Elliott honors Kulwicki with 1992 championship paint scheme
Chase Elliott will honor the late Alan Kulwicki by racing the same Hooters paint scheme that was on Kulwickis car in the 1992 season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway when Kulwicki beat Bill Elliott for the Winston Cup title. Chase Elliott will run the paint scheme at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Chase Elliott has seen the picture somewhere — it's hanging in their family shop, Bill Elliott confirms — of his shaking hands with Alan Kulwicki following the 1992 season finale. Bill Elliott entered the race ranked third out of the six, trailing both Davey Allison and Kulwicki. Because Alan beat Dad that year to win the championship,” Chase Elliott told The Associated Press.
Byron gives NASCAR another surprise winner at Homestead
William Byron was the third surprise winner through three races this season with his victory Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Byron controlled most of the final two stages at Homestead to win for the second time in 111 Cup starts. Byron entered the weekend as a 28-1 shot to win a race many expected would provide a return to normal for the racing series. The Roush Fenway Racing driver led five times for a total of 57 laps, but he started to fade "when as sunset neared. He ended up getting X-rays, which were negative, and was cleared to work the Cup Series event.
Allmendinger back at Daytona in 1st Cup race since 2018
Allmendinger will run his first Cup race since the 2018 season finale in Kaulig's first Cup race not at a superspeedway. The longshot Daytona 500 win earned McDowell his first playoff berth and FRM now is positioned to build a once unthinkable cushion. This road course race was added to NASCAR's schedule in December because COVID-19 restrictions would not allow a stop at Fontana, California. AdThe Daytona road course was wedged into the open slot, creating two weekends of very different racing that very much suits Furniture Row. Dillon missed the Cup race in August because he'd received a positive COVID-19 test.
AP Was There: Earnhardt killed in 2001 Daytona 500 crash
“I guess someone got into Dale because Dale got into me and then we went up,” Schrader said. We’ve lost Dale Earnhardt,” Helton said. The death of Earnhardt left NASCAR reeling in the wake of a 2000 season in which three of its young stars were killed in separate accidents. All three died of the same type of head injuries that apparently killed Earnhardt. “The only reason I won this race is Dale Earnhardt,” Waltrip said.
Johnson invigorated after stint in prestigious Rolex 24
The seven-time NASCAR champion is beginning a new chapter of his career — at 45 years old — in unfamiliar race cars. He was tabbed to start the most prestigious sports car race in America for his Action Express team and Johnson had just one goal for his first stint in the Cadillac. 48 over to teammate Simon Pagenaud and then turned to Kamui Kobayashi, the two-time reigning winner of the Rolex 24, for an animated debrief. AdElliott seemed despondent after his first run in his first sports car race. 31 Action Express entry had slipped to last in his class after the driver change between Elliott and Mike Conway.
Crew chiefs feel the heat to be perfect in NASCAR finale
FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2019, file photo, crew chief Christopher Gabehart watches practice for a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. The pressure will be intense for crew chiefs in NASCAR's championship race. With everything on the line, his crew chief went with an aggressive adjustment aimed at gaining one last burst of speed. Only Hamlin and Gabehart, in their second season as driver and crew chief, have previously raced for a championship together. “I don’t think you can really be prepared for it until you go through it,” said the veteran Hendrick Motorsports crew chief.
Chase Briscoe lands childhood hero Tony Stewart's No. 14
Briscoe idolized fellow Indiana native Tony Stewart and dreamed of one day driving Stewart's car. and I'd say ‘Man, the dream is to drive the 14,’" Briscoe said in an interview with The Associated Press. Much like Stewart, Briscoe is considered a blue-collar racer who lacks the family wealth needed to clear the path for an aspiring young driver. He had to earn everything on the track, yet nearly every year Briscoe's season plans were 11th hour deals. It’s why he’s ready for the NASCAR Cup Series and why we are so honored to support him.”
Bowyer chooses long role in NASCAR over proper farewell tour
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – If Clint Bowyer could have scripted his sendoff, it most certainly would have been a proper blowout for NASCAR's best partier. Bowyer would have had fans and friends and celebrated every week all along the NASCAR circuit if he'd had his way. I was getting close to being ready," Bowyer said of retirement. The pandemic gave Bowyer weekly studio time and his large and loud personality was full-throttle during the virtual racing telecasts. Just like Waltrip did for nearly two decades, Bowyer can now look toward a long future in NASCAR's spotlight.
Alex Bowman shuffled to the No. 48 to replace Jimmie Johnson
The most coveted seat in NASCAR went to Alex Bowman in a Hendrick Motorsports lineup shuffle to replace seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson in the iconic No. (AP Photo/Terry Renna, File)CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The most coveted seat in NASCAR belongs to Alex Bowman in a Hendrick Motorsports lineup shuffle to replace seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson in the iconic No. Bowman and crew chief Greg Ives, who won five championships with Johnson as his engineer, will move from the No. “Every season, Alex gets better. “He earned his way into the 88 car through hard work and dedication and doing the stuff nobody else wanted to do," Johnson said.
Stewart and Evernham team to recreate IROC as SRX All-Stars
FILE - In this June 26, 2006, file photo, Tony Stewart poses with the trophy after winning the Crown Royal IROC auto race in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Paul Kizzle, File)CHARLOTTE, N.C. Remember the old IROC Series, where the best drivers from various disciplines raced each other in equally prepared cars? It ran for 30 seasons before Tony Stewart won its final championship and the series quietly went away. We envision a hybrid of all different series we dont see it looking like a crazy dunebuggyish type car, Evernham told the AP. Evernham believes drivers will arrive and draw for both their car and crew chief which Evernham hopes comes from a pool of noted industry veterans.
Sports jumps on PPP bandwagon, but big leagues take a pass
However, none of the four major North American sports leagues the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball were among the businesses that applied, according to the data. The data showed businesses that applied for and received loans, though some may not ultimately have taken the funds. An AP survey completed in May found 32 U.S. Olympic sports organizations about 70% of all federations had applied for PPP loans. With their seasons shut down, more than a dozen minor league baseball teams turned up on the PPP rolls. The Big South Conference, Conference USA, Southland Conference and Big Sky Conference all listed less than two dozen full-time employees, according to the data.
Harvick takes advantage of Hamlin's crash to win Brickyard
INDIANAPOLIS Kevin Harvick turned up the heat on Denny Hamlin late in the Brickyard 400. It's the Brickyard, this is what I grew up wanting to do so to come here and win for the third time is something I couldn't have dreamed up." For the third straight race, Harvick and Hamlin were in a league of their own. And since racing resumed at Darlington in mid-May, Hamlin and Harvick have combined to win seven of 12 races. But the crash ended Hamlin's run of four straight top-five finishes with Joe Gibbs Racing.
NASCAR races on at Indy after Johnson contracts coronavirus
Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson will miss what was supposed to be his final Brickyard 400 as he quarantines following the Friday test result. Johnson said he was disappointed and worried about the emotional impact of the positive tests on his young children. Johnson also spent a day this week in Dallara's simulator as preparation for a now-postponed Indy car test. With both races on network, we do hope fans will tune in and get to see really great racing," Penske said. And then there is Keselowski, the first Team Penske driver to give the boss a Cup Series win at his favorite race track.
Jimmie Johnson 1st NASCAR driver to test positive for virus
FILE - In this May 16, 2019, file photo, NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, center, talks with Will Power, left, of Australia, and Josef Newgarden during practice for the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis. NASCAR seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson will test an Indy car next week on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Johnson earlier Friday held a Zoom session with reporters to discuss Sunday's race and an upcoming test of an Indy car on the road course at the fabled venue. Although Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske both said they've had positive tests from shop-based team members, Johnson is the first driver. Johnson earlier Friday discussed the Indy car test scheduled with Chip Ganassi Racing, which he said was the first step in determine if actual races are in his future.
Pocono twin bill weekend loses luster with no fans at track
After allowing a small number of fans into races in Florida and Alabama, none will be allowed at this weekend's races at Pocono. The absence stings a bit more this season for a track that first held a Cup race in 1974. Pocono is the site of a Cup Series twin bill, with one race on Saturday, one on Sunday, and the second race comes with a twist. Igdalsky, who said he did not have to lay off or furlough any Pocono employees, never considered asking to move the race weekend in hopes of accommodating fans later. It will be a busy weekend: After an ARCA race Friday, the Truck Series and Cup race were set for Saturday and the Xfinity Series was scheduled Sunday ahead of the second Cup race.
NASCAR vows to do better job addressing racial injustice
The governing body vowed to to do a better job of addressing racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd's death. Our country must do better.A black NASCAR official took a knee along pit road, mimicking a gesture used by protesters in tribute to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The time is now to listen, to understand and to stand against racism and racial injustice, Phelps said. After Phelps spoke to the NASCAR drivers, they observed a 30-second moment of silence. ___Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 and find his work at https://apnews.com___More AP NASCAR: https://apnews.com/NASCAR and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Florida birds at risk of extinction due to climate change, study says
“Here comes a nice spoonbill coming along,” Jeff Gordon said. “Florida is low-lying and has lots of water,” Jeff Gordon said. According to a study by the Audubon Society, two-thirds of the birds in North America are at risk of extinction over the next 30 years due to what they called a “global temperature rise.”The Audubon Society's study predicts two-thirds of North American birds are at risk of extinction due to climate change. “I do see a difference in the amount of birds,” Jeff Gordon said. “Things are definitely changing, and it’s like we’re rolling some pretty big dice,” Jeff Gordon said.