NASCAR writer for NBCSports.com. Former Sporting News intern. Graduated from IUPUI in Indianapolis with a master in sports journalism in 2014 and from Arkansas State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism.
Originally from Lewisville, Texas, now in Fort Worth.
Ask me if I like Star Wars. I dare you.
A year after his win at Richmond Raceway was encumbered following an inspection violation, Joey Logano had one of his best races since.
And it came at the .75-mile track on Saturday.
Logano, one of two drivers (Kyle Busch) to finish in the top 10 in eight of the season’s nine races, won the first two stages of the 400-lap race and led 92 laps before finishing fourth. It matched his previous best result in the Daytona 500.
On NASCAR America, Steve Letarte and Dale Jarrett discussed Logano’s season so far and how the team is pursuing its first win in a year.
“They’re just not quite there yet,” Jarrett said. “They’re not where the Stewart-Haas Fords are at this point in time. Even though he got a better finish than they did, I just don’t think they have that speed that they’re looking for at this point. If he goes back and thinks (about) everything that took place after this race last year and where he is right now, I know he’s extremely excited about the prospects of the future and races to come for them.”
The fourth-place finish is the third top five for the No. 22 team this season. Logano heads to Talladega Superspeedway, where he has two wins and three top fives in his last five starts.
Watch the above video more on Logano and Chase Elliott.
For the last two Cup races, Jimmie Johnson looked more like his old self.
At Bristol, Johnson scored his first top five since October. On Saturday at Richmond, after running off the lead lap for 267 of 400 laps, the seven-time champion used a series of late-race cautions to finish sixth.
It marked Johnson’s first consecutive top 10s since October at Dover and Charlotte.
On NASCAR America, analysts Steve Letarte and Dale Jarrett discussed the No. 48 team’s improvement.
“I think very clearly Jimmie Johnson and (crew chief) Chad Knaus have figured out a way to do more with less,” Letarte said. “The secret of Jimmie Johnson the last 10 years — the fastest race car with the best driver. … That’s how they won at least six of their seven championships, was the best race car. I think when you’re that good for so long … you perhaps don’t build the skill set of running a lap down, you don’t build the skill set of racing a lap down. That’s different than running on the lead lap or pit strategy to win the race.”
Johnson is mired in the longest winless streak of his career at 32 races.
“It’s hard to believe that someone like Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus can learn a new trick, but they’ve learned one,” Letarte said. “Through the summer, as the cars get better, look out. Because if they keep this sort of patience with good cars, I expect Jimmie to win races again and win multiple times in 2018.”
Watch the above video for more on Johnson and his teammate William Byron.
Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 6-6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and recaps last weekend’s Cup race in Richmond.
Carolyn Manno hosts from Stamford, Connecticut. Steve Letarte and Dale Jarrett join her from Burton’s Garage.
On today’ show:
• In an overtime finish at Richmond Raceway, Kyle Busch made his way to Victory Lane for the third consecutive time this season. But first, “Rowdy” made an unexpected move – joining the fans in the crowd to celebrate. Our own Dave Burns was at the track Saturday to catch up with him after the win.
• We’ll also break down Saturday’s efforts for runner-up Chase Elliott, fourth-place finisher Joey Logano, and sixth-place finisher Jimmie Johnson. For Johnson and the No. 48 team, they’ve earned their first back-to-back top-10 finishes since last October. DJ & Steve debate why they’re finding ways to get good results while still lacking in speed.
• The NBC Sports NASCAR America Fantasy League continues. Which NASCAR on NBC broadcaster and which fans are in the lead after three races. Join the conversation and share your league team each week using #NASCARAmericaFantasy.
If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com.
If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.
Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.
Click here at 6 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.
Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota have extended their relationship, NBC Sports has confirmed.
No details on the agreement were made available. RacinBoys.com first reported the extension.
The news of the extension comes with JGR’s Kyle Busch in the midst of a three-race win streak, the most recent coming last Saturday in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway.
JGR’s Cup driver roster includes Busch, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones.
JGR has been partnered with Toyota since 2008 when it switched from Chevrolet.
Since then JGR has one Cup championship (Busch, 2015) and 93 wins in Cup. It also has two Xfinity championships. In that time, Toyota has won the Cup manufacturer’s championship twice (2016, 2017) and the Xfinity manufacturer’s title four times.
Key wins for JGR with Toyota include the Daytona 500 (Hamlin, 2016), the Brickyard 400 (Kyle Busch, twice), the Southern 500 (five times) and Coke 600 (Carl Edwards, 2015).
Since its inception in 1992, JGR has driven under the banners of Chevrolet (1992-96), Pontiac (1997-2002), Chevrolet (2000-07) and Toyota.
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Denny Hamlin is getting into the burger business.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was announced Monday as being a partner in the ownership of a Little Big Burger store in Cornelius, North Carolina, not far from where he lives.
Originating in Portland, Oregon, in 2010, LBB is fast-casual restaurant concept offering cooked-to-order burgers. Hamlin’s restaurant will be one of 14 LBB locations, with 11 in Oregon.
LBB is a subsidiary of Chanticleer Holdings, Inc., which operates 55 restaurants worldwide. The agreement with Hamlin includes the option for nine potential future locations.
“I’m looking forward to opening my first Little Big Burger right down the street from where I live,” said Hamlin in a press release. “I’m a huge fan of Little Big Burger. The burgers and fries are as good as you can get. I have been impressed with the management team Chanticleer has assembled with Little Big Burger, and I therefore can’t be more excited about being able to further expand this concept to the Charlotte, North Carolina market.”
Hamlin is the latest Cup driver to get involved in a restaurant.
Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is a partner in Southbound, a Southern California-style taco shop in Charlotte that opened last fall.
NBC Sports analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr. owns multiple Whiskey River bar locations, including in downtown Charlotte and in a few North Carolina airports.
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