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Bubba Wallace told Denny Hamlin his Adderall comments ‘make us all look bad’

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HAMPTON, Ga. – Bubba Wallace says he is ready to put his post-Daytona 500 skirmish with Denny Hamlin behind, but his extracurricular membership privileges would indicate otherwise for his new rival.

“I’m all good,” Wallace said in a Friday morning interview with NBC Sports at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “I texted him Tuesday and he was like I’m kicked out of the golf league and the basketball league.”

Hamlin runs a weekly basketball gathering with NASCAR types called the Hoop Group and also is a key member of “The Golf Guys”. Wallace is a longtime member of the basketball league but said later he decided he wouldn’t play anymore. The Daytona 500 runner-up learned he was out of the golf league via five or six texts from “intermediaries.”

“No more,” Wallace said with a laugh. “My first season with Golf Guys, and I’m out. Damn it.”

 During a Fox interview after practice Friday, Hamlin joked that “those positions have been filled” when asked about the leagues. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver said he was using the feud “as motivation. I’ve always been motivated. It just fires me up more to be more motivated. So, I have no issue at all. I’m here to do the best I can to get a good finish and put us in position to do well in the regular season, win some races, get some bonus points. These little bumps in the road are … they really are just speed bumps.”

Hamlin and Wallace slammed into each other on the last lap of Sunday’s race at Daytona International Speedway and then engaged in a shouting match in the garage after Hamlin learned that Wallace had taken a dig at him on national TV about his recent comments about drivers using Adderall.

“From his tweets, he’s more upset about what was said after the fact,” Wallace said. “Which he had started as a joke. So when you take a dig at him, it’s not good. One-way street, I guess.”

Kevin Harvick said on his Happy Hours show on SiriusXM Satellite Radio that Hamlin should keep his mouth shut because of a lot of veterans were angry about his Adderall comments. Wallace said he echoed those comments to Hamlin.

“Yeah, it makes us all look bad,” Wallace said. “And I told (Hamlin) that. He said, ‘I don’t need a PR lesson from you.’ I’m like, ‘OK. I’ll be the one to say it.’ I won’t hold back. Clearly.”

A Facebook Watch documentary film crew that has been following Wallace for a docuseries has footage of the altercation but didn’t put it in the last two episodes that were released Thursday. Wallace said he wouldn’t have minded if it had been released.

“No, I wouldn’t care, but then the media would take it as, ‘Uh-oh, what are we going to expect from that at Atlanta,’” Wallace said. “Nothing! I’m going to go out and run my own race. He’s run here a million times and won a couple of races. This is my first time in a Cup car. I’m going to figure it out on my own and not even worry about him. It’s good that it wasn’t in there, but it’s also … I don’t know.

“I guess you can keep playing it up, but according to him, he wants to let it die down. He’s tired of hearing about the Adderall comment. Don’t make the comment, dumb ass!”

Here’s more of Wallace’s Q&A with NBC Sports, which took place in between several media hits that Wallace was doing in victory lane at Atlanta:

Q: You were at a heavy metal concert Tuesday night in Charlotte. Did you get recognized as Daytona 500 runner-up?

A: “I did! I went to will call and said ‘Hey, Darrell Wallace, plus one.’ And he held up my ID and said, ‘Hey, good job!’ And the lady behind him was ‘Hey, great job.’ Thanks!”

Q: Has that happened often since Sunday?

A: “Yes, it has. I’ve gotten a couple of people that were like, ‘Man, you’re a race car driver.’ I’m sitting in the lobby of the hotel, doing some CNN stuff, and a guy walks up and says, ‘Are you Bubba Wallace?’ ‘Yeah, I am.’ That was an awesome race. We go to Panda Express yesterday, and a firefighter is standing next to me. So I made eye contact, and I believe he was looking at his phone with me on it. Trying to put the two together. He’s like, ‘Are you Bubba Wallace?’ ‘Today, I am. Yes sir.’ ‘Oh man, great race Sunday.’ It’s pretty cool.”

Q: You heard from Lewis Hamilton and Hank Aaron before the race. Any big names since then?

A: “Man, I haven’t gotten anybody like that. But I did run into (former Washington Redskins star) Darrell Green right there as Denny Hamlin and I were going at it, Darrell Green was standing right here beside me, and he was like man, you handled yourself well there. This is awesome. So he was a fan. Elliott Sadler reached out with words of wisdom and advice. Just seeing what Dale and Kevin said on their podcast was really cool. Over 200 text messages. I haven’t gotten that many after I’ve won a race. Pretty cool.”

Q: Did you have editorial control of the Facebook Watch documentary?

A: “A little bit. I told him going into it. I did that BET show in 2010. Changing Lanes. That was super staged. I can’t watch reality shows now because I know all of it is fake. And I told them I’m not doing this shit if it’s staged. I will not do it. Some of it was just kind of recapping our day, which didn’t really understand. We’d do all the stuff in that one day, and then we’d talk about what we did. So. They can see what we did! They know what we’re doing! What’s the point in talking about it? So that got really old, really fast. So there will be some tweaks when we go back if they want to do a second season. Which they’ve talked about. But I’m not too excited on it.

“I dropped a dollar amount on them, and it was a substantial increase, and they were like OK. I’m like ‘Shit!’ I should have went way above that. I screwed myself.”

Q: Well, as long as you didn’t sign anything …

A: “I did. But it’s not set in stone for season 2. They just want an option to do it. We’ll see. It’d be this year. I don’t know when.”

Q: So you were happy with it, but it’s a hassle.

A: “Oh, it’s so much hassle. There’s a lot of stress that comes from it. Just because it’s can you do this, or do that? What’s your plans for today? I don’t go by a plan. If (Ryan) Blaney and (girlfriend) Amanda and I want to do something, I’ll wait for her to get home from work, we’ll sit there and do the typical couple argument what do you want to eat, what do you want to eat. OK, cool. We’re going there. They want to do at 7:30 what are you all doing? (Expletive), I don’t know. I’ll probably be on the (toilet). I don’t know. So annoying!”

Q: What will a good finish at Atlanta be for your team?

A: “I had the chance to ride with The King last night, we had a Coca-Cola dinner, so I fired off this question, ‘So what do you expect for this season?’ I wanted to know his take. And obviously keeping everything in realistic check, we want to win races, but going from where we were last year to winning races and being a dominant car, it’s not going to happen. That’s not how the sport works. So you go through the climbing of the ladder to get there. And so he says we were a top 15 to 20 car last year, mostly toward the top 20 side. And I want to be that top eight, that top 12 car. All right. I like it. I just kept saying top 10, top 15, moving it up that next second, and he went just a little bit beyond that, which I think we can do. Atlanta will be pretty tough. Just from me never having the best of stuff here, but we managed to get a sixth place, but that’s the Xfinity Series. Here, eight guys, you still got 10 others that are super fast, so that’ll be tough, but I’m excited. It was good to hear from where he wanted to stand, and he even said we’re not going to be that dominant car. It’s not going to happen. There will be some days where we’ll finish better than top 10. Way better. There’ll be some days where we finish way worse than top 10. It’s just one of those days.”

Q: Is that optimism from Daytona or there before it?

A: “I think it was there before that. At the end of the day, yeah, you finish second at Daytona. Great. Anyone can do that. Anyone who enters the Daytona 500 has a chance to win unless they are there to ride around in the back. Wrecks go that way. There hasn’t been a race yet where all the cars are wrecked out except one, but there’s a chance that could happen. So whoever is riding around in the back that misses every wreck and everybody wrecks out, there’s your Daytona 500 winner. That’s how the plate races go, so yeah, it was great to be able to get through that and still battle. How many cars on the lead lap in Daytona, 15? OK. But it’s Daytona. As long as you miss the wrecks, you’re going to have a good finish.”

Q: Is tire management over 500 miles the toughest part?

A: “For sure. I was watching the race last night, and Harvick even leading just coming off Turn 4 sideways. Nine laps into it. I’m like, ‘Jesus Christ.’ All right, he had a 2-second lead. I can only imagine what 15th place is like.”

Austin Hill wins Truck Series opener at Daytona in overtime finish

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Austin Hill won Friday’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series season opener at Daytona in an overtime finish, claiming his first career Truck Series win.

The win comes in Hill’s 52nd series start and his first with Hattori Racing Enterprises. Hill, a former member of the NASCAR Next driver program, took over for defending champion Brett Moffitt in the No. 16 Toyota.

Hill, 24, beat Grant Enfinger, Ross Chastain, Spencer Boyd and Matt Crafton in the second attempt at an overtime finish.

Hill, who is from Winston, Georgia, led 39 laps and survived a race that saw 11 cautions and 26 of 32 trucks involved in accidents.

“Man, this truck was fast,” Hill told Fox Sports 1. “I knew we had a truck that could compete. Got a little scared there at the end. I thought (Enfinger) was going to get me, he got a big run. We were able to protect it. I can’t believe my first win came at Daytona. It’s so surreal, I can’t wait to party with these guys.”

Hill’s win is the third in a row for Hattori after Moffitt won the last two races of 2018.

The overtime period was created by a wreck with two laps left in the scheduled 100-lap distance that involved 10 trucks and nearly every remaining frontrunner. The final restart was setup by a two-car incident on the first overtime attempt.

Only nine of the field’s 32 trucks took the final green flag.

“It was a crazy night … carnage everywhere,” Enfinger said. “We tore up a lot of crap tonight.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Sheldon Creed

STAGE 2 WINNER: Johnny Sauter

Click here for the race results.

Click here for the point standings.

NOTABLE: Billy Rock, the jackman on the No. 28 of Bryan Dauzat, was awake and alert after he was hit on pit road early in the race by Dauzat, who had lost his brakes. Rock was transported to a local hospital … Angela Ruch, the niece of Derrike Cope, placed eighth in NEMCO Motorsports No. 8 truck. She is just the second woman to earn a top 10 in the Truck Series. Jennifer Jo Cobb placed sixth at Daytona in 2011.

NEXT: Active Pest Control 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway at 4:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 23 on Fox Sports 1

Christian Eckes wins Truck Series pole at Daytona

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Christian Eckes won the pole for tonight’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series season opener at Daytona.

Driving the No. 51 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports, Eckes posted a top speed of 182.604 mph.

It is the first career pole for 18-year-old Eckes in his fifth career start.

“I felt way more confident in our car in the draft yesterday,” Eckes told Fox Sports 1. “I really wasn’t sure where we would qualify but here we are on the pole.”

He will be joined on the front row by David Gilliland (182.556 mph).

The top five is completed by Todd Gilliland (181.686), Harrison Burton (181.357) and Grant Enfinger (181.349).

Burton will start from the rear after an engine change was made on his No. 18 Toyota on Thursday.

The race is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

Click here for the starting lineup.

Meet the ‘Gen 7 for NASCAR’ that could include shorter races and capped costs

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Are shorter races better? That’s a discussion taking place in NASCAR, along with the length of the season and other key topics.

“We have to keep (fans) engaged,” car owner Jack Roush said Friday at Daytona International Speedway. “We have to think about their attention spans. The races may need to get shorter.  That could be cost savings all the way around. Probably need to get shorter. 

“People say we need to race fewer times. I’m not sure that’s true. I used to tell (NASCAR Vice Chairman) Mike Helton, if he had three or four races a week, I’d be there for him. I don’t know if I’d say that today.”

Already this week, Kevin Harvick has advocated eliminating the Clash, and Denny Hamlin has noted one of the most popular events in the Olympics is the 100-meter dash instead of the marathon, a hint to shorter races

These comments have been made as the sport looks to cut costs for teams and energize fans who can become weary over a 38-race season that goes from February to November. NASCAR President Steve Phelps said last year that various ideas would be considered for the 2020 schedule and beyond. 

Car owner Roger Penske, whose organization is coming off Joey Logano’s Cup championship season, likens the sport’s look at race lengths to its focus on the next car, which is targeted to debut in 2021.

“I think we’re really talking about Gen 7 for NASCAR,” Penske said, using the term for the next car. “It’s not just the car or the engine. I think it’s the show, it’s the length of the races, it’s where we’re going to run, are we going to run more at night, short tracks. Let’s call it Gen 7 for NASCAR, not just the car.”

A shorter season could limit how many weekends NASCAR goes head-to-head against the NFL in the fall. Shorter races could provide the opportunity for midweek races. The belief from those advocating shorter races is that it would create a better show for fans.

“I think it’s an exciting time for us really in the sport,” car owner Joe Gibbs said. “You know, there’s times that you struggle, and I think we have struggled some, but I honestly think (NASCAR Chairman) Jim France is on board and after it.  I think we, having constant meetings with everybody has kind of put everything on the table. 

“We’ve got a great fan base, but I think everything is really out there, scheduling, everything that you’re talking about, cost savings, everything is on the table. And so sometimes when you go through a tough time, those wind up being the best times because it causes you to really think your way through things.”

Just as important to teams are the costs, which NASCAR continues to look to cut. There’s also been talk of some type of spending limitation for teams.

“You’re going to see other things happen with the cars, engine packages, that’s going to reduce the cost,” car owner Rick Hendrick said. “So NASCAR is really on it. When you look at it, we talk about a spending cap. I don’t know how you regulate that with all we have going on. I mean, everything is on the table.”

Bob Jenkins, car owner for Front Row Motorsports, said cost containment can make an impact for his three-car organization.

“The ultimate goal has always got to be how can we do more with less with any team,” he said. “I think some of the larger teams have felt the financial pinch maybe more so than we have. When you’re in a constant evolution mode, it’s hard for us to keep up. We can make suspension changes a few times a year. Like Roger said, we can’t change cars every week.

“In previous years, we were always a generation or two behind and it shows on our performance. I think now when they come with these common parts that are produced by a third-party manufacturer that can’t be tweaked or re-engineered it only helps a team like us.”

Menard, McMurray, Stenhouse fastest in second Cup practice at Daytona

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Paul Menard (200.758 mph) was fastest in Friday’s second Cup practice session at Daytona International Speedway.

Jamie McMurray in his Chevrolet Camaro was second-fastest (200.696 mph) and the only driver not in a Ford in the first 13 positions.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (200.664) was third-fastest, followed by Ryan Newman (200.638) and Clint Bowyer (200.588).

Sixth through 10th were Aric Almirola (200.571), Daniel Suarez (200.535), defending Cup champion Joey Logano (200.450), Ryan Blaney (200.428) and Brad Keselowski (200.428).

Only 29 of the 40 cars entered in Sunday’s Daytona 500 took part in the second practice. There is one final practice scheduled for Saturday.

Click here for the full second practice speed chart.

In the first practice session earlier in the afternoon, Kyle Busch led a Joe Gibbs Racing juggernaut.

Busch paced the 40-car field with a top speed of 200.285 mph, followed by JGR teammates Martin Truex Jr. (200.200) in second, Erik Jones in fourth (200.156) and Denny Hamlin was seventh-fastest (200.044). Ryan Preece was third-fastest in a Chevrolet at 200.169 mph, while Ryan Newman rounded out the top five at 200.093 mph.

Click here for the full first practice speed chart.

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