Brandon Gdovic

(Image courtesy Precision Performance Motorsports)

Reigning Lamborghini champ Brandon Gdovic to drive in Bristol Xfinity race

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After conquering the world of Lamborghinis, Brandon Gdovic is focused on returning to the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Gdovic, the reigning Lamborghini North American Amateur Champion and Lamborghini Super Trofeo Series Gallardo World Champion, will drive the No. 46 Chevrolet Camaro April 16 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Pitt Ohio will sponsor the Precision Performance Motorsports ride.

“I am looking forward to going back to my favorite circle track, this time in the Xfinity Series,” Gdovic said in a media release. “I am hoping we pick up right where we left off in my last Xfinity race at Watkins Glen and have another good run.”

The 24-year-old Yorktown, Virginia, native seeks to make his fourth career Xfinity Series start. His previous three starts came in 2015 with finishes of 26th (Texas), 30th (Richmond) and a career-best 13th (Watkins Glen).

He has 49 starts in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East competition, earning one win, nine top-five and 21 top 10 finishes.

The Bristol Xfinity race will only add to Gdovic’s busy dance card for 2016. He competed in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in January, coached NASCAR Whelen Euro Series drivers Anthony Kumpen and Ulysse Delsaux, and finished 16th in the inaugural NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Mobile (Alabama) Speedway.

Mark Setzer will continue in his role as Gdovic’s crew chief.

“We had such a successful run in our last Xfinity race together (Watkins Glen) and I am looking to continue building on our experience and have another strong showing,” Setzer said.

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NASCAR Xfinity team Viva Motorsports ceasing operations

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Viva Motorsports announced Monday that it is ceasing operations and that its assets have been purchased, although the buyer was not identified.

Viva Motorsports had been in NASCAR since 2009 and was owned by Jamie Dick, who was sidelined earlier this season by diabetes. In his first event back, Dick was struck by a piece of debris at Iowa Speedway.

Jeffrey Earnhardt and Brandon Gdovic drove for the team in Xfinity races Dick did not compete. Earnhardt’s 12th-place finish at Bristol was the team’s best this season.

“It takes a tremendous level of commitment to compete at this level of auto racing, especially when striving to get better on limited resources, week in and week out,” Dick said in a statement. “It has come to a point where my family and I cannot continue to make the personal and financial commitments that this sport requires. I have always been proud of the quality of race team we brought to the track. Instead of lessening that quality, we decided to take a step back from the sport.”

“I want to thank the whole NASCAR community for allowing me to be part of the family. I want to thank our sponsors and our fans for all the support through the years. But most of all, I want to thank the employees of Viva Motorsports, both past and present, for making this team the best it could be.”

 

Jamie Dick making first Xfinity Series start after diabetes diagnosis

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After sitting out five races this year following his diagnosis of diabetes, Xfinity Series driver Jamie Dick will return to racing this weekend.

The Viva Motorsports driver will be back behind the wheel of his No. 55 Chevrolet for Sunday’s 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway, his first race since being diagnosed in March following the Xfinity race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Jeffrey Earnhardt and Brandon Gdovic substituted for Dick during his absence.

“I couldn’t be happier to get back in the car this weekend,” Dick said in a release. “I have been looking forward to this weekend since the day after Phoenix. There were a lot of unanswered questions when I was first diagnosed, but my focus quickly shifted to getting cleared to race.”

Dick finished 28th in Phoenix. He experienced exhaustion during the race and dizzy and weak while standing on his own after the race.

“With any new diagnosis, there is a lot to learn, but my doctors are doing a great job and the NASCAR staff has been great with showing me the path to getting healthy and back to driving,” Dick said. “Both Jeffrey and Brandon did a great job in running the races I had originally planned and our Viva Motorsports team is on a roll. Now its my turn to keep that going.”

Dick spoke with NASCAR Talk  in April about his diagnosis and hopes for the future of his career.

“I have to get back, even if it is one time, just to say diabetes didn’t end my driving career,’’ Dick told NASCAR Talk then. “My driving career is going to end on my terms, what’s good for me and my family and my business, not what’s good for diabetes.

“Using diabetes as an excuse can’t start when I’m 26 because I don’t want it to be an excuse when I’m 36, 46 or 76.’’

Dick makes good on his desire at Iowa, where he’s raced four times. His best result is 24th in two races.

Denny Hamlin wins pole for Xfinity Series’ ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway

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The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing car will start its fourth straight Xfinity Series race from the pole Friday night in the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway with Denny Hamlin at the helm.

Hamlin drove to his first Xfinity Series pole since Phoenix in 2012 with a speed of 124.069 mph. Joey Logano (124.018 mph) joins Hamlin on the front row.

Erik Jones, who earned the last three Xfinity poles in the No. 20 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway, will start third (122.984 MPH) in the No. 54 car. Finishing out the top five is Aric Almirola (122.912) and Brian Scott (122.783).

QUALIFYING SPEEDS

1. Denny Hamlin … 124.069
2. Joey Logano … 124.018
3. Erik Jones … 122.984
4. Aric Almirola … 122.912
5. Brian Scott … 122.783
6. Kevin Harvick … 122.705
7.  Chase Elliott … 122.683
8. Regan Smith … 122.460
9. Daniel Suarez … 122.266
10.Brennan Poole … 122.089
11. Darrell Wallace Jr. … 121.726
12. Chris Buescher … 121.403
13. Austin Dillon … 122.277
14. Ryan Reed … 122.222
15. Ty Dillon … 122.089
16. Brendan Gaughan … 121.957
17. Elliott Sadler … 121.935
18. Dakoda Armstrong … 121.869
19. Ryan Seig … 121.245
20. Mike Bliss … 121.076
21. Landon Cassill … 120.822
22. Dylan Lupton … 120.342
23. Harrison Rhodes … 122.283
24. Jeff Green … 121.951
25. Blake Koch … 121.638
26. Jeremy Clements …121.638
27. Timmy Hill … 121.490
28. Ross Chastain … 121.158
29. Brandon Gdovic … 121.136
30. Cale Conley … 121.022
31. Carl Long … 120.838
32. J.J. Yeley … 120.687
33. David Starr … 120.606
34. Jimmy Weller … Owner points
35. Eric McClure … Owner points
36. Joey Gase … Owner points
37. Peyton Sellers … Owner points
38. Carlos Contreras … Owner points
39. Derrike Cope … Owner points
40. Mike Harmon … Owner points

Failed to qualify: Morgan Shepherd, Johanna Long

Hamlin, Logano, A. Dillon pace lone Xfinity practice Friday at Richmond

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For drivers looking to compete in Friday night’s ToyotaCare 250, it was a one-and-done proposition earlier in the day at Richmond International Raceway.

As in a rare single practice session before preparing for qualifying and the race itself later the same day.

Denny Hamlin (124.850 mph), Joey Logano (124.441) and Austin Dillon (124.372) were fastest on the speed charts in the extended session that lasted two hours, 10 minutes.

Here’s the results of the solo practice:

1 Denny Hamlin … 124.850 mph … 74 laps

2 Joey Logano … 124.441 … 82 laps

3 Austin Dillon … 124.372 … 85 laps

4 Aric Almirola .. 124.298 … 74 laps

5 Erik Jones … 124.201 … 58 laps

6 Regan Smith … 123.762 … 83 laps

7 Daniel Suarez … 123.706 … 91 laps

8 Kevin Harvick … 123.626 … 64 laps

9 Mike Bliss … 123.243 … 56 laps

10 Ty Dillon … 123.063 … 70 laps

11 Brennan Pole … 122.984 … 122 laps

12 Chase Elliott … 122.962 … 89 laps

13 Brian Scott … 122.867 … 76 laps

14 Ryan Reed … 122.711 … 75 laps

15 Chris Buescher … 122.449 … 87 laps

16 Brendan Gaughan … 122.421 … 58 laps

17 Darrell Wallace Jr. … 122.172 … 77 laps

18 Dakoda Armstrong … 122.133 … 88 laps

19 Elliott Sadler … 122.089 … 76 laps

20 Landon Cassill … 122.073 … 66 laps

21 JJ Yeley … 121.583 … 61 laps

22 Ryan Sieg … 121.463 … 96 laps

23 Blake Koch … 121.425 … 52 laps

24 Ross Chastain … 121.397 … 43 laps

25 Harrison Rhodes … 121.337 … 31 laps

26 Carl Long … 121.027 … 11 laps

27 Brandon Gdovic … 120.968 … 94 laps

28 Cale Conley … 120.832 … 58 laps

29 David Starr … 120.741 … 53 laps

30 Dylan Lupton … 120.735 … 106 laps

31 Jeremy Clements … 120.299 … 64 laps

32 Timmy Hill … 120.654 … 44 laps

33 Eric McClure … 120.299 … 64 laps

34 Jimmy Weller … 119.016 … 58 laps

35 Joey Gase … 118.848 … 35 laps

36 Morgan Shepherd … 118.437 … 17 laps

37 Carlos Contreras … 117.760 … 59 laps

38 Jeff Green … 117.580 … 15 laps

39 Derrike Cope … 117.514 … 29 laps

40 Peyton Sellers … 116.344 … 34 laps

41 Mike Harmon … 114.611 … 18 laps

42 Johanna Long … 114.088 … 29 laps

 

Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average:

1 Denny Hamlin … 121.934

2 Regan Smith … 121.855

3 Joey Logano … 121.434

4 Chase Elliott … 121.334

5 Landon Cassill … 121.172

6 Brian Scott .. 121.150

7 Erik Jones … 121.031

8 Daniel Suarez … 120.931

9 Kevin Harvick … 120.916

10 Chris Buescher … 120.878

11 Ryan Reed … 120.762

12 Ty Dillon … 120.646

13 Elliott Sadler … 120.343

14 Ryan Sieg … 120.155

15 Austin Dillon … 120.052

16 Dylan Lupton … 119.708

17 Brennan Pole … 119.598

18 Cale Conley … 119.519

19 Brendan Gaughan … 119.117

20 Jeremy Clements … 117.982

21 Blake Koch … 117.869

22 Brandon Gdovic … 117.526

23 Jimmy Weller … 117.440

24 Timmy Hill … 117.167

25 Ross Chastain … 117.167

26 Carlos Contreras … 114.609

27 David Starr … 113.717

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