Lap 136 crash in Daytona 500 involves 17 cars, eliminates Jimmie Johnson

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A 17-car wreck on Lap 136 eliminated Jimmie Johnson and involved all four Stewart-Haas Racing cars.

The wreck began when Trevor Bayne, in the middle of a three-wide group, made contact with Johnson who was on the outside.

The contact sent Johnson sideways and started a chain reaction that involved the following:

Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Chris Buescher, Danica Patrick, Kevin Harvick, DJ Kennington, Denny Hamlin, Bayne, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Landon Cassill, Matt DiBenedetto, Brendan Gaughan, Martin Truex Jr., Cole WhittKurt Busch and Joey Gase.

Bowyer and Patrick are out off the race.

“That could have been avoided and it wasn’t called for,” Johnson told Fox. “From the minute, I got off of Turn 2 on the entire back straightaway, I kept getting hit and the rear tires are off the ground. I know there is a lot of energy behind me in the pack, but I didn’t have a chance. I fought it the whole straightaway and finally got turned going into (Turn) 3. It’s very unfortunate. I hate it for Lowe’s. I hate it for Chevrolet. We’ll go to Atlanta next week and see what we can do there.”

Said Patrick, “I just know we were all three-wide and it looks like the 6 and 48 had something happened. There was nowhere to go. They just kept coming and hitting me. The left rear is broken. The bodywork damage isn’t that bad but I don’t know how long that takes to fix. The five-minute clock is an interesting new element. I don’t know if it is good or bad but we don’t want to go on track with stuff that isn’t safe. But when all these cars crash out you want to be able to get as many points as possible.”

 

Chase Elliott wins first Can-Am Duel race at Daytona

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In what could be a preview of Sunday’s main event, Daytona 500 pole-sitter Chase Elliott won the first of Thursday night’s two Can-Am Duel races at Daytona International Speedway.

Elliott took the lead on Lap 37 of the 60-lap race and held off challenges from several drivers including runner-up Jamie McMurray, third-place finisher Kevin Harvick and fourth-place finisher Brad Keselowski.

It was Elliott’s first win in his NASCAR Cup career.

“We had some steam tonight, and it was apparent,” Elliott told Fox Sports 1. “I’m excited about how this thing ran tonight, keeping it in one piece. I know this is only a Duel win and doesn’t count towards a win in the playoffs, but it still means a lot to me and the team. It’s a great way to start the season.”

MORE: Results from Can-Am Duel 1 at Daytona

MORE: What drivers said after first Can-Am Duel race at Daytona

For the first time in the modern NASCAR era, the top-10 finishing drivers earned points for their finish in both duel races. Also earning points in the first Duel were Matt Kenseth (finished fifth), Trevor Bayne (sixth), Martin Truex Jr. (seventh), Aric Almirola (eighth), Joey Logano (ninth) and Cole Whitt (10th).

There were six lead changes among three different drivers: Elliott, Keselowski and Kyle Busch.

There were two cautions (including a scheduled competition caution on Lap 26) and just one significant wreck in the event.

On Lap 50, Reed Sorenson’s hopes of racing his way into Sunday’s Daytona 500 ended after he was tapped from behind by Corey LaJoie, spun and slammed head-on into a SAFER barrier. Also collected in the wreck was Paul Menard.

LaJoie, who finished 18th, will race in Sunday’s event, while Sorenson and Timmy Hill failed to make the 40-car field.

“Guess he felt like he did what he needed to do. Hope he’s proud of it,” Sorenson said of LaJoie to Fox Sports 1.

Who else had a good race: Jamie McMurray, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski finished second through fourth and all had strong performances, but couldn’t catch Elliott in the closing laps. … Aric Almirola, the only car running in the Cup series for Richard Petty Motorsports this season, looked strong and finished eighth.

Who had a bad race: Brendan Gaughan could never get going and finished 19th in the 21-driver field.

Notable: 2015 Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano had to make an unscheduled pit stop due to a vibration on Lap 13. He fell one lap back as a result and finished ninth. … Daniel Suarez, who will be competing in his first NASCAR Cup regular season event Sunday, finished 12th … Chase Elliott is the youngest driver in NASCAR history to win a Daytona 500 qualifying race. Previous mark was held by Jeff Gordon when he won this event in 1993

Quote of the day: “Man, when I’m trying to get into the Daytona 500, if my mom was in that spot I’d probably wreck her too. I’m racing on Sunday.” — Corey LaJoie on qualifying to race in Sunday’s race.

What’s next: Sunday’s 59th Daytona 500, with a 2 p.m. ET green flag.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series primary paint schemes for 2017

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Joey Logano's Facebook page
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The racing season is here and with it comes a brand new batch of paint schemes for most teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Luckily we’ve got a guide for you keep track of who is driving what colors this year. Here are the different paint schemes Cup drivers will be sporting throughout the season. We’ll update the list as more paint schemes are announced.

Jamie McMurray – No. 1, Chip Ganassi Racing

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Brad Keselowski – No. 2, Team Penske

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Austin Dillon – No. 3, Richard Childress Racing

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Kevin Harvick – No. 4, Stewart-Haas Racing

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Kasey Kahne – No. 5, Hendrick Motorsports

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Trevor Bayne – No. 6, Roush Fenway Racing

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Danica Patrick – No. 10, Stewart-Haas Racing

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Denny Hamlin – No. 11, Joe Gibbs Racing

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Ty Dillon – No. 13, Germain Racing

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Clint Bowyer – No. 14, Stewart-Haas Racing

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – No. 17, Roush Fenway Racing

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Kyle Busch – No. 18, Joe Gibbs Racing

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Daniel Suarez – No. 19, Joe Gibbs Racing

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Source: MRN Radio on Twitter

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Matt Kenseth – No. 20, Joe Gibbs Racing

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Ryan Blaney – No. 21, Wood Brothers Racing

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Joey Logano – No. 22, Team Penske

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Gray Gaulding – No. 23, BK Racing

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Chase Elliott – No. 24, Hendrick Motorsports

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Source: NAPA Racing on Twitter

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Paul Menard – No. 27, Richard Childress Racing

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Ryan Newman – No. 31, Richard Childress Racing

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Matt DiBenedetto – No. 32,  Go Fas Racing

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Landon Cassill – No. 34, Front Row Motorsports

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Chris Buescher – No. 37, JTG Daugherty Racing

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David Ragan – No. 38, Front Row Motorsports

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Kurt Busch – No. 41, Stewart Haas Racing

Kyle Larson – No. 42, Chip Ganassi Racing

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Aric Almirola – No. 43, Richard Petty Motorsports

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A.J. Allmendinger – No. 47, JTG Daugherty Racing

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Source: JTG Daugherty Racing Facebook page

Jimmie Johnson – No. 48, Hendrick Motorsports

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Cole Whitt – No. 72, TriStar Motorsports

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Erik Jones – No. 77, Furniture Row Racing

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Martin Truex Jr. – No. 78, Furniture Row Racing

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. – No. 88, Hendrick Motorsports

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Preliminary entry list for the 59th Daytona 500

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The preliminary entry list for the Daytona 500 has been released and 42 cars are currently registered for the 59th running of the “Great American Race.”

The season-opener for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is scheduled for Fab. 26 on Fox.

Forty cars will make the field for the race, with 36 of those guaranteed a starting spot due to NASCAR ownership charters.

MORE: Teams with charters in 2017

Among those entered into the race are two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip, who is making his final NASCAR start.  He will drive the No. 15 for Premium Motorsports. Elliott Sadler, a veteran of 12 full-time Cup seasons, will attempt to make his first Cup start since 2013 and his first Daytona 500 start since 2012. He will drive the No. 7 owned by Tommy Baldwin Racing.

Daniel Suarez, the defending Xfinity Series champion, will make his Cup debut driving the No. 19 car for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Also entered into the race are D.J. Kennington, Corey LaJoie, Joey Gase, Brendan Gaughan, Jeffrey Earnhardt and Timmy Hill.

Click here to see the full entry list for the Daytona 500.

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Front Row Motorsports acquires charter from BK Racing, leases one to TriStar

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Front Row Motorsports announced Friday that it has completed the purchase of a charter from BK Racing and leased that charter to TriStar Motorsports. No price was given for the sale or lease.

Front Row Motorsports will have three charters for 2018 once the leased charter is returned after the season. Teams can lease a charter once every five years. Front Row Motorsports plans to expand to a three-car operation next year.

“I’m proud of the way this team has grown since we first joined the sport, and we’re here to stay,” Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins said in a statement. “Now we’re taking the next step that will strengthen our foundation as a team and help us build more meaningful, lasting relationships on all levels – driver, sponsor and manufacturer.”

There are 36 charters in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Each charter guarantees that car a starting spot in each race.

Front Row Motorsports’ cars with a charter are the No. 34 of Landon Cassill and the No. 38 of David Ragan. The charter that goes to TriStar Motorsports means the No. 72 of Cole Whitt also will be guaranteed a starting spot in each race this season.

BK Racing is left with a charter for the No. 23 car. Rookie Gray Gaulding will drive that car in all but three races. Joey Gase is scheduled to drive the car in those three races.

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