Hamlin, Jones and Said to sub for the injured Kyle Busch Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones and Boris Said will sub for Kyle Busch in the No. 54 NASCAR XFINITY Series Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Monday. Busch returned to his Charlotte, North Carolina, home as he recovers from a compound fracture of the right lower leg and left mid-foot fracture, suffered in the XFINITY Series opener at Daytona International Speedway last month. There is no specific timetable for Busch to get back behind the wheel. "We hate this for Kyle obviously and I think everyone is focused on getting him back healthy," Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing said in a release provided by the team. "We can't thank Monster Energy and all of our partners enough for working with us while Kyle is recovering and certainly it is nice to have Denny and Erik ready to fill in. We're also excited that Boris will have the opportunity to drive the car for seven races in 2015." Hamlin will pilot the car this weekend at Las Vegas for the Boyd Gaming 300 (Saturday, Mar. 7, 4 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) and in four other events. Those events are at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, Texas Motor Speedway (April 10), Bristol Motor Speedway (April 18) and Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 23). Hamlin had been previously scheduled for six NASCAR XFINITY Series events, but these additions bring that total up to 11. Hamlin currently runs full-time for JGR in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, piloting the No. 11 Toyota. Jones, who drove the No. 54 Toyota at Atlanta last weekend, will be back behind the wheel of the car at Phoenix International Raceway (March 14) and again at Richmond International Raceway (April 24). Jones finished 13th at Atlanta last weekend. The 18-year-old is running a full season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports and is also running a partial schedule for JGR in the No. 20 NASCAR XFINITY Series Toyota. Jones will now be running an estimated 19 NASCAR XFINITY Series events, according to a release provided by the team. Said will be behind the wheel for mostly the non-companion events on the NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule. His first start is set for Talladega Superspeedway on May 2. He will also run events at Iowa Speedway on May 17 and August 1, Chicagoland Speedway on June 20, Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course on August 15, Road America on August 29 and Kentucky Speedway on September 26. Said is primarily known for his road course abilities with both of his NASCAR premier series starts in 2014 coming on road courses. Last week, JGR announced that David Ragan would be subbing for Busch in the No. 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota for the next several weeks. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
JGR teammate discusses challenges of being out of the car for an injury Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live HAMPTON, Ga. – Denny Hamlin says he has a pretty good idea of what Kyle Busch, his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, is going through these days. Busch, 29, suffered a compound fracture of his lower right leg and a mid-foot fracture of his left foot in a crash during the Feb. 21 NASCAR XFINITY Series race, the Alert Today Florida 300, at Daytona International Speedway. He has undergone surgeries on both injuries and is currently recuperating at home. It is not known when he will be able to return to competition. Hamlin missed four Sprint Cup Series races in 2013 when he suffered a back injury in a last-lap crash at Auto Club Speedway. "I talked to him this week," Hamlin said Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, site of Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (FOX, 1 p.m. ET). "A little bit after Daytona, just talking about our cars and what I thought we felt. Kind of keeping him up to date with where we're at. But I haven't talked to him this weekend. "My guess is he's on plenty of pain medication and that's making him feel pretty good." Hamlin said the difficult part for Busch would likely be rehabilitation as Busch's body continues to heal. That and dealing with the emotions of being sidelined for so long while unable to go about his normal daily routine. "I know that personally," Hamlin said. "When you break something or something like that, the initial days you're like 'this isn't so bad, I can survive that,' but the rehab and going through all that is really going to be a challenge for him. "The biggest thing is just fighting your emotions and not getting all torn up about not being able to do the things that you were normally able to do. I was in a wheelchair for just a couple of days, he's probably going to be there for awhile so … the mental challenge will probably be the toughest thing he'll have to overcome." Two-time NACAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton filled in for Busch in the season-opening Daytona 500, finishing 18th in the team's No. 18 Toyota. Earlier this week, JGR officials named David Ragan the team's interim driver for the next several weeks. Ragan, a two-time winner in the Sprint Cup Series, will start 17th in Sunday's race. Eighteen-year-old Erik Jones is filling in for Busch this weekend in the organization's No. 54 entry in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Jones was originally slated to compete in 10 XFINITY events this year, with his next scheduled start coming at Auto Club Speedway. The series visits Las Vegas and Phoenix before the Auto Club stop, and JGR officials have not announced its driver plans for the No. 54 XFINITY Series team beyond this weekend. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
The 1990s: 'His personality never left him'
Organization owns 12 tracks in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Officials at International Speedway Corporation, which owns 12 tracks where NASCAR's premier Sprint Cup Series races, said Tuesday that the company has a "significant plan" in development to expand its use of impact-diffusing barriers in the interest of safety. John Saunders, ISC president, said in a statement that the project will focus first on its two largest tracks -- 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway and 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway, where Kyle Busch's severe crash and resulting injuries during last Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race renewed the focus on safety measures. In a statement provided by ISC, Saunders said the plan would emphasize "the installation of additional impact-absorbing technologies including but not limited to SAFER barriers (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction). We will utilize all available tools to ensure the safety of the drivers and our fans. It will remain our top priority." Saunders also indicated that a "thorough review of our other ISC facilities will continue with the focus to prioritize each track's most critical areas first." That focus will become sharper at the next ISC tracks hosting Sprint Cup and other NASCAR national series events -- one-mile Phoenix International Raceway, March 13-15; and two-mile Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, March 20-22. "ISC is working very closely with NASCAR and industry experts to identify areas for additional safety protections," Saunders said. "As we finalize our plans, we will communicate them to the drivers and necessary stakeholders ahead of our races at each ISC facility." Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III emphatically said Saturday, hours after Busch's crash, that his track would expand its use of impact-absorbing protective barriers. On Monday, Talladega and Kentucky Speedway followed suit with their plans, followed a day later by Atlanta Motor Speedway, site of this weekend's tripleheader for all three NASCAR national series. The Auto Club track expanded its use of energy-absorbing walls ahead of its 2014 race, after Denny Hamlin suffered a broken back when his car hit an unprotected concrete retaining wall the year before. The inside-wall area of Turn 4, just ahead of the pit road entrance, is now covered with SAFER barriers. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Track president: 'We've got history and experience doing March races' Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live For the first time since 2004, NASCAR teams won't load up and head west for the season's second stop following the Daytona 500. Instead, Week No. 2 will find teams from all three national series -- Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck -- headed to Atlanta Motor Speedway. Coming on the heels of the season’s premier race has its challenges, AMS president Ed Clark told NASCAR.com, and weather is always a concern with an early March date in the area. RELATED: Atlanta plans SAFER barrier additions But, Clark said, "We've got history and experience doing March races. "The thing that's different about this one is that in the past, the Daytona 500 kicked the season off, we came home and had two to three weeks of outstanding interest in the sport. The day after the 500 was always your biggest ticket sales day of the year. "In this case, the Daytona 500 is over Sunday afternoon and we’re into Atlanta's race week right then." AMS hosted a Labor Day weekend race from 2010 through this past season. Up until 2010, it hosted two annual Sprint Cup weekends, the first typically falling in early to mid-March. From '82 through 2004, the second Sprint Cup race of the season was held at either Richmond International Raceway or North Carolina Motor Speedway (Rockingham). California's Auto Club Speedway hosted the second stop from '05 through '10 and Phoenix International Raceway had been the host since '11. "It's a plus and a minus," Clark said of being No. 2 on the schedule. "We all remember the year that Cale (Yarborough) and Bobby and Donnie (Allison) got in a fight (at Daytona in '79). The printing press couldn't have printed enough tickets for the next race. … That's a bonus when it happens. The world is watching what goes on at Daytona, there's a lot of focus on the sport. Everything is new. So it's a plus from that standpoint." Weather issues early in the year aren't uncommon for the Atlanta region, however. And the long-range forecast for this year's race weekend didn't look promising. But it has since changed (and will likely again), going from a chance of snow to a 40 percent chance of rain to a 20 percent chance of rain in the span of a week, according to www.NOAA.gov. Clark is more concerned about those things his group can control instead of those it can't. "I haven't even looked at (the weather forecast) in about a day and a half," he said. "No need to. It changes. "That's the approach we've taken all along. We know how to promote races; we've done it for years. Have your plan; work your plan. When you get to race time, you don't want to look back and say there was something you could have done that you didn't do." Part of that plan included an appearance by reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick on Monday. Prior to Thursday's scheduled test session, Atlanta Motor Speedway Day will be celebrated at the state capitol. Three-time premier series champion and NASCAR Hall of Fame member Darrell Waltrip is expected to join active native Georgia drivers from all three series for a visit with the governor as well as stops as the Senate and House chambers. "The long and short of it," Clark said, "is we've done things we typically do, no matter when the race is." In addition to normal race-weekend preparations, AMS announced Tuesday upgrades to its current SAFER barrier system will be put in place in time for this weekend's events. Camping World Truck Series teams, which haven't competed at AMS since 2012, will share top billing on Saturday with the XFINITY Series in a double-header race day that features the Hisense 250 XFINITY Series race (2 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) and the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 Truck Series event (5:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series event is scheduled for Sunday, March 1 with TV coverage on FOX. "We know we'll have a good race; we always have a good race at Atlanta," Clark said. "If we can get that first one done and all be positive, we have a whole year to work on ('16). I think that's when we will find out what the potential is for the future." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
For Daytona 500, workers are installing tire packs where Kyle Busch hit wall RELATED: Learn about the SAFER barrier " Kyle Busch out for undetermined amount of time DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona International Speedway track president Joie Chitwood III said Saturday evening that the facility had "failed to live up to its responsibility today," hours after NASCAR driver Kyle Busch was transported to nearby Halifax Medical Center for treatment of a leg injury. Busch, competing in Saturday's XFINITY Series season-opening race, was injured when he his No 54 Joe Gibbs Racing entry struck the inside wall nose first on the 112th lap of the 120-lap event. Due to the severity of the injury, NASCAR officials said the 29-year-old Busch would not be able to compete in Sunday's Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. RELATED: Drivers wish Kyle Busch well JGR officials announced at approximately 9:19 p.m. ET Saturday that Busch had sustained a compound fracture of the right lower leg as well as a mid-foot fracture of his left foot. The injuries will keep Busch off the track for an indefinite period. Defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Matt Crafton will replace Busch in the team's No. 18 entry for the 500, however no replacement has been named for future races. While much of Daytona's 2.5-mile track features the impact-absorbing SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier, the area struck by Busch's car does not. "We should have had a SAFER barrier there today; we did not," Chitwood said. "We're going to fix that. We're going to fix that right now." Chitwood, who took over the reins of NASCAR's best-known facility in August of 2010, said track officials had dispersed a team of workers Saturday night to "install tire packs along that 850-foot … wall, so we're ready to go racing (Sunday). Once the event is complete, Chitwood said work would begin to "install SAFER barrier on every inch at this property. "This is not going to happen again," he said. "We're going to live up to our responsibility. We're going to fix this and it starts right now." Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the first NASCAR-sanctioned track to put the barriers in place, completing its initial installation in May of 2002. A second generation of the barrier was installed at IMS in '05. Kansas Speedway completed its first SAFER barrier project in August of '04 and other NASCAR-sanctioned facilities have since upgraded their facilities to include the system as well. However, no NASCAR-sanctioned track currently feature the energy-reducing materials on all of its interior and exterior walls. Steve O'Donnell, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer for NASCAR, said officials have been told that there were situations in which it would be unwise to install the barriers in certain locations at some tracks. "I think it goes to NASCAR is not the only sanctioning body that races at a specific track," he said. "I can use Eldora for instance, where a SAFER barrier was looked at, but wouldn't have been the safest solution." Eldora Speedway, a one-half mile dirt track located in Rossville, Ohio and owned by NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, hosts a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event each year. "One of the challenges is there are a lot of other racing series that race at the racetracks we race at," O'Donnell said, "but I wouldn't say it's a very common occurrence." Busch's injury was just the latest involving NASCAR drivers hitting walls left unprotected by the barriers. In 2013, teammate Denny Hamlin suffered a back injury that sidelined the JGR driver after a hard crash at Auto Club Speedway. The track installed 1,000 additional feet of the barrier in the wake of Hamlin's accident. Jeff Gordon's crash at Las Vegas brought about changes to the inside wall where his No. 24 entry struck in a 2011 incident; crashes by Elliott Sadler at Pocono Raceway and Jeff Fuller at Kentucky in recent years brought about changes at those facilities as well. O'Donnell did not say that NASCAR would require every facility to install the SAFER barrier on all of the walls. But he said talks about increasing the amount of the barrier are on-going and would continue. "We always have those conversations with the race tracks," he said. "What we've said here tonight is we will accelerate those talks with the tracks. We want this sport to be as safe as possible for not only our drivers, but for everyone who participates in the sport and the race fans as well." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
The Nationwide Series returns to action at Texas RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Entry # Driver Owner Crew chief Manufacturer Sponsor 1 01 Landon Cassill Johnny Davis Dave Fuge 14 Chevrolet TeamJDMotorsports.com 2 2 Brian Scott Richard Childress Phil Gould 14 Chevrolet Country Bob's Sauce 3 3 Ty Dillon Richard Childress Danny Stockman Jr 14 Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops 4 4 Jeffrey Earnhardt Gary Keller Gary Cogswell 14 Chevrolet teamjdmotorsports.com 5 5 Kevin Harvick(i) Rick Hendrick Ernie Cope 14 Chevrolet Hunt Brothers Pizza 6 6 Trevor Bayne Jack Roush Chad Norris 14 Ford AdvoCare 7 7 Regan Smith Kelley Earnhardt-Miller Ryan Pemberton 14 Chevrolet TaxSlayer.com 8 9 Chase Elliott Dale Earnhardt Jr Greg Ives 14 Chevrolet NAPA AUTO PARTS 9 10 Blake Koch Mark Smith Todd Myers 14 Toyota SupportMilitary.org 10 11 Elliott Sadler J D Gibbs Chris Gayle 14 Toyota OneMain Financial 11 12 Ryan Blaney(i) Roger Penske Greg Erwin 14 Ford Snap-On 12 14 Eric McClure Mark Smith Wes Ward 14 Toyota Hefty Ultimate / Reynolds Wrap 13 16 Ryan Reed Jack Roush Seth Barbour 14 Ford ADA Drive to Stop Diabetes presented by Lilly Diabetes 14 19 Mike Bliss Mark Smith Paul Clapprood 14 Toyota Tweaker Energy Shot 15 20 Matt Kenseth(i) Joe Gibbs Kevin Kidd 14 Toyota GameStop 16 22 Joey Logano(i) Roger Penske Jeremy Bullins 14 Ford Discount Tire 17 23 Robert Richardson Jr Robert Richardson Sr George Church 14 Chevrolet Willbros 18 25 John Wes Townley(i) Tony Townley Mike Ford 14 Toyota Zaxby's 19 28 J J Yeley James Whitener Steve Plattenberger 13 Dodge Texas 28 Spirits Stage 20 31 Dylan Kwasniewski Steve Turner Shannon Rursch 14 Chevrolet AccuDoc / Rockstar 21 33 Austin Dillon(i) Richard Childress Nick Harrison 14 Chevrolet TBD 22 39 Ryan Sieg Rod Sieg Kevin Starland 14 Chevrolet RSS Racing 23 40 Matt Dibenedetto Curtis Key Sr Kyle Symington 14 Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 24 42 Kyle Larson(i) Harry Scott Jr Scott Zipadelli 14 Chevrolet Phillips Norelco 25 43 Dakoda Armstrong Richard Petty Philippe Lopez 14 Ford WinField 26 44 David Starr Mark Smith Greg Conner 14 Toyota Whataburger 27 46 Ryan Ellis Curtis Key Sr Gary Showalter 14 Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 28 51 Jeremy Clements Tony Clements Ricky Pearson 14 Chevrolet Crescent Companies 29 52 Joey Gase Jimmy Means Tim Brown 14 Chevrolet TBA 30 54 Kyle Busch(i) J D Gibbs Adam Stevens 14 Toyota Monster Energy 31 55 Jamie Dick Jimmy Dick Mark Setzer 14 Chevrolet Viva Auto Group 32 60 Chris Buescher Jack Roush Scott Graves 14 Ford Bit O Honey Mustang 33 62 Brendan Gaughan Richard Childress Shane Wilson 14 Chevrolet Smokey Mountain Snuff 34 70 Derrike Cope Mary Louise Miller Bobby Burrell 14 Chevrolet YOUTHEORY 35 74 Mike Harmon Mike Harmon Gary Ritter 12 Dodge John II Concrete Const. 36 184 Chad Boat Billy Boat Dan Deeringhoff 14 Chevrolet Corvetteparts.net 37 87 Carlos Contreras Andrea Nemechek Steven Gray 14 Chevrolet RACETRAC Convenience Stores 38 89 Morgan Shepherd Morgan Shepherd Kevyn Rebolledo 14 Chevrolet Courtney Construction 39 190 Martin Roy Michelle Gosselin Mario Gosselin 14 Chevrolet TBA 40 93 Kevin Swindell Gregg Mixon Ken Evans 13 Dodge JGL Racing 41 98 Corey LaJoie(i) Fred Biagi Jon Hanson 14 Ford Medallion Financial/Smithfield 42 99 James Buescher Robby Benton Matthew Lucas 14 Toyota Rheem MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
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Addington: 'One day we want to have two championship-caliber teams' Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge The addition of a second team at HScott Motorsports should benefit the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organization in the long run. But it has to survive the short term first. "The Daytona deal is not hurting us a bit," said Steve Addington, competition director for the Spartanburg, South Carolina-based team. "That West Coast swing will be our biggest hurdle just as far as parts and pieces.” Addington, who also serves as crew chief for Sprint Cup sophomore Justin Allgaier, said the group planned to field two entries for this month's Daytona 500, before expansion resulted in the addition of a second full-time team with driver Michael Annett. But after the season-opening race, and a quick trip to Atlanta, the Sprint Cup Series swings west for three consecutive stops -- at Las Vegas, Phoenix and Auto Club Speedway. "We're getting there; the cars are going together pretty quickly. Everybody in the shop has pulled together and we're just making it happen," Addington said. Allgaier, 28, finished 29th in the group's first full-time foray into Sprint Cup competition, with three top-20s, including two top-15s, in the final five races of the 2014 season. Annett, meanwhile, finished 33rd in the final standings while competing for Tommy Baldwin Racing with a best result of 16th at Talladega. At HSM, he will field the No. 46 Chevrolet and be paired with veteran crew chief Jay Guy. Addington has been around the block, having won races with Kyle Busch (12), Kurt Busch (4) and Tony Stewart (4) before landing at HScott. A technical alliance with Hendrick Motorsports, and for 2015 Stewart-Haas Racing as well, provides the team with parts and pieces, the chassis and bodywork. Even information from simulation programs will be available. What was missing, Addington said, was the race-weekend feedback necessary when teams are in scramble mode to make changes to their cars in an attempt to dial in speed and fine-tune the handling. "We didn't have the open database with them, so going through practice and things like that, post-practice was kind of tough being a single-car team not having any additional information coming in -- just from a tuning standpoint, what the drivers are feeling to be able to have that quick information coming to you," he said. "We would get it eventually … but it was 'OK second practice starts in an hour,' we just didn't have anybody to lean on. "I think with having two cars, to have a post-practice debrief at one of the trucks to go over … Justin to have somebody to lean on or talk to about what he's feeling in the car really quick is going to be huge for us." Scott, who began his ownership tenure in the sport in 2011, said while the timing for expansion wasn't ideal, "you don’t really get to pick when an opportunity walks through the door. "Just having two teams isn’t where we want to be," he said. "We want to have two competitive teams. One day we want to have two championship-caliber teams. It's kind of a step in the road." Addington admits the team struggled last season, but believes there was progress as the series began making trips back to tracks for the second time. Part of it was Allgaier's comfort level; part of it was simply catching up after starting from scratch. Few teams catch lightning in a bottle. SHR's Kevin Harvick and crew chief Rodney Childers did, making the move during the offseason of 2013 and winding up with their first Sprint Cup championship. "But they have a lot of years in the business," Addington said. "With Justin being a rookie, it was a learning process for him. "The second half of the season I felt we made huge improvements. That comes from better preparation; that comes from having better parts and pieces than what we started the season with; the cars got a lot better. A lot of stuff evolved from the first of the year. We didn't have a single car in the shop when I took the job; we wiped the plate clean and started from the ground up. "We made huge improvements for such a small group and I'm really proud of everyone." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup on board as primary sponsor for two races Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge Regan Smith will have a new primary sponsor on board for two races, JR Motorsports announced on Tuesday. Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup will be the primary sponsor for Smith's No. 7 Chevrolet in two NASCAR XFINITY Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 23) and New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 18). "Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup is, like JR Motorsports, a family company," JRM co-owner and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller said in a team release. "We share a lot of the same values and that makes for an ideal partnership in the XFINITY Series. We are proud to carry Anderson's colors in 2015 as Regan and the No. 7 team compete for the series title." In addition, Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup wil serve as an associate sponsor for five XFINITY Series races this season. Those races at Auto Club Speedway (March 21), Richmond International Raceway (April 24), Talladega Superspeedway (May 2), Road America (August 29) and Chicagoland Speedway (September 19). Smith finished second last season in the XFINITY Series standings to JR Motorsports teammmate Chase Elliott. Here's a look at Smith's paint scheme with Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule