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Martin Truex Jr. to visit White House, President Trump on Monday

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The final stop of Martin Truex Jr.‘s championship tour will be Monday on the South Lawn of the White House.

Truex, the defending Cup Series champion, and other members of Furniture Row Racing will meet with President Donald Trump during a ceremony scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET, according to an advisory from NASCAR.

Truex’s visit is the first for a NASCAR champion during the Trump Administration. There was not a White House visit last year for Jimmie Johnson‘s seventh championship.

A Furniture Row Racing spokesman confirmed to NBC Sports that Truex’s crew chief, Cole Pearn, who has taken shots at the president on Twitter, also will attend the ceremony Monday.

Trump and NASCAR have intersected numerous times over the past three years, well before the 45th president of the United States took office.

On Feb. 18, President Trump tweeted an acknowledgment of the Daytona 500.

Last September, Trump tweeted his support of NASCAR drivers standing for the anthem.

NASCAR CEO and Chairman Brian France endorsed Trump in a Feb. 29, 2016 rally at Valdosta State University in Atlanta, Georgia, one day before the Super Tuesday primary.

Drivers Ryan Newman, David Ragan, Chase Elliott and NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott also attended the rally, with both Elliotts speaking briefly in support of Trump. Trump claimed in a tweet that he received the endorsement of NASCAR.

NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin endorsed Trump at another rally in Concord, North Carolina, a week later.

France later told the AP he was “very surprised” that after his “routine endorsement,” which he considered personal and not on behalf of NASCAR, “my diversity efforts for my whole career would have been called into question.”

In April 2016, France told the AP during the APSE Commissioners Meetings that he “probably shouldn’t have been” surprised by the reaction to the endorsement.

A month before the presidential election, Austin Wayne Self drove a paint scheme dedicated to Trump’s campaign in a Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway . In the Nov. 6 Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway, Reed Sorenson drove a similar scheme two days before Trump was elected.

In July 2015, NASCAR announced it would no longer hold its Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series award ceremonies at the Trump National Doral near Miami, Florida.

The move was made hours after Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, threatened to boycott the event over “recent and ongoing blatantly bigoted and racist comments from Donald Trump in regards to immigrants of the United States.”

 

Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer and four others don’t make qualifying runs at Kansas

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Six Cup teams failed to get their cars through qualifying inspection Friday at Kansas Speedway.

As a result, Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Matt DiBenedetto, Kasey KahneTimmy Hill and Michael McDowell did not make qualifying attempts. They will start from the rear of Saturday’s race.

It’s a rough start to Kenseth’s return to Cup racing with Roush Fenway Racing. He makes his first start of the year tomorrow night.

Bowyer’s problems come after a penalty from last week at Dover resulted in a two-race suspension for his car chief.

“We’re stuck back there in jail,” Bowyer told Fox Sports 1. “Pretty bad taste in my mouth right now. It’s hard not to go off because it’s frustrating. You’re sitting there watching the guys. The body was off, they made some adjustments and went back through and then the chassis is off.”

Kevin Harvick wins Cup pole at Kansas Speedway

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Kevin Harvick will start first in Saturday’s Cup race at Kansas Speedway after earning his second pole of the year.

He won the pole with a speed of 188.811 mph. It’s a career-best fourth pole for Harvick at the 1.5-mile track.

Harvick, who won last week at Dover, will be joined on the front row by Ryan Blaney (187.826 mph).

The top five is completed by Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola and Brad Keselowski.

Almirola’s starting spot is his best of the year.

Jimmie Johnson will start 23rd and Jamie McMurray will start 24th after neither made a lap in Round 2. Fox Sports 1 reported Johnson wasn’t comfortable with his car in the first round and didn’t want to risk making any more laps.

McMurray’s team couldn’t get his car to start for the second round.

That was after Johnson and McMurray’s teams scrambled to get their cars on the track after having to go through inspection multiple times.

“We intended on running again, but for some reason the engine wouldn’t start,” McMurray said. “The starter would only spin it over for like one revolution and then the starter would disengage.  We really tried hard to get it to start and just couldn’t ever get it to fire again. We will start wherever we are at there and yeah, nothing we could do about it.”

Kyle Larson spun in Turn 4 in Round 2. If the team changes tires on the No. 42 Chevrolet, that would force Larson to start from the rear. It would also be the second consecutive race Larson has had to start from the rear.

Six drivers did not make a qualifying attempt after their cars failed to get through inspection in time. That includes Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Matt DiBenedetto, Kasey Kahne, Timmy Hill and Michael McDowell

They will all start from the rear of Saturday’s race.

“We’re stuck back there in jail,” Bowyer told FS1. “Pretty bad taste in my mouth right now. It’s hard not to go off because it’s frustrating. You’re sitting there watching the guys. The body was off, they made some adjustments and went back through and then the chassis is off.”

Click here for qualifying results.

Weekend schedule for NASCAR at Kansas Speedway

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NASCAR heads to the Midwest this weekend for a visit to Kansas Speedway.

The Cup and Camping World Truck Series will race under the lights at the 1.5-mile track.

The weekend is capped off by Saturday night’s KC Masterpiece 400.

Here’s the full schedule for the weekend, complete with TV and radio info.

(All times are Eastern)

Friday, May 11

8 a.m. — Truck Series garage opens

9:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. — Cup garage open

9:35 a.m. – 10:25 a.m. — Truck practice (Fox Sports 1)

11:35 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. — Final Truck practice (FS1)

12:35 – 1:25 p.m. — Cup practice (FS1, MRN)

2:05 – 2:55 p.m. — Final Cup practice (FS1, MRN)

5:05 p.m. — Truck qualifying; single truck/two rounds (FS1)

6:20 p.m. — Truck driver-crew chief meeting

6:45 p.m — Cup qualifying; multi-car/three rounds (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

8 p.m. — Truck driver introductions

8:30 p.m. — 37 Kind Days 250 Camping World Truck Series race; 167 laps/250.5 miles (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Saturday, May 12

2:30 p.m. — Cup garage opens

6 p.m. — Driver-crew chief meeting

7:20 p.m. — Driver introductions

8 p.m. — KC Masterpiece 400; 267 laps/400.5 miles (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Goodyear Tire info for Kansas Speedway

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NASCAR heads to Kansas Speedway this weekend with the Cup and Camping World Truck Series competing at the 1.5-mile track.

While both series will have the same right-side tires, Cup and Truck teams will have their own distinct left-side tire codes.

Cup teams used the right-side tire code in both Kansas races last season and it’s unique to Kansas. The right-side tire is one of Goodyear’s multi-zone tread tires, with two tread compounds on the same tire – one on the inboard two inches for heat resistance (Endurance Zone) and one on the outboard 10 inches for grip (Traction Zone).

“These cars are running tremendous speeds and that, combined with the camber settings in the front end, generates a lot of heat in the tire, which shows up most on the inboard of the right-front,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing in a press release. “Being able to protect that area with a more heat and wear resistant tread compound frees us up to give teams more grip with the outboard compound. As NASCAR moved to a lower downforce rules package over the past several seasons, we continued to talk to teams and evaluate performance to look at where we could improve grip. We feel like we made a nice step toward that at Kansas last season, and we return with the same tread compounds in 2018.”

This is the first time Cup teams have run this left-side tire code. Compared to what was run at Kansas last season, it features a construction update to bring it into line with what is run at other speedways. Cup teams will also run this left-side code at Charlotte Motor Speedway over the next two weeks.

Here’s the tire info for Cup

Set limits: Cup: Three sets for practice, one set for qualifying and eight sets for the race.

Tire Codes: Left-side — D-4788; Right-side — D-4720

Tire Circumference: Left-side — 2,227 mm (87.68 in.); Right-side — 2,252 mm (88.66 in.)

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front — 22 psi; Left Rear — 22 psi; Right Front — 52 psi; Right Rear — 50 psi

 

Truck Series

This is the first time Truck teams have run either of these two Goodyear tire codes. Compared to what the Trucks ran at Kansas in 2017, this left-side code features a construction update to align with other speedways.

Set limits: Six sets for the event

Tire Codes: Left-side — D-4784; Right-side — D-4720

Tire Circumference: Left-side — 2,227 mm (87.68 in.); Right-side — 2,252 mm (88.66 in.)

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front — 24 psi; Left Rear — 22 psi; Right Front — 52 psi; Right Rear — 50 psi