Kyle Busch earns seventh win at Charlotte
Kyle Busch wins all three stages of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 and captures his seventh win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Bell: 'Bummed we ran third'
Christopher Bell talks about his restart struggles at Charlotte Motor Speedway after his third-place finish in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 .
Grala makes hard contact with wall
Kaz Grala gets loose and makes hard contact with the wall in Stage 2 of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Bell cuts tire early at Charlotte
Christopher Bell has a left-rear tire go down early in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch wins Stage 2 with gutsy move
Kyle Busch makes an awesome move between Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter to get the lead and win Stage 2 of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte.
Junior looks for more Talladega magic
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Talladega RELATED: Qualifying order TALLADEGA, Ala. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a simple explanation for the fan reaction at Talladega Superspeedway, site of Sunday's GEICO 500 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). "If you go to a race at Talladega, your driver can literally, possibly take the lead at any moment in the race," Earnhardt Jr., a six-time winner at the 2.66-mile track, said Friday. "You can't say that anywhere else. "So, with that comes a responsibility, I think, as a driver to try to make that happen because when you come off Turn 4 you can see a big difference in arms in the air and people excited about what just happened when you take the lead. … You can't create that anywhere else. "And they want you to keep doing that all day long because they just want to celebrate all day. They want to have fun. When you get up there and mix it up it gives them what they want. So, I think that is why I like running here and definitely makes it a unique experience as opposed to any other track we go to." RELATED: Every Earnhardt win at Talladega When it comes to lead changes, Talladega is the hands-down, foot-to-the-floor leader in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. In the spring race of 2010 and again in '11, there were an amazing 88 lead changes. In the fall race of '10 the lead changed hands 87 times. In fact, nine of the top 10 races for most lead changes took place here. Some of that can be traced to the rules packages of the day, but it's worth noting that the '73 race, held in the heat of the summer, featured 64 lead changes. Dale Earnhardt was one of the sport's best when it came to the 200 mph game of chance known as restrictor-plate racing, winning 10 times at Talladega and three times at Daytona. Maybe he couldn't really "see" the air as some thought, but the seven-time champion understood the nuances of drafting probably better than anyone. And Earnhardt Jr. has enjoyed similar success. Six of his 26 career victories have come at Talladega, where the Hendrick Motorsports driver is scheduled to make only two more starts. Only 17 races remain in the series' regular season, and 10 more after that, the playoffs that will determine this year's champion. Earnhardt Jr. has spent nearly two decades trying to reach the pinnacle of the sport and now just one final opportunity remains. RELATED: Junior opens up about retirement Twenty-fourth in points, winless thus far this season and with only a single top-10 finish, it's been a rocky start for the series' most popular driver. Three plate races provide three more opportunities, but no more than the others that have yet to be run elsewhere. If some feel this is a "must-win" race for Earnhardt Jr., he's not buying it. "That mindset might actually work and produce results for some guys," he said. "I don't know if that's probably the best way for me to go about it. But I definitely need to go in there and be aggressive and I know when I've won races here what approach I took that day that helped me get there. And I know I need to be a certain way mentally … to have success. "I don't buy the notion that we can't win anywhere but Talladega and Daytona; we have had a dry spell, I haven't won a lot of races, but we have won at other tracks in the past. But I think if I go in thinking this is a must-win, I'm probably going to make mistakes ... "I just know what I need to do, I'm going to go out there and try to do it. I've said it in the past, you've got to run the last 50 laps mistake-free. The guy that does that will win the race. … "Every move and decision and turn of the wheel has to be the right decision." There's concern, but trust too, he said. Trust in his team and crew chief Greg Ives and the Hendrick Motorsports organization for whom he has spent the last dozen years. "We've got a good set-up under the car and we are doing the best thing we can for ourselves to be competitive whether we are in the playoffs, whether it's the second race of the year or the last race of the year," Earnhardt Jr. said. "We take the best car we can and give it our best effort. "We just need to put together some races here. We've got to get a good handful of races under our belt that are finishes that we can be proud of and see where that nets us on the points deal, but it would be nice if we could just go ahead and get a win out of the way and get on with it." No matter the results, he said, "It's going to be a fun year." "I do think we can win some races," he said. "I really do." Earnhardt has seen the fans standing, arms raised in unison as he charged out of Turn 4 with the lead and the race on the line here at Talladega on numerous occasions in the past. Sunday, he hopes to see it once again. &amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;
High participation scheduled for Charlotte tests
It's a rare occasion when NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams get a day all to themselves for on-track testing, so it's not surprising that more than 40 drivers are expected to take part in an open test May 2 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Multiple teams from JR Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing, Team Penske, Richard Childress Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing are among those slated to participate in the XFINITY Series portion of the test, which is scheduled to run from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. ET at the 1.5-mile facility. Entries from ThorSport Racing, GMS Racing, Red Horse Racing, Kyle Busch Motorsports and Brad Keselowski Racing head up the Camping World Truck Series lineup. Scheduled on-track time for Truck Series teams is 3-9 p.m. ET. RELATED: Travis Pastrana set for NASCAR return, starting with test "We met with the teams about testing and because we knew that Texas was going to be a repave, we'd already heard that Kentucky was going to be another repave and we knew we were looking at a new aero drag and restrictor-plate package at Indy; all the teams got together and asked us to let them have one full-blown test," Wayne Auton, managing director for the XFINITY Series, told NASCAR.com."They voted to have one test and they all picked Charlotte, which works out with the aero package and it's before the two series race there." The schedule mirrors actual race time for the two groups -- the May 27 Hisense 4K TV 300 for the XFINITY Series is scheduled for a 1 p.m. ET start, while the May 19 North Carolina Education Lottery 200 for the Truck Series will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET. Each entry will get six sets of tires for the test and the use of telemetry on the vehicles will be allowed. Teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series have several opportunities to test during the season -- through Goodyear tire tests and organizational tests. XFINITY and Truck Series teams, however, are limited to additional track time during select race weekends. Auton said because of rules changes instituted this year, teams asked for and received additional on-track time at Atlanta and Phoenix. Practice time was also beefed up at Texas because that track underwent a repave earlier this year. The Charlotte test will give teams in the XFINITY Series to gather data from the new aerodynamic package through the use of telemetry on the vehicles. Truck Series teams can run telemetry during extra practice sessions, but Auton said XFINITY Series teams are prohibited from running the data-gathering devices at the request of the teams. Testing is prohibited in the two series with the exception of two developmental tests for drivers with fewer than 10 career starts and two additional tests for those competing for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. Auton said Monster Energy Series drivers are allowed to participate in the one-day test. "We made suggestion that no Cup drivers could come to the test," he said. "If you look at the numbers in the XFINITY garage for example, that was going to leave a bunch of teams out and wasn't fair. The owners wanted to know 'Why can't we bring our Cup guys if that's who we have driving our cars?' "The (Team) Penske cars wouldn't get to test; the No. 98 (Biagi DenBeste Racing) which is part time with Aric Almirola most of the time, wasn't going to be able to test. The owners called us and said they would like the opportunities to be able to test their cars." According to track officials, grandstands will be open to the public from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. ET. Speedway Club members, season ticket holders, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ticket holders and anyone purchasing Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series tickets on Tuesday will get infield access and can view the test session from the Pit Suites overlooking pit road. The Speedway Club will be open for lunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. ET. Drivers scheduled to participate in the test are: NASCAR XFINITY Series: Kevin Harvick and Cole Custer (Stewart-Haas Racing); Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski (Team Penske); William Byron, Elliott Sadler, Michael Annett and Justin Allgaier (JR Motorsports); Tyler Reddick and Brennan Poole (Chip Ganassi Racing); Brandon Jones, Brendan Gaughan and Daniel Hemric (Richard Childress Racing); Matt Tifft, Christopher Bell and either Denny Hamlin or Erik Jones (Joe Gibbs Racing); Darrell Wallace and Ryan Reed (Roush Fenway Racing); Blake Koch (Kaulig Racing); Ben Kennedy and Spencer Gallagher (GMS Racing); Dakoda Armstrong (JGL Racing), Casey Mears (Biagi DenBeste Racing); and Brandon Brown (King Autosport). Camping World Truck Series: Ryan Truex (Hattori Racing Enterprises); Travis Pastrana (Niece Motorsports); Noah Gragson and Myatt Snider (Kyle Busch Motorsports); Johnny Sauter, Spencer Gallagher, Justin Haley and Kaz Grala (GMS Racing); Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe (Brad Keselowski Racing); Cody Coughlin, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton and Grant Enfinger (ThorSport Racing); Brett Moffitt and Timothy Peters (Red Horse Racing); John Hunter Nemechek (NEMCO Motorsports); Austin Wayne Self (AM Racing); Austin Hill (Young's Motorsports); and Brandon Jones (MDM Motorsports).
2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Owner Standings
MORE: Monster Energy Series owner standings " Camping World owner standings Rk. Owner Car No. Points Ldr Nxt Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts. Attempts 1 Roger Penske 22 406 0 0 0 3 3 9 2 Joe Gibbs 20 338 -68 -68 2 2 12 9 3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1 330 -76 -8 0 2 2 9 4 Chip Ganassi 42 325 -81 -5 2 1 11 9 5 Kelley Earnhardt-Miller 7 301 -105 -24 1 2 7 9 6 Richard Childress 2 291 -115 -10 0 1 1 9 7 J D Gibbs 18 282 -124 -9 1 3 3 9 8 Richard Childress 3 266 -140 -16 0 0 0 9 9 Rick Hendrick 9 252 -154 -14 0 1 1 9 10 Jack Roush 6 235 -171 -17 0 0 0 9 11 Richard Childress 21 229 -177 -6 0 1 1 9 12 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5 224 -182 -5 0 0 0 9 13 Joe Gibbs 19 216 -190 -8 0 0 0 9 14 Jack Roush 16 206 - 200 -10 1 0 5 9 15 Matt Kaulig 11 202 -204 -4 0 0 0 9 16 Chip Ganassi 48 193 -213 -9 0 0 0 9 17 James Whitener 28 174 -232 -19 0 0 0 9 18 Gene Haas 00 165 -241 -9 0 0 0 9 19 Fred Biagi 98 161 -245 -4 1 1 6 7 20 Maria Gonzalez Hernandez 24 153 -253 -8 0 0 0 9 21 Rod Sieg 39 145 -261 -8 0 0 0 9 22 Mark Smith 14 140 -266 -5 0 0 0 9 23 Richard Childress 33 133 -273 -7 0 0 0 9 24 Maurice Gallagher Jr. 23 131 -275 -2 0 0 0 9 25 Richard Childress 62 121 -285 -10 0 0 0 9 26 Tony Clements 51 115 -291 -6 0 0 0 9 27 Johnny Davis 01 114 -292 -1 0 0 0 9 28 Jimmy Means 52 112 -294 -2 0 0 0 9 29 Gary Cogswell 0 105 -301 -7 0 0 0 9 30 Michelle Gosselin 90 105 -301 0 0 0 0 9 31 Gary Keller 4 100 -306 -5 0 0 0 9 32 Danielle Long 40 92 -314 -8 0 0 0 9 33 Tony Stewart 41 86 -320 -6 0 1 0 2 34 Jessica Smith-Mcleod 99 86 -320 0 0 0 0 9 35 Bobby Dotter 07 84 -322 -2 0 0 0 9 36 Rick Hendrick 88 82 -324 -2 0 0 0 2 37 Jessica Smith-Mcleod 8 74 -332 -8 0 0 0 9 38 Roger Penske 12 64 -342 -10 1 0 0 2 39 Bj McLeod 78 49 -357 -15 0 0 0 9 40 Rick Gdovic 146 47 -359 -2 0 0 0 3 41 Danielle Long 13 32 -374 -15 0 0 0 9 42 Mike Harmon 74 29 -377 -3 0 0 0 9 43 Lynn Cockrum 25 16 -390 -13 0 0 0 3 44 Mark Smith 44 10 -396 -6 0 0 0 1 45 Pamela Sieg 93 7 -399 -3 0 0 0 7 46 Cindy Shepherd 89 4 -402 -3 0 0 0 7 47 Victor Obaika 97 4 -402 0 0 0 0 6 48 Craig Martins 45 0 -406 -4 0 0 0 1 49 Victor Obaika 177 0 -406 0 0 0 0 1
Part 1: The Intimidator's Day at Talladega
Editor's note: This story was originally published Oct. 21, 2015. The trunks of NASCAR race cars don't typically have much utilitarian value. There's the fuel cell and that's about it. There's no need for extra freight when traveling at 200 mph. However, those with VIP privileges or an employee card at Richard Childress Racing 's sprawling museum in Welcome, North Carolina, know there's treasure inside the trunk of the dozens of retired cars housed there, many of which were wheeled by NASCAR icon Dale Earnhardt. Steve Ramey, the museum's curator in residence, pulls the fastening pins and raises the decklid on one in particular, an imposing black No. 3 car that might otherwise blend in with the others. "I get to pinch myself if you want to know the truth, knowing that when I go to work and I step out of my office, I walk into a room with the black number 3 cars from the day," Ramey says. "But this car here gets a lot of respect from the fans because they know the meaning of it. … This was his chance, his day and his race, and he took it and brought it home. It means a lot to them." Every car at the RCR Museum has a story, but this one stands out. The cargo that Ramey's looking for on this specific Monday, though, isn't in the trunk. It triggers his memory -- he had removed it for reference. Once he tracks down the three-ring binder specific to RCR Chassis No. 58, the lore gains even more clarity. The loose-leaf sheets in nondescript folders document each rolling artifact in the museum with pictures, notes and the crew chief's log. The next-to-last entry for Chassis 58 is a telling one, both succinct and understated considering the magnitude of what the car -- and more importantly, the driver -- accomplished in its last race. "Had good race car & Dale did rest." This is the story of the 2000 Winston 500, where Dale Earnhardt drove to the last of his 76 NASCAR premier series victories at Talladega Superspeedway . His 10th victory at the Alabama track -- still an all-time record -- came in stunning fashion, with a rally from 18th place to first in the final five laps. By then, Earnhardt's legend was already well-established -- as a stock-car racing deity, a hard charger, as "The Intimidator" -- but the impact of his final win went beyond the highlight-reel finish. The transcendent performance earned its place in NASCAR history, stirring an already frenzied fan base into hysteria that autumn afternoon. This summer, NASCAR.com interviewed 31 people -- drivers, officials, crewmen and broadcasters -- who were at Talladega that day for their personal accounts of the tumultuous race weekend. For this oral history surrounding the race's 15th anniversary, all interview subjects are listed with their job title or role on Oct. 15, 2000, the day Dale Earnhardt shook the Alabama grandstands with seismic force and embraced his final checkered flag. There are 12 entries for Chassis No. 58, perhaps none as important as the log for Oct. 15, 2000 -- "Had good race car & Dale did the rest." • • • • • The Man and his Playground "If you call that racing, OK. So be it. We'll just sit in line. … They could take the restrictor plate off and we'll see who'll hold it wide open around here." -- Dale Earnhardt, Talladega, Oct. 11, 1997. Dale Earnhardt's contradictory love-hate relationship with the 2.66-mile Alabama speed plant might fly in the face of conventional wisdom, especially for a man who so ably maneuvered its high banks to win 10 times. While he freely expressed his disdain for the speed-sapping restrictor plates, which limited carburetion and choked engine power, Earnhardt was also extraordinarily adept at the tightly woven, aero-dependent racing they produced. The track had dished out its share of hard hits to The Intimidator over the years, but also a lion's share of its laurels. Grant Lynch (Chairman, Talladega Superspeedway ): His picture is up in our media center, with his comments to the other drivers about, 'If you don't want to race at Talladega, tie a kerosene-soaked rag around your ankles so the ants don't come up there and eat that candy ass.' … He believed when you came here this was another race and you're supposed to race. A lot of people didn't take that same attitude. Ray Dunlap (pit reporter, ESPN): You have to remember that Earnhardt hated that kind of racing and it was so funny because he was so good at it, but he would really get himself worked up before those races started. Bill Elliott (owner/driver, Bill Elliott Racing No. 94 Ford): He was really, really a good drafter, just like what Tony Stewart once said. He said, 'It's a high-speed chess game and I can't even play checkers.' I think Earnhardt was a good chess player. Andy Petree (team owner, Andy Petree Racing): There was nobody better at that kind of racing than he was -- nobody. He had like this sixth sense. It's almost like being on the highway and trying to figure out which lane is gonna move. Darrell Waltrip (driver, Haas-Carter Motorsports No. 66 Ford): He was just so, so aggressive. If there was an opening, he took it. And if there wasn't an opening, he'd make one. He just drove harder at Daytona and Talladega than I think he did anyplace else, and he kind of went where other people were kind of afraid to go or other people wouldn't go. Bobby Labonte (driver, Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Pontiac): It was like he was Superman, which he was. He was really good at it, but his driving style helped that ... his intimidation factor, I guess you might say. He had fast race cars, but he could take a car that wasn't so fast every day and do better with it than anybody else because he was better at drafting and making that move. Next thing you know, he's in front of you and it's like, 'How did that happen?' Not everybody else could do that but him, seemed like. Dale Earnhardt Jr . (driver, Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 8 Chevrolet): He wasn't this maniac that just wanted to go faster. I think everybody had the curiosity of what would the cars drive like and what would the race be like if they were unrestricted. It's just, we'd be going 230 miles an hour, I think. Danny "Chocolate" Myers (fueler, Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet): Earnhardt was a driver. If he was running good, he loved plate racing. If he was running bad, he hated plate racing, I guess. Earnhardt Jr.: I'm sure he felt more confidence over the competition when he got to those races. He respected his competitors and the guys he was out there racing against, but I think he felt like he was sort of the best at those tracks. Lynch: I have told the drivers a couple times in the driver's meeting, I don't think Talladega is any driver's favorite race track, probably won't ever be, but when they get their minds right and they do what they can do here, it cannot be duplicated at any race track in the world by any form of motorsports. It just can't be done. Earnhardt's uncanny skill at restrictor-plate racing and manipulating aerodynamics in his favor promoted a myth that grew into a key piece of NASCAR folklore -- that he could see the air. Lynch: You've heard it said that he could see air. Well, he could definitely see something. Waltrip: He had that open-face helmet and the little pair of bubble goggles and everybody always said, 'Oh, he could see the air,' but he really couldn't see it, he could feel it. If you ever look at him laying over, his head about halfway hanging out that left window with that open-face helmet and those bubble goggles. I don't think it was so much he could see it, but he could feel it and I think that really helped him find the right path to take -- the path of least resistance sometimes.
Driver Sober 200 postponed at Dover
The Drive Sober 200 at Dover International Speedway has been postponed and will be run prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, October 2nd.
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