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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/auto/attributes/racing

Blaney wins rain-delayed Talladega NASCAR playoffs race in photo finish

Ryan Blaney beat Ryan Newman in a door-to-door race to the finish line to win Monday at Talladega Superspeedway and advance to the third round of NASCAR‘s playoffs.

Westlake Legal Group tall1 Blaney wins rain-delayed Talladega NASCAR playoffs race in photo finish fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc Associated Press article 80d9f8c0-eb4a-5bd6-b63f-e032236a22da

(Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Blaney’s first win of the season came as he was desperately trying to remain in title contention. The playoff field will be trimmed from 12 drivers to eight next weekend at Kansas and Blaney was in danger of elimination before his Talladega victory.

Blaney joins Kyle Larson in the round of eight, with six spots sill available.

The race began Sunday until rain stopped it after the first stage and pushed the finish to Monday. It gave Blaney time to recover from a Sunday spin as he tried to enter pit road and it gave Ford and Team Penske the victory. Ford had won seven consecutive Talladega races until Chevrolet snapped that streak in April.

NASCAR MAY SWITCH TO HYBRIDS IN 2020, EXECUTIVE SAYS

Blaney was the leader on a restart with two laps remaining and had a huge push from fellow Ford driver Aric Almirola to gain space on the field. Then Newman came charging along on the outside line with help from Denny Hamlin and he easily zipped past Blaney.

Westlake Legal Group tall2 Blaney wins rain-delayed Talladega NASCAR playoffs race in photo finish fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc Associated Press article 80d9f8c0-eb4a-5bd6-b63f-e032236a22da

The win put Blaney through to the next round of the playoffs. (Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

But the Ford train remained committed and Blaney got another push from Almirola to pull alongside Newman. The two raced door-to-door to the finish line, with Blaney winning by a nose. The 0.0070-second margin of victory was the sixth-closest in the history of Talladega, which celebrated its 50th anniversary all weekend.

The win capped a remarkable weekend for the Penske organization, which on Saturday claimed the IMSA overall sports car championship with Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya, and then in Australia won the Bathurst 1000 with Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard.

The race had critical playoff implications as many of the title contenders struggled, and Hendrick Motorsports entire lineup is at risk of elimination next weekend. Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott and William Byron are all below the cutline, as is Kansas native Clint Bowyer, who could be eliminated at his home track.

Bowman and Byron were both in pivotal, separate race-ending accidents, while Bowyer seemed to have a tire problem th

Westlake Legal Group tall3 Blaney wins rain-delayed Talladega NASCAR playoffs race in photo finish fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc Associated Press article 80d9f8c0-eb4a-5bd6-b63f-e032236a22da

Brendan Gaughan (62) got flipped during a multi-car accident with six laps to go. (AP)

at caused him to spin and get stuck on the track’s banking. He lost two laps as safety personnel tried to get his car moving again.

UP NEXT

The elimination race of the third round of the playoffs Sunday at Kansas Speedway. Elliott is the defending race winner, and Brad Keselowski won the spring race.

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Westlake Legal Group tall1 Blaney wins rain-delayed Talladega NASCAR playoffs race in photo finish fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc Associated Press article 80d9f8c0-eb4a-5bd6-b63f-e032236a22da   Westlake Legal Group tall1 Blaney wins rain-delayed Talladega NASCAR playoffs race in photo finish fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc Associated Press article 80d9f8c0-eb4a-5bd6-b63f-e032236a22da

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Chase Elliott wins NASCAR Charlotte ‘roval’ playoff race

Alex Bowman had just advanced to the second round of NASCAR‘s playoffs, climbed from his car and slumped to the ground, dehydrated and overcome by the heat. As he was receiving medical attention, Bubba Wallace approached him and angrily splashed liquid in Bowman’s face.

Westlake Legal Group CHASE1 Chase Elliott wins NASCAR Charlotte 'roval' playoff race fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc Associated Press article 55e1d109-bb5e-5325-8ee1-dc2a07df43ce

That closing image capped a sloppy Sunday in scorching temperatures at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Chase Elliott won despite crashing head-on into a tire barrier earlier on The Roval. Elliott was leading on a restart headed into the first turn when he locked his brakes and his car drove directly off the course and crashed into the makeshift wall.

“I couldn’t believe I did that. That was just so stupid,” Elliott said. “I don’t know that you could have done anything more stupid leading this race than what I did right there. Luckily our car wasn’t too bad … fast enough to drive up through there, got the cautions at the right time, and just didn’t quit.

“If there’s ever a lesson to not quit, today was the example.”

Westlake Legal Group CHASE2 Chase Elliott wins NASCAR Charlotte 'roval' playoff race fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc Associated Press article 55e1d109-bb5e-5325-8ee1-dc2a07df43ce

Elliott celebrated by returning to the corner where he’d wrecked earlier and placing the nose against the barrier before smoking his tires.

“I was coming back and saw that dang thing and thought I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to redeem myself,” Elliott said of his celebration.

The winner, though, was not the spotlight in NASCAR’s first elimination race of the playoffs.

The focus was on the four drivers who would be trimmed from the 16-driver championship field, and Bowman spent the entire race fighting for a spot in the second round. He crashed his car in the final moments of Saturday practice and had to go to a backup, then spun in the opening laps Sunday, deliberately spun Wallace in anger, and had to claw his way to a second-place finish.

But the 1-2 finish for Hendrick Motorsports was no guarantee that Bowman would advance. Ryan Newman, further back in the field, had the point advantage on Bowman and Bowman had no control of his own fate.

Then Newman, racing Aric Almirola over the final few laps for a shot at advancing, missed a chicane with two laps remaining and the error eliminated him from the playoffs.

“I felt like I made a lot of mistakes trying too hard,” said Newman, who also stalled his Ford during a pit stop. “We did not have the race car and that’s what I had to do.”

DALE EARNHARDT JR. ONCE OFFERED TO TAKE A $1 MILLION PAY CUT, HERE’S WHY

The point difference swung to Bowman, who couldn’t celebrate because he needed immediate medical attention. As Bowman was slumped next to his car and surrounded by medical personnel, Wallace approached him, the two had a brief verbal exchange and Bowman appeared to laugh at Wallace right before Wallace angrily splashed the bottle he was carrying in Bowman’s face.

Bowman was later treated in the infield care center for dehydration and said he spun Wallace for flipping his middle finger at him repeatedly on track.

“I got flipped off for every single straightaway for three laps, flipped off by him for like three or four laps in a row at Richmond, so I’m just over it. He probably wouldn’t have got wrecked if he had his finger back in the car, right?” Bowman said. “Probably shouldn’t repeat what he said to me, but nothing classy, by any means. I get it. I’d be mad, too, but he put himself in that spot.”

It was a messy day on the hybrid road course/oval at Charlotte, where the championship chances ended for Newman, Almirola, Kurt Busch and Erik Jones.

A late caution led NASCAR to stop the race for a cleanup and the drivers had to sit inside their cockpits, where temperatures hovered around 120 degrees. NASCAR officials went car-to-car handing out water bottles, and Newman was among the many who radioed their crew asking for bags of ice to be waiting for him when the race ended.

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Kyle Busch decided he wasn’t going to sit in the heat and drove his car to the garage, calling it a race with seven laps remaining. He was three laps down at the time and already locked into the second round of the playoffs.

Kevin Harvick finished third and was followed by Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Clint Bowyer, who was in danger of being eliminated from the playoffs but advanced with his fourth-place finish.

Brad Keselowski was fifth and followed by pole-sitter William Byron, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney as playoff drivers claimed the top eight spots.

The track, typically a standard NASCAR oval, was modified for this playoff race for the second consecutive year into a 17-turn, 2.28-mile circuit that uses both the road course through the infield and the oval. The twists and turns around the circuit are marked with chicanes on the backstretch and frontstretch to slow the cars, and, potentially increase passing on the oval portion of the track. An added wrinkle from last year is an overhauled backstretch chicane revamped to make it a braking and passing zone.

NASCAR made it very clear in every communication with teams that skipping a chicane would be penalized, and Newman was one of many drivers to miss it and suffer a costly setback.

JONES FIRST OUT

Erik Jones was the first driver eliminated from the playoffs after a horrible opening round.

He had a mechanical issue at Las Vegas, but rallied last week at Richmond to finish fourth in a 1-2-3-4 sweep for Joe Gibbs Racing. Then NASCAR said Jones’ car had failed post-race inspection, and the 42-point penalty dropped him to last in the playoff field.

Jones was in a must-win situation at Charlotte to advance into the second round of the playoffs, but he went to the garage with damage to his Toyota at the end of the first stage and finished last. It officially knocked him out of the playoffs while the race was still going on.

“It’s frustrating not to even have a chance throughout the whole race, you know?” said Jones. “It’s unfortunate. We just had three really bad weeks and it’s some of our own doing and some not our own doing. I’d love to be moving forward here and challenging for the championship. I thought we could have went pretty deep this year, but it’s just the nature of the playoffs.”

BUSCH BAKES

Kyle Busch decided not to finish the race when NASCAR stopped it with seven laps remaining to clean up debris on the track. Busch was three laps down at the time and temperatures in the cars were hovering around 120 degrees during the stoppage.

With nothing to gain when the race resumed, Busch threw in the towel and pulled off the track.

UP NEXT

The opening race of the second round of the playoffs, Sunday at Dover International Speedway. Chase Elliott won last year.

Westlake Legal Group CHASE2 Chase Elliott wins NASCAR Charlotte 'roval' playoff race fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc Associated Press article 55e1d109-bb5e-5325-8ee1-dc2a07df43ce   Westlake Legal Group CHASE2 Chase Elliott wins NASCAR Charlotte 'roval' playoff race fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc Associated Press article 55e1d109-bb5e-5325-8ee1-dc2a07df43ce

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NASCAR champ Mike Stefanik, 61, dies in plane crash near Rhode Island

Westlake Legal Group NASCAR-Mike-Stefanik NASCAR champ Mike Stefanik, 61, dies in plane crash near Rhode Island Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/sports fnc article 1e2c2152-bd2b-53ce-bb96-6cef9c451261

NASCAR champion Michael Stefanik died Sunday in a single-engine plane crash near the Rhode Island state line, police said. He was 61.

Stefanik took off in a single-engine, single-seat Aerolite 103 from the Riconn Airport in Coventry, and had been turning back to the airfield when it crashed in a wooded area near the airport, Connecticut state police said.

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NASCAR confirmed Stefanik was killed in the crash.

“Mike Stefanik was one of the most successful drivers in NASCAR history, but even more so, he was a true representative of our sport,” NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France said in a statement. “His tough, competitive nature and excellence on the race track won him the admiration of fans and competitors alike.”

Stefanik was popular in the NASCAR circles, being named the Busch North Series Most Popular Driver in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2004. He won the Busch North Series in 1997 and 1998.

He made a name for himself in Whelen Modified Tour circuit winning the championship in 1989, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2006. He was also named as a top 10 all-time driver in the series in 2003.

His nine total championships tie him with Richie Evans for most in NASCAR history.

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He holds the Whelen Modified Tour record with 74 victories from 1985 to 2014.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group NASCAR-Mike-Stefanik NASCAR champ Mike Stefanik, 61, dies in plane crash near Rhode Island Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/sports fnc article 1e2c2152-bd2b-53ce-bb96-6cef9c451261   Westlake Legal Group NASCAR-Mike-Stefanik NASCAR champ Mike Stefanik, 61, dies in plane crash near Rhode Island Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/sports fnc article 1e2c2152-bd2b-53ce-bb96-6cef9c451261

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Jimmie Johnson optimistic after NASCAR playoffs streak ends at 15 seasons

Westlake Legal Group jj Jimmie Johnson optimistic after NASCAR playoffs streak ends at 15 seasons Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/auto fnc article 2addcfb5-c069-5bd4-af3b-512001ab9006

Jimmie Johnson says he is “back to it” after missing the NASCAR playoffs for the first time ever.

The seven-time champ was the only driver who qualified for every post-season competition since NASCAR inaugurated the format in 2004 before coming up short at the regular season-ending Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis on Sunday, where contact with the wall took him out of contention with 55 laps to go.

“Damn, what a bummer and a letdown. But thank you to all my fans for all of your support. I promise you, we are getting stronger. This team is going in the right direction,” Johnson said in a video posted to Twitter after the race.

“Chasing eight will have to wait until next year.”

Johnson hasn’t won a points race in 27 months and Hendrick Racing has changed his crew chief twice in the past year in an effort to get him back on track. He finished the regular season in 18th place, two positions out of the playoffs. He is currently tied with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. on the all-time championship list, with all of his titles coming during the playoffs era.

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The 43-year-old followed up on Monday morning tweeting “Well how about that… the sun still came up. 10 races to go and we are as determined as ever.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group jj Jimmie Johnson optimistic after NASCAR playoffs streak ends at 15 seasons Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/auto fnc article 2addcfb5-c069-5bd4-af3b-512001ab9006   Westlake Legal Group jj Jimmie Johnson optimistic after NASCAR playoffs streak ends at 15 seasons Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/auto fnc article 2addcfb5-c069-5bd4-af3b-512001ab9006

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Jessi Combs’ fatal land speed record attempt caught on camera

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6078670867001_6078660026001-vs Jessi Combs' fatal land speed record attempt caught on camera Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/attributes/safety fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/auto fnc article 1258d78d-4be7-554f-aaa0-78b6dfb96b99

Video of Jessi Combs’ fatal land speed record attempt has surfaced.

The footage, obtained by TMZ, shows Combs’ jet-powered car streaming across Oregon’s Alvord Desert followed by a long white contrail.

Combs set the record for the fastest woman on four wheels in 2013 with a 398 mph run and has driven as fast as 483 mph. The racer and TV host was attempting to break the overall mark for women, which currently stands at 512 mph, and was reportedly aiming to hit 619 mph.

The clip ends before a yet to be determined problem led to the crash, which completely destroyed the vehicle. Investigators said that fire was involved. Combs was declared dead at the scene.

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In a statement on her death, the 39-year-old’s family said her “most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth, a dream she had been chasing since 2012.”

“Combs was one of the rare dreamers with the bravery to turn those possibilities into reality, and she left this earth driving faster than any other woman in history.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6078670867001_6078660026001-vs Jessi Combs' fatal land speed record attempt caught on camera Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/attributes/safety fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/auto fnc article 1258d78d-4be7-554f-aaa0-78b6dfb96b99   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6078670867001_6078660026001-vs Jessi Combs' fatal land speed record attempt caught on camera Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/attributes/safety fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/auto fnc article 1258d78d-4be7-554f-aaa0-78b6dfb96b99

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Jessi Combs’ fatal land speed record attempt caught on camera

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6078670867001_6078660026001-vs Jessi Combs' fatal land speed record attempt caught on camera Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/attributes/safety fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/auto fnc article 1258d78d-4be7-554f-aaa0-78b6dfb96b99

Video of Jessi Combs’ fatal land speed record attempt has surfaced.

The footage, obtained by TMZ, shows Combs’ jet-powered car streaming across Oregon’s Alvord Desert followed by a long white contrail.

Combs set the record for the fastest woman on four wheels in 2013 with a 398 mph run and has driven as fast as 483 mph. The racer and TV host was attempting to break the overall mark for women, which currently stands at 512 mph, and was reportedly aiming to hit 619 mph.

The clip ends before a yet to be determined problem led to the crash, which completely destroyed the vehicle. Investigators said that fire was involved. Combs was declared dead at the scene.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

In a statement on her death, the 39-year-old’s family said her “most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth, a dream she had been chasing since 2012.”

“Combs was one of the rare dreamers with the bravery to turn those possibilities into reality, and she left this earth driving faster than any other woman in history.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6078670867001_6078660026001-vs Jessi Combs' fatal land speed record attempt caught on camera Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/attributes/safety fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/auto fnc article 1258d78d-4be7-554f-aaa0-78b6dfb96b99   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6078670867001_6078660026001-vs Jessi Combs' fatal land speed record attempt caught on camera Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/attributes/safety fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/auto fnc article 1258d78d-4be7-554f-aaa0-78b6dfb96b99

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Michael Waltrip’s ‘Blink of an Eye’ is the untold story of day Dale Earnhardt Sr. died

When NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip woke up on the morning of February 18, 2001 – the morning of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Florida – he felt different.

Westlake Legal Group NAS3 Michael Waltrip's 'Blink of an Eye' is the untold story of day Dale Earnhardt Sr. died Hollie McKay fox-news/entertainment/genres/documentary fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox-news/auto fox news fnc/auto fnc cf537598-a6f7-5d6e-a019-b098d7a2e74f article

Charlotte Motor Speedway in the early 90s. Benny Parsons interviews Dale Earnhardt Sr and Michael Waltrip. (Michael Waltrip)

“Some mornings I wake up and I can’t remember where I put my keys, but I remember every detail of that day vividly. I told my wife that they were not beating me that day, even though I had never won a NASCAR Cup race. Nobody had ever lost 462 races and then just won,” Waltrip told Fox News. “But Dale Earnhardt Sr. had told me I had the ability, and that day, I knew I would.”

At that point in his tumultuous career, Waltrip had completed some 462 Cup races – and failed to cross the line first in each and every one of them – branding him with the gong of NASCAR’s longest-ever losing streak. But under the Florida sun on the legendary racetrack, Earnhardt blocked the field of 40 cars to allow Waltrip a much-coveted victory.

“With 30 laps to go, I took the lead for the first time. Behind me was his son Dale Earnhardt Jr., and behind him was Dale Sr., the three of us working together,” Waltrip recalled. “And then crossing the line and taking that checkered flag – the emotion I felt was relief.”

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It was a unique friendship amid the vicious arena of professional racecar driving. The celebration would be short-lived. Earnhardt Sr. crashed on the last lap.

Westlake Legal Group NAS1 Michael Waltrip's 'Blink of an Eye' is the untold story of day Dale Earnhardt Sr. died Hollie McKay fox-news/entertainment/genres/documentary fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox-news/auto fox news fnc/auto fnc cf537598-a6f7-5d6e-a019-b098d7a2e74f article

New documentary to be released this month

“I’m a Christian and I believe in angels and God. I believe those angels took me straight to Victory Lane and I didn’t stop at the crash. I was waiting for Dale to walk through the gate but he didn’t. I knew something was wrong,” Waltrip said. “No one had answers. Half an hour later, my publicist delivered me the ultimate news.”

Waltrip’s story and his bond as the chronic underdog with the feared and famed Earnhardt — known in the sport as “The Intimidator” — is the subject of a new documentary, “Blink of an Eye,” directed by Paul Taublieb.

Westlake Legal Group NAS4 Michael Waltrip's 'Blink of an Eye' is the untold story of day Dale Earnhardt Sr. died Hollie McKay fox-news/entertainment/genres/documentary fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox-news/auto fox news fnc/auto fnc cf537598-a6f7-5d6e-a019-b098d7a2e74f article

Dale Earnhardt Jr. in an interview for the new documentary

“I didn’t want this to be just a race car movie, it’s a movie about what happens when somebody really believes in you,” he said. “It’s an untold story, a marvelous story. Dale Earnhardt Sr. was the Michael Jordan or the Brad Pitt of the racecar world. When you deal with a real person and their family, there is a sense of responsibility.”

‘LAND OF THE LOST’ STAR KATHY COLEMAN RECALLS GETTING INTO TROUBLE ON SET, REVEALS WHY HIT SHOW CAME TO AN END

And while Earnhardt was a deeply private person, Taublieb hopes audiences see the many layers beneath his exterior as a ruthless competitor staring down the finish line.

“Dale had a heart of gold and truly cared about other people,” he surmised. “And Michael taught me as a filmmaker to own your emotions, be raw and share who you are. Some might think he was a loser, but he definitely was not.”

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And for Waltrip, telling his story is a catharsis bound by faith and belief in overcoming adversity.

“For a few months after that Daytona, I was just going through the motions,” he added. “Then I came out of it, and I went back to Daytona to win.”

“Blink of an Eye” opens in New York and Los Angeles September 6th, and for one day only in select cinemas nationwide on September 12th in partnership with Fathom Events

Westlake Legal Group NAS3 Michael Waltrip's 'Blink of an Eye' is the untold story of day Dale Earnhardt Sr. died Hollie McKay fox-news/entertainment/genres/documentary fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox-news/auto fox news fnc/auto fnc cf537598-a6f7-5d6e-a019-b098d7a2e74f article   Westlake Legal Group NAS3 Michael Waltrip's 'Blink of an Eye' is the untold story of day Dale Earnhardt Sr. died Hollie McKay fox-news/entertainment/genres/documentary fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox-news/auto fox news fnc/auto fnc cf537598-a6f7-5d6e-a019-b098d7a2e74f article

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Erik Jones wins rain-delayed Southern 500

Erik Jones used every bit of stamina he had at Darlington Raceway. Few know better than Jones the effort it took to hold off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch and win the rain-delayed Southern 500.

Westlake Legal Group darl-1 Erik Jones wins rain-delayed Southern 500 fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc f8c86fc1-e7ed-5f8d-8f06-5c03ff542a7f Associated Press article

“I’m mentally drained,” he said with a smile. “I’m physically drained.”

Jones took the lead from Kyle Larson 85 laps from the end and stayed in front of Busch the rest of the way to add a win at iconic Darlington Raceway with his first NASCAR Cup Series victory at Daytona in July 2018.

“It’s pretty crazy, right,” he said. “I’m not a hugely emotional guy, but to get a win here means a lot to me.”

Westlake Legal Group darl2 Erik Jones wins rain-delayed Southern 500 fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc f8c86fc1-e7ed-5f8d-8f06-5c03ff542a7f Associated Press article

(Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Some had wondered if the 23-year-old Jones was the soft spot in the JGR powerhouse as Busch, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. had all won four times apiece this season while Jones’ No. 20 was winless.

DALE JR. SHARES DETAILS OF HARROWING AIRPLANE CRASH

“Is there anything more to say?” Jones asked as the crowd cheered.

Not anymore. Jones’ victory means all four of Joe Gibbs’ drivers has taken the checkered flag and are locked into the NASCAR playoffs that start in two weeks.

“It takes a lot to beat them,” Jones of his teammates. “Especially when you’re racing the same equipment.”

To have the win come at Darlington made it even more special for Jones.

“This is one of those races for me that has always held a special place. You think of NASCAR, you think of Darlington,” he said.

Larson was second, his third top three finish at Darlington in the past four years. He led 497 laps during that stretch, including 44 in this one.

Busch, who started in the back after swapping out an engine after qualifying, got up to Jones’ bumper near the end. But he brushed the wall on the next-to-last lap and ended third.

“We kind of lost control that pit stop where we came in the leader and came out third,” Busch said. “I thought if we could keep in touch with (Jones and Larson), keep close to them, we might be able to out-pit road them at the end of the race. We got by one of them, but not the other one. But overall, good day.”

Busch clinched the regular-season points lead.

Kevin Harvick was fourth and Brad Keselowski was fifth.

Clint Bowyer was sixth followed by the winner of the opening stage, Kurt Busch, Matt DiBenedetto, Paul Menard and Austin Dillon.

PLAYOFF STREAK: Jimmie Johnson made some headway on his quest for a 16th straight playoff appearance, but was hindered when he was caught up in a final stage crash that bumped him back to 16th at the Southern 500. Johnson trimmed his playoff deficit from 26 points to 18. Still, he’ll likely need a win in Indianapolis next week to qualify for the postseason.

“We’re running out of days and if we miss it, it’s going to be by a few (points) I believe,” Johnson said. “I can look back over the first half of the season and see a lot of races where we gave away a few points.”

HAMLIN’S LOST WEEKEND: Denny Hamlin came in the hottest driver in NASCAR and left the Darlington weekend wondering what went wrong.

He was caught up in that final-stage accident and wound up 29th, his second-worst placing of the season. On Saturday, Hamlin crossed the line first in the Xfinity race, but was disqualified when his car failed post-race inspection.

RAIN DELAY: Heavy storms Sunday delayed the start by more than four hours. Drivers were going through introductions shortly before the scheduled 6 p.m. start when skies got dark and heavy rain began. Crews covered up cars and racers grabbed umbrellas as they headed back through the garage areas to wait out the storm. Darlington earlier announced it had sold out its reserved seating. Most fans also sought shelter, although some stayed out. One was interviewed on the NBC Sports broadcast by NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer.

“You have to explain yourself son,” Bowyer asked, wanting to know why he was out there in the rain.

When fan told him he came to see a race and didn’t care about the wet weather, Bowyer shouted, “That, ladies and gentleman, is a race fan.”

At one point, drivers Bubba Wallace and Corey LaJoie came out on the wet track to throw a football with fans in the stands.

REASON TO RACE: NASCAR spokesman Matt Humphrey said officials took many factors into consideration in starting the race after 10 p.m., including the sell out at Darlington and the approach of Hurricane Dorian toward South Carolina’s coast. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered evacuations of coastal counties for Monday that included lane reversals on roadways in the area.

Humphrey said the storm’s approach was a factor for leaders deciding whether to race or postpone. He said the biggest reason was that NASCAR runs races on the day that it’s scheduled if at all possible.

UP NEXT: The Cup series ends the regular season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Brad Keselowski won the event on a Monday after all weekend on-track activity was cancelled by rain.

Westlake Legal Group darl-1 Erik Jones wins rain-delayed Southern 500 fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc f8c86fc1-e7ed-5f8d-8f06-5c03ff542a7f Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group darl-1 Erik Jones wins rain-delayed Southern 500 fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc f8c86fc1-e7ed-5f8d-8f06-5c03ff542a7f Associated Press article

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Jessi Combs’ friends and co-workers react to her death: ‘She lost her life doing what she loved’

Westlake Legal Group Jessi-Combs-2 Jessi Combs' friends and co-workers react to her death: 'She lost her life doing what she loved' Michael Hollan fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/auto fnc article ae3790ef-828d-5471-8ed2-1847cbf3063e

Jessi Combs tragically passed away at the age of 36 on Aug. 27.

She was reportedly attempting to break her own land-speed record when she was involved in a fatal crash. Combs was a popular race car driver and TV personality. Many of her colleagues shared their condolences online.

“Mythbusters” star Adam Savage tweeted, “I’m so so sad, Jessi Combs has been killed in a crash. She was a brilliant & top-notch builder, engineer, driver, fabricator, and science communicator, & strove every day to encourage others by her prodigious example. She was also a colleague, and we are lesser for her absence.”

Combs had appeared as a guest host on several episodes of “Mythbusters.” Kari Byron, whom Combs had filled in for, tweeted, “So sad to hear about Jessi. She was a badass. Always pushing limits. Sending smiles into the universe for her.”

JESSI COMBS, RACE CAR DRIVER AND HOST, DIES IN JET-CAR CRASH AT AGE 36

“Woke up to the news of my friend Jessi Combs’ tragic death,” wrote Richard Ray Rawlings of “Garage Rehab.” “She lost her life doing what she loved, attempting to beat her own land-speed record. She’s always been a good friend since the Overhaulin days and I can’t believe she’s gone. RIP Jessi, Fastest Woman on Four Wheels.”

Rikki Rockett, the drummer for Poison, posted, “I am so, so sorry to hear this news. R.I.P. Jessi Combs. You were a hero to both men and women. What a sweetheart you were!”

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The Twitter account for Harley Davidson shared a message, saying, “Rest in peace, Jessi Combs. Your energy, passion, and love of life on 2 wheels left a mark on so many. You will not be forgotten.”

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In a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Discovery said, “She was a friend and colleague, an icon in the industry, and an undeniable force of nature who left an indelible mark on the car world. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones.”

A representative for Combs’ did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Westlake Legal Group Jessi-Combs-2 Jessi Combs' friends and co-workers react to her death: 'She lost her life doing what she loved' Michael Hollan fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/auto fnc article ae3790ef-828d-5471-8ed2-1847cbf3063e   Westlake Legal Group Jessi-Combs-2 Jessi Combs' friends and co-workers react to her death: 'She lost her life doing what she loved' Michael Hollan fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/auto fnc article ae3790ef-828d-5471-8ed2-1847cbf3063e

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IndyCar driver Felix Rosenqvist hospitalized after dramatic Pocono 5-car wreck

IndyCar driver Felix Rosenqvist was rushed to a hospital after he was involved in a dramatic five-car wreck soon after the start of a race at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania.

An ambulance took the Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who hails from Sweden, to the hospital after the wreck triggered by Takuma Sato on the first lap.

Sato, Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and Alexander Rossi were treated and released from the on-site medical center.

NFL OFFENSIVE LINEMAN ON QUEST TO MEET EXTRAORDINARY WEIGHT GOAL: ‘IT’S TERRIBLE’

Sato, the 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner, said he thought he was all clear as he tried to make an aggressive pass early in the race.

“I’m not really over-aggressive,” he said.

Rosenqvist’s injuries weren’t considered life-threatening.

IndyCar medical director Geoffrey Billows said Rosenqvist was walking and was expected to be fine.

Westlake Legal Group Felix-Rosenqvist-GettyImages-1144901733 IndyCar driver Felix Rosenqvist hospitalized after dramatic Pocono 5-car wreck Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/auto fnc article 811af448-94c4-5ca0-8b26-761a20841045

IndyCar driver Felix Rosenqvist was hospitalized after he was involved in a five-car wreck at Pocono. (Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images, File)

Rosenqvist, 27, has been in motorsports for over 10 years.

Rosenqvist first found a home in a single seater in Asia in 2008 before moving on to Europe as a driver in the Formula 3 feeder series, where he won 13 races and the championship in 2015.

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A year later, Rosenqvist found himself in the Indy Lights series, a step below Indy cars. Rosenqvist made a name for himself by winning three of the 10 events he started, and he made a crucial connection with the CGR team by testing for them at Mid-Ohio in 2016 and 2017.

Rosenqvist won a pair of races in Formula E a year ago before nabbing a highly coveted seat with Ganassi’s Indy program.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Felix-Rosenqvist-GettyImages-1144901733 IndyCar driver Felix Rosenqvist hospitalized after dramatic Pocono 5-car wreck Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/auto fnc article 811af448-94c4-5ca0-8b26-761a20841045   Westlake Legal Group Felix-Rosenqvist-GettyImages-1144901733 IndyCar driver Felix Rosenqvist hospitalized after dramatic Pocono 5-car wreck Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fox news fnc/auto fnc article 811af448-94c4-5ca0-8b26-761a20841045

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