Elliott honors Kulwicki with 1992 championship paint scheme
Chase Elliott will honor the late Alan Kulwicki by racing the same Hooters paint scheme that was on Kulwickis car in the 1992 season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway when Kulwicki beat Bill Elliott for the Winston Cup title. Chase Elliott will run the paint scheme at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Chase Elliott has seen the picture somewhere — it's hanging in their family shop, Bill Elliott confirms — of his shaking hands with Alan Kulwicki following the 1992 season finale. Bill Elliott entered the race ranked third out of the six, trailing both Davey Allison and Kulwicki. Because Alan beat Dad that year to win the championship,” Chase Elliott told The Associated Press.
Kyle Larson celebrates return with 1st win since suspension
LAS VEGAS – Kyle Larson is back in NASCAR and back in victory lane. On Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Larson raced to his first NASCAR victory since he was reinstated from a nearly yearlong suspension. Larson is considered one of the top talents in NASCAR but won just six times in six seasons with Chip Ganassi Racing. Larson isn't exactly a surprise and Las Vegas was supposed to be the track in which the large teams finally took control. He was one of eight drivers tied for the longest odds to win Las Vegas.
Allmendinger back at Daytona in 1st Cup race since 2018
Allmendinger will run his first Cup race since the 2018 season finale in Kaulig's first Cup race not at a superspeedway. The longshot Daytona 500 win earned McDowell his first playoff berth and FRM now is positioned to build a once unthinkable cushion. This road course race was added to NASCAR's schedule in December because COVID-19 restrictions would not allow a stop at Fontana, California. AdThe Daytona road course was wedged into the open slot, creating two weekends of very different racing that very much suits Furniture Row. Dillon missed the Cup race in August because he'd received a positive COVID-19 test.
Wallace becomes 1st Black driver to lead lap at Daytona 500
Bubba Wallace checks his helmet before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Bubba Wallace ran into trouble early and late in his first Daytona 500 driving for Michael Jordan. He still came out of NASCAR's marquee race with another milestone, becoming the first Black driver to lead a lap in the Daytona 500. Wallace dipped to the low line late in the second stage to grab the lead on lap 129 in the No. Wallace got caught up in a fiery, chaotic last lap and finished 17th in a race won by Michael McDowell. Wallace had a solid first two-thirds of the rain-delayed race at Daytona International Speedway after a tumultuous start in Jordan's debut race.
Wallace sends Jordan to top of scoring pylon at Daytona 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Bubba Wallace sent Michael Jordan to the top of scoring pylon in the first Daytona 500 practice session for their new team and the first overall for NASCAR in more than 300 days. Wallace was selected as the driver in the first season of a new team that brought Jordan into NASCAR as a team owner. 23 Toyota for 23XI Racing, perhaps a promising sign he could be a force in the Daytona 500. NASCAR sets the front row for the Daytona 500 in Wednesday night’s qualifying session. His runner-up finish in the 2018 Daytona 500 was the best finish by a Black driver in the race.
Larson grateful for 2nd chance in NASCAR after racial slur
Larson was banished from NASCAR for all but the first month of his last season, his punishment for using a racial slur while racing online. NASCAR reinstated Larson late last year and he found a soft landing with Hendrick Motorsports, one of the top teams in motorsports. Larson made amends with fellow driver Bubba Wallace, NASCAR's only Black full-time driver. When asked about his relationship with Wallace, Larson chuckled and said the two had been texting earlier Monday about gaming consoles and golf. Like Larson, Wallace has moved into better cars in 2021, and Larson believes they each have platforms to help NASCAR's diversity push.
Bubba Wallace, who urged Confederate flag ban, honored
NASCAR’s only Black full-time driver didn't watch the news before this summer, one of national unrest over politics and racial justice. Wallace successfully called on NASCAR to ban the display of the Confederate Flag at races, ran a “Black Lives Matter” paint scheme and became the central figure in a sport facing its own racial reckoning. He joined Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell and Matt Kaulig, owner of Xfinity Series team Kaulig Racing. Some fans railed against Wallace, who was assigned security at tracks because of threats NASCAR received against the driver. Jordan becomes the first Black majority NASCAR team owner with a Black driver.
Jones lands iconic No. 43 with Richard Petty Motorsports
43 next season for Richard Petty Motorsports, a pairing of a driver and a team both in need of fresh starts. 43 next season for Richard Petty Motorsports, a pairing of a driver and a team both in need of fresh starts. The loss of Wallace could have crippled RPM, the cash-strapped team co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty. Jones won rookie of the year in the Truck, Xfinity and Cup Series, as well as the Truck Series championship. Richard Petty took on a series of different investors beginning in 2009 for re-branded Richard Petty Motorsports, which last put the No.
Hamlin, Michael Jordan partner on NASCAR team for Wallace
(AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Denny Hamlin has joined Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan to form a NASCAR team with Bubba Wallace as the driver, a high-profile pairing of a Black majority team owner and the only Black driver at NASCAR’s top level. The partnership was announced Monday night in coordinated social media posts by Jordan and Hamlin, with Wallace adding his own comment. “Historically, NASCAR has struggled with diversity and there have been few Black owners," Jordan said in his statement. Scott's 1964 victory at the Jacksonville 200 is the only win by a Black driver in Cup history. Jordan has twice traveled to the NASCAR season finale to watch Hamlin race for the championship.
Suarez on the move again after parting with Gaunt Brothers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Daniel Suarez, who landed a ride two weeks before the season-opening Daytona 500, will not return to Gaunt Brothers Racing next season and is seeking a new team for the third time in three years. Gaunt Brothers said Tuesday it was a mutual decision for the Mexican driver to leave the team. “I’m extremely thankful to my entire Toyota family for everything they have done for me, especially this year," Suarez said. “I will always be grateful to them for having my back.”Suarez has struggled with Gaunt Brothers, which is in its first full season of Cup competition. His long relationship with Toyota helped Suarez get the job with Gaunt Brothers, a team that began in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series in 2010 and the Canada-based NASCAR Pinty’s Series.
Wallace leaving Richard Petty Motorsports at season's end
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Bubba Wallace is leaving Richard Petty Motorsports at the end of the season. NASCAR's only full-time Black driver informed RPM of his decision Thursday. This was not an easy decision as I have nothing but the utmost respect for Richard Petty and his family, but I believe it's time for someone else to take over the reins of the No. He has a career-best five top-10 finishes this season and is ranked a career-best 23rd in the Cup standings. He parlayed that into several sponsorship deals that have been negotiated in a way that Wallace could take them with him if he left RPM.
Jimmie Johnson teams with Ganassi on 2-year IndyCar program
FILE - In this image provided by Jimmie Johnson Racing II, Inc., seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson poses with an IndyCar during testing with Chip Ganassi Racing on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Indianapolis. Jimmie Johnson will transition from NASCAR to IndyCar with Chip Ganassi Racing in a partnership that could pair two of the most dominant drivers of this generation on one team. (Jimmie Johnson Racing II, Inc. via AP, File)CHARLOTTE, N.C. Jimmie Johnson will transition from NASCAR to IndyCar with Chip Ganassi Racing in a partnership that could pair two of the most dominant drivers of this generation on one team. If funding is secured, Johnson would be teammates with five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon. Both were instrumental in piquing Johnson's interest in IndyCar and Dixon assisted Johnson at the July test.
Bubba Wallace, Columbia Sportswear sign sponsorship deal
Columbia Sportswear Co. on Wednesday announced a multiyear sponsorship with Wallace as a brand ambassador that will also put the company on the No. As discussions on sponsorship began, Wallace sent the company photographs of himself wearing a prized bright yellow ski jacket that was his first Columbia apparel purchase. It plans to use the deal with Wallace its first NASCAR driver and team sponsorship agreement to promote its product lines. Wallace, a six-time winner in NASCAR's Truck Series, liked the deal with Columbia because it is an authentic partnership that represents his interests. We're trying to find ways to incorporate photography while being outdoors, Wallace said.
Harvick holds off Hamlin for Michigan doubleheader sweep
BROOKLYN, Mich. Kevin Harvick won just about everything he could in a stellar weekend at Michigan International Speedway, although fittingly, Denny Hamlin was the last driver to pressure him. Harvick held off Hamlin on Sunday to complete a doubleheader sweep in the NASCAR Cup Series. With NASCAR running an adjusted schedule because of the coronavirus, both Michigan races were held on the same weekend. That meant Harvick became the first driver since Richard Petty in 1971 to win back-to-back Cup races on consecutive days. Its been a long time since Ive raced back-to-back days, let alone in the Cup car, Harvick said.
Sports jumps on PPP bandwagon, but big leagues take a pass
However, none of the four major North American sports leagues the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball were among the businesses that applied, according to the data. The data showed businesses that applied for and received loans, though some may not ultimately have taken the funds. An AP survey completed in May found 32 U.S. Olympic sports organizations about 70% of all federations had applied for PPP loans. With their seasons shut down, more than a dozen minor league baseball teams turned up on the PPP rolls. The Big South Conference, Conference USA, Southland Conference and Big Sky Conference all listed less than two dozen full-time employees, according to the data.
Wallace, NASCAR's agent of change, doing 'what feels right'
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)LONG POND, Pa. Being an agent of change in NASCAR cuts both ways for Bubba Wallace. To others, the 26-year-old Wallace represents something else entirely and he has seen plenty of haters out on social media over his career. Its just what I feel in my heart, what feels right, Wallace said Friday. Its not like I wanted to be in this position or asked to be in this position, Wallace said. Lets get away from what happened at Talladega, Wallace said.
'The noose was real' - NASCAR releases photo from Talladega
NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace is consoled by team owner Richard Petty, right, prior to the start of the NASCAR Cup Series at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., Monday, June 22, 2020. It also prompted criticism from some fans that NASCAR had somehow overreacted criticism NASCAR has bristled at and cited in releasing the photo from Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. As you can see from the photo, the noose was real, as was our concern for Bubba," NASCAR President Steve Phelps said. NASCAR said out of 1,684 garage stalls at 29 tracks, only 11 had a garage door pull-down rope tied in a knot. Phelps said NASCAR had determined the noose was not in place when the October 2019 race weekend began but was created at some point during that weekend," he said.
No charges in NASCAR noose incident involving Black driver
The noose found hanging in Bubba Wallace's garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway had been there since at least last October, federal authorities said Tuesday in announcing there will be no charges filed. NASCAR was alerted and contacted the FBI, which sent 15 agents to the track to investigate. The statement said the garage stall was assigned to Wallace last week in advance of the race scheduled for Sunday but held on Monday because of rain. Through video confirmed by NASCAR it was discovered the noose had been was in that garage as early as October 2019." Wallace, the only Black driver at NASCAR's top level, successfully pushed the stock car series to ban the Confederate flag at its venues less than two weeks ago.
NASCAR: Noose found in Bubba Wallace garage at Alabama race
I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in.The noose was discovered on the same day NASCAR's fledgling flag ban faced its biggest challenge. The ban took effect before last week's race near Miami, but there were only about 1,000 military members admitted into that race. Wallace, a 26-year-old Alabama native, said he has found support among fellow drivers for his stance on the flag. NBA star LeBron James tweeted his support to Wallace, calling the noose sickening! Know you dont stand alone! I dont think theres a place for it in NASCAR, to be honest with you, the 32-year-old said.
NASCAR race begins after show of support for Bubba Wallace
The car of Bubba Wallace (43) is prepped on pit row prior to the start of the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega Ala., Monday June 22, 2020. Wallace climbed out of his car and wept. The race began with Martin Truex Jr. on the pole in front of a mostly empty venue. Up to 5,000 fans were allowed into Talladega for the race only the second race with fans since NASCAR returned from the pandemic-forced shutdown but attendance was significantly lower Monday after the one-day postponement because of rain. It doesnt matter what your opinion is, its when you cross that line, then your opinion no longer matters.
AP Interview: NASCAR'S Bubba Wallace finds voice
(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)CHARLOTTE, N.C. Bubba Wallace can count Spike Lee and Demi Lovato in his corner since he became the leader of NASCARs push for change. Wallace is the only black full-time driver at NASCAR's top level and has had to scrap for sponsorship money his entire career. The opportunity for RPM to support Wallace with the paint scheme was possible only because no other corporation had bought the hood space to advertise. His 2013 victory in a Truck Series race was the first national series win by an African American driver, and helped push him into NASCAR's elite Cup Series. Wallace isn't sure what comes next in his role as activist but he said he is determined to fight for equality.
Truex ends 2020 winless skid with victory at Martinsville
MARTINSVILLE, Va. Martin Truex Jr. cruised down the stretch and won his first NASCAR Cup race of the season on Wednesday night in the first race under the lights at Martinsville Speedway. Truex won the Martinsville grandfather clock on the paperclip-shaped track at just 0.526 miles. Already outspoken on social causes in NASCAR, Wallace denounced the flag and his message spread throughout sports. Boston tweeted questions about the race and seemed to enjoy the action at Martinsville: Do yall be pinned to the TV. Martinsville capped a stretch of seven straight Cup races since it resumed without fans at the track.
NASCAR looks to steer clear of protests over George Floyd
At the end of the day, theres a lot to talk about. When you sit down and listen, you realize theres a lot of injustices taking place across a broad spectrum. "But it's still an emotional and special moment to go back to tracks for what could be the final time." Johnson acknowledged that taking a stand against racism and police brutality could spark a backlash from some NASCAR fans. Im still trying to find that voice, but Im being pulled this way more than I have other times.
Kevin Harvick looks to sweep NASCAR's return at Darlington
DARLINGTON, S.C. The win by Kevin Harvick in NASCAR's return to racing over the weekend was a bit predictable considering the enormous task teams are facing in a flurry of rescheduled events. Harvick, a former series champion and former winner at Darlington Raceway, was also the points leader through the first four events. He will try for the sweep when NASCAR returns to Darlington for its first Cup race on a Wednesday since 1984, when Richard Petty scored his 200th and final victory. This anticipated midweek race is just 300 miles 100 fewer than Sunday's return race, and the same distance as next week's junior series Xfinity Series race at Charlotte but still will start a test of stamina. The Cup Series will race for a third time in a week this Sunday in the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race on the schedule.