Monster Energy Cup

By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Retaking the lead with five laps left in the first of Thursday night’s Can-Am Duel 150-mile qualifying races, Dale Earnhardt Jr. cruised to a dominating victory and grabbed the third staring spot for Sunday’s Daytona 500. In the second Duel, reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch took the checkered flag under caution after a wild last-lap wreck took out the cars of Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth, AJ Allmendinger and Danica Patrick and damaged the No.Read More
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It was a noon practice on the day of the Can-Am Duels at Daytona International Speedway, and there was six-time champion Jimmie Johnson, doing his thing. The regular routine for Johnson and No. 48 crew chief Chad Knaus is a succession of single-car runs at Daytona, staying out of the draft and out of trouble, looking for speed. Based on Thursday’s practice, Johnson may be poised to add a third Daytona 500 title to his resume. The six-time NASCAR SprintRead More
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – When Jamie McMurray pulled onto pit road for the first time in last Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway, he knew immediately the preferences he had selected for the new digital dashboard in his No. 1 Chevrolet simply weren’t going to work. There was nothing wrong with the dash itself. The problem lay in the options McMurray had picked and the way he had configured the series of lights designed to warn him about his pit road speed. “ThereRead More
By Toby Christie, NASCAR Editor 15 years. Today marks 15 years since the darkest day in NASCAR’s 68-year history. The day I’m of course referring to is the tragic moment when the world lost seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt was at the forefront of NASCAR’s popularity boom from the late 1980s to the 1990s. He was raw, real, and was never afraid to lay the bumper to anyone if it took doing so to take home the trophy. Earnhardt was the blue-collar guy, who wasn’t there to make friends. Earnhardt was a driver thatRead More
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It had to happen eventually. Wednesday’s second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice brought the first major accident of Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. Ty Dillon’s No. 95 Chevrolet spewed oil on the track, the result of an oil cooler cracked along the weld. Cars running behind Dillon’s in Turn 2 checked up, and Michael Waltrip’s No. 93 Toyota tapped the back of Ryan Newman’s No. 31 Chevrolet, spinning the Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. That started a chain reaction that sawRead More
By Toby Christie, NASCAR Editor 17 years ago Dale Earnhardt Jr. was a talented, young up-and-coming driver, fresh off of a championship in the NASCAR XFINITY (then Busch) Series, who had a very famous last name which helped push expectations to an unreasonable level. Sound familiar? If so, it’s probably because it’s nearly the exact same scenario that Chase Elliott finds himself in as he heads into his maiden voyage in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. On Tuesday at Daytona 500 Media Day, Earnhardt hit the topic of his newRead More
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – When tandem “love-bug” racing was the order of the day at restrictor-plate tracks, Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn’t like it one bit. Hated it, if you want to know the truth. NASCAR’s most popular driver couldn’t see the logic in pushing another car to victory, even if it happened to be a car driven by a teammate. When Jimmie Johnson won at Talladega in 2008, Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevrolet was the caboose, and the caboose finished fourth. To Earnhardt, that wasRead More
By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer Throughout the last week much of the talk surrounding Ryan Blaney and The Wood Brothers Racing Team has been about the new charter system and their lack of a charter. After Daytona 500 qualifying was in the record books on Sunday afternoon, Blaney was one of two open teams to be locked in to the Great American Race on speed. The other driver locked in on speed based on qualifying was Matt Dibenedetto. When asked what it means to be locked into the Daytona 500,Read More
By David Morgan, NASCAR Writer With Brian Vickers locked into the No. 14 Chevrolet in relief of Tony Stewart for Daytona, the attention has focused on which driver will be behind the wheel for Stewart-Haas Racing next weekend at Atlanta and beyond. When the news that Stewart had been injured broke, one of the names that jumped to the top of the list was Ty Dillon, who will be driving in the NASCAR Xfinity Series full-time for Richard Childress Racing and in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on a part-time basisRead More