3 crew members injured in pit road fire at Richmond (The Associated Press)
NASCAR says three pit road crew members were taken to a hospital after a fire broke out on pit road Friday night during the Xfinity Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Two of the crew members were working in Brendan Gaughan's pit, where the fire erupted, and one was in Eric McClure's pit. Television replays showed a huge ball of flame that appeared to engulf at least one crew member in Gaughan's pit. NASCAR identified the three injured as Gaughan's rear tire changer, Anthony O'Brien, and fueler, Josh Wittman, and Clifford Turner, a crew member from McClure's team.
Hamlin dominates to win NASCAR race at Richmond (The Associated Press)
Denny Hamlin returned from last week's injury-shortened weekend and led almost from start to finish Friday night to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Richmond International Raceway. He relinquished the lead for one lap to Brian Scott during a series of green-flag pit stops, and to Elliott Sadler during another green flag stop late in the race, but both times regained the lead on the following lap. You don't get these cars often.'' The victory was Hamlin's 12th in the series and third at Richmond. Following up on Kyle Busch's wire-to-wire victory for Joe Gibbs Racing in the series last September, the JGR teams have led 498 of the last 500 laps run in the series at RIR.
Logano wins pole at Richmond, his third of the season (The Associated Press)
Joey Logano won the pole position Friday night for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. The Daytona 500 winner turned a fast lap at 127.071 mph in the third round on the 0.75-mile oval. He easily edged Denny Hamlin for the top spot, with Kurt Busch and A.J. Allmendinger starting in the second row. Hamlin's best lap in the final round came at 126.796 mph. The pole is the series-high third of the season for Logano in nine races.
Bowyer and Stewart looking for good runs at Richmond (The Associated Press)
Clint Bowyer is having a terrible year. Neither driver believes they've turned a corner, but both believe they can be competitive Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. Because the current NASCAR rules package both are struggling with doesn't necessarily dictate their fate at Richmond, another short track where driver ability can still trump aerodynamics, horsepower and ill-handling race cars. ''It just seems like this package that we keep migrating to with our sport, it just kind of keeps painting you in a corner of you are only as good as your equipment,'' Bowyer said Friday at Richmond.
NASCAR felt Jones was capable of driving Hamlin's car (The Associated Press)
Erik Jones had never turned a lap in the Sprint Cup Series when he became a last-minute replacement driver for Denny Hamlin at Bristol last weekend. Jones was flown in from North Carolina during a lengthy rain delay in Sunday's race when because Hamlin had neck spasms. The 18-year-old arrived 5 minutes before the race resumed, and jumped into Hamlin's car for the remainder of the event. NASCAR had to approve Jones as the replacement driver, something that isn't done until the competitor has at least turned some laps.