Dale Earnhardt Jr. finds time to give back on busy week
Dale Earnhardt Jr. lives a busy life, this week more than ever. But he wasn't going to miss visiting kids in an Ohio hospital on Thursday for anything.
Turn 4: The Dale Earnhardt Jr. edition
Was Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s decision a surprise? First-ballot Hall-of-Famer? It's all Dale all the time in this week's Turn 4. Ricky Craven, Ryan McGee, Bob Pockrass and Matt Willis have at it.
Kenseth wins pole for Sunday at Richmond
Matt Kenseth won the pole position for Sunday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.
NASCAR will penalize Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano for weaving their cars postrace at Bristol by docking them 30 minutes of practice time today at Richmond l. Weaving is a way teams could work their cars back into compliance for postrace technical inspection. AJ Allmendinger also will lose 30 minutes of practice time and lost pit selection for failing prerace measurements four times at Bristol while Ty Dillon will lose 15 minutes and pit selection for failing three times prerace.
Austin Dillon will miss 30 minutes of practice as well as lose pit selection and start at the rear this weekend at Richmond for his car failing prerace measurements five times last week at Bristol. RCR has decided to keep crew chief Slugger Labbe in the shop this weekend. RCR operations director Sammy Johns will replace him.
Richard Childress Racing crew chief Slugger Labbe will be replaced this weekend by team operations director Sammy Johns. No reason was released by the team. Labbe will continue working in the shop this weekend, according to the team.
Richard Childress Racing says Operations Director Sammy Johns will replace Slugger Labbe as the crew chief on the RCR #3 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Chevrolet of Austin Dillon this weekend at Richmond. Labbe will remain at the RCR shop to work on cars for next weekend's race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Danica Patrick's 'Wonder Woman' paint scheme
As a racing pioneer, Danica Patrick has likely been called "Wonder Woman" a few times. But now she can make that title official.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. knows how he would hope his final NASCAR Cup season will end. No matter what happens, though, he will soak up every minute. He explains:
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife, Amy help 11-year-old Stoyan Schuster "ring the bell" for graduating from therapy following brain surgery. Earnhardt delivered the bell to Nationwide Children's Hospital last year. It is shaped like the Hendrick Motorsports bell the team rings when it celebrates race wins.
Dale Jr. gets perspective at kids' hospital
Dale Earnhardt Jr. put aside retirement talk to visit children at a hospital.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. helps a patient with his thumbprint Thursday at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is greeted at the Nationwide Children's Hospital. He knows many of the patients treated at the facility.
Code 3 Associates will sponsor Danica Patrick for four races, including three as part of the "One Cure" initiative that uses pets for clinical trials that also help doctors learn about potential cancer treatment of humans. The first race will be Kansas, where a "Wonder Woman" scheme should bring additional awareness.
Team Penske Xfinity Series crew chief Greg Erwin has been suspended for one race and fined $10,000 for the front of the Ryan Blaney car being too low following the race at Bristol. Blaney does not get points in the series but the team lost 10 points in the owner standings. NASCAR did not fine Ross Chastain for his punch that sent Jeremy Clements to the infield care center with a swollen eye.
Martin Truex Jr. crew chief Cole Pearn has been fined $10,000 for the Truex car having one loose lug nut postrace at Bristol.
Appeal delayed, Keselowski chief stays on job
Brad Keselowski crew chief Paul Wolfe's three-race suspension is deferred through a final appeal now scheduled for May 9. Wolfe has already served one race of the ban.
The Team Penske final appeal has been moved from today to May 9, meaning that Brad Keselowski crew chief Paul Wolfe must decide whether to go to upcoming races at Richmond and Talladega with the potential of missing points races at Kansas and Charlotte (as well as possibly the all-star race that comes between those events, depending on how NASCAR interprets the penalty). Wolfe has already served one race of the three-race suspension for the fifth-place car of Keselowski having too much rear skew postrace March 19 at Phoenix, but NASCAR has deferred the remainder of the suspension pending final appeal.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will provide limited smoke-free family grandstands this year for the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400. Those events will have entirely smoke-free grandstands in 2018.
SMI CEO Marcus Smith, on a call with financial analysts, predicted the tracks will get a boost in attendance this year with Dale Earnhardt Jr. retiring from NASCAR Cup racing after 2017. Smith: "The opportunity for fans to see Dale Jr. race one more time is certainly special and something we expect will be inspiring to a lot of fans to come to races. On the flip side for the out years, Dale also expressed his desire to stay involved in a significant way in NASCAR, so we think that will continue to have a positive impact as well. In addition to that, it gives opportunities for the new stars of NASCAR to really shine."
With Dale Earnhardt Jr. retiring, what's next for the 88?
Picking the driver to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 is not as easy as simply hiring the best driver. Sponsor activation will be critical, and ultimately may drive the bus to the seat.
SVP admires Earnhardt Jr.'s 'normalcy.'
Scott Van Pelt wishes Dale Earnhardt Jr. well for the rest of his season and his future endeavors.
Smith recalls Earnhardt's contribution to NASCAR.
Marty Smith sees some young drivers with potential, but would be surprised if anyone gets as popular as Dale Earnhardt Jr. is.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s retirement evokes mixed emotions
Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he doesn't like letting people down. Even in announcing Tuesday that he will retire at the end of this season, Earnhardt hasn't, Ryan McGee writes.
Joe Mattes, who handles licensing for Dale Earnhardt Jr., said no plans had been made for retirement merchandise and he hopes to have merchandise potentially available by July. He said Earnhardt's fans will want merchandise, and the tracks obviously would want to have the opportunity to sell it on race weeends. Mattes: "From a brand, yeah [we were prepared], but not from licensing because Dale's always like, ‘I don't want to talk about it, I want to keep it low, it's not about this right now.' It's about Jr. Nation, but it's not about Dale Jr. putting a t-shirt on."
NASCAR Paint Schemes Chart & Links
NASCAR news, race updates, schemes & links from Jayski.com.