DJ Kennington

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NASCAR reinstates Tyler Dippel after charge dropped

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Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver Tyler Dippel said in a statement on Facebook that the charge against him of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree was dropped in a court appearance Wednesday morning in Middletown, New York.

Christopher Borek, the chief assistant district attorney of Orange County, confirmed to NBC Sports on Wednesday that the charge had been dropped.

Dippel, who was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR last week, was arrested and charged with the Class A misdemeanor Aug. 18 after being pulled over by New York State Police in his hometown of Wallkill. He was charged after a New York State Police officer found a bottle of prescription medication in a backpack that wasn’t prescribed to Dippel or his passenger.

Dippel, 19, said in his statement that at his court appearance, he “presented proof that the prescription was not mine and the person that the prescription belonged to accepted responsibility for leaving them in my vehicle.”

Borek confirmed his office received a sworn affidavit from the person the medications were prescribed claiming that the backpack had accidentally been left in the back of Dippel’s truck and Dippel had no knowledge it was there. Borek also confirmed that Dippel’s defense attorney provided a certified blood test showing Dippel had not taken the medication.

A NASCAR spokesperson confirmed to NBC Sports that Dippel has been reinstated.

On Tuesday, a New York State Police spokesperson confirmed a report by Fox Sports that Dippel had been pulled over for exceeding 80 mph in a 65 mph area. Dippel said in his statement he had been driving home from the Orange County Fair Speedway when “I was pulled-over for changing lanes without proper signal.”

Borek confirmed Dippel pled guilty to the charge of failure to stay in his lane and that covered the speeding charge. Dippel will have to pay a fine and points will be applied to his drivers license. Dippel’s attorney, James Monroe, told NBC Sports Dippel paid a fine of $150 plus a $93 surcharge.

The New York State Police spokesperson confirmed that when questioned by Troopers, Dippel and his passenger had conflicting stories about where they were traveling to and from after being stopped. Dippel consented to a vehicle search.

According to the New York State Police spokesperson, Troopers found a pill bottle of Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine in the backpack and that the bottle was prescribed to someone else.

“Because it was in my vehicle, I was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance,” Dippel said in his statement. “I contacted NASCAR within hours to inform them of the situation. Due to the NASCAR rule book and code of conduct, they ruled to suspend me indefinitely. I respect their decision.”

Continued Dippel: “I along with my team will work closely with NASCAR to hopefully be reinstated so I can be back in the Young’s Motorsports No. 02 Chevrolet. I take full responsibility for my actions.”

Due to his suspension, Dippel missed Sunday’s race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Young’s Motorsports replaced him with DJ Kennington, who finished 15th. The next Truck race is scheduled for Sept. 13 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 

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.

Eight Cup teams to be penalized practice Saturday at Phoenix

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AVONDALE, Ariz. – Eight Cup teams will be docked practice Saturday for inspection issues at ISM Raceway. Only one team is a playoff team.

The cars of DJ Kennington, Ty Dillon, JJ Yeley, Jimmie Johnson, Timmy Hill and Tanner Berryhill will miss 15 minutes of practice Saturday morning for being late to pre-qualifying inspection.

Practice will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. ET on CNBC.

The cars of AJ Allmendinger and Berryhill will miss 15 minutes of the final practice session for failing pre-qualifying inspection twice.

Playoff contender Martin Truex Jr. will miss 30 minutes of final practice for failing pre-qualifying inspection three times.

Final Cup practice is from 2 – 2:50 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

 

Preliminary entry lists for Cup, Xfinity and Trucks at Phoenix

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NASCAR’s top three national series head to Phoenix this weekend to set the championship field for each series:

Cup – Can-Am 500 (2 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC)

Thirty-eight cars are on the preliminary entry list for this weekend’s race.

DJ Kennington is listed in the No. 7 car for Premium Motorsports.

Obaika Racing announced Wednesday morning that Tanner Berryhill will drive the No. 97 and make his Cup debut. The Cup entry list had not been updated by Wednesday morning to include that.

Cody Ware will drive the No. 51 for Rick Ware Racing.

Carl Long‘s No. 66 team has withdrawn.

Click here for Cup entry list

Xfinity – Whelen Trusted to Perform 200 (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC)

There are 40 cars entered for this event.

Click here for Xfinity entry list

Truck – Lucas Oil 150 (8:30 p.m., ET Friday on FS1)

There are 31 entries for this race. Derek Kraus, a 17-year-old who finished fourth in the K&N West Series standings, will make his Truck debut this weekend.

Click here for Truck entry list