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Hard hits for Barrett , Conley lead to fire
Stanton Barrett gets loose off Turn 2 and collects Cale Conley, sending both into the wall hard and igniting a fire on the No. 15.
NXS GarageCam fit for a King
GarageCam host Matthew Dillner gives you a tour of the NASCAR XFINITY Series garage, catches up with some drivers and gets Richard Petty's thoughts on the 2016 low-downforce package that will be run at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Unlikely issue hinders Barrett at Road America
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- With 14 turns and high-speed sections, it's easy to find trouble at Road America . Journeyman driver Stanton Barrett did during Friday's opening day for the NASCAR XFINITY Series, but from an unexpected source and without ever turning a lap. Barrett , preparing for his fourth XFINITY start of the season for car owner Rick Ware, was unable to get on the track for Friday practice ahead of Saturday's Road America 180 Fired up by Johnsonville (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). There were no issues with the car; instead, a faulty lift-gate motor left the No. 17 entry trapped in the team's hauler while the crew searched for a solution. "It's one of those things, man. It's a bummer," Barrett said. "We'll get it going. We won't be out on the track, so we just have to get the car through tech (inspection) now. There's a lot of work to do." Barrett said the team spent approximately four hours wrangling with circuitry, switches and wiring in an effort to override the system. When all else failed, Barrett checked the manufacturer's label to discover that the company -- Dings Dynamics Group -- was located in Milwaukee, 60 miles south of the 4.048-mile track. The 42-year-old driver dialed the manufacturer up, saying, "It's Stanton Barrett . I drive and need some help!" From there, the company helped the team sort out the problem with the assistance of a local electrician. "Thank God, it worked great," Barrett said. "An electrician came out and helped us bypass all the systems, too. It was really nice that we found all the resources we needed." Coors Light Pole Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday at 12:15 p.m. ET (NBCSN/Live Extra).
Habul gets spun when Barrett goes off course
Kenny Habul and Carlos Contreras collide after Stanton Barrett goes off the course in the Gardner Denver 200 at Road America.
NASCAR nominated for league, executive of the year, more awards
The NASCAR industry is nominated in multiple categories at this year's Sports Business Awards, taking place Wednesday, May 18, at the Marriott Marquis in New York City's Time Square. Among the nominations, NASCAR is up for League of the Year and NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France is up for Executive of the Year. Launched in 2008 by SportsBusiness Journal, the awards recognize leaders who personify excellence in the business of sports. The nominees are judged by their respective accomplishments from March 1, 2015-Feb. 29, 2016. Among the other NASCAR nominees up for hardware on Wednesday are Daytona International Speedway (Facility of the Year), Darlington's Bojangles' Southern 500 (Event of the Year) and Dale Earnhardt Jr . (Social Media in Sports). France spoke to Bloomberg TV about the nominations. &amp;amp;amp;amp;nbsp; NASCAR's 2015 campaign included the activation of 10-year partnerships with FOX, NBC, IMG and Comcast; a record number of fans on digital and social media; and continued efforts to widen its appeal through youth and diversity, highlighted by Mexico's Daniel Suárez, a NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate who captured the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. But, the cornerstone reasoning behind the nomination for both NASCAR and France may lie in the landmark Charter agreement the sanctioning body reached with 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams at the start of the 2016 season. After 18 months of negotiation, NASCAR and its race teams announced the nine-year agreement in early February, ensuring a future of increased stability and the ability to build long-term enterprise value for the first time in the sport's history. Also nominated for Sports League of the Year are the American Athletic Conference, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association and the PGA Tour. Stan Kroenke (Kroenke Sports and Entertainment owner), Joe Lacob (Golden State Warriors owner), Rob Manfred (MLB commissioner) and Mark Parker (Nike CEO) join France as nominees in the Sports Executive of the Year category. Daytona International Speedway earned the Sports Facility of the Year nomination after unveiling Daytona Rising, the $400 million renovation project that transformed DIS into the world's first motorsports stadium. The project attracted a sellout crowd for the 2016 Daytona 500 , won by Denny Hamlin in the closest finish in the race's history. Joining Daytona in the facility category is Avaya Stadium (home of the MLS' San Jose Earthquakes), Bill Snyder Family Stadium (home of Kansas State football), Kyle Field (home of Texas A&M University football) and Petco Park (home of MLB's San Diego Padres). Earnhardt was late to the social media game, but proved to be a natural at the medium. Sprinkling in humor and a behind-the-curtain look at his sport, Earnhardt regularly engages with his nearly 1.5 million followers. In the 'Best in Sports Social Media' category, Earnhardt is pitted against the Chicago Blackhawks, Clemson University, the National Basketball Association and the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. Darlington Raceway hosted the most unique event on the 2015 NASCAR schedule with its Bojangles' Southern 500 . Billed as a 'throwback weekend,' Darlington celebrated its storied history with a 1970s-themed event that included 32 retro paint schemes, 14 NASCAR Hall of Famers and a variety of food and entertainment from the bygone era. Joining the Southern 500 in the 'Sports Event of the Year' category is the 2015 Belmont Stakes, the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Final, the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao boxing match and Super Bowl 50. Also nominated are NASCAR Official Partners Toyota and XFINITY (Sports Sponsor of the Year). FedEx and Anheuser-Busch In Bev, which both sponsor NASCAR race teams, are also nominated in the Sports Sponsor of the Year category. FOX Sports and NBC Sports Group, both of which broadcast NASCAR races, are each nominated in the 'Best in Sports Media' category. FOX Sports continues its broadcast of the first portion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season during this Saturday's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (7 p.m. ET on FS1).
Hollywood stuntman, former NASCAR owner dies
Nine-time winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series earned honorary Oscar in 2012
Nationwide GarageCam Replay: Charlotte
CamGuy goes trick or treating in the Nationwide garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Brian France applauds close racing, but always looking to improve
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France spoke on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about how the sport is always looking to improve competition so tight battles and close finishes can continue to play out on track.
Ty Dillon wins XFINITY pole at Daytona
RELATED: Complete XFINITY lineup for Daytona The leader of two of three practices, Ty Dillon continued to show speed at Daytona International Speedway , as he propelled his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet at 181.844 mph to the top of the leaderboard during Saturday's XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying. Dillon also led the opening round of qualifying with a fast lap of 181.796 mph around the 2.5-mile track. The front three rows at Daytona will be comprised of Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas and Richard Childress Racing Chevrolets. Starting outside Dillon is 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Daniel Suarez , who propelled his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing machine to the top of the speed charts with a fast lap of 181.408 mph. Suarez's JGR teammate Bobby Labonte , who is wheeling the No. 18 car this weekend, will roll off the grid third, while Richard Childress Racing 's Austin Dillon , Joe Gibbs Racing 's Erik Jones and Richard Childress Racing 's Brendan Gaughan round out the first three rows, respectively. Darrell Wallace Jr ., who is driving a backup car after a spin during the first practice, showed plenty of speed during knockout qualifying, advancing to the final round. The Roush Fenway Racing driver will line up 12th for today's PowerShares QQQ 300 (3:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Reigning race winner Ryan Reed will line up 11th in his No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford beside his RFR teammate. Mark Thompson , Mario Gosselin , Harrison Rhodes , Derrike Cope , Chris Fontaine , Derek White , Stanton Barrett and Mike Harmon did not qualify for the event. Trouble arose early during the first round for Harmon, who lost a left rear tire during his run, sending his No. 74 ride spinning and ultimately into the wall. Ty's brother Austin won the XFINITY Series pole last year in the season-opening event at Daytona.
Labor of love in restoring Jeff Gordon's car for sale
RELATED: Top moments in Gordon's career Well of course it was a fellow named Jeff Gordon who discovered a fellow named Jeff Gordon 's celebrated inaugural NASCAR winning car – the debutante drive of what would become a Hall of Fame racing career. And now -- after years of effort to historically and meticulously restore the former Busch Grand National car that Jeff Gordon first drove to a NASCAR Victory Lane in 1992, three times total -- the famed No. 1 Baby Ruth Ford will be showcased and available for purchase at the Barrett -Jackson auction Jan. 29 in Scottsdale, Arizona under the rather nondescript lot heading: "1094.1: 1992 T-Bird NASCAR." It has been both a labor of love and antiquity for the dozen or so involved in this project from the original guys who worked on the car like Billy Hess [original chassis builder], Keith Simmons [crew chief] and Ray Evernham -- efforts led and inspired by the retired NHRA star Darrell Gwynn, who will donate the money raised in the auction to his Darrell Gwynn Quality of Life Chapter of The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis. The Buoniconti Fund is the fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis -- the world's most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center located at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. This has not only been an interesting history lesson, but a true testament of care and inspiration. And it all started innocently enough with Gwynn's friend Gordon striking up a conversation at a car show in Daytona Beach years ago with a woman wearing a vintage Jeff Gordon Baby Ruth race car T-shirt. The woman surprised and confirmed to Gordon that her family actually owned the car, lived locally in Daytona Beach and after years of taking it to car shows, may be ready to sell it. "So no one in this garage knows at the time that Jeff Gordon 's car is right around the corner, how is that possible?" Gwynn recalled with a big smile. RELATED: See some of Gordon's iconic paint schemes After examining the car Gwynn made a deal to purchase it from the family. He transported it from Florida -- also Gwynn's home -- to Charlotte, where it sat for years. Hess and Simmons were able to confirm its authenticity with a couple of idiosyncratic details they were privy to knowing that the original car sported. Specifically, there was an extra roll bar under the dash. And they both helped immensely in carefully and authentically restoring the car for this month's auction. "So sure enough, Billy Hess goes outside his office and looks underneath the car and there's that bar,'' Gwynn explained. "I was so excited on the phone because I have 'the car' and my Jeff Gordon discovered it. I said, 'I have to have this in writing.' They got on a conference call and put together a certificate of authenticity and signed it. "This car has been sitting for four, five years and Jeff made that announcement he was going to retire, so I felt like it's time to do this,'' Gwynn said. "I have a lot of fans at Barrett -Jackson and this car is one of the assets for [my foundation]. … one of the assets we gave when we merged our organizations. "My superiors see this old beat-up stock car and I have to explain to them, 'You don't understand.' But they smile and say 'OK, Darrell. We believe in what you do.' "Why am I doing this?'' Gwynn offered with another huge smile. "I like to raise money for a great cause, number one. One of the stipulations when I partnered with the Miami Project was I'm going to have fun doing it. "And this is my idea of having fun." Gordon's stepfather John Bickford said he and Gordon are hoping to attend the auction for the sale of this car -- Gordon's appearance of course depends on his new work schedule as a NASCAR analyst for FOX Sports. But Bickford just looked at the finished product a week ago and was extremely impressed with the auction-ready result. "Darrell did his research and was adamant he made the right choices and it was only earlier this year that everyone took a "relief breath" when Keith Simmons took a look at the car [to authenticate],'' Bickford said. "Everyone was on pins and needles. Darrell called and said, 'it's the car.' I told him, 'you're one lucky dude, that's all I can say.' "Bickford recalled with a laugh. "I'm happy for Darrell. I think Darrell is an iconic guy in motorsports and I think when you're given a personal challenge and still find a way to give back to the world and try to make it better by what you've learned, you have to have respect for a guy like that. "Life isn't as easy for a guy like him as it is for you and I, but he gets up every day and works hard at it to give back to the people. It's hard to find the right things at the right time, and sometimes things fall in place." Bickford was especially appreciative of the great attention to exact detail on the car, noting the white letters on the tires because it was just before Goodyear used gold coloring and the bias-ply tires, for example. "What I like is Darrell really studied the pictures from Victory Lane,'' Bickford said. "They really worked hard on the car. … These guys found all the Victory Lane pictures and made sure the car looked like the Victory Lane shots because that's what they're representing." CAIN: My dinner with Gordon Another key part of this restoration and auction has been the reassurance and encouragement from the car's original owner, Bill Davis, who not only helped launch Gordon's NASCAR career but fielded the 2002 Daytona 500 -winning car for driver Ward Burton and who will be inducted in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame this March. "It's a real cool thing,'' said Davis, who sold his NASCAR assets in 2009 to focus on his successful trucking business. "The car basically got preserved and now restored to what it was and somebody will hopefully take it and love it and put in to collection." Davis especially appreciates being a critical part of the certain NASCAR Hall of Famer Gordon's career storyline. "I certainly look back at my entire NASCAR career with great fondness,'' Davis said. "It was a wonderful thing for us to get to do and have the success we did and make the friends we did.'' Seemingly from the very beginning, this whole project seems "meant to be" -- its work authenticated and verified by so many of the people originally involved in the car and what was to be, the start of much greatness. "The stars weren't aligned the last several years I was trying to make this happen,'' Gwynn said. "I didn't have room to store it, for example, so I stored it at Ray Evernham's shop, which is around the corner from Billy Hess' shop and Billy is the original chassis builder. "He started taking the car apart and then Jeff makes the announcement he is going to retire. So I said, we've got to accelerate this process. "I've always tried to do it around special times when I take a car to Barrett -Jackson. And this is certainly a special time." And certainly a special effort.