NASCAR announces 20 nominees for 2016 Hall of Fame Class

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A driver whose dogged determination led to a championship, a crew chief who revolutionized the sport, and a competitor whose career was measured as much by his impact on the track as by his trips to Victory Lane, are among the new nominees for the 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class.

The 20 nominees were announced Friday night on NASCAR AMERICA on NBCSN. Hall of Fame voters will select the next five-member class May 20.

There are five first-time nominees – Alan Kulwicki, Ray Evernham, Mark Martin, Harry Hyde and Hershel McGriff.

The other 15 nominees have been eligible for the Hall of Fame previously. They are: Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, Ray Fox, Rick Hendrick, Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Larry Phillips, Bruton Smith, Mike Stefanik, Curtis Turner and Robert Yates.

Kulwicki, selected as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers, nipped Bill Elliott for the 1992 championship by 10 points, completing a dramatic late-season rally for the title. Kulwicki died less than five months after winning the championship in a plane crash en route to a race at Bristol. He finished with five wins and 24 poles in 207 Cup starts.

Martin, whose driving etiquette influenced many competitors, won 40 Sprint Cup races and 49 Xfinity races. His Xfinity victories rank second all time in the series. He ranks 17th in career Cup victories. Martin also finished as the Sprint Cup championship runner-up five times.

Hyde, a crew chief who won the 1970 championship with Isaac, was the inspiration for the Harry Hogge character in the 1990 movie “Days of Thunder.’’ He helped Isaac to 28 wins in 1969-70. Among the drivers Hyde was paired with was Tim Richmond. They won seven races in 1986.

Evernham won three championships as Jeff Gordon’s crew chief in the 1990s for Hendrick Motorsports. Evernham revolutionized the sport with the advent of a dedicated pit crew and the calls he made during races.

McGriff, who was selected as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers, raced in the sport’s top series in four different decades. The 87-year-old last competed in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race in 2012.

Also revealed were the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contribution to NASCAR: Harold Brasington, H. Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves, and Ken Squier.

Joey Logano wins pole for Kansas Cup race, playoff contenders sweep top five

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Joey Logano got through Turns 3 & 4 faster than the Cup field at Kansas Speedway and set a speed of 191.646 mph to win the pole for the Kansas Cup race. This is Logano’s second pole of the season and first on an unrestricted track. His previous pole came at Talladega this spring.

The last two races at Kansas have been won from by the pole winner with Kevin Harvick doing so this spring and Martin Truex Jr. last fall.

Playoff contenders swept the top five positions with Harvick (191.178 mph) second, Aric Almirola (190.968) third, Ryan Blaney (190.934) fourth and Brad Keselowski (190.725) fifth.

Playoff contenders Kyle Busch (190.543) qualified seventh, Alex Bowman (189.994) qualified 10th, Kurt Busch (189.593 mph) qualified 11th and Truex (189.387) was 12th.

Joe Gibbs Racing took the remaining spots in the top 12 with Erik Jones (190.570) fastest among the non-playoff contenders in sixth. Daniel Suarez (190.449 mph) was eighth and Denny Hamlin (190.027) ninth. 

Chase Elliott and Clint Bowyer failed to advance to the Round of 12 despite each of them making two runs. Elliott lines up 13th with a speed of 190.027 mph; Bowyer was 14th (189.980)

Kyle Larson rolled out a backup car after crashing in practice. He was qualifying for pit selection only since he will have to fall to the back of the pack, but could only muster the 27th-fastest time of 187.162 mph.

Check back for complete results.

 

NASCAR America at 6 p.m. ET: 1,000th Episode

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Today’s marks the 1,000th episode of NASCAR America and it airs from 6-7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

In celebrating this milestone, we’ll re-live some of the show’s best moments from our first 999 episodes.

Also on today’s show:

  • Joining the program, will be 7-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who will reflect on his 17-year partnership with Chad Knaus that will end following this season. He’ll also talk about his crew chief for 2019, Kevin Meendering.
  • Kansas native Clint Bowyer also joins the show to discuss racing in his home state, his passion for the Kansas City Chiefs and how he hopes to secure a spot in the Round of 8 this weekend.

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.

Xfinity practice report from Kansas

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Final Practice

Shane Lee posted the fastest lap in final practice for the Xfinity race with a speed of 179.480 mph.

He beat Ty Majeski (179.414 mph) by .011 seconds.

Playoff contender Christopher Bell (178.684), Austin Cindric (178.247, playoff contender) and Daniel Hemric (178.247, playoff contender) rounded out the top five.

Playoff contender Matt Tifft spun with three minutes remaining in final practice. He was 11th on the speed chart at the time with a speed of 177.206 mph.

Playoff contender Cole Custer (177.737) was ninth, Justin Allgaier (177.538) was 10th, Elliott Sadler (177.130) was 12th and Tyler Reddick (177.084) was the slowest 13th.

Click here for complete results

First Practice

Hemric posted  the fastest single lap in the first practice session for the Xfinity race at Kansas Speedway with a speed of 179.916 mph.

He beat Bell (179.659 mph) by .043 seconds.

Tyler Reddick (179.474, playoff contender), Shane Lee (179.462) and Austin Cindric (179.408) rounded out the top five.

Playoff contender Allgaier (178.832) was seventh fastest, Custer (178.725) was eighth, Tifft (178.660) was ninth and Sadler (177.585) was the slowest in 13th.

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Ryan Blaney tops first Cup practice at Kansas, Kyle Larson wrecks

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Ryan Blaney posted the fastest single lap in the first practice session for the Kansas Cup race with a speed of 192.130 mph. Blaney enters the weekend 22 points below the cutoff line.

He beat Kyle Busch (191.768 mph) by .053 seconds.

Kevin Harvick (191.761), Joey Logano (191.632) and Chase Elliott (191.421) round out the top five

Kyle Larson‘s weekend continues to worsen. With 15 minutes remaining in Friday’s practice session, he got loose and made heavy contact with the wall. Larson will have to roll out a back up car and drop to the back of the field to start the race. Larson (189.288) was 20th on the speed chart at the time.

Regan Smith was the only driver who posted 10 consecutive laps. His average speed was 182.606 mph.

Click here for complete results

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