David Ragan and Danica Patrick make contact
David Ragan and Danica Patrick make contact on the backstretch at Bristol Motor Speedway, leading to the 6th caution of the day.
Ray Black Jr. spins, collected by David Starr
Ray Black Jr. loses control of his No. 07 and then receives heavy damage following contact with David Starr's No. 99.
Young drivers prepare to step up as Dale Jr. readies for goodbye
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Richmond RICHMOND, Va. -- The cyclical churn of talent in the NASCAR garage took another turn this week with Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s announcement that 2017 will be his final year in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. His impending departure follows those of household names Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards -- all in short order since the end of the 2015 season. In outlining his decision to leave the cockpit, Earnhardt was asked about NASCAR's ability to reload with a new generational thrust in driver star power. He named Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott among the sport's several young aces in waiting, offering assurance that the NASCAR roster remained vibrant and strong. As for those young stars? Asked upon their Friday arrival at Richmond International Raceway about their readiness to assume the mantle, the newest and brightest of those newer drivers might not be waiting much longer. "Although it's sad that we have all our veterans and heroes retiring, I think NASCAR is in a great position with all the young talent that they have in the (Monster Energy) Series currently, and really in every feeder series below them, there's a lot of young guys with great equipment and good backing," said 24-year-old Kyle Larson, the series' current points leader. "So, I think the competition will be good. And, there's a lot of personalities, too, with people getting themselves out there on social media and stuff like that, showing their personalities. So, I feel like we're in a good spot to have some new stars step up." Larson and Elliott -- both 20-somethings -- have already begun to make that push on the track, sitting 1-2 in the series standings. They've been joined by 23-year-old Ryan Blaney, plus rookies Erik Jones, 20, and Daniel Suarez, 25, as just some of the newest faces in the garage. The current transition of the sport's paradigm isn't a new phenomenon. If the genealogy of NASCAR stardom read like the Book of Chronicles, it would include a traditional biblical list of "begats." The career of Lee Petty begat Richard Petty's, Fireball Roberts' and Ned Jarrett's careers begat David Pearson's, which begat Cale Yarborough's, Bobby Allison's and Darrell Waltrip's. Then came Earnhardt and Elliott and Wallace, then Gordon, then Stewart and then Jimmie Johnson -- all with a host of other dynamic personalities in between. Mere mention as a part of that incoming next wave, with the potential to join a list of stars with Hall of Fame clout ranks as heady territory. Being singled out by the series' 14-time Most Popular Driver as one of those candidates is too, something that Blaney -- Earnhardt's neighbor and friend -- accepts with a degree of pride and reverence. "He has a very big impact of what people think, whether it is fans or in the garage area," Blaney said. "Him talking up younger drivers or the sport in general is going to get his fans excited about the future of going forward even though he won't be driving next year. What he says will be very important. I know he has always said great things about the sport and drivers in it and been very positive, which makes him a great person and great ambassador for the sport. It means a lot to hear him say those things. "Like I said, I know he says that about a lot of young drivers and try to set everything up for the future, but it is nice to be a part of that conversation when he speaks." Gracefully making the transition to stardom is a multi-pronged challenge, requiring both on-track performance and a proficiency in engaging with fans new and old. The former requires both raw talent and a full team effort. As for the latter, Suarez said there's no secret code to making that connection. "I think it's very simple -- it's just being yourself," said Suarez, in his first year of replacing Edwards at Joe Gibbs Racing. "I think every single driver out there in the garage has different personalities: Dale has his personality; Kyle has his personality; Jimmie Johnson has his personality; I have my personality; and everyone is different. When every single driver can go out there to be himself, I think that's very cool, and the fans like that. "You know, so far it's what I've been doing and I think it's the right thing to do. But like I said, overall, Dale has been more than a role model for the sport and it's great what he has done." </p>
Cowabunga! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to sponsor Chicagoland race
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Chicagoland Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Donatello are back! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Nickelodeon return to Chicagoland Speedway this September as entitlement sponsor for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff opener. This marks Nickelodeon's second consecutive year wearing the sponsor hat at the Illinois track. The pair made the Nickelodeon Tales of the Turtles 400 announcement Friday, coming off a wildly successful 2016 partnership and campaign. The news coincided nicely with National Superhero Day. "We're thrilled that Nickelodeon is coming back with their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle franchise as the entitlement partner of our playoff kickoff on Sunday, Sept. 17," Chicagoland track president Scott Paddock told NASCAR.com. Nickelodeon also joined NASCAR in 2015's SpongeBob SquarePants 400, which saw Jimmie Johnson collect his third win at Kansas Speedway. Last year's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 -- which Furniture Row Racing's Martin Truex Jr. won -- sparked cross-generational pizazz thanks to Nickelodeon's revamp and ownership of the franchise. "Brands like Nickelodeon attract a younger audience," Paddock furthered. "We saw impact last year with about a 12 percent increase on kids that came to the race. And what's really fascinating about the 'Turtles' franchise is it's got cross-generational appeal so it was hot back in the '90s and (now) you've got this whole generation that grew up with it and now their kids are following Nickelodeon." It appears that this is a two-way relationship built on a foundation of deep admiration and appreciation. "This is Year 2 of our partnership with Chicagoland. We're thrilled to be coming back," Anthony Di Cosmo, senior vice president of sports marketing and content development for Nickelodeon, told NASCAR.com. "I think when we carried out this partnership it was really to kind of build a platform of something long term that we can really engage kids and family in the sport in a way that felt very authentic to Nickelodeon." Building off 2016's successful weekend, Nickelodeon plans to have its characters prominently displayed at the speedway as well as driver and team involvement with special paint schemes paying tribute to the network's cartoon. Last year, Monster Energy Series drivers such as Danica Patrick, Michael McDowell and David Ragan rocked Turtle-related schemes for the 400-miler. Although it is, as of yet, uncertain who will partake in the themed paint jobs this year, some of the characters -- as well as Nickelodeon stars -- are scheduled to be prominent during the September weekend with many activities for the entire family. Cowabunga, indeed. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Best 10-lap consecutive averages at Richmond
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Richmond PRACTICE 1: RESULTS Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 5 Kasey Kahne 1 10 119.324 2 95 Michael McDowell 2 11 119.207 3 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 3 12 119.082 4 4 Kevin Harvick 1 10 119.074 5 19 Daniel Suarez # 3 12 118.926 6 32 Matt DiBenedetto 2 11 118.229 7 3 Austin Dillon 9 18 117.340 8 24 Chase Elliott 16 25 116.227 PRACTICE 2: RESULTS Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 77 Erik Jones # 1 10 118.876 2 4 Kevin Harvick 1 10 118.670 3 27 Paul Menard 1 10 118.664 4 37 Chris Buescher 2 11 118.621 5 11 Denny Hamlin 2 11 118.596 6 3 Austin Dillon 2 11 118.584 7 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2 11 118.561 8 20 Matt Kenseth 1 10 118.523 9 31 Ryan Newman 2 11 118.455 10 10 Danica Patrick 2 11 118.404 11 22 Joey Logano 1 10 118.374 12 47 AJ Allmendinger 1 10 118.189 13 34 Landon Cassill 3 12 118.010 14 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 4 13 118.000 15 6 Trevor Bayne 2 11 117.973 16 18 Kyle Busch 2 11 117.915 17 38 David Ragan 3 12 117.789 18 14 Clint Bowyer 2 11 117.677 19 1 Jamie McMurray 3 12 117.664 20 32 Matt DiBenedetto 1 10 117.589 21 19 Daniel Suarez # 2 11 117.587 22 48 Jimmie Johnson 17 26 117.531 23 43 Aric Almirola 1 10 117.522 24 23 Gray Gaulding # 2 11 117.358 25 13 Ty Dillon # 1 10 117.356 26 5 Kasey Kahne 2 11 116.793 27 42 Kyle Larson 14 23 116.467 28 95 Michael McDowell 6 15 116.412 29 41 Kurt Busch 24 33 116.228 30 78 Martin Truex Jr. 21 30 115.958 31 24 Chase Elliott 20 29 115.916 32 2 Brad Keselowski 19 28 115.198 33 51 * Timmy Hill(i) 1 10 113.336 FINAL PRACTICE: RESULTS Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 78 Martin Truex Jr. 1 10 117.521 2 11 Denny Hamlin 2 11 117.384 3 42 Kyle Larson 1 10 117.379 4 20 Matt Kenseth 1 10 117.337 5 24 Chase Elliott 2 11 117.160 6 5 Kasey Kahne 1 10 117.145 7 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1 10 117.038 8 18 Kyle Busch 2 11 116.993 9 14 Clint Bowyer 1 10 116.962 10 1 Jamie McMurray 1 10 116.886 11 48 Jimmie Johnson 1 10 116.856 12 21 Ryan Blaney 1 10 116.847 13 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2 11 116.759 14 77 Erik Jones # 1 10 116.696 15 6 Trevor Bayne 2 11 116.651 16 22 Joey Logano 1 10 116.528 17 2 Brad Keselowski 1 10 116.488 18 3 Austin Dillon 2 11 116.444 19 19 Daniel Suarez # 1 10 116.428 20 43 Aric Almirola 2 11 116.349 21 31 Ryan Newman 2 11 116.263 22 4 Kevin Harvick 1 10 116.206 23 34 Landon Cassill 2 11 116.148 24 47 AJ Allmendinger 2 11 116.140 25 10 Danica Patrick 2 11 116.102 26 95 Michael McDowell 4 13 115.701 27 37 Chris Buescher 1 10 115.700 28 38 David Ragan 3 12 115.398 29 41 Kurt Busch 31 40 114.991 30 13 Ty Dillon # 1 10 114.965 31 32 Matt DiBenedetto 2 11 114.724 32 23 Gray Gaulding # 1 10 114.554 33 27 Paul Menard 28 37 113.997 34 83 * Corey LaJoie # 1 10 113.325 35 15 Reed Sorenson 1 10 113.209 * Car must run 10 consecutive laps on the track to be included in the above chart. *Required to qualify on time, # signifies the driver is a rookie, (i) Ineligible for driver points in this series
Joey Logano wins first race of season at wild Richmond
RELATED: Race results " Standings " Stage results " Detailed breakdown SHOP: Winner gear! RICHMOND, Va. -- It took Joey Logano all afternoon to drive from the back of the field to the front in Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Logano started from the rear after a post-qualifying transmission change, but when the checkered flag waved after Lap 400, the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford was at the head of the field, having held off a banzai charge from teammate Brad Keselowski during a 19-lap green-flag run. Logano took the lead for the first time on Lap 384, after restarting behind six cars that had stayed out on old tires under caution for Ryan Blaney’s contact with the Turn 3 wall on Lap 377. On fresh rubber, Logano made short work of the cars in front of him and passed series leader Kyle Larson for the top spot with 16 circuits left. Keselowski had a faster car, having led 110 laps, but he also had more difficulty getting through traffic after the final restart. By the time Logano took the checkered flag, Keselowski had narrowed his teammate's straightaway lead to roughly three car-lengths before running out of time. The 26-year-old from Connecticut won his 18th race in his 300th start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It was his first victory of the season and his second at Richmond. Logano and Keselowski had stayed out under the penultimate caution on Lap 367 and appeared vulnerable to the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch until NASCAR called the final yellow five laps after the restart on Lap 377. Of the cars that came to pit road on Lap 378, Logano was first off and lined up behind the six cars that stayed out -- those of Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chris Buescher, Martin Truex Jr., David Ragan and Cole Whitt. Busch drew a penalty for a commitment line violation and went to the rear of the field, eliminating one of the contending cars. RELATED: Watch how Logano's pit road games got Kyle Busch "The caution came out," Logano said of the final yellow. "The boys had a great stop which gave us good track position to pass the cars that stayed out. We were able to have a good start, work our way past those cars and tried to take off the best I could. I knew the 2 (Keselowski) was so much faster than everybody, and I had to get out there as quick and as far as I could. "He was on his way to catch me. I think he was catching me a couple tenths a lap. That was all I had inside the car, and I burned them up early trying to go. I’m proud of the effort of the team. We executed under pressure today and brought a car home that was a fifth-to-10th-place car to Victory Lane." For his part, Keselowski was philosophical about the way the race unfolded. "I was just hoping for another restart or the race to get extended for another 10 laps," Keselowski said. "I think we had a ton of long-run speed today. That short run at the end ... half the field came, half the field didn’t. I just got stuck in a lane of cars that didn’t go. "By the time I did, he (Logano) had a whole straightaway on me. I got it down to a couple of car-lengths at the end. All and all, I’m happy for Team Penske with the 1-2 finish. We’ll take it and move on." RELATED: Drivers to win in his 300th start Virginia native Denny Hamlin ran third, but his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota couldn’t match the speed of the Team Penske Fords. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. recovered from a brush with the Turn 3 wall to come home fourth on older tires, holding off fifth-place Kevin Harvick over the final green-flag run. The first major incident of the day happened late when Hendrick Motorsports teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson got into each other, causing damage to Junior's No. 88. He finished 30th, while Johnson placed 11th. MORE: Johnson, Earnhardt Jr. come together at Richmond The Monster Energy Series hits the track again next weekend at NASCAR's biggest track for the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET, FOX). Keselowski is the defending winner. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
What they're writing about Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. wears his heart on his sleeve, a fact that has endeared him to fans, competitors, NASCAR industry insiders, sponsors and possibly the toughest crowd of all: NASCAR writers. Junior's announcement Tuesday that he will give up full-time driving duties after the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season brought accolades and emotion from the press corps. Here's a sampling of what they're writing. "As Junior wheels his final laps, we'll all spend the next seven months recalling the good times -- the victory at that 2001 Daytona summer race, for instance, or the way he became the most accessible athlete on Twitter. But let's not forget one simple fact: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the toughest athlete in sports history." -- Jay Busbee, Yahoo Sports " Read more ----- "There is no question -- none -- that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be voted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame during his first year of eligibility. On numbers alone, Earnhardt should get in." -- Tom Jensen, Fox Sports " Read more ----- "On a personal and professional level, I'm really going to miss covering Earnhardt. There's something about his combination of candor, wit and humility that makes him the best interview in sports (at least that I've seen), and you really can't replace a guy like that. "Dale Jr. is a normal dude trapped in a superstar's life, and his fans identify with him because he acts and talks like they would if they found themselves in a similar situation." -- Jeff Gluck, JeffGluck.com " Read more ----- "Dale Earnhardt, Jr., you continue to defy convention, and define yourself. Born into advantage but forced to earn every opportunity and hone every inherited skill by a demanding father and namesake, you took up the family vocation with the scrutiny that comes as part of the deal. You were Elvis' boy who took up guitar and knew that comparison was inevitable." --Brant James, USA Today " Read more ----- Thanks to Stef Schrader at Jalopnik for bringing back a late-night TV gem: Junior doing donuts on a New York street as a segment with David Letterman. " Read more This story will be updated
NASCAR reacts to Dale Jr.'s retirement announcement
READ MORE: Dale Jr. announces retirement after 2017 season Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Hendrick Motorsports announced Tuesday that 2017 would be Junior's final full-time season. Here's how the NASCAR community paid its respects. This story will be updated throughout the day. Proud of all @DaleJr has accomplished & what he's meant to @NASCAR . But more proud of who he is as a person. — Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) April 25, 2017 You're a hell of a friend and teammate @DaleJr , I'm really happy for you and @AmyEarnhardt . — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) April 25, 2017 I'm proud of my great friend @DaleJr for everything he's done for this sport. I'm even more proud of who he is as a man. Love you friend — Tony Stewart (@TonyStewart) April 25, 2017 Happy for ya @DaleJr , nothing but respect. Let's end it on a good note this year — Chase Elliott (@chaseelliott) April 25, 2017 Now we know why... You've helped make this a better sport for so many of us, we wish you all the best in your retirement. https://t.co/9Ze6JZgZ70 — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) April 25, 2017 Don't think @DaleJr could've been any classier delivering one of the hardest things he's ever had to do. Glad my career has had him in it. — Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) April 25, 2017 I'm really excited for the next chapter in @DaleJr and @AmyEarnhardt lives. JR has made #NASCAR so much better and will continue to do so. — Mark Martin (@markmartin) April 25, 2017 pic.twitter.com/GaAPFJKx8V — Amy Earnhardt (@AmyEarnhardt) April 25, 2017 I'm kind of new in the sport but what a great guy @DaleJr is in and out of the race track. Wish you the best my friend! — Daniel Suárez (@Daniel_SuarezG) April 25, 2017 Great memories racing @DaleJr for the last 9 years. Thanks for all you have done & will continue to do for our awesome sport! #NASCAR — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) April 25, 2017 Congrats on a great career @DaleJr , finish strong! Thx 4 all u have given this sport. All the best to u n Amy w the next chapter n ur lives — Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) April 25, 2017 If you weren't a @DaleJr fan before I'd guess you are now. #honesty #sincerity #heart — Michael Waltrip (@MW55) April 25, 2017 Thank you, @DaleJr . Ready for one final season. #FinishStrong pic.twitter.com/5bV0icYAOy — Team Chevy (@TeamChevy) April 25, 2017 Excited to see what the future holds for @DaleJr , think he will be just as captivating and influential off track as he was while on track. — Alex Bowman (@AlexBRacing) April 25, 2017 In sports-athletes like @DaleJr come along once in a lifetime-talented-popular-humble-honest-real-you don't get that combo often-well done! — Steve O'Donnell (@odsteve) April 25, 2017 @DaleJr has made the sport of @NASCAR better for fans and competitors. True racer 1st ballet HOF 4 sure! Enjoy the rest of the season! — David Ragan (@DavidRagan) April 25, 2017 Congrats to @DaleJr on one helluva run. I didn't think they would announce Carl's return till end of year though? Hmm! — Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) April 25, 2017 Great memories racing @DaleJr I am pretty sure when you google "cool". Your picture shows up — Bobby Labonte (@Bobby_Labonte) April 25, 2017 Ive always enjoyed watching @DaleJr wheel it around the track. He is and will always be an icon in this sport. All the best to him and Amy! — Ben Kennedy (@BenKennedy33) April 25, 2017 My favorite post race celebration. Thanks @DaleJr and congrats on a great career. Proud to call you my friend. pic.twitter.com/y3zZSm7JOl — Michael Waltrip (@MW55) April 25, 2017 Woke up to the news about @DaleJr great career son. Wanna come race a Funny Car? @TeamChevy pic.twitter.com/VlS6Qijzmt — John Force (@JohnForce_FC) April 25, 2017 Gonna be different not watching my boss but also one of my closes friends in the sport retire but so proud of him and what he represents!! https://t.co/elXxIW6TD9 — Elliott Sadler (@Elliott_Sadler) April 25, 2017 Wishing all the best to our friends @DaleJr and @AmyEarnhardt on the next chapter! Still gonna text you for style advice Amy ❤️ — Paige (@PaigeKeselowski) April 25, 2017 Excited 4 new chapters professionally w/ @DaleJr & our team of great people. And for he & @AmyEarnhardt & family time for us all! — Kelley Earnhardt (@EarnhardtKelley) April 25, 2017 Best of luck to @DaleJr , congrats on a great #NASCAR career and thanks for all of the memories! pic.twitter.com/FE345PClsx — RCR (@RCRracing) April 25, 2017 Happy for @DaleJr and wish him nothing but the best.. He has made all of us better through his career in many different ways.. pic.twitter.com/NUOZKo4jVa — Rodney Childers (@RodneyChilders4) April 25, 2017 Amazing what @DaleJr has done for the sport and the impact he's had on all of us. It'll be cool to watch him finish out this year strong — William Byron (@WilliamByron) April 25, 2017 I'll miss watching you on the track, @DaleJr . You've made fans out of all of us. #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/BNaizTQzRy — Michael Annett (@MichaelAnnett) April 25, 2017 Been trying to think what to say, but my mind keeps stoping at Incredible...That's exactly what you've been for our sport! Thank You @DaleJr — Daniel Hemric (@DanielHemric) April 25, 2017 Wish nothing but the best for @DaleJr . He has had a great career! — Jeb Burton (@JebBurtonRacing) April 25, 2017 Wishing you nothing but the absolute best, @DaleJr . pic.twitter.com/nF8EWcpCXW — Richmond Raceway (@RIRInsider) April 25, 2017 We'll miss you @DaleJr ! https://t.co/3ntl1lOXZi — MISpeedway (@MISpeedway) April 25, 2017 We love you, @DaleJr ! — TalladegaSuperspdwy (@TalladegaSuperS) April 25, 2017 Good reason to be up early, congrats my friend on an amazing career, enjoy the heck out of the next 6 months #futurehalloffamer https://t.co/lBVcGkgeX3 — Regan Smith (@ReganSmith) April 25, 2017 Really bummed to see a career come to an end, but crazy excited to see where it goes from here. #Bossman #Hero @DaleJr https://t.co/0WsWVb10Dz — Justin Allgaier (@J_Allgaier) April 25, 2017 Thanks for all you've done and will continue to do for NASCAR, @DaleJr . Kick butt the rest of 2017. See you here in September pic.twitter.com/bA2v00FE1f — Chicagoland Speedway (@ChicagolndSpdwy) April 25, 2017 Thankful for everything @DaleJr has done and will continue to do for our sport! He is such a genuine guy and I'm lucky to call him a friend — Matthew DiBenedetto (@mattdracing) April 25, 2017 &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
GarageCam replay: Drivers talk Junior, beards, more
Hear from Ryan Blaney, Kasey Kahne and more in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage at Richmond International Raceway with GarageCam
Joey Logano reflects on 300 Monster Energy Series starts
Watch as Joey Logano takes a look back at some of his favorite -- and least favorite --moments over his career. He will make his 300th start at Richmond International Raceway.
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