Kelly runs out of fuel
Owen Kelly runs out of fuel while running in second place at Road America.
Kyle Larson, Target give back in many ways
The NASCAR racing season ended last month but someone forgot to tell Kyle Larson . The Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver will be on the road for the holidays, traveling with his family to Sydney, Australia to race sprint cars for a week or so. Once he returns stateside, he'll be heading to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the annual Chili Bowl Nationals Jan. 9-14. There are times when the 24-year-old NASCAR driver isn't behind the wheel. Wednesday was one of those rare occasions. Larson, along with members of his No. 42 team, spent the afternoon at the Milton Boys and Girls Club in Charlotte, handing out early Christmas gifts provided by sponsor Target. "Target (does) a lot for different communities and charities," Larson said. "It was cool to come here and give these kids gifts. … They had a good time; they were all smiling, dancing on (one of the games) over there." A wide variety of board games, electronic games and even a virtual reality unit were among the items delivered. "It feels good to do a small part of giving back," said Larson, who will begin his fourth season as a full-time competitor in NASCAR's premier series in 2017. "Target is the one donating all the gifts, I'm just donating my time and having a good time with it. I've gotten to do a lot of stuff with them this year, donating books to different schools, a lot of toys. … It's been a lot of fun. It's the first year I've really gotten to do this stuff more often and I'm hoping to do a lot more next year." According to team officials, Larson and Target joined together in '16 to provide toys to children affected by flooding in West Virginia; delivered 50 backpacks and back-to-school supplies to a disadvantaged elementary school in Darlington, South Carolina; and visited two elementary schools in Dallas, Texas, to donate gift cards and books in support of Texas Motor Speedway 's Speeding to Read program. Additionally, Larson and Target representatives visited Target House at St. Jude Children's Hospital and also donated library supplies to a school in the Phoenix area. Wednesday's gathering helped Larson, who hails from Elk Grove, California, get in the Christmas spirit. He and his family, girlfriend Katelyn Sweet and son Owen , will move up their holiday visits with other family members due to their upcoming trip to Australia. "My favorite time of the holiday season is just getting to spend time with a lot of the family I don't really get to see throughout the year," he said. "We travel so often that I don't ever really get to go home to California and see them. … So we'll go to California next week and get to hang out with all of them." Larson won his first premier series event in 2016, at Michigan International Speedway , and qualified for NASCAR’s championship-determining Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Although he was one of four drivers eliminated after the Round of 16, he finished a career-best ninth in the final points standings.
Hornish Jr., Ty Dillon lead Friday practices at Mid-Ohio
PRACTICE 2 " Results Sam Hornish Jr . led the final XFINITY Series practice at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Friday afternoon, posting a speed of 95.977 mph. Hornish was second-fastest in today's opening session. Ryan Reed came up short to the No. 2 driver, posting a high speed of 95.596 mph. Nelson Piquet Jr . (95.255 mph), Ryan Blaney (95.225 mph) and series points leader Elliott Sadler (94.959 mph) complete the fastest five drivers on the leaderboard. Friday's first practice leader, Ty Dillon , brought out a caution during the final session when his No. 3 Chevrolet made contact with a tire barrier in Turn 9. Dillon finished the practice run sixth-fastest (94.845 mph). The XFINITY Series returns to the road course one more time on Friday for Coors Light Pole Qualifying at 6:15 p.m. ET (USA/NBC Sports App). PRACTICE 1 " RESULTS Ty Dillon was the fastest in Friday's NASCAR XFINITY Series opening practice at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a speed of 96.087 mph. The Richard Childress Racing driver's fastest lap came on his 16th and final run on the road course. Sam Hornish Jr . was second-fastest to Dillon with a speed of 94.865 mph. Brandon Jones (94.564 mph), Brendan Gaughan (94.553 mph) and Ryan Blaney (94.207 mph) were the remaining of the top-five fastest, respectively. Daniel Suarez sustained major damage to the right-rear of his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota after getting into the wall during first practice. Suarez posted a top speed of 93.927 mph, making him ninth-fastest for the first session. Owen Kelly , driving the No. 18 JGR Toyota, appeared to have engine issues during the opening session. Kelly clocked in 11th-fastest (93.819 mph).
Team Penske's No. 2 team assessed P2 penalty after Michigan
The team for No. 2 Ford driver Brad Keselowski in the Sprint Cup Series was assessed a P2-level penalty after the car failed post-race inspection at Michigan International Speedway . NASCAR on Wednesday fined crew chief Paul Wolfe $15,000 and docked the team 10 championship driver points and 10 championship owner points after the No. 2 failed post-race laser inspection. The No. 2 Team Penske squad also received a written warning for failing pre-race laser inspection twice. NASCAR also gave written warnings to several other teams on Wednesday following last weekend's action at Michigan International Speedway and Road America . Twelve of the warnings were issued to Sprint Cup Series teams, while the XFINITY Series had one. The teams of drivers Regan Smith , Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell each received a written warning for failing pre-race laser inspection twice. The teams of drivers Josh Wise and McDowell received written warnings and a loss of 15 minutes of practice time after failing pre-qualifying laser inspection three times. The teams of drivers Kasey Kahne , Chase Elliott and Michael Annett received written warnings for failing pre-qualifying laser inspection twice. Trevor Bayne , Smith and Kyle Larson all received written warnings for failing pre-qualifying template inspection twice. As for the XFINITY Series, the only written warning given out was to Owen Kelly for failing pre-race laser inspection twice. Camping World Truck Series wheelman Spencer Gallagher received a behavioral penalty and was fined $5,000 for approaching the racing surface or apron during the event.
Sam Hornish Jr. sets track record, earns Coors Light Pole at Mid-Ohio
RELATED: Results Sam Hornish Jr . won the Coors Light Pole Award Friday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course , setting a track speed record as well. Hornish Jr. wheeled his No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet around the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course in Lexington, Ohio, at a track record-setting 96.755 mph in the opening session of qualifying. In the second and final session, with a fast lap of 96.374 mph, he sealed the first starting spot in the Mid-Ohio Challenge (3:30 p.m. ET, USA Network, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). "The fact that we're here. We're as good as we have been really is hats off to RCR and all the people that work on the Rheem No. 2 car," the polesitter said post-qualifying. "Right off the bat, this morning I was kind of worried about it being a little bit rusty. It's been a little while since I've been on a road course." This marks Hornish's eighth career pole and first of 2016. Sharing the front row will be Owen Kelly , a road specialist who reached 95.877 mph in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Ryan Blaney , (95.739 mph in No. 22 Team Penske Ford), Elliott Sadler (95.675 mph, No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet) and Daniel Suarez (95.613 mph, No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) completed the top five, respectively.
Alex Tagliani wins XFINITY pole at Road America
RELATED: Starting lineup Alex Tagliani won the Coors Light Pole Award at Road America on Friday in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Tagliani wheeled his No. 22 Team Penske Ford around the 4.05-mile road course at a top speed of 109.866 mph. That was better than Michael McDowell l, who finished second in his No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet at 109.561 mph. For Tagliani, it was his fourth pole win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and his second at Road America . Justin Marks (No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet), Owen Kelly (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) and Daniel Suarez (No. 19 JGR Toyota) rounded out the top five qualifiers. Alon Day, who hails from Israel, is a NASCAR Next driver and is driving the MBM Motorsports No. 13 Dodge, found trouble in Round 1 of qualifying when he went into the sand trap off Turn 12 (of 14) with just over 16 minutes remaining in the opening session. The incident brought out a red flag. Another red flag came out during Round 1 when Josh Bilicki, who was driving the No. 77 Obaika Racing Chevrolet, spun coming off Turn 1, slid through the sand trap and impacted the tire barrier. The Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville gets underway at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and marks the third road-course race in four events for the series.
Sadler and Gaughan make contact on pit road
While exiting pit road Owen Kelly makes contact with Elliott Sadler leading to Sadler connecting Brendan Gaughan.
Justin Marks nabs first XFINITY win at rainy Mid-Ohio
RELATED: Full race results " Chase Grid " Updated standings LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Not even a caution with four laps remaining in Saturday's Mid-Ohio Challenge could detour road course expert Justin Marks from scoring his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course . Marks, driver of the No. 42 Katerra Chevrolet Camaro, withstood a rain-soaked challenge from Sam Hornish Jr on the final restart, but Marks showcased his road racing skills when it counted most and stretched his lead to 3.7 seconds when the checkered flag flew. "These are as tough conditions as you can put drivers in," said Marks from a makeshift Victory Lane. "It's just really hard on everybody when it's dry and wet and you don't really know what to do, so strategy plays a big role in it. You know, my specialty is road racing in the rain in these stock cars and I don't get much of an opportunity to do it so when that opportunity presents itself, you have to really take advantage of it and I about threw it away today. "I knew if the race ended in the rain that we would have a real shot at winning it. I wish my family was here. I'm just really happy." Marks dedicated the win to former Chip Ganassi Racing driver Bryan Clauson who passed away last Sunday night from injuries in a sprint car accident during the Belleville Midget Nationals in Kansas. "Bryan's short career in stock car racing came with Chip Ganassi Racing , so it's great to be able to put this thing in Victory Lane to honor him and think about him," added Marks. "He's a real American hero race car driver. Bryan was. They don't make them like that anymore." RELATED: Drivers share thoughts, memories of Bryan Clauson Hornish in a limited schedule driving the No. 2 Rheem Chevrolet Camaro for Richard Childress Racing settled for second. "All in all, a good day for the Rheem Chevrolet," he said. "My hat's off to Justin Marks . I generally held myself as a pretty decent rain racer and even given the opportunity there at the end, I couldn't do anything with him. I would have had to take massive chances with our car to be able to do anything and you still gotta pass him to keep up with him. "I'm proud of what the guys gave me on the No. 2 car today. I wish we would have gotten a little more out of it. In the dry, I feel like we could win, but Justin just went out there and was just a monster in the wet." Hornish won the pole on Friday in dry conditions, but as the field took the green at the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course, Mother Nature moved in and sent the team to pit road for an optional change of tires from slicks to wets on Lap 3. Joe Gibbs Racing 's Owen Kelly , in his XFINITY Series return, took the lead on the restart, but spun shortly thereafter in Turn 6 sending Hornish back to the top spot. Hornish, however, would get his first glimpse of Marks on Lap 12 when the Chip Ganassi Racing driver took the lead for the first time. The Rocklin, California, native would maintain the lead through the halfway point where he pitted from the lead, cycling the top spot through a variety of drivers during green flag pit stops, as the race track began to transition back to dry. A Lap 50 caution for debris, however, would be the starting point where the race would set the tone for the closing laps. While under the yellow, the skies opened up, soaking the road course and sending almost all the competitors back to pit road for wet tires and fuel for the end. When the race restarted with 14 laps to go, Darrell Wallace Jr . found himself at the top. But with 12 laps to go, he went off course, giving the lead to Ty Dillon with a stalking Marks behind. With rain continuing to fall, Marks used his experience to close the distance between Dillon and took advantage as Dillon himself went off course on Lap 65, giving the lead back to Marks on Lap 66 and never relinquishing. Next up for the XFINITY Series is its annual summer trip to Bristol Motor Speedway for the running of the Food City 300 (7:30 p.m. ET, USA, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) on Aug. 19. Kyle Busch is the defending champion. Note: NASCAR Next driver Alon Day made his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut on Saturday, finishing 13th. With the start, Day -- who ran as high as third -- became the first driver from Israel to make a NASCAR national series start.
Kligerman goes off road
Parker Kligerman battles for the lead with Owen Kelly and ends up in the gravel trap at Road America.
RECAP: Marks storms through Mid-Ohio, washes out the competition
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman recaps the Mid-Ohio Challenge that saw cars racing in the rain, spinning off course multiple times, and Justin Marks grabbing his first NASCAR XFINITY Series victory.