Kyle Busch not thrilled with Brad Keselowski’s blog post about the two of them

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Kyle Busch is not a fan of Brad Keselowski’s writing.

Already, the two drivers have had their run-ins on the track and don’t proclaim to be friends off it. Last month, Keselowski wrote on his website how much he missed racing Busch since Busch’s injury and how the two have “never had much of a relationship at all. I’m not sure why, and quite honestly, I wish things were different.’’

Busch, in his first press conference since suffering a broken right leg and left foot nearly two months ago in a crash at Daytona International Speedway, was asked about Keselowski’s story Wednesday.

“For when it came out, it was probably poor, but it was based off him missing me essentially and me not being out there on the race track with him making stories … so he made a story about us off the race track,’’ Busch said. “So that’s why I say I think the timing was bad.’’

Keselowski wrote about two early experiences with Busch that shaped future interactions.

Keselowski recalled his first encounter with Busch in Aug. 2001 at a Camping World Truck Series event at what was Indianapolis Raceway Park. Their haulers were parked beside each other.

Here’s how Keselowski detailed that first meeting:

“I walked out of our hauler, and right there before me was Kyle, sitting just outside his. No one else was around.

“I remember looking at him and being stone cold jealous. Still, I tried to tell myself to be the bigger person. It wasn’t easy. Finally, I walked over to him and said, “Hello.”

He looked at me, gave me kind of a stare, and never said a word. So I walked away.

“It was one of the first times I’d ever tried to be bigger than my own jealousy and disappointment. Kyle had wound up feeding both, and he definitely didn’t know it. In fact, he probably doesn’t remember that exchange at all. But it actually affected me quite a bit.

“I wasn’t a mature 17-year-old, and I was still really struggling with my lack of success and opportunities. It was the first time I’d ever tried to put myself out there with another driver like that, and in my mind, I’d gotten burned.’’

Busch said Keselowski is correct about one thing from that scene.

“I don’t recollect one bit – not one percent of that,’’ Busch said Wednesday. “Why would I be sitting at the back of my hauler the first time somebody comes up to me and says hello and I just ignore them? That doesn’t make any sense to me, especially me being a 16-year-old kid just getting into the sport. Whether that was before or after qualifying when I just wadded up my truck and had to start at the back in a backup truck at IRP, I don’t know. It might have just been after (owner) Jack Roush chewed my rear off, so again I don’t recollect that.’’

Keselowski wrote about a second meeting with Busch that impacted him. It was at Bristol Motor Speedway in Aug. 2006 during a Truck event.

Keselowski wrote:

“I was running in practice, and Kyle was really fast. So I went up to Kyle, who was sitting on the pit wall, and asked for some advice in between practice sessions. I honestly don’t even remember what I wanted to know — probably something about the track that a more experienced driver could impart to a less experienced one. Whatever I asked, he gave me a one word answer — something like, “Yeah” — and turned his back. That was it.’’

Busch said he recalled that exchange and that Keselowski accurately described what happened.

“It was weekly making an ass of himself of wrecking people and being an idiot, so I had no respect for him so I didn’t want to talk to him,’’ Busch said.

At the end of his blog post, Keselowski wrote:

“One day, I imagine both of us will kind of open our eyes, and realize that there’s really no need for everything that has and hasn’t happened between the two of us. I’ve had moments where I’ve been jealous of him. Maybe he’s had the same kinds of moments about me — I don’t know. But hopefully, one day, we’ll be able to get along. When it comes to racing, it seems like we have too much in common not to. I just have to believe that eventually, we’ll get past everything that we’ve been through, and get to someplace better.

“I’m looking for ways to get there. Maybe this is one of them.’’

 

Carson Hocevar to run full Truck schedule in 2021

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Niece Motorsports has signed Carson Hocevar to run the full NASCAR Truck schedule in 2021, the team announced Thursday.

Hocevar, who turns 18 in January, has run five races for the team this season. His best finish this year is 12th at Dover. He’s scheduled to run at Martinsville on Oct. 30.

“I’m so excited to get the opportunity to race fulltime next year with the Niece Motorsports group,” said Hocevar in a statement. “We’ve had some really strong runs in the few starts that we’ve had this season and I am grateful for the chance to continue that next year. I’ve learned so much already this year and know that we will keep improving next year too.”

“Carson has really impressed us this season,” said team owner Al Niece in a statement. “He’s proven his talent – getting into the truck with no track time and really holding his own. We’re thrilled to have him with us fulltime next season and look forward to contending for wins together.”

TikTok to sponsor Ryan Vargas in six Xfinity races

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JD Motorsports
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TikTok is coming to NASCAR.

The popular video sharing app will break into the sport next month as a sponsor of Ryan Vargas in the Xfinity Series.

TikTok has partnered with JD Motorsports to sponsor the 20-year-old Vargas in the final six races of the season, beginning with the Oct. 3 race at Talladega Superspeedway.

“TikTok has provided me with an incredible outlet to reach new fans and demographics through fun and creative content, and I’ve seen the highest growth in followers on TikTok over my other social channels,” Vargas said in a press release. “The opportunity to run the No. 6 TikTok Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the rest of the season is an absolute dream come true. Johnny Davis and the whole JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team took a chance on me last year and I’m excited to bring this amazing TikTok partnership their way. I wouldn’t want to make this partnership a reality anywhere else.”

Vargas has made three Xfinity Series starts this year. His best finish was 13th at Pocono.

The sponsor deal is part of TikTok’s Latinx Heritage Month programming.

A native of La Mirada, California, Vargas joined TikTok last year. He is a former member of NASCAR’s Drive 4 Diversity programming and a winner of the Wendell Scott Trailblazer award, which is given to a minority or female driver who displays exceptional on-track performance, sportsmanship, and community service.

The partnership and paint scheme were inspired by a concept scheme by graphic designer Ryan Pistana, a friend of Vargas’.

“Creators of all sizes and backgrounds show up to TikTok with their genuine, authentic selves,” Nick Tran, TikTok’s Head of Global Marketing, said in a press release. “Partnering with an iconic brand like NASCAR to sponsor Ryan Vargas on his racing journey is a way for us to continue to support, celebrate and elevate the diverse creators that make our TikTok community what it is today. Ryan is an incredible athlete, and we’re looking forward to cheering him on alongside the rest of the TikTok community!”

According to CNBC in August, TikTok has roughly 100 million monthly users, up nearly 800% from January 2018.

TikTok, a Chinese-owned company, has been in national headlines recently after President Donald Trump threatened to ban the app in the United States for national security reasons if it was not sold to an American company. On Sept. 19 he approved a deal for its U.S operations to be operated by Oracle and Walmart.

Las Vegas weekend schedule

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NASCAR’s postseason continues with the Las Vegas weekend schedule, as the Cup Series begins the Round of 12.

In addition to Cup, Las Vegas Motor Speedway will host the Xfinity Series’ playoff opener and the second race of the Truck Series’ opening round.

More: Kevin Harvick on pole for Cup race

Here is the Las Vegas weekend schedule:

(All times Eastern)

Friday, Sept. 25

Noon – 2 p.m. ET – Truck Series haulers enter (screening and equipment unload)

2 p.m. – Truck Series garage opens

2 – 8 p.m. – Truck Series garage access screening in progress

2:30 – 3 p.m. – Truck Series rookie meeting (electronic communication)

5 p.m. – Xfinity rookie meeting (electronic communication)

5:30 p.m.  – Xfinity driver-crew chief meeting (electronic communication)

8:50 p.m. – Truck Series drivers report to vehicles

9 p.m.- Truck Series race; 134 laps/201 miles (FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

11:30 p.m. – Truck Series haulers exit

 

Saturday, Sept 26.

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Xfinity haulers enter (screening and equipment unload)

1 p.m. – Xfinity garage opens

1 – 6:30 p.m. – Xfinity garage access screening in progress

5 p.m. – Cup rookie meeting (electronic communication)

5:30 p.m. – Cup driver-crew chief meeting (electronic communication)

7:20 p.m. – Xfinity drivers report to cars

7:30 p.m. – Xfinity race; 200 laps/300 miles (NBCSN, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

9:30 p.m. – Xfinity haulers exit

10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. – Cup haulers enter

 

Sunday, Sept. 27

Noon – Cup garage opens

Noon – 6 p.m.  – Cup garage access screening in progress

6:50 p.m. – Cup drivers report to cars

7 p.m. – Cup race; 267 laps/400.5 miles (NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

11:30 p.m. – Cup haulers exit

NTSB releases final report on Dale Jr. plane crash

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Photo: Dustin Long
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Pilot error played a key role in the August 2019 crash of a plane carrying Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family, a final report by the National Transportation Safety Board stated Wednesday.

Earnhardt, wife Amy and daughter Isla were on board the plane, which crashed after a hard landing at Elizabethton (Tennessee) Municipal Airport on Aug. 15, 2019. The report stated all three suffered minor injuries. 

The NTSB listed the probable causes of the accident as: “The pilot’s continuation of an unstabilized approach despite recognizing associated cues and the flight crew’s decision not to initiate a go-around before touchdown, which resulted in a bounced landing, a loss of airplane control, a landing gear collapse, and a runway excursion. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to deploy the speedbrakes during the initial touchdown, which may have prevented the runway excursion, and the pilot’s attempt to go around after deployment of the thrust reversers.”

A “go-around” occurs when a pilot pulls out of a landing and gains altitude to make another landing attempt.

The report stated that “the flight crew made several comments about the airplane flying too fast and allowed the airspeed to increase well above the reference speed for the approach.”

The report stated that “the pilot did not extend the speedbrakes upon touchdown, which landing checklist required, but instead attempted to deploy the thrust reversers immediately after touchdown, which was a later item on the landing checklist.”

Earnhardt’s Cessna 680A Citation Latitude bounced twice upon landing as it traversed the 5,001-foot runaway.

After the fourth touchdown, the right main landing gear collapsed. The plane went off the road and through a 400-foot long area of grass. It went down an embankment, through a creek and a chain-link fence. It continued up an embankment. The plane came to rest about 600 feet beyond the runway at the edge of a four-lane highway.

The passengers and two pilots escaped as the plane burned.

The full report can be read here.