JJ Yeley

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Kyle Larson has eventful night dirt racing

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After being disqualified in an Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions sprint car race Saturday night at the Dirt Oval at Route 66, Kyle Larson came back to win the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series “Summer Slash” feature.

In the All Star Circuit of Champions race, Larson started from the pole and led the first 13 laps. He was disqualified during a red flag break on Lap 14 for a work area violation when one of his crew members left the designated work area to speak with Larson under the caution. Aaron Reutzel went on to win the race.

In the USAC National Midget race, Larson set a track record in his first visit to the 3/8-mile dirt oval and started the feature sixth. He was contending for the lead by the first lap and took the lead on the third circuit. His lead grew until Lap 10 when JJ Yeley flipped down the frontstretch. He was uninjured.

Larson and Logan Seavey then dueled for the lead after the race resumed.

“I felt like I was running good laps,” Larson told usacracing.com.  “Then, Logan threw a slider on me.  I guess I was running 90 percent.  I was like, ‘crap, I got to step it up,’ and that’s when I started making mistakes.”

Larson withstood the challenge and went on to win. Tyler Courtney was second. Tanner Carrick placed third.

The victory was the first this year for Larson and the 16th of his career in the National Midget Series.

Engine change sends Daniel Suarez to rear at Sonoma

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Daniel Suarez will start at the back of the field for today’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway after an engine change.

Suarez qualified fifth.

Also going to the rear will be Erik Jones, JJ Yeley and Ross Chastain.

Jones and Yeley will go to the back for unapproved adjustments. Jones qualified 32nd. Yeley qualified 36th.

Chastain’s car was qualified by Kyle Weatherman because Chastain competed in and won the Truck race Saturday night at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Weatherman qualified the car 37th among 38 entries.

Today’s Cup race at Sonoma: Start time, lineup and more

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Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske have combined to win 14 of the first 15 points races of the season. Can anyone beat them? Will it happen today at Sonoma Raceway?

Today’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 marks the first event of the season on a road course. It also features the return of Sonoma’s Carousel. Cup cars last ran on that portion of the course in 1997 before this weekend. 

Here’s all the info for today’s event:

(All times are Eastern)

START: David Wilson, Toyota Racing Development President and General Manager, will give the command to start engines at 3:01 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:13 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage opens at 11 a.m. The driver/crew chief meeting is at 1 p.m.. Driver introductions begin at 2:20 p.m. The invocation will be given by Peadar Dalton, Rev. Member of Sonoma Valley Interfaith Ministerial Association, at 2:54 p.m. Tower of Power will perform the National Anthem at 2:55 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 90 laps (226.8 miles) around the 2.52-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 20. Stage 2 ends on Lap 40

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 3 p.m. Coverage begins at 2 p.m. with NASCAR RaceDay. Performance Racing Network will broadcast the race. PRN’s coverage begins at 2 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry PRN’s broadcast, which is also available at goprn.com.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for mostly sunny skies with a high of 82 degrees and a 0% chance of rain for the start of the race. 

LAST TIME: Martin Truex Jr. won and was followed by Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer

TO THE REAR: Daniel Suarez (engine change), Erik Jones (unapproved adjustments), JJ Yeley (unapproved adjustments), Ross Chastain (driver change, Kyle Weatherman qualified car).

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the full lineup.

 

Casey Mears entered in second Germain Racing car for Daytona 500

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Germain Racing will use the Feb. 17 Daytona 500 to field a second car for the first time since 2011 and it will be piloted by former full-time driver Casey Mears.

Mears, who raced for Germain from 2010-16 in Cup, will drive the No. 27 Chevrolet. The team will be built and staffed through a partnership with Premium Motorsports. Pat Tryson will serve as crew chief.

Mears will be teammates with Ty Dillon, the current driver of Germain’s No. 13 Chevrolet.

“I have considered running a second car in the Daytona 500 for years,” owner Bob Germain said in a press release. “My immediate focus is still on our No. 13 team and the full season that Ty Dillon will run. However, when the chance to field a second car with Casey Mears came together this year with Jay Robinson building the car and providing the at-track crew, I wanted to jump on it.

“The Daytona 500 is a race that our team, sponsors and fans are all passionate about, and I am too. In a race where anything can happen, having a second entry is an exciting opportunity. Casey has been a part of our Germain Racing family for years, and I’m grateful that he’s willing to get behind the wheel for me again in this one race.”

Without a charter for the car, Mears is not guaranteed starting spot in the race.

Mears didn’t make any NASCAR starts in 2018.

He last competed in the 2017 Xfinity season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway for Biagi-DenBeste Racing.

Mears has 25 career Cup starts at Daytona International Speedway, with a best finish of second in the 2006 Daytona 500.

The addition of Mears makes for at least eight unchartered cars that could be entered into the Daytona 500.

With a maximum field of 40 cars, four will not make the field.

The uncharted cars include:

Mears

Tyler Reddick (No. 31 for Richard Childress Racing)

Ryan Truex (No. 71 for Tommy Baldwin Racing)

Joey Gase (No. 66 for MBM Motorsports)

Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 for Beard Motorsports)

Tanner Berryhill (No. 97 for Obaika Racing)

Parker Kligerman (No. 96 for Gaunt Brothers Racing)

JJ Yeley (No. 7 for NY Racing).

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Kyle Larson wins preliminary event at Chili Bowl

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Kyle Larson won the A feature Tuesday night to advance to Saturday night’s A main at the Chili Bowl Nationals. It was his fifth preliminary event win at the Chili Bowl. Zach Daum finished second.

Larson took the lead on Lap 6 of the 25-lap feature and went on to the win.

MORE: Tuesday night race results from Chili Bowl

MORE: Monday night race results from Chili Bowl

“We’ll move on to Saturday and try to be better,” Larson said in the press conference afterward.

NBCSN broadcaster Dillon Welch finished seventh in the 24-car field. Alex Bowman placed ninth. Tanner Berryhill, who will be a Cup rookie this season, was 10th.

The Chili Bowl continues the rest of the week, culminating with Saturday night’s main event.

JJ Yeley, Landon Cassill and Rico Abreu are among the drivers scheduled to race Wednesday night at the Tulsa, Oklahoma, event.

Thursday’s racing will include two-time defending winner Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier and Karsyn Elledge, daughter of Kelley Earnhardt Miller. Kasey Kahne and Tanner Thorson are among those scheduled to race Friday.

Thorson won Tuesday night’s Race of Champions. Larson was second, Bell placed third and Yeley was fifth in that event.