NASCAR driver sidelined by medical condition says he’ll be back to race


CHINA GROVE, N.C. – Sidelined since he was diagnosed with diabetes more than a month ago, Jamie Dick vows that he’ll be back racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

“I have to get back, even if it is one time, just to say diabetes didn’t end my driving career,’’ Dick told NBC Sports on Tuesday at Viva Motorsports’ shop. “My driving career is going to end on my terms, what’s good for me and my family and my business, not what’s good for diabetes.

“Using diabetes as an excuse can’t start when I’m 26 because I don’t want it to be an excuse when I’m 36, 46 or 76.’’

Dick says he doesn’t have a timetable for his return because doctors are determining what type of diabetes he has and prescribing the proper amount of medicine. Once done, Dick said he’ll be back in the No. 55 Viva Motorsports car for the first time since racing March 14 at Phoenix International Raceway.


Dick visited his mother in New Mexico the week of the Phoenix race. As they talked, he mentioned how thirsty he had been lately. She said the next time he saw a doctor he should ask about it because that is a sign of diabetes.

Nothing more was thought of the conversation at that time.

Dick said it was a normal weekend at Phoenix. He was 25th in the first practice, 26th in the final session and qualified 28th for his second start of the season. He shared his ride early in the season with Jeffrey Earnhardt, who had sponsorship that helped the team Dick owns.

Dick said he felt fine in Phoenix until he started to tire early in the 200-lap race.

“It gradually just got worse and worse,’’ Dick told NBC Sports. “When you’re worried about being tired, you lose focus mentally and you start being mentally weak. I was just hoping the race would end as soon as it could.’’

Dick compared what he felt to what a tired motorist might feel.

“You’re driving late at night and sometimes you don’t remember the last exit you passed, you have lapses in your memory,’’ he said. “You weren’t asleep or anything but you’re not thinking about what you’re doing. It was similar to that. When you’re driving a race car, especially at the end of the race, you have to actively think about how you can change your driving to get the most out of your car. That changes sometimes every lap. I wasn’t doing that at all and going slower and slower and slower.’’

So why not get out of the car if he wasn’t feeling well?

“Because I’m a competitive person and we’re racing for points and money and all that stuff,’’ said Dick, who has 57 career Xfinity starts since 2011. “I still knew what I was doing as far as driving a race car. I wasn’t going to drive it into the wall. I didn’t feel like I was in any danger of blacking out. I wasn’t driving it competitively, but I also wasn’t in anyone’s way or going to wreck anyone or wreck myself.’’

When the race finished – Dick placed 28th, four laps behind the leaders – he recalled radioing his team for water and a cold rag. Dick climbed from the car unassisted but said he became dizzy and weak when he tried to stand on his own. Team members took him to the infield care center.

Dick’s temperature, heart rate and carbon monoxide levels were all within the acceptable range for a driver who had just competed. Further checks led to the discovery that his blood sugar was high. Diabetes was mentioned as a possible cause.

Dick’s thoughts turned to his conversation with his mother about being thirsty.


Dick went to a local hospital for further examination. He was taken to the emergency room and treated for dehydration. After checking his blood sugar, he was diagnosed with diabetes and admitted so he could be treated.

He admits his first thought was what would happen to his racing career.

“It’s a very good thing that Ryan Reed is around,’’ Dick said of the Roush Fenway Racing driver who has diabetes and won this year’s Xfinity opener at Daytona International Speedway.

“I would have had a question for a very long time can I race with diabetes, maybe for weeks, but luckily, because Ryan Reed is doing it, it is possible to race with diabetes. Then (the question) quickly became what are the steps to get back, not am I going to be able to get back.’’

Dick says he has to watch what he eats, which means less carbs and sugars. He must check his blood sugar before each meal and before he goes to bed. He gives himself shots in the stomach.

“They’re pretty small needles,’’ Dick said. “What actually hurts worse is pricking your finger to test your blood.’’

While he’s missed three starts since being diagnosed with diabetes – he was to have raced at Auto Club Speedway, Texas and Bristol – he admits the time out of the car has allowed him to focus more on building his race team. Earnhardt gave the team a season-best 15th-place finish at Bristol last weekend, and Brandon Gdovic, who placed 26th in his series debut earlier this month at Texas, will be in the car this weekend at Richmond International Raceway.

“In some ways, my diagnosis was a blessing for the racing team because it gave other people an opportunity and it allowed our race team to expand and flex its muscles and show what it can do with Jeffrey in the car and Brandon in the car,’’ Dick said.

Still, Dick wants to be back in the car. When he does, it will be as if nothing has changed.

“As soon as I’m able to get back into  a race car, which is hopefully very soon,’’ he said, “other than paying a little bit of attention to what I eat, I’m still living the same life and I’m still the same person as I was two months ago.’’


NASCAR suspends Chase Elliott one race for incident with Denny Hamlin

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NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one Cup race for wrecking Denny Hamlin in Monday’s Coca-Cola 600, the sanctioning body announced Tuesday.

“We take this very seriously,” Elton Sawyer, senior vice president of competition, said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “The incident that happened off Turn 4, again after looking at all the available resources — in-car camera, data, SMT, which basically gives us (a car’s) steering, throttle, gives us braking — it was an intentional act by Chase in our opinion.”

Hendrick Motorsports stated that it would not appeal the penalty. Corey LaJoie will drive the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway. Carson Hocevar will drive LaJoie’s car this weekend.

Hendrick Motorsports also stated that it would submit a waiver request for Elliott to remain eligible for the playoffs. Sawyer said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that “I don’t see any reason at this point in time why wouldn’t (grant the waiver) when that request comes across our desk.”

This weekend will mark the seventh race in the first 15 that Elliott will have missed. He missed six races after breaking his leg in a snowboarding accident in early March. Elliott, who is winless this season, is 29th in points.

Elliott and Hamlin got together shortly before the halfway mark in Monday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

As they ran together, Elliott’s car slapped the outside wall. Elliott’s car then made contact with the right rear of Hamlin’s car, sending Hamlin into the wall.

“I got right-rear hooked in the middle of the straightway,” Hamlin said after the incident. “Yes, it was a tantrum. He shouldn’t be racing next week. Right-rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. He shouldn’t be racing.”

Said Sawyer on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio: “In the heat of the battle, things happen, but they have to learn to react in a different way. … Our drivers need to understand that you have to handle that in a completely different way than hooking someone in the right rear and putting them in harm’s way, not only with just a major head-on collision like Denny had, but also other competitors.”

Sawyer also said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that “nothing gave us the indication that on that particular contact with the fourth-turn wall … that anything was broke” on Elliott’s car and could have caused him to come down and hit Hamlin’s car in the right rear.

NASCAR also announced that Scott Brzozowski and Adam Lewis, crew members on Michael McDowell‘s team, had each been suspended two races after McDowell’s car lost a tire in Monday’s race.

Winners and losers at Charlotte Motor Speedway


A look at winners and losers from Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway:


Ryan Blaney — Blaney stopped his winless streak at 59 races and gave team owner Roger Penske his second major race victory in two days. Blaney had the best car but had to fight through restarts late in the race to win.

William Byron — Byron, the winningest driver this season, barely missed getting victory No. 4. He finished second and scored his fifth straight top 10.

Martin Truex Jr. — Truex logged his third top five of the season.

23XI RacingBubba Wallace was fourth and Tyler Reddick fifth, giving 23XI Racing a pair of top-five finishes for the first time in a points race.


Jimmie Johnson — The seven-time champion admitted having problems adjusting to the Next Gen car on a 1.5-mile track. He crashed early and finished last.

Legacy Motor Club — It was a bad night for Jimmie Johnson and his team’s drivers. Johnson finished last in the 37-car field. Noah Gragson was 36th. Erik Jones placed 32nd.

Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin — Two drivers who had strong cars didn’t make it to the finish after crashing near the halfway point. Hamlin said Elliott “shouldn’t be racing next week. Right-rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. He shouldn’t be racing.”

NASCAR Xfinity Series results: Justin Allgaier wins at Charlotte


CONCORD, N.C. — Justin Allgaier finally broke through for his first win of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season Monday night.

Allgaier stretched his last fuel load over the final laps to finish in front of John Hunter Nemechek. Cole Custer was third, Austin Hill fourth and Ty Gibbs fifth. Gibbs ran both races Monday, completing 900 miles.

The win also was the first of the season for JR Motorsports.

Charlotte Xfinity results

Xfinity points after Charlotte

Justin Allgaier wins NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway


CONCORD, N.C. — Justin Allgaier won a fuel-mileage gamble to win Monday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Allgaier stretched his fuel to outlast second-place John Hunter Nemechek. Following in the top five were Cole Custer, Austin Hill and Ty Gibbs.

The victory was Allgaier’s first of the year and the first of the season for JR Motorsports. He has 20 career wins.

MORE: Charlotte Xfinity results

After a long day at CMS, the race ended at 11:25 p.m. The race started Monday morning but was stopped twice because of weather before it was halted with 48 of 200 laps completed so that the Coca-Cola 600 Cup Series race could be run.

When the race was stopped, Gibbs, Nemechek and Allgaier were in the top three positions.

Gibbs won the first two stages.

Stage 1 winner: Ty Gibbs

Stage 2 winner: Ty Gibbs

Who had a good race: Justin Allgaier has had good cars in previous races but finally cashed in with a win Monday. He led 83 laps. … John Hunter Nemechek, in second, scored his fifth top-two run of the season. … Cole Custer scored his sixth straight top-10 finish. … Ty Gibbs lasted 900 miles for the day and led 52 laps in the Xfinity race.

Who had a bad race: Sam Mayer was running 10th when he spun off Turn 2. He finished 35th. … Sheldon Creed finished three laps down in 28th.

Next: The series moves on to Portland International Raceway in Oregon for a 4:30 p.m. ET race June 3.