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Team Penske extends deals with Shell, Joey Logano, Todd Gordon

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Joey Logano, crew chief Todd Gordon and sponsor Shell all have extended their contracts with Team Penske for 2022 and beyond, the team announced Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

The announcement marks the second consecutive day that a NASCAR team has announced a driver and sponsor contract extension. Joe Gibbs Racing revealed Thursday that it had signed Denny Hamlin and sponsor FedEx to a multi-year extension.

Logano’s contract was set to expire after the 2018 season, team owner Roger Penske confirmed. The extension is a play on Logano’s car number (22). Team officials declined to say how much beyond 2022 the contracts go. Penske said that Shell would be the primary sponsor for more than 30 races a season on Logano’s car.

Logano, the 2015 Daytona 500 champion, won the Clash on Sunday to begin Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. He has 15 Cup victories since joining Team Penske in 2013 and has never finished worse than eighth in the points during that time. Twice he’s gone to the season finale in Miami with a chance to win the championship, finishing a second last year.

Penske said that the long-term commitments announced Friday are “a priority for me.

“I want long-term commitments and people want them from us,’’ Penske said. “It’s the same thing with the drivers. I think a driver with a solid ride for a long time, it’s all he’s going to worry about rather than ‘Is my deal up?’ and then you get all this commotion around the driver. It’s a real calming effect.’’

MORE: How Penske took chance on Joey Logano

Penske confirmed that Brad Keselowski’s contact is set to expire after this season but that they’re working on an extension.

Penske and Shell executives touted the deal in how it helps Penske’s businesses, including Penske Truck Leasing and the Penske Automotive Group, while also helps Shell extend its footprint.

“It gave us a chance to combine the business side,’’ Penske said.

Said Istvan Kapitany, Executive Vice President, Shell Global Retail, of the deal: “What is so exciting about the Penske relationship with Shell is the strategic nature of it and also the fact that it is a global opportunity for both of us to grow together. In Shell, we do believe in long-term strategic partnerships. Ferrari is a partner with us for more than 60 years. We believe with Penske we found the partner who can be with us at least for 60 years.’’

The partnership also can play a role on the track, noted Colin Abraham, President, Shell Lubricants Americas.

“We can formulate the oil to suit the vehicle and to suit the engines and it’s a wonderful test track for us with formulation development,’’ he said. “We have scientists working literally week by week looking at the performance of the engine and the performance of the oil, even changing the oil during the season to try to get some more horsepower. It’s almost like a live laboratory to test products.’’

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All-Star Race, Open entry lists

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It’s officially All-Star Race week.

For the first time the annual exhibition event that awards $1 million will be held at Bristol Motor Speedway (7 p.m. ET Wednesday on FS1).

Twenty drivers will compete in the 140-lap, four-stage main event. Sixteen drivers currently make up the field following Cole Custer’s win Sunday at Kentucky Speedway.

Three drivers will qualify for the main event via the All-Star Open, the 85-lap preliminary race that’s divided into three stages. The winners of all three stages will advance. The remaining driver will advance via a fan vote.

Here are the entry lists for each race.

All-Star Race 

Drivers who automatically qualified for the All-Star Race: Those who won points races in 2019-20, past All-Star Race winners and previous Cup champions.

Drivers who have clinched an All-Star Race spot: Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Cole Custer, Chase Elliott, Justin Haley, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.

Click here for the entry list.

All-Star Open

Twenty-two drivers are entered in the preliminary race.

Notable drivers include Clint Bowyer, Matt DiBenedetto, William Byron, rookies Tyler Reddick, William Byron and John Hunter Nemechek, as well as Bubba Wallace.

Click here for the entry list.

NASCAR in ‘good place’ with Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson after fight

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Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, says that series officials will keep an eye on Harrison Burton and Noah Gragson moving forward but that the sanctioning body feels it is in a “good place” with those drivers after their fight last weekend at Kentucky Speedway.

Gragson punched Burton after Burton repeatedly shoved him in the garage area as they discussed their contact on the track late in Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Kentucky Speedway. A NASCAR spokesperson said Friday night that no penalties were anticipated.

Asked about where matters stood between NASCAR and the two drivers, Miller told “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday morning:

“I personally wasn’t in the post-race conversations. (NASCAR Xfinity Series Managing Director) Wayne Auton does a great job with that and the report that I got from him is he talked to some of the crew members that were involved and obviously both of the drivers. I think we got to a good place. They’re going to have some words this week and try to make sure we’re in a good spot when we start the weekend next weekend in Texas. We feel like we’re OK.

“This is an emotional sport and there’s going to be things like that that crop up. It’s not a great situation for us to deal with as a sanctioning body, but we also want the emotion in the sport. That’s what makes it so special. Those things are unfortunate, but we do know from time to time those are going to happen. If we feel good about the conversations we’ve had, in a lot of cases we’re going to move on from that and keep an eye on those individuals moving forward.”

Race and Sports in America: Conversations to air at 8 p.m. ET Monday

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Damon Hack will host two roundtables with athletes and former athletes for a conversation on race and sports in America. The show airs at 8 p.m. ET Monday on NBCSN, Golf Channel, Olympic Channel and the NBC Sports Regional Networks.

Appearing with Hack will be Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, NBA superstar Steph Curry, NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, NFL player Kyle Rudolph, pro golfer Troy Mullins, former tennis player James Blake, Major League Baseball player James Rollins and Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith.

Among the topics discussed are: The conversations they’ve had with family in the last few months, what they hope things will be like in a year’s time, the level of optimism vs. pessimism and their experiences.

 

 

Winners and losers from Kentucky

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WINNERS

Cole CusterHe entered Sunday’s race well out of a playoff spot at 25th in the points. He took advantage of a series of events in the final laps to score a dramatic victory and earn a playoff spot.

Martin Truex Jr.Lost the lead on the last lap but recorded his first top-five finish since his Martinsville win last month.

Matt DiBenedetto He was 18th with 14 laps to go and finished third.

Christopher BellSeventh-place finish was his fourth finish of 12th or better in the last six races.

Austin Cindric Had not won on an oval in the Xfinity Series before sweeping both series races at Kentucky Speedway.

LOSERS

Matt KensethA week after finishing runner-up at Indianapolis, he spun twice and finished 25th at Kentucky.

Ryan PreeceFinished last for the second race in a row. He was eliminated in a pit road accident at Indy and by transmission issues at Kentucky. He has failed to finish five of 17 races this season (29.4%).

Jimmie JohnsonWas third on a late restart when contact with Brad Keselowski spun him. Instead of contending for his first victory since 2017, Johnson finished 18th and had a little warning for Keselowski.