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Dale Earnhardt Jr. explains his rash of speeding penalties on pit road

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been caught speeding on pit road a series-high seven times this season after his penalty last weekend at Pocono Raceway.

Earnhardt, who went on to finish 12th at Pocono, explained on the Dale Jr. Download podcast what happened on pit road.

“This year we’ve had more speeding penalties,’’ he said. “Let’s try to explain that. You have these dots, these lights on the dash. They start out as green lights. You light up one, two, three, four green lights … then there are two yellows that will come on. Two yellows are what I should be running for the pit speed. I don’t have a speedometer in the car. I don’t really have a tachometer really. It’s just this light bar. Two yellow (lights) should get me down pit road. If I go above those two yellows, there will be red lights. If I see those, I’m going too fast.

“We can set this light bar, we can space these lights apart by 100 RPMs, 50 RPMs, 25 RPMs. So if you set them really close together, it lights up really fast.

“So this year, what we’ve done to be more competitive on pit road is to really close those gaps between those lights, to get really aggressive. When I get it right, we run within two-tenths of a mile an hour under the speed limit, but it does present you the opportunity to get busted a lot more often.

“Again, this RPM bar is only going off the RPMs of the motor. It has noting to do with rolling speed. It is not measuring any speed of the wheel. So the RPMs can be bouncing around and the car can chug and all sorts of funky stuff going down pit road and give you all kinds of a crazy light show on the dash.

“So think about it like this too, coming down pit road you have the air pressure in the tires up because you’ve been running laps and the tires have built up air pressures. It’s much easier to control the pit road speed with the high air pressure. So you come in and change tires and you put on tires that are really, really low on air pressure and it’s really hard to control the speed leaving the pits with that low air pressure. That’s when the car wants to buck and chug and lug and bounce because of the air pressure in the tire.’’


7 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

6 – Trevor Bayne

5 – Kyle Busch

5 – Michael McDowell

5 – Reed Sorenson

4 – Timmy Hill

4 – Matt Kenseth

4 – Joey Logano

3 – Matt DiBenedetto

3 – Austin Dillon

3 – Denny Hamlin

3 – Kasey Kahne

3 – Corey LaJoie

3 – Darrell Wallace Jr.

3 – Cole Whitt

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Results, statistics from Ford EcoBoost 200 Truck season finale

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Chase Briscoe earned his first Camping World Truck Series victory in Friday’s season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

And while finishing second is supposed to be the first loser, it wasn’t for Christopher Bell, whose runner-up showing clinched the 2017 Truck Series championship for him.

Click here for the full results from Friday’s race.

MORE: Christopher Bell wins Truck Series championship, Chase Briscoe earns first career Truck win

MORE: Here’s the final 2017 Camping World Truck Series driver standings


Here’s the final 2017 Camping World Truck Series driver standings

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Christopher Bell won the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship in Friday’s Ford EcoBoost 200, with all four Championship 4 drivers finishing within four points of each other.

Bell finished with 4,035 points, 2016 Truck champ Johnny Sauter finished second in the standings with 4,034 points, rookie Austin Cindric finished third (4,032) and two-time series champ Matt Crafton finished fourth (4,031).

Click here for the final 2017 season driver standings.

MORE: Christopher Bell wins Truck Series championship, Chase Briscoe earns first career Truck win

MORE: Results, statistics from Ford EcoBoost 200 Truck season finale

Christopher Bell wins Truck title, Chase Briscoe earns first career series win

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The first champion of the NASCAR Championship Weekend was crowned Friday night as Christopher Bell earned his first Camping World Truck Series title.

Chase Briscoe won the race, the Ford EcoBoost 200, leading a race-high 77 laps in the 134-lap event, while Bell captured the championship by finishing second.

“It’s a dream come true,” Bell told FS1. “These trucks are so good and they pay so much attention to all the detail that goes into these things, and that’s what makes these Tundras so fast. I’m just speechless.”

MORE: Results, statistics from Ford EcoBoost 200 Truck season finale

MORE: Here’s the final 2017 Camping World Truck Series driver standings

Bell, an Oklahoma native who turns 23 on Dec. 16, has already been announced to drive next season in the Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing. He ends the 2017 Truck campaign with five wins and 21 top-10s in 23 Truck races.

“To be see Christopher be able to mature and grow … it just goes to show these guys develop and we do a good job of developing these guys,” team owner Kyle Busch told FS1. “Erik Jones won our first driver’s championship and now with Christopher Bell bringing home our second, it just continues to solidify our legacy.”

Briscoe, who also turns 23 one day before his good friend Bell, helped send Brad Keselowski Racing out on a high note. BKR is closing after this season.

“This is a long time coming,” Briscoe told FS1. “I’m so proud of these guys to know they’re not going to have job next year, yet they continue to bring real good trucks even though we were outside of the playoffs. … For those guys to continue to believe in me, I’m so blessed and thankful.”

Briscoe was also named Truck Series Rookie of the Year.

Team owner Brad Keselowski, who will be vying for the NASCAR Cup championship on Sunday, told FS1 about Briscoe: “He has a big, bright future ahead of him and along with (BKR teammate) Austin Cindric and I’m just happy to play a role and help him out.”

The other Championship 4 contestants that came up short were 2016 Truck champ Johnny Sauter (finished third), Austin Cindric (fifth) and Matt Crafton (sixth).

STAGE WINNERS: Stage 1 (Christopher Bell), Stage 2 (Ben Rhodes)

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Cindric showed a lot of mettle while running near the front much of the race. Not bad for a 19-year-old rookie. … Bell did exactly what he needed to do to win the title: finish ahead of his other three challengers.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Noah Gragson had a rough night, finishing 18th, three laps behind the leaders.

NOTABLE: Toyota earned its fifth consecutive Truck Manufacturers Championship, and 10th overall in the last 14 seasons. … With the exception of the two cautions between stages, there were no other cautions caused from on-track action.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “This whole organization, this whole team has been so good for so many years, you just don’t want to be that guy to let them down – and I’m really glad I didn’t let them down tonight.” – 2017 Truck Series champ Christopher Bell (via FS1).

WHAT’S NEXT: The 2017 season has concluded. The next race is the 2018 NextEra Energy Resources 250, Friday February 16, Daytona International Speedway.

Starting lineup for Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Cup title race

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After making contact with both the outside wall and Chase Elliott last Sunday at Phoenix, Denny Hamlin failed to advance to Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

But that didn’t stop Hamlin — who has two career wins at the South Florida 1.5-mile track — from earning his second career pole for Sunday’s race.

Martin Truex Jr. — who has six wins on 1.5-mile tracks in his seven overall victories this season — was the highest qualifying Championship 4, starting on the front row alongside Hamlin.

The other Championship 4 drivers qualified third (Kyle Busch), fifth (Brad Keselowski) and ninth (Kevin Harvick).

Click here for the starting lineup for Sunday’s race.