Dale Jr. Foundation’s ‘Driven to Give Gloves’ program returns

(Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
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The Dale Jr. Foundation has announced that its “Driven to Give Gloves” program is returning after debuting last season and raising $97,000.

The program teams with the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, to raise awareness and funds for the hospital’s clinical and research programs. In 2016, the focus will be on four of the hospital’s Patient Champions through four different colored race gloves Earnhardt will wear and auction during the NASCAR season. The color of the gloves – with their skeleton-themed design – will be inspired by illnesses suffered by the Patient Champions.

The four Patient Champions will be present at the July 9 Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway.

“The Driven to Give Gloves program was very successful for The Foundation last year,” Earnhardt said in a press release. “I’m looking forward to doing it again with a little different format in 2016. We’re teaming up with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to represent four Patient Champions that we will have coming to Kentucky Speedway in July. Nationwide’s commitment to our team and our Foundation is very gratifying and means a lot to everyone involved.”

This year’s campaign begins in April and Earnhardt will change glove colors in May, July and November.

“Last year we brought out the ‘Driven to Give Gloves’ program as an initiative to help spread the word about The Foundation and its mission,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports and vice-president of TDJF in the release. “It was very successful in doing that and highlighting Patient Champions from Nationwide Children’s Hospital sharpens our focus on helping children in need. This program also allows us to help further Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s pioneering work in pediatric medicine.”

Here is the complete list of glove colors to be worn by Earnhardt and the Patient Champions the TDJF will aid in 2016:

April – Blue Gloves (Autism); 8-year-old Aiden Vanwagner: Aiden was diagnosed with Autism at an early age but under the care of Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Aiden has received individualized and comprehensive interventions and is enjoying school in a mainstream classroom. Researchers at Nationwide Children’s have many active research projects underway to determine causes and effective new treatments for autism.

May – Lavender Gloves (Pediatric Cancer); 15-year-old Grant Reed: On May 7, 2012, Grant was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, a brain tumor in the back of the head near the brain stem. The tumor was removed three days later but through the removal he developed a syndrome that left him with severe complications and he was admitted to the inpatient rehabilitation unit at Nationwide Children’s where he regained control of his speech and physical abilities. An avid NASCAR fan, Grant loves following the sport and his father has a history of working in the industry.

July – Gold Gloves (Hearing Impairment); 11-year-old Tarissa Suchecki: Tarissa was born more than two months premature and suffered from complications. She spent the first seven months of her life at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. One of her complications was profound hearing loss. Despite many challenges, Tarissa has grown into a beautiful young lady who enjoys fourth grade and pageant competitions. Nationwide Children’s Hospital is home to America’s largest neonatal care network and research center.

November – Gray Gloves (Diabetes); 11-year-old Dalton Miller: In December 2012, Dalton was diagnosed with Type I diabetes but that has not stopped him from being a very active young man.  He works closely with his clinical team to manage his condition carefully letting him live a normal life.  He is very aware of his illness and constant monitoring of his food and beverages has helped him learn his math skills.

AJ Allmendinger to return to NASCAR Cup Series in 2023

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AJ Allmendinger is getting another shot at success in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Kaulig Racing announced Wednesday that Allmendinger, currently chasing the Xfinity Series championship, will drive full-time in Kaulig entries in the Cup Series next season.

Allmendinger raced in Cup from 2007 to 2018 but won only one time — at Watkins Glen International — across those years. He moved to the Xfinity Series part-time with Kaulig in 2019, winning on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. He won twice in 2020 and five times in 2021 and is a favorite to win the Xfinity championship this year. He has won four Xfinity races this season, including last Sunday at Talladega.

MORE: Hailie Deegan to make Xfinity debut at Las Vegas

Allmendinger, 40, will drive Kaulig’s No. 16 car in Cup next year. Justin Haley will drive the team’s No. 31.

Chandler Smith will replace Allmendinger in the Xfinity Series next year.

“It’s crazy how the last five years of my life have gone,” Allmendinger said. “More than anything, I love this organization. I know the fans get tired of me talking about all the men and women of Kaulig Racing. This is not a race team. This is a huge family.

“There will be tough times and growing pains, for sure. But I love what they’re about, and they believe in me. I’ll be OK whether it’s good or bad.”

MORE: Chase Elliott atop NASCAR Power Rankings

Team owner Matt Kaulig said Allmendinger is “one of the best in the world at every type of track. He’s done so much for Kaulig Racing and our program. He’s a gigantic part of what we’re building.”

Team officials said Allmendinger has a multi-year contract.

 

 

 

 

 

NASCAR viewer’s guide for Charlotte Roval

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Sunday provides a final chance for drivers to advance to the Round of 8 and keep their Cup championship hopes alive.

Talladega winner Chase Elliott is the only driver who has advanced to the next round. That leaves seven spots available going into Sunday’s race at the Charlotte Roval (2 p.m. ET on NBC).

Chase Briscoe holds the final transfer spot by a tiebreaker over Austin Cindric. At least for now.

William Byron is 11 points behind both drivers, but Hendrick Motorsports will appeal Byron’s 25-point penalty from Texas on Thursday. Should Hendrick win and Byron get those points back, he would move into a transfer spot.

There’s just part of what to watch for in Sunday’s race.

Favorites to be No. 20

This season remains tied for the most different winners in series history at 19, but there are a few candidates who could become the 20th different winner this year on Sunday.

Among the favorites to do so:

Ryan Blaney, who came close to winning last week at Talladega, won the inaugural Cup race at the Roval in 2018.

Martin Truex Jr., who has four career Cup wins on road courses, still seeks his first victory of the season.

Michael McDowell, who is coming off a third-place finish at Talladega, has had a career-high 12 top-10 finishes this season, including top 10s in each of the last four road course events this year.

Will history repeat?

Last year, the four drivers eliminated after the Roval were Kevin Harvick, Alex Bowman, Christopher Bell and William Byron.

Harvick was eliminated in the first round this year, but Byron (-11 to the cutline) and Bell (-33) are in jeopardy of being eliminated in this round again. Bowman stated Tuesday that he will miss his second consecutive race because of continued concussion symptoms. He will be among the four eliminated from title contention.

Bowman missed last weekend’s race because of concussion-like symptoms suffered at Texas. A decision on if he’ll be able to race at the Roval will come later this week.

Will chaos continue?

Consider what some of the former Roval winners have endured on their way to the checkered flag:

In 2019, Chase Elliott drove into the Turn 1 wall on a restart while the leader. He recovered to win.

In 2020, Elliott overcame a loose wheel to win for the second year in a row.

In 2021, Kyle Larson won after his team changed batteries and put the alternator belt back on.

Could a similar fate be in store for this year’s winner? Or will they have a cleaner day?

Entry lists

Thirty-nine drivers are entered including IndyCar driver Conor Daly, former Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat, former 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller and former 24 Hours of Daytona winner Joey Hand. JJ Yeley will drive the No. 51 for Cody Ware, who stated that he would skip this event because of his ankle injury at Texas the footwork needed on a road course.

Charlotte Roval Cup entry list

The Xfinity entry list includes 41 drivers for 38 spots. Among those joining the series regulars are IndyCar driver Marco Andretti and former F1 driver Daniil Kvyat.

Charlotte Roval Xfinity entry list

This week’s schedule and forecast

(All times Eastern)

Saturday, Oct. 8

Forecast: Partly cloudy with a high of 66 degrees. No chance of rain during the Xfinity race.

  • 10 – 10:30 a.m. — Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)
  • 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. — Xfinity qualifying (NBC Sports App)
  • 12 – 1 p.m. — Cup practice (NBC Sports App, USA Network coverage begins at 12:30 p.m.)
  • 1 – 2 p.m. — Cup qualifying (USA Network, NBC Sports App)
  • 3 p.m. — Xfinity race (67 laps, 155.44 miles; NBC, Peacock, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, Oct. 9

Forecast: Sunny with a high of 64 degrees. No chance of rain during the race.

  • 2 p.m. — Cup race (109 laps, 252.88 miles; NBC, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

 

Hailie Deegan to make Xfinity debut at Las Vegas

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Hailie Deegan announced Tuesday that she will make her Xfinity Series debut Oct. 15 Las Vegas Motor Speedway on NBC and Peacock.

The 21-year-old Deegan is in her second full-time season in the Camping World Truck Series. She finished a career-high sixth in that series last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

She will drive the No. 07 car for SS Green Light Racing with Jeff Lefcourt.

 

 

Alex Bowman to miss Charlotte Roval race

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Alex Bowman announced Tuesday night on social media that he will sit out this weekend’s Cup playoff race at the Charlotte Roval.

Bowman said on social media: “I am continuing to make strides in my recovery to make sure I can return to competition at 100%.”

This will be the second consecutive race he will have missed because of concussion-like symptoms after his crash at Texas Motor Speedway.

Noah Gragson will drive the No. 48 car this weekend for Bowman.

“Alex’s health is our first priority,” said Jeff Andrews, president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports, in a statement. “We’re focused on supporting his recovery and seeing him back in his race car when the time is right. Alex has a long career ahead of him, so we will invest the necessary time and take our guidance from medical experts. We’re putting no pressure on him to return before he’s 100% ready.”

Bowman will be one of the four drivers eliminated from title contention Sunday.

Also Tuesday, Cody Ware announced that he will sit out this weekend’s Cup race at the Charlotte Roval, as he continues to recover from the ankle injury he suffered at Texas.