NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France issued the following statement following Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s official announcement Tuesday afternoon that he would retire at season’s end:
“Dale Earnhardt Jr. is among the most recognizable athletes in the world, unequivocally serving as the sport’s most popular driver for more than a decade.
“His passion for the sport will leave an impact on NASCAR that will be felt over its entire history. Over his 20-plus year career, Dale has proven himself a leader with a deep commitment to so many areas of the sport – all the way to its roots.
“We’re excited about the next chapter of his NASCAR career and wish him success for the remainder of 2017.”
Earnhardt has raced only in a Chevrolet his entire racing career.
That prompted Mark Reuss, Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, to also issue a statement:
“Dale Jr. is more than just a racer and competitor. He is a true champion. He was born into a racing family, grew up around the sport, worked as a service technician in his father’s Chevrolet dealership and became a successful NASCAR driver, Chevrolet Dealer and team owner. Dale Jr. has always been part of our Chevrolet family.
“We know that Dale Jr. is going to have a positive influence on the sport and for our brand for many years to come. We look forward to continuing our partnership with JR Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet.
“Most importantly, Dale Jr. will always be our friend and we thank him for his tremendous contributions as a driver for Chevrolet.”
Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott involved in big crash at Charlotte
CONCORD, N.C. — Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott were involved in a big crash midway through Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and each blamed the other.
Elliott’s car slapped the outside wall near the start-finish line, and his car made contact with Hamlin’s Toyota, sending Hamlin slamming into the wall. The front end of Hamlin’s car was smashed. Elliott’s Chevrolet also was damaged.
Both drivers parked for the evening, and neither was happy.
Hamlin said Elliott had a “tantrum” and said he should be suspended from next week’s race.
“I got right-rear hooked in the middle of the straightway,” Hamlin said. “Yes, it was a tantrum. He shouldn’t be racing next week. Right-rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. He shouldn’t be racing.”
Elliott had a different view.
“The 11 (Hamlin) put me in the fence, and once you take the right sides off these things it’s kind of over,” he said. “Once you hit the wall in these things, you can’t drive them any more.”
Elliott denied intentionally hitting Hamlin, saying the crash was “unfortunate circumstances.”
Brad Keselowski hit the rear of Elliott’s car after the initial contact between Hamlin and Elliott.
After the crash, Hamlin tweeted data in support of his contention that Elliott drove into him.
Removing all doubt. His steering came back to the exact same position it had previously after we came off the wall. The higher the line on steering the further LEFT it’s going. pic.twitter.com/DKo7mrLz28
CONCORD, N.C. — Despite an improving forecast, rain continued to plague NASCAR and its drivers Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The twice-rescheduled Xfinity Series race was stopped twice because of weather Monday after finally getting the green flag, and the conclusion of the 300-mile race was postponed until after the completion of Monday’s rescheduled 600-mile Cup Series race.
Forty-eight of the race’s scheduled 200 laps were completed before weather and the impending scheduled start of the Cup race intervened.
When (or if) the race resumes Monday night, it will be broadcast by FS2, the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
After two days of soaking rains, the longest race on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is set for a 3 p.m. ET start Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The 600-mile marathon was scheduled for a 6:21 p.m. start Sunday, but persistent rain forced a postponement to Memorial Day.
A look at the Monday Cup schedule:
Details for Monday’s Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway
(All times Eastern)
START: The command to start engines will be given at 3:12 p.m. by USO official Barry Morris and retired drivers Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett and Bobby Labonte. … The green flag is scheduled to be waved at 3:23 p.m.
PRERACE: Driver introductions are scheduled at 2:30 p.m. … The invocation will be given by retired Air Force Master Sergeant Monty Self at 3 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Elizabeth Marino at 3:04 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 400 laps (600 miles) on the 1.5-mile track.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 100. Stage 2 ends at Lap 200. Stage 3 ends at Lap 300.
Charlotte Motor Speedway’s rescheduled NASCAR Xfinity Series race is set for an 11 a.m. start Monday.
The race originally was scheduled Saturday, but was postponed by weather to noon Monday. After Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 Cup Series race also was postponed to Monday, the Xfinity Series race was moved to an 11 a.m. start.
A look at the Monday Xfinity schedule:
Details for Monday’s Xfinity race at Charlotte Motor Speedway
(All times Eastern)
START: The command to start engines will be given at 11:01 a.m. by representatives of race sponsor Alsco Uniforms … The green flag is scheduled to be waved at 11:12 a.m.
PRERACE: Xfinity garage opened at 8 a.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (300 miles) on the 1.5-mile track.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 90.