Brett Winningham

Brett Winningham

Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.

Austin Dillon has a lot of pressure going into his rookie NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season behind the wheel of the historic No. 3 Chevrolet. In the 56th annual Daytona 500, Dillon will make his 14th start in the series.

"It's great. To be able to work for a company, every time I cross the railroad tracks in Welcome, North Carolina, it's special," said Dillon. "I've enjoyed being a part of RCR.
The other day it was really awesome to be able to be part of the kickoff luncheon. The guys were fired up. I think it's a new life at RCR."

Dillon is very modest about racing the No. 3 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season. He had many alternate numbers picked out such as No. 2, No. 21, No. 33 and even No. 41 but all of those were taken. Dillon left the idea to bring back the No. 3 in the Cup Series to his grandfather, and other people who were associated around the number for a very long time.

"I think Dale was so important in driving that number. He was the guy that made that number what it is today," said Dillon. "But like I said earlier, Dale Earnhardt is Dale Earnhardt not only because of the number, but because he was a hero and created so many things for this sport. The number for me, hopefully I can continue the legacy that it has and keep on moving on with it."

On a Race Hub episode yesterday afternoon, Earnhardt Sr.'s mother, Martha, said on the telecast that she has mixed feelings of seeing the iconic number return, because she was told it wouldn't ever make a come back. However, she later said that she understands it was Richard's number when he raced.

The day Earnhardt died, Dillon was sent up into a barn with his brother and some of his friends to hang out after the race ended. His mom then came to get him and his brother to take him over to the Richard Childress race shop for a bible study.

In 2013, Dillon made his first ever Daytona 500 start driving in Circle Sport Racing's No. 33 Chevrolet for car owner Joe Falk, even though it was a RCR effort. He started in the eighth position and went on to finish in the 31st spot. Dillon goes into next week still looking for that first career top-10 finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

 

Racing will return this weekend for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the unofficial season opener in 2014 with the Sprint Unlimited, at Daytona International Speedway.

The field this weekend will include 18 total drivers. Those are: Jamie McMurray, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Marcos Ambrose, Danica Patrick, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Terry Labonte, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Carl Edwards.

Tony Stewart will make his return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend after sitting out the final 15 races last season due to a racing incident. Stewart will get in by winning the Sprint Unlimited back in 2007 and comes into this weekend as a three time winner.

Ryan Newman will make his first start with Richard Childress Racing this Saturday night behind the wheel of the No. 31. His best finish in the race was a second place run back in 2005. Newman goes into this weekend with hopes to take Richard Childress Racing back to victorylane at Daytona.

Matt Kenseth will be one of those drivers on everybodies list to win this weekend at Daytona. Kenseth, however, does not have a Sprint Unlimited win in his career yet, but has captured 19 top-10 finishes in the last 10 years at Daytona International Speedway combined.

"The Unlimited is the first race of the year, so I think we all are excited to get out there and do some drafting to see how our cars are going to handle," said Kenseth. "This weekend really is the start of preparing for the Daytona 500. You approach it just like any other race because you want to win and you want to go out there and do the best that you can, but I always look at this race as a chance for me to learn what position you want your car to be and where you don’t want your car to be for the Duels, and then of course the Daytona 500. We can take chances with things on Saturday night to see what may or may not work the following weekend, so I’m just looking forward to a fun race this weekend."

You can catch the race this weekend live on Fox Sports 1 or by dialing up MRN on the radio at 8 p.m. Et. The race will consist of 75 laps, 187.5 miles. It will be ran in three segments, which fans are encouranged to go vote on by visiting: www.nascar.com/SprintUnlimited.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series took the track today at Daytona International Speedway to prepare for the February season opening event this afternoon. Testing was ran 45 minutes longer than scheduled in the afternoon because of possible bad weather tomorrow forecasted in the area. Many drivers had some positive feedback on the new truck bodies for the 2014 season.

Ben Kennedy led the morning test session with a fast time of 49.405 seconds, 182.168 mph. Kennedy ran a total of 54 laps during the session. He is one of the rookies many drivers can put on their radar to watch out for in 2014.

Jeb Burton led the afternoon draft session with a fast time of 47.085 seconds, 191.144 mph. Burton beat Dylan Kwasnieski's lap yesterday morning in the Nationwide Series test session in a truck. He turned a total of 94 laps with his best on lap 80. Burton is certainly one of the drivers to watch out for in February.

Ben Kennedy finished off the afternoon in the second spot after running a 47.139 seconds, 190.925 mph lap time. Kennedy went around Daytona International Speedway 106 times with his best lap coming on the 86th time. He was just 0.054 seconds off of his teammates best lap.

Another driver to watch out for is third place finisher John Wes Townly after turning a lap of 47.141 seconds, 190.917 mph. Townley was strong about four weeks ago in the ARCA Racing Series test also held at Daytona. He also captured the victory in the season opening race at Daytona last year in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.

Matt Crafton ended up in the fourth position with a lap of 47.211 seconds, 190.364 mph. Crafton is not a fan of the pack racing, but says it will provide more interesting things during the race. The 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion was 0.126 seconds off of Jeb Burton's best time.

Darrell Wallace, Jr. rounded out the top-five after turning a 190.577 mph, 47.225 second lap time. Wallace, Jr. made 64 laps around the speedway with his best lap coming on his 50th time. He hopes testing will carry him to his second career win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season opener.

Testing will resume tomorrow afternoon weather permitting. You can follow the final day of testing live through nascar.com's live leaderboard. No TV or online streaming of the test will be provided.

Testing for the NASCAR Nationwide Series is all wrapped up at the Daytona International Speedeway during the two day event. Only 25 of the 26 teams that was entered to test this weekend got onto the track for laps. Many teams ran drafting sessions since NASCAR hinted to them they will not do single car qualifying any longer but did not say what they are going to do.

Dylan Kwasniewski ran the fastest lap of the weekend this morning around Daytona International Speedway with a fast lap of 47.463 seconds, 190.022. Kwasniewski was the only driver this weekend to run an average over 190 mph. He did not participate in the afternoon and final session.

Chad Boat was the fastest in the afternoon session with a lap of 47.929 seconds, 187.778 mph. Boat turned a total of 22 laps in the final session with his best lap on his fourth time around. Team will not participate in the February race but wanted to just shake down the car this weekend.

Kyle Larson was second on the speed chart with a lap of 47.948 seconds, 167.703 mph. Larson was another driver who packed up their stuff after making several more runs in the draft. He was just 0.019 seconds slower than Chad Boat's fastest time.

Ryan Reed was the highest Ford during the weekend in the NASCAR Nationwide Series portion of the tests after running a fast lap of 48.001 seconds, 187.473 mph. Reed ran a total of 40 laps today afternoon with his best lap on lap 37.

Dakota Armstrong finished the session in the fourth position with a lap of 48.007 seconds, 187.473 mph. Armstrong ran a total of 41 laps with his best lap on his 38th. He was just 0.078 seconds behind the leader.

Chris Buescher rounded out the top-five today afternoon positing a lap of 187.461 mph, 48.010 seconds. Buescher finished the morning session finishing in the 20th position. He ran a total of 42 laps this afternoon and made most of his runs in the draft.

Testing will resume tomorrow and end Tuesday for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Daytona International Speedway with the new body styles. No television coverage will be avalible. You can follow the test via live leaderboard on nascar.com. See below results from both sessions today.

Sunday a.m. testing speeds

Pos. No. Name Make Laps Best Time (sec.) Best Speed (mph)
1. 31 Dylan Kwasniewski Chevrolet 61 47.363 190.022
2. 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 66 47.381 189.950
3. 99 James Buescher Toyota 39 47.388 189.921
4. 5 Bill Elliott Chevrolet 52 47.397 189.885
5. 62 Brendan Gaughan Chevrolet 36 47.398 189.881
6. 32 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 59 47.420 189.793
7. 2 Brian Scott Chevrolet 44 47.433 189.741
8. 7 Regan Smith Chevrolet 56 47.444 189.697
9. 3 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 55 47.601 189.072
10. 85 Bobby Gerhart Chevrolet 27 48.581 185.258
11. 84 Chad Boat Chevrolet 44 48.600 185.185
12. 43 Dakoda Armstrong Ford 25 49.161 183.072
13. 17 Tanner Berryhill Toyota 13 49.272 182.660
14. 23 Ryan Ellis Ford 22 49.619 181.382
15. 73 Derrike Cope Chevrolet 28 49.926 180.267
16. 11 Elliott Sadler Toyota 22 50.155 179.444
17. 98 David Ragan Ford 32 50.178 179.361
18. 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 22 50.278 179.005
19. 16 Ryan Reed Ford 21 50.376 178.657
20. 60 Chris Buescher Ford 24 50.435 178.448
21. 22 Ryan Blaney Ford 27 50.460 178.359
22. 28 Matt Carter Dodge 11 51.442 174.954
23. 52 Joey Gase Toyota 6 51.603 174.408
24. 13 Harrison Rhodes Dodge 12 51.684 174.135

 

Sunday p.m. testing speeds

Pos. No. Name Make Laps Best Time (sec) Best Speed (mph)
1. 84 Chad Boat Chevrolet 22 47.929 187.778
2. 32 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 28 47.948 187.703
3. 16 Ryan Reed Ford 40 48.001 187.496
4. 43 Dakoda Armstrong Ford 41 48.007 187.473
5. 60 Chris Buescher Ford 42 48.010 187.461
6. 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 33 48.013 187.449
7. 22 Ryan Blaney Ford 33 48.045 187.324
8. 98 David Ragan Ford 9 48.085 187.169
9. 85 Bobby Gerhart Chevrolet 35 48.163 186.865
10. 99 James Buescher Toyota 36 48.166 186.854
11. 11 Elliott Sadler Toyota 7 48.202 186.714
12. 3 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 29 48.390 185.989
13. 62 Brendan Gaughan Chevrolet 18 48.578 185.269
14. 28 Matt Carter Dodge 56 49.582 181.517
15. 13 Harrison Rhodes Dodge 41 49.587 181.499
16. 52 Joey Gase Toyota 15 50.024 179.914
17. 73 Derrike Cope Chevrolet 9 50.024 179.914
18. 2 Brian Scott Chevrolet 28 50.490 178.253

 *Results via NASCAR.com.

It was a long day of testing at the Daytona International Speedway for the NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers for the two day event. Many drivers took laps in the draft to get a great idea of how they'll run during the race in February as others made only single car runs.

Chase Elliott was the fastest in the afternoon session with a fast lap of 47.874 seconds, 187.993 mph. He was 16th on the speed chart during the morning session. Elliott will make his first restrictor plate start during the ARCA Racing Series race to further prepare for the Nationwide Series season opener during speedweeks.

Bill Elliott found himself second on the speed chart in the afternoon session with a fast lap of 47.879 seconds, 187.974 mph. Elliott was just 0.005 seconds off of his son's fastest lap time of the afternoon. He ran a total of 65 laps during the afternoon with his fastest lap on his 46th. Bill Elliott was eighth on the sheet during the morning session.

Ragan Smith was third on the board to make the top-three all JR. Motorsports Chevrolet's with a time of 47.885 seconds, 187.950 mph. Smith completed a total of 55 laps during the afternoon session with his fastest lap on the 39th lap of his runs. He was 11th on the board during the morning session.

Ty Dillon was the highest finishing Richard Childress Racing driver when the testing session concluded this afternoon. Dillon finished the session with a speed of 187.805 mph, 47.922 seconds. He finished fifth in the a.m. session this morning at Daytona.

Trevor Bayne rounded out the top-five of the afternoon session with a lap of 47.938 seconds, 187.743 mph. Bayne was the highest finishing Ford in the two sessions combined at the Daytona International Speedway today. He finished the morning session in the seventh position right behind his teammate Ryan Reed.

Dylan Kwasniewski was the fastest during the morning session after running a fast lap of 49.071 seconds, 183.408 mph. Kwaasniewski ran a total of 30 laps of the session to help prepare him for possibly a February event on the big track. He competed in the Battle at the Beach at Daytona last season.

Testing will continue through tomorrow for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Daytona International Speedway. No live television coverage will be avalible for the event. You can follow the test via a live leaderboard on nascar.com.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series took the track today at the Daytona International Speedway after rain washed out testing all day on Thursday. It was a pretty clean day of on-track action during the eight plus hour event with 40 of the 42 cars taking laps.

Austin Dillon led the field on the testing speed chart with a fast time of 46.128 seconds, 195.109 mph. Dillon ran a total laps of 38 in single car runs with his fastest lap on lap 18 of the afternoon. The top-three cars today was all Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet's.

Brian Scott finished the day off in the second spot right behind his teammate Austin Dillon with a lap of 46.253 seconds, 194.582 mph. Scott was just 0.125 seconds off of the leaders best time of the test session. He will make his first ever Daytona 500 start next February.

Paul Menard had some personal issues come up during the weekend and had to leave Daytona so Richard Childress Racing called up Matt Crafton. His fastest lap came on his 53rd lap of the day with a time of 46.310 seconds, 194.342 mph. Crafton will also test Monday and Tuesday to prepare for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season opener also next month.

Aric Almirola finished off the night in the fourth spot and was the highest Ford in the session with a lap of 193.828 mph, 46.433 seconds. Almirola posted his fast time in drafting on his 44th lap of the evening. He ran a total of 52 laps during the session.

Sprint Cup Series rookie Kyle Larson rounded out the fifth place driver after posting a fast lap of 46.533 seconds, 193.411 mph after running a total of 73 laps of the day. Larson's best time came on his 57th lap of the afternoon. He hopes testing will take him to a great finish in his first Daytona 500.

Testing will resume tomorrow with the NASCAR Nationwide Series starting at 9:00 a.m. Et. at Daytona. Fox Sports 1 will offer taped delayed coverage starting at three and run until seven eastern. You can watch the live leaderboard on nascar.com.

Rain is already making its first appearence in NASCAR for the 2014 racing season as it has halted the first of four test sessions at Daytona International Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series. NASCAR put the jet dryers out on the track but rain bans just kept coming in. NASCAR hopes to get the cars on the track today after the rain passes which is expected around 1 p.m. Et.

NASCAR stated this morning that they will adjust accordingly and see what comes their way. This is the first time since 2008 that Preseason Thunder has involved all three of NASCAR's top-three series.

The forecast for Daytona Beach today includes a 60% chance of rain. High is reported to be 72 degrees while the low is set for 64. Friday's forecast is also calling for a 60% chance of rain with a high of 79 degrees and a low of 66.

You can watch live coverage of the tests live on Fox Sports 1 or follow with live leaderboard on nascar.com.

This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will head off to Daytona International Speedway for two days of testing action to prepare for the 56th annual Daytona 500. Currently a total of 41 drivers are scheduled to participate in the event.

Some of those drivers include: Rusty Wallace, Austin Dillon, Michael Annett, Mark Martin, Trevor Bayne, Cole Whitt, Parker Kligerman, Reed Sorenson, Brian Scott, Kyle Larson, Justin Allgaier, Alex Bowman, Ryan Truex and Brian Keselowski.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be on the track Thursday and Friday from 9-12 p.m. Et. and 1-5 p.m. Et. Both afternoon sessions will be televised live on Fox Sports 1. No coverage will be offered during the both morning sessions.

Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Mike Joy will be in the booth during the live telecasts on Fox Sports 1. Bob Dillner and Matt Yocum will bring you coverage from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage area.

For full driver entry list, see below.

Car # Team Driver
1 Ganassi Jamie McMurray
2 Penske Brad Keselowski, Rusty Wallace
3 RCR Austin Dillon
4 SHR Kevin Harvick
5 HMS Kasey Kahne
7 TBR Michael Annett
9 RPM Marcos Ambrose
10 SHR Danica Patrick
11 JGR Denny Hamlin
13 Germain Casey Mears
14 SHR Mark Martin
15 MWR Clint Bowyer
16 RFR Greg Biffle
17 RFR Ricky Stenhouse
18 JGR Kyle Busch
20 JGR Matt Kenseth
21 WBR Trevor Bayne
22 Penske Joey Logano
24 HMS Jeff Gordon
26 Swan Cole Whitt
27 RCR Paul Menard
30 Swan Parker Kligerman
31 RCR Ryan Newman
32 FAS Reed Sorenson
33 RCR Brian Scott
40 Hillman Landon Cassill
41 SHR Kurt Busch
42 Ganassi Kyle Larson
43 RPM Aric Almirola
48 HMS Jimmie Johnson
51 Phoenix Justin Allgaier
52 Phoenix Bobby Labonte
55 MWR Michael Waltrip
56 MWR Jeff Burton
83 BKR Alex Bowman
87 Nemco Joe Nemechek
88 HMS Dale Earnhardt, Jr
93 BKR Ryan Truex
95 Leavine Michael McDowell
99 RFR Carl Edwards
152 in 2013 B Keselowski Brian Keselowski

 Via: NASCAR.com. *Tentive & Subject to change.

Brad Keselowski drove to a victory last evening in the NASCAR Nationwide Series season finale by leading 25 of the 200 scheduled laps. Keselowski captured his seventh race win of the year in the series for his 10th top-10 finish this year. It also became his 27th win in 205 starts. By this win last night, Keselowski gave Ford the manufactures championship in the NNS.

"“It was just good racing. We were going to have a shot to win it without taking tires but it was going to be difficult," said Keselowski. "The 32 was awesome, he ran a great race today. That late race restart was key. We came in and put tires on with 20 to go and that yellow was out for 14 or 15 laps and I didn’t think we were going to have a shot at it but we got the right restart and made our way through. I am going to have to watch the in car camera because that was one hell of a ride for 10 laps. Be glad there wasn’t a passenger with me because they would have been screaming the whole way, I know I was.”

Kyle Larson had a strong run last night by coming home in the second spot. Larson led the most laps of the Ford EcoBoost 200 of 54. By finishing in the second position last night he earned his 17th top-10 finish of 2013. Larson also captured the Sunoco Rookie of the Year after a great season in the No. 32 Chevrolet. He earned 9 top-fives and 17 top-10 finishes in 2013.

Kyle Busch had a strong night last night as well behind the wheel of the No. 54 Toyota by leading 29 laps of the event. Kyle did not get the finish he wanted though as the No. 22 Ford finished two positions behind them. Last night he posted his sixth top-10 finish in seven total starts at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Austin Dillon came home in the 12th position after an up and down evening but was just enough to capture the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship. He won by just three points over Sam Hornish, Jr. and became the first driver to do so without winning a race. Last season Dillon won the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year award. He also did the same thing in 2010 and 2011 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

With Logano's finish of sixth in the No. 22, he earned Roger Penske the owner points championship by edging out just one point in front of Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 54 Toyota.

The next race for the NASCAR Nationwide Series will be in three months at the Daytona International Speedway.

Tonight on Fox Sports One just after the conclusion of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finale had a discussion on if Jimmie Johnson is an athlete?

McNabb said on the Fox Sports Live program that he (Johnson) is not an athlete because he sits in a race car and drives and that doesn’t make you athletic.

In early August, Johnson went and did a 50-mile bike ride the day before competing in a 400-mile race during the Pocono weekend. Johnson has also competed in many Triathlon and marathons throughout the season to help get through the high demanding races.

In a recent USA Today interview with Nate Ryan, Johnson said he tries to get in at least 30 to 40 miles a week. Johnson also told USA Today that he completed a triathlon in an Olympic-distance with a time of 2 hours, 17 minutes.

McNabb raked five-time championship winner third on the list with Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant.

Johnson is on track for his sixth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship this weekend going into the final race with a 28 point lead over Matt Kenseth. This season, he has three poles, six wins, 16 top-fives and 23 top-10 finishes.

Many drivers like Kyle Larson had some tweets on McNabb's comments about race car drivers: "Donovan McNabb is a moron." 

Reed Sorenson: "I don't think I have ever been this mad at someone. @JimmieJohnson is in better shape than @DonovanMcNabb."

Many of the pit crew members in NASCAR or other forms of racing are x-college football players.

Former NBA basketball player Shaquille O'Neal raced Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for his ABC show Shaq Vs. One in the Charlotte area and said it was the toughest three hours of his life.