Roger Penske bullish on large crowd for Indianapolis 500
FILE - Roger Penske looks over the track from the grandstand at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, in this Thursday, July 2, 2020, file photo. There will be fans at this year's Indianapolis 500, Penske said Monday, March 22, 2021, but how many remains a moving target based on pandemic restrictions. (AP Photo/Jenna Fryer, File)A fully vaccinated Roger Penske is hard at work at Indianapolis Motor Speedway preparing for a full season of racing that will include spectators at his showcase event. There will be fans at this year's Indianapolis 500, Penske said Monday, but how many remains a moving target based on COVID-19 restrictions. Penske noted Monday that the positivity rate for COVID-19 for Marion County, where Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located, was 3.1%.
Ty Gibbs stuns grandfather, wins in first career NASCAR race
It was the very first NASCAR national series race for Ty Gibbs, who jumped two steps from ARCA to Xfinity for his debut. Ty Gibbs is the second-youngest winner in Xfinity Series history. But as his grandson crossed the finish line, his glasses fogged and he hugged a Joe Gibbs Racing team member. JGR has yet to announce a full 2021 schedule for Ty Gibbs, but his grandfather said the details are decided by Coy Gibbs. They picked the Daytona road course for his debut because Ty Gibbs finished second here in last year's ARCA race.
Logano wants peace at Penske following Daytona 500 crash
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A truce has yet to be called in the Team Penske camp amid friction following the last lap Daytona 500 crash between teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. To me, the biggest heartbreak of this whole thing is that there are 400 people at Team Penske asking where their Daytona 500 bonus is and it’s up in a ball of flames up in turn three.”Three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin bristled at Logano's deflection. The Daytona crash belied Roger Penske's edict that his drivers are permitted to race one another hard so long as they don't wreck. That’s a great problem to have.”It remains to be seen how Keselowski chooses to work with Logano going forward. Logano, also a Cup champion and the 2015 Daytona 500 winner, doesn't have the same job security concerns.
Cindric starts new season with big Xfinity win at Daytona
Austin Cindric celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Austin Cindric launched his bid for a second consecutive Xfinity Series title with a victory in Saturday night's season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Cindric makes his Cup Series debut Sunday in the Daytona 500. “What a way to start the season,” Cindric said. Cindric won the Xfinity Series debut on Daytona’s road course last August as well as a rallycross event early in his career. The 22-year-old has this final season in Xfinity before moving next year to Cup to drive for Penske-supported Wood Brothers Racing.
Drivers competing in the 2021 Daytona 500
Austin Dillon (3) takes the checkered flag to win the second NASCAR Daytona 500 duel qualifying auto race Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 40 drivers competing in the 2021 Daytona 500, in order of starting position:___No. This is his 20th Daytona 500; he was hired days after Earnhardt's death. Son of two-time Daytona 500 champion and Hall of Fame driver Bill Elliott. Finished a career-best seventh in the 2017 Daytona 500, but has been 27th, 28th and 19th since. McLeodBORN: Nov. 17, 1983AdHOMETOWN: Wauchula, FloridaCREW CHIEF: Frank KerrSPONSOR: NASCAR HeatsTWITTER: @bjmcleod78NOTEWORTHY: Owner-driver racing in his third Daytona 500.
Hiccup for Hendrick Motorsports ahead of Daytona 500
Alex Bowman and William Byron were slated to lead the Daytona 500 field to green but that's in danger following Thursday night's qualifying races. Byron was collected in a crash in the second Duel and it ruined his Chevrolet. AdAustin Cindric and Kaz Grala both earned their first berths into the Daytona 500 by claiming the two available transfer positions in the Duels. He was the leader on the final lap of the second Duel until Dillon crossed to Wallace’s inside and inched ahead. “We’ve got an incredible race car and I can’t wait for the Daytona 500.”
NASCAR champion Busch tries to stave off elimination
Busch doesn't need to win on the “Roval” to advance, but there's only five races remaining for him to improve his season. The Sunday forecast calls for an 80% chance for rain and the road course portion of the Roval permits NASCAR to race in wet conditions. The Cup drivers have never before used rain tires in competition. NASCAR stopped the Xfinity Series race for about 40 minutes Saturday so its track dryers could push water off the racing surface. "What is the drainage like at that racetrack through the infield road course?
DiBenedetto keeps ride as Cindric promotion to Cup delayed
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)Team Penske found a one-year solution for Matt DiBenedetto while building a long-term plan to move Austin Cindric to the Cup Series. Cindric, currently competing in the Xfinity Series for Penske, will take over the seat in 2022. Cindric will compete in both Xfinity Series next season as well as select Cup races. Cindric, meanwhile, was the Xfinity Series regular season champion and is currently racing for the championship. "Another season of experience in the Xfinity Series will be beneficial and I’m looking forward to competing in some Cup Series races in 2021 to prepare for a full season in 2022.”
Chastain snags Ganassi Cup ride in busy NASCAR free agency
"Racing in the Cup Series with a serious contender has always been my goal, and I’m looking forward to joining what is a very strong team. Chase Briscoe began the year chasing eight victories, the number he believes will earn him a Cup ride, and he won his seventh race last weekend. Carpoff in November 2018 named Chastain the driver of a full Xfinity Series ride at Ganassi that would be sponsored by DC Solar. The sponsorship money evaporated, Ganassi shuttered the Xfinity Series team and Chastain was out of a job about six weeks before the 2019 season opener. He ran 35 Cup races, made 19 starts in the Xfinity Series and raced for the Truck Series championship for Niece Motorsports.
Ryan Blaney hopes to avoid playoff elimination at Bristol
With a bit of disbelief over his fast fall in the NASCAR standings, Ryan Blaney is determined to avoid elimination from the playoffs. William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto and Blaney are the four drivers below the cutline headed into the knockout race. “This whole group, this team, we are not a 16th-place-in-points team,” Blaney said. 12 team was also off last week at Richmond, where Blaney finished 19th to fall to the edge of elimination. Cole Custer trails Bowyer by eight points, while DiBendetto is 25 points behind and Blaney is 27 points out.
Newgarden gives Penske sweep of Iowa doubleheader
Josef Newgarden leads Will Power, of Australia, right, during the IndyCar Series auto race, Saturday, July 18, 2020, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)NEWTON, Iowa Josef Newgarden led nearly wire-to-wire Saturday night to win the IndyCar race at Iowa Speedway, giving team owner Roger Penske a sweep of the doubleheader and his fourth victory across three series this weekend. Team Penske has 13 drivers completing in five series across two continents this weekend. The two Penske entries in the IMSA race at Sebring struggled earlier Saturday. The veteran driver did the same thing in Race 1, leaving black marks on the wall about 30 yards apart.
No. 10 at Texas for Kyle Busch for 98th career Xfinity win
Kyle Busch heads for the front stretch during the NASCAR Xfinity auto race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, July 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)FORT WORTH, Texas Kyle Busch got his 98th victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, winning at Texas for the 10th time when he was never challenged on a final two-lap sprint to the checkered flag. There is only one more Xfinity race this season for Busch, who wants to reach 100 wins in the series. Busch has 212 wins combined in NASCAR's top three series, with 56 Cup Series wins and 58 in the Truck Series race. There were no spectators allowed for the Xfinity race, or the Truck Series race on Saturday night, but thousands of fan will be in the stands for the Cup race Sunday.
Austin Cindric completes Xfinity sweep at Kentucky Speedway
SPARTA, Ky. Austin Cindric dominated Friday night to sweep the NASCAR Xfinity Series doubleheader at Kentucky Speedway. A night after racing to his first career oval victory in an overtime finish, the Team Penske driver was even stronger in the No. Cindric was third in the first stage, won the second and stretched it out in the final segment. The 21-year-old Cindric, son of Team Penske president Tim Cindric, won twice last year on road courses at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio. Gragson again showed early strength in taking the 45-lap first stage, his third segment win in two nights on the 1.5-mile oval.
Austin Cindric wins NASCAR Xfinity race at Kentucky Speedway
SPARTA, Ky. Austin Cindric won the first of two NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Kentucky Speedway, charging past Chase Briscoe on an overtime restart Thursday night for his first victory of the season and first on an oval. Cindric spent most of the first two stages chasing Noah Gragson, the pole-sitter who seemed poised to dominate all three segments. The 21-year-old Cindric had eight top-10s on ovals before breaking through on the 1.5-mile Kentucky layout. His only other series victories came last year on road courses at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio. Briscoe entered the race red hot with consecutive victories at Pocono and Indianapolis and three in his past four starts.
Briscoe wins 2nd straight to complete dream weekend at Indy
I have dreamed of coming to this race track and just getting to race here, Briscoe said. It's Briscoe's second straight win, his third in the last four races and fifth of the season. I am a lucky guy that gets to drive it and it is truly a blessing.Briscoe won the second stage and was in control for most of the final stage. The leaders pitted with eight laps to go, and Briscoe passed three cars on the restart to take the lead. Allmendinger finally caught Briscoe with two laps to go, but Briscoe retook the lead before the end of the lap and he eventually pulled away.
Briscoe holds off Chastain to win Xfinity race at Pocono
Chase Briscoe smokes his tires in celebration after winning a NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Pocono Raceway, Sunday, June 28, 2020, in Long Pond, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)LONG POND, Pa. Chase Briscoe held off Ross Chastain in overtime to win the crash-filled Xfinity Series at Pocono Raceway, the second of three NASCAR races at the track on Sunday. Pocono became the first track to hold a Truck, Xfinity and Cup race on the same day. 98 Ford and won his fourth race of the season, and second in three races. Hes always one of the hardest guys to race against.Chastain hit the jackpot with his runner-up finish. Pocono turned in a wreck-fest for the second straight race, the track-record tying nine cautions in Trucks was given a run for the money early in Xfinity.
Briscoe finds a way, wins Xfinity race at Homestead
HOMESTEAD, Fla. Chase Briscoe lost much of his team and got a win for them. Its just a testament to our team, Briscoe said. With 15 laps to go, it was basically down to a two-car race: Gragson was leading, about 2 1/2 seconds ahead of Briscoe. Gragson never had control of the race again, and Briscoe wound up in victory lane. That was a team win, for sure, Briscoe said.
Earnhardt returns; Burton wins Xfinity race at Homestead
Burton, Gragson and Austin Cindric were three-wide going into that last lap, and it was Burton the 19-year-old son of former Cup star Jeff Burton, who wound up in front in a wild finish. I love you.Cindric was second and Gragson third, two spots ahead of Earnhardt part of his cars JR Motorsports ownership. It was Earnhardts third Xfinity Series appearance since retiring as a full-time Cup Series driver in 2017. Hed also raced there five times in the Xfinity Series, placing second in 1999 for his best finish. The Xfinity cars are back on the track Sunday before the Cup Series race at Homestead.
Oval master: Allmendinger wins on NASCAR oval for 1st time
AJ Allmendinger celebrates after he won a NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Saturday, June 6, 2020, in Hampton, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)HAMPTON, Ga. HAMPTON, Ga.A.J. Allmendinger won a NASCAR oval race for the first time in his long career. All I ever wanted to do was win on an oval, said Allmendinger, who has only a part-time ride in the Xfinity Series after losing his Cup ride after the 2018 season. He was closing the gap on Allmendinger in the closing laps, but got hoodwinked by the more experienced driver. Allmendinger gave the impression that his tires were fading, duping Gragson into making a furious run for the front.