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SPORTS
August 28, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
Kyle Larson is about to achieve his goal of becoming a driver in NASCAR's premier Sprint Cup Series. The 21-year-old racing prodigy from Elk Grove, Calif., will join Jamie McMurray next year on the two-car team of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, persons familiar with the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly said Wednesday. Larson is expected to step into the No. 42 Chevrolet and replace veteran Juan Pablo Montoya. The team this month declined to re-sign Montoya, 37, a former Indianapolis 500 winner and Formula One driver who found little success in NASCAR.
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SPORTS
August 26, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
Looking back at the weekend in motor racing -- including the NASCAR race in Bristol and Formula One's Belgian Grand Prix -- five things come to mind: 1. Jeff Gordon's Chase hopes are in big trouble . . . With only two races left before NASCAR's 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup title playoff starts, the four-time champion needs to make something happen. Gordon finished seventh Saturday night at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway but he's 13th in points without a win this season.
SPORTS
August 20, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
When he watches a NASCAR race on television, Greg Scott feels his heart sink if smoke suddenly billows from the cars of Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin or some other Toyota drivers. The smoke usually means one of Toyota's engines blew up from the enormous stress placed on the power plants. "I take it hard," Scott says. "I don't feel good at all. " That's because Scott helps build the motors at Toyota's engine plant in Costa Mesa. But when his drivers win "it's exhilarating," said Scott, a 16-year veteran of Toyota Racing Development.
SPORTS
August 14, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
It was a stunning moment when open-wheel racing star Juan Pablo Montoya announced in 2006 that he was moving to NASCAR stock-car racing. Here was a celebrated Colombian who had won the Indianapolis 500 and several races in the international Formula One series. including the Monaco Grand Prix, ready to bang fenders at tracks in Bristol, Tenn., and Darlington, S.C., among other NASCAR stops. "Historic" was the way NASCAR President Mike Helton put Montoya's desire to compete in the most popular form of U.S. motor racing.
SPORTS
July 28, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
INDIANAPOLIS - Dale Earnhardt Jr. found himself in a hole early in the Brickyard 400 but the popular NASCAR driver recovered to finish sixth Sunday. After only 12 laps of the 160-lap race, Earnhardt had a loose wheel on his No. 88 Chevrolet and was forced to make a pit stop. That dropped him to the rear and left him one lap behind the leaders. But a caution period on Lap 59 enabled Earnhardt to get back on the lead lap and he stayed in the top 10 for most of the race. "You're running that thing at 200 mph at the end of the straightaway, you don't want to take any chances" with the wheel, Earnhardt said.
SPORTS
July 28, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
INDIANAPOLIS - A scenario familiar to NASCAR fans was playing out yet again Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Jimmie Johnson was on a roll. Seeking a record fifth Brickyard 400 win, the five-time Sprint Cup champion again had the dominant car and led a race-high 73 laps. But then a funny thing happened late in the race: A rare misstep in the pits by his Hendrick Motorsports crew. That enabled Ryan Newman, who also had a fast car - the Indiana native started on the pole after qualifying his No. 39 Chevrolet at record speed - to grab the lead and earn his first Brickyard 400 victory.
SPORTS
July 27, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
INDIANAPOLIS - Despite having the dominant car, Kyle Busch nearly saw victory slip away in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday. Busch was passed by Brian Scott on the final restart with six laps left. But Busch reclaimed the lead and won the Indiana 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was Busch's eighth win of the season in the Nationwide Series, a second-level circuit to NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, where Busch primarily races. "It's cool to win in this place," Busch said of the famed race 2.5-mile race track, where he started on the pole position and led 92 of the 100 laps.
SPORTS
July 27, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
INDIANAPOLIS - Kyle Busch would like to tell you he's going to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup title this year, but he can't. "It boils down to having things go your way in the Chase," he said, referring to NASCAR's 10-race championship playoff that begins in seven weeks. "It's all circumstances. " And therein lies the evidence that Busch, one of NASCAR's most controversial and polarizing drivers, has learned that even talented, aggressive racers need their share of breaks and a steady disposition to become champions.
SPORTS
July 26, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
INDIANAPOLIS - For NASCAR's drivers, at least, the Brickyard 400 remains one of the Sprint Car Series' marquee events despite the race's sliding attendance in recent years. "It's the obvious second" in prestige, Clint Bowyer said Friday before practicing for the 20th running of the race Sunday. "It's the Daytona 500 and then the Brickyard. " NASCAR estimated that 125,000 spectators attended last year's race. That's a sizable crowd but smaller than the 200,000-plus who came to the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994 to see the novelty of stock cars racing around the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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