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NASCAR suspends crew member reportedly arrested for assault on a female

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NASCAR has indefinitely suspended Joshua P. Long after he was arrested overnight by the Salisbury (North Carolina) Police department for allegedly assaulting a female.

His arrest was reported Thursday by the Salisbury Post.

Long, who served as an underneath mechanic for Germain Racing, is no longer employed by the team. A Germain Racing spokesperson confirmed Long’s employment has been terminated and provided NBC Sports with the following statement:

“Germain Racing leadership is aware of the investigation involving Joshua Long, and the alleged actions do not align with the conduct standards that have been set for team members. At this time, he is no longer an employee of Germain Racing. The team has no further comment on the situation as this is an ongoing police investigation.”

According to the Salisbury Post, Long, 31 was charged with misdemeanor assault on a female.

The newspaper reported that police were alerted to the incident by the victim’s mother. The victim used an SOS feature on her phone to reach out for help.

The victim was treated on the scene and taken to the hospital with serious injuries, according to the Salisbury Post.

Police Lt. Greg Beam told the newspaper that the incident began over an argument following a trip to the Twin Peaks restaurant in Concord, North Carolina. The victim had asked to see Long’s SnapChat account, but he refused.

According to the Salisbury Post, the victim told police that Long began beating her as they drove along Interstate 85 and that she was unsuccessful in an attempt to jump out of the window of the moving vehicle.

After arriving home, the woman ran to a neighbor’s house seeking help, but there was no response, according to the newspaper.

Long then dragged the woman inside the house and beat her with a broom handle, the Salisbury Post reported.

Long has previously been convicted of misdemeanor false imprisonment in 2013.

 

Talladega to host Ty Dillon’s 100th Cup start

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The auto racing gods sometimes have a sense of humor.

Germain Racing’s Ty Dillon is set to make his 100th Cup start this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

Dillon, who drives the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet, will reach that career milestone in the GEICO 500.

But is that enough good karma for Dillon to continue to build on a solid start for the one-car team?

Dillon and Germain Racing enter this weekend looking to improve upon their performance in the Daytona 500.

Though it was with a different rules package and 21 cars failed to finish the race, Dillon finished sixth for his only top 10 of the year. That matches his total from 2018.

Since then, the No. 13 Chevy has three top 15s including a best finish of 13th at Martinsville. Dillon’s third top 15 last year didn’t come until the July Daytona race.

Dillon was also able to score his first career stage win three weeks ago at Bristol when he stayed out of the pits late in Stage 1.

“We always want to get the year kicked off right, and leaving Daytona earlier this season with a sixth-place finish gave us a lot of confidence as we kicked off for the season,” Dillon said in a press release. “It always makes you feel more comfortable heading to the next superspeedway race. That momentum has really carried us through the first segment of this year as we’ve been able to build onto what was already a positive start to 2019.”

In his first 99 Cup races, Dillon has seven Daytona starts and four at Talladega. His sixth in February was his second consecutive in Daytona. His best Talladega result is 11th in 2017.

Dillon said “surviving” the superspeedway races gives teams like his “the opportunity to take control of your season.”

“Variables like superspeedways can easily become a bad points day and put you in a hole,” Dillon said. “So, we really focus on a strategy that will get us to the end of the race to get a solid finish. We’ve been in contention to win a couple of these races by doing that.”

While Talladega will be his 100th start, it won’t be his 100th with Germain Racing.

Dillon’s first 99 races have been divided among Germain, Richard Childress Racing, Leavine Family Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Tommy Baldwin Racing.

His first start for Germain came in 2017 Daytona 500 and marked the start of his first full-time season in Cup.

“Three years into working with the team at Germain Racing, I feel like I’m still growing and developing as a person and as a driver,” Dillon said. “Bob Germain and GEICO have dedicated years of support to this sport, and we’re seeing the benefits of that each and every week.”

Dillon added: “I want to thank every person that’s been a part of my first 100 starts in the Cup Series. I appreciate of the opportunities that they have given me. Hopefully 100 is our first win.”

NBC Sports Power Rankings rate Cup organizations

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With NASCAR off this weekend for Easter, we’re altering our weekly Power Rankings to focus on the best performing organizations in Cup through the first nine races of the season.

Here’s our picks:

1. Joe Gibbs Racing (40 points): Has won six of the first nine races, including the Daytona 500. Plus, they have the series-leading driver (Kyle Busch, three wins). If JGR continues to have the same success in the next nine races, it could make for a very, very long season for many other organizations.

2. Team Penske (36 points): The only other Cup organization to win a race (two by Brad Keselowski and one by Joey Logano). Organization has been competitive in almost every other race it hasn’t won. The only driver lacking is Ryan Blaney, who has yet to reach victory lane, but whose performance has also picked up in recent races.

3. Stewart-Haas Racing (32 points): Team that is best of the rest behind JGR and Penske. All four drivers have had strong performances at times, but inconsistency and pit road incidents have kept SHR from breaking through with its first win of the season. Could that winless streak finally end at Talladega?

4. Chip Ganassi Racing (26 points): The top Chevrolet team but still well behind the top organizations. If it wasn’t for Kurt Busch and his strong performance (three top fives and six top 10s) in his first season at CGR, this organization would be ranked significantly lower. And what has happened to Kyle Larson? He’s off to one of the worst starts of his career.

5. Hendrick Motorsports (23 points): What’s happened to the once titans of NASCAR? It almost seems like the same struggle virus that has infected Jimmie Johnson has spread to his teammates. Has shown signs of progress but plenty of work still remains.

6. Roush Fenway Racing (22 points): Ryan Newman is starting to hit his stride with his new team, including a pair of season-best ninth-place finishes at Bristol and Richmond, plus four other top-15 showings. But what about teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr.? He’s shown promise at times, but with just one top 10, how does the second quarter of the season bode for him?

7. Richard Childress Racing (17 points): Has shown speed at times but results haven’t always followed. Austin Dillon has the team’s only two top-10 finishes. Daniel Hemric has struggled in his rookie season, with a best finish so far of 18th.

8. JTG Daugherty Racing (9 points): Has shown improvement from last year. Chris Buescher has made some positive gains and Ryan Preece has looked good at times in his first season with the organization. But inconsistency continues to be a problem. What’s the answer?

(tie) 9. Wood Brothers Racing (6 points): Things are starting to come into their own for the single-car team (with an affiliation with Team Penske). Paul Menard has back-to-back top 10 finishes in his two most recent races (Bristol and Richmond) and is up to 16th in the Cup standings. If playoffs started today, Menard would be in.

(tie) 9. Germain Racing (6 points): Ty Dillon has had some solid performances for this one-car team, including a sixth-place finish at Daytona and three other top-15 finishes. But like JTG Daugherty, inconsistency remains an issue that needs to be addressed.

Other organizations receiving votes: Front Row Motorsports (5 points), Richard Petty Motorsports (2 points), Leavine Family Racing (1 point).

Daytona 500 winners and losers

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WINNERS

Joe Gibbs Racing — Team goes 1-2-3 in the Daytona 500 with Denny Hamlin winning a day after the organization placed two cars in the top six in the Xfinity race.

Small teams — Michael McDowell (Front Row Motorsports) finished fifth, Ty Dillon (Germain Racing) finished sixth and was Chevrolet’s top finisher, rookie Ryan Preece (JTG Daugherty Racing) placed eighth and Ross Chastain (Premium Motorsports) finished 10th.

Fans — They didn’t see the single-file racing that was so evident in the Clash, qualifying races and Xfinity race.

Parker Kligerman — He finished 15th, highest among non-chartered teams.

LOSERS

Decision-making by drivers — The last 25 laps saw a 21-car crash, a seven-car crash and a nine-car crash. Said Kyle Busch of what caused the damage: “Brains come unglued.”

Race length — With talk of shortening races, the Daytona 500 took 3 hours, 45 minutes. That doesn’t include nearly 40 minutes of red flag time. The time of the race was the longest for the Daytona 500 since the 2011 event, which lasted 3 hours, 59 minutes. This race will always be 500 miles but lasting more than four hours (when including the red flags) is not what the sport is seeking.

Hendrick Motorsports pole-sitters — William Byron gave Hendrick Motorsports its fifth consecutive Daytona 500 pole. None of those cars, though, have finished the race better than 14th. Byron placed 21st. The average finishing position for the last five Daytona pole winners is 24.4.

Bubba Wallace — A year after finishing second in the Daytona 500, Wallace placed 38th after he was collected in a crash.

Preliminary Daytona 500 entry list released

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Forty-two cars are on the preliminary entry list for the Feb. 17 Daytona 500.

NASCAR released the entry list Wednesday night.

Among those on the entry list are: Casey Mears (No. 27, Germain Racing), Reigning Xfinity champion Tyler Reddick (No. 31, Richard Childress Racing), Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 Beard Motorsports), Joey Gase (No. 66, Motorsports Business Management), Ryan Truex (No. 71, Tommy Baldwin Racing) and NASCAR on NBC analyst Parker Kligerman (No. 96, Gaunt Brothers Racing).

Click here for Daytona 500 entry list

MORE: Full Daytona Speedweeks schedule