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SPORTS
February 28, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
AVONDALE, Ariz. - Brad Keselowski on Friday won the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway under a new qualifying format in which large groups of drivers raced simultaneously for the first time in the series. Instead of having one car at a time go around the track in qualifying, NASCAR began using a knockout format to set the starting spots for the 43-car field for Sunday's Cup race. At tracks less than 1.25 miles long, such as the one-mile PIR oval, qualifying was broken into two sessions.
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SPORTS
February 24, 2014 | By Chuck Schilken
Danica Patrick has passed the 1-million mark in Twitter followers, something no other NASCAR driver has even come close to doing. I will now pause for you hard-core NASCAR fans to make your snide comments about Patrick never even coming close to winning a race in the sport. All right, got that out of your system? Patrick passed the mark in the days leading up to the Daytona 500 on Sunday. “It just shows what incredible and loyal fans I have,” she told the Associated Press before the race.
SPORTS
February 24, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Even though it was approaching 1:30 a.m. on Monday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was happily answering reporters' post-race questions at a now empty Daytona International Speedway. After a 6 1/2-hour rain delay, Earnhardt had just won late Sunday night his second Daytona 500, and one could almost feel the burden lifted off the shoulders of the enormously popular NASCAR driver. It was only the second Sprint Cup Series win in the last five years for the 39-year-old son of the late NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt.
SPORTS
February 23, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Tony Stewart 's attempt to win his first Daytona 500 fell short Sunday as the three-time NASCAR champion drove his first race since suffering a broken right leg in August. After starting 21st, Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet developed a mechanical problem near the halfway point of the race that forced him to the garage. He returned after repairs but finished 35th and more than 20 laps behind the leaders. Stewart also co-owns his team, Stewart-Haas Racing, and another of his drivers, Danica Patrick , finished 40th after being collected ¿in a multi-car crash on Lap 146. "I felt like everything was going pretty well, so it's just upsetting," Patrick said.
SPORTS
February 23, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The Daytona 500 was halted after 38 laps Sunday because of rain. The field was under a caution period in NASCAR's season-opening race when the rain arrived at Daytona International Speedway at 2:12 p.m. EST. [Update: The race resumed at 8:52 p.m. local time after a rain delay of 6 hours 22 minutes.] Kyle Busch was leading, followed by Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin and Brian Vickers. The race was scheduled for 200 laps around the high-banked, 2.5-mile speedway, which has lights should the race need to be concluded after sunset.
SPORTS
February 22, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.  - Drivers hardly needed another reason to win NASCAR's Daytona 500 because it's stock-car racing's most prestigious race. NASCAR gave them one anyway. The 56th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday will be the first race under new rules that place more emphasis on drivers winning races and less on merely collecting points to reach NASCAR's Chase for the Cup championship playoff in the fall. The changes mean that if a driver wins one of the 26 regular-season races in the Sprint Cup Series, starting with the season-opening Daytona 500, he or she virtually is guaranteed a berth in the 10-race Chase.
NEWS
February 21, 2014 | By Jay Jones
NASCAR returns to Las Vegas in early March for five action-packed days on and off the track. The pre-race excitement starts at 6 p.m. March 5, with the so-called “hauler parade” along the Vegas Strip. Big rigs carrying the race cars will head north along Las Vegas Boulevard as they make their way to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Fans can watch their favorite drivers practice on the 1 1/2-mile oval March 6 and 7. Grandstand admission will be free on March 6. March 8 begins with qualifying laps at 9:35 a.m. The Nationwide Series Boyd Gaming 300, formerly known as the Sam's Town 300, will get the green flag at 1:15 p.m. At noon March 9, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 gets underway.
SPORTS
February 21, 2014 | By Matt Murschel
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A possible showdown between Danica Patrick and Richard Petty has moved one step closer to becoming a reality. Petty, a seven-time NASCAR champion, was on "Fox and Friends" on Friday and told the news channel that he would be all in for a possible race between himself and Patrick. "I'm 76 years old, OK?" Petty said, according to USA Today. "It's been 25 years since I've been in a race car. But I'll take that challenge. " The challenge was issued by Patrick's teammate and team owner Tony Stewart , who was upset with the legendary driver for comments he made about Patrick's chances of ever winning on the NASCAR circuit.
SPORTS
February 15, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
One moment NASCAR's Tony Stewart was doing what he loves, racing a high-powered sprint car at a small dirt track on a summer night, and the next moment his right leg was shattered. Stewart crashed at full speed into a stalled car in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on Aug. 5. The injury was so gruesome that Stewart later said he "damned near passed out at every doctor visit" when the leg was examined. Despite being one of NASCAR's biggest stars, and a co-owner of a team, Stewart also raced the smaller sprint cars at short tracks nationwide for the sheer joy of it. But the Iowa crash abruptly ended his season and required Stewart to undergo three surgeries and months of physical therapy.
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