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Harvick wins Stage 2 of Daytona 500; Kyle Busch, Earnhardt, Kenseth out

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Kevin Harvick is the winner of Stage 2 of the 59th Daytona 500 Sunday at Daytona International Speedway.

Harvick earned 10 standings points for winning the stage, followed by other top-10 drivers and the points they earned: Joey Logano is second (9 points), Kurt Busch is third (8), Brad Keselowski is fourth (7) and Danica Patrick in fifth (6).

Sixth through 10th and the points they earned are: AJ Allmendinger (5), Clint Bowyer (4) Kyle Larson (3), Ryan Newman (2) and Ryan Blaney (1).

However, Stage 1 winner Kyle Busch and several other drivers are out of the race after being involved in a multi-car wreck on Lap 108 of Stage 2 (Laps 61-120).

Busch appeared to lose a rear tire, spun and collected several drivers including Toyota teammates Matt Kenseth and Erik Jones, as well as Chevrolet drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Elliott Sadler and Ty Dillon.

Kyle Busch, Earnhardt, Kenseth and Jones are all out of the race due to the damage to their respective race cars.

“It happened just as soon as we started picking up load into Turn 3,” Busch told Fox Sports. “I don’t know if it was the left rear or right rear that went down, but it tore up three JGR cars and Dale Jr., so I feel bad about that.

“It was nothing we did wrong. It’s frustrating we have that every single year here. … Man, you’re trying to win the Daytona 500 and that’s so disappointing.”

Earnhardt, who made his first regular season race start after missing the entire second half of last season due to a concussion, told Fox Sports: “I really enjoyed the whole week. We had a lot of fun and everybody’s support to get back to the race track meant a lot to me. I’m just sorry we weren’t able to deliver a better result for our fans and everybody that was looking forward to today. … Luckily, the hit wasn’t that bad.”

The race was red-flagged for exactly 17 minutes, according to NASCAR officials.

Stage 2 notes:

* After a late caution at the end of Stage 1, Stage 2 took the green flag and restarted on Lap 68.

* Kyle Larson took the race lead on Lap 68 after taking just two tires during pit stop, but Kevin Harvick regained the lead on Lap 70.

* Kyle Busch pitted on Lap 82 along with teammates Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, Matt Kenseth and Erik Jones. Martin Truex Jr. did not pit because he was one lap down and was in position to get placed back on the lead lap if a caution occurs.

* Following the wreck that knocked out Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jones and Kenseth, Kevin Harvick took the lead when the racing resumed under green flag conditions on Lap 113.

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NASCAR America: Kyle Busch questions Xfinity rules package at Indy

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Kyle Busch isn’t afraid to speak his mind, and he certainly did so after Saturday’s  Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

NASCAR implemented a number of changes to make the racing closer, tighter and more exciting — including restrictor plates, a larger rear spoiler, aero ducts, and a smaller splitter — and achieved all that on many fronts.

But not for the younger Busch brother, who wasn’t pleased with the rules package. Was it actually designed to specifically slow him down rather than to even out things for the entire field?

Or was he just simply upset because he didn’t win a third Xfinity race in a row at IMS?

Check out how our NASCAR America analysts gauged the Xfinity changes in the above video.

 

TriStar Motorsports team owner Mark Smith passes away

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Mark Smith, owner of TriStar Motorsports, died Saturday at his home, after a long battle with cancer, the team announced Monday. He was 63.

He began his racing career building engines for his brother Jack’s drag car in the 1970s. He moved his family from the West Coast in the early 1990s to pursue a career in NASCAR. He was the owner of TriStar Motorsports and Pro Motor Engines.

TriStar Motorsports fields the No. 14 in the Xfinty Series with JJ Yeley and the No. 72 in the Cup Series with Cole Whitt. The team stated the team will continue operations under the management of Bryan Smith, son of Mark Smith.

“It was dad’s dream to own and operate a NASCAR team,” Bryan Smith said. “He devoted his life to that dream and his family plans to honor his wishes by continuing our efforts in his memory.”

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Victory Junction Gang victoryjunction.org or NOVA (National Organization for Vehicle Access, part of the BraunAbility) novafunding.org.

The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. ET, Aug. 1 at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, Mooresville, North Carolina. They have created a Facebook page where you are encouraged to leave a story for the family to enjoy. (facebook.com/Remembering-Mark-Smith-301261653675224)

NASCAR America: Analysts break down Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. wreck (video)

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Given how wild the Brickyard 400 played out, the big wreck between race leaders Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. wasn’t exactly surprising.

Rather, with the way the race transpired from the opening lap, was the Busch/Truex wreck almost inevitable?

Truex got loose and washed up into the left rear of Busch’s car, sending both drivers and their respective cars into the outside retaining walls, hitting hard and ending their respective days.

Check out what our NASCAR America analysts had to say about the wreck from Monday’s show in the above video.

NASCAR America: Dale Earnhardt Jr. recaps wild Brickyard 400 (video)

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On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, Dale Earnhardt Jr. — who will become part of our NBC Sports Group in 2018 — looked back on a wild and intense Brickyard 400.

Earnhardt was one of several drivers whose day came to an early ending — in Junior’s case when he ran into the back of Trevor Bayne‘s car, destroying his radiator in the process.

All the mayhem and mishaps could be linked to over-aggressive driving, Earnhardt said, saying that every driver was in “attack mode,” especially on restarts.

Check out Junior in the video above.