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What drivers said after AAA 400 Drive For Autism at Dover

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Matt Kenseth – finished 1st: “It feels good to be (in victory lane). It always feels good to win. Dover has always been my favorite track. I made my first Cup start here many moons ago. It feels good to get one, and I feel like this is usually one of my better places, and it’s been a little bit of a struggle lately. It feels good to be here, for sure.”

Kyle Larson – finished 2nd: “We were really good. We were better than Matt (Kenseth) there. … I didn’t think I would catch (Kenseth), but I got another shot at him at the end and was trying to do all I could to pass him without getting into him. Matt, except for a couple of instances last year, he is probably the cleanest driver out here. I wanted to race him with all that respect and felt like I did a good job. I probably could have got into him in the middle of (Turns) 1 and 2 there once and maybe got by him, but I didn’t want to do that. Looking back, maybe I should have because I could be in the Chase right now, but we will just keep working hard.”

Chase Elliott – finished 3rd: “It was definitely wild from my view. If the fans didn’t get what they wanted to see today then they need to go do something else. That was a heck of a race, in my opinion. Obviously, wish we could have come out on top. Matt (Kenseth) and Kyle (Larson) were racing really hard for the lead. I tried to steal one from them. They were a little better than we were, but we worked hard and tried to stay in the ballgame today and fortunately came out with a decent finish, just not close enough.”

Kasey Kahne – finished 4th: “We had to work really hard. The pit crew did great on pit road. We passed a lot of cars there. The adjustments got the car better. We were real tight landing/loading and then over at the three-quarter mark, too. It was tough, but we got our Farmers Insurance Chevy better as the race went and then avoided the big wreck on the frontstretch and ended up with a top five.”

Kurt Busch – finished 5th: “It was a good top-five finish. I thought we could run down (Matt) Kenseth and (Kyle) Larson. It was great running with Chase Elliott. I just smacked the fence off of Turn 2 with about 15 (laps) to go. It was like I cashed in my chip and I’m like, ‘I’m going now,’ and I overstepped the limits of the car. I got tight. I induced that tight by driving it too hard and smacked the ol’ fence. The concrete always wins. The car always has to suffer. I let my guys down today.”

Brad Keselowski – finished 6th: “This was one of those Dover races I don’t think anybody will forget anytime soon. There was a lot of chaos, and we ran really well. Unfortunately, we got caught up running second and leading a lot of laps and tore up the car. I guess the car in front of me (Austin Dillon) had a flat tire, and it just happened all too quick for me to do anything. It knocked a lot of speed out of our Wurth Ford Fusion, but we were still very competitive. I am proud of my guys to recover to finish sixth at the end. We caught some breaks with that big wreck, which probably gave us five or six spots, and then we clawed from there. We restarted ninth and drove up to sixth. It was very respectable.”

Ryan Blaney – finished 8th: “It was a long day. We got better throughout the day. I don’t know what happened to us in that last run, we weren’t nearly as good as we were the runs before that. I was confident we would finish better than that, but we will have to look back and see what we changed and what happened. Not a bad day for us. It was a good solid run and hopefully we can start stringing together some of these good finishes. … It got wild there for a while, and there were a couple big wrecks. We missed the big one. I don’t know how we missed it but somehow we did. It was definitely a strange day and definitely a strange first Dover Cup race for me.”

Martin Truex Jr. – finished 9th: “At the beginning of the race, we were a fifth-, sixth-place car and just kept working on it and when we needed to be the best car, I think we were. Just one of those deals. Wrong place, wrong time (being involved in the multi-car wreck). Frustrating, but we got a top-10 out of it, so not too bad. The guys on pit road did a great job fixing it. Just hate that it happened. I wanted to be fourth on that restart, but I didn’t want to be fourth that bad. I should have been third so maybe I should have not let the 19 beat us off pit road. I don’t know how you can see those things coming. All in all good day, just bad finish.”

Trevor Bayne – finished 10th: “Sometimes, we haven’t felt like this season we got the finishes we deserved, and today we didn’t get a finish we deserved, but we will take it. The shoe was on the right foot today. It is nice to get a finish like that after not having a great weekend. We were really tight all day. That last run we were pretty fast at the end of it. We will learn from it, come back next time and count our blessings here and take a top 10 happily. I was on the edge of my seat out there for sure. It is a really grueling race track. You can’t let your guard down for a second, or it will bite you. We saw that in practice and saw that in the race. I am just glad to get out of here without any wounds.”

Paul Menard – finished 11th: “Yeah, it was a struggle. We just could not get going on restarts. After 20 laps we were pretty good. We got a little lucky with all the wrecked cars.”

Clint Bowyer – finished 12th: “Yeah, just crazy. It is what it is. I’m happy with the finish. We have got to get better. Definitely, we just keep gaining. We’ve got to keep doing what we are doing and keep persevering here and hopefully, we will be where we need to be and meet our goals at the end of the year.”

Rodney Childers, crew chief for Kevin Harvick – finished 15th: “We had a good car. We had driven from 20th back to fourth there before the caution. You had a couple of guys stay out and caused a big mess on the restart and got tore up. The guys did good on pit road to keep it out there and keep it going and at least get a decent finish out of it.”

Landon Cassill – finished 19th: “I feel really motivated right now to figure this car out. We have had good finishes and good runs without taking off yet. We are really motivated and communicating about what this car needs. I am excited about that. I am glad we got a 19th place finish because it keeps your attitude up while you keep your head down working on the car.”

Joey Logano – finished 22nd: “We couldn’t see (the big multi-car wreck). When you are stacked up on the restart like that there isn’t much to be able to see at all. Unfortunately, it looked like the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) had trouble getting going and it stacked us up. I tried checking up and going to the bottom like we were going to miss it and got hit from behind and that sent me into it more. We have been the victim of circumstances the last few weeks. It is what it is. I am not going to say it was bad luck. We put ourselves in position to be back there on our pit stop. It is our fault. We have to smarten up and get a little better at every little area. We had a decent car. We weren’t the fastest car, but we were a top-five car for sure. Things happen.”

Jimmie Johnson – finished 25th: “I got a great start in second gear. As I went to put it in third (gear) and came across the shifting gate it never went into third. It actually got locked in the neutral area of the transmission. I had plenty of time. Martin (Truex, Jr.) was plenty patient with me and I was trying to get third, and I couldn’t. I tried for fourth and third and fourth, and I finally got hit. Just a freak deal with something with the transmission. I’ve never had that happen to me in my career.”

Carl Edwards – finished 28th: “I didn’t see much. I was trying to give Kurt (Busch) a little room, it looked like he got choked up and as I looked at the replay it looked like I moved down a little and (Kyle) Larson got underneath me. I don’t think he meant to do it, but it surprised me. I didn’t know he was that close. We’ll just chalk it up to racing, but the hard part is we felt like we were going to win that million bucks for those kids, and I felt like we could win this race. It’s tough not to be out there.”

Greg Biffle – finished 29th: “I didn’t see anything. I just saw cars stopped in front of me and there was just no way we could stop. The spotter was telling me to go low, which I am not sure if that was the right move either. I don’t know if there is anything I could have done. I just tried to stop as quickly as I could. There was just no time to stop, I guess. (It’s) really frustrating. We had probably a top-12 car there and it was going to be a good day for us. It was the first time we had run this well in awhile.”

Kyle Busch – finished 30th: “We either missed something today or we had something break – just something wasn’t right. Got really, really, really evil there about lap 230 or lap 250, something like that, and I was having a real hard time holding onto it and even making laps. Just trying to check everything out and see if there was anything that was broke, but obviously now there’s a lot of things broke and hard to decipher what we can figure out and learn about what we might have had happen there today. Just a tough break.”

Aric Almirola – finished 31st: “It just stinks we all got stacked up like that. I banged up my hand. I think I may have a broken finger, it is pretty sore and swollen. We worked really hard to get back on the lead lap, and we were actually making a lot of progress it just took us all race to get back up on that lead lap. I hate that our day is going to turn out like that. That is a shame. Then to make matters worse I think I have a broken pinky finger. That isn’t very many is it?”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – finished 32nd: “They started wrecking way up in front of us. I couldn’t really tell what was going on. I got to the outside and thought we had missed (the wreck), but the No. 13 (Casey Mears) came up the track, he got collected in it.”

Austin Dillon – finished 33rd: “I think it was the brakes. I was complaining about them before that, having to pump them up. I am just frustrated. Had the same issue at Bristol, and we come here and we have another issue with the brakes. I’m frustrated, but we had a good car. Our Chevrolet was fast, and we had good shot of running top 10, top five depending on track position. We will just have to get them next week.”

Tony Stewart – finished 34th: “Well, the track bar broke, and the back of the car flops back and forth. I don’t know what more there is to say about that. It just broke. … We had been fighting, the car was acting weird for the last 80 to 100 laps. I’m sure it was already starting to break, and it finally just broke the rest of the way.”

Matt DiBenedetto – finished 40th: “(The wreck) kind of came out of the blue. We had a decent car and were running OK, and then it drove off into (turn) one. Either something broke or it blew a right front. We’re not really sure. I hate it for my guys. They worked hard. We changed everything going into the race, it’s unfortunate. Thank you to Cosmo Motors, the whole team at BK Racing. I’m always grateful for the opportunity and we’ll go get them next week.”

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Zane Smith joins GMS Racing for full-time Truck Series ride

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Zane Smith will compete full-time for GMS Racing in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series next year, the team announced Tuesday.

Smith, 20, joins the team after competing part-time with JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series this year, where his best result in 10 races was fifth twice.

He will be GMS Racing’s fourth full-time entry next year, joining Brett Moffitt, Sheldon Creed and Tyler Ankrum. Sam Mayer will compete part-time.

Smith will have veteran Kevin “Bono” Manion as his crew chief.

“When I got the offer from Mike Beam asking me to run a truck full-time for GMS Racing, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity,” Smith said in a press release. “GMS is a championship-caliber team and to be a part of an organization like theirs is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m looking forward to working with Manion again. He has a lot of experience and I know we will be a great team.”

Manion, who has 24 wins across all three national NASCAR series since 2003, joins GMS Racing after serving as a crew chief for DGR-Crosley in 2019, including working with Rookie of the Year Tyler Ankrum. Manion was crew chief for Smith in 2018 when he made his Truck Series debut at Gateway and finished fifth.

“I am really excited to join GMS Racing and Zane (Smith) for the 2020 season,” Manion said in a press release. “With GMS Racing’s championship caliber equipment and Chevrolet support, we have all the resources to win some races and be in the hunt for the 2020 Championship. I got the opportunity to crew chief Zane (Smith) in his first Gander Trucks start in 2018 at Gateway and we worked really well together. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish next season.”

Sponsorship and an assigned truck number for Smith will be announced at a later date.

Penalty report from Homestead-Miami Speedway

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NASCAR issued four fines and one suspension for lug nut violations during its championship weekend in Miami.

Cup Series

Mike Wheeler, crew crew chief on Matt DiBenedetto‘s No. 95 Toyota, was fined $10,000 for one unsecured lug nut.

Xfinity Series

Mike Shiplett, crew chief on Cole Custer‘s No. 00 Ford, was fined $5,000 for an unsecured lug nut.

Truck Series

Steve Lane, the owner of On Point Motorsports and crew chief on Danny Bohn‘s No. 30 Toyota, was fined $5,000 and suspended one points race for two unsecured lug nuts. The No. 30 truck competed part-time this season and made 16 starts. NBC Sports has asked the team if it will appeal the suspension.

Trip Bruce III, crew chief on Stewart Friesen‘s No. 52 Chevrolet, was fined $2,500 for one unsecured lug nut.

Other

NASCAR issued an indefinite suspension to Jeffrey Schmidt for violating its substance abuse policy.

Truck Series gets minor name change for 2020

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Four days after the end of the Gander Outdoors Truck Series season, NASCAR announced the series will receive a minor name change for the 2020 season.

The series will be called the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series when the season starts in February at Daytona International Speedway.

This is the second name change for the series in two years.

This season saw the name change from the Camping World Truck Series, which had been the title from 2009-2018.

Gander Outdoors and Camping World are owned by the same company.

Next year will also see a different name for the Cup Series. With the series going to a new sponsorship model, it will simply be called the NASCAR Cup Series.

Silly Season Scorecard: Post-Miami edition

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NASCAR’s championship weekend in Miami has come and gone and with it came a flurry of driver announcements from teams about the 2020 racing season.

Among them was the news that Cole Custer is being promoted by Stewart-Haas Racing to the Cup Series, where he will take over the No. 41 Ford driven by Daniel Suarez this year.

Here’s a look at all the official driver announcements made so far for next season.

OPEN RIDES ANNOUNCED FOR 2020

No. 38: Front Row Motorsports must replace David Ragan, who stated Aug. 14 that 2019 would be his final season running a full schedule.

No. 36: Front Row Motorsports announced Nov. 13 it was parting ways with Matt Tifft so he could focus on his health following his seizure at Martinsville in March. Tifft said he could not commit to racing in 2020.

ANNOUNCED CUP RIDES FOR 2020

No. 1: Chip Ganassi Racing announced on Nov. 1 a multi-year extension with Kurt Busch.

No. 6: Roush Fenway Racing announced Oct. 30 that Ryan Newman would return to the car as part of the news that Oscar Mayer would sponsor the No. 6 through 2021.

No. 8: Richard Childress Racing made it official Oct. 2 that Tyler Reddick will move to Cup in 2020 and drive the No. 8 car.

No. 10: Aric Almirola confirmed Oct. 11 he signed an extension to race for Stewart-Haas Racing.

No. 13: Ty Dillon posted a video Sept. 6 on Instagram refuting rumors that he would retire after this season. He has a contract with Germain Racing through 2020.

No. 14: Clint Bowyer was announced Oct. 17 as returning to Stewart-Haas Racing for a fourth season.

No. 17: Chris Buescher will take over the Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 ride in 2020 after the team announced Sept. 25 that it would part ways with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. after this season.

No. 20: Joe Gibbs Racing announced Sept. 6 that it had signed Erik Jones to an extension. It is a one-year extension for the 2020 season.

No. 21: Matt DiBenedetto replaces Paul Menard at Wood Brothers Racing (announcement made Sept. 10). DiBenedetto’s deal is for 2020 only.

No. 41: Stewart-Haas Racing announced Nov. 15 Cole Custer will replace Daniel Suarez.

No. 95: Christopher Bell moves to Cup in 2020 and will drive for Leavine Family Racing (announcement made Sept. 24).

JTG Daugherty Racing: It was announced Oct. 16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will join Ryan Preece at the two-car team, essentially swapping seats with Chris Buescher. The team said that an announcement on car number and sponsor would come later.

Rick Ware Racing: JJ Yeley will drive one of the team’s three full-time rides.

AMONG THOSE YET TO ANNOUNCE DEALS FOR 2020

Daniel Suarez — The driver revealed Nov. 14  he would not return to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2020 after one season driving the No. 41.

Corey LaJoie – The driver hasn’t announced his plans for 2020, but he said in October he and Go Fas Racing were “working toward” him returning to the No. 32 Ford. The team announced on Nov. 1 it would enter a technical alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing next year and that “2020 driver negotiations are still ongoing.”

Xfinity Series 

Ross Chastain – Kaulig Racing announced Oct. 15 he would compete full-time for the team in 2020 driving the No. 10 Chevrolet, joining Justin Haley.

Joe Gibbs Racing — Announced Oct. 17 Harrison Burton will drive its No. 20 Toyota full-time in 2020. Announced Oct. 31 Brandon Jones would return for a third year in the No. 19. Revealed Nov. 5 it would field a third full-time entry with Riley Herbst in the No. 18.

JR MotorsportsJustin Allgaier will return to the team for a fifth year in the No. 7 Chevrolet. The No. 8 car will be driven by Daniel Hemric for 21 races, Jeb Burton 11 races and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for one race. Noah Gragson will also return for a second season in the No. 9 car, while Michael Annett returns for a fourth year with the team in the No. 1 car.

Richard Childress Racing — Has not announced its driver plans for 2020, but Richard Childress said after Tyler Reddick claimed the Xfinity title that it would field a full-time entry.

Stewart-Haas Racing – The team has not announced plans for the No. 00 Ford with Cole Custer moving to Cup or whether Chase Briscoe will return to the No. 98.

JD MotorsportsJesse Little will compete full-time for the team.

Truck Series

GMS RacingDriver lineup will include Brett Moffitt, Sam Mayer, Sheldon Creed and Tyler Ankrum

Kyle Busch MotorsportsRaphael Lessard will drive the No. 4 full-time while Christian Eckes will drive the No. 18 full-time.

Hattori Racing EnterprisesAustin Hill will return to the No. 16 Toyota for a second year.

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