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Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jr. race car collection to be auctioned this weekend

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If you’re a Dale Earnhardt Sr. or Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan, or if you’re looking for just the right gift for an Earnhardt fan and have, say, a few hundred thousand dollars burning a hole in your checking account, you might want to check out this week’s Mecum Auctions from Glendale, Arizona, which will air on NBCSN.

Three full-fledged race cars formerly driven by Dale Earnhardt Sr., including a championship-clinching ride, will be on the auction block.

In addition, two red and white No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolets driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. when he raced for his father at Dale Earnhardt Inc., will also be up for bid.

The senior Earnhardt’s cars offered are:

* Considered one of the most famous cars in NASCAR history, the 1994 Chevrolet Lumina that he drove to a runner-up finish at Atlanta that year to clinch his seventh and final Cup championship (expected to fetch between $200,000 and $300,000). In addition, Earnhardt scored two wins that season in this car, as well as two additional second-place and two more third-place finishes.

* A 1989 Chevrolet Lumina that Earnhardt drove in road course races at Watkins Glen and Sonoma (expected to go for between $75,000 and $125,000). The car is unrestored and carries a 5.8 liter V-8 motor with a 4-speed manual transmission. It also has two race setup sheets included.

* The special orange-colored No. 3 Chevy Monte Carlo that Earnhardt drove to a fourth-place finish in the 1997 Winston Select race at Charlotte (will likely go for between $75,000 and $125,000). The car was actually built in 1993 and contains a 5.8L V-8 motor with a 4-speed manual transmission.  

All three of the senior Earnhardt’s cars will be auctioned Saturday.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s two rides up for auction are:

* The No. 8 Chevrolet Monte Carlo that he won the 2004 Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (expected to go for between $125,000 and $175,000). The car is autographed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and has been completely restored, including the original 5.8L V-8 engine, 4-speed transmission, original racing components, seat and headrest.

* The No. 8 Chevrolet Monte Carlo that Junior drove in the 2006 race at Watkins Glen (likely to go for between $100,000 and $125,000). Car contains all original components, including 5.8L V-8 engine and 4-speed manual transmission.

Here’s the telecast schedule for the event (all times Eastern):

* LIVE today (March 14) on NBC Sports Gold from 1-7 p.m.

* LIVE Friday (March 15) on NBCSN from 5-6 p.m.

* Same Day Delay Friday (March 15) on NBCSN from 11 p.m. – 1 a.m.

* Delayed telecast Monday (March 18) on NBCSN from 6 p.m. – Midnight

* Delayed telecast Tuesday (March 19) on NBCSN from 1-3 a.m.

In addition, several old pace cars and street cars from the Earnhardt Collection will be up for bid as well.

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Kyle Busch has idea for NASCAR’s Xfinity, Truck limits

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Kyle Busch would entertain the opportunity to pursue the one NASCAR championship that has eluded him – in the Gander Outdoor Truck Series – when his Cup career is over.

But he’s got an idea that would allow him to run both series concurrently and address the limits on Cup drivers running in lower series.

“Why don’t you let us run as many races as we want to run and then once we miss one, we’re done?” Busch pondered after his victory Saturday in the TruNorth Global 250 truck race at Martinsville Speedway. “So if I go all the way to (the June 15 race at Iowa Speedway) in the trucks and run 10 races and can’t go to Iowa, I’m done.

“You can race for points or whatever and so if that ever came down to that, then maybe there’d be an opportunity years down the road that then you can run multiple series and try to go after a championship that way.”

What was NASCAR’s reaction to the plan?

“That’s probably the first time I’ve said that or thought about it,” Busch said with a laugh. “Now that it’s out there … there’s not a damn fan that’s ever going to let it happen.”

Indeed, Busch’s 201st career victory in a NASCAR national series drew the usual outrage on social media Saturday, both from his Rowdy Nation legion of fans and those who vehemently believe he should be limited beyond the NASCAR cap of five truck races and seven Xfinity races allowed for full-time Cup drivers.

Busch has won in seven of 11 starts in trucks, Xfinity and Cup this season.

“Could have been nine or 10 (victories) probably, that’s what the scary part is if it wasn’t for simple mistakes,” Busch said. “Overall, it’s been fun. It’s a damn shame I’m only allowed five and seven.”

Busch has two 2019 starts left in trucks: at Texas Motor Speedway next week and Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.

He said the chances are solid for going 5 for 5.

“I’d like to think Texas is a good place,” he said. “I think our guys have a good baseline. Charlotte is always one of my best tracks, favorite tracks and enjoy running there with the trucks, especially. There’s a good opportunity.

“It’s kind of an expectation (to win every race). We just go out, work hard and smart, and today we let the race play itself out and come to us.”

Busch won the 2009 Xfinity championship in the last season in which he ran full time in NASCAR’s top two series. He has focused solely on Cup full time since then, and NASCAR has changed rules over the past eight years limiting the ability to run for more than one title.

Despite 148 starts (and 54 victories), he is yet to run a full truck season, but the 2015 Cup champion has said he’d like to become the first driver to win a championship in each of NASCAR’s top three series.

Three Cup cars fail prerace inspection at Martinsville Speedway

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. — The cars of William Byron, DJ Kennington and Jeb Burton failed inspection Sunday morning at Martinsville Speedway.

Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet failed mechanical measurements. His sixth-place qualifying time will be disallowed, and he will have to start from the rear.

Kennington failed the OSS. He qualified 34th.

Burton had qualified 33rd.

The three cars will officially start behind those that passed inspection. Cars that qualified behind them will move up one spot.

The No. 24 suffered a right-front tire problem in the opening minutes of first practice Saturday morning, and the team made repairs to put the car back on track.

Today’s Cup race at Martinsville Speedway: Start time, lineup, more

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MARTINSVILLE — High downforce could bring hot tempers to Martinsville Speedway, where today’s STP 500 will mark the first short track of the 2019 Cup schedule.

In the last visit to the 0.526-mile oval, Joey Logano bumped Martin Truex Jr. aside entering the last two corners in one of the most thrilling finishes of the 2018 season.

Here’s the pertinent information for today’s race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Robert DeRidder, the senior vice president and general manager of Energizer Holdings Inc. (owners of STP), will give the command to start engines at 2:01 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 2:07 p.m.

PRERACE: The crew chief and drivers meeting is at noon. Driver introductions will begin at 1:20 p.m. The invocation will be given by track chaplain Mike Hatfield at 1:54 p.m. The 380th Army Band will perform the national anthem at 1:55 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 500 laps (263 miles) around the 0.526-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 130. Stage 2 ends on Lap 260.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race with coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network will broadcast the race. MRN’s coverage begins at 1 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast, which is also available at MRN.com.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 63 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain for the start of the race.

LAST TIME: In a race delayed to Monday by a snowstorm, Clint Bowyer scored his first victory for Stewart-Haas Racing. Kyle Busch finished second. Ryan Blaney placed third. Joey Logano won at Martinsville last fall. Denny Hamlin placed second. Martin Truex Jr. was third. 

TO THE REAR: William Byron (mechanical measurements), DJ Kennington (OSS) and Jeb Burton will start from the rear after failing inspection Sunday morning.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.

Cup starting lineup at Martinsville

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Fords flexed their muscle during Saturday’s qualifying, grabbing the first four spots and six of the first 11 for Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Joey Logano will start from the pole, alongside Aric Almirola. Brad Keselowski will start in Row 2, alongside Kevin Harvick.

Row 3 will have Denny Hamlin and William Byron. Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott make up Row 4, while Martin Truex Jr. and Daniel Suarez will start from Row 5.

Click here for the full row-by-row Cup starting lineup.

Note that the starting lineup is provisional until Sunday morning’s pre-race inspection. Any car that fails inspection will lose its starting spot and move to the back of the field.

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