JR Motorsports ramps up with 2017 expansion
RELATED: Driver Tracker " On the move: Changes in store for 2017 The encore for an organization that placed both of its full-time drivers into the Championship 4 field in the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase last year has the chance to be even greater. JR Motorsports has that unique possibility, an opportunity granted by not sitting still. Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier return to the fold after prosperous debut years with the team, but that's where the offseason status quo ends. JRM plans a full-court press for the upcoming XFINITY season, expanding from two to four full-time drivers in an all-out push to bring home the championship it barely missed out on in 2017. "To have that opportunity to go up against three teammates, to see the growth in our shop, to see the growth in our teams, it's really, really fun to watch," Allgaier said. "I feel like if you came back here next year and said we'd have four cars from JR Motorsports in the final four, it wouldn't surprise me at all." A four-car sweep for the Homestead-Miami finale in November would mean stellar introductions by the two newest faces in the JRM stable: up-and-coming teenager William Byron, a NASCAR Next alum, and 30-year-old vet Michael Annett , back in XFINITY after a three-year stint in NASCAR's top division. The addition of Byron, a 19-year-old prospect in the Hendrick Motorsports system, actually counts as a reunion. The Liberty University student was a former driver for JRM's Late Model program on the weekly and touring level. His teammates have already seen what he can do in top-level equipment. Byron won seven times in his rookie NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, with only a crucial engine failure in 2016's penultimate race keeping him from the championship fight . It's the reason Sadler has touted him as "a star of the future" and why Allgaier echoed the thought, calling Byron "an absolute class act and an amazing talent." Kelley Earnhardt Miller -- who co-owns JRM with her brother, Dale Earnhardt Jr . -- spoke with tones of regret in describing how Byron got away in late 2015, snapped up by Kyle Busch Motorsports and seemingly earmarked for an upward career arc in the Toyota pipeline. That changed last August when team owner Rick Hendrick brought him back into the Chevrolet camp, cognizant of the creeping advancement in age of his Monster Energy Cup Series roster. "For that to all come back full circle, we're real excited about it," Earnhardt Miller told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio last month. "He's just a great kid and a good family, and his story is just so cool -- doing the computer racing [on iRacing] and then telling his dad he wants to race and then not racing until he was 15. It's just a good story. But Mr. Hendrick deserves the credit there, trying to look at his next moves because he's going to have some drivers that are on the retirement horizon in the next several years, so smart move for him to make all that happen." Said Byron: "I just remember their ultimate goal for me when I started racing Late Models was so I could race an XFINITY car there. In a weird way, I got back to that and it's going to be really cool to return next year." To accommodate the escalated XFINITY Series growth, which Earnhardt Miller said has maxed out the team's resources, JR Motorsports has closed its truck series operation. Cole Custer , who drove the JRM No. 00 truck the last two seasons, has since moved on to Stewart-Haas Racing 's XFINITY program. As in past years, JR Motorsports plans to run an extra XFINITY entry in select races with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup drivers Earnhardt and Kasey Kahne behind the wheel for two races each. But at the heart of its growth are the core four XFINITY regulars, a direction chosen in light of new driver participation guidelines that go into effect in 2017. The continuity will keep JRM from scrambling to shuffle its roster once the Chase playoff begins and the limits on Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers moonlighting in the XFINITY ranks become more stringent. But the organization will still need to make inroads against stout competition, especially Joe Gibbs Racing , which won 19 of the 33 XFINITY races last season and took the other two spots in the four-driver championship round. Reminded of the heady assignment a day after last season's finale, Allgaier was unwavering. "Even with the Gibbs guys," Allgaier said. "I don't know, I just feel like with the packages that we've seen of what's a possibility for the XFINITY Series next year, the work that we're doing at the shop and the cars and just all the things that we've been working on, I really think next year's an opportunity for us at JR Motorsports."
Amy, Brian France continue their fight against cancer
Following a historic NASCAR Championship weekend, which saw the best drivers in the world fight for championships, Amy France and NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France switched gears last night to continue their fight against cancer. The Frances lent their support to Gabrielle's Angel Foundation and its annual Angel Ball which has raised $27 million for blood cancer research since 1996. After the Frances were honorees at last year's event, Amy France took a larger role this year, assuming the position of co-chair helping to plan the annual benefit and maximize its impact. As part of their support this year, the Frances gave a personal donation and also donated behind-the-scenes race packages that will be sure to put smiles on the faces of children with cancer at NASCAR races in 2017. In addition, the Frances agreed to match any money raised by families affiliated with Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation who are involved in their own fundraising efforts. The Frances began personally hosting child cancer survivors at races in 2015. The Angel Ball took place at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City and honored the work of Carl H. June, M.D., Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies and Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania, the late Robert Kardashian and Heloise Pratt AM, Chair of The Pratt Foundation. The event featured live performances from Earth, Wind & Fire, Dave Stewart, Vanessa Amorosi, Jon Stevens and CeeLo Green. This is the latest effort from the Frances who founded the Luke and Meadow Foundation -- named after their 5-year old twins -- in 2011. The Foundation’s mission is to drive progress on issues that threaten the health and wellness of children. The Frances partner with dozens of world-class charitable organizations, devote significant time and make multimillion dollar donations to combat a wide-range of issues related to disease, poverty, abuse and education. The Luke and Meadow Foundation, which is a personal passion of the Frances, complements NASCAR's long history of social responsibility. As NASCAR Chairman and CEO, Brian is championing meaningful changes within the industry through the NASCAR Foundation , NASCAR Green and a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Newman's secret to successful proposal? Do it during a fight
RELATED: Newman on his future with RCR Ryan Newman, love guru? The Richard Childress Racing driver had a Chevrolet Q&A with fans ahead of Sunday's Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway and was asked how he proposed to his wife, Krissie, whom he married in 2004. Many people like to have big, memorable moments when they propose to their partner. When Newman popped the question, he was just trying to warm up his future wife's shoulder. "We had this small fight , not a big fight ; she didn't punch me or nothing," Newman said. "She was sitting on a dog pillow petting one of the dogs and I just reached around her and asked her. "I was just trying to get over the fight , was all I was trying to do," Newman added, much to the delight of those listening. Do you want to know how @RyanJNewman proposed to Krissie? @TeamChevy got the answer! pic.twitter.com/v6V7SFYDEO — RCR 31 Cup Team (@RCR31RNewman) July 31, 2016 Hey, that's one way to do it.
@nascarcasm: Townley/Gallagher fight gets the 'Napoleon Dynamite' treatment
RELATED: Townley/Gallagher come to blows " Drivers react to fight
Martin Truex Jr. details girlfriend's cancer fight
Martin Truex Jr . detailed his girlfriend Sherry Pollex's 17-month fight with ovarian cancer in a raw and emotional piece posted Monday on The Players' Tribune . Pollex announced Jan. 11 she had completed her final chemotherapy treatment. Among the specifics revealed in the story was the fact that Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser offered to let Truex sit out the remainder of the 2014 season after Pollex was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer on Aug. 7, 2014. "But Sherry and I never considered it," Truex wrote . "We both needed to get back to our normal. And normal for us is racing." Truex wrote about first meeting Pollex more than 10 years ago, and how "being with her was one of those things where you were all-in right from the start. You never really questioned it, you never really thought about it. You just did it because it felt right." Pollex first began experiencing abdomen pain in April 2014, Truex wrote, but because ovarian cancer often is difficult to diagnose, she did not have a CT scan until August. The following week, Pollex had surgery. Wrote Truex: "The surgery was performed on August 15, just a short week after we first heard those words. We arrived at the hospital at 5:30 a.m., and Sherry was prepped for what we thought was going to be a four-hour procedure. Instead, after seven hours of surgery, which included a radical hysterectomy and the removal of tumors all the way up to her spleen and appendix, the doctor was finally confident that he had removed all “visible” signs of cancer. It was only four months from the time Sherry had initially told me she was having abdominal pain, and the cancer had literally spread everywhere." Worse than the surgery was the chemotherapy that followed, Truex wrote. "Watching Sherry go through the grueling eight-hour chemotherapy sessions every couple of weeks for six months was almost unbearable. She lost her hair and lost 27 pounds from her healthy weight of 120 pounds. She could barely walk from the living room to the kitchen in our home. It was one of the darkest times in our lives." Truex has expanded his Martin Truex Jr . Foundation to focus on both pediatric and ovarian cancer since Pollex's diagnosis. You can read the full story here
See 'The Fight' like never before -- in reverse
RELATED: See the fight as it actually happened Spencer Gallagher and John Wes Townley engaged in one of the silliest NASCAR fights we've seen this past Saturday night at Gateway Motorsports Park , site of the Camping World Truck Series race. By now, you've seen it a dozen times. Believe it or not, it's actually more awkward when played in reverse. Or is it? You know, we can't tell. It's funny frontwards or backwards, which is really the main takeaway here. Give it a watch.
John Wes Townley apologizes for Gateway fight
RELATED: Townley, Gallagher fight at Gateway NASCAR driver John Wes Townley has issued an apology for his involvement in an on-track altercation a week ago during a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois. Townley was fined $15,000 and placed on probation through Dec. 31, 2016 for his involvement in the altercation with fellow driver Spencer Gallagher during the Drivin for Lineman 200. Gallagher was fined $12,500 and placed on probation through the end of the year. "I want to apologize to NASCAR and my fans," Townley said in the statement. "That's not the way I want to represent myself, (sponsor) Zaxby's or Jive Communications. I'll try my best to make sure it never happens again." The drivers were involved in two separate incidents during the race. The first contact brought out the caution flag on Lap 145 of the 160-lap race. Approximately 10 laps later, they were involved in a second incident, which eventually brought the race under the red flag. Following the second incident, both drivers climbed from their respective trucks and approached one another, with Townley then grabbing Gallagher around the head and wrestling him to the ground. Townley tried several times to punch Gallagher as the pair stood on the lower portion of the racing surface as the fracas continued. Originally scheduled to compete in this weekend's NASCAR XFINITY Series race for Athenian Motorsports at Daytona International Speedway , Townley, 26, and the team eventually withdrew the entry. "Honestly, we went into this season with our sights set on running strong in the Truck Series and ARCA," Townley said. "We've always said that. And we, as a team, don't need to overlook those goals. ... But considering that we have a Truck race (at Kentucky Speedway ) and an ARCA race next week (at Iowa Speedway ), we felt it was better to pour our time and resources into getting ready for next week." Gallagher, who is competing at Daytona this weekend, issued a statement on Monday, June 27, apologizing to Townley. "Additionally, to his team and fans, I am sorry," Gallagher said. "The incident earlier in the race was not intentional and certainly was not meant to cause bigger problems later in the event. "My crew, who have worked so hard to get me to where I am this season, did not deserve to have their night ended in that way. My teammates and all of the guys back at the shop deserve more respect than was shown Saturday night." Gallagher said he was "ashamed" he was involved in an incident "that has allowed so many to view what we do in a negative light." Townley, currently 18th in points, has one career win in the Truck Series in 101 career starts. He is winless in 76 attempts in the XFINITY Series. Gallagher, 26, is winless in 44 career starts in the Truck Series and four in the XFINITY Series. He is 11th in points in the Truck Series.
Logano tweets message saying he 'will fight'
What does vague tweet indicate? RELATED: Logano: 'Complete coward move' " Photos of Sunday's incident After a race-leading Joey Logano was wrecked by non-Chaser Matt Kenseth at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, possibly as retaliation for an incident at Kansas Speedway last month, the Team Penske driver has one message for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver: 'I will fight .' pic.twitter.com/4be2cRtDt9 — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) November 2, 2015 It's unclear if Logano is indicating he wants to physically engage Kenseth -- we've seen him be physical before, just ask Tony Stewart -- or if he's just really charged up and motivated to overcome the points deficit he finds himself in after a 37th-place finish. According to the YouTube video for the audio track, " 'I Will Fight' is an audio track recorded by Pastor Steven Furtick to help you get focused and to prepare you for the challenges ahead," and includes a line about how his enemy is "not flesh and blood." That said, the site of Sunday's race -- the second in the Eliminator Round -- is Texas Motor Speedway , which saw Logano's teammate, Brad Keselowski , involved in perhaps NASCAR's biggest fracas of all time just last year. Stay tuned. MORE: NASCAR disappointed' " Busch: 'I think it's BS'
Gordon: ‘We’re going to fight until Richmond’
Jeff Gordon says his crash at Indy was disappointing, but his team is going to fight for a win and a way into the Chase all the way through the race at Richmond.
Johnson, Harvick take on 'Mortal Kombat', 'Fight Club'
@nascarcasm sets infamous confrontation to famous fight scenes MORE: Harvick shoves Johnson " Can Harvick recover and advance in Chase? RELATED: All content from @nascarcasm " Follow @nascarcasm