Myatt Snider reflects on wild ride at Daytona

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As observers, Myatt Snider’s violent crash at the end of Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway took only a moment to unfold.

For the man himself, it didn’t feel that way.

“I knew the part where I was going up in the air happened pretty slow,” he recalled Thursday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “But as soon as the car caught the fence, everything happened real fast. That was probably the most violent part of the crash, for sure.”

He would walk away from a No. 31 Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet that was almost completely destroyed.

One of the few parts of his race car left intact was the driver’s side door. It included a Bible verse he said he received from Jordan’s father, Clif Anderson, prior to the race.

Myatt’s father, NASCAR on NBC reporter Marty Snider, revealed the verse as Isaiah 40:31 on social media Saturday night. The verse begins: “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”

Less than a week after the crash, Myatt Snider certainly believes the Almighty was looking out for him.

“I think that played a big part in keeping me safe,” he said Thursday. “That was a really cool moment and a really cool thing to think about, considering all that happened and considering how safe I stayed throughout all of this. Definitely had a little bit of protection around me.”

But if he had divine protection, he also had the protection of his race car – built with hard-earned lessons from previous wild wrecks at Daytona such as Kyle Larson’s in the 2013 Xfinity race and Austin Dillon’s in the July 2015 Cup race.

It’s a big reason why the only thing bothering him as he prepares to go racing this weekend at Auto Club Speedway is a banged-up foot.

Since Saturday, Myatt Snider not only stayed in contact with NASCAR regarding medical clearance for this weekend, but also telling them what he felt inside the cockpit during the crash.

He hopes his insights will help lead to even safer race cars in the future.

“I talked with them yesterday about what did what in the car, all the accelerations and the G-forces and all that stuff,” he said Thursday. “I feel like they gave me a really in-depth look of everything. They’ve been really on top of everything and they’ve just really helped me out a lot.

“…With the crashes that Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson have had, those guys sort of paved the way for me to have a safer crash than I would have if it had been the previous iteration of the car on Saturday night.

“So, I’m glad that now, I can do my part and pay it forward and help the cars continue to be safer and really make sure everybody’s able to have a safe racing experience and also go out and have fun. I’m definitely willing to help NASCAR in any way I can.”

In the meantime, he’s happy to get back to it at Auto Club Speedway, which fits his preference for high-wear tracks where drivers must hunt for grip.

It’s the second in a run of four completely different tracks to open the season. After this weekend comes the traditional mile-and-a-half at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, followed by the asymmetrical mile at Phoenix Raceway.

“(The stretch) is definitely is a good measuring stick for everything, whether it’s keeping the equipment together, keeping the shop flowing well, (keeping) the chemistry between the driver and crew chief and the team,” he said Thursday.

“Luckily, I think we have all that. Things have been running pretty smoothly here at Jordan Anderson Racing and that gives me a lot of confidence to do my job well. I think we’re going to do really well with these next couple of races and I’m so excited to get out there and play it with the team and play it on the track.”

Helio Castroneves rules out Daytona 500

Helio Castroneves Daytona 500
Robert Scheer/Indy Star/USA TODAY NETWORK
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Helio Castroneves might be at the 2023 Daytona 500, but the four-time Indy 500 winner won’t be in a race car.

During a news conference Thursday at Daytona International Speedway, Castroneves confirmed in response to a question from NBC Sports that he essentially has ruled out attempting to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the Feb. 19 season opener.

As recently as last Thursday at Rolex 24 Media Day, Castroneves, 47, said he still was working on trying to piece together a deal.

The Brazilian had been negotiating with the Cup team co-owned by boxer Floyd Mayweather and would have been in an “open” entry that lacked guaranteed entry to the Great American Race. That potentially would leave him in the precarious position of needing to make the race on qualifying speed or a qualifying race finish (as action sports star Travis Pastrana likely might need in his Cup debut).

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“Unfortunately for me, lack of experience, no testing,” Castroneves said. “A lot of things. I believe it would be a little bit tough throwing myself in such a short notice, and to go in a place that you’ve got to race yourself into it. So as of right now, yes, it’s not going to happen.

“But we did have an opportunity. We just got to elaborate a little bit more to give me a little more experience on that. So there is more things to come ahead of us, but as of right now, I want to focus on the IndyCar program as well and (the Rolex 24 at Daytona).”

Castroneves, who has a residence in Key Biscayne, said he still might attend the Daytona 500

“I might just come and see and watch it and continue to take a look and see what’s going to be in the future,” he said.

Castroneves enters Saturday’s Rolex 24 at Daytona having won the event the past two years. He made his signature fence-climb after winning last year with Meyer Shank Racing, which he will be driving for full time in the NTT IndyCar Series this year. He became the fourth four-time Indy 500 winner in history in his 2021 debut with Meyer Shank Racing.

The 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar champion also has indicated an interest in Trackhouse Racing’s Project 91 car that aims to place international drivers in a Cup ride (such as Kimi Raikkonen at Watkins Glen International last year). Team co-owner Justin Marks recently tweeted Trackhouse wouldn’t field the Project 91 car at the Daytona 500.

After winning the 2022 Superstar Racing Experience opener, SRX CEO Don Hawk had promised he would help secure a Daytona 500 ride for Castroneves.

Castroneves has been angling for a NASCAR ride for years, dating to when he drove for Team Penske from 2000-20. After winning the Rolex 24 last year, he said he had been lobbying Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart for help with getting in a Cup car.

Fire at Reaume Brothers Racing shop injures three

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A Thursday fire at the Reaume Brothers Racing shop in Mooresville, North Carolina, injured three individuals, according to Mooresville (North Carolina) Fire-Rescue.

Firefighters were dispatched to the shop, which is scheduled to field entries for driver Mason Massey in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this season, at about 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

The fire department extinguished the blaze quickly. The department stated on its Facebook page that one individual was transported to Lake Norman Regional hospital for smoke inhalation, and another was transported to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C. with burn injuries. A third was treated and released.

The Mooresville Fire Marshall’s office is investigating the cause of the fire. The fire department said the shop sustained “significant fire damage.”

In a tweet, the team said it is determining the extent of damage to the building. “More importantly,” it said, “a few of our team members did sustain injuries during the fire and are being transported for medical treatment.”

Trackhouse, RFK Racing, Front Row Motorsports sign sponsorship deals

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Trackhouse Racing, RFK Racing and Front Row Motorsports announced sponsorship deals Thursday morning.

Trackhouse said WWEX, a Dallas-based global logistics group, will increase its sponsorship presence with the team this year, serving as the primary sponsor in 21 races for drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez.

WWEX will appear on Chastain’s Chevrolets in 19 races and will sponsor Suarez twice. The organization was a Trackhouse sponsor in 11 events in 2022, which was a breakout season for both Chastain and Suarez.

RFK announced that Solomon Plumbing, which joined the team last season, will expand its presence this season and in future years. The Michigan-based company will serve as the primary sponsor for several races on driver Brad Keselowski‘s No. 6 Ford.

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Solomon specializes in plumbing and fire services for new development and construction. It initially sponsored Keselowski last season in the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Front Row Motorsports has signed Quincy Compressor, a Bay Minette, Ala.-based compressor manufacturer, as a sponsor for four races.

Quincy will sponsor Todd Gilliland‘s No. 38 team in three events and Michael McDowell‘s No. 34 team in one race.

 

 

Stewart-Haas Racing signs Chase Briscoe to contract extension

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Chase Briscoe has signed a multiyear contract extension to remain at Stewart-Haas Racing, the team announced Thursday.

The length of the deal was not announced.

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Briscoe is entering his third Cup season with the team. He won his first series race last year, taking the checkered flag at Phoenix last March. That victory put him in the playoffs. He finished the season ninth in the standings. 

“It’s huge to have stability, with my team and my partner,” Briscoe said in a statement from the team. “It just gives you more confidence. Stewart-Haas Racing is where I want to be for a long time. It’s the place I’ve known longer than anywhere else in my NASCAR career.

“I remember getting signed by Ford in 2017 and I told people, ‘You know, if I could pick one place to be, it would be Stewart- Haas Racing. And if I could drive one car, it would be the 14 car. That would be the ultimate dream.’ And now, here I am.

“SHR has such a great group of people, from the Xfinity Series to the Cup Series, and they’ve all just guided me in the right direction. From drivers to crew chiefs to crew members, they’ve always had my back, and that’s been a huge help – just having people believe in you.”

The 28-year-old Briscoe has been with SHR since 2018. He split a limited Xfinity schedule that season between what is now RFK Racing and SHR. He ran full time with SHR in the Xfinity Series in 2019 and ’20 before moving to Cup in 2021.

“Chase has made the most of every opportunity and the proof is in the results. Keeping him at SHR was a priority and we’re proud to have him in our racecars for many more years to come,” said Tony Stewart, who co-owns SHR with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas, in a statement from the team. 

Briscoe’s signing comes two weeks after teammate Kevin Harvick announced that this will be his final season in Cup. 

The Cup season begins Feb. 5 with the Busch Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before going to Daytona for the Feb. 19 Daytona 500.