Denny Hamlin wins Xfinity Series’ ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway

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Denny Hamlin led all but two laps on his way to winning the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway for his 12th career Xfinity Series win.

Hamlin and his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota won from the pole, the fourth time he’s done so but the first time he’s done it away from Darlington Raceway.

“There’s not much you could complain about,” Hamlin said. “The car was flawless and this reminds me a lot of the night I had in Cup a few years ago where we led every lap but one I think and we had a flat tire with 15 laps to go. So it reminded me of that and we were just thinking about all the scenarios in your head of how you’re going to lose it, but luckily all the cautions fell the way we needed them to and we were able to get a victory.”

With Hamlin’s win, Toyota now has 100 in Xfinity Series since joining the series in 2007.

Hamlin also delivered Joe Gibbs Racing its 100th win in the Sprint Cup Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2012.

“It’s such a big weekend for everyone at Toyota and I didn’t know that they had 99 wins,” Hamlin said. “They told me before the race, ‘Hey, if things go well, it’s 100.’ I’m like, ‘Whoa, whoa. Don’t.’ I’m very superstitious when it comes to that kind of stuff. I didn’t know when it was 99 on the Cup side for JGR.”

Joey Logano finished second and was followed by Regan Smith, Erik Jones and Chase Elliott.

Friday’s win was Hamlin’s first in the Xfinity Series since winning at Richmond in 2011.

Logano started and came in second a week after leading every lap on the way to the win at Bristol Motor Speedway

“(Hamlin) was just so fast,” Logano said. “We had nothing for him. We had a second place Discount Tire Ford Mustang and that is right where we finished. We knew he was fast in practice and it transferred right over. I know what it is like to be on the other end of the butt whooping and it isn’t as much fun from this side.”

How Hamlin won: Hamlin started from the pole and only gave up the lead twice, edged by Brian Scott at the line on a mid-race restart, and Elliott Sadler led one lap during green flag pit stops.

Who else had a good day: Regan Smith was the highest finishing Xfinity regular, placing third after starting eighth. After a career best second-place finish last weekend at Bristol, Daniel Suarez followed it by finishing sixth at Richmond. Suarez stayed steady at 10th in the points standings.

Who had a bad day: Chris Buescher, who came into Friday’s race on top of the points standing, finished 20th, three laps down. He is now third, 11 points behind Ty Dillon and three points behind Chase Elliott. … Kevin Harvick’s stretch of 29 Xfinity Series races with a top-10 finish was snapped. Harvick finished in 18th, two laps down after his car experienced technical problems after a Lap 139 restart. His 29-race streak is second to Sam Ard’s stretch of 42 races from 1983-84.

Notables: Hamlin’s win was the 22nd straight at Richmond by a Sprint Cup regular and it was his third Xfinity win at the track. The victory was the seventh for the Toyota Camry in Xfinity competition at Richmond.

Quote of the Day: Joey Logano on winner Denny Hamlin: “He just toyed with me all night long. Now I know what it feels like to be on the other end of it after last weekend.”

What’s next: Winn-Dixie 300 on Saturday, May 2, at Talladega Superspeedway

Unofficial Results for ToyotaCare 250:

1. Denny Hamlin … 250 laps
2. Joey Logano … 250 laps
3. Regan Smith … 250 laps
4. Erik Jones … 250 laps
5. Chase Elliott … 250 laps
6. Daniel Suarez … 250 laps
7. Brian Scott … 250 laps
8. Austin Dillon … 250 laps
9. Ty Dillon … 249 laps
10. Landon Cassill … 249 laps
11. Brendan Gaughan … 249 laps
12. Darrell Wallace Jr. … 249 laps
13. Brennan Poole … 249 laps
14. Jeremy Clements … 249 laps
15. Aric Almirola … 249 laps
16. Elliott Sadler … 249 laps
17. Ross Chastain … 248 laps
18. Kevin Harvick … 248 laps
19. J.J. Yeley … 248 laps
20. Chris Buescher … 247 laps
21. Ryan Reed … 247 laps
22. Harrison Rhodes … 246 laps
23. Mike Bliss … 246 laps
24. Blake Koch … 246 laps
25. Cale Conley… 246 laps
26. Joey Gase … 246 laps
27. Dakoda Armstrong … 246 laps
28. Dylan Lupton … 246 laps
29. David Starr … 245 laps
30. Branadon Gdovic … 245 laps
31. Ryan Sieg … 244 laps
32. Peyton Sellers … 241 laps
33. Jimmy Weller …  240 laps
34. Carlos Contreras … 238 laps
35. Derrike Cope … 234 laps
36. Eric McClure … 205 laps
37. Carl Long … 43 laps
38. Timmy Hill … 31 laps
39. Mike Harmon … 3 laps
40. Jeff Green … 2 laps

Time of Race: 1 Hour, 50 Minutes and 47 Seconds

Average Speed:  101.550 mph

Margin of Victory: 3.719 seconds

Caution Flags: 3 for 24 laps

Lead changes: 4 among 3 drivers

NASCAR America presents MotorMouths at 5 p.m. ET with David Hoots

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This week’s episode of NASCAR America present MotorMouths airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Rutledge Wood and Dale Jarrett are joined by former NASCAR race director Dave Hoots. They’ll discuss this week’s storylines and take fan phone calls. Call in at 844-NASCAR-NBC or reach out on Twitter at #LetMeSayThis.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch 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.

Xfinity Series 2020 race fields cut, most Cup drivers limited to 5 starts

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The 2020 season will have a slightly different look in both the Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series, NASCAR announced Wednesday.

Among the more notable changes: reduction in Xfinity Series race fields, as well as a decrease in the number of Xfinity races that full-time Cup drivers with more than three years of experience can compete in.

Also unveiled were the 2020 Dash 4 Cash and Triple Truck Challenge race dates and tracks.

Here’s the breakdown:

XFINITY SERIES:

* The starting field for each race will be cut to 36 cars (from 38 currently).

* The field will be set with 31 starting positions based on qualifying, four provisional positions based on the rulebook and one past champion provisional.

* Drivers with more than three years of full-time NASCAR Cup experience will be limited to a maximum of just five starts (down from seven currently). Those five starts cannot include the final regular season race or the playoffs. The current maximum for 2019 is seven starts for Cup drivers with five years of full-time Cup experience.

* The Dash 4 Cash battle will have the qualifying race at Homestead-Miami (March 21, 2019), followed by the four Dash races: Texas (March 28), Bristol (April 4), Talladega (April 25) and Dover (May 2).

* Drivers electing to accumulate NASCAR Cup series points are ineligible to take part in the Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash.

TRUCK SERIES:

* Drivers with more than three years of full-time NASCAR Cup series experience will be allowed to make a maximum of just five starts (as is the case currently, although drivers must have five years of full-time Cup tenure). Those five starts cannot include the final regular season race or the playoffs.

* The Triple Truck Challenge, introduced this season, will continue. The three 2020 races will be at Richmond (April 18), Dover (May 1) and Charlotte (May 15).

* Drivers electing to accumulate NASCAR Cup or Xfinity Series points are ineligible to compete in the Triple Truck Challenge races and the championship race.

* Removed post entry driver and owner caveat. Greg Biffle, who made one start earlier this season for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the first challenge race and won, would have been prevented from being eligible for the second Truck Challenge race because of the current limitation of not being named on the initial race entry list, which will now be rescinded for 2020.

“These updates to the Xfinity Series and Gander Trucks procedures continue our commitment to strengthening our race teams and providing a stronger field with even greater competition for our fans,” Meghan Miley, NASCAR Senior Director of Racing Operations, said in a media release. “We’re excited about the return of the Dash 4 Cash in the Xfinity Series and the Triple Truck Challenge with the Gander Trucks.

“These programs provide our teams with an incredible performance-based bonus opportunity each season. By removing the entry deadline requirement for the Triple Truck Challenge, we ensure our teams and fans know immediately if a driver is eligible to race for additional bonuses.”

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2019-20 Drive for Diversity pit crew program class announced

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The next generation of pit crew members will begin training next month with Rev Racing as part of NASCAR’s Drive for Development Program.

Seven former college athletes have been chosen for the 2019-20 program.

The athletes were selected from a fitness assessment in May at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. The assessment tested their agility, strength and flexibility, with all participants learning the roles of different crew members during pit stop simulations.

The class will relocate to the Charlotte area for a six-month training program led by Phil Horton, Rev Racing’s director of athletic performance. All members will train to become tire changers, tire carriers and jackmen, “with hopes of one day earning a spot on a national series race team,” according to a news release.

The pit crew element is part of the overall Drive for Diversity program, which also provides opportunities for aspiring drivers. All programs are geared toward providing opportunities for women and minorities in the pursuit of careers within NASCAR. Since its inception, more than 100 individuals have graduated from the Drive for Diversity program, with more than 50 currently working within the sport..

“We look forward to welcoming this year’s class to NASCAR’s most comprehensive pit crew training and development program,” Rev Racing CEO Max Siegel said. “We couldn’t be prouder of the journey both our pit crew development program and graduates have taken from its inception.

“With the expansion of our recruiting efforts across the country, the talent level rises, and our program continues to evolve and create more opportunities for advancement at a higher level.”

The 2019-20 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development Program participants are:

Name Hometown University Primary Sport
Hadji Gaylord Norfolk, Va. Norfolk State University Football (Defensive End)
Robin Loza Charlotte, N.C. Central Piedmont Community College Football (Wide Receiver)
Maurice McKinnon Charlotte, N.C. Guilford College Football (Wide Receiver)
Dalanda Ouendeno Paris, France University of Miami Soccer (Defender)
Mequel Phillips Chester, Va. Virginia State University Football (Linebacker)
Raynard Revels Richmond, Va. Norfolk State University Football (Linebacker)
Alvin Wilson Lexington, Miss. Alcorn State University Football (Linebacker)

 

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Retro Rundown 2019: Paint schemes for the Southern 500

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We’re now under two weeks from the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (Sept. 1 on NBCSN), which will mark the fifth year of NASCAR’s official Throwback Weekend.

Here’s your guide to the retro paint schemes that have been announced so far for the weekend, including schemes for the Aug. 31 Xfinity Series race.

Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Ford – The Team Penske driver will race Rusty Wallace’s 1996 Cup Series scheme.

Austin Dillon, No. 3 Chevrolet – Dillon will boast a paint scheme that was driven by his grandfather and team owner Richard Childress in the late 1970s.

Ryan Newman, No. 6 Ford – With Oscar Mayer taking the place of Valvoline, Newman’s car will take its cue from the scheme Mark Martin raced in 1993, when he earned Roush Fenway Racing’s first Southern 500 victory.

Via Roush Fenway Racing

Daniel Hemric, No. 8 Chevrolet – Hemric will drive a car inspired by the design of CAT equipment and the logo used on them from its launch in 1925 until 1931.

Chase Elliott, No. 9 Chevrolet – Elliott will boast the scheme his father, Bill Elliott, claimed his first Cup pole with in 1981 at Darlington.

Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota – Hamlin’s car will evoke Darrell Waltrip’s Western Auto paint scheme from the 1990s.

Joe Gibbs Racing

Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Ford – The Team Penske driver will have a scheme inspired by Michael Waltrip’s Pennzoil car from 1991-95.

Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Toyota – The Joe Gibbs Racing driver will throwback to himself with the Bass Pro Shops paint scheme he drove during his 2004 Xfinity Series championship campaign. That year he drove for Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s Chance 2 Motorsports.

Erik Jones, No. 20 Toyota – To mark his 100th Cup Series start, Jones will boast a scheme based on his rookie late model car.

Paul Menard, No. 21 Ford – Wood Brothers Racing will pay tribute to late team founder Glen Wood with the paint scheme Wood drove himself in 1957, including in his only appearance as a driver at Darlington.

William Byron, No. 24 Chevrolet – Byron will drive one of Cole Trickle’s paint schemes from the 1990 Tom Cruise movie “Days of Thunder.”

Corey LaJoie, No. 32 Ford – GoFas Racing’s car will be based on Dale Jarrett’s 1990-91 Nestle Crunch sponsored Xfinity car.

Michael McDowell, No. 34 Ford – The Front Row Motorsports driver will have a paint scheme that pays homage to the career of long-time owner and driver Jimmy Means, who was once partnered with FRM owner Bob Jenkins.

Front Row Motorsports

David Ragan, No. 38 Ford – The Front Row Motorsports driver will drive a scheme inspired by David Pearson’s 1969 championship car.

Screenshot

Bubba Wallace, No. 43 Chevrolet – Wallace’s car will be a tribute to the late Adam Petty and his 1998 ARCA win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Richard Petty Motorsports

Ryan Preece, No. 47 Chevrolet – Preece will have a tribute to modified racing legend Ron Bouchard. The scheme is based on the No. 47 Majik Market/Hawaiian Punch car Bouchard drove at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway in 1984.

Alex Bowman, No. 88 Chevrolet – Bowman’s Axalta-sponsored car is inspired by Tim Richmond‘s Folger’s Coffee scheme from 1986-87.

Stewart-Haas Racing – In celebration of co-owner Tony Stewart’s election to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, three SHR drivers will have paint schemes based on the cars Stewart raced to his three Cup Series titles. Aric Almirola‘s No. 10 Ford will be based on Stewart’s 2002 car, Daniel Suarez‘s No. 41 Ford will be based on the 2005 season and Clint Bowyer‘s No. 14 Ford will look like the car Stewart drove to his 2011 title.

Xfinity Series

Michael Annett, No. 1 Chevrolet – The JR Motorsports driver will channel Jeff Gordon circa the 1992 Xfinity Series season with Gordon’s Baby Ruth paint scheme when he drove for Bill Davis Racing.

Via JR Motorsports

BJ McLeod, No. 4 Chevrolet – McLeod’s car is designed after the No. 44 Slim Jim car Bobby Labonte drove in the Xfinity Series in 1992.

Justin Allgaier, No. 7 Chevrolet – Allgaier’s scheme will be based on the No. 90 Truxmore Chevrolet Ricky Rudd drove in the 1979 season.

JR Motorsports

Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Chevrolet – Earnhardt will pilot the scheme his father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., drove in his first Cup start in the 1975 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Justin Haley, No. 11 Chevrolet – Kaulig Racing will boast Jeff Burton’s 1994 rookie Cup paint scheme with matching sponsorship from brake parts company Raybestos. It also serves as a tribute to team owner Matt Kaulig’s father and team chief financial officer, Bob Kaulig, who served as a vice president of Raybestos from 1985-2008.

Via Kaulig Racing

Denny Hamlin, No. 18 Toyota – Hamlin will have a scheme based on Bill Elliott’s No. 11 Budweiser car.

Joey Gase, No. 35 Toyota – Gase’s throwback is based on the 1997 Tabasco paint scheme raced by Todd Bodine.

Jeremy Clements, No. 51 Chevrolet – Like William Byron, Clements will pilot a “Days of Thunder” paint scheme. He’ll be using Rowdy Burns’ No. 51 Exxon scheme.

Brandon Brown, No. 86 Chevrolet – Brown’s scheme is inspired by Terry Labonte’s 1993 Kellogg’s Cornflakes scheme.

Chase Briscoe, No. 98 Ford – Briscoe will pilot a scheme based on the No. 98 Ford Parnelli Jones won the 1963 Indianapolis 500 with.

Stewart-Haas Racing

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