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Jimmie Johnson is retiring from full-time racing and tells The Associated Press his 2023 schedule will include a maximum 10 races he considers bucket list events. It means NASCAR's seven-time champion is not done challenging himself and still has a competitive spirit to fulfill. But he's ready for a more relaxed life with his wife and two daughters and wants to explore the world. It's a life he never imagined as a child in El Cajon, California.

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READING, Pa., Sept. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Jamie Rigot, vice president of dedicated contract carriage operations for Penske Logistics, has been named among the winners of Supply & Demand Chain Executive's 2022 Women in Supply Chain Award. The award honors female supply chain leaders wh…

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Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson tells The Associated Press that he is retiring from full-time racing and will turn his focus toward spending time with family. He figures his future schedule will include no more than 10 bucket-list events. The 47-year-old says he has no idea what his racing schedule will look like, or whether he'll run any IndyCar races next season. He wants to do the 24 Hours of Le Mans with NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports, and has interest in “The Double” of the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. But he also wants to travel with his family and perhaps spend a year living abroad.

AP

The 334 laps at Texas Motor Speedway provided quite a tumultuous start to the NASCAR playoff round of 12. There were a lot of tire issues that contributed to a track-record 16 cautions. There was also a 56-minute red flag for lightning, and a record 36 lead changes among 19 drivers. Chase Elliott entered as the points leader, and was ahead in the race around the midway part when he had hard contact and a fiery finish. Playoff contender Christopher Bell also got knocked out after a tire issue. And there were some bumping between William Byron and Denny Hamlin.

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Suzan Kennedy has smoked marijuana, and says her Wisconsin roots mean she can handle booze, so she was not concerned earlier this year when a bartender in St. Paul, Minnesota, described a cocktail with the cannabinoid delta-8 THC as “a little bit potent.”

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Noah Gragson opened the NASCAR Xfinity playoffs by winning his fourth race in a row at Texas Motor Speedway. The victory for Gragson locked up the first spot in the round of eight. There are two more races to determine the other seven drivers that will advance with him. The Xfinity Series begins its playoffs with 12 drivers, instead of 16 like the Cup Series, so its postseason is one round shorter. The only other driver to win four consecutive races in the series was Sam Ard in 1983, the second year of the NASCAR’s second-level circuit. That was part of Ard winning five of the last six races in the season that he won 10 overall.

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Brad Keselowski has his first pole as an owner-driver at NASCAR’s highest level. A week after Chris Buescher drove RFK Racing other car to Victory Lane, Keselowski won the pole for Sunday's race at Texas that will start the round of 12 in NASCAR's Cup Series. The 2012 Cup champ joined the rebranded team with longtime owner Jack Roush this season. Joey Logano, who is second in the standings, will start on the front row beside Keselowski. Playoff contender William Byron starts third, while points leader Chase Elliott starts sixth.

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Christopher Bell has been one of the most consistent drivers in NASCAR’s playoffs this season. He now gets to start the next round close to home at Texas Motor Speedway. None of the playoff contenders won any of the three races that opened this postseason. But Oklahoma native Bell was the only driver that finished in the top five each of those weeks. NASCAR opens the round of 12 on Sunday at the 1 1/2-mile Texas track. Bell is seventh in the standings after the points reset. Chase Elliott is first, ahead of Joey Logano, Ross Chastain and defending Cup champion Kyle Larson.

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Chris Buescher's win at Bristol last week marked the first time in this version of NASCAR's playoffs that drivers who are not racing for the championship swept the three races of the first round. Buescher wants to play spoiler again Sunday. The second round of the playoffs start at Texas Motor Speedway, and that is the home track for Buescher. Chase Elliott opens the second round as the points leader. Austin Cindric is ranked last in the 12-driver field. The field will be trimmed by four drivers after this three-race round.

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For the last four years on the third Sunday of every month, drag queen Ginger Forest heads to Jerry’s Sandwiches in Lincoln Square just in time for brunch. She’s there to put on a show.

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An unusual NASCAR Cup Series postseason continued at Bristol as Chris Buescher became the third consecutive non-playoff participant to win a race — that’s a first in the playoff format. Two former champions were among the first four drivers eliminated. Two-time champ Kyle Busch and 2014 winner Kevin Harvick were both knocked out after poor runs. Buescher became the 19th different winner this year, matching a record previously achieved four times. The series moves to Texas this week with the Cup and Xfinity cars and then all three will race at Talladega.

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Kyle Busch pulled into the Bristol Motor Speedway garage with a blown engine, effectively ending his storied tenure with Joe Gibbs Racing at 15 seasons. There’s still seven races remaining before Busch turns in the keys to the No. 18 Toyota. But two blown engines in the first three playoff races knocked him from contention, and from now until the November finale, Busch is just riding out the JGR string. He already has found a new home. Richard Childress Racing snapped up the only active driver with multiple Cup championships and expects Busch to elevate its organization immediately.

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At least a dozen of the playoff drivers had some sort of problem with NASCAR’s new Next Gen car Saturday night at Bristol. The spec car that has leveled the playing field was exposed for myriad durability issues that have followed it in its entire debut season. The Ford camp suffered a rash of blown tires, Toyota was plagued by power steering failures, drivers racing for the win were knocked from contention for any number of mechanical gremlins and passing was a most difficult task. Now NASCAR is facing an entire new set of questions about its new car.

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Noah Gragson held off Brandon Jones over the closing laps Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway to win his third consecutive Xfinity Series race. Gragson won his series-high sixth race of the season driving a Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. He was aided when teammate Justin Allgaier was flagged for speeding during the final pit stops under caution. Gragson did not pit and restarted the race in the lead. AJ Allmendinger finished sixth to clinch his second consecutive regular season championship. Ryan Sieg claimed the last spot in the Xfinity Series playoff field when Landon Cassill had mechanical issues that sent Cassill behind the wall for more than 100 laps.

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Aric Almirola continued NASCAR's trend of non-playoff drivers stealing the show with a pole-winning run Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Saturday night race at Bristol is the first playoff eliminator and the 16-driver field will be cut by four. Christopher Bell is the only driver locked into the next round because non-playoff drivers Erik Jones and Bubba Wallace won the first two rounds. Now it will be Almirola leading the field to the green flag after Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Chase Briscoe couldn’t knock him from the pole in Friday final run.

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Ross Chastain heads into the first elimination race of NASCAR’s playoffs in a pretty comfortable position above the cutline. Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Chase Briscoe and Kevin Harvick are trying to stave off elimination Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. And yet Chastain can’t relax, even as he sits ninth in the 16-driver field. The bottom four in the standings will be eliminated when the checkered flag falls at the Tennessee short track, and Chastain can’t guarantee he won’t be knocked below that cutline. He’s angered enough fellow drivers this year that any payback headed his way could be delivered at a most inopportune time.

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NASCAR champion Kyle Larson has signed a three-year contract extension through 2026 with Hendrick Motorsports. The extension includes sponsor HendrickCars.com, which will sponsor the No. 5 Chevrolet for 35 races a season. Larson’s extension and the sponsorship renewal are concurrent. The original deal for HendrickCars.com to become Larson’s primary sponsor was announced last July when Rick Hendrick’s online automobile site enjoyed massive traffic spikes whenever it was featured on Larson’s car. Larson heads into Saturday night’s elimination playoff race at Bristol Motor Speedway ranked eighth in the standings.

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Ty Majeski scored his first career Truck Series win on Thursday night and the victory at Bristol Motor Speedway locked Majeski into the championship finale. Majeski won in his 40th career start in the trucks. He became the first driver to earn a spot in the championship-deciding final four. He had a clean jump over Zane Smith on a restart to with 12 laps remaining to cruise to the victory for ThorSport Racing. The Truck Series races next on Oct. 1 at Talladega Superspeedway.

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Kevin Harvick was considered a threat to win the NASCAR championship about six weeks ago. Now he's on the verge of elimination from playoffs. Harvick goes to Bristol Motor Speedway for Saturday night's race ranked last in the 16-driver standings. Four drivers will be cut from the field after Bristol. Harvick is at the bottom with Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon and Chase Briscoe.

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Denny Hamlin says Kurt Busch is under no pressure to hurry up his recovery from a concussion because 23XI Racing isn't pushing to get Tyler Reddick in its cars a year early. Richard Childress responded to Reddick’s planned move to 23XI by snatching Kyle Busch. Childress signed him to drive the No. 8 Chevrolet, which is Reddick’s car. He says Reddick will finish the final year of his contract in a third car that doesn't yet exist. Hamlin says the plan at 23XI is for Kurt Busch to return to racing. He's been sidelined since July with a concussion. He says Kurt Busch is under contract through next year and the team expects him back. If he's not in the car, Hamlin says there's a contingency plan that doesn't include acquiring Reddick early.

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The 2023 NASCAR schedule includes previously announced races at the new downtown Chicago street course and a return to North Wilkesboro in North Carolina. The schedule is largely unchanged from the 2022 version. The 10 playoff tracks are the same, the exhibition Clash will return to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the Daytona 500 will open the season Feb. 19. The only notable date change is a second stop at Richmond Raceway. That was moved from August to July while the shared NASCAR and IndyCar weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway goes from July to August.

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Kyle Busch will move to Richard Childress Racing next season, ending a 15-year career with Joe Gibbs Racing because the team could not come to terms with NASCAR’s only active multiple Cup champion. Busch will drive the No. 8 Chevrolet for Childress in an announcement made Tuesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He wore the two Cup championship rings he won driving for Gibbs on his middle fingers. Tyler Reddick, who is currently competing for the Cup championship in the No. 8 Chevrolet, will remain under contract at RCR and will drive for the team next season. Reddick in July told Childress he was moving to 23XI Racing in 2024.

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A champion was crowned in IndyCar as Will Power finished third in the season finale at Laguna Seca and won his second series championship. Formula One is close to a champion, too, after Max Verstappen’s fifth consecutive victory made a title clinching possible for him in Singapore. And add Bubba Wallace to the list of drivers who waited a bit too long to win a race this year. Wallace won at Kansas, joining Erik Jones as drivers not in the playoffs to win in the first two playoff races. Wallace became the 18th different driver to win in NASCAR's top series this year.

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Denny Hamlin the driver finds himself in the most enviable of positions heading into Saturday night’s race at Bristol. His second-place run at Kansas Speedway over the weekend nearly ensured his spot in the next round of the playoffs. Denny Hamlin the owner? He’s feeling even better. The car he was chasing down in the waning laps of Sunday’s race happened to be the No. 45 driven by Bubba Wallace for 23XI Racing, which is owned by Hamlin and Hall of Fame basketball star Michael Jordan. The victory pushed the team into the next round in the race for the lesser-known owner’s championship.

AP

Noah Gragson outran the rain and Justin Allgaier to win the rain-shortened NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Kansas Speedway. Gragson survived a two-lap shootout to win the second stage, after which the race was considered official. He used a great restart after the race’s first caution to assume the lead and held the advantage when rain caused the caution flags to come out with eight laps left in the stage. After some back-and-forth, NASCAR called the race official. Gragson won for the 10th time in the series, fifth time this season and second straight week after a dramatic victory at Darlington. Allgaier finished second, followed by points leader Ty Gibbs. The Xfinity Series regular season will conclude next week at Bristol.

AP

Perhaps the strangest part of Kyle Busch’s present contract situation, which remains up in the air heading into Kansas Speedway, may not be the fact that the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion doesn’t have a ride for next season. It might be that he could very well win a third. Busch is eight points to the good side of the cut line heading into Sunday’s second race in the round of 16, despite blowing his engine with 22 laps remaining in last week’s opener at Darlington. And now that he’s heading to what has fast become one of his better tracks, the chances of advancing for Joe Gibbs Racing are quite good.

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Tyler Reddick will start from the pole in the NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Kansas Speedway. Reddick leaned on his extensive background driving dirt late models to ride the rim around the mile-and-a-half track. He stopped the clock in 29.899 seconds, denying Joey Logano a second straight pole. It’s the first time that Reddick, who is fifth in the playoff standings, has earned the pole on an oval.

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John Hunter Nemechek chased down Carson Hocevar over the final laps at Kansas Speedway on Friday night, passing him as the white flag flew and Hocevar ran out of fuel. Nemechek got the win in his last-gasp chance at advancing in the NASCAR Truck Series playoffs. Hocevar coasted across in second place but needed the win to advance. Nemechek’s late pass allowed Christian Eckes to sneak into the final playoff spot, while three-time series champion Matt Crafton also was eliminated. Ryan Preece finished third while playoff contenders Zane Smith and Grant Enfinger rounded out the top five.

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Jimmie Johnson says sponsor Carvana has agreed to fund next year’s racing endeavors. The seven-time NASCAR champion will use the next few weeks to determine his 2023 schedule. Johnson just a week ago said he was still seeking funding for a full IndyCar season. But he’s also impatiently awaiting IndyCar’s upcoming schedule because he wants to be part of NASCAR’s special project to take a Hendrick Motorsports entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He’s not closed the door on running another NASCAR race some day, and explained at Laguna Seca Raceway that he has multiple offers to compete in a variety of motorsports series.

AP

Chase Elliott’s playoff opener was over early after NASCAR's regular-season Cup Series champion lost control of his No. 9 Chevrolet and was hit by Chase Briscoe last weekend at Darlington. The result was a 36th place finish and a big blow to Elliott's title hopes. But the 2020 champ only dropped from the top seed to ninth entering Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway. That is the second of three stops before the playoff field is whittled from 16 to 12. Elliott is still very much in the title hunt.

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Adv10(All times Eastern)Schedule subject to change and/or blackoutsMonday, September 12NFL FOOTBALL8:15 p.m.

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Adv10(All times Eastern)Schedule subject to change and/or blackoutsMonday, September 12NFL FOOTBALL8:15 p.m.

AP

What’s 10 points worth? That’s what Will Power hopes he doesn’t find out while trying to win the closest IndyCar championship fight in nearly 20 years. Power takes a 20-point lead into Sunday’s season finale at Laguna Seca Raceway over Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden and six-time champion Scott Dixon. But the Australian can't help but wonder if his lead should be 30 points. Team Penske did him no favors last week at Portland when it did not order teammate Scott McLaughlin to cede the lead and race win to Power, who finished second. If McLaughlin had moved out of the way, Power would have a 30 point lead.

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NASCAR is returning to one of its original venues that it left more than a quarter-century ago. The stock car body and owner of North Wilkesboro Speedway announced that the track will host the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star race next May during NASCAR’s 75th anniversary season. The short-track oval hosted more than 90 Cup races before it closed after the 1996 season. The oval went into disrepair and there hadn't been racing there recently until an event this summer that featured former Cup star Dale Earnhardt Jr. North Carolina elected officials have committed funds to improve the track infrastructure that could lead to future events.

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IndyCar newcomer Scott McLaughlin is here to stay with a multi-year contract extension from Team Penske. It was announced Wednesday as the New Zealander heads into his first championship race since joining the series. McLaughlin was last year’s IndyCar rookie of the year in a class that included Romain Grosjean and Jimmie Johnson. He heads into Sunday’s season finale mathematically in the title hunt. His win last week at Portland was his third of the season and moved him to fifth in the standings, 41 points behind teammate and IndyCar leader Will Power. McLaughlin moved to IndyCar after winning three consecutive titles driving for Penske in Australian V8 Supercars.

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NASCAR is investigating a spate of car fires that left one championship contender fuming after his Ford erupted into an inferno during the opening playoff race. Kevin Harvick lashed out at NASCAR and the new Next Gen car after it inexplicably caught fire in the playoff opener at Darlington Raceway. The car fire dropped Harvick to last in the 16-driver playoff field. Headed into Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway, NASCAR has ordered some safety changes as it attempts to address the fires. A NASCAR official said “it’s unacceptable for the cars to catch on fire."

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Erik Jones was one race too late. Jones held off Danny Hamlin in a 20-lap sprint to the finish in the first playoff race to win for the second time at Darlington. Jones became the first non-playoff driver to win the first postseason race since the format was established in 2014. The IndyCar season comes to a close with Will Power seeking his second championship. He leads two-time champ Josef Newgarden and six-time champ Scott Dixon by 20 points each heading to Monterey, California.

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The FIA is reportedly considering offering American driver Colton Herta an exemption to receive the Super License he needs to compete in Formula One. But it's a bit of a joke that an IndyCar or NASCAR driver has to work so hard to earn the license. Because the FIA does not oversee either series, it doesn't rate them very high and it makes it difficult for racers from United States motorsports series to advance into F1. The FIA treats both IndyCar and NASCAR as lower than its feeder series and that needs to be overhauled based on the strength of American motorsports.

AP

If NASCAR's playoff opener at Darlington Raceway was any indication, the postseason is going to be a wild one. Erik Jones became the first non-playoff driver to win NASCAR's opening playoff race. Several top seeds expected to compete like Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch were out of contention at the end. Elliott was the top playoff seed and hit the wall early. Harvick's car caught fire and he went from ninth in points to 16th on the brink of elimination. Defending series champ Larson was several laps down before finishing 12th.

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WILKES COUNTY, N.C. — Before the water and Sun Drop and champagne shower rained down in Victory Lane at a once-forgotten racetrack — and really before every little thing that made Wednesday night as magical as it was — Dale Earnhardt Jr. stood outside his car and soaked in the atmosphere at …

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Erik Jones took the lead when Kyle Busch’s engine blew up, then pulled away from Denny Hamlin after a final restart 20 laps from the end to win the opening NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Darlington Raceway on Sunday night. Hamlin is seeded sixth in the playoff. He closed in on Jones' bumper but couldn’t make the winning pass. Jones went on to his second career win at Darlington and third NASCAR victory. It was also the 200th win by the iconic No. 43 car, with most tied to Hall of Famer Richard Petty.