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Travis Pastrana to compete in September Truck race at Las Vegas

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Once you’ve had a taste of driving a NASCAR car or truck, it’s hard to resist attempts to come back.

Such is the case for action sports star Travis Pastrana, who announced Monday that he will test tomorrow (May 2) at Charlotte Motor Speedway and compete in the Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sept. 30.

Pastrana will drive the No. 45 Chevrolet Silverado for Niece Motorsports in that race.

“I love NASCAR, and Las Vegas is always a good time, so I’m really looking forward to racing there later this season,” Pastrana said in a media release. “The seat time at Charlotte will be a huge help for me to get up to speed and for the team to get a solid base setup for when we show up to race later in the year.

“I’ve actually worked with several of the people on this team in the past. It’s a fun group and we have a good rapport.”

Pastrana has long sought to return to NASCAR racing, and the opportunity with Niece Motorsports is what he was looking for.

“NASCAR is something that challenges me,” Pastrana said. “I’ve done a lot of work over the past couple of years to try and improve my pavement skills.

“I’m racing my first full year of Rally (America) since 2010, and I’m fresh off my first win in over a year, so it’s really exciting to be able to get behind the wheel again and see what we can do in the Truck Series.”

It will be Pastrana’s first NASCAR race of any type since he competed in a Truck Series race at Las Vegas in 2015 (finished 16th).

Prior to that, he ran all 33 races in the Xfinity Series in 2013, with a season-best finish of ninth in the spring race at Richmond as well as three other tenth-place finishes. He also earned one pole that year at Talladega.

One bonus for Pastrana is he’ll have Cody Efaw as his crew chief on the No. 45 truck. Efaw served as Pastrana’s car chief in the 2013 Xfinity Series season.

“Any time you can team up with someone you’ve worked well with in the past, there’s obviously a level of comfort there,” Pastrana said. “I know the group of guys that Niece Motorsports has assembled is going to give me a great shot at running well.”

Niece Motorsports is competing on a part-time schedule in the Truck Series in 2017, with plans to race full-time in 2018.

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Kyle Larson wins preliminary event at Chili Bowl

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Kyle Larson won the A feature Tuesday night to advance to Saturday night’s A main at the Chili Bowl Nationals. It was his fifth preliminary event win at the Chili Bowl. Zach Daum finished second.

Larson took the lead on Lap 6 of the 25-lap feature and went on to the win.

MORE: Tuesday night race results from Chili Bowl

MORE: Monday night race results from Chili Bowl

“We’ll move on to Saturday and try to be better,” Larson said in the press conference afterward.

NBCSN broadcaster Dillon Welch finished seventh in the 24-car field. Alex Bowman placed ninth. Tanner Berryhill, who will be a Cup rookie this season, was 10th.

The Chili Bowl continues the rest of the week, culminating with Saturday night’s main event.

JJ Yeley, Landon Cassill and Rico Abreu are among the drivers scheduled to race Wednesday night at the Tulsa, Oklahoma, event.

Thursday’s racing will include two-time defending winner Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier and Karsyn Elledge, daughter of Kelley Earnhardt Miller. Kasey Kahne and Tanner Thorson are among those scheduled to race Friday.

Thorson won Tuesday night’s Race of Champions. Larson was second, Bell placed third and Yeley was fifth in that event.

 

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports dominate Lionel’s best-selling diecasts for 2018

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2018 was a really good year for Hendrick Motorsports — on the diecast market.

Lionel Racing revealed Tuesday that despite having its fewest Cup wins in 25 years, Hendrick Motorsports dominated its top 10 best-selling diecasts last year.

Anchored by five Chase Elliott diecasts, HMS claimed the top eight spots.

Elliott, who scored Hendrick’s only three Cups wins and was voted NASCAR’s most popular driver, tops the list with his No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet.

All three of Elliott’s race win diecasts are on the list, with his first career Cup win at Watkins Glen coming in at No. 2.

Hendrick is represented by all four of its drivers on the list with Jimmie Johnson, William Byron and Alex Bowman each having one diecast in the top 10.

Kyle Larson‘s No. 42 Credit One Chevrolet is eighth and Kevin Harvick‘s No. 4 Busch Beer Ford is 10th.

Here’s the full list:

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Wayne Carroll to serve as Landon Cassill’s crew chief, Tony Furr moves to ARCA team

Landon Cassill. Photo: Getty Images.
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StarCom Racing has named Wayne Carroll as crew chief for driver Landon Cassill in the 2019 Cup season, NBC Sports has confirmed.

Carroll served as crew chief for 12 Cup races last season on StarCom Racing’s No. 99 car, working with several drivers including Derrike Cope, Gray Gaulding, Kyle Weatherman and three races with Cassill.

After leasing a charter from Richard Childress Racing for the No. 00 last season, StarCom purchased the charter for the same car for this season. The No. 00 and 99 will also have ECR motors under the hood for both Cassill and teammate Derrike Cope.

Also, Tony Furr, who served as crew chief for both Cassill and Jeffrey Earnhardt last season with StarCom, has accepted a similar position with Mullins Racing in the ARCA Racing Series, the team announced Tuesday.

Tony Furr, right, and team owner/driver Willie Mullins. Photo: Dinah Marie.

Furr will serve as crew chief for the No. 3 Mullins Racing Ford driven by team owner and 2018 Daytona ARCA runner-up Willie Mullins in the ARCA Racing Series season-opening Lucas Oil 200 on Feb. 9 at Daytona International Speedway.

Furr has spent much of his career in the Cup Series, working with numerous stars including Bill Elliott, Joe Nemechek, John Andretti, Ward Burton, Jerry Nadeau and others.

Furr has two Cup Series wins as a crew chief, one with Andretti in the summer race at Daytona in 1997 and one with Nadeau at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2000.

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Public memorial service for J.D. Gibbs set for Jan. 25

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A public memorial service for J.D. Gibbs will be held at 11:30 a.m. ET Jan. 25 at Davidson College’s John M. Belk Arena in Davidson, North Carolina. Doors open at 10:30 a.m.

Gibbs, the eldest son of car owner Joe Gibbs, died Jan. 11 after a battle with a degenerative neurological disease. J.D. Gibbs was 49.

On a website honoring Gibbs’ legacy, it states that in lieu of flowers, the Gibbs family requests donations to the J.D. Gibbs Legacy Fund. The fund has been established to honor Gibbs and his passion for the Young Life Ministry, which he served as a member of the National Board.

The J.D. Gibbs Legacy Fund has two specific objectives that reflect J.D.’s passion for outreach:

  1. To ensure “every kid” in the greater Charlotte region can be reached with the gospel, the Fund will provide the support necessary to reach adolescents from all socioeconomic backgrounds, those with special needs, and teen moms.
  2. Young Life’s Windy Gap Camp in the mountains of N.C. has been a favorite of J.D.’s and his family for many years. Windy Gap is located just 15 miles north of Asheville, N.C. and the Fund will be used to support the construction of a new dining hall as well as additional facility improvements.