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Joey Logano, Ty Dillon adapting to sleepless nights as new fathers

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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — It’s been three weeks since Joey Logano and wife Brittany welcomed their first child, Hudson, into the world.

How bad has the kid wrecked Logano’s sleeping habits?

“Dude. Dude,” Logano said Wednesday during the NASCAR Media Tour when asked by an older media member. “You have no idea. I’m sure you know. Actually, you should know. You know.”

Three fellow Cup drivers definitely know.

Ty Dillon, Paul Menard and Kevin Harvick joined Logano in having children in the last few months.

Dillon and his wife Haley became parents for the first time with daughter Haley in late November. Menard and his wife Jennifer had their second child at the beginning of November. Kevin and DeLana Harvick welcomed their first daughter, Piper Grace, before the New Year.

On Wednesday, Logano was euphoric about the amount of sleep he got the night before thanks to his brother-in-law taking his shift.

“It’s a big day today,” Logano said. “I have never felt better with seven hours of sleep in my life. This is great. Usually it is about four, so this is awesome.”

Three weeks in, the 27-year-old Team Penske driver has reevaluated some aspects of his work-home life balance.

“Mainly that I can’t halfway do something,” Logano said. “When I go to work, I have to be 100 percent at work and when I go home, I have to put my phone down, and that’s it. I have to learn to do that a little better probably. Sometimes it is hard to detach. That is probably one of the biggest things I think that will be very important moving forward as he gets older. There is a time for work and a time for family. I need to do 100 percent at each one of those and not try to do 50 percent at all of them. It just doesn’t work. I don’t think that is the best avenue at least.”

The late nights of trying to rock Hudson to sleep have been a humbling experience.

“I think it probably changes the perspective you have of your parents a lot,” Logano said. “I tell you I appreciate them a lot more. Not that I didn’t before but holy moly. I sit there in the middle of the night and it is three in the morning and he is crying his eyeballs out at me and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, my parents had to do this for me. I was like this at one point.'”

For Dillon, the 25-year-old father gets introspective during his late night tours of duty.

“When I’m sitting there at midnight or one in the morning trying to rock her back to sleep or hold her and just kind of looking into her and seeing small parts of myself and my wife in her is the coolest feeling in the world,” Dillon told NBC Sports.

The Germain Racing driver said he has realized “what life is truly about.”

“Just looking at what life starts as gives you such a perspective on living,” Dillon told media members. “So I hope to take what I’ve learned from being her father for just two months and kind of adapt it to every aspect of my life and the appreciation for what I have and what I am and who I am.”

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT

It’s the second time around the baby block for Harvick and Menard.

Even so, the Harvick household has been a “war zone” since Piper Grace arrived, complete with Harvick having to walk around in a protective mask.

“Keelan (his first-born) was a handful the first couple of weeks trying to get adapted to someone else taking some of the attention,” Harvick told NBC Sports. “Then we all got sick the third week. So we’ve had Piper quarantined in one room. I was quarantined in another room. Mom and Keelan were in the middle of the house. I’ve been walking around with a mask on for three days. Finally got to get rid of my mask. I feel like everything is starting to flow as a house of four instead of a house of three. The family travel will be different for sure. But we also have to make sure that Keelan gets to do the things that he’s accustomed to doing and being a part of. That will be a main focus of family for sure.”

Harvick said he was “scared to death” when Keelan was born. But things are different the second time around with a baby girl.

“You expect no sleep, you know you’re going to get pooped and spit up on,” Harvick said. “There’s going to be some challenges of getting it all situated.”

According to Menard, his new-born son already has racing on the mind.

“I was holding him on the couch the other day and I had a little race car on my hoodie,” Menard told NBC Sports. “I had a Wood Brothers Racing sweatshirt on and it had a little race car on it and he stared at it for 20 minutes so I know we’re already in trouble with him.”

Menard said his son will get likely his first exposure to racing at next month’s Daytona 500.

MESSY SITUATION

For a long time Dillon told people he wouldn’t change any child’s diapers unless it was his own.

That time is here.

“The moment finally came and the first diaper up and this black tarry substance is in there and I’m changing the diaper very slowly and using like 20 wipes and every detail,” Dillon told NBC Sports. “She’s almost two months and a week (old) now and I can change diapers blindfolded and in zombie mode at two in the morning in like five seconds. It’s funny how you develop.”

Logano said his favorite moments as a dad so far have come in those late-night sessions with Hudson.

“You’re changing diapers and he’s crying and yelling and fussing at you and then he decides to take a leak all over you,” Lognao told NBC Sports. “At the time it’s not that funny but now it’s funny. If you’re a parent you understand. A few weeks ago someone told me this I’d say, ‘What is wrong with you?’ I get it now. Everything ends up great. You can get crapped on and you still like it. Go figure.”

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Results, point standings after second Xfinity race at Kentucky

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Austin Cindric dominated to win Friday night’s Xfinity race at Kentucky Speedway, leading 130 of 200 laps.

He completed a sweep of the series’ doubleheader races at the 1.5-mile track.

The top five was completed by Chase Briscoe, Justin Haley, Ross Chastain and Justin Allgaier.

Click here for the results.

Check back for the point standings.

Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton fight after Xfinity race

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Noah Gragson punched Harrison 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.

Gragson and Burton were battling for fourth on Lap 188 of the 200-lap race when Gragson, on in the inside of Burton, drifted up the track into Burton’s car. Both cars hit the wall. There was no caution and both fell back. Gragson finished seventh. Burton finished 12th. Austin Cindric won for the second consecutive night.

FS1 cameras caught Burton and Gragson having a discussion after the race. The cameras caught Burton pushing Gragson away. They continued to talk when Burton shoved Gragson again and Gragson punched Burton. Crew members jumped in. NASCAR officials broke up the fight.

A NASCAR spokesperson told NBC Sports that series officials spoke with both drivers and that no penalties are anticipated.

Burton told FS1: “Just frustrated. That’s two times since we’ve come back after the COVID-19 pandemic on restarts, same situation. We rallied all night to get … (into) fourth place and (Gragson) happens to start in third and just, I don’t know, forgets what racetrack we’re at or what. Both times puts us in the fence, Charlotte and now here. I had a lot of people coming up to me afterwards saying that was a long time coming, so I guess that was a popular move. But honestly, it’s about these guys that work on these racecars and give me fast racecars.”

Gragson told FS1: “This track is so much about track position and restarts. … We’ll go on to Texas and rebound.”

FS1’s Jamie Little told Gragson that Burton noted their incident at Charlotte and asked if he saw what happened Friday coming: “Not really. We’re all racing hard. Us teammates are beating and banging for the finishes at the end and whatnot. I really don’t have a comment.”

Austin Cindric completes Xfinity sweep at Kentucky

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A night after claiming his first oval track win in NASCAR, Austin Cindric followed it up with a victory in Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Kentucky Speedway.

The Team Penske driver completed a sweep of the series’ doubleheader races on the 1.5-mile track, dominating with a stage win and leading 130 of 200 laps.

Cindric crossed the finish line with a 2.2-second advantage over runner-up Chase Briscoe.

The top five was completed by Justin Haley, Ross Chastain and Justin Allgaier.

Unlike Thursday night, Cindric celebrated with a burnout on the frontstretch.

“I hope I laid enough rubber down to make up for Watkins Glen last year, that was pathetic,” Cindric told FS1. “I’m just so excited. … what we did tonight was really impressive. Because we ran one setup last night and won the race. We came with another setup and won the race again. That happens at the shop, that happens with the guys on the (pit box).”

Later in his press conference, Cindric said a change in setup was in part due to the tracks that are coming up, at Texas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway.

“Obviously with mile-and-half-tracks being really important in the second round of our playoffs with Texas and Kansas, our next two races being Texas and Kansas, and the question of having practice or not is looming very big for me,” Cindric said. “Obviously, Phoenix (site of the championship race) is the most important race of the year, but you’ve got to get there first. I feel like those are two really important steps other than Martinsville to get there. So deciding on what we want to run at those race tracks given those characteristics and more … that’s why we decided to change the game tonight.”

After the race, Harrison Burton and Noah Gragson got into a scuffle. They had made contact on a restart with 13 laps to go. Gragson finished seventh and and Burton placed 12th.

STAGE 1: Noah Gragson

STAGE 2: Austin Cindric

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Chase Briscoe finished in the top two for the seventh time in 15 races this season … Justin Allgaier finished in the top five after he spent just 33 of 200 laps on the lead lap after a flat tire brought him to pit road early in the race and put him a lap down … Ross Chastain placed fourth for his 13th top-10 finish of 2020, most of all drivers.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ryan Sieg spun in Turn 2 on Lap 3. He finished 35th … Riley Herbst finished 10th after he was caught speeding on pit road with 52 laps to go … Brandon Jones spun and wrecked with 22 laps to go while racing for second with Daniel Hemric. It’s his fourth consecutive DNF.

NOTABLE: Cindric is the first driver since Richard Petty in July 1971 in Cup to win races in the same series in consecutive days.

WHAT’S NEXT: Race at Texas Motor Speedway at 3 p.m. ET July 18 on NBCSN

NASCAR to teams: Address ‘complacency’ to COVID-19 mask protocols

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NASCAR sent a memo to teams earlier this week advising them to address “pockets of complacency” toward its COVID-19 mask protocols.

The memo was first reported by WCNC, NBC’s Charlotte affiliate.

In the memo, NASCAR said it was “seeing more and more van loads of crew members rolling up to the track without masks on, and people wearing their mask down around their chin.”

The memo stated that further flouting of the protocols “will threaten our ability to continue racing.”

“More people in our industry are going to contract the virus,” the memo added. “The key is limiting it.”

“It is important for everyone to do their part ALL THE TIME. One cluster outbreak can derail our season.”

In May, NASCAR issued a bulletin stating failure to comply with COVID-19 rules could result in a $50,000 fine.

The memo comes after seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 last week, forcing him to miss the Brickyard 400. Earlier this week Johnson had two negative tests, allowing him to be cleared for Sunday’s race at Kentucky Speedway.

Previously, Stewart-Haas Racing had two employees test positive for virus and Team Penske had one employee test positive.

In North Carolina, where most NASCAR teams are based, the state now has 81,000 cases and it has reached 1,000 hospitalizations for the first time.

The Cup Series is scheduled to hold its All-Star Race on Wednesday at Bristol Motor Speedway in Northeast Tennessee. Tennessee has just over 59,000 confirmed cases and has had 86 deaths since Sunday, a single-week record.

NASCAR is scheduled to compete next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Texas has more than 235,000 cases and almost 3,000 deaths. On Thursday, it recorded 10,000 new daily cases for the second time.