Former NASCAR driver Tyler Walker sentenced to prison for drug charges, 150-mph police chase

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Former NASCAR driver Tyler Walker is heading to prison for the three-state, 150-mph car chase in January 2013 he was involved in.

According to the St. George (Utah) Spectrum newspaper, 5th District Court Judge Eric A. Ludlow sentenced Walker to up to five years in the Utah State Prison on two third-degree felony counts, two terms of 180 days on two Class B misdemeanor counts and 90 days for a third-degree felony and Class C misdemeanor.

Ludlow then suspended all but 90 days of Walker’s term.

Ludlow also fined Walker $5,000 for the two third-degree felonies, a $1,000 fine for both Class B misdemeanors and $750 for the Class C misdemeanor.

The judge then suspended all but $1,665 that Walker must pay.

Once he’s released from prison, Walker – whose legal name is Timothy Tyler Andrew Walker – must serve 36 months of supervised probation, according to The Spectrum’s report. He’ll also have to undergo substance abuse testing while on probation.

Walker pled guilty to numerous charges in December, including third-degree felony failure to stop at the command of a police officer, third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor count of driving under the influence, a class B misdemeanor count of possession of paraphernalia and a class C misdemeanor possession of an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.

Walker led police on a chase that reached speeds of 150 mph through Nevada and Arizona before his car was disabled by stop sticks in Utah.

“The court cannot overlook or condone the fact that you put many lives in danger with your selfish and reckless actions,” Ludlow said in his ruling. “Everyone that was on I-15 — fellow motorists, yourself, your passenger, law enforcement — was at risk that day, and the court’s concern is that you were clearly on something. No one in their right frame of mind does that.”

Walker, who lives in Hermosa Beach, Calif., has been held without bond in the Purgatory Correctional Facility in St. George since March 16 after arriving 45 minutes late to his original sentencing hearing. Ludlow issued a warrant for Walker’s arrest and he was taken into custody when he finally arrived at the courthouse.

“The last two weeks have given me a lot of alone time to write out a lot of goals for me without distractions,” Walker told the judge. “It has given me a clarity on my life and where I’d like for it to go. I can succeed, and I’m going to work my butt off to do everything that you ask of me. I will never be late or show any disrespect again, and I apologize for that as well.”

A subsequent drug test while he was in custody found amphetamine salts and marijuana in Walker’s system, although he has a prescription for both in California, Walker’s attorney, Trevor D. Terry, told The Spectrum.

“I don’t think Tyler is out of the woods yet as far as his substance abuse,” Terry added. “I think he’s doing better. He needs treatment and the supervision and structure that probation will provide.”

But, Terry added to The Spectrum, “Tyler’s in a better spot than he was two years ago. He was living a pretty lavish lifestyle at the time. That is not the case anymore, and I think it’s for his benefit.”

Terry also told The Spectrum that Walker now works for his family’s company and drives “an old, beat-up Prius.”

Walker still faces additional charges in Arizona from the 2013 chase.

Walker competed in 28 NASCAR races before being suspended from competition in 2007 by the sanctioning body after failing a drug test.

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Daniel Hemric fastest in first Coca-Cola 600 practice

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CONCORD, N.C. — Daniel Hemric was fastest in the first Cup Series practice session for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.

Hemric posted a top speed of 182.791 mph around Charlotte Motor Speedway.

He was followed by Chase Elliott (182.340 mph), William Byron (182.211), Kyle Busch (182.168) and Jimmie Johnson (182.008).

Alex Bowman was seventh to put all four Hendrick Motorsports cars in the top 10.

Austin Dillon in eighth gave Chevrolet six cars in the top 10.

Landon Cassill recorded the most laps in the session with 37. He was 32nd on the speed chart.

Click here for the speed chart.

Shane Lee to drive for new Xfinity team with Circuit City sponsorship

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CONCORD, N.C. — Former Richard Childress Racing driver Shane Lee will compete for a new Xfinity Series team, H2 Motorsports, the team announced Thursday at Charlotte Motor speedway

Owned by 23-year-old entrepreneur and venture capitalist Matt Hurley, the team will be sponsored by Circuit City and will field Lee in the No. 28 Toyota with support from Toyota Racing Development. They’ll debut June 16 at Iowa Speedway with plans to compete for the rest of the season.

Circuit City, which is primarily an online store now, was notably a sponsor of Hut Stricklin from 1996-98 in the Cup Series.

“I grew up an avid race fan, my parents are from the Midwest and I’ve followed the sport very, very closely since I was a young kid,” Hurley said. “More recently felt like there was an opportunity to go into the sport and bring some of our invested brands back into the sport. I’ve really taken an interest in kind of trying to find a way in.

“We felt like now is the right time to enter the sport, to come in in a competitive way. … Felt like TRD was the right partner to help us do that in a competitive way.”

Lee, 25, competed in the Xfinity Series last year, making 13 starts in RCR’s No. 3 Chevrolet. His best result and only top five was a fourth-place finish at Kansas Speedway in October.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Lee said. “I met Matt at a couple races last year. We actually became pretty good friends and we weren’t really even working on a racing deal. Probably January or February we started talking about the race deal and wanting to get into racing. We sort of went from there and he got himself figured out and he really went down the line and hired some really good people.”

Lee will be paired with crew chief Pete Rondeau. Rondeau has 103 Cup races to his name, including as crew chief for Regan Smith’s 2011 Southern 500 win.

Rondeau also has one Xfinity Series win with Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Bristol in 2004.

“I’ve had a history of accepting challenges,” Rondeau said. “As we did with Furniture Row team, we worked hard and … it ended up flourishing into a championship-caliber team. To me this is no different right here. We have a good core group and I’m happy to work with them. It’s going to be fun and a whole lot of work at the same time.”

Gallery: Coca-Cola 600 patriotic paint schemes

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With Memorial Day weekend here, many NASCAR teams will be racing patriotic paint schemes in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Here’s a look at the unique schemes that will compete in NASCAR’s longest race.

All photos by Daniel McFadin.

Landon Cassill – No. 00 Chevrolet

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Ford

Ryan Newman – No. 6 Ford

Aric Almirola – No. 10 Ford

Ty Dillon – No. 13 Chevrolet

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – No. 17 Ford

William Byron – No. 24 Chevrolet

Corey LaJoie – No. 32 Ford

 

Michael McDowell – No. 34 Ford

Matt Tifft – No. 36 Ford

David Ragan – No. 36 Ford

Ryan Preece – No. 47 Chevrolet

Jimmie Johnson – No. 48 Chevrolet

Cody Ware – No. 51 Ford

Bayley Currey – No. 52 Ford

BJ McLeod – No. 53 Chevrolet

Alex Bowman – No. 88 Chevrolet

 

Kyle Larson wins Speed 51 Open kart race

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Kyle Larson kept his winning ways going Wednesday night when he won an Outlaw Kart race at Millbridge Speedway in Salisbury, North Carolina.

Four days after his win in the Monster Energy All-Star Race, Larson took the lead on Lap 2 of the 51-lap Speed 51 Open and led the rest of the way.

Larson held off Chase Majdic for the win, his second in the event.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver won despite losing his muffler in the middle of the race and having to replace his left side upper wing earlier in the night after a qualifying event.

Larson has a busy weekend ahead of him with World of Outlaws races at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Friday and Saturday night, the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, and the Word of Outlaws’ Memorial Day Classic at Lawrenceburg Speedway in Indiana on Monday.