richard childress racing

Tyler Reddick to make second Cup start next weekend at Kansas Speedway

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Reigning Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick revealed Wednesday on NASCAR America that he will make his second Cup Series start next weekend at Kansas Speedway.

Reddick will again drive the No. 31 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. He made his Cup debut in the No. 31 in the Daytona 500. He started 39th and finished 27th due to a crash.

The news comes after Reddick won last weekend’s Xfinity Series race at Talladega, his first of the year and his first with RCR.

Reddick leads the Xfinity Series in top fives (seven) and top 10s (eight) and leads the points standings over Christopher Bell and Cole Custer.

“That stuff helps a lot toward … helping me get back into a Cup car and it’s really cool to go to Kansas and be able to make my start there,” Reddick said.

Reddick has two Xfinity starts at Kansas. He started on the pole and finished second in 2017 and finished fifth there in 2018.

“For now this is the main focus, the main announcement,” Reddick said when asked if there were plans for more Cup starts. “(Kansas) is a place I’ve had my fair share of bouncing off the wall … but it’s a really good race car. Hoping to try my luck with this new aero package, see if I can run it wide-open right against the fence and see how fast I can go.”

NASCAR docks Austin Dillon 10 points, fines crew chief $25,000

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NASCAR fined crew chief Danny Stockman $25,000, suspended car chief Gregory Ebert one race and docked the team and driver Austin Dillon 10 points each for a violation this past weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

A spokesperson said the Richard Childress Racing team does not plan to appeal the penalty.

NASCAR penalized the team for its deck lid, stating the deck lid must be used as supplied from the manufacturer and that body filler was added to the deck lid.

When the team checked its deck lid on Friday at Talladega with NASCAR’s devices, it found slight changes needed be made. The team made the changes and used bondo, leading to the penalty.

“We were just fixing a problem and it turned out we didn’t need to do that,” Dillon said after winning the pole last weekend at Talladega. “I’m sure Stockman was spun out about it, but speed-wise, I knew it wasn’t going to hurt us and moving forward, I hope that NASCAR takes into effect the entire story of it and whatever is dealt our way, we’ll handle it and go on from there.”

The penalty drops Dillon from 13th in the driver standings to 14th. Ryan Newman swaps places with Dillon, who now has 243 points. Jimmie Johnson is 16th, holding the final cutoff spot to the playoffs. Johnson has 238 points.

Also, NASCAR announced Tuesday that Jeremy Bullins, crew chief for Ryan Blaney, had been fined $10,000 because Blaney’s car had a lug nut not safe and secured after the race.

NASCAR confiscates Austin Dillon’s decklid

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The decklid on Austin Dillon‘s No. 3 Chevrolet was confiscated by NASCAR Friday at Talladega Superspeedway, NBC Sports has confirmed.

Any penalties for a possible infraction are expected to be announced later in the week.

Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass first reported the confiscation.

Joe Graf Jr. joins Richard Childress Racing as Xfinity driver, intern

Official Twitter page of Joe Graf Jr.
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Richard Childress Racing on Friday announced that it has signed Joe Graf Jr. to be part of its NASCAR Xfinity Series program. He will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet Camaro in select races this season, the first being at Michigan International Speedway this June.

In addition, the 20-year-old Graf Jr., who is a freshman at New York University, will also serve as a marketing and communications intern for the team.

“For my internship to be with one of the most recognizable teams in NASCAR is unbelievable,” Graf Jr. said in a media release. “To then think that I will also have the opportunity to drive the No. 21 car is really exciting.

“I am pumped for the opportunity to learn all facets of this business. From inside the cockpit to the corporate office, the quality of the RCR organization speaks for itself, especially celebrating their 50th anniversary this season. I am eager to learn, contribute and compete.”

In addition to his new racing and internship duties with RCR, Graf Jr. will continue competing full-time in the ARCA Menards Series. In his first full season in 2018, he earned one win, six top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 19 starts. That also included the closest finish in ARCA history when he finished second at Talladega Superspeedway in a statistical tie.

So far in 2019, he’s made three starts, finishing 21st at Daytona, 11th at Pensacola and ninth in his most recent race on April 14 at Salem (Indiana).

He previously competed in the NASCAR K&N Series. He began racing bandolero cars at nine years old and recorded over 50 wins in Legends Car competition, as well as multiple track championships.

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Podcast: Why a couple that stayed together no longer races together

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When she began dating Daniel Hemric, the former Kenzie Ruston knew they both couldn’t remain on their path together.

Not as a couple, mind you. Daniel and Kenzie Hemric tied the knot more than two years ago in Jamaica.

While their relationship was strong, it was the trajectory of their racing careers that was unsustainable for both securing full-time rides at the highest levels of NASCAR.

“Both of us weren’t going to make it,” Kenzie said during a NASCAR on NBC interview last year (watcht the video above). “I feel I truly stand behind him. I get to live through him.”

Shortly after getting married, Kenzie Hemric put her racing career aside to support her husband, who had begun racing full time in the Xfinity Series for Richard Childress Racing. During the most recent NASCAR on NBC Podcast episode, Daniel Hemric discussed how the couple handled their divergent career paths

“I told everybody, Kenzie is a full-blown superstar, the way she’s handled the last couple of years from her career on the driving side not working out, and the way she has handled that and stuck behind me, it’s been incredible, really, man,” Daniel said on the podcast. “I think about when we met, there were times I was sleeping on the floor of her Late Model shop while she was racing full time, doing what she loved to do, and I didn’t have a ride.

“To see the tables turned and her accept it the way she has and just be there for me is what life and hopefully the person you find to share life with is what it’s all about. She’s taken it with stride.”

She also has been his biggest cheerleader and critic as Hemric, 28, has risen to RCR’s No. 31 Chevrolet in Cup. Through nine races, it’s been a tough rookie season for Hemric, who hasn’t finished higher than 18th.

After finishing 31st because of contact with the wall at Auto Club Speedway, Hemric exited the car to a greeting from his wife.

“She looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘You screwed up, 100 percent,’” he said. “She was right. I just appreciate how real she is with me. Over time people will see that, she’s extremely passionate about it. It’s cool to find that person you can share that with and know that she has a better appreciation for it than most ever will. Very cool dynamic we can share together, and it’s cool to have her on my side.”

Kenzie Hemric, 27, made 44 starts in the K&N Series from 2013-15 with a career-best second at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 1, 2014. Daniel Hemric said there was never “a definite talk” about how to handle being a racing couple because Kenzie’s opportunities began to dry up as Daniel began racing full time in the truck series.

“The timing just didn’t work out,” Daniel said. “It took until two years ago, right before we got married. By then I’d gotten the Xfinity contract. Not that’s what it’s about, but we knew so much more time would be dedicated to what I had going on, and it was going to take all of both of our time to do it 100%. At the time, her Late Model stuff was great but to put in the effort in that I felt I owed her, it would take away from one or the other, so we made the decision that she would come and support me full time.”

There is a Super Late Model in the Hemrics’ garage that still might be put to use for Kenzie in the Snowball Derby or a local race but probably just for fun and not as a jump-start on her career.

“We decided fortunately for one of us, and for both of us, that we’re getting this opportunity,” Daniel said. “But we don’t look at it as, ‘You made, it and I didn’t.’ We did it together because when I say literally has been there from the beginning. She’s seen that side of Daniel Hemric to where it’s at now. She fully gets it. We just do it together.”

During the podcast, Daniel Hemric also discusses:

–The numerous breaks he caught to reach the Cup Series without many connections;

–His life-changing Legends Million victory and the amusing aftermath of siphoning gasoline from his winning car and sleeping at a Steak N Shake;

–His friendships with Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney and other up and comers in Cup;

–His Kannapolis, North Carolina, upbringing and the parallels to Dale Earnhardt.

You can listen to the episode by clicking on the embed above, or via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play or wherever you download podcasts.