1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope has cool new sponsor for Daytona

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With Terry “the Iceman” being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Saturday, 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope is ready to become the Ice-Aid Man for the season-opening Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

Cope revealed exclusively to NASCAR Talk that his No. 70 Chevrolet Camaro will be sponsored by Ice-Aid in the Powershares QQQ 300 and several other races during the season.

According to a media release from Derrike Cope Racing, Ice-Aid – formerly known as Beer Frost – is “an environmentally safe, all-natural, mineral-based product that turns your cooler of ice into a freezer.”

“Elyshia (wife), myself, and DCR as a team are proud to represent Ice-Aid (formerly Beer Frost) at Daytona this year as our primary (sponsor) and as an associate throughout the 2016 race season.

“This is truly a one-of-a-kind product that will have longevity in this sport, I am certain. Daytona, of course, is one of my favorites, and we hope to have a very impressive presentation in the garage as well as a good effort on the track.”

In over 30 years of competition, Cope has made a combined 680 starts in NASCAR’s top three national series, including three wins, 41 top-10s, two poles and Rookie of the Year honors.

Cope also was inducted into the West Coast NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2013.

“As a small, American family business, it is important for us to partner with a team that shares in our vision and values, which Derrike Cope and his team do with our mutual mission of quality, creativity and enjoyment,” said Dave Chism, co- founder and CEO of Ice-Aid. “DCR is the perfect companion to share in the love of racing and create the best entertainment experience possible.”

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Daniel Hemric fastest in final practice; Kevin Harvick second

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Daniel Hemric turned the fastest lap Friday in the final Cup practice at Kansas Speedway, turning a 177.830 mph lap in his No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing.

Kevin Harvick was second followed by Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski (who paced the first practice) and Ryan Blaney.

Hemric has yet to announce a ride for 2020 after RCR announced last month that the rookie would be replaced by Tyler Reddick next season.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Suarez and Aric Almirola rounded out the top 10.

Here are the rankings speeds of the other playoff drivers: Denny Hamlin 12th; Alex Bowman 15th; Joey Logano 16th; Clint Bowyer 19th; Chase Elliott 20th; and William Byron 22nd.

Click here to see where things stand in the playoffs standings entering Sunday’s second-round cutoff race at Kansas.

Click here for speeds from the final practice at Kansas.

Click here for the speeds during the first Cup practice of the weekend at Kansas.

Ryan Preece praises team for its work after hauler fire

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Ryan Preece praised his team for converting teammate Chris Buescher’s backup car into Preece’s primary car Friday after the hauler carrying Preece’s cars and equipment caught fire this week en route to Kansas Speedway.

“I know some of the guys haven’t had much sleep, very proud of them,” Preece said.

The team’s hauler pulled over near New Columbia, Illinois, on Thursday after a fire in the rear axle area that spread to the hauler. A team spokesperson told NBC Sports that crew chief Eddie Pardue and a couple of team members flew there to take what could be salvaged before driving to Kansas City.

The team spokesperson said that the lockers and uniforms in the hauler were heavily damaged. Both cars had damage with the backup car suffering smoke damage.

NASCAR allowed JTG Daugherty Racing to enter the garage at 8 a.m. ET Friday — five hours before the garage was scheduled to open — and allowed members from both JTG Daugherty teams to work on the car. Preece said he was there with the team when it arrived and worked on the interior as the crew converted the car.

“We’re in it as a team,” Preece said. “I wasn’t going to show up later in the afternoon. I wanted them to know that I was right there with them. I wanted to help in every way I could.”

Preece said his car was loose in the first practice session Friday at Kansas Speedway. He was 32nd on the speed chart in that session, making it on track about 10 minutes after practice began.

Brad Keselowski fastest in first practice at Kansas; Kyle Busch makes big save

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Brad Keselowski turned the fastest lap with a minute remaining in Friday afternoon’s first Cup practice at Kansas Speedway.

The 176.499-mph lap by the No. 2 Ford of Team Penske nipped a 176.389 mph lap by the No. 10 Ford of Aric Almirola.

Daniel Suarez was third, followed by Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney. Kurt Busch, Paul Menard, Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick and Daniel Hemric rounded out the top 10.

Here’s how other playoff drivers fared during the practice:

Kyle Larson 11th; Joey Logano 13th; Clint Bowyer 15th; William Byron 20th; Alex Bowman 21st; Kyle Busch (who had an impressive save; video below) 22nd; Chase Elliott 23rd.

Click here to see where things stand in the playoffs standings entering Sunday’s second-round cutoff race at Kansas.

Click here for the speeds during the first Cup practice of the weekend at Kansas.

Gray Gaulding out Friday after suspected allergic reaction

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Stewart-Haas Racing plane made an unscheduled stop in St. Louis on Friday after Gray Gaulding had a suspected allergic reaction.

SS Green Light Racing confirmed Gaulding had an issue en route to Kansas City. A Stewart-Haas Racing spokesperson confirmed that its plane made the unscheduled stop, and that emergency personnel came on board after the plane landed. Gaulding remained in St. Louis while the plane continued to Kansas City.

SS Green Light Racing stated that after arriving at the track, Gaulding went to the infield care center and was not cleared to drive Friday. Gaulding will be re-evaluated Saturday. J.J. Yeley drove the car for Gaulding in practice Friday.