Dale Jr. sidelined for next two Sprint Cup races
RELATED: Latest updates, timeline on Dale Jr.'s recovery Dale Earnhardt Jr . will not be behind the wheel of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, including this weekend's event at Michigan International Speedway , according to a Wednesday news release from Hendrick Motorsports . Earnhardt did not receive medical clearance to return to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, according to the team. He will be replaced this weekend in the No. 88 driver's seat by Alex Bowman , who drives part time for the Earnhardt-owned JR Motorsports team in the NASCAR XFINITY Series , and next weekend at Darlington Raceway by four-time series champ Jeff Gordon . "We know how hard Dale is working to get back," team owner Rick Hendrick said in a press release. "He's following what the doctors are saying, to the letter, and doing exactly what he needs to do. Everyone wants to see him in a race car, but his health is first and foremost. We're behind him." Earnhardt has been sidelined by concussion-related symptoms for the last five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. The two-time Daytona 500 winner has been keeping fans updated on his progress in recent weeks via social media and "The Dale Jr. Download" on Dirty Mo Radio. The Sprint Cup Series makes its second visit of the season to Michigan International Speedway this weekend, which culminates with Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Earnhardt said that the effects of a crash June 12 in the most recent Michigan race played a factor in his current concussion-related ailment. Gordon, interim driver of the No. 88 for the last four races, indicated last weekend that should an Earnhardt replacement be needed this weekend, a previous engagement would keep him out of the driver's seat. Bowman, 23, subbed in at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last month for the first race of Earnhardt's absence, finishing 26th after a late-race crash knocked him from the fringes of the top 10. Gordon is a seven-time winner at Darlington and will pilot the retro No. 88 Chevrolet, which honors the "Gray Ghost" paint scheme of Buddy Baker. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Bristol adds rosin to track before Sprint Cup night race
RELATED: Key story lines for Bristol night race BRISTOL, Tenn. -- NASCAR officials applied 18 more inches of rosin to each of the four corners on the bottom groove after Friday night's XFINITY Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway . A sticky substance that allows drivers to stick and run both the top and bottom grooves, rosin was applied to the track in the same manner on Thursday night prior to Friday's XFINITY Series race. Track re-applied rosin-first 18” above the apron in turns 1-2 and turns 3-4 overnight-Identical to what we did prior to @NASCAR_XFINITY — Steve O'Donnell (@odsteve) August 20, 2016 Officials originally hadn't planned to add any more rosin before Saturday's Sprint Cup race. Drivers such as Friday night's XFINITY winner Austin Dillon supported the addition of more rosin. "It's interesting to have another lane down there on the bottom," said Dillon, who will also be running Saturday night's Sprint Cup race. "Hopefully they can add a little more (rosin) to the bottom and get that bottom lane just to stay a little bit longer." What @BMSupdates looks like this AM after lower groove was treated with more rosin. Can't wait for green! @PRNlive pic.twitter.com/xMN2nBT4WN — Brad Gillie (@BradGillie) August 20, 2016 Saturday's Sprint Cup Series' Bass Pro Shops NRA night race was set to begin at 8 p.m. ET, but weather forced a rescheduling to 1 p.m. ET on Sunday (CNBC, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Sprint Cup race at Bristol hampered by rain
RELATED: Live radar for Bristol area " Starting lineup " Full race-day schedule Stormy weather delayed the start of Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race (NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Bristol Motor Speedway and then caused multiple red flags. An initial red flag on Lap 38 of a scheduled 500 lasted for 1 hour, 24 minutes. It was lifted and the cars returned to the track under caution, but it started storming again 10 laps later, bringing the cars back down pit road. The race is currently under red again. Lightning in the area forced a 50-minute delay to the green flag, and the race got underway just after 9 p.m. ET. Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch is the leader, with Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney behind him in spots two and three. Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth , Busch's JGR teammates, are fourth and fifth, respectively. Joey Logano , the two-time defending race winner, is ninth. Wet weather delayed the start of Wednesday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 , which was won by Ben Kennedy . Rain also washed out Thursday's final practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series and delayed Friday's qualifying session for the series . &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Kyle Busch tops both Bristol Sprint Cup practices
RELATED: First session results " Second session results Kyle Busch captured the top spot on the leaderboard in both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practices Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway , clocking in at 129.684 mph in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the final session. Right behind him in Friday's second session was Martin Truex Jr . in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota at 129.587 mph. Rounding out the top five were Matt Kenseth in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (129.386 mph), Ryan Blaney in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford (129.334 mph) and Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (129.256 mph.) Series points leader Brad Keselowski was 10th in the final session at 128.142 mph in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford. The caution flag came out twice in the final session: first, when Greg Biffle spun, though there was no contact, and a second time when Josh Wise lost a right front tire and slammed into the outside wall. -- In the earlier session, Kyle Busch led the way at 128.969 mph in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Right behind him was teammate Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 JGR Toyota at 128.649 mph. Hamlin also logged the most laps in the 80-minute session at 99. Rounding out the top five were Kyle Larson in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet (128.597 mph), Chase Elliott in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet (128.511 mph) and Aric Almirola in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford (128.503 mph). Series points leader Brad Keselowski was sixth fastest with a speed of 128.468 mph in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford. The session got underway five minutes late as crews worked to dry a wet track from morning rain. Practice was extended a few minutes to compensate for the late start. RELATED: Follow Bristol weather updates here </p>
Allmendinger, Truex lead Friday Sprint Cup practices at The Glen
RELATED: Tune in this weekend on USA, CNBC PRACTICE 2: Results " Fastest laps run JTG Daugherty Racing driver AJ Allmendinger led the second Sprint Cup Series practice Friday at Watkins Glen International wheeling his No. 47 Chevrolet to a high speed of 127.551 mph. Allmendinger's sole Sprint Cup Series career win came at the New York road course in 2014. Martin Truex Jr . finished the second session runner-up to Allmendinger at a speed of 127.481 mph. The Furniture Row Racing driver was fastest in Friday's opening round. It's been a good week for Truex, who signed a new two-year contract with Furniture Row earlier this week. Roush Fenway Racing 's Ricky Stenhouse Jr . (127.416 mph), Joe Gibbs Racing 's Kyle Busch (127.381 mph) and JGR's Matt Kenseth (127.280 mph) completed the top-five fastest on the leaderboard. Sprint Cup Series points leader Kevin Harvick was 11th-fastest in the second run of the day (126.857 mph) in his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. The Sprint Cup Series returns to the track Saturday at 12:15 p.m. ET (CNBC) for Coors Light Pole Qualifying before hitting the track on Sunday for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen (2:30 p.m. ET, USA, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). PRACTICE 1: Results " Fastest laps run Martin Truex Jr . led the opening Sprint Cup Series practice on Friday at Watkins Glen International with a high speed of 126.883 mph. The Furniture Row Racing driver is seeking his first win at the New York road course. Denny Hamlin finished the first session second to Truex at a speed of 126.343 mph. Casey Mears (125.896 mph), Carl Edwards (125.654 mph) and Kyle Busch (125.643 mph) completed the top-five fastest on the leaderboard. Defending race winner Joey Logano was sixth-fastest in the opening run (125.469 mph). In the final minutes of practice Clint Bowyer 's No. 15 Chevrolet spun after suffering from what the driver says were "brake problems." Bowyer's fastest lap was 123.219 mph, making him 32nd-fastest in the 40-car field. Danica Patrick also spun early due to brake issues.
Gordon makes 800th Sprint Cup start, Kenseth takes No. 600 at The Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon officially made his 800th NASCAR premier series start Sunday, taking the green flag at Watkins Glen International . Gordon made his 24th start at the 2.45-mile road course in Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at The Glen (USA, MRN, SiriusXM), substituting for the third consecutive week in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet as Dale Earnhardt Jr . recovers from concussion-related symptoms. The green flag also marked big milestones from two other drivers. Matt Kenseth , driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota, made his 600th start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series . Michael McDowell , in the Circle Sport- Leavine Family Racing , made his 200th premier- series appearance. Gordon, who turned 45 on Thursday, becomes the ninth driver in NASCAR history to hit the 800-start plateau in stock-car racing's top division. Of the eight drivers ahead of him on the all-time list, five are inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Kenseth becomes the second driver to cross the 600-start barrier this season. The retiring Tony Stewart also achieved the milestone, making start No. 600 at Kentucky Speedway on July 9.
Sprint Cup teams issued warnings post-Watkins Glen
NASCAR gave written warnings to two Sprint Cup Series teams on Wednesday following last weekend's action at Watkins Glen International for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. The Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 team for Kyle Larson received a written warning for failing template inspection twice pre-qualifying. It was the team's first warning. The Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 team for Ryan Blaney got written warnings for twice failing pre-race laser inspection and for failing pre-qualifying laser inspection twice. Those were the fourth warnings for the team in each category. Also, crew member Michael Casto of the No. 4 Stewart-Hass Racing team for Kevin Harvick was suspended indefinitely for violation of sections 12.1; 19 (behavioral) in the NASCAR Rule Book.
NASCAR to offer free youth tickets for XFINITY Series , Camping World Truck Series
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 22, 2016) -- NASCAR today announced exclusively via Facebook Live that beginning in 2017, kids ages 12 and younger will be admitted free to all NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. The announcement was made during an all-kids press conference hosted at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. The press conference also kicked off Kids Drive NASCAR, a week-long, youth initiative leading up to this weekend’s national series races at Michigan International Speedway and Road America . "There really is no other experience like attending a NASCAR race in person, and that's especially true for kids," said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "So many children become lifelong NASCAR fans because their parents brought them to their first race, and this new ticket offering makes it even more affordable for families to create memories that will last a lifetime." Many race tracks already have in place a bevy of offerings geared towards youth, including youth autograph sessions, youth garage tours, kids' clubs and designated kids’ zones. Numerous tracks also have employed various ticket platforms focused on youth, but this new program marks the first time where tracks will institute a consistent offer wherever NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races take place. Beginning in 2017, the number of complimentary tickets available for children 12 and younger will vary from venue to venue for every adult ticket purchased. Specific track policies and procedures, including sections in which the tickets are offered, will still apply and may differ for each track as well in an effort to welcome and accommodate as many families as possible. This program is another example of NASCAR-sanctioned tracks improving the at-track experience with the ultimate goal of delivering additional value and an unparalleled live-event experience for NASCAR fans. "NASCAR Hammer Down" host Karsyn Elledge, and NASCAR Next drivers Todd Gilliland and Harrison Burton helped announce the program during Monday’s kids-only press conference, the first in a series of industry events and activities that will celebrate Kids Drive NASCAR week. For the latest Kids Drive NASCAR news and content, fans can visit NASCAR.com and follow NASCAR on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , and Snapchat. Be sure to tune-in when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hits the track this weekend at Michigan International Speedway for the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and MRN.
Dillon on '17: 'Plan on being in the Sprint Cup Series'
NEWTON, Iowa -- The team is a question mark, the number is uncertain and the logistics are still behind closed doors. But one thing's for certain: If he has his way, Ty Dillon will be in a Sprint Cup Series ride next season. "I fully plan on being in the Sprint Cup Series next year full time," Dillon said Friday at Iowa Speedway. "We've got a lot of options on the table. A lot of chips still left to fall before we kind of get to that point, but hopefully we'll have something really close to getting done in a month or so." Dillon has made eight Sprint Cup starts this season, driving both the No. 95 Circle Sport -- Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet and filling in for then-injured Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing ride. He etched a season-best Cup result of 15th at Phoenix in the No. 14 Chevrolet. He also served as a relief driver for Stewart at Talladega. RELATED: Dillon subs for Stewart With No. 31 driver Ryan Newman's RCR contract up after this season, it looks to be seen whether or not Dillon will take his place as the driver of the team’s third car or if organization will add a fourth car. The possibility of driving for a different team also looms. "Talks have progressed a lot further than they have in past years," Dillon said. "I had talks with other teams in the past couple years and had opportunities, but it's always been my dream to drive for RCR and be teammates with my brother. "But now it seems like the time's more and more important. We've got some things going with RCR but we're still slowly working on other options. So, I have plenty of options and we're going to make sure it's the right decision because I want to be able to compete and win races and I want to be part of a team I know I can do that with." MORE: 'Hero' moment for Dillon as Richard Childress makes NASCAR Hall
Superspeedway cars will get safety enhancements in Sprint Cup and XFINITY series
NASCAR will implement structural enhancements to vehicles competing in the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series next season for races at its two biggest facilities, Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, in an effort to provide additional protection to its competitors. A rules bulletin to teams Thursday detailed the safety measures which affect the front firewall and foot box areas, rear roll cage area behind the driver as well as along the left side door area of the driver's compartment. Referred to as anti-intrusion panels, the thickness of the pieces has been increased for additional strength and to allow each to be welded more significantly, according to officials. The structural changes, part of NASCAR's on-going comprehensive safety initiative, strengthen the interior area of the car surrounding the driver. "We've been doing a very significant body of work over the last year and a half," Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development, said Thursday. "… We've done quite a bit of analysis, crash testing and we've come to the point now that we believe that the package is mature and we want to introduce it. The changes impact existing pieces already in use with one minor exception -- a new piece of material has been added behind the driver that extends from the existing anti-intrusion plating on the door bars into the rear sub frame. The changes are not expected to adversely affect the weight of the vehicle or change center of gravity, impacting balance. "Basically we are making the structure that encapsulates the driver more robust and susceptible to manage energy in a better way," Stefanyshyn said. "It's been implemented … with the teams so that it can be done in the most efficient, quickest and easiest way." By making the enhancements optional for 2016, they could be implemented for this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega, the only remaining event to be held on a superspeedway. The new pieces will be mandatory on superspeedways for 2017 and likely for all events in '18. Defending Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch suffered a broken right leg and fractured left foot in February of 2015 when his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota struck a wall front-end first during an XFINITY Series race at Daytona. Busch missed the first 11 points races of the season due to the injuries. The area of impact in the Busch crash was not protected by SAFER barrier at the time; it has since been added. SAFER barrier is a softer, energy-dissipating material mounted on the track wall. Earlier this year, driver Danica Patrick was involved in a similar crash at Talladega, however the wall was protected by SAFER barrier. Other than bruising and some soreness, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver was not injured. RELATED: Danica discusses Talladega wreck Even with the SAFER barrier, Patrick's impact bent the gas, brake and clutch pedals inside her No. 10 Chevrolet and according to Greg Zipadelli, Vice President of Competition for SHR, "the steering column was moved a ton. "But it was intact," he said a week after the incident. "They've been talking about doing some work in the foot box (area); I think this is the perfect case of what happened. Would that help? I think it probably would have. I think she's lucky she has short legs. Her feet got banged up but once she got going in that direction, she said she just kind of picked her feet up." Patrick underwent x-rays in the infield care center at Talladega and told FOX Sports 1 a week later when the series was at Kansas Speedway that she felt "totally fine." "I've got a couple of bruises; my arm came across and bent the steering wheel," she said. "My foot went past the clutch pedal and came back on (after hitting the wall) … I've got a couple of bruises but I feel really good." Zipadelli said the sport "has come a long way" in the area of safety. "You think about what happened a bunch of years ago, compare these cars," he said. "We're going faster; these guys are hauling the mail every place we go now. When they do wreck, knock on wood, there aren't many complaints. I think they've done a really good job."