Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson discuss Auto Club incident


Kyle Larson said he knew Denny Hamlin didn’t intentionally wreck him in last weekend’s race at Auto Club Speedway and was appreciative of car owner Chip Ganassi’s defense on social media.

Hamlin and Larson were both on the Barstool Sports podcast “Rubbin is Racing” with Dave Portnoy and Clint Bowyer. The podcast was released Thursday morning.

Portnoy talked to Hamlin and Larson about their incident on the track at Auto Club Speedway, Hamlin’s social media video later that night of running into the back of Larson with a shopping cart and Chip Ganassi’s response on Twitter, calling Hamlin’s video #badtaste.

Hamlin explained on the Barstool Sports podcast his contact that caused Larson to hit the wall early in the race.

He knows that I’m not trying to do it intentionally,” Hamlin said of Larson. “He knows that I’m trying to help him. I just screwed up while I was trying to help him.”

Said Larson on the podcast: “Obviously, I also knew that it wasn’t on purpose, the wreck anyways. I was mad. I got put into the fence and my day was done, and I had to ride around way off the pace for two-and-a-half hours, so that wasn’t fun.

“We talked after the race. Like I said, I knew it wasn’t on purpose. I spent all race already being mad. I knew we were going to hang out all week in Phoenix, so why keep things awkward or make them more awkward than they should be? We race 38 weekends together a year. (Expletive) is going to happen every now and then.

“I think stuff that happens on the racetrack shouldn’t get in the middle of what you guys do off the racetrack, especially if it is not on purpose. It is what it is. I support Chip having my back. I think that is pretty cool. Like I said it wasn’t on purpose. At least I can get (Hamlin) back maybe someday and have an excuse.”

Bowyer then asked Larson if he thought about wrecking Hamlin after the incident.

“I did joke,” Larson said on the podcast chuckling, “I joked with him after the race, I said ‘Crazy how much stuff will run through your mind in a split second.’ I was ready …

Bowyer added: “You had such a good opportunity.”

Larson continued: “I was going to put him in the fence and then I’m like it’s a long drive to Scottsdale, I’m supposed to fly with him, I want to golf at all these nice courses this week, so I ended up not turning him into the fence, which I’m glad I didn’t.

“Yeah, because that would have hurt,” Hamlin interjected.

Larson continued: “Even if we didn’t have plans this week, we’re hauling ass into (Turn) 1 and he’s already broke his back once there, I wouldn’t want to do it again.”

Hamlin suffered a fractured L1 vertebra in a last-lap crash in 2013 at Auto Club Speedway.

As for the video, which has been viewed more than 450,000 times on Twitter, Hamlin said: “From my standpoint, we were just trying to make light of a bad situation and that was probably it. I understand Chip’s point of view, but I also think that saying bad taste, I don’t know, I was just tying to make a joke. Evidently 10,000 people that liked it thought it was funny too.”

Hamlin said Larson had no idea what Hamlin was going to do in the video.

“He didn’t see it coming,” Hamlin said on the podcast. “He didn’t see it coming. Ricky Stenhouse is there pushing the second cart and we were going down the aisle because we were grocery shopping for the house we’re at and I said, ‘Ricky get your camera out and give me that cart.’

Said Larson: “I could see them scheming something and they were kind of whispering to each other away from me, so I thought it was about me, but I didn’t know what was going on.”

Sonoma Xfinity starting lineup: Kyle Larson wins pole


SONOMA, Calif. — Kyle Larson will start on the pole for Saturday’s inaugural Xfinity Series race at Sonoma Raceway.

Larson won the pole with an average speed of 91.393 mph around the 1.99-mile road course. Justin Allgaier joins Larson on the front row after a lap of 90.562 mph. Sheldon Creed (90.429 mph) qualified third. Aric Almirola (90.375) will start fourth. AJ Allmendinger (90.274) will start fifth.

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Larson is one of seven Cup drivers entered. The others are Almirola (starting fourth), Allmendinger (fifth), Ty Gibbs (seventh), Ross Chastain (15th), Daniel Suarez (17th) and Ty Dillon (32nd).

The green flag is scheduled to wave at 8:20 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.

Could Daytona International Speedway host NFL games?


The president of Daytona International Speedway says track officials plan to speak with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars about hosting the team’s games if Jacksonville’s stadium is renovated.

The Jaguars will need a temporary home site if plans go forward to renovate the team’s stadium. Daytona International Speedway has been mentioned as a possible candidate. The Jaguars released details Wednesday of what the stadium will look like after the renovation project.

Provided the project is approved by the city of Jacksonville, it is believed the Jaguars would need to find another home site for a couple of seasons while work is being done to its stadium. Daytona International Speedway is among possible sites for the Jaguars to play. More than 100,000 people saw Ricky Stenhouse Jr. win this year’s Daytona 500.

“Daytona International Speedway is a world-renowned sports and entertainment venue and hosts a full schedule of events each year,” said Frank Kelleher, president of Daytona International Speedway, in a statement. “As good neighbors in the Florida sports community, DIS will be speaking with the Jacksonville Jaguars to see if we can assist them with their potential upcoming facility needs around our scheduled events.”

Daytona International Speedway hosted Soccer Fest in July 2022. An announced crowd of 7,573 fans saw the Orlando Pride and Racing Louisville play in a National Women’s Soccer League game at Daytona.

NASCAR displays counterfeit part from Chase Briscoe car


SONOMA, Calif. — NASCAR displayed the counterfeit part from Chase Briscoe‘s car on Saturday at Sonoma Raceway, showing how the part did not correspond to what should have been in the car.

NASCAR found the issue at its R&D Center after last month’s Coca-Cola 600. The sanctioning body fined crew chief John Klausmeier $250,000 and suspended him for six races. NASCAR also docked Briscoe and the team 120 points and 25 playoff points for the L3 infraction.

“We want to be transparent on the penalties,” said Brad Moran, managing director of the Cup Series as he displayed the counterfeit part to media.

Moran displayed a a portion of the engine panel from Briscoe’s car. He noted the engine duct was counterfeit. He said the proper pieces are 3D printed at the R&D Center and Fiberworks Composites sells them and installs them for teams. Moran said the duct is “in the bottom of the car under the engine panel. It’s to help cool the driver. It was added prior to the first race. During testing … we realized we wanted to get heat out of the engine compartment, and that’s what this piece does.”

Moran noted that with the counterfeit part, “we can clearly see the textures are different (from the proper part).”

He displayed what officials call a gauge that determines if the duct fits the proper parameters. He showed it fitting a proper duct and not properly fitting in the counterfeit part.

“It was a part that was made, and it was made for whatever reason,” Moran said. “It was, I guess, put on by error, but it was on the vehicle. It is a piece that should not have been made in the first place, and it was spotted at our teardown at the R&D Center.”

Moran said the issue was found in a visual inspection of the part. NASCAR inspected it further and Moran said “there are certain little characteristics that are in (a proper piece)” that officials did not see in the one on Briscoe’s car. “The more we examined it, the more we realized that’s not a part they bought.”

Moran noted that while the penalties were severe, they could have been worse based on the rulebook.

“It was the low end of the L3,” Moran said. “It’s a real big hit for any team. If it continues, and we feel we are not where we need to be, unfortunately, it’s going to ramp up. We’re not going to stop.

“The deal with this car is it needs to be run without modifying. It costs teams a lot of money in development. All the owners agreed. We all agreed where we need to be to make this a successful program, and we’re not going to give up.”



Sunday Cup race at Sonoma Raceway: Start time, TV info, weather


The Cup Series heads to wine country to compete on the 1.99-mile road course at Sonoma Raceway. This race leads into the final off weekend of the season. After the break, the series races 20 consecutive weekends. NBC and USA will broadcast those races.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway

(All times Eastern)

START: Adam Devine will give the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:50 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting is at 2:45 p.m. … Driver intros are at 3 p.m. … Earl Smith, pastor for the Golden State Warriors and San Francisco 49ers, will give the invocation at 3:30 p.m. … Tiffany Woys will perform the national anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 110 laps (218.9 miles) on the 1.99-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 25. Stage 2 ends at Lap 55.

STARTING LINEUP: Qualifying begins at 6 p.m. Saturday

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. … Coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and switches to Fox at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground — Partly cloudy with a high of 69 degrees and a 1% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Daniel Suarez won his first career Cup race last year at Sonoma. Chris Buescher finished second. Michael McDowell placed third.


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