2002 wreck mirrors Austin's Daytona crash, Rusty Wallace involved, too Austin Dillon 's much-talked about Daytona crash paralleled to a wreck from more than a decade ago in Pocono, with both crashes involving Dale Earnhardt Jr . In 2002, Steve Park was lining up with his competition at Pocono Raceway for the Pennsylvania 500, hoping to snag his second top-10 at the track. Park never did see a top-10 finish that day. In fact, he didn't even complete the first lap thanks to a nasty wreck involving Park , Rusty Wallace and Dale Earnhardt Jr . between Turn 1 and 2. The accident was initially sparked by NASCAR Hall of Famer Wallace. Wallace's No. 2 Team Penske Ford hit the wall after the first turn. Park tried to avoid making contact with the spinning Ford and attempted to move sideways. In his quest to dodge out of Wallace's path, he came into contact with teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr . Dale Jr. got under Park's No. 1 Chevrolet causing both cars to spin onto the grass. While on the grass, Park slammed into an interior guardrail, flipping the car over violently, multiple times. Similar to his reaction to Dilllon's crash, Dale Jr. was concerned about Park's well-being as it took safety workers some time to help him out of his upside-down vehicle. RELATED: 88 crew recalls frenzy to check on Dillon When Junior was able to get out of his own car, he sprinted over to check on his teammate. Not only was it difficult getting Park out of his car, but it led to a 65-minute red-flag caution with repairs to the interior barrier having to take place before the field could go back to green. Park , like Austin Dillon , walked away from the crash just fine and headed to the infield care center arm-in-arm with Junior.
Steve Park Wins UNOH Battle at the Beach in Last Lap Pass.
2001 Pepsi 400 was also first race that NBC televised Note: NBC Sports Network is reairing this race on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET as part of its NASCAR Classics series. The 2001 season was far from an easy year for the NASCAR world. The sport was shaken to its core by a crash on the closing lap at Daytona International Speedway during the Daytona 500 that led to the passing of NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt. The races in the weeks after were filled with emotion as Dale Earnhardt, Inc. driver Steve Park won the week after the Daytona 500 at Rockingham. Two weeks later, Kevin Harvick , in just his third career Cup start, scored his first career win in the re-numbered No. 29 car for Richard Childress Racing . Harvick had been tapped after the Daytona crash to take over the car, which had been Earnhardt's No. 3. Many wondered what would happen when the sport returned to Daytona that summer for the Pepsi 400 as an emotional scene was sure to unfold. The 2001 Pepsi 400 also marked NBC's initial foray into NASCAR race coverage as it was the first race the network televised as part of a six-year pact with the sport. An interesting coincidence is that this year's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona will be NBC's first premier series race under its new TV contract that kicks in this season. The booth for that first race featured play-by-play man Allen Bestwick with analysts Wally Dallenbach and Benny Parsons. Britney Spears gave the command to start the race. Here is the intro NBC used for races in 2001 featuring the song "Fuel" by Metallica. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/center&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt; At the time, Dale Earnhardt Jr . was 26 years old and in his second full-time season in the sport's top series. He came to Daytona that summer on a 39-race winless streak. After experiencing the loss of his father, his 2001 season was very much up-and-down as you might imagine. He came into Daytona the sentimental and emotional favorite. The race had plenty of emotion in the air as Sterling Marlin led the field to the green flag. Starting 13th, it took Earnhardt 26 laps to get his No. 8 Chevrolet to the front and from there it was his show for most of the night. Dale Jr. led 116 circuits in the 160-lap race en route to his third career premier series win and his first at Daytona. The win was anything but certain though, as Junior had to hold off DEI teammate Michael Waltrip (who held off Junior to win the 2001 Daytona 500 ), Elliott Sadler and Ward Burton to win by 0.123 seconds. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/center&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt; When the checkered flag dropped, the crowd at Daytona roared with approval as Dale Jr. took the victory under the lights. There were tears and jubilation among the crew members and one heck of a burnout, not to mention a big embrace with Chocolate Myers, the fuel man with RCR on his dad's team. The celebration spilled over to the infield with Dale Jr. and Waltrip, who never got to truly celebrate the Daytona 500 win that year, embracing. In Victory Lane, an emotionally drained Dale Jr. told NBC's Bill Weber, "Man, I just don't know what to say. I am worn out. I got to thank my buddy Tony (Eury Jr.), my crew chief for hanging in there with me. All my friends, all the guys on the crew. "I had a great car. It was all car, 100 percent. I was just holding on." On his father he said, "he was with me tonight. I don't know how I did it. He was there and Michael helped me. I guess we're even now." He also predicted that he would be "crying sooner or later." "I dedicate this win to him. There ain't nobody else I could dedicate this win to that it would mean more to me." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/center&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt; Waltrip said of his role reversal with Dale Jr. from the last Daytona race, "I just wanted Dale Jr. to win so bad and I wanted to be a part of it. …I was committed to Dale Jr. just like he was to me in February." The victory would be the first of three Junior recorded that season as he later added victories at Dover and Talladega in the fall. NBC returns to NASCAR premier series coverage after a nearly nine-year absence, with Sunday night's Coke Zero 400 (7:45 p.m. ET). Rick Allen will handle the play-by-play duties alongside analysts Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte.
17-year-old Gray Gaulding set to run in three NCWTS races Kyle Busch Motorsports announced on Thursday that 17-year-old Gray Gaulding will drive the No. 54 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Toyota Tundra for three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races this season. Gaulding, who ia a NASCAR Next alumni, will gear up for his first race on August 30 for the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Ontario. "I'm very excited to be a part of KBM," said Gaulding. "It's a dream as a driver because I remember growing up watching Kyle and how much I wanted to drive for him when he started his own team. I know his mentality is to go out every weekend and win races. It's a championship organization with great people and I know I'll be able to go to the race track and have an opportunity to win at each race. "I can't thank Krispy Kreme and the over 40,000 world-wide team members enough for believing in me and taking a chance on a 17-year-old kid. Driving a KBM Toyota Tundra is my dream opportunity." The Virginia native will also participate in the upcoming NCWTS races in Loudon Sept. 26 and Martinsville Oct. 31. Gaulding has made 10 starts in the series since 2014 with his best place finish being at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park , where he finished fourth. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Partnership to focus on benefits of residential and commercial solar power tech DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., and BELMONT, Calif., (JULY 30, 2015) -- NASCAR and SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE), the world's largest renewable energy development company, today announced SunEdison as the Official Solar Energy Partner of NASCAR Green. This new partnership builds on the expanded use of solar technology across the sport, particularly at race team shops and race tracks across the country. Over the next three years, SunEdison and NASCAR will embark on an effort to educate millions of NASCAR fans on the financial and environmental benefits of solar power use. SunEdison plans to work with NASCAR partners, tracks and teams on commercial-scale solar solutions. The White House cited this newly forged partnership as a prime example of making renewable energy accessible to all U.S. homeowners. "Solar power is a proven and reliable form of renewable energy and the technology is already making a significant impact throughout our industry," said Steve Phelps, NASCAR chief marketing officer. "Our strategic partnership with SunEdison will help NASCAR further reduce the sport's environmental impact and help continue to educate our fans on renewable energy." "SunEdison is excited to be partnering with NASCAR to highlight the benefits of solar both at and away from the race track," said Vikas Desai, SunEdison senior vice president of residential and small commercial. "We look forward to being a strategic NASCAR Green partner and helping fans, partners and the sport save money while reducing their carbon footprint." NASCAR has taken a holistic approach across its wide-ranging effort to help protect the environment and has been collaborating in earnest with teams, tracks, partners and fans to do that since 2008. NASCAR's efforts to champion sustainable behavior align with NASCAR fan values. According to a 2014 study commissioned by NASCAR and conducted by Research Now, four out of five NASCAR fans believe the earth is going through a period of climate change, and two out of three of these fans feel a personal responsibility to do something about it. The study shows approximately two out of three NASCAR fans who believe there is climate change support buying cost-effective solar panels for the home. For additional information on NASCAR Green, visit www.nascar.com/green
18-year-old Canadian rounds out powerful ThorSport team CONCORD, N.C. -- In the dead of winter a little more than two years ago, Cameron Hayley took the route of many so-called "snow birds" from his home country of Canada to ride out the harsh February days in the far more temperate climate of Florida. This particular trip, though, wasn't simply a search for warmer weather. It also managed to launch his spring-loaded NASCAR career. Hayley, an 18-year-old driver from Calgary, Alberta, found pay dirt against top-flight short-track talent that February at Daytona International Speedway , claiming the checkered flag in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series portion of the inaugural UNOH Battle at the Beach tripleheader in 2013. He added his name to a distinguished list of winners, with an up-and-coming Kyle Larson prevailing in the Whelen All-American Series race and former Sprint Cup Series winner Steve Park scoring a resurgent victory in the Whelen Modified Tour event. "It does seem like a long time ago now," Hayley said Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway . "I mean, it was only two years ago, but when it comes down to it -- I've done so much since then." Though the race was an exhibition that paid out no points toward the K&N championship, it helped elevate the stature of an otherwise little-known talent from the Great White North. Fast forward, and Hayley's name takes its place on another list altogether -- as a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with ThorSport Racing, the championship team the last two seasons. "I think that's kind of what put me on the map with everybody," Hayley said. "Everyone started knowing my name after that and obviously moving to the K&N East Series last year it kind of got me down into the North Carolina, Charlotte-area and I guess people started to know my name more after that. It was kind of that Battle of the Beach when that really sparked people knowing me more." A pair of runner-up finishes in the K&N Series' title hunt the last two years helped that cause. So did his first ventures into the Camping World Truck Series, where he showed speed and landed two top-10s in his first three starts last season. After attracting the eye of team owner Duke Thorson and landing a seat in ThorSport's third truck alongside veteran teammates Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter , Hayley has shown steady growth, even while visiting tracks for the first time in his national series career. Despite the unfamiliarity, Hayley has improved his finishing position each week, capped by last weekend's fifth-place effort at Kansas Speedway . More improvement is the target again at Charlotte, site of Friday night's NC Education Lottery 200 (8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM). "It's definitely been tough," Hayley said. "This race is going to be my fifth new track again this year, so adjusting to all the different tracks and having all the tracks being new has definitely been difficult, but ThorSport has given me great trucks week in and week out and, like you said, we've been consistently getting better every single race. And we've had great trucks and had some bad luck, and I think Charlotte is going to be another one where I have lots to learn, but I think we have a great truck here and can do well." The learning curve may have been accelerated by having teammates in Crafton, the two-time defending series champion, and fellow veteran Sauter -- who have a combined 498 truck series starts to their credit. Hayley has 491 starts to catch the two; in the meantime, he's tapping them as a resource for as much advice as he can digest. "Both of them have been a tremendous help for me already," Hayley said. "Like I said, all these tracks have been new to me, so I can study race tapes, videos all I want, but until to you talk to a driver you don't really know a firsthand account of what's happening. Both these guys have helped me a lot. I haven't been quite quick enough to run up beside them during races yet, but I think we're getting there and I think I can learn a lot from that as well." Even though Hayley is still new to the team, Sauter said he likes what he's seen so far in the teenager's composure. "I don't really know him, he's a rookie, new to the deal -- but I think he's got a pretty good head on his shoulders," Sauter said. "I see him doing things that maybe necessarily don't see from a lot of rookie drivers and I think he's taking care of his equipment and showing speed at the same time. I think he’s been top of the board at Atlanta and Kansas, so there's speed there and he's only going to get better, so I think he's doing a great job and I see some things in him that I typically don't see in a lot of young guys at his age and at his experience level." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Race debuted in 2013 on temporary oval layout of backstretch Daytona International Speedway will discontinue the UNOH Battle at the Beach in 2015. The event, an invitational showcase for NASCAR's regional touring and weekly series, enjoyed a successful two-year run using a temporary oval layout on the 2.5-mile speedway's backstretch. This year, a mix of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen All-American Series will focus on near-nightly racing at nearby New Smyrna Speedway. In a statement, DIS track president Joie Chitwood III said the decision came "after much consideration." "It was necessary for us to make this difficult decision given that we will open 40,000 new seats during Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 as part of the Daytona Rising redevelopment project and will remove the backstretch grandstands prior to 2016 racing season," Chitwood said. "We are pleased to see the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will remain in Central Florida during Budweiser Speedweeks at New Smyrna Speedway and encourage fans to attend those exciting races." Track officials broke ground on the $400 million Daytona Rising project in July 2013. The redevelopment, which will feature a modernized 101,000-seat grandstand as the centerpiece, is scheduled for completion by the season-opening Speedweeks in February 2016. The Battle at the Beach debuted in 2013 with close-quarters racing and last-lap contact deciding the outcome of all three events in its opening year. The inaugural running was noteworthy not only for Kyle Larson 's victory in the Whelen All-American Series race, but for Mike Stefanik's grumpy post-race interview with Ray Dunlap, a video that went viral after Steve Park bumped aside the seven-time modified champion on the final lap. Daniel Suarez (K&N) and Doug Coby (Modified) prevailed in the Battle at the Beach in 2014. Chitwood said the track looked forward to continuing its relationship with the University of Northwestern Ohio, which sponsored the event in each year of its existence. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
See what the driver of the No. 18 Toyota needs to make the Chase RELATED: Updated series standings " Latest Chase Grid With only six races left until the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , it's time to check up on Kyle Busch , driver of the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing , as he tries to rebound from early-season injuries and make the Chase. WHAT JUST HAPPENED: The beat goes on for Busch, who won for the fourth time in five races, taking the Crown Royal Presents the Brickyard 400 in overtime on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Busch held off Joey Logano on the final restart during a green-white-checkered finish to get his first Cup win at the famed 2.5-mile superspeedway. Busch led only 19 of the 164 laps, but he was perfect on the late restarts en route to his 33rd win in the premier series and fourth since returning from injuries sustained in the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway. WHAT HE NEEDS: With four wins this season, Busch still needs to finish in the top 30 in the standings and be able to start the remaining regular-season races to be eligible for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . With six races to go before Chicagoland, Busch is unofficially 23 points behind Justin Allgaier , who is in 30th place. At his current pace, Busch needs 19.68 points per remaining event or an average finish of 24th place. WHAT'S NEXT: The Sprint Cup Series heads to Pocono Raceway for the Windows 10 400 at 1:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 2 (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). Busch finished ninth earlier this season at the Tricky Triangle in his third race since returning from injuries. It was his best finish in his comeback until he won two races later at Sonoma. For his career, Busch has eight top-10 finishes in 21 Cup starts at Pocono. He has an average finish of 18.3 and a driver rating of 84.6. WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: Really hurts to be so close to this one. Wanted it bad for RP. Had awesome restarts. Tired of finishing second. @KyleBusch is on fire — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) July 27, 2015 If you love cars you have to love @ToyotaRacing and @KyleBusch They build them he drives them. Congrats! — Michael Waltrip (@mw55) July 26, 2015 Pucker Up! @KyleBusch @CoachJoeGibbs JD Gibbs and the @Skittles crew are kissing the bricks at Indy! #Brickyard400 pic.twitter.com/luNe90JjHx — Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) July 26, 2015 Seeing JD Gibbs today around the track made my day. He is a Great man and I miss seeing him more. — Steve Letarte (@SteveLetarte) July 27, 2015 RETWEET to congratulate @JoeGibbsRacing ! They swept both poles & races this weekend at @IMS , 2nd week in a row! pic.twitter.com/KGUnVLLHxJ — Toyota Racing (@ToyotaRacing) July 27, 2015 FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Miss Coors Light, Amanda Mertz, catches up with Kyle Busch as he continues his dominance by grabbing his second career pole at Pocono Raceway after winning the last four out of five races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame announces Steve Byrnes as the recipient of the 2016 Squier-Hall Award.