Issues for Pastrana, Richardson Jr ., Hamlin early
Travis Pastrana spins twice, Robert Richardson Jr .'s engine goes up in a fireball and Denny Hamlin has to change his carburetor.
Dale Jr : Matt Damon should play me in movie
No, Matt Damon doesn't look like Dale Earnhardt Jr . Is he overqualified to play Junior in a movie about the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet? Yes. But he's a "bad ass actor," according to the Hendrick Motorsports mainstay, and that's who he'd want to play him if there was ever a "Junior: The Movie." The answer came about during a TaxSlayer.com fan Q&A on Friday. We asked, @DaleJr answered. Hear his thoughts on Matt Damon, eBay & more here: https://t.co/Idwc0UOUl7 #TaxSlayer88 pic.twitter.com/udaFV0Rv9G — TaxSlayer.com (@TaxSlayer) February 11, 2016 Shockingly, he did not pick Tom Hanks. MORE: Junior in Tom Hanks movies " Dale invites Tom Hanks over for football game Unshockingly, he did not choose Tom Cruise, who he deemed as being "a lot shorter than I thought he'd be," in the video, which you can watch below.
Richardson's rough day continues
Robert Richardson Jr . spins in an early wreck causing Johanna Long to lose control on the front stretch in the History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Wallace Jr . aims to carry late-season surge into '16
Darrell Wallace Jr . looked perfectly comfortable sitting in his chair, awaiting reporters during NASCAR’s annual Charlotte Media Tour at the NASCAR Hall of Fame last month. Much has been expected of the talented young driver, who has learned that early navigation through NASCAR’s big leagues is a science of its own. But after a rookie season that fell a little short by Wallace's big standards, the 22-year old looked prime and readied for 2016, his best shot yet at winning a NASCAR national series championship. "You have rookie stripes for a reason, but they're gone so we need to show why they're gone," Wallace offered with a slight smile. As an 18-year old in 2012, the Alabama native had three top-10 finishes in four then-Nationwide Series starts and won a pole position, gaining great notice in the NASCAR garage. He answered that with a win in the 2013 Camping World Truck Series season and four more in 2014, earning him his high-profile, high-expectation XFINITY Series ride with Roush Fenway Racing last season. A fan favorite already, much has been made of Wallace's potential success story and now he is eager -- perhaps even a tad anxious -- to start proving why so many consider him a bright star in the sport. Last year’s XFINITY Series rookie campaign was tougher than even Wallace might have anticipated, however. He did have three top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 33 races, but Wallace expected -- and was accustomed to -- more still. Too often the performances fell short of what Wallace knew he could do. He expected to win. "I definitely learned a lot last season working with (crew chief) Seth (Barbour) and learning to make the right calls in practice," Wallace said. "That, for example, was a confidence booster. But we have to be more in-depth with that. I need to be in the meetings more and find out why x-y-z works with a-b-c." Wallace is particularly hopeful the final 13 races he ran with Barbour calling the shots will turn into a head start for 2016. He earned half of his total top-10s and two of his three top-five finishes when Barbour came on board last August. And they are highly optimistic about this season. In particular, Wallace wants -- and needs -- to up his game on the superspeedway tracks at Daytona Beach and Talladega. Two of Wallace's three worst finishes (34th in the summer and 20th ) came at Daytona and Talladega, respectively. A good start on Daytona's high banks in the Feb. 20 XFINITY season-opener is crucial for a number of reasons, including the potential for securing additional, much-welcomed sponsorship. The team will boast a one-race Daytona sponsor deal with Selfeo, an app that invites users to "immerse" themselves and promises to "transform a single screen on a single device into a customized, multi-screen viewing environment" with one-click. And Wallace is hopeful a great outing -- a win -- would be all the allure this sponsor needs. "Daytona is the Super Bowl for our sport and I'm going to try to go down early just to get the groove on," Wallace said. "There's so much pressure on our program to be competitive and win to get sponsorship. So to go to Daytona with sponsorship is super big." That sponsorship, Wallace added, "Could end up being a big potential race for us. Add confetti to it and they could potentially sign on for more." "It's one race, but this one race could set up our whole season. The offseason has been pretty hefty with front office trying to land sponsorship so to see progress gets you optimistic heading into the season." Wallace is also buoyed by what he and many see as a renewed commitment by the Roush team. The XFINITY cars are now housed with the Cup entries and across the board, the team's drivers are optimistic that the entire team's performance, in general, will be upped. "For all of us across the board, there's a lot going on, the whole organization," Wallace said. "We've moved XFINITY into the Cup shop and the communication level will just get higher and higher. Some other behind-the-scenes people are coming in and that will revamp our program. We need to get on a consistent program to make our Ford Mustangs better. … not force the issue, but have fun, be competitive, be smart, manage races better and myself. "We all want to be successful with whatever we do in life, to seize the opportunity we're given."
Cessna inks sponsorship deal with JR Motorsports
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 5, 2016) – JR Motorsports (JRM) and Cessna Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, announced today a new relationship making Cessna the official business jet choice of Dale Earnhardt Jr . As part of the agreement, JRM’s No. 88 Chevrolet will carry the Cessna brand as primary sponsor in six races during NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) competition in 2016 with drivers Alex Bowman and Cole Custer . "We are looking forward to representing Cessna on both the business and competition front," said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports. "Cessna is a strong and leading brand and our business strategies complement one another. Together we have a unique partnership with tremendous potential for growth." Cessna will also receive associate placement on the No. 88 during the two NXS events Earnhardt Jr . will compete in at Texas Motor Speedway (April 8) and Richmond International Raceway (April 23). "Cessna Citation business jets are designed for speed and efficiency, two trademarks valued by Dale Earnhardt Jr . and his team at JR Motorsports. We're looking forward to the relationship with JRM that will demonstrate those qualities as Dale travels in the Citation this season to races and events across the country," said Scott Ernest, president and CEO of Textron Aviation. Bowman and Custer will drive the No. 88 Cessna Chevrolet Camaro in six races, with 22-year-old Bowman first up at Michigan International Speedway (June 11) and Iowa Speedway (June 19). The Tucson, Ariz., native will also drive the Cessna entry at Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 9), Dover International Speedway (Oct. 1) and Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 12). Custer, who competes full time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for JRM, will race the Cessna machine in one of his five NXS starts with the organization this season. He takes his turn at the wheel at Kentucky Speedway (July 8). Cessna brings the latest technologies and innovations to its Citation series of business jets, offering customers industry-leading aircraft solutions to meet the most demanding and unique mission requirements. Through its extensive global service network, Textron Aviation is renowned in the industry for its unrivaled, complete aircraft support across its Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker platforms.
Sorenson, Richardson Jr . collide in Atlanta
When Kasey Kahne goes three-wide, Reed Sorenson gets squeezed up in to Robert Richarson Jr . and the two wreck hard in Turn 2.
GarageCam kicks off the 2016 season
Join GarageCam host Matthew Dillner as he tours the Sprint Cup Series garage at Daytona International Speedway before the first practice of the 2016 season and talks to Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr .
Richardson Jr . spins during qualifying
Richardson Jr . spins during qualifying and will have to start in his backup car for the History 300.
Hamlin, Larson top Sprint Unlimited practices
RELATED: Full field for Sprint Unlimited PRACTICE 2 Denny Hamlin was lightning fast, his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota topping the speed charts early and staying there in Friday's final Sprint Unlimited practice at Daytona International Speedway . Hamlin's top speed of 198.930 mph was more than 3 mph faster than second-place Clint Bowyer , whose No. 15 HScott Motorsports Chevrolet clocked in at 195.253 mph. Aric Almirola was next on the leaderboard in the final of two sessions, wheeling the iconic No. 43 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports at 194.885 mph. Brian Vickers -- who was announced as the substitute for injured Tony Stewart at Daytona -- was fourth-fastest in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet (194.805 mph), while fellow SHR wheelman Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five with a fast lap of 194.763 mph. After finishing 11th in the opening practice, last season's Sprint Unlimited winner Matt Kenseth elected not to hit the track in the final practice. Martin Truex Jr ., Casey Mears and Greg Biffle also did not make runs in the second session. Kyle Larson , who topped practice earlier on Friday, came up 19th in the final session, his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet reaching a top speed of 190.456 mph. Friday's practices marked Larson's first on-track action with new crew chief Chad Johnston, who called the shots for Tony Stewart last season. Several drivers -- including Larson, Carl Edwards and AJ Allmendinger -- elected to run outside of the pack, bringing down their speeds from the rest of the field. The Sprint Cup Series is back on track Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET for practice (FS1). FULL PRACTICE RESULTS Pos Car Driver Speed 1 11 Denny Hamlin 198.930 2 15 Clint Bowyer 195.253 3 43 Aric Almirola 194.885 4 14 Brian Vickers 194.805 5 4 Kevin Harvick 194.763 6 41 Kurt Busch 194.611 7 10 Danica Patrick 194.527 8 27 Paul Menard 194.342 9 3 Austin Dillon 194.280 10 2 Brad Keselowski 193.665 11 22 Joey Logano 193.320 12 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr . 192.316 13 5 Kasey Kahne 192.258 14 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr . 191.881 15 48 Jimmie Johnson 191.873 16 18 Kyle Busch 191.160 17 1 Jamie McMurray 190.690 18 31 Ryan Newman 190.517 19 42 Kyle Larson 190.456 20 47 AJ Allmendinger 189.155 21 19 Carl Edwards 75.517 PRACTICE 1 Kyle Larson wheeled his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet at 199.344 mph around a sunny Daytona International Speedway on Friday, topping the first practice of the Sprint Unlimited and the 2016 season. Hendrick Motorsports ' Kasey Kahne was next on the leaderboard, clocking in at 199.159 mph in his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, while Joe Gibbs Racing 's Denny Hamlin came up third on the charts (199.067 mph). Richard Childress Racing 's Paul Menard and Joe Gibbs Racing 's Carl Edwards rounded out the top five with top speeds of 198.979 mph and 198.715 mph, respectively. Reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch wheeled his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing machine around the track at 198.623 mph to earn the sixth-fastest speed in the 25-car field. Filling in for the injured Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, Brian Vickers was seventh-fastest in practice, earning a top speed of 198.295 mph. Jimmie Johnson , who won the pole position during the random drawing earlier in the day, was 23rd-fastest, clocking in at 190.892 mph after staying out of the drafting pack. Aric Almirola 's No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford rolled off the grid at 5 p.m. ET, signaling the first car on track of the 2016 season. He ultimately came up 15th on the leaderboard. Per crew chief Cole Pearn's instructions not to run in the pack, Martin Truex Jr . was the final driver to make his way onto the track, rolling off the grid with about 10 minutes remaining in the 55-minute session. He finished 22nd in the session (192.020 mph) in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota. FULL PRACTICE RESULTS Pos Car Driver Speed 1 42 Kyle Larson 199.344 2 5 Kasey Kahne 199.159 3 11 Denny Hamlin 199.067 4 27 Paul Menard 198.979 5 19 Carl Edwards 198.715 6 18 Kyle Busch 198.623 7 14 Brian Vickers 198.295 8 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr . 198.085 9 47 AJ Allmendinger 197.807 10 10 Danica Patrick 197.785 11 20 Matt Kenseth 197.754 12 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr . 197.529 13 16 Greg Biffle 197.451 14 2 Brad Keselowski 197.286 15 43 Aric Almirola 197.234 16 1 Jamie McMurray 197.191 17 13 Casey Mears 197.096 18 22 Joey Logano 197.092 19 4 Kevin Harvick 196.911 20 15 Clint Bowyer 196.777 21 3 Austin Dillon 196.592 22 78 Martin Truex Jr . 192.020 23 48 Jimmie Johnson 190.892 24 31 Ryan Newman 190.375 25 41 Kurt Busch 190.026
Drivers react to qualifying, overtime changes
NEWS: #NASCAR announces changes to qualifying, overtime procedures: https://t.co/n5Wg4iyeqr pic.twitter.com/HBWrrGGG0I — NASCAR (@NASCAR) February 11, 2016 I like these changes a lot. Good moves all around. https://t.co/c3KdHZ2S5G — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) February 11, 2016 The new GWC rules are the direct result of a collective effort from both @NASCAR and the Drivers Council working together. — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) February 11, 2016 The new @NASCAR overtime rules are just right. I like them a lot. GREAT week of off track news for #NASCAR Now we're ready fast cars! — Michael Waltrip (@mw55) February 11, 2016 Well done. https://t.co/Ek6H8UMzFS — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) February 11, 2016 Correction: There have been 43 overtimes since 2010. 11 of those extended beyond 1 attempt (25%). Only once have they used the third attempt — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) February 11, 2016