Getty Images

Xfinity drivers Ross Chastain, Jeremy Clements involved in confrontation during red flag

2 Comments

Xfinity Series drivers Ross Chastain and Jeremy Clements were involved in a pit road confrontation during a red flag for rain Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The moment, a culmination of “off-the-track” incidents between the drivers and a run-in during the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300, resulted in Clements visiting the infield care center during the red flag. Clements was seen leaving the medical center wearing sunglasses. He returned to his car.

Chastain, who drives the No. 4 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports, recounted his side of the incident to Fox Sports 1 and admitted he instigated it during the race while running with Clements’ No. 51 Chevrolet.

“With our two teams, we run together every week, nose to tail, one in front of the other, and we’ve run into each other for three years now,” Chastain said. “Had a bunch of off-the-track stuff happen, I’ve been good with it. Feel like I’ve been the bigger man in a lot of  the cases. I started it today. Got into it when (Darrell Wallace Jr.) and (Brennan Poole) were trying to wreck each other. Getting into (Turn) 1, I pushed (Clements) up, went on by him and ran the bottom and pulled away.

“Then the caution came out for rain and he got on my back bumper on the frontstretch and tried to wreck us. I told my owner Johnny, ‘When we get out, I’m going to go talk to him, but I’m not doing anything in the car. I don’t want to crash a race car.

“We got out, and I kind of forgot about it to be honest. Somebody grabbed me by my shoulders and kind of pushed me. I just turned around and saw who it was. I hope he realizes now that he can talk, we can talk, but you can’t grab someone by the shoulders. That happened before and I said right then I wouldn’t let it happen again. What’s done is done. … But I didn’t want to go look for it, but I’ve got to stand up for myself at some point.”
In 2015, Ryan Reed came up behind Chastain and shoved him after the Xfinity race at Iowa Speedway.
NASCAR has said it will meet with both drivers after the race. Chastain was running 19th and Clements in 20th when the red flag came out on Lap 162.

Ford chooses Sebastien Bourdais replacement for Le Mans (and it isn’t Tony Stewart . . . yet)

Ker Robertson/Getty Images
Leave a comment

CONCORD, N.C. —  Ford has chosen a replacement for injured Sebastien Bourdais at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and is expected to announce the driver soon – but don’t hold your breath NASCAR fans.

It isn’t Tony Stewart, who has indicated his desire to run the renowned event.

While taping an upcoming episode Thursday of the NASCAR on NBC podcast, Ford Performance director Dave Pericak said the three time champion who returned from NASCAR’s premier series last year still is lobbying “every time he sees us” to race a Ford GT car.

“We love Tony, and he wants to get behind the wheel of that GT but not at LeMans” in 2017, Pericak told NBC Sports at the Ford Performance Technical Center.

However, the new co-driver will be relatively inexperienced on the famous Circuit de la Sarthe road course in France. Pericak said Ford’s high-tech simulator (which mainly is used for NASCAR but also is used for sports cars and street models) at its North Carolina facility would help prepare the replacement.

“We will be using the simulator heavily between now and then for that driver to become fully up to speed not only in the GT but at Le Mans,” Pericak said. “There’s a great example of where we’re going to get tons of hours behind the wheel before that driver gets on an airplanes and heads over the France.

“The realism is unbelieveable. It’s a fantastic tool to have with this situation. Otherwise, you pick a driver, send him to Le Mans and take your chances. We’re going to be much more prepared. We already have the simulator ready to run that track because we ran it all last year.”

Returning to France last year, Ford won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a Chip Ganassi Racing GT driven by Bourdais, Joey Hand and Dirk Muller.

Bourdais, who suffered pelvic fractures and a fractured right hip in an Indianapolis 500 qualifying crash last Saturday, was released from an Indianapolis hospital Thursday.

“Thank God, he’s going to be OK,” Pericak said. “We’ve talked to him, he’s in good spirits, but we’re really pleased he’s going to make a full recovery.”

Pericak said an announcement of Bourdais’ replacement was likely Thursday or Friday.

NASCAR suspends Camping World Truck crew chief one race

Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.

 and on Facebook

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

Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
3 Comments

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

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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)