Yahoo Sports – United States

Dale Earnhardt Jr. reflects on long concussion recovery (The Associated Press)

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2016, file photo, Dale Earnhardt Jr prepares to climb into his car to practice for NASCAR's Daytona 500 Sprint Cup series auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Dale Earnhardt Jr. should be medically cleared from his concussion in December and ready to race in the 2017 Daytona 500. Team owner Rick Hendrick said Earnhardt recently sent a text that said he was just waiting for Daytona. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

The longer Dale Earnhardt Jr. couldn’t drive because of the debilitating effects of a concussion, the more uptight he became. ”When I did that I became a better version of myself,” Earnhardt said. Earnhardt spoke to reporters Friday night after accepting the award as NASCAR’s most popular driver for a record 14th straight year.

Posted on 3 December 2016 @ 3:46 pm

Johnson, Stewart, Earnhardt honored as NASCAR closes 2016 (The Associated Press)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. speaks during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto racing awards Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Jimmie Johnson called winning a record-tying seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup title ”insane” Friday night, while Tony Stewart was sent off into retirement and Dale Earnhardt Jr. told his adoring fans at the season-ending banquet that he’ll be ready to race in 2017. Johnson’s dramatic victory in the finale last month at Homestead moved him into a tie with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for the most series championships. Johnson was introduced by 23-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps at the Wynn Las Vegas.

Posted on 3 December 2016 @ 5:21 am

NASCAR hopes sponsor Monster attracts needed younger fans (The Associated Press)

NASCAR’s top circuit has been called the Winston Cup, Nextel Cup and Sprint Cup. Starting in 2017, the sport could have a Cup-less name, one of many changes expected as Monster Energy takes over as title sponsor with a desire to attract younger fans to a sagging sport. ”Young people set trends in fashion and then older people adapt,” said Mark Hall, Monster’s chief marketing officer.

Posted on 2 December 2016 @ 8:14 pm

Happy, healthy Stewart leaving NASCAR so he can race more (The Associated Press)

Tony Stewart stands on stage during the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Tony Stewart sat in a casino ballroom wearing a coat and tie he no doubt wanted to rip off and brushed off a question about whether he was happy his NASCAR career was over. ”It’s not over yet,” Stewart said. Stewart’s signature biting and cutting remarks arrived on cue this week at NASCAR’s awards event that culminated with Friday night’s season-ending banquet.

Posted on 2 December 2016 @ 5:24 pm

Caffeine rush: Monster Energy to sponsor NASCAR’s top series (The Associated Press)

NASCAR CEO and Chairman, Brian France talks to reporters during a news conference before the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race practice Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, in Homestead, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

NASCAR announced an agreement with Monster Energy on Thursday that makes the energy drink maker the title sponsor of its top series in 2017, ending a lengthy process of finding a replacement for Sprint. NASCAR Chairman Brian France declined to provide financial details or the length of the deal, saying it was a ”complicated agreement” that includes option years. It was believed to be for less money than Sprint’s multimillion-dollar sponsorship.

Posted on 2 December 2016 @ 5:02 am

Delayed goosebumps for Johnson’s crew chief Chad Knaus (The Associated Press)

Chad Knaus had been a champion for six days, but the NASCAR title was so improbable, so unlikely, it still hadn’t sunk in for Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief. Knaus received the Champion Crew Chief Award on Thursday, a day before Johnson will be honored for capturing their seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup title together. Also on Thursday, the National Motorsports Press Association awarded its prestigious Myers Brothers Award to the late philanthropist Betty Jane France for her NASCAR contributions.

Posted on 2 December 2016 @ 12:33 am

Jack Roush’s once-elite NASCAR program will scale to 2 teams (The Associated Press)

Trevor Bayne waits by his car before qualifying for Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Roush Fenway Racing will be a two-car Cup program next season and its third charter will be leased to JTG Daugherty Racing.

Posted on 29 November 2016 @ 10:34 pm

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