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Last Build Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2017 18:46:41 PST

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Hamlin could become 4th repeat Daytona 500 champion (The Associated Press)

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 14:43:20 PST

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Denny Hamlin rode the escalator to a stadium concourse and spotted his Daytona 500 championship show car on display and wrapped to resemble its appearance moments after the race. The No. 11 Toyota was scuffed up on the sides, a mark of 200 laps of rugged racing. Not far from away at the Toyota foyer, there hung a banner of Hamlin with his arms raised toward the sky in celebration of his first Daytona 500 victory.



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Earnhardt makes NASCAR return in Daytona 500 practice (The Associated Press)

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 13:44:26 PST

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NASCAR's most popular driver made his official return to racing Saturday by taking part in the first Daytona 500 practice of Speedweeks. Earnhardt turned nine laps at Daytona International Speedway during a four-hour session and ranked 11th on the speed chart. ''Just trying to put as many laps as I can behind me and get further and further into this deal to where the events from last year become more of a distant memory and don't define me as who I am so much anymore,'' Earnhardt said.



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Ford looking for championships with upgraded NASCAR lineup (The Associated Press)

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 12:15:59 PST

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Ford's courtship of Stewart-Haas Racing was nothing short of clandestine. No matter how Ford crunched the numbers, it was at a significant deficit in car count. It hindered the manufacturer's ability to win a championship - Ford last won a Cup title in 2004 - and new leadership recognized an immediate need to add a top-tier team.



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NASCAR beefs up concussion testing before season begins (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:06:01 PST

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. was confident NASCAR took the right step Friday when it beefed up its concussion protocol by adding a consistent screening rule at all venues. Health and safety is top priority,'' Earnhardt tweeted . Earnhardt, long NASCAR's most popular driver, was sidelined for the second half of last season with a concussion.



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Bowman ready for final shot as Earnhardt's super substitute (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:55:30 PST

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Alex Bowman will race 75 laps in the car that belongs to NASCAR's most popular driver, hang up the firesuit and head home. A year after making a string of solid starts, Bowman is outside the NASCAR picture following Saturday's opening exhibition Clash race at Daytona International Speedway. The 23-year-old Bowman has no rides lined up in any NASCAR series and knows the Clash may be the last time he competes for Hendrick Motorsports.



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NASCAR's Danica Patrick adamant she fairly promoted sponsor (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 14:58:41 PST

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Danica Patrick defended her support of former sponsor Nature's Bakery on Friday and insisted she never promoted any rival products as her racing team and the food company veer toward a court fight. Stewart-Haas Racing has filed a $31 million lawsuit against Nature's Bakery, saying the food company concocted false claims to dump the remaining two years on its deal to sponsor Patrick. The suit claims Nature's Bakery took issue with Patrick using Instagram to promote protein powders, home-made energy balls, a homemade spinach smoothie and various other home-cooked meals ranging from ice cream to grilled cheese.



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Bowyer out to revive NASCAR career as Stewart's replacement (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 12:59:47 PST

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Clint Bowyer hasn't won a race since 2012, hasn't made the playoffs in three years and is coming off an embarrassingly bad season.



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