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Richard Petty selected to North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame

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petty-hallSeven year after being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Richard Petty has been named to another auto racing hall of fame in North Carolina.

Petty, the seven time Premier Series champion, has been named a 2017 inductee to the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Petty and three others will be inducted on Feb. 18 at the 15th annual Shriners Hot Rod & Drag Racing Expo at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Joining Petty are Frank Teague, Jean Howard and Terry Adams.

Petty’s eligibility for enshrinement is a result of the year he spent in the form of racing in 1965.

“The King” went drag racing after NASCAR had banned the Chrysler 426 Hemi engine, which he had used to earn nine Cup Series wins in 1964 on the way to his first NASCAR title.

Petty built a Hemi-powered Barracuda, named it the “43 Jr.” and mostly competed in exhibitions across the country.

A 200-time race winner in the Cup Series, Petty won one event in the B/Altered class at the NHRA spring nationals at Bristol International Dragway.

Petty’s drag racing career was marred by tragedy in February 1965 when a crash sent his front suspension into the crowd, killing a child and injuring others.

That car was buried on Petty’s property and a new “43 Jr.” built.

But NASCAR eventually did away with its ban of the Chrysler 426 Hemi engine and Petty returned to stock car racing late in the 1965 season. Beginning in July, he competed in the final 14 races of the 55-race season, winning four times. He returned to full-time NASCAR racing in 1966, winning eight races and finishing third in the point standings.

Kyle Larson fastest in final practice for Coca-Cola 600

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CONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Larson topped the final practice session for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 with a speed at 186.400 mph.

The Cup points leader, Larson will start 39th in the race because his No. 42 Chevrolet didn’t clear inspection in time to qualify.

Ryan Blaney (185.861), Matt Kenseth (185.046), Kurt Busch (184.856) and Erik Jones (184.818) rounded out the top five.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was seventh fastest at 184.433 mph. Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick was 20th fastest at 182.648 mph.

Jimmie Johnson recorded the most laps in the session with 47.

Jamie McMurray had the best 10-lap average at 180.914 mph.

The session was stopped for a caution once after Brad Keselowski spun exiting Turn 4.

Click here for the full practice report.

Justin Allgaier wins pole for Charlotte Xfinity race

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CONCORD, N.C. — Justin Allgaier won the pole for the Xfinity Series’ Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

With a speed at 182.488 mph, Allgaier earned his fifth Xfinity pole and his first since the March 2013 race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Allgaier is joined on the front row by Austin Dillon (181.519).

The top five was completed by Ryan Blaney (181.378), Daniel Hemric (181.324) and Kevin Harvick (181.245).

Christopher Bell will start seventh in his first Xfinity race.

Brad Keselowski and Dakoda Armstrong will start from the rear after not passing inspection in time to qualify.

Click here for full qualifying results.

Ryan Blaney leads second Coke 600 practice

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CONCORD, N.C. — Ryan Blaney posted the top speed in the second practice session for the Coca-Cola 600.

Blaney’s No. 21 Ford produced a speed of 188.055 mph Saturday morning around Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The top five was filled out by Erik Jones (187.598 mph), Martin Truex Jr. (187.084), Daniel Suarez (186.838) and Trevor Bayne (186.239).

Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick was ninth fastest at 185.567 mph. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 14th quickest at 185.141 mph.

Kyle Busch recorded the most laps in the session with 48.

Click here for the full practice report.

Eight teams lose 15 minutes of Coke 600 practice for failing pre-qualifying inspection

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CONCORD, N.C. — Eight Cup teams were held 15 minutes during Coca-Cola 600 practice today for failing pre-qualifying inspection on Thursday

Drivers include Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, David Ragan, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Corey LaJoie and Chris Buescher.

Buescher’s team also loses pit selection for Sunday’s race because it failed inspection three times.

Larson and LaJoie’s loss of practice time comes after neither qualified Thuraday because their cars didn’t clear inspection in time.