Sam Bass, NASCAR’s paint-scheme artist, dies at 57
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Sam Bass, a NASCAR artist who helped design paint schemes and program covers that illuminated an entire sport, has died. He was 57.
His wife, Denise, announced his death Saturday with a note on his official Twitter account. Bass suffered from kidney problems. Other details were not disclosed.
NASCAR moving away from restrictor plates, not pack racing
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — There has been a string of goodbyes at Daytona International Speedway in recent years, from Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart to Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick.
There is another one on tap Sunday: The Daytona 500 will be the final NASCAR race for restrictor plates, the horsepower-sapping devices reduce speed and were intended to improve safety at the nation's fastest tracks.
Byron wins Daytona 500 pole, puts Hendrick up front again
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — William Byron put Hendrick Motorsports in a familiar position: on the pole for the Daytona 500. His bigger goal is to make the starting spot pay dividends for the NASCAR powerhouse.
The 21-year-old Byron and 25-year-old teammate Alex Bowman locked in the front row for "The Great American Race" during qualifying laps Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. They comprise the youngest front row in Daytona 500 history.
Jeff Gordon’s influence on NASCAR honored at Hall of Fame
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jeff Gordon's immense influence on NASCAR was highlighted during a star-packed Hall of Fame induction ceremony befitting a driver who changed the trajectory of an entire sport.
The Latest: Jeff Gordon inducted into NASCAR Hall of Fame
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony (all times local):
Jeff Gordon has been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
The four-time NASCAR champion was the headliner of this 10th class and was elected by 96 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility. Gordon ranks third on the all-time list with 93 career victories.
NASCAR needs new stars and Kyle Larson may save the sport
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR's biggest stars have all moved on. Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are television analysts while Tony Stewart is racing sprint cars again. Danica Patrick traded her firesuit for athleisure-wear while Carl Edwards just kind of disappeared.
Jeff Gordon altered NASCAR landscape on way to Hall of Fame
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jeff Gordon graduated from racing sprint cars on "Thursday Night Thunder" to the big leagues of NASCAR, arriving with a silly mustache, a mullet and a briefcase that held little more than his Nintendo Game Boy.
Johnson, Knaus reach checkered flag of championship pairing
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson walked into a Hendrick Motorsports family reunion on pit road. Hall of Fame driver Jeff Gordon chatted near the No. 48 car while Johnson's wife cradled crew chief Chad Knaus' baby boy.
They needed baby wipes as much as a checkered flag.
"It's all about this moment right now," Gordon said.
NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson lands new sponsor in Ally Financial
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — Rick Hendrick, a car dealer at the end of the day, pulled off another sales job of Jimmie Johnson to preserve the branding of the seven-time NASCAR champion.
2 more NASCAR drivers stepping away from long schedule
BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Two more drivers are headed to the checkered flag of their NASCAR careers and the laps are winding down for a golden age of racing.
Truex chasing title as NASCAR’s current king of the road
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) — Martin Truex Jr. has a chance to join former NASCAR greats Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart as kings of the roads.
Truex is seeking his third consecutive victory on a road course in NASCAR's stop Sunday at Watkins Glen. The 11-turn, 3.4-mile circuit joins Sonoma (California) Raceway as the only two true road courses on the Cup schedule.
LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson had been plucked from NASCAR's farm system to drive for owner Rick Hendrick with a resume so ordinary the team wondered if it made the right call on the California kid.
Until Johnson could join Hendrick Motorsports in late 2001, he plodded along for a second-tier team on the brink of closing and had flashed just the occasional spark of future stardom.
His early 2001 results hardly seemed worthy of a teammate about to be paired with NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon.
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.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jeff Gordon didn't give much thought to NASCAR while racing sprint cars in Indiana as a teenager.
He was too busy trying to get into open wheel racing.
DETROIT (AP) — As Danica Patrick prepares for her farewell at this weekend's Indianapolis 500, another big event on the auto racing calendar looms earlier in the week: The vote for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Jeff Gordon is the big name among the nominees for Wednesday's vote , but as Patrick's retirement approaches, her own candidacy for an honor like that has become an interesting topic.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — When Jeff Gordon's name is presented to panel of voters for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the debate should be short and simple.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jeff Gordon is among the new nominees up for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame next year.
The four-time NASCAR champion was added to the list of 20 nominees in the first year Gordon was eligible. He retired from full-time competition after the 2015 season with 93 career Cup victories. He is currently an analyst for Fox Sports.
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Hendrick Motorsports rolls into Daytona 500 with new look
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Rick Hendrick threw a glamorous party last fall when he formally introduced his 2018 driver lineup.
It was a lavish car unveiling that used lasers, spotlights and an emcee to celebrate a Hendrick Motorsports roster that had undergone a dramatic makeover.
Each of the four drivers was paired with someone for the event. Chase Elliott was joined by his Hall of Fame father, Bill, who helped uncover the new No. 9 his son will drive this year in his honor.
Ricky and Jordan Taylor split to race against each other
It was evident last year was going to be a special season for Wayne Taylor Racing when the organization rolled into Daytona International Speedway. The team had coaxed Jeff Gordon into joining its lineup for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, where they debuted the new Cadillac program.
Column: NASCAR finale a respite from exodus of stars
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — As Kyle Busch walked off the stage following the final race of the year, a NASCAR official told the driver he would see him next season.
Column: Buckle up for a bumpy ride at Hendrick next year
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Hendrick Motorsports will unveil its four Daytona 500 cars later this week in an ceremony at the Charlotte Convention Center. It will be the first appearance for Hendrick's 2018 driver lineup, which is anchored by unflappable seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson.
Chase for championship: Elliott a NASCAR title contender
JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — Kevin Harvick considered the list of young drivers often suggested as NASCAR's next big stars and replacements for departed veterans Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. He suggested that only one prospect could truly hook a new generation of fans.
Done, Dale: Junior’s final season ends without championship
JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. received a stamp of approval from fans wanting to write letters to the retiring star, wishing him luck.
Jennifer Hoger has attended races at Chicagoland Speedway for 15 years and penned similar farewell notes to former NASCAR champions Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart in their retirement seasons. She stopped at the red mailbox with No. 88 on the door to drop off her letter:
Darlington’s honors Jeff Gordon with luxury seating area
DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon has a permanent place at Darlington Raceway.
Gordon cut the ribbon on the track's new luxury seating area called the Jeff Gordon Finish Line Terrace. The section consists of three, 12-seat boxes in Darlington's main grandstand alongside its start-finish line. The Southern 500 will be held Sunday night.
Chase Elliott moving to father’s No. 9 in number swap
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Chase Elliott will drive his father's iconic No. 9 next season in a number swap at Hendrick Motorsports.
William Byron will take the No. 24, made famous by Jeff Gordon. The No. 5 will not be fielded for the first time since 1984. It was Hendrick's original car number and Terry Labonte drove that number in his 1996 championship season.
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — A racing fan who grew up in North Carolina, William Byron remembers peering into windows at Hendrick Motorsports.
He saw cars built for Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's biggest stars during Byron's 19 years.
Soon, he will be on the opposite side of the glass.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jeff Gordon liked what he saw at last weekend's NASCAR's Xfinity Series race.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Rick Hendrick still prefers running with a four-pack.
If he has his way, all four of those cars will be racing next season.
On Sunday, the longtime owner of one of NASCAR's powerhouse teams tried to douse the debate over a possible downsizing with one short statement.
"The plan is to run four cars next year," Hendrick said just hours before the start of the Brickyard 400.
Hendrick Motorsports, like the Cup series, is in the midst of a major transition.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Five-time Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon will lead the field into the race one more time next month — as the pace-car driver.
Gordon competed in each of the first 23 races on the historic 2.5-mile oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that is not far from his childhood home.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Chase Elliott has signed a four-year contract extension to drive for Hendrick Motorsports through 2022.
The current contract ran through 2018 for Elliott, driver of the iconic No. 24 Chevrolet.
As I approached the median and saw the car on its roof, I immediately feared the outcome: no survivors.
I get asked all the time: “Do I really need to wear my seat belt?”
And I answer: “Do you really need to make it home safely?”
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves watched from afar as NASCAR stars Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart retired and Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced that he will step away after the season.
Castroneves is far from jealous. But he is definitely curious.
Byron, Reddick take 1st laps at Darlington
DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — William Byron knows major chances at success don't come around often in a career. He plans to be as ready as he can when they come his way.
The 19-year-old Xfinity Series rookie Wednesday turned his first laps at Darlington Raceway, one of the most unique tracks on the NASCAR circuit. It's all part of his learning curve, a process that took a big step forward when he signed with powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports to race this season.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The exodus in recent years of some of NASCAR's most popular drivers and a continuing decline in attendance and television viewership have cast a shadow over the series. It has also put a spotlight on the young guns needed to fill the celebrity void.
NASCAR stars are no longer driving into their 50s
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Just a generation ago, NASCAR drivers raced until they were embarrassing themselves, the money ran out or they simply couldn't make it to the track anymore. They could compete into their mid-50s, and make a really good living.
Ricky Taylor rolls into Sebring after huge breakthrough
There was just under seven minutes remaining in a 24-hour race when Ricky Taylor made the move that very well might define his career.
Retired NASCAR great Gordon to drive Daytona 500 pace car
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon will drive the honorary pace car for Sunday's Daytona 500.
Gordon will lead the field to green behind the wheel of a 2017 Camaro ZL1.
Gordon, a three-time Daytona 500 champion, retired after the 2015 season and returned to drive in eight Cup races last season, subbing for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Going, going, gone: NASCAR stars starting to step away
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Jeff Gordon is working in the broadcast booth. Carl Edwards is spending time with family. Tony Stewart is hanging out at dirt tracks.
Some of NASCAR's biggest stars have stepped away over the last 15 months, a thought-provoking trend that doesn't appear to be ending anytime soon.
Bowman ready for final shot as Earnhardt’s super substitute
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Alex Bowman will race 75 laps in the car that belongs to NASCAR's most popular driver, hang up the firesuit and head home.
When will he return?
Bowman has no idea if he'll return to Cup racing in 2017.
A year after making a string of solid starts, Bowman is outside the NASCAR picture following Saturday's opening exhibition Clash race at Daytona International Speedway.
OK, let me get this off my chest right up front. I’m not a fan of either team playing in this game they call Super Bowl LI (come on, make it simple..just call it Super Bowl 51 because most of us don’t know Roman numerals anyway). But me not being a fan of either team makes no difference. There are...
A Rolex victory gets Taylor brothers the credit they deserve
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Ricky and Jordan Taylor are probably the best two American race car drivers you've never heard of.
They aren't household names because they don't race in NASCAR and don't drive in the Indianapolis 500. They drive sports car — for their dad, no less — and they do it very, very well.
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.
Ganassi notches another Rolex 24 win, this time with Ford
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — No matter the car or the class, it doesn't take Chip Ganassi Racing very long to find victory lane in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The team that dominated this event for more than a decade picked up its seventh victory when Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais held off a charging Porsche in the final hour to win the GT Le Mans class Sunday.
The Latest: Wayne Taylor Racing wins Rolex 24 at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the Rolex 24 at Daytona (all times local):
Jeff Gordon races in the rain at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The one thing Jeff Gordon didn't particularly want was to race in the rain at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The weather didn't work in his favor, and the semi-retired driver did a Saturday night stint in the wet during the prestigious sports car event. Gordon also drove in the rain in 2007 — a storm so bad he called it "a monsoon" — and struggled mightily that first time.