(Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Say cheeze! 2016 Sprint Cup driver portraits

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Tuesday was the Daytona 500 Media Day, which meant it was also Picture Day for NASCAR’s stars. Here’s a look at the drivers that will make up the 2016 field in their firesuits and with much better Picture Day haircuts than any of us ever had.

All pictures are courtesy of Getty Images.

AJ Allmendinger

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Aric Almirola

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been processed using digital filters.) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Aric Almirola poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Michael Annett

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Trevor Bayne

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Trevor Bayne poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Greg Biffle

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been processed using digital filters.) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Greg Biffle poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Ryan Blaney

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Clint Bowyer

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Kurt Busch

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Kyle Busch

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Chris Buescher

 

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Landon Cassill

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been processed using digital filters.) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Landon Cassill poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Matt DiBenedetto

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Austin Dillon

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Ty Dillon

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Jeffrey Earnhardt

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been processed using digital filters.) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeffrey Earnhardt poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Carl Edwards

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been processed using digital filters.) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Chase Elliott

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Denny Hamlin

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Kevin Harvick

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been processed using digital filters.) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Jimmie Johnson

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been processed using digital filters.) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Kasey Kahne

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Matt Kenseth

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Brad Keselowski

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been processed using digital filters.) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Kyle Larson

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Kyle Larson poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Joey Logano

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

 

Michael McDowell

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

 

Jamie McMurray

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been processed using digital filters.) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Casey Mears

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been processed using digital filters.) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Casey Mears poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Paul Menard

 

 

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been processed using digital filters.) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Paul Menard poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Ryan Newman

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

 

Danica Patrick

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been processed using digital filters.) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Danica Patrick poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

 

David Ragan

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

 

Brian Scott

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Regan Smith

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

 

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Martin Truex Jr.

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been processed using digital filters.) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Brian Vickers

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image has been processed using digital filters.) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Vickers poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Michael Waltrip

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

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

TikTok
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

NTSB
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.