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No. 48 appeal avoids repeat of 2006 pit pick
Nine years ago, team selected 42nd at Dover, had to share stall RELATED: Nos. 48, 51 and 1 penalized for Charlotte infractions MORE: Hendrick appeals P1 penalty " Johnson stands by appeal The importance of a team's pit stall location isn't lost on Jimmie Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 team. Especially when it comes to Dover International Speedway , a fast 1-mile concrete track that has been the site of nine of Johnson's 73 wins in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. The six-time series champion has earned 19 top-10s at Dover, 15 of which came from a starting spot inside the top 10. Overall, drivers starting on the front row there have won 28 of 90 Sprint Cup races and 71 winners have come from inside the top-10 on the starting grid. A better qualifying result, and pit stall location, doesn't guarantee success, but it is one less problem for a team to deal with on race day. The order for the selection of pit stalls is based on qualifying results, with the Coors Light Pole Award winner getting first choice, and the remainder (pos. 2-43) choosing in order of their position in the starting lineup. Unless you're hit with a NASCAR penalty, which was the case this week for Johnson and the HScott Motorsports team with driver Justin Allgaier . The two teams were penalized Wednesday for receiving consecutive warnings from NASCAR for minor infractions at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 weekends. The P1-level penalty was the loss of choice in pit selection, meaning the two teams would be left with whatever pit stall locations remained after the other 41 teams had made their selections. HMS notified NASCAR officials of its intent to file an appeal on Thursday, and as a result the penalty has been deferred. No date for the appeal hearing has been announced. Now, instead of having to choose one of the last available pit stalls for Sunday's FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM), the No. 48 team's pit selection will be determined by Johnson's qualifying position in the 43-car field. Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled for Friday at the 1-mile track. Had they not appealed, it would not have been the first time Johnson and his team found themselves with a less-than-prime pit position at Dover. Before 2009, the track featured only 42 pit boxes along pit road, leaving two teams to share one pit stall. And when Johnson spun during qualifying for the spring race of 2006, his team was forced to share a pit stall with fellow driver Scott Wimmer and the Morgan-McClure Motorsports No. 4 team. Actually, they shared more than just the pit stall. Under an agreement between the two teams, Johnson's pit crew initially pitted both cars. And crew chiefs Chad Knaus (Johnson) and Chris Carrier ( Wimmer ) sat atop the same pit box. When pitting, whoever was higher in the running order at the time, Johnson or Wimmer , would pit first. Then the second driver would hit pit road to be serviced by the same crew. The moved ended up costing Wimmer track position when his car ran out of gas under the second caution of the race while waiting to pit. It wasn't until Hermie Sadler retired from the race after 136 laps that a pit stall opened up, allowing Wimmer and the Morgan-McClure team to move to the vacant pit box. In spite of starting at the back of the field, and going two laps down at one point in the race, Johnson was able to rebound and score a sixth-place finish. Wimmer finished 34th, four laps down. Dover added a 43rd pit stall in 2009, part of an upgrade to the facility that included widening pit road and increasing the length of each pit box by four feet. The concrete pit wall from Turn 4 to Turn 1, previously boilerplate, was also torn down and a new wall, 432 feet longer and protected by SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier, was installed in its place. No date has been set for the No. 48 team's appeal of the penalty for consecutive written warnings. Warnings, which are not appealable, are typically issued for minor, first-time infractions and the reason for the warnings isn't made public. Multiple warnings elevate the severity of the penalty to a P1 level and may result in one or more consequences besides the loss of choice in pit selection. Track time deduction in practice or qualifying, a delay in the order of inspection and selection for post-race inspection are among the other options NASCAR may impose. Johnson is a nine-time winner at the track and is the defending race winner. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Sebring at a glance: How to follow
While two of Chip Ganassi's race cars will spend the weekend making tight left turns at Phoenix Raceway as part of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, his sports car team will field entries winding around the historic Sebring International Raceway road course looking for a second overall victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida sports car classic. There are plenty of other story lines, too. Here's what to watch for today. Race schedule The green flag for the 65th annual Sebring race -- event number two of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship -- is scheduled for 10:40 a.m. ET on Saturday featuring the world's best road-course racers in one of the country's oldest major sports car races. Former NASCAR driver and current television analyst Kyle Petty will serve as honorary starter. Race details Sebring is a 3.74-mile road course with 17 turns. The race is 12 hours and will end at 10:40 p.m. ET. How to watch FOX Sports Go will begin television coverage of the race at 10:30 a.m. ET Saturday with FS1 providing coverage of the remainder from 12:30-11 p.m. ET. Go to IMSA.tv for live-streaming coverage, including in-car cameras throughout the 12-hour event. The field There are 11 entries in the prototype class, including the recent Rolex 24 race-winning No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac driven by brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor and Alexander Lynn. Ganassi is fielding three Fords in the GT LeMans class featuring drivers such as last week's season-opening IndyCar winner Sebastien Bourdais as well as IndyCar champion Scott Dixon. Ganassi's car won overall at Sebring in 2014. This car won in class at the 24 Hours of LeMans last year. NASCAR team owner Roger Penske has fielded a winning Sebring entry as well, in 2008. And this is the 50th anniversary since last month's Daytona 500 grand marshal Mario Andretti won Sebring in 1967. There are 46 cars among four classes set for Saturday morning's green flag and also include former NASCAR competitors such as Scott Pruett and Christian Fittipaldi.
Preview Show: Fontana
Jonathan Merryman and Chris Rice preview this weekend's race at Auto Club Speedway and make their picks for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.
Bourdeau wins NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series debut
RELATED: See the complete iRacing schedule Rookie Darik Bourdeau wheeled into Victory Lane in his debut race in the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series, barely dodging a large crash in the tri-oval before taking the lead from Logan Clampitt with 12 laps remaining. Clampitt was able to battle back multiple times on the outside line, even briefly clearing Bourdeau with six laps remaining. When the field came under the flag stand to receive five laps to go, Clampitt led but Bourdeau was tucked right on his bumper looking for an opening. He found it on the backstretch when the pack broke up slightly after cars made contact battling for fourth. Bourdeau used this chance to fake out Clampitt, diving high before dropping under the race leader entering Turn 3 to inch back into the lead. The two battled side-by-side through the tri-oval with Bourdeau holding a slight advantage when Michael Johnson was sent sideways, sparking the third melee of the race and ending the race under caution with Bourdeau the victor by a nose. Clampitt finished second, just missing out on the win. Nolan Scott came from 42nd on the starting grid to score a third-place result while Christian Challiner wound up fourth despite some late contact. Defending NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series champion Ray Alfalla rounded out the top-five finishers. Chris Shearburn led the field to the green as polesitter for the opening race of the season and paced the field for the first five circuits. On Lap 6, Johnson and Alfalla made a move to the front, with Michael J Johnson leading two laps before Shearburn regained control. Cody Byus was next to take a turn on the point as the outside lane seemed more organized early. Byus grabbed the lead on Lap 12 and led for 14 laps. Shearburn, Justin Bolton, and Allen Boes each flexed some muscle in leading later in the first run, with Boes looking very impressive before pit stops began on Lap 39. By Lap 43 the cycle was complete with Boes pacing the field and Shearburn losing some ground largely due to the No. 1 pit stall, an advantage under caution but a liability under green. As the race approached halfway Boes looked firmly in command, pulling the pack of sim racers around at a very quick pace and leading 29 of 100 laps, one fewer than Shearburn's race-leading 30. The only real challenge Boes faced at the front in the second run came by way of PJ Stergios who squeezed into the lead on Lap 57, only to be passed back two laps later. Boes continued to show the way when the first crash of the night developed on Lap 68 after Josh Berry was turned sideways in Turn 4. In all, the wreck claimed about 10 cars and the resulting caution flag allowed the field to pit for tires and fuel. This time the No. 1 pit stall paid off for Shearburn as he was first off pit road with a two-tire stop while Boes opted for four tires and emerged 11th. The race returned to green but did not stay that way long as another big crash claimed even more sim racers on Lap 77. Clampitt was running third on the inside line when contact with Adam Gilliland sent Clampitt onto the apron. When he rejoined it set off a chain reaction with Mitchell Hunt winding up in the wall and triggering a pileup which took out several good cars including that of Boes. Bourdeau barely cleared the wreck, sneaking through the middle as cars crashed on either side of him. The win gives Bourdeau some early momentum in the 2017 season, but with three "downforce" tracks up next on the schedule, he will need to excel at a very different style of sim racing to remain at the top of the standings. The series shifts to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Round 2 of the young season, and all eyes will be on defending champion Alfalla and newcomer Ryan Luza, who is fresh off a very strong showing in the NASCAR iRacing Pro Series. Will Alfalla earn his first victory of 2017, or could we have two first-time winners in as many races? Be sure to catch all the action from Las Vegas next Tuesday on iRacing Live !
Kyle Busch, Joey Logano meet with NASCAR officials at Phoenix
BUY TICKETS: See the races in Phoenix AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Joey Logano and Kyle Busch met with NASCAR officials here Friday morning at Phoenix Raceway, perhaps closing the books on last weekend's post-race altercation. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers met with officials approximately 30 minutes before the start of the day's first practice for Sunday's Camping World 500 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). RELATED: Full weekend schedule NASCAR officials present were Steve O'Donnell, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer; Richard Buck, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Managing Director; and Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition. Busch and Logano were running fourth and fifth, respectively, on the final lap of last week's Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when there was contact between the two after they shot past the slowing entry of Brad Keselowski. Busch's No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota shot up the track in Turn 4, then slid down onto the entrance to pit road, leaving him with a 22nd-place result. Logano, driver of the No. 22 Ford for Team Penske, was able to gather his car up after the contact to score a fourth-place finish. Crewmen stepped in to break it up before NASCAR officials separated the participants and restored order. Three days after the race, NASCAR officials announced neither driver would be penalized for their actions. Busch, the first to exit the NASCAR hauler, was short and consistent when questioned briefly by media. "Everything's great. Looking forward to getting back to the race track and getting into my race car," the Joe Gibbs Racing driver and 2015 series champion said each time he was queried.
Brian Scott to retire after 2016 season
RELATED: Driver moves and team changes for 2017 Richard Petty Motorsports announced Thursday that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Scott will retire from full-time auto racing competition at season's end. Scott , 28, began his NASCAR national series career in 2007. He is currently a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate in his first year driving team owner Richard Petty's No. 44 Ford. In a release provided by the Petty team, Scott indicated that the decision was a personal one. "This was a difficult decision, but one that I made myself for my family," Scott said. "Racing and specifically NASCAR has been and will always be in my heart, but right now, I want to turn all my attention to my family and to be able to spend more time with them. Racing has blessed me with great opportunities, and I'm very grateful for everything that it has allowed me to do, but for me, it's time to move on. "I can't thank everyone enough who helped me in my career. I would not have made it to where I am at today without their trust and commitment." In a separate release provided by the team, Albertsons Companies announced Thursday that it would cease its sponsorship. The Boise, Idaho-based grocery retailer has been a featured sponsor for eight of the 34 Sprint Cup races this year. Scott , a Boise native, is the great-grandson of Albertsons' founders. WATCH: Scott gives a tour of his hometown of McCall, Idaho In 51 starts in NASCAR's premier series, Scott has one Coors Light Pole Award and one top-five finish -- both coming at Talladega Superspeedway . But this season has been marked by struggles, with five crash-related DNFs feeding a 32nd-place ranking in the Sprint Cup standings. After posting his career-best second-place effort last month in Talladega's Hellmann's 500, Scott acknowledged the adversity in a trying first season at the Sprint Cup level. "Just trying to get any bit of a bright spot in this year has been difficult," Scott said Oct. 23 at the Alabama track. "I think that this is by far the brightest spot that we've had in a really challenging 2016 for Richard Petty Motorsports . I don't know, I guess the results and what this does for us going forward is yet to be determined." The Petty-owned team indicated that it would field the No. 44 Ford in 2017 with "further announcements" at a later date. The organization underwent significant changes on Aug. 31, temporarily assigning Philippe Lopez and Scott McDougall oversight of the competition department in place of Sammy Johns. Scott ends his full-time driving days as a two-time winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He prevailed on the mile-long layouts of Dover (2009) and Phoenix (2012). Scott also competed in six full seasons in what is now the NASCAR XFINITY Series, spending two of those years with Joe Gibbs Racing and three with Richard Childress Racing . He netted 20 top-five finishes and five pole positions over 208 career starts. "Brian made it to and competed at a level that very few do in NASCAR," said Brian Moffitt, RPM's Chief Executive Officer said in the team release. "Brian became part of the Petty family this year, and he committed himself to making our organization better. We feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to get to know Brian and wish him nothing but the best for him and his family." Thank you all. pic.twitter.com/oqqg3jW3Xn — Brian Scott (@bscottracing) November 10, 2016 &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Brian Scott announces retirement after 2016
Richard Petty Motorsports and Brian Scott announced that the driver of the No. 44 Ford will retire from full-time competition in NASCAR after the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Kyle Busch avoids a spinning Scott
Kyle Busch narrowly avoids a spinning Brian Scott during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas.
NASCAR levies L1-level penalties after Atlanta
RELATED: Details on NASCAR's new deterrence system NASCAR gave the No. 47 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car of JTG Daugherty Racing an L1-level penalty for lug nuts not being properly installed following Sunday's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The violation is detailed in section 10.9.10.4 of the NASCAR Rule Book, and driver AJ Allmendinger's 26th-place finish at Atlanta is encumbered, per section 12.10 of the NASCAR Rule Book. As a result of the violation, crew chief Randall Burnett was fined $65,000 and suspended from the next three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points races, and the team was assessed with the loss of 35 driver points and 35 owner points. Veteran pit boss Ernie Cope will be on the pit box for the No. 47 team at Las Vegas. XFINITY SERIES NASCAR levied an L1-level penalty against the No. 18 XFINITY Series team of Joe Gibbs Racing coming out of Atlanta. The race-winning car of Kyle Busch did not meet post-race front body inspection heights, detailed in section 188.8.131.52.1.2 of the NASCAR Rule Book. The victory was encumbered, stripping the playoff-point perks from the win for the No. 18 team. Crew chief Scott Graves was fined $10,000 and suspended from the next NASCAR XFINITY Series points race, and the team was penalized with the loss of 10 owner points. Matt Lucas will serve as the No. 18 team's crew chief at Las Vegas this weekend. CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES NASCAR handed out two penalties in the Camping World Truck Series following Atlanta. The No. 23 team for GMS Racing did not meet ground clearance inspection measurements following post-race inspection. The race finish was encumbered -- Chase Elliott finished fifth in the event. Crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz was fined $5,000 and suspended from the next Camping World Truck Series points race, and the team lost 10 owner points. The No. 23 was also given a safety penalty due to improperly installed lug nuts. Stankiewicz was fined an additional $2,500. &amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;
Kyle Busch wins second-straight Atlanta XFINITY race
RELATED: Full race results " Standings " Detailed breakdown " Shop: Busch gear HAMPTON, Ga. – It took Kyle Busch 13 years to get his first NASCAR XFINITY Series victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It took him one more year to get the second. The pole winner at Atlanta for the sixth time, Busch pulled away after a restart on Lap 148 of 163 and beat Brad Keselowski to the finish line by .605 seconds to score his second straight victory at the 1.54-mile track in Saturday's Rinnai 250. "It took so long to get here to begin with," Busch said in Victory Lane. "Now we've won two in a row. We weren't great to begin with, and we weren't great in the middle, but (crew chief) Scott Graves and the guys keep working on the car throughout the race and brought the No. 18 (Toyota) to life there at the end." Busch was first off pit road under the fifth caution of the afternoon after Kyle Larson, the leader entering pit road, nearly collided with Kevin Harvick, the dominant driver for most of the race with 64 laps led. The near-miss cost both drivers a fraction of a second — enough for Busch to exit with the lead. "I can't say enough about my pit crew," Busch said. "They did an awesome job getting me off pit road first for that final run." Later, Busch's race-winning entry failed post-race inspection for a height violation, according to NASCAR officials. Busch's car measured too low on both the right and left front. The car will be taken back to the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina for final inspection and any penalties will be announced next week. RELATED: Busch's No. 18 fails post-race inspection The victory was Busch's 87th in 329 XFINITY starts, extending his own series record. Both Larson and Harvick fell back on the Lap 148 restart and finished third and fourth, respectively. Elliott Sadler, who ran fifth in the No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, had the best result among series regulars and leads the XFINITY standings by three points over Sunoco rookie William Byron. Darrell Wallace Jr., Byron, Austin Dillon, Daniel Hemric and Cole Custer completed the top 10. Drawing a penalty for too many men over the wall on pit road, Custer restarted from the rear after a Lap 118 caution for Denny Hamlin's spin in Turn 1, but recovered to earn his top-10 finish in the No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. The race was contested in three stages, the first two of 40 laps each before an 83-lap final stage. Keselowski, a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular, won the first stage, earning a playoff point for the No. 22 Team Penske Ford. Harvick won Stage 2 convincingly, but his car tightened up in the final third of the race, as shadows covered Turns 1 and 2. As a full-time monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver, Busch is ineligible to earn points in the XFINITY Series, but his victory was worth five playoff points on the owner's side to the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team. Contributing: NASCAR.com staff &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;