Stewart-Haas Racing

Clint Bowyer to honor Ned Jarrett with Darlington throwback scheme

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Clint Bowyer will honor Hall of Fame driver Ned Jarrett with his paint scheme for the Sept. 2 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Fifty-three years ago Jarrett won the 1965 Southern 500 by 14 laps – and it is fitting that victory will be honored by the No. 14 car.

“Stewart-Haas Racing and the Carolina Ford Dealers got together and decided to honor someone who’s had such a huge influence in the sport, and we immediately thought of Ned Jarrett,” Bowyer said in a press release.

Bowyer will not have the same dominant performance as Jarrett did when he won his 49th and next-to-last Cup race. But just like in 1965, Bowyer knows that winning the Southern 500 is about conserving equipment.

“We ran well during the race and led some laps and then things began to turn our way in the last 100 miles or so,” Jarrett recalled of that hot summer day.

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Battling an overheating problem, the crew tried to call Jarrett into the pits.

“I knew we didn’t need to pit, but they knew the car was overheating, so I kept going because something told me stronger than the officials of Ford and my own pit crew that I needed to stay out there and keep going.”

Jarrett was correct and he went into the record books that afternoon with the biggest margin of victory in the history of NASCAR.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter.

NASCAR America Scan All: ‘If he wrecks everybody, he’ll win’

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the center of attention last week in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. He was on the lips of most of the drivers in the field

After being involved in five incidents during the evening, Stenhouse was taken to task by many of the drivers and team members.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • “We’re all done. [Expletive] animals. I swear, nobody wants to ride; nobody wants to follow.” – Kurt Busch
  • “I’m gonna guess that was the 17. Wild guess.” – Denny Hamlin
  • “This is the only race Stenhouse can win to get himself in, so he was doing everything.” – Chris Gayle, spotter for Erik Jones
  • “What are these guys doing? The 17 hooked him too.” – Clint Bowyer
  • “The 17 has successfully wrecked half the field.” Mike Bugarewicz, Bowyer’s spotter
  • “He’s such a [expletive] idiot. What a [expletive] waste of [expletive] space.” – Kyle Busch
  • “This one was worse than the last one. He just drove into his rear and spun him out,” Cole Pearn, Martin Truex Jr.’s crew chief.
  • “Yep. If he wrecks everybody, he’ll win.” – Truex

For more, watch the video above.

Several teams test Charlotte Roval

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Eighteen drivers are expected to test today on Charlotte’s road course, the first time many will run on the 2.28-mile, 17-turn course that will host a playoff race in September.

Scheduled to test are: Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard, Trevor Bayne, Jamie McMurray, Austin Dillon, Chris Buescher, Kasey Kahne, Michael McDowell, Gray Gaulding, Landon Cassill  and BJ McLeod.

The session goes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is open to the public.

NASCAR anticipates lap times of around 78 seconds. Lap times are expected to be about 80 seconds in race conditions. The Sept. 30 race will be 400 kilometers. 

Denny Hamlin will be making his first appearance on the course that incorporates most of the track’s oval, along with an infield section.

“It’s kind of quirky,” Hamlin said of the track Charlotte Motor Speedway is calling a roval. “It’s not your normal cup-of-tea road course. I’m going to try to survive first through the test. That will be the object … and then try to get competitive when we come back for the race.”

Brad Keselowski, who also has not been on the course yet, has a simple goal for the test.

“I’m going to try to go there and not wreck,” he said.

There will be a test July 17 for the other teams not at Tuesday’s session. 

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Erik Jones wins at Daytona in overtime for first career victory

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Erik Jones won the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway in a second overtime attempt, claiming his first Cup Series win.

Jones, 22, beat Martin Truex Jr, AJ Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne and Chris Buescher in a two-lap shootout.

The win comes in the Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s 57th career start.

On the final restart, Jones started second on the outside of Truex, his former teammate at Furniture Row Racing.

“Oh boy, how ’bout that race boys and girls?” Jones asked the crowd while being interviewed at the start-finish line by NBC. “That was something else, man. I thought we were out of it and all of a sudden we were right back in it, take the lead and ran away. Wow, what an awesome race. … My first Cup win, my first win at Daytona, my first superspeedway win. What an awesome day, man.”

Jones had been caught up in a six-car wreck on Lap 65 in Stage 2. By the end of the race, he was the only JGR driver left. He led only the final lap.

“I was thinking about mom and dad after the checkered,” Jones said of Carol and Dave Jones. Dave Jones passed away in 2016.

“My mom stayed home from this one, she’s going to miss my first Cup win, so hi, mom,” Jones said. “My dad, he would have been so proud the work we did to get here.”

Jones is the youngest driver to win this season and just the seventh different winner in 18 races.

The overtime period was initially set up by a wreck with four laps to go in the original 160-lap distance involving Michael McDowell, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson and Joey Gase.

The first overtime restart saw a crash right before the start-finish line the involved Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Bubba Wallace, Johnson, Trevor Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ross Chastain, Brendan Gaughan and Ryan Newman.

The race ended after 168 laps.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

STAGE 2 WINNER: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Martin Truex Jr. earned his first top 10 at a restrictor-plate race since coming in second in the Daytona 500 in 2016 … Kasey Kahne earned Leavine Family Racing its second top five ever. The first came in this race last year … Matt DiBenedetto finished seventh for his first top 10 of the season and his fourth in 122 career starts .. Jeffrey Earnhardt (11th) and DJ Kennington (13) earned their career-best finishes.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: The race was marred by two large wrecks in Stage 2, with the first on Lap 54 involving 26 cars and eliminating pole-sitter Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and other contenders … Ten laps later a six-car wreck eliminated Kyle Busch and William Byron … After winning the first two stages, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was involved in four accidents, the 26-car crash, an incident with Kyle Larson with 37 laps to go, a single-car spin with 11 laps to go and the wreck on the first overtime restart.

NOTABLE: Erik Jones is the 19th driver to get his first career win at Daytona, which leads all tracks … In three of the last four Daytona races, the winner led only the last lap … Jones is the fifth driver to earn his first win with Joe Gibbs Racing.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “Always good to see a first-time winner, now maybe (International Speedway Corp.) and those guys can be a little bit happier about things.” – Martin Truex Jr. referencing comments made earlier this week by ISC President John Saunders about young drivers needing to win.

WHAT’S NEXT: Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart at Kentucky Speedway at 7:30 p.m. ET on July 14 on NBCSN.

Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski out after 26-car crash on Lap 54 at Daytona

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Pole-sitter Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski and many other contenders were involved in a 26-car crash on Lap 54 and eliminated from the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

The wreck occurred at the end of the backstretch when Keselowski, who was running behind race leader William Byron in the bottom lane, was turned while getting a push from Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Keselowski shot up the track and into Kurt Busch, sending the field scrambling.

Also involved were Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Ty Dillon, Erik Jones, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman, Bubba Wallace, Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, Daniel Suarez, Paul Menard, Jimmie Johnson, Matt DiBenedetto, Jeffrey Earnahrdt, Corey LaJoie, Michael McDowell, Ross Chastain and Aric Almirola.

Kurt Busch and Logano were eliminated.

Keselowski was upset with how Byron was racing him.

“It was just a bad block,” Keselowski told NBC Sports and ESPN. “There are times you can make a block, there are times you can’t. When you got a guy with a big enough run and you can’t throw a block. I made the mistake of lifted instead of wrecking him  and that’s my fault. I take the blame

“You got a list of drivers that are making moves that are unqualified to make and it causes big wrecks. That was one of those. It was my fault because I lifted. I should have wrecked him and sent a message to the whole field. So we’ll wait until Talladega and every one of those rookie drivers or guys that don’t know what the hell they are doing we’ll drive through them and wreck them until they stop blocking us and we don’t have this problem no more.”

Said Hamlin: “I’m not sure but somebody probably wrecked somebody. Usually the person that starts it doesn’t get wrecked. (Keselowski) was sideways in front. Yeah, the 2 got wrecked and so did everybody else.”

Said Logano: “Felt like the longest crash ever.”