Kyle Busch tops first of today’s two Daytona 500 practice sessions

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Kyle Busch knocked Daytona 500 front-row starter Jimmie Johnson from the top spot late in today’s first 500 practice session with a lap of 200.776 mph in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Johnson, a two-time 500 winner, was fastest for much of the 45-minute run before his best lap of 200.530 mph was eclipsed by Busch.

2011 500 champ and Roush Fenway Racing Cup newcomer Trevor Bayne was third-fastest at 200.053 mph. Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Kasey Kahne, was fourth on the time sheets at 199.858 mph, and the top-five was completed by 2008 500 winner Ryan Newman, who posted a top lap of 199.645 mph.

The early moments of the session saw Danica Patrick, Jeb Burton, Denny Hamlin, Casey Mears, and Michael Annett involved in an accident that forced Patrick, Annett, and rookie Burton to backup machines.

JGR reported that their driver, Hamlin, took cosmetic damage to the left side and right front fender of his No. 11 Toyota but would not need to go to a backup himself.

A second practice session will take place today at 3:15 p.m. ET.

Daytona 500 Practice 3
Daytona International Speedway
1. Kyle Busch, 200.776 mph … 24 laps run
2. Jimmie Johnson, 200.530 … 21 laps run
3. Trevor Bayne, 200.053 … 17 laps run
4. Kasey Kahne, 199.858 … 16 laps run
5. Ryan Newman, 199.645 … 23 laps run
6. Brian Scott, 199.552 … 17 laps run
7. Jeff Gordon, 199.437 … 20 laps run
8. Casey Mears, 199.313 … 13 laps run
9. Michael Waltrip, 199.164 … 12 laps run
10. David Gilliland, 199.150 … 12 laps run
11. David Ragan, 199.146 … 12 laps run
12. Justin Marks, 198.921 … 17 laps run
13. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 198.869 … 19 laps run
14. Tony Stewart, 198.702 … 26 laps run
15. Carl Edwards, 198.684 … 13 laps run
16. Paul Menard, 198.264 … 14 laps run
17. Justin Allgaier, 198.129 … 9 laps run
18. Josh Wise, 197.972 … 12 laps run
19. Denny Hamlin, 197.928 … 16 laps run
20. Ty Dillon, 197.694 … 16 laps run
21. Austin Dillon, 197.663 … 13 laps run
22. Landon Cassill, 196.850 … 9 laps run
23. Kevin Harvick, 196.640 … 10 laps run
24. Brad Keselowski, 196.447 … 6 laps run
25. Michael McDowell, 195.537 … 8 laps run
26. Sam Hornish Jr., 195.499 … 11 laps run
27. Ryan Blaney, 195.427 … 8 laps run
28. Greg Biffle, 194.961 .. 10 laps run
29. Jeb Burton, 194.767 … 1 lap run
30. Michael Annett, 194.738 … 1 lap run
31. Matt Kenseth, 194.489 … 16 laps run
32. Kyle Larson, 194.275 … 1 lap run
33. Kurt Busch, 193.970 … 15 laps run
34. Joey Logano, 193.332 … 14 laps run
35. Clint Bowyer, 193.199 … 5 laps run
36. Jamie McMurray, 192.674 … 9 laps run
37. A.J. Allmendinger, 192.489 … 11 laps run
38. Alex Bowman, 192.489 … 2 laps run
39. Aric Almirola, 192.102 … 8 laps run
40. Danica Patrick, 192.090 … 1 lap run
41. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 191.636 … 11 laps run
42. Cole Whitt, 191.355 … 7 laps run
43. Ron Hornaday Jr., 188.913 … 5 laps run
44. Bobby Labonte, 0.000 … 0 laps run

Best 10-Consecutive Lap Average
1. Kyle Busch, 197.905 mph … Laps 15-24
2. Kasey Kahne, 197.672 … Laps 2-11
3. Jeff Gordon, 197.591 … Laps 2-11
4. Carl Edwards, 197.521 … Laps 4-13
5. Tony Stewart, 197.509 … Laps 4-13
6. Jimmie Johnson, 197.420 … Laps 12-21
7. Michael Waltrip, 197.373 … Laps 3-12
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 197.338 … Laps 1-10
9. Brian Scott, 197.274 … Laps 3-12
10. Trevor Bayne, 197.158 … Laps 4-13
11. Justin Marks, 197.136 … Laps 7-16
12. Denny Hamlin, 197.086 … Laps 7-16
13. Ryan Newman, 196.743 … Laps 13-22
14. Austin Dillon, 196.510 … Laps 2-11
15. Ty Dillon, 196.487 … Laps 1-10
16. Paul Menard, 196.263 … Laps 4-13
17. Casey Mears, 196.166 … Laps 3-12

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Kansas preview, Kevin Meendering interview

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and continues to preview this weekend’s races at Kansas Speedway.

Marty Snider hosts with Steve Letarte and Landon Cassill from Charlotte.

On today’s show:

  • We’ll react to the penalty handed down to Kyle Larson that makes advancing to the Round of 8 even more challenging.
  • As cut-down day approaches in the Round of 12 for the Cup Series, we’ll look back at drivers who kept their title hopes alive with victories in elimination races.
  • Dillon Welch talks to crew chief Kevin Meendering, who is set to become Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief in 2019.
  • Joey Logano may be racing for a championship, but one of his other main goals is a far more important one: helping the lives of others, especially children. We’ll look at the story behind the Joey Logano Foundation.

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 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Bubba Wallace named to Ebony Power 100

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
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Bubba Wallace has been named to Ebony Magazine’s Ebony Power 100 for his accomplishments as a NASCAR Cup series driver.

Listed as an “MVP,” Wallace joins other athletes such as Antonio Brown, Stephen Curry and Venus Williams as well as former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama. 

The list was created to recognize leaders of color who have positively impacted their community.

“This is quite an honor to be recognized with others in the African-American community,” Wallace said in a press release. “It’s humbling to join a list of the other star athletes, artists and community and national leaders. I’m just trying to be the best driver that I can be and focus on winning races for Richard Petty Motorsports and our partners. To be recognized for some of our accomplishments this season is an honor and I’d like to thank Ebony for the recognition.”

Wallace gained the honor based on his on track performance early in the year, including a second-place finish in the Daytona 500 and a top-10 finish at Texas Motor Speedway.

His off-track accomplishments also played a role in the selection. Wallace has been a notable influencer on social media. Earlier this year, Facebook posted a “Behind the Wall: Bubba Wallace” docu-series that earned more than five million views.

“We are proud of what Bubba is doing both on and off the track for our race team and our partners,” said Brian Moffitt, CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports, in a press release. “We know that we have something very special with him and he continues to break barriers outside our sport to be a first-class athlete, spokesperson and inspiration to many.”

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K&N East champion to make Truck Series debut at Martinsville

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Tyler Ankrum, who won the NASCAR K&N East Pro Series title on Oct. 6, will make his Camping World Truck Series debut next weekend at Martinsville Speedway.

Ankrum, 17, will drive for DGR-Crosley’s No. 54 truck. Ankrum drove for the team co-owned by David Gilliland in the K&N East series.

Driving the No. 17, Ankrum earned four wins and nine top fives and led the standings for the final 12 races of the season.

The native of San Bernadino, California, had an average finish of 4.8.

Next Saturday’s race will be Ankrum’s second at Martinsville. He competed in a Late Model Stock Car race there in 2014.

“Making my Truck Series debut at Martinsville is huge. So many big names in the sport have made their national series debut at Martinsville,” Ankrum said in a press release. “I’ve been dreaming of this day for so long now, I can’t believe it’s actually happening. It’s going to be really cool having (crew chief) Seth (Smith) and my K&N guys there with me.”

Kyle Larson loses 10 points, car chief suspended for Talladega penalty

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Kyle Larson‘s Cup team has been penalized 10 driver and owner points and loses car chief David Bryant to a one-race suspension for a L1 penalty at Talladega Superspeedway.

Crew chief Chad Johnston was also fined $25,000.

The No. 42 team violated Section 10.9.9.d in the rulebook, which notes “Damaged vehicle repair, regardless of how the damage occurred, is permitted to have original body parts removed or reattached in their original location with fasteners and/or tape only.”

Larson spun with seven laps left in Stage 2 due to a flat tire.

Larson, who finished 11th in Sunday’s race and called it “embarrassing at times”, is now 36 points behind the cutoff spot on the playoff grid, making this weekend’s elimination race at Kansas Speedway a must win for Larson.

This is Bryant’s second suspension this season. He missed two races in May for a rear-window violation at Kansas.

NBC Sports has asked Chip Ganassi Racing if it will appeal;there was no immediate response from the team.

John Klausmeier, crew chief on Aric Almirola‘s No. 10 Ford, was fined $10,000 for an unsecured lug nut on the race-winning car.

NASCAR also issued three fines to crew chiefs in the Camping World Truck Series for the same L1 penalty.

Chad Kendrick (Austin Hill‘s No. 02 Chevrolet), Graham Bruce (Stewart Friesen‘s No. 52 Chevrolet) and Joel Shear Jr. (Johnny Sauter‘s No. 21 Chevrolet) were fined $5,000 for violating Section 20.4, which notes “Air is not allowed to pass from one area of the interior of the vehicle to another or to the outside of the vehicle.”

NASCAR also issued an indefinite suspension to Christopher Justin Chase for violating Sections 12.1.a and 2.11.a in the rulebook, a behavioral level violation.