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Goodyear bringing new tire to Kentucky

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NASCAR teams will have a different right-side Goodyear tire this week at Kentucky Speedway. The change was made after the track added a four-inch layer of asphalt after last year’s race. The track had been repaved and reconfigured before the 2016 race.

The new right-side tire, which will be used by Cup, Xfinity and Truck teams this week, features a compound change to provide more grip and wear. The left-side tire remains the same. The combination was confirmed in a test May 9-10 with Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, Erik Jones and Jamie McMurray.

Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

Set limits:

Cup: 4 sets for practice, 1 set for qualifying and 8 sets for the race

Xfinity: 8 sets for the event

Truck: 7 sets for the event

Tire Codes:

Left-side — D-4688; Right-side — D-4750

Tire Circumference:

Left-side — 87.56 in. (2,224 mm); Right-side — 88.58 in. (2,250 mm)

Minimum Recommended Inflation:

Left Front — 25 psi; Left Rear — 25 psi

Right Front — 54 psi; Right Rear — 50 psi

Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR national series in action at Kentucky this week will run the same tire set-up. … Teams will run the same left-side tire code (D-4688) as last year at Kentucky, but with a new right-side code (D-4750). … Compared to what was run last season, this right-side tire features a compound change to give more grip and introduce more wear. … This tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at Kentucky on May 9-10. … Drivers participating in that test were Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, Erik Jones and Jamie McMurray. … As on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run liners in all four tire positions at Kentucky. … Air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater  than that of the outer tire. … The goal of that May test was both to tune the grip to the fresh surface as the Cup and Xfinity Series go to lower downforce packages and induce more wear on a new surface that won’t easily wear tires and take on rubber.  The reason why the latter is important is two-fold: (1) when tires wear it often puts a premium on tire management and maintaining the car’s balance over the course of a full fuel run, and (2) when a track takes rubber, it creates multiple racing grooves and creates conditions for better racing.

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

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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

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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 nascarhall.com beginning Saturday, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. ET. A full driver autograph session schedule will be announced at a later date.

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Ryan Blaney to guest star on NBC’s ‘Taken’ next year

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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

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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.