More details emerge in beating of Mike Wallace, including 911 audio tapes

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The youngest of three men arrested in the beating of Mike Wallace and his family struck Wallace in the face, while the oldest of the trio kicked Wallace’s daughter, according to court records.

Also Tuesday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police released audio tapes of three 911 calls that included one person saying “there’s blood everywhere.’’

An attorney representing Lucas Lawn & Landscaping, which employed one of the three men arrested, issued a statement that it has been unfairly treated by the public and that “(Mike) Wallace and his supporters intend to have this matter resolved in the court of public opinion.’’

Wallace was beaten in a parking lot after attending the June 17 Rascal Flatts concert at PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, North Carolina. His daughter and her husband also were beaten.

A Magistrate’s Order state that 29-year-old Paul Lucas, who was charged with a misdemeanor assault on a female, kicked Wallace’s daughter, Lindsey, in the ribs, left arm and leg. She shielded her father after he was knocked to the ground.

Court records state that 22-year-old Nathan Lucas, charged with misdemeanor assault, struck Wallace in the face with a closed fist.

Court records state that 24-year-old Randolph Taylor Magnum, charged with misdemeanor assault, struck Mike Wallace’s son-in-law with his feet and hands.

Paul Lucas, Nathan Lucas, and Magnum all face July 22 court dates.

Wallace has stated that he spoke to those parked nearby, asking them what they thought of the show when one member of that group became belligerent. Wallace asked what that person’s problem was and was struck shortly after that.

Wallace and his daughter were taken to a local hospital where they were treated and released. Wallace, who has made more than 800 NASCAR starts but not raced since Feb. 2015,  posted pictures of his bloodied, bruised and bloated face after the incident.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police released three 911 calls related to the  incident. In one, a person reported a fight and stated “they said there’s blood everywhere out here.’’

In another 911 call, a person said: “There’s a huge fight.’’  Another call reported a “big-ass fight.’’

PNC Music Pavilion issued a statement Tuesday that it has terminated its services with Lucas Lawn & Landscaping.

“We were saddened by the regrettable events that took place on Friday, June 17.  Upon learning that the offensive actions were taken by patrons who also happened to be employed by Lucas Landscaping, one of our service providers, we took swift and immediate action to terminate services provided by Lucas Landscaping at PNC Music Pavilion.”

Lucas Lawn & Landscaping issued a statement through attorney Kenneth A. Swain, condemning the treatment it has received since the incident.

The statement did not say which of the three men arrested works for the company. Paperwork filed with the North Carolina Secretary of State listed Paul D. Lucas Jr. as president of the company. The Charlotte Observer reported that the accused Paul Lucas is the son of the company’s president.

The statement read:

On Friday, June 17th one employee of our company was accused of being involved in an assault upon one Mike Wallace and Lindsey Wallace Van Wingerden.  Since that time Mr. Wallace and various other individuals have chosen to post statements, comments and opinions regarding the circumstances on social media websites.  This has resulted in verbal attacks upon our business, suggestions that our clients abandon our company and innuendo regarding our business that we believe is designed to both frustrate the proper administration of justice within our court system and prevent our company from continuing to do business where we employee (sic) over 70 individuals who work hard and depend upon their jobs to support themselves and their families.

This situation arose at an event that did not involve our business or the operation of the business in any way.  The efforts being made to disparage our business and negatively impact its hardworking employees is both disturbing and uncalled for.  This is, in our opinion, a mechanism being used to point blame at those who had no involvement in the matter and, simultaneously, deflect any inquiry into the actions and behavior that may have occurred at the time the situation arose by those making the accusations.

Our company takes the actions of its employees, both on and off the clock, seriously and we plan to diligently and appropriately evaluate all of the accurate and undisputed information.  However, we respectfully ask that those who rely on social media postings and one sided representations of fact CONSIDER the motivations behind those efforts.  No one at our business would expect those who patronize the business of another to vilify or otherwise judge that business based upon what are solely accusations and finger pointing at any one or more of their employees.  We feel certain that if a similar situation were occurring to Mr. Wallace, he would be asking for a fair and reasoned approach that included both sides of the equation, not just the one desired by the complaining party.  We ask that a rational and objective assessment of the matter be considered before taking actions, as suggested by others, that would harm our professional activities and the families who gain support from our business operations.

We are saddened that we have felt the need to engage in this release but it does, unfortunately, appear that Mr. Wallace and his supporters intend to have this matter resolved in the court of public opinion.  This is NEITHER FAIR NOR appropriate for any of the parties involved to include mr. Wallace himself.  This is especially true related to our business which had absolutely no involvement in the matter.  We hope that the public will do as we intend, by gathering facts that are properly vetted.

Our company supports our system of justice and believes that it will operate in an unbiased and objective manner in determining just which individuals may have been at fault in this situation.  As suggested above, we believe that efforts to undermine our system, including the verbal attacks on our business, should be viewed dimly and questioned wholeheartedly.

Listen to the 911 calls below:

Kyle Busch dominates to Truck win at Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Kyle Busch extended his NASCAR Truck Series victory record to 57 in his hometown Friday night, leading 108 of 134 laps at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion swept both stages and finished 5.958 seconds ahead of Johnny Sauter. Busch has won seven straight races in the series, including all five he entered last season.

Austin Hill was third, followed by defending series champion Matt Crafton and Ben Rhodes. Grrant Enfinger, who opened the season with an overtime victory at Daytona, did not finish after an accident with 43 laps to go.

Christian Eckes was right behind Busch in the opening two stages, but he finished 23rd after an early final-stage wreck.

Results

Driver standings

Jimmie Johnson tops final Cup practice at Las Vegas

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Jimmie Johnson was the fastest driver in Friday’s second and final NASCAR Cup practice of the weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The seven-time Cup champion hasn’t won a race since 2017, but showed plenty of speed, pacing the 38 cars that took to the 1.5-mile track, clocking a best speed of 179.432 mph.

Johnson and his Chevrolet were followed by five Fords.

Clint Bowyer, who was second-fastest in the first practice earlier in the day, was once again second-fast in the final session at 179.271 mph.

Aric Almirola, who was fastest in the first practice, was third-fastest in the final session at 179.170 mph.

Rounding out the top-5 were Kevin Harvick (179.015 mph) and Matt DiBenedetto (178.814 mph).

Sixth through 10th were Ross Chastain (178.660 mph), who will be filling in for the injured Ryan Newman in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400, followed by Kyle Larson (178.424), Ryan Blaney (178.359), John Hunter Nemechek (178.259) and Alex Bowman (178.089).

Final Cup practice results

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Next goals for Daytona winner Denny Hamlin: double-digit wins, Cup crown

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There was a time when Denny Hamlin’s best memories of the Daytona 500 were to just go home relatively unscathed.

Consider this: In Hamlin’s first six appearances in the Great American Race, his highest finish was 17th.

But after a breakthrough 4th-place finish in 2012, he has become the best overall performer in the 500 among active drivers.

“I don’t know what it is, but I think I started studying more about superspeedway racing around that time because I had been so unsuccessful for a very long time,” Hamlin said Friday during a media session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“We went a long time and I’ve won a lot of the Clashes and Duel races, but not many like Talladega – I think I have one win there – but it just seems like it’s that seven or eight years ago that the car came around and whatever techniques I use or I’ve adapted to this car have seemed to work.”

In the last seven editions of the 500, Hamlin has finished 2nd (2014), 4th (2015), 1st (2016), 17th (2017), 3rd (2018), 1st (2019) and 1st again this past Monday.

Do the math and that’s three wins – making him only the sixth driver in NASCAR history to win the 500 three or more times – and seven overall top-5 finishes in the last nine season openers.

Hamlin knew that getting his second 500 win in a row – both outcomes being the closest finishes in the race’s 62-year history – and third in the last five years was basically going to come down to a battle between him, Ryan Newman and Ryan Blaney.

With emphasis on Newman, that is, before he was involved in that horrific last lap crash on the front stretch heading toward the checkered flag.

“I pulled the block on (Newman) coming to the white (flag) and I stayed in front and I knew he was going to back up to (Blaney),” Hamlin said. “I was trying to back up myself, but once (Newman) was attached (to Blaney), I knew they were going to come with a run I could not stop.

“I just held my line because if I started going sideways, the next thing you know (Newman) starts moving sideways and (Blaney) is already hooked to him, so he’s probably going to push him sideways into me.

“I just wanted to hold a straight line to let them know hey, pass this way, and when I did I was able to back to (Blaney) and was able to unattach him from (Newman). When I slowed his momentum, that allowed me to really tuck in right behind him. I don’t know if he checked up to keep us attached but once we got attached, I knew we were going to have a run back on (Newman).

“I knew he was going to get there, I didn’t know what was going to happen when he did get there, but certainly it worked out in my favor. I thought I was going to get back around (Blaney) at the (finish) line if there was no crash, but I wasn’t sure I was going to get all the way back to (Newman). I knew those two were going to jostle and I was just hoping to be in the right place when it happened and I was.”

Not having any 500 wins of his own, Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch is envious of Hamlin’s three triumphs.

“Denny has really gotten way better ever since this car,” Busch said of Hamlin and how he’s adapted to the Gen 6 car in recent years. “He was always an aggressive plate racer, one that would make moves that you’re kind of, ‘Man, if he would just stay in line, I think this would turn out better.’

“He still does that today, but he’s making it work for himself, that not staying in line is better for Denny. I think since this car came though, he’s been a real good plate racer.

“He’s been fantastic at the game, he’s understood it, he’s made moves that I sometimes wouldn’t make that have worked, he’s able to pass a guy to get in line. … He’s very knowledgeable and skillful In making his moves and passes.”

Going forward from Daytona, Hamlin said his next goal is double-digit wins this season. If so, he’d become the first driver to earn 10 or more wins in a season since Jimmie Johnson did so in 2007 when the seven-time champ won 10 races.

“I’d be satisfied with that and then beyond that would be nice,” Hamlin said. “I think that the championship is an easy goal that anyone just throws out – win a championship, but that comes down to one race.

“If you can win a significant amount of races, it shows a bigger picture of your full year. If you make it to the Final Four, that’s a bigger picture of your entire year (Hamlin has reached the final four just twice since the format was introduced in 2014 — third that year and fourth last season). I think the championship – a successful year is making the Final Four. Anything after that is just whatever it is.

“Certainly we set lofty goals. I think everyone sets huge and lofty goals, but certainly we’re going to push ourselves to better what we did last year and it starts with Daytona and we’re able to repeat there so then let’s get a win now before we get to Texas to keep ourselves on pace or better from last year.”

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Johnny Sauter on pole for tonight’s Truck race in Las Vegas

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Johnny Sauter will start from the pole in tonight’s Strat 200 Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Sauter earned the eighth career pole of his Truck Series career – and first since 2018 – by topping the other 34 drivers that made qualifying attempts with a speed of 177.836 mph.

Sheldon Creed (177.643 mph) will start alongside Sauter on the front row for tonight’s race.

The rest of the top 10 qualifiers were Kyle Busch (177.282 mph), making his first Truck Series start of the season, followed by Christian Eckes (177.189 mph), Ty Majeski (177.189), Austin Hill (176.788 mph), Tyler Ankrum (176.275), Raphael Lessard (176.056), Grant Enfinger (176.010) and Brett Moffitt (175.890).

Tonight’s race starts shortly after 9 p.m. ET (FS1, Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Trucks qualifying results

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