Jimmie Johnson wins at Charlotte; five Chase drivers finish 30th or worse

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Jimmie Johnson won Sunday’s rescheduled Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, his third victory this season.

The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion captured his eighth career win at the 1.5-mile oval and his 78th career victory in NASCAR’s premier series.

Johnson will advance to the Round of 8 for the first time since the elimination-style format debuted in 2014.

But Johnson’s victory, which ended a career-long 24 race winless drought, was overshadowed by problems for Chase drivers Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin.

MORE: Click here for full results of Sunday’s Bank of America 500

MORE: Click here to see the Sprint Cup points after Charlotte 

Harvick and Logano both went out on Lap 152. Harvick had an apparent oil pressure problem, and Logano hit the wall twice after tire issues. Harvick’s day was done, placing 38th, but Logano returned and finished 36th.

Dillon’s trouble happened on a Lap 260 restart when he was tapped from behind by Martin Truex Jr., triggering a multicar crash that included six Chase drivers – half of the remaining playoff field: Dillon, Elliott, Truex, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards.

“It sucks,” Dillon said.“We’ll have to work hard the next two weeks to get the points back. I felt like I got into third gear pretty clean. The next thing, I felt contact, and I was spinning through the grass.”

Truex apologized for “pushing too hard” and wrecking Dillon.

HOW JIMMIE JOHNSON WON: The six-time champion had one of the strongest cars in the field. Johnson took the lead from Matt Kenseth on Lap 317 and held on for the final 18 laps to take his third win of the season. Johnson also led a race-high 155 laps.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD DAY: Matt Kenseth started last (40th) due to unapproved adjustments to his car, and finished second. If Kenseth had a better restart on Lap 317, he may have had a chance to hold off Johnson, but could not catch the eventual winner.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Several Chase drivers started out the Round of 12 with significant issues, most notably Kevin Harvick (38th), Joey Logano (36th), Chase Elliott (33rd), Austin Dillon (32nd) and Denny Hamlin (30th). … Alex Bowman had a tire issue on Lap 62 that led to a wreck and collected Casey Mears in the process. Bowman placed 39th.

NOTABLE: Five Chase drivers finished 30th or worse, the worst single-day showing of playoff contestants since Kansas in 2007. … Truex had a strong car and was near the front for much of the race before he suffered clutch issues on the final pit stop. Truex finished 13th.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We’re not out by any means. … Things happen. It’s part of racing, but we’re not out.” – Chase driver Joey Logano after tire issues led to a 36th-place finish in the first of three Round of 12 races in the Chase.

WHAT’S NEXT: Hollywood Casino 400, Sunday, Oct. 16 (2:15 p.m. ET) at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Sioux Chief to sponsor ARCA Showdown, East Series to race at Nashville Fairgrounds

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ARCA announced Saturday that Sioux Chief Manufacturing will be the entitlement sponsor of its 10-race ARCA Menards Series Showdown in 2020.

Sioux Chief Manufacturing is a Missouri company that designs and manufactures rough plumbing products, parts, and accessories for residential, commercial, industrial and government applications

Sioux Chief has been involved in ARCA since 2015 as a race event sponsor and special awards program sponsor and sponsored ARCA’s former Short Track Challenge.

As part of the deal, a newly increased point fund, combined with race purses, owner plan, and contingency awards, will offer teams a chance to compete for a share of over $920,000 in posted awards throughout the series.

The Sioux Chief Showdown will bring together the best drivers from the ARCA Menards Series, the ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series West, formerly known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Those events, held on oval tracks 1.25-miles in length and under and road courses, offer drivers who may not be able or eligible to run the full 20-race ARCA Menards Series schedule the opportunity to run for a championship. Combined with the overall ARCA Menards Series championship, and the East and West championships, drivers will have four separate championships to compete for in 2020.

The announcement was made at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis. Also present was promoter Bob Sargent of Track Enterprises, who announced that the ARCA Menards Series East would compete at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on May 2.

The Tennessean reported this week that the Nashville Fairgrounds was negotiating with Sargent to promote at least three races at the short track in 2020. Sargent’s involvement in the track comes after Nashville’s Fair Board voted to terminate its agreement with Formosa Productions to run the track over outstanding debt.

The ARCA Menards Series has competed at the Fairgrounds the last five seasons. The ARCA Menards Series East, formerly known as the K&N Pro Series East, competed there from 2007-08.

GMS Racing reveals full-time driver-crew chief lineup, number assignments

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GMS Racing has announced its full-time driver-crew chief lineup for the 2020 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season and number assignments for its trucks:

– Chad Norris has been named crew chief for Brett Moffitt and the No. 23 Chevrolet team. Moffitt drove the No. 24 in his first season with the team. Norris has been with GMS Racing for two years and directed the effort that delivered the team its 2018 Xfinity Series win at Talladega.

– Chad Walter will lead Tyler Ankrum and the No. 26 team. 2020 will be Ankrum’s first season with GMS Racing. Walter served as an engineer for Ankrum this season at DGR-Crosley. Walter has five wins and 42 top fives in 208 Xfinity Series starts as crew chief.

– Kevin “Bono” Manion is paired with Zane Smith on the No. 21 Chevrolet. 2020 will be Smith’s first full-time Trucks season after competing part-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series. Manion has 24 wins as crew chief across all three national series since 2003. He led Martin Truex Jr. to his two Xfinity Series titles.

– Jeff Stankiewicz will remain as the crew chief for the No. 2 team piloted by Sheldon Creed.

Social Roundup: How NASCAR drivers are spending their offseason

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NASCAR’s Champion’s week is now behind us and we are firmly in the offseason.

Well, sort of.

The NASCAR world never really stops, which is evident simply due to the continued announcements for the 2020 season.

But with Joey Logano testing the Next Gen car at Phoenix earlier this week and Dale Earnhardt Jr. helping clean up North Wilkesboro Speedway for iRacing, it’s been anything but quiet.

Here’s a look at what else happened in the NASCAR community this week.

Someone needs to check in on Jimmie Johnson, he could be in his own version of Mr. Mom.

Chris Buescher is home again.

The 2015 Xfinity Series champion is back at Roush Fenway Racing for the 2020 Cup season and he’s got the firesuits and cars to prove it.

Brad Keselowski recently became father to a second daughter.

He’s now learning some important life lessons.

Former Front Row Motorsports driver Matt Tifft is now off the market after getting married to his fiance, Jordan. Now they’re on their honeymoon.

 

Matt DiBenedetto showed off one of the perks of being a Wood Brothers Racing employee.

Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace went somewhere warm to start their holiday.

Joey and Caitlin Gase welcome twin sons

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Xfinity Series driver Joey Gase and his wife Caitlin are now parents to twin boys

The babies were born on Wednesday. Their names are Jace and Carson.

More: Brad and Paige Keselowski welcome second daughter