Kyle Busch scores 10th career Xfinity win at Phoenix

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AVONDALE, Ariz. — Kyle Busch collected his 10th career Xfinity Series win Saturday night at Phoenix International Raceway and saw two Joe Gibbs Racing teammates advance to the championship round.

The victory was Busch’s 86th in his career in the series. Busch led 190 of 200 laps.

Austin Dillon finished second. He was followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Justin Allgaier and Daniel Suarez.

Elliott Sadler advanced to the championship despite having two loose lug nuts after the race. His crew chief, Kevin Meendering, will be suspended next weekend in Miami, but Sadler will not receive any points penalty. Sadler will be joined in the title race by JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier and Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez.

MORE: Race Results

MORE: Points Report

MORE: Elliott Sadler’s crew chief will be suspended for title race

HOW KYLE BUSCH WON: Because he’s Kyle Busch. That’s what he does at Phoenix in the Xfinity Series. He dominated.

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Justin Allgaier’s car got stronger as the race progressed and he even passed Kyle Busch on a restart, leading briefly before Busch regained the top spot. Allgaier finished fourth … Blake Koch tied his season-best finish of eighth but it wasn’t good enough to advance to the title round. The finish was just his fifth top-10 result of the season. … A night after winning the Camping World Truck Series race, Daniel Suarez placed fifth.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Alex Bowman, who will start on the pole for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race, slammed into the Turn 3 wall on a restart on Lap 55, ending his night. He finished 38th. … Title contender Brendan Gaughan saw his chances end when he crashed on Lap 138. He placed 35th. … Darrell Wallace Jr. saw his slim title hopes end in a crash after contact with Blake Koch. Wallace finished 32nd.

NOTABLE: Elliott Sadler’s car was found to have an issue with a lug nut after the race. He’ll race for the title but do so without his crew chief. 

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “I can’t thank my Granny enough for giving me that ride, because it was fun,’’ said Darrell Wallace Jr., whose grandmother died this week.

NEXT: Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway at 3:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 19 on NBCSN.

Cole Pearn to honor late friend with fundraiser for family next month in Toronto

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A testimonial to Cole Pearn’s best friend, who unexpectedly passed away in early August, as well as a fundraiser for his family will be held Friday, Jan. 5, at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Pearn’s lifelong friend, Jacob Damen, died unexpectedly after contracting a fast-moving bacterial infection on August 3.

Pearn, crew chief for the 2017 NASCAR Cup championship for Furniture Row Racing, will oversee the gala event, which will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. ET.

The evening will also include an appearance by 2017 NASCAR Cup champion Martin Truex Jr., silent and live auctions, the opportunity to meet both Pearn and Truex and other events.

All net proceeds from the evening will be given to the Damen Family Fund.

“We miss our buddy Jacob dearly,” Pearn said in a media release. “We all have family and friends that fill a space in our hearts that is irreplaceable.

“Jacob filled the hearts of his wife Carolyn, his sons Lucas and Nolan, his parents Jerry and Kim Damen, twin brother Tyler, sister Julia and countless friends.

“We are going to celebrate his life at the perfect spot, the Hockey Hall of Fame, to support his beautiful wife Carolyn and the two boys, Lucas and Nolan. I can’t wait to get home to celebrate with everyone.”

Click here for more details and to purchase tickets to the ‘Jacob Damen Friend and Fan Remembered’ event.

NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day scheduled for Jan. 20

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The annual NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day will return to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, next month.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 20, the day after the 2018 Hall of Fame class is inducted.

Fans will be able to take part in an autograph session with current national series drivers, Hall of Famers and members of the NASCAR Next class, as well photo opportunities and question-and-answer sessions with a number of NASCAR legends.

Admission to Hall of Fame will be free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis

Admission to driver autograph sessions is free but will require a ticket for participation. Fans can register for the driver autograph sessions at nascarhall.com beginning Saturday, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. ET. A full driver autograph session schedule will be announced at a later date.

 and on Facebook

Ryan Blaney to guest star on NBC’s ‘Taken’ next year

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Ryan Blaney has a particular set of skills; skills that he’s developed through years of professional auto racing.

The Team Penske driver will get to display those skills next year on NBC’s “Taken” TV Series.

The show serves as a prequel to the 2008 Liam Neeson film of the same name.

Blaney, 23, will guest start on the second season of the series, which premieres Jan. 12. He will appear in an episode titled “Imperium” as a special agent who knows his way around a car.

Here’s the plot synopsis for the episode.

“When a dangerous weapons dealer smuggles his wares into New York City, Bryan Mills (Clive Standen) teams up with the FBI in a race to stop him before he reaches the safety of international waters.”

This won’t be Blaney’s first time in front of a camera playing someone else. He had two movie cameos this year in Logan Lucky and Cars 3.

Blaney was filming his role in “Taken” on Tuesday in Ontario. See his tweets from the set below.

NASCAR Hall of Famer Jack Ingram update: Leaves ICU, moves to acute care facility

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NASCAR Hall of Famer Jack Ingram’s condition continues to improve following a serious car crash in his native Asheville, North Carolina on Dec. 3.

According to an online post by his daughter, Ingram was taken out of Intensive Care on Tuesday and moved into an Acute Care facility, which is not as serious as ICU is.

Ingram did suffer a small setback in his recovery, developing a slight infection that is being treated with antibiotics.

Added the note from Ingrid Jones, Jack’s daughter, “The acute care facility will work to start decreasing his pain meds, over time, and put him on less narcotics and more simple analgesics (like really strong Tylenol, but without narcotics).

“Also they will continue his therapies, physical and occupational, as he’s able. It is still hard to know what his long-term health future will be, but we think his color looks really good, and we have no doubts that he has the will and determination to see this through.

“So if it is humanly possible for him to overcome, he will.”

We’ll continue to have periodic updates on Ingram’s condition as they become available.