Daniel Suarez

Getty Images

Preliminary entry lists for NASCAR Championship Weekend in Miami

Leave a comment

After nine months of racing, the NASCAR season comes to a close this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Each of NASCAR’s three national series will determine its champion in Miami, beginning with Friday’s Camping World Truck race, Saturday’s Xfinity  race and Sunday’s Cup race.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for each race:

Cup – Ford EcoBoost 400

There are 39 cars entered with all driver seats filled.

Reed Sorenson returns to drive Premium Motorsports’ No. 15 Chevrolet.

Jimmie Johnson is the defending Homestead winner, leading just three laps in the 268-lap event, which went to overtime.

Click here for the entry list.

 

Xfinity — Ford EcoBoost 300

There are 45 cars entered. All driver seats are filled except the No. 55 Toyota of JD Motorsports.

Ty Majeski will drive the No. 60 Ford for Roush Fenway Motorsports.

Daniel Suarez is the defending winner, leading 133 of the race’s 200 laps.

Click here for the entry list.

 

Trucks – Ford EcoBoost 200

There are 32 trucks entered. All driver seats are filled.

William Byron is the defending winner, leading 31 of 134 laps in last year’s race.

Click here for the entry list.

Ryan Blaney goes 2-for-2 as fastest in Xfinity practices at Dover

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Just like he was in the morning, Ryan Blaney once again was fastest in the final of two NASCAR Xfinity Series practice sessions Friday at Dover International Speedway.

Blaney covered the one-mile, high-banked all-concrete oval at 152.672 mph, just a tick above William Byron (152.665) and Brandon Jones (162.620).

Erik Jones, who was second in the morning practice, was fourth in the afternoon session (152.523), followed by Brennan Poole (also 152.523), Ty Dillon (152.278), Daniel Suarez (152.233), Justin Allgaier (152.078), Tyler Reddick (152.066) and Ross Chastain (151.912).

Click here for the full practice session speed grid.

Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones are fastest in first of 2 Xfinity practices at Dover

Getty Images
Leave a comment

NASCAR Cup regulars Ryan Blaney (154.275 mph) and Erik Jones (154.129 mph) were the two fastest drivers in the first of two Xfinity Series practices Friday at Dover International Speedway.

William Byron was third (153.951), followed by Justin Allgaier (153.616), Ty Dillon (153.472), Brennan Poole (153.420), Tyler Reddick (153.387), Daniel Suarez (153.094), Matt Tifft (152.990) and Elliott Sadler (152.918).

There was only one incident in the session, a red flag stoppage for what appeared to be a piece of lead or tungsten weight from the No. 21 car of Daniel Hemric.

The team called Hemric to the garage where it was due to be examined by NASCAR officials.

There will be one other Xfinity practice session this afternoon from 2:30 to 3:25 p.m. ET.

Click here for the full practice session rundown.

Daniel Suarez leans on Carl Edwards for advice on and off the track

1 Comment

Daniel Suarez has been getting many tips behind the wheel from the man he replaced in the NASCAR Cup Series.

The rookie from Mexico recently got some tips from Carl Edwards for how to handle being in front of the camera.

Suarez, 25, is appearing in a commercial with Carl Edwards that will be shown during Sunday’s race at Auto Club Speedway, the first of four in which the No. 19 Toyota will be sponsored by Subway.

“We have a good time in it,” Suarez told NBC Sports in a phone interview Wednesday. “I’m sure (Edwards) will like it because he’s very, very cool.

“He’s not racing right now anymore, but he still is a part of this group, so I think it was something very important, because he’s been super helpful in the last couple of years in my career. I was just really excited to see how much work it takes to do a national commercial of 10 to 15 seconds. It takes a lot of work, and it turned out super great.”

Edwards, of course, has been one of the best corporate pitchmen in NASCAR since entering the premier series in 2004. (It’s unclear whether Edwards maintains a personal services deal with Subway; NBC Sports was unable to confirm it with the company.)

He stunned the racing world when he announced in January that he was stepping away and turning over his full-time ride at Joe Gibbs Racing to Suarez.

But Edwards, 37, hasn’t disappeared, providing pointers to Suarez during the race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway and in a February test session at Phoenix Raceway. Suarez said he and Edwards talk weekly.

“Oh yeah, we keep in touch,” he said. “Actually, even he’s not racing full time, he’s still helping me in a lot of different areas. Not just in the race car, but out of the race car as well.

“We have to remember that there is a team that I’m racing with right now that he’s known since last year. He knows these guys very, very well, and everything he’s done for me. So yeah, I keep in communication with him, and he’s been helpful trying to make all the communication and chemistry a good deal better.”

Suarez said he hadn’t talked with Edwards about what the future might hold. At Atlanta, Edwards seemed to keep all his options on the table for returning to race stock cars.

“He’s accomplished so many good things in the sport,” Suarez said of Edwards. “He’s got some other things he wants to accomplish as well. And that’s something we don’t talk about a lot. But you never know. He loves racing. Who knows? Maybe he comes back one day to do a few races.”

If he does, Edwards could be in the position of racing his replacement, who has struggled throughout his first four races in Cup. Suarez notched a seventh place at Phoenix after placing 20th or worse in his first three events.

“These cars are just more difficult to drive, and the competition is just tougher,” he said. “When you are off in Xfinity, you can run 10-14th. When you are a little off in the Cup stuff, you are 35th, 36th. It’s pretty different. To learn how to communicate with my crew chief and build that chemistry with my new engineers, Dave Rogers … We’re still learning so many different things, for sure. We’re in the right path moving forward.”

 

Two multi-car wrecks involving 30 cars bring out red flags early in Xfinity race at Daytona

Getty Images
3 Comments

Saturday’s Xfinity Series season-opening Powershares QQQ 300 has been red-flagged twice in less than the first 30 laps.

The first red flag was the result of a major wreck that involved 18 cars. The pack was on Lap 23 of the scheduled 120-lap event when several drivers made contact, setting off a chain reaction crash.

Among those involved in the wreck were Cole Custer, Garrett Smithley, Austin Dillon, Michael Annett, Ray Black Jr., Jeff Green, William Byron, Blake Koch, J.J. Yeley, Ryan Reed, Brad Keselowski, Spencer Gallagher, Ryan Sieg, Tyler Reddick, Anthony Kumpen, Benny Gordon, Scott Lagasse Jr., Jeremy Clements, Clint King and Aric Almirola.

The first red flag lasted 18 minutes, 20 seconds.

The race went back to green flag racing on Lap 28 when yet another multi-car wreck – this time 12 cars – took place one lap later on the back straightaway, bringing out the red flag once again.

The second wreck occurred one lap before the scheduled end of the first of two stages in the race.

Drivers involved in the second wreck included Darrell Wallace Jr., Daniel Suarez, Brandon Jones, Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, Erik Jones, Chris Cockrum, Harrison Rhodes, Brandon Hightower, Matt Tifft, Blake Koch and Ryan Reed.

The second red flag lasted 27 minutes, 51 seconds.

When the racing resumed following the second wreck, of the 40 cars that began the race, only Elliott Sadler, Ty Dillon, Ross Chastain, Dakoda Armstrong, Brennan Poole, Joey Gase, Brendan Gaughan, Kasey Kahne, Mario Gosselin and David Starr had not been involved in wrecks.

Follow @JerryBonkowski