Toyota stars Truex, Busch benched for Daytona 500 practice
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The biggest Toyota stars skipped the final practice for the Daytona 500, with former NASCAR champs Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch among the drivers sitting out.
Truex and Wallace top Daytona speed charts in rainy 1st day
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Chase Elliott took blame for the first crash of NASCAR's new season on a blustery day at Daytona International Speedway that was shortened by rain.
Martin Truex Jr. topped the speed chart in his debut for Joe Gibbs Racing, and Bubba Wallace jumped to the top of Saturday's second session before weather brought an early end to NASCAR's Cup Series practice.
Rosters were needed to track all the offseason changes and new faces preparing for the season-opening Daytona 500.
Kurt Busch and sponsor move to Chip Ganassi Racing for 2019
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Kurt Busch and sponsor Monster Energy will move to Chip Ganassi Racing next season for Busch's 20th season in NASCAR.
The partnership announced Tuesday is a one-year contract for Busch to drive the No. 1 Chevrolet with primary sponsorship from Monster. It is believed the one season as teammate to Kyle Larson will be Busch's final year of fulltime NASCAR competition.
Former NASCAR champs Busch, Kenseth set to move on in 2019
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — NASCAR's driver carousel will spin long after the season finale.
Former Cup champions Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth, and Daniel Suarez, AJ Allmendinger, Regan Smith and Jamie McMurray are among the drivers certain to start next season with new teams or new roles.
NASCAR’s current youth movement pushing out veteran drivers
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Jamie McMurray set a record at Charlotte Motor Speedway by winning his second career Cup Series start. Back for the 16th anniversary of that surprise trip to victory lane, McMurray is just another veteran at a career crossroads in NASCAR.
SONOMA, Calif. (AP) — Kyle Larson proved again that he knows his way around Sonoma.
Larson claimed the pole for the NASCAR Cup Series race on his home track for the second straight year, turning a lap at 94.597 mph in his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet on Saturday.
TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — A different Busch will be Kevin Harvick's nearest competitor at Talladega Superspeedway — at least at the start.
Harvick will start on the pole Sunday at Talladega while he goes for his fourth win of the year, which would break a 3-3 deadlock with streaking Kyle Busch. Starting with him up front: Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch.
TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Jamie McMurray rolled his car at least seven times at Talladega Superspeedway.
McMurray's left rear tire appeared to fail in a practice session Friday and it began a four-car accident.
McMurray's No. 1 Chevrolet spun horizontally along the track and was broadsided by Newman, flipping and hitting the safety barrier before landing on the passenger side.
DC Solar to sponsor select NASCAR races for Ganassi drivers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Chip Ganassi Racing has expanded its partnership with sponsor DC Solar, which will offer funding for both Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray in the Cup Series.
DC Solar has worked with Ganassi for the last three seasons in the Xfinity Series. The energy company will also be an associate sponsor in IndyCar for Ganassi drivers Scott Dixon and Ed Jones.
Larson to be sponsored by Credit One Bank next season
LAS VEGAS (AP) — NASCAR star Kyle Larson has landed a significant sponsor for next season, with Credit One Bank stepping up as his primary backer.
The team announced Tuesday during NASCAR's season-ending celebration in Las Vegas that Credit One Bank will become the largest sponsor on Larson's No. 42 Chevrolet next season.
The team did not disclose how many races will be sponsored. Credit One replaces Target, which ended a nearly 30-year relationship in racing with Chip Ganassi this season.
George Diaz: Talladega wrecks competitive vibe of playoffs with random chaos
Talladega is NASCAR’s version of the spin-cycle.
Accidents happen and, whoosh, you get caught up in the dirty laundry.
Kenseth wins pole for regular season finale at Richmond
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Matt Kenseth ran a fast lap at 122.421 mph Friday and won the pole at Richmond Raceway.
The pole for the race Saturday night is the 20th of Kenseth's career and comes in the last race to make the 16-driver NASCAR playoffs that begin next week in Chicago. Kenseth is in a precarious spot in the standings. He will start the race 15th in playoff points, but without the victory that would guarantee him a playoff spot.
SPARTA, Ky. (AP) — Kyle Busch set a track record to earn his first Kentucky Speedway pole before thunderstorms shortened NASCAR Cup Series qualifying on Friday.
Busch, a two-time winner of Saturday night's 400-mile race, clocked 190.282 mph in the No. 18 Toyota for his third pole this season and 22nd of his career. Third in points, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver seeks his first Cup victory since last summer at Indianapolis.
SONOMA, Calif. (AP) — Chip Ganassi likes winners, and his drivers have him in prime position to celebrate another victory.
Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray swept the front row in Saturday qualifying at Sonoma Raceway to give Chip Ganassi Racing a 1-2 start on the wine country road course.
Larson turned a lap at 95.295 mph Saturday and just nipped his teammate, who ran his qualifying lap at 95.204 in the Ganassi Chevrolet. McMurray is seeking his first win of the season.
LE MANS, France (AP) — Tony Kanaan will replace injured driver Sebastien Bourdais on the defending class winning team at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Bourdais teamed with Joey Hand and Dirk Müller to drive the No. 68 Ford for Chip Ganassi Racing to the GTE Pro Class victory last season. The Le Mans native broke his pelvis, a hip and two ribs in a crash at Indianapolis during qualifying for the Indy 500.
It will be Kanaan's debut at Le Mans, a bucket race for most drivers.
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — Jamie McMurray has become the "other" driver on Chip Ganassi Racing's two-car team.
The 40-year-old veteran, in his 15th season on NASCAR's top circuit, hasn't won in more than four years. His teammate is 24-year-old Kyle Larson, the early points leader and one of racing's rising stars.
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — Things keep going right for Kyle Larson.
Hours after saying he hoped qualifying for Sunday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race would be rained out, he got his wish, giving him the pole position on a track where he has struggled.
"I think it will be a good advantage to start on the pole, get the jump and hopefully take care of my stuff early," said Larson, the early season points leader.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Brad Keselowski will begin his bid for a third victory in the past four NASCAR Cup races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from the pole after topping qualifying Friday night.
Keselowski, who also won last week's race at Atlanta, posted a top seed of 193.68 mph in his No. 2 Ford for his 13th career pole. He won at the 1.5-mile track last year and in 2014.
The Latest: Kurt Busch wins Daytona 500 for Stewart-Haas
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the Daytona 500 (all times local):
Kurt Busch has won the Daytona 500, surviving a crash-filled season opener to win the race for the first time in 16 tries.
Busch passed Kyle Larson final lap before cruising to the victory. Larson ran out gas shortly after passing Chase Elliott, who also came up short on fuel.
Taylor-made move lands brothers, Jeff Gordon win in Rolex 24
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — He's one of the top racers in America, and almost always overlooked, even on the day the boldest move of his career gave him the biggest win of his life.
Ricky Taylor used a gutsy pass with less than 7 minutes remaining in the Rolex 24 at Daytona to fearlessly grab the win for Wayne Taylor Racing. After, he stood in the background in victory lane.
Jeff Gordon joins exclusive club with Rolex 24 victory
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Jeff Gordon's latest racing accomplishment won't take up much room in his expansive trophy case.
But it's sure to get a prime spot.
The retired NASCAR star joined an exclusive club Sunday by becoming the fourth driver to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Daytona 500. Racing legends A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti, as well as NASCAR regular Jamie McMurray are the only others to accomplish the feat.
Dillon surprises at Dover to advance to 2nd round of Chase
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Austin Dillon focused on performance, not the playoffs.
With about 10 laps left at Dover International Speedway, he finally heard over the radio that he was locked in the next round of the Chase.
"I didn't want to listen to it, really," Dillon said. "I knew what we had to do."
Dillon went from second-round outsider to keeping a championship push alive rolling with an eighth-place finish — and misfortune from Chase contenders around him — Sunday at Dover International Speedway.
Edwards wins pole at New Hampshire; 6th top spot of season
LOUDON, N.H. (AP) — Carl Edwards turned a lap of 135.453 mph to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Edwards took the top spot Friday for the third time in the last four New Hampshire races and won his sixth pole of the season.
Edwards led the way for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship drivers. Martin Truex Jr. followed his Chase win at Chicagoland Speedway with a solid qualifying run to join Edwards on the front row.
Newman’s title chances take hit following NASCAR penalty
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Ryan Newman's championship hopes were dealt a blow Wednesday when NASCAR docked him 15 points before the final qualifying race for the playoffs.
Newman was already on the outside of the 16-driver field and trailed Jamie McMurray for the final spot by seven points. He is now 22 points behind McMurray after the penalty for failing post-race inspection at Darlington Raceway on Sunday night.
Drivers have down time, weather delays Darlington qualifying
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Joey Logano hung pictures and changed lightbulbs at home. Jamie McMurray tinkered around with his radio controlled car. Chris Buescher shrugged his shoulders, wasn't much he or fellow drivers could after qualifying for Sunday's Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway was cancelled because of Hurricane Hermine.
Denny Hamlin prevailed in a four-lap dash to the checkered flag Sunday in the wreck-filled Sprint Cup race at newly paved Watkins Glen International.
Pocono Raceway is not part of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. However, Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400 will play a pivotal role in which drivers qualify for the playoff over the season’s final 10 races. Five drivers have clinched a berth in the Chase with mutltiple race victories. Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch each have four wins, while Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth have two each. Six more — Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr.,...