Erik Jones overcomes penalty to win Xfinity race at Bristol in three-lap shootout

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A speeding penalty against Erik Jones on Lap 230 wasn’t enough to keep Erik Jones from winning the Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway 70 laps later.

Jones outmaneuvered Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suarez on a restart with three to go and raced untouched to win the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is the first repeat Xfinity winner of 2017 following his win two weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway. It’s Jones’ second straight win in the spring race at Bristol.

“It’s a day kind a little bit like last year,” Jones told Fox Sports 1. “Didn’t really know if we had a winning car or not. To come back from a pit road penalty like that, especially with not much green flag racing was a lot of fun. It’s a race I won’t forget for a long time.”

Jones took the lead for the last time when he nudged Blaney out of the groove entering Turn 1 with 20 to go.

“That’s just a racing incident,” Blaney said. “I don’t have any hard feelings about it.”

Rookie Daniel Hemric won the Dash 4 Cash bonus of $100,000 by finishing fifth in the race. It’s his first career top five.

“This makes it real when you’ve got your name on it,” Hemric told FS1 as he was handed a large check. “I was hoping we could get both of them there. Starting on the bottom hurt us those last couple of restarts. All in all, such a great performance from our guys. Coming from a lap down, getting the Lucky Dog. … Every stop was a true testament to my group of guys. Can’t thank everyone enough. Hopefully this is the start of a lot of thing for us.”

Stage 1 winner: Kyle Larson

Stage 2 winner: Daniel Hemric

MORE: Full race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Kyle Larson started from the pole, led 180 laps and finished seventh after rebounding from losing a right-rear tire and a commitment line violation … Elliott Sadler finished fourth for his third top five of the year and his best finish … Blake Koch and Michael Annett finished ninth and 10th respectively. Koch’s result was his first top 10 of the season.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Ryan Reed finished 38th after his right-front tire rolled off his No. 16 Ford and sent him into the wall on Lap 80 … Brendan Gaughan crashed with 57 to go after Darrell Wallace Jr. caught his left rear exiting Turn 4. Gaughan hit the inside wall. Gaughan, who had been competing for the Dash 4 Cash bonus, finished 35th … Wallace’s day ended on the ensuing restart. Wallace spun after the field bottle-necked ahead of him and he was hit by Garrett Smithley. Both drivers were OK. Wallace finished 33rd, ending his stretch of five sixth-place finishes in a row … Cole Custer‘s damage from the restart incident ended his day in 32nd, his third finish below 30th this year.

NOTABLE: During the first rain delay, Jeremy Clements came up behind Ross Chastain to discuss their issues on the track. Clements turned Chastain around. Chastain responded by punching Clements. Clements went to the infield care center because to ice his swollen eye. He returned to race. … Ryan Blaney’s No. 22 Ford was found to be too low in the left front in post-race inspection.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I think that’s three second (place finishes) this year. That’s getting old.” – Ryan Blaney, who has finished second in all three of his Xfinity start this season.

WHAT’S NEXT: ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway at 12:30 p.m. ET on April 29 on Fox Sports 1

NASCAR suspends Camping World Truck crew chief one race

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NASCAR has suspended Camping World Truck Series crew chief Kevin Bellicourt one Truck event and fined him $5,000 because Justin Haley‘s truck failed minimum height requirements after last weekend’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The L1 penalty also docked Haley 10 points and the team 10 owner points. He finished 17th in an encumbered finish.

NASCAR also announced Thursday that Joseph P. Light has been reinstated after successfully completing NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program. He was indefinitely suspended March 16.

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Stewart-Haas Racing, Nature’s Bakery reach tentative settlement

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Counsel for Stewart-Haas Racing reported to North Carolina Superior Court on Wednesday that it has executed settlement documents with Nature’s Bakery.

A status report was pushed back 21 days to June 23 in the event the that the parties have not filed a stipulation of dismissal by that date.

No details of the settlement documents were detailed to the court.

Stewart-Haas Racing filed a $31 million breach of contract lawsuit against Nature’s Bakery on Feb. 3. Nature’s Bakery had two years remaining on a three-year contract to sponsor Danica Patrick’s team when the company sent the team a notice of termination on Jan. 19 . Nature’s Bakery was to have paid $15,212,000 each season to sponsor the team.

Nature’s Bakery filed a counterclaim Feb. 25 stating it did not see the return it was led to believe in sponsoring Patrick’s team.

Click here to read court document

Thursday’s schedule for NASCAR Cup, Xfinity at Charlotte

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Charlotte Motor Speedway kicks off its weekend leading up to Sunday’s main event, the Coca-Cola 600, with today’s action.

The Xfinity Series will hold two practices, while the NASCAR Cup Series has one practice and qualifies in the evening.

Here is today’s schedule:

(All Times Eastern)

11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. – Cup garage open

1:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

2 p.m. – 3:25 p.m. – First Cup practice (Fox Sports 1)

4 p.m. – 4:55 p.m. – First Xfinity practice (FS1)

6 p.m. – 6:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (FS1)

7:15 p.m. – Cup qualifying (multi-vehicle, three rounds) (FS1, Performance Racing Network)

Long: Hall of Fame moment is special for father and son

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CHARLOTTE — Sleep has not come easy for Doug Yates in some time.

It has only gotten worse lately.

He can’t stop thinking of his father, Robert, who battles liver cancer. Robert has undergone chemotherapy, but at one point doctors said they weren’t sure what how to treat the 74-year-old former NASCAR team owner and engine builder who was selected to the 2018 Hall of Fame Class on Wednesday.

That helpless feeling of not solving a problem counters what Robert and Doug have done all their lives. If there was an issue with an engine, they worked harder and longer until they fixed the matter.

This they can’t.

While Robert Yates undergoes experimental treatments, Doug is there to help take care of his father. There are bad days, Doug says, wincing.

“What I see is a man who is broken down and built back up because he is watching his father,’’ said Whitney Yates, Doug’s wife. “Sometimes (Robert) is so sick he can’t do anything and Doug is there.’’

They are more than father and son. They share a treasured relationship not every boy and his dad experiences, their bonds woven early and strengthened with each day together.

Doug fondly recalls sleeping on a cot in a race shop when he was about 5 years old while his father worked on an engine through the night. They traveled to races together. Doug reminisces of a trip to Richmond where his father, tired from work, told his son, then 12, to take the wheel while he slept. Yet, when a deer ran across their path, it was Robert who asked his son if he saw that.

They often went to the race shop together. Although family, Robert was still the boss. He would be hard on his son at times, but Doug cherishes even those memories.

Robert was only teaching his son what it took to succeed. Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett won two Daytona 500s and Davey Allison won another for Robert Yates Racing. Jarrett won the 1999 Cup championship with the team. As an owner, Robert Yates won 57 Cup races and 48 poles.

Now, Doug is the boss. He oversees the “vision” his father had of the Roush Yates Engines shop, which powered Kurt Busch to a Daytona 500 win and Ford teams to four other victories in the season’s first 11 races.

“He wants to make (his dad) proud,’’ Whitney said of Doug. “He’s always trying so hard.

“Doug is always moving the bar. I think Robert is so proud of that.’’

While Doug does what he can for his father and the family business, he couldn’t control what happened at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The past three years Robert, Doug and the rest of the family came to the Hall of Fame to see if Robert would be selected. Five are chosen each year. Robert ranked sixth in votes received twice, just missing enshrinement.

Robert Yates reacts after he is announced to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Each time, Robert said the voting panel got it right.

“Selfishly, I didn’t think so, but he did,’’ Doug said. “That was a lesson for me. Everything happens for a reason.’’

As Wednesday approached, Doug Yates’ anxiety grew. It was worse Wednesday morning and throughout the day.

As Doug walked into Hall of Fame, ahead of his father, he conceded he was “nervous.’’

He also was prepared.

Doug stocked multiple tissues in the pockets of his slacks.

“If he didn’t make it, I was going to break down,’’ Doug said of his father making the Hall of Fame. “If he did, I was going to break down.’’

Robert also felt nervous.

“If I don’t get in,’’ Robert told himself before the announcement, “that’s the reason to work real hard to be here next year to get in.’’

The family didn’t have to wait long to celebrate.

Robert Yates, who received 94 percent of the vote, was announced first.

“Wow,’’ Doug said. “I’m glad that’s over.’’

His father, sitting a row in front of Doug, reached back. Doug leaned forward. They held hands. 

After that it was a matter of relishing what had happened as four other men — Red Byron, Ray Evernham, Ken Squier and Ron Hornady Jr. — were selected to join Robert Yates in the next Hall of Fame Class.

Doug stay composed throughout. He wiped his eyes once.

When the ceremony ended, Robert Yates reached his arm around wife Carolyn and embraced her.

“My family means so much to me because they allowed me to work night and day,’’ Robert Yates said. “Do I love engines? Yes, whether one cylinder, two cylinders, six or 12 or 24. I love engines.’’

That passion led him to this moment.

“I feel like I could take a jack,’’ said the former jackman.

“I don’t know if I’ll sleep tonight.’’

Doug Yates will.

His father will be in the Hall of Fame.

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