NASCAR executive explains why Xfinity race was postponed to Saturday at Daytona

Leave a comment

Could Friday night’s NASCAR Xfinity race been run later that evening instead of being postponed to Saturday afternoon because of rain?

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, explained on “The Morning Drive” the decision to delay the race, which was halted after 11 of 100 laps.

“The decision on when or when not to continue racing really depends on how much time you have left in the race, how long it’s going to take to dry and what do we think is a reasonable time to potentially end the race,’’ O’Donnell said Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “Friday night, we were staring well past 1 (a.m. finish), which really made no sense to us for the fans in the stands. You’ve (also) got to consider the long day for the competitors and the crews and putting them in unsafe conditions as well.’’

O’Donnell was asked about the 2015 July Cup race at Daytona, which ended at about 2:40 a.m. after rain delayed the start until after 11 p.m.

“I think the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over,’’ O’Donnell said. “That’s a lesson learned. When you run past 1:30 (a.m.), you may think it’s the right thing to do at that time, which we all did. In hindsight, you always review, like we talk about every weekend, what could we have done better, what’s best for the fans. In that case, that was one of those that if we had to do it over again, we definitely wouldn’t have run that late, and you saw us make that adjustment Friday night.’’

O’Donnell also was asked about Kyle Larson’s car getting airborne in Saturday’s Cup race:

“Each situation is unique and we can always learn from each one. At times, it’s certainly the angle of which a car gets around and but then what, if any, impact and where does it occur on the race track. We’ll certainly look at this.

“Very happy with the roof flaps getting the car back on the ground, for sure. Again, you never want to see a car get up in the air in any circumstance. That’s what we do up in the R&D Center. We’ll take a long look at that. If there’s anything we can do to make a quick correction, we’ll do that.’’

 and on Facebook

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

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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 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

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.