CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart headlined the six new nominees eligible for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. to drive in Darlington Xfinity race
DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Dale Jr. will race at NASCAR's track dubbed "Too Tough To Tame."
Earnhardt Jr. announced Friday he'll compete at Darlington Raceway's Xfinity Series race on Aug. 31...
Today in History
Today in History
Today is Monday, Feb. 18, the 49th day of 2019. There are 316 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 18, 2001, auto racing star Dale Earnhardt Sr. died in a crash at the Daytona 500; he was 49.
On this date:
In 1546, Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation in Germany, died in Eisleben.
In 1861, Jefferson Davis was sworn in as provisional president of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Alabama.
Michael Annett wins Xfinity Series opener at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Michael Annett stretched the Speedweeks streak of first-time winners to three with a victory Saturday in the Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
Annett won for the first time at NASCAR's national level, a career that spans 345 races in three series. He gave JR Motorsports, owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., his sister and sister and Rick Hendrick, its fourth in five years at Daytona
Daytona 500 announces 4th consecutive sellout
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Daytona 500 is a sellout for the fourth consecutive year.
Daytona International Speedway announced Saturday that all reserved grandstand seats have been purchased for the 61st running of "The Great American Race."
Track president Chip Wile says "this is a tribute to our fans."
Some specialty tickets remain, including access to premium hospitality areas, the infield and the pre-race concert featuring country singer Jake Owen.
Sam Bass, NASCAR’s paint-scheme artist, dies at 57
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Sam Bass, a NASCAR artist who helped design paint schemes and program covers that illuminated an entire sport, has died. He was 57.
His wife, Denise, announced his death Saturday with a note on his official Twitter account. Bass suffered from kidney problems. Other details were not disclosed.
NASCAR moving away from restrictor plates, not pack racing
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — There has been a string of goodbyes at Daytona International Speedway in recent years, from Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart to Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick.
There is another one on tap Sunday: The Daytona 500 will be the final NASCAR race for restrictor plates, the horsepower-sapping devices reduce speed and were intended to improve safety at the nation's fastest tracks.
Texans star J.J. Watt to serve as Daytona 500 grand marshal
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Houston Texans star J.J. Watt will serve as the grand marshal for the Daytona 500, making him the first NFL player to give the command for drivers to starts their engines before NASCAR's most famous race.
Daytona International Speedway made the announcement Monday, six days before the 61st running of "The Great American Race."
Jeff Gordon’s influence on NASCAR honored at Hall of Fame
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jeff Gordon's immense influence on NASCAR was highlighted during a star-packed Hall of Fame induction ceremony befitting a driver who changed the trajectory of an entire sport.
NASCAR needs new stars and Kyle Larson may save the sport
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR's biggest stars have all moved on. Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are television analysts while Tony Stewart is racing sprint cars again. Danica Patrick traded her firesuit for athleisure-wear while Carl Edwards just kind of disappeared.
Country music singer Jake Owen to perform before Daytona 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Country music singer Jake Owen will perform a pre-race concert at the Daytona 500.
Owen will take the stage ahead of the 61st running of the "Great American Race" at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 17.
A native Floridian, Owen featured Daytona Beach in his 2013 hit "Beachin.'"
Chase Elliott wins NASCAR’s most popular driver award
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Chase Elliott has been voted NASCAR's most popular driver, ending a 15-year run for superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Earnhardt presented Elliott the award during NASCAR's annual season-ending awards ceremony Thursday at the Wynn Las Vegas.
Earnhardt won the award for 15 consecutive years until his retirement last season. His streak fell one short of the record of 16 set by Chase Elliott's father, Bill Elliott.
Johnson, Knaus reach checkered flag of championship pairing
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson walked into a Hendrick Motorsports family reunion on pit road. Hall of Fame driver Jeff Gordon chatted near the No. 48 car while Johnson's wife cradled crew chief Chad Knaus' baby boy.
They needed baby wipes as much as a checkered flag.
"It's all about this moment right now," Gordon said.
Tyler Reddick gives Earnhardt another Xfinity championship
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — Tyler Reddick opened Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s first season in retirement with a victory and closed it with a championship.
Jeffery Earnhardt gets shot in a good car with Gibbs
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Jeffrey Earnhardt has landed a nine-race Xfinity Series deal with Joe Gibbs Racing for next season beginning at Daytona.
Earnhardt will drive the No. 18 Toyota, undoubtedly the best car he'll have raced to date in his NASCAR career. JGR has more than 150 victories in the Xfinty Series.
Earnhardt is the 29-year-old grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt. His father is Earnhardt's eldest child, Kerry.
Redskins plan to honor longtime reporter Rich Tandler
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — The Washington Redskins plan to honor longtime reporter Rich Tandler when they host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Tandler, who began covering the team as a blogger in 2004, died unexpectedly Tuesday at age 63. NBC Sports Washington, where Tandler worked since 2011, confirmed his death Wednesday.
Childress promotes Daniel Hemric to Cup Series
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Daniel Hemric sat next to Richard Childress, prepared to discuss his promotion NASCAR's top level.
As his childhood dream was finally realized, he choked away tears and took a moment to compose himself.
"So many people want to have this opportunity and they work their whole life for it," Hemric said.
- Norfolk Daily NewsNASCAR Q&A: Ken Schrader discusses his 1988 Talladega win, the state of racing, and why he won't quit drivingOctober 11, 2018
- Norfolk Daily NewsBell, Earnhardt will start on front row in Go Bowling 250 Xfinity raceSeptember 23, 2018
- Norfolk Daily NewsNASCAR: Xfinity Series practice notes from Richmond RacewaySeptember 23, 2018
- Norfolk Daily NewsHALLMAN: Dale Earnhardt Jr. excited, and a bit anxious, about driving Friday night at Richmond RacewaySeptember 22, 2018
- The Florence Morning NewsA long time between visitsSeptember 2, 2018
Bell wins Xfinity race at Richmond; Earnhardt 4th
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not quite finished with racing.
The NASCAR fan favorite got back behind the wheel Friday night, led 96 laps and finished fourth in an Xfinity Series race at Richmond Raceway. It was his first race since he retired from the Cup Series after last season and became a father earlier this year.
2 more NASCAR drivers stepping away from long schedule
BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Two more drivers are headed to the checkered flag of their NASCAR careers and the laps are winding down for a golden age of racing.
Nationwide and Alex Bowman sign extensions with Hendrick
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Nationwide signed a two-year extension with Hendrick Motorsports that will increase its sponsorship of Alex Bowman to 20 races beginning next season. Bowman also received a one-year extension from Hendrick that locks him with Nationwide through 2020.
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) — Christopher Bell has been called the next Kyle Larson, a future Joe Gibbs Racing star and a young driver to pay attention to.
That's all still to come. For now, the Xfinity Series rookie is chasing NASCAR history.
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Christopher Bell made history Saturday at Iowa Speedway — even though nearly everything that could go against him did down the stretch.
Bell moved back out front in overtime to win a wild NASCAR Xfinity series race on Newton's bull ring, becoming the first series regular with three straight victories since Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 1999.
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — Christopher Bell has been one of NASCAR's rising young stars for the past few years.
Over the past few weeks, Bell and the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 car have been so hot that he is close to joining some pretty select company.
NBC Sports is going with an all-analyst lineup headlined by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The network will use three analysts in the broadcast booth for next week's NASCAR Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Earnhardt, the 15-time most popular NASCAR driver, Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte will be the only broadcasters for the July 22 race at the Magic Mile.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Erik Jones created so much smoke during his burnout that he had trouble breathing afterward.
His first career Cup victory Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway was a needed breath of fresh air in a sport that has failed to see a supposed bumper crop of young talent emerge as bona fide stars.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. leaned toward the track in the broadcast booth and hollered like a NASCAR fan at home over a gripping final lap in his debut race.
Once Kyle Larson tried to swipe the lead from Kyle Busch with a daring pass at Chicagoland, Earnhardt could not harness his enthusiasm.
Earnhardt smiled and clapped his hands at the move and — in a flash — the retired NASCAR star had a signature call.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been pretty busy for a retired guy: Wife Amy gave birth to their first child, he hit the slopes in South Korea and raced scooters against Jimmy Fallon.
Junior Nation can keep tabs on Earnhardt's active lifestyle — from home restorations to Super Bowl sound bites — though his own podcast.
NBC Sports has banked on that fervent fan base to flock to its NASCAR broadcasts when Earnhardt makes his season debut Sunday at Chicagoland.
MONTREAL (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo drove go-karts while growing up in Australia and found himself drawn to stock car racing and the big personalities behind the wheels.
"I loved a lot of motorsports, but as far as the ovals go, I was more into NASCAR," Ricciardo said this month. "Dale Earnhardt was kind of a hero of mine. The No. 3 — it was my first go-kart number, so I already had a bit of affection to No. 3. But being a fan of Dale's as well, that definitely made me want to run that number."
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — Justin Allgaier won all three stages and the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Sunday at Iowa Speedway for his second victory of the season.
Racing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in JR Motorsports' No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro, Allgaier led 182 of 250 laps and survived an unlucky late caution by winning the restart.
Allgaier also won last month at Dover. He has seven career victories — but few of those runs were as dominant as the one Allgaier pulled off in the searing heat on Iowa's short track.
LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Ryan Blaney tagged along with his dad to the track and raced scooters in what the kids called "mini-Pocono."
All grown up, he's figured out the real deal pretty well.
Blaney was tops again at the site of his lone NASCAR Cup victory, turning a lap of 176.897 mph to win the pole Friday at Pocono Raceway.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife, Amy, announced the birth of their first child Tuesday on social media.
Isla Rose Earnhardt was born Monday night, Amy Earnhardt tweeted , calling their daughter "the best dream ever." Earnhardt added: "Everyone was right. It's a new beginning. Now everything I do will be for her and Amy. So blessed."
TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — NASCAR has acquired the ARCA series, a launching pad for drivers looking to reach stock car racing's top level.
NASCAR vice chairman and executive vice president Jim France called the announcement Friday "a big moment for stock car racing in America."
Twelve of the 16 drivers in the Cup Series playoffs last year have logged starts in the Automobile Racing Club of America.
Kyle Busch pulls away at Richmond for 3rd Cup win a row
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Kyle Busch raced to his third straight victory, celebrated, and then got yelled at by his boss.
Joe Gibbs, it seems, hadn't seen Busch climb into the crowd to acknowledge what appeared to be friendly fan.
"You did?" Gibbs said. "Oh my gosh! You should not do that. You run a risk."
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Kyle Busch is on a hot streak, the winner of the last two races in NASCAR's top series and the series points leader as he arrives at Richmond Raceway, where his four career victories are tops among active drivers.
But it's a race Busch didn't win here that drew a lot of attention this week.
It was 10 years ago on the 0.75-mile oval that Busch cemented his reputation as NASCAR's new villian.
Brett Michael Davis, 54, Fond du Lac, passed away peacefully at his home Monday, Feb. 26, 2018.
Hampton, Ga. — Kevin Harvick had to wait 17 years for a second Atlanta salute to Dale Earnhardt.
Harvick adds Cup win to dominant weekend at Atlanta
HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — Kevin Harvick had to wait 17 years for a second Atlanta salute to Dale Earnhardt.
The memory brought tears to his eyes.
In a reprise of the celebration of his first win in Atlanta in 2001, Harvick raised his three-finger salute to Earnhardt following his dominant victory Sunday in the rain-delayed NASCAR Monster Energy Cup race.
Harvick completed his weekend mastery of Atlanta Motor Speedway by holding off Brad Keselowski following a late restart.
Daytona Beach, Fla. — Daytona Day was nothing short of a rousing success for NASCAR, which was able to celebrate both its storied past and youthful future on its biggest stage.
Column: NASCAR’s youth movement may be good for business
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Daytona Day was nothing short of a rousing success for NASCAR, which was able to celebrate both its storied past and youthful future on its biggest stage.
The Daytona 500 is the most important event of the year for NASCAR. With Austin Dillon's victory in the famed No. 3 and Bubba Wallace's history-making, second-place finish, NASCAR got perhaps its most promising glimpse to date of the next generation.
Austin Dillon puts iconic No. 3 car back in Victory Lane at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The No. 3 is No. 1 again at Daytona, on a day, in a race and at a place forever linked with the great Dale Earnhardt.
Junior at peace with Daytona 17 yrs after Earnhardt’s death
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. made peace with Daytona International Speedway long ago.
Seventeen years after his dad's death, Earnhardt had only positive vibes Sunday at the famed racetrack where his father died. Dale Earnhardt was killed in a last-lap crash in the 2001 Daytona 500.
Today in History for February 18th
Earnhardt ready to hit South Korea for NBC Olympics gig
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. won a checkered flag before he leaves to check out Olympic gold.
Earnhardt departs Monday for South Korea to start his Olympics coverage for NBC Sports. Earnhardt retired from driving in November and signed on to be an analyst, and he gets his next shot behind the mic next week after making his debut at the Super Bowl.
Tyler Reddick needs 5 overtimes to win at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Tyler Reddick needed five overtimes, a brief red flag and the closest finish in NASCAR history to take Dale Earnhardt Jr. to victory lane.
Reddick won the Xfinity Series' season-opening race by beating JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler in a photo finish. The margin of victory was 0.000 seconds, breaking the mark set by Butch Miller when he beat Mike Skinner by 0.001 seconds to win the Truck Series race July 15, 1995 at Colorado National Speedway.
NASCAR’s youth brigade will lead the charge in today’s Daytona 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Never before has one race displayed NASCAR's rapidly changing look more than this year's Daytona 500.
Daytona Beach, Fla. — Never before has one race displayed NASCAR's rapidly changing look more than this year's Daytona 500.
Shifting gears: NASCAR’s young look on display for Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Never before has one race displayed NASCAR's rapidly changing look more than this year's Daytona 500.
Three drivers under age 25 will start in the first two rows, new rules will make the cars difficult to drive and NASCAR's longtime most popular driver will watch from the sidelines.
Vietnam vet Thompson to make Daytona 500 start at 66
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The oldest driver in the Daytona 500 field is truly a race veteran. Mark Thompson did a tour of duty in Vietnam that wrapped two decades before his NASCAR debut.
Never heard of the racing sexagenarian?
—He made his Cup debut at Pocono in 1992 against the likes of Dale Earnhardt and Alan Kulwicki.
Drivers competing in the 2018 Daytona 500
The 40 drivers competing in the 2018 Daytona 500, in order of starting position:
No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: Alex Bowman
BORN: April 25, 1993
HOMETOWN: Tucson, Arizona
CREW CHIEF: Greg Ives
NOTEWORTHY: "Bowman the Showman" landed pole in return to 88. Bowman filled in for injured star Dale Earnhardt Jr. for 10 races in 2016, and Earnhardt stumped for Bowman to replace him after retirement.