NASCAR's Johnson OK'd to race after 2 negative virus tests
FILE - In this Feb. 10, 2020, file photo, Jimmie Johnson celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Clash auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has twice tested negative for the coronavirus and has been cleared to race Sunday, July 12, 2020 at Kentucky Speedway. Johnson missed the first race of his Cup career when he tested positive last Friday. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
Harvick takes advantage of Hamlin's crash to win Brickyard
INDIANAPOLIS Kevin Harvick turned up the heat on Denny Hamlin late in the Brickyard 400. It's the Brickyard, this is what I grew up wanting to do so to come here and win for the third time is something I couldn't have dreamed up." For the third straight race, Harvick and Hamlin were in a league of their own. And since racing resumed at Darlington in mid-May, Hamlin and Harvick have combined to win seven of 12 races. But the crash ended Hamlin's run of four straight top-five finishes with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Knocked out of Brickyard, Johnson copes at home with virus
FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2020 file photo Jimmie Johnson climbs intp his car before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. NASCAR seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson will test an Indy car next week on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hes long said he is open to racing in the series but did not want to compete on ovals out of safety concerns. On Friday, July 3, 2020, he indicated recent safety improvements have softened his stance and the Indianapolis 500 is not entirely out of the picture. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
Knocked out of Brickyard, Johnson copes at home with virus
(AP Photo/John Raoux, File)INDIANAPOLIS – Jimmie Johnson and his family took every precaution to avoid the coronavirus. And yet both Johnson and his wife still tested positive for the virus this week — knocking the seven-time NASCAR champion out of what was expected to be his final Brickyard 400. Johnson is the first NASCAR driver to test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 and it will end his streak of 663 consecutive Cup starts. “I think the protocols have actually worked really, really well for us,” Phelps said in the pre-race show. Johnson is the first NASCAR driver to test positive since the sport resumed in May.
NASCAR races on at Indy after Johnson contracts coronavirus
Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson will miss what was supposed to be his final Brickyard 400 as he quarantines following the Friday test result. Johnson said he was disappointed and worried about the emotional impact of the positive tests on his young children. Johnson also spent a day this week in Dallara's simulator as preparation for a now-postponed Indy car test. With both races on network, we do hope fans will tune in and get to see really great racing," Penske said. And then there is Keselowski, the first Team Penske driver to give the boss a Cup Series win at his favorite race track.
Jimmie Johnson 1st NASCAR driver to test positive for virus
FILE - In this May 16, 2019, file photo, NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, center, talks with Will Power, left, of Australia, and Josef Newgarden during practice for the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis. NASCAR seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson will test an Indy car next week on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Johnson earlier Friday held a Zoom session with reporters to discuss Sunday's race and an upcoming test of an Indy car on the road course at the fabled venue. Although Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske both said they've had positive tests from shop-based team members, Johnson is the first driver. Johnson earlier Friday discussed the Indy car test scheduled with Chip Ganassi Racing, which he said was the first step in determine if actual races are in his future.
NASCAR has new rules, new feuds and more fans at Talladega
(AP Photo/Butch Dill)NASCAR's return to racing shifts to Talladega Superspeedway, with new rules in place after Ryan Newman's frightful crash in the season-opening Daytona 500. The Alabama track will admit up to 5,000 fans Sunday with at least one NASCAR team facing a coronavirus scare while NASCAR will be on the lookout for the newly banned Confederate flag. The 5,000 fans in the grandstands will arrive just 48 hours after Stewart-Haas Racing confirmed two unidentified employees tested posted for COVID-19. Those who test positive may not be among the 16 permitted to go to the track under virus rules. He continued to recover during the coronavirus shutdown and returned to racing when NASCAR got back to the track in May.
Earnhardt Jr. headlines NASCAR's 2021 Hall of Fame class
Longtime fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. is expected to be the marquee name on NASCAR's 2021 Hall of Fame class, to be announced Tuesday, June 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)All Dale Earnhardt Jr. needed was a chance to prove he could win in stock cars. Now the longtime fan favorite and two-time Daytona 500 winner will join his famous, late father in NASCAR's Hall of Fame after being selected as one of three members of the 2021 class. Earnhardt Jr. received 76% of the votes in his first appearance on the ballot. Stefanik will be enshrined with Earnhardt in the smallest Hall of Fame class in NASCAR history.
Denny Hamlin wins on a long day at Homestead
HOMESTEAD, Fla. Denny Hamlin found the magic at Homestead-Miami Speedway, once again. Hamlin went to the lead for the final time with 30 laps left and held off Chase Elliott for his record-tying NASCAR Cup Series victory at Homestead. At Homestead, he led 137 of 267 laps on the 1 1/2-mile track in Joe Gibbs Racing's No. Most of those fans were gone when Hamlin drove under the checkered flag at 10:46 p.m., ending the marathon day. Austin Dillon had a day hell never forget, though his seventh-place finish wasnt even close to the most significant development.
Keselowski gets win but Hendrick Motorsports takes 2 losses
His Hendrick Motorsports team bounced back with a competitive Chevrolet in the 600 that Elliott drove to the front late in the race. Theres no other choice.KESELOWSKI SHOWS HIS WORTHA Daytona 500 victory is the only crown jewel race Keselowski is missing on his resume. "I hope to continue to compete at a very high level and be able to win races for a long time. Weve got a race win at a major on a team thats really just starting to click together. I hope it does because this is my 30th win at the Cup level with Team Penske.
NASCAR picks up at tricky Darlington after 10-week hiatus
FILE - In this May 11, 2012, file photo, drivers take the green flag for the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series auto race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. NASCAR will re-fire the engines moments after mask-clad drivers climb into their cars at Darlington Raceway. (Tyler Barrick/Pool Photo via AP, File)DARLINGTON, S.C. NASCAR will not be as you remember it when racing returns at old egg-shaped Darlington Raceway. He tested at Darlington shortly before the season was suspended and determined then he was fit to race again. Busch and Hill are adding Xfinity Series races at Darlington and Charlotte, and a Truck Series race at Charlotte to their calendar. His only victory so far this season was the Truck Series race at home track Las Vegas.
Ryan Newman eager to race again after violent Daytona accident
FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, file photo, Ryan Newman (6) goes airborne after crashing into Corey LaJoie (32) during the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Newman, who suffered a head injury in the season opening Daytona 500, will race Sunday, May 17 when NASCAR resumes its season at Darlington Raceway. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Ryan Newman says he has no memories of his harrowing accident on the final lap of the Daytona 500. The first thing Newman can recall is walking out of a Florida hospital holding hands with his two young daughters. I’m happy I’m here.”Newman will return to racing Sunday at Darlington Speedway in South Carolina exactly three months after he crashed Feb. 17 attempting to win his second Daytona 500. He was healing fast enough three weeks after the accident that Roush-Fenway Racing took Newman to NASCAR's oldest superspeedway to test.
Indianapolis could welcome back fans for Brickyard weekend
An entrance to Indianapolis Motor Speedway is viewed Saturday, April 18, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Motor Speedway could be the first major sporting venue to have fans back in the stands this summer. Holcomb said social distancing guidelines will remain in place through at least race weekend, but it will give one of the world's most iconic sports facilities the potential to be one of the first events to welcome back fans. It's been a busy few months since Roger Penske purchased the track and the IndyCar series, a deal that closed in January. “It's a real possibility we could be the first, the first NASCAR race with spectators.
Newman: "Great to be alive" after terrifying Daytona wreck
(AP Photo/Terry Renna, File)AVONDALE, Ariz. – Ryan Newman was back at the track Friday, sipping on a Coke and casually strolling through the infield of Phoenix Raceway. It was hard to believe he was in a terrifying wreck at the Daytona 500 less than three weeks ago. “If you look at my car, it’s a miracle.”The harrowing crash on the last lap at Daytona had many fearing the worst. Blaney was the driver who tried to push Newman to the win at Daytona and instead hooked Newman's car that resulted in it going airborne. Newman's presence in Arizona became known Thursday night when LaJoie posted to social media a picture of Newman, Blaney and himself at Arizona State's football stadium.
Daytona tweaks Speedweeks, moves Clash onto road course
NASCAR will hit the road for its first race in 2021, part of a schedule shakeup that starts at Daytona International Speedway. They include running the exhibition Busch Clash on the 3.56-mile road course that winds through the Daytona infield and packing seven races as well as Daytona 500 pole qualifying into a six-day span. The tweaks eliminate two traditional “dark days” at the track during Speedweeks and should provide a better fan experience leading into NASCAR’s premier event, the Daytona 500. Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer and Kyle Larson also have Rolex experience on the road course. “It is a very unique road course,” Wile said.
Newman suffered head injury, no internal injuries in crash
Ryan Newman (6) goes airborne after crashing into Corey LaJoie (32) during the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Newman did not suffer life-threatening injuries in the incident. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Ryan Newman said he suffered a head injury in his crash on the last lap of the Daytona 500 but did not disclose details in a statement from the driver read before Sunday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I did sustain a head injury for which I’m currently being treated," Newman wrote in a statement. Newman walked out of the Daytona Beach hospital roughly 42 hours later appearing unscathed and holding hands with his two young daughters. 6 car will be waiting and ready for my return," Newman concluded in his statement.
NASCAR had paramedic in Newman's car 35 seconds after crash
(AP Photo/John Raoux)LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A paramedic was treating Ryan Newman inside his car 35 seconds after the ruined and flaming vehicle came to rest after a crash on the last lap of the Daytona 500. This is what we do, and you’ve got the 40 drivers in the garage area who expect us to do this every day.”NASCAR said the first fire responder arrived 19 seconds after Newman's car stopped. A trauma doctor was at the car 33 seconds later and a paramedic entered 2 seconds after that. The 42-year-old driver was removed from the car 15 minutes, 40 seconds after it halted. "During this entire time, doctors and paramedics were attending to Ryan, except for during the car rollover,” O’Donnell said.
Drivers processing the dangers of racing after Newman crash
(AP Photo/John Raoux)LAS VEGAS, Nev. – NASCAR rolled west this week, shifting from the Daytona 500 to Las Vegas Motor Speedway without Ryan Newman. I can’t wait to have Rocketman Ryan Newman back at the track racing as hard as ever.”Ross Chastain will drive the No. The not knowing was difficult for a generation of drivers who have been fortunate to avoid the inherent danger of auto racing. Dillon recalled racing a week after his 2015 crash at Daytona. It’s part of what we do as race car drivers and I think that’s why people come watch us.
Newman released from hospital; Chastain to race Las Vegas
(AP Photo/David Graham)CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Ryan Newman was released from a Florida hospital Wednesday, about 42 hours after his frightening crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500. Roush Fenway Racing released a photo of Newman leaving a Daytona Beach hospital holding the hands of his two young daughters. The team released a third photo of Newman and his daughters with the staff that treated him following his crash. Chastain has won three times in the Truck Series and twice in the Xfinity Series, including a win at Las Vegas in 2018. “No one could ever take the place of Ryan Newman on the track, and I can’t wait to have him back,” Chastain tweeted.
Blaney's attempted push of Newman led to violent crash
When Ryan Blaney pushed fellow Ford driver Ryan Newman in the final lap of the Daytona 500, it was something both men have done hundreds of times on superspeedways. Then Newman's car angled back into traffic, creating the most violent and frightening wreck at Daytona since the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001. “We pushed Newman there to the lead and then we got a push from (Hamlin). Newman’s car again landed on its roof and skidded past the finish line to a stop, spewing sparks and fuel that caused a fire. A car running alone in the pack without a drafting partner is often shuffled back in the field.
Johnson fails to finish following wreck in final Daytona 500
Johnson was collected in a late-race wreck at the Daytona 500, and his #OneFinalTime kickoff in the final full season of his NASCAR career ended with a 35th-place finish. Dressed in khakis and a black polo shirt, Johnson surveyed the empty track, where hours later he would make his expected final Daytona 500 start. Hootie and the Blowfish singer Darius Rucker said he wanted to play the pre-race concert because it was Johnson's final Daytona 500. His daughters hugged him, whispered advice and didn't want dad to go before the finished his final ride at Daytona. "The prerace stuff, the rainout, staying occupied today, there was a lot of wait in the activities outside of the car," Johnson said.
Daytona 500 purse in high gear, topping $23 million
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR will dole out a record $23.6 million to the 40 drivers racing in the Daytona 500. The sanctioning body released the total purse Friday, an about-face for an organization that hadn't released payouts since the 2015 season. NASCAR's charter system with teams had previously prohibited the disclosure of financial details. The Daytona 500 purse grew steadily since the race's inception in 1959. The purse topped $1 million in 1985 and rose to a little more than $18 million in 2015, the last year the figures were released.
NASCAR drivers anticipate changes to Speedweeks next year
“I’d miss it,” driver Austin Dillon said Wednesday during Daytona 500 media day. “It’d be like somebody trying to go on top of the Daytona 500. The second that we lose sight of that … we’ve got problems.”The Super Bowl is set for Feb. 7, 2021. Well, guess what, sometimes you get a Super Bowl like we had this year and sometimes you get a rout. “I don’t mind them starting a week earlier,” defending Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin said.