What drivers said after Kansas race

Leave a comment

One race remains in the Round of 12. Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway shuffled the standings. Here’s what drivers said after the race.

Kevin Harvick – Winner: “I try every week to find something to motivate myself and I know these guys do the same thing. It’s hard to keep yourself motivated and continue to perform at a high level. Being able to do it for three years now says a lot about the character of this team and the things that they do. It is like they say, anything that is really, really hard to get and come by, there are going to be some obstacles and some bumps in the road.”

Carl Edwards – Finished 2nd: “I felt like we had the race under control if it would’ve kept going green. We really had something fast there and then that restart Jimmie (Johnson) got behind Kevin (Harvick) and pushed him just far enough out there that we got into turn 1 and I just couldn’t hang and slow Kevin down and he just broke the draft there. And after that I ended up racing Kyle (Busch). I mean, that was a real battle and that let Kevin get out ahead. That was a pretty hard battle, but at the end of the day you’re racing for every position here. I thought we raced as hard as – it was reasonable but it was pretty hard. The hard part for me is just we didn’t win this race. I know we’ve got a points cushion going into Talladega and everything, but it is hard to lose anything, it is really hard to lose a race here but I’m really proud of how we ran.”

Joey Logano – Finished 3rd: “That was hard fought. I am still breathing hard. We just weren’t very good on the short runs so I had to play defense instead of offense on restarts. After 15 laps, we were equal to, not way better to the point we could make up a bunch of time. We did what we had to do. We had a good effort, we just have to get our cars a little faster right now.”

Jimmie Johnson – Finished 4th: “I mean from a start perspective we knew we were going to have a tough task today to get to the front with the Lowe’s Chevrolet, but a very solid race car.  I love the sun came out and really made it a racy track for us.  I felt like we could have had a shot at the win, it seemed like the No. 19, the No. 4 and us were kind of equal there. I was able to get the No. 4 by the No. 19 on that restart and just couldn’t clear the No. 19 myself and slipped back to fifth.”

Kyle Busch – Finished 5th: “We just completely missed it there for our race setup today for the heat of the day and the way that the temperatures and everything were the track conditions just weren’t anything close to what we expected I guess. We missed it pretty bad. We were horrible there for about 200 laps and then the last 67 we got better. We were better on the short run at least where we could fire off and get going but we weren’t very good on the long runs. We just missed it a little bit. That speed that we had in our race car probably carried us on and through this race today but wish we had a little bit more. We’ll take it, we’ll go on and see what happens next week.”

Austin Dillon – Finished 6th: “We wanted a top five. We were running that No. 18 down pretty hard there at the end. I’m proud of my guys. They brought me a really good race car. It will be tight all the way down to the wire, but I’m just proud to have this position going into Talladega.”

AJ Allmendinger – Finished 8th: “Taking away last week just outright speed I thought we had … it felt like the best 1.5-mile race we put together there. Good solid top 10 car all day. I made a mistake and sped on pit road and got us behind a little bit. Just kind of tough call there at the end. You don’t know how many people are going to pit and good track position and everybody behind me came. I was pretty happy to hold most of them off.  I felt like we had about a fifth- or sixth-place car and we finished eighth with it. Just a solid day.  We need to keep doing work like this and keep building off of it.”

Matt Kenseth – Finished 9th: “We were backing up there, we lost the handle and the track got hotter and we started getting loose and started losing a few spots. We hit the wall getting into one, I’m not sure how I did it and got us behind and got us tight. We made our way back up there at the end, I thought we were going to be OK on that last restart, then whatever that little kid’s name is who’s driving the 88 (Alex Bowman), hung a left and knocked my whole right front fender off and we were just lucky to finish were we did.”

Martin Truex Jr. – Finished 11th: “You’ve got to perform every single week. You’ve got a bad week, it could ruin your whole season. All in all today wasn’t a disaster. We’ve just got to go to Talladega and hope that nothing crazy happens.”

Kurt Busch – Finished 13th: “We got up as high as seventh and I could see the front, I could smell the front, I could taste it, we just couldn’t hang. The last adjustment we made sure to free the car up and the car was tight on the last run. I don’t know what we have to do with these tires.”

Denny Hamlin – Finished 15th: “Terrible. I mean just everything went wrong. Just stupid stuff and then penalties when we shouldn’t have them and just another year of the same stuff. So, thanks to FedEx and thanks to Toyota for getting on the car and getting us on the race track, but just wish we could make things happen a little bit better. I mean, there’s not much else I can do.”

Tony Stewart – Finished 16th: “It’s just proof that time and time again that you kind of back Kevin Harvick in a corner and he comes out the next week firing and finds a way to get it done. Proud of those guys as always.”

Trevor Bayne – Finished 17th: This car was one of the best handling cars I have had all season. We were able to get up there and race in the top 10 and run competitively. It’s unfortunate that we made contact with the wall going into the corner, that really affected the handling of our AdvoCare Ford. But I’m happy we were able to overcome that and bounce back to get a decent finish. We’ll brush this off and go for the win next week in Talladega.”

Danica Patrick – Finished 18th: The No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet team did an awesome job on pit road all day long. I think we gained positions on almost every stop. The car wasn’t great in traffic, but we definitely made a big improvement from practice to the race, and I’m proud of my team for their effort.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – Finished 19th: We really struggled this weekend with the balance. We got lucky with some cautions which got us back on the lead lap but our Fastenal Ford wasn’t consistent on the handling. We have five races remaining to gain the most points we can so we need to make the most of it.”

Chase Elliott – Finished 31st: “I don’t know if we got the left rear getting up on the racetrack, or something and it got into the fender and cut it down. I don’t know what to do man, we were trying as hard as we can. We had such a good car today again, and … I don’t know what to do.  Just keep after it and try to move on.” 

Brad Keselowski – Finished 38th: “As far as what happened on the track I don’t know. I spun and got in the grass and tore the nose off. I probably could have raced less hard with a big points gap coming in. With this format I had a big points gap coming in. With this format it is probably the smart thing to do but I don’t want to race like that. I want to race my guts out and go for wins. I don’t want to points race. I don’t care what the damn format is, I am going to give it my best.”

Carson Hocevar to run full Truck schedule in 2021

Leave a comment

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
Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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
Leave a comment

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.