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Dale Earnhardt Jr. says tracks should not to use PJ1 traction compound for now

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CONCORD, North Carolina — Dale Earnhardt Jr. said on Periscope that NASCAR should not use the PJ1 traction compound “for a while” after issues this weekend and said that Charlotte Motor Speedway should run the Coca-Cola 600 in the day instead of at night to create better racing.

Earnhardt finished 12th in Sunday’s Bank of America 500 and discussed the race and the PJ1 traction compound afterward

Earnhardt, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and David Ragan wrecked in practice Friday. The traction compound was blamed. Busch wrecked again in Sunday’s race and also blamed it.

“It was a really a hard day as a driver,’’ Earnhardt said. “I know you guys want it to be hard and it should be hard, but it was hard for all the wrong reasons today. Hopefully they don’t use that PJ1 spray on any other race tracks for a while. I think they need to research that a little bit more before we use that again.’’

Don Hawk, senior vice president of business affairs for Speedway Motorsports Inc., told motorsport.com this weekend that the reason for the issues with the traction compound was the uneven application of it.

“We discovered the sprayer heads on our machine – one was partially clogged, the other was not spraying enough and there is not enough substance on the race track in Turn 4,’’ Hawk told motorsport.com.

The traction compound was not applied after Saturday night’s Xfinity race.

Earnhardt also said he would like to see Charlotte Motor Speedway run day races, including the 600, because he wants to see the track showcase the type of racing that can attract more fans.

“This was a night race and they moved it to the day time for this event,’’ Earnhardt said on his Periscope. “That’s really hard to do. All the fans want a night race because it is a little more comfortable, just a really difficult choice to make. I knew that the track went out on a limb to move this to a day race. I knew all along that this track would race a whole lot better in the daytime than at night.

“Had they not put the stuff down on the track, we would have been driving all on the fence and everything trying to find grip and hauling ass up there, but we just couldn’t get up there and use it.

“I was real disappointed that they sprayed that stuff down and it didn’t work. It’s easy to say that after the fact. I’m not trying to get too hard on the racetrack, but man I want to see this place see its real potential. Hasn’t been a great race here in a long time, and I just know it can be a great race here during the day, a really hot day, especially.

“I know the fans probably don’t like it or like to hear it or think of sitting in the sun, 85 degrees or 90 degrees all day long is a lot fun, but I think the race would be fun to watch if they would run the 600 in the daytime here. This place has been struggling with attendance and all that stuff and I just know it can be so much better. I’m just rooting for it, that’s all.’’

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Brad Keselowski wins Xfinity race at Charlotte in overtime finish

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CONCORD, N.C. — Brad Keselowski won the Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in an overtime finish, claiming his second win in as many starts this season.

Keselowski, who started on the pole, won over Cole Custer, Christopher Bell, Ty Dillon and Elliott Sadler.

Keselowski also won at Phoenix.

The overtime finish was setup by a debris caution with two laps left in the original 200-lap distance.

The final 28 laps were ran following a one hour rain delay.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Kyle Busch

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Busch

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What’s next for Danica Patrick after the Indy 500? Dreams, downtime and waffles

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INDIANAPOLIS – When Danica Patrick was a 14-year-old growing up in Roscoe, Illinois, she had a firm idea of what she’d be doing 20 years later.

A reporter from her hometown newspaper recently reminded her of that in a recent interview when he brought a prescient artifact from those teenage years – an essay that she crafted as an up and coming go-kart driver about her racing accomplishments.

“I’m breezing through it, and then at the end, it said, ‘I wanted to race Indy cars,” Patrick, 36, said Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “I was 14. I told him, ‘See? If this isn’t an example of “Write that shit down,” nothing is.’

“This is manifesting. You have write it down and you have to imagine what you want. So I do that as much as I can.”

Heading into the final start of her career in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, Patrick already seems to have a solid idea of the next 20 years — in part, because of having some glimpses into her post-racing life.

There has been plenty of downtime since her final NASCAR start in the Daytona 500 three months ago. She has taken vacations (including an India trip to meet the Dalai Lama with boyfriend Aaron Rodgers) and created several new routines on her suddenly free from racing weekends.

“I make waffles on Sundays now,” she said. “That’s pretty fun.  In the summer, there’s like farmers market.  I can’t wait for that.  I mean, there’s going to be probably some new stuff that I don’t know yet.

“The one thing that I am definitely looking forward to less of is less stress.  Last weekend was awesome at the end of it all because it went well with qualifying, but I was nervous for 95% of that weekend. That’s uncomfortable.”

But testing her comfort zone is appealing to Patrick, who has spent most of her adult life testing the boundaries of gender norms in her profession. Though the pressure of race weekends might disappear, her incessant quest for challenges probably will remain.

Now that racing is over, Patrick still has a winery, a clothing line, a cookbook and a fitness manual to promote – and more is on the way.

“I just have a habit for pushing myself to uncomfortable spaces, making them comfortable for me,” she said. “At least just making them comfortable enough to be able to manage.

“As an example, I went bungee jumping a long while back, like 10 years.  I’m super scared of heights.  I’m still scared of heights.  But I just like to know that if I want to do something, I am brave enough and confident enough to do it.  That doesn’t mean I’m not still scared.  That doesn’t mean it’s not still something that’s easy to me afterward. I just like to know I can get past the fear if I have to.

“I’m OK with transitioning into other things, finding a little bit of happiness and joy each day, less colorization of emotions. I’m ready for that.”

So what specifically is on tap? Talk shows? Another book?

Patrick demurs when pressed.

“I think I have definitely big dreams and aspirations for myself, for all my companies, for the kind of emotion I want to have on a day-to-day basis,” she said. “I’m looking forward to a good, easy, happy, calm, joyful, exciting, adventurous life.  If I say I want it, there’s a very good chance that’s what I’ll get.”

In the short-term, there’s hosting an ESPN awards show that will keep her busy through July.

And after that, her schedule will free up just as Green Bay Packers training camp begins for Rodgers, the two-time MVP quarterback.

“I’m thinking I’m going to have plenty of time to write a cookbook in Green Bay,” she said.

Xfinity race at Charlotte resumes after rain delay

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CONCORD, N.C. — The Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway has resumed after a one hour rain delay. 28 laps remain in the 200-lap event.

Brad Keselowski is the leader.

The top five is completed by Daniel Hemric, Ryan Truex, Brandon Jones and Ryan Sieg.

Erik Jones fastest in final Coke 600 practice

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Erik Jones topped the final one-hour practice session for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver posted a top speed of 187.045 mph.

Jones was followed by Kyle Larson (186.664 mph), Ryan Blaney (186.104), Joey Logano (186.047) and Denny Hamlin (185.938).

Logano recorded the most laps in the session with 55.

Jones had the best 10-lap average at 184.579 mph.

The final practice session came after rain forced the cancellation of a morning session.

Click here for the practice report.