Austin Cindric, Daniel Hemric ready to fight, claw in Monday Xfinity race


Normally, Xfinity Series drivers like Austin Cindric and Daniel Hemric would spend Memorial Day with family, maybe enjoying a barbecue and just relaxing.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a new normal. Instead of the Xfinity Series heading into the holiday weekend with a race on Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the series will instead race tonight.

“It’s weird,” Cindric said, noting that typically he’ll race on Saturday, fly to Indianapolis for a family reunion as well as watch the Indy 500 on Sunday (his father, Tim, is President of Team Penske and also strategist for two-time defending IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden).

But that’s all out the window. The Indy 500 has been postponed to August 23 and the Xfinity Race was pushed back to tonight.

Speaking on a NASCAR teleconference, Cindric then added, “I just feel lucky to be back racing no matter what the weekend is.”

He and the rest of his fellow drivers were in a holding pattern until the coronavirus pandemic hiatus was lifted last week. The Xfinity Series was due to resume last Tuesday at Darlington Raceway. But rain pushed the race back to last Thursday. It was a good day for Cindric, as he finished fourth behind winner Chase Briscoe, Kyle Busch and Justin Allgaier.

“I have a lot of friends, past teammates, co-drivers that are sitting on the couch right now waiting for their race series to start back up,” Cindric said, “or a lot of questions looming over whether they’re going to get to race this year, participate in something like that and other series. So I feel very lucky to be part of NASCAR and the fact that we’re resuming our season.”

Cindric hopes tonight to extend the momentum he achieved at Darlington, where he finished fourth behind race winner Chase Briscoe, Kyle Busch and Justin Allgaier.

Cindric comes into tonight’s race third in the Xfinity driver standings, 26 points behind series leader Briscoe.

Daniel Hemric stands on the grid during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Toyota 200 at Darlington Raceway last Thursday. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Hemric, meanwhile, is also looking to extend the momentum he gained from his sixth-place finish at Darlington. One of three drivers who will pilot the No. 8 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, Hemric has made starts in four of the first five races, with mixed results.

Hemric, who is scheduled to drive 21 of the Xfinity Series’ 33 scheduled races, comes into tonight’s race 15th in the standings, 129 points behind Briscoe.

After missing the season-opening race at Daytona, Hemric finished 35th at Las Vegas, qualified fourth and finished seventh at Auto Club Speedway, was 30th at Phoenix and bounced back for his best finish this season at Darlington.

“Darlington was a weekend we needed as the 8 team, but also as the race community, to get back to the race track to have an opportunity,” Hemric said. “To do something that was somewhat normal was great for all of us, and for us in general, right.

“We needed to try to get on base, that’s what we kept saying because we haven’t had anything to get our momentum going throughout the first part of the year here. So it was a good day and just execute and have a solid day and end up inside the top-10.

“It was just one of those deals where you fight and claw and it just worked out where we ran sixth.”

Now it’s back to fighting and clawing tonight.

“You know there’s nothing better than a home race,” Hemric said. “So hopefully we’ve turned the right knobs and have our Camaro tuned up where we need it come race time.”

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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.


Friday 5: Kyle Busch, Randall Burnett forming potent combination

Rick Hendrick hopes rough driving settles down after Chase Elliott suspension

Concussion-like symptoms sideline Noah Gragson

NASCAR implements safety changes after Talladega crash

Dr. Diandra: Brad Keselowski driving RFK Racing revival 

NASCAR penalizes Erik Jones, Legacy MC for L1 violation

Drivers to watch at Sonoma Raceway 

NASCAR Power Rankings: William Byron, Kyle Busch rank 1-2

NASCAR Saturday schedule at Sonoma Raceway


Cup and Xfinity teams will be on track Saturday at Sonoma Raceway.

Cup teams will practice and qualify for Sunday’s race. Xfinity teams will qualify and race Saturday on the 1.99-mile road course in Northern California.

Sonoma Raceway


Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a high of 75 degrees. Forecast is for mostly cloudy skies, a high of 71 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the Xfinity race.

Saturday, June 10

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.  — Cup Series
  • 1 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 3 – 4 p.m. — Xfinity qualifying (FS1)
  • 5 – 6 p.m. — Cup practice  (FS2)
  • 6 – 7 p.m. — Cup qualifying  (FS2)
  • 8 p.m. — Xfinity race (79 laps, 156.95 miles; FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)