FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Four drivers have earned a victory in the first four weeks of what's shaping up as a competitive NASCAR Cup Series season.
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson is fighting a cold.
It's the kind of debilitating, in-your-throat cold that makes it painful to swallow, much less go for a run. The seven-time NASCAR...
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.
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.
Lackluster racing dampens expectations for Daytona 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Daytona 500 is shaping up to be a snoozer of a showcase.
Three exhibition races produced lackluster racing and little excitement beyond a pair of crashes Jimmie Johnson triggered. Now expectations are sinking in anticipation of Sunday's season-opening race and NASCAR has no plans to tweak the rules package, either.
Richard Petty, winner of a record seven Daytona 500s, was blunt Friday when asked if he thought Speedweeks had produced good racing.
Johnson causes another crash at Daytona, concedes mistake
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson accepted blame for causing a second crash in five days at Daytona International Speedway, saying "everyone makes mistakes."
Johnson turned Kyle Busch in the first of two qualifying races at Daytona on Thursday night, causing Busch to spin across the backstretch with 35 laps remaining.
Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet sustained little, if any, damage and finished eighth. Busch had to pit and ended up 18th in the 21-car field.
The Latest: Johnson hopes to run Boston Marathon in 3 hours
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on NASCAR media day for the Daytona 500 (all times local):
Jimmie Johnson has a lofty goal for the Boston Marathon: completing the grueling, 26.2-mile course in less than three hours.
The seven-time Cup Series champion plans to run the April 15 marathon two days after a 400-mile NASCAR race at Richmond Raceway. And he doesn't expect it to be just a Monday stroll.
Column: Hendrick sends statement with sweep to open Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Rick Hendrick was telling the truth when he insisted this year was going to be much improved from last season, the worst in team history.
He moved personnel and split up seven-time NASCAR Cup champions Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus. He had a Navy SEAL deliver an inspirational speech to all of Hendrick Motorsports, met with all four of his teams and held luncheons and team-building events.
Johnson triggers wreck, then wins Clash at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson's youngest daughter prays every night for Daddy to win a race. When Johnson scuffled through the worst season of his career, he felt the strain of not reaching victory lane.
"It was putting some pressure on me," Johnson said.
Architect of Jimmie Johnson’s success starting over in 2019
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Chad Knaus got his first big break at Hendrick Motorsports when he was picked to build a team from scratch around a rookie driver who had yet to prove he belonged at NASCAR's top level.
Hendrick vows rebound from worst season in team history
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Rick Hendrick worked too hard building NASCAR's top organization to tolerate mediocrity. If his teams had simply been average last season he might not rate it as one of the worst in team history.
Johnson poised to show critics his racing days are not over
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson, one of the most polite and professional athletes in sports, rarely gets rattled. Unless he is being trolled on social media.
Johnson's patience was very much tested last season, the worst of his NASCAR career. He could handle the losing, the internal struggles at Hendrick Motorsports and the final races with longtime crew chief Chad Knaus.
Racing greats Alonso and Johnson drive together in Abu Dhabi
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso drove for fun together around the Abu Dhabi F1 track on a blazing hot Saturday afternoon.
Alonso took the wheel of the McLaren 570S car, with Johnson for once in the passenger seat, as they completed a few laps around Yas Marina circuit.
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.
Column: Wrong call on Johnson on NASCAR’s bad day in Texas
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR did not have its finest day at Texas Motor Speedway, where things first went awry with an erroneous penalty even before the race.
Kevin Harvick won and advanced to the championship round for the fourth time in five years. His victory wasn't all that surprising because the 2014 champion had said for months he was most looking forward to Texas because he believed it would be his winning ticket into the final four.
Jimmie Johnson and Fernando Alonso to swap race cars
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson and Fernando Alonso will swap race cars following Alonso's final Formula One race.
The championship drivers have been teasing the Nov. 26 swap in Bahrain on their social media accounts for about a month and finally revealed Friday what they have been plotting.
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.
- Norfolk Daily NewsNASCAR: Talladega has seen plenty of close finishes over the yearsOctober 14, 2018
- Sentinel & EnterpriseBruins Move Game Up on SaturdayOctober 11, 2018
- Wisconsin State JournalCrash dashes Jimmie Johnson's hopes to snap 58-race NASCAR losing streakOctober 1, 2018
- Sentinel & EnterpriseCharlotte's 'roval' May Host NASCAR's Race of the YearSeptember 25, 2018
- Norfolk Daily NewsNASCAR: Monster Energy Cup Series practice notes from Richmond RacewaySeptember 23, 2018
Talladega starts final 6-week run for Johnson and Knaus
TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Times were already changing long before Jimmie Johnson strolled through a Las Vegas casino unnoticed, full firesuit and all. It was the start of NASCAR's playoffs and the seven-time champion, wearing a flame-retardant billboard, was surprised that he failed to garner even a quizzical stare.
NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus to split after 17 years
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — There will not be an eighth NASCAR title for Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus.
Hendrick Motorsports will split the driver and crew chief — the longest pairing in NASCAR — at the end of a disappointing season. Johnson has not won a race in 17 months and was knocked out of the playoffs in the first round. Johnson and Knaus won their record-tying seventh championship in 2016 but have slumped in the two years since.
Vicious cycle: Johnson buys kids bikes to settle Truex spat
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson put the brakes on a small spat with Martin Truex Jr., with an apology in the form of kids bicycles.
Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR champion, tried to get the last laugh on a last-lap wreck last week at Charlotte that cost Truex a victory. Truex's crew chief Cole Pearn told Johnson he could make good on the mistake by buying the afflicted team road bikes.
Fresh off win, Blaney tries to move in NASCAR title hunt
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Ryan Blaney kept the party rolling from his first win this season long enough to stimulate business at his favorite bar. He soaked in the celebration from his checkered flag on the roval at Charlotte. Now he hopes to stamp himself a contender in the next round of NASCAR's playoffs.
Place your bets: Dover set to roll the dice on NASCAR wagers
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Place your bets at Dover and let it ride: The track is ready to roll the dice on NASCAR betting.
NASCAR fans could skip blackjack tables and roulette wheels inside Dover Downs Hotel and Casino if they want to bet on their lucky numbers this weekend for races at Dover International Speedway.
Want to stay on 18? Good choice: Kyle Busch is a 3-1 favorite to win the Cup race at the Monster Mile.
Jimmie Johnson knocks himself out of playoffs with ‘mistake’
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson stood outside of his banged up No. 48 Chevrolet still in disbelief over the blunder he'd made on the final lap Sunday' at Charlotte Motor Speedway that cost him a shot at advancing in the playoffs.
"Shell-shocked," said the seven-time Cup champion.
Johnson had all but secured a spot in the round of 12 with a strong showing through 108 laps. Sitting in second place, all he had to do was follow race leader Martin Truex Jr. to the finish line.
Blaney wins on roval after Johnson crashes out of playoffs
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson saw an opportunity to snap a 58-race losing streak, and went for it. It cost him a shot at an eighth NASCAR championship and allowed Ryan Blaney to steal a surprise victory in the debut race of the "roval" at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The Latest: Blaney wins on roval when leaders wreck
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the NASCAR playoff race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (all times local):
Ryan Blaney has won the debut race on the roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway because leaders Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson wrecked racing for the victory.
Column: Charlotte’s ’roval may be NASCAR’s race of the year
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Charlotte Motor Speedway already has a win for the buzz it created by taking a bulldozer to its infield and building something new to NASCAR.
Charlotte's "roval" will debut Sunday in a critical playoff race — a track unlike anything used before in NASCAR. It isn't an oval or a road course; rather, it's a hybrid that uses Charlotte's existing speedway along with a winding course through the infield.
The Latest: Keselowski hands Team Penske 1st Brickyard win
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on NASCAR's two races at Indianapolis on Monday (all times local):
Brad Keselowski has given Roger Penske his first win in the Brickyard 400.
Keselowski took the lead with a daring pass, bumping leader Denny Hamlin as they came around the 2.5-mile oval on the second-to-last lap. Keselowski finally made the pass coming down the front straightaway and pulled away to win by 0.904 seconds over Erik Jones. Hamlin was third 1.703 seconds behind.
Jimmie Johnson rides 48-race losing streak into Brickyard
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jimmie Johnson doesn't have a playoff spot locked in as the seven-time NASCAR champion prepared for rain-drenched Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the final race of the regular season.
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) — Like father, like son.
Mired in a confounding losing streak since the start of his NASCAR Cup career in 2016, Chase Elliott finally broke into the win column Sunday, holding off road course ace Martin Truex Jr. at Watkins Glen.
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — In a race built on brave, bold moments, Kyle Busch used one to win NASCAR's annual All-Star race and its $1 million prize.
Busch used an aggressive three-wide pass for the lead Saturday night to take the All-Star event for the first time.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Joe Garone thought he'd seen Martin Truex Jr. lose in every conceivable way at Kansas Speedway, whether it was pit strategy or bad restarts or a bizarre problem during a late tire change that did in his chances of winning last season.
Then, he watched Erik Jones — the other car in their two-car Furniture Row Racing stable — go for a spin late in Saturday night's race, forcing a restart after Truex had established a big lead.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Ryan Blaney was all alone atop the leaderboard Friday during qualifying at Kansas Speedway.
He probably felt all alone on the track, too.
Blaney earned his first career NASCAR Cup pole for Saturday night's race, but only after traffic jams at inspection prevented 11 cars from getting on the track. Among the big names that failed to turn a lap were Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne.
BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — It was just last month when people were wondering what was wrong with Jimmie Johnson after he got off to a slow start.
How silly it was to worry.
Johnson grabbed a rare victory at Bristol Motor Speedway on Monday, giving him consecutive wins for the 11th time in his storied career. It was just the second career win in Thunder Valley for Johnson, who considers it one of his most vexing tracks.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Jimmie Johnson still knows how to get to Victory Lane at Texas, even from the back of the field on a track that had changed significantly since his first six wins there.
And also while cramping because of dehydration late in the race that he won Sunday after charging under Joey Logano with 16 laps left .
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Jimmie Johnson has led more laps at Texas than any other NASCAR Cup Series driver, and won a record six times there.
But all that was before the entire 1 1/2-mile track was repaved, and Turns 1 and 2 were reconfigured.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — It's time to pay attention to Ryan Blaney, the second-year NASCAR driver who is as close to a throwback as fans are going to get from this current crop of talent.
He's a second-generation Cup driver, North Carolina raised, and prefers Bill Elliott T-shirts and Talladega 500 hats to anything hip and trendy.
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — NASCAR's top series has had five different winners in five races this season, and as the Monster Energy Cup Series arrives at Martinsville Speedway and its first experience with stage racing rewarding drivers at three points during the race, the focus shifts to drivers who have yet to break through this year.
NASCAR goes Hollywood with young drivers leading the way
FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Ryan Blaney already had his Hollywood moment earlier in the week when he got a photo with actress Daisy Ridley at a Lakers game.
"She had no idea who I was," Blaney said with a grin. "I wasn't going to be like, 'Hey, I drive race cars.' You can't do that. That's not cool. ... We didn't really talk that much. I was just trying not to sweat profusely and make a fool out of myself."
FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson will start from the back Sunday when he defends his Fontana title after a spin during practice wrecked his primary car.
And if anybody can rally from 37th position to the checkered flag, Johnson thinks he has a good shot on his home track.
Johnson elected not to participate in qualifying Friday, sending him to the back of the field in his backup car.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. was ticked off with his ill-handling car early in Friday's first NASCAR Cup practice. From a road rage incident while riding his bike to exasperation over his Washington Redskins, Junior is going through a rough patch.
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.
LaJoie uses wreck, Johnson pitch to land Daytona 500 spot
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Corey LaJoie's pitch to BK Racing for a ride in the Daytona 500 was going nowhere.
LaJoie texted a friend — just seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson — to help give his cause a needed boost. Johnson was happy to put in a good word and called the decision-makers at BK Racing to lobby on LaJoie's behalf.
Imagine that, the champ's call carried some weight.
"Two days later, the call came to me," LaJoie said. "Hey, this is the call you've been waiting for. Let's go."