Rick Ware Racing to field Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team
THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- Officials from Rick Ware Racing (RWR) announced today the team’s intent to compete in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series as an "open non-chartered" team beginning with next month's 59th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway . RWR's return to the elite level of NASCAR will have Timmy Hill aboard the No. 51 Chevrolet for Speedweeks with a rotating list of drivers to follow throughout the season including longtime RWR drivers Stanton Barrett , Cody Ware and road course veteran Kevin O’Connell to name a few. "We've been eyeing our return to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series since the end of last year," said RWR team principal Rick Ware. "We knew with the competition level stronger than ever, we needed to take the steps to make sure we could come to the track and be as competitive as possible, while focused on building our organization as the season presses on.” RWR also announced the team has acquired assets from Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) for use this season, including cars, pulldown rig and technology support. Additionally, longtime industry veteran Joe Lax, also previously with TBR will serve as crew chief, while pro-motor engineering (PME) will supply the horsepower during the season. Furthermore, Mike Hillman Sr., a longtime fixture in NASCAR joins RWR in a newly created role as team consultant. "I feel like we've done a great job getting our stars aligned for this year," Ware added. "Between acquiring cars from Tommy Baldwin Racing and having a good open relationship with them, plus being able to bring key personnel aboard who have the desire and drive to make our team the best it's ever been. "One component I'm really proud about is our initiative to bring our body work in-house. We really have hired some talented and experienced personnel overall and I couldn't be more excited to get our season underway." Hill is hopeful to make his "World Center of Racing" debut in next month's Super Bowl event. The 23-year-old hopes to make his 49th Cup race in his first ever Daytona 500 . Despite no Cup starts at Daytona, the Port Tobacco, Maryland native has four XFINITY starts at the 2.5-mile oval with two career top-10 finishes including back-to-back top-10 runs for Rick Ware Racing in 2012 with a career-best seventh in the season-opening race. "I'm thankful to continue my relationship with Rick Ware Racing for the 2017 season," said Hill. "I've always wanted the chance to compete in the Daytona 500 and thanks to Rick and Lisa (Ware), I'll have that opportunity. It won't be easy, but as a team and Joe (Lax) leading the way, we’re focused and will give it all we have and hope we’ll be one of the 40 cars running in the Daytona 500 !" In addition to their effort in the Cup Series, Rick Ware Racing will also compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) this season with recently announced driver Spencer Boyd at the wheel. Sponsorship for the team’s Cup entry will be announced at a later date. </p>
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).
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.
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.
Earnhardts on giving and receiving end of special gifts
It's probably difficult to surprise a driver like Dale Earnhardt Jr . who's used to lightning quick movements in a NASCAR race, but that's exactly what Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, did when it named an activity room after Earnhardt and his wife Amy on Saturday. Both went on social media to share their appreciation for the honor: Blown away by @Nationwide gift to me and @AmyEarnhardt . They renamed the @nationwidekids Activity Room in our honor. Incredibly humbling. pic.twitter.com/cqBBx3Cfob — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) January 22, 2017 Humbling to say the very least. Thank you so much for all you do for the many treated @nationwidekids ! We will come back to visit soon! https://t.co/WFMDpYjDGN — Amy Earnhardt (@AmyEarnhardt) January 22, 2017 But that's not all that made it a special weekend for the Earnhardts. Junior auctioned off cars at Barrett -Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona, and raised $400,000 for @Nationwidekids . That's a lot of zeros and a good weekend of work for the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports . A big check with lots of zeros. #ForTheKids #NW88JR pic.twitter.com/gSpytkPAhT — Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) January 22, 2017
Smith jumps back into title picture with win at Dover
RELATED: Race results " Updated NXS standings DOVER, Del. -- Regan Smith charged from fourth to first during a restart on Lap 121 and stayed there for the rest of the Hisense 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Dover International Speedway Saturday, posting his second victory of the season and working his way back into championship contention. After a 31-minute rain delay, Smith passed Kyle Busch , Denny Hamlin and leader Elliott Sadler on the restart on Lap 121 of 200, staved off intense pressure from Hamlin midway through the final green-flag run and pulled away as the Joe Gibbs Racing teammates battled for second place. Without a concrete deal in place for next season, Smith won for the first time at the Monster Mile -- in fact, the 80 laps he led were the first circuits he had ever spent out front at Dover. The victory was the sixth of Smith's career, and all of them have come under the JR Motorsports banner. RELATED: Dillon has tire failure as caution waves Hamlin won the fight for the runner-up spot, crossing the finish line .703 seconds behind Smith. Busch led a race-high 110 laps and came home third, followed by Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson . Austin Dillon ran sixth, one spot ahead of Chase Elliott , who moved into second place in the series standings, 24 points behind leader Chris Buescher , who finished eighth on Saturday. Smith, who rallied from a flat tire in the first third of the race, took over third in points, 36 behind Buescher. "I knew the car was fast, but I didn't know it was that fast until we got out in clean air," Smith said in Victory Lane. "This wasn't a Hail Mary. We came from the back to the front and just had a fast race car. "If we can keep doing that every week, and get another win or two here or there, I don't know what's going to happen. I'm trying to figure out some things for next year, so wins never hurt -- that's never a bad thing going forward." A victory for Smith was not even a remote consideration when a light rain began falling shortly after the halfway point, with the race already under caution for a wreck involving Stanton Barrett and Cale Conley on Lap 106. Sadler, whose 2016 move to JR Motorsports was announced on Friday, took two new tires under the yellow and was first off pit road, leading the race and praying for a monsoon. But the rain abated, depriving Sadler of a going-away present to Roush Fenway Racing , the organization he will leave at season's end. "I've never had much luck with the rain," Sadler said ruefully. "I've always been on the wrong side of that, going back to the 2009 Daytona 500 (where Sadler was fifth with a chance to win when the race was called because of rain after 152 laps)." Note: Ty Dillon cut a tire and hit the outside wall on Lap 24, resulting in a 28th-place finish. He slipped from second to fourth in the series standings, 39 points back of Buescher.
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.
Talladega 'Big One' hits Truck points standings hard
WATCH: Wildest rides of 2015 TALLADEGA, Ala. -- The "Big One" hit in Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, and it had an impact as massive as the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway oval itself. The championship race took a sharp turn when the No. 51 of Matt Tifft came down from the top line into a dense pack of trucks on Lap 92 (of 98), triggering a 10-vehicle incident that brought out the red flag for nearly 15 minutes. It was the last and worst shot to Matt Crafton , who led 43 laps but was involved in that incident that sent him tumbling down the leaderboard. Crafton, who trailed Erik Jones by four points entering the fred's 250 Presented by Coca-Cola, wound up 23 points behind the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver after finishing 24th. Four races remain in the 2015 season. Jones finished fourth. Fellow title contender Tyler Reddick ( Brad Keselowski Racing) was also involved in the wreck, but he rallied for a fifth-place result and is second in the standings, 18 points behind Jones. Two-time defending series champion Crafton was aggravated over the radio at the Talladega-style racing -- "it's the greatest (expletive) racing," he said sarcastically – and brief in his analysis on the points battle following the race. "I had my problems," Crafton said. "If (Jones and Tyler Reddick ) have their problems … I'm not worried about it. We're going to try and go win the next four and see what happens." Crafton was plagued by a spate of bad incidents Saturday that put his hopes for a three-peat as series champion in serious jeopardy. First, there was the large piece of debris that affixed itself to the front of Crafton's No. 88 Toyota, which caused the driver -- in the lead at the time -- to drop back in the field behind the pack, so that the air from the pack would sweep the trash off. That was successful in freeing the debris, but being in the back presented problems on Lap 86 when Stanton Barrett got into the wall, hitting Crafton's truck in the process. The ThorSport Racing driver was making his way up through the field before being drilled and sent into the inside wall, all of which preceded the final blow of the "Big One." Jones led six laps and was up front nearly the entire day after qualifying third. The 19-year-old ran 1-2 with Crafton prior to the No. 88 falling to the back to clean debris and extended his streak of consecutive top-10 finishes to 11, a run that began with his win at Iowa Speedway in June. "Never would have thought that we could have come out of this race that far ahead," Jones said of the points battle. "Everything from the best to the worst can happen here, and fortunately the best happened for us."
Qualifying order for Indy XFINITY Series race
Coors Light Pole Qualifying, 11:35 a.m. ET, July 25 (NBCSN/Live Extra) Entry Car # Driver Team 1 19 Jeff Green TriStar Motorsports Toyota 2 40 Josh Reaume # Phoenix Air Dodge 3 74 Mike Harmon Battery Saver Dodge 4 70 Derrike Cope Chevrolet 5 52 Joey Gase Donate Life/DB Sales Company Chevrolet 6 13 BJ McLeod (i) Grafoid/Main Gate Dodge 7 89 Morgan Shepherd Malamphy Electric Inc. Chevrolet 8 0 Harrison Rhodes # teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 9 15 Stanton Barrett Navy Seals vs Zombies/Lilly Trucking Ford 10 90 Martin Roy Gamache Truck Center Chevrolet 11 97 Peyton Sellers # VroomBrands Chevrolet 12 24 Eric McClure Reynolds Wrap Toyota 13 4 Ross Chastain # Watermelon.org Chevrolet 14 51 Jeremy Clements AllSouthElectric.com/RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet 15 44 David Starr Zachry/Build Your Future Toyota 16 26 Timmy Hill (i) JGL Racing Toyota 17 01 Landon Cassill Flex Seal Chevrolet 18 14 Cale Conley # IAVA Toyota 19 28 JJ Yeley HSG/CodeBlue Toyota 20 8 Blake Koch LeafFilter Gutter Protection Toyota 21 39 Ryan Sieg Uncle Bob's Self Storage Chevrolet 22 16 Ryan Reed Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford 23 43 Dakoda Armstrong WinField Ford 24 25 Alex Bowman (i) Zaxby's Chevrolet 25 3 Ty Dillon Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet 26 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 27 60 Chris Buescher Zest Ford 28 88 Kevin Harvick (i) Morton Buildings Chevrolet 29 6 Darrell Wallace Jr . # Ford EcoBoost Ford 30 1 Elliott Sadler OneMain Financial Ford 31 7 Regan Smith AmericasPower.org Chevrolet 32 2 Brian Scott Shore Lodge Chevrolet 33 62 Brendan Gaughan South Point Chevrolet 34 98 Aric Almirola (i) Sledgehammer Ford 35 18 Daniel Suarez # ARRIS Toyota 36 22 Ryan Blaney Discount Tire Ford 37 42 Kyle Larson (i) Dixie Chopper/Big Machine Records/Jacobsen Chevrolet 38 20 Erik Jones (i) Game Stop Toyota 39 33 Paul Menard (i) Richmond/Menards Chevrolet 40 54 Kyle Busch (i) Monster Energy Toyota
Results from Indianapolis heat races
Heat 1 Finish Car Driver Team 1 18 Kyle Busch (i) NOS Energy Drink Toyota 2 42 Kyle Larson (i) ParkerStore Chevrolet 3 22 Joey Logano (i) Discount Tire Ford 4 19 Daniel Suarez Juniper Networks Toyota 5 1 Elliott Sadler OneMain Chevrolet 6 98 Jeb Burton Estes Ford 7 33 Brandon Jones # Jeld-Wen/Menards Chevrolet 8 16 Ryan Reed Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association Ford 9 11 Blake Koch LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 10 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com/SDD Chevrolet 11 44 J.J. Yeley Zachry Toyota 12 14 Jeff Green Toyota 13 0 Garrett Smithley # teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 14 01 Ryan Preece # teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 15 13 Harrison Rhodes TredWear.com/Masters Properties Toyota 16 25 Stanton Barrett KeensBuildings.com Chevrolet 17 74 Mike Harmon truckersfinalmile.org Dodge 18 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet 19 40 Timmy Hill (i) CrashClaimsR.Us/Icard Merrill Dodge 20 10 Matt DiBenedetto (i) Toyota * -- Daniel Suarez and Elliott Sadler are eligible to run for the Dash 4 Cash in the main race. Heat 2 Finish Car Driver Team 1 20 Erik Jones # Hisense USA Toyota 2 88 Kevin Harvick (i) Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet 3 7 Justin Allgaier BRANDT Chevrolet 4 2 Paul Menard (i) Richmond/Menards Chevrolet 5 48 Brennan Poole # DC Solar Chevrolet 6 3 Ty Dillon Rheem/Nidec/US Motors Chevrolet 7 6 Darrell Wallace Jr. Ford EcoBoost Ford 8 62 Brendan Gaughan South Point Chevrolet 9 39 Ryan Sieg NiceTargets Chevrolet 10 28 Dakoda Armstrong WinField Toyota 11 4 Ross Chastain Dream Water Chevrolet 12 07 Ray Black Jr. # Scuba Life Chevrolet 13 46 Brandon Gdovic TCC Culture of Good Chevrolet 14 78 BJ McLeod # Safecraft Safety Equipment Ford 15 93 David Starr Massimo Motors Chevrolet 16 90 Mario Gosselin BuckedUp Apparel Chevrolet 17 97 Ryan Ellis VroomBrands Chevrolet 18 70 Derrike Cope E-hydrate/Circle Track Warehouse Chevrolet 19 52 Joey Gase Donate Life Chevrolet 20 15 Todd Peck Carport Empire/Lilly Trucking Ford * -- Erik Jones and Justin Allgaier are eligible to run for the Dash 4 Cash in the main race.