Matt Crafton to stand by for Paul Menard at Talladega

Wood Brothers announced Thursday evening that due to lingering neck issues with its driver Paul Menard, Crafton will remain on standby all weekend should Menard need a relief driver. Crafton, a two-time Truck Series champion, will take some laps in the No. 21 Ford during Friday’s practice sessions to get acclimated to the car. Menard, however, plans to practice, qualify and start Sunday’s race. “Due to neck issues I’ve been battling, and talking it over with my wife, team and doctors, I’ve made the decision to be sure Matt is…

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How one win in 76 races could spur a NASCAR title – NASCAR

Kyle Larson is the latest example of how one win in NASCAR’s playoff system can completely change the championship fortunes of a driver. It was just a little over two months ago that Larson was anguishing over having to “race backup cars” as he wrecked his primary car in practice sessions on two consecutive race weekends, forcing him to start races from the rear of the field. At the same time he was in the midst of what turned out to be a 75-race winless streak in the Cup Series…

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How one win has made Kyle Larson a 2019 title contender

It was just a little over two months ago that Larson was anguishing over having to “race backup cars” as he wrecked his primary car in practice sessions on two consecutive race weekends, forcing him to start races from the rear of the field. At the same time he was in the midst of what turned out to be a 75-race winless streak in the Cup Series and trying to fight his way into the playoffs.  A string of five races with finishes of eighth or better helped propel him…

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NASCAR Gen-7 Cup Series car begins track testing at Richmond – NASCAR

NASCAR’s next generation Cup Series car, dubbed Gen-7, will complete on-track testing on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Gen-7 NASCAR machines are expected to make their competitive debut in 2021, although parts of the new package could appear in ’20 following a successful trial during this year’s Charlotte All-Star race. NASCAR intends for Gen-7 to lower the cost of competing in NASCAR, and the car specification has been influenced by conversations with outside manufacturers as the series seeks a fourth manufacturer for the first time since 2012. A Gen-7 car is…

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Could Jimmie Johnson be next to end a long winless streak?

The signs are certainly there. Johnson and his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team showed plenty of speed this past weekend at Dover, where he has won a NASCAR record 11 times. He ended up finishing eighth, but it was his third consecutive top-10 finish, coming on the heels of a 10th at Richmond and ninth last weekend on the Charlotte Roval. “I felt like we had a shot (at the win). When we were in clean air, our lap times were great. Just as everyone experienced, it was really tough…

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Hamlin blasts 24-lap-down NASCAR Cup rival Logano for Dover blocking – NASCAR

Denny Hamlin blasted rival Joey Logano after he felt he was held up unnecessarily by the lapped Penske driver during the NASCAR Cup race at Dover. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver Hamlin dominated the first stage from pole and appeared well on his way to a stage-two win until Logano – who was 24 laps down due to a pre-race mechanical issue – appeared to obstruct his line, which helped Martin Truex Jr take the lead. Truex held off eventual race winner Kyle Larson to win the second stage, with…

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Playoff standings shaken up by Dover mechanical gremlins

The first to encounter a problem was reigning series champion Joey Logano.  Before the green flag even flew, Logano was forced down pit road with what appeared to be a broken axle. He returned to the race over 20 laps down and finished a disappointing 34th.  “Something back there wasn’t doing what it was supposed to do, so we had to fix that and we were 20-something laps down from there,” he said. “You can’t make up 20 laps, that is for sure. Maybe you can get one or two back…

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Alex Bowman hasn’t enjoyed attention over Bubba Wallace NASCAR spat – NASCAR

Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Cup driver Alex Bowman says he is trying to quietly move on from the Charlotte spat in which rival Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr threw liquid on him. Bowman, who had to start from the rear of the field last Sunday at the Charlotte Roval in a back-up car, rallied to finish second in the race. But he had clashed with Richard Petty Motorsports’ Wallace twice in the race, sending the RPM Ford spinning in the second incident and saying it had followed Wallace making obscene gestures at…

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Denny Hamlin edges Kyle Larson for Dover pole

Hamlin set the early benchmark in qualifying at 166.984mph and no one seemed to be able to get close to him.  Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. gave it a proper shot, but still came a full tenth shy as he sat on the provisional front row. The other JGR playoff driver, Kyle Busch, struggled on his lap and found himself fighting the car to stay on the bottom. He would qualify 18th, the worst of all remaining title contenders. Kyle Larson seemed to be on a flyer that…

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Johnson keen to delay NASCAR retirement call, sponsor commits to 2023 – NASCAR

Jimmie Johnson underlined he wants to delay any decision about his long-term NASCAR future as long as possible, as Hendrick Motorsports announced a sponsor deal covering his car through 2023. The 44-year-old seven-time Cup champion’s current contract with Hendrick expires at the end of next year. He has not won a Cup round since June 2017, and this year failed to make the championship playoff field for the first time since that format was introduced. Johnson’s primary sponsor Ally Financial announced on Friday that it had extended its full-season primary…

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