NASCAR

Former Xfinity crew member arrested for punching, breaking team owner’s jaw

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Lawrence Hayden, a former Xfinity Series crew member, was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree assault Friday morning at Dover International Speedway after punching JP Motorsports owner Jerry Hataway and breaking his jaw.

The Dover Police Department was called to the track’s infield around 10:51 a.m. in response to the assault.

According to the DPD, Hayden, 33, and Hataway, 56, were in a “verbal argument over issues pertaining to Hayden’s employment with the team” when Hayden began punching Hataway and broke his jaw.

Lawrence Hayden (Dover Police Department)

Hataway was initially treated at the Fan Care Center in the track’s infield. He was then transferred to Bayhealth Kent General Hospital for more treatment. Hayden was arrested without incident.

Hayden, who resides in Concord, North Carolina, was released on $500 bail.

“Crew member Lawrence Hayden has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR following his arrest by the Dover Police Department,” a NASCAR spokesperson said in a statement provided to NBC Sports. “NASCAR will continue working with local law enforcement and will have no further comment at this time.”

JP Motorsports fields the cars of Josh Bilicki and Stephen Leicht.

Brandon Jones wins pole for Dover Xfinity race

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Brandon Jones qualified first for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Dover International Speedway, earning his second career pole.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver earned the pole with a speed of 155.831 mph. He will be joined on the front row by teammate Noah Gragson (155.629 mph).

“We need XYO (Networks) on the car more often, best-career finish last week with them on the car and now a pole,” Jones told Fox Sports 1. “This is a driver’s track, too. I got a pole last year at Daytona and we all know how that place is. To be able to have raw speed here that’s pretty awesome.”

JGR swept the front row for the 52nd time.

The top five is completed by Matt Tifft, Elliott Sadler and Daniel Hemric.

Jones and Sadler are two of the four Dash 4 Cash drivers. The other two are Justin Allgaier (sixth) and Ryan Sieg (13th).

Johnny Sauter, driving in place of the suspended Spencer Gallagher, qualified 11th.

Nine cars did not make a lap in Round 1 after they failed to get through inspection in time.

David Starr, Cody Ware, Christopher Bell, Michael Annett, Cole Custer, Joe Nemechek, John Hunter Nemechek, Tyler Reddick and Stephen Leicht did not make laps.

Ware did not make the race.

Click here for qualifying results.

Four Cup teams to miss 15 minutes of Friday practice

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BRISTOL, Tenn. — Four cars, including both Chip Ganassi Racing cars, will miss the final 15 minutes of Cup practice Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Those docked practice time will be the teams of Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson, Paul Menard and Reed Sorenson. All are being penalized for failing inspection before last weekend’s race at Texas. Cup practice is from noon to 12:55 p.m. ET.

Several Xfinity cars will be docked practice time Friday for various violations.

The cars of Cole Custer, Joe Nemechek, Daniel Hemric, Kaz Grala, Tony Mrakovich, Josh Bilicki and Stephen Leicht will be held 15 minutes during the first practice for being out of the garage late for inspection last week at Texas.

The cars of Elliott Sadler, Matt Tifft and Chase Briscoe will miss 15 minutes in the opening practice for failing inspection twice last week at Texas.

The car of Josh Williams will serve a 30-minute penalty for failing inspection three times at Texas.

Opening Xfinity practice is from 1:05 – 1:55 p.m. ET.

One Xfinity car will be docked 15 minutes in the final practice session. Nemechek is being docked the time for failing inspection twice at Texas. Final Xfinity practice is from 3:05 – 3:55 p.m. ET

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Josh Bilicki to run second car for JP Motorsports in Xfinity Series

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Josh Bilicki announced Monday that he’ll drive a second car for JP Motorsports this season in the Xfinity Series, piloting the No. 45 car. JP Motorsports, a team owned by Phyllis and Jerry Hattaway, will have Stephen Leicht drive the team’s No. 55 car in the Xfinity Series this year.

The 22-year-old Bilicki has made nine career Xfinity starts, including six last season. His best finish last year was 12th at Road America for B.J. McLeod.

“I’m ecstatic to announce a full season effort in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with JP Motorsports in the #45 Prevagen Toyota Camry,” Bilicki in a statement.  “I have gained a lot of valuable experience over the past two years by racing at different tracks and with different teams, but it will be nice to show up to every race this year with the same team. I come from a road course racing background, so there are still several NASCAR tracks that I have yet to race. It feels great to have the business side of things done before the season starts, so now I can focus solely on driving. It will be a year full of learning, but we have good equipment and cars and will be competitive from the start.”

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Doug Richert leaves BK Racing after seven seasons as crew chief, R&D director

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After seven seasons with BK Racing as a crew chief and Director of Research and Development, Doug Richert has left the organization.

Richert’s wife, Robin, made the announcement on Facebook. Neither Richert, 57, nor his wife said what he would do next.

Richert, was crew chief for 21 races in 2017 for a rotating group of drivers that included Joey Gase, Gray Gaulding, Corey LaJoie, Stephen Leicht, Brett Moffitt and Ryan Sieg.

Richert first came to NASCAR in 1977 as a then-17-year-old. Three years later in 1980, at 20 years old, he served as crew chief for Dale Earnhardt’s first of what would eventually become a record-tying (along with Richard Petty and Jimmie Johnson) seven NASCAR Cup championships.

Richert also led Greg Biffle to a runner-up crown to Tony Stewart in the 2005 NASCAR Cup championship.

On the NASCAR Cup level, Richert has served as crew chief for 560 races, being part of 13 wins, 66 top-5s, 119 top-10s and 5 poles. Three wins were with Earnhardt, while 10 were with Biffle.

Richert also spent 46 races as a crew chief in the Xfinity Series with one win (Biffle), six top-5s, 15 top-10s and 1 pole

He also spent 64 races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as a crew chief, being part of 12 wins (8 with Ron Hornaday Jr., 3 with Carl Edwards and 1 with Mike Skinner), 35 top-5s, 45 top-10s and 7 poles.

During his NASCAR career, Richert worked for a number of team owners including Rod Osterlund, Richard Childress, Jack Roush, Dale Earnhardt, Robert Yates, Joe Gibbs and Junior Johnson.