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NASCAR announces stage lengths for Cup, Xfinity & Truck races

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NASCAR revealed stage lengths Wednesday for its Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck races in 2018.

Cup stage lengths will remain consistent with 2017 lengths, the sanctioning body stated. The race and stage lengths for the road course race at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be announced at a later date.

NASCAR is adjusting the stage lengths in the Xfinity Series for races at ISM Raceway (formerly Phoenix Raceway) and Dover International Speedway. At both Phoenix races, the stages will end at Lap 45 and Lap 90. The race ends on Lap 200. For the Dover events, the stages will end on Lap 45 and 90 and the race will end on Lap 200.

In the Truck Series, both Las Vegas races are scheduled for 134 laps. The stages are set to end at Lap 40 and Lap 80.

“Our primary goal every season is providing the best race for our fans, and to that end, we will remain consistent in terms of stage lengths for the majority of our national series events,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, in a statement. “Last year’s debut of the race format was a strong one, and we look forward to building on that foundation in 2018, starting with Speedweeks at Daytona.”

Here are the stage lengths for 2018:

2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Track Stage 1 Stage 2 Final Stage
(ends on lap) (ends on lap) (ends on lap)
Daytona International Speedway 60 120 200
Atlanta Motor Speedway 85 170 325
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 80 160 267
ISM Raceway 75 150 312
Auto Club Speedway 60 120 200
Martinsville Speedway 130 260 500
Texas Motor Speedway 85 170 334
Bristol Motor Speedway 125 250 500
Richmond Raceway 100 200 400
Talladega Superspeedway 55 110 188
Dover International Speedway 120 240 400
Kansas Speedway 80 160 267
Charlotte Motor Speedway Stage 1 – 100, Stage 2 – 200,

Stage 3 – 300, Final Stage – 400

Pocono Raceway 50 100 160
Michigan International Speedway 60 120 200
Sonoma Raceway 25 50 110
Chicagoland Speedway 80 160 267
Daytona International Speedway 2 40 80 160
Kentucky Speedway 80 160 267
New Hampshire Motor Speedway 75 150 301
Pocono Raceway 50 100 160
Watkins Glen International 20 40 90
Michigan International Speedway 2 60 120 200
Bristol Motor Speedway 2 125 250 500
Darlington Raceway 100 200 367
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 50 100 160
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 2 80 160 267
Richmond Raceway 2 100 200 400
Charlotte Motor Speedway 2 TBD TBD TBD
Dover International Speedway 2 120 240 400
Talladega Superspeedway 2 55 110 188
Kansas Speedway 2 80 160 267
Martinsville Speedway 2 130 260 500
Texas Motor Speedway 2 85 170 334
ISM Raceway 2 75 150 312
Homestead-Miami Speedway 80 160 267
2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series
Track Stage 1 Stage 2 Final Stage
(ends on lap) (ends on lap) (ends on lap)
Daytona International Speedway 30 60 120
Atlanta Motor Speedway 40 80 163
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 45 90 200
ISM Raceway 45 90 200
Auto Club Speedway 35 70 150
Texas Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Bristol Motor Speedway 85 170 300
Richmond Raceway 75 150 250
Talladega Superspeedway 25 50 113
Dover International Speedway 45 90 200
Charlotte Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Pocono Raceway 25 50 100
Michigan International Speedway 30 60 125
Iowa Speedway 60 120 250
Chicagoland Speedway 45 90 200
Daytona International Speedway 30 60 100
Kentucky Speedway 45 90 200
New Hampshire Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Iowa Speedway 60 120 250
Watkins Glen International 20 40 82
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 20 40 75
Bristol Motor Speedway 85 170 300
Road America 10 20 45
Darlington Raceway 45 90 147
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 30 60 100
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 2 45 90 200
Richmond International Raceway 75 150 250
Charlotte Motor Speedway TBD TBD TBD
Dover International Speedway 45 90 200
Kansas Speedway 45 90 200
Texas Motor Speedway 45 90 200
ISM Raceway 2 45 90 200
Homestead-Miami Speedway 45 90 200

 

 

 

2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Track Stage 1 Stage 2 Final Stage
(ends on lap) (ends on lap) (ends on lap)
Daytona International Speedway 20 40 100
Atlanta Motor Speedway 40 80 130
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 40 80 134
Martinsville Speedway 70 140 250
Dover International Speedway 45 90 200
Kansas Speedway 40 80 167
Charlotte Motor Speedway 40 80 134
Texas Motor Speedway 40 80 167
Iowa Speedway 60 120 200
Gateway Motorsports Park 35 70 160
Chicagoland Speedway 35 70 150
Kentucky Speedway 35 70 150
Eldora Speedway 40 90 150
Pocono Raceway 15 30 60
Michigan International Speedway 30 60 100
Bristol Motor Speedway 55 110 200
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 20 40 64
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 2 40 80 134
Talladega Superspeedway 20 40 94
Martinsville Speedway 2 50 100 200
Texas Motor Speedway 2 35 70 147
ISM Raceway 40 80 150
Homestead-Miami Speedway 40 80 134

Carson Hocevar to run full Truck schedule in 2021

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Niece Motorsports has signed Carson Hocevar to run the full NASCAR Truck schedule in 2021, the team announced Thursday.

Hocevar, who turns 18 in January, has run five races for the team this season. His best finish this year is 12th at Dover. He’s scheduled to run at Martinsville on Oct. 30.

“I’m so excited to get the opportunity to race fulltime next year with the Niece Motorsports group,” said Hocevar in a statement. “We’ve had some really strong runs in the few starts that we’ve had this season and I am grateful for the chance to continue that next year. I’ve learned so much already this year and know that we will keep improving next year too.”

“Carson has really impressed us this season,” said team owner Al Niece in a statement. “He’s proven his talent – getting into the truck with no track time and really holding his own. We’re thrilled to have him with us fulltime next season and look forward to contending for wins together.”

TikTok to sponsor Ryan Vargas in six Xfinity races

TikTok
JD Motorsports
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TikTok is coming to NASCAR.

The popular video sharing app will break into the sport next month as a sponsor of Ryan Vargas in the Xfinity Series.

TikTok has partnered with JD Motorsports to sponsor the 20-year-old Vargas in the final six races of the season, beginning with the Oct. 3 race at Talladega Superspeedway.

“TikTok has provided me with an incredible outlet to reach new fans and demographics through fun and creative content, and I’ve seen the highest growth in followers on TikTok over my other social channels,” Vargas said in a press release. “The opportunity to run the No. 6 TikTok Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the rest of the season is an absolute dream come true. Johnny Davis and the whole JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team took a chance on me last year and I’m excited to bring this amazing TikTok partnership their way. I wouldn’t want to make this partnership a reality anywhere else.”

Vargas has made three Xfinity Series starts this year. His best finish was 13th at Pocono.

The sponsor deal is part of TikTok’s Latinx Heritage Month programming.

A native of La Mirada, California, Vargas joined TikTok last year. He is a former member of NASCAR’s Drive 4 Diversity programming and a winner of the Wendell Scott Trailblazer award, which is given to a minority or female driver who displays exceptional on-track performance, sportsmanship, and community service.

The partnership and paint scheme were inspired by a concept scheme by graphic designer Ryan Pistana, a friend of Vargas’.

“Creators of all sizes and backgrounds show up to TikTok with their genuine, authentic selves,” Nick Tran, TikTok’s Head of Global Marketing, said in a press release. “Partnering with an iconic brand like NASCAR to sponsor Ryan Vargas on his racing journey is a way for us to continue to support, celebrate and elevate the diverse creators that make our TikTok community what it is today. Ryan is an incredible athlete, and we’re looking forward to cheering him on alongside the rest of the TikTok community!”

According to CNBC in August, TikTok has roughly 100 million monthly users, up nearly 800% from January 2018.

TikTok, a Chinese-owned company, has been in national headlines recently after President Donald Trump threatened to ban the app in the United States for national security reasons if it was not sold to an American company. On Sept. 19 he approved a deal for its U.S operations to be operated by Oracle and Walmart.

Las Vegas weekend schedule

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NASCAR’s postseason continues with the Las Vegas weekend schedule, as the Cup Series begins the Round of 12.

In addition to Cup, Las Vegas Motor Speedway will host the Xfinity Series’ playoff opener and the second race of the Truck Series’ opening round.

More: Kevin Harvick on pole for Cup race

Here is the Las Vegas weekend schedule:

(All times Eastern)

Friday, Sept. 25

Noon – 2 p.m. ET – Truck Series haulers enter (screening and equipment unload)

2 p.m. – Truck Series garage opens

2 – 8 p.m. – Truck Series garage access screening in progress

2:30 – 3 p.m. – Truck Series rookie meeting (electronic communication)

5 p.m. – Xfinity rookie meeting (electronic communication)

5:30 p.m.  – Xfinity driver-crew chief meeting (electronic communication)

8:50 p.m. – Truck Series drivers report to vehicles

9 p.m.- Truck Series race; 134 laps/201 miles (FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

11:30 p.m. – Truck Series haulers exit

 

Saturday, Sept 26.

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Xfinity haulers enter (screening and equipment unload)

1 p.m. – Xfinity garage opens

1 – 6:30 p.m. – Xfinity garage access screening in progress

5 p.m. – Cup rookie meeting (electronic communication)

5:30 p.m. – Cup driver-crew chief meeting (electronic communication)

7:20 p.m. – Xfinity drivers report to cars

7:30 p.m. – Xfinity race; 200 laps/300 miles (NBCSN, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

9:30 p.m. – Xfinity haulers exit

10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. – Cup haulers enter

 

Sunday, Sept. 27

Noon – Cup garage opens

Noon – 6 p.m.  – Cup garage access screening in progress

6:50 p.m. – Cup drivers report to cars

7 p.m. – Cup race; 267 laps/400.5 miles (NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

11:30 p.m. – Cup haulers exit

NTSB releases final report on Dale Jr. plane crash

NTSB
Photo: Dustin Long
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Pilot error played a key role in the August 2019 crash of a plane carrying Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family, a final report by the National Transportation Safety Board stated Wednesday.

Earnhardt, wife Amy and daughter Isla were on board the plane, which crashed after a hard landing at Elizabethton (Tennessee) Municipal Airport on Aug. 15, 2019. The report stated all three suffered minor injuries. 

The NTSB listed the probable causes of the accident as: “The pilot’s continuation of an unstabilized approach despite recognizing associated cues and the flight crew’s decision not to initiate a go-around before touchdown, which resulted in a bounced landing, a loss of airplane control, a landing gear collapse, and a runway excursion. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to deploy the speedbrakes during the initial touchdown, which may have prevented the runway excursion, and the pilot’s attempt to go around after deployment of the thrust reversers.”

A “go-around” occurs when a pilot pulls out of a landing and gains altitude to make another landing attempt.

The report stated that “the flight crew made several comments about the airplane flying too fast and allowed the airspeed to increase well above the reference speed for the approach.”

The report stated that “the pilot did not extend the speedbrakes upon touchdown, which landing checklist required, but instead attempted to deploy the thrust reversers immediately after touchdown, which was a later item on the landing checklist.”

Earnhardt’s Cessna 680A Citation Latitude bounced twice upon landing as it traversed the 5,001-foot runaway.

After the fourth touchdown, the right main landing gear collapsed. The plane went off the road and through a 400-foot long area of grass. It went down an embankment, through a creek and a chain-link fence. It continued up an embankment. The plane came to rest about 600 feet beyond the runway at the edge of a four-lane highway.

The passengers and two pilots escaped as the plane burned.

The full report can be read here.