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Jeffrey Earnhardt earns first NASCAR top five in stubborn fashion

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CONCORD, N.C. – Jeffrey Earnhardt had a very stubborn Saturday.

His stubbornness led to a third-place finish in the Xfinity Series’ Alsco 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, his first national NASCAR series top-five finish in 157 tries.

It came after the Joe Gibbs Racing driver bounced back from a spin on Lap 142 when he made contact with the wall.

“Luckily those guys busted their butts, got it back bent out, raced hard and got back on the lead lap and gave it all we had there at the end,” Earnhardt said. “I literally drove my guts out there at the end, that’s all I had left in the tank.”

But Earnhardt’s stubborn driving wasn’t just for himself or his team. His extra effort came as a tribute to the man whose image graced his No. 18 Toyota: Mooresville police K9 Officer Jordan Sheldon.

Sheldon was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop on May 4. Earnhardt, a native of Mooresville, North Carolina, is sponsored by iK9, a company that provides K9 units to law enforcement agencies.

“Having officer Sheldon on the car meant a lot to me,” Earnhardt said. “I wanted to make him proud. I wasn’t about to lay down on the job. Hopefully, he’s up there smiling down on us about our run. I know we didn’t win it but came home third and I wouldn’t have thought we had third-place car at the of practice on Thursday.”

The grandson of NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt, Jeffrey’s career accomplishment came in his 71st Xfinity start. Saturday’s race was his fifth this season for JGR.

“My goal is to come out here and win races,” Earnhardt said. “It’s a dream come true. I’m having the time of my life this year. Luckily I get to stay in the car for two weeks in a row, that makes a big difference. It sucks shaking the cobwebs off. … I think we might be able to put an even better run together once we get (to Pocono).”

Any celebration by the driver and his team after the race was delayed when Earnhardt was taken to the infield care center after he experienced dizziness upon exiting his car.

“I’m stubborn, so I didn’t want to come in here,” Earnhardt said after leaving the care center. “But I figured it’s best to come in here and let them look at me, make sure I get cooled off and everything’s good. It was hot. It was a rough one out there.”

How did the 29-year-old plan to celebrate his stubbornness on the track paying off?

“I ordered some crawfish,” Earnhardt said. “So I’m going to go home and have a big ‘ole crawfish broil.”

 

Tyler Reddick wins Charlotte Xfinity race

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CONCORD, N.C. —  Tyler Reddick won Saturday’s Alsco 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, earning his second Xfinity Series win of the season.

Reddick led the final 16 laps after he took advantage of Cole Custer spinning his tires on a restart.

Reddick beat Justin Allgaier, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Noah Gragson and Justin Haley.

The Richard Childress Racing driver led 110 of 200 laps on the way to his fifth career Xfinity win. The victory follows his Talladega win last month.

Reddick’s win came in a race that saw a slew of drivers make contact with the wall and cut tires. It contributed to seven non-stage break cautions.

“This is a place I didn’t feel good about, I’m not going to lie,” Reddick said. “I was really worried, Charlotte is kind of been the point in my season where things past Charlotte haven’t really gone good. It’s really nice to come into Charlotte, practice good, come into the race, run good and come away with a win. Hopefully that means the next couple (Pocono and Michigan) are going to keeping rolling this way.”

Reddick, the defending series champion, has finished in the top four in the last eight races. He said this stretch is “absolutely” the best of his entire racing career.

“I can’t think of a stretch like this since I was younger than 10 years old racing Outlaw Karts in California when my dad put every ounce of sweat, blood and tears into my go-karts and we’d just go out and win a lot of races all the time on box stock,” Reddick said. “Definitely haven’t been that consistent ever.”

Earnhardt earned his first top-five finish in his 71st Xfinity start. It’s also his first top five in national NASCAR competition.

He was taken to the infield medical center after experiencing dizziness on pit road.

Haley earned his first career top five and gave Kaulig Racing its third overall top five.

Pole-sitter Christopher Bell finished 31st after he made contact with the wall and cut down his right front tire with two laps to go in Stage 2. He attempted to finish out the stage, but the tire shredded and caused significant damage to his car. It’s his second DNF of the season.

Bell’s teammate, Brandon Jones, also got into the wall and cut a tire within a lap of Bell. Jones opted to pit immediately and was able to continue and finished ninth.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Christopher Bell

STAGE 2 WINNER: Tyler Reddick

Click here for race results

Click here for the point standings.

WHAT’S NEXT: Pocono Green 250 at Pocono Raceway at 1 p.m. ET on June 1 on FS1

 

Christopher Bell wins pole for Xfinity Charlotte race

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CONCORD, N.C. —  Christopher Bell will start first in today’s Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Bell won his third pole of the season with a speed of 184.313 mph. His previous poles were at Texas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway.

The top five is completed by Cole Custer (183.187 mph), Tyler Reddick (182.192), Austin Dillon (181.659) and Brandon Jones (181.610).

Justin Haley will start 35th after an axle broke on his No. 11 Chevrolet in the middle of his qualifying run.

Ross Chastain did not finish his qualifying run after experiencing an electrical problem in the ignition on his No. 4 Chevrolet. He will start 37th out of 38 cars.

The Alsco 300 is scheduled to start at 1:16 p.m. ET on FS1.

Click here for the starting lineup.

Check back for more.

Today’s Xfinity race at Charlotte: Start time, lineup and more

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After a two-week break, the Xfinity Series returns to action today for the Alsco 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Here’s all the info you need for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: North Carolina Basketball Legend Phil Ford will give the command to start engines at 1:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 1:16 p.m.

PRERACE: Driver/crew chief meeting is at 10:45 a.m. Driver introductions begin at 12:30 p.m. The invocation will be given at 1 p.m. by Billy Mauldin, CEO and President of Motor Racing Outreach. U. S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Marc Wilka will perform the National Anthem at 1:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (300 miles) around the 1.5-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 45. Stage 2 ends on Lap 90.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will televise the race. Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. The Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 12:30 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for a high of 90 degrees and a 20% percent chance of rain for the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Brad Keselowski won this race over Cole Custer and Christopher Bell.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.

Saturday schedule for Charlotte Motor Speedway

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After two weeks off the Xfinity Series returns today for a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Cup Series teams will also be in action as they hold two practice sessions for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.

Saturday’s forecast by wunderground.com calls for sunny skies throughout the day with the high reaching 94 degrees. There’s a 20% chance of race at the start time for the Xfinity Series race.

Here’s today’s schedule with TV and radio info.

(All times are Eastern)

6 a.m. – Xfinity garage opens

7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Cup garage open

8:35 – 9:25 a.m. – Cup practice (FS1)

9:35 a.m. – Xfinity qualifying; single car/one lap (FS1)

10:45 a.m. – Xfinity driver-crew chief meeting

11:05 – 11:55 a.m. – Final Cup practice (FS1)

12:30 p.m. – Xfinity driver introductions

1 p.m. – Alsco 300; 200 laps/300 miles (FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)