, his ride the last two years in the Sprint Cup Series. Annett competed full-time in the XFINITY Series from 2009-13. "I'm excited for this opportunity with JR Motorsports," Annett said in a release provided by the team. "Dale Jr. and Kelley (Earnhardt Miller, the team's general manager) have done a great job building this organization. They have put the right people in place and have a championship to their name. I look forward to joining them and competing for wins and a championship next season in the XFINITY Series." The move marks an expansion for the Earnhardt-owned organization, which fielded two full-time teams this year for Sadler and Allgaier, then a third full-time Chevrolet Camaro for a rotation of drivers. The team also entered a fourth Chevrolet in a handful of races this season. Byron, the 18-year-old breakout star of the Camping World Truck Series this year, signed with Hendrick Motorsports in August, drawing a developmental assignment with JR Motorsports next season. The first-year Liberty University student and NASCAR Next product has six wins in just his first season of truck competition. Sadler and Allgaier return to JRM for the second straight season. Both remain championship-eligible in the XFINITY Series Chase's Round of 8 heading into Saturday's O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge (3:30 p.m. ET, NBC, PRN, SiriusXM). Sadler has enjoyed a career resurgence in his first year in JRM's No. 1 Chevrolet, collecting three wins and claiming a hold on the series lead since July. That month, longtime sponsor OneMain Financial announced that it would sever its ties to Sadler, only to reverse course six weeks later. Allgaier will be back with the No. 7 Chevy team. His consistency of 24 top-10 finishes in 30 races this year -- a mark he shares with Daniel Suarez -- is second only to Sadler's 27-for-30 clip in that category. </p>
Wide range of problems hit XFINITY Chase hopefuls at Texas
RELATED: XFINITY Chase Grid " Race results FORT WORTH, Texas -- Body damage. Pit road penalties. Electrical issues. Take your pick. NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers contending for spots in the Championship Round of the Chase had their share of problems Saturday during the running of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway . In a race dominated by Sprint Cup Series regulars -- they led 175 of the race's 200 laps -- Chase XFINITY Series competitors battled it out among themselves for positioning with one race remaining to set the four-team field for the championship. Kyle Larson , Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick finished 1-2-3; Keselowski led 145 circuits, Larson 30. Among the eight contending for the XFINITY Chase title, Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez finished fourth and fifth, while Elliott Sadler (JR Motorsports) was sixth. A bit further back was Justin Allgaier (JRM) in 10th with Darrell Wallace ( Roush Fenway Racing ) 11th and teammate Ryan Reed 12th . Blake Koch (Kaulig Racing) finished 14th and Brendan Gaughan ( Richard Childress Racing ) 15th . Koch holds the fourth and final transfer spot in spite of his finish, leading Allgaier by a single point. "That just showed the strength and depth of the new race team and how we're growing together and getting stronger," said Koch, whose single-car group had to go to a backup entry following an incident in practice a day earlier. "To be able to rebound from that … and come out of here with a 14th -place finish, still be in the Chase with one race to go, I'm pretty proud of that." MORE: Koch: 'I'm so proud of my team' A speeding penalty Saturday on Lap 137 kept his No. 11 Chevrolet stuck on the back end of the lead-lap cars but cost him only a handful of spots at the time. It was, he said, "the second (speeding penalty) of my life." "You have to push it hard right now to get everything you can, including on pit road," Koch said. "You can't just be cautious all race long. I went a little bit too far. "I had no idea; we're in a backup car so maybe our lights weren't set perfectly. We just took it, had a positive attitude and worked our way back up through there." Electrical gremlins struck the No. 19 team of Suarez, the points leader, while running in the top three and just past the halfway point of the race. "I knew I had a second battery, but you never know how long you are going to be able to go," said Suarez, twice a winner this season. "We have a lot of blowers and switches in the race car that we need to use, some of them really help me a lot and some of them we don't use any more. That's part of racing. Luckily we made it through and we finished fifth." Suarez will head to Phoenix International Raceway with the points lead, one point ahead of Sadler. Reed had damage to his No. 16 Ford practically right off the bat as the field bottled up on the initial restart. But the driver said he was uncertain how or if the damage affected his car -- perhaps a bit less downforce on the front end, "but we were free all day so I don't know how much that would have helped or hurt us not having the damage. "It was just a tough day." He trails Koch by five points as the series regroups and prepares to head to PIR for next weekend's next-to-last event. "You just go out there and lay it all out on the line," Reed said. "At that point it is your whole season. There is nothing left to lose there. You aren't points racing at that point per se. You have to go beat those guys by five positions."
Wide-open XFINITY Chase still up for grabs
MORE: Series standings " Practice 1 results FORT WORTH, Texas -- Three of the eight XFINITY Series championship eligible drivers met with the media Friday at Texas Motor Speedway and judging by their remarks, no one was even near ready to call this title run a done deal. They were reticent, in fact, to even declare a clear-cut favorite. "I wish it was tighter," Brendan Gaughan joked. " You've got to look at the ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) cars and say they're definitely the favorites, they've been strongest all year. But then Elliott Sadler had a 50-point lead before the Chase started. "We already took out two guys who you expected to be in the next round. Everybody has a chance now. Eight guys still have a chance to win the championship right now." In fact, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Daniel Suarez is tied with JR Motorsports' Elliott Sadler atop the standings. Blake Koch trails them by only seven points. The first six drivers are separated by 14 points. Gaughan, in seventh place, is 29 points back. Eighth place Darrell Wallace Jr . is 30 back heading into Saturday afternoon's O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway . Koch, who went to a back-up No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet after crashing early in Friday's opening practice, said he was absolutely convinced this series title was legitimately still up for grabs. Which four drivers will settle the trophy in the Homestead-Miami Speedway season finale is still anyone’s guess with two races left to set that field. RELATED: Heavy damage for Koch, goes to backup "I think it's really tight," Koch said. "You have a three-race points battle that gets intense and anything can happen in any of those races to either put you in or put you out.'" The 24-year old Suarez, of Monterrey, Mexico, was second fastest in Friday’s opening practice and the quickest among the XFINITY Series regulars. A two-race winner this season, he also felt it was too early to declare a definitive favorite in this inaugural Chase format. Even if he likes his chances. He finished sixth in this race last year and was 16th here in April. "I think it's ... you know, it just adds a lot of pressure to everyone and that's normal," Suarez said of the Chase. "When you add pressure to somebody, sometimes you make mistakes and I'm not talking just about drivers -- teams as well, pit crews, everyone -- so I think it's something very cool to see. "I mean, I think I work well under pressure, but we’ll see in the next few weeks."
NASCAR TV schedule: October 31-November 6
Post-Race Reactions: O'Reilly Auto Parts 300
Post-Race Reactions by Austin Dillon, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Brian Vickers, Sam Hornish Jr and Justin Allgaier after the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.