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NASCAR star Tony Stewart has been cleared by doctors to return to competition beginning this weekend at Richmond, Stewart said in a statement issued Wednesday.
The 44-year-old three-time Sprint Cup Series champion, who announced last season that 2016 would be his last as a fulltime competitor, suffered a burst fracture of the L1 vertebra on Jan. 31 while driving a sand rail in the Glamis Sand Dunes of the California desert.
“As soon as the doctors said they were happy with my scans, I wasn’t going to wait any longer to get back in my racecar,” said Stewart, who announced last year that he would retire after the 2016 season. “I want to make the most of my last season in Sprint Cup, and I’ve been on the sidelines long enough.”
Following Richmond, Stewart will participate in a Goodyear tire test April 26-27 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He will then practice and qualify his No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series’ next event at Talladega...
Looking for someone or something to blame for the wreck-fest that developed in Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway? Dale Earnhardt Jr. says try Mother Nature and the drivers themselves.
“The weather pushed everybody to be really intense. Nobody could lay back. You didn’t know when the race was going to end,” Earnhardt told Motorsport.com in an interview on Tuesday. “You couldn’t say, ‘You know what? I’m just going to chill out for a little bit’ or ‘You know, they’re three-wide now and I’m just not going to get up into that right now.’
“That was a whole different mentality in that whole race and that’s what I think drove the intensity and the crashes. And you’re not going to have that all the time.”
No "knee-jerk reactions"
In all 35 of the 40 cars entered in the race were involved in a wreck – and several more than once.
Earnhardt, a participant in two wrecks himself in Sunday’s race, said he has been surprised by the “knee-jerk reaction” that has...
immie Johnson won the pole for Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited without getting behind the wheel of his #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy. The starting order for the race was determined by a blind draw by crew chiefs in the Fan Zone at Daytona International Speedway. The #48 team picked pit stall 43, closest to the entrance to pit road, leaving pit stall 4, closest to pit road exit, to #2-Brad Keselowski, who drew the second starting position. #47-AJ Allmendinger and #42-Kyle Larson will occupy the second row for the start of the 75-lap non-points exhibition race. The lineup:
(by a draw done by crew chiefs at Daytona)
1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, Lowe's Chevy
2) #2-Brad Keselowski, SKF Ford
3) #47-AJ Allmendinger, Kroger/Stouffer's/Lean Cuisine Chevy
4) #42-Kyle Larson, Target Chevy
5) #31-Ryan Newman, Caterpillar Chevy
6) #13-Casey Mears, GEICO Chevy
7) #78-Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota
8) #15-Clint Bowyer, 5-hour Energy Chevy
9) #18-Kyle Busch, M&M's 75...
Nascar has undergone big changes over the past decade with how the sport crowns a champion, sells its merchandise and broadcasts its races on TV. The latest overhaul is a “charter” system that transforms 36 Sprint Cup teams into franchises, with similarities to other sports leagues liked shared revenue.
The new system means adjustments to how drivers are paid. Drivers traditionally received a salary, as well as a percentage of the race purse winnings. But purse winnings will no longer be publicly released weekly with charter teams now guaranteed a certain amount of money annually distributed from a fund. There is no need to shed a tear for the leading drivers. Owners are currently reworking driver contracts and are expected to cut deals where the drivers won’t lose money under the new charter system.
There is a huge pay gap in Nascar as is the case in most pro sports. Drivers regularly in the back of the pack might make mid-six figures annually, but the guys up front pull down...
February 24, 2016
Stewart-Haas Racing announced Wednesday that its four-car operation will switch from Chevrolet to Ford-powered cars in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series beginning in 2017 -- the news catching most of the national media and racing insiders off-guard.
Co-team owner and driver Tony Stewart considers it a coup that they were even able to keep the past six months of negotiations with Ford under wraps before Wednesday's big announcement -- only two weeks into the 2016 season.
"I don't think the timing was a big issue, we just wanted to make sure we were in control of it," Stewart said. "It's very hard to keep secrets in this sport.
"In figuring things were going to get out, we wanted to be proactive in announcing this.
"We're going to get it out there, and then we're going to get back to business.”
Both Stewart and co-owner Gene Haas opened their remarks on a national conference call Wednesday morning by thanking Chevrolet and committing to the 2016 season driving...
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — When Jimmie Johnson jumps on the gas, he pulls on the steering wheel. Only this time, the steering wheel came off in his hands and led to one of the scariest moments in the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion's life.
"That sensation, the last time I had it was at Watkins Glen with no brakes," Johnson said Saturday. "There are only a few moments in my racing career I've had that moment where you're totally helpless and along for the ride."
Johnson took responsibility for the incident Friday night in the final round of qualifying at Phoenix International Raceway, saying it happened because the removable steering wheel wasn't on tight enough. He thanked recent safety improvements that left him unscathed.
"Just grateful I drive in an era with such a safe driver's compartment, softer walls, (Head And Neck Support) device, all those things," Johnson said. "Years ago, that probably would have been a concussion at a minimum. To feel as good as I do — no sore...
Carl Edwards – as he often does when he comes oh-so-close to a victory – spent the first few minutes after Sunday’s race wondering what he could have done differently. In other words, should he have wrecked Kevin Harvick?
“I didn’t want to wreck Kevin, I just wanted to move him out of the way and it just ended up being a drag race,” Edwards said after his photo finish loss to Harvick at Phoenix International Raceway.
“I should have hit him a little bit harder … maybe. I drove up to him and thought to myself, ‘How hard do I want to hit him?’ And I hit him hard enough to move him.
“We had a faster car at the end. I took my shot. It’s
frustrating but it could have gone the other way.”
Respect among rivals
While Edwards was speaking to the media on pit road, Harvick drove by on his way to Victory Lane. Edwards waved to Harvick to stop, and he shook Harvick’s hand as he leaned in to speak with him.
Asked what he said, Edwards replied, “I told him it was fun. Good job....
Modern Formula One cars are a bit like those wonderfully weird birds-of-paradise: utterly bizarre, but born of relentless evolution and perfectly adapted to their environment. Every feature is a result of endless evolution and relentless pursuit of a goal.
With the 2016 F1 season set to begin next month, the public just got its first good look at the latest in that unending, not quite natural selection process. The teams have revealed their cars and started testing them in earnest. The cars are but the first iteration, and will almost certainly change—perhaps radically—between now and the start of the season on March 18 at the Australian GP. That process will continue through the season, with the very best teams revising and refining their cars through the final race. As in nature, evolution is constant, because if you aren’t getting better, you risk extinction.
From what we’ve seen in the first wave of pre-season testing, 2016’s cars are variations on last year’s theme....
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is putting his money where his mouth has been.
Hoping to build off the notoriety from his Tweet earlier in the week in which he posted a picture of his favorite mayonnaise and banana sandwiches, Earnhardt on Thursday launched a two-week fundraising drive and awareness campaign to combat child hunger.
The fact Earnhardt likes mayo and banana sandwiches is not new – he actually tweeted about soon after joining Twitter in 2014 – but this time he attached a photo of the sandwich and for some reason, social media exploded.
The post trended social media for 24 hours and cycled through numerous national news outlets, including ABC’s “Good Morning America”, NBC’s “Today”, and CNN’s “Morning Express with Robin Meade.”
“I was shocked – in a completely good way – at how much attention this picture received Tuesday night,” Earnhardt said. “I got a kick out of watching the videos of people trying the sandwich for the first time. Even if they didn’t like it, I...
When people want to discuss what's 'wrong' with NASCAR's secondary division, the name Kyle Busch will inevitably come up.
It's easy to place blame for lackluster races on the reigning Sprint Cup champion because he has won a staggering 80 NXS races, and more than a handful were done so in dominating fashion.
The Kyle Busch Show
In fact, he has four victories in just five appearances this season ... Leading 776 of 913 laps he completed. That's 84.9%! The only race he didn't win? Well that was Fontana and he still finished second after riding on a blown left front tire for an entire lap. His obvious advantage has become an unsurprising (and mostly unwelcome) aspect for regular viewers of the series.
Like it or not, these superstars of the sport bring much-needed sponsors with them when they double-dip. And beyond that, what better way for an up-and-comer to prove their ability and prepare themselves for the Cup Series than to race door-to-door with the best NASCAR has to offer?...
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