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U.S . Cellular 250 presented by New Holland entry list
The Nationwide Series returns to Iowa for a night race
XFINITY Series pit stall assignments for Iowa
See where drivers will pit for the U.S . Cellular 250 presented by New Holland RELATED: Complete lineup at Pocono The pit stall assignments are out for Saturday's U.S . Cellular 250 presented by New Holland at Iowa Speedway (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN/Live Extra, MRN, SiriusXM) with pole-sitter Daniel Suarez getting his first pick on pit road for the second time this season. After snagging the lead from Ryan Blaney in the final 30 seconds of qualifying, Suarez, in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, chose the last pit stall off pit road, giving him an easy exit during stops. Suarez is not the only one with an open-stall advantage as Brendan Gaughan (starting third) will service his No. 62 Chevrolet in stall 20, which also has an opening ahead of it. Erik Jones (starting fifth), Chris Buescher (starting sixth) and Kenny Wallace (starting seventh) all have openings in front of their pit stalls. Blaney was second in qualifying and his No. 22 Team Penske Ford will pit in the fourth pit box. Elliott Sadler , in the No. 1 Ford, has the pit stall even with the start-finish line at the Brickyard. Sadler will lineup in the 15th position. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kenny Wallace gets emotional surprise for final race
Daughter Brittany reveals a special helmet for Iowa race RELATED: Grand marshal added to Wallace's Iowa duties " Racing with nephew Matt NEWTON, Iowa -- Until Friday, Kenny Wallace 's plans to hang up his NASCAR driving helmet this weekend at Iowa Speedway were only missing one small detail -- the helmet itself. His former team kept deflecting his phone calls, telling him not to worry and that his helmet would be there for the 905th start of his long, storied NASCAR career. The smokescreen was effective -- it bought his daughter Brittany enough time to have it professionally painted with a commemorative collage of snapshots and memories from his 26 years in the sport. While Wallace's time behind the wheel in NASCAR will end with Saturday's U.S . Cellular 250 presented by New Holland (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM), the sport won't be saying goodbye to one of its most charismatic characters, who will remain a presence both in TV broadcasting and at local dirt tracks. Though there will be some finality after he steps away Saturday night, Wallace said he'll do his best to keep his emotions in check along the way. "I think there's going to be moments and I hope that it happens after the race, but I've done a pretty good job at my career to really focus in on what I have to do," said Wallace, who will carry backing from the race's title sponsor on his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota. "I remember when Ernie Irvan got hurt (in 1994) and I was in that Texaco/Havoline car in the Cup Series, I was shifting the gears getting on the high banks there at Bristol and I could hear the roar of the crowd, and I was like, 'No. Focus.' "I've learned a lot along the way. I've watched Jeff Gordon this year; I don't even know how he can go. I've learned a lot. I'm ready to race, and then we'll deal with everything after the race and when I get out of the car." That theory held true for about 30 minutes after his arrival at the .875-mile track, when Brittany Wallace handed over the special surprise to her father in front of a group of friends and family. Short of choking up, the 51-year-old Wallace said he had sworn he would not be emotional, but was genuinely moved by the gift. Wallace joked that he hopes to amend the helmet's graphics Saturday night, changing his nine career XFINITY wins to an even 10. But the joke belied his ever-sharper focus with top-shelf JGR equipment underneath him for this weekend's swan song. "If he's saying he's blocking it out, he's way better at doing something like that than I am," said older brother Mike Wallace , like his sibling a nine-time winner in NASCAR national competition. "He said he's happy with it, content. All I can say is more power to him. It's outstanding. I just ran into him over there and he's got his family and friends, he's the grand marshal for a (K&N Series) race tonight, he's got a suite here. He seems to be having fun right now. He said, 'I've got to go sign some hats,' and I was like, 'Go be famous. That's what you're good at.'" The nature of the family-affair weekend has even more ties. Kenny Wallace will share the track with his nephew, Matt, who is scheduled to make his second career XFINITY Series start Saturday night. His farewell race will also take place on a short track designed by oldest brother Rusty Wallace, a NASCAR Hall of Famer. The eldest Wallace ended his driving career in 2005, but like his brother, he remained active in the sport with broadcasting stints in television and radio. It's why both Wallaces have shied away from calling the occasion "retirement" with a capital R. "I wish him all the luck in the world," said Rusty Wallace, speaking Thursday at a charity event in Pennsylvania for The NASCAR Foundation and the Jeff Gordon 's Children's Foundation. "I told him the other day, do not use that word retirement. You don't need to do that. They'll label you with that. I said notice Jeff Gordon said he's quitting, but he's not retiring, but he's never going to race again. So he's kind of retiring but he's not going to use that word. He learned that from me and Mark Martin . I told Kenny, you didn't need to do that. He'll be fine." So if anyone was hoping to get rid of Kenny Wallace after this weekend, tough luck. The driver known for his boundless energy, his grace with racing fans, his social media presence, his extracurricular dirt-racing travels and his broadcasting moxie isn't going anywhere. After 900-plus starts dating back to a 1988 debut at Martinsville Speedway, driving the No. 8 ride owned by Dale Earnhardt in what is now the XFINITY Series, Wallace said simply that "there needs to be a line in the sand" for his driving career. Staying power in NASCAR can often be fleeting and rare, a fact that has made Wallace even prouder of his long run in the sport's highest levels. Wallace's helmet is anchored by the words "Life is a journey," a well-worn adage he said he always tells his three daughters. Wallace's own journey will enter its next phase after Saturday night. "My mom, Judy, she said to me, 'Kenny, hon. You keep reinventing yourself,' " Wallace said. "I'm like 'really, Mom?' It's not a plan, it's just that I want to stay in the sport. I think longevity and persistence is what I'm so proud of, because let's face it, I was never an 'A' driver. To me, I feel proud saying I was a 'B-plus' driver. I won nine XFINITY races, 177 top-10s -- I mean, that counts for something. When I should've been down and out, I stayed digging." Contributing: RJ Kraft from Pocono Raceway FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Jones, Dillon discuss late-race contact
Late spin foils Erik Jones' attempt to beat his boss at Pocono RELATED: Contact turns Jones around on restart " Full race results LONG POND, Pa. -- It looked like it was going to be the teacher battling his mentor and team owner for a victory. However, Erik Jones ' spin on Lap 60 ruined his chances of beating Kyle Busch in Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 . Running second at the time, Jones was in the middle lane challenging Busch for the lead when Austin Dillon 's right front made contact with Jones' left rear, which turned the driver of the No. 4 Toyota and spun the 19-year-old into Timothy Peters . Jones rebounded from the late-race trouble thanks to three green-white-checkered finishes to finish in 10th place for his ninth top-10 finish of the season. After the race, Jones pulled up to Dillon's car on pit road and the two had a civil exchange discussing the incident, even shaking hands afterward. Dillon explained his side of things to Jones, who mainly just listened. "It was a good exchange," Dillon said after the race. "I just told him the 05 (of John Wes Townley ) was in my left rear quarter panel and that's what I heard. I haven't seen a replay. I just felt like I was getting pushed and I was already loose. And I felt like if I lifted, I'd wreck, too. I chose the path to sustain it. I hate it for him. I was hoping he'd be able to save it. There wasn't much he could do off of 2. I hate it for him because he's running for points." Jones was disappointed to not get the win, especially when he was battling his boss for most of the day. Jones did edge Busch to win the 21 Means 21 Pole Award in the morning. RELATED: Busch wins at Pocono " Jones earns fourth pole of 2015 at Pocono "It was exciting," Jones said of racing against Busch, his truck owner, for the first time in the Camping World Truck Series. "I felt like we were definitely the two best trucks out there. "Unfortunately, we got spun out. You know, nothing you can really do about that. A solid day for us overall. Pretty good points day with the 88 (of Matt Crafton ) getting wrecked. We made up some good points. Could have made up some more had we finished first or second. But we'll take it." Jones sits third in the point standings, but is just 16 points back of series points leader Tyler Reddick and only five back of Matt Crafton for second place. Busch, who won the race, discussed racing against his protégé after the race. "He wants to win and that's where it all stems from," Busch said. "It's just competition. It's just the drive. He wanted to win today. He wanted to beat the boss, and he had the opportunity to do so. I don't know that I could have passed him if he was leading. It just didn't quite work out for him today, and that's tough. "And man, I've been there. I've hated it because you're still trying to make it in this game, and to make it in this game, the best way to do that is to win races and show people that you're the best and to not settle for second. Hopefully his top 10 will still continue to help him out through the rest of the year. I'm sure he'll still get some wins, and we can see him as a champion at the end of the year." Saturday was a busy day for Jones, who was doing his own version of the "double." From Pocono, he headed to Iowa Speedway for Saturday night's U.S . Cellular 250 presented by New Holland where he finished seventh. Since he couldn't be in Iowa for practices and qualifying, Drew Herring shook down the No. 54 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing . Jones is slated to attempt a similar double on Sept. 26 when he runs the Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway before heading to Kentucky Speedway for the XFINITY Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Wallace reflects on career, retirement
Kenny Wallace reflects on his NASCAR career before making his final start in the U.S . Cellular 250 Presented by New Holland .
Catch up quickly for the U.S . Cellular 250 presented by New Holland
Blaney gets redemption with Iowa win
Takes checkered flag one week after last-lap loss at Indy RELATED: Race results " Series standings NEWTON, Iowa - As the cautions — and wreckage — piled up, Ryan Blaney didn’t blink. Trouble reigned for most in the late tension-filled stages of the U.S . Cellular 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Iowa Speedway, but the driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford remained calm and poised. Seemed so, anyway. “It’s not ideal,” Blaney said of four cautions in the final 20 scheduled laps that interrupted his stirring Saturday night run to Victory Lane. “At all. You have a great car and those late cautions are just chances to give it away.” Not Saturday. Blaney’s turn at the wheel put the Team Penske No. 22 in Victory Lane at Iowa for the third straight August. Brad Keselowski drove it to wins each of the past two seasons. Blaney led an astounding 252 laps of 260, churning out the most dominant performance in his young career and first series win of the season after three runner-up finishes. “It’s crazy that you lead more laps than the race is actually scheduled for,” Blaney’s crew chief, Greg Erwin, said. Crazy indeed, but fitting for Blaney, who felt he had “given away” last weekend’s Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to Kyle Busch , who made a last-lap pass. “It really speaks a lot to this team,” Blaney said. “(They gave me) a great race car.” Regan Smith finished a season-best second and Brian Scott took third. Ty Dillon and Brendan Gaughan — who took a late shot at Blaney that slightly damaged both cars — completed the top five. Blaney simply shined from the start. He swiftly passed Coors Light polesitter Daniel Suarez after the green flag flew and led the first 146 laps — or 50 more than his previous best total he amassed while notching his first series win at Kentucky in 2013. The first hiccup: Trailing Smith for four laps after easing off pit road on Lap 147 slightly behind him. The next green flag erased that issue. On Lap 151 Blaney surged to the front again and set a blistering pace in clean air, virtually unchallenged. But one more pit stop was required and Chase Elliott — who powered to second during the late stages— beat Blaney off pit road. A change in the evening’s balance of power? Hardly. Blaney quickly swept past Elliott and never looked back — except to survey the misfortunes of others. Eight cautions marred the event, with six coming after Lap 205. WATCH: Post-race scuffles on pit road Elliott drew one after contact with Brandon Jones sent him spinning into the wall on Lap 231. He recovered to finish ninth and sits 20 points behind standings leader Chris Buescher , who was collected in the multi-car wreck that came on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. Buescher settled for 13th. Kenny Wallace , who made his record 547th and final appearance with the series, spun twice. He ended up 15th. Blaney’s No. 22 sustained some damage on the first green-white-checkered attempt as Brendan Gaughan tried to make a run to his low side, but didn’t clear his left rear. No hard feelings, Blaney said. Just good, hard racing. “Wouldn’t want it any other way,” Blaney said. Still, the twisted metal gave Smith hope — until he missed his mark on the final restart. “He went a lot earlier than I anticipated,” said Smith, who notched his best finish this season. “It was my fault for not being ready.” No one could mount much for Blaney all night. Blaney led every green flag lap. He led 160 more laps than he’s ever led in an XFINITY Series race. And his first win of 2015 came at a track where he snared his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in 2012. “Just a fun place,” said Blaney, whose 252 laps led, unsurprisingly, proved to be a track record. “We’ve always had good runs here.” FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kahne: 'If I haven't performed by 2018, I need to leave'
Kasey Kahne doesn't see Hendrick Motorsports ' hiring of William Byron to drive in the XFINITY Series as a threat to his current Sprint Cup ride in the No. 5 Chevrolet. But Kahne hasn't won since August 2014 at Atlanta Motor Speedway , and he does recoginze that if he doesn't perform by 2018 -- the final year of his current contract -- a change is needed. "I didn't really think about the rest," Kahne told FOXSports.com . "If I haven't performed by 2018, I need to leave. It's pretty simple. That has nothing to do with William Byron or anyone else. "If I haven't performed by then, it's time to go do something different. That's just the way racing and life is." The 36-year-old driver also told FOXSports.com that he recieved a call from team owner Rick Hendrick prior to the Byron announcement giving him a heads-up on the hiring. Kahne joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, winning twice in his first year with the organization. He's won five Sprint Cup events all together under the Hendrick umbrella, but two winless seasons have caused him to miss the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for two straight years. He currently is ranked 17th in the driver standings heading into Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 (2 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, Sirius XM NASCAR radio).
U.S . Olympian says neurological, muscle work keep his 'NASCAR running'
Photo credit: @lashawnmerritt LaShawn Merritt, an American sprinter competing in the men's 200 meters at the 2016 Rio Olympics, can burn up a track with the same vigor as a winning stock car driver's back tires. After winning his heat and advancing to the semifinals on Tuesday, Merritt credited neurological and muscle work that "keeps this NASCAR running" in a post-heat interview with Lewis Johnson. It takes a lot of mental and physical discipline to stay in shape to compete against the likes of fellow U.S . track and field star Justin Gatlin and Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt, both of whom won their respective heat races on Tuesday and advanced to the semifinals, as well. While we're not sure about Merritt's top speed, he just might beat a stock car in the first 200 meters.
A personal mission becomes a cause for Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Finalist
In 2011, Andy Hoffman's young son Jack was diagnosed with a brain tumor. And so, in America's Heartland, the battle began for the life of one child. Soon, the situation led Hoffman's family to take on another battle of national scope, for the lives of many children. One year after the devastating diagnosis, Hoffman had T-shirts made to sell as a fundraiser for children's brain cancer research. Approximately 20,000 shirts were sold, more than $300,000 was raised. Inspiration morphed into dedication and a year later Hoffman and his wife, Brianna, formed "Team Jack Foundation" based in Atkinson, Nebraska. In the process, they confronted the fact that procedures to treat pediatric brain cancer – both in surgery and chemotherapy – were more than 30 years old. A further catalyst was the obvious need for funding, for further childhood cancer research. Team Jack Foundation raises money to fund impactful pediatric brain cancer research while working to create national awareness for the disease. The long-term goal of the non-profit organization is to fund research at the top research centers in the United States and internationally with a special emphasis on the state of Nebraska and the surrounding region, where research centers are limited. "Our goal is to raise as much money as we can, as fast as we can and get that money into the hands of the best researchers in the world to help find a cure for pediatric brain cancer," Hoffman said. It's happening. In 2013, Hoffman appealed to the Nebraska State Legislature for funding at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, resulting in the state matching Team Jack Foundation's commitment of $1.5 million. The foundation has raised nearly $3 million, with the funding going to five research programs across the country. In addition, Hoffman has run three marathons through which he personally raised more than $10,000. Hoffman, 37 – and a longtime Jeff Gordon fan – is one of four finalists for The NASCAR Foundation's 2016 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide. The award will be presented by France, The NASCAR Foundation's Chairwoman Emeritus and founder, on Sept. 27 during the inaugural Honors Gala at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. The foundation will donate $100,000 to the charity represented by the award winner and $25,000 to each of the other three finalists' charities. The award winner will be determined via an online vote now underway and running through Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. ET at NASCAR.com/Award Andy Hoffman and his son, Jack, at a chemotherapy session. Each year, approximately 4,300 children are diagnosed with life-threatening brain cancer. Young Jack Hoffman's battle continues, but for many other children, the battle is lost. "As a parent, when your child receives that first cancer diagnosis, it's a process," Hoffman said. "It's devastating. It's paralyzing. Then you go from being paralyzed to almost having a pity party, and you're praying, asking God, 'Why?' But then, the next step is, 'How are we going to beat this thing?' "I can't ask for a better group to advocate for, than these kids going through something like this. … There's so much more work that needs to be done. We've only scratched the surface. "For whatever reason, God chose us [to face this challenge] so we felt like it was our job, our obligation to other families … to use all of the blessings in our life, to do the most amount of good as possible." To learn more about this year's finalists for The NASCAR Foundation's Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide, and to cast your vote today, go to www.NASCAR.com/Award . Voting is open now until Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. ET.