Martin Truex Jr. wins wreck-filled Stage 2 at Kentucky

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Martin Truex Jr. swept the first two stages Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway. By winning the second stage, Truex recorded his 13th stage victory this season — giving him 13 playoff points.

Kyle Busch finished the stage second and was followed by Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Erik Jones. Sixth through 10th: Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Chase Elliott.

Kyle Larson, who finished 11th, and Hamlin each were penalized for speeding on pit road during stops after the end of Stage 1. Larson’s team told him he was clocked at 50.81 mph. Pit road speed is 45 mph and teams are allowed a 4.99 mph allowance. Larson restarted 23rd.

On the opening lap of Stage 2, Brad Keselowski spun in Turn 3, clipped Clint Bowyer’s car and came across Jimmie Johnson‘s car. Keselowski and Johnson went to the garage and were done for the night.

“It’s just dicey on the restarts,” Johnson told NBCSN. “I really thought I had it missed. I clipped him with my right front and it broke something in the suspension and I was in the fence.”

Keselowski said: “I just wrecked it. It stinks. I got loose into (Turn) 3. I was underneath (Bowyer). I was trying to lay up and give room but just spun out as soon as I got anywhere near the corner. I wrecked myself and a bunch of other guys. It is part of it I guess, but not a part that you have to like.”

The race resumed on Lap 93 and was slowed by another caution. Kasey Kahne made contact with Trevor Bayne‘s car and they both hit the wall. Kahne went to the garage and was done for the race. This marks the fifth time in the last seven races Kahne has failed to finish because of an accident. Bayne returned but crashed a few laps later and was done for the race.

“It was just a restart, I had a run on (Bayne) and I got under him getting into Turn 1 down the front stretch and he just drove over my front end, pretty simple,” Kahne said.

Kahne later addressed the accident on Twitter. One exchange included Kahne calling a critical Team Penske fan an “idiot.”

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.

 and on Facebook

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.